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Narcissistic Mothers and Covert Emotional Abuse: For Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents

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If you feel something was very wrong with your childhood, yet you are unable to point to any of the horrific abuse often talked about in the media, this book is for you. It is for adults who don’t know why they struggle with the things in life that come naturally to others, who find socialising draining because they are easily affected by the moods and the words of others If you feel something was very wrong with your childhood, yet you are unable to point to any of the horrific abuse often talked about in the media, this book is for you. It is for adults who don’t know why they struggle with the things in life that come naturally to others, who find socialising draining because they are easily affected by the moods and the words of others and cannot understand why sadness and dissatisfaction prevail in their lives, while others thrive with seemingly a lot less. If you struggle with such issues you might be an adult child of a cover narcissistic parent. Covert narcissistic parents break down their children’s self-esteem and sense of self in order to manipulate them into serving their unhealthy needs and demands. The abuse is subtle and over time, it erodes the victim’s personality, distorts their sense of reality and it does severe damage to their ability to function. And if you wonder why anyone would do that, the answer is simple; narcissists are not mentally healthy people and their goal is not to raise mentally healthy offspring. Most parents do not destroy their children. The narcissism is classified as a personality disorder for a reason, and it has to do with the predatory and inadequate way of sustaining their ego. It is classified as a cluster B personality disorder with a specific set of dynamics and outcomes. This book is not about the academic description, your parents might’ve had full blown narcissism or had strong tendencies, ether way their unhealthy behaviour affected you and you need to understand what happened in order to heal. Other signs of such abuse are chronic anxiety, getting overwhelmed, concentration problems, substance abuse, irritability, flashbacks of humiliating moments from the past, inability to cope with failure and negative emotions, inability to enjoy the simple things others enjoy. This indicates something is majorly and fundamentally wrong with your mental state, and it is the result of the prolonged abuse you’ve been through. Worst of all, the abuse is not easily visible or widely acknowledged. Understanding the problem will help you start recovering. And, of course, this book is for those who already know about narcissism and narcissistic abuse. More specifically it’s about covert narcissistic mothers, and how they inflict lasting damage on their children.


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If you feel something was very wrong with your childhood, yet you are unable to point to any of the horrific abuse often talked about in the media, this book is for you. It is for adults who don’t know why they struggle with the things in life that come naturally to others, who find socialising draining because they are easily affected by the moods and the words of others If you feel something was very wrong with your childhood, yet you are unable to point to any of the horrific abuse often talked about in the media, this book is for you. It is for adults who don’t know why they struggle with the things in life that come naturally to others, who find socialising draining because they are easily affected by the moods and the words of others and cannot understand why sadness and dissatisfaction prevail in their lives, while others thrive with seemingly a lot less. If you struggle with such issues you might be an adult child of a cover narcissistic parent. Covert narcissistic parents break down their children’s self-esteem and sense of self in order to manipulate them into serving their unhealthy needs and demands. The abuse is subtle and over time, it erodes the victim’s personality, distorts their sense of reality and it does severe damage to their ability to function. And if you wonder why anyone would do that, the answer is simple; narcissists are not mentally healthy people and their goal is not to raise mentally healthy offspring. Most parents do not destroy their children. The narcissism is classified as a personality disorder for a reason, and it has to do with the predatory and inadequate way of sustaining their ego. It is classified as a cluster B personality disorder with a specific set of dynamics and outcomes. This book is not about the academic description, your parents might’ve had full blown narcissism or had strong tendencies, ether way their unhealthy behaviour affected you and you need to understand what happened in order to heal. Other signs of such abuse are chronic anxiety, getting overwhelmed, concentration problems, substance abuse, irritability, flashbacks of humiliating moments from the past, inability to cope with failure and negative emotions, inability to enjoy the simple things others enjoy. This indicates something is majorly and fundamentally wrong with your mental state, and it is the result of the prolonged abuse you’ve been through. Worst of all, the abuse is not easily visible or widely acknowledged. Understanding the problem will help you start recovering. And, of course, this book is for those who already know about narcissism and narcissistic abuse. More specifically it’s about covert narcissistic mothers, and how they inflict lasting damage on their children.

30 review for Narcissistic Mothers and Covert Emotional Abuse: For Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ratty

    Thank you! You have freed me from the guilt of feeling my abuse wasn’t that bad. You gave me peace! Bless you

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Griffiths

    This book was an accidental find as I was browsing but it has been like finding treasure I cannot believe this book was written about someone else's experience through life as this book is totally about me. The situations, the things that happened, the things that were said, the feelings that the person had as an adult, yes it's me all over. I'm 40 years old now and still suffering with hate towards myself for not getting out from my mother sooner and realising before I did. The only difference is This book was an accidental find as I was browsing but it has been like finding treasure I cannot believe this book was written about someone else's experience through life as this book is totally about me. The situations, the things that happened, the things that were said, the feelings that the person had as an adult, yes it's me all over. I'm 40 years old now and still suffering with hate towards myself for not getting out from my mother sooner and realising before I did. The only difference is that at 15 is had enough and challenged everything that was done to me so ended up thrown out onto the streets because I wouldn't comply anymore. I've had years of being attacked mentally and also physically by siblings because I'm supposed to be the "bad" one and upsetting mother because I won't have anything to do with any of them again, I wiped them out of my life 10 years ago and they still try working back in but I won't have it. My husband has had the patience of a saint because I loathe myself and he tries to be nice but I just cant handle it because i'm not used to it. If you have a mother like this then this book is a total must read. I would love to meet the author and have a good old chat. I know we'd hit it off and become friends, I'm so glad I found this book as it's shown me in not the only one that has been treated like this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    So validating and illuminating. A great introduction to covert narcissism, emotional abuse, and the lasting scars this invisible mental abuse leaves on the adult survivor. Not all mothers are good, or have children for the right reasons. Sometimes children are convenient as cash injections to the household (thanks to the welfare state) and as great justifications for not working, facilitating the 'selfless martyr' mother image covert narcissists love. As soon as the cracks begin to show, the nar So validating and illuminating. A great introduction to covert narcissism, emotional abuse, and the lasting scars this invisible mental abuse leaves on the adult survivor. Not all mothers are good, or have children for the right reasons. Sometimes children are convenient as cash injections to the household (thanks to the welfare state) and as great justifications for not working, facilitating the 'selfless martyr' mother image covert narcissists love. As soon as the cracks begin to show, the narcissist is quick to discard, until the victim bends to their preferred narrative and outlook. When the narcissist is put under stress, their true self emerges. I am also a survivor of a selfish, poisonous, money grabbing mother who thought nothing of putting all her daughters in harms way for her own selfish personal gain. You aren't alone.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Stars

    This is an excellent read. I recognize a alot of what she is talking about. It is disgusting the amount of damage that narcissistic parent(s) can do. In my case it is my father that is the narcissist but the dynamic is the same. I didn't realize how much damage my father had done until I started the healing process. Then I thought about it...I have been through decades of abuse so I won't heal overnight. I was glad she gave some instruction on how to heal that was very helpful. Once again GREAT This is an excellent read. I recognize a alot of what she is talking about. It is disgusting the amount of damage that narcissistic parent(s) can do. In my case it is my father that is the narcissist but the dynamic is the same. I didn't realize how much damage my father had done until I started the healing process. Then I thought about it...I have been through decades of abuse so I won't heal overnight. I was glad she gave some instruction on how to heal that was very helpful. Once again GREAT READ!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marie Ingram

    Great source of help and advice What a great book. I'm sure this will help many people. I had heard of narcissists but not covert. I'm sure I will research this subject more in-depth. Well done to the author not for just explaining her own experience but her healing process too. I couldn't put this book down. Great source of help and advice What a great book. I'm sure this will help many people. I had heard of narcissists but not covert. I'm sure I will research this subject more in-depth. Well done to the author not for just explaining her own experience but her healing process too. I couldn't put this book down.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Day

    Amazingly relatable I couldn't put this book down. I could relate to so much of it it's almost like covert narcissistic parents at all cut from the same mold. It's very comforting and validating to hear from other people who have gone through such a similar experiences and have managed to heal themselves. I really like to thank Diana the author so much for writing this book Amazingly relatable I couldn't put this book down. I could relate to so much of it it's almost like covert narcissistic parents at all cut from the same mold. It's very comforting and validating to hear from other people who have gone through such a similar experiences and have managed to heal themselves. I really like to thank Diana the author so much for writing this book

  7. 4 out of 5

    Anna Maria

    Excellent written book. At last there is someone else out there that understands my childhood. I had guessed from about the age of 3 I was not in a 'normal' family. I grew up always trying to be the best,to be loved, it was never enough. I ended up like Diana instead of getting away from it, I got caught up in the games for years. I did get away, I was having a great life and career, they found a way to find me. I was a total fool I was desperate to be loved, and accepted by them. I had studied Excellent written book. At last there is someone else out there that understands my childhood. I had guessed from about the age of 3 I was not in a 'normal' family. I grew up always trying to be the best,to be loved, it was never enough. I ended up like Diana instead of getting away from it, I got caught up in the games for years. I did get away, I was having a great life and career, they found a way to find me. I was a total fool I was desperate to be loved, and accepted by them. I had studied psychology, yet could not seem to apply the rules to myself when it came to my family. They used me, abused me all for their own selfish reasons. Today I live a quiet life reading loads of books. About 4 years ago I became very ill, was any of them there to help me. No of course they were not, that is when I had my 'light bulb' moment as I refer to it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. How can some people be so very cruel. It has not made me cruel, or bitter, just very sad. Thanks Diana Macey for a wonderful read. Your brother was smart getting away early.

  8. 5 out of 5

    jim mcilduff

    Excellent book explained this unspoken abuse in black and white My parents stole my childhood. I developed epilepsy through no self-esteem Anxiety and depression as a result of this abuse. I am 57 only discovered it existed recently.This book tells it in a clear direct way. I am on the road back this book pointing me in the right one .

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheryle Tebor

    I've never read such a detailed explanation of my life! This book went deeper into the "why's" of how adult children of narcissistic parents feel the way they do. The explanation of how to handle extremely difficult emotions was a miracle for me!! Being so reactive to anything negative has been my biggest struggle. I'm forever grateful for this book! I've never read such a detailed explanation of my life! This book went deeper into the "why's" of how adult children of narcissistic parents feel the way they do. The explanation of how to handle extremely difficult emotions was a miracle for me!! Being so reactive to anything negative has been my biggest struggle. I'm forever grateful for this book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Albert

    Informative Insightful book for adult survivors of emotional abuse. Positive and uplifting outcome for this author. Recommend to a friend who is struggling with self esteem issues and emotional distress from having a narcissistic mother

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    welp. that sure explained and validated a lot.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Angi Plant

    A recommended read if you don’t understand narcissism and/or think you have a narcissistic parent.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    Didn't really add anything new to my understanding Didn't really add anything new to my understanding

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    As a fellow daughter of a narcissistic mother, I think you did a good job of showing how they use daily, constant behavior to manipulate their children. It's not a big, overt, obvious abuse, but abuse by a million small cuts that cause constant stress and shame. Thank you for this book. I have finally come through recovery and want others to know there is a way through, and this book helps to show you As a fellow daughter of a narcissistic mother, I think you did a good job of showing how they use daily, constant behavior to manipulate their children. It's not a big, overt, obvious abuse, but abuse by a million small cuts that cause constant stress and shame. Thank you for this book. I have finally come through recovery and want others to know there is a way through, and this book helps to show you

  15. 5 out of 5

    Claire Green

    I couldn't put this down once I started, it was literally like I'd written this book without knowing it, as so many of the examples happened to me, almost word for word. Its a great book in that if you are unsure what the hell was going on, this book tells you what it was, and that it wasnt you that was the problem, and blaming yourself isnt going to help (if anything it self perpetuates the problems) What the book wont do, is give you very many ideas/skills of how to cope and heal from it once y I couldn't put this down once I started, it was literally like I'd written this book without knowing it, as so many of the examples happened to me, almost word for word. Its a great book in that if you are unsure what the hell was going on, this book tells you what it was, and that it wasnt you that was the problem, and blaming yourself isnt going to help (if anything it self perpetuates the problems) What the book wont do, is give you very many ideas/skills of how to cope and heal from it once you know this is what you have been dealing with all these years, nor does the author say it will, she gives you some basic tips at the end of the book, her sources, possible further reading though.. which I now need to move onto, I know what I experienced, I now know why I experienced it, and why I continue to struggle in my 40's, my next step is to find a way to fix the catastrophic damage she caused.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kay Vickery

    Useful for an introduction to narcissism. There’s two reasons I didn’t give five stars. One is that in places it can be narrow pertaining to the narrative. Whilst I can appreciate one can only speak from their own experience, I think a larger incorporation of human possibilities is needed. The other is more personal. I have eupd and terms such as “good”or “bad” can be rather black and white, the language fed somewhat into the concept of splitting. The world and human beings are incredibly comple Useful for an introduction to narcissism. There’s two reasons I didn’t give five stars. One is that in places it can be narrow pertaining to the narrative. Whilst I can appreciate one can only speak from their own experience, I think a larger incorporation of human possibilities is needed. The other is more personal. I have eupd and terms such as “good”or “bad” can be rather black and white, the language fed somewhat into the concept of splitting. The world and human beings are incredibly complex, whilst the language may be simple to reiterate the point, I think it lets down the significant message aiming to be portrayed throughout. Of course this is probably my own bias however it is a personal review. Otherwise an Informative, heartfelt and fundamental read for anyone in their recovery journey. I’d recommend as a starting book to the recovery from narcissism, especially as an introduction with emotional approach/healing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    J.P.

    This was a helpful & informative book. It is (un)fortunately relevant to my life experiences, some of which I still have to deal with. It was grounding in a way, bringing me back to reality & acknowledging that what I experience(d) is neither healthy nor normal. And as always the unexpected reminder or revelation that is simultaneously a relief, for having an explanation, & a kick in the gut. I recommend this to anyone who has or think they have experienced mental & emotional abuse from a parent This was a helpful & informative book. It is (un)fortunately relevant to my life experiences, some of which I still have to deal with. It was grounding in a way, bringing me back to reality & acknowledging that what I experience(d) is neither healthy nor normal. And as always the unexpected reminder or revelation that is simultaneously a relief, for having an explanation, & a kick in the gut. I recommend this to anyone who has or think they have experienced mental & emotional abuse from a parent.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Asta Tamonyte

    Brilliant book! Thank you very much to the author Diana Macey being so courageous and talking openly about her parents, especially her mother. I was looking for the answers all my life and I believe this book helped me to finally understand everything fully who my mother was and how she treated me till now (I am 53 years old).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Debra Oehlberg

    I feel like the author had a validity to much of what she posed as examples of a dysfunctional mother. But some of her examples may have been another mental disorder. The example about the chicken pox was not a clear cut example of narcissism. Her mom tried hard to keep her from getting chicken pox by not exposing her to it. I tried to keep my daughter from getting it, but she was the last in her kindergarten class to get it, and got the worst case of them all. The chicken pox almost spread insi I feel like the author had a validity to much of what she posed as examples of a dysfunctional mother. But some of her examples may have been another mental disorder. The example about the chicken pox was not a clear cut example of narcissism. Her mom tried hard to keep her from getting chicken pox by not exposing her to it. I tried to keep my daughter from getting it, but she was the last in her kindergarten class to get it, and got the worst case of them all. The chicken pox almost spread inside of her body. I still to this day remember the chicken pox I had around age 8 as one of the worst childhood things I ever experienced. I tried hard not to scratch, and still ended up with a tiny scar on my eyelid from chicken pox. Now, they offer a shot for immunity. I am not into the free range chicken style of breeding children, so I would never deliberately expose a child to any illness. So, even though the author had many valid examples of a very immature and selfish mom, in my mind the chicken pox example proved the opposite. Now, if the author had said that the only reason why her mom did not expose her was to show superiority to the other mother, that would have supported her message better. I, too, believe the best defense to someone this outrageously dysfunctional is distancing. Ordinarily, distancing brings grief and heartache when it is loved ones, but when someone is this messed up, distancing feels like a better life. It is a great read for Psychology students and people needing help to break that cycle of control in life.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Diana for writing this book,I came across it by accident and couldn't Put it down, it was like I was reading about my child self. My mother was an only child and from what I've been told my nan couldn't have any more children. This book helped me understand more about myself, as a child I always felt I was an alien although I looked human,everyone seemed different to me, happy,confident and outgoing, like life was so easy and carefree. To add to my problems regard Thank you, thank you, thank you Diana for writing this book,I came across it by accident and couldn't Put it down, it was like I was reading about my child self. My mother was an only child and from what I've been told my nan couldn't have any more children. This book helped me understand more about myself, as a child I always felt I was an alien although I looked human,everyone seemed different to me, happy,confident and outgoing, like life was so easy and carefree. To add to my problems regarding my mother I also had a physically abusive father and a bullying older sister ( golden child) I was the middle child out of 3 daughters, I felt i had no one who I could go to for help. This book has helped me realise I'm not on my own. As one reviewer has already said if we could talk to diana what a great help. To all of you out there who suffered, be proud love and take care of the child within. Xxx

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    This explains a lot The book is autobiographical chinks and then full of explanation after. It was enjoyable, comfortable, and informative. While my mother was not as mean and sadistic as this author’s, as some narcissists are different than others, it hits a kid the same way. We have similar trauma and baggage and I found myself thinking out loud often about how I understood what she was talking about and how it all makes sense now. The Kindle version was read to me by Alexa which is not my favo This explains a lot The book is autobiographical chinks and then full of explanation after. It was enjoyable, comfortable, and informative. While my mother was not as mean and sadistic as this author’s, as some narcissists are different than others, it hits a kid the same way. We have similar trauma and baggage and I found myself thinking out loud often about how I understood what she was talking about and how it all makes sense now. The Kindle version was read to me by Alexa which is not my favorite voice for audiobooks. It’s sometimes distracting when she gets a bit of a hiccup —like not quite reading a line the way it should be — but it’s not terrible either.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jacke vazgoy

    Amazing, this book changed everything, it made me feel less alone in this weird place I’m right now, I felt seen and understood. The author explains all they know about narcissists and how the narcissist mother acts, how the facade works and gives us examples of it, I can’t believe how on point. On. Point. Were all those stories and behaviors, this book almos felt like tailored. Not only it explained my mother’s but others members of my family, sometimes we need to know we’re not alone in order t Amazing, this book changed everything, it made me feel less alone in this weird place I’m right now, I felt seen and understood. The author explains all they know about narcissists and how the narcissist mother acts, how the facade works and gives us examples of it, I can’t believe how on point. On. Point. Were all those stories and behaviors, this book almos felt like tailored. Not only it explained my mother’s but others members of my family, sometimes we need to know we’re not alone in order to change something, I felt strangely free after reading this book, like I finally found what I was looking for. Thanks to the author, many many thanks.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Moss 慈映夢図

    This is good. The author at times could stand to mask her contempt a little more but that's a matter of personal taste. The information is solid, thorough, and broken up into easy chapters. This is marred only by the style which reads more like a blog that serves to help the author vent rather than provide comprehensive solutions for readers. That sounds far more damning than it's meant to though, the book is fine and will almost certainly fulfill the needs of the people it's aimed at. For a bet This is good. The author at times could stand to mask her contempt a little more but that's a matter of personal taste. The information is solid, thorough, and broken up into easy chapters. This is marred only by the style which reads more like a blog that serves to help the author vent rather than provide comprehensive solutions for readers. That sounds far more damning than it's meant to though, the book is fine and will almost certainly fulfill the needs of the people it's aimed at. For a better look into the subject however I'd suggest you seek out Elan Golomb's Trapped in the Mirror.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lynne McCarrick

    Like Blackpool lights While learning theory is helpful, it is low-level, dull, inanimate. BUT THIS BOOK'S REALITY HAS BEEN SO INVIGORATING TO ME. THIS IS WRITTEN BY ONE WHO knows THE HUMILIATION, SELF HATRED, CONFUSION AND TOTAL ANXT OF AN ADULT MIND FILLED WITH BAD MESSAGES AND PROGRAMMING AS A LITTLE CHILD. I read every page with eagerness as it spoke to me from personal experience. Ready to start book 2 now, and SO grateful for the author's courage to write, knowing that people like me were so Like Blackpool lights While learning theory is helpful, it is low-level, dull, inanimate. BUT THIS BOOK'S REALITY HAS BEEN SO INVIGORATING TO ME. THIS IS WRITTEN BY ONE WHO knows THE HUMILIATION, SELF HATRED, CONFUSION AND TOTAL ANXT OF AN ADULT MIND FILLED WITH BAD MESSAGES AND PROGRAMMING AS A LITTLE CHILD. I read every page with eagerness as it spoke to me from personal experience. Ready to start book 2 now, and SO grateful for the author's courage to write, knowing that people like me were so desperate to hear, to understand ourselves, at last. A million thank you's x

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Nonexpert writes about psychological issues As someone with significant trauma in my past, I know better than to trust a nonexpert with being able to parse through all of the issues at hand and deliver it in a way that isn't potentially damaging. I bought the book without knowing this about the author. I'm glad she disclosed in the first few paragraphs ... I admit to stopping there. Nonexpert writes about psychological issues As someone with significant trauma in my past, I know better than to trust a nonexpert with being able to parse through all of the issues at hand and deliver it in a way that isn't potentially damaging. I bought the book without knowing this about the author. I'm glad she disclosed in the first few paragraphs ... I admit to stopping there.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anne McGill

    Helped In Bits I guess I was expecting a little more help but it certainly confirmed I am the child of a Narcissistic mother. Because it references the author’s own history and my family dynamic was dissimilar to that of the author I didn’t recognise ALL of the signs but I think if you’re unsure about whether or not a narcissistic mother is the cause of your misery this book should help.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mindy E Warren

    Quick read on a heavy topic I found this read helpful and useful for my recovery. I read it in one sitting. The topics are moved thru succinctly and quickly with short vignettes from the author’s own life as a victim of covert narcissistic abuse. It was fair and accurate and never felt like emotional complaining or attention seeking. The author models healing and processing thru this kind of abuse that brings hope and seems attainable.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vikki Forster

    Lots of descriptions of authors own life experiences This is not (and doesn't pretend to be) a theory text book. Instead lots of examples and first hand experiences which for me were helpful in understanding my own past. The author has obviously grasped the subject by finding out information for herself and it is she appears to understand it thoroughly. Definitely worth reading for anyone trying to get to grips with childhood emotional abuse and move forward. Lots of descriptions of authors own life experiences This is not (and doesn't pretend to be) a theory text book. Instead lots of examples and first hand experiences which for me were helpful in understanding my own past. The author has obviously grasped the subject by finding out information for herself and it is she appears to understand it thoroughly. Definitely worth reading for anyone trying to get to grips with childhood emotional abuse and move forward.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Gist

    A good read and I do appreciate the authors experiences, they resonated somewhat for me. I just wish there had been some external case studies, or quotes from specialists in this area. It felt a little too much like a biography and while I appreciate her openness the external quotes and stories would have helped even more. Thank you for the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    anne dufresne

    Really helpful Going through a difficult time with my mother when I have called her on her BS, I found this book. It summed up very well and concisely what covert narcissism is , how you are affected and recovery technics. I am sharing it with my long suffering sisters as well as we are aimed to cut our mother from our life. Would recommend

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