Healing from Narcissistic Mothers: Acceptance and Recovery

“When you have successfully completed the acceptance part of recovery, you realize that no one can meet your childhood needs… The part of your life when you were entitled to that kind of maternal nurturing is gone. You are willing to grieve the loss but fully understand that you can’t go back and get it and you can’t make it happen now with someone else. Remember, as an adult, you are not entitled to this. You are responsible for yourself, now willing to accept this accountability for your own needs and to find a way to meet them. With this in place, you are ready to grieve.


The grief process begins with another decision: to let your feelings be there. I had to teach myself how to do this, particularly when my feelings were sad or angry. As I learned to feel, there were days when I would stay home from work…and just let myself cry, scream, hit pillows, or do whatever I needed to do to let out steam. The trick was to let them be. To feel them. This is difficult when you have been taught to stuff it or suck it up or not feel anything, to be phony, to pretend everything is all right when it isn’t.

Sit with those feelings. Sit with the pain. Manage the anxiety and depression that come with it so you can work through it. Don’t try to talk yourself out of it… Let yourself feel! When the old denial tries to reassert itself, or the critical internal messages begin again, chase them away. Tell yourself you deserve this time to heal.”

Will I Ever Be Good Enough: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Dr. Karyl McBride, Ph.D.