Written by: Malissa Veroni, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Welcome back to the second segment of my series that delves deeper into the intricate nuances of The Struggle and Hidden Costs of Being a "Good Daughter" to a Narcissistic Mother.
In my previous article, I spoke about the detrimental effects of trying to please a narcissistic mother and provided insights into the importance of setting boundaries and prioritizing one's own well-being. Today, we will continue this exploration, peeling back more layers to uncover the multifaceted aspects of being a “Good Daughter” and what you can do about it.
To recap “being a ‘good daughter’ to a narcissistic mother might seem like an admirable effort, but it often comes at a significant personal cost. The emotional toll of seeking validation, sacrificing identity, and navigating manipulation can have lasting effects on mental health and well-being. Recognizing the need to set boundaries, prioritize self-care, and break free from unhealthy patterns is essential for regaining control over one's life and forging a path to healing and self-discovery” (Veroni, 2023). This can seem like a daunting and never-ending task- but do not worry- I will lay out 10 Signs to see if this applies to you.
Recognizing "The good daughter syndrome": 11 signs you might struggle with it
Perpetual Striving for Perfection: Deep within, a relentless sense of inadequacy resides. Regardless of your achievements or identity, a feeling of falling short persists. This can lead to cultivating perfectionism, triggering OCD tendencies, and fostering depression and anxiety as coping mechanisms.
Bearing the Weight of Maternal Responsibility: You find yourself burdened by an overwhelming sense of responsibility for your mother's emotions and well-being.
Maintaining an Image of Maternal Success: You've taken on the role of making your mother look good, striving to project an image of her success and happiness, often at your own expense.
Plagued by Self-Doubt: Self-doubt has taken residence within you, casting shadows on your confidence and decisions.
Second-Guessing, Even Intentions: You habitually second-guess yourself, and this tendency sometimes extends to questioning the motives and intentions of others.
Complicated Maternal Relationship: Your relationship with your mother is complex and often lacks the foundation of a healthy bond.
Guilt over Personal Desires: The pursuit of your own desires, hobbies, preferences, and relationships brings about guilt, as if these individual aspirations betray your maternal duty.
Intrusion into Personal Spaces: Your mother intrudes into your life, influencing your relationships, personal boundaries, and even your role as a parent.
Perpetual Maternal Influence: Despite your efforts, your mother's presence always seems to be at the core of your life's decisions and actions.
Fear of Emulating Patterns: A secret fear dwells within you—the fear of inheriting your mother's traits and behaviour. This might compel you to fiercely resist becoming like her or even avoid having your own children due to apprehension of perpetuating the cycle.
Living in Service to Maternal Needs: Much of your life seems dedicated to fulfilling your mother's needs, often at the expense of your own well-being and aspirations.
If you find that all or some of these signs apply to you, know that you are not alone. There are things that you can do to change the power dynamic and work on improving your mental and emotional health. Tune in next month for tips on how we can “Break the Cycle.”
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Malissa Veroni, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Malissa Veroni is the founding CEO and lead therapist at Keep’N It Real Solutions. For the past 15 years Malissa has been a foot soldier in the field of social work; teaching, and serving students and clients alike. She is a published author, mentor, and mental health therapist who focuses on combining theory, practical approach and individual quality holistic care to help clients heal and grow from a variety of concerns. Malissa is known as a specialist in the field of Narcissistic Abuse, Intimate Partner Violence, the LGBTQ2s Community, and in Sex Therapy. She is also a Designated Capacity Assessor and a mentor to several social workers worldwide.