I found this survey, “Are You a Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother? Take This Brief Survey to Find Out” and sent it to Bruce. He took it, and got 28/33. It is by Karyl McBride, the author of the book “Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing The Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.”
Here are the questions:
1. When you discuss your life issues with your mother, does she divert the discussion to talk about herself?
2. When you discuss your feelings with your mother, does she try to top the feeling with her own?
3. Does your mother act jealous of you?
4. Does your mother lack empathy for your feelings?
5. Does your mother only support those things you do that reflect on her as a “good mother”?
6. Have you consistently felt a lack of emotional closeness with your mother?
7. Have you consistently questioned whether or not your mother likes you or loves you?
8. Does your mother only do things for you when others can see?
9. When something happens in your life (accident, illness, divorce) does your mother react with how it will affect her rather than how you feel?
10. Is or was your mother overly conscious of what others think (neighbors, friends, family, co-workers)?
11. Does your mother deny her own feelings?
12. Does your mother blame things on you or others rather than own responsibility for her feelings or actions?
13. Is or was your mother hurt easily and then carried a grudge for a long time without resolving the problem?
14. Do you feel you were a slave to your mother?
15. Do you feel you were responsible for your mother’s ailments or sickness (headaches, stress, illness)?
16. Did you have to take care of your mother’s physical needs as a child?
17. Do you feel unaccepted by your mother?
18. Do you feel your mother was critical of you?
19. Do you feel helpless in the presence of your mother?
20. Are you shamed often by your mother?
21. Do you feel your mother knows the real you?
22. Does your mother act like the world should revolve around her?
23. Do you find it difficult to be a separate person from your mother?
24. Does your mother appear phony to you?
25. Does your mother want to control your choices?
26. Does your mother swing from egotistical to a depressed mood?
27. Did you feel you had to take care of your mother’s emotional needs as a child?
28. Do you feel manipulated in the presence of your mother?
29. Do you feel valued by mother for what you do rather than who you are?
30. Is your mother controlling, acting like a victim or martyr?
31. Does your mother make you act different from how you really feel?
32. Does your mother compete with you?
33. Does your mother always have to have things her way?
Note: All of these questions relate to narcissistic traits. The more questions you checked, the more likely your mother has narcissistic traits and this has caused some difficulty for you as a growing daughter and adult.
What freaks me out, is that I score 24/33 when thinking about my relationship with my own mother. Cruella is undeniably narcissistic and probably borderline, and Bruce only scores four more points than I do. I’m struggling with what that means. I guess that my mother has narcissistic behaviors at the very least… I wonder if that’s why I identify with Harley, and to a lesser extent Bruce, so much. Harley and I do have a lot of things in common, like loving Hello Kitty, liking similar music, both really loving horror movies, never having a very “girly” style but more of an edgier style, but I am wondering now if more and more I’m not seeing how her sense of self is being strangled by her narcissistic mother and she’s rebelling against it. I always felt rejected by my mother, just as any narcissist is rejecting if you will not conform to their ideals and be their source of narcissistic supply.
Over the years I have had to learn to set really strong boundaries, because we had a very abusive cycle. She would hurt me, because of being critical or dismissive or completely invalidating my feelings; I would withdraw; after a time she would reach out to me, acting as though nothing happened, never apologizing, but being nice and loving; I would let my guard down; things would go well for a little while but then she would hurt me, being critical or dismissive or completely invalidating my feelings; so I would withdraw…
That went on for like 32 years.
Every time she came back and was nice to me, I was happy. She would act the way I wanted her to act and it would feel good, to be welcomed and not rejected. I would always let my guard down and then be completely surprised when she clobbered me, even though it had happened dozens and dozens of times. I struggled with self-esteem and feeling like I didn’t deserve to be loved, and on many levels I knew it was because of my volatile relationship with my mother, but I never thought that she might be a narcissist. Although, seeing it in black and white, I wonder how it took me so long to figure it out!! It’s really tough to have something like that dawn on you. It makes it even harder to accept that we cannot protect Harley from Cruella, that she too will probably grow up feeling like she’s not lovable, that she’s not good enough and can never be, no matter how hard she tries. It’s so, so heartbreaking.