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Best Books for Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

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Here's my list of best books for adult daughters of narcissistic mothers.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Author: Karyl McBride

Ave goodreads score=4.1/5

This is an excellent self-help book for adult daughters of women suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Dr. McBride is a therapist who has worked with both daughters of NPD mothers and people with NPD for many years. She is herself a daughter of a narcissist.

The book is divided into three sections to assist daughters of NPD mothers in healing and taking control of their lives. The first part, "Recognizing the Problem," describes the symptoms of maternal NPD. The second portion, titled "How Narcissistic Mothering Affects Your Entire Life," describes how NPD mothers affect their daughters as children and adults. The final portion, "Ending the Legacy," focuses on recovering from NPD mothering and ending the narcissistic cycle. Dr. McBride provides interesting examples from her clinical practice as well as specific, easy-to-understand exercises to help in recovery. She advocates establishing firm boundaries and individuating oneself from one's narcissistic mother. However, she recognizes that in some cases, having any kind of relationship with a mother who suffers from severe NPD may be impossible. This is one of the many excellent aspects of this book. It does not provide one-size-fits-all advice on the relationship between an adult daughter and her narcissistic mother.

Overall, this book approaches a tough subject in an even-handed and straightforward manner. McBride provides insight and guidance, and she isn't hesitant to express things that may be difficult to hear. She has done a fantastic job of capturing the treatment process as much as possible in a book format. Because the book focuses solely on daughters of mothers with NPD, Dr. McBride is able to provide the reader with targeted examples and guidance. She never justifies the mother's actions, but she does show sympathy for the mother who is suffering from NPD. Any woman who suspects she was raised by a woman with NPD should read this book to discover if any of it rings true for her.

You’re Not Crazy – It’s Your Mother: Understanding and Healing for Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Author: Danu Morrigan

Ave goodreads score=4.1/5

After interacting with your mother, do you find yourself emotionally wounded, upset, and confused? Are you left questioning yourself—perhaps thinking you're crazy—because your mother remembers certain events very differently than you do, and denies that others even happened?

Your feelings, emotions, and half-formed thoughts circle around in your head until you think you're crazy. Even so, you're left emotionally scarred, befuddled, and upset. If this describes your mother, it's probable she suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.

You are not crazy— It's Your Mother delves deeply into the nature of NPD and what it implies for you and your identity. This book will guide you on a path of self-awareness and recovery, allowing you to move on, heal, and claim your true self.

I found this book a very interesting and comforting read. Throughout the book, the author discusses her upbringing and how she came to the difficult choice to cut her mother out of her life for good. This can give any reader hope that they do not have to put up with the abuse they have been subjected to and that the way they have been treated isn't fair. It's reassuring to know you're not alone in your battle with an NPD parent.

This book is a very helpful guide on the path to freedom and recovery.

Mothers Who Can’t Love: A Healing Guide for Daughters

Author: Susan Forward

Ave goodreads score=4.2/5

Mothers Who Can’t Love is a lifeline for people who have experienced a problematic parent-child connection. The author refutes the claim that “giving birth renders [women] inherently capable of nurturing”. She shows several forms of toxic mothering using anecdotal evidence: a narcissistic, self-absorbed mother who insists on being the center of attention, downplays her daughter's successes, and is overcritical; or a "engulfing mother" who is "desperate, clinging, and restricting."

Often a daughter is unable to accept the idea that her mother does not love her and instead internalizes her mother's message that the relationship is being poisoned by her flaws. She writes, ’’The smiles and good opinion of her all-powerful mother mean everything to the dependent daughter “. Forward illustrates several strategies for dealing with toxic relationships that endure into adulthood using cases from her 35-year therapy practice. Confidence-building strategies based on journaling are among them, such as making one list including her mother's false statements and comparing it to a counter list expressing the truth, burning the first list and tying the second to a balloon.

The ultimate phase in the healing process is for the daughter to face her mother with non-negotiable demands about how their relationship must improve, and to be willing to end it if these requests are not satisfied. Confronting sorrow and anger as they emerge is an important part of the process. Depending on the circumstances, professional assistance may or may not be required.

Mothers Who Can't Love is filled with fascinating case studies that describe the self-help strategies Forward has created to assist her clients improve their lives, showing them how to transcend the trauma of childhood and act in their own best interests.

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Dear Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother

Author: Danu Morrigan

Ave goodreads score=4/5

After the hugely successful You're Not Crazy─It's Your Mother comes a second book by Danu Morrigan. Morrigan has written 100 letters to daughters of narcissistic mothers, giving guidance, support, and coping strategies from someone who has been there. As a consequence, a self-help book that acts as a map, action plan, and companion on the path to full healing and thriving has been created.

This book is an interesting and comforting read. Each page has a wealth of information on growing up with a narcissistic mother. Because the narcissist surrounds themselves with yes people who all do their bidding, so you have no one to turn to while you are being mothered by criticism and verbal abuse. This book takes the veil off that event and reveals the reality about what occurred to you, as well as providing extremely effective healing methods. The format of this book is one of my favorite aspects of it. It's a collection of brief (2-3 page) letters. I now have a busy schedule and don't have time to read a book that needs a significant time investment. I can read a letter or two a day and keep going on my recovery path. While reading this book, I had a lot of "me too!" moments. It has provided me with a great deal of comfort and helpful advice.

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists

Author: Eleanor Payson

Ave goodreads score=4/5

In her book The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists Eleanor Payson describes how to detect both overt and covert narcissists, different types of relationships you can find yourself in with a narcissist, and how to create boundaries to keep your sense of self intact.

The parent-child relationship is discussed extensively in the book. As it can lead to recurrence of childhood patterns in the adult years or addictive tendencies that emerge as coping methods from a difficult upbringing. If you are a child of a narcissist, you must realize that the behavior of your parents is not your responsibility.

In addition to the parent-child interaction, an NPD individual may be seen in a romantic connection, friendship, business relationship, or even as a service professional. Payson advises writing everything down in the workplace, seeking emotional support outside of work, and including a third party in talks.

Finally, this book serves as a cautionary tale as well as a source of inspiration. Payson teaches you how to spot a narcissist in your midst before you become entangled in a relationship with him. Yet she also encourages you to discover your own self, exercise assertiveness, create boundaries, and stand up for yourself.

Narcissistic mothers and covert emotional abuse

Author: Diana Macey

Ave goodreads score=4.2/5

In order to influence their children into servicing their needs and demands, covert narcissistic parents destroy their children's self-esteem and sense of self. The abuse is subtle, but it gradually erodes the victim's psyche, distorts their perception of reality, and impairs their capacity to operate. Worst of all, the abuse is not readily seen or acknowledged. This book is for you if you have a strong feeling that something was wrong with your upbringing but can't pinpoint any of the awful abuse that is frequently discussed in the media.

The author is a narcissistic abuse survivor, not a psychologist. This is her narrative; she shares her journey to recovery with examples and knowledge she gathered along the road. I appreciate the author's experiences; they struck a chord with me. I only wish there were some outside case studies or statements from experts in the field. It felt a little too much like a biography, and while I like her candor, I think additional external quotations and stories would have helped.

This book isn't about the academic explanations, your parents may have been full-fledged narcissists or had significant narcissistic tendencies, but their bad behavior affected you in some manner, and you need to understand what occurred in order to heal.

The emotionally absent mother

Author: Jasmin Lee Cori

Ave goodreads score=4.19/5

This book speaks directly to adult children who want to overcome their ‘mother gap.' Many people believe something was seriously lacking in their upbringing and wonder why their mother wasn't present. Despite the fact that she may have physically cared, many people nevertheless feel as though they were a "motherless kid." As an adult, it becomes difficult to sustain a relationship with her. The Emotionally Absent Mother explains why readers' mothers were unable to offer what so many others could.

Through exercises, reflections, and easy to understand explanations Psychotherapist Jasmin Lee Cori helps adult daughters and sons heal the wounds left by mothers who failed to provide the essential elements that every child needs. She connects perceived personal flaws to mothering deficiencies, thus removing the burden of self-blame from the adult children. She helps today's under-mothered people ensure a brighter future for themselves and their children by guiding them how to cultivate the mothering they never had.


Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 16, 2021:

Very nice compilation, thanks.

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