When I was on the phone a few weeks ago with my Golden Child brother, one of the things he told me was that “Mom sees you as her greatest failure”. He stated it very matter of factly, like my being known as a failure is a given.
The statement my brother made that “Mom sees me as her greatest failure” has a ton of implications:
First, it shows what a great job my mother did of brainwashing my brother. He knows that my narcisstic mom (NM) thinks I’m her greatest failure without NM even having to say those words. I honestly don’t think my brother can help himself when he decides to act like her and tell me how I should be living my life. He’s so heavily programmed by her that he is incapable of thinking otherwise. He’s still very much in denial about the damage that NM did to him and to me. As I stated in Golden@2300, he will quickly shut me down if I say something about our family with which he doesn’t agree.
Second, NM’s statement says a great deal about her. I regularly correspond with Sweet Violet, who has an excellent blog about what it’s like to grow up the daughter of a narcissistic mother. She sent me a reply to an email I had sent to her where I mentioned my mother’s view of me. I think she has an excellent perspective on my mother.
Sweet Violet’s response:
I think your mother’s remark about you being her “greatest failure” is very telling on several levels. First and most obvious, she is dismissing all of your efforts and achievements. This is part of the “finite pie” world of so many narcissists: there is only so much praise to go around and any she gives to you means less out there for her. This shows her to be emotionally parsimonious and getting good reviews from her is gonna be like trying to squeeze blood out of a rock. But there is a subtext here as well: you didn’t do as SHE wanted…perhaps she wanted you to be a doctor or expected you to grow up to be a bum so she had a never-ending source of Nsupply in the form of pity and commiseration from family and friends; perhaps she expected you to stay married to your first wife; perhaps she expected you to become a millionaire and support her in great luxury. Whatever it was that SHE expected, you did not come through and all of the manipulation in the world did not bring her expectations to fruition, therefore SHE failed because she failed to sufficiently control you and bring you to the end she envisioned. This tells you two things: 1) she views you more as a tool to be used to achieve her own ends, than as a beloved child; and 2) you did a pretty damned good job of individuating from her and making your own way…something SHE cannot acknowledge or praise because it runs exactly counter to her goals.
Sweet Violet expounds on many excellent points, all derived from my mother’s one statement. I agree with every point she made.
It’s tragic that my mother sees me as her greatest failure. I by no means consider myself a failure, but she will never be able to see me any other way. I’ve accepted her for who she is and realize how fruitless it is to try to make her think I’m not a failure. With continued no contact, I’m getting better every day.
- Golden@2300 (thenarcissistsson.wordpress.com)