We’ve heard about parental alienation, but there’s less commentary on family alienation. It seems to be the hallmark of a narcissistic mother–especially with her daughter. Narcissists of all types are dedicated to discrediting their victims by portraying them as crazy to friends, relatives and acquaintances. They usually start before the victim even knows there is a problem. Then, when the abuse starts, the narcissist has already planted a seed in people’s minds to make them think the victim is not trustworthy. It destroys the support system that the victim of a narcissist so desperately needs!
Narcissist mothers love to smear their daughters under the guise of caring. “Oh my poor daughter. I worry so much about her because she has mental issues.” The daughter might not have mental issues at all, (or she might be depressed or upset about the abuse she’s experiencing!) But, the mother’s comments set a foundation by which people begin to view the target/her own daughter. Onlookers have no idea what’s going on. They see a seemingly nice mother trying to help her daughter. They believe the stories that the narcissist spreads, and come to believe the daughter is the problem. In private, the daughter is frustrated by the abuse, which makes her mother’s false allegations seem believable when she tries to stand up for herself. If she shows anger or sadness, the narcissist mother is quick to tell others than she is “out of control” or “bi-polar.” Many times that “bi-polar” behavior is a reaction to years of abuse and only shows up when the narcissist is instigating a fight. The narcissist mother will pick at the daughter then blame her for reacting.
More aggressive narcissistic mothers will drop the pretend concern and go straight to trashing their daughters. They often make up elaborate stories and portray their daughters as druggies, delinquents or as being out of control. The daughter doesn’t stand a chance because she’s been smeared so long that her family doesn’t actually see her for who she is. The narcissist has successfully alienated her from her family…and often anyone who might help her with the abuse. Many daughters of narcissist realize that they have lost their entire family, and the mother’s campaign against them has been so thorough that no one wants to hear the daughter’s side.