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  • Julie Von Nonveiller Cairnes

Healing The Mother Wound

Updated: Nov 19

How does it go for the broken-hearted daughters?


How does she survive the psychological, emotional, spiritual and psychic onslaught from a mother who is her first love and also her first abuser?


Pic · Pexel


To the wounded or narcissistic mother, her daughter is seen as a major threat to her feminine supremacy.

She sees with only jealous eyes an innocent child as her deadly rival. She cannot separate her daughter from her original pain.

Not only this, the mother also projects her issues with her own mother onto her child.

Issues such as unwanted and denied aspects and traits of both herself and her own mother.

The wounded narc mother who completely lacks insight will project her own coldness, selfishness and self-obsession onto her child.

Thus, the daughter experiencing full-blown narcissistic abuse from her mother will be shamed and controlled and her identity development significantly undermined. The daughter constantly experiences a profound sense of insecurity as her self-esteem and any semblance of self-confidence plummets and vanishes.

She feels nothing she does will ever be good enough, too young to realise her mother is an emptiness that can never be filled or satisfied by anything she or anyone else does.

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She fears actualising her full potential

Feeling she will be again rejected and further lose her mother’s love and approval.

So in a sense, playing small and limiting her own growth is enacted as a form of loyalty, in order to not be seen as competing with her own mother, and also to ensure her own emotional survival.

If she should dare become fully empowered, the daughter risks losing her mother’s love.

And she also risks triggering her mother’s own deep rage and sorrow at not having self-actualised in her own life.

In serious cases of narcissistic mother abuse, the daughter feels she has no right to be here, to have been born, to take up space on the planet, and even to exist.

Here’s where a pattern of loss of authenticity can begin

Where the daughter feels who she is, is unacceptable, and tries to become the person she might imagine has more right to exist than who she feels she is.

Feeling unacceptable as herself, she feels her only choice is to sacrifice who she really is, and hide her light, or risk losing the love of her mother.


The daughter will then also develop co-dependency behaviours to manage the unmanageable life of her mother.

Often ultimately becoming the mother of her mother.

Of course, this still doesn’t feed her mothers emptiness, and the toxicity of the internalised shame spreads in the daughters’ psyche like poison.

She feels totally unlovable, unloved and unacceptable

Emotionally abandoned by her mother, the daughter continually recreates these patterns throughout her adult relationships to find a way to healing.

Her life is one of striving to feel good enough and worthy for love, and constantly feeling she never is.

The utter lack of warmth, understanding, comfort and care is replicated throughout her life until she finds her way to true healing. The child who experienced an inexplicably competitive mother re-experiences this in adulthood from others around her.

Recovery for a daughter of a wounded and narcissistic mother is a very deep, long and painful process.


If the mother also self-medicated with alcohol and prescription medicines, these will bring other behaviours into the mix, of even greater violations and abuse of the child’s boundaries.

She finally realises she cannot save her mother

She realises achieving her own dreams in life is not actually a betrayal or abandonment of her mother.

Understanding the wounded brokenness of her mother and realising she herself cannot heal it is a huge learning for the daughter.


The daughter grieves her mother’s wound as she grieves her own.


Realisation arriving of the full impact of her mother’s pain on her own life, the daughter is able to begin the process of separating her own feelings dreams and thoughts.

Real freedom from the past comes

Reborn with a fierce love for her own destiny.

The adult daughter needs to recognise how she has internalised her mothers shaming and toxic voice and remove it.


Along with seeing and releasing her own co-dependent coping behaviours.

Healing her inner child’s wound of abuse, rejection and emotional abandonment is deep work.

Replacing the toxic voice with her own self-nurturing, caring and comforting voice is the work of her lifetime.

Photo Caleb Woods · She thinks she looks dirty. I tell her it’s cool. “Whatever”, she says. Allatoona Lake, United States · Unsplash



Copyright 2018/2020 © Julie Von Nonveiller Cairnes. All rights reserved.

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Julie Cairnes