As many of your readers have pointed out when I write about my stepchildren and their narcissistic mother, how difficult this must all be in relation to my concern for my stepchildren’s well-being. Bless you for being aware to state such things. The effect narcissism has on us as adults is somewhat limited to what a child experiences when interacting with someone of this nature- especially, when the narcissist is the “Mother figure” (I write “Mother figure” as narcissists are not truly capable of fulfilling the role of “Mother”).
Below is a poem I wrote about my stepdaughter who is struggling with her sense of self, as her Mother has never been able to mirror her in an effective way. Children need us to mirror them. From the young games of peek-a-boo to meeting the development level of the child at every stage, when that mirror is not present, a child struggles to create a sense of self.
Add to this, the dynamic of stepmom and you see my stepdaughter’s and my pain. I can help her to a point, but the point ends when my stepdaughter feels to bond with me as “mother”, means disloyalty to her actual Mom. So, here we are- she struggling to find a mirror; me, doing the best I can, whispering “Please open your eyes and see how strong you are…”, all the while trying not to take any power from “Mommy”.
Daughter of the Narcissist
Without a mirror, you take.
With no reflecting surface,
You must build from nothing.
You use materials of imagination gathered from others.
You want me to see you,
You beg me to see.
I whisper, “Open your eyes…please, open
But, you can not.
From your birth in time, you tried
And were told there was nothing to see.
And, now you are blind by choice,
Grasping hands upon my arm,
“Take me with you”.
I turn to walk away, distance is the friend.
I can no longer and I never could
Give you what you seek.
Every spirit, every soul must find the path of awakening.
A child, too young to be an adult, yes, you are.
Sorry my little one that the path you claim is not yours, truly is.
I will hold your hand and hope, I will, I will.
But to carry you now, my sweet younger one,
I can not; having never carried you in my womb.
My heart can not take you in the fantasy that persists.
The feet you plant on the ground are yours.
The mind that drives the movement is yours.
The voice that sings in each shower is yours.
The hands that craft your world are yours.
Now use them.
Please find that home within
Without the need for mirrors
Your value is within yourself. Amen.