Pain of a Child

Woman and Child

Woman and Child


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
Your eyes”

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.

6 thoughts on “Pain of a Child

  1. I can totally relate! I have something to share that might help (maybe!). As a child, I myself struggled to find a mirror in my own mom. She’s not a narcissist, but had her own severe struggles as a child and had no idea how to be a “mom” to me in the way that I needed her to be. As I grew older, I looked for “motherly” figures in those strong women around me to give me what my own mom lacked (I was very judgmental towards her until my late 20’s because of this). I now know and understand that she gave me the best she knew how, but it just wasn’t enough for me.

    I have attempted to relate to my own step-kids that sometimes a parent CAN’T give you everything you need/want, so you must look to others to learn from. Either my approach isn’t right or they’re not at the point they’re willing to “hear” the advice. Maybe something similar can help you SD?

    Good luck!!

    • Thank you!! What a gentle way to approach this topic with her. No one can be our “everything”. I have always tried to tell her to follow good models that she sees- teachers, other Moms, etc. I have never spoken about this type of thing directly in relation to her Mom, but I like your idea of gently pointing out to her what we need in a variety of places. Thankk you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s