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The Recovery Expert
with Sharie Stines, Psy.D.

Healing from the Narcissistic Mother

leafheartSuzy recounts her journey through healing after the effects of being raised by a narcissistic mother.  As a child, Suzy thought she was bad and unworthy. She constantly feared rejection and felt hurt and worthless most of the time. She had no idea that something was wrong with her mother and that her problems were not her fault.

She began a healing journey that involved therapy, education, journaling, relationships with affirming people, and detachment from her narcissistic mother.  Here is her story:

“It is wonderful to realize the growth I’ve made and earned. My inner ‘children’ are all a part of me and I will learn to integrate and love them all.  I will tell their stories without shame. I will let them feel. I will protect them and they will bring me comfort, joy, and connections.

My inner children were NEVER bad. They were lost. They were alone. They had been abused and rejected by the mother who should have loved them. But today I welcome them with open arms. They were and are silly, super creative, fun, SMART, kind, generous, and totally WORTHY.  I love them – every part of them.

I am an introvert. I do have a limited need for connections and activity. I love being alone. I am a still person. I am merciful and gracious. I am not quick to anger. I am quick to smile and laugh. I am free. I am free to make my own choices. I am free to learn and make mistakes – for I realize there is no success without failure. There is no effort without error and short coming. I am real – like the Velveteen Rabbit.  And yes, my “realness” is unnerving to some people.  My lack of a costume makes me shy until I find other humans without costumes.  I love them. We know hurt and pain, but we also know what it is to find our integrated selves.

What my mom did was “chicken shit.”  She used small children as her ‘whipping boys.’  She let small children carry her shame and pain. She hit us without remorse. She called us horrible names without sorrow. She treated me like an object to be used at her will without guilt. To this day she has no idea what she has done and she has no remorse, for she has no idea what to have remorse for. She is a lost soul out at sea. Thank you Lord that she no longer can hurt me. And I am thankful that I can finally see her for the person she is. I can feel genuinely sorry for her.  I can even empathize for her pain as it’s the same pain she perpetuated onto me. I no longer feel the need to rescue, hide from, or punish her.

But now it’s over.  The whole crazy drama is over.  I am still human, but for the first time in my life it’s really about me and my connection to the world. It’s no longer about me and my connection to my mother. I am free.

I am still a person with flaws, but now I can laugh at them from my perspective. I know that failure is a part of life, not a part of my DNA as my mother needed me to believe.  My mother will die of cancer some day and one of my children might miss her. I will be sad that an era is over. But, she left a shitty legacy that I have spent my life recovering from and for that there are consequences. One being, that there will be freedom when she is gone and no longer around. And waiting for that is just the way it is. No guilt; no shame; just the way it is. I am still a codependent, just not hers. I still have growth to do, but now it’s my own; made up of my life choices; not in response to her.”

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Healing from the Narcissistic Mother

Sharie Stines, Psy.D

Sharie Stines, Psy.D. is a recovery expert specializing in personality disorders, complex trauma and helping people overcome damage caused to their lives by addictions, abuse, trauma and dysfunctional relationships. Sharie is a counselor at LIfeline Counseling & Education Inc., in Southern California ( Lifeline Counseling is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) corporation. Sharie is also an abusive relationship recovery coach -


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APA Reference
Stines, S. (2016). Healing from the Narcissistic Mother. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2019, from