Apart from an Engulfing Mother, the other kind of Narcissistic
Mother is an Ignoring Mother. This is the kind I have.
Unlike an Engulfer, the Ignoring Mother knows well the boundary between herself and her
daughter. But seeing as she is the only object of her own concern and interest, she has no interest in her
This is very hurtful and bewildering. Being the daughter of an Engulfing Mother brings big problems, but it does have the advantage that that daughter
at least can feel loved - at least until she realises that it's not real love.
Daughters of Ignoring Mothers have no such comfort.
It's hard to describe what it's like being the daughter of an Ignoring Mother. She was physically there (she was
a stay-at-home-mother) but not really there for us. She never really paid us any attention unless it was
to get annoyed at us.
She didn't supervise our cleanliness even when we were really too young to do it ourselves. I
remember (I am so embarrassed to admit this ...) wearing the same vest (undershirt) for months on end. It was
literally grey rather than its original white. I must not have had a bath in that time either or I would have got a
My hair was always tangled and unbrushed.
I remember aged about 12 going to school in slippers - it wasn't that we didn't have the money for shoes; it was
worse than that, it was just that new shoes weren't got.
Now in fairness I need to say that when I was a teen she listened to me well. She often used to say
how delighted she was that she and I had such a good, open, relationship. And we did. I'm at a loss to explain this
against the background of all the other stuff. Because that happened too.
I'm talking about things like the fact that I have no memories of her cuddling me or holding me. I
have one memory of sitting on her lap, along with my brother and sister and we were all laughing. She said, "Oh I
wish we had a camera!" (which we didn't own at the time). Looking back that statement strikes me as very
narcissistic. But maybe I'm reading too much into it.
I have no memories of her playing with us either or spending much time with us. She'd play
board games when we were older, but that's really my only memory.
I have many such memories of my father, so I know that it's not that my memory was cancelled.
I think back to my second sister who was born when I was twelve, and my own son as a baby - and I
have no memories of my mother being very affectionate with either of them as a baby. I can only remember my mother
looking to hold my son once, and that was - I am convinced for other reasons - because she wanted to baptise him
into her religion behind my back.
She never paid much attention to how I was getting on in school. She never gave me advice
on how to be a woman. She never taught me housekeeping skills (mind you, she wasn't great at those herself).
She would, if she was reading this, insist that this is not so. She would say that she held me
lots, and played with us lots, and held the babies affectionately, and gave me as much advice as I would take.
That may be so. Just because I cannot remember a thing doesn't mean it didn't happen. On the other
hand, there are things I know for a fact didn't happen, that she swears blind did happen (typical
gaslighting), so I don't put too much credence on what she says.
One big result of her being an Ignoring Mother is that when I finally went No Contact, she dropped me like yesterday's newspaper. She made no effort to reconcile for 9
whole months, and even then the attempt was a birthday card and a bought laminated card with a generic apology on
it. There have been a few texts since, too, on occasions such as Christmas. But never a genuine attempt to solve
That hurt, it hurt a lot - even as I was grateful for it. It makes life much easier, unlike for the
daughters of Engulfing Mothers who struggle to extricate themselves.
But yet it hurt. And I know I'm not alone. Other Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers say the
It just shows how little she loved me, they say.
And yes, it does.
The attempts of the Engulfing Mothers to keep contact do not show love either, though, no matter
how much it might seem like it. They just shows fear of losing Narcissistic
But yes, it's very, very hard that they drop us so comprehensively. We have dared to challenge
them, and that must be punished by banishing us.
The thing about an Ignoring Mother is that it's more honest. They don't care, they don't
really pretend to care. There's a freedom in that, along with the hurt.
I used EFT to heal these issues, and I have created videos so you can too: Erase The Hurt She Dropped You So Easily, and Erase The Hurt She Never Loved You.
There is also lots more information on this topic in the Narcissistic Parent Survival Kit.
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