My book "You're Not Crazy - It's Your Mother"
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Recommended Books

There are many excellent books which can be of use to Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. Here's a selection of the most recommended.

I've divided them into the following categories (with some overlap):

 

Totally Recommended
Most of these books are absolute 'must-reads'. The rest are just absolutely brilliant.

You're Not Crazy - It's Your Mother

You're Not Crazy - It's Your Mother

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Narcissists Exposed

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Narcissists Exposed
75 Things Narcissists Don't Want You To Know

This succinct, fact-filled book blows narcissists' cover right out of the water. It leaves them nowhere to hide as all their tricks, lies and manipulations are exposed by Drew Keys. Drew, whose own mother is Narcisisstic, has researched and studied extensively to create this ultimate handbook for exposing narcisissts. If you have any interest in the topic, you need this book, simple as.
                    You can get your copy here

Children Of The Self-Absorbed

An absolute classic for children of narcissists. It helps you identify if you parent is indeed a narcissist, and then makes the point that there is nothing you can do to change them, and nothing you did to cause them to mis-treat you.

The remainder of the book is about helping you recover from this. There are many helpful exercises in this book too - and a lot of the benefit of the book comes from actually doing them.

 

Narcissistic Predicaments

Sister Renee is a good friend to us here on the Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers website, and we find her work very good. She comes from a specifically Christian/Biblical perspective, and helps Christian DONMs reconcile their requirement to honour their parents, with their own safety and well-being.

Several members of our forum have read this book and absolutely recommend it.

The Drama Of The Gifted Child

All Alice Miller work is so good, to the extent that I'm giving her her own section. But this book, an absolute classic, is a must-read for daughters of narcissistic mothers.

Be aware though, that it's a tough read, liable to arouse strong emotions. So bear that in mind when you are considering reading it.

The Gift Of Fear

This book is probably a must-read for everybody, but absolutely is one for DONMs. Our own intuition and trust in our own perspective tends to be damaged by gaslighting - and this book gives direct information on those important aspects of human safety.

There is also hugely important information on what to do if you're stalked - which Engulfing Narcissistic Mothers can often do.

This book is regularly featured on our forum, and everybody who reads it recommends it massively.

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

I love, love, LOVE this book and recommend it unreservedly. I think every new parent should be given a copy of it. It helps parents to raise children in ways which both validate them and help parents discipline them. And of course, for us DONMs, who didn't get a good role model of parenting, we need to learn good parenting consciously - and I truly believe you cannot get a better handbook and resource than this one.

Homecoming

The subtext of 'Homecoming' is 'Championing and Reclaiming Your Inner Child' and that's what this classic book aims to do. As DONMs our Inner Child is brutally wounded, and a huge part of our journey is to heal that.

John Bradshaw's work is just excellent, which is why he gets his own section in this listing, and this book is absolutely powerful.

An Adult's Guide To What's Normal

The forum member who recommended it said: "Although this book is more directed toward children of addicts, the information in what a normal family situation looks like was beyond helpful for me."

And certainly, I think a huge challenge for us DONMs is knowing what exactly is normal, and what's part of our crazy upbringing - and this book answers that question.

Other Books About Narcissism

 

 Enough About You - Let's Talk About Me

A good primer for learning about narcissism. There are religious overtones - references to original sin for example - that would not appeal to everybody.

The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists

This book is a classic in learning about narcissism, and dealing with narcissists. It got an average of 5 stars out of 106 reviews on Amazon. (This is not to say that everybody gave it 5 stars, but such a big majority did, and most of the rest gave 4 stars, that the rounded average was 5.)

The only reason I'm not putting it in the Must-Reads is that forum moderator Light didn't find it so good.

I need to read it myself and judge - but in the meantime, you can read the reviews and make up your own mind.

The Narcissistic Family

The authors view narcissism rather loosely, in that many situations (e.g. alcoholism) can lead to a narcissistic situation (defined as the parents being only concerned to get their own needs met).

The book seems to be aimed at clinical therapist to help deal with this situation, rather than the children of narcissists themselves. I include it though as many of the reviews were from the individuals themselves and they seem to get great value out of it.

Narcissistic Lovers

This is a book, as the title suggests, about dealing with a narcissistic lover rather than parent. But it has good reviews and I include it here since many DONMs do, unfortunately, also get involved with narcissistic partners. (It's not surprising, given it's what they know.)

Emotional Vampires

This deals with all sorts of emotional vampires - not just narcissists. But lots of good information for helping you deal with narcissists too, and their energy-sucking techniques.

The Object Of My Affection Is My Reflection

This book has got a full five-star rating on Amazon's reviews, out of 13 reviews, and the comments are hugely laudatory.

You can read the reviews here.

Toxic Families (not specifically Narcissism)

Mean Mothers

This book is very good for examining the role of mothers in our culture. As one of the forum members says: " It deals with some interesting subjects, like the myth of unconditional, instinctive, instantly perfect mother's love that seems to be present in our culture and the fact that unloving mothers are not spoken of.
I would definitely recommend it."

Betrayal Trauma

This powerful book explores how children forget or suppress the traumas they experienced being raised by dysfunctional parents. It deals specifically with sexual abuse, but of course it applies to children of narcissists too. (Not to mention that many DONMs experienced sexual abuse as well.)

Stalking The Soul

This is an excellent book for helping us to understand how our personality disordered parents (and others) were able to manipulate us so much, how it twists our minds. Emotional abuse is so slippery and subtle - this book shows how it works.

As it's translated from the French some text can be a bit clunky, but the content is worth it.

Toxic Parents

A classic book - I remember coming across it first about twenty years ago. It deals with all sorts of toxicity rather than just narcissism, and provides solutions for moving on and healing.

Healing Yourself &
Living Your Best Life

When Anger Scares You
How to Overcome Your Fear of Conflict and Express Your Anger in Healthy Ways


What's really interesting about this book is that the author pinpoints that anger-avoiders actually don't fear anger but rage. Of course! Growing up with NM's we've all been subjected to the N rage and know how awful that was.

This book was recommended by a member of our forum.

Full Catastrophe Living

This is a book about meditation and mindfullness to help with the stress-induced illnesses and stresses that come from beign the daughter of a narcissistic mother.

This book has been recommended by members of the forum.

Happy For No Reason

I personally have, and love, this book. I recommend it highly. Marci Shimoff introduces many good tools (including EFT/Tapping) to help us achieve happiness.

Her basic point is that we can all increase our base happiness levels. For sure problems and bereavements can make us temporarily unhappy, but we can all improve our underlying happiness levels.

Healing Through The Dark Emotions

A book about experiencing our grief, pain and despair fully as part of the process of healing it. This book uses many exercises from many sources: Hasidic Judaism and Buddhist meditation, and New Age and recovery movement therapeutics such as visualization, breathing exercises, chakra bodytalk, and prayer.
Homecoming

John Bradshaw's classic book of healing the inner child. All John Bradshaw's work is excellent (which is why he gets his own full section too), and this book is highly recommended.

The Gentle Art Of Verbal Self-Defence

This book helps you to speak in a properly assertive (i.e. not placatory) way, and to defend yourself against verbal attacks (and indeed how to recognise subtle verbal attacks).

It is recommended both by a forum member of mine and gets great reviews on Amazon.

The Art Of Extreme Self-Care

Looking after ourselves can be a challenge for DONMs, and this book gives practical and comprehensive steps to start doing that very thing. It helps you do things like: surround yourself with people who give and take, eliminate clutter, create a soul-nourishing work- and home-environment, get your finances in order, stop making commitments based on guilt or obligation, and make pleasure a priority.

My own resource: Tap Away: The Self-Care Deficit, complements this. It gets your mind-set right to look after yourself, while this helps you with practical suggestions.

The Art of Extreme Self-Care CD edition

The same excellent information as in the book above, but in CD version.

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

I love, love, LOVE this book and recommend it unreservedly. I think every new parent should be given a copy of it. It helps parents to raise children in ways which both validate them and help parents discipline them. And of course, for us DONMs, who didn't get a good role model of parenting, we need to learn good parenting consciously - and I truly believe you cannot get a better handbook and resource than this one.

Why Am I Afraid To Tell You Who I Am?

This book has got very good reviews on Amazon. It's about learning to understand human behaviour, and what keeps us scared about others seeing us as we are.
I can totally see this being a real issue for DONMs who were always taught that who were were was not acceptable.

I have put this book on my own wish-list and will get it soon.

Self-Compassion

The publishers say: "This groundbreaking book shows readers how to let go of their constant, debilitating self-judgment and finally learn to be kind to themselves. Using solid empirical research, personal stories, humor, and dozens of practical exercises, Dr. Neff—the world's leading experts on self-compassion—shows readers how to heal the wounds of the past so that they can be healthier, happier and more effective. Entertaining, highly readable and eminently accessible, this book has the power to change your life."

 John Bradshaw's Books

Homecoming

The subtext of 'Homecoming' is 'Championing and Reclaiming Your Inner Child' and that's what this classic book aims to do. As DONMs our Inner Child is brutally wounded, and a huge part of our journey is to heal that.

Healing The Shame That Binds You

This book is, as the title suggests, about healing the shame which traps us. As DONMs shame is often at our very core as we were taught to be ashamed of the person we were. This book aims to help heal that.

Family Secrets

The official information on this book says: All families have secrets. Some secrets are healthy. But others--those John Bradshaw calls "dark secrets"--limit the wholeness and freedom of every member of the family, often generation after generation.

At the core of Family Secrets is a step-by-step guide to uncovering the secrets of the past and present, using a tool called the genogram to chart key relationships. Through many fascinating examples, this unique book shows how to recognize crucial gaps and silences, reconstruct missing information, and decipher partial memories.

Creating Love

The publishers say: In Creating Love, John Bradsgaw provides a new way to understand our most crucial relationships: with parents and children, with friends and co-workers, with ourselves, and with God.
He shows us how we have been literally "entranced" by past experiences of counterfeit love, how we can break these destructive patterns, and how we can open ourselves to the soul-building work of real love.

Alice Miller's Books

The Drama Of The Gifted Child

This classic book is an absolute must-read. Be aware though, that it's a tough read, liable to arouse strong emotions. So bear that in mind when you are considering reading it.

The Body Never Lies
The Lingering Effects Of Cruel Parenting

In this book Miller shares how the experiences we had as children impact on both our emotional and physical well-being on into our adult lives.

For Your Own Good

In this book Miller argues that even normal parenting has a hidden cruelty. I thought of this the other day when I overheard parents who comforted a child who had banged her head by saying, "You're alright, it's okay". I reflected that even loving parents invalidate their children.

(This is in contrast to the advice in 'How To Listen ...' which is all about validation. This is one reason I find that books so incredibly good.)

The Truth Will Set You Free

The publisher says: InThe Truth Will Set You FreeMiller returns to the intensely personal tone and themes of her best-loved work. Only by embracing the truth of our past histories can any of us hope to be free of pain in the present, she argues. Miller uses vivid true stories to reveal the perils of early-childhood mistreatment and the dangers of mindless obedience to parental will. Drawing on the latest research on brain development, she shows how spanking and humiliation produce dangerous levels of denial, which leads in turn to emotional blindness and to mental barriers that cut off awareness and the ability to learn new ways of acting.

Free From Lies

The publisher says: In this book Dr. Miller presents groundbreaking theories that enhance communication between therapist and patient and enable the adult to express powerful emotions that have been trapped for years. Practical and perceptive, Miller’s work explains what we can expect from therapy, how we can identify the causes of our own pain, and why subconscious pain, unaddressed for decades, manifests itself later as depression, self-mutilation, primal inadequacy, and chronic loneliness.

The Untouched Key

In this book Alice Miller explores why one abused child turns abusive him/herself and others turn their abuse into art and creativity. She posits that an 'enlightened witness' in the child's life makes the difference.

We've often remarked in our forum how many of us are artistic in different ways, and maybe this is no accident.

 

If you'd like to check out movies featuring narcissists, check here

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