I happened to come across a series of poetry written by a 15-year-old girl who was the daughter of a narcissistic mother. While they may seem amateur and angsty, the experiences and the emotions of this kid as she navigated the waters of having a toxic parent are pretty clear.
I want to share them with you today in an effort to show you, without question, exactly what goes on inside the head of a daughter of a narcissistic mother. And I want to be able to finally give this girl a voice – one she should’ve always had, but one that was denied her for so many years.
Maybe you’ll relate to this because your own mother is a narcissist. Maybe you want to read them because your wife is a narcissist and you want to understand how your kids feel better, or how to protect them from her manipulation and psychological warfare.
Let’s take a look at the poems.
Tears fall from my eyes
I care not to claim my family ties.
They hold me down, they let me out a bit –
But then pull me back again,
only to find things worse.
The others –
they’ve got it so good.
But they don’t know it.
They don’t live with me.
I wonder why they try to make it seem so bad?
Why do they try?
This poem seems to point to the obvious toxic family dynamic, in which the author feels oppressed and invisible in her own family and jealous of her friends who have parents who actually seem to care about them in a way her own do not.
The world is your enemy, my child.
Believe not what they tell you.
When they tell you that they love you, they lie.
The world is your enemy, my child.
They care not about you.
They only want what you have to give.
The world, my child, is your enemy.
This poem points to the perspective of the world the author has developed up to this point. She doesn’t trust her primary caregiver, and this leads her to doubt the entire world.
Up to this point, everyone has left her feeling abandoned, lost, alone and not good enough. She feels like she needs to be completely self-reliant. (Future glimpse: Ironically, less than 10 years later, she would find herself married to yet another narcissist.)
Untitled (Trust No One)
Trust no one.
You have no one to trust.
The world is a liar – it won’t stay faithful.
Lies only hurt more than truth.
Where to turn?
I am lost.
I have no one to confide in.
I shall soon be a flat little pile of emotion,
with no purpose to life,
except to be sick
and in pain.
I am dying.
I am going now
to speed up the process.
The dark sentiments continue in this poem, which the author left untitled, written immediately after a betrayal by her toxic mother. She feels alone and seems to be in gut-wrenching emotional pain.
As you can see, the author feels completely destroyed and like she is living in absolute hell at the hands of a completely unempathetic mother that she can not escape.
By harsh words,
I know not what to do.
She hurts me,
She only receives
and death wishes.
Death should be granted to the lonely,
and the mothers.
Hell is for me.
This poem digs into the toxic parenting a bit, discussing how she has been humiliated and emotionally devastated by the toxic mother’s behavior. She feels oppressed and silenced as she relives the trauma of having been called out in a public way. She painfully remembers the faces and the way they looked at her in the moment and begs for peace as she recognizes that the kind of “love” her mother gives her isn’t real – that it’s toxic. And she’s feeling like she can’t get out of this unless she ends her own life.
I beg you silently,
Leave me alone.
I do not want your
“love” or “affection.”
I want you to
leave me alone.
Your kind of love
is not the kind of love I need.
is not a good teacher.
Garbled up with you
to me, spell SUICIDE.
I beg of you,
Leave me alone.
In this poem, the author makes it clear that she has been emotionally abused by her narcissistic mother and has described in no uncertain terms exactly how that feels to her.
It Is Depression
It is Depression
It is depression when it hurts to smile.
She makes me cry with just a look. She hates me.
Why does she keep me around
if she hates me?
It is depression when you know
that your own mother hates you.
I carry this weight
that I do not need.
It is depression when you
have no will power.
It is depression when you
I am depression.
In this poem, the author expresses how it feels to be in a deep, situational depression where she isn’t functioning on a healthy level as a direct result of the abuse she’s experiencing at the hands of her narcissistic mother.
She describes how her mother can just look at her and bring her to tears, and makes it clear that she feels like her mother hates her. She feels the psychological weight of oppression and is angry at herself for not being able to stand up for herself.
Who was this mysterious poet?
If you’ve stuck with me this long, you might have already figured out that this teenager was me. (You can read my whole story here.)
I found these poems while digging through boxes of my old writing a few months ago and I saved them to share with you for a couple of reasons.
First, reading them back made me recall how it felt to be raised by such a person. And in a way, they sort of validated me. It’s easy to develop abuse amnesia, even when you do what I do for a living. It’s easy to forget how difficult it was to go through the pain we did. And it’s easy to wonder if it really was that bad.
The silver lining in all of this is that my son is currently 15, and finding these poems gave me some insight for which I am grateful: I have given my kids something that I always intended to give them – the support and encouragement they need to see themselves as “real people,” who are whole, legitimate and deserving of being heard. The knowledge that their thoughts, feelings, beliefs and ideas are valid and worth discussing. The understanding that they are unconditionally loved and that they deserve to be happy and healthy and safe in their lives. The power of their own voices.
So, if you are here because you want to know what to do to prevent your own kids from experiencing this pain, or because you need to find a way to reparent your own inner child, then this is the bottom line on what you need to express and what you need them to know about themselves.
1. You are a real person who is whole, legitimate and worth being heard.
2. Your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and ideas are valid and worth discussing.
3. You are loved unconditionally and you deserve to be happy, healthy and safe in your life.
4. Your own voice has power and should be used to express yourself with love.
Take the Toxic Mother Quiz
Does this stuff feel familiar to you? Are you wondering if you’re the daughter (or son) of a narcissistic mother? If so, you might want to take this quiz. Your results will direct you to some additional helpful information about being the child of a narcissistic parent and how to heal.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.