Christine's High School Graduation picture
mental health, mental health, self help

What It’s Like Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother: Part Two

Why Discovering my Inner Worthiness was Crucial to my Healing


What is a Narcissist?

A narcissist is someone who has a grandiose sense of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. Oftentimes they can be controlling, manipulative and demanding. They also lack conscience and guilt which makes it very easy for them to hurt others without feeling remorseful or guilty about what they have done or said to harm another person.

Now imagine this person is your Mother.

A picture of Christine with her father
(7TH GRADE) My Father picking me up from my Mom’s after she kicked me out of the house.

The Effects of a Narcissistic Mother

The effects of being raised by a narcissistic mother are profound.

Growing up with a narcissistic mother made it very difficult for me to trust anyone, especially men, I never knew if they would hurt me or not. I was constantly looking at every aspect of their behavior trying to determine if they were good or bad people so that way I could protect myself from further harm but this became exhausting after a while because there was no way I could.

Not to mention the constant need for external validation. 

A young Christine
A young me at the beginning of a life full of manipulation and gaslighting.

Abnormal Parenting

It wasn’t until years later that I realized this kind of parenting wasn’t normal; it wasn’t how other moms treated their kids.  It didn’t seem strange at the time because I had no point of reference; my mother was just “the way she was.”

But when you grow up with a narcissistic parent, it can be extremely confusing and painful — especially when you don’t even know that your parent has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  

It took me years to realize that there was something wrong with this situation; it wasn’t just me making things up in my head or overreacting to things that weren’t really happening at all…it was My Narcissistic Mother. 

She is the person who will remind you of your mistakes and shortcomings every chance she gets. She will create stories that portray you as a terrible person, a burden on society, and a waste of space. She will make sure everyone knows you are a disappointment, especially if they have something she wants or needs from them.

Meet Your Narcissistic Mother

She has no empathy for others; in fact, she feels superior to most people in her life. She cannot feel remorse over anything she has done wrong or hurtful things she has said. She expects everyone to meet her high expectations without question, but never does anything herself because it is beneath her.

Your Narcissistic Mother does not like anything about you; everything that makes up who you are is wrong in her eyes.

Being raised by a narcissistic mother is a form of emotional abuse that can have a devastating effect on the child’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. Narcissistic mothers are often very good at creating an illusion of being wonderful parents. They are often charming, charismatic and superficially seem to be loving and attentive. The reality is that they lack empathy for their children and only care about their own needs, feelings and desires. HELLO GUILT TRIPS!

Stay Tuned for Part Three of What It’s Like Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother. *HINT: EXHAUSTING

I’ll provide examples galore of her subtle manipulation.

My hope is for others to heal by sharing my story. You deserve peace. You are worthy.



mental health

What It’s Like Being Raised by a Narcissistic Mother: Part One

Why Discovering my Inner Worthiness was Crucial to my Healing


Society’s Mother Conditioning

Society tells us that Mothers are kind, supportive, and your biggest cheerleader. Society tells us Mothers are warm, make chocolate chip cookies, listen without judgment, and push you to be your best. 

My mother was the exact opposite. 

Society tells us Narcissists are men who drive Corvettes, born with a silver spoon, arrogant and void of emotions. Society never mentions women as Narcissists. Society certainly never mentions Mothers—”your biggest cheerleader”—-as Narcissists.

I am a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I diagnose and treat people with Psychiatric Disorders. I diagnose personality disorders as well. I have been in the profession of Mental Health for over 15 years. 

I am considered a Mental Health “expert”.

Even I did not know my Mother had Severe Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Childhood Confusion

Being a child raised by a Mother who was abusive, jealous, in competition with me, who punished me emotionally for questioning her behaviors and constantly vilifying me for my childhood “mistakes” was confusing. 

Confusing to my inner worthiness

My Mother’s Narcissistic traits were subtle. Subtle when you compare her to my father, who was a racist, vulgar, alcoholic. 

So, it was difficult for me—a child—to describe exactly why she was awful. Difficult to understand why my Mother, who society deems as a martyr, your best friend, your biggest support–disliked me. And the odd and confusing feeling of having nothing in common with your mother.

So what does a Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother do? She expresses her hurt, confusion, and lack of worthiness through her behaviors.


My 16th Birthday
My 16th Birthday pretending everything was Ok when it was not
Turning 16 feeling lost and confused


Teenage Years

My teenage years were one of rebellion, promiscuity, and illicit drug experimentation. My teenage rebellion was anything but subtle.

My behaviors screamed and spotlighted the abuse I was suffering. My lack of not giving a shit, invisibility, and no direction was a mirror to my homelife.

A mirror to my lack of worthiness

You see, when you are raised by a Narcissistic Mother you constantly question yourself, question your reality, question your judgement, question your truth, and most importantly—your worthiness.  

Below are examples of my Narcissistic Mother’s traits and abusive behaviors: 

  1. Selfish 
  2. Sibling Triangulation
  3. Gaslighting 
  4. No Boundaries
  5. Pitting me against my father
  6. Disrespectful
  7. Lies
  8. Love Bombing
  9. Disregard
  10. Secret Keeper (not)
  11. Manipulation
  12. Conditional Love
  13. Destroying my Reputation 
  14. Fantasy Land 
  15. Pretending to be Vulnerable 
  16. Gossiping 
  17. Purposely Provoking 
  18. Thriving off Chaos 
  19. Abandoning during crisis 
  20. Minimal Affection 

Check out my podcast episode discovering my mother is a narcissist.

My hope is for others to heal by hearing my story. You are not alone.

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast

Stay tuned for Part Two of my journey.

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how coronavirus saved my life podcast cover
Personal, Podcast, Racism, Mental Health, Coronavirus

“That Makes Me Want To Cry”

Teaching Yourself How To Parent | episode 32 | the warrior

How Coronavirus Saved My Life Podcast Cover
By: Christine Zethraus, PMHNP-BC

My friend Belinda choosing Mental Health as an additional career to help her community and culture is beautiful.

Check out podcast episode 32. We speak OUR truth about broken mothers impacting our parenting and worthiness.

Watch FULL Video Here

Listen to Full Episode Here

Youtube Short Below:

Christine and Belinda

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; its sings because it has a song.

Maya Angelou
Continue reading ““That Makes Me Want To Cry””