Growing up with a toxic parent is a very difficult experience and one that leaves very deep scars. If you grew up with a narcissistic mother, then you very likely had a feeling that something was off.

And while growing up, you likely didn’t realize what a narcissist was, or even conceive that your parent could be one, the older we become, the more we realize things we once didn’t. If you are reading this, then you likely have a feeling that your mother is a narcissist. Being raised by a narcissistic mother is not easy. But, once you realize the truth of your situation, it’s much easier to overcome it.

Here are 14 signs your mother is narcissistic and how you can find peace.

1. She always tries to be the center of the conversation.

Whenever you are talking, she takes over the conversation or redirects it to be about her. She can’t stand when everything doesn’t revolve around her, and is always working to be the center of attention.

2. She blames you for all of her problems.

Your mother often blames you for her problems. She may say, “I could have had a career, but instead I had you.” Or she may even call you a mistake. Everything bad that happens to her is somehow your fault.

3. She lives her life through you.

She regularly pushes you to do things you don’t want to do because they are things she wanted for herself when she was younger. For example, she may try to choose your career, because it was the career she wanted for herself. Or she may push you to date, certain men, because they are men she believes you should associate with.

4. She believes she is superior to everyone else.

Narcissistic women believe themselves to be superior to everyone else. Whenever you have an opinion, it’s wrong, because it’s not the same as hers. In her mind, she knows everything and is better than everyone else.

5. She tries to make you feel guilty.

If you don’t do exactly as she asks you to do, she works to make you feel guilty about it. She may bring up things she has done for you, or guilt-trip you for disappointing her.

6. She gaslights you.

When you bring up her bad behaviors, she refuses to acknowledge them. She often rewrites history and distorts the truth. When you try to speak your truth, she says you are crazy or too sensitive.

7. She belittles you.

If you aren’t exactly what she wants you to be, she belittles you. She may call you stupid, immature, or many other verbally abusive terms regularly in an attempt to control you.

8. She is always worried about her image.

Your mother is obsessed with her image. She is always pretending to be something she is not and wants people to believe she is the best mother and the best person, even though it isn’t true.

9. She doesn’t respect boundaries.

There are no boundaries in your relationship. Your mother shows up unannounced and gets in the middle of your relationships and friendships. When you try to establish boundaries, she walks all over them.

10. She acts like you are a burden.

Whenever you need your mother, she either isn’t there or she acts like it’s a huge burden to do anything for you. She often brings up everything she has ever done as if she had to go out of her way to help you.

11. Her moods are all over the place.

You never know what to expect from your mother. In one moment she may be happy and excited and in the next, she may break out into a fit of rage. You are constantly walking on eggshells around her.

12. She is superficial.

Your mother has a fake image around others. When she is around you, she may act volatile or say things that are rude or cold. But, in the presence of others, she pretends to be altruistic and loving.

13. She is always playing the victim.

No matter what happens to your mother, she always believes herself to be a victim. Everything that has ever gone wrong in her life is the fault of someone else. And she can never accept responsibility for her actions.

14. She lacks empathy.

When you have needed your mother to help you or to even understand you, she couldn’t. Rather than empathizing with you when you are going through something emotionally difficult, she works to invalidate you or make you feel small.

So how do you find peace?

First, you have to recognize what is going on. Once you recognize her behaviors, you can take the right steps to manage their place in your life. It’s important to remember her behavior is not a reflection of you, but instead of her. If you present her with your boundaries and expectations, and she continues to trample them, you may have to cut back on your contact with her. You don’t owe her anything, and sometimes the best you can do is love others from a distance. When all else fails, hold space for her, while also holding space for yourself and your peace of mind.

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