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Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers [Kindle Edition]

Karyl McBride
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (412 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $8.59
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

The first book specifically for daughters suffering from the emotional abuse of selfish, self-involved mothers, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? provides the expert assistance you need in order to overcome this debilitating history and reclaim your life for yourself. Drawing on over two decades of experience as a therapist specializing in women's psychology and health, psychotherapist Dr. Karyl McBride helpsyou recognize the widespread effects of this maternal emotional abuse and guides you as you create an individualized program for self-protection, resolution, and complete recovery.

An estimated 1.5 million American women have narcissistic personality disorder, which makes them so insecure and overbearing, insensitive and domineering that they can psychologically damage their daughters for life. Daughters of narcissistic mothers learn that maternal love is not unconditional, and that it is given only when they behave in accordance with their mothers' often unreasonable expectations and whims. As adults, these daughters consequently have difficulty overcoming their insecurities and feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, sadness, and emotional emptiness. They may also have a terrible fear of abandonment that leads them to form unhealthy love relationships, as well as a tendency to perfectionism and unrelenting self-criticism, or to self-sabotage and frustration.

Herself the recovering daughter of a narcissistic mother, Dr. McBride includes her personal struggle, which adds a profound level of authority to her work, along with the perspectives of the hundreds of suffering daughters she's interviewed over the years. Their stories of how maternal abuse has manifested in their lives -- as well as how they have successfully overcome its effects -- show you that you're not alone and that you can take back your life and have the control you want.

Dr. McBride's step-by-step program will enable you to:

(1) Recognize your own experience with maternal narcissism and its effects on all aspects of your life
(2) Discover how you have internalized verbal and nonverbal messages from your mother and how these have translated into a strong desire to overachieve or a tendency to self-sabotage
(3) Construct a step-by-step program to reclaim your life and enhance your sense of self, a process that includes creating a psychological separation from your mother and breaking the legacy of abuse. You will also learn how not to repeat your mother's mistakes with your own daughter.

Warm and sympathetic, filled with the examples of women who have established healthy boundaries with their hurtful mothers, Will I Ever Be Good Enough? encourages and inspires you as it aids your recovery.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. After 26 years of practice, therapist McBride discovered a distressing commonality with her female patients: a narcissistic mother. I had treated scores of women who shared many of the same symptoms.... oversensitivity, indecisiveness, self-consciousness, lack of self-trust, inability to succeed in relationships, lack of confidence... and a general sense of insecurity, McBride writes, and she ties these traits to growing up without a nurturing maternal figure. According to the author, as many as 1.5 million American women have narcissistic personality disorder and can be detected by their self-absorption, inability to empathize and fixation with looks and appearance. McBride presents specific steps toward recovery that daughters of any age can use as they grieve for the love and support they didn't receive, set healthy boundaries with their mothers and access an internal mother as a source of self-comforting. The author provides parenting tips as well as advice on maintaining healthy love relationships and friendships—all of which tend to be weak points of the daughters of narcissistic mothers. An excellent bibliography rounds out this revealing book, which ends on a hopeful and pragmatic note. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Will I Ever Be Good Enough? is an amazing journey out of pain. Providing true professional guidance and clarity, Dr. Karyl McBride heaps in genuine love and kindness. This book is like having an ideal therapist at your convenience, who really helps you heal self-doubt and self-rejection. Every page is milk and honey to your soul." -- Tama J. Kieves, author of This Time I Dance! Creating the Work You Love (How One Harvard Lawyer Left It All to Have It All!)

Product Details

  • File Size: 418 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1416551328
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (September 23, 2008)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001AO0GD6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,119 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
672 of 675 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh My God was this worthwhile November 20, 2008
Reading this book was an incredibly validating experience. I have never written a book review in my life but I believe that this work is essential for daughters of narcissistic mothers. I am 45 years old and have been in counseling for 4 years with a great counselor to address my mom's Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I have had difficulties in the denial and acceptance department; it seems that cognitively I know that my mother doesn't have the capacity to ever be warm, loving, or empathetic. However,I have had many instances where I just thought well maybe I am just the nutty girl and go back into denial. My counselor has spent hours upon hours discussing the harm that comes from being raised by a narcissistic mother. And, yes, I have read many books on narcissism. The difference with this book is that it is written from a first hand experience and includes very specific exchanged between the narcissistic mother and the "still" seeking daughter. In reading this book I must have said oh my God hundreds of times. I made margin notes where I wrote "yep" next to so many scenarios, feelings, yearnings, lowered self esteem, being self critical, the workaholism (I am a practicing trial attorney), and the issues with respect to brothers being treated differently. I am the only daughter and I have 3 brothers who had vastly different experiences with my mother. They are all perfect princes and I am the one that is constantly criticized and judged. For many years I have grappled with my brothers' experience versus mine and it was crazy-making. This book explains that daughters of narcissistic mothers may be subject to projection, jealousy, and envy because you are viewed as her extension (or shadow). It finally made sense. IF YOU ARE A DAUGHTER OF A NARCISSIST MOTHER THIS IS THE MOST HONEST AND FORTHRIGHT BOOK THAT I HAVE COME ACROSS AND IT IS ONE THAT I WILL USE AS A REFERENCE GUIDE FOR GROUNDING AND VALIDATION ON A REGULAR BASIS.
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221 of 223 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! October 16, 2008
By Aurora
Finally a book about narcissistic mothers that describes the subtle nature of emotional neglect and abuse and kills the myth that all mothers are benevolent! It's hard to heal the narcissitic wound when it is a result of emotional neglect and put downs and there is no physical bruise or easy explanation like "my mother is an alcoholic". I've been in therapy for approx. 18 years and still struggle with a lifetime of never being good enough and still being placed in competition with my mother by her (even though she is 80). I was glad to hear that it's okay to have little or no contact with a narcissitic mother, since I've struggled with the guilt about having a mother like her and feel that her distancing herself from me is my fault and I am responsible for the relationship and for fixing it.

One section in the book that I did not agree with was the author's comments that the daughter should not show any anger or frustration toward the narcissitic mother. One important aspect of my healing was to stand up to my mother and demonstrate my separateness and that I too am accomplished. (I had never rebelled as a teenager, since it was essentially forbidden with the unspoken threat love would be withheld.) Even though this turned out to be a threat to her it was important for me to see that I have my own sense of power apart from her. I've also tried to reach out in ways trying to build bridges that would put as on equal footing. This was to no avail but these steps have been important in my trying to build the communication with her and determine I'd done everything in my power to try and make a relationship work.
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180 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground Breaking Book September 27, 2008
Rather than an esoteric view of maternal narcissism, this author has kept it simple, concise, and very easy to read. The point-by-point outline, stringers and explanations were to put it simply, brilliant. She interjected explanations to the descriptions of what a narcissist is, and thereby gave it a more feeling touch.

I was to discover ah-ha's on each and every page, to see how the behavior of my parent impacted on my life in more ways than I would have believed possible. The pain of never feeling good enough, to beginnings of understanding that I am more than good enough has been an incredible journey. Though often fraught with potholes, backtracking and questioning my own sanity, the good doctor has brought it all around full circle via her book. Suddenly and joyously, someone finally understood! I felt validated and no longer alone on this journey.

To my mind, the chapters on healing were rich with ideas that have ripened into workable solutions that I have been applying successfully to my life; I am looking forward to the future through very different eyes.

While not a full out answer to many of the problems associated with this devastating blow to the ego of a small child, it surpasses my expectations and excites me with the possibilities. This is a book well worth reading for layman and therapists alike. For me, this was a deeply satisfying read.

D.E. Waugh
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96 of 99 people found the following review helpful
My sister is a psychologist and recommended this book to me. Despite its title, believe me, this book is for any child raised by a narcissistic mother. I have read other books about narcissistic personality disorder and because of my sister am very familiar with the DSM and in particular Axis II, cluster B personality disorders - but the beauty of this book is that it really centers on the legacy effect of the disorder rather than being just another descriptive analysis of the disorder. It explains and demonstrates through actual patient testimonials the negative effects of being raised by a narcissistic mother, then goes on to a recovery process.

If you're reading this you probably know a little bit about this disorder. People with the disorder are extremely self-centered and lack what is perhaps the most important quality of a parent - the ability to be empathic. As a child of a mother who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder you are constantly being given the message that your value is what you do, not who you are. Your only value is your accomplishments that reflect well on the narcissistic parent. Ultimately this message becomes hard-wired in your formative years; a message that you will never be good enough. The book identifies the two most common responses of children - either they become tireless over-achievers who frequently forget to take care of themselves mentally or they give up completely in a "what's the point" fashion. In either route the child caries with them deep dysfunctional scars (narcissistic injury) into adulthood that impair them in many ways.

For many it will reveal the whys behind so many familiar feelings and behaviors. When I read books of this type I underline as I go.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Get ready to learn something about yourself
If you ever wondered why you do the things you do, or see a pattern in your life your not crazy about, get ready for a life changing experience. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Shoshana
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 and doing sort of ok
This book was very helpful to me, We, my brothers and my sister, have struggled greatly in life because our mother was very unloving and acted as if she was ashamed of us. Read more
Published 4 days ago by CIRCLECETRAH
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and practical
Best book I've ever read to help deal with a narcissistic mother and, believe me, I've been through many over the years. This is one stop shopping.
Published 4 days ago by Carol A. Charbonneau
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, I am good enough. I will be me.
I found this book very helpful. It explained my sisters, my step mom and myself with amazing accuracy. Steps to Heal are included and right on the mark.
Published 6 days ago by D. McCan
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for any daughters with daughters
Perfectly defined how I've felt my whole life about my narcissistic mother and how to parent my own daughters. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but lacking in practical, day to day advice.
I recently finished reading this book and while I did find it to be extremely helpful in terms of identifying my mother's narcissism, I found it lacking in practical advice on how... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Mrs. H
5.0 out of 5 stars Too many years
I so wish that some how I could have known years ago. It would have saved me so much heart ache. This book helps you understand it.
Published 11 days ago by Jessica Spenneberg
5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting
The author has presented a very personal and accurate portrayal of the relationship between narcissistic parent and child. Read more
Published 13 days ago by FromAtlantaSuburb
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
I am a therapist and this book is one of the best that I have seen on this subject. If you don't feel loved by your mother or always seeking her approval...this is a must read!
Published 14 days ago by Rhonda F. Parks
5.0 out of 5 stars My mother is a narcissist. And I was in denial about it for years, and...
I started out a little insulted that my therapist had recommended this book to me. This couldn't possibly apply to me, I thought. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Gina Pyon
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More About the Author

Author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, Dr. Karyl McBride offers a pioneering guide to recognizing, understanding, and overcoming the debilitating impact of maternal narcissism. Her insightful approach toward the effects of mothers' narcissism on their daughters has been featured by US News & World Report, Elle, Psychology Today, Macleans, Denver Post (Bestseller's List), and Rocky Mountain News (Bestseller's List). Recently featured in: The Family Psychologist Bulletin, div. 43, The American Psychological Association and received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly. See additional press coverage at and more about Dr. McBride's professional practice and experience at

Having placed a spotlight on Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), Karyl McBride, PhD, LMFT, is now one of the most recognized experts on Narcissistic Personality Disorder in women. Dr. McBride's 29 years experience in public and private practice is crowned with 17 years of private research on women raised by narcissistic mothers. McBride's articulation of the effect of NPD on the mother-daughter relationship is also exalted in her seminars, workshops, and online forums.

Dr. McBride has extensive clinical experience in the fields of trauma, sexual abuse, domestic violence, divorce and step family therapy, marital and family therapy, EMDR, and individual adjustment issues related to anxiety, depression, and life transitions. Dr. McBride conducts forensic consulting and has served as an expert witness in numerous civil and criminal cases involving children and sexual abuse. She has nine years experience conducting sexual abuse investigations with law enforcement and has conducted training for law enforcement in the area of sexual abuse investigations. In 1996, she was invited to present her doctoral research at the International Police Research Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia.


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