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Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers Hardcover – September 23, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 765 customer reviews

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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.)
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Review

"The author provides parenting tips as well as advice on maintaining healthy love relationships and friendships." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416551328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416551324
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (765 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By D. E. Quigley on November 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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By Aurora on October 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just received this book and I'm almost finished. A lot of it reads true to my own life. Although I don't think my mother was exceptionally cruel she was heavy with the hand and put a great deal of responsibility on me as a child. The criticism never ends. I am an overachiever but can't manage to take a compliment. My self esteem on the outside seems high but in all actuality it's in the toilet. My mother was very jealous of my relationship with my father and has never seemed to be able to be happy about any of my successes. My brother on the other hand was a prince to her and we were treated very differently and still are. I've beaten myself up until reading this book. Finally the validation I needed to deal with the pain of not being able to truly bond with my mother. My ex-boyfriend who is Borderline kept insisting that my mother was Borderline also but the more research I did I realized she was Narcissistic and this book confirmed it. It has helped me to heal, to forgive her, to stop blaming myself and to take a good look at my own behavior towards my children. I can see some of the cycle continuing and I'm working on being less critical and demanding of my own children. This book was an absolute God send and I highly recommend it. There has been an incredible weight lifted knowing that I am not unlovable but had a mother who was incapable of loving. I want to ensure that my children never have to feel that way. It's a lot of work but I catch myself now and I'm able to correct my own behavior.

Just an update. Since purchasing this book, in addition to therapy, co-dependency recovery work and reading other books on the topic, I've had more insight into my own dynamics.
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