Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents
"Will I Ever Be Good Enough?"

If you have felt “not good enough” for most of your life, you may be an adult child of a narcissistic parent. See the checklist below to determine if this describes your childhood relationship with one of your parents. If you’d like to feel better about yourself and have a life of your own, not so influenced by your parents words and actions, I can help.

My therapy approach for helping clients with this type of upbringing and self esteem issue, is guided by the five step recovery model developed by Dr. Karyl McBride, PhD and LFMT. She is the author of the book Will I Ever Be Good Enough? – Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, and the creator of resources for adult children of narcissistic parents. You can find these resources on her website which you can access at the end of this page.

Based on my experience in working with adult children of narcissistic mothers, I am a member of Dr. Karyl McBride’s therapist referral network. Below is a copy of her checklist titled “Is This Your Mother? This will help you better understand narcissistic traits and determine if your self-esteem issues and present day problems with your mother are rooted in maternal narcissism.

Dr. Karyl McBride writes: “Although this survey is about narcissistic mothers, I believe it will also be a good gauge for adult children of narcissistic parents in general."

Is This Your Mother?

Checklist developed by Karyl McBride, PhD, LFMT

"Note: Narcissism is a spectrum disorder with the most severe end of the spectrum considered a narcissistic personality disorder. A woman can have several narcissistic traits and not fit the personality disorder. All of these questions relate to narcissistic traits. The more questions you checked, the more likely your mother has narcissistic traits and this has caused some difficulty for you as a growing daughter and adult."

(Check all those that apply to your relationship with your mother)

1. When you discuss your life issues with your mother, does she divert the discussion to talk about herself?

2. When you discuss your feelings with your mother, does she she try to top the feeling with her own?

3. Does your mother act jealous of you?

4. Does your mother lack empathy for your feelings?

5. Does your mother only support those things you do that reflect on her as a “good mother?”

6. Have you consistently felt a lack of emotional closeness with your mother?

7. Have you consistently questioned whether or not your mother likes you or loves you?

8. Does your mother only do things for you when others can see?

9. When something happens in your life (accident, illness, divorce,) does your mother react with how it will affect her rather than how you feel?

10. Is or was your mother overly conscious of what others think (neighbors, friends, family, co-workers)?

11. Does your mother deny her own feelings?

12. Does your mother blame things on you or others rather than own responsibility for her feelings or actions?

13. Is or was your mother hurt easily and then carried a grudge for a long time without resolving the problem?

14. Do you feel you were a slave to your mother?

15. Do you feel you were responsible for your mother’s ailments or sickness (headaches, stress, illness)?

16. Did you have to take care of your mother’s physical needs as a child?

17. Do you feel unaccepted by your mother?

18. Do you feel your mother was critical of you?

19. Do you feel helpless in the presence of your mother?

20. Are you shamed often by your mother?

21. Do you feel your mother knows the real you?

22. Does your mother act like the world should revolve around her?

23. Do you find it difficult to be a separate person from your mother?

24. Does your mother appear phony to you?

25. Does your mother want to control your choices?

26. Does your mother swing from egotistical to a depressed mood?

27. Did you feel you had to take care of your mother’s emotional needs as a child?

28. Do you feel manipulated in the presence of your mother?

29. Do you feel valued by mother for what you do rather than who you are?

30. Is your mother controlling, acting like a victim or martyr?

31. Does your mother make you act different from how you really feel?

32. Does your mother compete with you?

33. Does your mother always have to have things her way?

For additional resources, visit Dr. McBride's site

Ready to Heal, Recover or Make a Change?

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Email Kalpana

Dr. Karyl McBride wrote:

"Dear Kalpana,

I just read your application for my therapist referral network and it is wonderful! I greatly appreciate your depth in the answers to the essay questions. It makes me want to come sit down and talk with you! I’m very impressed by your skills and interest in helping daughters of narcissistic mothers! I also love that you do EMDR. You will be a great resource for our site, and we welcome you!”

Dr. Karyl McBride, PhD, LMFT, July 2010

The WIEBGE acronym stands for Will I Ever Be Good Enough?  and signifies certification in Dr. Karyl McBrides five-step recovery model for treating adult children of narcissistic parents.