I’m an adult daughter of a borderline and narcissistic mother. I’m in the process of going no contact. Any advice for coping?

-an asker who wanted to remain anonymous

Its gonna be hard. I’ve been there, personally. There’s very little emotionally more difficult than cutting off ties with a parent, even one that you know is toxic and only a harmful influence on you. Remember that its okay for it to be hard. You’re not weak for feeling like you want to break no contact, you’re human. Your mother has probably conditioned you to rely on her all your life, even while being extremely toxic.

The best things to do are

  • Surround yourself with positive influences. Especially on the holidays this is important. Try not to spend time that would be ‘mom-time’ alone.
  • If there’s a situation you’d normally go to your mother for help with, find a substitute. Anyone you can talk with. A friend, another relative, even just resolving to make a post about it online, or talking to a pet can help.
  • Be honest with yourself. Don’t idealize your mom. Don’t think ‘maybe this time she’d just have a nice chat with me’. Remember the bad times. Remember there is a real reason you went no contact.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell others why you’re no contact. You are not the one who is acting shamefully. There is nothing wrong with cutting your mother out of your life because you can’t handle her. If people question your motives, ask them if they would do the same to a woman fleeing an abusive husband.
  • If you DO break no contact, that’s okay. We’re human. We make mistakes. You start again. Low contact is better than having them in your life all the time.

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