Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
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Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  900 ratings  ·  140 reviews
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, psycho...more
Hardcover, 243 pages
Published September 23rd 2008 by Free Press (first published 2008)
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Will I Ever Be Good Enough? by Karyl McBrideWhite Oleander by Janet FitchChildren of the Self-Absorbed by Nina W. BrownAnywhere But Here by Mona SimpsonMaster and Apprentice by Christopher Rankin
Narcissistic Mothers
1st out of 18 books — 11 voters
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. LewisThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerWives and Daughters by Elizabeth GaskellThe Godfather by Mario Puzo
498th out of 677 books — 66 voters

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Community Reviews

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Michelle Gastulo
Found this book unexpectedly while visiting a new bookstore in my area. As soon as I saw the title, I immediately identified (my boyfriend even said it was basically meant for me) Throughout my life, I've dealt with issues stemming from living with a narcissistic mother. While she definitely tried to be a good mother, her own traumatic childhood resurfaced often. In her effort to protect herself, she developed what could be categorized as mild narcissistic personality disorder. I know beyond a d...more
Dec 16, 2011 Nijntje rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: every girl who will work for love
Recommended to Nijntje by: GoodReads :)
This is an amazing book. Really, if you recognize yourself somehow in the title; read it. I actually already knew a lot of the stuff in the book because I was raised by narcissistic parents and diagnosed with some traits of the disorder when I was 20 years old. I had however conveniently convinced myself lately that I was 'cured'. Recent events proved me wrong. This year I had relationships with men who were basically as disinterested as my parents have always been, and after working very hard o...more
Denise Mares
It was if the author had been observing every aspect of my life for the past 46 years. Her perspective as a "daughter" gave her an authenticity I have not felt in other books. I learned a lot about myself and my future.

To the nay-sayers: It's unfortunate that you are unable to empathize with others who have truly experienced an NPD mother. Perhaps you would benefit from some introspection before blaming books or society for bringing this taboo subject to light.
This book has helped me immeasurably! It's personal and has enough detail to make you nod in understanding yet general enough to leave room for individuality. I loved it.
Oh, if only this book existed 25 years ago ... but, better late than never. Thank you, Dr. McBride, for this. Thank you.
A painful, yet necessary read. I'm really glad I picked this up. It provided some much-needed understanding and helped to guide the healing process.
I feel I still have much to learn and much to forgive but this book was a great starting point.
I *hope* nobody else needs this book, but I know that isn't true. I would recommend this to anyone in my situation. The testimonies from other daughters and even those of the author were eye-opening. I have never felt so un-alone in my life. I could have w...more
Emma  Kaufmann
I don't think I have ever read a book which resonated more with me or touched me on such a deep emotional level. It is personal and intimate, not one of those emotionally detached self help books - and deals with explaining how if you had a critical mother who always had to be center stage and was on some level totally incapable of showing real love you are not alone. This book explains that daughters of narcissistic mothers may be subject to projection, jealousy, and envy because you are viewed...more
I am distrustful of most self-help books & cannot help but question the credentials of a "licensed marriage and family therapist" who poses for her book jacket in an off the shoulder blouse. On the other hand, I picked up this book (before I saw the book jacket) because a friend of mine has issues with a very difficult parent & it was right on the money, down to predicting how a same-parent would respond to various scenarios.

The 'checks' to see if it really is her are reasonable, the adv...more
This book was really interesting for me. Amazing to see how there are so many people out there who are dealing with some of the same issues I am. I recommend this book to anyone who has had issues with their mother and who are living with the "I'm not good enough" internal message. It's also helpful for those of us that do not want to continue the cycle with our own children.
Lisa H
I picked this book up on a fluke. I was at the campus bookstore trying to kill time. At first I didn't think that my mother was narcissistic ... then I started reading it.
I discovered that she in fact had many of traits and it was like reading about my life in book form.
I will be revisiting this book as I proceed with my healing and self discovery.
I am just so glad to have this resource on hand. I have already recommended this book to one of my friends and it is more than likely that I will reco...more
Linda Robinson
McBride's book is sorted into sections that work well. It begins with identifying whether you indeed grew up with a narcissistic mother (spectrum disorder as covered in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), then how this situation affected your life, and concludes with Ending the Legacy, which may help a grown daughter not pass along the experience she had to her children. I looked for a book when I had a recent - as the author describes it - collapse. The effects of narcis...more
Michele Skinner
MAN did i underline a lot of this book. there is a lot of comfort in knowing there are others out there thinking and experiencing what you have thought and experienced. it validates all the reasons you have for pawning off why you are who you are because of things and people shaping your personality. and it gives the keys and permission to move beyond and get over it.
Michaella Dietrich
I found this book Saturday and finished it Sunday. It describes my mother to a T. It has helped me to see everything written out and know that other people have these problems. Her tips for relationships and dealing with your past are very good.
This was a formula for recovery and healing for daughters of narcissistic mothers. Reflecting on my very painful childhood,I recognize now that "Gramma Annie" was high on the DSM Spectrum for Narcissism. For years I would failingly attempt to fit her into the bipolar model. Now I realize my error. She has been absent in my life for years now but I am everpresent of the impact her behaviors had on my life. However, Dr. McBride offers a therapeutic model that can last a lifetime and I feel hopeful...more
um...I think this was the best book I have ever read when facing the issues I have had with my mother. In fact, no other book has EVER come so close (actually nailing it on the head) to the truth of what has happened our relationship growing up together. My therapist had gently insisted I read this and I reluctantly bought it last week. I didn't even THINK that my mother was narcissistic....because I didn't even know what narcissism was (in the clinical sense). This book explained in the simples...more
As a "survivor", this book did far more to help me than three visits with an EAP therapists. The author truly "gets it", and I no longer feel alone and/or "crazy". She really helped me to learn that I can validate myself and I don't need external validation from anyone, especially not my mother. It also explained my father's contradictory behavior. Quite frankly, I credit him, when he would take my brother and I out alone (to give mom some "me" time) with saving us from total meltdown/destructio...more

Who says parents don’t cause mental illness?! The legacy may be multi-generational, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking parents can do no harm. Yes, parents can harm their children, and the result can be mental illness in many forms deriving from a profound lack of trust—an inability to attach in a healthy way.

This book is an eye opening meditation on narcissism, yours and theirs with lots of useful qualitative data. It has implications for personality disorders in general. I’m glad I re...more
This is such an interesting book to read - even if you don't still hear your mother's voice inside your head after all these years! I love learning about the relationship between a mother and her daughters and how the mother can shape her daughter for good or bad. A strong theme of "I love you for who you are, not what you do" is important for every little girl to know in order to grow up into a strong, confident woman.
This is a great book and a book I think would be so helpful to so many women out there who were raised by narcissistic mothers. I don't mean ones that were actually diagnoesed that way but ones that had enough of the symptoms to create daughters that were self doubting, insecure, never able to have good relationships,and more importantly never good enough for anyone including themselves. This was so helpful to me. It is not about blaming the mother but about healing yourself and ultimately forgi...more
Ms. J Johnson
I vacillated between two and three stars with this book. I feel that I need to explain my reason for not giving it any more than three stars because I don’t want to discourage anyone from reading the book. I’m sure it will be very helpful to many women who had the misfortune of growing up with a narcissistic mother. The recovery part of the book seems very good. I have not worked through the recovery activities yet, but have only read through the book. The recovery section and the five page sugg...more
I give this book two stars - a relative assessment given there was nothing new to me in this book and that it didn't quite capture the flavor of narcissistic parenting I am accustomed to. However I can see how five stars would be given by those at the start of their reflective journey as its likely this book will - as others have commented - illuminate a heck of a lot for you.

What I found missing was more commentary on the narcissistic parent that arises from other psychological impairment such...more
Even though my mom has not the full spectrum of Narcissictic traits, she definitely fits the profile. I'm glad to see at last, that I'm not crazy or the only one who thought "maybe she was not so bad, maybe I'm overplaying her role in how I turned out". Well, it seems she did a lot of damage anyway, even if it was unconsious. Don't know if I'll follow the whole healinging process, but it felt good to see all those feelings of mine on paper and that they're felt by others too. And I'll try to do...more
This book was written just for me! In trying to figure out why my relationship with my mother is soooo frustrating, and also why do I feel this need to be perfect....this book has given me a great new perspective! I didn't understand what narcisism was until recently and knowing what it is has helped make more sense out of my crazy upbringing!
Karen Stock
what a great book on understanding what narcissim is and how it affects woman and daughters. very easy to understand. its not just a book that points fingers but also helps with healing and working on issues.
Nov 02, 2008 Dindy added it
Outstanding - if your mother caused you even and iota of angst this book will allay your guilt and show you that you aren't alone!
This a good Book!
Tofu Fairy
I had such high hopes for this book, but was ultimately disappointed in the results I received from reading it. The book is in three basic sections: recognizing narcissism in your mother, how this narcissism affected you, and ending how it affected you. The first two sections helped me. I was able to definitively see that my mother was/is narcissistic and admit/define all the ways in which this fact created who I am today with all my many issues. Where this book ultimately fails is in the final...more
I could really relate to this, though as the daughter of a narcissistic father. I tried to find a book on daughters of NF, but this is all I could find (except "The Narcissistic Family," which I plan on reading next!). Still, it applies just as strongly/powerfully as if written for daughters of mothers with it (in my opinion anyway). I felt guilty and embarrassed when I bought this book, yet so RELIEVED after reading it...validated feelings and the "not good enough" issue I've struggled with for...more
Well, I slogged through and finally finished (think too many other things to juggle right at the moment!)

I think I resonated more with McBride towards the end of the book where she offers up more suggestions and supportive ideas for grief-work and recovering for the lost parent some may never have had.

I think all parents make mistakes and are never perfect, I do resonate with her discussion of generational differences (of which we are all "victims" of) but do also feel that any type of recovery...more
This book explained so much. Wow, I tried and tried to be good enough, and I just couldn't get it right. Now, I realize, I'll be damned, it wasn't me, it was her! For her, I never will be good enough. I always felt there was something not right about my mother, but I couldn't get anyone to listen or understand. About eleven years ago, a therapist I was seeing (not the first, or the second, or even the third) told me my mother is a narcissist (she inadvertently met her). My mother is not overtly...more
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Will I Ever Be Free of You?: How to Navigate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Narcissist, and Heal Your Family

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“Narcissists commonly cut people off and out of their lives due to their shallow emotional style of seeing others as either good or bad.” 20 likes
“Begin to assess your own parenting. Acknowledging the painful reality that it is impossible to be a child of a narcissist and not be somewhat impaired narcissistically. Anyone raised this way has probably acquired a few traits of narcissism.” 9 likes
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