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4.6 out of 5 stars134
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 August 2011
Until reading this book I was going through sheer hell. I could not understand why my mother behaves the way she does. Since reading this book, so many things about my childhood, teenage and adult years now make so much more sense. I no longer blame myself for the failures I was accused of and am in a much better position to live my life in the way I want to, no longer trying to please a woman who will never, ever be pleased.

For me, this book opened the door of my prison cell.
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on 7 April 2011
brilliant book - very helpful and sound advice on how to deal with all issues that your left having to deal with from growing up with a awful mother.
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on 22 September 2011
I came across this book by accident and it, and the websites etc it led me to, gave me the answer I'd been looking for all my life i.e. why, when I never did anything wrong, was my mother so horribly cruel to me. It took until I was 58 to find the answer and whilst nothing can erase the past, the future should be a whole lot easier without the ghost voice of my mother ever present in my head to criticise everything I do. I had never heard of narsissitic mothers and I found the answer to be more complete and comprehensive than I ever could have dreamed of, for everything she ever did to me was there in this book or on the website 'Daughters of narcissistic mothers'. The cruelty endured by a child of a narcisstic mother is only one aspect that is to be borne, the other, particularly in my childhood when there was no Childline or anywhere for children to turn, is the crippling loneliness, made worse by society's unwaivering myth that giving birth turns every woman into a paragon of virtue, a loving goddess who will do anything for her children. Imagine how that feels when your mother will barely give you the time of day, or if she does, will make sure you know just what an inconvenience and sacrifice she is making by so doing and what a demonstration of your horrible persona it is that you ask.
I cried and cried after finding my answer, and then felt re-born. Free at last, free at last
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on 12 September 2011
No child should have to grow up with a narcissistic parent.A child who has grown up with a loving family is secure,confident and happy to embrace independance.The child of a narcissist is usually insecure about their inner self,feels worthless,unloved and alone ,even within its only family unit.I personally have suffered depression and a breakdown.The narcissist will hide their selfish ,mean behavior to friends and the world,but behind closed doors its a different story.They favour other siblings,like to hurt your feelings,put you down,tell you how wonderful other people are compared to you.My mother would only allow me to visit when she said it was ok,if I out stayed my welcome,usually by the second day ,she would say how tired she was and why did she have to do everything etc.She would even go out with her friends and leave us,even though we had come along way to visit them.My father the typical enabler never once stood up for me,but was quick to confind in me if she had upset him.She showed jealousy and contempt,her needs came first,always.A child from such an unloving family finds it hard to trust anyone.
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on 18 February 2013
Absolutely fantastic!!! Warning, though: be prepared to cry a lot and go through emotional pain and turmoil but you will come out on the other side a happier and healthier person.
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on 17 October 2009
As I was reading this book I became aware of my childrens' arguements that I have had with them since they have been running their lives the way they think is right. Which of course does not always agree with the way I think would be more suitable. I also became aware of the struggled that I had had to convince my mother I knew what I was doing. But what amazed me most ware comments from my friends who had been reading the book over my shoulder so to speak. Many of them told me of how they had had to "fight off" the competition and jealous from their mothers and there had been no praise for what they had achieved. It certainly opened my eyes.
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on 27 February 2009
If you've spent all your adult life desperately trying to get your mother's approval, and wearing yourself out trying to achieve her eternally changing levels of perfection, then I'm sure, like me, you have a library full of these kind of self help books.
Karyl McBride's book is one of the useful ones - there were loads of examples which rang a bell with me. Like a woman who had made her mother a gift, which got put in the bottom of a drawer, because it 'didn't go' with the decor.
One idea I have found a little creepy, is the suggestion that we should buy a doll that represents us as a child, and we 'mother' the doll like we feel we should have been mothered. I can see what she is trying to achieve, I know I was never allowed to be pretty or choose my own clothes or hairstyle while growing up, but that idea sounds a bit artificial.
Other books worth getting are Toxic Parents, Stalking the Soul, and When you and your mother can't be friends.
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on 21 April 2014
If you read this as a child of a 'normal' mother I'm pretty sure it would make unbelievable reading but as a child of a narcissistic mother it's as though someone has just put the correct prescription glasses on you for the first time after an eye test. It's a though Karyl was actually there as I grew up, watching what I went through, and an still going through.

Frighteningly accurate one liners hit me like a steam train allowing me to see that I have grown up with emotional abuse, that I'm not crazy and that with support I can expect life to get better.

Even if you aren't sure you had a narcissistic mother, just in reading this review I would be pretty confident that need to buy this book, just to be sure.
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on 11 April 2012
I cant tell you how much I have gained from this book. it is an amazing insite into seeing how pain drives people to a place where they are only able to see the world and other people from there perspective. I learned that at the root of this behaviour is extreme fear. The book teaches how Narcissistic behaviour is manifested, how the behaviour impacts children how to recognise it in yourself and how to set the appropriate bounderies. I learned about my own emeshment and how it sabotages the relationship I have with myself and others. A painful read but also a freeing one. Have recommended it to lots of my friends.
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on 14 March 2013
This book could have been written by myself! The descriptions of the injury caused by narcissistic abuse were spot on. Reading the book has helped me understand how dysfunctional my childhood actually was and how this has shaped much of my adult life without realising it. I found it compulsive reading and now understand that I cannot keep going back for more abuse from my 86 year old mother. These tendencies never disappear and you are better without these people in your lives! A must read for anyone struggling with a mother that has never been a mother to them
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