What happens to the golden child when the narcissistic mother dies?

In this blog guide, we try to see what happens to the golden child when the narcissistic mother dies. Furthermore, we will also look at the difference between being a golden child and a scapegoat child and the ill effects of both. Finally, we will  look at the various signs of a narcissistic mother 

Is it harder on the golden child when the narcissistic mother dies? 

Yes, it is harder on the golden child when the narcissistic mother dies. 

They have been highly praised their entire life and suddenly all the over-attention given by the mother is taken away from them. The golden child now has to actually earn for the reputation that had so easily received without doing anything. The golden child is usually handicapped by the narcissistic mother’s love. They did not have to learn the proper skills to survive and thrive in life. Everything was given to them like a spoilt brat. When a narcissistic mother dies they are lost and hopeless afraid of everything like a little baby because they were not made to learn how to take care of themselves. 

On the other hand, for a scapegoat child, it is comparatively easier. They never really received any attention from them, so it’s hard to miss something you never had. The scapegoat child is usually not taken much care of and neglected. They have to take care of themselves and can survive without a parent. Such conditions have made them strong enough to deal with any problem in life by themselves. 

Golden child vs scapegoat child 

It’s very common for Narcissistic Mothers to have one child in the family is the Golden Child, and one or more is the Scapegoat.

The Golden Child, as the name suggests, is the best and most beautiful child – at least in the eyes of the Narcissistic Mother. It seems to be that the Narcissistic Mother picks the Golden Child to be an extension of herself, onto whom she projects all her own supposed wonderfulness. The golden child is exalted, lavished with attention and praise. The golden child functions as the pride and joy whose successes are celebrated and failures are airbrushed away or, through narcissist contortionism. 

The scapegoat is the cause of all the ills of the family. The scapegoat serves as the target of rage and the trash bin of blame. The scapegoat is harmed in this all-too-common dynamic. To varying degrees, overtly or covertly, she is systematically belittled and shamed, carrying responsibility for the narcissist’s self-hatred, frustrating job, or burnt toast.

The Scapegoated child can be punished for doing something extraordinary because that threatens the narcissist’s narrative that the child is all bad. Not overtly punished, because that would also ruin the narrative that it’s all the Scapegoat’s fault, but subtly and sneakily. For example, the child would have to give up dancing just as they reached a triumphant milestone because maybe they supposedly couldn’t afford dance classes any longer, or the lift to the dance classes was no longer possible, or they fell out with the dance teacher. 

Although it may surely seem that the scapegoat child faces all the problems of having a narcissistic mother, it is no easy for a golden child to deal with her. They aren’t allowed to be themselves, nor are they allowed to be imperfect, because that would reflect badly on the parent. Whilst they seem to have it easy, the reality is that they are always on stage being scrutinized, usually suffering from a permanent and crippling case of performance anxiety. To be in the narcissist’s spotlight is to be constantly judged. Having one’s inevitable flaws held up to the cruel and critical gaze of the narcissist. 

From the outside, being a golden child can seem pretty good, better than the alternative of course. After all, being scapegoated is no fun. But scapegoats eventually escape the crucible, often with their identity intact. They usually have enough of a sense of self and reality to relate to others and to seek their own path. No doubt they do carry the harm done to the self, but they escape most of the wounding. 

Signs your mother is narcissistic

It is clear that having a narcissistic mother is no easy on both the golden child as well as the scapegoat child. However, after understanding the consequences of having a narcissistic mother, it is essential to understand what is a narcissistic mother. 

Hence, below is a list of signs to understand if you are being raised by a narcissistic mother. 

  • She wants to control you: Trying to assert yourself results in anger, rejection, and hostility. She doesn’t appreciate your attempts to individuate as it means you are going to be less available to serve her needs. Does she get angry when you disagree or don’t want to do what she wants you to do? Does she try to make you feel guilty for having separate interests, hobbies, desires, and opinions?
  • Her love is conditional: A mother who is narcissistic is interested in how you and your achievements reflect on her. She wants you to succeed, but only so that she looks good. She may even become jealous if she feels you are doing too well. Daughters of narcissistic mothers will often be perfectionistic in a misguided attempt to win their mother’s love.
  • She can’t or won’t validate your feelings: There is very little room in her emotional consciousness for your feelings. If they do something that upsets you, narcissists generally won’t be prepared to acknowledge their mistake or soothe your upset. They are too focused on trying to manage the shame elicited by your implied criticism. She may sometimes be there if you need support, but most often she will turn it around so that it becomes about her.

For example: “That reminds me of the time…” “You think you have problems, I remember when…” “I can’t listen to you when you’re like this, it upsets me…” “I do/have done everything for you, why can’t you appreciate it, you ungrateful…”

  • She belittles you: A narcissistic mother will be full of praise in one moment, hypercritical and judgmental the next. They can make your head spin! A narcissistic mother knows where it hurts. She will often use sarcasm or belittling language to humiliate you, perhaps in front of others. She may fob off your concern with excuses such as “can’t you take a joke?”
  • She tries to manipulate you: The manipulation can be quite subtle, causing you to question your doubts and fears. She may call you “selfish” because you don’t want to be her maid or chauffeur 24/7 Being afraid to say no to her because you fear her disapproval or anger is definitely not a good sign.
  • She thinks she is above the rules: Narcissists prefer not to have to follow the rules that apply to us lesser mortals. The sense of entitlement that accompanies narcissism can manifest in expectations of special treatment. She might try to get out of a parking ticket through manipulation or flirtatious behavior, then she gets angry. She can embarrass you in the takeaway line at your favorite coffee shop. If she is not allowed to jump the coffee queue or secure her favorite table at a popular restaurant, she may become disproportionately angry.
  • She is unpredictable: Narcissists often wax and wane in terms of their attention and availability. She may shower you with affection and attention (love-bombing) when she wants something from you and ignore you when she is going OK. Her ability to care about you is dependent on her own needs rather than any genuine commitment to you as a separate and autonomous being.
  • It’s all about how things look: Because they are largely dependent on social cues to manage their self-image, narcissists will be focussed on how things appear, and most importantly, how they appear to those whose opinion matters to them. Narcissistic mothers will generally like to appear socially successful, keeping a nice-looking home, wearing expensive clothes, and hobnobbing with the rich and famous. Your mother might spend a lot of time trying to impress the neighbors, her employers, and others whom she considers worth her time.
  • She cannot see your point of view: In general, narcissistic mothers will be unwilling to understand or even acknowledge your point of view. She may ignore, belittle, or undermine you, often using manipulation or guilt-tripping to get her way.
  • She is emotionally volatile: Narcissists are often emotionally unstable, swinging between cold rage and collapsed fragility depending on environmental cues. Mothers with these characteristics have very low self-esteem underneath their bluster and will become teary or desperate if they meet ongoing resistance.

9 Famous Narcissistic Mothers From Fiction.

In order for making it easy for you to understand what a narcissistic mother looks like, here is a list of 9 Famous Narcissistic Mothers From Fiction.

  • Ingrid Magnussen from White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  • Olive Kitteridge from Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  • Joan Crawford from Mommie Dearest by Christine Crawford
  • Aurora Greenway from Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
  • Charlotte Phelan from The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Gertrude Morel from Sons And Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
  • Violet Weston from August: Osage County, a play by Tracy Letts
  • Emma Funnell from The House of Women by Catherine Cookson
  • Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

It is quite understood that having a narcissistic mother is not easy for both a golden child and a scapegoat child. However, it may seem that the scapegoat child is going through all the troubles, the golden child is leaving a no easy life. The death of a narcissistic mother can be a relief or a hindrance depending on how the golden child reacts to the mother’s narcissism. 

If they are not fed up with the narcissistic scrutiny all the tie, and enjoy their pedestal, they would be devasted by the loss of their mother. On the contrary, if the same spotlight is causing them problems, they would be in a state of relief. 


In this blog guide, we try to see what happens to the golden child when the narcissistic mother dies. Furthermore, we will also look at the difference between being a golden child and a scapegoat child and the ill effects of both. Finally, we will  look at the various signs of a narcissistic mother 

FAQs:  What happens to the golden child when the narcissistic mother dies? 

How do I recover from a narcissistic mother?

If you have a narcissistic mother and want to heal from it, you should 
Educate yourself. 
Confront your personal history of trauma and neglect. 
Grieve what you did not receive. 
Work through the developmental milestones you may not have achieved. 
Set boundaries. 
Seek out healthier, more functional relationships.

How narcissistic mothers affect their daughters?

The daughter of a narcissistic mother quickly learns that most of the mother’s natural responses, feelings, and desires are unwelcome. Narcissistic mothers who ignore or under parent their daughters do not provide guidance, emotional support, or empathy to them. They consistently discount or deny their daughter’s emotions 

What is a narcissistic personality disorder? 

A narcissistic personality disorder is a kind of personality disorder belonging to Cluster C of personality disorders. People having NPD involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking and behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration. 





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