The Child of the Narcissist

Sometimes I get ideas in my head and know that I must get up and type; otherwise I will never get to sleep.  Having been one of these children and having recently had very moving conversations with another person who also felt this dread, I knew I must write about it.  As a therapist, I feel responsible for airing out all those things which give us torment, so that we have a place to share, cry, and be heard.  For having a parent who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, you do not get the chance to do so.

A child who grows up with a parent who has NPD, has no parent at all.  In fact, they have no self as well.  The child’s life is consumed with pleasing the parent in a way that no other child, not sharing the same type of parent, can understand.  Your childhood revolves around this parent.  The opposite parent must revolve around the NPD spouse.  Your needs and wants must be that of the parent with NPD.

If there is more than one child, one will inevitably be the scapegoat.  You know who you are.  The one who takes the blame for everything because the NPD parent will not.  Someone must be at fault for ruining their life.  Another child will invariably be the rescuer for this parent and they are the prodigal child.  This is the one who does all that was intended, perfectly and in the order presented by this parent.  There can also be a child who will have dependent personality disorder.   This is the one who will need the parent for anything and everything because they are so challenged by life and the NPD parent will gladly be needed for their mercy.  Someone who needs the Narcissist to be at their beck and call, is exactly what they want.  The NPD imagines in their head that their brood should be around them at all times, because you are incapable of living your life without them.  This is the bird that does not kick the chicks out of the nest because it does not want them to fly.

Thus, if the child of the NPD is capable of getting away and growing up once and for all, they are the enemy to this parent.  No one is allowed to leave the NPD’s kingdom unless it is to do their bidding.  Most survivors whom I have known are those who have had to push away this parent.  Yet even still they live with the lifelong feelings of insecurity and the threat of a phone call which could come at any time – lest you forget the NPD parent is still alive.  A call which will put all your time in therapy to shame, as you are ridiculed and punished once more for anything that they happen to make up.

Unfortunately, I do not know of any Narcissistic parent who was capable of going into therapy and there is no medication for this mental illness.  Why should they go to therapy when it is your fault after all?  At the same time, therapists couches are filled with the children of the Narcissist; most especially the scapegoats.  Children who cling to the hope that their problems will be cured so that for once in their life, the NPD parent will love, respect and be able to have a conversation with them.  The bottom line that we all must realize is that the NPD parent will never change.  Only you can and then you have to figure out how to be in the same room with this person, with your head held high.  It is a lesson in reclaiming your power, even though the abuser will never leave your life.

Tips (for the Scapegoat): Find what works for you.  The answer is not the same for everyone.

1. Tell this person not to talk to you unless they can say something nice.  Be strong when setting this boundary.  Don’t get caught up in their sarcastic or overly dramatic response.  They have loose boundaries, so you must set high standards to preserve your own.

2. Don’t expect to talk for more than 5 minute sound bites, because they aren’t listening to you anyway.

3. Try to stay out of their way – if you can, don’t attend functions where they are present (unless you absolutely have to).  You don’t want to boycott your whole family either.

4. Forget trying to discuss your therapy sessions and what you’ve learned.  Remember, they aren’t listening anyway.  Don’t bring up the past, it is pointless because it had nothing to do with them.  They were there as an innocent bystander.

5.  Whenever you start thinking about them in your head, start whistling a happy tune.  If you think, you will begin punishing yourself as you remember all the “bad” things they said you did.  You will take yourself down and beat yourself up emotionally.  If you can whistle, you switch focus in your mind and soon forget what you were thinking. If meditating and their voice comes in, tap your feet, put on music, do something to re-focus and think of something else.  It takes time to re-program your mind.

6. Do get into therapy, tell your therapist about your NPD parent.  Learn to meditate, take exercise classes, eat healthy, drink plenty of water. Pamper yourself with massage and other holistic treatments.  Get so focused on yourself that you look and feel good, which will make you strong.

7. If you fail to do at least #6 let me give you a warning – you will end up finding yourself in abusive relationships whether at the office, the home, or amongst the people who surround you.  You have to reclaim your power or be a doormat, or punching bag forever.

8. For young people and adults – it can be helpful to get to know older people who are in your life and whom you can talk to.  This is like creating a surrogate parent.  Everyone does need a parent.  Young people can talk to guidance counselors, grandparents, aunts/uncles, friends of family, whomever seems to take a healthy interest in you.  Adults you can do the same – get to know those people in the family who might have been staying away from the same person you are having problems with.

If you are reading this and you are still a young person, you have my sympathies.  Do the best you can to follow the tips above and remember – it isn’t you, you are not a bad person.  You may make mistakes – all kids do. If you are reading this and you are an adult, remember that – you are an adult and you are free to make choices in your life.  Don’t let them control you and tell you what to do.  You are not an adult child and you must take responsibility for your life.  Of course whatever you do will be wrong (to them), but you must keep in mind that what you are doing is for you, it is your life and you can’t blame anyone for your adult choices but yourself.  Let them go, move forward and keep your distance.

Over time, you will begin to heal and make a life for yourself.  There will be setbacks now and then when you have to be in their life.  You have a mentally unhealthy parent and this comes with the territory.  The only person you can change is yourself and if you are strong and set your boundaries – you won’t get a parent but they will leave you in peace.

Now you can read Part Two of The Child of the Narcissist

And purchase the CD: The Child of the Narcissist: Guided Meditations for Healing

Now Available on Download too!

CD Cover

Addition 7/28/12: I found a good book that I want to add to this article. “Will I Ever be Good Enough” by Dr. Karyl McBride. Lots of good case studies to think about.

He Never Says He is Sorry, an article I wrote later about being in a relationship with a Narcissist.

Angry Daughter, Narcissistic Mother written on 1/11/14, is a review of the movie August: Osage County with Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.

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40 thoughts on “The Child of the Narcissist

  1. Love love love this article! The manner in which it is written makes such a horrid situation honestly seem manageable. And your offer of sound, straightforward advice is also great. Thanks so much.

    • Your welcome. It isn’t easy, it is just easy to write. However, if you commit yourself to this process, it can happen. There is also a good book to read on this and that is “Will I ever be Good Enough” by Dr. Karyl McBride.

  2. Hi , Thank you for writing this article. I am fifty years old and was a scapegoat. This is the first time I read anything that describes my childhood experience so closely.
    I have been attending therapy for a year now and have turned a corner. I spent a lot of years wondering about and running away from my “problem” . I assumed my father was /is a sociopath but in fact I now know that he is in fact a narcissist.

    • Your welcome. Good for you that you have turned a corner. Keep up the good work. I am 50 years old in a couple of weeks. I ran away for 30 years – to another state. I realized a couple of years back though that you have to come back and face the Narcissist. I didn’t know how to do it but I finally did. I also had to come back because I didn’t feel that I had much integrity as a therapist if I couldn’t even tackle my own mother.

  3. Thank you for writing this.
    My father has just been diagnosed and your article is very helpful and the warm style of writing is very encouraging. Many pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place after the diagnosis.Having a name for it and reading this article makes the situation feel less unique and therefore more bearable. I was the prodigal child while my brother was the scapegoat and this has made our relationship difficult at times. Most of all, I look forward to taking this knowledge on board for the two of us, so we can each work on our personal development and not let our father stand in the way of a healthy sibling relationship.

    • Sas, I am so happy to hear that this article has been of benefit to you. Generally I hear from the scapegoat, so it is nice that you have realized this about your family and have concerns for your brother. There is another person in Ireland who provides information on this topic as well http://narcissisticbehavior.net There is a good book for narcissitic mothers and their daughters but I have not seen one for fathers. However, there is a book called the Sociopath Next Door which is quite interesting. Good luck to you and your family.

      • Hi Sas,Best of luck to your family.I recently purchased”Guided Meditations for self healing” by Jack Kornfield.It is on cd and a very useful resource for all concerned.
        Kieren.

  4. Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve bear in mind your stuff prior to and you are simply extremely wonderful. I actually like what you have acquired right here, really like what you are saying and the way in which wherein you say it. You are making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to keep it sensible. I cant wait to learn much more from you. This is actually a wonderful website.

    • Thank you Christina. I am glad to offer some advice that has been relevant to you. I also appreciate your kind words about the website.

  5. Hello, I hope that you still read these comments. One of my good friends recently had it pointed out to him that his mother-in-law is an NPD. However, his wife is still in denial about such a thing and the mother-in-law very often causes extreme problems between my friends and his wife. In fact, right now they aren’t even living together; he’s in a new city attempting to get an apartment and a job for his family and his wife has taken their year-old-daughter to live with the said toxic mother-in-law.

    Every site that he and I have found deal with how, as a child, to deal with NPD. None talk about the spouse of that child. Do you have any resources on ways that he may bring this behavior up with his wife? To help her set some healthy boundaries? It is almost for sure that her mother will not accept such boundaries and will probably have to be cut out completely. Are there ways that he can help his wife reach this decision and stick with it? He wants to go to therapy both separately and apart. However, he worries constantly about what the mother-in-law is doing to his daughter and anything he can do right now to help the situation would give him at least a little peace of mind.

    Thank you for any help or recommendations that you can give.

    • I do still read these and I will respond to you by email tomorrow at the earliest. It has been a long day and there is so much to say in response.

    • Thank you Gail. I set up a blog category specifically for Narcissism. This is my most popular article, so I have written a few more.

  6. Thanks for the great advice. My ex husband is ruining my 14 year old sons life with all the crazy, horrible things NPD people do. Any advice for helping my son through this? Luckily, we have not seen or heard from him in a year but is threatening court action to see him. My son only wants peace.

    • Sonja, I would take your boys and yourself to a therapist for support. I don’t know where you are at (state/country) but usually at thier age, the courts will listen to thier needs and wants. The boys can talk to your lawyer and request a change in the visitation (if they need a lawyer).

  7. Overall, I very much enjoyed this article and I appreciate the practical tips you gave for the scapegoat. The thing that really rubs me the wrong way is your statement “Keep in mind that this isn’t the worst parent you could be dealing with. Imagine if they were bi-polar and you had two different personalities?” To say that an NPD parent isn’t the worst is a matter of opinion and for a professional to make that kind of a value judgment is reckless and callous. Growing up with any kind of dysfunctional parent can be traumatizing, and there’s no room for comparing one experience to the next. I’m certainly NOT saying that growing up with an NPD parent is in fact the worst so please don’t assume that’s what I’m saying….I would never make any kind of statement like that because it’s not for me to say. Everyone’s experience is what THEY experienced and has nothing to do with what someone else experienced. Any time an innocent child is abused by the very people who should be protecting them, nurturing them and preparing them to be healthy, whole adults, is tragic for that child. And who knows, maybe it would somehow be easier for a child to know that a parent with bipolar disorder was very sick, rather than for a child with an NPD parent to discern that his/her parent was sick. With NPD, gaslighting is common which is an insidious form of abuse because it invalidates a person’s experience and implies that they are in fact insane and makes them question reality. That can be extremely hard to overcome! Maybe a child living with a bipolar parent doesn’t face gaslighting and at least sees that their parent is in fact unstable. I’ve been emotionally, psychologically and physically abused. Honestly, the physical abuse was by far the easiest for me to deal with because I KNEW when I looked at my wounds that what my mother was doing to me was wrong. Unfortunately, when she constantly invalidated me, ignored me, accused me, raged at me and thought the worst of me, I internalized it and believed it (and I still do to a point). That’s not to say that emotional and psychological abuse is worse than the physical abuse because it’s not! It’s just that it was different. I would never, ever say that someone who was physically abused as a child could’ve had it worst. Let’s face it, abuse is abuse is abuse – there are many factors involved in who comes through an abusive upbringing and to make any kind of statement saying one is worse than the other is out of line.

    • You are absolutely correct, abuse is abuse. Everything you point out here is very valid and apropos in defining the Narcissist and discussing abuse. It is difficult for me when writing about Narcissism because I am speaking of personal experiences. I find that these are my most challenging articles and often they sound very odd even to me. However, it is a personal experience that I am talking about and I am sharing this with people and giving examples of what I have seen can help. When I say “it could be worse,” I am speaking out loud, telling myself, it could be worse. Psychotherapists aren’t perfect. We come from very challenged lives. Sometimes I am writing on my blog from an authentic voice and by that I mean the person and the professional are somewhat skewed.

      • My mother has NPD, and my father was addicted to cocaine and alcohol during my childhood. I’m now 40, and I can tell you that the lingering effects from her abuse are way worse than growing up with a dad addicted to substances. He was absentee often, but he didn’t abuse me mentally, emotionally or physically. He didn’t badmouth his child to anyone. He died 3 years ago, but he got sober 10 years before he died, he made amends and we developed a really good relationship. I did not develop any addictions, btw.

        My mother’s abuse was insidious, unrelenting and really ruined my life. My mother systematically shaped me to believe that my purpose in life was to be the filler for the endless emotional vacuum inside her. She also kept me in “my place” with shame, which is very powerful (not that I ever did anything as a child to be ashamed of). She caused me to doubt myself – even my instincts. She took away my voice at a very young age. She purported “family first at all costs”, but what she really meant was “mother first at all costs and you are living to serve me”, so that I would never feel like I could get away from her. She was exceptionally critical of me. She caused her children to be jealous of one another every chance she got. She bullied me all the time. She hid all this very well from everyone outside our immediate family.

        She’s very good at being a narcissist, I’ll give her that.

        I sought therapy for depression 3 years ago and to learn how to develop self-love, and that’s when I discovered who my mother really is and what she’s done to me. She continues to try to manipulate me and everyone around me, but I don’t let her get to me. Unfortunately, she still plays the victim card with my siblings and cousins, including cousins on my dad’s side, and she divorced him 25 years ago. Her manipulation against me works on my siblings, because they are mad at me for not talking to her. She’s the victim after all (in her and their minds). I now don’t see her, except at Christmas when the rest of the family is there. What a blessed relief it’s been.

      • Thank you for sharing your story. This article I wrote several years ago has really taken quite a path of exploration for many people. I empathize with what you went through and I am glad to hear you did not become an addict and were able to get some relief from counseling. It sounds like you are beginning to detach yourself from the NPD parent and begin to self-sooth and get your needs met on your own. It is hard to get to this point so I am happy to hear you did and that you are in a good place now. Stay strong, be clear with your boundaries and know that you are doing the right thing.

  8. Hi I am an adult child (scape goat) of a mother diagnosed with NPD. You said you were a therapist and I have a question that none of my therapist have been able to explain to me. Like I said my mom is a diagnosed narcissist but my father was physically abusive expecially when drunk. All the blame was placed on him. Now as an adult I have reconciled the relationship with my father and have no contact with my mother. My father who is now divorced from my mother is the nicest person you could ever meet. He has taken responsiblity for his faults as a parent. Would a narcissistic person really subject their “o so important self” to domestic violence just to appear the victim? Would she actually pick a fight in order to get attention away from herself? (He would be abusive only after she did something to provoke him…. hide a foreclosure… embezzlement…. credit card theft… etc) She’s uses her dv survivors title to get what she wants including pity, financial services, PFAs,etc…. etc….etc. I have mental conditions of my own related to my childhood experiences ( complex PTSD, DID, panic disorder, OCD, etc) so I have a lot of huge gaps in my memory. I am not sure if my memories were real, imagined, or implanted by my mom. And my other question is my diagnosis common among children of NPD parents? I have 2 identified alters but after some research feel like I fit under BPD.

    • I would say your situation is very unique and I hesitate to make a final response as there is so much here to deal with. It is possible that your therapist was being careful in answering your question because it is multi-layered. Maybe they wanted to get to know you more before giving an exact response. And also, it is not really that easy to answer this with a black or white answer. As for the DV aspect of it, this is a little different and I don’t want to make light of a situation such as this. You might want to consult with a DV agency in your area about this question. With regard to your diagnosis, it is easy to think you fit under a specific diagnosis when you read about it. As therapists, we often do this during our training, always think we are one diagnosis or another. The one’s you have been specifically diagnosed with are not something that would be interchangeable with borderline-personality disorder. Sometimes it is easy to think you have a personality disorder when you are dealing with various diagnoses because you are taking responsibility for your symptoms but again, I would talk to your therapist about your feelings. I appreciate your sharing this story with me though because it gave me something to think about. Take a look at that book I mentioned though “Will I ever by good enough.” It is for daughters of NPD mothers.

  9. Thank you for such a straight-forward way to cope with this. I read the first description of the “scapegoat”-that unfortunately has been me for my parents most of my adult life. As a child I was the prodigal until I began to disappoint them (well, until I grew up and had opinions of my own and not enough money to satisfy them). My youngest sibling has never known anything but that role. My middle sibling is also a scapegoat. I do realize that all of is siblings have some narcissistic traits we learned from them, but unlike my siblings I have chosen to take my life back and raise my family in an open loving way! I am still battling depression and bad habits are hard to break, but I am grateful for the reminder that they weren’t my parents because they weren’t mentally there for me and never will be. I feel like I grew up walking on eggshells around strangers or like I was their pet to show off when they were pleased. They only know how to buy things and people, and I am quite sure never have known true love or joy. I am now having to explain this to my child because they have affected him also. Not easy to do! Luckily they aren’t around much and when they are they act like we are strangers so from now on I will hum a tune and just keep swimming :). I am getting closer (after years of knowing they are both NPD) to ceasing contact. Hard to do because when they want something absolutely nothing keeps them from it-seeing grand kids, paying lawyers to fight neighbors, family and there is always that dreadful feeling they are lurking around the corner waiting to gaslight. Happy thoughts and healthy lifestyle is the best I can do. Thank you for your insight!

    • I couldn’t imagine having to deal with two of them but it sounds like you have come up with a good plan! Keep up the good positive energy.

  10. My younger daughter who is 13 yrs old lives with her mother. Only after doing some research online we have realised the mother is likely NPD. She’s been clinically diagnosed as bi-polar. Her mother is normally fairly stable but every few months falls off the rails and we have to go “rescue” my daughter – this time she was assaulted in a restaurant in front of police officers. There is definitely substance abuse and immoral sexual tendencies.
    My elder daughter, 16 yrs old, has the classic dependent personality disorder, nurtured by her mom and my younger daughter is the “scapegoat”. We are trying to convince my younger daughter to come and live with us but she is so worried about dealing with mom’s backlash that she would rather go back than be cut off completely by her mom as happened last year when she chose to come and live with us. The older sister, instead of protecting her sister has been convinced by her mother that my daughter is to blame for all of her mother’s bad behavior.
    It is easy to say just remove her from her mother but she is off the age where she can legally choose which parent to live with and her mother currently has custody. We could attempt to have her declared an unfit mother but are worried about how this will affect the girls who have been so psychologically manipulated already.
    We have arranged for her to see a counsellor but don’t know which way to turn and how to deal with this.

    • It is a good idea to get your daughters in counseling and perhaps someone who can help to educate them on what their mom’s diagnosis is and how it effects them. You might also want to do some family counseling with the therapist as well. You said mom was diagnosed with Bi-polar but not NPD. They would have seen both if it was there but of course what the mom is going to tell you, might not be the whole story. Have the therapist work with the bi-polar aspect with your kids. I don’t know a lot about Bi-polar parents but it is possible that NPD symptoms show up through this diagnosis as well, in a different way, yet it looks the same. The kids therapist can explain it to you. Maybe find one who specializes in Bi-polar. Also NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness), in your state, will have support groups for families. AND, with Bi-polar, it can be genetic, especially through the maternal line so you also want to have the therapist look for this as well. If she/he thinks they might have it, they can be properly assessed through a psychologist with testing.

  11. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally
    educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail
    on the head. The problem is something which too few folks are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy I found this in my hunt for something relating to this.

  12. I want to thank you so much for writing this article. I have found many, many articles regarding people with NPD that are involved in romantic relationships, but this is the first one I have found regarding parents with the disorder. My (so-called) father suffers from NPD. I only wish that I had known about this disorder a LONG time ago. I just thought he was a jerk with a really bad temper. I suffered both mental and verbal abuse from him, but I always foolishly believed that when it came right down to it that he really and truly had my best interests at heart. I believed all of his lies. I was his scapegoat and cleaned up all of his messes for him. That was until he stabbed be in the back and betrayed me. He accused me of stealing (from my own business!) and threatened to have me arrested and take my one and only child away from me. That was the last straw for me. I obtained a domestic violence order of protection against him and have only seen him in a courtroom since then, and that was 2 years ago. My mother is also a narcissist, just not on his level. But I can’t have a relationship with her, either, because he broke her a very long time ago. He throws mighty pity parties for himself and cries his crocodile tears to anyone that will listen. He has convinced the rest of his family that I am the bad guy, but I see myself as the one that got away! I feel like I have been released from prison. I never knew how wonderful it is to make my own decisions and live my own life. You are correct, however, that there is always that nagging feeling that the phone is going to ring. I seem to always be waiting for the other shoe to drop. In the meantime, I am living a wonderful and peaceful life and I am so grateful to God for giving me the strength to walk away from him with my head held high.
    Thank you again 🙂

    • Hi Amy,

      I am glad you found this useful to you. I am also happy for you that you were able to move on with your life. I imagine there must be a book for children who’s fathers were NPD, just as the one I noted for daughters of mothers. I feel bad for people who have to be raised in these environments, as I know first hand what it is like. It does help to do therapy on oneself though to just process all those years and get some validation. I wish you the best.

      Jeannine

  13. Reblogged this on Parenting Abused Children: Hope, Healing & Insight and commented:
    “A child who grows up with a parent who has NPD, has no parent at all… The child’s life is consumed with pleasing the parent in a way that no other child, not sharing the same type of parent, can understand. Your childhood revolves around this parent. The opposite parent must revolve around the NPD spouse. Your needs and wants must be that of the parent with NPD.” Includes tips for children who are the scapegoat of a narcissist.

    The only part I do not agree with says, “Keep in mind that this isn’t the worst parent you could be dealing with. You could be dealing with a substance abuser or a severely mentally ill parent…” Narcissistic parents can be abusive parents, and can inflict severe mental, emotional, psychological or psychological damage onto their children. Narcissistic parents can also neglect their children because they put their own needs first. I don’t think it’s fair to judge what is the “worst parent” but better to protect the child from harm, and offer support and love. xo

    • Yes you are absolutely right. It has to do with the frame of mind I was in when writing this several years ago. Trying to find a positive side of things. I have other Narcissistic articles on this website that go into different directions with this. I was not trying to minimize anything.

    • Thanks this was exactly what I was about to post about! Each person’s experience, regardless the perceived severity, is a valid a Real experience to that person and is damaging, regardless.

      Good to be positive however this is a slight trigger for me since my NF or codependent mother would say the same darn thing; “It’s not that bad…” or “At least he doesn’t _______,” both of which are fallacious arguments meant to quickly dismiss the victim’s claim to injury and to make them question the legitimacy of the very real abuse

      So.. Glad I got that off my chest and that I see the spin you put on things . Thank you both for clarifying his point! 🙂

      • Your welcome! This has been a positive article for so many people. You might want to check out my meditation CD for survivors of Narcissists. Of course therapy helps too!

  14. Thank you for the article. It is clarifying to read these things as a 27 year old just now realizing my father is a full blown narcissist and I have been doubting my instincts and judgement all these years because of it. I have broken off all contact and am trying to work through the issues I have been pushing away all my life. I agree with S L C. When I read that line comparing NPD to other things, it made me feel angry and invalidated. I am just recently, since I found out about my father’s NPD, allowing myself to realize that I was the victim here and it wasn’t my fault. Somehow that sentence made me think what I’ve always been telling myself: “It could be worse. Stop making a big deal. You’re being a baby.” etc. minimizing the abuse that was happening for years. Maybe the fact I had such a strong response to that sentence shows just how much progress I have yet to make to heal. I do think full blown NPD can be considered a severely mental illness, but again, the way my brain is wired because of the years of mental abuse and manipulation is making me think that maybe I’m wrong about that as well, because how am I to trust my own judgement on it? Besides that, again, thanks for the article. Very insightful.

    • As I was listening to your comments, I began to realize that my comment in the article about comparing NPD to mental illnesses and being worse was something my NPD parent would do. They would say my life wasn’t so bad… or we weren’t really abused, real abuse is… I think I should eliminate that sentence. I have had quite a lot of comments on it one way or another.

  15. Thank you for this article. Everything you wrote fits my parents’ narc traits, & how they have scapegoated me all my life. I believe both of my parents have NPD & are very, very high on the spectrum, though I’m not a mental health professional. I have been self-educating on parents with NPD for half a year, & the more I read, the more I’m sure they have NPD. My mother fits almost all of the narc traits listed in Dr. McBride’s book. I had suicidal thoughts very often growing up. You’re so right they hated me for leaving the nest. My NM punished me in every way for 4-5 months after she knew I was determined to apply for college. But going to college was my first & only escape route from that hell many people call home/family. Anyway, thank you.

  16. Thank you for this article. Everything you wrote fits my parents’ narc traits, & how they have scapegoated me all my life. I believe both of my parents have NPD & are very, very high on the spectrum, though I’m not a mental health professional. I have been self-educating on parents with NPD for half a year, & the more I read, the more I’m sure they have NPD. My mother fits almost all of the narc traits listed in Dr. McBride’s book. I had suicidal thoughts very often growing up. You’re so right they hated me for leaving the nest. My NM punished me in every way for 4-5 months after she knew I was determined to apply for college. But going to college was my first & only escape route from that hell many people call home/family. Anyway, thank you.

    • Thank you for your comments. I will write to you in person. I don’t know about you but my parent used to make fun of the words I was using when I came home to visit. “Big college words,” once in awhile now, though she is much tamer, she feigns to not understand a word I am using.

  17. Reblogged this on An adult daughter's struggle to recover from narcissistic parents and commented:
    Very useful tips!! I wish I had known these in my 20s or early 30s. But “I wish” isn’t going to change anything, right? No one can change the past. So, survivors, instead of wasting time thinking about “I wish…”, think about “what I choose to become”. As Car Gustav Jung’s saying goes (quoted on Jeannine’s blog), “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become”.
    BTW, Carl Jung is one of my favorite psychoanalysts.
    My master thesis was a research on mother-daughter relationships in Margaret Atwood’s novels based on the theories of Melanie Klein & Donald Winnicott, yet at that stage, I didn’t see how Car Jung’s teachings could shed light on my psychological struggles. I always felt something was missing, also because I didn’t learn about NPD & Alice Miller when I was writing my thesis!

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