Skip to main content

Growing up with a narcissistic parent

If you are the child of a narcissistic parent (one or both) you have endured a lot during your growing up. Your childhood was full of struggles that children from families with a healthy climate did not know. Maybe you even envied one of them and quietly wished you could live just like them. Carefree, playful, mischievous, especially in a warm and safe embrace of parents spent childhood.

As a child of a narcissist, it is very likely that you have never experienced sincere love and healthy, loving relationships that would serve as a model for you on how to create your relationships in adulthood. You have experienced suffering, various forms of wrong upbringing and abuse on a daily basis. Most likely from birth onwards.

This is true for many who read this post and face many challenges today as an adult. Feelings of misunderstanding, loneliness, anxiety, chronic depression, feelings of helplessness, inferiority and inability to set one's own boundaries, distrust of oneself and one's own abilities, distrust of people and the feeling that you are alone for everything in the world, that you cannot rely on anyone you are to blame for everything and that you are obliged to take care of the needs, desires and expectations of the people around you no matter what price you pay for it.

These are just a few examples that show the consequences of upbringing by a narcissistic person or a person who is addicted to a narcissist. If one of your guardians was a narcissist, chances are he was the other parent - the guardians are dependent.

In any case, growing up in such an environment is dangerous, unreliable and unstable for a child.

Imagine a house whose foundations are fragile and shaky and transfer the image to a home where one or even two narcissist reign supreme.

The child gets a distorted picture of itself, its own role in the world, its own abilities, it gets the information that, as he/she is not good enough to be loved and accepted. The world is a dangerous place and full of people just waiting to benefit at its expense.

When a child is merely a means — an object in the hands of a narcissist for gaining attention, favors, admiration, and benefit, when it is only an extension of self-interest, the consequences in adulthood can be fatal.

Let’s look at some examples of the consequences of parenting in a home where narcissism and interdependence are present.

  1. Worthlessness - The feeling that a narcissistic person gives to a child is that its words, opinions, actions and feelings do not count. The message the child gets is, “I’m not worthy, I’m not visible, I don’t have a voice! When I show my true essence, I'm not safe, I'm not accepted. "
  2. Inconsistency and instability - In one moment the child receives extreme attention and love from the parent and in the next moment it is weaned, pushed away, it is given the information that it is completely redundant. The message the child gets is that the world is not safe, it is not reliable. So are the people closest to him. "I have to take care of everything myself and I must not depend on anyone."
  3. Exploitation - When a parent exploits a child as an extension of himself/herself, boasting about the child’s accomplishments, living through the child his unfulfilled dreams and complexes is the message the child receives that it is worthy and important only as much as its accomplishments are important.

    "I am worth as much as my achievements are worth."

  4. Manipulation - Parents who achieve their goals at the expense of humiliation, arousal of guilt, shame, and projecting their own negative states onto the child communicate to the child that he or she is essentially defective. The child absorbs feelings of guilt and smallness and consequently looks at itself and the world through a distorted prism.
  5. Neglect - When a parent is absent due to irresponsible behavior (physically, mentally,) and the child's needs for love, attention, food, clothing, security are unmet and overlooked,… the message that accompanies it through life is

    “I have to do everything myself. The world I live in is not safe for me. Sooner or later, everyone will leave me. "

  6. Superficiality - In families where there is a need to show a perfect picture of the family and its members, and the truth behind the 4 walls is completely different, children are mere puppets in the hands of a narcissist playing a game for the audience. The message a child gets is, “I have to be perfect. All that matters is how others see me."
    Control - Through constant control over the child's thinking, reactions and decisions, the narcissist exercises dominance and takes in its hands the power to decide about child's life. The message the child receives is that he or she is incapable of making competent decisions about his or her own life, thus increasing low self-esteem and a gap in self-esteem. "The power to decide my life is in the hands of other people."

Those of you recovering from narcissistic abuse today, either as a child of narcissistic parents or as a current or former narcissistic partner, know how difficult it is to admit abuse.

In the age of selfies, headlines with success stories and images of young people without wrinkles and a gram of extra fat to talk about smoldering wounds and open a septic tank from which the stench is not modern.

It's more than!

It is necessary. Just like visiting a doctor when he squirts blood from your artery. Like your blood, the life energy sucked by the narcissist through sophisticated strategies is key to your life. And you want to live your life, not just survive! You want to create, not just vegetate!

Life is too precious and too short to live it by other people’s expectations. Don't waste it. Take action now!

Be an example that the impossible is possible.