As children of narcissists, we can tend to be easily triggered to feel and remember the abuse that occurred, or keeps occurring, in our lives. And that’s to be expected. Our lives are filled with stressful and traumatic experiences that can trigger us to keep reliving the trauma.
But there is a specific sort of pain our narcissistic parents left us with. And that’s the pain of every day existence. Continue reading
My wife and I sat on the couch talking. Somehow the topic of my sister came up. She is my mother’s golden child, meaning that she became enmeshed with my narcissistic mother as a child. Today she is both enmeshed and a narcissist.
My wife said to me, “You remember how your sister held up our wedding?”
I shook my head, confusion registering on my face.
My wife was at the back of the church, waiting to walk down the aisle. I was in a room off the main sanctuary and had no idea what we were waiting for. Apparently everything was being held up because my sister had not arrived. Continue reading
As children of narcissistic parents, we tend to see narcissism everywhere. Any display of pride or show of self-love reeks to us of narcissistic personality disorder’s stench.
But there is such a thing as healthy narcissism. Well-adjusted adults have a good supply of healthy narcissism within them. It’s important to know the difference from unhealthy narcissism so that you allow this trait to exist within you. Doing so is part of developing a healthy sense of self.
Why We Lack Healthy Narcissism
Think of your children or other little children you’ve known. Remember how they hungered for your attention and your words of praise? Such wonder is captured in their calls to you of “Look at me!” and “See what I did?” Continue reading
One of the crippling states of having been raised by a narcissistic parent is your belief that your needs don’t matter. Not only do you needs not get met, you don’t even express your needs. In fact many adult children of narcissists don’t acknowledge they have needs. Why?
“Adult children of narcissists are well-practiced in the art of pretending they have no needs, believe that they must present as demand-less in order to gain others’ acceptance, and that if they show their true wants and needs to others, they will be rejected.” Source
By the time you reached adulthood, you became highly skilled at pretending you possessed no wants of needs. That’s because you spent your entire life pretending to not have needs. Since you were a young child, your narcissistic parent raised you to be demand-less. You learned to fear your parent’s rejection should you voice your needs. Continue reading
Narcissistic parents tend to adopt one of two styles of parenting: enmeshment or neglectful. Both styles are loaded with negative consequences for children of narcissists. This post explores the consequences of enmeshment for the child. In a future post we’ll explore the consequences of neglect.
What is Enmeshment?
Enmeshment is a dysfunctional state where a two or more people have porous and indistinguishable boundaries. Enmeshment can occur between a parent or child, whole families, or adult couples. This article will be talking about enmeshment between a narcissistic mother and her son. The narcissistic parent could become enmeshed with her daughter or all her offspring, though. The same goes for a narcissistic father.
Since the boundaries between two enmeshed people are permeable, they tend to catch each others emotions. If the narcissistic parent becomes angry at a store clerk who slighted her by waiting on another customer first, her son will grow angry as well.
Emotions are a complicated thing for those in an enmeshed relationships. Unable to tell the difference between each others emotions, each member in the relationship will have times when they feel they need to be rescued from their emotions by the other person. Similarly, they’ll each have time when they feel they have to rescue the other person from their emotions.
Those in an enmeshed relationship come to depend the other enmeshed person for their identity. They become so lost that they lose, or fail to develop, their sense of self.
An enmeshed person depends on the person their enmeshed with for their self-worth. Since narcissists emotionally abuse their children, their enmeshed offspring often have low self-esteem. Continue reading
You’ve come to the realization that one or both of your parents have narcissistic personality disorder. Perhaps you have established boundaries with you parents. Or maybe you’re just starting to. But there’s one set of boundaries you need to establish fast. And there can be no giving in on them.
What boundaries are these?
The ones around your kids.
The Danger of Narcissistic Grandparents
Do you remember the emotional abuse that your narcissistic parent heaped on you as a child? On top of that, think back to all the manipulations, criticisms, and blame that your parent laid on you.
Do you really want your parent spending time with your children knowing their potential for harm?
Do you want the same person that abused you to have a shot at your children?
Your narcissistic parent will not be warm and supportive of your parenting. Why would he? Your narcissistic parent has never supported you—unless it served his ends. Continue reading