Back in sixth grade, my class put on a play. After the play, my girlfriend and I snuck off to an empty classroom.
We were quite excited as we never had the chance to be alone during school. In my excitement I forgot about my narcissistic mother.
But I quickly remembered her when she burst through the class room door. Anger roiled off her like a demon who broke his bonds.
In her anger, she didn’t care about maintaining appearances in front of my girlfriend. She started raging right in front of her. She yelled, “How dare you leave me in the auditorium alone? I was waiting and waiting for your thoughtless ass.” Of course she threw in question of how could I do this after everything she does for me.
She told me she put aside some money to take me out after the play. “There’s no way we’re doing that now,” she said. “I only take out my children that love me. And you’re clearly not one of them.” 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
Isn’t is puzzling? No matter how much you ignore your narcissistic parent they keep coming back to you. Even if you say “I don’t want any contact with you,” they’re back.
It’s like trying to stop that stray dog from following you home.
When your narcissistic father is pursuing you, it’s almost possible to believe he loves you.
But he doesn’t. He’s not capable of loving you. He’ll tell you he loves you. But when you think back you realize that he’s never demonstrated unconditional love for you. His “love” has always been conditional on how much adoration and praise you shower on him. Continue reading
In my last post I discussed why, as adults, we still fear our narcissistic parents. I wrote about how one way to get through this fear is to get angry at your parent.
But what if you can’t get angry? Or what if the anger doesn’t burn away all your fear?
Then it becomes time to face your fear and work through it. Only by allowing ourselves to confront our fears can we truly be free of them.
Here is how you work through your fear.
Ask, What Am I Afraid Of?
The fear we feel when we’re afraid of something tends to be a generalized fear. For instance we may feel fear when we think of having contact with our narcissistic parent. That fear fills us and our mind stays locked in fear mode. Continue reading