Narcissistic parents don’t value children for the pure joy of having a child. No. They look at children as mirrors to reflect their false image of being exceptional, grandiose, and omniscient.
Children, to the narcissist, are like kegs of narcissistic supply. You tap them when you need to quench your thirst for attention and admiration, stashing them away when you go to drink somewhere else.
Narcissistic fathers only spend time with their children when it will fulfill some narcissistic need. As a kid, you catch on quickly and learn not to say to your dad, “Hey, you want to help me build this model?” He’d just stare as if you asked him to help you rob a bank. With a disgusted shake of his head, he’d go back to watching golf on TV. Continue reading
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
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
We all, at any age, like to think that our parents love and treasure us. We also like to think they will be there to support us if we have problems or are in need of assistance.
As much as this might hurt to read, none of the above is true for the adult child of a narcissistic parent.
You already know that your parent is not like other parents. Your parent is self-absorbed, talks about themselves in grandiose terms, and is overly critical. You may have come to accept it.
What you may not have come to accept is your parent’s limitations when it comes to loving others, even you. But coming to accept your parent’s limitations in this area will take your further down the road of healing.
Therefore, it’s vital that we explore this painful topic. Continue reading