After the Narcissistic Parent

It’s Narcissist Friday!

A friend asked me to go with him to see his mother as she lay dying in the hospital.  He wanted me to reassure her about her faith.  He may also have wanted me to understand something about him.  You see, I was privileged to witness her last words to her son.  At first it seemed like a holy time, one into which I should not intrude.  But her words shocked me.  The last words he heard his mother say to him were words of anger and accusation, telling him how he never measured up and was such a disappointment to her. 

I have always carried a special grief because of that situation.  It is hard for me to understand how a parent could leave a child with such words.  It is hard to know how I would have handled something like that. 

But I have learned since that time that many people have that kind of relationship with a parent.  For some reading this, that scenario doesn’t seem hard to understand at all.  It may be one you remember or it may be one you expect.  After all, why should the end be any different from the whole?

But now that parent is gone.  And you bear a peculiar grief.  Your grief is not so much for the loss of a parent, but for the loss of what could have been.  You could have had a good relationship.  You should have received encouragement and praise and guidance.  You could have grown up feeling good about yourself and knowing that you had loving support.  It could have been the way that relationship should have been.  But it didn’t happen.  Your loss is something most people don’t understand.  You didn’t lose a mom or a dad; you lost the opportunity for things to be right.

And, yet, you know things were never right.  Something about your parent was broken.  It may have happened way back in childhood, but it had nothing to do with you.  The problem was there before you came along.  It affected you, took some things from you, left you with conflicted feelings about yourself and life—but it wasn’t your problem.

I once stabbed myself with a meat prong in the palm of my hand.  The prong went through and pushed up the skin on the back of my hand.  That was a few years ago and no lasting damage was done.  Yet, when I think about that event, my hand almost involuntarily closes to protect my palm.  Pain leaves a memory.

Yes, you will hear that voice in your ear from time to time.  You will struggle against the criticisms and condemnation.  You will wonder if you are still being manipulated.  You will wonder whether you have the same characteristics or if you have passed them down to your kids.  And you won’t forget.

All of this is natural and normal.  Nothing is wrong with you.  You can’t just forget a parent and you can’t just wash away years of life.  You had to learn to deal with a person who was very difficult and the habitual responses will take time to unlearn. 

Many people feel a strange mix of relief and loss when a parent dies.  The relief comes from the release of a source of stress.  This happens even in good relationships.  You don’t have to make that trip or do that work or watch the suffering anymore.  With a narcissistic parent, the battle is finally over.  The relief is normal and not bad.

And you can heal.  You can move forward with your own life.  You can acknowledge and accept the mixed feelings in your heart and not worry about them.  You may have some things to work through, but you can do it.

Find a good counselor to talk with.  Find a good friend who will listen and affirm you.  Build your own life again.  Don’t focus on the negative of what was, focus on the positive of what will be.

One caution: You have had a narcissist in your life as long as you can remember.  Even though it was difficult, it was what you saw and felt as normal.  Normal has a strong pull.  If normal meant being criticized and depersonalized, you may find yourself seeking that again.  You may be wide open to other narcissistic relationships.  Be careful.

Perhaps for the first time, you are able to look at your parent objectively.  You can remember the charm new people saw.  You can remember what was said behind their backs.  You don’t need a friend or lover like that.  Watch for the clues—you will recognize them—and let yourself reject new narcissistic relationships.

There is life after the narcissistic parent.  Good life.  You are loved and you are valued. 


Help me out here.  What would you say to someone who is just starting to move past the narcissistic parental relationship?


Filed under Narcissism

41 responses to “After the Narcissistic Parent

  1. I guess I would say it takes patience and trust. You have to realize almost everything that you labeled “normal” was in fact, NOT normal. And not only did you label it “normal”, you have been trained to create the world in the way that the parent demanded and most likely considered this your role in life. The illness lies with the parent, not you. I am not saying it is easy. No matter the form, narcissists drain us. But at least if you are working on yourself and making a better life for yourself, the exhaustion is worth it and it does get better 🙂

  2. Fellow Survivor

    I would like to see the difference in stories between the “Golden Child” and the “Scapegoat” living with a Narcissists parent. My ex-wife was the “Golden Child” and her father is trying to make my daughter the Golden Child Grandchld. My ex would get first class trips to Europe and New Yourk from her dad with my daughter in tow ofcourse. My exes siters would get nothing and their children have to apply for scholarships to go to camp. Its all so very wierd.

    • cathy compton

      My parents/step parents were like that. Favored children were taken on vacation. Others stayed home – no explanation.
      When I was 28 I found out that my biological father had never told his adopted son about me. It was just understood that I was not to call him.
      I wish that I had escaped this situation with the ability to take care of myself well. I’m poor and my parents were rich.

  3. Penny

    I love the metaphor of the stabbing pain in your hand. There is exquisite, memorable pain for so many of us, and it DOES have a memory, as you said so well. I used to be a hospice nurse, and had to learn a lot about pain, about avoiding it & relieving it & controlling it. But the most important thing I learned is that when we are in pain, it has our full attention–we cannot focus on anything else BUT pain–it can be overwhelming. Once the pain is relieved, we can relax and focus on something else. Quite a lesson there for those of us experiencing the pain inflicted by a N. No wonder we want to run away, hide, self-medicate–anything to get rid of the pain. Lord have mercy on us……

    • Coudn’t have put this better…well said. I have a narcisistic father who has my three children now, and I am only starting to recover now, and through it all, God has watched over me, and I know He will watch over my kids, as will I.

  4. Jerry Huber

    This writing triggered some old pain in me from Narcissistic parenting…but it was good to read about it and grieve; as I now struggle with Narcissistic rage now that I am a husband and parent.
    It was not our fault…but now, it is our responsibility to grieve what could have been, how to seek change & unlearn the past, & by God’s Grace…pass on a legacy of love & caring to those coming up under our care.

  5. It seemed as though this article was written about me!
    My mum died recently- and her last words to me were unkind.
    If lots of people respond with how they have coped- please send me so of their helpful tips.
    I had loads of excellent Christian counselling during my life and am deeply grateful for the help I received to believe I AM lovable, AM acceptable, AM beautifully and wonderfully made- and I can now hold my head up and look people in the eye- believing I am NOT always wrong, and everything about me is not wrong, either.
    It’s so sad though, never to have been acceptable to my own mother, then to my husband, and then to my daughter. My daughter and I are completely reconciled now and have a wonderful godly relationship.
    Your Narcissist posts have helped me so much over the past year or so.
    Thank you!

  6. prairiemom

    To those of you who have left comments and have grown up with a narcissist, what would you say to or do for a child who is in the process of growing up with a narcissistic step parent? Is there anything anyone could have done or said during your childhood (particularly early teen years) that would have softened the hurt, that would have made the healing faster and less painful in the future?

    • wendy

      Hi prairiemom you are so awesome to want to help this child I grew up with a narcissist mother and I was the scapegoat my sister the golden child the best thing that someone could have done for me would be to have a safe place to talk and someone to understand to teach me about God’s love but be very careful not to let the narcissist know because any sign of self esteem or feeling good about yourself will not be tolerated and the child will suffer more for it. The best thing is to never confront especially as a child.

      • wendy D stahl

        I still have childhood friends that tell me how much they loved my mother. (she passed away about 5 years ago) I was the scapegoat and my sister the golden child. All I can do is smile and agree. They would never believe the things my mother would say to me in private. All to make me ashamed and no self worth at all. By the grace of God I have been with Jesus for 20 years now and have healed. The best thing you can do for a child is to believe what they say. I tried to tell my best friend what my mother would do and she would just say in disbelief. your mother loves you.

    • Donna

      PRAYER! I had many Godly men and women that inadvertently helped me when my narcissistic mother was raging cruelty at me. By their love and training toward a child, teen, and, then, adult, these people helped me “see” hints of God’s grace, compassion, and protection. If you know that a child suffers in a relationship like this, first, pray fervently and without ceasing for him or her. Pray for and with the child as much as you can. Next, make sure that the child receives as much affirmation, assurance, and truth about God’s unconditional love and grace as you can inundate her/him with. Last, but definitely not least, take every opportunity to lead the child to Jesus. Talk to the child about how she/he is wonderfully made and precious in His sight. Help the child know how to be saved and walk in this life with Jesus as Redeemer and Savior. The Holy Spirit will work in these seemingly untenable circumstances. Jesus saved me in more ways than one. He became my best friend. He was there during the worse beatings, the most cruel criticisms, and the most horrific manipulation. He carried me, and it had to be God that kept me from becoming what I despised the most. It is only through Holy Father God, precious Savior Jesus, and dear ever-present, gentle Holy Spirit that I can forgive my mother and live to reflect God’s glory.

      • Thank you, Donna. I would add only that you can share the same information and love with adults whose parents or spouses have stolen hope and worth by constant and pernicious criticism. That childhood pain rarely dissipates as we get older, we just learn to hide it. There are so many who need the good word that you describe.

  7. prairiemom

    Just to clarify, I am a family friend, not a parent to this child, so the obvious solution of “leaving the Narc” is not my choice to make. I am only in a supporting role.

  8. Penny

    Yes–that child needs a safe “sounding board” to validate reality and affirm that they are the healthy one. They benefit from regular “reality checks” with that safe person so they don’t get sucked into the tornado. And “role playing”, learning certain “scripts” that they can say repeatedly to establish & even demand boundaries. I practiced scripts with my son who got routinely humiliated with “baby talk”–he politely requested to be spoken to in an age-appropriate way (“I am not a baby–please talk to me in a regular voice”) If that failed, I coached him to repeat his boundary with a consequence (“I have asked you to speak to me in a regular voice, but you have not. I am hanging up the phone and we will try it another time~ Goodbye”) . This was very hard, but very empowering & liberating for him, but he didn’t have to LIVE with this N. It could backfire and result in punishment in a home setting, but then it needs to be reported as abusive. So sorry kids have to endure this. It’s hard enough to “find your voice” as an adolescent, harder still when the N tries to destroy it. Sometimes I “borrow” a voice: find great quotes from strong leaders (Margaret Thatcher quotes are fabulous, Winston Churchill, Charles Spurgeon, Tozer) that are short but powerful & good to memorize b/c there WILL be occasion to quote a leader, and to say “well, Margaret Thatcher said X about Y” often shuts them down.

  9. Angela

    My mother was the beginning of my lifelong attraction to narcissists, and because she died young, I never got over the guilt of being a complete disappointment to her. I guess I have tried to be as perfect and as acceptable as I could possibly be all my life to everyone so as to finally be approved somewhere to someone, everyone. Which in turn tends to complete a sick cycle. I was relieved that the kids I had were boys because I was terrified that I would be the same mother to a daughter that she was to me. That also backfired. My brother is a cruel, cold, very deceptive narcissist, the Golden Child. He also has two kids, one who would lay down her life for him, the other has given up speaking to him as he has seen through the deception.
    I understand now where and how this sad cycle began, the pain that led up to so much turmoil, ruined relationships. It is a contagious disease, like one sick person sneezes and 50 others get sick too.
    The only answer is the love of God, His love helps you to let go, forgive, be whole, be healed. It sounds trite maybe because we have heard it so many times without really knowing God in relationship. He truly is our rock, our hope, our all in all. Jesus is our friend always, a friend like we have maybe never had a friend. In Him we are approved, we are loved, LOVED. He loves us with an everlasting love, His eyes are always watching us like a loving parent watching over their precious baby, it is a love that never fails. A love you can trust and rely on always and forever. A love that is pure and strong and true. A love that transcends our screwing up, our slow or late learning, our questions and all our pain. Our parents are only human, like us. We all have our own walk, and we all have our own decision to make, for good or for bad. Ultimately no matter what our parents were like, we need to find our identity in God, not people. Easier said than done, but I believe it is part of “the renewal of our minds”. I can’t say that I have attained total freedom in the 30 years since she passed away, but I can say I have forgiven her, and I trust that Gods mercy endures forever, so I trust that He knows how to untangle the rest of the mess somehow, some day.

    • prodigalkatherine

      I love your perspective, Angela, and it is an encouragement to me to see someone with similar struggles but more maturity in faith express such hope.

      “The only answer is the love of God, His love helps you to let go, forgive, be whole, be healed.”

      He is the author and perfector of our faiths… in Him all things are possible. We can not change other people, that’s His job, and one He is fully capable of handling.

      Thank you. Your words are a ministry to me today.

      • Angela

        Amen, Katherine, He is the author and finisher of our faith, and in Him all things are possible. You have given me more credit than I deserve, as I preached to myself in that message also. It is an ongoing process. One thing that did help me a lot was after much prayer one night, almost demanding that God give me something to hang onto- I had a dream. In that dream I saw the photo of my mom when she was a girl in her white confirmation dress. So young, pretty and already wounded by the effects of the war and the devastation it caused her. But still young and driven by hope in a better future. Then all of a sudden that photo became real, and she turned and looked at me. I was devastated by grief, compassion for that girl whose life never did become what she hoped and dreamed of. That girl. Not my mother, not anything to do with me. Just her, that young girl in her white confirmation dress, the serious look in her face. It is that girl I loved and was able to forgive. After all, I look and see what life did to me and the choices it all brought me to make, and I hope others can forgive me also.
        Yes, God is the author an finisher of our faith, may His name be glorified in our lives. I pray for peace for you and the others that struggle with this issue.

    • Jacqueline Haydl

      Angela,so well said. In my case, only God has been able to guide me into the healing and love that I needed to recover from a living N parent. Thank you.

  10. E

    I am in the process of moving past my narcissistic parent’s influence. I will try to describe the experience as briefly as possible so others may extract something useful or just relate without being bogged down in each no-win situation and struggle. It has been three years since the relationship with my parents reached its inevitable conclusion, a point at which the escalatingly toxic dynamic became unsustainable even for someone specially groomed to tolerate, absorb, and even welcome chronic unreasonable behavior as a challenge.

    What changed after 30 years of playing the same part in the family? I’m convinced that God changed everything. He put the right support people in the right place at the right time. Suddenly I was aware of just how badly I was affected by even the smallest effort to perpetuate my mother’s dark reality. I realized that even listening and observing literally immersed me in her dismal world view. It was stifling. My father and sister desperately upheld the fantasy no matter what was safe or healthy.

    My husband urged me to look up NPD after another Christmas holiday was ruined. I decided to set some quiet boundaries with my mother. I may as well have fired a canon into her face.

    I will not go into all the details for the sake of time. Suffice it to say that my mother escalated the irrational behaviors. A lot. At the end, she launched everything she had and pulled out all the stops. My father, my sister, my husband, and I were all collectively punished with the silent treatment for my so-called hurtful actions (read: boundaries.) Everyone turned on me under the pressure except my husband, of course, who was instrumental in providing support and validation through these awful events.

    When the dust settled and I was left wondering what the last 30 years meant to my parents, I received messages from my mother’s support people. Here are a few I will summarize so you know what to expect.

    “I know she is softening and ready to forgive you. She wants you to come to her and ask for it. Then she needs to have it out because that is her therapy.”

    “I want her to have the support of a family and it saddens me to think she does not have that.”

    “Can’t you just play the part so your dad will be happy?”

    “How is that productive, what you are doing?”

    “What do you have to lose by just apologizing to your mother?”

    “I know she is sorry for what she did. She is just too stubborn to come to you. Can’t you be the bigger person?”

    “If E finds the strength to face her mother, this will all go away.”

    All of these people have no idea who my parents are really. It was amazing how they could make so many suggestions that had little consequence in their own lives, yet would deface me completely as an object, an offering to the volcano that was my mother’s ego.

    Those were her support people, not mine. And she knew everything they said because she had appealed for their help.

    My support people said:

    “Love them from a distance.”

    “The relationship is over.”

    “You cannot control insanity.”

    “Other people understanding you is not a prerequisite for making decisions.”

    “God has removed them from your life when you could not.”

    Thank God for my support people.

    Now what?

    There will be lies spoken about you, a new family narrative created in which you were the “problem” all along. They will say your spouse is behind this. They will say if something bad happens to you, that is God’s will (read: they are avenged.) They will attack your support people, discredit therapy and counseling, equate being free of them with the ultimate sin. You will hear weird stories about yourself. You will be attacked as a liar, you may get nasty emails. People who know your family will claim to know all about what happened, but dismissively wave off the details because they don’t matter. Your old church where you grew up will probably be praying for reconciliation and possibly feeling sorry for you since you are without the love of such radiant parents. But you will know the truth.

    I know that if I go back to the old ways, it will mean a life time of punishment and grief. I cannot willingly drag my husband and young son into that if its too toxic for me. Knowing that keeps me steady when the guilt of not taking on my “share” of my mother’s burdens comes up now and then.

  11. Carine and Mark

    Dear E,
    Please excuse the length of my post, I never did one before and find much is on my heart after reading yours. I hope you and others will understand – perhaps others can glean as well…

    PTL for you sharing your story, I have gleaned so much healing from reading your posting. In particular I can relate to your story about the comments from other people. Your words that others did not even know who your parents were, mirrored so many of my situations and I feel in my heart your comment…

    “All of these people have no idea who my parents are really. It was amazing how they could make so many suggestions that had little consequence in their own lives, yet would deface me completely as an object, an offering to the volcano that was my mother’s ego.”

    This was my entire life especially as a kid trying desperatly to get others to listen to me. No one ever heard me and I was so convinced that no out there even cared – teachers, school counselorers, friends, family, neighbors, I poured my heart out to anyone who whom I thought cared. I was even desperate enough to write my father letters explaining how much I loved him but didn’t like the way he spoke to me. He cermonously burned them in the fireplace after my 11yr old damaged ego outwardly chose to believe his interpertation that I was the one with a problem. Inwardly I knew I was not and was doing this to just get it over with (I even allowed myself to give in to my father’s explainations how it would be better for me to put them into the fireplace myself) all so I could go into my room and cry because I knew without a shadow of a doubt the truth of our family dynamics.

    As an adult, my husband and I cheerfully (this took lots of prayers on the way there) arrived to Easter dinner only to be greated by my uncle who had arrived before us “you need to be nicer to your parent.” He even didn’t say hello or anything else, just that. Being villianized before we arrive to family functions was not new to us, we knew it happened but no one ever verbalized it in such a spiteful manner. Beware the beguiling narcissist….No one has ever up to this point stood up to them but me and now my husband – through much coaching – my father can be a tough individual for a sweet person who was raised with loving parents.

    It has been just a year and a half since I gave my toxic parents a distinct and God approved boundary. I can see that I am at the beginning of the grief period of having left my parents whom I finally understand are both narcissistic personalities. Although this has not been officially confirmed by my counselor, God has led me to some incredible understanding from other sources. I was and still am the scapgoated child while my brother and sister were both the golden children. The grief of having lost both my sister and brother in the process because they buy the lies our parents spin is at this point harder than all of my 49 yrs. of hurt even with them having lived in another state for over 25 yrs. Phone calls of “why didn’t you go with mom when grandma was having her operation?” had to be met with my response of “but she told me infatically not to come,” and they still don’t want to see it. Although we siblings never really had solid relationships, I could always have wonderful things to say about them and genually enjoyed them whenever we made connections. I think it is the fact that they would rather live in the damaged family pattern – which oddly enough they know is damaged instead of getting help for their own hurts or standing up to our parents. This is most annoyingly hurtful for me. I have learned that this is the case with a lot of scapogoated children mainly because they are or become the “truth bearers” of the “real” reality that others don’t want to face. I don’t say this as an ego boost for myself but because God has made it clear to me this is the role or circumstance that most scapegoats find themselves in. I personally knew that God was comforting me when I was 6yrs. and heard the word “scapegoat” and what it meant. He used it to help me understand what was happening in the home that I wasn’t getting any emotional safety or nourishment from. It has only taken me 40 yrs. to find confidence in the knowing – knowing that I am and never was the problem. Damaged people do damage others. Some purposefully, some unknowingingly, others purposefully unknowingly.

    My husband and I are in the process of building our own support system – to have support other than Jesus and my husband will be new to me, but I believe God is bringing me to a point where I am finally able to know how to find good support and trust it. In the mean time please let your supporters know that what they have offered to you has most definitely been a comfort to me.

    You are in our prayers,
    Mark and Carine ~

  12. K8

    My narc mother just died a few days ago. I severed ties many, many years ago, and only had very sporadic contact. The problem I confront now is the lack of understanding and consideration by those who didn’t know her true nature (or who served, as I’ve seen described on other support websites, as her “flying monkeys”). Since her death, I’ve been assailed for the decisions I’ve made regarding arrangements, disposition of her assets, and a whole host of other issues. I have a pretty thick skin and have weathered it all well, but it serves to reinforce the decision I made so long ago to get as far away as I could. She found others to serve as her proxies, and they continue to do their jobs faithfully. Fortunately, once the estate is settled and her remains interred, they will go away. And if they don’t, I can always change my phone number!

    For those still dealing with a narc (and I have one more I hope to fully sever ties with in a few years), I would say this: NONE of what you experience is your fault, and you will grieve the “could have been” relationship for a long time. But at some point, you will begin to put aside the past and be thankful that you are now who and what you are. I’m sorry my mother was such a horrible person, but I would not be who I am today without that experience, and I did not cause what she inflicted on me. You will realize that you have formed other, healthier relationships that, while maybe not the ideal “parent/child” model, continue to serve you and support you.

    You are not alone.

  13. epiphany

    I read all these responses and I can relate to each and every one. For a very long time I couldn’t put a title on what was wrong with my Father. Through research I Found a site that described his behavior almost as if he were being profiled. My Father is a in a nursing home dying. There is six of us and my Mother, I am the oldest. We all were raised by my Mother to love my Father unconditionally, therefore despite his abusive behavior we all maintain a relationship with him, I and my Sister more than my four brothers. They still carry a lot of anger, but they are having a lot of emotional turmoil dealing with it. My Mother left him ten years ago after a 49 year marriage. He has reeked havoc on our life as long as I can remember, but these last 10 years have been the worst. He was only suppose to be in the nursing home two weeks after a gastrectomy due to cancer, but in his stubbornest he refuse to eat and take physical therapy which ultimately cause his health to deteriorate. I was in town for his surgery and to take him to his chemo appt for two and a half months. He caused me so much stress my bp went 210/112. He has behaved almost demonic to the staff, my sister (his caretaker), we are all living out of town) and they have had to medicate him to get him controllable because he causes such a disruption when he is lucid. Anyways, my emotions all all over the place, I feel numb, grief, what could have been, but he chose not to do…etc. My question; How do you grieve someone who has caused so much destruction and emotional turmoil all your life, yet you were still taught to love this person?

  14. Kathy

    Epiphany, I am so, so sorry you are going through such emotional turmoil. I can’t even imagine your pain. (((hugs)))
    I am not throwing your mom under the bus here. She did what she did — stayed with an abusive man, taught you to love him anyway — for her own reasons. Those reasons may have been believing that marriage is forever, you stay together for the sake of the kids, it’s the “right” thing to do, or could not leave because of finances.
    But at some point she abandoned her own reasons — she left him 10 years ago. She left because she now had “new” reasons.
    You can do that too, you know. You can abandon the belief that no matter how destructive he was/is, how hurtful, how abusive, he’s still dad and you still owe him loyalty, you still need to “grieve” as his health is deteriorating.
    You can, if you want, give yourself permission to walk away from him now. It really is okay if that is what you want to do, if that is what you need to do.
    You can grieve for all that you needed and did not receive from your parent. You can grieve for the deprived child you were and, in some sense, the child you are.
    But you can say “enough is enough.” I won’t let my health, my blood pressure, my sanity, my peace of mind, my life be affected any longer.
    It’s okay to care about you. (((hugs)))

  15. epiphany

    Thanx Karen, I appreciate your speedy reply. My Father, passed this mornin. I chose to be there for him til the end, because thats who I am. I have forgiven him a long time ago and I came to understand and accept that he was incapable for whatever reason to give me what I expected as a Father. I joined with that lil girl inside a long time ago. I’ve resign myself to answering that question about grieving when it was all over. I am at peace now because I continue to be a spiritual, empathetic and stable human being despite how my Father was. I owe that to my Mother and an inner awareness that I have a choice to be better and do better. For whatever reason my Father was a tortured soul all his life and he was unable to overcome his demons. I do not excuse his behavior, I abhorred the way he acted, but I understood that was him and I was not responsible for it. His end, unfortunately was how he lived and I realized that it does matter how we live and how we treat each other. This journey was a long one to get where I am now emotionally, but when I experience my grown sons and I see them happily married with children, I know the dysfunction in my family ended with me giving them what he was unable to give me and that is my legacy….not his. His pain and suffering is over now and for that I’m thankful . I was with him at the end because as spiritual beings that is what God would have wanted me to do.
    I’m ok and now with God’s help I can help my siblings to find their peace.
    Thanx for giving me the venue to share my feelings. ((Hugs backatcha)). Ps…I’ve always cared about me…..

  16. epiphany

    One last thing, I wanted you to know, Karen I appreciate your advice and at one point, I did consider that option. But then, it wasn’t really in my nature. Thank you….:-)

  17. Cynthia Georgandis

    When I was 7yrs old my narcissistic mother left the state of MA and remarried a military man. We moved to SC and then to Spain. I remember my father vividly and I loved him dearly. My mother refused to let any of us 3 girls see him or ever contact him.
    When I was 31yrs old I found and reconnected with my father, and we had a beautiful relationship for 15yrs before he passed. During that time I discovered that my youngest sister (who is the Golden child) was not my father’s daughter. In my eyes, she was my sister, it never mattered to me. But, my mother found this out and cut me out of her life for 25yrs.
    She recently passed away and the Golden child kept this secret. My other sister found out becuz she had an on again/off again relationship with her and had a ‘gut feeling’ something was wrong.
    My mother didn’t mention me or my middle sister in her obit, only the Golden child. She didn’t even acknowledge my sister’s grandchildren, only the Golden child’s children. And…we were both forbidden to attend the funeral service.
    For the last 25yrs I had no drama, no chaos, and no contact, and I cannot tell you how wonderful it has been to not be a part of that. Sure I struggled the first two years when my mother stopped talking to me, but I realized that I had done nothing wrong! Somehow I managed to move on…and life was fine until she died.
    It created anxiety in me, which at times would turn into panic attacks. I sought professional help and I still go to my weekly visits. I have also joined some groups and it’s been very helpful.
    So August 16, 2014 I went to Arlington Cemetery ( technology is a great thing) to visit my mother’s grave. I sat there for an hour thinking and talking out loud. I kissed her temporary marker and said good bye. I have no regrets, no sorrow, and no guilt. I did nothing wrong. Ever. May she finally rest in Peace.

  18. wendy

    I always knew something was horribly wrong with my N mom but didn’t discover the truth until I did research on the subject of controlling parent and came across Narcissism after reading several articles that nailed my mom to a tee I didn’t realize that I also suffered abuse from my older sister the golden child. I was saved by Jesus 14 yrs ago and have been to counseling not traditional but the Holy Spirit has revealed truth when I was ready to receive it. My mom is terminally ill and has only a few more months to live. I was so relieved when I found out that the burden of living in shame and not measuring up would be over. I then felt terribly guilty about wanting her to die. I am praying with all my heart that she will be saved. I will never know the mom that I wished I could have had but desperately pray that Jesus will have mercy on her soul. please pray for her

  19. JPML0006

    We were tolled on the 11th February 2015 BY WE I MEAN “the Adult Children” of a Mother WITH Narcissistic Personality Disorder”, that our NPDM’s, cancer has become terminal, that there was nothing more that could be done for her. This was just the conformation of a fact that we her three younger Adult Children had already known for some time. That her condition was getting worst and that it was just a matter of time before she comes to her end. As I read these post, I REALISE THAT I AM reading my own life story and I now realise and take comfort FROM THE FACT THAT. “I AM NOT ALONE” I am not alone.
    It is only through my investigation that I have now become aware of this condition and I am thankful to God for brining me to these wed sites. I have known for some time that there had to be something horrible wrong with the woman that calls herself my/our mother.
    I can remember, that I was in my thirties, when I came to the realisation that the only way that I could be free from my mother was for her to die. I can also remember the feeling of pure relief when I came to this horrible realisation that a child can wish ITS own mother dead. No child should be so emotionally abused that he/she feels that the only escape for them is to wish his/her mother dead. I have felt guilty and sad for having these feeling, but the fact still remains that I disliked my mother intensely because she is not a nice person.
    I will not go into all of the gory details, but needless to say that today my story reverberation’s many, if not all of your experience. I have cried, I cried when I realised that she is dyeing, not because I am losing a mother, but because I never had a mother and I will never have the opportunity to experience what a loving and encouraging mother could be. Even now I am still holding on to the hope that she will say sorry or tell me that she is proud of me. YES I KNOW! Give up all hope of every getting this from her.
    I do not have one single memory of my mother ever giving me a complement, or of her telling me that she was proud of me or of my achievement.
    She has use all the tactic mentioned in these post she has used them with all of her children, Gas-lighting and scapegoating. The Golden Child changed depending on who was meeting her Narcissistic needs at that time, backstabbing siblings to whoever happened to be the Golden Children, turning siblings against each other, triangulation, she has caused so much damage in our family. I do not think that anyone of use was cognisant of what she has been doing for all of these years until now.
    In one of the post someone said that her parent taunted her about her abuse and blamed her for it. My mother did the something to me. After I had informed her of my sexual abuse she had the guts to say to me, “HOW COULD I HAVE ALLOWED THAT TO HAPPEN TO ME”? She took no responsibility for not safeguarding me, I was a 10 year old child and she knew of risk that my father was to her daughters and still she did nothing nor did she give me any comfort or say sorry.
    As I read this article, I can see my entire life unfolding in front of my eyes and still, I find myself questioning whether what I believe to be the truth about my N mother is indeed a fabrication of a lost child imagination. Can a mother truly inflict such horror onto her children lives and yet, as I ask the question, I know that I have lived it for the past 47 years so the answer to my question is YES. For many years I could not understand why my mother’s children has distanced themselves from her well now I know.

    She always portrayed herself as the victim!! Victim of her mother, her husband, her children. She has always been the VICTIM. The problem that I face now is that my younger sister who she had a very dysfunctional relationship WITH IS NOW HER main care, my younger brother is very quiet, but he knows the kind of person that she is and as for me, I am angry, sad, annoyed that I have to give up my Saturdays in order to help my sister care for her. I know that I don’t have to, that I can turn my back and walk away. But like epiphany this is not who we are, we are well trained to meet her needs. I worry that I will never be able to find peace, or to forgive her. I know that I have to otherwise I will never find peace.
    My only saving grace, is that I have broken that toxic and dysfunctional behaviour with my children, and thank God although my children love her, they can also see her for who and what she really is.
    I notice that quite a few of these toxic parents are dying from cancer is this as a result of their toxic unhealthy emotions poisoning them?
    Can anyone tell me whether these mothers with NPD, take pleasure from knowing that their daughters have suffered such unspeakable horror? Do they get pleasure from seeing their daughters in pain? I pray to God that someone can give me an answer.

  20. Angela

    Wow, JPM, this could have been my letter. I have also wondered how much cancer is caused by the “stuff” an N parent harbours. I have also wondered if my mom would have been happy, satisfied if she knew the pain I lived with before she passed..and still almost 30 years later. I wonder if she even cared that most of my life I had trouble making friends with other women because of learned mistrust.
    It has only been in the last year that I feel like I am set free (I am 59).
    I have learned that God loves me, has set me aside for Himself. I have now finally women friends who I love dearly, and I know they love me. I have learned to accept love. I take great pleasure in lifting them up in prayer, listening to their hearts, marriage and kid problems. For the first time I am actually happy that I am a woman.
    God loves you. Period. You. He looks at YOU, and says “YOU, I love YOU. I know YOU, and I like what I have made. After all, YOU have been made in MY IMAGE.” Look in the mirror, smile, and say wow, my heart, soul, spirit are a lot like my daddy’s. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You are accepted, totally and completely. Faults, flaws, wrinkles, a little extra weight, whatever you are, maybe lousy at money managing or whatever has been thrown in your face all these years..NONE of it means anything to God. He looks at you and smiles in pleasure.
    There is hope. Today, there is hope. Take your eyes off your mom and what she did..look full in HIS wonderful face, and be blessed…blessed, blessed way beyond the curses.

    • jpml0006

      Good morning my responder
      I didn’t cstch your tagname,but I would like to thank you for your kind words of love and encouragement. It’s funny that you mentioned that I should love myself regardless of my faults because God love me regardless. I had difficulty making friends especially with women. It took ME many years to develop a relationship /friendships with women. But I have a few and their are lovel yo me. As for the problems with money!I was never taught how to manage money. My mother is/was very tight with it and secretive about money. I made a lot of mistakes with how I managed or should I say mismanagement of my income. I had to learn the hard way but I thank God for his guidance and I am managing better. I am trying to get closer to God and i am still trying to leaning to accept what has happened to me. She is slowly on her way out. I asked God not to allow her to suffer,to spear her that. I will be ok i must believe that I am a good person. I deserve to be loved and respected. All of us on this blog who have suffered deserve to be. I pray for us all for healing and for self acceptance. IN GOD’S NAME.

    • jpml0006

      Good morning Angela
      Firstly thank you for your kind words of love and encouragement. I am greatful for your comments. It’s so funny that you mentioned that you are still recovering from your own experiences. Like myself I am looking for guidance and healing from God. You mentioned my faults and accepting them. It has taken me a long time to accept myself. My mother never gave me the tools to manage money,she was secretive and tight. I made a lot of mistakes with money management but thank god I am doing much better. As for my relationships with women it’s also taken me many years to develop friendships with women due to my lack of trust. I pray for healing for myself and for all of my unknown brothers and sisters that have suffered at the hands of selfish parents. I hope that we all find peace and love in our lives.
      Thank you again be blessed

  21. Sarielle

    Dear all fellow ACoNs

    Firstly, may you all keep seeking the truth and the source of truth.

    I wanted to ask whether anyone else has experienced the following and whether anyone has any tips.

    My mother was NM, my father was not EF but rather chose to be a transparent patent. After their divorce which she initiated – we (the small extended family) had a series of tragedies, dwindling down to just my NM, myself (originally GC, then turned into IP/scapegoat at puberty), my 2 enmeshed younger brothers and a single cousin from the other branch if the family. My NM became depressed and morphed into BPD. Obviously she was the only one entitled to grieve – we all had to serve her in her pain, the only victim allowed in the realm! 😉 It only made it worse – all her friends showed sympathy and this fed the beast. Not one adult thought to question her if we were getting the support we needed – or challenge her behaviour towards me – we were only there to serve her – and we did, hand and foot. She damned us if we laughed or were happy. Thankfully (in hindsight) she tried anihilating me at 15 and stopped talking to me and then made me leave the house once her legal obligation had ended – as I completed school and reached 18.
    So we were pretty much NC. I moved to another country and my “running” only stopped when she died, a couple of years ago. Obviously there is much more detail but I will spare you all, to get to the point I want to make.

    Although I knew something was deeply wrong at home she had convinced the world and I was the outcast. I always knew I didn’t have the tools to parent but never really understood why, until she died – and I fell apart.

    I became dysfunctional. I had always been so tough and hard, nothing phased me and now despite relief at her death, something, which was not grief had broken me. I didn’t function.

    From research online I realised the NPD and BPD traits and realised that my fight against her hegemony all along had been right. So that was a great boost in my self valuation. But – and this is what I want to ask about, it’s as if the false programming I had received (from her) had collapsed – and I had nothing to replace it. Hence the “broken” me I had become.

    There are many various ways this plays out:
    1. I never really was allowed much of an ego, first I served her, and then others (thankfully most if my partners have not been N). So now I could stop running fROM had (have) little idea of where to head TOWARDS.

    2. Although finding the love of God (I am not Christian) a big comfort, to support me and prop me up, I have no idea what form my life should take. Parenthood does not appear to be my calling, as I fear too much the vacuum of knowledge to know how to go about a healthy family reality.

    3. My brothers are still enmeshed, the brainwashing was deep, they are fiercely loyal – still. So, the witnesses to our NM are refusing to face the truth and can offer no support.
    3.1 I can see them doing the same to their kids, they both have 2. My skin crawls when I see their chastisement of their kids. It’s all they knew too, and they aren’t brave enough to face it. NMs legacy lives on. I am healing it within myself – but I empathise with my nieces. I want to protect them but I know that until my brothers are willing to heal I can’t make them. But I do want to be an island of sanity for my nieces when they get old enough to ask questions. Does anyone have any advice on how to leave this door open?
    Anyone had an aunt or uncle that was their solace?
    This is further complicated by the fact that my brothers are invested in keeping me the pariah, the IP, so I really can’t get very close to the little ones, nor can I bear being in their households, because after a very short amount of time I am expected to serve their needy families. I didn’t realise how deep the NP currents run, my brothers were fine and even supportive towards me when I was
    100% broken and their support showed their grandiosity, but now I am 40% mended, they are threatened and feel compelled to launch attacks to maintain their superiority. It is very sad, because they are both sweet souls, who have learned human behaviour from a toxic NP and don’t even know it.
    I have considered cutting all ties – because I won’t be the thrashing board for more N behaviour, but am concerned for the mental and emotional welfare of the little ones. Also, it doesn’t feel too good to think that your whole bloodline is poisoned and declare complete isolation as your only chance.

    To clarify I should probably add that I am the eldest, and strong willed – so much so that I confronted NM with many truths as an adolescent, ones she clearly didn’t want know so she stopped talking to me and my brothers had to fall inline or risk being excommunicated too. But my 100% is probably more life force than the 2 of them combined. So getting past my 5o% is perceived as a threat for them. Ironically all I want to be able to do us heal her negative impact on the world and be there to guide my brothers beyond the damage done to them towards healing. So much blindness, so much imbalance and now these sweet young souls in the form of their children about to be trained into being “children who serve but must not be heard”.

    Any comments fellow sensitives?
    Any input is welcome 🙂

    • UnForsaken

      Sarielle, you have a lot of big, detailed questions like me. I too have an N parent and relations like yours. I have had to let my cousins go, except for holidays, but that is a very personal choice.

      I hope Dave can find the time to write an article on some of these things as it would be so helpful. But do please write to him for more direct advise and reading suggestions! I have found many of the articles here have helped me and I hope you do too.

      The Only thing I found to replace my emptiness from getting rid of the Ns false programming ( an excellent way of putting it, Sarielle ), is to believe more fully in God and ask Him to be my honest guide. It has taken patience and waiting to see that He is caring and guiding my way, but He Does this, and for Anyone who asks.

      You have such an amazing knowledge of yourself and the direction you want to heal! Keep on striving. We are healing here together! ❤

    • rembrandt777

      I too am in a fairly safe place but my heart bleeds for my young adult sons and my two sweet little granddaughters who are all blinded to the damage my narcissistic husband has wrought in our family. They were “programmed” to disrespect me, their mother. They were also taught to distrust and shun therapists, so family therapy is out of the question. The only thing I know to do is to let them know I love and care about them, giving gifts now and then and sending little emails that I hope are helpful, and encouraging. I really feel like I’m floundering in knowing how to help them. Narcissists are so VERY charming, and when you’ve never known anything else, they seem very normal. My husband is also a very hard working and talented in some areas, so he is especially admired.
      As a Christian, I am well aware of the Christian lifestyle. This knowledge is an effective weapon against narcissism, along with prayer. But my children are unsaved, unaware, and have been deceived.

  22. JPML0006

    I first posted in Feb 2015 and since then my NM has passed away she dies on the 14th April 2015 , she died at the hospice before we/ my brother and younger sister and I coule get there. We had watched her deteriorate very quickly over a very short period of time in fact 5 weeks and 3 days to be exact. Even within her last days and weeks I visited her during my lunch time brake to bursh her hear and ensure that she was fed and toileted, my sister did most of the caring and running around whilts I was at work. My daughter did her share on her days off and during the week she would drive down on the evenings to be with her. Even to the last she showed her true colours, she never spoke one kind or loving word to me. I would look her in the eyes and hoped that she would say sorry or tell me that she had made some mistakes with her children anything before she lost ther ability to speak as the cancer was quickly taking hold of her and strangling her to death. The doctors toled us that every part of her was healthy it was the cancer and only the cancer that would take her life. I will not go into the ins and out of events but needless to say she worked her toxic parenting on my younger brother and sister behind my back and now needless to say in the last 7 months since she died I have had hell with my siblings and I have now come to realise that I never had a relationship with them in the first place. When I tried to enlighten them about our mother and to make them understan the things she has done and said over the yesrs their attacked me. The worst one of all in my younger sister who wispers in my brothers ears and he becomes very abusive towards me. We are in the process of dealing with her will, and I cant wait for it all to be over and done with so that can cut all relationships and ties with them, to the end she finished off the job that she has started with her children and that was to ensure that we would never have a relationship. I am hurt but I have coe to understand that ther was never ever going to be a coming together of siblings or healing she had caused to much damage. My decission is to reconcile myself with my lost of a family and of never having a mother. Sometimes I feel empty, sad, angry. But I remidn myself that God has given me THREE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN TO LOVE and WHO LOVES ME BACK and I feel loved. I am trying to turn to God for direction. I am trying to heal and love me. Through my reading and attempts to gain understanding of my mother and people like her. I realise that those of us, who are out there in the world hoping for their mother /father /brother/sister and be a normal and loving family that will love you back or is still hoping for change, my advise to you all is IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Stop what you are doing nowe pack your bags now and RUN, RUN as far AWAY as you can and don’t ever look back, Bless you all in Gods grace and GOOD LUCK. RUN NOW.

  23. Dombeck

    The child inside you needs a hug. Love that child.

  24. Jamie

    This was very helpful for me that is dealing with this we speak

  25. Dolly

    Stay close to God. Read inspirational books. Watch happy funny movies. Find healthy friends. Volunteer. Exercise. Pray encouraging scriptures. Remind yourself most narcisstic people are damaged and broken. Its the malignant narcissist that is most evil. Probably possessed. Held captive to do devils will. Get away from them, but recall He who is in you is greater than he who is in this world. Rejoice!

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