Being a Child of Narcissists – what we need to give to ourselves

This post is written by MM.

It is a comment which was made recently on my post – Being a Child of Narcissists – Breaking the Silence – and when I read it, I found it to be so inspiring, the thought and feeling expressed to be so powerful, that I asked MM if I could share it as a post of its own.

Since I wrote and publicly published my post on this blog, it has received 10,925 views.

I do not know what all of those who have viewed it thought of it or felt about it, whether they just clicked on a link in their search results then clicked away again or whether they stayed to read the post, whether it was what they were looking for or not, whether they liked it, hated it or were indifferent to it, however what those stats do tell me is that being a child of narcissists and the awareness of the issue is more common than I thought it was.

I used to think I was alone, now I know I am not.

Many of those who have read that post have been brave enough to comment on the post, break their silence and share their views and stories.

I am grateful to those who do comment because they have helped me.

There are many adults in this world who were raised by narcissists. Not all of us become narcissists too.

The ones who do, are they doing it because they want to or because they witnessed society embrace their narcissist parents, take their side against the child, and felt that they had no other choice but to follow the path of the abuser. If you can’t beat them, join them. This perhaps seemed to be the easy option, the road most traveled and the one to take.

Taking the road less traveled, choosing not to follow the path of the abuser, to go against society, to go against your parents, to not become a narcissist too, to go with what seemed to be the hard option… there are many of us who have taken this path, . In some ways it is the path of the pioneer because we do not know where it will lead…

MM’s comment is a wonderful perspective of a possible destination.

Thank you for sharing, MM!

 

 

eckhart Tolle

 

 

 

 

“If you want to give us something, give us space to break our silence. Stop judging us. Give us love, we long for that, but not the kind which constricts, censors and burdens, the kind which acknowledges we exist, which frees us to express ourselves, and which encourages us to reveal what we keep hidden, what keeps us in our prison of silence.”

Maybe this is exactly what we need to give to ourselves! Permission to exist with our reality as it is; without judging ourselves for it.

Maybe one of our purposes is to redefine what it means to be human, or rather to add to the already existing definitions, which cover other segments of the human race but does not include us.

What I am beginning to understand is that I continue to be hurt by the expectations that I had for my mother (and father) to fulfil. I am hurt by the belief that my childhood had to be otherwise. When people celebrate their mothers (and fathers) I feel pain for not having what they celebrate.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been hurt by the actual neglect too… but now that I am an adult, what hurts is the belief that it had to be otherwise. This belief is of course exacerbated by views that other segments of the human race hold, such as the view that parents love their children. I now know that this view is misinformed, I know that it is a lie. Some parents do love their children, and some, like mine, don’t. They are/were too troubled to bother themselves with such an endeavour.

So I wonder; had I known from the time when I started going to Sunday school or to school (i.e. when I started getting in contact with information outside my FOO), that such parents exist, would this lie had been so deeply entrenched in me? Would it have been so entrenched that I couldn’t even believe my own reality in an attempt to be normal? Where normal is defined as having loving parents?

In an effort to maintain this lie I had to form beliefs that were lies about me. These lies resulted in what I think is the major injury to the child of the narcissist: to believe that there is something wrong with me, to never know my own inherent value.

Yes, I think I would’ve gotten to age 6 or so having this belief (that I am wrong) as a result of how my mother treated me… but I certainly would not have gotten to age 33 still believing that I was wrong as a human being in an effort to align myself with this “truth” that seemed to be known by the whole world: that all parents love their children. I would not have gotten to this age still believing myself to be unlovable as a result of trying to make sense of the reason my mother didn’t love me.

On top of this, it would not have taken me as long as more than 6 years to finally accept that my mother doesn’t love me and never has, not because of me, but because of her. I struggled to accept this truth because it is not popular….. and as I struggled to accept this truth, it meant I was struggling to see my own inherent value, the value that each human being has. I am still searching for it within me, I am 37….

So maybe the challenge is for us, children of narcissists to quit wanting to be believed, wanting not to be judged… but instead we need to work hard to believe ourselves and to not judge ourselves against what is already popular knowledge in the world.

I am definite that no one can do this for us, and to expect anyone to, is probably not fair….. it kind of looks like what our narcissistic parents did to us when they expected us to cater to their needs, instead of leaving us to be ourselves.

I find blogs like yours and anything else that has been written by anyone on this subject to be helpful towards getting up to this challenge. The more I read about other people’s experiences which are similar to mine, the more I feel “normal” and the more I see the need to define a new “normal”, my kind of “normal” instead of fighting it or fighting those who know a different kind of normal.

Maybe a new consciousness wants to be born in this world and it wants to be born through us – (this last sentence is inspired by my listening of E. Tolle’s book: The Power of Now)

 

– by MM.

 

 

 

e.tolle

 

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50 thoughts on “Being a Child of Narcissists – what we need to give to ourselves

  1. I am 56 and for the first time in my life i understand why that at the age of 5, I had purposed it in my heart to silence my voice. It empowered me and it was the weapon of my warfare that would bring everything to light…but it backfired in the later years because i became her obsession. First and foremost i knew that i could not entrust myself to her. I knew who i was and this knowledge had to be protected at all costs but more importantly i could not reveal the me o of truth and strength and substance and power but mostly of love to her. If i was to survive i had to thrive and without her knowledge i began my double life. I know now that the choices I made were unhealthy for me but at the time my only means of survival. Her need to consume me was relentless. I had to constantly be filled only to be emptied. The mind can manifest from the hidden place that which does not exist into existence and these gifts we have been given we employ and the more use these gifts we glean and then we no longer see th. as a tool you might use and return to the toolbox it is the life in us aligned. It is as natural as breathing. I dont know how i have been able to endure for so long and to find that there are others who have come to this knowledge and who have protected that vision and are now experiencing the joy of its reality…i am not only devastated but hopeful you have with courage come out into the otherside…whole. I am grateful that i found you but terrified at the same time. How did we ever manage it ? I thank god for you and i pray all the company of heaven say amen. You are loved and lovable. You are valued and you are precious. I love you. Lali

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      If you think about what you had to do to survive as a child – you were forced to go within to protect your self and the consequences of that means you really got to know your inner self – it is the opposite of what a narcissist does. That’s where the strength to endure comes from, from that core within and because you had to go into the core you were able to tap into it, it sustains you and will always do so.

      It’s interesting to explore the social trends of the moment and see that ‘mindfulness’ and ‘authenticity’ are trending. The narcissistic approach to life trended for a long while too, but it has left a lot of people feeling empty because it makes people focus their attention outside of themselves, relying on other people and things for their sense of self, their identity, self-esteem, etc. In some ways everyone is recovering from societal narcissism, which may be partly why narcissistic personality disorder has become such a hot topic, and those of us who grew up with narcissists and figured out how to survive that keeping ourselves as intact as possible have a lot to share with those who are now searching for a way to find themselves within themselves.

      Like you said – you are loved and lovable, valued and precious. – this is a powerful statement to say to someone else, and as you say it to them you say it to yourself too, nourishing the strength within and passing that strength on.

      It may take us forever to get to that point where we feel able to come out from hiding, some of the best things in life require long journeys through hell to find them and know them, but when we do finally share ourselves, in spite of our terror of doing something we’ve always viewed as dangerous, we allow ourselves to share and reap the rewards of a lifetime.

      I didn’t really consider the consequences of sharing my story online on my blog – for once in my life I was acting on impulse and leaping before looking and before fear silenced me. It has allowed me to connect with others who have experienced a similar story and that meeting in an amazing life affirming experience. It may be our suffering which brought us together, but it’s about far more than that. We let each other know that not only are we not as alone as we always thought we were, we’re quite a force to be reckoned with, one which just wants to be as we are and encourage others to be as they are too. Which i think is rather awesome ❤

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  2. Hi this is the first time ive spoken to anyone who will actually believe what i say.my mother is a narcists she is also a phyc nurse gotta luv that .im the scap goat in my family and everything ive read is so true even down to brain washing my brothers and sister to hate me.even my nieces hate me.when i first read narcists mothers all that was missing was her name .they neatly beat me .they almost drove me insane .she tells her friends i reat her

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cherie, it’s great to know that others understand and have been through the pain of NPD relationships, especially when mothers and significant others are emotionally abusive.
      You are special, and loved, and perfect just the way you are. You are believed.
      Get some space and time for yourself and don’t give them too much of yourself anymore…
      They don’t deserve it.
      Hugs for you! Viv

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      It’s very difficult to get others to believe that your parent is a narcissist – in large part due to the fear people experience when they accept that a parent can be bad. Society seems more ready to accept that a child is bad rather than the parent is bad.

      Not sure if you’ve come across these sites and articles, but you might find them helpful:

      http://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/

      http://www.narcissisticmother.com/

      http://parentfreebychoice.blogspot.co.uk/

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/insight-is-2020/201405/narcissistic-parents-psychological-effect-their-children

      https://theinvisiblescar.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/surviving-the-narcissistic-parent-acons-adult-children-of-narcissists/

      http://www.positive-parenting-ally.com/narcissistic-parents.html

      There are many more sites and articles which offer validation and support to adult children of narcissists (ACoNs), letting us know that we’re not as alone in our experience as we often think and feel we are.

      It can be very hard for us to speak out, partly because of the reactions of others, especially ‘outsiders’ who tend to be fooled by appearances, the facade the narcissist controls, and because of their own issues which can blinker them, and partly because we sometimes feel terrible for telling the truth – truth is a punishable offense in a household and family ruled by a narcissist. Speaking our truth is both freedom and imprisonment.

      In some ways being the scapegoat is actually a position of strength, even if it doesn’t feel that way at all. There’s a reason why you were singled out as a scapegoat and not chosen as the golden child – the narcissist fears you, they can’t control you or brainwash you, a little bit maybe because they’re your parent, but not enough to allay their intense fear. So, you become a symbol for them of their failure – they make you feel as though you’re the failure, but you’re not, you’re actually the opposite. They try to make you insane because you’re the sanest one around. It’s very twisted!

      Keep doing what you’re doing to find your way out and figure things out – you’re strong, very strong! And you know you can survive, which makes you dangerous to the narcissist, but safe for yourself!

      Take good care of yourself. You’re not insane or alone. Trust yourself!

      “If you can keep your head when all about you
      Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
      If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
      But make allowance for their doubting too;
      If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
      Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
      Or being hated, don’t give way to hating…”

      If by Rudyard Kipling (a great poem for children of narcissists, even though it wasn’t written for us).

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  3. Just so happy to have found this blog. My parents are both narcissists and noone believes me. It has taken til now, 42, to try to come to grips with it, as the emotional abuse and neglect has caused me such grief that I have had suicidal thoughts.
    I have asked them what would it take for them to see me, or be there at my most desperate times when going through major stress such as moving, and they use that sharing as a chance to hurt me even more. Label it as “complaints”- to “cease complaining”. Making me feel like a bad, misbehaving child.. At 42!
    Bare your soul and they love to crush it.
    So at this time, as I’m moving, I feel such mixed feelings – as will miss my family, but also feel it will be good for me and my own little family.
    But as you say, the grief that it wasnt different causes such sadness in me. A light goes out, and somehow have to find it.. But parents are those we *want* to love and strive to be loved by.

    Hope healing happens as the ups and downs have taken its toll on my mind, heart, soul and even body.

    I pray for all adult children of narc parents, in their suffering.
    It’s a blessing to find a site where other victims can feel heard and believed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Viv, sorry to hear your pain. Please try and find people who accept you just as you are. You are a unique soul, who deserves to be loved with no strings attached or manipulation. I sincerely wish you all the best in the future, you do deserve happiness.

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      1. Thanks Kat, I have a lot of beautiful friends who love me for me, and a very supportive husband with gorgeous children. It’s just my parents pass on their woundedness and I tend to carry it too often. Co-dependency is an issue I am working on in regards to my parents.
        All is great with my parents at the moment – very loving and supportive- it’s just when they are in the Narc Mode, they really sting.
        So need to learn to detach and hold on to self and not allow them to drag me down with their Blame and Shame.
        Suicidal thoughts not serious – just the sense of “geez- I just want this crap to end” – but would never ever in my wildest dreams actually follow through.

        Narc Parents cause major depression and anxiety in many adult children – we all need to learn to grieve, accept and detach.

        Looking forward to the next wonderful chapter in new life with my own family.

        Good luck to all of you who struggle with your parents!

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    2. Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      It is very difficult to get across to other people what you are going through, have been through, and what your parents are actually like towards you, and how they affect and have affected you, if those other people have not had a similar experience.

      Fortunately (or unfortunately) there are many people who know exactly what it is like to have narcissists as parents. This is a forum for adult children of narcissists, it is fascinating to read some of the threads because there is just so much which we have in common in our experiences – http://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/

      Narcissist parents are adept at creating the facade of being perfect parents, and most people prefer to believe the facade over the reality for varying reasons, mostly people don’t want to know that terrible parents who don’t love their children exist, it causes cognitive dissonance and they tend to opt for the fantasy rather than what is real.

      I imagine that like many children of narcissists you were trained from an early age to support the facade of the perfect family which your parents created. I definitely did with mine, and that was probably the hardest habit to break. Admitting the truth can be liberating but also very painful. We want to have the parents they pretend to be, loving and caring, not the parents that they actually are, selfish, self-centred and treating us as objects there to serve them and their ego needs.

      One of the things which I found helpful in dealing with the intense sadness about not having had parents who were capable of loving me and whom I could love without sacrificing myself to their insanity has been the love of friends and my partner. Your husband and children, their love and acceptance of you as you will go a long way towards alleviating the overwhelming sense of shame, blame, and emptiness. It takes time to allow real love to heal you as it has to gradually shift you away from feeling undeserving of being loved for who you are. Quieting the voices of your parents within you which are constantly denigrating you… it takes time, but slowly the voices of those who genuinely love you will replace the critical ones.

      You do have to pay attention to yourself, and catch yourself in the act of repeating patterns you learned from your parents, and then gently, kindly, with compassion for yourself, nudge yourself out of the pattern. Children of narcissists tend to approach healing with a certain cruelty towards themselves, doing to themselves what their parents did, so watch out that you’re not being too hard on yourself, and if you catch yourself being hard on yourself, don’t be hard on yourself about it. It’s okay to be a mess, make mistakes, not be perfect… it’s human, and you’re human. Allowing myself to be a mess has been a lovely gift 🙂

      I didn’t come to terms with things properly until recently (I’m in my 40’s too), so I think your age is actually a bonus, as it’s a time in life when our priorities change, we take stock of life, seek to be more authentic, and we do seem to become wiser as we get older.

      There’s a book which you might find of interest, it helped me enormously, helped to bring things into awareness and gave me understanding of things such as the suicidal urge (it’s something which narcissist parents implant subliminally into their children) – http://andywhiteblog.com/2015/06/23/going-mad-to-stay-sane/ – the author is a psychologist who has personal experience of being a child of a narcissist.

      This is also an interesting article – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/insight-is-2020/201405/narcissistic-parents-psychological-effect-their-children

      There is a lot of support and awareness now, and it does make a big difference – you’re not in this alone, and you deserve to live your life your way, be loved, and enjoy being yourself.

      Take care of yourself, don’t worry if you sometimes mistreat yourself, just let yourself be as you are – it’s you, and that’s beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thankyou so much for your kind response and support. I will check out those books.

        I’m finding that as I’m going through a “paradise period” with my folks, I’m also waiting for the toxic swing. The sudden change- they lift you so high, the drop you leaving you in the gutter in pieces- your heart ripped out and stomped on, with blame & shame- and worse if you should ever try to tell them to back off or to explain why they do & say what they do.

        So it’s great now- and feeling loved and supported, but then there’s little leaks – little undermining jabs whilst cleaning the house for the big move. Cutting remarks that lead up to the big screech.

        So the sense of trust and faith in goodness and stability is reduced. There’s a sad, cynicism that creeps in and becomes part of your personality, if no help is sought.

        It’s like having a shallow relationship- that’s hard. What to share, how far and much to give of my heart, if giving is all you know how to do?

        Reminders all around of wonderful loving parents who love unconditionally- and the longing for the same…

        My depression is certainly linked to my upbringing. When I’m loved, I’m happier.
        Codependency the thing to work on.

        As you say, it takes time- and I’m willing to start the work it takes.

        Now that I’ll be in a different state things will be easier- I think!

        Will miss my family and feel a little out of sorts in new state not knowing anyone- but my husband and kids are tight and supportive so we will start from there.

        Thankyou for expressing these issues with such kindness.

        😊

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        1. Thank you 🙂

          Focus on what you have with your husband and children, it will go a long way to easing the pain of the separation with your parents, and the hurt which comes from that and from realising that they’ll never be able to be loving in the way you would like.

          The new start in a strange place can be frightening, but also it offers the ability to create your own world in your own way, and plant the seeds which your heart wants to grow. This can be what you make of it, maybe even a garden to share as you want to, to be as you feel most happy being.

          It is always hard starting over, but it is also an opportunity. Let yourself discover yourself free from all the old ties which bound you to old ways of being, doing, and putting up with things which trapped you. See it as being free.

          I went NC with my parents over a decade ago. I’d had enough, and when they tried to ruin my relationship with the one person who genuinely loved me – that was it. Basically I was willing to allow them to destroy me, but when they tried to destroy someone else through me, I finally fought back. Life tends to lead us to where we need to be, the rest is up to us.

          You’ve got a strong and beautiful heart which yearns to love and be loved – there is absolutely nothing wrong with that and everything right with it, just observe where you direct such fertile and powerful energy, make sure it goes to those who appreciate it, as they will return the gift.

          Certain aspects of co-dependency are actually healthy – the natural world shows us that, humans rely on the Earth, a child relies on a parent, certain plants rely on certain insects, etc, there is a natural symbiosis between beings. It’s only unhealthy when it harms rather than nurtures. So be gentle with yourself, and don’t throw away things which are good because someone else made them seem bad.

          Question everything… trust yourself.

          Best wishes on your new journey, may it be filled with blessings!

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  4. 59 years old, like any “injured or sick person” it is good to finally be “diagnosed” and know why I have always felt different and mostly alone. I have suspected and have arrived and now clearly see that I am a member of your group. I made the decision 10 years ago, to make the 100% cut off from my narcissistic mother and less so workaholic father, mother died 6 years ago, no tears yet, I was the “trouble maker and the bad girl” my estranged sister became the “blue eyed perfect one” (probably her way of surviving also), but I have no relationship with her either, one brother who is mixed up and angry. I did have an alternative session, just after the cut off, where I cried and cried and cried, kept running to the toilet as my system just let go, therapist was also in tears, that was my mourning the loss of both my parents. Ekert Tolle, The Secret, people who have come in and out of my life and I know it has always been to teach me something and to help me on my journery, also the wonderful internet and blogs such as here have been my savour. I have always been strong and have always had a strong sense of who I am, thank goodness, but loneliness is the trade off, but then that gives you lots of time to see the world for what it is and to work on yourself. First marraige when I “escaped” my parents, was at 18 years of age, it ended 9 years and one son later. Married 3 years later, to today where I have now been married 30 years to my beautiful loving soulmate, who loves and accepts me exactly as I am. I am a loving, loyal wife and mother but mostly what I like about myself, and probably thanks to my narcissistic mother, is my deep empathy for other’s suffering. I like and love myself, try to be very mindfull of my own traits and to keep them in check, but generally I am very happy with the person I “am still becoming”. I see so many people who have not “made the journey” and never will and I feel sorry for them and all they are missing. You don’t have to stay “injured” you can heal yourself along with the help of others who care. Open your minds and your hearts as it can make you so happy.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      It’s wonderful to hear that you found someone who loves and accepts you as you are – that is inspiring! When you grow up in a family which has a narcissistic dynamic, being accepted as you are is not an option, and can become a lifelong goal. So achieving it in a relationship, with yourself, with another, is awesome!

      I prefer not to feel sorry for anyone, as I don’t like it when people feel sorry for me. It reminds me of certain aspects of being around narcissists, they tend to think they’re ’empathic’ because they pity other people. And as you know, that’s not real empathy, that’s a superiority complex disguised as empathy. Real empathy flows both ways and is an equaliser – we’re all in the same boat and figuring this thing called being human out together.

      I don’t think others are missing out by not taking the journey which I’ve taken, they’re just doing their own thing. When others share their path with me, there is much I can learn about living, being, etc, from them, however I do still have to do things my own way, as do they. Everyone suffers, each person does it in their own way – suffering connects us, how we deal with it can help others, but we’ve all got to walk our own walk.

      It’s when we think our walk, our journey, our path is the only way to go that we cause problems for ourselves and others. It’s the diversity of ways to go which enriches life with a myriad of experiences. If we were all the same and did the same things… life on Earth would be very black and white, and probably would not have so many interesting people, beings, aspects to explore and share.

      Similarities are great, differences are great too… 🙂

      Take care of yourself!

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      1. Hi Anupturnedsoul, thanks for your reply…I think you may have misconstrude what I meant, perhaps I did not express myself as I ought have. I understand everyone has their own issues to deal with, I guess I was referring to people, some close to me who have focussed on things which are not important and judge every decision they make in life on that focus, for example the collection of money. I am definitely a person who is very open minded and believes everyone should live their own lives however they want no matter what their persuasion, as I know what it is like to be judged or unfairly judged, and understand everyone has their own hurts. I can only go on what life has given me since I took my journey, how I and people close to me have been made happier since I made a conscious effort to not immulate what went before me and sincerely wish for everyone to be freed, but I do understand each to their own.

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        1. Sorry about that, I didn’t intend to imply that you were doing that at all. My apologies if it came across that way.

          What you said reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about, and I went off on a tangent. I try to stay focused when replying, but sometimes a tangent is too hard to resist, especially when it’s a piece of a puzzle I’m working on.

          You do come across as open minded, in fact you sound as though you’ve found a way to make peace with your past experiences and let the suffering inspire your life for the better.

          Live and let live is a good way to deal with narcissists, there’s nothing we can do for them, they’re doing what they’re doing and are fairly stuck in it because it feeds a need, however we can do a lot for ourselves by learning from the experiences which we’ve had with them. And you seem to be doing exactly that. Keep passing on the healing, and sharing what you’ve learned. 🙂

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          1. Hi anupturnedsoul, all’s fine, love your blog/site, so many people must find it so helpful to have a voice and be heard, which is all we all want, is to be heard, if not understood, for me It is so liberating to grow and finally “see the light” and I don’t mean in a religious, but a spiritual way, I am simply getting happier as every year passes. There are after all, many good people out there. Please keep up your good work.

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  5. Incredible to find so many ‘brothers and sisters’ of narcissistic parents..I feel such a humbling connection to every single one of you out there, that knows the loneliness and sadness of not feeling good enough or worthy of love..I remember every year at Christmas (when I was old enough to realise that something was wrong 10 maybe 11 years old), I didn’t want any presents..I just fantasized about a prince arriving on a horse to take me away from my home and offer me unconditional love..I always dreamt of what it would be like to be loved unconditionally by someone else..Of course, as I got older I ended up in the arms of 2 consecutive narcissistic partners that could never love me properly..After a breakdown and years of therapy I managed to meet my current partner (who felt alien to me at first as he was much healthier), and we are now married..I still can’t believe that someone loves me and even married me..We will be married 3 months tomorrow..I am currently setting boundaries with my narcissistic mother and accepting that she will never change..I have already made peace with my father, who unlike her is narcissistic however has always tried his hardest to be supportive of me and has been a positive influence on my life. It’s just a shame that he was such a workaholic!
    My husband is currently watching me go through all this pain of detaching from my mother, and still can’t believe how cold and cruel she has been..
    He cuddles me every time I get an email from her, cos he knows how painful it is, even if I put on a brave face!
    I am determined to continue my life as happily as I can for myself and for my husband. I finally found my prince and I am slowly finding the love for myself, that I have been starved from for so long! Us children of narcissists are resilient, strong and empathetic and we all deserve a life of happiness. The journey of recovery is long, but we will get there in the end..;-) Thank you so much for your wonderful blog and sharing your experience with us.

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    1. Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      What a beautiful and inspiring story!

      I know how hard it is to allow someone to love you after years of basically accepting that such a thing probably would never happen. Or that you had to work for it and might never earn it no matter how hard you tried.

      It is very strange for a child of narcissists to be in a healthy relationship. New territory which offers some challenges very worth taking on.

      One of the first blogs which I came across years ago dealing with NPD parents was written by a woman who had a narcissist mother. She wrote about how deeply the way her mother affected her as an adult, and how it impacted on her relationship with her husband who was not a narcissist and loved his wife in a healthy and very touching way. This blogger passed away and her husband kept her blog up for a while afterwards to help others, both adult children of narcissists and those who love them and have to learn about their stories and deal with how they affect them.

      Her story helped me with my relationship with my partner. It gave me an insight into how much he was affected by the way my parents affected me. I came across the blog after I had gone No Contact with my family, and had been that way for a while, but even with the NC the narc-parental influence was there, worming its way into my relationship.

      My mother in particular would find a way to make contact and I would invariably end up in a dark funk afterwards. It is very hard for our healthy partners to deal with that. They offer support and love, but we need to be sure to accept it, appreciate it and allow it to heal us, help us to heal ourselves.

      It’s very hard to accept real love when your life has been about a very different kind of love. But once we accept it, it’s an amazing journey into new and intriguing ways to experience ourselves, others, love, friendship and the world.

      Best wishes to you and thank you 🙂

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  6. I am 23 years old yet my soul feels decades older I want to thank who wrote this for it was never my intention to find honestly I was looking for interpretations on.dreams ive been having of facing my past which has wronged me and these links came thru in a way I will behold raised by my dad from9years old on I was very isolated controlled put down alone never helped thru losses growing or even standing on my own two in chosing the road less traveled as u said I have faced homelessness horrible relationship decisions and more abuse but truly all worth it I have learned and grown so much the Lord is amazing in ways my mind cant even begin to put into words in seeing and reading ur posts I know a new level is being approached in growing and getting past what still trys to hold onto me today thanks much it does feel good to know ur not alone never looked at this part of my life and myself the way u have put it here but ive known it to be true beautiful moment…

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      I know that feeling well, of being ancient, old, when physically I was young. Now that my physical self is much older, I actually feel younger than when I did when I was physically younger. It’s weird… but kind of nice.

      It takes time to understand, accept, acknowledge things. We have to do it at our own pace and in our own time. Respect ourselves and our rhythm.

      Sometimes we find our story randomly, we weren’t looking… it sort of found us and asked us to look. When we’re ready, then we can explore.

      Realising that your parents are narcissists is never easy, especially if you’ve dedicated a lot of life energy to maintaining an illusion. It can be a profound shock to the system and requires gentleness to comprehend.

      You’re not alone… it may feel that way sometimes. There are many who have walked a similar path, have had a similar experience… we all knpw how lonely it can be, feel, seem… you’re not alone.

      Take good care of yourself, trust yourself… be kind to yourself.

      Best wishes. If you need help, just ask 🙂

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  7. Can totally relate to “trying to get others to believe us when really all that matters is that we believe us”. That is an “aha” moment for me. These types of blogs and forums have really helped me, I think being the child/adult of an NM is just so utterly hard. I have had no contact with NM for ten years and it gets gut wrenchingly lonely, particularly at Xmas. However I am starting to realise that I am not the only one and I speak the truth, some people don’t like that. So to anyone else out there who is going through a difficult time, you are not alone. Meditation, affirmations really do help and so do these forums!

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      For me, cutting ties with my NM was one of the healthiest things I ever did for myself, and it took me ages to actually do it even though I knew how unhealthy staying in contact was, not just for me but for others – that’s the part which shocked me into action, because I was used to allowing myself to be abused, but to allow others, people I love and who actually love me for me, to be abused through me… NO! Not passing the wound on!

      Sometimes those “aha!” moments hurt, but hurt in a way which creates a positive knock-on effect.

      Basically, for me, caring for someone who genuinely cared for me, snapped me out of my toxic connection with my NM. I wish it hadn’t needed to happen that way, because I let her toxicity spread into an area which she had no place being… but sometimes that is a necessary experience.

      Most of all, children of narcissist need to believe themselves… but we grow up being made to doubt ourselves, never trust ourselves… takes a while to retrieve that kind of trust in self, but once we do… it’s an amazing experience, as we gradually see what we hid from ourselves and realise how true our truth is.

      Self-affirmation and self-validation is very healing for us, and valuable because it took us forever to get there and earn it!

      Best wishes, and take good care of yourself!

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  8. Hi. If you are 37 and still struggling, don’t worry. It’s a long road but there is some light at the end. We all want our parent(s) to confirm the simple fact that we exist. Narissistic paretns won’t do that. They only aknowledge you as an idea, “their son” or “their daughter” but not as an actual person. So no warmth, no understanding, no appreciation is coming forward. The problem with this is that you grow up with a void inside which has to be filled. It may sound strange to you but you have to do some spiritual work on this. I cannot tell you how to do that because it’s different for everyone and it comes in layers or stages. Trust your intuition and don’t despair. The road of life has many turning points.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Are you 37, is that why you chose that age?

      And why would it sound strange to others that some ‘spiritual’ work needs to be done? I think most people realise that some sort of work needs to be done, which is why they are doing it, which is why they are searching the internet for information about being the children of narcissists, having parents who are narcissists, being in relationships with narcissists, etc. Those who read posts like this one are working on figuring things out for themselves. So I think many would agree with what you have said and wouldn’t find it strange, although they might find it strange that you think they would find it strange.

      You are right that we can’t tell others how to do the work which they need to do, however you can share your method, or your path to finding a method, as others may find something useful within it, the way you helped or are helping yourself might help them to help themselves. That’s partly why we share our stories, and partly we share our stories because that’s how we figure our own story out, and when we figure out our own story we find the method which works for us.

      Best wishes to you on your life path!

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  9. Wow! Brilliant, moving, thought provoking and healing…that goes for everyone’s comments too! I’m still getting used to a new “normal” and that’s alright. ♡♡♡ u Sis! 🙂

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    1. Inspiring, isn’t it!!! Gives a new perspective on an old problem faced by children of narcissists, and gives us personal power and purpose for having experienced what we have experienced! ❤ U 🙂

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  10. “So maybe the challenge is for us, children of narcissists to quit wanting to be believed, wanting not to be judged… but instead we need to work hard to believe ourselves and to not judge ourselves against what is already popular knowledge in the world.” so true – as a 43 year old “child” of a person who is a Narc this is just an amazing statement – “wanting to be believed” – dear God there are others out there too? Meditation really helps.With love to you all. May you be well. may you be happy. May you be at peace, find real peace and end your suffering x

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      I love the insights which MM shared because they are liberating for children of narcissists and anyone who has been in a relationship with a narcissist. It give us the personal power to break free from the set-up which was created by others, by our narcissist parents, by those who believe them, by society which seems to support the illusions of our narcissist parents and keeps us trapped in a relationship with them pretending that they love us and we love them, and other staples like that.

      It’s strange because in many ways our ‘wanting to be believed’ keeps us stuck in the narcissist’s story. The need to be believed is an intrinsic component of NPD. They live in the tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes, and they are the emperor. They create a reality and a persona and then set about ‘selling’ it to others, and each time someone believes them their version of reality, of themselves, of their children and them as parents, is validated and confirmed.

      When their story gets believed over ours, we feel betrayed, isolated, alone again. We’re reminded that we once wanted and did believe them, that we once betrayed ourselves for them. Self-doubt swirls and makes us question ourselves.

      So us wanting others to see through them and believe us, what we know to be the reality underneath the false reality of the narcissist, us pointing at the narcissist and saying – Look at the King! He’s not wearing finery at all, he’s naked, can’t anyone else see this! – plays into their hands and actually keeps their story going. Inside and outside of us. They’re still feeding off of us.

      In the case of my parents they actually seemed to enjoy the competition of me versus them (the versus game is a favourite of narcissists). It gave their story more drama fuel. And the story being more dramatic attracted more viewers, more audience members. People love to be part of a drama and live it vicariously.

      My attempts to rip off people’s rose-coloured glasses actually worked against me and for the narcissists.

      At some point I just decided I didn’t care what anyone else believed (this wasn’t completely true but it was more true than false), what mattered was what I believed and I needed to focus my attention within and not outside. This shift created a strange paradox – the less I cared if people believed me, the more people seemed to believe me.

      It’s a bit like a wish. If you hang onto it after you make it and don’t let it go, then it can’t come true because its energy is not released. Which is why wishes often come true when we stop caring if they come true or not. We let them go and suddenly they are free to work their magic.

      Ultimately I think we have to ask ourselves – what is more important, that others believe me or that I believe myself? And if I need others to believe me for me to believe myself… ?

      Everything has its beginning within us, and that includes peace.

      Thank you very much for sharing, best wishes and blessings to you too 🙂

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  11. Aww this is just beautiful…i know that i am being too hard on myself…i am reminded of à quote i read Online somewhere – ‘what do u Do when u are the one who needs ur compassion the most?’
    We are taught to save other people’s lives- to donate to charity , to share wisdom, to volunteer. Yet when it comes to saving ourselves, and especially When it involves leaving or standing up to our abusive toxic narcissistc controlling parents – we are Seen as selfish…how is that possible? That is such a double Standard. We too are people. My happiness matters too. I have heard iyanla vanzant say – ‘putting yourself first is not selfish, it is self Full. U are the representation of god in ur life. How u treat urself is how u treat god. When u put others Before u, u r putting others Before god.’
    If you go to youtube and type in – ‘oprah putting yourself first’ , you can watch this.

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    1. Have you considered the motivations behind the teaching that we should help others. It’s a very interesting thing to explore as it reveals the complexity of human nature and nurture. More often than not our reasons for giving are motivated by what we will get from giving. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and can be a good thing. It important aspect of everything we do is being aware of what is motivating us to do it.

      The person most likely to call you selfish for not putting others’ needs and wants first, for putting yourself first instead, is a narcissist. When they call you selfish what they actually mean is that you’re not catering to them, to their selfishness.

      Double standards are a part of being human and living in the human world. We like the ones which work for us and don’t like the ones which work against us. You can’t really get away from double standards, but you can become aware of them and find a way to deal with them which supports who you are and protects you from being torn apart by all the contradictions which exist in being human and interacting with other humans.

      The funny thing is, when we put ourselves first, when we’re selfish, when we nourish ourselves before we nourish others, we don’t suffer so much from a sense of lack, a sense of fear that there is not enough to go around, to be shared, and therefore we end up being far more generous than when we put others first. Life is full of paradoxes too.

      Trust yourself 🙂

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      1. Thank you girl..you are Full of wisdom…you are right , it is my covert narcissist mum and toxic dad who calls me selfish. Yes When wé put ourselves First, we become more generous…i have Seen that happen.

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      2. Reading Pressman and Donaldson-Pressman’s book on The Narcissistic Family I learn that as a daughter of a narcissistic mother in a “covertly” narcissistic family, I am conditioned to be “reflective” meaning reflecting the wishes of others in order to please and “reactive” as putting the needs of others first.

        Parentified by my mother there is often still conflict about doing things for myself when she made it clear my role was to reflect on her and I was only there for that purpose. It’s a fine line between repeating old conditioning and doing what is good for me. Yet my biggest goal in life was to care for my sons and never have them experience the feeling of being invisible or unloved as I did.

        To this end much of my own needs were put aside though I have done a uni degree in an effort to recover my lost “path” and love of learning in my 60s. Now my sons have grown and leading their own lives I am still having some trouble looking to me. It comes so naturally to look around and reflect the needs of others, to react to their needs still. Is this co-dependency or just a born carer ? 🙂

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        1. There is much to appreciate about the ability to put yourself aside for others, to be reflective of others, to care, to depend on others and have others depend on you, it isn’t all negative – it only feels that way when a narcissist is a part of the equation, particularly when the narcissist happens to be your parent. A narcissist parent gives you the impression that everything about you is wrong, including everything you do to please and serve them. Once you have absorbed that notion, it colours every aspect of yourself. Nothing you do is ever right, ever feels good, you keep trying harder and harder to achieve an ever moving goal, and end up thinking that there is something wrong with you – what if there is nothing wrong with you, and what is ‘wrong’ is the view that there is something wrong.

          Your experience as a mother shows you that being a carer and co-dependent (a natural co-dependency rather than the psychological view of it) is actually a deeply nurturing experience. A parent and child are naturally co-dependent, it is nature’s way to get humans to work together. And now that your children are grown, you can trust that the caring you have given will continue to nurture your children as adults. Now it is time to focus more on nurturing and caring for yourself – those who have the sort of skills which you have also have the capacity to give to themselves, to care for themselves, all that is required is to give yourself permission to do so. There will be moments of feeling guilty for being ‘selfish’, but sometimes being selfish is something which is not only good for us, but good for others too. Sometimes others need us to look after ourselves, if we only look after others that may put pressure on them as they feel that if we sacrifice all of us for them, they owe us.

          I’m sure your sons will view your ‘efforts to recover your lost path’ as an inspiring move. It’s your time now, embrace it. You can focus on yourself and do what nourishes you. They will let you know when they need you, but now they are adults, it is their turn to look after their own needs – and for you to look after your own. You’re there for each other if the need arises.

          I personally think that the psychological view of co-dependency is too negative. I kind of think psychology is that way about everything, be it a natural trait or a learned behaviour through early nurturing. Everything human seems to be viewed through ‘it’s an issue which we must fix’ glasses. That’s fine for those who work in that field, but for the rest of us, being human is much more complex than black or white, right or wrong, broken or fixed, and all the endless terminology which categorises everyone and everything.

          You’re a carer, which is a great skill to have, particularly in these times when caring is under the microscope and often viewed as being a weakness, in short supply or otherwise. It is not a weakness, it is an incredibly valuable strength. It is not in short supply, unless those who give empty themselves. A carer must learn to care for themselves too, to replenish their source of giving and caring by giving to and caring for themselves. Now is the time for that for you. Your ability to care for others is maximised, focus on caring for yourself – and that includes not judging yourself.

          Trust yourself, let doubts flow through you, and be gentle with yourself, this is a time of blossoming of something new and inspiring in your life 🙂

          Thank you very much for sharing!

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          1. Thankyou for giving some perspective.

            I do agree (and appreciate the reminder) that psychology does create labels that carry negative connotations and often an expected path.. My greatest help came from psychotherapy and Carl Rogers’ theories of respectful attention to my needs. This was a very positive experience which uncovered my PTSD from the need to stay hyper-alert for “getting it right” and surviving my family dynamics. Rapid Eye Movement therapy allowed my experiences to be integrated after so long unprocessed and at the front of my life.

            In concept I am fully in agreeance of having one’s cup overflowing before we can help another, Too quickly I will judge myself wanting if there is a problem in my own family which belongs “back there”. This is my next task I see – to understand that it is life that brings up these things, that my sons are well equipped to deal with them and it is not how it “used to be” in a once threatening environment. where I felt I had to solve the problem to keep safe – the responsible parent/child.

            Yes, I see you are right in that others need us to look after ourselves. I am getting this message just lately about a suggested experience from my younger son. It seems he wants me to have some of the cream of life now as I supported him. Enjoying myself without the guilt of my mother’ glare of my having a good time when she is “miserable” is slowly fading.

            My sibling brothers are staying in denial and any attempts to discuss our (now deceased) parents is quickly silenced – a familiar tactic to me, their scapegoat sister.. The younger brother is struggling with life and my heart aches for his ignorance of the causes. This is very hard for a carer to watch ! 😦 Nevertheless I understand that they must travel their own journey and I cannot make it better as I did once when they were the little boys I looked after as our parents’ self-absorption and wars escalated.

            And how frustrating when one is asked about one’s early years by acquaintances. To allude to a self-centred un-mother I am met with “oh a mother would not do that!” I have now resolved to answer “I had a mother who could not mother”. There is quiet after that as it sinks in. Still, no one has asked me how that was for me. I wonder how others deal with this ?

            Trusting myself is the slowest lesson to learn. To remember that I survived, I triumphed, I created good out of bad. I guess I need to remind myself of my determined nature and passion for the truth. I am an intense person !! The search for it helped me survive..

            To trust who to impart my story is a tricky one.

            I am grateful that you are providing the space and support to speak on healing. This blog is one of the nicer ones I have read. 🙂

            .

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            1. It’s important to give yourself credit for the good things you have done and which are a part of you – very challenging for the child of a narcissist who is used to being criticised and criticising themselves, but also very worth taking the challenge on. That criticism can be used in a positive manner as it gives the ability to analyse, break things down and see how something works or doesn’t work – every negative has a positive to it.

              Your ability to care, to understand the needs of others, to be a carer, is very valuable. You should benefit from this ability as much as others do – therefore caring for yourself also must be factored in. It won’t be guilt-free, you’re trained to feel that way, but the guilt will gradually subside as you appreciate the other side of your natural and nurtured talent. And you’ll get pleasant surprises along the way to support your self-care.

              It is very hard for a carer to detach from others, especially close family members or people whom you consider family, people whom you care about no matter what they’ve done to you. But it is a necessary thing to do. You can’t help someone who does not ask for and accept your help as they will fight you every step of the way and turn your caring into something it is not. If your brothers want to see… that is up to them to make the effort to see and then to decide they need help and ask for it. If they do that, then maybe you can guide them with all the knowledge and wisdom which you have acquired through your own journey. Otherwise you have to let them go the way they have chosen to go, they’re adults now, it’s up to them to care for themselves – this too is a part of being a carer. To care enough to know when to let go, even if it is painful to do so, it is necessary to respect someone else’s choice, someone else’s personal boundary, even if they’re heading for disaster. We must each learn about life and ourselves our own way because we are each individuals with a unique path.

              I rarely if ever discuss my parents with people – what I do online, on my blog, is for me first and foremost. The results of sharing my views and story… is amazing and has taught me a lot – one of the things I’ve learned is that there are a lot of adult children of narcissists in this world. Which means there are a lot of people who understand what it is like to have parents, one or both, who are rubbish as parents.

              So why is it so hard to talk about this sort of issue in person? Why do people shy away from any criticism of parents and family?

              I think it is because it is a raw and private issue, which is becoming more openly spoken about but is still fairly taboo. It’s one thing to discuss it openly online, but in person… I think people find that a bit too raw, intense and real.

              I learned at an early age that no one else wants to know if your parents are a nightmare. People prefer a happy families scenario. This is a complex issue and has a lot to do with what others have gone through or are going through privately. I found that many of those who rejected my story, did so because of how it made them feel about themselves. Our stories can trigger the hidden stories of others. Others can feel powerless when faced with our naked truth. They’re not denying our reality, they just can’t deal with it because it may hit too close to home for them.

              When people ask me about my early years, I tend to deflect, distract, apply humour. They only need to know if it is relevant, which mostly it isn’t. All they need to know is me, as is, the rest is history.

              If we need them to know our story, our history, then we need to know more about them and their story, their history first. That will influence how they hear and listen to us. That has a bearing on trust.

              Pain is a universal language, and often can be a means of intimate communication, but it can also cause interference and miscommunication.

              The most important person to trust is yourself, you know… trust that knowledge!

              Thank you for your kind words about my blog… I just share myself, that’s about it 🙂

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              1. I appreciate your clear understandings. Each stage brings fresh issues and needs for clarity so I am giving your words much consideration. Each stage brings a wise counsellor with it too I see 🙂

                Your words make a lot of sense in……for example, how I angrily blurted out my hidden family stories to other people in the early stages of finding what was underneath the surface of life, the naked truths I was so shocked to find through my studies and further research. Who knew? I live in a (Western) country where family business is very much kept “in house” so I have learned not to be so confronting. My ongoing intellectual pursuits are my private pleasure now.

                It has also made me remember that my story has always focused around my malignant narcissistic mother (and maybe N father) and the marriage dynamics when really the story is about me. About what happened to me and how I work with that. I had learned to forget me too for a long, long time and you remind me to remember.

                Now, I see my journey is about me returning to myself. So when I journal now I will write “I feel, I want” and remember not what THEY did, but how it was for me.

                Thankyou again.

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                1. Thank you 🙂

                  Beautifully expressed! Focus on yourself, on your self… see what happens, explore, discover, create, let yourself blossom in whatever manner suits you. The time is now for you.

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    2. I like that quote because it reminds me of a phrase that I repeat to myself all the time after I figured out “the truth”. I always saw religious fanatics or people overly concerned with religion, but who still somehow managed to be horrible people, as people who were looking for God but failed to look at themselves.

      More simplified version: “People trying to find God are really just trying to find themselves”. (<— at least, that's my view on it)

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes, very cool!! I feel re-born!! And to know others are experiencing this awakening is so empowering to my own personal journey. ❤ you girl!

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  13. WOW, I love this for it’s pure truth. I was married to a violent narcissist for 22 years and reclaimed my life 6 years ago, not even for me, but because our daughter (at 16) said she’d run away if I didn’t change things. I owe my life to her. My eldest son CHOSE not to live in the path of the abuser and went on to become a NY record holding all natural body builder. My daughter (now 23) hasn’t self aligned yet but is readying to cross the country on bicycle.. my youngest was “saved” at 4 years old when we left and I’ve spent the last year in court to stop the torturous visits, stand up for myself and stand up for the wee one. Thank you for speaking out, thank you for breaking the pattern. I am grateful you have clarity to know the lack of love and support you experienced was never your fault and never your deserving (that’s a huge thing to understand). From a parental perspective, I live with guilt and shame knowing I couldn’t protect the verbal abuse on our kids, and when I stood up for my children I was beaten. I need to let it go because I can’t repair it, but I can offer all my love and support today for you and for my kids and those who feel nobody cares.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I’m relieved that you can see that the words in this post apply to your situation too, to the guilt and shame of not being able to protect your children or yourself from the abuse.

      I saw a quote the other day which said – You need to stop punishing yourself for what someone else did to you.

      You can’t change what happened, but you can change how what happened then affects what happens now.

      What you are doing now, the love and support – not just for your children but also for yourself, because you need it and deserve it too, and what nourishes you nourishes them too – the understanding of the past and what that held within it and its consequences, the willingness to make amends by letting what can’t be fixed inspire the now, and what can be done here and now, with love, is to be admired, applauded and encouraged.

      Our wounds, our pain, our suffering inspire us to change in a way which supports healthy growth and life. It’s up to each of us individually to choose how we let the past affect our present and future. It takes time to heal, and we need to give ourselves and others the space to take that time to heal in our own ways.

      Part of the love and support which you’re giving your children, I hope includes showing them that you love and support yourself too. Children always feel responsible for their parents, especially when they witness that parent being abused by the other parent and they have been helpless and powerless to intervene. Love and support flows both ways in a healthy relationship, I hope you accept their love and support for you too, this will help them as it helps you.

      Best wishes. Take care of yourself and be gentle with yourself!

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  14. As I am very busy today, I swore after I posted on wordpress today I was NOT going to have time to read blogs today. ANd then, I saw yours in my reader and I could not resist. I am really struggling right now with my stepkids and witnessing how their mother treats them. I feel I walk a minefield of trying to help them understand love and the confusing messages she gives them. it exhausts me mentally and emotionally. I can’t put it quite into words, but your blog gave me some help and hope today. thank you.

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    1. What a wonderful compliment, thank you 🙂

      The situation in which you find yourself is a difficult and complex one. I’ve been reading your posts about it and have found them very touching and evocative. I particularly loved the post where you shared a painting with your stepson.

      Here – http://kimberlyharding.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/protecting-your-sacred-value/

      That was a beautiful moment. Allowing him to interact with your painting, and not punishing him for it but encouraging his participation, nurturing his confidence in expressing himself and in reaching out to you in a way which he chose, leaving his imprint on your painting… in many ways those kinds of moments are all a child of a narcissist needs to understand love and to feel loved.

      He would have never done that if the painting was one his narcissist parent had made, because she would have punished him for it, made it all about what he had done to her, his crime against her art, and she’d have wiped his mark off – his gesture of love, of wanting to be loved, of being a part of her life would have been erased in a brutal and deeply wounding manner.

      Children of narcissists tend to develop an awareness of actions over words, because the narcissist parent tends to talk the talk (endlessly) but they don’t ever walk the walk, so they say they love you but their actions show that they don’t love you at all. Therefore when someone shows us love, genuine active love, we recognise it.

      Children of narcissists, especially when they are still children, are not confused about love, real love versus fake love. The confusion comes later, particularly when the outside world, society, weighs in on their life with platitudes such as – of course your parents love you, all parents love their children – denying the child of narcissists truth in favour of a lie, the lie of the narcissist parent.

      This article touches upon the sort of conflicts which confuse a child of narcissists – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/promoting-empathy-your-teen/201407/when-parents-blame-their-children – children are very logical, the confusion occurs when adults overrule a child’s logic with illogical concepts disguised as fact.

      What your stepson did shows his keen awareness and insight into you. He was testing your love to see if it was genuine. He was also displaying that he was fairly certain that your love for him is genuine. He feels safe with you – this is very important because children of narcissists never feel safe and desperately seek a safe haven. He has observed that you love painting, that your painting is an expression of love for you. He wanted to be a part of your painting as a way of being a part of you, of your love. His gesture was his hand reaching out to you in the hopes that you would accept it and hold it and love him in a safe and protective way – the kind of protection which allows a child to be a child, to be themselves, which asks for nothing, gives for free and says I love you as you are, be yourself with me, let’s grow together.

      I could say more about it, but I think you know everything I could possibly say. You are a source of healing and genuine love for your stepchildren, you don’t actually have to do anything other than be yourself and allow them to be themselves with you. That’s love, the sort of love they will understand and which will nourish them. They won’t be confused about your love at all and your love will help them to clarify the confusing messages about love they may get from their narcissist parent.

      As a child I met and interacted with people like you who naturally showed genuine and unconditional love. Those moments were brief but I never forgot them, they confirmed what I already knew – that the love of narcissists is false and conditional – and more importantly they showed me that other types of love and ways to relate existed.

      Who you are is what makes the difference for your stepchildren. So be gentle with yourself, you’re thinking too much about it, trust your natural flow as you do when you paint 🙂

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      1. You know there are times when we are given such a weighty gift, a gift that has mass, that is tangible, that we can carry it with us.
        Your words are this gift to me today. thank you. YOu will likely completely underestimate the value of what you have written here. My heart thanks you.

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  15. Ahhhh.. “….the new “normal” …” is starting to feel like the “old ” normal..finally at age 49!! Great Post MM… Living the journey and pioneering on! I luv that!! 😉

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    1. It’s cool, isn’t it, to participate in creating a new ‘normal’, we get to glimpse the personal power which each of us has and how creative it can be when we direct it in a pioneering way 🙂

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