The New Face of Children of Narcissists

What’s your ‘resting face’?

Sometimes you’ll hear someone say that they have ‘resting bitch face’…



which basically means others assume they are a bitch (which despite empowerment movements is still a pejorative) even though they don’t know them…

because when they’re in resting mode, taking a break from being self-conscious, and a mirror for the world around them, wearing the mask which society needs them to wear for society to feel okay about itself when looking at them…

(in other words mindlessly always smiling – make sure your teeth have been veneered/whitened/cosmeticised beyond their original form to suit trends, fads, and the demands of the eyes of others when doing this or you’ll get criticised for having an imperfect smile which offends others),

their facial expression sets into something a bit hard, determined, focused, and perhaps unfriendly to the viewer…

Recently my ‘resting face’ came into question – someone told me that I looked rather forlorn and asked me what was wrong, and I replied “That’s my resting face… nothing is wrong, it’s just how I look when I relax my facial muscles”.



Throughout my life I’ve had…

complete strangers come up to me and tell me to “Smile, it can’t be that bad!”,

or casual acquaintances remark on how sad I looked (and would I stop it and change it because it was affecting them).

At one of the many social gatherings which my parents had (to boost their egos) someone who considered themselves a good friend of my parents (my parents didn’t have those kind of things/friends but they liked it when others thought they did… and competed for such a position) came up to me and told me that for a 13 year old I had a very old expression – this person meant I was a bit too cynical for a young one.

I didn’t know what to say (and they seemed to want me to say something about what they had observed, explain the things which they found puzzling to them so they could… forget it, move on, and not be bothered by it anymore) as my face was just being my face, and that wry smile I was wearing…



was just how my lips twisted when I smiled (and I was smiling because this was a social gathering and this was what was expected of me during those events – I was supposed to look happy – but I knew this was all a sham, the narcissists wanted to pretend and those who weren’t narcissists wanted that pretense to be real. This is an exhausting and tiresome ordeal, but when in hell keep going, right!?).

As a child of narcissists I was required to keep up the front which my parents had set in motion – any deviation from this was considered treason. Whatever front narcissists set in motion is usually based on their observation of what those around them want and need – narcissists often base their now famous ‘narcissistic supply’ on what others need and want as a supply – thus non-narcissists have a stake in the narcissist’s charade too – any deviation from this was considered uncooperative, obstructive, and anti-social.

If you’ve never been a child of narcissists no amount of empathy (even if you’re the greatest Empath in the known universe) is going to help you to understand this kind of experience and what it means on a deeply embedded in your psyche level – even a child of narcissists may not understand this or empathise with other children of narcissists (we’re brought up to be unique and to compete… all for the sake of our narcissist parents. It’s not about us ever, it’s always about them, we’re all about them and we’d better not forget about it).



If you think you can understand what it is like to be a child of narcissists…

because you’ve had a relationship with a narcissist (for a few weeks, months, years…)

which started off as a dream come true (that’s what hooked you)

and after the honeymoon phase (which you’re slowly forgetting or hating yourself for due to the idyll…) turned into a relentless nightmare (you kept hoping this was just a glitch in the system you liked) come true (and it completely shattered your previous understanding of everything, life, self, others… you were once confident, successful, beautiful, independent, etc, but then along came your narcissist… who first super-boosted your beliefs, ideals, hopes, and ego about your specialness and then destroyed it all…)…

or because you’ve had a child with a narcissist, and have noticed how that child has become an object for your narcissist co-child creator… to use, especially against you, to abuse, manipulate, and to barter and compete with you…

it’s all about the narcissist…

and about you (and you are all about the all of the narcissist)…

with the child falling through the cracks between the two of you…

you’re fighting over the child, this thing, object, toy (if you’re a child of narcissists you may feel like a toy… afraid of breaking while being fought over by adults who pretend to care about you but… you’re a thing and humans care for things up until those things disappoint them, break, aren’t useful anymore, aren’t trendy as an accessory or design style), for love, for identity, for justice…

but none of your fights really and truly take the child and its being into account… because it’s a child and those kind of things don’t understand the world of adults/grown ups/people/society.



if you’ve ever had a life before narcissist and narcissistic way of life, then you’ll never be able to get what it is like to be a child of narcissists who never had anything before narcissist or narcissistic way of life

(if you can’t understand in some ways it’s actually a ‘good’ thing… healthy… your mind was kept simple like the preferred design styles of the moment, minimalist, clear of clutter, an Ikea ideal, focused on yourself, what you need and want, and developing that self into being the best it could be and more…

not forced to take rococo twists and turns like those of children of narcissists, fill your rooms with stuff that isn’t yours, with drawers that overflow, cupboards that can’t hide any more skeletons, where things were always complicated, covered in gold and gilt…

and focused on several spinning plates at once, don’t let them stop spinning or you’ll die a million deaths, slowly and painfully, and on making others, the narcissists, better, feeding your self into their multiple selves, living their dreams, making them come true against all odds, magically, miraculously, getting up before you went to sleep to dig a hole for a pot of gold put together with your blood to be found by them at the end of a rainbow while riding on a unicorn called snowflake so they could believe… and other complexities…

but in other ways…).

This post was inspired by witnessing someone lambasting Ivanka Trump on social media…



after they read this article – Ivanka Trump, what do you do?

wherein Ivanka Trump is interviewed about her official role in her father’s version of reality where he is POTUS, and answers questions asked to her by an unbiased reporter who truly wants to know rather than use Ivanka and whatever they get from her to advance their own agenda (hmmm…).

The someone I witnessed lambasting Ivanka Trump based on this interview and its spin… focused their ire on Ivanka (and found plenty of logical reasons to do so).

They’re probably right…

(and in a world where I was not brought up by narcissists, and therefore wasn’t a child of narcissists who knew the lifetime human chess game that entails, I wouldn’t be doubting their rightness at all with the word ‘probably’… in fact I would probably agree with them and join in with them, proving my worth as belonging to that social peer group who spends all of its energy pointing out what is wrong with Trump and his family and everyone else who isn’t who they are from a safe distance…

while doing many of the things which they find wrong with the Trumps and others in their own life but giving themselves a pass on those because they’re just a Joe Public and not a Joe-not-public).



One of the less advertised things which powers narcissists is the hypocrisy of non-narcissists…

compared to a narcissist you’re not a narcissist, so your narcissistic traits and behaviours… pfft… compared to the narcissist!

compared to narcissists who are ‘evil’… you, the non-narcissist, are ‘good’… so it’s perfectly okay for you to go around screaming that someone whom you have labeled as a narcissist is evil – this is you being good!

compared to the narcissist, who is always wrong and bad and stupid… you, the non-narcissist, are always right and good and smart no matter what you say or do, you have excuses and reasons which… if the narcissist used those same excuses and reasons you’d be all confrontational you can’t do that shit to me now that I know your game on them for it!

compared to the narcissist villain… you, the non-narcissist, get to be a hero…

but your heroics in fighting your narcissist du jour may be more revealing about you than they are about the narcissist.

Narcissism is all about the reflection, the mirror – but who is mirroring who?

While social media came down hard on those who decided to use Barron Trump as a scapegoat for their outed rage against Donald Trump (because he was underage and therefore an innocent child and what people were doing was akin to child abuse, bullying, etc, which is a social no-no), everyone is perfectly okay with scapegoating DT’s other children as they’re adults and in theory they should (have woken the hell up from the hell they were born into by now and gotten the hell out of there… to go where exactly?) own the shit which is dumped on them by those who feel that dumping shit on them is not only justified but righteous…

maybe it is, but…



I know absolutely nothing about Ivanka Trump, her life, her reasons, her path, and what she’s experienced… maybe she is what everyone else who doesn’t know her personally says she is, maybe she is her father’s child and following closely in his footsteps, or in denial… and doing what denial does (like make people self-righteous and justified in pursuing their cause, especially against others who are seen as villains, and used by those who see villains to turns themselves into heroes).

However I can relate (by a stretch of the imagination… not that much of a stretch if certain factors are removed) to her position and the ‘gifts’ which come with it.

She’s royally screwed either way…

Turn against the family and family system, and the family will destroy you for treason, society will look askance at you for betraying family even if society thinks your family sucks, and you will be exiled by all. Good luck with this optional path… it’s the one I chose and you’re on your own when you pick it!

This is a recipe which you’ll have to make up on your own through trial and error, no one is going to help you with it, with gathering ingredients, or putting it all together, however once it’s done and if it smells good, everyone will want a piece of it (and some may even steal your recipe and claim it as theirs – you’re used to this shit, narcissist steal and plagiarise all the time while witch-hunting plagiarists and thieves, whatever, so you shrug and move on because you’ve learned the hard, true and trusted way that getting stuck on it feeds everyone but you).



Stick with family and you’ll be used as a lightning rod by your family, particularly by the narcissist parent, to deflect strikes against them, you’ve been trained for this, this is your role, you’re their soldier, their samurai, defender, the one saving them from dragons and such, and everyone will hate you, but… you’re hated anyway, so this is familiar territory – your face has both a social and a ‘resting face’ to deal with this – immortal vampire zombie hipster otherwise known as Hannibal Lecter as played by that actor who does emotionless emotion really well!

One of the things which I found the most mortifying about growing up with narcissists…

wasn’t my narcissist parents (who did what they did as always… and my problem was that I had a problem with it),

but the world beyond them which at first I thought (due to not knowing, being naive… an expression which soon was wiped off my real face but which I was expected to continue to fake for the benefit of others) was better than, kinder, nicer, freer, more accepting, more just, etc, than what I was experiencing…

but experience taught me otherwise.

There are moments… defining ones… where you realise that better the devil you know… isn’t just a fanciful idea or song lyric!

If you doubt it, wait until someone new is enraptured by your narcissist, and you make that (really dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb…) decision to ‘warn’ them about the situation they’re getting themselves into…

the fury of someone who thinks they have just found the person who is going to make all their dreams come true and you’re getting in the way of them and that person… a woman scorned seems like she’s just stubbed her toe and is having a momentary pain fit from which she will soon recover compared to that!

A classical look at someone deluding themselves about a narcissist, who will later blame everyone but themselves for what occurred… which if they’ve never been on this carousel will be a reasonable blame to pass on.



One of the more advertised things which powers narcissists is that they get a lot of ‘support’ from non-narcissists in their campaigns… whether those are big or small, smear ones or ego-boosting ones…

but we rarely see ourselves as those who supported them…

if we do we avert our eyes quickly onto others to find solace and the place to project and transfer that which we do not want attached to us.

Everyone else did this, has done this, is doing this, btu… we’ve never ever done it!

And since so many do what we do… we consider it normal and normalise it.

And while we often call others out for doing it, especially when distanced from the debacle, when the fall-out can’t hit us, we do not like to be mentioned in the call-out just in case it means we must do more than point out where everyone else is wrong (thus pointing out how right we are… at least in the moment, this moment… which soon will pass and how we rue it when it does).



As a child of narcissists…

according to me…

who took half a lifetime to find the right term – narcissist – to label my parents with (and it only became the right term after the term shifted meaning away from vain and came to mean someone with NPD)…

and even then it still felt like I was the one committing a crime, treason, and such for doing so…

because as a child of narcissists you’re used to being the one who can do no right (and it’s not just the narcissists who confirm this to you, but also all those non-narcissists whose dreams depend on narcissists being anything but narcissists – for now anyway)…

hearing people lambaste Ivanka Trump or denigrate Melania Trump (most recently for her portrait)… while I can understand their perspective and reasons for doing so, see the sweet spot and reward they get for it, momentarily, and perhaps think they may be right… I can’t help but see another aspect of the whole picture…

the one which takes forever and a day to see…

how a narcissist’s battery is powered by our own disowned narcissistic tendencies.



If we could just pause…

truly take a time out…

and listen to ourselves as we say things about others…

and relate it to what it is saying about us…




13 thoughts on “The New Face of Children of Narcissists

  1. I have thought a lot about the Trump children (+ Jared Kushner) and I think their behaviour says much more about #45 than it does about them (something you’ve often generally pointed out, including here). Like all (possible? presumptive?) dictators down through history, he is surrounding himself with family members and placing them in key positions. I seriously doubt that they hold much “sway” as many commentators like to point out – there may be some wishful thinking going on. Again, the whole thing is more about the electors who put him there, allowing him to “hire” unelected family members.

    I agree completely with what you say about how it’s pretty much impossible for others to understand what it’s like to be raised by a narcissist – the effect it has, the unscrambling one has to do, the guilt, the knowledge that however inadvertently, it’s been passed on. As you point out, even figuring it out in the first place.

    What we say about others provides a lot of insight into who we are, both personally and collectively – you are very right about that. I think the negative focus on Trump’s children/wife is likely part of the surge in anger against him (and perhaps unacknowledged anger with themselves). They’re such easy, easy targets. People don’t understand how his kids could stick with him, and why Melania could be married to him, while cutting themselves all kinds of slack in their own thinking around #45.

    Really great post – thank you. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      Many years ago I read that if you as a person want world peace then you have to start with yourself. If you can create peace within yourself then you become a part of how world peace is created by each of us individually being at peace with ourselves. As I pondered that notion and considered how and if I could do it, I realised just how hard it is to have something as desired as world peace, because it is frigging hard to bring about inner peace.

      There’s a lot of fear and loathing going on… and it is rather contagious.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Inner peace – yikes. It’s something very worth pursuing, not something one should give up on, but damn near impossible to achieve. So, good point. I work hard at inner peace and I’m much better than I used to be, but I’m very insecure (among other things) and that’s a very difficult issue to subdue. Haven’t yet.


        1. I’m not sure if insecurities should be subdued… insecurities aren’t the problem so much as our attitude towards them. I’ve noticed that when I let mine show it creates more of a real bond with others, whereas when I try to keep them reined in people tend to think I’m an overly confident perfect snooty ass and that kind of impression never goes or does well (unless I want to attract N’s).

          I think it may be more about how we express our insecurities – with calm acceptance they can be beautiful allies πŸ™‚


          1. “Subdue” is actually an overstatement; I really meant that I don’t want my insecurities causing me to enter Meltdown City where they run riot. But, you make a very good point about how letting them show allows greater bonds with others. My M and I recently talked about our insecurities (he has a big load of them too) and how important it is for the other to see and acknowledge them (and our own). It very much is about our attitude toward them. Thank you. πŸ™‚


  2. Well put. We often hear this term called healthy narcissism. They say we need that for human survival But as time goes on – I wonder.

    in today’s PC World I seem to see so many narcissistic traits in the General Public. And they certainly do not seem to be the kind that are necessary for survival. Instead these twisting, evolving traits which appear to be born of narcissism could very well be leading Humanity down a different path which they will discover is one they do not want to tread.

    I hope that I am wrong and that narcissism is not the Achilles heel of humanity, that which will eventually lead us all down the road to our destruction.


  3. Hi
    Just wanted to say that I really get a lot from reading your posts. Only a victim of narcissitic parents or parents in law can really understand what you portray so eloquently in your writing. Your posts make me look at things from a different angle and I find myself recalling what youve written time and again.
    Thank you for sharing.


      1. I am confused because you mention one time you are not a victim of this abuse and then a few paragraphs down you say you are a victim of this….


        1. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

          My style of self expression can be ambiguous, that’s reflective of growing up with narcissists, in an environment where reality and what’s true changes in the blink of an eye, and things and people can be interpreted however a narcissist (or anyone else) chooses to do so, according to whatever agenda they have at any given moment.

          I have written quite a few posts on this subject, and in my later posts (like this one) I don’t always reiterate what I know I’ve said before in previous posts (like this one –, which means that if you only read one post a lot of my personal story may be missing, and it also depends upon what aspect of narcissism and my own story I’m exploring – in this post I was thinking about Ivanka Trump whose father is Narcissist 101 (if you ever need to explain a narcissist to anyone just point at him).

          However I did mention several times in this article that I am a child of narcissists, thus I am a victim of narcissistic abuse.

          Narcissistic abuse can be confusing, as explained in this article – – wherein the author who is a psychotherapist points out that Narcissistic Abuse is insidious, cunning, covert, indirect, and designed to not be identified easily as ‘abuse’ because the narcissist has a public persona to maintain.

          It can take a victim of narcissistic abuse a long time to figure out that they’re a victim of abuse, that what they’ve been experiencing is abuse, and it may take an even longer time for them to admit to it to themselves. Victims of narcissists tend to think that they’re the problem, that anything bad which happens is their fault, that they are to blame for the pain and suffering, rather than that it is the narcissist who is the problem, at fault, to blame (part of this is due to what is known as gaslighting). They may be hesitant about discussing it with others, especially if they’ve been telling a different story about their relationship with their narcissist up until that point.

          Other people often only see a person’s relationship with a narcissist from the outside, and what they see is often what the narcissist wants others to see, and the victim of the narcissist is trained by the narcissist to keep up that public image (or else… face the wrath of a narcissist). The narcissist has most likely also set their victim up to be seen as the crazy one by other people (known as a smear campaign), and this tends to get confirmed when a victim of narcissistic abuse finally decides to speak out openly about their experience with their narcissist because when talking to others about narcissistic abuse, particularly if those others have no experience of narcissists and narcissistic abuse (or think that the narcissist is a great person just like their facade/mask), you end up sounding ‘crazy’.

          As a child I was constantly told how ‘lucky’ I was to have the ‘wonderful’ parents I had (my parents were often the ones telling me this, and to back up their claim they’d compare themselves favourably to other parents whom they portrayed very unfavourably – a favourite tactic of a narcissist). If I ever pointed out that they weren’t as wonderful as they claimed to be, even if I offered ‘proof’, I’d get accused of being a ‘brat’, a liar, etc. Or I’d get told that I was weak for complaining about something and I should toughen up. Other people weren’t as ‘lucky’ as I was, so I should suck it up and shut up – if I couldn’t say anything nice I shouldn’t speak at all.

          Up until I started blogging (which coincided with my parents resurfacing in my life after many years of No Contact, and this stirred everything up for me), I didn’t bother to discuss my experience with narcissist parents or narcissistic abuse with other people – I’d tried but the conversation tends to end up with others getting annoyed at you because your story has confused them (discussing narcissists can be a very confusing experience). Breaking my silence online has been very healing, and I’ve very much appreciated connecting with others who’ve had similar experiences, and them sharing their story with me. It’s interesting to notice that other children of narcissists also tend to express themselves ambiguously when talking about being a victim of narcissistic abuse, whereas those who aren’t children of narcissists but who have had a relationship with a narcissist tend to be far more certain in their self expression and telling of their story.

          Hope that clears things up.


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