Children of Narcissists

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Are You A Narcissist A Codependent-or-Both?

Are You A Narcissist or A Codependent-or-Both?
Ever wonder if you were a narcissist? If so, you’re not a narcissist :)

Very often times codependents can be just as aggressive as they can be passive. When ‘nice’ codependents have had enough of being pushed around, sometimes they lash out and can sound like tyrants. The key is however, they don’t leave the relationships that are causing them distress.

If you are codependent, chances are you have been both very kind, very passive, and also nasty, condescending, passive aggressive, and withholding.  One of the most popular weapons of a codependent is the silent treatment. A codependent will do everything you expect them to do, but watch out! When they get tired, or sick, or have had just about enough of being pushed around, they can lash out and sound very much like a narcissist.

It is important to remember that codependents bark but don’t bite. They complain but rarely if ever set boundaries. They are caught on ferris wheels of emotions, and do not know how to get off. They simply do not have the data they need in their minds to stop the insanity.

When we are dedicated to recovery, we learn to seek the middle ground. We strive towards finding inner harmony, and learn to be extremely protective of our personal vibrations. We realize that no one can really effect our vibrations unless we give others the right to.

Children of narcissistic parents, who are now suffering with codependency symptoms, may be struggling to learn how to love themselves after narcissistic abuse. Narcissists tend to attract people pleasers, or codependent personalities. Because codependents are eager to please, because they seek outside validation, they are easy targets for narcissistic lovers, and friends.

It is not easy to learn how to love yourself after narcissistic abuse, but with the right codependency recovery tools it is possible.  It is even possible to find love after codependency.

The Holidays are coming.

You are not obligated to see your abusive family.
You are not obligated to see your abusive family.
You are not obligated to see your abusive family.
You are not obligated to see your abusive family
You are not obligated to see your abusive family.
You are not obligated to see your abusive family.
You are not obligated to see your abusive family.
You are not obligated to see your abusive family.
YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO SEE YOUR ABUSIVE FAMILY!!!!!!!!
Make other arrangements.
You don’t need to put up with your abuser’s shit just because it’s a Holiday. Your feelings matter.

I know there’s lot of you honestly scared that you’ll end up as narcissistic and abusive as your toxic parents so lemme point out where’s the difference and actual line and when you do have to be worried and when not.

One of the characteristics of narcissism is self-importance, seeing yourself in grandiose light, self absorbency beyond any reason and logic. If you’re avoiding to be like them, you might steer in the complete opposite direction and make yourself as small and unimportant as possible, if only to be different from them, to prove that you’re nothing like that. However a sense of self importance isn’t inherently harmful! Feeling important and valuable and having phases of self absorbed thinking and feeling are absolutely normal and healthy and do not make you anything like the narcissist, you can absolutely make yourself big and valuable in your mind and it wont make you anything like your abusers.

The line is when you start thinking that absolutely nobody else matters but you. If you start seeing others as worthless, disposable, sub-human, only there to please and serve you - that is a sign of narcissism. As long as you’re respecting others as human beings and understand there’s importance in people who are not you, you have nothing to be worried about, you’re not developing into a narcissist.

Narcissists are demanding, manipulative and assertive, they will control you and act like they have absolute right to that control and feel entitled to you as a resource, they wont be above using any kind of manipulation, guilt, pressure, and lies to make you do as they want, and they will go as far as “well what else am i supposed to do when you wont listen” to excuse their abusive ways of control. To avoid being anything like that, you might give up any assertiveness, any needs and demands and wants you have from other people, you might feel that it’s all selfish, any requirements you might have from others are abusive and unfair, and you have no rights to it, and you might sink into complete passive mode and never voice anything you need, I mean this will mostly happen because they already trained you to think that you have no rights to anything and that you’re always owing to them, but the feeling that you’re like them if you demand anything could push it further. 

The line is respecting the other person’s choice in fulfilling your demands and not resorting to abusive measures when you want something. Demanding, asking, notifying other people when you want or need something is not abusive or harmful, it’s absolutely necessary, but if your line of though becomes “they are going to do what i want OR ELSE” and you start thinking of ways to trap people into your control and disable them from resisting your demands or from having free will to decide, then it’s time to question yourself. Bargaining for something is normal, offering people something equal in return is normal, endearing yourself and reasonably explaining why you need something is normal, but punishing people for not giving it to you, feeling entitled to what you want, feeling justified in manipulating, lying, threatening and violence if you’re not listened to - that is when you’ve crossed the line.

One of the main abusive symptoms of narcissism is their ability to dismiss other’s feelings as unreal, accusing any pain and fear and anger as “manipulation” and “pretense”, having endless compassion for themselves but dehumanizing everyone else, invalidating their feelings and even deciding what the other person feels without other’s consent. Victims are usually trained to be extreme empaths, to sense other’s feelings and needs and they often feel like everyone’s but their feelings are valid and matter. In order to keep yourself as different as possible from them, you might end up valuing everyone’s feelings more than your own and work very hard for other people’s benefit instead of yours in order to feel like a good person, you might feel that you need to always be there for everyone just to prove that you’re good and nothing like your abusers.

Valuing your personal feelings at the times more than another’s, taking steps to take care of yourself before you even begin to take care of others, validating your own feelings and having compassion for yourself, being easy on yourself and allowing yourself to mess up and still feel like you’re not all that bad is good and healthy! The problem with narcissists is not how much self compassion they have, but how little they have for anyone else. So enjoy feeling all compassion for yourself, excuse the small mistakes you made, value yourself greatly and know that all what you feel is real and valid, it doesn’t make you anything like the narcissist. Line is when you invalidate and dehumanize everyone else and fail to show any kind of compassion and empathy. This doesn’t mean you have to spend tons of time fulfilling all their needs, it means to not strike someone when they’re down, to not destroy someone when they’re already suffering. The moment you’re enjoying the pain of someone who cannot defend against you, when you take pleasure in hurting others in a way they wont be able to recover from, then you have something to be worried about.

In conclusion, make yourself important all you want, ask for everything you want, demand to be listened to and respected, value yourself and feel compassion for yourself, it makes you nothing like the narcissists, it doesn’t make you abusive, if they’re trying to convince you that you’re “no better than they are” it’s a shameless lie and projection, you are good and humane as long as you don’t resort to abusive behaviour towards those you have power over and who can’t defend against you.

reminder to children of narcissists

your feelings are valid.

no sane person wants to feel abused or neglected by their parents.

sane people want to love their parents and want to feel loved by them.

so if you feel like your parents have been neglecting you your whole life, ignoring your feelings, judging your hobbies and thoughts, treating you more as an extension of themselves than an individual with your own feelings and opinions and interests. if you feel like there’s something wrong with your family

you’re probably right. and you’re completely entitled to get help, or to get out of there.

Traits of Narcissistic Mothers: Deniability

Everything [the narcissistic mother] does is deniable. There is always a facile excuse or an explanation. Cruelties are couched in loving terms. Aggressive and hostile acts are paraded as thoughtfulness. Selfish manipulations are presented as gifts. Criticism and slander is slyly disguised as concern. She only wants what is best for you. She only wants to help you.

She rarely says right out that she thinks you’re inadequate. Instead, any time that you tell her you’ve done something good, she counters with something your sibling did that was better or she simply ignores you or she hears you out without saying anything, then in a short time does something cruel to you so you understand not to get above yourself. She will carefully separate cause (your joy in your accomplishment) from effect (refusing to let you borrow the car to go to the awards ceremony) by enough time that someone who didn’t live through her abuse would never believe the connection.

Many of her putdowns are simply by comparison. She’ll talk about how wonderful someone else is or what a wonderful job they did on something you’ve also done or how highly she thinks of them. The contrast is left up to you. She has let you know that you’re no good without saying a word.

She’ll spoil your pleasure in something by simply congratulating you for it in an angry, envious voice that conveys how unhappy she is, again, completely deniably. It is impossible to confront someone over their tone of voice, their demeanor or they way they look at you, but once your narcissistic mother has you trained, she can promise terrible punishment without a word. As a result, you’re always afraid, always in the wrong, and can never exactly put your finger on why.

Because her abusiveness is part of a lifelong campaign of control and because she is careful to rationalize her abuse, it is extremely difficult to explain to other people what is so bad about her.

She’s also careful about when and how she engages in her abuses. She’s very secretive, a characteristic of almost all abusers (“Don’t wash our dirty laundry in public!”) and will punish you for telling anyone else what she’s done. The times and locations of her worst abuses are carefully chosen so that no one who might intervene
will hear or see her bad behavior, and she will seem like a completely different person in public.

She’ll slam you to other people, but will always embed her devaluing nuggets of snide gossip in protestations of concern, love and understanding (“I feel so sorry for poor Cynthia. She always seems to have such a hard time, but I just don’t know what I can do for her!”) As a consequence the children of narcissists universally report that no one believes them (“I have to tell you that she always talks about YOU in the most caring way!). Unfortunately therapists, given the deniable actions of the narcissist and eager to defend a fellow parent, will often jump to the narcissist’s defense as well, reinforcing your sense of isolation and helplessness ("I’m sure she didn’t mean it like that!”)

Children have to be hit, children have to be obedient, children have to be disciplined, children have to be hardworking, children have to be useful, children have to be non-demanding, children have to do as they’re told, children can’t have what they didn’t deserve, children should be lucky they have a roof over their heads, children should be grateful they’re fed, children should be lucky they get to live.

How far until it’s obvious they’re talking about slaves?

—  replace the word children with slaves and it all makes sense.
children are not objects

children are not objects

children are not toys

children are not accessories

children are not a “must have”

children are not things for you to upload your personality into

children are not dolls for you to dress up as you like

children are not things for you to “fulfill” your life with

children do not exist to make you look good or live up to your expectations

SIGNS OF A NARCISSISTIC PARENT

My father had Narcissistic personality disorder. I want to pass this knowledge onto those who were also told “this isn’t abuse” and don’t know what to call this. Don’t know how to describe it. This changed my life.

-LIVES THROUGH ONE’S CHILD:
Some parents want to see their children succeed. Narcissistic parents will tend to live through their child. Wanting them to do the things that their parents never did or wanted to do. Maybe even things they DID do just to live through their child.
“You have opportunities I’ve never had…After you go to college, do whatever you want. Until then? You do what I say!”

-MARGINALIZATION:
Some narcissistic parents are threatened by their child’s potential, promise, and success as they challenge that parent’s self esteem. So they may make a concerted effort to “push the child down” so to speak, so the parent remains superior. marginalization includes nit-picking, unreasonable judgment and criticisms, unfavorable comparisons, invalidation of positive attitudes and emotions, and rejection of success and accomplishments.
“There’s always something wrong with you.”
“You’ll never be good enough.”
“You’re a little too fat to be an actress.”

-GRANDIOSITY & SUPERIORITY:
Many narcissistic parents have a falsely inflated self-image, with a conceited sense about who they are and what they do. Often, individuals around the narcissist are not treated as human beings, but merely tools (objects) to be used for personal gain. Some children of narcissistic parents are objectified in the same manner. In other words, treating them like they are less than human.
“You’re MY kid, and you’ll do as I say”
“You’re just a kid, I’m way smarter than you.”
“Are you retarded?”

-SUPERFICIAL IMAGE:
Closely related to grandiosity, many narcissistic parents love to show others how “special” they are. They enjoy publically parading what they consider their superior dispositions, be it material possessions, physical appearance, projects and accomplishments, background and membership, contacts in high places, and/or trophy spouse and offspring. (My father’s wife was 10 years younger than him) They go out of their way to seek ego-boosting attention and flattery. They may act nice in public with their kids and then treat them badly at home.

-MANIPULATION(this is a HUGE one):
Narcissists will do this:

Guilt trip: “I’ve done everything for you, and you’re ungrateful”

Blame: “it’s your fault that you’re/I’m not happy”

Shame: “you’re depression and anxiety make you an embarrassment to me”

Negative comparison: “why can’t you be as good as ______?”

Unreasonable pressure: “you WILL get a good report card by the end of the year to make me happy”

Manipulative Reward and punishment: “if you go into music and not college, I’m not going to fund you and I’m cutting off your college fund”

Emotional coercion: “you’re a terrible daughter/son”

-INFLEXIBLE AND TOUCHY:
Certain narcissistic parents are highly rigid when it comes to the expected behaviors of their children. They regulate their offspring on minor details, and can become upset when there’s deviation. Some narcissistic parents are also touchy and easily triggered. Reasons for irritation towards an offspring can vary greatly, from the child’s lack of attention and obedience, to perceived faults and shortcomings, to being in the presence of the parent at the wrong time. A huge reason for this is because Narcissists like to control the child.
“I HATE it when you don’t spend time with me. I HATE it!!”

-LACK OF EMPATHY:
One of the most common manifestations of a narcissistic father or mother is the inability to be mindful of the child’s own thoughts and feelings, and validate them as real and important. Only what the parent thinks and feels matters.
“Hey dad? I have to talk to you about this girl who is bullying me, and I need some support”
“Maybe if you didn’t dress weirdly, nobody would bully you”

-DEPENDENCY/CODEPENDENCY:
Some narcissistic parents will depend on their children to take care of them for the rest of their lives. This dependency can be emotionally, physically, or financially. While this may be admirable to some degree? Narcissists will MANIPULATE their children into making unreasonable sacrifices.

-JEALOUSY AND POSSESSIVENESS:
a narcissistic mother or father often hopes that the child will permanently dwell under the parent’s influence, she or he may become extremely jealous at any signs of the child’s growing maturity and independence. Any perceived act of individuation and separation, from choosing one’s own academic and career path, to making friends not approved by the parent, to spending time on one’s own priorities, are interpreted negatively and personally “Why are you doing this to ME?”
"Your friends are druggies and I don’t want you hanging out with them unless I meet them and their parents first.”

-NEGLECT:

In some situations, a narcissistic parent may choose to focus primarily on her or his self-absorbing interests, which to the narcissist are more exciting than child-raising. These activities may provide the narcissist the stimulation, validation, and self-importance she or he craves, be it career obsession, social flamboyance, or personal adventures and hobbies. The child is left either to the other parent, or on his or her own.
(When I was a kid, my father was an alcoholic. He used to have parties in the garage and he really didn’t give a shit about raising a kid.)

All of these examples are things MY father said,or did, to me. Because after 2 years of this, I found myself with a mental disorder called CPTSD. Which I explained in my last post.
I hope you all find this useful.

Recently I received an anonymous ask about having trouble expressing ones feelings. Children of narcissistic and psychopathic parents often struggle to understand and express their feelings because they were stifled by the narcissistic/psychopathic parent as a child. When these children become adults it’s common for them to struggle with co-dependency. An emotion wheel like the one above is a great tool to help yourself label your emotions and better express them. 

I know each child experiences their relationship with their parents differently

But when there are chapters of psychology books specifically spelling out the dynamic in your house

And no one wants to admit you were the scapegoat

Because that would mean you Weren’t That Bad

And that would mean everyone else Wasn’t That Good

So you’re stuck being the bad one, the wrong one, the martyr forever

ALL judges, family service workers, social workers, and mental health professionals should be taught awareness of narcissism, and the exact nature of the damage it causes to those who are around the narcissist. Any parent with diagnosed narcissism should be denied custody and be granted only very minimal and restricted rights of 100% supervised visitation. Narcissism is a cancer of the soul which, like a highly contagious disease, attacks and invades the healthy mental status of everyone that comes in contact with it. Children of narcissists are left far more scarred and damaged than those who are neglected or those who receive moderate physical punishment for bad behavior. Narcissist parents hold mental guns to their children’s heads, firing bullets at will.