Sadly, most children of narcissistic parents don’t realize their abuse until they are adults
A normal person that wants to have children desires to nurture, love and create a child that will be successful and happy. They love their child unconditionally. A narcissist has children to have a built in relationship that they can control and they very often use the children as a cover to show the world what a good parent they are. A child of a narcissist learns early that they have to serve and compete for their parent’s attention. As with any narcissist relationship that of a parent and child has two faces. The outside view of what they show the world and the behind closed doors of emotional and often physical abuse.
Children have no baseline for normal
Sadly growing up in this type of controlled environment a child is not taught self-love, boundaries or that this isn’t what all families are like. When living with a narcissistic parent children learn to ‘people please’ and often suffer with anxiety trying to manage the put downs and lack of unconditional love.
For me I always compared my mom to other friend’s moms and she HATED that and she shut me down from questioning her again. My sisters and I were pitted against each other so that we were not allied together. If we were strong together she would lose her control. Attention from her bounced from one sister to another and she could never love all three of us at a time. It was control to make herself the center of attention, it worked and she had all three of us fighting for any attention. My mother was emotionally abusive and I never knew I was abused and re-victimized by narcissists in my life until my 55th year.
patterns are formed
Being emotionally abused became our normal and when any of us found relationships we choose men that were ‘abusive’ because we were used to abuse and this was our “normal”. When a child doesn’t feel consistently loved, it sets programming for the rest of your life. They look for love from external people and are unsure they are worthy of more.
Here is how to get started healing
To heal from being a child of a narcissist you must learn everything you can, educate yourself on the red flags, behaviors and patterns. Professional help is often needed, but please make sure that the therapist you see is an expert in narcissistic abuse. We have put together a list of excellent YouTube videos that will get you started in this narcucation. (yes, I made up that word)
Here is a great article in the Huffington Post – 6 Signs You Were Raised By a Narcissist