When your parent is a narcissist...

You grow up not knowing where you start and they end.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You second guess yourself even when what your parent did was obviously hurtful, and very apparent to others.

When your parent is a narcissist...

It's more likely that the child is the real parent in many aspects—of themselves and the narcissist parent.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You try to be good not knowing good needn’t be the goal, but rather authentic—first toward yourself and that, in turn, extends to others.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You learn to hold the tiniest shreds of belief that they didn’t fail as parents because, much like an infant, a part of you believes you need them to survive.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You are aghast at their cruelty, yet cannot seem to really distance yourself.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You tell yourself to listen to only “the words they say” when they are nicer to you, not the underlying messages your heart or gut knows is being conveyed.

When your parent is a narcissist...

Your position is always inferior even during a lull when you’ve seemingly been elevated.

When your parent is a narcissist...

It is likely you have a sibling who carries more of those narcissistic traits but who has finessed or camouflaged their visibility

When your parent is a narcissist...

They will like the polished sibling more because others see how polished that sibling is and this is interpreted as “together” and “better” but it is all surface—though it feels very real to you.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You will be told to take responsibility for yourself but what that really means is that you take care of the narcissist parent by doing what they want.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You will not readily understand why you feel like you don’t fit anywhere, even when you do fit and have amazing friends.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You and your siblings could very well believe you were raised by different parents, with them not understanding why you don’t feel that you were loved, or that your parents loved each other.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You might not realize that your sibling bears the brunt of your parent’s rage, and that you don’t.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You might not want to hear your sibling talk about the realization your parent is a narcissist.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You can be in a kind of denial, especially if you were the favored child, that your parent was not narcissistic but driven and simply wanted the best for the less-favored sibling who was more sensitive and took things too seriously, and you get frustrated with that sibling.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You try not to know what you know.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You likely feel like whatever you are is not the right thing to be.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You have to learn to delve deeply inside yourself and trust what you find.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You need to remember that you exist and that you are separate from your parent.

When your parent is a narcissist...

Please understand that extracting yourself from the narcissist dynamic is rigorous, often confusing work—but absolutely worth it, as is your life.

When your parent is a narcissist...

You can live for you not them.

When your parent is a narcissist...

And if you have children, the inner work you do to individuate from the narcissist parent is crucial to you and your children.

When your parent is a narcissist...

The reviled child (versus the adored child) might have a better chance of recovery sooner because the pain is more acute, and earlier.

When your parent is a narcissist...

The adored child (versus the reviled child) might not understand their jealousy of the reviled child; this can be confusing for the favored/adored child who believed they've lived in a kind of grace and escaped the parent's wrath.

When your parent is a narcissist...

Do not confuse adoration with true love, or it being about you.

When your parent is a narcissist...

Do not confuse being reviled with it being about you.

When your parent is a narcissist...

Protecting yourself is only part of healing; the inner work to help you recover is where you will begin to trust yourself, like yourself, understand yourself, and grow yourself.

When your parent is a narcissist...

It is never too late to seek support and begin to heal—for you.

You are reading

More Than Caregiving

Adored, Reviled, and Forgotten by the Narcissist

Is the narcissist parent wearing you out? There's good reason.

Underlying Patterns: Hard to See and Painfully Obvious

Cracking the nut of unconscious behavior takes time, patience, and self-love.

Sticky, Tricky, and Icky: Unconscious Parent-Child Dynamics

Grief, pain, and anxiety stem from over-adapting and ignoring your core.