“You do not owe anything to abusers.” ― Diana Macey, Narcissistic Mothers and Covert Emotional Abuse: For Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents
To outsiders, your Dad is a larger-than-life social magnet who attracts people from all walks of life. Or your Mom is the perfect woman, always looking to please and juggling everything with ease.
But behind closed doors, all pretense falls away. Only you, their child,
Most likely, your parents didn’t know they are narcissists themselves. The way they treated you comes from a place of insecurity and lack of love. To fulfill their needs for love, they used you, their child, to give themselves love, admiration, and sense of control at a cost of denying your identity and self-worth
When a child loses their sense of indentity, they are always in the control of others, never thinking about themselves. You may be one of those children who have reached an age, and trying to not only stand their childhood, but also processing their own indentity.
By knowing the signs of narcissistic parenting, this helps you to remember the events that made you feel lost, unimportant, guilty, scared, etc. Being aware of these events in detail is step one to heal yourself out of your parents’ grasps.
“Dysfunctional parents do not apologise. It is one feature that the children of narcissists would instantly agree on. They will lie and justify themselves, but never accept they did anything wrong.” ― Diana Macey, Narcissistic Mothers and Covert Emotional Abuse: For Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents
Sign 1 – They want you to live their dreams
“When you grow, you must become a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer.”
“You must play football”
In short, they want you to do the things they wished they could’ve done.
Sign 2 – Narcissistic Parents think they are always right
Even when they did something wrong, they’ll do whatever it takes to make themselves “look” right. Finger pointing is their expertise.
Sign 3 – They flip when you challenge and criticize them
As if you’re a peasant challenging a king, telling him that he has failed as a ruler. A narcissistic parent is like a king, one that cannot be challenged and criticized.
Sign 4 – They want you to stay below them, all the time
They perceive themselves as superior to you, and they should always be. As you grow up, you’ll learn things they don’t know, and you may pick up skills they’re not good at.
When they realize you’re getting better, they find faults with what you do, compare you with someone else to bring you down, and they’re never happy whenever you achieve something.
Sign 5 – They want to keep you beside them
The reason your narcissistic parents raised you so you’ll take care of them in return. It’s an economic exchange. They expect you to give them allowance (sometimes force or deceive you into it), to take care of them when they’re old, to support them whenever they need. If you don’t, they’ll use Sign 7.
Sign 6 – They have split personalities, in and out of the house
For the first time, you might be shocked. “Why my mum looks so different with her friends?” They like to put on a show, that they have all the good things and show off how your successes are “because of” them. In other words, they’re complimenting themselves using you.
Sign 7 – They make you feel guilty
If you reject what they asked you to do, they’ll say, “I’ve worked so hard to raise you, and this is how you treat me!?” You’ll feel guilty for rejecting and think you should do what they asked because it’s fair to pay them back, right? That’s how they made you think.
Sign 8 – They love you if …
If you do what they want. If you don’t, they’ll scold, punish or ignore you until you apologized and do what they say. Their parental love comes with conditions.
Sign 9 – They never asked, “How do you feel?”
They’re always blabbering about how sad, angry, and in pain they are but never once they asked about how you feel. Instead, they want you to care about their feelings ONLY. It’s never about empathy from them to you.
Sign 10 – They own your success
You passed all subjects with flying colors? Thanks to them!
You won the football competition? Thanks to them!
You got a good job? Thanks to them!
Everything you’ve achieved is always thanks to them. They’ll imply, “Because of me, you did it.” Your achievements are never your own and will never be, in their presence.
“Simply put, the children of narcissists…share a common belief: They believe they do not have the right to exist.” – Clinical psychologist Elan Golomb
There’s no use blaming your parents here. Feeding you to their ego could be one of their coping mechanisms due to lack of love. Perhaps, they have done their best at that moment. But this doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do.
It’s the child’s responsibility to amend the mold created by their parents.
You may have been with them for decades, but it’s entirely possible to work your way out and live life on your own terms.