Narcissistic Parents–Terrorizing Their Kids to Be Perfect!

Narcissistic mothers and fathers are on endless rampages to make their children ultra perfect.  No little child can meet the “standards” of these highly disturbed parents. Sometimes there is only one narcissistic mother or father—-Other children are thrown into the impossible role of having duo raging narcissistic moms and dads.  I have had heard from many of these adult children and the horror stories of their childhoods, at times Hitchockian, are chilling–and this is an understatement.

Everything on the surface appears to be in absolute order. In many of these homes one would not find a spot of dirt, dust, particle of food, mud, smudge, grit, grim–even a grain of cereal, sand, rice or a small thin sample of one human hair. And speaking of human–these children grow up in a tidy, sterile inhumane environment.

On the outside, narcissistic mothers and fathers are often regaled as sterling examples of individuals and parents in their communities and the wider world.  They are feted for their accomplishments, creativity, professional excellence, their moral bona fides. These individuals wear many convincing masks that fool entire worlds of people, including psychotherapists, teachers, physicians, neighbors, friends, professional associates. They are beyond judgment because of the perfection of their impeccably masked false selves.

In a society that is breeding narcissism faster than we can imagine, these individuals are raised up to the highest places in their societal groups. No one would ever know that in private they create a chronic horrific living nightmare for their infants, young children and adult children.

One of the toughest problems with these cruel, treacherous narcissistic parents is that the child who speaks up about the reality of his or her hidden frightening world is severely punished, demeaned, humiliated and threatened. “No one believes me”  —-that is what I am often told by the victims of the narcissistic parents. “They think I am crazy, weak, deluded.” After a while some children come to believe that something is intrinsically wrong with them.  This is so painful—like constantly screaming into a cyclone and feeling yourself being ripped away into oblivion.

Narcissistic parents are not affectionate with their children unless it is in front of a camera for a family portrait or on display at social events or church. There is no real hugging, holding or being soothed. These arms are hard and cool, even cold. The parental eyes show no feeling, depth, warmth or compassion. They are blank, menacing, judging and at times deeply  threatening. Parental abuses take place in the imprisonment of the family home. While the physical arrangement can be very attractive and neat to the extreme, the emotional and psychological environment is hard edged, apprehension charged, waiting for the footfall that will strike fear in a child’s entire nervous system. These children never feel safe—Why would they? They aren’t and can never let down. There is no emotional and psychological space for private reveries, pleasant daydreams, flights of fancy.  Night time is a special horror to these children. Alone in their rooms they are doubly fearful. They know that no matter how desperate or even how ill they are,  they cannot call out to mom or dad because either they will be completely ignored or if the parent comes, a great loud storm will appear rather than a comforting mom or dad. Left alone, the child whimpers and cries for the parent who will never come to them in the time of their greatest need. Their fears increase and some children develop phobias, symptoms of post traumatic stress, anxiety disorders.  On the surface, of course, they must morph into mother and father’s perfect little darlings.

As the years go by, children of narcissistic parents suffer horribly. Some of them learn to conceal and protect their true feelings and to wall off their precious authentic original selves.  Other kids get the message that in order to survive they must play the roles assigned to them: scapegoat, golden child, forgotten child, unwanted child, stupid child, crazy kid.

I have spoken and communicated with many adult children of narcissistic parents who have survived these endless wars on their psyches, bodies, minds and spirits. Listening to these survivors is profound. I am deeply moved beyond words by their grit, strength, courage, creativity, compassion, insight and deep humanity. Many find their own pathways to healing and recovery.  This is a long journey with many detours, switchbacks and roads less taken. Here they are—Deep affection, gratitude and joy to those who are on this path each day, moment by moment.


Narcissistic Stepmothers–Ultimate Nightmare for Stepchildren

There are tales of wicked stepmothers going back hundreds of years. There are stepmothers who are wonderful parents to their stepchildren. I am speaking specifically about narcissistic stepmothers.

Narcissistic stepmothers cause emotional chaos and psychological distress within the family. Narcissistic stepmothers are cunning and clever. They are masters at appearing to be considerate, cooperative within the new family constellation and even kind. But this is a major deceit, a ruse that is designed to tear the original family apart and to obtain the central power within the household. Throwing the original children of their father to the wolves doesn’t matter to the narcissistic stepmother since she has neither conscience nor compassion.

Narcissistic stepmothers have the upper hand over their spouses. They pick men who can be controlled, manipulated, fooled, deceived and emotionally coerced to obey them. They are masters of sexual and emotional seduction. In many cases they have been having an affair with their spouse to be long before the husband is divorced from the previous wife.

These women have no conscience—They have their eyes and the full force of their personalities on the prize–their next highly successful husband. Some narcissistic stepmothers repeat this pattern over several marriages–always moving upward on the social, economic, lifestyle and prestige scales.

The narcissistic stepmother begins by becoming indispensable to her spouse. She makes extradinary promises to him that she loves his children and will treat them as her own. Using her powers of seduction and charm and the full force of her magnetic, unyielding personality, the spouse turns a blind eye to the darkness of her nature and the cruelties of her deeds.

Eventually, these husbands capitulate their control and decision making. They go along with their wife’s wishes. They are both beguiled and intmidated by her.

This is a lifestyle and power arrangement for the narcisisstic stepmother, not a marriage. She controls the money, properties and assets. She quickly has a couple of biological children with her new spouse to anchor the “contract.”

The narcissistic stepmother is greedy. She favors and gives her biological children with her spouse every material advantage. The children of the first marriage have to fend for themselves. In some instances they become permanently estranged from their family of origin. The burden of their sorrows, resentments, regrets is incalculable.

The child of a narcissistic stepmother has a road that will take them to recovery and restoration. You begin by learning to put yourself first. Practice self care by getting the rest and sleep that you need. the food and exercise that is best for you, the individuals that you bring into your life that are supportive and caring. Accessing your creative gifts is a major part of your healing and transformation. Take time each day to have a quiet time with yourself. For some this means a form of meditation, prayer or contemplation. For others this is sitting in solitude and silence or it can mean listening to music that is calming and beautiful. You will find the kind of practice of calmness and restoration that works for you. Be patient and nonjudgemental with yourself. This is a journey to your invaluable true self

Narcissistic Mothers Divide and Conquer

Narcissistic mothers are one woman armies of human destruction. They
are an elite team of ninja killers of the psyches of their children. One
narcissistic mother does more psychological damage than you can
imagine. I read and hear life stories every day about those who have
survived the narcissistic battles of childhood. One of NM’s cruelest
tactics is turning one child against the other. She will assure her son
that he is the special one and then tell the older daughter that she has
been chosen. After all, she is gorgeous, bright and talented. She pits one child against the other. This highly dysfunctional family is in a state of endless psychological war.

The narcissistic mother ties her psychological twin to herself like an appendage. These children have special privileges, no psychological boundaries, no empathy, no developed conscience. They are sent to the finest schools, showered with praise and adulation, never questioned about their brutal sadistic behavior toward their siblings. Even when “mother”  is a witness to these treacheries, she turns a blind eye. For her, the chosen one is the ultimate narcissistic supply.

The golden child learns from mom to taunt and terrorize the other children.
Between the two of them, it is a sinister game—a sadistic one.
In these families it is every child for himself. The brother or sister who
is savvy and has the opportunity, escapes as early as possible. Some
children find other adults whom they trust and help them to move, get
jobs, training, go to college, etc.

As the years go by, hatred between the siblings grows and hardens. The narcissistic
mother remains Ruler of the dissembling process.

You are entitled to rescue yourself from this psychological gulag.  Study the narcissistic personality in-depth. Get in touch with your true self, that part of you that that is authentic, genuine and creative.  You are entitled to lead your life with grace, inner peace, the full use of your creative gifts.


Become Entitled to Healing from Your Narcissistic Mother

Children who are victimized being raised by narcissistic mothers do not develop a healthy sense of self entitlement.  They survive by feeling less than, even worthless and nonentities. It is very sad and at the same time exasperating to watch adults who grew up under family regimes of terror, fight or flight, incessant cruelties and humiliations and exploitation—still be unable to own what is theirs–A healthy entitled solid sense of self.

Narcissistic mothers are over-entitled and take your life over from the time you were born.  You are treated like a servant who is responsible for providing mother with everything that she demands: absolute obedience, constant praise, adulation, even worship. If the child provides mother with everything that she requires, it is not sufficient for her.  You still hear her voice, screaming ugly epithets at you, insulting and humiliating you, telling you how stupid and foolish you are—what a bad human being you have always been, that you were never wanted and a failure. In order to survive the young child must go along with mother’s projections and false beliefs.

There is a raw pit in the stomach of these children that gnaws away at them. They turn themselves upside down, inside out, trying to make mother love them to no avail. Some children never give up. They believe that if they try just a little bit harder, mother will come round and change and accept and love them. This is not the case since mother is a fixed, highly pathological narcissistic personality that will not change. These individuals are cruel, cold, selfish, highly controlling, exploitive and often vicious and sadistic.

For many children of narcissistic mothers there is a time of reckoning when the child, often grown is able to get access to the right information about the true nature of the narcissist. Then, the insight comes through and the victim now knows that this was never her or his fault, that this dreadful abuse occurred as a result of mother’s psychopathology.

After this deep knowing and realization happens, the process of healing and recovery can begin. It is at this time that some child victims become familiar with the intrinsic beauty of their true selves, that part of their deep core that recognizes, often for the first time that they are special, good, bright, talented, lovable and entitled to lead a very good life. There are others along the way who provide support–friends, spiritual figures, various books, teachers, mental health professionals, etc. who remind these precious human beings that they are worthy and can heal. This is the beginning of a new journey, an upward turn in life that promises hope and the fulfillment of the creative gifts of one’s true nature and the possibilities of reciprocal love and inner peace.

Hold on to this new vision of yourself that has been waiting all of your life to be revealed. Pay attention to your intuition and insights that are always leading you toward the direction of healing, transformation and truth. Know that there are so many others who are walking this pathway. You will find them and support one another on this life journey to which you are richly entitled.

Narcissists Will Never Stop Lying to You

You want to believe them when they pull you back into their orbit after their horrible cruelties and betrayals. They know just how to talk to you, what your emotional needs are as well as your vulnerabilities. You are most likely a deeply caring, compassionate and empathetic person.  These are the ones that that they prey on the most. Although narcissists have no genuine insight, they have been practicing “playing people” all of their lives.

We don’t expect another person with whom we have shared are lives to be so deceitful and annihilating. That is because you are not thinking the way that a narcissist does. It is very important that you learn how these individuals function, what their goals are and what makes them tick. Remember–they are not like you so don’t expect them to tell the truth—ever. They lie by omission and commission. They deny the dreadful things they have done to you. They purposefully make empty promises under pressure to keep you by their side as a source of perpetual narcissistic supply–adulation, praise, validation, adoration.

Many narcissists are so charming and magnetic that with the power of their personalities and their attractiveness, they can convince you that they are telling the exact truth even when they are lying through their gorgeous white teeth.

Narcissists don’t develop a conscience. What is right or wrong for them is based on whether they can get away with something that is often immoral and unethical and even illegal. They don’t have a sense of limits. They are always right and perfect. They view others as inferior to them, boring, stupid, foolish and ignorant.

When you pay close attention to your intuition you will know when the narcissist is lying to you to get you back, to intimidate and humiliate you, to blame you, to project his/her volcanic rage on to you.

Study the narcissistic personality in-depth. Honor who you are as an authentic, creative and grounded individual. Learn to take very good care of yourself —physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. Put yourself first.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Narcissists Leave Their Families in Psychological, Emotional and Financial Turmoil

Narcissists live strictly for themselves. They bring individuals into their lives–spouses, ex-spouses, children, siblings, friends, business associates, to play “roles” that build and enhance their grandiose images and masks of their ubiquitous false selves. Narcissists are disingenuous, incapable of being true, real or authentic.

Narcissists create chaos, pain and destruction wherever they go. Those who have grown up as children of a narcissistic mother or father, know this story too well. I hear from so many of these children and the tales are hair-raising. Children are emotionally and psychologically neglected, treated like dirt or in the other extreme–chosen as perfect living replicas of themselves–These are the golden children who are picked from the rest of the pack for their physical beauty or handsomeness, intellectual brightness, athletic potential, social graces–they embellish the narcissist’ self image. On the opposite end are the children who are treated with derision and scorn, those who are beaten verbally or physically, neglected and cast out as “inferior” from the day they were born. They are the outcasts, the prodigals, the wretched ones of the family. The narcissistic parent has no problem inflicting severe levels of pain since he/she doesn’t have a conscience and no capacity for empathy, compassion or guilt.

During the sickening lengthy divorce battles, narcissists are particularly nasty. They fear that they won’t get everything to which they are entitled. They expect to win over the opposing spouse and if this involves devastating the lives of their children and other family members, this is of no consequence to them. They are in a no prisoners mode, nothing is going to stop them; they are heavily lawyered up and hell bent to take everything in reach, even if they are not legally entitled to it. Custody battles are particularly nasty. Narcissists often drag them out over many years to wear the other party down, manipulate the children to their side and attempt to destroy any positive relationship with the other parent. They play games with the children, ensuring them that they are the good parent, can and will provide the kids with whatever they want and need. This puts the children in a severe psychological bind as they are whipsawed between one parent and the other. Eventually, the formal divorce comes to an end but not without enormous emotional and psychological fallout.

If you are the child of a narcissist, married to or divorcing a narcissist or have any relationship with one of these toxic individuals, your greatest assets is the power of knowledge. The more that you understand the narcissistic personality in-depth, stop blaming yourself for all of the damage and destruction he has caused and learn to appreciate your real self deeply, the sooner you will begin to heal and move forward with the life that you have always deserved.

Don’t Let the Narcissist Steal the Rest of Your Life

If you have a narcissistic parent, if you are married to a narcissist, the sibling of a narcissist—you know that these individuals are exceedingly difficult, albeit impossible to live with! I have heard innumerable life stories of those who are going through excruciating suffering as a consequence of these toxic relationships.

It is common for those who are being abused to keep thinking that they can “fix” the narcissist. This is not the case. This is a very fixed personality that does not change. The defense mechanisms of the narcissist are like concrete or steel–They include primitive projection, volcanic rage, extreme denial, rationalizations and splitting. You can’t take your narcissistic spouse to counseling and expect that he or she will cooperate. The narcissist will pretend to make moves that will help save the marriage. This is a well crafted act. In some instances they manipulate the therapist to their side and you are the one who is stuck with an “emotional instability” label.

As the child of a narcissistic mother or father, you suffered extreme emotional and psychological deprivation. You were not loved for your true self. You were exploited as a living narcissistic supply. Some children are discarded since the narcissistic parent does not view them as measuring up to their expectations. So many of these lovely children are cast aside to fend for themselves, even as very small children.
Having a narcissistic sibling who hates and envies you from the beginning, tells lies about you, perpetrating myriad cruelties upon you, is one of the most difficult roles for a child. If the narcissistic sibling is the golden one, you were never believed. You were the source of ridicule and criticism. You were excluded from the family for not being “good enough” or the “bad one.”

If you have lived any of these roles as the victim of narcissistic abuse, it is essential that you understand that as a child you had no choice; as a spouse you could not have known that your husband or wife was a severe personality disorder.

A profound life change begins to take place when you recognize and appreciate who you are as a unique, invaluable, creative and loving individual. You are entitled to heal from the wounds of childhood that have haunted you all of these years. You deserve to face each day with inner peace and hope in your heart.

As the former wife or husband of a narcissistic spouse, you will learn to breathe deeply again, to set off on the pathways of your own individual life. Hold fast to your personal vision and inner wisdom.

Tell yourself and take action based on this vow that a narcissist will never “steal” your life, sap your creative energies, halt your dreams, bring you down—ever again.

You are evolving as an individual on every level as you heal—mentally, emotionally, psychologically, creatively, spiritually. Celebrate this long journey you have made. Feel your renewed vigor, creative juices, new goals and aspirations as they spring forth from deep within you. And spread the good news to others who are waiting to hear your words of support, empathy, strength and perseverance.

Narcissists Lack a Real Conscience

Are you concerned at times that you have hurt someone’s feelings due to your harsh words or actions? Do you have worries that you misspoke out of anger and your own projections? Do you apologize when you have caused someone  distress?  These are  a few of the questions that those who have a conscience exam within themselves. Individuals with conscience care about the emotional and psychological welfare of other people. They monitor themselves and make every effort to do and say what is right and fair.  (This post refers to female and male narcissists).

Conscience is developed, not innate. By the time a child is three a primitive conscience begins to emerge through the quality of parenting. By the age of seven or eight, the conscience becomes more mature. Conscience grows as a result of parental input that provides the growing child with a sense of caring about the feelings of others. The good parent sets limits on a child’s impulses and wishes in a healthy way. Conscience  develops and becomes more refined throughout life (or doesn’t).

Conscience, the capacity to distinguish what is right and wrong and to experience guilt when we have done harm to another is absent in the narcissist. These individuals do everything in their power not to get caught in their deceptive, unethical and illegals deeds.  For them, this is “conscience.”

The narcissist is ruthlessly goal oriented to the extent that he or she is always in the fast lane to achieve his goals regardless of the harm and distress that it causes others. If lying is the best way to win–that’s fine.  The narcissist rationalizes his lies or doesn’t even acknowledge them.

Lack of conscience makes the narcissist’s movement to the finish line first much easier. He doesn’t have to be concerned about the devastating effects of his misdeeds upon others, especially spouses, ex-spouses, siblings, children, co-workers, business partners and everyone who crosses his path.

How often have you seen reckless drivers on the freeway, threading in and out of heavy traffic at high speeds.  These individuals are endangering everyone else on the road but that doesn’t matter to them.  This is a visual metaphor for the narcissist who moves through the fast lane of his life goals without conscience, empathy, compassion or guilt. These individuals sleep at night without a quiver of guilt.

Our current society is exceedingly narcissistic. Being ruthless without conscience is highly accepted in many sectors of this current narcissistic climate.  Winning, “succeeding” at any cost–have become life goals. There is nothing the matter with success.  We work diligently with our gifts to do better and use our efforts to perform professionally and personally on a high level. But we do this with conscience.

Along with the narcissist’s lack of conscience comes deception, duplicitousness, manipulations and exploitation.  As the narcissist races through life, he is regressing and becoming more deeply entrenched in these pathological personality traits and actions.

Learn to recognize the narcissist quickly so that you will protect yourself from these individuals. Being informed is very powerful. You will know what to expect–nothing!

Remember,  you have a conscience—the narcissist doesn’t and will not develop one.  This is a fixed personality constellation that is not inclined to change.

You are evolving all of the time. This process is not a straight forward line. There are plateaus, trials, disappointments, losses, fears and regrets that we face. This is the life process. Give yourself tremendous credit for being a person of conscience and compassion.  You are that unique individual that always strives to do the right thing especially when no one is watching or will ever find out.  It is in the deep inner self that you feel the peace of your authenticity and integrity.

Healing from Your Narcissistic Mother Begins Now

It is very difficult, painful and complex for children of narcissistic mothers to heal their psychological and emotional wounds. One of the hardest parts of this process is in the recognition that your mother is a narcissistic personality. When we grow up we learn to survive and cope with the circumstances and roles that we are given. Small children cannot know that their mother, the person whom they are entitled to trust the most, is incapable of this sacred maternal bond.  Some small children know early that mother didn’t love or care deeply about them. They could feel it, see it in their mother’s eyes, hear her shrill voice, watch her walk away from them, punish them in frightening, alarming ways for no reason except their very existence.

The time of knowing that your mother is a narcissist will come. It dawns often in the process of healing from this non-parent. Yet each time we are awakened to this truth, there is a tendency for this painful knowledge to fade, for the child to make excuses for the parent or to think he or she is unworthy, defective even bad.

You have been through a series of hells with your narcissistic mother. You have gone back and forth with the No Contact, Minimal Contact modes. Other family members put pressure on you to see your mother. They don’t understand your perspective or life experience with her. This is the case because narcissistic mothers are consummate actors. They fool everyone but you. Even your brothers and sisters think there is something intrinsically the matter with you since “mom” is such a wonderful person. You are often the odd person out–You hold the truth; everyone around you does not.

To heal you cannot wait for your family members and others to come to the realization that your mother is a narcissist who has treated you coldly, cruelly and dismissively.

Give yourself time and space to heal. This is a long complex process worth the passage–the recovery of your true self, the person you were always meant to be.

Begin the practice of putting yourself first. Make sure that you learn to take very good care of your total being: physical, mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual. There are many pathways to healing. They begin with activating the calming part of your nervous system, the parasympathetic, the restorative that brings your inner peace and belongs to you.

Seek relationships that nurture you. Pay attention to getting the sleep that you need and deserve. Exercise your way. Listen to great music, enjoy the beauty of art in every form, merge with Nature, the Great Healer that restores, calms and revives our life force. Develop a practice of quieting the mind in a regular way that works for you. This can be guided meditation, readings that inspire you, yoga poses that open your heart and heal you and finding creative activities that speak to you personally. Make an effort to find other individuals who are warm and compassionate, who understand you, are loyal and whom you can count on and trust. It is surprising when we find these great people. We see it in their eyes and feel their warm, loving hearts.

Be kind and patient with yourself as you move through your sacred healing.

Narcissistic Mother Chooses Golden Child Sister–Not You

Narcissistic mothers often pick a favorite child–the kid that has it all: good looks, intellectual brightness, a gleaming personality, athletic prowess. These “mothers” know what they want–the child who will provide them with the perfect ever-lasting narcissistic supply. What could be better than to have a reflection of yourself as part of your own DNA. The bragging rights with this kid are endless. From the beginning the narcissistic mother makes it very clear that you are the outcast, the victim, the “less than” who will never make the grade.

You remember as a small child that your sister was the one who always shined in the family. She was called gifted, beautiful, the achiever, even the Star. Some children under these survival circumstances accept the role of not being “chosen.” They must get through their lives each day and as a result accept their roles as second, third, an also ran or not even in the game (or family).

The narcissistic mother brags to everyone that your sister is her favorite. She does it in a variety of ways–by providing special lessons to the Princess, by making sure she attends all the right schools (not you–you are on your own)  through dramatic over the top displays of praise and adulation.  You are the one who is criticized, demeaned and humiliated.

There are no limits placed on this budding narcissistic sister who never forms a conscience and exerts her power over you at every turn. This is so frightening to the child who is the outcast. She feels completely alone with no one to turn to. In some cases there is comfort in a grandmother or aunt who pays attention to the unchosen child but often the scapegoat gets the crumbs or less.

Throughout their lives these outcast children suffer and bear psychological cruelties. Some leave home very early to get away from the narcissistic toxicity. Others find ways to be invisible by staying the homes of friends most of the time. Many find comfort in libraries and through reading and flights of the imagination and Nature. All along there is pain inside for this forgotten sister. Many of them are very strong and courageous and decide that they will not be defeated. They find their way despite all of the obstacles placed in front of them by the narcissistic mother and sister.

Decades later the psychopathological pattern remains. Narcissistic mother and royal sister are thick as thieves. They feed off of one another’s egos.

The sister who received the abusive treatment from the narcissistic duo travels a long road to her awakening of the real self. In some cases quality psychotherapy is very helpful. In others these individuals take a spiritual route where they discover solace and inner peace. Many find friends and partners who demonstrate deep love for them. These are times of healing and growth. The evolving self continues its journey throughout life. If we are not growing we are regressing and so we move forward despite the pain of the past and the injustices that we cannot change. We learn from them, deepen our insights, soften our hearts, maintain our mental and psychological stamina and remain in touch with our souls.