Growing up in narcissistic families is one of the most difficult and traumatic situations for children. When we are very young, many of us believe the family story. We are from a good family. Mother and father are great parents and love their children. They care deeply about each individual child. When the mother or father is a narcissist this is never the case. Narcissists by nature cannot be true parents. They wear the elaborate image of parent but this is false. Many friends, other family members and acquaintances are impressed with what they perceive as a loving family. It all looks so perfect from their vantage point. No one views or experiences what is actually occurring in the privacy of the home. I have communicated with a number of adult siblings of narcissists. They tell stories of great emotional and psychological ordeals—one after the other.
These children often live in the shadow of the chosen narcissistic brother or sister. From early childhood throughout adulthood the non-narcissistic child who is not favored is treated with disdain, humiliation and various forms of cruelty. The narcissistic child does not change and neither does his parent(s). Narcissistic parents treat their other children as inferiors. There is no justice in these households. You would think that as adults this pattern would change. This is not the case. The narcissistic parent continues to favor his/her adult narcissistic golden one.
The less favored adult children often go along with the perfect family image of love and devotion. They swallow their words, pretend that everything is normal and even make excuses for the cruel manipulative narcissist in their midst. They close ranks and say: “Oh, he/she is just being his eccentric self.” He/she is awkward socially. Don’t take him/her so seriously.” The narcissistic personality traits which cause such pain to others in the family are considered to be quirks not character traits that are psychologically toxic to their adult siblings, their children and all of those who come into contact with them.
At some point there are siblings who have had enough. They are worn down with the callousness with which they have been treated their entire lives with no consequences to their hateful words, behaviors and attitudes toward everyone but themselves and their golden circles of admirers. When you have recognized your narcissistic sibling and have suffered more than enough, you will make a decision of whether to stay in the family tableau and play your role or to sever the relationship with a very cruel human being. Other members of the family may be on board with the narcissist and will never the truth of his nature. You may be ostracized for deciding to sever this relationship. These are your personal decisions and can be very difficult. At times these decisions divide families.It is vital that we live with the truth. This can mean that we understand on a deep level that we must free our lives from the burden of the narcissistic siblings cruelties, manipulations and deceits. Some siblings minimize their interactions with the narcissistic brother or sister. Often it is difficult because the adult narcissist is constantly causing pain and chaos among every member of the family. He/she keeps the fires of hatred burning.
Those who choose to sever this relationship, do so with careful thought. As they move through their lives each day, they are unburdened and now free to move forward without always wondering when the next psychological ambush, outrageous remark or bursts of rage will take place. We can choose that we will lead our lives as unique individuals who deserve to use our creative gifts, to form and nourish loving relationships and to be true to ourselves. Visit my website: www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
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