Siblings of Narcissistic Brothers and Sisters–You Deserve to Heal

Growing up in a narcissistic family with siblings with the same personality disorder is beyond challenging. Mother or father narcissist (or both) has seized upon one of your siblings (or more) as the perfect living model of their excellence. From the beginning it is obvious that this child is the One. All of the attention is placed on this child. Narcissistic mother idealizes this living supply and experiences this child as a perfect replica of herself. The blooming narcissist is allowed to psychologically demean, humiliate and harm his/her brothers and sisters.

Mother dismisses her other children as inferior. She makes fun of them, tells them they can’t measure up to the chosen child and that she is too drained to listen or do anything for them. These narcissistic mothers have their priorities. The “imperfect” children are treated as servants in some cases. They do the cleaning, cooking, errands. They even pick up after the golden narcissistic child. One of the most painful incessant patterns is that they are constantly compared with the chosen one as inferior, lazy, dumb, ugly, a behavior problem, untalented, socially backward.

Those who survive this nightmare background need to take time to sort out who they really are. It certainly is not what their narcissistic mother projected on to them. That was coming from her dark unconscious. Some of them find that quality psychotherapy helps them acknowledge and experience their pain with a strong therapeutic alliance. Other forms of healing are learning to quiet the mind, gentle yoga and of course the use of your many creative gifts. Self care is the beginning of this process—getting the sleep that you need and deserve, taking time for yourself to use your creativity in every way that gives you pleasure and peace. You are rediscovering your true nature. This process continues throughout your life.

21 thoughts on “Siblings of Narcissistic Brothers and Sisters–You Deserve to Heal”

  1. Hi! Just as you predicted my narcissistic sister figured out how to get my mother’s entire inheritance. It isn’t about the money that my mother disinherited me, its about the terrible message. Until my mother died a few months ago, my mother acted as though she loved me and we communicated frequently and I would go over to see her. How treacherous that she was abusive to me and communicating with me until the end. Thanks so much for your support! Love to you, Valda

  2. This was not my experience. Neither of my parents were/are narcissistic, but my oldest sister was for as long as I can remember, and continues to be to this day. My parents did not treat her preferentially, but she always thought herself better than the rest of us. She rarely participated in family activities by the time she was in junior high, and was very territorial about her space. She had little regard for me, my other sisters, or pretty much anyone else. We have not spoken in almost 20 years, and I was relieved when she moved across the country. She has been married and divorced twice, and now lives with a man half her age. I do NOT miss her in my life, and I want nothing to do with her ever again.

  3. He and his mother are cruel beyond beleif. Ruined my life. Hope my kids will do better.

  4. It certainly does seem like this healing process will take the rest of my life. (I’m 50 now). I want to “blow the whistle” on my sister but I don’t want the nasty retribution that I know will follow. What’s a good way to warn people about narcissists in their family/social circle without tipping off the narcissist? Is there one?

  5. Hello. i have had a friend, long standing who at first seemed caring, fun loving and very exciting. She talked a lot, still does, but that was ok as i am a bit shy, not totally shy, just some situations. Over the past few months i have been thinking i need to do something quite separate and took up a hobby. Since then she has been very dismissive of my hobby and dissmissive of me. At first i didnt spot it, infact for many years i havent, now i know she is very narcissistic. I feel a fool for falling for it and my self esteem has dropped.
    I have been in this situation before and thought given i am sixty one i would know better. i trusted her and feel very let down. Her jealousy knows no bounds. We both got breast cancer withing six months of each other. Mine luckily was a low grade and prognosis excellent. Hers wasnt so good and she ended up having chemo. She has compared our cancers “I wanted one like yours”. Heavens i didnt want one at all. Then she told me that even though mine wasnt in the lymph it could have spread through the blood stream. I wouldnt have said that to her had the boot been on the other foot. Now what i need to do is pull away and stay sane in the process.

  6. Again I read about my childhood in great and accurate detail. My narcissistic mother chose my only sibling, my older brother, as the chosen one and I was expected to be his servant when my mother wasn’t around to wait on him. Also, my mother turned a blind eye to my brother torturing me – both physically and mentally. I don’t think there was anything wrong with me as a child – at least there weren’t any problems at school – but my mother regularly reprimanded me for being “lazy”. The way she said it to me was as though being lazy was akin to being a thief. Being able to read about this as a psychiatric condition is so cathartic for me. Thank you for explaining a very complex problem so succinctly.

  7. Spent my entire childhood trying to appease my psychically vampiristic mom & sister. It was like trying to fill a black hole. Now that my dad died in March, they live together just a few miles away from me. It is terrifying because they’re both extremely jealous of my success. Mom lied to the police and got me arrested for an injury she sustained from falling down and my sister called the police and tried to have my child taken away based on a lie mom told her regarding my being a drug addict! I was not convicted of course but that doesn’t change the fact that I live in severe anxiety, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m in therapy and am regularly drug tested in order to protect myself. I don’t communicate with them which also infuriates them. I pray that God will build a hedge of protection around me, the cops will catch on and my refusal to participate in their cruel games will turn their crosshairs away from me.

  8. Hello, this blog is great because it validates all my gut feelings about my brother and his wife. I am now starting to really detach from them after years of abuse. I strongly suspect that my mother has undiagnosed npd as life with her as a child was a nightmare. She is now in a care home after I cared for her and Dad for years. I feel as though I am just starting to recover. All my Mum’s side of the family had this disorder and I always wondered why their behaviour was so strange.

  9. I believe I am a survivor of having been a good feed for my narcissistic siblings. Too bad it didn’t happen earlier. I want to thrive now. That is why I am researching how to thrive after no contact and enjoy the peace I have. That research brought me to your site. It is funny how after decades of using me as a scapegoat, rejecting, blaming, devaluating, and being nasty and unsupportive, now that I am the one not wanting any contact with them, the ‘leader of the gang’ who is my oldest sister is now calling regularly because she is ‘worried’ about me! It is just funny!

  10. I am,65 yo.female. Thank you! I just started to,question my 82 year sister. What I have subjected to for my lifetime. Thank you

  11. I can’t speak as a professional would on NPD but it sometimes seems it’s either a) nit understood well, because it’s said they don’t seek therapy so how much diagnostic experience could pro’s really have and/or b) it is a term that seems grossly applied with increasing fashion across the internet. Now everyone has a NPD mother or father. That said, I can speak to my experience growing up and my mom seems to fit nearly 90% of the criteria. I was sytematically emotionally abused for years and the landfill for my mom’s angst and ravings, wether she was sober or not. A lot of parents have broken dreams. Few are taught how to cope with that so they just bury their feelings and make their kids do so as well I guess. I only ever wanted my mother’s sincere approval, support, and kindness. The only glimpse I ever got of it was if I was sick. And I was a sickly child. My dad abused then abandoned all of us. Oddly, I reunited with him years later and felt more love from him in one month, in decades around my mom, than I’d ever had from everyone in my family combined. Go figure. And she despised me for speaking to him and went crying to my sibs about it, whom she turned against me as well. She tried to use his presence as an excuse for their behavior while ignoring that none of us had spoken for ten years BEFORE I found him. I expected to find a monster. He wasn’t. It’s just unfortunate that I found him late and he died a year later. I miss him terribly, because I finally had blood kin that I could be myself around and talk to without being castigated and envied at every turn.

    It wasn’t until I seperated myself from my family’s drama, that carried on to adulthood (it could fill ten books), that whatever little talents I have were able to express. When I started performing I invited, but not one family member showed up ever over a few years. I’m glad my fellow performers had their family’s there, but I admit to some self pity sometimes, wishing I could know the same.

    Fast forward and after a physical disability and divorce, I had to downsize and look to new horizons. I’d never totally cut my mother out but kept her at phone distance. I think she sensed I was at a weak point and I was slowly manipulated. My self confidence faded by degrees, but I thought it was just my circumstances and I’d eventually get past it once I changed them. The problem is that instead of moving back home to California, where I wanted to be, I believed my mother’s perpetual warnings that if I didn’t buy a house ‘near family’ Ild regret it. It’s hard to explain as she can’t order me, obviously, but it’s like you can feel just how little the parent thinks of you, your aspirations, and of course there’s the ‘if you do that and fall, you’ll be all alone’ insinuations.

    The mistake made was putting her beliefs about me above my own. I followed her practical advice. Though I’m ‘near family’, I’ve never been more alone and recently had a major depressive,event. I despise the weather here, I have no friends, no energy, I am fighting the dark clarity of depression’s voice daily and not sure if I’ll survive it. I feel stuck. I’m jobless and financially drained, but not homeless. I sometimes wish I were because at least I wouldn’t be HERE. She’s an hour away and it feels like she lives with me. I have terrible bouts of anger and even rage when I think of her, though it’s myself I’m most angry with. I was ‘lured’, yet again, with her promise of approval and compassion that never, ever come. She seems happier to know I’m broke and immobile than ‘out there’, happy. How pathetic is it that the only thing keeping me alive is my pet? I’m a practical shut in because what’s the point in going out to make friends? So they can be around ME? I’m deeply depressed. I don’t even want to be around me. The last time a stranger said something kind to me, I mumbled a thank you and got away as quick as I could because I was on the brink of tears. I feel unloved and unloveable. I have no new skills, I’m not young, no college degree, no job, no family and no physical energy. Yeah, I’d make a TERRIFIC friend! Give me a break.

    As far as I’m concerned, people who bring kids into the world and abuse them get away with a slow murder. Why even have kids? Why harm humanity even more with more people who just keep this endless cycle of suffering going from one gen to the next? Why? So the minority of wealthy people can be comfortable? Just to say you had kids because that’s what you’re ‘supposed’ to do? Well, kids get old and carry your damned baggage with them. Then they’re disposed of. I’m totally and utterly disposable at the end of the day, except to a dog. If I’d had a say in my birth, given what awaits us all, I’d say forget it. In order for ME,to live even, a lot of poor people in other countries get exploited. For Comfort and Convience, others must pay the costs and we donlt usually see those costs, so we pretend they don’t happen. They do. And then what? Because we’re each curing cancer? No….so we can produce, more than anything else, consumers who will buy iPhones, cars, and clothes.

  12. Hi and I feel like someone just gave me a zillion dollars!! What a gift this site is. I am a daughter of narcissistic parents, one whom is deceased whom I nursed and now I am nursing the other one and unfortunately I live with her. I have been the family caregiver since 2008 and have had a tumultous life -I could write a book- always moving away but never really being able to stay away due to health reasons and financial reasons. Now my narcissistic blonde sister is coming to possibly live with us as her husband died 7 months ago and she has to sell her house as she cannot afford the payments of the mortgage. I am dreading it. I normally do not call her on the phone only if there is an
    emergency and when I do she yells at me and I quietly ask her questions and if need be I hang up on her. She is so into herself and money, my parents have always favored her as the golden child- her husband drank himself to death because he said the more he owrked she always wanted more-even though she worked as well..She wanted me to go for a two hour ride to pick her up at the airport and I said no I have to study for my nursing boards and she was put she is “making” my 83 year old mother and her girlfriend pick her up. If I were in the car she would take that opportunity to verbally abuse me the whole way..I can just imagine. I dont know what else to do but keep as little contact with her as possible- its like she has to abuse me because shes sick..She has taken testosterone supplements and hormone replacement and is three years my junior but she has no respect for me as her older sister and I have been the sole caretaker for the parents and she always screams at me to “go to WORK!!”
    She tells mother I spend all her money when Mother has been paying her mortgage
    of 1200.00 for the past who knows how many years..She needs help because she has caused soo many problems between my mother and myself that my mother has abused me for years…I have had gastric reflux and asthma/bronchitis from it all and panic disorder..Every day no matter where I was living sister would always tell mother
    bad things about me…It has been a bad life although other people Im sure have it much worse..I never knew what the problem was yet doctors would tell me through the years that my mother was my whole problem-I never knwe what they meant until my niece told me that my mother and her mother were narcissists and that I should stop doing things for her because she did not appreciate it and thought of me as a maid and that she never loved me-only my sister who is the baby of the family and much much better looking than I. She gets all mother;s money-all she has to do is complain to her that she is having some sort of financial crisis and mother wires her 2500.00!! Me I get nothing..I wish I felt good enough to work a job but at the end of the day I am so very drained from dealing with mother that I end up sleeping later than I want. She is also a diabetic and pretty much does what she wants-hides bags of candy and I have just thrown out a box of donuts that she bought -she gives me a hard time if I ask her about checking her blood sugar- she really should be in an assisted living somewhere but she still works part time as a hairdresser!!! I say she’ll outlive everybody!! Anyway, there is so much more, but I just wanted to give a little bit of my history and Thank you so very much for this site- I will definately order your book!!
    Sincerely, Sandi W.

  13. Hey Scott, from everything you say, you are a smart, intelligent and sensitive person. Your self-esteem is wrecked by your mother. Enjoy more and more your creative side. Performances. Find your pleasures in life. If it comes to it, sell off and move away. If being disinherited doesn’t trouble you, start no contact. Even if you stay, nothing can prevent her from manipulating you till the last day and springing out a surprise sting of pain in her will. She has you trained to be dependent. Don’t belief in what you’ve been taught. An hour away is not enough, half a world is also not enough (she is in Asia, I am in Europe). The distance starts physically, and then must also happen psychologically. The physical distance helps make a good start. Marion.

  14. Wow I can so relate ..where do I start.
    My older sister is 11 months older I have 5 siblings this sister was given opportunities growing the rest of us were never given.She learned to be manipulative at an early age.If one of us had something she ended up with it.

    When I was 21 she tried to seduce my husband goes back yo if I had something she would steal it. He rejected her by the way which makes him and I her enemy.

    About this time my youngest sister was 14 things went missing from our folks home that the youngest sister was getting blamed for my 14 year old sister denied taking the dad said confess or I am calling all of your friends parents..She said if you do I will leave home .
    My youngest sister left home….Anyway a few months later after moving out of state my older sister moves out of state gets I to an accident the place she was staying called my mom and she and two other sisters go and get the under 2 child.
    Low and behold among her things was a couple of boxes of stolen items items my 14 year old sister was accused of stealing.
    My parents never confronted the most sister but many years later apologized to my younger sister.
    This older sister lies manipulates and has people convinced I am the crazy one and has no clue what my problem is.
    She has no remorse for anything if you cross her he does her best to destroy you she will even lie to destroy your character.

  15. I am 67 and my sister is 68
    I posted my story.
    These people never show fact they raise their own little spawns of themselves.
    Who attack like their mom.
    If anyone does not stay on their side then you become the enemy to.
    Since 2011 my youngest sister has been back in my life it’s a healthy sister relationship.

    My older sister is out of my younger get sisters life.
    There are two more living siblings but my younger sister says they just tolerate her so in reality she has no healthy relationship with any if us.
    My younger sister has taken toxic family members out of her life on her own.

  16. Marion, you are so right about half a globe away is not far enough when it comes to these narcissists in your family. It is amazing how successful they are at manipulating others and most people don’t see it. My identical twin sister made sure that I got next to nothing from our parents’ estate, but then my mother was a narcissist too. It’s very painful stuff, but the best thing we can do is keep these people out of our life and free ourselves from their psychological strangle hold. I just said the other day that my mother is still trying to have a choke hold on me from the grave. Amazing how they do that. It is also typical for the family scapegoat to eventually become ill from this emotional abuse. It is interesting to note that the family scapegoat has a tendency toward being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) see Elaine Aron’s work on HSP. So interesting to me that people on the receiving end of narcissists end up being the polar opposite. Being an HSP is a privilege and a curse. An HSP is super sensitive to their environment and can actually feel the pain and joy of another person. Amazing! The curse is that many HSPs end up becoming physically ill with Fibromyalgia or other chronic illness (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus). We must take extra good care of ourselves since we didn’t receive nurturing when we were young and our family couldn’t care less that we are sick. God bless all that have suffered the wrath of narcissistic family members!

  17. Scott,
    I have been there and know how you feel. Both my parents are narcissists and my twin sister is narcissist as well. I have battled with depression most of my life but am finally at a place now where it doesn’t paralyze me like it used to. It’s been hell, but it does get better.
    I don’t know if this site allows you to email me or if you can or would want to, but if you do want to email me, feel free.

  18. Scott,
    I have been there and know how you feel. Both my parents are narcissists and my twin sister is narcissist as well. I have battled with depression most of my life but am finally at a place now where it doesn’t paralyze me like it used to. It’s been hell, but it does get better.
    I don’t know if this site allows you to email me or if you can or would want to, but if you do want to email me, feel free.

  19. After the recent deaths of both my parents, who treated me like a servant, actually refuring to me as “the maid,” I started to look for people like me. Thank you for your blog! I finally feel like I am getting answers! I always thought it was my fault that they treated me so horribly! Maybe now I can start to heal…

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