There are many remarkable human beings in our current society today. They can be hard to find since much of the country is captivated by high level narcissists who are often in positions of power and worldly influence. Unwittingly, many of us make the assumption that if a person is well educated and highly successful they are a great human being. This is not true.
There are people who have built their deserving success in the outside world and are looked up to by their colleagues, friends and family members and at the same time are fine individuals with tremendous character traits: honesty, compassion, humility, fairness, integrity. These are the gems in our society but gradually they are more difficult to find.
We have many high profile narcissists who are skilled at manipulating others into believing that they are great human beings as well as successful at their work. Often these people are very confident, appear to be personable, very attractive, present an impeccable image, advanced social skills and the ability to hold others in their thrall.
High profile narcissists have large entourages of people who adore them without question. Their very presence in the case of major entertainers in movies, television, music, drama creates swarms of adoring fans. The more power and influence they command the greater their sense of self entitlement and no limits attitude. The narcissist is dizzy with his ultimate sense of self importance. He/she is the object of adoration. “What’s not to adore? they ask themselves; I deserve to be venerated!”.
It is within families of high profile narcissists in particular that so much psychological damage is done. In the privacy of their homes, behind closed doors that the children and spouses and ex-spouses of these Uber-Narcisssists suffer the greatest psychological damage. It is within these rooms and compounds the their victims are treated abominably. Children of narcissists are threatened, taunted, physically beaten, humiliated, constantly screamed at, vilified, told they are crazy. You name it, the narcissist has perpetrated severe levels of abuse upon those closest to him. They use cruel methods to turn one child against another, especially when the narcissist has one child who is chosen to be his perfect clone. His other kids are compared to this Golden Boy or Golden Girl and accused of not being good enough. Growing up this way, they develop a poor self image, feelings of guilt, deep inferiority and self humiliation. They blame themselves for not being “Perfect” like their narcissistic mother or father.
Those who have grown up with a narcissistic parent can heal. I have seen this happen through their courage, research and hard work to rediscover themselves, to grieve over the parent they never had, to re-awaken their unique gifts and to understand, feel and know that they are loving human beings. Some of the loveliest individuals I have known are children of narcissistic parents. You will heal and restore your life. You deserve it. The time to begin is now.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.