Narcissistic Abusers–Their Human Beasts of Burden

A beast of burden is defined as an animal who carries heavy loads or must do very hard work.

Narcissists often put their children, spouses, siblings and others in these roles as human beasts of burden. In effect their children, spouses and siblings are their servants.

The narcissist is imperious. He/she is the ruler in every “relationship.” Children of narcissists lead their lives at the mercy, whim, impulse, psychopathology of their highly disturbed parents. The narcissist gives orders–quite literally–and those close to him/her are expected to obey on the spot. Growing up, children depend on the parent for survival. They have no alternative. Being raised by a narcissistic parent, the child has no real support, validation, emotional closeness, feeling of security or protection or sense of entitlement (unless he is the golden child and adored).  Children growing up with a narcissistic parent(s) describe that they felt like prisoners in their own homes. Often they hid from the narcissistic mother or father, fearing that they would have to tolerate one more screaming session, accusation, humiliation, volleys of criticisms and threats. These children live under emotional and psychological siege. They have trouble sleeping at night. They feel unsafe in their own homes. Some suffer from constant free floating anxiety.

The narcissistic parent is highly demanding of what he or she wants and must have. Angry commands must be responded to. Chores must be done perfectly on the spot. Nothing is ever good enough for the narcissistic parent. He/she always finds flaws and the child is at fault. This is the narcissist’s serious delusional state not the child’s.

The child of a narcissistic parent is likely to marry a narcissist, repeating the psychological pattern of abuse.

The narcissistic spouse is impossible–making outrageous demands, throwing criticisms right and left, making the partner feel unworthy and defective. Many spouses of these narcissists stay married to them. They continue to take the psychological blows and to become human beasts of burden who will do the bidding of the narcissistic partner, regardless of how depleted, exhausted or frustrated they are. They are devoted to someone who is hurting them. They feel the stress and pain in their bodies and the mental distress—yet they continue in these roles, often throughout the marriage. When the narcissist gets too bored with someone he/she can kick around too easily, this person will be discarded and replaced.

Some narcissistic spouses keep their human beasts of burden indefinitely. They have found someone who is loyal, will always fulfill their every need–regardless of its outrageousness and continue to adore and provide the narcissist with cascades of narcissistic supplies.

Adult children of narcissistic parents have a long road that they travel to recovering their true selves and repairing their psyches from their exposure to emotional and psychological battlefields. Many find wholeness and inner peace through a variety of practices including guided meditation, gentle hatha yoga, exercise that works for them, finding support from those whom they trust and understand what they have endured, through creative spontaneous writing, music that soothes them, acupuncture that puts the patient in the parasympathetic nervous system, etc.

Those married to narcissists who awaken to the truth that they have been the victims of narcissistic abuse, sever these relationships, go through the divorce process and begin to put their lives back together in the ways that are healing to them. They no longer live under the control of a narcissistic partner. They are human beasts of burden no longer. Their role now is to lead the life that they deserve–to awaken to the fact that they are entitled to inner peace, a healthy sense of entitlement and a strong knowing that they are more than good enough. Remember that if you have been in one of these dreadful marriages, you can and will heal.


8 thoughts on “Narcissistic Abusers–Their Human Beasts of Burden”

  1. Comment: From Doug
    The Narcissistic spouse is impossible”. I grew up hearing these exact words from my father with regard to my mother. He said it often and being the golden child until I hit puberty, I thought my father was wrong. He died at the age of 43. I was 15. I was devastated, but the first words from my mothers mouth after telling me he died, while I was crying, falling apart were “stop, one of has to be strong”. What she meant was that she needed me to be strong for her. I didn’t matter, she needed to be taken care of. At that moment I shut down. From then on I never felt again. I became someone who didn’t feel, always putting on a happy face…Funtime Doug. But because of how I was raised, or not raised, I was beyond nieve. My mother wanted me to be her baby boy forever because if I remained a child, I’d always need her and that is what her Covert Narcissism required. When I hit puberty I tried to break away, but she dug her claws in deeper. These people are evil to the core. My older brother is mentally handicapped and I heard her on many occasions telling him she wished he die. I don’t know exactly what made her a CN, but after a lifetime and finally finding out what my mother is through Linda’s Blog, I know none of this is my fault. As much as my mother tried to make me believe it was, I now know I’m not the one with a mental illness, or a social disorder, or both, or whatever. I can never let my mother into my life again, I know this now and it’s a freedom I can’t explain. Sometimes I do, however, think about trying, but I remember this blog, I go to certain entry’s and forget that idea immediately. Thanks again, Linda.

  2. Comment: From Pat
    Doug I have a question for you after reading your comment. Did you for years feel you had to defend your Mom? Deny her behaviors, minimize the madness? Control the monster from within if possible maybe even with your Dad? Things you said in your post resonated with my husbands mother more then most posts I have read.
    I ask this b/c I believe my H has a N mother. He protects her and criticizes his father to others who is a beaten down man. I can never understand it. The father is less then and she regards everything she has as mine, me, I. Never we. Even my husband calls everything mom’s this or that as if she is everything and his Dad is a pion.
    She is a covert Narc like you said your mom is so she is good at hiding her ugliness most of the time until her mask slips and she rages. She is good at feigning empathy and can be generous to a fault but it is all a baiting of sorts and she is keeping score. Grooming another source of NS. Keeping her arsenal of cronies which is small to do her bidding.
    Does this sound like your Mom?
    I can not b entirely sure of anything until I can confirm that she does a lot in private and out of the eyes of witnesses.

  3. Comment:From Anna
    Thankyou Linda,
    My ex husband was exactly like this, l was his beast of burden, and boy, he NEVER stoped complaining.
    If only l had known of NPD then, my life would have been very different. Soon many wasted years.
    Having a malignant narc for a ‘mother’ set me up in my ignorance as very easy prey for an abuser. I hate my mother she destroyed my life in so many ways.
    Thank for your blogs they really help.

  4. Comment:From Sophie
    Doug, finally we are posting the truly scary and psychotic specifics of what we’ve gone through. I don’t know if I believe in evil, but my parents were child abusers. I don’t know if they knew what they were doing or could control it. My Mom relied on me to take care of her and my younger siblings also. She drank and took drugs with the people she hired as well as with us when we got older. I finally got away to college but so weird, had a big, framed picture of her in my dorm room. We had a phone conversation one day and she said, “Why don’t you just quit and come home, you know you will fail anyway.” I came home. And have quit every endeavor I’ve begun ever since. If ONLY I had stayed in school my life would have been completely different. But, like you, she needed me, would hand me the car keys and tell me to go pick up the mail she just felt like killing herself. So I’d stand there in the hallway immobilized, afraid to leave and afraid to disobey. I think she was suffering, her mother was very cruel to her. But she would take off to rehab where she became the star, and I stayed at home turning on lights in the am and making breakfast for us. My father sexually abused me and then, thankfully left, but what a difficult, damaging, confusing and nightmarish time. My poor sister rarely went to school- was always in her room alone just staring at stuff, not using drugs, just totally unengaged with the world, while Mom was downstairs in bed. My mother and sister now live next door to eachother and my sister is cruel. My brother, like you, was the performer, his job was to make Mom laugh. He is very funny and extremely smart. He finally became his very serious self after taking off and leaving the country. He now has a beautiful wife and family. Thanks for posting.

  5. Comment: From: Doug
    Hi, Pat. Thanks for reading my post. Yes, I did feel the need to protect her. My mother being my mother, I don’t have much of a choice as wanting to protect her, I’m her son. I would protect her from harm, but knowing what I know now, even if the feeling crept in, I would not protect her from her own doing. It sounds to me that your H may have been the golden child and he hasn’t yet realized, or perhaps doesn’t want to realize what his mother is, or what harm she may be causing. Show him Linda’s blog, see if he’s resistant to it. I would walk softly, however, because you don’t just want to attack, or crush his feelings towards his mother. You ask if it sounds like my mother. Yes, to a degree. My mother is extremely covert. She would never take a risk at being discovered, therefore she lies and covers up like a Professional, in fact she is a Pro having perfected her cover-ups for over 65 yrs.. My mother doesn’t have any friends, but she does have ‘cronies’ that are always telling her what a wonderful person she is. But she has an identical twin who is also a severe CN…they both feed each other’s needs yet at the same time compete. It’s quite unusual to see these two together, or listening to them talk. So, I’m not quite sure what you’re asking me. Do I think your mother-in-law is a Narcissist? I don’t know, she may be. Yes, I would still protect my mother from harm, but I will never again stand up for her if she gets into trouble by her own volition meaning if her narcissistic ways are getting in the way of my relationship, or any relationship, I’d confront her. I’m not sure if I mentioned that since I finally figured out what my mother is, I’ve cut her out of my life…forever. This syndrome, mental illness, whatever it is, it’s hard wired and will never change. I will always love my mother, I will always hate my mother, and I will learn to forgive my mother. I’m working on that now. I’d love to talk to you in private. We can share more that way. If you want to, email me at I’m looking forward to hearing from you, Pat.


  6. Comment: From Doug

    know exactly how you feel, Anna. My mother set me up to be her ignorant little boy forever. When my dad died I was lost. I didn’t know anything about life because my mother, as she would describe it, protected me from the cruelty of the world, so that I might be someone who only saw the good in everything and everyone. What it was really about was keeping me in the shackles of ignorance and in her control so that I would always need her. The sick bitch. And yeah, because of that, I was ripe for people to take advantage of. As intelligent and bright as I was and am, as tall and handsome as I was and hope I still am 🙂 I was neive to the real world. My mother stole from me everything I could have been and I say now, without any conceit, I could have been anything I wanted to be.

  7. Comment: From Doug
    Hey, Sophie. You had a hard life. I’m sorry. My life, up until puberty, was actually pretty great. My mothers narcissism takes form as her being very needy, but she was also raised to be a prim and proper lady. So this manifests in a myriad of ways. As long as she feels needed, everything is glorious, as long as she’s in complete control, the world is great, as long as things are going perfectly (she’s an extreme perfectionist), all is well. If anything disturbs her perfect world, she becomes a freaking Banshee. She would become something else and strike out like a crazed psychotic. I literally have scars from belt buckles when she’d beat us because we wouldn’t go to sleep. I could never understand why my father, who never touched us, would allow her to beat us. I know now because of Linda’s Blog, he was as controlled by the Narcissist as much as she controlled us. I’d like to talk to you on a more real level. Some things can’t be said here. Would you email me at I was also molested, Sophie. I hope you’ll write.

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