Narcissistic Parents Sabotage Their Children

By definition sabotage is a “treacherous action.” Treachery when perpetrated upon a family member means destruction and annihilation. It is beyond ruthlessness.

Growing up in a narcissistic family is like being in the middle of a deadly fire fight twenty four hours a day. The child who survives these skirmishes and all out wars is truly remarkable. I hear and read life stories of those who found survival techniques. Many of them hid in their own hoes, spent time with friends to keep out of the war zone, slipped their minds away into books, video games, drawing, writing, other creative activities. Some children were fortunate to have a grand parent who would give them times of respite.

Some children who have this experience are in a constant state of anxiety–fight or flight syndrome.The narcissist–mother or father or both rule the household. Screams and demands–slaps and threats can be heard and experienced frequently in these homes. The narcissist lives for himself (herself) alone. Narcissists don’t love their children. They use them to prop up their egos if they perceive that a particular child can add to their perfect image. In this case the child is indulged. The rest of the kids are cast aside and neglected or treated abysmally. Some of these children find ingenious ways to save their sense of self, to conceal their creative gifts but continue to use them and to keep the inner fire of a sense of self burning brightly. I have known individuals who have been able to accomplish this despite all of the narcissistic pathology of their mother or father or both parents.

Adult children continue to heal through skilled psychotherapy and many forms of bringing the body/mind back into balance: gentle yoga, meditation, support groups, full use of your creativity. You can heal. You will heal. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Email: lmlphd@thenarcissistinyourlife

2 thoughts on “Narcissistic Parents Sabotage Their Children”

  1. When i managed to escape my NPD mother as a young teen, I spent (and still do) many, many years suffering the after effects. Example: she would say to me in a really hissing angry way things like “If you take ANY of these pills I. WILL. KNOW” or “If you lose your virginity. I. WILL. KNOW” and so on. She was a nurse (martyr) and she had a drawer full of different coloured pills. I had never been in the slightest bit interested in them, but when she said that I wondered why these pills were so important. Was she setting me up? Or what? I have since been a paranoid person, acutely tuned in to the various possibilities of being spied upon. She raided my privacy regularly (but heaven FORBID if I did the same, accidentally, as I would not have DARED do it deliberately) and punished me if she found something, usually pretty innocent. Also because she made me wear horrible clothes, it was the 70’s, everyone else was wearing denim and fashion, but I was wearing crimplene trousers with the raised seam down the front, in brown, my GRAN wore them; if she did relent and buy me jeans, they would be 2 sizes too big, I would labour for hours taking in the seams to make them fit and resemble fashion to at least try to fit in but I would come home from school to find the stitching ripped apart, she stole things like a little badge I had of Sitting Bull, he disappeared, so did other things. I didn’t understand her at all, and I would see other peoples’ mothers liking their daughters, having a joke with them, chatting about all sorts. Mine did not possess a sense of humour, we only chatted about things if she was in agreement. Otherwise, she would imperiously invalidate and dismiss me as a person; standard procedure which I accepted a believed; “why would anyone be interested in you?” People don’t spend their time thinking about you” etc etc. My escape from this scary, confusing misery was making up a large happy, fantasy family in my head (which I knew wasn’t quite right really) and reading books but only books SHE approved of) In my paranoia, I try to cover EVERY angle if I feel threatened. I never underestimate other peoples’ abilities to cause me problems. I probably give them too much credit. From the age of 17 til around 30 I would suffer enormous panic/anxiety attacks. I had no idea what they were and they were seriously debilitating I was so frightened I thought i was going insane. I learned how to deal with them eventually but I find it hard to forgive the damage done by this woman. I know she’s aware when she’s being nasty, I can see her enjoying it. I find respect for her hard to summon up at times, so i have to focus on her attributes, she does have them. I often wonder what her few friends think, I know one of them is quite angry with her, but my mother always describes things as if she’s totally innocent, but i can just picture her tone of voice and facial expressions, the arrogance etc. I have a sneaking suspicion her friends do know, but of course I can’t ask them, it would be inappropriate, especially if I’m wrong. heheh
    Thank you for letting me write it is helpful because i actually feel safe here, I did get a jolt of paranoia that she would somehow ‘know’ or even go on these sites herself, but then I thought no, why on earth would she look up being a narcissistic mother? She wouldn’t be able to cope with the truth and she’s an absolute expert in denial.

  2. That was my mother in most aspects. I suffered greatly from her fantasy world and unrealistic expectations. She died nearly 8 years ago at 94,but still I have bad memories and feeling of lost opportunities because of inferior feelings of inadequacy she
    conveyed to me.

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