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 sacred flame, to camouflage 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 heal through a combination of pathways that they discover work best for them as individuals. There is no one way, given the trauma ridden childhoods that they sustain. Psychotherapy with highly empathic trained psychotherapists is one aspect of this healing for some. Bring the body/mind into balance is essential to this process. This takes many forms including the practice of gentle yoga, meditation, support groups, the re-awakening of your creativity, finding relationships of trust and respect, learning to put yourself first and to practice self love and self care. Learning how to received the affection that others have for you is all part of this healing phase. Healing is a lifetime process, an evolution of the self that takes as many forms as there are individuals.