When you meet a narcissist—especially a very smooth attractive one–you would never guess that he/she is decimating his family—spouses, children, siblings, in-laws, grandparents, etc. Narcissists go viral. Their venom spreads out to every family member. There are some individuals who even as small children know that there is something very wrong with their mother or father, that this person is toxic to them. They keep their emotional distance from this person whom they are asked to call mother or father. Some family members survive by becoming invisible. As soon as they are able they spend long periods of time away from their home. Or they find hiding places in their rooms or outside. They learn how to avoid their own parent. They emotionally detach themselves from the narcissistic parent. In some cases there is an aunt or grandparent from whom they can get some of the warmth and love that they need and deserve.
Other family members–spouses and children–go along with the pathological thinking and behaviors of the narcissistic parent. They will tell you how much they love the narcissistic parent who is crushing them. They have never made a psychological separation from this poisonous person. Even in middle age, they are still holding on to a non-parent who has taken their lives away. They will not become separate individuals. Some children in the family are chosen to be the special ones who represent the narcissist’s power, brilliance, talent, physical attractiveness and magnetism. Many consider them the lucky ones. They are treated like little gods but they are not real people. They are pariahs who are allowed to emotionally harm their siblings. They are raised to the heights by the parents and believe they are perfect and superior. They treat their siblings like dirt, lie about them, get them into serious trouble with the narcissistic parent, etc.
These dark narcissistic family patterns do not stop. Fortunately, there are individuals within these families who grow up to be genuine, solid, kind and productive human beings. Your best offensive is to learn everything you can about the narcissistic personality. Are you about to marry a narcissist? Find out now before you take that fateful step. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
2 thoughts on “Narcissists Destroy Their Families”
As usual, Dr. Martinez-Lewi, you hit the nail right on the head. I could spend hours reading your material and just continue to nod and say, “Yep….yep….yep….true…..so true…” But I would like to add that for some of us (as you know), there IS a light at the end of the tunnel – once we go No Contact. It’s been nearly three years now since I’ve gone NC with the entire cult, and I have never felt better. I am getting to know myself and my talents daily, and I’m so proud of myself for having been able to climb out of that very toxic stew that my family had me steeped in for five decades! I’m finally at peace and free at last!
For some reason I was just guided to return to Linda’s blog, and your post has put sunshine in my heart today, with a big smile and “YES” to going No Contact with the “entire cult.”
Same here. It’s been over a year, and though there are still days that the convalescence seems immediate, and still climbing out of a financial hole, I am peaceful and free and it is only when for some reason I have to encounter the “cult” for any remote reason — an email from a cousin, a phone message from an aunt who still hasn’t figured out how to break from the insanity — triggers that still can send me down the rabbit hole for days. Way too costly.
I am about to have my existing phone number changed to unpublished and take other measures to protect myself.
There was once upon a time such a thing as values, posterity, and the tradition of inheritance that parents passed on to their children. That all goes out the window after family relations have been poisoned by the narcissist cult — those who will not see the light of day until they are on their death beds, and even then, will they?
Cheers and YES to the light at the end of the tunnel. May they swim in their own stew!
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