No One Believes You—Psychological Damage Caused by Narcissistic Parent

There is a theme that runs through responses that I receive from children of a narcissistic parent(s). The child is subjected to unbearable levels of ongoing abuse–scalding criticisms, withering humiliations in front of other family members and alone, routine secret physical beatings and other horrendous acts of brutality including psychological and literal abandonment. When the child lets family members know what is happening to him, this person is not believed. When the victim of a narcissist tells the truth about his dreadful pathological parent, he is not treated with kindness or understanding. The family is shocked; the victim is treated with disdain and often told he/she is the sick one or that this is all lies to get attention. The narcissistic mother or father gets a complete pass. A masterful coverup takes place and remains ongoing. The child victims become family pariahs. Often the suggestion is whispered that they belong in a psychiatric institution or are in need of intensive psychotherapy.

In some cases the narcissistic abuse has been so severe that the victim needs to work with an excellent psychotherapist to deal with the painful aftermath of surviving a narcissistic parent. The child of the narcissist is doubly abused—Once throughout childhood and another round when he or she tells the truth about the narcissistic parent. After all the entire family must keep the secret intact especially if the narcissist is highly successful, has a high profile, is generous monetarily with certain family members or cravenly sets one child against the other. Does the narcissistic parent feel any guilt about what he has done to his children. Certainly not! He does not have a conscience. If the marriage and the kids don’t work out, he/she moves on to the next opportunity. What about a younger prettier wife with whom he can make more perfect children? Whom does he think he is? a god? The answer is Yes! These individuals are despicable especially when they disrupt and in some cases destroy their children’s’ lives.

Many children of narcissistic parents do survive although they have suffered horribly. They are courageous individuals who never give up even when they feel like they can’t go one more step. They learn the lessons of survival well. Many of them become hypervigalent and suffer from anxiety and depression. Many benefit from highly skilled empathic psychotherapy and other healing modalities: gentle yoga, a form of meditation that works for you, journaling, exercise that you enjoy and spending time with Nature.

I want you to know that I Believe You. I know what you have endured. You are courageous. You deserve to lead the life that was given to you originally. Keep healing. You are taking the path less traveled–the one with fewer travelers, the way that has deep meaning. Here you will find the peace that you have sought all of your life.

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

36 thoughts on “No One Believes You—Psychological Damage Caused by Narcissistic Parent”

  1. Excellent post – thank you! “Crazy-making” is a tool used by narcissistic parents to convince the child that what is happening is not happening or is not as bad as they think. I was convinced that something was wrong with me until I moved away from my mother and got counseling. Even today – 30 years later – I am viewed as the crazy one in the family because I called my mother on her narcissistic behavior while she looked to people outside the immediate family like the perfect mother who did her all to raise two boys by herself. I still doubt myself at times because, of course, I was crazy and didn’t have the correct perception of reality. Recently I had an aunt ackowledge all is not right with my mother, but I couldn’t talk with my aunt about my mom’s non-diagnosed narcissistic personality disorder. I’d be looked at as crazy all over again.

  2. Comment:From Katy
    This post is exactly what my husband and I are going through with his mother. There hasn’t been any physical abuse, but the mental abuse given from her, thereby turning his family against us is almost unbareable! We have been married for almost 3 years and I no longer have any desire to have any relationship with her! I stand in awe of the situation at times because my family believes us, but my husbands side no longer speaks to us. She has even turned family friends against us, and I feel that I have slipped into a deep depression! We continue to pray for the situation but its just so hard to handle. It’s comforting to know that we are not alone, thank you for posting this, it has helped!

  3. Comment:From Caroline
    Linda, thank you for writing about the problem of “No one believes you”. As a girl, I was the first born of two children; my brother is six years younger than me. We have very different personalities. I am career oriented, driven, perfectionistic and have obsessional tendencies. My brother is laissez-faire, social by nature and much less goal-focused.

    I am currently dealing with the emotional cataclysm of the end of my marriage to a man who I failed to recognise as having a covert and perverse narcissistic personality style. It has been very traumatic for me as I face the truth of our marriage and I still experience waves of incomprehensibility. As I question why and how I failed to see what was before me for all those years, I have asked myself what is about me that allowed me to suffer the abuse I did. Why would an otherwise intelligent woman allow herself to submit to incessant put-downs, little humiliations, ongoing negative commentary, snide criticisms, guilt-inducing questions, excessive levels of scrutiny and challenges to her ability to even comprehend her perceptions? In essence, to live in an emotionally unsafe and toxic environment.

    My answer has been as disturbing as my growing realisation about my marriage. I have experienced much of this before at the hands of my mother. My mother and father are both dead, so I will never be able to adequately understand the reasons she was like this, but she was cold and cruel towards me. I have no recollection of my mother saying she loved me or even receiving a cuddle from her. There were never any mother-daughter shared moments and I always had a feeling, which I was unable to name, that she didn’t want to be a mother. Unlike some mothers who take pride in their daughters, my mother seemed to feel quite the opposite about me. I have always struggled with standing out and I suspect this has to do with the fact I am the only member of my family with red hair. As a child, my hair was thick, wavy and bright fire-red in colour. I recall when I was about 14 years of age my mother told me I was going to the hairdresser. At this stage, my hair was very long; I could nearly sit on it. I had no idea why we were going to the hairdresser and I don’t think I wanted to go. But I was a compliant child and did what I was told. I sat in the chair and my mother was behind me, out of my sight. My hair was cut short and in the process, my hair was carefully collected by a second hairdresser. Nothing hit the floor. It has taken me all this time to accept my mother sold my hair.

    Recently I told my brother that I felt mum hated me. He was appalled with what I said and told me I was wrong. My brother doesn’t believe me.

    I now see the outcome for me of living in an environment of constant low-grade emotional abuse interspersed with extreme moments. The abuse becomes like “white noise”. I learned maladaptive ways to accommodate the “white noise” abuse. Faulty thinking such as believing I deserved it, that it wasn’t really as bad as all that, things will get better, I need to try harder, if I hadn’t done “x” to provoke her and so on. There is no such thing as unconditional love; in fact, it is exactly the opposite, to the extent that I am actually wondering if I even know what love really is. To me it is an over-used word empty of meaning.

    Now, when my husband tells me how much he loves me I feel sad and have an empty hollow space in my chest. Today he said to me that even though he knows I have fallen out of love with me, he still loves me very much. And today I rang his therapist when I found out he had bought a book on suicide methods. I could not bear the burden of that knowledge. It is now three months since I moved out, but hours later, I still cried.

    I recently read an article which made a great deal of sense to me. I recommend it to anyone trying to understand life with a narcissistic person:
    Filippini, S., Perverse relationships: The perspective of the perpetrator, Int J Psychoanal 2005;86:755–73

  4. 92114
    Okay, so my Narcissistic Mother just tried to guilt trip me about a tablet computer she was obsessed with. She bought us (herself and myself) the tablets with keyboards this month. I had told her I was excited about the new technology, because I thought it would be less stressful to finally have the new tech that my hyper-speed virgo moon Writer brain had been waiting for, and had been trying absent-mindedly to use my laptop screen like a tablet touch screen, but I was worried about money. I don’t like spending a lot of money. I am neurotically vocal about this. She suddenly took us out one day and bought ‘us’ (dad and myself) two new phones (she had been obsessing over how our phones suck and don’t work right- mine was fine GULP) and herself and myself these two tablets. Well, the other day she said something nice to me (not really nice, I’m being sarcastic) about how she ‘needed’ me to see if my keyboard that arrived in the mail (because they hadn’t had the keyboard at the store in stock when we bougth my tablet with hers) worked with my tablet, because she had had trouble setting hers up. I refused coolly, because we were in the middle of dinner and she was really just trying to get at my father and myself with a comment, after she had just said that dad could watch this show we had on record, and made abig ufss about him watching it. N-LOL. If I am not forgetting anything here it’s hard for me not to, I had severe memory issues as a child andd yet I could remember many unhappy things- like how the lady who ran the preschool on my street pscreamed at me and put her foot on my back when I had an earache nad couldn’t keep still due to adhd at nap time… just not my name. or where I lived, or what building I was standing in or why, but that’s another story) she then flew into a sublimated rage and twirled around LOLOLOLOLL, then proceeded to attack me indirectly by getting dad to feel sorry for her and attack me, going into this sublimated tirade about “don’t you care about this? I wanted this to be a family thing! You got this today in the mail so I just wanted to make sure it worked! I need you to check it out right now!” riiiiiiight. Interrupt dad’s ONE tv show he gets to watch that day after coming home from work. Interrupt his dinner with your histrionics. We’re eating dinner nad watching tv, dumbass- DO. IT. LATER.

  5. then today, she tried it again, by ‘finding’ the tablet after i had put it and all its accoutrement plain to see on her wicker basket she keeps near her desk. I wanted nothing of her at that point. ;O Well, what happened today was this: she verbally attacked me by claiming that sheneeded me to check out the keyboard and ‘why was this here’ when she ‘found’ it on that basket. Like she didnt know. N-LOL. she whined again that she needed me to do this and “are you going to cost me 80 dollars because we can’t return these- they’re registered” okay little girl. time for spankies!!!!!! ARGH. I wish I had the means to move out. I wish I didn;t love her. the first night, seh even manipulated my poor aspie dad, like she always does, into taking her side and hating me for my standing up to her. sigh.

  6. This is exactly how it is. I’m so afraid that people won’t believe me or think I’m the crazy one. It makes me so angry!

    Even my husband, when he met my mom, quickly believed her acting. Maybe not entirely but he felt a bit sorry for her. She even lied to her former husband and said she wasn’t the mother of me and one of my siblings and that our aunt was our mother. She was only “nice enough to take care of us for her aunt”. I was totally shocked when my brother overheard this.

    My mom fools everyone until they caught her lying and stealing. Then they hate her.

  7. Thank you SO much for posting this! It is a gift to any and all survivors who’ve endured the liberal doses of abuse that NPD parents rely upon for complete control of their targets.

    The hardest part of this is that she is the only mother I have.

    As the Holidays approach, a specter of depression, fear and apathy paralyzes the days and which I struggle to overcome every year. Mom never failed to turn Christmas into her special brand of horror, from drunken rages and fist fights to burning gifts in the fireplace. After a lifetime of training, the holidays are not a joyous time for me. I hate them with every fiber of my being as I associate only misery with them.

    As an elderly narcissist, Mom continues to make unreasonable demands and when she can’t force me away from my family she injures herself and demands that I come to the hospital.

    My mother hated that I was the product of an affair she chose to have and went to great lengths to punish me for being born. I was a constant reminder of her despicable selfishness. She had tried unsuccessfully to spontaneously abort me and when I survived, she set about making my life a living hell.

    Growing up in her home, she assigned my siblings enforcement of her hatred and encouraged them to punish and abuse me as they were her “Golden Children.” I was the designated scapegoat. They beat me and emotionally abused me so often that I learned to find good hiding places in the house just for the few hours of safety.

    I was labelled “lazy” and “willful” because I was terrified of being physically attacked doing housework and would hide until the house was empty or dad came home and I felt safe again.

    I was shamed on a daily basis that caused me to weep often and was met with the snarling remark from my mother “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.”

    I was never more than a prop for her to use in order to get attention from others. I hated going anywhere with her because she would place me in situations where I would be forced to speak or answer her friends / acquaintances. I learned to be afraid of saying the “wrong” thing because she would hit me across the mouth with force, using the back of her hand, regardless of who was present. No one dared stop her.

    As a child I had regular crying jags that would go on for hours because she had hit me in the face in public, yet again, for some perceived faux pas. If I wept, I was sent to bed without dinner. She would then lie about me to others including my school friends who either abandoned me or ganged up on me for a beating. My siblings lied and encouraged their friend’s siblings who were my age to hurt me.

    I was beaten and harassed at school on a daily basis until we moved away. By that time my siblings had moved out of the house and my life at the new school improved remarkably. For the first time I was not beaten at school and did not fear walking the halls. I had real friends for the first time and my siblings had no involvement in my life.

    My mother had affairs with younger men and would leave messages at my school telling me not to ride the bus home and that she would pick me up. Instead, she would leave me sitting outside in the cold until late evening and even showed up with her boyfriend driving the car my father had bought her. I stood up to her just one time: She beat me so viciously that I learned never to object to anything she did ever again.

    She stayed married to my father until my older sister moved out and I was the last child at home, then she divorced my dad, moved us into a small home and moved her boyfriend in with us. She forced me to lie to my father about our living situation and he never forgave me. Her boyfriend who later became my step-father was given carte blanche to terrorize me.

    I sought therapy to work through my problems before I became a parent, myself. I believed that I could handle things well and as she got older, Mom seemed to tone down her Narcissistic tendencies. I have exercised patience and consideration where she is concerned even when she has been abusive or rude, realizing that she has a disorder and is a very sick individual.

    Recently, my siblings abandoned her after getting their mortgages paid by her, music lessons paid and cars purchased for their kids.
    She became very despondent then placed an enormous load of pressure on me for attention to fill the void. Her husband avoids her for the most part and has made it plain that he would rather be somewhere else. I gave her as much time as I could but do have a life of my own.
    I recently discovered that she is still lying about me to other people and continues to use them for attack:
    I went with her for a check -up and the nurse roughly grabbed and wrenched my arm pulling me aside to tell me how great my mother is, then a friend of hers called me to scold and rant at me all while telling me what a great person my mother is.

    That she has continued to betray in order to abuse me at every opportunity is shocking to say the least. That other adults are drawn in to her Narcissist’s lies then act on them with vitriol is even more shocking.

    Detachment and distance are my best choices and I have plenty of work to do to keep me busy. While I forgive her I choose not to continue being her foil.

    With the Holidays looming, I count my blessings with deep gratitude: After many years of psychotherapy the cycle of abuse has been broken. I have a happy, committed marriage, I am the parent of a kind, thoughtful adult child who is balanced, and good friends who are considerate and honest.

  8. After reading all that I have on Narcissistic parents, I find that this describes my parents, but then it actually describes all of us and everyone I have ever met or known in my 72 years. There may be a few instances where this label is true, however I am finding that a very high number of people are using this to avoid responsibility for themselves. I think now that there has been great damage with all this labeling as it only describes differences in personalities.

  9. Frank, If you have read all you could on narcissistic personality disorder I am really surprised you think it only describes different personalities. The damage isn’t from the labeling; the damage comes from being raised by a parent with this disorder. It is far more complex and mind boggling than merely differences in people’s personalities. I deal with my 92 year old mother on a daily basis and she is still manipulative, self serving, always thinks everyone is jealous of her, thinks she is better than everyone (her favorite quote used to be “I’m better than god”), cares only about her appearance and image to the world, makes sure she is perceived by the public as a funny, charming woman and also makes sure there are never any witnesses when she verbally abuses me, belittles me, disrespects my feelings and opinions, really shows no empathy for anyone but expects the world to show it to her, is envious of anyone & everyone, projects her feelings unto me, tries to make me think I am crazy, goes into rages, constantly needs attention and praise, believes everyone she knows (including her deceased family members & friends) were always jealous of her, believes she was the best wife, mother, friend and believes anything good that happens to someone it is because of her, expects special treatment and has this feeling of entitlement (but doesn’t think she should reciprocate ), uses people to get what she wants (and always succeeds), believes she is so much better, classier, more educated, better dressed than everyone and only wants to be around people who meet her criteria (none can meet her criteria) and EVERYTHING is ALWAYS about her. Do you really think that is just a difference in someone’s personality?
    I do not think the criteria describes all of us and if you truly grew up with narcissistic parents I don’t think you would have made that comment. I, for one, and I am sure there are others who have been deeply damaged and I do not use this as an excuse to avoid responsibility for myself. It is what it is….but, please do not dismiss the havoc narcissistic parents inflict on those closest to them. The whole point of the article was that no one really believes you and your comment just invalidated those who have been severely damaged by being raised by a narcissistic parent.

  10. This article has liberated and vindicated me so I deeply thank you. Both my parents are narcissist and they are both equally as bad. They are clever at dividing the family so they don’t talk to one another. Who would think that one narcissist would manage to find another. I am suspecting that my fathers last wife is sitting in the wings waiting for her turn too. God forbid my mother found herself a little puppet too. These are their enablers. I have my own mind and for that I am flogged psychologically socially and once upon a time physically by my mother too. I have been demonised now by both of my parents. I was once regarded as the apple of my fathers eye but not any more quite the opposite. My mother hated me for loving my father and reminding her of him. They separated thank god but they still managed to damage and abuse. My last two siblings by my father are the only two to experience any normality and I am sure they know something is amiss because my father is at least 25 years older than their mother who is busy causing trouble between my father and I. I wonder why I even care. I am just beginning to realize that segregating myself from these creatures completely is my best antidote for survival. I got bitten by a rough scale tiger snake who is a cousin to the tiapan and spent 8 days in intensive care and then another month in hospital. And people think that’s the worst thing that ever happened to me. No surviving my parents is. This pair disgust me to the core of my being and I can honestly say thank god I didn’t have children in case I brought something like them into this world.

  11. Surprised to see your reply, Frank. You must have a lot of very unhealthy people in your life. I only have only known one (very abusive) person who I suspect is NPD in my entire life.

  12. This is very helpful. I have 2 teenage daughters still at home. My 15 year old has been in and out of the hospital due to her anxiety and depression. She has self harmed and tried to commit suicide. She has told each counselor she’s seen about the way her dad treats her and they all say she’s making it up. He lies to all of them, and they believe him. They treat us like we are the problem. Yet CPS has investigated him more than once for physical abuse. They order him to go to counseling with her, which he does. Then as soon as they are keeping tabs on him, he’s done with it and back to his “normal” self. He blames my daughter for being dramatic. My youngest sees my daughter as the problem too. She is very bright child and is they type of person who doesn’t want to hurt anyone, she goes along with what her dad says. I see it mostly as her not wanting her dad to turn his aggression toward her. I have been trying for 2 years to get custody (we have 50/50 parenting time). He hasn’t helped financially for any of the medical expenses. He says she’s faking it. She’s frustrated because she’s being medicated and going to counselors and he doesn’t have to do anything, he won’t even take her to counseling then complains if the counselor doesn’t ask him for his input about what she says. He has a very Jekyll and Hyde personality. It makes us feel crazy!

  13. When a narcissist is his son’s coach, coach has lots of fans to pull into his drama to help punish his “disloyal” son.

  14. I confronted my mum just over 3 years ago and since then she has pretty much destroyed me, ive just started therapy but was able to put a name to what was happening to me before but it has made no difference, i still doubt myself but not really i just don’t want it to be real id sooner be mental because the truth is just beyond mental, i just can’t believe my own mother would do this to me and use me like im nothing and everybody and i mean everybody thinks im mad, bad or both and i just don’t know how to get justice

  15. I’m having a really hard time with what I just read. It was like reading several pages out of a book written about my life.I don’t even know what to say at this point. I think I’m in shock.

  16. “Five children! I raised five children!” I can hear the battle cry of my mother as she so proudly professes her perceived badge of honor to anyone who doesn’t know her and is willing to listen. She likes to play the sweet old lady role…but that unravels shortly after she opens her mouth and the frail old exterior gives way to venom. My mom is an authority on all things related to raising children. She can tell you the best way to cook a chicken and to fold underwear. She just never had the capacity to show love or compassion…unless she wanted me to do something for her.

  17. I had to evict mine. I always thought her issues were related to alcohol, so when she dried out for a few years, she was at least somewhat reasonable and convinced me to let her move in with me. It was supposed to be a cost savings for us BOTH. As it turned out, she started drinking again, blew through all her money, convinced the family that she gave most of it to me (despite her nearly bankrupting me) and slandered me to all everyone she knows. Her brother came to “rescue” her (I had to buy his plane ticket). They are finally now living MY nightmare and starting to see the truth. I hope he calls to apologize to me so I can tell him what an asshole he is before hanging up on him. One family member reported to me that she is doing the same to them now that she used to do to me and they too are now at the end of their rope with her. The sad thing is she will probably end up homeless…. she’s finally burned all her bridges.

  18. Its YOU who has burned your bridges. I offered my help and love but you never were interested at all. It was you who threw me into danger . But do you know what? I will never be homeless. Because any issues I have in my life, I now have gained The CHOICES to make my OWN descisons. I will not call you names because you just want to fill me with the same rage and anger that is destroying you. But I will never give in. I do not know if you are the woman who gave birth to my body in disguise, but these things you say are not true about me. This is what YOU are. So, I will just ignore you. And you can feel free to come back to me if you like If you cange your ways I will always be here for you, but until then You have no ability to destroy me. Goodbye, with Love.

  19. Leslie you have a lot of inner stuff and problems. When I am refering to Leslie I am personally referring to you, yes, but I am also writing to the woman who gave birth to me. You have a lot of inner stuff and problems which you blame and project on me, my brother,you own friends who trust and stick by you, and every single person around you. but I can see…I thought you were my freind…always there for me and would never leave me… but now I can see. Now all the darkness that has engulfed by soul…I can see. The way I am working on my own stuff, I hope you can work on yours in the future. Your last sentences…”The sad thing she will end up homeless. She will finally burn all her bridges” It burnt me like fire. And it really sticks, like Mud. Everyone DOES believe you. But, I am so so happy I can honestly say today that…this is a Bridge I thank God in Heaven that on this day this is a bridge that has been burned. Unless you change. It will all come back to you.

  20. Yes, this is the double edge sword. The first time the adult child starts suspecting this is the situation, it is hard to even believe, it is like being sucker punched. Once you start watching for it, new instances,and remembering situations that occured over the course of your lifetime, a terrible grief sets in. At least nothing but grieve, loss of interest in all normal day to day activites. Next, the anger, but back to hurt. Then denial, back to hurt. I have spent the past 7 months studying this and am in recovery to understand. I do not see myself as a victim, and I don’t blame anyone. I understand it is my reality, but it is my life to take back. It is a relief finally to have an answer to so many of the things I could never put an answer to. Now I have the answer and I can go on. This is not something a person can ever completely recover from, but it doesn’t have to own you.

  21. Thank you so much for writing this post. My mother is a narcissist, and even though I’m an adult now, not being believed by the rest of my family is still the hardest thing of all.

  22. This article is soo true, it’s not funny. I have a name of what my mum is. If you’re “made” the scapegoat there’s so much emotional damage my mum has inflicted. She’s turned 2 family members against me and my dad’s opinion (if who’s right) is wavering. I might loose him 🙁
    I have a wonderful, loving, supportive BF! Mum spent an hour telling my BF what a horrible person I am, behind my back. She was trying 2 split us up. A narcissistic mother needs her victim alone.
    My BF has stayed by my side, I love him so much for that.
    Hd did research & showed me this website. I feel better now.

  23. I was raised by a covert narcissistic mother, and my younger brother has adopted many of the very same characteristics and traits. It wasn’t fun growing up in that environment (I was the scapegoat) and I fought my mother every day I can remember. Somehow I just knew that what she was doing was absolutely not right, but when you’re young how can you do anything about it? From a very early age I thought she was simply insane (I very much related to Carrie in the movie “Carrie”). I have gone no contact with my mother since 2004…it was THE BEST decision I ever made. I feel that I have healed myself a lot…but then I still wonder, “surely I was affected by all of this too”. I still dealt with my younger brother in recent years though, but now I have gone no contact with him too (since August 2014). I got yet another first-hand and up close understanding of this bizarre behavior/personality with him. Suffice it to say it was a major eye-opener for me. I only started researching his behavior in 2013 and discovered that he is massively passive aggressive…which is also exactly like my mother. I had no idea what a narcissist is until January of this year (2016). What a huge relief making this discovery….NOW I know what I have been dealing with all these years. Equally revealing is that somehow I knew (deep down) that no contact was the only way to survive…12 years before I even knew what narcissism is. Perhaps no contact is simply intuitive…who knows.

    Now I have a question. Where does one go to find a therapist to talk to about all of this? I would like to have a chat to see just how I have been affected, and what I can do to improve parts of my life where my mother should have been teaching from day-1. How many therapists out there have experience dealing with narcissistic abuse?

  24. Thank you for the understanding, you are superb in writing on this topic as well.

    The splitting and taking sides, bullying is tough and was more so as a child.

    As the scapegoat, I was as the truth teller seen as the bad one for saying such things….how dare I, shame on me as they would say. I moved away but needed therapy for years now after other traumas of a relationship break up, ACL reconstruction and a layoff. Trauma adds up in some cumulative adding up way to the emotions and mind, but I am fine. It was not me, it happened to me and I am going to move happily along in my life.

  25. I’ve always known my mother was controlling and a narcissist, but only recently have I discovered the type and extent of what this has done to my personality and life- not to mention my father (passed several years ago) who was totally brow-beaten. Absolute textbook case, and I’ve never been a textbook case for anything.

    And like you say, the fact is no one believes you. Even family members who have been there make excuses and downplay it. You get ‘but she’s your mum!’ and other standard responses, save from a few individuals who have been through the same/similar thing.

    I grew up literally thinking I was cursed somehow and hating myself- now I recognise those aspects of myself that I can’t stand and have hindered me are all the natural consequences of having such a mother. I just wish I realised 20 years ago. She’s still trying to run my life and treating me like a mentally-impaired child despite never asking her for help or needing to move back in with her (I moved out of home at 20 which was primarily to try and escape her).

    I know if I ever unload on her all the things she’s done I’ll be dismissed and made out to be the bad guy. But I’ve reached the end of my tether and am fed up with it.

  26. I read this and I want to tell you how your story is inspirational as one of extreme courage. You are an amazing person. You are a survivor. Your story has empowered me to also gain strength and I hope that I can help kids somehow – change someone’s life by believing their stories of abuse and even recognizing it before they try to tell anyone. Let us all listen to these kinds of stories with an open heart and a commitment to use them to help others.

  27. When I finally put my foot down and spoke up against my narcissistic parents’ cruelty, scapegoating and bullying ways; my mom went to work badmouthing me to her friens, trying to convince anyone she could that I was crazy/unstable/mentally ill/etc and how she was the victim of my so-called treachery. I’d gone no contact, after both of them ganged up to attack me when they didn’t like that I refused to do their endless list of chores (they think I owe them for being born.)

    I refuse to be their victim, and anyone who sides with my parents (one very naive couple comes to mind..who mom hangs on) is history to me. I am not any of the things mom says. I endured her brutality as a kid until I was taken away by authorities, for my safety, tipped off by my school teachers.
    So, now at 53 years old, I am gladly on my own, staying away from them, working on healing the PTSD,anxiety and depression given to me by their terrorism. I stayed in therapy 1x per week all of my adult life, to unlearn their brainwashing. I have a house and business of my own. I’m not the lose she desperately wanted to me. I am thriving, despite scars. Mom had tried SO hard to ruin and destroy my life, undermine my successes, etc. If her friends are ignorant to side with her, then they are nothing to me.

  28. My narcissist mother used to hold my funeral in front of me every weekend for months. I was nine. She made it her business to destroy my paintings and art supplies on a routine basis even destroying one painting I was extremely proud of when I went to the bathroom while I was still drawing it. The gas lighting ” oh you must have lost it ” I was 2 ft away in the bathroom and I was there for less than 5 minutes. The gaslighting was so bad I even timed myself later because her denials of theft made me feel crazy because there was no one else on the house. I don’t come from an extended family that abuses artists like some overly religious people do sometimes. She’d come into my room and call me a whore every single day during my adolescence for no decernable reason. By the time I was 14 I thought she was a psychopath. This woman never hugged me . If I was frightened she’d make me beg to be comforted. I was under a lot of pressure to blame myself for her sadistic treatment and other well meaning family members wouldn’t let me go no contact with her. And to add insult to injury my father was a violent, critical and controlling misogynist. I felt like an orphan. I went no contact with him when he made a 3 hour trip just to give my oldest child, his grandson a beating for something he’d never done. He never visited him before, ever.

  29. I’m in my 60s and I still have nightmares about my parents abuse. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD .

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