Surviving A Narcissistic Family

There are some extraordinary human beings who survive growing up in a narcissistic family —-mother, father, siblings. I have heard from some of these individuals and their stories of multiple cruelties, emotional deprivation, scapegoating are the themes of fiction——but this is the truth. These are painful childhoods that have been endured each moment. In some cases there is a grandparent who takes on the early child care and becomes the real parent. This grandparent makes the difference in the child’s life between sanity and insanity, some joy versus chronic misery, feelings of emotional security in comparison with constant terror, truth telling versus chronic lies, a strong sense of self compared with feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. In some families a nanny or babysitter can tip the scales for a child who is surrounded by narcissistic family members.

Even with some protection the road toward adulthood is rough and tenuous. Often the vulnerable child is bullied by one of the narcissistic parents who in turn conspires to have the other siblings turn against the appointed victim. Some children learn how to defend themselves psychologically by creating inner worlds through their imaginations by means of writing, painting, mathematics, the sciences, or music. Regardless of how well the adult who has endured and prevailed in the lion’s den of the narcissistic family, he carries the psychological scars of an embattled life. Individuals who come to terms with who they are and can fully appreciate their survival despite all of the odds against them, live in freedom, use their creative gifts and finally experience the inner peace they have been waiting for all of their lives. I hold a special place of honor and respect for these miraculous survivors. They have faced down a mortal enemy inside their family and have won and prevailed. They live now in emotional freedom, using their creative gifts and are living symbols of what the individual human being can overcome and then rise to high levels of consciousness. These special people are an inspiration to all of us. Visit my website:

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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