You Discovered Narcissistic Parent’s Destructive Family Secret

Growing up with a narcissistic mother and/or narcissistic father is one of the most difficult and painful life experiences of all. You were treated dismissively without love and in its place was cruelty, criticism and humiliation. In some instances you were always compared with the golden child in the family who became a narcissist right before your eyes. This brother or sister taunted you and scared you. Mother or father always came to the defense of their “dear”  special son or daughter. You were left with a back of the hand and any psychological crumbs you could scrape off the floor.

Children of narcissists are often highly intuitive. They know when something secret is going in their family. They may not be able to put their finger exactly on it and it usually takes time for the exact truth to form but by keen observation, eventually they know the truth. Children of narcissists are often truth seekers. They are among the most empathic of individuals.

Narcissists have secret lives. They lie effortlessly. They are two faced–appearing with a perfect public image that most people believe. In the shadows, when no one is looking, they do tremendous damage to family members, including their children.

The narcissistic parent shows favoritism to one child and extreme cruelty to another. He/she dismisses one as non-existent and raises the other to a state of royalty. The narcissist is always out for psychological supply that will keep his/her ego inflated and uses his golden child in this way.

There are narcissistic parents who perpetrate crimes on their children. I am talking about incest. (There are non-narcissistic parents who commit these crimes as well.) Incest is still a subject that is not approached openly in our society. It remains a taboo subject to this day. There are children who remember what happened to them. They were incested by their mother or father. This could have been one incident, several or a pattern of incest that ran through their entire young lives. Incest affects a child psychologically in a very deleterious way.

In many instances the child “forgets” what happened at the time because the experience was psychologically intolerable. At some point in their lives, some children remember and are horrified and haunted and overwhelmed. These experiences can reawaken to the surface at any time but often they occur when a person is under extreme stress, psychological trauma, a tragic incident or during psychotherapy.

The child may go to the narcissistic parent and confront them with this dreadful memory of what was perpetrated on them. The parent skillfully denies what he or she has done. Narcissistic parents are so cunning and clever that they lead the child to believe that this never happened. So much pressure is put on the accuser and victim that the victim becomes the target of psychological abuse. There are brothers or sisters who were not the victim of incest in the family but knew bits and pieces of the crimes that were occurring but were too scared to say anything.

The narcissistic parent adroitly has his/her story cleverly composed. “She/he has made up this accusation to get attention.” “She/he has this  confused with something else that happened.” “She has always been highly dramatic and over the top; you can’t believe anything she says.” ” Her/his therapist implanted this incest memory during psychotherapy. It is absolutely untrue.”

The victim becomes the “crazy one”, the “liar”, the “histrionic”, etc. The narcissist’s lies usually “work” with other family members. No one wants to think or believe that this mother or father did the unthinkable. Well, this is not unthinkable. It happens more frequently than most people want to believe. Because the thought or the deed of incest makes people feel uncomfortable does not mean that it never happened or shouldn’t be discussed with candor and as often as necessary to bring these crimes into the light.

There are no words that are adequate to tell those who have been affected by incest how sad and horrified I feel for you. I wish you continued healing.

Those who discover the narcissist’s horrid secret should not be surprised that the rest of the family either is in total denial or if you reveal it, will turn against you for discovering it and revealing it.

You know the truth. Take strength and comfort in this, now and for the rest of your life. Most people do not want to know the truth about anything. They remain in denial and delusion and keep it that way for the rest of their lives.

There are rare individuals who seek and live the truth. That is a gift that they give to all of us.





9 thoughts on “You Discovered Narcissistic Parent’s Destructive Family Secret”

  1. Comment: From Anna
    As always, you write what is true. And the truth does set people free. Your words have been a great healing force for me. We do recover.

  2. Comment:From Sophie
    Yes- the victim becomes “the crazy one” and you can be labeled at such an early age that you live your life accordingly. I have never experienced such extreme fear- except during the sexual abuse- as when I realized I was not loved, and was under attack. Never ignore a narcissist- it’s what they cannot stand. Ignoring my mother and sister’s drama almost killed me- but by the Grace of God I got out. My guard is always up and I struggle to relax and enjoy my new beginning. I will learn to relax and enjoy.

  3. Comment: From Doug
    This isn’t an easy thing to talk about. I don’t believe I was ever molested, but I have a perfect memory of my mother taking a bubble bath and I don’t know why I was in the bathroom, but I was kneeling next to the tub playing with the bubbles when I know she raised her hips. I saw her pubic hair and I think I touched it. I was horrified and asked what’s that. I don’t remember anything after that. Also, my Uncle was gay. So I have feelings, but not specific memories of any abuse, but I wouldn’t doubt if something happened that shouldn’t have. Thank you for writing about, this, Linda. As you know, my family was extremely dysfunctional. My father had 8 bros. And sisters, a father who worked ALL. The time and when not working, was not very involved in the family and my grandmother, also a quiet woman did everything for the household except show love, caring, or imtamacy. Her 3 girls took care of the boys to some extent, but it was never a very close family, although the four bros. Seemed close. My family had a father who was almost Never around, even when around. He expected the mother to take care of the children because he was never truly raised by anyone but siblings. He didnt have a clue, but my mother deceived him into believing that she’d be the best of mothers. So, we really had no discipline and if possible, both parents would just leave us to ourselves. My older brother, having mental issues was passed off to border schools. I believe this was done for two reasons…one, because my father believed he’d be a disturbance to me and my younger and also because my mother was incapable of dealing with him. On a side note, I was told that my older brother was choked by the umbilical cord causing oxygen deprivation and his brain damage. That story changed years later to a nurse not watching carefully enough during feeding, he began to choke on his food and that’s what caused the problem. When I confronted her, she ignored me. When I dug deeper because I wanted the truth, she ignored me further. I have two beliefs…either he was born that way and she cannot accept the responsibility, or when confronted with her first child she couldn’t handle it and did something to him to cause the damage. I know she has that in her. I have never been hugged, coddled, adored, or given any kind of affection from Trudy, ever. Of course she showed me off to friends like a prized pony. She’d go on and on about what I could do, etc., but in private, all she wanted was to play tennis, lay in the sun and be left alone. She seemed to know how to behave proper and perfect, but couldn’t pass on the insights of getting there. She has zero and don’t misunderstand, when I say zero, or absolutely no insight into herself, or anything, or anybody…I say it with absolute conviction and experience. The woman is a 2-dimensional creature. She has no substance at all, yet people believe whatever mask she needs to wear at the time. When I was young, before puberty, I was her golden child, but as puberty came on, I became very insightful and started seeing right through her facades. This would throw her into rages! From puberty on, we’ve never gotten along, although she doesn’t see it that way. I tell her we argue all the time and she says we never argue. Since I read Linda’s blog and had been going to counseling for yrs. previous, I finally realized what she is. A Covert Narcissist, with OCD tendencies, and STRONG urges towards perfectionism. All of this was placed in my lap the day I was born. The only thing that kept me sane, and this might sound ridiculous, were drugs and alcohol. If I hadn’t self medicated, I’d either be dead, others would be dead, or I’d be either locked up in jail, or in an insane asylum. At the age of 40 I quit everything cold turkey. It was hell on earth, but after the months of agony, it still took me 8 yrs to stop completely. When I did and my mind began to clear up, with help from this blog and my long time therapist who stuck with me no matter what. The first woman I ever trusted…because of her, I’m here today. Thank you, Ann, you’ll always be not only my therapist, but my dear friend. I couldn’t have made it without you. And Linda, please keep this blog up, but not just for me..without it, I may not have discovered what my mother is and THAT was the only thing holding me back because she had convinced me so thoroughly…she literally brainwashed me since I could speak, that I was the one with the problems, when it was always her. That simple knowledge has proven to be the most important thing I’ve learned. Of course all things are learned when your ready and I was finally ready. Thank you, Ann, thank,you, Linda and thank you to all those suffering, or who have been able to move on, for writing to this blog. I learn something from everyone of you.

  4. Yes, great post-and I, too, for years was told that I was the one with the problem-they even went so far as to try to institutionalize me and take my child away because I wasnt “disciplining” (spanking) him!!-They wanted to raise him!! He was a child- and since I used to get frequent beatings by my father almost daily for years, I refused to spank my child- only if it was for his safety would he get a pat on his little butt for going near the road…On a different note, yes, I, too, was molested by my father, and mother caught us- I was sitting on his lap and he fondled me and when she came upstairs, I jumped off his lap to run to her- and she yelled something to him (I was afraid as I thought she was yelling at me, I felt very guilty..) and I ran toward her and hugged her leg-but she decided to stay with him- and never bothered to leave him or protect me from him…I was told countless times “-it was my fault- I made it up-” or I” wanted it to happen”…Tell me why would a little child want something like that to happen?” Gosh I was three years old, for pete’s sake!…anyway, to this day, my younger sister sides with my mother- and is jealous of me- she continually says that i “got all father’s attention” which I did- but I never wanted it..I was forever running away from home -like I wanted to get this monkey off my back- then I had to put up with a mother who was a perpetual screamer at me from day one about everything I ever did- it was all wrong..I was wrong…I later as a young woman became promiscuous with several boyfriends (they were actual relationships, but still..) which I later regretted and still do to this day.. I wondered “what was I thinking??”and why did I do the things I did?” ..I made such wrong choices- I could never get enough sexual activity… was like I was possesed..urges drove me out of my mind- I once thought I didnt want to live like this- and, who lives like this?- do other women have these constant sexual urges ?? then after menopause, it just stopped- like a miracle- I stopped getting them anymore.. I finally had peace..Then I read a book about narcissists and how your emotions get all messed up- and thought that maybe that was my emotions bottled up..that I was re enacting the abuse by my father-just maybe..The therapist told me that I held the answer deep inside.. Who knew?? After a few years in therapy, it wasnt until I came on this site and also read a book about narcissists and was also told about them by my niece, that I had virtually no clue as to the cause of my suffering all these years…(gastric reflux that caused asthmatic bronchitis- I was on a nebulizer, still use a puffer..I also had panic attacks as well, it was a living hell…) …Doctors would tell me that my mother was my whole problem- but they did not know that my father and sister were also narcissists and highly abusive to me as well..(father passed on two years ago)..I am dreading when my sister is coming back home from Seattle, Washington.(.its just like having my father around all over again except she doesnt hit me-she does just as bad, though)….and everyone he knew thought he was such a great guy..Sister just totally screams at me every chance she gets..the conversation would start out nice then she would start to escalate and get louder then she would scream at me- then I would have to hang up the phone on her..I have to do what I need to do to protect myself…my mother thinks sister had a worse life than I did-(but she was sick in a different way than me) yet I have decided to go no contact with her-
    its as if after she yells at me over the phone I can almost see her smile-(shes getting supply from me this way) – and then that’s when I hang up on her…It s terrible but now I realize that she absolutely Has to abuse me because she is sick…What a revelation…I will just have to stay away from her..I wish everyone all the best -Thanks for reading my post.. Sandi W.

  5. This is very familiar to me. Both my parents were narcissists. My father singled me out to be his sex slave so that my sisters would not support me. When I reported his crimes I became the family scapegoat, the butt of family jokes about ‘mental illness’. My mother flattered her ego by pretending to be kind to her ‘insane’ daughter. I had been put in therapy for being chronically ill, which is typical of incest victims. My mother told me that I had been diagnosed as schizophrenic, and only recently (after decades) did I discover that this was a lie.

  6. Very curious to know a bit more about this idea of ‘golden child’ vs ‘scapegoat’ child and what the possible family dynamics that go on in the genesis of the next generation of narcissists. Specifically, which of these roles in children might more likely go on to form the narcissist. Thanks!

  7. What is a mother to do when the DhS appointed therapist for her children (who were sexually abused by their narcissistic father ) is being conned by the narcissist? And not even aware of it or indignant about it? This mother needs an advocate to fight for her kids. Are there any lawyers that anyone knows of that are experts in this?

  8. In my family My mother is a narcissist. She neglected my sister and myself grossly. Forced older sister to “take care” of me, (cruelly, aggressively) No fathers around. Barely any relatives. Older sister in her image. I am mixed race. Kept me out of pity? Sister treats me as though I should be so grateful I wasn’t smothered at birth, as does mother. Mother looks at me with distain and treats me like a servant, a stranger, though I have been helping her for 10 years as she ages, no other family around to help. Sister has 2 children, oldest daughter so entitled yet impoverished. Overinflated with physical beauty and imagined accomplishments never realized inner goodness and possibilities. Sister’s younger daughter treated as needing “help” and the cycle continues, but I know who to pray for. When the youngster is taught superiority an no need to respect ANYONE period, they need devine intervention. I fear it can’t be accomplished in this lifetime. An entire soul lost because her mother taught her she was superior? I hope not, but the pain she can cause others… The pain SHE IS suffering due to being filled with delusions. And she is learning….No remorse? They have no remorse? They listen as you describe how they hurt you and take notes so they can do it more skillfully next time, hoping you give extra details, extra juicy details of how you are hurting, of how you are poor, of how you are needing help, of how you feel ill, of what your debts are, of how you’re feeling suicidal and then they twist it and share it with the others against your wishes. Birds of a feather flock together, and I am out in the cold. Blank stares and hollow faces. That is my family and I am almost alone. Data collectors working for each other thinking they are serving their own purposes.

  9. I ignored it for years. Deep down, I knew, but didn’t listen to myself. I exposed the incest going on, but was missing the narcissistic abuse. What I knew deep down was the behind-my-back plotting and betrayals by the one sister I thought I knew and loved, but finally, I couldn’t deny it any longer. Years of pent up anger came raging out at her and I shocked myself. She’s playing her “ghost” act now. You know that phase. I just turned 60. I have suffered many losses over the years. But now I see very clearly just what’s really been going on. Somehow, I’ve known all along, but being able to put the word “narcissist” on my mother and sisters, it’s the missing piece of the puzzle that enables me to finally move forward and know for sure that I am ok.

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