Did you grow up in a home full of parental narcissism? There are very few perfect childhoods, so you must learn to make peace with the past to heal and empower yourself. Accepting a parent’s mental illness is not an easy task.
Children need their parents to love, support, encourage and nurture them during the formative years. Unfortunately, when a child is denied these essential things, then they must develop coping mechanisms to overcome it. In adulthood, you will use these same coping skills out of habit and it can cause a lot of trouble in your relationships.
When you grow up with parental narcissism, often contributes to soul loss. While this sounds like a strange term, it simply means that you have wounds and traumas in your life that have not been resolved. All these unresolved failures and problems pile up and disrupt your thought processes.
If you want to recover from the things you endured as a child, you must acknowledge the things that did you wrong. You cannot justify or tolerate these actions, as you must get to the root of your pain. Once you learn to process it, release it, and move on, you will find that your entire perspective on life changes.
These fourteen things reveal parental narcissism
If you grew up with a father with mental illness, you probably thought you were the one with the problem. It is not abnormal to doubt yourself and even the feelings you have towards your parents. Do you fight with constant guilt about your childhood?
If you suffered from parental narcissism, you probably feel a lot of guilt and shame about your upbringing. Do not punish yourself anymore. It’s time to recognize the signs of a parent who had a problem so you can get out of trouble.
1. Your parents took the blame
Guilt is a common tool used to control a person. For example, if they want you to do something you don’t want to do, they can throw up a list of all the sacrifices they have made for you.
They make you feel like you owe them or you are in debt. Since narcissists are master manipulators, they can play the blame card to put you putty on their hands.
2. His love was circumstantial
Sadly, most narcissistic parents control others through love. When you did something they were proud of, their love overflowed.
However, when you made a mistake, they may say things that are detrimental to your esteem. They may have even gone so far as to tell you that they didn’t love you. Another common trick is the silent treatment, or they can become physically abusive.
3. They matched
It is sad when parents act like children. When you challenged them or did something wrong, they wanted to make sure they punished you.
Like a kid who wants to get even, you would break something that meant a lot to you or sabotage relationships. They were able to lower themselves to the lowest levels to get revenge.
4. They lied to you
Nothing is more challenging as a child than not having a trusting relationship with your parents. When your parents tell you that you are having a birthday party or going to the mall on Saturday, you believe them.
However, the narcissistic parent will lie about all kinds of things. You learned early that you cannot trust them or count on their promises as they tend to be a pathological liar.
5. They insulted you
Many children have stories of bullying at school. However, few can say that their parents were the bullies. When it is growing and developing, it will go through many stages.
Who doesn’t have some pictures where their hormones and various stages of life made them look scruffy? However, your parents were always quick to point out everything negative about you. If you put on a few pounds, they were the first to insult you.
Having insults every time you make a mistake or about a physical characteristic is something that takes years of therapy to overcome. Your esteem is building during the formative years and your parents caused you to have low self-esteem.
6. They were controlling
Parents must control their children by nature. However, victims of parental narcissism have a completely different kind of control unleashed on them. Parents can use Emotional blackmail to get what they want.
Children living with narcissists may go to bed without dinner, be locked in their bedroom for several days, or have no connection to the outside world. This is all done because the parents didn’t get away with it.
7. Your achievements were theirs
Your father could never let you have the glory. If you got an “A” on your science project, they took credit by saying they did most of the work.
If you went to college and got a good education, they might take credit for it, saying you were pressured to be everything you could be in life. They cannot let anyone outshine them, not even their children.
Some people don’t know how to parent, even if they don’t have a mental health disorder. The narcissist will use fear to try to get you to do what he wants. For example, you may have been beaten and bruised on your arm.
Instead of taking responsibility for their wrongdoing, they tell you that you can’t tell anyone. Their reasons are because if you tell someone, then they will take you out of the house and put you in foster care.
They will never see you again. Even as an abuser, the child still loves his parents. Scare tactics are commonplace when trying to manipulate others.
9. Your feeling was never considered
Your parents had an agenda, and it was to improve themselves. They would take you across the country, take you out of schools, and do horrible, manipulative things. However, they never took her thoughts or feelings into consideration.
Now, not all decisions come down to what the child thinks, but there was never anyone who listened or even cared about his injuries. Even if it was just a breakup for a boy or girlfriend from school, they didn’t have time to hear about your heartbreak.
10. They have a “golden boy”
While most parents say they don’t have a favorite, most do. The key is that each child has a unique personality and it is easier to have a relationship with some more than with others. Do you remember the story of Cinderella?
The evil stepmother had two daughters whom she loved very much, and Cinderella was quite hated. You may have grown up in a situation where you felt marginalized because you clearly weren’t your parents’ choice. The “Golden Boy” gets by with things you could never have done.
11. They used codependency control methods
Another common way narcissists control is through codependency. Your parents may want you to avoid going to college or getting married. So, they would tell you that they will not live or continue if you leave home.
They may say that they will commit suicide or die because of loneliness. These tactics are only trying to manipulate you into doing what they want, which is staying stuck in a horrible situation.
12. There were no adequate limits
You never grew up with healthy boundaries when I was a kid, and there was no room to call yours. Your parents would come into your room and go through the newspapers and your belongings as if they were their things. Also, anything they find derogatory will be used against them to further their agenda.
13. They used gas lighting techniques
One term to describe psychological manipulation is gaslighting. They would go out of their way to make you feel like you were going crazy to get the upper hand on you. As a result, you develop self-doubts and they continue into your adult life.
14. There was no empathy
Lack of empathy often identifies parental narcissism. They never seem to care when you cried or got hurt. The only thing that mattered to them was his feelings. Therefore, his emotional crises were often managed with self-relief techniques because no one was there to help him.
Do you notice any of these signs from your childhood? How can you relate to these issues of growing up with a narcissist? If you find that this list perfectly describes your upbringing, it is very likely that you are a victim of parental narcissism.
The good news is that you can get over what happened to you and make it better for your children. When you break the chains that the past has on you, you open the door to freedom and live a new life free of this baggage.