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Adult Children of Narcissists

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Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby dove » Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:21 pm

Hi all. I just wanted to start a thread for those of us that grew up raised by parents with NPD. I think that we tend to have issues and concerns that arise from growing up in such a toxic environment. Also, we have to figure out how to deal with our NPD parents as they age, which can be a really difficult decision to make.
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Re: Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby breakingfree » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:27 am

Hi dove,

I would agree with you that we have issues that come from being raised in toxic environments. My adopted mother is N/NPD. Put on top of that an alcoholic. So, for me, my first blow was being given up for adoption. Most adopted adults have abandonment issues from early on. Then a N/NPD mother on top of it. I had to be perfect, agreeable, non-confrontational. Yes, it effected my adult relationships.

Funny thing is, in my younger years (late teen through early 30's) I ended up with alcoholics. The last one, very abusive. I finally went to get help and never realized that I was ending up with alcoholics so I could "fix" them, because I could never fix my mother. So I promised myself I would never get involved with another drinker again. And I have not since.

However, my next relationships, I would say were with control freaks. I broke free of them quickly.

Then I somehow ended up with my current N/NPD BF for the past two plus years. Although, I never saw the connection until about a year ago when I started to realize that he couldn't / wouldn't acknowledge my feelings. That he always twisted the conversations away from my feelings/concerns to belittling me. Laughing when I felt hurt/disregarded, etc. I have not ended it with him yet. I'm on my way though. I have to mentally prepare myself to know that I will not go back ever again.

I'm starting to wonder if I am doomed to never find a healthy relationship. Seems I always end up in the wrong ones.

My mother is still a control freak. Always wants to but in, know what my kids are up to, let me know that I am not doing it "right", wants to know my finances, if I ask for a weekend of help with the kids (I'm a single parent with no father in the picture) she wants to know - why, where are you going?, etc. In my 40's I don't think I need to explain why I need a break from 6 children to get a way for some "me" time. Especially, since she and my father were always traveling when I was a kid and leaving us home with grandparents. She had a partner and she can't seem to understand why I need a weekend break once every 3/4 months just to have some "me" time. Very frustrating!
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Re: Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby dove » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:40 am

I was raised by an N mother that dished out some nasty mental and emotional abuse. I also had an alcoholic father that mostly showed indifference, but there was also emotional abuse and sexual inapropriateness from him too. I have gone no contact with them and feel so much better and more at peace.
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Re: Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby shivers » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:55 am

hi ladies, yeah, the no contact route can work really well.

I ended up moving to the other side of the world! But mostly, I recognise that living a long distance from my folks for +15 years was very helpful for me.

We're in contact much more now, but at an older age, it's become much easier to deal with.
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Re: Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby LifeSong » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:24 am

My mother is diagnosed NPD. If you read through the posts, you'll get information on my experience. I too distanced myself from her many years ago. Not no contact but contact was mostly on my terms for a long time.

But I was extremely careful to severely limit her contact and influence with my own children. My kids grew up not knowing my mother really at all. We would visit but but I would not leave them alone with her. Others through the years have commented to me that they thought I was being way too strict. But then again, they didn't have an NPD mother, and they did not know my mother.

Time has proven that I made the right choices. My kids are now teen/young adult and they are healthy and happy and well-adjusted and having good lives - unlike some other family kids who spent significant time with my mother, or who otherwise came under her influence.

I think there is often a reason why a certain portion of the narcissistic spectrum is called 'malignant narcissist'. There are differing definitions of what that means, but, in my own mother, there definitely is something in her that is pathological or malignant (and I don't mean that just diagnostically).

Wow, that still can make me sad to say that about my own mother. I can feel that sadness right now. But.. it's the truth.
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Re: Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby darrenritt29 » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:26 pm

Hi all, i just wanted to formally join the Children of Narcs group. I spent most of my childhood with a N mother and i believe most of my family on both sides suffers from the A-C clusters of PDs. I know the cluster B types the best though. Ive had close relationships with them for most of my adult life. Notably my ex-best friend of 15 yrs who i realized really never cared about how i felt or what i wanted. I had realized that my own behaviours attract these types of people and started to take a serious look at myself and my behaviours instead of blaming everyone and everything else. If i can manage to change my behaviours enough im hoping that i can attract more Menatally, and emotionally healthy people into my life.
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Re: Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby LifeSong » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:02 pm

I had realized that my own behaviours attract these types of people and started to take a serious look at myself and my behaviours instead of blaming everyone and everything else. If i can manage to change my behaviours enough im hoping that i can attract more Menatally, and emotionally healthy people into my life.


I think our own behavior, and the underlying thoughts that drive behavior, can be changed, if we want to change badly enough. Good luck with this.. let us know how it is going of you as you progress, ok?
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Re: Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby darrenritt29 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:26 am

LifeSong wrote:
I had realized that my own behaviours attract these types of people and started to take a serious look at myself and my behaviours instead of blaming everyone and everything else. If i can manage to change my behaviours enough im hoping that i can attract more Menatally, and emotionally healthy people into my life.


I think our own behavior, and the underlying thoughts that drive behavior, can be changed, if we want to change badly enough. Good luck with this.. let us know how it is going of you as you progress, ok?


I will post my progress. So far ive started standing up for myself alot more. I have a real anger problem still. Its usually directed at abusive people but the problem is they get a whole lot more aggression than is usually warranted at the moment. Ive tried to remedy this by forgiving the people in my own mind and realizing that they are mentally afflicted and were abused as children as well. Its still very hard to let go of the anger ive built up inside over the years. At least now i know where it is coming from.
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Re: Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby meriwether » Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:04 pm

LifeSong wrote:My mother is diagnosed NPD. If you read through the posts, you'll get information on my experience. I too distanced myself from her many years ago. Not no contact but contact was mostly on my terms for a long time.

But I was extremely careful to severely limit her contact and influence with my own children. My kids grew up not knowing my mother really at all.


I do not have children yet, but I have thought that keeping them away from her as much as possible would be the best way to raise them. I would NEVER leave them alone with her. Maybe when they were infants. She would not physically hurt them. I just do not want them hearing "look at that squatty body. When I was your age I was a model" for their teen lives.

Another reason, my mom loved me as long as I was an accessory to get attention. If I was giving her another reason to talk about herself then I was doing OK. She would just enjoy showing them off too much.

It was so weird. All these people used to tell me how crazy she was about me, but behind closed doors I lived this nightmare of her trying to belittle me. I am just glad I figured it out.
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Re: Adult Children of Narcissists

Postby babybee » Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:16 am

Hi, I have a little bit of a different story. I am now 32, my mum started suffering from severe depression/psychosis and suicidal tendencies from when I was 16 until about 27. She then 'recovered' as in, she was able to at least feed and clothe herself and the crazy stuff like delusions and paranoia stopped. We were all so relieved and happy, finally we got the person back we all knew and loved (or so we thought)! Of course a lot of time had passed and I felt confident that we would be able to start building another relationship.

What has now happened over the past few years is that she has developed an extremely narcissistic type personality. She isn't talking to most of the rest of the family (i'm an only child, my parents divorced when I was 8 years old) She just decided to cut them off, as well as her sister and brother and many other old friends. She does have a whole new set of new friends which is good, and seems to be happy with her life, and a boyfriend who is about 20 years her junior (which she hasn't actually told me about, I have heard about it through my grandma)

The issues that I have with her are her lack of interest in my life and an apparent absolute obsession with the lives of the
people around her, of how (her words) "f*"%ed up" their lives are, everything is compared to the lives of other people and judgement passed on them. I have tried to let her know how I feel, that I would like more acknowledgement from her side about my life and pretty much got shouted down, which upset me immensely, and there is never any validation or recognition of my feelings at all. She also disclosed to me in a very 'by the way' type manner that she had been raped a few years ago when she was in hospital - there was no preparing me for the news or thinking of how I might react to that at all. It was extremely upsetting.

Emails I get from her are all pretty formulaic as they are all about her life and how screwed up everyone elses' are. It's draining and frustrating. She also has been writing completely inappropriate emails to my dad about her new sex life with this young boyfriend. (I read with interest the posts about NPD and sex).

I am trying to work through the guilt I feel - I know she has had a horrible past, and we have talked at length about her terrible experiences in hospitals and her treatment etc etc, but there has never been any acknowledgement of any one else's experiences during that time she was sick. I feel like she barely knows me because she was so out of it for so many years, and now that she is back in the land of the living, she doesn't seem to want to know me, or anyone. It is hurtful and distructive. I am getting to the stage where I want to cut her off and get on with my life.

It's hard to talk about so many years of bad experiences and the continuing effects in one message, and how it goes on and on even now. Can anyone explain a bit more about how NPD develops? I suspect it is based on her extremely low self esteem from when she was sick? She has now lost all ability for empathy, and rages and rants to my grandmother (her mother, when she decides she wants to speak to her) which upsets her even more (she is 90). It's not fair to treat someone like that. And is always hanging around to get money from them (she doesn't work)
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