Parented by a narcissist? The following quotes about being parented by a narcissist have been selected from the following books:
- Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Narcissistic Relationship (2015)
- You’re Not Crazy – It’s Your Mother! (2012)
- Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers (2008)
- The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age (2015)
- Robert M. Pressman and Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman, The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment (1994)
[Being parented by a narcissist] is an early manifestation of a phenomenon termed by some as “co-narcissism.” Alan Rappoport describes this as unconsciously adapting to and supporting the narcissistic patterns of another person. He argues that this pattern starts in childhood, with the child having to adjust and calibrate to the narcissistic parent.
Narcissistic parents are not tuned into their children, and the narcissistic parent largely views the child as an object with which to satisfy his or her needs. Narcissistic parents will be overly indulgent and intrusive about some things and detached and uninterested in others. Children in these situations often believe life is unpredictable and strive hard to please “unpleasable” and distracted parents. If you grow up like this, you learn that you are valued for what you did, but only if it was aligned with your parent’s wants and needs. It can be a confusing way to grow up and also the perfect set-up for accepting narcissistic behavior as “normal” and then tolerating it from a partner or in other close relationships.
Being raised by a narcissist is a special kind of crazy. It is a pure and lasersharp form of psychological and emotional abuse. But even more devastatingly, it is an invisible abuse. Neither the perpetrator nor the victim even knows it‟s happening. The perpetrator, the narcissist, doesn‟t think she‟s abusing anyone because, by definition, she‟s perfect, remember, and perfect people don‟t do imperfect things like abuse people. And the abuse victim, the daughter – this would be you – doesn’t realise she‟s abused because she believes her mother‟s lies and thinks that everything is her fault, that she is the one who is broken.
Karyl McBride: Boys seem to have a different kind of relationship with Mother. Just about every daughter of a narcissistic mother has reported to me that her brother or brothers were better liked and more favored than she or her sisters were. Daughters consistently report how hurtful this has been. Typically, the mother appears not to notice the imbalance, or if confronted, denies it, but it does make some sense. Her sons are not threatening to her in relation to the father as another girl or woman is, because the boys are not as much an extension of her as is a daughter.
Danu Morrigan: Our Narcissistic Mother told us a Big Lie. She told it subliminally if not in actual words. And The Big Lie was this: If we tried hard enough we could win her approval and her love. If we were good enough, or wise enough, or beautiful enough, or that-magical-unspecified-ingredient enough. In other words, if we achieved perfection, she would love us.
Joseph Burgo: Narcissistic Parents often enlist other family members on their side, causing rifts and building alliances against a “bad” child. In other words, they may bully their own children. The victims of such behavior often describe themselves as a “scapegoat,” held accountable for all the family troubles. Their mothers often compare them unfavorably to a sibling viewed as “golden,” one child a loser and the other a winner. Narcissistic Parents tell blatant lies, too, painting themselves as victims and their children as heartless ingrates.
Robert M. Pressman and Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman: The typical adult from a narcissistic family is filled with unacknowledged anger, feels like a hollow person, feels inadequate and defective, suffers from periodic anxiety and depression, and has no clue about how he or she got that way.