The Narcissist’ s Child. Part 1

A child is a treasure placed in unqualified hands, and many are blessed by the hands that received them, but some can only look back with a sense of relief and joy that they survived, in spite of whose hands first held them close.

When you grow up in a crazy person’s house you learn quickly who holds all the power. You learn to play an elaborate game that satisfies the needs of the broken, crazy parent, and only many years later gain any perspective on just how disturbed those survival techniques were.
You just don’t know that you don’t know. How could you? In your life, “Normal” is a setting on the dryer. The world you live in doesn’t have clear references that make sense outside of your house or car or family. You are the narcissist’ s child, and so much of your life, even your thoughts and reactions have been formed and skewed by that reality. It will take a lifetime to unlearn some of the crazy, but you do eventually grasp reality with trembling fingers and hold on with all you have, and even then it takes years to think a disapproved independent thought.

When you are a small child you are so overwhelmed by the volume and verbosity and magnanimous character on display that to you the Godlike Parent is larger than life. You don’t realize, because you are small and vulnerable, that your basis for those thoughts comes from being clay in the hands of a master manipulator. Every word you hear, every “truth” you are taught, even parroted back for the sake of your safety, comes from a disturbed and broken mind. It’s so easy to get lost in the crazy. If you only are verbally assaulted by non-stop crazy, what on earth is “normal?”

The crazy sounds so believable when you are five, or ten, or sometimes even fifteen. But soon other voices break through the fog, and doubt begins to creep in on silent feet.  You question why the Godlike Parent withholds love, withholds approval, never praises, never approves, never shows affection unless someone is watching.
The narcissist loves an audience. A performer is fed by the reactions of the crowd. The bigger the crowd, the stronger and more “charming” the performance. Your friends are all jealous that you have the “fun” parent. Godlike Parent (here after referred to as GP) is just so fun, so funny, so involved and interested in your friends. GP tells great jokes and plays games and shows what a truly terrific person he/she is. Until your friends leave and the cruelty, and cutting remarks about your friends begins. Nothing was sacred, not their faces, their bodies, their families. Nothing. And you feel shame because you invited them. And they were just lambs for the slaughter. And they loved GP like a rock star. And you cannot tell. It’s the lie you live.

But children get older and life opens up doors that you run through like prison gates. And the light breaks through, and hate settles in for a good long stay. That Book says to love and honor, but hate rears its head and stiffens it’s back and helps you to live long enough to escape the crazy. And you are stronger than you ever knew, and now you know what you didn’t know then, that you are the Narcissist’ s Child. And you survived.

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10 thoughts on “The Narcissist’ s Child. Part 1

  1. Man, can I identify. Thank you for your revealing testimony. It takes courage to do so. Although this post brings up some pretty painful personal memories, I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything because it made me a very strong, independent woman. With that said, it is an honor to discover you are following my blog. I do look forward to reading more of your posts and getting to know you so much better. Blessings,

  2. I can’t believe I just discovered your blog. Thank you so much for this. It made me cry. I am not the child of NPD parents, but I divorced a man with NPD. Why didn’t I see it earlier? And how can I protect my children? I will be reading, and thank you again for sharing your story. I am so PROUD of you. You are a survivor, and more.

    1. You didn’t see it earlier because NPD’ s are charming and delightful and fill your world with sparkling joy…at first. Their primary need is to be in control, and they use their ability to fake “normal” to draw people into their fueling system. The Narcissist feeds on admiration and power, so they lie and manipulate to get it. Your kids will be fine, I promise.

      1. Yes, and I wasn’t the only one he fooled. So many others thought he was great. Such a “nice guy” and such an “amazingly devoted husband.” But I wasn’t fooled towards the end; I was just gaslighted, and I didn’t want to admit I had made a huge mistake and raise my children in a divorced family – the shame. But I had no choice. And I am. And I’m thankful for finding people like you to show me the way for my children.

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