Having narcissistic parents can affect you as a child. It will often negatively impact your childhood, and when those childhood traumas at not healed, it can impact your adulthood. As a child, you may not have felt loved, heard or seen, that your reality and feelings were not valid, that one or both of your parents treated you as an accessory and not a person, things like how you look is more important than how you feel. That your intellect is more important than emotions, that your sporting abilities are more important than the hobbies you’d enjoy. To keep your feelings bottled up, not to show emotions, to put up with things you shouldn’t have to put up with the whole. “stop crying before I give you something to cry about.”
Signs your parents a narcissist.
The image of the family home to the outside world was perfect. However, it didn’t match what it was like inside the family home.
There was lots of silence, one parent always hushing you with “you know what your mum/dad is like.” or one would sulk, and you felt like you could never approach them.
Your birthday and other special occasions were always ruined. Or your parents would go overboard and find ways to make it all about them, as your parent always required the attention.
Your parents were never wrong. They would never admit fault. If they were, they would deny or pass the blame onto you. They would twist everything and never apologise, in a genuine way, if they did, it was twisted onto why it was your fault.
They never took your thoughts, feelings or opinions on board.
They would always put you down criticise how you looked, your friends, your choices etc. Insulted you.
They Gaslighted your reality.
They might have always taken you to the doctors for issues you didn’t ever have, or ignored issues you did have.
They would deny you love and affection unless you achieved something that they wanted you to.
You were not allowed to express your thoughts and feelings as your parents would use them against you.
They constantly lied to people or about people. They loved to put others down, claim how other families were inferior to yours.
They always took the credit for your achievements.”You get that from me.”
They would storm into your bedroom, over anything, everything and simply nothing, never giving you any privacy.
They would pity play and guilt trip. “After all, I do for you.” “You’re so ungrateful.”
They wouldn’t listen or help with your problems, or you didn’t feel like you could talk to them, but they’d expect you to listen to theirs.
They would ask you something then compare how much better or worse it was for them.
They were only interested in you if they felt they had something to gain. They were highly envious of you and believed they were entitled to whatever you have, as narcissists will exploit others to meet a need of their own.
If they want something that’s yours, they feel entitled just to have it, as they have a lack of empathy, so have no regard to your feelings. “what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is my own.” attitude.
If you said anything to them about them that you didn’t like, they would intimidate, threaten you, scream at you.
You were always ignored the forgotten child, the golden child that always had to perform for your parents or the scapegoat always being blamed for anything that went wrong.
You had to parent your own parents, take care of them, comfort them, not just because they were ill, all the time?
Everything was a competition between siblings, parents. You always had to compete for attention.
Walking on eggshells around your parent for fear of reaction.
Rules you might have needed to follow to keep your parents happy.
Growing up with a narcissistic parent often means your reality was changed continuously on you, with gaslighting words of “It didn’t happen like that.” As the narcissistic parent wants to keep up the false image, and you shouldn’t question that image the whole “Do as I say and not as I do.”
That you had to keep the family image going to the outside world, you might have been told to lie about places you’ve been or things you have done, to speak positively about the family, you might have received threats such as “Stop that you’re embarrassing me.” Or “ Just you with until we get home.”
You might have never been allowed to make a mistake, and as people made mistakes when you did, you were told: “You’re such a disappointment.” Or “I wish I’d never had you.” Or you received those silent treatments, often the golden child, whereas the scapegoat would have received the blame for everything, “You don’t get that from me.” Or “You’re so ungrateful.”
That you had to be perfect for what your parent’s idea of perfection was to be loved by them (conditional love.)
You had to act like an adult and take care of your parent’s emotional needs, when you had problems you might have heard “It’s not a big deal. Grow up.” Or “You’re so selfish.” and things like “It hurts me more than it does you.” You might have done all the chores around the house, not chores to earn pockets money. You were just expected to do your parents roles or look after siblings.
Always getting those mixed messages, “I love you, but I don’t like you.” Or “Children should be seen and not heard.”
Narcissistic parents traits and the effects they can have on you.
Grandiosity, feeling like you can not do anything right, that you can not measure up no matter how hard you try, feeling like you’re not enough, feeling like a trophy, and you can not measure up.
Preoccupied with themselves, feelings of having no value, developing a lack of self-worth.
Entitlement, feeling like your not necessary, and you’re only here to serve others exactly how they want. Feelings of embarrassment or shame when out with them and they’ve been rude to staff.
A belief they are special, a feeling like you have to please them to feel loved.
Arrogance, feelings of confusion, as they act like the perfect parent in front of others and the parent we would like, yet at home, they sulk and ignore, only paying you attention if they want something from you.
Lack of empathy, bottling up emotions as you always felt misunderstood or wrong for having what we’re normal emotions.
Envy, feeling embarrassed or ashamed if they spoke about your flaws, or if they spoke loudly about others flaws in front of you, feelings of not been enough when they would invalidate you.
Requires excessive attention, as your parent always needed the attention, either the vulnerable playing the victim, or grandiose been over the top, you might have felt like a shadow, and extension to them, only wanted when they needed you to help them, or they needed to use you to show off.
Exploitation, you might have always felt like you just were not treated right, perhaps not seeing why, but just seeing within the family dynamics that people were not treated as equals. They were treated unfairly and always to suit the parents need.
As you grow, you feel more valued for what you do for the parent rather than for who they are as an individual. You might throw yourself into achieving things yet still not feel enough, no matter how much you accomplish. You might try to seek approval from others.
Childhood trauma in adulthood can manifest as.
Whether the trauma is direct or witnessed, childhood trauma can affect adulthood and manifest as.
Confusion, trying to forget the trauma completely, or trying to suppress emotions
Full of self-doubt, self-blame, people-pleasing, trying to help others, putting others needs before your own.
Not feeling enough, seeking external validation.
Accepting behaviour from others, you should have never accepted.
Having narcissistic partners.
Difficulty setting boundaries trying to keep others happy.
Living on high alert, fear of abandonment.
Often due to the stress of childhood trauma can contribute to living with chronic illnesses.
Batting anxiety, depression, CPTSD.
You may feel criticised and judged instead of accepted and loved.
You may not learn appropriate boundaries for relationships.
Seeking the right support, one you feel happy and comfortable with, to work through past traumas. Working through any emotions.
Meditation and yoga are often found to be very helpful, as is exercise.
Trying those things you always wanted to as a child but never allowed, discovering you, your passions, goals, and dreams.
Working through self-doubt, writing out how you talk to yourself, as it can often be how your parents spoke to you, picking up on that inner voice that doesn’t serve you and throwing out, creating a voice that lifts you up.
Click on the links below to join Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.
Don’t argue with a narcissist.