View Full Version : Possible Product of the Narcissistic Family...

08-16-10, 04:22 PM
I was just reading an article on The Narcissistic Family, and I really am convinced I was raised in one.

I feel badly saying it because I know my parents did a lot for me, and I'm in no way denying that. I so appreciate all they did and still continue to do for me, but I don't feel it all came from a place where they wanted ME solely to do well, rather than it looked good for them to do all they did for me.

Like, my mom bought me tons and tons of nice clothes not only because she wanted me to have nice clothes, but she wanted to look like she had the best dressed daughter of everyone she knew.

It just all makes so much sense, and ALL the things that the articles says that adults have now if they were raised as children in this environment.

Here are the articles:

Did anyone else grow up in this environment?

It also makes sense that my mom had such an issue with my ADHD, because it looked bad on her, and she thought I was blaming her for not catching it earlier, or blaming her that I even have it in the first place.

It really just feels like everything is all about what my parents want, and they never have as much concern for me growing as an independent adult individual. And I do really feel awful saying that, but its always how I've felt, and its such a relief to see it on paper and see that its something that happens, and that I'm not alone.

Has anyone else had these experiences? How did/do you deal with them/it?

08-24-10, 10:31 PM
I don't think my parents would have been able to survive raising me if the were like this. I've always been very opposed to going out of my way to do something just because it makes me fit social norms. I'm a non-conformist, just not in the cool way. More like the awkward aspergerey way. :rolleyes:

However, my stepmother is this kind of parent, although she did not come into my life until just recently.

Sorry I don't have much else to add, but my best wishes go out to you. I'm sure that in my younger years, that would have wrecked me.


08-24-10, 10:58 PM
Oh yeah! My Mom certainly had narcissistic personality disorder or one of its varients. Everything was about making her look good and pleasing her. When I had problems in school she was outraged by the suggestion that she take me to a psychologist because that was a reflection on her. I can remember that by the age of 6 or so, I was trying to fill her emotional needs and ignoring my own.

You have my sympathy. It took me years and years after I reached adulthood to understand how truely dysfunctional my family really was. At least we understand the reason for some of the emotional responses that now cause us difficulty and can work to overcome them.

08-25-10, 01:22 AM

Didn't you just open a can of worms for me..

My sisters and I always said my dad was a narcissist. Labeled him as narcissistic because of his concern with superficiality -- his looks, how he dressed, never wanting his age known outside of the house, what other people thought (constantly putting on an act for others in public...), his conceited approach to life...

Left it at that. Superficial label. For superficial behavior. Never looked into it as a personality disorder (yeah, I know it is one, just never really looked it up...).

Man, though...

"In narcissistic families, this basic goal becomes skewed and the meeting of parental needs becomes of primary importance for the family."Whoa... whoa... whoa...

This twist generally takes place some time after infancy, as the authors point out that most children of narcissistic families were well cared for as babies. In fact, it is mostly likely to occur some time after the child begins to differentiate him or her self from the parents and begins to assert their own needs.Whoa... examples from not just my experience, but my sisters experiences.

Just whoa... whoa... narcissism is describing issues I have with my dad more than his ADHD.

This normal developmental process is difficult for parents who are most concerned with fulfilling their own needs as a result of job stress (, physical or mental disability, or lack of parenting skills, to name a few reasons. To compensate, the parents fight back, ignoring the child's needs and at the same time forcing the child to respond to their own by withholding attention and affection until they do so. In this way, the children's emotional needs go unattended and they are deprived of the opportunity to experience gradual independence and learn about themselves. Instead, they learn to wait to see what their parents expect and then react, negatively or positively, to those expectations.
Does greeting your 16 year old daughter after she just saved for 2 years to go to France in a summer abroad program count? Because he was angry that "the family" could have used the money...

Does making sure your 19 year old daughter hasn't revoked her paper membership to the religion you brought her up in after she told you she is leaving the church count? Because the concern was rested heftily on the fact that it looked bad in the community (once he had to leave, he had no issue with it...)?

Does requiring your 12 year old daughter to take care of her grandmother with Alzheimer's from 7th to 10th grade count?

Does making comments like, "I want to make love," in the presence of your 13 year old daughter count? Does talking about your every little need, for a female companion, every little problem at work, every little social issue with neighbors, every little detail about bills count?

Does it count that when all three children started stating their own thoughts and feelings different from yours, you over talked them, you snidely dismissed them, and you got so angry... that they either learned to complacently shut up to play a yes woman and then got out as soon as possible?

Does it count that I've been wondering why for all my life I've felt the need to suss out people before I am willing to speak up for what I actually think and feel?

Does it count that I've always wondered why kept/keep my private life secret, but am pretty much an open book to everyone else?

Does it count that as kids we were listened to, especially academically or in processing emotional issues (like AJ and his brother got mad at me and I don't understand why. They told me to do the best I could in a basketball game against them when we played in front of their parents... I thought it was OK that I won... AJ's brother told me to do my best... Why are they angry and not talking to me???), but were never listened to when it came to having different moral perspective and political perspectives?

Does it count that I've spent way too long searching for validity from others and never really known why other than its effed up... cuz when I look at other people with even more crazy backgrounds... who don't have that need. What I see is... a picture with missing pieces, how perhaps the pieces are there only I see them form a segregated anomalous picture...

This is just too weird. It feels like I've had lots of contact with it, but never really looked at it this way.

Like seeing a paperclip how macguyver does: it's a frickin' key!

I could go through that article more.. but alas, will not...

Thank you for posting.

09-03-10, 09:40 PM
wow, these are great articles. My mother is more of a 'clinical' narcissist/anti-social personality disorder.

I can definately identify with the kind of ambivilence you're expressing. The ADD or in my case ADHD REALLY don't help with the whole wonky views we grow up with. With my mother, EVERYTHING had an alternate meaning! And I had to be so keyed up and attuned to her moods to keep my head above water.... holy smokes no wonder i am so suspicious of other and hear every little noise around me! Somehow, I don't know how, but meds have really started helping me with these more bothersome traits my mother left behind on me.

My mother is out of the picture currently. But Dad is still around. In some respects he still tries to keep up the "appearance." He really struggles should I start processing any of my childhood in his presence. My step mom is awesome, she just listens and reflects what I am saying back to me. She empathizes and that helps. Dad used to deny what my mother was doing... that compounded with my wonky ADHD behavior were big blows to my self esteem.

Then there's the "everything I did for you..." guilt trip. Um mother, you did not take me to Rome when I was 6 for MY benefit... holy smokes (pardon the pun) I barely remember the square and we were there 6 weeks! THAT was ALL about YOU!

Sorry if I am wandering, meds are running low for the evening... but yeah, I'm right there with you in a lot of respects. It's so confusing, frustrating, infuriating and maddening!!!!