When the Narcissist is the Parent.
I’ve recently written about my experience with a narcissist, and regularly I see the same comments. “What about when the narcissist is a parent?”
As I have researched and studied this subject in depth, I have decided to write about what happens when the narcissist is a parent. I aim to provide guidance and understanding for both someone who has a narcissist parent, and someone who is co-parenting with a narcissist.
Narcissists have many sides and they choose very carefully which side they wish to show depending on how it will benefit them. Therefore, when someone enters into a relationship with a narcissist it can take some time before the narcissist’s true colours are revealed. Sadly, for some, this revelation can come far too late, when commitments such as bringing children into the world may have been entered into.
Not that anyone regrets having children; however, there may be major regrets about choosing to have a child with a narcissist, as they are not only extremely destructive in romantic partnerships, but also capable of causing extensive damage as parents.
On the other side, it may be that the narcissist is the parent of someone who is reading this now, and this can also be terribly painful and extremely difficult to accept. The sad thing is, we often have high expectations for those who are parents. We forget that they are also human beings outside of their role as a parent and that in that role of being human they can have various issues and abusive personality disorders.
We regularly turn a blind eye to the faults of our parents, and instead of looking at their behaviour we turn their words and actions inwards and believe that we must be to blame for however they are acting. It doesn’t matter whether we are a child or a grown up, we can still find it difficult to identify where the parental line starts and where the child’s line ends.
To be sure we do not absorb the negativity and toxicity that a narcissist radiates, it is imperative that we understand more about how and why they behave as they do, and also how the dynamics between the parent and child play out.
The most important thing to remember is that although it may seem as though a narcissist’s actions are cold, callous and intentional, often a narcissist is not operating from a conscious level, and these things are delivered without the narcissist realising the pain and trauma they are causing.
Narcissists are usually deeply wounded and have little clue as to how their behaviour affects and destroys other people. Narcissists may use children to reinforce their low self-esteem.
They not only struggle to have compassion and see how other people’s emotions work, they will also find it impossible to empathise when someone else is hurt and in pain.
The child of a narcissist exists solely to be of benefit to their parent, and the narcissist will see their children as an extension of themselves. They fail to realise that the child has their own emotional requirements and the narcissist will use manipulative methods to prevent the child from expressing these needs.
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