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The Child Victim of a Narcissistic Personality Disordered Parent

Updated on January 23, 2017

The NPD Parent

Young children of a parent who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder are genuine victims of their parent and the disorder—as much as any child who lives through life with an addicted parent, or a parent guilty of physical or sexual abuse. The narcissistic parent abuses in an intensely subtle and devious fashion: they are guilty of severe emotional and mental abuse, and no one outside of the family would ever suspect anything wrong. These child victims quite often go unnoticed, untreated, and are not helped by other adults outside of the immediate family. This is due to the nature of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

The overriding behavioral sign of a NPD parent is their almost total lack of concern for their child. On the surface, and in public, the NPD parent is often unnoticeable as an abusive person. Inside the family, there is no doubt for the child that there is something very, very wrong. In some cases, this parent will begin to ‘heat up’ and make mistakes that brings negative attention to them and begins to shine a light on their NPD, but in most cases, the abuse continues for years unabated. One might consider NPD a kind of ‘spectrum’ with varying degrees of disorder and behavioral inconsistency. While some NPD adults express their disorder in a fairly mild fashion (think the beauty pageant mom or the sort of dad who pushes his child to do a sport they do not want to do), others are very intelligent, experts at hiding their abuse, and are able to manipulate others at will (even teachers, ministers, police, lawyers, and even judges).

NPD parents, due to the disorder, have little to no regard for their child’s individuality, ambitions, or emotions. The NPD parent is quite simply all about themselves, all the time. This is a very difficult concept for most normal people to grasp; it is hard to relate to a parent who has no genuine concern for their child other than how that child can enhance the parent’s image, or how the child can be drawn from as a source of ‘narcissistic supply’. People with NPD consistently look for and ‘groom’ people with charm, false interest, and quite often lavish gifts in order to get them to commit to relationship with the NPD’d person. When they have a child, they have a built in ego supplier. An individual with NPD absolutely needs to see reactions in the people around them in order to reassure themselves of an identity. And they do not really care what kind of reaction it is, as long as they get a reaction. So the NPD parent frequently will rapidly change from the most charming, loving and giving parent on the planet to the most enraged, unfeeling, cruel parent imaginable (think of the film ‘Mommy Dearest’).

The Child's Experience of NPD Abuse

For all the complaints most parents make about spoiled children, children really do have very little power over their parents. This is even more true in the case of a child with an NPD parent, since the child intimately knows the unpredictability, implied threats and intense rages that the parent demonstrates. The child learns early in life to ‘duck and cover’ by constantly appeasing the childish whims (that change with the breeze) of the NPD parent. The child becomes terrified that if they speak to anyone outside of the family about their very ill parent, no one will listen or believe them, since the NPD parent is a master of the ‘false face’ in public. Secondarily, the child is terrified that their complaint will get back to the NPD parent, and they will pay a high penalty for this.

The NPD parent affects intense fear in the child in one of several ways. First, they may tell the child that they have ‘eyes and ears everywhere’ and the child can hide nothing from them. One father of three little girls gave them necklaces that he told them they had to wear at all times, because he had special powers and could ‘see’ everything the children did through the necklaces. They were terrified to keep them on, and terrified to take them off. Another way that NPD parents incite fear is to make either vague or direct threats to the child that the parent will abandon them, or that the parent will not be able to live if the child is not compliant to the parent’s will. Any child naturally loves and wants to please their parent; NPD parents can never be pleased and the child is never good enough. Yet other NPD parents make it clear ‘between the lines’ that if the child should ever be disloyal to the parent, grave and dangerous things will happen, up to an including harming their non-NPD parent or the child themselves.

The child victims of NPD parents are simply there to supply the parent ego boosting reassurance; the parent needs the child to adore and agree with them always, something that the child gets very skilled at doing when in the presence of the parent. Away from the parent, these children are often depressed, anxious, and morose, as if they have simply given up on being a normal child. While some school counselors or coaches may notice that the child is having difficulty, they never suspect it is due to NPD abuse, especially if they know the child’s NPD parent. Should the child tell the adult about the parent, the child will instantly be suspect as having some innate emotional or mental health problem; this plays right into the hands of the NPD parent when the school counselor calls for a meeting. The child is then caught in an impossible trap: the child gets diagnosed with the mental health problem.

The personality disordered parent can slip up sometimes, letting their real lack of character show. This might happen when the parent, intent on what they want, creates an embarrassing public scene with the child present. In fact, they will at times use their children as levers in public situations to get others to back down or give them what they want. The witnesses to such public rages will give in just to save the child the intense embarrassment that their parent is willing to put them through.

The child learns that they must set aside the things that are important to them or the things that they would like to do, because it is only what the NPD parent wants that counts. The parent always places their own desires and needs before the child, often cloaking this with the altruistic statement that the parent is just doing what is best for the child. The child has no real choice not to buy into their parent’s plan for them, even if the child has no desire or any real talent for the activity that the parent is forcing them to do. Emotional blackmail is a given. On the other hand, some NPD parents will simply ignore any achievement that the child makes on their own, and may even belittle the achievement in private while taking full credit for the child’s accomplishment in public, if the accomplishment reflects the NPD parent as parent of the year.

In private, NPD parents will present to the child as either over controlling, totally ignoring of the child, and angry at the child or overly kind, giving, and generous. These presentations can alternate in rapid fashion, leaving the child constantly emotionally ‘off balance’. This is, in essence, a form of mind control and torture well known to survivors of POW camps. So the child is faced with a very narrow choice of how to respond to the NPD parent: they can choose to submit in total compliance (and so lose their identity), wait patiently until they turn eighteen and then get as far from the parent as possible and try to find healing, or through constant exposure and training become narcissistic adults themselves. The latter child may be treated like a ‘little prince’ or ‘princess’ by the parent, at the expense of any other siblings who have chosen a different path of coping.

The normal development of children dictates that they begin to individuate and differentiate as they grow, meaning that children blossom into their unique selves. This normal progress gains momentum as the child gets older. The NPD parent begins to be very uncomfortable when the child begins to assert their individuality or independence; the parent perceives this as betrayal, disloyalty, or disobedience. Children often realize their parent’s illness fairly early in grade school when they have the chance to compare other children’s parents to their own. As the child gets older, the stress in the family system grows to intolerable levels for the child.

Some NPD parents can develop a reputation in the community as at least ‘difficult’ and at worse be considered unpredictable and dangerous. NPD’s may ‘heat up’ and can pose real danger in that they view their children (and ex) as possessions that they are privileged to ‘dispose of’ should they wish to do so. Many cases of domestic violence and murder can be trailed to an NPD individual.

Intervention

If the non-NPD parent is able gain the strength and finds assistance to extract from the relationship, the courts often support standard custody agreements, and the child, fearing the narcissistic parent, will not speak to counselors, lawyers, or judges about the situation. The disordered parent has proven over and over again the child’s whole life that they cannot be discovered for what they are, nor can they be beat or held accountable. The child has no faith that these adults can help them, and in fact, the narcissistic parent often ‘plays’ the legal system so well that lawyers and judges are ‘taken in’ and believe the non-NPD parent is simply exaggerating due to the emotions of the divorce situation. Indeed, the accounts that the non-NPD parent gives of the NPD parent often sound so ‘off the wall’ that even a judge has a hard time believing it. The child believes that there is no one in the world that can help them from the narcissistic parent, so will support the NPD publicly.

Clinical counselors are always very hesitant if not completely avoiding of treating children involved in custody cases when a parent is perceived to have NPD. Most clinicians will only very rarely publicly identify a person as having a personality disorder, lest the narcissist turn their full wrath on the counselor (meaning hauling them into court to ‘testify’ or more often, ‘harass’ them about their work, competency, etc.). Once again, the narcissistic parent does not really care about the child or the child’s needed therapeutic support, only that the narcissistic parent might be able to use the counselor against the non-NPD parent, and make themselves look better in court.

Ultimately, true intervention for the child can only come from the court system, as this is the only institution that a narcissist respects and fears. The problem, as alluded to before, is that judges often miss the fact that one of the parents they are dealing with has this personality disorder. In addition, it is often very difficult to demonstrate emotional and mental abuse, since the nature of the relationship with the NPD parent prohibits the child speaking honestly to the judge, and the non-NPD parent is most assuredly being considered biased. Since few if any counselors are willing to testify about the abuse and place themselves in the path of a narcissist, the court is left to discern these things on their own. By learning the many characteristic behavioral clues that NPD’s inevitably leave in a wide trail behind them, custody courts can begin to identify and then make valuable interventions for children with NPD parents.

If a court were to provide for a moratorium on the child’s contact with the NPD parent, it could give the child enough time to begin the healing process and gain courage to enter counseling treatment in a fashion that can be genuinely helpful. In addition, the court would need to provide greater protection for the counselor from being called into court and testifying (which effectively destroys the therapeutic relationship with the child into the future)so that they can do their job of helping the child recover and generate coping mechanisms for dealing with their NPD parent more effectively.

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      Mom's Mistake 3 days ago

      This article fits my mom and sister and a few other relatives to a T! My mom always demeaned me but not in front of others while in public, but mostly at home in front of my older brother and more so in front of my younger sister. My mother's disapproving looks at me and calling me a goody two shoes and always saying You're juat like ypur father, and You're jyst like my mother( my grandma). These were people who lived me very much and i loved them. My mom was good at hiding her feelings towards me in public. She'd give me beautiful loving Birthday cards and gifts but even as a small child it puzzled me as it did as an adult how she coukd act so loving and tell everyone how much she loved me but never told me or made me feel like it. She always tried to make me feel like everything was my fault. Pitting us 3 kids against each other and my dad. I was a daddy's girl and the middle child. There's too much to tell and frankly it's making me upset but I've been shunned by my entire family for 7yrs now as if it was my fault my mother got sick and died. It hurt like hell but now I'm desensitized to their leaving me out of their lives completely. I really feel alone with no family. If i didn't have my faith in God to hold on to I think i would have died of a broken heart yrs ago. But I'll survive. I don't get close to people anymore. I keep to myself as much as possible. This way no one can get too close and hurt me again. I won't allow myself to get close enough to care about anyone anymore. This way they can't hurt me.

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      Anonymous S 3 days ago

      I am 48 years old and I don't know if my mother is NPD or not. Here is my story. A story I have never told anyone outside of my immediate family (husband and adult children), of course my 2 sisters know the truth one will defend my mother to the death even lying and saying things that happened didn't and another that has become very self centered but at least agrees that these things happened. As a child I was afraid to have friends over because my mother loved to publicly humiliate me or hit me in front of my friends. There was one when I was 9, I came home for lunch, my mother had made soup, it was so hot when a little hit my hand I knew better than to drop the dish that I shook and burned my hands so bad. I cleaned the floor and went back to school. Going back to school with red hands was better than being hit for breaking a dish. I hated being home that was an automatic beating. As a teenager I created a fake family that I told my friends about it was easier than explaining my family. I made a best friend in high-school but that only lasted 2 years because my mother showed up at her house and blew up my spot and told them that the family I told them about did not exist. I did become a thief, more so to by cloths and shoes, I was tired of hand me downs and stuff that was found. The truth is my mother bought me nothing a teenager would wear, not that she didn't have the money. I dropped out of high school. Not because I couldn't pass the courses but because I was too ashamed to face the people I had lied to. My mother threw a scissor at me when I was 16 and it landed in my head. I walked to the hospital they would not touch me because I was a minor. I told them my mother did it. NOTHING was done to protect me. she said it was an accident and my sister told them that it was an accident. It was not an accident she did it on purpose. I got pregnant and kept my son married his father and 2 more kids and yes we are still married. (That's another story for another time as my marriage is to a abusive man). I wanted to move far away but my mother offered to buy a house for me to live in and my selfish husband agreed to stay for 25 years. We finally moved out when my husband retired and I have never looked back. I speak to my sisters but not as sisters more like acquaintances. My kids are grown and all college graduates. I have a prestigious job I make over 6 figures. I don't need to take things that don't belong to me anymore but I still lie about my family. I am not happy my husband is controlling, he tracks my phone. My kids walk all over me and I cant see a therapist because other than work I don't leave the house. when I read the article I was wondering if NPD can be the reason I want to please everyone even if it means to sacrifice my happiness.

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      Anonymous T 3 days ago

      My husband's family of origin has 2 classic examples of narcissists--his mother and his sister. I met my husband when we were in our 40s and at that time I was curious why my husband was not interested in contacting his family--until I met them. We eventually moved to an area that was close to his family and started going to family get-togethers. I quickly learned that EVERYTHING had to center around my husband's sister. It was extremely uncomfortable for me. If I said anything or did anything it was completely ignored, like I didn't exist or matter. So in order to get through an evening, I would try to just focus on them and ask questions about them, but that got tedious after awhile, so I just didn't speak much anymore. I had to completely squelch myself in their presence just in order to "survive" the occasion. After time, then came the angry snips from his mother that came out of nowhere. So we quit going to anything or contacting them. The straw that broke the camel's back was recently when my husband had a serious medical emergency and I called his mother to let her know he was in the hospital. Literally the first words out of her mouth were "Well, I can't come there" (not how is he? or how are you?). I was stunned and felt very sad for my husband. I talked to a hospital chaplain and got the best recommendation of my life--avoid these people like the plague!!

      I now consider the two main narcissists in the family as "black holes"--another person really cannot exist when around those two people. I could only imagine what it was like for their children when they were growing up (this includes my husband). For example, we observed how his nephew was treated like crap. I guess his main "sin" was being born male and not living up to the expectations of his mother. One of the first things she told me when I met her was that her son had once tried to commit suicide--and ruined the vacation that she had planned! The emphasis being she had to cancel her vacation, not that she was concerned for her son. It was very shocking for me to hear this. Now 8 years later, he has been successful in committing suicide. Very, very sad.

      Knowing how I felt in their presence (and I am not even related to them), I can only imagine how bad a child would feel.

      Thank you for letting me share this!

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      Debbie A. 5 days ago

      Julie T this is my dad to a "T" also and I am adopted as well. I'm also the oldest. My parents had two other children biologically. They were always treated better than I and I've always wondered if that had something to do with the way I was treated.

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      Bryce Quinn 5 days ago

      At 60, and just finding out my mother is a narcissist. Only daughter in the family, disliked by living relatives and pretty much living each day as best I can. Reading articles like this one is very helpful, it allows me to make sense of the torment I went thru, and still go thru each day as abuse usually does. I would love to have just a week where things were normal. The residual effects of my childhood are a part of everyday life. You find that your are mentally behind others in the way you think, act and handle just normal things to others.

      No pity party for me, I have been thru much worse from the choices I made growing up. I am on the road to understanding, and hopefully to healing just a little bit. Just a little bit.

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      Julie T. 6 days ago

      This is my Mom to a "T". I am 53 yrs of age and have been in counseling for a long time but finally I can speak about her without fear that she would somehow find out what I'm saying to my therapist.

      I was adopted as an infant. Wondering if other adopted persons have experienced this.

      Thank you!

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      Gary kleiner 8 days ago

      Roz,

      I feel for you here. My ex wife divorced me 4 years ago, won't follow divorce agreement, I think my kids have turned on me.

      My kids are getting fucked up. CPs was informed, never called. She works the system, people and believes all the lies. My kids over her because she's rich and spoils them.

      She has no empathy, she acts appropriately for a situation, doesn't believe in therapy, she is her own god. I have little influence on my kids. The kids never can be positive.

      I'm praying for Roz, we have to stick together. I'm an artist and have drawn the hell for 16 years with her. I was afraid to be alone so I didn't divorce her.

      This is one serious disorder

      Gary kleiner

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      Abby 9 days ago

      Thank you. Just thank you. Jesus, I have never found something that described my mom so perfectly. This. Is. So. Accurate. Thank you. I hope this article will help my therapist understand why I say that I'm being emotionally and verbally abused by my mother.

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      Mary B. 9 days ago

      Thank you for the article. For years, I believed I was such a loser, I didn't deserve to live. Having two NPD parents, one of whom was an alcoholic, destroyed any chances for me. They've been dead for a total of almost 40 years and I have just started a healing process, with the assistance of a therapist/counselor.

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      Shakshi Ray 10 days ago

      My father is a drug addict always have... i've seen him abusing my mom and i couldnt help ... he does everything i dont like...he doesn't work n stays at home all day n takes drugs...like bringing his addicted friends at home and taking drugs..i wish i could leave this world rather than living in this hell!!!!

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      Courtney Graves 10 days ago

      My mother terrorized me my entire life. I was given the role of scapegoat, because I was born ugly. It only got worse from there. If I ever had any feeling about anything that wasnt in complete agreement with her she would be physically, and mentally abusive. So of course as I became a teen I became more rebellious. No one cared, and I was blamed for everything anyway. Well, at 16 my little brother commited suicide. No less than a week later my mother said, "It should have been you that died, and its your fault because you ran away". Wow. I moved out and away as soon as I could. As a adult and mother of 2 amazing girls, I realized she just "hid" these demons better, but still was terrible if she felt rejected. Recently, she said publicly again that I was to blame for my brothers death and she recieved quite a lashing. It was on MY Facebook page and so I deleted it and her from my life once and for all. I am far more successful without her in my life. A Narcissist will rarely get better. Rarely. They dont recognize themselves as the problem. Its always someone else who makes them behave the way they do.

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      CDavis 13 days ago

      My ex-son-in-law TERRORIZES his 14 year old son, threatened of late to "take the Kill Shot" if he should ever "come up against him"...my grandson has decided not to see him again, for a long while _ maybe never. WHAT A DISGUSTING PIECE OF MANURE this creep is and has NO INTENTION of seeking meds or counseling.

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      Mihkalakis 13 days ago

      I am 38 years old. I have been battling my father's NPD for years. All through my childhood and adult life he has crushed my dreams, aspirations and contentment with ridicule, mockery and condescending remarks. He treats me like a child in front of family and friends. He manipulates others siblings and his friends. My oldest brother will have nothing to do with him. My sister is his puppet. I am the youngest. My father is the son of a Narcissist as well. I always have to start over because his narcissism destroy the progress I gained. I feel that he seeks to isolate me so that I must rely on him. He accomplished this through years of sowing doubt within myself and condemning any friend I had. As I have said previously, I have been fighting this beast for many years. At first, I went through years of blaming myself, whereby he aided me or helped me in finding a better solution, of course those solutions weren't mine. Now, I realize that its him, its always been him. Of course, I went through years of trying to appease him by modeling myself by his standards. I never took to his standards. I wasn't like him. I can feel. He cannot. What I mean by this is that is emotional attempts at sincerity always come off as transparent and fake. Like others in this predicament, my comments are a very superficial account of the destruction that my father has caused. I have come to realize that I am happier when he is not around. I come to realize that I dont want him in my life. I have had the inclination to disappear for many years. To be honest, the inclination is more like a fantasy, an obsession that the outside world sees as crazy. The outside world sees my father as this great gregarious fellow, he is a splitting image of his father. I am in fetters when he is near me and I begin to see the light as his shadow begins to dim. I hate him very much. I wish this was not the case, Yet, I am not sorry for feeling that way. Recently, he has finally corrupted my sister, she was my only allay. Two weeks ago, I got a new phone and I decided not to give my number out to my family. I choose not to give it to my sister and mother, because they would both be manipulated by him. A month went by and then he showed up at my door. He says that everyone is worried about me, which was a lie, because he manipulated my sister with guilt and lies. This was not the first time I rebelled against him, it has been going on for a long time. Just like always, I submit and become that little boy, one who is imbued with some sort of Stockholm syndrome; although, I will say that I did not cry or tremble, for once my emotions were under my control. I have thought about this change that has occurred within. This change makes me happy and sad at the same time, an emotional paradox if you will. Happy that my father's poison is diminishing, sad, because this only strengthened the realization that I cant have a father and be happy. I will stop the life story there. How does one escape from a Narcissistic father? I want their to be an avenue that will not severe me from my sister. I want their to be an avenue that will make him understand. Yet, all the roads I see are paved with jagged rocks or made of shifting sands. Perhaps, I have missed something? Perhaps, someone has an answer that involves a mutual happy ending?

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      Jill 2 weeks ago

      My husband's mother is a nasty piece of work who I can tell abused him emotionally as a child. His parents put up this facade of being religious and righteous to people. This still goes on. My husband is a stoic type who never shares his feelings. His mother makes him feel guilty for being alive. She avoids me because she knows I am onto her. She made my husband chose her or me and she never forgave him for choosing me. How can I help my husband know he is a worthy person? He can't handle talking about his mother and I know it eats him alive to know he can never get her approval.

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      SA87 2 weeks ago

      I'm a 30 year old male who has been enduring the psychological abuse of my fathers NPD for my entire life. I was able to make it work for the first 27 or so years until I went to the doctor and found out I had 2 tumors, 1 in tonsil the other in saliva gland behind my ear. I tried extremely hard to keep my worry suppressed regarding my upcoming surgeries, but one day I was really falling apart and mentioned it to my dad. To my surprise he got instantly angry at me, like I was trying to get something out of him by using my health problems as leverage. So I kept my mouth shut and got my surgeries done, thankfully both tumors were benign, although that made almost no difference to me. Following the 2nd surgery I remember waking up to my dad entering the room saying something like "oh jeeze I wish I could have a tumor so I could get all this attention, where is the tumor? Can the doctor give it to me so I can go get it bronzed?".

      After the surgeries I went to go get on with my life, went back to work, and I just couldn't perform my job as well as I was supposed to. I ended up getting fired from the job I was at, finding a new one and proceeding to screw this one up in the same way.... I didn't mean to but I was just not the same person I had been. So eventually one morning I came to work and had something I did photocopied and passed around to about 60-70 co workers during a morning meeting. After that I had to sit and endure 30 minutes of listening to my peers go through the rounds of chastising and belittling whoever had done this "horrible" job. Nobody knew it was me besides the supervisor who handed out the photos, but the damage was done. I grabbed my stuff and drove home, kind of in a daze. I didn't want to tell my dad what had happened as I knew he would likely tell me how stupid it was of me.

      I couldn't even bring myself to write up a new resume, or apply for another job. It became difficult to even leave my house or face any of my friends. This was in November of 2015. So here I am, having spent most of the last 2 years hiding from the world, selling off most of the things I own one by one to get a little bit of money, massively in debt and needing to declare bankruptcy. I want to get my old life back but I can't figure out how, even if someone wanted to help me I feel paralyzed when I try to imagine having to face the world again. Then I have to deal with my dad telling me about how it's time to man up and get back to work, and he's tired of me screwing around - he doesn't have time for these games. I honestly don't know how I can overcome this with my dad in my life. I think I hate him at this point. I feel disgusted every time I have to speak to him. Do you think I should look into cutting ties with him at this point? I'm not sure how else i'll be able to move on. Every day that goes by it feels like it will be that much more difficult to get things back together again, and I just don't know if it's possible to continue a relationship with a parent who I hate and be a responsible adult.

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      AliCat11 2 weeks ago

      Great article...I am an ACoN with two parents with NPD...married for almost 50 years. I don't see that much info about NPD's who are highly intelligent and covert about their manipulation tactics. It was a lot of gas lighting type behavior which I am only realizing now, as a grown woman in her forties. I am STILL seeking validation from them and know that my work is just beginning in terms of separating (with the help of an excellent therapist)...but I have worshipped them my whole life! Since there were two of them (and they have been and always will be teamed up together-they are the most important thing to each other and the kids come after), I must have really been buried in the psychological abyss...they encouraged therapy for me and they really really believe that they were great parents...but that I abandoned them and never do the right thing (seeing them once a week is considered abandoning them). I had and have no voice that seems logical and have felt crazy and uncomfortable my whole life. I guess it's just difficult to really accept their NPD status when they weren't overtly...bad. They would just give me the cold shoulder and ignore me...which wasn't fun. My question to you all is: have you told your parent/parents that you believe they are NPD? Or is that a hopeless exercise. I just don't know how I will even begin to separate b/c nothing in my life seems real or valid without their knowledge of it/ approval. The more I write, the more I realize what a long road this will be....

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      James Lawrence 3 weeks ago from Great Barrington, MA

      Jennifer, I believe anyone can change their nature if they feel the need and are determined to. Raised by an NPD parent, I also had the loving, kind model of my grandparents to draw on. I followed my grandparent's example with my own children - protecting, loving, nurturing them, apologizing when I was wrong or hurt their feelings, setting examples with them whenever I could as a divorced dad (3 days a week for 12 years) for kindness, fun, loving interaction, support, listening first, talking second and so on.

      Whereas I don't speak to my mother or sister, for 2 1/2 years this time around, I have a loving, mutually happy and supportive relationship with my two daughters.

      As a young man, I often emulated the narcissistic model of my mother but in my '30s, reaping the harvest of such behavior, I realized something was wrong; out of sync with a greater internal truth. I did a lot of therapy, seminars, processes, whatever. More heartaches and disappointments were ahead but over time I changed. My children were the beginning. I did my very best to be the opposite kind of parent to my mother and sister, and it made all the difference. I'm happily married now for 16 years, my oldest daughter is expecting her first child in April, and though I still wrestle with inner anger and frustration that I don't feel I can have a healthy relationship with the women in my birth family (all the men are gone or dead except me and my uncle, who's 96), who I feel love for but do not feel safety with, I have a better life by far than when I struggled with this pain as a younger man.

      Life is good!

      Narcissists can change, I believe it...but they have to want to. I'm a living example of that.

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      Author

      William E Krill Jr 3 weeks ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      jenniferjohnson: It's complex, isn't it? In my opinion, if the diagnosis has been legitimately made, then minor kids need to be supervised by a qualified clinician when in contact with the parent. Ultimately, the child can then decide at age 18 if they want to continue any contact. Minors need to be coached in how to interact with their diagnosed parent to ease the contact that is ordered by the judge, and to have a foundation for when they turn 18 if they still desire contact.

      I will hopefully have a self published book out on Kindle by the end of this year that is intended to help people who unavoidably have contact with a Cluster B personality disorder. It is tentatively titled: "Relational Aikido: The Art of Peaceful War With Personality Disorders".

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      jenniferjohnson 3 weeks ago

      Are narcissistic mothers able to ever regain a relationship with a child who is a minor? If this mother cannot be "healed" and has professionally been diagnosed as a sociopath, narcissist, borderline is it not best for the child to move through childhood wo this parent if possible, if the child makes that conscious choice? My concern is the statement that narcissist cannot be healed. If they cannot be healed, they cannot improve or mend the relationship with their child(ren). We are in a situation now where the children feel like they are finally at peace wo the narcissistic mother in their lives. Now they are being forced by the courts to see their mother in a therapeutic setting.

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      richardremington 3 weeks ago from Irvine, CA

      From my vantage point as the step-father of children with a NPD'd father, I want to point out a tactic or method that courts and especially judges can use to determine whether they are dealing with an NPD'd person. During the course of the custody trial, try to determine the willingness of each parent to allow the other parent to co-parent following the custody ruling. In our case the psychologist who performed the custody evaluation recommended 50/50 physical custody based solely on the observation that the children appeared to love both of their parents. Thankfully the judge was more perceptive and realized that the biological father would NEVER allow the mother to have any sort of relationship with her own children. Our lawyer was not accustomed to dealing with NPD'd opponents but he did present evidence including photographs of the NPD'd parent photographing the VIN of the used van his ex wife was driving that helped the judge to see the NPD'd parent as 'off'. It was also very helpful that the NPD'd individual ended up representing himself in court because as soon as he called his ex wife to the stand as a witness the judge became very aware of the behavioral patterns expressed between an NPD'd person and their 'victim'. The judge determined that since the NPD'd individual was not capable of seeing his part in the demise of the marriage, nor capable of seeing any value in the continued interaction between his ex wife and his children, the children needed to be with their mother as she would allow the children a relationship with their NPD'd father. This continued relationship with their father has proven to be the most difficult thing for them to endure, but thankfully they have the basis of comparison between our household and his. We advise them to observe but not absorb and thereby come to their own conclusions about what is healthy emotionally and in relationships and what is not. So far they have seemed to be learning and coping. As their NPD'd father still has 50/50 legal custody, in our particular state he can thwart nearly all attempts at therapy as the local therapist community insists on having the OK from both legal guardians before conducting therapy sessions with the children. It's not easy, but because the judge saw that the NPD'd parent would not easily allow any relationship in the future between his children and his ex wife, we have a chance and we hope that they can eventually recover from the emotionally already inflicted by their NPD'd father and not become NPD sufferers themselves.

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      Patricia 3 weeks ago

      Wow... My childhood to a tee.

      I had a narcissist mother who was very beautiful and used her looks and charm to get away with her behaviors. She was a serious kleptomaniac and as a child I was used as a pawn , dragged along with her on her shoplifting sprees. She was arrested several times but sometimes even try talked her way through having charges dropped. My father was a police officer and wonderful family man and almost blind to my mother's devious behaviors. She was unfaithful to him throughout their marriage. When things began to unravel and my sister & I began to rebel against my mother's behaviors she left us . She just decided she didn't want to be married or have children. This was after she already had 5 children. She abandoned us when my youngest brothers were in elementary school. This naturally destroyed their childhood as well as it did mine and my sisters. My dad was also crushed when she abandoned us.

      My sister who is one year younger & I were constantly the eyes and ears of my mother. We talked to each other about how to get help but never came up with any way to get the help we needed.

      The trauma of Living with a narcissistic parent never ends. Even after my mother died she held the purse strings beyond the grave. She completely disinherited me and even claimed to have never given birth to me.

      She lived a life of lavish, marrying one extremely wealthy man after another.

      She died a miserable death after she was day with Alzheimer's . Though I wish my mother was normal and not mentally ill & wished she hadn't destroyed so many lives...I learned that having " no contact" with her was the only way to protect myself from her. Others didn't see things the same as I. Sadly, when my mother finally died at the age of 80 I had little to no feelings for her.

      My siblings do not speak to each other.

      I learned more about my mother's.mental illness the older I became and the more research I did on her behaviors.

      This was a good article, pretty much spot on when it came to living with a narcissistic mother.

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      T.T. 4 weeks ago

      To: Unknown. I really feel for your situation and am praying for you. You are never alone. It sounds like you are in an abusive and unhealthy situation with your mother so I would highly recommend going to or calling a crisis line - they can offer initial relief and should be able to refer you to low cost or free resources in your area. Depending on your religious background, a church could offer some relief/prayer/support as well. Taking action is the first step. You are very courageous, keep going, things WILL get better!

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      Unknown (i want to be incognito for my own sake..) 4 weeks ago

      Please i need help, im 22 and i have this abusive mother.. many people say that im being rebelious towards my mother, but at home she's the devil. At first my brother was her favourite child who would help me calm her down if we were on a argument, now he also realised that she's also turning up to him. My dad ran away from her a few years back caring alot about me and my brother, but never wanting to see my mother again (and now i understant why..) everytime i try to explain her stuff she always says that "oh you know everything! bla bla" and always end up on a argument, also she uses the "i work hard to sustain you and your brother, im not playing here!" argument everytime i ask her where is she going. She has to turn everything into an argument.. I don't remenber the last time we spoke like normal people..

      The worst part of it is when im sick.. i hate it because my mom ignores me everytime i have fever or im constipated.. "just take a pill and that'll pass" not caring a single time.. but im 22 years old so that's kind of normal.. but she did it since i was 13yold!! i remembered the last time i was sick, i had this bad fever, and i was laying on the couch. I couldnt move a muscle.. and she asked me to wash the dishes. Since i couldn't move, i asked my brother to wash it for me.. that was my bigest mistake.. she started yelling at me and saying "you can never do things by youself huh?! Always asking your little brother to do everything to you, you lazy person!".. I HAD FEVER AND MY BODY WAS SORE! I never had her support ever since, not only when i was sick, but also in school and everything else.. i always wanted to do girl stuff with my mom, and daughter-mother stuff.. i don't know what that is, i have no idea.. if i didn't watch all those movies about family relationships and whatsoever, i would never have an idea of what is daughter-mother relationship..

      Today i'm having a breakdown, and is not the first.. I'm feeling negleted and ignored by my mother. I don't even feel her as my mother anymore.. I need some advice, i need help.. I dont have enough money to pay a psychologist to help me and my brother.. I'm starting to fall into despair and depression.. HELP.

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      Helen Stuart 4 weeks ago

      It really seems that there must be a better answer for Bravo. But I don't know if there is. If my father had a diagnosis, I'm sure it would contain psycopath in it. You described my own situation so well. I am 52 yrs old, left home for college early at 17 was surprised to be taken OUT of college several times by my parents, (my mom supported everything my dad did, even his molestation of my older half sister and I. I remember reaching sexual climax for the first time at age 3. It was not what you would call blissful, it was imposed on me, I was trying to quickly escape through my mind, by staring at a picture on the wall, when my mom walked in, I expected to be saved forever, but she looked at me angrily and went back out to the pool. That and a couple of less severe incidents are the only times I have any memories of sexual abuse until lately, when a few nightmarish things have been breaking through. But it wasn't just the sexual abuse. It was the command to spend my time in his room when company came over. It was my amazement to see him be nice to small animals. And eventually it was the disbelief and the rage when he told CPS from one state away that I was sexually abusing my daughter! That is his charge against everyone! That was ruled out, but I then had a record ,althougth false, with CPS, and all it took was another false charge to guarantee my daughter would be taken from me. She was the miracle of my life, and she still is, although after spending 6 years in foster care, she no longer seems to trust me, even though I had made a point of never lying to her about anything. She has aspergers and CPS said she "no longer had it" . Aspergers never goes away. It has just been reclassified as High Functioning Autism. They also took her off her levothyroxine, she has a rather low thyroid, and hypothyroidism can cause serious diseases. Now that she is no longer "a foster kid" I beg her to go back to the Doctor and have her thyroid checked. I am not interested in the label of Aspergers, but it is not a mental illness, it is a neurological disorder that can be helped by knowing THAT"S why you just don't want to be around anybody for an afternoon, or THAT'S why you feel a little dizzy and need extra sleep. My father, who feigned "special" love for me, but actually hypnotized me and got his pleasure from my uneducated mind and small body, ended up hurting so badly the person I love most in the whole world, my precious daughter. And even my family, who knew he was crazy when we were little, believed every lie he told about me once I left for good. Your "narcissist" hates you because hate is all they know. I promise you this. I wish there was a better answer for Bravo123, and I know there must be. You speak of no adults believing the children of a NPD parent, well Bravo123 is an adult who more than believes and is willing to take action. I'm not suggesting CPS, they do not deliver what they promise. Perhaps you could see a lawyer in family mediation who favors childrens rights since you were at one time the man of the house and acting father and very familiar with the kids. If you haven't got much money, but you sound like you're doing okay if you have this much intelligence, there is always the public assistance attorneys, and you can call your state bar association first. It is better that you start it and the state does not get involved because lawyers hate dealing with that. You could be saving those kids years of trying to unravel the lies and threats of (now) the man and their mother. They will never forget you for trying, but talk to a lawyer first.

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      Clarity 4 weeks ago

      I have been researching for years about this topic and you have just nailed it. My step sons are in this horrible relationship with their NPD step father. I have heard the stories for 9 years now (of being with their father) and we would always just shake out heads, there was never any logic to what we would hear the boys say about things happening in their mom's household. Now that they have become teenagers and much more aware of what's really happening, we hear even more stories. I like that your writing basically tells people the truth. Judges do not know what to do with this information. It's nearly impossible to prove it's happening. There is almost nothing that can be done except to try to get them far, far away from the situation once they turn 18 and get them straight into counseling.

      Meanwhile, they see their mother in tears all the time, the whole family, constantly getting "the silent treatment". The NPD acts like a ridiculous, immature child. When you share stories with other family members of what's going on, people are truly shocked and perplexed that a human being could even act in such a way.

      I constantly dream of being able to send their mother an article like this -anonymously, just so their mother could understand what she has gotten herself into. But, it's not possible. He would intercept her mail. She can't fart without asking him for permission. Sadly she buys into the whole thing, hook, line and sinker. He picked her right off the tree! All I can do is pray for my step children and for my husband and our family as we continue to deal with the absurdity happening in the other parents household. Thank you thank you thank you for this article!!!!!!

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      James Lawrence 5 weeks ago

      Thank you Mr. Krill...we must have met then, I didn't know you knew my mother! ;-)

      Nicely written, concise, very helpful. And though I'm 72, with years of therapy and self-work mostly behind me, I still find myself at struggle with intermittent feelings of shame, loss, anger, betrayal, insecurity etc. regarding my birth family.

      My mom is the quintessential PDT...and yes, still very much alive but, I say with nostalgic but determined gratitude, a continent away.

      I haven't seen or spoken with her or my sister for more than 2 years...our third such estrangement (2 years, 5 years) and the final one for me.

      My sister got caught up in the trap of being the child who wanted to "own" our mother, and she succeeded by traumatizing, then controlling the family dynamic, and sacrificing those (me, husbands, father and stepfather) who didn't fall into her need to control everything and everyone...especially mom ("Iiiiit's payback time, mommy!").

      Mom is 92, lives with my sister...and my sister's divorced, dysfunctional daughter...and the daughter's two children, one at least of whom is emotionally troubled as well, while the other child, the only male left, will I hope escape soon.

      Mom is still making people around her uncomfortable to miserable with her alcoholic-style erratic emotionality, martyrdom, victimhood, self-centered narcissistic behavior.

      To be the one who "won" in the pyhrric victory of becoming the inescapable center of my mother's world, a hate/love relationship if there ever was one, my sister has walked a very tight rope...up to and including more than one suicide attempt (my other sister, to "keep up with the Joneses", did the same, but alas, she succeeded while my surviving sister, to her great dismay, did not. When I visited her in the hospital after her last near-miss, she quite dramatically proclaimed, "When I woke up and saw I was still alive, I cried...I was hoping to be in heaven." Even to this day, she loves to flaunt her willignness to go to any extreme to get her way..."When I killed myself..." etc. Cue spotlight.

      My sister sacrificed our relationship and, with my mother, destroyed any chance we had for a healthy family in later years by practicing the same emotional/victim/martyr black magic we all learned from Madame Mommy.

      I'm a curious sort of black sheep, the one who accomplished the most, had the most loving, healthy, non-violent, non-punishing, non-abusive, non-histrionic relationship with my own children, for which I confess pride...and yet I still struggle with that feeling of thinking "if I just give it one more chance" re reconciling with the unreconcilable...but that would mean, as always before, that past breaches in the family dynamic will again never be discussed, never resolved, and there will always be only one (the last surviving male, me) to be expected to admit fault.

      It's pretty sad, of course. Our entire family was doomed from the day my mother decided to become a parent.

      I crossed that bridge out into the world as soon as I could, not realizing for many years after how our happy little family was in truth a very sick, sick little family. Right up there with Price of Tides.

      After all, it's not every person who gets to say, "Yeah, my mother, and both sisters, tried to kill themselves more than once. Only mom, the one who got the ball rolling, never intended more than to get attention with her attempt. That's one of many bitter ironies. (The stubborn 3rd husband was the culprit in that scenario, the first attempt anyway). I have compassion for and fear of them all. I worry that I will be shot by one of them, or people in another car who come up alongside me. Our house was one of fear and sudden emotional and physical catastrophe and we never knew when it was coming.

      I never really returned to my family, though I made many attempts to build a healthier relationship with them, with some success...but the dragons spawned of PDT never were banished from the dungeon, and so spewed their fire and flame upon all of us periodically.

      I kept my two daughters away from all of them as best I could when they were young and vulnerable. That was a wise choice, and they've benefitted from it.

      For my part, I was always willing to work things out with my fam. But was seldom willing or able, frankly, to play into the rather remarkable, intricate victim/martyr dance/dynamic that I have wholly done my best to escape from. Even so, in my younger years, I suffered mightily, and caused many adult loved ones to suffer therefrom, by wielding the same emotionally manipulative tendencies as a younger man myself. As I learned the better way, I healed, and stopped acting out with rage, withdrawal of love, manipulation and the whole sad bag of dark tools.

      Still, the sadness, frustration, desire to answer those last finely honed salvos of histrionic condemnation I bore at last visit out west, persist, even at age 72.

      When they pop up, I do my best to acknowledge those feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, feeling misunderstood, rejected, falsely accused and the rest. I try to understand where they come from, do my best to forgive my "family" which never really felt like a right, or safe family because of all the stuff that went on, as you describe so succinctly above, and I have very little desire to re-engage with any of them. That leaves me sad, feeling like my best intentions were in the end a failure, frustrated, angry, and yet I know I must live with the resolve not to expect resolution with them. A conundrum: resolve that doesn't resolve.

      And over time, and benefitting greatly from the 16 year loving marriage and "step" family I flourish in now, it becomes more and more a thing of the past, a great learning period in my life, and the darkness at life's beginning that I leave behind.

      Anyway, this all seems self serving...sometimes I get going and it just pours out - still - mostly just wanted to say thanks for this piece. It'll be saved to help me in those flashes of feeling bereft, and at a loss.

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      bravo123 5 weeks ago

      Thanks for your reply. I would be interested to get your book. Please let me know once it's published.

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      William E Krill Jr 5 weeks ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Hi Bravo. Yes, I am a clinical counselor, but I do not do distance counseling. Sadly, when a sibling or friend finds themselves a victim of these situations and does not fully realize it, there is not really much one can do to hasten their understanding, especially if the personality disorder has the victim under their spell. You best bet is to continue to learn as much as you can about the disorder, and be ready when (if, really) your sibling is ready to seek out treatment. In many cases, it is a child that begins to have big problems in school that gets the ball rolling. I have the release of a new book planned later this year that is tentatively titled: "Relational Aikido: the Peaceful Art of War With a Personality Disorder", that will be self published, likely on Kindle.

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      bravo123 5 weeks ago

      This is the best article on this topic I have come across in a while. I have been researching this ever since I started to suspect that my sister-in-law has NPD. I feel terribly sorry for the children, especially the scapegoat who suffers deeply, cries a lot and has extreme bouts of disobedience and anger, though otherwise a sweet and highly intelligent young boy. My brother has been manipulated and doesn't understand at all what's going on. His wife has triangulated the children against each other, so they express violence towards each other on a regular basis. She is a pathological liar and to me it looks like her oldest son is becoming one too. I am concerned about the wellbeing of the children and would like to know how I can help. Is there anyone out there who can counsel me and advise what I can do? I am also worried about my brother, who has always been a happy and outgoing man, but has become withdrawn, unhappy and anxious. He used to be a very balanced and patient person but has developed a short temper lately. I think he somewhere feels that things are very wrong but has either no courage or no clarity (or both) to confront the situation. He is also unwilling to hear any other opinion about his wife (and family) so I am unable to share my thoughts and worries about this with him. The last time I expressed my concerns over the oldest boy's behaviour (who constantly bullies the 'scapegoat'), my brother lost it, saying that I exaggerate and that I am unnecessarily worried. It created a serious rift in our relationship even though we have enjoyed a very cordial relationship and friendship for our entire lives (till recently). William, do you do counseling? I feel that perhaps you could help.

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      Willowbean 6 weeks ago

      This article is spot on...as a child of a mother who has NPD usually the children run far when they turn 18 as I did. There where only a couple of people who could see my mother for what she was over the years and the rest fell to the charm she gave. When she didn't get her way,she made up horrible rumors to tell the friends and family. I haven't seen or heard from her in years because I broke all ties,but from what I have heard from family is that she has this fallacy that I owe her something...I owe nothing & enjoy the peace of mind I have today.

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      William E Krill Jr 6 weeks ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Yes, there are adult victims of their children who are NPD.

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      William E Krill Jr 7 weeks ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      I hope to have a new book finished by the end of this year, tentatively titled: 'Relational Aikido: the Art of Peaceful War With Personality Disorders".

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      teach! 8 weeks ago

      I have a question for anyone out there???? please

      so I can't find anything like my issue. So the non - custodial parent has had history of cancelling, not paying support, yelling at our child when a discussion would help. Calling our child names, neglecting them emotionally BUT has claimed that I am responsible for the situation. They text me all the time that I am brain washing, scaring our child. The thing IS, I have logged ALL over past 12 years. Kept phones, texts, name calling....all of it. Texts go from I love you's to let's talk, to I NEED to talk to my child, I am taking you to court. Threatens my job.

      That will happen all within a couple of hours.....for the past 12 years. "GET A LAWYER" right?? well being a teacher, and not getting support, not an option. I just make sure our child is cared for, well rounded....but still stressed, this will be the 5th year in a row he claims this. any ideas??

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      Natalie Schaeffer 2 months ago from Farmersville, CA

      @April Hi, sorry this is late. First of all, good for you for leaving your abusive ex. You did the right thing for your son and for you. I know that you don't want the legal authorities involved, but you owe it to your son to try even if you think it's hopeless. If your ex is abusing you, notify the police immediately. Or if you're too scared to do that, find a way to video record what is going on between you and your ex. Show the evidence to the police, and he will likely be charged with assault. With proof of his physical abuse towards you, the custody arrangement can be re-evaluated, and his rights to see your son can possibly be taken away. This will protect your son from his abuse. As for your protection from his abuse, you can probably get a restraining order against him.

      This may sound risky and scary to you, but it's for the protection of your son, so it's something that you must try. Don't give up. I know your comment is about a month old, but I know that situations like yours can take time to be resolved.

      I wish you and your son the very best! Don't let anyone intimidate you from being the best parent that you can possibly be. Set an example for your son to be strong and do what's right, even when it seems like all odds are against you. It will also teach him that abuse should NEVER be tolerated.

      If you really feel like your self-esteem has been scarred from your ex's abuse, it would probably be in you and your son's best interest to seek counseling so that you can slowly re-gain the confidence that your ex has whittled away from you. It's important to love and respect yourself. Remember, you have a little man who is watching and learning from you! :)

      Also, if you suspect that your son is being abused and he comes back from your ex's residence with bruises and welts, DO NOT HESITATE to call the police! The source of whatever/whoever is harming your child needs to be investigated, or the abuse will continue...and worsen.

      I hope this advice helps. It's not much, but I felt compelled to respond to your comment and offer whatever advice that I could. I hope that others on this thread with more knowledge and expertise on this matter will do the same.

      Again, I wish the very best for you and your little one. Good luck!

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      Sandy 2 months ago

      I am a grown daughter and scapegoat child of an NPD mother. My mother convinced me my whole childhood that I was evil and that everything was my fault. It took me a very long time as an adult to realize what she had done to me. She still continues to abuse me and unfortunately other people, even my own husband, does not really understand the emotional abuse that I have suffered. She has caused me 2 breakdowns and my first priority for myself is to protect myself from her and not let her drive me insane. I have many times wanted to cut all ties with her but other people in my life - my husband and my in-laws don't support this decision and so I suffer in silence.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 months ago from Philippines

      This is a very informative and interesting article. It is very sad that children grow up with so much uncertainty because of parents who have NPD. Sadder, too, that they need to be protected from their own parents.

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      Sherin 2 months ago

      I have never read anything so accurate and true as this. Truly a direct hit. When I Finally took a stand to the mis-treatment (after having my own children), I was disowned (27 years now), nonetheless it was a relief. Sadly, I went on to marry "my mother ". I read somewhere that marriage is unfinished business, I guess I'm a product of that. At least I recognize the signs and can speak up now. Thank for for the validation & acknowledgement.

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      Miksel 2 months ago

      They seem to be everywhere. Being a spouse of one is exhausting when you try to protect then from NBT is unbelievable. If NBT parent is also an alcoholic, this parent relationship with the other adult is an unhealthy for the child's view of love and marriage. So very sad this robs children of a normal happy childhood and possibly carries over to adulthood. Damn!

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      Paula whittle 3 months ago

      My children and I are living proof and its not a life (since 2010 my pigeon pair are now 18 yes and 16 yes it breaks and kills everything u are

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      April 3 months ago

      Hi, I'm in desperate need of help from any and every one of u who's comments I have just finished reading. My name is april hernandez, I am from Youngsville, La, I'm 32 years old and I am blessed with the most handsome/beautiful/timid/shy/ blond haired & crystal blue eyed baby boy. My ex of now 2 years, is to what I and my parents strongly agree to being a narcissistic, he was highly abusive to me mentally and both physically and still is to this day, even though we have not been together since our son was 6 months old. I left him Bc of his abuse towards me in front of our son, I did not want my baby to end up growing up, speaking to me nor any other woman the way his father speaks to women in general. This man had me (the best way I can even begin to describe his characteristics) brainwashed to say the absolute least. He destroyed me, completely shattered any positive self confidence I ever may of had before he and I met, to the point, I couldn't bare looking at myself in the mirror and questioning my life and how ugly I was the day I finally said enough was enough, if not doing this for myself, I'm doing this to save my son from having to witness the misery and unhappiness and ugliness of his fathers behavior towards me daily, so finally I left his father. My son is now 2 years and 5 months old. For about a year now, I have been highly suspecting physical abuse from his father on our son, from me getting him back from being at his fathers for the weekend and my son being as if he is in a trance every single time even to this day. I've found marks; bruises; welps; not to mention his mental state each and every time. He stares straight ahead, without any emotion being present upon his little sweet beautiful face; his bottom half of his body being limp, as if he is paralyzed for the first hour of having him back in my prescience. Pls pls I beg of y'all, help me! Help me save my son from this evil man who I know, I know, not only from the signs my son has been showing for the past year, but also, I feel it deep deep inside my gut as his mother. My baby isn't my baby when he comes back home to me from his fathers. I know how upsurb this all sounds, but I have absolutely no reason to lie about anything I'm saying right now. I'm terrified, terrified as his mother of exactly what is going on behind closed doors at his fathers house with my son; it scares the living hell out of me; idk what route to take, I do not want to involve OCS, as he is a MASTER MANIPULATOR, I am not being overly dramatic about this, I promise u. Pls any and all help to save my sons life will be greatly appreciated. I will even throw in cash for anyone who is willing to help guide and direct me on my journey in saving my poor son from the man who is slowly ripping my happy/joyful 2 year olds personality right out from under his feet and he's barely even begun to be himself and who god so perfectly created! I need help, I'm afraid I can not do this on my own without someone's guidance and unsure! Pls

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      fed up coparent 3 months ago

      It's really hard to stand on the sidelines and watch your wife go through all of what was mentioned in this article. Her sick Ex just needs to stop trying to be some kind of Disneyland Dad, and do what he is suppose to and pay his child support. His kids will end up just like him, like this article says. That is what I fear...

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      Crystal Chappell 3 months ago

      This is my grandson's stepmother to a tee. She uses me a small punishment and won't let Me see him, have lunch with him at school Andrea lately she has started giving me instructions on things I'm allowed to do or I can take see him! What can I do?

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      William E Krill Jr 4 months ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      I believe you, Lilly.

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      Lily 4 months ago

      This sums up my childhood. So sad. I feel like I've healed mostly, and I'm only 22 I've been in therapy for years, but sometimes when I think about it I get sickly angry or extremely cold and detached. The worst part about it, is when you try to speak up about the abuse even as an adult no one believes you and further isolation occurs from your outside family and even friends. It's truly one of the loneliest and isolating experiences that barely anyone on this earth understands. Especially being the scapegoat, we had intense abuse from the start of our lives and we deserve so much more then these piece of shit narcissists.

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      Freedom at any price 4 months ago

      NPD parents do not disappear when the child reaches adulthood. This goes on forever, as the NPDs are not cured. Even 80 and 90 year olds can bully 60 year old adult children. I know.

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      Maddy 5 months ago

      It has 2017 date because it has been updated, as stated under the headline.

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      Stephanie biggs 5 months ago

      why is this article dated 2017 yet comments are from 4 years ago?

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      andi lea 6 months ago

      my ex boyfriend's father spent 2-3 years planning to desert his wife and young son. When he finally took off, he made sure that he didn't in ANY way contribute to their care for 2 years, so that he could claim he was divorced, in order to marry another woman. Unfortunately, i am now seeing these same character defects (silent treatment, avoidance, dishonesty,manipulation, lack of commitment, just disappears whenever he wants to...etc) in my ex. I am so glad i never allowed him to have sex with me, nor did i fall for his "i'm a very wealthy man" ploy to try to trick me into some kind of financial bind. Good old fashioned morality protected me, so that i was able to notice when that carefully crafted mask slipped. Poor man, i feel sorry for him, but he needs to pursue his own recovery- i can't do it for him!

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      Valley Hanna 6 months ago

      Thanks for your post. Does the NPD parent ever follow through on his/her threats? My mother, whom I feel has slight NPD, has threatened to put my niece / her teen granddaughter (whom she's raised since age 2) in foster care after getting enraged that my niece slightly ignored her at a track meet while hanging with her teen teammates. My mother has been acting completely heartless and out of control about that tiny diss since it happened and says she will begin taking the steps toward foster care/abandonment.

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      Sunshyne1975 8 months ago from California, US

      Being a step parent to a child with a narcissistic mother has been a struggle and I wish I would have recognized signs earlier, but more than anything I wish the court system would have given a care. Unfortunately narcissistic people are really good liars and have lots of people including therapists fooled. Thank you for this hub. :)

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      William E Krill Jr 11 months ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      I'd like to thank the close to half-million people who have read and benefited from this article. I appreciate the support!

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      Concerned other parent.. 12 months ago

      I need to do more than that..what if talking with the mother gently of course .would that possibly work. I've been so scared of letting her go back. The father is suppose to come get her today. My heart is breaking..social services will just cause trouble for the girl..I have no intention of doing that..I'm so conflicted.. reading about it is not enough right now since she is being picked up later.

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      William E Krill Jr 12 months ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Keep educating yourself on personality disorder....visit my website: gentling.org

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      Concerned other parent 12 months ago

      I found this article and am so concerned..my daughter's best friend has been living with us for two month now and I have been trying to figure out what was wrong with her mother..and finally in this article I found it..her father enables the mother..same control the mother has over the father..the manipulations and threats I hear fr both parents chill me to the bone..I know this because the child I speak of recorded her parents once with the advice of my daughter..I'm not saying any names as this is still ongoing and I am scared for the child..the recording chilled me to my very core of my motherly instincts. .to protect ..children ..all children..I heard them threaten her with adoption and then they tell her of the abuse that happens there in hopes that she won't choose that option. Sorry they gave her options if she didn't want to stay with them..one was adoption and the second was her nonbiological grandparents in which the mom again shot it down with how strict they r.and how the child would not be able to do a thing...the child did not even know how to make a simple egg..I taught her that..it's something a mom or dad teaches their children.. it's such a strange story..the mothers first born wanted to go live with her dad at a young age in which she did and the second child she gave up for adoption and coincidentally my aunt and uncle adopted him..we only found this out a few months back..and he is 23..this has all got to count for something...in me helping this young girl. ..I want to keep her here and safe...I have talked to lawyers ..(I can apply for custody but over a year to get to the courts .) And to top it off the father wants to bring her back to the mother tomorrow..my dilemma continue s as I try to fight for her..my heart wants to plea to the mother ..but am scared of the repercussions of that to the child..she is 15 and her birthday is Feb....so lost .what to do?????

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      William E Krill Jr 12 months ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      ?, Very good questions, but it appears you already have a good lead on the answers.

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      12 months ago

      Krillco, child victims of NPDs are oftentimes groomed to become blind to the disorder of the NPD parent. In those cases, what does it take for them to realize it? What could be some implications of marrying a child victim of a NPD parent who doesn't realize that parent has NPD? Or seems blind to it?

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      Live To Write 12 months ago from Phoenix, Az.

      I notice that this narcissistic trait doesn't allow them to see the wrong... I have experienced a relationship with such a person ... it is sooo difficult; it must be incredibly for a child... powerful HUB!!!!!

    • krillco profile image
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      William E Krill Jr 12 months ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Anyone who suspects that they may have a personality disorder should seek out qualified help in the form of an experienced counselor or psychologist to consult with; it is a diagnosis that should never be taken lightly and takes more than a few anecdotal comments to ascertain. Most every human being has some self-centered traits, ranging from healthy narcissism to vanity, big egos, and even annoying behavior sets. This does not mean that the person is NPD.

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      Parent73 12 months ago

      After reading this article and being told that I am a narcassist by my son, it has really made me wonder if this is true. He and I have always had a close relationship until he got his first true GF at 18. She was the first person to tell him I was and he told me that. At that time he didn't think I was. But since than I have gotten married after being a single mom for 19 yrs. Raising him on my own. Father only in his life for 5 yrs until he was 16 almost 17 he filed for full custody after being gone for 8 yrs. Of Course he didn't get it but my son and him started a relationship. Yes at first I was very angry about this cause my son went behind my back and wrote his dad a letter to start all of this process. but the letter never said he wanted anything with him until he was ready. But his dad took that letter saying he was. Anyways, I never thought Of myself as a person with NPD. But maybe I do, maybe that is why my relatioship with my son is in the toliet. But I just chalk it up because I don't like his GF after she posted crap about my family, me and my stepson on social media and he didn't stand up for his family to her. He allowed it. But now, he has moved in with my parents and I was totally pushed out of that decisions. My parents have always spoiled my son and given him whatever he wanted even when I said no. They have always gone behind my back and undermined me as a parent. So now, here I sit wondering if it was really me all this time. That maybe I have NPD. So just wondering from all the children out that really dealt with parents who have NPD what were the signs for y'all? I am just really lost and hurt that my son has decided to not be in my life anymore by the snap of the fingers.

      Parent looking for help and answers. Thank you and please no hurtful comments

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      parent 12 months ago

      After Reading this and seeing the relationship between my son and I become estranged, I often wonder if I would have been diagnosed with NPD. I say this because my son's GF has mentioned it to him that I was a narcissist. But the funny thing is our relationship has always been good up until he and this Girl got together and I got married after being a single mom and raising him on my own for 19 yrs. I guess what I am asking is really what are some signs that I might have this? mainly talking to all the Children who had NPD parents. I mean we all have moments as parents, but I never really thought it was about me. Not until just recently. Thank you and I would please like to not be attacked. I am searching for help and I am hurting.

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      Ray Van Hoff 14 months ago from Michigan U.S.A.

      Very professional handling of a sensitive subject

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      Jacob Letwala 15 months ago from Tembisa

      @ Natalie, I agree with you as I just read your comments, I think it also affect this children as they grow up as well. they either bully other children at play grounds and at schools and they some do not care whether they would be punished or not because that would not be the first it happens to them.

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      Natalie Schaeffer 15 months ago from Farmersville, CA

      Sadly, I know of a parent who almost completely fits this description! And I see the effect it has on her child. The child's naturally bubbly, happy personality totally changes around the parent, and everything they say and do is to appease the mother. The child acts frightened around her and the mother has total control. She tells her what shows to like, what sports team to like, and to be unkind to anyone the mother does not like. And if the child refuses, the mother would punish her emotionally, telling her she didn't love her and that she was never going to see her again. It's painful to watch and my heart goes out to all children with parents like this! Parents have to see their children as precious individuals, not as an extension of themselves!

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      Marié Patricia Nicolina Murray 15 months ago

      A fantastic, and spot on article on children of NPD parents! Thank you for posting!

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      Hurting & trying to heal 15 months ago

      Reading this article just hurt my heart. I am currently going through divorce from my husband who I believe most assuredly has NPD. We are in a custody battle over our 2 year old daughter and 1 year old son. When I think about the hell I endured in my short relationship/marriage to him and how I now have to place my babies in his care 50% of the time because the court system either doesn't believe me about him and his personality disorder, doesn't care because he's only been abusive to me or because he hasn't shown to be abusive to them, or maybe it's just because he's dad and deserves time with his children and he's not bad enough to warrant anything less than 50% I could just cry. He didn't care to spend time with them until it mattered, not even after I filed for divorce but after he was kicked out of the house and our divorce was under way did he actually start to act like he cared about seeing his children and being dad. And what was his excuse? I wasn't allowing him to be! I've never heard such nonsense. I am forced to put my faith into a justice system that isn't fair or just, one that continually fails and wait for him to tire of the real work involved in being a parent to two toddlers because my hands are tied and our judges and lawyers are blind to these people and the damage they do. I feel like all I can do is love and care for them as best as I can when I have them and hope and pray God takes care of the rest, especially when they are not in my care. It breaks my heart, which I know is ultimately the greatest source of narcissistic supply for my abuser. Prayers for my children and family please as we continue to deal with this nightmare court system only to continue to be victimized in what will surely be a shared placement outcome - amply opportunity for my abuser to continue to abuse me and to abuse our small, helpless and impressionable children.

    • krillco profile image
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      William E Krill Jr 16 months ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Peggy, I'd say what used to be called 'the age of reason', which is between 6 and 7 years old. At this age, kids are able to become starkly aware of differences between themselves and others way of life, morality, etc. Often, it is at this age where the NPD either escalates attempts to create the child into a 'Mini-Me', or the child actively starts making statements of or behaviors of disapproval to the NPD parent. In this latter case, if the child has a strong enough sense of identity and ego, and hold s their ground, the NPD parent may reject them and begin harassing them like they do the non-NPD parent.

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      Peggy 16 months ago

      At what age do children sense that something is not normal with a parent?

    • krillco profile image
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      William E Krill Jr 16 months ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Jenn, I have written other material related to coping with NPD's. Just put my author name ('krillco') in the search box to a get a full listing of all my articles. The ones on NPD will stand out by title. Education is your best option besides counseling. Thanks for your support!

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      Jenn130 16 months ago

      I'm so (heartwrenchingly) happy to have stumbled upon this article. My husbands mother has NPD. After reading this article it has become so much clearer, down to manipulating lawyers and judges during a divorce. Luckily the kids were teenagers and able to choose their father. But she left the country and was awarded so much that the kids had to help support their father (which was a far better outcome then being placed with their mother). We've been together for 11 years and she's only recently (past 3 yrs) been in the country and we have had to endure her torturous behavior. The only reason we see her is bc my husband adores his grandmother, aunts and cousins. After a recent holiday (which is the first holiday we've ever spent with her), my husband wished for her to just disappear (she was verbally abusive in front of a large crowd). I need to decide whether I want to share this article with him. I don't know if it will make it harder, or be more healing. And we need to find a way to disassociate ourselves from her while still trying to keep a relationship with the extended family (that she currently lives with and spend each day with). This has opened my eyes, and will encourage me to seek out more answers from others who have had similar experiences.

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      ugh 16 months ago

      Last time I spoke with my mother, she told me what I should do to prepare for my own suicide. Typical mom, I wasn't feeling or showing signs of wanting to take my life, I felt insecure to say the least after that conversation with her. I remember as a child she dug two holes in the yard, told me the holes were to burry my body in, then she had the neighbors little boy sell "tickets" to all the other kids in the neighborhood, so they could come see where she was going to put my body. She reminds me about the "burial holes story" on a regular basis throughout the many years that have gone by because to her it's still funny. To me, it was just another day in hell. I once asked why nobody in the family saved us and the answer was "because your mother would stop letting us see you." I sometimes thought I was probably the favorite since my sister often complained about the attention I was getting. I was told how beautiful I was and she was the smart one. Years later my father told me he didn't realize I was smart too until I was in my late 20s. I was diagnosed with a mental disorder when I explained how I felt about my parents and it's followed me since then. I never really understood what was happening in my childhood but I knew it was wrong because I know people's reactions as an adult the rare times I explained how my mother poured gasoline on my first real boyfriend and said it would keep happening until I stopped seeing him and next time she'll bring a match. I was her "baby" even into my 30's. I still warn people about her and to stay away because she somehow always got away with the most horrific acts. If I didn't cry when my step dad wanted to leave her, she said she wouldn't have stabbed him in the back with a screwdriver. The things I mention here were just another day with mom. I was still listening to the way she speaks her first few words of the day to know what type of day it's going to be with her. The tone of her voice was like a crystal ball into the near future. I cut her out of my life 95% last year and still feel guilty and left a gate open where she can contact me. Of course she doesn't use it, she asks people I highly dislike because they hurt me too much, she asks them what's going on with me and my children. Nobody ever confronted our mother on what she did to us, except my older sister and that's the day my sister became her enemy.

    • krillco profile image
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      William E Krill Jr 17 months ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Helenstuart: I am not even going to reply to your story, as I know anything I could say would just sound like platitudes, and I will not insult you. Your long suffering, sadly, is a familiar story in my practice.

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      Helen Stuart 17 months ago from Deep in the Heart of Texas

      I am 51 years old, and I was the only biological child of my father, who adopted my older two step siblings, and made it a point to favor me and punish them needlessly. He sexually abused all of us. He was not only a narcissist, but in all my years of counseling, I have also been told from his actions that he was probably anti social or a psycopath, as they used to be called. Sure enough, my half siblings still hate me, I have CPTSD, I had that syndrome that Patty Hearst had, making excuses for both my parents, including my mom who clearly loved her other two kids more, "she had to protect them" I told myself and "she was an angel" even though I remember happily jumping into bed with both of them as a VERY young toddler, (I called lying between them being in the "swimming pool" and she would immediately leave the room alone with my dad and I was stuck there. I remember a scene when I was 4 or so , so clearly, it was just pornographic, my dad "checking a rash" and my mom leaving him too it, and then she was so angry at me afterwards, but I had had no choice . She could have gotten him away from me and been mad at the pervert, him. I remember every Friday night it was his big thrill to wrestle my ten year old sister to the floor and pull down her pants and spank her hard while she was crying and screaming, she had done nothing wrong, my brother and I were screaming at him and lunging forward to try to rescue her, so was my mother. But she could have rescued her. That is not how a mom lets her child be treated. I would have shot him. or something. The next day he always loaded his van in a big show of leaving and then my mother brother and mom cried and tried to hang his clothes back up in the house. My distant relatives like cousins barely even like me anymore, because I guess my mom, brother and sister told them I was a spoiled brat and got everything I wanted, and my dad would make a point of pretending to be all favority around me, or making me stay in his room when we had company, so I was insulted and hurt badly by aunts uncles and cousins. My daughter is in CPS now, because he made a number of false claims against me. It has broken my heart worse than anything. My diagnosis has gone from years of gaslighting to bipolar, by his doctor when he tried to take her from me. too much more to write here. Ihave done nothing but fight for myself all my life and I will never stop. He is over 80 and won't die, it seems, won't stop accusing people. I will never see or talk to him again. My daughter was my world.

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 17 months ago from Philippines

      This is a very nice, informative, and well written article about the children of narcissists. What a very sad life these children live.

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      Adney john 17 months ago

      Very interesting and useful hub, I am certain you have helped many parents to better understand their hellish childhoods. Voted Up, Interesting, and Useful.

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      Carolyn McFann 18 months ago

      Both my parents are diagnosed NPD. REVERTING you write is the truth, what I have dealt with my entire life. I was told by a therapist at 12 that my parents have this disorder. I was bullied, verbally and sometimes physically attacked by my parents. My mother is overt, my dad is covert. They are old now, and never changed. I was taken by caring teachers out of our house because of all the abuse I endured, at 16. I have spent my life in therapy because I didn't want to be like my parents and wanted to be healthy. And though I have C-PTSD, anxiety and depression, I have a good and peaceful life alone with my pets, in my home. I have firm boundaries with my parents, who I see occasionally. They made their maid their "surrogate" daughter because she does whatever they want, unlike me. My parents are "friendly" but resentful of me for being independent and not being their servant/scapegoat/doormat anymore. They don't care about me, not really. If I'm sick they do nothing and don't care. I was an only child, so I have made "family" out of friends. Life is good, I take care of myself and have a good support network. It is possible to heal from severe narc abuse. A long and tough road, but worth it. Peace feels good.

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      Rebecca C Mandeville MA 18 months ago

      Informative article, thank you. It took me a long time to realize my mother was some version / flavor of NPD (along with Borderline and Histrionic PD) because she was a 'covert' narcissist: She excelled in her constant Passive-Aggressive martyr stance constantly inflicting guilt on her children for not 'loving her enough' or loving her in the 'right way'. It was hell growing up. Covert NPDs often marry extrovert NPDs, but I'll save that story for my own article sometime. As a licensed Psychotherapist, I can confirm that NPD parents (especially fathers) get away with (soul) murder in court. I have watched my clients who are married to such types be tortured in court in new and creativc ways during custody battles by these master manipulators and can wrap lawyers and judges around their fingers in nearly inexplicable ways, making it difficult for justice to ever prevail.

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      Sulabha Dhavalikar 18 months ago from Indore, India

      A very informative hub. You have discussed it very well, which many like me would have passed it as a case of very dominating mother or father.

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      asaralopb10 18 months ago

      The Child Victim is very bad

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      Paula 18 months ago from The Midwest, USA

      I found this article on the main HubPages page, and found it interesting yet so sad. I think its heartbreaking that children grow up in these sorts of seemingly impossible situations. How horrible that would have to be!

      I appreciate you writing this, because this can help others, even if perhaps raising awareness for people in the court system, if nothing else. As you said, the parent that struggles with this, has no real respect or fear for any authority but a judge and the like. If they can learn to see what is hard for the normal person to observe, perhaps they can rule in such ways that would give hope and peace to the child involved, when warranted and possible.

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      ainezk 18 months ago

      Can be quite a difficult thing to deal with.

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      sarita 19 months ago from Hisar

      You have very clearly explained the situation and the disease.

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      Maytal Erez 19 months ago from Jerusalem, Israel

      Great article!

      I am wondering about the definition and examples of one who has NPD plus sociopathic disorder....?

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      flakycrustedmemry 20 months ago

      Wonderful article. Very informative. As I was reading this I saw so many traits that reminded me of my sister. Some how it became a narcissistic sibling issue. Sorry I know you are writing about parent/child. I do not want to take away from your intent. Coming from a sibling relationship where my oldest sister showed these qualities. I can tell you it started at a very young age with her and it is an abusive relationship. Even in my 50's I still find her a very toxic person.

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      meenakshibhati 20 months ago

      Well written with adequate information. Thanks for sharing such a nice article.

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      Monique 20 months ago from Wichita, Ks

      Wow, this is a amazing hub! I would have never known this but it a eye opener. My Father is divorcing a narcissist right now and people thought I was crazy for feeling the way I did about my step-mother. Thank you!

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      Michelle Zunter 20 months ago from California

      This is my second time reading this hub. I get some good information out of it that helps me understand a difficult person in my life a little bit bit better. Thanks again!

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      Gary 20 months ago

      This is an honest and articulate explanation of what many single parents have to go through when dealing with an ex.

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      Stephanie Bradberry 20 months ago from New Jersey

      Wow, this article sheds a lot of light on some individuals I know. I wish this diagnosis was more wide-spread so it could be more readily identified.

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      Ellie Lynn 20 months ago

      As a survivor of two NPD parents, one who was a pedophile and addict, I found this article to be very accurate. Thank you for raising awareness through this piece.

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      Senem Truth 20 months ago

      This is a very informational and eye opening article. Thank you for taking the time writing such an article and sharing it.

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      Sanjay Kumar A M 20 months ago

      Indeed it did happen in UK and this is a relevant point - there is hardly any understanding of NPD at all in general in the UK and it much more well known in US. I hadn't heard of the Betty Broderick case but I've had a look at the details since you posted. Histrionic PD is an important one - much worse than NPD (believe it or not!)

      The problem is that if you're going to take NPD into court, from whatever perspective, then you need substantial evidence and an official diagnosis (which has been attained through the courts on very rare occasions). You also need to be prepared for attempts at manipulation and you're going to need someone who can support your claims.

      Obviously, the most difficult part is getting the diagnosis, which may never happen. If this is the case then it's just your word alone which will not be taken seriously in a court setting. Personally, I would never dream of using NPD in a civil court case, it's too problematic, it can backfire in many ways and (in the UK) it's not unusual for the victim of the NPD to be accused of trying to twist the situation and end up being blamed and labelled as the "abuser".

      I've been looking at a few cases:

      http://www.sagarasangama.com

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      Sue 20 months ago

      Wow, right on. Thanks for the epiphany.

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      stella vadakin 20 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Thank you so much for taking about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. My father had it and he was not only abusive but a great embarassment to me and the whole family. I then married a man with NPD, but got a divorce, and now see NPD in my daughter. It seems to go on and on. Thanks Stella

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      Peggy 20 months ago

      My husband's ex-wife has NPD. We have custody, but she has visitation. Things that helped us.

      Constant documentation

      Therapists for the children

      Very firm boundaries

      Refusal to engage with her

      Legal action tends to galvanize her into action because her self image as a mother is threatened. So we document and refer back to the parenting plan and do our best to help our children see that her behavior is her problem and not caused by them or their actions.

      We finally did a custody evaluation. We had everyone we knew endorse us and tipped off the evaluator to our guess at her diagnosis. Because the evaluator was watching for it, she was able to see the NPD pattern. And because we had over 100 people write letters about our characters and parenting, we had credibility. The evaluator told my husband that his ex would make our lives miserable probably forever, but she put some language into our parenting plan that has taken away a lot of her power.

      Our children have a stable home now, but they have her regular destabilising influence. It's taken it's toll, but we're making progress.

      When our oldest turned 14, he refused to go to her house anymore. I commented to my husband that I was surprised that she didn't try to make visits better because I anticipate the others will refuse to visit soon. He explained to me that in his ex's eyes, our son's refusal to visit had nothing to do with her. It was our son's problem, not hers. I have a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around her mindset.

      Good luck everyone

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      Ari 20 months ago

      Thank you so much for this article. I am an adult survivor of an NPD mother. I knew from an early age that there was something wrong but I just thought my mom was difficult. My older brother is the golden child and is a narcissist as well. I have been working hard to stop dealing with my mother but my children love her and I am letting her see them. I am worried that it will end up making them pawn's in her game. I am recovering with therapy but it is hard to shake off so many years of abuse. If I didn't have my awesome husband of 19years I would not have survived he is my rock.

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      Girlinrowb 20 months ago

      This is my mother. My brothers are the golden children and my sister and I are the scapegoats. My father enables my mother because as long as she gets her way, she's tolerable. She's 78 and it's only gotten worse. If she doesn't get what she wants, she hurts herself and threatens suicide. We've tried to tell her doctor but she denies ever saying it so no treatment is ever given. It's gotten to the point where I won't answer her calls. I'm 38 years old and have to protect my teenage daughter from my mother doing to her what she did to me.

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      laxmikanta 20 months ago

      A very helpful hub. My own mother had some of this (NPD) going on. My brother and I managed to grow up without too much damage. Not so with my sister. I wanted to protect her which added to my own abuse. www.laxmikanta.com

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      grungegirl84 20 months ago

      This makes me want to cry. Both of my parents have NPD. Growing up was an unholy hell. Trying to explain to people what this was like is very difficult because, as was stated, it sounds so outlandish that no one believes it. This was almost like validation that I didn't imagine it and so many, many things did in fact happen despite what my parents have drilled into me. I think the beginning of healing starts with the child/adult child be told that they are believed. That it did happen and they weren't imagining it. That what happened wasn't normal even though it's all you knew.

      I dealt with my mother, my stepmother, and my father having NPD. How the hell did I end up with 3 parents that were so horribly manipulatively nasty. I believe what also is being described here is Borderline Personality Disorder. Dealing with someone with BPD is very mentally and psychologically damaging.

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      Audrey Hunt 20 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      A very helpful hub. My own mother had some of this (NPD) going on. My brother and I managed to grow up without too much damage. Not so with my sister. I wanted to protect her which added to my own abuse.

      Thank you so much.

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      Susan Trump 20 months ago from San Diego, California

      Every word you say is true. You have done a great service in writing this piece, evidenced by the endless comments. These are children paving their own roads to health. Some never learn they can and some never do.