The Impact of the Parental Narcissist

139 thoughts on “The Impact of the Parental Narcissist

  1. Jasmin says:

    Is the scapegoat more likely to become a “vulnerable” narcissist and the golden child a “grandiose” narcissist?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      A scapegoat has a greater likelihood of adopting behaviours which accord with considerable victimhood and passive aggressive behaviours. The golden child has a greater likelihood of exhibiting behaviours of overt grandiosity and rampant sense of entitlement.

      1. JB says:

        Ah, my dad was definitely a scapegoat! 😂

        1. Jasmin says:

          Mine too! He’s so annoying.. I don’t understand how any woman can stand him!?🤦‍♀️😅

        2. A Victor says:

          My dad was a golden child to at least one parent. It fits for him.

      2. Jasmin says:

        Sounds very logic. Thanks for your response!

  2. Snigl37 says:

    I know what my father is, but it is difficult to determine what my mother is. She certainly appears empath but the word salad she can toss is incredible – it is rare and when it happens she qualifies for world champion. An uneducated, unworldly person would easily lose the thread of the conversation with her. Can empaths toss great word salads?

    1. Another Cat says:

      In my view this might happen after many years of abuse. Mental abuse can cause dizziness, depression and premature dementia. So that what the empath says sounds like wordsalad.

      1. A Victor says:

        Another Cat, thank you for that information, it is good incentive to stay away from abusers. I had no idea these could be side effect from abuse.

  3. Duchessbea says:

    Brilliant video HG. Really great comments here aswell. My sisters are all narcissists and I would love to have a great relationship with them, but I know that is never going to happen. I have tried and tried and tried but we are different personality types. They are narcissists and I am an Empath. One of my older sisters celebrated her 37th birthday recently. We all had a Zoom get together. I didn’t say much. Just sat there and listened. It was really made very clear to me how I don’t have much, if anything at all in common with any of my sisters including my twin sister. Sad. Thanks to HG, I now know why I never really felt a strong bond with my sisters. Thank you HG. Your work is beneficial and incredibly helpful and important in giving those of us looking, and searching for answers.

  4. HealingFromNarcAbuse says:

    I love the videos/articles on parental narcissists on here, HG, as that is what I have dealt with in my life. I often have wondered why both my late sister and I ended up being empaths when both of our parents are narcissists. I’m not sure what happened since I was the scapegoat and she was the golden child. It would have been easy for her to become a narcissist since she was the golden child most of her life but she had empathy and compassion although she was not allowed to have it towards me (outwardly anyway).

    I’m not sure of the percentage of narcissists who end marrying another narcissist, as is the case with my parents, as it seems like most narcissists marry or have romantic relationships with co-dependents/empaths. Does that mean that they get more fuel from the children than the spouse since both are narcissists?

    1. jaygal says:

      Both my parents are narcissists too. One overt and one covert. I suspect they get married in their golden period. Both being of their best behavior. I think that only two overt narcs or two overt narcs can stay married for long though. I may be wrong

      1. HealingFromNarcAbuse says:

        Jaygal,
        My mother is covert and my father is overt. They have been married for around 56 years (mother got married when she was 14 and father was 26). I really don’t know how their marriage has lasted so long, other than probably no one else would want them, LOL. My overt father is terrified of my covert mother though. She rules their world and anyone in it.

        1. Jasmin says:

          HFNA 14 is a very young age for marriage. Are your parents from a culture where divorce is disgraceful?

  5. WiserNow says:

    This is a very informative and interesting video. Thank you HG.

    Something that became very apparent to me while listening is that HG’s explanations covered the ‘abusive’ aspects of a parental narc very well. The psychological or physical or emotional abuse is made front and centre by HG and it’s absolutely clear. The outcomes and effects on the child and how the child’s personality is affected and shaped are also clear.

    The thing that – still now – haunts my thoughts about my own mother is that she wasn’t clearly ‘abusive’ or neglectful. I never cowered on the floor against the wall like the child in the photo. I was never frightened and never felt threatened. For many, many years, I truly believed she was a loving and good mother. She was sensitive when it came to ‘feeling’ another person’s emotions or well-being. She cooked for the family every day. She was very clean and cared about our health and hygiene. She washed our clothes and kept the house clean and tidy. All of these aspects were consistent.

    The ‘abuse’ was psychological. She needed to have control. She was definitely the ‘matriarch’ of the family and her word was the law, but it was a quietly and very covertly applied law. Hers was the iron fist in a very plush velvet glove.

    This meant that it seemed like the choices and wishes of the other members of the family were their own and they were free and autonomous in making them. However, now in hindsight, I can see the emotional manipulations, the guilt tripping, the very subtle pity-plays and suggestions. The blame-shifting and criticisms were part of everyday family conversations. Days and days and years and years of this made it seem absolutely ‘normal’, even ‘loving’.

    This is why it’s so difficult to unravel what was ‘normal’ and what was ‘abusive’. This is why it’s so hard to say, ‘she was a bad mother’, because honestly, she wasn’t always ‘bad’. And the ‘abuse’ was hidden behind the accepted behaviours everyone in the family seemed to accept and think were normal. It truly seemed like everyone was just making their own choices, their own autonomous decisions to do what they actually wanted to do. It was subtle gaslighting, shaming and manipulation that didn’t feel like abuse at the time. It was like a very long, drawn out form of psychological ‘grooming’, but even that seems inaccurate because it was a family dynamic.

    This is why victims of this kind of subtle psychological abuse find it difficult to explain and understand themselves, and why outsiders are quick to blame victims for what look like the victim’s own decisions and choices.

    1. Another Cat says:

      A spot on description of the problem Wisernow. I really feel for you about the subtle hardtoprove mental abuse.

      Y6Mine was very clean, hygienic, etc, she did give hugs but very feisty, pushy hugs. “I want a hug now!!” And when I reached for her she almost crushed my little body. She is more the engulfing stalker type. Not at all the “I haven’t heard from my mother for years” type. She made fantastic food. But my father and I walked around rather thin in the house, while she ate most of everything and was big and rather frightening (not that I see overweight as a problem in itself, the problem was how she used her physical strength), had outbursts, angry cries. I never quite understood how this was happening. From HG’s descriptions I finally get it. It’s the MMR type B narcissist.

      1. WiserNow says:

        Thank you Another Cat, that’s very kind of you. I can see that you lived through the same kind of family situation, although it was also different in some ways, but essentially, the same kind of mental abuse. Yes, the mental abuse that started from birth is subtle and hard to prove.

        From what you have explained, Another Cat, it sounds like your mother’s emotional self-regulation wasn’t well developed. She wanted hugs, or perhaps pretended to want them, and then when she got them, it sounds like she resisted them or pushed them away. She also had outbursts and angry cries. So, the emotions were there, but they were expressed in a way that was awkward, hostile or out of proportion.

        That reminds me of some aspects of my own mother’s expression of emotions. My mother only gave hugs if she was asked for them or if it was a social necessity or social expectation, eg. a social reunion after many years, or at Christmas or on Birthdays. It was never ‘just because’ out of spontaneous affection or kindness. I always sensed an underlying scorn, or stiffness, or conscious tolerance when it came to affection. I think she either learned at some point to repress emotional displays, or just didn’t need them. To her, they probably had no purpose or she felt those who wanted/needed affection were weak or silly. At the same time, she wanted attention and to be ‘noticed’. She would provoke other people’s emotions by the things she said or did.

        I haven’t done an NDC with HG, but I suspect she was a mid-range (perhaps middle-mid-range) victim. She was very much into pity-plays and needed support and care from those around her. She was the youngest of her siblings and grew up as the ‘baby’ in her family of origin. I think she enjoyed that ‘special’ family role. It allowed her to evade responsibility or blame. She was ‘forgiven’ and supported and that became the unchallenged or unquestioned way things were. Of course, as an adult who needed control, she was definitely not like an ‘innocent baby’ at all. She was calculated and critical and quite happily let someone else take the blame for something that wasn’t their fault or their responsibility.

        It sounds like both of our mothers had problems with emotional self-regulation or self-reflection. I’m not sure when your mother was born or what era she grew up in, but mine was born during the second world war. There were many things going on during that era that were stressful and frightening, and then the 1950s and 60s also brought many social changes. I think the multi-generational beliefs leading up to those years did quite a lot of harm, i.e. Victorian beliefs that children were to be ‘seen and not heard’ or strictly disciplined, and that ’emotions’ are weak or shameful while being ‘stoic’ is a sign of strength. Those general beliefs are firmly entrenched in society and it doesn’t look like they’ll change any time soon.

        1. WiserNow says:

          Another Cat,
          Actually, the general beliefs in society *are* changing when it comes to being aware of social and emotional development, as well as the harm caused by an authoritarian approach to raising children. Social beliefs and attitudes are slowly changing. There is growing awareness about the effects of these things on mental health, personality disorders and social problems etc. It’s generational so it takes time, however, the more they are discussed and studied, the faster things will change.

        2. Bubbles 🍾 says:

          Dearest WiserNow,
          You made some very interesting and valid points of interest NW
          My mum was born to a fairly rigid Victorian style woman (my grandma) whose own mother died in childbirth and ended up with two very mean step sisters as her dad remarried, resulting in a very unhappy childhood for her
          So my mum naturally continued that tradition of children should be seen and not heard, speak when spoken to, do as you’re told and never ever answer back !
          My grandpa was a rather well off self employed businessman and did not get involved with the domestics or the rearing of his children
          My grandparents were extremely non demonstrative in their affections and so too passed it onto my mum
          She still holds strong to those beliefs today, along with guilty until proven innocent. . . even then she has doubts, thank goodness she never did jury duty 🤣
          Stoic ? My mum would have the best poker face I know haha
          They did their duty and that was it !

          I’ve never been on the same page as my mum, I guess I broke the mould 😂
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Bubbles, “I guess I broke the mould”…… laughing…. I couldn’t have put it any better. Maybe my mother instinctively knew I was stronger than her but I couldn’t see it, until now. Damn.

          2. WiserNow says:

            Dear Bubbles,

            Your grandparents and the life experiences they were born into or lived through sound similar in some respects to my own grandparents. My grandmother on my father’s side (my father is co-dependent) also lost her mother at a young age and then her father remarried. She had a harsh step-mother and two step-sisters who were treated more favourably. My dad grew up with the firm belief that the life is harsh and that difficulties need to be endured or tolerated, and that’s just the way it is. I think his mum endured the harshness of her life and passed that mindset on to him. It’s all about ‘toughing it out’ in their view. It’s like they expected life to be harsh or stressful, and any ‘good’ things or ‘easy’ things can’t be trusted or shouldn’t be expected. He ‘handed’ this attitude down to me and I don’t enjoy it or believe in it, but his attitude is so deeply ingrained over many years that it’s impossible to convince him otherwise.

            The external ‘stressors’ that HG sometimes mentions is something I can understand or relate to. The emotional empathy that comes naturally isn’t always at the forefront if there are external stressful situations happening. I can see that in myself. It’s very apparent now that I’m much more mindful of my emotions. Certain situations or external life experiences can and do impact us all the time. A person’s natural empathic traits or natural narcissistic traits go up and down when they react to what’s happening or when they feel either happy or sad, positive or negative about anything.

            A baby or young child whose brain has been ‘conditioned’ with either more or less external ‘stressors’ will naturally have developed a nervous system that has ‘learned’ to deal with such ‘stressors’ through the development of coping mechanisms.

            It’s all very interesting to learn about and understand more about human and social behaviours.

            It doesn’t sound to me like you are on the same page as your mum Bubbles. You sound to me like a very warm and open-minded person who likes to laugh and have fun. That’s a lovely way to be. Stoic ‘poker faces’ aren’t fun at all. I’m happy to have conversations with you and I feel a warm smile when I read your comments either with me or with others.

            Thank you lovely one for your message and kind words. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you xx

          3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest WiserNow,
            My sincere apologies for the delay in replying to your comment lovely, I’m very much in ‘catch up’ mode
            I understand totally of what you speak WN
            My mum certainly “toughened up”
            I recently found out from my mum just how much she really loathed and disliked her brother
            They fought like cat n dog ! They were extremely competitive against one another …… two narcs battling it out !
            She recently confessed to me how she deliberately poked her brother in his face with a croquet hook and nearly missed his eye when they were teenagers
            He smacked her in the face at a welcome home party after telling her “can’t you shut those kids up of yours” ….(we were crying apparently), so she told him to “get stuffed”, he hit her, she hit him back ……. in front of everyone 😱……they were both adults and it was definitely “not the done thing” back then, everyone was shocked n horrified ! They didn’t care !
            My brother n I were never like that
            I hate fighting, it’s not worth the energy
            Mr Bubbles and I prefer peace at all costs, its in our DNA …. haha
            Maybe that’s why narcs try and push our buttons …..they just know !

            Thank you for your generous warm fuzzies NW, ☺️ and yes, life is to be happy and have fun, I don’t really fancy the alternative
            The pleasure is also mine lovely WN, you articulate beautifully 😊
            💕
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        3. Another Cat says:

          WiserNow

          Again, big thank yous for your longer analysis. Must have been awful feeling the cold from your mother, being left alone with your feelings. For several years my mother and my dear empathic aunt had to go to church almost every single day, for prayer and communion, and very often confession. Grandmother, and empath, probably a geyser, was brought up like that, and also they had guests, I heard, every week, relatives coming to the city from the countryside, for sleepover. Just like isolation, constantly meeting new people can really mess up a child.

          “Actually, the general beliefs in society *are* changing when it comes to being aware of social and emotional development, as well as the harm caused by an authoritarian approach to raising children. Social beliefs and attitudes are slowly changing.”

          Thank you for noticing the positive! <3

    2. Contagious says:

      It’s often what is not said. Silence is a verb,

  6. lindseymarie says:

    Important video. Lots to take in. It really does travel down through generations. Sometimes I think it’s no surprise my father ended up one since he was raised by one too. Giving up any expectations to be parented properly by a parental narc is key to healing. You’re never going to get the parent you want, even if they throw you a few crumbs here and there. Accept reality. They aren’t up for the job and never were. I just see my father as a random person now, and it makes his lack of empathy and concern towards me (or anyone) more tolerable. He owes me nothing. There’s no law that says a parent has to love their children. Many just aren’t capable. We aren’t close but I find myself much more relaxed now when I do have to talk to him because I know what he is, how he ticks and I have no expectations from him to be a “father” to me.

    1. JB says:

      Lindseymarie, you are so right in what you say. My head knows this, but I hope one day soon my heart will catch up! “There’s no law that says a parent has to love their children” – I fight against this on a daily basis, as deep down I obviously believe there should be!

      1. lindseymarie says:

        Oh believe me I understand! My heart is still catching up on it even though I know logically now what he is. Without the understanding of narcissism though, I would have gone my entire life wondering why my own father could be so cruel. The hurt I had experienced by him remains but the hope for him to change and act like a father to me is long gone. That’s the progress part. And it is tough because well meaning people will tell you to never give up hope that the narc will change. That’s destructive “advice” though and only prolongs your hurt and healing. Parents should love their children, no doubt, in fact we all should love one another, no matter the relationship, but these narcs just can’t love anyone. It’s not personal to us and never was. I’m sorry you have gone through it too.

      2. Bubbles 🍾 says:

        Dearest JB n lindseymarie,
        I’m very much “feeling” where you both are right now. It’s an extremely painful heartbreaking process and I’m so saddened you are going thru this
        Recognising what my mum is, big thanks to Mr Tudor, has helped me add more of the puzzle pieces together
        There are still many unanswered questions and missing pieces, however, I know I’m never going to find out, but that’s ok
        I was 8 years old when I had a cruel psychopathic step father! What I endured in my early formative years was horrendous, something a child should ever have to go thru
        I clearly remember back then defining cruelty and kindness and in the back of my mind, I always questioned why my mum did nothing and why didn’t she protect us and why she repeatedly put the man in her life at the time, first, before her children
        I know my mum, but at the same time, I don’t ! She will continue in her own little narc world til the day she dies . . . so be it !
        I have “grieved” over my mother all my life, for what never was or was ever going to be
        What a bloody waste of time that was !
        Forgiveness, for me, doesn’t even come into play, sadness . . .to a degree, sense of loss . . . big time !
        Accepting and understanding our own situation is the healing part, moving forward is the growth!
        As hard as it is . . . one must . . . for our own sakes!
        Thinking of you both
        💕
        Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        1. lindseymarie says:

          Bubbles I feel for you! Even as a young child you were questioning why your mom did nothing to stop the cruelty of your stepfather. Even as kids we knew things weren’t right. I knew something was off with my father and remember asking my mother what’s wrong with them (my father and grandmother.) Her answer was just “I don’t know.” No support, no hugs, no encouragement and certainly no defending me to him or standing up for me. In her case it wasn’t narcissism, it was mental illness, but she lacked empathy for the most part (due to her illness) as well so the effect was similar. At the end of her life I said I wished she had married someone nicer and on her deathbed she said “don’t blame your father.” It still amazes me.

          1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest lindsaymarie,
            Thank you lovely for your reply
            My brother n I also never received the hugs, the support nor the encouragement you speak of. It’s a bit like an animal abandoning their off spring to venture out into the big cruel world on their own. . . never to be seen again !

            My mum now, continually talks about her early days. My brother n I are never mentioned.

            Snap ! I’ve actually said the same thing to my mum, I wish she’d married someone nicer.

            We will get thru this lindsaymarie, this time, with all the hugs, support n encouragement right here ☺️
            💕
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        2. JB says:

          Thank you, Bubbles. It does at the moment feel like a grieving process and you are right, it is a waste of time, acceptance is key to moving forward. I think at the moment my brain almost doesn’t want to move forward; it’s fighting against it all. It will get there in the end though xxx

          1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest JB,
            Anyone meeting me would think I’ve had a great life, the best childhood, look healthy, have one of the biggest smiles to match my bubbly personality

            I’ve put in a lot of work and effort to move forward . . . it hasn’t been easy, I still have on going issues with our son
            You do it when you know it’s time and you’ve just had enough
            It starts when you begin to Love yourself first . . . there’s no going back !
            We care JB, you are worth it and you are loved and we’re here for you xox
            💕
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          2. JB says:

            That’s so kind, Bubbles, thank you 😘 Xx

  7. A Victor says:

    MP,
    I had the same experience with my mother/myself as a child, and me/my kids as children. No heavy-handedness was needed, they responded just fine to being respected and valued. It was so different, and I’m so glad for it! And now I see my two daughters who have children raising them with respect and giving them value, it is truly a beautiful thing!

    1. MP says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this AV. It is truly a beautiful thing. Perfectly apt words. It makes my heart swell every timeI think about it. I’m so thankful that I didn’t become a narcissist. I could not even fathom causing them anything that was done to me. You are absolutely correct about kids. They seem to want to naturally be good and make parents proud. There is no need for manipulations or heavy-handedness.

  8. Bubbles 🍾 says:

    Dear Mr Tudor,
    Wow!
    I spent all my life reading “self help” books and here you do it in just 22.14 mins
    Excellent as always and extremely relatable
    Thank you
    Luv Bubbles xx 😘

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I’m the Ultra. Accept no substitutes.

      1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

        Dear Mr Tudor,
        No one could substitute you!
        “When you have the best, then only the best will do . . .and isn’t that all the time?”
        Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Bubbles, don’t you mean G.O.A.T. ?

          1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Greatest of all time 🤣
            Absolutely

          2. Asp Emp says:

            Yes, Bubbles. Absolutely. 🙂

      2. Lynn says:

        I don’t really understand why you empower us against your kind HG. Is there fuel in depriving other narcs of fuel? I’m have been reading your books. I’m recognising a lot of behaviour. I developed counter strategies as a child, must have been instinctive. I watched attentively too, because the erratic behaviour needed watching. I am an expert at depriving narcs of fuel apparently. However I do agree with you. We need narcissist traits to achieve, and to control narcs, especially the lower orders. My father gave his all as a very young man in the navy during the war. He had been in the training ship and had to fill dead men’s shoes at 17 years old, navigation officer on a Destroyer on the Atlantic run. I’m an only child, my mother died young so I looked after my father from the age of 12 for 34 years. He was a 100% disabled but sophisticated narc, very frustrated, angry, made my life hell, but I owed him. I’m pleased I cared for him until he died.

    2. lickemtomorrow says:

      I’ve been going through some things lately in a major tidy up and came across a book I bought years ago called “The Emotionally Absent Mother”. I’m not sure how far I got through it, but long ago (and even further back than that) somehow I knew my mother was emotionally absent. I just didn’t know how or why. You are 100% right, Bubbles, HG can do in seconds what others will never achieve in a lifetime <3

      PS: I did see another title recently for people who had suffered CEN or Childhood Emotional Neglect and it was "Fuel for Life"! I instantly thought of HG and what a nice present that would be for him (since it was coming up to Christmas 🙂 )

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Hello LET, you mentioning a book…… reminded me of one my sister bought me around 20 years ago – she talked to me about Aspergers (it was the first I heard about it). The book ‘Loving Mr Spock’ by Barbara Jacobs. It is not just about a story. I may read it again actually.

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          I wonder how you felt when she gave you that book, AspEmp, and if you recognized yourself in it as you read it? Much like we recognize ourselves and our situations as we read HGs work here. Lots of ‘aha’ moments and nodding of heads in agreement. It seems like she handed you a key to understanding more about yourself and cared enough about you to do that, too. You are lucky to have her <3

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Hello LET, yes I did resonate with what I read in the book and many years later was diagnosed as such. My sister was actually telling about my dad and ‘mother’ around the same time (yet she never mentioned narcissism to me).

      2. lindseymarie says:

        Emotional childhood neglect is such a huge topic and goes beyond narcissism. There are so many reasons why it occurs. Mental illness, drug abuse, etc. I often think I must have received a bit of empathy along the way somewhere growing up to be able to have empathy myself, I assume from my mother who was mentally ill and quite visibly “Checked out”. She was apathetic about pretty much everything including me. Even before I was born I guess she wondered how she would be able to care for me from what I heard. So it was emotional neglect for a different reason than Patrinarc. Narcissism or not a lot of parents really aren’t up for the task at hand for various reasons.

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          Thanks, lindseymarie, for adding that. I haven’t looked into it a great deal, but understand there are numerous reasons behind it. It’s all been part of the path of discovery for me. And parent’s not being up to the task encompasses more than narcissism, I agree. There are a lot of things to factor in when all is said and done.

        2. Leigh says:

          HI Lindseymarie, my mother is mentally ill too and for years I used that as a reason to excuse her abhorrent behavior to my brothers and I. I’m sorry you were emotionally neglected. I know what that feels like. Yes, maybe there are other factors that cause neglect but does that really matter? Its still neglect. For me, that’s the key. I don’t care why my mother was neglectful. I’m done excusing her behavior. I think about my poor brother. He craved her attention so much he would do anything and everything for her. I remember my brother saying “I love you” to her all the time and never getting a response. He would do her laundry, go food shopping, clean, cook, etc, etc, etc. None of us deserved to be neglected or abused by our parents.

          I often ask myself the same question, where did my empathy come from? Both parents were toxic, neglectful and abusive. My father was physically abusive. He would take his knuckle and punch my brothers and I on the top of our head. For years, I made excuses for him too. I said he was only trying to discipline us. He wasn’t trying to abuse us. This is all he knew. Hogwash! I finally realized how terrible he was as well.

          I know Mr. Tudor says that narcissism is born from a genetic disposition and a lack of control environment. I definitely has the lack of control environment so somehow I didn’t receive the gene for narcissism. Thank goodness for that. My guess Lindsaymarie is that you were lucky too and didn’t receive that nasty little gene either.

      3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

        Dearest lickemtomorrow,
        I had this article saved, thought you might like to read it
        https://www.learning-mind.com/emotionally-unavailable-mother/
        Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          Bubbles, thank you <3 I am going to take a look at it now xox

        2. lickemtomorrow says:

          She comes right out of the gate in those first few paragraphs, Bubbles, and it would have been confronting whether she started there or ended there.

          One of the first things she said, about being “cold hearted” and “unfeeling”, as another way to describe the emotionally unavailable mother, hits the nail on the head. I always had this sense my mother was ‘doing her duty’. That’s it. No emotion, no connection, just running like an automaton for the most part. I don’t think a lot of people realize how impactful that is to a child who deeply desires to connect, which empaths normally do. I got nothing. Same with the hugging and the holding, being told “I love you”. Nada. She had nothing to give, but I didn’t realize it then. I can relate to so much in this article which is also highlighting factors which many people overlook. It’s the simple things. The missing hugs, the lack of response, ignoring your wishes – the things that are withheld, which can be just as damaging.

          Reading her response as to how she chose to handle that, I can’t help but think at the same time she sounds a little like a narcissist. She is spot on with her assessment, but her reaction seems to have led her down a path that lacks empathy. Understandable, and she also touches on attachment disorders so that could be part of it. But I’d have to question the perspective she is coming from even if I agree with her 100% on how our mothers can be emotionally unavailable and how we might also feel about them if that is the case.

          Thank you again for sharing that article, Bubbles xox It did touch on much of my experience and I know how she feels.

          1. NarcAngel says:

            LET

            Just curious – what is it that leads you to believe she has been led down a path that has her lacking empathy?

          2. lickemtomorrow says:

            Let’s see:

            1/ She is disconnected from people, but not animals. She mentions not being maternal, but being raised by a narcissistic parent does not disqualify you from having maternal feelings or instincts and I find it very much connected to having a sense of empathy. I understand that will not be the case for everyone, and that some people do genuinely connect with animals better or in preference to humans, but this is not the only potential red flag for me. Purely my personal POV, but I don’t connect with animals because they ‘don’t have a voice’, though I would react to an animal being treated cruelly. Just something about her presentation here seems off, as though she is adding that last part because she knows she needs to and not because it is genuine. i.e Fake.

            2/ She talks about being cold hearted herself and having a heart of stone, creating a protective barrier for herself against others. Once again, while empaths will be damaged by various people and situations, I don’t see it as an empathic trait to harden one’s heart to the extent she describes. We are ever hopeful and loving, far more to prone to opening our hearts to all and sundry even after being hurt and experiencing pain. That is the empathic way. She calls it a survival technique, but we could also recognize it as part of the narcissistic dynamic. She has no empathy, except for pets maybe.

            3/ She expresses black and white thinking in relation to an ex-boyfriend and a comment he has made. It’s all or nothing for her, she’s clingy or hostile, there’s no in between. Reminds me of the Borderline in some ways, which we know could alternatively be diagnosed as narcissists depending on whether they may also be suffering from CPTSD. She doesn’t describe her circumstances as particularly traumatic, those I don’t discount they were traumatic for her, so just to be clear this can be a difficult line to define at times.

            4/ She’s avoidant and keeps emotions at arms length. That could mean she lacks empathy or alternatively has some kind of attachment disorder as she suggests.

            5/ She then goes on to say she needs to be the centre of attention in company.

            For all these things she is able to give an explanation, but somehow I’m sensing this could just be a cover for what is really going on underneath and that something is possible narcissism.

            That’s it in a nutshell, NA. My perspective on what she’s written.

          3. lindseymarie says:

            I too saw some definite narcissistic tendencies in this article. As children of emotional neglect, we often grow into one way or another. Narcissistic or empath. Side note : Her comments about leaving notes for her mother were spot on with me as well. I did the same. My mother kept them and I found them a couple years ago. I was trying so much to get love back from her. It was heartbreaking.

            Regarding the narcissistic red flags in this article the author admits:

            Having a cold heart (of stone) which implies a lack of empathy

            Clingy or hostile, everything or nothing. Black and white thinking. Person is either all good or all bad.

            Dismissive avoidant attachment style which I believe is common among narcissistic types (empaths are often anxious attachment style).

            Admits she has to be the center of attention

            Liked to shock people to get their reaction

            These are the thinks I picked up on in the article which seemed narcissistic to me.

          4. lickemtomorrow says:

            Sounds like we are on the same page with much of this, lindseymarie. I’m glad I’m not the only one who read it that way, though we can only speculate based on what she said. She did hit the nail on the head with regard to elements of neglect amongst others, and it’s heartbreaking to read just how true that was for you around leaving notes for your mother. It’s hard to understand why she kept them if at the time she didn’t respond. I don’t know if you’d rather you never came across them again considering how heartbroken you must have felt the first time round, knowing how hard you tried to secure her love. It’s one of the things I’m most adamant about with my own children, and what destroyed me about my ex-husband as well, which is making sure their feelings are acknowledged and also reciprocated. The fact I feel so passionate about is probably an indication I was deeply affected by this as a child. I remember very early on, when I first moved out home, I purchased a book called “Somebody Loves You” by Helen Steiner Rice. I think I knew fundamentally at that point in time that I was not loved. And I needed to know somebody loved me. The title just jumped out at me. I still have the book. Probably one of the things that helped to secure my deeply held beliefs as well. That’s the second book I’ve mentioned here, too, which is indicative of the lifelong ongoing search for answers. I never really got the answer I needed until I arrived here. HG has made it all so clear. And I will be forever grateful for that <3

          5. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest lickemtomorrow,
            I’m happy to oblige and hope it shed some light and gave some helpful information
            I noted her profile, with effects of panic disorders for over 30 years and anxiety
            We often self sabotage in many ways, but in esence it’s for self protection, it may appear narcissistic but in reality it’s far from it
            Sharing is caring lovely one, thank you for your heartfelt thoughts
            💕
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          6. lickemtomorrow says:

            It was very helpful, Bubbles, and thanks again <3 I always appreciate your input xox

          7. MP says:

            LET,

            Sorry for inserting myself in your conversation. I have read the article and it was a very honest and informative account of her experiences and how she turned out after those childhood experiences. Having a mother that she had is definitely one of the worst. My mother was physically and verbally abusive and extremely controlling to me but she always made me feel that I was special from her comments. Her grandiosity was actually extended to how she perceived me to the point that I resented it and started sabotaging myself. But like what WiserNow said about her mom, I also grew up believing that my mom loved me, in an abnormal and unhealthy way. But loved me nonetheless. I can see how she ended up having an avoidant attachment probably with the ingrained subconscious programming that she will not be loved so to protect herself she avoids the attachment. She doesn’t like children and I wonder what might be causing her to feel that way. I bet it has a lot to do with deep insecurity from her lack of bonding with her mom. Children of narcissists experience such harsh cruelty at such a vulnerable age. If narcissists can destroy healthy adults with no history of trauma, just imagine how that affects the little children who depend on their parents for everything.

          8. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi, MP, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your comment and others on this thread, but I missed some notifications and got caught up in the whole Oprah interview!

            Coming from my perspective I find it hard to understand how a mother can be verbally and physically abusive and yet somehow still convey to to a child that they are loved. I think you have explained it very well and have also given a fascinating insight into the notion of self sabotaging yourself in the circumstances. You make an especially valid point at the end when you say “if narcissists can destroy healthy adults with no history of trauma, just imagine how that affects the little children who depend on their parents for everything.” It’s so true. And horrific when you think about it. What chance did any of us have except to become one or the other, and either way we are destroyed in the sense of having to find extraordinary coping mechanisms to deal with it. Our narcissistic parents have made us strong in different ways, but those of us who are empaths seek to mitigate the damage that was done whereas the narcissist seemingly has no choice but to propound it. And all because their genetic makeup set them up to become that way. It’s a sad state of affairs, but at least we are getting some of the answers here <3

          9. MP says:

            No worries LET! 💕

          10. Leigh says:

            Hi LET, the gaslighting and the dissonance has really messed with my head. I didn’t feel unloved even though I was neglected. Its bizarre. She never hugged me or told me she loved me but yet I still didn’t feel unloved. I was the golden child and then not, then the golden child again and then not. You know the dynamic.

            Anyway, I can relate to the writer somewhat because I agree with her thoughts on how she felt about her mother and how she didn’t owe her mother any compassion or understanding simply because she gave birth to her.

            I also didn’t want children. I did not have one maternal instinct. Not one. Then I got pregnant with my first child and it kicked in. My children saved my life. I absolutely adore them and would do anything for them. I’m going to make a confession now. I don’t hug my children either. I love my children and I tell them every single day. When they were little I hugged then all the time. Now that they are older, I can’t. I don’t know how to let people in, even my own children. Like the woman in this article, I keep everyone at an arms distance all the time. I’m cold and distant and yet, I’m an empath.

            Maybe her decision to not have babies is empathic because she knew she was lacking that maternal instinct and she didn’t want to bring a baby into that scenario.

            I don’t know if she’s a narcissist, a normal or an empath but I certainly could see the similarities between her and I. I just wanted to give my viewpoint on the subject.

          11. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thank you, Leigh, for adding that. It gives a real insight into how different people can be affected and she has told part of the story which has remained hidden to me. I always wanted to have a family and looked forward to having children. I’ve loved them since day one and have no regrets about the sacrifices involved. Much like you, they became my everything in many ways and also saved my life. Certainly made it worth living. I appreciate you sharing that you had no maternal instincts until you were pregnant with your first child. There is a lot of talk about instincts when it comes to mothering and it’s different for everyone. It’s so important to understand that and I’ve definitely come from my own perspective on this. To me it felt very natural, but everyone’s story will be different especially with a narcissistic parent in the background. And the author of the article may have thought it empathic not to have a child knowing she lacked any kind of maternal instinct. Thank you, Leigh, for opening my eyes a little more on the subject, and being so gracious about it, too. We all carry our hurt in different ways and it’s a lifelong struggle to come to terms with it. Your children will have benefited enormously from your loving presence, those wonderful hugs and you continue to tell them you love them <3 That is what is important. As adults now they don't need it quite as much and you've set the groundwork for a much healthier future for them. I am sorry you find it hard to let anyone get close now, but as I've very much cocooned myself from the world since my last relationship as well I can totally understand it. The only people I will let get close to me are my children. Otherwise, the world is a hostile place right now until I can get a proper handle on my vulnerabilities.

          12. Contagious says:

            I left home at 17. Put myself through college including abroad and law school. Moved away 3000 miles. When my parents divorced my father moved down the street. He was an alcoholic but kind loving man who always adored me. Not my Connecticut proper mother who stressed ladylike and achievement and rules. When I got divorced and entered a child custody battle her only words to me were “ get a good lawyer snd therapist”. She hung up. We have been “civil” for years. Discuss the kids snd weather. Two years ago I visited her new home and boyfriend, hugged her tight, she said “ stop.” I laughed and said but you are so little I can’t help it.” But it hurt. Silence is a verb. I don’t think she can love me or maybe her best. She will never accept me. I did better! I am like my dad. Btw I got 80% custody and was told one parent matters. It does!

          13. lickemtomorrow says:

            I’m glad you’ve been able to achieve so much in spite of the circumstances, Contagious, and it sounds like quite an uphill climb, especially with the divorce and custody battle to boot 🙁 There are no ‘easy’ times when it comes to narcissism and the fact we get led into these relationships time and again due to our addiction makes it even harder. The wanting to connect and not being able to is incredibly painful, and what jumped out at me from what you said was “silence is a verb”. That is so true. A verb is a ‘doing’ word, and silence is an action. So the deliberateness of that action will have an impact depending on the circumstances. I’ve also recently determined it as an element of abuse. And decided not to tolerate it on that basis. It has been a favourite tactic of my narcissistic mother and partners, as well as others I have come across. Not tolerating it will lead to consequences which may also lead to the ending of a relationship. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. I will generally have a sense of when it is a power grab and when it is just some kind of misunderstanding. While I’m happy to offer the olive branch as necessary, I won’t allow others to force me to submit based on their sense of superiority. And that’s what it is with the narcissist. Add to that their sense of entitlement, etc. The narcissist must win, but in the end I’ll give them a pyrrhic victory.

          14. Leigh says:

            Silence is a verb. Yes it is! They really know how to make us feel not good enough. You sound like you are kicking booty now! I’m glad you were able to get 80% custody if your child.

          15. Leigh says:

            LET, i read yours and lindseymarie’s comments and viewpoints and thought, hmm. I can see your point of view. I dont do things for shock value so that threw me off a little. I also don’t like to be the center of attention but from this blog, I’ve seen there are empaths who do like to be the center of attention.

            This is part of my trepidation and my trust issues. I feel like I still can’t get a clear read on people. I’m trying to think more logically and lower my emotional thinking but sometimes it creeps up on me.

            Also your point about being hopeful and loving and that empaths tend to keep an open heart and not harden their heart, rings true. Thats how I was, I saw good in everyone. They just needed to feel loved to bring it out. That was my thinking. It wasn’t until I came here that I realized that was emotional thinking and could be extremely detrimental to me. So now I put my wall up. I’m not necessarily cold and distant, thats just what I show the world to protect myself.

            After reading yours and Lindseymarie’s comments, now I’m leaning towards narcissistic. There were definitely a lot of red flags that I missed.

            Its all still a learning process.

          16. lickemtomorrow says:

            I’ve been given a lot of insight by reading your comment and that of others here, Leigh. It’s given me a different perspective on how people are affected and the article Bubbles shared was valuable in more ways than one. I have also taken to reading the book I mentioned again (The Emotionally Unavailable Mother) and am reading it in a different light with lots of information jumping out at me that would qualify and even counter some of the impressions I had. Some of that was around pets. I’m glad you shared your thoughts again and I understand the need to put that wall up. I have done the same. Relying on the information HG shares and his consultations are the best way to get a handle on the realities of our situations. They are all so different and yet in many ways the same. I’ve had fears even more recently of being narcissistic and if we’re having those qualms more often than not it means the opposite. But I’m constantly self reflecting which is something a narcissist also doesn’t do. I just want to reassure you that your comments have helped me, and nothing I have read of yours makes me think you are anything other than a loving empath <3 Our hurt affects us in different ways and the learning goes on. Sadly, we've got a lot to come to terms with.

          17. Leigh says:

            LET, I’m still struggling with being a narcissist I have black-and-white thinking, I maintain a facade and I manipulate. I’ve come to the conclusion that its the motivation behind it that determines if I’m a narcissist or not. Also, if I was a narcissist, I wouldn’t see my actions as a manipulation or maintaining a facade. I suppose it’s kind of a good thing to question my actions. At least it means I have awareness, I hope.

          18. lickemtomorrow says:

            Leigh, I think you’re right about motivations and awareness. The fact you’re questioning your actions is a much more empathic response than a narcissistic one. And having all these things creates an option for change which is something that isn’t on the narcissist’s radar. They move through life in search of the Prime Aims with never a thought on how that is impacting others. In one way they couldn’t survive if they had to take others into account. That fact is we can take others into account, but we also need to survive. That might mean taking on some of the behaviours of the narcissist or letting our narc traits come to the fore at times. And thankfully HG has written a number of articles on how and why that happens. The more we fear being the narc, the more likely it is we are not the narc – it means we have a conscience and the narcissist does not have on of those.
            It can also burden us with guilt and anxiety as we try to come to terms with what is happening in our lives. I think we’re on the right track here in terms of getting answers and support. One of my favourite things about HG is how good he enables us to feel about ourselves as empaths and the journey we are on. As the Ultra Narcissist he could take a very different approach and burden us even more. Rather than doing that he enjoins us as part of his legacy by providing us with understanding and explanations as well as practical one-on-one support. The opportunity of being here is to be greatly valued and I hope you are able to take full advantage of that, Leigh <3

        3. Leigh says:

          Bubbles, so much of what this writer wrote, resonated with me and validated my feelings. Thank you for sharing.

          1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest Leigh,
            My pleasure lovely one
            We were used as child labour as well, prepping meals, house cleaning, laundry, vacuuming, washing n wiping dishes duties, then homework. The only time we had fun was when my brother n I went to the beach “by ourselves” during school holidays
            There were no hugs, I luv you’s, there was no “good job, well done”, it was “this is what you did wrong, what were you thinking?”…. (me) “nothing”, “exactly, you weren’t thinking, were you?”

            Mum favoured giving us the silent treatment along with the “you’re not getting any dinner, go to your room”
            On occasion, I received a kiss on the head (when people were around) other than that she allowed me to kiss her on the side of her cheek, when instructed

            I had to share a room with mum for a bit and I remember her having a cigarette in bed every night before she went to sleep …..I have vivid memories of that glow in the dark!

            She never seemed to respect me when I became an adult, it was still as if I remained “her child”
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          2. Leigh says:

            Bubbles, I’m so sorry for what you and your brother went through. Your comment got me thinking. I was the golden child and my mother would often say to my brothers, “Why can’t you be more like your sister? Your sister knows how to do it. I’ll just ask your sister.” I hated when she did that. I knew it made my brothers feel like they weren’t good enough. I’m so sorry your mother made you & your brother feel that way too. I’m glad you both got a chance to escape. I do love the beach too. The crashing of the waves always makes me feel like my troubles are being washed away, even if its only temporary.

          3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest Leigh,
            No parent should ever utter the words “why can’t you be more like so n so”
            Answer ….. cos I’m ME, that’s why !

            Love ME for ME ……why is that so hard ?

            I look at it as a maturing learning exercise ….. always have !

            You were way more than good enough Leigh, you just didn’t know it at the time!
            Now you know precious 😊
            💕
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          4. Leigh says:

            Thank you Bubbles. Sometimes it’s just nice to hear.

          5. Another Cat says:

            Leigh
            You really seem like an empath, I think I’ve read most of your comments here on Narcsite. There are no clichés, you seem genuine. Plus you really ponder whether you are a narc so you are not superselfcertain like a narc.

            /my two last pfennig again

          6. Leigh says:

            Another Cat, thank you. I’ve done the Empath and Trait Detectors and Mr.Tudur has confirmed I’m an empath. It just seems that I have so many issues with narcs that I start to question, is it me thats really the narc?

          7. A Victor says:

            Leigh, your concern about your children is evidence that you have empathy. You strike me here on the blog as an empath for sure but, especially when we’re stressed, we can do very un-empath-like things sometimes. When I do such things, I have doubted my empath status, not trying to push you at all, but a consult, if you so choose, could help with this. Aside from that, we do tend to be quite hard on ourselves and sometimes too soft on the narcissist. I am rooting for you to feel successful whatever you decide to do.

          8. Leigh says:

            I think part of my problem is the dissonance they cause. They needle and poke. Then when I explode, I’m the unstable one. Then I’m told there’s no reason for me to act so erratic. They REALLY know how to make me feel like I’m the crazy one.

          9. A Victor says:

            Your situation sounds so much like mine was. And I didn’t realize it was happening, like you do. I thought I was causing all the problems. And I was the unstable one. It is horrible!! I so feel sad for you!

        4. NarcAngel says:

          Oh wow, I missed getting comments on this thread and was alerted just now by one of Leigh’s responses.

          Thank you for your response LET, and for the observation of others who joined in the conversation. It’s always interesting to note the various things different individuals can take from the same scenario, and that is what prompted me to ask. As with most things, some will respond to the content while others are more affected by the method of delivery. I believe this is also affected by the type of empath reading it. It would be interesting to hear a normal’s take on it.

          People who experience trauma seem to go all in or all out in having children. They either want to have them to pour into their children all that they never had (which appears to me as some form of “correction” (for lack of better word), or they want no part of it. The same with violence and abuse. There are those who were abused and would never hurt another, and yet others who will repeat that pattern. It will depend largely (I believe) on the coping mechanisms we learned/formed and found to be most effective for us, and as we know – those vary drastically.

          I read the author as leaning on her narcissistic traits and blunt, but not necessarily lacking empathy. No surprise there I guess.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            I enjoyed reading your comment, NA. It was very insightful and how we will respond and what that is based on, including the type of empath we are, is something I hadn’t thought of before either. We are all coming from different places and much depends on the moment, too.

            I think there is definitely an element of pouring into our children what was lacking in our own lives for some of us and it may form part of a ‘correction’ or an opportunity for healing (which is how I would look at it). It’s complex issue and while some might be decisive about their actions, others will just have a sense this is what is right for them. Our coping mechanisms do vary greatly and often we won’t even see them as coping mechanisms. HG has highlighted this issue in terms of how both empaths and narcissists find ways to cope with their narcissistic parents and also due to their own nature.

            We have read the author differently on this occasion and I’d love to know HGs take on it. Either way, it has opened my eyes to the differing realities we all experience.

          2. Leigh says:

            NA, its so true what you say about having children. I was all out. Then I got pregnant and was all in. I had to make sure they didn’t grow up like me. I poured everything in them and yes it was a correction to what I had experienced. As for abuse, I do have a boundary there too. My father was physically abusive and left and I will not tolerate that now.

          3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

            Dearest NarcAngel,
            I went all over, inside out, upside down, side to side and some, with our kidlies!
            I gave them all the love I never received from my parents …..but it was also very natural for me because Mr Bubbles and I wanted and planned for our children
            We made sure they had happy childhoods along with great memories
            We always did things as a family and I was the quintessential ‘bake at home apron mum’ plus we’ve always sat at the dining table n talked, still do !
            Quite often they reminisce about all the good times and have followed in many of the family traditions we created, themselves
            They all grew up in a very loving, caring, secure environment …….something I never had !
            It’s Easter this weekend and our ‘adult’ children still request an Easter egg hunt (we might use wine this year) 🤣 (we have Easter decorations everywhere)
            OTT …..yell yeah ! 🤣
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

            Ps ….the word “normal” is now considered another ‘sensitive’ word and has been taken off shampoo and conditioner bottles for fear it will offend the dry and oilys…..it appears there’s no more ‘normals’ 🤣

            PPS …my mother often says to me at Easter, Christmas, birthdays etc….. “OH! I forgot, you’re into all that stuff ! ” 😈

  9. MP says:

    Thank you very very much for this recording HG and the information on the Martyr Cadre. Mine is only 9% but it’s enough to cause me a lot of problems. My Middle Lesser mom definitely expected me to behave perfectly according to her instructions. I remember when I transferred to a school and was interviewed by the principal, my mom was as the one answering all of the principal’s questions to me. The principal looked at my mom towards the end of the interview and asked my mom if I am mute because she has never heard my voice during the entire interview. My mom laughed but the principal looked annoyed at her. I was just totally there to sit still, not move and smile the whole time. I noticed with my kids they are so well behaved like when I took them with me to the occupational therapist she told me that my kids were the most well behaved kids she has ever had in her office. And yet they are both very talkative and social and not afraid to ask the therapist questions. Very different from the way I was well behaved.

  10. leelasfuelstinks says:

    I forgive Patri Narc. It´s not his fault. The only thing we ACONs can do is to work on our “psychological trash” and try to grow some scar tissue over our wounds. The main reason why I am here 🙂

    1. Asp Emp says:

      Leela, I like your wording “psychological trash” – spot on. I would not have viewed it that way 6 months ago….. I get it now.

      1. leelasfuelstinks says:

        Thank you 🙂 I thought of this wording because it´s something we would like to dump. 🙂

        1. Asp Emp says:

          Laughing……. yet true, so very true.

    2. A Victor says:

      Leela, I hope that the only thing we can do is enough. Some days it seems like it might be and others it does not.

      1. leelasfuelstinks says:

        We will never completely heal. But to work exactly on these wounds and dump that “psychological trash” is also an important factor for future protection. The next narcs are already waiting to meet someone like us and ensnare us. Our wound is our weak spot! The hole, where the narc creeps in. There will always be narcs out there. We cannot isolate ourselves and hide forever. We have hobbies, we have a life, some are going to date again. If we´re still looking for “absolution”, it´s almost a guarantee that we are going to be ensnared again, no matter whether it´s a new dating partner, the new friend, the neighbor, the co-worker. We will always have that hole in our hearts, but you know what? Let´s make it at least smaller 😉 Let´s put some scar tissue over it! Let´s accept and forgive and focus on ourselves 🙂

        1. A Victor says:

          Leela,
          I liked your plan very much. Thank you. The reality is very stark but with a goal in mind, it is easier to proceed. Oh no, it’s going to be a teary day I think, but sometimes those are needed for the process. Thank you again. 💕

          1. leelasfuelstinks says:

            Oh I´m sorry to hear that 🙁 But it´s important to let those “trashy” emotions out! Then you can have a fresh re-start. Sorry, hard to find the right words as Carrier, but if it´s not getting better, please seek help. 🙁

          2. A Victor says:

            Leela, you do very well with the words, Carrier or not. And a teary day for me is not a permanent state, it’s just what all of this learning takes me through sometimes. And, today turned out not so teary after all, I think I’m getting used to the ideas here, maybe. Thank you again and I hope you had a wonderful day!

          3. leelasfuelstinks says:

            Thank you, AV! I normally don´t do well with the words at all, I use to skip that part and go directly to the practical help! 🙂

  11. A Victor says:

    This hit close to home, watched it three times in a row. Explains a lot.

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      I think I need to listen to this once for each of the narcissist’s in my life, reflecting on what I know about them and their circumstances in the age range suggested – 0-9yrs. Most of the time I am very tied up in my own pain and suffering at the hands of the narcissist, so this might just give me a moment of respite from that if I consider how their narcissism was created. It’s often overlooked, I do it all the time myself and revel in “hating” on them for what they have done. That, of course, is just an indication of the pain I am in as I try to navigate my way out of the abuse. Still, if narcissism created me, the empath, it also created them, the narcissist. We took different paths, one of healing and one of destruction. It’s very sad when you can see the potential of the narcissist to have become “other” and not what they are today. And I’ll always be grateful I was somehow set on the path of empathy <3

      1. A Victor says:

        Hi LET,
        I think about what the narcissists in my life endured as children quite frequently, it just pops into my head, often without any trigger that I am aware of, it helps me with the “forgiveness” aspect, don’t want to go into that again, it’s just for me. I did think of them also as I watched this video. But I was personalizing it mostly, I have not understood where some of my behaviors come from and this really helped me make sense of much of that. It also really made me sad. But, the only way to make change is to know what needs changing, and sometimes why it’s an issue in the first place. I feel better prepared to look at some of these things now, even as I don’t relish going through it, but getting to the other side will be nice, if I can. The lost potential in both they and myself is a huge part of the “sad” factor, one I may never be able to get past I fear. I know, go from where I am, and look at the good I’ve done, but, there was so much more that could’ve and should’ve been, again, for both they and I, that it is a grieving process. Broken people, so sad, especially as it is attributable to other people. So sad. All of that said, if there had to be a choice, I too am very glad my result was that of the empath.

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          AV, your comment makes a lot of sense to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts xox

          I listened on my own part the first time and, as I’ve barely begun to plumb the depths of what I’ve been through, I hear you on the aspect of forgiveness as well. Right now I’m probably hoping more to gain understanding. Time will tell if that leads to some form of forgiveness.

          I remember my mother telling me stories about her mother when I was younger and in many ways I was horrified at what she told me. She was obviously aware that this is not how a mother ought to treat her child. That’s what gets me. HG can tell us stories of his mother, recognizing the brutality of her actions, but nothing about the retelling of those changes, or can change, the fact he is a narcissist. So a recognition of mistreatment doesn’t lead any further along the road of enlightenment for the narcissist it seems. They were broken and now we have been broken in turn.

          It is sad, and there’s definitely a grieving process attached to that. While we do have to go through it, it’s our awareness now that will eventually help bring us out on the other side. And it’s never too late for new beginnings, just a matter of finding the right place to start <3

          1. A Victor says:

            LET,
            In the cases of my ex and my parents, I learned far more from their siblings about the abuses they suffered than I did from them directly. And I know it was a form of hell for all of them, it does help me and it makes me sad for them, as it has for a very long time. The summer narc was quick to let me know of abuse suffered at a parents hand. I felt bad for him too but not bad enough to put up with the crazy!!

            No, the narcissist doesn’t have the options we do, one reason I am glad to have become an empath, as well as for the ability to have the range of emotion we have.

            Thank you again for your thoughts and encouraging words, I will keep looking for that place to start! xox

          2. lickemtomorrow says:

            Both my mother and father shared parts of their stories with us as children. I’m glad they did as it helped to make sense of some things. It was obvious my mother despised my grandmother. Now I understand her mother was a narcissist also. Unfortunately, my mother must have inherited the GPD along with the LOCE to make her what she is today. When we look at the age group 0-9yrs, it’s a fact my mother suffered a number of traumas between those ages, including losing her empathic father. There were multiple ways her narcissism could have been triggered. The same goes for my father who I now assume was also a narcissist. His father kicked his mother out of the home when he was aged around 3yrs because he caught her having an affair. He never saw his mother again, never knew where she went, and only found out after both she and my grandfather eventually died that his father had known where she was all along. So my mother and my father both lost their significant opposite sex parent between those years and at an early age.

            My ex-husband and my most recent ex-narc both shared stories of their childhood with me and both in a gradual sense. Of course, I didn’t know about narcissism so I couldn’t correlate their experiences with what they had become, but I could see how those experiences might have impacted them negatively. Cue the violins for the empath. It’s all about compassion. And how could I judge them when I understood how difficult their lives must have been in different ways? I don’t disbelieve the stories either of them told. Especially the last narc. I feel he shared long held secrets with me and maybe could finally be relieved of some of that burden. He was not one who would ever have spoken out against his parent’s and in the beginning would always tell me how ‘great’ they were. Slowly, but surely, the truth began to come out. His parent’s weren’t that great after all, and in fact in many ways were quite abusive towards him. As an only child that must have been really difficult. He would tell me little stories and immediately the dissonance of them would jump out at me while he painted them with a humourous brush, or just brushed any negative aspects aside. I never pressured him for any information or probed. He just came out with it himself in the end. And I always felt incredibly privileged that he was willing to share that with me. All those things I still hold close to my heart.

            Having said that, I can feel my ET rising, so better step back from thinking about him too much. Still looking for my place to start <3 xox

          3. JB says:

            LET, what you say here really resonates with me. My dad rarely spoke about his dad, and when he did I always got the sense something wasn’t right..long story short, I think his dad (and a couple of his siblings) may have been narcissists, and he became one too. My grandmother used to speak of a lovely, caring little boy, but then warned my mum when he used to go off on one that if he became like his father, she should leave him. So it seems he grew up and changed..age 0-9 window, says it all really..so on the one hand I understand where this has all come from, that it’s not really his fault, but on the other I am so angry and disappointed in him. It’s like a grieving process.

            I really felt triggered by the (excellent) content in this video. Point 14, gosh..I know that I get some kind of validation by pleasing my dad, when he praises me, and it annoys me that I feel like I need others’ positive responses to feel validated. Makes me feel like the narcissist!

            HG, I strongly believe my dad was a scapegoat child, scapegoated by his dad and some siblings. Can I ask, is it possible to be a scapegoat child and then turn into a narcissist (where all the other influencing factors are also present, obviously)?

          4. HG Tudor says:

            Yes, so long as they are within the age window for that to happen and there is the GPD also, the scapegoating amounts to a LOCE.

          5. A Victor says:

            Hi JB,
            My dad was similar in his not speaking much of his dad. I always wondered about that because what I saw of my grandpa was a very kind and good person. But the childhood hurts stayed with my dad to the end of his life and he was a narcissist. It is very much a grieving process for me as well, not his for death so much now but more the ‘what should have been’ aspect.

            Also, I too felt triggered by this video though not necessarily all in a bad way. It really helps me to understand why I am the way I am, to a large degree, and with specific focus on the elements that I don’t like. Not fun to face but necessary for me to do so. Your comment made me realize that in my case, I don’t need others’ positive responses so much as I need a lack of negative response. Rejection and criticism, in some areas, are devastating to me and this video made me realize why it is so. Now to do the work to overcome this, I am so wishing I could put my head back in the sand. Thank you for your comment, it has made some things clear for me.

          6. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi JB, it’s interesting what you say about you dad once being a loving, caring little boy according to your grandmother, and then warning your mother about him. I’ve come across stories where parents talked of their children the same way and the apparent change that seemed to come about in terms of their behaviour around that age range or sometimes even a little older. I wondered then did the parents just somehow find a way to dismiss their children’s behaviour prior to that, but it seemed to be a common theme. They had a wonderful child and then the child became someone they felt they didn’t really know. It’s like they were blindsided as parents. It does seem like an emerging narcissism could be at the bottom of that. It can be hard to weigh up that being angry and disappointed with the understanding of how the narcissism has occurred.

            I’m glad you asked the question about being the scapegoated child, too. Some people might think that would generate more empathy. But the brutality of being scapegoated could certainly lean in the other direction as HG has explained. I am the scapegoat child in my family. The only way I can explain becoming an empath is that the GPD did not exist in me. I am high in narcissistic traits also which were probably formed as part of my defence. So, perhaps the times when you feel like a narcissist relates to the fact of having a narcissistic parent and just needing to survive in the circumstances. Seeking and having their approval would be a large part of that. Apart from that, we all need to feel validated and that is one of the great benefits of being here <3

          7. JB says:

            HG, thanks. I didn’t realise that the scapegoating amounted to a LOCE, but I guess it makes sense. Thank you.

          8. Whitney says:

            LEM I’m reading your comments as a treat to myself. I’ve been really busy and finally relaxing now. I really enjoy reading them 💖

          9. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi Whitney, I’ve only just seen your comment and appreciate it very much!

            Thank you <3

          10. JB says:

            AV, you’re welcome xx

            It’s interesting what you said about not so much needing the positive responses of others as not needing negative ones. I understand this. I am always saying about my dad, it’s not the fact that he isn’t like other dads that gets to me the most, I can get over that. I just don’t want him to come and see me and then make me feel like shit before going, having left me with this awful heavy feeling of impending doom. He is an emotional vampire – he comes round, moody, sucks my positivity out of me, then leaves, high as a kite happy, having passed his emotional burden (the sensations, I mean) onto me! Since lockdown I have realised I feel better – because this no longer happens. It’s a sad realisation, and I don’t know what I will do when restrictions are eased x

          11. A Victor says:

            Hi JB, I don’t know why I didn’t see your comment before this, glad to have now. Your dad sounds like my dad in some ways. Mine has passed and I will never miss those moods or the ice cold shut-outs. He rarely was happy after sucking our emotions, he was either up or down and often when up, came down once around us. He could handle two hours tops, if he started in a good place. Really sad. I used to leave their house, they rarely came to mine, a complete basket-case from his behavior. Or hers, haha, dependent on the day. I shouldn’t even think back on it, it still makes me sad and kind of angry. I have to do something with this anger, it seems more prominent lately, I waffle between it and tears with the occasional hysterical laughter in between. Anyway, I would be interested to hear how things go once restrictions are eased. It is a tough thing and I really hope the best for you!

          12. JB says:

            LET, I think am the scapegoat in my family too. They say the bullied often becomes the bully, and I think this has certainly been the case in my family. But my dad struggles, because I have never taken any of it lying down, I constantly fight against being controlled (and yet, bizarrely, have been drawn to romantic relationships where I will feel looked after), and we permanently lock horns because of it. My dad certainly had lots of LOCE situations when he was growing up, and from the limited info I have, I believe his own father to have been a narcissist. So I guess it was inevitable, really. I think I avoided becoming one because of my mum, and my maternal grandparents’ influences. I am not sure if I have lots of narc traits, but I (reluctantly! 😂) admit I have a strong need for control – not in the same way as a narcissist, but I need to feel in control in order to feel safe. I now know that feeling of uncertainty and anxiety, which manifests as needing to be in control of future outcomes, is the result of my upbringing and my dad’s influence xx

          13. lickemtomorrow says:

            I can definitely relate to what you said about the need for control, JB. And it’s coming more into my awareness as well and for exactly the same reason. The need to feel safe. It’s not to have power as much as it is to be reassured, if that makes sense. When we are not in control chaos ensues, or at least that’s how it felt as a child. Trying to manage or control things leads to a sense of security in avoiding the chaos. I will have accepted the burden of many situations in order to provide this sense of security. I will also have reacted to the lack of control at times and let my more narcissistic traits come to the fore. On a certain level I can relate to the narcissist in that sense. I’m really glad you shared your thoughts around that. It’s a constant learning curve. And we seem to be partly on the same trajectory xox Thank you for your openness and sharing <3

          14. JB says:

            LET, it makes perfect sense, that feeling in control gives you a feeling of reassurance (rather than power). I don’t know if you feel similar, but I find it especially hard at the moment with covid, as it’s hard to feel in control when the world feels so upside down. And my dad is being a nightmare, coming over and putting pressure on to break covid regs, devaluating me with statements such as ‘I know loads of people doing stuff they shouldn’t’, blah, blah, blah..All very unnerving!

          15. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thanks for that validation, JB <3 I do think both empaths and narcissists have the need for control at times, but for different reasons. Your dad sounds like a boundary breaker (which he would be as a narcissist) with various other elements mixed in which are influencing his actions to put pressure on you to do the same. Covid has made all our lives difficult in different ways and the last thing you need is added pressure to create any extra anxiety. I'm sorry that is happening to you. Ultimately we all need to make up our own minds as to how we handle the current situation.

            For myself, personally, I am not anxious about Covid at all. I have been frustrated by a number of responses to it (which I won't go into as views on the subject are very divergent) but I have told my children where to find any paperwork if needed. That's my take on Covid. The children, as young adults now, need to make their own decisions in relation to the situation. I give them that freedom. And I don't try to influence their decision making one way or the other. They are free to choose.

            Their narcissistic father was in a situation several months ago where numerous contacts of his were found to be Covid positive after some event or gathering. He was told he needed to get tested. He refused. The local hospital said they would send out an ambulance to get him so he could be tested. I don't believe the ambulance was ever sent and he didn't end up sick. Bastard is like a cat with nine lives! He has since agreed to and received the vaccination.

            My impression is the narcissist will do as they like. While we can't control them, we can control ourselves and our own situation. Might be worth setting a boundary with your father around the whole Covid thing and let him know you are going to do what works for you and he is free to do the same x

          16. JB says:

            AV, thank you x

            No worries, I don’t always see the replies either, easily done!

            That is one thing I do sometimes worry about – how I will feel when my father passes away. Namely because I want to look back with fondness and affection, but the reality is somewhat different!

          17. A Victor says:

            Hi JB. Oddly enough I do think of my dad fondly and with affection. I know that the other side was there, it’s a fact, I just choose not to dwell on it. He had reasons that he was a narcissist, his young life was difficult. Honestly, my life is easier now, he was stressful even on his good days, he always had to be in control. He didn’t know the real me, though he did a bit more than my mother, but he was so judgemental, it wasn’t worth it. But, these are not the things I think of generally. I don’t think I’ll feel the same about my mother, he was the better parent, so it might hinge on that.

          18. JB says:

            LET, ohhh yes, he is definitely a boundary breaker! I have set boundaries so many times with him, including on this topic, but he just push, push, pushes the whole time. Not even necessarily because he wants whatever he is pushing for, just because he doesn’t like being told by someone else what he can and can’t do. If I gave in on one thing, he’d push for the next thing..you give an inch, he takes a mile!

          19. lickemtomorrow says:

            JB, he sounds like hard work – as all narcissists tend to be – and very Machiavellian. In other words manipulative and very persuasive. The tendency for us is to give in and potentially pay the price. It’s what we often do for the price of peace, and probably goes to an element of our empathic nature, which for me would be the people pleasing, co-dependent, part of my nature. Unfortunately I’m still working on that! I guess that makes two of us xox

          20. JB says:

            AV, I am up and down with it. One day I will be able to feel pity for him, it wasn’t his fault he ended up like this, but another I will be getting annoyed and angry that things couldn’t have been different. At the moment, I am feeling fairly indifferent towards my dad, but unfortunately my anger seems to have transferred over towards my mum, for not telling him off for the way he is, for tolerating everything, like his word is gospel. Then I feel guilty for feeling that way about her! I even feel disrespectful writing this!

          21. A Victor says:

            JB, I totally relate to that swinging pendulum of emotion between him and then her and then back again. I also feel the guilt for feeling badly, disrespectful, about my parents at all. It is a horrible thing. I wrote last night, in a moment of sheer end-of-the-rope-ness, that I hate my mother. I have not written that since I was a child, one time, she found it and never let me forget. I don’t write things down because of this. But, here on the blog, it goes away from me, so I feel safer to do so. But, still the guilt for feeling this way. Prior to my dad’s death, I had the pendulum with him also, now it has stopped and I can see it more black and white, good and bad, and there is no need to be emotional about it now as it’s done. He now can’t hurt me anymore unless I allow it from my memories. And some of them are painful, but it’s not a new pain occurring and I can put it with the rest and leave it. He had a sad, incomplete life, no real relationship with anyone ever. Most sad. So it is easier to release the pain. I don’t know if any of that makes sense, it has just been my experience with his death, 6 months removed from it. 6 months from now, it may be different again. My siblings actually blamed him more for what happened to us, that he didn’t protect us. I blamed her more, she was the one doing more of the abuse. It is interesting how these things hit different people in different ways. Thank you for giving me a reason to put this all down, it is helpful though I have yet to understand why.

          22. Asp Emp says:

            AV, reading your last sentence of this comment – remember everyone in your family will see things from their own perspectives. Yours is the one that matters most at present.

            Hope the meeting with attorney works out in your favour x

          23. A Victor says:

            Thank you Asp Emp, I really appreciate your words.

          24. JB says:

            LET, ahh yes he certainly is hard work! I fight against him all the time, but I too often end up managing to give in, usually because my mum has made me feel guilty. She knows how to talk me round (by being nice, civil, calm, appealing to my nature etc..if she had a go and told me what to do I would end up digging my heels in)! I have come to realise that she is inadvertently a Lieutenant of sorts! Xx

          25. lickemtomorrow says:

            Sounds like you’re fighting on two fronts, JB, with your mum being conducive to your dad’s machinations. It doesn’t help when you don’t have back up and back up is what you need under the persuasive pressure of the narc. Your mum being an inadvertent Lieutenant makes a lot of sense in the circumstances and, of course, she won’t realize what she is doing and sadly how that also puts you under more pressure. At least if you have awareness you might be able to manage the situation a little better and find ways to come at it which help you to feel a little less compromised. I know I always feel compromised when I am pressured to do or consider something against my will. It’s not nice and builds resentment, too. Unfortunately, the narcissist won’t know or care about that, so if we can stop them in their tracks, great! If not, we need to find ways of dealing with that resentment. The onus, of course, is always on us to find ways to deal with things … perhaps we’re finally getting used to that idea after being here for a while. Don’t expect the narc to take any responsibility or any of it back on themselves. It’s a ‘no win’ for us and always a ‘win’ for the narc in that sense (sigh).

            Ending for now on that rather frustrating note, all I can say is at least we have the opportunity to vent our grievances here and lay down some of the burden of resentment the narcissist generates xox

          26. A Victor says:

            LET, perfect last sentence!

          27. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thanks, AV <3 Been pouring elements of my resentment out for nearly a year here now xox I don't know any other way to recover from what I have been through.

          28. A Victor says:

            I have as well, not for as long of course, it is extremely helpful. Where do other people put it? No idea.

          29. Leigh says:

            So true LET! I don’t know any other way to recover either. This blog and all of you is the silver lining to all of this. I gained education, validation and support.. I don’t know how I would’ve gotten by without all of you.

          30. lickemtomorrow says:

            Ditto to that, Leigh <3

            I appreciate you all xox

          31. Leigh says:

            JB, I can so relate to this post. I was my husband’s top lieutenant for years. I made constant excuses for him, especially with our children. I was his biggest cheerleader. I didn’t know he was a narcissist. You have to try and remember, she doesn’t see the narcissism, she only sees her husband. Shes in an abusive relationship too and blinded by her ET. She may never see the truth.

          32. JB says:

            AV, I’m glad I have been able to help you, even if in a small way xx

            It’s interesting what you said about how your siblings view things compared with your own feelings. My own sibling doesn’t seem at all phased by any of my dad’s behaviours, doesn’t seem to notice or care, but then I have a horrible feeling, knowing what I know now from this blog, that my dad may not be the only narc in my immediate family, which I guess makes a difference to differing viewpoints.

          33. A Victor says:

            JB, I have sadly had the same thought with regard to my sister and the possibilityof her being a narcissist. Yes, it does make for different viewpoints.

          34. A Victor says:

            JB, and, you help a lot! I am so thankful for you and all the empath’s, narcsite and HG for creating it and moderating, words can’t even express my gratitude.

          35. JB says:

            LET, I agree. Coming here has helped me so much. It’s so nice to be able to talk to people who understand xx

          36. JB says:

            Ah, that’s a lovely thing to say, thank you AV! And likewise! Xx It’s been a tough year of realisations, but just knowing you are all here has really helped me, and I appreciate everyone’s kind words and support. Not to mention the banter! I love that too! 😊

            Leigh, what you said about my mum just seeing my dad as her husband, and being blinded by her ET, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for helping me to look at it in a slightly different way – she is, in effect, a victim too, so I guess I shouldn’t think badly of her when she doesn’t speak out in my defence xx

          37. Leigh says:

            She still has the rose colored glasses on so she will continue to defend him. I would often defend my husband when my children would get upset with him. Have you tried to talk to her? Although I don’t know if that would help. For me there was a pivotal moment that made me realize my husband was toxic. It was something that happened between him and I. If 100 people told me he was toxic, I still wouldn’t have believed them. Even my children told me he was toxic and I just couldn’t see it.

          38. JB says:

            Leigh, I haven’t, no. I know it may sound like I have given up, or am being negative, but I just know it wouldn’t work. In fact, I think it would just end up with a rift between us, which I don’t want. There was a time, a few years back, when she told me he was thinking of going to the doctor because my dad had been being really nasty to her (she attributed this to side effects of different types of medication). I listened and then said to her, to be honest, that’s how he has always been, and she said it wasn’t! So I just don’t think there is any getting through to her xx

          39. Leigh says:

            I understand. I had been studying narcissism for a year and a half and still didn’t see my husband as a narcissist. It wasn’t until that pivotal moment that I finally recognized it. She’s in a fog and she may always be in that fog. The addiction and our ET makes is very difficult to get out of the fog.

  12. JB says:

    This is fascinating, HG, thank you.

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