On the outside the narcissistic family appears idyllic. Photographs show happy faces, eyes bright, smiles that reveal shining white teeth. This family photo represents much of the narcissist's identity. As a child you at first believed the family story (or fairytale). You had to---You were too young and emotionally dependent to think or feel any other way. It is surprising how early some children realize that their parent(s) are a couple of complete phonies. They saw through them very early, recognizing the two-faced hypocrisy. Mother or father presented an impeccable image to the outside world. A child wouldn't dare tell the truth to a friend or relative they thought they could turn to. And in some instances children who did speak up were either not believed or severely punished.
As adult children of narcissistic parents, siblings and other relatives we have the free will to either deal with them or not. I know it can be awkward to say 'No" to social events, family occasions but it is your choice. If in the past you have been humiliated and demeaned---do you want to go through this ugly drama again? Forget the formalities, the external niceties of having the "family" together--even on this big coming series of holidays. Are you going to be forced by anyone to attend an event if it makes you literally nauseous or so hurt that you feel like crying in a corner? How much more are you willing to take? If no one stands up for your decision---you stand solidly for yourself. This can be difficult to achieve when those around us are insisting we "behave" and fall into line and play the family game ---making the good appearance once more. Ultimately, it is your move. An essential aspect of evolving as an individual is to know what is right for you and to dismiss the over the top theatrics of the projected venom of narcissists in our families. Trust yourself and your intuition. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life