It is remarkable that some extraordinary individuals survive their narcissistic families. With a narcissistic mother as matriarch and a favorite narcissistic daughter who is her top lieutenant, it becomes impossible for the other children to have the psychological space and peace to grow and become accepted for themselves. Non-narcissistic brothers and sisters are both dismissed and severely punished. Behind the closed gates and doors of the narcissistic family, horrible deeds occur. The narcissistic mother exploits her children--That is the "relationship". Those who are favored by mother are adored, indulged and given no limits--including physical and emotional abuse they perpetrate upon the younger children. A budding narcissist in this kind of perverse family constellation is often highly sadistic--taking pleasure from the pain he/she inflicts on a brother or sister. In some egregious situations, mother narcissist joins in on the abuse, even laughing and making fun of a child who is being terrorized, who is hysterical and being hurt both physically and emotionally. In some cases there is an unspoken pact between the favorite narcissistic child and the mother that cannot be broken. This union is highly pathological and represents a crime against the children who are victims. Children who grow up in these environments learn to survive by going along with the horror occurring inside of their homes every day. Often the father is psychologically weak and will turn a blind eye to the abuse perpetrated on his children by the narcissistic matriarch. These ugly confrontations by the narcissistic mother and the golden children occur frequently. Children victimized are terrified of going home. They dread what will happen to them when they close their front door and are in the midst of a chamber of horrors when anything can happen. With some children--violence begets violence and some of the brothers and sisters become physically and psychologically abusive to the other children. Everything is kept secret from the public image of the narcissistic matriarch. She is well respected in her social or church group. Her neighbors look upon her favorably. The narcissist is a consummate actor who publicly waxes sublime about how much she loves her children. She brags about how brilliant and special they are. She plays the role of devoted mother to the hilt. And most people believe her---This is astounding but true.
For many children of narcissistic matriarchs the time of reckoning comes. These children feel themselves faltering. They can no longer take the extreme abuse, the constant lies and accusations, the beatings in some cases, the unending humiliations. They make the decision to leave this very sick family. Some of them marry to escape the war zone. Others simply leave the hell home and struggle to find their way to become independent and free of this mire of psychopathology. Some children never escape and spend their lives as victims of the sadistic narcissistic matriarch and her cruel narcissistic adult children.
Those who save themselves are to be deeply commended. You have made the break. You have changed your life path. You have prevailed as an individual. To learn about every facet of the narcissistic personality, 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