Some individuals are surrounded by narcissists from birth--Imagine---narcissistic mother, narcissistic father, and narcissistic siblings sprinkled throughout the family pool. What a life challenge! I have known of a number of adult children in narcissistic families who have survived and are now leading their lives in freedom. A narcissistic mother alone can be psychologically lethal. Those cold, dismissive women of deprivation who secretly (or not so secretly) despise their children are quite common. Little children in these circumstances usually don't know that they are being raised by highly deluded people. They are treated with various forms of cruelty. Some children are completely ignored. They have to even seek their own food wherever they can. Mother can't be bothered to provide regular meals for them. She is too busy obsessing with her image. The only time they receive any attention is when it is "showtime". This occurs when narcissistic mom is presenting herself as the perfect mother. There are the impeccable photographs of the perfect family. The children stand their with glued on smiles and empty frozen eyes. They are wearing their best clothing and mother has made sure that everyone she knows will have this picture of her family. She is the mother sublime, the selfless one who will do anything for her children. The opposite is true but no one knows because this is the secret kept within the walls of the house. Then there are narcissistic brothers and sisters that must be survived. That is another nightmare. They are forever bullying the scapegoated child and getting away with it. Often the father is very weak, like another child whom the narcissistic mother controls and possesses.
There comes a time of reckoning when children surrounded by narcissistic family members decide that they can no longer be part of this deluded, cold, cruel group of people to survive. Many of these children leave home early, find supportive friends, or simply strike out on their own. This is quite remarkable and these individuals deserve our deep respect. These are the courageous ones. We are inspired by these extraordinary people.
If you know that you are trapped in a narcissistic family and understand this psychopathology, you understand that these people are never going to change. You are different even though you share the same DNA. I have heard from many who have left their narcissistic families behind and are now leading their lives in psychological, mental and emotional freedom. They are using their creative gifts, discovering true friendships and re-starting their lives. Take heart---You can do this. 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