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5 Comments to
How Can We Honor Narcissistic Parents???

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  1. Lenora, THANK YOU for this article. I’ve felt so uneasy about that commandment for most of my life, and I found myself shouting, “Yes! So true! Exactly!” as I read. We do NOT have to feel guilty for going No Contact, we don’t have to support them in their old age and allow them another chance to torture us, and we need never worry we aren’t keeping that commandment.

  2. I can’t stop resenting my parents for their utter narcissistic stupidity in raising us. I know the cliches about anger and resentment, i.e., “Anger is a poison you drink thinking it will hurt the person you’re angry with…” I feel like forgiving them or not being angry at them will make me complicit in their behaviors. How does one give it up without giving in?

    • Ah, yes. Forgiveness. For two years I’ve avoided writing about that subject, because like you, I have NOT forgiven my parents. What they did from simple naiveté, stupidity or well-meaning-but-misdirected-efforts, I can forgive. But the outright nastiness, taking out things on me, accusing me of things, assuming the worst, projection, etc….that’s what I find hard to forgive, just as you do. But I’ll think about it, dig into the Hebrew and Greek and see if I can’t come up with something. Thanks for challenging me.

  3. Thank you for a well put and very well written article. Grwoing up in a family with a mother with some strong narcisistic traits and a fahter who was well meaning but had his problems, I fell also that the “honoring” is, as you put it, being the person they would have had me be. Both of my parents actually did (my mother recently died) and do contribute more than just damage to my life, and therapy as well as having my own children has been instumental in parsing out which is which. Honoring them, for me has been being honest about the damage, and celebrating the strengths.

    My mom could be a harsh, mean person at times,could not accept criticism and God help you if you dissappointed her, but she was also a tough, beautiful and creative person who survived a very hard childhood, tolerated no crap from other people when it came to us, and dealing with her taught me how to fight. She also taught me even the people you never thought could unbend could suprise the heck out of you and do something (sometimes long term) that leaves you wondering “was this really her”

    My Dad may have had substance abuse problems when i was little, but he taught me that when you realize you have a problem, you have the responsibility to get in there and take care of it. He also taught me that if you see something being done that’s wrong, you have the responsiblity to stop it or at least try, because there is no garantee anyone else is going to do it. HE also taught me that love is more than just a warm fuzzy feeling that you get, and means making some very hard, very tough decisions.

    Do I want to be like them? NO, not really, but They taught me very important lessons. For that, I honor them.

    • That was a lovely comment! Like your parents, I learned SO MUCH good things from mine. They really tried (too hard, really.) For Thanksgiving, I’m planning an article about gratitude. Acknowledging all the good they did…and even finding ways to be grateful for what I’ve learned from / about narcissism. 🙂


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