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Comments on
The Most Harmful Kind of Parent, Part 2

Narcissism seems to be on the rise in America and therefore so is narcissistic parenting.  One of the biggest problems is that narcissistic parents do not have any inkling that they are doing something wrong.  They are convinced that they are great parents and they convince their children that they are great parents.   They are great actors because they completely believe in their act.

In a case that I became acquainted with (not one of my own cases), the youngest child of a narcissistic mother was designated the “disturbed child.”  The mother suffered from anxiety attacks during her pregnancy with “Mary,” and hence Mary picked up the stress chemicals from her mother’s body and was born cranky.

12 Comments to
The Most Harmful Kind of Parent, Part 2

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  1. This sounds very familiar. The Big Lie. I know this story very well.

  2. I wish my parents had been more abusive and emotionally withholding of me; it depresses me to think this was the sole factor holding me back from world domination. I find it even more maddening that I can’t get 12 followers on Twitter!

  3. Great article part 1 & 2. I always knew they were was something not quite right about the way I was parented but I could never pinpoint it…until I read part 1. It was the “a-ha” moment for me. The missing piece to knowing why I have struggled with crippling low self-esteem and feelings of not being heard for my point of view…on anything.
    I would be interested in knowing the percentage of people with a mental health disorder who had narcissistic parents. Does anyone know?

    • I would be interested in knowing some statistics on this too – my recently deceased partner was diagnosed schizophrenic, but there was a lot of back and forth about his diagnosis as he didn’t quite fit the criteria. To my way of thinking, he was severely depressed, and heard voices, but that is where it stopped. I personally, was more inclined to believe that it was a form of PTSD – and his mother is exactly like someone described in parts 1 and 2. Since my partner died, I have also heard reports that he was physically beaten – yet to hear him speak of her and how “sorry” he felt for her etc etc, you’d think she was an angel! The only thing he seemed to be really unhappy about was the fact she didn’t like me, because I could see right through her – and the only thing I ever got from her was verbal abuse, and her trying to manipulate me out of her son’s life. I recall one time her saying to me “I AM HIS MOTHER AND YOU WON’T WIN!” – while I was left wondering why it had to be some kind of twisted competition for his affection, and why he couldn’t love us both (touching on Marish’s comment a bit here!).

      My partner’s younger brother is also having a hard time, has low self-esteem and hears voices too – and is unable to make decisions for himself (she has done all the decision making for him his entire life). He wants out, but he doesn’t even know how to GET out, and refuses to speak to a therapist. I would love to help, but he doesn’t know whether or not he can trust me since his mother fills his head with all sorts of derogatory comments about me. *sigh*

      • Look for any signs of true empathy in a mother. The ability to empathize with others makes us human. Without it, we are monsters. I had a long term, close friendship/relationship once with a man whose mother attended church, cooked for all the family gatherings, was a saint in public to all who met her, and supported her husband in every way. She sewed, she cleaned, she donated time to the church, and she created fabulous artwork. She took care of her aging parents, and in her older age, she took in “missionaries” from other countries for weeks at a time/let them live in her home. However, she destroyed her only son in his youth. He left home as soon as he could join the military. As far back as 8th grade, he used to tell me about all the horrors, usually emotional, that he endured from her. She even had him arrested once when he was about 15 years old—for not following her rules. (having one arrested or thrown in a mental institution, same thing….just another way to “control and dominate”) He also suffered from mental illness in adulthood and eventually died a violent death later on in his life. (he was depressed and continually put himself in dangerous, risky situations) His mom HATES me because although Ive never confronted her, she knows that i know what she did long, long ago and how she treated her son. She tries to ruin my reputation, at times,in town, but we, my family, my friends and I, just ignore her and go on. What never ceases to amaze me is how many people are actually fooled by these narcissists. We have a real problem on our hands if narcissists are increasing because the number of people who are “psychologically aware” enough to recognize their tactics is obviously not increasing, So sad. This guy’s narcississtic mom still has the whole small town where she lives fooled. (We all livein a small town in the Southeastern US.)

  4. Often seen, please tell us about the parent who has expressive pride in her son/daughter because he/she is hers.

  5. Thanks for writing about this particular technique. It’s SO hard to identify when you’re the target – but having been the other parent, I found my efforts to help my sons was often undermined by the inherent difficulties in describing this type of abuse to my friends and peers. Made me seem “suspect ” in their eyes because the abuser can be SO convincing. Before the divorce my ex described this technique, suggesting I use it on a coworker I was having differences with. I was horrified to realize certain people very consciously and deliberately plan this type of insidious abuse. That it’s not just unconscious.
    Thank you again for bringing this kind of abuse to light.

  6. This is a different definition of narcisscism than I am acquainted with. I always thought of a narcissist as someone who TRULY believes they’re superior to others rather than someone who struggles with self esteem. I think that being labeled a narcissist when one is trying to sort out how bad they feel (instead of being able to pay attention to & trust others enough to relate to them) can be discouraging.

    • This is a reply to Winter. Both things are true. The Narcissism is a defense against shame and low self worth.

  7. Other than I never wanted to kill my mother, and my mother’s use of bi-polar instead of schizophrenia, this could be my story. For as long as I could remember, my mother was taking her hatred out on me and calling me bad and evil. I was beaten, starved, neglected, refused medical or dental care, and more. I was about as goody-two-shoes as a kid could be and didn’t even get into normal trouble, but she insisted I was bad all the time and trained her family to believe it. No one in her family actually knew M–just the image she created from her own projection. When I finally cut her out of my life, she went around telling people I was bi-polar and claiming she loved me so much she wished I could see the truth and get help. I don’t even match the symptoms, but in her disordered head, my saying I didn’t want to be abused and walked on any more must mean I’m crazy. I did get help–I helped myself by saying “no more.” People who know me know the truth, and I’m finally away from her games. People can’t imagine that a narcissist mother could be this sick unless they’ve lived through it.

  8. My mom and twin sister are both sociopaths. The last stunt which was also the last straw occurred one day after my stepfather’s death. I was the only one with him when he died. I stayed by his side for three days in an uncomfortable chair with a paralyzed leg and excruciating sciatica. Mom had dropped me off but couldn’t stay because she couldn’t smoke. I washed him, fed him and helped him manage all his wires when he went to pee. Mom showed up on day 3 because she had to go to a mandatory meeting with the palliative care team. She said goodbye to him and left. There was a pastor and a nurse in the ICU room they had moved him to. I looked him in the eye and told him I loved him. His last words were, “I love you too, baby.” Then I gave the nurse the nod and she upped his morphine to knock him out. Ill never forget the terror in his eyes. The moment came at 330 am. I rushed to his side screaming daddy daddy daddy!!! I sat him up and fluid rushed from his lungs drenching me and the bed. I was feverishly doing CPR when the nurse ran in, closed the door, sat me down and sobbed with me. A few minutes later the social worker came I for me to sign the papers. I made the calls and was too exhausted to walk with my walker. My husband came in and wheeled me to the car. I went home to get some rest. Mom called me. My sis Kelley had been disowned and taken out of the will because she had gone to help before I did 2 yrs before his death and refused to work. Mom also had security ban her from visits and calls at the hospital. Kelley had driven straight to the house from 4 states away. She had brought her cat and given my dog back to the breeder. She was rear-ended on the way back from the breeder and mom asked me to pick her up from the ER. She didn’t speak just glared at me. Got her to the house. Mom asked if she was getting a rental car. Kelley screamed her phone died and she just came from the hospital and rushed mom. Mom was in a fetal position on the ground. I followed Kelley inside and asked her to remember mom had just lost her husband of 35 years. I started toward the music room where the guitar and amp Dad left me were. Kelley cut me off and screamed, “You’re not taking ANYTHING! Get the FUCK out of MY house!” Shocked, exhausted, grieving and mortified I left. Mom let Kelley stay and blamed the will, the banning, everything on me. That’s when I finally quit both relationships. Childhood was terror and enslavement. At 12 years of age we moved to Madrid where AF Dad was stationed. Since they were both daily pot smokers it became my job to find a source. After dinner and homework I was sent out into the night. I have blocked most of the sexual attacks. When Dad pissed hot the third time he was kicked out. He had just made Master Sergeant. Mom made me a tampon out of tape, toilet paper and hash to wear on the plane back to the US. if I was caught I was to say it was mine and my parents weren’t involved. My prosecution wouldn’t be as bad cuz I wasna kid. I still was trying to get her approval up to when Dad died. Getting better but im diagnosed bipolar, CPTSD, GAD, Dissociative Disorder and have 1 leg shorter than the other and spina bifida from her drug use, specifically Valium, during pregnancy. When I finally got out of there it felt like I had been in prison. I also joined the military. I was in the 82nd Airborne as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. I’m now retired at 40 with full benefits. Military life suited me well. Gave me routine, structure and recognition.

  9. It’s refreshing and surreal to find an article that actually explains what happened to me in words. After My parents divorced and I loved with only My Mother and siblings, My mother banned me from the living room and wouldn’t allow me to associate with my brother and sister and when I asked her why she would always say “Because I said so” or “Because you always just start fights” but that wasn’t true and I knew it wasn’t true but I was a kid, (this started when I was 10) so I had no choice. I had to stay locked up in my room 24/7 unless I was at school or needed to get food or use the bathroom. She blamed me for everything, even if I didn’t do it, if she found a towel on the floor she would scream bloody murder at me and chase me down the hallway which was scary because I was small and she seemed like a scary threatening giant. Even my little brother started to yell to my mom if he found a towel on the floor that “Katie was bad and left the towel on the floor again !” The hand towel ring was slick and it randomly fell out constantly . I remember once when I was about 12 going on 13 where I was trying to use my mom’s foundation make up to cover up a blemish before going to the mall and My Mom yelled at me that the make-up looked stupid on me and just made me look worse and didn’t do anything to help my ugly acne. She refused to take me to the mall until I washed it off and she continued to make fun of me. She never taught me how to use makeup or basically anything involving becoming a woman, one day when I was 11 she asked me to step into her room, tossed a couple bras at me and told me I had to wear them everyday now and she seemed amused by my horror. I felt as if I was already a grown up and matured very quickly, all my time trapped in my room (no internet or texting really existed for me at that time), I spent all the time reading books, working on homework, listening to music and writing down lyrics to memorize them in case she took my music away. I was very introspective and observant of life and the world around me, I felt like I was a foreign being just visiting earth from another planet because I didn’t really think of behave like other kids my age due to being suffocated, screamed at and sheltered. I was always very quiet because I learned early in life that speaking could end up getting me screamed at and called names, I found it to be safer to just stay to myself and would only open up to my close friends, and although my friends and My friends parents knew there was something wrong with the way I was being treated by my Mother, I would never bring up the shit my Mom would do to me, I would go hang out at the mall and pretend like my home life was normal, I pretended that I was normal cause I didn’t want them to hate me too if they knew my own mom hated me.


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