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Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents

Parents with narcissistic personality disorder never think of their adult children as adults. There is no respect for boundaries or your right to make your own decisions.

While other parents guide their children to become independent adults, narcissistic parents attempt to condition their children to serve their agenda.

Whether you are the golden child or the scapegoat is dependent on a variety of factors. Usually one child is chosen to be the golden child. If they comply with the wishes of the narcissistic parent, then they will probably retain that role. Otherwise they are in danger of being knocked off of the pedestal.

The scapegoat child is often the one that insisted on being authentic and questioned or exposed the methods of the narcissistic parent. Other times the scapegoated child just got that role because there was already a golden child in place.

The narcissistic parent projects the qualities of their grandios false self onto the chosen one…the golden child. There is unreasonable pressure put onto this child to live up to what the parent demands.

Scapegoated children can be subjected to mobbing by the family members. The narcissist creates the narrative for the family. Anyone who does not follow blindly is usually punished.

As part of this shared psychosis, created by the narcissist, the blame for any faults, failures or shortcomings of the narcissist will be put onto the scapegoat.

Different families have somewhat different dynamics, since there can be more than two children. Some children may be ignored completely because they do not fill the role of either the golden child or the scapegoat.

Anyone can be knocked off the pedestal at any time. Narcissists can be vindictive and quick to punish with emotional or other means.

Adult children of narcissistic parents carry trauma from their childhood. How they interact with the narcissistic parent may keep them in a childish lifestyle, or they may divorce the narcissistic parent and break contact with them.

Other adult children struggle to maintain independence while the narcissist makes their lives a living hell.

Learning about narcissism and pathological liars, can help you to understand why your relationship with your parents is like other people’s. Malignant narcissists are master deceivers and manipulators.

If you grew up with a narcissistic parent then you may be suffering from C-PTSD from emotional, mental or other abuses. Finding out more about emotional trauma and C-PTSD can help you to find freedom from the narcissistic chains that bind you.

Even if you have gone No Contact, or have limited contact, the emotional trauma and emotional flashbacks can still permeate your life.

🌷Check out the gentlekindness facebook page and gentlekindnesscoaching.com site for more information and help with Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse




16 thoughts on “Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents”

    1. I am glad this is validating for you. I believe that this information is intentionally not taught to us. Psychopaths are in the leadership positions including schools and media. They cover up information about psychopaths, and the media makes people see psychopaths as serial killers. The narcissistic psychopaths want to be able to blend into society. So then when there are parents that are narcissistic or psychopathic, they just get away with what they do, because no one believes it is true

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I totally agree with you here. They do tend to stick together and cover for each other. They can be quite aggressive in their defense of each other. They’re in all aspects of life, which unfortunately includes women that give birth. By the way, what’s the difference between sociopaths and psychopaths?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. https://gentlementalannie.com/2015/08/23/nine-traits-of-narcissistic-personality-disorder-and-psychopathy/

      See this post for more information. Narcissism and psychopathy are on a spectrum…just like autism is on a spectrum. People with 5 of the 9 traits are considered to be malignant )pathological ) narcissists. People with 3 or 4 traits would be considered to have narcissistic traits.

      People with 9 of the traits are psychopaths. There is no difference between sociopath and psychopath. Sociopath was a term that came to be used after the movie Psycho came out. People thought that everyone with anti-social personality disorder (psychopaths) was a serial killer or a murdered. The term sociopath sounds less bad ..and is sometimes used to describe psychopaths that are not murders or serial killers.

      Most psychopaths are not serial killers. It is a very small percent. Psychopaths, as you know, walk among us and blend in. One out of 25 people is a pathological person…a psychopath or a malignant narcissist. They leave all kinds of damage in their wake. Psychopaths often do illegal things. The lower level ones get caught and end up in and out of jail…but not always.

      Many of the higher level ones have rich families to bail them out, or expensive lawyers. They do sometimes end up in prison for things like securities fraud and while collar crime. But often they just blend in and get away with things…or end up causing someone else to take the fall for them.

      Check out the video on the post…the link I posted at the beginning of this reply

      I think a better term for sociopath is Socialized Psychopath. That helps people to understand that these psychopaths can act perfectly normal in front of other people and no one thinks they are dangerous.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is so fascinating! I suspected that narcissists and psychopaths were related. Thank you for sharing this info with me.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. This is part 2 to the reply to your question about the terms sociopath and psychopath. Here is a video that talks about the current DSM (the manual the psychiatrists use for diagnosis.)
      There was a change between the 4th edition and the 5th edition. Basically the manual has Personality Disordered People ….for malignant narcissists, psychopaths and also borderline personality disorder. All of these are manipulative, exploitative and use gaslighting tactics. They also all do the Idealization and Devaluing thing.

      Borderline supposedly can have some remorse and a conscience….although many people with borderline are co-morbid with narcissism, in which case they would not have compassion or remorse. Borderline has extreme abandonment issues (fears) and will discard someone in a cruel way, because they are more afraid to be discarded first.

      All of these Personality disorder are Cluster B disorder. Anyone in the Cluster B category is someone you should avoid having a relationship with. There is also something called the Dark Triad. This is someone who has Narcissism, Psychopathy, and a Machiavellian Behaviors. Personally I think this is redundant because the Machiavellian philosophy of the ends justifies the means..is just narcissism already.

      Some people speculate that the Dark Triad is actually …Narcissism, Psychopathy and Borderline.
      Watch this video by Spartan Life Coach…It play. It just looks funny because there is no picture but I just tried it myself and it play fine. I like this one better than the one I gave you below it.


    3. You’re welcome. I think you will enjoy the Nine Traits video. It is well done. Also. I particularly like the Zombie WItchdoctor video by Spartan Life Coach. it gives a good explanation as to why they try to break you…your perception of reality, your sense of self, your confidence in yourself to perceive reality..etc. There is sadistic desire to break you and make you their slave. I believe there is a real element of darkness to this…on a spiritual level.

      Most of my clients speak of feeling a dark energy, or a dark fog lingering over them, and I felt the same way when it happened to me. I think these predators like to choose people that have particular compassion, healing ability, some kind of light energy…and then they want to cloud you in darkness.

      That is my personal feeling about it. These people are dark, especially the psychopathic ones.


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