Those of us who find ourselves trapped in relationships with narcissists do not always recognize what is going on. As a result, we often feel baffled, confused or bewildered by the narcissist’s behaviour or interactions with us.
It is not enough to find clinical descriptions and scholarly dissertations on disorders and their symptoms, nor entirely helpful to read the cries of their anguish-ridden victims. Sometimes we need examples—true to life examples—of the behaviours these people exhibit and a translation of what is really, truly, going on before we can internalize it and apply the information to our own lives.
Narcissists are often very good at hiding the truth and presenting an altered version of reality to the uninitiated observer. You may know the perfect family: church-going, always smartly dressed, with well-mannered children living in a beautifully maintained home. You come to the annual open house and find a house worthy of inclusion in a magazine, gorgeous bouquets of flowers grown in the immaculately maintained gardens out back. What you don’t see is the mother treating her children like they are servants, belittling them, terrorizing them, maybe even abusing them while their father, when appealed to, simply tells them “you know what your mother is like—why are you antagonizing her?” This is a narcissistic household but, from the outside it looks perfect, just as the narcissist’s image must be perfect.
Stories about interactions with narcissists sometimes allow us to have an “aha!” moment, an epiphany of recognition, in which the puzzling behaviours and interactions with the narcissists in our own lives suddenly become clear. Only through reading or hearing of the tribulations of others can some of us find that resonant chord that wakes us up to the narcissistic abuse in our own lives.
Those stories can be found here.
It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.