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Covert, Altruistic Narcissist Parent

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  • #599
    Elusive_Flame
    Participant

    I would love to hear from others who have such a seemingly loving, do-gooder parent that not only would most people never believe they are abusers but you even struggle to keep yourself convinced.

    It would help in validating in my belief that she is a narc, as I’m constantly doubting myself.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #600
    Renee Swanson
    Participant

    I fortunately did not experience this from my own parents. But I did experience it with the father of my children. To the world, he was great! When we got together with family and friends, he was playful and interactive. He engaged with our own boys, as well as any other kids in the family.

    When family was around, he would help in the kitchen. He would play cards with the family. He would play on the floor with the kids. He helped with projects and chores. But he was like a totally different person when everyone left.

    He would instantly disengage. He went right back to his gaming addiction. He made conversations completely impossible. He blamed the boys and me for anything and everything. He told my boys over and over all the things that were wrong with them, making a lot of that up. He would tell them how bad their communication skills were, in the process of dragging them through a circular conversation. Whenever they tried to voice their own thoughts and opinions, he always had a reason why they were wrong. They NEVER felt heard, validated, or accepted by him.

    He was not physically abusive to them or me. He used to tell me, “How can you tell me I am a bad husband? I have never hit you or the boys. I am faithful to you. I love you.” I doubted myself so much! But I knew how he made me feel, over and over again. The damage he caused to our boys has been huge. No one ever felt emotionally safe, EVER, and that is abuse!!

    #608
    Elusive_Flame
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your reply, Renee.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is really validating to hear your words.
    I think this M.O. makes this so much more difficult to come to terms with labeling someone like this an abuser. All the undeniably good things they do their displays of love and affection.

    But your last words are what really makes it hit home for me in recognizing the abuse for what it is.. “No one ever felt emotionally safe, EVER, and that is abuse!!”

    Thank-you for that! <3

    This past weekend was my daughter’s 3rd birthday party and I never invited my mother. It is one of the most heart-wrenching, painful things for me to do. The guilt is still thick and heavy, but I do kind of feel strangely empowered. I’m taking my daughter to see my mother today for a birthday hug. But I’m glad it’s on my terms.

    I never wanted to use my daughter as a pawn in personal conflicts with my mother, but I realise now that it’s for my daughter’s well being too that they do not get too close. My mother is nearing her 70’s now so I wouldn’t completely cut her off, but at least to keep the interaction on my terms.

    Again thank you for this wonderful space you have offered victims to come together and share their pains and get the support they need to over-come this misunderstood form of abuse. <3

    #609
    Renee Swanson
    Participant

    I think your decision to not cut her off completely is honorable and the right thing. But I applaud you for finding ways to do this on your terms. You are standing up for yourself, while maintaining compassion and connection. You are setting boundaries with love and respect for yourself and your mom. This is often not easy in these situations. But what a marvelous example you are for your daughter! She doesn’t realize it yet, but someday she will see this for herself. Thank you for sharing your story here!!

    #22270
    Grateful
    Participant

    I agree with Renee’s situation! My ex had the exact same behavior–he is an expert at impression management. But behind closed doors his manipulation, gaslighting, controlling, rages and entitlement were epic. No one understood why I left him, and I spent a tremendous amount of my precious time and energy trying to defend myself. My son, who had just started college, ended up in the psychiatric hospital due to contemplating suicide as a result of the emotional and psychological damage he had experienced due to his covert narcissistic father. This was my serious wake-up call, and I started taking action immediately, both through therapy, hiring an excellent attorney, and going completely no contact. Two years later my son and I are healing, thriving and hopeful for a better, more authentic life.

    #22275
    Renee Swanson
    Participant

    I am so sorry for what you have been through. Our children truly suffer in these situations. Far more than I ever realized. I am so happy for your healing. I wish you and your son much peace!!
    Covert narcissists are experts at making you feel and look crazy! You are certainly not alone.

    #22276
    Elusive_Flame
    Participant

    Thank you for sharing your story “Grateful”. And like Renee I am so sorry for the heartache, pain and suffering that you and your son went through!

    It’s really one of the most difficult things to come to terms with.
    I think having so many siblings is a tragic and a blessing at the same time. Many of my younger siblings (and even nieces and nephews) are substance abusers and/or have varying degrees of mental health issues. But as we (myself and two older sisters) have slowly started to wake up to what we have been unknowingly dealing with for all these years we are slowly starting to heal ourselves and offer as much support as we can to our younger siblings who reach out.
    It’s been a scary path to navigate. I had tried to introduce narcissism to my sister directly older than me (by 18 months, we were often mistaken for twins) and her surprisingly harsh and negative backlash to the suggestion made me doubt myself for a long time – to the point where I had tried to build my relationship with my mother again thinking that I must be wrong. My sister has her Master’s in Peace-Keeping, she’s very clued up on conflict resolution and generally a very wise person. But her denial and blind-spot to this has really damaged our relationship. =(

    That being said it has strengthened my relationship with my other 2 older sisters and we do our best to support the younger siblings and family members who get caught in the crossfire. But many of them are also disordered and every time I decide to introduce a new person to the concept I do so very tentatively, terrified that I will get another bad reaction or be made to look like I’m the one doing a smear-campaign. So quite a complicated situation.

    Sorry to have turned that discussion back on myself. *Face-palm*.
    But again thank you for sharing “Grateful” and Renee. I hope that day-by-day, year-by-year we are able to stop the cycle of this narcissistic abuse and heal in authentic and loving relationships. <3

    #22277
    Renee Swanson
    Participant

    Hey Elusive Flame, no need to apologize for turning the discussion back to you. The whole purpose of this forum is for everyone to be able to open up about their situations and hear from each other. Besides, it was your thread to begin with. So no worries at all.
    I am sorry that your sister is so closed off to the discussion. It is so hard when those in the family scenario don’t see it and live in denial. It makes the relationship incredibly difficult and strained. For most in this situation, the person in denial will stay that way until they see it for themselves. There is nothing you can do or say that will change this. While she is your sister, she is a person, a fellow human being. She has to live her life and follow her path as she chooses. You can always still love her, even if conversation has to be limited.
    Keep making yourself a priority and taking care of you. I am so glad that you have a stronger relationship with your other 2 sisters. Cherish them! And yes, together we are all here to stop this horrible cycle of abuse!!

    #22278
    Grateful
    Participant

    Elusive Flame, We no longer need to shy away from expressing ourselves as we have done in the past. That is what heals us and makes us whole again. I’m glad that my comments enabled you to do that. I also deal with some narcissistic issues in my family aside from my ex husband, so I get it. Stay strong and keep working on the authentic you!

    #22279
    Elusive_Flame
    Participant

    Thank you so much to both of you for your kindness. And to you Renee, for creating this safe space to share our experiences. <3 It is a blessing to so many.

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