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12 Signs You Were Raised By Narcissistic Parents

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Raised by a narcissistic mother and an ever-absent father myself, I understand the importance of having mentally stable parents to raise you.

Because ever since we were children, we looked to our parents for love, encouragement, and support. However, when our parents didn’t give us these things, we were forced to develop coping mechanisms in order to survive in the toxic environment.

What’s worse, these coping mechanisms have never left us. Even now, as adults, we are suffering from the traumas of the childhood abuse we went through.

The first healing step of your childhood wounds is your willingness to internalize and process what you went through. This doesn’t mean that you should play the victim and condemn your parents, but to understand your pain to be able to let go of it.  

First, you should understand the difference between two kinds of narcissistic parents:

1.Ignoring Narcissists – are those parents who are not interested in their children’s lives. They neglect their children and set clear boundaries that separate them from their children.

2.Engulfing Narcissists – are those parents that take pride in their children’s achievements because they see them as extensions of themselves. Contrary to the Ignoring Narcissists, the Engulfing Narcissists become obsessively involved in the lives of their children and they don’t have boundaries because they don’t see them as separate people.

Below are 12 major signs that you were raised by a narcissistic mother and/or father.

1. They owned your accomplishments.

Has someone congratulated you on winning the first prize for your art piece? Your parents must have immediately jumped in and said something in the lines of “Yeah, he/she got the talent from me. I was always artistic as a child.”  

2. They constantly insulted you.

They often insulted, berated, harassed, and demeaned you. They took almost every chance they got to latch onto some insecurity that you’ve had and used it for means of humiliation.  

3. They tried to control you through codependency.

Your (narcissistic) parents were telling you that they needed you and that you must never leave them because they couldn’t live without you. This has made it impossible for you to be independent and to have a separate life from your parents. You forgot your priorities because you were focused on your parents’ needs.  

4. They laid the guilt on thick.

This is another method that your (narcissistic) parents used to control you – by guilt tripping you into doing what they wanted you to do. You have probably heard them say something along the lines of “We have sacrificed everything for you.” In result, you feel like you owe them, so you must be obedient and listen to them.

5. They lied to you constantly.

They lied in order to control and manipulate you into getting something out of you. As a result, now you can’t distinguish between what’s real and what’s not because you always expect people to set you up a hidden trap that you can fall into.

6. They never respected your boundaries.

You didn’t have any privacy when you were growing up. Your parents had a habit to enter your room without knocking, and they were more than happy to go through your things without any second thoughts. Moreover, they used the things they’ve found to blame you.

7. They gaslighted you.

This psychological technique for manipulation is so subtle that the victim is left feeling powerless without even knowing it. Gaslighting is when your parents made you feel like you are crazy, or that something is wrong with you to get the upper hand. This results in you doubting everything as an adult.

8. They only loved you when you did what they wanted.

You’ve always had the impression that your parents only loved you when you did something they wanted. Otherwise, they gave you the silent treatment. You’ve always felt that you should prove your worth for them to love you.

9. They never showed empathy towards you.

Your parents never asked about your day or cared about your feelings. You felt as if you couldn’t share your feelings with them because they would make fun of you, or they would never listen to you in the first place.

10. They projected their bad behavior onto you.

For instance, in an argument, you’ve probably heard your parent scream hysterically something like: “How dare you to talk to me like that? Go to your room!”

11. They were infallibly correct and NEVER wrong.

Even when they treated you unfairly – they never apologized to you for their mistake. And when you confronted them they never admitted they made a mistake in the first place. Instead, they put all the blame on you.

12. They wanted to present a ‘perfect’ family image to others.

They most probably went to great lengths to make others to perceive you as the perfect, loving, and successful family that everyone wants to have. Most likely, you were aware of their ploy, but you had to be silent and go with it because you didn’t want to experience your parents’ wrath.