When I was a child, I had no concept of what narcissism meant. I had no idea that I was involved in a parent/child relationship that could only be the worst possible scenario: a narcissist parent with an empath child.
Because I didn’t know what I was involved in, I wasn’t able to gather tools for survival.
Everything that happened was a painful mystery and, truthfully, had anyone explained this mystery to me in my youth, I probably still wouldn’t have understood. I accepted early on that I was the one creating all the havoc.
And that, unfortunately, is what a narcissist parent feeds on, whether their child is an empath or not.
While I hoped and prayed for the day my parents would see me as a tender spirit who needed loving support, that day was never to appear, no matter how old I became.
Since the beginning of our relationship at age 10 (I was adopted), my role was defined as being the one who would bring joy, validation and importance to my new parents’ life. I wish there had been a memo. I just never understood my place in the scheme of things.
To say that as a child I lived in fear and confusion would be a grave understatement. Because I was not conscious of the game we were playing, I was at a disadvantage emotionally. No matter how hard I tried, I could never live up to the expectations of parents who not only did not understand themselves but who believed wholeheartedly that they were doing their best. To them, I was obviously the cog in the wheel.
A child cannot express their sensitivity to the narcissist parent whose complete focus is their own happiness. In their mind, if they are happy with the child it equates with the child’s happiness.
A narcissist parent sees any resistance on the part of the child as ungrateful behaviour.
Every day of a child’s life for this kind of parent is filtered through the parents’ need to feel safe in the world. It was clearly expressed to me, by my mother in particular, that I was hers to do with as she pleased, since I was a child and knew nothing about what my needs were. I was, in essence, her possession—like a pet dog.
Furthermore, I was expected to show my parents unwavering loyalty and devotion until their dying day. My life’s purpose was to revolve around their emotional and physical needs as the grateful recipient of their parenting.
Please read more here…Healing For Adult Children of Naricissist Parents. | elephant journal