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  • Your Feelings are Wrong! Growing Up with a Narcissistic Parent.

    Narcissistic Parent

    The Narcissistic Family System

    You grew up in family where your feelings didn’t matter. Where submission and complacency were essential to survival. Where, if you had a different opinion, you were wrong.

    The above description is a common experience for individuals growing up in a narcissistic family system. A narcissistic family system refers to the dysfunctional dynamics developed in a family where at least one parent has narcissistic traits. Read below to understand more about common dynamics in a narcissistic family.

    Dynamics of a Narcissistic Family

    Affection is Conditional. A narcissistic parent will show their child affection and praise for accomplishments but criticism and cruelty for their failures or inadequacies. As a result, children learn to equate success and achievement with love. This can lead to the belief that they are never enough, no matter what they do.

    Sibling vs. Sibling. The narcissistic parent often forces family members to choose sides, with the “right” side being the narcissist’s side. A narcissistic parent may favor one child (Golden Child) over the other (Scapegoat), causing family rifts long into adulthood. Love is limited in this family dynamic and the narcissist can only show affection to one child at a time.

    Competition is Normal. The narcissistic parent will compare family members and encourage competitiveness among siblings. This leads to further mis-trust and discord among family members. One sibling may join the narcissistic parent in antagonizing another sibling to avoid the narcissist’s wrath.

    Manipulation. Gaslighting, lies, and manipulation are common in a narcissistic family and most family members believe these dynamics are normal.

    Rage is Expected. Family members are expected to absorb and accept the narcissistic parent’s rage. Children sometimes learn to use anger to communicate their needs.

    Your Feelings Don’t Matter. A narcissist will minimize and dismiss their child’s feelings. They label emotions as weak, dramatic, or false. 

    Therapy for Narcissistic Family Abuse

    Therapy is a safe place to help you process and heal from the abuse of a narcissistic parent. Through therapy you can:

    -Learn to set appropriate boundaries with family members.

    -Change negative beliefs developed in childhood.

    -Feel less guilty for wanting to limit contact with family.

    -Improve communication skills and strengthen romantic relationships.

    Contact me to learn more about how therapy can help you heal from Narcissistic Abuse. Offered online in Tennessee and Georgia. 

    Online Locations: Nashville, Tennessee – Brentwood, Tennessee – Atlanta, Georgia – Sandy Springs, Georgia – Greater Tennessee and Georgia Area

    Request an appointment!