View Full Version : Co-Narcissism - How We Accommodate to Narcissistic Parents

Apr 30, 2009, 12:36 AM
This link goes to a .pdf file (not easy to paste here due to size and formatting. I think this is another important "tool" for those who have N parents or spouses/partners with N parents.


(note from motherinlawstories webmaster - with thanks to Dr. Rappoport, we have confirmation that link is posted with permission)

lizbeth nli
Apr 30, 2009, 09:28 AM
Haven't you read my post about NXH ramping up? "N's don't change, they just get old part 2"? Posted it the day before yesterday, I think. Its gruesome and long.

I had to start researching specific N info for YDS because he's been dealing with his father going bonkers on him like he did on me when we were married/separated/divorced. Unfortunately, I'm still the target of his obsession. But I need to help YDS cope with and understand what his father is doing. Unfortunately, once I get started on something, its hard for me to stop (so I kept looking things up that would be useful for the boards).

purple_rain nli
May 1, 2009, 11:15 AM
i can't believe this. i send this link via e-mail to DH and asked if he recognised himself. he came home late from work last night. he stopped by at the library and picked up many books on narcissistic parents - "Children of the Self-Absorbed", etc.

he joked that "the world must be teeming with narcissists, 'cos most of the books i looked up had been checked out."

one interesting recent book he picked up was

"Will I ever be good enough? Healing Daughters of Narcissistic Mother."

this is the first time he has openly acknowledged that his parents - both of them - are Ns.

HappilyMarried nlo
May 1, 2009, 01:12 PM
Thanks for posting this!! I read this in bed the night you posted it, and had DH read it while lying in bed last night. This article had tons of useful information for both DH and myself. We used to both be people pleasers, pushovers, doormats, etc,.. Reading this article helped us both understand WHY we were that way.

DH was really fascinated by reading this article. There were so many things that stuck out for him. For instance, years ago when DH and I would be going to do something like a fun outing, or a trip, he would never want to tell MIL about it. He always said he felt selfish for doing things without her. I was always confused by why he felt that way. After DH read this article last night, he started realizing why he would feel guilty for being happy in his own life. His feelings never mattered, it was always all about MIL. Like the article stated, MIL was on a stage, and DH was her audience.

Thanks again, Lizbeth!! You have been so helpful to my DH and I. <3


lizbeth nl
May 1, 2009, 02:02 PM
Sometimes all it takes is the right bit of information - once you get that lightbulb moment - you can't ignore it unless you actively work to wish it away. I'm so happy this has happened for your DH. It could be the beginning of big changes in your lives (note I said your since you have already removed yourself from the dysfunction).

One of my news magazines has an article this month about this being the age of narcissism (and social networking sites are perfect examples).

May 1, 2009, 02:16 PM
The absolute worst part about Ns is how they disrupt children's relationships with the people who really do love them. They turn their children against the parent who actually does put the child first, and acts out of love for that child, even when that means saying no.

They make it so that their child victims learn not to trust, to be very confused, and in my H's case, have to ask other people what he should think. Why should any adult ask anyone to tell them what to think? This is how far the programming goes. They don't even dare have a single thought of their own. Being able to think means autonomy, and autonomy means a threat to the N's ego, because other people are merely extensions of the N.

Bravo for doing this research for your son. Alan Rappoport is spot on.

MIL was already well on her way to warping my child. Fortunately, he was my kangaroo baby. He always clung, and this drove MIL crazy. DS is a hugs and kisses kind of guy, to both parents. That alone proves to me that we did the right thing. This is not the way H grew up.

May 1, 2009, 02:25 PM
I am sending you huge hugs, OK... and I am sending you healing energy vibes.

Lizbeth, first do not forget you are wise. It is hard not to allow those negative emotions of anger and guilt creep in -- I know -- but this was not your INTENTION -- to leave this sort of legacy (as you put it).

It happened. It is what it is.

Your children have a wise and a caring mother. How fortunate are they? They are better off than we were! Focus on *that*. Focus on the TREMENDOUS good you are doing.

We would do anything to protect our children -- we would do anything to remove scars or bad experiences or bad memories. We cannot. That which does not kill us only makes us stronger. I have no answers as to why we are subjected to the experiences we are subjected to in life, but I will say... WE WILL BE STRONGER, WISER, AND BETTER in the process for it.

Get better soon. I hope you have an inhaler... or some other way to combat the allergies with the asthma. As you find yourself calming, I think you will find a little bit of ease in breathing too... One step at a time. You already know this.


May 2, 2009, 02:09 AM
Lizbeth, thankyou very much for this. I suspect that not only my M is a N, but her 2 brothers are as well. The oldest was the GC, and his wife cut off my GPs when my cousins were very little. I suspect now that my DA (who has always treated me extremely kindly) was treated like dirt by my GF and probably my GM (much as I loved her), for her crime of marrying their golden son, who they supported with frequent cash handouts right up until their death.

I think that I will eventually have to go to some therapy on my own just to try to sort through all this. Cutting off my parents was sad but a relief as I had fantasized about it from about the age of 14. Its just sad how 'family at any cost' is so valued by society because I feel like an evil person whenever I have to admit that I no longer see them.

May 3, 2009, 01:04 AM
Sheri, I used to feel like a bad person for cutting off NM (18 months ago) but now I am beginning to feel like an empowered person. I think DH has helped a lot by telling me, out of the blue every now and then, how well I am doing without NM or NOS. I don't think it is false encouragement either, I am sure I am a nicer person to live with now I am no longer the family doormat, panicking every time the phone rings!

It is difficult to turn your back on everything you know - it is a major achievement. Even if you know you are better off without the ns in your life, you have been trained to do things their way and to go against this is traumatic.

If someone does the "family is so important" speech to me (haven't had the flying monkey stuff for months but of course the subject of family crops up in all sorts of situations, even with strangers) I now find myself simply thinking "if you had a kind family, lucky you" and then moving on without another thought. Those that think "family at ANY cost" are either blissfully unaware of some people's reality or not as brave as you.

Lizbeth, thanks for posting this. :-)

lizbeth nl
May 3, 2009, 01:39 PM
I'm glad this was helpful to you.

We only feel guilty when other people hear about our stories and have negative reactions because of the way we are conditioned. We are the victims, we should feel no shame.

No one should feel guilty for stepping away from toxic or abusive people - even family members. Any good shrink will tell you the only sane reaction when faced with behavior from people like this is to get them out of your lives and keep them out.