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8 thoughts on “The Loyalty Bind of the Narcissist’s Child

  • May 22, 2017 at 12:31 am
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    You just explained to me why my marriage failed. My MIL was a Narc and this frequently got in the way of our relationship. She once literally told me, “You have done nothing for him,” as if it were a contest. I never understood this until now. Never mind that he has his HS diploma because of me, and he has made strides in life, not because of her, but because of me. Whenever it came to trivial decisions, he never knew what he wanted and this bothered me. He always seemed closer to her than to me, in fact he never confided in me with things. Only her. I felt like she was a part of the whole thing too, now I know why. Now I know everything. You have explained it all to me. Thank you for this article.

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  • May 23, 2017 at 1:10 am
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    Reading this had my heart racing. I always felt responsible for my mother’s happiness (or lack thereof) without ever realizing it. It’s such a twisted way of thinking: if I commit ‘infractions’, as mentioned above, I am ‘hurting’ her, and she makes this very clear, making me in turn feel unbelievably guilty and ashamed. In fact, she is much stronger than I am. I am well into adulthood and incredibly fragile because of the way this relationship has affected me my whole life. Even when I was admitted to a psych ward because I was suicidal and severely depressed, our phone calls consisted mainly of conversations about how the situation was distressing HER. In her strange way, she loves me and is very invested in me, but I have to behave as expected and it does feel like she always comes first. So strange how we don’t see what’s right in front of our noses! Thanks for this

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  • May 23, 2017 at 8:42 am
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    Most estranged/alienated grandchildren have one or more parents with varying degrees of narcissistic personality traits. In fact it takes a certain degree of narcissism, or self-absorption/self-regard, to be able to superimpose adult to adult relationship issues and conflicts onto an innocent child in the first place. And it takes an even great degree of narcissistic personality traits to be capable of forcing innocent children to grow up totally disconnected from and rendered completely invisible to certain branches of their family trees.” ~Anue Nue

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  • May 24, 2017 at 10:20 pm
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    I had to choose between grandparents and a parent. Constantly told how terrible they were and, while it was never spoken outright, I knew that if I wanted to be with them for any reason, it was seen as a betrayal by my parent. Being pulled left and right is devastating to a child.

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  • October 18, 2018 at 1:56 pm
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    Does this also apply to a child of a borderline parent? How is a child of a borderline different? I keep seeing BPD and NPD lumped together, but they seem different and seem to interact differently, so wouldn’t the child be affected differently?

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    • October 18, 2018 at 6:35 pm
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      There is a difference. I will write more about that once I can gather the information together.

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  • April 29, 2019 at 7:32 pm
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    I am immediately drawn to a 2 of 7 responses on the board. Tuesdays Child: a reference to a poem that my narc mom used, to make me feel awful; I was told I was Wed child, filled w/woe. At 40, I googled my bday to find that it fell on a Tue, and accordingly, the poem suggested I was full of delight. Narc mom in true narc form maintains that even the calendars are wrong and she is right; I was born on a woeful Wed. Narcs will never admit what doesn’t suit them.

    Also, Anue,Nue: shout out to the Hawaiian! I have a feeling that narc parents can be a cultural issue w/ Hawaiians. The suppression of our own cultural and the occupation of Hawaii has not gone over well for 5 generations and it shows up in our kupuna. It may be part of the problem. But I maintain that we all have the ability to make choices and leave the world better than we found it. Our collective issues as a people, that show up individually, do not deserve a free pass. And our issues are somewhat compounded b/c it is culturally unacceptable to dishonor an elder, especially a parental figure.

    I found this article via a google search; looking for love and loyalty w/in the narc family. Thank you for the analogy of the lions cage. I am interested to know whether the prevalence of narc families is more dominant in particular groups now. Wonder if evidence to show that economics and/or culture plays a role.

    This idea of loyalty needs to be discussed more. It is important. I don’t think the narc’s child necessarily recognizes the difference between love and loyalty. And this extends outward to other relationships. Any thoughts on this? Thanks!

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