11 Comments to
When Your Kids Turn Against You In Favor of the Narcissistic Parent

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  1. I so wish this article was around, when I left almost 20 years ago. I was almost a complete wreck before I left. The children’s reactions, though, were the hardest part of it all. It broke my heart. It wasn’t that I wanted a competition for their affection, I just needed them to respect the strength and courage I’d found somewhere within myself to leave a marriage that was abusive in every way. Their reactions to the situation weren’t what I’d even remotely believed they would be. The nightmare continues as your ex-partner continues to manipulate everyone with self pity and blaming others for his infidelities, alcoholism, black moods, bullying and anger.

  2. I am on the 3rd alienation attempt by my ex-narc and I didn’t even see it coming. Put the kids on the bus and that was the last time I saw it 14 years of raising my children and its all over never to see them again. They say they hate me and hope I die and I should just kill myself. But as I have been through many years of therapy and therapy now how does it help. My kids still feel the same way they aren’t back in their rooms I have no one at night the loneliest time and when the spiral starts swallowing me alive. My children are my heart they are what I lived for everyday they are what made me drive to be a better person and to achieve everything I did. I lost everything because of me ex my job, my strength, financial security, self worth. I feel like a zombie walking around with the living in a nightmare I cannot wake up from. This time I felt something break in me unlike before during the other 2 attempts something psychologically happened and there are days I do nothing but cry and stay in bed. How can these people walk around freely and do this to people why are they not charged criminally for what they do. It is a violation of human rights I have been tortured for 20years my children have been abused my whole family has been abused. Why is there nothing that can be done to make them stop?

  3. You were right in what you said but have missed the most important point.

    Yes I have friends that have children that were full blown addicts, serious medical condition and see them do what they can to assist (sometimes the hardest is to see them partly recover and giving them $ and them relapsing and learning not to fund the habit) and realize they are not in control (their children are individuals). The parent may be removed from their children but that natural remains and are either sure or simply do not know if their children are being psychologically abused and can do nothing. Many of us would die for our children if it would free them from the psychological torture they are experiencing but know that if we did die the it would not help them and maybe make it worse.

    Practice Acceptance: That your children are being abused in a way that may impact the rest of their lives and future relationships and one is prevented from helping those that we love! The ability to let go of things that we cannot change is one perspective.

    What you missed is what we can do. Preparing ourselves so that we are in a position to help our children when one day they may turn to us for an explanation is something we can focus upon. We need to do this as relentlessly as the narcissist that is inflicting the pain.

    How to do this while trying to form a new and healthy relationship with a new person is the challenge (concealing is impossible and revealing is fraught with disbelief and something being wrong) that you may consider writing about (so we do not fall into the Loneliness Epidemic)!

  4. “People are hoodwinked and don’t even realise it”. Although not a parent have experienced this with family of origin who decided to listen to the abuser. Perhaps one day they will really see the situation for what it is, or maybe not. I’ve just had to get on with things. At least having no contact means that I’m not surrounded by the drama any more.

  5. “And if you talk to your own kids about the situation you are drawing them into the middle of your relationship problems with their other parent – which is a big ‘no no.'”. sometimes. My greatest challenge, and I was awarded custody by the court, was to talk to my children – in an age appropriate manner – about the elephant in the room, without drawing them into the middle. Obviously, children are in the middle, but it was my experience it can be equally unhealthy to NOT “talk to your own kids about the(ir) situation”. The value of a competent, professional therapist is important, but I believe the love and support of a competent parent is more important. It goes without saying, this can open up any number of legal cans of worms, and these conversations should be initiated by the child(ren). And, again, any advice or counsel on the part of competent counselors/therapists is never a bad thing. My children were 5 and 8 when the split occurred, and they are now late teens and early 20’s. As such the “talks” (and we still have them) are age appropriate (and as with the talks as youngsters, the subject or content focused in their feelings and observations, as opposed to mine, the Court’s, etc.). What I have discovered, and this is my experience alone, is; the children of narcissists can develop empathy (as evidenced by their feelings about the non-narcissistic parent and/or empathy toward friends/colleagues who had/have a narcissistic parent are in a relationship with a narcissist). This of course, suggests they might be on the way to “breaking the cycle” of narcissism.

  6. Due to the illness of narcissism, the ONLY escape is GOD. This type of manipulation is a mental illness at it’s peak. They are delusional and really do believe they are the victim. After $18000.00 in child custody battles, winning every time, I released my son at age 17 to his mafia father in order to protect him from his father using his as a pawn, and essentially putting our son in a position to have to “pick a parent”. I also may never see him again:(, however I am the most proud mom there is. I raised him to get a 31 out of 36 on his act’s! I provided a “stable” environment for him. If I had to do it all over again…I would do the same thing. Too bad courts can’t recognize master manipulators of emotional child abuse.Keep the faith! The truth will prevail.

  7. At honestly, I now have courage and strenght to choose to leave the unhealthy and habitual relationship with my narcissist mother who still brainwashes my family siblings being older than I am to start the new life by separating from them. Fortunetly my best licensed, clinical psychotherapist with Ph.D., my close friends, my staff members in my best teams, and others in the safe, secure and healthy environment in my residence in our safe community, all are openly understanding, and very, supportive to me at best. In a fact I continue to feel better in progress on pace. Regards, Christa

  8. My children are both grown adults and my NARC divorce is fairly fresh. Reading these blog posts on NARC over the past three-year process of a divorce [after 34yrs.] has helped me sustain a therapeutic perspective. Witnessing the entire country dealing with our unelected Super NARC has provided a useful metaphor and daily reminder also. My first reaction was to immediately share this article and the comments with my children. However, Matt Foley’s Twin, “Obviously, children are in the middle, but it was my experience it can be equally unhealthy to NOT “talk to your own kids about the(ir) situation”. The value of a competent, professional therapist is important, but I believe the love and support of a competent parent is more important.”, really struck a chord with me. I have decided to reach out to both of my children whom I haven’t heard from in several weeks just to see how “they are doing”.
    THX to all that have shared here. Sharing a common language is extremely helpful…

  9. Gosh, this is exactly my story and even as a therapist I have been at loss as to what to do about it. He generated such hatred in my daughter against me and there was nothing to be done it seemed. After years of keeping the door open, staying in contact with her, putting up with verbal abuse, I finally just gave up and turned the page. She knows my door is always open and I love her to death. Continuing on that path was just awful for my mental health, so I did what I felt I needed to do–hard as it is. Thank you so much, Sharie. I’ve finally found a bit of sanity in this mess. Hugs, Donna

  10. Finally, I have found an article addressing a burning question that I have faced. It pains me terribly that my still narc wife has turned my own children against me and keeps them and my very young grandchildren away from the family home.


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