What do you expect Children of Narcissists to do?

On Target

On Target

Children of narcissists are incredibly resilient.
Their lives are lived in the foggy environment of narcissistic projections.
They reach out again and again to connect and there is nothing there authentically present from the parental perspective.
The hands of the children continually grasp and come up with air.
But this is too much to bear, so they keep trying and then trying some more.
Some way, some how, they magically tell themselves, the hand they grasp for will be there.
And it never is.
So they grasp some more. Distorted stories emerge. Parental fantasies abound. And the children continue to perform upon the stage of the parent’s delusions.
It’s all they have- for to walk off that stage of narcissistic projections- would be for the child to exist no more.

This is the pain of children of narcissists. Their entire lives are spent in a production performance lived upon the parent’s distorted stage. At times, the children know this, but they can’t stop the compulsion to perform, for they know, having lived it their entire lives, that to stop performing, would mean they no longer exist, child or not, in the narcissist’s eyes, parent or not.

So they perform. Wildly, crazily, a swirling dervish they become, all in attempt to “earn” some love.

This is the life of a child of a narcissist.


15 thoughts on “What do you expect Children of Narcissists to do?

  1. I am a child of a narcissist … And yes for most of my childhood, adolescence and young adult life it was not easy. I tried to meet others expectations and failed because the expectations always shifted so they were in the limelight, not me.
    But there is always hope .. When we break free of the conditioning and realize that life can be very different when we are out of their shadow … When we start to see ourselves as separate and that we are enough.. And the person we thought of as god is a flawed human being.
    Giving the children support to be independent and appreciating them for who they are … and not how they think they should be or what they think will matter to others … Is huge!
    The children may be wounded but there is hope for healing and real growth into becoming a forgiving and compassionate human being.
    Val x

    • HI Val, I am so glad you wrote with your perspective. I posted what I did in support of my stepkids. I think they will grow up to be wonderful people. I posted it because I feel sometimes they are judged for strange behaviors. They are so busy dancing, performing, and trying to keep up the charade, they don’t have time to respond appropriately to some situations.

      thanks for your advice. That is what I try to constantly do for them- see them for who they are in their authentic selves.

    • thanks Kate! I meant it as support of my stepkids. Some times they are judged for being “unaware” or “awkward”- and I wrote it to point out that they are so busy dancing across the stage, they have little time to integrate truth. I liked Val’s comment as well.

      • I know, and I can’t/won’t offer advice because then I am speaking ill of their father, like I just divorced him because he was so wonderful? “History repeats itself for a reason, to learn from it”. It the only opinion I offer. This week has just been particularly painful because my daughter choose to live with her father. I try to view her decision as her insecurity in her love with him, not me, also he is a “free grazing” parent, (do what you want, so long as you don’t bother me). I just really miss her, she’s 14, and I am scared for her safety. But I knew everything at 14 too, if I don’t I am denying her from seeing her dad, if I do and it’s bad, I didn’t protect her enough, either way, I am wrong, the werst mother ever. I can only pray for her.

  2. I love the analogy of the kids dancing on (their mother’s) stage. It’s true! It’s much easier to be understanding of baffling behavior from my stepdaughter (like lying to us) when we realize that she has to try so HARD to perform properly for her mother.

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