"Oh my anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain. Oh the agony of my heart! My heart pounds within me, I cannot keep silent…" Jeremiah 4:19

Healing from Parental Narcissistic Abuse


I had a friend suggest this so I’m doing it because we’re DESPERATE!

My son and I are being evicted thanks to a crappy roommate not paying his rent or share of the bills and I’m trying to get the heck out of Tampa and back home to Seattle. I lost my job in late October and Jason didn’t work for 2 weeks in November and then again for two weeks in December due to the holidays so we just fell into that “one month away from homelessness” category that many Americans are in. Well, we’re here and facing homelessness.

I’ve set up a GoFundMe page so if those of you who have found this site helpful could maybe consider helping us I would be incredibly grateful!  This information was freely given and will always remain so.  However, we’re really stuck so I’m just reaching out to anyone remotely connected to our world (even the kindness of strangers) who would consider helping us not end up homeless!

Thank you for reading this post.  I have no pride left, only desperation…things turned bad so quickly my head is spinning and I’m walking in circles so if you can help, PLEASE do! Also, if you could pray and/or put us on any prayer chains or lists you know, that would be awesome too.

The GoFundMe link is here:  https://www.gofundme.com/janetbyers

Okay, so those of us who come from abusive homes with one narcissistic parent…or both for the REALLY unlucky ones…know that our family LOOKED normal on the outside to most other people. Our private hell was just that…private. We are trained VERY early not to share family secrets. We learn to stuff emotions, to deny everything about ourselves, deny our want and needs…indeed to deny our very humanity at times…just to survive.  So we learned that there is no such thing as normal and we glibly say, “What’s normal?  Heck, every family has it’s problems!” once we become adult survivors of narcissistic abuse.  It’s a coping statement.  It’s a shame filled statement…it’s our equivalent to whistling in the dark.

What IS a normal family anyway?

But we’re not interested in covering the definitions again…we’re interested in healing.  We wounded children want to know STEPS TO TAKE to heal!  When I first got on the various forums, blogs and websites about narcissism, I ended up getting frustrated.  I didn’t want to JUST dump, I wanted SOLUTIONS.  I’ve been dumping for years, I’ve looked for solutions and tried pretty much everything out there in the way of recovery and therapy (I ended up using drugs and alcohol to numb the pain so I have more than one issue…as many of us do.) What truly helped me was KNOWLEDGE of the truth that my mother is the one with the problems.  Yes, I learned well and yippee skippee, in so many ways I am just like dear old mom!

BUT I am NOT a narcissist.  I do have many learned behaviors but the difference between her and me is that I CAN unlearn — and AM unlearning — narcissistic behaviors.  I’m not stuck, she is.  I can get healthy because I know I’ve got problems.  She cannot see she has problems so she just keeps burning through people, always on the constant search for narcissistic supply like a vampire driven to find fresh blood.  How awful for her. The plain fact is that if YOU are on this site, you are NOT a narcissist either.  Narcs don’t go searching for truth, healing, answers or anything else because they cannot, will not, admit they have any problems.  You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to change; didn’t want help and healing.

Okay, so there are stages we need to go through in order to get on with the healing.  1)  Admit that yes, one or both parents are narcissists and that they have damaged our lives.  2)  Recognize that a lot of the thoughts in our heads are NOT our thoughts but brainwashing and programming.  3)  Grieve for the fact that we do not have, nor will likely EVER have, normal, loving parents.  4)  Recognize that the more we learn, the more likely we are to start experiencing emotions that we do NOT know how to cope with.  5)  Learn the wide variety of emotions that are available instead of the limited ones we were “allowed.”  In most dysfunctional families, the big three are “sad, mad, happy.”  No room for ecstatic, doubtful, fearful, hopeful, aggravated, mellow or whatever deeper “shades” of emotions because emotions simply were not / are not SAFE.

By the way, this is NOT a tried and true “12 step method” but instead what I’ve gleaned from personal experience and LOTS and lots of reading on the subject.  6)  Find a group that deals with family dysfunctions (there are no “Narcissists Anonymous” groups yet but there are some where you can find help.  Celebrate Recovery is one (Christian based) and Adult Children of Alcoholics (spiritual but not religious) deals with many of the same issues that children of narcs face…indeed, most alcoholics exhibit many NPD tendencies and some are true narcs…but some are not and the behavior may change along with many other things in their life if they get into alcohol recovery.

Thriving Recovery is also Christian based and what I like about it is it combines secular AND Christian recovery principles but with an important twist…it goes into the latest research and knowledge about the human brain, it’s structure, it’s needs and how to re-wire the neural pathways and literally change our thinking patterns and brain’s reactions.

Okay, more tomorrow, going to bed for now!

14 responses

  1. Elfie Kiss

    Oh My GoD!!! Thank you so much for all your hard work. I have just discovered that I am a survivor of 2 narcissistic parents, I suspect my mother to be even in the malignant category with so much gas-lighting that the world has probably ran out of matches by now… Your blog is giving me strength and support and the knowledge and almost guarantee that I can get better. I have joined a fellowship for addiction problems a few months ago… I have just decided to go NC. I really feel that the realization is a real catch 22 as I am so relieved to learn that the problem is not in me, but yet really grieving the fact that no amount of work on my part or effort towards a reconciliation and normal relationship is ever going to happen.

    I got so much identification from what you say about wearing your heart on your sleeves and telling it all to try to get mirroring …

    I have so much gratitude for your blog and my HP.

    God bless you woman from the other side of the world, your work is not in vain.

    Take care. Elfie.

    June 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    • Oh Elfie, thank YOU for the out loud laughter you just gave me! “with so much gas-lighting that the world has probably ran out of matches by now… ” TOO FUNNY! I’m glad you are helped and girl, you just helped me back! I was off this blog for a few YEARS and now I’m slogging through 3 years of comments so I have no idea if you’ll ever see this or not but THANK YOU…and hang in there…it DOES get better! And yeah, the “orphan feeling” sucks! God bless you too…here’s a big hug from across the planet! Blessings to you, Janet

      January 18, 2016 at 11:41 PM

  2. littlemissbig

    and that we are not what they said we were! Please follow my blog on npd recovery here : littlemissbig.wordpress.com. Comments appreciated

    December 28, 2013 at 9:24 PM

  3. Thank you so very much. For 20 years now I knew something was wrong. I always thought it was me. I was Bi-Polar, I was depressed, you name it, I tried to fix it. My Mom caused so many issues for me that I willingly put her on No Contact over 10 years ago, but I did it because she was so unhealthy, manipulative, hateful, mooching, using, stealing, boundary crossing. It never occured to me that it was something definitive. This weekend I figured it all out after talking to her side of the family who has been estranged from me for many years. It is not me, I am not sick, it is her. She is a NP. Thank you for being here, and helping us all as we find a path to healthy.

    April 30, 2013 at 10:50 AM

  4. f1redancer

    Thank you so much. I have been going through a lot lately in terms of dealing with all this. For some reason all the roots of these things have been rising to the surface for me and I am constantly processing things. I am also dealing with some of the inherited traits and also the dysfunction of not being quite where I need to be as a self-supporting, independent adult as a result of the aftermath of it all. Because of all this I’m always seeking answers and help. I came across your blog during a web search and as I read this entry, when I got to the part where you said about that Ns don’t want help or want healing I burst into tears. The fact that I know that I’m concerned about getting better and getting through this, that other people out there a struggling just as I am—let’s just say I’m not happy that anyone else goes through these things though it’s comforting that someone somewhere understands.

    December 31, 2012 at 4:42 AM

  5. Oh I can so relate I too am dying on some direct helpful hints untill. I can get past the holidays. And over the shock of realizing I was raised by aliens. So I am trying to be the change I want and making my own.

    December 23, 2012 at 2:37 PM

  6. I like these steps to healing. I get to step 2 and then something happens (I make a minor mistake) and I feel ashamed and messed up. This puts me back to the beginning because when I start believing I’m messed up, I wonder if maybe I was wrong about my dad. I start to wonder if maybe he’s normal and I’m the one with issues. Maybe I’m making it all up. So to combat this thinking, I search online for common narcissistic behaviors to prove to myself he’s the one who’s wrong. Then I go through the hurt and anger of realizing I was abused. See? Over and over again. It’s frustrating, but I recently started seeing a therapist so hopefully I can move past step 2.🙂

    September 19, 2012 at 10:38 PM

  7. Am now in tears! I have just lost a brother who died from the ravages of drug and alcohol abuse he sustained over the years to numb the pain from his ‘private hell’. He was 43 years old. Two days ago a councilor suggested the term ‘Narcissistic personality disorder’ when I discribed my mothers actions and behaviour arround his funeral. I have been researching ever since. I have been trying to ‘de-programme’ myself over the last 10 years (and encourage my brother to do the same but he was too deeply riddled with the guilt ) with what I guess is stubborn courage. Estranging myself from my mother and so severing the last family member from her grasp. She then turned to my brother who had half gotten away.
    Suddenly comming across all this material discribing perfectly our childhood and family has made me scream in frustration…..why why why didn’t I know this earlier….why couldn’t I have learned sooner and shown my brother and helped him realise….
    The last half and hour has done more for my healing than many hours of reflection.
    Thank you
    (Leicester England)

    September 7, 2012 at 3:51 AM

  8. OMG, I am so stunned by finding out the my Father has Narcissistic personality disorder. I am relieved that I finally have the answers. He really messed me up. Suffering at the hands of a controlling narcissistic bully. I too then spent many years numbing the pain with drugs and alcohol. I am 42 now and I have done a lot of soul searching. I desperately want to get well. I suppose finding out my fathers behaviour actually has a name is a massive relief. I also feel really angry. All the mental health problems I have had for years because of his abuse. He then made me feel that it was ll my fault. That my drug problems where all my fault. I really now need to let this go and move on. I feel so damaged. I am currently going to 12 step meetings. Thanks for this site

    August 24, 2012 at 3:38 AM

  9. arabellazoe

    Hi, I am very happy to have come across your blog. I’m a thirteen year old girl that has a narcissistic father. And luckily I now know whats wrong with him, the descriptions fit him to a T. I have extremely low self esteem and now have anorexia nervosa. But, I am one of the lucky ones because my father may be a jerk, but I have a lovely mother and we have run away from him and are going to therapy, both for coping with the mental abuse my father has given to both of us and for my eating disorder. Thank you for this blog and God bless.🙂

    July 27, 2012 at 5:55 PM

  10. I just came across your page. I’m in the middle of the whole recovery process from growing up and still dealing with a narcissistic mother (and alcoholic, mildly narcissistic faster) I always thought and was made to believe that I was the crazy one for seeing past the lies, etc. Anyway, I’m really grateful for your site focusing on the SOLUTION. Part of that solution is education and awareness but those aren’t the only parts. I have been going to al-anon for almost a year and have gained SO much from that program as well as a great therapist. Still, it is not something that has enough attention or is easily explainably to friends. So just a BIG thank you and sending you prayers for your journey alone with the appreciation for your validation. Take good care –

    July 16, 2012 at 4:43 PM

  11. c4t2001

    Just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to post so much stuff about this one subject in the one place🙂. My husband is having trouble with his mum right now (well he always has but is noticing it right now) and through counselling has identified that his mum has narcisisstic tendancies. We kind of saw poor behaviour but it almost feels a relief to put a name to it. Like you say – things are said and done that you can’t quite put your finger on and the rot is planted from the inside out. Actually the shock has come also because I have a very difficult relationship with my own mother and my sister (the golden child). Some of your examples could have been written by me. I guess me and hubby are lucky to have found one another because it takes someone else with experience to fully understand. Best of luck to you xxx

    April 26, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    • You’re welcome and sorry this has taken so long to reply to…been crazy busy and did enough dumping that I found I didn’t need to much anymore. I figure it will help those who are looking for the help that I found on other blogs. I think the children of narcs DO find each other and I suspect they have good marriages…you both understand how words can wound and hopefully don’t “go there” with each other as easily as some might. Best of luck to both of you as well!

      July 12, 2012 at 8:12 AM

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