Abandonment Relating To Children Of Narcissistic Parents.

Abandonment comes in many forms.  It can come about for the newborn baby left in a dumpster, a child whose parents suddenly die in a car wreck, divorce, or death of a loved one.  There is a form of abandonment that many people seldom discuss- when close friends & relatives leave you.

This type of abandonment is common after divorce, especially if you are the one who initiated it.  I lost all but one friend after mine.  No one saw him as the manipulative narcissist he was, so they rallied to his side, abandoning me.  Abandonment also happens after surviving the death of someone you love.  After her daughter died, a good friend of mine said it seemed like once the funeral was done, people thought she should be over losing her daughter, as if the funeral being over meant her grief should be over. Abandonment also can happen after experiencing a traumatic event, as some people think you should “be over it by now.”

It’s also very common for children of narcissistic parents to be abandoned repeatedly in their lives.

First, we’re abandoned in the sense of not having a real mother (&/or father).  Just because a narcissist has conceived & birthed a child doesn’t make that person a parent by any means.  We also may be abandoned by the other parent, usually a covert narcissist, who throws us under the bus to the overtly narcissistic parent to cover their own butts during an argument, & who fails to protect us.  We’re also abandoned by anyone who sees the abuse yet fails to do anything to help us: teachers, counselors, relatives, friends or their parents.  As we grow up, we tend to attract narcissists & other abusive people into our lives, who will drop us in an instant once we’ve outlived our usefulness to them.  They also are often skilled at turning others against us too, so we not only lose that person, but friends as well at the same time.  Then eventually we learn about narcissism & the damage it causes, & we begin to talk about it.  That is when our closest friends & relatives often claim we just want attention, need to get over it, So & So had it much worse, your narcissist wasn’t so bad or seemed like a good person to them, & more before abandoning us for being too negative, living in the past, etc.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  I’m guessing it sounds all too familiar.

Constant abandonment like this cuts a person to the core.  It also can lead to many problems- low self-esteem, depression, anger, self-destructive habits such as addictions, & even losing your self-identity.

So how do you deal with this pain?  You grieve your losses much like you grieve when someone you love dies.

Some people say there are five stages in grief, others say seven.  I tend to believe more in seven..

  1. Denial.  What happened is too shocking to accept.  You can’t believe it happened.
  2. Guilt.  You feel guilty.  “Maybe if I had done *fill in the blank*, this wouldn’t have happened.
  3. Anger &/or bargaining with God.  This is the time when you ask “Why did this happen to me?  I don’t deserve this!” or, “God, if you bring him back, I’ll never do *fill in the blank* again.”
  4. Depression.  The magnitude of what happened becomes real to you at this stage, & it hurts.  Badly.  This is often the longest lasting stage.
  5. Starting to move on.  The depression starts to lift some & you begin to adjust in small ways to life after what happened.
  6. Moving on.  You really begin healing at this stage.  You read & learn about how to adjust & heal.
  7. Acceptance.  You have accepted what happened.  You start to look forward to things once again.  You may never again be the person you once were, but you are moving forward.

***sometimes when grieving, you may bounce back & forth between steps a few times.  This is normal***

While going through the stages of grief is never a fun process, it is a necessary one when it comes to big losses, & being abandoned, especially repeatedly, is a big loss.

While experiencing each stage, it is important to talk things out.  I encourage you to pray a lot.  Tell God everything you feel, & listen for any wisdom He wants to share with you.  Also, if you’re like me & it helps you to see things in writing, then journal.  Sometimes seeing things in black & white brings a clarity that simply talking about them doesn’t.

Always be patient, non-judgmental & gentle with yourself while experiencing the grief process.  You need such things in your life during this time, & especially from yourself.

Exercise wisdom in who you share your experiences with.  Many people don’t understand grief in any form, & others don’t wish to hear such “negativity”. Don’t discuss your journey with people like that- instead only share with people who are non-judgmental, compassionate & who love you unconditionally.

I know this is not an easy time for you, but you can get through this, & you will be a stronger person too.  Also, you’re not alone!  Many people have experienced this same pain you have, including me.  If you would like to meet others, feel free to check out my facebook group & my forum, links to both are on my website at:  www.CynthiaBaileyRug.com


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

10 responses to “Abandonment Relating To Children Of Narcissistic Parents.

  1. Kelly

    Good Post. This reminds me of so many experiences that have made me feel abandoned. I remember from my early 20’s I was having to move to a new apartment. My parents paid for a moving company to come and move me because they were traveling. Not only did I not have my parent’s to physically be there but none of the abusive friends I had attracted would help me when I had helped them so many times with whatever. Then, my NGC sis, briefly stopped by, acted extremely irritated and put out that I asked to help me move my TV to the entertainment center(long live the 80’s & 90’s!) then states, that she needs to go spend time with her fiance and that is something I just didn’t or couldn’t comprehend that they needed to spend time together. When she said that to me, I thought to myself, “how needy are you? You see him everyday as it is!” I didn’t realize till much later in life that she was jealous of my independence. I have been abandoned by many and it never gets easier till you realize the reason you are attracting these types and then you know that you won’t attract them again after a ton of research and a healthy change of thinking. thanks for the blog!


  2. ((((Kelly)))) I’m so sorry you have experienced such awful things! I really understand- I haven’t been able to count on my parents to be there for me more times than I can count, either physically or emotionally, & it’s painful! Thank God though that He shows us how dysfunctional & wrong it is, as well as the fact it’s not our fault they won’t be there for us! It’s such a relief!

    & by the way, I had to laugh about the TV.. the main TV in my house is in my living room.. it’s from 1983, an old console model my parents had. Love this thing (I love older things/antiques), but it took a LOT of grunting, straining & a few bad words for hubby & I to get it into the house! LOL

    Thank you! Glad you’re enjoying my blog. ❤


  3. Kelly

    I thought of another one. The day of my NGC sis’s second wedding, we were not talking. My mother had asked me to talk to my sister before her wedding and convince her it was sinful and disgraceful behavior for her to live with her fiance prior to getting married. Not realizing at the time that was manipulation on my NM’s part, I did it and of course it blew up. I don’t think anyone could have that discussion with a non-christian and have it go well. So….the day of the wedding I manage to get myself together even though I was battling the flu. i was not in the wedding(no surprise). I showed up and my parent’s greeted me in the lobby. As we were standing there, the photographer approaches us that he is ready for family photos with the bride. She tells him I’m her sister and he replies…”she didn’t say she had a sister.” My mom then proceeds to grab my dad and doesn’t include me to come along for the photos. How sad is that…..so not only am I not in the wedding….my parent’s deny me as their daughter for family photos and because my sister had shared with all of her friends that I told her that mom didn’t want her living with her boyfriend, I had no one to sit with at the wedding! Luckily, I had an excuse to leave. I stayed for the ceremony but left right after due the flu I was infected with. I had blocked out this dreadful memory for nearly over a decade and it resurfaced during counseling. I need to grieve for that 30-something being rejected again. so bad memories even after childhood can be repressed.


    • Oh wow.. how incredibly hurtful! I’m so sorry! Yes, you need to grieve for sure. I’m starting to think the grief is a never-ending process, because it seems like as soon as you grieve one thing, something else surfaces. It’s very difficult.


  4. Quinn

    The article on abandonment is exactly how I feel. Although , unfortunately I’m still stuck in the depression stage . It’s really bad again I feel worthless , unwanted , broken. Even though I’m no contact with my narcissistic parents and am remarried to a genuine loving Christian family. I can’t shake the thoughts of self- harm I still feel I like I don’t deserved to be loved. Or how could I my own parents HATE me. I am a Christian , I love God. I know suicide isn’t his plan for me .. I know he loves but this pain us becoming too much. What do I do now? I’ve been in and out of hospitals lately from thyroid surgery, cancer scare ,then I just had my gallbladder removed . Now I’m fearing I may need a long stay in a PTSD recovery center. Because of these feelings I have started to abuse benadryl and unisom to sleep the pain and the flash backs away. I did tell my husband and I’ve gotten better. But I feel myself losing control. I’m exhausted mentally from the depression and the flash backs and triggers and explaining or trying to explain to my Amazing husband . He doesn’t understand how could he he has wonderful Godly parents. He’s trying that’s why I’m fighting. Help me what do I do now?


    • Quinn, I am so very sorry for all that you are going through. I really do understand your pain! I know it’s horribly painful right now, but I would bet that your health problems are a big contributor to how you feel. Health issues & surgery can contribute to depression. They may be magnifying the problems that are there already. Hopefully as your body heals, the depression will lessen. Do you take anything for depression &/or anxiety? If not, you probably should talk to your doctor about doing so- the right meds can help you to get through especially rough patches.

      Also, talk to someone who understands- a trusted friend, counselor, pastor. Your husband sounds like a good man who wants to support you so talk to him too. He obviously loves you a great deal. Try to focus on that love. Remember how much God loves you & ask Him to give you a revelation on just how much He loves you. I know this is hard to do but try not to focus so much on what you’ve been through. Yes, think about it & heal however works for you, but also take breaks. You can’t think about this kind of thing 24/7- it’ll destroy you! I’ve been in your shoes & can vouch for that. Take time to focus on other, lighter, more positive things. Hobbies, spending time with friends, whatever makes you feel good.

      I sincerely hope this helps. I’ll be praying for you! ❤ ❤


  5. Hi Cynthia

    Very interesting article. It has taken me until my mid fifties to fully understand the dynamics in my childhood family home. As an adult, I had accepted my parents were at fault in how they treated me and had moved on, but the ‘Narcissist light’ only went on in the last month! I feel like I am reading my story in everyone’s comments. Now I get it. Of the 3 children, I now understand I was the scapegoat (inherited after my brother – the former scapegoat – left the family home at 17 never to return, and my younger sister was the golden child. The years of demeaning, undermining, spiteful comments now all make sense. The small slights, that to others may have added evidence to the constant assertion that I was really the ‘green eyed monster’, now fall into a clear pattern. Only now can I see the stunning young woman in photographs taken at the time and I am shocked and saddened at my blindness to this at the time, as all I felt was ‘fat’, ‘plain’, had ‘rats tails’ for hair, it goes on. Now all I see in the photos – rather than the ugly, difficult child I was painted to be – is a shy, lovely young woman, with no confidence at all. Someone once said that the removal of self esteem is akin to silencing someone before they had even learned how to speak. The shock part of the grieving process is spot on because at the time, I would not have been able to conceive that they were doing this on purpose. My mother’s clear resentment of me (sexual jealously) because she saw my father’s interest in me, but making me suffer it as some sort of punishment, is sick beyond my ability to express. I have subscribed to your blog and I look forward to your future posts. Kind regards.


    • Hi, Jane! Welcome to my blog! I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

      Isn’t it an incredible thing when the “narcissist light” goes on? (Love that phrase.. so perfect!) It’s so hard to accept that our mothers hate us so, but also such a relief to know the problem is them, not us, like they always claimed.

      I wish you well in your new healing journey! I’ll be praying for you Sweetie! ❤


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