One thing that is very common among those who have experienced narcissistic abuse at the hands of a parent is an extremely overdeveloped sense of responsibility.
Narcissistic parents are extremely demanding of their children. They expect their child to please them, no matter what. The child must take care of the narcissistic mother emotionally (emotional incest). The child must anticipate her narcissistic mother’s every whim, preferably even before she knows she has the whim, & meet it perfectly. If she doesn’t, the mother believes she has every right to rage at her child. This scenario makes the child extremely responsible. Not only for her narcissistic mother, but for anyone in her life.
Thank God for helping me, because I was absolutely terrible in this area. If someone was upset & I knew it, I thought it was my responsibility to make that person happy. If the person had a need or want, it was my responsibility to meet it, even if they could take care of it themselves. This was an awful way to live. So much pressure! I thank God for getting me away from that.
Learning about boundaries is what helped me the most. Drs. Henry Cloud & John Townsend’s book “Boundaries” literally changed my life. Boundaries show you where you end & others begin, which helps you to know what you are & are not responsible for. Once you know that information, you realize it is truly NOT your responsibility to do certain things. It takes a great deal of the burden off of you.
Leaning on God is a tremendous help too. Ask Him to show you what to do, then wait for the knowledge that you should or should not help that person & how to go about it. He truly will guide you & enable you not to feel guilty if He doesn’t want you to help someone for whatever reason. God does not want you to suffer with feeling you have to fix everyone.
2 responses to “Being Too Responsible”
My mom was like this,too.I didn’t know how to deal with a lot of her antics,so I just ignored them.Then she assumed I was cold and incapable of loving.What child would know how to deal with it? My dad would then come along and try to have a talk with me,(which is the only time he ever really tried to speak to me),assuming her antics were my fault,ignoring my feelings and telling me ‘what a fine woman’ my mother was.@@
I’m sorry…. that is awful & so cruel! Not sure I’ll ever understand how parents can be so cruel to their own children.
Just FYI, my mother said I was cold too & I tried to work with her antics, to please her. @@