When you grow up with narcissistic parents, it affects you deeply & in ways you aren’t even aware of. The chaos, abuse & manipulations are simply normal to you. Thank God He teaches us about Narcissistic Personality Disorder so we can get away from that dysfunction!
As you learn about narcissistic abuse & heal from it, naturally you change a great deal. While becoming healthier, you see things differently. You finally understand just how wrong so many things your parents taught you were. It’s empowering, this learning & growing, but something comes along with it that can be difficult. Constant reminders.
Some time ago, I realized that it seemed like everything reminded me of something awful about my relationship with my parents. For example, after becoming deathly sick in 2015, seeing families rallying around a sick family member can bring me to tears. I never told my parents what happened, because I know they would turn the situation back to them rather than care how I was, & it hurts! Reminders that others have loving parents brings that awful thought back to the forefront of my mind, & depresses me. Other times, I’ve seen reports on TV about a murdered person, & their grieving loved ones talk tearfully about what a wonderful person he or she was. I know if I died, my parents wouldn’t miss me in the least, but instead would enjoy the narcissistic supply they could get by portraying themselves as the grieving parents.
These things began to happen after I got sick in 2015. I chalked it up to the head injury & carbon monoxide poisoning I received at the time since both are known for changing a person’s personality. Somehow that didn’t feel right though. I prayed & God showed me what was happening.
The more a person heals from parental narcissistic abuse, the less they see things through the fog of gaslighting thrust on them. The clarity means they understand how things should be, not as their narcissistic parents say they are. Seeing healthy, normal situations is simply a reminder of how things were not when they were growing up. Unfortunately the reminders can hurt a great deal.
Realizing your parents are narcissists is a painful experience, partly because of the grief that is involved. You grieve the fact your parents never loved you, weren’t & will never be there for you, & even can’t be the kind of parents you would like them to be. (I personally believe this is a lifelong grief, although it gets easier over time.) It’s much like when someone you love dies- the initial grief can be debilitating, but in time it mellows to something more tolerable, only occasionally bringing you to tears when something reminds you of your loved one. I remember right after my granddad died.. one day my husband & I ended up following a car that looked identical to his. I cried because seeing that car made me miss him. Almost 14 years later, I still shed some tears if I see a car like his last one or even vaguely like it. Seeing something that reminds you of what your parents did or didn’t do for you can be like that- a sad & painful reminder.
If you are experiencing something like this, then Dear Reader, know you aren’t alone & you aren’t broken. I know it’s frustrating & painful, but I firmly believe it’s completely normal under the circumstances. All you can do is understand these things happen, be gentle with yourself when they do & pray, pray, pray! God will help you to get through! Let Him do that for you! xoxo