Believing All Parents Love Their Children Can Harm You

Children need to believe that their parents love them.  Normally, this is a very good thing, since most parents do love their children.  When the child’s parent is a narcissist, however, this is NOT a good thing!


Because of this need, abused children will make excuses for their parent abusing them.  I did – I told myself my mother loved me which is why she was “overprotective” rather than admitting she controlled my every move.


Children also will come up with reasons why the abuse was their fault, not the parent’s, taking all the blame while the parent gets away with abusing the child.  The child will think that she needs to get better grades in school, be better behaved, etc. to please the parent, so the parent doesn’t have to abuse her anymore.  Children don’t realize that narcissists are impossible to please, & will abuse their child even if the child is 100% perfect.


Some parents are actively abusive – they mentally, physically &/or sexually abuse their child – while others are more passive in their abuse, standing by quietly while the other parent obviously abuses the child.  Passive abusers also do not care about the child’s pain, & often will turn the active abuser onto the child if that person is mad at the passive abuser, simply to distract them.  If a child has one actively abusive parent & one passively abusive one, the need to believe that her parents love her will cloud her discernment greatly.  Even if she comes to realize that the actively abusive parent is abusive, it will take much longer to realize the passively abusive one is equally abusive.  The desperation to believe that at least one parent loves her will make the child think that the passive abusive parent loves her because at least that parent isn’t verbally, physically or sexually abusing her.  The child also may make excuses for that parent, saying that parent just didn’t know what to do or had no power to stop the abuse.  In fact, the child may feel pity for that parent, offering comfort after the child has been abused.  This happened with my father.  My mother would abuse me, & my father would tell me how he couldn’t do anything to stop it,  & how hard it was for him knowing how mean she was to me.  I would comfort him rather than him comforting & protecting me.


This need to believe parents love their children can cause many problems for adult children of narcissists, as you can see.  So I urge you today, Dear Reader, to look at your situation.  Are you harboring any beliefs that stem from that need?  Are you making excuses for your parent(s) because you think it’s easier than admitting your narcissistic parent never loved you?  If so, you’re only hurting yourself.


John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (NIV)  This Scripture is absolutely true!  As difficult as facing the truth about your parents is, it is worth it.  Clinging to the childish belief that your parent loves you only hurts you.  It’s a domino effect of dysfunction, really.  You make more & more excuses for your parent’s abuse because you want to believe she loves you.  This only serves to keep you tolerating more & more abuse.  Facing the truth is the only thing that will set you free.


Admitting that your narcissistic parent doesn’t love you & never has is painful.  I understand this all too well.  It causes you to grieve your loss of not having a loving parent.  However, doing so will enable you to see things much more clearly & objectively, which helps you to find ways to become healthier.  You’ll be able to think more about ways to set & enforce healthy boundaries instead of tolerating abuse so you don’t hurt your parent’s feelings.  You may limit your contact with your parent or go full no contact with that parent because you realize that your parent only wants you in her life to provide her with narcissistic supply, & you deserve better than that.


I know admitting your parent doesn’t love you is painful, but I can promise you that it is well worth the pain.  And, it’s much less painful than clinging to that false belief!



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

3 responses to “Believing All Parents Love Their Children Can Harm You

  1. Amy

    It is so hard to accept that they don’t love you. But once you do, you realize it is MUCH less painful than trying to hang onto the false belief that they do love you.

    So many people (well intentioned) say: They love you, they just have a funny way of showing it. Or, they love you the best way they know how, etc. Maybe because they don’t understand the situation AT ALL, or it just makes them so uncomfortable to realize this that they lie to themselves (and us) rather than face the truth. But hearing words like that can cause a lot of doubt & even more confusion in the healing process.

    I remember vividly the moment I realized my death would bring my mother so much joy, because of all the pity & attention she would get out of it. Her sister (battling cancer) told me the same thing about herself. She said my mother will love it when she dies, because she will get so much pity & attention on Facebook. And when she did pass away, that is EXACTLY what happened. She posted & posted on Facebook garnering as much “supply” as she could. Of course, she left out of her pity posts that she never called or even visited her sister throughout her cancer battle.

    I realize this comment ran a little long & got slightly off topic, but the point is: They don’t really love any one. They only use people for what they need from them. Once the need or the person’s ability to offer the need ends, the relationship is over. It doesn’t matter if you are their child, sibling, friend, or spouse, they DO NOT love anyone. All they love is the attention they can get from you. Especially in the form of pity.

    Thank you so much for all your hard work & sharing your story. Your truth. You & Gail Meyers have both been pivotal to my healing. Your story has offered me so much validation & understanding of my own. ❤

    God Bless,
    Amy 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The best and worst day of my life was the day that I finally realized that no one in my FOO loved me. Obviously it’s a terrible thing to come to know. But once I did I realized that any further efforts to get them, somehow, to care about me were useless. And that freed me to go NC and begin to heal from the effects of their abuse. Facing reality is often painful, but it ‘s also a blessing. It was for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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