If Your Parents Didn’t Allow You To Relax

A common criticism from narcissistic parents to their children is calling them lazy.  I can’t count how many adult children of narcissists have said their parent constantly called them lazy.  I’m also one of them.  These parents don’t allow their children to rest when sick or simply relax after a long day without criticisms.


While being called lazy & not being allowed to rest & relax doesn’t really sound like a big deal, it actually is.


Being treated this way is surprisingly damaging to a child.  It can cause a child to carry a tremendous amount of guilt & even shame until the child dumps the dysfunctional false belief put on her.  Many so called lazy kids show the following characteristics that stem from being called lazy…


  • Feeling as if you never should rest or relax.
  • Feeling intense guilt &/or shame if you need to rest, such as when sick or injured.  Along those lines- resuming activities quickly, not giving your body time to recover.
  • Feeling unappreciated.
  • Feeling as if you never can do enough.
  • Developing OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), & being fanatical about cleaning your home or doing your job.
  • Going in the opposite direction from OCD & being extremely messy.


If any of this sounds familiar, then it’s time to make some changes.


I have found that looking objectively at myself was a good place to start.  I looked at what I do & realized I do quite a bit.  Granted, in the past few years, my health has forced me to streamline my routine so I don’t do as much at a time as I once did, but I still do quite a bit.


I also looked at my mother objectively.  She is rather lazy.  She’s never been one to keep her home spotless.  Since marrying my father she put him in charge of not only maintaining her car but cleaning it as well.  She doesn’t cook often & never has.  She hasn’t held a job since before getting married, other than a part time job for a week or two in 1989.  This tells me that her calling me lazy was simply projection rather than fact.  (Projection is when a person behaves in a certain way, then accuses another of being that way when they truly aren’t.  It allows the accuser to get mad about the flaw without taking responsibility for it.  It’s a very common tool used by narcissists.)


I began to tell myself I’m not lazy.  I believe in working smarter not harder, but that isn’t a bad thing.  It was starting to sink in, until I got sick in 2015 with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  It took every ounce of energy out of me for months on end, & I felt like the laziest human on the planet since all I could do was lay around.  As I lay there recovering, I watched a lot of TV.  One evening, out of the blue, God spoke to my heart & told me why He allowed me to get sick.  One of the reasons was I needed to rest more.  In spite of starting to realize I wasn’t lazy, I still pushed myself too hard.  Now I have to rest sometimes- my body just can’t work as hard as it once did.  He said if I continued pushing myself too much, it would kill me eventually.  It had to stop.


I can’t believe I’m the only person God would do this too, so I’m including it as a warning to you, Dear Reader.  If you are that typical adult child of a narcissistic parent who pushes yourself too hard, it’s time to stop.  If you don’t, what’s to say God won’t allow something to happen to you that causes you to need to rest?  It’s much better to rest on your own terms!  Try what I did- look at your situation objectively & you’ll see you aren’t lazy, & there is nothing wrong with resting & relaxing!  You also deserve to have joy in your life, & how can you do that if you work non stop?  Take better care of yourself, Dear Reader!  You deserve it!


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

25 responses to “If Your Parents Didn’t Allow You To Relax

  1. ibikenyc

    Good Morning, CB-R!

    I never realized how much she was always AT me, no matter WHAT.

    It’s almost comical, in retrospect, like those ridiculously-nosy characters in sitcoms: Marie Barone; Milburn Drysdale; Gladys Kravitz AND Larry Tate AND Endora (poor Darrin); I could go on.

    Worse, people’s opinions of and reactions to those characters normalized their behaviour and further minimized our own reality and feelings about it: “Oh; don’t take it so PERSONALLY; it’s just the way she IS!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning to you too IBikeNYC! 🙂

      That is absolutely true, how shows like that normalize this crazy behavior. How many people laughed when Marie Barone insulted Debra’s cooking for example? Those of us with moms & mothers in-law like her didn’t laugh, since we knew just how Debra felt & we were criticized for it. After all.. “it’s just how she is!” UGH!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I positively hate the phrase “that’s just how she is”. This was said to me when I would speak to my siblings about the havoc our NM was wreaking on us all. Yes, that’s just how she is, but it’s terrible. She hurts her own children. By that logic we could excuse anything. A person commits murder, or steals, or molests kids, but it’s just how they are. So why bother trying to stop them? And no, the comparison isn’t ridiculous. All of these behaviors hurt others. Narcissistic abuse hurts people. And that phrase implies that we should just quietly accept whatever is done to us. I disagree and I refuse to be hurt any more.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Angela

    I don’t answer the phone to my nmil. I don’t visit her. I would prefer to have nothing to do with her. Yet my husband booked a weekend away for us with his mother and family. I asked him, before we went, how he would feel about spending the weekend with an old work colleague of his who he detested. He said “But he’s a nasty ______, this is family.” He can’t see that I feel that way about her and that being “family” doesn’t give her license to behave so badly. I did a good job of keeping my distance from her most of the weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think a LOT of people think that way about so called family. No, people- being related doesn’t give a person a free pass to be abusive!

      I’m impressed you did so well with her during that weekend. If I’d had that much “quality time” with my mother in-law, someone probably would’ve been dead. Not sure her or me, but someone anyway..

      Liked by 3 people

    • ibikenyc

      I’m so sorry.

      I am long-divorced from a mother-in-law who let me know in with every fiber of her being at every possible opportunity that she felt she had not gained a daughter but rather lost a son.

      It’s infurating and beyond-description frustrating that your husband just doesn’t see it. I used to describe it as feeling like I was trying to pelt him with tissues: No matter how hard I threw them, they would never land.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The “be a bigger person” thing is also infuriating. They aren’t telling you to be the bigger person when they say that. What they’re really saying is to be the smaller person, the worthless one, the one who’s unworthy of respect or basic human decency. Just allow the abuser to treat you any way they choose no matter how much it hurts. There’s never any logic behind this admonishment and if you point this out you get blank stares.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Dear Cynthia,
    Thank you so much for writing this one. You give me another validation I need because I did not know many children of narcs are called lazy until I read this article. The way you write about your mother– it’s like you’re writing about mine. I used to be the most obedient child. My older brother has always been spoiled, since he’s the eldest child & the only son. My 2 younger sisters are also spoiled, partially because my parents had them much later in their life. One younger sister is 10 years younger than me, another 12 years younger. I recall that ever since they were toddlers, my parents have never taught them to take responsibility. Whenever my siblings made a mess in the house, my nm would make me clean up. I was almost always blamed for their wrongdoings. A few years ago, God did not want me to suffer anymore, so he gave me an opportunity to caught my mother telling a big lie to my father. Guess how she smeared my reputation to my father? I caught her telling my father how lazy & how ungrateful I was. My body just froze when I heard her tell such a big fat lie. I could not believe I had obeyed her for years & labored away my childhood & adolescence doing house chores, while most of the time, my mother, a housewife almost all her life, just sat there watching TV. And she called me lazy? It really made more sense after reading your article. Those narc mothers are so afraid they’ll be exposed for their own laziness that they would do anything, spend even several years to smear their scapegoated daughter & isolate her from the rest of the family, at least this is what happened to me.
    Thank you for reading this long comment! BTW, I love your Youtube videos.


    Liked by 1 person

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