When the adult child of a narcissist decides to go low or no contact with the abusive parents, people are often surprised. Narcissistic parents do their best to create an image of a happy, functional family to outsiders, & many people believe this false image to be real. They don’t realize how much serious thought & prayer went into the adult child’s decision. Those people are shocked by the low or no contact decision. They say things like,
- “You were always such a good child!” (children of narcissistic parents are often incredibly obedient in order to please their parent or avoid abuse)
- “You never said anything was wrong.” (abused children rarely do- abuse is normal, & they don’t often realize it’s wrong. Or, if they do know, to survive, they know they must keep the abuse a secret)
- “Your mother/father never said one bad thing about you!” (abusers don’t show their abusive side to everyone- they hide it from those whose opinions they value. Besides, if the abusive parent appears good to everyone, & the child claims this parent is abusive, people are more likely to believe the parent than the child if the child speaks out)
Other people react with guilt, urging the victim to continue the abusive relationship. Often, these people came from abusive backgrounds themselves, & are in denial about it. You facing the truth makes them feel bad for not doing the same, so often, people like this try to bring you down to their level. They say things like,
- “They did the best they could!” (So? Even on the highly unlikely chance the abuser didn’t realize they were being abusive, that doesn’t make the abuse less damaging)
- “Your parents won’t be around forever!” (True, but neither will anyone. It’s entirely possible their child could die first, so why not tell the abusers this fact? And, the Bible says you reap what you sow in Galatians 6:7-8. People can’t abuse someone & expect that someone to tolerate it indefinitely. Everyone has their limits)
- “Your parents gave you everything!” (providing food, clothing & shelter is the job of parents. They may have done these things, maybe even spoiled their child with “stuff”, but that doesn’t make them parents of the year. It also doesn’t mean their child owes them for doing what a parent should do for their child.)
- Some people refuse to discuss the topic with the victim because they have chosen the side of the parent. They often make their displeasure with the victim obvious in snide comments or disdainful looks rather than using their words.
These things can hurt a victim by further invalidating or not believing their pain. These types of responses also send the victim the message that she isn’t important, only the narcissistic parent is.
Dear Reader, if this is your situation, I’m sure you’re hurting. I’ve heard similar comments & know first hand how painful they are. Know you aren’t alone! There are so many of us who understand! This may be a good time to reach out to other survivors of narcissistic abuse. There are online support forums (I have one on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FansOfCynthiaBaileyRug/ ). There are also so many informative websites & blogs available.
When faced with these conversations, it’s best for you to simply walk away. People who blindly defend a narcissist most likely never going to see the light about what she is really like. Defending yourself will only lead to frustration for you. Tell the person you don’t want to discuss the matter, & change the subject. If the person continues to force their opinion on you, walk away.
Know that you don’t have to tolerate any abuse from anyone. Invalidating & dismissing a victim’s pain is abuse! You have every right to protect yourself from it! You don’t need people who treat you this way in your life, & are well within your rights to cut them out of your life if you feel it’s the right thing to do.