When Children Of Narcissistic Parents Aren’t Believed

Sadly, many children of narcissistic parents aren’t believed when they first reveal the abuse.  When the children are small, it’s often they are too young to know what they are talking about.  When they are teens, it’s teens are over dramatic & what teenager gets along with their parents anyway?  When the children grow up, it’s “why didn’t you say anything at the time?” or “That’s in the past.. you need to get over it.”

It really doesn’t help that narcissistic parents are such phenomenal actors they can make people believe that not only were they good, loving parents, but that their children are spoiled, mentally unstable or even abusive.  The narcissistic parents end up with supportive people rallying around them & even abusing the victim.

Some time ago, there was a story in the news about Rosie O’Donnell’s daughter, Chelsea, missing.  Ms. O’Donnell said that her daughter ran away because she was mentally unstable & a problem child.  She sounded like she was very concerned about her daughter.  Maybe she was.  I don’t know since I didn’t really follow the story very closely.   However, there is also the possibility she’s abusive & said what she did in order to turn the attention off of her daughter’s claims of abuse & put it on her daughter’s behavior.

After Chelsea was found, she did an interview.  Her claims were very disturbing.  She said she never ran away but moved in with her boyfriend when her mother kicked her out two weeks before she turned 18.  She also said her mother is very different in public than she is in private at home.  In public, she is funny & pleasant.  In private, neglectful & abusive.  Chelsea also has a history of depression & anxiety, which sound quite normal under the circumstances.  These were things she said she wanted to keep private, & was very hurt her mother not only mentioned her mental illness, but made her sound completely crazy.  The public treated this young woman as if she was crazy too.  She was berated for her terrible behavior.

I relate so well to this sad story.  I was 17 when I first began to realize how abusive my mother was.  I naturally started to rebel against the abuse.  My mother must have lied to people about what I was doing, because suddenly her friends who had liked me would no longer even look at me, let alone speak to me unless it was completely unavoidable.  Also, many people I opened up to about the abuse acted like I was behaving like some spoiled brat who was just mad I didn’t get my way, or they would trivialize the abuse saying my mother loved me & was trying to help me.

As a result, if I hear anyone of any age claim they are being abused, I listen.  Of course, they could be lying about it, but I find that to be very rare.

Just because someone claims to be a loving parent, doesn’t mean they are.  If the child claims that supposed loving parent was abusive, listen to them!  Not all parents are capable of loving their children.

Just because a parent claims their child is mentally unstable, doesn’t mean that is true.  Abused children frequently suffer from depression, anxiety & even PTSD or C-PTSD.  That doesn’t make them unstable.

Just because a parent provides food, clothing & shelter for a child, that doesn’t make this person a good parent.  There is much more to being a good parent than meeting a child’s basic needs.

Victims of narcissistic abuse need to be heard, no matter their age!  If someone doesn’t want to hear what you have to say, tell someone else who will hear you.  Or, if someone comes to you with claims of abuse, listen to them!  Be kind & understanding.  Let them talk, cry, yell.. whatever they need to do.  You may be the only person who is willing to do such things for this suffering soul.


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

22 responses to “When Children Of Narcissistic Parents Aren’t Believed

  1. As a gay man, I remember being really angry at Rosie O’Donnell in 2002 when she came out as a lesbian in an hour-long interview with Diane Sawyer. At the time, being gay was still seen as shameful by many. Therefore the entire interview was called “Rosie O’Donnell – for the Children”. That is literally what the episode was called.

    Rosie wanted to buffer any backlash she might get at the time for being a lesbian with the fact that she was “good” because she had adopted children.

    In my mind, this is no different than Joan Crawford adopting children for publicity.

    Narcissistic parents usually also have children for “publicity” purposes.
    They want the children to be perfect “dolls” and “appliances” for them.

    The really sad part for the children is that they can never be perfect enough “dolls”.

    The “rules” for being perfect always change.

    As soon as the narcissist feels they aren’t getting enough proper supply in the outer world, they remember they have these children that they can bully.

    They intentionally go and pick fights with their children because they think the children will do anything to comply. And even the child is rebellious, the narcissist parent gets a power surge by extracting energy and attention from the child by the fight alone.

    When you wrote, “why didn’t you say anything at the time?” this struck a chord.

    I did try. Over and over. I always tried to express my needs. I was denied every time. I was called selfish. I was raged at.

    I have a feeling Chelsea O’Donnell was as well.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That was what that interview was called?! What in the world…?!?!

      And she thought adopting children made her good. That’s just rich. There are both good & bad people who adopt children. It’s NO indicator of a good person! Like you said, look at Joan Crawford.

      I totally agree with everything you said!

      Geez… that is horrible you went through that. I understand. I tried the same thing with my mother & was met with the same results. I also tried with my father & he turned things around to how hard things were for him knowing how my mother treated me. Gotta love narcissistic parents. :/

      Guessing you’re right about Chelsea O’Donnell. I wonder how she’s doing these days. Hopefully safe & well.

      Liked by 4 people

    • ibikenyc

      I’d forgot about “Mommie Dearest”. I saw the movie when it came out and remember CLEARLY all the eye-rolling that ensued because people just couldn’t believe that someone so famous and glamourous could have been such a monster.

      A lot of the skepticism was because “If it were true, why did she (Christina) wait so long?” She was endlessly accused of being a money-grubbing attention whore.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Exactly! I remember that too. It was so sad, especially now, knowing what I do about NPD. Did you ever read the book? Chilling.. simply chilling!

        Liked by 2 people

        • ibikenyc

          Actually, yes, I did! I’d forgot about that, too.

          “Chilling” is an excellent way to put it.

          Liked by 2 people

          • “Mommie Dearest” is my “go-to” movie when I try to understand my mother’s motivations. Are you guys resistant to it for a reason? If so , I would love to hear it. I would love to see my mother in a different way.


            • I’ve seen it a few times. I’m not overly resistant to it but I don’t like the similarities to my mother I saw in Joan Crawford, mainly that cruelty behind closed doors, looking like a loving mom in public thing. It still makes me angry, remembering that.

              Liked by 1 person

              • It was called “Rosie’s Story – for the Sake if the Children”. https://m.imdb.com/title/tt6692346/


                • Sounds like it’s worth watching.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I can’t find a free version of the full Rosie interview with Diane Sawyer. I did find this short snippet on YouTube: https://youtu.be/DPSxtOsF02c

                    I would be interested in re-watching the full interview just to see how odd Rosie is. What I remember at the time is that Ellen Degeneres had come out a few years earlier, and the public was interested in hearing Rosie’s coming out story. Again, at the time, gays were still marginalized. And until this interview, Rosie had always pretended to be straight and to have a crush on Tom Cruise. She tries to explain that away in this snippet and then turn the conversation to gay adoption. (Quite a jump in my opinion.)

                    I agree there are lots of people who adopt for the right reasons. But is giving children to a woman who can’t own her own sexuality really providing children with a “safe, stable environment”? Just my 2 cents.


                    • I just watched that interview. Thanks for sharing the link!

                      Something about Rosie O. has always rubbed me wrong. Not because she’s gay.. just something else I’ve never been able to put my finger on. I’ve felt that since I first saw her in the 80’s. It didn’t get better after watching that interview. :/

                      Liked by 2 people

  2. You hit the nail on the head with “you don’t know what you’re talking about” while it’s still going on, and “stop living in the past” once it’s over.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I relate SO MICH to everything in this article

    Liked by 1 person

  4. SO MUCH, not much, lol


  5. Regarding your story about abused children. I believe Chelsea. And I believe Christina (the daughter of the star witch of Mommie Dearest movie). Sometimes there are two sides to every story or even three. And most times, when children or when teenagers run away (leave home), they are running from something, from someone. I believe Chelsea. I believe Christina. And I believe the Turpin kids. Do you? 🙂


    • That’s very true.. when kids run away they’re running from something.

      I definitely believe Christina. Chelsea, I believe too I think, but I honestly haven’t read a lot about her or the situation to say with 100% certainty. The Turpin kids.The name sounds familiar. My memory is pretty bad though so I’m not sure of their story to answer.


  6. Somehow I missed this when you posted it over a year ago. The way Rosie bad mouthed her adopted daughter to the world is so much like the way my momster did me.


    • Terrible!! I’m so sorry. The things they say are horrible, aren’t they?

      I think I shared in my blog how when angry with me years ago, my mother called my in-laws who I hadn’t spoken with in a couple of years at that point. My father in-law told my husband she accused me of terrible things & he told her that didn’t sound like me, never call his home again. Those things were so terrible he refused to tell hubby what they were. He was a kid in WW2 in Germany. He knows terrible. How bad were they if he was offended by them, yanno?!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The things narcissists say about their scapegoats are indeed horrible. I suspect that the lies they tell are a projection of the ugliness that is inside them.

        I do remember you writing about your mother calling your in-laws and telling them vicious lies about you. It really must have been bad for your father-in-law to react that way. 😦


        • You’re probably very right about that, the projection stuff. I wondered that about my mother accusing me of having sex with my entire high school football team. Was she the one having X rated thoughts about the guys on the team but accused me? Kinda makes sense in a super creepy & unsettling way.

          It must have been. I still appreciate him standing up to her for me though. Wish he would’ve done the same with his wife & daughters.

          Liked by 1 person

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