When Narcissistic Parents Sever Ties With Their Adult Children

When someone goes no contact with their parent, it usually comes about after a lot of thought, sometimes even over a period of years.  It also comes after preparation for full no contact.  What I mean is often the adult child has tried setting boundaries & limiting contact with their parent.  Often, they start small & work up to more boundaries & less contact before full no contact is initiated.  I did this myself.  I contemplated no contact for a long time before deciding it was what I needed to do.  I knew I wasn’t ready & also that timing wasn’t right, however.  I leaned on God for guidance & also for strength.  He showed me small boundaries I could set.  That strengthened me to set larger boundaries & limit my contact with my parents.  In time, I knew the time was right for no contact, & I also had the ability to do it.

This isn’t the case when narcissistic parents cut ties with their children.

Narcissistic parents don’t go no contact as a way to protect themselves from abusive people. They inatead use the silent treatment as a way to punish & manipulate, although they may claim they are setting a healthy boundary with an abusive person.

This behavior can be incredibly hurtful to the adult child of a narcissist! It also leaves them questioning what they did wrong & what they could’ve done better. Sometimes they even question what they did because they have no idea. My mother stopped speaking to me for 18 months once, & I never learned why.

If you’re in this situation & struggling with these feelings, you’re normal! It can feel otherwise, but I promise, you’re normal!

Please keep in mind your parent is manipulating you. That’s just what narcissistic parents do. It doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong. In fact, you probably did something right. If you set a healthy boundary, no doubt your parent is angry & punishing you for it. Maybe you had some personal success. That could have stirred up envy in your parent & he or she wants to hurt you for looking better than them. Whatever the case, your parent is clearly the one with the problem, not you. If you remember that, it will help you not to be as upset about your parent’s behavior. In fact, it may help you to enjoy the repreive from the abusive, awful behavior.



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

5 responses to “When Narcissistic Parents Sever Ties With Their Adult Children

  1. annealcroft

    Cynthia, what you say here really sets sail for me.
    My soon-to-be 90 year old father as of late is quite obviously severing ties with me as a way to manipulate.

    This is their perverted way of punishing us because we were born and survived their abuse and have had the audacity to stand up to them and set boundaries.

    In Ephesians vi:12, Saint Paul warns us;

    “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand.”

    When we are girded with God’s truth, the evil narcissists find every device possible to shield their blind eyes from the Light of God’s truth. And we represent that Light because we find our Truth in Him. Amen!

    Thanks for a wonderful article. So comforting to know we’re not alone when an abusive, narcissistic parent goes out of his way to continue his never-ending abuse. The narcissist never stops abusing, no matter how old they are. They even figure out ways to abuse from their grave.

    It’s awful that your mother played these ridiculous head games with you in that way, too. Yet those games can be a blessing in that they better help us to understand just how sick the narcissist is.

    And yet no matter what, your love never wavered. That’s what being Christian is all about. Yes, it is easy to love and forgive those we truly love, but truly Christian to love and forgive those who actually work at being unlovable!


    • You are so right! It’s about punishing us rather than the normal reasons for no contact like protecting oneself from abuse. After all, how dare we not tolerate the abuse indefinitely?! So unreasonable of us!

      That is so true. They can’t stand seeing things of God & will fight them.

      You’re welcome, & thank you!

      They do continue to abuse, even beyond the grave sometimes.

      That is true about the games. My parents’ games taught me a lot, that’s for sure. They prepared me to deal with the other narcissists in my family, which turned out to be very useful.

      Thank you. There were some times I hated my parents but those times didn’t last long. It’s so important not to let that hate take root. It’ll happen sometimes (no one is perfect), but so long as it doesn’t take root, that is the important thing.


      • annealcroft

        “They do continue to abuse, even beyond the grave sometimes.”

        This abuse actually seems to be premeditated. Lately I’ve been thinking a great deal about the last few months of my mother’s life and some of the things she said and did that after she died became indelible.

        The abuser was abused, too, which is why we are able to have compassion for them. But God creates us all equal in that He gives each of us free will which applies to how we bear the result of abuse, our suffering, as He died on the cross to help us to overcome the sinful ways that would otherwise keep us enslaved to the abusive behaviors that become the narcissist’s coping mechanism and way of life. This leads to the diabolical, the abuse and aggressively executed “punishment” of us for setting boundaries when we protect ourselves against their abuses.

        Yet when the narcissistic parent severs ties, such as the case with my father, it is because I have become his enemy because I have told him the truth about how he interacts with others, how he is damaging his soul, and how his abuses have so profoundly impacted the lives of those who cared about him most. He doesn’t care. Such is the nature of the proverbial “beast.” 666!

        God allows the narcissist to be so destructive, both of his or her own soul and the souls they wish to destroy, to that we are all tested in His fire of Truth and ultimately, we are able to see exactly who we are by our actions. There is no other way. Nothing remains hidden in the eyes of God and when we live our life close to God, we are able to see what shapes the character of others. We experience a great deal of grief when we realize that those we love and care about have chosen the road of perdition and in so doing, somehow gratify their misery through their never-ending abuse of those who love them.

        This is what the Passion of Christ is all about and what He teaches us to endure, to carry our cross for Him.

        God bless you, dear Cynthia, and all who find their way home to God.


        • I’m sure it is very pre-meditated! Narcissists do nothing without a reason.

          Your parents were like mine in that each one was the other’s abuser & victim. It’s so sad yet so common with narcissists.

          What you said is so very true. The struggles of this world aren’t physical but spiritual, as you mentioned previously. Narcissistic abuse proves that to be the case.

          Thank you! & God bless you too my friend!


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