Many of us raised by narcissistic parents didn’t realize something was terribly wrong with our upbringing. We did, however, realize that we were lonely because we felt so different or even weird.
To cope, whether or not we realized what we were doing, we created these fantasies of one day finding the perfect romantic partner. We were certain we would find that one person that would love us unconditionally & take away all of the loneliness & pain we felt. Certainly there was someone out there who could make everything better, with whom we could live happily ever after. We would never argue or even disagree. We would be perfectly compatible, like something out of a cheap romance novel.
Then one day, we meet someone who is interested in us & we put all of our unrealistic expectations on that person. Often, that person is another narcissist, yet we fail to recognize those similarities between this person & our narcissistic parent. Instead, we see their flaws but excuse them away, waiting on them to turn into that perfect romantic partner who will make our lives happy. Or, we may not become involved with another person who is a narcissist, yet we still put our unrealistic expectations on that person, expecting them somehow to make our lives complete. Yet sadly, these people don’t make us happy. Instead, we suffer with the cognitive dissonance of our situation, wondering what is wrong, why can’t this person make me happy?!
It takes time to realize what is really happening. It takes learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to understand that we have been through some very serious & life altering cruelty that has skewed our views of ourselves as well as of our fellow humans. We must learn that many times, children of narcissistic parents fall in love with narcissists. It’s normal, but dysfunctional.
The good news though is that we can change. We can become healthier & recognize the utter dysfunction of this situation. We also can see our romantic partner for who they are. If they are also narcissists, we can abandon the relationship. If they aren’t, we can accept their normal human limitations & stop expecting them to make everything better for us. To do this, we must be open to learning, changing & growing.
If you’re just starting to learn about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & recognize yourself in this post, please know that there is hope for your situation! Things will get better! Be patient with yourself. Keep reading, keep watching YouTube videos & listening to podcasts. Keep talking with safe people who won’t judge your situation. Join online support forums. The more you do these things, the healthier you will become & the better your life will be. You also naturally will develop healthier boundaries & relationships, which includes having healthier expectations of any relationships in your life, romantic & otherwise. Please just keep doing these things because although it’s hard work, the rewards are amazing & you deserve nothing less!