After being raised by a narcissist, you don’t just shake it off. Many times you end up with what is called “narcissistic fleas,” although I have to add I’m not in love with this term.
Narcissistic fleas are negative ways of thinking and behavior patterns of the narcissist.
It’s a residual effect of long-term narcissistic abuse, a highly toxic environment, and I feel like a completely different person after three years of being free from it.
We only know what we’ve been taught by our parents, especially if you’re isolated from the outside world.
You could be completely unaware of what you’re doing because you’re in survival mode, triggered, flight, or fight.
If you’re like me, then you honestly didn’t know any better.
I was taught how to communicate the way my narcissistic mother communicated with me. I also watched the way she fought with my father and how she always got her way.
My second year of marriage was not great. I wasn’t taught how to communicate properly, but l married well, and one thing my husband is good at is having a clean fight. I had to learn how to have a clean fight with my husband after being raised by a narcissistic mother and watching her annihilate my father in every argument.
As the child of a narcissist, I watched my mother operate.
I wasn’t equipped to defend myself against her, but I was paying attention. It always ends the same way, degraded, demeaned, silenced, and dismissed. As I got older, the resentment grew, and I got smarter. I knew the only way to hurt her was to do it in public, but unfortunately, that was also to my demise.
Now I looked like the horribly crazy daughter she told everyone I was.
I’m telling you this because I’ve tried every way possible to beat my narcissistic mother and make her feel my pain. In the end, I was the only one who suffered. And all the things I learned from her as a child started to affect me as an adult.
A narcissist only understands conditional love.
As a child, I didn’t experience unconditional love.
Other people tell me things like:
- I always knew I was loved.
- No matter what happened when we came home, we knew we were loved.
- There was always love, even when my mother was mad; she loved us.
- We were always forgiven.
I thought I had a loving mother, but I never felt loved by her. I certainly have never been forgiven for anything by my mother. I just got a comment on this blog that says, “well, I’m sure you’re mother did the best she could for you.” Well, thanks. I’m sure you think that helps.
This is the world we live in. It constantly denies or downplays our struggle, and that’s why I’ve been searching for a way to fix this for the last ten years, and I found one. It’s called (RTT) Rapid Transformational Therapy. I decided to get certified and licensed by Marisa Peer herself and you can read all about it on my homepage.
There is no respect or compassion when you’re in a fight with a narcissistic parent.
I struggled to relate to other adults as much as they struggle to understand why a mother would be so mean to her children.
I would tell my husband some of those little things you remember from childhood, and he gets this look on his face like that’s not normal. The only reason I was able to break free is that, for the first time in my life, I experienced unconditional love.
Not the kind of love my religious narcissistic mother would preach about and brag to anyone who’d listen about her unconditional love for her children. Talk is cheap because the reality of her was very different from the stories she told.
To be the unforgivable one, the scapegoat, the family trash can, the biggest disappointment.
People with loving mothers can’t imagine what it feels like. I thought I had a good mother, but in my case, it turned out to be a lie.
I was convinced something was wrong with me, and I was on a mission to fix it. My symptoms led me to abuse, which led me to narcissism, and then I was forced to accept the worst possible truth.
I have a narcissistic mother, and they don’t get better. If I wanted to get better, I had to make a sacrifice, and it meant my relationships with the entire family.
I had two choices:
- Stay and bite my tongue.
- Leave and watch her turn them against me.
Everyone in the family is enabling the narcissist because they don’t want to deal with the conflict it brings when you disagree with her.
In my mind, they made their choice too. But when you have siblings, you hang on to hope that someday they’ll see the light and come asking questions.
Experiencing life this way means you may not have any idea how to use communication skills when you’re pissed off. I didn’t know how to use my voice and say when my feelings were hurt, and if it doesn’t come out, where does it go?
If we assume everything we were taught is a lie, then fighting with your spouse like your narcissistic mother means you’re doing it wrong. Whenever in doubt, I do the opposite of what I was taught, and it works every time.
A narcissist is a perfect example of what not to do in any situation.
Since every fiber of my being wants to be nothing like my mother, that’s all it takes to motivate me to change my behavior. It’s the driving force that instantly stops me in my tracks, and the behavior either changes or disappears.
Once you become aware of what you don’t like about yourself, you can change it.
When you associate a behavior with massive amounts of pain, you will change because our mind’s job is to pull us away from pain and into pleasure.
Now, I’m not talking about deep internal stuff that needs to be sorted out with RTT hypnosis (anxiety, guilt, shame, phobias). I’m talking about screaming at your spouse, losing your shit for reasons you can’t explain. Having a bad day most days, harsh negativity, and sometimes completely unable to be in the present.
When I was trying to fix myself and figure out what was wrong with me, I wasn’t aware my mother was a narcissist, and I didn’t know how she behaved was considered wrong.
My mother can do no wrong, didn’t you know?
When you find out everything you know is ass-backward, it feels like your brain cracks. It’s a terrible hardship to know you were raised by a lunatic.
I decided to put down my sword and follow my husband’s lead.
How to fight with your spouse, and another form of re-parenting myself.
- How a narcissist fights. I would get instantly pissed off and then do and say things I regret later because, as a child, I wasn’t allowed the think things through, and it’s exactly what my mother would do. A narcissistically abusive parent doesn’t want you to have time to think. They need to keep you as unsure as possible so you don’t try to think independently.
- Fighting when angry is a skill, and I had to force myself to speak with respect. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and then you don’t waste precious energy. We weren’t taught how to get our needs met. We were taught our needs didn’t matter and haven’t had much practice on how normal people without personality disorders do it. My communication skills suuuuuuuuuuucked! I didn’t know how to use my voice.
- In a clean fight, there’s no screaming, yelling, name-calling, threatening, ultimatums, or threat of physical abuse. If it gets too heated, I’m allowed to take a break. I refused to be like her, so I calmly say, “I can’t do this right now.” It prevents so many problems, and the first time I changed the way I reacted, it was a whole new sensation. I felt powerful.
- I don’t want or need any more abuse in my life, whether it’s giving or receiving, and this shit, this abuse that’s been going on for generations, it stops with me. It stops with you, and that is your power. We’ve had enough of this chaos, and I know if you’re reading this, you want off that ride. Make a decision, and don’t doubt your ability to change your life if you don’t like it.
- My triggers are my responsibility, and when it happens, I force myself to calmly say I’m struggling instead of unconsciously lashing out. I feel good when I do this because I handled it the right way, and that’s what counts. When you have 80,000 triggers, you can’t expect your friends or your spouse to know what they are or when one might happen.
- I am not a narcissist because I feel horrible when I behave like one.
- Most importantly, I am not my mother.
It’s not as hard for the scapegoat child of a narcissistic parent to change behaviors. We’ve been doing it our whole lives, thinking if we changed, we would be loved. We’re already experts at this.
After I made this emotional shift, I started rethinking all my relationships and removed toxic people from my life. Once you see it for what it is, you don’t want any of that in your life ever again.
A narcissist’s worst fear is you’ll out outgrow them and leave them because if you knew better, why would you stay? No one chooses to live their life like that unless something is seriously wrong, and we’ve established that.
If you’re struggling with guilt or obligation, then let me leave you with this. We don’t come from our mothers; we come through them. A child is a gift from the universe and the uterus is a portal. You were sent here for a reason and all your struggle and pain will not go to waste. You have a purpose.
For other weird behaviors from being raised by a narcissist, read this next.
It’s tough trying to recover from this and straighten it out on your own. That’s the hard way. If you’d like to know more about how RTT can help you recover, you can read more here or visit my homepage.
Another at-home option many people like connects you with a professional psychologist or licensed therapist online. Consider Online-Therapy (20% off affiliate link). You don’t have to be face-to-face. They’re available and on-call for you Monday-Friday, so you don’t have to wait for an appointment. It’s affordable, and you pay much less than seeing a therapist in person.
Post like this and narcissistic support groups are no substitute for therapy.