Do you think you’re an empath raised by a narcissist? Have you been told you can’t be an empath if you’re raised by a narcissist?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how narcissistic abuse affects a person. It’s a personal experience most people will never understand. We are all different, even if the label is the same.
Being raised by a narcissistic parent doesn’t mean you can’t be an empath or highly empathic. As a matter of fact, this ability could be the reason you survived and made as far as you have in life.
Empaths raised by a narcissist get many conflicting opinions.
Opinions on this subject can create a blanket effect where large groups of people believe only one thing, and it can only be that way. In some circles, empaths get a bad representation as being “soft,” which couldn’t be further from the truth.
An empath that doesn’t know they’re an empath isn’t soft or delicate. Most of the time they’re confused because they don’t understand what’s happening internally.
When you’re the scapegoat in a narcissistic family, and people tell you can’t be empathic, they are wrong. Shahida Arabi did a study on a group of 733 adult children raised by a narcissistic parent, and this is what she wrote.
Empathic adult children of a narcissist lack a sense of “deservingness” causing them to believe they are not owed anything, not even basic respect or decency.
Dr. Ramani Durvasula calls this syndrome, “I’m not enoughers.” We are I’m not enoughers. If you want to learn more about believing in yourself again, and setting healthy boundaries, check out my homepage.
No one can tell you your story, and it only adds to the confusion when people make blanket statements about what an empath can and can’t be.
As if there’s some rule book.
Having a narcissistic parent turns into decades of repetitive psychological and emotional abuse.
It creates a dark side, a cold side, and it’s there for a reason; you wouldn’t be human without it. Empaths are not weak or meek or soft. We are underestimated, we know it, and we can use it to our advantage with a little shadow work.
When I started to heal from being raised by a narcissistic mother, I moved out of state and put some distance between us. Each time I went back, I kept noticing how off I felt in her presents.
I didn’t feel like this at home or when I wasn’t with her. As an empath, I would absorb the emotions of other people around me, and it felt like this uncontrollable tick that forced me to behave in a certain manner.
It didn’t feel like me, and I didn’t understand it.
I’d never heard the word empath. I was raised in a small town church where everyone is highly judgmental, and there is no room for a little magic. I always felt like I had this magical little world that was deemed odd, strange, or a bit touched in the head.
Well, I still have this magical little world, and I appreciate it. I’m grateful for it because I truly believe it keeps me sane. The psychic world is real, and if you’re an empath, then you have a connection to it that others don’t.
One of the worst things that can happen is being an empath and not know it.
I spent my early adult life constantly wondering what the hell was wrong with me, which is also normal textbook thinking for a child raised by a narcissist.
However, when you’re an empath and don’t know it, there’s a whole other dimension to your experience non-empaths cannot understand. They don’t understand and will more often than not dismiss it because it’s unknown to them.
Most people are not empaths. They are not affected by the world or others’ emotions as deeply as we are, and they don’t have the ability to put themselves in someone else shoes. An empath can easily step into another person’s world. If you don’t know you’re an empath, then you don’t know how to separate your world from theirs, and that’s how you become convinced something is wrong with you.
You can enter a room and suddenly feel angry or upset even though no one has said anything. You sense those vibes, and you can feel them as if they are your own. This can be very confusing because you weren’t angry before you walked into the room. You have this angry feeling, but you don’t know why you’re angry.
You can learn to block this and stop it from happening but not if you don’t know you’re an empath. You just think you’re crazy.
A narcissistic parent can easily manipulate an empathic child.
Not only is it a twisted blurry mess for the child being abused in this way, but it’s also almost impossible for anyone to understand unless they experience it for themselves.
They will abuse you privately when no one else is looking. If you try to defend yourself to other family members, the narcissistic parent will put on a great show until everyone’s’ convinced they are the victim, and you’re a bad child. Or they play the hero and tell everyone how they tried everything to raise you right.
No one connects the dots or sees the patterns. You did, or you wouldn’t be reading this. I’m not going to live my life in that kind of madness.
I said magical, not madness.
A narcissistic parent can never be questioned or criticized by their children.
No matter what transpires, it’s always the child’s fault, and if you dare to imply otherwise, you’re viciously attacked.
Shame on you for thinking such a thing. How dare you blame them for abusing you. Stop acting like you’re being abused while you’re being abused.
How did this happen? How did you get this way? What is wrong with you? Everyone knows you had perfectly good and capable parents, so you must’ve been a bad child or a bad apple seed.
Dear empath, you’ve been sold a lie. I feel compelled to tell you my story because this shit is not gonna fly with me.
There’s a psychological madness from being an empath raised by a narcissist.
What a narcissist is really after is your mind. They want you to think you’re going crazy. They want you to have a mental breakdown so they can justify accusing you of being the problem.
Preferably in public, so they can prove to everyone how unstable and abusive you are.
A narcissist will actively try to destroy a perfectly normal mind for no other reason than they want to. They feel compelled to tear other human beings apart, and it doesn’t make them feel bad. It makes them feel powerful.
If you’re an empath raised by a narcissist, be careful who you listen to.
I’ve read many articles written by therapists who work with adult children raised by narcissists, and I don’t agree with all of them. They use words like you will always suffer and will never be able to overcome this affliction or be the person you’re meant to be.
Some therapists insist too much damage has been done, and we will go through life lost and unable to fully recover. Personally, I think the only way to recover fully is to erase the past, and we can’t do that.
No one can.
So by this definition, no one can truly fully recover from anything, including the person giving these insights and advice.
Make your own judgments.
As an empath, you do have the power to heal yourself; you simply need more information.
Healing and growth come down to one simple rule.
You have one mission, one quest, and it’s to know yourself better than anyone.
- You can’t trust anyone’s opinion of you.
- You can’t allow someone else to pass judgment on you.
- You can’t trust their limiting beliefs based on what little they know of you.
- You can never know another human being the way you know yourself.
This is a little more difficult for an empath because you have to be able to discern what emotions are yours and which ones you’ve absorbed from people around you. It’s important to stay grounded and to give yourself some space.
One of the best ways to do this is with meditation or self-hypnosis with Glen Harrold, who is one of my favorites. You can find everything you need for as little as four dollars per download.
A narcissistic parent can emotionally disable an empathic child.
They teach their children not to trust their own natural instincts. They feel threatened when their child starts to develop their own independence, and they’ll do whatever they can to stop it from happening.
This kind of repetitive psychological abuse causes learned helplessness in a child (among other things). You didn’t do this to yourself. A narcissist will never understand the mind of an empath, and since they have no self-awareness, they have no idea how damaging their behavior can be.
Do you have a fear of failure or making the wrong decision?
We’re so afraid of making the wrong choice because a narcissist never misses an opportunity to crucify you for any minor infraction or failure. They expect perfection. You’re not allowed to make decisions for yourself because a narcissist wants total control over every decision you make.
Sometimes you choose what you want instead of what your narcissistic parent wants. Then there are flashbacks of being raked over the coals every time you made a choice that wasn’t what the narcissistic parent wanted.
Narcissists teach their children failure is a terrible thing, and if you don’t get it right the first time, you’re worthless.
You should know how stupid they are because failure is how human beings learn to do it right. When you fail at something, you learn how not to do it.
Being raised by a narcissist creates mental blocks, limiting beliefs, paralyzing thoughts, and weird behaviors from not being allowed to be yourself. It’s an incredibly toxic environment, but as an empath, you are much more powerful than you know. You can undo the damage, and you can fully recover.
An empath is the narcissists polar opposite. We do all the healing while they do all the hurting, and now you understand that your gift allows you to keep the balance between good and evil. It’s time for you to use your power to even the score.
It’s tough trying to recover from this and straighten it out on your own. That’s the hard way.
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Post like this and narcissistic support groups are no substitute for therapy.