19 Signs You Were Raised By A Narcissistic Mother or Father

Signs Raised By Narcissistic

Learning how to understand and make peace with your childhood is one of the most healing and empowering experiences you could ever go through. As the son of a drug-addicted narcissistic mother and totally absent father, I know how important it is to come to terms with things narcissistic mothers say or their mental illness.

When we were children, we looked up to our parents for support, encouragement, nurturing and love. But when we were denied these things, we developed a variety of beliefs, behavioral patterns, and coping mechanisms to help us survive in such a difficult environment. As adults, we often play out these same coping mechanisms, often to our own detriment.

The thing about being the child of a narcissistic mother and/or father is that it often contributes to something known in shamanic terminology as soul loss. Soul loss is the inability to contact or experience our souls due to the unresolved wounds, traumas, and fears we’ve accumulated over the years.

The first step in healing this soul loss is to be willing to explore what you went through as a child. This process of exploring the narcissistic actions of your parent isn’t done to condemn them or to victimize yourself. Instead, this process is done to help you understand the root cause of any pain you’re still experiencing, to learn how to release it, and to move on with your life. This becomes a strengthening and rejuvenating process.

19 Signs You Had a Narcissistic Mother and/or Father

The thing about having a narcissistic mother and/or father is that you have been taught to believe that you are the crazy and imbalanced one, instead of them. This causes you to constantly doubt yourself and any feelings you have about them.

Another major sign of being raised by a narcissist is the constant guilt you struggle with. In other words, while you might suspect that there is something “off” with your parents, you feel ashamed to think about them in such a way, and you tend to start beating yourself up instead.

But there is a very good reason why you’ve come to this article. And while you may still have lingering doubts, I hope the following information can clear your mind.

Firstly, you should know that there are two main kinds of narcissists:

  1. Engulfing Narcissists — these are parents who see their children as extensions of themselves. In other words, engulfing narcissistic parents become obsessively involved in your life to an extreme extent. They don’t respect your boundaries or acknowledge you as a separate person.
  2. Ignoring Narcissists — these are parents who have very little interest in their children. Ignoring narcissists clearly see the boundary between themselves and their children. As a result, they neglect to take care of their children or show an active interest in their lives.

Related: 6 Lies Narcissistic Parents Make Their Children Believe

Depending on what type of narcissistic parent you have, you’ll struggle with slightly different (but similar) issues.

So …

How does a narcissistic mother or father behave?

Raised By Narcissistic Info
Signs You Were Raised By a Narcissistic Mother or Father

Here are some of the main signs:

  1. They tried to control you through codependency
  2. They laid on the guilt thick
  3. They only loved you when you did what THEY wanted
  4. They liked to “get even” with you
  5. They never respected your boundaries
  6. They competed with you
  7. They “owned” your accomplishments
  8. They constantly lied to you
  9. They never listened to (or cared) about your feelings
  10. They constantly insulted you
  11. They exerted explicit control over you
  12. They gaslighted you
  13. They “parentified” you
  14. They had a “favorite” or “golden” child
  15. They reacted intensely to any form of criticism
  16. They projected their bad behavior onto you
  17. They never displayed any empathy
  18. They were infallibly correct and never wrong
  19. They liked to present a perfect family image to outsiders

Keep in mind that there’s a difference between narcissistic behavior (which only comes out every now and then) and narcissism. We all have a tendency to be narcissistic given the right circumstances (such as high stress). But narcissism is ongoing, chronic, and pathological.

24 thoughts on “19 Signs You Were Raised By A Narcissistic Mother or Father”

  1. Avatar of Chameleon Child

    Wow, finally a post on narcissistic parents I can absolutely relate to. All the ones I’ve read speak of how the parent screams or ridicules or ignores. My mother did the opposite. I was her parent, her spouse, her “best friend”, she was going to kill me first then herself because she believed I could not live without her. She sexually abused me but I thought for years (still sometimes do) that I’m crazy and I was so lucky because she just loved me best. I could have no friends, anytime I tried to grow up or be independant she would pull me back in to the enmeshment. If I am broken and I’ll and childlike then she can own me and keep me hers. Our family was “perfect” though we were a disaster and if I say anything negative she brings up the fact of all the physical things she did (beautiful gifts and clothes, birthdays, homemade baby food, healthy homemade meals), what more could she give me? And I become lost and confused–maybe I AM a monster to my poor mother who has an ungrateful daughter. She has the entire extended family believing I am the problem, my truth just crazy and obviously I am mentally ill. But am I ill or just now becoming crystal clear on how I’ll my mother is? It’s crazy making and I equally hate her and feel terribly sorry for her. How do I step out of the enmeshment without allowing her to completely self-destruct?

  2. Avatar of susan faccone

    I was a child in the 60’s. My father left right after I was born and I was raised by a narcissistic mother. She was already 40 yrs old when she had me. She constantly told me that I was the product of rape. My brother, although not treated much better, was the golden child as the article speaks of. I am healed (after 20 years of Counseling) from my tragic childhood. I understand that it was not my mothers fault that she was the way she was. She was born the last child of 20 children in a strict, male dominated, old school, right off the boat, Italian family. My grandmother was mean and my grandfather was dominating man who ruled with an iron fist. Their main parenting style was hitting, beatings, yelling, and put downs. Almost always at the girls. My mother’s role models were her parents and their horrible parenting styles and her brothers who also ruled the house. So, when she had children, the insanity just continued. I raised 3 children. With my first child I found myself acting like her as she was my only role model, but I was determined to not continue the circle. I took many classes on child rearing, Read every book out there. I am sure I have made mistakes raising my kids, but I know I tried and did my best. My children are grown now, all successful, well adjusted, happy adults. What more could I ask for.

  3. Avatar of Julie Squire

    Thanks well written article, with some suggestions for recovery.
    A.C.A deal with sick family systems, insecure attachments and they’re free, look online to find a meeting near you 🙂

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