Written by Randi G. Fine
See column on the right side of this website labeled Narcissistic Personality Disorder for a complete list of all NPD related articles and videos.
When people hear that I have chosen to have no contact with my highly toxic, aged mother and father they always tell me how sorry they feel for my parents. I can only assume that in me they see a happy, well-adjusted adult woman and must decide that I have chosen to afflict some sort of maliciously intended punishment on my poor defenseless parents. They cannot possibly understand how violated I feel hearing them defend the very people who nearly destroyed my life; people who would continue to wreak havoc in it if I chose to allow it.
The judgment handed down by the clearly ignorant strikes a raw nerve and immediately puts me on the defensive. Cases of appalling abusive actions from my supposedly old, frail, innocent parents, some old some new, come spewing out of my mouth one after another in an attempt to justify my position. My breath is wasted. My stance is never validated. I always end up looking cold-blooded and hard-hearted when in truth I am anything but.
I am a strong, confident woman. I have learned to love myself despite all I have been through. Perhaps it is that air of confidence that causes some to side against me. It must be, because everything I stand for in my life demonstrates my compassionate, loving nature, yet all of that seemingly goes right out the window in the eyes of people who do not understand Narcissistic Personality Disorder abuse.
I know that I am not alone in this experience. Due to the covert nature of narcissistic abuse it is one of the perpetual tragedies many survivors of NPD parents endure. The victim is often seen as the perpetrator and the perpetrator seen as the victim. Even when we find the courage to stop the abuse we can never redeem ourselves in the minds of the judgmental ignoramus, professional or otherwise.
As NPD abuse survivors our healing must come entirely from our own courageous resolve. The Narcissistic Personality Disorder parent will never validate our feelings, verify our memories, or allow us our pain. Our friends, co-workers and acquaintances who cannot possibly understand what we go through often say the wrong thing, making us feel even worse. The only possibility of support is an alliance with siblings who have shared our experiences and have likewise abandoned their denial.
I am very fortunate. It took a few years but my sisters both embraced the truth. We are able to emotionally support each other and have formed an ironclad alliance against our toxic parents, but that is uncommon. More often than not, siblings side with parents who are adept at exploiting their victimization and rallying sympathizers around them, alienating their recovering brother or sister even further.
NPD survivors must have a solid support system to keep them from self-destructing. Rationality does not exist in dealings with those who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Rational minds cannot make sense of NPD irrational behavior, though that does not stop us from trying to rationalize the confusion we experience. It is that effort that makes us feel as if we are the crazy ones.
It takes a great deal of validation to convince us that we are not crazy. That is why I strongly recommend survivors work with a professional therapist, psychologist or counselor who is highly skilled in working with Narcissistic Personality Disorder abuse until they feel strong and confident enough to stand on their own—however long that takes. That is the formula for success in completely overcoming the pain—for confidently moving forward in our lives.
There will always be issues throughout our lives that challenge us as NPD abuse survivors. Though I counsel other survivors and extensively write, speak and am highly knowledgeable about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I am not immune to its ugly assaults. However, as a result of the work I have done I am confidant and skilled enough to get through them. The more healing work we do, the stronger we get and the easier those challenges are to deal with.
You have survived one of the most insidious forms of child abuse. Though often invisible, the abuse was real, your pain is real. But never choose to be a victim of your past. Reclaim your power. Start today.
If you need a skilled professional to support you and help you work through your NPD abuse issues, I am always available. Clarity.fm/randi-fine
Listen to Podcast Shows on Narcissistic Personality Disorder: