Most people have no clue that they were raised by narcissists. In fact, many of the traits that develop from such a childhood often get misunderstood as isolated character traits.
Let’s pretend we’re traveling in time, back to the 70s, 80s or 90s. In other words, let’s visit your childhood. Think back to those faded days of running with friends and watching early morning cartoons. Now, remember your parents. Were they kind, tough, or even abusive? While most people may remember their parents to be normal moody adults with rules and punishments, many of us fail to see underneath those things.
Some of us were raised by narcissists and didn’t even know it…not until now.
Removing the veil
Having a narcissistic parent can be a subtle experience. Not all narcissistic traits are noticeable, especially to a child. In fact, some of these traits aren’t noticed until we’re adults and we exhibit abnormal behaviors. One of the most tragic things I learned about myself was that my parenting skills weren’t all that great. I was acting out in inherited narcissistic actions.
I’m not alone, either. Many of you were raised by narcissists and sometimes the only way to see the truth was to relate to the symptoms. Here are a few things, good and bad, that only children of narcissistic parents can relate to. They can help you understand and improve your life.
Intuition and empathy
One primary trait that many of us have is a heightened intuition. As a child, we often felt exposed, open to everything that happened around us. We could sense when something was wrong and lies rarely made it past our radar.
As adults, we can relate to empathetic feelings and intuition experienced by others. Because of our abusive childhood, certain senses were strengthened as a mode of survival. Being raised by narcissistic parents made us keep our wall strong and reminded us to never turn a blind eye to any situation.
Sheltered and bound
Unfortunately, there are negative feelings that dominate those who experienced childhood narcissism. As children, we felt bound to our parents, unable to freely express what grew within us. We were usually sheltered from others because of fears, and this built a unique personality structure.
As we reached adulthood, this sheltered mindset remained, and became a blockage between us and our goals. I can relate to this feeling and it’s incredibly powerful. During my work, I will reach a plateau, and then suddenly become terrified and frozen, unable to move to the next level.
Being raised by narcissists can cause confusion later in life. This is because of the high demands of our parents. During childhood, narcissistic parents are demanding and crave all the spotlight for themselves. Everything the child does is seen to reflect upon them.
This may be why punishments are so severe. It seems any misconduct or disagreement between parent and child is seen as an attack on the parent’s reputation, and the narcissistic mindset has to put a stop to any and all disturbances. From childhood through adulthood, the child will retain confusion, doubt, and low self-esteem because of their failures.
On the other hand, those raised in narcissistic environments can also be over-exalted. This means that all achievements will be made larger than they really are in an attempt to place attention on the “exceptional” parent, by way of the child’s gifts. It’s a covert tactic that can bleed into adulthood in the form of arrogance and egotism.
Many people know someone who has a bloated ego and can relate to how it feels being around them.
Some people feel invisible to others. This could just be circumstantial for the present time or it can be much deeper than that. Sometimes children can feel invisible due to their narcissistic parent’s desire to be noticed. These children can spend hours and days dwelling on their thoughts. It’s the exact opposite of over-exaltation.
I remember daydreaming so much that when my teacher called my name, I didn’t even hear her. I suffered in school because I felt like I was fading away a little at a time, each day. As an adult, I get lost in my own little world just as much as facing reality. Focusing was a difficult thing to master for me.
Superhero victims of narcissistic parents
Not every aspect of surviving narcissistic parents are negative ones. In fact, many of us develop incredible abilities due to the way we were treated. There are a few notable characteristics you might want to consider. You may be an amazing person with gifts from a troubled life.
Children raised by narcissists grow up to be wise. There is intelligence, street smarts, and then there’s wisdom. They are all different forms of human knowledge.
Wisdom was born from watching our parents act out and make strange decisions in an atmosphere of narcissism. We watched as they craved attention, lied, ignored us, and even sometimes physically abused us, and yet we learned to do better and make better decisions for our own life. We found wisdom at a much younger age than some other adults.
I guess honesty doesn’t seem like a superpower, does it? Well, considering it has become so normal to lie about everything, honesty, loyalty, and respect are almost extinct, and that’s pretty out-of-the-ordinary.
Many adults who went through a narcissistic childhood became some of the most honest people. They see how lies have damaged others, and they prefer to keep it “real”. Honesty surely is rare, and it’s refreshing to experience this.
Sometimes a person’s intuition will seem like a superpower. An adult who was raised in a manipulative environment will develop such strong intuition that it almost seems like pure psychic abilities.
I have heard others talk about how they sensed things. I can als0 attest to this as well. I actually become nauseated whenever something bad is happening to someone I love. This is only one symptom of supernatural intuition. When it comes to meeting new people, this intuition can sense danger a mile away, as well.
Raised by narcissists?
If you feel like the above signs fit you, then why not use your traits for good. Even the negative aspects of your personality can be turned around and fashioned to help those in need. Use your wisdom to advise others, your intuition to warn them, and always be honest in order to build trust and show love.
If you can relate to these traits, then you don’t have to feel defeated. It doesn’t take much to turn things around for good and be a light to a world of darkness and despair.
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