Our childhoods shape us more than we could ever imagine. And being raised by a narcissistic parent is an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
If you were raised by a narcissist, then you know exactly what I am saying. Narcissists are people who lack true empathy and people who are extremely obsessed with themselves. They often emotionally neglect and abuse their children, which leaves a lasting impact.
Later, those who were raised by a narcissist have special coping skills or even behaviors that separate them from everyone else. And if you were raised by a narcissist, then you will likely relate to the following 9 things people don’t realize they do because they were raised by a narcissist.
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1. You constantly say, “I’m sorry.”
You are always saying, “I’m sorry,” even when you didn’t do anything wrong. When you grow up constantly being made to feel as though you aren’t enough, or that you are always bad, it can stick with you for a long time.
2. You over-explain yourself.
Oftentimes, when you tell someone what you are doing, or when you have to tell someone no, you overexplain why. You always feel the need to justify your actions or explain what you mean because you are afraid of being misunderstood.
3. You get defensive easily.
When someone says something to you or about you, if they say it in the wrong tone, it makes you feel defensive. You are always on guard and constantly worried that you might do something wrong.
4. You have a hard time trusting others.
When you meet new people, you immediately feel tense. You have a hard time trusting even the people you know the best, and earning your trust is hard.
5. You overthink everything.
You are always overthinking. When you have to make big decisions, you think about them over and over before finally and anxiously deciding. Sometimes, you feel blocked or even stuck because you can’t stop worrying that things will go wrong.
6. You get stressed out over small stuff.
When minor inconveniences happen, it throws you for a loop. Even slight or small things that wouldn’t bother most people stress you out and make you feel anxious.
7. You engage in negative self-talk.
When you have been talked down to by people your whole life, you begin to believe the bad things they say. In turn, your self-talk begins to reflect what you’ve heard. For example, if you had a narcissistic mother who called you lazy and stupid all your life, you might begin to believe that and talk to yourself accordingly. “Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” by Dr. Karyl McBride is a highly recommended book for anyone struggling with the aftermath of a narcissistic parent.
8. You have an addictive personality.
Studies show that children of abusive parents have higher rates of addiction than those that didn’t. Many children of narcissists report having addiction problems. Keep in mind that addictions can be shopping, gambling, drugs, alcohol, food, etc. “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk offers deep insights into how trauma affects the body and mind and can lead to addiction.
9. You disassociate.
Disassociation is what happens when we disconnect (so to speak) our mind and our body. When it happens, you may feel like you are on auto-pilot, or as though your mind isn’t present at the moment to an extreme level. While all of us do this from time to time, those who have endured trauma or abuse are likely to do it frequently, because it’s a coping mechanism.