Both of my parents are narcissists. I go back and forth between declaring this. Sometimes I try to lessen the severity of my statement by saying they exhibit narcissistic tendencies. But in reality, they're both full-blown narcissists. I've written here about how they left me alone in a casino in Vegas when I was seven years old. Actually, they told my two older teenage sisters to watch me, and my sisters ditched me. But really, my parents should have watched me. That's just one example of the many forms of neglect I experienced as I grew up in my family. However, some of the hardest neglect to experience was when they were right beside me and didn't really get to know me. They would chatter on and on about their days and experiences... just using up my tiny being's supply of energy and attention. Like in fifth grade when I tried to tell my dad that the story he was telling about me wasn't accurate -- he told me to be quiet. He was more interested in telling his inaccurate story about me and gleaning some glory from his friend than in hearing my assessment of my own life. It hurt my feelings, but I didn't realize it at the time. At that time, I thought I'd done something wrong by speaking up for me because he told me to be quiet when I did so. When I wasn't young and cute anymore, they began to harangue me with expectations. In middle school, I went out to eat with my dad and he commented on how I'd eaten twice the portion that he did. He didn't take into account my growing body. Nor did he adjust for the fact that he was a middle-aged man. Instead, he focused primarily on how I shouldn't get fat.
A big sorrow in my life with two narcissistic parents is the loss of my childhood and adolescence. I didn't get to experience much of either because both of my parents mostly ignored me or treated me as an adult. Even when I wasn't. This meant that if I made a mistake, they got angry with me because I didn't know differently. So rather than teach me how to grow into an adult, they expressed anger at me when I didn't know everything before it happened. Sure, they helped me out of binds sometimes. It's not that great to be helped, though, when people make fun of you and remind you of how you had to be helped. This is one of the many reasons I do not keep in consistent contact with anyone in my immediate family. It's not cool to sit with them and have them pull a weakness out of thin air. It super sucks. So rather than be hyper vigilant about what they're saying and how it affects me, I choose to keep very limited contact with all of them. They typically have no idea how to relate with me and mostly talk about themselves or their kids or whatever is important to them. It used to be fine because I didn't ask to be known or to be important. When I did start to insist on respect, my dad forgot about me (yes, I sat at a restaurant and he didn't show) and my mom ignored me (as in, I started talking about a subject and she completely ignored my topic and told me she had to get off of the phone.)
On the upside, this type of neglect has resulted in a very independent woman. I'm adventurous and curious. People say bullshit stuff to me and while I may consider it, I don't let their words determine my views or opinions of myself. So while it can sometimes be a bummer to consider my family situation and how much sorrow and loss is part of me, I also feel very grateful for the benefits I've accumulated by being part of this f'd life. My sense of humor is very keen, and I see laughable moments in many situations simply because so much has been mucked in my life. I've traveled around the world because I didn't feel attachment with my family or hometown. There's good and bad in most aspects of life. It's pretty great, really.
Well hello there.