Raised by a narcissist
Things may feel differently involving other friendships and relationships in your life when you have been raised by a narcissist.
As the space between yourself and the narcissist grows and you rise out of the fog, you may feel like everything you’ve known has been a lie.
The manipulation will come to light.
You will see how many people the narcissist has alienated you from.
How many people they convinced you were evil just to keep you further away from finding the truth.
When the manipulation comes to light you might experience feelings of guilt, dread, remorse.
I hadn’t realized how many people I believed were bad, toxic, corrupt that actually weren’t at all. These were kind people that I wrote off or disrespected purely because of the manipulation tactics used by my narcissistic mother. She led me to believe most humans were “out to get me”. I couldn’t trust law enforcement, doctors, teachers, counselors/therapists. They were all bad and all going to ruin my life.
Even years after I had left her I still found this believe in my heart. Over time, I began to slowly trust again and the more I did that the more I saw the path of lies I was taught to follow.
This is not to say everyone is good, there are many toxic people in the world but it’s okay to give people a chance. When you have began your healing and you’ve established your boundaries, you can explore. You can meet new people, invest in friendships; not everyone is going to hurt you. This is hard. It’s easy to stay confined in the safety of what you already know but growth does not come from comfort zones.
Something I have realized is that being raised by a narcissist has taught me to respond to everyone as if they are narcissists too.
I have always struggled with friendships because I get overwhelmed by the feeling someone is talking about me behind my back.
I worry that someone is only being nice to me only to use something I do or say against me.
I overshare trying to make connections and then feel shame when someone doesn’t reciprocate.
I overanalyze things people say and often land on the most negative interpretation of it.
I respond defensively when someone says something negative to me. I’m hypervigilant.
All this is to say, we are probably not surrounded by narcissists. Some of what we are experiencing could very well be our own projections that we need to work on.
How do we trust again?
In pieces. When making new connections I value staying genuine. I’m practicing not overexerting my efforts which often has lead to disappointment. True connections are made gradually.
You are aware. You’re reading this because you have awaken. You can see both the dark of the narcissist and the light of new beings.
There are some people I only have one conversation with and “write off” because I’m convinced I “KNOW” – the way they speak, the way they respond, it sends red flags straight to my mind and I immediately “NOPE” my way out of that connection. Is it always accurate? No. Should you continue to explore? Possibly.
Continue to give people a shot as long as it isn’t detrimental to your mental state. If you feel secure in your boundaries and awareness, I feel little harm could come from giving someone a shot. Don’t dim your clarity on their behalf, though. Listen to yourself, if everything is hollering “no, no, no” – you maintain the power to excuse yourself.
However, I try to give the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they were also raised by a narcissist and they have yet to wake up from this. I consciously work on not providing excuses for poor behavior while simultaneously allowing grace to hold space and understand each person for who they are.
You can make friends.
You can start new relationships.
You can trust again.
As long as you trust yourself. Love yourself. Believe in yourself.
You harbor the power to see the truth, and to own that truth.