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Should I confront narcissistic parents?

Community Member
A year ago I left my covert narcissistic husband. We have young kids. In the course of studying NPD, I came to understand (as many do) that my mother surely suffers from the same. I grew up with ZERO physical affection from my parents, have never heard them say they love me and without doubt my childhood was one of emotional neglect. I am on the fence as to whether my father has NPD or was just very selfish; I spent very little time with him growing up. Their reaction to me leaving my husband has been predictably disappointing. For example, my mother has lamented that she finds herself “stuck in the middle” and even wants to invite my ex to family gatherings (despite sufficient indication of the abuse I’d suffered). Confronting the fact that I have never received love from my parents has been truly debilitating. I’d previously always excused their behaviour by thinking that they love me, but just have a funny way of showing it. Now I've found out (they didn’t tell me and I don’t know if they know I know) that they have given both my siblings each a large deposit to buy property. It’s been quite some time and the same offer has not been made to me. Admittedly, I have my own money for a deposit, but this is due to the sacrifices I’ve made and the career I pursued over the years while my siblings enjoyed their lives without a thought for the future. It’s certainly not the first time my parents have helped them out. They’ve never helped me out. I’m now a single mum with almost full-time care of my kids and unemployed – that money would have taken a lot of stress away. Friends of mine think I should say something. But I don’t know – right now I’m feeling like I don’t want them in my life at all, although my kids would miss out on knowing their extended family. Also, I don’t see what I would gain from speaking to them, as I always end up being the one in the wrong (cue my mother’s eye rolls, called overreacting, oversensitive, etc). On the other hand, I’m not sure if I can continue to ‘fake it’ and carry on as though nothing has happened. It’s not really about them giving me money, it’s the unfairness at a time when I’m particularly vulnerable that hurts. I’d appreciate hearing any viewpoints, as right now I’m finding it very hard to function and I need to be there for my kids.
1 Reply 1

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

What a well written post. It shows you're articulate.

I'm estranged from my domineering mother (10 years) and my youngest narcissistic daughter (3 years). Both breakups broke my heart but sometime you have to be selfish to feel freedom and peace without the games and abuse.

So I do understand. To me, having made those breaks I have no regrets. However it depends on you and your relationships as to whether you - 1/ remain tolerant of them- 2/ make a partial break e.g. visit them much less often- 3/ clear break.

Since my break with my mother I now have two other older women I call "mum" that treat me how I've always yearned to be treated...and that is not to be disrespectful, abused and owned.

I think a meeting is warranted between you and your parents. I think gathering as much factual information as you can re: financial assistance to siblings will be beneficial as you can pin them down on that. Favouritism is a valid arguement to persue.

To minimize the eye rolls all you need to do is ask questions. If you attend without the need that day to make a decision, simply seeking answers, then you should get those answers and leave. Take time to digest them and make your own decision. You know you won't change them, this is about your ling term happiness, not about their justifications for their choices. It's all about you now and whether you can stomach any relationship and if you are willing to sacrifice their grandparents roles.

Ask yourself, what do you think is tolerable? 2,3,4 visits a year? Can you tell them of your sadness that you've been treated differently compared to your siblings? Can you say " therefore my relationship with you both won't be the same going forward."

Remember, you didn't make such decisions. You're not at fault.


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