5 Damaging Lies We Learn From Narcissistic Parents

2. You need to be perfect and successful, but you should never be rewarded for it or feel ‘enough.’

Narcissists are masters of moving the goal posts so that nothing their victims do is ever enough. As childhood abuse survivors, we are no exception to that rule. Our accomplishments are rarely acknowledged unless they meet an arbitrary criteria for “what looks best to society,” or confirms the narcissistic parent’s own grandiose fantasies. Our abusive parent is never genuinely proud of us unless he or she can claim credit for that particular success. Some narcissistic parents can even envy or look down upon the success of their children, especially if that success enables that child to become independent of their parents, outside of their realm of power and control.

It is not uncommon for these types of parents to attempt to sabotage the success and happiness of their children if that success interferes at all with their grandiose self-image, their own ideas of what ‘happiness’ should entail (usually whatever makes them look good rather than what makes their children feel good) or their compulsion to micromanage and control every facet of their children’s lives.

In the sick mind of the narcissistic parent, it would be better if their children did not exist, rather than unable to do their bidding and ‘perform’ the identity that the parent wishes their children to embody or achieves the exact goals they want their children to achieve. Even if they were the perfect daughters or sons, the goal posts would again shift and their level of perfection would still never be good enough in the eyes of the narcissistic parent.

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