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Why I Forgave My Narcissistic Parent


Why I Forgave My Narcissistic Parent

Narcissistic people are everywhere. This is a truth that life has revealed to me in my three decades on this planet. Narcissists, much like parasites, seems to need to connect with other beings in order to survive.

Their symbiotic nature of NEEDING to get attention, having UNCONDITIONAL LOVE (which I WHOLLY BELIEVE TO BE A FOOLISH AND DESTRUCTIVE LOVE) and irrationally DESTROYING THE LIVES OF THOSE WHO WOULD LOVE THEM truly makes being with them a hell to be with.

It can be quite problematic when you have to work with a toxic narcissistic boss and their legion of foolish flying monkey co-workers.

“Let’s come to work to make this person’s life hard…FOR NO REASON. Only idiots come to work to actually…scoof…work.” 

It can be hurtful when you have discovered you have a narcissistic friend.

You know, the person who ALWAYS needs YOU to do things for them, but when you ask for one small thing, it is like pulling teeth.

“Hey even though you woke up early in the morning at 2 am to pick me up from a bar that kicked me out because I was being too destructive, and then you drove me to the hospital to pump all the pills I was taking, and then drove me to your home to make sure I was alright…NO, NO I WILL NOT FIX MY BED. How dare you ask me to do something like that.” 

Yeah, I wish this was hyperbole.

It can be painful to have fallen so deeply in love with a narcissist (thanks to their love-bombing TACTIC). It is painful to think, to believe, and to feel so whole-heartedly that the person we thought we found was truly THE ONE to only come to a truth that…it was all a FACADE.

“I have pretended to be everything you would ever wanted in a partner. But the trick is on you. I AM NOT THAT PERSON. HAHA, and now I will destroy your life FOR NO LOGICAL REASON. This is what you get for daring to love me, you idiot.”

But out of all of these, the most CRUSHING and DEVASTATING is to have a family member, especially a parent, to be the narcissist in your life.

“I brought you into this life. YOU BETTER DO EVERYTHING I ASK AND DEMAND. To hell with your personal development. YOU MUST PLACE ME FIRST IN YOUR LIFE. It is NOT my job to develop you, it is YOUR JOB to stroke my EGO. GOT IT?

So you may be wondering, “why in the world would I forgive my narcissistic parent?

Here is why.

Quick Note: Have a story to tell? Feel free to reach out to me on Quora and leave a message in my PM (Private Message). Writing can be VERY THERAPEUTIC.

Why I Forgave My Narcissistic Parent

Narcissistic Parent

I have heard it said that your thirties are the beginning of you accepting who you are for who you are. I recall reaching my thirties and having dreams of a certain parent who had passed.

(One of my parents had passed away when I was 7. I will not be divulging which one it was.)

This parent had died in the same age range as me. For years, almost a decade, I cared very little for the parent that had lived, as they had very much taken my childhood and my teenage years.

The constant blameshifting, gaslighting, NEEDLESS HUMILIATION of me TO MY PEERS, Silent Treatment, and even physical attacks had damaged (but not broken) my self-esteem.

They may have very well taken my young adult years had not, one final act of betrayal, gave me the strength to move out of the house in my 20s and travel the world.

During those years, I had not reached out to them, had not talked to them, had not even thought about them so much.

During those times, as I would later tell them, “I really didn’t care if they had died.

It sounds harsh, but for those who had grown up with an emotionally abusive PARENT, they can understand where I am coming from.

No matter how old we get, how accomplished we may become, and how more enlightened we may be…at the end of it all, we are still someone’s child.

And as a child, we will always seek the love, the adoration, and the attention of our parents. Maybe it is foolishness that compels some of us. Maybe it is just our evolutionary hardwiring.

But parents have a different feel in life. With the other narcissists in our lives, it can be easier to get over. But for a parent, it does seem to be a bit harder to actually cut those ties.

Or at least that is how I see and view things.

So what made me want to connect back with them after all they had done? Why would I forgive someone who DAMAGED my childhood, my teenage years, and betrayed me during my young adult life?

Why I Forgave My Parent: Twenties Is Not a Good Age To Be a Parent

Being in the same age range as my parents who had passed, and thinking about how unaware and ignorant I was in my twenties, made me take a second look at the parent who had raised me.

Our 20s, as I often say, is the decade of us “UNBECOMING” everything that society has told us to be while in our childhood and teenage years.

Sadly, for many of us though, the 20s have been seen as an age where, if you are living in a certain family, you are obligated to do and be certain things.

The twenties is NOT THE TIME TO BE A PARENT.

Yes, I know. This may be a contentious statement. But take it from a guy who grew up with a parent in their twenties raising kids by themselves.

The twenties is NOT THE TIME TO BE A PARENT.

Looking back at the times, and remembering how much they did work, coupled with how much they went through was one reason that made me reevaluate the way I saw my upbringing.

Note: This IS NOT AN EXCUSE I AM USING. I have two more reasons as to why I forgave my (narc) parent.)

Why I Forgave My Narcissistic Parent: My Childhood Gave Me The Strength To Stand Alone

Having no one to turn to during my childhood made it possible for me to learn how to stand alone as a MAN. Growing up with a narc parent, I was often made the bad guy in ALL SITUATIONS.

Even situations, I was not even in.

Having to learn to console myself has given me the confidence in myself and the TRUST in myself, to not be taken a fool and to not be blameshifted by narcissists in the world.

By being given the silent treatment from my parents, when I would receive and do receive the silent treatment from other narcissists and strangers I do not know, it does not bother me.

And it doesn’t bother me because I have experienced it MY WHOLE LIFE.

I have become immune to it, now.

Lastly, being betrayed had taught me the only person I can trust in this world is MYSELF.

Now, I know this may sound morbid and sad, but trust me there is a happy ending and a great reason as to why I forgave my parents.

Why I Forgave My Narcissistic Parent: They Showed Me What Type Of Parent NOT TO BE To My Own Children

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

As parents, it is our job to raise our kids to be strong enough to survive and live without them. It is our job to bare as much as we can so that our children don’t have to.

The damaging childhood my parent put me through was a blessing in disguise, as I am NOW a MAN who never backs down. A MAN who believes, consoles, and confides in HIMSELF.

I am a MAN who is unapologetically him.

Having a narc parent has shown me EVERYTHING I WILL NEVER EVER BE TO MY OWN CHILD(ren).

Reaching out to them, (as I (we) know, they will never reach out and admit the wrongs they did), made me gain a better understanding of them.

I was pleasantly surprised that they admitted the wrong they did (thus verifying that they do acknowledge the wrongs they did).

But listening to them and understanding that they had/have some mental disorders and that they had tried…

TRIGGER WARNING! TRIGGER WARNING! (I hate using these things, but I do understand why some people need them)

Committing suicide after the loss of the other parent, made things a bit more clear.

They needed an outlet for their pain, hurt and rage. Sadly, I was the child that received the bulk of it.

More importantly, although they did/do exhibit narcissistic traits, I don’t believe that they are narcissistic. I believe, and as their therapist has also stated, they have many BPD traits.

I don’t use that as an excuse, BECAUSE IT IS NOT FAIR.

But I understand that NOT everyone is as strong as we think. And more importantly, it helped me to realize that “we forget that parents are humans as well“).

As they admitted the wrong they did and had thought about how good it was to be away from their toxicity, the rage I felt (the little I had while meeting with them) slowly went away.

Are we the best of friends?

NO!

Will we ever be?

Most likely not.

But we can at least have a relationship.

Hating a parent, especially a narcissistic parent, does more harm to us... than them. It holds us back in life. It makes us a victim. Click To Tweet

And it potentially makes us LIKE THEM.

I may not have had the best childhood or teenage years. But I thank eternity that I went through it all so that my child(ren) will never have to.

As empathic warriors, WE MUST BE STRONG enough to see the beauty in the pain. To see the lesson in the hardships.

And to be able to forgive and move on…WHEN WE NEVER RECEIVE AN APOLOGY.

This…I KNOW…is challenging.

The weak seek revenge. The strong seek understanding. Click To Tweet

Now, I am not saying you should all try and mend relationships, because there are some narc parents out there who will not TAKE ACCOUNTABILITY.

But for me, despite moving on, that nagging question of, “WHY DID YOU TREAT ME LIKE THAT?” had hampered my own personal growth.

And I NEEDED to reach out to understand why.

This…this is why I forgave my Narcissistic Parent.

I hope you can as well, for YOUR OWN HEALING.

Thanks for reading!

Have a Story To Tell?

Writing can be very therapeutic. If you would like to tell your story or get something off your chest (anonymously if you want), feel free to reach out to me at my Quora Space “Laughing At Narcs” and leave me a PM (Private Message).

About Author

I call myself the Rational Humorist. Narcs to me are cancer to humanity. The only way to beat cancer is to fight back against it.

The best way to defeat a narc is to see them as the jokes they are.

(3) Comments

  1. I am trying my hardest to heal from a narcissistic relationship, and there were many times that I turned to my mom to vent. She’d often get up to “do chores” in the middle of the conversation, and I couldn’t understand for the life of me why she wouldn’t give me her undivided attention. She never has. She has always given me the silent treatment – even when I was a little girl, and she has been ignoring my calls since New Year’s Day. After reading this blog post, I have come to the realization that not only is my ex a narcissist, but so is my mom. I have forgiven her for so much that she gaslights me about: the physical abuse, spreading rumors that my stepfather molested me as a child, etc because I know that she raised me as a young single mother, and I empathize. However, it is hard to accept that I am essentially alone in this life.

  2. I am in my 50’s now and raised by parents in their 20’s (like you), which was the “norm” for that time period. I was raised by a narcissist mother who was emotionally and physically abusive, and a father who was sexually, physically and emotionally abusive. I get the devastation factor and I left home at 18, learned to console myself, and vowed my children would get the emotional security from me that I did not receive as a child.

    While in my 30’s, and starting my own family, my views about my own upbringing were revisited. I did the same as you…tried to forgive and told myself, “Some people are limited” so we could have a civil relationship and my children could have grandparents.

    In my 50’s now…here are my lessons learned…my parents STILL do not believe they have done me wrong in ANY way…that’s plain pathological anyway you slice it.

    I know after much work on myself that this is untrue, and I have suffered greatly from their repeated devaluations…and if I ever chose to go back or make contact (which I will not), nothing is changing as they believe they have done nothing that would cause me pain intentionally…the times I did go back…it was still all about them. It was STILL me taking care of their emotional needs while they continued to devalue mine.

    Perhaps the author of this article has been able to forgive as your family member WAS willing to make admissions, and do work on themselves so you could have a relationship, even if not a close one.

    An abusive parent, narc or with other mental illness cannot possibly have any relationship without any self awareness or willingness to look within to take some ownership on their part.

    You are the rare minority who is able to forgive your parent for the transgressions you suffered. I would have given anything to have that in my 30’s. Now I do know that taking care of me, surviving and being happy without them is the best way I can live my life. I’m not responsible for them in their old age as they still take no responsibility for the severe abuse that I underwent as a child, teenager and young adult.

    The only person that needs forgiveness is ME! I forgive myself. I have lived through hell…I am a survivor…

    1. I completely understand where you are coming from. I do.

      I had to forgive and ask why the mistreatment and abuse because it had been limiting me.

      It had been a nagging question in the back of my mind.

      Trust me, I forgave but the relationship doesn’t seem like it will go anywhere.

      I accept that.

      It hurts like hell, but I accept it.

      And you are right about learning to forgive ourselves.

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