Lately on other sites I have seen women talking about feeling guilt, self blaming and shame for either raising a child with a narcissist and who now is a narcissist and treats you like they hate you.
I just want to say, the one mistake you made is, you chose to have a child with a narcissist. But you didn’t know he was a narcissist at the time so you have to give that one up.
Even if you would have had children with a perfectly normal loving man, you could have had a narcissistic child. Narcissists are born to normal caring people all the time. And narcissists have normal feeling children all the time. It is the “luck of the draw” sort of speak. There is nothing you could have done differently, left earlier, stayed longer, been stronger, more strict, less strict, your child would have been a narcissist regardless of how he/she was raised.
Your guilt is not helping anyone, not you, not your child, not society.
In fact, your guilt is making everything worse. When you are riddled with guilt you can’t live authentically, you can’t live honestly or fully, you can’t find peace or happiness. Guilt eats away at your self confidence and affects every thing you do, every decision you make. Guilt drives good people away.
It is impossible to ever get close to anyone if you are consumed with guilt.
I used to feel guilty about my son, I met the narcissist when my son was 17 and I was with him off and on for 10 yrs. My son HATES him. I wish things were different, I have given my son a heartfelt apology, but I can not change the past. I came to realize my guilt was preventing me from having the relationship I wanted with my son. If I ever wanted to have a close relationship with my son I HAD to give up the guilt.
If your child tries to keep you in guilt as a way of making you feel bad and in their control, you need to refuse to accept it.
The best thing you can do for yourself and for everyone else, (whether your child is narcissist or not); is live your best life, from this day forward.
Apologize, yes! And then let it go. And start living your life with total honesty, act like the person you want to be. You can not change the past, you can not change another person, you only have power over yourself. If you want to be loved for who you are, you must be your honest self. And you can not be yourself if you are consumed with guilt. Read Brene Brown or watch some of her videos on shame.
People will fight any positive changes you make because they like you feeling guilty because a guilty person is easier to manipulate, a guilty person is a martyr.
Live a life you can be proud of, be the example of the person you want your child to grow up to be. That is what a responsible parent would do.
You don’t ever stop being a parent, you can still be an example of a strong, confident, wise, loving adult, no matter how old you or your children are. You don’t know what the future holds as far as your children go.
But I know it is human nature that the harder you try to force someone, especially your child; to do or think a certain way; the harder they fight back.
You do not have to take disrespect or mistreatment from anyone, including your children. If you live honestly and true to your core self, no one can make you feel guilty.
If you are in the company of your child and they are angry, blaming, and generally acting like they hate you, leave. I have done it with my son and it hurt like hell. He was angry about the past about the narcissist and wouldn’t listen to reason. We were in my car and I was driving him home, which was a 2 hour drive and we were only half way. We had stopped for lunch and he started in on me. I tried to explain and calm him down. When I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere, I said. “I love you. I have apologized, I can’t change the past and I can not talk to you right now because you aren’t listening. Calm down and talk to me respectfully or get out of the car”.
That made him really angry and he got out and pulled all his shit out of my car. I wanted to beg him to get back in the car, grovel for his love, cry, my heart was breaking, but I drove away.
God help me, it was hard. I wanted to turn around SO BADLY! All the way home I wanted to turn around, I worried how he would get home with all his stuff. (Xmas gifts, clean laundry, a case of beer, tools he had alot of stuff). I didn’t even know if he had enough money to get home, but he was in his early 20’s, and he would figure it out.
When I got home I wanted to call him to see if he got home ok. I needed to know he still loved me, I felt awful!! I had to take a long walk without my phone to avoid breaking down and calling him. It took until the next day but he called me. “Hi Mom, I’m sorry. I love you.”
And I replied, “I love you too kiddo”.
We have never discussed it again. I did ask him how he got home and I guess it was quite an ordeal and we actually laughed about what he ended up going through.
We always say I love you every time we talk and he has never treated me like that again, never mentioned my ex.
I can still get consumed with guilt, believe me!! But I know I can not have a good relationship with my son if I am feeling guilty about the past. When you are consumed with guilt you are always super sensitive to any indication of disapproval from the person, you analyze every conversation, you read a hidden meaning into the most innocent comment, get defensive over small insignificant things, you get angry when there isn’t justification, you conjole, grovel, accept bad behavior, compromise your values, allow boundaries to be blurred. Guilt is the worst motivation to do anything.
The other thing is, your child doesn’t have to be a narcissist for you to feel guilty or unloved. Years ago my sister in law told me she had never felt guilty until she had my nephew, now she always felt guilty! Haha It’s what mother’s do.
All you can do is be the best mom you can be.
You know my happiest days are the ones when my kid calls. I can be feeling like he must hate me, I haven’t heard from him in awhile and he’ll call. He’ll need my advice, or need a recipe, and all is good in my world again. Our kids are our life, but we aren’t their life.
All we can do is be the best person we can be. You do your best and never stop doing your best. You can’t “win” someone over, you have to believe that things happen for a reason and the truth will win in the end. By living your best life and refusing to allow your child to try you with disrespect they will at the very least respect you.
Let me share from a child’s perspective. I always thought my dad was a controling asshole and my mom was the helpless victim. My dad screwed around on my mom, justified it by criticizing her. He would get so angry around the house we all walked on eggshells and my mom always was the fun parent, always the victim, teaches us to tip toe around when my dad was home. But she also under mined me all the time, my brother was the golden child. Anyway, my dad used to try to get me on his side all the time, criticized my mom constantly, cry to me about how horrible my mom was.
They finally split. And over the years since they split I have been able to see my mom for who she really is, she has caused so much pain in my life, I have caught her in so many lies. I now understand what my dad was trying to do, but it doesn’t justify it. He never should have done that to a child, talk to me about his marriage, how unhappy he was; put that on my shoulders. The truth of the matter is, I was raised by two very unhealthy people and I came away with my own issues because of it.
My dad should have left my mom and gone on to live true to his core self, instead of being a person I couldn’t respect. There were many good things about my dad that were obliterated by his adulterous, miserable self. He wanted me to see him as the poor victim and that he wouldn’t cheat or be miserable if my mom was a better wife.
What I learned was, I wanted to be a better parent than either of them. I could only do that by living true to myself and do what I know to be right. Show who I am by living a life where I am kind, loving, charitable, honest, and never blame anyone else for my bad choices or actions. I know who I am, I know what my intentions are, and I always have a choice.
I have made horrible choices in my life, but I can always choose to be better and hope that if nothing else my son will respect the fact that I never stopped trying to be a better person.
Don’t let your guilt make you into less of a person you want to be.