What do you all consider abuse by a narcissistic parent?

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I have been reading a lot on here about being abused. I am assuming child abuse & then abuse prior to the illness taking over the mind. Maybe I am wrong.

Would you include physical abuse? Is this spanking on the rear or more than that? Would it be with a belt? More?

Emotional abuse? Of course and how bad.
Verbal abuse? Of course and how bad.

I guess I am trying to find out what these parents do exactly to kids. I was married to a narcissist/diagnosed as such and he never abuse our kids. He was an excellent father, hard as it is to believe. I was his sole target. So I am just wondering if anyone can answer my questions and I wonder why my children, who are now adults, NEVER saw him as the abuser. They thought I complained about a good man.

Thank you very much.

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I think Sodone is perhaps being a little cynical - ?! - but I would certainly agree that when one parent is fun and the other isn't so much, the fun parent is the one the kids tend to gravitate to. You get a lot of this in divorce, too, when the parent who does the daily grind gets compared unfavourably with the parent who does the weekend theme parks and oversized teddy bears (that have to be found house room for), and guess which one the kids like better?

And what is really unfair, of course, and I think this might perhaps apply to you Marymae, is that the fun parent is partly, if not altogether, the cause of the weary parent's being so weary. And if, as in your case, the weary parent tries strenuously to observe all of the rules about not trashing the other parent to the children, then it's even more of a strain.

I couldn't agree more with Blannie about how one's understanding of one's parents' relationship develops with experience and reflection. However, going back to narcissism on this point, one thing I've observed with my in-laws' family is that this kind of appraising reflection is an absolute tabu with my ex and his siblings. They might occasionally feel sore, annoyed or upset with MIL, but this is NEVER allowed to be her fault. If she's being unreasonable it's because something else has got her stressed or upset. If she's making outrageous demands it's because she's always expected the best of everything. If she's being a b*tch it's because she 'doesn't realise' how hurtful her words can be. If she is emotionally blackmailing them for all she's worth, even, it's only because she loves them so much.

Now as it happens I have become fond of my MIL, mainly because I am no longer obliged to spend any time with her unless I choose to. She has attractive and admirable qualities, in among the dross; and she is my children's grandmother and it is important to me that we honour that status. But it seems to me that when highly educated, intelligent and open-minded people such as my ex and his sisters are wholly incapable of taking a clear-eyed view of their parent, accepting her faults, loving the rest… well, in that case I would suggest some serious damage has been done inside their heads. It's as if they have all been through aversion therapy.

This chimes with what Shakingdust was saying about the way narcissistic families behave, and why it is so hard to break their repetitive patterns. Marymae, for now you need to concentrate on your mother, and on yourself, and let the children find their own course. I saw from another post that you were also very worried about bad news from a friend. I'm wondering if you are finding things really overwhelming at the moment, so that comparatively simple decisions such as about calling your friend are becoming terribly difficult for you to manage. Who is there around you whom you can trust to ask for help?
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Oops! Sorry. I meant to address Maddisson.
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Marymae, one thing I''ve noticed about the children in a tumultuous family situation, especially when their parents divorce or separate, is that they frequently side with the parent who controls the money. It sounds like you and your husband are still together, but if your illness has prevented you from working or if you don't have a sizeable inheritance, then your daughter may side with her father because he controls the purse strings.
A charming dad who hands out cash won out over a mom who was sick and couldn't do the things with her when she was younger that her friends' moms did, in other words.
I'm just surmising here, but money has a way of producing loyalty.
You'd be better off not trying to convince your daughter that your husband was a Jekyll and Hyde. Back off a bit and keep the lines of communication open in a loving, low-key way.
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I am sorry for addressing you as Maddison??? I am going to have to go back and see where that name came in to the picture. So sorry.
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Marymae~You are doing so much already with self care and caring for your mother. I hope you continue to post and let us know how you are. Can your mother get some outside help with home health care? Blessings to you and I hope you continue to post.
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Marymae I want to second the suggestion to just stay in touch with your daughter. No pressure from you on her, just a loving presence. When I was a young woman, I thought my father was the big bad ogre of our family. As I got older and did more work on myself, I came to understand that while my dad was the one with visible anger and cutting remarks, my "quiet" mother also did her share of harm with her more passive-aggressive barbs and behaviors. Neither of my parents were narcissistic, so I'm not putting them in that category at all. I'm just saying that as grown children reflect, they may come to understand more about their own family dynamics.

I now understand that both of my parents were doing the best they could given their childhoods. I love them both and have forgiven any/all things they did that hurt me as a child. I hope your children can come to the same conclusions and see your family for the truth of what it was.
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Thank you Shary. No I fully self-care, but that is about all I can do + what I can do for my Mom. Trying to hang in there.
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Maddison~I didn't realize you were also ill. I am so sorry. Are you getting home health care to come in and help with your needs?
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Thank you all for your great kindness. No I was never able to leave him due to severe health issues on my part. It's too long a story. I did not stay to hurt the kids or because I love him anymore. My love died afer years and years of abuse. Most of that time, I was too stupid to realize it was abuse, having been abused as a child. I am stuck. I prefer living at home to being in a nursing home which is where I would go if it were not for him. I am homebound and in need of care.
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Maddison~I am sorry you are going through this with your daughter. You have a heavy load on your shoulders while caring for your mother. Your daughter may need time to come around, if she wants no contact with you or phone calls, then just send her cards on her birthday, mother's day (if she is a mom), and other special days. Do not pressure her but let her know you love her.

You have a lot you are dealing with, we are here to support you if you want to share how you are feeling and coping with your mother's illness. Hugs to you!!
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