One of the saddest aspects of narcissistic abuse is our children can suffer.
Sadly when narcissists are trying to hurt and discredit their ex-partners in every shape or form, children can be used as ammunition and get caught in the cross-fire.
This can leave us dismayed, and in deep disbelief when we view the narcissist as having no conscience when it comes to the treatment of the children. When he or she has no issue with involving them, using them as pawns, and actually enjoys trying to turn the children against the ex-partner.
With narcissists anything or anyone may be fair game, including children.
You may find it hard not to resent how the narcissist can deny you and hurt you – but this pain can escalate to a whole new level when he or she withholds shelter, money and support from your children also.
For the non-narcissistic parent this creates intense grief, pain, disbelief and inevitable guilt.
We may feel incredible shame and pain for involving our children with the narcissist. We know that when we were being abused, we were hardly the model parent. We may have been emotionally and practically unavailable, and we know that our children were exposed to abuse, fights, and seeing the state we ended up in.
Our children may have believed that we were helpless, powerless and even crazy.
The levels of guilt and pain over what we have put our children through as a result of being with a narcissist can be horrific.
This article covers certain scenarios that can occur with our children, and I will endeavour to discuss the most painful and common situations.
1) Your child(ren) are severely hurt, traumatised and affected as a result of you being narcissistically abused.
2) Your child(ren) are turned against you or even taken away from you by the narcissistic parent.
3) You suspect that your child(ren) have been programmed into becoming narcissistic.
4) You have awful fears regarding the narcissist having visitation rights or joint custody.
5) Your child is in a relationship with a narcissist.
1) Your Child(ren) are Severely Hurt, Traumatised and Affected as a Result of You Being Narcissistically Abused
I really want you to understand this from a deeper and more spiritual perspective – and that is: there is nothing that an individual’s soul does not co-create that isn’t ‘right’ for the purpose of the opportunity to create evolution and healing.
Please know that a deep soul level your child chose this experience to have a narcissistic parent – there was no mistake.
It is really important for you to come to a level of acceptance so that you can start creating the most positive outcomes possible, rather than be stuck in non-acceptance (resistance) and be focused on and co-creating the negatives.
Possibly the most powerful statement in the human experience we can ever say (and deeply feel) is ‘It is what it is’, because then we allow ourselves to heal and accept and create more empowered realities.
Initially, I had masses of resistance in regard to putting my son through his experience with my choice of narcissistic partner, and I carried profound guilt, shame and trauma in regard to my inability to be an effective parent.
It was a disaster, truly and I felt like there was no way out of the mess. The more I focused on my guilt, pain and fear, and the more I tried to intervene, fix, lecture and prescribe to sort out my son’s life, and the mess his self-esteem and behaviour was, the worse it all got.
It was watching a Law of Attraction DVD by Ester Hicks (these were a part of my healing regime) and one episode resonated with me powerfully. It was about a mother who had no control of her wayward child, and the suggestions that channelled through Ester for this situation resonated with me a on a deep level.
I understood that as his mother my boy came from my energy. I realised that by ‘seeing’ the situation as hopeless, by seeing him stuck, going nowhere other than destroying his life, that effectively I was manifesting him being stuck. I was helping create this reality.
I also understood that if I manifested him in a different way, and stopped trying to fix and control him that I would be able to call him up into my reality as this different energy.
I also remembered a story I had heard long ago about a man with his boy who was wetting the bed, and how by expecting his son’s bed to be wet each morning that was the exact experience the man had every morning.
However, when the man decided to focus on and visualise his son’s bed being dry each morning, and his son being happy and feeling proud and confident, that is exactly what started to happen.
So I worked hard on releasing my resistance, my guilt, my pain, my personalisation as to how my son was behaving and how he was treating me and his life.
Then I stopped hooking into his behaviour. I stopped arguing, prescribing and lecturing and instead saw him as I wanted to ‘see’ him.
Every night in my journal I wrote about my son the way I wanted to him to be. I wrote about him being empowered, finding his way, and connecting to his amazing inner wisdom.
And when I wrote about this I made sure I would take my time to really imagine it, and feel it.
I felt my pain drop, my fear release, and I noticed that he was far less combative.
Within a matter of weeks the situation turned around incredibly.
My son had moved out and started being responsible – he was boarding. He got a job, he stopped his self-destructive behaviour. He was finding himself and he got his life back on track.
As human beings we are control freaks, we forget the power within and we try to DO everything we can to change the things that are causing us pain, and worst of all we try to address our issues whilst we are feeling extreme pain.
We don’t realise that this is not the state to create change from.
We forget about our inner vibrational power when we do this, and we forget that no one wants to change themselves because of someone else’s ideas.
In fact when we try to change people against their will and bend them to our own, they are ONLY going to resist. They never will change.
ESPECIALLY our kids!
Yet when we change our vibration about them and stop trying to lecture and prescribe, then their vibration changes, and because they have had a vibrational change it is their change. It becomes their truth that they are not in resistance to.
My greatest advice is, if you are worried about the damage your children have suffered as a result of the narcissist (regardless of whether the narcissist is still in your child’s life or not) heal yourself first and work hard on that.
The manifestation of your child ‘getting better’ has to come from a solid basis of your own empowerment.
If it doesn’t, and you do the ‘self-sacrificial parent act’ of trying to not put yourself first and trying to heal your children without ‘caring’ about your own welfare, your efforts will fall flat, and you will only enable them to stay stuck and sick.
You must lead the way by example – and then work at ‘seeing’ and ‘feeling’ your children as you wish them to be.
This is why I say to so many parents who want to drag their children to therapy against their will – heal your children through yourself – because this is the only way it works!
I have seen miracles take place when parents understand this concept and get on to vibrationally healing themselves and then calling their children up into the energy. The results can be extremely powerful and can occur very quickly.
2) The Children are Turned Against You or Even Taken Away From You By The Narcissistic Parent
This must be one of the most painful experiences anyone could ever experience as a result of narcissistic abuse.
Generally when the narcissist turns the children against you, you are hooked into this severely. This is understandable, because the injustices of lies and smear campaigns affect virtually every human being in really powerful ways.
This will be especially true when your own children are manipulated and turned against you with the use of these tactics.
The truth of the matter is, however, that the more we get emotionally charged, the more we fight back, and the more we try to defend ourself against the narcissist. As a result the atrocities escalate even more, and the more the atrocities work in the narcissist’s favour.
It is a fact of Energetic Law, the more we focus on something, and the more emotional power we grant to that focus, the more we manifest it into our experience.
There is no escaping Energetic Law, and regardless of how ‘wrong’ it is, Energetic Law is unconditional, it does not decide that what the narcissist is doing is ‘wrong’, it just takes your focus and emotional intensity and creates realities based on that in your personal experience.
The more you try to control it and change it by pushing back against it, the more you will cement it in place.
The true remedy for getting out of this emotional charge is ‘know who you are’ and have no need to defend it to anyone – especially your children.
Ignore what is being said, do not try to defend yourself adamantly, do not try to declare your innocence, or try to convince your children that their father or mother is a liar and you are the one telling them the truth.
Do not righteously declare that you deserve better treatment, or personalise, or hold onto the judgement of how ungrateful your children are and how disrespectful they are by treating you this way.
Remember you are only going to manifest ‘more of the same’ if you do.
Do NOT hold resentment toward your children.
It is very important to focus on, feel and journal about the love and connection you have with your children, and be a loving and consistent parent instead.
If they ask you questions regarding the slander, answer unemotionally and factually without getting charged up and without trying to discredit the narcissist. Then having said what you need to, move on. Leave it with your kids, let them process and simply change the subject.
If your children throw awful allegations at you, simply state “That’s okay, everyone can have opinions regarding the facts, and sometimes they differ”. Don’t focus or dwell on it – just get on with being you.
I understand it may be very difficult to not get emotional in this circumstance. But if you maintain constant awareness of your reaction to the allegations, you can identify when you would normally get emotionally charged and from here on choose not to react to it.
If you do this you will be amazed at the results.
Inevitably if you are not the one slandering, lying and retaliating, and you are seen as the calm and loving one, the children will work it out. This always happens. But if you fight back, and get anxious, energised and deranged, you will appear as the ‘wrong one’.
If you children have been turned against you, and you don’t see them anymore, do what you can legally (if you wish to) and at the same time start visualising and feeling love and reconnection.
Let go of all the hurt you can, regarding not seeing your children, and what the narcissist has done, and become a vibration of connection and love with your children instead.
I have seen the most incredible miracles of reconnection (even decades after separation) occur countless times when ostracised parents do this.
3) You Suspect that One or More of Your Children have been Programmed into Becoming Narcissists.
In regards to your concerns about your children’s programming, as a result of being exposed to a narcissistic parent, know this: the narcissist is less likely to behave like a narcissist when you are not present. When you are present, the narcissist is more likely to use the children and turn them against you.
Also know children can grow up with healthy emotional intelligence if they have one stable parent and a narcissistic parent that are not living together – as long as there is a consistency of love and firm healthy boundaries with one parent – which of course will be you.
If you suspect that your child(ren) have become narcissistic you need to visualise, feel and focus on your child getting well, and you need to learn all you can about effective parenting and boundary setting.
This is vital.
4) You have Fears about the Narcissist who has Visitation Rights or Joint Custody.
If you have fear for your children’s life and wellbeing in regard to the narcissist, you do have a right to withhold access until the legal system has determined what is safest for the children’s welfare.
We all know that narcissists do not make great parents. They don’t respect or teach boundaries, their mirroring is unhealthy, and it’s not the greatest environment for our children to be in.
However, narcissists also have legal rights, and it is extremely difficult to get any sort of diagnosis to stop your children from being in the care of the narcissist.
I do urge you that if you really do suspect violation that is sexual or life-threatening, do everything you can to get help and support in order to intervene.
Be very aware though, that the more you push and fight trying to limit or stop access, the more the narcissist is going to be energised and fight you – and the more your children are going to be torn up in the middle.
The truth of that matter is, in many circumstances you may not be able to stop shared custody to some extent– and the more you try to stop it, the bigger fight you will have on your hands.
Again your best bet is to vibrationally deal with this issue within yourself.
When you can become more at peace with the situation and ‘see’ and ‘feel’ that your children will be safe, and they will work their way through this, and when you let go of your resistance and fear (which never helps your children), and you don’t hook in or buy into the narcissist’s behaviour, the less ‘appeal’ the children will have to the narcissist, (especially if he or she is using the children to get at you).
And the less your children will be adversely affected.
So don’t sweat the narcissistic behaviour that would normally push your buttons.
Maintain strong boundaries, and make sure there are agreed visitation, access or consent orders, stating times and days, and don’t step outside them no matter how much the narcissist tries to convince you to.
As soon as you let go of a boundary with a narcissist and give an inch – he or she will take a mile.
Don’t be tempted to change your visitation with the narcissist for ‘favours’. Sick strictly to the agreement, and say ‘no’ to changing them.
Narcissists do not respect boundaries and rules, and all of this works in your favour. Record any breach of agreements. Document all of it, also record the inevitable abuse and attacks when you don’t give in to bending the rules for the narcissist.
Don’t give in to the fear of ‘he will cut off my money’ or ‘she will take it out on the children’. Remember the narcissist has been abusing you and not respecting your boundaries because of your fearful ‘what if’s’ if you don’t comply.
All of this needs to stop, and you need to walk your truth – for you and your children. If the narcissist cuts of payments, deal with it through the relevant authorities, if he or she breaches shared custody agreements document it, and deal with it legally when you have enough evidence.
If the narcissist abuses you verbally, or by text or email place an intervention order on him or her.
Keep your boundaries, know your rights and implement them. Do not hook into conversations, lecturing, prescribing or trying to reach some sort of peaceful agreement without authorities.
Stop expecting the narcissist to act like a rational, normal and co-operate human being – because this is not what narcissists do.
Keep all action you take with the use of third party authorities, don’t threaten the narcissist you are going to do this. Just do it.
Inevitably the narcissist will keep screwing up, their history gets worse and worse, and eventually they lose visitation, or give up and find other ways to create narcissistic supply and lose interest in their children.
So unless you can prove physical threat has occurred to your children, set firm boundaries, get them drawn up and agreed on, stick to them, have total modified contact, and let go of the angst. Then visualise, journal and work at vibrationally manifesting your children as safe and well.
Work on your own vibration not to hook into, get frustrated, or enraged by the narcissist’s attempts to throw you off balance and distress you – because he or she WILL try.
Don’t ever think that by staying because of the children that your children have a better chance. It is well known that narcissists thrive off dementing their love partners, and if you stay, the children get twisted up in all of that and used as ammunition against you.
It is much better for yourself and your children if you leave the relationship and organise as much access as you.
Here are the list of don’t if you are co-parenting with a narc
- Don’t let your children see that the narcissist gets to you through them. It is much better when the children say something about the narcissist, rather than reacting say “Oh well that’s just Dad or Mum’s way” and then state the positive which reinforces confidence, belief and wellbeing to your child. Rather than you demeaning the narcissist to the child, have faith that your child will work it out.
- Don’t overcompensate because of the way the narcissist treats the child. One of the most dangerous recipes to create a narcissistic child is one parent spoiling and having poor boundaries (over-loving) the child, and the other being a narcissist. Don’t fall for that trap.
- Heal yourself, let go of your pain, fear and resistance regarding the narcissist, and learn all you can about how to be a healthy parent raising children with firm loving boundaries and positive mirroring – this is essential.
You may be competing with a narcissist who is spoiling, buying and appealing to the materialistic side of your children.
Hold firm in your values and truth, and realise that real love is not fancy gadgets and expensive gifts. It is consistency, emotional sustenance and the knowing that you are present, reliable and true. This will pay off in the long run – especially if you don’t buy into the resentment of what the narcissist is doing, and try resentfully to compete with him or her.
5) Your Child is in a Narcissistic Relationship
This is tough – really tough.
It is horrible seeing someone you love so much throwing their life and emotions away in a narcissistic relationship and getting horrifically damaged in the meantime.
First of all have empathy – and tons of it.
Logically you can’t believe why they would tolerate this and stay (unless you have been in an narcissistic relationship yourself), and you may see that this child is attractive, intelligent and capable, and you believe it should be so easy for him or her to say goodbye and move on with their life.
But it isn’t. You child is hooked up in an intense peptide addiction akin to being a heroin addict, and it is not that simple.
One thing is for certain, the more you try to fix, argue, demand, lecture and prescribe, the more you are going to push your child deeper into the clutches of the narcissist.
Your child has to make his or her decision to break away and want to stay away.
This is the time for unconditional love and letting your child know you are there to support and help when he or she comes to you, but you respect that your child has to make his or her own decisions.
Remember again this is a soul lesson, this is a karmic lesson that your child has chosen at a soul level to go through – in order to heal his or her unhealed parts – just as you did.
Work hard at getting your focus off fear, distress, hatred for the narcissist and everything else that is negatively energising you.
I know this is totally counter intuitive to what you think you should be doing, and I know how hard it is to drop it and let go of control.
But truly the way you would normally do this is not going to work.
It is human nature when forced to do something against his or her will to rebel, and not comply. Getting free and well has to be your child’s vibrational choice.
Start working on releasing your pain and fear and start seeing and feeling (manifesting) you child as getting well, and that he or she will see it for what it is, and is becoming empowered.
That is the true way to help him or her heal and break free.
This article has been a long one but there is a good reason for that.
Understanding how to create the best possible outcome for our children when exposed to narcissists is a very important and heart-felt topic.
I am aware that my solutions to helping our children may seem too glib and etheral to some of you.
What I have written may be conflicting to some beliefs or what has been written about children in regards to narcissistic abuse.
I wish to state that there is a good reason for us, it is a powerful soul lesson that we must learn in order to recognise the gift of narcissistic abuse.
We only have the power to change what’s inside of us. No one else.
I have witnessed over the years that when people recognise this lesson and put their efforts into changing their inner world that their outer world, and what is important to them, including their children changes drastically.
Please know every day I receive the indisputable proof that what I share DOES WORK.
I have seen the most-heartbreaking stories turn into joy, love, reconnection and healing at break-neck speed when a parent works hard at letting go of the pain and the fear, and does align their inner vibration to be match for what they DO want for their children.
As a result of the pain we are suffering regarding our children, we truly can come ‘home’ and realise the incredible and powerful creators that we really are – and how we and our loved ones all benefit when we claim that power.
If you have already transformed your inner world, and experienced the changes it has created for your children, I know you could help inspire others.
Please share your stories in the comments below.
Latest posts by Melanie Tonia Evans (see all)
- Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse Story #19 Marie - October 31, 2014
- From Being Trapped To Your Personal Freedom – Part 2 - October 23, 2014
- From Being Trapped To Your Personal Freedom – Part 1 - October 16, 2014