23 Things Only People Who Were Raised By Narcissistic Parents Will Understand
You have a fragmented sense of identity. Trauma creates fragments — creating a split among memories, emotions, thoughts, and sensations.
By Shahida Arabi
Your life doesn’t stop being traumatic once you turn eighteen. It continues as a cycle of trauma reenactment. You may wonder why you become easily entrapped in toxic relationships with people who resemble your parents or exploitative friendships that seem to reenact your childhood adversity. This is because adult children of narcissists tend to become subconsciously drawn to dangerous people as a result of their upbringing. Their bodies and minds are accustomed to chaos and even biochemically “addicted” to it due to these early traumas. You are still working through ancient programming and beliefs.
Your independence is vital for your own safety and well-being. So is your alone time. Being hyper-independent and alone most of the time may seem like a lonesome burden to people who weren’t raised by a toxic parent. But for you, it’s absolute bliss. Being alone means you finally get to choose who gets to be in your life and who has the ability to affect your emotions on a daily basis — a choice you never got to make as a child when you were constantly bombarded with the problems of the adults who were supposed to take care of you. As an adult, you find yourself savoring your alone time as you give your nervous system the time and space it always needed to heal.
You were an adult before you ever got to be a child — and now, you sometimes still feel like a child in an adult’s body. You may have grown up being told that you were very “mature” for your age. People often comment on how you seem to have wisdom beyond your years. Yet as an adult you find yourself still feeling like a child at times. That’s because as a kid, you were simultaneously infantilized and parentified. Narcissistic parents demean their children into feeling like they can’t venture out into the world on their own without their help to keep them dependent on them; on the other hand, they also shoulder their children with the burden of being parents to their parents.