What the @#$%? is Wrong With My Family
The Chaos, Confusion, and Madness of Growing Up in a Narcissistic Family
Written by Randi Fine
Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine
Have you ever asked yourself, “What the @#$%? is wrong with my family”? Are you confused by the bizarre behavior of your family members?
When we think of family we think of the enjoyment of togetherness, dedication,and love. Narcissistic families “appear” to have all those qualities but instead of enjoyment they cause us stress, anger, frustration, depression, and disgust. They zap our energy and leave our heads spinning with confusion.
The narcissistic parent demands total loyalty from each family member but no loyalty exists between them. Each member is in his or her own corner fighting for survival.
We look at happy families getting together and having fun, and wonder why ours can’t be that way; why we dread spending time with them.
A family is a group of people that are committed to caring for one another, loving one another, supporting one another, and protecting one another. The cohesiveness of the family group relies on the implicit promise of honesty, truth, loyalty, dependability, and altruism among all its members. There are some families that function well in this disregard and there are some families that do not. The families that do not are said to be “dysfunctional”.
The fact that a family argues or has problems from time to time does not make it dysfunctional. It’s perfectly normal for families to encounter obstacles and for there to be conflict among its members. When we characterize a family as dysfunctional it’s because of the emotional pain, the mistrust, and confusion that is prevalent among its members.
Every family ruled by a narcissistic parent is dysfunctional. And the home life of a child living in this type of environment is chaotic, confusing, loveless, volatile, and unpredictable.
The mind games narcissistic parents play with their children cause a lifetime of damage.
Children who are in narcissistic families are deprived of the basic building blocks that create a healthy self-esteem, autonomy, and individuality. These losses impair a child’s ability to adjust to life in a healthy way.
After constantly being exposed to so much chaos and drama in these households, children are saddled with a lifetime of emotional struggles. That is why recovery from this kind of abuse is so difficult.
From the outside looking in the narcissistic family appears to be a “normal” family, and that is not an accident. It is purposely designed by the narcissistic parent to appear that way so no one will interfere with their reign of terror. What goes on behind closed doors and what everyone else sees are entirely different. No one believes what we say or understands what we are experiencing, and no one comes to our rescue.
In this episode of A Fine Time for Healing titled, What the @#$%? is Wrong With My Family, Randi Fine discusses the chaos, confusion, and madness of growing up in a narcissistic family.
Randi Fine is the author of the groundbreaking book Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Healing, the most comprehensive, most well researched, and most up-to-date book on this subject. In addition to helping survivors recognize their abuse and heal from it, this book teaches mental health professionals how to recognize and properly treat the associated abuse syndrome. She is also the author of Cliffedge Road: A Memoir, the first and only book to characterize the life-long progression of complications caused by narcissistic child abuse.