So what happens if someone doesn’t want to return to childhood? Well, at least not when it comes to their own childhood. I’m always quick to point out that it’s never too late to have a great childhood. That being said, one of the great tragedies in life is when someone’s childhood is ruined, particularly by abuse or… really bad parenting.
I’m not one for pointing fingers or blaming others — that’s childish — but for those of you out there who need some tips on getting past a less than stellar upbringing, maybe this book by Nina Brown will help. I cracked up at the title: Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up’s Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents.
I have not personally read the book, but it might be worth checking out. You may find some good answers in there.
I just hope it doesn’t become the instruction manual for today’s kids.
[tags]Nina Brown, Children of the Self-Absorbed, child abuse, bad parents, parenting, childhood[/tags]
You laugh at those who may suffer from Narcissistic Parents? This is a real condition, people live this. Constant critisism from a parent you love really messes with your head.
Nope, I’m not laughing at all. I mentioned this book in the hopes that it might help people who are suffering with Narcissistic Parents.
Your cracking up at the title of the book “Children of the Self-Absorbed” is odd. I don’t get it. Also I don’t get your comment about hoping the book does not become a manual for children. Neither of these makes any sense. It sounds like you do not understand and/or have any need to understand narcissistic parents, which is a real thing and when discovered and understood by those people who were raised by them, helps them on the path towards understanding why they were damaged and to get on with their lives and find happiness. So, I just don’t know why you would recommend a book you haven’t read, that has a title that makes you crack up, that is on a subject you don’t seem to understand or take seriously????? Huh?
Please see my response to the previous comment by Lauren. By now, I completely regret my decision to use the phrase, “I cracked up at the title.” That was probably the wrong choice of words.
Part of me found humor in the title because I couldn’t believe that some parents could be so clueless that a book like this would actually have to be published. Obviously, it’s a bigger problem than I realized, and in no way do I wish to make light of the terrible impact such irresponsible parenting has had on many people. I think narcissistic parenting is a form of child abuse.
The reason I said I hope the book does not become an instruction manual for children is because I hope that the problem of narcissistic parents does not become so mainstream that the majority of children will need it. Somedays I fear it will.
Although I haven’t read the book, I did recommend it because it seems like it would most certainly help people who have struggled with this. Thank you both for sharing your persepctive on this subject and adding a lot more value to this post.
Uh oh, Jason, stepped on some toes with the “cracked up” comment. As a 42 year old child of a raging narcissist, and though the man is dead six years now, I still can’t get his destructive patterns of relating to others out of my life, or my personality structure. I’m not at all offended by your comments about the book, but it does create a feeling of wistfulness that I can’t seem to put some fun and lightness in my childhood memories as you do here or even have my childhood (in a healthy way ) NOW! I struggle with old internalized dysfunctional tapes set in by such a ridiculous parent. Just when I think I’ve conquered them, there I am, back in it, digging my way out!
You know what would be cool: YOU read the book, and do some comic strips that would help those of us who struggle with the narcissistic parenting nightmare, and help us smile as we cry and struggle to get over it, claim our lives back…. and ENJOY alittle childhoodlike stuff now….as adults.
Anna–I applaud you for your bravery. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to set out to reprogram the many years of junk passed on to you by your father. To some extent, we all have issues from childhood that need to be weeded out, but in the case of abuse, such a task is even more monumental.
From the little you shared — and I am no psychologist — it sounds like you are making progress, even though the struggle is still there. My friend Eliz is fond of saying, “It’s not about perfection, it’s about moving in the right direction.” Kudos to you for be willing to fight for what you deserve: healing, peace, and a “second childhood” teeming with abundant joy. God bless you!
Carol L says
I am a 51 year old child of two narcissistic parents. My parents have been dead for many years also. You are the first person I ever heard of that has dead parents and speaks of still dealing with this junk. I am getting help and progressing. Oh the struggle. I have read parts of the book. It does provide me with a sense of comfort and hope that I will be able to learn how to override the internal negativity and critisim that creeps up and grabs me now and again. It’s nice to know I am not alone. I wish there were more books to address this issue. Thank you.
I LOVE the suggestion of a comedy routine or comic strip that features the child of some with Narcisstic Personality Disorder! To be able to laugh at the issues would be terrific. A little painful sure – and other people might not get the humour, but it would be great for children of Narcissists who are struggling.
Carol, I’m sorry to know that you are still struggling, even though your parents are dead. I predict that the day my mother dies will be the day I can truly breathe freely.
Kind of depressing comments by Carol and Anna. Depressing because I am a 37 year old who has two absolutely distructive N parents. One feeds off of the other. I have been tramatized by my sick mother, and father is a clueless sidekick. They are still alive, (sad to say I could care less if they died) and I already know that I’ll be fighting the demons probably for the rest of my life. 99% of the world thinks they are wonderfull (they have ton’s of money). They lie about me, to hide they are so screwed up and I know it.
Hang in there, Sean…
Narcissistic parenting IS a form of child abuse. Yes, it is but its really hard to detect because 99% of the world thinks the parents are wonderful people.
Oh, well, at least someone can laugh about it. If you read the book you may still not understand what its like to be forgotten late at night in a strange place… many times… before you turn ten.
Ashton Miyako says
I am so glad to find out that is not only my mother who lies about me.
I am a 21 y/o female struggling with a mother who believes only she is right. She lies about me to others until people no longer wish to see me because of the horrible child I have become and the things I do to her.
Funny enough… the things she describes that I do to her.. she is doing to me.
Thank you again Sean for sharing.
I bought this book and I laughed at the title too. I laughed because its pathetic that I had to buy it in the first place so, I guess my laughter comes from a different place? I dunno. It was very helpful and it validated a lot of the feelings I have inside. I cried at different parts because its so overwhelming sometimes. I do not think the authors of this blog were being mean spirited. They seem very helpful and nice in their responses. I recommend the book. =:)
I’m getting a copy of the book from a friend tomorrow and can’t wait to read it. I’m 60 years old and am still dealing with a DNP (mother). She was physically and emotionally abusive as well. My adult response for years was to avoid her and that worked superficially for years. Now she’s in her eighties and can no longer drive so she’s dependent on me and my sister for help with just about everything, so I’m forced back into her life and it leaves me exhausted and tense and stressed to the max every time. Unless you’ve lived it you’d never understand.
Sue, thanks for the comment. I truly hope the book provides some helpful answers that alleviate your stress and tension. God bless!