About

I am the adult son of a narcissistic mother and a perfectly enabling father with twin golden child younger brothers.  I have spent the majority of my life dealing and living with the ramifications of my upbringing with a narcissist.  Recent events have made my life nearly impossible to continue in the same pattern, having three failed significant relationships in my adult life, so I went searching for answers.  Learning those answers was probably the most painful experience of my entire life.

I write this blog for several reasons:

– First, as a means to sort through my feelings.  Hopefully those of you who have had similar experiences may identify with some of mine.  I hope that I offer an alternate view and perspective to the information that is already available.

– Second, I write because there is very little information that I have been able to find by and for men who grew up with a narcissistic parent.  I hope that this blog will be beneficial to any men (and women, too) who have had their lives significantly impacted by a narcissistic family upbringing.

I do not have therapist’s credentials and only can offer my experiences.  I have a highly analytic mind thanks to years of hyper vigilance, and have done significant research on the topics of narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder and other cluster B personality types.  I have also “walked the walk” so to speak, and I firmly believe that unless you experience narcissistic abuse, you have a very difficult time grasping the magnitude of the damage it can do.

Thank you for joining me on my journey.

Stephen Bach

29 comments on “About

  1. I didn’t even see it. I am forty three and the only child of a NPD mother. I woke up slowly in the last couple years. Its a living nightmare. This woman who is suppose to be my mother that loves and protects me, damn near killed me several times. It helps to know someone else gets it. She has me isolated with her smear campaign. I only stay fighting her for my three daughters that she has a hold over. Thank you for sharing your story. It does help others out there when no one in their lives understands it.

  2. Hi Julie,

    I’m so sorry that you have had to endure a lifetime of abuse from an NPD mother. It is truly a nightmare. You are right, no one understands unless they have been through it and have let go of their denial about it. Those people are very few. Accepting the fact that the one person in the world that was always supposed to have your back would be the first person to put a knife in it is truly a horrific realization.

    I can only imagine how difficult it is to fight your mother’s smear campaign with your daughters. It must take an amazing amount of strength and energy to take on that battle.

    Know that you aren’t alone, Julie, and that others are here to help you and help you to try and make some sense of it all.

    Best wishes on your healing journey, Julie.

    Stephen Bach

  3. Hi Stephen, I just found you over at Kim’s blog. My father has Narc qualities and my ExH also same. I hesitate to self diagnose but…I’ve come to realize nothing I do will ever be good enough. I have also been badly used by my father in business schemes. I look forward to reading your blog. I also blog and just did a post on knowing the difference between a Narcissist and an A**hole. 🙂

    • Hi Lisa and welcome!

      I’m sorry you have a father that treats you so horribly. It is horrible when the people that should always have your back are constantly sticking a knife in it. I’ve been through similar situations with going from abusive parent to abusive spouse (and another abusive spouse followed by an abusive long term girlfriend) before I finally hit bottom hard enough to want to fix ME.

      Best wishes on your healing journey, Lisa. I will make a point to check out your blog.

      Stephen Bach

  4. Thank you to all that have made me finally aware, it is the most liberating feeling in my 43 year old world to know that information and people exist that makes us know what we are dealing with.
    My mother fits all the criteria for a Sociopath NPD.
    My wife, daughter and myself are starting our new lives after being involved in a “family business”
    We have not a lot but we have everything.
    Regards.
    Clinton

    • Welcome Clinton!

      I am sorry that you also were made to endure a life with a narcissistic mother. It’s a horrible existence that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Good for you for finding the strength to break free! Yes, there is a lot more to life than money, and I’d trade emotional well being for money in a heartbeat.

      Best wishes on your healing journey, Clinton, and thanks for stopping by.

      Stephen

    • Please can someone comment on the complete lack of get up and go that one feels. I am a talented competent man but continually feel a type a energy lack that takes over and puts me in a place of non-action. I don’t like the feeling at all.

      • I am not the son of a narcissist, but my husband is. And my husband is a narcissist. I couldn’t help but reply to your comment because after years (actually almost two decades) of being undermined, manipulated, and way too nice to narcissists, I have developed some anxieties and tendencies to avoid social interaction with anyone but those closest to me. I have had low levels of depression for some time. I cannot muster the energy to sustain some of the most basic tasks. If I get supper on the table, pick the kids up from school and help them with their homework and maybe do one load of laundry a day, I’m doing good. I came to a point in my life after being so controlled by my narcissists that I just gave up and figured I would never be able to have the reins. I beat myself up for so long that I could not do more. . . but I was criticized for everything I did. I just gave up. I am working on overcoming this by trying to get some fresh air and exercise first thing in the morning and making goal lists for each day. Some days, I’m great. But the next day, I fall flat on my face.

        I experience this energy zap and non-action too. I’ve tried to show myself some mercy and give myself days where I don’t do much and have something fun to do. Fun for me would be going for a walk as odd as that sounds. . . I really was deprived of having my wants/needs met for so long that the simplest things are luxuries to me.

      • Oh Clinton, you are not alone. I know exactly what you are talking about. My whole life has been “in a place of non-action”. Starts and stops. It’s hard but getting better. I love your quote “we have not a lot but we have everything”. Same with me and my family. We’ll be okay.

      • The motivation piece stems from an ambivalence that was created by manipulation and set in stone by betrayal. I struggle with it almost daily, and yet I am as capable as anyone.

  5. Hi Stephen? First of all i admire your courage in speaking up about narcissistic abuse from parents. One thing that always puzzles me is why children of narcissists may at times have a problem having meaningful relationships with the opposite sex. I’m 25 and have already suffered numerous failed relationships which is evident on my blog as i chronicle my journey. At times i find myself wondering whether i’ll ever experience a wholesome loving relationship with a man. I hope my prayers finally get answered. What i would like to encourage you is to keep your head up no matter what you go through because this life is a journey and as an ACoN too, i believe we shall one day overcome.

    • Hi B&P, and welcome!

      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! Greatly appreciated!

      I think it’s great that you see the pattern in your relationships already. It took me another 20 years after age 25 to figure it out. Like you, I continued to pursue cluster B types in my adult relationships. I didn’t properly heed the red flags, even if they were wrapped around my head. I truly thought all women were crazy and were out to take advantage of me, so I let them, just like I let my mother get away with the same behavior.

      I’m sure there’s the right man out there for you and you will find him someday. One thing I’ve done to help me with dating is to make a list of red flags and review them from time to time. So far it’s helped me to keep from getting sucked into another cluster B vortex.

      One thing that is very important when pursuing relationships is that I have to love myself in order to love someone else. I have to trust myself in order to trust someone else. I have met many many women who have been through failed relationships and don’t trust themselves. They don’t trust their instincts and don’t trust that they have what it takes to prevent themselves from falling into another disaster. This becomes very apparent in how they relate to me. They are always looking for ways that I might be taking advantage of them; looking for reasons not to trust me. It’s not a healthy way to go into a relationship and becomes a self fulfilling prophesy. When we’ve been made to endure such abuse, it’s hard to put ourselves back out there and be emotionally available again, but as they say, like attracts like, and if I am emotionally unavailable, I will most likely end up with another woman who is emotionally unavailable.

      Yes, we will one day overcome. I am thankful that I have the ability to let go of my denial of my past. Many do not have that ability. It’s truly a blessing, and means that you can change and are not condemned to repeat the past.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, B&P, and best wishes on your healing journey.

      Stephen

      • Thank you too so much Stephen for taking your time to reply to my comment. I find your words highly insightful. Plus you will be hearing from me frequently as i noticed your blog has a lot to offer to us readers in a similar problem. You are truly a blessing 🙂

  6. Hello Stephen. Kudos to you for speaking up and providing a place for others who are similarly challenged to do the same; we are in your debt, sir. I’m 53 and the scapegoat son of an vicious NPD mother, and I fervently hope that all who seek it find peace and contentment.

    Bumpsandpotholes, let me give you some perspective and some hope. I had the same experiences as you at the same age, failed relationship after failed relationship, and the ones that seemed to last longer were proportional to and predicated upon how much misery I could endure, although I could not see it at the time. After a dark period of self doubt and subsequent research, I had an epiphany–I discovered that
    a) I had some narcissistic tendencies myself and
    b) I was wired to seek a woman like my oppressor, my mother. Without ever consciously being aware of what I was doing, I was assuming that women with my mothers characteristics were “good ” and those who didn’t were “bad”. It was very shallow and appearance based, like my mom.

    Once you realize how self-defeating this is, take steps to make sure that you are not emulating the same behavior you detest (I was, in many cases, without understanding why I was). Then acknowledge that your criteria is skewed and that appearances can be deceiving, there is one and only one characteristic that is truly important in a mate: kindness. Not money, not position or success, not looks, not , but small but consistent acts of kindness, especially when no one else is looking. It seems so simple, yet so overlooked.

    After I did that, I met a very nice girl and we married. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last year.

    There is hope. Don’t ever abandon it. 🙂

  7. Thank you so much Popeye for your kind words. I have actually discovered that i sometimes exhibit narc tendencies and that i tend to choose emotionally unavailable men or men who have underlying psychological issues. I’m currently trying to change those aspects in my life. Congragulations on your 25th wedding anniversary. You are truly blessed and deserve it 🙂

  8. Thank you for your blog.

    I am 43 now.

    My mother was the Narcissist, my father was one of her victims, and my Step father who raised me was definitely her enabler.
    I can relate in ways I find uncomfortable.
    The counseling, Shaming, Broken paddles (Step dad).
    No golden child…unless I was it for whatever reasons.
    Instead I had an older sister who was well trained and abused by my mom.

    So we both got blamed for everything.
    Plus my mom had been quite the abuser of nerve pills. Which lead to some underdeveloped lungs.

    She blamed my dad. She than tried to kill me at a year old to get back at my dad.
    That was the first time.
    Sister pulled her off of me and took me away till she cooled off.

    She tried again when I was in 3rd or 4th grade.
    She tried bleeding me out from my head. Had it planned I guess.
    She even stopped off at a friends house to say sorry for canceling out on helping her out.
    It was my fault.
    She tried to make me walk into the emergency room….I collapsed.

    She had everyone comforting her while she kept telling me to be quiet and let them put the 90+ stitches in my head.
    I was in the hospital for 3 days.

    But everyone bought her story. Never asked me.

    Sent home to stories about a demonic entity smashing a window, and slamming down on the broken glass in the frame.

    I eventually learned and repeated the story myself.
    Had to protect her. Though I was permanently damaged and scarred.

    I can’t even go into the other times..

    My sister had it worse with mental abuse.
    Plus both being raped as children.
    Me: by a neighbor
    Her: By one of my moms extra marital relations.
    Mom wanted to have no part of letting that get out.
    So neither of us got help.

    I woke up to life not being right in my 30’s after my mom had died.
    That knotted up core of pain that is like Ebola for the soul.
    Still have it. Just know what it is and why now.

    I was the last one to see her. But I never cried, and considered it a wonderful release in hindsight.

    You are brave to tell the truth.

    You are right about the lack of anything for men. There is little for us to draw from.
    I struggle with suicidal thoughts and flashbacks, having never found any help professionally.

    Still coming to grips still with the horror I was taught was all my fault and normal.
    I was overreacting. I still take blame and receive blame for and from all kinds of messed up types that are like my family.

    Thank you for your honesty

    • You are free….I’m actually enjoying the healing even tho it can mess with your head more….praying for acceptance for you…..you are free.

  9. You are right that unless you’ve experienced a relationship with a narcissist (especially a parent), it can be difficult to grasp the magnitude of the damage!

    I am married to a narcissist who is the son of a narcissistic mother, an enabling father and golden child younger brother. I came from a loving home, and wow, I have had a difficult 20 years trying to figure out what the heck was happening to my marriage, myself and my immediate family unit.

    My husband and I are still married, but there is a constant battle. I am estranged from the in-laws; and I actually initiated that estrangement. It’s been the most healing thing I have done thus far in dealing with the emotional abuse rendered to me. I encouraged my husband to make his own decision concerning his relationship with his parents; and I have never told him what to do on that score. He is deeply hurt and angered by them, but he hangs onto a relationship of minimum contact with them because. . . get this. . . he is afraid of them disinheriting him. (They are fairly well-to-do.) That “inheritance” is used to manipulate, and he can’t quite disentangle himself from that control.

    Anyway, I look forward to reading your observations and experiences in hopes I can glean something that will encourage or help us here.

  10. Hello,

    Before today I wondered what condition would I call it to describe my mother’s behavior towards me (and everyone else in general). Now it will be easier to tell someone that she has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    I am a 28 yo guy and unfortunately the only son of my N-mom and my father (who I now identify as her enabler). My father is not much of a father figure and my mother clearly dominates him, and he lets her thus enabling her Narcissistic behavior. She has dominated me my whole life through control, abuse, neglect, lies, and injecting my mind with Fear, Guilt and Obligation (FGO). And although since the last couple of years I have realized how unhealthy this relationship is (has been and will be) for me, I am not able to completely break it off (No contact as I so wish I could do). There are two reasons why I am not able to, both interrelated. And they are 1) being the only child in 2) a “family oriented” culture, where children are expected to look after their parents when they get old, and respect them no matter what. This belief that parents deserve respect because they are “parents” is so deeply rooted in my culture that it is almost close to impossible to convince someone that respect is earned and not inherited. Any attempt to breakaway from your parents is looked down upon. You are looked upon as an incompetent, disrespectful, selfish and bad son/daughter who puts his/her own happiness before the happiness of his/her parents who “sacrificed their lives” to raise him/her. Your reasons are looked upon as immature and sissy excuses. You are just expected to deal with those reason (which is a considered a sign of maturity) just like everyone else does in my society because “parents” can never be wrong and everything that was done was in your “best interest”. That’s when the FGO kicks in again and I stay put.

    I realize that it is going to be difficult to take the first step given my circumstances but I must do it. I must get out of this cycle before it is too late. Damage is done but damage control must begin now than later.

    I will need help and I will seek it. Steven, and everyone else who have commented and shared their stories on this site, I want to thank you all for your open encouragement. It is our strength that gives strength to others. Appreciated.

    • Brother, I walked away. I am a single father of a 15 year old daughter. I was in a family business with my Narc mother and enabling agro father, who recently passed away. Please, I speak with love, empathy and integrity. WALK AWAY. I have been out for 6 months now. Although I am struggling with all aspects of my decision I am happy and have the adult type tools to deal with any problem that may come my way. For the first time in my life I am me and not an extension of someone else. Walk away in a way that does not create anger within you. Try to create an inner sense of self that will present in an outer attitude of indifference. It was the the hardest thing I have ever done but without a doubt the most satisfying. Please dont wait for as long as I did. I dont know what your circumstances are, I had to walk away in my mind and soul long before it was physically possible, if this is your situation too then do it . You are an adult, dont repeat the behavior, dont doubt yourself. Mourn the loss of them and be what you want to be. THIS IS YOUR MOST BASIC OF HUMAN RIGHTS. It only gets worse, you can not make a lion behave like a rabbit. Narcs only get worse, not better. Celebrate your life, its YOURS. If my extended stay in parents company has shown me how to not raise my daughter and helped just one person to make this decision earlier than I did then it was worth it. I feel for you and I dont know you, that is more than they will ever do for you, as your parents. Listen to Ben Harper/ walk away. Off the album Mars. Youtube. Good Luck, write anytime. Might take a while but I will respond. You are not alone. “our greatest illusion is that of separation”

      • Clinton,

        Thank you for your supporting reply. I read and re-read your reply and it gives me great comfort every time.

        I spent the last 10 days with my parents in time of a family event. These were the most amazing and peaceful 10 days I have spent with my parents in a really long time. And it had been so not because there was a change in my mother’s behavior, it was because this time around, I was aware of the reason behind her behavior and so I accepted her behavior more calmly and peacefully. Since the past few weeks, I have consciously distanced myself emotionally from my parents, drawn a clear and stern boundary between what she expects me to do to feed her ego and what I think is the right thing to do and have decided to go for the latter every time without feeling any false guilt of disappointing my mother. It has been a wonderful and empowering journey. And the best part about all this is that it has only been a few weeks. This is just the beginning.

        I have always loved the song “Numb” by Linkin Park. I always loved its lyrics and could relate to it. But it was today when I listened to it again, that I realized why. This song defines the lives of sons and daughters of Narcs.

        Thanks again. For your reply and the song !

      • Being an extension of my Narc made me feel like Norman Bates in Psycho. It was so codependent. My Narc pushed me away and it was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I’m still rebuilding my self, but I now there is a place in me that’s only mine, and I love it that way.

  11. Daughter of narcissistic mother here. You are very brave for getting your story out. Will follow!

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