Full article here.
If you’re particularly sensitive or empathic by nature, you’re more likely to respond to narcissistic parenting with a stance I call echoism… Narcissistic parents who explode without warning, or collapse in tears any time a child dares to express a need, force sensitive children to take up as little room as possible, as if having any expectations at all is an act of selfishness.
I interpret this as not wanting me to exist. This also reminds me of my sister’s bouts of hysterics when I said I wasn’t coming to one of the reunions, and when I asked her about the possibility of our mother’s psychotic break.
3. Insecure attachment.
The neglect, abuse, or emotional absence of a narcissistic parent can make us question how safe we are in other people’s hands. Roughly speaking, insecure attachment can take two forms: avoidant attachment… and anxious attachment, where we chase after love, pursuing—sometimes angrily—the connection we long for with our loved ones (Why won’t you pay attention to me!). Whether you become anxious or avoidant depends on a complex combination of temperament and consistency in care and attention, but ongoing neglect tends to create avoidance, and unpredictable attention generally yields anxiety.
I suspect I got neglect from my mother, and unpredictable attention from my older siblings.
A related problem is something I call need-panic. Narcissistic parents can make their children terrified of their needs, who bury them by becoming compulsive caretakers or simply falling silent. They may hum along for a while, seeming to need nothing from their partners or friends.
Then, a crisis hits, and suddenly—in ways they find deeply unsettling—they call their friends incessantly or seek constant reassurance.
For a few months after The Susan Incident, I was almost incapable of NOT talking about it to anyone who would listen. This impulse surfaced again after 2012, when my youngest brother threw the whole thing back in my face, after 11 years of trying to stuff it down — plus more unpleasant revelations about how everyone had responded to it — and I finally started really working on it.
7. Extreme narcissism.
The more aggressive a child is by nature, the more likely they are to respond to narcissistic parenting by playing a game of if you can’t beat them, join them: “I’ll just make sure I’m the loudest, prettiest, smartest person in the room. That way no one can make me feel unimportant again.” If you’re born with a stubborn, bombastic temperament and exposed to the kind of neglectful or abusive parenting narcissists often provide, you’re more likely to end up narcissistic yourself.
My SIL in a nutshell.