Mental Health Support

Child of Narcissism

Child of Narcissism

I've been suffering with depression for years now but I've gotten to the point where I don't reach out anymore because I feel like I've talked about everything too much. I wake up with heartache every morning. I have a few ideas of where it stems from. Missing my family in Virginia. (I'm in San Diego, California.) Feeling like I'm settling here. Feeling like I'll never reach my full potential. Losing faith in humanity and the restoration of the planet. I also have extreme jealousy towards others. (Guys and girls.) So bad that I just don't want to go out sometimes. I am constantly comparing myself to others. Constantly asking my wife if she thinks someone else is pretty or cute. And if she does, then I always end up wanting to be more like them. I'm never satisfied with myself. I grew up with a mentally abusive, narcissistic father so that might be a huge part of why I am the way I am. I know it's mostly my fault and it's up to me to fix what's going on within me. I just need some help or advice or even just a friend who understands. I have no friends here and I've become extremely lonely.

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Hi sorry to hear that we all understand here coz we've got similar issues so never fear reaching out love. It can help to list the things we'd love to happen which we think would improve our lives and then see how many are possible and make them possible one at a time. Why can't you move back home is it work? If your wife is with you then she finds you attractive not anyone else. We can get jealous when we see people have a 'perfect' life or looks but you don't know what's really underneath the exterior. Try to focus on making your life better as much as is possible with this burden of mental illness.

Take care we're here.

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Much of what you say I can relate to thoroughly. However, you have given only very scant information about yourself. How old you are, whether 'talking' about your problems was with a professional or not, whether you take any form of medications, how you came to the realisation that because the problems you say your father had made him not exactly the most propitious person to be around and that has affected you from childhood to the adult you are today. All of these are important points needing some kind of clarification. The charges you level at your father are medical in their essence, 'narcissistic', that sounds like a partial diagnosis, and mental abuse on his part also seems like a partial psychiatric diagnosis. Of course, I may be extremely wrong given the fact that, to coin a phrase, there are two sides to every story but I would like to extend the hand of friendship should you wish to do the same. But always remember, you are you. As Mr Shakespeare wrote, 'to thine own self be true/and it will follow/like the night the day/that thou canst be false to no man......'

John

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I suffered with undiagnosed depression until I was 44 years old (I am in my 60's now) due to accumulated incidents of disenfranchised grief and the lack of a supportive family environment in which emotions were not encouraged to be expressed. So I stuffed everything down deep which resulted in not only depression but also several chronic illnesses with which I struggle to this day.

In my ongoing recovery from these things, I learned that at the core of my being I believed that I was somehow defective because of the messages I internalized as a child. My self esteem was rooted in shame.

I can't help but wonder why you are always comparing yourself to others. What has wounded you so deeply in your life?

It has taken me a long time to accept myself as well.

Have you ever had therapeutic support in grieving the issues of your childhood? Check out YouTube, there are several videos on the impact on children raised by mentally ill parents. You may gain some insight into why you are feeling the way that you do.

Early childhood trauma (like the environment that you have described) can impact the foundation for how we process experience creating assumptions about ourselves and others. Children who carry grief from their childhood unresolved will turn their anger inwards resulting in low self esteem, depression and chronic feelings of guilt and physical complaints. These are the things I have learned in my recovery.

By the way, you are NOT responsible for the behavior of your father/ his mental illness or the impact it has had on you. When we grow up in confusing households for whatever reason, we grow up confused it seems.

As for not having friends, your wife must be a remarkable woman - is she not supportive? Do you have other couples you spend time with?

Your thoughts are narrowly focused on things you cannot control - what things interest you? What type of work have you enjoyed in the past? Did you have friends at work? What is available in your neighborhood? What interests do you and your wife enjoy together? What things would you like to try that you've never done before?

Depression distorts our ability to see things as they are instead of how we feel. There are a number of excellent resources available about the depression of grief from centerforloss.com.

Have you considered counseling or working with a therapist who is skilled in teaching you new skills in processing feelings?

Surely there are things in your life that you are grateful for - what are they?

Your father's impact may be your history but it does not need to define who you choose to be.

It is my prayer that you will find the inner strength to rise above what has happened to you and to develop a healthier self-concept. There is hope, what will you do to find it?

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I too am the child of a narcissist, so I understand :) Gemma X

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I understand completely. I was horribly abused in every way for many years and I'm finally trying to cope with it. I hate getting out of bed. I cry alot. I'm scared. I'm 43 and I feel like a total failure. I've started therapy again with a trauma counselor. I know how it feels to always want to be someone else. I dissociated throughout my childhood til recently until I could finally face this. It is absolute hell. I just hope I can help others. Good luck to you.

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