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The Narcissists Child Left Out in the Cold

Linda Martinez-Lewi Ph.D.

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A happy baby and young child is a great joy to everyone. His eyes twinkle, he smiles ear to ear, laughs from his belly. His body vibrates with the celebration of the moment. He moves freely and spontaneously; he gazes at his mother or father and beams with delight at the love that is pouring through him. A child who is cherished as an individual is very likely to become an adult who feels genuine self worth and is capable of freely giving love to others.

The narcissist's child was exploited as the puppet of his parents. He suffers severe psychological impoverishment. Though he may be a high achiever in the world, he is always seeking his true authentic identity. The child of the narcissist is treated without empathy since these parents are only capable of thinking and feeling about themselves. If both parents are narcissistic, the child is left out in the cold to fend for himself. Sometimes, through fate he has a compassionate babysitter, nanny , or teacher who offers the warmth of genuine acceptance.

The child of a narcissist is severely wounded. He suffers from the psychological deprivation of not having a compassionate parent on whom he could rely and look to for stability, comfort, empathy, and emotional support. When he is very young, the child is unaware that his parent(s) is a narcissist. To survive many children take their lead from the parent and learn to dance to the tune of the puppet master who controls them. Some of these children become narcissists themselves and there are generations of families of narcissistic individuals.

The child who has greater insight, is psychologically and constitutionally stronger, often sees through the part that the parent is insisting he plays. At times individual children rebel from these encroachments on them and leave the family as soon as they are able to sever their relationship with the toxic parent(s) and reclaim their lives for the first time.

Children of narcissistic parents can benefit from psychotherapy that allows them to grieve the loss of not having a parent who valued and loved them. Working through core issues in therapy, these individuals learn to re-define their identities and to love and appreciate who they were always meant to be. Some individuals find solace in meditative practices that foster inner peace and deep healing.

Linda Martinez-Lewi holds a Ph. clinical psychology and is a licensed marriage family therapist. She has extensive clinical training in narcissistic and borderline disorders. Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi is the author of the book “Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Life. "

Dr. Martinez-Lewi has worked for many years with patients experiencing psychological problems as a result of personal and professional relationships with narcissistic personality disorders. She has clinical experience treating patients suffering from childhood trauma, anxiety disorders, and depression.

Dr. Martinez-Lewi has been interviewed on numerous radio talk shows throughout the country.

Visit her website at:


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