The Symptoms of Growing up With A Narcissistic Family

Sapphire King
4 min readSep 11, 2021
Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash

What is a Narcissist

A narcissist is someone who has an inflated sense of self importance. They will tear someone else down to remain on the high pedestal of being “better”. If you want to know more and go into the traits of a narcissist you can check more out here.


I grew up in a large family both on the immediate and extended side. I had 6 siblings, my mother had 7, and my dad had 3. Each of my parents siblings had a minimum of 5 kids each so we were a pretty large family that all stated with 10 miles of each other.

It was normal to have family functions and get togethers with everyone and to be in contact on the regular. Most of my cousins were the same ages as me and my siblings and I are mostly a year apart. So, we were pretty close.

Growing up it was the norm for our opinions to be shut down, feelings invalidated, and our schema of reality questioned. My mother, father, aunts, and uncles were all narcissists and they backed each other up whenever they were held accountable for it.

As kids we didn’t understand the mental exhaustion that we were feeling from dealing with it on a daily basis and as we got older all of our lives started taking some drastic turns from it.

When we would accomplish things out parents would try to “one-up” us. If we “embarrassed” them in any way or showed that the “perfect” family wasn’t so perfect the discipline was drastic.

The abuse; physically, mentally, and emotionally, left scars and wounds that tend to reopen at the smallest of triggers.

Realizing What Was Happening

I was used to vocalizing how I felt only to be shamed, ridiculed, or gaslit. No matter what I said or did it seemed to be wrong and I could never get an explanation or a conversation on how to fix it. As years passed I started to just remain quiet around people, I over extended myself to please everyone, and I seeked even the smallest amount of validation from anyone who would provide it.

It wasn’t until I started college, and majored in psychology, that I realized what was going on.