This might be a deep dive for some but I want to turn on a light to everyone. When you are born to a parent that is a narcissist, you many times become codependent because you never have a choice not to pour into that parent. Because you are wanting to be accepted and loved, you give more, do more and throw yourself to try to get acceptance. In many cases, a child takes on a caretaker role for their parents or siblings, often due to neglect or abuse, this is called parentification. Unless you break the relationship with the parent, you will be in this role most likely until one of you dies.
Next as a child and an adult child of a narcissist, you have zero identity. You are only an extension of them. Your image reflects them. Your wants, needs, desires, revolves around them, which bonds the codependency more.
When that parent dies, it’s more than just a parent dying. The adult child has to rebuild their life. They have to find their identity, find what they think, feel, and need. Can you imagine being an adult and asking yourself what you like? These are things we do with babies. We put out all the different types of baby food to see what they like and what they don’t like. We give different types of toys with colors and noise to see what they are attracted to and what makes them happy. This is not the norm for children born to parents that are narcissists.
One more thing, when you grow up in certain conditions, no matter how unhealthy, abusive, dysfunctional it may be, it’s what you become accustomed to for your life. People that have only gone to the lake and never to the ocean don’t know the difference or what they are missing. It’s the norm for them to see a beautiful body of water with limits and they cannot imagine an ocean. And what we get accustomed to is what we often want and attract. You cannot break a pattern if you don’t know it’s a pattern. You cannot be aware if you’re not open to awareness. So many times the adult child attracts narcissists as partners. Why not? It’s the norm, it feels right, nothing unusual about it.
So to those who say, “her picker is bad”, don’t judge her, you don’t know her story. And to you saying, “I keep attracting narcissists.” It may be because this is normal for you. You cannot break patterns until you bring awareness. Hope this helped someone today.