Narc parent = no life skills

I’m 45 and it just dawned on me today that my parents did not teach me any life skills, and then weaponized my ignorance and incompetence against me.

I basically had to figure everything out on my own, while being berated and teased for every mistake and failure.

No wonder I’m an anxiety-riddled perfectionist.

Example: As a teen, I tried to make a Caesar salad but used three heads of garlic, instead of three cloves. I was teased mercilessly and the incident cemented my label of “bad cook,” which I still carry today despite having become quite a decent cook since. I remember being utterly amazed at how easy it was to cook soup, which I taught myself to do when I was in my FOURTH YEAR of university. Looking back, I see that I was just never taught.

Is this common?


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Yes. I've started thinking of my childhood like a psychological torture chamber, where the child is left in a painful paradox where they aren't allowed to make a good decision. Too successful at something ? Abuser will take you down a peg. Make a mistake ? Evidence that you are incompetent or dysfunctional. What are you left with ? Do nothing, deliberately fail, or go crazy.


I relate a lot. My n-mom even showed signs of jealously and became violent if I did anything better than her or got a single friend. These people are sick.


Extremely sick.


They're so sick that they enjoy their sickness!!


It's all they have !


And they spread their sickness too!


And they seek out sickness to fill their void. They can't be sick enough.


And they should go die due to the sickness!


I only realized _last year_ that the reason my mom kept offering me food whenever she’d make it or buy it, knowing I wouldn’t say no (or actually outright guilt-tripping me into eating), was to try and fatten me up because she was jealous that I’m skinny and rarely gain (non-water) weight, and she was overweight & never shed her baby fat from having me. Deplorable.


I was long grown, in a beautiful apartment, had nma over for Thanksgiving. . .as I had for decades, like I didn't already have my hands full. Her ANGER at the fact that my upstairs neighbor came over was befuddling. I had asked him and his gf to bake the ham, as I did the turkey in my oven. I considered them friends, and they had no family to spend the holiday with. Anyone who is not directly a descendant of hers is a foreigner, not allowed at holidays. She was at least as bad with her former boyfriend. Very nice guy, widower who lost his wife to cancer. He still treated her children and grandchildren as his own. Horrible, horrible guy because. . ."those aren't HIS kids, and she's dead". He looked out for me and MY children. Never understood how someone can exist on this planet filled with so much hatred. Jealousy.


At the end of 2nd grade, the school had me take a test. They told me I didn't have to take 3rd grade and could go straight to 4th if I wanted. My nmom told me about how hard it would be to make friends in a whole new set of classmates that were a year older. She scared me out of academic success. We moved 1600 miles away not long after and suddenly making friends was totally doable.


As a perfectionist, I *finally* realized that not all tasks need to be ✨ Perfect ✨! I used to take 4+ hrs to mop my medium sized kitchen floor bc I would vacuum, sweep, mop, scrub, mop, rinse, rinse, and wax. Then the cats would walk on it, ruining the perfection! I asked myself "How good is good enough?" Taking my meds? 99+% perfect. Mopping floors? 60-70% perfect is good enough. I helped me let go of the need to *always* be perfect ✌🏽💜💪


This is something that is not talked about nearly enough. 100 % Perfection does not exist. I used to have a disgusting kitchen because if I didn’t have time to sweep, mop, scrub, let it dry I saw no point in cleaning it. In my late 20s I observed a friend of mine quickly sweeping up his kitchen while the truck warmed up before going to work. It BLEW MY MIND. and changed my life realizing that getting a task half done or done to 66 percent was still a mark of progress.


Yes. I can’t do that quick stuff. My apartment is awful and I am STUCK because I don’t even know where to start.


Try Flylady. Changed my life, wish I had found her when my children were young. I was the very same way, probably raised by the very same parent, lol. Now I live alone, but health issues and depression get to me, I still carry the mindset. . .gotta tinkle, or get something to eat? Put away an item or 2. Clean ONE surface, or 1 dish. Takes less than a minute, and the clean spreads just as fast as the mess does. Mostly, be kind to yourself. No one is perfect.


I have shouted out about FlyLady all over reddit for several years. Changed my life! I always caveat my recommendation with "the website is hideous but the info is gold."


Same here. When someone has poisoned you with their perfection mindset it becomes impossible to do anything. If you always expect perfection, you'll always be disappointed. I wish I hadn't grown up afraid of failure. If I'd allowed myself to make mistakes I'd have grown so much more.




This made cry. Thanks for the reassurance that it isn't me. There's nothing wrong with me. Gaslighting was a huge part of my life growing up. Even now NM tries to make think I'm remembering wrong. Narcissist Prayer That didn't happen And if it did, it wasn't that bad And if it was, that's not a big deal And if it is, that's not my fault And if it was, I didn't mean it And if I did, you deserved it


That’s exactly it. I just recalled an event that happened when I went to an exchange year at colleges I got a perfume as a birthday gift but as I have migraines I barely wear it and I had one of the same but a smaller size and was saving the big one because it was special. When I got home after a year, the bottle was gone and she told me I took it with me (impossible because I didn’t pack any perfume). I told her she was wrong and she told me I took it. After a couple days I was looking for a MRI result that she kept with her (I don’t know why because she never cared for my health) so I had to go through her stuff. Found the bottle empty, without the lid and without the details (it had a gold chain with some pendants - look for Taylor swift wonderstruck perfume). So I went to confront her. She told me I left it on top of my chest of drawers and it EVAPORATED BY ITSELF. I told her that it is impossible (because!??). And at the end she told me “you left it behind” (I returned a year later not like I was going to leave forever - I wish). So yeah. Every single step you described


Wow! I'm sorry that happened to you


This is sooooo fucking relatable.


It's a house of mirrors. It's a miracle we survived.


> What are you left with ? Do nothing, deliberately fail, or go crazy. Yeah. I'm shuddering just thinking about it. ... By the time I got out of there I was spending almost all of my time doing nothing, and trying to avoid doing anything at all. I didn't care about anything anymore. I got in a verbal fight with my stepbrother, don't even remember what it was about. He was being condescending as usual, and I was *so stressed out* because it was one week before graduation of high school I couldn't hide my anger which made him *gleefully* taunt me. I decided I was going to kill him. Right now. It was the perfect time of day, I would probably not get caught, he wouldn't even be missed for hours. I was in the middle of planning how to hide the body in the woods when I suddenly ***realized what I was thinking*** and became horrified at myself. This was how I *unintentionally* saved myself from my Nfamily - I very suddenly took all of my things out the back door and left, not because of myself, but because I knew I'd murder my stepbrother if I stayed any longer. ... If I wasn't crazy at that point, I was the *closest* to it I've ever been in my life.


Your first paragraph was my entire teenage years and early 20s. I can't wait for him to die and think about what to say at the memorial that would show what he really was.


Your memory made me think of one of mine. My nmom told me after I moved out that she often feared she'd wake up to find me with a knife over her because I was always so angry (for no reason, according to her). It was a thought that never once occurred to me while living there, though I often wished some calamity would happen to my family so I would be freed of the responsibility of my siblings and there would be no one left to summon me back (via police). Torture existed in my mind, yes, but not murder. Hurting her back might stop my own pain, though now I know it wouldn't have.


Wow, be so proud of yourself for being able to stop and walk away before something life changing happened


You've just repeated my childhood life. The only thing you missed was: ask for something and you recieved it; you're a spoiled brat


Or for me, all of the above.




I chose the latter


Going crazy a couple times prob saved me tbh


Thank you for summing it up so perfectly.


Never wanted to be an expert on these assholes we had for parents, but here we are.


One million percent. How fucked is this, I'm still reeling trying to figure it out!


It’s like you’re starting life WAY behind people from functional or even average upbringings. Some people are just so damn blind to the fact that abusive situations like this exist. Sometimes you feel like you’re perpetually a child because you were never prepared for anything or you were sabotaged when you tried to learn.


The sabotage specifically did a number on me. I could handle the neglect but the targeted emotional take downs were so hard.


I feel u on that, definitely dissolved my confidence and leaves me second guessing myself all the time


If I ever go no contact with my mom, I won’t need her to sabotage me. I can do it myself bc of how she raised me. 🥴


THIS THIS THIS. I’m literally about to graduate university and still don’t know how to do basic things like cooking, housekeeping and planning for trips. Meanwhile people in my cohort are getting married and ready to start families. I feel like I was forced to grow up too fast when I was a child and now that I’m physically grown up I’ve mentally degenerated back to being a child. It’s all very sad and inconvenient


It sucks and it's so unfair, but here we are. I'm 39 and a couple months ago at work (assisted living, I'm the RN) I was trying to help with a very basic task- clean a bathroom floor. I did ny best, which was not good, and my coworker joked "Oh, didn't you ever learn to clean a floor?" and i was like "actually no".


Kudos to you for all the hard work you put into your schooling, in spite of your parents. It's tragic, but sadly true: narcissistic parents rob you of your childhood often by covertly forcing you to become overly mature as a young adult without the proper guidance or nurturance (or proper discipline that helps you learn). Then, when you're a full grown-ass adult, you don't get to be an adult with any amount of respect or without harassment. You get robbed of your childhood and adulthood both in some deep, complex ways. It really is sad and inconvenient. Many folks outside of situations like this cannot even comprehend the heartbreak we feel.


It's terrible, but the one positive is that those things are mostly pretty easy to learn from YouTube and books and blogs if you want to learn them. If you can do university level studies, you can learn life tasks and you probably already know more than you think you do. So as inconvenient as it is, their neglect on that front doesn't have to hold you back forever. When I look back, I can see that my mother only taught me things that would make her own life easier. Nothing else was important to her, and anything that would have moved me towards independence was actively forbidden, like learning to drive. I went out and learned things on my own, either flying blind and figuring it out myself, or with library books or classes. (When I first left home, there was no internet, so that wasn't an option like it is now.) I will say that that feeling of flying blind, understanding that this is something a competent parent should have taught you and instead you have to figure it out on your own, is a terrible feeling. It's disheartening. I spent my whole life as a child and young adult feeling like everyone else knew things I should have known but didn't. And as a child when I didn't my mother would act like I was an idiot for not knowing things no one had ever taught me.


As an only child, had to do all chores. . .berated for leaving a crumb on the floor, or a speck on a dish. Never had to do laundry though. Nma wouldn't let me touch her beloved washer and dryer and at one point refused to do my laundry. So, with my own money, bought some detergent and washed my clothes in the tub. Such a SHOCK when while in foster care and residential, I was not only allowed to use the machines, but EXPECTED to (do my own laundry). Was scared to do so. Always wanted to, but had been brainwashed into thinking I was too dumb to turn a couple of knobs.


I found my wife at age 30 and we just had our first child when I was 35. Things happen in time, be patient with yourself. I spent a lot of my past feeling down on myself for not attending college when most of my friends did, jealous of them etc. Now I have my own family and life is so so good. And I haven’t spoken to Nmom in 2 years what a strange coincidence


Try YouTube to learn these skills. You can catch up to start feeling better.


I had to do what most 18-25 year olds had started when I was 36. My nMom has to die to stop her reign on me and using me as her care keeper and have no chance at becoming an adult for myself


Why do I feel this so bad? I can't name a single thing they taught me (aside from how to yell at someone for breathing). As someone else also stated, I'm just starting to learn about life through YouTube videos as an adult. I don't know the very basics about health and hygiene, finances, cooking and nutrition, etc. I have no social skills and social life. Mentally I feel like I'm 12.


Yes. Sabotage and then “look how defective you are.” I have tried to compensate by being as perfect as possible. But as I get older I’m not super thin, my career went to heck, etc etc. i thought that being perfect protected me which it didn’t really. But now real life has caught up.


Do you ever feel like everyone is patronising you?


I'm almost 40. I've felt qp years behind everyone else, and used to wonder why that was. Makes a lot of sense now as I reflect on my interactions with my parents from when I was a kid.


I relate with your every word. Is there any way how ho remove this quality of one’s self?


TMI if you don't like talking about periods, but... I am a female, and my mom never talked to me about any facet of puberty. I found out about periods after my friend's mom loaned me a book about it (the infamous American Girl puberty book); thank God she did, because my period started literally a week afterwards! I panicked because I thought you got it once and bled for the rest of your life. My poor little heart was crushed because I thought I would never be able to go swimming again. 💔😅 I took period products from my older sister's stash, and I didn't tell my mom it had happened. When she found out a few months later, she was FURIOUS at me for not telling her...? I felt ashamed and dirty, and I was never taught how to properly care for myself during that time. This is just one example of how street-dumb I was. Anything I learned about life, I learned by myself.


TMI but I felt like sharing too. Apparently I was being wasteful by using 1-2 pads per day. She called me into the toilet when she was on her period later and showed me her LEAKING pad (like she had literally bled through her clothes) and told me that is how soiled the pad had to be before it could be changed! That really skewed my standard for hygiene and I tried to "efficiently use" period products till very very recently (I'm ashamed to admit how recently). God knows how I didn't die of TSS. That fucking psychotic bitch.


That’s what my sister tried to make me do, overflow my pads, when my mom caught wind that she was forcing me to bleed into them that hard she chewed her out and made her buy my pads as punishment for a few months for a long time


You aren’t alone in this situation, I’m so sorry that happened to you


I’m so sorry Infinite_Newspaper. I once opened up to a therapist about how my first period came when I was on holiday and Nmom was the only adult woman I knew there, so I couldn’t ask anyone for a pad. I stuffed chaffing, dry toilet roll into my pants for a week and bled through it and constantly had to wash my little cotton undies and shorts. That was fucked up. Even worse, was that when we came home, I couldn’t find where Nmom kept her pads, and I still didn’t want to talk to her about it. So again, I stuffed toilet roll in my pants the whole week. When I finally told Nmom I got my period, she said: ‘oh, that’s a bit young’. Gave me a pack of maxi pads (I needed some girl pads or liners) and never spoke it it again. Thanks, Mom!


Oh, yes. I was old to get mine, and clueless. 14 years old at a friend's cabin. Started bleeding, went out on a boat alone, so I could die. Felt sorry for my friends having to find my body. They finally called me in, I confessed to my friend that I was dying, and she got her mom, who was just so matter-of-fact about the whole thing. But looking back on it, I could tell she had opinions about my mother...


Mine gave me "the talk" when I was 8, but gave far too much age inappropriate information and information about things that were irrelevant (I didn't need to know what a prostitute was at 8), but hardly any practical information about things like puberty and periods. I was lucky there were medical textbooks in the house and I learned more from those about anatomy, puberty, and bodily functions. When I finally had my first period a week after my 14th birthday, she still provided no useful information, she just handed me a box of tampons and expected me to figure it out. I remember not wanting to tell her at all, though, because I knew she would be her usual weird, invasive self about it. I wasn't wrong. And of course I was mortified when she told absolutely everyone she knew all about it. I learned more about sex, bodies, and personal hygiene from a book she had called "The Sensuous Woman." I don't think she ever read it, it was in a box of books someone had given her, but it was very informative for the time and I think she might have flipped out if she knew what was in it.


Yes! My Nparents always talked about things that were totally inappropriate to discuss in front of a child, and Nmom was far too graphic about sex and periods in one major talk when I was also about 8. I learned all pertinent information from books or friends. Unfortunately, I started mine at 10 years old. I didn’t want to tell her, so I told my Ndad lmao. At the time, he was just slightly less mean than my Nmom but that would change. Anyway, all he did was immediately tell her even though I asked him not to. She didn’t believe me. She demanded I show her (yep!!). She was like “you probably just pooped yourself”…like really? You don’t think I know the difference between period blood and feces?! No discussion about hygiene or products, other than her refusing to buy me tampons because she “didn’t think they were good for you”, and “you’re not responsible enough to know when to change them and you’ll get TSS.” So I just used the giant diaper pads she used even though they were way too big for me.


My first period, I honestly thought it was poop at first. Then it continued and I realized it was blood. Thankfully, our middle school had given us the talk along with some supplies, so I used those and didn’t really talk about it much with my mom. When I finally did tell her, I begged her not to mention it to my dad. She decided to talk about it over dinner with my dad and my best friend present. Mortifying.


Aww I’m sorry :(. Mine told anyone and everyone about it. It was awful.


8 is the right age to talk to girls about these things, because not only can they start their periods as young as 8 or 9, but they are likely to be around older kids who are talking about them and you don't want them to have misinformation. But you need to give them age appropriate information, and you need to be sensitive in your delivery because you don't want to make them freak out about anything or develop a complex. You also need to have already developed a relationship where they trust you and feel comfortable asking intimate questions and talking about delicate problems. You should have been talking about bodies and bodily functions in ways that didn't promote shame since they were very small. My mother did none of that, as her approach to parenting and most things was more along the lines of a bull in a china shop. TSS was actually a relatively new thing when I had my first period. It had only been "discovered" a few years earlier and they hadn't started putting warnings on tampon boxes yet. My mother wouldn't have been concerned about it at all, especially since the brand that had caused the outbreaks a few years earlier had been taken off the market.


Similar experience for me; got handed a book, one packet of pads and after that I was on my own.. except.. I had extremely heavy, painful periods, to the degree of flooding everything, strong abdo pain, headaches, vomiting and fainting. I was sent home from school once in a taxi as I was so unwell. My NMum verbally berated me for the remainder of the day and told me how pathetic I was and that I could never be the Nurse I wanted to be if I 'couldn't even deal with a period'. I was 14 FFS. Thanks for shaming me over a normal bodily function, mum. Edir: spelling


I found out about my period the night I woke up feeling wet, afraid I’d peed myself, and screamed bloody murder when I turned on the light. I was around 10-11 and figured I was dying because of course she never thought it necessary to discuss periods despite me already starting to visibly develop (so it was clear puberty had taken off)


I feel like I’ve started doing this a lot but, there’s a song from the show Central Park you should try called ‘Why Me Waikiki’. I feel you might get something out of it.


Yes, I was so confused. And my mom was very volatile especially about that stuff so I couldn’t ask for pads either. I had such a hard time. And it wasn’t necessary.


I’m 46 and went NC with my parents a year ago. Throughout my entire life, my failings and missteps were laughable family jokes that they would tell during family parties, birthdays, dinners out with my mother in law…anytime. It was incredibly embarrassing and now looking back, I hate that I took that shit. But I was deep in it, and was taught that behavior was normal. Since going no contact and doing weekly therapy since then, I am a different person. It’s amazing how much emotional bandwidth they had in my brain. I am more present, I take care of myself, I am creative again. Narcissists will never change, going NC changed my life.


Me and my brother always quote how our Ndad’s only comments to us as ‘hihi, haha’, like sniggering laughter because he never talks to either of us as human beings or never used to talk to us as children who need gentle, kind educating. Only sniggering and derision.


That tells you how weak and insecure he really is. One of my mother's favorite things was to beat me at games. Like, how hard is it for an adult to beat an 8 year old at Scrabble? But she would act like she was so much better than me, she was so smart, and I was so dumb. Much sniggering and derision on her part. As a child I took this to heart. As I got older I realized how pathetic she really was, especially once I started beating her at things. She didn't want to play Scrabble anymore once I could beat her. Imagine being so small and insecure that you have to do that to a child to feel good about yourself.


Mine did this too, especially Scrabble. Until the day I won and then the games suddenly stopped.


Yes. Laughable family stories and jokes. My illnesses were those.


I'm in my mid 30s, nparent still loves to point out my childhood failures or reinforce the same stuff they said to me as a child. People sometimes ask me why I never want children. Among the myriad reasons (my nparents upbringing is one of them), I often find myself saying "I still feel like a child." I just realized the connection.


I hope one day you can find the words to redirect their bullshit back onto them (if you care to expend the energy doing so...don't blame you whatsoever if not bc they are rarely worth it). "Hahaha remember when you couldn't tie your shoes properly until third grade hah hah" "Yes I do because despite having been raised by "adults" that was when an actual caring one gave enough of a shit to show me."


I did this the other day. It felt liberating. And it also helped me not feel like a failure but rather see that it's all not my fault for being the way I am. I don't really wish any ill will on them though, I just want myself and everyone to be happy. Thank you.


I am Very good with children because I know Exactly how they feel. It’s like part of me is a child. People always call me the kid whisperer. When I tell people I can instantly imagine myself as them they are like what?


Yeah. I mean he'd try to teach me things every now and again, but it always ended w/ him angry. I was pretty lucky though, I was a latch-key kid. My freinds from school are the ones who taught me how to ride a bike, cook basic things, talk to strangers and so on. I worked in kitchens for over twenty years, last time I visited he let me cook a side dish for one dinner. Turned out right, but his fiancee was the only one who enjoyed it.


My Nfather is afraid to eat what I cook as a way to insult me.


The first time I realized something was wrong with my nmom was in first grade. I asked my mother to teach me how to tie my shoes and all she would do is tell me that I wasn’t old enough to learn yet. When, one day, my babysitter had shown me how to tie them, I had gone home all proud and shown my mother how I could tie my own shoes! Her response left me very confused, as she became upset with a tinge of anger and replied “that’s nice, I guess you don’t need your mother anymore, huh”? And thus began an entire childhood and beyond of infantilism and road-blocking every step of my way towards independence. So yes, I’d imagine this is very common in narc parents. I believe the reasoning is simple: for the selfish reason that they need their narc supply to be under their control. To feel superior. It’s typical abuser bullshit.


This! I loved school too much. So she decided my asthma made it too dangerous to continue Kindergarten. I was four years old and FREE of her all day. But she learned quickly I was too smart and independent. Pulled me out to stay home for more cuddles. I was four and would get up and get dressed and watch the bus come and go. My first heartbreak. I don’t remember that year. But when I was five I went back and they told her I can skip a grade or two and she said no my kid is dumb. We don’t want her growing up too fast. And on and on we go. She also told me she had me to always have someone to love her! Lol!


Mine didn't teach me to tie my shoes either. But she mocked me when the teacher at school told her I should know how, like I should have already known. I should have learned by osmosis, I guess. I remember trying and trying to figure it out on my own, and receiving nothing but derision from her. No help at all, not one attempt to show me. I finally figured out a way to do it. It wasn't right, but it worked. So I just tied my shoes wrong until I was 13 and one of my friends realized I was doing it weird and showed me the right way. Another thing I remember is skipping. Apparently it's a thing most kids learn by the time they're in kindergarten or first grade, and if they don't know how in the first grade it's cause for concern. I didn't know how. I didn't even know what skipping was. Because I was alone most of the time and never played with other kids, and no adult had ever taught me. So my first grade teacher told my mother that she needed to work on that with me. You never saw such narrow-eyed contempt on a parent's face. She was so put out at having to show me that, and acted like I was so stupid and incompetent to not magically have known how. That really stuck with me, how she acted like it was my fault for not knowing instead of her fault for not teaching me or providing opportunities to learn. There was a lot of that.


I never knew that learning to skip was a developmental marker in children? Or is it that it’s a learned behavior and the concern is that if a child doesn’t know it’s because they aren’t being properly socialized? That’s interesting.


It's a learned behavior but it's a fundamental skill that requires certain motor skills and if you can't learn it by a certain point it might be a sign of something being wrong, like poor proprioception, so teachers look for it. In my case it was just that nobody had taught me.


Exactly, Nfather: you should already know how to do it; it's so simple, or I'll bite your head off.


Hi.. Mine is similar.. But with hair.. She never taught me to part and braid my hair.. She used to do it for me.. When I learnt it all by myself, she berated me for being such a grown up girl that i dont need her anymore.. Like whenever I asked her help for anything she would say.. U r a big girl now.. Do it yourself in a taunting tone.. I was 14


I love garlic. Your caesar salad sounds amazing


Yep, I would have eaten that and enjoyed every bite. OP, utilize YouTube for how-to videos. There are tutorials for everything especially from folks in similar boats who realize so many of us were left without basic skills due to no fault of our own. Dad How Do I? is a good channel to start. Dude grew up without a dad and became the change he wanted to see in the world. We have this amazing tool at our fingertips, and though our reasons to use/need it may suuuck, it's truly never too late to start learning. Don't be ashamed - in fact, be proud knowing you're gonna gain some skills in spite of having arguably the hugest obstacle - Nparent(s).


Yep. In my case it was literally everything - I was "unschooled," meaning pulled out of public school to sit and do nothing all day while my mom bragged online all day about what a great education she provided her kids. Meanwhile I couldn't do basic math or pretty much anything else until I enrolled in remedial classes in my late teens. Finally got a GED and a college degree after TWELVE years in college (with all the remedial crap) and my mom still takes credit for "how smart I am."


Not sure if you need to hear this because I hope you already know, but that accomplishment is YOURS AND YOURS ALONE. I'm damn proud of you.


Thank you!


I hope I'm not crossing any line here but I just wanted to say that you did a great thing; you didn't let your parent convince you that you didn't deserve a proper education and you got it yourself. It's not easy to get rid of all the negative ideas. I spent years thinking I could never do anything, before realizing those thoughts were not really mine, they were my parents talking in my head. So kudos to you!


You should read “Educated” by Tara Westover I think you’ll relate


I saw a response yesterday on the lifehacks sub that was something like this: "My whole life is being held together by youtube videos." Unfortunately I did not have that resource as a child, so I made due with the library. My Nparents did not teach me anything. I didn't know about human biology, geography, cooking, car maintenance, financial stuff etc. etc. etc. And it's not because I didn't want to. It's because when I asked for help it ended up in yelling and insults if I didn't "get it" right away. In the case of my Nmother, she wanted to be the only one praised for her cooking, so she wouldn't share her knowledge with me. She would roll her eyes and tell me it's too hard, I wouldn't be able to do it. Actually any time I wanted to learn/try something new I was told it's too hard, I'm not smart enough, it's a waste of time/money. I taught myself everything and it forced me to be incredibly resourceful. I've watched hundreds of hours of youtube videos and now I'm better at doing everything than they are. But the CPTSD is the unfortunate consequence. Regardless of my skill level, the self-confidence and self-esteem are missing. I still see myself as not good enough.


My mother actually did teach me the basics of cooking, but only because she wanted me to make dinner every day before she got home from work from the age of 12. It was limited, though. She really didn't want me branching out and she definitely didn't want me to be better at it than she was. Unfortunately for her, I took the initiative and did become a lot better at it than she ever was, and once I was on my own I became a very adventurous cook. I could have written your last paragraph, though. No matter how good I am at anything, and I have proven myself more than competent over and over again, my self-confidence is nonexistent. I never believe I can handle anything before I do it, and I never think anything I do is good enough. CPTSD & anxiety & perfectionism are working against me at all times no matter what the evidence says.


Yeah, it's so weird to not be allowed to be better at anything than them. It definitely taught me to minimize myself for everyone else, wouldn't want to hurt any feelings. Build them up and my expense, that was the thing to do. I'm trying to do the opposite with my son and I get a lot of eye rolling for my lectures on how everything works. I'm also very honest when I don't know something and we always look it up so we can learn. I tell him that there's nothing we can't figure out together. When he's better at something than me I'm so proud. I really hope he will be a much "better adjusted" person than me :) "I never believe I can handle anything before I do it, and I never think anything I do is good enough." Same, but I hope given enough time and working through it, this will change for both of us.


I am so sorry for child you, and so proud of the person you've become. I hope one day you also can take full unadulterated pride in your accomplishments. I hate that the good is so tainted by these unworthy pieces of shit.


Yes. 34. Was never allowed to get a bank account, frowned upon getting a job vs the career they wanted for me. Never bought my own car or anything that could signal the narcissist that I am independent. Denigration. They manipulate you to be dependent on them. If you fight back, they accuse you of being entitled and ungrateful. Narc parents say that you are dumb with no life skill just to spite you and gaslight you into doubting yourself. Narcs would smear you in front of extended family because they want to punish you.


This completely resonates. I'm really grateful I found out about narcissistic abuse, because I thought there was something wrong with me that I wasn't achieving the same milestones as my peers (I was constantly told there was something wrong with me). Now, I realize, I was strategically withheld guidance and taught the world was an unsafe place, to render me more dependent on them!


Yeah, they try to sabotage their children the second they come out of the womb to only be punching bags.


On the day I went NC, I screamed at my nmom "What are you going to do ? Put me in a corner and beat me with a stick again?? " Emotionally.


Exactly the same shit I took as a child. Yes, I do think it's common and I'm sorry you had to deal with that!


Yes I figured everything myself


My Nparents did the same. It's nauseating how alike these creatures are.


Yup, basic hygiene was pretty late self taught to me (I was not allowed to use the bathroom). A sleeping schedule, self taught. Riding a bike I did it myself when I was 12 years old. I still struggle with a lot. Even eating. And I am really tough on myself, yes a perfectionist, me too.


59. Still have to remember to brush my teeth.


I actually have an alarm set on my phone to remind me to brush mine and my children's teeth.


First of all, I probably would have liked your way-too-much-garlic salad lol. Secondly, as a teen I wanted to run away but I knew between the anxiety and depression, and the lack of real world skills (and that I was female) I would never make it. So I had to stay. I’ve taught myself how to do adult life skills. It’s been hard. But it’s also shown me that I’m not the incapable, incompetent dumbass my parents made me feel like I was.


Narc barks at me: "Sweep the floor!!" I sweep the floor wondering why all the anger is necessary, while being stared over by the narc, who wouldn't show me how to do it in the first place "NOOO!!! GIVE ME THAT BRUSH!!! Proceeds to sweep the floor *at* me, aggressively, banging it into all the boards and furniture and ranting and calling me a "f@cking b@@@h" and a "dirty rotten c@@t" and telling me she'd "love to strangle me" I'm forced to stand there watching and listening to all this lest I get slapped for standing up for myself. And as far as I can see, my sweeping was no different whatsoever to hers, but again I dare not speak up in case I get slapped. Thankfully my grandmother did teach me to sweep a for and some other essential house chores. But basic chores are still a mild trigger as no matter what I did, it was apparently wrong, which makes me want to give up and not do them. Even hanging clothes out to dry. I hung the socks by the cuff one day, and she aggressively turned them all the other way *at* me again making me stand and watch her do it while she yelled abuse at me. The next day, I hung the socks up by the toe, and she raged all over again and aggressively turned them back round to hang from the cuff. Again, I dared not retaliate or point out her bullshit in case I got further punishment.


Yes, truly. Never understood the purpose of the anger. One time I got berated for not dusting the legs while polishing a table and she made fun of me everywhere to everyone. Thinking on it now the people hearing it must have thought it was ridiculous for a six year old to be expected to polish furniture, +perfectly, +LEGS!!!(Pulls hair, screams). And why couldn’t she just give a list of chores? Why did we have to stand there like footmen, all day, waiting for her to bark out orders? And why would she (pulls hair, screams) start in, sometimes before she even hit the door, about all the things that we failed to do while she was at work but when we did take the initiative and do something above and beyond she’d waive it off with the bare minimum, “oh. looks nice. 😐” Then find something low key to complain about (smoothes hair, curses under breath). It had the opposite effect on me. Messes cause me great anxiety. Like I subconsciously fear her rising from the dead (pulling hair, screaming) if there are dirty dishes in my sink.


I still hear my NM's voice when I see dirty dishes on the sink. It has taken me decades to tell myself that I enjoy washing dishes or even leave them there overnight without guilt. When I was in my 30s, I noticed that she'd leave the dishes for me to do, no matter how much work I was doing for her around her house. The dishes were the cherry on top. That grating voice. The random demand to get up and do dishes, just as I am about to settle down with a book or even take a nap. (She resented my need for so much sleep.)


Yep!!! I had such an intense fear of the sound of her car coming up the drive knowing what would happen once she stepped in the door Every. Single. Time. It's hard to feel motivated to do housework at all with all these severely negative associations.


You know the sad thing is I married a narc to get out of the house but he was a better kind of narc. He was always in a good mood when he got home. No screaming-crazy! Imagine! I was grateful for him. Just narcy enough to be comfortably familiar but so quietly passive aggressive about it that it felt like a real improvement.


We really do get set up for failure in our adult life when the bar is set so low by our so-called parents!


Same Exact thing. I Hate cleaning now. I was her maid and she would then follow me around while at spent my entire Saturday cleaning the house “right”. I wish I was taken away. She is a monster.


Entire teenage summers lost to scrubbing and getting screamed at for a fake flaw in it that she conjured up out of her ass just to create an excuse for screaming more profanities. Enjoying time off still feels like an act of rebellion. These people are vile and didn't deserve us as their kids.


nDad was SHOCKED when he came for a visit once and I made some meal. “Wow I didn’t know you knew how to make anything actually edible.” I was 25 yo married homeowner with two college degrees by this point. Rot in hell, you asshole.


It's a very common pattern, but you can learn life skills yourself, your main obstacle will be to not give up after the first failure and stop trying, like they tried to instill in you. Looking back I noticed something was a bit different in my family when their fathers taught colleagues from school how to shave and stuff like that, this would never have crossed my father's mind. I have literally not learned a single thing from my parents other than a tolerance to abusive behavior, which is both a blessing (in case you catch a shitty superior at work or something) and a curse because it always take some self-convincing that life is not supposed to be like that. Interestingly my younger brother who was favored by him and who inherited almost all wealth had it not any better in that specific regard.


Yes, very common. I had to teach myself social skills and life skills by watching others outside my family and even tv.


Yes. I’m about the same age. I was mercilessly teased for any mistake but never taught how to do it. Turns out the reason I don’t try new things is because I’m terrified of being teased.


There is no one here to tease me and I still have a hard time starting anything new. I'm terrified of doing things badly or failing entirely, and it is not a rational fear because the evidence is that I'm usually competent. Knowing that I usually turn out to be pretty good at things doesn't change it though, the fear is still difficult to overcome.


I have the same experience. They didn’t teach anything. I also got forced to take care of my siblings since I was 8, so imagine the experience. I was constantly insulted at the bare minimum mistake I committed, they even told me no one would want to have a useless person like me at their workplace. I basically had to learn everything by myself, cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, signing legal documents, absolutely everything. It really fucked up my self esteem permanently.


By the time I moved out I had a magical rectangle in my pocket that could answer all of my questions but the modern smart phone only came to be a thing when I was in high school from 10-14 and people who graduated even 4-6 years before me didn't have that luxury and I feel so bad for them and fortunate that I finished when I did I would have been so lost and confused without the internet teaching me how to be a functional adult and become a person after my garbage upbringing failed to do that


I grew up before the internet. The library was my weapon. There are books on anything you need to know, and loads of tutorial videos you can check out as well. I read books on everything from housekeeping and personal finance to how to have good taste and dress appropriately for your body shape.


Absolutely. Very relatable. I went to uni with my mental health on the floor and no life skills. I had no understanding of how the world worked, not even at a basic level. People thought I was unhinged. Ended up having a breakdown and dropping out of uni. Whole thing was a mess and narcs used it to abuse me for years further.


I'm 25. I moved in with my boyfriend and his family 3 years ago. His mom is amazing. I've gone to her with so many questions and she's taught me so many life skills - sorting laundry, using a hairdryer, using a stove, etc. She always does it so patiently. It makes me sad because I get to see what its like to learn these skills from a mother figure, but its not my mom. My therapist says that narcs refrain from teaching kids life skills because they want them to be dependent on them for longer.


Absolutely common. I am still very sensitive to the chance that people might set me up to fail and then mock me for failing. *So far, only my mother has done this.* And I'm older than you. It's just something to be aware of. Like, right, that hesitation I have where I don't quite trust people to give me accurate information? It's okay, I can verify. They're probably doing fine, but it's okay if I check. I can learn things in private, too, and that's also perfectly fine. Now that she's gone, I have learned to swim, taken piano lessons, started a new language ... huh. How about that? Without their influence, we become more of ourselves.


Yeah. My mom did the same. Wanted me dependent on her for everything so she could wield power and punish me by withholding what I needed while taunting me about my inability.


Same. Such a trap and cycle


And your story reminds me of when my sister was making salad and my mom yelled at her: "make human bites" cause I guess she wasn't cutting the lettuce small enough. It would have been funny if it wasn't such a part of the continual yelling and insults to everything we did. Growing up like this leaves a permanent mark. I'm in my 60s and dedicate my life to being kind to others because I know that sometimes that kindness even if just in passing from a stranger can be the glimmer of hope that helps a person realize there's more out there than this.


You deserve just as much kindness if not more 🌻


Yes, two tings I learned this week: they don’t want you to ever feel happy and they don’t want you to have anything in life. They basically want you to be a non-playing character they suck energy and resources from. And that is why you ultimately can’t involve them in your life.


I think it depends on what flavour of narc your parent was. In my case, my mother was very negligent, and wanted us to take over the chores and the cooking as soon as possible. So we were taught, and then taught each other. But in cases not directly related to housework, she would definitely make fun of me for not knowing how to do a complicated thing when she hadn't even taught me the easy first steps.


I'm in my 20s and in the same boat. Can't drive, never worked, can barely take care of myself. I feel absolutely useless.


Same. Had to learn to drive by myself at 27. For many years afterwards I was extremely afraid to drive. I'm 43 now and I'm an ok driver but it's taken 15 years.


It always makes me feel better to hear about other late-in-life drivers, I'm still struggling with anxiety.


57, and will never drive. It was always the punchline to the family joke. But she used to teach me, and I smelt her fear every time I got behind the wheel so eventually, I quit, moved to the city with lots of public transport. I hitchhiked to places outside of town and dated men with cars who didn't begrudge my lack of driving ability. I guess I just worked around it.


Omg same! I was "taught" using this ancient art of belittling, mocking, deriding. Add to this I'm autistic so my life's been a hoot!


Definitely common. One time my mother screamed at me for 20 mins because I wasn't putting the coat on a hanger correctly. She wouldn't tell me what I was doing wrong. I kept fixing the coat because it would slip down because I thought she wanted it to be perfect. I was crying and she was yelling " or you fucking serious or are you really that stupid?!" Almost missed my bus. When I got to my bus stop my friend asked if I had been crying and I told him I was just sick. Stuff like that runs all throughout my childhood and I don't know how to do anything properly because I was too scared to try anything. It's very ironic because she would always say "I want my kids to be independent in this world" and look where I'm at now lmao


I didnt know how to bathe for most of my life. Luckily I've figured it out in my teen years rather than in my 20s or 30s. It baffles me how little I was taught about basic hygiene. I would get yelled at for smelling bad when I was never taught to be clean.


wait is this a thing? I’m taught no life skills, if I ask questions how to do something I get berated, but if I mess up I’m mercilessly made fun of. Then I’m wondering why I do have anxiety about messing up basically anything and yet I don’t ever ask if I’m unsure. The worst situations come out of this when I’m in someone else’s place and too anxious to do something, for example once I was on a trip with friends and straight up avoided eating for most of the time because I was too anxious about cleaning up after myself, like doing dishes and stuff. So instead of asking where do dishes go or if there’s a dishwasher like any normal person would do, I straight up avoided eating. Why can’t I just act normally


>Why can’t I just act normally Because you grew up in an abnormal situation and probably everything you learned was a way to cope with that. You can learn life skills now, though.


This is a very common experience, and the opposite also happens, in the form of parentification. I personally experienced parentification while growing up. I was expected to start doing household chores including lawn mowing, cooking family dinners, and doing laundry when I was in elementary school. The rule was if you could stand/kneel on a dining room chair and wash dishes, you were big enough to do so. If you could reach the stove knobs without touching the stove surface, you were big enough to cook family meals. My siblings and I were free labor, and since I was the oldest and the scapegoat, I had to pick up my siblings' slack, and take the punishment when they didn't do as expected.


Me too. Had to mow the lawn with a push mower starting when I was 10. The lawn was enormous and due to them not taking care of anything had sticks and stuff all over from bad trees or something. It was heavy and just didn’t work right. It would hit a stick hard every few feet. Whenever I get into a situation where something keeps hitting a snag I am super triggered. What dad would make his little girl do this alone? And then inside I was the maid. I only had a few hours on Sunday to okay after church. The rest was working for them, school or church. They also made me get a paying job at 10- paper route, then babysitting and in 7th grade I worked at a dry cleaners. Yes that’s right a small girl with asthma worked in a dry cleaners all summer and oh yea had to ride my bike. The adults there were dangerous- smokers and likely on drugs or yo to no good. My mom spent hundreds of dollars on Longer shorts and capped sleeves so I looked professional. It was like 90% hot humid summer and INSIDE a dry cleaner. I bet she spent more on the ugly very hot clothes than I made. I am getting short of breath remembering this. All the other kids played. Once I asked if she could just have my dad work an extra hour at work instead of me having to miss summer and extra school stuff- and she laughed and said no way you are not a princess. You need to know your life is hard and you have nothing. The stories go on and on. Always trying to sabotage me and taking great pride in forcing me to spend ALL Free time “working”. I had homework. I was very smart and knew education was my way out. This lady jammed work on me even through college to cut my homework time to nothing. I would do hw until 2 am. Insanely controlling very ill people. I turned out great- except relationships are hard and I am attracted to narcs.


Did you know that YouTube has walk-through videos for just about EVERYTHING at this point? Seriously, YouTube and Google are the best two parents ever.


Oh yes, for sure. That didn’t exist during my early adulthood, but I was a voracious reader and pieced a lot of things together. I had to … we all do. But I made a LOT of mistakes, and I hate them for failing me. By contrast my son is 7, has a bank account, understands basic things about money ranging from compound interest to marketing tactics to how to spend wisely on groceries. He knows more now than I did at 25, and by the time he’s 18 he’ll be leagues ahead. It’s just so unfair. Not to mention the devastating impact of spending your whole adult life feeling like a rotten failure.


I feel like a child in adults body. The transition from high school to college was fucking brutal (still is), it was literally like a flip of a switch where all of a sudden I’m expected to know how to do everything but I either I don’t know how or I’m afraid to do it.


For sure. Infantilization breeds dependence and allows for easy control. It's almost amusing when the parent gets to an advanced age and you can see the tactics so clumsily implemented. They cherish and nurture the reputations of incompetence in those around them since it makes them competent by comparison. Their delight in it is actually sickening. My mom is basically incapacitated from the constant belittling and unwilling to attempt to learn anything new for fear of humiliation. One of my supposed incompetencies is inability to understand mechanical things even though I've replaced alternators, plumbing, installed garage door openers, etc..


There's a lot of great ways to learn the things you were never taught ❤️ Tiktok or YouTube have probably helped me a lot more then I realize. I just learned how and made cheese! Never too late to learn how to do things and enjoy them :)


they like to see people fall into their level, especially their children and that makes me feel angry about it


This stuff still happens to me and then I'm told I'm the one holding them back and weighing them down


My nmom was a beautician but I didn't know how to use a curling iron until after I graduated college and a girl I met showed me how to do my bangs. The few times my mom worked on my hair it seemed like she messed it up on purpose. . . They didn't teach me anything but I learned on my own, mostly. Seems like that is harder for kids these days for some reason.


Yup. And I discover new things on an almost daily basis. Having your own kid(s) whom you need to teach things makes thinks perfectly clear him little I have been taught. Just the other day my husband made a comment about how I tied my daughter’s shoelaces. He found it odd and asked me who taught me that method. I said that I taught myself when I was about 11/12 before that I was the kid with velcro on her shoes. He was stunned into silence and then boiling with anger towards my nmom.


They are the worst. And then they mock at our ignorance


I remember that my kindergarten teacher taught me to tie my shoes, because she saw my mom try to "teach" me one day when she picked me up My mom's idea of teaching was to yell at me for not knowing how to do it already


What an amazing teacher! I hope wherever your kindergarten teacher is now she is doing well. And I hope you're doing better too 🌻 You deserved patience and understanding not anger and aggression.


This is me, also yes it is so common. I wish there was a children of a narcissist parent rehabilitation center that just is natural for people to go to in order to catch up. I tried to sign up for one of those life skill things that teach autistic adults with support needs how to learn some self supportive skills like cooking and stuff. But you need a positive diagnosis for that which I would probably "pass" but that can put a target on my back so I didn't.


Yes! I’m 53 and my 3 older siblings still tell stories from 52 years ago to “prove” their superiority over me to this day. BTW, I’m the most successful of the group and so are my children-because I was the only one to cut contact with our narc parents and break the cycle in my own marriage & nuclear family. Narc parents love to teach nothing and then berate the child for their innocent ignorance “You should have known better!” is one of their favorite phrases.


Since my enabler mom left me with Ngrandparents I practically raised myself, didn't even went to gyno or get a "sex talk" when I got my period, my only goal in life was to be Ngrandfather "servant" (yes he called me like that too) was happened to me didn't matter, and always get yelled and beaten up for not knowing basic stuff, apparently I was supposed to learn and I've felt more useless than I already felt. Never ever thought they were supposed to teach me these stuff!!


My mom made sure I was dependent on her. I was a bit timid and she didn’t have the patience (nor parenting skills) to let me learn things at my own pace. So she just did everything for me, solved all my problems and made fun of me when I was helpless (or useless as she once called me, gee thanks)


I’m 40 years old and every time I sit at a dinner table with my mother in company she brings up a car accident I had when I was 16 and chuckles as she gives everyone knowing glances. Not smart enough to drive a car but she won’t shut the fuck up about wanting me to fix her computer.


Anxiety riddled perfectionist checking in!


I’m 27 and am really trying to get my life together. I’ve been absolutely drowning in simple adult responsibilities. Financial hardship has been an ongoing theme as I was never taught how to handle money. Anytime I asked for help or advice it lead to arguments. I know nothing about relationships and it lead me into some horrible situations. I’m hyper independent and the thought of anyone helping me gives me worse anxiety than if I just asked for help. I’m really trying though and I think that’s the best we can do. I’m starting out as simple as a daily hygiene and chore list. But like SIMPLE. Like brush my teeth in the morning and at night. Shower everyday, wash my hair every other. Clean x area of apartment every Tuesday, clean x area of apartment every Friday, etc. I try my hardest to budget my money, but I do still overspend. I’m a lot better at it know then I was a decade ago though. I just didn’t have things and I like how it feels to get things. But I make sure my bills are paid on time, I have something to eat, and there’s gas in my car. And when I feel overwhelmed I just let myself feel it and then remind myself that I’m still learning. It’s really hard, but progress is still progress.


I'm 50, and I just realized this a few years ago, myself. Your experience is similar to mine. No guidance, no help, no encouragement or interest. But all the scorn and mocking and humiliation in the world when I wasn't able to do a thing that was really on my parents to teach me how to do. I'm so sorry we share this experience. Fucking narc parents, right?


Ugh, right? It is oddly comforting to know that others took decades to come to this realization as well. I swear I could hear the sound my brain made when this realization hit me … like of *course* … it seems so obvious now but for decades I felt like such an incompetent failure!


I painfully empathize with you. Same was and is often done to me. I’m 27, and fighting against it everyday of my life. I refuse to let them define who I become. I’m sure you’re much better at many of these life skills than you (irrationally) think that you are, but I’m sure you’re already aware of this.


I didn't learn life skills either I never learned social skills and wasn't able to read social cues until I started college I was never taught how to manage money and my best friend had to help me work on my spending issues (which he is currently doing)


I totally agree with this. I'm 31 and I had to learn everything on my own. When I had to do anything new I was just expected to do it and "just figure it out". Then my attempts were judged, ridiculed, and critiqued to death. Both my parents are more than adequate cooks, my mom is even a trained chef, but no one ever explained anything or taught me how to make anything. I think my parents verbally explained some things at various times, but it was never consistent and happened once ever few years. I had to learn how to cook, and it's something with which I've struggled for my entire adult life.


Replying to add: When I turned 18 I was expected to do my own taxes. I'd never seen a tax form in my entire life at that point, and I did my taxes through TurboTax. My $200 tax return turned into a $100 tax return with all the fees. There is a steep cost of having narcissist parents (or parents with narc traits) and a gullibility that may not otherwise exist had we been given the necessary information.


It came to a point where my Nmom & GC sister became the voices of my inner critic. Whenever I started a new job, then I would hear their scorn and derision from childhood, all over again.


I get the worst anxiety stepping into a kitchen. Ndad once tried to teach me how to make enchiladas, didn’t know how to do it himself, got mad at me when I did exactly what he told me to do, and kicked me out of the fucking kitchen on christmas eve, then yelled at me when I left the house that a night. This was my second year of college!!! 1) I should have been taught basic skills before college and 2) how do you as a grown ass man live like this with hardly any basic life skills. All he knows is be miserable and make others miserable. Piece of shit


at least you were making a recipe. Most narcs I know can't cook for shit or make the same recipe.. the wrong way. There was one time I was trying to transfer a soup into a tupperware using a ladle and my nmom got impatient saying I was doing it wrong and she just had me move out of the way for her to do it "the right way". She just picked up the hot pan and poured it like no thanks I'd rather not risk burning myself all because she wants to all hoity toity about it. Ill take my sweet time and use as many utensils as I want, especially if I'm the one washing it.


Yup, God bless the Internet for catching me up on decades of skills in record time!


Yes! My nmom is an EXTREMELY picky eater, and so, there’s a lot of veggies & herbs etc I didn’t even know existed when I moved out. Let alone how to actually make myself some food. At times I feel so emotionally immature compared to ‘normal’ people my age, and like I need to parent myself because both my parents failed to do so. It makes me so sad and angry at times.


I needed this thread, I wonder how many incredibly bright and deserving people have been smothered by this madness :(


Absolutely. This is a preemptive strike on their part. It’s designed to make sure you are never in a position to challenge their authority or control over you. It is to deny you any ability to become independent and remain an extension of them. They also get to keep a feeling of power and superiority as they use you as a baseline. This, in my opinion, is one of the most vile ways that nparents abuse their children.


It's also really hard to know what you actually are good at, because it doesn't matter what you do or how well you do it, it's never good enough, so you get a really skewed sense of 'this is correct'. As an adult, people are constantly surprised by how incredibly quickly I can learn and memorize and copy what they've done almost exactly. I moved over into manufacturing and I was like 'this is fuckin' great. I even have shit written down right here in work instructions!' They don't realize that the skill was paid for dearly by being required to learn on my feet and on the fly or else *consequences*. I also found out that I'm good at technical and mechanical things. I enjoy them. Those were my dad's things that he was good at (tm), so I was always told I was stupid or talked down to with 'aww, good try sweetie', and even when I did actually make an accomplishment I was criticized so much that it genuinely made me feel like I was terrible at it for many years. I later realized it was because I couldn't dare show him up in any way. So I shied away from a lot of that and went into art instead. Now, I just do all the things I like. If I'm bad at it, so what, I can still work at it. I get to determine that now.


I can fully relate to this. My parents never taught me how to clean, cook or be financially responsible. I was made to be completely dependent on them. To this day, while I am better at the first two, I still have to rely on my partner to handle our finances because of my crippling anxiety that tells me I’m going to somehow mess everything up


my parents never taught me how to manage money mom never taught me how to take care of my women body, so i still struggle now with all of this. im still learning everything. i hope im not the only one.... i am still very co dependent on them and afraid for when they pass way, but they want it this way too. (i am 25)


I can’t clean worth shit because I always got yelled at for not doing it right.


Nparents want to cripple you for a variety of reasons. So they can feel superior. So they can maintain control. Because they would be jealous of any an all accomplishments.


Yes. They do it on purpose so you will always be dependent on them, they like to feel needed while simultaneously complaining and teasing you about not knowing how to do things that they never even taught you??! It’s insane


It’s very common. However, my nmom is super incompetent and always struggled with every facet of adulting so it’s not like she could have taught me life skills anyway 😂


I relate to this so much. Everything actually adult seemed to be secret or hoarded by them? Like they would berate me for not having a debit card/bank account, but then also discourage me from getting one, and berate me for even wanting one? Like why would you need one, you dont have any money...even though I did, but then they would say thats not enough, i didnt need one. They shamed me if I was ignorant, and then they shamed/berated me if I figured it out for myself. And it also just blows my mind how many things they would make such a big deal out of, complain or act like was such a huge chore or whatever, were actually nothing and they were just guilt-tripping/manipulating me. Like my mom with laundry. Laundry to her was such a huge chore, she would bitch and bitch and refuse to do any loads except on the weekend. And if I didnt get my clothes in there she would throw a huge fit. And then she was always ruining my clothes or throwing away ones without asking. And if I was like, fine I'll just do my own, she had to be all, no no, I'll do it, you cant do it, you dont know how, you'll just mess it up. So when I finally just did do my own--behind her back--I was expecting like rocket science or I dont know, some grueling chore. Nope. Not hard at all. Not complicated at all. Havent ruined any clothes yet. Hardest part is just remembering to take them out of the washer/dryer. God theyre evil.


It's been a few years of unpacking trauma to come to the conclusion that my NMom abandoned me, kicked me out, made my life a living he'll at home so much that I would run away ... just so that I would become the degenerate loser she wished I was. Ngl, my life isn't good, but my biggest flex is that I'm not the person I was set up to be. Learning life skills in your 30s that your peers were taught in their teens just feels so depraved.


There are many things I’ve never tried or learned due to debilitating anxiety and perfectionism. There are so many silly mistakes I made as a small child that my mom still frequently brings up, such as mispronouncing a word. Who keeps a mental catalogue of a small childs silly mispronunciations and routinely brings them up 25 years later? Insane. And if I react, I'm too sensitive. It’s almost like she has a stand-up routine that she performs whenever she's around people. She just cycles through the stories about all the family members to humiliate us under the guise of poking fun. You can even tell how awkward the people feel sometimes because they're not even humorous stories. Not because they’re overly malicious or anything, they’re just simply unfunny. And a lot of the time the people have already heard the stories because she does this so much.


If I wasn’t doing something exactly like my mom, I got criticized.


35, terrible with money and have lots of financial anxiety. We had lots of hard financial times growing up but my mom is amazing at creating a budget and she managed to keep a roof over our heads. When I started making my own money, I was yelled at for being wasteful, and never understood the power of money. Still to this day, my mom talks about how she was great at teaching me how to budget. Ha. More like great at teaching me a trauma response. She helped me open my first bank account and she "held on" to my debit card. She bought groceries with my money and clothes with hers (she was stealing my money once she was very financially stable). I ended up seeing a financial counselor and had a friend help me understand money. Best decision ever! I don't understand narcissistic behaviours in parents!


I’m only 2 years younger and came to the same realisation a couple of weeks ago. It shook me tbh. They’ve belittled my lack of domestic skills for decades and here I am at 43 years of age, trying to teach myself how to cook and clean properly, how to look after myself and how to get through this life. I’ve stopped beating myself up for it and since I stopped doing that, my brain has started working a little better. I’m starting to figure it out now and I make notes to remind myself of the easiest ways to do stuff. They wanted us to fail and be dependent on them. They did everything they could to sabotage us but we’re smart enough to keep learning and keep growing. They are the failures and they hate that we know it


I feel this so hard. Like, of *course* my house was a mess, laundry piled up, leftovers going moldy in the fridge … I was never taught anything about housekeeping, cooking, etc. For all of my life I’ve blamed myself, thinking there was something seriously wrong with me, that I had some terrible moral failing. But nobody ever taught me!


I'd say it's definately common. I find that I have poor people skills aspecially when it comes to expressing emotions in a healthy and acceptable way. My n-parent was not someone I could learn these things from. They also never had any guests or family over so I could never learn about having healthy relationships with people and so on. There is just no effort from the narc to teach you these things. They expect you to learn yourself and if you don't you're the problem. It's really frustrating that a person who is supposed to be a loving and supportive parent can mess you up in so many ways with these psychological games


And then they will use it against you and make you feel bad about yourself. They’re f*cking trash.


One of my friends had to teach me how to cook an egg. I cooked eggs nearly every day once I knew how, because I was so excited about learning the most basic skill.


Yep. My parents are just going to end up broke and homeless when they’re elderly because their narc tendencies keep them in the cycle of poverty. So they didn’t even have any skills to teach me to begin with.


Ohmygod YES!!! I'm still struggling to learn to drive in my late twenties, trying to figure out how to get a credit card, trying to figure out how to get a place of my own... feel like such a loser compared to my best friend who has awesome supportive parents. Her parents have helped me more than mine ever have.


Man. Cooking is so therapeutic for me. And making soup is a very deep thing, even the simple one’s you can feel the love, effort, zone that went into it. Extra or added garlic works on every Fing dish that exists imho :) You cook the shit outta shit :). I’ll bet you cooking now a passion you need and it will be therapeutic, relaxing, zen you out. Soup man, it’s the best. Make it at your own pace ata every stage. I’m hungry 🤤 now thinking about al my go to soups


Yes. I was given no instruction in how to do life things. Like laundry, or cook. Then I was made to do those things and messed up, of course. Then I get yelled at “what did you do? Can’t you even run a load of laundry?” My response “where would I have learned?” Then I’d get yelled at again because I was being lippy, and she’d start to explain how then stop and leave the room muttering to herself.


It’s because emotionally unintelligent people assume that everyone just figures everything out the same way they do. There’s no thinking outside of their own reality because they cannot empathize.