How to Survive a Narcissitic Or Abusive Family

Abusive father

Abusive Family

There are so many people asking themselves the same question on a regular basis- how does one survive abuse at home?

There is no easy answer or probably even a winning formula.

Some children simply cannot win no matter what they do amongst the family, starting at an early age, and it never goes away and is usually “bought into” by siblings and other family members who go along with the notion.


My worst case was a teenage girl who told her parents that her grandfather had sexually abused her. She lived at home during her early teenage years under such conditions.


She was not only disbelieved, she remained shunned within her own family for years, with no sibling or parent allowed to talk or acknowledge her


The child then becomes a black sheep/scapegoat and the source or blame of all things wrong in a  dysfunctional family.


I have other articles on the blog that go into more detail about narcissistic parents and other reasons for dysfunction in families, but the bottom line for the individual is that if you stay in the family, you remain the source of all things wrong, and if you leave the family, then you have deserted them and remain an outsider forever.


Medical advice seems to lean towards you cannot change your family, so save yourself by getting away from their poisonous ideas.


My only caution in doing so, is that you do so on the written advice of a counsellor or doctor, share it in some detail and history in writing with the family, both of which may make it more difficult to disinherit you on the basis that you estranged yourself from the family.

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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