Empaths & Narcissist Relatives

S. E. Wigget
10 min readFeb 17, 2024

When you’re an empath with relatives (especially a parent) who are narcissists, sociopaths, and the flying monkeys of these narcissists and sociopaths, you’re brought up to throw yourself under the bus for bullies.

Vita distancing herself from narcissists

My dad was an empath who married a malignant narcissist. I take after my empath dad, and my mother’s enormous clan was the dominant side of the family.

All three categories — narcissists, sociopaths, and flying monkeys — firmly believe it’s your duty to be their verbal and psychological punching bag. They never question it. It’s quite bizarre — I was in my thirties when I first became disillusioned enough with relatives to notice.

Through my childhood and adolescence, I attended ordeals called family reunions, always on the side of the family dominated by narcissists and narcissistic sociopaths. If one or more relatives attacked me, nobody defended me. Quite the contrary, they tended to gang up on me. My mother always threw me under the bus for her sociopath siblings. She even took pride in the fact that by age four, I knew better than to run to her crying when Aunt Asshole lashed out at me and even spanked me… just for acting like a normal child. (That psycho didn’t like it when, out of curiosity, I reached out and touched a peculiar, round, green, shiny piece of plant she was showing off to everyone.)

When you’re four or five years old — or probably even in your teens — you don’t stop and think: “Hmm, these humans who loom over me and look like adults are bullies. They’re wrong and cruel. I shouldn’t take their behavior personally.” No, you assume you’re essentially unlikable and unacceptable. You could go your entire life believing that.

No doubt they wouldn’t like being treated how they treated me. The lack of reciprocation, the double standard, is hard to wrap my head around. They think they’re entitled to treat scapegoats/empaths like punching bags or doormats and — even more bizarre — that we’re supposed to keep quiet, taking their abuse and walking on eggshells.

In my thirties, I moved into the house where my mother grew up — after an uncle died and left the house unoccupied. Unfortunately, other relatives in that town were still alive… and made sure I felt as unwelcome and disrespected as possible. Two aunts, Aunt Asshole…

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S. E. Wigget

Outside Medium, I mostly write fiction, especially paranormal and historical fantasy, under either S. E. Wigget or Susan E. Wigget. WhimsicalWords.Substack.com