As much as it pains me to say this, it’s the horrible truth. The experience of being the child of a malignant narcissist doesn’t differ all that much from being their romantic partner.
The biggest difference is that, as the wife of a malignant narcissist, I had at least seen and experienced happiness and pleasure before my marriage. As the child of a malignant narcissist, my son never did.
The similarities are that my Malignant Narcissist ex-husband abused both my son and me in every way imaginable. And in some ways that are unimaginable. We both suffer from Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome and Complex-PTSD. As an adult, I have better coping skills than my 14-year-old son, who is autistic.
When I started typing up this answer, my son came into my room, so I took the opportunity to ask his opinion on this question. The things he told me brought tears to my eyes. Although I’m paraphrasing his words, this is what he said:
“Having to watch the only person who’s ever cared for me being beaten and choked right in front of my eyes made me hate that bastard so much that I want to kill him. And I don’t mean quickly. He deserves to die slowly and painfully after what he’s done to us.
All those times he choked you and dragged you around by your hair. And poured drinks on your head, and broke your neck. All those horrible things he said to you and did to you. For doing all of that, he needs to suffer.
And there’s more. Having a dad like that makes you not trust the world or society. The cops and teachers and judges did nothing to help us. Hell, most of the time, if the cops got called, things got worse. They acted like they didn’t believe you or that you were crazy and they even threatened to take me to jail when I tried to tell them Chuck was lying.
Having a monster for a dad makes you hate yourself. And not being able to protect your mom when she’s being strangled and beaten makes you feel worthless. It makes you have so much anger and rage inside that you just want to scream every day about how fucked up the world is. It’s why I don’t believe in God. I know you don’t like for me to say that, but really Mom, would you still believe in God if you were me?”
About that time, the oven beeped, meaning his lunch was ready. Our conversation had to be paused, but will continue a little later. He had made his point, though.
Originally answered on Quora by Serena Prince.