How To Deal With A Narcissistic Parent
A narcissistic parent is extremely protective and possessive of their kids and perceive any degree of independence as a danger. Children of narcissists usually face humiliation and embarrassment and develop low self-esteem as a result. Frequently, these youngsters develop into people who are either great achievers or self-saboteurs or even both. Children who have been harmed by this type of person will require professional assistance in order to heal from narcissistic violence and abuse.
A narcissistic parent is a person who suffers from narcissism or another kind of narcissistic personality condition. Narcissistic parents are typically possessively and exclusively attached to their kids and are terrified by their children’s increasing independence. This leads to a pattern of narcissistic bonding, in which the parent believes the child exists primarily to satisfy the parent’s desires and needs. A narcissistic parent will frequently use threats and psychological abuse to exert control over their children.
Narcissistic parenting has a detrimental effect on children’s mental development, impairing their thinking abilities as well as their ethical, societal, and emotional attitudes and behaviors. Personal limits are frequently ignored in order to mold and manipulate the child to conform to the parent’s demands.
Being brought up by a narcissist instills the attitude of “I am insufficient.”
By and large, narcissistic parents are protectively attached to their kids. Their children become such an appendage of themselves and a form of self-esteem for the parent; “look at how lovely my kids are; didn’t I do a terrific job!” Kids just became a means of attracting people’s attention to such parents.
Kids learn to conform to the molds that parents build for them, which can cause anxiety in youngster who is always suppressing their own individuality in order to satisfy their parent.
To maintain stability in their lives, the children of a narcissistic parent must comply with the parent’s plan. By expressing their own ideas or thoughts, children might cause conflict with their parents, resulting in rage, sorrow, or punishment. This teaches the youngster that their thoughts and feelings are worthless, flawed, and insignificant, and they frequently suppress their own emotions in order to maintain calm at home.
Not all narcissists are cruel. They are frequently kind, but their goodwill nearly always comes with strings attached. Often, the youngster will learn to comprehend that their parent’s benevolence causes them to feel obligated to them. Whether explicit or implicit, the emotion “If I do something for you, it means you would owe me” always occurs in conjunction with acts of compassion. Kindness and affection are contingent upon one another.
At the best of circumstances, a narcissist’s behavior can be tough to deal with; nevertheless, for a child, it can feel incredibly unpredictable and frightening. Because young children cannot just rise and leave their home, they foster hope by surrendering their individual identities and indulging in self-blame. Embodies the concept that they are the issue; “If I were good at this or that, my parent might appreciate me more.” The parent’s own opinion that they are the ideal parent reinforces this belief, as they assume that any opposition or criticism from the kid is the kid’s fault.
The challenge of having to grow up with a narcissistic caretaker is that the kid usually is unaware of something is wrong. When we are children, we only understand what our relatives expose us to. Years later, the child, who is frequently now an adult, may gain a better understanding of their upbringing. This revelation is sometimes helped by a friend or spouse who is able to identify the narcissist’s odd or weird parenting.
As an adult, dealing with a narcissistic parent is a choice to make. You may need to make some tough decisions, including initiating various boundaries for what you will and will not allow moving ahead. It may take some time to determine the type of connection (if any) you wish to cultivate with this parent. Prepare for ups and downs.
It’s important to prioritize self-care and mental well-being when dealing with any form of narcissism. Narcissists can sap your vitality and manipulate facts to the point where you begin to doubt that you are the source of the problem. That is because the blame has almost certainly been thrown in your direction throughout your life.
The following are some strategies for dealing with narcissistic parents:
- Keep in mind that you’re coping with a narcissist.
- Recognize that you cannot reform a narcissist
- Avoid second-guessing yourself or failing to heed your gut.
- Bear in mind that talking to a person with narcissism about why they are narcissistic does not work (they lack sufficient self-awareness, compassion, and the ability to receive what you are expressing).
- Avoid isolating yourself on a peninsula with your narcissistic parent (i.e., focus on other family relationships rather than focusing exclusively on this one individual).
- Establish reasonable boundaries around what you will and will not do for them.
- Accept no phony promises of reform following an altercation or meltdown with a narcissist.
- Inform them immediately of the role you desire for them to perform in your life or the lives of any prospective pets, children, or other family members.
- Pursue outside support and assistance for yourself, such as mental health counseling and the establishment of a strong network of mentally healthy individuals.
- Be ready to halt or end the connection permanently if it is important for your own well-being.
Grown-up children of narcissistic people will almost certainly be required to take the following specific steps:
Self-education is critical. Whether through literature, books, or specialist support, you will almost certainly need to begin studying narcissism, how it manifests in parenting, and the various consequences. Any process of healing begins with raising awareness of what it is, and it has been found that psychoeducation on narcissistic people can be extremely enlightening as you begin making meaning of your past.
Neglect the past and challenge your personal trauma. I strongly advise you to seek the assistance of a therapist or other skilled expert as you begin to recall, discuss, and make logical sense of your experiences. Additionally, if you have mental gaps or doubts, do not essentially look to your own biological family for an honest depiction of your personal experiences. They may be unwilling or unable to accept your personal story as a result of their own narcissistic trauma.
Regret the things you did not acquire. Inevitably, when you educate yourself and face your past, you will feel a sense of loss as to what you were not able to receive, which was basically a chance to be a child. This process of grieving may take some time and may seem unending at times, but it is absolutely vital for your healing process.
Work your way through any developmental stages that you may have missed. Often, as narcissistic children, we are denied the opportunity to completely develop as children or adolescents with our own personalities, interests, goals, and choices. Additionally, we may have lost out on developmental stages such as lifestyle experimenting, dating, or even following the degree or career of our choice as a result of the effects of psychologically and emotionally dysfunctional parenting. As such, it is part of your process of healing to begin addressing any developmental stages concurrently with your personal background confronting and grief work.
Establishing boundaries. Either with the remaining narcissists in your life or with those to whom you may be excessively accommodating and catering. It is vital for persons suffering from narcissistic parenting to understand what healthy limits are and how to establish them with others.
Seek relationships that are more useful and healthy. At first, they may feel difficult, if not unattainable, to identify, and you may doubt your ability to incorporate these types of relationships into your own life. That is acceptable. Begin with your relationship with a therapist (a qualified expert whose responsibility it is to appear in a healthy, functioning manner) and enable them to demonstrate what is possible in stronger relationships. Over time, this may have an effect on the people you draw into your private life.
Deliberate your healing and rehabilitation efforts on establishing a more secure and unified sense of identity. For the majority of adult children of narcissists, our primary healing work is focused on establishing a more coherent and solid sense of self, on learning to value and love ourselves for who we really are, rather than who we believe we “should” be in order to gain approval. A lack of self-esteem may have a detrimental effect on every aspect of our life, from our mental and physical health to our relations, career progression, and even our bank balance. Thus, concentrating your therapeutic efforts with your therapist on establishing and maintaining a more coherent and solid sense of self might be an excellent method to direct your healing efforts.
So you want to understand how to forgive a mother who is narcissistic? The following are 9 steps that can assist you. While it will not be simple, it is feasible – and there is no better moment than now to begin.
1. Organize Your Thoughts
If your brain is a boiling stew of hatred, uncertainty, and pain, you will not progress. That is why you must sit down and document all your mother did that kept you feeling horrible about yourself. Maintain a diary if necessary — this can be a personal record or a blog.
Jolting down how your mom made you feel inferior to others can assist you in overcoming feelings.
2. Try To Distance Yourself From Her If Possible
At this point, it’s ideal if you can maintain a healthy space with your mother. While this is not required, it does allow some additional mental room for you to focus on the following stage, which is forgiveness. Distance would imply that there would be no communication about or with her.
We recognize that it can be challenging. While the rest of the world is honoring their moms, your narcissist mother is probably longing for her children or scolding you for just being bad. You’d be missing her, and the remorse for being a careless child might overwhelm you.
We recommend that you try to ignore these feelings for a day since you need healing, which is only achievable when you are not with your mother.
3. Quit Self-Blame
You may be wondering to yourself if something may have been done differently. However, here’s the thing: if your narcissist mom had difficulties, she would almost certainly project them onto you and behave in ways that will make you squirm in pain.
If your narcissist mother had problems, she was almost certainly going to project them onto you.
You cannot condemn yourself for her behavior since doing so would make no difference. If anything, blaming just serves to increase anger – which is the last thing we want at this point.
4. Accept The Narcissistic Mother As She Is
Parents are meant to love their kids wholeheartedly, but women suffering from the narcissistic disorder are unable to do so due to their own feelings of unworthiness. As a result, they despise children’s existence and despise children growing up since they will no longer have anything to lord over.
Look past the phony appearance of a loving parent who insults you in secret – sees beyond the mask of instilling in you a sense of worthlessness.
5. Develop Self-Appreciation
Begin by developing an appreciation for yourself, both good and bad, because no one is perfect — even not your mother’s narcissistic personality. While she was present during birth, this does not instantly make her worthy of respect, veneration, or affection. You can be your own person; you must not let your mother’s opinion dictate you, as this would make you a narcissist as well!
Develop an unconditional love for yourself. When will you do it if you don’t do it now?
6. Forgive Your Mother’s Narcissism
Yes, now that your sentiments have been adequately processed, the time has come to forgive your mother with narcissism by relinquishing all your resentment toward her, which is causing you more pain than anybody else could ever cause.
What if this entire ordeal with your mother is all about you maturing and gaining knowledge from the interaction? What if letting it all go and forgiving her was the best decision you’ve ever made?
7. Forever Let Go Of Your Anger
If anger does reemerge, recognize it for what it is — a natural human feeling experienced when someone has caused us great harm.
Retaining this resentment would simply exacerbate the situation since it will allow those who have wounded us to continue injuring us repeatedly. While you cannot undo the past, you can limit the amount of power these scars have on your current and prospective happiness.
8. Show Your Appreciation For Your Narcissistic Mother
While we acknowledge that it will undoubtedly be difficult, you should be appreciative of your narcissist mother for forcing you into this world. It may have been difficult, but birth is always a marvel – so praise her for looking after you, even if it’s in her own peculiar way.
We understand how hard it may seem initially, but try to see the bright side of having a mother with a narcissistic personality because, while she harmed you, she also taught you how not to parent. You will learn from her failures and release all the bad energy that’s keeping you from concentrating on your long-term happiness.
9. Seek Professional Assistance When Necessary
If letting go of your narcissist mother proves more difficult than anticipated, or if concerns are interfering with your health, job, or romantic life, you could always seek expert help. Perhaps you might convince your mother to undergo counseling as well, as a narcissistic person is in desperate need of it.
Our mothers with narcissistic personalities are the only parents we got – certainly, they are imperfect, but that does not justify their eternal damnation.
How Can I Safeguard My Child From My Narcissistic Spouse?
In severe circumstances involving a narcissist parent, you will have to take your matter to court and request a court order suspending parental rights until the other parent receives assistance. In some states of the US, you must establish that the presence of your ex as a parent causes a substantial risk to your kid in order to have parental time terminated. It is a significant responsibility that could take a very long time to establish. If the situation is not life-threatening, you will require some coping mechanisms.
Additionally, you would not want to be the person who mishandles the matter and the court can see that your behavior is equally as awful as the other parent’s. Your response will have an effect on your case.
How Narcissism Is Different From Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
It’s critical to distinguish between parents who exhibit sub-clinical narcissistic traits and those who suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD. Men are more likely to get the condition than women, but it is extremely rare, affecting less than 1 percent of the US populace. Thus, while the likelihood of raising or even being brought somebody with NPD is incredibly small, it is not zero.
Parents with NPD frequently struggle to understand the needs of a child. As a result, they frequently develop an oversized ego and difficulty accepting their own emotions. They want others to accommodate them and expect to be given what they desire.
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