It is quite unfortunate if one or both of your parents is/are narcissistic however it doesn’t mean you have to repeat your parents’ patterns. When you were young, you brain is not developed enough to process complex emotions and situations. However as you grow more mature especially into adulthood, you have the ability to identify unhealthy patterns inherited from your parents and the capacity to process and heal them. One good thing about being an adult is that you are able to parent your inner child in ways that your narcissistic parent/parents is/are not able to.
Before diving further into how you can heal from the trauma bonding with your narcissistic parents. It’s important to understand the extent narcissistic parents’ negative outlook, criticism, brainwashing and controlling tactics on their children. According to research, children who are brought up by narcissistic parents tend to experience the following mental health, relationship, career and physical health struggles.
It is very important to establish boundaries with narcissistic parents because we are consciously and unconsciously influenced by the environment around us and there is no benefit to have narcissists around you. If you can, it’s best to establish your living space and build a supportive circle around you. Narcissistic parents tend to think they have ownership over their children and therefore they will not respect your boundaries. You establishing your boundaries will actually anger or trigger them because they can no longer control you. It’s important to know that narcissistic people crave power. When their power over something or someone is being challenged, their true color will come out. That’s why narcissistic parents can be emotionally, physically, psychologically, mentally and/ or verbally abusive when their children rebel their ideas, plans or beliefs.
In the previous post, I have mentioned that narcissistic people have no empathy. This means they will not be able to see things from your perspective. They also have no desire to do so. They have this grandiose and arrogant idea about themselves as if they know everything or whatever they say or think is correct and cannot be challenged. Somehow they think they are above others. Even when you show them facts and try to reason with them, their arrogance will dismiss your ideas and proposals. That’s why arrogant people can also be very ignorant because they never see the point of learning from others or life experiences. In their little mind, they think they already know everything. Therefore arrogant people are also emotionally shallow because it is empathy, compassion, humility, the ability to self-reflect that make a person emotionally rich and deep.
It is important to mention that just because you can pinpoint your narcissistic parents’ toxic traits, it does not mean that you can change them. Narcissistic people do not change on the fundamental level. Even if they change, it will be a very small one instead of a drastic change. Narcissistic people are innately self serving, emotionally selfish, cold, immature and shallow. They may change their actions to make them look better but not because they suddenly develop empathy or there is a big change on the core level.
It is much better to look for support and fulfillment elsewhere such as developing meaningful friendships, leaning a new skills, watching some heart-warming movies, engaging in activities that make you feel happier and more confident, being in nature, meditating etc.
Self-love and self-confidence are essential when dealing with narcissistic parents. Always put yourself first. You don’t have to be the one who is always putting in the effort or be consistent with them. You don’t have to give them more than what they deserve even if they are your parents. Parents are supposed to be emotional, psychologically and physically supportive of their children’s growth. If they do not do their part right, you don’t have to be the one putting in all the effort or mending the relationship. It’s important and beneficial to always invest in reciprocative relationships and break the boundaries that your parents set for you and start living your life for your own good. Although it is easier said than done, and it can take years of practicing self-love to hold strong boundaries again narcissistic parents, the rewards and the inner strength and wisdom you have gained along the way will make everything worthwhile. There is nothing more emotionally rewarding than building a strong and healthy relationship with yourself as all other relationships are reflections of that.
Love and light,