Adult Children of Narcissist Parent(s)
Updated: Apr 15
I previously blogged on Toxic Parenting Style one of the entries in the article was "As children we need to feel loved and protected by our parents, our self esteem and wellbeing depends entirely on their skills as our independence develops. Those children who were born in a Narcissistic family environment are not far from the same mark, the child needs the beneficial glance of a parental comfort and support, which looks upon him / her unconditionally. Those who respond directly and positively to the child they remain in his / her memory, the child is able to turn to when in need of support, their self worth is seen and reinforced.
A child of Narcissist parent learns how to live in an emotional alienated state, the label of "good" or bad " is cast upon them, emotionally rejected the child engages in a constant pleasing and appeasing the absent parent, aiming for approval that will never materialise. The Narcissist parent often stages a scene of temper or grief, disappointment and intolerance also accompany by criticism. The child who is used to pacify his / her parent feels the hopeless longing that is never satisfied, and such pacification only leads to one way communication, in trying to bargain a compromise with a Narcissistic it turns up to be a fight only to be able to assert your needs, as your boundaries are no existence.
In my practice I had worked with clients that had expressed their wish to rekindle their interactions with their parents, hoping to create a new avenue of communication; arriving a mutual choice of viewpoint is a hurdle to face when talking to a Narcissist, hearing your viewpoint and share value make them feel demolished! If you have managed to meet an acceptable mutual choice of two people opinions and get together is going well, do not underestimate its difficulty, however. Be aware not to revert to a submissive state (childhood behaviour) but be progressive in your demands, assert your boundaries, stand your ground.
Assess your family dynamics, progress from easy to hard, assess the expected problems, each family displays different dynamics, my mother was a talker, she was parading her knowledge and left no room for me to speak, constantly interrupting me, cutting my speech down till it faded away. If your parent is just like mine do not be submissive! Establish rules, by eliminating interruption and taking turns both of you can converse in relative freedom, same goes for sharing an activity, think autonomously, under react to the hurt feelings she empresses in response, to, explain what YOU would like to do and keep looking for what you can share.
The child of a Narcissist easily can fall into the fantasy of the expectation their parent can be different, do not indulge yourself into it, change the topic of interest, there is no need for you to wrestle for his demand to compulsory listen to their endless talking about themselves, with little regard about your life. Set strong boundaries and possibly accepting that you may have a kinder relationship if you accept that the love you are asking for is not the kind of love a parent can give, and vice versa, this gives you the freedom to develop compassion.
Each family is different, each relationship, dynamic with a Narcissist is different.
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