Five Things to be Learned From Having a Narcissistic Parent
There’s one outstanding thing to be learned from having a narcissistic parent. It’s the fact that not every person is suitable to be a parent. Those people who should’ve given everything for their children, who should’ve loved them, respected them, and made them feel secure and worthwhile, instead, prioritized themselves at all times. Something like this has a deep emotional impact on children.
Furthermore, it brings to adulthood the wound of a trauma that needs to be healed. Indeed, it’s extremely common to see many people with disorders such as depression, eating problems, and self-image as a result of this reality. As a matter of fact, growing up with a narcissistic parent means they think they don’t deserve what they need. Furthermore, they feel that it doesn’t even matter.
The emotional neglect suffered in these types of family dynamics is highly damaging. Undoubtedly, these individuals suffer unspeakable wounds and there are certain dimensions that must be understood to overcome these complex experiences. We take a look at them here.
Feelings of emptiness, guilt, constant insecurity… Growing up in a family with one or more narcissists always has consequences. In fact, it alters the child’s personality and their way of relating to others.
Things to be learned from having a narcissistic parent
The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York conducted a study in 2003 which claimed that all forms of emotional abuse and neglect in childhood have a clinical impact in adulthood. In fact, many people come to psychological therapy with shocking stories to tell.
They often explain how one of their parents constantly criticized, humiliated, and ridiculed them. In most cases, the person doesn’t even know that the caregiver had a narcissistic personality disorder. In fact, as a rule, they’ve experienced the trauma of an upbringing where they were treated as a mere accessory of the family and not as someone with their own needs and rights.
Several approaches are often used in helping victims of childhood narcissistic abuse. In general, it’s correlated with various psychopathologies. These can range from anxiety, addiction problems, eating disorders, and self-destructive behaviors, etc.
However, therapy works and when this happens, the sufferer starts to become aware of many things. In fact, let’s see what they learn from the experience of having a narcissistic parent.
1. Love doesn’t mean domination
The narcissistic parent acts as a leader of a cult. They seek to override others in order to control them. This involves carrying out the persuasive task of continually underestimating others, including their children. Nothing they feel, need or think matters, only what the parent wants is important.
The person who’s been through this life experience finally learns that unconditional love isn’t based on domination. However, the narcissist needs victims on whom to exercise their control and thus achieve superiority. In addition, they love being able to belittle and have everyone under their control.
2. Their life purpose no longer consists of satisfying a narcissist
One of the things the children of narcissistic parents learn when they’ve finally escaped from them is that they’re free. Their life is their own. They can make their own decisions and lead the kind of existence they want. As a matter of fact, understanding this is vital for victims of any kind of narcissistic abuse, but especially for those who’ve grown up with a narcissistic parent.
When children grow up in an environment dominated by a narcissist their only purpose in life is to fulfill the narcissist’s needs. This implies giving up all their dreams, desires, or longings. Manipulation in these cases is absolute, to the extent that many people don’t even know what they expect from life or what goals they have.
3. They’re free to interact with whoever they want outside the family
Narcissistic parents are extremely possessive of their children. Not only do they nullify them psychologically, but they also tend to isolate them. So much so, that it’s common for them to control their activities and the time they spend away from home. In fact, they prefer that they don’t have friends or partners.
Therefore, one of the things children of narcissistic parents learn is the fact that they have the full right to build the relationships that they want. They’re free to leave the dysfunctional orbit that this figure built for them. They’re complete, prepared to cut the umbilical cord, and build their own world.
Narcissists can’t perceive their children as unique individuals separate from themselves. Domination is absolute.
4. They’re not responsible for their parents’ happiness or unhappiness
Children of narcissists eventually understand that they’re not in this world to fulfill their parents’ wishes. Their role isn’t to achieve what their parent didn’t achieve, to be their reflection, and even less to find their happiness for them. Therefore, if the narcissistic parent says they’re disappointed in their behavior or they express hurt that they’re making their own decisions, their children mustn’t listen to them. Their parents are not their responsibility.
They ultimately realize they have the right to shape their own projects, regardless of what the parent wants or feels. However, they must realize that they mustn’t continue to feed their parents’ narcissistic appetites or pay attention to their dramas.
5. They have the right to distance themselves from those who hurt them
They ultimately realize that they have the right to decide how much time they want to invest in their narcissistic parent. Some will feel that a monthly visit is sufficient. Others may prefer to break the link entirely. However, everyone has the full right to decide what type of relationship they want or don’t want to have with this kind of figure.
Finally, if there’s one thing to be learned from these kinds of experiences, it’s that the most important thing is to seek and create healthy connections. Children of narcissistic parents must establish links that enrich them emotionally and don’t leave them with mental injuries. Indeed, true families are forged through love. Genetics really don’t matter.It might interest you...