Growing up as the child of a narcissistic parent is one of the most difficult and complex life histories a child can experience. The psychopathology of the narcissist is deep and daunting. As a baby and young child you were subjected to the full force of the narcissistic personality. Quoting from my book: Recovering and Healing After the Narcissist offers a clear picture of this fixed, personality: Narcissistic personality disorders are characterized by extreme self-absorption, lack of empathy, ruthlessness, incapacity for emotional intimacy, volcanic rage, chronic lying, deceit and exploitation… The narcissist lacks a conscience; his sense of right and wrong is determined by how clever he is at not being exposed or punished for his unethical, immoral and illegal behavior.
The narcissist believes he/she is superior to others. He has an overriding sense of self-entitlement…For the narcissist, everyone is disposable; one person is interchangeable with another. .He has neither a memory nor one scintilla of concern about the victims of his psychological crimes…Beneath the elaborate mask of a grandiose false self, the narcissist unconsciously experiences a deep, intractable psychological emptiness.
- Your restoration and healing begins with your deep research and study of the true nature of the narcissistic parent. Your understanding of the narcissistic personality provides you with psychological and emotional distance from this non parent.
You are taking the initiative to separate yourself from the narcissistic mother or father who was incapable of attachment, love, caring, warmth, empathy, protection or guidance. This is a foundational step for moving forward as a psychologically grounded individual.
- Children of narcissistic parents grow up with blocked emotions. Their feelings were stifled because it was psychologically dangerous to express themselves. When we squelch ourselves we cannot be spontaneous. We are constantly putting the brakes on our self expression. Growing up as the child of a narcissist we are required to tow the line, to model our reactions to the tune and timing of this distorted, demanding, derisive personality. Being in one of these homes is like what psychoanalyst Alice Miller call a kind of prison. In her first book she named these children Prisoners of Childhood.
Now that you are in the process of awakening to yourself allow feelings to come through. When you feel laughter bubbling up let it blossom ; when tears form and fall from your eyes, let them flow. Spontaneous writing is a creative way of releasing feelings that are often hidden from the rational. Take a pen and pad or notebook and let yourself write whatever comes up without editing or judgment. This is an incredible tool of discovery and creative. Long hidden feelings, memories and thoughts come to consciousness and are expressed by you on the page. This is a part of the real you that has been hidden for a long time that is now being expressed in the most unique beautiful way.
3. Recognizing that the deprivations and psychological abuse projected on to you was not your fault. You were the innocent child the victim of the narcissistic parent’s cruel, wanton projections. The cruel words and criticisms that you at times still hear inside of your mind were manifestations of your narcissistic parent’s psychopathology and had nothing to do with your true essence. You were on the receiving end as an innocent child who was blameless. Take this truth inside and let it resonate deeply within you. Rest in knowing that you were an innocent, a precious child. Feel this deeply in yourself now.
- Practice self care each day. Make it simple and do it your way. Get the rest and sleep that you need . If you have trouble sleeping and falling back to sleep, rest. Do not be judgmental when you have difficulty sleeping. Eat nourishing food, organic if possible. Hydrate well with pure water. Movement and exercise reduce stress, stretch our muscle and make us stronger with greater endurance. Spend time with Nature. Allow its beauty and mystery to captivate you in its magic. When we are engrossed in Nature in the moment we are healing and restoring ourselves.
5.Tap into your creativity each day. This takes as many forms as there are individuals. Think of all the ways you are creative: drawing, painting, sketching, sewing, cooking, baking, singing, dancing, chanting, gardening, all forms of writing, doing research on what fascinates, you, crocheting, knitting, sewing, quilting, photography, woodworking, ceramics, night dreaming, daydreaming, reveries.
And —Be Kind To Yourself!
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.