Children look up to their parents, no matter who the parent is, or what they’ve done. As an adult, you get to examine what beliefs from childhood you’ve carried forward into adult life. This is an exercise is self-awareness. Don’t let your shame or embarrassment—or anger—hold you back. Don’t let your fear keep you little. 

Instead of being critical of yourself—or, yes, pitying yourself for what you endured—make objective note if these beliefs are helping you or not. Beliefs can seem like “rules” but they aren’t. With the narcissist parent, they are the result of trying to thrive—or perhaps simply survive—in a toxic wasteland of another’s personality deficits. When put that way, it’s a little easier to understand why beliefs can seem unmoveable. It’s because with a parent who was not really “there” the child’s psyche does what it can to create permanence. Now, as adults, the time has come to adjust beliefs and pull forth the true self.

Many of these rules from childhood that concern adaptation to a narcissist parent have likely stunted your ability to live your life fully. When you’ve grown up with a narcissist parent, the notion of the child’s own life is eclipsed by the narcissist parent’s need to feed off the child’s energy for their own survival. For today, try noticing even the smallest ways that happens. And, most importantly, notice how you do this to yourself, perpetuating what the parent did to you.

This is where you can begin to rediscover your own power—aka: your true self. This can help you begin to see yourself and your situation with others with a more neutral eye.

About the Author

Meredith Resnick, L.C.S.W.

Meredith Resnick, L.C.S.W., is a health writer and licensed social worker. She is also the mother of two adopted daughters.

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