Families is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
When growing up with a narcissistic parent, adulthood comes with many challenges that other people don't always understand.
As a young woman, men may take advantage of who you are, and learn ways to press your buttons and you just don't know why.
As a young man, you may have anxiety about asking for what you need and making decisions that are solely based on your own well-being, and you may not understand the root of it.
As a professional, you have a sense of high expectations for yourself, and requirement levels that exceed your job description, but you still feel like you're not good enough, and can't meaningfully make sense of where that pressure comes from.
These are all struggles that can result from growing up with a narcissistic parent, this and many more.
While growing up with a narcissist as a parent adds many struggles to building your own life, as discussed in my article here, there are ways to move forward and to continue to grow. Here are some vital life changes that you can make that can assist you with overcoming the struggles of a narcissistic parent.
1) Be your own bodyguard, creating necessary boundaries.
With a parent that does not recognize boundaries, this is not something easy to do, but it starts with self-care. When you begin to notice that levels of stress in your life are increasing and this person is making things more difficult, take care of yourself. This may mean cutting off this parent for a period of time or all together. It may seem harsh (which is a judgment), but you deserve to know peace and joy like everyone else.
2) Go for it! Give up the judgment.
As we know that narcissistic parents use judgment to create inner conflicts and self-doubt, it is best to learn to let judgment lie. Let it go! Release it! This action is about freedom, and letting yourself be who you really are!
This is not an easy thing to do all at once, if you can, do it! If not, then take small steps, do things that you want to do for yourself. Empower yourself with a spontaneity and freedom by falling back on your own resilience.
Make your own choices, whatever it is, it's your prerogative, leave the "inner-voice" at home, and give yourself the gift of learning about you. It may mean that you want to tell your BFF about themselves for standing you up for the scheduled movie night, be in your feelings, and let it be known. It may mean that your parent may need to be told about themselves and given some chill out time, let them have it all. Not just part. Let yourself be, and stop judging it, because the more you judge, the more you are inhibiting your own ability to live your life.
3) Heal thyself... Learn about you.
Stop letting people make you feel like taking time out for yourself is counter-productive. It is completely necessary for you to place time out for yourself, and give yourself the ability to understand how to supplement for what you have had to compensate for. Your life is what you were brought into this world for, and a parent that will interrupt that is an inhibitor to personal growth.
Find a good mental health professional if you want to, or a strong spiritual adviser. Build a relationship with someone that is going to be on the outside looking in, and take everything that they have to offer. Embrace the resources that they give you and take it all in. This is you loving yourself and embracing what the freedom of self-love feels like.
Exercise the power of saying "no" and mean it. Don't just say no, find an alternative. Give yourself permission to find out what you want to do for you. Make alternative plans when your parent comes asking for you to put their needs first. Put your needs first, because they matter.
4) Do you! Be and accept yourself.
Most importantly, you have to take time out and realize what you want for yourself. I had to learn that I wanted a successful career and a healthy family, and I had to figure out how to do that. The biggest lesson that I learned was that anyone that was standing between my goals and I needed boundaries or needed to go.
Think about what you want, write it down, and work toward it. There is no one that should be attempting to make themselves more important in your life, than you. If so, then it is time to make your life about you.
5) Focus on wellness. Keep your health holistic.
It is so important to ground yourself in what keeps you healthy and healing. Find ways to center your thoughts and remind yourself that you are important and deserve better. Find affirmations that can build up your understanding of your health. Set limits for negative energy and eliminate where you can.
In choosing to make changes that are healthy and healing focused, you are setting a precedent that keeps goals of positive and uplifting outcomes in your life. You are also giving yourself permission to step away from the negative energy that your narcissistic parent brings with them. It creates a limit to the reach of psychological abuse that they use.
6) Keep it up! Be consistent.
Consistently keep your boundaries and if that means go "no contact," then do it. It is much more important to have the joy and peace of allowing your life to be what you want it to be, than it is to have someone that is going to constantly remind you of what's wrong.
Each of these steps takes courage, and requires the ability to work passed the conditioning of a lifetime, but it's worth it. As someone that has had to apply much of the above and more, I have learned the value of giving myself what I need, and that it's worth.
I hope that this information is helpful, and don't hesitate to find a mental health professional if and/or when you need one. If you are looking for a writing partner or just want to read more about me you can find more at my website or email me at [email protected]
You can also just read more here on Vocal at: 8 Things That Are Awesome About Pregnancy
Thanks for reading!