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Coping Strategies Library for Children of Narcissistic Parents


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When you are raised by narcissistic parents, you feel trapped in your home, with no escape. You are afraid of the very people who are supposed to love you, provide for you and keep you safe. This sense of constant fear pervades your very being. You don't have a normal and carefree childhood like your friends and classmates. All this brings with it a sense of being an oursider.


Although your childhood was ruled by a narcissist, you have a chance as an adult to free yourself from these unhealthy dynamics and to create a better life for yourself.


My family always treated me like I was an unruly teenager, well into my 30's. It left me feeling like I was never good enough to win their love, like I could never do anything right, and like I was dependent on their approval. I started to get free from this when I realized that I was neither unruly or a teenager any longer.


I had run away from home multiple times as a teen, and at one family dinner, my mom made a point of telling me that when I ran away she only let me come back because it was what my dad wanted. She didn't want me.


Realizing that:

  1. I didn't want to be with my family

  2. My family didn't want me

Allowed me to begin to live in a different way, seek healing, and find freedom. After all, what is the point of trying to force a relationship that neither side clearly wants? If someone doesn't want to be with you, you have no obligation to stay. You deserve to be somewhere that you feel wanted.


All this is a process of beginning to get free from a narcissist. Throughout my journey, I have created resources for other people on the same journey of healing from growing up with a narcissistic parent.



When you begin to suspect that your parents may be narcissists, you likely start researching Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is helpful to know the signs of narcissism, so you can determine your next steps in your relationship with your parents.



There are different types of narcissists, and spotting a covert narcissist may be more difficult to do. This is typically someone who is more sociable, and creates a positive image for themselves in multiple areas of their lives. Due to their covert nature, they are more difficult to recognize.



Narcissists have the tendency to favor one child over another, and to pit their children in competition against each other. This creates an unhealthy family dynamic where each child experiences the family quite differently.



Many of us who begin to realize that our parents are narcissists were treated as a Scapegoat growing up. This means, you were likely blamed for all the family's problems. You were the "bad child" or the "troublemaker" of the family.



If you grew up as the daughter of a narcissistic mother, likely you will have many of the symptoms on this list. Learning the effects of being abused by a narcissist will help you identify areas where you need to heal, and limiting beliefs to work on in therapy.



When you are raised by a narcissist, they may take care of your physical needs. However, your need for safety was never met. Your emotions were never valued. This leaves you with a gaping hole inside that feels like it can never be filled. If this is you, it is likely that you are suffering from Childhood Emotional Neglect.



Trust is a key element to any healthy relationship. However, when you grow up with a narcissist, you don't ever learn to trust someone to care for you, because you weren't properly cared for as a child. This can have a deep impact on your adult relationships.



If you have been in a relationship with a narcissist - either as a parent or a partner - you are likely to feel heartbroken. Realizing someone you loved didn't love you can be a huge emotional blow. It takes time to recover and rebuild your self esteem.



When you have grown up with a narcissist, you may suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as an adult. This is because you lived in constant fear for so long, and your nervous system is on high alert. Learning to cope with PTSD can help you recover from the childhood trauma that you endured.



As you realize in adulthood that your parents are narcissists, you are left with a lot of questions about how to cope. In order to change the type of relationship with your parents into something less damaging, you need to learn to set boundaries. Some people also reduce contact with narcissistic parents for self preservation.



Growing up with a narcissist can cause you to have a strong inner critic, and a lot of self doubt and blame. In order to move on and heal, you need to learn how to love and appreciate yourself. This involves changing your inner narrative around how you think about yourself. Learning self love is a first step towards healing.



In healing from narcissistic abuse, many of us learn that narcissists rarely change. The problems they have typically effect others more than it effects them. However, some narcissists do realize that they have a problem and are willing to change. This is a question that was sent to me by one of my readers, and is something important to address as well. Narcissists can change and heal if they are dedicated to doing so.



If you have found these topics helpful, you can read more in my ebook about how to recover from narcissistic abuse.


This book is a how-to guide written to help those who are recovering from narcissistic abuse. There is a section on narcissistic parents, and a section on narcissistic relationships. I have experienced both of these in my personal life. I also have a degree in Psychology, so I understand the psychological underpinnings of narcissistic personality disorder.


The book combines science and research with personal experience and explains why people feel so abused and discarded after a relationship with a narcissist. The book includes:

  • Description of narcissistic personality traits

  • Possible consequences to victims

  • How to reduce or cut contact with a narcissist

  • Treatment and healing




Healing from narcissistic abuse can be a long and difficult process, however it is worth it in the end! Learning to see yourself and your relationships in a different light can help you have a completely different life. Getting free from the clutches of a narcissist, and healing the emotional scars, can make you a happier and healthier person.


Your past doesn't need to define your future.


Your life holds infinite possibilities, and you are worthy of having the life you desire. Moving on from a narcissist allows you to break free of negative beliefs that you have about yourself and your life, so that you can find healing and peace.


If there are additional topics you would like me to address in future blogs, let me know in the comments!



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