Understanding Today's Narcissist
Understanding Today's Narcissist

Episode 21 · 3 years ago

Road to Recovery from Narcissistic Parenting

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ida realized her mother was a narcissist in her early 20’s. But what she didn’t expect was the developmental impact on her childhood. Normally, a child is given the freedom to explore and express their individuality so they can develop into a confident and well-balanced adult. This nurturing environment prioritizes the needs of the child over the parent without overindulgence. But this did not happen for Ida.

Instead, Ida is hypersensitive to what other people might think about her. Her mother emphasized appearance and demanded perfection. When Ida would gain a few pounds, her mother would berate her and tell her that no one will ever love a fat person. She would say that Ida was an embarrassment and her mom would refuse to buy her new clothes or take her out until she lost the weight.

Naturally, Ida developed severe anxiety, depression, and eating disorder. As she entered her late teens, she added drinking and some drugs to the mix. Unable to please her mother, Ida chose to please her friends who were also engaged in an unhealthy lifestyle.

Ida was unaware of her dysfunctional narcissistic parent as a child. It wasn’t until rehab that she fully accepted her mother’s false perception of reality. Even though her mother insisted on the rehab, she became angry during parent’s weekend. Ida’s now healthy perspective became threatening to her mother because it exposed the poor narcissistic parenting.

As a result, her mother completely withdrew complaining that the rehab ruined her. But for Ida, this is just the start. Without her mother’s voice in her ear, the years of narcissistic parenting revealed far more devastating consequences. Using the symptoms of a narcissist as the starting point, here are the results of dysfunctional parenting and the road to recovery:

  1. Grandiosity breeds criticalness. Ida’s mom magnifies her accomplishments to the point that Ida believed she was super-human. Ida desperately tried to live up to the image of her mother. However, when she came close, her mother rose the bar again to keep it just out of reach. Ida then became overly critical of her actions, believing she needed to be perfect.
    1. Recovery: Ida accepted her imperfections and embraced them as a normal part of herself. Instead of trying to please others, she decided to please herself.
  2. Idealism breeds despair. Ida’s mom created her own fantasy world where she was all-powerful, brilliant, and beautiful. Ida was expected to be physical extensions of her mom. When Ida achieved a reward, it is as if her mother got it instead. Since no success was solely at the hands of Ida, she lost hope that her accomplishments matter. This generated feelings of despair and despondency.
    1. Recovery: Ida made a list of her accomplishments and unique talents. Whenever she would feel down, she reviewed the list to gain perspective.
  3. Superiority breeds inferiority. For Ida’s mother, being average was as bad as below average. Since narcissists believe they are superior and can only associate with other superior people, their children by extension must also be exceptional. This pressure was overwhelming to Ida who realized she was not extraordinary in everything she did. As a result, this unrealistic expectation set by her mother generated feelings of inferior. “I can never be good enough,” was a common thought.
    1. Recovery: Ida started saying, “I am enough” to counteract the negative thinking and empower her.
  4. Attention-seeking breeds anxiety. Her mom needed a daily feeding of attention, affection, affirmation or admiration. When Ida was small, she learned that the quickest way to get her needs met is to fill these needs of her mom first. This is behavioral conditioning at its finest. However, Ida’s anxiety manifested as she constantly tried to anticipate and meet the needs of her mom to prevent an emotion explosion or backlash.
    1. Recovery: The more Ida was away from her mother, the more her anxiety diminished and she was able to enjoy relief the pressure of anxiety.
  5. Entitlement breeds shame. By nature of being a parent, Ida’s mom expected her to go along with whatever she wanted. The wants or desires of Ida was constantly overshadowed or belittled by her mom. This generated feelings of shame in Ida as she began to invalidate her own likes and dislikes in favor of her mom. Consequently, Ida became a shell believing her uniqueness and individuality was shameful.
    1. Recovery: Ida made a list of what she liked. Taking clues from the musical lyric, “These are a few of my favorite things,” Ida made her own list of favorite items.
  6. Selfishness breeds mistrust. In the pursuit of self-preservation, Ida’s mother justified taking advantage of others, including Ida. Ida’s childish behaviors were met with swift and severe punishment despite her mother’s consistent modeling of the same behavior. The narcissist abuses their parental role by diverting attention from their selfishness and instead highlights the deficiencies of their child. This propagated mistrust in Ida as she ascertained her mother to be an unsafe and untrustworthy person.
    1. Recovery: Instead of trusting her mother, Ida focused on other healthy relationships in her life establishing a trust bond. A life-long friend was the perfect replacement.
  7. Indifference breeds over responsibility. Even when Ida was excitedly talking about a new adventure, her mother would tune Ida out or divert the conversation to make it about her. Worse yet, when Ida was in pain, either emotional or physical, there was no empathy or understanding. Sadly, Ida didn’t see this as her mother’s problem, rather she assumed the responsibility that somehow, she was in the wrong. The result was an internal nagging of needing to take responsibility for the flaws or faults of others.
    1. Recovery: Ida stopped taking responsibility for other people’s actions and allowed them to make mistakes. She realized that she is only responsible for herself.
  8. Materialism breeds dissatisfaction. Narcissists use material possessions as a way of elevating themselves over others and controlling behavior. Ida’s mom used gifting as a way of demanding performance from Ida. If Ida did what was expected, she got elaborate and expensive gifts. But if Ida did not live up to expectations, she did not get a gift at all, including for birthdays or holidays. The use of material objects in this manner steels the joy of the item as Ida was in constant fear that the gift will be revoked for lack of performance.
    1. Recovery: Ida decided that she didn’t want to be so materialistic, so she became minimalistic instead. This allowed her not to feel the pressure of having stuff.
  9. Arrogance breeds inauthenticity. While Ida’s mom put on a show of snootiness to everyone outside of the home, those inside, especially Ida, saw the deep-rooted insecurity that lied beneath the façade. However, if Ida dared to expose the insecurity, she was swiftly gaslighted and made to look crazy. This taught Ida never to reveal her own uncertainties resulting in a lack of genuineness.
    1. Recovery: Ida embraces her faults and instead of hiding them, exposed them in a humous manner. This gave her a feeling of control.

Fortunately, these childhood patterns can be reversed through an understanding of narcissism, awareness of false truths, and more accurate perception of reality. Counseling is extremely beneficial in exposing and eradicating the lies of narcissistic parenting.

For more information, visit growwithchristine.com

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...grow with christinecom forward slash narcissism. That's grow with christinecom forward slash narcissism. This master class will change your life again. That's grow with christinecom forward slash narcissism. This is understanding today's narcissist, brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom and now here's your host, Christine Hammond. Today I want to talk to you about what it's like as a child who is grown up from a narcissistic parent, and I'm going to take it from the perspective of someone who's...

...like later in life realizing, Hey, my parent was narcissistic and that's what I was growing up with in childhood. And what I want to do is walk through the traits with you of Narcissism and then show you how those traits have a great impact on a child during their developmental years. And so we're going to use the example of item because I think that would be a great place to start. So I to realize that her mom was a narcissist somewhere, which she was in her s, but what she didn't expect was the developmental impact that this had on her childhood. Normally, a child is given the freedom to explore and express their individuality so they can develop into a confident and well balanced adult. This is what we work for. This nurturing environment prioritizes the needs of the child over the parent, without overindulging them. But...

...this didn't happen for IDA. Instead, Ida was hype, or sensitive to what other people might think about her. Her mother emphasized appearance and demanded a perfection from her. When IDA would gain even a few pounds, her mother would berate her and tell her that no one would love a fat person. She would say that IDA was an embarrassment, and her mom would refuse to buy her new clothes or take her out until she lost the weight. Naturally, IDA developed severe anxiety, depression and in eating disorder, not really surprising as she entered her lateeens. She added drinking and some drugs to that mix. Unable to please her mother, Ida chose instead to please her friends who were also engaging in an unhealthy lifestyle. Ida was unaware of her dysfunctional narcissistic parent. As a child, she did know her mom was a narcissist, it wasn't until Rehab that she actually fully accepted her mom's false perception of reality.

Remember that narcissus all have this false perception of reality. Even though her mom insisted on Ida going to the Rehab her mom got very angry during parent's weekend. Ida's now healthy perspective of things became a threat to her mother because it exposed the poor narcissistic parenting. So, as a result, would you expect, her mother completely withdrew, complaining that the Rehab had ruined her daughter. But for IDA this was just the start. Without her mom's voice in her ear, the years of narcissistic parenting revealed far more devastating consequences. So, using the symptoms of narcissism as a starting point, we're going to talk about the results of dysfunctional parenting and what that road to recovery really looks like. Number one, grandiosity breeds criticalness. So Ida's mom manifested her accomplishments to...

...the point that IDA believed she was actually superhuman. I'da desperately tried to live up to the image of her mother. However, when she became close, her mom would then rise the bar again just to keep it out of reach. Ida then became overly critical of her own actions, believing she needed to be perfect. So her mom's grandiosity bread criticalness in IDA. So how does she recover from that? Ida had to accept her imperfections and embrace them as a normal part of herself. Instead of trying to please others, she had to learn how to please herself. That was number one. Number two, idealism breeds despair. Ida's mom created her own fantasy world where she was all powerful, brilliant and beautiful. Ida was expected to be the physical extension of...

...her mother. When Ida achieved an award, it was as if her mother had gotten it instead. Since no success was solely at the hands of IDA, I'd I had lost hope that her accomplishments actually mattered. This generated feelings of despair and despondency. So idealism in her mother bread despair in IDA. How does she recover? Ida had to make a list of her accomplishments and unique talents. Whenever she would feel down, she would review this list in order to gain a more accurate perception of reality. That also counteracts that inaccurate perception of reality, or the distorted perception of reality that a narcissist has. Number three, superiority breeds inferiority. For Ida's mother, being average was as bad as below average, since narcissists believe they are superior and can only associate with other superior people. They are children by extension, must be exceptional.

This pressure was overwhelming to Ida, who realized she was not extraordinary in everything she did. As a result, this unrealistic expectation set by her mother generated feelings of inferiority. I can never be good enough, was a common thought that IDA would have. So so the periority from her mother bread inferiority in IDA. How does she recover? Ida had a literally start saying every day I am enough. She would have to start her day that way and that her day that way in order to counteract all of the negative thinking and to empower herself. Number four, attention seeking breeds anxiety. Her mom needed a daily feeding of attention, affection, affirmation or adoration. When IDA was small,...

...she learned that the quickest way to get her own needs met was to fill the needs of her mother first. This is behavioral conditioning at its finest. However, IDA's anxiety manifested as she constantly tried to anticipate and meet the needs of her mom to prevent the emotional backlash. So attention seeking in her mom, bread anxiety in IDA. How does she recover from that? The more IDA was away from her mother, the more her anxiety diminished and she was actually able to enjoy the relief of the pressure from anxiety. So the road to recovery involved her getting physically away from her mom. Number Five, entitlement breeds shame. By the nature of being apparent, ID as mom expected her to go along with whatever she wanted. The once or desires of IDA...

...was constantly overshadowed or belittled by her mom. This generated feelings of shame and IDA, as she began to invalidate her own likes and dislikes and favor of her mom. Consequently, IDA became a shell, believing her uniqueness and individuality was shameful. So entitlement in her mother bread shame and IDA. What's the road to recovery? Ida had to make a list of what she liked, taking clues from the musical lyric, from the sound of music. These are a few of my favorite things. Ida made her own list of favorite items and would review them and return to them often. Number six, selfishness breeds missed trust. In the pursuit of self preservation, IDA's mom justify taking advantage of others, including IDA. Ida's childish behaviors will met with swift and severe...

...punishment, despite her mother's constant modeling of the same behavior. The narcissist abuses their parental role by diverting attention from their selfishness and instead highlights the deficiencies of their child. This propagated mistrust and IDA, as she ascertained her mother to be unsafe and untrust worthy. So selfishness in her mother, bread mistrust in IDA. How does she recover? Instead of trusting her mother, Ida had to focus on other healthy relationships in her life to establish a trusting bond. A lifelong friend was the perfect replacement for her mom in this case. Number seven, indifference breeds over responsibility. Even when IDA was excitedly talking about a new adventure, her mother would tune ida out or divert the conversation to make...

...it all about her. Worse yet, when Ida was in pain, either emotionally or physically, there was no empathy or understanding. Sadly, I didn't get this as her mother's problem. Rather, she assumed the responsibility that somehow she was in the wrong. This resulted in an internal nagging of needing to take responsibility for the flaws or faults of others. So her mother's indifference bread over responsibility. How do you recover? While IDA had to stop taking responsibility for other people's actions and allow them to make their own mistakes, she had to realize, which was a hard lesson for her to learn, that she is only responsible for herself. Number Eight, materialism breeds dissatisfaction. narcissists have a way of using material possessions to elevate themselves over others and control behavior.

Ida's mom used gift giving as a way of demanding performance from IDA. If I'd did what was expected, she got elaborate and expensive gifts, but if IDA did not live up to the expectations, she did not get a gift at all, and this included even for her birthdays or holidays. The use of material objects in this manner actually steals the joy of the item, as IDA was in constant fear that the gift was going to be revoked for lack of performance. So Ida's MOM's materialism bread dissatisfaction and IDA. How do you recover? Ida had to decide that she didn't want to be so materialistic, so she went the opposite extreme and became minimalistic. This allowed her not to feel the pressure of having stuff, and thereby her mom could not control that aspect any longer. The last one is number nine. Arrogance breeds in authenticity.

While IDA's mom put on a show of snootiness to everyone outside the home, those inside, especially Ida, saw the deep rooted insecurity that lied beneath the facade. However, if I'da dared to expose the insecurity, she was swiftly gaslighted and made to look crazy. This taught ida never to reveal her own insecurities, reason salting in a lack of genuineness. So her mother's arrogance actually bred in authenticity in IDA. How did she recover? I'd had to embrace her faults and, instead of hiding them, expose them in a humorous manner. This gave her a feeling of control and power. So I hope is you listen to this. This was helpful for you because, fortunately, these childhood patterns can be reversed through an understanding of narcissism and awareness of the false truths that narcissism tells and breeds, and a more accurate perception of reality.

Counseling is often extremely beneficial and exposing in an eradicating the lies of narcissistic parenting. I hope this was helpful for you and that it inspired you to want to do more of your own work so that you can be on the full road to recovery from narcissism. Thanks for listening to understanding. Today's narcissist with Christine Hammond brought to you in part by Psych Centralcom. For more information, visit grow with Christine Com.

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