Do you feel trapped when dealing with a narcissistic parent? Is it like your mind is blocked and you don’t know what to do?
The first thing you have to remember is that you are not a victim of the circumstances. You have power and free will do set in motion the next stage of events.
The second thing you have to remember is that you have options. You have three options to choose from at any time to save your integrity and peace of mind. You are free to pick any of the three options that you see fit. Let’s see what those options are.
From Victim To Empowered
Having to suffer and endure a narcissistic parent leads many people to a victimization role. To successfully escape this condition you have three options at your disposal:
- Modify the situation
- Leave the situation
- Accept the situation
1 – Modify The Situation
This implies you have the power to change what is happening or at least negotiate in order to have your needs and wants met.
In general, most people don’t have the power to change the situation either due to previous behavior conditioning of the narcissistic parent or due to be living in their personal space, their house.
Even if you have the power and the will to try to change the situation through negotiations that will become superfluous and inefficient, not because of you but because of the narcissistic parent. Narcissists don’t respond well to negotiation. It is either their way or the highway. No middle ground. Additionally they don’t recognize your needs as valid. YOU are not valid.
2 – Leave The Situation
When the narcissistic parent starts to judge you, insult you or even threaten you, then it is time to leave.
At first, the narcissistic parent is used to you staying and listening to their rants in silence or to start to fight back. When this happens, they win because they have trapped you in their web of attention sucking and control.
By listening in silence you are surrendering your self-esteem and drowning in the victim role, letting your personal and spiritual power being drained, slipping into an interior void of dread.
If you fight back the chances are that you will lose your temper, emotional balance and arrive nowhere. In discussions, the narcissistic parent ignores reason, consensus, or your needs. They will resort to any trick they knows to push your buttons.
So, maybe if you leave the situation, it is something new to them, which they do not want (they lose your attention) or doesn’t know how to deal with. By leaving the situation you are not allowing them the opportunity to exhibit their lack of respect for you, their projections and you are making a statement about yourself: you are starting to take care of yourself and not allowing others to treat you badly.
When you start to take care of yourself, personal respect starts to emerge. It is the first step towards self love, and the healing process of reconnecting with the most inner core of your being, a kind of spiritual healing.
At the same time, by leaving the situation you are sending another message to her: what you are saying is not that important to me, I am no longer paying you allegiance, I am free from your spell, I don’t take that crap anymore. You say this with no words, just by leaving.
You can and should leave but you don’t have to be rude. You can say your farewells and say that you don’t want to have that kind of talk with them. You can even say that you are open to talk when they calm down and is open to be reasonable. Then, don’t justify yourself and just leave.
As you repeat this every time they will begin to insult or tries to abuse you, they will begin to understand that some of their tricks no longer function and you are escaping their “spell” (which will make them quite uncomfortable and even angrier, as they know they are losing).
3 – Accept The Situation
The sense of accepting here is not submission. Submission has to do with feeling powerless towards what is happening to us. On the other hand accepting the situation is an act of will, coming from you that empowers you in relation to the reality that you lived or are living at the present.
In every person I met, abused by a narcissistic parent, there is a little child waiting to be loved, whom secretly holds the secret belief that perhaps one day the parent will change, and most important of all, that they will truly start to love you.
Coming out of this “spell” is one of the hardest things to do, as it shatters that childhood dream of being loved. Just the idea sends shockwaves to the foundations of who we are. To be able to accept that we were not loved, and will not be loved by that person, the narcissistic parent, it is very painful and at the same time very freeing.
Going through this process of grief, of our first lost love, it hurts and it is very hard, but when you come out you notice that the psycho-spiritual bondage is no longer. You are beginning to accept your past (no more complaining or regretting). Accepting your past, as horrible as it was, gives you the power to love yourself and start to take responsibility for your present life.
By accepting that you were not loved begins to lessen the need to be clinging to every drop of love that is being thrown in your direction, and begin to differentiate between conditional and unconditional love. This might change, for the better, your perspective on how your love relationships are, or will be.
When you accept that you were not loved, you can start to aim for a healthy love relationship. You accept and know what doesn’t work, and aim for what does work.
Only by breaking that attachment, leaving it behind, you are able to be open your heart to new love relationships that feeds you, that respects you, cares for you, and makes you feel whole again.
So, in conclusion, to be able to accept the situation without falling into it, you need to have done your inner work (works best if you have a skilled psychotherapist to help you heal those early childhood wounds of not being loved).
The inner work will lead you to a point where you are immune to the narcissistic parent manipulation and “spells,” and at the same time, you are able to maintain your emotional balance and compassion for that lost and unloved being.
This means that this third option is not for everyone. Only attempt this option if you are ready, and not because is trendy in New Age circles to just forgive without addressing all the emotional baggage that you carry unconsciously underneath.
New Rules of Engagement
After you accept and came out of the “I was not loved” spell you are now able to set new rules of engagement with them.
There are some steps that can serve you as guidelines:
1 – Find you personal space. Move to a place that is chosen by you (and not physically close to them).
If you don’t have enough money to pay a full rent maybe you can share a house with other people or friends. Find an option that suits you.
2 – Set your own rules of contact with them. Think what makes you comfortable, once a week, once a month, once a year, or never. Think also about the duration of the contact (how much time you will endure) 5 min, 30 min, an hour. It is up to you to decide (with no guilt, you are defending your needs).
You don’t need to state these rules, you can just behave by them, and the narcissistic parent will get it as time goes by, but you have to be consistent.
Another thing, don’t feel obliged to answer every contact or question from them. Decide for yourself what makes sense to you. Most of the time when they contact you it is just to send you another “hook” to throw you in one of their spirals of confusion and attention seeking.
3 – Set in place strategies and tactics to deal with the narcissistic parent when you are together.
This is a long subject but there are some very effective ground rules when you talk or interact:
- Stay calm, grounded, non emotional, and conscious of protecting your bio-energetic field (some like to call it aura). Remember to breathe slowly to calm you down. Let your presence be like a Sumo wrestler, unshakable. Learn how to shield, keep your shields up against them.
- Put your ego aside – By putting your ego aside you are less prone to fall for name calling, insults, labels, and so on. Remember no one can offend you if you don’t give importance to what is being said.
- Everything you say can and will be used against you. Go for impersonal talks, never disclose personal information about you or your friends.
- The narcissistic parent is always right. When asked what do you think about an opinion that was just stated, always agree with them even if you don’t agree. I know this is a hard one, especially if you have a high integrity and you want to be truthful and coherent. In this situation you have to decide if you want to start a discussion with them just to defend you position, or agree with them to save hassle of having a heated discussion that will drain your good mood and energy. It is always your decision.
- Time delay. The narcissistic parent will ask you to do something for them. If you agree this will make them feel like they still control you. In general the task is not that important, what is important is your acceptance of doing it. If you don’t agree to do the task and don’t want to start another confrontation use the time delay tactic. You can say that you have to check your availability, your calendar, with another person, or even that you need to think about it and need more time, you haven’t yet made a decision, or that you don’t know and you will get back to them on a later date.
- “I don’t do that”. When the narcissistic parent is pressuring you to do something that you don’t want to or disclose information about you or other people (gossip or even stuff to use against other people), you need to stand by your values, defend your ground and say NO!
- Never justify yourself – Justifying to a narcissistic parent signifies that you are still a child. Adults don’t justify to each other only if they decide to, not because they have to or are coerced.
- The broken record – When they insist, and they will, repeatedly to see if you break and if they maintain dominance over you, you can resort to the “broken record” tactic. You just keep repeating what you said before, like: “I said I don’t do that”, in a very calm tone of voice. You keep repeating every time they ask you again, until they give up (they will not be happy with this but you defend your free will).
- Dealing with Emotional Aggression and Anger – There are some sentences that are quite effective and you can use to protect yourself and defuse the situation. They are: “I am sorry you feel that way”; or “Your anger is not my responsibility,” or “I guess I have to accept how you feel”. By doing this you are not responding to the emotional aggression or anger, but you are affirming that you understand their emotional reaction without accepting it.
- Dealing with Projections and Labeling – Some other sentences that you can use on these situations: “I can accept your faulty perception of me,” or “I have no right to control how you see me”. By doing this you not only reject their projections on you, without defending yourself, and at the same time you take the high ground expressing a mature understanding of the situation.
Road To Freedom – Personal and Spiritual
In the beginning you still might feel guilty when you use these attitudes, strategies, and approaches, but that is ok, it is part of the process, just accept it without acting out on it. That will eventually pass as you get more skillful in the art of being YOU.
When you take this road of regaining the lost connection to inner spiritual core, you start to change. Don’t delude yourself that everything will be rosy, there will be failure along the way, but if you endure and persist, the pay off will be yours in the end. Train as much as you can these guidelines and be gentle with yourself, knowing that transformation takes time, months, or years. Don’t give up, keep on, and you will reach there.
Also take into account that you don’t lose face if you ask for help, or if you need some guiding tips from a psychotherapist.
After sometime this will become second nature and you start to restore you confidence, self-esteem, and presence, without losing emotional and energetic balance.
In this work persistence, endurance, and resilience will build your character to heights that you never dreamt of before, and will reconnect you to true Love, changing your whole Life for the better.
(original article here: http://awakedevelopment.com/2017/04/21/survive-narcissistic-mother-keep-sanity/)