Narcissistic Parents

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What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which a person has an inflated sense of self-importance as well as an intense preoccupation with themselves.

 

Children of Narcissists:

Generally, Narcissistic Parents are possessively close to their children when they are small  because their children are a source of self-esteem.  When their children grow to become more independent, the narcissistic parent may feel envious of the child.

While there are many ways in which a narcissistic parent abuses  his or her child, there are times that a narcissistic parent is kind. This makes the abuse harder to handle for children of Narcissistic Parents – the child knows that the underlying tension means that one wrong move means that things will go wrong and the narcissistic parent may fly into a  rage.

Children of narcissistic parents often feel they must adhere to the agenda of the the parent for their lives to be stable. Asserting their feelings, their rights, or their thoughts can lead to much bigger problems.  This causes the children to learn that their feelings are invalid, unimportant, and inconsequential. They will  often stifle all feelings to keep the peace in the house.

Types of Narcissistic Parents

1) Engulfing Parents: are Narcissistic Parents who see no boundaries between themselves and their children. Children are seen as extension of the parent – not as another person. For babies and toddlers, this is okay – small children don’t often see themselves as separate from their parents anyway.  This type of narcissistic parent will ignore all boundaries as a child ages. .

2) Ignoring Parents: are narcissistic parents who don’t actually care much about their children. Unlike engulfing parents, an ignoring parent sees the boundary between themselves and their child, and has little  interest in their child.

 

Sibling Dynamics In Narcissistic Parent Households:

If there are several children in a narcissistic household, the dynamic may be one of the Golden Child versus the Scapegoat, which can cause major friction and jealousy between the children.

The Golden Child, seen as an extension of the narcissistic parent, can do no wrong, and even the most minor of achievements are cause for celebration, admiration, and rewards.

The Scapegoat Child is to blame for all of the family woes. While the Golden Child can do no wrong, the Scapegoat Child can do no right. All achievements are dismissed.

 

Traits of Narcissistic Parents:

While these traits may not match all Narcissistic Parents, what follows are some common traits of Narcissistic Parents:

1) A Narcissistic Parent has difficulty understanding the emotions of empathy and how to create meaningful connections. As the personal needs of Narcissistic Parents dominate, these parents have little room for the needs of anyone else.

2) A Narcissistic Parent owns the successes of his or her children. In a Narcissistic Parents mind, he or she has been sacrificing everything for his or her child – the child must retaliate by performing at or above expectations. These childhood achievements are then owned by the Narcissistic Parent as their own.

3) Narcissistic Parents must be in control. No matter what. A Narcissistic Parent controls his or her children by dictating how these children should feel, should act, and the decisions to be made. This can lead to adult children of Narcissistic Parents being unsure of what they, themselves, like and want out of life. These Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents never learn to be autonomous and make his or her own decisions.

4) Narcissistic Parents emotionally blackmail their children. A Narcissistic Parent often is indulgent, kind, and sweet if a child is behaving in the way their Narcissistic Parent wants. However, the moment a child is disobedient, a Narcissistic Parent becomes enraged and cruel. This show of “I love you, go away,” creates insecurity and dependency among children of Narcissistic Parents.

How Do Narcissistic Parents Control Their Children?

There are a few ways that a Narcissistic Parent controls his or her young children. These control mechanisms include:

1) Codependent Control: “I need you. I can’t live without you.” This prevents children of Narcissistic Parents from having any autonomy, from living their own lives.

2) Guilt-Driven Control: “I’ve given my life for you. I’ve sacrificed it all.” This method of control creates a feeling of obligation in children; that they “owe” their Narcissistic Parents and must behave in a certain way to make their parents happy.

3) Love Withdrawal Control:You’re worthy of my love ONLY BECAUSE you behave the way I expect you to.” So long as their children are behaving properly, a Narcissistic Parent will be loving. That love disappears the moment a child doesn’t meet expectations.

4) Goal-Oriented Control: “We have to work together to achieve a goal.” These goals are generally the goals, dreams, and fantasies of a Narcissistic Parent. A Narcissistic Parent often  lives vicariously through his or her children.

5) Explicit Control: “Obey me or I’ll punish you.” Children of Narcissistic Parents must do as they’re told or risk shame, guilt, anger, or even physical abuse.

6) Emotional Incest Control: “You’re my one true love, The One, the most important person to me.” An opposite-sex parent makes his or her child fulfill the unmet needs of the Narcissistic Parent.

How Do Narcissistic Parents Abuse Their Children?

Narcissistic Parents have many subtle – and some not-so-subtle- ways in which they abuse their children. These types of abuse include the following:

  • Compulsively lying to children
  • Ignores and/or overwhelms the children
  • Neglects needs of the child
  • Makes child feel as though he/she does not matter
  • Puts parental needs far above those of the children
  • Mold children to an “ideal” image
  • Promotes and fosters a dependent relationship between parent and child
  • Distorts the concept of “love”
  • Manipulation for pleasure
  • Says one thing one day, something else the next
  • Untrustworthy
  • Uses the child’s vulnerabilities to exploit the child
  • Subtly and not-subtly insults children
  • Ignores personal boundaries
  • Treats others as objects, not people
  • Makes child feel as though he or she is insane

Here are some guidelines for recovery for Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents:

  • Begin working through the grieving process – allow yourself to grieve the parent you never had.
  • Acknowledge that you’ve never learned how to properly deal with feelings, and begin to start working through these feelings.
  • Work toward loving that little child inside you in the ways your Narcissistic Parent never did.
  • Stop hoping that your Narcissistic Parent will change.
  • Remind yourself every day that you need to take care of yourself – those needs for self-care are incredibly important.
  • Remember – you matter too.
  • You do not need to harm yourself or hate yourself. You’re a great person, worthy of love and devotion.

Stop being afraid of your Narcissistic Parent – you are an adult, you survived , and             you need to reclaim your life as your own. Start by erasing that fear.

  • Get rid of that feeling of not fitting in or belonging. It was put there by your Narcissistic Parent and it’s got to go.
  • Find and connect with other Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents.
  • Find a therapist who specializes in treating Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents.
  • Remember you  are in charge of your own life.
  • You are more than worthy. No matter what your Narcissistic Parent told you,
  • You do not need to feel guilty if you decide not to stay in touch with your Narcissistic Parent – it may be for your own good.
  • Remember that your needs are important. Don’t be afraid to make them known and ask for what you need.

Do I Stay In Contact With My Narcissistic Parent?

As an Adult Child of a Narcissistic Parent, you have two options:

1) Total Estrangement – no contact, nothing, with your Narcissistic Parent.

2) Measured Contact – contact, but limited interaction with Narcissistic Parent.

If you choose to keep measured contact with your Narcissistic Parent, be  sure to follow some strict, clear guidelines with your parent.   Growing up with a narcissistic parent is difficult but remember as an adult you can choose whether or not to have them in your life.

 

Self Care for Black Girls

 

 

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We get so busy sometimes that we forget to take care of ourselves.   This happens to everyone but if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to live your best life.  Sometimes when we hear the word “self-care,” we think of going  away for a weekend getaway or having an entire day of pampering  with massages, facials, and beauty treatments. All these things are amazing but they are also very expensive.   I’ve listed some simple and best of all free ways of pampering yourself and practicing good self care.

It’s  important to remember that self-care also means  taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.   Here  are five free ways you can practice self-care daily or at least a few days a week because you deserve  to take time for yourself.

1. Meditation and yoga.

This doesn’t have to be long; even 10 or 15 minutes will help.  This  will  bring you more calm and inner peace and it also helps you live in the moment and brings your mind, body, and spirit in harmony.

 

2. Exercise.

We all know  there are the physical benefits, but other benefits of working out include improving your mood and reducing stress, promoting better sleep, and making you feel happier.  You can work out at home or take a nice walk.

 

 3. Read

Reading is one of my favorite self-care practices.  I enjoy reading  fiction, inspirational memoirs and autobiographies/biographies. Reading often  reduces stress and puts you in a better mood,  and can improve your focus, and  also can help to develop your creativity.

 

4. Spend some time in nature

 Taking a walk in nature can often  improve your mood, and boost your overall well-being.   Walking  outside can also helps you sleep better and gives you a break from technology.

 

5. Do something that makes you laugh and brings you joy.

In the middle  of our  busy day, it’s  easy to forget to make time for things that make us happy.  Think about  what brings you joy, then make time to do at least one of those things daily.

Sometimes  the best way to make daily self-care a habit is to schedule it. When you’re planning your day or week, write down the activity — or activities — you’ll do;  writing them down will make you more likely to follow thru with them.  Remember to always make time for you.

 


Emotional Impact of Infertility

 

 

 

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Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or after trying for 6 months if a woman is 35 or older). Women who can get pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant may also be infertile. Infertility affects 10-15 percent of couples.

Women who have difficulty conceiving often experience the following:

Anger
Depression
Anxiety
Relationship problems
Social isolation
Low self-esteem
Researchers are not sure if mental health can affect fertility, although it is clear that infertility can affect mental health. It’s possible, though, that high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress can affect the hormones that regulate ovulation. This could make it difficult for a woman to become pregnant.

Infertility Treatment

Couples with infertility have many treatments available to help them conceive. Most of these treatments cost a lot of money and may not be covered by health insurance. While many couples who seek infertility treatment are already stressed, the process and cost of assisted reproduction itself can also cause anxiety, depression, and stress. If you are trying fertility treatments and they are not working, you may often become further depressed and have self-esteem problems. Try to keep a positive attitude, and be sure to talk to your doctor about getting help if you feel you need it. A number of research studies show that women who are distressed have lower pregnancy rates among women trying infertility treatments.

 

What impact does infertility have on emotional well-being?
Infertility often creates one of the most distressing life crises that a couple has ever experienced together. The inability to conceive a child can evoke significant feelings of loss. Coping with the multitude of medical decisions and the uncertainties that infertility brings can create great emotional upheaval for most couples. If you find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, out of control, or isolated, you are not alone.

How psychological treatment help you cope with infertility
Mental health professionals with experience in infertility treatment can help a great deal. Their primary goal is to help individuals and couples learn how to cope with the physical and emotional changes associated with infertility, as well as with the medical treatments that can be painful and intrusive. For some, the focus may be on how to deal with a partner’s response. For others, it may be on how to choose the right medical treatment or how to begin exploring other family building options.

Some couples may need help on how to control stress, anxiety, or depression. Mental health professionals can help you work through your grief, fear, and other emotions so that you can find resolution with your infertility. A good therapist can help you sort out feelings, strengthen already present coping skills and develop new ones, and communicate with others more clearly. For many, the life crisis of infertility eventually proves to be an opportunity for life-enhancing personal growth.

Stop Calling Little Black Girls Fast

 

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The belief that children should be nurtured and protected doesn’t always extend to all children.  A report published  by the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality showed that adults were more likely to assume that black girls were older, more independent, more responsible for their offenses, and more knowledgeable about sex — basically, more adult-like — than white girls of the same age.  From a young age many black girls are told not to wear certain clothes, not to be in front  of men and are often oversexualzed and called “fast” or other derogatory terms.   Black girls who are sexually abused are often led to believe it’s their fault because they’re “too grown”.  This is an attitude which is unfortunately believed by many people not only in the Black community but in the larger society.

As early as age 5, many adults perceive Black girls as knowing more about sex and not needing as much nurturing as White girls of the same age.  Black women of all ages are generally oversexualized and in the past it was believed that Black women couldn’t be raped.   This extends to black girls being told they’re somehow at fault if they are molested.  It’s very important to nurture and love Black girls so they don’t grow up thinking they’re not worthy of being loved and cherished.   Black girls are just as entitled  and  deserving of equal treatment and protection  as white children.  They deserve to just be children.

Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse

 

 

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Approximately 20 % of girls and 10 % of boys have been sexually abused before their 18th birthday.  The statistics may be higher as many people don’t tell anyone about being abused as a child.  If you were sexually abused it’s possible to heal from the trauma you endured as a child.

Everyone’s healing journey is different. It is important to find someone to talk to about your experiences and feelings, either someone you know and trust, or a therapist.

If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, know that you are not alone.  Many survivors feel that recognizing and speaking about  what has happened to them is a vital component in the healing process.   It is also important to have positive coping mechanisms in order to cope with flashbacks , memories, triggering situations and days when you feel extra anxious, depressed or overwhelmed.  Some healthy coping mechanisms are exercising, journaling,  meditation, spending time with safe people, eating comforting foods in moderation and talking to a therapist.  Practicing positive self care is very important in the healing process.

Healing can take a long time.  Take all the time you need and don;t feel you need to rush or “get over it”.    Remember being sexually abused is traumatic and you need to take time and be kind to yourself in order to heal.

It’s Ok to be Angry Sometimes

 

 

 

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Why does it seem like everyone gets to be angry, and be angry publicly, but Black women?  Black women are expected be restrained and many of us are made to believe we  have to be  mindful of our tone and mannerisms because as soon as we speak up, we’re seen as a threat.  In order to pacify people, we often become hyper vigilant with our behavior so we won’t be perceived as “The Angry Black Woman.”  I’m here to tell you it’s ok to be angry and as Black women there’s plenty for us to be angry about, remember we have to deal with racism, sexism and many other problems, no one should blame us for being angry sometimes.

I’m not suggesting we should walk around in  state of perpetual anger and misery, that is very unhealthy for anyone.   However if something is upsetting you, express your feelings because holding it in will only make you feel worse and eventually you will let it out and maybe lash out at the person who wasn’t making you angry in the first place.

Holding in your angry can  also cause lots of emotional stress and also physical health difficulties.  Holding in anger can increase anxiety, depression, your blood pressure and cause you to develop ulcers.

It’s best to express your anger after you’ve had a little time to cool down.  Expressing anger when you’re still very upset can cause you to be rageful and that often won’t get your point across.  Sometimes it helps to write down why you’re angry or maybe take a step back and count to ten to calm yourself down.  Once you’re calmer speak  directly to the person you’re upset with,  explain why you are angry, explore the  ways to fix the problem and suggest a way to prevent a similar thing  from happening again.

Remember not holding in your anger can actually help you to live a happier and healthier life.

 

Importance of Friends

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Friendships  have a major impact on your health and well-being, however it’s not always easy to build or maintain friendships.

What are the benefits of friendships?

Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends also help you feel less lonely.

Friends can also:

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
  • Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
  • Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one.

Why is it sometimes hard to make friends or maintain friendships?

Sometimes as adults it’s  hard to develop new friendships or keep existing friendships because of increased responsibilities,   moving away or just having a busy life.   Developing and maintaining good friendships does take some  effort.   Remember even though it may take effort the comfort of having good friends is worth it.

What are some ways to meet new people?

  • At social gatherings
  • At work
  • At classes
  • On social media

In order to meet new people, you have to go to places where others are gathered.   The more activities you participate in, the more likely you are to meet people.  Remember you may not become friends with everyone you meet,  but don’t give up.

How can I nurture my friendships?

 

  • Be kind.  Think of friendship as an emotional bank account. Every act of kindness is a deposit into this account, while criticism and negativity take away from the account.
  • Listen. Ask what’s going on in your friends’ lives. Let the other person know you are paying close attention  to them.  When friends discuss difficult experiences, be empathetic, and offer some comfort.
  • Be Open. Build friendships  by opening up about yourself. Being willing to disclose personal experiences and concerns  deepens your connection.
  • Show that you can be trusted. Being reliable and dependable is important in strong friendships. Follow through on plans you’ve made with your friends.
  • Make yourself available.Make an effort to see and talk to your  friends regularly, and to check in with them.

Remember, it’s never too late to build new friendships or reconnect with old friends. Taking time  to make new  friends and strengthening your old  friendships  pays off in having  a brighter outlook for years to come.