You’ve figured out that one or more of your parents are narcissists. They may be hardcore, with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), they may have narcissistic traits, or they may be a complex collection of parents, stepparents, and/or caregivers who fall in various places along the narcissism continuum. Whatever the reality is in your family of origin and however old you are, you need to move forward with your own life. It’s never too late or too early to set boundaries, process your feelings, and work on healing. Even if you are a minor still living at home, there are many ways you can help yourself. If you were raised by a narcissist, here are steps you can take right now on your healing path.
1. Educate Yourself About Narcissism
If you’re new to the realization that one or more of your parents is a narcissist, you need to keep learning about what you’re dealing with. Scour the Internet for good resources. Read, join chat forums, watch movies and shows with narcissistic characters, find a therapist who understands narcissism. The more you educate yourself and find support, the more you will understand what you’ve been through and what you need to do to move beyond the toxic influence of your family.
2. Accept That Your Narcissist Parent Won’t Change
One of the most difficult challenges you face is accepting that your narcissist parent in all likelihood will never change. If the narcissist in your life finds a way to make personal progress toward a healthier state of being, great, but you should assume he won’t. Narcissists rarely change, and if they are acting nicer it is most likely a manipulative maneuver. Holding out hope that your parent will finally give you the unconditional love you have craved your whole life is natural, but it is a false dream that makes you vulnerable to further abuse and keeps you from moving on.