5. Assert Boundaries
Narcissists constantly violate boundaries. They see others, particularly their children, as extensions of themselves to control and manipulate. As the golden child your job is to reflect what the narcissist wishes to see in himself and wishes to project to the world. As the scapegoat, your job is to take the blame for the family’s problems, endure the narcissist’s worst abuse, and handle unreasonable responsibilities. Either way, as the narcissist’s child you are objectified, not respected as a person with your own identity. The narcissist tells you what you think and feel and insists on your compliance with his version of “reality” no matter how absurd, false, or harmful.
One of the most difficult and important things you must do for yourself as a survivor is to establish healthy boundaries. Understanding what that means and getting comfortable doing it can take considerable time and practice for the child of a narcissist. The first place to start is with the narcissist parent and possibly other family members.
6. Attune with Your Feelings
As the child of a narcissist parent, you have been systematically trained to ignore your feelings, even to fear and hate them. Your feelings are a direct threat to the narcissist parent because they are likely to conflict with what she needs, believes, and demands. In the narcissistic family, only the narcissist’s feelings matter, and everyone else’s must be sublimated or outright crushed through ridicule, shame, rage, and other forms of attack.
Perhaps the most important thing to do for yourself toward healing is to reconnect with your feelings. They are there, and they always have been. Let them in, listen to them, carry them with respect. In your feelings you will locate yourself and your way through and out of the narcissist’s “alternative facts” world. Since you have been violated in innumerable ways by your parent(s), you will have to navigate through intense hurt and anger. Most narcissists constantly project their own bankrupt motives and emotions onto others and blame others for or even accuse them of their own abusive behavior, so at first you may not know what you really feel versus what you have been brainwashed to believe. As you learn to attune to your feelings, be patient. Try not to judge yourself. Feelings are feelings are feelings. They deserve, and in the scheme of things insist upon, recognition and respect.