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Dealing With Narcissistic Parent

I hate the thought of turning this into a cry for help, but I don’t know what else to do. I should mention that the title is a bit misleading; what I’m dealing with now is the result of a narcissistic parent; the parent in question is no longer a part of my life, not if I can help it. I grew up with a narcissistic parent, and without going into details, it resulted in me taking on the role as substitute spouse at an early age. As a result, I’ve become an enabler, caring more about others than myself. My opinion of myself is low, and I feel incapable of caring about my own life and how I’m worthy of doing things for myself. I’ve found myself doing a lot of things more for the attention than any personal satisfaction. I get motivation from others, but it only works briefly; in order for me to finish big projects, I almost need constant validation to keep the momentum going. Without it, it becomes all the more difficult to finish said projects. I’ve already recognized this as my parent’s narcissism coming out in me, and I desperately don’t want it to. I’ve tried things like positive affirmations and the like, but again, those only produce temporary results. Keeping up with those things and trying to care about myself is an overwhelming task for me, and I often find myself giving up early on. I’ve also recently been getting into this mood that I’d call ‘sabotage mode’; I am rendered incapable of working on any projects, and I have this burning desire to destroy all of my work and cut off all social ties. I’m not entirely certain if my lack of self-caring has something to do with it, but it’s a strong possibility. The worse part is that I feel broken, and I fear that I’m incapable of fixing myself. I so desperately don’t want to have to rely on constant validation and attention like my parent did, but I don’t even know how to start caring about myself. My therapist has recommended a couple books on dealing with these sort of issues, and I plan on getting them and trying to learn from them. But I fear it won’t be enough.
Category: Depression 5 years ago
Asked 5 years ago

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I wish I could help, but all I have to offer is understanding. I go through that once a year like clock work. I suddenly drop everything and everyone. Then I have to start back over again because I can't give up on myself. I can offer one advice that will not heal but has the potential to help more and more over time. Instead of positive affirmations, try positive self-talk to motivate yourself. Even if you think you will give up, tell yourself you will never give up. You may falter and pause for a moment, but you'll always be strong enough to keep going. Challenge all your negative thoughts by putting them in realistic positive perspective. And whatever you do, make sure it's something you love. It's harder to let go when you find something you love doing. These are the things that have helped me recently. Hopefully, they do you at least a little bit of good. Either way, good luck.
Answered 5 years ago

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