With the increase of narcissism (or at least the recognition of it) in our culture I am seeing more and more clients who have a narcissistic parent. It is clear what damage a narcissistic parent can do to a vulnerable child’s self esteem. That damage can last a lifetime unless that now adult child seeks help.
If you have had a narcissistic parent then you have had to deal with some or all of the following: feelings of worthlessness, rocky relationships, addiction, self-defeating behaviors, mood swings, lack of compassion for others, inability to say what you want, inability to connect emotionally with yourself or others, over need for control, or over dependency. Such tragic symptoms can be turned around in therapy. You do not have to have such a life. However, there may be one other symptom that often gets over looked: the fact that you, yourself may have narcissistic tendencies. Remember that your narcissistic parent became narcissistic because he or she had a narcissistic parent as did their parents and so on back over time. Narcissism isn’t genetic. It’s learned. And it is passed down generation to generation. As a child if all you see is narcissistic behavior then that’s what you will learn. It couldn’t be helped.
So the answer to the question, “Am I a narcissist?” is most often, “Yes.” It couldn’t be helped. But you can do something about it now. A therapist that understands the problem and has experience in how to turn narcissism around can help turn those self defeating patterns into feelings and behaviors that truly support you as the adult you are today.
So, don’t feel guilty. Don’t defend. It wasn’t your fault. Take charge of your life. You deserve happiness. And if you want to take a step call me, Dr. Wendy, and let’s just talk. No obligation. No fee. 760-994-9296.