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SETTING BOUNDARIES FOR NARCISSISTIC PARENTS
By Roxanne E. Smith--HSPsurvivors.com
It is my sincere hope, that if you do have a narcissistic parent or other family member, that you find comfort and encouragement from the words and songs here on my website and blog. As a survivor myself, I understand the pain and frustration of trying to break free and live a life that is relaxed and anxiety-free, and full of the joy and inner peace that each of us deserve. As highly sensitive souls, we are here to help each other. The love you deserve is inside of you–and if you have the courage to go within and explore your feelings, dreams, and desires you will discover a compassion for your wounded inner child and you will begin to heal. Then you will gradually discover your true self and your true voice and your true purpose in life.
Here on my website and blog you will find articles that help you to know how to start journaling as a means to finding your voice and expressing the truth of what happened to you as a child. There are also articles to help you to overcome the horrible guilt and shame that so many of us are plagued with when we try to set boundaries or break free from family members or others that try to control us and make us doubt ourselves. Take comfort here knowing that you are not alone. Join the community of survivors who are beginning to come out of hiding and stand up for their rights to freedom and time alone and the space to heal.
Learn how to have healthy boundaries from those family members with narcissistic personality disorder that seem to target highly sensitive souls. This happens to us because …we don’t want to cause anyone harm and cause any conflict so we go along with these dominating, controlling others thinking it is doing no harm. But it is doing YOU harm, you are drained and depleted and you don’t even realize it is because you are letting so much negative energy into your personal space–it is draining you. You need to set limits today and believe you have the right to say no to them. “Say, “No I don’t want to.” “No, I need my space.” “I need time alone to recharge.” “Please leave me in peace.” When you assert your right to be alone, you will be amazed how much better you will start to feel. As highly sensitive children, our narcissistic parents or family members invaded our space so much we don’t realize we have a right to it! It’s your space, you need to defend your territory, your right to a peaceful life. Stand up for yourself and realize what your inner child needs: no more diminishing of your needs to express yourself as you really are--it is time to make a change in the way things have been going!
Start exercising your new healthy boundaries as you learn to love and accept yourself and your gifts of high sensitivity. You deserve love. Narcissists do not love, they just need, need, need and take, take, take. It is not your responsibility to fill their neediness–they were needy before you were even born. Love is out there in the world and it is also within you. You ARE a loving person and as you learn to love yourself you will start attracting people into your life who recognize and acknowledge how much you give and they will appreciate you just for BEING. Are you tired of not being appreciated? I appreciate all of you highly sensitive souls out there who make this world a loving, peaceful, and beautiful place to live in. You deserve to relax and enjoy your life. But remember it’s okay to get assertive when your personal boundaries have been crossed. This holiday season or whatever family get-together you may be dreading because of your narcissistic family member, if you need to then tell them, “I need some time to myself so I will not be visiting or able to invite you as usual or….”–your words here. No further explanations needed. They may lash out at you for your selfishness which is ridiculous!–They are selfish ones for not understanding or empathizing with your needs for space and peace.
Whatever they say to you you don’t have to reply. But if you are looking for words to appease them, this can take so much energy because you will soon discover they will not take any words for an answer. Highly sensitive people may find that writing emails or letters gives them more control and gives you time to think how you want to respond. Before you decide to go no contact consider setting a boundary with your parents that you would like to communicate in writing instead of by phone. This will give you an opportunity to carefully word what you would like to say and it just might give you the time and insight you need to see clearly just how much contact you can tolerate and time to establish a support system for yourself.
Some people ask me for the right words to reduce contact with their parent or even to say goodbye. Each person’s parental situation is very unique and complex and your own truth and your words are important for you to decide on your own. If you have tried every way imaginable to co-exist with your narcissistic parent but you are still miserable, it may be time to think about walking away. Whatever action gives you peace so that you can heal is the right answer to this question and some choose to walk away with no more communication.
For those of you who find it too painful to say goodbye but still want words to end it perhaps you might prefer saying, “I wish you peace, please leave me in peace.” Leave it at that and then don’t listen to the messages. I know this is hard. The advice from some experts is to delete the messages from narcissists without listening to them to avoid opening up painful childhood wounds and causing stress and distress that is harmful to your healing. Narcissists will twist your words against you no matter what you say. You really can’t win–be prepared for this! You don’t owe them anything–they took away your peace and gave you guilt, shame, and anxiety. You don’t even owe them an explanation although I know this is difficult for a lot of you to do because of the guilt–you don’t want to hurt them! They blame you for hurting them but do you ever blame them to their face like they do to you? No, because you know it’s not right to “blame” and yet you listen to them when they do it to you! Stop listening to the crazyness–stop reading their emails and letters, stop listening to their phone messages, stop all communication so you can begin to heal. Walking away is not easy–but neither is letting things stay the way are. You deserve inner peace. I hope what I have shared with you today gives you some strength in dealing with one of the most difficult kinds of dysfunction affecting families–Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Before you take a step like no contact with a Narcissistic Parent you must make sure you have support--a caring friend, spouse, counselor, a life coach like myself, or a safe person or group you trust at a church (a liberal church like unitarian or unity can be very supportive)--because it will not be easy. You will need all the support you can get to deal with the possible fallout and backlash from "daring" to break free. Every parent is different in how they will react to your taking steps toward independence from them and towards your own healing. Please visit my blog (hopehealing.wordpress.com) community (and facebook community page Higher Ground Haven)--we want to be part of your support team supporting you towards a new and peaceful future. You deserve a happy life!