Can Narcissistic Parents Love Their Children | Glynis Sherwood MEd


It is usually very painful to confront the reality of not being loved by a parent, and can cause relationship grief on several levels: The loss of love that 1/ never was and 2/ never will be and, 3/ disillusionment at having been duped and cheated. This grief can feel intense and overwhelming. However, this grief is also fundamentally positive as it marks the beginning of the necessary recovery work of being able to process the emotional truth about the harm of one’s upbringing and to, ultimately, heal from that hurt. Confronting the reality of an unloving parent and creating a truth based narrative about one’s identity and inherent self worth are the cornerstones to healing from narcissistic parental abuse.

Unfortunately, many adult children of Narcissists prolong their suffering when they cling to the myth that they were loved by a narcissistic parent. Holding fast to this false belief tends to come at the cost of misplaced self blame for the absence of love. In truth, it is the absence of love by a narcissistic parent that causes serious emotional distress in the child. Yet a lot of children of narcissistic parents have a hard time coming to terms with these hard facts as they believe that grieving the loss of that parent is beyond their capacity or could harm them. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, as healthy – ire reality-based – grieving is essential to solid mental health.

A further cost of clinging to false beliefs of being loved by an
emotionally absent or narcissistic abusive parent is living in a fantasy
world of wishful thinking.  Though certainly, as your parent’s child,
this is love you needed like oxygen, and were entitled to. However, true
love is neither abusive nor negligent at its core. This is immensely
important when it comes to the little people parents have the obligation
and responsibility to care for. Age appropriate dependence on their
parents makes children highly vulnerable. The approval, attention and
validation of an optimally loving parent is essential in order to
develop into an emotionally stable and resilient adult.

(via Can Narcissistic Parents Love Their Children | Glynis Sherwood MEd)

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