Narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD for short, is classified as a personality disorder in which an individual has a much-inflated idea of themselves and will stop at nothing to attain the praise and admiration they thrive on - at anyone’s expense. You may know people like that. These individuals crave excessive attention, intense ego stroking, and have zero empathy for others. While we may choose to avoid that type of personality if it were a friend, partner or business associate…what happens if that person is your parent? What many people don’t realize is that they may have been raised by narcissistic parents and therefore adopted some unhealthy coping mechanisms that they carried into adulthood. Those coping strategies can affect people’s choice in partners, interactions with spouses and beyond.

If you have ever wondered whether or not you may have some residue left from parenting by a narcissistic parent or two, read on…

• Did you feel judged a lot in childhood? Criticized? Like you could just never measure up?

• Did you feel shame personally and shame surrounding your home life, while feeling like you couldn’t escape it?

• Were you eager to please your parents and elders, however, once you got it, did you feel like you weren’t worthy of it?

• Do you struggle with bouts of depression and anxiety but feel like you lack a significant reason why it occurs?

• Do you lose it emotionally when people are critical of you?

• Do you feel like you were pitted against your siblings by your toxic parent?

• Do you feel as if you were belittled, lied to, neglected, emotionally or physically?

• Do you not trust yourself or harbor self-doubt?

• Do you feel like you couldn’t emotionally understand or really bond with your toxic parent?

If this resonates with you, now may be a great time to address the past and heal so you can move forward in a healthy way. There is no shame in realizing you have room to heal from past trauma. The more you know the more you can heal.

It’s ok to come to the realization that you were raised as an extension of a toxic parent – and it is also ok to decide you are going to break free from those toxic bonds. It’s tough enough to manage feelings as an adult, especially if you were groomed to suppress your emotions as a child. Who could blame you? So, what does this mean for your relationships here and now? Well, healthy relationships need trust, real love, and a real bond to grow. Being able to access your feelings and display them as an adult is vital in fostering positive relationships.

In order to truly create empowering and healthy relationships, you need to heal from past trauma and unlearn unhealthy behaviors. You just have to allow yourself a bit of grace to move through the healing, breathe in a whole lot of self-love, and take proper steps regain your self-awareness.

You don’t have to be the product of your toxic parent, dammed to an unemotional, lonely existence. You are bound for great things, and you no longer have to take up residence in the past. Just because you didn’t get the unconditional love you deserved in the past, does not mean it will dictate the love you are able to receive in your future. You are worthy of happiness. Take the next steps to create impactful healing for yourself. Your future depends on it and is waiting to welcome you into the happiness you are worthy of.