Dr. Nicole LePera

Dr. Nicole LePera



One of the most confusing parts about being raised by narcissistic parents is that we learn that our role is to: achieve, appease, or perform. There’s such confusion when we reach adulthood because we don’t know who we truly are. HERE’S WHY ?:

Narcissistic parents (NP) are wounded and have deep insecurities. This is why their children tend to become their source of self esteem. This is a heavy burden for a child who is developing a personality and a sense of self.

Subconsciously, we begin to have a feeling that we must provide something to our parents. This depends on what the parent values most. Some parents may value physical appearance (being “thin” or “pretty”), academic achievement, financial success…

Being a “good helper or good girl” etc. We gladly take on and focus on these roles because we learn this is how we get our parents love or approval. At the same time, love and approval is fleeting for narcissistic parents.

It’s conditional. Their own fragile sense of self and inability to regulate their emotions creates a cycle where we get their love, then they withdraw that love. Ex: we get a bad grade and get the silent treatment, shaming, etc.

As children, this impacts our emotional development. Rather than learning and discovering who we are we become a version of ourselves our parent needs us to be.

Many adult child of narcissistic parents are over achievers, caretakers, financially successful, physically beautiful— all the things their parent wanted. Yet, within they’re anxious, depressed, and feel completely disconnected from life.

This is what happens when we don’t get a chance to develop our true sense of self. We don’t know: Who we actually are. What we actually want. What our values are.

Healing is about self discovery. This is difficult because when we’re raised by a NP, their voice tends to be the voice in our heads. Or, we’ve been conditioned to always seek their approval before making our own choices.

Breaking free from these patterns means setting boundaries and slowly developing the confidence to make decisions based on your own needs rather than the needs of a parent.

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