How do you define freedom? If you grew up with controlling parents, it could be something as small as the music you listen to and the foods you eat, but chances are it is the bigger things like the way you vote, worship and the lifestyle you have chosen. Many ACONs* are frustrated because their parents still want to control how they vote. If this is true, perhaps it is time to remind your parents they don’t get to vote in your life.
An ACON wrote to me the other day to say her parents don’t understand her healing process and because she doesn’t want to hurt them, she is caught in between her need to be herself and her need to please her parents. This is actually a lose-lose situation. Her parents will never be satisfied and she will continue to waste her life trying to please them, but she will never get the blessing.
I don’t think any narcissistic parent will ever understand their child’s healing process. Toxic narcissism is basically a lack of empathy and those who lack empathy are not able to put themselves in their children’s shoes.
The only cure for narcissism seems to be empathy, but no one knows how to create empathy in people consumed with their own needs. This is why we must reach for our own healing and not try to explain everything to our parents. They controlled our lives for long enough, it’s time to make our own choices. We can only find freedom when we are willing to accept the apology we never got and give ourselves the blessing we deserve.
As we let go of people pleasing and codependency, we discover a new hope and freedom. This freedom only comes when we realize our parents will never love us unconditionally–when we finally hit the point where we realize we have nothing left to lose, we find freedom.
Even Jesus lets go and teaches us to let go too. We don’t have to stop loving our parents, but we can stop expecting them to meet our needs. In this letting go, we accept ourselves for who we are and accept our parents as they are. This is freedom and if you can pull it off it is a win-win situation for all.
PS for those who are struggling and need a little incentive here is one of my favs from the eighties–gotta hand it to Billy Joel.
*ACON Adult Child of Narcissists