Narcissistic Parents and Fear Part 2

In my last post I discussed why, as adults, we still fear our narcissistic parents. I wrote about how one way toSign that says Transform Fear into Action which encourages reader to break hold narcissistic parent has over them get through this fear is to get angry at your parent.

But what if you can’t get angry? Or what if the anger doesn’t burn away all your fear?

Then it becomes time to face your fear and work through it. Only by allowing ourselves to confront our fears can we truly be free of them.

Here is how you work through your fear.

Ask, What Am I Afraid Of?

The fear we feel when we’re afraid of something tends to be a generalized fear. For instance we may feel fear when we think of having contact with our narcissistic parent. That fear fills us and our mind stays locked in fear mode.

What you need to do is gain awareness of what exactly you fear about the visit. Are you afraid of,

  • Your parent’s criticism?
  • Your parent raging at you?
  • Your parent making you feel guilty?
  • Your parent insulting you?
  • Your parent comparing you to others?

By identifying what specifically you are afraid of, your fear becomes smaller. It no longer is this horrible, massive monster consuming you from the inside out.

By developing awareness of why I always accepted my mother’s invitation to get together I reduced my fear. I realized that I always said yes to her requests to see me out of fear of disappointing her if I said no. My mother conditioned me my whole life to not disappoint her. Realizing this, I decided to deepen my healing by saying no to her requests. I realized that if she’s disappointed, that’s her problem.

The fear still comes up. But it’s less intense now. Give this a try in your own life.

Find a Way to Take Action

Fear causes us pain. Once we experience pain we generally try to avoid it in the future.

This is how your narcissistic parent holds you hostage with fear. She makes you fear the repercussions of challenging, ignoring, or disappointing her. So you behave as she desires, getting angry with yourself each time you do.

The key to working through this fear is to face it and push through it.

Let’s say in analyzing your fear, you find you are afraid of your parent’s criticism. For example, your mother launches into a criticism rant after hearing you can’t meet her demands because you promised to take your kids to the movies.

Because of your fear of her criticism, you have missed some of your children’s games, plays, and even a birthday party. And you missed time to take care of yourself, which led to fatigue, stress, and anger.

The way through this fear of saying “No” to your mother is to take action. You take action by telling your mother “No” next time she demands you put her before your kids.

And you have a choice towards what happens next. You can listen to the criticism in a detached manner, analyzing if it is true. Or you can say, “I’m not going to listen to this.” Then hang up the phone or show your mother the door.

By taking action you’ll learn that you can endure the pain. The pain is not disabling nor does it last forever.

More valuable though is the knowledge that you don’t have to be held hostage to fear of your mother. You can break free any time you want.

All you have to do is act.

The Key is Believing in Yourself

To act against your fear, you must believe in yourself. If you doubt your ability to overcome your fear you may falter. That’s because your doubt will gnaw at you and let the fear continue to control you.

The key to believing in yourself is to recognize that no one has the right to exert their will over you. You must claim your right to be a free individual in charge of your own life.

This is key because once you do exert your independence, the narcissist will react. She will use every manipulative trick she knows to reassert her control over you. You will be required to face your fear again and again.

As scary as this seems, it is the true path to freedom.

You are capable of doing this. You are strong enough. All you need to do is call up this strength from deep within you. Also, lean on the shoulder of someone you trust for support. If you have no one else, contact me through the contact page. I’ll be glad to send encouragement.

So next time your narcissistic parent evokes fear in you, first become aware of what exactly you’re afraid of. Then figure out the action you have to take to confront that fear.

Finally, act.

And enjoy the freedom from fear that comes with claiming your right to be free from it.

May peace cradle you as you set yourself free of fear and guilt.

What do you fear about your narcissistic parent? Tell us in the comments.

5 thoughts on “Narcissistic Parents and Fear Part 2

  1. I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother. I found your posts very helpful. Every article I read talks about intense anger and rage. Despite all this, I can’t seem to feel anger.

  2. I am the daughter of a narcissistic father in his senior years; I find your posts very helpful.
    I fear disagreeing with my father because he would be yelling and screaming with such intensity it instills a lot of fear in my heart, and it causes me to feel fear whenever I know I have to talk to him about something he doesn’t like doing. How can I help myself from such fear?

    • Hi Mysty,
      I read your comment with much sadness. I understand how you can be afraid of your father and that he has left you with fear in your heart.

      He has conditioned you since childhood to be afraid of him. Now, just as when you were a child, he need only yell and scream to invoke the terror that lives within you. It is a weapon that he uses to get his way with you.

      What you need to do is come to the realization that other than the terror, his yelling and screaming causes you no harm. If you endure the terror next time he screams while observing your mind and body, you will see that he is not hurting you. Do this a few times and you will seem that his tantrum is nothing but the shadow of a fierce beast upon the wall. And shadows can not injure you.

      The first time you do this will not be easy, but it will get easier each time that you do not give into his tantrums. You need to just wait till he tires.

      Please come back if you need more support. Also, please let us know how it went.

      I wish you great courage and the realization that your father is not a giant. He is just a scared, old man.

      May you find peace.

  3. I’ve read both of your fear based posts with much interest. I recognised my fear about 6 months ago when I was feeling anxious about returning after a period of no-contact. I felt very much that if I didn’t return before my 40th birthday that I would “get into trouble” and you know it wasn’t until pressed that I realised I felt any fear at all. Anxious yes. Fear no.

    So then I realised I was still in the FOG (Fear, Obligation and Guilt) and felt at the time that having recognised this, I had in fact passed through it. But I’m wrong. My mother’s recent email demanding I return and take pity on her as my punishment is too harsh for whatever it is I THINK she did (the perfect projection) has evoked the fear again. I’ve had to really examine this. What do I fear?

    I fear the raging bull who will let herself loose at me for not meeting her demands. I don’t particularly care about what she has to say, which is why I’ve chosen not to respond at all. Because the communication was trying to break my boundary by forcing me to defend myself against this projection at the very least, and at best meet her demands and return.

    So I decided that if in a few months time I look back on whatever’s about to come – I’d like to look back knowing I didn’t participate – at all. I am currently in a state of hypervigilince waiting for her to knock on my door, call my phone, send a flying monkey into my world…who knows. But something is coming, but I’m feeling the fear and facing it anyway.

    Reading your posts about fear – facing the fear and seeing it for what it is have rang very true for me. I think the only way to move through the FOG is to face the fear head on and continue to bravely walk forward. Otherwise the hoovering succeeds, and the merry-go-round that is emotional abuse starts all over again.

    Idealisation, Devaluation, Discard, Hoover, Idealisation, Devaluation, Discard, Hoover.

    The hoover works I think because it’s motivated by fear first and foremost.

    Thanks for your insights, Jane.

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