Going "No Contact" with your Narcissistic Parent: Good or Bad? (2)
By: Beth McHugh 2010
In the first article in this series (see link below) we looked at how it is almost the norm to get locked into a cycle of going no contact (NC) with your narcissistic parent and what drives some of the mechanisms behind the coming and goings of the adult child of an NPD parent.
To successfully go no contact and to be able to sustain NC, without feelings of guilt, intrusive thoughts, daydreaming of a different parent and other problems such as anxiety and depression, it is important to go no contact for the right reasons.
This seldom comes without intensive work on the self, either through extensive journaling or seeking the help of a therapist who is skilled in the area of narcissistic entrapment.
As previously stated, to cease contact after an argument seldom works because the adult child of the narcissist has not worked through the various processes needed to maintain autonomy from the parent. If there is still hope that the parent will change, if there is still hope that the parent will tell the adult child that they are valued and loved, if there is still hope that you, the adult child of the narcissist can somehow "fix" or please the parent, then attempting to go no contact is doomed to failure because it only brings additional problems to the victim of the narcissist.
Not only does the former still carry the burden of pain from being brought up by a narcissistic parent, but also the burden of guilt in leaving a parent, of being a "bad" son or daughter, of not doing the "right" thing, as deemed by society, all kick into place.
As the adult child of an NPD parent already has a heavy life load, it is never advisable to try to cut the lines communication permanently because it solves very little.
In many cases, it is not wise to go no contact at all, especially when the parent is aging and frail. Although narcissists are tyrants on the surface, they are emotionally fragile creatures and the victim of a parent such as this may require therapy to enable them to see this fact. Also, there is the question that most emotionally healthy people in this situation struggle with as their parent ages. And that is, learning to walk that difficult line of being humane to their parent without being swallowed up into a narcissistic black hole.
Learning to understand the mechanics of NPD, detaching in your mind from your parent, learning to set strong boundaries - all are needed whether you decide to go no contact or not. There can be no real peace until your own sense of self is restored and a full understanding of the brainwashing that takes place between a narcissistic parent and their child is both understood and unraveled.
By the time that is achieved, the question of going no contact is really a moot point. Conquering your own false beliefs means that you can withstand the tirades of the parent and stay centered yourself. When this happens, you can then freely grieve for what you have lost and are free to go on with your life without the shadow of your parent always tailing you.