The Trauma Bond and Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

Traits of a Narcissistic Parent

  • Always needing everything to be about them.
  • Brags to others about their children’s accomplishments but not to their children.
  • Always blames others for the problems that result from their bad behavior.
  • Uses guilt copiously and brags about how much they do for you.
  • Utilizes any of three manipulative behaviors, blaming, shaming, and guilt-tripping
  • Uses negative comparisons about one child against another
  • Places unrealistic pressure on their children to succeed so they will look good
  • Manipulates by way of rewards and punishments
  • Uses emotional coercion to force their children to measure up to their expectations

The Trauma Bond

Trauma Bonding and Intermittent Reinforcement

Indications a Trauma Bond is Present

The Healing Journey to Overcome Narcissistic Parents

  1. Acknowledge the abuse that happened. This is perhaps the most painful part of healing. No one wants to admit to themselves that their parent did not love them but used them for their own ends. However, it is vital to recognize that your parent did not treat you well. Acknowledging narcissistic abuse happened gives one the power to knock down the barriers that have held you back for so long.
  2. Prepare yourself for some strong emotions. The trauma bond with a narcissistic parent is toxic, and breaking that trauma bond will set you up for a boiler room of emotions. These emotions might include:
  1. Set firm boundaries and stick with them. If you do not have the privilege of distancing yourself from your narcissistic parent, it is vital to set impermeable limits with them. All through childhood, the narcissist has walked all over any boundaries you may have tried to set. Now is the time to build some barriers over which the narcissist or anyone for that matter may not cross. This step is scary as children of narcissists want to please their parents, but keep reminding yourself you cannot please them. Setting firm boundaries is essential to move toward independence.
  2. Seek professional help. Do not be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional for advice dealing with the emotional damages done by a narcissistic parent. The emotions that may overcome you when healing will be intense and could lead to substance abuse, or worse, suicidal thoughts. With the help of a competent therapist, there is no reason you cannot heal and achieve a sense of peace in your life.

Using Positive Affirmations

  • I am capable
  • I am worthy of respect and dignity
  • I open my heart to learning to trust again
  • I know my truth, and no one can take that away from me
  • It is okay not to be okay
  • All my emotions are legitimate
  • Every day I am healing more
  • I am at peace with myself
  • I accept myself with all my flaws
  • I am exactly where I should be considering where I came from
  • Right this moment I am safe
  • My needs and desires are just as important as anyone else’s
  • I trust my inner voice
  • I am enough




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CPTSD Foundation

CPTSD Foundation


Successfully equipping complex trauma survivors and practitioners with compassionate support, skills, and trauma-informed education since 2014.