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People who have narc parents, how big a factor was it in your decision to become/not become a parent?

(5 Posts)
Lottapianos Sun 30-Sep-12 19:12:30

Both my parents are narcs - I have a very difficult relationship with them and as a result, am suffering from depression and anxiety. I'm about to start ADs and see a psychotherapist regularly.

I have always felt that I don't wish to become a parent myself but recently have felt a bit more ambivalent about it. Part of this may be hormonal (I'm 32), part of it may be seeing my best friend become a parent 2 months ago. There is a part of me that would love to have my own family, a baby of my own and a healthy family life instead of the toxic mess I had and still have with my parents. I'm very confused about the whole thing. Deep down, I feel that this longing for a family is really just looking for an opportunity to parent myself, through bringing up a child in the way I think I should have been brought up and that's a really bad reason to be a parent surely?

I was just wondering how big a factor your own upbringing was in decisions you made about becoming a parent, or choosing not to. It's something that's on my mind a lot and I would really value hearing other people's experiences.

Thanks smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 30-Sep-12 19:31:04

My parents have plenty of problems that may or may not involve personality disorders!!! I think it's inevitable that anyone's experience growing up shapes their view of how they would parent and they view them either as a good example or a dire warning or - very normally - both. My DS was very much a surprise addition to my life so I didn't think too much about it in advance. I probably did have some vague ideas about what kind of parent I intended to be at first but, since he arrived, I've found my best intentions have gone by the wayside. I've been far less concerned with how I can 'mould' him and much more interested in getting to know him.

Lottapianos Mon 01-Oct-12 12:44:33

Hello again Cogito - we often seem to end up on the same threads smile

It sounds like you have a really lovely and healthy attitude to your son. The more I work with parents and children, the more I think the very best thing a parent can do for their child (apart from looking after their physical needs) is to treat them as an individual, and not an extension of themselves.

Firsttimer7259 Mon 01-Oct-12 19:50:13

Narc father, not sure what my mum was, I ahve a 2 year old. I definately have very different ideas about parenting than my parents - particularly in terms of the amount of time I set aside for her and the openness of affection and love shown. My parents were always busy and always doing everything with us 'efficiently'. Also with my upbringing means I sometimes find it takes longer for me to figure out how I want to be with her as my instincts can be off due to my own childhood.

Having said that my daughter has been a huge incentive to sorting out remnants of the damage I carry/carried. I had a period during pregnancy of feeling this huge rage because I realised how much I already loved her and that that love is just there - its not cos of anything shes done iyswim. My parents gave me the impression that having children is just this huge effort, this never ending work rather than the sense of joy and feeling blessed. Anyway that contrast made me feel extremely angry because I realised that my parents just didnt love me like that. Their love was always conditional, I always felt it needed to be earned and it would be taken away if I wasnt good enough. That was painful but I found a great counsellor and worked thorugh it, also working through remaining issues. I find with counselling ( which I did blocks of since my mid-20s due to depresson/anxiety) that I wallow less in the damage done to me/bad memories and find I am hugely focused in restoring myself so that I dont do the same to my daughter. Sometimes that brings up unexpected and painful things, but I feel like havig her has put me in touch with 'me', who I really am and who I want to be. Some of this probably looks extreme form the outside - I have gone NC with my F becuase he was treating my DD like he did me. Its not uncommon to just not stand for having your child be treated in a way that youve somehow normalised for yourself. So F behaves poorly towards me and I sigh, feel upset but try to shrug it off. He does anythng like that with her and I defend her like a lionness! Weird, but wonderful.

This is a huge essay but I wanted to give you something concrete so you can assess it in your context. I guess these things are hugely individual and it reallyt depends on where you are with what happened in your childhood but I do think you can break the cycle - takes effort and courage but I have discovered that there is nothing I wouldnt do for her and that gives me the grit to keep going at getting myself happy.

twinkletwinkleoldbat Mon 01-Oct-12 22:18:27

bringing up a child in the way I think I should have been brought up

Sounds like an excellent philosophy to me. My parents are a bunch of bastards, which taught me, amongst other things, how not to parent. I can say with confidence that I'm a good parent, 'cos loads of other people trust me with their kids, and my own kids are sweet and kind and great. If I ever feel a red mist descending when I'm with them, I can stop it instantly by thinking "that's what they (my parents) would do. I don't want to be like that." I'm not perfect, but it's a great advantage, I think, to be able to consciously say, "that's the end of the line. The crap stops here."

And basically everything Firsttimer said too.

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