A healthier, nontoxic way (for you) of being in a “relationship” with your parent means separating yourself from them on an emotional level. This can be difficult when the focus continues to be on the parent (just how the parent wants it!).
This is the time to practice checking in with you. Based on internal cues (from inside you—how you feel, what these feelings are connected to, if you feel used or manipulated) where you may or may not have misstepped. By misstepped we mean believed it was going to be different. That your parent was going to be parental and interested in you (for you).
You may see that what you are feeling bad about having done or said or missed is not actually something you did or say or missed, but rather something that the narcissist did or said or missed.
The convoluted dynamic is complete when you apologize for it. So don’t apologize for something you didn’t do.
By saying, “No thank you” to this, you are actually rescuing yourself.
Adapted from When Your Parent Is a Narcissist by Meredith Resnick
Photo by Mwabonje