As I continue in my own healing work, I’m touching more into the deep injuries that come from being turned into the Parent of the Parent.
The narcissistic side of the abuse I endured came through a combination of culture and parenting, showing up as gaslighting, deny-attack-reverse-victim-and-offender, and shaming for boundaries, needs, and wants.
The “Parent to the Parent” experience (called emotional incest or Parentification) emerged through being burdened with the emotional and relationship regulation of the Parent (in this case, my step-mother to a large degree, and my mother to a small degree).
Notice I say “burdened”. This is deliberate. Many parentified children say they were “responsible for their parent”.
That word, “responsible” is used by a parent attempting to exploit the child’s natural sense of care to work to the parent’s advantage. It is pure manipulation.
What really happened is what I call, “Burdening”. The child is given the weight of emotional and relational labor on the parent’s behalf.
This smothers the child’s 2 core necessities individuality, and security very, very quickly and distorts the third necessity, connection, into an enmeshment with the parent.
Through narcissistic abuse, the parentification is galvanized and the child becomes supply for the parent’s adult needs.
This is what happened to me
It is through self-trust + nervous system care that one can emerge from this into their natural state of wholeness and being.
That is the path to lasting healing.