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How emotionally disregulated parents teach us lies about ourselves

Updated: May 5, 2021

In this Healing Chronic Illness blog series, author, Gupta Program Coach and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome survivor Jen Evans shares insights from the recovery journey

One of my theories about a root of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ M.E., as well as reoccurring illness, anxiety, depression and dissatisfaction in life, is that we are the child/ grandchild of people exhibiting narcissistic or ecocentric traits.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines these as:

Narcissist: an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance

A person who is egocentric : someone who is limited in outlook or concern to his or her own activities or needs : a self-centered person

In my experience with colleagues and clients, it seems either a parent was or still is at dis-ease themselves (some emotionally, some physically), or a/ both parents exhibit narcissistic, unpredictable, addictive, victim-mentality and emotionally dis-regulated behaviour. My theory is that where a parent is unstable, they themselves grew up in a family with a narcissist or emotionally dis-regulated influences, and in their life have not yet processed, released and transformed this experience, hence their ill health.

They may also have followed the trauma cycle and married or had relationships with people that have the same emotional issues as a parent. Therefore they create a family environment for their own children with their own unresolved trauma and negative belief system present as well as another emotionally unstable parent.

Now, this is not a blame game, nor a call for diagnoses or finger pointing. Rather, its about recognising the emotional maturity of our care givers. Narcissism doesn't have to look like self-importance or over-confidence - it can also look like "I'm right", "I'm the authority here", "Only my emotions matter", "Only my needs matter". It can also look like, "The world is unsafe and you need to do what I say to be safe".

Adults in this and similar states have likely experienced trauma themselves and are carrying generations of unresolved and unprocessed epigenetic trauma. It's not their fault. They have opportunities to break the cycle, but they may not have taken up that call. The power that you and I have is to take up that call, and send compassion and forgiveness back into our family system for all their suffering and emotional pain.

When the family constellation is rife with emotionally dysfunctional adults who can not regulate their own emotions, physical needs, and mental processing of life, this can create an environment in which a child is often not adequately seen, heard or allowed to express themselves, and learns unhealthy beliefs and coping mechanisms. Attachment issues are developed; emotional, mental, physical and sexual abuse may be threatened, perpetrated or excused.

Pain begets pain. Illness begets illness. It’s not in the genes, it’s in the epigenetic energy system of close knit familial and cultural systems.

So when we know where it’s coming from, this illness and dis-ease we have come to experience and find ourselves stuck in, we have a signpost of where to go to recover. The past is where we had formation experiences, made decisions about ourselves and the world, and we’ve spent every moment since making those decisions (usually by the age of 7yrs), gathering evidence to support those beliefs.

Where we have a lot of negative beliefs about ourselves and the world, we have gathered and attracted a lot of negative evidence to support the ‘facts’ of our life.

These negative beliefs and all the evidence that keeps us stuck in them, subconsciously running them in the background of our mind and body all day everyday, are the source of our dis-ease. When so much negativity is hardwired and triggered all day everyday, the body stays in a state of sympathetic nervous system stimulation. The body gets depleted and can not heal well in this state. Prolonged sympathetic state leads to illness and disease.

The most incredible and maybe unbelievable ability that a human possesses is that the original programming, those subconscious beliefs about self and world, can be completely rewritten. Neuroplasticity is the incredible ability our brains have to be restructured, rewired, renewed.

When we rewire the brain to align with our inborn potential, our gifts and passions, and believe positive truths about ourselves and the world - and I can hear your ‘yeah buts..’ from here…

‘yeah but I did a bad thing so I can’t believe anything positive about myself’

‘yeah but I got treated like shit by my parents and my teachers and everyone I’ve ever known since so I MUST be unloveable and stupid and disgusting’

‘yeah but I just don’t feel safe in the world’

…the beliefs that you think are impossible to change. The ones that are just plain true provable fact, the ideas that are held by everyone around you so they must be true - this is what I am here to tell you, and this is what every coach, therapist, healer, author, speaker, motivator, success mentor and healed person in the world will tell you:

The negative beliefs you think are absolutely true and absolute, the ones that hold you back in limitation - THEY ARE NOT TRUE.

Someone, maybe a few people, lied to you. Probably because they were lied to themselves. They got told and shown they were worthless or dirty or stupid or ugly. And so they keep the pain cycle going, that’s what they learnt so that’s what they teach.

The narcissists and other non-functioning beings that taught us the negative beliefs and caused us to feel really hard and undeserved pain, they taught us all these lies unknowingly. They can not see the real us, because they can not see themself. They can not love themself. They are stuck in their own trauma, fear, negative self-belief. They are stuck in survival mode.

Forgiveness, boundaries, perspective shifts and emotional processing can help us release and transform this toxic sludge from our psyche and body. And then the rewiring of our neural pathways can give us the life we never dreamed could be possible.

Don’t allow a broken, misinformed teacher be your life mentor.

Find the people that exemplify the life and love that you want in this world. And learn from them. Let them teach you new truths about yourself and the world and follow their guidance on how to rewrite your own brain and body to believe and feel and live that way.

Thank your negative pain teachers for the opportunity they have given you to evolve. They were stuck their own pain, and their abused inner child has kept them stuck in a self-involved, desperate, protective mode that causes everyone, including themselves, great pain. You are taking up the opportunity to break the chain of inherited pain they taught you, and leaving their classroom for one that’s attractive, resonant and exciting to you.

There is no classroom in this world that you are excluded from. Want to make a million? Join the success in money classroom. Want to swim with dolphins? Join the living your dreams classroom. What to live life in a strong body with high immunity and boundless energy? Join the health and wellness classroom.

Take whatever lessons you need. Take them over and over (I’m still taking mine multiple times it’s ok and to be expected, like a dunce, but now I realise that repeated learning is required sometimes for creating the deep, strong and powerful natural pathways my brain deserves to fulfil my true potential in this human world).

Whatever limits you, there is a way to rewrite that limit and change the boundaries. You might just find out that there are no boundaries at all.

Jen Evans is a Wellness and Life Purpose Coach, supporting individuals and groups to free themselves of dis-ease and living unfulfilling lives. She is a coach for the Gupta Program, an accredited EFT and Matrix Re-Imprinting Practitioner and Life Coach. Work with her 1-1 or in group coaching, email

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