Saturday, 31 May 2014

Narcissistic Personality Disordered Parents - Part II

Narcissistic Personality Disordered Parents

Many people have suffered from absent parents, abandonment, divorce, addiction, violence and volatility in their childhood environments.  
This type of upbringing is unfortunately common in our society, but few realise the implications of growing up with a parent with a psychopathic personality disorder and the future repercussions that are associated with 'negative parenting'.  

Psychopathic people are incapable of real caring and intimacy and are therefore  unable to fully nurture their own children or spouses. This often leaves a legacy of dysfunction in the life of their children and beyond. 
It is quite common for people to exhibit some range of sociopathic/psychopathic/narcissistic tendencies.  At least one parent in the family will usually express stronger tendencies towards the behaviour. 

NPD parents in particular, usually adopt one of two different parenting styles, often diametrically opposed with each child.  
One method is to assume a very heavy ‘handler’ role, dictating & overseeing the child’s every action, thought and reaction.  They smother the child, who becomes totally suffocated by this over-bearing stance. 

They see the child as an extension of themselves, not a separate being with their own personality & innate character; Literally viewing the child as their property, to do with what they want, like a car or house, something to mould and model into what they see fit, not what the child/adult may want for itself. 
They control the every need of their off-spring, dictating what is best for them well into adulthood.
This toxic entrapment stops the child from naturally developing its own innate persona and violates their boundaries, impairing natural self-discovery & self-expression. 
This commonly occurs between fathers/daughters, mothers/sons, but can often the other way around. 

The child is therefore programmed to think that it cannot function without dependency on the parent's interaction with their every move. This will carry on into adulthood and 'slavery' to the parent will be life-long, unless they realise this is detrimental to them and learn how to cut the ties and break free from these control systems.

The narcissistic parent is usually either all-consuming and engulfing, a highly neurotic control-freak who micro-manages every part of their child’s existence;  Or conversely, they can reject, abandon and neglect their child, only paying it attention in order to criticise, punish or berate.
When a child is disregarded & abandoned like this at a young age, it essentially is given the message that they are worthless, as a result severe low self-esteem often develops, which can cause various on-going self-destructive behaviours.  

The parent is unable to meet the child's innate requirements for healthy nurturing, affection, space and approval from the parent.  Often they will prey upon their fears offering nothing but disapproval, condemnation and competition. 

Both of these parenting styles show total inability to offer positive care and support and sets the child up for much adversity in adult life.

Usually with two children, one will be neglected and the other smothered. (golden child/scapegoat dichotomy) Which further complicates the child psychological growth and natural development.

Typical NPD Parenting behaviours include:-
  • Brutal and constant criticism, bullying, demeaning, berating, humiliating and   ridiculing the child.  Nothing they do, say or are is ever good enough. Usually the attributes of others are highlighted to create greater contrast, especially with the ‘golden child’ sibling. This abuse is done subtly and usually out of sight of others.
  • Physical violence, physical & emotional neglect, sleep deprivation, lack of personal care, starvation/lack of nutritional requirements. Overly severe punishments, censure. All done to create fear & behaviour modification. Aggressive demands, opposition to which will be met with anger & physical abuse.
  • ‘Gas-llighting’ – Makes up versions of events to suit themselves. Denying any responsibility on their part for making any mistake. Accusing the child of lying, imagining, fantasies, over-sensitivity, stupidity and mental instability. This maybe done to the point where the victim will be convinced they are in always in wrong and gives up all hope of contest.
  • The narcissists' sense of grandiosity and entitlement means they must remain in the spot-light constantly. They exhibit jealous, envious, arrogant and competitive behaviours, making sure external focus remains on them; They have a lust for continual attention, praise and reaffirming of their dominance and superiority and will create all manner of drama to take up all the space.
  • Mothers often secretly despise their daughters, seeing them as competition and a threat to their spouses attentiveness and male attention in general.
  • The child is often not seen & not heard, given no opportunity or space to express their desires or display their personalities. Any positive attention they do get from others will be ridiculed or criticised. This causes the child to withdraw within themselves.  Displays of anger will be punished and inability to display frustration will often turn the anger inward, causing many self-destructive behaviours in later-life.
  • They have an ability to make their child feel 5yrs old even throughout their adult life. Familiar criticism & methods of control often triggers them right back to an infantile, childhood state. One with no voice and no ability to change the situation.  Even into adulthood, there is a craving for parental support, care, love  and affection, the feeling one day they may finally change and accept them for who they are, most likely this time will never come.
  • NPD's are acutely sensitive to criticism themselves, exploding with rage or passive aggressive silences, but storing up even the slightest ‘bad behaviours’ of others to punish with later on.  They never forgive or forget.
  • Playing down any talents, achievements and successes of the child, taking little or no interest in their development, schooling, sports events, extracurricular activities. Any  accomplishment will be trivialized, ignored and often curtailed.  Anything they do for the child will be a huge effort and sacrifice on their part.  Alternatively, the parent maybe overly proud of their child's achievements, attributing it to themselves in some way, taking on their successes as their own to ingratiate themselves with others and obtain more narcissistic supply.
  • Lack of personal boundaries with the child, constant overshadowing, projection and interaction with everything they do.  Later on in life this may include listening to their conversations, phone calls, reading emails, diaries, being overly involved in personal relationships, education, spying on them, usually looking for anything negative they can use as a method of control and proof they need to remain dominant.  In adulthood, frequent visits & personal invasion of space without being asked or invited.
  • Lack of sexual boundaries. Wanting to know too much, over sharing, or even inappropriate physical violations.
  • They never believe a word you say, because they pathologically lie to manipulate and gain attention all the time, so they assume that everyone else does this.  Many humans have moral values and innate integrity and will not compromise their personal principles by dishonesty, even as children.
Character Traits of an NPD Parent. 

NPD's generally have two main emotional ranges, which flip instantly without warning. One is persistent rage, aggravation and annoyance with every thing and everyone, which occurs when they are not getting their narcissistic energy supply.  (They will be nice to most people, outside the home, then nasty about them behind their back). Or they will be glowing and overly buoyant, because their narcissistic supply is being met by the child or some external source. 
If the source of choice is external, they will often abandon & totally neglect the child with preference towards their supply of ego gratification. 
This is usually be related to sex, drugs, conflict, food, work, relationships etc.

These nice/nasty states can oscillate instantly, their victims will never be allowed to be content for too long, after a while they will create a situation to cause drama, control, blame and punishment.
Tiptoeing around the ego of a ‘short-fuse,’Jekyll/Hyde personality is exhausting and damaging, the constant threat of them exploding puts everyone around them in a perpetual state of high alert.  Ever vigilant for the next verbal or physical attack, which often comes out of nowhere over the slightest little thing.

Those with NPD are masters of projection. They view themselves as 'perfect', due to severe denial of their deep intrinsic insecurities about themselves, so they project any negativity, insecurity, health issues, vulnerability, anger, resentment etc. onto their victims.   This projection and refusal to own their own issues, can be very dangerous for those around them, e.g. Eating disorders are common in children whose NPD mothers are scared of putting on weight.

Psychopaths are masters of subtly creating conflict by gossiping and lying about others behind their backs, often playing siblings or other family members off each other. Using typical divide & conquer tactics to create oppositions, isolation and abuse by others, as well as themselves.  

They create a rivalry between the ‘golden child,’ and other siblings, one is treated with smother love and their every need met. They are held as an example of perfection and can do no wrong, while the other child is turned into the ‘scapegoat,’ who can do no right and is constantly at fault.

The 'scapegoat' is the outcast, vilified, ignored, blamed, used as a dumping ground for the whole families’ anger and negativity.  
The NPD parent usually manages to turn everyone against them. Triangulating people into conflict Emphasis will be made on how much of a disappointment  they are and how wonderful everyone else is, until they eventually fulfill this role that is projected upon them. Occasionally they will rise up and prove them all wrong, which is difficult when vilification occurs at such a young age and no real support, appreciation or encouragement is given.

These people tend to talk endlessly without breath, so that others never have a chance to express themselves and as a result often give up attempting to.  This vocal shutting down often results in inability to say no, or speak up for themselves later on in life and can lead to being taken advantage of & severe emotional suppression which often leads to thyroid imbalance & various accompanying health complications.

The NPD parent has no interest in the child's personality, likes, interests or opinion. 
They often know absolutely nothing about who their own children are, just identifying them by their own projections on to them.  It's always all about them and they simply have no real interest or ability to form deeper emotional connections with anyone else. 

These handlers will never approve of any external relationships the victim may have, because it maybe a source of possible empowerment and support, so others are instantly the enemy. This includes your own siblings and especially anyone who may indicate that the parent is doing something wrong. They want their child isolated & weak, so that dependence remains on them. 
They will have probably already used their divide and conquer tactics to separate the victim from any friends or supporting members of the family. Usually by malicious gossiping, under the guise of ‘concern’. As the child becomes more interactive with others later in life, they will try and divide them from boyfriends, friends, partners, doctors, therapists, anyone external source of empowerment, they will slander, undermine, or give them a warning to back off.

They twist and manipulate reality, so they appear to others as the victim, instead of the abuser.  They concoct various sob stories to appear hard-done by and vilify their  real victim further, who will generally not realise this is going on and be hurt by others suddenly withdrawing from them for no apparent reason.
‘Cinderella syndrome’ is often present between mother/daughter, mother/son, where the child is used as a slave around the house, being forced to look after the other children, shop & do intensive household tasks at a very early age. Of course if their work is not perfect (and it never is) they are severely reprimanded for it. 
They are never thanked for what they do either and taken for granted, while the golden child sits back and does nothing, often joining in the demands and abuse.

They often leave the child in potentially dangerous situations. Abandoning NPD parents will be often totally unaware where the child is, or what they are doing.  
They are too important to bother with children & are often out looking for energy sources elsewhere, leaving the child to fend for itself at a young age. 

They may invite dubious people to watch their child. Alcoholics, drug addicts, sexual predators, criminals, elderly relatives; Those who are irresponsible and dubious care-givers and people with whom they may not normally associate.

As there is no real protection of a child with a narcissistic/psychopathic parent, they are totally vulnerable and often alone in their dejection & misery, their handlers callously orchestrate a lack of support, help or guidance from anyone and create   a wall between their victim and others, so that outsiders would not be willing to help, or refuse to believe their side of the story anyway.

The child is often sexually abused at some stage, if the child attempts to confide in  their NPD parent, they will often accuse them of lying, causing  drama, or claim that it was their fault and they did something to deserve it;  
They get angry and abusive in situations they have not encountered before because everything is a learned response. They have no empathy to deal with emotional situations that require a caring response anyway.  
They may even totally ignore these claims; Or do all of the above. They often invite the perpetrator back, hoping that they will further abuse them as revenge against speaking out about the abuse.

When the child becomes old enough to leave the family home and that is usually the first thing on their minds, the NPD parenting style may turn from ignoring to smothering or visa versa.  They may try upping the controls as they realise their energy supply may soon be limited. They may do everything to stop the child leaving, or they may turn nasty and kick them out. 
They often try to recruit other family members, or friends to monitor and report back to them under the guise of ‘loving’ concern, in order to retain control and keep interactive.  They will usually drip-feed them strategies or create conflict, so the child has to return home.

Their loss of continual interaction will usually come with common guilt projections and complaints of ‘you don’t care about me’, and ‘how am I going to cope now’.  Or their other tactic, ‘you wont survive a day without me’, telling their children they could not possibly look after themselves without the parent’s presence, advice (criticism), money, ‘help’ & ‘support’.  They will continue surreptitiously to divide and conquer, so the victim remains isolated. Convincing others that they are a bad person, disrespectful, ungrateful or a bad daughter/son etc.


REPERCUSSIONS OF GROWING UP WITH AN NPD PARENT.

The child of an NPD parent will often be in a state of emotional confusion and distress, endlessly trying to gain love and approval from their parent, but nothing they do is ever good enough, as the goal posts are constantly moved further away. 
They may eventually become apathetic in life, or they become chronic over-achievers desperate for some sort of recognition for their worth. The damage to self-awareness and the compromising the child’s ability to learn its own lessons and develop healthy functional personal development, can lead to all manner of issues later in life.

Often the child will internalise the projections and disparagement, eventually believing that they are somehow bad, evil and unworthy, this usually leads to self- abusive and self-sabotaging early on in life.  This is not the case, the parent is the one with the problem. 

There is a feeling of severe loneliness that accompanies this type of abuse, as everyone is turned against the victim. The other parent could also be a narcissist, absent, enabling the NPD parent, or a victim of the narcissistic spouse themselves; Commonly driven to self-medicating, avoidant behaviours, or simply unwilling to protect the scapegoat child from the NPD parent's abuse.  

Unfortunately this situation will continue until the parent passes on, most people continue to allow it, unless they recognise that this is not love, but control and energy vampirism for the NPD's own gain. Children find it hard to take their power back after such long term victimisation.  This type of situation often repeats throughout life, as adults then end up as victims of other controlling and abusive people/spouses.  Once you can separate yourself from abusive situations and people, the healing begins.

It's very frustrating and emotionally challenging to deal with an NPD parent,  as there is no changing them or complaining about their behaviour, they have an answer for everything. With an emotional age of around 2-3 yrs, they will always react immaturely and dramatically if things do not go their way, plotting revenge if you do not do exactly what they want.

Sometimes the best and only remedy to this damaging situation is to walk away and preserve your sanity and emotional integrity. They will move onto another person for narcissistic supply once you have set firm boundaries, ones they realise they cannot break.  
AS they are so consuming and engulfing, it is difficult to break away from their clutches.  It takes time and a continual releasing process should take place over time. Setting firm boundaries and increasing restrictions. Be prepared as they will always try to worm their way back in somehow and do not take kindly to 'rejection'.  

Often the only solution is to cease all contact - for good.  
There is no point waiting for them to change, they never will. 

Extricating yourself from the clutches of a psychopathic toxic personality is the most effective way of freeing yourself from their continually abusive behaviour, which in effect is self-abuse. 

Rebuilding a sense of self-worth and knowing that the problem does not lie with you, but the parent themselves is important.  Working on rebuilding self-esteem and knowing that you are worthy of healthy, empowering and soul enhancing relationships.

Use any abuse as a tool of empowerment, compassion and gratitude and learn the lessons contained within, instead of feeling continual victimisation, helps to create a more stable and balanced future.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Archives