Narcissistic Parents–Terrorizing Their Kids to Be Perfect!

Narcissistic mothers and fathers are on endless rampages to make their children ultra perfect.  No little child can meet the “standards” of these highly disturbed parents. Sometimes there is only one narcissistic mother or father—-Other children are thrown into the impossible role of having duo raging narcissistic moms and dads.  I have had heard from many of these adult children and the horror stories of their childhoods, at times Hitchockian, are chilling–and this is an understatement.

Everything on the surface appears to be in absolute order. In many of these homes one would not find a spot of dirt, dust, particle of food, mud, smudge, grit, grim–even a grain of cereal, sand, rice or a small thin sample of one human hair. And speaking of human–these children grow up in a tidy, sterile inhumane environment.

On the outside, narcissistic mothers and fathers are often regaled as sterling examples of individuals and parents in their communities and the wider world.  They are feted for their accomplishments, creativity, professional excellence, their moral bona fides. These individuals wear many convincing masks that fool entire worlds of people, including psychotherapists, teachers, physicians, neighbors, friends, professional associates. They are beyond judgment because of the perfection of their impeccably masked false selves.

In a society that is breeding narcissism faster than we can imagine, these individuals are raised up to the highest places in their societal groups. No one would ever know that in private they create a chronic horrific living nightmare for their infants, young children and adult children.

One of the toughest problems with these cruel, treacherous narcissistic parents is that the child who speaks up about the reality of his or her hidden frightening world is severely punished, demeaned, humiliated and threatened. “No one believes me”  —-that is what I am often told by the victims of the narcissistic parents. “They think I am crazy, weak, deluded.” After a while some children come to believe that something is intrinsically wrong with them.  This is so painful—like constantly screaming into a cyclone and feeling yourself being ripped away into oblivion.

Narcissistic parents are not affectionate with their children unless it is in front of a camera for a family portrait or on display at social events or church. There is no real hugging, holding or being soothed. These arms are hard and cool, even cold. The parental eyes show no feeling, depth, warmth or compassion. They are blank, menacing, judging and at times deeply  threatening. Parental abuses take place in the imprisonment of the family home. While the physical arrangement can be very attractive and neat to the extreme, the emotional and psychological environment is hard edged, apprehension charged, waiting for the footfall that will strike fear in a child’s entire nervous system. These children never feel safe—Why would they? They aren’t and can never let down. There is no emotional and psychological space for private reveries, pleasant daydreams, flights of fancy.  Night time is a special horror to these children. Alone in their rooms they are doubly fearful. They know that no matter how desperate or even how ill they are,  they cannot call out to mom or dad because either they will be completely ignored or if the parent comes, a great loud storm will appear rather than a comforting mom or dad. Left alone, the child whimpers and cries for the parent who will never come to them in the time of their greatest need. Their fears increase and some children develop phobias, symptoms of post traumatic stress, anxiety disorders.  On the surface, of course, they must morph into mother and father’s perfect little darlings.

As the years go by, children of narcissistic parents suffer horribly. Some of them learn to conceal and protect their true feelings and to wall off their precious authentic original selves.  Other kids get the message that in order to survive they must play the roles assigned to them: scapegoat, golden child, forgotten child, unwanted child, stupid child, crazy kid.

I have spoken and communicated with many adult children of narcissistic parents who have survived these endless wars on their psyches, bodies, minds and spirits. Listening to these survivors is profound. I am deeply moved beyond words by their grit, strength, courage, creativity, compassion, insight and deep humanity. Many find their own pathways to healing and recovery.  This is a long journey with many detours, switchbacks and roads less taken. Here they are—Deep affection, gratitude and joy to those who are on this path each day, moment by moment.

 

Narcissist’s Hair Trigger Rage

Narcissists dish out their cruel visceral pathological projections. Their rage is always bubbling beneath the surface. When you criticize them in the mildest way they attack you back with a vengeance.  They eviscerate you emotionally and psychologically. Those married to narcissists have to watch them every moment to see when this person is going to erupt into overwhelming rage that knows
no end. This refers to male and female narcissists.

Over and over again the narcissist attacks unmercifully in a verbal manner that is primitive and dirty.  He/she gets in every dig and then some. He brings out your whole history and every transgression he can manage to make you the bad guy, the stupid one, the evil person, the malicious secretive spiteful human being whom he detests and that is so unlike him. (After all he is perfect). The incoming fire lasts an eternity. You can’t stand it. You are feeling sick from the impact of this bombardment. It feels like it will never end. You can’t escape–you are desperate.

You never know exactly when the narcissist will explode on to you. You watch the eyes that pierce through you, the brows  furrow, teeth are barred, the body posture that becomes militant and scary. You wait for the first verbal salvo. When the uproar begins, it is tsunamic—overwhelming everything in its pathway is swept away.

Nothing is sacred to the narcissist’s out of control rage. It doesn’t matter if you are physically ill, if the children are very young and emotionally fragile, if you are completely innocent and not at fault, if you have done your best to give this person the best part of your life–nothing matters, except this prolonged attack on you at this time.  This is the unleashing of the self-hatred of the very badly damaged real self of the narcissist in the form of psychological and emotional vomiting.

In some cases the narcissist starts trashing your home, throwing any item about that is within reach. He/she becomes manically carried away with the rage that controls every part of his being. Volcanic rage has a life and energy of its own. Just when you think it has subsided, it resumes with another cycle of assault and horror.

Those who are children of narcissists, who are married to them, divorcing them or siblings of narcissists, understand up close what it is like to be the recipient of this level of traumatic chaos.

At some point those who have suffered from the narcissist’s hair trigger rage will re-assess what this individual has done to them, the cruelties perpetrated, the years of your life they have stolen, the days and months of terror and struggle you sustain just to get up in the morning and go through the day and to repeat this routine each day, knowing that you are not free to be yourself, authentic, experience joy or calm, spontaneity or creative spirit.

You now know that the narcissist is not capable of changing and that you deserve a life separate from them. Put yourself first each day.  Go no contact. If you are married to a narcissist, do your research regarding a divorce. Do not share what you have learned with the narcissist. Do not let a lot of time go by. So often I hear from women and men who waited it out too long and either kept thinking that they were to blame or that the narcissist would change eventually if they were understanding enough.  None of this will work with them. This is a very fixed personality disorder that does not change. It gets more entrenched as the years go by.

Honor your own life.  Trust your intuition, your knowledge and your higher self.  Know that you can recover, heal and be free.

Narcissistic Stepmothers–Ultimate Nightmare for Stepchildren

There are tales of wicked stepmothers going back hundreds of years. There are stepmothers who are wonderful parents to their stepchildren. I am speaking specifically about narcissistic stepmothers.

Narcissistic stepmothers cause emotional chaos and psychological distress within the family. Narcissistic stepmothers are cunning and clever. They are masters at appearing to be considerate, cooperative within the new family constellation and even kind. But this is a major deceit, a ruse that is designed to tear the original family apart and to obtain the central power within the household. Throwing the original children of their father to the wolves doesn’t matter to the narcissistic stepmother since she has neither conscience nor compassion.

Narcissistic stepmothers have the upper hand over their spouses. They pick men who can be controlled, manipulated, fooled, deceived and emotionally coerced to obey them. They are masters of sexual and emotional seduction. In many cases they have been having an affair with their spouse to be long before the husband is divorced from the previous wife.

These women have no conscience—They have their eyes and the full force of their personalities on the prize–their next highly successful husband. Some narcissistic stepmothers repeat this pattern over several marriages–always moving upward on the social, economic, lifestyle and prestige scales.

The narcissistic stepmother begins by becoming indispensable to her spouse. She makes extradinary promises to him that she loves his children and will treat them as her own. Using her powers of seduction and charm and the full force of her magnetic, unyielding personality, the spouse turns a blind eye to the darkness of her nature and the cruelties of her deeds.

Eventually, these husbands capitulate their control and decision making. They go along with their wife’s wishes. They are both beguiled and intmidated by her.

This is a lifestyle and power arrangement for the narcisisstic stepmother, not a marriage. She controls the money, properties and assets. She quickly has a couple of biological children with her new spouse to anchor the “contract.”

The narcissistic stepmother is greedy. She favors and gives her biological children with her spouse every material advantage. The children of the first marriage have to fend for themselves. In some instances they become permanently estranged from their family of origin. The burden of their sorrows, resentments, regrets is incalculable.

The child of a narcissistic stepmother has a road that will take them to recovery and restoration. You begin by learning to put yourself first. Practice self care by getting the rest and sleep that you need. the food and exercise that is best for you, the individuals that you bring into your life that are supportive and caring. Accessing your creative gifts is a major part of your healing and transformation. Take time each day to have a quiet time with yourself. For some this means a form of meditation, prayer or contemplation. For others this is sitting in solitude and silence or it can mean listening to music that is calming and beautiful. You will find the kind of practice of calmness and restoration that works for you. Be patient and nonjudgemental with yourself. This is a journey to your invaluable true self

Concealed Narcissists Induce Shame in Their Children

Shame is a dreadful, intolerable feeling, a visceral reaction that goes deep inside of us. Often, children carry their shame into adulthood, especially if they are raised by narcissistic parents. When we feel ashamed we want to disappear, to hide where no one can find us.

The narcissistic parent expects perfection from his child. A child learns how to feel about himself through the loving attachment of the parent–the empathy, affection, acceptance of the son or daughter as a unique human being. The good parent accepts his/her child’s true authentic self.

The narcissistic non-parent expects the child to mirror him perfectly and to obey without question and become a source of narcissistic supply. This occurs frequently through the narcissistic parent’s tapping into what he perceives as a child’s  “good qualities” — physical attractiveness, high intellectual capacity, athletic prowess, social skills.

The child with this highly dysfunctional parent is never permitted to be his authentic self–that wonderful spontaneous, creative,  joyful individual that is expressing the real self.  Instead, the concealed narcissist projects shame into his small child from the beginning–telling them that they are always wrong, stupid, unworthy, worthless.  The messages the child receives are:  ” You must do what I say perfectly or you will be severely punished because you are bad.”  “You are an embarrassment to me, a  disgrace, a nothing, a nobody.”  “All you do is make mistakes. What is the matter with you.”  “You are a cry baby. Stop your whimpering, you stupid kid.”  These and other horrid messages are hurled at the child each day. Sometimes they come through nonverbal cues, looks of disdain and hatred in the face of the narcissistic parent directed at the child.

Children raised in this psychological environment of being demeaned and humiliated feel deep shame inside themselves very early.

On the surface the concealed narcissistic parent is all smiles, lovely manners, impeccable image,  lauded, praised and worshipped as an outstanding human being by professional peers, social acquaintances, other family members not privy to their dark, cruel secrets. Those who do not know this mother or father would never guess that beneath the surface is a psychological and emotional monster who is terrorizing and shaming his children.

I hear from many children of concealed narcissists who have suffered throughout their lives with inflicted shame. They have a very difficult and challenging road that they travel to healing, recovery and the fulfillment of their creative and spiritual gifts.

I have spoken to and heard from many of you who are in the process of healing the shame that has bound you and are on the road to rediscovering your true self and leading the life that you deserve. Remember to put the emphasis on taking very good care of yourself for the first time.  Continue to pay close attention to your intuitive gifts and your creative energies.