Narcissist Hates His Disabled, Sick, and Challenged Children

Uploaded 7/11/2015, approx. 6 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

What happens when the narcissist becomes a father or a mother to a disabled child, a challenged child, intellectually or otherwise, or a sick child, chronically ill, weak and frail?

The narcissist regards his disabled or challenged child as an insult, a direct challenge to his self-perceived perfection and omnipotence, a constant nagging reminder and source of negative narcissistic supply, and the reification and embodiment of a malevolent and hostile world which tirelessly conspires to render the narcissist a victim through misfortune and catastrophe.

The precarious foundations of the narcissist's false self and therefore his ability to function are undermined by this miscegenation. Relentlessly challenged by his defective offspring's very existence and by the persistence of its attendant painful reminders, the narcissist lashes out, acts out, seeking to persecute and penalize the sources of his excruciating frustration, the child and his mother.

The narcissist holds the mother responsible for this failure, not himself. She brought this shame and perturbation into his otherwise fantastic and orderly life. It was she who gave issue to this newfound fulfillment, this permanent reminder of fallibility, imperfection, mortality, impotence, guilt, disgrace and fear.

To rectify this wrong, to restore the interrupted balance and to firmly regain an assured sense of self-brandiosity, the narcissist resorts to devaluation. He humiliates, belittles and demeans both the unfortunate child and his suffering mother. The narcissist compares their failings unfavorably to his own wholeness. He berates and mocks the child and his mother for the combined disability, frailty, weakness, meekness and resourcelessness. He transforms them into the captive parts of his unbridled sadism and the cowed adherings of a cult-like shared psychosis. Serves them well for having thus ruined his life, figures the narcissist.

Fasting himself outwardly as a compassionate proponent of tough love, the narcissist eggs his charges on mercilessly. He contrasts the slowness with his self-imputed illacrity, their limitations with his infinite grasp, their mediocrity with his genius and acuity, their defeats with his triumphant life, real or imagined. He harps on and leverages their insecurities and he displays his hateful contempt for this mother-child dire with a fiery vengeance whenever he is confronted, criticized or resisted. The narcissist may even turn violent in order to enforce the discipline of his distorted worldview and delusional exigencies of reality.

By reducing the child, by confronting the mother, the narcissist feels elevated yet again. Bonding and attachment in infancy are critical determinants and predictors of well-being in adulthood.

A small minority of children are born, indeed, with dysfunctions, such as attention, hyperactivity, deficit disorder or Asperger's disorder or some other kind of autism. These dysfunctions prevent the children from properly bonding with or attaching to a primary caregiver. Environmental factors such as an unstable home, parental absenteeism or a disintegrating family unit also play a role and can lead to the emergence of reactive attachment disorder, RAD.

Totals, adapt to this sterile and hostile emotional landscape by regressing to an earlier phase of unbridled, self-sufficient and solipsistic primary narcissism.

Disabled and challenged children of narcissistic parents may well end up being narcissists themselves – a sad but inescapable irony.

Narcissistic parents of seriously ill children derive narcissistic supply from onlookers, friends, family, colleagues and community, and they do that by attracting attention to their role as saintly caretakers, selfless and sacrificial.

They are demonstratively and ostentatiously patient, compassionate, suffering heroically and dedicated to the child, its welfare and ultimate healing. They flaunt the child's sickness as a kind of a hard-walled but well-deserved medal, down in the trenches with a tortured offspring doing desperate battle with a pitiless enemy, the disease.

It is an intoxicating part in the unfolding film that is the narcissist's line.

But this irresistible craving for attention should be demarcated from the sinister affliction colloquially known as Minkhausen Bitroxi Syndrome.

Patients afflicted with a factitious disorder colloquially known as Minkhausen Syndrome seek to attract the attention of medical personnel by feigning or by self-inflicting serious illness or injury.

Minkhausen Bitroxi Syndrome, factitious illness or disorder by proxy or imposed by another, or fabricated or induced illness by contrivance, there are many names.

Well, this disorder involves the patient inducing illness in or causing injury to a dependent child, an old parent. And they do this in order to gain in their capacity as caretakers, the attention, praise and sympathy of medical care providers.

Both syndromes Minkhausen and Minkhausen Bitroxi are forms of shared psychosis, fully adieu or fully apluze, forms of crazy making with hospital staff as unwilling and unwitting participants in the drama.

Superficially, this overwhelming need for consideration by figures of authority and role models, doctors, nurses, clergy, social workers, this resembles the narcissist relentless and coercive pursuit of narcissistic supply, which also consists of attention, adulation, admiration, being feared, noted, etc.

But despite the superficial similarities, there are some important differences.

To start with, narcissist, especially the somatic variety, worships his body and cherishes his health. If anything, narcissist tend to be hypochondriants. They are known to self-harm and self-mutilate, let alone fake laboratories and consume potentially deleterious, militarily sinister substances and medications. They are also unlikely to seriously damage their sources of supply, for instance, their children, as long as they are confined, of course, and adulating.

As opposed to narcissist, people with both Mid-Housen syndromes desire acceptance. They seek love, caring, relationships and nurturing, not merely tension.

The landscape of the Mid-Housen disorder and Mid-Housen by proxy disorder, patients, is emotional. And they have emotional deeds that amount to more than the mere regulation of their sense of self-worth.

In other words, they look for more than attention, while narcissists are looking only for attention.

People with Mid-Housen have no full-fledged false self, unlike the narcissist. There's only a clinging, insecure, traumatized, deceitful and needy true self.

Mid-Housen syndrome may be comorbid, but it can be diagnosed with personality disorders.

Though in both cases, the patients are illogical liars, schizoid, paranoid, hypervigilant and aggressive, there are still massive differences between people who are diagnosed only with personality disorders and those who are comorbid with Mid-Housen.

While narcissists are indiscriminate and promiscuous when it comes to their sources of narcissistic supply, anyone will do.

Patients with Mid-Housen syndrome derive emotional nurturers, assessments, mainly from health care practitioners.

So we should not confuse the two mental health categories.

Still, in all these cases, the child is a prop in the adult theater of life. He is a pivot. He is abused. And when it becomes autonomous, when it becomes critical, discard him.

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Narcissist Father: Save Your Child

Parents who are worried about their children becoming narcissists under the influence of a narcissistic parent should stop trying to insulate their children from the other parent's influence. Instead, they should make themselves available to their children and present themselves as a non-narcissistic role model. Narcissistic parents regard their children as a source of narcissistic supply and try to control their lives through guilt-driven, dependence-driven, goal-driven, and explicit mechanisms. The child is the ultimate secondary source of narcissistic supply, and the narcissistic parent tries to perpetuate the child's dependence using control mechanisms. The narcissistic parent tends to produce another narcissist in some of their children, but this outcome can be effectively countered by loving, empathic, predictable, just, and positive upbringing, which encourages a

Narcissist's Family

Narcissists perceive new family members, including siblings, children, and even pets, as threats to their narcissistic supply. They may belittle, hurt, or humiliate them, or retreat into an imaginary world of omnipotence. Some narcissists seek to manipulate new family members to monopolize attention and vicariously obtain narcissistic supply. As siblings or offspring grow older and become critical, the narcissist devalues and discards them, feeling stifled and trapped. The family disintegrates, and the cycle begins anew with the arrival of new family members.

Narcissist: No Custody, No Children!

Parents diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder should be denied custody and granted only restricted rights of visitation and care under supervision, according to Professor Sam Vaknin. Narcissists regard children as sources of narcissistic supply and can be abusive, putting children at risk of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Narcissistic parents can also use control mechanisms to sustain the illusion that the child is a part of them, which can be emotionally turbulent for the child. The child is the ultimate secondary source of narcissistic supply, and the narcissist's love is conditional upon the supply of narcissistic supply.

Narcissists Hate Children and Envy Them

Narcissists hate children because they envy them. Children's feigned innocence, manipulation, and lack of empathy are disarming in their directness. Narcissists see children as both mirrors and competitors, reflecting their constant need for adulation and attention. Children are loved by mothers, which makes narcissists jealous and infuriated by their deprivation. Narcissists hate children for being them.

Narcissist's Cycles of Ups and Downs

Narcissists go through cycles of mania and depression, which are caused by external events or circumstances known as triggers. The cycles are different from manic depressive cycles in bipolar disorder, which are endogenous. The narcissist is addicted to narcissistic supply and seeks admiration, adoration, approval, attention, and so on. The narcissist goes through ups and downs, including a depressive phase, a hibernation phase, and a manic phase, which are all part of the process of obtaining and securing narcissistic supply.

Golden Child and Scapegoat Black Sheep: Narcissistic Parent's Projected Splitting

Narcissistic parents often cultivate their children as sources of narcissistic supply, with the golden child being idolized and the scapegoat child being neglected and even abused. This discriminatory behavior is due to the narcissistic parent's projected splitting, which involves the inability to integrate contradictory qualities of the same object into a coherent picture. The narcissistic parent splits their personality into good and bad traits and projects the good aspects onto the golden child while projecting the bad aspects onto the scapegoat child. This pattern of behavior becomes lifelong and can lead to emotional incest and even outright incest.

Raging Narcissist: Merely Pissed-off?

Narcissistic rage is a phenomenon that occurs when a narcissist is frustrated in their pursuit of narcissistic supply, causing narcissistic injury. The narcissist then projects a bad object onto the source of their frustration and rages against a perceived evil entity that has injured and frustrated them. Narcissistic rage is not the same as normal anger and has two forms: explosive and pernicious or passive-aggressive. People with personality disorders are in a constant state of anger, which is effectively suppressed most of the time, and they are afraid to show that they are angry to meaningful others because they are afraid to lose them.

Idealized, Devalued, Dumped

Narcissists have a cycle of overvaluation and devaluation, which is more prevalent in borderline personality disorder than in narcissistic personality disorder. The cycle reflects the need to be protected against the whims, needs, and choices of other people, shielded from the hurt that they can inflict on the narcissist. The overvaluation and devaluation mechanism is the most efficient one available to the narcissist, as the narcissist's personality is precariously balanced and requires inordinate amounts of energy to maintain. The narcissist's energies are all focused and dedicated to the task concentrated upon the source of supply he had identified.

Prodigy Narcissist

Child prodigies are often dehumanized and instrumentalized by their parents, who see them as fulfilling their own dreams and wishes. This can lead to the child feeling entitled to special treatment and lacking in empathy, compassion, and social skills. As adults, they may become narcissistic and misjudge the extent of their accomplishments, leading to strained relationships with others. This creates a vicious cycle of hurt and resentment.

Narcissist's Dead Parents Resurrected in His Children

Narcissists often try to recreate their own parents in their offspring, molding their children to resemble their parents' attributes and behavior patterns. This creates an intergenerational trauma by replicating early childhood conflicts with their own children. Narcissistic parents treat their children as extensions of themselves and use them for their own gratification, leading to a cycle of narcissism. In modern society, many parents may exhibit narcissistic tendencies, raising the question of whether narcissism is becoming the new mode of parenting.

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