Narcissist's Dead Parents Resurrected in His Children

Uploaded 12/31/2021, approx. 29 minute read

Even parents of narcissists die, and I mean physically, demise pass away. It is at that point that a narcissist undergoes a major life transformation.

But long before that, the narcissist tries to recreate his own parents in his offspring. He molds and shapes his children to resemble some of the attributes, parental behavior patterns, and complexes of his own parents.

In a sense, the narcissist is like Federal Express. He creates an intergenerational trauma by replicating early childhood conflicts with his own children. He resurrects his dead parents through his children, rendering them dead in turn.

I am using the term dead parents in two ways. When the narcissist's parents are still physically very much alive, they are dead psychologically.

This is a concept first described and discovered by Andrei Green in 1978, the dead mother. These are parents who are absent, depressed, selfish, narcissistic. They parentify the child or instrumentalize the child.

So dead parents, while they are alive, they are also dead. And when they actually die, when finally reality catches up to them and they die physically as well as mentally, at that point, the narcissist is faced with his own internal demons, with his own inexorable dynamics of disintegration, torn apart between various equipment needs and demands on his, on the scarce resources of his chaotic personality.

And he takes it out on his children.

So this is a very complex intergenerational trauma dynamics which we are going to describe today in detail.

And then the second part of this unending lecture, the second part is about modern parenting.

Are all modern parents, parents in today's world, contemporary parents, are they all narcissists? Is narcissism the new mode of parenting? Is narcissism the new way of raising children? And if so, are we raising whole generations of narcissists and psychopaths?

Almost deliberately, are we creating a collective intergenerational trauma species wide?

That's the second part of these lectures for those of you who mysteriously survive the first part.

My name, of course, is Sam Vaknin and I'm the author of Malignant Vism, Narcissism Revisited. I'm also a professor of psychology to the detriment and sorrow of all my students on three continents.

Okay, Shoshanim, Chmadmada, Veshoshanim. Now you have to look up these three words. I don't envy you. They're difficult and they're in Hebrew.

So that's a challenge for you.

Let's get to business.

I will summarize each section because this is really difficult material.

Summary number one.

In a futile attempted closure, narcissist keeps reenacting throughout his adult life, early childhood conflicts with his parents, who are also important sources of narcissistic supply, by the way.

Naturally, the narcissist has a mixed reaction to the passing away of his parents. It is composed of elation, on the one hand, a sense of overwhelming freedom mixed with grief and sometimes prolonged grief.

I refer you to one of the recent videos of me about the narcissist as a child, a grieving child.

The narcissist is attached to his parents in much the same way that a hostage gets attached to his captors, to his kidnappers.

This is known as the Stockholm Syndrome. It's the tormented getting attached to his tormentors, the prisoner getting attached to his wardens.

These are situations where there's a power asymmetry in the very well-being of the narcissist, definitely as a child, but also much later in life as an adult.

The very well-being, the very inner peace, the very possibility at composure and functioning critically depends on parental input, a process known as introjection.

So the narcissist becomes super dependent on his parents, even when ostensibly and ostentatiously he rejects them.

The very act of rejection, counter-dependence, is a form of dependence.

The narcissist defines himself as not my parents, I am not my father, I am not my mother.

And so the identity of the narcissist, one way or another, yin-yang, background, foreground, wherever you, whichever way you look at it, the narcissist's very identity is but a reflection of his parents.

And when this bondage ceases, the narcissist feels lost and released, saddened and euphoric, empowered and drained at the same time.

And when we have such a situation, when we have such ambivalence, when we have such conflicting emotions and conflicting cognitions, we call this dissonance.

Indeed, the narcissist's main reaction to the demise or death of his parents is dissonance.

The narcissist has a complicated relationship with his parents, mainly with his mother, but at times also with his father.

And I say his and he, I use this pronouns, not because all narcissists are men, but because that's the literary way of doing things, has been for a few hundred years. About 50% of all narcissists today, regrettably, are women, women are catching up and possibly are surpassing men as both narcissists and psychopaths.

Okay, back to the issue.

As primary objects, the narcissist's parents are often a source of frustration. They frustrate the narcissist when he's in his childhood.

And this leads to repressed or to self-directed aggression.

The narcissist as a child cannot express his aggression freely. He cannot attack his parents because this would make him feel very unsafe. They are the safe base.

It depends on them for food and shelter.

So instead what he does, he internalizes and he interjects his aggression. He becomes self-aggressive.

In other words, he goes through what Melanie Klein called the schizoid depressive phase.

The parents of the narcissist traumatized the narcissist during his infancy and childhood. They thwart his healthy development well into his late adolescence. They prevent him from establishing his own boundaries, from separating and individuating.

They do not allow him to become a separate person. Later, the narcissist will carry on this dynamic into his intimate relationships where he will not allow his romantic or intimate partner to separate from him. He will not allow anyone actually, his children, his colleagues, his intimate partners to separate. He will not allow them to set boundaries. He will insist to merge and fuse with these objects. He will regard them as extensions of himself, the very same way his parents did to him and with him.

Often these parents are narcissists themselves. Always they behave capriciously, reward and punish the narcissist, arbitrarily abandon the narcissist or smother him with irregular or dysregulated emotions. These parents instill in the narcissist a demanding, rigid, idealistic and sadistic superego inner critic. The voices of these parents, known as introjects, continue to echo in the narcissist as an adult. They adjudicate, they convict him, they punish him in myriad ways.

And so in most important respects, the narcissist's parents never die. They never die. They always live within him. He is possessed in many ways. They inhabit him.

It's like demon possession if you wish, only, let's call it parental possession. They live on to torment the narcissist, to persecute him, to prosecute him.

They become, in other words, persecutory objects.

The criticism of these parents, verbal and other forms of abuse, the berating, the chastising, the castigating, they go on long after these parents are gone, long after their physical demise, their objectification of the narcissist lasts longer than any corporeal reality.

And of course, again, the narcissist carries this dynamic forward.

In his intimate relationships, he would try ardently to transform his intimate partner into a mother figure and then into a persecutory object. This is his comfort zone. That's how he grew up.

Naturally, the narcissist has a mixed reaction to the passing away of his parents. He's composed, as I said, of elation and a sense of overwhelming freedom mixed with grief.

The narcissist is attached to his parents. Again, as I explained, very much as a hostage, he's attached to his kidnappers.

And so the narcissist's parents are also typically sources of secondary narcissistic supply. They fulfill the roles of accumulation of narcissistic supply.

In other words, they evidence, they witness the narcissist's grand moments, function as a kind of life history or external memory. And they also help the narcissist with the regulation of narcissistic supply. They provide the narcissist with narcissistic supply on a regular and reliable basis when he can't get it elsewhere, when supply is deficient.

And so the death of the parents represents a loss or the loss of the narcissist's best and most veteran sources. It represents an erasure, a deletion of numerous precious moments of narcissistic supply. It constitutes a devastating blow to the narcissist's mental composure.

When the parents are gone, gone with them is the narcissist's memory. And when the narcissist's memory is gone, buried underground, the narcissist's identity is gone.

Now all this has to do with the way parents, narcissistic parents interact with their children.

Most narcissists hail from a lineage of narcissistic parentage. In other words, most narcissists are children of narcissists or children of borderline or children of psychopaths.

There is family incidents or family prevalence of these disorders to the point that many scholars believe that these disorders are heritable, hereditary.

Narcissistic parents treat their children as extensions, as mere instruments of gratification. They disrespect the child's emerging boundaries and so they are in this sense abusive.

Narcissistic parents control and emotionally blackmail their offspring and they instill in their children guilt, shame and co-dependence.

And now let's unpack these statements.

At the risk of oversimplification, narcissism tends to breed narcissism, but only a minority of the children of narcissistic parents become narcissists.

How can this be explained?

This may be due to a genetic predisposition or to different life circumstances, like not being the firstborn.

But most narcissists have one or more dead parents, dead in the metaphorical sense.

Narcissistic parents, selfish caregivers, obsessed, depressed, borderline, dysregulated and so on.

Narcissistic parents regard his or her child as a multifaceted source of narcissistic supply. The child is considered and treated as an extension of the narcissistic parent.

It is through the child that the narcissist seeks to settle open scores with the world. The child is supposed to realize the unfulfilled dreams, wishes and fantasies of the narcissistic parent.

Narcissistic parent obtains self-actualization through his children.

This vicarious life by proxy can develop in two ways.

The narcissist can either merge with his child or can be ambivalent about his child. The ambivalence is a result of a conflict between the narcissist's wish to attain his narcissist's goals through the child and the narcissist's pathological destructive envy of the child and the child's accomplishments.

At the same time, the narcissist wants his child to be successful because it reflects on him and envies the child for being successful and this is a mixed signal. It's a mixed signal that utterly dysregulates the child.

The child doesn't know how to gratify the parent, whatever he does, you know, there's no winning. To ameliorate the unease bred by this emotional ambivalence, the narcissistic parent resorts to myriad control mechanisms and I can divide these control mechanisms into categories and groups because I love to divide things into categories and groups. It's great fun.

Try it at home.

So category number one, guilt driven. The narcissistic parent will try to guilt trip the child. He would say or she would say, I had sacrificed my life for you. It's like you owe me.

Then there is the codependent, the codependent group of control mechanisms. I need you. I cannot cope without you. I'm gonna die if you leave me.

Then there is the goal driven or goal oriented or focused category. We have a common goal which we can and must achieve. It's weak against the world.

And then there is the shared psychosis or shared psychotic disorder, emotional incest and shared fantasy. You and I are united against the whole world or at least against your monstrous no good father. You are my one and only true love and passion and similar messages and there's also another category of explicit control.

If you do not adhere to my principles, beliefs, ideology, religion, values, demands, if you do not obey my instructions, I will punish you this or that way.

So all these control mechanisms are intended to control, to keep hold, to render the child subservient and obedient.

The narcissistic parent realizes that he is creating in the child ambivalence. The narcissistic parent knows that he's sending mixed signals. He knows that he's telling the child, I want you to be accomplished. I want you to be successful.

And on the other hand, he's undermining the child with his envy. He knows this and with his aggression.

The narcissistic parent realizes this dichotomy, dichotomous thinking, this kind of splitting, so he's terrified of what the child might do. He has abandonment anxiety, he's in panic, so he tries to control the child.

As Lydia Rangelovska observed, the narcissistic parent often regards himself or herself as a martyr and he or she uses her or his alleged suffering as a currency. The narcissistic parent uses her suffering as a currency, as a mode of communication, as an explanatory and organizing principle, which imbues the relationship with her children with meaning. It endows the lives of the parent and of the parents nearest and dearest with a direction, with a message, with a mission.

Being introduced into the narcissist drama is a privilege and honor and initiation, the true hallmark of intimacy. If you refuse to participate in the narcissist drama, then you're an enemy. You're negating the possibility of a relationship and of love.

The guilt trip induced by the narcissistic parent is not time limited because it is not linked to any specific action of the alleged perpetrator, the child.

The guilt tripping is intended to elicit never ending need for compensation. You have to compensate me because you had wronged me and you are wronging me. You are still wronging me by simply existing. Your autonomous independent separate being is an affront, it's an offense and you need to compensate me for it.

The guilt tripping is not designed to bring on a restoration of the relationship, a rehabilitation of the offender or a restoration of the wronged party. The guilt tripping is a tool of control. It's an instrument of manipulation. The culprit is meant to feel guilty for merely existing and as long as she or he exists.

The exercise of control by the narcissistic parent over the child helps to sustain the illusion that the child is a part of the narcissist, an extension, another organ.

But maintaining this illusion calls for extraordinary levels of control on the part of the parent and obedience on the part of the child. The relationship is typically symbiotic and emotionally turbulent. The child fulfills another important narcissistic function, the provision of narcissistic supply. It's a mutual admiration society. It's a process of co-idealization and the narcissist is going to recreate this process of co-idealization in the love bombing phase with his partner.

But with a parent there is this co-idealization. The parent provides the child with narcissistic supply, the child reciprocates by providing narcissistic supply in return. There's no denying the implied, though imaginary, immortality in having a child, for example.

The early natural dependence of the child on his caregivers serves to assuage their fear of abandonment. So the child fulfills many important psychological functions.

The parent outsources many of his ego-boundary functions to the child.

The narcissist tries to perpetuate this dependence of the child on him using the aforementioned control mechanisms.

The child is the ultimate source of secondary narcissistic supply. The child is always present. The child always admires the narcissist until a certain age. The child witnesses the narcissist's moments of triumph and grandeur. The child is innocent and naive.

So owing to his wish to be loved, the child can be extorted into constant giving.

To the narcissist, the child is a dream come true, but only in the most egotistical sense.

When the child is perceived as reneging on his main obligation to provide his parent with a constant supply or attention, the parent's emotional reaction is harsh and it's very revealing.

It is when the narcissistic parent is disenchanted with his child that we see the true nature of this pathological relationship.

The child is totally objectified at that stage.

The narcissist reacts to a breach in this unwritten contract with wells of aggression and aggressive transformations, contempt, rage, emotional and psychological abuse, and even physical violence.

The narcissistic parent tries to annihilate the real life disobedient child and substitute for this child with a subservient, edifying version.

The narcissistic parent will stop at nothing if what it takes is to annihilate, eradicate the child, reduce the child to a comatose or vegetative state, mentally speaking.

If what it takes is to render the child a self-state of the narcissistic parent, the narcissistic parent will not hesitate. He will go the whole nine yards with the child.

And this raises the question.

Look around you. Aren't all parents today narcissists? Isn't it true to say that the prevalent mode of parenting nowadays is narcissistic, neglectful, abandoning, dismissing, selfish, utilitarian?

And here we enter the second part of the lecture, which is a bit more philosophical and includes insights regarding society and parenting and so on.

You can stop here if you're not interested in intellectual pursuits and if you are, welcome to the second part.

The advent of cloning, surrogate motherhood and the donation of gametes and sperm have shaken the traditional biological definition of parenthood to its foundations.

The social role of parents has similarly been recast by the decline of the nuclear family in the search of alternative household formats.

Why do people become parents in the first place? Do we have a moral obligation to humanity at large, to ourselves, to our unborn children? I don't think so.

Raising children comprises equal measures of satisfaction and frustration.

Parents often employ a psychological defense mechanism known as cognitive dissonance to suppress the negative aspects of parenting and to deny the unpalatable fact that raising children is time-consuming, exhausting, strains otherwise pleasurable and tranquil relationships to their limits. It's not always a pleasant experience to use a British understatement.

And this is not to mention the fact that the gestational mother experiences considerable discomfort, effort and risk in the course of pregnancy and childbirth.

And this quote is taken from Narayan and Bhavnak having and raising children, unconventional families, hard choices and the social good published by Pennsylvania State University Press in 1999.

So, to be a parent is a risky and later unpleasant undertaking.

Parenting is possibly an irrational vocation, but humanity keeps breeding, keeps procreating.

Is this the call of nature? All living species reproduce and most of them parent. Is maternity and paternity proof that beneath the ephemeral veneer of civilization we are still merely some kind of beasts or animals subject to the impulses, subject to the hardwired behaviors that permeate the rest of the animal kingdom?

Is maternity and paternity, are these proofs that we have not transcended our origins as animals?

In his seminal tome, The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins suggested that we copulate in order to preserve our genetic material by embedding it in the future gene pool.

Survival itself, whether in the form of DNA or a higher level as a species, survival itself determines our parenting instinct.

Braiding and nurturing the young are mere safe conduct mechanisms, handing the precious cargo of genetics down generations of organic containers.

And yet, surely, to ignore the epistemological and emotional realities of parenthood is misleadingly reductionistic.

Moreover, Dawkins commits the scientific faux pas of teleology.

Nature has no purpose in mind because nature has no mind.

Things simply are, period. They are not our, things don't exist because, there's no goal, that genes end up being forwarded in time, does not entail that nature or for that matter God planned it this way.

Arguments from design have long and convincingly been refuted by countless philosophers, and still human beings do act intentionally.

So we are back to square one.

Why bring children to the world and burden ourselves with decades of commitment to perfect strangers?

Here's a hypothesis. Offspring allow us to delay our death. Our progeny are the medium through which our genetic material is propagated and therefore immortalized.

Additionally, by remembering us, by keeping our memory, our children keep us alive after we physically die.

But this, of course, this hypothesis is self-delusional, self-serving and illusion. Our genetic material gets diluted with that.

While it constitutes 50% of the first generation, it amounts to a measly 6% three generations later.

If the everlastingness of one's unadulterated DNA was the paramount concern, incest should have been the norm.

As for one's enduring memory, well, do you recall or can you name your maternal or paternal great-great-great-grandfather? Of course you cannot.

So much for preserving memory.

Intellectual feats or architectural monuments are far more potent mementos. I don't have children, but I'm going to be remembered for my books.

Still, we all have been so well indoctrinated that this misconception that children equal immortality, this misconception yields a baby boom in each post-war period.

Having been existentially threatened, people multiply in the vain belief that they, in this way, they protect their genetic heritage and their memory.

Okay, enough with this nonsensical explanation.

Let's try another one.

The utilitarian view is that one's offspring are an asset, kind of a pension plan and an insurance policy rolled into one.

Children are still treated as a yielding property in many parts of the world. Children plough fields, they do menial jobs very effectively, child labor. People hedge their bets by bringing multiple copies of themselves to the world.

Indeed, as infant mortality plunges in the better educated, higher-income parts of the world, so does fecundity. Where infant mortality is lower, the number of children per household is much lower.

In the Western world, though, children have long ceased to be a profitable proposition.

At present, children are more of an economic drag, an economic liability, than a profit center.

Many children continue to live with their parents into their 30s. They continue to consume the family's savings in college tuition, sumptuous weddings, expensive divorces and parasitic hobbies.

Alternatively, increasing mobility breaks families apart at an early stage. So whichever way you look at it, there's not much of an economic incentive to bring children to the world.

Either way, children are no longer the founts of emotional sustenance and monetary support that they allegedly used to be.

So let's try another hypothesis where we are beginning to run out of them.

Procreation serves to preserve the cohesiveness of the family nucleus. Procreation bonds father to mother and strengthens the ties between siblings.

Or is it the other way around?

In a cohesive and warm family is conducive to reproduction. Both statements, alas, are totally false. Stable and functional families sport far fewer children than abnormal dysfunctional families.

Between one-third and one-half of all children are born in single-parentory in other non-traditional non-nuclear families.

Typically poor families, under-educated families, dysfunctional families and households. It is in such families that children are mostly born unwanted and unwelcome.

The said outcomes of accidents and mishaps, rape, wrong fertility planning, lust, gun-or-eye and misguided terms of events.

The more sexually active people are, and the less safe their deserous exploits, the more they are likely to end up with a bundle of joy.

It's the American saccharine expression for a newborn.

Many children are the results of sexual ignorance, bed timing and a vigorous and undisciplined sexual drive among teenagers, the poor and the less educated.

And still, there is no denying that most people want their kids. There is no denying that most people love their kids. People are attached to their children. They experience grief and bereavement when their children die, depart or are sick.

The emptiness syndrome.

Many parents find parenthood emotionally fulfilling, happiness-inducing and highly satisfying. This pertains even to unplanned and initially unwanted new arrivals.

Could this be the missing link? Do fatherhood and motherhood revolve around self-gratification? Does it all boil down to the pleasure principle?

Child rearing may indeed be habit-forming. Nine months of pregnancy and a host of social positive reinforcement and expectations condition the parents to do their job.

And still, a living toddler is nothing like the abstract concept.

I don't know if you know or how many of you know, but babies crying. They soil themselves in their environment. They stink. They severely disrupt the lives of their parents.

There's nothing too enticing here.

One spawns out a risky venture. So many things can and do go wrong. There's so few expectations, wishes and dreams, which I realize. So much pain is inflicted on the parents.

And then the child runs off and his procreators are left to face the emptiness.

The emotional returns on the child are rarely commensurate with the magnitude of the investment.

Sherlock Holmes was fond of saying, if you eliminate the impossible, what is left, however improbable, must be the truth.

People multiply because it provides them with narcissistic supply. A narcissist is a person who projects a false image onto other people and uses the interest this generates to regulate a labile and grandiose sense of self-worth.

The reactions garnered by the narcissist, attention, unconditional acceptance, adulation, admiration, affirmation, these reactions are collectively known as narcissistic supply.

The narcissist objectifies people. He treats people as mere instruments of gratification.

Infants go through a phase, a stage of unbridled fantasy, tyrannical behavior and perceived omnipotence.

An adult narcissist, in other words, is still stuck in the terrible twos, is possessed with the emotional maturity of a toddler or an infant.

To some degree, we are all narcissists.

Yet, as we grow up, we learn to empathize and to love ourselves and other people. The edifice of this edifice of maturity is severely tested by newfound parenthood.

Babies evoke in the parent the most primordial drives, protective animalistic instincts, the desire to merge with a newborn, and a sense of terror generated by such a desire, a fear of vanishing being assimilated and gouged and enmeshed.

Neonates engender in their parents an emotional regression. The parents find themselves revisiting their own childhood, even as they care for a newborn.

The crumbling of decades and layers of personal growth is accompanied by a resurgence of the aforementioned early infancy narcissistic defenses.

Parents, especially new parents, are gradually transformed into narcissists by this encounter with a newborn.

They find in their children the perfect sources of narcissistic supply, euphemistically known as loving them.

Really, it is a very important form of symbiotic co-dependence of both parties.

Even the most balanced, most mature, most psychodynamically stable of parents finds such a flood of narcissistic supply irresistible and addictive. The supply enhances his or her self-confidence, buttresses the parent's self-esteem, regulates a sense of self-worth, and projects a complementary image of the parent to himself or to herself.

It fast becomes indispensable, especially in the emotionally vulnerable position in which the parent finds herself with the reawakening and repetition of all the unresolved conflicts which he had had with her own parents.

And this is especially true when the parents hold the Victorian attitude that they are and should at all times appear to be infallible, impeccably virtuous, and omniscient.

Later in life, the child's discovery that these representations are false, that his parents are gods with clay feet, this leads to a harrowing, bitter, and traumatic disillusionment, coupled with recriminations and regrets of plenty, not unlike the breakups of interpersonal relationships with adult malignant narcissists.

If this theory is true, if breeding is merely about securing prime quality narcissistic supply, then the higher the self-confidence, the higher the self-esteem, the more regulated the sense of self-worth of the parent, the clearer and more realistic his self-image, and the more abundant his other sources of narcissistic supply?

Well, the fewer children such a parent will have. A parent who obtains his supply from other sources, who is well-regulated, who is stable and mature, doesn't need children.

And these predictions are borne out by reality. Such parents really have fewer children.

Educated parents have fewer children. High earners have fewer children. Stable, mentally stable parents have fewer children. Intellectual parents have fewer children. Intelligence is negatively correlated with the number of children. The higher the education and the income of adults, and consequently, the firmer their sense of self-worth, the fewer children they have.

Fact. Children are perceived as counterproductive. Not only is their output narcissistic supply redundant, but they hinder the parent's professional and pecuniary progress.

The more children people can economically afford, the fewer children they have.

This gives the lie to the selfish gene hypothesis. The more educated the parents are, the more they know about the world and about themselves, the less they seek to procreate. The more advanced the civilization, the more efforts it invests in preventing the birth of children. Contraceptives, family planning and abortions are typical of a fluent, well-informed, advanced and rich civilizations and societies.

Societies which are at the forefront of human progress invest an inordinate amount in time and effort in preventing childbirth. The more plentiful the narcissistic supply afforded by other sources, the lesser the emphasis on breeding.

Freud described the mechanism of sublimation. The sex drive, the arrows, limito, can be converted, sublimated into other activities. All the sublimatory channels, politics and art, for example, they are narcissistic and they yield narcissistic supply. They render children superfluous. Creative people have fewer children than the average, or no children at all.

This is because creative people are narcissistically self-sufficient.

The key to our determination to have children is our wish to experience the same unconditional love that we had received from our mothers, if we were lucky.

This intoxicating feeling of being adored without caveats, loved for who and what we are with no limits, reservations or calculations, that's the kind of love a child gives. This is the most powerful, crystallized form of narcissistic supply. It nourishes our self-love, sense of self-worth and self-confidence. It infuses us with feelings of omnipotence and omniscience.

In these and other respects, parenthood is a return to infancy and the first phase of narcissism, primary narcissism, fed by unconditional love.

In the film Lucy, a distinguished scientist proposes that organisms in hostile environments opt for immortality, while organisms in constant friendly habitats choose reproduction as species-wide survival strategies.

The opposite is true, actually. When the habitat is welcoming and poses no existential threats, organisms adapt by becoming immortal, usually via cloning. Bacteria and viruses, for example.

It is when the environment turns nasty and brutish, and therefore short, that life forms engage in diversity-enhancing sexual reproduction.

Parenthood is a defense mechanism. It's an insurance policy against the more ominous and unsavory aspects of life.

It is not an affirmation of life or its blessings. It is intended to conquer time itself, to defeat death, and to render our imminent mortality immaterial.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

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

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.

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.

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'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.

Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

Narcissistic mothers can have a significant impact on their adult daughters' relationships, with children of narcissistic parents being ill-adapted and prone to deploying psychological defense mechanisms. They can become co-dependent, needy, demanding, and submissive, fearing abandonment and displaying immature behaviors. Some children of narcissistic parents become inverted narcissists, craving relationships with narcissists, while others become counterdependent or even narcissists themselves. Narcissistic mothers micromanage their child's life and encourage dependent and infantile behaviors, emotionally blackmailing them and threatening to disinherit them if they do not comply with their wishes.

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.

Inverted Narcissist (Narcissist Codependent)

Inverted narcissists are a type of codependent who exclusively depend on a narcissist. They are self-effacing, sensitive, emotionally fragile, and sometimes socially phobic. They derive all their self-esteem and sense of self-worth from the outside and are pathologically envious. Inverted narcissists are narcissists, and it is possible to compose a set of criteria for them by translating the criteria available in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for the classical narcissist.

Narcissists and Codependents: Same Problems, Different Solutions

Codependence and narcissism are pathological reactions to childhood abuse and trauma. The codependent has a realistic assessment of herself but a fantastic view of others, while the narcissist has a fantastic view of himself but a penetrating view of others. The codependent seeks validation to restore a sense of reality, while the narcissist seeks narcissistic supply to enhance his grandiosity. Inverted narcissists are a subtype of covert narcissists who team up with classic narcissists to obtain vicarious supply. The overwhelming majority of narcissists have codependent traits and are dependent on other people for their sense of self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-image.

So, Is My Narcissist a Covert Narcissist? Nonsense vs. Scholarship

Covert narcissists are individuals who suffer from an in-depth sense of inferiority, have a marked propensity towards feeling ashamed, and are shy and fragile. They are unable to genuinely depend on others or trust them, suffer from chronic envy of others, and have a lack of regard for generational boundaries. Covert narcissists are not goal-orientated, have shallow vocational commitment, and are forgetful of details, especially names. Inverted narcissists are a subspecies of covert narcissism and are self-centered, sensitive, vulnerable, and defensive, sometimes hostile and paranoid.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy