My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
Narcissists hate children. They envy them. This is regardless of whether the children in question are the narcissists or other peoples.
Philip Larkin, the famous poet, wrote, I should be unhappy having to put up indefinitely with the company of other children. Their noise, their nastiness, their boasting, their back answers, their cruelty, their silliness, the realization that it was not people I disliked, but children, was for me one of those celebrated moments of revelation.
So what goes in the narcissist's mind? What goes throughout it?
When he first sets eyes on a child or a group of children, let us take a trip into his brain, into the narcissist's furthest recesses of the mind. And let's see what is his inner dialogue.
The narcissist says, I see in children feigned innocence, relentless and ruthless manipulation, the cunning of the weak. Children are ageless. Their narcissism is disarming in its directness, in its cruel and absolute lack of empathy.
Children demand with insistence. They punish absentmindedly. They idealize and devalue capriciously.
Children, says the narcissist, have no loyalty. They do not love them. They clink. Their dependence is a mighty weapon and their neediness is a drug.
Children have no time, neither before nor after. To them existence is a near play. They are the actors and we all of us are props.
Children raise the drop and drop the curtain of their mock emotions at will. The bells of their laughter often tintilabulate. They are the fresh abode and good and evil pure. And they are pure when they are good and when they are evil.
To me, says the narcissist, children are both mirrors and competitors. They reflect authentically my constant need for adulation and attention.
Their grandiose fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience are crass caricatures of my own internal world.
The narcissist continues, the way children abuse others and mistreat them, hits close to home. Their innocuous charm, their endless curiosity, their fount of energy, their skulking, their nagging, their boasting, their bragging, their lie, their manipulation, their own mutations of my own behavior.
The narcissist recognizes his own thwarted self in children.
He says, when children make their entrance, all attention is diverted. Their fantasies endear them to their listeners. Their vinglorious swagger often causes smiles. Their trite stupidities are invariably treated as pearls of wisdom. Their nagging is yielded to. Their threats provoke to action. Their needs are accommodated urgently.
And I, the narcissist, stand aside. I am an abandoned center of attention when children are around.
And the dormant eye of an intellectual storm, all but ignored and neglected. I watch the child with envy, with rage, with wrath. I hate the child's effortless ability to defeat me at my own game.
Children are loved by mothers, as I, the narcissist, was not. They are nothing but bundled emotions. They are bundles of happiness. They are bundles of joy. They are bundles of hope. And I'm jealous of them. I'm infuriated by my deprivation. I am fearful of the sadness and hopelessness that they provoke in me.
The narcissist says, like music, children reify a threat to the precariously balanced emotional black hole that is myself. They are my past, my dilapidated and petrified true self, my wasted potentials, my self-loathing and my defenses.
All these are represented by children. Children are my pathology projected.
I revel in my Orwellian narcissistic newspeak. Love, in this case, is weakness. Happiness is a psychosis. Hope is malignant optimism. I reject emotions.
But children defile this. They are proof positive of how different it all could have been.
What I consciously experience when I see children, says the narcissist, is disbelief. The narcissist attests. I cannot understand how anyone can love these faggish brats, their dripping noses, their gelatinous fat bodies, their whitish sweat and their bed breath. How can anyone stand their cruelty and vanity, their sadistic insistence and blackmail, their prevarication and deceit?
In truth, no one except their parents should have liked them. But, mysteriously, everyone does.
I like to think that children are always derided by everyone except their parents, says the narcissist.
There is something sickening and sickening in a mother's affections. There is a maddening blindness involved, an addiction, a psychotic episode, this sick, this bond. It's nauseous.
I hate children. I hate children for being me.
concludes the narcissist.