Two Inner Children Parentified In Narcissist’s Shared Fantasy

Uploaded 8/8/2023, approx. 35 minute read

No, don't look it up. It's early in the morning, I'm in excellent mood, so I'm going to provide you with a shortcut.

Bubim and Bubod means "dols and dolits" if there's such a word, in Hebrew.

Okay, I just wish to remind you that my work is based in very small part on my personal experiences as a narcissist. Very tiny small part, maybe 5%, maybe 3%.

I also have a database of 2,278 as of this morning, people diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder with non-compliantities. I've also been studying Pathological Narcissism for 28 years. And I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, a former visiting professor of psychology in Southern Federal University, Westavandong, Russia, and still on the faculty of CIAPS, Commonwealth for International Advanced Professional Studies, Toronto, Canada, Cambridge, United Kingdom, and of course the Outreach Program in Lagos, Nigeria.

And if that's not enough for you, wait until you hear the rest of this video.

Today we are going to discuss the inner child.

It's not the first time I'm doing this.

If you go down under the video, under the video, Shovavim under the video, there's a description and in the description field there are links to four previous videos that I've made.

One video about the internal family system, one video about the wounded inner child, one video about the second chance of the inner child, and one video about the narcissist as an eternal child.

That's a very old video, it's like 12 or 13 years old, even older.

So I've been revisiting this topic time and again, but today I want to touch upon the issue or the topic or the construct of inner child from a totally new angle.

And this is the angle of the narcissist's relationship with you.

For those of you who find any video above 10 seconds painful, allow me to summarize this video for you.

The narcissist establishes a shared fantasy. The shared fantasy is a fantastic space within which the narcissist interacts with his intimate partner.

But the narcissist interacts with his intimate partner, as two children do.

The narcissist is a perpetual child, he never grows up.

And the intimate partner is regressed by the narcissist to a state of infancy.

The narcissist entrains his intimate partner, intermittently reinforces his intimate partner, and trauma bonds with his intimate partner, pushing her back in time until she becomes an infant.

At that point, the narcissist is an eternal child, which a child who has never grown up, this doesn't have a shred of adulthood in him.

And the intimate partner who has been regressed to the same mental age as the narcissist, at this stage, these two children occupy the shared fantastic space, the shared fantasy.

But the narcissist expects his intimate partner to become his mother, a substitute maternal figure.

And at the same time, the narcissist acts as his intimate partner's mother, that is a principle of dual mothership.

How can the narcissist expect his intimate partner to be simultaneously a child and a mother? By parentifying his intimate partner's inner child, the narcissist regresses his intimate partner, pushes her back to her early childhood, then she becomes a child, she becomes the inner child, she suspends all vestiges and hallmarks and attributes of adulthood, she deludes herself, she sheds her adulthood, she becomes a child exactly like the narcissist, but her inner child takes over in the role of a parent.

Her inner child is parentified and then as a parentified inner child, it can and does parent the narcissist.

The intimate partner's inner child assumes the hallmarks and the attributes and the traits and the behaviors of a mother.

And then the narcissist can interact with his intimate partner's inner child as he would with a mother, which allows him later to separate, individuate and so on and so forth.

So this is the core of today's video, the exact dynamic and process by which this is accomplished.

The last question I will answer now is, why would the intimate partner's inner child parentify itself?

Because there's no adult left.

The intimate partner remembers, she recalls her periods of adulthood.

And now there's an inner child and the inner child feels insecure, unsafe, terrified, frightened, in need of guidance and discipline and structure and order. And there's no adult around.

The narcissist is not an adult and the intimate partner has suppressed her adult part, her adult part.

So there's only the inner child of the intimate narcissist, intimate partner and this inner child is forced to parent itself.

It becomes its own parent. It parentifies itself just in order to feel safe and to feel embedded somehow.

And so the process of parentification of the intimate partner's inner child is automatic. It is compensatory. It compensates for the disappearance over the erstwhile adult, adult that was there.

The intimate partner used to be an adult. No, she's no longer an adult. Her inner child is terrified to compensate for the disappearance of the adult.

It becomes an adult. It adultifies. It becomes a substitute parental figure. And this substitute parental figure can now parent the narcissist, can now become the narcissist's mother as well.

The narcissist similarly, parentifies his or her own inner child.

The narcissist's inner child is constantly parentified because the narcissist is in a constant state of childhood.

Narcissist has never been an adult.

So the only adult experience the narcissist has is via his parentified inner child.

The inner child, narcissist's inner child is faking adulthood, faking being a mother.

And it is this fake version of a mother that the narcissist offers to his intimate partner.

But because it is coupled with idealization, the whole of mirror effect, snapshotting, coercive snapshotting, all these dynamics, intermittent reinforcement and training and so on, it's compelling.

And the intimate partner is unable to resist, unable to resist. She falls in love with her own idealized image through the narcissist's gaze. She gives in and she allows the narcissist to parent her, to be her mother, even though the narcissist's version of a mother is very childish and very fake.

The intimate partner's version of a mother is a parentified inner child.

So these are two children pretending to be each other's mothers via the mechanism of parentification.

I hope this is clear and I encourage you to watch the rest of the video because it contains a lot more information, make everything I've just said a lot clearer, I hope.

The shared fantasy is a space, space for interactions, interactions within a virtual reality, a fantastic space, a paracosm, divorced from the world and the universe as we know it.

There secluded and isolated within the fantastic space, the narcissist interacts with his intimate partner or with others.

Could be a friend, could be a colleague and even multiple people in a cult-like setting.

The shared fantasy is a space for interactions, but these are interactions not between adults but between children.

Now from now on I'm going to use the example of a shared fantasy in romantic, intimate relationships.

So I'm going to be talking about two people.

The shared fantasy is a space for interactions between two children, two children.

Narcissist is a child and you are a child. You his intimate partner, you're also a child and you're interacting with each other as children do.

But there's a difference between the two of you.

Infantilism being an infant is the narcissist's natural state.

The narcissist is an infant every minute or every hour or every day or every month or every year for the rest of his natural life. That's who he is.

The narcissist is a frozen child. Stunted, arrested growth and development led to a situation where the potential of the narcissist to become an adult has been eradicated, unable to complete separation and individuation. The narcissist remains forever trapped in early childhood.

You are not the same. You his intimate partner in the vast majority of cases, you are an adult. You're an adult.

It is the narcissist who entices you and very often coerces you to regress, to go back and revisit your early childhood, to become an infant again.

So while the narcissist's natural state, effortless state is that of a child, for you to become a child in order to interact with the narcissist in the shared fantasy, it takes work. It takes work on your behalf and it takes work on the narcissist's behalf.

You both collaborate and collude in rendering you helpless, infantile, childlike, childish, regressing you to your own early childhood.

And this asymmetry leads to fascinating consequences, as we shall see.

It is important to understand that the shared fantasy is doomed to fail because the narcissist expects his partner to act in two incompatible, mutually exclusive ways.

The narcissist wants you to be his mother and the narcissist wants you to be his child. The narcissist wants you to act as a parenthood and the narcissist wants you to behave as an infanthood. These are utterly contradictory signals, demands and expectations.

The narcissist is setting you up for failure because no one can accommodate both these sets of expectations. The narcissist cannot tell the difference between being an adult and being a child. When he looks at himself in the mirror, he is an adult. He has a mustache or a beard. He wears eyeglasses. He goes to work. He owns a Ferrari. He travels the world. He makes decisions that affect the lives of thousands. He is an adult, on the one hand.

On the other hand, the way the narcissist experiences himself is the way a child experiences himself.

The narcissist is simultaneously an adult and a child, so he cannot tell the difference.

He believes that all adults are like him. All adults are children deep inside and only children. He believes that being an adult is make-belief. It's an act. It's play-acting. It's a theatre play. It's pretension. It's fake. Fake it till you make it.

The narcissist therefore sees no contradiction and no problem in demanding the impossible from you, in expecting you to become an adult and a child at the same time, simultaneously.

He wants his mate to act as a parent, which is an adult figure, and to be his child.

And he sees no problem there. Every parent is a child. Every adult is a child. They are just pretending to be adults. Adulthood, he says, is role-playing, cosplaying. It's not real.

When a narcissist anticipates and precipitates his intimate partner's failure, in a way, what he demands from his partner to be simultaneously a loving, caring mother and a helpless, dependent child, this demand at the core and at the heart of the shared fantasy, this pivot of the shared life sets you up for failure. And it sets you up for failure for a good reason.

The narcissist needs to bring on separation. He needs to devalue and discard you in order to become an individual. He needs to get rid of you as a mother figure, as a maternal figure, because this is something he has failed to do with his original mother.

So to accomplish this, he demands from you the impossible. He expects the improbable. He forces you and coerces you and cajoles you and punishes you if you fail to be both mother and child.

And this is where the inner child comes in.

Before we go there, I would like to read to you something written by one of my favorite authors, Oscar Wilde.

The disciple.

When Narcissus died, the pool of his pleasure changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears.

And the orreids came weeping through the woodland that they might sing to the pool and give it comfort.

And when they saw that the pool had changed from a cup of sweet water into a cup of salt tears, they loosened the green tresses of their hair and they said, "We do not wonder that you should mourn in this manner for Narcissus. So beautiful was he."

But "Was Narcissus beautiful?" said the pool.

"Who should know better than you?" asked the orreids.

"Us did he ever pass by, but you thought he was for and would lie on your banks and look down at you and in the mirror of his waters he would mirror his own beauty."

And the pool answered, "But I love Narcissus because as he lay on my banks and looked down at me in the mirror of his eyes I saw ever my own beauty mirrored."

That's the brilliance of Oscar Wilde.

The disciple published in 1894 in the fortnightly Review and later in a book titled Poems in Prose.

What Oscar Wilde says is that the shared fantasy is a collusion. It's a collaboration. It's a tango.

The victim and the Narcissus see each other the same way.

The victim views herself through the Narcissus gaze as beautiful, optimal, ideal.

And the Narcissus sees himself through his victim's gaze as beautiful and possibly eternal.

They both idealize each other, which is why I coined the word or the phrase co-idealization.

There's a dual process of idealization taking place.

The victim falls in love with the way that the Narcissus sees her with her own image through his gaze.

And this is the Hall of Mirrors effect.

And now let's go to the inner child.

I said earlier that the Narcissus and his intimate partner, also known as his victim, his prey, they interact exclusively as children within the shared fantasy.

They expect each other. They expect from each other, parenting. They perceive each other or miss perceive each other as mothers.

That's the dual mothership principle.

Narcissus regards his victim as a substitute mother and she regards him as a substitute mother.

So they try desperately to mother each other, to parent each other, to provide unconditional love and acceptance and warmth and caring and compassion.

But the Narcissus is constitutionally incapable of maintaining this act, this facade.

And so it falls apart. And the victim is constitutionally incapable of continuing this charade for long because she's an adult. She's an adult who has been artificially regressed to a state of infancy via entraining and other manipulative techniques such as intermittent reinforcement.

So the victim cannot maintain the shared fantasy because she is not really an infant. She has been regressed, hypnotized into infancy, if you wish.

The Narcissus cannot maintain the shared fantasy because he's incapable of positive emotions and incapable of truly caring or loving another person.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines the inner child as your kid within, a part of your personality that still reacts and feels like a child.

Modern day psychology derives the idea of an inner child.

It is much berated and criticized and mocked by upstanding psychologists.

And I want to interject here with a short commentary on the sad state of psychology.

No amount of statistics and no number of laboratories and lab coats can convert a pseudoscience like psychology into a real science like physics. My PhD is in physics. I know real science when I see it.

Psychology is not real science. It's not a science at all in any definition of the word.

Applying the scientific method to an ever-changing and self-reporting heterogeneous subject matter is a scam, no different to religion or astrology. This is because studies cannot be replicated. There's a replication crisis in psychology. And hypotheses cannot be tested because psychology undergenerates testable hypotheses. Any psychologist who says that she's a scientist is a con artist or suffers from a delusional disorder. To remain relevant, psychology should confine itself to observation, description and taxonomy. And as a form of systematic structured literature. But psychologists today, they want to be real scientists. Nor is this dissonance more painfully obvious than when we contemplate useful but unscientific metaphorical constructs and abstract concepts such as narcissism, such as ego, such as object relations and such as today's topic in a child. Stupid megalomaniacal grandiose psychologies, which is a vast majority of psychologists in the past, shall we say, 50 years. Have dispensed with the riches and treasures of early psychology until the late 1960s and 70s. They've dispensed with these treasures. They trashed them because they don't fit the wannabe mentality of I'm going to be a physicist when I grow up. Psychology when it claims to be a science is a swindle, pure and simple. Back to inner child, I find all these constructs useful, not because they reflect any objective reality. You cannot capture narcissism in a vial. You cannot talk to an ego. You cannot measure object relations and you cannot isolate the inner child. These are all metaphors, literary metaphors, but extremely powerful, transformative and useful. Had psychology only got rid of its pretensions to science, it would have regained its position as the most transformative power after religion. Now, the inner child concept is not new. I'm going to mention right here quite a few of the thinkers and scholars throughout the history of psychology who have dealt with and dwelt upon the inner child concept. And then I'm going to proceed and discuss the idea of inner child and how it is different to regression in the narcissistic dynamic of the shared fantasy. So Eric Byrne came up with the ego child state and script decisions. I'm going to mention this like a bullet, like a series of bullet points so that you can do your own research online. Okay. I'm not going to go deep into any of this. Alice Miller was the first to link child abuse and psychopathology. Vivian and Arthur Janoff, primal therapy, an element of primal therapy is the inner child. John Bradshaw, of course, who popularized the idea of inner child in Homecoming, his book in 1990. Carl Gustav Jung did not use the phrase inner child. He used the phrase divine child. It was an archetype, a symbol of wholeness in the psyche. Hugh Misseldin wrote the book, Your Inner Child in 1963. Jeremiah Abrams, reclaiming the inner child in 1990. Lucia Capacione wrote Recovery of Your Inner Child 1976. She started her work in 1976. The book was published in 1991. Lucia Capacione or Capacione. I'm not sure how to pronounce it. Charles Whitefield healing the child within 1987. And finally, Penny Park rescuing the inner child 1990. So as you can see, the inner child has been with us for a very, very long period of time for many decades. Coffee break. In internal family system, the model of internal family system, there are multiple inner children. They're all exiles. They're all dissociated from the conscious mind because these inner children carry with them negative affectivity. They carry with them shame, the memory of trauma and hurt and so on and so forth. We find inner child or the inner child concept in ego therapy, in schema therapy and in psycho synthesis. Okay. Having reviewed the literature briefly, let's talk about the inner child. The inner child is a metaphor. I repeat, it's not real. It's a literary device. It's intended to induce transformation by confronting us with a part of ourselves which is deemed to be inaccessible or repressed or dissociated somehow.

So the inner child is a repository, a repository of potentials, very positive potentials and positive traits such as curiosity, joyfulness.

But it is also a reservoir of hurt and shame and trauma and anger and fear. And so it's not true to say that the inner child is a positive construct. It's a nuanced construct.

There's no splitting there. It's a nuanced construct.

Part of the inner child is helpful, conducive to growth and a big part of the inner child prevents growth, retards growth and affects our decisions in ways which are self-defeating and self-destructive.

Inner child is a subpersonality, a complex self-state that is not always beneficial. Actually, in the vast majority of cases, is not beneficial.

So the connection with the inner child, the ability if you wish to tame and domesticate the inner child, this is a precondition for mental health.

But don't confuse an inner connection with the inner child with regression.

Inner child dialogue, the ability to do inner child work, that is not regression.

Regression, I will describe it in a minute, is a negative thing.

Regression is defined in the APA dictionary, American Psychological Association dictionary, is defined as return to a prior lower state of cognitive, emotional or behavioral functioning.

This term is associated particularly with psychoanalytic theory, denoting a situation in which the individual reverts to immature behavior or to an earlier stage of psychosexual development.

And this happens when the individual is threatened with overwhelming external problems or internal conflicts.

So regression is a dysfunctional reaction to stress, anxiety, trauma, threats, an environment which is not conducive to self-efficacy. And it is dysfunctional, regression is dysfunctional because it's a default to an earlier phase of development with much fewer cognitive skills, much more stunted and thwarted emotions or even no access to emotions and behavioral functioning which is not adult.

Regression leads to infantilization which the APA dictionary defines as the encouragement of infantile or childish behavior in a more mature individual.

How can we tell if someone is regressed or if someone regresses?

Regression could be spontaneous, it could happen in the individual out of a set of internal dynamics.

When forces and processes inside the individual psyche conflict, they can induce spontaneous regression.

Regression can also happen in an environment which is total restrictive, ominous, threatening and so on. Such an environment, regression can occur for example in prison, in the military, in hospital, in isolation etc.

And regression can be induced by a third party.

The narcissist induces in his intimate partner regression and infantilization as a condition for entering the shared fantastic space.

So the contract, the Faustian deal that the intimate partner of a narcissist strikes with a narcissist is I'm going to deny my adulthood, my agency, my autonomy, my independence, my self-efficacy, I'm going to deny all these things, I'm going to repress them, I'm going to suppress them, I'm going to fight them and I'm going to become a baby.

That's the intimate partner, I'm going to become a baby again, I'm going to regress, I'm going to be an infant and you're going to be my mother, you're the narcissist, you're going to be my unconditionally loving, accepting and caring mother, you're going to solve my problems, regulate all my moods, control my emotions and stabilize them because that's what good mothers do, you're going to be my good enough mother.

So the narcissist makes regression a condition for the shared fantasy and you can tell that someone has regressed spontaneously or inductively, you can tell that someone has read by observing certain features.

For example, following regression there's a marked rise in impulsivity, there's a lack of impulse control, impetuousness, neediness, dependency, extreme separation in security, irresponsibility, aversion to commitment and intimacy, rejection of adulthood, rejection of adult chores, responsibilities and even rejection of mature reciprocal sex.

When you see all these things in an individual and they are new, this individual hasn't been like this before, then you should know that the individual has been regressed.

Narcissists are like that all the time, so there's no regression in narcissism.

The narcissist is in a constant permanent regressive state, he's stuck between the ages of two and nine depending on the narcissist.

But the narcissist's intimate partner, even borderline, are much more mature and mentally older than the narcissist, so the narcissist needs to regress them to his level.

If the narcissist is two years old, he would feel highly uncomfortable with an adult, so he would need to regress his intimate partner to two years old. If he's nine years old, nine years old, he would need to make sure that his intimate partner's maturity matches his.

But in the intimate partner, this would foster behaviors which were hitherto unseen new behaviors and there would be marked change in personality and reactivity and reactance and it would surprise bystanders and onlookers and friends and family.

They would say, "You have changed, you're not the same. Something is happening to you." "Something is happening to the narcissist's intimate partner."

She's becoming a baby. She's being baby-fied."

At the same time, of course, may I remind you, the narcissist insists that his intimate partner act as a mature adult, loving, caring, balanced, stable, secure base, good enough mother.

Now healthy adulthood involves good enough parenting of the inner child.

You cannot be a healthy adult if you deny your inner child, if you deny the childlike aspects of you.

We all have these traces and remnants and vestiges, vestiges of childhood in us.

To deny them is to deny part of who you are, to betray yourself and this creates functions and mental illness.

So the only way to be healthy as an adult is to maintain a line of communication with your inner child, a joyful acceptance of the gifts that the inner child brings to the table.

But the adult parent is in charge of the inner child. The adult parent provides discipline and structure in order to the inner child.

The adult parent never lets the inner child take over. He never dissociates the inner child. He never rejects the inner child. He never ignores the inner child.

But he does not let the inner child take the lead.

This is a great definition, by the way, of mental health. It's not the case with the narcissist. It's not the case with regression.

In narcissism and in regression, the inner child takes over. The adult is sidelined. The adult is repressed, rejected, ignored. The adult becomes a burden.

Inner child is unbridled.

Inner child has no discipline, no inhibitions, no limitations.

Inner child is very similar to the Eden in Freud's model.

The inner child is instinctual, reflexive.

Inner child is not aware of the consequences of its own actions.

He has very impaired, undeveloped reality testing.

If the adult were to grant the inner child dominion and control over the totality of the personality, consequences would be dire.

And indeed, this is what happens to narcissists.

The same happens to the narcissist's intimate partner once she has been regressed.

Because regression involves putting the inner child in charge.

Regression involves the parentification of the inner child, surrendering to the inner child control over one's life, coercing and controlling others into fulfilling a parental role.

And this leads to repetition compulsions, dysfunctions, impaired reality testing and mental illness.

Now I'm going to break down this very dense and complex paragraph for you to understand.

The narcissist wants his intimate partner to be simultaneously a child.

The narcissist's child.

And in adult, the narcissist's parent, narcissist's mother.

The narcissist broadcasts signals to the intimate partner, you're going to be my mother, but you're also going to be helpless, dependent, in need and so on. And I'm going to be your mother too. So I'm going to be your mother, you're going to be my mother.

But how can this be accomplished?

By converting the inner child into a parent.

So parentifying the inner child.

What the narcissist does is this.

The narcissist pushes, cajoles, convinces, persuades, coerces, threatens, makes it a condition, expresses his expectations. In a hundred ways, he makes sure that his intimate partner regresses, loses her other adulthood and becomes a child, becomes an infant.

Stage one.

Stage two. This newly found infant that used to be the adult intimate partner. This newly found infant takes over and becomes the parent of the intimate partner.

So the intimate partner, the narcissist regresses the intimate partner. The narcissist renders the intimate partner a two year old.

And then the narcissist allows this two year old to take over the intimate partner in a parental role. The narcissist parentifies the inner child of his intimate partner.

It is in this role, in this parentified role, that the intimate partner's inner child acts as the narcissist's mother.

Now this is beyond mind boggling. You need really to focus.

The narcissist pushes his intimate partner to become a child because the narcissist wants the intimate partner to be dependent on him, to not abandon him, to be helpless, to lose their independence and intimacy, to conform to the snapshot, to the internal object introjecting in his mind. This is coercive snapshotting.

So he pushes his intimate partner and finally, mission accomplished, success, fireworks, the intimate partner becomes a child.

But wait a minute.

The narcissist also wants his intimate partner to be his mother. How can this be accomplished?

The narcissist converts her inner child into the parent of the intimate partner. He parentifies the partner's inner child.

So now the intimate partner is in a new situation. There is a child, her own inner child, who had become her own mother, her own parent.

The intimate partner's regressed infant, the infant that she had become following the regression, now takes over her in the role of a mother or the role of a parent.

And because now the intimate partner is controlled by a parentified child, this parentified child can also act as a parent to the narcissist.

Because as far as the narcissist is concerned, his intimate partner is an extension of himself. She's not a separate entity.

So if she has a parentified child, that parentified child might as well parent him.

The narcissist, and this is how the narcissist tries to square the circle, to accomplish the impossible. He converts his partner into a child and then he converts that child, the new child, that used to be his partner, he converts her child into a parent. And then this child is instructed to parent the narcissist. It's a kind of Manchurian candidate in Jewish.

But of course all this leads to crazy making behavior, which is not reasoned, which is not rational, and which does not conform to the reality principle, which is ego-less.

Because it's pre-ego. This leads to a pre-ego state.

So it leads to repetition compulsions, repeating the same mistakes over and over again, because there's no learning involved. It leads to dysfunctions. It leads to impaired reality testing and ultimately to mental illness.

Now some of it has been described in literature. I recommend that you find books about the Peter Pan syndrome, about Pouer, the Pouer Complex, P-U-E-R Complex, it's Jungian, the Pouella Complex, and the Pouer Aiterus of Pouella Aeterna.

There have been quite a few Jungian scholars and authors who have written, and there's a famous book titled Pouer Aeterna, and I recommend that you give it a read.

At this stage the narcissist and his intimate partner are stuck in the shared fantasy.

The intimate partners parentified inner child, parents the intimate partner, and parents the narcissist.

The narcissist inner child is permanently there, always active. Parents is a child, and it's a parentified child because it pretends to be an adult.

So the narcissist parentified child parents the intimate partner, and the intimate partners parentified child parents the narcissist.

That's what I meant, that the shared fantasy is an interaction between two inner children, two parentified inner children.

The intimate partners parentified inner child parents the narcissist, and the narcissist parentified child parents the intimate partner.

The narcissist inner child is all there is to the narcissist. There is only the inner child.

There's nothing else there. There's no adult overlay. There's no adult veneer. There has been no development.

And so the narcissist is his inner child.

The narcissist is the same as the parentified inner child that he has.

With the intimate partner is different because there is a memory of the period of adulthood that preceded the regression.

And this leads to many conflicts inside the intimate partner.

That's why intimate partner feel intimate partners of the narcissist feel very conflicted all the time. They're in a constant state of dissonance between what they used to be the adult and what they had become the parentified infant who is parenting the narcissist.

Shari Botwin is a trauma therapist and she's the author of thriving after trauma stories of living and healing, great book. And she made a list she compiled the list of dysfunctional behaviors and cognitions and emotions attendant on regressive states, regressing to infancy.

So I'm going to read to you the list.

Do you often feel like a victim? Do you let others dictate how you feel? Do you struggle to set boundaries in relationships? When you get upset in situations in the present are the feelings you are having all about the day or related to things from your childhood? Do you frequently find yourself really reliving experiences that already happened? Do you feel safer when you pull walls up?

Luckily regression is reversible. Once you've exited the shared fantasy, you're going to regain your adulthood on condition that you get rid of the narcissist introject in your mind.

The internal object in your mind that represents the narcissist and keeps entraining you, keeps brainwashing you into remaining in a child state remaining infantilized.

If you get rid of this voice, if it takes a few additional steps which I describe in my recovery and healing playlist, then your chances of regaining the upper hand over your inner child, of becoming a loving parenting adult to your inner child, of re-establishing boundaries and discipline and structure and order internally, your chances are great.

The prognosis is very good.

The narcissist doesn't have this blessing. The narcissist can never recover, so to speak, from his childlike state or shall I say childish state.

The narcissist is the child. The child controls the narcissist because there's nothing to the narcissist except the child.

And the narcissist's child is very, very, very young. He doesn't understand reality. He doesn't perceive social cues or sexual cues exactly like someone with autism spectrum disorder.

It cannot maintain any meaningful interaction with adults and that includes intimate relationships. It is terrified by adult commitments and chores and expectations and demands and exigencies. It invigorates of life. It rejects life because it is not skilled to cope with life. It withdraws more and more inwardly traumatized by life's events, various environments, mistakes, poor decision making, horrible choices that lead the narcissist to undescribable situations, dangerous situations.

So the narcissist in a child experiences constant loss, defeat and failure.

The narcissist spends a lot of time in a collapsed state because the narcissist is a child.

And when the narcissist finds finally an intimate partner or somebody thinks could be an intimate partner, he wants her to be his playmate. He wants her to be a child like him.

And at the same time, he wants her to be the kind of child who could parent him.

So he converts his intimate partner into a child. He regresses her into an infantile state.

And then he demands that this new child who is about to become his intimate partner should parent him. He parentifies his intimate partner's inner child.

And that's all there is to it.


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Professor Sam Vaknin delves into the relationship cycle with a narcissist, explaining the narcissist's perception of love, abuse, and rejection. He discusses the narcissist's internal struggle and the impact of repeated mortifications on the false self. Vaknin also explores the concept of self-love and its connection to loving others, drawing from the works of philosopher Soren Kierkegaard.

Narcissist Needs You to Fail Him, Let Go (with Azam Ali)

In this conversation, Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of narcissistic abuse and the dynamics of narcissistic relationships. He explains the narcissist's need for existence and the victim's hunger for love and intimacy, highlighting the irreconcilable nature of these two needs. He also emphasizes the importance of insight and empathy in understanding oneself and others.

Narcissist Sees You As TWO WOMEN Reframing Mortifications, Exiting Shared Fantasy

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the narcissist's view of their partner, the impact of cheating in relationships with narcissists, and the connection between moral and visceral disgust. He also delves into the role of the brain in processing these emotions and the potential impact on relationships with narcissists.

Mortify, Exit: Red Pill Narcissistic Abuse (Relationship Awareness Theory)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses various concepts such as indigo children, star people, and mortification in the context of narcissistic abuse. He delves into the psychology of mortification and its impact on the narcissist's internal objects. Additionally, he explores attachment styles, shared fantasy, and the relationship awareness theory. Ultimately, he emphasizes the importance of modifying the narcissist as a means of liberation for the victim.

Two Faces Of Narcissistic Abuse Disrespect From Shared Fantasy To Bargaining

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the dynamics of narcissistic abuse, including the two phases of the shared fantasy and bargaining phase. He explains how narcissists use stickiness to create a shared fantasy with their targets and then extract adulation, abuse, sex, and services. Vaknin also highlights the differences between narcissists and psychopaths and concludes that narcissistic abuse is a choice and a stupid one at that.

YOUR Aftermath as Your Narcissist’s Fantasy , Delusion, Matrix

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the delusional nature of narcissism and its impact on victims. He explains how narcissists create a delusional universe and how victims can become enmeshed in shared psychosis. He also delves into the stages of grief and denial that victims may experience after leaving a narcissistic relationship.

Why Covert Narcissist Steals Your Life? (Psychosis, Rivalry, Envy)

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the shameless plagiarism of his concepts and explores the psychology behind such behavior. He delves into the reasons why covert narcissists steal from others, including self-aggrandizement, one-upmanship, and passive aggression. He also explains the use of defense mechanisms by covert narcissists and introduces concepts such as the dual mothership model and narcissistic snapshotting.

Narcissists False Self Primates, Perverts, Serpents, God

Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of the false self in narcissism, drawing from various sources such as mythology, religion, and psychology. He delves into the intertwined nature of the false self and the true self, and the impact of the false self on the narcissist's psyche. Vaknin also explores the historical and cultural perspectives on narcissism, emphasizing the importance of understanding narcissism for survival in a world where narcissists are prevalent.

Talking to Narcissistic Abuse Victim, Coach (with Michelle Ecret)

In the lecture, Professor Sam Vaknin discusses his personal journey of awakening from a narcissistic relationship and the process of healing and recovery. He explains the dynamics of narcissistic abuse, the role of fantasy in the narcissistic relationship, and the psychological traits and behaviors of narcissists. He also addresses the concept of conscious awareness in narcissists and clarifies the distinction between attachment styles and narcissistic personality disorder. Throughout the conversation, he provides insights and explanations based on his expertise in the field of narcissism and abuse.

Narcissist's Projection, Projective Identification and Victim's Introjective Identification

In this video, Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the concept of projective identification in narcissism. He explains that the narcissist's false self is grandiose and to maintain this self-image, the narcissist must ignore or deny certain emotions, thoughts, traits, impulses, behaviors, and qualities that contradict this self-perception. The narcissist then projects these onto other people, attributing positive or negative traits to them. Projective identification involves forcing the target of the projection to conform to the contents of the projection, forcing someone to actually become someone else, forcing someone to behave in ways prescribed by the narcissist. The narcissist uses projection and projective identification to manipulate inner objects, to force inner constructs, inner representations, inner avatars to behave in certain ways.

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