I am victim of the type of abuse below. Wondering if anyone had the same growing up - its from wikipedia.
If you did, contact me by private message.
Narcissistic abuse is a term that emerged in the late twentieth century, and became more prominent in the early 21st century. It originally referred to a specific form of emotional abuse by narcissistic parents of their children - parents who 'require the child to give up his or her own wants and feelings in order to serve the parent's needs for esteem (narcissistic abuse)' - but has also come to be used more widely to refer to forms of abuse in adult relationships on the part of the narcissist.
Self-help culture currently takes for granted that 'if you were abused by narcissistic parenting as a child, you probably struggle with codependency' now; while if as an adult you 'are currently or have been in a relationship with a narcissist, you probably struggle with...not knowing what is "normal" in relationships'. Contents
Parenting Antecedents: Ferenczi Main article: Sandor Ferenczi
The roots of current concern with narcissistic abuse may be traced back to the late work of Sandor Ferenczi. 'In Ferenczi's fervid and restless and inchoate attempts to help people over whom other analysts had thrown up their hands in despair lie the seeds of all the modern psychoanalytic theories of "schizoid," "narcissistic," and "borderline" disorders'.
In his seminal paper "Confusion of Tongues Between Adults and the Child", Ferenczi argued that 'a mother can make a lifelong nurse, in fact a substitute mother, out of the child by bewailing her suffering, totally disregarding the interests of the child'. Within such distorted patterns of parent/child interaction, 'Ferenczi believed the silence, lies, and hypocrisy of the caregivers were the most traumatic aspects of the abuse' - ultimately producing what he called 'narcissistic mortification'.
Ferenczi also looked at such distortions in the therapist/patient relationship, 'accusing himself of sadistic (and, implicitly, narcissistic) abuse of his patients'. Kohut, Horney and Miller
A half-century later, in the wake of 'Kohut's innovative pronouncement...[that] the age of "normal narcissism" and normal narcissistic entitlement had arrived' - the age, that is, of the normative parental provision of narcissistic supply - the concept of its inverse appeared: narcissistic abuse. 'According to Kohut, maternal misrecognition amounts to a failure to perform the narcissistic selfobject functions of "mirroring"...the cause of a narcissistic disturbance'. Paternal misrecognition could produce the same result: Kohut explored for example a son's 'transference reproaches directed at the nonmirroring father who was preoocupied with his own self-enhancement and thus refused to respond to his son's originality'.
Karen Horney had already independently highlighted 'the character disorder - particularly the compulsive striving for love and power - resulting from the childhood hurts bred of parental narcissism and abuse. She thus heralded today's work in this area by Alice Miller and others'.
'Alice Miller lays special emphasis on the process of reproduction of narcissistic abuse, the idea that love relations and relations to children are repetitions' of previous narcissistic distortions. Miller's early work in particular was 'very much in line with Kohut's tale of deficits in empathy and mirroring', with a stress on the way adults 'revisit and perpetuate the narcissistic wounds of their own early years' in an intergenerational cycle of narcissistic abuse. In Miller's view, when 'abused for the sake of adults' needs', children could develop 'an amazing ability to perceive and respond intuitively, that is, unconsciously, to this need of the mother, or of both parents, for him to take on the role that had unconsciously been assigned to him'. Wider developments
Miller's work, in its emphasis on the real-life interaction of parent and child, 'challenged the orthodox Freudian account of Oedipal fantasy, in a sustained indictment of the moral and pedagogical underpinnings of the therapy industry'; and did so at a point when 'the keyword of the 1980s was invariably "abuse"'.
With the passing of time (and of the polemical edge), a more slimmed-down, pragmatic version of the concept of narcissistic abuse gradually came to permeate most of the wider culture of psychotherapy.
21st century Transactional Analysis has highlighted clients who 'suffered some narcissistic abuse as children (that is, an injury to their developing selves)', examining for instance the boy in an all-female household who only 'survived by developing powerful emotional antennae in order to respond to the emotional needs of his mother and sister'.
Post-Jungians have explored the after-effects of 'an intense narcissistic wound resulting from an oppressively unempathetic parent'. In particular, Polly Young-Eisendrath emphasises how 'the narcissistic longings of mothers (or fathers) to amass reflected glory through their children...can bring disastrous results for mother and child if both lose their capacity for autonomous development'.
Object relations theory for its part stresses both that 'the most traumatizing experience of all is the absence of emotional giving from a mother or father', and that, in an intergenerational pattern, 'people who have been brought up by tyrannical authoritarian parents will often parent their children in the same way'. Adam Phillips adds that 'the mother who colonizes her child and stifles gestures of autonomy and difference breeds in him or her...an often unconscious craving for the dead-end justice of revenge'.
In another tradition, Julia Kristeva points out how a pairing of 'mothers and fathers, overprotective and uneasy, who have chosen the child as a narcissistic artificial limb and keep incorporating that child as a restoring element for the adult psyche intensifies the infant's tendency toward omnipotence'.
M. Scott Peck looked at 'milder but nonetheless destructive common forms of parental narcissism', as well as 'the depth of confusion...produced by her mother's narcissism' in a more serious instance.
The term has also appeared in connection with parental alienation syndrome, in situations where 'by role reversal (parentification) the child, like a "living antidepressant" fills the alienating parent's emotional void': the result is that 'the parent clings to the child like a person who is drowning..."narcissistic abuse"'.
Only in the Freudian heartland of mainstream psychoanalysis has the term retained a more restricted, pre-Ferenczi usage. Thus in a "comprehensive dictionary of psychoanalysis" of 2009, the only appearance of the term is in connection with misuse of the couch for narcissistic gain: 'The fact that it is seen by some patients and therapists as a "status symbol" lends it to narcissistic abuse'. Adult relationships
Narcissistic abuse may also occur in adult-to-adult relationships, where one or both partners are very narcissistic - the 'narcissistic couple'. As a typical rule, 'narcissistic people do not take responsibility for relationship difficulties', and their relationships can often be characterized by 'a period of intense involvement and idealization of the other, followed by devaluation, and rapid, sometimes explosive, severing of the relationship'.
If 'the core of narcissism is a hatred of the relational...one of the way that narcissism operates is to destroy separateness'. This lack of separateness enables the initial romantic gestures of what has been termed 'a particular type of male bastard', dominated by narcissistic needs; but 'those big romantic gestures that at first proved so alluring are in fact the whole deal, symptomatic of these men's needs to show off and be the centre of attention'.
In almost the same way, 'the great charm of narcissistic women has, however, its reverse side; a large part of the lover's dissatisfaction, of his doubts of the woman's love, of his complaints of her enigmatic nature, has its root' in the fact that 'strictly speaking, it is only themselves that such women love with an intensity comparable to that of the man's love for them'.
Crompton suggests that (rightly or wrongly) 'in Sam Vaknin's terms...if he had been around today, Watson would be declaring to the world that he was the victim of narcissistic emotional abuse from Sherlock Holmes'.
How would you define Narcissistic Abuse in layman's terms?
A narcissist can be charming and appear outgoing it is all an act they will lie, cheat, fake ill health, demean, physically and mentally abuse you to get their own way, they are masters of control and manipulation and put their needs or perceived needs before family, friends, co workers and employees. You never know where you stand with a narcissist they change the goalpost for their own amusement. A narcissist has no empathy and apparently a full on narcissist is 1 step mentally lower than a psychopath.
Well both my parents were narcissistic, their needs always came first. The mother would get all injured and pout if you called her on any narcissistic behavior and there was quite a lot.
The father was a horse trainer and therefore had an “image to behold” so his clothing was always top rate yet I and my older brothers had to go without or have cheap second best At age 11 I had to start working in the stables and could not make any plans that conflicted with the stable work (even had to take time off from school regularly).
I was the only son that called them on their behavior. When they said “jump” the other brothers would know how high and be there before the word was finished, even after they married and had families of their own.
I was determined not to marry a selfish woman (read narcissist) yet I was taken in by her supportive act and the day we were married her true nature came out, I realized I had married both my parents. It took several years to realize how evil she was and we had children by then and I could not leave them to be raised by her alone.
Loc: South-East Europe
Sorry guys to hear that you have so close narcissists in your families. I can't imagine difficulties and hard-times given you by such persons Dustyboy, how are you succeeding living with your wife, have you found some formula that is working? I've been couple years ago in relationship with such girl. It was nightmare for me. I was attracted among others to facts that she has had some experience with abuse (her father was emotionally abusive) and she worked in psychiatric ward, I thought that we would be able to connect on many levels. Even I tried to fulfill all her needs all time, it was never enough, she tried to change every aspect of my life, to isolate me from all my friends ant to step on tron of my soul against my free will. After some long inner battle and even longer word fight with her I suddenly excluded her from my life. I'm not proud of such action, it was destructive and protective at same time. It came to me that I couldn't accomplish anything with her by talk. That fact catapulted rage in me, I talked all time and my words were not taken at all. Simple fact that she was not able to see anything beside her needs was devastating for me, I just lost hope and without additional words left. Such persons are almost insane for me. I can't see narcissist person around anymore, I'm in hyper vigilance state on slightest sign of their behavior. Here is link to portal that is dedicated to adult children of such parents, maybe it will be helpful for some to read: http://www.lightshouse.org/index.html#axzz21N5xbGYw Pero
Dustyboy, how are you succeeding living with your wife, have you found some formula that is working?
I set boundary's, confirmed what was within the boundary and what was stepping over the boundary. Then I set repercussions if she stepped over the line. I also learned her body language and knew what was coming, sometimes I could tell she was planning and usually was able to work it out and have a counter attack ready.
Thank you for posting--it seems this ties quite well with the discussions on establishing appropriate boundaries between child and parent. Word incest implies something physical but it is not the case with these type of relationships--which imply inappropriate emotional attachments--where as the adult expects the child to satisfy emotional needs and roles. It is role reversal the child is satisfying the emotional needs of the adult when more appropriately the adult should be satisfying the emotional needs of the child. The extent can be minor to excessive. The child is brought into adult life as a confident to adult issues and problems--which should never have been shared with the child.
I am sorry you have experienced this type of behavior and I like many have seen the effects of "unboundaried bonding". So it is not solely narcissists who have this type of behavior.
It seems Dust boy that you found enough strength and patience to fight as long as it is needed. You have my hat off! You must be great father ! Pero
Thanks Pero for your kind words. I forgot to add that I could not take any more and in 1989 I left the family home and went back to my home state, my Daughters were 13 and 16. The guilt I felt leaving them behind was overwhelming.
I found out 3 years later that she was taking it out on the youngest daughter when she came to visit, so had a real heart to heart with her and she came to live with me. Even today I get snippets of how she uses my name to upset and manipulate the girls.
We have been apart 23 years and if I get triggered my stress levels rise and the nightmares start.
I am sorry about your situation. Unfortunately this is more common than I would have expected. I read and talk to people about the emotional incest, covert incest or whatever other title it is given. It is sad, children are used to pit a parent against the other. Sadly, the child does not know he/she is being used and in many cases the exploiting parent believes it is appropriate because they have lived the same boundaries--but the the extent or depth of the acts can vary significantly--from ostracizing a parent or forcing a parent away from the dinner table and blaming him/her for being the problem to outright abuse--spying, snooping, sharing intimate details of the parents lives--no matter it harms the child forever. The behavior will be repeated because it is learned behavior. An adult should take account of their actions and never pit a child against a parent--once done the child suffers the most damage--he/she looses a sense of self and a relationship with the other parent.
So I am glad you are better but unless their mother gets help and recognizes the damage she continues to do, she will never change. But sadly, she probably thinks she is hurting you but in the end it is the child who suffers and looses--and what a sad lesson the child has learned. Because, I bet she will "tell you the way it is" or "she is right and you are the problem"--repeated over and over and over and always in front of the children.
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