Emotionally abusive parents are manipulative, cunning and toxic. Brilliant impersonators these narcissistic fakes create a world of “alternative facts”. Abused children wear cloaks woven with invisible scars inflicted by the parents’ permanent smear campaigns. Myths follow into adulthood: “difficult, crazy, oversensitive, problem” child, doing “it” for “attention” or “she/he tells lies” or possesses a “big imagination”. Scapegoating is reinforced by siblings falling into the “rescuer” trap.The belief is created that the child fabricated everything and is responsible for “upsetting” the “heroic” parents. Such positing subjugates the child into submissive gratitude for even existing, feeling confused, humiliated, angry and filled with self-doubt.
Spiteful, jealous and resentful, the abusive parent mocks the child, comparing with a [fake] image they hold of themselves.The child feels unacceptable in basic ways. Belittling, condescending and hurtful: “When I was your age, I could…” “Everyone else…”. “Why are you so stupid?”. The cruel messages communicate: “I am always going to be superior, as you are inferior.” Exaggerated and extreme responses for the slightest misdemeanour results in projection of the parents’ shadow side so they can avoid feeling inferior.
Adult survivors seek relief through validation. Any physical violence by the parents creates bodily trauma that results in the child becoming accident prone, extremely vulnerable leading to susceptibility to harm or illness, depression and anxiety. Such stitches bind a complex pattern of mistrust and abuse. Beaten and broken the child is spiritually bereft, emotionally confused, toxically enmeshed on a permanent secret mission, destiny marked “I must prove I’m ok”. As if it’s Groundhog Day, the same script will play.