The narcissistic and borderline personality seeks vulnerability. Your buttons make you vulnerable. See what Bruce Lee says. He’s right. You know he’s right. He’s talking about your buttons.
The other parent is implanting button-pushing pathology into your child, and sure enough, guess what happens – the child pushes your buttons and off you go, responding defensively instead of empathically. Whenever you’re asking the child to understand you, you’re responding from the trauma-triggers, which keeps the garbage in the child.
If you’re a clinical psychologist following along, notice the structure of the pathogen in the role-reversal relationship; a child being used to meet the needs of a parent. On the one side is the child being used by the narcissistic/(borderline) parent (the pathogen), and this then sets up the other parent to SEEK the child’s nurture (the child’s love and affection); the child meeting the parent’s needs. On both sides, the child is being asked to meet the emotional needs of the parent. That’s the pathogen.
Once you see that this is a trauma pathogen and its structure, every detail becomes crystal clear and the pathology is clearly evident.
The solution is empathy for the child.