Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

7 Ways Covert Narcissist Parents Groom Children for Abuse

Disarming the Enemy

By definition, the pathological covert narcissistic personality prefers passive aggressive tactics to control, dominate, outdo, and punish others. You don’t have to read The Art of War to recognize the power of disarming your enemy, and what better way to disarm someone than to pretend to be a friend?

Dependent on their caregivers for physical and emotional survival, relational attachment, and identity formation, children have no choice but to return to the hand that feeds, even when it also grabs, slaps, and withholds. When a parent hides abuse and frames it as love, it is that much more difficult to recognize and even harder to call out.

How Covert Narcissist Parents Groom Children for Abuse

  1. They exploit cultural assumptions. Society tells us in countless ways that all parents want the best for their children. Questioning a parent’s love and loyalty flies in the face of conventional wisdom and forces us to reexamine our most fundamental beliefs about family. Covert narcissist parents rely on cultural assumptions to hide their abuse and neglect, and they gaslight their children about their behavior by leaning hard into their unimpeachable status as “loving” parents.
  2. They play the paragon of virtue. It is common for a covert narcissistic parent to cultivate an image in and beyond the family that he or she is caring, principled, devoted, and/or self-sacrificing while also targeting a scapegoated child as a negative foil. Such a parent may be skilled at manipulating family members, such as an enabling partner or golden child, as well as people in that parent’s social circle, to support his or her narrative. Children in this scenario struggle with the cognitive dissonance of what they are told about that parent versus how that parent actually behaves behind closed doors.
  3. They master the microaggression. By definition, the narcissistic personality is competitive, envious, and prone to hostile attacks. Unlike the overt narcissist’s obvious one-upmanship, the covert narcissist parent uses microaggressions cloaked as oversights, slips of the tongue, humor, help, or caring concern. For the child treated to such abuse, it is death by a thousand cuts.
  4. They play the innocent victim. Assuming the role of victim allows the covert narcissist parent to pivot away from responsibility and blame while garnering sympathy for all the ways other people, especially their children, disappoint, neglect, and harm them. Parents who act the victim often use guilt and pity plays to solicit attention and care-taking from their children and others beyond the family.
  5. They operate within plausible deniability. Covertly narcissistic parents employ indirect forms of manipulation such as dismissal, redirection, minimizing, gaslighting, and triangulation. Typically they calibrate the abuse so it is within plausible deniability if their kids or other adults question them about it.
  6. They look good by comparison. In many narcissistic families, a covert narcissist parent is partnered with an overtly abusive and neglectful one, allowing the covert to appear reasonable, selfless, easygoing, or otherwise “good” by comparison while playing up the long-suffering martyr routine. Children have no choice but to seek out whatever caregiving they can get from the less volatile parent in the home.
  7. They give intermittent reinforcement. Covert narcissist parents typically exert ongoing control over their children by sporadically offering forms of desperately craved validation, such as attentiveness, praise, caretaking, and gifts. This confusing push-pull dynamic keeps children “in the game” and coming back for more.

Continue reading “7 Ways Covert Narcissist Parents Groom Children for Abuse”

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

The Narcissistic Abuser and the Parental Alienation Counterclaim

When a mother claims abuse in the Family court and the father counterclaims with Parental Alienation, the abuser’s allegations of Parental Alienation become the judge’s focus, and accusations of abuse by the victim can then help the abuser’s position since the abuser claims these accusations are alienating behaviour. This result’s in the evidence of abuse not being given the weight it deserves and the real alienating behaviour, and other abuse, not being sufficiently explored.

The judgment given can result in one of the cruellest miscalculations of justice, and it is happening at a worryingly high rate.

The judgment can result in;

  • The healthy, safe parent having contact time reduced

  • The healthy, safe parent losing the residency order

  • The traumatised child getting forced into direct contact or into the residence of their abuser, against their wishes.

  • The healthy, safe parent feeling suicidal. They are overwhelmed by feelings of loss, grief and helplessness. They may now face financial ruin and may have lost their home in the process too.

  • The narcissistic parent now attempting to alienate the child further, from the parent who has fought to the ends of the earth to protect them from abuse.

  • The victim getting gagged by order of the court.

Imagine the narcissist’s delight, at having accomplished revenge on such a grand scale, on the ex who caused their ego its most significant injury. Imagine the devastation of the loving, safe parent, who’s greatest mistake in life was to fall for a cruel individual who preyed on their weaknesses. Imagine the distress of that same parent closing their eyes every night, knowing that their child’s abuser is free to continue the abuse. Think, for a moment, of the terrified child.

The resulting injustice for the female victim in the Family Court due to the misuse of ‘Parental Alienation’ is deplorable and would make headlines if society were allowed to hear about it. Brunel University, London propose further research and to carry out an international study on the extent of this significant problem, and the response to it in courts around the world. This study would be valuable to those actively seeking a solution in the UK.

With narcissism infiltrating our society, and the number of abuse cases rising rapidly, the Judiciary must address this issue soon. Abusive parents and those with extreme narcissistic traits are a threat to children, and those children must be protected. The narcissist’s willingness to psychologically torture their child to maintain power and control is shocking. It is no wonder children withdraw from, and seek to reduce contact with, these parents. The narcissistic perpetrator’s skilful ability to mask their true character and portray themselves as a victim should be a grave concern for those seeking to administer justice.

The number of confirmed cases of Parental Alienation, as a counterclaim to abuse in the UK, is currently unknown. Still, one doesn’t need to look far to find the victims who have suffered gross injustice as a result. Traumatised and silenced parents, who have lost parenting time with, or custody of, the very children they sought to protect are in their thousands, on groups on social media, worldwide. Groups such as ‘The Court Said’ headed by Natalie Page are snowballing and gaining the support of journalists, law and medical professionals and politicians.

Society is ‘onto’ the dangerous abuser’s who counterclaim Parental Alienation; one would hope the Judiciary will now catch up. Continue reading “The Narcissistic Abuser and the Parental Alienation Counterclaim”

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

Understanding the Risks of Parental Alienation and Narcissism

Under the sole care of a parent who exhibits extreme narcissistic behaviors, children’s normal needs to feel seen, heard, and responded to may be frequently frustrated and placed behind what the narcissistic parent wants. Therapists refer to this kind of parent-child relationship as pathological enmeshment.

Alienated children develop high rates of depressionangeranxiety, drugs, and alcohol, and relationship difficulties. Psychologist Jennifer Harman and others conclude from a summary of extensive research that alienation is one of the very most harmful forms of child abuse.

At the same time, Harman’s article suggests that alienation should be considered a form of family violence because of how it impacts the co-parent. Learn here techniques for coping with the emotional roller-coaster provoked by the narcissistic behaviors of an alienating co-parent. Continue reading “Understanding the Risks of Parental Alienation and Narcissism”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Parental Alienation PA

Malignant Manipulators: Ticking Time Bombs

Malignant narcissists not only believe they are always right, they vindictively go out on a limb to prove it.

The difference between someone within the normal range of the narcissistic personality disorder and someone at the extreme end of the spectrum is not always self-evident, as the disparity lies within. For example, take Max, a real estate developer. In his dog-eat-dog world, looking out for Number one was what life was all about. To him, most deals were win-or-lose propositions, people were either winners or losers and if you didn’t take advantage of others, others would take advantage of you. Pulling a fast one was standard business practice, as long as you didn’t get caught.

Despite this dark worldview, Max had a charming exterior and liked creating a buzz. He told people what they wanted to hear, and used exaggeration and embellishment to impress others. When that didn’t work, he’d try a mix of lies, half-truths and obfuscation. For Max, honouring agreements was relative, and a contract was nothing more than the beginning of a discussion. He saw himself as having a natural sense for how to play people against each other and of being keenly perceptive of his adversaries’ Achilles heels. He had to be Machiavellian in the business world; acting otherwise meant being weak. And Max hated weakness.

This modus operandi had paid off. With a string of successful deals behind him, Max had a glamourous lifestyle: money, cars, homes and admiration. All his ex-wives had been very attractive.

And while there were “haters”, those who said he was vindictive, untrustworthy or unscrupulously manipulative, Max felt that his critics were blatantly unfair and envious of his talent. Continue reading “Malignant Manipulators: Ticking Time Bombs”

Understanding a tactic that keeps a toxic person in the driver’s seat

Gaslighting versus blame-shifting

To be clear, both tactics are verbally abusive and depend on an imbalance of power in the relationship between the person using them and the person on the receiving end; the powerless intended target is usually very invested in the relationship, most likely loves or cares deeply about the abuser, and is often dependent on him or her.  The person doing the gaslighting or blame-shifting is actually more interested in feeling powerful or in control (and the buzz that comes with it) than they are emotionally connected to their target.

What is gaslighting precisely? It takes its name from a play and then a 1944 movie called Gaslight starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. In it, Boyer manipulates Bergman and distracts her from his criminality by trying to convince her that she is going insane. And that’s what gaslighters do: They make the target believe that his or her grip on reality is tenuous at best and non-existent at worst. The most common tactics are insisting that something that happened didn’t, dismissing a claim by saying it was simply imagined, or telling the person flat out that she or he is losing it or crazy. Gaslighters exploit their target’s fears, insecurities, vulnerabilities, and neediness to their own ends.

While it takes some concerted effort to gaslight another adult—even a needy or insecure one—gaslighting a child is remarkably easy because of the enormous power and authority a parent has by definition. What child can stand up to the words “You’re imagining it because it never happened” when uttered by her or his mother or father, each of whom is the ruler of the very small universe in which the child lives?

Blame-shifting also exploits whatever disparity in power exists in the relationship and, again, is remarkably easy in a parent-child relationship. But, between adults, it has certain subtleties that gaslighting does not and, as a net, it catches more fish. This behavior is always about power and the sad truth is that the victim tends to be the one who loves, needs, and depends on her or his abuser in ways that are significantly different from the motivations of the person shifting blame. Continue reading “Understanding a tactic that keeps a toxic person in the driver’s seat”

Projection: A Gaslighter’s Signature Technique

Whatever the gaslighter/narcissist is or whatever he is doing, he will assign those characteristics or behaviors to you.  It’s done almost to comedic effect – if it wasn’t so potentially damaging to your career.  At work, your gaslighting/narcissistic boss will write on your performance review that you are always late.  However, you are punctual to a fault – it’s your boss who consistently shows up late.  Your coworker accuses you of hacking into their laptop – however, you have seen him lurking around your laptop when he thought you couldn’t see him.  Your kleptomaniac cubemate is constantly accusing you of stealing things off her desk.

In a relationship, the gaslighter/narcissist will constantly accuse you of cheating.  He will check your phone, barrage you with questions when you are 30 minutes late from work, even have you followed.  You have given no signs that you are cheating, yet your gaslighting/narcissist partner brings up your supposed cheating all the time.  However, as is the case with many gaslighters/narcissists, they are actually are doing the cheating (McNulty and Widman, 2014).  When you confront the gaslighter/narcissist about his cheating, he turns it around on you and says you are accusing him because you are one really doing the cheating. The  gaslighter/narcissist continues his game of projection- now using it as a strategy to deflect from being caught. Continue reading “Projection: A Gaslighter’s Signature Technique”

MALIGNANT NARCISSISM: FROM FAIRY TALES TO HARSH REALITY

SUMMARY
Introduction: Malignant Narcissism has been recognized as a serious condition but it has been largely ignored in psychiatric literature and research. In order to bring this subject to the attention of mental health professionals, this paper presents a
contemporary synthesis of the biopsychosocial dynamics and recommendations for treatment of Malignant Narcissism.
Methods: We reviewed the literature on Malignant Narcissism which was sparse. It was first described in psychiatry by Otto Kernberg in 1984. There have been few contributions to the literature since that time. We discovered that the syndrome of Malignant Narcissism was expressed in fairy tales as a part of the collective unconscious long before it was recognized by psychiatry. We searched for prominent malignant narcissists in recent history. We reviewed the literature on treatment and developed categories for family assessment.
Results: Malignant Narcissism is described as a core Narcissistic personality disorder, antisocial behavior, ego-syntonic sadism, and a paranoid orientation. There is no structured interview or self-report measure that identifies Malignant Narcissism and this interferes with research, clinical diagnosis and treatment. This paper presents a synthesis of current knowledge about Malignant Narcissism and proposes a foundation for treatment.
Conclusions: Malignant Narcissism is a severe personality disorder that has devastating consequences for the family and society. It requires attention within the discipline of psychiatry and the social science community. We recommend treatment in a therapeutic community and a program of prevention that is focused on psychoeducation, not only in mental health professionals, but in the wider social community.

Fairy tales allow parents to help children prepare for the realities of life. Although we imagine leaving fantasy behind as we grow up, we continue to mix fantasy with reality throughout life and often deny reason to hold onto our fantasies (Bettleheim 1981).

Fairy tales arise from folk traditions. Things that are too dangerous to accept consciously are repressed and reappear in dreams and fairy tales. Fairy tales take place in a transitional space between fantasy/magic and reality. The dangerous becomes less frightening in fairy tales where good always triumphs over evil (Bettleheim 1981).
As youth we are inducted into society by finding ourselves reflected in folk images. Initially, we live in a world saturated with elementary folk images, and later,
we encounter the elementary ideas themselves. Jung described these elementary ideas as archetypes. We must struggle over time with life experiences that put us
in touch with good and evil and if development is to be successful, then, metaphorically, the serpent that represents the struggle between life and death has to bite us strongly enough to awaken us to an internal world of transcendence. We need to die in the world of the ego to transcend ourselves. However, not everyone can master this and not every elemental idea is transcended by society (Campbell 1981).
In the fairy tales of Snow White and Cinderella an evil stepmother is presented who humiliates and tries to psychologically and physically kill an innocent stepchild. She is presented as an aloof, arrogant, cold, person with high social status and power who is
preoccupied with external beauty and the need to impress others. She has no remorse for her evil actions. She is loyal to her biological children whom she treats with entitlement and projects all her hatred and anger onto her stepchildren. The world is divided into that which is hers, which is perfect, and that which is not hers, which includes bad objects she believes should be humiliated and destroyed. The father figure is frequently absent or passive in fairy tales. He is ‘handicapped’ in his relationship with the stepmother because he has a child. The cruel woman is not his first choice, but she is beautiful and powerful. He may be attracted to this
image because he feel  inadequate for loosing his first wife and wants to be seen as a success. His primary interest is not in protecting his child. In the end of the
fairy tales, the evil stepmother is banished and disappears into the void. She is never punished or asked to redeem herself. The evil stepmother portrays a classical
malignant narcissist (Moore & Goldner-Vukov 2004). Continue reading “MALIGNANT NARCISSISM: FROM FAIRY TALES TO HARSH REALITY”

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Projection

Narcissists Use Projection to Manipulate You

If nothing else works, a narcissist is more likely to “go for the jugular” by assassinating your character and making you seem like the lowest of the low. And if you’ve ever experienced this before, then you might know just how bad the side-effects can be. When a narcissist partakes in this, it could be out of vengeance or to impress and win over others who might not be positive towards you. The important thing is to not panic. You didn’t work so hard on being the best version of yourself just to be taken down by a person with low self-esteem themself.

5. They drop the act the moment they have you where they want

The moment you look to them for guidance or validation, their whole nice, sweet person act will just drop. They know now that you’re dependent on them for all of your emotional needs and they see that as the reins to hold you hostage. It’s when you try to resist that the situation might become dangerous for you. When they are caught in the act, they won’t just leave quietly. They might just confuse you enough to make you keep them around. That is why it is essential for you to be firm in your decision about cutting them out of your life. Continue reading “Narcissists Use Projection to Manipulate You”

How Narcissists Use Projection And What You Can Do

1. Narcissists Use Projection To “Call You Out”

Usually, narcissists will use this tactic to either get you to do something they know you’ll be hesitant about, to attack you, or both. They’ll call you out, for example, not having tea ready for them after a long day at work – even though you worked the same hours. This usually entails guilt-tripping. If that doesn’t work, they’ll escalate to verbally attacking you.

Dealing with projection and blame: It’s hard not to fall for this kind of malignant narcissism. You’ve probably been around your narcissist long enough to recognize a trap when you hear him/her getting started. It’s just a way to assert power manipulate your feelings and actions. Can you step it down or take a time out.

2. Narcissists Mimic Emotions

Narcissists have the emotional range of a thimble. But they’re intelligent. They know how important emotional displays are to others and they know how to mimic them to manipulate their victims. Don’t let those crocodile tears fool you. They’ll pretend to understand your feelings or want to help you. It’s not true.

What you can do: You’re onto them now, right? Be aware. Sooner or later, you will find ways to evade, and even escape.

3. Narcissists Will Attack Your Personality

No one likes to be verbally attacked – but when the question of your personality and character are brought into the mix, you know the narcissist means business. It’s getting personal. This is usually done for revenge.

What you can do: This is always designed to make you defensive and need to explain yourself. You don’t have to. Remember that narcissists are toxic people and almost always engage in toxic behavior and abusive relationships. They will lie and say anything to manipulate those around them.

4. Narcissists Use Projection To Play The Victim

Narcissistic projection makes you feel sorry for him. It’s never his or her fault that terrible things happen. You can’t blame a victim – right? They’re the ones who were wronged. The narcissists believes they’re perfect, so clearly anything wrong in their relationships isn’t because of their behavior. They love to be the victim. On top of projecting blame onto someone else, they also grab the spotlight while others help them.

Dealing with narcissistic projection of victimhood.  If you’re an empath, pay special attention to the kind of people you choose to help. Look for the lies and gaps in a narcissist’s story. Empaths and narcissists tend to be attracted to each other, and empaths are always the losers.

5. Narcissists Know When To Drop The Act

When narcissists know they have their target-turned-victim under their thumbs, they drop their charming acts. And quickly. This allows narcissists to assert dominance and really display their narcissistic traits. At this point, the victim will have a last, slight chance to escape and expose a narcissist before having to deal with even greater damage if choosing to stay in the abusive relationship. Continue reading “How Narcissists Use Projection And What You Can Do”

5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You

Whenever a narcissistic person feels threatened, they will call you the things that they themselves are as or are afraid that others see them as. And then they will try to stalk you, slander you, or discredit you. They will try to sabotage and destroy you. They will start a smear campaign and attempt character assassination. In their mind, frighteningly, you have become their mortal enemy.

They also have no problem doing all of it preemptively and calling it defense.

So if you privately call them out, set healthier boundaries, or end the relationship, they may be afraid that you can see their flaws, or that you will tell others what kind of person they are. Whether you do that or not is not important to them. Because in their mind the mere possibility of it is a good enough excuse to label you as an enemy. And because a narcissistic type of person has little or no empathy, they may imagine that you will behave as they would in these situations. If they would lie, or more likely are already lying, they will accuse you of lying.

And so they will do all these things just because they think you are somehow trying to or might hurt them. They also will accuse you of the very things they themselves are doing.

Source: 5 Ways Narcissists Project and Attack You