Why do narcissists discard their own children?
It often comes as a shock to people who have children with pathological narcissists how easily some of them abandon their children.
Many narcissistic parents have an emotionally immature worldview. They see the world in terms of “good” or “bad”, “black” and “white”, “wrong” or “right.” Unfortunately, this extends to how they see their family, even their children.
While narcissists perceive themselves as superior to all and sundry, they have suffer from a painfully fragile ego that is susceptible to a never-ending barrage of real and imagined narcissists injuries.
This warped view of reality is part of what makes them high conflict individuals. They are prone to objectifying and dehumanizing other people and their children are no exception.
The reasons for this may be rooted in the narcissist’s dysfunctional family of origin.
Characteristics of a dysfunctional family
Narcissists typically come from family units with power imbalances, rampant denial, low empathy, little to no boundaries and a lack of justice. These structures are centered on a narcissistic caregiver or caregivers whose needs supercede those of everyone else.
In a narcissistic family, there will be a lot of coercive and controlling behaviors. Beneath the façade, anger, hypocrisy, envy, and betrayal contaminate the ecosystem. The toxicity between the caregivers usually trickles down to their children.
Why dysfunctional families discard their own
Children not accepted or loved for who they are in a narcissistic family. They live in a gaslit reality where the only love they receive is conditional upon their performance in the roles assigned to them by the narcissistic caregiver(s).
In a dysfunctional family, these roles are:
- The Caretaker — this child is given adult responsibilities at a young age and parentified.
- The Hero/The Golden Child — this child tries to make the family seem normal and trouble free.
- The Lost Child — this child is introverted and flies under the radar.
- The Mascot/The Clown — this child distracts from the issues in the family,
- The Manipulator/The Mastermind — this child is an opportunist who exploits the vulnerabilities in the family to serve their own needs.
- The Rebel/Problem Child — this child acts out the families dysfunction and is frequently punished.
- The Scapegoat/Black Sheep/Truth Teller is an alternate version of The Rebel and is distinguished by the fact that they are innocent and wrongfully blamed for all of the dysfunction in the family.
When a narcissist discards an innocent child it’s likely that the child has been cast in the painful role of family scapegoat because they are not like the narcissistic parent(s).
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Originally published at http://narcissisticabuserehab.wordpress.com in December 25, 2019.
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