Adoptee Rage! This blog is written exclusively for the 38% of Abused and Neglected Adopted Children. The U.S. HHSA Identifies #1 Risk: Maltreatment, Child Abuse and Risk for Death In Adopted children. Childhood domination, Coping compensation. Research in Adoption Psychology, Developmental Trauma"The Adoption Paradox". By Rainstorm Red-Smith
About Adoptee Rage
Statistics Identify large populations of Adoptees in prisons, mental hospitals and committed suicide.
Fifty years of scientific studies on child adoption resulting in psychological harm to the child and
poor outcomes for a child's future.
Medical and psychological attempts to heal the broken bonds of adoption, promote reunions of biological parents and adult children. The other half of attempting to repair a severed Identity is counselling therapy to rebuild the self.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
The Narcissistic Family Portrait
The Narcissistic Family Portrait
Clinical experience and research show that adult children of narcissists have a difficult time putting their finger on what is wrong. Denial is rampant in the narcissistic family system. "The typical adult from a narcissistic family is filled with unacknowledged anger, feels like a hollow person, feels inadequate and defective, suffers from periodic anxiety and depression, and has no clue about how he or she got that way." Pressman and Pressman, The Narcissistic Family. It is common for adult children of narcissists to enter treatment with emotional symptoms or relationship issues, but simultaneously display a lack of a
In a nutshell, the narcissistic family operates according to an unspoken set of rules. Children learn to live with those rules, but they never stop being confused and pained by them, for these rules block children's emotional access to their parents. They are basically invisible - not heard, seen or nurtured. Tragically, conversely, this set of rules allows the parents to have no boundaries with the children and to use and abuse them as they see fit. Sounds awful, doesn't it?
Let's browse some common dynamics from this profoundly dysfunctional intergenerational system. Keep in mind there are degrees of dysfunction
on a spectrum depending on the level of narcissism in the parents. Secrets:The family secret is that the parents are not meeting the children's emotional needs or they are abusive in some way. This is the norm in the narcissistic family. The message to the children: "Don't tell the outside world...pretend everything is fine." Image: The narcissistic family is all about image. The message is: we are bigger, better, have no problems, and we must put on the face of perfection. Children get the messages: "What would the neighbors think?" "What would the relatives think?" What would our friends think?" These are common fears in the family. "Always put a smile on that pretty little face." Negative Messages:Children are given spoken and unspoken messages that get internalized. Those messages typically are: "You're not good enough." "You don't measure up." "You are valued for what you do rather than for who youare." Lack of Parental Hierarchy:In healthy families there is a strong parental hierarchy where the parents are in charge and shining love, light, guidance, and direction down to the children. In narcissistic families the hierarchy is non-existent. The children are there to serve parental needs. Lack of Emotional Tune-In:
Narcissistic parents lack the ability to emotionally tune in to their kids. They cannot feel and show empathy or unconditional love. They are typically critical and judgmental. Lack of Effective Communication: The most common type of communication in narcissistic families is through triangulation. This is where information is told through one party about another in hopes it will get back to the other party. Information is not direct. Family members talk about each other to other members of the family, but don't confront the individuals directly. Alas, causing the creation of passive-aggressive behavior, tension, and mistrust among family members. When communication is direct, it is often in the form of anger or rage. Unclear Boundaries:There are few boundaries in the narcissistic family. Children's feelings are not considered important. Diaries are read, physical boundaries not kept, and emotional boundaries not respected. The right to privacy is not typically a part of the family history. One Parent Narcissistic, The Other Orbits:If one parent is narcissistic, it is common for the other parent to have to revolve around the narcissist to keep the marriage intact. Many times the other parent has redeeming qualities to give to the children, but is tied up meeting the needs of the narcissistic spouse. This often leaves the children's needs unmet. Who is there for them?
dysfunction displayed in violent and abusive homes is usually obvious. Emotional and psychological abuse, as well as neglectful parenting, is often hidden. Where the drama is not displayed as openly to the outside world, it is just as or more damaging to the children.
In reviewing the above dynamics one can see how this kind of family can stink and look pretty at the same time. If you recognize your family here, please know there is hope and recovery. Although we can't change the past, we can take control of the now. We do not have to be defined by the wounded in our family systems. As Mark Twain defines the optimist, I also see the recovering adult child: "A person who travels on nothing from nowhere to happiness." We can create new life that will flow through us to the future and stop the legacy of distorted love learned in the narcissistic family. If we choose recovery, we can defy intergenerational statistics.
Clinical experience and research show that adult children of narcissists have a difficult time putting their finger on what is wrong. Denial is rampant in the narcissistic family system. "The typical adult from a narcissistic family is filled with unacknowledged anger, feels like a hollow person, feels inadequate and defective, suffers from periodic anxiety anddepression, and has no clue about how he or she got that way." Pressman and Pressman, The Narcissistic Family. It is common for adult children of narcissists to enter treatment with emotional symptoms or relationship issues, but simultaneously display a lack of awareness of the deeper etiology or cause. The narcissistic family hides profound pain.
The family secret is that the parents are not meeting the children's emotional needs or they are abusive in some way.