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, November 23, 2014

Narcissistic Adoptive Parent & Narcissistic Abuse

ADOPTEE RAGE!

The Narcissistic Adoptive Parent & Narcissistic Abuse 
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Narcissistic parent


narcissistic parent is a parent affected by narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder.  Typically narcissistic parents are exclusively and possessively close to their children and may be especially envious of, and threatened by, their child's growing independence.The result may be what has been termed a pattern of narcissistic attachment, with the child considered to exist solely to fulfill the parents wishes and needs.
Narcissistic people with low self esteem feel the need to control how others regard them, fearing they will be blamed or rejected and personal inadequacies exposed. They are self absorbed, some to the point of grandiosity; and being preoccupied with protecting their self image, they tend to be inflexible, and lack the empathy necessary for parenting adopted children. 

Characteristics

Narcissism tends to play out inter-generationally, with narcissistic parents producing either narcissistic or codependent children in turn. Whereas a self-confident parent - the good-enough parent  – can allow a child its autonomous development, the narcissistic parent may instead use the child as a means to promote their own image. The father concerned with self-enhancement - with being mirrored and admired by a son - may leave the child feeling a puppet to his father's emotional/intellectual demands.
To maintain their self esteem, and protect their vulnerable selves, narcissists need to control others' behavior – particularly that of their children seen as extensions of themselves. Thus narcissistic parents may speak of "carry[ing] the torch," "maintain[ing] the family image," or "make[ing] mum or dad proud" and may reproach their children for exhibiting "weakness," "being too dramatic," or not meeting the standard of "what is expected." As a result, children of narcissists learn to "play their part" and to "perform their special skill," especially in public or for others; but typically do not have many memories of having felt loved or appreciated for being themselves, rather associating their experience of love and appreciation with conforming to the demands of the narcissistic parent.
Destructive narcissistic parents have a pattern of consistently being the focus of attention, exaggerating, seeking compliments and putting their children down. Punishment in the form of blame,criticism and emotional blackmail and attempts to induce guilt, may be used to ensure compliance with the parents' wishes and their need for narcissistic supply.

Children of narcissists

Children of a resistant, more stubborn temperament parent defend against being supportive of others in the house. They observe how the selfish parents get their needs met by others. They learn how manipulation and using guilt gets the parent what he or she wants. They develop a false self and use aggression and intimidation to get their way.
The sensitive, guilt-ridden children in the family learn to meet the parent’s needs for grattification and try to get love by accommodating the whims and wishes of the parent. The child’s normal feelings are ignored, denied and eventually repressed in attempts to gain the parent’s “love”. Guilt and shame keep the child locked into this developmental arrest. Their aggressive impulses and rage become split off and are not integrated with normal development. These children develop a false self as a defense mechanism and become codependent in relationships. The child's unconscious denial of their true self perpetuates a cycle of self hatred, fearing any reminder of their authentic self.

Narcissistic abuse


Narcissistic abuse is a term that emerged in the late twentieth century, and became more prominent in the early 21st century because of the works of Alice Miller and other Neo-Freudians rejecting psychoanalysis as being similar to the poisonous pedagogies Miller used "narcassistic abuse" to refer to a specific form of emotional abuse of children by what she considered narcissistic parents - parents who require the child to give up their own wants and feelings in order to serve the parent's needs for esteem, which constitutes narcissistic abuse. The term has also come to be used more widely to refer to forms of psychological abuse in adult relationships on the part of the narcissist.
Self-help culture currently assumes that someone abused by narcissistic parenting as a child likely struggles with codependency issues in adulthood. An adult who is or has been in a relationship with a narcissist likely struggles with not knowing what constitutes a "normal" relationship.

Antecedents: Ferenczi


The roots of current concern with narcissistic abuse may be traced back to the later work of Sandor Ferenczi. In Ferenczi's fervid, restless, and inchoate attempts to help people over whom other analysts had thrown up their hands in despair lie the seeds of all the modern psychoanalytic theories of "schizoid," "narcissistic," and "borderline" disorders.
In his seminal paper "Confusion of Tongues Between Adults and the Child", Ferenczi argued that 'a mother can make a lifelong nurse, in fact a substitute mother, out of the child by bewailing her suffering, totally disregarding the interests of the child'. Within such distorted patterns of parent/child interaction, 'Ferenczi believed the silence, lies, and hypocrisy of the caregivers were the most traumatic aspects of the abuse' - ultimately producing what he called 'narcissistic mortification'.
Ferenczi also looked at such distortions in the therapist/patient relationship, accusing himself of sadistic (and, implicitly, narcissistic) abuse of his patients.

Kohut, Horney and Miller

A half-century later, in the wake of Kohut's innovative pronouncement that the age of "normal narcissism" and normal narcissistic entitlement had arrived - the age, that is, of the normative parental provision of narcissistic supply - the concept of its inverse appeared: narcissistic abuse. According to Kohut, maternal misrecognition amounts to a failure to perform the narcissistic self object functions of "mirroring"...the cause of a narcissistic disturbance. Paternal misrecognition could produce the same result: Kohut explored for example a son's transference reproaches directed at the nonmirroring father who was preoocupied with his own self-enhancement and thus refused to respond to his son's originality.
Karen Horney had already independently highlighted the character disorder - particularly the compulsive striving for love and power - resulting from the childhood hurts bred of parental narcissism and abuse. She thus heralded today's work in this area by Alice Miller and others.
Alice Miller lays special emphasis on the process of reproduction of narcissistic abuse, the idea that love relations and relations to children are repetitions of previous narcissistic distortions. Miller's early work in particular was very much in line with Kohut's tale of deficits in empathy and mirroring, with a stress on the way adults revisit and perpetuate the narcissistic wounds of their own early years in an intergenerational cycle of narcissistic abuse. In Miller's view, when abused for the sake of adults' needs, children could develop an amazing ability to perceive and respond intuitively, that is, unconsciously, to this need of the mother, or of both parents, for him to take on the role that had unconsciously been assigned to him.

Wider developments

Miller's work, in its emphasis on the real-life interaction of parent and child, challenged the orthodox Freudian account of Oedipal fantasy, in a sustained indictment of the moral and pedagogical underpinnings of the therapy industry; and did so at a point when 'the keyword of the 1980s was invariably "abuse".
With the passing of time (and of the polemical edge), a more slimmed-down, pragmatic version of the concept of narcissistic abuse gradually came to permeate most of the wider culture of psychotherapy.
  • 21st century Trannsactional Analysis has highlighted clients who suffered some narcissistic abuse as children (that is, an injury to their developing selves), examining for instance the boy in an all-female household who only survived by developing powerful emotional antennae in order to respond to the emotional needs of his mother and sister.
  • Post-Jungians have explored the after-effects of an intense narcissistic wound resulting from an oppressively unempathetic parent. In particular,Polly Young-Eisendrath  emphasises how the narcissistic longings of mothers (or fathers) to amass reflected glory through their children...can bring disastrous results for mother and child if both lose their capacity for autonomous development.
  • Object Relations Theory for its part stresses both that the most traumatizing experience of all is the absence of emotional giving from a mother or father, and that, in an intergenerational pattern, people who have been brought up by tyrannical authoritarian parents will often parent their children in the same way. Adam Phillips adds that the mother who colonizes her child and stifles gestures of autonomy and difference breeds in him or her an often unconscious craving for the dead-end justice of revenge.
  • In another tradition, Julia Kristeva points out how a pairing of mothers and fathers, overprotective and uneasy, who have chosen the child as a narcissistic artificial limb and keep incorporating that child as a restoring element for the adult psyche intensifies the infant's tendency toward omnipotence. 
  • M. Scott Peck looked at milder but nonetheless destructive common forms of parental narcissism, as well as the depth of confusion produced by her mother's narcissism in a more serious instance.
  • The term has also appeared in connection with parental alienation syndrome, in situations where by role reversal (parentification) the child, like a "living antidepressant" fills the alienating parent's emotional void': the result is that the parent clings to the child like a person who is drowning.
Only in the Freudian heartland of mainstream psychoanalysis has the term retained a more restricted, pre-Ferenczi usage. Thus in a "comprehensive dictionary of psychoanalysis" of 2009, the only appearance of the term is in connection with misuse of the couch for narcissistic gain: The fact that it is seen by some patients and therapists as a "status symbol" lends it to narcissistic abuse.

Adult relationships

Narcissistic abuse may also occur in adult-to-adult relationships, where the narcissistic person tends to seek out a successful (independent, educated, and attractive) yet co-dependent (empathic excessively compliant, and forgiving) partner in order to "mirror" the behavior the narcissistic person lacks (e.g., empathy). In this way a dynamic of abuser and victim is created.
Their relationships are characterized by a period of intense involvement and idealization of their partner, followed by devaluation, and a rapid discarding of the partner. At the beginning of a relationship with a narcissist, the partner is only shown the ideal self of the narcissist, which includes pseudo empathy, kindness, and charm. Once the partner has committed to the relationship (e.g., through marriage or a business partnership), the true self of the narcissist will begin to emerge. The initial narcissistic abuse begins with belittling comments and grows to contempt, ignoring behavior, adultery, sabotage, and, at times, physical abuse. At the core of a narcissist is a combination of entitlement and low self-esteem. These feelings of inadequacy are projected onto the victim. If the narcissistic person is feeling unattractive they will belittle their romantic partner's appearance. If the narcissist makes an error, this error becomes the partner's fault. Narcissists also engage in insidious, manipulative abuse by giving subtle hints and comments that result in the victim questioning their own behavior and thoughts. This is termed "gaslighting" Any slight criticism of the narcissistic, whether actual or perceived, often triggers narcissistic rage and full blown annihilation from the narcissistic person. This can take the form of screaming tirades or quiet sabotage (setting traps, hiding belongings, spreading rumors, etc.). The discard phase can be swift and occurs once the narcissistic supply is obtained elsewhere. In romantic relationships, the narcissistic supply can be acquired by having affairs. The new partner is in the idealization phase and only witnesses the ideal self; thus once again the cycle of narcissistic abuse begins. Narcissists do not take responsibility for relationship difficulties and exhibit no feelings of remorse. Instead they believe themselves to be the victim in the relationship.