He or she might not be a sociopath who commits outright crimes but narcissists do tremendous psychological and emotional damage to their children. Their psychopathological presence day after day has a profound effect on a small child. For the narcissist mother or father, the child is an object, a narcissistic supply that enhances his ego. The child is there is to make him look good, for others to view him in the sterling role of "good father." Some narcissistic mothers and fathers "mold" their children to become perfect facsimiles of themselves. Small children are groomed to become geniuses in academia, superior athletes, professional entertainers, high tech savants, etc. If the child doesn't satisfy the narcissistic parent's expectations he is cast aside. Being forced to become someone other than yourself is devastating to a small child. Being false to one's true self causes psychological chaos in the young psyche. As the child grows, the pathology grows. Some of these children become narcissists. Others are outcasts, scapegoats who are made to feel ashamed and worthless. Many children of narcissists never work through or recover from having a narcissistic parent. They suffer in a myriad of ways. They feel like frauds. Some are ashamed and confused about their true identities and go on to move into dysfunctional marriages, often to narcissists.
Some children survive the narcissistic parent, assert their true identities, fight for it and individuate out of the narcissistic family. I have heard of many cases of these strong, persevering individuals who have won this uphill battle. One lesson is to research, observe and study every facet of the narcissistic personality so that you will not place your marital fate and that of your children in the hands of a narcissist. Visit my website:www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
Buy the Book: amazon.com