Healthy Family vs. Narcissistic Parent (NPD) Family
Hi, Dr. Liz here with Conversations for Effective Living and the Hypnotize Me podcast. Today, I’m going to talk about something that’s out of the book, “Will I Ever Be Good Enough: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers.” Great book here. What she talks about is the configuration of a health family and a narcissistic family.
I’m going to put little graphics there of a healthy family and you can see, whether you’re coupled or you’re single, it’s like there’s a boundary here around the parent and the parents. And then the kids are here and they’re pretty much at equal level. So, they function as the parent has their own life and they’re also available to the children. The couple goes out together and they’re also available to the children. But it’s very clear there’s a boundary between mom and dad and the kids.
In an unhealthy family, then what happens is … And she talks about moms, so we’re going to put moms there. . . the mom is at the center, the dad floats around her, and then the kids float around that configuration. But they float around the mom mainly. So, what happens is that everything ends up being centered around the mom. So, if the mom wants something, everybody scrambles to get it. If the mom wants to do something, then everybody does it. If the mom doesn’t want to do something, nobody does it.
There’s no responsiveness to the needs of the children. There’s often no responsiveness to the needs of the partner. It will also often go into abuse even. So, I really think you’re looking at emotional neglect anytime you’re talking about a narcissistic parent or a narcissistic partner. The other partner is either neglected, the children are neglected. But it often will go into abuse, as well – emotional abuse where the other partner’s needs are not recognized at all and are often stepped upon all the time.
The Narcissistic Partner
So, let’s say you have a mom with a baby and she needs a break. She just is tired, she needs a break to go get a hair appointment or go get her nails done or go get a massage or just go to the store or go to a park, whatever it is. If she’s married to a narcissistic partner, she won’t get that break. The narcissistic partner will take tons of breaks, so maybe they’ll go out and play golf for four hours while she’s at home with the baby for four hours. That would be great, four hours, right? They’ll go out and play golf all day, while she’s home with the baby. Or there’s always some excuse of something they have to do and then she’ll get her time. And that time hardly ever comes. Or if it does come, it’s only after she’s insisted and fought for it, and there often has to be an argument that happens for her to even get that time. That’s just one example of how a partner’s needs just get squashed when they’re married to someone narcissistic.
The Child of a Narcissistic (NPD) Parent
That happens between children and adults, too. Perhaps the child wants to do something and the narcissistic parent doesn’t want to take them; they’ll make up some excuse. Often it’s, “No, I have to work or I have to do this or I have to do that,” and the child never gets to do anything. They end up holed up in their room, set up with a TV so that they’re entertained or something, and never coming out of there. It’s that kind of configuration that I see as emotional abuse and not really listening to the needs of the kids.
So, you can see more about toxic parents (is often what I call them even though I know not everybody feels that way about their narcissistic parent). There’s also a lot of love that goes on in between there, particularly child to parent. But if you want to see more about that configuration then you can also visit my website, drlizhypnosis.com, and look at some articles there. I have more.
I’d be happy to see you, too. If you’re in Broward County, you want to come into my practice, I am well-versed on narcissistic parents and treating the adult children of them.
I specialize in hypnosis for anxiety and chronic conditions in Broward county and the Fort Lauderdale area. To see if we’re a good fit to work together, schedule your free consultation at 954-309-9071.
Yours in health,