Friday, July 20, 2007

A Dangerous and Terrible Thing

When a little child behaves childishly, we think little of it. Childishness is normal in children while their personalities develop. In fact, we don't use the term "childish" for childish behavior in children, because of its negative connotations. We call them "childlike."

We raise children to mental maturity.

When someone never steps up to mental maturity, you have the most dangerous and terrible thing in the world = a grown-up child. Why is what seems so benign in little children so malignant when it persists in adults? Because of the freedom and power adults have! Adults can do much more harm!

For example, would anyone be crazy enough to allow a furious five-year-old access to a gun? I hope not. I don't care how sweet that kid is, he couldn't be trusted not to get a really childish idea about how to solve his problem with that gun. So, what happens when a 40-year-old with the mental maturity of a 5-year-old is furious and sees a gun?

Besides, when childishness persists in an adult, it's always the childishness of a TROUBLED child.

Again, for example. Take one muddy kid and set him loose on an unsupervised playground with clean kids. He will run around, smearing himself off on every clean spot on other kids - till they are all muddy and crying and he looks good by comparison.

That is just a bad day at the playground.

But when he grows up, what if he keeps doing the same thing? What if he projects his faults and flaws off onto others by character assassination? People lose their jobs. Families break up. Businesses fail. Good leaders bite the dust and bad leaders get elected. No minor matter.

This is an old theme in art - that we can't let our love for children and our wise patience with them blind us to the true nature of childish behavior: take for example the novel The Lord of the Flies, the movie The Children's Hour, and this Twilight Zone episode described by Joanna Ashmund. It shows that a childish mind with the power to act on its impulses is a dangerous and terrible thing.

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4 Comments:

At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This childish behavior in an adult is there because of enabler(s). A parent or parents,sibling (myself included), friends etc. In my case "Mom" was the chief enabler who always stepped in between the conflicts my "N" brother had with Dad or anyone else. When he stole money from my drawer at the age of 13 "Mom" made him apologize but "she" gave me back the money. She also never told Dad.("Lies and Secrets", another staple of the "N's" life). This was always the case for the "baby" of the family, F-up and someone would cover for you.I'm also guilty for protecting this pathetic creep. But this I think is the origin of the problem that the "N" has. An enabler at an early age whose good intentions pave the road to Hell in later years.
Abel

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Yes, Abel. And who enables? People who do not realize that the little monster in the making is a person. The human person, right from the beginning, is NOT: an appendage, a shadow to reflect us, a vicarious little despot we can conquer through, a salve for our consciences so that we can feel better without addressing anything for real, or any other bit player in our personal dramas.

That's what the parents of the Young Narcissist-going-to-be just don't realize. They're dealing with a person. And the siblings are people too - not happenstance bit players to fill out the cast.

People can choose = people do choose = choosing without receiving the thing chosen undoes us/dehumanizes us.

And what is a little tyrant choosing? Reality would say he's choosing resistance, rejection, or some other bad outcome for how he is treating other people. But his parenting tells him a lie. And this is as crazy making for the tyrant as it is for the siblings. I am beginning to think that this is one area where the justice of reality gets us a lot closer to love than we can usually see. Know what I mean?

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Jeani_v said...

My MOTHER is an N, and a Malignant N to boot (yes, there are degrees of narcissism), and I am damaged because of it. I am 49, and have just realized the truth about her. I thank God for the internet and this website every day for showing me the truth about my life. I could never have distanced myself from her without the information I found here - and I am soooo much better off with her (and the n's she has created/surrounds herself with) out of my life! I cried out for help my whole life but no one could see what she was (including mental health professionals), which isn't surprising since n's know what they are and how to hide it.
If you know that something is wrong in your life but are being told that you are wrong - read this website. You may discover the truth.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Kathy, I want you to know something, and I keep forgetting to say it.

Your blog has given me the notion that I can trust my own reactions and responses instead of chronically thinking that it's my perceptions that are screwy. I'm really very grateful for this. Now I can stop confusing proper healthy awareness of my own limited self (staying willing to take in more information, not thinking I do or that I have to know all of something) with the crazy-maker "it must be me."

Thanks

 

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