Doing Justice to the Normal Children of Narcissists
As I mentioned before, I am the child of a malignant narcissist. Now, can I have a sister of nearly the same age who is a malignant narcissist? Of course. But how could that ever happen if conventional wisdom is correct?
Indeed, if having a parent with NPD causes NPD, how can there be so many normal children of narcissists?
I think it's about time us normal children of narcissists demand our due. I say to all the narcissist-excusers, DO US JUSTICE or feel our wrath. Get your niggardly mits off the credit due me for turning out the way I did.
Yes, you are robbing me of the credit I deserve when you excuse the child who becomes a narcissist, by saying he or she had no choice, that he or she is just a machine whose buttons were pushed by an abusive father. When you say that, you say that I am just a different kind of machine, and I won't ignore the insult in that.
Was I too stupid to learn from the same bad example in our home? No. One of my earliest memories is of realizing my considerable size advantage and using it to suddenly push my younger sister down whenever no one was looking. Pushing her DOWN with respect to me felt oh so good. (The Teeter-Totter Game.) I would do it, see her tears, and just laugh. I really got off on it at the age of three or four. Just like Daddy got off on putting people DOWN with respect to him and then laughing at them. Big people could do that to littler people.
That is typical bullying behavior that you see on school playgrounds during the first years of elementary school.
All my sister could do was tattle. And without a twinge of conscience, I just lied, denying I had done the deed. It was so easy. Like why should I be a complete idiot and confess when Mom asked me whether the accusation was true?
Then one day, my life completely changed. This is one of my earliest and most vivid memories. I think I was four. This time Mom didn't believe me. She looked very sad and gave me the old "The-angels-cry-when-little-girls-lie" treatment.
My first thought was to laugh that off too. I could have thought, "Woops, well that won't work anymore. Next time, I'll be smarter. I'll push her down and then come running to Mom saying that she pushed me down."
But I didn't. It was one of those simple, quiet but earth-shaking decisions that one makes in a moment. Instead of laughing it off and remaining in denial, I allowed myself to see what I had done for what it was. That was the life-changing moment. For, the moment I let myself know the NATURE of what I'd done, I was deeply ashamed.
In other words, I just let myself get real. I faced what I had done. Peter Pan grew up and came out of Never Never Land (fantasy) into the Age of Reason (reality).
How ashamed was I? I was so ashamed that I not only never did that again, I became unusually gentle, kind, and empathic – to a fault even. I was a blooming altruist. And I never told another lie until I was sixteen years old.
Because my life reached a fork in the road at that point, and I chose the right one. I was tempted to go the other way, but I didn't. I never looked up to my father again.
And, though like everyone I stumbled now and then, I stayed on that right road - that WAY OF LIFE - choice by choice in the course of making me. I did that of my own free will. And I deserve the credit due me for that. And so do all the normal children of narcissists.
We all were abused and had the bad example set for us. We all saw how to exploit others for self-aggrandizement. We all were tempted to live that way. But we chose not to, and we deserve credit for that.
So, again I say, temptation is no excuse, because human beings are not machines.
If NPD were genetically caused, that would be easy to prove. Just survey ALL the children of narcissists for several generations. You would soon see the proof of inheritance in fixed ratios that echo the laws of probability, and you would soon be able to isolate the offending gene or genes.
So, why is no such research underway? Why do we get nothing but ruminations of pure hypothesizers passing off pseudoscience as science?
And the assumption that differences in brain chemical level or development is a cause rather than a effect of NPD is just plain absurd. Not only is that illogical, but since we know that mental habits CAN cause such measurable differences, the probability is that these differences are a result, not a cause, of NPD.
The very worst thing you can do for a narcissist is to give him an excuse. Talk about "codependence" and "enabling" - by the mental-health professionals themselves. Sheesh.
narcissistic personality disorder narcissism
Labels: Frank Krajco