Sunday, June 6, 2021

How Narcissistic Bullies, Domestic Violence Offenders and Abusers are Made: Often in their Family. The Bully Golden Child (The Favorite Child), Part II, with a Discussion on Narcissistic Siblings

This is part of a series:
The Bully Golden Child (you are here)
both are favorite children, but some dysfunctional parents choose empaths to be their favorite child
and others choose a family bully
This post is about the family bully

Please note that the following post is long. It is long for a reason: I wanted to write an article that was a comprehensive look at childhood bullying and how it leads to the perpetration of other forms of abuse because at present there is nothing on the web that covers it one post in the present day. You have to search individual articles on all of the aspects I discuss here. And it has to be done right.

The best articles are those written by researchers with advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and social work who are associated with colleges and universities and often are in research teams. The writings are a lot to wade through because professional articles tend to focus on a detail, not the big picture. In order to get the big picture, you have to read a lot (and I mean a lot) of articles. 

Then there are those articles from Google searches that claim a bunch of things, but do not jive with the professional articles, and are primarily one-offs in terms of the things they claim. 

While Wikipedia can be useful at times to get a definition or two, I learned recently I had to be careful there too, because so many people collaborate on writing the articles for Wikipedia and often pertinent information is lost or erased.

My intent is to only put up articles in this post that can be backed up by professional articles or books about Narcissistic Personality Disorder by the professionals and experts in the field of the Cluster B personality disorders, experts in Bowen Family Systems theory, experts in violent offender research, experts in bullying research, psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy and social work. 

As with the How to Tell if You Have Abusive Parents post, you can always skim the sections that do not apply to your situation. Or read this at a few sections at a time and come back to it later.


"C'mon, say it! Say 'I will follow your orders, Oh Lord and Master!'" the typical school yard bully will chant while he and his co-bullies have the kid they are bullying on the ground pulling his arms behind his back and delivering pain to him. If he doesn't capitulate and say what they demand, they apply more pressure and pain. He feels that he has to say what they want, at least temporarily, just to get them to stop. 

But, if you think about it, this is what all bullies demand, although they are not pinning you to the ground or chanting it. Wanting you to regard them as lord and master is what they want whether the bullying is in the work place, in a school, in a society, in a country with a despotic leader, or in the family (even an 80 year old great grandfather who has been bullying since he was a child will usually keep doing it, or try to do it). 

And while the "Oh Lord and Master" saying might not be used literally, the idea is the same: to have power, control and domination over you. If you refuse to let it happen (even temporarily) they threaten to torture you instead. 


The Golden Bully Child of a parent with a Cluster B Personality Disorder is expected to play the role of the parent's enforcer. 

Since parents who are Narcissists, Sociopaths and Psychopaths (who are part of the Cluster B Personality Disorder spectrum) are notorious manipulative bullies who will never take blame or responsibility for what goes wrong in their relationships, the enforcer is likely to be a co-bully child that makes sure the parent is never to blame either. 

A bully parent operates with the notion that they need another bully to put social pressure on the rest of the children to make sure their commands are adhered to at all times. The premise is that "You can see no one else agrees with you, or likes you when you don't follow orders, so you must fall back into line, to my authority, control, domination and power."

While children need guidance and discipline, bullying with their favorite child (the golden) is not the way to do it (most parents know this).

The way they get a co-bully to go along with the role is to reward one of their children for bullying, the child who seems to enforce what they, the parent wants. The co-bully child is over-rewarded for siding with the bullying parent, and the scapegoat child of the parent is under-rewarded, punished and often rejected, and how the other children are treated is somewhere inbetween. Sometimes the parent will incite the child to bully their other parent instead of a sibling (called parental alienation - but it is not as effective to recruit a child to go against their other parent than it is to get them to go against a sibling). 

The parent also makes sure that the bully child will receive heavy consequences if they EVER side with a victim, even if that victim is their sibling or parent. 

Basically, sibling relationships unravel because it is clear that Mom or Dad wants you to fulfill the role of enforcer (or else!). What ends up happening in these situations is that "the enforcer" often becomes a sibling abuser. The sibling abuser not only bullies for the parent, but also for themselves too, to keep the sibling in the lower hierarchy so that he, the bully golden child, can keep being rewarded by the parent.

Sibling abuse works in these situations because narcissistic parents have black and white thinking: that the scapegoat is 100 percent bad, and is 100 percent at fault in all situations, and that the golden child is 100 percent good and 100 percent right in all situations. This will have many ramifications for scapegoats, the golden child, the golden child's marriage partners and children, even the narcissist who wants all of this, and for society at large, which I discuss much further down in the post. 

Any normal parent will see that bringing up a bully to enforce what the parent wants has too many pitfalls - for themselves, their relationships with all of their children, their integrity, in getting respect from their other children, in bringing them up to be kind fair adults, in telling them they are loved (how can a child who is bullied by a parent feel love from a parent? - even brainwashing is not effective). Scapegoats tend to "block out" their narcissistic parent's perspectives after awhile. Unless a parent can convince the scapegoat through gaslighting and crushing their self esteem that they are 100 percent at fault and that 100 percent of the altercations are their fault, a scapegoat will not believe it. This is especially true if the parent uses erroneous blaming and perspecticide on a consistent never-ending basis, which all narcissistic parents are highly likely to do. 

Also, when one child is blamed for everything, there is usually a great deal of hypocrisy: they notice another child gets off for a similar offense, and they also see that their parent lets themselves off the hook for the exact same behaviors. Children are very good hypocrisy detectives even if they aren't good at knowing how defend themselves against abuse, double standards, fake apologies, lies about their character, parental hypocrisy, and when the parent pretends they are the victim of the scapegoat. The scapegoat child is likely to rebel against all of this, and the rebellion provokes the parent, and with the provocation, the parent abuses the child. It is a cycle.

One of the reasons for the abuse has to do with trying to keep enforcing this horrific scapegoat role onto the one child. The child isn't going to know about the gray rock method or about Child Protective Services, or any other way of keeping safe, so the outcomes often add up to a lot of abuse, and cycles of abuse (rebellion or telling the parent why they are hurt - getting punished for rebelling - put back into the scapegoat role again - feeling angered by being put in the role - back to rebelling and getting abuse for it again - on and on ... all adding up to eventual PTSD in the child). 

Again normal parents will know this is wrong, very wrong, and see the pitfalls right away, but narcissists do not see any pitfalls and they really don't care what they are anyway. They believe they will come out unscathed, on top, that their authority and blame-shifting will forever serve them. Not having any insight into the pitfalls is especially the case because they tend overwhelmingly to put their golden child in a bully enforcer role for life

Also, I have heard enough (and even seen) reactions from narcissists who lose a child, or two, over bullying who cry crocodile tears for a day or two (mostly to get attention for themselves at a funeral), and then move on with their lives as though losing their child was no big deal, or who put the blame for all of the bullying and the suicide on their dead child. They will not take any responsibility for driving their child to such desperation, hopelessness, and chronic pain, and even break out into an annihilating rage if someone even suggests it a little bit. This is how much they lack empathy. 

If you understand how bullies devalue victims, you also see how bullies keep the devaluation after suicide. The case of Phoebe Prince who died after being socially ostracized and bullied by her peers at school, the bullies in that case were still writing insulting remarks about her on her memorial page. So bad! The fact that she was Irish also incited the bullies (again bullies tend to be prejudiced, and to pick on people who seem alone and vulnerable). 

There are many other cases that have the same trajectory as that one. Abusive bullying narcissistic parents who use others for bullying aren't different, so it is up to society to care about what happens to these children because narcissists can't and won't. This means that every child should be psychologically screened about what is going on in the family: focusing on favoritism, allocation of resources, how they are treated by their siblings, how the parent treats them, whether they are bullied (describing what bullying is to the child), whether they have been threatened, how they have been threatened, whether they are part of a blended family (taking into account that blended families have a lot of abuse in them), whether they have ever had feelings of suicide, whether and how much they wish they belonged to another family, if they could have their wish how would that family look different from their own ... 

(Please note: if you are feeling suicidal please get help by calling a suicide hotline - don't let narcissists define you or your worth particularly since so many of them define your worth based on how useful you are to them and cannot see past that ... they cannot see past anyone beyond wind-up toys and marionettes that they want to have the power to control). 

Now an empath golden child will not see this lack of empathy of a sibling suicide in a good light. They will be highly distraught and traumatized by losing a sibling. They will be grieving, feel sad, and sometimes be yelled at by the narcissistic parent to get over it. In contrast, a bully golden child will go right along with the parent, and feel that his sibling deserved it. The suicide is also seen as getting rid of some of the competition and makes more of the family resources available for just him or her - and a bully will be primarily focused on resources and rewards over relational peace, compromise, treating siblings with dignity, politeness, respect and empathy. From not caring about relational peace to having lack of empathy is how some of these kids become nightmare domestic violence offenders as an adult. They have been groomed this way since childhood, some of them from early childhood. 

And since the parent gives him high status and this role for life over their other children, bullying becomes part of their personality for life too. 

Some of the things that don't help with this trajectory into full blown narcissism or sociopathy with domestic violence offences later on: 

* They become spoiled by rewards for being a bully.
* They feel entitled to be spoiled and get what they want because parents who are narcissists usually put their kids in roles and a hierarchy, and the golden sits at the top of that hierarchy (i.e. he is rewarded the most, coddled the most, idealized the most).
* They see a parent being two faced: sweet and kind to outsiders and highly critical and abusive at home. The bully golden thinks that is a good way to behave, and especially towards his parent, so that they always see him in a good light while the siblings see only the abusive side to him.
* They are rewarded for becoming like the parent (a narcissistic parent idealizes himself or herself). Anyone who can mirror them is the highest form of flattery for them. One can understand why a parent who idealizes himself would idealize someone who acts like a mirror.
* Since the bully golden is rewarded for bullying as a child, and when they keep getting rewards for being a mini-me of the parent for the rest of the parent's life, they aren't going to wake up, or change, or feel that there is anything wrong with how they are, or how they behave. If they committed violent acts regularly towards a sibling when growing up and no one stopped it, they are going to normalize getting what they want through bullying. They are hopelessly committed to putting people in danger to get what they want because they got what they wanted for so long, for most of their lives. Again, they were groomed at an early age to become a bully.
* They see their parent blame-shift and lie when they abuse, and try to throw the responsibility on to their victim, so the golden thinks that is a good idea for him to adopt too.
* They see their parent use Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde behavior to keep victims from bailing out on them, and also to show a sticky sweet side to outsiders and a monster version of themselves inside the home -  and they think that is a good way to behave too.  
* In abusive narcissistic families victims always are pressured to apologize to bullies and abusers in much the same way that a schoolyard bully expects a victim who has been pinned to the ground and is trying to get out of being pinned, to apologize to the bully for resisting. 

So many things the parent does between raging, making everyone in a household walk on eggshells, using threats to get what they want, wanting a scapegoat, is all being modeled for the bully child to adopt, and the bully golden is mirroring it all back to impress the parent that he is just like the parent which the parent takes as the highest form of flattery. In the narcissist's mind, flattering them (the parent) comes before peace and resolution in their household. 

Narcissism tends to be generational. Usually when you see a family trend of children estranged from parents, or siblings estranged from each other, more divorces and blended families than not, favoritism, making a laughing stock out of certain family members by other members, suicides and suicide attempts, allegations of family abuse, criminals, domestic violence offenders, way too many lectures, insults at the dinner table, family get-togethers that sound more like people talking over each other or arguing than listening and understanding, or the elders given preferential treatment that is beyond normal acts of politeness and kindness (or, in general, signs of an authoritarian family), several family members diagnosed with PTSD, and it is all going on in one extended family, they probably are a narcissistic family. Bet on it. Then decide if you want to marry into that family. Unless you are marrying one of the ostracized members, your life and your potential kids' lives will look a lot like a toxic family.

There hasn't been much research other than that child abuse is generational, but I would bet from talking to more than a dozen psychologists, and doing a lot of research on this topic that the most common way abuse is passed down the generations is through the bully golden child. You can see why the bully golden is the best way to transfer it all (there is also a link below in the "Why Would a Parent Want to Destroy Their Child" section).

Much later in the post, I also talk about bullying in school prior to 1985 or so, before bullying was considered to be a serious health threat. 


the victims of bullying:  

dangers of suicide ideation and suicide attempts:

This comes from a CDC website:
In the past decade, headlines reporting the tragic stories of a young person’s suicide death linked in some way to bullying (physical, verbal, or online) have become regrettably common. There is so much pain and suffering associated with each of these events, affecting individuals, families, communities and our society as a whole and resulting in an increasing national outcry to “do something” about the problem of bullying and suicide ...
... Negative outcomes of bullying (for youth who bully others, youth who are bullied, and youth who both are bullied and bully others) may include: depression, anxiety, involvement in interpersonal violence or sexual violence, substance abuse, poor social functioning, and poor school performance, including lower grade point averages, standardized test scores, and poor attendance ...
... We know that bullying behavior and suicide-related behavior are closely related. This means youth who report any involvement with bullying behavior are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior than youth who do not report any involvement with bullying behavior. • We know enough about the relationship between bullying and suicide-related behavior to make evidence-based recommendations to improve prevention efforts.
Note that the above is about school bullying (not in-home bullying), so the suicide risk is going to be much worse in the home than the school.
   When you have a bullying parent and a bullying sibling, undoubtedly the risks are very, very high and confirms what I see: that a lot of abusive families display with suicide attempts by one or more youths in a given family. 
   In this way, we can also say that parents who bully, and bully with a sibling, are attempting to destroy their child (with narcissists, they won't care because of their lack of empathy), so it is necessary for the rest of society to care: to monitor children and families to detect abuse. This is especially true when children are being homeschooled.

learning disabilities: 

If you are abused in the home by a parent and a bully sibling, the likelihood for "lifetime PTSD" is great:

From the PubMed article, Posttraumatic stress disorder in abused and neglected children grown up:
Childhood victimization was associated with increased risk for lifetime and current PTSD. Slightly more than a third of the childhood victims of sexual abuse (37.5%), 32.7% of those physically abused, and 30.6% of victims of childhood neglect met DSM-III-R criteria for lifetime PTSD. The relationship between childhood victimization and number of PTSD symptoms persisted despite the introduction of covariates associated with risk for both.

When children are enduring bullying from both a parent and a sibling, the chances for amygdala hijacking are great (it activates the fight or flight responses is the brain):
From the Healthline article, What is an Amygdala Hijack?
When you feel threatened and afraid, the amygdala automatically activates the fight-or-flight response by sending out signals to release stress hormones that prepare your body to fight or run away.
This response is triggered by emotions like fear, anxiety, aggression, and anger.

   When your amygdala is hijacked from traumatic events and stress, your ability to learn becomes compromised:
From Childhood trauma and the brain (Understanding the brain and stress response) - from National Centre of Excellence for Complex Trauma:
   Children and adults who have experienced childhood trauma often react to minor triggers. That’s because trauma sensitises the amygdala to the perception of threat. This means that fear responses are triggered over time by less and less stress.
   The pre-frontal cortex is needed for learning and problem solving. When the amygdala is activated, it goes off line. After threat we can assess a situation and establish that it is safe...
   Extreme stress means there is more cortisol in our system (Murray-Closeet al., 2008). This can stop the hippocampus working. It also reduces its volume. This is associated with poorer declarative memory, depression and physical inflammations (Danese et al., 2006).
   The prefrontal cortex and the `higher’ brain are very vulnerable to traumatic stress (Silberg, 2013). Trauma affects our ability to think. It makes us less able to learn (Courtois & Ford, 2009). This is because we are in survival mode. Under traumatic stress, the `lower’ brain stem responses predominate, and impair a person’s ability to be calm, learn, think, reflect and respond flexibly.

From the professional article, Learning Disabilities and Bullying:
   The pervasiveness of peer victimization, or bullying, among children and adolescents is well documented. The effects of bullying may be far-reaching and lasting for bullies and victims alike (Nansel et al., 2001; Olweus, 1994; Perry, Hodges, & Egan, 2001). Involvement in bullying can significantly affect children’s and youth’s academic and psychosocial functioning as well as their physical health (Crick & Bigbee, 1998; Rigby, 2000). Equally well documented is the vulnerability of students with learning disabilities (LD), who are at risk of experiencing a wide range of psychosocial difficulties (Kavale & Forness, 1996; Lewandowski & Barlow, 2000; Margalit, 1998; Morrison & Cosden, 1997).
   My note: children who receive significant bullying at home are at risk for PTSD, which would count as a disability. 
   If that wasn't enough, children with learning disabilities are often more ostracized by peers and experience depression (cont. from the same article): 
    ... a stable finding is that children and youth with LD are more likely to be rejected, not accepted, and neglected by peers (Greenham, 1999; Kuhne & Wiener, 2000; Nabuzoka & Smith, 1993; Wiener, 2002). Approximately 25% to 30% of students with LD are socially rejected, in comparison to 8% to 16% of their peers without LD (Greenham, 1999). Rejection is considered foremost in their peer interactions (Kavale & Forness, 1996) ...
... Children and youth with LD report more symptoms of depression and anxiety and greater loneliness (Heath, 1992; San Miguel et al., 1996; Svetaz, Ireland, & Blum, 2000). Greenham (1999) observed that persons with LD tend to fall in the mild range of depression.

   How bullying effects children (from the same article): 

   Bullying is a form of aggression in which there is an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim (Besag, 1989; Olweus, 1991) that occurs largely in the context of the peer group (Craig & Pepler, 1997; Twemlow, Sacco, & Williams, 1996). Bullying, which may be direct (e.g., name-calling) or indirect (e.g., gossip), covers a wide range of behaviors, from social exclusion to physical assault (Hanish & Guerra, 2000; Pepler, Craig, Ziegler, & Charach, 1994). With the passing of time and continued harassment, the victim’s options become progressively limited (Pepler, Craig, & O’Connell, 1999). Peer victimization is a serious worldwide problem (Craig & Pepler, 1997; Nansel et al., 2001; O’Connell, Pepler, & Craig, 1999; Olweus, 1994; Rigby, 2000) and is a predictable, accepted, and often unspoken, albeit painful, part of childhood (Cullingford & Morrison, 1995). Recognition of the seriousness of bullying has led to the accumulation of a large body of research (Olweus, 1978, 1994; Rigby, 1999, 2000; Roland, 1989, 2000). Both children who bully and children who are victims are at risk for social, emotional, and psychiatric problems, which may persist into adulthood (Craig, 1998; Kumpulainen, Räsänen, & Puura, 2001; Nansel et al., 2001; Prinstein, Boergers, & Vernberg, 2001). Bullies are more likely to have externalizing problems, such as delinquency or alcohol abuse (Nansel et al., 2001; Olweus, 1993, 1997), whereas victims are at risk for internalizing problems, such as depression (Olweus, 1993; Pellegrini, 1998).
Children who are victimized are typically described as having few friends (Hugh-Jones & Smith, 1999; Thompson et al., 1994). Many victimized children are more insecure than their peers, cry easily, are anxious and withdrawn, and perhaps are physically weak and submissive (Egan & Perry, 1998; Hodges & Perry, 1999; Olweus, 1994; Perry, Kusel, & Perry, 1988) and poorly coordinated (Besag, 1989). Some studies have found that children who are frequently bullied are more likely to internalize their distress than to problem solve (Olweus, 1994) ...
   ... In general, children who are victims tend to be less accepted by peers than children who are not victims (Egan & Perry, 1998; Hodges & Perry, 1999; Hugh-Jones & Smith, 1999) ...

Then there is a kind of cycle that victims find themselves in: they are not popular and therefor have low self regard which makes them vulnerable to more bullying (from the same article):

   Victimization’s impact is exacerbated by a cycle wherein victims become vulnerable to further peer maltreatment (Crick & Bigbee, 1998). Hodges and Perry (1999) concluded that bullying “both is influenced by and contributes to children’s internalizing difficulties as well as rejection by peers” (p. 684). Similarly, Egan and Perry (1998) argued, “The fact that victimization and self-perceived peer social competence influence each other suggests a vicious cycle in which low self-regard and abusive treatment by others are mutually reinforcing” (p. 307).

Then there is the danger of bullies having maladaptive psycho-social behaviors (from the same article):

   Bullies are likewise at increased risk of experiencing psychosocial maladjustment, although it is of a different nature than that experienced by victims. Researchers have established that aggressive behavior during childhood very often continues into adolescence (O’Connell et al., 1999). Childhood bullying behavior may thus progress into adolescent delinquency or gang activity (Finkelhor, 1995; O’Connell et al., 1999; Olweus, 1991). This is consistent with a study conducted by Prinstein et al. (2001) that investigated the association of physical and relational aggression with adjustment ...
   ... Families of bullies have a high degree of conflict that may include violence (Olweus, 1997; P. K. Smith, 1991), a lack of warmth and involvement, and inadequate limits. Other factors that foster bullying are the need to dominate others and an “active and ‘hot-headed’ temperament” (Olweus, 1997, p. 501).

To make matters even worse, bullied children also do not report being bullied
because of fears of retaliations (from the same article):

   A finding of concern is that reported bullying invariably underestimates the problem, precisely because many children do not want to admit to being victimized (Hanish & Guerra, 2000; Pepler et al., 1994; Sharp, 1996). Possible reasons for this underreporting are shame, fear of retaliation, the inherent secrecy of bullying, and the children’s beliefs that they themselves are to blame, that they should handle the problem on their own, and that telling others simply will not help (Boulton & Underwood, 1992; P. K. Smith & MyronWilson, 1998).

further reading for this section:

From the Department of Psychology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany article Child abuse predicts adult PTSD symptoms among individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities by Claudia Catani and Iris M. Sossalla

Associations Between Child Maltreatment, Dysfunctional Family Environment, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Children’s Bullying Perpetration in a National Representative Sample in Taiwan - by Yi-Ping Hsieh, April Chiung-Tao Shen, Hsiao-Lin Hwa, Hsi-Sheng Wei, Jui-Ying Feng & Soar Ching-Yu Huang - professional research for The Journal of Family Violence

psychiatric disorders, arrested brain development
and health problems:

From Wounds That Time Won’t Heal: The Neurobiology of Child Abuse by Martin H. Teicher, M.D., Ph.D. for the Dana Foundation: 

   Research on the effects of early maltreatment, including the work of my colleagues and myself at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, appears to tell a different story: that early maltreatment, even exclusively psychological abuse, has enduring negative effects on brain development. We see specific kinds of brain abnormalities in psychiatric patients who were abused as children. We are also beginning to understand how these abnormalities may account directly for the personality traits and other symptoms that patients manifest ... 
   ... Physical abuse of children by their parents remained a hidden problem until 1962, when C. Henry Kempe published The Battered Child Syndrome, and an avalanche of publicity led to the enactment of child abuse reporting laws. During the 1970s, case reports of sexual abuse and incest appeared with increasing frequency in medical literature. By the 1980s, scientifically valid studies of the incidence and consequences of childhood sexual abuse were being published.
   Today, episodes of serious neglect and physical abuse are featured regularly in the news, constantly reminding us of the horrifying cruelty adults inflict on children. In separate surveys in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Canada, and of college students in New England and Texas, the percentage of women reporting sexual abuse during childhood ranged from 19 to 45. The medical literature is replete with research on this problem; clinicians, super-sensitized to it, increasingly suggest that childhood abuse lies behind a patient’s problem ... 
... Physical, sexual, and psychological trauma in childhood may lead to psychiatric difficulties that show up in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. The victim’s anger, shame, and despair can be directed inward to spawn symptoms such as depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and post-traumatic stress, or directed outward as aggression, impulsiveness, delinquency, hyperactivity, and substance abuse.
   Childhood trauma may fuel a range of persistent psychiatric disorders. One is somatoform disorder (also known as psychosomatic disorder), in which patients experience physical complaints with no discernible medical cause. Another is panic disorder with agoraphobia, in which patients experience the sudden, acute onset of terror and may narrow their range of activities to avoid being outside, especially in public, in case they have an attack.
   More complex, difficult-to-treat disorders strongly associated with childhood abuse are borderline personality disorder and dissociative identity disorder. Someone with borderline personality disorder characteristically sees others in black-and-white terms, first putting them on a pedestal, then vilifying them after some perceived slight or betrayal. Such people have a history of intense but unstable relationships, feel empty or unsure of their identity, often try to escape through substance abuse, and experience self-destructive impulses and suicidal thoughts. They are plagued by anger, most often directed at themselves.
  In dissociative identity disorder, formerly called multiple personality disorder (the phenomenon behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”), at least two seemingly separate people occupy the same body at different times, each with no knowledge of the other. This can be seen as a more severe form of borderline personality disorder. In borderline personality disorder, there is one dramatically changeable personality with an intact memory, as opposed to several distinct personalities, each with an incomplete memory. People with dissociative identity disorder have two or more (on average, eight to fifteen) personalities or personality fragments that control their behavior at different times. Often there is a passive, depressed primary identity who cannot remember personal history as fully as can the other more hostile, protective, or controlling identities.
   Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) afflicts some people who have undergone a traumatic event involving serious injury or a threat to life or limb. Initially identified in combat veterans, PTSD seems to result as well from natural disasters, child abuse, and other devastating experiences. People with PTSD keep re-experiencing the traumatic event in waking life or in dreams, and they actively avoid situations that might bring back memories of the trauma. They may also suffer a general numbing of their responsiveness, show diminished interest in significant activities, restrict the range of their emotions, or have feelings of detachment or estrangement from others. Finally, they may also experience increased arousal (such as difficulty falling or staying asleep), irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating, hyper vigilance, and an exaggerated startle response.
Abuse and the Developing Human Brain
... in 1983, A. H. Green and his colleagues suggested that many abused children evidenced neurological damage, even without an apparent or reported head injury. Interestingly, although minor neurological disturbances and mild brain-wave abnormalities were more common in children who had been abused than in those who had not, Green and his colleagues did not believe that the abuse had caused them. Instead, they saw these neurological disturbances as a possible additional source of trauma, amplifying the damaging impact of an abusive environment. In 1979, R. K. Davies reported that in a sample of 22 patients involved as a child or as the younger member in an incestuous relationship, 77 percent had abnormal brain waves and 36 percent had seizures ... 
   ... Our research (and that of other scientists) delineates a constellation of brain abnormalities associated with childhood abuse. There are four major components:
   * Limbic irritability, manifested by markedly increased prevalence of symptoms suggestive of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and by an increased incidence of clinically significant EEG (brain wave) abnormalities.
   * Deficient development and differentiation of the left hemisphere, manifested throughout the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus, which is involved in memory retrieval.
   * Deficient left-right hemisphere integration, indicated by marked shifts in hemispheric activity during memory recall and by underdevelopment of the middle portions of the corpus callosum, the primary pathway connecting the two hemispheres.
   * Abnormal activity in the cerebellar vermis (the middle strip between the two hemispheres of the brain), which appears to play an important role in emotional and attentional balance and regulates electrical activity within the limbic system ... 
Effects on the Hippocampus
   The hippocampus, located in the temporal lobe, is involved in memory and emotion. Developing very gradually, the hippocampus is one of the few parts of the brain that continues to produce new cells after birth. Cells in the hippocampus have an unusually large number of receptors that respond to the stress hormone cortisol. Since animal studies show that exposure to high levels of stress hormones like cortisol has toxic effects on the developing hippocampus, this brain region may be adversely affected by severe stress in childhood.
   J. Douglas Bremner and his colleagues at Yale Medical School compared magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 17 adult survivors of childhood physical or sexual abuse, all of whom had PTSD, with 17 healthy subjects matched for age, sex, race, handedness, years of education, body size, and years of alcohol abuse.8 The left hippocampus of abused patients with PTSD was 12 percent smaller than the hippocampus of the healthy controls.
There is a lot more in that article from less activity in the left part of the brain compared to the right part, EEG abnormalities, and effects on the cerebellar vermis. There is also a discussion of how child abuse effects hormones.

Other articles for this section:

The effect of parental emotional abuse on the severity and treatment of PTSD symptoms in children and adolescents - by Chris Hoeboerab, Carlijnde Roosc, Gabrielle E.Van Sond, Philip Spinhovenae, and Bernet Elzingaa

Trauma, PTSD, and the Developing Brain - a professional article by Ryan J. Herringa for Current Psychiatry Reports 

Narcissistic Abuse and the Reactivation of Continual Trauma

From 5 Terrifying Ways Narcissists and Psychopaths Manufacture Chaos and Provoke You by Shahida Arabi for Psych Central: 

   Manufactured chaos allows malignant narcissists to keep you on the hamster wheel of trying to figure out their intentions and second-guessing yourself. They try to train you to question what you did wrong rather than holding them accountable for their actions. They convince you that setting boundaries or expressing discomfort with their disturbing antics is the problem, rather than their problematic behavior ...
... Narcissists and psychopaths are well-known for a tactic known as “baiting.” They deliberately provoke you so that you emotionally react ...
... When called out for their deplorable behavior, narcissists play the victim and lash out in narcissistic rage when you dare to confront them, however politely (Goulston, 2012) ...

This, of course, will mean that you will constantly be re-experiencing amygdala hijacking over and over and over again throughout your childhood (amygdala hijacking causes the heart to race, which can result in early cardiac problems), and possibly into adulthood.

If you also develop PTSD from the constant stress of "baiting" (the narc parent trying to get an emotional reaction out of you), the "baiting" can also produce "PTSD triggers", events which sound like the original event and bring on an influx of symptoms. It will mean that the symptoms will get re-activated again. These symptoms last for at least 5 - 7 days unless the narcissist keeps reactivating the baiting during that time or shortly afterwards: lack of sleep, nightmares, anxiety, emotional discharge (sadness, tears, anger, etc.), possible generalized anxiety, possible stomach aches or upset, possible headaches, possible body and muscle aches, possible racing heart (heart palpitations even when you are a child) and a myriad of other symptoms which can even effect the immune system (often resulting in auto-immune diseases or a vulnerability to diseases like cancer and heart disease). Depending on how much the parent is baiting will depend upon how severe the PTSD is and how much it will be a lifelong problem.

Then there are abandonments meant to bait you too. This is how many abandonments start (the article by Shahida Arabi continues):

   ... According to Dr. Sharie Stines, “Narcissists have a tendency to practice seasonal devalue and discard during the holidays, focusing these abuse tactics on their nearest targets and closest partners. Why do they do this? Because they have no empathy and cannot handle intimate relationships and are compelled to do what it takes to destroy them.”
   For example, it’s not uncommon for a narcissist to begin a crazymaking argument with you right before the day of a big event or interview, to make you cry on your birthday, or to purposely “forget” to give you a gift on Christmas. They may even ruin celebrations by actively provoking you behind closed doors before attending family events, to make you look like “the crazy one.”

But of course, this isn't the end of it. This is how the abandonment is finished off (the same article is continued):

 ... Stonewalling is shutting down the conversation before it has a chance to begin. It is when a person withdraws from a conversation and refuses to address your concerns. The manipulator may choose to outright ignore your requests, respond with dismissive, invalidating replies or evade responding appropriately altogether by giving vague responses that refuse to answer your original questions. Often, stonewalling and the silent treatment go hand in hand as the abusive partner refuses to speak to their victim for long periods of time.
   A pattern of chronic stonewalling can be debilitating as research shows that receiving the “cold shoulder” and the silent treatment activates the same area of the brain that detects physical pain (Williams, Forgas, & Hippel, 2014) ...
   ... The silent treatment and stonewalling evoke excessive anxiety, fear and a persistent sense of self-doubt in their victims. The narcissist thrives off of the power and control they feel as they continue to pull the strings of the victim like a master puppeteer ... 

   You can see why potential abandonment would be terrifying to a child. The child gets constantly groomed to feel frightened about abandonment throughout childhood with long silent treatments (which amount to child neglect) and being isolated away from other family members for extremely long periods of time. They may also be pushed away or hit when their fear and sadness are activated by the potential threat of abandonment. The lack of empathy inherent in narcissists also means that the parent won't care if the child is experiencing anxiety, grief, terror, trauma and all of the symptoms that go with trauma.
   To make matters worse, the child endures a smear campaign where a parent will put "crazy" or "insane" labels on the child (which will mean others will avoid looking into child abuse, because the symptoms are deemed by the parent to be an anomaly to the child, increasing the feelings of abandonment in the child) and gaslighted (continually told they are crazy by the parent and that because they are crazy, that they deserve the baiting, the abuse and the parental rejections).
   If the parent cannot fully abandon them as children (shoving parental responsibilities off onto another parent or caregiver for instance), they will often fully abandon them at the moment they become adults.  
   A couple of other things that narcissists do to reinforce abandonment traumas:
   - they often encourage you to run away or to be alone, by yourself 
   - they often expect you to fend for yourself when you don't have the resources, backing, education or wherewithal to do so 
   - they often abandon you when you are going through other traumatic times: when your other parent dies, your child dies, a sibling dies, or when you have been diagnosed with a chronic or fatal illness, for instance. This, of course, intensifies the symptoms and makes it hard to deny them.   
   - they often leave trauma victims out of their Will, including grandchildren who are trauma survivors
   - they brainwash others (especially other family members) so that these other people will also traumatize and re-traumatize victims, often by convincing others in a family to abandon you too
   - they keep re-creating situations for more abandonment (even after they have apologized and promised to change - something I talk about below)
   - they use abandonment as a default way to solve relationship issues (this is where it can effect all of society)
    - they perceive trauma and trauma symptoms as a weakness in their children rather than a result of parental provocations (for instance manufacturing chaos and reasons to punish), and many of them also mistakenly believe that if they inflict greater amounts of trauma that it will toughen their children up. Some of them just like to inflict trauma (the sadistic narcissists): it gives them a sick sense of power in a way that serial killers get a sick sense of power by torturing - and not kidding. 
   What it does instead is to inflict more symptoms on their child - narcissists are neither smart about this, nor do they have the empathy to care, so they keep using you as a punching bag until the punching bag deflates.
   In a way, the same results happen to narcissists that happen when a real punching bag deflates. If a deflated punching bag is on the floor and you hit it with all of your might, what happens? You end up injuring yourself. And basically that is what happens to narcissists too, but they won't know it at the time. They will just try to find another punching bag, another person to take their rage out on. 
   In the meantime, the narcissist is also either modeling this behavior to another child (normalizing abuse), or actively grooming them to behave in this way too ...

Other articles:

7 types of bait narcissists use to manipulate & control - and what you can do about it. - by psychologist, Dr. Sara Davies 
   My note: of course, children will not be able to take the advice, so it is often up to schools and school social workers to detect this "bait and switch" abandonment tactic of a parent. 

Narcissists Baiting - by Elizabeth Shaw for her own website

What It's Like to Be a Complex Trauma Survivor of Narcissistic Abuse - by Shahida Arabi for Psych Central
Trauma Bonds: How a Narcissistic Mother Primes You for Abuse - by Amanda Robins for

The Trauma Bond and Healing from Narcissistic Abuse - by Shirley Davis for CPTSD Foundation

How it ends up:
mob bullying, scapegoating and prejudice

When a narcissistic parent and another one of her children gang up on one child continually, it is considered to be scapegoating. But it can also be considered to be mobbing. Usually the desire for the narcissistic parent to recruit more family members to mob is great. In psychology lingo they are called Flying Monkeys. So the bullying can occur (and most often occurs) with the addition of other family members possibly including other siblings, a step-parent, perhaps cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, inlaws ... 

From Wikipedia:
Janice Harper followed her Huffington Post essay with a series of essays in both The Huffington Post[6] and in her column, Beyond Bullying: Peacebuilding at Work, School and Home in Psychology Today[7] that argued that mobbing is a form of group aggression innate to primates, and that those who engage in mobbing are not necessarily "evil" or "psychopathic", but responding in a predictable and patterned manner when someone in a position of leadership or influence communicates to the group that someone must go. For that reason, she indicated that anyone can and will engage in mobbing, and that once mobbing gets underway, just as in the animal kingdom it will almost always continue and intensify as long as the target remains with the group. She subsequently published a book on the topic[8] in which she explored animal behavior, organizational cultures and historical forms of group aggression, suggesting that mobbing is a form of group aggression on a continuum of structural violence with genocide as the most extreme form of mob aggression.

One of the things Ms. Harper does not mention is that when these things are done by narcissists and psychopaths, they are so much worse.

Any good domestic violence therapist will never convince you that you should remain as part of the group. I do believe that any scapegoat who remains in a situation where they are bullied by a group will die (either of homicide, directly, or indirectly through continual emotional or physical wounding, or of internal destruction, like PTSD symptoms that are totally unmanageable). If a counselor tries to convince you otherwise, find another counselor.  

If you are being bullied by a parent with a sibling (and other family members are starting to join in), there really is no other way than out. Getting out earlier rather than later, and getting out at a younger age rather than a later age, can save you from more bullying, more trauma, and the devastating impacts of one trauma situation after another, repeated, and then repeated again, and then repeated again ... and also escalated to unbearable levels. It is akin to an attempted murder with torture where the perpetrator keeps cutting away at you, slowly, taking off one piece of you at a time, and then you take the knife and kill yourself just to end their torture of you. 

If you are a domestic violence survivor of a narcissist's golden child, it is not much different, is it? They will be trying to recruit your common children to look badly upon you (called parental alienation, which I will be writing about soon). It's the gang bullying they saw as a child repeated on their own families. No doubt they will also have a scapegoat child and a golden child too, and to be triangulating you and all your children to mimic what they grew up with. 

But back to the scapegoat ... A scapegoat can heal faster the earlier they see the signs that the bully's objective is to torture. Two bullies (a narc parent and a sibling, for instance) are enough torture. You, the scapegoat, don't need to wait for a whole mob to gather. They will recruit a mob if you don't get away: count on it. The earlier you get out, the less your PTSD symptoms will plague you, and the more you can thrive. Suggestions for starting on a path to healing range from domestic violence counseling, domestic violence shelters, police involvement, keeping a record for police, trauma therapy, joining groups for child abuse survivors, PTSD survivors, Children of Narcissistic Parents (ACON groups), and 12 step programs like CoDA.

Sometimes narcissists try to reconnect with you. Sometimes they even apologize. If they are not personality disordered some headway might be possible, but if they are true narcissists (have all of the traits on the right hand side in the column of this blog and show a lack of empathy for your plight), they are so unlikely to change even if they tell you otherwise. It's a lie. They can't. Change takes empathy. And the ability to self reflect. But the biggest reason is that all narcissists have to have a scapegoat. They have to. If you were once their scapegoat, you will be their scapegoat again. 

Some of the ways that you can tell if they still want to still scapegoat you, even when they are trying to sweet talk you back into the family fold (called hoovering) are these signs:
* they won't compromise on a meeting place: they insist that you meet them in a place where they can have their co-bullies present (this should be so obvious)
* they are still trying to take any and all blame off of themselves and put it on to you. If people are coming up to you who don't know you or your side of the story, and say things like "How could you treat your parent (or partner) like that!" you know they are still scapegoating you through smear campaigns. 
* they say things like "I just want you back" but they don't say why
* they insist that you apologize to their co-bullies or make up with all of the abusers and bullies in the family (WARNING: this can be dangerous - not a good idea at all, even to keep the peace ... they are also insinuating by their action that they refuse to see you in any other way than as a scapegoat). 

As long as you see that they want to continue to scapegoat you in these ways and more and they are doing it from afar (and it can go on for a decade or more), they haven't given up their desire to scapegoat you. That's the sign. Giving up a desire to scapegoat would mean:

* No smear campaigns
* No false narratives
* No conspiracy theories about your intentions (just sticking to the facts of who said what - and not just in parts, the whole of it)
* No brainwashing of others (hate campaigns)
* Showing no desires for domination, power or control of you or others in the situation
* Not trying to manipulate an outcome 
* Not trying to manipulate who talks to who, and who says what to whom
* Not trying to paint you out to be crazy, stupid or evil, but seeing you as a fellow human being
* Not trying to lay any more blame on you (as long as they are blaming, they are not serious about stopping the scapegoating)
* And self examination:
    - "Maybe the reason I put the blame on other people so much is that in childhood I was terrified when Dad would - "
    - "I really need therapy. I know that most people don't scapegoat and I need to look into why I'm doing it."

What chance is there of any of this coming true? None. Maybe .00005 percent chance if they have been in therapy for decades over their narcissism. Right now only one quarter of one percent (.05 percent) go to therapy willingly because they don't like what they have become or what their life has become, but there is a high chance that they will quit, and a high recidivism rate that they will go back to narcissistic tactics when it suits them. This shows that most narcissists are very happy hurting other people and causing destruction in other people's lives. 

And it also shows that once they have been groomed to be a bully, or were given a lot of preferential treatment by a parent despite their bullying, they are not going to change either. They will usually get worse. It also is a clear indication that a relationship with a domestic violence offender cannot get better either, that it will also get worse. 

Hope is only possible with people who do not have narcissistic traits, or alternatively only a few of the traits (not the whole gamut). They might be verbally abusive, but then hate themselves afterwards for losing it, for instance - these kinds of people can change their programming. However, if the one narcissistic trait you see is gaslighting forget it. Where you find gaslighting is where you find all of the rest of "the junk": not taking accountability for their actions, continual broken promises, an addiction to domination and control, punishments, smear campaigns, arrogance, conspiracy theories about other people, and the rest of the list on the right.
A scapegoat is needed because narcissists cannot accept that they have responsibility for anything that goes wrong, for any disagreement at all. They feel that some other person should always take the responsibility and blame. Always. This goes for arguments, disagreements, pain another person feels from the narcissist's behavior. They have to blame shift it all off of themselves and on to a scapegoat.  

Their mindset about this has to do with a combination of prejudice on a personal level (perhaps you're not the right sex, don't have the kind of hair they have, don't have the same personality or perspectives they have, you are deemed to be not the right kind of pleaser - it's usually a combination of things which add up to hatred, with all of the things we associate with hatred when it comes to racism, sexism, body type, people with disabilities, sexual orientation, and so on). In addition to prejudice, it is also about confirmation bias, and black and white thinking. The really scary part is that they really do believe their scapegoats are 100 percent bad just as someone who is heavily racist and who only associates with other racists believes that ALL people of color are all bad. Perpetrators are also very sure of what people think, what they plan, what they will do (conspiracy theories and invalidation and perspecticide are prevalent in narcissists' minds). We know that people who think "This race of people are all bad" are a danger to that race (they WILL scapegoat someone of that race if they think they can get away with it). 

Now for those of you who wonder what this has to do with the bully brand of Golden Child is that the child is either seeing bullying behavior modeled, or they are deemed to be justified when they are bullying the scapegoat. Often they are even actively recruited for bullying the scapegoat (the scapegoat can also be the other parent, but it's a little harder to get a child to scapegoat his other parent, but not impossible - again, it is parental alienation). 

The golden child's sibling is the most likely scapegoat, and chosen for bullying because they are deemed to be weaker, more vulnerable, more expendable, more teach-able, and the sibling relationship is weaker too than with a parent. The parent can control the narrative of what their scapegoat child is about with other grown-ups. The child may be more disabled than their other siblings to put up a fight. And in some regards, the narcissistic parent tries to keep a scapegoat weakened (socially outcast, socially derided, continually blamed over erroneous issues, deemed not be smart, deemed not sane, deemed to be less valuable by the parent, deemed disabled, deemed unattractive, deemed not worthy of respect or love) by showering resources on other children, and depriving the scapegoat of resources. 

When you are their child and they stop acknowledging your birthday, this is usually the sign that resources of the family will begin to be denied to you. In fact, narcissistic parents usually manipulate with birthdays: the favored will be given an extreme amount (over the top), another child will receive a lesser amount, another child an even a lesser amount, and the scapegoat often nothing at all. It is to show who pleases them the most and who pleases them the least (and in narc world, pleasing is everything to them since they can't see beyond it into how this might effect their children and their relationships with children; they are that blindly self absorbed).

I'm convinced that narcissists who are high on the scale of narcissism (who have a few Antisocial Personality Disorder traits like Malignant Narcissism) do not particularly care if they lose a child (whether through estrangement or death). 

For those of you who are married to a narcissist, how does your partner react when your child threatens to run away or commit suicide? Is your partner concerned or are they calloused? What if one of your children is complaining about being bullied by a sibling or a classmate? Concerned or calloused? Do they try to get the victim child to make up with the bully child ("Just be a little nicer"?). Do they say inappropriate things to the child like: "Good! Then I don't have to see your sniveling little face around here any more!"  or "So dramatic! I'm tired of this drama!" - minimizing is very common for narcissists and so is neglecting to do anything to prevent victimization. 

If they aren't concerned about their own children, you can count on it that they won't be concerned with you either if you are their partner. 

A lot of survivors of domestic violence and child abuse keep relating to narcissists on fumes of hopes and wishes. The hopes and wishes don't materialize, or only briefly materialize through the cycle of abuse. But the cycle of abuse when they want to make up with you isn't about them having second thoughts about their cruelty or having an epiphany that they love you after all, even if they might say so; it is about losing you as a source of narcissistic supply whether that be money and financial support, or validation, or missing you because you used to fluff up their ego, or you used to give them power and control, or they want a submissive slave and you were once good at that, or they want a scapegoat to use for continual never-ending blame - it is usually a combination of things that add up to valuing you based on your usability. They try to get you back to fulfill a role for them, and if you back away from the role as you did the last time, they terrorize or discard you yet again. It keeps happening until they find someone fresh and new to toy with in this way.  

For scapegoat children of narcissistic parents: they start playing abandonment games with you and one of the first ways they do this is not to acknowledge your birthday. This is usually just the beginning of the abandonment stage as illustrated by Shahida Arabi above in the Reactivating Trauma section. Then they start to abandon you in other ways.

If you are a spouse of an abuser instead, their threats and terrorizing may not be about abandonment ... unless you are going through a traumatic illness, or someone in the family is going through a medical problem, or someone close to you has died, abandonment being something to add to the rest of the trauma you are experiencing. More likely it is more about threats to take the children away, to poison the children's minds against you (again parental alienation), taking your money away, smearing your reputation to all of your common friends (and possibly colleagues), possibly having affairs on you to trash your self esteem, and putting up a huge child custody battle where you are being impoverished by attorney bills. 

There are so many reasons why most of us should be discarding them instead of them discarding us, but most of us are programmed to work out issues in relationships, to compromise, to be polite, to talk about feelings, to talk about solutions, to be caring of other people, to not trigger other people in ways that will hurt them. They count on this from us and exploit it. They are also opposites than the rest of us, so we may assume they are like us and appeal to their sense of justice and sensitivity, but they don't usually have either. Which is why they get away with terrorizing us, why they can sometimes force us to do things which are self destructive (like apologizing to a bully if we are a child for instance, or making excuses for them as to why they did not show up for the umpteenth time to an important life event and why they keep having affairs on us, if we are a partner for instance). They are always poking and prodding more trauma. And we start to normalize the trauma ... which invites ever more trauma from them.

A very obvious provocation to induce trauma (erroneous blaming and erroneous punishments from them to get us purposely triggered, start to get us thinking about whether we actually deserve the amount of trauma they are inflicting on us ... hmmm). This can lead us to therapy, and eventually mean acceptance of their discard, or discarding them instead. The thing is, erroneous punishments, and punishments over not being perfect enough, are always going to be part of the lexicon of the abusive tactics they use. They want you to believe that you are not perfect enough and that they need to teach you to be perfect, but if you study narcissism, you will never be perfect enough, no one will, and they will constantly seek to discard you and traumatize you with the things you fear most, over, and over, and over again. 

If you want to end generational abuse, figure out a way to get your children out of this (and the golden child-scapegoat dynamic). I'm sure you have reasons to get out if you are going through trauma in the relationship. Trauma will slowly disintegrate and destroy you and your children. Even if you have to fawn awhile to organize a get-away, it will help to block the generational slide into family chaos, suicides (from scapegoats), and criminal behaviors (from blossoming bully goldens). 

Do it for society too. When prejudiced perspectives, and people who practice prejudice based on conspiracy theories are marginalized by society, we are more likely to have a peaceful society. Once the rate of narcissism increases to much over 5 or 10 percent of the population, prejudice and conspiracy theories will be normalized and tolerated to a great extent, and be reflected in our political leaders. When narcissism rates reach a state of critical mass, expect a civil war, racial wars, religious wars, despotic authoritarian tyrants for leaders, bullying invasion tactics of other countries, and, in general,  wars and violence everywhere. We have to break the tide of narcissism in the family first, just as we have to solve any kind of societal victimization (even issues like sexual harassment) by having a "no tolerance" approach to it in the family, even if it is your dear husband perpetuating abuse, or dear father, or your dearest golden child perpetrating bullying, physical abuse, emotional abuse, prejudice, and other forms of abuse. 

If you ignore your marriage partner victimizing, or letting one child victimize another, this will always be interpreted in a child as condoning and normalizing

I know of no other way of diminishing narcissism in marriages, families, workplaces and in society other than denying narcissists power and domination, and holding them accountable for victimizations by having laws which take away their abilities to use power for victimizations. 

Begin teaching children what narcissism is, and what child abuse is. Schools might be a good place to start because narcissistic parents will never teach it ... or they might teach it and then act hypocritical (and once the child confronts the hypocrisy in the parent, the whole d%mn abuse cycle begins again). Education and laws will force all people who have relationships with children to take victimization of children more seriously if there is the possibility children will be taken away from them, whether that victimization is social, emotional, psychological, sexual, neglect and abandonment, or from egregious physical injuries. 

Further reading: 

The narcissistic family’s scapegoat: Survival and Recovery - by psychotherapist Jay Reid from his own website

When Bullying Begins at Home (Why does sibling bullying occur and what can parents do about it?) - by Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. for Psychology Today

Toxic Families Who Scapegoat - by Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. for

RECOMMENDED: 6 Ways to Deal With the Family Bully - by Sherri Gordon for Very Well Family 
why would a parent want to destroy their own child
and enlist their sibling?

In this section, I try to give you an understanding of why a parent would want to bully their own child, and even disable their child from bullying, and to have a golden child take part in it. However, I go into this subject in a lot more depth in the Favoritism in the Family post. 

Below I talk more about how this can become the golden's training to be a domestic violence offender, a narcissist or sociopath, and a child abuser.   

So why would a parent want to abuse their own child to the point of destroying him or her? Or driving them to a suicidal mindset?

This is assuming that the parent knows all of the pitfalls above: how the bullying is effecting the child's self esteem, how it is effecting their ability to learn, how it is producing symptoms in the child, how it is effecting their sleep patterns, and even how it is effecting their relationship to the child. To any normal parent it looks like a definite relationship killer in the same way that domestic violence looks like a way to kill a marriage. 

However, to parents who do not have narcissism, it seems quite a bit more egregious than domestic violence between a husband and wife. The innocence of children, and how they look to adults for guidance, child abuse seems particularly heinous to them. They know it is going on with victims who present proof, but the rest of it is beyond comprehension to them. They cherish their children, and many of them say that they experienced so much love when they became a parent in a way that they never would have thought possible when they were teenagers. They are crazy about their children, and a lot of them don't want to do anything more than to be around their children. Their thoughts are overwhelmingly on their children, and they enjoy their company.

I think anyone who has been raised by a narcissist knows their parent is not like this, not in the least, and never was. 

What I have noticed is that some of these parents have some slight understanding of what is going on from victims' correspondences : "Wow! The parents seem to be acting like children and the children seem to be acting like adults. It's like these parents never grew up!" - and that is exactly where the clue lies. 

If you were to take out any references in most of the correspondences between a narcissistic parent and their teenager, you would tend to think the relationship was between two teenagers, or a teenager and a child, or the teenager would be deemed to be the parent. It's because narcissists are immature.

When a narcissist has a child, they can often resent being caretakers. That is because they want to be taken care of still. They want the attention instead of it going to their child; they want the praise; they want to be the recipients of constant care, they want to be loved unconditionally. They are still children in many, many ways because a lot of them were raised by narcissistic parents themselves, or at the least, inconsistent parents, neglectful parents or bullies. The love and care they received was spotty at best. Or, as a child, they were taught to look at love as something that is very painful.  

Parenting, to them, equates to narcissistic parenting because that is what they had modeled as children in some way. If they saw their parent have a favorite child and a discarded child, they will have a favorite child and a discarded child. If they saw their parent torturing a child, they will torture a child. The most likely child to carry on the tradition of narcissistic parenting is the golden child. The scapegoat knows the dark side ... they don't experience any positives of narcissism, whereas the golden child definitely feels that adopting traits of narcissism brings him parental reward). This comes from Quora (people who look for answers on-line): What happens to the Golden Child of a narcissist - with psychologist Edward Tierney answering:
I don’t have access to any proper studies, but my own experiences would suggest the vast majority become narcs themselves. Scapegoats, no, if anything they become anti-narc, they have seen the dark side, so they veer away as soon as they become aware of the term. They have all the baggage that being a golden child brings- the arrogance, the insecurity, the hot and cold, jealousy, lack of empathy, lack of trust, no friends. You’d think they’d try very hard to avoid becoming like the parent, but it’s the opposite, and they always have kids, so it goes on down the line. All that toxicity in one family is truly appalling to behold. So when they become a narc themselves they behave as all narcs do, in a selfish, friendless, loveless way, and hurt everyone they come across. This is the dark side of narcissism. If it was all just boasting and flamboyant dress it would be tolerable if a bit annoying, but it is much darker than that. Narcs are unpleasant people, self-obsessed and simply not nice to be around. They damage people. So I am on a campaign to educate everyone about narcissism, and the dangers thereof. My little answers can only provide a snapshot, in relation to a tiny aspect of narcissism, and it is a big subject, so you need to study it to understand it properly. This will pay enormous dividends. You will be able to better deal with any narcs you are stuck with, like relatives, and will be able to see what is going to happen if you have the misfortune to be in a relationship with one, so I am recommending everyone learns about it by reading. And you will be able to spot one , and take evasive action. Everyone normal should become an expert on narcissism. This is surprisingly easy, because they always act the same, all the time, and they do the same things to people over and over again. There is a narc pattern. So one good book will do it. The best book I ever found on narcissism generally is Prepare to be Tortured- the price you will pay for dating a narcissist. AB Jamieson, Amazon ...

I would say, from all I have seen, and I have seen a lot, is that the next generation of narcs is progressively worse because not only are they learning from their parent and a grandparent on how to become a narcissist, but also on how to do it better than their parent and grandparent: where they think the parent failed with presenting believable lies and coverups, where their parent went wrong in making a scapegoat go away instead of keeping them "on the hook", where their parent went wrong in claiming their scapegoat child to be mentally insane (all narcissists claim one of their children to be insane, but some parents do it cleverly in such a way as to make sure the label is in wide circulation, for instance, ADHD comes to mind). They try to hone more narcissism skills, and often become quite a bit more controlling, selfish, self centered and sociopathic than their parent. Golden children who steal, do home break-ins, engage in unwanted touch, engage in threats to get their way, and maneuver to get 100 percent of an inheritance are the sign that the generational narcissism is becoming more sociopathic. 

Narcissistic parents are not equipped to care about who is manipulating who, who is threatening, who is committing violence in the family, and who is getting traumatized, and who is becoming ill from the traumatization, or even who is getting destroyed by abuse and violence - it is all inconvenient drama to them. All members can be replaced because narcissists always spend their lives looking for and obtaining narcissistic supply on the side - they are always ready to replace you (in this case, brainwashed people who can step in when a spouse, child, or sibling dies or goes away - everything is geared to help the narcissist). Sometimes a daughter-in-law or son-in-law takes the place of their dead or estranged child. Many of them have a lover on the side too just in case their spouse has had enough. It doesn't matter who the person is or what their agendas are to the narcissist; it only matters to them that their needs are met, and that they continue to get the narcissistic supply that they demand.

There are many down-sides for them in having their desires for evermore narcissistic supply overwhelm any potential realization of the pitfalls. It is often not until they are very old, in a nursing home, or close to death that they can finally realize what the pitfalls are, and sometimes even then they don't want to look at them. A lot of them keep trying to manipulate, however anemic it may be, to blame-shift and play the victim until the bitter end. 

Someone told me recently that "When you play with narcissists, prepare for a part of yourself to be destroyed". Whether they destroy a little or a lot has to do with the kind of relationship you have with them, how much time you spend with them, how much of what they say effects you, how much you share with them, and how well you escape. Obviously the least amount of time spent with them, and the less you share with them, the more whole you can be afterward.

further reading for this section:

10 Ways for Adults to Heal From Childhood Bullying - by Amy Morin for Very Well Mind


danger of suicide attempts:

This comes from the CDC website (and mentioned before):

Youth who report frequently bullying others and youth who report being frequently bullied are at increased risk for suicide-related behavior. •
Youth who report both bullying others and being bullied (bully-victims) have the highest risk for suicide related behavior of any groups that report involvement in bullying.

This comes from Emily Shiffer for (from this article):

Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University.
Youth suicide risks are on the rise. A 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance report from the Centers for Disease Control found that numbers increased from 2007 to 2017 in self-reported numbers on: persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, suicide ideation, planning for suicide, attempting suicide, and being medically treated for suicide attempts.
In the same 2017 report, 31.5% of high school students had experienced periods of persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness (i.e., almost every day for two weeks or more in a row so that the student stopped doing some usual activities) in the past year, and 17.2% of students had seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death of Americans ages 10-34 year-old, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

How to Protect Your Child ...
Watch for signs of depression.
"Kids may be observed as increased irritability or anger, atypical mood changes, changes in sleep or eating, less enjoyment in activities, decline in grades, and gradual distancing from others," says Dr. Hahn. "A particular concern is subtle comments that kids will make that may also suggest risk for suicide, such as 'no one cares' or 'it doesn't matter'."

This comes from a professional article titled Bullying and Suicide: A Public Health Approach for U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health by Marci Feldman Hertz, M.S., Ingrid Donato, and James Wright, M.S., L.C.P.C:

In King’s study of hospitalized suicidal youth, those who reported perpetrating bullying were more likely than uninvolved youth to have severe suicidal thoughts and psychosocial impairment, and to abuse substances. However, at 12-month follow-up, only the difference in psychosocial impairment remained. Interestingly, over the course of 1-year treatment for the suicidality, the rate of bullying perpetration declined [20]. In Karch’s analysis of suicide fatalities among youth, bullying involvement was one of a myriad of factors precipitating a death by suicide ...

... Other salient circumstances included depressed mood and/or other current mental health problems (37%); intimate partner problems (25%); history of suicide attempts (18%); and substance abuse problems (16%). Suicide attempts and substance use were risk factors that co-occurred with suicide ideation in Borowsky et al. as well [6]. Across all groups (victims, perpetrators, and bully-victims) a history of self-harm within the prior year and greater emotional distress (feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worry, stress, or pressure) drastically increased risk for suicide.

A note here: a lot of the studies done on bullying and bullied children have been done in the context of schools and school policies. Only a few have been done on the family aside from child abuse studies. Very little has been researched about family mobbing, or specifically when a narcissistic parent joins with his or her golden child to bully another child in the family, although according to Dr. Ramani Durvasula who is in several videos below discussing this phenomenon, it is a common occurrence in narcissistic families. 

What I can tell you is that the overwhelming number of domestic violence counselors and centers suggest and even put pressure on clients to go No Contact. In these situations the dangers are too great to suggest the Gray Rock Method. It is only in situations where the parent is taking the bullying seriously that other alternatives can be entertained.

These days, a child who is being bullied by a parent and sibling, and Child Protective Services gets wind of it, most likely will be taken out of the home and put into foster care (sometimes the promise of intense counseling can change that trajectory, but for the most part, foster care is the preferred solution). However, there are many chances that Child Protective Services will not get wind of it: home schooling, communities who have certain views of parental rights ... Also, bullying wasn't even being considered as an adverse societal issue among children until the mid-1980s, and it took some time after that to take it much more seriously when children and teenagers were dying because of it and school shootings became a national happening (around 2010). 

Anyway, I would bet that suicide rates are much higher when the bullying is done at home, with an uncaring parent and sibling.

My husband and I have both worked with children in school settings, and we each knew a bully who committed suicide. While it is obvious that suicides for bullied children are much higher, bullies also commit suicide. We can also look to school shootings to tell us that the child and teenage perpetrators also put the gun on themselves afterward to commit suicide along with the murders they committed. 

In one case which effected my husband and me in recent years, a sixteen year old of a single father put a gun into his mouth and killed himself in his bedroom at home. In that case, the father was a prison officer. 

The sixteen year old was out of control. He was over-the-top abusive both to his peers and to adults, including his teachers and bus driver, and it manifested mainly as verbal abuse, and sometimes as threats. 

So, what could have gone wrong? There were strict school bullying policies in place at the time, and a lot of school assemblies for kids focused on tolerance of others' differences, and it was also ahead of the Columbine Highschool Massacre and Phoebe Prince case (i.e. after 2010). 

Some schools which had only been focusing on treatment for victims started to install treatment for bullies too. What they found was that while school bullying was a factor in producing bullies, it was the home that influenced this trajectory a lot more. 

So what could have happened with the sixteen year old who blew his brains out in his own bedroom, a scene which his father would find after he returned from work in the prison.

     Fact: He had only one sibling who passed away recently - after his death. She was in her twenties. 
     Fact: The school he was in was clamping down hard on no-bullying policies and he was in violation a number of times for breaking school bullying policies.
     Fact: He was in violation of bullying on his school bus, with many citations, and eventually removed from the school bus by school authorities.    
     Since school bullying policies were so strict by that time, it is doubtful he was learning bullying in that in school. 
     Fact: giving psychological evaluation and treatment to bullies just started to be implemented in the school he was in. So only victims of bullying were in treatment for most of the school district's sixteen years up to this incident. Since the school now treats bullies too, there is less of a rate of school bullying than when the sixteen year old was attending school.   

     One thing about being a bully in school, is that you are not going to be popular with most children or teachers. While you can form a clique with like-minded bullies, it is much harder to do when school policies are so strict and when school authorities are on the watch for bullying behavior. The protocol was to reject the bully so that he would not disturb his classmates. The father may have over-disciplined the teenager in such a way that was abusive. Abusive disciplinary measures aren't all that productive, especially when they come from a parent. It's too much of a "Do what I say, not as I do" situation and children learn more from what a parent does than what they say. Also the resentment towards the parent over-takes a productive outcome. 

     We also know that being isolated, feeling like a loner, feeling that you are derided and hated, feeling that you don't have the respect, love or support of others can produce suicide ideation. That has been well documented in mass school shooting situations. A narcissistic parent is not going to care how derided and isolated you are, and in fact, may prefer that you be isolated so that your attention is never diverted or distracted from them. Having a bully child serve as a handmaid child seems like an oxymoron and an impossibility, and it doesn't work all that well when they have been groomed to be so insensitive, cruel and uncaring about the plight of others in the family, but sometimes the narc parent wants both extremes out of one child. Not going to happen except as an act (acting job) ... 

While it is understandable that schools would separate child bullies from a group of peers to prevent victimization of those peers, children also aren't like adults: the proclivity for bullying can be reversed in children (and the earlier the better). Of course, it takes intervention not just in the school, but with the family too, otherwise the interventions will be ineffective. 

     We also know that bullies are at high risk for substance abuse. Substance abuse can create depression and hopelessness, so that can add to the suicide ideation.

     We also know that bullies engage in high risk activities. It has to do with being groomed that they are infallible and being encouraged to express themselves in an aggressive fashion and what can be more aggressive and "winning" than something high stakes. So when they are angry or sad they can take wild chances with their lives. While they might not be a suicide statistic per se, running into a tree at a high rate of speed with feelings of overwhelming anger, adrenalin and entitlement, and to come out alive while doing so, this can be seen to be so reckless as to be suicidal. It just won't be written up as a suicide in the papers.  

Next I discuss grooming a child to be an enforcer of an abusive parent, and how that could lead to suicide too:  

Let us suppose that a child is being bullied by a parent and a sibling. The bullied child, feeling hopeless about his situation, commits suicide. Even if the bullying child appears to be unaffected in the short term, over the long term they probably will be. Bullies are not necessarily effected by the suicide of their victims because they are taught to be prejudiced against them and to hurt them, and they are so focused on the rewards they will get from the parent for doing this that they will most likely completely lack empathy about the fate of that sibling. So, because the parent has lost their scapegoat, usually what happens in these situations is that he ceases to be on the golden child pedestal completely, especially if he is alone afterward with the parent. He tends to waffle back and forth between being a scapegoat and being a golden child depending on the parent's mood. Who commits suicide the most as described above? Bully-victims. This is what he becomes as he transitions into being a scapegoat followed by a golden child followed by a scapegoat, on and on ... 

But back to why the suicide rate is higher for victims of bullying than it is for the bullies. My own guess as to why this happens is that victims have very few outlets for emotional expression for their pain. In toxic families, the unspoken rules are Don't talk, Don't trust, Don't feel. If a victim expresses that he is hurt, the narcissistic parent tends to react with rage because it's a threat to their grandiose sense of self. Let's face it: a lot of child victims get slapped and punched for crying and told they are babies. The insinuation is that you should hold it in that you are hurt, to go silent about it, or at least believe that you hurt yourself instead, so that the narcissist can continue to go around with their giant ego. That takes care of not being able to talk and not being able to feel. As far as the "don't trust" part of the equation, he is supposed stuff the fact that he can't trust his parent or sibling, because they will rage about that too, or possibly make fun of him over it. Of course, it is also a double bind because they don't want the victim to trust: they want him on edge, and to be concerned that if he makes a mistake or the wrong move, to expect another attack. The other double bind is that he is not supposed to trust the attackers in the family, but if he trusts his teacher, a school psychologist, a therapist or some other elder about the abuse he is receiving at home, his family perpetrators will be enraged about that too and try to shut that "talk" down. The victim is supposed to only trust his victimizers, but not trust them enough to not be attacked. Kinda crazy-making!

With so much stuffing of feelings, and being hypervigilant about attacks, and being punished for expressing what they are going through, it is no wonder the suicide rates are much, much higher for victims.

In contrast, bullies have several reward-backed out-lets: anger, rage, violence, aggression, humor and arrogance. It is where they put the bulk of their emotional energies.

Again, I would urge school psychologists to recommend intervention not just in terms of bullying in the school, and through school policy, but in intervening in family bullying too through Child Protective Services perhaps (with changes reflected in that service to tide bullying). As I've said before, narcissistic parents are, by and large, bullies. They aren't going to listen to a child who is being bullied in the home: it would contradict what they, themselves are. Narcissistic parents rage when they are confronted, so the only choice left is to make sure the child is heard at school by someone (intervention).

psychiatric disorders, high potential for substance abuse disorders, and health problems:
From the same professional article above, Bullying and Suicide: A Public Health Approach for U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health by Marci Feldman Hertz, M.S., Ingrid Donato, and James Wright, M.S., L.C.P.C:

... 1) bullying among youth is a significant public health problem; it is prevalent and frequently has detrimental effects; (2) there is a strong association between bullying and suicide-related behaviors, but this relationship is often mediated by other factors, including depression and delinquency; and (3) there are public health strategies that can be applied to the prevention of bullying and suicide ... 
... For young people involved in bullying in any capacity—youth who bully others, who are bullied, or who both bully and are bullied, this involvement is correlated with poor mental and physical health and engagement in other risk behaviors. Youth who are bullied are more likely to be depressed or anxious [11], have lower academic achievement, report feeling like they do not belong at school [12], have poorer social and emotional adjustment, greater difficulty making friends, poorer relationships with classmates, and greater loneliness [13]. Bully-victims are more likely than those who bully, those who are bullied, or their uninvolved peers to report being physically hurt by a family member, to witness family violence, and exhibit suicide-related behaviors [14]. Those who bully others are more likely to drink alcohol and use cigarettes, to have poorer academic achievement and poorer perceived school climate, but to also report greater ease of making friends [13] ...
... Young people who are bullied are more likely than uninvolved youth to develop depression and anxiety and report abdominal pain and feeling tense over the course of a school year [11]. One study examining the impact of bullying victimization of those who were between 9, 11, and 13 years of age when they were victimized found, that over a 7-year period, youth who were bullied were more likely to develop generalized anxiety and panic disorder as adults while bully-victims were more likely to subsequently suffer from depression, panic disorder, and suicidality [15]. Another longitudinal study found that those who were perpetrators of bullying at age 14 were more likely to receive a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, to have low job status at age 18 years, and to use drugs at ages 27–32 years [16].

generalized risks of bullying:

This is from Effects of Bullying by the administrators of
Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood. Kids who bully are more likely to:
Abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults
Get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school
Engage in early sexual activity
Have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults
Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children as adults

This article basically says the same thing, but it is from a Canadian site, whereas the prior article is from A federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
200 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201:

Dangers of Bullying (Bullying is Not Harmless) by the administrators of
Dangers for Children and Adolescents Who Bully Others:
Not knowing the difference between right and wrong
Delinquency and substance use
Academic problems and increased school drop out rate
Sexual harassment and dating aggression
Gang involvement and criminal adulthood
Difficulties in their relationships with others
Being bullied at the hands of others

bullying as a predictor for Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Anti-Social Behaviors:

This is from professional Pub-Med article, Bullying in early adolescence and its association with anti-social behaviour, criminality and violence 6 and 10 years later by Jennifer Renda, Suzanne Vassallo, and Ben Edwards:

     Moderate significant associations were found between bullying perpetration and subsequent anti-social behaviour. Associations were more powerful for males than females, and for short-term than long-term outcomes. Engagement in bullying remained a significant predictor of later anti-social behaviour and contact with police or courts even after other risk factors were accounted for.
     Conclusions: These findings suggest that bullying in adolescence may be a marker of risk for a continuing pattern of anti-social behaviour, particularly among young males.

This is from Bullying in children: The road to psychopathology? by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D. for
     But what about children who perpetrate bullying? Are they, too, at risk?
     Yes. And their personal problems can pose a risk to society in general.
     That's because children who bully are more likely to develop "antisocial personality disorder" -- a condition colloquially known as "sociopathy" or "psychopathy."
     The affected individuals have little respect for the rights of other people. They exhibit what psychologists call "callous/unemotional" traits: showing limited emotions, failing to use empathy, and lacking feelings of guilt or remorse (Fontaine et al 2008) ...
     ... Compared with "uninvolved" children, kids who had been "only bullies" had three times the odds of getting diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.
     Kids who had been both bullies and victims had more than seven times the odds of developing antisocial personality disorder.

Females still, by and large, receive much more bullying, family, and partner violence than males. Mothers can also perpetrate against their daughters for the same reasons men do: to keep them in a submissive role. In effect, both sexes in a family can pressure girls to be dominated. This has been a standard in the USA for hundreds of years, that females should be dominated, and hit and abused if they refuse domination.

In an abusive family,  males dominate and are favorited. This dominant favorite male child is often at risk for developing Narcissistic Personality Disorder or, more likely Antisocial Personality Disorder

This is about one study that came to that conclusion (the study, as you will see from the article, was repeated throughout western countries with the same result). From the publication, Parenting Science, "Bullying in Children: The Road to Psychopathy?" by Gwen DeWar, Ph.D.:

The study showed that ... Compared with "uninvolved" children, kids who had been "only bullies" had three times the odds of getting diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.

Kids who had been both bullies and victims had more than seven times the odds of developing antisocial personality disorder.

And these kids had other problems, too. They were at higher risk for developing clinical anxiety, depression, and/or a psychotic disorder (like schizophrenia) ... 

... The Finnish study is important because it was the first to track the psychiatric outcomes of child bullies into early adulthood. But it isn't the only evidence regarding bullies and pathological behavior. Far from it.

When researchers conducted a separate study on the criminal records of the Finnish boys, they found that frequent bullying predicted most types of crime, including violent crime. The link remained significant even after controlling for parent’s education level (Sourander 2007a).

And researchers in other countries have followed suit, tracking the outcomes of kids who bully.

In Sweden, researchers report that childhood bullies are, as young adults, "heavily over-represented" in crime registers (Olweus 2011). In addition, bullying others is predictive of "aggressive, antisocial behaviors over the lifetime" (Wallinius et al 2015).

In Australia, researchers tracked 800 adolescents, and found that kids who bullied were more likely to engage in crime, violence, and anti-social behavior over the following decade (Randa 2011).

And when researchers analyzed the trend across hundreds of studies -- studies conducted throughout the world -- it's clear that bullying is linked with key psychopathic traits: callous-unemotional disorder, narcissism, and impulsivity.

In children, Conduct Disorder first manifests as lack of empathy, disregard for the feelings of others (being groomed to be a bully by a parent would count in this instance), and dishonesty which can result in blame-shifting. Once blame-shifting strategies work for this type of golden child, the road to full blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Antisocial Personality Disorder (or a combination of both disorders manifesting as Malignant Narcissism) is easy. 

Then the golden child begins to bully for himself too (even if he may still be the enforcer for the parent during the same period). 

I discuss why blame shifting is easy when a parent has established a scapegoat below.

Further reading:

Anti-social behaviour - from Wikipedia

Antisocial personality disorder - from Wikipedia

bully-victims (children who both bully and who are victims of bullying)
and health problems:

From the professional article Bully Victims: Psychological and Somatic Aftermaths by Randy A. Sansone, MD and Lori A. Sansone, MD:
In a Korean study of seventh- and eighth-grade students, investigators found that being bullied contributed to an increased risk of social problems.11 In this study, social problems were described as acting younger than one’s age, being overly dependent on adults, and behaving socially immature—all factors that heighten the risk of social isolation within the peer group ...
Symptoms experienced by children and adolescent victims of bullying
Social difficulties
Internalizing symptoms
Suicidal ideation/attempts
Eating disorders
Multiple mental disorders
Sore throats, cough, colds
Poor appetite
Sleep disturbances
Abdominal pain

Bullies have a high risk of being bullied themselves. This means they may be the target of revenge and violence. They may also sustain injuries, or worse, from people who defend themselves via defensive arts. This is why they tend to focus on victimizing people they deem to be weaker than themselves, but their assessments of others are also very poor, plus they don't usually look beyond a singular victim towards the victim's support system. 

While they might be able to beat up someone they deem as weak, the vengeance of the victim's family is often not taken into account. Most families treasure their members, whereas bullies often come from fragmented or broken families where some members are not particularly appreciated, and may not be wanted at all (including children they give birth to). Often a child or children aren't supported or defended, and if there are scapegoats, this is particularly true. The bully who does not take into consideration that a victim might have a supportive loving family assumes that all families are like his family. 

bullying as a predictor of substance abuse

This is from Bullying and Substance Abuse are More Connected than You Think by Camille Renzoni for

Laura Crothers, a psychology professor at Duquesne University and expert on childhood bullying affirms that bullies are just as likely — if not more so — to use drugs as victims of bullying. “In terms of perpetrators, bullies themselves, there seems to be a connection between engaging in bullying and using or abusing substances. The idea is that children who are aggressive at a young age tend to seek out peers who are also non-rule governed,” Crothers explains. Teens who bully others are prone to a host of behavioral problems like vandalizing property, poor school performance, and early sexual activity. They are also often apt to try drugs and alcohol long before their peers ever do.

Substance abuse usually starts early, in teenage years or more likely before then, especially if substances are readily available. 

further reading on this section:

The role of drug use in a conceptual model of intimate partner violence in men and women arrested for domestic violence. - by Stuart, Gregory L., Temple, Jeff R., Follansbee, Katherine W., Bucossi, Meggan M., Hellmuth, Julianne C., Moore, Todd M. for American Psychological Association

bullying and brain development:

effects on the amygdala

The article Neuroscience study finds amygdala activity is related to bullying behaviors in adolescents by Eric W. Dolan is one article that addresses what happens in the amygdala of someone who bullies others:

The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine amygdala activity in 49 adolescents as they completed an emotional face matching task.

They found that adolescents who reported engaging in more relational bullying behaviors (such as purposefully excluding a peer or spreading rumors) tended to display higher amygdala activity in response to angry faces and lower amygdala activity in response to fearful faces.

“Higher amygdala activity to angry faces could suggest that these teens are more sensitive to signals of anger from other people, while lower amygdala activity to fearful faces could suggest that their brains are less responsive to signals of distress, which could lead to lower empathy when bullying victims,” Swartz told PsyPost.

"The higher amygdala activity to angry faces could also lead teens to perceive more hostility in their social interactions, whereas the lower amygdala activity to fearful faces could lead to lower empathy, and this combination seems to be associated with more bullying behavior. These results can help us to understand what may make some teens more likely to bully their peers."

Now if a bullying child can get more fearful expressions out of his victim, he is obviously going to be comfortable; his "flight or fight" responses won't be activated. The fact that he is a golden child too (can get away with bullying behaviors with a parent's blessing) would also indicate a more entrenched goal-setting of producing a fearful reaction out of his victim.

Also, if his victims are angry or confrontational about the way they are treated, the child bully's "fight or flight" reactions would be activated, but again, the golden status would most likely mean bullying to turn the anger of his victim into fear instead.

How do you view someone who has a fearful expression? Does your blood pressure go up and you feel distress? This is what happens when you feel empathy towards another person. On some level, you are also feeling fearful (experiencing the emotion as your own) or concerned (experiencing alertness and protectiveness). Your heart will start racing in anticipation that the person you care about will be harmed. This is something that narcissists don't experience.  Their brains are such that that part is "shut down" and sometimes even atrophied. Anyone who is in a domestic violence situation knows that their violent partner feels a lot more calm after they punish you and have made you fearful of them. 

further reading on how bullying effects the brain:

Please note: in the following studies, Conduct Disorder is the precursor to Antisocial Personality Disorder. There are also further articles on what bullying and victimization does to cortisol levels and the brain in the further reading section at the end of the post.

Cortical and subcortical abnormalities in youths with conduct disorder and elevated callous-unemotional traits - by Gregory L Wallace, Stuart F White, Briana Robustelli, Stephen Sinclair, Soonjo Hwang, Alex Martin, R James R Blair

Bullying the Brain? Longitudinal Links Between Childhood Peer Victimization, Cortisol, and Adolescent Brain Structure - by Mieke R. du Plessis, Sanny Smeekens, Antonius H. N. Cillessen, Sarah Whittle, and Berna Güroǧlu for U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (originally published in Frontiers in Psychology)

effects on the hippocampus 

This is only relevant if they become bully-victims (domestic violence brawls where two or more people are engaged in committing violent acts against each other). They can show the same learning disabilities, anxiety and depression as victims of bullying (refer to my section on brain development as it pertains to victims above). 

bullying and the risks of social problems:
poor reputation, social alienation, isolation, derision and vulnerability to violence

One of the reasons abusers lie so much and pretend that they are victims of their victims, is to keep their reputation and lifestyle intact. They do so through dishonest means much in the way criminals do it to keep themselves out of jail. In fact, some of them love that they get away with this time and time again; it adds to their sense that they are infallible and to their arrogance. 

But not all people will react with passivity (or removing themselves) in terms of the injustice of narcissists playing the victim. Some of the people they toy with may be just as abusive as they are, or even more so. 

While it is true that people who hear their tales can be brainwashed, or experience confusion and cognitive dissonance, others can have a sense that something isn't adding up and thereby stumble upon the truth. 

Lying about their victims is how bullies keep their grandiose ego intact. In the case of narcissists, their ego is actually tiny (which is why they rage when they are criticized). What this is, is that they wear a huge ego on top of the tiny one. It is often described in psychology circles as their false self

However, despite their best attempts to hide their lies, their abuse of others, their blame-shifting tactics, some people figure them out. Of course, people who find them out will get their reputations smeared by the narcissist too. But sometimes the trajectory into being avoided and derided by others cannot be avoided by the bully. And also, they can't always count on others to be of normal mindsets; some of the people they bully may be even more violent than they are.

"So-and-so is a bully. Stay away from him unless you want to be hurt. Talk to --" is how it happens. If you really want to find out if someone is a bully, talk to a lot of people: their siblings, classmates, ex-partners, children, people they work with. Many people make the mistake of only listening to the narcissist (and attempting to decipher if the tales are believable, a mistake since lies are hard to decipher, especially from a person who lies as a way of life). Some people are so enthralled with the narcissist that they use confirmation bias. But in terms of not marrying a domestic violence offender, research always pays off, and saving correspondences from them too, as golden-children who have turned into narcissists with a proclivity to violence will most often deny things they said, or anything where their words contradict their actions. 

If you confront a narcissist on their bullying and abuse of others, expect them to give you the silent treatment and sully your reputation. Even if you are silent and back off, they may still sully your reputation because they gauge loyalty by how enmeshed they can be with "their followers" (they see others they are close to as their followers, not as individuals with a mind-set of their own). 

Either way, this is how they lose "followers" and major relationships. 

When a golden child is being brought up as a bully, they don't see this downside. Once this downside is actually felt at some juncture of their life, they can also get the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, just like some of their victims. Paranoia also becomes an issue for them. This is when they can become bully-victims

To make matters worse, a narcissistic or sociopathic parent wants enmeshment with the bully golden child to look like this (talking from the narcissist's perspective):
* no close relationships with your siblings: you are the enforcer of what I want from your siblings, and you can't be an enforcer and be close to them at the same time
* you can't have any really close relationships without me knowing everything there is to know about your conversations within these relationships, how you are being treated ... in fact, you have to share everything I want to know or you will be discarded like the scapegoat (I'm too insecure in our relationship to not have complete loyalty and devotion from you)
* you have to listen to my advice about your relationships, and I expect you to take my advice 
* I have a right to triangulate the people in your life so that your focus is primarily on me and what I want from you. 

You can see why this is isolating. Most narcissists exert an incredible amount of pressure to know everything they want to know so that they can manipulate all of the people involved. They feel that their golden child is theirs, all of theirs.

Narcissists also do not have problems trying to break apart all of the golden's relationships: their relationship with the other parent, their relationship with their spouse, their relationship with their children, their relationships at work. Most of the discussion, in fact, is on people, with a lot of advice on how to treat others. 

At times narcissists will suggest treating others like gold, giving others the royal treatment, but it is a one-step-forward-two-steps-back approach. Inevitably it will be: 

"You don't need so-and-so in your life! You are fine without them!"
"You don't need to make up with them; they need to make up with you."
"You never really liked (her or him), did you? I mean, they are not treating you like (the God) they are supposed to be treating you like!"
"You should have a higher self esteem than that! This person has to go!"
"You should tell your son not to invite so-and-so-family-member to the wedding! You don't need the stress (of that family member) in your company!"
"You don't need to have back-up musicians in your band! You are fine performing by yourself! What made you go in the direction of a band!?" - they try to become band managers even.
"You don't need to have a job with x, y, z company. Just work for the family business."

A golden child will listen to all of this and think it is to his benefit that his parent is saying this. A normal parent might be altruistic, but a narcissistic parent won't be. 

Scapegoats eventually figure out not to feed narcissists the gossip they want. Golden children won't ... and in the meantime, they will get further isolated with the narcissistic parent, told to do things that are not in their interest, told to get rid of people they shouldn't be getting rid of, told to do things that will hurt other people (so that those other people won't want to have anything to do with their golden again, isolating him with the parent further), and sometimes even told to steal from or threaten others because the parent knows it will create division between their golden and other people.

Domestic violence by a golden doesn't even phase these parents. Again, if the golden is committing domestic violence, it is an excuse to get the golden separated from the one he is conducting violence against and focusing on the parent. 

A lot of bullies and domestic violence offenders die alone because they have lost their reputations a long time ago despite their best efforts to keep their reputations intact, their abuses secret and often their addictions secret too.

If a golden figures out that his narcissistic parent is meddling adversely into his life, he may decide to lie about his relationships to his parent instead, or do things contrary to what the parent wants but attempt to "pretty up" the rebellion (I have seen this happen). If a lie is ever uncovered, it will spark the narcissistic parent's rage again. He's only supposed to lie for the parent, not to the parent. The probability of being caught at lies is very high because narcissists have to monitor everything so closely so as to keep dominating and directing. 

Most bully goldens lie as much as their parent, if not more so eventually, because they are learning from what their parent does, as well as how to refine it all, and they counter-manipulate the parent as much as they are being manipulated by the parent. And like his parent, he will be focused most on what the rewards are, how he can use his parent, how to get rid of the competition, how he can minimize the inconveniences his parent presents, and so on. In effect, he will be looking at relationships much the way his parent looks at them: as utilities that are useful in some way.

But back to other risks the bully child faces:

Since schools are tackling bullying in so many ways now, and since school shootings are being discussed at the policy level (children who indulge in school shootings are mostly either psychopathic, psychotic or traumatized in their homes, but they have the reputation of being bullies or bullied), and since there is so much discussion on narcissism, a whole new generation is being born to be intolerant of bullying. Older generations may be trying to keep bullying alive as it was largely being normalized in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and somewhat into the 1980s (no school bullying policies were in place in schools at that time - I discuss this phenomenon below). 

Hopefully the new trend of intolerance of bullying behavior will become more of the norm and bullying will be considered to be throw-back and inappropriate to a peaceful ordered society. 

Bullies have a high risk of being bullied themselves. This means they may be the target of revenge and violence. They may also sustain injuries, or worse, from people who defend themselves via defensive arts. This is why they tend to focus on victimizing people they deem to be weaker than themselves, but their assessments of others are also very poor, plus they don't usually look beyond a singular victim and into the victim's support system. 

While they might be able to beat up someone they deem as weak and alone, the vengeance of the victim's family is often not taken into account. Most families treasure their members, whereas bullies often come from fragmented or broken families where members are not particularly appreciated, supported or defended, where love is conditional upon performance, and if there are scapegoats, this is particularly true, so they assume their victims' families are like theirs. This is where bullying can be life threatening, or at the very least, the bully becomes derided among a certain group of people no matter how many times he apologizes. He is deemed to be low in stature for hurting their loved one, and no apology will make it right.

In fact, most grown narcissists think that everyone is like them, that families are like theirs, that given the chance, everyone would want to be them. It is probably the same for kids being raised by a bully. Being arrogant can keep them from assessing the dangers in a situation accurately particularly with victims' support systems. 

With so many people running around with cell phones with video capabilities, the chance of social derision is pretty high too.  

Have you ever seen a group of bullies and one of them is starting to be socially derided? All of a sudden the bullies disown him and deride him themselves even though they may have committed much more violent and egregious acts than he has. It's all about the lie and the phony appearances. 

This can happen with a bully parent and their golden too. If the bully golden's reputation ever comes under scrutiny from the public, they can be discarded even though the parent may be twice as bad, and have taught him all of the bullying tricks, including how to keep your reputation clean when it isn't.

I write more about the pitfalls in a section below: "What does the bully golden have to lose? What does the bully parent have to lose?"

bullying as a predictor of
adult domestic violence offenses

This is from the article, Childhood Bullying Correlates With Adult Domestic Violence by Joan Arehart-Treichel for Psychiatric News:

Men who bullied their classmates as children are four times as likely to have engaged in violence against a female partner within the previous year.

After male bullies leave school, they may turn to bullying their girlfriends and spouses instead of fellow pupils, a new study has found.

The study was headed by Kathryn Falb, a doctoral student in the Harvard School of Public Health, and the results were published in the October 2011 Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

"This is an important study—intuition would predict the findings, but it is very helpful to have confirmation of intuition," Michael Miller, M.D., editor in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter and a psychiatrist unconnected with the study, told Psychiatric News. "It is useful to know that, in fact, childhood bullying is correlated with later perpetration of domestic violence."

The article above talks about school bullying as it relates to domestic violence offending. Imagine one sibling bullying another sibling throughout childhood! And sometimes even through adult years! 

Add to that that the parent thinks he can do no wrong and that the sibling he is bullying can do no right and you've got serious national crisis. 

In schools, teachers and administrators are trying to deal with bullying so that all students have a chance to live in peace enough to learn and get an education on an equal footing with other students. When you have a narcissistic parent at home who grooms one child to become a bully and rewards him for it, it has to be a significant issue in schools, when he gets married and has children, and for the nation, manifesting as cruelty, lack of respect for others' rights and feelings, criminality, and prejudiced perspectives. It would also seem to translate that much more into partner violence than school bullying, if only because school bullying is "policed" and becoming unpopular to some extent.

This is an excerpt from the article How Is Bullying Linked To Violence In Society? (from WBUR interviewing  Dorothy Espelage, professor of psychology at the University of Florida, and Nadine Connell, director of the Center for Crime and Justice Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, interviewer Jeremy Hobson):

"It really is this continuum of perpetration," Espelage says of bullies. "It's not just that bullying is a cause for concern. It's the type of aggression that follows."

"We're not just talking about, 'It all goes away after a school age, or after high school,' but it continues on into patterns of adulthood that can be really dangerous, problematic and costly for society," Connell says.

Interview Highlights
on the life long effects of bullying

Dorothy Espelage: "When we think about being victimized chronically through bullying, we know from the research that decades later, maybe 30 years later, if you're chronically victimized, you will have a full-blown diagnosis of major depressive disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. So it's serious consequences for the victims.
   ... We also know that those kids that engage in high rates of bullying through childhood and adolescence actually go on to become much more kind of skilled in their aggressive behaviors, and that their bullying turns into a homophobic name-calling, sexual harassment, and as we track these kids into high school, they actually perpetrate more teen dating violence in their dating relationships."

Nadine Connell: "I want to add to what Dorothy has just said about the bullying perpetrators. Not only, as she mentioned, do we see these later aggressive behaviors in high school, but we have actually been able to follow up with self-identified bullies into later adulthood and they are more likely to engage in higher rates of criminal offending." ...

... DE: ... "Kids that engage in high rates of bullying tend to have lots of anger. They have difficulty in regulating their emotions. They may come from families in which they witness violence. They may be in schools where the adults bully one another, and are modeling that behavior. We do know from our work that by early adolescence, if you hang out with kids that bully, you will become more like them. It's kind of a 'birds of a feather flock together.'

"So we do really see it as a complex interaction between individual characteristics, family context, the school context and then certainly society, as we see these types of behaviors being modeled on the television. So all of these together place you at a risk. We're seeing some of these meaningful behaviors emerge in preschool playgroups. So we do know that it's something that we need to intervene and stop early, but we need to intervene in different ways to be able to address those individual characteristics that place kids at risk: talking with families, creating safe spaces in schools where bullying is not seen as a positive thing. So it's a very complex problem. Unfortunately, our solutions have been too simple. And we are having challenges in reducing bullying in our schools in our communities." ...

However, before 2010, not enough research was done to find a correlation between childhood bullying and domestic violence. While research before then correlated anti-social traits with domestic violence (and we know that Antisocial Personality Disorder is associated with bullying, and even dangerous traits), it is hard to believe that it took so long to make that determination.

From a 2010 professional article entitled Towards an integrated theory of relational violence: Is bullying a risk factor for domestic violence? by Kenneth Corvo and Ellende Lara:

The prevailing policy view of domestic violence is that it is a product of socially sanctioned domination of women by men. Bullying is framed often from the standpoint of aggression and psychological deficits found in the bully. Risk factors and developmental antecedents of domestic violence may overlap with similar risk factors in bullying. From the standpoint of individual developmental chronology, bullying precedes domestic violence, but it is not known whether bullying itself is a risk factor for domestic violence in adulthood or if bullying and domestic violence simply have risk factors in common.

more reading for this section:

Bullying as a predictor of offending, violence and later life outcomes - a professional article by David P. Farrington for the National Library of Medicine

Domestic violence and psychopathic traits: distinguishing the antisocial batterer from other antisocial offenders - by Marc T. Swogger, Zach Walsh, David S. Kosson for Agressive Behavior (professional journal) 

Further below I examine whether bullying in the school can predict narcissism.

 bullying as a predictor of criminality

This is an over-view of a study by Dan A. Olweus of the University of Bergen called Bullying at School and Later Criminality (you can request the entire manuscript; this is an over-view): 

To examine whether being a bully at school predicts later criminality. Longitudinal, prospective associations are reported between bullying and later criminality over the 8-year period from age 16 to 24. Bullying in early adolescence strongly predicted later criminality. The former school bullies were heavily overrepresented in the crime registers. Some 55% of them had been convicted of one or more crimes and as much as 36% had been convicted of at least three crimes in the studied period.

From the U.S. Department of Justice (Office of Justice Programs), Bullying Behavior in School: A Predictor of Later Gang Involvement originally published in Journal of Gang Research Volume: 5 Issue: 2 Dated: (Winter 1998) Pages: 1-6 by S R Holmes; S J Brandenburg-Ayres:

Approximately 10,000 confined offenders from 85 correctional institutions ranging from boot camps to juvenile detention centers and prisons in 17 States were surveyed. The article discusses differences in findings for males and females as well as families characterized by high and low dysfunction. Results indicate that early experiences as a bully in school are significant predictors of later gang membership.

In terms of narcissists and stealing, narcissists are more likely to steal. This is from the professional article, Conceit and deceit: Lying, cheating, and stealing among grandiose narcissists by Charles A.O'ReillyIIIaBernadetteDoerr

We report three studies showing that individuals who are more narcissistic are more willing to lie, cheat, and steal than those who are less narcissistic.

For psychologists and therapists who frequent forums for people who are suffering from narcissistic abuse, it should be obvious that a lot of stealing is going on for the victims. Not only are so many of them trying to manage symptoms and getting a handle on what to do with their situations, many of them are stolen from too, including break-ins after these victims have left. 

And while there is quite a bit of study on narcissists and identity theft, there isn't much study done on other forms of theft. My state passed laws in terms of domestic violence and grand larceny, making it easier for domestic violence victims to recover losses, but a lot of states have not. 

Common reports from victims of adult child abuse and domestic violence of theft from family or partner perpetrators showing narcissistic or sociopathic traits:

* stealing photos including family photos, photos of children that the couple shares, 
* stealing family mementos and heirlooms
* stealing and/or destroying photos from your "past life" with your parents, grandparents, siblings, your children, your ex, places you have traveled
* stealing things you will need for your work
* stealing things given to you by other people other than the abuser
* stealing anything as a way "to get even"
* stealing (kidnapping) your children

Common childhood experience from a narcissistic sibling or parent:

Things go missing out of your room on a consistent basis and put back days, months or years later, particularly toys. You are told you are insane, that you can't keep track of your things. You believe it (children trust parents to tell them the truth). When you become an adult, you notice that things no longer go missing. If you are lucky you learn about gaslighting

Further reading on this subject:

Note: all of these questions on stealing and narcissism have been answered by survivors of narcissistic abuse, and not psychologists, because there simply have not been enough studies done n the issue:

Linking Childhood and Adult Criminality: Using a Life Course Framework to Examine Childhood Abuse and Neglect, Substance Use and Adult Partner Violence - by Anita Minh, Flora I. Matheson, Nihaya Daoud, Sarah Hamilton-Wright, Cheryl Pedersen, Heidi Borenstein and Patricia O'Campo a professional article for U.S. Library of Medicine 

family violence of women and girls
and why it matters:

The majority (73%) of family violence victims were female ...

... While about three-fourths of the victims of family violence were female, about three-fourths of the persons who committed family violence were male. Most family violence victims were white (74%), and the majority were between ages 25 and 54 (65.7%). ...

...  About 22% of murders in 2002 were family murders. Nearly 9% were murders of a spouse, 6% were murders of sons or daughters by a parent, and 7% were murders by other family members. Females were 58% of family murder victims. Of all the murders of females in 2002, family members were responsible for 43%. ...

... Eight in ten murderers who killed a family member were male ...

... Family violence accounted for 33% of all violent crimes recorded by police in 18 States and the District of Columbia in 2000. ...

... About 49% of family violence crimes recorded by police resulted in an arrest. Males comprised 77% of suspected family violence offenders arrested in 2000. ...

... Among defendants convicted in federal courts — • 79% of convictions were the product of a guilty plea, and the remaining 21% were the product of conviction following a trial • most were male (96%), under age 40 (67%), white (72%), and non-Hispanic (95%) ... 

In terms of offenders in federal prisons, state prisons and local jails for family violence, the high majority were men.

However, since this report, domestic violence and family violence rates have risen dramatically in the last year:

A New Covid-19 Crisis: Domestic Abuse Rises Worldwide by Amanda Taub for The New York Times. Excerpt:

Movement restrictions aimed to stop the spread of the coronavirus may be making violence in homes more frequent, more severe and more dangerous.

Add another public health crisis to the toll of the new coronavirus: Mounting data suggests that domestic abuse is acting like an opportunistic infection, flourishing in the conditions created by the pandemic.

There was every reason to believe that the restrictions imposed to keep the virus from spreading would have such an effect, said Marianne Hester, a Bristol University sociologist who studies abusive relationships. Domestic violence goes up whenever families spend more time together, such as the Christmas and summer vacations, she said.

Now, with families in lockdown worldwide, hotlines are lighting up with abuse reports, leaving governments trying to address a crisis that experts say they should have seen coming.

Some reasons why sibling abuse of girls in the home matters is because sibling abusers will take their attitudes about women and girls into the work place, into raising children and into marriage.

In this professional article, simply called Domestic Violence by Martin R. Huecker; Kevin C. King; Gary A. Jordan; William Smock:

Unfortunately, each form of family violence begets interrelated forms of violence. The "cycle of abuse" is often continued from exposed children into their adult relationships and finally to the care of the elderly.

And by the way, that article is the best I have seen in terms of outlying the basics of what goes wrong in a family that practices abuse and how it impacts individuals and society.

Attitudes about women who are abused in the home are often taken as an attitude towards most or even all women (as reported in forums by victims of family abuse and partners of domestic violence):

* women can be scapegoated without consequence
* women can be hit without consequence
* you don't have to show empathy towards women; if anything, they are rivals for the love of your children
* if women protest on how they are being treated, just stonewall them or give them the silent treatment
* if women complain about sexual harassment in the workplace, they most likely brought upon themselves
* women aren't important, they are ostracize-able and rejection-able
* women should be hit or given the cold shoulder when they are not doing what is demanded of them 
* women should be seen but not heard
* women only serve to do what I want
* women should be dominated

These attitudes will be brought out in society, with a marriage partner, and with daughters. I have personally seen this happen in many cases, and even when it is a mother who is scapegoating a daughter or daughters. 

further reading:

Domestic Violence and the Criminal Justice System: An Overview - by Edna Erez, LL.B., Ph.D. for American Nurses Association

Understanding the Nature and Dynamics of Domestic Violence - by The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (one of the better on-line publications on the matter) 

HIGHLY RECOMENDED: The Macho Paradox - by Jonathan Katz ... This book covers it all: why girls and women are chosen for all kinds of blame, abuse and violence, how it effects all relationships,  even the healthy ones, what men can do to stop the abuse and the prejudice against women, and why they have much more to gain by treating women with dignity, fairness and respect over domination and control, and what it will mean for both male and female children who respect women as equals, and what they have to say. Incredible book, a must-read for all English speaking nations. It should be in every household.

What does the bully golden have to lose?
What does the bully parent have to lose?

I cover this under the same title in the section, "HOW IT ENDS UP: BULLYING FOR THEMSELVES, NOT JUST ENFORCEMENT-BULLYING FOR THE PARENT", section B.



New York State passed new domestic abuse laws in New York State in 2019. See this article, 
Domestic violence in New York: How these new laws will help to protect victims by Chad Arnold for the Albany Bureau. Other states are beginning to take new measures too. Before 2019 in New York, you could only report incidences of domestic violence to local authorities; now you can report your case to state officials.

As laws change to stem the tide of increasing cases of domestic violence and child abuse, perhaps the number of cases will go down, but for the time being they are rising.

domestic violence

Who perpetrates domestic violence?

According to this article, Violence and personality disorders: clinical and forensic implications by E Esbec and E Echeburúa for the National Library of Medicine:

Several studies have provided strong evidence that personality disorders (PD) represent a significant clinical risk for violence. This review has aimed to examine the relationship of greater risk for violence among persons with certain PD in terms of four fundamental personality dimensions: 1) impulse control; 2) affect regulation; 3) threatened egotism or narcissism; and 4) paranoid cognitive personality style. Two of these dimensions -impulse control and affect regulation- are probably substantially affected by virtually all PDs linked to violence. Narcissism or threatened egotism and paranoid cognitive personality style have also been empirically linked to violence and mental disorder. PD symptoms have proven to be even stronger predictors of violence than the PDs per se. In fact, increased symptoms of DSM-IV cluster A or cluster B PD, such as paranoid, narcissistic and antisocial PD symptoms, correlate significantly with violence. Finally, there are three important principles about the relationship between PDs and violence: 1) PDs are rarely egosyntonic; 2) most patients and violent situations that come to clinical attention involve comorbid conditions; and 3) violence and risk of violence are often associated with substance abuse. Implications of this review for further research are discussed.

According to the thesis Intervention with Intimate Partner Violence: Application ofAttachment and Personality Disorders by MaryBeth Ehlert for St. Catherine University, the results still point out that Cluster B personality disorders are a major factor in intimate partner violence (IPV), but that what triggered violence was different between one personality disorder and another. For instance, Borderline men tended to engage in reactive violence, i.e. angry in the moment with the violence following afterward, whereas men with Antisocial Personality Disorder tended to use violence proactively, to control and dominate a partner. 
   She goes on to say that:

... many acts of IPV are triggered by seemingly innocent stimuli, which suggests that perpetrators of IPV may have deficits in their ability to recognize their partners’ emotions (Marshall & Holtzworth-Munroe, 2010). In fact, poor emotion recognition and low cognitive empathy has been found to moderate the relationship between high antisocial and borderline traits and the risk of recidivism among post-treatment IPV perpetrators (Romero-Martinez et. al, 2016). IPV perpetration has been found to correlate negatively with sensitivity to their partners’ expressions of happiness (which may be misidentified as disgust) and fear (which may be INTERVENTION WITH INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE 13 misidentified as neutral), and this diminished sensitivity may mediate between borderline traits and IPV (Marshall & Holtzworth-Munroe, 2010.) Whether in reaction to real or mistakenly perceived negative stimuli, IPV men have an apparent difficulty in labeling and expressing some emotions. Presented with simulated situations involving being criticized by their partner, violent men were much more likely to express feelings of anger, compared to non-violent men, who more commonly expressed feelings of sadness (Costa & Babcock, 2008) ... 

These would typically be men who become enraged and punishing by a person's facial expressions, glances, tone of voice, type of pose while standing or sitting, misinterpreting emotions, and so on. I cover this phenomenon in THIS POST of mine. 

According to this article, Signs of Abuse by The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic abuse offenders usually have these characteristics:

- Extreme jealousy
- Possessiveness
- Unpredictability
- A bad temper
- Cruelty to animals (my note: for women perpetrators the more common outcome is destruction or stealing of a partner's personal property)
- Verbal abuse
- Extremely controlling behavior
- Antiquated beliefs about roles of women and men in relationships (my note: for women perpetrators it tends to manifest as an insistence on roles they assign their partners to fulfill)
- Forced sex or disregard of their partner's unwillingness to have sex (my note: for women perpetrators it is usually insults towards a partner about their sexual attractiveness and sometimes having affairs to make the partner feel insecure, jealous and unattractive)
- Sabotage of birth control methods or refusal to honor agreed upon methods (my note: for women perpetrators it tends to be threats about family planning, i.e. pressures and threats to get their way in family planning)
- Blaming the victim for anything bad that happens
- Sabotage or obstruction of the victim's ability to work or attend school
- Controls all the finances
- Abuse of other family members, children or pets
- Accusations of the victim flirting with others or having an affair
- Control of what the victim wears and how they act
- Demeaning the victim either privately or publicly
- Embarrassment or humiliation of the victim in front of others
- Harassment of the victim at work

As many professional articles point out, the Duluth model has its flaws, because women can perpetrate domestic abuse, and even violence. The difference is that when it comes to reactive violence, women don't usually perpetrate violence that will put their partner in the hospital or kill them. However it can happen regardless, especially in mutually violent situations. For instance, he slugs her, and she takes a big cast iron frying pan and hits him over the head with it and he dies of a brain injury. It is not all black and white as the saying goes. 

In general, in terms of violence, men hit, slug, push, pull, throw and bend the limbs in painful ways.

In general, in terms of violence, women slap, throw things, destroy a partner's property, and sometimes pull at their partner. 

In general, in terms of murder, men bludgeon, stab, shoot bullets, throw someone overboard (cliff, boat, subway, etc).

In general, in terms of murder, women tend to be more covert: poisoning, for instance.

Men tend to be more overt in their abuse (raging, insulting, hitting) and women tend to be more covert (i.e. passive aggressive: damaging gossip, psychological abuse, smear campaigns).

However, like all general statistics, it doesn't mean that it always goes that way.   

As far as an enforcer bully Golden Child is concerned, domination over his siblings because his parent pit the siblings against each other in a competition to see who would win the parent's approval, safety and "love" (though it really isn't love) translates later into domination over his partner as well. As long as he is in the dominant position, as he was in childhood, things go smoothly for you and for him, and he feels securely attached to you. When he feels he is not dominating and controlling you enough, often to the point where he wants you to have the same opinions that he has, he becomes enraged and the domestic violence possibilities ramp up. As the article above makes clear, these are signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder

An enforcer bully Golden Child is usually also going to be putting blame on his siblings in order to keep the coveted role of being Mommy or Daddy's favorite. This would also show signs of pre-emptive strikes and budding Machiavellianism, another Antisocial Personality trait (dark triad). 

But because his attachment to the caregiver is so insecure often called insecure attachment which is another factor in predicting IPV that Ehlert discusses in that same article, there is also the chance of Borderline reactions as well. Insecure attachment comes about because being in a competition with siblings is a requirement by the parent. In other words, the bond with the parent isn't secure unless he can show that he deserves to be the favorite and the approval. Insecure attachments often create that terror of abandonment in Borderlines.  

This would be characterized by reactive impulsive violence more typical of Borderlines than the Antisocial: "You were pissing me off with what you are saying (or doing), so I hit you." Reactive violence is triggered by feelings of insecurity, of not mattering to anyone except in terms of what you can do for others, of constantly dealing with fears of abandonment because narcissistic families are full of estrangements, cold shoulders over performance and perfection issues, and abandonments. The estrangements and abandonments as I have said before, can be over facial expressions, tone of voice, whether you fulfill a role, and even the most erroneous reasons you can think of (some of them make no sense at all even knowing trigger points of narcissists). It is all insecure attachment on steroids.

The style of attachment is so anger-inducing for a child, even a golden child, and since anger cannot be expressed to a narcissistic parent and be heard for what it is, and because the parent will shame the child instead, and blame-shift it off of themselves back on to the child, the anger pours out on to someone more vulnerable (a peer, a partner, a child, an animal - take your pick). 

This is the crux of why domestic violence is happening in very simplistic terms. I give you the simplistic terms because of the nature of this post (a synopsis on each topic), and to make it obvious that IPV is a childhood issue with them, not something you are doing. While they can be triggered by something you are doing, a criticism or even a misinterpreted facial expression, if you walk into any domestic violence center, the people behind the desk will invariably be telling you that the domestic violence you are enduring is not your fault. It's emotional dysregulation in them, left over from unresolved childhood issues.

The combination of Antisocial Personality DisorderBorderline Personality Disorder and a predominance of Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits point to Malignant Narcissism (the combination of the three prior personality disorders). That is largely what we are looking at when a child has been brought up to compete for a narcissist's approval, attention and love, and to enforce the abuse and/or violence the narcissist is perpetrating on other members of the family. 

If the domestic violence perpetrator is an alcoholic too (drinking every day beyond the recommended limits set by the CDC), alcohol can exacerbate the tendency to reactive violence. It also tends to bring out these personality disorders so that others notice them. While an alcoholic prone to inebriation can still act Machiavellian, they aren't going to be as careful about it. The details of the planning, the sadism and the type of abuse is going to be sloppy and obvious.

You might ask why doesn't the scapegoat child act this way? Why is it only a golden child issue? And the main reason is that scapegoats aren't taught to bully; they are the victims of bullying instead.

You might also ask why doesn't an empathetic golden child go down this road too? Most empathetic golden children are put into handmaid roles (doing housework, chores, babysitting, fixing things, helping, and they are told to be "nice"; i.e. nicer than they already are, and they are pretty damn nice to begin with), so trying to get them to bully isn't going to work all that well without a lot of grooming to be the opposite of what they are.     

The next article I'm going to show you is called The Cycle of Domestic Violence by the Center for Hope and Safety and it tells you about the cycle of violence:

Six distinct stages make up the cycle of violence: the set-up, the abuse, the abuser’s feelings of “guilt” and his fear of reprisal, his rationalization, his shift to non-abusive and charming behavior, and his fantasies and plans for the next time he will abuse.

Be aware that what is being discussed in this article is the Antisocial Personality Disorder breed of the cycle of abuse only. But, as I pointed out, it can co-occur with impulsive reactionary violence as well. But it is good to know this cycle none-the-less. The whole article is worth reading. 

Now sympathizing with an abuser over their childhood (assuming that they make that as their excuse for perpetrating domestic violence), will not work at stopping the violence. Sympathy, pleading, apologies and being "super nice" in a misguided attempt at making them feel secure in your devotion to them does not particularly work either. 

Fighting back and having a huge domestic violence brawl, or fighting like you are in a boxing ring won't work either. 

People who know nothing about abuse, domestic violence and perpetrator behavior (the extensive studies that have been conducted on domestic abuse offenders) may be giving you these strategies: "If he slugs you, slug him back! Don't be afraid! Give him a taste of his own medicine!" - bad idea. Or: "If you were just a little nicer to him, he probably wouldn't have hit you. You need to always be nice! In my view, you have it coming if you can't be accommodating of his moods and be the better!" - bad idea too. But it is based on societal opinions, ones that date back to the 1940s. They need to be buried back in the 1940s because they are ineffective and dangerous now. 

Sympathy and being super nice will be taken by a malignant narcissist to mean that you are exploit-able, that you can be ordered around, and insulted, and gaslighted, and manipulated to do what they want, and tricked, and even beaten ("be nicer, or I'll beat you harder!"). They take it as an excuse to abuse some more. Abuse is mostly escalated in these situations too. There is one strategy suggested by domestic violence counselors that is slightly like "being nicer", except it isn't "nice" per say; it is a survival strategy. I list some of the strategies domestic violence counselors suggest in a list towards the end of the post.

Fighting back is also not generally suggested by domestic violence counselors because they will want to win that one at all cost, and will be obsessed with winning. Strategizing at how to win and humiliate you will usually fill their heads night and day if they have Antisocial Personality Disorder traits. Most domestic violence offenders do. Most of us have more to do with our lives than fighting or arguing with narcissists, so the best thing to do is to work on a retreat plan if you have to be around them at all. 

Pleading doesn't work either, and if you plead and the abuse gets worse as you are pleading, that is another sign of the personality disorder in them. If you think about it, what normal person abuses and becomes enraged when you plead? The reason why pleading tends to make perpetrators worse is because they want to call all of the shots in the relationship: domination and getting what they want. Pleading is taken by them as you wanting domination instead, to get your way. So their rage goes off the rails. 

Trying to teach them the polite way to do things is just used as another piece of information about you, about how they can manipulate you with moral guilt trips (while they remain immoral - you will notice that they laugh when you catch them at immoral acts because they have no respect for morals; to them, morals and honesty is for suckers).  

Domestic violence, emotional abuse, verbal abuse and psychological abuse has mainly to do with power and control. Their indulgences in abuse tactics means "I want to control you, what you do, where you go, what you say, who you have a relationship with, and what you say to whom, because I'm too insecure to have any other relationship than that one, and I have to abuse you to make sure you comply with all of this." They might as well just say it instead of abusing you, but they like to pretend this isn't the real reason they are abusing you. They will be trying to convince you that something is wrong with you or not perfect enough about you instead. Don't fall for it. 

The best and most sure-fire way to get out of abusive relationships is to abandon them. It's hard to do if you have a normal constitution, but they would abandon you in a heartbeat if they found a better, more reliable sycophant (or source of narcissistic supply that is either about getting more money, or more vacations, or about getting higher on the career ladder). They are always looking for greener pastures.

If perpetrators want counseling, usually an ongoing combination of domestic violence counseling, anger management classes and CBT counseling (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) are usually suggested. If they are bully-victims, or were as children trauma therapy might be in order too.   

further reading for this section:

note: you can put your mouse over the wheel and see all of the things listed. This wheel is given out at most domestic violence centers throughout the country: Power and Control Wheel by Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (Home of the Duluth Model) - this is primarily for female victims of make perpetrators.

Antisocial Traits, Distress Tolerance, and Alcohol Problems as Predictors of Intimate Partner Violence in Men Arrested for Domestic Violence - by Meagan J Brem, Autumn Rae Florimbio, JoAnna Elmquist, Ryan C Shorey, and Gregory L Stuart for the National Library of Medicine

child abuse

One can see when reading the section above this one why the bully golden child would be a child abuser. They grew up with child abuse and they were expected to perpetrate child abuse by abusing a scapegoat sibling. 

They also learned these things:

* Child abuse doesn't end - if their parent was engaging in adult-child abuse, they learned to normalize it and try to carry it throughout their own children's lives.
* They saw their parent trying to dominate others, and they also dominated their siblings when they were children, so they will feel that always being in the dominant position is reasonable, even if you have to fight dirty to get there. It is justified in their mind.
* They perhaps saw their parent lie about family members who they wanted other people to hate and gang up on, so they will do the same thing when it comes to their children.
* They saw their parent play favorites with children, so they will play favorites too. 
* They saw their parents give instructions to their children about who and when to talk to someone.
* They saw that disagreements were competitions, and "my way or the highway events", so this will likely be how they conduct business with their own children.
* They saw insults volleyed about, so they normalized it, and insult too
You get my drift ... 
* They see that a parent will never take accountability, and instead blame-shift it off on to a child instead, and so they "see monkey do" in this regard too. 
* Was respect modeled in the home, or was disrespect modeled?

Child abuse tactics were inherited via modeling, so this is what passes from one generation to the next. 

It depends on how much bullying and abuse they were exposed to. Are the grandparents authoritarian and do they abuse? Do they expect to be in the dominate position all of the time and shout orders at other family members? Is there a lot of bullying in school? Are there bullies among his friends? If he is trying to avoid bullying himself, often it is an "either-for-the-bullies-or-against-them" situation, where he is given the ultimatum to join the bullies or be bullied (bully relatives and parents would count too). If he is on the bully team more than on the victim team, he will, in large part, be a bully himself. If he has spent his childhood being a bully and manipulating for gain, he will continue as an adult. If he is being modeled a lot of child abuse and on the bully team of the child abusers, he is likely to be a child abuser himself. How much bullying he does largely determines how much bullying he will be doing as an adult.

What I see personally is that child abuse actually gets worse as it passes down through the generations. What started out to be a fairly upstanding, if authoritarian family, can turn into a criminal family in about 3 - 5 generations, depending on the pervasiveness and interventions. Criminal families have all sorts of issues: substance abuse, profound mental health issues among members, incarcerated individuals, theft from other family members, suicides and suicide attempts, even family murders. It becomes a huge societal problem at that point.

Expecting a person who has bullied his entire life, and grew up being an enforcer-instigator child abuser for his parent, to be empathetic to your common children won't work. If there was a mitigating role model in his childhood, maybe there is some hope, but I would say "not" for the most part. 

Therefor, if you married a person with this profile, getting the children out of the situation should be a priority. Some of the children will normalize abuse, and abuse tactics. If your partner is disrespectful and abusive to you, the children may also normalize being disrespectful and abusive towards you too (scapegoating, parental alienation), whether you try to avoid it or not by talking to them. They will also be questioning a lot of things by the time they are teenagers or adults, such as "Why did you stay if you didn't want us to be exposed to domestic violence and child abuse?" So some of the responsibility is going to fall on your shoulders too down the road. 

Narcissists are always going to be putting you down whether you are divorced from them or not. You can always talk to social services if it gets out of hand. Some states and counties now have some laws about Parental Alienation, where neither parent can talk about the other parent in front of the kids without the risk of losing the children. From the child's point of view, being forced into "loyalty ultimatums" and games about winning a child's love is incredibly anxiety inducing for a child. An underage child's attention should not be on these matters, and is now considered to be child abuse.

Abuse of Children Wheel Poster - by Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (Home of the Duluth Model) - often given to children experiencing family violence where the state has intervened.

Parental Alienation - It's Real - It's Child Abuse - by the administrators of Time to Put the Kids First

for more links on child abuse (and on narcissistic child abuse), see the bottom pages of How to Tell if You have Abusive Parents, and Narcissists and Children and Sociopaths and Children


It should be obvious that if bullying is rewarded or grossly overlooked throughout childhood, teenage years, and adult years, then the bully will have used bullying tactics on others for most of his life. Many people will have experienced his bullying. 

A spouse who doesn't do exactly what he wants at all times will be a victim too. If he picks another narcissist for a spouse, they may together be bully-victims: the husband punches his wife, and the wife throws a frying pan at him, and the husband breaks her hand, and the wife has an affair. It's a mutually destructive relationship.

They are also likely to have estranged children at some point too. Their family dynamics will look a lot like the one they grew up with, with a family scapegoat and an enforcer bully child. The golden will also tend to be an authoritarian parent.

Scapegoats, on the other hand, rarely become estranged from their children unless they expose their children to the family narcissists. If they don't expose their children to the family narcissists, the kids tend to do much better than the golden's children, and to be fairly well adjusted, including contributing to the world. Scapegoats tend to be justice seekers, so their children may be too.

What happens if the scapegoat exposes their children to the narcissists in the family?:

This comes from many, many survivor stories I have been privy to hear:

The scapegoat and their children often have a closeness that the golden child and his parent can envy and it drives them crazy to see someone that they hate and want very badly to see fail is not failing at parenting. How can a scapegoat be used for constant blame, derision, hatred and abuse if the scapegoat's children are saying, "My Mom (or Dad) isn't like that! You're treating them bad!"

So breaking up that closeness becomes the huge agenda for the bully golden and the narc parent. Triangulating a scapegoat's children  against the scapegoat is a huge narcissistic family trend as it is one of the most discussed topics in ACON groups (Adult Children of Narcissists).  

Why does it happen? 

One of the reasons it happens is that it keeps the scapegoat in a continual scapegoat role, and roles are everything to narcissists inside and outside a family. Enforcing roles is how they get their needs met, keep the blame off of themselves, keep themselves in a dominant position, including getting the need for a constant stream of narcissistic supplies met.

Scapegoats go through an awful lot, but this can be at the top of traumatic experiences they go through within their own family. It is probably the worst thing the family does to an adult scapegoat, in fact. The triangulation often works because children don't understand what gaslighting and smear campaigns are, and it would terrify them if they knew that they were being toyed with in this kind of evil way, so they tend to trust the adults around them, including what those adults say. 

What those adults say to these kids is that their parent is not a good parent. "Your Mommy doesn't do this-or-that right", "We love you more, you should listen to us because we know what is best for you", "You know that your Mommy (or Daddy) is crazy, right?", "Stick with me and we'll make sure your Mommy pays for making you do your homework for hours! You had a right to play that game if you wanted to!" - these are just a few of the statements I have seen, and it is only a synopsis of what happens, but of course it goes much farther and deeper than that: how the parent isn't teaching the kids right, how the parent doesn't love them, how the parent treats them bad on purpose, how the kids deserve so much more ...  It pits the kids against their own parents and makes them manipulate-able by the narcissists. 

If scapegoats find they are in such dire financial shape that they feel there is no other choice then to go back home to live with their parents until they can get themselves on their feet again, it is even worse. The kids are vulnerable to being toyed with night and day by the family narcs.

The narcs first agenda is to get the children to be loyal only to the narcs in the family and scapegoating  their own parents (being disrespectful, cruel and blaming). If the narcs use money to manipulate, it becomes another way to get the kids' loyalty to go to them rather than their own parent: "Your Mommy never spends her money on you, poor thing! We are a lot more generous!" 

What happens in most of these situations is that the triangulation works: the kids side with the narcs, and the scapegoat is discarded, without a parent, brothers and sisters, and without children. Some are driven to suicide. Some are so traumatized and depressed that they can barely function. Some try to piece together a life, but the heartache of living without their children dogs them for life.

So the advice in these ACON groups is that once you are aware that your parent and golden child sibling are narcs, not to expose them to these members. And hearing the constant stream of stories of what other family scapegoats have gone through helps with the adherence of not exposing them. 

Even therapists can be pretty harsh and insistent when it comes to this. It can even be dangerous. Narcs have no problem putting other people in danger to do things for them, including small children, and if something happens they say it is the scapegoat's fault. They try to make the case that even living in a homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter is better than exposing kids to this kind of manipulation.

The phenomenon of having their children triangulated against them by their own family is often discussed on a daily basis in these groups. That is how prevalent it is. Turning people against one another never ends when it comes to the narcissistic family, and the scapegoat unfortunately gets the brunt of it. But so do the scapegoat's children because even when the narcs have won them over completely, they can also be put through idealize, devalue, destroy cycles, and often are. 

"If you can't behave, then go back to your loser parent! And you can be a loser like they are!" is the typical taunt and threat. 

So the other agenda that is met is that if the golden and narcissistic parent succeed in getting the children on their side, creating division, chaos, lies and successful smear campaigns against the family scapegoat, and the children are not doing as well as the golden's children as a result of all of the triangulation, this also becomes an agenda in terms of appearances: that they can say, yet again, that the golden's relationships are always 100 percent good and that he is a stellar parent, while the scapegoat's relationships with their children are a mess, in constant disarray, that the children are disrespectful to their parent (because the narcs encouraged them to be that way, but of course narcs don't take responsibility for it, making it the scapegoat's fault) and telling everyone that the scapegoat is a 100 percent bad parent. 

It becomes just one more way to fulfill the prophesy to outsiders that their scapegoat child has always been a huge headache, a crazy individual ("Why, just look at the scapegoat's family! Their own children can't deal with them!"), and a complete failure at everything they do. And, of course, the golden child is backing them in this all the way, and getting control of his parent's perceptions too little by little, so that he, and his children, get the most attention, the most resources, the most flattery.

Eventually, as the parent ages, he triangulates his children against the scapegoat's children. They can be deemed not to be as good as his own because they came from a loser parent. And that creates arrogance in his own children whereby they bully the scapegoat's children too. 

Then eventually it all becomes about the Last Will and Testament. Who gets what. And of course, the bully golden will want it all to go to him and his children.

It gets this complex, where the bullying keeps extending outward.

Extremely evil.

the bully golden ramps up the bullying against his siblings
at the end of the parent's life 

The phenomenon of the bully golden becoming dangerous to their siblings when their narcissistic parent's health is declining is second in terms of frequency of discussion in ACON groups. 

It has to do with the Last Will and Testament, of course. He has become entitled, and feels that he is entitled to the parent's entire estate. At any rate, he is going to manipulate situations so that this is the outcome.

Since his siblings are in "lesser roles", and because he has been deemed that he can do no wrong, he manipulates the perceptions of the ailing parent in terms of what his siblings' intentions are. 

Narcissistic golden children can become so dangerous and threatening, in fact, that the siblings have no choice but to bail out on the parent and the golden. If these siblings have the wherewithal to know that they can call social services, this can sometimes change the trajectory, but I have to say that even then it often does not work because the parent trusts the golden implicitly. 

The parent has had the mindset that golden's intentions are stellar their entire lives, the result is that the bully golden, who isolates the parent to have an exclusive relationship with him, will eventually be in charge of the finances, the health care and everything they can be in charge of. Bully goldens do not have the wherewithal to really care about a parent's deteriorating condition beyond a few weeks or a few months of "acting" (or competing and/or arguing and/or threatening other siblings in the care-taking department), so the end result is usually neglect. 

There are some horrific stories of what happens to these parents. The golden is going to care more about the money and preservation of money, and they don't like to spend the parent's money on the parent's care. They want full control. They also feel they are entitled to a better life (often full of drinking, parties and cruises) than to be saddled with a parent's care, which means that the delegation to the parent's care often goes to the golden's children. When the golden's children have children of their own and businesses to run, this isn't going to work out all that well, no matter how much these children are threatened ("You won't get any of your grandparent's money!", "You won't get an inheritance!", "Don't ever come back here! I wipe you clean from my life and my heart forever if you cannot do this for me!" - bullying is their game).

Also, when the parent acts up or becomes more needy, the golden often threatens the parent too. "Your other children walked out on you because you were so difficult! I guess my siblings were right! You can be so nasty! Now you are going to have to deal with me! And only me, and I'm not putting up with the sh&t you did to them! And you might not like it, but that is what you have left, so shut up now!" This is because they have been brought up to be a bully and to be entitled, not to be empathetic. Real empathy, as opposed to fake empathy, died in them in childhood: again, being a bully means brain chemistry (the amygdala). 

And besides, they saw the consequences for being empathetic. Acting is what was left. Bullying is what got them where they are: the sole inheritor of the parent's Will.

In some cases the parent screams for their scapegoat to save them (scapegoats tend to have empathy, a quality they scoffed at most of their lives, all of a sudden becomes an asset), but most often scapegoats do not rescue the parent. They feel that the situation with the golden is too dangerous for them ("murdered over money"), or they feel it is just another ruse for the parent shaming them over something, more denigration and more rejection.  

Bully golden children are often perceptive to know that this will be the result too, and if they don't, all they have to do is to communicate to the scapegoat: "If you know what is good for you, you won't interfere!" - there is a veiled threat to stay away. 

Dr. Ramani Durvasula covers a little of this phenomenon in the video below about the narcissistic sibling, and I cover this in slightly more detail in the How to Tell if You Have Abusive Parents post.

abuse of the family business:

The other situation I have seen is that the bully golden either tries to take over an entire family business (making sure that all of his agendas are met at the expense of the other members), and/or destroys the family business - on purpose, and then blames the failure on the family.

situation # 1:
the son runs the family business into the ground
and blames it on his other family members: 

In the following real story, the eldest son develops narcissistic traits and ruined the livelihood of the parent and two brothers:

The father owned a successful business with country-wide locations which made millions. He hired his eldest son to be President and CEO, and his two other younger sons to be Vice Presidents. These younger brothers were primarily in management positions. Then there were store managers hired for each of the locations. 

Anyway, this eldest brother became an alcoholic, which is also what we see with narcissists and sociopaths. He was a womanizer, breaking hearts, having multiple affairs, picking up girls, dropping them when he got sick of them, intolerant of anything but being in control. He often picked women in the workplace too, which can often mean a toxic work environment, and result in a high turn-over of workers. There were a couple of sexual harassment lawsuits against him as well. 

He installed bars inside the back room of each store, a kind of departure from the usual coffee break-room.

He insisted that as CEO, he be given a six figure salary, while his two youngest brothers got a five figure salary.

As most bully golden children do, he was in the business for rewards. In the beginning, his father let him have elaborate and expensive work parties, take the reins in expensive and risky marketing strategies, and extend the business in more locations (narcissists often take huge risks to make ever-more money). At some point, he took the reins of the whole business even though his father insisted that it was a family business where the father (and his other sons) had to agree on the trajectory of the business. But since narcissists require full control, this wasn't going to happen. He would either make excuses for running the business without a family vote, do things on his own and tell them afterward, or tell the family that they would appreciate what he had done in the end. 

There came a time when the business was losing more than it was gaining. At the height of its disintegration, he was still having elaborate very expensive office parties and flying all over the country to rendezvous with girls in the guise of looking after the businesses in the other locations. As the entire business was going bankrupt, and his father was pulling the plug on the more far-flung parts of the business, the son was gathering workers to pit them against his family members, and blaming the falling revenue on them. 

In his quest to take over the entire business, the family business was lost, gone, and the remaining assets sold to another business. 

Rule #1: don't put a narcissist in a CEO position (or in any position of power), even if he is your kid.
Rule # 2: businesses where the CEO is not your child tend to do better because you can feel more comfortable holding them accountable when things go wrong, and you can fire them without the strong emotional backlash and heartbreak you would have if you fired your son. Also, risk-taking would be kept in check because the family makes the decisions, and the CEO implements them.

situation # 2:
 stealing from the family business:

In the following situation, a daughter takes over the family business (a popular store in a tourist town) and steals from it:

The eldest daughter of three, described by her two youngest siblings as a life long bully, was put in charge of hiring and firing workers and was the chief financial officer of the business. Like most family businesses, the trajectory of the business had to be agreed upon by all family members, though the parents were getting old and less able to work at the business as full time as they used to, thus letting the daughter run it. 

The daughter did what a lot of bully golden children do: she made a lifelong campaign out of putting little doubts in her parent's head about her two other siblings, so her mother, at least, believed her. 

The golden's two sisters had big families and less time to put into the family business over its many years, so it would seem to be a logical choice that the sibling who doesn't have a lot of outside obligations to run it. But eventually the other two sisters were able to join her. However, the two youngest sisters did not get along with the eldest sister (the eldest sister put herself in charge and constantly dominated and picked on her other siblings), and to solve the problem, the parents opened up another store in the next tourist town over and the two siblings worked there instead. 

Anyway, the profits minus 55,000 dollar-a-year salaries for each daughter was to go into an account where the three sisters were to get an equal portion upon the parent's death. The eldest daughter complained that because she was the CEO and chief financial officer, she should be paid more, but the parents refused, seeing that higher pay would cause more consternation between all siblings. 

To punish her parents for making that decision, she apparently made up the difference herself, by stealing from the business. The father noticed the books weren't adding up, and as a fix, the eldest said one of the workers was stealing, and fired the worker. But it kept happening, and two more workers were fired. And over time, the money missing also kept increasing.

It is actually reasonable to suspect theft from workers; unfortunately a lot of workers are acting this way these days, so the parents did not suspect.  

Eventually, the second store had to be closed to keep the entire business solvent, and the parents told the three daughters that they would all have to get along somehow. This works if there is not a bully in the picture, and a bully in charge. It was miserable for the two younger siblings, but they reasoned they stayed with the business for their parents. The two youngest ones also took less salary, hoping it would help solve the animosity the eldest had for her two youngest sisters.  

Anyway, the parents had some medical crises. As one would expect, the youngest siblings took care of the parents while the eldest ran the store single-handedly. 

The mother died. 

It turned out that the eldest got the father to sign Power of Attorney papers, health care proxy and naming her executor of the business. When he had another medical crisis, she fired her two other sisters from the business and also withdrew a lot of money from the account. She also told her youngest siblings that they were not allowed to see their own father as he lay sick at home with an on-again-off-again hired marginally trained health care worker. He was also neglected, to say the least. 

Anyway, the sisters got social services involved, and they moved the father to a care facility. He had a miraculous recovery there. But he also could not believe his eldest could be so cruel; he kept making up excuses for her, that she had too much on her plate, that she didn't really mean to fire them, and so on. It's amazing what it takes to see the light!

But by then, the sisters had so many suspicions, and they had no trust left in their sister, and they started wondering why money was disappearing from the business, so they hired a private detective to look into it all. It was pretty clear that their oldest sister was trying to rob them of an inheritance too. 

Then they got an attorney.

It ended up in their favor, but you can see how a bully golden tries to isolate the parent and the sisters from each other (triangulation, "divide and conquer"), tries to take the money out of the business for themselves, puts themselves in charge of hiring and firing workers, and most of all the finances ... 

further reading for this section:

Narcissism in the Workplace - from Wikipedia

Machiavellianism in the Workplace - from Wikipedia

Psychopathy in the Workplace - from Wikipedia

7 Things Only Narcissists Do In Business - by Amy Morin (psychotherapist) for Forbes

The Damage Done: Dealing with Narcissists in the Workplace - by Brian O'Connell for Better Workplaces, Better World

elder abuse:

Elder abuse, like child abuse, is on the rise and is beginning to be a major societal problem. It is estimated that as many as a million in the USA are victims of elder abuse. However there are many unreported cases because families are often in charge of elder care. 

According to the article, Perpetrators of Elder Abuse Are Usually Family Members by Jed Winegar for National Care Planning Council states:

One in ten Americans (age 60+) are suffering from some form of abuse. Worse yet, one study estimates that only one in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities. Many believe institutions for care, like assisted living and nursing homes, commit the most abuse. This is not so. 90 percent of elder abuse cases are perpetrated by family members.

But be aware that this can mean anyone in the family from siblings, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, stepfamilies ... When you take all of this into account, it makes sense that the numbers would be so high. 

The post, Elder Abuse by Hardin, E., & Khan-Hudson, A. for the American Psychological Association states that majority of victims are female and that the majority of perpetrators are male. Also:

... current research estimates that approximately 1 to 2 million Americans, age 65 or older have been abused or neglected by the very people they entrust with their care and protection (National Center on Elder Abuse, 2005) ...

In abusive narcissistic families, the golden child is most often chosen by his usual enamored parent for the role of caretaker. In this context, it is obvious that this is of some detriment to the parent. Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a psychologist who is an expert on narcissism mentions this in her second video below.  

While there have been no official studies on the phenomenon of elder abuse by bully golden children, Dr. Ramani Durvasula is privy to some of the same resources that I am for finding out what happens in these situations, plus her clients reveal the same kinds of stories over and over again. 

As with everything to do with the bully golden, he is interested in taking on the entire task of caretaking, financial overseeing and asset management and most often finds ways to push his siblings and other potential caregivers out of the picture so that he can assume total domination and control, and the only thing he will delegate is the caretaking. 

So what is the most prevalent outcome for a parent with this kind of golden? 


Financial abuse is pretty high on the list too, especially if they are the only one running the finances. 

Some form of abandonment is likely after a period of time.

That is what survivor stories tell us, from forums to groups. 

However, the law also states that an elder still has the right to make their own choices, even in who they spend their time with, and in who they put in charge, even if the decisions are faulty. If you are completely on the outside of the situation as other children of narcissists tend to be (ostracized, triangulated and smear campaigned by the bully golden or the parent, or scapegoated, given the silent treatment, told to stay away, threatened to stay away, or you left of your own accord because the bullying, abuse and dangers became severe), if you are truly worried about your parent, you can always contact social services to have them look in on the situation.

Social services is also a good way to go if you have PTSD from chronic family abuse and get triggered from being around an abusive parent or the abusive sibling.

People who assign Golden/Scapegoat roles have mentalities that are flawed and unreasonable, and they also point to cognitive disabilities if a parent operates by putting people in these roles. It makes sense to contact social services once in awhile if a bully golden is in charge.

Because gaining control of an elder's finances is high on the list of the reasons the bully golden has for wanting total control, the frustrations of long term care and waiting for financial reward can, and often does, perpetrate financial abuse of the elder by the golden. Bully golden adult children are known to be impatient, restless, want rewards right away, and for issues to resolve as quickly as possible. It is understandable why it happens.

Some states require dishonest tactics by perpetrators, such as the use of force, duress, misrepresentation, undue influence, or other illegal means, to take advantage of the elder person. Other states do not require a showing of such tactics if the perpetrator knew or should have known that the elder person lacked the cognitive capacity to make financial decisions (Tueth, 2000). Similarly, some states limit financial abuse to an intentional improper use of the elder's resources, while other states encompass negligent, or at least reckless, advice or conduct, such as failing to use income effectively for the care of the older person (Dessin, 2000; Roby and Sullivan, 2000).

Generally the victim must experience some disadvantage as a result of the transaction, but some states also require that the perpetrator gain some advantage from the transaction (Dessin, 2000). The latter would not penalize actions that merely wasted the elder person's assets (Dessin, 2000). States also vary on whether abuse is limited to the abuse of the elder person's money and real property or also encompasses other resources such as the elder person's goods and services (Roby and Sullivan, 2000).

Finally, some states limit financial abuse to those in a “position of trust” to an elder person (Roby and Sullivan, 2000) ... 

... Also, conduct that began in the elder person's best interests may become abusive over time, as when perpetrators initially provide helpful advice regarding financial investments but take on greater control and ultimately misappropriate funds for themselves as the elder person's cognitive abilities decline (Dessin, 2000). Typically, financial abuse in a domestic setting reflects a pattern of behavior rather than a single event and occurs over a lengthy period of time (National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, 2001; Wilber and Reynolds, 1996). Determining when financial abuse began can be very difficult (Smith, 1999) ...

... A study in Massachusetts found that almost one-half of the cases of elder abuse serious enough to require reporting to a district attorney involved financial exploitation (Dessin, 2000). A review of California reports from 1987 found that fiduciary abuse was the most prevalent type of exploitation and appeared in 41.5 percent of the cases ...

... One set of motivations widely identified tends to be associated with all forms of elder abuse. Frequently cited motivations include the perpetrator's substance abuse, mental health, gambling, or financial problems (Dessin, 2000; National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, 2001; Tueth, 2000). The perpetrator's actions may be based on “learned violence” or be modeled after the prior behavior of the elder person (Dessin, 2000). Where the perpetrator is a primary caregiver, caregiver stress has been cited as a cause of this abuse (Dessin, 2000).

There are also a number of characteristics linked relatively uniquely to financial abuse. For example, the perpetrator may stand to inherit assets and feel justified in taking an advance or in exercising control over assets that are perceived to be almost or rightfully the perpetrator's own (Dessin, 2000; National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, 2001) ...

... In addition, people who financially abuse the elderly are often family members, particularly adult children and grandchildren (National Center on Elder Abuse, 1996; Quinn, 2000; Rush and Lank, 2000; Sklar, 2000) ...

... Tueth (2000) constructed from the literature two types of perpetrators of elder exploitation. The first type consisted of dysfunctional individuals with low self-esteem who may be abusing substances, psychosocially stressed, or suffering from caregiver burden. Such individuals will not seek out victims but instead passively take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. The second, more aggressive type methodically identifies victims, establishes power and control over them, and obtains the elder's assets by using deceit, intimidation, and other forms of psychological abuse. Such individuals may have an antisocial personality disorder and have little regard for the rights of others. In a typical sequence, the victim is identified as impaired and vulnerable; the victim's trust is secured by being friendly, helpful, and providing assistance; the victim is made passive and comfortable and then isolated; and finally the perpetrator takes possession of assets by employing psychological abuse ...

... It is widely recognized that it is difficult, even for experienced professionals, to distinguish an unwise but legitimate financial transaction from an exploitative transaction resulting from undue influence, duress, fraud, or a lack of informed consent (Tom, 2001).11 ...

Because laws are so different from state to state, and because "improper intent" can be hard to prove, financial abuse of the elderly has a lot of loopholes in the present day, so it is easy to commit, especially by a caretaker whose main objective is financial reward from their parent and who has bullying tendencies besides. 

At best, the caretaking will be transactional, the way most narcissists conduct themselves in relationships.

It can also be the main motivation for why the elder is only with one grown child at life's end. A narcissistic parent will want that too: putting their one child in the golden child role means, for all intents and purposes, an exclusive relationship with that adult child (exclusive meaning it excludes the other children they have had). It's weird to say it, but they brought it on themselves, which is normally something abusers say for why they victimize someone, and it is not said in that context, but making choices that show your other children they are not wanted via the cycle of abuse (idealize, devalue, discard), that you only love the one adult child, which is what happens when narcissists get old, can mean you have to make the best of it with that one adult child too.

In the end most kids get scapegoated except the golden, because the scapegoat role has to be continually replaced over and over again when one of them is discarded. 

Even if none of the scapegoats ever learns about narcissism, or they never consider their parent to have a personality disorder, then they will largely be doing what they were programmed to do: the bully golden child will be manipulating outcomes that he wants, and the scapegoats will be living their own lives on the outside of that relationship. 

One reason why scapegoats don't try to get back in the family is because their parent is a control freak: the parent has always made the decisions, and if they don't make the decision to get the child back, the child assumes that they are to live separately. 

What adult child who has been scapegoated to such extreme lengths would want to be with people who don't want him or her?

further reading on this topic:

Elder Abuse and Neglect - from Helpline

Narcissistic Abuse - from Wikipedia

Is Your Caregiver Self-Absorbed and Manipulative? (What to do when your caregiver is a narcissist) - by Toni Bernhard, JD for Psychology Today

What does the bully golden have to lose?
What does the bully parent have to lose?

The best way to answer this question, is to go back to the beginning of when a parent tries to strong arm one of their children in order to gain more power, control and dominance, and then enlists the golden child in the agenda. 

I have mentioned before that narcissistic and sociopathic parents usually want ever more, and extreme amounts of power, control and domination, especially over their children, including adult children. In fact, the way they treat you as an adult is not much different than the way they treat you as a small child: they are still lecturing at you, sometimes telling you what to wear and what not to wear, how to conduct yourself when talking to others, punishing you if you are not doing what they tell you to do, sometimes locking you in a room if they feel you are misbehaving. This can go on into your sixties and seventies, and not kidding. It is called infantilization, and narcs are especially known for it. 

Some of them also treat their marriage partner in this way. 

When they want to dominate you more, or when they feel threatened that the power and control they have on you is diminishing in strength, there is usually what psychologists refer to as pro-active abuse to keep it in place.  It is a premeditated abuse: the parent becomes afraid that you will back off, or that you will take away the power they already have on you, so they scare you with some sort of abuse. 

Here is an example, in an extremely succinct way: They threaten you, that if you should so much as think to rebel against some kind of command they are giving you, there will be huge consequences. Most often they blame you (and most often it is something erroneous: something wasn't perfect enough in their eyes or there was a look on your face they didn't like).  Then they follow it up with a punishment. 

For adult children, the punishment will be anything they can think of that might hurt you. The premise here is that they think if they hurt you enough, and run your reputation through the mud by talking to  other family members, that you will give into their demands, where again, they dominate your life. 

Some of the things they threaten can be outright dangerous, depending on all of the members' agendas who are backing up the narcissistic parent in getting the adult child to capitulate. It will also be obvious that there is certainly no empathy for you in any of these punishments.

So, suppose you go to a domestic violence counselor about what to do about this problem. And they assess the situation and tell you that it is too dangerous for you to meet with them alone and the reasons why (note: I talk about how assessment about the dangers are made below). 

The end result, let us say, is that you tell your parent that you are only willing to discuss what they want and the punishment they want to give in a therapist's office or at a public restaurant with your spouse. Most abusers want you alone, without witnesses, without support, in a place of their choosing (usually their house or apartment). Hopefully you can sense the dangers here. And also how unreasonable they are: one is about sitting in an office, and one is about sitting in a restaurant eating and discussing. How hard can that be, right? 

So, let's say you are not making any headway in agreeing on a meeting place. They keep telling you that it has to be their way or no way, and their way is always about getting you alone. They refuse all of your other suggestions. They stonewall any compromise. 

Usually when they want to meet with you alone it is a sign that they want to abuse/punish you some more, just so you know ... 

So, since they are not getting their way, perhaps they escalate and send you messages that no one likes you (very typical of abusers), no one thinks you are reasonable about trying to "force them" into some other place other than their home, that everyone thinks that what happened between you and them is 100 percent your fault. It's another escalation.  

You are not buying it, nor are you going to be bullied into what they want regardless. It becomes pretty clear that they would rather see you suffer from lack of familial bonding, and to ruin your reputation and happiness than give up on their strategy on attaining more power over you. 

Normally this would be classified as a power struggle, but when it is about trying to dominate you, and run your life, it is just plain old abuse. 

Eventually, the ultimatums come to a peak, that if you don't accept the amount of power, control and domination they expect you to give them, that they don't want anything to do with you for as long as you live. This isn't an unusual ultimatum for narcissistic and sociopathic parents to make on their kids. Also the escalations continue: usually more lies about your character, more attempts to ruin even more of your reputation, and anything they can think of. They act like desperate junkies in this regard.

Nothing like a lot of lies, continual abuse, crazy-making vilifications of your character to make you want to go back to them! But this is how delusional they are! 

Sometime during the stages of escalation, they try to enlist your siblings against you. The perfect sibling to enlist, is of course, the one they trained to be the enforcer: everything they want, this golden child will enforce. 

As I have discussed in the prior post HERE, a truly empathetic sibling is not going to have any part of this. They aren't interested in losing a sibling over this strong-arming and cruelty, and if anything, will try to protect the sibling. Which is why many narcissistic and sociopathic parents would rather groom a favorite child to play the role of enforcer rather than an empath. 

The bully golden child can be quite a bit more abusive and aggressive to the bullied sibling than the parent. Certainly he is doing his bullying for the parent, but he is also doing it for himself. He either perceives rewards for doing it, or he is promised rewards for doing it, usually the latter. 

At every stage he is monitored: what he says to the sibling, what they expect him to say to the sibling, when to invite a sibling into a conversation and when not to invite them, when to ignore the sibling and when to talk to them, what to talk to them about and how to phrase things, how much pressure to put on the sibling ... The other reason why he is more abusive is because the parent can't be more abusive and risk the fallout - if something goes wrong, and he is caught by law enforcement, or someone gets wind of what he is up to, they can blame him for the entire fall-out. They get him to do the dirty work and take the rap for it too. 

Sociopathic parents, or parents with sociopathic traits, conduit all of their sadism through the golden child. So it becomes a role, the sadist role. And we know that he has to stay in role, or else. 

If he tries to give up the role (let's say he is not comfortable with the amount of sadism that is being expected of him, that it seems to be going too far, and he doesn't want to be that much of a sadist), or if he doesn't follow directions to the letter, there will be criticisms, threats, ultimatums and consequences. "You have been chosen, and we have rewarded you handsomely for it, and this is how you repay us?! This won't do! After all this time you stab us in the back because you have decided your sibling is worth something to you after all?! Well, they aren't! I suppose you are on (your sibling's) side now!" They make him pledge his loyalty to them, and it is usually in absolute terms. 

The problem is, as they did with his sibling, they want evermore power and control over him, if even more so, so they will be getting more and more manipulative all of the time, and constantly wanting more and more gossip about people who the parent can't seem to control, and trying to get complaints out of him about his other relationships too. They do this so that they can manage those relationships as well. The golden hears the empathetic sighs from the parent about his complaints, and then the parent tells him what to do about it that will serve the parent (in the guise of serving the child). This is used by the parent as a catalyst for more triangulation against his other relationships, more isolation from his other relationships so that the parent always comes first, even against his own spouse, unless that spouse is totally agreeable to what his parent wants too. 

Isolating him from relationships the parent cannot dominate becomes the agenda, even if they do not appear to find those other relationships a direct threat initially.   

And because most bully golden children tend to be much weaker in the face of parental threats than their ostracized scapegoat siblings, they tend to capitulate to what the parent demands, even when the demands are going into uncomfortable territory for the golden. The golden believes he'd be foolish to give up the rewards for just the few reservations he has (he is brought up to seek rewards, after all ... if you wonder why a lot of domestic violence offenders are more reward-seeking than intimacy-seeking in relationships, this would be why).

Also, if you wonder why bully golden children are so critical of other people, it is because this immediately grabs the attention of a narcissistic parent. If they are talking about other people in glowing terms, this can either make a narcissist insecure or it can induce rage. So narcissistic families tend to be hypercritical of other people (other than themselves - and their little clique of other bullies). It is the major conversation at parties and dinners, something that others find extremely annoying, and that childhood PTSD survivors find triggering, which is why people who are not bullies eventually prefer not to celebrate with their families (more about this below). 

At best, what the parent has to lose is the child who is being bullied. What the sibling has to lose is his other sibling. At the point this happens, most of these kinds of pairs have derided, criticized to the max, made fun of, laughed about, and turned the sibling/child into a monster in their minds, all with confirmation bias. They have decided that the scapegoat is 100 percent bad, and "useless" (i.e. not usable/utilitarian enough for them), so neither of them care all that much that they lost this relationship. And that may be the end of it, the final conclusion to the matter. But, believe it or not, it can get so much worse than that.

So, what can happen to a bully golden child who decides not to capitulate to the demands of the parent? Or let us say that he can't because he is disabled, or sick, or his business is taking up a lot more of his time, or he just wants to spend more time with his spouse without his parent in on their relationship all of the time, or he is getting rewards but he seems never able to use the rewards because his parent is so demanding, or so many of the rewards are meaning that the parent is around all of the time ...   

Anyway, so much can go wrong with backing out of the role, even slightly, and here are just several of them:

Decides not to capitulate on one of the parent's demands:
   What the parent is demanding or suggesting may be illegal; it may put him in poor social standing; it may be going against one of his children and he doesn't want to go against a child; it may put him in the poor house, at any rate, he decides for better or worse, to put up a resistance ... 

Most narcissists and sociopaths rage and threaten when they don't get their way. He knows this will happen, so he just takes it on the cuff. He feels he can squirm his way out of it with sweet talk, flattery, humor, or he excuses and apologizes for his foray out of role as he always has. Or he feels that they will calm down after awhile and realize he's the good old golden they have always known ... 

The parent, desperate to take back control of him again, and perhaps enact a revenge against him for going out of role:

* can do to him what they did to the scapegoat: devalue and discard him (goldens are vulnerable to it, if only because there is no more scapegoat left, and suddenly he has to fulfill that role too) ... and what happens when the bully becomes a bully-victim? He goes through the same symptoms of generalized anxiety that all scapegoats go through. He might have suicidal thoughts like most scapegoats have, if even more so (bully-victims tend to be more suicidal than either plain vanilla victims or plain vanilla bullies). He can't commiserate with his scapegoat sibling and tell the scapegoat he finally understands because the scapegoat wants nothing more to do with him for all of the cruelty. 
* can take the entire inheritance away from him that they promised to him and that he counted on (a form of future faking)

And one of the things that bully goldens have to deal with that scapegoats don't have to deal with are threats about his conduct, about how they can hold him accountable for his bullying:

The parent tells the golden they will have him arrested, or no longer give him money for what he did to (his sibling), to his (child), his (ex-wife) even though the parent gave him directives to be cruel and/or break the law in the first place. And we wonder why narcissistic families eventually become crime families who blame-shift and back-stab their members. 

Now, the problem for the golden is that he has to make a moral choice for a change. Some feel they must capitulate to the blackmail, and keep going down the path of darkness and dark deeds, hurting evermore people along the way, but other bully-goldens take the consequences and get rejected, get arrested, get exposed for all of the unethical things they did, get their names dragged through the mud, and do the best they can to deal with all of it just to get away from the life the parent is directing. 

However, the majority of them have major sociopathic traits, so will almost always go in the direction of where the rewards are. And they like being sadistic. And they like the role of sadist. And they like to scare people with their rage. And the abuse and exploitation of other people is just part of the territory of being a sadist. They might be arrested or being black-listed by someone other than the parent because sadists tend to get more sadistic, and tend to get more careless, and often drink a lot which makes them more careless, and use their sadism on people they shouldn't be using it on, and tend to practice more severe versions of it as time goes on so that they can gauge what they can get away with and what people will put up with.

Then there is revenge on the parent, because like the parent, they have vengeful retaliatory natures too. What bully doesn't? So there can be a war between the parent and the golden, and we know the golden will usually win.    

Then there is elder abuse and neglect, which bully golden children tend to engage in more than not (I cover that topic above). 

The consequences to the golden, obviously, are much heavier than the consequence of the parent never wanting to talk to their scapegoat child again for not letting their parent control their lives. Scapegoats see it earlier: the damage to lives, the smear campaigns, the lies, the blame-shifts, the triangulation. While the golden might not care that the parent is morally bankrupt, they can see how their bond with the parent is full of blackmail, control, threats to keep in role, often with rewards only dangled and not realized.     

What these parents will do just to get their fix of power and control over a bunch of people through abuse and threats is dizzying!

further reading for this section:

When There Is No Getting Away: The Grief of Sibling Bullying - by Sarah Swenson, MA, LMHC for Good Therapy

conclusion of this section:

In terms of inheritance, a bully golden will do to their siblings what he will do to a family business: gut it. The bullying increases, and they often become dangerous to their siblings. They go from enforcing for the parent to enforcing and bullying for themselves. They will want power of attorney over the parent and to be in charge of the finances, the health care, and the perspectives that the parent has about his other siblings. And here, narcissists do what they do best: spread false narratives, false gossip, pay people off in some way to vouch for their reputation, strong-arm their kids and spouse to back them up. They make excuses for their cruel behavior, and insist that they are entitled to a "me first" or "only me" attitude.  

They make up stories about their siblings to get them ostracized or estranged. Since the golden always comes first, often his wishes come first too. Some siblings are in so much danger that they have no choice but to be estranged. They have to make the choice of whether to stay alive, or whether to belong to the family, and not kidding. This is where bullying goes into critical mass.

When a scapegoat or scapegoats are part of a family, which they are if the family is a narcissistic family, it is so much easier for a bully golden to make up stories about them because one of the parents usually already views their scapegoats as 100 percent bad

Neglect of a parent is also very easy to do when siblings are estranged and they are afraid of the in-charge golden. What became the parent's way to get evermore power and control and narcissistic supply, now becomes a huge liability.

The elder's lust to create an exclusive relationship with the golden, sometimes to the point of emotional incest, usually backfires. What the golden thought of as "easy street" in terms of rewarding himself with the whole family inheritance or family business can become a battle with the narcissistic elder instead. Most often it is a tit-for-tat battle where the parent punishes the golden, and out of revenge, the golden punishes the parent. I say tit-for-tat because relationships with narcissists and sociopaths are most often transactional, and revenge is just another transactional volley. 

Relationships with narcissists are not built on emotional connection, trust, honesty or closeness. And if they seem to be that for awhile, they will be broken over the narcissist wanting more power, domination and narcissistic supply at some point. 

Anyway, any psychologist will tell you not to put a narcissist in charge of elder care. 

And child care. 

And running a business. 

And head of a family. 

And being a manager in a business. Or the financial officer. 

And running a government office.  

The liabilities are too big and they use conspiracy theories, playing the victim, lying, blame-shifting, hurting others who don't go along with them and their opinions, and all of the tactics on the right to get their way, and to capture evermore power.

further reading for this section:

Antisocial Traits, Distress Tolerance, and Alcohol Problems as Predictors of Intimate Partner Violence in Men Arrested for Domestic Violence - by Meagan J Brem, Autumn Rae Florimbio, JoAnna Elmquist, Ryan C Shorey, and Gregory L Stuart for the National Library of Medicine


This question was asked of me recently, so I'll try my best to answer it. 

Since the mid-1980s, most schools adopted policies that addressed school bullying. "No tolerance for bullying" became both an administrative campaign as well as a school assembly project. But as I have stated before, it wasn't until the 2010 Phoebe Prince case that psychological treatment and consequences for the bullies became standard. So it has been a relatively short period of time that this has been in practice. It takes time to see results.

When hearing the stories of people growing up in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, bullying in schools and on school buses was rampant and largely ignored by administrators, and even parents. 

I know of a case from 1971 where a boy committed suicide over the bullying of classmates and his father said something to this effect: "My boy was too much of a wimp. He didn't fight back like I taught him to do. So he's dead." It was stated matter-of-factly and no lawsuits were filed like they would have been in the decades following. "It's the child's fault" for not ending the bullying, the parent seemed to be saying - it would bring an enormous amount of shame upon that kind of parent today. 

School buses prior to 1980 in particular could be catalysts for daily bullying. Some bus drivers treated the bullying like the kids were boxers in a ring (and not kidding): "Give him a punch to the jaw!" "Hit him in the stomach! That'll disable him!" A bus driver was hired to drive, not to monitor the behaviors of children.

In schools during that era, there were "codes of conduct" for in-school certainly, but bullying per se was not addressed. It largely depended on any given teacher's attitudes about bullying. 

I knew of a substitute teacher who, in the era, found a classroom of restless children upon her arrival. She asked the students what they wanted to do, and the boys piped up and said they wanted to wrestle, so the desks were all moved to the parameters of the room, and a floor space cleared so that the boys could wrestle. And they did wrestle. With cameras in every classroom today, and upon the first desk moving, this "teacher" would have been fired on the spot. But prior to 1980? Fighting among children was largely tolerated, unless it distracted a teacher from teaching and a bus driver's ability to drive. 

One of the consequences of bullying back then is that children died, not just of suicide, but because of physical injuries. One population of children hardest hit were those who had epilepsy. Dying in schools, in the playground or on the school bus, or waiting for the school bus, or walking to school, was getting a little more attention by the mid-late 1960s as the Peace Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, the prevalence of lynching's of blacks in the south (and often reported on the major news), The Vietnam War, The Women's Movement (bullying and domestic violence by husbands to keep a wife in a role), the movement for more protections via Labor Unions in order to stem exploitation of workers, and the Native American Civil Rights Movement brought into focus the issue of violence in society, in general. While it didn't translate into protections for children at that time, children were growing up watching protests against the pervasive violence of the era and wondering what their protections were because even bullying and violence against children in their own homes was quite a bit more prevalent in those days than it is today, according to survivors of that era. As one survivor put it who grew up in the 1950s, it wasn't uncommon to see most of your classmates sitting in a classroom with bruises and welts. 

My own belief, for what it is worth, is that the insistence on the right of parents to commit violence and all forms of abuse on children is what created the generational divide of that era. Adult children and parents weren't close; they argued about morals and hypocrisy a lot; adult children weren't heard and often scoffed at, so the prevalent relationship for adult children of that era was with peers from their late teens, into twenties and even into their late thirties. For many, the bonding never really amounted to much at any time during their lives. As with divorces, estrangements from parents were just beginning to be a national trend by then. 

And because of divorces, the attitude was also that you didn't need to work out interpersonal problems; you could just simply walk away from them. Some people walked away from their marriages simply because they got bored with their marriage partners. Narcissists and sociopaths tend to walk out on marriages because there isn't as much money as they would like, or because they want to have more affairs to get narcissistic supply, or because they want to dominate their partners and the amount of domination they have isn't satisfactory for them, and they are getting a lot of push-back from their spouses. So, as children will do, they normalized these reasons for quitting on relationships, including the relationship with their parents.  

Once a new adult was brought into the picture (a step-parent), they had their own agendas for how they treated the kids. Step-parents who are abusive to their stepchildren may want power and control over them too, but for different reasons, and they are not as attached to them, so when they give ultimatums to their step-children, and the step-children don't follow through, they are not going to care nearly as much as a blood parent whether that child wants to remain in their lives. Some of them continually provoke their stepchildren (incest, constant criticism, insults, emotional abuse, rejection, lying about their character) just to get rid of them, especially narcissistic and sociopath step-parents who tend to be out in the dating pool when they are already married to someone else. In other words, they tend to be having affairs on their spouse. I go into abusive step-parenting in THIS POST.  

I know a lot of people who grew up in that era who, even after their parents died, still have very little respect for how their parents conducted themselves in terms of child rearing. The predominant discussions are loaded with critical observations about that generation of parents, even about the liberal parents who embraced non-violent protest, or women's rights, or some other movement of the era, but who thought it was just fine and dandy to treat your child with an enormous amount of disrespect and abuse, who still had the attitude that "children should be seen and not heard", who allowed sibling bullying to take place without intervention or comment, and did not intervene when it came to school bullying, incest or even egregious forms of childhood sexual abuse. They might get upset if their child was abducted by a stranger, but that was about it.

These adult children who have experienced growing into the present world where random acts of violence, racial violence, violence against women, child abuse and childhood bullying is all taken much more seriously and becoming increasingly a "no tolerance issue", emphasizes the divide with that generation even more. 

If you think about it, it is hard to respect any parent who feels entitled to a certain form of respect while condoning violence. So if anything, the divide keeps deepening.  

And because of the "no tolerance" policies about bullying in the present day, it is unlikely that children are learning nearly as much bullying as they used to. So it would be less of a contributor to narcissism than it used to. 

But in the old days of the 50s, 60s and 70s when both schools and parents ignored bullying (whether their children were perpetrators or victims), it would have contributed greatly to it. But you notice I say "contributed".   

So, anyway, do I think that being a school bully could turn a person into a domestic violence offender and child abuser in adulthood? I think it is possible, but here in the thing: usually that is not the path to full blown narcissism. The prominent psychologists who study narcissism today, will insist that it is largely a parental issue, that parental attitudes have the biggest role to play. Usually it is a parental acceptance of bullying as being "normal" that puts a child on that path, at the very least. These parents might see it as "not my problem", or a right of passage into adulthood (like hazing as a right of passage into acceptance into a group), or the bullying is ignored and not listened to (as though it is no big deal), or mob bullying is condoned as a misguided way to get a child "under the control" of a parent or other authority figure, or it is seen as "the problem that children have work out", or that they should "duke it out" like the school bus driver attitudes of the 1950s and 1960s.

So, school bullying just contributes to the attitudes to normalize abuse in the family and in society. Obviously if you are in a community where school and family violence is ignored or blame-shifted on to the children, the path to narcissism for a child will be greater. And it will, in turn, keep making a more violent, prejudiced, impolite society where the rights and feelings of others will be ignored. 

It tends to shake up governments too, making authoritarianism and bully styles of legislation more prevalent. Who grew up in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s under this kind of authoritarian parenting, and this kind of negligence when it came to children being responsible for working out the bullying issues of the day? The present world leaders. I would bet that quite a few of them were bully golden children too. 

Despotic tyrannical murderous types of political leaders (who become malignant narcissists) tend to grow up in authoritarian, abusive, and often alcoholic families.

what did children who grew up in that era do
over the generation gap with their parents?

I personally grew up with a lot of kids who became estranged from their parents, or who at least felt so uncomfortable seeing their parents at holidays and other get-togethers, that they spent them in other ways. These adult children were rejected by their parents even though most of the parents went around telling their friends that their children rejected them instead. Nothing like a pile of lies to build a close meaningful personal relationship with your peers! Ppppttt!

We did the opposite: we took honesty to extremes instead. The honesty, discussion, and even the freedom to discuss (families tended to squelch the speech of children from that era) was such a relief, and made many of us feel truly connected to other people in a way that we weren't before. 

Commune living in that era (another link) was pervasive, really pervasive, especially here in the northeastern United States, Vermont taking the lead, and upstate New York near the Vermont border and Massachusetts perhaps coming in second, and to some degree, New Hampshire and Maine started to go that way in some parts of their states. Also pervasive were houses where a few friends lived together for many years which would probably not be listed as communes in the statistics. 

The communes and houses of friends offered alternatives to a lifestyle of war propaganda, materialism, suburbia, of stuffing your thoughts and feelings for the parent's sake, endless personal attacks by parents over lifestyle, style of dress and hair, et al, and the seemingly banal life of game shows on T.V., miserable family vacations, drinking, parents fighting, having affairs and getting divorces in the homes, and making sure there were no weeds in the chemical laden lawn. 

Granted some of the communes and group living situations were unhealthy and were about more abuse (cults, or too many drugs, or too many members who did not want to contribute), but the ones I was privy to know about, and hear about, and experience, were remarkably more healthy for the individuals in them than the homes they came from. My own experience was that talking about issues without fights, insults, lecturing, harsh disagreements, and honoring respectful discourse at all times, without anyone (and I mean anyone) trying to take on the role of authoritarian leader, was enlightening to say the least. The result was that you spent major holidays with your peers, since many of the members were incredibly uncomfortable going back home to their insulting taunting authoritarian parents.

The other thing I noticed is that the fights for justice (like civil rights, women's rights, etc) in those days were taken up by the younger generation too, but with no hypocrisy. They lived what they preached. There wasn't any of this "Do as I say, not as I do" that parents of that era were continually caught at.   

I personally had to make "a family of choice" with peers starting early in my life with glimmers that it had to go largely in that direction by age 14, and the full realization that it was mostly, though not entirely,  my fate and future by age 15, and it has made me a life that has been deeply satisfying, enlightening and largely peaceful, especially with the group of peers who I have chosen to become close to, and who I grew up being close to. There have been people along the way who have attempted to sabotage me (including in a work situation), dominate me and isolate me, and take up more room in my life in terms of attention and time than I should have let happen, and the losses were significant, and I did go through extreme periods of trauma and depression during those times, but "the family of choice" always won out and were the stable rock in my life in the end. 

The other thing I have noticed is that the family outcasts which seem to have dominated within my group of friends and perhaps the whole generation (over the enforcer-goldens) have much better relationships with children than the parents of the previous generation did. In fact, ending the societal scourge of domestic violence against women, child abuse, going after schools that ignored bullying with lawsuits, going after child sex abuse offenders and insisting on laws, accepting people of different races into "the human race", started with my generation first. While the older generation made the first steps, many seemed way too mired in cognitive dissonance to be all that effective, and I think they wanted to be able to abuse their children to some extent to get the kind of "services" that their parents got. We rebelled against it, and we are still rebelling against it, and we won to a large extent, looking at all of the new legislation that is being passed in recent years. 

Thank you, legislators!


This is about the kind of abuser who was a favorite child brought up to be a bully-enforcer for the parent, and to pick on a scapegoat sibling. Other kinds of abusers may not be so entrenched in their bullying, so strategies for dealing with them will be different for the strategies of dealing with the bully golden.

At any rate, this really should be taken up with a domestic violence counselor because every situation has different risks, and they are best at assessing risks (they have the training). 

Generally there are different strategies that produce different results. None of the strategies work all that well at ending attacks except for complete cut-off/end/severance of the relationship. Some of the strategies help thwart hoovering, stalking, micro-managing your life, walking on eggshells when they are micro-managing your life, false imprisonment, stealing, smear campaigns, gaslighting, financial abuse, abandonment and a whole list of other "wrongs" you come across when dealing with abusers, and some of them just keep you safe until you can leave.

I will list some of them, but I think the main point is to realize that their brains are wired in such a way that reconciliation is impossible. 

Think of it this way: their brains are focused on the agendas of plan and attack. Believe it or not, their minds are always on plan and attack even when they are being nice, even when they are withdrawing, even when they are trying to get you back with dinners and flower bouquets. I would bet the whole farm on the fact that they are running smear campaigns on you and playing the victim at the very least. That's still predatory. And if they are trying to enlist flying monkeys, it is dangerous for you. 

When they attack, your brain goes into fight or flight mode. Continual activation of the fight or flight response is going to lead to trauma. And trauma has all kinds of symptoms which can disable you. Giving abusers access to your trauma responses is very much a predator-prey kind of relationship. It becomes the only reason why they want you in their life. Predatory animals don't have empathy for their prey. The point is to take energy from you to feed themselves, and that can include their own children, thus they live more in the reptilian part of the brain than other parts of the brain.

See the section above, "Bullying and Brain Development".

Before I get to strategies of how to deal with them, I discuss two important strategies first:  

Strategy # 1: Deciphering their plan of attack based on the insults and the ways they are describing you:

When malignant narcissists feel criticized by you, they often call you a snake, a serpent or a spawn of the devil, but usually not without threats and hyper-criticisms of your character first, often preferring a huge offensive to a perceived one-off attack from you. Why are doing this? This makes no sense at all that they they are so blind, so hyper-critical of others, but can't take a criticism themselves. They feel attacked, so they have to volley a huge offensive, often with their flying monkeys? What the hell is this about? 

It's a predator-to-prey relationship, that's what it is. And it is also projection. Who is ready to attack, who keeps attacks going, who can't take a criticism so much milder than the ones they dish out, who keeps attacks going by proxy through false narratives and smear campaigns? It is them. 

As for "the spawn of the devil", the devil supposedly is this creature who tries to infect the minds of those around him with largely materialistic concerns, of power and control, of getting their own way, of glorifying selfish motives, of having an agenda of hedonistic pleasures of the senses: as much food, sex, material goods, slaves, servants, posh surroundings, arrogance, alcohol and drugs, as you can, reveling in a self-centered life without caring about how anything effects other people. The devil does this to get everyone in his camp, and wants evil (devil worship) to overtake goodness (god worship) and for evil to spread throughout the world to exonerate and justify his presence and power. The people fighting over all of the materialistic things of this world, having indiscriminate sex despite having made vows to one person, having wars and invasions over land, property and boundaries, indulging in crimes to take more stuff while depriving them of that stuff at the same time, and mowing down the natural world for money is all supposedly about evil overtaking good. Now the devil's spawn is likely, perhaps, to be the same kind of creature. Doesn't this say much more about how narcissists and sociopaths conduct themselves in their lives than about you? 

So, with snakes, they usually bite their prey, and their fangs have venom in them, which causes their prey to become disabled, with symptoms that can cause the prey animal to either go mad, or to experience nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, blurred vision, and weakness, increasing the inability to get away (the latter also describes PTSD and high anxiety symptoms, doesn't it?). Then the snake hopes that the poison is strong enough so that they can swallow the prey animal whole. Again, this is coming from their mind, not yours, and it shows what their minds are made of. In terms of symbolism, venom is the abuse (hoping to disable you), and then eating you whole once the disability is obvious to them is about having total domination over you so that you become part of them, part of what keeps them alive, and on the attack with other prey. Isn't this about them?

Some domestic violence therapists counteract them by calling them these names instead (and absorbing them into your own internal dialogue and self esteem) by asking victims of child abuse and victims of domestic violence who have been called these adverse names, questions like, "How are the snakes in your life lately? Have they gone back to their hole in the ground, or are they still on the attack?" 

And that is what you have to do. You have to see them as the names they are calling you, and you have to stop being groomed by them to be a prey animal who is always nice, who will always take a fang or two or more from them, and will roll over when they tell you to roll over and expose your vulnerable under-belly.

So that's strategy #1 in dealing with abusers: pay attention to their insults and see if that describes them and their motivations first. You can often start to get a sense of how much danger you are in just from that. 

An example: 
   One of the perpetrators in my life (I will name him Person D - to protect the identity of the individual) was stealing from me. I didn't know it at first, and I was in denial about it, but eventually it became clear to me when I found things that weren't his packed in boxes. The stealing went way beyond that eventually. Because the relationship was such that stealing is usually not part of that kind of relationship, I didn't confront him early enough before it got to the more egregious forms of it. Anyway I did confront him, and brought up my concerns, and he shouted, "You're disgusting! At a time like this you have the audacity to bring up stuff! It's just stuff!" when he was the one who was constantly rifling through it. 
   He was "disgusting" for lowering himself to being a thief.
   A healing person listening to my sad story would say: "What is the disgusting thief doing lately? Attacking you, still trying to take, or has he gone into retreat?"
   My point here is to illustrate why you have to look at what they say as projection and not let it hit your self esteem. 

Also, looking at this picture, do you think there is any chance of D rehabilitating his ways, of being "a nice person", a fair person, of changing his brain chemistry in such a way that he will never be a thief again? Just one more fact: he is the type of offender who grew up as a golden child. Would you trust a person who did this and showed up at your door and apologized? 

I hope the answer is no. I think I have spelled out the unlikelihood for positive change with the whole list of predictors above, and all of the dangers and potential dangers. 

Strategy # 2:

Before using any overt strategy, it is good to know what kind of abuser you are dealing with, and what kind of backing he has in terms of co-bullies, deniers, brainwashed people, people willing to "go along to get along" with his agenda because they are getting rewards, and so on. Obviously some predators are going to want to do battle with you even if you make it clear that you are not to be messed with again. To them it is a sign of "horns", of aggression and some kinds of abusers will want to hurt you over it. They don't care if their reputations are at stake and they risk arrest. Others will retreat in cowardice and paranoia, worried about their reputations. "Know your abuser". The best way is by talking to an expert on the subject: someone from the domestic violence field.  

Following is a simplified way that domestic violence counselors assess dangers to their clients, and what strategies they will recommend knowing the profile. This is my writing "with a little help from my friends". In these descriptions, I also marked what is an ASPD trait (Antisocial Personality trait, which tends to be a schemed kind of abuse, normally referred to as proactive) an NPD trait (Narcissistic Personality traits such as the ones listed on the right side of the blog as "the rest:") and a certain kind of BPD trait (Borderline Personality Disorder, a reactive at-the-moment form of abuse ... but please note: only a certain sub-section of people who are diagnosed with BPD act abusively - in other words, it is complicated; it means that some are abusive and some do more harm to themselves than to others). 

The italics are what is happening, and the plain type is associated to one or another of the Cluster B traits.
Is the perpetrator acting calm after attacking? A: Yes. (NPD, ASPD)
A favorite golden child? A: Yes. Heavily groomed, fixed. (Fixed: meaning not likely to grow out of it, not likely to change, groomed to be that way, not likely to care about his victims)  
Alcoholic? A: Mostly reactive and showing no reservations about abuse while drinking, more proactive with some reactive tendencies when sober. (meaning that the alcohol exacerbates his tendencies towards reactive forms of abuse, but can still be abusive when sober, so it points to the fact that there is something else going on other than reactive abuse from the effects of alcohol: the probability of a personality disorder)
Grandiose or covert? A: More grandiose than covert. (NPD, possibly others ... grandiose narcissists can practice overt forms of abuse: i.e. physical)
Abusing emotionally, or physically? A: Both. Can be proactive, and can be reactive, but:
   Micro-managing (and inappropriate domination-seeking) regularly even when sober. (BPD, NPD, ASPD). 
Vindictive or simple raging if you go out of role? A: yes, both (ASPD)
Planned stealing? A: Yes. Personal. Objects are cherished by client. Broke considerable boundaries to obtain. (ASPD; dark tetrad version). 
Raging about not getting their way on a consistent basis? A: yes (BPD, ASPD)
Insisting on roles that almost always benefit him, and keep him in the dominant position? A: Yes. But allows her to go out of role if sick. But limited to being bedridden or in her room. But at all other times, rages if she is out of the role he has assigned her (ASPD, with nominal empathy when sick)
Cares about his reputation? ... how much? A: Not determined, except hyper-critical of others, will show bullying in front of others particularly if they are placid personalities, indulges in schadenfreude, lives on the margin - with these characteristics, more likely not to care (signs of being more dangerous than most NPDs)
Remorse? A: None. (ASPD)
Stonewalling or silent treatment? A: Yes, both, particularly when she wants to talk about issues that concern her. Most of the time, however, it is one sided (she said roughly 85 percent of the time his issues dominate). She is interrupted a lot, or not heard at all. Kept her concerns to herself so as not to upset (another person in the situation). (NPD)  
Who are the enablers and what is the relationship to him? A: at least two parent figures who tell him what to do, how to respond, who to talk to, all with sadistic directives which favor his agenda (one of them likely to be ASPD, possibly dark triad, the other undetermined, but hyper-sensitive to criticism - find correspondences to client collaborating this pre-assessment). Also possibly his wife (not enough knowledge to assess her motives), but allegedly said "You have no right to criticize (her husband)" - could be NPD, but not necessarily as it can point to possible NPD fleas, brainwashing, or defending NPD traits (particularly sensitivity to criticism and the resultant rage, possibly directed at her unless she defends him). 

Conclusion: It adds up to a very dangerous situation for client. The alcoholism and mobbing add more danger with an outcome that is likely to escalate and to be in the form of mobbing. 

Told to go "no contact", that the dangers were exceptional, but was in denial for awhile. 

If you look at this, you can see that ASPD dominates, which is really a bad sign. Any of it is a bad sign, but all of it together will show a professional that it is unworkable. The cluster of traits probably add up to Malignant Narcissism

Is cheating a sign of abuse? It can be:
There are many reasons for cheating, but where it becomes a form of proactive abuse is when your partner is using it to purposely hurt you. It looks like this:
- they want you to compete with their lover (i.e. who will win them) 
- they show no empathy or remorse for cheating and hurting your feelings
- they do not try to rehabilitate or make amends (give up the affair), and sometimes even escalate
- they try to make the case that you caused them to cheat
- they flaunt it to make you even more insecure, sad, feeling hopeless, depressed, angry, than you are already (betrayal trauma).
- they run smear campaigns against you if you decide to divorce them over infidelity
- they tell others that you were abusive and that you had affairs on them instead (projection again)
- they revel in arguments about their affair (they try to win the argument via word salad so that they can have the affair and a relationship with you at the same time)
- when they are caught at having an affair, they smash or steal your property, they insult you, they beat you up, and so on (apparently they don't like being caught)
- if you get divorced from them, they launch a huge legal offensive to get sole custody of the children, the house, and they are not above stealing from you; i.e. they don't discuss assets, or they are not reasonable about splitting assets, so they steal. Stealing assets which are from your original family of origin is common and is proactive abuse. Stealing photographs or mementos which mean a great deal to you is definitely a sign of proactive abuse.

Infidelity is hard enough to deal with, but being abused too will mean trauma symptoms. It is best not to get involved with them at all to begin with, or to have children with them, but if it becomes obvious they are abusive and you decipher what kind of abuser they are, the road to getting a divorce, of setting up boundaries, of expecting parental alienation, of expecting stealing, of expecting them to bring up erroneous allegations so that they can get total control over the children, of expecting them to sabotage your reputation, of expecting them to flaunt new lovers, you can prepare boundaries and counter them in unpredictable ways. Narcissists feel quite panic-ed at anything unpredictable, including your reactions. Recovery will also be a lot easier than if you are not prepared for the giant onslaught of aggressive actions and tactics that narcissists and sociopaths are known for.   
Don't get sentimental: People who practice forms of proactive abuse are not people you can talk to and get a good outcome that satisfies you both. People with ASPD traits, in fact, often go out of their way to make sure that you suffer as a result of talking to them and bringing them your concerns. You will walk away from discussions feeling hurt and unheard instead. 

If your situation looks largely like the one above, and you are feeling trapped, silenced and alone, there are no other options open other than "no contact", or, if you have children together, or there is something else of dire importance, minimal contact delegated to short communications via phone or e-mail may be suggested. It is likely that you will be advised to give up on having a relationship if there are not these kinds of extenuating circumstances to fully heal. Possibly large gatherings can be considered (without people coming and going) can be discussed with a domestic violence counselor in terms of your safety and comfort.

Taking an inventory of how much abuse there is, and how pervasive it is, to get a handle on who you are dealing with is always a good idea, but I still suggest going to a professional domestic violence counselor if only because victims notoriously downplay the dangers or go into denial: "He wouldn't do this to me because I'm his (wife), (mother), (sister), (son), (friend), (co-worker), (soul mate - he told me so!), (forever lover)", what ever it is. When it comes to abuse, and the dangers, none of these relationship types matter at all.   

Some of the strategies to throw off abusers, and get them going in a different direction, I mention briefly below. Talk to a professional counselor before using any of these because some abusers are very vindictive, and cannot take any change in you ... Again, it's all about the role and whether they tolerate anything else other than the role they want, what they excuse or don't excuse if you go out of role, and as I demonstrated above, it also depends on a lot of other elements like alcoholism (which can bring out reactive abuse), types of enablers and co-bullies, or whether they are a proactive abuser or a reactive abuser (again, a domestic violence counselor should be assessing that, not you).

The more common strategies, for information purposes only: 

* Going gray rock: you totally go "boring" on them. You bring up subjects like laundry, cooking, gardening, black-topping a driveway, anything that is not about personal or professional topics. If they want personal subjects, or gossip, you give them one word non-controversial answers and go back to gray rock subjects. This has many adverse effects long term, and in many cases it can infuriate them because they can't stand it that they are only getting morsels of narcissistic supply (whereas before they were getting a great deal more than that). This can be effective if you are trying to pack up and get out or if you want to be able to enjoy some family members and avoid the narcissists as much as possible at family functions. The premise is that narcissists don't like boring people.

* Walking away: you walk away if they are ordering you around, or insulting you, or doing anything narcissistic (right hand column of this blog about types of perpetration). If they come at you with more of it, you leave the building. Some of them become enraged and destructive if you come back and want your belongings, so again, advice from domestic violence counselors is best. The premise here is that it saves you from the perpetrator escalating abuse and keeps your system from launching into trauma responses or trauma symptoms.   

* Breaking the silence of abuse: you get them to stop the attacks by breaking the silence. You share "dirt" on them (their own correspondences to you - in full, records of conduct, etc.) which makes it clear to others that they are abusive or bullying. Suggested people to share with: people you live with, fellow survivors of abuse (ACON groups), people who are being brainwashed by smear campaigns about you, people you are close to who your abuser is trying to sway against you. 
   With perpetrators who are concerned with their reputation, it can work; for those who aren't concerned about their reputation, it can make them incredibly violent and plan a revenge. They will definitely want to hurt you either way, but further social derision for those narcissists who like to hang out with upstanding members of society, it keeps them from going too far. This is also only suggested if you live separately from them and know their reactions really, really well. It's the opposite of going gray rock because unlike gray rock which protects them from shame, and never deals with how they are attacking, this brings the shame out and makes their attacks visible to quite a few people, which in turn, stops the attacks. 
   It can produce narcissistic collapse in some individuals, plus paranoia (especially if you let out some information, but not all of it), and some of them self-implode to the point of suicide, so you have to be careful how far you go with this, especially if they are covert narcissists. The goal should only be about stopping the attacks, period.

* Police involvement: you get them to stop attacks, threats, breaking boundaries (like the boundary of "Don't contact me again"), stalking, erroneous charges, and harassment by getting police involved. If they are over-the-top in these ways, and they are the types of abusers who are likely to care about their reputations, they are going to listen to the police. Police probably should still be contacted even if they don't care about their reputation, but it will be a lot tougher case than the ones who feel they have a reputation to keep, and you will have to sever ties with your abuser at the very moment police call your abuser, so it is often suggested that you plan ahead: have a number of strategies worked out with domestic violence counselors, have money on hand, a way to travel, a way to protect your children, a safe shelter, your medical and financial records, etc. 

* Police involvement in terms of assets: You want to collect your assets and get the police involved because you don't trust the perpetrator. You are afraid he will attack you. 

* Hiring an attorney to deal with them: You don't want to discuss anything any more with a perpetrator because you know the cycle, and that they will be trying to dominate you and bust down your boundaries, and it has repeated too many times, so you have an attorney deal with correspondences.

* Narcissistic Fluffing: you flatter them while you plan out your escape. Flattering works with narcissists because it is what they always want and are seeking, and "flattery with a planned escape" is something most of them don't put together in the same thought.

* Using their force against them: this is a martial arts approach and is a mental and emotional version of it. You let them get worn out by their own attacks without responding as long they aren't physical attacks. You listen to all of it with a calm demeanor while they go off the rails, preferably through a device like a phone. They tend to use the same way of attacking over and over again, so that you can count on predictability. This helps you plan something stealthy.
   Here is a short personal story of how this works using a person's name with the letter "V" (to protect the identity of the person):
   "V" was on the attack nearly every day for about 4 months (4 months was also how long I was in his presence). In terms how things went for me, I was not an exception in terms of getting attacked too. He was highly, highly critical of everyone but himself, and described other people in the most two faced, back-stabbing ways I have ever witnessed. He had a partner who was into conspiracy theories (also something narcissists and sociopaths indulge in a lot, with the result that so much of what he was saying was completely made up to get her to go along with his perspectives at victimizing others). He was also brought up as a golden child too, by the way. 
    As far as roles go, his role was to get as much as he could, delegate and saddle other people with things he didn't want to do (and he was my equal, not a boss). It became clear to me that he decided my role was to be bossed around, taken from, back-stabbed, derided, talked over. Backstabbing, by the way, is part of the sadism of malignant narcissism. 
   I came upon a dilemma that was about signing papers, so I anticipated that person V would go in the opposite way (the backstabbing way). I presented the issue in such a way that I wanted to go in one direction, and predictably V went in the opposite one. It worked like a charm.  
   So this strategy can work when backstabbing is at play.
   You don't have to tell them that they stabbed themselves in the back instead of doing it to you, but if they care about their reputation in "polite society", you might be able to tell them that you set them up so they get the idea that you are not going to be a predictable source of prey when it comes to their backstabs, and they sometimes will back off in setting you up for it again. It can also cause rage in them that they lost "the game", that you tricked them with their own aggression (so it is important to talk to a domestic violence counselor to see if it is right for you). 
   The point is if you use this method, plan on never being in their company again, and especially alone, and to walk away. Who wants to be in the presence of a backstabber anyway? 
   There are other ways of using their force against them, and I'll be touching on that in the future. This kind of strategy is especially effective to stop them at the get-go, way before they start trying to control you, like making it clear when the first signs of arrogant pronouncements, lecturing and gaslighting start, that you won't be messed with, that aggressive acts on their part to trauma bond with you, won't work. 

* Pretending you are sick or disabled. This is sometimes suggested if you are dealing with a super violent predator in a relationship. Suggested uses are for suspicious, jealous abusers who want total domination and control, or are possibly trying to "own you", like a slave with a master.
   It is used because they just don't trust your intentions unless you are totally down without strength or resolve. It's like "playing dead", the way a bird does when it is still being pushed around by the claws of a cat to see if it is truly dead. When the cat is distracted by a noise coming from an opposite direction, the bird jumps up and flies away. 
   This one takes some strategy with domestic violence professionals.
* Don't give them subjects that they can argue about. It's kind of like the gray rock method: Banal subjects that do not carry any emotional weight or reaction are best. Every time they pick a fight, you keep moving on to the next banal subject until they could care less about talking to you. When they know they won't get reactions and appear "deflated", then you know that picking on you has more-or-less ended.

* Pretending that you are insane: this is not as effective as pretending you are sick, but sometimes it's the only option ... I explain at the bottom of the paragraph. 
   The thing is, narcissists can't play their head games as effectively with someone who is unpredictable and talks in non-sequiturs as when they are sane and predictable. If you answer in ways that are opposite from what they expect, they don't know what to do with it. Let's say they insult you. You answer in a way that is off-the-wall like, "I always knew I was a good singer. I think this means that I'm a good singer and that I should sing to every bird." - you don't show them you are hurt by their insults, but instead give them something that's way out of the ball-park from what they expect. If they come back at you with the same insults to see if you heard them, you keep it up: "I think all of the women behind you like your singing too. Especially the beautiful rainbows." - there are no women there, and no rainbows. This is just a "for instance". The idea behind this strategy has to do with getting cornered by them: you've already played sick, they have run into you, they appear to want to attack you, so "playing bonkers" can be an absolute last resort in keeping safe.
   You also get them disinterested in domination, power and control because you are too insane for it. The downside of it is that if you use this anywhere else other than alone with your abuser, your reputation can take a hit. Thus, pretending to be sick tends to work better at getting your abuser distracted and disinterested. 

* For abusers who are in control of how you look, how you conduct yourself, how much of an arm trophy you are, you dress down instead of dressing up. You play dumb about it. In fact, if you really want them to go away, you look the opposite way they want you to. This gets them looking elsewhere for an arm trophy. They will also think you are too stupid to be trained by them. 
   Other ways to get out of role can look like this too.


We know that when people are quiet about abuse, violence, exploitation, prejudice and bullying, things get worse. So, the best thing to do is to speak out, but not to the perpetrators. 

The reason you don't speak out to the perpetrators, is for the same reasons you wouldn't if a crooked cop raped your daughter in a patrol car. If you show him evidence of what he did, he's not going to say, "Oh, I acted so badly! I am so sorry I hurt your daughter!" No, he is going to try to destroy the evidence and try to blame his victim instead. A lot of victims of abuse make this mistake (thinking their abusers actually care, and will suddenly have empathy and want to fix what they did to you - it overwhelmingly does not happen). I made the mistake too before I figured out what I was dealing with. 

The people to show evidence to are folks in law enforcement, lawyers, therapists, people who care about you - and make a LOT of copies and put them in different places.  

For instance, the George Floyd case was made very public. Making it all public for the nation, changed things in the way that bills were written to change laws, and police forces looked a lot more seriously at their practices. 

Keep filming, keep recording, keep writing, keep exposing ... 

Think about what you think the rights of human beings should be (including children, women, races you don't belong to, in countries you don't belong to, animals, the environment) and work on behalf of their causes. 

Domestic violence and domestic abuse have a lot of downsides for humanity and society, and not many good outcomes, even for the perpetrators. You can work on changing the laws for all survivors of child abuse and domestic violence. If you have been a victim, heal as much as you can, and then try to get legislation passed for the next generation. It will be your way of telling yourself, the people you love and value, and the people that are coming up in the world that they won't have to endure what you endured. 

Work on making perpetrators responsible for their behavior. If they are convicted, make their stories public, so that it makes it clear that it will also shine a bright light on other would-be offenders. 


It is common for a bully to bully his entire life because bullying is most often tied to personality disorders, namely The Cluster B personality disorders. It is also why child abuse never ends, even when you are in your sixties. Wanting to hurt those they are close to is just part of their make-up, and that is what leads to other forms of abuse like domestic violence. However these disorders usually start in childhood, not birth unless it is a brain issue. A certain kind of psychopath can have a different kind of brain, for instance. 

A lot of children can be trained by what they see caregivers do.  

This is to say that abusers are "made" primarily from growing up in abusive environments, modeling the abusive tactics they see, and then passing it on to their children. Intergenerational trauma also keeps reoccurring for members who are directly targeted to receive the bulk of the abuse from the family.


Note: in addition to the following videos,
there is a video that talks about the golden child, both the empathetic variety and the bully variety
on my post about the empathetic golden child.
Go about half way through Dr. Ramani's video on that post to hear about the bully golden child.

(Edit 6/10/21: After receiving some feedback in the comments section, an issue came up. In the following two videos, Dr. Ramani talks about "those very rare normal parents" who become estranged from the victimized adult child because they are trying to force the victimized child to get along with the bullying sibling ... While I suppose it is possible for normal parents to act like narcissistic parents in this regard, and demand that the victimized adult child get along with the bully adult child, this, in itself is not "normal parent behavior"; it is narcissistic behavior, and for estrangements to last 10 or 15 years, it is definitely narcissistic behavior. So several things might be going on here: the adult child is in denial that the parent is narcissistic (narcissists insist on getting their way, but they can also be superficially charming), or the parent turns a blind eye to the abuse. I still don't know how an empathetic parent can turn a blind eye, however. So it is very suspect, even though the caveat is that normal parents acting in this fashion are "very rare".
   What I have seen overwhelmingly in these situations myself is that normal parents certainly do not like it that their kids don't get along, but they don't force them to get along either. If anything, the bully is the one who is ostracized. But the more prevalent situation is that they see their adult children separately: one for Thanksgiving, the other for Christmas, back and forth.)  

"Narcissism in a Sibling [How to Spot the Signs]"
Dr. Ramani Durvasula being interviewed by Kyle Kittleson for Med Circle:

"Narcissistic Siblings"
by clinical psychologist, Dr. Ramani Durvasula:

"Narcissistic Parenting - A Set Up For Suicide (Case Study)"
by psychologist Judy Rosenberg:

"7 Techniques Narcissists Use To Turn Others Against You"
by Dr. Les Carter:


Should Kids Ever Fight to Stop School Bullying? - by Ben Leichtling, Ph.D. for Bullies Be Gone website

Suicide (statistics) - from the Institute of Mental Health

To Fight Bullying, Take Away Its 'Social Power,' Author Says - interview by Jeremy Hobson for WBUR

Amid Heightened Bullying For Religious Minorities, Sikh Coalition Stands Up For Victims - interview by Jeremy Hobson for WBUR

Why One Trans Woman Bullied Her LGBT Peers - And Then Decided To Change - interview by Jeremy Hobson for WBUR

Here's What You Had To Say About Our Bullying Series - by Jack Mitchell and Alex Schroeder for WBUR

Bullying and the Brain - by Mary Bates for

Motivation to bully is regulated by brain reward circuits - research conducted by the Mount Sanai School of Medicine 

Impaired Frontal-Basal Ganglia Connectivity in Male Adolescents with Conduct Disorder - by Jibiao Zhang, Baojuan Li, Junling Gao, Huqing Shi, Xiang Wang, Yali Jiang, Qingsen Ming, Yidian Gao, Ren Ma, Shuqiao Yao for The National Library of Medicine