Thursday, March 10, 2016

favoritism: fostering abuse for everyone in the family, and why a narcissistic parent favors and loves the golden child most, and what it does to the whole family

name of cartoon: "Favoritism"
image is © Lise Winne
cartoon, 2016
inspired by a conversation with Robert Davis, LCSW
(for questions regarding use of images or contract an image for your next article
contact: LilacGroveGraphics (att) yahoo.com)

As a Mandated Reporter for the State of New York, I am required by law to report signs of child abuse and when a child tells me that a sibling is being favored in his home, I take it seriously.

While some children merely perceive there is favoritism of a sibling, there are signs to look for in case it is abuse. Some of the things I hear from children that are red flags that need to be reported are:

"When my brother and I fight, I'm always the one to be punished."
"My mom always does fun things with my sister, but she thinks I'm bad, so I have to stay in my room most of the time."
"When my sister and I fight, my mother always listens to her and takes her side. She never listens to me."
"I keep getting hit by my brother, but my mother never does anything about it. She tells me to fight my own battles even though I'm smaller than him."
"I can't tell you what is going on because my brother is mean. Please don't tell my mother either. But I got really hurt last night and I couldn't do my homework."
"I wish my mother loved me, but she doesn't. She only seems to love my sister. It's like I don't exist."
"I wish I weren't so sad. My mom told me that if I wasn't sad all of the time, she would spend as much time with me as my brother."
"Every time I fight with my sister, my parents say I'm ungrateful."
"My brother can do anything he wants to me, but I always have to be polite to him. Mom says he's not in charge, but he is."
"I just can't talk to my parents about what my sister does to me. I just have to hide."

There are many more, but you get the idea! All of these are warning signs of an abusive narcissistic parent at the helm.

The worst part of favoring a child is that it seems to overwhelmingly foster narcissism in a child (typically referred to as a "golden child" in dysfunctional families). Narcissists tend to be abusive. In fact, the abuse tends to develop first in the home (as sibling abuse).

According to Brad Bushman of Ohio State University (link here from an article entitled How Parents Create Narcissistic Children), narcissism can start its development as early as eight years old. Here is an excerpt:

The results are quite clear: Parents who "overvalue" children during this developmental stage, telling them they are superior to others and entitled to special treatment, are more likely to produce narcissistic children -- who can grow up to become narcissistic adults, unless something is done about it.

"When children are seen by their parents as being more special and more entitled than other children, they may internalize the view that they are superior individuals, a view that is at the core of narcissism," the researchers wrote in a study released online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "But when children are treated by their parents with affection and appreciation, they may internalize the view that they are valuable individuals, a view that is at the core of self-esteem." ...


... (Authors Brad Bushman and Eddie Brummelman) also wanted to determine what differentiated narcissists -- who tend to be more aggressive and even violent than other people, and are at higher risk for depression, anxiety and drug addiction ...

Favoritism effects everyone in a narcissistic family negatively. It is a nasty family scourge that appears to have winners and losers, but the trends bear out that everyone loses as you will see!

The narcissistic personality disordered parent really does not love the favored golden child more. He (or she) uses the golden child just as he uses all of his children: for an agenda.

It has been said that narcissists feel jealousy more intensely than those of us who make up the rest of the 99 percent of the population.

They also feel that jealousy is being leveraged upon them as a provoking measure than is actually the case. Since jealousy is such a painful emotion for them, and since they feel that most people use it against them, the urge to use it against others becomes great, a pastime that can become full time, especially for a narcissist who has a life of leisure.

This is why they try to use jealousy as a retaliatory measure against relatively innocent people who mean them no harm. The narcissist sees goading in everyone and everything!

In the family it is no different. They act out their jealousy fantasies by having a favored golden child who they can parade around with in front of the other children with the intent of provoking those other children so that the other children will feel jealousy. The other children, meanwhile, are usually facing some degree of punishment from light to severe. Narcissists are in punishing mode most of their lives; they are always trying to hurt someone (if they can)! They cannot take a hint of criticism, even how a child looks at them (which they can interpret as a heartbreaking criticism). This is why narcissistic parents are notorious for using erroneous blaming and punishments.

Besides jealousy, there seems to be another part to the puzzle at work.

Narcissists believe they are special and deserve special treatment. It is what is written into most basic descriptions of narcissists in many articles and blogs. Special treatment refers to the following (not a complete list):

* believes he should be held to different legal and moral standards than others
* believes he has a right to criticize and insult others, but that they have no right to criticize and insult him
* believes that he should not be accountable for what happens in his relationships, but that others have to take the entire responsibility for how the narcissist feels and what happens in the relationship between you
* believes that he is better than others, and that others are inferior
* believes he should be able to rage at others, but that others should always be thoughtful and polite
* believes he should always be apologized to, but will never apologize to others
* feels that others should forgive him for his "human flaws", but feels he is entitled to carry around a grudge forever over "imperfections" in others and use it to punish others when things aren't going his way

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

So, when a narcissist has children, he projects this kind of thinking onto one child. The narcissist decides which child has to be better than the other children based on how that child is acting. Which child is mirroring the parent? Which of the children seems most self centered? Who seems clever and conniving? Who seems less emotional? Who seems most like the narcissist parent? Who boasts the most? The favored child also tends to be male (for both female and male narcissist parents). And that is how the golden child is chosen.

In order to make the golden child a mirror to the parent, the golden gets rewarded in ways that the other children don't. This reinforces that the golden is also better than the others and deserves special treatment. If the child has a fight with a sibling, he has rights and privileges that his sibling does not have. This is enforced by the parent who continually protects and defends the golden child and punishes any sibling who challenges the golden.

According to psychologist Ramani Durvasula, most consistently favored golden children end up being another abusive narcissist. It is not always the case, but it is mostly the case.

The children on the receiving end of being disfavored are usually crippled with low self esteem. Narcissistic parents are notorious for gaslighting disfavored children. This enables the parent to weed out the competition for the scapegoat role. The role is given to the child who is acting more sensitively to the narcissist's manipulations. The narc parent can label this child as "the crazy one", "the failure", "the bad child," "the difficult child." The injustices and erroneous punishments further the agenda of labeling the child as "over-emotional", as a child not capable of "controlling his or her temper" (thus "creating drama", a favorite phrase among narcissists), even when the child is provoked. All of the emotional outbursts of the child are used by the narc parent to point at the child and say, "look how emotional that child is; he's insane!" and other derogatory terms. Aside from provoking and laying blame, scapegoats are otherwise ignored. If they act up or protest, they are isolated from the family and punished for being emotional. The only time they are not ignored is when they have a notable achievement (this becomes a big concern for the narc parent, which I discuss later).  

Still, the golden child is actually not loved any more than the rest of the children, because narcissists cannot love. The golden is used for an agenda: he's as manipulated as the rest of the children. The narcissistic parent lavishes gifts, they take the golden out to dinner and on trips; he is treated like royalty at every turn while the scapegoat is expected to be a Cinderella for the family. Cinderella may take on most of the household chores while the golden focuses on a job or his education, or she may be expected to do babysitting of the golden's children at every request, so that he is free to do important work. The narcissist wants the scapegoats to feel subservient at all times, indebted, like it is their duty to serve, and to prove they are martyred saints. In effect they are disabled by the narcissist emotionally and financially compared to the golden. They are treated as "left behinds", out of favor, unattractive drudges, while the narcissistic parent gallivants around with the spoiled golden. The point is to send a subtle message to all of the other remaining children: "If you don't do as I say, you will end up like the scapegoat" and "If you do as I say, you may end up like the golden."

The narcissist hopes that his other children will pine: "Why am I not treated this way? Why am I always second fiddle?"

The real reason for the narcissists actions is to get children competing: "If only you did this like so and so, then we might --" "If only you entertained us like --" "If only you did what we wanted we would --" "If only you were as grateful as --" "If only you worked as hard for our love as --- we would --" "If you were just a little more like --" "I'm sorry. I just like your brother more than I love you. If you weren't so ---, then I might treat you better." "You need to learn your place --" "Girls aren't treated as well as boys! Get used to that fact! If you act like a girl and are pleasing then we might --" "If you are going to act like that, the consequence is that you won't get the privileges that --- has" "If you agree to doing (what is immoral or dangerous) then we might bestow upon you the same gifts that --- gets" "Pay attention! If you learn the lessons you are supposed to learn, then you might enjoy what he has ---" "You are lucky to get what you have. We don't reward bad children who criticize us --" "If you're going to be bad, you deserve what we give you, and don't complain -- "

Anything and everything is used for the agenda of making a child feel that if he competes with his elevated-to-god-like-status sibling, then he'll receive better treatment (and yet this rarely is the case -- see my post on triangulation in abusive families).

The narcissist enjoys rubbing the other children's noses in how much more he adores his golden.

It is the first clue of narcissistic parenting: a child complaining of a parent's favoritism. And in fact, narcissistic parents enjoy the suffering look on their children's faces at being left out, tortured and manipulated in this way. In fact, the more a child feels worthless and inconsequential, the more this kind of parent gets off on it. It is a sign to the narc that the manipulations are working!

Normal parents do not want to see their child suffer. They try to make everything as even as possible between their children. Normal children also prefer parents who treat siblings with an even hand. They want a fair referee. They want to be loved equally. A normal child's brain is not built for constant narcissistic abuse; that is why most children of abusive homes have C-PTSD.

Comforting a suffering child is a normal parental reaction. Comfort calms the child, and trust is established in the parent.

Narcissists, however, keep putting their children through misery and punishments indefinitely. The parent hopes that his already-suffering children will ask for mercy, promising that relief is achieved only through total and absolute compliance with the narcissist's triangulation games, that the child must give up his will to please the parent. At the very least, the parent hopes that the child's self esteem is so shot, that he will take the parent back and excuse all of the abuse, in case things don't work out with the golden.

The favoritism is used for one purpose: total control of all of the children. Since the scapegoat is the child deemed by the narcissist as the least likely to be controllable (they show lack of control by showing their pain, after all), the scapegoat is used for constant blame and retaliations. These punishments generally become more severe, more frequent and more long lasting as the child grows.

The point is to make the children always feel a bit love-starved, so that they will work for approval and a chance at the privileged spot.

As studies have shown, however, the pain of being forsaken in the nasty game of favoritism tends to bring out more resentment and distance than competition, especially in children over 10 and adult children. So what the narc parent often ends up with are resentful, distant, estranged children who do not trust them and do not want any part of the narcissistic triangulation game. Narcissism tends to breed contempt and disgust in victims, not adulation and compliance (though narcs have been known to be blind to this fact, so beware!).

Expecting children to compete very rarely works out for the narcissist. Children eventually catch on that they are all being played for fools, or they become aware of what constitutes abuse. Note: many children are being taught what constitutes abuse in school anti-bullying seminars, and favoritism is on the same list as the silent treatment, isolation for long periods, slander, mocking, denigrating, shaming and other forms of emotional abuse. Favoritism is emotional abuse because most of the time it is used to purposely hurt and control (the definition of abuse). In school bullying, favoritism is used to gain followers and co-bullies, to wear down a victim's defenses before escalating to other forms of abuse. Other forms of abuse can be mobbing, unwanted touch, threats, physical abuse, destruction of property, violence. It is not so different in the toxic family.

So how does the golden child keep his position? By being agreeable to the parent, by being able to hold his feelings in, by being able to command attention through his speech (the parent grooms the child to sound unemotional and authoritative), by being a sycophant to the narcissistic parent. He is also often groomed to be an authority figure in the family, to discipline the other children (which most often equates to bullying the other children). Being successful financially so that the parent can "keep up appearances" is sometimes one of the prerequisites too. All of these personality traits seem to win the heart of the narc parent (or lose, depending on whether you feel it is at all desirable to be used as a tool by drama-provoking abusers).

The golden's position isn't necessarily permanent. No child can be a perfect mirror, and even the parent can feel disappointed by this fact. Also, if the parent isn't always first place in the golden's life, or if the golden puts up any resistance to the narc's agenda, they can be discarded and punished like all previous victims of the family. Punishments of goldens can be more severe than punishments for their siblings because so much more is given to the golden, therefore expected from the golden. They are the narc's right hand man, after all. The narc also expects complete enmeshment with his golden child, which means, at the very least, disclosure of all experiences, dreams, ambitions and feelings, if not total co-dependency. The narcissist parent often feigns concern and caring for the golden in exchange for these disclosures. The parent uses the disclosures to advise the golden. The golden must follow the instructions/advice (or else!).

Autonomy, over time, is less and less allowed or tolerated by the narc. When the golden needs to make an autonomous decision, the narc can feel absolutely shattered and betrayed. The narc, in reaction to his golden's seemingly wayward decision, will tend to retreat, become more silent, sulking, threatening and distant, until a full-out silent treatment is used on the offending golden. The child, not wanting to lose position and the constant stream of gifts and favoritism that his parent bestows upon him, will work extra hard to retain the parent's approval by allowing his parent to take away more and more of his autonomy. But often a golden child will accept this, if only for the rewards, which can be great, but also come with a huge price. He will also have to endure the narc triangulating all of his relationships (i.e. allowing his narc parent to divide and conquer his children, spouse, siblings, inlaws, co-workers, anyone, in order to gain total control of him and them). This can sometimes mean the golden must sacrifice his spouse for the parent. He must, at the very least, look less favorably on his spouse than on the parent, and do what is expected of him (or else!).

Spouses of goldens are often criticized, insulted, lectured at, and made to feel uncomfortable in the narc family system. The spouse's opinions are not particularly appreciated, their own ways of doing things not respected; in fact, the spouses of goldens can end up with the same sort of derision as a scapegoat. For the spouse of a golden, it can turn from happy times into in-laws from hell. The golden may try to keep the peace by trying to make light of his parent's bad behavior, that it is all a joke, meant only in fun, something to be tolerated and accepted with hugs all around, that it is just chiding and part of the family fun games, but many spouses of goldens feel there is always a nefarious motive underneath the surface (remember that chiding and jokes usually lead to abuse later on).

For elder narcissists, the inlaws of a golden are most often viewed as a complete nuisance, an inconvenience and waste of time, and the opinions and needs of these people consume too much energy from the golden. If the inlaws are high status people with a lot to offer who can be used in some manner, then the narc will tolerate them. But for the most part they are in the way: a narc parent wants and demands full attention from her golden.

The parent always wants to recreate the kind of idolatry they experienced when their child was still a child, looking for its parent's approval and love at all times. It was also a time when the parent could influence who the golden played with. The fact that the golden is so intimate with his spouse is not something a narc parent finds agreeable or tolerates all that well.

Usually there comes a time when the golden will be expected to sacrifice his spouse or partner. The elder narcissist can sometimes do this surreptitiously: he will lie about the spouse, make up stories, try to sway opinions, roll eyes, disapprove, make off-hand comments, argue about politics, anything, and hopefully get the golden to confide in marriage troubles whereby the narc parent can manipulate the situation further.

Goldens typically sacrifice relationships with their siblings as well, with the narc parent's full consent. Goldens do this for several reasons: to keep their so-called coveted position and status, to be able to manipulate and bully the siblings with the parent's help and approval, to keep getting special gifts and consideration, to keep the parent satisfied so that he can keep getting praise and flattery for being the parent's pride and joy. Although the golden can play nice with his siblings, the parent makes a point to his other siblings that he is to be seen as an authority. And indeed eventually the golden believes he has more innate power than his other siblings. He gets away with behaviors the other children would never get away with, even a little. He can say hurtful insulting things to his siblings without punishment, but they never can utter one word of opinion or criticism about him without being punished.

The siblings find they can never fight back. But the golden pays a price in that he doesn't have a relationship with his siblings. Most siblings will not support another sibling who has a higher status than they do, and who takes from them without giving back. So, he must put aside all sibling concerns, feelings and perspectives to win a game that his parent set up for him to play. In effect, the game is ultimately about kissing butt to the narc. Fighting with his siblings for top spot is always encouraged. Since the parent supports the golden in any and all sibling confrontations, no matter who is right or wrong, often the message from the golden to his siblings is that the relationship has no significance.

Everyone is on the sidelines of the great relationship between the narc parent and golden child.

As time goes by, the golden may be free to insult, lie, cheat, rage, denigrate, bully, sexually molest and beat up his siblings. In fact, according to studies done by Dr. John V. Caffaro, sibling abuse is rampant in households that practice favoritism. The more narcissism a parent exhibits, the more the sibling bullying is ignored. In the notorious Kornegay family of Gainesville, Florida, the 16 year old bully golden had free rein to do to his 15 year old sister anything he wanted, including beating her, sexually abusing her, keeping her locked in a bedroom for long intervals (up to seven months), deny her access to a bathroom, with only a blanket and a bucket, all with parental blessing! The parents "discipline" of keeping their daughter in a room locked up with very few privileges where even taking a shower could be denied, was meant to keep their daughter from protesting, criticizing and complaining about how she was treated!

In the book by David Pelzer, entitled A Child Called It, an alcoholic mother plays favorites and scapegoats and isolates David to a basement. This is the Amazon Review:

... a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care, and somewhat nurturant to her children--but not to David, whom she referred to as "an It." This book is a brief, horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him, told from the point of view of the author as a young boy being starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling's diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by a maniacal, alcoholic mom. Sometimes she claimed he had violated some rule--no walking on the grass at school!--but mostly it was pure sadism.

Narcissists fantasize that if they lock up their enraged hurt children, it will make their children agreeable and automatically compliant. Obviously in the case of the Kornegay family, the fifteen year old girl dealt with her situation by trying to escape it, killing her golden child brother in the process. The parents were later found guilty of neglect and had to serve time in house arrest as well as sign away any rights to their children; their scapegoated child was absolved of the crime of murder, but convicted of burglary in a plea bargain and put in a foster home.

The reason why a bully-sibling (like the one from the Kornegay family) gets free rein to do anything he pleases to his siblings is because the parent cannot be taken to task for how this bully child treats everyone -- because narcs take it as criticism of their parenting and of their rules and preferences, and in the narc world, no criticism is allowed, only praise. When you are not praising your parent's behavior, even if it is wrong, immoral, illegal and hurtful, you are discarded, isolated and abused. Their rules are simple, but horrific.

Even simple crying, without words to go with it, is taken as an insult, which deserves even more punishment in the narc world. Narcs are notorious for saying to their hurt distressed children, "You want something to cry about!? I'll give you something to cry about!"

The unfavored siblings learn to stuff feelings, not to talk (as talking brings out more abuse from their sibling or the narc parent), and not to trust. "Don't trust, don't feel, don't talk" is the mantra of alcoholic families, but it is also the mantra of narcissistic families. Abuse becomes the dark family secret, never aired until a family member can no longer live with the situation and points the finger at the culprits.

From gleaning forums for adult children of narcissists, it is clear that many narc parents rage at and reject children who even so much as breathe a word about being bullied by their sibling, or their sibling being favored. The reactions from narc parents are extreme, and run the gamut of abuses (again, narcs believe that piling on more abuse will get the other children to shut up about being treated cruelly -- this is a fantasy peculiar to narcs; normal parents never think a tactic like this would work, plus they would never want to hurt their children)Abuses I have seen include outright rejection, erroneous arrests, stalking, physical abuse and all manner of threats. It is clear that favoritism and golden child bullying is a dangerous subject to bring up with a narcissistic parent, and should only be aired when you are in a safe place, with protective people around you. I would advise never bringing up the subject in the narc's home, for instance. Even if you feel you are on good-enough standing with your narc parent, this can be the subject that causes the narc to go wild with retaliation.

If you know of a child who complains about being locked up continually in a room and kept from the family, and of his sibling being favored, please call Child Protective Services! You could save a child from the fate of cruel escalating narcissistic abuse.

I want to make it clear that not all goldens become bullies, but the impetus to compete with siblings, and the signal from the parent to everyone in the family that this is a child who has authority, who can do no wrong ("special"), means that a door is wide open for the golden to take full advantage of the power that comes with that status.

Narcs continue to fantasize that favoritism and pitting children against each other will create a situation where they will be able to control everyone in the home, and even when it is clear this is not happening, they do not want to believe it isn't at least possible. So the narc parent will escalate abuse, or adopt new ways to hurt his child, just to bring about the outcome that he wants.

Very small children can be manipulated (for awhile). But the vast majority of children do NOT keep quiet, and they do NOT compete (except the golden). They usually plan on escapes, or they have already escaped. The reason why they usually escape is that very few people can live, or want to live, with being abused. As the abuse escalates, the symptoms of PTSD escalate too, make being in a cruel environment totally unpalatable (see my post on the silent treatment and C-PTSD).

This narc fantasy of abusing children to totally dominate them does not take into consideration normal human reaction. (I will discuss intelligence and empathy in another post; but for purposes here, I will just say that one of the reasons narcissists and sociopaths like Hitler, Napoleon and Saddam Hussein fail to win the war, is because they completely lack an understanding of normal behavior).

The narc parent also fantasizes that the unfavored children and the scapegoat will come to his or her senses and at least try to do as well as the golden. The parent lets them know that service and praising the parent are required in order for unfavor-eds to ameliorate their suffering, the parent's opinion of them and escape the escalating punishments.

If a golden has become a bully golden, the fact that any of the other children might be congratulated for services rendered, particularly a scapegoat, is threatening to the golden's prestige and position.

So, the golden will manipulate situations to make sure the goodies keep going in one direction: the golden's coffers. In order to make sure the other children are always down in stature and continually blamed, he will purposely minimize their completed work, or he will lie and state that he, the golden, did everything, while they did nothing. The golden also purposely starts fights with whomever he can. When the parent comes running to see what the fight is about, the golden points at the scapegoat, and the scapegoat is again punished and isolated. The scapegoat's perspectives on the situation are ignored and are unflattering to the parent besides, so the scapegoat gets nowhere; it is a hopeless situation. This is why it is impossible to escape the scapegoat role once it has been thrust on a child, except to leave the family entirely.  

Once one scapegoat has left the family, the abusive parent invariably chooses another scapegoat to pick on (I discuss why in this post and this post). In the narc world, there always has to be a scapegoat!

When all scapegoats have left, the golden bully is usually the only one left who will deal with his disordered narc parent. He becomes satisfied, even if on guard, that he was able to co-bully with his parent to get his competitions out of the way.

Assuming he is sure he can keep his siblings away, the golden eventually finds he is pitted against the parent narc, an unexpected situation for him. He has been groomed to be above others, but often sees that his status is tenuous, and dependent on keeping the narc parent happy at all times, a situation many goldens find will be impossible. The narcissism can be much more pronounced in the adult child than in the parent, especially if he has rarely been opposed by his parent, and where bullying and lying have been condoned and excused. Knowing that his position may be hanging by the thread of convincing acting, lying and pretend-fawning, the narc golden will wait to make his move when the parent is weakened enough to totally rely on him, and then go in for the kill. That's what narcissists do: they are predators who constantly game opportunities and gauge times and places to be opportunistic. The parent is usually oblivious to the narcissism in the child because an overwhelming number of bullies expect their co-bullies will be kind to them, a folly peculiar to narcs (and a lot of people remark at how smart narcs are! ... Not in this area!). This blind trust is a quality that is particular to scapegoating narcs especially; however there is a brand of narc who doesn't favoritize much at all, but divides and conquers just the same. I discuss that other brand of narc here.

At any rate, the narc parent is often so swept away by the constant flattery of the golden (narcissists are flattery addicts). The narc parent sees that his golden seems always willing to please with constant crocodile hugs, proposing status-lifting experiences, concerns via phone calls and texts, gifts, money, dinners, plus the enmeshment. Indeed, narcissism is easy to hide unless there is a lot of behind-the-scenes examination and interviewing.  

Even then, if the golden uses threats and coercion, people may not speak up for safety reasons or because they have moved on with their own lives and don't want to stir up the rage. Narc bully goldens have been known to be unusually servile if they think there is great reward in it for them. However, they usually rage, scream, terrorize, swear at and abuse most others: children, siblings, workers, co-workers, spouses, lovers. They only present themselves to the parent as completely soft, gentle and capitulating for one purpose: to get all of the goodies and to convince the parent that only they (the golden) deserves them all too. Often a narc parent isn't aware of the golden's motivations until it is too late.

Since many goldens become narcissists, like all narcs they are plagued with jealousies. They have to work really, really hard for the parent, shouldering all responsibility when the narc ages: all care, everything.

The scapegoats often seem fine outside the family; they may even be doing better than the golden because they don't waste their time investing in relationships where they they can be rejected at a moment's notice. They are free of the triangulations, threats, abuse, ultimatums, silent treatments ... they are out in the world free of it all. Because of this, they are also free to do as they please, to do important work.

So, many goldens eventually feel they are too shackled to the overly demanding parent. Many become jealous of the scapegoats. The autonomy the scapegoats exhibit can seem like a superior life than the one the golden is "saddled with." Goldens have been brought up to think they are better than the scapegoats, and the parent has to constantly try to prove to the golden that the scapegoats are indeed, inferior. The parent isn't so successful at convincing if the scapegoats have learned to become totally autonomous of the parent, and their careers are flying high (scapegoats tend to be over-achievers if their self esteem isn't totally shot). But narcissism means being jealous of what you don't have, and the thing the golden doesn't have is his own life, his own decisions, his own direction, his own identity away from the parent.

The lone golden has no scapegoat to blame if his parent doesn't like something. He can't push the responsibility off of himself onto his sibling, or lie about a sibling's actions. His is totally hanging out there in the breeze, responsible for what goes wrong. And in narcissistic households, a lot can go wrong. It doesn't take much for things to shift.

The narcissistic parent is generally not a generous parent, even with a golden (and especially if there is no competition going between siblings). So the golden can find that he is getting into financial hot water or that so much is expected of him that he's losing too much from his life: opportunities, relationships, direction. He might find that he is being expected to sacrifice his own dire health issues to take care of minor aches and pains of his parent. In other families, siblings share the responsibility for the aging parent; in a narcissistic family, the golden gets saddled with ALL of the responsibility, and he can become resentful of this, especially as his parent keeps trying to divide and conquer all of his other relationships. Even with the promise of all of the goodies, these goodies may not be enough to sustain him, or he may find that he really doesn't want to take on the responsibility of his swindling, lying, bullying parent (and yes, even goldens know their narc parent is disordered, and many goldens do not have any more respect for their parent than the daring scapegoats do, even though they may dance like marionettes, for awhile).

One of the reasons narc parents often become stalker parents when one of their scapegoats is doing well, and attaining success, is because the goldens become insecure. Narc parents have spent their lives trying to disable their scapegoats and make sure their goldens are ahead. If the golden gets jealous of a scapegoat, and wants what the scapegoat has, then the narc parent can lose the only child he has left.

This is when a narc parent is most likely to stalk a scapegoat, with apologies, pronouncements that they have changed and seen the light, with promises and enormous pressures to make up (which may include the help of other family members). It can sometimes mean the scapegoats will let their narc parent back into their lives ... but not all of the time, especially if a scapegoat has gotten burned too many times in this way and knows that it is a ruse. Many scapegoats get to the point where they can't believe anything their parent has to say, and will reject the parent no matter what the circumstance.

Anyway, the narc's agenda of getting back into the scapegoat's life again, is not necessarily to love the scapegoat; it is to find a way to disable the scapegoat again, to get the scapegoat in role once more as the punching bag for the family, the derided failure. This is not clear right away to many scapegoats, especially if the parent is crooning how much they love that scapegoat child: "I made such a big mistake!", "I'm so sorry I didn't see value in you!", "I can't believe I could sacrifice such a wonderful child such as you!", "You mean so much more to me than you can ever imagine!", blah, blah, blah. What scapegoat wouldn't want to hear it? At least for the first time after a life of endless punishments?

Unfortunately, it seems that a majority of scapegoats fall for the new pronouncements of love  ... at least once. Scapegoats have also been known to have the perspective that the parent is finally mellowing out, perhaps less likely to rage and abuse. But be aware that the narcissist rarely mellows out, and in fact, gets continually worse and more manipulative.

But it becomes clear of what the narc's intentions are when and if the scapegoat falters or has a tragedy. This is when the narc parent attacks or abandons, trying to bring destruction and devastation into the scapegoat's life again. (for further reading go to my post on the timing of abuse)

The betrayal of the scapegoat is huge, and the golden watches on the sidelines as his parent takes his sibling down. A lot of it is done for the golden, after all, as a way to say "You see? That scapegoat is nothing after all" and also to say, "If you ever dare to cross me, this could happen to you too!"

The narc parent will not always have the ability to disable the successes of a scapegoat, however. Scapegoats have been known to put restraining orders on parents they can no longer trust.

In this case, the narcissistic golden can lose the ambition to be with the parent. Why? Because a prize only seems to be a prize if he is fighting someone else for it. He begins to wonder if he likes his "prize" after all, especially if no one else wants it. He knows his prize parent has little integrity, has a past that is dubious and duplicitous, that the flow of money and gifts can be tenuous and dependent on a golden "acting perfect". There are so many strings attached in being rewarded. At some point the parent may be socially reviled, and being associated with this parent may be too risky for the golden's reputation.

A narc golden can feel very insecure of the successes of siblings who were supposed to be inferior to him. When it becomes clear to the golden that their status can be taken away at any time, especially if their parent is paying attention to the status and success of a scapegoat, they begin to wonder if the parent will break away from them, that they won't get the highest priority and all of the other goodies they have been promised. Most goldens realize how tenuous their position is, that it comes with overwhelming requirements, and can be taken away over trifles (as narcs are known to reject over issues that most people would find inconsequential: a perception by the narc that he is being made fun of, criticized, slighted over a preference for someone else, the golden putting his spouse above his parent in a situation, anything that can make a narc parent insecure about status and rage over it -- even a clever, conniving golden knows he can mess up so that the narc parent cannot be consoled or talked out of punishing). So, goldens often live with a lot of anxiety and paranoia unless they can self-medicate the feelings away.

Cinderella is a story about a narc stepmother who favors her oldest child, and treats her stepdaughter like a servant. Her oldest child is kind of an entitled biatch, so totally devoid of self awareness that she can't quite control her temper in order to appear normal and mannered in society. After Cinderella wins the man and becomes a princess, she throws her stepsister in with the narc stepmother, banished to a life of doing laundry.

Although narc goldens aren't always as unaware as the evil stepsister in the Cinderella story, many do understand if they become too associated with their disreputable narc parent, they may, like the evil stepsister, befall the same fate by association with their derided parent.

In fact narc goldens are always aware of the pitfalls, dangers, potential rewards and potential abuses that come with having an enmeshed relationship with a co-narcissist, and will abandon a narc parent should their own reputations suffer. They have been known to throw their parent under the bus if it doesn't suit them. They are also always assessing the situation for their own benefit. They may retreat a little if they want to make their parent insecure, especially if it is certain that the scapegoats are totally out of the picture. If the narc parent is appearing to wail and cry over what a scapegoat did, then the golden will get temporary relief and satisfaction that he is being preferred, and the go-to person for condolence.

Goldens who are saddled with all of the responsibilities of the narc parent can think the pasture is greener where the scapegoats are and abandon their narc parent, especially if it seems the goodies are not a guarantee ... which he knows they aren't (all bullies are known for not keeping promises or telling the truth).

Most bully goldens, however, stay with their narc parent. Goldens who have any empathy at all, however, can be overwhelmingly disgusted by how the parent conducts himself. If the golden is hopelessly narcissistic, the lies and betrayals won't bother the golden all that much because he is that way too, and plans his revenges and opportunistic strategies accordingly.

The overwhelming trend for narc parents is that if they find they no longer have access to one of their scapegoat children, the parent usually alternately scapegoats and coronates his golden. The golden can find that his life is constantly being controlled and micro-managed. He is expected to reveal all details of his life. He is chided (for reaction, information-gathering and narcissistic supply); his words, beliefs and ambitions may be mocked. He may be humiliated or other buttons pressed. He is constantly being demanded of. His career and work is often sabotaged or micro-managed in a way that is highly annoying and detrimental (a narc parent may no longer want a golden to be successful, especially if the scapegoats have made it clear they are no longer available to the narc parent). His spouse especially is known to get scapegoated in order to drive them away (unless the spouse has some status the narc can use). He is constantly being put in his place by the parent narc.

The problem for the golden is that he was always looked upon as someone who could do no wrong. Now he is expected to fulfill the role of scapegoat too!? To take up all of the burdens of the parent? "No way!" he thinks.

In real-life Cinderella stories, when Cinderella leaves, someone from the remaining children are expected to take on the job that Cinderella originally fulfilled. And in fact, Cinderella was supported minimally, because she could fulfill the role of being subservient to the others. The two golden children were happy so long as they could keep Cinderella in her role. So goldens have a lot to lose when the Cinderellas leave, even though they want it all, even the little bit that Cinderella receives. Remember, they tried to keep Cinderella from going to a ball to meet a prince who could raise Cinderella's status higher than all of them.

Since narc goldens have been raised to feel entitled, they will not stand for being scapegoated easily. If the parent scapegoats or complains about the golden, a weakening parent will find out that no unflattering comment toward the golden is allowed! The parent finds that he will have to dance to the golden's tune, and who better to enforce it than the golden's support network.

The golden will feign tolerance for his parent's flip-flopping ... but only for awhile! He waits until he knows he is secure and that the parent has no other support system. But he will carry around a lot of hidden rage to be used later on (just as his parent did).

So what happens later on is that there is a power struggle. Both narcs are used to getting their own way, all of the time, no matter what, using threats, bullying, charm, subterfuge, divide and conquer strategies and malevolent advice. It becomes a "battle royal" between the two narcs. The stronger narc will win, but protests and threats will usually be unleashed between both of them. The golden, knowing he has no siblings who will come to the parent's rescue or defense, can feel entitled to do anything he wants to do to the parent. If the parent protests, he may neglect and isolate the parent, just as he saw the discipline in his childhood home.

Do you think this can't happen? Remember the golden child from the Kornegay family that I wrote about above: he was beating, sexually abusing and locking up his 15 year old sister -- he was only 16 years old! If a 16 year old boy can learn to abuse like that, imagine what a 50 year old who has been bullying his whole life is capable of!

Many bully goldens make it their life-long ambition to be in charge at all times and in all situations. They may manipulate the parent in such a way as to appear fawning (learning this tactic from the parent), but in the end, when they feel secure, go in for the kill.

With the tables turned, the parent must praise and sublimate power to his golden child or the golden will rage and threaten. The golden bully will use everything he has learned and everything he has become to control the parent at all times. He will delegate to his spouse and/or children the unwanted jobs. If anyone protests about how the parent is treated, they too are threatened and shown the door.

Goldens were taught to mimic narcissistic bullying behavior at an early age, and they saw that they were rewarded for it. Mimic-ing was once the highest form of flattery for the narc parent, now it becomes the nightmare!

The scapegoats are still used as examples between the narc parent and the narc golden, even when the scapegoats have left.

The parent will threaten the golden: "If you don't do as I want, you will end up like the scapegoats!"

And the golden will threaten the narc parent: "If you don't do what I want, I will abandon you like the scapegoats did!"

Each of them expects the other to bend under the will of the other. Since neither of them ever learned team-playing, compromising, discussing, being fair, or self reflecting, threats are volleyed back and forth with impunity. Narcissism means putting oneself before others. Isolating, degrading, vilifying and rejecting others who are no longer serving the narcissist's needs and agendas is what narcissism is all about!

In bad western movies where a bunch of thieves work together to get the gold and divvy it up, and then spend the rest of the movie stealing from each other, and abandoning each other to get the entire bundle, it is the weakened or stupid thieves who are stolen from first. Their bullet-wounded compatriots are left to die. All of the bullies in the family who rely on each other, end up sort of like this: trying to take advantage of each other in the end.

In another post I will talk more about the aging narcissist, but suffice it to say that if you are hanging on to an abusive relationship with a narcissist because you want to be considered in their Last Will and Testament, forget about it because narcissists often change their will every month, or every six months, depending on who is pissing them off at the moment (and sometimes you don't even know who is pissing them off, or making them jealous, or if they are hiding their narcissistic rage over something someone said inadvertently). Most narc parents really don't want to leave their money to anyone: they want to take it to the grave if only they could. They rarely, if ever, have a "share and share alike" kind of will. While many narcs leave the bulk of their estates to a golden child, the narc parent can turn on them at the last minute too. You never know where you stand, and narcs lie about their wills anyway, so it isn't worth giving a single thought to their will.

I personally knew a woman who gave up everything to care for her elderly mother full time. There were no complaints from her mother for five years. Then she, the daughter, got Stage 4 cancer and had to leave her mother temporarily in an assisted living home while she pursued cancer treatments out of state. Her selfish mother changed the will, barred her daughter from the house they shared together ... The daughter had to go to a homeless shelter. This should be a warning to anyone that a narcissistic elder cannot be counted on for ANYTHING: not extenuating circumstances, a major health crisis, fairness, compassion, understanding, logic, promises or reason.
 
Anyway, many bully goldens will hang in until the parent signs and dots the Power of Attorney (because most goldens know how tenuous wills, and power of attorney can be). So once papers are signed and the golden has complete control without any interference, the narc parent is often abandoned anyway. Why? Because narcissists, even favored spoiled golden ones, feel they are entitled to a special privileged life without unflattering remarks from an elder, inconvenient truths, stress and worry. Self indulgence is their highest priority.

However, even if the golden never takes his rage out on an elderly dying parent, waiting patiently for his reward, seemingly almost flawless to his narc parent, the parent can still betray the golden in the end. Why? Because narcs are often completely overwhelmed with jealousy to the point where it is like a pressure cooker in their systems. They might be jealous of the fact that the golden gets to live, whereas they are looking at death in the face. They are jealous of their golden getting all of their money, money which they still want, money that they still want to control, money that they don't want spent for the golden's leisure activities, agendas and interests. So, they are sometimes known to leave their entire estates to charity. The golden can feel very betrayed and bitter, especially if he has spent years holding his tongue, taking care of his parent, doing everything the parent asked. Again, I have direct witness to a case like this.

As for the golden narcs who turn the tables on the elder narcs: as I stated before, the parent, beforehand, will usually try to pit the golden against the golden's spouse (just as the narc parent's offspring were pitted against each other). But unbeknownst to the narc parent, it is a two-against-one affair. This is the point where the golden gets the upper hand over his parent. The spouse enjoys higher status over his parent, and often is put in charge of his parent as well! Why? Because the spousal relationship is always stronger than the parent-child relationship. It isn't like the sibling relationship, where parental approval is needed for survival. Many narc parents fail to see that because they are so enthralled with the idea and possibility of ever more people fighting over them that they fantasize that they can triangulate with the golden's spouse too.

Most bully goldens have spouses who fully support them. Remember: narcs require either sycophants or co-bullies! The perfect spouse has both qualities!

A bully golden has been taught how to abandon when it suits him, and if the couple's lives become at all stressful by hearing anything remotely unflattering, they abandon just as their narc parent did. Narcs aren't naturally imbued with care, concern and compassionate responses (except what they can fake); they are used to taking from others, exploiting the services of others, leaving others high and dry in deplorable emotional states often over inconsequentials (not enough flattery, not enough praising, not enough pining, "that look on your face", anything insubordinate) and stealing if they can get away with it. They get off on the suffering of others to win what they want, they get off on delegating the hard work to others in the family (power trip), they get off on the threats and what it does to their victims. Being fair, gracious, good, honest and caring doesn't mean much to them, only insipid pastimes do: leisure, pampering, flattery, status, power trips, gambling of some sort, arrogance, keeping up appearances, and continually comparing themselves to others.

The narc parent has spent their life threatening and punishing others, so the tables are turned by the very child who should have been grateful for having been so adored, favored and spared the punishments. But unfortunately, that is usually not how it works: the bigger lesson the golden took away was not how to be grateful, but how to bully and exploit others to get what you want. Their whole lives are built around it, they have used it most of their lives, and they pass it on to their golden child, and he with his golden child, and so on and so on ... down through the generations ...

Being grateful is actually a compassionate response, not a narcissistic response. You actually have to feel what someone else is going through. When you are narcissistic, you aren't understanding anyone or reflecting on what they do or how they feel. You are only ingratiating yourself to get narcissistic supply. Therefore, a fellow narcissist who has been chosen to be a golden is not going to be focused on parental sacrifice, even if he might briefly say "Thank you" as a societal obligation.

(note: please be aware that "you're ungrateful" is one of the most common phrases among abusers. It doesn't mean you are ungrateful; it probably means they either want you to be distracted from their abuse by putting a guilt trip on you, or they want to use it as an excuse to abuse).

Ending up with a whole family of victims of abuse because of favoritism isn't always what happens, but it seems to be the overwhelming trend. So far, in most cases of narcissistic families, the trend is more powerful than what any member wants or plans. As long as there are disfavored family scapegoats and favored golden children in households with a narcissistic parent, the trend will keep going and going and going, throughout time, and generation after generation, until there is enlightenment and a movement afoot in the family, or in society, to stop it.

It is like a nasty disease which effects every last member of the family, from the scapegoats who have left with emotional scars and PTSD, to the ones who are still left in the game battling it out with each other ... all with the next generation looking in on the sidelines and taking notes ...

An inter-generational real story:

I am a member of a number of forums on narcissistic abuse. One member is a single mother who brought up a daughter and son in her narc mother's home. This is what happened (names changed to protect the innocent):

The narc grandmother (Gertrude) treated her daughter (Connie) deplorably, like a doormat, and with a lot of verbal abuse and commands, as narcs will do. Meanwhile, the children (Karen and Doug) were looking at how grandma Gertrude related to their mom, Connie.

The grand daughter, Karen, started treating mother Connie badly too, around the age of 11 (she is 15 now), leaving notes for her mother like: "Clean up your damn mess, Mom! I am not your maid!" and "If you can't stop being an emotional cry baby, you will no longer have a family" and "There is a reason you are not appreciated. You are a nutcase and you need help. See a psychologist, and then get back to us after you have been adequately treated." And so on.

Obviously this sounds like a teen age daughter who is out of control, who is disrespectful and has learned parentification and bullying from her grandmother. In fact, both grandmother and granddaughter gang up on Connie constantly. To make everything worse, Grandma Gertrude approves of the way granddaughter Karen is acting in all altercations between them, meaning that Karen feels free to escalate the abuse of her mother.

When mother Connie tells grandmother Gertrude not to interfere because they are her children, Gertrude won't respect it and gives her opinion anyway, throwing barbs and insults at Connie in the process.

Obviously, Grandma has made a golden child out of her grand daughter, Karen, all the while condoning the orders, the insults, the notes and the abuse (remember I said that narcs like it when you mirror their personality as the highest form of flattery? -- Well, Gertrude is loving it!).

In fact, Connie was wearing herself out trying to do the best she could for both of them, and the abuse only got worse.

Anyway, after awhile, Connie couldn't take it any more. So, she moved out of her mother Gertrude's house with her son, Doug.

One reason Connie came to the forums is that she fears she is favoring her son, Doug, and treating him like a golden child (he is the only one of her children who shows respect for his mother, Connie, who genuinely seems concerned for Connie and her state of mind -- she was beginning to close down). He was the only one in the household who was consoling towards Connie, who tried to reach compromises and talk things out. But Connie feels that it perpetuates narcissism to be neglecting her daughter Karen, leaving her to the "wolf " (her mother, Gertrude). She fears that she has condoned abuse by bringing her children up in a narcissistic household where insults and demanding, manipulative, disrespectful, abusive behavior is condoned.

For sure this is a toxic dysfunctional family, not much healthier than the family in the movie, August, Osage County, and in fact, it may be a lot worse.

Any time you are around narcs, or have your children and grandchildren exposed to narcs, there is always a danger of someone adopting abusive narcissistic tendencies. Narcs will enlist anyone they can to help them beat up their targets (scapegoats), even if it means enlisting the scapegoat's own children. No one is immune to being favored for the purpose of co-bullying a scapegoat. It is why many scapegoats feel they have no other choice than to leave and give up on close familial ties. In this case, Connie had to give up on her own mother and daughter: how heartbreaking! The family is splintered, like so many narcissistic families.

Meanwhile, her daughter only gets narcissistic lessons now since the "normals" have left. She is learning how to be an imperious bully in the family, just like her grandmother. She is feeling special and entitled because her grandmother adores everything she says and does. She is flattered constantly, that is, until her grandmother decides she is "not good enough" either -- the narcissistic tendency.

Karen will probably blame her mother for playing favorites with Doug at some point too, for neglecting her and leaving her with her mean grandmother. Since favoritism is a form of abuse, she may say, "You are an abusive parent and I want nothing more to do with you. You abandoned me. How was I to know what I was doing at 15? I had no role models other than you and Grandma! You are the mother: you are supposed to teach me and protect me. Instead you brought us up around Grandma who you knew you would never be able to get along with, and left me there to fester and learn more of her bullying crap, while you went off to live with Doug. You don't care about me. All you care about is making life easier for yourself! You are a sorry excuse for a mother!" -- all of this blaming and guilting is part of narcissistic families too. All of it began with favoritism and grew into bullying from there.

Sad.

In another post, I will talk about abuse as an inter-generational and multi-generational problem.

Some cartoons I made on the subject (with more reading and videos by others following):

cartoon image is © Lise Winne
2016

Further reading:

The Scapegoating Narcissist -- recommended excellent post by Gail Meyers
Excerpt:
     The very existence of a scapegoat in the family signals a problem because a scapegoat is only required in a family when someone chronically refuses to take responsibility for their own actions.

Narcissism in children has many causes, but it can be addressed by Gail Gross. She also states that if a parent waits too long to administer therapy to a narcissistic child, the child will eventually refuse therapy (a typical narcissistic trait) and be unwilling to self reflect and understand the perspectives of others.


How not to raise a narcissist by Rebecca Jacobson

Narcissistic kid? Blame the parents, study says by Deborah Netburn.
Excerpt from the article: 
     ... here's one more thing to consider: A person doesn't have to stay a narcissist forever.
   "Although narcissism is often seen as a deeply ingrained personality trait, it can certainly change," Brummelman said. "When you are narcissistic at one time in life, you're not destined to be narcissistic decades later."


Do you have a favorite child? by Shobha Bhaskar, M.D.


Discussion of Favoritism on the Sons of Narcissistic Mothers blog 

Selfishness and Narcissism in Family Relationships by Lynne Namka, Ed, D

Raised By A Narcissist by Jonice Webb PhD

You Discovered Narcissistic Parent’s Destructive Family Secret by Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.

6 Signs You Were Raised By A Narcissist by Anna Almendrala


Teaching empathy: What kind of parent are you? by Amy Joyce. One of the issues many people have with people with narcissistic personality disorder (and/or abusers in general) is that they are hypocrites. If you don't model caring behavior for your child, and insist that your child has a caring nature, while you are cruel and abandoning, it won't work.


These videos talk about what I have discussed in this post
(and I agree with the message):
© Narcissism Survivor (screen name)

This next video is about whether a narcissistic parent will swap out
the golden child for the scapegoat. It is rare, especially for any length of time.
It happens when (and if) the golden child is not dancing to every parental demand. 
It happens if the scapegoat has never experienced hoovering before and is vulnerable to it. 
When the golden child wants to re-establish his "preferred" status with the parent 
and give into the demand, the scapegoat goes back to being discarded 
(and also vilified, insulted, degraded, dismissed, mocked, lectured at,  
erroneously blamed and punished, and reviled yet again by the narc parent):
© Narcissism Survivor (screen name)

This next video is about a woman telling her story. 
She tells her story about how an older brother scapegoat left the family at 14.
Remember I mentioned that when one scapegoat leaves the family, that the narc parent
always replaces one scapegoat with another one from her remaining family?
This is what happened to this young woman:
From Golden Child to Scapegoat:
© Escape from Narcissism (screen name)
Her story is interesting and personal. She became an expatriate and moved to Spain and learned another language to get away from her narcissistic family (moving away and becoming as anonymous as possible by getting a PO box is what happens in an overwhelming number of cases where the scapegoating has become unbearable). To watch more of her tell her story click here.
These aren't great videos, and there are distractions in them (cat using a box, wind), but they are like listening to a friend. They may make you feel connected to the person. By the way, if you are a scapegoat, hearing others tell their stories is a way to heal. Listening to someone in person is always preferable to a video because you can establish a relationship with that person. However these kinds of videos can help when you are tossing and turning in bed all night, wondering what to do with your family situation, and feel an urgency to get a sense of how someone else is dealing with it all.



I found this one on Pinterest here
(originally from a facebook page that appears to have been taken down),
but worthy of being out on the internet:

I found this Peanuts cartoon on this blog, another good blog about dealing with a narcissistic family
(it should speak to those scapegoats who have been given the silent treatment
or have been ostracized):

8 comments:

  1. This is my story word for word. I was Cinderella, and they had no idea what they were doing it was just the easiest way for them. It just was the way it was. I didnt know it was wrong, or that it wasn't my fault until this year. I am almost 40, and on disability because they gaslighted me so hard to never break the family model of being the problem. I went through 10 years of wondering if I was schizophrenic, and Ive lost so much time, but thank you for this. I might not have to hate myself anymore. It wasn't my fault. Even if I'm the loser, and lost, and unsuccessful I dont have to hate myself. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I went through 10 years of wondering if I was schizophrenic" -- some rotten parents do that, unfortunately.

      I hope you are on a road to recovery now.

      Godspeed

      Delete
  2. So insanely true. Saw it live in action and what emotional damage it has done to his children. It's what his messed up mother did to him and his sister. It's scary how the pattern continues on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it does continue unless there is a movement in the family to stop it. Unfortunately many families who grow up with this tend to think it is normal, so sometimes you have to have other eyes from the outside looking in at these behaviors and saying it is wrong and that something needs to be done about it -- this can include domestic violence therapists.
      The better domestic violence therapists will know how to "bust up the bullying in the family."
      Unfortunately for under-age kids, this is much more difficult because they aren't aware, which is why "signs of abuse" are always important to keep track of and follow through with whether that is talking with professionals who might be able to help: teachers, CPS, principals, school social workers, school nurses, etc. Usually where there is rampant favoritism with scapegoating there are a host of other abuses happening at the same time: verbal, emotional, psychological, isolation and often physical too: http://angry-alcoholics.blogspot.com/2015/04/what-are-types-of-abuse-scapegoating.html

      Delete
    2. Why the check did this appear on my Pinterest? This has nothing to do with me, and. I only have 1 child so your observations are mute

      Delete
    3. Anonymous,
      I have no idea why this would appear on your Pinterest. I don't have control over anything that goes on there except my own site and what I post on my own site. Perhaps contact Pinterest and see if they can remove it if you can't un-pin it?

      Delete
  3. The article is mad powerful. This is what i am dealing with on a regular basis. My sister always get away with everything, including stealing my stuff and moms money, taking her car, smoking weed, and everything else. But my enabling mother always brush it off when she gets in trouble. But when I get in trouble, i end up getting punished, or suffer my sisters insecurities. but at the end of the day, i realized that my GC sister is going downhill with depression and a Histrionic Personality like all other Golden Child children. For example, Janice Soprano of the Sopranos: She holds it in, then later on, she wants to kill Livia ( Her Narc Mother, and take aiming at the will. I believe that my sister is going to be fucked up in life, and I feel sorry for her when I move 2 years from now. I've tried to help her see the light, but my Narc Dad programmed her so deep, that she is stuck in the matrix, just like what Ollie Matthews says on his channel on YouTube. Sadly, I have to deal with the petty circle for the next 2.5 years until i go back to my second Hometown. but the question is, how do i stop thinking about it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Unknown,
      You asked, "How do I stop thinking about it?"
      Obsessive thinking is often related to PTSD:
      https://www.verywell.com/ways-to-manage-your-ptsd-symptoms-2797613
      While that article doesn't suggest ways of dealing with obsessive thinking, there are a number of strategies that trauma therapists use to help to make PTSD symptoms more manageable like somatic therapy and types of guided meditations.
      I know Ollie Matthews work! There are so many great coaches on You Tube now.

      Delete

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