Childhood trauma and the presence of a narcissistic or psychologically disordered mother can often be twins. Both behaviors manifest in similar ways in different individuals. Both behaviors cause distress to the children and are considered by most parents to be unacceptable. But which is more harmful – enduring childhood trauma caused by a narcissistic parent, or the adult version of the same behavior?
When a child experiences some form of trauma, there is a natural and healthy desire to seek out validation, explanation, and understanding of what happened. Unfortunately, when that healing process fails and an adult suffering from this form of trauma seeks help, many people mistakenly believe these clients to be either psychologically or emotionally unstable. It is not uncommon for the adult to blame themselves or hold themselves responsible for their lack of ability to parent effectively. This is commonly known as the “shame cycle.” An abundance of shame can lead to denial, depression and ultimately, an abusive relationship in childhood trauma narcissistic mother.
The ” narcissistic parent” often justifies their behavior and masks their actions through grandiose claims of their abilities and superiority. They convince their adult client that the child is not worthy of love and attention because of their background or upbringing. If the narcissistic parent continues this charade for years, it can wear on the child who grows up not knowing any better. As these children grow older, the damage inflicted becomes more severe. This may lead to self-pity, depressive disorders, and eventually, addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
Variety of causes
Childhood trauma narcissistic mothers can have a variety of causes. A common thread in many cases is neglect by the primary caregiver (or both). Another common cause is physical or sexual abuse during childhood. The primary caregiver may also be suffering from some form of chronic mental illness such as bipolar disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder.
Act of hurting
The act of hurting the self-respect of the child through criticism or punishment is a narcissistic act. It is an affront to the child’s intelligence, and belittles the child’s capacity for self-worth. To punish or hurt the child can have serious consequences. If a narcissistic mother is not able to control her own behavior, she will likely inflict further trauma on the child – even emotionally. A healthy child understands and can self-regulate anger when it is directed at themselves.
Childhood trauma can create a lasting impression of an unapproachable, egotistical, or self-destructive character. This can be amplified or magnified depending upon the severity of the original trauma. Children exposed to traumatic events in childhood are more likely to become self-destructive adults than other children. A childhood trauma narcissistic mother will exploit traumatic events in the child’s life to improve themselves and increase their self-worth. When she is not manipulating or controlling, the narcissistic mother will be drawn into a victim mode – defending, hurting, and humiliating the child.
The more a narcissistic mother hurts her child, the greater the likelihood that she will abuse them as adults. When trauma occurs in childhood, it is easier for a narcissistic adult to inflict trauma upon others in order to satisfy a deeper hunger for power and control. She may use shame and guilt to distract her children from their own feelings of rage and fury, so she can continue to control their lives. Children of narcissistic mothers often lack confidence and self-esteem, and spend their lives feeling guilty and unloved.
How many children of narcissistic mothers have been abused ?
It is impossible to measure how many children of narcissistic mothers have been abused, because each case varies. However, every case is heartbreaking and traumatic, whether the trauma was physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological. One thing is clear: Children of narcissistic parents suffer from a higher probability of encountering abusive behaviors in adulthood. If you suspect your child has been the victim of abuse, contact a child counselor or qualified therapist today. There are professionals who specialize in treating children who have been abused, and they offer therapeutic services that help children overcome their negative behaviors and emotions that stem from their painful childhood trauma. If you fear your child is suffering from emotional or psychological abuse, contact a professional immediately – help is available!