In this series I write about my daughter and her inner struggle. She is about to build a mask to defend herself from reality, but her Self and I together are fighting for her to show her that she shouldn’t hide behind a narcissistic mask, she better be who she is.
“I never want to leave you! I never want to get married or have children, because I want to be with you. I want to live where you live, I want to go where you go, always!” – My daughter said these just the other evening, crying, begging.
These outbursts come in the evening hours when she prepares to sleep, and it has more reasons. Firstly because her mind is not distracted by tv, computer, toys or playing, talking, eating, or anything else. The thoughts and feelings she is hiding the whole day by other activities begin to sneak to the surface. Secondly it’s because she is tired and her “defense system” cannot push her fears and worries away, cannot oppress or suppress them. And finally it’s because the vacation is over, and going to school means separation, every morning.
Normally kids thrive to become more and more independent from their parents. They wish to have more freedom to discover the world and themselves in it. They want to get their definition independent from their parents and not with them. They want to become Tom and Mandy, George and Eva, not the little daughter and son of Ma and Pa.
My daughter doesn’t want freedom, she wants to stay codependent. She wants to become the part of me, part of my personality. She wants to become one withe me. She is scared to get a new definition that’s anything else but mom’s daughter who needs constant supervision and care.
Codependency is the breeding ground of narcissism and narcissistic relationships.
These people earn their worth and usefulness from the person they are with. They are unable to love and accept themselves, so their relationship gives them love, acceptance and worth. They regard themselves valuable only when being coupled up, as the existence of the other person gives them value.
When my daughter wishes to become one with me, she wishes to share my personality with her, she is threatening my boundaries. She doesn’t trust herself or love herself, and she is eager to find a part that she can love. That’s me. She wants to become one with me, because she thinks that alone she is not valuable. I’m needed to provide the lovable and valuable part.
This is common in narcissistic/dysfunctional families that the partners become one in order to find themselves to be completed by the other. Some of them cannot find a part in herself that she could love and accept, so she begins to love the other one.
They use the other one as a confidence and personality boost, they love the other one and they expect them to reflect their own love back. The thing is that it’s a total failure. The person who cannot love himself is not able to love anyone else. He is with his partner because he uses her to gain an emotion that he cannot feel and feed for himself. And he attracts another loveless person, who has the same expectations, and they are trying to gain love from the other one.
Narcissistic couples who become one violate each other’s boundaries. They don’t know where they end and where the other one begins. They are like two wrong puzzles that ended up in one box, and they are impossible to complete, because they don’t fit, and they are both incomplete.
It’s sobering and disappointing when they realize that they haven’t become completed with the other one either. It did not help to become full, as they don’t feel satisfied happy and peaceful. They still have the missing feeling. And usually they begin to blame the other one, and try to change him/her. Still they don’t want to see their own responsibility in the story.
When my daughter says that she wants to be with me forever, she refuses to try to change her approach to the situation. She wants changes on the outside in order to fit to her dysfunctional emotional life. She doesn’t think and takes responsibility with facing her own dysfunctional emotional life and requirements, she is ready to manipulate me and the world.
She is 8 years old, she doesn’t have tools to fix herself, but all she tells me: “I’m afraid to be happy”, or “I want to stop the world” or “I never want to leave you” is a cry for help. She doesn’t do this consciously, she doesn’t want to manipulate me and use me because she doesn’t want to take responsibility, but because she can’t.
All those grown-up narcissists who use and manipulate others cried once – or more – for help, but they didn’t get it. They tried to solve these emotional issues in their childish ways – as a 5-6-7 year old can solve it – escaping, hiding from the problem, oppressing, suppressing, denying. And they do it even today.
Nothing can be solved that hasn’t been faced, this means you can solve your emotional issues only if you are ready, dare and willing to face them. Kids cannot do them alone, they need the assistance and guidance of their parents. If the parents are emotionally dysfunctional, they have emotional issues themselves, they will not be able to help, so everyone stays with their untreated emotional pain.
In case of a child who has emotional issues the biggest help is patience and availability. Even at midnight when she needs me, I try to soothe her nerves and give her comfort. I listen to her, no matter what childish fears and thoughts she has – she is a child after all – and I never belittle her problems. If I take her seriously, she will take herself seriously either. I teach her that she matters with my patience and attention.
As much as she is ready, willing and able to ask for help, I have to be ready, willing and able to help her.
Still I have to defend my boundaries, because the cry for help can mean that she is trying to pull me closer by crying for help always, knowing that I’m always ready. According to my ideas functional parenting is when the child slowly become independent from the parents and the parents let the child stay who she is, in love and acceptance with herself. This is what I’d like to achieve, an independent child who loves and accepts herself. I think this is a strong base to lead a happy life.
To be continued!