While talking about the different kinds of trauma we often forget or side sweep the one’s faced by children, that too at the place where they are supposed to be the safest, their homes.
Narcissistic Parents, can emotionally and mentally scar their kids for a lifetime because of their actions and/or neglect during the developmental and impressionable age of their children. The effect of mistreatment, abandonment and any other sort of physical, sexual abuse is totally destructive for the child’s personality and life.
One of the most harmful ways having a narcissistic parent affects a person is by not letting them break the chain of abuse.
This trait which was called as ‘repetition compulsion’ by Freud, means that the survivors of childhood trauma find themselves in the same situations endlessly, in nearly every relationship they form in adulthood, unless they can get professional help to realize it and get out of the cycle. Otherwise for them, it is a never-ending nightmare of “Not this again!”
Narcissistic Parents show similar traits to Narcissistic abusers in other relationships. As a result, survivors of the former, find themselves gravitating towards the latter in their adulthood. Abusive parents play a number of mind games on their children which leads them to have highly strung nervous and psyche system.
As adults these children look for similar atmosphere as their childhood (subconsciously, of course) because all their life and especially impressionable years they were in this highly stimulating environment and now they don’t know how to act any different.
Narcissistic Parents play a very evil game on their children by pitting them against each other for their affection, giving love when it is suitable and retracting it to harass them, and later giving little reinforcements, like bait to keep them on the hook for more.
For little children, this game becomes so addictive that their bodies react to such stimulus at a biochemical level. And they become so accustomed to the highs of this process that they often look for similar traits in their partners.
These children spend their whole childhood looking for an escape from these situations and when they find a partner who seems to be a rescuer they throw all caution to the wind.
Sadly, these saviors are more often than Narcissistic themselves, and their ‘saving’ is nothing more than the love-bait which these kids have been brought up on. By the time they realize this, it is too late and they find themselves raising kids with another Narcissistic abuser, just like their parents.
Another reason why trauma faced by children at the hand of uncaring parents is tragic is because they have no way out. They literally have to live under the roof of their abuser and depend on them for food because they have no other option.
They have to brace themselves for the insults and punishments everyday and they soon accept it as a part of life. They grow up feeling inadequate and not-good-enough and can also self harm themselves due to the immense stress they face at an early age.