Infant Attachment Trauma caused by the Birth Mother or by the infant being given away to be raised by someone other than the Birth Mother (Grandparents or adopted out) can result in a Cluster-B Disordered Individual such as a Narcissist.
Childhood Trauma (later form of Attachment Trauma) caused by one or both parents can result in a Codependent Individual. One or more of the parents could be Cluster-B Disordered.
I am of the opinion that said Individuals (Narcissist or Codependent) are created (not born – ie not genetic) because of variations of Attachment Trauma inflicted on them via Abysmal Parenting.
John Bradshaw’s work raised the awareness of the concept of the Injured Inner Child. I have spoken to people with high levels of Narcissistic Traits, about their childhood. It was like I was talking to a different individual. even their vocal characteristic changed. I have crossed paths with Narcissists and have paid the price. Yet I still feel sorry for them. In my opinion it is not their fault that they are the way they are. The same for folks with Codependent Traits.
Keeping this site going I have again come full circle back to Attachment Trauma. I was reminded of that today while researching the website of a San Francisco Bay area Complex PTSD Therapist. I have to get in touch with him, to see if I can share some of his material on this site.
Taking my theory further, a relationship between a Narcissist and a Codependent could result in further Trauma. The Codependent could develop PTSD (or Complex PTSD if the relationship had been a long term one). The Narcissist could also suffer Trauma in the form of Narcissist Injury (Abandonment Trauma), from the loss of their valued Source of Narcissistic Supply. In the extreme, the Narcissist could attempt Suicide because of that Trauma and injury (I have witnessed this with Somatic Narcissists). Both types of individuals were created due to Trauma and when combined into a relationship both end up creating more Trauma. The Codependent could also develop Trauma Bonding if the relationship becomes abusive, and cannot leave.
Narcissists are attracted to Codependents.
Codependents are attracted to Narcissists.
Maybe the Injured Inner Child (see Alice Miller’s book titled : “The Drama of The Gifted Child“ and John Bradshaw’s books and videos about the Inner Child) of each type of individual can somehow pickup on the injured Inner Child in the other type of individual. The Injured Inner Child could be the source of the attraction between Codependents and Narcissists.
The common theme in the above is Trauma. The destructive Domino cascade is initiated by Extremely Poor to non-existent Parenting. Another area where our Educational Systems have failed Society. How many of you reading this, have had courses which detailed Great Parenting?
The most important role that a Human can have is to become a Great Parent. Yet we get zero formal training. I have had to take many courses in say Accounting and Statistics which I will “never” use. I have had zero courses detailing how to be a Great Parent. Does this make sense to you???
Blake and his brother came from a wealthy family. His brother Cody went into Real Estate development, like his Dad. Two males from the same family, but with vastly different life choices. Wonder why?
Early in May 2016 Blake and his girlfriend Iana Kasian became parents. Later the same month, on May 20 Blake was charged with Sexual Assault (against another unknown female) and released on Bail.
A month or two before and after the birth of a baby all focus is on “the Baby“. News reports say that when Iana found out about the Sexual Assault charge, that she moved herself and her infant daughter out of Blake’s apartment to live with her mother.
The story hit the AP Newswire. Because it’s copyrighted I can’t post it. There is already a YouTube video which has someone reading the AP report.
The Mail Online site did some further research and included photos of the female and her “ex”, which were not part of the AP News Feed.
Note the quote “didn’t accept being abandoned” (my quoting a few words out of hundreds for education purposes falls under “Fair Use” and I am quoting from the AP post). Interesting choice of words. It must be the victims fault. If she had not abandoned the guy, he would not have burned her alive. Somehow to them, it is always the fault of the victim.
In essence, the Ex followed the victim. Ran her car off the road. Got access to her car interior, while the victim was still in it. Poured alcohol into her car and lit it with a lighter. The victim left her now burning car. The Ex caught up to her. Threw alcohol at her head and lit it. She died from her burns. All that because the Ex “didn’t accept being abandoned”. He sure won her back, did he not.
Such a thing happening once, is one time too many. Yet this kind of thing sadly happens.
I know a female who takes a Taxi home after work, because she is scared of her ex following her if she walks home. That female was a major inspiration for me to setup this site. Her situation is a lot worse than the one in the news article. She’s been hospitalized for months at a time, thanks to her ex. Just imagine looking over your shoulder the rest of your life. Her ex is not just some regular ordinary office worker. She has a black belt in an Asian Martial Art. Her ex has had training way beyond that
People who have suffered Attachment and Abandonment Trauma when they were infants, can become very disordered adults. To suffer an Abandonment Trauma Event as a adult could send the person in two directions. One is to become suicidal over being abandoned. It is real, I’ve seen two somatic female Narcs go that route – both survived.
The other direction is to destroy the person who abandoned them (as in the news article). It comes down to the destruction of self or the other person. Someone has to pay, it’s either me or them. Disordered people have limited choices, especially those at the extreme end of disorders of Narcissism, and Sociopathy. Psychopaths, it is my understanding, would not suffer an Abandonment Trauma Event like say a Malignant Narcissist would. A Psychopath will kill you, because they want to kill you (no excuse needed to motivate them).
Learn the Red Flags to watch out for. If you don’t become involved with a Disordered individual, then you cannot abandon them. You become a non-issue to them, as they have a number of targets lined up to become potential sources of Narcissistic supply for example.
Click on this line to read the NY Post article about this event. The Mail Online article has more detail and photos – see the link further up in this post.
There are many Red Flags given off by Narcissists. Love Bombing for one. Mirroring is a big one, which I tend to consistently harp on about.
There are a couple of key things which the Narcissist will not hide from you. One is in my opinion the “most important Red Flag“. Ask the potential Narcissist about their childhood. Were they brought up by their Birth Mother? If they were still an infant and they were adopted out or given to other family members (say Grand Parents) to be brought up, that is the “most important & biggest Red Flag“.
To better confirm that Red Flag, ask questions about the person’s Birth Mother? If there is any animosity or even outright hatred shown towards their Birth Mother, that is “yet another major Red Flag” which also confirms your perception of the biggest Red Flag.
It is my opinion that Narcissists are created due to Abandonment Trauma(s) suffered while still an infant, before the left hemisphere of the brain is developed. The Trauma(s) change how the Brain Develops – ie it’s a Hardware-Wiring issue and so Narcissists can not be changed via a treatment protocol. MRI Brain Scans seem to confirm “my opinion”.
Joseph Burgo, in a radio interview, alluded to the coincidence that many diagnosed Narcissists had been abandoned in their early childhood. They were adopted out. They were transferred to other family members (Grandparents) to be cared for.
All the Narcissists who I got to know, had issues with their Mother. Yes the issues varied between a coldness to outright disdain.
Sam Vaknin wrote something confirming this in a review of the book titled “The Abandoned Child Within: On Losing and Regaining Self-Worth “
Sam Vaknin wrote:
“Underneath this colourful maelstrom lies an hypothesis: pathological narcissism is the direct outcome of early childhood abuse and trauma, mainly in the form of abandonment or neglect. Narcissism, in other words, is a defense against hurt and emotional injury.”.
A female Somatic Narc had a pronounced dislike of her Mother. In stark contrast, she and her Dad were fine. Events in the past when one is an infant can have profound affects which can last a lifetime.
A Cerebral Narc would not speak to their Mother when she came in tears because her own Mother had just passed away. The Cerebral Narc’s Grandmother dies and the Narc could not be bothered to come and talk and try to comfort their own Mother. . Would a non Cluster-B Disordered Individual, who has Empathy for the suffering of others behave that way?.
Being brought up by other family members like Grand Parents can cause Abandonment Trauma. To the Grand Parents it’s a burden to “have to” feed, cloth and bring up their daughter’s infant child. They already brought up their own kids.
The distrust of the Birth Mother for being abandoned and sent off to live with strangers (yes they are Grand Parents and an adult understands that but an infant sees themselves being dumped off to some strangers) by the Narc can be life long.
Different people love very differently and sadly some not at all. That description includes Grand Parents. The infant had already lost life’s lottery by being born to a Mother who abandoned them and sent them away to live in another place. Good chance that the Grand Parents were not the kindest and most loving of individuals. So the infant losses again and possibly pays for such loss by developing a Personality Disorder which could prevent them from being able to establish and enjoy “Intimate and Loving” relationships.
Alice Miller has written a post on her site which ties a number of things together. Her post is titled: “The Ignorance or How we produce the Evil”. I’ll have some quotes below, from that Alice Miller post.
Alice Miller wrote :
“Children who are given love, respect, understanding, kindness, and warmth will naturally develop different characteristics from those who experience neglect, contempt, violence or abuse, and never have anyone they can turn to for kindness and affection. Such absence of trust and love is a common denominator in the formative years of all the dictators I have studied. The result is that these children will tend to glorify the violence inflicted upon them and later to take advantage of every possible opportunity to exercise such violence, possibly on a gigantic scale. Children learn by imitation. Their bodies do not learn what we try to instill in them by words but what they have experienced physically. Battered, injured children will learn to batter and injure others; sheltered, respected children will learn to respect and protect those weaker than themselves. Children have nothing else to go on but their own experiences.”
As Alice Miler stated “Children have nothing else to go on but their own experience”. If the infant child experienced Abandonment Trauma they they will not know how to Love someone. They will do to someone else, what had been done to to them. They will use them and abandon them.
Alice Miller also wrote :
“The well-known American pediatrician Dr. Brazelton once filmed a group of mothers holding and feeding their babies, each in her own particular way. More than 20 years later he repeated the experiment with the women those babies had grown into and who now had babies themselves. Astoundingly, they all held their babies in exactly the same way as they had been held by their mothers, although of course they had no conscious memories from those early years. One of the things Braselton proved with this experiment was that we are influenced in our behavior by our unconscious memories. And those memories can be life affirming and affectionate or traumatic and destructive.”
It is my opinion, that It is not the Narcissist’s fault for developing such a Personality Disorder. It is up to you whether you want to get involved, in any kind of a relationship, with a Personality Disordered individual.
So recapping the two biggest and in my opinion most important Red Flags of a Narcissist. If you learn that the person was not raised by their Birth Mother that is IMHO the most important and biggest of all the Red Flags. Major issues with their Birth Mother is another confirming major Red Flag.
The more Red Flags that you can spot, the higher the probability that you are interacting with a Personality Disordered Individual.
Watch for the Red Flags.
Dr. Allan Schore discusses “Attachment trauma and the effects of neglect and abuse on the brain“.
The development of severe Psychopathologies occurs during right Brain development, during very early childhood. Attachment Trauma and Abandonment Trauma are all stored in the right hemisphere of the Brain, even before the left hemisphere starts to develop.
That is why Brain Scans of Narcissists, Borderlines and Psychopaths show differences from the general population. Because of Attachment Trauma and Abandonment Trauma, the brains of those with Severe Psychopathologies are unable to to wire themselves normally. It is not nature. It is nurture and the severe lack of nurture which plays a major role in creating those with severe Personality Disorders.
Video is courtesy of the PsychAlive YouTube channel