- Posted December 28, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Confessions from imperfect parents
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Growing up ‘One-Child’ in narcissistic (strict) TH & Chinese parents
Don’t get me wrong. I thought about having kids (But on a gut level, I just didn’t want to get pregnant) in particular in SE Asia developing nations, where a future child/children may grow up 'SO COMPETITIVELY' in an unfair, inadequate welfares, insecurity, gender inequality, demonic culture heritage, unprotective human rights, crimes & polluted environment in particular metropolitan. I was “Childless by choice” I’ve met plenty of women who have had careers they loved and also had kids. But I’ve also met plenty who’ve made too many compromises.
For a reason, since I was young, I was born as ‘THE ONLY CHILD’ in the city of Bangkok, Thailand in year 1976 under well-educated, warm, but imperfect family. (My parents of ethnic in both THAI AYUDHAYA vs. SUKHOTHAI CHINESE) They both were loved, family-oriented people, but the truth was they become ‘narcissistic family’ unintentionally. It was easy to see how "PERFECTIONIST" in us makes really suffer. The obsession in their son/daughter often had to do with the parent's own emotional needs with the excuse that they love their child to sacrifice for their future. The TH culturally held value that stealing 'Imitative idols' was false, I wanted my parents to escape from 'THE SELF-TRAPS' of perfectionism, as it was blocked people to had that masks to the set of self-defeating value. Too often that the narcissistic parents use their child to compensate their own UNMET goals.
Narcissist was created by SELF-IMPORTANCE, a need of emotional hunger to be admired. It was commonly occurred with depression. It was one type of 'Perfectionist'.
Becoming a narcissist doesn't just happen overnight, it accumulated by many 10-20 years. As a kid, I had to serve my parent’s and learned to live with their rules. (My parents were strict and demanding, but they were not cruel), sometimes its rules were BLOCKED my emotional access to my parents. I could only express a sympathize to my parents.
Narcissist parents + child/children = INSTABILITY
It's not the type of thing we want to become; it was something that happens when we weren't paying attention to it. In fact, the only agreement about the “perfect” family is that none of us grew up in it, none holds to a common IDEAL anymore.
"You're not good enough"
“Artists, manipulators, sociopaths and dictators parents”
“Stop treats me like a kid”
"Parents always be the winner, at least in the public"
“Child was force to be crucified like Savior Saint-like behaviors” (Ezekiel 20:18)
"My mother wants to be the center of attention at-all-time"
"Obey me or I would punish you"
"Parents always find fault in their kid and it made me feel inadequate"
"Don't tell the outside world...pretend everything is fine"
"The self-esteem and self-confident was damage"
“Using brainwashing tactics to ensure kids to stays dependent upon parents’’
“Good in making others feel uncomfortable or often violates other’s boundaries”
"Parents need attention to control with little empathy"
“Parents always right, never apologize if there is something’s wrong”
"Care too much for public’s image. What would the Neighbors/ relatives/ friends/ others think toward us?"
“Living in ‘Fantasy Island’ in materialism, power, intelligence and beauty”
“Parents do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart” (Colossians 3:21)
“It was robbing childhood of my life because I was in troubles, un-peace & unsettle”
"Parents distort the concept of unconditional love"
These messages above were commonly used to describe the situation of the people who’d been grown up under the 'narcissistic style family'. There is little understanding between me & my parents, something’s so MESSES UP in a small family.
By the way, I had to take care of my parents, my parents were STILL my parents but I had to RE-CLAIMS my life as my own. Child had to create clear boundaries, since I was stuck in early primitive defenses and cannot go through the stage of normal separation from the parents that was necessary for growth. They love me, but usually too good in manipulation me and others by using 'GUILT' to get what he/she wanted in their legacy of love.
No amount of complaining made any difference, because the format of worst best friends were already LOCKED IN A PATTERN that they couldn't get out of. When I was teen, I felt I didn't need their advice any more as I had own good friends. We don't hate each other. (We're just sort of indifferent of some of their destructive behavior)
It was never easy to deal with the narcissistic parents in the family. Most of the times, my parents were typically critical, hypersensitive and judgmental. It's not easy though, to break down the walls I've depended on for decades. To avoid conflicts by staying together too long, be stand on the ground and limit the amount of time spent together was the best solution.
Even though it was almost always unconscious until now, when I grow up and had move-out and live separately from my old parent’s home for so long, but the feeling toward them still remains the same and repeat pattern in-my-conscious.
I often grow-up with the fear to disappoint my parents. There's no alternative (in some situation) I didn’t know how to deal with it, but the feelings and the messages towards me was about: These are common fears and vulnerable in the family. They are basically invisible. On the other hands, this set of rules allows the parents to have NO BOUNDARIES with me and to use and force me as parents.
Yet, we were all required the unconditional MATERNAL LOVE. In healthy families, the parents encouraged the children to be loving and close to each other child. Yet, in narcissistic families, children are grow up compete/against each other and taught competition. There is a constant comparison of who is doing better and who is not.
The fact of it is that as their child, I had to 'DEAL with the narcissistic parents', my parents and I didn't get along each other much. DAMAGE WAS DONE. I'm scared of their love and loss. I'm scared to ask for other's help and consultant, but even more I enjoyed putting my protective shield.
My parents were the last person I run to in a crisis. They were certainly the last person to whom I would tell a secret or problems, but lots of people tend to be that way. The truth is, the only person you have control over life is YOU. You can only cope and adapt until you are mature and move forward.
PS: Just wanna confess for blind faith for more than 20 years, I was enslaved by people in pleasing, pressure and perfectionism, but over the past years since I'd been gone, God had done some AMAZING WORK & TRANSITION in my life and my families. (Matthew 10:34-39)
Fortunately, there was not content to leave me in bondage. Cut-off the unwanted toxic behavioral chains. I'd learnt from some life lessons and seen answer prayers that I had nearly given up on ever seeing fulfilled burdens.
Thanks God for here I am, (Peter 2:1-25) in Christ. I may grow up into their SALVATION at the end-of-the-road.
At least, it’s me at present at least. (Not my parents' puppet) (Samuel 2: 27-30)
Photograph: My favorite book for Self-inspiration: The Good Enough Child: How to Have an Imperfect Family and Be Perfectly Satisfied Book. It’s about mother and father who place far too much pressure on children by Brad E. Sachs, PH.D (http://www.bradsachs.com/) It was featured on NBC's The Today Show, and was excerpted in Family Circle Magazine (Ref: http://www.familycircle.com/) E-mail Dr. Brad Sachs at email@example.com
Dr. Brad Sachs is a psychologist, speaker, educator and best-selling author specializing in clinical work with children, adolescents, couples, and families, in Columbia, Maryland, and the Founder and Director of The Father Center, a program designed to meet the needs of new, expectant, and experienced fathers. He is a graduate of Brown University, where he met his wife, Dr. Karen Meckler, a psychiatrist and medical acupuncturist, and together they raise their three teenaged children and two dogs in Columbia, Maryland.
Some books were entitled Emptying the Nest: Launching Young Adults Towards Success And Self-Reliance (Macmillan/St. Martin's, July, 2010). When No One Understands: Letters To A Teenager On Life, Loss, Ana The Hard Road To Adulthood and Things Just Haven't Been The Same: Making The Transition From Marriage To Parenthood. His books had been translated into numerous languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, German, and Danish.