Mommy is a Psychopath! How parental mental illness impacts the children.
also known as Sociopaths, have personality disorders, characterized by their use of charm, manipulation, deception, and lack of remorse for their continual vomiting of cruelty towards others. They tend to ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving their playing field littered with massive chaos and destruction and they maintain a grandiose sense of entitlement. "They selfishly take what they want, and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret (Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.)." Because Psychopaths are master manipulators and typically wear cloaks of deceipt to mask their true identity, it is often difficult to recognize them, unless you have the great misfortune of living in their household. It is their immediate family members that are able to see inside of their real world, however, it is the immediate family members who are manipulated the most; and their world of chaos soon becomes their norm. Psychopaths choose their prey very carefully. Some typical characteristics of
The types of people they choose as mates or potential victims
include: lonely (often re-bounding from a hurtful relationship or not currently involved in a satisfying relationship), financially stable, have good credit, believe in the basic goodness of others, do not consider themselves very attractive or have a lower self-esteem, enjoy helping others, are not street-wise, are typically very nice people, and believe in honoring their commitments. They choose people with these characteristics because they are easy to manipulate, thus the psychopath is able to more easily con them into both believing they are someone else and that they are less than they think they are. Before long, they are able to convince their mates that they need them in their lives; they classically will build them up and then start tearing them down.
Psychopaths have a Master Plan
which is to train you into believing they are right and you are wrong, to control and isolate you so that close friends and family members are not around to expose their cracks, and to then use you to elevate their own miserable life. When they have finished beating you down, you are easily cast aside and become their biggest enemy, and your biggest nightmare. People that finally are able to muster up the strength to separate from the Psycho, have described their experience as having looked into the eyes of Satan. If they are lucky, they are able to exit the relationship without children. However, a psychopath's web of deception is so cleverly spun, that many times having children and stringing along the relationship with false love and hope is part of their masterplan, with the ultimate goal of getting as much from their victim as possible, by any and all means necessary.
Children are negatively affected in many ways.
They experience the grave dysfunction from infancy, thus tend to believe that their home life is normal. Psychopaths tend to isolate their victims from normal and loving people, thus it becomes difficult for their children to understand that what they continually live with is far from normal. Psychopaths tend to be very controlling and emotionally flat. They will only accept their own warped standards, and will insist that every body else live by them. When the family members resist, then the psychopath snaps, making their lives a living hell. Children become scapegoats and tend to believe that they are causing many of the problems in the household. In turn, they tend to grow up to have anxiety disorders and lower self-esteem. Parents that are psychopaths are usually overly attached, viewing their kids as their personal objects and overly involved in their children's lives. They are very controlling, and when the child begins resisting their overbearing control, the psycho parent will, in turn, make their lives a living hell, using harsh punishment in order to bring them back under their control. The punishment will not fit the crime, as the crime is all conjured up in their sick mind. They cannot allow people to be "normal," as they have a need to manipulate them and mold them into exactly whom they want them to be.
As a result of the constant abuse (whether it be emotional cruelty or cross over to physical abuse), approximately 25% of the children end up with mental illness themselves, at least to some degree (anxiety disorders , depression, or become psychopaths themselves). Many children of psychopaths become very angry, raging, and begin striking out at others or turn to self-injury (S. Van Volkingburgh, MSW, 2004).
The best thing that one can do is run as far away from a Psychopath as one can, as fast as possible, without looking back.
If that is impossible, because children are involved, it is very important that the following occurs:
1. The sane parent must leave the Psychopath in order to try to save the children, as well as themselves. It is the only way that the children will have the opportunity to be exposed to normalcy and it is the only way that the children will have a safe haven.
2. Ensure that the children know what to do if their Psychotic parent makes them feel unsafe (i.e. threatens them with physical harm or actually becomes violent).
3. Ensure that the children have phone numbers for responsible adults, in the event that you cannot be reached in a time of crisis.
4. Make sure that the children understand that their other parent has a problem that they cannot solve, and a problem that is NOT their fault.
5. Explain, cautiously, that they cannot make their parent better, but that you can make sure they are safe.
6. Document and follow-up on issues that concern them about the other parent; do not hesitate to report abuse (both emotional and physical) to Child Protective Services, especially if it is severe. It is better to protect the child's present and their future than to hide the abuse and have the child become an adult mental health statistic.
7. Make sure that for every unkind, negative and demeaning word they hear from their psych parent, that you counter it with love, encouragement and praise. It is your job as their parent to lift them up so that they do not crash down.
8. Do whatever you have to do to protect them and give them the best life possible; if you could no longer survive with the Psychopath, do not expect that they will be able to.
9. Seek therapy as needed, for every one that needs it. You will need to acquire new tools so that you never place yourself in a positon of vulnerability again.
10. Help your children identify a normal, loving relationship so that they will have less risk of accepting the same type of relationship for themselves.
There is not a cure or a magic pill for a Psychopath. Their brains are not wired correctly and they will not accept help. They enjoy snaring their next prey after they have destroyed and dumped their old one.
Value your life enough to muster up the strength to move on. Protect your children so that they have a chance for the peace and normalcy that they undoubtedly deserve.
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~Janine Woods, R.N.~
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