Narcissists and Psychopaths Cause and Create Chaos
By creating chaos and confusion they are able to propel their agendas whilst making the victim appear, "crazy." This chaos and confusion is dangerous to children. Some parents share examples of behaviors and chaos that narcissists and psychopaths use and harm their children.
Narcissists and psychopaths manufacture chaos. In part, this is because they are not integrated and chaotic. They also most often were raised in chaotic environments that lacked structure and consistency. They have learned that by creating chaos and confusion, they are best able to portray their victims as "unstable." Normal people do not function well in chaos. Children thrive and crave structure. These folks intentionally create chaos in the lives of children, which lead to the children reacting in understandably negative ways.
We spoke to one Mother who went through years of narcissistic abuse before divorcing her husband. In her case, the courts intervened and took appropriate action to ensure the physical and emotional safety of the children. However, the children have been subjected to years of the narcissist's antics and abuse.
Due to the fact that narcissists operate only to fulfill their own desires, the majority of their behaviors and actions are not in the best interest of the children who they are not capable of responding to or parenting. Parenting involves responding to and putting the needs of a child as priority. This is not something that a narcissist is capable of doing. One mother shares some of the types of chaos her narcissistic, psychopath ex-husband caused.
Waking Victims Up in the Night
Whether this is done by arguing endlessly or simply waking up the victim repeatedly, eventually the victim experiences the physiological and emotional impact of sleep deprivation. I know of cases in which the narc woke up the target, and all of the children by turning on the lights and shutting off the air conditioners. This caused all of the toddlers to wake up crying. The mother, the primary target, spent many nights putting children back to sleep repeatedly, which meant she never slept herself. The narc would then claim it was the children who woke up the mother. This is gas lighting.
Creating Scheduling Problems or Interfering in Normal Routines Such as School, Assignments, or Scheduling Multiple Events at the Same time
This narc served multiple purposes in his chaotic scheduling. By being the person who scheduled, he created the illusion that he was a heavily involved father. The people in public, who saw him attending the children's events (although always on his phone for a significant amount of time) believed he was a hands-on father. What they did not know is that the absolute only time that he spent interacting with the children was while they were in public, outside of the home. While in the home, he abjectly ignored them, did not respond to them, even when they became hurt or sick, and was on his devices one hundred percent of the time, often in a room by himself. He refused to eat family meals with the children, and only sat with them at meals, outside of the home in restaurants, again show boating the false illusion of an involved parent. It would go without saying that people who saw this man in public with his children would never make the assumption that he only interacted with them in public. The general view from seeing the man in public so often with his children was that he was an involved and loving parent. This was false.
He scheduled more than one event at the same time.
This put the victim in a double bind. No matter which decision the victim made, she would later be accused of neglecting the event that she did not attend. It was not possible for the victim to be at all the events scheduled. He once scheduled a child's school conference at the same time that another child was in the hospital undergoing tests. He left the child in the hospital with the victim and then told the school administration that the mother had not bothered to attend. He told the same information to the judge in family court proceedings. Only the victim knew that in order to be at that school conference, she would have to leave her scared child, alone in the hospital to have medical tests without her present. Only someone without a conscience uses children as pawns to propel their agenda. The father appeared to be the "involved parent" at the school conference. The mother appeared to be disinterested. Both were lies, and both were orchestrated by the narcissistic father.
He created plans, particularly around visiting family that were not realistic, and would take a major toll on the children. For example he would plan to travel overseas with the children and visit with his family for one day out of an entire eight week trip. The visit with his family would be on the same day as an international flight, and would mean being able to spend only hours with his parents, and would necessitate a mad dash to the airport during rush hour traffic. He would benefit by being able to report that children visited his parents. No one would suspect that this "visit" during the summer holiday was four hours long, and at the end of an eight-week-long stay in the same country as his family. By rushing visits, jumping from place to place with the family, he would fulfill his public persona image, but the constant movement would take a toll on the children who would be tired, disoriented, and confused by the constant change in location.
Scheduling Problems as Parental Alienation
He would schedule the children to be on different teams during the time they spent with the target (Mother). The target would be left with a schedule in which one child had to be in one location, and another in a distant location, at the same time. The mother could not get the children to two locations at the exact same time. The children would become upset as they felt they were letting down their teams. While the mother struggled with the schedule created by the psychopath, he spent his Saturdays playing volleyball on a beach. The children took out their upset on the Mother who was set up to fail them.
Dividing and Conquering By Isolating Family Members From One Another
The father created rifts in the sibling bonds by separating the children from one another. Each child existed only in relation to him. The multiple sibling group shared no meals together, and spent no holidays together, including the major ones. He sent some of the children on vacations with people he barely knew, while other children were left in the home, unattended while he traveled himself. The goal of separating the children was to make his own life easier, not having to attend to them, and to perpetuate their isolation of the siblings. To further isolate the children, he did not celebrate any holidays or milestones at all, including the children's birthdays unless it involved a public event, such as a birthday party, in which he could gain public favor. Children consistently got the message that their worth was determined by how favorable their event, milestone, celebration, or birthday made the father look to people outside of the family.
Non-Payment of Child Support
Until a person's basic needs for food, shelter, medical treatment, housing, and education are met, they are not able to function properly. By refusing to pay for court ordered support, the narcissist puts the victims in a state of terror and forces them into "survival mode." This survival mode causes an increase of cortisol and fight or flight hormones. Over a prolonged period the body reacts harshly to the constant state of fight or flight hormones causing auto-immune diseases, fibromyalgia, and other chronic conditions. The same behaviors and other types of abuse cause PTSD, which compromises a person's ability to do basic and normal things, and can eventually cause physical problems.
Refusing Children's Medical Treatment and Doctor Shopping
By refusing to use a primary care pediatrician, the father was able to present new information to each new random doctor that he found. Children's medical illnesses went untreated, and he was alleviated from paying for the costs of treatment. For example, by bringing children to new and ever-changing doctors, he was able to deny the existence of chronic medical conditions. He simply brought the children in for consultations, but did not tell the Doctor about the pre-existing conditions.
In addition to being dangerous to the children's current and future health, this mode of operating is "magical thinking," and is found in children who are three to five years of age. Obviously this is medical neglect, which is a form of child abuse.
Narcissists learn that Doctors are mandated reporters of child abuse, and have the ultimate authority in determining children's medical conditions, diagnosis, and recommendations for treatment. This conflicts with their desire to pay for and secure medical treatment as it suits them. Therefore, they are often resistant to, and obstruct medical treatment and disrupt continuity of care for the children in their care.
Frequent Moves of Neighborhood, Home, Job, Friends
By constantly shifting everything in the children's lives, they are unable to form roots, feel secure, or be part of a community. This disrupts their sense of identify, and causes them to live in a state of anxiety. Narcissists are known to shift the people and places they live, work, and frequent. Their masks do not last, and once they are aware that they have not fooled the people around them, they move onto another unsuspecting group. The actions that they take and their movements serve only one purpose, and that is to meet their needs. Their greatest need is to preserve their mask and to appear favorable to others. The children get caught in the crossfire. They are unable to make any decisions for people aside from themselves.
Enabling and Supporting Maladaptive Behaviors in Children
This is dangerous. One mother describes how her narcissistic husband bought violent video games for her ten-year-old son and installed a Play Station in his room. The child was encouraged to play Grand Theft Auto for hours each day, alone in his room. The same father appeared as "super Dad" at the child's school. Another Mother describes how her ex-husband encouraged the children to exhibit unsafe online behavior, posing in their underwear in public forums. Yet another parent describes how his former wife allowed the children to swim in the sea unattended by adults. In each scenario, the parent claimed they were unaware of the activities of the children. They clearly missed the concept that parents are responsible for supervision of the children in their care. In each situation, the children were ultimately put into safer situations.
In any of these scenarios, the children involved will be confused, rejected, sad, lonely, and would feel unworthy. In order to for these feelings to not lead to lifelong problems with self esteem, depression, drug use, chronic health problems, and potentially suicide, people need to become more educated on narcissistic abuse, as it relates to children—and greater actions needs to be taken, and more quickly, to ensure the safety of children.