Helping kids with parental divorce or separation

The  possible  personality  disorder  traits  of  the  pathological  parent  that  are  displayed  in  the   symptom  presentation  of  the  child  include  the  following:

DSM-­IV  TR  Borderline  Criterion  2:    “A  pattern  of  unstable  and  intense  interpersonal   relationships  characterized  by  alternating  between  extremes  of  idealization  and   devaluation”     (Childress:  the  child  perceives  the  narcissistic-­‐pathological  parent  as  the  “all-­‐good”   idealized  parent  and  the  normal-­‐healthy  rejected-­‐abandoned  parent  as  the  “all  bad”   devalued  parent.    The  child  displays  extreme,  black-­‐and-­‐white,  thinking)

DSM -­IV  TR  Narcissistic  Criterion  7:    “Lacks  empathy,  is  unwilling  to  recognize  or   identify  with  the  feelings  and  needs  of  others”   (Childress:  the  child  shows  a  surprisingly  callous  disregard  for  the  feelings  of  the   targeted  rejected-­‐abandoned  parent)

DSM -­IV  TR  Narcissistic  Criterion  5:  “Has  a  sense  of  entitlement,  i.e.,  unreasonable   expectations  of  especially  favorable  treatment  or  automatic  compliance  with  his  or  her  expectations”

(Childress:  the  child  has  an  expectation  of  special  treatment  from  the  targeted   rejected-­‐abandoned  parent,  and  will  retaliate  toward  the  rejected-­‐abandoned   parent  if  these  entitlement  expectations  are  not  met.    The  child  uses  the  failure  by   the  targeted  rejected-­‐abandoned  parent  to  meet  these  entitlement  expectations  as   justification  for  the  child’s  rejection-­‐abandonment  of  that  parent)

DSM -­IV  TR  Narcissistic  Criterion  1:    “Has  a  grandiose  sense  of  self-­‐importance”   (Childress:  the  child  sits  in  judgment  of  the  targeted  rejected-­‐abandoned  parent,  and   judges  that  parent  to  be  inadequate  as  a  person.    This  represents  an  inversion  of  the   normal  parent-­‐child  hierarchy  in  normal  family  processes,  in  which  parents  judge   children’s  behavior  as  appropriate  or  inappropriate  and  take  suitable  supportive  or   corrective  parental  action)

DSM -­IV  TR  Borderline  Criterion  8:  “Inappropriate,  intense  anger  or  difficulty   controlling  anger  (e.g.,  frequent  displays  of  temper,  constant  anger,  recurrent  physical   fights)”   (Childress:  the  child  is  verbally  abusive  toward  the  targeted  rejected-­‐abandoned   parent  that  “takes  the  form  of  oral  vituperation  and  argumentativeness.    This  may   be  seen  in  a  flow  of  irrational  and  caustic  comments  in  which  [the  targeted  rejected-­‐ abandoned  parent  is]  upbraided  and  denounced  as  stupid  and  beneath  contempt”)

DSM -­IV  TR  Borderline  Criterion  6:    “Affective  instability  due  to  a  marked  reactivity  of  mood  (e.g.,  intense  episodic  dysphoria,  irritability,  or  anxiety  usually  lasting  a  few  hours  and  on ly  rarely  more  than  a  few  days)”   (Childress:  the  child  may  display  intense  episodic  anxiety  (or  sadness,  or  anger)  at   the  scheduled  transfer  of  visitation-­‐custody  to  the  targeted  rejected-­‐abandoned   parent)

DSM -­IV  TR  Paranoid  Criterion  1:    “Suspects,  without  sufficient  basis,  that  others  are   exploiting,  harming,  or  deceiving  him  or  her”   (Childress:  the  child  reports  that  the  targeted  rejected-­‐abandoned  parent  is  abusive   in  some  way.    The  specifics  are  typically  vague  or  superficial  and  are  not  compelling,   reflecting  the  paranoid  origins  of  the  belief,  i.e.,  “without  sufficient  basis”)

DSM -­IV  TR  Paranoid  Criterion  5:    “Persistently  bears  grudges,  i.e.,  is  unforgiving  of   insults,  injuries,  or  slights”   (Childress:  the  child  staunchly  and  inflexibly  maintains  grudges  against  the  targeted   rejected-­‐abandoned  parent,  and  is  entirely  and  inflexibly  unforgiving  regarding   what  the  child  perceives  as  past  wrongs  done  by  the  targeted  rejected-­‐abandoned   parent.  This  process  includes  the  grandiose  judgment  by  the  child  of  the  rejected-­‐ abandoned  parent  as  fundamentally  inadequate  as  parent,  for  which  the  child  then   expresses  a  continued  righteous  justification  for  retaliating  toward  the  judged parental failure)

DSM-­IV  TR  Paranoid  Criterion  3:    “Is  reluctant  to  confide  in  others  because  of   unwarranted  fear  that  the  information  will  be  used  maliciously  against  him  or  her”   (Childress:  the  child  withholds  self-­‐disclosures  from  the  targeted  rejected-­‐ abandoned  parent.  The  child  may  not  engage  in  normal-­‐range  reporting  on  daily   events  or  disclose  to  the  targeted  rejected-­‐abandoned  parent  regarding  school   events  or  extracurricular  activities  and  interests)

DSM -­IV  TR  Paranoid  Criterion  4:    “Reads  hidden  demeaning  or  threatening  meanings   into  benign  remarks  or  events”   (Childress:  the  child  quickly  over-­‐reacts  to  perceived  slights  from  the  targeted   rejected-­‐abandoned  parent,  and  may  become  excessively  angry,  evidenced  in   “arrogant  grandiosity  characterized  by  verbal  attacks  and  bombast”  and  “a  flow  of   irrational  and  caustic  comments  in  which  upbraided and denounced as stupid and beneath contempt)

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