Thursday, May 26, 2011

The lack of sexual boundaries

Apparently, many narcissistic parents exhibit a disturbing disregard for sexual boundaries in their growing children. They are naked in front of their pubescent child of the opposite sex or walk in on them when they are changing. They bathe their children until a late age or shower with them. I don't believe family members being naked in front of each other is a bad thing at all provided it makes no one uncomfortable.

That appears to be the point for narcissistic parents. It's like they want to push the boundaries and make their growing children uncomfortable and get a protest from them ("Dad, I'm naked in here!") because they want to reply to that protest ("Oh, come on, you're my child, I changed you when you were a baby!") in a way that shows that the narcissist's child always remains the narcissist's child.

His CHILD. Not a budding, soon-to-be adult developing healthy boundaries.

HIS child. His property, an extension of his body.


  1. Acknowledgement: The insight was Lisa's

  2. Ug.

    This post reminds me of the story I heard about NMIL's boob "accidentally" popping out in front of DH's best friend when they were adolescents. Eew.

  3. I'm late to the party, but....

    I have a NGrandfather (and an NMom, same side).

    I have been practically estranged from NGrandfather for years by virtue of living in another city and not being close to his daughter (my NMom). He ends up in the hospital. I go alone to visit him (I'm an adult now, what's the harm?). What does he do?! EXPOSES his genitalia to me, SOLELY to shock and horrify me. When I recoil and look away, he mocks me for not being able to 'handle' stuff, despite this being my 'field' of study (it's not - it's SO not! I'm not sure if that's what he actually believes or just a convenient excuse!).

    As if this wasn't bad enough, this monster, who OFTEN criticized and/or commented on my physicality while in my teens (typically vague, but usually slightly congratulatory re: "keeping off slim and not getting 'fat and ugly'!"), grabbed and squeezed my buttocks during THE FAMILY PHOTO TAKEN AT MY WEDDING.

    He knew I couldn't say a word then and there! This 80-something, frail, wobbly old man who had never crossed that 'sexual abuse' line waited 'til the opportunity was ripe. Either that, or he thought he'd make sure he'd laid 'claim' to the bride.

    It's my opinion that ALL narcissists, my mother included, feel your "sexuality" is also their property. I was once accused of masturbation (laughed at and had it publicized around the house) when my mom burst into my room without knocking. And the really sad thing? I was dealing with that 'area' of my body - something that shouldn't surprise her, seeing I was receiving medical treatment for the injuries sustained as the result of a sexual assault by a babysitter - a sexual assault she never reported. But that's a whole other can of worms!

    She also made a huge and weird and disproportionate fuss when I first began my period. There was something about my 'junk' that seems to be more interesting to her than it should.

    Maybe the narcissists who AREN'T already sex offenders are terribly curious about all things sexual because it's the one boundary that society won't justify their crossing of. And maybe it makes it all the more tempting to them to cross the line, sexual fetish or not.

  4. This makes a lot of sense, now that I think about it. My mother was very ashamed of her own body, and I never saw her naked after the age of 2 or 3. However, she frequently made comments about my body. She sadly noted that my budding breasts were looking like they would be larger than hers, as if that was something I should either be proud of or ashamed of. Whatever. She also started "confiding" in me about the kind of "lover" my dad was with her, beginning from when I was about twelve. She regaled me with stories of his style, his size, and his perversions. I was and am still horrified. I wish I could scrub my memories with a steel wool pad to get rid of the horrible mental images she planted there. She continues to do this, as recently as a couple of months ago, no matter how disgusted I appear or how many times I tell her not to tell me such things. So, while she did not flaunt her body, she had verbal diarrhea about her sexual escapades and promiscuity, and she violated my own personal boundaries by commenting on my body in weird ways.

  5. I just noticed this post and HOO BOY was there a lot of sexual boundary-crossing in my NFOO. The kind of thing that also gets called "covert sexual abuse". My Nmother was frequently naked, wouldn't close the bathroom door when she was on the toilet, and had no qualms about groping me between the legs. (I don't know if she also did this with my sister, but as my sister was the scapegoat, she probably did, and possibly worse.) When Nstepfather came on the scene, he was frequently in nothing but his underwear. Ngrandfather has a problem keeping his hands off my breasts, to the point that if I'm ever alone with him I make sure I'm physically well out of reach.

    Of course, if I were to mention any of this to the NFOO, I would get shouted down, accused of making up lies, etc. What a bunch of useless wastes of space they all are.

  6. Yeesch. I'm late to this as well. Dad was the only male in the house and anything regarding sexuality was NEVER "discussed." Until my MN "Mother" confided in me when I was somewhere between about 7/8 yrs. old that my father was impotent. Now remember, this was LOOONNG before the days of "dueling bathtub" ED commercials etc. and I had no clue what she was talking about. Since I had been well-trained to "Look it up" any time I didn't know what a word meant, I tried to look this word up in the dictionary. Any idea how tough that word is for a kid that age? Hmm, is it "I-M.." or "I-N" so it took awhile. I still didn't get it at all. So I pulled out the Merck Manual (it was a medical reference book) and between the two finally sort of figured it out.
    I remember sitting on the stairs with the dictionary kind of balanced on one knee, the Manual on the other and just slamming them shut, putting my face in my hands and thinking, "Oh no...I just don't want to know about this stuff...."
    Getting my first period was a nightmare. Since there were no discussion of sex and I attended a Catholic School, there was a terrifying, hissed threat: "Don't you DARE come home PREGNANT!" I was convinced I would have been killed had pregnancy occurred.

  7. This is a late comment, I know. I've been estranged from my parents for almost half my lifetime now, and after reading blogs like this I do think my mother was a narcissist; there were certainly some sexual boundaries crossed, though not to the point of full-fledged molestation. I've been looking for online support groups for adult children estranged from parents, but can't find any that are secular, rather than religion-focused. Do you know of any?

    1. CODA- Codependents Anonymous--does a great job helping work through childhood bs like living with narcissistic parents. You'll discover how you've been affected and take steps to heal.

  8. Hi there. I relate to this so much,. I have a blog too actually. I write about this. The last page is where it starts. These types of things was actually what my first entry was about... So sad and sickening to my stomach. Yet I love my dad so much... I need help. Supporting you 100%. Blessings. ♥


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