12 thoughts on “Danger, Will Robinson: Paranoiac Parents

  • March 9, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Oh my gosh! My husband LOVES to lecture on safety and potential dangers. I never considered it part of his narcissism though. When it goes too far I have to step in, because we have a child with an anxiety disorder. When we went to Disney, as part of “planning our trip” he researched articles on all the most horrific accidents that have ever happened there, and continually warned us. Amazingly, none of us were decapitated or tried to dismount a moving ride, and we came through unscathed. It’s SO hard not to laugh at him sometimes, but it’s also really frustrating. We can’t go anywhere or do anything without an extensive set of warnings and what to do if… Also I have to continually coach our high anxiety child in what’s reasonable to fear. Then my husband gets mad at me because I undermine him and he escalates his warnings, sometimes getting really graphic and showing videos of things that are completely age-inappropriate.

    • March 9, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      …and of course this is all under the guise of his love and care for us. Because what’s more loving than scaring the bejeezes out of your children?

      • March 9, 2016 at 5:15 pm

        Oh…I never thought of it that way before! You’re right!

        And when I told Mother how she was scaring me, she’d always say, “Oh, I don’t mean to scare you!” very surprised-like. “I just want you to be wise!”

        My … nevermind.

    • March 9, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      I hear ya! Sounds like how I was raised. The thing is…it backfires. Going thru life with that twist of fear in the gut has made me less prepared to be spontaneous in reaction to true danger. I used to freeze…until trying to keep my hyper-active puppy alive taught me how to just relax and react.

      In my mother’s case, I think she partly uses her “safety” hang-up to justify her agoraphobia. By making the world so, so dangerous, it buoys her sadness about rarely leaving her own home.

      Thanks for the comment!

      ~ Lenora

  • March 10, 2016 at 3:45 am

    Reminds me of my paranoiac mother… one of the many things I had to put up with on a daily basis:

    Afraid the dishes not being cleaned properly, mother would make sure the sink was full of scalding HOT water and adequate dish liquid for me to clean by hand. The water would burn me through the gloves.

    I would try to busy myself to give the water enough time to cool down. Mother would start screaming at me to get on with it, and that my hands would get use to the heat. I would stand at the sink and cry because the water was burning me – mother would continue screaming at me, eventually the emotional pain from her yelling and critercising outweighed the physical pain so I would ‘pick’ at the dishes – even holding them out of the water burnt like a mother f’er.

    This is one of the examples of how patterns for self harm were taught to me; LONG before I started to self harm. Physical harm will numb emotional pain + if your bad (for whatever ridiculous reason) you deserve to be hit (physical pain)= self harm.

  • March 10, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Paranoia in this case sounds like displacement–if you can’t deal with your actual fears, deal with ones you can.

    • March 10, 2016 at 7:15 am

      Interesting! Thanks for the comment.

      ~ L

  • March 10, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Dear Lenora and Friends, a friend calls ’em “safety natzis.” When i was about seven, i brushed against a high-chair sitting in the aisle-way at a fast-food restaurant. Wow, did i get a lecture about almost knocking over that chair’s occupant – and my folks getting sued. Came away from that drama (i just brushed against) with the mindset that parents really didn’t love their kids, parents were just fixing to make money. A stern but loving “be careful, slow down” would have been sufficient.

    • March 10, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      Wow! What a story! I was barely allowed to hold babies, with Mom hovering to “catch the baby when you drop it.” That so inspired confidence for the day I’d become a mom. Not!

      Thanks for commenting!

      ~ L

  • March 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    This is actually really sad. My sister is possibly paranoid to this extent. She had an awful childhood where she never ever could feel safe or protected, including being molested two different times. (Our narcissistic parents were the type who were totally wrapped up in their own lives and left us to fend for ourselves.) I think there is a feeling of being under siege by all the dangers of the world, it can be overwhelming and nonsensical.

    • March 18, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you for your comment, Shy. It is indeed sad to get the message that life is merely for “surviving,” and not for living, despite the risk of “Danger, Will Robinson.” I’m so done with living fearfully!

      ~ Lenora


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