Narcisstic Pakistani Parenting
Majority of the Pakistanis will be able to relate when I say, we’re born in to the culture where we have to put our parents on the pedestals and treat them like royalty, no matter what they do – good or bad. If it is bad, talking about it or talking about them amounts to seditious libel. It is blasphemy and forbidden. No matter what the parents do, the bottom line is, at the end of the day the Pakistani mentality rules. We have to silently accept it and live suffocated and jarred lives.
Degree of suffocation differs from person to person, but every one of us suffers to some extent. Some suffer more, some suffer less; not to say that there aren’t healthy and happy relationships or families, there are, but that might be very rare. We might never know the exact details, because in Pakistani society and mentality, it is looked down upon to frown upon your parents and their actions.
We are meant to tolerate it all and live our lives without complaining.
The best thing about your Pakistani parents is, usually one of them will be suffering from malicious narcissism. Sometimes both of them. What is malicious narcissism? It is a psychological syndrome where there are a mix of different mental and psychological elements for instance narcissism, antisocial behaviour personality disorder, aggression and sadism.
Usually in Pakistani families, it is the father that is suffering from such a disorder, not to say there aren’t mothers that are like this; there are. This might be much more rampant than we think and each one of us are either going through something, are about to go through something, or we have gone through something at the hands of our parent(s).
Usually it is the daughters that are subjected to this narcissistic behaviour. Sometimes the sons too, but majority of the times it is the daughters; especially the eldest daughter. Sometimes it is so severe, that the eldest daughter might think to herself “I would have been appreciated more if I was born a son”. No amount of good behaviour or obedience will ever change someone that doesn’t want to be changed.
It is not your fault your parent is like that. They’re like that, because their nature is like that. Unfortunately, we have to put up with it all our lives. The guys separate themselves and live alone, or with their own family. However, because being a girl in Pakistani society comes with completely different dynamics, we’re bound to stay with our parents, unless we marry. That’s the only way to get rid of your woes, but that’s also not a sure fire way of getting rid of your troubles, because marriage means even more struggles and marriage in haste with a wrong person is chaos.
The girls that want to separate themselves from their family because their parents are making their lives miserable, are looked down upon, shamed, humiliated, embarrassed and dissed, all because they want to live their lives according to how they want to. If a Pakistani female wants to go abroad and live alone to get tertiary education, there are rumours in the extended family and people threaten her that no one will want to marry her. If she wants to live alone and work, when she comes back to visit her family no one might say it to her face, but everyone is thinking ‘’easy slut”.
People can’t seem to fathom why a girl would want to live alone or live her life the way she wants to. It is always a dictated life for her. She gets raised by her parents, until the point where they can in a way get ‘rid’ of her and then she gets married. Marriage is almost always on the cards, very rarely do parents allow their daughter(s) to go off and live the life that they want to. Even the pseudo liberals that support female education and women emancipation don’t expect their daughter(s) to live on their own. They can do whatever they want, as long as they return back to them, or live in the same household.
But why would a daughter want to live in the house where her dad or mum is exhibiting unappealing behaviour towards her? Why is it that the parents can say or do whatever they want and we just silently keep taking their behaviour? Why is it that the parents can shout at us, but we don’t even have a right to speak in front of them, let alone shout back? Respect for parents is one thing, but when your parent(s) are mentally torturing you and/or physically abusing you, it is quite another.
Malicious narcissism is a brutal and vicious thing. It might be difficult for people from functional families/backgrounds to understand why someone would want to cut off from their father or mother because they can’t take it anymore, but sometimes the situation is such that you just can’t take it anymore. Sometimes the circumstances that surround your life are so hard, that bearing with it is no longer an option that you entertain. Sometimes you want to distance yourself from your dysfunction family.
Intention behind distancing yourself temporarily for a few years, or permanently from your family forever, is to free up your mind from all the negative thoughts and issues that bog it down. Dealing with a narcissistic person is extremely hard work and it is much worse when it is your own father or mother. You hate it when they shout at you, when they find pleasure from making you feel down, when they smile after giving you pain or hurt etc. In the Pakistani society, we’re brought up and conditioned to believe that blood is always thicker than water and our parents are everything.
Well, blood isn’t always thicker than water.
If blood was thicker than water, our father or mother wouldn’t find gratification from causing us emotional or physical pain. This is sadism. Sadism is the tendency to drive pleasure from inflicting pain on someone. Sadism fuels narcissism. Narcissistic personalities like to boost and inflate their egos by putting down others, because it makes them feel powerful. Dealing with such an individual in your family, in the parent capacity means you’re always challenged and you have to rise to the occasion every single time. There is always friction between the parent and the offspring.
Wish this wasn’t the case, but this is how some families are. Where the father or mother, likes to physically abuse their children, or even just one child, amongst their offspring. That child is subjected to all kinds of torture. Screaming, shouting, physical hitting etc. The child tolerates it all its life until it can grow in to a self-sufficient independent adult that can move away from the abuse that he/she suffered at the hands of their parent(s). When the child grows up in to an adult, it is torn between the desires to finally let go and live their own life and the duties that it feels burdened by towards his/her parents.
In the Pakistani family, it is emphasised a lot on the children growing up and looking after their parents. It is unlike in the West where it is understood that the children will live their own lives once they reach College age and that the parents will have to fend off for themselves in their old age. When we’re brought up with that mind set and mentality that we will have to look after our parents once we become independent, it hinders our path to self-determined life that we imagine for ourselves. Emotionally exhausted, physically drained, generally abused, we are tired from dragging the baggage along with us everywhere and there comes a time when all we want to do is cut off from our parents.
Yes, parents give birth to us and raise us. But nowhere is it written that parents have the right to emotionally and physically abuse you. You can become parents by having a baby, but to be good parents, it takes much more than that.