This pathogen has a death-line.
It can turn in-or-out, to suicide or homicide, depending on a few features, it pivots.
This court-involved family conflict pathology has a death-line. It can emerge at four points, the most common is symbolic (i.e., the psychological death-disappearance of the parent from the child’s life).
The cutoff family structure following divorce isn’t a divorce it’s the death of a parent – a symbolic death, that’s the most common expression of the death-line in this court-involved variant of the pathogen.
But sometimes it can erupt into actual display. When it does, it has three possible locations, the narcissistic-father, the borderline-mother, or the child. A behavioral eruption of the pathogen’s death-line is immensely serious, it’s rare, but it’s immensely serious when it emerges.
The Narcissistic-Father Death-Line
The first location for the emergence of this pathogen’s death-line is with a narcissistic-psychopathic father – look for either paranoid features or jealousy delusions, and alcohol and drugs in that order, the first is narcissistic-jealousy risk the second is psychopathic-power risk.
Not common, psychopaths tend to not care and go away if disconnected. For the narcissist, it’s the collapse into their despair.
The directional flow of the death-line in the narcissistic-psychopathic variant is on a line from a homicide of the spouse that then spreads to the children on the way to the father’s suicide from anger and despair.
Rare, not typically how the pathogen turns and unlocks, to activate into violence requires a few features, but sometimes the death-line finds those features and activates on the narcissistic-psychopathic line.
I’d be concerned about jealousy delusions and paranoid delusions as elevated risk, and alcohol use for a collapse into narcissistic despair or drug abuse for collapse into psychopathic revenge and retaliation.
The Borderline-Mother Death-Line
The other risk on the death-line is from the borderline-spectrum mother. Again, rare, but it is a risk. For this variant it turns on the dimension of the mother’s psychological collapse into the emptiness and fear of abandonment.
A strong vulnerability to abandonment and mounting despair about the situation can provoke a collapse into a dark abyss of psychological fragmentation. If the despair is too dark it can provoke a suicidal response.
In this context, the directional flow of the suicide death-line is simply out from its source, and then collapsing back. In the narcissistic-psychopathic father variant, the death-line is homicide that lands on suicide as the final outcome. In the borderline-spectrum mother variant, the death-line is a suicide and it spreads to her children first, and then reaches its culmination in her, so that the father is left alive to suffer the loss of his children. A tragic drama display of pathology, she showed him, I’ll bet he’s sorry now. That’s the borderline-variant display of the death line.
The Child – Cutting
When the structure of the pathogen’s death-line emerges in the child it’s typically through cutting, sometimes it’s through a child threat of “suicide” if the child is “forced” (ACS-1) to be loved by the targeted parent.
When a child engages in cutting, look first to possible sexual abuse and molestation of the child. If the child is not a victim of sexual abuse, then look next for a borderline-spectrum mother.
If the allied parent is the father and the adolescent child is cutting – that means there is a strong sex abuse line in the father’s attachment networks, that likely carries a strongly sadistic line as well.
Cutting or any suicidal symptoms are on a sex abuse line, either directly or through rippling, the rippling through generations is what we call the narcissistic personality disorder and the borderline personality disorder.
If you see the death-line emerge in a child, look to the parent for pathogenic parenting, specifically an “invalidating environment” (Linehan).
The death-line on this pathogen’s structure is being expressed universally by all targeted parents in their symbolic “death” relative to their child.
It is a brutal and savage form of IPV spousal abuse, ex-spousal abuse, using the child as the weapon.
This isn’t a divorce, a parent died, the mother-child relationship, the father-child relationship, is gone. That’s horrific.
That’s not divorce, that’s the symbolic death of the parent.
When a parent dies, we grieve. Where’s the child’s grief response to the death of the child’s mother, the death of of the child’s father?
Where’s the grief? The child’s mother or father is essentially dead, where’s the child’s grief?
A: Cutting. The child has collapsed into a dark abyss, look to a borderline allied parent and an invalidating environment (Linehan) as the source of the pathology.
Craig Childress, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, PSY 18857
This pathogen has a death-line.