Monday, May 9, 2011
If we believe that Casey Anthony was involved in the death of her daughter Caylee and we believe her parents either know this or have further information that would help build a case against her, they sure aren’t talking.
Many mothers ask, “How could Cindy Anthony protect the murderer of her innocent granddaughter?” Cindy Anthony’s narcissism is the how and the why. Cindy needs to protect her own self-image as the mother of a possible child killer. Her overwhelming narcissism would not allow her to ever reveal what she may know because she would never be able to cope with the public seeing her as a “bad” mother.
The allegations of sexual abuse by Casey against her brother, Lee, and her father, George, would make sense given the volatility of their family. What I see clinically with Cindy Anthony is a portrait of a narcissistic and self-involved mother who has been trying to control those around her for many years. Her anger and rage is palpable when we see her in interviews, whether with police detectives or the media at large.
Let’s face it; this family has been fighting since it was revealed that little Caylee was missing. They have continued to be volatile with each other and create chaos, even outside the chaos of losing a child. Casey and her parents not only disagreed how to handle the memorial and funereal of Caylee, but while she was alive they were in a constant struggle for power and control over their daughter and their granddaughter. As a psychologist, the manner in which they have conducted themselves at each of these critical moments is a reflection of how they managed as a family prior to little Caylee turning up missing. Secretive, deceptive and rageful seem to be the themes constantly swirling within the Anthony household.
Cindy and Casey have had a challenging and disconnected relationship for a long time. They seemed to be fighting over Caylee even while she was alive. In reports, Cindy forced Casey to keep the baby when Casey would rather have terminated or adopted out. It seems that Cindy used her granddaughter as a further way to shame and guilt her own daughter Casey to either behave responsibly or to use her as a weapon in the war of “I do so much for you” game that parents like this often find themselves waging against their children.
Cindy appears to be a controlling and difficult mother, and if true, her reaction to Casey about being sexually abused by her brother, a narcissistic and dispassionate mother as well. According to Casey, when she shared with her mom about the abuse, she said, “That is why you are such a whore!” I must say, I am not shocked by Cindy's response. This can often be the reaction of the family when sexual abuse is revealed. It is so overwhelming, they often would rather deny than deal with it directly and effectively.
It seems that Casey is a pathological liar and clinically appears to have elements of borderline personality disorder. When looking at people who develop these personality structures, we often find behind them was a parent--whether mother or father--who was extremely narcissistic as well.Tweet