Monday, May 9, 2011

The Curse of a Narcissistic Mother: Cindy Anthony


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.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I certainly agree that the Anthonys appear to be dysfunctional to the point of giving other dysfunctional families a bad name, I fully understand why they wont help the state in building a case against their own daughter. Even if she is guilty of killing Caylee. We protect our children no matter what they do - I personally couldn't image any set of circumstances where I would abandon my daughter or allow anybody (including the state) to harm her.

Casey is on trial for her life and whether or not she killed Caylee punishing her will not bring back the little girl. So they can basically choose between losing only a granddaughter or losing a granddaughter AND a daughter. As a parent who wouldn't pick the former choice?

cheryl said...

Methinks someone has missed the whole point of the article.

I was not, thankfully, born into a family with "not my little angel" type parents. I knew some though. Publicly they were one happy family, but behind closed doors...

My parents believed in consequences for every action, whether good or bad. It sounds cliche, but as a 5 year old who stole a friend's Barbie doll, I was made to bring it back, apologize to my friend and her parents. It was treated seriously, not as a "kids will be kids" kind of thing.

There are plenty of examples of parents "turning in" their children for serious crimes. It doesn't mean you stop loving your child, but that they realize their child needs to be stopped.

Perry said...

Just like you, Cheryl, I was made to return to the drugstore where I had taken five pretty colored erasers and admit what I had done. I learned a strong lesson and that was what my mother should have done. My life of crime was short-lived.

However, my parents had a different set of standard for my brothers, and they were protected at any cost no matter the deed or transgression. Not surprisingly they both have extensive arrest records that include everything from violation of controlled substance acts, drunk driving, burglaries and armed robbery.

True, nothing will bring Caylee back. Still, Caylee deserves justice, people need to aware that murdering a child - yes, even your own - must be punished. And seriously, if you believed your grandchild died cruelly at the hands of their mother, your own child, how could you sleep soundly again?

Laura said...

I think Cindys initial call to 911 was the most honest she has been in this whole case. I am a mother of 2 sons, 21 and 22 and if I thought they had committed an act of violence..God help me or murder..I would not protect them.

Anonymous said...

True, the crime in question is horrible beyond belief but even so I simply cannot imagine a situation where I would assist the authorities in locking away my own child for life or worse. If Casey was a dangerous serial killer it would be an entirely different matter but in this case it would only serve to compound an already very bad situation.

Think about it - who would benefit from executing Casey? Certainly not Caylee. Not Casey herself (no point in "learning a lesson" if you're never going to have the opportunity to apply it anyway). And not the Anthony's either. Only society, in so far that she is punished as a deterrent to others. And as a parent I could never take part in delivering my own child to the scaffold for society to use for setting an example. Casey clearly has some mental issues but the authorities aren't planning on helping her - they intend to tear her to shreds.

Things has gone so far that Cindy can no longer protect her daughter even if she wants to but surely nobody will expect a mom to actively assist in her own daughters demise. Cindy Anthony probably is everything that dr. Golland says she is - I have no doubt about that - but the refusal to help deliver her own child to the wolves is not madness or narcissism. It's a normal parental reaction. We love them no matter what.

Anonymous said...

I have been curious as to why Casey refuses to see her parents... and has not seen them for several years now. Can anyone enlighten me? thanks.

Queen Mary said...

Interesting piece, I'm very interested in the narcissistic parent as God has blessed me with two of them. Two different therapists have exclaimed at stories I thought were normal, that my mother is the most narcissistic person they have ever heard of! It seems the narcissist is the most resistant to therapy so they don't change. I'd definitely be interested in a more in depth discussion on the topic.

A Voice of Sanity said...

Laura said: I am a mother of 2 sons, 21 and 22 and if I thought they had committed an act of violence..God help me or murder..I would not protect them.

Throwing them into the fetid swamp of corruption and brutality which is the US legal system is more cruel than throwing them into a lake of alligators, as many have found out to their cost.

Cathy Scott said...

Great debut post, Michelle -- thought-provoking yet sensitive. To me, Cindy Anthony's narcissism has gotten in the way of any reasonable actions she might have otherwise taken.

When my son was 11 years old, we were at the supermarket and he put a couple of pieces of candy in his pocket. I quietly took him to the store manager and had him tell the manager what he'd done. The manager talked to him and explained why it was wrong and how much theft cost customers and stores. It was the best lesson he could have gotten. Who knows, if more severe, what any parent would do. But Cindy's responses have been inconsistent from the get-go.

Anonymous said...

In your case the store manager did your son a favor by teaching him a useful lesson Cathy - however I imagine you would have seen it differently if he had pulled a gun and shot your son or locked him away for good. That is the dilemma facing Cindy Anthony. Casey is not about to be "taught a lesson" - she is about to be destroyed for good. And I don't see how anybody can fault a mom for refusing to take part in the destruction of her own child.

Anonymous said...

I have wondered about prior sexual abuse... we never knew who Caylee's father was. There were vague reports that he was dead, but nobody ever really knew. She is a very dramatic young woman who uses symbolism a lot: her tatoo, the heart over the duct tape: What about: Zannie the Nanny = Xanax to keep the child sedated so she could party and what about Caylee= Casey + Lee= Caylee

marybowman said...

Anonymous is reaching. Why are we assuming that Casey is telling the truth about the sexual abuse? This is the same woman with the nanny who didn't exist and the job she never held down.

SeekingTruthandJustice said...

I must say I have been enjoying this dialogue. I came from a VERY unhealthy sick and disfunctional home. I acted out in many ways that were criminal. Thank God I was able to seek professional help to direct my pain through a healing and professional manner.("My choice") I have some compassion for all of the family members. Even for Casey. Denial runs deep in sick familys. Though I must say until the truth of all this demented and twisted pain is revealed...... there will never be peace for Caylee's injustice and all of each person's twisted and demented ways can be healed. When this case is played out through the court system..... we pray that the TRUTH and JUSTICE prevails for Caylee's careless and senseless death. Yes, many people are at fault in this family. But, no one made Caylee's demise happen all by itself. The facts are showing their faces by all the unstable family illness which lies in the depths of all the Anthony's family traits and sickness. May GOD BLESS the Jury, the Judge, the Facts of the case. That JUSTICE and the TRUTH prevail! If Casey is found guilty I believe that she will not get the death penalty. As any Psychiatric evaluation will certainly show a major mental illness which is underlying in her brain and unhealthy behavioral influence. A VERY VERY LONG PRISON Sentence would certainly follow. Not life in prison. As it was not premeditated murder as this case will show. They would be better off trying to strike a deal of lower years in prison. Just my humble opinion. Though maybe the prosecution nor the defense will come to terms with a solution of time in prison. It will be a VERY interesting trial. By the way... my father was a VERY VERY SICK Attorney with much mental illness in his life which influenced my own demise. He died in his own denial and never got help. Many of the Anthony's family may never get help either! Food for thought! Healing is a choice too! Unless ones Brain is VERY DAMAGED!

marybowman said...

No argument at all that the entire Anthony family is dysfunctional. They could teach courses. However, I do have two questions for the SeekingTruthandJustice poster. 1. How can you refer to Caylee's death as "careless?" 2. What do you see as healing?

Sus said...

What proof is there that Casey's brother was abusing her? Where in the records is it? I don't think Caylee's death is Cindy Anthony's fault. I believe Casey caused Caylee's death either by neglect (drowning) or by drugging her.

Sus said...

Nevermind, I'm reading Casey's prison letters. Unbelievable. If by a miracle she is found innocent, how is she going to face her family after the vile things she accused them of. Disgusting!

Anonymous said...

I have had a terrible murder happen to a family member in a home invasion gone wrong. Thank God the guilty are now in jail for life. I do believe in the death penalty and would have preferred that instead. I know it will not bring my loved one back but I believe that "what a man sows he shall also reap." Although believe it or not I have in my heart forgiven these men but also feel alot better that they are put away no matter whose sons they were, because they had no right to take my family member away from us by wanting to steal and then kill and then try to evade justice. I think it is interesting how they started with a home invasion and ended up murdering. Whether some people think that Casey Anthony is not a threat to society, I beg to differ. She has never shown remorse and I don't buy into the theory that because she has never killed before they should go easy on her (it sounds like the time when Richard Grund confronted Cindy about Casey Anthony stealing money from Jesse and Cindy's response was "It was only one time." That is ridiculous! So some argue that they should "lighten" up on Casey Anthony because "she's only killed one time!" Give me a break. That precious little toddler should have been protected and I blame this whole family for this. I hope when the jury sees the autopsy report with the three pieces of duct tape over her little skull and then look over and Casey Anthony showing no emotion (except for herself) they give her the needle and if that doesn't happen good luck in general population.

California Girl said...

Several thoughts. Lee has been shown not to be Caylee's father per DNA - this came out in the press over a year ago.
As for Cindy. Trying to save your offspring from this so called "cesspool" of the legal system is one thing. I think we saw the "real" Cindy when she was interviewed by Zenaida's attorney. Particularly horrifying was her behavior when asked for Caylee's hairbrush. What grandparent wouldn't want to provide anything that would identify their missing grandchild? Her behavior has been at best childish but more likely pathological.
And not to offend anyone in helping professions because not all of the folks in those
are like that, but there do seem to be many people in nursing that have
control issues. And Cindy has been a nurse all her life.

marybowman said...

I completely agree with Sus and California Girl.

SeekingTruth&Justice said...

To: marybowman's Question.....

....... With regard to how I see Caylee's death as careless:

In that all the family members play a role in providing love, care and support in raising a child in this world. Yes, it takes a family and sometimes a village to raise a child. It is obvious that they ALL PLAYED A ROLE in NOT providing enough protection, healthy roles and proper love and support for Caylee. To prevent the danger, abuse and destructiveness that Caylee endured from her mother. (Casey)
They all played different distructive roles in that there is a failed level of responsibility morally. Even though legally they ALL are NOT held to the same legal level of responsibility in caring for and protecting innocent little Caylee. THEY ALL FAILED TERRIBLY to some degree........

Example: in some disfunctional families when children don't get cared for by the TRUE responsible parents; many times others come forward just like Cindy tried to help out in caring for Caylee. When Cindy saw that her daughter (Casey) was reluctant and unable to mentally or emotionally to care for Caylee properly. Yes, I also believe that Casey kept her mother away from helping Caylee to a major degree also.

(Example) Caylee is MY CHILD NOT YOUR'S Cindy or mom. Jealousy and rebelliousness was quite obvious in Casey from Caylee bonding with Cindy and George. Cindy stepped up to the plate somewhat to lend support in some ways. Almost to the degree where she probably could see that she (Cindy) would be a better parent and caregiver to Caylee than her real mother(Casey) was capable or WiLLING to do! Though Cindy and George should have just taken over and cared for Caylee and petitioned the courts for Caylee's safety and well being. From Casey being majorly incompetent!! (FAILURE of Cindy and George) Thus MAJOR neglect came forth and as a result Caylee suffered greatly at the hands of her mother's (Casey) own neglect and abuse of Caylee. EVERYONE of the family member's wield's a level of emotional and moral responsibilty. As a loyal family member which they failed to live up to. The guilt and shame is spread across the WHOLE FAMILY! As it should be!!! THEY ALL FAILED TERRIBLY! I repeat.... morally and emotionally and spiritually..... NOT LEGALLY did they all fail! Only Casey was truly responsible legally.

SeekingTruthandJustice said...

TO: marybowman's SECOND QUESTION:

SECOND QUESTION: "Healing" can ONLY COME ABOUT THROUGH everyone owning up to each of their failures of why this happened and how they could have prevented it. MOST OF ALL THOUGH.... that the TRUTH in comes forth and really only Casey knows the truth! Thus, I say Casey has a major psychiatric personality disorder. NOT JUST BEING DECETFULL! She is mentally sick. She does need to go to prison and get some level of mental help. If and only if she will allow the process to enter into her mind. She really needs a Brain scan to see really to what degree her brain functions. (SPEC SCAN Dr.Amen) YES, IT COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN PREVENTED!!! George and Cindy where both smart enough to see that their daughter was never going to step up to the plate and be a responsible parent she should be. Lack of maturity and wisdom is a failure of most of us at different times in our lives. To be honest..... they probably could not come to grips with the fact that Casey was a by product from them and that they could not see the mental instability nor would they allow themselves to admit that Casey was mentally unstable. Yes, Casey obviously has some major psychiatric personality disorder. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see this. I believe if Casey was thoroughly evaluted it would come out through any number of psychiatic evaluations. HANDS DOWN without a doubt! If True Justice comes forth from the Juries in this case..... Casey will go to prison for a long time. If George, Cindy and defense were really smart they would bring Dr.AMEN into this case and try and get a Brain Scan on their daughter Casey. To really see how Casey's Brain really functions. (SPEC SCAN) is the best science has now at this time to see real functional abilities or deficiencies are in ones Brain. Dr. Amen has gotten reduced criminal sentences when it has been proven of ones Brain Damage and inability to have clear thinking. Mental instability though plea bargaining in sentencing and conviction. Yes, my father's law process comes through me as well as my own personal counseling which of have sought and welcomed. No healing will ever come unless the WALL'S OF DENIAL COME DOWN or are BROKEN THROUGH!!! Prison can make it happen sometimes. Not always. Thank God I never had to go to Prison. Only the prison in my own head.... I hope this helps and answers your questions.... God bless True and Justice for us all!

Anonymous said...

We believe that Casey needs long term counseling sessions rather than a long term prison sentence...

Anonymous said...

casey anthony is a sociopath it would not have mattered if she had been raised by june and ward clever se is just wired wrong. u can spend all day debating whether daddy raped her big bubba touched her boobs or mommy didnt love her enuff...nothing would have been enuff for casey anthony. it is all about her ! i wtched a showwhere someone said they were making comments about how beautiful lil caylee was in baby pics casey immediately tried to deflectt he attention from caylee to herself by pullin her own baby albums out look how beautiful i was-loook at me look at me!! just like a spoiled 3 yr old competing for attention. she was jeoulous of her own childs beauty and the luv the anthony family had for the little girl. iwas raised ina dysfunctional family my dad was a drunk my mom an enabaler i went to prison on drug charges my parents r not at fault i am an adult and i knew right from wrong as does casey anthony. the only mistake the anthony's made was giving spoiled selfish casey to much!!! she is not wired right and she is right along the same lines as ted bundy susan smith and dane downs heartless unfeeling and inhumane.

69e048d6-8cf0-11e0-a6c8-000bcdca4d7a said...

"Who would benefit from executing Casey?" OMG, did I read that correctly? It's not about who would "benefit" from her execution, it's about ultimate justice for her dead daughter. Not to mention preventative measures to keep someone like her from every becoming pregnant again in this lifetime. If found guilty, why give her another opportunity to breath after conviction?? Her daughter certainly never got a 2nd opportunity at life, did she?! I know if Casey Anthony were my daughter, I wouldn't hesitate to disown her ass if she murdered anyone, let alone my own granddaughter. I personally wish they would put her & her attorney in the chair tomorrow. 3 years of this circus is long enough!

69e048d6-8cf0-11e0-a6c8-000bcdca4d7a said...

"Who would benefit from executing Casey?" OMG, did I read that correctly? It's not about who would "benefit" from her execution, it's about ultimate justice for her dead daughter. Not to mention preventative measures to keep someone like her from every becoming pregnant again in this lifetime. If found guilty, why give her another opportunity to breath after conviction?? Her daughter Caylee certainly never got a 2nd opportunity at life, did she?! I know if Casey Anthony were my daughter, I wouldn't hesitate to disown her ass if she murdered anyone, let alone my own granddaughter. I personally wish they would put her and her attorney both in the chair tomorrow. 3 years of this circus is long enough!

Anonymous said...

I don't believe they are a dysfunctional family at all. They are a very typical American family in my opinion. Casey's mother and father are both hard-working individuals who, through their undying love for their daughter have tried to help her in upbringing her daughter. They did not throw her into the street or are by any means on drugs or alcoholics (what I call dysfunctional). They are simply good parents who have tried to do good in raising two children and providing for them all their life. The only problem may be is that they "spoiled" Casey and gave her "too much" and she took advantage of them. She is immature and should not have been raising her daughter. She should have thought about giving her up to her parents long ago.. and everyone would be alive and happy!!

Anonymous said...

Surprise, surprise...the A's (so far) ARE cooperating. While I know they learned of the molestation nonsense 6 weeks prior to trial, they did not know about Bozo's ridiculous drowning/George cover up theory and I do believe that was the final straw. If they had any doubts about Casey having done this to Caylee, those were gone the second Bozo gave his opening statement when they realized that they were being 'thrown under the bus'. (mainly George) Check the new People magazine with Caylee on the cover..the article ends by saying the A's have 'subtly but critically' stopped supporting Casey as they've been doing over the past 3 years.

Anonymous said...

Cindy's testimony about doing the chloroform searches really shows she is a narcissist. Not only is it very plain she is lying about it (she doesn't know what a browser is, doesn't realize that FB and Myspace searches were intermingled with the chloroform searches, the chloroform searches were deleted but the others weren't etc.) but she has managed to find a way to further insert herself into the drama and make it all about "her". Florida heat or not, I think if my kid was on trial for murder, I would try to dress a little better so that I didn't look like I was on my way to the beach in court. And not wear the entire contents of my jewelry box all at once.

HEHodges said...

Coming from a exremely disturbed narcisistic mother myself I know what kind of rage you build from being a daughter of someone like this. My mother inserts herself into any circumstance she is involved with. If my father and I would talk she would act childish and say innapropriate things to gain attention. My daughter just turned twelve and she had to talk about herself as a child and how mean her mother was etc. She did not like me giving my father any attention and even this past Father's day insulted me when I walked in telling me I looked pregnant. She is an angry self absorbed person and reminds me of Cindy Anthony. If I was born with sociopathic impulses or illness, I can feel how that could become deadly. Fortunately not everyone who has suffered abuse and control at the hands of a mother like mine or Cindy Anthony commits murder. And I can honestly say the only person I have tried to hurt has been myself. It's hard enough to get families to get honest under normal circumstances. I am currently not talking to my mother. Casey Anthony should be given the death penalty. Those of us who have suffered abuse and seek out help don't need her to us it as a get out of jail free pass.

Ken said...

I find it interesting that a clinical psychologist can draw such strong conclusions without ever having worked with the family. I guess my professors and supervisors were different than yours.

Anonymous said...

Rick Thorne
WARNING! DO NOT BUY CASEY ANTONY'S THAT WILL BE FULL OF LIES! BOYCOTT ANY PROGRAMS SHE'S ON AND COMPLAIN TO THE NETWORK! IF YOU BUY INTO HER CRAP AND HER AND ATTORNEY'S YOU'RE DISGRACING HER DAUGHTERS MEMORY..http://web.mac.com/rthorne2/Si​te/TRUTH_REVEALED_MINISTRY.htm​l

Anonymous said...

It boggles my mind as here we have again folks... another "arm chair" psychologist who thinks they know the inner workings of a family only known to us vis-a-vie the TV "talking heads". We don't know anything about this family, except what CNN/MSN/the Enquirer has filld our heads with, and to post these spectulative articles online is totally irresponsible.

Maria Ryan said...

It is a dilemma whether or not to turn your own child in? Their dysfunctional games worked for them within their own circle. Until Caylee was missing. Should I or Shouldn't I throw my daughter under the bus for killing her baby girl? Did she steal a piece of candy from the store? This is very serious and may I remind you there was a LIFE at stake. A LIFE that ended so horribly, taped up, triple wrapped and thrown into the woods for animals to feast on. Some of us rather go into denial. Some of us may think I already lost a granddaughter why lose my child? So, what is the lesson here I ask? However you may want to put it Casey took a life and her parents owe it to Caylee, to society, to all involved to tell the TRUTH! I am a mother of 2 and have always tried to be fair. You can not cover the sun with one finger. It would have broken me but I would have told the TRUTH. Am I suppose to feel bad for her after killing Caylee? Am I suppose to worry whether or not the state is going to be fair?