Parental Obsession and the Dangers of Umbilical Addiction


The tight bond which develops between parent and child is well documented to be a driving life force, its legendary power to protect and shield has made history through the ages. One reads of parents rescuing their children from burning cars or sinking ships, finding almost super human strength to lift many times their body weight, or survive underwater for impossible lengths of time to save their child from drowning, and so on. Occasionally, this life force warps and becomes damaging to parent, child, and any unfortunate individual close enough to be affected by association.

Sometimes nicknamed Umbilical Addiction, the most common form of this disorder is in women, the maternal instinct propagating into an obsessive need to smother and control, turning the child eventually into an over weaned, incapable shadow.

It is possible for this ugly condition to appear in male parents; commonly the attention is focused on a daughter but it can appear between fathers and sons. Mothers who develop the obsession over their sons tend to side with the son against the father, making the usual disciplinary guidance impossible for the father to maintain.

The symptoms of obsession begin early, when the child is a toddler, or even before the child is out of diapers. The mother can go to extraordinary lengths to ensure the child is completely dependent, lavishing attention and unnecessary gifts upon the child to guarantee devotion and loyalty. Detection and control of this behavior is invariably impossible as all the symptoms are confused with ‘spoiling’ – an over simplified and dog-eared expression sometimes applied to a disorder with far less serious implications. The parent over protects, alienating other supportive influences which might otherwise have been helpful in bringing the situation under control.

As the child develops, the traits of this dreadful condition become more obvious. Interference in the mothers (or fathers) control results in anger, or even aggression toward anyone who might try to intervene in the child’s behavioral difficulties. As the child becomes older, the early spoiling tactics produce unacceptable acts of rebellion and disobedience, usually incurring the disapproval of the rest of the family.

The child staggers into adolescence displaying alarming behavioral dysfunctions such as thieving, lying, rudeness, and always the young adult will continue to remain closely attached to the very parent causing the damage.

Elaborate lies may be invented to cover misdemeanors, both by the parent and the offspring, until eventually, as the young adult leaves school and enters the workplace, the delinquent has developed into a dangerous, ego obsessed, narcissistic psychopath. Sometimes, the situation has festered over such a long period it is impossible for the child to function without the approval and support of the parent.

In extreme cases, the dependency of the child combined with the overbearing control of the parent results in an incestuous relationship, as the child is unable to cope with normal interaction with the opposite sex.

Each time the ‘child’ is confronted by authority, even by the authority of the offending parent, the reaction becomes more intensely anti social, until eventually the individual develops a strong dislike and an active antagonism for most social codes. Throughout most of this adult’s young life, excuses have been found for his or her stealing, lying, idleness and general delinquency. When evidence is presented to this person that such behavior cannot continue, the result can be dangerously aggressive, and sometimes vindictive.

Such people commonly display a desire to adopt pets, such as dogs and cats, but invariably are cruel to the animals. The ownership of such pets gives the person comfort and supplies a need which is the result of having few friends. However, as they are unable to deal with responsibility, they lash out at the animal when they are required to nurture it in any way that causes personal inconvenience.

The early childhood of such people is the key to the behavioral disorders which become apparent later in life. The adult cannot bear responsibility or control of any description and often their inability to cope with authority and routine leads them to become more and more anti social. Frequently, they are unable to interact normally with people and elect to work in jobs which do not require social skills. An ideal profession for such a person would be long distance truck driving, or lighthouse keeping, or working in very noisy environments which prevent conversation – professions which necessitate extended periods of solitude and require little co operation with colleagues.

Those who have reached adulthood carry an ingrained inability to parent their own children. Typical behavior of such a person would be to produce children but then treat them badly, and so the cycle continues. Many families tolerate such people because they believe their behavior is merely eccentric; some even imagine them to be colorful in some way, someone to be ‘put up with’ because after all everyone is different.

The havoc caused within close family circles by such behavior is unimaginably distressing, especially when the parent invents lies to cover unacceptable behavior, sometimes at the expense of other family members. Often the cycle of deceit goes on for years, perhaps even up to and after the death of the parent. Occasionally the disorder develops into a more sinister condition when the parent, through death, is no longer able to provide emotional support.

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