I Think This Belongs To You

From the moment we are born, not our actual physical birth, but the moment our existence enters the conscious mind of others, the moment our birth mother realises that she is pregnant and our birth father realises that his sperm has created a being, people start giving us gifts.

Those gifts are a part of themselves, not a part of us, yet they become a part of us. We absorb them. Our growing self is nurtured as much by the thoughts and feelings of the world outside the womb as it is by the nutrients fed to us inside the womb by the umbilical cord.

If those gifts are positive they give us light. We feel welcome on Earth, safe, loved, wanted, good, and we look forward to being born. If those gifts are negative they give us darkness. We feel frightened, unsafe, unwanted, unloved, bad, and we dread the day of our birth because the world waiting for us is hostile.

When we are born people immediately start seeing themselves in us. Our eyes belong to one person, our smile to another, a dimple on a cheek was given to us by someone else, and so on. People sometimes fight over which bits of us belongs to who. We gaze at the world and the world gazes back, but they don’t realise how much we can see, how much we feel and know. They see us as an empty vessel into which they can pour all their unfulfilled dreams, their hopes, their desires, their ambitions, their identity, the parts of themselves they don’t want, the parts they want but can’t claim or express, their fears, their wounds.

Sometimes the wounds others give us, give us wounds of our own. And sometimes our own wounds are caused by other gifts which we are given. Sometimes the positive gifts give us darkness, and the negative gifts give us light.

A parent who projects too much of their un-lived life into us as a child, who sees in us the potential to fulfill the dreams which they did not, can make us feel at once very special, a messiah with a mission, and a nonentity, a beast of burden carrying the weight of another. Our dreams get pushed aside, perhaps they don’t even get the chance to form because they are buried under the dreams we are given by others.

Sometimes we are driven by the dreams others have given us, compelled to make them a reality. We push ourselves to complete our mission, and if we succeed… the success often feels empty. The person who gave us the dream may be very proud of our accomplishment. They feel vindicated and proud of themselves. Finally they can rest. But we… what about us? Is this what we really wanted? Is this life we are living really ours? What do we really want? What is our dream? Who are we?

This moment of self questioning is a fork in the road. We can either go in search of our true self, to discover who we really are, what we really want, what our dreams are… and perhaps fulfill them once we find them. Or we can do what our parents did and pass our un-lived self on to the next generation. Keep the cycle going. After all this is what we were taught is the done thing to do, and perhaps this is what life is all about. We live the life of those who made us, and those we make live our life for us. And so on. But what happens if we can’t for some reason have children… then who will live our life for us. The person we truly are will die without ever having lived.

I was thinking about the wounds people give us, which are not our own, but which we come to believe are our own. Which we try to heal, perhaps spend all our lives trying to heal, in vain, because they are not ours to heal. We don’t know what caused them, so we can’t cure them. We just carry them.

I was thinking about some of my wounds… about one in particular. Rage. Intense rage. Which I had as a child. Which I had as a teenager. Which I had as an adult. Which I still have. There have been moments of clarity which showed me that I had too much rage for one person to have, that this rage was too big for me… and I wondered if it was all mine. But my answers to those moments were never really answers. Because I took upon myself a mission of sorts… a gift was given to me of being responsible. If I tried to sort through the rage to divide it up between mine and not mine… what would I do with the rage which was not mine? I couldn’t return it to those to whom it belonged because they gave it to me and made me responsible for it and because the reason they gave it to me was because they did not want to be responsible for it or for healing it.

As I was thinking about this, thinking about my Narcissist parents to whom this excess rage belongs, thinking about the rage I see expressed on blogs created by victims of Narcissists, thinking about the rage I’ve expressed on my blogs against the Narcissists with whom I’ve had relationships, my parents and others, thinking about how difficult it is for a victim of a Narcissist to move beyond the rage against the Narcissist and everything they have done… a penny dropped… the rage which the victim of a Narcissist feels, although some of it does belong to the victim, most of it belongs to the Narcissist. It is Narcissistic rage.

And then I saw more… I saw one of the crucial elements which I had missed… that in each interaction with a Narcissist, the Narcissist gives a piece of their wound to the other person to carry. Because the wound which creates a Narcissist is too big for the Narcissist to carry and too painful for them to bear and they do not know how to heal it, so they cut it into segments and hand those segments out to others to heal for them.

The wound which creates a Narcissist was not inflicted by the Narcissist on themselves, it was inflicted by someone else in their formative years as they were passing through the Narcissistic phase of human development. They had their insides scooped out, their true self was extracted and thrown out, it was denied the right to exist, and the empty space was filled up with the ambition, desires and dreams of the person who created the wound. They poured themselves into the empty child. And this is why Narcissists don’t know who they are, because they were never given the chance to be who they are, to know who they are, they were forced to be someone else and live someone else’s life for them.

The Narcissist repeats and reenacts this wounding with everyone they meet, especially with those with whom they have relationships. This is the only way they know how to relate to others. The way they were taught to relate to others. They are doing to others what was done to them. They deny their victims the right to exist, they try to scoop out the victims’ insides and fill the empty space with their wound, with what was put inside of them. The ultimate goal of this is to empty themselves of the person who is inside of them, who is not their real self but someone else, and hopefully once they achieve this, they can reinstate their true self and give it the breath of life. But this is all done subconsciously… and it lacks the awareness needed to bring real, satisfying healing… and simply causes more pain, and the wound festers and grows.

So what do you do when, as a victim of a Narcissist, you realise that you are carrying their wound inside of you. How do you give it back? Can it be returned like lost property to its owner with a note saying – I think this belongs to you.

No, not with a Narcissist… because their wound does not belong to them either… and it may well not belong to the person who gave it to them. It is permanently lost property.

So, what is the answer… the cure for a wound which belongs to no one. Does possession is 9/10ths of the law apply? Is the person left holding the wound the owner of the wound? Can they pass it on to someone else like a hot potato? Is that ethical, especially as the victim of a Narcissist knows how painful it is to carry a wound which does not belong to them, a wound which causes such grief and rage and endless suffering.

Or can the wound be laid down, left in the sunlight for all to see and perhaps it will be healed by being exposed, unwanted, unclaimed… a wound which belongs to no one and everyone.

And perhaps it will help heal us all a bit.

Because the gift the Narcissistic wound offers to us is the opportunity to claim our real self, warts, wonders and all, get to know who we are, what really moves us, the beat of our drum, what makes our hearts beat faster, and our souls sing. Find our true voice and share it.

Because what belongs to one of us, belongs to all of us… what we see in others, is within us too… the darkness and the light… And if you find your true self and share it, you share the freedom and inspiration with others to find their true selves and share it too.


  1. This article resonates a lot, and makes me sad a bit. I have recently discovered that my mum is a narcissist. It was a shock and a relief at the same time. I can now see how she tried to pour her wound onto me, and she succeeded most of the time. There were things however, I somehow resisted. Like her obsession with madness. She tried to project that fear (panic or angst fits better) in me in several occasions over seemingly small things, things I said which I didn’t think they deserved the ‘treatment’, but would trigger it nevertheless, the look of fear on her face while saying something that basically corresponded to “OMG I think you’re going nuts” (in a casual, yet serious way) while I was left wondering what the heck was so nuts about it. She did pass it on to my father though, who would react equally terrified, if not more, dramatically terrified! before the smallest sign of insanity or rather perceived insanity, any deviation from the norm basically. It could be quirkiness. Madness was definitely not welcome in our home, it was the devil. I wonder why I could actually say ‘I think this belong to you’ and return the madness to its right owner, and not the rest.
    As I write this, my boxer dog is sleeping placidly in my flat-mate room even though it’s time for his walk. And he loves going for walks. And that’s not where his bed is. I realized why, my flat-mate is sick (not really ill, just feeling poorly). He always stays with the ill if there’s one. He forgets his walks, even his food, if we don’t remind him. He just lies by her until she’s operative again. That made me think, are some animals willing and ready and capable! to absorb people’s -or other animals maybe? suffering estates, without ‘catching it’ in any way (or at least not my dog, he’ll be as happy as usual, even more happy than usual, when my friend recovers). How fantastic is that. And relating to this, I’d like to share one of my weirdest experiences ever on pain transfusion. It was also the first time something like this happens to me and I don’t know what to make of it, maybe you can throw some light:
    I was coming back home after a lovely time with one of my friends. We talked about my relationship with my narcissistic ex which had ended some months before, at the time I was learning about the issue and figuring out the why’s and my role in it. I was looking forward to a nice dinner alone watching a film which was on tv that evening and which I really wanted to see. I do the shopping for dinner and on the way up to my flat I feel this pinch of acute pain, sadness, something. I rationalize it away and go about with my business. I make dinner, sit on the couch and prepare to enjoy both film and food when the pain comes back all of a sudden, just 10 times stronger. It took over my chest, and stayed there. I could not believe it, I was in a pretty good mood and now this? I had to stop eating, stop watching and laid down on the couch thinking this is ridiculous, this pain is not mine! It took half an hour to go away, and I was angry! Who or what the hell… I checked the whatsapp and saw that my ex had been connecting to whatsapp around the time the pain began. Maybe it was a coincidence, maybe it was a projection, all I know is I’m pretty sure that pain was not mine. And I say pretty sure because I doubt myself a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be a little more specific, my ex does not use whatsapp very often, as far as I know mostly (if not only) with me.
      Also, I enjoyed your post a lot, insightful and enlightening 🙂


      • Thank you 🙂

        I know the feeling of the mixture of sadness, shock and relief. Sometimes seeing someone exactly as they are, realising who they truly are, can free us. But that freedom can be bittersweet. So much suddenly makes sense, things of which we could never make sense are explained, and yet the explanation brings with it the awareness of other things which are painful. Our confusion clears, but as it clears we see things as they are and we have to let go of illusions.

        That process when you realise that your mother or father or both are narcissists, and a part of you always knew but couldn’t put a name to it, is a strange disorienting experience, but it also is grounding. Things which you suspected are now confirmed. But you also have to adjust to a new way of perceiving. For a child of a narcissist this means knowing that your relationship with your parent was all about them and never about you. Everything they did and said to you was all about them, their wound, their pain, their needs.

        Narcissists always think they’re the only sane person living in a world full of lunatics. They are always accusing other people of the thing which they are afraid of being. And if you grow up with them in their world, you often end up suspecting you are crazy, partly because they tell you that you are on a regular basis and that accusation works its way into your mind, but also because they spend a lot of time being completely illogical and you’re trying to make sense of it which can split your mind between different versions of reality.

        There’s a good article written about this: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/counseling-keys/201403/maybe-its-them-not-you-how-handle-crazymaker

        Animals are very tuned into the way the people around them are feeling, because we all emit energy, vibrations. Humans pick up on those too, but we don’t always realise it, and we don’t always react to it in a natural manner. We sometimes go against our natural instinct. Animals do it with other animals, and for animals we are animals too. So there are many subtleties going on in interactions which humans pick up on subconsciously without understanding them consciously.

        There have been loads of experiments done on such matters. And there are thousands of theories about it. And books on such things, astral traveling, psychic connections, premonitions, the collective consciousness, etc. No one knows for sure (although they often claim that they do) what we are made of, what we can do, what consciousness is, etc. Sometimes you just have to go with your own knowledge about an event, as you are the one who experienced it, and you are the only one who knows how connected you are with your ex. People who have very strong bonds between them often know how the other is feeling even though they may be separated by distance. There’s been a lot of research done on Twins because of this.

        There are many ways of looking at what happened and explaining it, maybe it was a combination of several different things. As much as we know about life and being alive, there is so much which is still mysterious, and the answers elude us. Some things happen which can’t be explained. And most people have stories like that, which sometimes make us doubt our perception, and maybe that’s what their purpose is, to show us that not everything can be grasped, that there is more to life than we know.


        • Thank you for your response and for the link, I found it enlightening, as I do so many others. It’s amazing the amount of clarity I’ve been getting during the last months, -as amazing as the lack of the same I’ve been living with before. And for that I am deeply grateful, to you and to all like you, like us, people we don’t know and who help us, the togetherness it creates, to me and us for having taken a leap of faith, or in our way to do so. Or maybe rather pushed to take the leap by existence, like young birds pushed out of the nest, the important thing is we’re on the air, let’s put those wings in motion :-). This reminds me of, I have a priest character in a popular online game and one of its skills is actually called ‘leap of faith’. (Funny that I chose that class, I didn’t think it’d fit me…) It consists on targeting a friend-character, press a button and he or she flies on the air to come to you (the priest), to safety, that is. You use that skill to get your friends or members of the same faction out of trouble and prevent them from being killed. That is the basic purpose of the priest class, to heal and protect the fighters. The funny thing is, the fighter has no idea where he/she is going and they (the player) can’t prevent it either. They have no control whatsoever once the button is pushed, they just fly to the ‘unknown’,- all they can be sure about, is a priest is taking them. A priest (ok, let’s rather say a light force of some sort) must be taking us too. Out of trouble. Finding oneself hanging out in the air is a little frightening, but as someone said, fear and faith it requires the same: to believe in something you can’t see. So what do you choose, he says. I’m trying to choose the priest. The other option is an enemy is taking me (and that possibility exists too in the game) with no nice intentions. However, one should be prepared to face both? I’m just asking because I’m now getting enmeshed in my own mess.

          About the experience, it probably is a mix of things, and I haven’t really given it much thought, I went with it and accepted it without much resistance (that I’m quite good at, and getting even better :-). At the time it angered me a little but the mysteriousness of it, of life, is exciting and full of wonder. I’m not even sure I want to know the answer.
          Thank you for your time and energy 😀


          • Thank you 🙂

            When we share our stories, we help ourselves and we help others. It’s a wonderful flow and exchange. Very natural.

            We always find a way to the things and people who can offer us another piece of the puzzle we are working on in life. Sounds like you guided yourself to this game and chose that class because it was what you needed to experience. It’s giving you a perspective on something in your life.

            I love discovering parallels between my life and the video games I play. Of course real life is more complex, the good guys and bad guys aren’t as clearly defined, especially as people have both sides to them.

            RPG games are intriguing because you have the characters, but you also have real people expressing themselves through those characters, so it kind of mirrors real life. And is quite a good metaphor for narcissists.

            I watched a documentary about Second Life, where a woman and man fell in love in the game, and then decided to meet up in real life to make their love real. But they preferred their relationship in the online world rather than in the offline world.

            In real life we face both good and bad, we have allies and enemies, so being prepared for both and all the variations in between is usually a good idea. We hope for the best, but do not fear the worst because we’re prepared to deal with it should it happen.

            Very rarely in real life are we going to be saved from the battles and enemies which we meet along our path, we might have help facing them from our allies, but we must learn to fight for ourselves. We have to learn to deal with our own troubles, as being magically lifted up and taken away from them is less likely to happen. And if it did, then we would not be able to discover how strong we are because we would never have to fight for our own life and our right to live it, someone else would keep interfering and whisking us away whenever they thought we might die. Their power over us, even if they use it to help us, makes us weak because we don’t get to use our own power and we rely on theirs.

            But what if we don’t die, what if we win the battle and the enemy dies instead? We’ll never find that out because someone else is controlling how we live our life. If we want to be in charge of our life, we have to be willing to face whatever is in front of us. Sometimes we have to do it alone, and sometimes we have people by our side, offering support.

            The thing is that we are all both the fighter and the priest (and many other roles, characters and classes), the more we become strong through fighting, the more we learn how to whisk ourselves out of a fight before it happens, end the battle before it starts. Through experience we learn how to control our own experiences. By facing enemies, we learn how to defeat them, we learn that we can defeat them, and we learn how to deal with them in a way which means that the fight does not necessarily have to be one which ends in either person dying. That we can live and let live.

            And sometimes we learn that our enemies are only fighting us because they think we’re the enemy, and they’re hoping someone will save them from us before we kill them.

            Life is far more intricate than a game, but in games we sometimes find clues to the puzzles of life 🙂


            • Yes, all kinds of things happen when people meet in a parallel universe to which the limits are so clear and the entrance (and exit) so available. (Nothing like in the narcissist’s world, where we enter unconsciously from a door hidden in the fog and believe their world is our own, which is far more dangerous, where’s the exit please). You then acquire an alter-ego which mirrors your own in the safety of your world, behind the screen. I have to admit that the priest was not my first choice. My first choice was a hunter. 100% fighter, no trace of healing there. And I really enjoyed it, but after some killing and getting killed, and poor survival capabilities I thought, on the part on the class, I wanted to see how it felt like to be almost indestructible. (talk about finding pieces of the puzzle by our unconscious choices when choosing a character in a game, I’m not sure if I want to know where this is going, but hey, if I have opened in your blog this far, which after all is a safe place in the cyber world, I can go all the way, -I guess…). So, that was my first motivation, taking care of myself all the while the fighting classes tried to kill me (a priest is naturally a kill-on-sight on the battlegrounds since the enemy faction is aware of how futile it is to try to kill other fighters that are continuously being healed). And they had a terrible time doing it, and I loved it. I could not hurt anyone but the frustration of the blood-thirsty horde (the enemy faction) was, I was going to write rewarding, but not as rewarding as the feeling of completeness, 100% vulnerability and yet untouchable (God I so hope there aren’t any psicologists reading this). So I actually didn’t do much ‘proper healing’ at the beginning. The healing of others, my fellow fighters, came later, after I mastered the art of healing and protecting myself.
              I guess what I meant with the leap of faith is that yes, we are all fighters. The fighting classes in the game also have healing and protective skills, which they of course use in their encounters with the enemy as well as they can. Facing enemies is also how they make these healing and protective skills stronger. In both factions, so enemies and friends are the same, we all try our best to survive. The priest would be like existence, source energy, life, god, whatever name we feel most comfortable with, always there, always around if you operate from faith and not fear. A light presence of some sort that ‘takes you out’ of trouble if you’re willing and/or able to take the leap. So when you’re asked to choose between faith or fear, a decision that requires you to believe in something you can’t see as the quote says, as a rhetoric question, you choose to believe a priest is who’s waiting for you while you’re taking the leap, when you realize you have to leave a comfort zone. It may not always be necessary to do so, but if that ‘comfort zone’ is Pluto, the surrealistic planet you find yourself in with a narcissist, it doesn’t really matter does it, you really have to get out because even if it’s the enemy waiting, it cannot be more threatening to your health. Maybe that’s where real strength lies, in letting yourself go, in ‘surrendering’ in the sense of not resisting, not trying to control the outcome. That’s what I’m working at. A zenlike approach which I find very appealing and comes quite naturally to me, but quite a difficult one to put into practice despite its simplicity.


              • Role-playing is a wonderful way of exploring yourself, of finding out who you are, all the facets and abilities which you have within you, of learning new skills, and so much more. It also helps to figure out what isn’t you, what does not feel right or natural. You can try something out. And it is a good way to exercise empathy in its more detached form. As by trying diverse roles out, you can experience what it is like to be someone else, so it can aid in understanding other people and why they are the way they are, do what they do, experience how they think and feel, and so much more.

                If a psychologist were to read what you’ve expressed, they would probably see it as healthy and natural. You’re using a tool available to you to try things out, and doing it in a safe environment. Role-play is used in the sciences of the mind. There is one rather notorious case – the Stanford prison experiment. There are other similar experiments which have been done all in the name of psychological study, quite a few of which are questionable considering it was being done by professionals. I think using an online rpg game is really very smart.

                Reminds me of when I played the latest installment of Zelda. I had been thinking a lot about NPD at the time, trying to figure things out, and as I was playing I kept seeing a parallel between certain characters in the game and certain traits of NPD and my experiences of narcissists. It gave me an alternative perspective. So, everything which engages our attention can reach different levels of our consciousness and make connections between them. Sometimes playing a game can give us the solution to a problem, as we access other parts of our mind, and can see things from another angle.

                I think the greatest leap of faith is the one which we take in ourselves. It requires us to trust ourselves in spite of doubting ourselves, in spite of our fears and our fears urging us to stay safe. But what if staying safe hurts us more than taking a leap into the unknown. Our comfort zone often has to become too uncomfortable for us to stay there before we move outside of it, and sometimes someone comes along who pushes us out of it because they invade it in some way. Narcissists tend to do that to us. In some ways they inspire us to take a leap of faith… usually to get away from them.

                I like Zen too. It’s simplicity is what makes it a challenge. We tend to make life more complicated for ourselves, these complications seem normal because everyone is doing things that way. One of the things which humans seek is to control themselves, and sometimes others too, to control nature, to be a master. We tend to think that being in control is a goal and an important one, but nature, life, is chaotic and it tends to challenge our desire to have everything neat and tidy and just so. Our need to be in control causes more chaos than just accepting the chaos as it is. Zen kind of says – stop fighting your perception of who you are, of what life is, of the way you think things are and should be. Pause. Change the way you view it. Trying seeing it as it is. Once you see it as it is, accept it. That is surrendering. Or at least how I understand it (perception again).

                I like Buddhism too, the philosophy of it. I found much insight when I explored it’s view of suffering and attachment.

                The best wisdom you will ever find, is the one inside of you. Everything and everyone that crosses your path, helps you to discover your own inner wisdom. That includes online games, and all the character and classes you try out. 🙂


                • Role playing games is also in my experience a fantastic way to self-discovery! I didn’t know anyone else who used it in that way 😀 I tried to explain it to my family but I’m pretty sure they have no idea what I’m talking about. They seem to be very happy for me though. Not my narcissistic mother, she sabotages it if I try to play while she’s around. So did my ex, now that I think about it. Funny how they work, they go I’m so happy you have a hobby, I love watching you practice it, and when you do, they resent it and try to sabotage it by either making you feel bad about it or by getting your attention constantly till you get killed (and annoyed). They really are strangely complicated creatures, they do have a gift to make their life (and yours) unnecessarily arduous. As easy as it can be, and actually is, to be relaxed and happy, they really make it difficult for themselves.

                  Exactly, it helps you to find out what you are, not so much who you think you are, by a ‘ruling out method’, of trial and error, and sometimes helps you to confirm something you already knew. Nope, that’s not me allright. I for example found that out with the ganker class per excellance, the rogue. For the sake of clarity in case any non-player reads this, a ganker is a player who attacks another at a disadvantage, normally by surprise and in a completely unmotivated fashion, just because he/she can, like a bully. And they don’t stop until they kill you. So, you’re going about your business picking up flowers (yes, you can do that in these games too, it’s not all killing and fighting), when a player from the opposite faction with an axe bigger than him appears from nowhere and next thing you know you’re flat on the ground. Now when you are a newbie you think ‘what’s with him? what did I do?’ . Nothing, is part of the game, it’s only a game right?. Go resurrect your character and go on with your business. You don’t lose anything other than little bit of time. So, much safer than in real life. Now you know, ahá, there are people who get a rush by killing characters who cannot defend themselves. And it IS a game after all. This takes a little while to accept and digest because the feelings it provokes are as real as if it happened in real life, but eventually you do. And it is very good that you do, because then you’re free to explore. So after being ganked several times, and once I leveled-up my character to a decent level, I thought, now I’m going to try. I’m gonna be a ganker, I’m going to retaliate for all those times. But, as I suspected, no, as I knew, it did not satisfy me in the least, on the contrary, I felt awful, and low, and sorry for my victim, to which I ended up apologizing. ‘Getting even’ was not my thing. Especially not when they ‘payed the sins of others’, but even if I successfully ‘ganked the ganker’, it did not make me feel better. I learned to accept people that there’s people who do it (retaliate, seek revenge), and accept that I didn’t. This is one of the lessons that served me a lot in my relationships in real life. There are many more, which I’d like to share if it’s ok with you, I know the topic is a little far off but I do believe we can draw many parallels also in relation to narcissists, I’d love to hear the ones you made! 😀

                  Zen is a fantastic discipline, and for me definitely the best to heal. When I first met my ex-narcissist I wanted to give myself, to experience real love, and I succeeded, that’s all that counts. My love, that is, which is the important thing. I surrendered fully and consciously. The ‘mistake’ was the choice of person, but, as it turns out, it wasn’t a mistake after all, for she offered me the mirage I needed, a sweet person who promissed unending, unconditional love, a trustful place to open myself and let my love flow, conditioned of course by the concept of love my mother taught me. And it did flow, and I’m very grateful for that. I told her that too, I thanked her for having shown me the way to my heart, some days after the break up. At the same time I was breaking up with her, I realized myself, I’m not sure whether she realized that. At the moment she probably thought ‘she’s more naïve/weak/stupid than I thought’, but at some level she has had to see the power it has.

                  Thank you Ursula, for letting me share in your blog. I love exploring it whenever I have a little time and I always find gold nuggets, they are scattered all over the place 🙂


                  • Little side-note in relation to the lesson in the game: I was not only the revenge but the power and the control that you obtain, the possibility of acquiring an inflated ego relatively easily (so much difficult in real life), even if it’s in an avatar. You’re still the person with the abilities and the skill in this world. When you acquire it is when you can put it safely in practice, and when you realize it means nothing to you, as was my case. Was much happier not trying to control or overpower anyone and instead enjoying the cyber-world with my friends.


                    • Some people are very different in their gaming self than they are in their real world self. They compartmentalise, sometimes because they feel that certain parts of themselves can only be expressed in certain environments and not in others. Just as some people have an online persona (maybe more than one) which is different from their offline persona, which may also be different in public and in private.

                      You come across as being someone who likes to be whole, consistent. You are you through and through. It’s actually quite a rare and admirable way to be.

                      Have you ever read the work of Erich Fromm?


                  • Please feel free to share whatever you would like to here and express yourself on my blog. By sharing our stories, experiences, views, discoveries, our lives and insights we help ourselves and others. Our words heal us and others may find what they need to heal themselves. It’s an enriching and reciprocal flow.

                    Your description and understanding of the ganker class is brilliant. It fits the internet troll. Which is someone all those who use social media have to learn to deal with. It’s also someone we have to learn to deal with in our offline life too. On the internet the troll attack can come out of nowhere and be very bewildering, just as you explained about the ganker and the nature of the bully. Some people find a release of personal stress through causing grief of some sort to others, it’s not about those they hurt so much as what they get out of lashing out. It’s all about them and you’re just a part of the all which is about them.

                    Just as with a narcissist. When they destroy or try to destroy your pleasure in something like your online gaming, something which captures your attention and takes it away from them, something which gives you pleasure, a pleasure which they want for themselves, and which they try to get by taking it away from you, they feel satisfaction in doing that, albeit often short-lived satisfaction which then turns into dissatisfaction which is hungry again.

                    It is very tiring to deal with a narcissist, because they are restless ghosts who are constantly rattling their chains stopping you from sleeping. They want to be happy but everything seems to make them unhappy, and they need company in their misery. If you’re happy, they want to have that happiness. They don’t understand the formula for happiness, or that it can be something which is shared, so they end up, in their efforts to have your happiness for themselves, ruining it for you and for them. But they can’t understand what happened, in a similar way that we find it disorienting when someone attacks us for no reason other than that they can. However we can learn to understand what happened. We have the ability to place ourselves in other people’s shoes, to see things from their perspective, to use empathy. Narcissists can’t do that. So they end up doing the same behaviour over and over again, hoping that the results will miraculously and magically be different.

                    That repetitive behaviour is exhausting for us, because we tend to change our behaviour when we find that what we’re doing doesn’t work, or just isn’t quite right, or a million other reasons. We learn from our experiences. We evolve, progress, explore and discover. Some people never do and don’t understand that it is possible to do so. They stay exactly the same and expect others to change to suit them.

                    I have written a couple of posts which touched upon what I’ve learned about myself through game play. Not sure where those posts are. I think one is only on my tumblr. I did something recently about GTA V. And I was going to write a post about the wisdom I got from playing Minecraft, but I think I wrote it in my head while playing Minecraft and never got around to writing it.

                    We are in everything we do, if we’re paying attention to what grabs our attention, then we can find ourselves… as well as finding what is not us.

                    You have a wonderful mind, and insight into yourself, others and life. You know, you really should consider having a blog, but I’m happy if you’re happy to express yourself on mine 🙂 My blog is not just about me and what I share, this place has a life of its own which is infused with the energy of all those who some here and those who share themselves on here.

                    I’m fairly certain many people prefer the comments on my posts to the actual posts 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Thank you, I’ll be delighted to, share whatever it is I can share, that is. It does make me happy, and I’m happy you let me. I couldn’t find the post about gaming in your tumblr, the search has taken me a while because I found lots of other things so I almost forgot what it was I was looking for, which is not unusual in me. Eventually I’ll find the thread again and will succeed 😀

                      I didn’t make the connection between the ganker and the internet troll but yes, they do act on the same basis and so as you say do those who find a release causing grief to others. I find it difficult to put myself in their shoes but I have learned to accept it, the game helped me to do both things so it was a great lesson. Fortunately, it’s a game, so you can put a lot of things in practice, see how much you dare, how ready you are to face your fears. Because when the interaction happens with real people (the players, as opposed to computer assisted characters), there is a very real element of fear, of shame, anger… So I find it a fantastic playground for reality, a little like a rehearsal, you do get to know yourself better. Also the positive sides, it also puts to the test your generosity, loyalty, commitment. I have some friends that are different in-game than in real life, but never thought of it as an online persona as such, I can’t imagine someone having multiple personae! I have more than enough with one, so being one through and through as you say, as much as one can be, is the only way I fathom to be, and I thought that’s what everyone else is striving to be too.

                      The image of the ghosts with the rattling chains made me smile, I had a glimpse of them as a non-people, (like undeads in-game :-)) I wonder if we could disclaim our extra-sensory perceptions at will, or if we turned around and look right into their eyes/soul they’d disappear? maybe both are the same thing. In any case, it has helped me to shoo them away from me. My first narcissist is still rattling her chains in a tantalising fashion, as in the beginning but somehow differently, as if knowing I’m still there for her but I’ve gone deaf so she doesn’t really know what to do next. What you explained about their not being able to understand happiness (and I can clearly see that in all narcissists of my life) despite their huge efforts to experience it reminds me of a comic strip I saw eons ago of the character Lucy in Charlie Brown. A baby was playing with an elastic band, really excited, Lucy comes along and takes it from him and gives him instead I can’t remember what it was, a wooden stick or something equally boring, which the baby enjoyed just as much as the elastic band, to the frustration of Lucy. I thought at the time that it was a rather pointless, simplistic comic strip, I much better understand it now.


                    • Heh, I checked the comic strip, it seems it was toys he was playing with, and she was as enthusiastic with the rubber band 😉


                    • I must admit that I’ve found wisdom and insight in some of the most unlikely places. And they’re only unlikely places because I don’t expect to find wisdom and insight there, and in some ways that opens my mind to understand something because my rational mind has its guard down, or is otherwise occupied, thus allowing a different part of my consciousness to explore, observe and notice things.

                      Playing a game is a form of meditation because it occupies the busy, constantly thinking, judging part of the mind, allowing the contemplative side more freedom to do a very different type of thinking. You can observe yourself, what you’re doing, and others, what they’re doing, with more detachment and therefore observe actions and interactions with a certain distance, noticing patterns, making connections, and allowing inner understanding to form into insight.

                      It’s kind of Zen. And it is in part why some practices of enlightenment put emphasis on doing tasks like cleaning, gardening, etc, ones which keep the busy mind busy and quiet, while the other levels of consciousness can emerge from the noise the busy mind usually makes.

                      In everyday life there are millions of opportunities for understanding but we’re usually so caught up in the living part of it, all the thoughts, feelings, judgements, past thinking, present thinking, future thinking, walking, talking, doing, being, and hundreds of other things which we are processing, and busy filtering things out, protecting ourselves from too much information, possible dangers, and so on, that we don’t always have time to step back, pause and notice what’s right in front of us.

                      Certain activities allow us to pause, while keeping the busy mind distracted so it doesn’t interrupt the part of the mind which reviews and contemplates.

                      Gaming is so much more than just playing a game. I think the fun factor is important as we tend to learn faster and more deeply when we’re enjoying what we’re doing. Some parts of the mind demand to be constantly entertained and if we’re bored they cause trouble, distract us, stop us from learning, concentrating, etc.

                      And some games allow us access to other lives, other characters, other ways of being, and can increase empathy, the ability to understand others, see things from their point of view, and try walking in someone else’s shoes.

                      Here’s one of the posts I was thinking about – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/life-as-a-video-game/ – and here’s another – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/fat-tuesday-gta-v-style-i-need-to-meditate-or-masturbate-or-both/ – I haven’t gone into as much detail as you have about what I’ve learned from games, your mind is more precise than mine 😀


  2. Reblogged this on An Upturned Soul and commented:

    In celebration of this time of year, when a certain event happens which prompts a review of this and that, with trepidation I ventured into my blog archives and ended up on this piece which I wrote in 2013.
    At that time a lot had been stirred up, the past had circled around and made itself the present, and I did then what I always do (at least in the always of now) I wrote my thoughts out to see what emerged, and if it might help me to figure things out.
    It did then, in a way, and it has done now, in a way.
    Revisiting my old posts is not something I do as often as perhaps I should. I keep urging myself to tidy up my blog a bit, but I never do because I prefer to just keep going forwards, evolving this way and that. Sometimes though… a going backwards can assist with going forwards.


  3. Reblogged this on The House of Hale and commented:
    “I was thinking about the wounds people give us, which are not our own, but which we come to believe are our own. Which we try to heal, perhaps spend all our lives trying to heal, in vain, because they are not ours to heal. We don’t know what caused them, so we can’t cure them. We just carry them.”

    Beautifully written, much better than I could write it. So very, very, true.


      • You’re welcome! I also shared it on my Facebook page. It really spoke to me, especially in the midst of my own current struggles. Thank you for resharing it.


          • Thank you! It was difficult to write. I’m still trying to slow down and get my thoughts and feelings under control. It’s been quite challenging these past few days.

            Almost the opposite of what you shared in your most recent post! I have slipped much into a thinking phase and checked my feelings at the door. It does tend to leave one a bit unbalanced, or with ruffled feathers as I like to refer to it. Wishing you some solace.


            • Thank you 🙂 wishing you some solace too ❤

              Thinking helps the feeling part, as long as the thinking is gentle with the feeling (and vice versa) and understands that sometimes it won't understand in a logical manner because the language of feeling is different from that of thinking. They can work together, but sometimes they have to work apart, perhaps joining up later.

              I have found writing at times just flows, and spills out revealing things I needed to reveal and be revealed, at other times it's a struggle. It's all part of the inner process, working its way through us and out. Getting it out can be the hardest part, but also the most healing experience. The physical sometimes reacts to it, and that can be very strange because its connected to the thinking and the feeling, but also separate at times. Thinking can detach from the physical, feeling never does really do that.

              Trust yourself, and always be compassionate to your movement, both inner and outer. A challenge at times, one worth taking.

              You have a beautiful energy in the way you express yourself, it's deep and deeply moving.


    • Thank you very much 🙂

      Haha! Um… Hmmmm… I probably should, whether I will is another matter. I’m sort of afraid to look and read what I wrote because I am aware that I was often in the grip of a strong emotion and sometimes… hmmmm… I should take a peek. Dealing with myself (and my blogging self) is a puzzle 😉


  4. “So, what is the answer… the cure for a wound which belongs to no one.” Can there be a cure as long as the “wound” is placed on an altar and worshipped? Like those who dance around a May pole, do we gather others to dance around a wound?

    Grace and Franklin Loehr were deep trance mediums in the Edgar Cayce traditions. In more than 30 years, they did over 5000 Loehr-Daniels “life readings.” For the last years of his life, I was Dr. Loehr’s transcriptionist, and transcribed more than 70 “life readings.”

    As is consistent with the work of past life therapists such as Michael Newton, Roger Woolger, and others, the Loehr-Daniels readings emphasize Soul’s intention to learn and grow, grow and learn. In this very precise process, Souls work together for mutual benefit.

    Pick a movie you’ve or a play you attended, with heroine and villain … a character who you like~admire, another you detest~loathe. After the show, you talk with others about what you’ve seen and what you think and feel. Meanwhile, the actors have taken off the costumes and gone home. The actor is not the costume, and narcissism or schizotypal or histrionic are just roles in the game of earth-living.

    The great cosmic play: comedy or tragedy as suits the players. “It has been stated by Thomas Szasz that what people really need and demand from life is not wealth, comfort or esteem but games worth playing.” The Master Game, Robert S. de Ropp

    The play called Upturnedsoul began long before “Mom” and “Dad” were born. Between Earth lives, Souls scan the tracks of time to assess (preview) a time and place for incarnation. What is the overall ambience of the human collective conscious for given time? What game do I want to play this time? Shall I wear a female skin or a male one? And who wants to join me?

    Almost everyone who has had a successive LBL (Life Between Life) session with a Newton-trained practitioner will tell you the same thing: physical world “enemies” may be close Soul friends. An LBL can help remove the costumes.

    Possible possibilities??: upturnedsoul as father in 1800s eastern Europe with “mom” as nagging wife and “dad” as pouting and recalcitrant son. Ha!

    I begin each day with two intentions: to learn something new, and to practice loving-kindness. Thank you for providing opportunities to learn and practice. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      Wow! Hmmmm…. wow… hmmmm… (that’s me absorbing and cogitating, pausing, etc)

      I forgot to thank you yesterday for a wonderful compliment, so, thank you, here, now 🙂

      It’s often about just figuring it out and figuring out how to figure it out… we work with what we have and explore that which we don’t have, and then go from here to there and there to where… we’ll figure that out when we get there.

      Investigate, assimilate, and live as is, here, now… what was before, what will be… we’ll see, perhaps, maybe…

      This – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/yesterday-today-tomorrow/ – is a post I wrote about my past life regression therapy experience. Just in case you’re interested. I wrote it a while ago so it’s a bit rough. So was I (and so I still am).


  5. “In each interaction with a Narcissist, the Narcissist gives a piece of their wound to the other person to carry. Because the wound which creates a Narcissist is too big for the Narcissist to carry and too painful for them to bear and they do not know how to heal it, so they cut it into segments and hand those segments out to others to heal for them;”

    Thank you so much for your eloquent and compassionate articulation of what it means to be to be charged with carrying a part of this wound. It is a heavy burden to bear, but in the end, we can all lay this burden down, embrace the good and the bad, and turn toward the light.


  6. Wow, this is a stunner, and so well written! I really appreciate your lucid and compassionate articulation of the generational phenomenon that is NPD… Thank you so much for sharing this! Namaste, Lynne


    • Thank you very much 🙂

      I just ramble and hope somewhere along the way things get figured out… it’s surprising how often just rambling helps us to find what we’re looking for, sometimes it’s just right in front of ours eyes and we just needed a change of perspective to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “And then I saw more… I saw one of the crucial elements which I had missed… that in each interaction with a Narcissist, the Narcissist gives a piece of their wound to the other person to carry.” Returning to your idea of gifts, what you articulate here helps define the contours of what relating to someone with NPD can be: the neurotypical person says “I am full, you are empty, let me fill you.” And the reply comes: “I am empty, you are full, let me empty you.” I see now, thanks to your post, that the narcissist in my life was always giving me part of his emptiness to carry. Empty gifts, as heavy as star matter.


    • Thank you very much 🙂

      It can be hard to see because what the narcissist is giving, for many reasons, relationships are complex, and there are so many ties, threads, overlaps, projections, reflections, things which intertwine. Add NPD to the mix and it gets even more complex. However with a narcissist there’s a point at which you realise that you’re not a person to them (can take ages to reach that point, at least it did for me) and once you realise that, it shifts perspective. They see others as a means to an end, they don’t always realise they’re doing it, some do to a degree, some don’t… anyway… to them we are many things, but rarely are we ever who we actually are. They can’t see us, we’re a mirror and that mirror is a vessel for them, who they are or would like to be, etc.

      Best article I’ve ever read on NPD is this one – http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/page/narcissism.html

      Best book I’ve ever read, at least which helped me enormously, is this one – http://andywhiteblog.com/2015/06/23/going-mad-to-stay-sane/ – it wasn’t specifically about NPD but it hit the nail on the head better than all the books I’d read about NPD which were good, but sort of apart from my experience. This one made me realise how much of my parents’ wound I’d swallowed, absorbed, and thought was mine, and it was up to me to sort things out or pass my (their) wound on… which I didn’t want to do.

      A relationship with someone with NPD can be both exhilarating and plunge us into murky depths… it can give us a precious gift, but we have to find that and recognise its worth. Just as when we look at the sky at night… we see what we see. Dark matter or light, or both… or…?

      Figuring out that I had adopted the wounds of narcissists… changed a lot for me. Takes time to sort the wheat from the chaff though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • “They can’t see us, we’re a mirror and that mirror is a vessel for them” I’m finding your comments enormously helpful and insightful, what a joy to recognize my experience in yours, however painful. So many, many things ring true here after years of reading about NPD. I recall the terrifying days during which I finally realized what you describe above (and faced the terrible danger I had exposed myself to: psychological death, annihilation of the self, perpetuation of the cycle). In the aftermath, I refused to hate, and the great gift I received was getting to love both dark matter and light… the gift of a lifetime. Have read the article closely, will check out the book, looks insightful. Many thanks for letting your light shine.


      • “in each interaction with a Narcissist, the Narcissist gives a piece of their wound to the other person to carry.” This is the beautiful heart of the puzzle. When we ask ourselves, “What is happening? What are they doing?!” this is it… Eureka indeed.


      • Re Going Mad to Stay Sane – “This one made me realise how much of my parents’ wound I’d swallowed, absorbed, and thought was mine, and it was up to me to sort things out or pass my (their) wound on… which I didn’t want to do.”

        Strikingly, your thread on generational NPD is, according to my research to date, unique in the scholarly and lay literature (please, mention here if I am mistaken, would be glad to know of any relevant studies or essays). Not that it’s not given a nod, it’s just not explored or articulated for what it must often be, a distinct psychological heritage.

        My own exposure to NPD was like black box theatre due to the strictly controlled professional and social environment I was in (keywords: hushed, formal, money, power, control). Within this laboratory-like context (and having no boundaries), the Narcissist I loved and worked for revealed a great deal of personal information to me, and I listened. His father was a (physically violent) pathological liar (and open philanderer), his father’s father a gifted actor, his mother an engulfing, helpless ‘smotherer’. So, yes, I turned to him with open arms and was given… generations of pain to share. Stunning, to say the least.


        • Thank you very much 🙂

          The concept of generational NPD is discussed mainly in writings about (and by) ACoNs – Adult Children of Narcissists. The writings by children of narcissists often describes not only a parent who is a narcissist but also experience of other members of the family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc, who have been identified as also having narcissistic traits and behaviours.

          It seems fairly logical that narcissistic behaviour can be passed on from generation to generation in a family. Those with NPD tend to isolate themselves and their ‘loved ones’ from others. This isolation gives them more control over themselves, their environment, and their family members. Thus growing up in a family with a parent with NPD is an insular experience – outsiders are kept outside, and the person with NPD plays god, omnipotent ruler, and is the main influence for what is reality, the norm and normal (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/insight-is-2020/201405/narcissistic-parents-psychological-effect-their-children).

          There was a very interesting study conducted many years ago by R.D. Laing and Aaron Esterson which can be read about in their book on the study – Sanity, Madness and the Family: Families of Schizophrenics – they decided to look into the family dynamics of their patients, and found that the family environment had great influence over the psychology of their patients and they conjectured that it caused the disorder from which they were suffering. This is still being debated with regards to Schizophrenia. The observations they made were groundbreaking at the time, and brought attention to the family’s influence over a person’s psychology.

          There was also a rather intriguing show a while ago on British TV which was a bit reality TV but done with the purpose of helping parents who had ‘difficult’ children. The show’s psychologist – Dr. Tanya Byron – showed how the children were often ‘acting out’ the issues which their parents had. In one episode a mother discovered that she was repeating with her children the same thing which her mother had done with her and her sibling – choosing one child as a golden child and the other as the scapegoat. She realised that her ‘difficult’ child was difficult because she reminded her of herself, and she was replaying what her mother had done to her – scapegoating her – thus she was scapegoating her child. The child was difficult because the mother was making her difficult.

          NPD has been given many different possible causes, each one makes sense, and one does not exclude the others. I think it’s worthwhile to look at the bigger picture beyond the narcissist themselves at their family to see if there is a passing down of narcissistic behaviour just as with other behaviours which aren’t tied into disorders and which we often proudly admit is a generational trait and behaviour. People will sometimes say – my family comes from a long line of go-getters, musicians, scientists, fighters, nature lovers, you name it. We’re just not so keen on admitting to a disorder being passed down as a legacy and inheritance, although we all know about ‘madness running in the family’, that an alcoholic parent may create a child who grows up to be alcoholic or at the opposite end of the spectrum, a teetotaller who can’t stand alcohol – thus a parent with NPD may not necessarily cause their child to develop NPD too. If there is more than one child, one may go on to also show signs of having NPD, while another may not (http://www.angriesout.com/grown20.htm).

          I have seen it mentioned in articles online, and books, however it touches upon issues of blame that many get sensitive about – don’t blame your parents! (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/promoting-empathy-your-teen/201407/when-parents-blame-their-children) – so it is sometimes mentioned subtly or skirted around. Psychologists in particular tend to be very careful in what they say when writing about such sensitive subjects.

          As you know first hand a relationship with a narcissist can be an intensely harrowing experience, and the last thing many people who are recovering from such a relationship want to hear is something which sounds like it is shifting blame away from the narcissist – and saying that they were acting out what was passed down to them can sound like a shifting of blame, even if it is not and is trying to understand why narcissists are that way.

          It’s interesting to note that many of those with NPD have rather intense bonds with one or both of their parents (which does not change if the parent dies, and may actually get stronger upon death) – the parent tends to invade their child’s adult life in ways which can be intrusive, interfering and obstructive. Many parents do this, even when their child grows up, but those with NPD never grow up – why is that?

          Sometimes it’s good to go off the beaten track and explore other angles. The important thing is to figure out your own story as that is what will help you to heal and find your gift 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Many thanks for your good words. This rings so true: “The important thing is to figure out your own story as that is what will help you to heal and find your gift :)” That’s the writing process for me: assembling what I experienced into something whole, and celebrating it. NPD showed me that not all that is unpleasant is negative,..

            “Those with NPD tend to isolate themselves and their ‘loved ones’ from others. This isolation gives them more control over themselves, their environment, and their family members.” Yes, in retrospect, I can see my experience as the product of the ‘perfect” psychological ingredients in the ‘perfect’ conditions. Omnipotence and isolation where the hallmarks, fostered by secrecy and a significant power differential between subordinate/superior. An emotional and psychological black box. I very much doubt the Narcissist in my life was fully or even partially aware of the relational dynamic playing out between us. It seemed so normal to him, like breathing, something he’d learned long ago and then forgot he learned.

            I learned a lot inside this box. Having no boundaries (emotional walls, yes), he disclosed a lot about his immediate and extended family, his parents, his children, even his wife’s father (NPD traits there). As an expat translator, I came to approach NPD like I might a new culture I’d been thrust into. I was getting to know someone from the culture of NPD…

            From my front-row seat, I could see someone trying very, very hard to be/appear normal in his professional and family life. Someone whose eyes showed pain, fear, and anger no matter the expression on his face. Someone still very attached to his physically abusive NPD father.

            I came along and gave him the chance to “just be himself” around me, and he amply obliged. The NPD self, that is. I understand he is a covert, not acting out Narcissist. So here there is a person (real, inaccessible self) pretending to be a person (false self), pretending to be a person (socially acceptable veneer)…

            I recognize that therapists and laypersons must be very careful not to absolvie NPD/ERD people of responsability for their actions, but having lived through my experience, I would no more blame a full-blow Narcissist for toxic behavior than I would a shark for devouring a fish. It’s just what they do. That said, I wouldn’t stick around, either. Not only to avoid abuse, but also because it serves no purpose: as you say, they never grow up. I left when I realized that my presence was not helping either of us.

            My futile rescue mission brought me face to face with the NPD void. Seeing a person in such suffering showed me that my burden is light, my joys are many. 🙂


            • Thank you 🙂

              Ultimately the experience of being in a relationship with a narcissist is about what we learn from it, especially about ourselves. It can open our eyes to our own issues and stories. Bringing a dark light to shine and reveal what may have been hidden. Figuring out what drew you in, what inspired love and what kept you tied to a narcissist… can be deeply transformative and enrich the relationship with the self and with others. It can deepen our experience of ourselves.

              Have you ever read Le Noeud de Viperes by Francois Mauriac?

              “Dans un soir d’humilité, j’ai comparé mon coeur à un noeud de vipères.”

              It’s a story worth reading (or re-reading) if you’ve ever been caught up in the version of reality of a narcissist.

              Take good care of yourself!

              Liked by 1 person

              • “Dans un soir d’humilité, j’ai comparé mon coeur à un noeud de vipères.”

                I have not read this, but will be sure to now that you mention it (I once worked for Mauriac’s publishing house, les éditions Grasset & Fasquelle). Also comes to mind a line from Hamlet, “In my heart there was a fighting that would not let me sleep.”


          • PS – The abject refusal to trust was for me the most painful aspect of relating with a Narcissist, and brought me to research the brain science of human bonding. The physiological root of several psychiatric disorders may well be linked to an inability to detect safety in the environment and trustworthiness from interactions, processes that happen in the at the base of the skull (per Stephen Porges’ Polyvagal Theory) Richard Boyd in his article Narcissism also mentions the physical appearance of persons suffering from NPD – “The jaw serves as a last line of defence in holding back a persons rage, whilst the neck blocks the deep sobbing of grief that was never allowed (Lowen:1977).” All this has been very helpful in making sense of what I experienced. It is so strange and confusing to be around someone who ostensibly ‘loves’ you and treats you as ‘special’, but who is hyper-vigilant, triggered, and admits to not feeling safe around you despite months and years of daily interaction. Sad but comforting to know that childhood trauma can cause difficulties in regulating visceral state (less vagal regulation of the heart) and supporting social engagement behaviors. in the end, there is nothing a person can do to be trustworthy (‘safe’) to a person with NPD. Difficult, but very important not to take this personally.

            Liked by 1 person

            • It’s always interesting to explore things from a scientific angle. There is so much it can explain, and so much of our emotions and thoughts which are sometimes caused by the physical.

              There are those who have conjectured that NPD may be genetic. Which is intriguing as a theory but not particularly helpful for those of us whose parents are narcissists. Scientists can get so caught up in being intellectual and clever that they detach completely from other aspects of being human.

              Narcissists in some ways can be ‘scientific’ in their approach to being. They tend to intellectualise emotions – and what they ‘feel’ is actually not feeling but ‘thought’. They think their emotions. So their ‘love’ is a mental construct, thus it can be fickle, because the mind is fickle.

              When their mind is focused upon you – you are the only person who exists. Their mind loves you, is obsessed with you, their mind sees you as ‘special’ because you’re all they can see and they see everything they want but don’t have within you. But then along comes a distraction, and suddenly you don’t exist because their attention is focused elsewhere. Their interest, emotion, comes and goes as the monkey mind moves.

              The paranoia, hyper-vigilance, lack of trust stems from the mind trying to be in complete control all the time, which is very stressful for a mind to do, it can never relax, it has to be ‘on’ all the time, monitoring everyone, everything, especially themselves – a facade requires 24/7 maintenance. They’re always scanning themselves for cracks, afraid that their image of perfection might have a flaw – that others might find a fault in them. It is also due to judging others based on themselves. They are aware (degrees of awareness vary from narcissist to narcissist, covert ones tend to be least aware) that they are maintaining an image – which means that others are doing that too. They can’t trust you if they can’t be trusted.

              Narcissists are often adept at finding the hidden motivations and ulterior motives of others – this allows them to get under people’s skin as they often find someone’s weakness and secret fairly quickly. This is because they are using their own hidden motivations and ulterior motives and projecting them into others – sometimes they’re spot on about others. Every human has narcissistic tendencies. However when they’re way off, they can’t deal with it because it is a foreign country to them, one whose language they don’t understand and can’t learn. To be trusting requires knowing how to be trustworthy.

              Trust no one – is a motto which suits narcissists.

              Narcissists tend to never let go of disappointments – especially when they feel that their ‘trust’ has been betrayed (and they’re hyper-sensitive about this), when others have failed to live up to their preposterous expectations, or have refused to be controlled by the narcissist. How can they trust you when you wore a yellow shirt when they’ve told you that they hate the colour yellow. How can they trust you when you overhead them telling someone they were trying to impress that they love the colour yellow, and they know you know how much they hate yellow – you’ve seen a flaw in their facade, they can never trust you for that! How can they trust you when you know they hate yellow, won’t let you wear it, but they often wear it and maybe you committed the ultimate betrayal by pointing out this contradiction.

              It is indeed essential not to take things personally where a narcissist is concerned – everything is always all about them.


              • Thanks so much for this, full of eloquent confirmations of my own relational experience with Narcissism, so bizarre as to loosen my sense of sanity for several years…

                “It’s always interesting to explore things from a scientific angle.” Yes, this is all but limitless. Polyvagal Theory spoke to me because these processes take place at the base of the skull, the place my right hand was inexplicably drawn on the rare occasions I was allowed to touch my Narcissist.

                “They’re always scanning themselves for cracks, afraid that their image of perfection might have a flaw – that others might find a fault in them.” Thanks for this and your good words re hyper-vigilance. This was fatiguing to witness, so I can only imagine what it must be like to experience. Narcissism requires a great deal of energy from self and others, clearly. One day I noticed a deep crack in the plaster wall behind the desk of my beloved Narcissist and asked if it were new. He replied that it had always been there, but I doubted this. I replied with the Leonard Cohen line, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”

                “Narcissists are often adept at finding the hidden motivations and ulterior motives of others – this allows them to get under people’s skin as they often find someone’s weakness and secret fairly quickly.” This was true for mine, but it was no great leverage against me, as I was looking for normal things that normal women want, love and children. Strangely, my ‘hidden motivation’ shone an uncomfortable light on the hypocrisy of his own marriage and role as ‘bon père de famille’.

                I especially appreciate your words on finding the light within dark matter and the gift provided by an encounter with Narcissism. After a month of retreat and reflection I managed a good synthesis of the month’s work in today’s post (The Blessing of Shadow is Light). I’d be grateful for any comments or feedback, if and when.

                Take good care and all best to you.


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