Girls – the TV Show – Being Narcissistic versus Having Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Girls-S1-Poster-1

I’ve just finished watching seasons 1 and 2 of the TV show – Girls.

This is one of those shows where if you do an internet search for it you will find the buzz word and trending hot topic of the moment – Narcissist – attached to it. A few of the articles which I have read on the Narcissism of Girls are fair and are fairly accurate. A few are not.

It very much depends on what the author of the article was trying to achieve through expression of their opinion, their review, and their words.

Everything which we read, even if it claims to be unbiased, has bias and subtext running the length and breadth of it, it contains the ego, identity issues, neuroses, childhood and adulthood, relationships, dreams, ideals, ambitions, frustrations, pet peeves, experiences, and energy of the author, as all conversations do.

And writing, whether it is non-fictional, factual, fictional or a combination of all of those, is a conversation. The same can be said of a TV show like Girls.

I saw Tiny Furniture a while ago and loved it, which is why I decided to watch Girls even though it is not about or aimed at my generation, cultural background, social group, ethnicity, or location, thus I’m not considered the ‘target audience’ of such a show by those in charge of such things. But does that mean that I’m not supposed to watch it?

Tiny Furniture poster

I think Lena Dunham is an observational genius, of herself and others, including society.

If you read her replies to the criticism which she has incurred, mostly due to being successful (and at such a young age) which tends to annoy and attract critical Narcissists, such as why Girls seems to lack racial and class diversity, rather than become reactive and defensive she acknowledges the criticism and points out that she is drawing from her own personal experience of life.

She is writing and creating from what she knows.

[on the criticism of the lack of racial diversity on Girls (2012)] It was the elephant in the corner of the room … I felt like people were scared to talk about it [because] they’d get my racist juice all over them … The argument there are not enough minority characters to represent New York – that I couldn’t argue against. What I didn’t like was the angle that ‘therefore you are a racist, you are raised by racists, you come from a world of class and privilege.’ – via IMDb – Lena Dunham bio quotes

But somehow now that she has been crowned by her TV show character, her fans, her critics as a voice of her time, her generation, she is supposed to also write and create from what she does not know.

That’s Narcissists for you, always looking for what someone is doing wrong and pointing it out aggressively because they’re envious of what someone is doing right.

Narcissists live in a bubble. We all live in bubbles, we’re all a bit Narcissistic. Which is why when we first meet someone who has NPD they seem normal, perhaps a bit better than normal, slightly larger than life but in an inspiring way.

hannah to adam

Please note – if you’re mad at yourself for falling for a Narcissist of the NPD kind, remember that humans tend to look for connections when they reach out to others and seek relationships. We look for what is good, likeable, positive in others, we want to find love in our interactions. Don’t beat yourself up for missing those traits and behaviours known as red flags, you were not looking for them, why would you, that’s a negative way to approach life and people.

The same applies to watching a film or a TV show. You’re watching it to like it, to be entertained, have fun, discover someone or something new, expand your imagination’s social life, to find something in it which may inspire you or with which you relate. Why would you watch something to dislike it? The answer to that can be found in the mind of a Narcissist.

An open mind is a beautiful mind, it lets new information and experiences in like fresh air and lets that which it doesn’t need anymore flow out. A closed mind is full of stale air and suffocates its owner to death, it is a slow, lonely death which tries to force others to keep it company while it is dying.

self-destruction

The fact that we all exist in personal bubbles within communal bubbles is an uncomfortable truth at times, but we do it because we need comfort and our bubbles offer us that. Our senses are overloaded with information and we create filters to survive. We can only deal with so much of reality, and since each person has a different view of what reality is, and there are so many people in this world, we need to have a place to exist in which contains what we know before we tackle what we don’t know. What we don’t know is vast and thus terrifying. Safety first, so that we have stability to face what is unsafe and unknown.

Most people gradually expand their bubbles to incorporate more and more over time, over the course of their life. A few don’t, they simply reinforce their bubble until nothing gets in or out. The ones most likely to live in impenetrable bubbles are those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. We can’t get in and get through to them, but they sure as hell can suck us in and then keep us trapped in there breathing stale air. Trying to get out of their bubble requires great strength and perseverance.

Yes, Girls is awash with Narcissism. So is the world in which we live. Some of this Narcissism has to do with its location – our setting affects our sense of identity – NYC is one of those places that makes you feel insignificant in such a way that it might kill you just by ignoring your existence, so to survive you have to puff yourself up bigger than you are because that’s what everyone else is doing. You can’t beat them so you join them or they’ll beat you into nothingness, that does not mean you become them. It’s a defence mechanism which uses the ego as a fortress.

hannah and feelings

Narcissism is a human trait, it is a phase of development which we all pass through during our formative years, it is healthy, natural and normal. And like with all human traits sometimes we overexercise those muscles until we are unbalanced, then an event occurs which makes us aware that we need to stop working on the muscles which are toned to the max and start working on those which have been neglected.

So just because you discover that you’ve been behaving in a Narcissistic way does not mean that you are a Narcissist as in someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Being Narcissistic and having Narcissistic Personality Disorder are not the same thing.

If someone has called you a Narcissist – make sure the person accusing you is not being a finger-pointing Narcissist and does not have Narcissistic Personality Disorder before you react, go on the defensive, take it personally or accept their diagnosis.

let me live

If you are being Narcissistic… we all are to a certain degree. Pause, take a breath, relax and then think about it logically. Most of the people whom I have come across who have spoken of their fear that they may be a Narcissist, also express their concern for those with whom they are in a relationship, they worry that they have hurt others with their behaviour and they want to change, to make amends, and be more considerate of how they affect others. If that is the case with you – you do not have NPD and therefore do not fit the Narcissist profile.

A Narcissist with NPD may also ask themselves if they are a Narcissist, they may ask others for their input on the matter, but they will ask it in such a way that gives a very clear message of the answer they want – No, you’re not a Narcissist, do not have NPD, you’re the most wonderful being ever, better than anyone else in the whole wide world. They have observed that this is something people are doing – reflecting on whether they are a Narcissist –  it is a social trend, something they study assiduously, so they fake self-awareness and concern that they are a Narcissist, however they are not concerned that they have hurt anyone with their behaviour, nor do they intend to change it, not for the benefit of others, what they are concerned about is having the perfect image.

Marnie's head

The main difference between someone who is being Narcissistic and someone who has NPD is empathy.

Empathy is simply the ability to place yourself in someone else’s state of being and view the world from their eyes and experience. To see their point of view. And understand that it is valid, as valid as your own point of view. It gives a more balanced understanding of relationships and interactions.

It is not about crying because someone else is sad, that’s sympathy.
It is the faculty which gives the understanding that your world revolves around you and that other people’s worlds revolve around them and not around you. Therefore it is realising that if someone ignores you when you want their attention, it is not about you, it is about them, maybe they have something weighing on their mind which needs their attention more than you do, just as you ignore others when you are wrapped up in an issue which is important to you.

Empathy and Sympathy are different, although they can and often do work together.

Rebecca-O-Donnell-sympathy-empathy-hurt-Meetville-Quotes-18682

Narcissists, those with NPD, can’t do empathy. They are incapable of understanding that the world does not revolve around them, that each person has a world which revolves around themselves and not around the Narcissist. They can’t fathom this. Occasionally they see it, but it is an intellectual concept not a deeper understanding, and they forget it very quickly. Everything is about them and that is that.

If you can grasp that about a Narcissist with NPD you can heal a lot of your pain and clear much of the confusion which a relationship with a Narcissist causes.

Narcissists can’t do sympathy either, not genuine sympathy, but they want it and seek it out as the sympathy which they extract from others feeds them. And if you’re both empathic and sympathetic, eager to please and willing to put the needs of others before and above your own, you’re a very delicious source of Narcissistic supply.

Fishing for compliments

In Girls, all the main characters display a certain level of Narcissism, but most of them also show empathy, sympathy and concern for the other characters. Hannah is perhaps more Narcissistic, but she does not have NPD, she suffers from tremendous anxiety which causes her to become self-enclosed. Having an anxiety disorder can cause similar behaviours to those of a Narcissist, as those with NPD do live in a permanent state of internalised anxiety, but they are not the same thing. Hannah’s anxiety disorder makes her very Narcissistic, but she is aware of this and tries very hard to make amends.

hannah self-hate

The only character whom I would tag as having NPD, and I’m not a professional or expert, is Marnie. Allison Williams is absolutely superb in the role and gives her character great depth. Want to understand someone with NPD, watch her performance as Marnie.

I read a scathing character assassination of Alison Williams, wherein the author accused her of being just like Marnie, hated her for being born into wealth and privilege (how exactly is that her fault and why is this a bad thing), and loathed her even more for being happy because she had just got engaged to a wealthy and successful entrepreneur (wouldn’t a congratulations on being happy in love be more in order). The author intimated that the life of someone they did not know was a deliberate slap in the face to the author and their life. Who did Allison Williams think she is being successful and happy and stuff like that, how dare she! Going by their inability to distinguish between Allison Williams and Marnie, reality and fantasy, and their need to tear someone they did not know but hated anyway to pieces in public, with witnesses, and allowing for no right to reply from the accused (and even if the accused had… the author would have spun the reply into proof of their view and version of reality)… I would guess that the Narcissist in this situation is the one pointing the accusatory finger.

Allison Williams’ talent at portraying Marnie and making her believable kind of exemplifies the curse in a gift.

Marnie

Marnie is Little Miss Perfect who spends much of her time pointing out the flaws of everyone around her ‘for their own benefit’. How thoughtful and generous of her. She has a boyfriend, Charlie, whom she considers to be beneath her, but she keeps him trapped in the relationship because other people think he is wonderful and envy her for having such a considerate boyfriend, and because she is terrified of being alone. He eventually finds out that she is contemptuous of him, especially because he puts up with her treatment. He dumps her. She chases after him, lures him back and then immediately dumps him. Those with NPD can’t stand being the ones who are abandoned, they must be the one who discards others.

He moves on with his life and finds a new love. This infuriates her as in her mind he is supposed to be crushed by her dumping him and remain that way for at least a few years if not for the rest of his life.

She then has a relationship with a famous artist whom she admires, and when he confronts her for only being with him because he is famous and it gives her status and puffs up her grandiose image of herself, she has a tantrum and leaves.

Marnie2

Shortly after that she discovers that her ex-boyfriend, Charlie, has had an App success story and is wealthy and important as a result. She had always seen him as a failure who was going nowhere. Her version of reality is under threat once again and she must fix it. She is furious and envious and decides to get him back. She goes after him and latches onto him again. He belongs to her. On the evening of a party to celebrate his success, she decides to use the occasion to make it all about her, to make herself the centre of attention, and to launch her singing career. He looks embarrassed and upset, everyone else looks uncomfortable, she ignores this as it is not part of her reality. She is doing them all a huge favour by blessing them with her presence and debut performance.

She has decided to be a singer due to a conversation with another character, Ray. She was bitching about the artist, and Charlie, doing a character assassination on both of them and everyone else. Ray gets annoyed and tells her to stop being angry at everyone else for them being successful and making their dreams come true, and because she is a loser who has been left behind and she always considered herself to be the only winner surrounded by loser friends. He suggests that she use that anger more productively to decide what she really wants and go after it.

He asks her – what do you want to do?

And she shocks him by saying – a singer.

He is shocked because this has never been something she has mentioned or tried to do with her life. He has a band, thus some experience in the music business, and he tries to explain to her that it entails lots of work, but she figures that since she has a wonderful voice all she needs to do is sing and that’s that.

The season ends with Marnie once again getting her hooks into her ex-boyfriend, Charlie, and seeing him as her path to status and self-importance. He looks trapped and miserable, but pretends to be blissfully happy.

supernatural

It’s quite intriguing to note that there was a rumour that the actor playing Charlie decided to leave the show due to ‘creative differences’ with Lena Dunham about his character’s storyline. He has issued a formal and diplomatic statement about his exit from the show… but if I was him being forced to be the victim of someone with NPD would not be my idea of a good storyline either.

The most poignant part of the end of season 2 came in the very last scene. Hannah is lost, alone and overcome with anxiety. She is trapped in her ever-decreasing and restrictive personal bubble. Her dreams are on the verge of coming true and she is sabotaging herself, self-destructing, she can see what she is doing but can’t stop herself from doing it. She keeps reaching out to find a friend, for help, someone to hear her prayers, someone who’s there… but wherever she turns she finds rejection in one form or another, everyone is either too busy or too wrapped up in their own bubbles, until she finally calls her ex-boyfriend, Adam.

She has been for the entire season referring to him as her stalker ex. He isn’t a stalker, but he is an ex. At the end of season 1, after pursuing him and hounding him to become her boyfriend, she dumps him suddenly and without warning.

Adam

Her version of stalking is him trying to confront her and discuss the break-up with her to understand why she did what she did, and to find some way to deal with his raw feelings. He wants to know her side of the story and have her know his side of the story too, and she refuses to allow this to happen as she is caught up in the drama inside her head. He eventually comes to terms with it on his own, but it takes him a while to work through his grief and find closure.

When she reaches out to him for help, he immediately sees her need and how important it is to act as she is sinking in the quicksand of her misery and anxiety. He drops everything and runs to be with her, running across the distance between them never disconnecting the line. When he arrives she refuses to open the door, telling him to go away and that she’s fine, so he kicks it down, walks over the her bed where she is hiding under the covers, removes the covers, and picks her up. In that moment she finds a saviour, who just accepts her as she is and gives her what she needs – solace and love. A port in a storm.

adam:hannah

It was a beautiful scene of friendship rather than romance. A physical representation of support offered by one human being who was feeling strong to another human being who was feeling weak.

But the most heart-rending scene for me involved Hannah’s relationship with her parents. Throughout the show she keeps trying to connect with them, but they reject her efforts with criticism disguised as parental concern. They are so focused on their image as good and decent parents who have followed to the letter the rules of being good and decent parents that there is no room for real humanity as this might shatter the status quo. Her anxiety disorder to them is an aberration, an anomaly, they did everything right therefore she should be a perfectly adjusted being, a perfect adult created by perfect parents. Her inability to be the child/adult/member of society whom they need her to be for them and their image, is all her fault and not theirs.

generational influences

It is, in my view, a magnificent show which exposes all the strength and weaknesses of being human and living in our times.

I don’t know if Lena Dunham is the voice of her generation as her generation is not mine, however I do think she is a very talented observer who feels her human experience in a way which makes her able to express it vividly for others.

hannah

Being human… is very complicated, painful, and a puzzle whose meaning we have spent ages and generations attempting to solve. Perhaps life has no other meaning than to live it, experience it, and share our experiences with others without needing to be right or wrong, sane or insane, ugly or beautiful, chaotic or ordered, happy or sad, or anything other than human in all its complexity.

useless advice

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30 thoughts on “Girls – the TV Show – Being Narcissistic versus Having Narcissistic Personality Disorder

  1. Wow.. really makes me want to watch this show. I love how you take it apart and point out so clearly how to differentiate and what makes someone have full blown NPD as opposed to just narcissistic traits. You would not have to see the other person at all as someone separate to you, only someone there to meet your needs. Then if you were dealing with this person they would block your expression of needs which makes sense to me in what happened in the last relationship. Its just an extremely egocentric approach to life which doesn’t allow for any deep feeling or imperfections in others, since the Narc is so focused on his or her needs and feelings they literally don’t see anyone else. I had a question though.. Is crying when someone else is hurt truly sympathy?…. it seems to imply that you are more of an evolved person if you don’t get affected by other people’s pain as intensely. This makes me question as in my last relationship, my ex got really angry after we visited my sister who has bad depression and was crying because I held her hand and sat with her in the feelings. After that experience I got a huge lecture because he could not stand to see me affected or in touch with pain. So that is a little confusing to me. I find it really hard around my sister to not cry when she is in pain, because I really feel her pain and it hurts to see her suffer. I was with her the other day and this happened, and it may be a sign I need to leave if I get overwhelmed, yet I find if I cry then the pain passes through me and I come out the other side feeling okay with some of the tension of these visits gone. But that didn’t feel like sympathy to me. But it does imply that there isn’t the kind of separation you are talking about. Can you clarify?

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      1. Thank you 🙂 Hope you are feeling better too, and that the birthday blues are subsiding giving way to a new personal year of… whatever you make of it and the challenges life presents!

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    1. Thank you 😀

      Perhaps what I should clarify is my own bias towards sympathy, because that is probably what may be coming across through my words in my post and causing confusion or lack of clarity.

      I find sympathy irritating, but that’s purely personal from my own experience and is not designed not influence anyone else in how they view it. It’s just me expressing my view – being sympathetic has made me screw myself over and over again. I find myself irritating when I keep making the same mistake. The problem is mine.

      Sympathy in and of itself is neutral, and tends to be a good thing more often than a bad thing.

      Empathy on the other hand is extremely useful, when used without sympathy, because it allows me to understand the viewpoints of others, where they are coming from and what is influencing their behaviour.

      So I personally value empathy more than sympathy, but that does not mean either one is more or better or anything else.

      It’s not about which one – empathy or sympathy – is better or anything like that. It’s about which one works better for me as an individual trying to deal with my own life, myself, the people I encounter, my interactions and experiences. That’s it.

      So this -> “it seems to imply that you are more of an evolved person if you don’t get affected by other people’s pain as intensely” – I don’t know because as far as I am concerned we’re all different and there is no competition about it. Evolution is just evolution… even nature doesn’t always get the formula right, but does nature care, nature’s just experimenting and seeing what works and what doesn’t work and let life and time decide.

      What you’ve described with regards to you and your sister is natural and a beautiful expression of empathy working together with sympathy. There is nothing bad about it in anyway, on the contrary it is good, a source of interactive healing for good for you and maybe also for your sister – your sister would need to weigh in on it for the picture to be complete.

      Those with NPD live in the mind, the mind can mimic feelings and emotions, sympathy and empathy, based on observation and data, it can do it very well and make it believable, but there is a gap between intellect and the rest of a being’s cognitive faculties. NPD does not and can’t bridge that gap. They can intellectualise it, they can’t do it in any other way until they deal with the blocks caused by NPD – which rarely occurs but can occur if they choose to deal with it.

      Things like sympathy work in many ways through many different channels, it can’t necessarily be pinned down to this or that, it depends on the individual.

      Hope that clarifies things a bit 🙂

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      1. MMM will have to contemplate that .. but I do get what you mean about sympathy. as I read something recently by a guy called Mark Nepo that went like this…. He was sharing with someone who he thought he was developing a friendship with… He has suffered from cancer, had a very difficult mother and had undergone a host of other really painful experiences. When he shared this the person in question said. “Wow you have had a sad life”. I’ve been on the receiving end of this when sharing about personality difficulties and sometimes sympathy comes from someone who doesnt feel you at all but instead it feels like they are looking down on you with a kind of cringe on their face. You just feel this kind of disconnect. I am sharing about this as it was what I experienced with that therapist, like they saw the pain as something to pity and erradicate rather than seeing it as a rich informer of the soul to profoundly difficult passage which bears a transformative seed within it Some people it seems get really freaked out by pain and sadness.. they cant enter into it cause they experience it as a kind of germ or bacteria they have to wash off so as not to be contaminated. Been through this so much in my life and it used to send me into a kind of rage, whereas now I just know some people are incapable of empathy.. they cant extend themselves beyond their own defences, protections or very real limits to be in that place. But its hard to be on the receiving end of it cause you can come to feel like an outsider in the world, that is until you find others who relate and know where you are coming from. So, yes, I do get why you have a hard time with sympathy.

        And I didnt mean to imply a better or worse, that was more my fear of rejection coming through, as you said, so rightly nature does not judge, only humans do that… bless your beautiful, wise soul. (((—-)))

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        1. And also, sorry but reading that back I did miss the point you made that having too much sympathy or empathy for someone who just wants to hurt you over and over is not a great thing, cause sometimes its really important to set a boundary so as not to be complicit with it.

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          1. Boundaries… big subject especially for those who were taught that having a boundary seemed to make others believe that you were hiding some sort of mythical treasure and thus the boundary needed to be destroyed and the treasure seized for themselves.

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        2. You often pick up on thoughts I think but decide not to share 🙂

          I find sympathy irritating in more ways than I mentioned. I think perhaps because my experiences of it (not dissimilar to the ones you’ve mentioned) have shown it in a less than appealing light. It’s a staple of NPD, used to get supply and other things. It often accompanies manipulation, superiority, and other mental constructs. It feels conditional and I don’t like the conditions which apply.

          Besides, Pluto in the 1st… not a position which likes to get or give sympathy. Pluto sees suffering and pain as a part of life, sympathy tends to hamper dealing with it and sorting it out.

          I was watching a show that has a theme of what happens when someone does not own their pain and blames everyone else for it, they give their personal power (Pluto’s domain) away, thus seeking a solution for their trouble outside of themselves, often requiring someone else to sacrifice themselves on their behalf which doesn’t solve the trouble so another sacrificial person is sought… one person’s pain becomes a trouble for everyone else because that person does not accept their task, which is to own their pain and solve it themselves. They refuse to see their personal power in the situation, even when confronted with evidence, that their pain is the source of suffering for them and for others. But those who do accept their responsibility and task, find the solution inside the problem. They accept their power and own it.

          Oh… speaking of personal power…

          I was looking at your chart (I almost have it, I think, but my degrees are a bit off). Do you have any planets in your 6th or is that stellium all in the 7th?

          And I noticed that you have t-Neptune conjunct natal Chiron, which astrodienst titled – the best therapist.

          “It is possible that psychological wounds you have been carrying since your childhood or adolescence could now be healed. If you now feel depressed or confused, this could be caused by being brought into contact with a deeply internalized pain from your past.”

          and

          “This is a good time to be your own best therapist. Learn to listen to your inner voice which is best able to reveal your true calling, or cast your mind back to those people who somehow disappointed or betrayed you in the past. This will enable you to consider such events from your present perspective.”

          and

          “Turning to your intuition with the aid of your inner voice can now help you to rid yourself of all the false or irrelevant structures in your life.”

          How about that! 😀

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          1. Wowwwwww.. THANK YOU.. you are so spot on.. that really helps me. You know for the first time in my life there is this kind of separation from the pain of my past and the wound and it is SO TRUE what you wrote about Pluto not be comfortable with sympathy and why. I really get that. I have been a wallower in the past, I must confess.. instead of looking to the gift within the lesson the pain could be used to rewound the self over and over and over again. so that is what I mean by the separation. I can still enter the place of wounding and pain (and I notice this can and DOES happen when I am with people in a lot of pain who have not yet achieved that separation) but then it shifts to this place of peace, tranquillity, openness and joy which is like a home I lived in in younger years but lost the way back to.

            You know a few paragraphs from you give me more than hours and hours of therapy, cause you really get it, I cant tell you what a gift all this is….

            This is my chart …. Chiron 4 deg PIsces in the seventh opposes Uranus 29 Leo and Pluton 9 in the first. Mars 1 deg, Saturn 3, and Moon 6 Aquarius and Sun too at 15 are all in the sixth house, the Sun is just on the cusp ending of it as my desc is 16 Aquarius and conjuncts Venus 16 Mercury 17 Jupiter and South Node18 deg square Scorpion 13 in the third. I would really appreciate any insights you could share.

            You know I had more contact with that therapist as I feel she did try to apologise but something in me is holding me back from going back (still I felt the need to apologise, even though what she did hurt me, as I didn’t want her to be hurt…… or think I was carrying any bad feeling, since on some level it was a lesson, but when we spoke I felt her move into power and bargaining and something in me just wanted to run)> You know what it is? I feel I have just travelled so far and gone so deep that I should be the one earning money not having to shell it out, when at present I don’t have another income… although I am financially okay if I am conservative with my money….and I do have the insight but at times I don’t trust it and everything turns around and I can make things wrong inside myself. Anyway just this afternoon I was looking finely at all the transits of our little debacle which extended from 28 Dec to the present day and this also all occurred as Uranus was coming out of the Station direct at 8 Aries in the eighth which will then go on to sextile my Sun.. I feel the Sun on descendant tends to give away personal power to relationships outside and carries a lot of gold in the shadow, but due to continual voices of self doubt (squares to Neputne) usurp the self and shame or debase in in some way….. and that creates a vacuum which can draw others with power in who continue with that process…. at least that is my experience.

            Anyway since you really get it and me would appreciate any insight, though no pressure…

            🙂 ((__))

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            1. So not only is T-Neptune conjunct your natal Chiron (which will last until Jan 2015) but T-Chiron is trine natal Neptune (also until Jan 2015) – “This is a particularly good time to seek reconciliation with those who disappointed or let you down in some way. Your heightened intuition gives you the strength and ability to see behind the scenes, which will help you to recognize that many things which you originally found hurtful and embarrassing have in fact enabled you to grow and mature.”

              From what I’ve understood, the reconciliation in this case is an inner reconciliation of the relationships held within memory. Astrodienst calls this transit – Home Movies. So it’s working things out within, not with the actual people but with the versions of them inside your mind and memory. The relationships within you which follow you into other relationships and influence them.

              Those transits give you access to levels of self-healing which change your relationship with yourself, thus changing your relationships with others, and vice versa for as you see different perceptions of your relationships with others so it changes your relationship with yourself.

              I think the story of your relationship with that therapist goes with that. Your memory of it holds the healing and is where the reconciliation needs to occur. Meeting up with the actual person, the therapist, is not where the reconciliation resides. I get the feeling that doing that will just add more complication, but maybe not.

              You went to her for help, and now you are considering going to her to help her because you have grasped the dynamic of your interaction better than she has. She needs something from you, you don’t need anything from her. You’ve moved on because you made a healthy decision for yourself. But her need is calling out to you and because you’re aware of it you feel its pull. You feel you owe her something, but you don’t.

              If she feels that she lost her position of power because of her own behaviour, making the sessions all about her and what she was feeling and needing, rather than about you, and you caught her red-handed and called her out, this made her for a moment have to face herself. That is a ‘gift’ of having Pluto in the 1st which often rips away pretense and reveals the true face and motivation and intention behind the pretense.

              She didn’t like what she saw, and if she is avoiding facing what the incident revealed to her about herself, then she has probably blamed you for whatever it is. She’s a therapist and when a therapist needs therapy but refuses to admit it, they have everything they’ve studied about psychology to create masterful excuses and shift blame and justify it to themselves. They can psyche themselves out of anything.

              She needs to get you back so she can rewind back time and get her power back, erase the truth and rewrite the incident so she comes out of it smelling of roses and it becomes all about you having problems and projecting them onto her (rather than the other way around). Transference and such.

              Her apology sounds manipulative and not genuine – That’s what I’m picking up from your words. Your instinct seems to be telling you she’s not sorry about what she did to you, she’s sorry that she got caught and made herself look foolish and lost her power. She wants to get her power back. Because you’re very intuitive and compassionate, you feel her pain and want to soothe it, you don’t want her power and want to give it back to her – but you don’t actually have her power, so to give her power back you’d have to give her your power, and that’s not something you do anymore. Your instincts are warning you and you’re listening but… there’s a but in there somewhere.

              Neptune in the 3rd is where the but is probably coming from, because Neptune in the house of the mind means you pick up on all the subtle signals in the air, all your senses are tuned in to everything that other people are emitting. You can hear the silent chatter of the stories of others, their troubles, their pain, their needs. And because you hear it you somehow feel that you must help them, because their stories intertwine with yours and you wish to help them in the way you wish that others would help you. You see the ideal relationship of people helping people in a caring and compassionate way.

              But with Chiron in the 7th relationships get complicated. The 7th is the shadow, those with Chiron there often get the shadows of others projected onto them, and then feel obliged to either act it out for the other person, shoulder the shadow, perhaps try to heal it, but that doesn’t work, the shadow has to be reunited with the person to whom it belongs for it to be healed, but they don’t want it so they end up fighting you because they’re fighting their shadow. When you become someone’s shadow they take your light. So they don’t want their shadow back because they like having your light.

              The solution lies in the 1st. Pluto and Uranus there can transform you and cut the ties which bind you to an unhealthy relationship dynamic. You also have NN there so your identity is your karmic challenge. to live for yourself, put yourself and your needs first. This is the healthy way for you and for those with whom you interact. It’s a tough one because your Sun opposes your NN, so there is a sense that the path of the NN is somehow wrong, somehow against you, your ego, your creative self. And if the NN is opp your Sun, that means SN is conjunct it and encouraging the Sun to oppose the NN’s path. Sun/SN in the 6th is comfortable helping others, taking a back seat, doing the work without getting credit, dealing with the details that others don’t want to do.

              All oppositions are inner arguments which need to be resolved by both sides finding common ground and working together. So you need to figure out a way to help others while also helping yourself – better still, finding that putting yourself first and helping yourself actually benefits others and helps them.

              What do you think?

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              1. Dear Ursula. I am sorry that I didn’t respond to this…. sometimes Neptune just takes me away somewhere and then over a week or 10 days has passed and I am back. I am continually bowled over by your degree of insight. I agree with a lot that you wrote in here and you put something into words that I sensed about Chiron in the 7th receiving the shadow projections of others. Part of the reason I was away was in dealing with this issue with really significant “friendships” (big illusion !!!) at the moment where this has happened. I now know why I feel most comfortable alone and thank you so much for the eloquent and deeply perceptive way you expressed what Neptune in the third is like. I guess you know it.. do i remember correctly that you have it there? Is your Mercury in the third too? I seem to have forgotten.

                Thank you to for what you wrote about this being an important time to seek reconciliation with the people that have disappointed me. I had a long chat with my Mum today and was able to express a lot to her and she cried and apologised to me. which I really appreciated. and then today I received another apology from someone else today who said “I didn’t listen to you and I didn’t show any empathy”. WOW but that would not have come if I didn’t stand up to that person last year. I do get the reconciliation has to occur on an inner level as that is the most deeply healing place, but it does help to have the confirmation from someone as its hard to believe my truth at times, due to that Neptune influence in the third. Self doubt and all that.

                Also so spot on about how I pick up others thoughts….

                The depth of your astrological insight is wonderful. I keep saying thank you but I am very grateful for your insight.

                Love to you.

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                1. I also appreciate how well you explained the challenge of Leo North Node and the first house energies challenging me to cut unhealthy ties. Saturn will retrograde back to exact square with my Nodes in May before it stations direct and I feel the retrograde burns home the intensity of the issues we dealt with during its forward motion…..am really feeling that. Its time to trust me. Be true to my path and not allow my light to be stolen. And yes the number of battles I have had with people who don’t want to own their own shadows it too numerous to mention, has been an ongoing theme and was such a strong thing in my last relationship.

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                2. No worries 🙂 I’m not sure if it is just Neptune though, I’m thinking with all that Aquarius you ride the airwaves. It’s a natural flow to go with it and see where it takes you, perhaps to undiscovered lands.

                  Yup, Nep in 3rd. Merc in 5th.

                  I enjoy overlapping the astrology with psychology. I tend to work with the psychological side first and then see if I can find it in the astrology because that makes understanding the interactions of the aspects easier.

                  There’s a really good book, don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, it’s a collection of transcripts from astrology workshops given by Richard Idemon – Through the Looking Glass: A Search for the Self in the Mirror of Relationships.

                  He said this about Saturn/Moon and Nep/Moon contacts – Moon-Saturn is nurtured by being alone, and the same could be said about Moon-Neptune. People with a strong Moon-Saturn or Moon-Neptune need time alone to recharge; they need space and distance.

                  Brilliant book, lots of insights into how the aspects play out in relationships and how to accept ourselves and the way we relate using our astrology as a guide.

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                  1. I remember that book I read it years ago. Thank you for reminding me as I do forget that it is so important for Saturn Moon to have alone time and Neptune Moon needs it too to sort out what is ours and not ours, what we have absorbed and how/why we are reacting to what was absorbed.. etc etc…. I wlll check out that link as the Mars force/issues are really building now as Sun makes its way closer to the opposition with Mars in LIbra, I also noticed that the Aries New Moon of 30/31 March is at 9 deg and it triggers the station Rx point of Uranus late last year (8 deg) and so magnifies the current Uranus Square Pluto issues too..(I noticed a major issue from around that time last year was triggered for me this week.) Its interesting that you blogging on how others project traits onto us and how the individuality can be hidden, that we are composite of so many energies many of which aren’t acceptable to others. ….

                    yes going from the psychology to the Astrology is an important way of exploring the astrological themes…… and you learn a lot…..Thanks for being a light in the dark for me….big cyber hug ((((—)))))

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                    1. I have the Libra/Aries axis across 1/7 and 2/8 so a major theme in my life has been about self and other, my vales and the values of others, and figuring out different ways of exploring the dynamic. So the transits going on right now slot into that rather easily, and are stirring up much inspirational mojo in my wheelhouse.

                      A lot of the crazy going on at the moment in the world feels very familiar and known 🙂

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        3. And that Uranus would be trying to liberate the Sun from this in some way. Also the fact that this whole thing happened as transiting Venus was retrograding back to make a conjunction with Pluto and opposition to Uranus at 13 degrees in sextile to my Sun/Venus/Mercury spoke of some kind of deep liberation of personal power within the sphere of close personal relationships. Since Pluto would encourage us to dig deep and transform old ways of relating that were no longer working. What do you think?

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          1. Your progressed Sun is in Aries and t-Uranus is conjunct, so I think you’re spot on about Uranus trying to liberate the Sun, and your natal Aquarian Sun wants to be free because freedom is what Aquarius seeks and loves. So much energy in Aquarius amplifies the thrust towards freedom. As does Uranus and Pluto in the 1st – only they tend to find freedom by fighting tooth and nail for it, and usually start from a position of being trapped in some way and spending years chipping away at their prison wall until they breach it, that process builds self-discipline and strength of will. Once free, they will not go back into confinement unless they choose to do so.

            I think the Pluto/Uranus square is a breaking free one.

            Your progressed Venus is also in Aries. Initiating new ways of being and loving. New ways of relating to yourself, others, the world (progressed Pluto/Uranus and NN in the 11th (Aquarius’ home).

            Freedom theme is consistent.

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  2. Wow – a wonderful post. I have not read such a review of this show before – you have inspired me to take a look at it! And your analysis of NPD versus narcissism is really well done. The NPD narcissist that I was married to is exactly as you describe.

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    1. Thank you 😀

      I did watch the first two seasons of Girls back to back, makes a difference… or it does to my vague mind which moves on quickly from thing to thing. Still, Lena Dunham is a great observer and lets the viewer see through her eyes.

      I just keep seeing the word – narcissist – being used so often, usually as an accusation, now that it is reaching levels of meaninglessness with everyone using it on everyone else. In TV and film it is considered a TV trope to have at least one character who is a narcissist, but do they have NPD or are they just exaggerating the natural narcissism of all humans?

      There is a big difference between narcissism and NPD, and the blurring of the difference can cause confusion. I’m really just clarifying it for myself, in case I lose perspective again.

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      1. I have noticed that, too. It almost seems to be a fad. I, too, find it important to keep the two straight in my head, from a lay perspective, anyway. Nevertheless, I think that any decent therapist would have diagnosed my ex-husband with NPD. He was so bristling with it that even my dog could have seen it (and did; the friendliest dog in the world just barely tolerated him – I should have seen that as a red flag!). Thanks for making the distinction between the two. Some narcissism is healthy for us and from a biological standpoint, important for our survival – we’re hardwired for it. But the NPD people stood in line twice when it was being handed out.

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        1. Ha! Love that image of the NPD people trying to get more than a fair share of narcissism!

          You know your ex-husband had NPD (and your dog knew it too, but we rarely listen to animals because we think we know better and they just wait for us to realise what they always knew).

          The problem comes from doubting what we know instinctively and intuitively because the reasoning mind steps in with – but you do that too – or something like that and so we make excuses and convince ourselves to put up with things we don’t want to. Then ‘experts’ step in and confuse us further. And because we all have a certain amount of narcissism, we see the narcissism of someone with NPD as normal… until we realise, they were greedy and decided to overdo the narcissism to the exclusion of everything else.

          We live and learn and hopefully survive our errors 😉

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  3. Wow. Just… wow. I don’t watch the show, but you taking “narcissism” apart like you had is amazing.

    At the beginning, I agree. How the hell are you supposed to truly write about something you are unfamiliar with? I cannot write about growing up in the the city or the projects fro that matter. I grew up in white middle-class suburbia with little exposure to varieties of races. At times I wish there was more diversity. However, my parents are not racist, and they brought me up to accept everybody as they are. It was made clear that anyone can be a threat and until a threat happens, it’s best to be honest about a situation or turn the other cheek. It’s amazing the amount of slack she has received because of lack of diversity. She’s writing these fictional characters with experience to back them. That’s not really racist.

    You are such a fantastic writer.

    Thank you for the reply the other day. I appreciate the time that you took to write it. I wasn’t ignoring replying to the reply, but I’ve been thinking about how to continue the conversation. Now that I’m here… In my Sunday Observations post, I’ll be commenting on this guy who came into a coffee shop and was loud so he would get noticed. There was some narcissism with his display of conversation. I won’t give too much away. It was funny that he asked aloud if anyone was getting any of the conversation down… he blatantly wanted to get noticed. His mannerisms spoke loudly as well, and his lack of style spoke louder than anything else (looking good was the only thing he probably cared about).

    I do want to smack myself for some of the things I’ve said in public, speaking aloud for attention. It really does come down to whispers.

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    1. Thank you very much 😀

      Is it Sunday yet!?! Looking forward to your Sunday Observation post, you have a wonderful style of writing which is addictive to read 🙂

      Many years ago when I contemplated possibly being a writer, which I later decided was a bad idea for me, I recall reading a piece of advice – write about what you know – and I realised that I knew nothing so writing was not my thing, but reading was. Which was a good decision. And I love reading the writing (and also viewing the work) of someone who captures what they have experienced and can make it vividly real for others. Great ability and so wonderful to immerse oneself into it.

      You have that ability, to make your life and experiences come alive for others through your words. It’s like opening a window on your world and letting someone else see the view in 3D.

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  4. Ursula- an excellent synopsis of the show. I admit that I hadn’t seen its appeal (without ever having watched it, TBH), but your description of its complexities has whetted my appetite. You also provide a valuable distinction between NPD and ‘plain old narcissism’- of which we are all capable and guilty, from time to time. Great post!

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    1. Thank you 😀

      I’m just a TV and film addict really who enjoys my addiction because my mind can play with what it sees and go on journeys of one sort or another, overlapping it with my experience of reality and seeing if it gives me a new perspective… or something like that.

      Watching Girls, season 1 & 2 back to back I think made a difference to how I perceived it, had I watched it one episode at a time over a span of weeks, interrupted by many other things… my guess is my view would have been different and I probably would not have continued to watch it. I tend not to recall what I watched the week before unless it was very impacting, and recaps don’t clarify anything, kind of like not remembering what I had for dinner last night, fairly sure it was food… or was it 😉

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