The Lessons We Learn from Narcissists

Have you met a narcissist?

Have you had a relationship with a narcissist?

Is the person whom you think is a narcissist really a narcissist or are you the narcissist who thinks that others are what you are?

Has someone accused you of being a narcissist?

Do you think you’re a narcissist?

If you think you’re a narcissist, are you sure that you are one or have you spent too much time around a narcissist and have come to believe what they’ve told you about yourself?

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choices

(this includes what I choose to see about myself, and what others choose to see about themselves)

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That last question is a bit complicated,

all questions about narcissists are complicated,

the subject of narcissism is a complex one,

a knotty problem

a puzzle of scattered pieces of you and others all jumbled up together

and as much as people try to make it clear,

black and white

I am this and you are that,

only one of us can be the narcissist in this equation,

things don’t work that way and if you try to make them work that way you will end up

going around in circles,

drawing narcissistic conclusions,

stuck in a rut.

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evil vs good - hemingway

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If you approach the issue from a black and white angle and decide that someone else is a narcissist,

that they are a villain, a monster, bad, toxic, the abuser,

this will be helpful for awhile,

as giving a name to something or someone that has been nameless,

and because of that has been confusing,

can give shape to what has been shapeless and clarify the confusion, dissipate the heavy fog which has obscured the mind, heart, and weighed you down,

– labeling my parents as narcissists has helped me to disentangle myself from their web, to separate the wheat from the chaff and find out what is mine and what is theirs. For a long time I thought what was mine was theirs and what was theirs was mine, which kept me tied to them in ways that were very unhealthy and caused me to keep bleeding profusely, and in trying to stop myself from bleeding I often ended up repressing the wound which then made it fester and hurt others because of it) –

but at some point what is helpful may become harmful.

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monsters - nietzsche

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One of the ways in which it can become harmful is that rather than alleviate the fear with which you’ve lived while being in a relationship with a narcissist, it can increase it

– you may become paranoid in a way which results with you turning into a witch-hunter, hunting narcissists in an effort to stop them from being a part of your life experience,

so you scour all those ‘red flag’ lists which (are growing in number online, often contradict and conflict with each other, have very vague parameters that could fit anyone and everyone including you, and turn relationships into statistics) claim to aid you in identifying narcissists to

avoid them,

or dump and discard them should you have inadvertently entered into a relationship with one.

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daniell koepke - toxic people

(narcissistic advice?)

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Like those who hunted witches in the days of yore the evidence which you use to decide if someone is a witch or not will get more and more tenuous

– that person has a wart on their finger, all witches have warts (black and white thinking) therefore they must be a witch and I should burn them before they burn me or turn me into a toad!

You corner yourself into being the hero, the monster-slayer or the one being constantly attacked by monsters who needs succour from a good monster-slayer, good, pure, the victim of the abuser,

and as much as it may feel that you’re on the right side of the equation, there’s a price to pay of living in the land of right or wrong and choosing a side (and then having to stick to that side) and that is that there will always be a barrier between you and others, guarded by a rigid set of rules and tests, which will protect you and keep others out, which is designed to only let the right one in, but will also confine you to a gilded cage, an ivory tower, of your own making.

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15 styles of distorted thinking

(I’ve done and do all of these, sometimes unconsciously but at times consciously, at some point along the route of thinking… do I win a prize for that?)

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Someone recently commented on one of my posts about narcissists, stating that:

“I am a covert narcissist. There are two types of narcissists…. covert (inverted) narcissists and classic narcissists. Covert narcissists are capable of remorse and do not manipulate people. I am stunned and saddened at the common misconception that we are ALL monsters. I am an only child of a psychopath/sadist mother and a covert narcissist father. All covert narcissists have been abused. Classic narcissists were most likely put on a pedestal as a child, which in fact is a form of abuse. This is how we deal with our fragmented self. We are ALL truly miserable. However, I do not condone the evil behavior of the classic narcissist. Both types are certainly aware of the difference between right and wrong. I do say this, if you do become involved with either type of narcissist..please leave right away. Don’t waste your life. You will never be able to fix us, no matter how much you try. No matter how much you care. It is very hard pill to swallow to know there isn’t a cure…..how we will never be able to truly love and that we will die an empty shell of a person.”

They added a link at the end of the comment to a video by Sam Vaknin – Misinformation: Covert vs. Classic Narcissist

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I replied to the comment, saying this:

“I agree that the view of narcissists as ‘monsters’ is upsetting, especially for those who’ve been diagnosed with NPD. The ‘monster’ label is one that comes from the pain experienced by those who’ve been subjected to abuse at the hands of a narcissist, and is a reflection of their personal experience with their particular narcissist or narcissists.

Unfortunately the emotions, the pain, the anger, the fear which comes with that gets passed onto everyone who reminds those who’ve been abused of their abuser. It’s a very human thing to do, and partly springs from a primal instinct to avoid ever having that kind of experience again. We’re hard-wired to identify our foes, enemies, those who might harm us, and we often use generalised labels to do that. So someone who has been abused by a narcissist will label all narcissists as being as abusive as their particular narcissist, and if their particular narcissist happened to be one who was on the extreme end of the NPD spectrum, they may have behaved like a ‘monster’ and therefore for their victim that would make them view all narcissists as monsters, as being like their abuser.

There is also the possibility that a person labeling narcissists as monsters may be a narcissist who, unlike you, is unaware that they have NPD.

Don’t take the label of ‘monster’ or the opinion that ‘all narcissists are monsters’ personally. View it as an expression of people trying to make sense of an issue which confuses them, frightens them, and has deeply wounded them. It is not a reflection of you, of your NPD, it is an expression of their own story, their personal experience of their particular narcissist or narcissists who abused them and left them feeling fractured and fragmented.

Many victims of narcissists, after they’ve gone through their own pain, do adjust how they view those with NPD. It just takes time to get there, and can be a long and difficult journey.”

and I added my own link at the end to an article which I think gives an in depth view of narcissism – Narcissism by Richard Boyd, Perth WA – Energetics Institute

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monsters have nightmares too

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I wanted to say more in my reply, but… I didn’t.

The more would have been doing what this person did not want me or anyone else to do.

I’d probably already trespassed over that boundary with what I did say. I have a tendency to do that when I reply to comments because… I’m human and being human is a messy experience and affair.

Someone asked me what the rules are for comments and replies on this blog – there aren’t really any, other than regular human ones. So, if you’re being human expect others to be human too, and try not to be too disappointed if they are. That includes me, the blogger of this blog – if I seem like I know what I’m doing on here, I do… and don’t. I learn as I go along and interact with you…

we learn from each other, from our relationships however deep or superficial or many shades in between they may be.

And…

One of the aspects of being human is being narcissistic – we can all be narcissistic, narcissism is a natural and normal phase of human development and it can be healthy as much as it can be unhealthy.

NPD is basically a normal and natural part of of being human which has been distorted, disordered, and taken to an extreme (but within the extreme is a scale and not all those with NPD at at the extreme end of the extreme).

Imagine a plant which has been forced to grow in a way that isn’t its usual way – like a Bonsai.

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burned bridges... whose fault?

(but they think you’re the one who did it… because they handed you the flame afterwards and you’re still holding it)

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The problem is perspective,

perspective has been skewed, but that skewed perspective thinks it is correct and therefore thinks that correct perspective is skewed

– what I view as healthy narcissism may be viewed as being unhealthy by you.

If I stand my ground about my own identity when you want me to

be who you want me to be for you, but that’s not who I am, not who I want to be either (so I’m not going to adopt it)

back down and bow down to your version of my identity,

then we’re going to have a clash and we’re both probably going to think we’re living in the right while the other is living in the wrong.

We can both survive this clash,

but sometimes we think that one of us must die for the other to survive,

even if evidence points to an alternative where we can both live,

and share this space together (yet apart).

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greathumanshark

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There are quite a few points upon which both narcissists and non-narcissists agree,

these are often those views which make those who are narcissists so attractive to those who aren’t,

and makes those who aren’t narcissists so attractive to those who are.

There’s a person who ‘borrowed’ one of my posts,

when I first came across this I simply thought they’d copied and pasted it to share, which is what the web is all about, but a closer look made me rethink my original view of it…

I can be naive at times (it serves a purpose and not just for others to use me as they please…)

they’d edited it slightly – removed the part which explained the post:

These questions are from the search terms used to find my blog – the answers are a mix of serious with humour added. If you want me to clarify and go deeper into an answer to a question, or have another question to add, let me know using the comments:

and they hadn’t specified the source other than in the title. It has been done in a way that (is quite clever) could mislead people into thinking that this person is the author of this post, the one who put these words together this way, (and other factors seem to suggest that this person is counting on things being misleading).

This has been around for awhile, and I’ve been aware of it, but a penny about it only dropped recently (frankly that penny couldn’t drop earlier as I’ve been caught up in things which made it seem the least of narcissistic things to me… and it’s only come to the fore now because I finally have time to cogitate on this kind of picture).

It bothers me… it bothers my own narcissistic tendencies.

But I often suppress those (not necessarily successfully).

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true detective

(this scene… it’s me with me)

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It bothers me in other ways which aren’t directly personal – when someone claims as their own what is yours, what happens to what is theirs?

A few days ago, a blog I follow discussed how they would feel about losing all the content of their blog due to a technical glitch (or other internet ‘monster’). This particular blog weathers these kind of storms as inspiration, and they did this as a way to promote a new creation of theirs.

Another blog which I follow,

took that post out of the context in which it was written, and panicked due what it evoked for them personally… reveling in the panic somewhat, because we humans do that kind of thing… it’s a form of cutting.

It’s a way to know that we feel and bleed what we feel.

One person’s panic can trigger our own… or memories of the panic of others and how it affected us (and may still affect us).

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username or password incorrect

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Living with my parents, my mother in particular, was a constant state of panic about the slightest thing.

Narcissists are afraid of everything, everyone, of losing the control they never really had but thought they had because sometimes it seems as though we have the ability to control the chaos of being alive and all that ensues from that… we can arrange the dominoes and dictate how they collapse once we decide to push that first one over… they don’t always fall the way we wanted them to which can cause a jarring within, the pressure we’ve placed on ourselves and therefore on others can grind like gears whose teeth have gone astray…

– as a child I had a recurring nightmare about a system of gears, a clockwork, which didn’t work… it was all in pink, the colour of the brain (of brainmares)… that clockwork has never really worked for me the way that others say it should, or how I hear them say it should, but it works in a way… always a wrong way even when it seems right… –

I did what I have learned to do about things which others are panicking about,

(after years of losing my head because they were losing theirs)

and shrugged about it – if I lost An Upturned Soul, the content which this place holds… I would simply do what I have done throughout my life when I’ve lost myself, things I own or thought I owned, and the things which I’ve created – start again from scratch.

(the only thing which would cause me consternation is that others have found sustenance and substance in my posts… which would be lost, or would it?… in what I’ve shared and… perhaps my cavalier (not sure if that’s the right word)  attitude would harm them in some way, or would it?)

I’m used to being lost, I know how to find myself within the loss.

If I sound blase, I’m not… I just know I can survive (until I can’t) all those things which seem insurmountable and so overwhelming that there’s no way you can make it through.

I know others can survive too, and I rely on that as much as I do on my own ability to do it.

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there's a story

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There was a time in my life when my mantra was – I’m not going to make it…

but I made it.

Not sure how…

I could analyse it within an inch of its life, but that would only be able to grasp the mechanics (coping mechanisms) of it. Some of the tick of the tock.

When we ask questions like this one

(in the search terms which led someone – according to blog stats 7 people asked this in their search bar, it could be one person searching 7 times – to my blog):

“How do I stop hating myself for falling in love with a narcissist?”

My answer to that is – never – unless you stop hating the narcissist for being a narcissist. That can be hard to do. The anger phase of dealing with the fallout from a relationship with a narcissist can be,

addictive,

vindictive,

and too active to ever turn off.

If we’ve lost a lot of ourselves to that kind of relationship,

we may find ourselves too tied into to it to ever untie ourselves,

it’s part of the fabric of our being and the end of it may be the beginning of something with which we’re loathe to part.

– Without my particular narcissists I would most probably not have created An Upturned Soul, and this blog has gained a certain popularity which it would have never had if it hadn’t been for my posts about narcissists.

It gets quite a bit of attention for the astrology posts which I have written

(and I could overlay astrology on this post as I can see where my natal chart and transits correlate with what’s going on within it – Pluto in particular, both natally and by transit, but also Mars… and Uranus… and…) –

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everything leads back to you

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Out of everything which a relationship with a narcissist can teach us,

and that includes your relationship with yourself if you think you are a narcissist,

is – We need to get to know ourselves better,

which often entails accepting that who we are isn’t who we’d like for ourselves to be,

or who we think we are.

That can make us very uncomfortable,

with ourselves and with others,

sometimes we’re uncomfortable with others because they make us confront what makes us uncomfortable about ourselves,

they show us one way or another that as much as we’d like to live in the right, we’re often in residence in the wrong, or even worse than that, we live in the grey areas between black and white, right and wrong, which don’t have rules which are easy to follow, or clear boundaries.

We, humans, often make those boundaries up just to have them… and be on the right side of them.

But what happens when we find ourselves on the wrong side of the boundaries which we know we’ve created and supported?

Do we justify our ‘slip-up’ while not letting others do the same?

Do we indulge in a bit of narcissism while coming down hard on anyone else who does that, perhaps even accusing them of crimes we’re committing too, but we’re allowed to do it

(because we have justifiable justifications – that no one else is allowed to use even if they’re exactly the same as ours and we know it).

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a person you know and don't know

(or perhaps inside that person is a person you know too well – you – and you don’t like to find yourself in them because it shows you that you don’t know you as well as you need to to get along with others)

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Yesterday I built a wall,

(I’ve built many of these around myself over the years)

by moving bricks from one place to another…

(sometimes we destroy one wall and build another one with those bricks)

the wall I built is a temporary one until I can figure out what to do with the bricks which I moved,

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stable bricks

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these bricks were once used as external flooring, designed to deal with the weight of a horse and cart and the load which that horse with cart was supposed to carry from one place to another,

(my house served several different purposes in the days of yore… it was once a pub and those horses with cart carried barrels of ale to quench the thirst of weary travelers)

they’d been moved from their original place

(why would anyone be crazy enough to do that as these things weigh a ton… of bricks!)

and used as a border for a vegetable garden

(the framework of someone’s dream for this place and themselves).

That vegetable garden is no more,

hasn’t been that way for awhile,

but it is still trying to cling to its former glory underneath the weeds which have invaded it

(sounds familiar).

Those weeds are plants too, ones which have learned to survive and thrive even though many people hate them,

have lists of ‘red flags’ to identify them,

and products to avoid, discard, kill them while being environmentally friendly so that when they kill a living thing they feel justified in doing it and feel confident in the outcome of their actions – it was for the greater good, right?

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Neil Degrasse Tyson

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One of the many things which I’ve learned form the narcissists (or the supposed ones) in my life is,

we can all be narcissists,

even if it’s only weeds which experience us that way.

I’ve always liked weeds,

I identify with them…

my mother hated them.

She would spend her Spring months trying to cut them out,

saw herself as noble, righteous, heroic, a martyr to a cause, for doing that when she could be doing something else, like having the fun which she hated everyone else for having while she battled weeds.

They always grew back as though defying her, giving her the proverbial radical herbal finger, letting her know that her ‘green fingers’ of which she was so proud and liked to shove in the faces of others, were drenched with red not green.

She made war not love,

even though she saw it as being the other way around,

which may be why her love required so many deaths.

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the brick in the wall has a name

(the brick in the wall has a name…)

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In my view she was a covert narcissist,

oh, yes… she felt remorse,

how loud and proud and so overwhelming to others that was,

you couldn’t say or do anything which didn’t trigger it for her,

and, yes, she was the way she was because she had been abused, had suffered…

I paid for that by being told and repeatedly made to feel until it became real, that nothing I suffered could ever compare to what she had been through… so what I felt was a nothing and what she felt was an everything,

which must be catered to so that she wouldn’t feel that somehow she was the monster rather than all those she accused of being the monsters in her life.

It was very complicated.

I lost myself in it for what seems like too much of a lifetime, and my loss never really was a gain for her, the sacrifice of the weed never made her satisfied with her garden… there was always something (someone) else which marred it for her.

A speck of dirt which obscured the view of the eye.

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muddy

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I used to think that I could remove that speck of dirt from her eye and then she could see without pain… but when I became that speck of dirt and the only way to remove it was by removing myself completely from existence, and even then I had an inkling that she would still find another speck of dirt in her eye…

it eventually made me realise that I should endeavour to not take the views of others so personally,

and should check my own eyes when viewing others.

There is much to be learned from narcissists,

whether they are really narcissists

or whether we just see them as being that way because of a speck of dirt in our eye, that has grown into a weed which we can’t live with and must eradicate,

while appearing to ourselves (and others if we can control how they see us) as heroes for killing it.

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Bane quote - The Dark Knight Rises

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We can all be narcissistic,

and it isn’t usually the end of the world when we are,

and it isn’t the end of our world when others are,

if we’re still here, discussing what they did to us, our world has not ended…

sometimes it’s just a beginning of something that,

may not be as it seems.

Things not being as they seem – narcissists teach us that,

but how do we learn it?

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29 thoughts on “The Lessons We Learn from Narcissists

  1. Excellent article bringing out the real conflict in mind on narcissism. These are real questions we all experience all the time as a measure of our understanding of things around us and through them about us. It is always a judgement as a result of an external input and then self doubt and justify ourselves.
    These are reality, but observe silently. Even observe yourself on the possible reactions you decide. Never get attached to the circumstances around you and detach yourself from within. This is also may be called neo-narcissism. Let it be labeled any way.
    Our existence in this mortal world is an opportunity to serve and bring smile on others face with nothing in return but observe.
    Understand the power of universe and we are all part of it including the planet earth. Our perception of us is actually the power of the Creator within us regulating our mind and thinking.
    The film ‘Garbage – The world is not enough’ is few billion years away and only a fiction of our imagination. Our extension of narcissism feeling technologically can be both ecstasy and fear. But the power of creating such manipulative creature is a possibility with Creator’s permission and never be duplicated.
    Appreciate your nice article and bring all of us to experience these situations. Beware and be aware.
    All is well. Thanks and regards

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  2. I made a comment before on one of your posts. I talked about my experience with a you tuber/ narcissist. In some ways I can’t tell if she is entirely a covert narcissist since she displays so many signs of a severe co-dependent as well. She has a crippling fear of no because she’s afraid of people disliking her. She wrote about that in her blog post. She expects people to understand her fear of no and not ask her to do things. But then if they stop asking her and inviting her to stuff, she hates them anyway because they’re “excluding” her.

    She blames them for asking her things like “Do you want to go to coffee?”. She reads so much into what people think. Then she goes on the attack and purges people and sends them lengthy messages of how “awful” they were to her before blocking them. Afterwards, she gets new toadies from blog and vlog and trashes that person to her next group. And on the cycle goes.

    But then she does a lot of those 15 things you describe in that list.

    What’s weirder were all her parent issues. On one hand she praises her parents as the most wonderful and understanding parents ever. Then would change and talk about severe abandonment issues. I saw her dad’s blog and they are missionaries and looking back I strongly suspect her dad (who she seems both angry at and screeches her adoration for) is a narcissist with a messiah complex.

    The more you try to figure out a narcissist or a co-dependent the more they’re behavior doesn’t make sense. I now realize that the I’ve drawn many narcissists. I believe they are attracted to my personality because I come across as “co-dependent”. However, I am not and once they realize I have a strong sense of self the claws come out and they feel cheated. That I deceived them and wasted “their” time.

    Their ego cannot handle not being the victim. They will twist and bend and try to destroy your world and break your way of thinking.

    What I’ve learned from my many destructive and confusing encounters is that the worst thing you can do to a narcissist is walk away with a sense that you were right and that they were truly wrong. From what I’ve seen they cannot — absolutely cannot — stand you believing that you were the victim of them.

    My encounter with that You Tube vlogger finally opened my eyes to the pattern of behavior I had been seeing again and again in other narcissists and co-dependents. I realized they weren’t bad people, they were sad people. People so beyond hope that they should be pitied, but not for the reasons they wanted. All the narcissists I’ve met always wanted to be someone’s victim so they could have an enemy. They are the hero of their story.

    And like the hero of the story, your either just their princess/ lamp / prop there to get them what they want or the villain who hinders getting what they want.

    Have faith in yourself.

    The words that really helped me work out my stuff (although I’m still working out some of it) was when my father said, “I don’t think she’s (you tuber) a bad person, but I think she’s a boring person.”

    And I realized at heart, one thing all narcissist seemed to share is that they *seem* fascinating because they go out of their way to appear so, but deep down there is nothing to them. And take away all the decor they’re actually quite boring people. Not bad people. Just sad, boring people.

    Instead of looking into whether someone is good or bad, a better filter that I think works more effectively at keeping out narcissists is “does this person have substance? I mean do they really have substance?”

    Sorry if I was rather messy there, I was just really motivated by your post and these thoughts came out.

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Your father made a good point about her possibly not being a bad person so much as being a boring person.

      I read an interesting article awhile ago when lots of people were putting social media under the microscope, and narcissism had become a hot topic, and concluding that we all tend to behave narcissistically when using it, and that those who are actually narcissists love social media more than those who aren’t narcissists.

      We can be whoever we want to be on social media, and we may exaggerate our ‘good’ bits while hiding our ‘bad’ bits, we may make ourselves sound more interesting than we really are because we want others to be interested in us. We can be our idealised self online, pretend our life is perfect. We can paint a beautiful facade and live it while we’re online.

      Online life can be the escape from how we feel about our offline life.

      Have you ever seen the Film and TV series – Catfish – it’s an excellent insight into why people pretend to be who they are not online. Not everyone who does that is trying to deceive others, they’re just trying to escape who they think they are by being someone else, then they get in too deep and can’t get out of it.

      Blogging is a strange experience, especially if you get a lot of attention for what you do on your blog. I’ve read a lot of posts by bloggers who suddenly had blogging fame and they’ve spoken about how disorienting it can be. It’s easy to lose touch with reality when doing something like blogging, vlogging, Twitter, etc, particularly if you become a minor celebrity because of it. Suddenly something you started doing for yourself for whatever reason becomes important to other people, your ‘followers’ invest themselves, their hopes, dreams, in who you are and what you are doing online, and for a narcissist this can be where they go from being someone likable and relatable to being someone unbearable who thinks the sun shines out of them.

      Narcissists are far more tuned into and concerned about who others want them to be because they need others to tell them who they are, they don’t self-reflect they need others to do that for them, to mirror to them who they are. So when they become a popular ‘hero’ for others it piles on the pressure for them to maintain that hero status. They do go out of their way to be a hero, to appear to be ideal, perfect, etc, because they’re driven by a need to be more than who they are, they can’t accept being human and definitely don’t want to be an ordinary human – so when others see them as being special it is a dream come true that eventually turns into a nightmare as they try to hold onto the dream.

      The hardest part of a relationship with a narcissist is dealing with the destruction of the illusion we had of who they were. We’re often attracted to them because they represent an ideal to us, they embody an archetype – the hero, prince charming, a goddess – for us. Then we get to know them a bit better and see that the hero is sometimes a villain, prince charming is not charming at all, the goddess seems to be more of a demon, they aren’t who they were supposed to be, we feel deceived by them and hate how foolish that makes us feel. We once saw them as being so wonderful but now all we see is them being the opposite… we want them to know that we’ve seen through their facade but they refuse to. And we see others being fooled by them as we were… that stings, we want everyone to know what we now know.

      But would we have believed someone if they had tried to tell us that the hero we were worshiping isn’t who we thought they were when we were in love with this ideal person.

      When this person was a hero for us we wanted them to be that hero in every way and never let us down, once the facade falls apart they often become a super villain to us – they’re still not quite human for us.

      Sometimes we don’t want them to be typically human because what attracted us to them was that they stood out as being an ideal for us. They embody an ideal which perhaps we’re chasing and we think we’ve found it when we meet them. We keep idealising them even after they become a villain in our eyes.

      What your father said is the road to clarity – see the very messy human being behind the hero and villain duality. The moment you can see that is the moment you stop focusing your attention on them and return yourself and see the human that you are who wanted a hero and got a villain instead. But the villain is just a mixed up mess of a human. Like we all are to a degree but narcissists never learn, non-narcissists do and we can move on whereas they’re stuck where they are.

      One day you’ll look back on this experience and realise how much it taught you about yourself. It showed you how smart you are, how strong you are, how deeply you feel and how quickly you can recover, and also how some mistakes are worth making as they a lesson which opens up a whole new panorama of perspective on yourself, others, life and the complexity of being human 🙂

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  3. it’s not that i decide to be forever hurt, it’s that i feel I am.I haven’t been able to react when it was due and now everything hurts. My parents too blamed me for living away so they never came over to see me.I understand it now as sick but it carved my grief and i am left with this feeling i don’t deserve anything. I have the impression i can’t control my status or my emotions.i have endless conversation with myself to calm myself down and to reassure myself that not everybody is like my parents.That’s why i say i haven’t learnt much, because i live in fear and anguish and i am scared of people-is it related maybe to ptsd?I find it is a miracle when I hear that people can succeed in putting it all behind and start from scratch, this is being really strong and points out a stunning stamina.

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    1. I didn’t mean that you’d decided to be hurt forever, and I apologise if it came across like that, I meant that being forever hurt could be viewed in other ways and that the way it is viewed changes your status.

      When you see it as something which makes you not strong, this makes you see your status as one of being not strong, but when you look at others who you recognise as also having been deeply hurt you see strength in their deep hurt, in the way they live with their own forever hurt, and the status you see them as having is one of strong, one of stamina, one of having learned a lot, etc.

      How come their forever hurt makes them strong in your eyes but it doesn’t do it with you? Could it be that what you see in them is a reflection of you too – in other words your forever hurt has made you strong, has given you stamina, has taught you a lot.

      It’s always easier to see in others what is in ourselves, and difficult to see in ourselves what we see in others.

      To me you come across as strong, you have amazing stamina, you are very structured, and your ability to learn is stunning – this is similar to what you have said that you see in others and yet you don’t see it in yourself even though you often mention that you and those others whom you see that way share a similar experience.

      Consider this – You grew up feeling that your parents never loved you, and you constantly tried to find a way to win their love in spite of all the evidence you have gathered in many different ways that both of them suffered from an inability to love. You also have loved them, and kept trying to maintain a love for them, no matter how they treated you. You believe in love and feel it strongly in a variety of ways – love has never died for you, it is a vibrant essence in your life. – this is strength, stamina, learning and so much more.

      I realise that it may feel safer to view yourself from a certain angle because changing our status for ourselves can be bouleversant. And for children of narcissists home is in a negative view of ourselves, when we tried to have a positive view we’d get punished in some way for it, or at least it felt that way.

      And yes, definitely, living in fear, anguish, being scared of people, is part of PTSD… of the ptsd incurred from growing up with narcissists who made life unsafe, unstable, a constant source of intense anxiety – we were always being watched by prying unfriendly eyes… but it’s also a common experience of being human, connected to the primal instinct.

      You’re an incredibly beautiful soul, and I know it can hurt to look at yourself that way because it may conjure up all those times when you haven’t seen yourself that way, all the consequences, all the time which passed not appreciating your own incredible self… and it evokes an ocean of emotion. Your emotional ocean is a source of your beauty 🙂

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      1. There is no need to apologize, i never feel hurt by your words, on the contrary, i do appreciate how you analyse and how you reason.
        You are right, maybe what i feel is just a retroactive grief for that child who had to put up with all this Nshit. And definitely, unconsciously, change is perceived by my inner self as negative or scary, that’s to say i would be also scared to see myself as worthy as i have never lived that, my shrink says that even happiness is scary, at least we know our prison and where we come from.
        It is very easy for me to see qualities in others. I am not very objective with myself.
        And yes, it is TRUE.I do believe in love, I have been able to love and to be loved and i have lovely friends, I love people and i do believe it is possible.this is the most important thing in life.So i end up thinking my parents were seriously disordered, they were lunatics.Living in a world of folly, even if you are not part of the crew, is very destabilizing, as a deformed mirror, an intoxicating and contagious image which conditioned my choice in people and my reactions.I try hard. At least they haven’t succeded in preventing me to love.
        You mentioned the fact of being watched by prying unfriendly eyes.I have been spied, watched, they rummaged in my things, letters and feelings, I have been assaulted and invaded.No Wonder I have bad boundaries about myself! This way of being, being a N, scares me to death.I should say i am scared to death to realize they were my parents.
        i really hope to progress and to be able to see others things in myself that a child of Ns.
        I am getting excercise with my drawing, but alas nothing comes out, I have to keep trying.
        Thank you for your presence.xxx

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        1. If you’re drawing then something is coming out, each line opens up the ability to create another one, and it speaks to the inner need to express yourself that way, whispering – bring me to life bit by bit. That’s love, you do it because it’s an inner urge to do it even if it seems as though it doesn’t go anywhere or do anything, it does… you know that.

          You’re an amazing soul, burning with a strong and vibrant light which sometimes is too painful to look at directly, but it can be seen indirectly.

          The world created by your parents was a nightmare. The nightmare was theirs but those who have those kinds of nightmares always pass them on to be carried by others. What you’ve been carrying could have crushed someone who didn’t have the kind of strength, stamina and determination, the inner structure, to thrive and survive under that kind of pressure. The love which you have is adamantine. But this is a ‘normal’ experience for you so you don’t appreciate the view from afar where people see Atlas, see Athena. And perhaps it is better not to see how great you are because that would perhaps be a pressure too much… but to see it gradually in your creations, in your expressions… little by little the whisper becomes a voice carried on a personal wind, gently caressing the places which need its touch 🙂

          You’ve never given up on yourself – that is a beauty of natural awe.

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          1. Dear Ursula, your words mean a lot to me. I am behaving as a child as tomorrow is a special someone’s birthday and i would have liked to give him a drawing, but I am not satisfied with them, so i shrug and i accept I can’t. At least I haven’t torn anything- yet. perfectionism is another feature of N heritage. But how come i can accept it when i write but not when i draw? I think I feel myself naked there and that is why i don’t accept is myself!.
            Am i doing it for someone of for myself?I think I daresay shyly- for myself in the end.
            I have been trying to be someone else for so many decades..it’s a ancient cork..
            What you say about appreciating my qualities is very difficult for me to understand, as to be honest, i don’t see my behaviour as worthy.i lacked of courage many times, to rebel against my parents, to affirm myself, to close my eyes..
            i am finally scared to death to talk about this artistic whirlwind to him, to anyone, as i am so afraid of being judged as grandiose-who do you think you are?It’s a very private thing.I would like to share it with myself, at least! Thank you again.xxx

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            1. That’s a deeply meaningful gift to give to another – something you created. It can be the hardest gift to give because it means so much… too much… and could change a relationship both in the giving and receiving.

              Not tearing up your drawings is a huge and beautiful non-act act. I’ve been there and I’m not an artist in the way that you are. Reminds me of when I was a child trying to do my homework, before I even got to the actual homework itself I first had to write my name on a piece of blank paper – that caused me a lot of anguish, that and the date (this may be a dyslexia thing, but I’m not sure), and also made me into a bit of an eco-terrorist as I crumpled up the lives of many trees and threw their sacrifice away as though it was something of which there was an endless source.

              Perhaps you connect your writing to your mind and your drawing to your heart. And your relationship with your writing and with your drawing reflect how you interact with your mind and your heart?

              Is this ‘him’ someone you love with your heart or your mind, or both and that’s why there is a complexity to this relationship which is one worth exploring no matter what happens or doesn’t happen.

              If he has your attention, then he must be someone rather special – he’s lucky to know you.

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              1. i gave him what i havegot, which wasn’t perfect or wonderful but the main thing is I wanted to accept what
                i was.i was scared to be rejected but i ended up reassuring him about his doubts, his age and his relation with death.It’s not what and how i wanted to give him his bday present, but i wanted so much to make him feel loved.
                yes, i think you are right about the mind heart bound with my drawing.I try hard. But though art i do feel reallly naked, in a way writing always feel safe.
                The main thing is the thought itself;i do not really know if he understood the message, but i love him as he is, even when he doesn’t understand.
                But as you say, he’s special and he deserves my trust.
                I don’t know if he’s happy with all this, but the feeling i have i have is that i gave him whatever i could.I love everybody else’s bday.
                Thank you again to be there for me.xxx

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                1. Abbracci forte ❤

                  I don't know if he's special, but I know that you are – you make him special!

                  And you gave him an incredible gift, one which sprung from inside of you. He may or may not understand, it's a delicate dynamic, and understanding isn't always apparent or conscious. Time will tell and reveal.

                  Is he an Aquarius? Then he's probably a bit distrait most of the time, noticing things without necessarily noticing them, or not being aware of what has transpired until later. Aquarians have an inner private side which is incredibly profound. He may be at home on his own and suddenly the immensity and intensity of your gift will dawn on him and touch him deeply, but he might never let on.

                  Follow your bliss, and share it with others. Don't worry about how they receive it, focus on how giving affects you, and what giving gives to you 🙂

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                  1. he can be very oblivious…He’s an Aquarius and i had the impression he had a lot of Piscean influence in him, in his moon and Venus, when I looked up his chart i couldn’t believe it but i guessed right! He is very clumsy when he receives a gift, in the past he even grimaced and i was mortified as i thought i hurt him when i wanted the opposite effect.he doesn’t talk much about his feelings or himself, his inner emotions so i feel kept at a distance when it’s not true; I can’t accept compliments easily so i react as though I heard the opposite, i am so scared by hollow words. he’s not hollow though.
                    His mercury and mars are in capricorn and his ascendant is leo (ugh!)
                    i don’t think he liked the drawing (it wasn’t great), i hope he liked the books and the Debussy. today he has been silent and i know he needs time to settle his perceptions.
                    I had instants where i felt at home with him, I belonged somewhere. But all that happened with my family makes me very fragile and difficult to handle.
                    thank you for your words and your encouragement that is very precious to me. xxx

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                    1. That’s a wonderful observation about both friendship and love in relationships, both with others and with ourselves – ‘I had instants where i felt at home with him, I belonged somewhere. But all that happened with my family makes me very fragile and difficult to handle.’

                      From the way you have described him it sounds as though he, like you, is fragile too and difficult to handle, and somehow the combination of you and him creates a bridge for both of you – sometimes it’s a wonky bridge, but it can still be crossed to get to another side of experience.

                      Amore é gioia, amore é gelosia, amore é soffrire, amore é tenerezza, amore é calore. Amore sei tu!

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                    2. sono d’accordo con ogni parola che hai scritto.
                      Yes, it is definitely a bridge, a wonky one, but i also love him for his scars and how he tried to heal from them. Tanti baci. xxx

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  4. Interesting and I was intrigued especially by the commenter on one of your posts that you mentioned. And I was even more interested in why you had a disclaimer of sorts saying that you probably said too much in your response and that you “trespassed over that boundary” which to me means that you didn’t really say what you wanted to- probably because you have such good boundaries and respect for others. Your good boundaries are the reason that people comment on your blog. You keep yourself and others safe in a way- and when people feel safe they express themselves freely which I think is of upmost importance to you- you don’t want to stifle or censor someone since you have way too much experience having dealt with that shitty way of moving through life with NPD parents.

    My impression of the commentator was that she is not a narcissist. Maybe an inverted narcissist perhaps (which is different from a covert NPD person- I agree with seashell that they are different). So maybe that is why you refrained from saying more- you were sensitive to what she was saying (from your own experience) and only she could be the one to decide what she was or was not. She kind of made her decision but it didn’t make sense- she said she is not the manipulating kind of narcissist (hmmm…that’s kind of the definition of being someone with NPD).From my experience with a NPD person- the give away for me in her response was her detail about her parents. I don’t think someone with NPD has the wherewithal to look into that and really call it for what it is- they know they were abused possibly but they use that to manipulate, not to figure out why they are the way they are really. It’s just something to say to get attention, distract others, gain sympathy and that’s that. It’s not thought about in a introspective way. I have kids and kids act this way- they just do and say crap that doesn’t hold the meaning that a developed adult would think it does. It’s just something to say and while I’m stressing about their comment, they are onto to the next thing and forgot they even said it. I have many of times had one of my kids say something which I mulled over and then later wanted to talk with them more about and they were like “what?”-they’d already forgotten they really said anything that really mattered or pissed me off. Which is why a non -narcissist that gets involved and close with someone with NPD gets hurt so badly-nothing was what you thought it really was. Which is a nightmare really and for me one of the most painful things I have ever encountered in life so far. Only others who also have been close to someone with NPD knows this deep pain & betrayal. That’s why I love your blog. Thanks for helping all of us ❤ and having such good boundaries which allow freedom of expression along with acceptance, even if opinions differ.

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    1. Thank you ❤

      Yes! You're spot on, that's exactly the 'more' I wanted to say and didn't, and is also the reason why I didn't.

      When I read that comment my first thought was – I hope they haven't self-diagnosed themselves as a narcissist (which all ACoNs are prone to doing), and used Sam Vaknin's work to do that. He's very informative but as he keeps repeating – he's a narcissist and people need to remember that when taking on board what he says.

      (isn't he the one who created the term – 'inverted' narcissist)

      I did start out writing a reply which questioned their view that they were a narcissist, but then I deleted that because I saw myself as doing what they were specifically saying they did not want done.

      Sometimes the best way to help someone is by respecting their request that you not help them. They've drawn a boundary and it is important for them and for you to respect it.

      If they had said – I think I may be a narcissist – then that's an invitation to discuss it. But since they said – I am a narcissist – that's not an invitation to discuss who they are, they've made a decision, and they are the ones who get to decide who they are and who they are not.

      And if they've grown up with very disordered parents, who probably spent a lot of time telling them who they were and who they were not throughout their childhood and beyond, then they've probably spent a lot of time confused about their identity, they've been seeking to find themselves, and this is a self they've found for themselves.

      Going by the way they expressed themselves, they're still figuring out who they are and they want to do that without others interfering. So if they're not a narcissist, they'll figure it out, and will do so on their own which will be far more helpful for them than others telling them that they're not.

      Knowing who we are for ourselves, getting to know ourselves, exploring ourselves, figuring our selves out for ourselves is far more valuable than being told by others who they think we are and are not.

      I went through a long period of seeing myself as a 'monster', no one could have changed my mind about that at the time, it was up to me to figure things out for myself. Some of that view of myself was based on the views of others which I'd taken too personally, but I needed to see that for myself and not have someone else point it out to me. If I'd taken someone else's word for who I was, even if it was a positive view, I would have become too reliant on others to keep confirming that for me. My identity, good or bad, would have always been the property of others, and that just leads around in a vicious circle of never really knowing who we are for ourselves. Sometimes we just have to decide who we are and then find out for ourselves if it really is who we are.

      In some ways we're all still kids testing the boundaries of the parents we find in our world, but those parents are kids too 🙂

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      1. Agree- we are all finding our way and “we’re all still kids testing the boundaries of the parents we find in our world, but those parents are kids too”- that’s just so right and cool.

        I like how you basically said that no one can tell you who you are or aren’t and if you really want to know who you are…you alone must do the work. I think this work is exponentially increased if you were involved or raised by narcissists. It is a battle with the self in ways- and I think it feels so overwhelming to some that they give up or choose an outlet (addiction etc) to express or suppress it. So what’s the best answer for figuring out who you are or who you aren’t- what helped me (and I only had a relationship with someone with NPD- not raised by someone with NPD) was to “DO.” Even if you don’t want to “Do”- just do it anyways. By doing, instead of thinking I was able to free myself in a way. Be around people who are doing healthy things- seek that out aggressively. The mind is a trap in many ways- by doing you unlock that some. I forced myself to sign up for things that I didn’t want to do. I forced myself to be seen when I wanted to hide. I forced myself to read other things that had nothing to do with me or my situation. I forced myself to look out and stop looking in so much. I think a mix of the two is important. It’s almost like having a phobia since being with a Narcissist makes you fear yourself. Which is the worst phobia to have. So forcing yourself to be present in whatever you fear or maybe just deciding not to focus on it anymore and consume your thoughts with other things. Distractions actually helped me heal because my focus changed-the mind will go where you put the most focus. Most people are good- so focus on others who seem to have a happy sense of self-it rubs off. I know, easier said than done but it was the “Doing” that changed me the most and made me become OK again. Not sure how I got rambling about that but I did, ha ha!

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  5. Karen Anne Kramer. Wow. At the bottom of the post it says, “written by” Karen Anne Kramer. You are right – this individual is clever. It’s a sort of sliding, muddy, unclear presentation. Trying to confront the plagiarism here would be like trying to nail down mercury. To look on the bright side – plagiarism is the most sincere form of flattery? 😉

    As you know, I have worried about being a narcissist. I really don’t believe I am, and I think I’m coming to terms with my worries about that. I’m starting to realise that it’s comforting to know that I have a sort of interior check going on, even if I argue with it and obsess about it sometimes, and analyse every single thing I’ve done in a week. 🙂

    Having a narcissist (or two or three) in my background has been a good thing in many ways. I wouldn’t go back and change it, even if I could – actually, I would change it for the narcissists, but then, everything would be different, including me – because I’m mostly happy with who I am.

    Great post, Ursula. I started reading it yesterday and only got back to it today; I kept wondering what else you were going to say. 🙂

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      For those of us who have either grown up with or have had an intimate relationship (or both) with a narcissist, thinking we’re the narcissist is a regular feature of our inner landscape. I think it’s healthy to wonder that in some ways as it makes us more self-reflective and perhaps adds depth to our experience of ourselves and others. The unhealthy side of it is trying to eradicate any narcissism which we find in ourselves, being overly critical of ourselves any time we stand up for ourselves or do something ‘selfish’ or being ashamed of those times when we express it, which includes those times when the narcissism is actually good for us.

      Being aware of my own narcissistic tendencies has been helpful when interacting with others. If someone calls me out on something I’ve said or done, I’m more open to looking into it and owning up to a mistake or apologising for being an ass (if I was actually being an ass, or just if the way I was happened to be too abrasive). I want to sort things out in a way that works for me and for the other person rather than go for the defensive and offensive approach because of experience of being on the other side of that equation – which is what happens when you confront a narcissist about anything. They deny, deny, deny and blame you (often for being and doing what they’re being and doing).

      If I were to say anything to Karen, she’d probably tell me that the ‘written by’ thing is due to the platform she’s using, or some other reason which would probably have me apologising for bothering her with my petty issues. It’s one of those cases of I mind but I don’t mind enough to do anything other than have a bit of a grumble about it on my blog and use it as inspiration for a post 😉

      When I first started this blog I remember one of the blogs I followed published this great post and they got a lot of kudos for it, then a few days later they confessed that they’d plagiarised someone else’s post. They never really explained why they’d done it. After that I stopped reading their posts because I couldn’t trust that what I was reading (hearing) was their voice. I think in the long run it hurts those who do it more than it hurts those they borrow stuff from.

      I often wonder what else I’m going to end up saying (I have many wtf moments when writing) 😉

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  6. It’s a wonderful thing to know that you can and (most likely) will survive. I no longer feel that the losses I’ve lived through are tragic; they’ve taught me to find that place in myself that can start again, even from scratch. Your blog is so very helpful, and that would be true even if for some reason it went The Way of All Things. In this installment, you describe my mother with eerie accuracy, and there is comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who has struggled to disentangle myself from that kind of sticky web. It’s also so valuable to be reminded to check for my own possibly narcissistic behaviors, to try to better understand how someone could have become so myopically self-centered. I hope that I can find a way through the anger and arrive at acceptance. Reading your blog is like relationship with a treasured friend — one who strives for clarity and will tell me what they see, even if it (or *especially* if it) makes me uncomfortable.

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    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      One of the things which helped me with my own anger was through understanding the purpose of anger from a natural perspective. Often we are taught about the bad side of anger, either from others who may tell us not to be angry, that being angry is a bad thing to be, and who may punish us if we ever show it, or through our own experience of being on the receiving end of someone else’s anger (which when we’re a child can be terrifying, instilling in us a fear of the emotion in ourselves and in others).

      Anger becomes a problem which we try to avoid or get rid of. However anger is a natural feeling, and is often telling us something important which it wants us to acknowledge, and it doesn’t go away until we pay attention to it, listen to its message and understand what it wants us to know.

      Anger is a protective emotion in many ways, it rises when we’re under threat, it warns us of a danger, spurs us to action to defend ourselves or our territory – a boundary which is being violated. And we may stay angry to protect ourselves from repeating a pattern which hurts us.

      For me staying angry at my parents became necessary as a way to stop myself from doing the whole ‘forgiving and forgetting’ and letting myself get used again. It also pointed at areas I needed to investigate in how I related to myself and others. For a long time I was angry at myself for betraying myself when it came to others, especially my parents. Every time I talked myself into doing something I didn’t want to do, or into being a way which wasn’t authentic for me (bending myself out of shape to fit into someone else’s needs of me) it would end up with me being hurt, which added to my anger at myself. I was angry at myself for hurting myself, or allowing someone else to hurt me.

      That’s where acceptance comes in most handy, but is also quite hard to do as you have to disentangle yourself from all these confusing threads.

      The Focusing technique (developed by Eugene T. Gendlin) is very useful in getting to the root of anger, figuring out what’s behind it and what it is trying to reveal to us. Anger is often partnered up with something else – like being cranky all day because your shoes are rubbing, giving you a blister, the anger in that case is telling you to take the shoes off. But if you’re used to wearing those shoes you may think that the anger is coming from somewhere or someone else.

      One of the sources of anger for me with my parents was the conflicting realities. Narcissists are hypocritical to the extreme, the double-standards really tangle the wires in the mind causing all sorts of shorts. Your logic is constantly frustrated by their ‘logic’, and sometimes it includes the ‘logic’ of society, especially where relationships with parents are concerned. Such as – you must love your parents, your parents love you – but you know this isn’t the case and why on earth should you love someone who doesn’t love you, or whose ‘love’ for you consists of hurting you.

      That sort of thing still makes my anger rise, and when it does it spurs my need to figure things out for myself in a way that is acceptable 😉

      Keep doing what you are doing, and take good care of yourself, remember to be gentle with yourself (it’s surprisingly easy to forget to do that).

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      1. You’re so right about the ability to twist logic and perceptions around, which of course makes us doubt (and discount) our own perceptions from the time we’re children. For the longest time, I couldn’t understand why I was so angry. I had accepted the force-fed version of my mother The Good Parent, so at first my anger toward her confused me, and I tried to stuff it. In general, I’m not an angry person at all, (except when it comes to social injustice or someone picking on someone weaker or smaller, and then look out! A coincidence? I think not.) so the anger felt very alien to me. Interestingly, a couple years ago, at the beginning of a burgeoning romance (which, not coincidentally, led to five years of hell, in the process introducing me to narcissism and narcissistic abuse, a crushing abandonment by my then partner and — voila! — a year of therapy to get over full-blown PTSD/ anxiety disorder!) my mother said to me that “if I was going to ‘keep’ my boyfriend, I would have to do something about my anger!” I don’t think I need to explain to you how it felt to be on the receiving end of that little zinger. Those who know me well would describe me as strong, warm and loyal, with very long term, happy, healthy friendships. I raised three children to adulthood and they are truly exceptional human beings whose company I delight in; we’re close and supportive toward each other. I agree that we are not obligated to love our parents. I was telling one of my (adult) kids exactly that today; that whatever my mother feels for me, it isn’t love — and that they are under no such obligation to love me regardless of my behavior. I probably won’t be able to be at peace as long as I am in contact with my mother, but I’m in a situation where I can’t yet gain the distance I need, but it will happen. I’ve informed my kids that if I ever begin to diminish them in the slightest way, if I mess with them and their lives, if I project my own shortcomings onto them (etc, etc) that they are to take me behind the barn and promptly shoot me ; )

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        1. You sound like one awesome parent!

          Sometimes the best therapy comes from taking a step back from ourselves and seeing how who we are (without our take on it) has affected those who really matter – the ones who love us as we are (and who we love as they are because we know how much that means having experienced what it is like to not be loved for who you are).

          Anger is a complex character who keeps cropping up in our lives until we get a whole picture of it. Sometimes it is a much needed element, and sometimes it needs to be restrained – figuring out when to blow and when to say no to it may require practice.

          The most beautiful picture of anger is that of a parent protecting their child (and when our anger is protecting us as a child, that’s a similar image).

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  7. I don’t think I have learnt much, I have been banging my head over and over against the same wall for years.
    I sense in a way, if you are not well structured, you blame yourself all the time for their way of acting.Through psychoanalysis I realize i undergo two different types of “knowledge”:the first through the mind, the second, through the heart.The first one now is not difficult for me, but the second and final step, which corresponds to Healing, is not to be taken for granted, it takes a huge amount of time and i don’t even know if i will achieve it one day.
    All i can say i am hurt forever and i am not strong enough to build myself from scratch, as you say.The only talent i have from scratch is cooking (not Italian style:))
    Narcissistic wounds are available for everyone, that’s life, but someone with no empathy to me is pathological.The question is, isn’t this type a common one, as society is encouraging and praising certain kind of beahaviours, so some people become whatever they can in order to belong somewhere and to be as they should?And i disagree again, but to me a covert narcissist is not an inverted narcissist.
    I still find stunning you could identify your parents for what they were all alone and very early in your life.Somehow in the middle of that mess, you could save a healthy part of yourself.is it nature or nurture, i mean somehow along with all the mistakes they made with your forced upbringing, they allowed a creative thought to develop where you didn’t need to conform to them. thank you for this reflection, it took me a while to speak up my mind.

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    1. I think we all tend to do that years of head banging against the same wall one way or another, and it doesn’t mean nothing has been learned, in fact it could mean that we’ve learned something new and we’re hoping that this new thing will finally knock the wall down.

      What’s that wall? Who introduced us to it in the first place? When did we start banging our head against it? Are we trying to knock it down or knock ourselves out? Is there something behind it? If there is, is it something which only exists behind the wall or can it be found elsewhere? Or is there something inside of us which can only be found by banging our head against this wall?

      Questioning – my parents taught me to question everything and everyone. That’s something which narcissists do which is actually a good habit to learn, although their reasons for doing it may tip more into the unhealthy than the healthy. My questioning has taken detours into some very unhealthy places, but it has also taken me to other places. I included my parents in the ‘question everyone’ category because my father made me question my mother and my mother made me question my father as they were always at war with each other and rarely were they ever on the same side, and they both questioned me – so some of my questioning of them was simply doing to them what they did to me.

      For instance my father often told me that it was my fault that he didn’t get to see me more often. I believed him until it struck me that I was a child and it wasn’t as easy for me to travel from A to B as it was for him, and he was always traveling so how come I was not a regular destination for him if he loved me and missed me as much as he said he did. Why was it my fault that he didn’t get to see me? When I asked him about that he then shifted the blame from me to my mother. It’s true that she had a big part to play in why I didn’t see him, but she made more of an effort than he did to get us all in the same place together – which was never a fun experience unless arguments and tantrums are considered fun (which I do think narcissists do find fun to a degree, especially as they often get a release from pent up gobbledygook after a raging fit), so being apart was actually better.

      For me a lot of how I am has to do with realising through self-questioning (not just of the self-doubting kind of questioning, although that too) how much influence I have on my own status.

      Have you considered how strong you must be to live in a state of being forever hurt?

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      1. The wall was an impossible mission: make my Nparents love me.I thought I was always the one to blame and i didn’t try hard enough.

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      2. Sorry to invade your blog.Excellent questions about the wall.I have been mulling over for a while and it helped.thank you!

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