Buying, Selling, Bargaining, Borrowing, and Stealing the Authentic Self

Have you ever noticed that when you’re focusing on a subject…

you see it everywhere…

in everything…

in everyone…

and suddenly stories pertaining to that subject come at you from every angle?

There is a psychological term for this phenomenon…

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it’s not this – but this is an interesting phenomenon…

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if I ever knew what it was called, I’ve forgotten it and can’t be bothered to look it up… however I do keep it in mind whenever my focus shifts onto a subject because…

it’s useful to do so…

it’s fun to see it happen…

it’s weird, and what is weird is often wonderful in some weird way!

The other day I decided to do a series on my blog about identity, the self, and how to figure it out. I started here – Discovering Who You Are – wherein I asked a lot of questions and then said I’d share my answers in following posts (which I sort of have and sort of haven’t…), or at least what has sort of helped me ‘find myself’.

[I am fairly certain of ‘who I am’, but I like to leave it open-ended… it took me ages to have that kind of fairly certainty, and in that journey back to my self I learned that it’s best to keep things flexible, open, unfinished… there’s always something new to learn or re-learn, or something like that.]

And in the days following that decision I’ve noticed articles online, storylines on TV, in Film, and in Video Games, and events in daily life, echoing the subject of this point of focus.

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I’m not a ‘thing’ so I wouldn’t name myself… but you’d probably say that’s semantics

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The article which stood out the most was one which was titled – Have You Found The Real You? – on a Graphology blog. The article was interesting and not interesting simultaneously… the ‘not interesting’ bit was finding out that the whole thing was a sales pitch for services the blogger was offering at a price to help people find themselves (if I was a younger me I’d have been very tempted by this offer and probably found it interesting, may have even bought into it if I could afford it… older me has learned some things from what younger me found interesting and did because of it), the ‘interesting’ bit was the preamble to the salespitch.

I was into graphology back in the day… these days… I don’t use handwriting that often, and it makes me wonder if graphology can really reveal the ‘self’ when most selves these days type, text, email, and rarely hand-write things… hand-written things are almost an anomaly whereas once it was how we expressed our selves – so can it still show who we are if it is no longer used like it was once used, to express the self?

When I did look into graphology what I found out left me with the same awkward feeling that palmistry did… who decided that this meant that and why? Am I to be judged by those who came before and those who made judgments about those who came before… and who are those doing the judging, why are they the judges of me, others, who I am, who others are… or aren’t?

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[I can be a frigging nightmare when it comes to asking awkward questions – I tend to ask these more often when I feel an awkward feeling that something is wrong, not quite right, a bit skew-whiff, with the picture being presented… and I’d like some more information, data, details… apparently this is bothersome]

I’ve been into pretty much everything (I’m one of those annoying people who say ‘been there, done that’ when you’re telling them about some new exciting thing you’ve discovered… I haven’t been there and done that with everything but so many ‘new’ things are just new versions of old things…) at some point in my life (so a consistent part of my ‘self’ likes to explore, experiment on myself, research).

I tend to do it haphazardly, slightly superficially at times but not always, and then move on to whatever one thing leads me to next . Usually I go backwards while going forwards – researching whoever was the root of someone else’s action (in other words if I was still interested in graphology, I might take this Graphology blogger up on their offer but I’d also look into who inspired them to become a graphologist, who they studied… then research that person – the further back you go the more things are connected to other things – for instance astrology used to be a part of astronomy, the further forward you go the more things separate and become isolated from other things).

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Last night I saw an episode of Catfish wherein the person who asked for help from the Catfish team was someone whose online identity was being used by others, and they were paying for the negative things these others were doing and saying online in their name. It was a complicated episode for many reasons, one of which is that this had been going on for more than a decade… and the online world has changed a lot since then, but… some things and people never change.

In that episode they confronted one person who had used this identity (for several years), and this person said that since others had been borrowing this identity they kind of thought it was the perfect identity to borrow, use, and use to abuse… of course, in their listed reasons for doing this they said they did it because they were going through a tough time in their life… they couldn’t be themselves, but they could be themselves by being someone else…

and it never occurred to them that pretending to be someone else, a someone else who was real, would affect the real person… because people… we’re so caught up in ourselves, and when we’re in pain we don’t think beyond ourselves, beyond alleviating our pain which may include hurting others but those others… are never as real to us as we are… and we can always justify our behaviour while judging and condemning others for doing the same thing – if it hurts us it’s bad, but if what we do hurts someone else we might say it’s justice which is good, right?

we don’t like it when people dehumanise us, but if we’re doing it to others… we may use the same excuses others use when they do it to us… but it’s okay when we use them…

while everything MTV can be rather superficial… you can find the depth there if you want to… and this episode had depth to it even if it was glossed over for the sake of the Catfish formula and ratings, entertainment and such.

I’ve had pieces of myself – some of which I thought were intrinsic to my self, my identity, etc – ‘borrowed’ by other people… it can throw your whole sense of self out of whack sometimes, especially when it’s done by a narcissist who does it so blatantly and boldly, and may then even accuse you of copying them when you know that’s not the timeline… but they’ll get you to doubt it until you’ll doubt everything about yourself… or what you thought was you.

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This week I got a comment on one of my posts from someone who didn’t introduce themselves, didn’t say anything about themselves at all (other than what could be gathered by what they did say – which can reveal a lot, but it can be misleading too), didn’t say why they had read the post or what they thought of it, didn’t explain their comment… all they said was – “I am confused because you mention one time you are not a victim of this abuse and then a few paragraphs down you say you are a victim of this….”

I re-read my post (which is this one – The New Face of Children of Narcissists) to see if I could see what they were seeing… I couldn’t (however I did notice a few typos, which I didn’t fix)…

My initial thought about this comment was…

well, I had several thoughts about it depending on the level of me which was looking at it…

One level of me – just shrugged about it.

I couldn’t see why it mattered to them if I was or wasn’t something – they didn’t explain why it was relevant to them to have this clarified. Why do they care about my ‘status’ or story? I doubt very much if they care about me… so what prompted them to ask what they asked, and why should I reply… chances are if I do reply (and I did), I’ll most likely never get a reply to a reply from them. So many comments online are hit and runs…

Besides… being confused when it comes to narcissists and those who have been affected by narcissists is normal, natural, par for the course… Narcissist sow seeds of confusion… not always to confuse others deliberately, but sometimes due to that… mostly narcissists are confused and you get that confusion passed onto to you (with added extras). Those who have been affected by narcissists may confuse others when they share their story…

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I’m a child of narcissists (I said this in the post, ergo I am the victim of narcissistic abuse… the two things go together, that seems fairly clear) and that position causes a certain ambiguity about being a ‘victim of narcissists’… there are times when narcissist parents are great (at least my parents could be great – when they were good, they were very very good…)… are you , their child, a victim of them then? Sure, it’s clear that you’re their ‘victim’ when they’re being raging, bullying, intimidating, control freak a-holes (when they are bad, they are horrid…)… but even then, a child tends to blame itself for the mood, behaviour, etc, of the parent, and a narcissist parent will encourage the child to blame itself (so there’s that – and that can be very confusing).

It can be tedious to always be a ‘victim’… that’s not all that you are, is it?… sometimes you just want to be a person without that kind of label…

Another level of me wondered if this person commenting could be one of those people who like to poke bloggers while showing how clever they are (posts about narcissists can attract comments from… narcissists, people trying to be the smartest in the room, people who like to display their ability to find what’s wrong with you, your flaw, your inconsistency, etc… while hiding their shit behind their reveal of your shit – clever them!).

Another me thought that they, like many people these days, may be suffering from communication miscommunication in their delivery of self expression due to texting too much, commenting on FB and other similar social media posts, where people blurt things out bluntly without thinking about anything other than what they feel like blurting out and that it needs to be blurted out, quickly, they don’t give an intro, don’t explain, don’t do small talk, and don’t consider whether the receiver can decipher their blurt (do they even care if you can or not?)… and they tend not to return once they’re done with their blurt, they’ve moved on to blurt elsewhere.

And then, child of narcissists me, thought that perhaps this person was a child of narcissists too… who had only just begun to look into it, speak about it… children of narcissists find self expression difficult and often do it awkwardly… running away to hide once they’ve done it, taking cover from what their few syllables uttered may cause to befall upon them…

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We all do that to some degree or another in life…

sometimes you have to say things without thinking about the consequences of saying them…

the burden of speaking…

the troubles caused by expressing yourself, and letting your self have its say so that you can hear yourself speak… and perhaps learn about yourself through the listening to your speaking…

we all may run away once we’ve said something… particularly if it was weighty, of importance to us, and we were afraid of how it would be received, of how others would react…

the self isn’t all about us being ourselves…

others have a part to play in it, and those others sometimes shape the form it takes, wittingly or unwittingly…

even those who think they have no influence at all… make a mark on others…

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What about you… have you noticed something you’ve been focused upon turn up in everything and everyone?

 

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