At times I write about narcissism. It’s a way of tracking my own feelings, venting, and attempting to gain some stability when having to deal with people who display narcissistic characteristics.
Several times people have commented on what a “good” understanding of narcissism I seem to have. These words would cause me to stop and reflect. Do I see narcissism everywhere? Do I project narcissistic tendencies on to people? and so on.
I would question why I felt confident to write on this topic. What made me “see” narcissism as I did?
And then the other day, I did a search on “narcissistic mothers”. Sometimes I just need additional information to help me understand my stepkids and what they go through having a mother, who in my mind, has narcissistic tendencies.
At the top of a page, I came across this quote….
It’s about destructive things. The Destructive Narcissistic Parent creates a child that exists only to be an extension of her self. It’s about body language. It’s about disapproving glances. It’s about vocal tone. It’s very intimate. And it’s very powerful. It’s part of who the child is. – Chris
And then I knew. I “know” what a narcissist can do to another person because I see it in my stepchildren all the time.
I used to say to people that I could see how narcissism affects another person, because I witness its effects on children, and children are more open and easy to read, and blah, blah, blah.
No, it is exactly what the quote states- I see narcissism and what it does to another being- because it is part of who my stepchildren are.
I see my stepchildren constantly having to re-balance and re-orient themselves, trained as they are by a narcissist with how to engage in the world. It is written upon them and it is part of their being.
I do not write this to make it seem like my stepchildren are lacking or incapable in some way. That is not it at all. I write this to remind everyone who has had to interact with a narcissist that such behaviors penetrate to a level we often deny.
I do not think this dooms any one’s future, but I do think this awareness asks us to be a bit more gentle with ourselves when the fatigue, frustration, and anger take hold and we chastise ourselves for not getting better, moving on, or letting go.
I am not a narcissist savant. I have simply had the unfortunate experience of witnessing a narcissist work “her magic” upon the beings of her children.
And because of this, I will continue to write and witness, and work “my magic” at understanding this dynamic, not so I can rescue my stepchildren, but so I can clearly stand for something different.