In my work with victims of narcissistic abuse I’m more often than not asked the identical query: “How do I do know I am not the Narcissist?”
After I requested my own therapist this query so a few years ago she answered “When you had been the narcissist you wouldn’t be asking that question, because narcissist’s won’t see that the issue is with them.” They’re too busy projecting the issues onto these around them.
Nevertheless our own narcissism is a matter worth exploring in more detail. For instance: Why can we ask that question to begin with. What is it that makes us really feel we’re the narcissist test?
In speaking to a client today I had an enormous realization. She was telling me how she was always disenchanted in her earlier boyfriends or partners. They just didn’t measure up to her expectations. As we dug a little deeper she explained how she has wavered between emotions of superiority and feelings of inferiority. She has built her own phantasm or thought of who she was which in her own reality placed herself upon a pedestal. So in a way she was doing the same thing a narcissistic personality would do. She sheltered herself from her feelings of inferiority by placing herself upon a pedestal. That pedestal created a false confidence.
So when the narcissistic personality comes into her life her false confidence is initially mirrored by the narcissist who displays to her the image worthy of the pedestal she has placed herself upon. But because the relationship progresses her emotions of inferiority are triggered as he projects his personal inferiority upon her. Now she is experiencing the feeling of having her mate upset in her inadequacy just as she has been upset in past partners for his or her inadequacy.
What’s the distinction than between the narcissistic companion and the one who feels abused? Compassion and Empathy! The shopper I used to be speaking to as we speak, identified with her partners emotions of superiority and in addition with his emotions of inadequacy. She had empathy for him. She didn’t need to see him harm because she is aware of how painful it is to expertise those same kinds of feelings. A pathological narcissist might give a rip about his companions harm feelings. He’s solely concerned with himself and his personal needs.
The inverted narcissist, as Sam Vaknin calls it, is the perfect match for the pathological narcissist. Because when their false selves meet, the phantasm of who they consider themselves to be is reinforced to some extent the place it might really feel like Cinderella assembly her prince who takes her out of her hell hole, where she is made to wear rags and sweep ashes all day. All of the sudden she is swept off her toes, she suits the glass slipper completely, and is carried off to the Castle adorned with lovely gowns and riches match for the queen she is.
Perhaps in this fairy story, Cinderella at all times fantasized herself to be a queen, but she lived the reality of being an ash maiden. She was ridiculed and condemned by those around her and made to feel unworthy of the nice things in life. However she would show them someday. She would show them she was really a queen.
For those of us who come from painful childhoods the place we have been by some means made to feel inferior, we are able to simply create fantasy worlds the place we escape into by no means never land. We imagine ourselves as fairy princesses and that imagine our prince driving up on a white horse and sweeping us off our feet, carrying us from our humble reality to an incredible castle the place we’re handled as a queen must be treated.
Within the psychic realm the psychosis of the pathological narcissist is a superb match for the fantasy world of the inverted narcissist. Because on the earth of make consider an important fantasy is created where the King and the Queen of by no means never land get together and ride off into the sunset. It is such an attractive love story, within the beginning.
However all glass slippers eventually break and so do the glass houses the “preferrred” couple reside in. There love will not be built on anything real, but fairly an illusion of perfection created by each parties. She is saying “be my prince” and he is saying “be my queen.” But as soon as they settle into the Castle the true selves start to emerge. The emotions of inferiority start to surface. Each companions don’t really wish to be discovered, less they risk shedding their status upon that pedestal. “What if she finds out I’m really a frog?” He might think. And she or he would possibly marvel “what if he knows the reality of me, that I am only an ash sweeper?”