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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Growing up

Narcissism is a normal and natural stage of psychological development. The word comes from the mythical Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image reflected in the water. A narcissist is someone who is self-absorbed. A three year old child is self-absorbed. He wants the toy, so he gets it. If another child cries over the toy, oh well. At three years of age, a child cannot see things from someone else’s perspective but their own. That’s normal. When the self-absorbed narcissist is thirty years old, that’s pathological.
By developing psychologically, a person becomes able to take more perspectives than his or her own. The eg0-centric stage of development allows access for only one perspective: “I” (my, me, mine). The next stage of development allows one to take a second perspective: “You” – which is the condition to have a “We”. Then, as one grows up further, he or she can take a third perspective: “It” (or he, she, and they).
The grown-up narcissist is self-absorbed. He cannot put himself in other people’s shoes. He only has access to his own perspective: “What I think / feel / want”. The world revolves around them. Their life motto is: “I want it, I get it”. And they see everybody else as if they were living by the same motto as well.
The short ‘attraction’ phase of our relationship quickly turned into the power struggle phase, which never evolved to a collaboration phase. One reason was that I was a narcissist too. I didn’t see further than my own needs and desires, my own frustrations and pain. I used to cry night after night, wondering what I did wrong, why is this happening to me, how can I get out of this misery.
Then one day I started asking this man I had married: What makes you say or do that? My conversations switched from how “I” feel to “What’s it like being in your skin?” I had started to grow up.
If you are a woman reading this, please read on. Take a printout of this post with you on your date, as a checklist of signs to look out for. Or, if you’re married to a narcissist, just be aware, and then make your choices. But I warn you, you must play your part in growing up. Just blaming it on the man doesn’t work. I tried it for years. It sucks and doesn’t work. You have to grow up.

  • You’ll be his trophey. Remember, the narcissist’s preoccupations are skin-deep. He identifies with the body, and he identifies you with your body as well. You’ll be his trophey to display to his buddies, and what he’ll value most in you are your breasts, or legs, or lips – or brand-name clothes, or the car you drive. All men are visual, and they will first see your looks before they’ll see your personality, character and deeds. But the narcissist will only see your looks. And if your looks are not up to par, he won’t show you to his buddies or his folks. Narcissus needs Echo by his side.
  • The narcissist cannot love you. He may be infatuated with an image that he has about you, to the extent to which you serve his needs well. Once you don’t fulfill his needs and wants, he won’t care whether you’re dead or alive. He just can’t. To love you he must know you, and take an interest in who you are as a person, take an interest in your world, learn to say something in your mother tongue, find out who your friends are and why you like them. The narcissist will invest time, attention and money in you for as long as you are an asset to him. Not one more moment after.
  • The narcissist in love sounds like this: “I love you. I miss you. I can’t stop thinking about you. You’re hot. You turn me on. I am attracted to you. I want to make love to you all night long.”
It’s very flattering, I know. It’s easy to fall for the serenades. I know I did, over and over again. But that onld song turned into noise. You want to know what the man in my dreams sounds like?
“You are a beautiful, and an interesting woman. What made you choose to do what you’re doing? What do you like most about it? What would you change if you could? How many siblings are you at home? Where do your parents live, and how often do you get to see them? Can I see some of your childhood pictures? My favourite food is Indian and Thai. What about you? What do you like? What’s the name of your favourite author? Why?”
In my dreams, I am loved the way Brian Adams sings:
“To really love a woman
To understand her – you gotta know her deep inside
Hear every thought – see every dream
N’ give her wings – if she wants to fly”
Looking in your eyes, a narcissist sees himself. Looking deeply in your eyes, the Dream Lover sees your Soul, if he loves this song but only just refers to it when he is trying to deceive his next victim,  you will know when he clips your wings instead of showing you how to fly with him, then you will know he used the words of the song to trap your heart, his goal  was to trap and cage your mind and body and torment you with the images of the man you want him to be, but a man he can never become because he is a narcissist and will never grow up to become a real man,  he will never live up to the image of the man in your dreams. *greekspirit*

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