I have spent so much of my time trying to understand and unpack narcissism, and its permutations, patterns and presentations. I have explored its impact and the residual conditioning it has left behind. I have distanced myself from that narcissist, and do everything in my power to disengage from any and all other narcissists.
But what if I am a narcissist?
Everyone is #blessed to have children, and yes I just went there. I freaking adore mine. I started an instagram account to share a bucket load of photos of her. I will talk about her all day and show you the thousands, if not millions of photos I have taken and explain the context and back story for each if you let me. But that doesn’t make me special.
And am I just using this for narcissistic supply?
A dear friend of mine shared a beautiful post on the book of faces. About emotional manipulation and abuse. It really hit home. She had an idealised relationship, perfect from the outside, and brutal on the inside. I love it so much when people openly talk about this stuff because that is how survivors find resources… by this being in the open. Being spoken about. It also hit home because I was one of the people that idolised her relationship.
Whilst she was dying inside.
So much so, I was still friends with him on facebook until just then! I checked. How could I let that slip through? But it gets worse. We used to be in a public group for our local area – all three of us. The partner posted a picture of his children in the group. My friend asked for it to be taken down because it was a public forum, and these are her children. Completely legit and totally fair. I reached out to him. To acknowledge that the breakup must be intense. He responded with some reaction and choice words about my friend. He was gaslighting her. And I bought it.
— I like to think that I was just being neutral… But we can’t be neutral in cases of abuse. Silence is compliant.
— I like to think that I didn’t know better… but now I do, and why have I not rectified it, by unfriending him or apologising to her until reading this article?
I was going through his page, with my new understanding, trying to piece this together over the instagram worthy photos and bullshit quotes. How does he get to have these perfectly filtered images whilst his kids are struggling? Who decides the legitimacy to his spiritual quests? Does he have a right to share such loaded and filtered photos?
And is that what I am doing?
I know that narcissists breed narcissists. And republicans / conservatives if I look too far into family politics, but I digress!
I thought that if I was self aware, and did the hard work, then I was narcissist-inoculated. But what if I am just becoming an epic victim?! Cue: anonymous blog that I bitch and whine about anything and everything.
He was self aware. He did the work. At least I thought he did. I assumed he did from two tiny snippets of interactions. Did he do the work? Have I done the work? Am I doing the work? Or are we all bound to fester into our childhood programming?!
And am I a narcissist?!