How I Learned about Narcissism



My mother was a narcissist. Through no fault of her own, she fit the classic profile. At the age of 2, when it was time for her to inch herself away from the stable presence of her mother, one step at a time, the tables turned and her mother left her. Did that make my grandmother a bad mother? No, she died. And it probably wasn't her first choice. Anyway you cut it, my mother didn't have her own mother to separate from and discover her more independent self. She was left holding the bag, and a memory.

So I got trained early on by a pro on how to accommodate a narcissist. Regardless of my fathers faults, and they were legion, my life might have been more difficult in the long run if my mom had gotten custody of my brother and me.

I went to college and graduate school and more graduate school and learned more. I got formal instruction on narcissism at one of those institutions, but real life lessons from all three of them.

Then, as most of us do--at least the first time, " I married my mother."  He was a replica in many ways of my first teacher, mom. And, a teacher he was; probably the best I had. A professor finishing up with his dissertation students and I was just entering the program--(it was all politically acceptable, if not exactly correct). I got caught in his web of enchantment.

Our relationship was a wondrous lab, often painful, providing many lessons, should I choose to learn them.

Then there were my clients offering insight. Both the narcissists themselves and their spouses, partners, children, employees and bffs all added invaluable pieces to the ever evolving puzzle of what this chasm was that separated one from another.

After conversations with a friend and colleague, she piped up with "you should write a book, this information isn't out there." I had zero interest in writing a book. That was back in 2009.  She persisted (thank you Melissa Schenker). It took us a while, but we published in 2012 and it did not go straight to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. No surprise. And, it's a really good book.

After that exhausting ordeal and steep learning curve, I was told I needed to have a platform to launch the book. I could not wrap my head around it. I got overwhelmed out the wazoo. I didn't even own a computer till halfway through my last graduate school. I used CARBON PAPER throughout seminary! I could not see the value of an internet presence. My objective was to write the book, not sell it. I was way behind the times.

I've learned a lot since then. The most remarkable being that our book proved significant in people's lives. It has helped. That was the goal.

So now I'm throwing myself into the rink. I'd like to be more helpful and add value to people’s lives. Mevoke (Evoking the Best Out of Your "Me") is the platform. I hope you'll join me so we can learn together.

[bctt tweet="Not everyone is narcissistic. We may dip into indulgence occasionally, be preoccupied with our own thoughts at times or surrender to self-care (frequently, I hope). None of those is narcissism. " username="Tina_Moody"]

The real question is do you experience empathy? Can you get close enough to another human to experience their pain full well knowing it is not yours, but their own. Do you as a compassionate witness, hand-holder and soft shoulder, know their suffering and that it is theirs to bear? Your presence available to support, not to take over, helps them. Do you have the ability to be there for someone without your own emotional content overshadowing their experience? Can you hold your own?


Posted in acceptance, education, inspiration, self-help on 11/11/2016 10:58 am

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