Excerpts from the Archives of the Narcissism List - Part 20
Listowner: Dr. Sam Vaknin
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1. There is no Gaol
There is no gaol more monstrous than our mind.
The narcissist is a child. He is so curious and frightened and cruel and passionate and tender and impetuous and obdurate and loveable and enraging - all the things kids are.
He is in constant search of a lost mother.
And when he finds her, he holds onto her apron and won't let go.
The narcissist is screaming constantly, transmitting agony to a world without receivers.
Except the inverted narcissists. They have receivers. And his pain blinds them and they cannot resist or desist. Insist, they persist and fight, trying to recapture the narcissist's soul, doing battle with his demons.
2.Inverted Narcissists Once More
Inverted narcissism is a term that we invented here, in this list - BUT we did not invent the condition.
It was previously called "covert" narcissist and Lowen and Golomb describe it in great detail.
Without a narcissist - the Inverted Narcissist's (IN) life is grey and motionless.
An IN would feel threatened in a relationship with another IN. First, they would both be competing for narcissists (not for Narcissistic Supply but for a supply of narcissists). Second, they would feel that the relationship is unstable and not built to endure.
I think that the IN is a co-dependent who latches on EXCLUSIVELY to narcissists. He uses what little empathy he does have to secure his supply from his narcissist.
3. Losing Control
The narcissist is mortally terrified of losing control - or of not having it to start with. Lack of control negates his deeply embedded feeling of omnipotence - a pillar of his False Self.
Thus, when faced with death, illness, grief, fear, natural catastrophe, accident, war - anything he knows he cannot control - he becomes frustrated and rageful.
4. The Borderline Narcissist - A Psychotic?
This is why Kernberg came up with the "Borderline" invention - a diagnostician's paradise. Something between psychotic and neurotic (actually between psychotic and the personality disordered). The differentiation is this:
ALL personality disorders have a clear psychotic streak. Borderlines have psychotic episodes. Narcissists react with psychosis to life crises and in treatment ("psychotic microepisodes" which can last for days!!!).
Paranoids are paranoids. Schizoids are low intensity psychotics. And so on.
So, why the distinction between personality disorders and psychoses?
In one words, insurance. Money and medications. The pharmaceutical industry is the biggest one in the world. Much bigger than the armaments, media, and computer industries combined. There is big money here. The DSM is a money allocation mechanism. Taxonomies and classifications are mechanisms to allocate money amongst the guilds. The commissions on anti-psychotic drugs go exclusively to psychiatrists. Psychiatrists get rich on prescribing the 4m because they get bribed to over-subscribe.
5. How to Assuage a Narcissist
6. Don't Kiss Me without Permission
When I am treated this way I feel humiliated, objectified and demeaned. Just because someone wants to give me a kiss or a hug doesn't mean that he has the right to give me a kiss or a hug. To want is not to have a right to. We often want things to which we are not entitled. We often want to behave in ways which are forbidden by social custom or by the personal predilections of the person in the receiving end of our wishes.
I mean if someone gave ME a hug, or a kiss, or a birthday party or called me to wish me a happy birthday WITHOUT my prior consent - I would consider this to be an invasion of my privacy, an intrusion, being treated as an object, and an uncivil imposition. Nothing I hate more than being imposed upon (this is why I constantly clash with authority figures and the law).
7. The Root of Evil
Pathological narcissism is considered by many authorities to be the phenomenon underlying most mental disorders. I describe how pathological narcissism develops into various personality disorders here: http://samvak.tripod.com/faq40.html
The Excerpts pages contain many references to the artificiality of the DSM and its distinctions between personality disorders. All personality disorders are either variations on a theme or appear intermingled. Thus, a SINGLE mental health category with different axes and intensities would have been a more appropriate ("process-orientated") approach, to my mind.
I think that all Cluster B Personality Disorders (being mean is called "Antisocial Personality Disorder") are arbitrary points in a continuum.
8. Love as Domination
Sometimes we mistake guilt and self-assumed blame for love.
Committing suicide for someone else's sake is not love.
Sacrificing yourself for someone else is not love.
This article appears in my book, "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"
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It is domination.
You control her by your giving as much as she controls you through her pathology.
Your generosity prevents her from facing her True Self and from healing.
9. My Guardian Angel
I rarely stroll in parks or anywhere else for that matter.
Which makes my story all the more incredible.
Because today, in torrential rain, I did. I strolled.
Mindful of my infirmities, I dressed well, collapsible umbrella in hand and the disdainful look that I reserve to others, a fixture on my face.
I did regard the weather as a personal slight, it running contrary to my plans and aspirations in this particular eve. But I was determined to demonstrate my mettle by defying this divine impropriety.
As I passed the winged lions which keep a mossy vigil at the entrance to the park, the weather cleared and my gait acquired a more cheerful countenance.
From the corner of my eye (I never stare directly, a sign of lowly upbringing) I spotted an immaculately clad gentleman, poised rigidly on the edge of a metal bench.
I approached him and venturing forth my most civil voice I enquired: "May I, Sir?"
Not deigning so much as to look at me, he replied (if reply it was): "Certainly not, Sir. Can't you tell it is occupied?"
Taken aback, I measured him, head (or rather, Panama hat) to toes (or rather a pair of lewd leathery Italian shoes). "Sire" - I insisted - "this is a publick domain. If you find my company so reprehensive, pray find another place to rest yourself".
And with these resolute words, I sat myself near him, though maintaining a proper distance between me and his cheap perfume.
He curled a thin moustache with a gloved hand and half turned around as though not decided whether to fully face what he surely must have regarded to be an insolence of the highest degree.
"I see that you are as opinionated as you are young and the desires or needs of others matter but little to you" - he said, his voice harsh.
"'Tis so" - I agreed with him, slumping in my seat, shutting my eyes and abandoning my face to a more agreeable dialogue with the sun rays.
"And to be so callous and impertinent" - he pressed ahead, disavowing my clear reluctance to pursue the matter - "one must be assured of some immunity and of one's own superiority".
"Sir" - I said, still half awake, but rather intoxicated with the nectar of the sun dripping through my eyelids - "you seem to have a penchant for the obvious and to be enamoured with the easily discernible."
His voice climbed an octave in his excitement: "And what, in heavens name, do you rest these outrageous suppositions on?"
"They haven't been disproved as yet" - I said, bored to the core.
"Perhaps they have not been tried sufficiently".
"Oh, they have and more" - I heartily disagreed knowing full well the rage this will provoke in him - "Simply I AM superior. I am cerebral and handsome to behold and not without means. I move in the right company of men and place women where they belong and where their wiles can have the least effect. I'm pretty content with myself".
"You are a narcissist" - he raged as I expected - "You are a selfish, heartless, blind narcissist."
"I bid you go to hell" - I said, as nonchalantly as I could - "no one dares talk to me like this and no one dares take his leave of me lest I permit it. So, here is my permission: go to hell".
"I am going" - said the man, to my surprise. The thunderous, echoing quality of his speech awoke me full. I gazed at him in daze, for he was brilliant and outshone the sun.
"I am going there, whence I came. You know not what you said. I am your guardian angel and I am waiting for you there among the cauldrons and the sulphur".
"Who are you?" - I exclaimed, suddenly alarmed but he has vanished. And on the bench he abandoned a fiery calling card, strange lettering that left a lot to be desired inasmuch as good taste is concerned.
"Samael" - I read his name - "Samael Van Knin"
10. The Pleasures of the Somatic Narcissist
The somatic narcissist derives his Narcissistic Supply from sexual exploits and conquests, OR from the cultivation of his body, OR from seductive acts (which do not culminate in sex and are not otherwise consummated), OR from any combination of the above. Thus, a celibate somatic narcissist is a possibility. Such a somatic will tend to be an hypochondriac, for instance, or a body builder. Additionally, many narcissists are fetishists, latent homosexuals (there is a strong auto-erotic element in HOMOsexuality) AND misogynists (or misnadrogenists if they are female narcissists). This is not very conducive to healthy, consistent patterns of sexual behaviour.
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