Sunday, May 01, 2011

Womb twin survivors misdiagnosed: (1) "Narcissistic" personality disorder

 Here are some of the so- called " symptoms" of what some experts call "Narcissistic Personality Disorder":
  • Self-centered and boastful
  • Seek constant attention and admiration
  • Consider themselves better than others
  • Exaggerate their talents and achievements
  • Believe that they are entitled to special treatment
That doesn't sound like a list anyone would want to admit to! It makes such people sound really arrogant and unpleasant.  Not nice to know at all......

A narcissistic person captivated by her image in the mirror
But I think that we need to take another look at these "symptoms".

I dont think there is anything "pathological" at all in these characteristics. I think what we see as "narcissism" is in fact nothing more than the normal character of the sole survivor of an identical twin  pair.

If you once had an identical twin, long ago, before you were born, would you not be focused absolutely on an image of yourself?  Would you not focus your energy inwardly, in order to maintain a weaker, less adequate part of you, of which you are exquisitely conscious and which is infinitely delicate and in need of special treatment?

Would you not seek out others just like you and  want to see yourself reflected in their eyes?  The Greek myth of Narcissus reflects this so perfectly that I am sure that this is the deepest meaning of this ancient myth.

Narcissus captivated by his image in the lake, ignoring poor Echo, who loved him so.....
 Echo and Narcissus

I, Echo, stand unheard and voiceless -
Save the last fragments of your voice in the air.
Yet what a language there is in the looking and feeling; in the isolation and repudiation!
Here is a silent story of unimaginable pain, of rejection and loneliness
Of hatred and love in equal measure.
I don't see your face but the back of your neck as you gaze endlessly upon your reflection
Seeking and never finding; lost and always out of reach.

Over the long years I have watched you fading into something insubstantial;
I have watched the stillness of your grief, transfixed upon tragedy
Yet rejoicing in your own triumph over death.
I see Someone is there for you,
But for me he is not there, he lures you away from me
He consumes you, he repudiates me.
Each moment is a moment of utter contradiction.

Surely you live a life of confused imaginings where life can be death;
Where love can be hate; where continued being can be total annihilation
And birth must mean death.

That world is not mine. It is your world
Created out of perpetual re-enactment of a primal tragedy.
Amid the wordless language of your still gaze upon the lake, communication is complete.
I too am grieving for you, my heart's desire. I too am searching for you never to find you.
I too am repudiated yet I too still remain loyal, I also have been annihilated -
Yet I manage, by inches, to exist.

For myself, only love and desire remain in an echo of what once was.
It is desire that consumes me, yet desire helps me to survive.
In eternal loyalty I resolve to stand sentinel at your grief
'Till death us will unite.

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