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OVERCOMING THE NARCISSIST.
RECOVERING SELFCARE AND MOVING INTO A LIFE OF CONFIDENCE, OPTIONS AND FULFILLMENT.

.............................................................................................................................................................................. Have you ever read the story of The Little Prince?  The one who lived his life alone, without anyone to talk to, the one written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the one who came from a planet barely larger than a house, called Asteroid B-612
Do you remember the drawing in the book The Little Prince of His Royal Highness the King who sat on a throne on his own little planet, while the entire planet was crammed and obstructed by the King's magnificent ermine robe, with no room for people, trees or plants?
   The narcissist is like that King, a man, or woman, living in his own little world and, sometimes overtly, often covertly preoccupied only with the magnificent self, with no room for everyone and everything else.  High and mighty on his tiny personal planet and isolated in the narcissistic splendor of the ermine robe, the narcissist looks down on his partner or her children as a part of the self, to be used for self, like an arm or a leg catering to the whole of the body. The needs of the narcissist come first. Partner and child are not seen or treated as a separate human being with personal rights and needs. 
   Narcissism is a disturbance in the capacity to love and relate. Living with a narcissist can be a precarious predicament.  After all, who wants to be just an arm or a leg?

Sorting through your experiences and emotions will help you to RECOGNIZE THE NARCISSIST:

  • Are you often tip-toe-ing around somebody?
  • Are you being told there's something wrong with you? Is your reality denied? Is someone undermining your self-esteem?
  • Is someone controlling your life or manipulating you?
  • Do you feel you can't be yourself? Do you exist through the other's desires and not your own? Are you always giving up on your needs to please the other? Are you overwhelmed by guilt? Do you feel you need to prop somebody up?
  • Are you often confused, do you have difficulty sorting out what is real or not, are you living in some sort of twilight zone? Is someone sapping your resolve?
  • Is whatever happens always your fault? Are you blamed for someone else's bad moods? Are you met with criticism, the silent treatment or other punishment when you assert needs or express feelings?
  • Does the other want your exclusive and unconditional attention and does he or she insist to get what they want when they want it? Are things being shoved down your throat? Do you always come second? Are you dealing with someone who does not take "no" for an answer? Do you feel you always have to surrender? Are you never getting an "I'm sorry"?
  • Are you the one who worries? Are you the designated driver of someone else's life? Are you doing the work, while the other has fun and avoids anything that is difficult? Is someone sucking the lifeblood out of you?
  • Are you often on the defense? Are you overlooking the reality of what is happening because you are so ready and willing to try to understand? Do you feel compelled to defend and excuse your partner or your parent? Do you overlook behavior that hurts? Do you feel sorry for your partner or your parent?

  If you answer most of the above questions with "yes" you are living with a narcissist and indeed might be in a difficult predicament.  Exploring your predicament and knowing what to expect will restore your sense of self and give you a sense of empowerment.   The first step on the way to change is awareness and understanding.   With awareness and understanding you are half way on the road to change.

  Each and every one of us has narcissistic traits, without the traits we would not thrive.  Healthy narcissism is rightful pride in real work, personal creation or true productivity. It is the mix of drive and selfconcern that makes us climb mountains. However, when the narcissistic traits become dominant in a person's character, we speak of pathological or malignant narcissism. The pathological narcissist has a passion for unearned privilege and honors.   His sense of entitlement does not come from genuine effort but from a made up divine right, from what he has or rather thinks he has and is. The grandiose and circular train of thought goes something like this: "I am magnificent because I am – you, who are a part and an extension of me – need to think exactly like I think – and need to adore me as the magnificent person I am."

  Narcissism is our first state of being.   We are one with mother in the womb and after we are born we don't experience a separation between the "little me " and the environment; it is all one big warm, comfortable or – uncomfortable - blur called symbiosis.  When the child is tenderly and wisely loved, protected and mirrored by the environment starting at birth throughout the developmental stages, he will outgrow his legitimate self-centeredness and mature into a loving and capable human being - fully alive, emotionally intelligent - and naturally helpful and giving. (for more on mirroring go to Love in Action. Making a Positive Mark with Mirroring)  The pathological narcissist, however, was not so fortunate.
   The pathological narcissist grew up with parents who lacked in attunement.  The parental figures were not aware of and tuned into the child's needs and failed to properly support the child in developmental tasks like weaning, separation, rapprochement (which is the reunion with the mother after separation) and individuation.  Instead they demanding the child fit their ideal, live up to particular expectations or please their needs. (for more on developmental tasks go to Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sound Parenting and Developmental Stages).
   Desperate to keep the parents' love and attention and afraid to disappoint them, the child learns to abandon who he is, learns to forfeit his vitality, learns to become a master in performing, playing a role, acting as-if, developing a false self prescribed by the parental ideal.   Thus he is not able to emerge from the symbiotic stage, outgrow his legitimate self-absorbedness and become an autonomous and secure individual.
"He cannot rely on his own emotions, has not come to experience them through trial and error, has no sense of his own real needs, and is alienated from himself to the highest degree." *1
Arrested in his development and crippled in his authenticity and independence the child will continue to see the world as his oyster, into adulthood, and in more than one way.

I. IMAGE IS EVERYTHING.

The narcissist stays attached to the prescribed ideal.  Whatever pertains to the image has first priority and highest significance.  He wants you to see him as he wants to be seen, not as who he truly is.  She takes hours to put herself together and is afraid of spontaneity, afraid of smudges and wrinkles, afraid of letting her hair blow into the wind.
Consequently the narcissist is an expert in controlling perception.  He re-writes the flow of information, with a gusto that often borders on calculated abuse or outright propaganda.  She tightly manipulates every word to her advantage.  Both create a constant flow of false narrative to keep the other on par with ideal and image.  If the narcissist can make the other believe in the falsehood, the dangers of exposure is prevented, if the narcissist can confuse the other with falsehood, the danger of exposure is diminished.  Exposure means discomfort and discomfort needs to be avoided at all cost.  The narcissist plays the game of secrecy.  He hides frailty and depression underneath a carefully constructed, often utterly charming and charismatic persona.  He carries pain and rage in a concealed, disconnected place. The narcissist does not want you to look too closely, just like he does not want to look too closely at himself and therefore your relationship with him or her will mainly stay superficial.
   Patty Boyd, ex-wife of Beatle George Harrison and musician Eric Clapton, grew up in a privileged family, yet her narcissistic parents were often absent.  When they were home they were neglectful of their children's needs and longings. Patty's coping strategy became, to be a "good girl", to hide the "me", to become what others expected her to be, and to play the game of image and illusion.  Patty went into modeling and at photo shoots she knew how to manipulate her body to its best advantage, she knew how to project the fantasy.   She was the beautiful white screen on which one could project one's innermost needs and longings.   Thousands of teenage girls envied her, yet inside she had come to believe, the magic was in the other, never in her. (to read more about Patty go to How the Mark can Make or Break You. Part I: Pattie Boyd)
   Patty is healthy enough to acknowledge her feelings and express them in her autobiography.   The pathological narcissist, however, not only denies outer reality but inner reality as well, and replaces it with pure make-believe:
"One creates an image of a pleasant or happy situation, which enables one to carry on as if everything were all right.  The image itself is a denial of one's feelings.  By identifying with a grandiose image, one can ignore the painfulness of one's inner reality.  But the image also serves an external function in relation to the world.  It is a way of gaining acceptance from others, a way of seducing them and of gaining power over them.* 2
The Narcissus flower is known to produce narcissus oil, an ancient narcotic. The name Narcissus derives from the Greek word "narce" which means "to be numb".

II. FULFILLMENT THROUGH THE OTHER.

In his immaturity, the narcissist still sees the other and the world as the means to his end of satisfaction and affirmation, just like a child looks to mother for food, care and security.  The narcissist – without being aware of it – expects the other – parents, partner and especially children - and the world – neighbors, groups and nations - to make up for everything he missed out on growing up.  The narcissist demands that the other is the unconditionally loving and adoring parent she never had.   In other words, Narcissus behaves like a toddler who was never allowed his rightful temper tantrum, let alone lovingly guided from tantrum to gratification.   Consequently the narcissistic mother parentifies her children and grooms them to cater to her emotional deficit, be it with crazy-making hair-splitting or with a silent treatment lasting for many lonely hours or (very subtle) just with a look.   Every simple difference of opinion can become a major incident and the child learns to give in, because it not worth going through the hassle or the guilt.  After all, who would want to be forced into feeling that he or she has done something wrong or has become the enemy, by simply being alive and expressing and asserting oneself?
   Alice Miller, psycho-analyst turned writer and child advocate, explains how she was not loved the way she needed to be loved.  The continuity and constancy, so important for the child, were missing from this love.  There was no framework in this love within which she could experience her own needs or emotions.
Little Alice, dependent on her mother, had no choice but to comply with the needs and feelings of her mother and to ignore her own needs and feelings, to win and keep her mother's love, acceptance and approval.  Mother did love her, but the love was conditional: she loved her child on the condition that the child present her false self.   Little Alice always wondered, "Does this mean that it was not really me whom you loved, but only what I pretended to be?" * 1
Mother's love was exploitative: mother demanded to be propped up to the expense of her daughter, who learned very early what she was not allowed to need or feel, lest she run the risk of losing her mother's love.   Any child who grows up with a parent who does not fully accept, understand and support his or her needs and emotions will develop the art of not experiencing feelings.   Said the adult Alice: "I would say that I spend most of my life trying not the feel, and, as a result, was well on my way towards destroying myself." * 3
Through patiently allowing the child to speak through her paintings and through working with an understanding professional, Alice Miller ultimately gained respect and honor for herself and moved from depression to confidence and fulfillment.
   Antoine de Saint-Exupéry frankly expressed how he expected his wife Consuelo's life to be suspended from his.  He longed for her to give him solid ground on earth, a home, a cup of coffee made just for him, flowers always waiting for him on the table, like a mother, always available to meet the needs of rapprochement of her little boy:
"You are my wife, ma femme chérie, for I cherish you at every hour of the day. You must come to understand me as a mother understands her son. That is how I need to be loved… It does me good to have you there with me, not speaking or moving, asking for nothing… Perhaps you're the one who can give me something – make me grow, plant your seeds in me, enrich me, make up for what I'm losing so that I can create, so that I can go on with my great poem, the book I want to put my whole heart into." *4
André Maurois, a fellow French writer, added to the picture: "I visited him on Long Island in a big house he had rented with Consuelo while he was writing The Little Prince. He worked at night. After dinner he would talk, tell stories, sing, do card tricks. Then, around midnight, when the others were going to bed, he would sit down at his desk. I would go to sleep. Toward two o'clock in the morning, shouts on the stairs would wake me up. ‘Consuelo! Consuelo! … I'm hungry… Come fix me some scrabbled eggs.' Consuelo would go down. Awake, I would join them, and again Saint-Ex would talk brilliantly. His hunger appeased, he would go back to work. We would try to sleep. Not for long, for two hours later the house would echo with clarion cries – ‘Consuelo! I'm bored. Come and play chess.' Then he would read what he had written, and Consuelo, herself a poet, would suggest clever episodes." *5
   Narcissism is a disturbance in the capacity to love and relate and living with a narcissist can be a difficult predicament.  After all, who wants to be a mere extension of a parent or a husband, like little Alice or Consuelo.

III. THE NARCISSIST'S COMFORT = YOUR SACRIFICE.

In his immaturity, the narcissist sees the other and the world as the container for his feelings and the parts of him that he is not able to tolerate, just like the small child uses the mother as a container for his unease and upset.  The narcissist repairs himself from inevitable run-ins with reality through a process of filtering, a process of removing solid facts – dissociation - or tweaking solid facts to favor the preferred conclusion - distortion.   Through splitting he bans part of his experience to the unconscious realm of the mind, so that he does not have to deal with it.   Through belief in entirely biased convictions of his magnificent qualities, his brilliant vision or his extraordinarily perfection, he stays "on top" and away from depression.  Only the show and the magnificent mask are real.
   Consequently, the narcissist firmly believes in the reality of his distortions and the truth of his lies, and that is exactly what makes him so certain and convincing in his fraud.  His gift of certainty is mesmerizing, yet hides a Pandora's box of frailty and to keep the box tightly closed, he is willing to resort to stone-walling and war-tactics, while she is twisting words until they suit her purpose and both will blatantly lie, with no qualms and without a bad conscience.   Both will sacrifice anyone for the sake of the perfect image, just like the addict will sacrifice anyone in the way of getting his fix. The narcissist is fully prepared to give up on human morals and human integrity for the comfort of the masquerade.  
   While the narcissist has a hard time leaving his own little orbit and making the trip to someone else's planet - a pre-requisite for relating, respect, concern and love - he wants you to perfectly mirror him in his glory and his wishes.   Loyalty and obedience are expected without proof of return and anything but adoration and applause is wounding. Confronting the narcissist with truth, honesty, reality or boundaries, never mind criticizing or defeating him, is perceived as an "attack" and a threat to his existence.  Narcissus will react with intense defensive aggression.  She will complain, play the martyr or cry foul.  He will purge himself of guilt through rationalizing and numbing.  They will sidestep shame and envy through blaming and demeaning the other and dispensing with the messenger.  Both go as far as "destroying" the other through defamation or blatant character assassination.  Like a skunk, spraying a foul smelling musk from its anal gland when it perceives danger, the narcissist exorcises his emotions, handing them over to the other through projecting, demanding the other swallow and digest what is in fact part of him, as a way of freeing himself of tension and discomfort.  Unless the receiver of the projected smear sees right through the game, or rather, dares to see right through the game, he or she will become confused, feel guilty and bad or be sapped of resolve.  The game is particularly destructive to children.  Children are too dependent on their parents for survival. Children cannot afford losing or doubting their parents and the idea that a parent projects and could be wrong does not occur to a small child.  Thus the child will internalize the projected smear, be marked and wind up confused and damaged in her self-image and self-esteem.
   Christina Crawford, adopted child of Academy Award winning actress Joan Crawford, once received a letter from her mother when she was in boarding school.   The letter shows us how accurate the projection is, but for the fact that its words did not apply to Christina, yet fit her cold and often unavailable mother to a "T".
"Christina dear – I see that I cannot trust you anymore than I ever could – all of your enthusiasm – your loving attention is surface and as false as ever – you pour it on only to get what you want, and if you think I haven't recognized that all during our Christmas Holiday – then you have another thought coming… I really feel sorry for you – you are cheating yourself because you are so artificial – you will never be a warm real human being… You have not changed one iota Tina – you are as artificial as all that make-up you constantly wear…"
Christina was fortunately old enough to understand that her mother Joan projected onto her both the best and the worst of mother and then behaved as though her projections were real.  Sadly she was never able to rest in her mothers love and relax in the comfort of safe relating.  Instead she was always put on the defense: "It forced me to defend myself against accusations that were fabrications.   Mother had simply not developed a way of dealing with a relationship that required a give and take or the effort of working through misunderstandings.   It was as if learning to cope with emotional development had been left out of her personality…" *6
  Be it in marriage, family, dynasty or nation, living with the narcissist will inevitably bring about Christina's predicament: the narcissist's priority is the survival of self. The other and the world are beholden to his idealizing or demonizing eye, his game is one-upmanship.  He will argue, contest everything and ride roughshod over everyone.  He is simply not able or willing to connect or cooperate or engage in give and take.  When biographer William O. Inglis interviewed John D. Rockefeller Sr. in the early twentieth century, they did not have a heart to heart conversation.  Rockefeller imposed his modus operandus: Inglis would read passages from the writings of Rockefeller's two antagonist and Rockefeller would refute them, paragraph by paragraph.   Rockefeller Sr. was not into relating, only into annihilating. *7
   Admitting to human failure, listening and learning lessons, never mind humility, do not fit with the need for a perfect image.  No matter how intelligent the narcissist might be, the natural capacity to reason, to gain self-knowledge and to grow and change is diminished or may even be absent altogether. It is highly unlikely that the narcissist will search through emotions or use the observing ego and say, "let's see what I am doing here", or "what is my part in this?" let alone "how am I repeating from childhood?"
  In his un-relatedness the narcissist is desperately alone and perpetually fleeing from a sense of emptiness.   There is never enough success, enough money or enough adoration, and no amount of love will ever fill the void.  Insatiable and never secure, he is often restless or bored and thus prone to gambling, cocaine or compulsive sex, while she will turn to alcohol, compulsive shopping, compulsive cosmetic surgery or becomes depressed.  Narcissus is so busy surviving that life is never truly lived.   Winning becomes the "be all and end all", fairness and justice becomes irrelevant and diplomacy and negotiation are abandoned for the power struggle, the war to be right and the demand to surrender.
   Christina Crawford brings home how far-reaching the sacrifice can be: "As a child Mother was fascinated by baby chicks. She'd go out back in the dirt yard and play with the yellow chickens, picking them up and hugging them. She loved the pretty little things so much and squeezed them so tightly to her that they went limp in her arms. When a chick did not move anymore, she'd put the limp one down and pick up a new lively one to hug. She told me she'd squeeze nearly a dozen baby chicks to death before her mother caught her…"
Only when she was an adult did Christina realize she had felt as if a baby chicken herself: "I felt as though I was in real danger of being squeezed right out of my own life. I felt as though I could not survive as a separate person if I remained under her control and influence. … I had to struggle free or I, too, would go limp in her arms and be discarded. It was not my physical being I was so concerned about any more, it was the preservation of my psyche and soul." *6
  One of the most bizarre and dangerous cases of narcissistic dissociation and distortion is displayed by Sun Myung Moon, founder of a cult called the Unification Church and publisher of the Washington Times, amongst other publications.   Moon grew up in North Korea in devastating poverty and humiliation.  Raised by strict parents, he once considered setting his house on fire after he received yet another beating.   During a late 1940's occupation of Korea, he was arrested twice for sex offenses.  Moon vehemently denies and covers this up with a bizarre story, a miraculous appearance of Jesus asking Moon to continue the work Jesus was forced to abandon 2000 years earlier.  Moon was incarcerated in the notorious Hungham Prison were dissidents suffered torture and were worked to death.   After an escape he was consumed with thoughts of revenge and began compensating with the belief that he was above Jesus, Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed and the Hindu prophet Shankara.   Moon studied electrical engineering in Japan, but made his first of money in shady businesses.  He turned to widow swindling and then hoodwinked young followers into selling trinkets and flowers on the streets for 18 hours a day, thereby creating his own version of a work camp.   He moved on to espionage, money-laundering, drug trade and arms dealing, set his son up as the owner of a weapons factory called Kahr Arms in Worchester, Massachusetts, re-strengthened ties with organized crime and bought vast amounts of real estate all over the U.S.  He never stopped swindling widows, though, he slept for years with scores of female cult members and still dictates his follower's life with loony and sexually explicit instructions.
   After a thirteen month stint in a Danbury, Connecticut prison for tax-evasion in 1985, Moon crowned himself and his wife Emperor and Empress of the Universe, so that he would be seen as - above God – his way to "correct" the shame and injustice that had befallen him.  The crowning ceremony was conducted in the Dirksen Senate Building in Washington, D.C. and attended by several members of Congress, who, when questioned, stated they were misled into thinking they were merely attending an awards dinner.  More than a year earlier, when his second son Heung Jin, died in a car accident, which equally exposed son and father as not so perfect and not so divine, Moon told his followers that his son's death was sacrificial and that his son was now the new spiritual leader of the spirit world.
"Jesus himself was so impressed by Heung Jin that he had stepped down from his position and proclaimed the son of Sun Myung Moon the King of Heaven. Father Moon explained that Heung's status was that of a regent. He would sit on the throne of Heaven until the arrival of the Messiah, Sun Myung Moon … Since, according to Father Moon, heaven is only attainable by married couples, not by single individuals, his ultimate act of arrogance was to match Jesus to a living elderly Korean woman" *8 
   Moon managed to hide his pathology and - willingly or unwillingly - seduce and mislead members of Congress, Ronald Reagan, who invited him to the Reagan-Busch Inauguration and the Bush family, staunch Moon supporters to this day.  In turn the Bushes had been seducing and misleading the world since 1976.  The Bushes were thoroughly trained in indifference, spinning and secrecy from a very young age and since the days of grandpa Prescott and grandma Dorothy.  Grandpa Bush had ties with the Nazis and in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act the U.S. government had seized assets of Union Banking Corporation of which Grandpa was a director.  Grandpa kept his children in line with beatings with belt, razor strap or squash racket. Grandma Bush denied the reality of her husband's binges and rages, to protect the "perfect" image of the family and to not feel shame.  In other words, Grandpa inflicted pain and humiliation on his children and grandma was unresponsive to the suffering of her children.  And this is exactly what son and grandsons would heap on the world: suffering and unresponsiveness to suffering. 
   Those who have no qualms about annihilating the dignity of their children have no qualms about annihilating countries and citizens.  And those who have been sacrificed and annihilated in their dignity growing up, will keep the merry-go-round of sacrifice and annihilation going.   The Bushes did not know better and did not care to know better.  And most Americans did not care to look close enough to discover how malignant their game was.  Often what we see at face value is what we want to believe, what is convenient to believe and what reassures us.   We don't want to look closer.   We desperately want to look away and avoid confronting a dark and dangerous, let alone deadly reality, even if it is painfully obvious.   But there is a price to be paid.
   Narcissism is a disturbance in the capacity to love and relate and living with a narcissist can indeed be a treacherous predicament in the country or in the family.  After all, who wants to be entrapped, fooled, sacrificed or annihilated?

  Getting help does not fit with being magnificent and therefore the narcissist is not inclined to call on a professional and work towards full maturity and full humanity and there might be nothing you can do to change that choice.  Yet you don't have to settle for make-believe and suffering.   You can navigate your situation with strategies that will help you take the power back and will ultimately allow you to move into a life of confidence, options and fulfillment:

  • Know that you deserve to be loved for yourself, not just for what you have to offer.  Know that not having been loved for who you are or not having been loved period, does not mean you are unlovable.
    You are lovable and you are lovable as you are.
  • Get to know yourself, get to know what you need, stop protecting the other, start protecting yourself, be your own best friend, decide what you want out of life.
  • Respect your emotions, trust your intuition and allow yourself to be informed by them.
  • Be aware of seduction, know that seduction is inevitably bound up with deception, do not take words for reality, take your cue from actions.
  • Take a step back from enmeshment and enticement and observe how you get hooked in. Have a picture of a fish on a hook in your mind when you explore which buttons get pushed. Understand that not everyone thinks and operates like you. Understand that the pathological narcissist tends to view care, goodwill and empathy as weakness. He or she might exploit it.
  • The narcissist's demand for the other to be the unconditionally parent he or she never had, even if you are his or her child, is at once unrealistic, tyrannical and a severe defect in judgment. Don't indulge. Don't fall for the demand, don't fall for the guilt trip, set boundaries, show candor about the bottom line and learn to say no and stick with it. And don't think you are doing anything wrong in doing so. Remind yourself when you are made to feel guilty, that you are in fact doing what you are supposed to be doing: allowing the narcissist to grow up.
  • Let go of responsibility that does not belong to you.   Avoid lectures about awareness, insight or responsibility, since the narcissist might not apply any of it.   Remember the narcissist is invested in keeping up the perfect image and might be unable or unwilling to enter the relatively discomfort of self-reflection, never mind the work of change. You might be bleeding a stone and it will only make you feel exhausted, frustrated and depressed.   Don't enable. Don't bail out.   Feel sorry for yourself.   Simply allow the narcissist to lie in the bed of his making and face the consequences of his actions.
  • Ignore evasion, rationalizations, excuses, silent treatment, temper tantrums, veiled threats or outright rage, its just noise and distraction. The narcissist's intend is for you to be on the defense and for him to be off the hook and get his way.   Avoid getting hooked into arguing or fighting, since you are merely repeating the same fight over and over again.   Fighting a losing battle will make you exhausted, frustrated and depressed.   Simply mirror back what has been said to you, detach, but do not buy it.   Keep holding up boundaries and bottom-line.
    Do get out if you feel unsafe.
  • Resist submission and demand no less than negotiation.   Start the negotiation on a positive and appreciative note and be cool and calm in your assertions.   Read the article Four Sure Ways to Create Happiness and Win-Win Situations
  • Educate yourself about externalization or projection. The narcissist conveniently dumps what is internal and uncomfortable on the other or the world.   Listen carefully and recognize the projection. What you are accused of being and doing is most often what the narcissist is or does himself. Avoid reactivity. Simply mirror back what has been said to you. Then detach. Do not swallow or own the projection. Know this is not you or about you.
    You are not selfish. Narcissus is.
  • Don't allow isolation. Build a happy, independent life and a support-system to fall back on. You did come to this earth to learn some lessons, but you did not come to this earth to live someone else's life. Only when our allegiance is with the emergence of our true self and personal path do we fulfill our unique destiny.
  • Instead of waiting for narcissus to change, remind yourself that there's a whole world of opportunities out there.
    You have options. You have a choice.  Narcissus will not give freedom, but you can take it.  GOOD LUCK!

*1. Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child

*2. Alexander Lowen, M.D., Narcissism. Denial of the True Self, page 59 and 74

*3. Alice Miller, Pictures of a Childhood

*4. Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry, The Tale of the Rose. The Passion That Inspired The Little Prince, 2001, page 35, 282 and 283

*5. André Maurois, From Proust to Camus, page 203 and 204

*6. Christina Crawford, Mommie Dearest, 181, 207 and 208-210

*7 Ron Chernow, Titan. The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr., page xx

*8. Moonchild, produced and directed by Anne Makepeace - Nansook Hong, In the Shadow of the Moons, page 136 and 140 - John Corenfeld, Bad Moon Rising - Robert Parry, Secrecy and Privilege. Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq - Robert Parry, Lost History. Contras, Cocaine, The Press & Project Truth - Russ Baker, Family of Secrets.  The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years - Kitty Kelley, The Family. The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty.

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