when you grow up feeling like nothing is ever about you, thinking that your wants, needs, desires, and thoughts don’t matter or aren’t important…
you learn to demand attention. you learn to force yourself into the spotlight, into the most important position. you make yourself the star of the movie, and you end up forgetting about all of the other actors in the play…
no one ever considered you very much before, and in order to survive you had to learn to be cut-throat; it’s either them, or it’s you. it’s a defense mechanism that you use to protect yourself from being forgotten or overlooked again, from being stepped on. you have needs that must be met for your survival, and you're going to get them no matter the cost.
this is what you learned, what you had to learn…
then at some point you realize, years later, that you have been fighting this long dead battle, and it has cost you a lot along the way.
when you don’t get any recognition for doing well, only for doing the absolute best or better than all others in general, and love and attention is conditional, and is only received as a reward for high achievements… of course this conditions a child to focus on being “the best” and the most important. you had to prove that you were worthy of love and affection, rather than receiving it because you deserved it. it’s not “congratulations for making an A in science class”, it’s “why isn’t this an A+?”
being yourself just was never good enough, you had to exceed at everything, and anything short of the best was the worst. you were unworthy, of no value, or unimportant if you weren’t the most important. now you expect this of yourself, and others… and now this impossible expectation you could never reach, you force on yourself and on the people in your life. you learn that success = happiness and competence. failure at anything at all means failure at life as a whole, and at your existence itself. you criticize yourself into perfection, but you lack joy and peace and inner satisfaction.
or maybe you accept defeat and you never try anything, at all… because you can’t imagine actually succeeding at something, since all you were made to see in yourself were your failures and shortcomings. all you see is lack and what you’re missing. always what you're lacking. always what you're missing... always what YOU'RE missing.
"it's all my (your) fault."
but if you decide you want to prove them wrong? if instead of internalizing, and self destructing that way, you choose to prove your worth through your work, through your accomplishments, through achieving, then your entire sense of self becomes dependent on an illusion, on only a portion of the truth, on a projection. the truth is that you are NOT perfect, and that you are still worthy of love and patience, and that no one else is perfect either, and that they are still worthy of that same love...
after all of this, who wouldn’t become a narcissist?
children are sponges, master adapters. they pick up on and embody what they see in their environments and they adapt so that they can survive.
so, you see, you learn to make everything in the world about you because nothing in the world was ever actually about you… it was always all about them, about satisfying them, about pleasing them, about making them happy, and making sure they’re not mad, unhappy, or disappointed. you make yourself responsible.
you lose yourself.
you become someone/something else.
you become an empty hole that can never be filled,
complete darkness, where you only have the ability to perceive yourself.
you grow up and develop a self centered view of the world, where you can’t see how your actions or words are perceived by others. you are only capable of identifying with the SELF, because you were forced to develop self-importance early on.
no one else exists… nothing else, only you, and what happens to you, what happens around you, what happens as a result of your influence…
it’s a one man show. you don’t know how to put yourself in anyone else’s shoes, or you feel like you couldn’t even afford the consideration; it would only bring you down or distract you… or you convince yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t be able to relate.
but you aren’t alone…
it isn’t just you here. there’s more than just your story and your experience.
there’s a mosaic of pain and trauma and loss that everyone, all of us have gone through. you do not live in a vacuum. we are all here together, right now. you deserve to be seen as you are, right now, and you deserve the room and space you need to expand, but so does everybody else.
you can’t be motivated solely by your own emotions, thoughts, pain, and other experiences. what you do and don’t do, say and don’t say touches people, for better or for worse.
it’s the difference between considering whether or not you should do something based on your own opinion or perspective, and considering how what you do will ultimately affect people involved.
you have to break this condition of thinking if you want to experience real relationships, if you want to really share space and energy with people.
it can’t always be all about you and your feelings, you and your triggers, you and your pain, you you you…
the real beauty in this life is what we can do for and with each other. what are we actually doing, if not for one another?
narcissists fear empathy, they fear feeling the emotions of others because they fear losing themselves, or the illusion that they have built up about themselves. they fear falling back into a victim mentality. they judge the emotions of others as weak because they judge their own emotions as weak, because when they tried feeling and expressing their emotions before, it caused harm to them; they felt threatened and unsafe.
kindness and consideration is the healing that we need.
compassion and understanding… a willingness to go outside oneself for a moment and connect to another in love. not to take ownership of the problems or emotions someone else has, but to be present for them where they are, to hold space for them where they are… and to offer your support in whatever way you are able to provide it. that is the work that we share.
you have done amazing work. you have accomplished and achieved so much. now it’s time to enjoy true connection;
you have learned so much, now it’s time to share your knowledge and apply it. let everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve mean something to more than just you and yourself. you don’t have anything to prove anymore, you’ve proven enough. you aren’t competing or performing for anything. the spotlight isn’t just on you now, it’s on all of us, together. we’re all important characters, we all have significant roles in the play. we all matter. we’re all valuable. we’re all deserving of unconditional love, patience, understanding, forgiveness, and compassion.
let's get closer and feel each other, it's safe now.