Narcissus – it sounds so beautiful but the consequences of a narcissistic attitude are much less so. Narcissus is a figure from Greek mythology. He was a beauty, who found himself so beautiful and important that he kept staring at his reflection in the water of a small lake. Eventually he perished because of it.
You can imagine what would have become of his children if he would have had any. Where is Daddy? He is busy staring at himself. He is totally convinced that that is all that matters in life.
In modern life reality is different but the image is still current. If your parent or caretaker is only concerned about his/her self and thinks that everything evolves around him/her, you are dealing with narcissism and there is a chance that your self image was damaged along the way.
A distorted mirror
As children we see ourselves through the eyes of our parents. They hold a mirror in front of us and we believe what it reflects when we look in that mirror. It’s as if you saw yourself in a distorted mirror which is supposed to be funny, but in this case there is nothing funny about it. You didn’t see anything good about yourself, but because you believed your parents you tried to behave in ways that would fit the distorted image. That made your parent very happy and you earned that smile or that pat on the head that you craved so much.
From narcissistic abuse back to yourself
To become your true self and to live your genuine life you have to figure out who you were before that distorted mirror. You have to keep reminding yourself that you don’t have to fit into that mirror image – on the contrary, in your own interest, you shouldn’t do that at all! No more twisting and turning to please others and live by their norms and demands.
You are done with that. It is terribly difficult to break with learned patterns and adopt new habits, but that is exactly what needs to happen if you don’t want to be on a leash for the rest of your life.