Sometimes its a rollercoaster ride in my head. These days I am trying my darndest to get myself up, out and moving into the moment before my head does swings and roundabouts in the early mornings and then late at night I can get stuck in thinking things over and over again and coming up with inner deficits and concerns about my own narcissism which may or may not be true. I think what is happening for me lately is I am beginning to see that as much as I have been a victim of trauma in the past there is also a part I can play in keeping it going in the present.
I feel the best way to tackle my inner confusion is to get writing and get honest about what is going on ‘upstairs’. I am aware I often need a reality check. Just the other day when I read one of my blogs to my therapist that I was quiet happy with, and she said to me “that was really beautiful”, I began to feel a glow of pride and then inner critic started to trash it in my mind. I shared this with Katina and as usual she just raised her eyes and smiled.
Last night I listened to two of Richard Grannon, the Spartan Life Coach’s videos on covert narcissism. He was saying how we become vulnerable to being doormats to overt narcissists if we weren’t allowed to self champion in childhood and got slammed for asserting our boundaries and sticking up for ourselves. In the second video I watched he went on to list the 2o traits of covert narcissists which may also result from childhood shaming. Its long video, 45 minutes in all, and I only got just over half way through as it was late and I was listening on my tab which was low on power, also I was finding it painful to hear, because going around in my mind was this thought “wow I wonder if some of those traits don’t apply to me?”
It’s a constant dilemma when we suffer from narcissistic injuries and wounds from childhood to know that we are weak in some areas and feel shame or concern for our very real deficits. One of the traits he was discussing was the covert narcissists tendency to ‘play the victim’, to constantly draw attention to childhood wounds and injuries. I got to wondering just where is it that we can draw the line with these kinds of issues, when is complaining about our wounds a cop out, or when does complaining over and over turn us into covert narcissists? After posting an earlier version of this particular post I happened upon some other videos from Ross Rossenberg on co-dependency one of which explained how remaining trapped in victim consciousness comes from a perceptual or cognitive distortion we take on that we are powerless over present abuse and just have to put up with it.
Many of us who have narcissistic injury or trauma wounds from childhood were not allowed to know it We may have been told all the time ‘but I love you’, or ‘but you were so loved, or ‘I did it for your own good’. It is hard enough to claim or feel justified in cataloguing our injuries, grieving our pain, learning we need to set boundaries and/or did not deserve this kind of abuse’ and until we know this, until we know what happened to us we cannot stop similar things from happening to us in the present due to the compulsion to repeat.
Richard actually discusses this kind of abuse in one of his videos, saying how it is much harder fro those of us who were abused and then told we were not (gaslighted) than for those of us who just suffered outright abuse. We are not allowed to know what we know, see what we see, feel what we feel or hear what we hear. I could really identify with this state of being which leads the alarming lack of confidence that is one of the big hallmark figures of covert narcissism.
Anyway you may be interested to watch the video so I will provide the link at the end of this blog. I am going to discuss the issue with my therapist on Tuesday but I know what she will say and what she has said to me in the past : “Deborah we are all somewhere on the narcissistic spectrum”.
Despite this I want to learn more about how my covert narcissism maybe affecting me so I can grow into a healthier adult. I guess in some ways I may always carry a level of insecurity that others who were affirmed in childhood consistently don’t carry.
Post script : after posting this and listening it to again I found a link to some videos of Ross Rosenberg on healing from self love deficit disorder. I felt this lack of self love and sense of being trapped in victim explained the aspect of covert narcissism Richard touched on in a clearer way. It helped me to realise I am not a full on covert narcissist, but I do have a deep deficit of healthy narcissism and have struggled with the deficit of self love which Ross Rossenberg discusses in the video I will connect to in the next post.