A lot of my initial therapy was centered around narcissism. Since I found myself dating so many narcissists, it made sense to look at those elements in my upbringing which reflected what I was experiencing in my relationships. We follow the patterns we are familiar with, which is why we often end up with people who remind us of people in our family.
So, in talking today, the concept of a narcissist creating narcissism came up, which got me thinking. The idea was that a narcissistic person in a family will bring out the narcissistic tendencies in others. I see how, in living with a narcissistic husband, I became more narcissistic as a survival mechanism. In order to make everything OK, I catered to his narcissistic needs, which meant I expected my daughter to help make things okay as well. Hence, under this hypothesis, the daughter would also be narcissistic.
I do feel that in my efforts to make everything okay with the male in my life, I was playing the role of narcissist, and hence I was neglecting both the needs of myself and of my daughter. I see it all too clearly now. When I am not busy caretaking, I am much better equipped to focus on my own needs, and those of my daughter’s. It just takes too much energy to try and keep others happy. That’s their job.
I have found different definitions of narcissist that sing to me, and even a test to assess your level of narcissism. I dare you to take it, although if you do it willingly, you are probably not a narcissist.