Thursday, February 18, 2010

Analyzing My Beloved Narcissist

I will come back another day and insert proper links, but the following was a comment I left on an extremely helpful blog I subscribe to, written by a psychiatrist, Linda Martinez-Lewi, whose book I can recommend, and whose posts are very thought-provoking. I just want to get this out there, because really, I am feeling so much wanting to express myself (fly) but constantly dragged to earth (waiting for the phone to ring, knock on the door, increased integer on statcounter, etc., etc.). But those love songs streaming, oh dearest...
"The narcissist's mother emasculates her son." Not just because I'm a woman, and feminist, but I'm uncomfortable with the notion of placing the exclusive or predominant burden of blame for creating a narcissist on the mother, whether she is or isn't narcissistic herself. What about the role of the father, in a dynamic family system? Could there be a genetic component to a predisposition to such a rigid narcissistic personality structure? (Do you mean that the N in my acquaintance would be a mature, altruistic, balanced empath if his mother (whom I knew & liked very much, she had a strong, outgoing personality, a lively mind, including doting on her 2 boys - but not what I would have thought excessively or inappropriately) had parented him differently? I can't help but feel a little skeptical.) Could one factor, in a male, be too much testosterone?

You state that in creating the N, the mother says "dance to my tune." But in our culture, don't responsible, present mothers - especially in upper classes - pretty much have to do that? Eat what I put in front of you so you grow up to be healthy; study hard and do well in school; find your talent & become good at it; "failure is not an option." Parents have high expectations for their children - though sometimes I think they're unrealistically high, or the expectations are communicated without love or warmth (e.g., conditional, rather than unconditional love), on the part of either parent. Also, what about other strong cultural impacts on the budding narcissist? I think of one I knew who attended a boy's school, and then the Ivy League. He received an education that was geared to creating the next generation of the ruling class. Any show of "weakness" was thought of as feminine, and to be suppressed (and so it comes out in distinctly unhealthy ways). Girls were idealized, eroticized - they were literally, the "other." For him, the very notions of the artistic and poetic were scary, emotional, dangerous, feminine aspects - he's a scientist without heart, without meaningful human connection.

It just seems that the American culture is so thoroughly steeped in narcissism, that it's hard for me to buy that the main problem stems from the mother. Another question I would have is (though I'm not a mother), if you consciously don't want to raise an N - what then would be the mothering pitfalls to avoid?

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