Being the adult child of a narcissist has made me very sensitive to the behavior of malignant narcissists.
I can’t go on the internet or listen to people talk about current events without getting triggered. I hate this dark, twisted, weird ass nightmare we live in. I feel like we’re in an alternate universe. I know we’re not, though.
No blimps. There are always blimps in alternate universes.
One thing that I find as difficult to process as the fact a lunatic has access to the nuclear codes is when I see narcissistic behavior in myself.
It took a while, after I became aware of parental narcissism, to acknowledge and process my own tendencies toward narcissistic behavior. I concluded it’s not shocking a human would possess traits of a parent. Even an unpleasant one.
All I could do (can do) is examine my behavior, habits, or beliefs and adjust them in a way which helps me feel better about myself. It’s been a long ass haul and my progress is plodding, but progress is progress. I can’t complain.
Hahaha. That’s not true. I can complain. I’m actually pretty fucking good at it.
I’ve been feeling, for a while, that I’ve worked through a lot of these behaviors and have been feeling rather comfortable in the space I am in. I mean, not super comfortable, but comparatively speaking, it’s like sitting in one of those spa chairs you sit in when you get a pedicure instead of laying on a bed of nails.
And my brain just perked up and said “yeah, bed of nails. Because over-stating and being dramatic isn’t narcissistic at all.”
Like I said, progress is slow.
Anyway, I used to compulsively read articles about parental narcissism. I got this cold comfort from reading and re-reading them which bordered on masochistic. Like when you have a sore tooth and can’t stop probing it with your tongue.
I still sometimes seek these articles out. Not often anymore. It used to be multiple times a day and now it’s probably once a month.
I read one today about characteristics of a malignant narcissist. There weren’t any revelations. I’ve read the characteristics of a malignant narcissist dozens of times. Although, this article had one characteristic I hadn’t read before.
They talk to themselves. And answer themselves.
I talk to myself. I talk to myself constantly. I answer myself, too.
In my defense, if I’m asked a question, it’s rude to not answer.
I don’t just talk to myself. I have entire made up arguments that I always win.
I re-create conversations so that I can delete the horribly awkward things I said and replace them with intelligent, coherent thoughts.
I berate myself and then berate myself for berating myself.
I do these things out loud, not just in my head. Only when I’m alone, like in the car or in the shower.
I also gesticulate. A lot.
I must do that all the time because boss tells me that if he is following me down a hallway, I look like I’m conducting an orchestra. That’s probably because I’m either replaying or constructing a conversation in my head and my hands feel the need to participate.
The other day, as I headed toward my cube, I must have been waving my hands around because I heard my office mate say “Oh, that’s just what she does.” I looked up in time to see the person she was talking to with a “what the fuck is she doing?” look on her face.
I think I need leather straps on my clothes so I can tie my hands down when I’m walking about the office.
Anyway, that article freaked me out a little. Am I fooling myself? Am I more narcissistic than I claim to be?
Then I remind myself:
I am chock full of empathy.
Not always, but quite often, I put other people’s needs ahead of my own.
I am not cruel to other humans. That isn’t to say that I have never been cruel, but it’s not been often.
I don’t gaslight people by attempting to bend reality to fit my narrative.
I guess I still have a lot of soul searching to do. I am trying to figure out why talking to oneself is a trademark of a narcissist.
I’m not the only one, right? Y’all talk to yourselves, at least some of the time?
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