08/19/2013 § 3 Comments
Okay, let’s get right down to the gritty nitty.
My Spirit Guides told me how my mother became a Narcissist. This is just a story. I believe it is true, in the way that stories are true. I can’t prove it. All I know is that using this story, I have predicted when my family would hurt me, and protected myself from it.
Around the time that I made my Second Sacred Vow, my real journey, to identify and break the curse of my family’s Narcissism, began. A friend of mine gave me the most invaluable advice imaginable by channeling her Spirit Guide, an advanced being who communicated through her. In some cultures they are called Faerie; in others, Angels.
Spirit Guides have been an indispensable part of my journey for the past 27 years. At first they spoke to me through friends, and later they showed me how to channel them myself. It’s still hard to believe that channeling is real, but when I listen to voice recordings of what I just channeled, my voice is different and the information is new.
In the past year, my Spirit Guides told me how my mother became a Narci. (Let’s not call Narcissists “Narcs,” — that’s the word for Narcotic Agents and Narcoleptics. Narkos means sleep. Let’s call the Children of the Narcissus, “Narcis!(Narseez)“, okay?)
My mother and her sister are identical twins. They were born one month to the day before Black Friday, the great Stock Market collapse of 1929. When they were girls, they used to play all the time with their invisible friend. She was a Spirit Guide. After they lost contact with their Guide, they started to call each other Angel in memory of her. When my siblings and I grew up, we called our mother’s sister Aunt Angel, and our cousins call our mother the same thing. We fought all the time over which one of them was the real Aunt Angel. But they never told us about the real Angel; they didn’t know. As it happened, it was Angel herself who told me.
I think everyone has an Angel. If you don’t have one, you can just ask, and one will come to you. If you ever had an “imaginary friend” when you were young, that friend can come back to you at any time.
Angel told me that identical twins are not two souls but a single soul in two bodies. So far as I know, identical twins are always same-gender twins. Our “Twinnies” were rich in skills and resources which were asymmetrically distributed. My aunt was more athletic, more empathic and sunnier while my mom was smarter, more creative but completely non-empathic. (I shall use the word “inempathic.”) Inempathy is a specifically neutral attribute; it is not in itself negative. An inempathic person has a better time making hard decisions when not preoccupied with other people’s feelings. All my mother had to do to get an empathic viewpoint was to whisper to her sister. All of her sister’s strengths were hers, and all of her strengths were her sisters.
This was to come to an end. Apparently, at that time, the Great Depression, the conventional wisdom was that it was unhealthy for identical twins to grow up interdependent on each other. So their mother, my grandmother, made it her pet project to separate the two, actually breaking the psychic bond between them; the single soul in two bodies was cut into two dissimilar halves. Not only was this a terrible thing for them, it was also probably when they lost the contact with their Angel.
Now my mother was truly inempathic; she no longer had access to her sister’s attributes or visa versa. I imagine that she started having trouble with her parents and neighbors about how she handled pets, younger children, and even kids her own age; she didn’t comprehend when other people were upset about something, or when she came on too strong. She started to get a reputation for being insensitive, despite the great sensitivity she expressed in art and music.
When I was about 12 or so, Mom brought home from the veterinarian a pet porcupine that she named “Stickeypants.” He was the most miserable creature I ever met in my life. He was castrated, defanged, declawed, and his protective quills were all cut to within a quarter-inch. He had absolutely no way of protecting himself, so he spent every hour every day hiding under the sofa in the basement. If I wanted to play with him, it took me about 5 minutes every time to coax him into my arms.
But when Mom came home from work, she whisked downstairs talking high-pitched baby talk, reached out under the couch, grabbing Sticky by the tail and pulling him out. Always I heard frantic clicking as Sticky tried to claw the linoleum with his pared nails. I could feel his tiny heartbeat triple as she pulled him up to her; watched him swipe at her and writhe too get free while she squeaked cutely as if she were talking to a stuffed doll. She was completely oblivious to his resistance; like his greatest efforts to break free was just something that he liked to do, that’s all. I tried to tell her a couple of times that he was very unhappy and that what she did was not cool; she gave me a looks like I had better shut up right now.
This is inempathy. I imagine she was like this throughout her childhood. Happy, cheery, loving she was, but never aware at any time that she was not connecting with others. I imagine neighbors and school people from time to time complaining to her parents about the way she interacted with her classmates and friends.
My mother’s father– my grandfather — was an immigrant from the great city of Odessa in the Ukraine on the Black Sea. We don’t know when he was born, but it would have been around the time the last of the great Cossack Pogroms scourged the Ukraine throughout the 1800s. Pogroms were the great riots of persecution in Eastern Europe in which hundreds and thousands of Jews were periodically slaughtered. My grandfather would have been an infant during the Battleship Potemkin uprising in 1905, and would have come of age through the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the years that followed of occupation and fighting between the Ukrainian, French, Red Russian and White Russian Armies. He emigrated to America around or after 1922, when the great famine enveloped Odessa during the Russian Civil war. Angel told me that he had been persecuted and even tortured in the old country.
He left his suffering behind him when he came to America, but he appears to have brought it him. He deeply disapproved of his daughter’s blatant insensitivity towards other people. To him, she lacked in heart and compassion, like the Czars, Cossacks and soldiers that plagued his family in Europe; but she was his daughter. She never understood why he disapproved of her so fully, but remember she couldn’t even imagine what it was like to have empathy. For her, his punishments were without reason and wholly unfair, because she lacked the genetically-derived ability to discern his reasons. For her, punishment without reason made him no different than the monsters he left behind in Odessa.
But she was seen and judged by the Eastern European community her family belonged to. Once when I was four, I was taken to the old synagogue across the street from my grandparent’s apartment to fetch grandpa for our family’s Passover dinner. I saw him in the pale smokey light davening (ritualistically shaking back and forth while praying) and chanting along with some 50 other elderly men bathed in the atmosphere of medieval Jewry. To these people, his daughter’s rage at his seeming hypocrisy would have been a violation of the Fifth Commandment of Moses: Honor thy Father and thy Mother. She carried her rage and her shame about her rage silently, secretly, throughout her childhood.
When I turned 18, I measured carefully the great anger I felt towards my father, and realized that I would condemn myself to a life of self-hatred if I chose not to forgive him. So I took him out to dinner one summer’s night, and forgave him. I think that when she came to a similar challenge at about the same age, she went the other way, and chose not to forgive her father.
It was at that moment that she chased the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole, and became a Narcissist. Being inempathic, she was already unable to feel his love for her, and so she agonized over her inability to honor him. With community pressure on her, she believed she was violating the Fifth Commandment of Moses and the Covenant of her people with God. When he refused to let her study at University with a world-famous musician, she chose never to forgive her father, or God, and unknowingly closed her heart to love and left herself open to the poison of hatred. It was her decision to make, and she did the very best she could under the circumstances, amidst the wounded and suffering community of refugees about her, whilst war raged against her people in Europe.
I feel great compassion for her and the hard circumstances she has had to negotiate. But her decision was wrong, and she has spent the rest of her life protecting herself while it’s ruined her family. She unwittingly selected me, her first-born child, to be the family scapegoat, effectively, drawing scrutiny of her actions away from her and onto me.
I feel compassion for her, but I come apart in rage as she continues even today to lead the whole family in sabotaging me in order to protect herself from her dead father’s disapproval. I have no hope that she will ever take down the wall that she as surrounded herself her whole life, and I have no sympathy for all the strategies she uses to protect herself from the truth. I love her dearly yet stay very far away from her. (Literally, we live in different hemispheres.)
Her inempathy came first drawing derision to her; unprotected, her shame festered into a bubble of spectacular hatred and self obsession. This is Narcissism. It is not evil but it can create terrible destruction. We who have been hurt by narcissists must forgive ourselves and heal ourselves first. In 1981, Pope John Paul II forgave the man who almost assassinated him, but we are not obligated to forgive our would-be assassins until we have attained the Pope’s magnaminity of spirit. But I for one will not condemn my mother with the title of evil.