Is Neurotic Narcissistic Behavior A Semblance of Normality?

We are the victim’s of our passions

By Richard Lopez

We lust for what we cannot have. We say we want it. Until we have it. We are not content with what we do have. We take from those, we say we love. We take for granted what we have and who we have. What is given to us becomes convenient. Expected. “I do not have to go to the river for water. It will come out of the faucet.” Someone, something, somehow will always provide. We do not have to hug the faucet for the water it produces but maybe we should hug those who are helping the water flow from it.

If you think about it: It has been in many a tale, many a story line. “The grumpy old soul.” The old widowed lady everyone thought was a Witch, “Ebenezer Scrooge”, the mean old man next door. Once they were shown love. “A positive stroke.” They really were not that grumpy ill intent entity that people perceive them to be. They have hearts and feelings. They have so much to give. Instead they grow cold and hard as stone. Their pain turns to hate that chills to the bone. (The proverbial defensive walls of emotional warfare.)

When all one ever gets is taken for granted, used and ignored. Walls must be built. For no matter how tough we like to think we are, we cannot handle the pain day to day. The old adage “negative strokes are better than no strokes.” This may work in psychotherapy when it comes to childhood trauma. However when it comes to a full grown adult, maybe a better analogy would be: “If you treat someone like a dog long enough, eventually you are going to get bit.”

We have all been taught that emotional abuse can, and is, as bad as physical abuse. So can total absence of appreciation, being acknowledged only when something is needed of you, be considered emotional abuse?

Some communicate very well. Others not so well. Some can listen. They hear. Even when a word is not spoken they know what is being said. Yet things can be said that have no meaning. No substance. Just hollow echoes in the mind. Actions however can tell a story. Can express in a second what one cannot say in a thousand words. But when no one hears your cries, or notices your actions. The pain starts to build, animosity grows and the walls get higher. Stronger.

We all have our own levels of narcissism. Neurotic behavior plaque’s us all. The inner demons that haunt us daily. Hourly. Sometimes even by the minute. Whether Freudian or self inflicted. It is what makes us individuals. Unique. Most of us function in the real world, sometimes under the guise of normality; others unfortunately are diagnosed and labeled. They are pumped full of medications or institutionalized. That being said. How do two socially impaired individuals coexist? By compromise and compromise alone? For even being considerate of another, being intimate, providing, every aspect of a relationship entails compromise. At least in a perfect world. Now since we are not in “that” world, is there a guide for levels of compromise? How do you know if one is giving more than the other? Does the road actually meet in the middle? Is that even feasible? After all: There are givers. There are takers. Each to their own extreme. Does it matter? Should score cards be kept? Just how do you measure the giving of a TAKER? Maybe they just take less and actually give nothing? Perhaps give a little and take the same, Maybe even take more?

Fantasy says love is supposed to cure all. But how many of us really know how to love? Can we let go of the past and start new? Can we give ourselves fully? Can we surrender and let the other ease our pain? Is the partner even capable of easing that pain? Can they see that pain in your eyes? Can they hear it in your voice? Can they feel it in your touch? Is stress pain or is pain stressful? To actually fulfill another human’s emotional and physical needs, is incomprehensible to some. Is it that they just can’t love or never, (even in their childhood), been exposed to love and compassion. Is this one of those things our therapist’s dig and dig to find in our subconscious? The things the defense attorney sympathetically indulges to the jury. Thus explaining one’s social-path behavior?

So many walls. Walls on both sides. The invisible sentinels of our hidden fears. Though these fears are sometimes recalled verbally to others. They can never be expressed to the extremes that they truly haunt us from within. Whether they are physical fears or emotional. Infidelity, rejection, abandonment. To name a few.. Are those story book relationships that we see, either in the media or in our day to day lives, immune to such phobia and dysfunction? Or is this too the semblance of normality?

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