This is a follow-up post to yesterday’s Youtube video with the same name – Mirror, mirror. This week, I’m diving into the issue of who we reflect, and if it’s possible to make choices about it. I say it is. It’s not easy, especially not if we don’t know how, or even who we are beneath the reflection of our parents. But it is possible.
Like almost everything that has to do with growing up with a narcissistic parent, this is a tricky business. The idea of how we reflect not ourselves, but our parents, relating to who we actually are beneath all of their crap that is now built into our spine, our minds, our souls – it can feel almost impossible to untangle. And in a sense, it is. But it also does happen to be possible. With a shitload of work, oceans of blood, sweat and tears, a lot of force, even more work – and then, perhaps, we’re lucky enough to come out on the other side.
In this business of recovery, of finding ourselves, there are so many insights and things to understand, that at least I have felt that I’m not getting anywhere, because wherever I turn there’s something new connecting to something old, and the chunk of tangled yarn just gets even more tangled. I can’t even begin to count the times where I’ve felt so lost, not knowing where to start, where to go, where the hell I’m at in this moment, and not seeing anything but yarn in every direction.
Now, what we see when we are being mirrored by our narcissistic parents is not true. We already know that their minds are more twisted than what’s good for anyone around them. Yet, we believe in everything they project on us. It has taken me forever – especially since my parents had somewhat similar, yet extremely different ideas of who and what I am, but eventually, I understood that none of what they think of me is true – to me.
I think it may be part of this merging, that at least my mother was so keen on. From her, I learned that she and I were the same, there were no boundaries between us. There was no beginning or end between us. We were merged, I was just an extra limb to her.
We need to realize that we are not the same as our narcissistic parent – there is a difference, we are not two halves of one whole. The narcissist is one, we are one. As such, we are different. We do not need to be their mirror.
Because what we see in our reflection with them as our mirror, is just as twisted and false as they are. Being their children, we do of course tend to believe it, especially when we actually are children. Like I said, this is no easy business. It gets dirty very quickly, and it’s can be extremely difficult to untangle the threads of our reflection and separate it from what is actually true about us.
What really made me understand all this was reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’ve written about this before, and if you haven’t read his book – do it. I can really recommend it. He explains very clearly how our view of ourselves and the world is built on agreements made by our parents. The agreement shifts as we grow older, and if we’re lucky (and eager and skilled), eventually we will understand that these agreements can be changed into something that is true to us.
Like Adriene Mishler says; Find what feels good. (Although she says and means it in a completely different context).
All of what I’m writing about now, has taken me years and years – and then some extra years, to understand, untangle and make sense of. Perhaps it’s easier for you – I don’t know. If it is – consider yourself lucky. If it’s not – know that you’ll get there in the end.
Now, being the abstract thinker that I am, I’ve thought about this in a completely different manner. A while ago, I got an image in my head of the moon, which reflects the sun – and that’s how we see it. Translating that into this being a reflection of our narcissistic parents, I also thought that – it’s time to become the SUN. To stop being the moon, to stop being a reflection, and actually become the core of what and who we are.
To me, that was a sensational realization.
And again, in the recovery from our childhood trauma with our narcissistic parents, everything is so messy. Where one thing begin, a thousand other threads cross. And to somewhat conclude the journey through March, I think I’ll focus on some sort of continuation of this in April. I am presently occupied by the art of letting go, leaving the past just there, living in the moment, et cetera.
We’ll see what I end up doing, but I do know I want to focus on moving forward.
For now, let’s just say to wrap this post, that it’s possible to leave the reflection of yourself mirrored and projected by your narcissistic parent, behind. It is possible to find the truth about yourself, who you are, what feels good, and become just that. Shaking the shattered pieces of all the crap our narc parents put on us is hard work, but bloody hell, it’s so worth it. ♥
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