Sally Cronin is running a new fun series at her Smorgasbord blog – she’s pulling out some classic interviews from the past on the topic of ‘A Funny Thing Happened’. Sally invited me over five years ago, and I think I never left. LOL.
Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Guest Interviews 2015 – A Funny Thing Happened, #Relationships D.G. Kaye
As I sort through and organise my files here on WordPress which now amount to over 12,000 since 2013, I am discovering gems, such as guest interviews that I would love to share with you again..
This week an early interview with D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies as part of a Sunday interview series ‘A Funny Thing Happened to Me.’ in 2015.
Little did I know as I asked Debby about one of the topics for her non-fiction books, narcissism, that a few years later she would be writing the Relationship Column for us. I have updated the interviews with recent books and reviews and I hope you will enjoy revisiting the posts with me.
Thank you Debby for joining us today and perhaps we could start with the increasingly documented personality trait labelled Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It is only recently that this disorder has become better known as more and more people realise that at some point in their lives they have been subjected to its negative impact. Perhaps you could describe the sort of behaviour that a narcissist would exhibit?
Hello Sally and readers of this wonderful blog. Thank you so much for inviting me to this new series to share my stories here with so many other talented artists and writers.
A narcissist, in laymen’s terms, sees him/herself as the center of existence. They feel as though their appearance and/or words trump everyone else’s. In my mother’s case, she had created a false persona that she had convinced her own self that she was superior. It was her mission to be the most beautiful one in a room, and craved attention so that focus had to be on her at all times.
Everything she talked about was exaggerated to make sure she could captivate her audience with her stories of grandeur. Her wants and needs came first to anyone else’s, including her children’s. She’d go to any lengths to acquire whatever it was she seeked.
Now, some people like to tell lies and paint pretty pictures of themselves for attention, but a true narcissist, as in my mother’s case, actually believes her own stories because she lived in her own ego.
I learned through the years of studying her, that this was a disease, which commonly wasn’t recognized as such. In the last generation, I don’t believe it was prominently diagnosed.
Do we all have some elements of that behaviour and if so what triggers it becoming a full blown disorder?
I don’t believe we all have the elements of becoming a narcissist, but I do believe there can be circumstances or incidents one encounters in life that propel one to becoming narcissistic. I’m no licenced psychologist, but I have to believe it can also be linked to various (undiagnosed) mental disorders, such as depression, which becomes a catalyst to narcissism, used to overcome some troubling issues. I say this because I think that besides my mother’s strife to be the best in show, I sensed a sadness within her that she was trying to conceal, not just to everyone, but also to herself.
She medicated that inner sadness with booze, pills and gambling, intermittently. She came from a poor family, and in a Scarlett O’Hara sort of way, had used her beauty as a weapon to obtain materialistic things in life.
I don’t believe anyone is born a narcissist. I think that it is the situations one lives through, which have a propensity to steer them in that direction as a means to achieve a status to feel better about themselves; and no matter at who’s expense.
It is obvious, as in your case, that a child would feel powerless in that kind of relationship. But is also true that adults of narcissistic parents can still be under the influence of that negativity especially as the parents age. What would be your advice to someone facing that challenge?
I would have to say the statistics show that many adults are still held under the powers of a narcissistic parent. It’s a major feat to become freed from the power that parents hold over us, mainly from their use of guilt as a means to obtain what they demand. . . please continue reading at Sally’s blog.