It has not been long since I figured that my parents are narcissists. Since then it has been a revelation for me on many fronts. I used to (still do) walk around with such intense shame and self-blame for anything and everything. But the intensity has come down a lot and I have begun to treat myself with so much more love and compassion whenever the negative voice takes over.
Anyway, one such huge revelation has been about whether I am a narcissist or not. I used to firmly believe that I am one because the way I behaved sometimes scared me. I saw the reflection of my parents in me and it repulsed me. The feeling of shame didn’t help here either. It came as a relief when I got to know that many victims of narcissists carry around this doubt of whether they themselves could be a narcissist too. I took it as part of my healing journey. Also the fact that I worry about being one, should mean that I am not one because narcissists precisely lack this self-reflection. I constantly worry about hurting others because of my actions/behaviour. So I took that as another proof that I am not one.
But the most helpful of all has been my exposure to the term “Narcissistic Fleas”. Things made much more sense and it sealed the answer for me that I am not a narcissist. The term literally means the characteristics you pick up from being around the narcissists. These fleas doesn’t in anyway mean you are a narcissist too. It is as simple as the fact that you tend to become like someone with whom you spent your developmental years with. You pick on their way of behaving, you learn their ways of dealing with the world, you learn their defence mechanisms etc.
Knowing this simple fact saved me from so much mental agony. Wish I had come across it sooner. Now I am off to ridding myself of the fleas! Is there a Nshampoo for that?