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The Sad Dreams of the Narcissist

I dream of my childhood. And in my dreams, we are again one big unhappy family. I sob in my dreams, I never do when I am awake. When I am awake, I am dry, I am hollow, mechanically bent upon the maximization of Narcissistic Supply. When asleep, I am sad. The all-pervasive, engulfing melancholy of somnolence. I wake up sinking, converging on a black hole of screams and pain. I withdraw in horror. I don't want to go there. I cannot go there.

People often mistake depression for emotion. They say: "but you are sad" and they mean: "but you are human", "but you have emotions". And this is wrong.

True, depression is a big component in a narcissist's emotional make-up. But it mostly has to do with the absence of narcissistic supply.

It mostly has to do with nostalgia to more plentiful days, full of adoration and attention and applause. It mostly occurs after the narcissist has depleted his secondary source of narcissistic supply (spouse, mate, girlfriend, colleagues) for a "replay" of his days of glory. Some narcissists even cry - but they cry exclusively for themselves and for their lost paradise. And they do so conspicuously and publicly - to attract attention.

The narcissist is a human pendulum hanging by the thread of the void that is his False Self. He swings between brutal and vicious abrasiveness - and mellifluous, saccharine sentimentality. It is all a simulacrum. A verisimilitude. A facsimile. Enough to fool the casual observer. Enough to extract the drug - other people's glances - the reflection that sustains this house of cards somehow.

But the stronger and more rigid the defences - and nothing is more resilient than narcissism - the bigger and deeper the hurt they aim to compensate for.

One's narcissism stands in direct relation to the seething abyss and the devouring vacuum that one harbours in one's true self.

I know it's there. I catch glimpses of it when I am tired, when I hear music, when reminded of an old friend, a scene, a sight, a smell. I know it is awake when I am asleep. I know that it subsists of pain - diffuse and inescapable. I know my sadness. I have lived with it and I have encountered it full force.

Perhaps I choose narcissism, as I have been "accused". And if I do, it is a rational choice of self-preservation and survival. The paradox is that being a self-loathing narcissist may be the only act of self-love I have ever committed.

 


 

next: Lonely Narcissist: Narcissism and Schizoid Personality Disorder

APA Reference
Vaknin, S. (2008, December 23). The Sad Dreams of the Narcissist, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/personality-disorders/malignant-self-love/the-sad-dreams-of-the-narcissist

Last Updated: July 2, 2018

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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