The relationship between 3 seemingly unrelated events lead me to this post. Just a few minutes ago a friend of mind posted as her status on Facebook:
There’s always another context…..
When I read this I immediately remembered 2 things I had read online last month and not on the same day. Here are the two (edited to provide detail):
Friend: How could you watch your 7 year old daughter climb the (fake) rock wall?
Mother: I did a bit when I was a lot younger but she’s a natural, our resident spider!
Scenario #2 (on a blog not related to narcissism)
Photo: the blog writer meeting celebrities wearing an evening gown
Blog writer (female) caption to photo: My mom would have looked better in this dress
Reading all of them at different times seemed somehow unrelated. And then when I saw the saying my friend on Facebook posted I said to myself…wow, that’s what it is! My narcissistic mother created my context for me. There is always another context…but growing up narcissism my context was created by only one person. I wasn’t allowed to create my own thoughts.
In Scenario #1 the narcissistic mother puts things into her context by saying ‘I did a bit when I was a lot younger.’ She does it in several ways…one, she talks about her experience in the same activity of her daughter and second, she compares herself in a positive way. She speaks like that often about her daughter. Always bringing the event, activity, etc. back to her frame of reference. In this case, the mother. And with the case of NMs…it is always in the context of the mother.
In Scenario #2, it is the reverse. The daughter (in her 20s) is dressed for a night on the red carpet with celebrities. That is a big event and her comment about her night and the photo of her in the dress with a celebrity is about how her mother would have looked in it. The daughter has learned to put everything into context through her mother (because she may have grown up narcissistically). I say that loosely…because it is, in my opinion, a blog of a daughter who has a narcissistic mother even though there is NO mention in the blog about it.
We learn how to add context to everything happening in our lives through our mother’s eyes. A small event, an activity, a goal, a celebration, etc. are all conditioned from an early age to be in the context of our mother. I think (used to think) in terms of my narcissistic mother. I remember my mother telling me, upon receiving a birthday invitation from my friends in primary school, that I was only invited because they had to invite me and they didn’t want me there. Even at the age of 25 I questioned every invitation. I would look for all the indications that my mother would tell was not a ‘true’ invite in her eyes. My frame of reference was her. I couldn’t evaluate an invitation based on my own experience.
And now, going through this journey, I feel like the context has to be created where there was none to begin with. What is my context? My perception of it all? I am learning to look at things as I would have when I was a child…everything new, fresh and develop my own context with no external or internal voices. I am learning to develop my own context and I am grateful that I have the chance to do it.