That’s right. When I was 14 years old, I suddenly awoke out of the fog of my childhood, took a deep breath, and said, “what the hell!” It could have been a scene in a twilight zone episode. It was that very moment in time that I became self-aware for the first time. It has been 30 years since that day, and I am still figuring out what the hell happened to me in the previous 14 years.
Figuring out how you fell into the rapids is hard to do when you are still in the rapids. 4 years later, I made a hasty exit and left for Europe… really, anywhere but home would have sufficed, but I needed 6000 miles. I needed to be on another continent. The moon was not accessible, so Europe had to do.
The 14-year-old boy I was had just gone through a massive growing spurt… 6 inches in 3 months. I had let my abuser know that she would no longer hit me. I made that very clear. I had the size to back it up, at last. But the psychological mind-fuck of her narcissism, and her constant emasculation of me would have ramifications that would stay with me to this day.
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I have had the privilege of several NPD abusers coming in and out of my life over the years. The last one was a boss of mine (no longer is he my boss). He accused me of not being self-aware. I am not sure why. When I pressed him on the issue, he would change the subject and talk about himself. I was angry, but had to laugh in the end. NPD projection is done with such conviction it is quite believable.
The problem with his accusation is that I can pin-point the day and time I woke up. It was quite refreshing actually. For a few hours, I felt the same exhilaration I had the first time I read or rode a bike: free & empowered!
My boss, however, may be among the least self-aware people I have ever met. He is a member/leader in a major, nationally recognized religious cult. In his world, the word of a leader/father/brother is infallible. He manages his store on these principles, as if it is the self-same cult environment. He is infallible. His opinions are brilliant, and we should all thank the good lord above we are blessed with his leadership.
If you have an idea for the betterment of the business, he takes it as an affront to his brilliance. YOU are there to FOLLOW him, not to give ideas. If you think he is WRONG, you are trying to burn him down. He is the GOD/MANAGER, and you are the plebeian.
An NPD cult member/leader! Fucking great. I had three years with this bozo. I did what is recommended when dealing with NPD abuser: placate his NPD ass. Damn, did I get great reviews after that!
This is how I knew he had no self-awareness: he could not see that I was playing him, like a fiddle. He only knew that he was receiving the adulation he desired.
He is not alone, though. In my very non-scientific observations of the world, I have come to believe that most people are not self-aware. Instead, they exist in a fight or flight….my kin is always right…I’ll shoot you mother-fucker for getting in my way in a parking lot…kind of way. Even the self-aware can turn off that awareness from time to time and exist in an animalistic (a natural unrestrained unreasoned response to physical drives or stimuli) way.
People are more apt to do good when doing it from afar. It takes self-awareness to breed kindness into the world around them, especially in the dog-eat-dog self-blind world of the masses.
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So, I went out into the world. Even at 19, I spoke highly of my abuser. I was brainwashed into doing that. It bothers me that I did that. It wasn’t till I was 30 that I developed a realistic idea of the scope of the damage done to me. This was 16 years after waking up.
I had a lot of catching up to do emotionally & academically, but I was in the rapids. It wasn’t till my mid-20’s that I went to college. To my surprise, I ended up at one of the top schools in the nation! I had no hope or dreams when I started, it just seemed like what I needed to do. It certainly wasn’t expected of me. My abuser thought I was retarded. It’s what the school said of me back in the day. She believed them. As long as I was mentally challenged, I was less of a threat to her. She could get away with murder ‘cuz the little retard wouldn’t remember. (I do remember)
That 14-year-old boy I was had no clue what he was in for. If he had, he may have chosen not to. Maybe he would. It ends up, he is not the cowardly weakling he thought he was… he has braved the years of depression….heartache…self-hatred…..nightmares….dreams of death…bullying…..being an outsider….always falling behind….can’t catch a break…clawing up the charred walls of the damned for air…..
He’s a pretty strong dude after all!
Keep Walking My Friends!!!!!!!
I will too!!!!!