Are you one of these people who got caught in a toxic relationship? Is the drama out of control? Are dark moods riding you? Are you unable to restrain from throwing tantrums, continually devaluating your partners and convincing them they need therapy – or are you on the other side of that same coin? Do you feel mistreated by someone who genuinely loves you, because: “you don’t get your act together”? Has your relationship run into a persistent no-sex phase? Or is it at an earlier stage, where you realise that the intimacy has been missing from your life?
If you feel that way, take it easy, you are not the only one. The entire world suffers from this condition, it is systemic. Narcissism, and the complementary co-dependent, who recently found entry into the manual of clinical psychology as the ‘people pleaser’, are not only found in the remaining core family units falling apart in suburbia, the condition has long ago left home and conquered politics, corporate hierarchies and the military. Abuse is everywhere. The good thing about suburbia is, that in the remaining core family, it becomes possible to depict the mechanism, and as it looks like, it is not only systemic, it is universal.
Let us zoom in step by step. Life at times feels like being lost in a mirror cabinet. And this is why: first of all, when we are identified with our day consciousness, we are like characters in a book. There is a villain, and a victim, and the one who comes to the rescue: they all do what they do because their self-perception is limited, split into conscious and subconscious, and their qualities are arranged complementary in a way that the drama triangle perpetuates forever. When we try to heal ourselves from the trauma we inflicted on each other dancing around in the drama triangle, we restage those traumatic events on others. This is elementary. We do that at the cost of some bad Karma. We do this until we have learned our lesson and realize how those three complementary character-pairs feel when interacting, until we have learned everything about every perspective of every interaction. This is when the two complementary sides of all three coins join together, and the realization allows us to return to the position of the author of the novel of our lives, home into unity consciousness.
If life could be simple as that, we would have found out by now, and the entire experiment of duality would have ended a long time ago, in a big laugh.
Therefore, whoever created this place installed a second set of mirrors, that were designed to disorientate people to prolong the game. These mirrors allow us to project all that is subconscious within ourselves onto the actions of our counterparts. Too much theory here? Let us look at an example. One of the favourite tools of a Narcissist is gaslighting, i.e. to talk his victim into the belief they are sick and need help. The ‘narc’ will not realize he is in any type of persecutor role here, because out of his perception, his victim really needs help. When the victim finally wakes up calling the narc out on his narcissistic behaviour, the narc will retort: “stop gaslighting me!”. This is projection. It is not sarcasm. These guys believe what they say.
This is why it feels like being lost in a mirror cabinet, because there are so many mirrors reflecting us back and forth. These mirrors are used to herd us in the illusion of separation, keep us in the game to teach us about all the different perspectives that can be taken, and give us the unique chance to experience ourselves in a limited scope. This is like the wise and benevolent king who tells his magician to make him forget who he is for a year, as he wants to experience himself as a beggar, to become a better king.
Clinical psychology gave up on healing narcissism. However, there is some research coming more from a shamanic tradition, that found ways to exit this mirror cabinet. Shamanism and clinical psychology are kind of complementary. One calls himself science and bans any form of subjectivity, bases itself on data only, and the other one is the art of subjective perception per se. It does not come by surprise that the attempt to merge both concepts came up with some fruitful findings, and we finally do have a protocol for healing narcissism.
Just as a teaser: how would you like a reinterpretation of the Freudian ego/superego-structure that allows the merging of the Freudian model with the drama triangle and individualizes the positions to any extent given. If you want to dive into it, the paper is too long for this space here, but you can choose to follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole.