For me one of the real differences between narcissism and privilege is not therefore in the actions of the individual, but in the extent of their internal distortion of reality.
Posts published in “Psychology”
What I see when I look in the mirror is someone to fear. Someone who will cost society money--a liability as opposed to an asset. And I'm scared. Terrified even. I feel like I've fooled those I love and who love me. I've always wanted to be loved and to be the kind of person worthy of being loved. And now it's as if they've got a present wrapped up in a shiny bow but opened it up just to find something ugly and vile inside. Me.
We attach to those of our ilk, beyond rationality. And few of us have enough self-awareness to overcome it. The law and our systems were designed to counteract this; 'the law is reason free from passion'. The very concept of the American electoral system is based on a fundamental belief that some people are able to be more objective than others and will vote for the benefit of all. And yet because of the strength of their own self-interest, the strength of their own reptilian instincts, they will naturally fail to do so.
So white folk, we have a task in front of us which might seem huge, but really it isn't. It is to face our own prejudice when the most obvious and comfortable way to survive is to stay in our bubble. It is to step up and be accountable for our ignorance, even if ignorance is part of our humanity. I will hold your hand as we overcome our fragility and cultivate empathy and battle our minds which tell us that it's not our problem.
Your limits are otherwise known as your boundaries, they're what you use to protect your power, to govern it responsibly. They're what allows you to interact healthily with others.
But when people are dear to me, I feel they deserve more than ghosting. They deserve at least an attempt to explain why our relationship will be changing. The choice is not binary of course, we could simply be less in each other's lives. I could reduce contact, fobbing them off with excuses until I achieved my desired effect. But that reduces their power of consent. If they knew how I truly felt about their values and/or consequent actions, then they may choose to cut contact altogether.
As might be evident, 'bad' objectification involves a lack of consent, because if you cannot consent, you have no power to decide. You have no agency. But if objectification is consensual, can it be a good thing?
Because I went. I saw Tarzan. I objectified, and thoroughly enjoyed doing so, thinking it at best harmless fun and at worst a sort of inconsequential revenge for all the years that my sisters and I have been objectified. This is what the men go on about, I thought. Yes, it's fun. Besides, surely the price of a cinema ticket makes no difference in the grand scheme of things.... does it?
These relationships do not live in the past, because for the women at least, there is no past. There is only today. And in my grown life I have sought to emulate that characteristic of those relationships. Why?
Some people will rarely experience that hopping up and down to have sex. Some people will never feel a 'fuck yes' about anything. They will make their decisions based on past experience and educated guesses more than a soul-thrilling desire to go for it. They are the emotionally blind. And there's more of us than you might think.
As a child my memory was rewritten time and again--first by my mother who tried to erase who I was to serve her own narcissistic needs, and then as an adult by an abusive ex (ditto). At twelve years old, I experienced a car accident which must have had more of an impact than the months I don't recall and I drank my way through my twenties, actively trying to forget many things, which I'm pretty sure had an even larger impact.