Prince Alarming

prince-alarming

“Some day my prince will come.”

“I need a knight in shining armour to come and rescue me.”

“Where is my Prince Charming?”

These are familiar comments and they all arise as a consequence of the myth that has been created and perpetuated. It is well established that my kind and me create an illusion (read Power of Illusion on this blog for more) . Have you considered the fact that we are just giving you what you expect? We are saying what you want to hear, doing what you want to see and complying with a pre-conceived notion of how relationships ought to be? How has this idea been formulated? Who created the concept of the happy ever after? Was it the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen through the fairy tales that they wrote or were they just recording something which had existed orally for centuries before as they added a new gloss to the fairy tale? Maybe we should blame Hollywood for its depiction of how love conquers all and the hero saves the day by dashing to aid the stereotypical damsel in distress. The number of films in which that happens is numerous. Richard Gere appears in his limousine to woo Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, in Love Actually, Hugh Grant goes door to door in search of the tea lady Martine McCutcheon and in The Matrix Trilogy even the kick-ass feisty Trinity is masterfully caught by Neo to prevent her falling. In Rear Window,James Stewart rescues Grace Kelly, in the unusual Wild At Heart, Nicholas Cage (playing Nicholas Cage) comes to the assistance of Laura Dern at a metal gig and who can forget Shrek where an ogre goes hell for leather to beat Prince Charming of all people and gain the hand of Princess Fiona. I am sure you can think of many more examples. There are thousands of instances of this stylised concept of romance and love. Certain films dedicate the entirety of the production to it. Others have a different subject matter but still the concept remains. Luke Skywalker went to rescue the Princess trapped in the Death Star. Clint Eastwood helped the young lady in Pale Rider and she fell in love with him although he left her (was that a cowboy discard perhaps?) and even uber narcissist James Bond gives the Bond Girl her slice of heaven for a few screen minutes. Everywhere you look the idea of romance and the knight in shining armour is reinforced. Pop songs, advertisements (once upon a time a man would go to great lengths just to deliver a box of chocolates to his paramour in the Milk Tray ad) , greetings cards, magazines, newspapers, sitcoms, novels and so on and so forth. The airbrushed, photoshopped, sweeping soundtracked and every sense heightened message is driven at you each and every day. There is a dashing hero (or heroine) out there who will save you and treat you like a princess (or prince).

This is the message that is all around you. This is what you have been raised to expect. Someone will save the day and sweep you off your feet. Everything is going to be alright. You will have your happy ever after. It is hardly surprising that you have bought into this master illusion. Who would not? It is all pervading and virtually impossible to resist. It appeals to that deep-seated desire to be cared for and protected and this is done by maintaining a myth that someone should arrive on a white charger, armour gleaming to pull you from the clutches of the evil troll or moustachioed villain.

“I need a hero” sang Bonnie Tyler and then she laid down the criteria required for said hero to attain. I do not recall her mentioning a steady income, being handy with a paintbrush and making a nice cup of tea. Instead she, along with countless others, generate an ideal and you bought into it. You want the fairy tale. I understand it. Why would you not when all around you, you are being told that this is the way it should be. Who would not want that sensation of being swept off their feet, romanced and made to feel wonderful. And who says we do not provide it? There is no denying that when our kind come along we invariably pick you up in a marvellous whirlwind of love, attention and affection as we suck you into an illusion. Where does the fault lie? Is it us that are to blame for creating this construct to draw you in? Is it your fault for falling for the myth and casting common sense aside for wanting the unattainable? Or does the blame lie elsewhere? Is it those that created and not maintain this illusion? If it is those in this latter category that have created this monster that you believe in and we merely comply with, then the question becomes this. Who are they? Are they your kind or our kind?

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58 thoughts on “Prince Alarming”

  1. You are not to blame for the fairy tale nor are the others for believing them. We were all fed the same stuff

    You are to blame for exploiting something, mimicking something just to exploit another human being. You have a choice between playing a fake role or finding a genuine ways of expressing yourself. Since you can’t do the latter (no real self) you do the former. So…. Just because a house is there with unlocked doors, doesn’t mean you should rob it.

    And we need to keep our doors locked even though living that way is against so many of our natures.

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  2. More Bonnie Tyler references! Yes indeed, where have all the good men gone? Quite.

    It’s true we’ve been brainwashed by the ‘happy ever after’ narrative by likes of Disney. But times are changing. Possibly the biggest Disney movie of all time, Frozen, attempts to turn that narrative on its head.

    The male romantic lead isn’t quite what he seems at first. He has many hallmarks of a narcissist. Most refreshing of all is that the essential ‘baddie’ in Frozen isn’t your typical Disney baddie (ugly, malformed etc) he’s actually a normal person. And more so, someone handsome, charming and au fait with love bombing and image management.

    I’d like to think this shows awareness on Disney’s part of the responsibility they hold in forming expectations of the world in young people.

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    1. Frozen is an excellent movie. I appreciated the message and was very happy to have that in the mix of Disney princess movies my daughter saw when she was younger. I think it does make a difference.

      HG, do you want to build a snowman?! 🎼

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    2. What about ‘Shrek’? The portrayal of love in ‘Shrek’ struck a chord with me. The movies also show traditional fairy tale characters in real life situations, which is such a joy to watch! 😀

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  3. I believe that most of the serious romantic literature, especially from the Romanticism Period at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th. century in Europe is based on Narcissist protagonists, unbeknownst to most. The classic element in most if not all novels and poetry was unhappy and tumultuous love. Sounds familiar?

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      1. I would love to participate on your blog and all social media, i am afraid though I can’t commit more time than short comments here and there, essentially tipping you after perusing your work.
        For the time being. I’m going through the supernova phase at this moment, my first supernova, since January 11 this year.
        I am completely depleted of empathy. I cannot give you any fuel though I’m naturally tempted to give it to you.
        I’m in a very difficult situation caused by three Ns. I need to take certain steps to change it, and I must focus on that.
        I’ve lost someone very close to me, my base, my safety net, and now I’m facing additional unexpected hardships. I know I’ll overcome all that, I feel very strong, because I take all the empathy power and focus it solely on myself. For the first time.
        I know you understand what I’m going through, since you’re so intelligent.
        One day after I conquer all that needs to be conquered, and overcome, I’ll have more of myself to give.

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      2. Yes, I’d love to read more about this. I’m not sure we can translate tumultuous love into a narcissistic dynamic, but it’s worth exploring. This is why we need a forum!

        Is Wuthuring Heights not the most obvious of these? Heathcliff certainly was a damaged individual, and despite being given the opportunity for a better life, was always faced with the fact he was different – insecurities. But didn’t he truly love Cathy? Wasn’t it a genuine love and bond? But then, he was possessive, did he think he owned her?

        Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility certainly has some hallmarks. The love bombing and speed & intensity of his relationship with Marianne, highly inappropriate for the time. Then poor Marianne was given the silent treatment and easily discarded for someone wealthier. S&S was a novel with a didactic message, a learning journey. Sound familiar?!

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      3. I wonder if Heathcliff and Cathy really loved each other.

        He regarded her as his possession, an object, which he could not obtain. He suffered loss and decided he would make everyone else in his vicinity suffer as well. To her, he was the eternal ‘what if’, the safe fantasy.

        Would a relationship between the two have worked? Would her devotion have mellowed him, and transformed him from brute to loving husband? Would he have been able to cope with her independent spirit? Or would he have tried to crush her? Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, and his track record is horrific. Could the two of them have overcome all of this to live reasonably happily ever after?

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      4. Due to his selfishness and recklessness, Willoughby loses his inheritance. He needs to marry rich, which is probably why he abandons Marianne so swiftly. He is capable of feeling some remorse, but that does not alleviate Marianne’s pain.

        What I find so comforting about S&S is the feeling that the good ones come into our lives when we let go of the unhealthy ones… and with hindsight, one might think ‘I should not have tried so hard to hold onto someone who does not want to be in my life’ 🙂

        But seriously, who needs Willoughby if you can have *this* Col. Brandon? 😀

        [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_kEJwQgAaQ&w=560&h=315%5D

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      5. “It would certainly make an interesting essay.”

        Agreed. I desire to speak with Emily now 🙂

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      6. Thanks Matilda! This is my most favourite comment thread yet!

        Yes, whether Willoughby was a narc or not, there certainly is the message in there for all of us, as you point out. I love that. I’ve let go of my unhealthy one. I’m still probably in my fever stage. Maybe one day, my Col. Brandon will make himself known, but in the meantime, I’m learning lots of lessons.

        Can you think of any other potential classical narcs?

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      7. Good that you leave him behind, Sunshine… you deserve better :-). We need to rest and learn, and when Colonel Brandon comes along, we will be ready 😀

        Well, Mr. Wickham comes to mind. He definitely is a narc, a lower Mid-Ranger… calculating, but not self-controlled enough to be effective. He pays for his sins with marriage 😀

        A vivid, excellent example of a malignant, upper mid-range narcissist is Arthur Huntingdon (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall). He is very charming if he wants to be, but also selfish and spoilt. Helen marries him out of love, thinking she can have a positive influence on him. They have a son together. Arthur sulks, gives her repeated absent silent treatments, shifts the blame, becomes jealous of having to share her attention with his child etc. She is walking on eggshells. Helen finally flees when Arthur’s bad influence on his son cannot be ignored an longer, as he teaches him how to swear and drink alcohol. A smear campaign follows. She returns to her husband as he lies dying. He is fearful of what might await him in the afterlife yet unrepentant.

        There is Eugene Onegin, but I am undecided if he is a narcissist or not. Onegin, a cynical noble man from St. Petersburg, is basically bored with life. He rejects a young, very romantic woman named Tatiana quite harshly, saying he was touched by her love letter, but marriage was not for him as he would get bored soon and her subsequent tears would fail to touch his heart. He also advises her to learn to control her feelings, as she might get taken advantage of otherwise. Onegin lacks emotional depth, and I have yet to discover why. If he is a narcissist, he is not a malignant one, at least. Only when Tatiana is married to someone else, he realises that he dismissed the life that probably would have given his existence meaning, and pleads with her. She rejects him angrily, but also with a heavy heart as she still has feelings for him. The entire novel is written in verse, which makes for an unique reading experience.

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    1. Except it was tumultuous because they were in love with Nature, an untameable beast.

      No motion has she now, no force;
      She neither hears nor sees;
      Roll’d round in earth’s diurnal course,
      With rocks, and stones, and trees.

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      1. That quote is from William Wordsworth, right?

        Whose most famous poem is ‘Daffodils’

        The Latin name of which is: Narcissus.

        Now is that peculiar, or what?!

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      2. Yes, Wordsworth. The Romantics were all about exploring emotion especially as it related to organic nature. It’s a complex world view, not without its pitfalls but very different from the world view of a narcissist.

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      3. Like Heathcliffe? In that case, destructive, but he is more a figure for Nature, rather than a case study of a narcissist. We have to be careful that we don’t label nature narcissistic. I think the big “N” nature of the Romantics was a mystical force, unlike our small “n” view of nature today. It was dangerous because it was impersonal, and it was seductive because it was impersonal and vast. The narcissistic is more specific — very personal at first, but in a way that turns out not to have been personal at all. (Actually in my own experience of them, I would say, “personable”, not “personal”.) Maybe we shouldn’t view them as untameable, but rather as as expression of the heightened level of technology that marks civilization rather than nature. Everything they do is technique, but ultimately without any content. Nature has a content, but the narcissist has none. The narcissist is a complete, and self-consistent system of order, but cannot be “tamed” because there is no content there. You can’t tame the organised system of the narcissistic with your organic emotion and human nature.

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      4. The current theory of narcissism as proposed by Sam Vaknin and HG Tudor, both narcissists, is a false construct. Their view is limited.
        I argue that what we understand as narcissist, doesn’t occur in nature. It is an artificial construct, a concept, a piece of art.
        What it really is, is an animal. An untamable beast.

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    2. Col. Brandon…. i think alan rickman was cast as this character..rip 🙁 i loved colonial brandon he was so perfect. Willioughby was a definite narc! Sigh…i need to go watch some jane austen movies. Ive read most of her books and love going back in history. Back then it was a very cold existence as far as social class and marriages. All based on gain and almost never love not to mention inheritance laws.
      One thing is evident narcissists have been around since the beginning of mankind!

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      1. Emmas my fav i think. Its a sweet story. Digging out my jane austen collection lol

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      2. JAF,
        I agree that Narcs have been inspiring the arts for ages! Love the part in the movie where Alan Rickman says “what canni do?”
        Then he gets dispatched. Love the slurred accent. Miss his acting.

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      3. I don’t think Willoughby is a narc, he has emotions and regrets not being with Marianne. He has just a weak character and no values. He also had to secure money because of his place in society, he had no profession if I remember correctly.

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      4. Yes, Alan Rickman was one of a kind… he would have been an excellent Darcy, Wentworth or Rochester, too.

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      5. I found online a narcissistic personality therapist center in Willoughby Ohio lol
        Theres quite a bit online about the character Willoughby being a narcissist. If i remember correctly Willoughby got a girl pregnant and abandoned her. Colonial brandon’s ward i think. Her mum was abandoned the same way. I think Willoughby was a greater narcissist the way he strung women along. He was very calculating. Just watching clips of him on u tube sends shivers.

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    3. ED
      the 18th Century ?
      it has been from the beginning of humanity.. even the Bible is full of stories of betrayal and Narcs.

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      1. The belles letters of that period are intensely obsessed with unrequited tumultuous love. Such love rarely exists in healthy empathic relationships, so the conclusion can only be one.

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      1. Haha — what has your longest on-off relationship duration been with an IPSS before the escape or discard.

        I think I was the first person to figure out my ex was NPD — lots/most/all of his prior exes dumped him simply for being off and they obviously had a stronger sense of self than I did — but how did it feel / what did you think the first time a girlfriend called you out as a narcissist? I don’t mean how you tried to pin it on her or call her crazy, but in that split second when she says, ‘I know what you are’ what goes through your mind and being?

        Your content has been fabulous lately btw — I’m healing rapidly now (thanks always for your blog, books and interviews on YouTube) and that means just getting on with life vs obsession with narcs, narc education and following your blog as much as I used to …but I still like to learn, there is likely still some narc addiction at play in my head and I always find your blog content helps me move forward and leave my history with a narc, farther and farther behind 🙂 )

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      2. That’s a lot for someone who doesn’t like to be touched and doesn’t enjoy sex in itself. Plus others. ?!

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      3. The Somatic Narcissist, and Histrionic Narc, liked petite women because each liked to pick them up, fling them around, and play with them, as if they were dolls/toys. Being petite makes it very easy for me to hide anywhere, or sneak up on people, and startle them, or be an undercover spy. I also use to go trick-o-treating for lots of goodies and candy, pretending that I was a 14-16 yr old. I got lots of candy.

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  4. It’s definitely the narcissists (“your kind”) who are responsible for creating this illusion.

    There are exceptional works such as Wuthering Heights created by super empaths such as Emily Bronte. But if you examine the lives of such empaths, they are often marked by deep suffering. It’s my belief that this suffering comes from getting too close to narcissists, but I have no evidence to back this.

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    1. Only just read this after I posted my comment- yes Wuthering Heights was the first one that popped into my head too!

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  5. Once upon a time I was falling in love … Now I’m only falling apart … Who could forget Bonnie’s Total Eclipse of the Heart … x x

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  6. HG
    Speaking of alarm……..do you have yours set? I believe our very own blogger LOVE advised she would be visiting your Country and I havent seen her around…..did your curtains just move?

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  7. I do not want or desire a Prince Charming, they are so fake.
    But give me a warrior like myself ((don’ t care if is a Narc)) who will challenge and make war even with himself when necessary .
    But the question is:
    Can a Narc be a warrior? Being entangle with me is like not only joining the “peace corpe” as it seems,
    but it is joining a never ending quest for acquiring new skills and knowledge in warfare.
    .

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    1. This is interesting, Maria. It makes me very curious to know more. I do not mean anything offensive, in the least, and you might not wish to answer, but I was wondering if you might be a BPD?

      I have nothing against BPDs, and in fact, find them to be incredibly sweet, passionate, loving, admiring of others, and incredibly creative and fun! And, they are very empathetic and feel everything 100 Fold! I just love people who are BPD! I sorta think that BPD is another name for those who Call people out on their sh*t. I just love BPDs!

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