Hiding From Yourself

 

HIDING-FROM-YOURSELF

Another session with Dr E. As I sat down in his consulting room I wondered how much had been spent so far with regards to this supposed treatment. A few thousand pounds no doubt and I imagined that both Dr E and Dr O would be more than content to continue these consultations given their lucrative nature. The cynic in my nature pondered that the financial rewards were such that they would string out this course of treatment for as long as they could.

That did not concern me. I was not paying and I usually enjoyed my sparring with the good doctors. It entertained me. However as I ruminated on whether the lure of filthy lucre was what motivated Dr E and Dr O, I realised that they at least gave the impression of wanting to help me. I know from the many sessions it was as much about me gaining awareness and insight in order to make informed decisions about what I wanted, rather than a prescriptive approach from these head doctors but I realised that they actually did care.

They wanted to help me. This of course was the main reason why I was content to keep turning up and being subjected to their questions ; these two examiners of HG provided fuel and other benefits and thus they proved attractive to me. My tolerance for their repeated probing of areas of my life that I preferred to keep shuttered and closed arose because they provided me with the attention that is so vital to my existence. I also knew that there was an admiration there for me as well. It was evident in the way the pair looked at me, especially Dr O. I knew, as academics, they admired the way I was so candid about the way I behaved.

I could see how they admired the way I had been created. I knew they did not like it, how does one like something like me given the abuse I dole out as freely as a farmer broadcasting seed, but they had that deep-seated admiration for this efficient machine that had been stripped of all unnecessary emotions and super-charged with certain traits in order to function at maximum effectiveness. Accordingly, even the doctors were providing me with the thing I needed and our relationship might continue ad infinitum. They continued to be fascinated by me and they desired to help me. I, in turn, was content to engage in this relationship as it provided something that I required. The arrangement was a mutually satisfying one, even when the doctors strayed into territories that were best left alone.

“Hello HG how are you?” asked Dr E. I hesitated. He did not normally enquire as to my state of being. Others would trot out such a question rarely interested in the answer but merely performing a social nicety. Dr E did not ask such a question and for him to  now do so put me on guard.

“I am excellent well, thank you for your kind enquiry,” I replied with a smile. I did not enquire after his well-being, I was not interested nor did I have to feign such interest.

“Good. Now, straight down to business, who are you?”

“H G Tudor.”

“Indeed you are. Anything else?”

I paused. I see Dr E we were going deep today were we? Very well, let’s flush out where you want to go.

“The question of who I am is something that depends on the context,” I began. Dr E commenced his note-taking.

“How does one define oneself is what I suspect you are really driving at.” I looked to Dr E for a sign of affirmation but there was none.

“Do I have an idea of who I am? How is that arrived at? Do I know who I am or do I look to others to define me? Am I an independent identity that has been shaped by my own decisions or am I a product of others and their experiences? Am I aware of who I am or have I yet to discover all that I am?”

“All interesting questions but let me return to my initial question,” interrupted Dr E, “who are you?”

“Who am I? I am many things to many people. Friend, lover, boss or confidant are labels which are applicable to me. Conqueror, seducer, victim and defiler are others which are equally applicable. Charismatic, urbane, intelligent, interesting, stimulating, successful and alluring are also traits that come together to create who I am.”

“I see. Would you say therefore that you are confident that you know who you are?”

“Yes.”

“Do you think that if I asked this question of your family and friends, your colleagues or even my secretary that they would give similar answers to those you have provided me with?”

I snorted.

“Liars lurk within the ranks of those you have described and they have nothing but ill-will towards me. Their perfidy is so great I can smell its stench as I sit here. By all means ask but you will be given nothing but a litany of lies. Insults and assaults on my good nature.”

“So all of them would insult you?”

“No, not all, there are those who know me for what I am.”

“Might it be said that they all know you for who you are?” pressed Dr E.

“No. There are those who have an agenda to topple me and it is they that think they know me but they have constructed an idea of what I am and it is a false one that is used to serve their nefarious purposes. Others recognise my greatness and they are content to embrace it.”

“But could it not be the case that these categories of people just happen to know different elements of you. Your admirers know the H G that is generous, interesting and charming. Those who you regard as detractors perhaps know a different part of you, the defiler and conqueror that you made reference to, this causing them to regard you in a less positive light?” asked Dr E.

“No. The defiler and conqueror are artifices created by those who seek to harm me. Let them do so and I will be that which they think I am. It is no more than they deserve. They create such a monstrosity through their perfidy and unwarranted attacks, so let them know the beast, let them feel its hot and fetid breath in their faces, the rake of its claws against their yielding skin and the full horror of its power on their being. They create it, let them endure it,” I spat, the mere consideration of those who would do me wrong causing my fury to ignite.

“Could you not possess all of those attributes? Could it not be the case you have them all and people see some over others?”

“No,” I said firmly. Dr E nodded and fell silent.

“What would you think if I said that I think you are hiding from yourself?”

I switched my gaze from Dr E and focussed on a picture on the wall. Not this, don’t start this again. Don’t let him gain a foothold H G. Repel the boarder, eject the intruder, cast him out.

“I do not hide.”

“But might you not realise that you are doing so?”

“No.”

“Could it be that you do not know who you are?”

“No.”

“Could it be that you do know but would prefer not to contemplate it?”

“No.”

“Is this line of discussion making you uncomfortable?”

“No.”

I shifted my gaze back to Dr E. Go on, keep trying to batter through my defences, you will not succeed. I know your game Dr E. I know what you are trying to suggest but I am not going there.

“Very well. Let us go back to how you regard yourself then, elaborate on that,” he invited.

The sense of relief washed over me but I gave no outward sign of its effect. I smiled, elated to have rejected this probing once again and excited by the prospect of talking about my favourite subject in greater detail; me.

 

14 thoughts on “Hiding From Yourself

  1. lickemtomorrow says:

    Our parents are the first ones to tell us who we are. They are our first ‘mirror’ and reflect back to us what we need to know about ourselves. If this is inadequate then we can fail to get a true sense of who we are. And a sense of abandonment follows.

    I’ve often wondered why a sense of abandonment haunted me throughout my life. Now I’m beginning to understand. A narcissistic parent does not allow for a child to know who they are. The child is treated as an extension of the parent which means they are not reflecting back to the child but projecting onto the child. This does not allow the child to see themselves, except as a reflection of the parent. Their true self gets lost in the mix. The narcissist will create a ‘false self’ to overcome this sense of abandonment by the parent, and disconnect from or deny the ‘true self’. The empath will seek to find themselves in others having little sense of who they are in themselves. This is where the narcissist/co-dependent dynamic rears its toxic head. Two sides of the one coin, seeking to resolve their issues of abandonment.

    1. A Victor says:

      I just used the same phrase, two sides of the same coin, in a comment on a different thread. Your observation is accurate, in my life anyway, as an empath. I have been forced also to create something of a false self but not in the same way. Differences from a narcissist in the handling of emotions are part of it. This entire study has been fascinating. I would never have believed I was an empath, not understanding the meaning of it even, prior to this. But now, many things are falling into place. I almost am grateful for having had a narc come along, though not enough to call him up and thank him!! Lol!

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Hi AV, I’ve used the phrase more than once here as well. It becomes even more accurate in my experience when it comes to the co-dependent empath. From my perspective the ‘people pleasing’ false self becomes part of the persona for the empath and denying or hiding emotions can be part of that. I’m not sure if that’s what you mean by handling emotions.

        I’ve also just commented on another thread about not realizing I was an empath (though I knew I was empathic) and how pieces are falling into place for me as well 🙂 I can concur with your sense of being grateful in a way for the narc coming along. He wasn’t my first, but ‘as God is my witness’ he will be my last. And hopefully neither of us will be tempted to call narcex up to thank them 😛

        Another element of cognitive dissonance … should I curse my narc or thank him? Jury’s out on that one for now (much like it is on the glass half empty and glass half full). I’ll think about that tomorrow.

        1. A Victor says:

          I just saw your comment on the other thread regarding the pieces falling into place, that was ironic as I’d sent my previous comment just prior to seeing yours.

          Yes, the emotions part of it is maybe best described, in my case anyway, as not “feeling” (aka denying) them per se, but definitely acting on them out of a sense of what is proper to do at that moment, definitely a people pleasing quality to it, and no going to a shelf to pull the response out. Anyway, those feelings come back here and there, over the last 20 years or so, so I do know that I’m human and, not a narc.

          How specific are people here when it comes to the Empath, Codependent Empath etc? Do you mean that you are at the farthest end of the spectrum and I, as a Standard with a very strong Super element am not as far? Does that mean that I’m not really the flip side of the coin? Or just as opposed to a more extreme narc? Just trying to understand a bit more specifically. I am aware of the spectrum, not a lot though.

          Pretty sure you can curse him out as you thank him, I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. Or at least alternate between the two.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi AV, we seem to be in sync in some ways and thanks for sharing a little more. It helps to understand and looks like we agree on the way empaths can deny themselves/their feelings to accommodate others at times.

            HG offers an empath detector consult (EDC) which I took early on and which has been very helpful to me. Partly because it refines the types of empaths and you can discover your empath traits as well as narcissistic traits including the strength of . both. My results were an eye opener to me in some respects and I remember how disappointed I was to discover I was majority co-dependent. I felt like a loser 😛 It was the worst possible outcome from my perspective as I see myself as a strong person, having confronted many difficulties which somehow I’ve managed to overcome. My thoughts around the label co-dependent was ‘you’re needy’ … mainly related to the word dependent. It’s a label I wanted to reject. That’s my narcissistic trait of pride 😉

            Before I go too far down that track, let me just say it wasn’t exactly what I assumed it was and I have a lot more clarity now on how co-dependents are created. It’s a strategy we develop which relates to a lack of control (LOC) environment in childhood and is the opposite strategy to that developed by the narcissist – an alternative coping mechanism if you will. So both narcs and co-d’s are raised in a similar environment but come out as different sides of the same coin. That is my current perspective and it makes complete sense to me. I tend to embrace the understanding (i.e. the label) now as acknowledging it will help me tackle it.

            I think the co-dependents are the farther end of the spectrum in terms of their vulnerability to narcissists, but the best person to consult with would be HG in this regard. I’m simply responding with the understanding I have gained here and it definitely makes a difference in terms of our ability not to become ensnared again.

            LOL to the last part of your comment, AV 😛 Alternating between cursing and blessing the narc is probably where it’s at for me now, but I think we have permission to do both as long as we GOSO – get out and stay out x

        2. A Victor says:

          LET, thank you for the explanation, it’s all about learning and it really does seem to help with the confusion. I don’t know if I will ever really understand what or why but acceptance is a bit easier with more knowledge.

          I have done both the EDC and the Trait Detector. They are helpful in knowing myself better but I still have to figure out how to apply them to not allowing another narc into my life. The idea of another one is terrifying.

          I also sent a Narc Detector in for my mother. The narc that came into my life very briefly brought my awareness to the possibility that I’ve been dealing with this literally my entire life. I don’t have the results yet but even without them there is a lot falling into place. But again, I will need to learn how to deal with her.

          I don’t see co-dependents as weak. In fact, I see them as strong, very strong. I agree that the name may do a disservice in impression but the ability to survive and still be kind and good and loving, that is all strength. We are put here as humans, with humans, it is our lot to figure out how to interact and to, as much as we can, do so in these positive ways, without hurting them, which is strength. I do hurt people sometimes, mostly my mother these days because I can’t deal with her in any other way without getting hurt myself. But I hate it. And, I won’t do it in most situations. Usually I will just take it and get away asap. Unless it is happening toward a weaker person, them I go mama bear. Lol

          Perhaps I have said this already but it is very nice to have found a community where people get it. Is our “obsession” normal or healthy? Is it something we go through and come out of once we learn enough? I don’t know but looking back on the blog it seems many names have changed, so I have some hope of that.

          People in my usual life do not get it. This makes me sad as I’d like to share with them but they really just don’t and don’t want me to. It adds to the utter insanity of what I’ve experienced, I would not have believed or understood if it hadn’t happened to me, so I do see why they respond like they do. And the exact similarities amongst the narcs and also us empaths, even given the minor differences and our individual uniquenesses, it’s really shocking. It makes me wonder about achieving wholeness, I can’t become “normal” (another word that I struggle with) so what’s the best I can hope for? A life avoiding another narc?

          But no, I am a victor, I just have to learn what that looks like in my newfound knowledge. Part of this will be building who I am from the inside out. Part will be learning to use my strengths and bolster my weaknesses. Part is likely things unknown at this time.

          Thanks for the chat. Glad to be here.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            I agree, acceptance is easier with knowledge, AV. It means you’ve got something to hang your hat on, so to speak. And I guess that something is understanding. I had very limited understanding of narcissism before I came here and it was my last devastating experience that brought me to this place. Then things really began to unravel as I was able to see all the ways I had been impacted by narcissism going back to my childhood. Looks like you are reaching that far back now as well.

            I can imagine the difficulties with your mother and I’ve been no contact with mine for over two years now. So that was before I ever got here, but I was delighted to see HG create a package related to the parental narcissist and can’t thank him enough for that again. No contact can be hard to sustain until you get a real handle on what is happening and how no contact is possible. I probably need to revisit it again soon. I thought I caught sight of my mother the other day while out shopping, but in the instant I thought I recognized her I moved out of any possible line of sight to avoid having even eye contact with her. I stayed away until I thought she had moved on, but it’s probably impacted me a little and raised my ET as well.

            I see you’ve done some of the testing already I’ve only done the EDC, but that’s definitely been helpful to me. I am narc free right now, so don’t need to consult in relation to that but I’m glad you’re following up re: your mother, and it’s always good to know the option is there if needed. All these options lead us further down the road to freedom and taking back control of our lives. So important when it comes to narcissists.

            it is tough when others don’t get or understand what we are going through. And sometimes it can feel like being gaslighted all over again. That’s where a site like this is so helpful. I don’t know how many comments I’ve read where I say “I could have said that”, the experiences being eerily similar. But there is validation in that, and confirmation of what you have been/are going through and also what you are trying to escape. I don’t think anyone really fully understands unless they have been through it. And HG can gives us the no holds barred version of exactly what that is. He doesn’t sugarcoat it, and the punch to the gut is what we all need sometimes (unpleasant as it is). It is the reality, and this site is a wake up call to that, as well as a place to find information and support which will help us come out on the other side.

            I do wonder about older posters that seem to have come and gone and hope they have made that journey safely. I guess none of us know how long we will be here, but the main thing is it makes the difference to our own lives we need it to make <3

            I think avoiding another narc is one of the 'prime aims' of the empath after coming here. I don't really do or think 'normal' either. Never have, so will be happy just to avoid another narc for now!

            And you are a victor. I hope you will continue to be one x

          2. A Victor says:

            LET, thank you for sharing your thoughts and for the encouragement. It is so helpful to know we’re not the only ones on this journey!

    2. Fieke says:

      Hi LmT
      Could an empath ( or normal, no idea what I am) find this true self, find it back, develop it as an adult? I recognise a lot what you say. I was only allowed to develop interest that were also my parents. I was lucky two , swimming and history, coincided. My siblings were allowed a bit more, they had learning difficulties, and my brother was allowed to create a sports identity and my sister a horse riders identity, I had to excel in everything, school, I had to like the same stuff (example I hate finances, but am good at it because of it), and mostly taking care of everybody emotional needs ( being only praised for all these empathic traits, how Wonderfull my ever adapting abilities and patience where ( not so much anymore left LOL)). I miss parts of my identity. They really feel permanently lost.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        Hi Fieke, we all have a family history behind us that can be complex and vary in so many respects. I was definitely inspired to point you towards HGs book “Chained” when I read what you said in one post. I know you have since acquired it and I hope it helped in terms of insight.

        As far as finding ourselves go, I think that as empaths we haven’t created the same kind of defences as the narcissist. The true self, from my perspective, is not lost in any permanent sense but in some of us has to be rediscovered. There’s a good chance you are in touch with many parts of your self, just maybe not all if that is how you are feeling. I know I was shaped to meet my mother’s expectations. What happened for me was that somewhere deep down my gut knew that her expectations did not meet who I was as a person. No matter how hard she tried to put a square peg into a round hole, and I tried to do the same, it was never going to work for me. I think that was my true self resisting and trying to express itself. I do think as empaths we all have the ability to recover ourselves, but for some of us impacted in childhood it may take a little time That is purely my opinion based on my experience.

        It sounds like a lot of expectations were put on you and your siblings got off more lightly (as in they got to follow their own interests). That’s a tough position to be in, but you’ve obviously got some natural talents, too, which you’ve been able to take advantage of in the circumstances. As an empath you have much to give and much potential for growth, Fieke. I would keep reading and learning here in order to get out from under the confusion the narcissist’s have created in your life, which will be your first step to freedom, and after that will be much greater opportunity to discover more about yourself and what the future holds for you <3 We're all on a journey of self-discovery here.

        1. Fieke says:

          That was really heart felt LmT! straight in! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and sharing your thoughts and your experiences.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            No problem, Fieke <3. Hope it helped x

  2. Asp Emp says:

    HG, you are who you are. There are some things that will not and cannot be verbalised (talked about). I understand that. I am just glad that I do not have to attend “therapy” sessions to answer for myself, I don’t need to explain myself to anybody. Therapy will not change or “make sense” of what happened. It’s only ‘experts by experience’ that get it. Society, the environment and the past are to blame. That is where they should look at first before questioning anyone about themselves.

  3. DrHouse says:

    I believe that your chosen photo speaks for itself.
    Do you believe it is a slow process or a moment we’re it snaps and you became you?

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