Narcissistic Attachment

Today I discuss with Susan Guner of Psychedelic Conversations the concepts of “Narcissistic Attachment” and how that affects the child who grows into an adult. How is the attachment formed and preserved? What relational dynamics form the narcissistic bubble and fusion?

We delve deeper into the emotional and spiritual aspects leading to interpersonal and intrapsychic arrested development, leading to the quest for power and status instead of intimacy and truth. We explore how the narcissist seeks out supply, the idealisation of others, to fill the empty void within their soul. They keep the internal structure protected and intact from external.

The mother is normally emotionally infantile herself and incapable of bearing any separation, as this may mean re-experiencing her own parental abandonment and rejection. The threat of separation opens the mother up to being vulnerable, imperfect, and facing the emotional challenges and

responsibilities of an emotionally healthy adult. The mother may
interpret the child’s need for separation as losing control and co-dependency, which may play out as unconscious hate, envy and jealousy, which may play out behaviourally to force symbiosis. The child may experience the mother`s clinging and engulfment as persecutory, creating severe frustration during the rapprochement phase, leading to repression and the transformative internalisation of the external object being replaced by the fusion of the real self, ideal self and ideal object, forming the nuclear self. This reduces the child`s existence and experience to an infantile level, forever trying to reclaim the idealised dream and illusion of a permanent symbiosis and return to the maternal womb.

The narcissist is spared from any future transferential relationship by becoming obsessed with the false self, they are the object, and the object is them, where boundaries no longer exist. Everyone they meet is introjected, swallowed internally as a snapshot, and as an extension of themself with the same beliefs, ideas and perceptions which need to mirror and idealise them. Because of the pre-oedipal phase arrest, everyone is seen as a need-gratifying object, coerced or manipulated into submission, otherwise used as a dumping ground for undesirable aspects they can’t contain. The symbiotic relatedness removes the need for aggression caused by frustration, envy or dependency as there is this complete sense of oneness with the mother, no difference, inequality or weakness. 

Primary narcissism is usually tempered by a gradual disillusionment (optimal frustration ) of the idealised other, creating separation and the availability to internalise the object and substitute their values and ideas with your own, developing the structure to self-soothe,  strengthen Impulse control and frustration tolerance, heighten empathy and object constancy.

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