Excerpt About Central Narcissism
Deficient EmptinessOne of the most characteristic manifestations of narcissism is the painful state of emptiness, in which one feels a deficient inner nothingness—a vacuity, as if one has nothing inside, no substance. This poverty of inner life, experienced as an actual phenomenological nothingness, is usually accompanied by feelings of unreality, meaninglessness, pointlessness, and insignificance. He feels his life has no meaning or sense, his existence has no significance, and his action no point or real aim. These feelings reflect his alienation from essential presence, which is, in the deepest sense possible, the true significance and meaning of his existence, for the presence is his true existence. There might also emerge other painful affects, accompanying the emptiness or separately, such as feeling lost, aimless, purposeless, disoriented, not knowing what to do, and the inability to initiate any meaningful action. These affects are specific manifestations of the loss or absence of the feeling of identity, which may be experienced directly as a sense of no self, as a feeling of not being able to feel one’s familiar identity. The lack of identity may also manifest as the specific feeling of having no center and no orientation, because identity functions as the center of the self.