Excerpt About Narcissistic Wound

Understanding the Genesis of the Narcissistic Wound

As we work with the narcissistic wound, we begin to understand its genesis in our lives. Feeling the emotions associated with the wound, and seeing its meaning, we begin to experience this hurt as a great betrayal, the betrayal of the self. Not being seen for what we truly are has led to a betrayal of this preciousness that is our essential core. We come to understand that we became false because the people in our early environment not only did not see and support our true self, but wanted us to be something else. They conditioned us to fit their idea of what we are or what we should be. The feeling of betrayal that accompanies our realization of this development is one of the ways we experience the narcissistic wound. We may experience the betrayal whenever we feel not seen or appreciated for who and what we are. As this betrayal becomes conscious, we first see it as betrayal by the idealized or mirroring self-object. This can be a teacher or friend, spouse or children, in the present time, or we might feel it connected to the past, to parents, teachers in school, or others. The realization of the significance of the betrayal may deepen the hurt, or it may lead to anger and rage. We feel let down, treated unjustly, abandoned, and left alone with our terrible pain. We experience the disruption or absence of mirroring as a terrible betrayal, the most fundamental betrayal. This is why we call it the “great betrayal.” The most fundamental truth of the soul has been betrayed and abandoned.

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