Sorry for the ridiculous pathos of the title. I couldn't resist it. This is line 63 from Eliot's Waste Land, alluding to Dante's Inferno, but referring to the listless crowd on London Bridge. And I've been repeating the line to myself since I realized how many wonderful souls have been so deeply impacted by narcissists, deathly blows dealt to them, left for dead, sometimes shadows of what they might have been.
Because that's what narcissists do. They suck the life out of your soul.
Amazingly, in the last month or so, I have discovered that four of my friends have parents with at least narcissistic traits severe enough to seriously impair their ability to parent. Three seem to have parents with full-blown NPD. And they had all realized this prior to having a conversation with me on the topic.
I had not thought death had undone so many."
I'd felt drawn to these people since I met them. There was a connection. There were similarities. The cynical sense of humor defending a very sensitive person. The angst. The questioning and constant self-examination. The ruthless honesty. The burning desire to be real, to get it right, to do things right, to somehow be good, to somehow be themselves. The self-criticism and tolerance for others. The general atmosphere of living in a Kafkaesque world but wanting to be a character from Dostoyevsky in it and always despairing of failing at that.
And all of them realizing now how they had been "undone" by their narcissistic parents. And rising again, slowly, beautifully. There's a resurrection after death. Happy Easter.