Monday, October 8, 2012

Plato's cave

Charity's original hurtful comment made me realize what we're really all doing here.

Born to narcissistic parents, we grew up without love. We didn't even know what it was or that we lacked it. Just like prisoners in Plato's cave, all we knew were shackles and shadows. We were lied to and told that was all there was, and the fire that created the shadows was the only light that existed.

Then we either realized we were in shackles looking at shadows (if we learned about NPD) or we caught a glimpse of the sun (if we had a real human relationship with someone real) and we decided we wanted to live outside in the sun. So we started our journey out, helping each other on the way and sharing directions. Supporting each other out as the sun hurts our unaccustomed eyes.

And then, someone will say "Stop whining! My shackles are tight and I have to lie on the cold floor starving and I'm being tortured, and you're shackled to a soft bed and have plenty to eat! I wish I could be that lucky! You should be grateful! Get back in here!"

And it makes me at least feel guilty and ashamed. I shouldn't be whining. I shouldn't be blaming. I shouldn't be angry. I should be grateful my parents didn't torture me, starve me, rape me, or try to kill me. I am.

But that's completely beside the point. It's not about listing abuses, or complaining, or blaming. Narcissists do those things in order to control others by making them feel guilty. I'm not interested in doing that.

I'm just interested in telling my truth: I was born in a dark cave, and I'm getting out into the sun.


  1. I said at the time, and I stand by it: I don't think we (us ACoNs) need to quantify our suffering. There is no Scale-O-Doom. When you are a child, and being abused - what you are going through is 100% The Worst Thing. I didn't spend time in a German prison camp either. We suffered. It was awful - each of us had it 100% bad.

  2. Amen! In the end, we all know what it's like to be unloved, to be treated as a thing instead of a person. We all know the dark. Just because it wasn't "as bad" as what somebody else went through doesn't make what's happened to you, me, or anyone else okay.

  3. Awesome analogy and terrific post.

  4. Yes. And I'm so thankful to find others - ya'll - who understand what it's like.


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