After my divorced finalized, I spent the first two years reading up on what it means to be Bipolar, but now I am onto Narcissism. I have been reading up on Bipolar, Narcissism and Borderline Personality Disorder this weekend. I find it all fascinating. I know, this makes me different, but bare with me. There is an age-old question in psychology: What makes you, YOU? Is it heredity or environment? This question has been asked with adoption, twins, homosexuality, religion, pop culture, education, criminal activity, politics and the list goes on. It is constantly being studied. One cannot ignore genetics or ignore the role of environment.
Follow my thought for a moment, please:
1) There is a clear genetic link between Bipolar and families. There is an identifiable gene with a problem that can scientifically be identified. But not everyone that has the gene presents themselves with bipolar. This has been studied with identical twins that both have the bipolar gene disorder. One twin will present with bipolar while one does not. How a person responds to his environment plays a role as well. At this moment in time there is NO GENETIC link to Narcissism. But it is a well-known fact that Narcissists do raise Narcissists and Narcissism does run in families.
Stick with me, please. A bipolar exercise:
1) They ask families with bipolar spouses to sit down together and map out your family tree. Sketch it out the best you can. Circle everyone who is bipolar. Okay; my ex-husband, his father, his uncle, his grandmother. Okay. My Cousin and her brother maybe (died in a mental home with sealed records.) Now circle those with alcoholic problems. Okay, that's 40% of the family tree. Now circle those with eating disorders. Okay, that's a couple more. When my aunt died they had to remove the front bay window to remove her from the house. Now circle gambling addictions. Okay, some of these people have two or more circles now.
Whose left? Well, I wouldn't exactly call them the normal ones. Most of theses over here are on the ADD scale and those ones over there are all dyslexic. Then these ones over here are well known for their religious experiences. And don't forget all the eccentric artists on his side of the family; weird paintings, that one, but a renowned oil painter in her day. When I look at this family tree, I see: Jews who survived Hitler, Pentecostal tent preachers, professional athletes, pioneers dating back to the Mayflower, mob members of the prohibition, known artists, etc. This is an interesting tree. Some of these people are famous enough to be written about in history books. I know because I own those books. Was anyone normal on either side?
I think that I am normal, but I am comparing myself to these people. My center is more "centered" than there's, but I may be still off center too. Wacky but not as wacky as they are.
No wonder I married a Narcissist.
I don't have a reference for normal. Are you sketching your family tree, yet? Just how normal of a family do you come from? Don't beat up on yourself. Go live your life. Everyone has "stuff." The trick is to not let the "stuff" ruin your life. You have only one life to live. Go live it. It is what it is, and it went like it did, but you still have tomorrow.
(originally posted by a member of our community - Join First Wives World today to share your story and help yourself, as well as others, move into a place of healing.)