I had another idea.
People get good feelings from a few different sources. One of them is from experiences of dominance: I won (over others or at a task), I have more (than before, than someone else), I have social status. Another is from being with people we have a bond with (oxytoxin). A third is concentrating on a task (acetylcholine). I watched a very interesting video about introverts that speculated they get more good feelings from concentrating on a task than from the excitement of meeting new people. There are other ways of feeling good, but those are three that are important.
I have an idea narcissists have very constricted ways of feeling good and rely mainly on dominance to do it. There may be many reasons for this, including difficulties in processing emotions and intentions so that it’s difficult to generate a sense of being on the same side unless the intentions are generated by the narcissist and this interferes with oxytocin as a source.
As a child of a narcissist, it may be your role to give this sense of dominance to your parent. Why else do you exploit your flesh and blood except for power? Why else seek power unless it feels good?
This role of supplier of dominance hits may mean for the child (me) that every interaction is a potential to be knocked down a peg. If I don’t offer submissive gestures, they may be beaten out of me or criticised or ridiculed or shouted out of me. In place of a calm, ordered child you have one who obligingly shrinks into himself, but may not do his chores or his homework or get ready on time for school, because he knows the point isn’t to get things done, but to reward you with serotonin. There are other ways this can play out.
One of them can be, for the narcissist, every situation is an opportunity to get a hit. They can always have more than you of something. Not just posessions or status, but more decision-making power, more good feelings, more attention. Any time you have something and they don’t, the narcissist experiences loss at losing dominance.
Consistently, I experience stress over writing, which sucks a lot of the joy out of what would otherwise be my happy pill in life. There may be multiple reasons for this, but one of them may be the three or four times my mother came and created drama over it. It occurred to me today maybe I just seemed to be happy at those times and she wasn’t. She wanted her happy pill, which was my submissive posturing because I was scared of her.
I think it makes “flow” generally difficult for me. I might start to feel.happy and then, suddenly, someone will come and yell at me.
And if flow is difficult and dominance is out of the question, because then there will really be yelling, and oxytocin is in short supply because I have zero trusting relationships, where does that leave me? Drained, flat, energyless and despairing…