Puppets are curious things. Over the past few days, my youngest son has been talking about hypnotism – he’s quite intrigued by it. He was telling me that the only people who can be hypnotized are those who can be manipulated … like puppets.
It got me thinking about the ‘narcissistic family.’ In a narcissistic family, there is the puppet master who is the head narcissist. In my family it is the mother who is the (malignant) narcissist – the one exhibiting NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and she is the ‘puppet master.’ And she was insanely good at it. Still is, I’m guessing.
Isn’t it curious how the ‘master’ has her own puppet show, playing with people, manipulating them and toying with them, putting on a most believable show while her puppets have no idea that they are actually in a show? And yet, this is exactly what they do. The puppet master can manipulate anyone to think anything and even do anything. In my case, she can be sweet, even talk sweet of me to make me look like I am the villain for cutting ties. No one even considers to ask her what she has done in this masquerade that made me cut the strings in the first place.
The other curious thing is that puppets don’t know they’re puppets. They are defined by the puppet master. They are influenced and manipulated by them. It’s like this little saying I came across yesterday, ‘When you are dead, you don’t know you are dead. It is only difficult for the others. It is the same when you are stupid.’ This can also be applied to those who are played like puppets … ‘When you are a puppet, you don’t know you’re a puppet. It’s only difficult for others. It is the same when you are stupid.’ And it is the same as being stupid, or maybe the more appropriate word is, ignorant. People who are puppets don’t want to know the truth. Being played is all they have ever known, after all – going along with the play means they don’t have to take a stand for anything, they don’t have to confront anything or think for themselves – if they did do these things, they would soon realize that they too can break free and be real like the scapegoat of the family who has cut the strings and has become her own real person.
Another curious thing is that all my siblings are easily hypnotized. I tried to be hypnotized at two different hypnotist shows in my twenties and I could not be. I just could not surrender myself over so willingly to another’s control. I think this speaks volumes when it comes to my family of origin – how manipulatable they are. It sure seems curious to me anyway.
Being a puppet is a lot like being hypnotized – being manipulated. Just like victims of hypnotism – while in hypnotic state, they don’t know they are hypnotized until later. They don’t recall the memories of being manipulated until the next day or two. Being the puppet of a narcissist is no different except that puppets rarely, if ever, realize that they are puppets. They have just accepted the parts that they have been given to play. It’s what I have seen from always being on the outside looking in, having been assigned the role of scapegoat.
Yes, for a time, I too was a puppet – I bought the puppet master’s definition of me. I let her define me and it took a long time for me to realize that I am not a puppet, but a real girl and that I didn’t need – nor did I want – to be attached to her puppet strings anymore and I no longer wanted to play the role I was expected to play with my father and siblings either. After some struggle, I finally managed to cut all the strings … free to be me – free to be real. And it took a great deal of time afterward for me to know who the real me was.
Great cost came with being able to be real, and let me tell you – it was worth the cost. Freedom – any kind of freedom – is the most priceless thing there is in life.
~ Saoirse Quill