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  1. #881
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    I love this sort of stuff so here are some more excerpts from the thread that I found really interesting and some that address some of the responses here! If I'm being annoying let me know. I find this stuff fascinating.
    Quote from Cersei when Marcella died:
    "I don't know where she came from, she was nothing like me. No meanness, no jealousy just good. I thought maybe if I could make something so good, so pure. Maybe I'm not a monster"
    So that is actually exactly what you would expect to hear from a narcissist. In fact, a number of narcissistic patients I've worked with have expressed similar attitudes towards their children. Again, the child is a narcissistic extension of the self, so in order to accept the child, the narcissistic parent must split them as "perfect" or "so good, so pure," to use Cersei's words. The parent has a diminished capacity for accepting flaws in their children, which will likely be denied ("my child couldn't do that, he's perfect"). If they're not denied, or if the child disappoints the parent by not living up to his or her expectations in some way, then the child is split in the other direction ("this child is the worst child in the world," or even "this is not my child"...I believe Tywin has said that a few times, actually). This is a very typical pattern for narcissistic parents, and what makes it all the more intolerable is the constant switching back and forth between the two extremes.
    So, that statement of hers illustrates how all of these cognitive strategies actually serve to protect the narcissist from his or her pain, which stems from the deeply held believe that he or she is rotten to the core. Cersei used her children in order to deny that belief, and embraced them as evidence to the contrary ("maybe I'm not a monster").
    It's important to realize that the splitting between "I'm perfect" and "I'm horrible" is typically in constant fluctuation. People who have known narcissists know that they tend not to be happy people who are satisfied with their lives. They are prone to breakdowns where even a minor disappointment (which they interpret as evidence of their deeply held beliefs about themselves) can trigger a very distressing episode. During the moment when Cersei said that, she was leaning towards the "I'm horrible" split.
    Another important thing to consider is that narcissists can have varying levels of insight into their splitting. Remember, this is a spectrum disorder (as all personality disorders are), so some of the higher functioning narcissists may know that this is a problem and even seek help for it. They may know that they lie to themselves and to others in order to avoid accepting (what they view as) the horrible truth about themselves. Other narcissists (typically the more pathological/in distress ones) may not even be consciously aware of how they truly feel about themselves, and may only be conscious of their defensive belief that they are superior to others. In the case of Cersei, it seems as though she has some level of insight (in that she is able to get in touch with her belief that she's a monster), but not enough insight to be able to modify her behavior or adjust her expectations. So, it isn't unexpected that she would say something like that.
    This shows that she views her children as extensions of herself because she's projecting her splitting onto them. Since they are extensions of herself, she clings on to their goodness and superiority in order to fight against her convictions about her own inferiority. Again, if they can be "so good, so pure," then she must be too.
    Another Cersei quote when speaking to Robert B:
    "I felt something for you once, even after we lost our first boy. For quite a while actually. Was there ever a time for us, ever a moment?"
    So again, narcissists are certainly capable of some kind of love. And to reiterate once more, this is is on a spectrum, so I'm speaking only of the hypothetically pure narcissist when I say that they are fully incapable of loving anyone other than themselves. I think Cersei's character is very close to that position, however. Using the model of narcissistic love, we would assume that Cersei's past love for Robert served to help her reject the belief that she is rotten. She and other narcissists need to cling on to (and and constantly draw the attention of others to) evidence that they are perfect, and a very common way for this to manifest is for the narcissist to seek lovers who they perceive as perfect. The perceived perfection is typically very superficial, such as looks, power status, or wealth, which is in accordance to their own beliefs about what makes a person perfect. In the case of Cersei and Robert, it isn't at all surprising to think that she once felt feelings towards him, since he was the king, and, as she said, he had previously been a strong and attractive man. These feelings, however, are again very shallow, and many would argue that they are not consistent with true love, which necessarily includes a component of empathy and other capacities that narcissists often lack.

  2. #882
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    I find the characters quite facinating as I do psychology. Will come back and read when I don't have a gremlin hanging off me screaming MUUUUM


 

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