I’m supposed to write “a page” every day. Not sure how that works in blogland. Not sure what I’m supposed to be writing about either. K first said I should focus on self-compassion; then, true to her waffly nature, she said I could write about anything I want. I really don’t have much to say, but I’ll bite into this stream-of-unconsciousness task. I may, however, have bitten off more than I can chew.
Now this is just getting silly. I don’t even agree with the notion of forcing people to write every day. Too many people do too much writing already. Just ask Eudora Welty. (Or don’t, if you’re squeamish about that sort of thing. Dead people don’t usually have much to say anyway.) It’s all part of the narcissism epidemic, though I must say that the further I got into Twenge and Campbell’s book, the more they seemed like alarmist fuddy-duddies. I was reminded a bit of Sherry Turkle’s fretting about how machines are keeping us from connecting with people (she sees people glancing frequently at their phones during dinner and assumes they’re disconnected when in fact they’re probably just checking the time, now that no one wears a watch). T & C bemoan the lack of discipline in child-rearing, lack of respect for tradition, and overemphasis on self-esteem; they even ridicule churches that encourage people to develop their own religious practices. All of this leads to narcissism, they say. I agree that we are way too full of ourselves these days, but I’m not sure that spankings and catechism are the best antidotes.
I did a little more reading about narcissism at the Ed/Psych library today. Most of the books on personality disorders are way too Freudian/Jungian for me to take them seriously; I don’t even have the patience to try to understand them. Which makes me wonder: Is the very concept of personality disorders so closely linked to psychoanalytic theory that it doesn’t even make sense in a non-Freudian context? Maybe I’m not a vulnerable narcissist after all, because there’s no such thing. Maybe K is right to be skeptical of the idea that finding the one true diagnosis will lead to the one true cure.
Near the narcissism books were a few shelves of books on eating disorders. I checked the indexes in a couple of anorexia books and found nothing about narcissism. So whatever ails me clearly needs further investigation.
OK, I’ll call this a page. Not a lot of self-compassion in it, but not as self-bashing as some of my earlier oeuvre.