Child Essence™ Jenine Empowerment

Differences Between Narcissism and a Narcissistic Wound

Sep 05, 2021

This may stir up some emotions...and that's a good thing!


First, allow me to take a moment to bring some light to a topic that seems all the buzz. It is fairly common for people to have an issue with someone and immediately go on to label them as narcissists. Suddenly everyone is now a Narcissist!

The clarification I'd like to offer is the difference between actually being a Narcissist or having a Narcissistic wound from childhood. Having a Narcissistic wound doesn’t make you a Narcissist, but you do need to attend to it; as you would to any wound.

A clinical Narcissist is someone who is extremely prone to feelings of humiliation; to defend against humiliation they develop an omnipotent delusion of who they are. They’re so imbued in this ongoing defense response that they don’t see you, me, or anyone. Relationships become transactions and people become objects. They’re constantly assessing your usefulness to them (knowingly or not), which is often about helping them maintain a deep-seated need to fulfill something all for themselves. 

Being admired becomes as important as food. If you fail to do this, you’re discarded because they are not receiving what they need from you, the constant fulfillment and attention equal annihilation. Their sense of existence and worth is on the line and that’s when the Narcissistic rage kicks off. They only see themselves as the wounded incapable of realizing that there are multiple perspectives happening in relationships and that people do make mistakes and deserve forgiveness. It is possible but very hard to meaningfully reach such an individual once you are viewed as a threat to their sense of worth.

What is a Narcissistic wound?

Having a Narcissistic wound is a different story all in itself. It isn’t harmless and it needs to be taken seriously, but it doesn’t actually make you a Narcissist. 

Those who grew up in households where there was very little space for themself and their needs weren’t taken into account, can develop Narcissistic wounds. When you’ve had parents with Narcissistic processes you would have experienced yourself as their extension. Not a child in their own right who needs protection, but someone who is being competed with as if they were equal. 

In such households, parents are threatened by their child’s personhood and to defend against this threat they reduce their children to objects, of use to them as long as they don’t grow into themselves and become their own person. Manipulative power plays may have been imposed on you to the point where you have no sense of who you are beyond your aching wounds for recognition and being seen with your needs.

The effect on relationships in later life... 

Because you ache so much, you yearn for someone to give you what you’ve never been given. But your expectations now come with these additional yearnings that don’t belong to your current relationships. The more your partner and/or friends fail to give you the experience of being seen the more you demand it. This is how we carry the trauma on, without realizing we have now made anyone and everyone around us our extension. We have reduced them to their capacity to meet our needs and because no one ever really saw us we don’t really see anyone either. This is the tragedy of carrying a Narcissistic wound.

But there is hope; it is possible for you to recover and heal through this. Your partner might resemble your parent, but they are not your parent. As obvious as this is, when your wound gets tapped into, it is easy to lose sight of.

This is where awareness is key by connecting to the child within through the feelings associated with the original wounds.

It is not possible to meaningfully take responsibility for something that you’re not aware of, so awareness of what is happening is essential. When you are able to slow down, you will be able to feel your wound and the information it carries from the perspective of the child; the message that you’ve taken some time ago – that you don’t matter or that you’re not seen and appreciated. It will then be more likely that you can judge what feels proportionate to what’s happening and what feels out of context. Taking responsibility then becomes possible. And then you might still express that you’re frustrated but will be able to do this with some insight into your reaction, which will make your sharing and your anger more palatable for the other. Always try and be forgiving with yourself realizing your responses to life's circumstances have been due to holding on to something that wasn't yours, to begin with.

Know that what happened to you was real, and it is OK for you to feel wounded. It is important to begin to understand and explore this for yourself or with someone you feel safe with.

Understanding the Narcissistic wound will help you see the context in which it was created and the context it is getting triggered now. You will begin to be able to differentiate between what happened and what’s happening – something which is easier to do intellectually but much harder emotionally. And remind yourself that just as your partner isn’t your parent, you’re not your parent either. It is not our wounds that dictate how we relate to ourselves and others, but our awareness of them.  

I wholeheartedly believe that caring for the wounds from childhood is the key to releasing disharmony and dysfunction in our lives. It's the reason why I pay so much attention to going back to healing the wounds at the source where they all began. It's simply not possible to live free from suffering unless we do!

About Jenine

Co-founder, creator, and leading expert in freeing others to awakn™ their unique gifts and step into their authentic self, Jenine's propriety method, based on healing the wounded child, guides you to reconnect with your child essence™, the Sacred You™, where all solutions reside. 

An award-winning, international, best-selling author, skillful subconscious facilitator, and inner-child specialist, she continually embodies and demonstrates a simple truth...that anything is possible if you believe...even unicorns!