Beauty and The Beast: a metaphor for NPD.
If only love could truly turn a narcissist into a handsome prince! Unfortunately, I’ve never known of a real-life example, except for one…God’s love for King Nebuchadnezzar in the Bible. See my post How Many Narcissists Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?
A few days ago, I was thinking about the wonderful 1991 Disney animated movie, “Beauty and The Beast.” I was always moved by the Transformation scene at the end when the evil spell on the Beast and his castle is finally lifted after he nearly dies and Belle finally declares her love for him. In my opinion, it’s one of the best moments in animated movie history. That scene has haunted me for a long, long time and the other day, I felt inspired to watch it again, and was as–or even more moved by it–than the first time I saw it. And this time I knew why–the entire story of the Beast in this movie is a metaphor for a man suffering from NPD–who healed from it.
As the movie opens, we are shown a series of stained-glass images telling the story of how the Beast became that way…
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Recipe for Single Moms
Many years ago, my three-year-old son discovered a love for food preparation. He’d come up with all kinds of concoctions. Here’s one of them:
½ gallon of milk
2/3 quart chocolate milk powder
Approx 8 tbsp salt
¼ can of pepper
¼ jar of onion powder
½ box of petit fours
In a saucepan, mix all ingredients together on medium-high heat, stir, and enjoy. Note: In order to capture every subtle flavor of each ingredient, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to prepare before 6:00 am, before anyone else is up. I promise it will fill your home with a mysterious yet enticing scent, and will bring the rest of the family scurrying to the kitchen.
Doesn’t that look scrumptious? A half-gallon of milk mixed with chocolate powder sounds like a promising beginning, doesn’t it? Funny how life can imitate recipes. In my own case, life as a single parent started out not so bad. Once I rid my home of my alcoholic husband’s toxic influence, the atmosphere lightened as if the house itself breathed a big sigh of relief.
But then life threw a lot of salt into the mix. And way too much pepper. One of my sons began getting in trouble at school for disruptive behavior, and he was only 6 years old. His grades nosedived and his behavior grew increasingly unruly as the long year wore on. As this was happening, another son, the chef wannabe, was diagnosed with delayed development.
Sweet had turned to bitter.
I had eliminated one problem – abusive husband – but had acquired umpteen more. Child support was erratic, at best. Financial problems, like onion powder, is only tolerable in small doses.
Life had turned into a disaster that made me gag.
I decided I needed a way to sweeten up my life, and came up with the perfect solution: a delicious new romance! A purely selfish, yet pleasurable way to make life bearable again.
Of course, it didn’t work. Petit fours soaked in salt, pepper and onions aren’t so tasty anymore. Neither is romance when the rest of life isn’t working.
But here I am, twenty years later, my sanity still intact—at least, I hope it is. My son the aspiring chef is on the verge of graduating from college. My unruly son made it through school and has been on his own for many years.
So, you might wonder, how did I get from there to here?
It’s a long story, one I’ll have to save for next time. But it’s a testament to God’s grace. His merciful concern for the widow and the orphan.
Be sure to come back for the rest of the story.
~~Dawn V. Cahill~~