The narcissist world is surrealistic, psychedelic, nightmarish and hallucinatory.
So how come he lures you into it? How come you walk willingly into this hall of mirrors, into this howling void? How come you are consumed voluntarily by his black hole, become an integral part of his emptiness, voiding yourself, hollowing yourself in the process?
I'm going to use a variety of examples from world literature and philosophy to try to understand what's going on.
What's going on? What had happened to you?
Now that you are out of the relationship, looking back, it all looks like a nightmare, a dystopian fantasy. It all looks unreal.
One of the main symptoms that victims of narcissistic abuse report is the unrealness of it all.
They look back and they can't believe they've been through this and they're right.
The narcissist is not real. It's a symbolic room. It's a simulation. There's absolutely nobody there. Nevermind how handsome, how intelligent, how well-educated, how many books the narcissist had authored and a professor of what the narcissist is.
My name is Sandvak Nin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited, and I'm a professor of psychology in a variety of universities around the world.
Stay with me for this tour and of course it's a tour de force.
I want to start by quoting a saying by Aldous Huxley.
Aldous Huxley wrote, maybe this world is another planet's hell. And this is a good encapsulation of the relationship with the narcissist.
His world is your hell. And the reason his world is your hell is because everything is topsy-turvy. Everything is disjointed. Everything is discontinuous and terrifying to some extent, exactly as it happens in dreams and nightmares.
In the stone garden in Kyoto, Japan, there are 15 stones arranged in something called the dry landscape. But no matter how you approach these stones, you see only 14 of them. No matter how you approach them on the ground, you can count only 14. Only when you climb up or take a drone or a helicopter, can you see that there are actually 15 stones.
The narcissist is that missing stone and introduces you into his beautiful dry landscape, into his stone garden. And you fall in love with the aesthetics and with the charm and with the amazement of it all. And with the foreignness, the narcissist is a bit exotic, a bit foreign.
It's like being attracted to an alien on a vacation. It's like a summer holiday fling, which continues forever.
But you don't see the 15 stone, which is the most critical one. To see the 15 stones, to perceive its existence, you must climb up. You must take distance. You must put distance between you and the narcissist. You must be above it all.
Chuang Tzu was a philosopher in ancient China. One night he went to sleep and he dreamed that he was a butterfly. He dreamed that he was flying around from flower to flower. And while he was dreaming, he felt free, blown about by the breeze, heather and teether. He was quite sure Chuang Tzu that he was a butterfly.
But when he woke up, Chuang Tzu realized that he had just been dreaming and that he was really Chuang Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly. But then Chuang Tzu asked himself the following question. Was I Chuang Tzu dreaming that I'm a butterfly? Or am I now really a butterfly dreaming that I'm Chuang Tzu?
This constant disorientation and dislocation, constant self-gas lighting, not only outside gas lighting, but self-gas lighting, constant uncertainty as to what is real and what is not. Who is doing the dreaming? Is the narcissist dreaming you or are you dreaming the narcissist?
This question had been tackled in numerous works of literature.
A bit further, I'm going to study an excerpt from Alice in Wonderland.
But before we go there, a more cheerful piece of work is Solaris.
Solaris is a 1961 science fiction novel by the renowned Polish writer Stanislaw Lem. In Solaris, there's this crew of scientists. They are on a research station. They are at work trying to come to grips and understand and glom in extraterrestrial intelligence.
But it's an unusual extraterrestrial intelligence. It has a form of a vast ocean on an alien planet, an eponymous alien planet, the titular alien planet Solaris.
It's a wonderful, amazing novel, very, very disconcerting and disquieting.
And yet somehow mysteriously kind of liberating.
Solaris is the chronicle of the futile attempted communication with this extraterrestrial life. It's a distant alien planet. It's covered with an ocean of gel. And this ocean of gel is actually a single entity. It's just this whole planet is covered with a single organism.
And so the scientists think that the conjecture that it's probably living, it's probably a sentient being. And so they say, why not communicate with it?
And there's this guy, Chris Kelvin, a psychologist, what else? And he arrives aboard the Solaris station.
And the scientists there have studied the planet and studied the ocean for many decades, etc., but they kind of get nowhere. They get nowhere because every time they repeat an experiment, scientific experiment, they get a different result.
And it's not clear whether these different results are because this organism, this entity is frustrating their efforts or because science, as we have known it, cannot be applied on this planet for some mysterious reason.
And so there's a whole discipline that had evolved over these decades and it's called Solaristics. And it's simply observing, recording and categorizing the phenomena that occur on the surface of the ocean.
And so there's this enormous compilation of nomenclature and phenomena and so on, but there's no understanding. There's no understanding. They can't get to the root of it all.
So shortly before Kelvin, the psychologist arrives, the crew exposed the ocean to an aggressive and unauthorized experiment with a high energy x-ray bombardment. And having done that, suddenly there are unexpected results. All of them are subjected to the ocean's retribution.
Being intruded into this single organism via various layers, having leveraged x-rays to see the inner aspect of this organism, the deeper hidden dimensions, then suddenly the personalities of these scientists come to life. It's like the ocean, the entity, materializes, actualizes and realizes physical, physical manifestations. It's like ectoplasm in spiritualism.
And so each one of them comes across their deepest fears. People they loved and had died, their sadness and sorrow, the ocean exposes them to everything that's been repressed and suppressed, everything they had forgotten, every trauma they had blocked off in firewalls, the ocean exposes them, exposes them to this.
And so they fall apart.
Kelvin, for example, finds memories of his dead lover and the guilt about her suicide.
And it's harrowing. It's tormenting and they disintegrate.
And all other researchers are exposed to the same experience.
Lem wrote, the peculiarity of those phenomena seems to suggest that we observe a kind of rational activity.
But the meaning of this seemingly rational activity of the solarian ocean is beyond the reach of human beings. And so it's a sentient alien and this sentient alien has the capability to provoke in human beings, their deepest fears, insecurities, regrets, remorse, sorrows, sadness, emotions, is able to dysregulate them and destroy them in the process.
I have never heard of a better encapsulation of their relationship with the narcissist.
Using the dual mothership principle and entraining, brain and training, this is exactly what the narcissist does to his so-called intimate partners and insignificant others.
Now I've dwelt upon, I've dealt with entraining and the dual mothership principle in previous videos, most notably my dialogues with Richard Grannon and with Charles, which you can find on this channel.
And so the narcissist has this fantastic universe, a paracosm, and he invites you in. And when he invites you in, it's a dreamlike state. You become a figment of his dream. And he dreams you. The narcissist dreams you. It's like the famous books by Carlos Castaneda.
The narcissist evokes you inside his dream. And when you had entered his dream, it's very difficult to extricate yourself because you gradually acquire the characteristics of his dream. You become a dream entity.
And I want to read to you an excerpt from Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland by the inimitable Lewis Carroll. Here Alice checked herself in some alarm, adhering to something that sounded to her like the puffing of a large steam engine in the wood near them, though she feared it was more likely to be a wild beast.
Are there any lions or tigers about here? She asked timidly.
Ah, said Twiddly, it's only the red king's gnawing. Come and look at him, the brothers cry, Twiddly and Twiddlydom. Come and look at him, the brothers cried and they each took one of Alice's hands and led her up to where the king was sleeping. Isn't he a lovely sight, said Twiddlydom.
Alice couldn't say honestly that he was. He had a tall red nightcap on with a tassel and he was lying crumpled up into a sort of untidy hick and snoring loud feet to snore his head off, as Twiddlydom remarked. I'm afraid he will catch cold with lying on the damp grass, said Alice, who was a very thoughtful little girl. He's dreaming now, said Twiddly.
What do you think he's dreaming about?
Alice said, nobody can guess that.
Why? About you, Twiddly exclaimed, clapping his hands triumphantly.
And if he left off dreaming about you, why do you suppose you would be?
Where I am right now, of course, said Alice.
Not you, Twiddly retorted contemptuously. You would be nowhere. Why? You're only a sort of thing in his dream.
If their king was to wake, added Twiddlydom, you'd go out, bang, just like a candle. I shouldn't, Alice exclaimed indignantly.
Besides, if I'm only a sort of thing in his dream, what are you I should like to know?
Ditto, said Twiddlydom. Ditto, cried Twiddly. He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn't help saying, hush, you'll be waking him.
I'm afraid if you make so much noise, said Twiddlydom, when you're only one of the things in his dream, you know very well you're not real.
I am real, said Alice and began to cry. You won't make yourself a bit realer, a bit more real by crying, Twiddly remarked.
There's nothing to cry about. If I wasn't real, said Alice, half laughing through her tears.
It all seemed so ridiculous. If I wasn't real, I should be able to cry. I shouldn't be able to cry.
I hope you don't suppose those are real tears, Twiddlydom interrupted in a tone of great contempt.
I know they're talking nonsense.
Alice thought to herself, and it's foolish to cry about it.
So she brushed away her tears and went on as cheerfully as she could.
At any rate, I'd better be getting out of the wood for really it's coming on very dark. Do you think it's going to rain?
Alice's experience with the narcissistic twins, because Twiddly and Twiddlydom are reflections of each other, mirror images.
Much later in this video, I'm going to mention Lacan and his work on mirrors. By the way, Lacan is my spitting image. I'm kidding you're not.
We look like identical twins. and we look like identical twins. Not a big compliment to Lacan, I should think.
Anyhow, Shoshanim, our experience in the forest with the Red King is exactly what all intimate partners and victims of narcissistic abuse go through.
At times, during the relationship with the narcissist, you feel as though you don't exist, as if you were just conjured up by the narcissist, conjuring as though you were kind of two-dimensional, painted so to speak by the narcissist.
Carl Jung, in a letter dated 16th January 1959, had written, I was the figure myself deep in meditation who is produced by a meditating yogi.
In his autobiographical memories, dreams and reflections, Carl Jung wrote this.
I had dreamed once before of the problem of the self and the ego. In that earlier dream, I was on a hiking trip. I was walking along a little road through a hilly landscape. The sun was shining, and I had a wide view in all directions. Then I came to a small wayside chapel. The door was ajar, so I went in.
To my surprise, there was no image of the Virgin on the altar, and no crucifix either, but only a wonderful flower arrangement. That's the empty core of the narcissist.
But then I saw, continues Jung, that on the floor in front of the altar, facing me, sat a yogi in lotus posture in deep meditation.
When I looked at him more closely, I realized that he had my face.
I started in profound fright, and I awoke with the thought, aha, so is he the one who is meditating me?
He has a dream, and I am it.
I knew that when he awoke, I would no longer be.
Ulysses is the hero of the Odyssey, the Greek epic poem attributed to Homer. Ulysses is the Roman name of Odysseus. Odysseus is Greek. Ulysses is Roman.
I'm going to use Ulysses.
Ulysses spends 10 years trying to get back home to Ithaca, God knows why, after the Greeks had won the Trojan War.
Ulysses comes up with the idea of the Trojan horse, by the way.
Anyhow, on one of his trips, he comes across a cave, and in the cave there's a cyclops, an ominous, threatening creature, a giant monster with a single eye, straight, smack in the middle of his forehead.
It is a cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon.
Polyphemus makes a show of hospitality at first. He serves food and drinks, chit-chatting and banters and everything, but he soon turns hostile to the sailors headed by Ulysses, and he proceeds to devour two of Ulysses' men on the spot, and he imprisons Ulysses and the rest of the men in his cave, presumably as future items on his menu.
Ulysses cleverly lied to the cyclops. He told the cyclops, my name is Nobadi, and when he finally gets to attack the cyclops and gouge his eye out, the cyclops screams, Nobadi is killing me. Nobadi is killing me.
And of course, consequently, Nobadi comes to his help.
Stories about dreams resonate a lot with victims of narcissistic abuse, but equally with narcissists.
Remember, narcissists are victims of trauma. They are post traumatized, small children, stuck in a cave exactly like this one, facing the cyclops of abuse and trauma in early childhood.
So they resonate with other victims of abuse, co-dependence, for example, people with borderline personality disorder. There's a resonance there. There's a twin-shape. There is an affinity that cannot be denied.
And so together, the narcissist and his intimate partner weave the dream, create a dream, and then inhabit the dream as two figments of each other's minds.
They recreate each other time and again on the fly, as it were. And then they lose the ability to tell what's real, and even more crucially, who is real.
In the Book of Sand, El Libro de Arena, it's a 1975 short story by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Boches. The Book of Sand is about the discovery of a book. The book has an infinite number of pages.
There are other stories by Boches with the same motif, like there's a hill, anyhow.
And so this book has an infinite number of pages. The story starts, there's this unnamed narrator, and suddenly he has a visitor. And the visitor is a tall Scottish Bible seller. And the Scot presents him with a very old cloth-bound book that he allegedly had bought in India from an untouchable. The book is emblazoned with the title Holy Writ. And underneath the title, there's the word Bombay. But it's called the Book of Sand because neither the book, to quote Boches, neither the book nor the sand has any beginning or end. When you open it, when the narrator opens it, he started to discover that the book is written in an unknown language, has amazing punctuated illustrations, which are pretty meaningless. It's very reminiscent of the Voynich manuscript, by the way.
And it is infinite. As one turns the pages, more pages grow out in the front and back covers. And so he hides it. He's so startled, and he hides this book behind 1001 lights.
Over the summer, the narrator develops an obsession over the book. He takes it out, he pours over it, he catalogues the illustrations, he refuses to leave home because he's afraid the book would be stolen.
In the end, he realizes the book had taken over him. The book had possessed him. It's monstrous. So he considers to burn it. But he's afraid that because there's an infinite number of pages, there'll be an infinite production of smoke and the smoke will suffocate the world that destroyed it.
So he goes to the National Library, where he once worked, exactly like the author Boches, certainly. And he leaves the book on a basement bookshelf, reasoning to himself the best place to hide a leaf is in a forest.
The problem with this book is that if you read a certain page, you can never return to this page, always reach another page. And it has no last or first page.
And that's also an excellent description of the kaleidoscopic psychology of the narcissist. You can never return to the same page. It has no end or beginning because it has no story. There's no narrative. It's totally discontinuous and disjointed. Dissociation destroys the narcissist's identity. He has no identity. He has no self. He has no functioning ego. There's nobody there. It's an emptiness. And yet it's an infinite emptiness that finally consumes you.
Exactly like this book.
Karl Popper said, the philosopher said, our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, a German physicist and satirist wrote, a book is a mirror. If an ape looks into it, an apostle is hardly likely to look out of it.
So the narcissist is infinite and is a mirror. He allows you, the narcissist allows you to see yourself. And this time, if an ape looks at the mirror, an apostle does look back.
The narcissist idealizes you. He lets you see yourself the way you wish you had been or the way your mother had seen you had she been a good enough mother, loving mother.
And this is irresistible, exactly like the book of sand. It's infinite. It's a whole of mirrors. They all reflect each other in an infinite regression, ad infinitum.
And so you're taking in, you're captivated, you venture deeper and deeper in the corridor of the wall of mirrors. And finally, you can't find your way out.
There are not enough breadcrumbs to ever get you out of there, of this labyrinth, this maze of the narcissist mind.
And this is, of course, very reminiscent of Jacques Lacan's work.
Now I am not, and I'm trying to be very restrained and to use a British understatement of the millennium, probably. I am not a fan of Lacan. I think in many of his writings is nothing short of a bumbling fool. In Germany and France, there's a tendency to confuse obscurity and bad writing with profundity and sagaciousness and wisdom.
And Lacan has an abundance of obscure and bad writing. But every fool who talks for decades is bound to come up with some wise things to say.
It's like a clock who's hands are still, and this clock would be right twice a day. Lacan latched on to previous ideas about mirrors and the importance of mirroring in the formation of narcissistic pathologies. Mirrors are exactly like dreams. Dreams are the mirrors of the unconscious. You are mirrored by the narcissist.
The narcissist mirrors himself through your gaze. It's all smoke and mirrors, basically.
In the mirror stage, in the symbolic order, are two innovations introduced by Lacan. He said that when an infant stumbles upon a mirror, when an infant apprehends herself for the first time in a full-body mirror, she suddenly bombarded with an image of herself as a totality, as a complete whole.
Previously, says Lacan, children previous to encountering a mirror, previous to this specular experience, children experience existence as a fragmented entity, various parts and beats and organs with libidinal needs.
So there's a pre-mirror stage and post-mirror stage. Before the child is exposed to a mirror, the child perceives herself as a collection of parts, with needs, with urges, yes, but a collection of parts. That's Lacan. That's not me. I strongly disagree.
And by the way, majority of object relations schools and, of course, recent discoveries in neuroscience and so on, they all refute this utter and complete nonsense.
But as a metaphor, it works.
So the child perceives herself suddenly as a whole. The image in the mirror is what Lacan calls the ideal eye.
He couldn't use ideal ego, which was proposed by Freud because he wanted to appear original. Lacan was very strong on being original and being noticed, which is a gentle way of saying that he was a prime narcissist.
Anyhow, this ego ideal eye, or ego ideal, actually, for Lacan, provides an image of wholeness. And this image of wholeness is essentially the ego.
What Lacan did, he renamed big parts of Freud's work, essentially.
Anyhow, and exactly like in Freud, the ego, the ideal eye, is formed through an external force, the sudden realization of a complete image of the self that appears in the mirror to counteract the infant's primordial sense of fragmentation.
And so when the child apprehends himself or herself in the mirror, there's jubilation. There's jubilation, but the child is still stuck in dependency and motor incapacity and so on and so forth.
And so some processes are beginning to take place.
But I will not go into all this because I'm not making a video right now on Lacanian psychoanalysis. Thank God. I still want to focus on the mirror.
The image in the mirror is an image of coherence, of totality, of wholeness and completeness. These are critical facets, critical facets of idealization.
That's the merchandise the narcissist is selling to his victims, to his intimate partners. That's how he lures them into his trap, only to devour them as cyclops had done.
The mirror makes the world and our place in the world complete subjects. It makes, in other words, sense of the world.
Many victims describe the experience of having met the narcissist for the first time and having fallen in love with him.
And as suddenly everything makes sense, suddenly there was a meaning and a direction and a goal to it all. Suddenly they say, I was infused and enthused with and by life itself. Everything sprang into color, that which used to be black and white.
So it becomes a process of identification of the internal self with an external image, which is precisely what the narcissist does to you. He equates, he causes you to equate your internal self with his external rendition of you. You outsource yourself, you give him yourself, you take yourself, you reach in, you take yourself out and you give it to the narcissist. In return for an external image, basically, a mirror. It's the mirror image, the mirror stage in Lacan's work represents the infant's first encounter with subjectivity, with spatial relations, with an external sense of coherence and with a sense of I and you.
And when you come across a narcissist, you undergo all these. You re-experience all these.
It's like getting a second chance at redesigning yourself.
And the mirror stage also plays a key function in the interpolation of subjectivity. And this has to do with Altuser. I refer you to my video on Altuser as a precursor to the modern study of narcissism.
And so Lacan distinguishes three orders, as he called them. These are spaces within which certain aspects of subjectivity operate. And these three spaces are very relevant to narcissistic abuse, which essentially to any relationship with the narcissist.
The first space or the first order is the imaginary.
Lacan says that the imaginary becomes the internalized image of this ideal. So the child sees itself in the mirror, creates an ideal I, and then internalizes this image. And that's the imaginary, ideal whole self. And it's situated around the notion of coherence rather than fragmentation. It's roughly aligned with the formation of the ego in Freud. In Freud, the ego is a mediator between the internal and the external world.
According to Lacan, the imaginary becomes a space in which there is a relationship between the ego and its images.
And Pierce said that the imaginary is aligned with the icon, an image which is understood with not or little mediation. De Saussure says that the imaginary becomes the signified, the concept symbolized arbitrarily by a sign.
And there were many other interpretations of imaginary.
The second order is the symbolic.
In contrast to the imaginary, the symbolic involves the formation of signifiers. It's the realm of language. It's the determining order of the subject.
And when you see the entire system of the unconscious and conscious is an endless web of signifiers signified, signifier, signified. In other words, it's a language process. It's a process of associations between signs and what they stand for.
No wonder that Lacan says symbols, in fact, envelope the life of a man in a network so total that they join together before he comes into the world, those who are going to engender him.
What he's trying to say, I think, I hope, is that language is the precursor to consciousness. It is language which makes the man, not men who makes the language.
Marx said something to that effect. Lacan says, man speaks therefore, but it is because the symbol has made him man.
Let's begin to see. These are all very narcissistic statements. Sorry, statements that pertain are very relevant to the process of narcissism.
In narcissism, there's a highly idealized I, highly idealized self. And this idealized self is the mediator between the narcissist and reality. And it is the false self.
I wonder how Lacan did not make the distinction between false ideal I and true ideal I. Curious, because he was on his way there.
And similarly, the three orders, the imaginary, the symbolic, and shortly we'll talk about the real, the three orders are directly applicable to understanding how the narcissist mind works.
The symbolic order functions as the way in which the subject is organized. And to a certain extent, how the psyche becomes accessible through language. It is associated with words, with writing, and parlance, I think, pierces, symbol, and socials signify.
Okay. The third order is the real.
We have this conventional conception of objective collective experience, but in Lacanian theory, the real becomes that which resists representation. Everything that's pre-mirror, pre-imaginary, pre-symbolic, pre-language, the real, the core, not corrupted yet by language.
There is some equivalent here to introversion, Jung's perception of introversion. Everything that cannot be symbolized, everything that loses its reality once it is symbolized, once it is made conscious, once it is subjected to language. It is the aspect where words fail.
Miller described it as the inelimitable residue of all articulation, the foreclosed element which may be approached, but never grasped, the umbilical cord of the symbolic.
I found online this wonderland of narcissists. I found online a thesis by Mauta Lopez-Garcia at the University of Al-Adolid. It's titled Alice after Lacan: the symbolic, imaginary, and the real.
And I want to read to you an extended excerpt.
Jacques Lacan's homage to Louis Caron says the author, proposed that psychoanalytical theory can learn from Louis Caron's works as our subjective structure is better represented in Alice than anywhere else.
Firstly, those aspects of the subjective structure present in Alice have been discussed in terms of the symbolic. We have seen how the people of wonderland always make use of puns, homophonic, homonymic compound, recursive puns, and Portman II worries. When Alice hears these characters, she gets disoriented, meaning is always changing and elusive.
Garcia continues, also the presence of Alice's inability to express herself and of her lack of communication with the others is constant. Every logical explanation given by Alice is dismissed, and this causes her a lack of identity.
It's precisely what the narcissist does to you, by the way.
Garcia is describing a typical set of interactions between the narcissist and their intimate partner.
Listen well. Actually, allow me to read this to you again.
We have seen how the people of wonderland always make use of puns and Portman II words. When Alice hears them, meaning is always changing and elusive.
Isn't this your experience with the narcissist?
Also continues Garcia, the presence of Alice's inability to express herself and of her lack of communication with the others is constant. Every logical explanation given by Alice is dismissed, and this causes her a lack of identity.
In Lacanian terms, says Garcia, wonderland's world of nonsense is ruled by the signifier, and miscommunication is an effect of the lack of correspondence between signifier and signified.
As in the big other of the unconscious, every attempt to find meaning in wonderland is frustrated.
Secondly, the imaginary register of subjectivity can also be found in Alice.
Alice is defined by the others in terms of her appearance and image, but they constantly mistake her for something different.
Wonderful. It's exactly what the narcissist does. He derives his sense of identity from the gaze of others, from the way he appears to them, but they don't perceive him. They perceive the false self.
They mistake him for something different, exactly as the characters in Alice in Wonderland mistake her for other things, not for Alice, to the point that she begins to ask herself, maybe I'm not Alice, maybe I'm Mabel, the stupidest girl in the class.
Garcia continues, also Alice's body is constantly changing, growing, shrinking, or fragmented in such a way that she cannot identify her own body or herself.
It is what she tries to repair by tying up the parts of the body of the Duchess's baby or by building an ideal image of herself as a good, educated girl.
And this is exactly what the narcissist does to you. It destroys your ability to perceive yourself, even your body properly.
He uses all kinds of techniques, if he's psychopathic, he's using also gaslighting, to prevent you from creating a coherent and cohesive and functional self-image and self-perception.
And because you need to have one, he hands it to you.
He says, here, I will give you, if I want you to have an opinion, I will give it to you. I will give you your self-image. I will give you your self-perception. It's going to be wonderful. It's going to be idealized. You're going to love it.
But you have to rely on me. You have to be dependent on me to understand, to realize who you are.
The narcissist tells you, outsource your identity to me because I have taken your authentic original identity and trampled it underfoot and ruined it for good.
Garcia continues in her thesis, there is strong evidence to suggest that in Wonderland, one returns to an early imaginary order of subjectivity that Lacan described, a mirror world that is best represented by the narcissistic rivalries of twin pairs, through the looking glass.
Finally, in Wonderland, we have found in Alice the experience of anguish produced by all those body transformations, misidentifications and nonsensical words that have created an abyss of meaning and identity around her.
This corresponds to the Freudian uncanny, the Lacanian real.
It all begins by falling down a rabbit hole into the world of the unconscious where time and space lose their reference and liberation from anxiety only comes by waking up.
In conclusion, it may be said with Lacan that Wonderland represents the world of the unconscious in which the main registers of human subjective experience can be found, the symbolic, imaginary and the real.
Alice's experience is not different from ours. Usually our attempts to find meaning through what we know or have learned are useless.
We do not feel that the others recognize us and we have to defend from anguish.
By sublimating his own impulses in writing Alice, Carol integrated all aspects of the subjective structure in his work.
Thanks to it, we can learn about his complexity and this leads me to the final insight.
The narcissist's hold on you is because he provides you with an alternative unconscious.
As simple as that, he suspends your unconscious and he becomes your unconscious. He intrudes and invades and becomes a deep seated stealth rootkit introject.
And to eradicate him, sometimes you need to reinstall the entire operating system exactly as in computer malware.