This is the age of narcissism. Everyone and his dog, or her dog, or her cat, want to feel special. Everyone wants to feel unique and in some way superior.
So people keep coming up with these nonsensical labels such as demisexual, sapio-sexual, empath, recovered narcissist, shy or quiet borderline, etc. These are self-aggrandizing, self-imputed, self-attributed labels which make you feel good.
Because if you are an empath, or if you are a recovered narcissist, or if you are demisexual, whatever that means, or if you are sapio-sexual, you are special, you have a place, you are distinct and distinguished.
And today we are going to deal with one of these labels, the twin flame. And I'm going to show you why it is very dangerous for you to adopt the counter-label of empath.
This dangerous liaison between so-called twin flames and so-called empaths is at the heart of what's happening online in numerous communities. It is a dance of victimization, collusive victimization where both parties want to enhance, propagate and perpetuate the victim status.
And I'm going to delve deep into the construct of twin flames using everything that psychology has to offer.
My name is Sam Vaknin and I'm the author of Malignant Cell Flower, Narcissism Revisited and Other Books. I'm also a professor of psychology, so you better listen to me, kiddos.
And let us start by stating categorically, if you come across someone who is your twin flame, that person in all likelihood is a narcissist or a psychopath. I repeat, if you came across your twin flame, you're being subjected to grooming and to love bombing by a narcissist or a psychopath.
Beware. These are confidence artists. You know what is the source of the word, the etymology of con artist, the con in the con artist? Confidence.
Con is short for confidence. So they prey on your confidence.
You say to yourself, I've met my other half. I've met my twin flame. I've met my long lost brother, sister. I'm whole. Now that I've met him, I'm whole. I feel complete. I feel restored. I feel revived. I feel alive.
And these are warning signs, actually, as we are going to discuss shortly.
What the narcissist and psychopath acting as your twin flame, what he does is something called idealized mirroring. He mirrors you. He provides you with a mirror and you look into the mirror, but it's a distorting mirror. It's a mirror that provides you with an idealized version of yourself, not only an idealized version of yourself at the present, but an idealized version of yourself in the past and well into the future.
The idealized mirror, the idealized process of idealized mirroring is a process of reframing, grandiose reframing. Suddenly, you're flawless. You're super intelligent. You're drop dead gorgeous. You're amazing. You're everything. You're a dream come true.
And this is the image that the narcissist or psychopath masquerading as a twin flame projects onto you. He makes you view yourself, regard yourself as you've never seen yourself before. Perfection.
In this process, you co-idealize yourself. It's a narcissistic defense. It's a form of grandiosity.
When you see yourself in the twin flames eyes, when you ponder his gaze, when he looks upon you, you feel elated. You feel elevated. You feel completed. You feel perfected.
In other words, you idealize yourself.
But the only way you could idealize yourself, of course, is if you idealize him. He is the source of your idealization because in your mind he is ideal.
How can you idealize someone to that extent? How can you give someone the power to idealize you? What renders him the source of authority? Why do you trust him when he tells you that you're perfect?
It's because he resonates with you. There is resonance there. He picks up on your frequencies. He picks up on your vibes and your wave and he adapts himself. He adjusts himself to resonate on the same frequency, thus enhancing the frequency, enhancing the intensity. So he gives you the impression that you and him, you share the same traits, exactly the same traits, the same preferences, the same behaviors, the same values, the same goals and boundaries and dreams, sameness. The sameness is total. And we call this process in psychology identification.
Idealized mirroring involves two elements.
Idealizing you via co-idealization. I'm ideal. If I'm ideal, I have the right to tell you that you are ideal. If I'm ideal, you can trust me when I tell you that you are ideal. If I'm ideal, I'm also infallible. I don't make mistakes. So if I tell you that you are ideal, you can take it to the bank. You can count on it and cash it.
And the second element is resonance or sameness or identification. You become one because the message sent to you via the grooming and love bombing phase with a twin flame is that you are twins and that you are flames.
Analyze this phrase. Twin means you are the same. Flame means you are special, amazing, exuberant, consuming, perfect, fire. You're on fire.
So there's a lot of excitement here, a lot of thrill, a lot of adrenaline, a lot of energy and some, of course, risk taking, which only spices up the proceedings.
You on steroids. You on steroids plus added features.
When you look at the twin flame, you say to yourself, he's exactly like me, but more so. I'm intelligent as he's telling me. I'm intelligent. He's intelligent, but more so. I am moral, morally upright. I have values. He has values, the same values, but more so. He's more resilient. He's stronger. He's everything I am, but more. He is more of me. He is an amplified version of me. You feel empowered. You feel enabled because he is a characteristic extrapolation and exaggeration of you. You see yourself tenfold. You see yourself in him magnified, but it's still yourself. You can identify yourself. It's not that the magnification or the amplification had rendered you alien or estranged from yourself. No, you recognize yourself fully in the twin flame. It's just that he's so much more of you, so much more of you, identification.
And so the twin flame legitimizes you. Everyone has self doubts. Everyone needs to calibrate via social intercourse. Everyone from time to time regrets things. Everyone is contrite and repentant. Everyone feels that, you know, this time I was mean and nasty. I shouldn't have been. Everyone self criticizes. Everyone is an inner critic.
And when the inner critic works well, it's a positive thing. It's a positive construct.
What the twin flame does, it tells you, you can do no wrong. The twin flame places you on a pedestal, idolizes you, idealizes you.
And that brings you back to childhood when potentially your parents did the same. You could do no wrong. You were perfection. You were an idol. You were pampered and smothered and spoiled.
And the twin flame recreates this early childhood process. He infantilizes you by isolating you from bruising, harsh, critical reality. He prevents friction with reality. He wraps himself around you like shrink wrap, like a firewall. And from that moment on, you live in a cocoon. You're in a bubble, his bubble, his cocoon. And he keeps signaling to you that you don't need actually reality because you're perfection. And you have this overwhelming sense of being seen. Everyone wants to be seen as perfect and ideal and an idol and amazing and drop dead gorgeous and super intelligent and incredible and unprecedented. Everyone wants to be seen this way. Everyone wants to be seen by an adoring mother or adoring father parental figures.
And here comes the twin flame. And he is, he is this father you had been waiting for all your life. Or he is this mother that you had been waiting for all your life for eternity. And here they are. Mother and father reincarnate. Mother and father, the new version, version 2.0, surrogate mothers and fathers. And this time they're not going to make mistakes. This time they're going to see you. This time you're not transparent, not neglected, not abandoned. And they are not absent. This time they are focused on you like a laser beam. This time you are the center of attention. This time you're going to see you, see you, they're going to see you as you are. Perfection, divine perfection.
There's a sense of belonging, instant sense of belonging because it's your family. The twin flame is your family. He is actually you, writ large. Your existence, your very being is validated and affirmed via the twin flame.
But of course, here's the rub. The twin flame is an act. The twin flame is a very gifted actor. He has thespian, thespian skills. He's pulling the wool over your eye. He's manipulating you. He's using you and abusing you, pushing all the buttons. He knows what makes you tick and it makes you tick.
And gradually you're beginning to perceive your twin flame as either superior to you in some way. You, it's still you, but the superior version of you, an improved version of you, or you perceive him as a kind of reinforcement, the cavalry. So either as a superior being, a superior future version of you, or as the cavalry, savior, fixer, healer. In both cases, what the twin flame is broadcasting, what he's signaling, what he's telling you is, if you stick with me, we're going to reach utopia. We're going to reach this perfect idyllic space where you're going to feel good all the time. You're going to be happy all the time. It's uninterrupted bliss. And I'm going to provide this to you. And I'm going to provide this to you either because I'm superior to you and I know how to get there. I can lead the way and you just need to follow me blindly, of course, or because I'm on your side, I'm amplifying you and making you stronger. Two is always better than one.
And so there, I, the twin flame, I'm a copy of you. So now there's two of you. And because there's two of you, you're much more likely to reach this resting place in a good sense, a place where everything fits, a place of eternal well-being, welfare, peace of mind, strength, resilience, and happiness and content. This utopia is the promise of the twin flame.
But if you delve into the etymology of the word utopia, it means no place. The translation of utopia is no place. It's a pessimistic word, not an optimistic one, because it's no such place.
And the twin flames promises of utopia are exactly this, no such place. It's a con. He's a con artist and you fall for it. You fall for it because you want it desperately. We're going to discuss it a bit later.
Your need for an internal object. You want it desperately. You can't live without it. Once you had tasted it, once you had experienced it, it's addictive. It's addictive because it caters to your deepest needs. It eliminates your deepest fears and it leads you to a place where you can relegate responsibility and you don't need to think critically. You can just be. For the first time in your life, you can just be. And for the first time in your life, you can truly love yourself because now you are lovable. Now you are worthy and ideal.
How do you know the twin flame told you so? And because he's ideal, his judgment, his opinion matter. They are real. You can trust them.
How does the twin flame reach this position? How does he gain so much power over you?
I said that twin flames are actually narcissists and psychopaths. So they all possess cold empathy. Cold empathy is the ability to scan, to scan you and to immediately spot your vulnerabilities.
So the first thing the twin flame does is spot your vulnerabilities.
He then proceeds to idealize you and he causes something in you. He evokes and provokes and elicits a psychodynamic process in you, which is best described as self infatuation or self limerence. I call it the Hall of Mirrors.
When you had entered the realm and the domain of the twin flame, you had entered actually a carnivore Hall of Mirrors. There are mirrors everywhere. And who do you see in these mirrors? You. A thousand you. 10,000 you. It's intoxicating. It's inebriating. It's addictive.
He has the key to the Hall of Mirrors. He is the only one who can trigger in you self infatuation and self limerence, which you misinterpret as self love. He's the only one who can amplify you, magnify you, enhance you, improve you, render you superior and victorious and triumphant. He's the only one with the key to the kingdom.
And it's a kingdom of heaven. And so you enter willingly into the Hall of Mirrors. And once you had taken the first step, you're caught in a shared fantasy with features, cult like features. It's like a cult.
He's the leader and you're a member of the cult.
And the twin flame becomes a parental figure. I mentioned it before. He's actually acts as a benign and benevolent, benevolent parent, the parent you never had because real life parents, real life parents are never perfect. Real life parents frustrate. Sometimes they're absent. Sometimes they're busy. Sometimes they're selfish. Sometimes they're self absorbed. Sometimes they push you away. That's really parenting and it's healthy. It's good for you to experience frustration, as I will discuss later.
But this parental figure, the twin flame, it's a fake parental figure. It's idealized. It's perfect. It never rejects you. It never pushes you away. It's always there too much even. There's an element of stalking. It's the parent you never had and always wanted to have.
All of us want to have such a parent. A parent whose focus of attention is exclusively on us. We are the sole object of desire of that parent. That parent pays no attention to anyone or anything else but us. We want an exclusive parental figure. We actually internalize, introject the parental figure. We internalize mummy because the internal object is an ideal parent. The internal object never goes away, never abandons us. The internal object is never absent. The internal object is always available for a dialogue. The internal object is always there, always there. And we are the focus of attention of the internal object. We are the most important thing in the internal object's existence because we are the internal object.
So when mummy keeps frustrating us as babies, what we do, we create a duplicate or a replicant, replicate mummy and we internalize, we swallow this in inner representation. We convert mummy, the frustrating object, the exciting object. We convert her into a pliant, compliant, complacent, always available, non-frustrated internal object. That's the ideal parent.
And the twin flame reaches into you, reaches inside you and co-ops this internal parent. He colludes with the internal parent and he becomes one with this internal object. He becomes a parental figure.
And the second thing the twin flame does, he becomes your false self.
Yes, you're idealized. You are now drop dead gorgeous, hyper intelligent, amazing, unprecedented. The love of his life is never come across anyone like you. If many things happen to him with you the first time in his life, you made him do things, you made him feel things he's never felt before, etc.
And this constant brainwashing and propaganda, they actually create in you a false self, a locus of grandiosity. And so you interject the twin flame, both as a parental figure and as a false self.
And when you have a parental figure, which is essentially an internal object and is perfect, coupled with a false self, it's actually going back to early childhood because babies have primary narcissism. Babies have primary narcissism, they're grandiose and they have an internalized parental ideal, perfect parental object.
So now the twin flame regresses you, pushes you back to early childhood, to the period before you separated and individuated. He pushes you to an infertile state of total dependence, total identification.
So what the twin flame does, he provokes in you, he resuscitates and revives in you, he resurrects in you, constructs that were long, long latent and dormant because they were not needed anymore. As an adult, you didn't need your grandiosity. You didn't need a parental figure as an adult.
But the twin flame comes along and he activates your parental figure, your internalized, interjected parental figure. And he reboots your grandiosity and suddenly you find yourself a baby. You find yourself a baby because you are interacting with an interjective parental figure, the twin flame, and you're as grandiose as a baby.
And this is the phase before separation and individuation in human development. This is the phase between six months and two years.
So he regresses you to such an infantile state that you become dependent on him. You become in a way merged with him, fused with him. You're not separate from him. You're no longer, in other words, an individual because he had reversed, reversed the process of separation and individuation. He rendered you a non-individual and you are no longer separate from him.
Put simply, he eliminates, erases and deletes your boundaries, including ego boundaries. And he takes over all your ego functions.
I advise you to watch the lecture on ego functions.
Now, originally, the baby creates internal objects in order to avoid frustration because external objects always frustrate the baby. The baby wants to eat, mother is busy. The baby wants mommy to be with him 24-7, mommy has to sleep or has to go somewhere. So it's always frustrating. The baby is in a constant state of frustration and is extremely dependent for his survival on frustrating external objects. So the baby's solution is to create internal objects, to avoid the frustration and to avoid the dependence.
But the twin flame takes you so far back, so far back, that your internal objects actually create the exact opposite effect. You become dependent on your internal objects. And because you become dependent on them, any divergence, any discrepancy between the internal object and the actual behavior of the twin flame causes panic. You're interacting. The twin flame made you create an internalized parental object. This internalized parental object represents the twin flame. The twin flame had become your surrogate parent, your surrogate mommy, your surrogate daddy. So now you're interacting with the internalized object that represents the twin flame.
But very often the behavior, the choices, the language, the speech of the twin flame will contradict with the idealized, introjected internal object. So there will be a discrepancy. There will be clashes and conflicts between the real thing out there, the twin flame and the internal object that represents the twin flame in your mind. And this will create frustration and dependence via intermittent reinforcement. The twin flame will holdkey.
The twin flame will hold the key. He will hold the key to your peace of mind. He will hold the key to your tranquility, your ability to function.
And any discrepancy, any contradiction, any conflict will provoke in you enormous panic, anxiety, and even severe depression. Because your dependence on the internal object is now whole and complete.
I read to you an excerpt from the book The Empty Core by Jeffrey Seinfeld. He refers to an object relations scholar by the name of Hartman.
Hartman H-A-R-T-M-A-N-N. And this is the excerpt. Hartman also has a sense that the internal world must be personalized in his theory that object constancy is the central ego function around which the other ego functions develop.
So Hartman put ego constancy at the core.
Now, before I continue with the excerpt, when you internalize the twin flame and you continue to interact with the internal object, you are snapshotting. You engage in narcissistic snapshotting. You take a snapshot of the twin flame, you internalize it as an internal object, you introject it as an internal object, and then you continue to interact with that internal object.
That's exactly snapshotting. And that's why every conflict and every discrepancy, every mismatch between the real life twin flame and his representation in your mind, cause panic because from the moment you had met the twin flame, you start to live inside your mind.
Idealization is a mental process. Parental figure is a mental process. You withdraw from the world.
The twin flame causes you to avoid reality, to shun it, to withdraw from life, and to inhabit, to reside exclusively in a fantasy like utopia in your mind. The twin flame detaches you from reality and forces you, forces you to become, in a way introverted, psychologically introverted in the sense that you interact mostly with elements in your mind not with reality anymore.
Gradually, you find yourself isolated. You lose friends. You're no longer in touch with family members. More and more, you sit all by yourself obsessing about the twin flame and leaving out fantasies in your mind with various, with the participation of various internal objects and introjects and constructs. You had withdrawn and you are immersed in a schizoid state within the fantasy space of your mind.
And so this is what Hartman says that object constancy is critical.
The twin flame provides you object constancy via the process of generating the internal object. The internal object is constant so you feel safe with the twin flame. The twin flame makes you feel safe and secure because you will never be abandoned and you will never ever be abandoned because the twin flame is you. He is your false self. He's your idealized image and above all the twin flame exists largely inside your mind where you can guarantee that there will be no abandonment and no rejection.
But what if you're a borderline? I continue with Hartman.
The borderline patient, he says, initially turns towards the object with insatiable need.
Eventually, she feels rejected and then she rejects the object in turn and then she fears object loss. So the borderline is clingy and needy. She appropriates, confiscates and adopts an outside external object.
Could be the twin flame. Then she anticipates rejection, real or imaginary. And then she rejects, she rejects the object. And then she fears that she had lost the object.
So Seinfeld says the borderline is primarily concerned with destroying the object through aggressive distancing. It is the schizoid person who cannot accept rejection and may enact the internal obsession in the interpersonal domain without regard for reality.
Typically, the schizoid endeavors to completely repress the hunger for love. As long as the repression is effective, the schizoid relates to the outer object world in a realistic but emotionally shallow manner.
If the schizoid person is threatened with massive regressive withdrawal, he may resort to an obsessive fatal attraction, desperately clinging to object relatedness.
So we see two ways, two paths, two options of reacting to the twin flame.
If you're more of a borderline, you're likely gradually to become aggressive and the relationship will become more and more conflict laden. It will involve approach avoidance. There will be a lot of tension, a lot of dissonance. You will retreat more and more into your mind. You will preemptively reject the object. You will decompensate. You will act recklessly, for example, promiscuously, and so on.
So if you're borderline, you will become a secondary psychopath. You will react with aggression.
These are not my words. This is Hartman and Seinfeld. If you're a schizoid, you will react with obsession. You'll become obsessed. And this obsessive fantasy gradually will impair your reality testing so dramatically that you will try to force the fantasy on reality. You will try to enact the fantasy. You will try to carry out behaving in the real world as though your fantasy was reality.
And this is very dangerous. You see, the twin flame monopolizes what we call regulatory functions, not only ego functions.
And I again encourage you to watch the video about ego functions to understand what I'm talking about.
But the twin flame monopolizes also regulatory functions.
When you're a baby before the age of two years, mommy and daddy regulate everything for you. They regulate your emotions. They regulate your moods. They tell you what to think as well. They teach you language. They are your mind. Your parents, mommy and daddy, are your outsourced mind. They are your external soul, external psyche.
All functions, ego and non-ego, come from the parents into the child before age two. The twin flame regresses you to this phase. He regresses you to the phase before separation and individuation, before you had separated from your parents and became an individual.
So because he does this, he assumes the same role that parents assume when the baby is younger than two years old.
In other words, the twin flame begins to regulate and control your moods. He begins to regulate and control your emotions, your inner environment. He even tells you what to think. He dictates your cognition, cognitive processes. He inculcates in you cognitive biases and prejudices and even cognitive deficits.
Gradually, the twin flame becomes a mind snatcher. He invades your mind like a parasitic entity and he takes over like a virus. He takes over and he uses your mind to replicate. He replicates himself inside your mind and from that moment he can provoke in you any mood. He can elicit in you any emotion and he can control the way you think and this process is called entraining.
The problem is that as the twin flame regulates your internal environment, you are beginning to perceive other people as the opposite. The twin flame is perceived as egosyntonic because by regulating your moods, your affect, your cognitions, the twin flame restores some inner peace, some equilibrium, some homostasis, some balance within your mind.
It's like you're saying, you're telling the twin flame, listen, listen. You take over. You take over. You take responsibility. You take over my mind. You manage my mind. You just make sure that I'm in peace. You become a zombie or a remote controlled robot.
But a remote controlled robot presumably has inner peace. So you're tranquil. You interpret it as happiness. You're happy and content with the twin flame because you no longer have to think. Your emotions are not yours. Anything that happens inside you is tightly micromanaged by the twin flame.
So you feel safe. It's like handing over power and responsibility to a dictator. A dictator is a bad thing, presumably, but people are happy in dictatorships because they don't have to think for themselves and they have no responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They can blame everything on the tyrant.
So the twin flame becomes your tyrant and you're the population, the populace, and you hand over power to the twin flame.
At the same time, you get rid of nagging down of self-recrimination because if he is in power, if he's in power, you can blame him. You don't have to blame yourself. You develop alloplastic defenses and a total external locus of control.
But as you do this, you attribute, there's an error of attribution, you attribute your regulatory environment to your twin flame.
You say to yourself, only he can make me feel good. Only he can control my moods and render me less labile. Only he can regulate my emotions. And so I'm not all over the place. He's good for me.
My twin flame is good for me because when I'm with him, I'm much more normal, I'm much more healthy, much more at peace. I love it. I love to be with him because he restores my inner calm, my tranquility. He's my meditation. He's my yoga. He's my solution.
And all others threaten this balance, threaten this newly found equilibrium. All other people are a threat. They are dysregulatory. They are deflating. They are critical. They're often critical of the twin flame and they're critical of your sick relationship with the twin flame.
You don't want to hear that. You don't want to listen to them. They destabilize you. They make you feel ill at ease. They render yourself critical. They cast in doubt the newly found certainties that underlie your life. They undermine the stability that you had finally reached with your twin flame.
And you regard them as enemies, dysregulatory enemies, disconfiting enemies.
And this leads to paranoia and isolation.
And here is why considering yourself an empath is seriously problematic and even dangerous.
There's no such thing as empath, clinically speaking. So empath is a form of self-aggrandizement. It's a form of self-idealization.
Empaths are perfect. Empaths are angelic. They're angels.
Empaths can do wrong. Empaths are by definition empathic. They are moral. They're wonderful. They're wonderful creatures. They've just fallen prey unwittingly to an abuser.
But otherwise, they're simply wonderful creatures. It's self-aggrandizement. It's a part of your grandiosity.
To label yourself an empath is to continue on the path of self-aggrandizement.
But you must understand this is the abuser's main tool. The twin flame uses, leverages, and abuses your need, your grandiose need for self-inflation and self-aggrandizement. He aggrandizes you.
The twin flame's main bulwark, main penetration pathway, the twin flame's main coercion technique is to aggrandize you. He keeps telling you that you are the most amazing thing since sliced bread. That he had never come across anyone like you. That you had made him feel and do things he had never felt and done before. That you are supremely intelligent. That you are drop-dead gorgeous. That you are the one and only one. That you're divine. He aggrandizes you all the time. Massive doses of the toxin and poison and venom of grandiosity.
And here, when you attribute yourself the label empath, you're doing the same. You're self-aggrandizing. It makes your abuser's job much easier. It makes the twin flame's job much easier.
The more grandiose you are, the more detached from reality you are. The more grandiose you are, the less self-critical you are. The less likely you are to change and improve and heal.
And this is precisely where the narcissist wants you to be.
The narcissist wants you to aggrandize yourself as an empath or some other nonsense so that you don't have mental resources. You're so invested in the grandiose label that you no longer have mental resources to work on yourself, to better yourself, to heal yourself, to learn about yourself, to develop self-awareness and to avoid pitfalls in the future.
The narcissist wants you in this compromised position of self-aggrandizement because it perpetuates his roles and it reinforces his introject. It continues the abuse.
Remember that his introject is telling you the same things.
When you tell yourself, when you convince yourself that you're an empath, this amazing supernova, amazing creature, fascinating unicorn, you know, when you convince yourself that you're an empath, you engage in blatant, counterfactual, unrealistic grandiosity.
And the introject of the abuser, the introject of the narcissist, the introject of the psychopath, the internal object that the narcissist and the psychopath have implanted in your mind is doing exactly the same.
This internal object is telling you, you're a unicorn, you're amazing, you're unprecedented, you're an angel, you're perfection.
So by telling yourself that you're an empath, you're amplifying, amplifying the power, the potency, the voice of the abuser's internal object. You're colluding and collaborating in your own self-destruction.
And like in the Stockholm syndrome, the twin flame becomes the source and the regulator of life itself, of self-esteem, of well-being, of self-love. He is the power to inflict hurt on you.
So when he does not hurt you, you're grateful to him and you want to make sure that he doesn't hurt you.
So you become subservient and submissive.
And so the Stockholm syndrome, although it's not an accepted clinical construct or syndrome, but the Stockholm syndrome has some merit.
Gradually because the twin flame becomes so important, so entrenched, so embedded in you, you're terrified of losing the object. You're terrified of losing the twin flame.
And so you want to gratify, you want to satisfy, you want to please the twin flame. You want to prevent him from hurting you. You definitely want to avoid abandonment and rejection and jubilation. You become a slave. You regress to a stage of early childhood, which is before separation, individuation.
And that stage, remember, the stage between six months and two years, the child has mostly internal objects.
So the twin flame forces you to move back from external object relations to internal object relations.
He makes you a schizoid.
And the internal object representing the twin flame in your mind is not only parental, but it's you.
The twin flame integrates into your identity. He becomes a determinant of who you are, because any internal object is a component of you, it's internal.
Any object which is internal is you.
By insinuating himself into your mind as an internal object, by regressing you to an infantile phase where you can interact only with internal objects, your abuser has compromised your identity.
Your abuser had become your identity.
Any thought of losing him causes incredible panic, because it's like losing yourself. It's a state of symbiosis, but a bad form of symbiosis known as merger and fusion.
And I want to end by reading to you a scholarly text about symbiosis, as opposed to merger and fusion.
Merger and fusion are sick, they're pathological. It's a kind of relationship, a relationship that a codependent has with their intimate partner, borderline has with their intimate partner, merger and fusion are bad, and twin flames are 100% merger and fusion.
That's the mother of all mergers and fusions. That's the most extreme form of merger and fusion, and this is contrasted with symbiosis.
Jeffrey Seinfeld, in his book The Empty Core, writes the following.
Ego psychological object relations dialogue has emphasized the dangers of symbiosis to personal autonomy.
I took exception arguing for the positive value of symbiosis for personal autonomy. I would now add that I believe that the infant has a pristine but unitary autonomous self that is never entirely lost in the close bond with the mother.
The attachment to the mother serves to reflect and enhance the autonomous self, not to threaten it.
As Sutherland in 1989 actually states, the development of the autonomous self may be likened to an acorn becoming a tree.
The close bond between the infant and mother does not in itself impede the infant from becoming what his nature had intended him to become.
Mahler, in 1975, recognizes this fact when she refers to an autonomous drive.
Symbiosis remains a useful term if it is not defined in a biological state of absolute fusion.
It refers to an effective state. Symbiosis refers to an effective state of oneness, a fantasy with a phantasy of a likeness that Fairburn described in classical terms as primary identification.
It remains an autonomous self, no matter how pristine, that fantasizes or feels such a likeness with the internal object.
The transitional stage is marked by a separation from the internal object, which therefore gives rise to separation anxiety, isolation and fears of object loss, prompting the wish to return again to the object.
Clinging to the mother may be effectively felt as a merged state in terms of the wish to deny separation.
However, clinging to the object creates the fear of the loss of autonomy, thus setting in motion the recurrence of the cycle.
Clinging avoidance, clinging avoidance, approach avoidance.
Optimally, each cycle of closeness, distance, approach avoidance gives rise to growth towards mature dependence.
This is symbiosis and this is what you do not live with a twin flame.
With a twin flame, the deal is simple. You vanish, he takes over of your inner space. You, as a separate entity, as a reality-gaging person, as an individual, as a separate creature with boundaries, all this is eliminated. You disappear and you reappear as an internalized inner space which the twin flame then invades and takes over.
It's a parasitic process where actually the parasite consumes the host from the inside until nothing is left but a schismiched shell.