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Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self
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Trapped in the Mirror: Adult Children of Narcissists in Their Struggle for Self

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  384 ratings  ·  54 reviews
In this compelling book, Elan Golomb identifies the crux of the emotional and psychological problems of millions of adults. Simply put, the children of narcissist -- offspring of parents whose interest always towered above the most basic needs of their sons and daughters -- share a common belief: They believe they do not have the right to exist.

The difficulties experience
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 28th 1995 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1992)
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(showing 1-30 of 877)
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Reese
"You know you're an idiot!" I'm talking to the face in the mirror. If you haven't already decided that I am indeed an idiot, some of you may now be thinking that a narcissistic parent is responsible for my "powerfully self-hating negative inner parent"(55) -- also known, by those who worship at Our Lady of Jargon, as "negative introject"(55). Well, forget about my poor old mother, who happens to be narcissistic; and accept this explanation for my self-deprecation: I bought Elan Golomb's book; I ...more
Paul King
I would say this is fundamentally the most painful book I've ever read as it hit me so personally about my own upbringing. The truths about the particulars that children of narcissists suffer are a daily struggle for me. What a wonderful gift that Golomb has given - even if not every idea works for you, it gives a group of very lost souls a means to navigate the emotional holocaust that is so often at play.
Linda Robinson
Another first - I picked this book up before lunch, and read it through my meal, sat in the car reading in my parking lot, and now have finished it in my favorite reading chair, without taking off my coat. There are a couple of reviews I read here that are my reactions as well. The book is cross-eyed hard to get into, but I think this is because the subject matter is difficult, especially for someone who had narcissistic parents. There's not much sense to be had in that brand of childhood. But t ...more
Ryan Holiday
The idea that this author is in any way justified in writing a book on healing or conquering narcissism is laughable. The book is filled with countless examples of her own insanity--like the time she cracked her skull and insisted on seeing an Eastern meditative healer instead of a doctor. Of course, her parents intervention was proof of their narcissism.

This is a fascinating topic but an awful book. Most of the anecdotes come from group therapy that she ATTENDED instead of led. The book bills i
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Susannah
(Recommended to me by my therapist). An excellent treatise on the influence of narcissistic individuals in those for whom abuse and negativity feels more like normal behavior than dysfunction. The author is a well-educated clinical psychologist who herself is the child of two narcissistic parents. Adeptly weaving her experiences with those of her friends, patients, and other individuals, she helps us to recognize the thought patterns and unintentional, automatic reactions to challenges that ever ...more
Kj
I'm giving up on this one half way through. What I hoped would be an exploration of adult manifestations of surviving (or trying to survive) a narcissistic family system (or parent), is actually an inarticulate series of caricatures of destructive individuals that, despite the reality of their situations, seem more like titillating psyhco-drama than explanatory case studies. Golomb manages to be both flippant and melodramatic, all the while making sweeping generalizations but failing to present ...more
Michele Winship
For any child who has grown up in a home with narcissistic parents, this book provides real insight to the family dynamics that can create damage that lasts for a lifetime. Recommended by my therapist,Trapped in the Mirror allowed me to look from the outside in and understand more about my own family dysfunction.
Jessie Marie
I agree with those that found Trapped in the Mirror difficult going and time consuming to read because of the fact that it hits so close to home. I also agree that Golomb's tangents don't always work and are sometimes cumbersome. She reaches in all directions with her comparisons, to her own dreams, and once to a Mobius strip--it gets a bit sprawling.

But sometimes this manner really works for me, and allows me to remember experiences I've had myself, but through incorporating both intellectual a
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wanderaven
I'm torn between three and four stars. So many of the descriptions of certain emotions/behaviors in this book were so exacting for me that I wanted to pull out a highlighter, just to make the point abundantly clear to myself (people who know me and the way I treat books will be shocked at this urge... and will not be surprised to know that I resisted the highlighter). The confirmation of these emotions and actions and why I experience them is illuminating and gratifying.

On the other hand, many
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Cherri
This book was interesting. I read it because my stepdaughter asked me to. She said that in her opinion, her mother is a narcissist and the book is geared for the adult children of people with this condition. It makes me more compassionate as my stepdaughter has had many life problems which my husband and I have helped her with repeatedly. She is now doing well - holding a job, living on her own. It gives an interesting and a bit disturbing view of what her childhood may have been like and why so ...more
Ida
This is a very interesting book. It should be noted that every person is multifaceted, and reading this book gave me glimpses of insight into my own experiences throughout my life. While no one experience listed here fits perfectly into my own pattern growing up, there are shadows of patterns that I learned a tremendous amount from. It took me a little while to get through this book because it was very thought provoking for me. There are occasional swear words, so if you're sensitive to that...m ...more
Laura
This book was given to me by a friend who thought it was great. It didn't live up to my expectations at all. This is not a thoughtful piece of academic literature written by an expert in the field. It's definitely not a clear, thoughtful path to self-healing. It's a psychologically damaged woman writing about her scarring childhood and exposing the problems of her friends and relations as supporting evidence of her own personal theories. Some of the conclusions are just incredulous. A narcissist ...more
Julie
Insightful, personal, scientific, and deeply relatable delving into the reasons, motivations, consequences, and recovery related to being the child of a narcissistic parent. I'm stunned this author has not written more! She's shockingly personal while maintaining scientific fervor.
Robin Adler
Disarming the Narcissist was more useful in terms of what to do when you have identified a narcissist in your life. Trapped in the mirror seemed like it was just a series of stories about narcissists.
Stephanie
Written by a psychologist who had a narcissistic father. Helpful information and insight into how to recover from living with one or more narcissistic parents.
Cocobean
This book was very healing to read. I admire the author a lot for her generosity (on so many levels) in the writing of this book.
Paulette
Fabulous....really fabulous book on such a difficult subject. Helped me a lot.
Gail
Helpful information if you've ever lived with a narcissist person.
Joni Strandquest
This was a difficult read, partially because of the style of the writer and partially because sections of it felt like a kick in the gut. I saw myself mirrored in many stories and patterns, which was uncomfortable and sometimes made me quite nauseous. At times, the author comes across as a whiner stuck in a loop of negative story telling. I imagine the process of writing and revisiting the topic from her own life to write this book served as a healing balm so I had to get to a point of just lett ...more
Sophia
Interesting to see the wide range of responses to this book--and the virulence of some of the negative reviews. Sounds like people were taking it personally.

This book gave me a lot to think about, though I did find the author obtrusive and kind of meandering at times. I didn't come out of it with clear takeaways, except that I would like to read some less personal books on the subject. A good introduction, though.
Andrea
Nov 24, 2014 Andrea added it
This book was extremely interesting and eye opening! She provided real examples of children of narcissists and the issues that arise from being trapped in a revolving destruction pattern of self-denial and unworthiness. A definite read for anyone who's parents were the least bit narcissist!
Aj Mcguire
I thought the book helpful, basic information, but the personal stories went on too long. More helpful in realizing what it means to be in a relationship with a Narcissist but not very in depth as to what to do about it.
Caitlin
My father happens to be a narcissist and I struggled as a kid and teen to live with his arbitrary rules and opinions. I carried around a lot of stress and guilt. This book changed my way of thinking. It helped me understand that there is a name for what my dad is and it erased any feelings of responsibility. You can't change someone's interpretation of the world. I thank Golomb for writing this book. I am sure it helped many other people who were victims of this pathological self-centeredness.
Stacy Daniel
This book was recommended to me by a psychologist and hit me on so many levels that it actually took me almost 2 years to read. As an adult who grew up in a home like this, I can relate with the fact that the effects are certainly lifelong, which is why I could only handle this book in very small doses. But I'm glad to have a better understanding, and to know that Im not completely alone in it. However, I didn't feel like there was much focus on how to fix the damage within me.
James Klagge
I read this a while ago, but often think back to it. Anyone with a narcissist in his or her life--family member, relative, friend, work colleague--needs to read this book. It keeps you from going crazy. You may try in a million ways for years on end, but you will NOT be able to change a narcissist. You need to learn how to deal with a narcissist to protect yourself. This will help.
Cindy
This book for adult children of narcissistic parents who are trying to live life to the fullest. The examples are from the author's own experiences and from her friends and acquaintances. The experiences and insight the author provided were interesting and at times eye opening, but the author's writing felt all over the place and disjointed.
Bela
Jul 29, 2008 Bela rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bela by: Marsha
An enlightening book on the effects of narcissism on the children of narcissists. Quite disturbing in some ways, mainly because it hits home so strongly and lays open ones own narcissism and the suffering caused by being raised by narcissists. A little short on remedies for my liking.
April
Apr 25, 2010 April rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to April by: Linda
I would have given this book 3.5 stars. It was hard to follow at first but once I got to some of the stories of other people's experiences it became a lot easier for me to relate. I did not relate too much though so it took forever for me to drag through it.
LC
This book was recommended by my therapist at a time when I was trying to understand a parent who was NPD. Sometimes I could only digest a few pages at a time especially if something really hit home, but overall I found it to be very insightful.
Tatjana
Very enlightening.
Skip the last third where the author starts trekking through nepal.
Oh, Please. Let me drop everything for the luxury of finding myself.
Everything else is terrific, though I"m more terrified of my mother than ever.
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Great Read 1 1 Aug 17, 2013 06:10PM  
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