When I first fell (came to prison) my biological mother called me narcissistic every chance she got. I didn’t know what it meant. I thought it meant selfish, in which case, she was right. The problem was, I was adopted at a young age by my aunt, whom I call Mom, and my biological mother, whom I call Aunt, didn’t know me very well. No one did.

So after a few months of this I decided to ask my therapist what narcissism was. Narcissism is defined as follows: 1) excessive love or admiration of oneself 2) an arresting of development at or a regression to the infantile stage of development in which one’s own body is the object of erotic interest.

In other words, they find their own body the most attractive and are sexually aroused by it.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I didn’t love myself and I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without being filled with rage. I was disgusted with my entire being. Selfish, yes. Narcissistic, a resounding “absolutely not.”

So, I told her what it meant and that if she was going to call me names or apply labels, make sure they fit. Selfish, monster, fag, terrible, worthy of death, fat…all could have fit. I would have not said a word. But narcissistic? 

She stopped writing me. She decided I was not worth her time anymore. I’m cool with that, at least we have an understanding. I had told so many lies, so many acts of selfishness, so many stories of flat out lies…just to cover up my inner self, this person I didn’t want anyone to find out about. A small, meek queer hidden under a monster, a monster who lied and manipulated. At least now we were speaking truth. Truth is my best quality now, I cherish it with my life. I’ll never return to the man, or thing, I was. 

Are LGBT generally narcissistic? Hardly. Self-esteem is low among LGBT people generally. Its covered up by bravado and boisterousness, multicolored clothes, and thick makeup but its there. Insecurity boiling just below the surface.

Don’t let anyone mislabel you for their comfort. That’s the point of this story. Just because someone else needs you to be something, doesn’t mean you have to play along. Its themselves they have the issue with, don’t allow them to drag you into their world. Fix yourself, change what needs changing at all costs. Ignore the ones that spew forth negativity. Especially if they share the same blood. They should love you through anything, that’s family. Family, true family, often times doesn’t share the same blood. 

That is a common thread in LGBT people everywhere. We are mislabelled by society and our families can be viciously hurtful. Just know that they are replaceable. I’ll be your family. Someone else will gladly take their place, someone who just wants to love another friend like family.

With Love