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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth your time
This book is one that really gets to the heart of the problems and difficulties children of narcissists face. Several examples of the effects of parental narcissism, though painful to read, really illustrate just how the child's identity and self worth are crushed. This in turn can lead to the continuation of these unhealthy patterns from one generation to the next. The...
Published on Dec 7 2007 by Susan W

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars frustrating book: keeps you longing
Do not expect solutions offered in chapters with promising names as "How to develop a real sense of self", "How to find and heal yourself." There are none. Probably because the writer sadly hasn't arrived there herself yet. She doesn't deliver.
.
This book explains what it is to have narcissistic parents. For those who already know through their own...
Published on Feb. 24 2003


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth your time, Dec 7 2007
This book is one that really gets to the heart of the problems and difficulties children of narcissists face. Several examples of the effects of parental narcissism, though painful to read, really illustrate just how the child's identity and self worth are crushed. This in turn can lead to the continuation of these unhealthy patterns from one generation to the next. The author shows how to begin the process of healing and how to break the patterns. As our society seems to be one of rampant narcissism, this book is tremendously helpful for almost anyone , as most people will have experienced some degree of narcissistic parenting. If you are working towards healing yourself, I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for Search for Self, Nov. 22 2007
This review is from: Trapped In T Mirror (Paperback)
Elan Golomb's "Trapped in the Mirror" revealed the narcissism in the intrafamily relationships and struggle for self. This book is very important to understand ourselves as individuals. Are we independent or dependent individuals? Do we have our own "self" or a "self" created by our parents? This book brings about those issues and addressed the issue of narcissism in us, as well in others.

Narcissism is self-centered, and a narcissist sees the world as one wanted to see, not as it is. A narcissist has no care for others, but only for the self. Since we are living in a narcissist society, we would have some narcissistic traits in ourselves and it became so without our being aware of them. Some of these traits include shamelessness, wishful thinking, arrogance, envy, entitlement, exploitation, and bad boundaries (there is more on these traits in detail in "Why is it Always About You?" by Sandy Hotchkiss). When we can observe ourselves with the knowledge in this book, we can find these traits in ourselves and choose not to give into or identified with these traits.

The important issue from this book, in my opinion, is the state of "invisible force." An invisible force is the irrational influence one screened with many rationalizations and it is "what holds [one] back and prompts the most peculiar behavior" (p. 48). It is what holds us back from achieving our goals or maintaining our direction in life. It is the one that compels us to quit rather than to see it through. May it be a career, a project, or a relationship. An example of this would be a self-defeating tactic. This is common to which we had experiences with an invisible force in some instances of our lives. By being aware of this invisible force and know that it is not our conscience, we can choose not to give in to this force. The author stated that "giving in has the spirit of surrender in which you please the other by disregarding your self" (p. 236). When we do give in to an invisible force, we would become weaker and lessen our sense of self. But, when we fight the force and take a stand, we solidify our self-identity. Golomb pointed out that "a sense of self develops from interaction with people and from deeds that set you on the road" (p. 219). Our actions do indeed shape who we are.

When we are with other individuals, we tend to see some traits in them that we do not want to see in ourselves. The people whom we most dislike or uncomfortable with are the ones whose traits that we are denying in ourselves. In Golomb's study, "to free herself, [one] needs to know in her guts, not merely in her head, that what she hates in others is the weakness she finds in herself" (p. 109). This will help us to understand that these hateful traits we must confront in order to achieve a lesson and grow. Traits are parts of our personalities. We can choose certain traits to become part of our personalities, but we can also choose not to let certain traits to control us. But, they certainly can influence us. In a sense, we can choose what trait we can act on and what trait we choose not to act on, but we cannot deny any traits of ourselves, which is considered to be hidden aspects of ourselves.

With my humble opinion, Trapped in the Mirror is to be highly recommended, and a great book for those whom seek one's self.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Victims of Stealth, Sept. 15 2005
By 
Sam Vaknin (Skopje, Macedonia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Pathological narcissism is a stealthy, pernicious and all-pervasive form of semipternal and venomous abuse. The narcissist is not necessarily as 'evil' person. He (for 75% of all narcissists are men) is simply oblivious to the long-term outcomes of his actions and inaction. He uses and discards, idealizes and devalues, derives narcissistic supply and then moves on. To be the child of a narcissist is a harrowing, devastating, incomprehensible experience. Golomb does an unparalleled job of mapping the territory of pain and rage that her childhood was - and by implication the childhood of victims of narcissists is. One of 5 books that are a must to anyone who wants to come to grips and demystify this disorder - Sam Vaknin author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited".
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book, Sept. 5 2012
By 
Sakura Yamato (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Trapped In T Mirror (Paperback)
Trapped in the Mirror was one of the first books I ever read that dealt with issues I've experienced all my life with narcissistic people, even within my own family. So this book was a sort of introductory reading to the world of psychopathology for me.

It's light reading and she doesn't use too many big words that leaves scratching your head and having to reach for the dictionary every other sentence. But she gets to the point and heart of the matter about narcissism pretty clearly and precisely. I think it's a great book to recommend for people as light reading dealing with many issues that we face every day. So get this book to educate yourself about the existence of self-observed, narcissistic people, because they are everywhere!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A True Look in the Mirror, June 4 2012
This review is from: Trapped In T Mirror (Paperback)
Elan Golomb has put together a book worthy of it's name, as one truly feel's like they are seeing a reflection of many parts of themselves and family dynamics when reading Trapped in the Mirror. Confronting the topic of Narcissism, she not only pieces together the process by which it takes hold in a family and passes down from generation to generation, but also gives us real life examples from her own life as well as many of her patients which will undoubtedly lead many readers to relate to the struggles faced by children of narcissists's.

She explains, quite succinctly, what narcissism truly is, and how pervasive it is in our family and cultural life. She brings home the main point of how we not only objectify ourselves in the hopes of pleasing our parents and the negative introject (the inner critic which develops due to the affects of a narcissistic household). She also explains how this process causes us to lose touch with our true, inner core early on in childhood. This has an incredible effect on the choices we make, and people we become later on life.

Not only do we objectify ourselves, we objectify our family and children, and start to see them not as they are, but as we want them to be, discarding their essential selves in exchange for a cardboard cut-out of what we want them to be.

An insightful book, full of depth, Elan Golomb provides an excellent resource into the inner-working of our childhood and provides way's of combating the imprinting that has occurred due to the often traumatizing effects of growing up in a narcissistic environment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Nov. 8 2007
By 
Lynne Grey (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book has helped me to understand what is going on with myself more than any other book so far.

You will be surprised about how narcissists behave and how they can affect your psyche. They create children who have inferiority complexes, self-hate, low self-esteem. If this sounds like you, you need to read this book.

This book is very well written, is easy to understand and cuts right to the core of the problems that narcissists cause.

A must-read, for sure. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars frustrating book: keeps you longing, Feb. 24 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Trapped In T Mirror (Paperback)
Do not expect solutions offered in chapters with promising names as "How to develop a real sense of self", "How to find and heal yourself." There are none. Probably because the writer sadly hasn't arrived there herself yet. She doesn't deliver.
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This book explains what it is to have narcissistic parents. For those who already know through their own experiences; skip it, this book is stuck in the phase of description of the writer's own process and struggle. For some reason she doesn't see that readers have been there theirselves, and don't need her story 238 pages long.
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Ironically this book keeps you in a longing state that children of Narcissists are already used too. Longing for information about what she'll bring to the table but fails to explain.
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For example: she'll state "Narcissistic torture feeds the introject." Okay, how does that work, and what to do? She'll tell you by going into great detail about one of her own very depressing experiences time after time, using much space, without getting back to or adressing the original point. By doing this the original point becomes a mere excuse, and the reason for telling all these personal (much to detailed) stories the books' real focus.
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And that's how you will have to understand narcissism: through her experiences, finding crumbs here and there you can relate to. Frustrating. What's the real motive for writing this book?
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Her own stories are so prominent and on a center stage, that sometimes you wonder why she didn't write a novel/autobiography so she could work out her own issues first before trying to help others. She lacks distance.
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I wish I could send the book back, but I had already written my name in it. I'm really sorry having to say that the book is the true product of a narcissist. You are caught in her mirror.
It's really sad and I hope the writers will read all these reviews because they present a valuable mirror.
LL
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most helpful, Nov. 6 2007
This review is from: Trapped In T Mirror (Paperback)
After reading "The narcissistic family", this book followed on and gave more examples that I found useful. The many case studies and personal examples resonated with me and my own upbringing and provided more insights into the traits of personality adopted by growing up in a narcissistic family.

Well worth reading if you are on the path of self discovery and if you resonate with the descriptions given of the child of a narcissist.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but...., May 29 2004
This review is from: Trapped In T Mirror (Paperback)
I think Elan could have used some more examples of less obvious narcissistic behaviors - as most of her examples were borderline sociopaths! I am earning my doctoral in human behavior and my focus is in narcissistic behaviors. In my studies, a number of things have been unmasked to me. One of which is the purportedly massive number of cases of bad parenting in the United States. Sad, but so true and this is because of a number of societal problems (i.e. the disappearance of the middle class, divorce, teen pregnancy, drug/alcohol/tobacco abuse, egoist-parents). A frightening number of parents demand respect from their children long before their children are capable of delegating that of their own accord. If respect is forced, it's not respect - it's subjugated appeasement. Parents, DON'T CONFUSE THE TWO!!!!!
I won't tear into Elan's book too badly; I think she did okay. And I am certainly interested to know why people who posted criticisms were so abashed that someone would say such "negative" things about their parents. That's a little odd to me.
Did they read this book for the fun of it?
Are they seeking validation for their own bad parents?
Or are they themselves bad parents, and someone suggested the book to them?
To me, it's a red flag that they have something to hide.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and validating, March 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Trapped In T Mirror (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading E. Golombs book being the daughter of a narcissist mother and father. I have read almost every writing and book on Narcissism that amazon and the web have to offer and I was never bored of Golombs insights which were many. I would put this book in my top 2. There were good examples and short stories of concepts and traits typical of children of N's. I related to her experiences whether it was traveling through Asia, or her frightening stay in a hospital against her will. This was the book my therapist recommended. It was real, to the point, and gives constructive helpful information in the last chapter to help those children of N's overcome their destructive parenting. I especially liked chapter 10 "The child of a narcissist becomes a narcissist" "Alan". There were many examples of children of Narcissists with varying personalities and lifestyles. Unfortunately there is no validation from the author if you have chosen to leave your relationship from a destructive abusive parent. If you are looking for this you won't find it in her book.
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Trapped In T Mirror
Trapped In T Mirror by Elan Golomb (Paperback - Dec 21 1994)
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