I would have to say 4th grade had the kind of impact on my life that they say can lead to narcissism in a negative way. They say that narcissists have had some bad experiences in their childhood and when this happens the wall starts getting built. In 4th grade I had a string of bad experiences. That coupled with the praise and admiration I had previously had probably was the beginning of me building my wall.
One day early in 4th grade one of the worst social events I had every had up to that point happened one day at school. I’m not sure what I had eaten the day before or that morning that would’ve caused this event but I digress. I was sitting in my chair and I felt an awful feeling in my stomach. I felt bloated and had a few sharp pains in my lower abdomen. I thought to myself that if I slowly let out a fart it wouldn’t be noticed and would probably help the situation. It didn’t. I shit my pants. It wasn’t a solid shit, it was one of those shits that I knew was runny and was going to smell bad real quick. The teacher was at the front of the class and I immediately raised my hand. The teacher came over and I told her “I had an accident”. She didn’t ask me what kind of accident I had but told me to go to the bathroom and clean myself up. I went to the bathroom and pulled down my pants and sure enough there was a big spot of diarrhea in my underwear. Even if I cleaned it up with toilet paper it was going to leave a stain and the smell would be obvious to the other kids. I went back to the classroom crying. One of the other boys in my class asked me what was wrong as I entered the classroom and I told him I had an accident. Probably a mistake. I went to the front of the class and told the teacher I needed to go home. She wrote me a pass to go to the main office so I could leave school. I went home and changed my underwear and went back to school. It was hard to face my classmates after that.
The resulting effects that this event had on my life were devastating. I knew the boy I told about my accident told the other students. I no longer felt their praise and admiration. This is the time in my life where my scholastic work went downhill. I remember the exact moment when it happened. I was in advanced classes in which I was expected to be self-motivated and complete lessons at my own pace. I decided one day to slow down, to keep the slower pace that even other kids in the advanced program were making. I no longer wanted to be in the spotlight. I wanted to distance myself from the spotlight as much as possible in those following moments. Instead of being known as the kid who was the smartest in the class I felt that I would be known as the smart kid who shit his pants. If I stayed out of the spotlight nobody would recognize me.
After this awful event I started to build a very thick wall. I just wanted to be a normal kid for awhile, even though I knew my brain was much more advanced then other kids. I started to have real social problems, clamming up even more than usual in social circles. Kids started to notice this even more and I started getting bullied for it. Kids would be relentless in picking on me, even those that did not know I shit my pants. In the coming years I would start to develop a sense of purpose to put others down as soon as I could see their weakness. I hoped to take the spotlight of bullying off of myself by putting others that were weaker than me down. This is where I really started to develop the underlying self-confidence issues that they say are at the core of a narcissist. Most narcissists really feel bad about themselves under the hood and put on their masks of superiority because of events like this.
The years that followed were filled with me slowing my academic pace and just trying to fit in. I still loved the spotlight in certain social arenas but fitting in was my new motive. Establishing dominance over weak individuals began. The masks that would eventually be worn in my narcissistic adulthood were being formed.