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White Oleander.  I watched this film when it first came out back in 2002.  At the time, I found the flick confusing, strange, and largely uninteresting.  That’s before I knew what Narcissism was to say the least.  I just watched it again today and was floored by how much I missed, but I realize I simply could not comprehend being the target of a narcissist eleven years ago.

In case you haven’t seen the movie, it’s about the highly dysfunctional relationship between a narcissist mother and her victim – her own daughter.  The film is centered around the protagonist, a beautiful and wounded girl named Astrid, whom is at the mercy of her  equally beautiful and elegant, intriguing, and grandiose narcissistic mother, Ingrid.

Ingrid ends up in prison after she murders her boyfriend, yet she continues to controls and manipulate Astrid, and even manages to encourage Astrid’s loving foster parent to end her life; all from the tiny walls inside her cell.  Astrid eventually becomes aware of her mother’s ability to turn on her intense charm in order to win people over and thereby maintain control as if she was a puppet master.  Astrid becomes determined to release herself from her mother’s grip…

Now, imagine Ingrid as the Alienating Parent.  Typical.  Imagine Astrid as every child who is the victim of a narcissist, the favored parent, a master manipulator…

Astrid to Ingrid:  “… You look at me and you don’t like what you see, but this is the price, Mother.  The price of belonging to you.”  (watch it below, at minute mark 3:40)