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>I think she was literally driven insane by WW/II. It’s actually kind of tragic.
That’s an interesting perspective.
I hope mine doesn’t detract from it, but only supplements it. I think that everybody has a number of wake-up calls in their life that shatter their identity. Puberty and sexuality being one of them that leads you into needing to be more social and concerned with others; even to the extent of thinking you need to compete with them, or impress them, idolize or demonize them. This is a huge shock to the sense of self built in childhood, which is concerned more with hard rules, rules that don’t necessarily render desires later.
What causes a person to be a little nuts is when they deny/spin one of these wake-up calls, see it as a wicked condition of existence and not their own desires and experience, and so begin warping their past and present experience into a narrative. That narrative is always far more idealistic [to them] than it actually was, and sympathetic. This usually involves scapegoating folks who weren’t ever really in control.
This personal fable and rewriting of one’s own emotions and drivers, knowledge and goals is exactly what drives narcissism and the narcissistic false sense of self; as well as the need to make a point (see the YouTube comments section). It’s done in order to protect one’s sense of self from being common (literally “unholy” or “not set-apart”), or that it can be wrong, deceived, sign onto something malignant, experience unfairness, or even be factually in error or not completely informed/omniscient (depending on how deep the madness).
The idea of not being omniscient, or perfect to one’s own previous definition of perfection, is a pretty run-of-the-mill awakening that people experience with age. Narcissism is the perpetual combat of that realization, and the attempt to trigger counter-realizations of one’s own uniqueness, power, rights, etc.
Confronted with the reality that their rule structure was *just* one of many, or even malignant and stupid, or having lost, the former beneficiary of it becomes a sort of devout apostle to it. They seem dedicated to an idea or ideal or doctrine of some sort, but in reality they’re just avoiding admitting, existentially, that they can be wrong.
[Here is an episode of *Insight* dealing with the descendants of genocidal war criminals](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6r86ZGFBbyM) if you guys are interested in a variety of reactions that their adult children have.