narcissism meets cynicism

Alayna Doyal
2 min readMar 17, 2022

i come from a family of narcissists and enablers. i am the only one who is neither, rendering me the scapegoat. today, i decided to finally close the door on those i was still in contact with, and as i practice what it’s like to say what’s on my mind instead of swallowing my words for the sake of my safety and choking on my sanity in favor of prioritizing their comfort, i wrote this poem.

Photo by Ally Griffin on Unsplash

i lived on the corner where

narcissism meets cynicism

in a house with barbed wire

in place of picket fences and

people who bickered amid

defensive tension.

most families have a fire escape

plan. mine set me aflame.

a water sign, i made it out alive

and yet they sanctified the one

who lit the match — a gemini

— and when the golden child is hell personified,

you begin to believe that anything infernal

is everything you must fear.

i wince at the sight of the sun and i cry

at the mere thought of flames. i convince

myself that summer air can catch fire,

which is impossible to most but i did

not have a chance to experience

reality, which is to say that

anything was possible,

even the unthinkable.

yet nothing that happened

happened. it was all in

my head, they said as

they gaslighted me.

gas. light. gas +

light = flame.

fire. fear.


so i gripped the handle of

the doors behind which

they tormented and

mistreated me

and i opened them.

and i exposed them.

and i slammed them.

and i escaped them.

and i survived them.

Alayna Doyal

writer | editor | poet | all things personal development ↠

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