One day Narcissus was walking in the woods when Echo, (mountain nymph) saw him, fell deeply in love, and followed him. Narcissus sensed he was being followed and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated “Who’s there?” She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. She was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life lonely & feeling worthless until nothing but an echo sound remained of her.
Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, noticed this behaviour after learning the story and decided to punish Narcissus. Once, during the summer, he was getting thirsty after hunting, and the goddess lured him to a pond where he leaned upon the water and saw himself in the bloom of youth. Narcissus did not realize it was merely his own reflection and fell deeply in love with it, as if it were somebody else. Unable to leave the allure of his image, he eventually realized that his love could not be reciprocated and he melted away from the fire of passion burning inside him. He reached into the water to grasp the reflection and drowned.
The irony of the reflection symbolism… Narcissists have no true identity, they wear masks. They are drawn to what they wish to emulate – “reflection” – all but their own. When you find yourself in a “relationship’ with a narcissist, remind yourself of how your spirit was when you first met. All of the qualities they once were so enamoured with, your physical appearance, your unique personality, everything that makes you authentic.. they didn’t “love:”about you, they wanted to hold onto and capture those same qualities for themselves. You became nothing more than an object they “owned”. In their twisted, distorted, sociopathic mind, you belong in a cage on a well organized shelf where they displayed their many possessions to appear “put together” for any and all who observe. You are not a person – you’re an object. Your thoughts, feelings & opinions are annoyances to them that they merely tolerate at best.
Similar to Narcissus reaching into the reflection to drown, Narcissists slowly pull you under the water with them, bit by bit, you slowly lose yourself, by trying to save them, until very little but an echo of your prior self remains.