Because the enormous narcissism of their parents deprived Will and Tom of suitable role models, both brothers learned to identify with absence. Consequently, even if something beneficial fortuitously entered their lives they immediately treated it as temporary. By the time they were teenagers they were already accustomed to a discontinuous lifestyle marked by constant threats of abandonment and the lack of any emotional stability. Unfortunately, “accustomed to” here is really synonymous with “damaged by.
― Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves