Narcissists Aim For Your Vulnerabilities
Narcissists are controlling and manipulative creatures and extreme con artists that are hard to identify. Most targets/victims don’t get it until it is too late and even then they do not know what hit them or they were abused. So with that in mind many times targets/victims of emotional/psychological abuse naturally seek out answers on their own. This is how they come to the realization that they are in an abusive situation or relationship! It can be a hit and miss for many targets/victims that may BELIEVE that THEY are still the problem AND damaged. Be it through a search on the internet or reading a book, openly talking to friends/family, or whatever trying to get to some sort of answer because they are confused, hurt, and damaged by their connection with another person.
THIS is the start of the road to recovery and what helps break the cycle of this abuse, but it can be ‘hit and miss!’ Education is information, information is power, power grows to empower and individual to move forward. Without this process a target/victim will feel like they have been dumped into a heap of trash and readily accept the blame and shame as well internalize the destructive messages the Narcissist has imprinted on their minds for a lifetime. Unfortunately not every target/victim will come to the realization that this was abuse and they were with a Narcissist as well as many will not achieve full recovery! Many good and loving people are left disabled by this abuse and never regaining a healthy perspective to join back into life as they once did.
I did this search myself because I could not understand why so many things in my life had changed, especially the NEW and negative perspective about MYSELF and where was this coming from! BUT there was a coefficient here and that was the person that was romantically involved in my life was the person telling me EVERYTHING about me was wrong.
I was feeling very isolated, confused, and told I had many issues by THIS person that said they loved me so completely AND ALL OF THIS was because of MY personal issues. I knew something was not right, in fact I believe I knew something was horribly wrong but I was carrying the weight and responsibility of this problem as well as accepting blame and doing all the work to fix things? I was losing myself bit by bit and piece by piece and not even realizing it. What was new in all of this was that I was experiencing issues concerning me being this disordered person and I was so confused that I couldn’t think rationally. I never had any sense of these issues in previous relationships or with my life in general BUT I did have insecurities and wounds as we all do!
That was scary to me and in so much as I couldn’t believe something was wrong with me, I also couldn’t deny that something was wrong with me because the person that said they loved me SO MUCH was telling me that my actions were disordered and destructive by playing off of my personal wounds AND creating many new wounds. Why would somebody that loved me steer me wrong or make these things up? This shrewd creature knew how to access my weakness and push buttons to disable me using my vulnerabilities. Looking back I can see that the ‘love’ was not even any part of the equation and was buried so deep behind all of the personal attacks and blame. It was more like I was fighting to save myself from drowning AND I was but just never realized how dangerous all of this was and that it was purely psychological abuse that was directed at me by this Narcissist.
BUT then again I was able to recognize some things about this person that loved me so completely that were very discerning. This person was VERY angry and so much so that I would be RAGED at for things out of the blue. Anger and rage were really such a strong indicator to me that this person was not quite right, especially since the attacks were delusional in nature! But anytime or every time I would bring something up it was always met with MORE anger, or some off excuse, or I was overreacting AND it was ALWAYS me! This is the conundrum that I was stuck in – knowing I was really OK, and even believing that the person I was with was disordered, but I was losing the battle by losing ‘me.’
I was going back and forth trying to establish ONE REALITY and couldn’t do it. Loving and forgiving always seemed to win in the end of an attack and I was constantly revolving back and forth in this cycle of abuse. How could someone take me down so completely to disable my ability to reason especially as it concerned my personal well-being? Well because I allowed them to. No I didn’t want to be abused, but I allowed my weaknesses to be used against me. The Narcissist knew how to embellish my weaknesses and bring them to the surface in a manner that made them seem insurmountable and real. This is what psychological abuse is all about and that is the abuser controlling a target/victim through fear, intimidation, and managing the person down completely.
On top of this I saw myself becoming isolated from friends and some family and how did this happen? I was told that they concurred that I had issues/problems and again by the person that loved me so much (my Narcissist.) It just seemed that the signs were all around me, but why didn’t I see that I was defective and disordered like I was told by the person that loved me? I was always confused and the Narcissist could confound my every action by hitting me below the belt so that reality was deflected and I would accept all the blame. This is what I call their ‘hit and run’ approach. For instance they get caught in a huge lie and when you try to make them accountable they will attack you using every weakness they can tap into even making fun of you physically if all else fails. In the end you are drained emotionally and physically and the original argument is lost in all of the diversionary tactics the Narcissist uses.
Nothing is solved except that you are so emotionally beat down and that process is what becomes imprinted on your mind. After many of these discussions or arguments you give up your individuality bit by bit and have it replaced with messages that no matter what ‘YOU are worthless.’ The Narcissist drives this point straight through your vulnerabilities and makes you feel that no matter what THEY did you must take responsibility and fix YOURSELF because YOU are always to blame. On top of it you are never able to rectify the original concern or problem, so you are left invalidated and worthless. Bull’s eye that is where the Narcissist was aiming with their attack. BUT then they will attack another vulnerability and that is the ‘love’ they tricked you into believing and they say they love you so they can pull you right back in to repeat the cycle of abuse like they have been doing over and over again.
On top of this there were arguments ALL THE TIME! I was accused of infidelity, lying, playing games, and even some issues that made me out to be sexually perverted. None of this was real and ‘projection’ or what this Narcissist was doing. I knew it, but again why did I allow it to become a concern and real issues in my life. I was managed down so far with the “I love you/I hate you” scenario that I couldn’t be anything but totally confused – it was a mental war zone. CONFUSION was another reality that seemed to never allow me to compose any one thought before another situation came to light! This is a hard concept to put into words, but the Narcissist is so seamless with their lies and manipulation that they can seduce you into any and every belief that will fulfil their agenda even to the point of destroying their target/victim!
My emotions always worked against me. Where did these dysfunctional emotions come from because my normal emotions never posed a problem in any life situation? Again the catalyst was the person that I was in a relationship with, the one that ‘loved me’ and convinced me that I was so perfect and could never do anything wrong, the person that said we had SO MUCH in common – a Malignant Narcissist that lives in a delusional world where every thought, word and action is based on lies. Too bad that they don’t come with warning lables!
SO the fact was that I HAD MANY QUESTIONS about the person that loved me so much and their infidelity, their consistent lies, their interactions with my friends and family, their changing/loss of so many jobs, their substance abuse issues, their family staying away from THEM, their chaos, the incredulous stories to cover up lies around accountability, and many other things. How does this work that I am the disordered one here when this Narcissist had certifiable issues and so many problems in life? This is the saving grace in all of this because the Narcissist is so out-of-control that they ALWAYS get caught in their horrendous lies and betrayal, and THAT is what opens the door to the truth of who is disordered.
Unfortunately it takes time to see the real person behind the amazing mask. It was if the person that loved me was blaming me for what they were and I got it finally. This is what pulled me into a direction to define what was going on here. I knew the truth about myself but why wasn’t I acknowledging that truth and defending myself. Why was I taking on the burden of all of this and accepting an unrealistic role that this person that loved me so completely now flip flopped in an about face to define me as totally defective? Well it was love, cognitive dissonance, brain-washing, a false belief or to sum it up psychological abuse and basically defining a destructive and malignant Narcissist that was maligning me through fake love and abusing me. BUT I stayed and kept interacting with all of the chaos and abuse and in the end it was damaging!
Now to the reason why I brought all of this up. If we do not deal with the facts that reveal the truth about our situation, then we will spend the rest of our life spinning our wheels and STILL stuck in the abuse and blaming ourselves AND traumatized. This will reflect upon our lives and thought process forever if we do not desensitize the entire situation as well as the negative messages that were imprinted in your mind. There are two truths that we have to identify with. The first truth is that we were in an abusive relationship that disabled us and harmed our psyche, distorted our reality, and highlighted everything and anything negative about us – THAT IS NOT NORMAL in any type of relationship PERIOD.
We believed in and trusted that love but there was none. We lost our belief system by a horrendous betrayal from another human being. The second truth is how we got here or introspection to identify what is wounded ‘inside of u’s so that we can fix that as well. Those wounds opened doors that allowed the Narcissist to gain access to all of our vulnerabilities. The Narcissist EMBELLISHED or highlighted these vulnerabilities and brought them to the surface to gain power and control over us. What was inside of us (our insecurities) were used as a tool to disable us and we allowed them to see all of them because we trusted this love.
At first that Narcissist LOVED our imperfections and even tendered them, but now that this shrewd creature has this knowledge, it becomes a loaded gun that they aim at us to keep and hold us hostage. They even use the familiarity of the relationship to be ‘in the know’ about personal issues we may have with friends/family and use that information to their advantage to backstab and triangulate. Our mind has been blind sighted and tricked by the seductive love bombing SO we trusted that we would be loved completely and normally. Those insecurities and wounds are real, but now the Narcissist has manipulated you to believe that they are complicated issues and you are the disordered one and they aim to disable you. The Narcissist didn’t reinforce love for the sake of loving back, instead they reinforced love to access our complete trust so we would hand over our lives and from there they were going to suck the life out of us by controlling us.
If you are a dark and toxic creature that can’t love and has no empathy what can you offer to a normal person WITH unconditional love and empathy – NOTHING! So why is this Narcissist there and pretending that they can love us so deeply? Because they have an agenda to extort our life and love and USE us as supply – THEY NEED US. That is their part in all of this – they are disordered and NEED us for supply. How do Narcissists do this? By making your target/victim ‘believe’ in them AND that they are real through their fake love.
The Narcissist knows this part of the seduction is the most important aspect to completely blind us through the strong emotions of love. From there they have to gain control over us to maintain our cooperation as a viable source of supply so they devalue us because they can’t love and they can’t maintain the façade! They do this by personalizing and embellishing those vulnerable parts that we opened up to them and gave them complete access. Their dark side loathes love AND people, and that always surfaces. They transform that love into fear and dependency like every abusive person does.
When you hear the words they (Narcissist) never loved you, those words feel so EMPTY and unbelievable because you are still in the fog because your personal emotions still won’t allow you to access the whole truth that this is purely abuse. I guess that is where the saying ‘love is blind’ comes from and this perfectly describes the situation with a Malignant Narcissist. This is also why so many people can say that our stories are so similar because it is a three step process this Narcissist uses to abuse – love-bombing, devaluation, and discard. Unfortunately it is not as simple as those three words because it is a deep psychological abuse and the Narcissist has accessed and awaken damaged parts of us and manipulated them to make us believe that we are completely damaged.
These damaged parts are the catalyst that the Narcissist builds their abuse on! These damaged parts that were always there also must be healed in the process of recovery. The Narcissist has to be removed from the situation once we realize their part in this. They won’t change, nor do we have any need to fix them, they will always be an abuser and will only plug you right back into the abuse if we ever go back to them in any form or fashion. They are garbage and need a discard just as they discard good people so easily.
Simply put look at what school bullies do and how they act out and harm people. Perhaps they will openly make fun of an overweight child so much so that their weight is all this child can see and it blocks out their normal reality and the other good and positive attributes they really have. The child is overweight but that doesn’t completely define them, but the bully see’s this weakness and takes advantage of it to gain control and overpower them with their distorted need for attention. The overweight child cowers to the emotional abuse from the bully and accepts their role because they fear the outcome of the embarrassment and believe they are defective because of their weight and this becomes their reality as far as how they perceive themselves.
This message from the bully becomes imprinted on their mind and they react accordingly to avoid the pain and basically try to become invisible, even accepting the bullying. As adults the strong emotion of love distorts our reality enough that we believe what the Narcissist says about our vulnerabilities too.
We have to accomplish some basic steps in a specific order that starts with healing from the abuse and purging all the negative messages from the Narcissist out of our mind. That can be a very tangled mess to deal with because the reality that you/we loved our abuser sends a message that you/we are/were to blame and weak. You are not weak because no matter what you are here today because you were strong enough to defeat the abuse and that is a strong message that you ARE a survivor. Even if you were discarded that is because you were too strong for this Narcissist and they could no longer control you. You have the wounds from the battle but those will mend.
Next after you have healed the wounds from the abuse it is time to concentrate on what may need healing at a deeper level. We all have insecurities and wounds. Normally they comprise what makes us who we are, but some of them need to be tweaked so that we have healthy boundaries that do not allow us to react in a manner that we self-destruct when a toxic person crosses our path. This does not happen overnight, but it is so necessary to heal ourselves.
Narcissists are masters at playing mind games AND they play to win and take no prisoners – it is a matter of survival in their world to avoid detection of who/what they are! They are poor losers and if they don’t win they will react in a fit of rage and stomp away like an angry little child. The only way for any person to win is to not play in the first place.
Everyone to the Narcissist is their opponent, UNFORTUNATELY nobody realizes that they are playing a game with the Narcissist and that is where the Narcissist gains the advantage ALWAYS! The Narcissist is playing this game for themselves so they can deflect you from seeing the reality or avoiding the truth about themselves – they DO NOT self-reflect, they self-DEFLECT. They do this with the expectation that they won’t have to take responsibility for their behavior.
Narcissists hope that by not taking responsibility for their own actions by using blaming, shaming, projection, denial, etc. you will do what you have always done-forgive the narcissist, make excuses for the narcissist’s behavior, claim the narcissist couldn’t help themselves because they were having a bad day, or justifying their destructive behaviors through your empathy and love. It keeps you in a cycle that deflects away from their reality and distorts YOUR reality – this puts the burden onto and into you. You never have an opportunity to be an individual, or to understand how they are actually pulling the wool over your eyes. They are betraying every aspect of your life and you are too busy babysitting their every whim. They know how to confound and confuse their targets/victims, as well as condition them through their little temper tantrums, punishment and silencing if you don’t play exactly the way they want you to! You HAVE to stop wanting to play the ‘game’ with them and eventually they WILL run away to find a new playmate.
The narcissist is a master of phony empathy. They appear to take you in, appear to understand everything you are experiencing, and appear to genuinely be able to put themselves in your shoes. They observe and react with a resounding smile, approval, and unconditional love. All of this causes you to let your guard down and truly believe there is a genuine give-and-take in your relationship and a love that exists that is just for you. It is overwhelming to meet someone that is so much like you, so connected to your thoughts, and so reactive to meet your every need. BUT once your guard is down, they will pounce on you.
They wait until you are perfectly comfortable with them and your guard is down or even perhaps having a low moment in your life but now the time has come to manage you down and gain even more control through their devaluation process. Narcissists perfectly execute an unexpected psychological pounce because their purpose is to wear you down, to humiliate you, and make you feel small and inferior. A narcissist is not going to allow you to have feelings for YOURSELF and they are going to make you believe you are selfish and wrong for wanting ANY attention. Narcissists do not tolerate individuality because people are objects for them to use as they see fit.
A good example of this is when I was going through a very rough period in my life. My Mom had fallen at 88 and broke her hip/pelvis and had to be taken from her home to an elderly care unit. I was totally torn apart by all of this and looked to my romantic interest (Narcissist) for support. I was told I was a big baby and only thinking about myself and trying to get attention by bringing the subject up. My Narcissist said that this was not a ‘unique’ situation in life and I needed to man up and basically shut up.
My Narcissist went on to say “Do you ever ask about my Mom and how she is doing.” Of course I always did, BUT I fell for it and asked once again. My Narcissist said “She is fine and actually just took a bus trip down to Florida with a group and having the time of her life!” Meanwhile my Mom was told she would never walk again because they could not operate on her hip at her age. My Narcissist was well aware of her situation even knowing that she may not survive the fall in itself, BUT this is what this Narcissist had to inflict on me to pull any and all attention away from my personal needs during this sad time and belittle my concerns with the story about the Narcissist’s Mom ‘having the time of her life!’.
It was like a “gotcha” to show some sort of sick Narcissistic move to make me feel diminished or that “psychological pounce and PUNCH!” This is what the devaluation phase is all about and that is breaking down your spirit completely and invalidating every aspect of your being. Losing a parent is unique and personal, but a Narcissist loathes that attention is taken away from them so they will minimize the situation and make you feel WRONG for loving your own parent and asking for support or love to help you through it.
Another twist – a Narcissist ALWAYS loves to make you feel that YOU are crazy, especially if you try to confront them, bring up past issues or behaviors, or expose them when they are doing something appalling. Basically YOU are told that you have an overly active imagination, you don’t know what you’re talking about, they have no idea what you’re talking about, or that you’re simply making things up to cause problems.
They’ll tell you that it’s obvious that you are the one who is crazy (and tell you that everyone around you agrees with them about you being crazy). FURTHERMORE, they will claim not to remember any of these events, even flatly deny that they ever happened, and will NEVER accept the possibility that they might have forgotten. This is extremely aggressive and infuriating AND a tactic called “gas-lighting”, a common technique used by abusers. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your own intuition, memory, processing your thoughts, or reasoning.
The Narcissist will up the game to include destroying your soul, your ego, your accomplishments and any belief system you have that does not agree with their beliefs. The way the game is played is for them to try to turn everything about you and everything you do, into a complete failure. The Narcissist has the reasoning of a child – but they act out like a controlling and demanding parent (more so toxic.)
No matter what your real age, you are never allowed to reach a viable emotional age with them especially one that allows for your individuality or growth with them. You will always be treated like a stupid child, a bad child, a silly child, etc., and you will always be reprimanded and put in your place to honor them completely and NEVER question them! Consistent managing down is what all of this amounts to!
Rules and the Narcissist! ONLY the Narcissist gets to make up rules as they go along and they are ever changing! The Narcissist doesn’t tell you ANY of the rules OR any the new rules and they do change them whenever it suits them. They are in charge therefore the Narcissist always win the game. You will be penalized and severely punished for breaking the rules, even if they chose not to tell you the rules. It is a completely fail safe system that works completely in their favor because no one is ever the wiser to their delusional and dysfunctional world. We are there living in it, reacting to it, and YES even trying to work within their system, but unfortunately we are not aware of the real agenda because they love us and we are only applying the ‘normal’ rules and it isn’t a game to us.
Everything with a Narcissist is competitive and every life situation is a competition that requires “one-upmanship”, to beat their opponent. It always involves a “payoff” for the Narcissist that usually means hurting you somehow. Again their delusional world is like a battleground with them against us. They keep track of real AND imaginary things you do, have done, or might do. It is a reactionary relationship with them!
It may seem like a Narcissist has to put a great deal into this false persona and basically they do. But it is simple for them and just a pattern they have used all of their lives. They are very accomplished liars. Their complete persona and their entire world are totally based on lies. Their positive attributes and alleged actions are all made up in order to get other people to give them their fix of narcissistic supply-praise, adulation and accolades.
Lastly what supports their lies is DENIAL. It is important to recognize that the Narcissist will never acknowledge that any games are being played AND the important point here is that it is up to YOU to stop playing. There is absolutely NOTHING you can do to fix them, the situation or heal them! You will always be told you are wrong, they are right, and that you are in need of some serious help. You can’t get them to acknowledge or take responsibility for their words or actions because they will always say they didn’t do it or it never happened. They have to or they would have to face real accountability and retribution for their actions!
The point here is that what I described is a Narcissist and how they abuse. They are not fully functioning human beings. They do not connect on ANY level with human beings except to use them as supply. We can describe this as a superficial relationship, but it goes far beyond superficial because it is a toxic and destructive relationship that will completely drain you and disable you and your belief system.
Your responsibility is to get your ‘ah ha’ moment and understand that they are the defective ones that emotionally and psychologically inflicted some deep wounds that have severely affected your psyche. BUT that is where you start on your road to recovery. There is another type of healing that involves your personal wounds that the Narcissist sourced out and used against you. Healing involves you and only you closing all of those wounds permanently through healing!
Whatever that Narcissist has said to you that has deeply hurt you or wounded you is not a real observation, it was your vulnerabilities that you shared with them when you trusted them. They twisted, tweaked, and distorted these vulnerabilities to use against you and define you. They were so supportive in the beginning, but that was also to gain your trust and the knowledge of your weaknesses to use against you. You open up your heart along with all of your wounds and gave them the opportunity to find any and all of your weaknesses AND they are looking for them.
They DO NOT have the ability to understand pain, sorrow, being vulnerable or apply empathy – they only want access to your weaknesses to use them against you. This is what we have to heal within us – those weaknesses that they have constantly pointed out because they are real and within us and now they have made them come to the surface that we lost trust in our own reality. They are master game players and used their keen perception to always be on top of their game. They took these weaknesses and embellished them to even make you think you were mentally ill and even fear yourself and your way of thinking. It is a very sick game that these Narcissists play, BUT it is a game that requires other players and you have to totally opt out of participating! They will attack you at any and every level they can, even making fun of you physically and they can be VERY cruel!
This is what I took away from this. The abuse and the Narcissist were there in reality but the Narcissist is completely one of the walking dead. The abuse made me realize that I had inner wounds that could disable me especially if a monster like this was allowed access to them. When that monster got in there my wounds became the very ammunition this Narcissist magnified and used against me. If we do not desensitize this damage that connected us to our own weaknesses we will forever feel weak, worthless and traumatized. Recovery requires that introspection to find these wounds and weaknesses that we have been carrying around with us and to deal with them in a manner to diminish them completely. But by this monster accessing my weaknesses I also was able to access them too and see how they could work against me and work on them and heal my personal wounds.
Those wounds were MINE, the Narcissist sought them out used them against me by embellishing them to make me believe that I was completely damaged. No we all have wounds that need to be addressed with love and self-compassion. A Narcissist has neither love nor compassion – they have an agenda and a plan to use and extort people through their weaknesses. The Narcissist is so completely damaged that they are far more fragile than we realize, but they beat us to the game or the truth by attacking our vulnerabilities and diverting us away from the truth of who and what they are. No/minimal contact ALWAYS!