From MY Book: From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist.
More than often target/victims project the blame back onto themselves as they were conditioned to do all throughout the relationship and accept things that they normally wouldn’t. After all it was YOUR fault as we were ALL made to believe! We got there because we accepted all of the Narcissist’s projection of blame and began questioning ourselves AND our emotions (love) led us there. What did we do wrong, to drive them away? What was it about us that was so wrong or lacking that made the Narcissist become so negative or unhappy in the relationship? Were we not good enough, smart enough, virtuous enough like the Narcissist claimed, hardworking enough, beautiful or handsome enough, sexy, worthy, submissive enough, didn’t we give enough, do we REALLY have issues like this Narcissist said. Did I, could I, should I, if I – ALWAYS questioning ourselves and having to explain ourselves!? It is always the same coefficient and coming from the Narcissist constantly managing you down and it always became OUR issues and never holding the Narcissist accountable for what was only psychological abuse. We never get it that we were just ANOTHER object for this Narcissist to use and discard. We only believed the lies and fell into this abuse so we live with the distorted thoughts until we purge them out of us OR until we actualize the truth and get help to move away from all of the negative messages that modified our behaviors in such a destructive manner. THERE IS NEVER any closure with this Narcissist because it was all an agenda that ends with destruction and they are not going to take responsibility for their abuse and be exposed for who and what they are.
We are left in a magnanimous state of confusion – stuck between opposing thoughts – we LOVED this person and they loved us back BUT now we have come to the realization that it was ALL A LIE and we can’t accept this. This is what is referred to as cognitive dissonance. When a target/victim experiences cognitive dissonance, our rational ability to actualize reality or accept the knowledge about the psychopathy as far as it concerns the Narcissist doesn’t fully sink in on the powerful EMOTIONAL LEVEL because we LOVED them. Plus we never had ‘real time’ experience or knowledge about this personality disorder to help us understand what was happening to us! Consequently, we continually move back and forth between that old idealized fantasy that was pounded into our mind and heart (the love bombing) and the pathetic reality of the NEW truth about this disordered individual that terrorized our world and try to rationalize it. This is such a confusing process as well as an emotionally draining one too. Just remember that initially, when you were in the idealization phase and LOVED so ideally the fantasy was that this Narcissist could love you and that he/she seriously committed to loving you – that is very familiar in our normal world. Then, once you were devalued and/or discarded, the fantasy still remains that he/she is capable of LOVE and loving others, BUT just not YOU. You feel that you weren’t right for him/her, but NOW someone else can be SO RIGHT for them and it only reinforces the distorted messages. Narcissists don’t know love or feel love with ANYBODY they are only looking for supply. There will be MANY more and newer ‘others’ in this Narcissist’s future but ALL of them are just new objects to use and throw away! Everyone has an expiration date!
This is the fantasy (manipulation) that the Narcissist tries to convince every target/victim of once they enter the devaluation phase and that it is the problem is never with the them (the Narcissist). Narcissists do truly believe this because they never see anything wrong with themselves or their behavior, so if they are no longer vested in or excited by a person, the Narcissist concludes it must be your fault because YOU were deficient or defiant and didn’t serve them in every way they deserved to be treated – omnipotence. ADD to this that they are not capable of feeling emotions or simply caring about the well-being of others. Then there will be the incredulous stories and lies that come out as it concerns the Narcissist pinning this all on YOU in the end (smear campaign!) Then WHO has ever tested the Narcissist by trying to completely expose them, and were they successful. What law protects a target/victim and makes the Narcissist’s accountable with criminal charges! The Narcissist is a clever thief and usually has minions that claim his/her innocence and turns it back onto us! Karma and time will get them for sure because their lies do catch up with them BUT that offers little solace to the victim that is left so vulnerable from this abuse!
Because you put up with the emotional and psychological abuse from this Narcissist you were with for such a long time and because the devaluation phase was also so long and drawn-out, you have absorbed AND accepted these particular beliefs despite everything you NOW know about this Narcissist’s inability to love or even care about others. In time and with no contact, the rational knowledge and emotional beliefs that this was real love will merge so you can accept this duality of what you believed and what is really the ugly truth. The last bits and pieces of this totally distorted illusion of this Narcissist loving you will diminish so the real healing CAN begin! BUT you have to put the effort there to stop the messages as well as anything that concerns them or you will constantly spin your wheels and stay stuck in this victim mode and BLAMING yourself. The reality here is that this was abuse!
Cognitive dissonance is part of the disabling process of being a target/victim of a personality disordered Narcissist and doesn’t occur in healthy relationships. When there are two healthy individuals in a relationship there are good and bad parts as it concerns two separate personalities merging. But by far one or the other person doesn’t have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality or a mask of sanity that hides a malicious, abusive and destructive person. In a healthy relationship, there is a certain level of transparency, so basically, what you see is what you get and it is pretty consistent, flaws and all. ALSO healthy relationships aren’t based on emotional/psychological abuse, control, domination and an insurmountable mountain of deliberate lies and manipulation. Furthermore healthy relationships don’t end abruptly, as if they never even happened because normal people can’t detach so quickly from deeper relationships and JUMP right into another one UNLESS it was completely built on deception and basically one partner is a Narcissist! Cognitive dissonance happens in those cases where there is a horrendous contradiction between a reality and an increasingly implausible fantasy which when fully revealed, would be too painful to accept, so much so that you would rather cling to parts of the fantasy than confront that sad reality and move on.
So what is related to this cognitive dissonance is that the Narcissist still has a form of power over you and the Narcissist’s distorted standards still have a place in your brain AND heart. Call it ambient abuse! Even though you may reject the Narcissist on some level, on another the Narcissist’s opinions still somehow matter to you (those old message still playing in your head!) Narcissists are frauds, their actions, words and opinions are distorted and delusional with a personal and self-serving agenda attached to them! The Narcissist’s connections to others, especially the ones the Narcissist CLAIMS to be “the love of their life,” are only empty, controlling and abusive bonds too. But if you stay emotionally attached or you still care about what the Narcissists thinks or feels, then you are giving a highly disordered person too much power over you. You must actualize the truth – and that comes from acknowledging the facts that are now staring directly in your face as you are reaching out to understand how someone could treat you in the sadistic manner that this Narcissist did to you. In a word or two – this was psychological and emotional abuse from a personality disordered Narcissist and it has damaged your mind and heart as well as traumatized your life. Please start on your journey to recovery with no/minimal contact to gain the clarity to understand and act on the truth about your situation. Greg ❤