From MY Book: From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist.
Psychological/emotional abuse is a grooming process whereby the abuser conditions or manages down the target/victim through subtle to extreme CONTROL. There are so many tactics that a Narcissist uses to do this so that every aspect of the target/victims conscious world is manipulated into dealing with JUST the abuse tactics and this diverts and warps a target/victims reality over time. It becomes a 24/7 or full time job as it concerns the target/victim dealing with so many mind games that are thrown their way. It literally causes their world to fall apart around them.
At any given moment there are lies to cover up their delusional truths, manipulation to confound and confuse you, betrayal to hurt what you believe is real, back-stabbing to undermine your integrity, triangulation to destroy your immediate circle of friends and family, love-bombing to make you believe the Narcissist is true to you, blame and shame to make you believe you are the destructive force in this relationship, WITHHOLDING to condition you to react as the Narcissist wants you to, raging to make you fearful of your existence, hate to reduce you to feeling anguish, name calling or making fun of you and steal your self-esteem, projection to make you out to be the force behind the destruction and deny you any semblance of your own reality, silencing to invalidate your individualism, punishment to make you accept their way or accept harm as a consequence, smearing to destroy your complete integrity so the Narcissist can escape exposure, AND many more avenues that a disordered Narcissist will travel to abuse their target/victim. The question always arises as to whether a Narcissist KNOWS that they are this disordered and cognitive (conscious) of their actions or not. It doesn’t matter one way or the other because it is all born out of lies, manipulation, betrayal, and the whole nine yards. It is psychologically and emotionally abusive AND destructive to the person in a relationship with them and that in itself is all the definition we need. We must never allow this to be defined as just a personality disorder and give it credence and acceptability – IT IS A DESTRUCTIVE AND DEBILITATING ABUSE!
Conditioning challenges and changes behaviors and thus the abuser successfully changes or manipulates a person’s normal reality and transforms it into many different aspects of fear for the target/victim. Fear can be interpreted as many things with psychological abuse; fear that the target/victim BELIEVES they really have mental issues, fear of abandonment, fear of punishment, fear of loss, fear of rage, fear of destruction at the hands (or better yet the mouth) of a Narcissist, fear of being harmed, and fear of not being worthy of love AND life.
The grooming process puts the target/victim into a place of trust first where they are joined at the hip with their abuser. Clinically the Narcissist ‘love bombs’ the target/victim literally to death to create this strong emotional bond so they can easily achieve their agenda to pillage, extort and destroy their target/victims reality, mind and soul! It conditions the target/victim to value the Narcissist above themselves because the Narcissist successfully managed the target/victim down so they DON’T value themselves anymore and become dependent on them. It is a constant barrage utilizing a combination of manipulative and negative actions as well as the LACK of positive and supportive actions. It is also punishing the victim through silencing, raging, ignoring, putting them down and forcing them into complete compliance. The target/victim is forced to only consider what the Narcissist needs are, and the Narcissist NEVER considers a single need of the target/victim. Remember this is all connected to the emotional bond of love that the Narcissist ALSO manipulated the target/victim into believing.
The Narcissist disallows individualism in favor of their own agenda for complete compliance and adoration of themselves. Failure to do so will only lead to stronger attacks to comply or else. There is no reward for meeting the Narcissist’s needs because they will demand more and more. The target/victim is drained of their self-esteem and reality and the Narcissist will only go in for the kill with more dehumanizing, destruction and ‘smearing’ their target/victim and then abandoning them and moving on to abuse another. It is all sadistic to say the least!
With all of this in mind is there anything that is as equally insidious as far as what this abuse does to a good, loving, caring, and moral person that lives with empathy at the core of their reality. NO and I say this as a real survivor of this abuse that has lived within this destructive lifestyle and lived with what was a battle to regain my integrity and life back. This is not a simple matter of going into recovery, it is like learning to walk again, seeing the goodness once more that does exist in life, learning to trust people, rebuilding yourself financially, and basically starting over after being infected by a contagious, destructive, and diseased Narcissist. I have talked to many targets/victims that are many years past their abuse and still feeling frozen from the effects of this abuse, as well as targets/victims that just can’t escape this abuse because the psychological aspect is so deep rooted and they are looking for that ‘little miracle’ that will revive this relationship or change their Narcissist. Please understand that it will NEVER ever happen.
The Narcissist will always manage EVERYBODY down and condition you to believe that their every action/word (abuse) is a reality that we must accept because we don’t deserve any better. A Narcissist wants your reality, your goodness, and basically your life and to completely accept them as ‘perfect’ or jump ship and drown without them. They want you to accept their abuse as if you deserve it.
A Narcissist will use ANYTHING to convince you that you are seriously damaged. Alternatively, a Narcissist will even use dime store psychology on you, or strong dogmatic religious beliefs or a false consensus from friends, family, co-workers, etc., to justify their lies and inexcusable behaviors concerning you. For example saying things like: “I pray for your healing daily” or “You have issues that you need to address with a therapist” or “My therapist agrees with me about your actions” or any other number of things that keep you constantly confused and off balance. These are nothing more than Narcissistic tactics to deflect from their own darkness through projection, blaming, and replacing your reality with ill placed and FALSE comments from other people that aren’t even involved.
A Narcissist rarely, if ever, admits they are wrong unless it is to zap you with a thinly veiled insult attached to an apology. For example, “I am sorry for thinking you were a kind and generous person. I see that I was probably wrong about you.” A narcissist rarely if ever takes responsibility for their hurtful actions. If you call them out on their bad behaviors, they claim it was your fault for pushing them into it (in other words, you deserved it) and you’re a bad person to make a good person like them (the Narcissist) act that way. You should be ashamed of yourself! I was continually blamed for my Narcissist’s horrid and raging temper with comments that I pushed the Narcissist to act this way. No I was a great, caring and giving person. Everything I was accused of were only delusional and fake accusations of things I was supposedly doing that would come out of thin air to start an argumentative situation with toxic drama, silencing, and betrayal as my punishment. I was barraged with so many levels of this being ‘managed down’ that I always felt like a deer caught in the headlights of a car and frozen.
The Narcissist also uses a simple technique of manipulation to make and keep their target/victim compliant and that is WITHHOLDING. By not giving you what the Narcissist knows you want or desire from them – things that are normal to any relationship and reciprocation – they can make themselves feel powerful, important and in total control. Here is a simple example of withholding: Think of two pups playing, one pup can be totally bored with their dog toy and about to put it down when he/she notices that the other pup wants it, then he/she plays “keep away” by keeping the toy to themselves or withholding it, even though they are bored with it or finished playing with it. That pup is exerting basic dominance through control and establishing itself as the ‘alpha dog’ or by withholding through knowing the other pup wants something they have. The Narcissist displays this negative behavior constantly throughout their relationship with you in very subtle to very overt ways. Over time this constant withholding establishes the Narcissist’s dominance over their target/victim. It is a process that has been preceded by their extreme attention and ‘love bombing’ to get you positively conditioned to trust and even love them, only to reposition us and start their abuse to extort every aspect of your life from you. Really with a Narcissist their behavior can be more aptly described as a three year old brat and not that of a fully grown adult person. That love you believed in has turned into a desperate love where you are confused, questioning your reality always having to explain yourself, vulnerable, fearful, feeling worthless, isolated, etc. – need I say more? No/minimal contact to end the cycle of this abuse to be able to start on your journey to recovery! Greg ❤