You can’t have reality in a situation or relationship where there is none, especially a situation that is embellished with toxic behavior to push your buttons, play with your emotions and manipulate you to your lowest level like that with a NARCISSIST.
From my Book – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @ https://www.amazon.com
One of the most obvious signs of malignant Narcissism is the way they constantly malign others. They are constantly remodeling, redeveloping, and improving their own image at someone else’s expense through their acts of back-stabbing, triangulating, smearing, putting others down, constant negativity, betrayal, lies, extortion, etc. We must ALWAYS consider that love should never hurt a person nor take them down a road of destruction. Ultimately love can make us sad when we lose a loved one but that is the reality of unconditional love when someone near to us is suffering, or we lose them completely – and that is more or less grieving a REAL connection between two normally functioning people. Abuse at the hands of a Narcissist is psychological and emotional abuse MEANT to intentionally harm and damage a target/victim that the Narcissist has chosen as their prey – it by no means is anything near a conventional and loving relationship. Real love grows and doesn’t diminish another person’s spirit. Always remember that the love that you felt for this person was as much a part of the psychological abuse (love bombing) as was the devaluation stage. This was all the tools of the Narcissist’s trade – brain-washing, extreme manipulation, gas-lighting, pathological lying, hideous betrayal, many sexual partners, etc., or the cycle of abuse with a Malignant Narcissist.
Narcissists manipulate in a manner to control their target by always reacting in a very demeaning, debasing, dehumanizing and perverted manner to everything – this is chaos and crazy making meant to confound their target’s normal thoughts. This can be very evident at times, because it is a downright shocking situation and we have all been there shaking our heads in disbelief at what they have said or acted on. It can also be very subtle with many small manipulative and dehumanizing actions that disassemble the target/victims well-being slowly and methodically. BUT it is so perplexing that people actually disbelieve their very ears and more than often we dismiss it and justify it by thinking it is anger, a bad day, insecurity, jealousy, or they have some wrong information about us – BUT it is constant and consistent behavior meant to debase us. Unfortunately, we spend our time trying to fix the situation and avoiding the truth that this is just one of their tools in their vast arsenal of control and ultimately ABUSE. Little by little this behavior erodes the target/victim’s self-worth and creates an almost obsessive situation where the target/victim is constantly trying to avoid the conflict, keeping things peaceful, and walking on eggshells. There is never the opportunity for a “healthy self” in this relationship and you become a casualty of the constant psychological terrorism or abuse – essentially you become a shell of a person.
A simple example to drive the point home – the Narcissist inexplicably gets angry at what should be a pleasing and positive moment. You expected a little gratification or a smile from something very special that you may have done, and – WHAM – you get a reaction that invalidates every ounce of time and energy you put into this ‘special thing’. The reaction totally invalidates the ‘good will’ that you created that was an act of your caring or love. It sets you off AND into a state of confusion, doesn’t it? You are wondering just how something so good and natural could be turned around into something that meets such disapproval. You know that there is no possible way that you meant anything more than extending your love or appreciation in a normal manner but you are left shocked over the Narcissists reaction. In turn you say something and that Narcissist gets mad at YOU for their toxic treatment of your grand gesture.
Here is an ‘ah ha’ moment and guess what? That is exactly what the Narcissist wanted – a negative reaction to debase you. I call this their ‘hit and run’ diversion. It is intended to make you feel a multitude of things, but basically invalidated and derailed like a train wreck. This small example really outlines the dynamics of the slow and insidious abuse that a Narcissist USES to debase and destroy their targets self-esteem. Remember that this relationship started out with so much love (love bombing) that had you dependent upon a day to day ‘loving’ relationship with them. This dependency was not ABNORMAL as in “co-dependent,” but instead what a normal growing relationship naturally evolves into. Yes, there are co-dependent targets/victims but even the strongest person can fall prey to the psychological abuse from a Narcissist.
We normally grow close to someone that is a major part of our life on a day to day basis as it concerns a romantic relationship with two people committing to each other. BUT the Narcissist has shrewdly put their plan into effect with manipulating you to fall for them to create this ‘loving’ relationship which in reality is one sided and has nothing to do with them being any part of it. Call this stage ‘one’ of the abuse whereby they have gained your complete trust and you have handed them your heart, soul, psyche and maybe even gave them the key to your front door. Now they will just pillage everything they can from you and that includes psychological terrorism to keep you numb until they finish the job of abusing you and extorting all of the supply they can. BUT the grand lesson is that this is more or less like slow torture that brain washes the target/victim and over time this is what damages a person at such a deep and unconscious level. The target/victim is ALWAYS left in an ultra-confused state trying to reclaim what they believed was real love as well as battling the day to day manipulations. Narcissists continually repeat this process with everyone to trap their targets/victims with amazing charm and then they NUMB them and ultimately disable them and destroy them as well. As long as there is a supply of ‘blood’ (just a descriptive use of words and not reality) for this emotional vampire to take from you they will continue to do so until you cut the supply off or they find another source of supply.
You can’t have reality in a situation where there is none, especially a situation that is embellished with toxic behavior to push your buttons, play with your emotions and manipulate you to your lowest level. The Narcissist will ultimately step up the game of their abuse with betrayal, many sexual indiscretions, pathological lies, gas-lighting, etc., but again this starts out as a slow and very ambiguous abuse. Unfortunately, it disables the target/victim’s capacity to function normally within the relationship and then it is too late because the target/victim is somewhere between their emotional connection (love) and the vast confusion caused by the debasing and dehumanizing psychological warfare. REMEMBER that a Narcissist is addicted to any and all sources of supply so the betrayal factor is big within your relationship with them.
Targets/victims are unaware that they have been living in what can only be compared to as an active battle zone. Most are unaware what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is or that it is a highly effective abuse from a predator. Victims of Narcissistic abuse will over time display symptoms of trauma, avoidance behavior, loss of interest, feeling detached, sense of a limited future, sleeping or eating difficulties, irritability, hyper-vigilance, easily startled, flashbacks, hopelessness, psychosomatic illnesses, self-harming, and even thoughts of suicide. Targets/victims express deep seeded feelings of worthlessness, humiliation, shame, and self-blame. They have been conditioned to take responsibility for the Narcissist’s despicable behavior because they are constantly told they are the source of every problem and everything is their fault but yet they want to support, defend, and love this person (the Narcissist) despite what they have gone through. It almost becomes an addiction because abuse creates a toxic and unhealthy environment which in turn creates an unhealthy mind for the target/victim. The psychological abuse creates this unhealthy pattern of ‘Narcissist pleasing’ or the clinical ‘walking on eggshells’. Basically the target/victim becomes TOTALLY DEPENDANT on the Narcissist or what may seem like being addicted to them to return this back to a cohesive and good relationship. The reason behind this is that the silent threat of abuse is always present with the debasing and dehumanizing and it is just too painful for the target/victim AND an automatic coping mechanism against overwhelming stress. We avoid the pain because it is so deeply engrained in us and that became our ‘normal’ or all we know from the daily emotional abuse, so like the addict we look for relief from ANY fix or the hope that things could turn back to the way they were – unfortunately they never will. Seriously it is like living in a battle zone and trying to deflect from all of the harm that surrounds us.
This abuse is NOT limited to ‘love’ relationships only. Narcissists can be family members like a mother/father, brother/sister, boss/co-worker, friend/relative or anyone for that matter. Targets/victims are often victimized by more than one person as well because they have only learned or known this dehumanizing abuse all of their lives. They internalize that something is wrong with them and end up feeling like they deserve this kind of abuse, and then resign themselves to their fate. Targets/victims may not reach their potential in their personal or professional lives because they always have to stand in the shadow of their abuser(s) – and that is all they have ever known in the case of Narcissistic parents. They learn to live in the shadows without knowing why – and that why is the debasing control from abuse at the hands of a Narcissist.
OK – YOU CAN BEAT THIS! You have the ability to unlearn what the Narcissist has conditioned you into believing about yourself. That old saying “A horse can be led to water but they can’t be made to drink it” – well let’s change that a little bit and say “A horse can be led to water and taste it, drink it and swallow it – BUT it can stop drinking it – so walk completely away from it and not only find a better watering hole BUT greener pastures and other fully functioning horses.” You have to do this so that you aren’t stuck in a fog of lies that will only guide your life in a negative and destructive direction. What the Narcissist has internalized in you can be EXTERNALIZED. Move yourself away from any level of this abuse by knowing that you and only you can change and find normality and the reality of a better life. Say no to the Narcissist, say no to the messages in your head that say you are not worthy, SAY NO TO THE ABUSE. Those negative words and debasing actions are only a curse/spell that the Narcissist casts out on the world and it can’t stick if the Narcissist doesn’t have you under his/her spell. Once you have the education that enables you to see the very truth about this abusive Narcissist, you can remove yourself and break the spell. You have the power to govern your future and what you will do with your life. You have to take all of that power AWAY from the Narcissist and give it back to yourself. Yes of course no-contact – but when you have to have minimal contact use the truth to really see the emotional and psychological abuse that is standing in front of you and disengage in your mind from any thought, words or actions they send your way because they are like bullets from a gun and meant to harm! Greg