Those RED FLAGS – just what are they in reality? Simply put they are your intuition or your mind reviewing, thinking and piecing things together and trying to draw on logic to understand a situation or actions – but most importantly intuition is telling us that there is something not quite right that needs attention.
From my Book – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist! @http://www.amazon.com
Do you constantly feel confused as it concerns the reality of your relationship? Do you always find yourself explaining instead of participating in normal conversations? Does it seem that you can’t put your finger on something in particular, but instead it lacks REALITY in the normal course of progression or events as it concerns the relationship? Are there constant but subtle signals or perhaps even bright ‘red flags’ that seem to be waving close to your face? Perhaps there are even events that have led you to believe that there is lying involved or betrayal, but YOU are always invalidated and bullied away from anything real as far as a conversation concerning a simple question and a real answer. It seems as if you are given an answer that deflects away from the original question or the situation is turned completely around and back onto YOUR faults, or you are exhibiting ‘crazy behavior’ as if you are extremely jealous or making something out of nothing? Are they a Narcissist?
Do you notice that there HAS been conflict surrounding this person’s PAST with PREVIOUS relationships. Is there a pattern that is evident that this person seems to have a trail of destroyed relationships behind them? Have they MENTIONED or BLAMED the ‘other’ person/people in a manner that makes you believe the all of these OTHER people are the ‘problem’ and ‘reason’ that caused them to part ways? Have you had conversations that are not relevant to any reasoning surrounding ‘particulars’ as to WHY, but instead you are given strong inflammatory statements that the ‘other’ person is “crazy” or has “major issues” perhaps a liar, cheater, a person that lacks morals, etc. Are they described in a manner that is so extreme that it locks you into a definition of that ‘other’ person that makes you want to keep your distance and even protect yourself from making any contact with them? Do you get a strong sense that perhaps there is a reason that you are kept at a distance from the past as it concerns the person you are in this personal relationship with? Are they a Narcissist?
Are you finding yourself feeling isolated from your friends and family? Do you get a sense that you are becoming more and more of a prisoner to this person as if they are all consuming and controlling you? You are constantly trying to deflect from negative words and actions – or ‘walking on eggshells’ to avoid the negativity for what basically seems to be over anything and everything. There seems to be those good times, some expression of care now and then but also there are many strong expressions of disdain and constant conflict. Does it seem to be more of a roller coaster ride that has you going through constant highs and lows and it never levels out? Are they a Narcissist?
Do you feel that you are losing some important people in your life – perhaps a good friend or this could include family members as well. Do you hear things that come up where there are specific accusations concerning these people saying things about you? Or the opposite, do you hear outrageous statements that reinforce the attacks or bullying with comments like “so and so said they think you have ISSUES too.” Is there triangulation or being pitted against other people to create many walls in your life where there were none? Are they a Narcissist?
To take it further does this person treat others better IN YOUR PRESENCE or are they quite CHARMING outside of your personal relationship? Does this person have a history of attacking his/her family, friends, neighbors, boss or co-workers in the same manner he/she attacks you? Are they a Narcissist?
Do you feel so much confusion around your life like you are in a fog and not functioning normally and have lost control? Are there so many layers of negativity surrounding this relationship from arguing, lies, manipulation, betrayal, debasing, dehumanizing and a sense of hopelessness? Does it feel that reality as it concerns this person you care about or even love is thrown out the door? Who are they? You don’t even have a range or perspective about them personally, but instead a conflicting reality that disables you instead. Does life in general seem to be full of anxiety as you suppress so many things because you are just not allowed to be an individual by any means? Are you feeling controlled as if this person exerts power over you to keep you that way? Are you constantly threatened as far as your place in the relationship – one wrong move and they are going to leave you. You never do anything right! They compound it with a definition of you that includes so many negative issues, mental illnesses – you are more or less described as wrong, bad, and always the problem in their eyes. Are you made fun of in any way or always the made the brunt of a joke? Are you accused of issues around your morality, or do you hear things that you have supposedly done that are OUTRAGEOUS lies? Do you find yourself constantly confronted by a raging maniac that bellows out how horrible you are constantly? Are you blamed and shamed for things you have never done but you believe with all your heart and soul that these things have been done TO YOU INSTEAD?
THEN one day you are abandoned and NOW you find yourself labeled by all of these horrible things and suddenly your integrity has been dismantled all around you in a manner that destroyed many areas of your life. You have been smeared to all of your friends, co-workers, and family – in essence you have spent your days with this person being set up as a hideous and destructive failure and now it has come to fruition and this person has ruined your reputation to the very people you care about and love! Now your losses are many and you are just too vulnerable to function because of this! Do you feel ABUSED?
ARE THEY A NARCISSIST – I would have to probably say yes there is a very good chance. There are now huge ‘red banners’ instead of ‘red flags’ and you are a target/victim of a malignant Narcissist. I could have written this years ago, before I even knew what a Narcissist was or did or what a target/victim of this abuse went through. This was my reality and my situation. The Narcissist’s attacks are very specific and are often defined as ‘similar patterns’ by so many victims. Now that I look back on it all I wonder how I could have been so blind not to see all of this negativity and destruction. Well I realized that there is a reason they call this ‘abuse’ and that is because over time it disables a healthy person’s reality, worth, and ability to function normally.
SO – lets jump forward to those that are in a relationship now and add a little bit of a description to define them in real terms! A Narcissist could easily be defined as being a thief of hearts, mind, and life. Trust me they are much more than JUST a thief but it encapsulates the truth behind their actions and agendas. They extort things from people and life just like a con artist does. They portray or pretend to be something they are not even remotely like, and then cash in on their manipulative agenda to TAKE everything they can and abuse you as well. My point is that a thief will break into your home and steal everything they can and they are off and running, and you are left with the loss and devastation of their invasion. A Narcissist would go a step further and burn your house down while you were still in it to make sure there is absolutely NO evidence that would link them to it. Everything with a Narcissists is a conscious act that is there to serve THEM! We HAVE to understand this so we can move totally away from their psychopathy and forgive ourselves for only being a normal and loving person because that is ALL we are guilty of!
Take a moment and look at yourself after your abuse and then compare that to when you started out on this hideous journey with them. If you would seriously take inventory you would see so many levels of loss, to the point that this Narcissist has basically disabled you emotionally and PSYCHOLOGICALLY and this was part of their agenda or dismantling your reality so they could CONTROL you. Write everything down in a journal and make the comparison and spell it out so that you can see it right there in front of you. Whatever you attempted to do in a positive manner because you BELIEVED in them was snatched up by the Narcissist and then they beat you down and made what you did wrong AND you only tried harder because there was no sense in their actions but somehow you believed that you did something wrong that needed fixed. This became a deceptive and debilitating dance with them, part of their plan to manage you down more and more so you felt that you HAD to keep giving and they just kept taking what they could or reaping all the benefits and never caring about the harm they were causing to you and your life. They are the disordered and defective person in this scenario and again YOU are the normal person with empathy and love and YOU DID NOTHING WRONG! These are not just jerks or users, these are destructive and disordered individuals that enjoy the chaos and harm they deliver as they extort your life away from you. That Narcissist (just like the thief) has pillaged and taken everything they could, or all you had to give and then basically abandoned you for more and different supply! They NEVER identified themselves as the abusers they are so they had to con you into believing they LOVED you to get you under their spell to do all of this! They are not powerful, they are not intelligent, they are not normal – they are sadistic!
You can’t engage in a real conversation with them that has the truth (about them OR anything) as the basis concerning their reality or accountability in any given situations. A Narcissist doesn’t have a conscience or anything even near to it, so you can’t expect to have any sense of normality surrounding ANY conversation or connection with them, yet alone the possibility you could make them understand the very truth about any of their disordered actions and lies. There is NO sense of remorse or any guilt associated with any of their actions and THERE NEVER HAS BEEN because what they do to ALL people is really the functioning mechanics of who and what they really are! So what I can say is that you can’t enter into any arena that involves TRYING to get them to be real OR accept accountability for what they are because they turn it right around, ‘lie and deny,’ ‘blame and shame,’ and then return with a horrible rage and revenge directed at YOUR integrity. This became a day to day occurrence with me just trying to exist as an individual. I couldn’t even breathe right without some sort of rage that was so out-of-control that it became scary. So a good reminder to anyone dealing with a Narcissist is that there is NO possible way that you can make them understand or accept responsibility concerning their dehumanization of people – especially when it concerns you. What you see now (with their mask off) is what you get or an abusive Narcissist.
HERE is a clinical definition to add to the mix – psychological abuse (also referred to as psychological violence, emotional abuse or mental abuse) is a form of abuse, characterized by a person subjecting, or exposing, another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. It would have been a lifesaver to me if my Narcissist came with this label but unfortunately, they did NOT. Abusers don’t show their dysfunctional self when we meet them – no, instead they come to us in a neatly and beautifully wrapped package that is seemingly full of charm, unconditional love, empathy, care, and so many other things that attract normal people into relationships. So, in a nutshell it was a huge con job so that the Narcissist can secure people as ‘supply’ or in simpler terms objectify people because we serve a very real and needed purpose in their lives. They cannot function without people constantly supporting their vast array of needs. They can’t show us who they are so they create who we want them to be to get the job done and get what they came for. Unfortunately, that façade cannot contain the horrendous creature that really resides inside of that charming facsimile we believed in – and that creature comes out because it has no empathy, love or mechanisms to bond with people – that is where the slow and subtle devaluation starts and grows and that is when we question all of the things I wrote about and THEN get our ‘ah ha’ moment. They take us from ‘Charm to Harm’ within the cycle of the relationship we had with them. No/minimal contact is the only way! Greg