The REAL person behind that mask and facade – with a bit of my personal journey to recovery.
The REAL person behind that mask and facade – with a bit of my personal journey to recovery.
From my Book – Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
A Narcissists always maligns every single person that comes into their orbit from subtle to overt attacks – BUT, It is during the devaluation phase that you see the complete and real monster behind the mask. That Narcissist has emotionally sucked you dry and probably lined up someone new to use and abuse. They have completed another cycle of abuse because YOU saw the truth and they knew it. THEN the rage and attacks start and it is too late because you have been disabled and already lost your reality and soul. You only know how to accept all of the Narcissist’s punches to your heart and mind and react with the least resistance because your reality has been modified to accept this abusive reality in an effort to fix the relationship. You have always concentrated on keeping things real because you believed – but what was real except for all of the lies, betrayal, and manipulation and how this person was totally coning your life away from you! AGAIN, please internalize this message as the reality of your situation and throw that ‘love bomb’ out the window before it blows up one more time in your heart and head.
When I saw and actualized the real truth it was unfortunately too late because all of the emotional and psychological damage was done and the negative messages were planted in my head! Even as strong as I believed I was the horrendous manipulation took my reality away and distorted my very thoughts! The damage was also done to the people I cared about and loved – and they were poisoned too. That Narcissist had to pull out all of the big guns to totally disable me, causing so much havoc within my family, my career and my whole life to instill more fear in me and keep me away from fighting back to avoid exposure. At the time my mother was living out her last days and this Narcissist even used this in a manner to kick me harder because I was dealing with this tragedy. They are relentless and soulless creatures. A Narcissist counts on our vulnerability and fear to enable them to control us in any manner they choose! There was no chance at that point to work on myself and figure this all out because I WAS too vulnerable and mentally unhealthy after the years of abuse. The discard battle ensued and was in full force with this Narcissist to try to destroy me when I was no longer a viable source of supply. Then as a Narcissist does to their targets/victims there was also the manipulation AFTER the discard to try to keep me believing with MORE horrendous lies and even saying we could work things out and that went on for almost a year. That was just to divert me, silence me, and to keep me still believing AND confused so I wouldn’t expose this Narcissist! It is the same manipulation that a Narcissist uses all through the relationship that NOW keeps you/us tied into them and STILL believing while they escape the exposure that they are ABUSIVE and move onto their next targets/victim IN THE RELATIONSHIP or out of it with the final discard.
So, when the end is apparent you are still operating with all of the distorted messages that you were conditioned into believing all throughout the relationship and it makes you feel very alone and desperate to just fix this somehow. It is the ‘same old same old’ as the saying goes! You are not seeing solutions YET, instead you are only reacting to the pain the best you can. Once you are at the discard you are only fighting all the harder to fix this because the Narcissist is making you BELIEVE and controlling you with more and more lies! They feel powerful and on top of their game because you are so broken from all of the past abuse! So YES, maybe I was not in my right mind, but that is where this Narcissist wanted me to be and that is what they do to each and every target/victim. I was no fool though, I was and am a very loving and caring person that has empathy and wants to trust and believe in people, but unfortunately I wasn’t dealing with a real person, nor did I see the truth until it was too late. MOST importantly I didn’t have a counter offensive to this abuse because I didn’t know it was abuse at the time! I didn’t have defenses in place at the time to counteract all of the horrendous mind distorting games – nor did I know this was a dysfunctional and destructive con artist or I would have ended this and had this person thrown in jail or locked up in an insane asylum in a heartbeat (unfortunately that isn’t reality because that is difficult to do with this abuse)! BUT through knowledge, education and the support of other victims and survivors I learned the truth and made it my passion to help other people understand the truth as it concerns them as well.
Lies of course are the basic tools a Narcissist uses and they have these lies in place everywhere you turn. They have full ‘back up’ from other people that they have also conned, as well as from the people they charm so seamlessly. I am not a dumb person that believes everything I hear or see, but I was intentionally blinded from the truth about so many situations, and without that truth I was conned so completely. My emotions also kept me from believing my intuition that was screaming at me so many times! Emotions are natural to real people! AGAIN, I was not the only person that was conned into believing this Narcissist’s departures from reality. I did finally see through the lies as we all do because these creatures are insatiable as far as finding new supply and acting upon their every perverted need AND they get caught in the lies too easily and that is really to our benefit because it exposes their darkness and we see the real truth!
This is what they do so that you become so dependent on them – this is what their abuse amounts too OR total subjugation of a good human being because they make us their emotional punching bag because of their extreme envy of life and people. They are very real and destructive creatures and when they trap you in their dark world you have to escape or you could lose your life. This is what the outside world does not see nor understand. It seems like we allowed it because the signs were there all around us! But there were no signs that spelled out abuse and destruction. There were red flags waving but none of them said get out to save your life. Psychological abuse is subtle at first – so the target/victim doesn’t escape the agenda of the person administering it until it is too late. I may be foolish about some things but when it concerns my well-being I am no fool to allow a person to destroy my life. Never assume a role that assigns such thinking to make you out to be that weak. There are viable actions from a Narcissist that are very real in this abusive situation that takes a victim down. You will do a personal inventory to seek out your weaknesses and shore them up when you are healthy! We are many different types of people that fall prey to this abuse! BUT none of us wanted it or deserved it!
There was a time that I hated this Narcissist, but I realized I hated myself because I believed that this was my fault somehow. I forgave myself when I allowed the truth to become my rational reality. No, I wasn’t stupid I only was TRICKED into believing in what I shouldn’t have believed in – but that does not mean I deserved the abuse by ANY MEANS. Yes, let’s say that somehow I allowed parts of it in between all of the manipulation and lies BUT I finally got it when the truth became overwhelmingly evident. The truth is not meant to be apparent with a Narcissist, because it would expose what they are. Confront them with it and you might as well throw yourself into a tank with hungry sharks!
It was not an easy task getting to the truth because I didn’t know I was dealing with so, so many lies UNTIL they presented themselves to me. There were so many inconsistencies as well as too much disparity with so many people connected to this Narcissist’s life. Friends and family were revealing bits and pieces of the truth and it was overwhelming AND confusing. A new pattern was revealing itself as it concerned my connection and relationship and that was this person was distorting what was real to avoid all accountability and ANY connection to their past! This Narcissist could not afford any more exposure because there was already so much mounting evidence that was there from past relationships and trouble with most ALL of the family! I had to be destroyed and discredited just like the previous targets/victims were! I was put into a battle and this Narcissist wanted to destroy my integrity and life. A Narcissist just can’t stabilize their ‘out of control’ lifestyle because their needs outweigh EVERYTHING else. They are NOT fully functioning human beings and they are destructive!
So, I finally accepted what I had to and realized that a person that SUPPOSEDLY loved me would not do any of this stuff unless they intentionally wanted to DESTROY me. Then I took into account just how horribly disordered all of these things were and that sold me on the truth that this person was very damaged and destructive. It may sound too simple because I am not presenting every single thought, all the factual information, nor the amount of time and sick pain that also came along with these revelations. When I take myself back to my abuse and the pathetic lies and excuses this Narcissist used to cover the truth I just shake my head in disgust and repulsion now. I used to feel like a huge fool, but I know I am not to blame for what was just a distorted game that was personally implemented and imposed on me by this disordered and destructive person. Sadly, the truth didn’t reveal itself when I was a viable and useful source of supply and why we don’t get it until we are no longer useful. A Narcissist pours it on so seamlessly in the beginning because they are getting what they need! We believe it is relative to the love that two people create together. With me, when the truth came out, then I knew I had to get away with my life and that is the journey I started on. Now I can use this truth to help other people. It doesn’t have any negative effect on me, just information I can share to help other people find their way back and you will be at this same place too.
Do whatever it takes to achieve the truth or your ‘ah ha’ moment so you can move on and away from having ANY part in your life! Yes, there were many obstacles, the smear campaign, minions, destruction to your integrity, more games, and more abuse. With me it finally ended when I stopped allowing it and until I committed to changing myself to end this crazy dance! I survived the damage, and I didn’t lose those people that knew me and loved me. I gained a whole new healthy perspective about life and people. I learned to love what was good in me and change what was damaged in me. My biggest lesson was to displace everything about this Narcissist from my life. To reject that this Narcissist was real to me, to accept that this damaged person didn’t care to change and to let it go at that. I know that this may not seem like a viable solution right now to many because the pain is overwhelming. But it is a workable and what you must do first or moving on from the Narcissist enough to gain a real understanding and then start building your life back up from there. You must do something to end all of the disparity and it only happens by the changes you make for yourself. You have an abundance of love that you gave freely and you must now give it back to yourself. If you don’t free yourself from these chains that abuse you, you will carry them around forever. You can heal from this when you throw that Narcissist out of your life and mind completely.
My advice to you is consistent, however. Do not maintain contact with the Narcissist once the relationship is over. Go no/minimal contact. They know you and how to manipulate your emotions – so accept what they are and what they can do to you if you allow them any bit of entry into your life especially as it concerns YOUR emotions. Having control over you gives them pleasure, every time you reach out to them, you are providing Narcissistic Supply and that is ALL they want. PLUS, Narcissists hate being ignored so they won’t leave you alone until they’ve found a new victim who will adore them without question and then they will replace you in a heartbeat. BUT remember they need to silence you to avoid exposure, so they will do what they can to destroy your integrity. They also WANT to rub your face in all of this to make you always feel worthless in their eyes. That unfortunately is unavoidable, but you will survive that too. Only you can allow this Narcissist to completely destroy you, so please don’t. There is nothing and I mean absolutely nothing you can do to fix them or this relationship! There are no miracles out there that can change this creature! There is one miracle and that is you – you can break this cycle of abuse because you have all of the tools right there with you to take you back to a normal reality.
So, how do you end the madness and get your Narcissist out of your mind? Stop trying and allow the truth to get you there! Let them occupy that space for whatever time it takes you to actualize the truth but seek it out as quickly as you can so you don’t stay a victim to them any longer than getting to the truth and releasing. What you suppress will surface until you deal with it. There will be days that you feel that you are only crawling along this path of recovery, BUT any forward motion is success! THERE IS NO OTHER ALTERNATIVE TO THIS! Understand the ABUSE through education and talking it out and then move on and away from them occupying any part of your mind. They are what they are and that is as far as you have to go as the Narcissist is concerned. What you have experienced should never be forgotten because it is now a lesson that you must remember, THEN you are less likely to fall into another Narcissist’s web of abuse. While it seems like I am suggesting that you do not put them out of your mind I am not, I mean don’t put the real lessons from this negative experience away and instead make those lessons new boundaries. Don’t permit ANY of the memories about them rule your life or sanity or you will be lost forever inside of them. Once you work out the true reality or nature of your experience, you will find a way to heal from a Narcissists abuse. It is not easy and it will take time and attention, as well as complete self-honesty. Don’t forget that life is out there and you have to reconnect with it again. Don’t allow disparity to lock you up LIKE A PRISONER. Find a minute, an hour or whatever time to enjoy something or get together with people. REMEMBER this all can only start with no/minimal contact. Greg