We have spent too much time dodging their bullets and sheer survival has forced us to expend a lot of energy in trying to make sense out of the rantings and chaos of a disordered individual or a Narcissist.
We have spent too much time dodging their bullets and sheer survival has forced us to expend a lot of energy in trying to make sense out of the rantings and chaos of a disordered individual or a Narcissist. We could never dodge all of those bullets so we were really only a target with a big bull’s eye on our back from the very first day we met them.
From my Book – Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
Do you go out of your way to keep your Narcissist happy and deliberately try to avoid angering him/her – even at great cost to yourself? If you said yes you are being ruled by fear and being controlled. Ultimately this is the Narcissist’s key strategy and that is maintaining control because as long as you are too scared to speak up, or express yourself in ANY manner or feel that you can’t react to anything this Narcissist says or does – you have no voice. When you have no voice, you have no say and you have no ability to think or process or to live as a “normal” individual in your relationship – you are more or less an object that serves a purpose. While you have no say, they can do exactly as they please and they can even legitimately claim that you never objected and make you out to be the disordered creature that they are through an arsenal of tools to debase your whole life!
When you are out of the fog and away from the abuse it becomes very clear how delusional they are as well as how their psychopathy comes into play to control their victims. Here are some of the basics that are out there in many variations BUT in my own words:
• Raging at you – if you question them concerning accountability or don’t agree with something they say or do, they rage. After a while you just accept your place of silence to avoid any more conflict because once they start raging they just don’t stop. I dealt with this rage so much that I would just sit there and hope that this Narcissist would wear themselves out and stop. Replying only outraged this Narcissist more and more. Unfortunately, this became ‘my normal’ and I was eternally walking on those eggshells.
• Re-writing history – lying to change the truth and make you out to seem forgetful, OR you are lying and the one changing the story, or mentally ill and incapable of having a normal functioning brain. They can literally say one thing and within minutes say the direct opposite of what they said and deny it.
• Non-sense arguing – arguments that come out of the blue that have no merit, or arguments from out of the past that they re-ignite to create chaos and keep you dancing to the tune of their chaos and control.
• Gas-lighting – this is the sign of their psychopathy for sure. They create situations to make you BELIEVE that you have issues with your own mental health. It is done in a manner to set you up to believe in something they say or do, and then what they said or did is denied to make you believe you are losing your own cognizant ability of processing daily life. It could even be physically hiding something from you to make you feel like you are very forgetful.
• Manipulation – they will take a situation and turn it inside out to drain it of any goodness and make the situation wrong and turn it on YOU. That is the motivation of manipulating you – or to basically debase you in some manner. It can be as subtle as NOT saying thank you for something you did for them that was nice or ignoring your efforts. Another example is if you ask them if they like something you did for them because they are not acknowledging your efforts at all, they will accuse you of fishing for compliments, say that they never asked you to do this for them, you are trying to buy their love, and you are obsessed with them. No you are being conditioned to give more and more because there is no manner in which you can please them so you try anything and everything and that blows up in your face.
• Enlisting real or fake minions – this is like the bully at school that gangs up on the unsuspecting target with the support of their followers. Generally, these minions are not physically there with the Narcissist and reinforcing what the Narcissist says, instead you are TOLD that “certain people” or a buddy of the Narcissist said “this, that, and what not” about you in a manner that they are concerned as to your mental health or whatever they decide will make you out to be deserving of some sort of destructive criticism. They do “employ” weak people to act out against you as well – but again who would intentionally defend the Narcissist’s backstabbing without even knowing the target/victim the Narcissist is attacking – only a disordered person with little or no self-esteem.
• Taunting threats – this was a favorite of my Narcissist. When I would remain silent that would even backfire on me, so the argument would switch over to threats to enlist a sense of insecurity as far as the relationship was concerned. After I would be silenced and the Narcissist had a free weekend to secure sexual supply I was taunted with it in a manner to punish me to further drive the point home or control me even in my silence for not reacting enough to the original argument. My Narcissist would state they met someone that was perfect for them and they could possibly be “the new love of their life.” After all was said and done my Narcissist would say they made it up because they wanted to show me how uncaring I was – funny way to do it! They really know how to work an argument to get the most out of it to punish us.
• One-up-man-ship – this is when the Narcissist feels very insecure about your accomplishments, or for any acts of goodness that is just a part of your daily life with them as far as something you do out of care. You are not shoving anything in their face as if you are bragging BUT they are acting out of their perpetual envy and will attack your virtues to knock you down a few pegs to feed their internal insecurities. More managing down!
• Stone faced stares – you will be speaking and sharing in the normal manner that humans do and the Narcissist is sitting there and staring you down with an emotionless face. They don’t react or join in on the conversation and you are left there hanging and feel that you are inconsequential as far as a viable person in their lives. BUT when they have something they want to say there is no end to it and YOU better be listening intently!
• The hypochondriac Narcissist – quite simply they are always sick and simulating some life threatening disease to evoke pity and for us to care for them more, give them more, and wait on them hand and foot. Sometimes it can be that if YOU get a cold they end up being deathly sick with pneumonia!
• It’s all about me, me, ME – quite honestly this completely defines the Narcissist but it is also the manipulative arguments and statements that are used to get us to think we are NOT doing enough, or NOT caring enough, not engaging them enough, or NOT loving them enough. They can even use this as an excuse as to why they stray away from the relationship from time to time. We just NEVER UNDERSTAND what we do to them that has them feeling so unloved (just another ploy to get attention). YES, this was very true for me because I never understood what it was that I was constantly doing wrong. In fact, I wasn’t doing anything wrong except for staying in an abusive relationship.
• Triangulation – purposely using common information they have ABSORBED from being in our company and twisting it around in a devious manner to use against us and turn others against us. They use the familiarity from knowing us and then they seem like they are ‘in the know’ when they start triangulating. That little bit of truth they gained from us gets exploited!
• Back-stabbing – this sort of goes hand in hand with triangulation, but its sole purpose is to create dysfunction around us to get the people that we love/like and associate with to believe we are the “real problem”. Basically, as it states they talk behind our backs to those closest to us setting the stage for the discard and ‘smear campaign!’ They are always ten steps ahead of the game.
• Smear campaign – this is the Narcissist setting up their final farewell to us by contacting everybody of influence in your life and destroying your integrity and damaging your life. They want us to feel vulnerable and afraid of what they can and will do. You can’t fight a coward that attacks your virtue and integrity with insidious lies behind your back. The damage is done and you are damned if you do or damned if you don’t respond to the smear campaign. This gives them the time to run off while we are left vulnerable with the mess they have created for us – and YES, we end up looking like we were the problem and even crazy!
• Denial – complete disassociation with the truth around any and all reality, in all situations – it is like their life is one diversion after another.
• Projection – transferring what they are feeling or doing onto a target. Not anything that can be considered positive, mostly something negative they have done like having an affair and stating it is YOU that had the affair, or you are the liar, or your family hates you, or you are the thief, etc. In essence making us out to be as disordered as they are, but they transfer it to us to ceremoniously cleanse themselves of their disordered life and actions.
These are some of the general day to day actions to keep use managed down, always explaining ourselves, fearful, feeling worthless and again walking on those eggshells. These tactics amount to control which equates to the Narcissist trying to gain power over us. So, what is important here is to understand these very tactics as well as the many other ones that they use to debase us, dehumanize us and destroy us. It is the sickness AND delusion that goes hand in hand with this psychological abuse. It is a pattern that the Narcissist follows to destroy our self-worth as well as extort our lives. It is the Narcissist projecting their dysfunctional life onto us to release from any accountably of just how disordered they are but making us accept the shame and blame for their out-of-control life through projection – and they punish us for what they are. It is psychological terrorism meant to inflict as much damage on any person that accepts or allows them to be part of their life and if possible destroy us in the process as if we deserve it. They have to use this power over their targets/victims to get their supply to survive. Memorize these so that if and when the time ever comes that you have to deal with a Narcissist you know that YOU can shut them down by disallowing them to use ANY of their strong-armed tactics to create that emotional chaos.
They wrote our part in this elaborate lie so we fit into their delusional world using our good qualities to hide their deceptive world as they do with every other person they have abused because they are not fully functioning human beings. They need our lives and our families to hide behind and make themselves look as near to normal as they can get because everything in their past is a void of emptiness.
They are historians that re-write history and distort reality so that they believe that THEY are the normal one, the savior, the target/victim, and the persecuted one and then they walk away with their distorted integrity to use and con another unsuspecting victim into their web of lies and deceit. It is all OK with them because they dispel the abuse by projecting their psychopathy onto everybody else – Narcissist are perpetual blamers and victims – it is NEVER their fault.
This is the cycle of abuse and the arsenal of tools that a Narcissist uses with the biggest lie being the mask of gold they wear laden with the charm and morality that they profess they have. It is only a flimsy mask of lies that slips off easily and reveals the dark truth. Unfortunately, they don’t come to us with a warning label, instead they come to us with an imitation of love to gain our trust and then they enter our heads to dismantle our spirit and integrity so they can extort every aspect of our life and love. Once they have drained us of our life force they move onto the next person to extort.
Our downfall however is that we are NORMAL and hopeless romantics as well as dreamers looking for the same thing everyone else does – love and security with a partner. We believe in fairy tales and happy endings but a Narcissistic partner is the nightmare that you wake up with in a sweat AND as if you have to run for your life. That nightmare changes us and damages our belief system, integrity, self-esteem and causes psychological damage. We desperately wanted to believe them because admitting that it was all a lie shattered a dream that we all wanted and spent too many years believing and trying to fix. The dream is all you’ve ever had and they took that away from you and made you feel wrong as if you NEVER deserved it or to even be loved. There was never a relationship or anything remotely near it. Now you fear your very soul is dying because it becomes all too clear that that you lost precious parts of your life at the hands of a con artist and a destructive and perverse creature that made you believe you are worthless. Your loss is great in every area of your life and you are left to pick up the many pieces of the shattered life and destruction they have left behind for you as they ran off like the out-of-control coward they are. But your soul hasn’t died nor has your belief system been destroyed or your spirit taken away – it along with every day you spent with this Narcissist was manipulated and buried in the darkness of their disordered and perverse world. That spirit is just hiding and will come back to you with time and clarity! Remember though, every time that you believe their empty lies, you are giving them permission to continue. The truth will light the way back to the good world you once knew. Never forget the amazing person you were and still are AND never give it up because of this abuse! No/minimal contact to start on the journey to clarity. Greg