Why would anybody fall in love with a malignant Narcissist and better yet WHY WOULD YOU STAY with such a disordered and hateful person??
Why would anybody fall in love with a malignant Narcissist and better yet WHY WOULD YOU STAY with such a disordered and hateful person?? Have you ever heard this question asked of you in some form or fashion, as if you wanted to be in an abusive relationship? THIS is a longer read but so important because it explains things for OUR sake or for the clarity we so deserve!
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
MY ANSWER – targets/victims have fallen in love with their ‘abusers’ before they knew what hit them because the abuse has been slow and methodically administered, so much so that it was like being poisoned one drop at a time. You weren’t aware that someone was slowly poisoning you (psychologically/emotionally) because you didn’t see a bottle of poison – that Narcissist cleverly disguised it as a love potion, so we were none the wiser!
WE did NOT know they were abusers – nor was this just arguing and finding out we were incompatible, THIS WAS ABUSE! You cannot reason with a Narcissist, make them accountable for their actions, OR stand up for yourself because they will thwart all of your attempts with denial/deflection and personal attacks BECAUSE this is all part of their agenda and the cycle of this abuse! FIRST, there is the CHARM to fool and con us into their trap – and then the HARM to devalue us and control us. Furthermore, if they feel threatened or wounded they will react with horrendous and dangerous rage. It is yet another form of CONTROL or inflicting fear into their targets or basically silencing them. Along with this is the fact that most people do NOT see the private war we experience with this abuse. REMEMBER – they are some of the most CHARMING CHARMERS in the world – so they are manipulating those closest to us playing the saintly victim to protect themselves. People do NOT see what we see OR experience what WE experience, and specifically never experience the abuse that we do! Narcissists do not only use their charm and manipulation only on partners and in relationships, this is their main tool they use in every aspect of their life especially to hide who they are. THEN most people have NEVER experienced such rabid abuse that was purposely administered slowly but surely – nor even know what a Narcissist is. The Narcissist doesn’t have a stamp on their forehead that shouts out ABUSER – no they cover that up with their camouflage or that façade.
They are in a constant “manipulation/camouflage” and protection mode charming every person in every walk of life. On the opposite side of this – they also abuse ANYBODY that has a personal relationship with them and sadly enough this includes mothers, fathers, and brothers/sisters abusing other family member’s even parents abusing their own biological children – all part of protecting their façade.. It includes work environments where the Narcissist triangulates other employees to damage the work force as well as bosses doing the same – but they have their supporters right there to protect them too. Narcissists will hide behind the camouflage of the local church, a charity, political movement, professional group, or corporation. They may obtain a professional degree and have a career or profession such as a doctor, lawyer, preacher, CEO, or in the psychological field. Some will praise them and those of us that experienced their abuse will oppose them completely because of the truth only WE know. The world is their playground and we are their toys to play with and throw in a heap once they have used us up OR we see through their façade!
The Narcissist uses many malicious forms of psychological abuse that are manipulative and meant to control the target/victim. I want to talk in depth about one far reaching method; “gas-lighting” because it is one of the more damaging tools that debases the target/victim and encompasses so many levels of this abuse. It will also outline the Narcissists technique and how they adapt their technique to us personally.
With “gas-lighting”, the Narcissist will emphatically call into question the MIND of their target/victim by manipulating the memory, thoughts, and ideas of the target/victim. The Narcissist will now employ whatever method necessary to control these thoughts in a manner to confound, confuse and debase the target/victim, to cover lies, affairs or accountability, or make them think they are experiencing memory loss, or have mental issues that are of great concern to the target/victim’s well-being. The Narcissist will even “recycle” these old issues over and over again to further use at a later date to reinforce the target/victims ineptness as a “countering” point AND drive it home even DEEPER in a continued effort to damage the target/victims psyche.
Have you ever heard these words before from your Narcissist? “Did you forget when you didn’t get things right the last time!” OR, “You thought the same thing the last time and you were wrong, DON’T YOU REMEMBER?” The target/ victim did remember things correctly, but the Narcissist is so very adept at confusing and confounding their target/victim by consistently BUT slowly, and methodically “countering” every real thought. This throws the victim off the subject matter at the time, getting them to instead mull over their memory confusion or mental acuity. DIVERSION!
Ah Ha – this is where the real struggle within starts for the target/victim, but it is ever so slow and insidiously done. If the target/victim hasn’t already started questioning their own thought processes (sanity) or confusion they will in time. When you are constantly told that your memory, thoughts, experiences, feelings and instinct is emphatically wrong, chances are, you will eventually start to believe the Narcissist. Remember the Narcissist spent a great deal of time to “charm” you and gain your adoration, love and TRUST. When we trust someone we BELIEVE that they have our best interest at heart. Unfortunately we never realized that we were charmed to be harmed because the Narcissist’s agenda is to objectify us in an effort to extort as much “supply” from us that he/she can.
Do you recall hearing things like this? “You see everything in the most negative way” or “You are nagging about something all the time” or “You’re making things up in your head or blowing things out of proportion” or “You have an overactive imagination and you see or take everything wrong.” Or better yet the Narcissist embellishes it with a little emotional spice! “You have never believed in me, and you probably never believed in me – ever!”
The target/victim is never entirely clear what the abuser’s intentions are because they were charmed into believing that their partner is “good” and can be trusted. So when the abuser responds quickly with anger and word diversions to confuse/confound, the target/victim starts to believe that he/she may have “taken it all wrong,” this is why we are met so quickly with the Narcissists anger. It is a matter of conditioning us, but the conditioning is coming from someone we love and what is that saying, “love is blind?” We want to trust the person we love, we want to continue this love, we apply empathy in an attempt to fix every situation and that ends up distorting the reality that we are being manipulated BY A MONSTER! So the Narcissist puts another notch in their belt by gaining more control and will now start upping the game to gain full control. Thus the cycle of this abuse.
There is more method to the Narcissists madness that still deals with gas-lighting and that would be a method called “blocking” and “diverting” whereby communication is controlled and manipulated at a higher level. The Narcissist refuses to comment or answer maybe stating “I’m not going through this again tonight” and closes the discussion on things the Narcissist has already discussed. Also, when withholding information, the gas-lighting Narcissist prevents all possibility of coming to a fair resolution, to their target/victim. We could use the term “silencing” here as well. This leaves the target/victim full of anxiety and yet buried by another level of confusion so there is never any real closure or satisfaction – JUST “blame and shame.”
Then there is “diverting,” the gas-lighting Narcissist changes the subject, and NOW accuses the target/victim of accusing them (the Narcissist) wrongly or in the wrong manner and “HOW DARE YOU DO THIS!” Gas-lighting in this manner effectively dodges any resolute answer, much less provides a healthy resolution or even a concern that two people in a relationship should have. The Narcissist diverts the targets/victims attempts to gain clarity or sympathy, and “diverts” from the actual subject by displacing the entire topic at hand using irrelevant declarations or even raging in order to side-track the whole conversation PLUS inflict more convincing damage that IT IS ALWAYS THE TARGET/VICTIM.
How about these sayings? “You always have to be right” or “Where did you get a crazy/stupid/weird/dumb idea like that” or “Stop, and don’t say another word, we have already been through this” or even “Whatever” (sarcastically).
Healthy partners do not want to see their partner feeling bad or hurt when they are truly committed and love one another, and they would want to comfort each other and resolve the issue. Alternatively, the goal of manipulative accusations is to blame/shame the partner for THEIR (the Narcissists) anger, irritation, or insecurity, making the target/victim the person at fault or wrong for the way THEY REACTED AND ACCUSED the poor Narcissist. It justifies the Narcissists actions or misleads the target/victim from questioning, and keeps them in a fog and feeling mentally unhealthy.
Let’s add another aspect called “Trivializing.” It is a subtle form of gas-lighting also. It makes the target/victim very frustrated because they feel they can’t appropriately explain themselves and they are left feeling depressed and frustrated and NEVER with any closure to any important situation – just confusion. The Narcissist will toss it aside by saying “this isn’t important to us” or “you are going to let something like this come between us?”
“Forgetting” is also a method of gas-lighting. It’s denial that an event happened at all. These forgotten events usually have had great impact on a target/victim. Targets/victims will try to discuss incidents to help resolve issues sometimes only in the hopes of avoiding the same hurt, rage, or confusion in the future, but the Narcissist will still deny it ever happened, with an accusatory comment like: “What are you talking about” or “I don’t have to listen to this crap again!”
The flip side of this is when the Narcissist consistently “forgets” making the promises which are most important to their partner, thereby causing more pain and confusion. It could simply be a promise to go to a movie or the Narcissist forgetting the target/victims birthday – but in every case it is always done intentionally. The result is still the same, leaving the target/victim in emotional peril as well as confused and with no possibility of reconciliation.
Finally, the Narcissist will also use plain old “denial.” “Nope, not me, didn’t do it.” Again more gas-lighting and the target/victim is just left to deal with the fact that the Narcissist knowingly denied whatever the issue was, so the target/victim starts to wonder what else could there possibly be as far as lies, affairs, etc., etc. THEN how does the target/victim even have the slightest bit of reality to see through any given hour of any day clearly. Life is always laden with doubt, confusion, manipulation, none-of-which can be reconciled so the target/victim has been rendered motionless and unable to function normally in this toxic relationship. The Narcissist has done their damage and can easily move in and out of the target/victims head as well as live their disordered and out-of-control life. No-one is the wiser as far as it concerns the Narcissist and suddenly in our disabled state of emotions we look like the guilty and crazy “ones!”
So eventually a gas-lighting Narcissist wins the ultimate war, and the final argument, when the target/victim begins to collapse mentally and emotionally. The Narcissist will then mock and humiliate their target/victim even more by accusing them of so many crazy “wrongdoings.” That shrewd Narcissist has been searching for a solution to “help” the target/victim by enlisting the aid of their mutual friends, hoping to get a response that will pin the abuse and craziness on the target/victim by backstabbing and smearing them. Just another subtle approach to spread the poison everywhere and there is no anecdote strong enough to save the target/victim from all the damage the Narcissist has done.
NO CONTACT so that you can breathe again, live life again, feel HOPE again, and BE FREE to feel goodness and real love again.
Once you start to see the light you stumble into more clarity about this abuse because that Narcissist has been out there destroying you and damaging your integrity with that SMEAR CAMPAIGN and well before the relationship ended. They have slandered you in every possible way just through knowing personal aspects of your life and using that familiarity to fuel their smear campaign by making it negative and sourcing out people to pit against you. Again for now you have to put all of that on the back burner to get out of the immediate fog. Believe me that the people that listen to a Narcissist’s BS are not worth your time. Anybody that buys the Narcissists BS without allowing you to be present to tell the truth and defend yourself is just as disordered as the Narcissist. In the end I didn’t lose the people I loved that were real and important in my life. Again still part of the process from this abuse – but understanding it at least allows clarity and hopefully a direction.
Here is the big clincher to the nay-sayers that dismiss your sanity for staying with the Narcissist that abused you OR just tell you to move on. No relationship with a Narcissist starts out with the abuse or with them debasing, dehumanizing and destroying our spirit and life. On the contrary, once they set their sight on you as their main target, big prize or basically ‘Narcissistic supply’ the Narcissist will typically engage in that extreme charm or ‘love bombing’ to gain your trust and open up the door for a complete emotional/psychological ‘take over.’ This is the Narcissists ‘way of life’ and the cycle of abuse WE personally experience in whatever capacity we know them. Piece by piece, bit by bit, criticism by criticism, the Narcissist dismantles your self-esteem and undermines your self-worth. This process is painfully slow and gradual, maybe even a matter of years – but it is an insidious process of brainwashing and it is highly effective. People have heard us talk about our positive aspects of this relationship in the beginning – but what they do not know or understand is that was a trap to pull us into their dark world because they are predators.
One last point! So many times, our family seems like they don’t care. This may be true for some, but for the most part remember that our stories are incredulous and personal to us. They don’t know how deep the abuse is and deeply rooted in our subconscious OR even understand what it is. It is not as personal to them as it is to us. We would have to drag them through every day of the abuse while we were living it for them to actually get it – and to explain it would take just as long. They would also have to experience every day that we grieve (after the discard) to see how isolated and disconnected we have become because of the abuse. It doesn’t say that it is OK for people to shun us because it all sounds so unreal. Nobody can understand how the target/victim needs to keep repeating things over and over again because it is within this process that STARTS targets/victims to purge the abuse outward and gain clarity – after clarity THEN it is time to put all of our power back into ourselves. Our voice is the tool for others to hear to gain support as well as to vocalize and actualize the truth. There is no closure with these creatures, so how do we become validated? We search for that validation through our voices until we find something that we can turn to that HELPS – or positive solutions. Without validation we will just run in a circle chasing our tails. We do eventually find validation within our personal truths and usually that starts with other survivors. NO/minimal contact always. Greg