That feeling of DREAD we feel/felt in our relationship. When people are made to feel helpless, hopeless, isolated, and silenced – they become VULNERABLE. One of the most obvious signs of malignant narcissism is the way they ALWAYS malign and diminish others.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
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 friendship, family, or love should never cause harm to a person nor take them down a road of destruction and abuse. Ultimately love or any relationship 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 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 does not 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 Narcissists trade – brainwashing, 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/victim’s 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 incredibly 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.
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 CHARM, caring, or love (love bombing) that had you dependent upon a day-to-day connection 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.
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 take you to your lowest level. No/minimal contact always. Greg