No/minimal contact – taking back our power with the truth and clarity!
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
This is, perhaps, the most difficult and devastating aspect of a narcissistic relationship, mustering up the strength as well as adopting the position to accept that your friend, family or partner was just pathologically abusive and cruel AND now you must abandon them and the relationship COMPLETELY or ‘no contact!’ It is a difficult and an unnatural process to have to dump the past completely, as well as your emotions, dreams, plans, the family structure (they abandon/abuse their own biological children as well), with all of those years you spent together and the memories that are also fake. IT IS AN ABHORATION of human life as well as human dignity to use/harm/destroy another individual in the manner a Malignant Narcissist does. After you get there you are then left with the arduous task of finding yourself again with this monkey on your back.
So we fell (were conned) into what we believed was a REAL relationship. But it was an unnatural and abusive relationship and nothing even remotely near a normal connection, friendship, or love – and it came with a great price. That price is the very truth of the extreme and hideous betrayal that steals away a person’s self-esteem and belief system. We constantly tried to adjust and fix the damaged relationship AND ourselves and in doing so, our Narcissist was just taking the supply they required with their arsenal of tools. Their manipulation, betrayal, control, lies and acting out “trained” us to provide them with supply and they stepped up the game to get the most, if not ALL they could from us until they were caught and identified as the monster they are and then they tried to destroy us to cover up the abuse. They controlled us to gain power and we gave them power with each and every change we made, BUT we also eroded our sense of self-worth and THIS became our normal. We didn’t give them the power to abuse us, we MISTAKINGLY opened our hearts with empathy to make things right and return the relationship back to what we believed was love, but the Narcissist used this as the very vehicle to drive us straight into this fake relationship as well as our own demise. THE NARCISSIST HAD COMPLETE COGNITIVE KNOWLEDGE OF DOING SO because they repeat this cycle many times over with many people and lie to cover it all up!
So here we are with the truth. We have to stand up again and brush ourselves off and start walking forward again and realize our own culpability in the exchange with this Malignant Narcissist. We believed it was care or love when it wasn’t, and we are in a place that is called abuse (which is new to the equation) and the journey to recovery must start NOW through this understanding of JUST HOW DISORDERED this person was to our entire life. Now we MUST go “no contact” because we have an education and the truth. We have to stop anymore attempts on their part to abuse us anymore BECAUSE THEY WILL.
Unfortunately some have to stay in minimal contact and a Narcissist is akin to a shark that will always attack prey. Many ask how minimal contact can work when you have to be in contact because of children or legal issues such as divorce. That is a tough situation BUT you can still turn off your mind to their abuse and disallow them to pull you backwards by rejecting their control tactics as you go through the hideous process of their legal games and control if you have children with them, or they are family. Greg
Whatever that Narcissist has said to you that has deeply hurt you or wounded you is NOT a real observation, it was a horrendous manipulation of your deepest secrets and vulnerabilities that you shared out of your trust for them that they USED AGAINST you. They embellished, twisted, tweaked, and distorted these vulnerabilities to manage you down, redefine you, and gain control over you. WE MUST desensitize these messages and the behaviors that grew from them as well!
From my Book – Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
Narcissists are masters at putting a spin on the truth, using extreme manipulation, and playing mind games to get what they want. They play to win and get the rewards from the investment they put into scamming a new person, then it is a matter of functionality and survival in their world to avoid detection of who and what they really are, so they destroy all the evidence or basically the person they abused! That in itself says a lot because they obviously know what they do is WRONG! They are VERY poor losers and if they don’t completely win they will react in a fit of rage and terrorize the person they are already victimizing. The only way for any person to win is to not play in any of their games once you realize the truth of how disordered and dangerous they are. Unfortunately, they don’t play fair in the first place and they trick you in and drag you into their delusional game to get WHAT THEY WANT!
Everyone to the Narcissist is in reality their opponent, UNFORTUNATELY nobody realizes that they are playing a game with the Narcissist and that is where the Narcissist gains the advantage or has the upper hand! The Narcissist is playing this game for themselves so they can deflect you from seeing the reality or avoiding the truth about what they really are – they DO NOT self-reflect, they self-DEFLECT. They do this with the expectation that they won’t have to take responsibility for their behavior. Narcissists do not take responsibility for their own actions instead they deflect by blaming, shaming, projection, denial, etc. You will do what you have always done-forgive the Narcissist, make excuses for the Narcissist’s behavior, claim the Narcissist couldn’t help themselves because of a bad day, or justifying their destructive behaviors through your empathy and love AND that will ultimately fail you completely.
You bend and bend until you almost snap in half when you try to give them the benefit of the doubt. It keeps you in a cycle that deflects away from their reality and distorts YOUR reality in turn and puts the burden onto and into you and becomes your new normal. You never have an opportunity to be an individual, nor see how they are actually pulling the wool over your eyes because of the MANY levels of confusion and diversion they use to process you into that role with them. They are betraying every aspect of your life and you are too busy babysitting their every whim and trying to fix things once again. They know how to confound and confuse their targets/victims, as well as condition and manipulate them through their temper tantrums, anger, rage, managing them down, or punishing and silencing if you don’t play exactly the way they want you to! You HAVE to stop wanting to play the ‘game’ with them and eventually they WILL run away to find a new playmate and that is the miracle that will actually save your life.
The Narcissist is a master of FAKE emotions and empathy with a phony façade and life to match. They appear to take you in, care about you, understand everything you are experiencing, and they appear to genuinely put themselves in your shoes to understand “YOU” with acceptance and unconditional love. They observe and react with that resounding smile, approval, and unconditional care and love. All of this causes you to let your guard down and truly believe there is a genuine give-and-take in your relationship and a love that exists that is just for you. It is overwhelming to meet someone that is so much like you, so connected to your thoughts, and so reactive to meet your every need that you BELIEVE in them completely. BUT once they gain your trust they will pounce on you. They wait until you are perfectly comfortable with them and your guard is completely down or even perhaps having a low moment in your life and now the time has come to manage you down and to control you to manage the business at hand or secure the supply they came for.
What would you do if you were completely void of love and empathy, how would you interact in the normal world? Without emotions or the ability to bond you would have to control people to trap them into your defective world so you could essentially fit in and get/take what you need that you can’t accomplish on your own. Narcissists perfectly execute an emotional and psychological attack on their victim because their purpose is to wear you down, to humiliate you, and make you feel small and inferior and dependent on them OR again control. A Narcissist is not going to allow you to have feelings for YOURSELF and they are going to make you believe you are selfish and wrong for wanting ANY attention. There is no such thing as YOUR needs or individuality and they basically erase your personality bit by bit. They want what they want and they have invested their time to mold you into a viable source of supply. Narcissists do not tolerate individuality because people are objects for them to use as they see fit. There is nothing more here than their agenda coming to fruition and you have to understand that THIS IS ALL IT WAS. Predator after their prey using camouflage to hide the truth to trap you – or that façade and mask. The simple truth is that a person that cannot relate to emotions or empathy cannot relate to another human being in the smallest way.
A Narcissist ALWAYS loves to make you feel that YOU are crazy, especially if you try to confront them, make them accountable, bring up past issues or behaviors, or expose them when they are doing something appalling or lying. Basically, YOU are told that you have an over active imagination, you don’t know what you are talking about, they have NO idea what you are talking about, or that you are simply making things up to cause problems and all of this is done to deflect from the reality of WHO THEY ARE. They’ll tell you that it is obvious that YOU are the one who is crazy (and tell you that everyone around you agrees with them about you being crazy). FURTHERMORE, they will claim not to remember any of these events, even flatly deny that they ever happened, and will NEVER accept the possibility that they might have forgotten. Your perceptions of normalcy and reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your own intuition, memory, processing your thoughts, or reasoning, AND constantly confused. The Narcissist is a master at spinning everything and deflecting to remain in control and keeping you vulnerable – this defines control!
The Narcissist will up the game to include destroying your soul, your ego, your accomplishments and any belief system you have to completely manage you down to feeling worthless. The way the game is played is for them to try to turn everything about you and everything you do, into a complete failure. The Narcissist has the reasoning of a child – but they act out like a controlling, demanding, and demeaning parent (more so toxic). No matter what your real age, you are never allowed to reach a viable emotional age with them especially one that allows for your individuality or growth with them – this is especially evident in children that were raised by a Narcissistic parent. You will always be treated like a stupid child, a bad child, a silly child, etc., and you will always be reprimanded and put in your place to honor them completely and NEVER question them! Consistent managing down is what all of this amounts to!
Everything with a Narcissist is competitive and every life situation is a competition that requires “one-upmanship”, to beat their opponent. It always involves a “payoff” for the Narcissist that is ALWAYS about them getting something or extorting everything they can and devaluing and hurting you somehow too. They feel superior within their ability to con, control, and destroy. Again, their delusional world is like a battleground with them against us because everybody and everything is a threat – be it real or perceived. They keep track of real AND imaginary things they believe you do, have done, or might do. It is a reactionary relationship with them, BUT you are the one that always has to explain your every word and action to them and made accountable when you are not serving their every whim and need! This is how they condition you and this is what they want – to CONTROL YOU.
Lastly what supports their lies is complete DENIAL. It is important to recognize that the Narcissist will never acknowledge that any games are being played AND the important point here is that it is up to YOU to stop playing. There is absolutely NOTHING you can do to fix them, the situation or heal them! You will always be told you are wrong, they are right, and that you are in need of some serious help. You can’t get them to acknowledge or take responsibility for their words or actions because they will always say they didn’t do it or it never happened. They have to or else face real accountability and retribution for their actions and then their gig would be up, so they deflect with more lies, more manipulation, and punishing, silencing and abusing you! They will destroy you completely to avoid exposure.
The main point here is that what I described is a Narcissist and how they abuse. They are not fully functioning human beings. They do not connect on ANY level with human beings except to use them as supply. We can describe this as a superficial relationship, but it goes far beyond superficial because it is a toxic and destructive relationship that will completely drain you and disable you and your belief system. Your responsibility is to get your ‘ah ha’ moment and understand that they are the defective ones that emotionally and psychologically inflicted some deep wounds that have severely affected your psyche. BUT that is where you start on your road to recovery. There is another type of healing that involves your personal emotional wounds that the Narcissist sourced out and used against you. Healing involves you and only you closing all of those wounds permanently through your personal journey or recovery!
Whatever that Narcissist has said to you that has deeply hurt you or wounded you is NOT a real observation, it was your vulnerabilities that you shared with them when you trusted them. They twisted, tweaked, and distorted these vulnerabilities to use against you and define you. They were so supportive in the beginning, but that was also to gain your trust and the knowledge of your weaknesses to use against you. You opened up your amazing heart along with all of your wounds and gave them the opportunity to find any and all of your weaknesses AND they were looking for them. They DO NOT have the ability to understand pain, sorrow, being vulnerable or apply empathy – they only want access to your weaknesses to use them against you or to CONTROL you.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT IN RECOVERING: We have to heal those weaknesses that they have constantly pointed out because they are real and within us, and now they have made them come to the surface so much so that we lost our worth and trusting our own reality – it is introspection and a personal journey for all of us. They are master game players and used their keen perception to always be on top of their game. They took these weaknesses and embellished them to even make you think you were mentally ill and even fear yourself and your way of thinking. It is a very sick game that these Narcissists play, BUT it is a game that requires other players and you have to totally opt out of participating! They will attack you at any and every level they can, even making fun of you physically and they can be VERY cruel! You will ask why and how they can do this – well again because they have no empathy, no care, no connection, no bond, no morals, and no love for any other human being – they are personality disordered AND they were after something and that is your complete answer. Please internalize and KNOW this! ALSO, please understand that you still ARE that amazing person and this was situational or abuse and you will recover with knowledge, education and support. No/minimal contact to start out on your journey to recovery! Greg
In a nutshell they are controlling and destructive psycho bullies that wear a false mask of altruistic values and fake charm!
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist.
When they are standing there in front of us they look like big boys and big girls (adults) but they aren’t by any means – they are bullies that drag us back to our days at the playground and if you or I didn’t play exactly the way they wanted us to play in their “make believe world” they would throw us off of the merry-go-round so we hit the ground and scraped up our knees, elbows as well as bruise our self-esteem. I learned early on to disengage with my Narcissist or an argument could go on for days AND this Narcissist would easily resort to making fun of me or whatever it took to take me down. It is bullying and control pure and simple. Clinically we get here and engage in their fantasy world because it is like having a fairy Godmother/Godfather complete with that castle and their magic wand that gives us unbounding magical care or love (that charm and love they tricked us with)! BUT the Narcissist’s make-believe world and castle starts to crumble and topple down. We try to duck and protect ourselves to avoid the fallout, but we end up getting caught in the rubble or devalued and discarded in the process. OH – and they may even strike us with that magic wand that now becomes their weapon. There is no magic and this is NO fairytale – it is a nightmare that we must wake up from.
In all honesty a Narcissist only has the mentality of a playground bully. They will even incorporate other kids that are weaker and smaller than them with threats to join in on their imaginary games or else. There will always be someone that asserts their individuality in the playground and that Narcissist will gang up on and harm them with the help of their little gang. Be assured you will be run off of that playground just for being you and not buying into the Narcissistic bullying, dysfunction, and games. You may even get the Narcissist’s Mommy knocking at your door and really get in trouble. Again, it is like dealing with a cantankerous and spoiled 3 year-old brat that needs a long nap and time out!
The Narcissist’s reign of terror and destruction begins with small negative comments about the victim. The Narcissist will begin to mentally disassemble the victim’s self-esteem and beliefs about themselves and the relationship be it a friend, family member or partner. What was once considered the perfect friendship/relationship now becomes a relationship that is unnerving, controlling, debasing, dehumanizing, gut wrenching, unstable and full of blame and shame. The victim is constantly kept emotionally and psychologically off balance by the insidious behaviors of their narcissistic partner.
Something to take with you – no matter how big a lie to KEEP you believing, or how big a fit the Narcissist throws, if you allow ANY of it you are enabling the Narcissist’s agenda to overpower and control you, and that is a huge mistake no matter what the cost to you is otherwise. It facilitates the Narcissist’s delusions, and it gives them a power rush and more CONTROL over you and they will only act out more. Thus, the Narcissist is cramming his/her delusion through insults, lies and bullying to your intelligence right in your face and down your throat. Please STOP or you are only enabling and spoiling that Narcissistic brat/bully and allowing the monster to grow and take over completely. Unfortunately, we all make this mistake because of the Narcissist’s GOOD (fake) qualities that preempted the appearance of this raging bully. When that mask slips we can no longer doubt what is standing right in front of us, and we have to get completely away from them at all costs. Our emotions will always tug at our heart because of that initial charm – but we must now allow the real truth that they are DESTRUCTIVE to our well-being to move us away from this critter. No/minimal contact to get to that healthy place! Greg
The truth about living in NARCISSIST-ville and why we have to move out and never return!
From my Book – Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
Let’s really get this because there are many Narcissists out there and this abuse is not confined to just relationships. Narcissists can be a mother, father, brother, sister, friend, co-worker, boss, preacher, mailperson, lawyer, judge, doctor, therapist, or anybody! I think you get the message, BUT what we must understand is that they are dangerous and once they feel wounded they attack with the veracity of a hungry shark and will completely try to destroy a person’s integrity and life. It doesn’t take much for them to feel slighted and it can be anything from a real to a perceived slight to them or their world.
Their life boils down to an accumulation of targets/victims, temporary family/friends, sexual partners, acquaintances, and whatever material gains or ‘life opportunities’ they manage to extort – but no one relationship to them is real but instead an opportunity for supply and ‘gain.’ As many spouses know Narcissists will have children with them as well, and sometimes children to other spouses or other partners. It is sort of like a collection of human beings for the Narcissist or better yet objects that have no emotional depth or the chance of a worthwhile life with because this Narcissist will never be a real parent by any means. Malignant Narcissists are so heartless and callous that they can easily reject their own biological children, once they devalue and discard the target/victim spouse. BUT they will portray themselves as the BETTER spouse that is a complete care giver to these children, often taking credit for things the abused spouse has done in reality.
So the truth here is the Narcissist can’t change and, most importantly, they DON’T want to change. They inhabit a fantasy world that they created which becomes reality for them and those they manage to brainwash because without it they lack any depth at all so they make up their own fantasyland and believe it is real and protect it. There is no reality or truth for any person that resides in their world. It is a train wreck waiting to happen and there are always many victims. Trying to change or stop the Narcissist from abusing you or anybody would be like trying to stop that train wreck with a tissue! In their world the truth and falsehood only holds a VERY weak and instrumental meaning as they apply it to any situation and there is absolutely no morality or respect of life contained in any of their thoughts or actions. They do what they want to do without a care or concern as to what effect it will have on anybody.
It is hard if not impossible to fully wrap our heads around the outlandish behavior of a Narcissist or their psychopathic mindset, so we really shouldn’t try to as it relates to and describes our abuse. What we do have is a mind and heart that is full of negative and demeaning messages that we were manipulated into believing and we need to purge them out of us and realize that we will only get more of these messages if we have ANY association with them whatsoever. It is time to get real about this and accept this fact. We are normal people that love and possess empathy, so we could NEVER understand the mind of this creature and we should not attempt to either. Narcissists believe the truth they create at the moment they need it to provide them with new opportunities – there is no rhyme or reason to it except to satisfy one of their needs at that given moment. I believe they even have their own language and it is delusional at its basis and only ‘doubletalk’ to meet their agenda to extort other people’s lives.
They are only seducers that use their ‘word scripts’ to extort life and people. If I had to interpret some of their words, it would go like this:
1. “I love you” means “I want something to give me a ‘high’ at this very moment like a drug addict taking a hit from their favorite drug.”
2. “I would NEVER intentionally hurt you” literally translates to “Watch your back because I can’t be trusted as far as I can be thrown, so I am gathering up all the information I can to smear you, back-stab you and WOUND you so you learn to fear my wrath!”
3. “You love me and you know it” translates to “You WILL forgo any and all of your needs and bend to my will and ALL of MY needs.”
4. “Trust me” means “Tell me what I want to know so I can use it to get what I want as well as use it against you when I have to.”
5. “You are the love of my life,” translates into “You are just the next one of a long, list or sequence of targets/victims that will be used and abused.”
6. “Mutual monogamy or fidelity” means “you WILL be faithful to me while I cheat on you.”
7. “Betrayal” in the Narcissist’s mind is defined and justified with this – “How dare you disapprove of something/anything I did or said. You broke my laws, didn’t follow my rules and you disobeyed ME. I will show you what happens AND you must and will be punished.”
8. “Mutual commitment” translates into “Everything in your life revolves around me and me alone, BUT I will do exactly what I want.”
9. “Honesty” never means the truth “It is me (Narcissist) saying whatever gets me what I want at the moment.”
10. “I miss you SO MUCH” means “I miss the function you play in my life as supply, but there are plenty of other objects I can play with when I need MORE and better supply.
11. “I love you like no other and we ARE soul mates” means “I’ll give you attention, flattery, gifts, and ‘love bomb’ you to death only until I hook you emotionally and gain your trust, AND can extort everything I can from you and your life, and then I am out of here.”
12. For the supply on the side “My wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend doesn’t really love me or satisfy me” really interprets to ‘Neither will you, in a few weeks or months, at most and I will toss you aside too.”
13. “We are MEANT to be together forever” means “ABIDE by my rules because I own you completely while I remain free to do as I please.”
14. “We can and will work this out.” means “But it is NEVER my fault. If I did something you believe is harmful, you are over-reacting OR it’s because your services weren’t good enough for me – plus I AM going to discard you someday anyway.”
All of these things were the very things my Narcissist said to me and the real definitions were the reality of the situation once I moved on and learned the real truth. Every word, phrase or statement of the Narcissist’s so-called “truth” is only said in the moment or momentary and always contingent upon their immediate gratification and convenience. All their efforts, no matter what only represent an investment designed to satisfy the Narcissists immediate wishes and desires. Their feelings are shallow, so is the value of their ‘truth’ that they are always waving in our face. The best thing to do when they make one of their famous proclamations is to always add “for now” to the end of their declarations. There is no passion and they are by far never grounded with any caring emotions, empathy or love AND NEVER A COMMITMENT! They may pretend to love you FOR the moment but once they are not physically in your presence they will be pursuing another source of supply or chasing after some new and temporary pleasure!
None of this is said in a manner to beat a Narcissist with a stick, this is the truth of how disordered they are. If I were to read this without the experience I have gained from being abused, I would think it was fiction and sort of humorous. But seriously these creatures are driven by their sadistic desires and consumed with envy and contempt for humanity.
We have to educate ourselves about this disorder for sure. We must purge all of our emotions that we felt were real out of us and straight into the garbage can. We must get angry, grieve, yell, or even scream! Basically, there is a process to recovery that shouldn’t be slighted in any form or fashion because the damage/destruction is very real and devastating. BUT we must also realize at some point it is time to move forward without putting any relevance into the life we once had with this monster. We MUST start out on this journey with no contact and adhere to it completely, and that is the reality of what worked for me. Minimal contact in the case of children, divorce, etc., but we must make our mind adhere to the reality of the situation that there WAS NO REALITY with them at all!
After we are healthy we must force closure on our own and realize that it is failed relationship that we could never even remotely come near to fixing. We can’t get into their delusions and apply them to ‘us being with them’ or figuring them out. Our energy needs to be turned around and poured into us and FULL TIME! So again, with all of this in mind it most certainly sends a strong and viable message that EVERYTHING was one big lie. So we have to stop traveling back to the past to re-think any of our personal thoughts about ‘why’ over and over again. It is futile to believe anything but the reality that they used and abused us and even tried to destroy us to cover up the truth.
When the truth was standing squarely in front of my face, I let go or better yet released because it was just too repulsive for me to accept that this person could be so perverse, to betray me in the manner that this Narcissist did, as well as use me AND my family. That lesson is burned in my mind and stamped on my soul forever. This Narcissist can try to image themselves as a saint, martyr, or perfection personified, but I know the real truth and I can only pity the next, and the next, and the next target/victim. We can’t change the way they think, nor how they smear our good name and integrity to their small circle of friends or supporters – but who really cares about the people that believe this deceitful character. I just CAN’T care because the truth is right here inside of me. That is all that is important to me and what helped me to move on and away from this terrible person and obtain closure. This Narcissist’s lifestyle is a bad story that destroys people! This experience has helped raise me to a higher plane, one where I took control over this hideous assault and empowered myself with just the truth. Concentrate on the truth and that will move you forward – that and no/minimal contact to force them OUT OF YOUR LIFE FOREVER. You can do this I promise – take away what they need and you will never hear from them again! No/minimal contact always! Greg
Narcissists are the great pretenders in life AND they know it. There is NEVER stability with a Narcissist because there is not a real person or relationship there – but there is an agenda – and that is to make us a source of supply through CONTROL.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist.
The Narcissist anticipates the inevitable destruction of every connection he/she makes with any other human being, because life with a Narcissist is purely an emotionlessness one-way journey that is laced with pathological dishonesty and ABUSE. So, in other words they are sourcing out many people to have their agenda and needs met and THAT is all they are looking for. We are tricked into this arrangement with the premise it is real, AND we are loved and perhaps ‘the one’ – but that is the big CON or lie that a Narcissist uses with everyone – or that CHARM to lure us in. There is nothing else to their connection with us and we have to accept this unfortunate truth.
This is the basic conflict with a Narcissist. The two mechanisms the Narcissist employs to achieve supply are distorted and totally incompatible in reality – BUT the Narcissist NEEDS these mechanisms to SURVIVE. The Narcissist must establish some forms of long term Narcissistic supply to feed their addiction or need for continuous gratification and to conceal their darkness (using that façade of goodness) – but they must make sure they have other sources readily available too. Unfortunately, the Narcissist can’t embark on any one REAL long-term or real relationship because that requires empathy and the ability to bond or love depending on the relationship. They are only in this to objectify and satisfy themselves AND NOTHING MORE. The Narcissist doesn’t possess any mechanism to love and only offers a reflection of love that is empty and fails every time. Let’s just say that they REALLY don’t care at all. We all merely have bit parts in their life and we ALL have an expiration date.
So, the Narcissist needs people to feed their Narcissistic Supply. But he/she refuses to create or associate with any person in an emotionally meaningful way OR psychologically healthy way. The Narcissist lacks the basic skills and internal mechanisms in life required to bond – so instead they PRETEND, and they are very good at it so they can obtain his/her drug of choice (supply) to feed their vast and out-of-control neediness. The very people who are conned into this symbiotic relationship are there to sustain the Narcissist’s grandiose fantasies through empty adoration and attention. In the end they will always find the Narcissist repulsive and too dangerous to interact with when the truth becomes apparent, OR that love and life with a Narcissist is one big lie. The Narcissist precedes all of this with INTENT as part of their calculating agenda and especially when they realize it is time to move onto a more viable source and that is when the devaluation and smear campaign takes over. That is when the Narcissist wants to annihilate every aspect of the connection they had with you to avoid any exposure – cycle complete! No/Minimal contact to stop the chaos, crazy making, and damage that their lies create within our association and time with them. We have to get them completely out of our lives to thrive again! Greg
The SMEAR CAMPAIGN – a silent and preemptive attack to destroy you – understanding what is behind this.
From my Book – Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
To start off you have to first ask yourself WHY any person would attempt to smear your integrity to OTHER people, especially if you were in some sort of reciprocal relationship with them. The why is easy to understand once you are out of the abuse cycle and looking from the outside in or when you start to gain clarity over the situation. So, some fundamental facts:
1. The Narcissist needs to protect themselves from being exposed as the abuser they are.
2. No normal person would enlist other people into a campaign to attack another person that they supposedly loved, cared for, or had any relationship with.
3. Normal people work through things without enlisting friends, family, and coworkers – a relationship is personal between two people – not two people and the whole world. If there were actually the horrendous problems the Narcissist ALWAYS projects then the two people would come to a mutual understanding and either seek help or move on (again in a normal relationship).
4. The Narcissist enlists their soldiers or minions to carry out their ‘smear’ agenda or dirty work to get the word out there that THEY were the victim. There are power in numbers especially against one person (the victim)!
5. The smear campaign is more devaluation through triangulation or backstabbing – it is perfectly crafted to inflict personal damage BEHIND THE BACK of the victim. They will use everything they know about you against you – they are very familiar with your whole life so they can mix bits of truth from that into their hideous lies to SOUND like they know something real!
6. The Narcissist has been doing this all along because they inevitably end up in a situation with every person where the Narcissist’s accountability comes into question so they start a decisive and preemptive attack because they know that the victim is becoming wise to their agenda or abuse and it is time to run!
7. It is meant to disable the victim in a manner to make them more vulnerable. The Narcissist continues to control them with fear and isolation and leaving their destructive message long after the Narcissist has moved on – again to protect the Narcissist from exposure and to keep you stuck in this mind frame.
8. The smear campaign is designed to make listeners shocked in such a manner that they have to stand up and take notice to the allegations and perhaps get involved. In other words they will accuse someone of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or any number of things that could potentially destroy the victim’s reputation and integrity in a horrendous manner.
9. For the victim it is the element of the surprise with a smear campaign and the ‘straw the breaks the camel’s back.’ They walk into a situation that they have no knowledge of and unprepared for the allegations. Usually the smear campaign involves people from the victim’s immediate circle of family, friends, loved ones, coworkers, etc.
10. We ALL have an expiration date, and this is just the final cycle of the abuse the Narcissist utilizes to really silence, traumatize, and disable the victim with extreme fear of more negative retribution.
To sum it up it is just more of the same abusive pattern that the Narcissist creates to further ‘manage down’ the victim or basically destroy them. The devaluation was leading up to the smear campaign as the final step, so the Narcissist could walk away unscathed with the same message to the victim that they were disordered, crazy, the abuser, liar or any number of scenarios. The smear campaign brings this to fruition because the victim is now hearing these same messages coming from the outside world and feeling totally isolated. BAM – that is where the Narcissist drives the abuse straight into the head of their victim. The victim is damned if they do, or damned if they don’t respond. But that Narcissist has driven more of their abuse into the victim and disabled them even more through enlisting other people to fight their delusional battle or divide and conquer.
The negative messages that the Narcissist has been manipulating the victim with throughout the entire relationship start replaying in the victim’s head once more, the victim is worn down and vulnerable, their emotions also come into play, now they are faced with this smear campaign, and more than likely the discard as well, and they become isolated, traumatized and silenced. Psychological rape and terrorism from a very shrewd, destructive and disordered creature or a Malignant Narcissist! The normal evolution of this abuse is described in three cycles – idealize, devalue and discard. I am adding a fourth cycle which is the final blow to destroy the victim and that is traumatization through the smear campaign! This traumatization doesn’t go away with simple words that basically describe the hideous actions – it requires a strong healing to achieve clarity and time to heal first and then see it from a healthy perspective. But at least understanding the process plants the seed into a victim/target’s head to start moving forward, and that starts with no/minimal contact. ALWAYS remember that YOU are the healthy person here and this was situational from the abuse that was administered from a Narcissist! You ARE an amazing person and you CAN beat this! Greg
FACT – Narcissists intentionally disable/damage our world and corrupt our core values with their manipulation, gas-lighting, and emotional/psychological abuse – BUT in the beginning they are charmers that con us into their world and agenda.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist
ANY type of relationship with a Narcissist will leave a person doubting their own sanity. The target/victim, and there is always a target/ victim that is left in total shock, with their jaw dropping to the floor, shaking their head and wondering, “What has happened?” They have unlocked the door to your head, and they are planning on using that entry to their advantage. They THRIVE on this chaos because they need it to control people. They will move right in manipulate and manage down most everything that is your reality as you KNEW it. A skilled and extreme narcissist knows just how to reflect your image right back onto you so that you feel like you are almost twins. What’s not to like and trust when you have EVERYTHING in common – but that is their tick to gain entry into you heart and mind.
They will shift blame onto you to purposely make you feel defensive, then they will belittle and devalue you for being defensive, saying you are ‘an angry person’ or over-react taking everything so personally. Since they do this so seamlessly they always keep you in a place of insecurity and confused. They totally invalidate your ability to have any opinion as far as it concerns their words AND actions! You are always frozen in place as they continually deflect from the truth of what they are. They will keep you in this place forever as long as you are a viable source of supply.
So, how does such a dark personality manage this? Narcissists work extremely hard at making themselves believable as it concerns their overt lies and myths about themselves. They arm themselves with a vast array of learned information they have harvested through their observations of other humans. They acquire and then wear, personalize or enhance this information as if it is truly theirs. So what is the goal with all of this? To snag you into his/her Narcissistic lair to make you supply them with the things they need and can’t get because they are a dark and manipulative personality that envies life, love and people. Greg
We are all just a ‘means to an end’ with a Narcissist – or in other words they want and need something from us!
We are just a means to an end with a Narcissist – that is all!
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything else in Between with a Narcissist!
So how could you have been such a fool? The painful realization often comes with the disbelief of how could we have not realized that he/she was like this? That’s another thing that educating yourself about this disorder will teach you very clearly and that is the Narcissistic personality is especially good at being pathologically deceptive and manipulative, at simulating genuine affection and caring to gain our trust so they can essentially abuse us. In reality, the Narcissist is only capable of caring about themselves and satisfying their needs. The Narcissist can BASICALLY imitate that they care about you or even love you as long as he/she continues to see you reflect extreme adulation and admiration for them, which is usually in the beginning of your personal relationship with them. Underneath all of that is a delusional and out-of-control amoral person that lacks respect for life and people and has no conscience about how they debase people to GET WHAT THEY WANT and that is supply. That is what it all boils down to, we satisfy some sort of need and they have many needs, and many people they use to satisfy their immense needy void hole.
The perceptions of the Narcissist are truly their reality. If you look back you have never been able to change or influence their perceptions because they got louder and completely ignored your every word to the contrary concerning any of their delusional outbursts, especially if it concerned their own accountability. If you couldn’t effect change living in a close relationship with them, then don’t waste your time and effort ever trying AGAIN. They live in their own world and no matter how false or unreal it appears to you, for them it is reality because it has to be for them to survive among us. As soon as a Narcissist begins to perceive that you have a voice of your own and a right to existence, the trouble starts and then there is no return because there is no possibility of two-way communication with them and the more you push your individualism forward the more resistance from the Narcissist. Their façade is impenetrable and has to be or they would self-destruct if people knew the truth.
Lies and deceit are as natural to the Narcissist’s world as is breathing. A Narcissist has the amazing ability with their ‘shrewd deception’ to make ‘others’ believe their lies EVEN when they fly right in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Heck they are so smooth at their LIES that the Narcissist also believes THEIR own lies. Mine could have been given an honorary PHD in lies and lying! Take the position that everything they say to you is a lie and or based on a lie OR as my friend once told me “if they are breathing they are lying!”
It is extremely painful, to come to the conclusion that people who have meant a great deal in your personal (or professional) life can ACTUALLY destroy you and you have to disengage with them to literally save your life. It is EXTREMELY painful, but the alternative is only to continue the descent along the dark path of self-destruction. Stop it all and finally break the chain that keeps you tied to an abuser. Everything you have built with this person was done in vain, and if you keep believing or buying into the games/lies with the hope to catch a glimpse of what things were like when you lived in the illusion they fabricated for you, you will only be drawn back into the abuse over and over again. The promises like a lifelong journey together or sharing the joys of REAL love, a future, intellectual fulfillment, dreams, goals, etc., were part of the abuse to only control you and keep you chained to the abuse.
Unfortunately, you have to learn and accept that the psychological and emotional investment you made in a Narcissist is/was valueless, and you have to write them off completely as a bad debt. If you continue any type of association with them, you will only lose your soul and hand it over to a deceitful, perverted and loathsome character that will use and drain the life right out of it. Just like the “un-dead” fictional characters that are looking to feed off of the life force of other human beings to BECOME alive again. It is just incomprehensible that they have the cognitive ability to plan and scheme as they do to trap us, debilitate their target, know it is wrong, lie about their actions to cover up their tracks, destroy our good name, extort everything they can, and run off as they do to another unsuspecting target. Sounds more like a well-planned out process to me.
One day you will see the complete picture and it will never make what they did better, but you will understand because you have finally been educated into what they are and what YOU aren’t. A Narcissist is a dead giveaway in the way they create their delusional turmoil after each and every departure from one of their con jobs or relationships as the Narcissist prefers to call them. While they are running away like the thieves they really are with their tails between their legs, they are really running away from the truth of who and what they are. We are the truth they are running from as they are throwing lies at us in an effort to smear our integrity and destroy us. They never can or will admit to what they have done, instead they will always slither into someone else’s life to find shelter and take what they can emotionally and physically. Please understand this completely even as hard as it is to accept, because it is the ONLY platform that will start you on your journey to recovery, AND you will recover if you continue to educate yourself and align the truth of this disaster that was once part of your life. No/minimal contact ALWAYS! Greg
YES our stories are incredulous but true – the truth that WE only know about THIS abuse from experiencing it personally.
From my Book: Greg Zaffuto – Author – From Charm to Harm and Everything Else in Between with a Narcissist.
It was pathological in such an extreme manner that it can be impossible to understand how another human being could be so cruel and abhorrent to lead a good, caring, and loving person down a road of psychological abuse that essentially could destroy or damage them for life. This is a feeling that nobody could ever understand without living through it – there are NO ADEQUATE words to describe the feeling of what this abuse does to a sane, loving and empathic person. To understand the time that is lost, the EXTREME betrayal, and the experience of feeling worthless AND punished for no viable reason. It is incomprehensible and takes so much self-reflection, strength, courage, love, and validation and a new journey that we must embark upon to fix ourselves now. Sometimes it doesn’t happen because many targets/victims do not even understand that they have been abused. They are convinced (manipulated) into believing that THEY are to blame and even have issues concerning their behavioral health as was pounded into their head and heart because the abuse was PYSCHOLOGICAL terrorism and MEANT to make them feel insane, crazy, and isolated from life. They were intentionally led down this road by a malignant Narcissist and the ABUSE has disabled them mentally/emotionally, so they also believe they ARE AT FAULT and live in that confusion and this fog forever and NEVER fully recovering!
The most important aspect is convincing ourselves that this was a Narcissist. Until we get there we will only remain in a confused state, blaming ourselves and reaching back to find out what WE did wrong and ruminating about the past. This only adds our own layers to this abuse. YIKES!! What I can say through my experience is that everything does fall into place, but the process takes education, time, real support from other targets/victims, personal introspection, and a great deal of energy to purge all of the negativity out of us before we move forward. Don’t forget we can and will fall backwards and that again is just part of the process and we learn from our mistakes. There is also the overwhelming exhaustion from carrying so much anxiety and the trauma, and that surfaces as physical ailments. So, so much to deal with and then there is more than likely a ‘smear campaign’ that is waiting for us and SUDDENLY we hear WE are the bad guy.
KNOW this – none of this had ANYTHING to do with you, nor are you to blame. YOU are the normal and amazing person here that knows real empathy, love and compassion. After all is said and done you WILL be free to live again without the pain that you endured while you believed in this person that hurt you so deeply – this is YOUR time to grow now. No/minimal contact to start down the road of recovery! Greg
The vicious cycle of this abuse is really a manipulative trap that keeps you running in circles until it completely disables your reality, erases your personality, POISONS every aspect of your life, and then it ends – AND as if that wasn’t enough your abuser attempts to completely destroy YOUR integrity so they can move on unscathed to start this cycle up AGAIN with some new and unsuspecting person.
We constantly struggled with the vision of that special love in the back of our mind (the one that we were CONNED into believing) to make the relationship work and make our Narcissist happy by working harder at the relationship. We are even asked (more like demanded by threats) to do things differently or do what this Narcissist wants but it only led to more demands and made us sink deeper and deeper into this distorted and desperate love. From time to time we were even offered an ‘olive branch’ and an “I love you so much,” to achieve a cohesive peace but again it was not real AT ALL and the Narcissist cashed in on their agenda once again! But despite our intuition or the deep-rooted sense that something is totally wrong with this relationship it felt familiar or similar to love because it started out that way and that is what we held onto to alleviate the struggles and pain. We begin to feel increasingly unhappy because we are never getting our needs met as well as totally confused and lost. The struggle to get this person to love and accept you is not working so you employ all kinds of tactics to try harder but to no avail. It is the vicious cycle of this abuse or the trap that keeps us running in circles until it ends, and that end is always devastating and destructive because of the psychological damage that the Narcissist inflicted that kept this toxic relationship in motion like a toy ‘yo yo’ on a string being forced up and down and guess who has their finger in the loop of that string – The Narcissist!
While you keep trying to hang on to this relationship you are only burying yourself deeper and deeper in the darkness and the void that defines a Narcissist and their personality disorder. It is this daily struggle that is so unfulfilling and damaging, as well as makes you feel so unhappy and worthless. Beyond that there is going to be a huge eye opener with the full devaluation this creature is going to throw at you when your time is up with them. It is virtually impossible to love a Narcissist normally because you are only plugging yourself into their game of abuse as their PRESENT source of supply. They are literally using up every bit of your life and reaping all the benefits. You can’t love a Narcissist because they are invisible and all you are seeing is a projected image to fool or con you into their game or ABUSE.
A Narcissist AVOIDS seeing their real self and that is why they create all of these images/facades because they are completely empty and this is what they do to avoid seeing their real reflection in a mirror as well as make themselves look functional enough to create their fake bonds to con what they need out of people. They avoid their real self so totally that they will defend their false image and destroy you for making them accountable for what they really are. There is such a mystery to them and that in itself becomes an addiction because we thought we saw a flicker of real love and a real person, so we keep digging to find that again, but no there was none and yet we keep searching for it!
That idea that if we just try hard enough, we will find a way to create that loving connection or revive it becomes a goal, BUT it is really a trap. Unfortunately, it kept us tied up in a relationship that really only revolved around basic functionality, but it always seemed to hold the unspoken promise of one day becoming a connection of unconditional love to us. The message that was always there was that we had to keep changing to meet this dictator’s needs and unfortunately we listened to this and made it our goal. That is the addiction we get so caught up in and end up losing ourselves completely. Trying harder is NOT going to unlock the magic door to their unavailable and dead heart because you are dealing with a void and not a person. The unfortunate consequence to this is that you will have to grieve this empty love just as if it were real. Unfortunately, there is the psychological damage that destroyed your integrity (and trust of people) that is also attached and it requires many, many steps to actualize the entirety of this. So, it is not like walking away from a normal relationship with a broken heart – you are walking away with a broken SELF.
When it comes to understanding this love with a Narcissist, all we really had was a dream and a reflected image from this Narcissist of what we thought was love that was based on what we grew up believing was love. We have seen this love all around us growing up and even experienced it and felt it before. This love was very strong and amazing in our mind and we superimposed that image right onto this Narcissist like he/she conned us into doing so and they reacted to it like it was the real thing because THAT made their façade work!
Every little thing that they did to reinforce it ALSO enforced that ‘distorted truth’ we kept hanging onto as if it was real and part of that big dream we wanted or the love we believed in – but this dream turned into our worst nightmare! This belief always kept us at that safe distance and blinded from what was really happening and away from all of the lies, betrayal, manipulation, and hate that was really right there in front of us. Believing in them kept the painful reality at bay and disabled us a little bit more each and every day. At some point we must see the truth and accept it as well that it is impossible to love or be loved by the Narcissist.
The real picture will unfortunately reveal itself and you will hear things that will make you feel sick to your stomach. You will question yourself in so many ways and beat yourself up over all of it. Why didn’t you see this coming, why did you keep trying and hanging on to this monster? You will feel defective and worthless and maybe even deserving of all of this! It is not answerable in any one given manner as far as applying the fault to yourself. Let it go because that doesn’t help you achieve clarity, nor opens a door to move forward to recover from this toxic relationship. It only sends you deeper into this abuse by blaming yourself! Narcissist PLAY big time games and they are completely unavailable to ANYONE in this world. The person you were before was conned and the person you are now is still being conned and you MUST get away completely to achieve clarity and move on. In reality we all know it takes two to have a healthy relationship, and there were two in this relationship and one person was real, but unfortunately the other one pretended to be real because they had an agenda to make this real so they could use you and they were seamless with the game.
So, despite everything you truly and deeply loved this person, or a Narcissist! Somewhere deep down inside of you there are feelings that have been buried and have only shown up as feelings of frustration because of how hard you tried. Let these feelings surface. Society has sort of taught so through imposed beliefs how we are supposed to feel as well as what we are not supposed to feel, but this abuse is very different and deserves respect and patience! We are told we MUST NOT be victims. Unfortunately we are, but we never wanted this or to become a victim. It is a reality that must be processed to heal and that is understanding it all. I hate the word victim, but I understand my reality and I am not going to write it off in favor of being stigmatized by a word. I lived through something called abuse from a personality disordered that tried to destroy me and then blamed me as if I were the abuser and then isolated me with backstabbing and a smear campaign that was an attempt to destroy my life COMPLETELY. I am not going to acknowledge a frame of reference that disallows my recovery because of a label someone created that now tells me I am even MORE wrong and must not speak out. Victim’s become survivors by actualizing the truth and THEN we dump that label! We all know how damaging it can be if we stay in this victim role, but that is your first cry for help as someone that needs more support, education, love and a hand to pull them back up. IT IS ACTUALIZING THE TRUTH FIRST! I have heard from too many people that buried so much and it resurfaces and locks them up in many years of mistrust and isolation because they were told to move on. Educate yourself, get healthy again and then work on ‘you!’ YES, you must move on and away from everything Narcissist once you get it and stop talking abuse or Narcissist. It is a personal process and different from everyone!
So ask yourself this now, have you allowed yourself to feel any disdain or anger towards them? Due to those beliefs we are always supposed to take the higher road. BUT you are dealing with a Narcissist or a very disordered person that intentionally inflicted so much destruction on you through horrendous lies, betrayal, manipulation and they abused you terribly. Get angry and get mad because it can be liberating because you are acknowledging the truth and purge it out of yourself completely – THEN put that anger away to move forward. It is a stage of recovery to move you forward by purging it out of you completely. This can be very liberating when you embrace the truth and a great relief to realize that there is nothing wrong with you or your mental abilities. You didn’t know that this was a predator and a horrible person to have in your life. You didn’t have all of the tools to understand the relative danger of your reality with this Narcissist so don’t deceive yourself into thinking that there was a solution right there in front of you.
You get it today and you are away from them, so it happened and you are free from this creature and the abuse. Count those blessings first to give yourself some levity to keep moving forward! Get healthy and use that as an opportunity to understand that there is evil out there and close every door that would enable this to happen to you again! Dig down deeply and acknowledge ALL of the distorted messages as well as the psychological abuse or it will only surface later. AGAIN, there is no magical cure or guru that can take you to recovery except for yourself. Your beliefs about life have been distorted and even shattered to your core and has created a negative and fearful view of the world and you must purge that out of you or be disabled for life. The process is long and you CAN’T skip any part of it. You must separate completely from diagnosing the Narcissist or reliving the past trying to understand it any more than what you do today. It was abuse imposed on you by a Malignant Narcissist. Educate yourself about this creature until you get it, then work on healing YOU!
Your heart is unconditional and you are full of goodness and empathy, but protect that now that you have started to close that door to this Narcissist because they will always welcome you back for more abuse! If you have ever tried to really help a Narcissist as most of us have you know that if you get too close to the truth of what they are it will blow up in your face and cause you horrendous damage. The Narcissist doesn’t want to be fixed or have their issues solved. They want to escape with absolutely NO accountability to the truth as it concerns them and they will ALWAYS blame others for their problems and the way they ABUSE people. No matter what you say or do, the Narcissist will shift all of the blame right back onto you! Attempting to reason or demanding accountability only starts their immense denial mechanism and they will find every reason to divert from divulging the truth and they will even bump it up to destroy your integrity for attempting to divulge the truth. It is a tactic on their part that they have used all of their life. Blaming others keeps the Narcissist at arm’s length from their true darkness as well as their many issues. They have spent their entire life living under this shield of protection and you or nobody else can make them see the truth. They will strike out at you in such a manner that will hurt you more than you already are.
Reasoning with a Narcissist is a lesson in futility. They are liars through and through and have perfected the game of diverting from reality. Any person that can act out in the manner that a Narcissist does or intentionally extort/harm people like these creatures do can’t have access to rational reasoning, empathy, love, or reality. If they are breathing they are lying AND abusing. Lying even in a dysfunctional personality disorder like Narcissism has a cognitive basis (ability to reason) to it, so they know what they are doing after all they trap their prey and that requires a plan to make their agenda work with these lies – that is THINKING and KNOWING. They ALSO lie after they discard you to avoid being exposed – again they are thinking about what they NEED to do to survive. This is why they are out there with a new and newer target/victim. They are masterful at deception to get what they want. My Narcissist would have the world believing that I am mentally ill and scorned and THAT is what motivates me to write as I do. Even with the clarity and resonance of my words as well as the amazing similarity to ALL of the circumstances of this disorder, and mounds of written proof, and the collaborated stories from family, friends and co-workers that describe my ‘ex’ as a textbook Narcissist. Let them think what they think because you won’t change that because they are protecting themselves from exposure. Nobody is exempt from their destructive smear campaign when they are on the run. In the end you realize that only fools believe this Narcissist and the smear campaign and in reality their (Narcissist’s) world is very small. Please no/minimal contact! Greg