Monday, February 19, 2007

A note on The Demon at the Door

Just an additional note on The Demon at the Door:

I think that a narcissist just cannot bear to look within and see the real him - that is, see what his choices along the way of life have made of the real him.

Hey, even a seven-year-old who tortures an animal crosses that line. He is never going to face what he's done. Indeed, he knew what he was doing, or he'd have had no interest in doing it.

When people cross that line into the realm of deeds that people just do not repent, they must repress awareness of what they've done. Which is why Dante put the souls of such in hell from the moment they did the deed, while yet their bodies roamed the world as living persons.

Is this judgement of religion unforgiving? No, it's just a fact. He does not repent, so he cannot be saved from his sin. It compels him onward, on a runaway freight-train ride.

Guess what that is? It's something called "slavery to sin."

It's too bad that concepts like that become cliches that lose all meaning. But that's what this cliche, "slavery to sin," means. Yesterday's sin is your master; it's driving you, controlling you, like a slavemaster, against your will.

Hence, Jesus of Nazareth's famous saying: "Know the truth and the truth will set you free."

Everyone is loathe to know the truth even about their mere mistakes. So imagine how loathe a narcissist is to know the truth about the malicious things he's done. It's naive to think he or she ever will.

So they are slaves, slaves to their own sins, like that snowthrower was a slave to the mistake he made, which compelled him to do it again, despite now knowing the harmful effect of his actions. In other words, slavery to his mistake made him worse, because now it wasn't an innocent mistake: it was rude and reckless of our property and well being. He stepped that far down the ladder of morality in ten seconds. So, imagine how far down a narcissist gets in ten years.

Which is why theologians say that the only unforgivable sin is the unrepented one. His victims may manage to feel all sorts of warm fuzzy sentiments for him, but he has not been forgiven. He hasn't been forgiven one penny of his debt. Because forgiveness is real, a powerful and saving thing. Not a mere warm fuzzy sentiment that people can lie about having.

Here again, you needn't be religious to see this truth in this. No therapy that doesn't take it into account has a snowball's chance in Hell of succeeding.
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17 Comments:

At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think where narcissists differ is that they aren't just lying to cover mistakes, they are a lie. They make up who they are with their lies and manipulations. The demon at their door would reveal who they really are and that is just too much to take. After many years, I'm not sure there really is a real person there beneath the false self. That's why repenting would mean psychological death.

Pam

 
At 9:11 PM, Anonymous gh said...

And I think that winds up being part of what's so hurtful to us. By refusing to repent, the Ns make it impossible for us to extend true forgiveness, which we find deeply troubling because we long for the reconciliation, for the putting things right. No one can restore a relationship unilaterally.

 
At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

my Ns parents have made some (very weak) attempts at "making up" with my N. they are soooo weak, in fact, to almost add insult to injury. perhaps even part of the whole "cover-up" If my N is indeed duplicating some of the psychological stuff he's had to deal with, it makes me somewhat sympathetic in that i feel towards him what he may feel towards them. and yet i kind of hate him for it. i may indeed some day understand- oh- lucky me- give me the crown!- but i wonder if he thinks that's actually going to be good thing.jt

 
At 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, he actually has been ACTING a little more human lately. So now people are starting to question what's with me that I'm not cutting him any slack. It's wearing me down cuz it's all too close to the surface with me cuz I am so disgusted with us lately. I am starting to feel soooo alone (except for here). You guys gotta keep me strong. It could be soon that things start to fall apart for me here. But I need to stand my ground, even if it shrinks to a very tiny, lonely island, because I don't ever want to 'trust' him again. jt

 
At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i used to feel like my 'glass' was running over. now i hear a really loud sucking sound and i fear my glass is almost empty. i don't want to lose it. i don't want my frustration to come flooding out in a wave of temper releasing, i don't want to be a sight for everyone to see when it's only me visible, i want HIM to get exposed by his trouble making, not me ! i don't want to hurt like this anymore. i don't want to be blamed for things i didn't break, i don't want people to imply to me that i could or should "fix" this. i'm so angry that no one else knows this stuff ! (i mean the people in my life that aren't fully aware of what's really going on). i hate not being able to explain this to them. i hate that it's happening. and i just want it to STOP. jt

 
At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've been struggling to understand things, i think in an effort to forgive him. i can understand things, but i have decided that i don't have to overlook things.(we all do everday to get through a day-but i mean in my intellect and in my heart). that does not mean i have to walk around angry, defensive or paranoid. it just means i have to remember. i have to reinforce what i know, BUT in a healthy, productive, peaceful way. jt

 
At 11:02 AM, Anonymous gh said...

jt -- no one has a "right" to your trust. It's a gift that you give and that must be accepted gratefully rather than demanded. Dandelion had a comment a few posts back talking about how "moral disgust" is an evolutionary adaptation that we developed to let us know when we should and shouldn't trust someone. So don't ignore it!

You gave him your trust once, and he abused it. You'd be foolish not to be cautious before you give it away again. Yeah, bystanders are going to question you and they are going to buy into his martyred victim routine. They are judging what they do not know. You have to, above all, trust your own judgment.

And yeah, it does get lonely at first. The friends that count, though, will get it and support you. Those that don't aren't the kind of friends you need and, though it does suck to find that out, in the long run it's a blessing to have had this opportunity to sort the wheat fromt he chaff. You can, will, and deserve to fiind new friends throughout your life -- and the old ones who prove true through this difficult time should be cherished all the more.

We have all been there, are there, etc. You are not alone!

 
At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Guys!

Our ability to forgive doesn't depend upon the narcissists in our lives repentance. We need to forgive for our own sakes as much at theirs. If they don't repent, they can't receive the forgiveness that we give. We forgive but what we can't do is trust. Make that clear to them and you too will clear yourself of feeling any guilt that is undeserved. Don't feel their guilt for them! When they hurt you make it clear that they must account to receive the forgiveness you give in order to restore trust between you. Also make that clear to anyone else who may be under the delusion of their lies and manipulations. It doesn't mean that others will see it your way but they probably will one day if they deal with the narcissist long enough. This kind of thinking will help keep your feet on solid ground.

It is as if narcissists feel through their target. As extensions of themselves, they seek to live vicariously through us. Don't become the bearer of all that is bad in them. Put it right back where it belongs, fully on them. They have the power to right the wrong, we don't. Forgiveness heals us but only repentance will allow them to be healed by the same forgiveness.

Pam

 
At 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People with NPD suffer too, they may just impose themselves on other people. But they have to live with it all the time. If they come to realize what they are it can be pretty painful. I know, I have NPD.

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

"People with NPD suffer too, they may just impose themselves on other people. But they have to live with it all the time. If they come to realize what they are it can be pretty painful. I know, I have NPD."

That was the point of the post. It is painful for anyone to acknowledge a mistake. Acknowledging worse is more painful yet.

But "suffering" isn't exactly the right word for a self inflicted wound. The concept of suffering is passive. It is something someone else does to you.

Just "impose" on others? That's putting it lightly.

What do you and other narcissists suffer? A guilty/shamed conscience? I'm sorry but that doesn't qualitfy as suffering in the sense that a victim suffers cruel treatment from a victimizer. It perverts the whole notion of who's doing what to whom.

When I do something wrong and feel guilty and ashamed, I don't feel sorry for myself for feeling guilty and ashamed. That would be ludicrous.

Yes, it's painful. But most of the time narcissists keep awareness of it repressed.

I agree that it must be tremendously hard to even think of facing facts, because of how shameful it would be. I think anyone in that predicament would find it practically impossible to bite the bullet and turn their life around.

But there is no other way to do it = to redemption from the predicament.

And let's not hocus pocus any moral equivalence between the victim's true suffering and the victimizers shame for inflicting it.

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous gh said...

You got it Kathy! Yeah, no doubt people with NPD "suffer" on account of it. But if you realize what you are, then your fate is now in your hands. You *can* choose to behave differently, to not continue hurting people who trust you. Your inability to empathize is a bug hurdle -- it's hard to change how you treat people if you cannot empathize with how you are making them feel. But empathy can be learned, if you are willing to put in the effort -- with a good therapist I'd imagine.

But so long as you want to make everything someone else's fault, or act like NPD is an inescapable fate that you are powerless to escape, then you will remain its slave.

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous anonymous at 4:56pm said...

NPD is not self inflicted, just the problems that are cause because it. I agree with gh,

"But if you realize what you are, then your fate is now in your hands. You *can* choose to behave differently, to not continue hurting people who trust you. Your inability to empathize is a bug hurdle -- it's hard to change how you treat people if you cannot empathize with how you are making them feel. But empathy can be learned, if you are willing to put in the effort -- with a good therapist I'd imagine."

Yes, it is true, you have the power to change if you realize what you are, but it is a hard feat to accomplish. The only reason I would talk about this is to try to come to realization with myself and make myself better. People with NPD don't usually want to talk about it, it shows a flaw.

Kathy, I can't say you are wrong in the least, except that the reason I chose the word suffering is because, as you said about "slavery to sin". When I look at the general scope of my life, countless problems have been caused by NPD, a DISORDER I did not choose.

I do not suffer when I hurt someone else, I agree.

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

You say you have NPD and yet you are reasonable. I appreciate the significance of that.

"Yes, it is true, you have the power to change if you realize what you are, but it is a hard feat to accomplish. The only reason I would talk about this is to try to come to realization with myself and make myself better. "

No doubt. And "better" not just morally, but better disease-wise. I should think it's like an addiction. You have to break the cycle, break its hold on you. Merely exploring your feelings does no good. You have to change your ways.

Possible? Theoretically. How likely is anyone to do it though?

 
At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the desire is truly there to change, if one looks the monster they have become in the face and truly desires to be different, then change can come, slowly and with effort. In seeing what you are though, you must first resist the temptation of using your new found insight as a means to gain sympathy and further manipulate others. If you are serious, you will have those who love you hold you accountable and you must understand that trust can't be given to you free gratis, you must earn it and build it just like a savings account in a bank.

Pam

 
At 11:06 PM, Blogger hurtsobad123 said...

My mind is about to explode.The highlights: 4 yrs with a man who always
had internet women in the side, emailing them, IMing them while engaged
to me, even actually cheating while engaged to me tho he called the
engagement off for a few days. We lived together 3 yrs , this last yr was
hell, he was bored, always starting fights, addicted to drama, I
couldn't stand it plus I have two teenage daughters who didn't need to go
thru this . I made him see a therapist, I had to go to make sure he didn't
lie, she said he was passive aggressive, a manipulator, game player and
was sabotaging our relationship.I kicked him out of my home last April,
he lived at the homeless shelter, loved in there, lots of ppl paying
attention to him especially when he would fake seizures which he's done
to me before. He's even told me if I'm sick I'll stay there longer!
Well, it didn't work, it was a church run shelter and they caught him on
the internet sending pics of his privates to a woman and asking women
for sex all AFTER we had gotten a marriage license!!! Well, to make a
REAL long story short,he went to jail for harassing us, and for domestib
violence and no trespassing. 3 months served. I also got an RO out for
him.He never hit me but he ripped my soul to shreds, my life is a
mess.Now I'm getting my life together looking for work, I'm on a dating site,
one profile has looked like him for the past few weeks but I ignored
it. Today that profile was deleted and he came back full force with the
same screen name he had before.Now he's all Mr Holy Man, oh YES!! He was
a born again Christian while cheating on me too. I can't figure this
out. His profile is "GOD FIRST, THEN FRIENDS" yet he wants to meet a
woman. What is up with the religious God stuff when in real life, he cheats
lies constantly hurts ppl with no I'm sorry,wants to have sex with
anyone and has from what I've heard and now he's sounding like a minister.
And don't tell me he's changed because I've been thru this before with
him. PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND!

 
At 11:32 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

The holy act is just the wolf's sheep's clothing. It's a joke.

They don't think like we do. They think like a three-year-old. So don't imagine that he considers whether what he's doing is right or wrong. The question never crosses his mind. Don't think he considers whether anyone else will be hurt by what he does. The question never crosses his mind.

Because he is a mental 3-year-old. So, to him, it's always all all about WHAT HE WANTS, period. Sex.

Nothing else matters but WHAT HE WANTS. Nothing. Not one thing. If what he wants would bring about the end of the world, then that's just too bad, the world must end because Baby must have WHAT HE WANTS.

There is nothing more to understand.

He would tell you that the sky is green if that would help him get what he wants from you.

He will tell you anything to make himself look good and harmless and nice so you trust him and he can wheedle enough leverage over you to get it.

Truth isn't even relevant to him because he lives in his own little world which he makes up as he goes along like a child playing Pretend. So he justs pretends he's religious when he wants to sound religious. He can un-pretend it just as fast.

His newfound religion is just a joke. He is sure you are a big enough fool to fall for it.

 
At 12:08 PM, Anonymous gerard said...

I think it's not that they cann't bear to look to themselves.
They just love to look at themselves! In their eyes the perception of themselves is superb and perfect. That's what causes the problems for others more than for themselves. Every confrontation or criticism just doesn't fit there grandios selfperception. Thats their real person; a king or a queen.
Kings and queens are entiteld to do everything and punisch those who dare to openly doubt their superiority. There is never a reason to repent. Kings and queens do not repent. It's their godgiven right to rule and to stand above any law. There is no false self. This is their self. They never realy doubt it. We do and they, in the less worst case,just laugh about it.
They just have no real perception of humbleness, empathy, weakness, doubt, and so on. Only a perception of contempt for all this kind of weaknesses. They realy donn't feel what you are talking about. If you listen good you can hear this over and over again.
You can not penetrate it cause they just donn't recoqnise what you are saying. It's not in their head.
That's just my conclusion and by living to this, N's donn't bother me anymore. It's as if they know there's nothing to gain (anymore) from me. They stay out of my way and I out of theirs.
And this feels much better!

 

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