Friday, April 27, 2007

Facing Facts

One reason why the victims don't face facts about a narcissist is because we don't want to face the fact that we mean nothing to them. The ego doesn't want to know that. For, being valued by another at absolute zero is a degrading value judgement.

When this is someone in your family, that fact is traumatic. We think about how much we have loved them, how often we have stuck up for them, how many times in the past we sacrificed for them. And here all along they cared NOTHING for us in return!

They just fed off us like a parasite, taking us for a sap.

This is why denial is so dangerous. Facing facts, no matter how unpleasant, is better. Because when you do address the issue in your mind, you see who is degraded by the narcissist's refusal to relate humanly to human beings.

Not the human beings, that's for sure.

Knowing that makes you able to accept the truth about them. And when you accept the truth about them, you break the cycle of abuse.


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14 Comments:

At 5:34 PM, Blogger A P said...

Yes, it does hurt- especially when it took me over 40 years to figure out why Lil Sis and I could never have a 'normal' loving sister relationship. But understanding the "why" now does help me accept why I feel relieved that she can never hurt me or anyone else again now that she is gone.

I would never WISH her dead- but to know I will never again have to listen to a ranting, rabid phone call or watch her tear her parents' hearts out with her vicious verbal attacks and lies, that she will never again "disappear to punish us all" as she did for years at a time- that gives us all some peace. She can't spin further out of control, she can't search for more victims to torment, she can't get involved in any more lawsuits or restraining orders against people who crossed her- THE INSANITY IS OVER.

That crazed person who came home last year can no longer degrade whatever love I still have for the little sister I thought I knew. The one who was scared of the dark and of being alone. The one I tied to protect and understand, no matter what she did. NPD took a person I treasured and changed her into someone I feared. They are both gone now.

One year ago tomorrow, she returned. And in 3 weeks, we will bury her ashes. I feel like I've aged 5 years but I also feel healthier- so many questions are answered now.

 
At 6:04 PM, Blogger JL said...

Kathy, this is the part I'm having huge troubles with. Intellectually, I KNOW I am nothing but an object. But, my emotional side does NOT want to face that fact when we're talking about my proverbial "soul mate" (yes, I can at least remove ALL the NPD factors to see that, indeed, we DO connnect on a profound level).

JL'

 
At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's even more bizarre is seeing them with new wife or partner being very loving, consiliatory and attentive. I have known Ns who are the best husbands ever, holding their wives hands through horrible events - who then go and see their girlfriends after work or on the sly. And I have seen it go on for years & years.

Its just horrifying.

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can at least remove ALL the NPD factors to see that, indeed, we DO connnect on a profound level

No you can't - you're connecting with smoke. A reflection of yourself. That person is acting - there's no connection - they profiled you and are just spitting back what they know you want...

its an illusion ...a horrible illusion

PLEASE READ THIS

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger JL said...

I originally said:

I can at least remove ALL the NPD factors to see that, indeed, we DO connnect on a profound level



No you can't - you're connecting with smoke. A reflection of yourself. That person is acting - there's no connection - they profiled you and are just spitting back what they know you want...

***
Within 5 minutes of meeting me? Certainly possible. But, I have a "double-blind" experiment to at least "prove" we connect on a personality-to-personality level.

10 years after our initial meeting (coworker for 1 year), we met on a dating website and exchanged 4 phenomenal emails within 1 hour. Neither of us recognized the other person. Very strange. Yet, the exact same connection occurred. No different.





its an illusion ...a horrible illusion

***
I take it this way. NPD influences WHY they do what they do, not WHAT they like in the first place. IOW, my NPD person has the best combination of intellect (my true peer if there ever was one), wit (as good as me if not better) and sarcasm (takes extreme levels of intelligence and wit, she was SO good, she could slip in sarcastic comments I would miss and I've been honing my sarcastic skills my whole life). You can't "fake" those traits (and all the psychologists I've asked agree).

That's my larger point.

JL'

 
At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A P
I had an alcohlic sister who behaved the same way. She took years out of my fathers life. He passes away from exhaustion and she dies 3 months later with liver disease. Her death is both grief and relief. My father fought in a war and was a good man. He had an evil daughter who went into rages and threats and alcohol. 25 years of it. His war never ended. He was being a enabler but in his mind she was a sick child. Alcoholics are often N.....

 
At 1:24 PM, Anonymous gh said...

JL -- Intellect and wit and sarcasm are traits you share and value, but they are not in and of themselves a profound emotional connection. If you are not looking for more than that from your N (and there's nothing wrong with not looking for more), than the N-ism may never be a problem in your relationship. But from everything I've read about N-ism, a profound connection is truly unlikely.

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger JL said...

JL -- Intellect and wit and sarcasm are traits you share and value, but they are not in and of themselves a profound emotional connection.

***
Correct. I did not use the word emotional since N's aren't empathic.

Our connection, personality-to-personality is SO good, within 5 minutes of meeting (10 years ago) we were simultaneously saying the exact same things. The first 5 minutes of talking with this person changed me forever. Never had I connected like this with anyone. Not even close.

All of our conversations are deep and interesting (exactly the same thing occurred 10 years later) and are the most scintillating experiences I've ever had.





If you are not looking for more than that from your N (and there's nothing wrong with not looking for more), than the N-ism may never be a problem in your relationship.

***
Unfortunately, I was devalued upon reacting to something my N did that utterly shocked me. I didn't know my N was an N until after I semi-confronted her (in a roundabout way). Basically, she pulled the disporportionate reaction and OPPOSITE reaction to something that WAS supposed to be very pleasant.

Basically, leading up to this confrontation, my N did something against the scope of the friendship that clued me in something clearly pathological was occurring. As well, this "incident" brought forth emotions and a level of comfort in me with regard to another woman that I've never experienced before. I'm not embarrassed to admit, it was the most passionate 5 seconds of my life (and would be viewed as QUITE benign by any onlookers).

In short, there are half a dozen fully anomalous experiences (emotionally, psychologically) that I experience any time I interact with this person (by email, phone, or in person) on any level.

It's gone forever and I am now considering forgoing all non-platonic interactions with women for life. It's THAT profound of an experience for ME (i.e. profound even if I remove ALL the NPD influences).




But from everything I've read about N-ism, a profound connection is truly unlikely.


***
Correct.

JL

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous gh said...

Ahhh. I understand better what you are saying now -- and my sympathies to you. It is really a loss to find someone who is so right for you in so many ways but with whom you will never be able to truly connect with on the emotional level because of the NPD. I wonder sometimes if it is not their own recognition of that inability to form an emotional bond that triggers the N-rage. It certainly sounds like this is what happened with you. You "shared" an experience that aroused intense, passionate feeling in you and, unable to tap into that sort of feeling, the N had to immediately devalue you. Ouch.

I truly hope for your sake that this experience does not permanently control your romantic life. But shutting that off while you heal is certainly understandable.

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger JL said...

Ahhh. I understand better what you are saying now -- and my sympathies to you.

***
Most people just say: "you'll find someone else". This isn't just someone else; this is more "it" than any woman I've ever met.




It is really a loss to find someone who is so right for you in so many ways but with whom you will never be able to truly connect with on the emotional level because of the NPD.

***
It is the most emotionally destructive segment of my life. EVERYTHING between us that *I* value is there (I value things much differently than most people).

For example, I ALSO go through the idealization/devaluation process (I have incredibly low self-esteem but mine is of the garden variety whereby I actually stay away from people so as to not get involved - i.e. the exact opposite of an NPD person).

In this case, this woman meets my physical ideal in every possible way (I never though I'd meet someone who completely matched my idealized female form). However, because of this idealization (and my own psychological problems) I can not think of her in a physical/sexual way. Maybe one day, but it's not part of the way I navigate through relationships with women.



I wonder sometimes if it is not their own recognition of that inability to form an emotional bond that triggers the N-rage.

***
What triggered this was me pushing back in a roundabout way after she did something that clearly proved to me she was pathological.

She proceed to give me a surprise 5-second passionate kiss on the cheek (after her being VERY clear that platonic was the only possibility) at the end of our first "platonic" date (we had 2 prior dates).

I am not embarassed to say, that this was the most passionate 5 seconds of my life (I have secondary/acquired sexual aversion syndrome so me using the word passionate or sensual when speaking of myself is completely alien). My ex-wife could never come close to "bringing those feelings" out of me as this woman did in 5 seconds.

Ultimately, she went from being very happy with my poem (written by a friend) that explained our connection. But, she turned "rage-ish" by stating I was trying to change her mind re: platonic vs. romantic. I was very clear to say that that was not my aim at all. But, that was enough for her.




It certainly sounds like this is what happened with you. You "shared" an experience that aroused intense, passionate feeling in you and, unable to tap into that sort of feeling, the N had to immediately devalue you.

***
See above. Much different than that (at least my take on trying to read between the NPD lines).




Ouch.


I truly hope for your sake that this experience does not permanently control your romantic life.

***
Nothing can come close to the experience when we met 10 years ago. We ran into each other on a dating website without recognizing each other (and previous emails show the exact same connection). It's either her or no one. I'm very sure and comfortable with that decision. Almost every anomalous experience one could experience with another person, I did with her. My psych. was clear to say that it was ME that was getting myself to experience these things (which I agree with), but ultimate she is the catalyst.




But shutting that off while you heal is certainly understandable.

***
10 years ago, after we parted ways (work is where we meet), I began withdrawing from my wife and I NEVER recovered from meeting and interacting with her. Now, 10 years later, with what I just experienced, I can never, ever forget what happened (and how I felt).

THANKS for listening and caring and offering your sympathy.

JL

 
At 5:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People with NPD are supposed to lack empathy. In fact that's far from the case. They are supremely empathetic in their ability to mirror. I went through years caught-up in thinking that perhaps my NH was Asberger's.

 
At 6:00 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

You make a very important point about a narcissist's empathy. They have to be empathic. Empathy is the foundation of their style of abuse. They do know how to get in another's skin. It's what they're doing when they're laying awake nights to figure out how to really hurt you. Their sadism requires empathy.

This idea that the poor thing can't empathize is for the birds.

 
At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually my NH wasn't sadistic at all for the early years whilst he was sure that I revolved around him. He seemed quite benign or even encouraging while what I wanted was good for him. The early attacks happened only when I was ill - presumably because my self-absorption when ill frightened him that I wouldn't be there for him. (I thought he had a phobia about sickness - always, always finding some excuse for his behaviour!) He even managed to be supportive when I was grieving for my father - presumably this didn't challenge him.

Sad truth is that the feelings they evince for you aren't real, however good their mirroring. If your needs diverge from what's best for them, you'll soon meet the sadist. When everything in the relationship seems great, the mirroring's working and truth to tell you're having a relationship with yourself!

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So...does anyone have an idea on how to cope when someone else in the family - who perhaps realizes that my N mother has 'said some cruel things in the past' but doesn't realize how far it goes - seems to be urging me to try and develop a closer relationship with her now she's old and frail? (Which I know isn't going to happen because for her, I'm simply not there to have a relationship with - what she wants is this 'perfect' illusion of a person, and I'm too real!)

The person who's trying to get me to 'patch things up' has always been close to her own mom, and it's been my experience that people with normal parents often fail to recognize what life with an N parent can be like, but I don't know how to put this across.

 

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