Friday, April 20, 2007

What We CAN DO

The victims of narcissists always feel helpless, impotent.

For one thing, there is no getting through to a narcissist. I am sure of it. None. Zero. Never. No matter what. If a narcissist acts like you have gotten through to him, he is just conning you. The proof will be in what he does tomorrow.

The moment a narcissist sees that you are about to attempt to really communicate with him, his knee-jerk reflex kicks in to just start bellering a blowback that forms a solid wall of incoherent flak blocking communication till you just give up and shut up. I have seen narcissists with manifest terror in their eyes, desperate to prevent anything the victim is saying from getting through. That's how afraid of relating to you humanly, of a meeting of the minds between you, they are.

Then they might have to know you are a human being and have some feeling for you. They don't dare have any feeling for you, and they know it. No predator dares have any feeling for its prey. If it did, it would starve.

Not that I'm trying to persuade you to quit trying to get through to your narcissist. Decent people keep trying till they are convinced, through their own experience, that it's hopeless.

Another thing we can't do anything about is the abuse. Since narcissists only abuse those at their mercy and unable to get even with them or force them to stop, it goes without saying that your narcissist has power over you, because all narcissists are bullies who only pick on the defenseless. So, something about the situation makes you a sitting duck. Narcissists just do not refrain from whacking sitting ducks, unless there are witnesses on hand at the moment.

But in the posts and discussions here it has emerged that there are things we can do. Very important things we can do for ourselves. Crucial things, things that may prevent us from needing psychiatric treatment ourselves.

One of them is to think for ourselves. If you let yourself be manipulated by political correctness, with all its absurd commandments that force you to bend over for abuse and then blame yourself for it, you are headed for serious trouble in your own relationship with yourself.

The last post was an example. The United States doesn't dare let itself be morally bullied into not defending its people = not going after these bushwhackers wherever they hide.

Likewise, you can't let bystanding holier-than-thous tyrannize you by morally bullying you into staying married to someone who abuses you. That's what they're doing when they say that it would be wrong for you to leave him - morally bullying you. They are threatening you with "talk" that you are a bad person if you don't do what they say is right.

That tactic is the most potent manipulative stick in the world! The vast majority of people will do anything you want if you wave that stick at them. It makes you their master. Ask the KGB. Using it enabled them to brainwash and gain mind control over practically anyone without having to lay a hand on him or her.

But don't subject yourself to it. Own yourself. Don't let the bystanders own you. If people are going to gossip about how bad you are for divorcing your abuser, let them. Just hope there is a God to punish them for it, pinch your nostrils shut at their professionally pious prig act, and get away from them too.

No one has a claim on your life. You have an inalienable right to protect yourself and pursue happiness. Yes, even if he threatens to kill himself if you leave him.

That's called having a backbone, moral courage. The courage to do what's right, or is your right, when all the thoughtless cattle scream on cue that it's wrong.

If you don't, the self masochism you are forced into will haunt you. There's nothing worse than betrayal. And there's nothing worse than self betrayal. It will eat and eat and eat away at you making you feel like an abject worm so that you loathe yourself.

Don't let that happen. Think for yourself and know what you know. Make your own choices. Don't let the madding crowd make them for you.

In other words, don't you make the same mistake a narcissist does - thinking that appearances (things like your reputation) are what count and being driven to keep up appearances at any cost. They can change overnight. But reality doesn't.

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At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There really is no getting through to them. For example recently my mother misplaced some money and spent hours sreaming at my father and myself for "stealing" it. Then I found where she'd hidden it and returned it to her.

My father, who really should know better after all these years, asked "Are you going to say you're sorry?" Mom's response? An utterly blank look and "I'm not sorry I found my money. Why should I say I am?"

Okay, the situation is early Alzheimer's--but the attitude? That's been the same, just not quite that blatant, for thirty years.

Thank you for this blog--it helps keep me sane.


At 6:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preach it,sista!!!;-}


At 9:36 PM, Blogger FIGHTER2 said...


Another thing to do? TELL!! If you don't want to name them outright, there are places on the net (like ours) to learn more about them and tell your story so others can see the signs in their own Ns and get free.

At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow your timing is good. mine actually said the other night "i don't want you to think i don't care. i think about us all the time." other people would say oh- he's trying. they would be meaning oh you should cut him some slack because oh just how dear of him to say something like that. but you know what i heard? i heard "i don't want you to think" not i would like you to know i care or i want to tell you how much i care but "i don't want you to think." did you know you could HEAR a red flag WAVING?! other people would say that's being too sensitive. but i just think they're not paying enough attention. Hmmmmm. jt

At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes jt.

Once my xgf told me, "I don't want you to think I'm not going to miss..." after telling her that is precisely what I thought. And this was extracted from her only after much emoting on my part.

Of course the cold blank stare of an alien was first, followed by "I'm not sad, I'm excited about these changes." Only later did she come to the realization that she had (finally!) wounded me enough for me to back off and thus needed to absolve herself of any responsibility (in her own mind) for having caused that wound.

"Can't you see," she seemed to be saying, "that you are being overly sensitive and unreasonable and selfish?"

Just another way to manipulate the situation to her benefit while reaping emotional turmoil and chaos along the way. Turmoil and chaos are sustenance for her, they distract from the shame so well. ~Christopher

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if they do feel shame that could explain why they are such good deniers- because they really should be very ashamed of themselves!!!jt

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering, now that my stbx n doesn't have me to kick around anymore, and assuming he doesn't have a gf who he can abuse yet, does anyone else see his "bad" side? Can they really hide it so well? I never saw him at work, but heard stories here and there through him about making a subordinate woman "a real incompetent, who reminds me of you" cry one time and another yelling at a colleague who "didn't get it." But most of the time he is "nice" at work I think and even gives them lavish gifts from time to time. Socially, casual acquaintences are treated to perfectly polite, pre-packaged behavior. His buds get back-slapped, etc. So was I the only one, am I only one who knows? If a tree falls....It feels really bad to be me right now. Nobody to talk to about him, to believe me, etc. Or do they see signs and that's why they're not his good friends.....?

At 9:12 PM, Anonymous gh said...

To add to Kathy's point -- they may not ACTUALLY have power over you, but they absolutely convince you that they do! Like the narcissistic boss who makes you think your job is in jeopardy if you don't cater to his whims. Or the husband who has you believing you couldn't survive without him.

So, yeah, think for yourself is absolutely the #1 most important piece of advice. Does that boss have that much sway over your job security? Could you make it without your husband?

My ex certainly had me convinced there was no way I could manage to balance career and motherhood without him But you know what, without him in the way, I actually get more quality time with my child. And without the distraction of being constantly anxious and depressed from the abuse, I'm actually better able to focus on my job. And without him to burn through every dime I bring in, I actually find myself with more savings despite maintaining the same household on one less income. All that time I was afraid to end it because he had me convinced I was worthless and would collapse without him.

As for those who did indeed tell me my decision to divorce him was immoral, well it stung, but it also gave me the chance to see those people's true colors. My life is so much better now without them.

6:01 -- They probably don't see it, because the narcissist only abuses where the abuse is likely to be hidden, where the victim will be too afraid or too embarassed to tell and where there are no witnesses.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

GH, thanks for mentioning that. As a matter of fact, I have found that to be the case too. It's amazing how they can make you think you need them. For what? You may not even be able to pinpoint what you think you need them for. It's ironic. Rather like thinking you need a parasite.

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rather like thinking you need a parasite-kathy that time i laughed out loud! jt
6:01 it hurts like crazy. in fact i think it may hurt more the more you recognize it for what it is and the more you learn and understand narcissism. but keep reading up on the subject- it's worth it, but be aware you may go through some different cycles learning and adjusting to the new knowledge.
gh's last comment is painfully's best to stay away from him if you can. use the break away to read up on this stuff so you might not get taken as much advantage of in the future. jt

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!!! I needed this at this exact moment....Thank-you!!!

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous nina said...

i had started feeling like a worm
-minehad takento calling me insane and whisphering threats-

they usedto whispher niceties,then threats

just bizarre

and i am mad at myself for being a fool for so,so long

i even started a blog to write just on this hellish experience

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

"and i am mad at myself for being a fool for so,so long"

Join the club :-)

At 2:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The victims of narcissists always feel helpless, impotent.

For one thing, there is no getting through to a narcissist. I am sure of it. None. Zero. Never. No matter what. If a narcissist acts like you have gotten through to him, he is just conning you. The proof will be in what he does tomorrow.

The moment a narcissist sees that you are about to attempt to really communicate with him, his knee-jerk reflex kicks in to just start bellering a blowback that forms a solid wall of incoherent flak blocking communication till you just give up and shut up."

So true, I experienced this just recently and it's dispiriting all right. You really have it nailed, Kathy!

At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i feel like i've gotten pretty good at ignoring and avoiding my NH, but that's not really true because i still talk to myself about him when we are apart. hmmmm. sometimes in anticipation of a possible altercation i find myself "practicing ahead of time" (which is exhausting cuz there is no "winning" with them but i can't seem to help it yet because i still feel so much trepidation) but anyhow i hear myself just screaming inside my head SHUT UP. SHUT UP because everything that comes out of his mouth is such BULL@#%!. i'm always anticipating that spray of b.s. no matter nice, bad, good, ugly... it's all the same smoke!!!what i PROBABLY should be doing is listening BETTER for "clues" rather than getting "tunnel vision" with my hearing. This is where i gain patience in my dealings ... by sharing here my thoughts and observations and getting feedback from people. (humans!!!) jt

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever heard of LOSHAN HARA?

It's Hebrew for 'bad speech.'

My exN and his whole temple are on me for telling about what he did - accusing me of LOSHAN HARA.

Talk about politically correct by reason of religion.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

"Bad speech" as in "false witness"? It ain't false witness if you own your words. They are ones guilty of phony witness.

If he has NPD, it is certain that he badmouthed you to them for years. Where was their wonderful morality then?

They are invested in this, aren't they? Well, take comfort in knowing that Job said, "No hypocrite shall see God."

At 11:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy - this is such an important post. I keep coming back to it.

I just noticed your response. Loshan Hara is Hebrew for "bad speech that is true." It is often used by Jews & Rabbis to silence victims from telling. It's an interesting Talmudic concept. And a pathetic one unfortunately.

Now a question for you. What about when the N tells people they have "moved on" but that you "seem unable to move on" which proves your nuts. In context, this would be about telling the truth about them and continuing to hold them accountable even years later; which is what I have done. Now he's told my business associates he's MOVED ON.

Of course there was no apology, accountability, nothing. There was a very very whitewashed email to many of our mutual friends and business associates about what REALLY happened.

I told people I didn't "want to respond in kind but suffice it to say he's left a lot out. A whole lot, that implicates him - of course."


What's that supposed to be? I thought Ns never really move on when someone's caused them a narcissistic injury

At 12:19 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

I had a priest try to hand me that "move on" line once. It means hold no one accountable, that's what it means. Correction: you become the one accountable for THEIR sins. That's morality devised in Hell.

As for Ns and their holding grudges, I'm not so sure. If they really are mad, they hold a grudge, I think. But often their rages are put-ons. I know one who just rips anyone she is done with (when they get bored with her breathless chatter and stop being a source of narcissistic supply). One of these people perplexes to this day over what the narcissist was mad at her about. I bet it was nothing. I bet the N wasn't even really mad when she eviscerated her friend. I bet that she just always does that when she dumps someone because she will never see them again and this is a golden opportunity to feel powerful on someone.

Ns do everything for effect, so it's hard to know when they really are as mad as act.


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