More on Whether Narcissists Are Happy
Continuing with this discussion about whether narcissists are happy and when their happiness leaves them.
For example, I know a narcissist who turned viciously on her sister and parents within weeks of moving away to college. She tried to get herself adopted by the wealthy people who owned a college bar and restaurant she worked at. She told the cadre of students who belonged to that place outrageous lies about her sister and parents. Lies to make them all feel sorry for her as abused by her family – when of course, she was the abuser.
She was undone by a twist of fate. Her sister transferred to the same university, and her father became ill and landed in the hospital there so that her mother came to live with her sister during that time. These sympathetic friends of the narcissist got to know the mother and sister, because they too often came to the restaurant to eat. Of course, they didn't fit the narcissist's description of Phem.
In an addition, an older cousin, who had come to visit their father and had always smelled a rat in this girl, noticed the odd manner in which these students were relating to the mother and sister, putting two and two together to realize that they had been told some of the narcissist's patented vicious lies about her family. So, he boldly clued them in about the narcissist.
That shock, plus the attempt to get herself declared legally independent of her parents so that she could get herself adopted by rich people, plus the fact that they saw her cruelly using and abusing a suffering Vietnam veteran who loved her, outraged the parasite's new hosts. They compared notes and drove her from their midst.
How outraged were they? So outraged that apparently one of them (upon having too much to drink at a party), in front of everyone, threatened her with violence if she ever showed her face in their midst again.
Normal people don't make normal people THAT mad.
What's more, by my count, this was that narcissist's third such upheaval in life already, at the ripe old age of 19! That is, three times the people around her rose up in mysterious collective hatred of her and drove her from her midst. One such group was her 8th grade class and the other was the other employees she worked summers with in her home town's Recreation Department.
She was so hated by her class that she could not pass between classes in the hall with her classmates, because they would all shoulder her, knocking her into the lockers. Now this sort of thing had never been heard of in that school, and fighting of any sort was very rare there. So, you get an idea of how revolting her classmates found her. Similarly, she scored off the bottom of the Richter Scale in a peer evaluation of the Recreation Department, much lower than any other employee had ever scored.
So, narcissists don't always succeed. Sometimes they are exposed for what they are.
But notice the situations in which exposure occurred. Her fellow employees had an opportunity to tell the truth about her in a peer evaluation form. Getting 100% zeros from them all shocked the director and the manager, who had no idea that everyone hated her. In the case of the 8th grade class, these were kids, unburdened by any fear of being morally condemned for comparing notes and complaining to each other about what she had done to them. In other words, in this environment, the victim didn't feel compelled to cover up the narcissist's crime for her by remaining silent about it. The same was true in the college crowd. Nobody was making sinners out of the victims for telling others what she was doing to people behind their backs.
Perhaps we should take the lesson these young people teach: Don't just pretend it didn't happen; that is rolling over and dying: get justice instead. (Don't treat God or karma as your servant, expecting the Lord of the Universe to avenge you. Lift a finger for yourself.) Expose the narcissist for what he or she is. It's your only defense, because it destroys the narcissist's credibility, thus restoring your good name by discrediting the narcissist's lies about you.
It also spares others pain by warning them about the narcissist.
Back to the story.
Here she was in college, having rejected her family and having been rejected by all her college friends. Absolutely alone. She got a puppy to wag its tail at her, but that apparantly doesn't satisfy a narcissist's need for flattering mirrors.
Years later, she told me that during this "desert" period of her life she had contemplated suicide.
I knew but bits and pieces of the story then, nothing that would justify such a drastic reaction to living alone, so I asked why. All she would say was that she wanted to kill herself "Because all I did was use people."
Over the years I gradually discovered and pieced together the whole story. My understanding is that when she was abandoned and alone, with no mirrors reflecting her flattering false image of herself, her delusions could not be maintained by these mirages. In fact, the last thing she saw in those mirrors was abhorrence of her - a reflection of her true self.
Not what a narcissist wants to see in her mirrors.
Alone with her true self, the fictional character broke down. Hence she lost the mirage in the mirror that covered the likeness of her true self = a despicable person cut off from the human race who just uses others.
What did she do? She suckered her family into taking her back! (They didn't know what she had done to them behind their backs, and she told them that her depraved college friends had hooked her on drugs and tried to drag her away from her family into the cesspool of their immorality.)
Presto-chango, embraced by her hoodwinked family, she got happy again. In fact, she says that thus "coming home" is the only thing that kept her from killing herself.
And so far she has lived happily ever after.
All she needed was mirrors to reflect a falsified image of herself that she can pretend is real, one that keeps her from seeing her true self.
This scenario sheds light on why narcissists often report going through periods when they contemplate suicide but very rarely ever kill themselves: instead they simply find people to fool. Problem solved.
This scenario is also consistent with what a narcissist like Sam Vaknin says, and it squares with my other observations about narcissists. So, I have a good deal of confidence in this explanation. Of course, whether you accept it or not, is up to you.
narcissistic personality disorder narcissism