I was once asked to write a piece on Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) by another website. My stomach instantly got tied up in knots. A numbing feeling permeated through me. I didn’t promise, but I figured I would try. I didn’t know what the research on the topic would bring to the surface; too close to home. I read article after article trying to figure out how to write a piece that would be different from what was already out there.
I used the research library from the college I attended and read countless peer-reviewed literature and research. When I would sit down to write; nothing flowed. This is not like me. Usually by the time I have done this amount of research, the words fly out onto the computer.
At one point, I decided to approach the NPD with a compassionate eye. Truthfully, the disorder completely sucks! All the people around a person with this disorder pay a steep price. The sad part, we have no idea how calculated it all is when we are in it. The really sad part is if people don’t get a lot, and I mean a lot, of help after being abused by someone with this disorder, it can lead to so many psychological long-term psychoses. Not all people with NPD are abusers, but the ones that are do more damage than any layman could ever understand.
If the person with NPD has a genuine intent not to hurt a person and does the work to fight the internal urges, it is possible they will have areas of trouble, but they won’t abuse. Others though will go so far into it, then actually brag about their accomplishment to their next partner, yet the ex is not off the hook. No, an abuser with NPD will try to get the ex’s involved in triangles with the current love interest. The outreach is not genuine, it is about power and control.
As more and more information about NPD and NPD abusers kept coming in, I realized that I couldn’t write the kind of piece that one of these bigger established websites would want. I couldn’t five or ten step this one away. This one is too complex for that. The research alone stirred something very uncomfortable inside of me. The verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse that this disorder exhibits is the scariest I’ve ever seen. It defies all my thoughts about people and their ability to be better.
I’m not saying there are not people who make this work for them in a productive way without hurting anyone. My focus is on the ones who do; the ones that decide that they like the feeling of power over someone else. This is about the NPD abusers that keep people hostage. They strip them down until the person doesn’t even recognize what is going on anymore. Men and women can be played with in ways that an average human never could have thought of. The psychological scars can be and most times are long term. A fear lies right under the surface waiting to be ignited.
Even as self-aware as I am, I still get caught up in the anxiety and fear sometimes, but it is less and less as I work on bettering myself and my self-worth. I know what is happening now, so I can face it. I don’t do this alone. I have a team of people that help me to face truth about being faced with this kind of abuse. NPD abusers stop at nothing and they don’t care who they hurt in order to get to their targets. There are a lot of signs, but NPD abusers are very good at their game. They often fool talk therapists and others to believe their games. Here is a list of red flags that you could be dealing with an abusive person with NPD or worse. A person having one or a few might not be one. A Malignant narcissist has all of them:
- Like the game of turning people against each other
- Say phrases similar too: “You won’t believe what she/he did to me”, “My ex is psycho”, and “You’re the only one who can…”
- Puts people on pedestals then enjoys tearing them down
- Romantic partners/victims have to walk on egg shells in the relationship
- Constantly caught in lies, but defends them to the end
- Blames everyone and everything other than themselves (No personal responsibility)
- Goes from being full of love to emotionally and verbally abusive
- Brags about how they have hurt others.
- Feels superior to others
- Keeps their ex-girlfriends/boyfriends around and makes triangles with current romantic victim
- They go into a relationship strong and needs instant reciprocation
- Doesn’t like to be interrupted but will interrupt constantly
- The world revolves around them
- They use people around them as a means to an end
- Expresses great interest in accomplishments then tears them down
- Uses people’s insecurities against them
- Their ex-partners were always the crazy ones
- Competes with everyone all the time and is a sore loser
- Lots of promises and little follow through
- SOOOOO much manipulation and lies
Here’s the worst part about Narcissistic abuse, the victim gets sucked into this tornado and it is very hard to get out. People around them will have no idea why they are staying and they have no idea why they can’t leave, but there are so many psychological components going on inside that keep the person hostage in the relationship. Plus, they are getting threats of being destroyed. Some Abusers will even start a fight then video tape the victim reacting to the abuse and sell it as they were the ones being abused. It is all just a giant game to win in their sick minds. Victims are told how different they were, and how they are the only ones who could help abuser be the person they want to be (can I puke now?). I know how real it feels because I’ve been there. Even with all the research I’ve done on the subject, I am still wounded. I still am traumatized by the memories and fight for control of my life.
I’m reading a book now called, Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi (click here for book info). All the research I’ve done in the past is finally getting put together. All the mixed feelings I’ve had over the years are making sense now. I had no idea I was using many of the tools to get out of the relationship without looking back. I couldn’t see before how all my hard work on building myself back up has taken me through countless obstacles with the abuser. I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they were or are victim of narcissistic abuse or loves someone who is being abused. The great thing about this book is it is available in audiobook that you can listen to on a phone or tablet. I remember having to hide everything good I did for myself or it would be thrown in my face. He would even say I was being brainwashed. I say, yes, my brain needed washing. NPD is thrown around pretty heavily now days. The information out there can be confusing, believe me, I know. Some articles out there aren’t written by people who understand the whole picture. They may know a piece of the puzzle, but unless you truly invest the time in reading books by professionals and doing true research, you still won’t fully understand what happens during the abusive process and the after affects.
Narcissistic abusers will do their best to get people on their side. Don’t do it! They will use anyone on their path to hurt their intended victim. Sometimes we unknowingly become apart of the abuse cycle by engaging the abuser. The best professional advice given to people who have suffered this kind of the abuse is no contact or as little as possible.
This piece doesn’t even scratch the surface of what it is like for the victim and how incredibly calculated the abuser is during the courtship and afterwards. If you want to see the whole picture, read the book listed above. I will warn you if you are being or have been abused by someone with NPD, you will be baffled at how calculated these games are. The fact that a book would say exact quotes and tell exact stories says more than I could possibly ever imagined possible. If you are a friend or family member reading the book, whether you know the victim or the abuser, it will be eye opening and help you reach a better understanding of what it’s like to live under these circumstances. Hopefully it will help victims not feel so alone, and help outsiders to be more compassionate and less judgmental to the person staying in this abusive relationship.
To the victims: There is a lot of help out there. It is possible to lead an amazing life even after being verbally, emotionally, psychologically, and sometimes physically abused like this. I learned a lot from my experiences and I got the help I needed to lead a life I love. This doesn’t have to take you down.
From A Loving Place,