A few years ago, I thought a narcissist was simply a selfish person. Traumatic episodes in both a friend’s life and in mine pushed me to research and delve a little deeper into this hideous human condition.
I found an some excerpts from a great book on the subject which I believe could have been written by Mr. N/A himself.
Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited
by Sam Vaknin, Ph. D.
From the Foreword:
I lie to your face, without a twitch or a twitter, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. In fact, my lies are not lies at all. They are the truth, my truth. And you believe them, because you do, because they do not sound or feel like lies, because to do otherwise would make you question your own sanity, which you have a tendency to do anyway, because from the very beginning of our relationship you placed your trust and hopes in me, derived your energy from me, gave me power over you.
But I AM different and we both know it. Therein lies the root of my hostility. I tear you down because in reality I am envious of you BECAUSE I am different. At that haunting level where I see my illusions for what they are, the illusion that you too create illusions collapses, leaving me in a state of despair, confusion, panic, isolation, and envy. You, and others, accuse me of all sorts of horrible things. I am totally baffled, clueless. I have done nothing wrong. The injustice is too much. It only makes the confusion worse. Or is this too merely another illusion?
Outsiders do not understand the hell of dealing with a Narcissist. They cannot. It’s inconceivable to most people that a functional, charming, intelligent human being could ever be the evil devil they are accused of being by their victims. Surely it’s a lie – a made-up, dramatic story to induce sympathy for the victim and destroy the narcissist’s character.
So the victim walks through her hell alone. She continues to question her sanity and her sense of reality vs. illusion. She knows her friends are tired of listening to her stories and that even they question her mental health. She shuts down. She hopes her pain will disappear one day, but time only brings more hell. The narcissist senses when she is vulnerable and launches his most vicious attacks during those precarious moments.
She feels hopeless.
Her own lawyer thinks she’s a drama queen. The courts won’t listen and choose to believe the narcissist’s illusions as well. The church invites him to read the scripture from the altar, because he is, after all, a very devout Christian man with extremely high moral standards. Meanwhile, he might be fucking the priest’s mother or a neighbor who lives around the corner from his kids, hiding his car in her garage so no one will know his sin. And he’s allowed to serve communion with his filthy hands to his friends in the community. They don’t see who he really is – only the illusion he projects for them.
Only she knows the truth… and maybe another who has fallen for the story but managed to escape before being completely sucked in.
The children might understand that something isn’t right. Their sense of fairness and justice are challenged when the narcissist loses control of his persona on occasion. Why does Daddy punish me for lying when he lies to me without repercussion?
And she, the mother, who understands completely, is in the position of protecting her children while being forced by the law to preserve and foster their relationship with their father.
The hell continues in waves, catching her off-guard every single time. And no one – no one – will help her.