Saturday, September 30, 2006

Criticism and the Narcissist

or how the narcissist makes you the problem

There is an interesting article published in 1990 in a psychology journal that I'd like to reference in this and upcoming posts. Parts of the article are more interesting than others so I'll summarize some of them in my own words. The parts of this article that I plan to highlight here on my blog are those concepts that I've personally seen and experienced. If I've seen and experienced it, then it is likely you have too.

One of the concepts this article visits is the subject of criticism as used by the narcissist. One of the terms this article uses is "narcissistically defended person". What this means is that the person is either a narcissist, or they have adopted narcissistic defenses even if their over-all personality can not be classified as someone with NPD. So, some of the behaviors can be seen in a person who can not be reasonably classified as having the full-blown disorder of narcissism. But, I'm here to tell ya, it is likely you will see most, if not all, of the behaviors in a narcissist.

One of the ways that the "narcissistically defended person" avoids making reparations in a relationship is by making you the problem. One vehicle for this process is criticism. There are several ways that you open yourself up to criticism from the narcissist:

He may see you as an extension of himself therefore any imperfection in you is a reflection on him and threatens his view of himself as being perfect. "Grandiose self", as the professionals refer to it, is under threat when you fall short of his expectations.

Or you can disappoint him by not being the perfect counterpoise to his grand self. He expects you to be effortlessly all-knowing and all empathic. You are expected to perceive his needs, his wants, his thoughts without him ever having to ask you to. This, of course, preserves his delusion of himself that he is god-like.

As long as he doesn't have to ask you for something he can pretend he doesn't need you
This is very important to this discussion. His grandiose view of himself doesn't allow him to admit to himself that he needs anybody. Even those who could not be considered narcissistic can have a hard time admitting to needing others. It is sort of the human condition. With the narcissist, though, it is carried to an extreme. It is this unbending conviction that they need no one that makes either true gratitude or true remorse impossible for him to give to you. I'll elaborate on that more in another post.

What I'm talking about today is how you are set up by the narcissist for criticism. Not only does admitting to having needs of his own threaten his god-like status, but your expressing a need that you want the narcissist to fulfill, or your telling him how you feel about something he has said or done, puts a target on your head. Zap. You hardly know what hit you. He can turn it around on you in an instant.

Example: a narcissist who is nurturing a grandiose vision of herself as a spiritual paragon of virtue is asked to admit that she gossiped about you. Rather than admit to being a gossip she will tell you that she only stated the truth about you and apparently you can't handle the truth being said. Because there some truth in her gossip, you suddenly feel like you have no right to expect an apology or restitution. The narcissist successfully transfers attention from their defects of character to your alleged defects. You were disarmed because of the smidgen of truth in the accusations.

In psychological terms, the narcissist pathologizes you in order to preserve the false grand image of themselves. In the wake of the narcissistic attack you are left feeling like you are bad. This is related to the idea of projection. You challenged their god-like and perfect image in some way, so they are compelled to transfer their unconscious sense of badness onto you in order to render themselves without fault or imperfection. This is very destructive to you.

Something the article focuses on is how the narcissist can do this pathologizing of you all the more effectively if they are versed in psychoanalytic terms and processes. This can be someone who works in the field of psychology or simply someone who has immersed themselves in pop psychology books. I have experienced this personally with my sister. She became a much more adept manipulator, much more subtle manipulator, after she'd spent some time studying a Christian psychology-based course. After that she was always diagnosing everyone else's supposed faults and became very adept at pathologizing anyone who dared to contradict her in any way. Because she can sound so authoritative and use professional sounding terms to pathologize her victims, the victims are usually rendered voice-less and condemned without any hope of appeal. Not to mention the extra power of using a Christianized form of psychology to keep people subjected spiritually and morally as well as emotionally. I hate Christian psychology. It is mis-used much more than people like to admit.

There is a growing understanding out there among the professionals that traditional psychological methods tend to worsen personality-disordered individuals rather than help them for the same reasons that I have observed in my sister; the personality-disordered person uses the information to improve their manipulation skills, not to correct their own character defects. Keep this in mind if you are toying with the idea of dragging the narcissist into therapy with you. Chances are you will end up with a bigger problem on your hands than you started with.

Above are described some of the ways you can find yourself cut down and cut to pieces by a narcissist's projection and criticism so you can avoid this dance. You don't have to participate in the narcissist's attempts to annihilate you and thereby preserve their grand selves. The narcissist's criticism is their defense against any and all hints that they are less than God Himself. The narcissist's efforts to transfer all fault onto you is not about you. It is about him. You are simply a tool to prop up his false image. I hope this makes you feel used because that is the reality of it. Which brings me to my constant refrain: get the hell away from the alien freak. Save yourself before it is too late.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Uncommon Knowledge

An interesting read....

I just finished the book titled "Uncommon Knowledge" written by Judy Lewis. She was the love child of Loretta Young and Clark Gable. The book was recommended in a list of books which portray a narcissistic parent an ACON email group I belong to. I ordered a used book from Amazon Marketplace.

If you like biographical books about Hollywood stars, you'll probably like this one. There are many interesting characters that pop up throughout the narrative. The author is not whiny and doesn't seem to exaggerate. In fact, I got the feeling she underplays certain themes quite a bit. It feels like she gives her mother the benefit of the doubt more than she needs to. The crux of Judy's narrative is the secret of her conception and birth that carried on for decades. Judy was told that she was adopted. Somewhere along the way, she is not sure when, she understood that her mother was her biological parent. Then the only question in her mind was, who was her father? She didn't get a direct answer from her mother on this until Judy was in her 30's. It was supposed to remain a secret in perpetuity as far as Loretta was concerned.

I was not sure that Loretta Young was a narcissist even as far as half way through the book. Judy's perspective of her mother is probably the reason for that. It isn't until Judy gets older that the narrative reveals more and more of the pathologically narcissistic behaviors of her mother. Prior to that, Loretta Young appears to be just aloof and neglectful.....her husband (Judy's step-father), Tom Lewis, seems to be the only narcissist in the story. The picture begins to come into sharper focus as Judy becomes old enough to assert herself or to question her mother. By the time I got to the last 100 pages of the book, I'm seeing a description of my own narcissistic mother. The attitudes, the behaviors, the sly put-downs, the need to be constantly admired, the instant dismissal of anyone or anything that threatens force reality onto the consciousness of the narcissist, etc. For myself, the book also made me realize that my mother acted the role of "movie star" even though she never was one.

What is intriguing to me is that Judy Lewis went to college in her forties to become a clinical psychologist. Why doesn't she seem to ever even toy with the idea that her mother had a personality disorder? Maybe the answer lies in the timing of the book. Judy was finally estranged from her mother at the age of 51. After the rift, Judy decides it is time for her to be able to publicly claim her paternity so she writes the book. It comes out three years into her estrangement with her mother in the year 1994. I think it is clear that Judy was still hoping for a reconciliation. I suspect that hope explains why she seems to downplay the malignancy of her mother's treatment of her, as well as why Judy doesn't throw out psychology based theories and diagnoses of her mother. Loretta was suspicious and hostile toward psychology.

I went hunting on the Internet and found out from an interview with Judy Lewis in the year 2002. She explains that the book coming out deepened the rift between her and her mother. This is not surprising because the cause of the rift between mother and daughter was Loretta's belief that Judy was writing a tell-all book....a rumor that wasn't true at the time. Apparently, after 12 years of estrangement Judy and her mother reconciled until Loretta's death from ovarian cancer in 2001 three years after the reconciliation. I don't think that reconciliation could have occurred if Judy had dared to assign narcissistic personality disorder to her mother in the book or had taken harsher views of her mother's behaviors.

You can read it for yourself and decide if Loretta Young was a full-blown narcissist. I think she was. I also think that she worsened with seems to be the trend with narcissists. Especially when age dims their beauty or fame. Judy was not privy to her mother's professional relationships. I suspect many people saw the narcissism because her nick-name in Hollywood became the "Iron Butterfly"....a moniker that Loretta took some pride in. She was known for being able to always get her way. Narcissism is more the norm in Hollywood. People expect a certain amount of it there....and seem to think it is justified in movie stars. You rarely see condemnation of narcissism coming from Hollywood about Hollywood. One of the best movies about Hollywood stars and their narcissistic preoccupation with beauty and/or fame is "Death Becomes Her". I always am greatly entertained by the morbid yet comedic portrayal of a couple of somatic narcissists. Of course, it allows me to laugh out loud at my own mother's extreme vanity....I see a portrayal of her in that movie and it does me great good to be able to laugh at her ridiculousness. It is funny as long as you aren't actually living in it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Speaking of Narcissistic Mothers

A few days after I had my first baby my mom gave me some motherly advice. It went like this,
"There are going to be times when your baby is going to make you very angry. In fact, you're going to be so angry that you'll wish you could throw him into a wall. You'll be tired and overwhelmed and the baby will just push you to absolute frustration. Now, you won't act out on those feelings, but you'll feel horrible about yourself for having them. I'm letting you know ahead of time so you won't feel like you're an awful mother for having those urges. All mothers feel like this from time to time."
I nodded and thanked her for the wisdom. (I was quite young and still very much under my mom's control.)

Of course, now that I'm many years away from this and have much perspective, I understand that she was revealing much about herself and nothing about me. I never had the urge to kill my babies. Never once did I want to smash their heads into a hard object just to relieve myself of frustration. But I realize now what kind of mother I had from infancy. A homocidal bitch. She was projecting onto me. I am sure that she was actually hoping I would feel the way she
described because it would, in some way, make her feel justified in her homocidal urges.

What she said would qualify as suggestion. It wouldn't have occurred to me that mothers routinely felt like killing their helpless babies. Here was my loving mother **wheeze** putting a thought into my head that never before had residence there. She was trying to shape me into being like she was. If I ever confessed to having the same murderous feelings about my baby she would never have to feel like I would condemn her feelings toward me as a baby. It was a convoluted way to find absolution, in my opinion.

She has repeated over and over again through the years about how it was a very good thing that I was such a calm and quiet baby. She was depressed and overwhelmed. She just doesn't know what she would have done if I was other than I was. What usually goes unmentioned in this particular tape recording (as in one of those stories she has repeated many times) of hers was the reality that I was the result of an unwanted pregnancy. I am sure she blamed me for the fact that she was now married and saddled with responsibility rather than being the little social butterfly flitting about charming men and getting coddled and adored.

My only other sibling, a sister three years my junior, was my mom's wanted baby. My father didn't want any more children, so mom accidentally on purpose got pregnant. (A factoid she shared with me after I was grown.) My sister was anything but a calm and quiet baby, but somehow my mother could deal with that fact because this was the baby she longed for and wanted and connived to get. I suspect she never had homocidal urges when my sister was an infant. She spoiled my sister. My sister was somewhat of a trophy because she was blonde. My mother is hispanic and her family took special pride in family members who were fairer skinned, or had "blue" eyes (which meant they were some color other than brown), and light hair. So, I suppose she gained a fair amount of supply from family who fawned over her blonde baby.

My Nmom took extreme pride in her self-control. She is some kind of queen mother because she didn't kill me in my crib. For that she acts like she deserves a medal, and every whim and expectation of hers is mine to fulfill. Ha. I'm so far out of contact with her now that she doesn't even know what state in the U.S. I'm living in. She can take her expectations and shove them up.....well, let's just say, where da sun don't shine.

Oh, for the record, above mentioned spoiled sister doesn't know where to find me either. I can't tell you how good it feels every time I think about how I'm free from these two intensely selfish and controlling women. The relief is immense. I feel almost euphoric every time I think about it. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, life is good without narcissists.

Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers

A webpage recommendation

I came across this webpage a few days ago and thought I would post it here for your benefit. The author has impressed me with their ability to describe the subtleties of the relationship between a narcissistic mother and her child(ren), and how her methods of control are myriad and many of them fly below the radar for onlookers. Only the child sees the look, hears the tone of her voice, understands the dire threat of punishment in a raised eyebrow....

See if this person has captured your narcissistic mom.

Characteristics of Narcissistic Mothers

UPDATE (10/28/09):

The link above has gone dead. Here is a link to another site which has reproduced the content of the Geocities site.

Click here

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Parasite is an Alien

and is sucking the life out of you

It is essential for narcissists to live parasitically off of our humanness in order to be able to present themselves to the world as something other than the alien life forms they are. They use normal people around them to prop up their pretense of normalcy. This is accomplished in a million different ways. Projection, devaluation of your virtues, blaming and shaming are a few of the tools which accomplish this.

Projection: The narcissist wipes the crap of their own behaviors or motives onto you making it seem like you are something you are not. Somehow the act of projection gives the psychological cover the narcissist needs. It distances themselves from what they do, say or think by wiping the shit off of themselves onto you. Then they stand back, shake their heads and marvel at what a stinky, dirty mess up you are. It is not rational, but it is psychologically effective for them. It works even better when you start to believe this alternate reality is true, resulting in you feeling responsible for all the crap you find yourself in. They've taken you and their pathetic self and transposed the images. Your normalcy and decency has been stolen by them to hold up a false image of themselves to the world.

Devaluation of your virtues: Nothing like true virtue in you to set off the fury and envy of a narcissist. Without even trying, you show them up for what they are. The solution? Take your virtues, twist them upside down, then slander you to whomever will listen. Are you a scrupulously honest person? The narcissist will turn you into a liar. Are you a talented musician? The narcissist will denigrate, criticize and negatively compare you to themselves or some other musician until you become convinced you have no talent whatsoever and give up. Are you compassionate and caring? The narcissist will turn you into a weakling and a sap.....or accuse you of being selfish and uncaring. We could go on here forever. There is no virtue that a narcissist can't tarnish. By tarnishing your virtues the narcissist has lessened you in the eyes of others, and maybe even in your own eyes. Now the narcissist can feel they look good in the comparison. Again, they have swiped some of your humanness from you to prop up their image and camouflage that they are predatory alien life forms.

Blaming: There is nothing a narcissist does, says or thinks that they can't blame someone else for. This is where you come in real handy. They can absolve themselves completely at your expense. Another theft of your good name and your humanness.

Shaming: When one is caught in the grip of a narcissist it can be extremely difficult to not succumb to the shaming techniques of a narcissist. They use this tool to great effect to keep your level of resistance to a minimum while they continue to rape your self respect, good name, good graces and decency. It is because you are a decent person that shaming is so effective. You can be shamed because you have a conscience. The narcissist is a real adept at turning your conscience against you. If you can be convinced that you deserve the shame and blame heaped upon you then you can be used by the narcissist to keep yourself in line. This is yet another theft of your humanity used to prop up the false image of the narcissist. If you accept the shame then you are likely to shut up and put up with the narcissist's behaviors. You will act like what they do is normal which usually means that you start thinking you're the crazy one. In this transaction, the narcissist comes out looking like the sane one because you've accepted his insanity as your own.

Aliens do exist and they are trying to take over your body and soul. Resist. Narcissists do not believe they are mere humans. They take themselves out of the realm of humanity by thinking they are something different, something more and better than human. Even though they get that part wrong....the part about being better than the rest of us....they do get it partly right: they are not human. This makes them aliens. Not nice, benevolent aliens either. They are the kind that live off of you parasitically and destroy you in the process.

It is possible to dis-empower the parasitic narcissist in your life. Isn't that what you really want to do? Well, you do have some power here. You must extract yourself from their sphere completely so they can no longer use you to appear to be something they aren't. You were not born to be a source of nourishment for a parasitic alien life form. Why should we allow our lives, our normalcy, our decency to be prostituted by some narcissist for their own selfish purposes? Can't find a reason.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Parasitic Life Form

They come along and attach themselves to a living being and proceed to take all they want from that life while contributing nothing except disease and, potentially, death. This is what we recognize in the natural world as a parasite.

Like the parasite, the narcissist attaches itself to its host. It has identified what it sees as a source of life, a source of narcissistic supply. If their parasitism manages to suck the life out of the host they will quickly attach to the next one. There is no expression of concern or feeling for the diseased or dead host they left behind. a tapeworm or a malarial protozoan....feel no regret for this way of making a living. We should feel no regret if we choose to use pesticides to get rid of them.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Opposite of Love is Not Hatred

A study on the concept of Nothing

How incredibly informative it would be if people could truly understand that the opposite of love is not hatred but indifference. It would force them to recognize the pathological relationships they are stuck in that are destroying their lives in some way. Many ACONs struggle for so long with their narcissistic parents because we all have memories of some apparently benevolent acts.

We look for "benevolent" acts in our history with the narcissist as a sign that they must love us "in their own way". We think that if they didn't love us then surely we'd know it because we think we would recognize the opposite of love. We think love's opposite is active hatred. I disagree.

Not to say that our narcissistic parents don't display actively hateful behavior, by the way. They can and do. But we are perplexed by the times when they seem to be acting loving toward us. (The operant word here is acting.) So we come up with explanations for the bad behaviors and give them a pass. Our narcissists tutored us well on how to do this.

I believe the hallmark of our relationships with our Ns seems to be the often overtly callous indifference we have suffered from them. They are indifferent to our best good. Indifferent to our humanity and individuality. Indifferent to our needs. Indifferent to our feelings. They nothing you.

Real love is other-centered. It is outwardly focused. (See 1 Corinthians 13 for a description of what real love looks like.) It involves self-sacrifice. It is always benevolent in its motivation. I've already pointed out how malignant narcissist means malevolent. Evil. Intent on doing harm. Please don't confuse anything the narcissist does as coming from a loving motivation. To do so is to continue to be their prey.

If we can understand the utter disregard of our personhood that is encapsulated in the word indifference, if we can let ourselves acknowledge the awful truth that these people are incapable of anything approaching real love, then can we see our way clear to cut loose even if these people call themselves our parents? I think so.

This indifference explains the sense we get of having our souls sucked out of us. Love fills us up. Indifference reduces us to husks. These people are toxic waste. Poison that will kill your soul first and then your body. We can forget ever feeling guilty for distancing ourselves from them because we think that on some level they must love us. Love is incapable of indifference because indifference is its antithesis. The narcissist does not love you. Never did. Never will. There is no room for such nobility of purpose and action as love in the narcissist's heart.

Indifference is what I feel for my parents. Bit by bit, as I began to understand the revelation of their narcissism, I was able to distance myself from them. Now I feel nothing for them. I don't have active, seething emotions that one would call hatred. No, I nothing them. They do not merit the emotional energy of hatred. They merit nothing. One can say that their indifference toward me all my life has finally come full circle back to them. My indifference is different from theirs in an important contains no malevolence. I do not stay in their lives and torture them with my indifference. I have completely removed myself from their sphere so as to not afflict them with it. My indifference is in place only to save me. Not to hurt them.

The narcissist feels nothing toward you. My recommended course of action is that you get the hell away from them forever before they completely corrode your life. Then set on a path toward indifference. There is healing for your heart there. The narcissist doesn't merit anything from you that requires as much energy as either love or hatred. The wages for their actions toward you has come due. What have they earned? Nothing. As in, you owe them nothing. You feel nothing. They are nothing.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Narcissistic Celebrities

Whatta surprise....

An interesting article was posted on Drudge Report yesterday:

Study: Celebrities More Narcissistic

This little study seems to show that showbiz selects for narcissists, and not that showbiz turns ordinary people into narcissists. Another interesting tidbit is how the most narcissist people are those who do reality shows. If you've watched reality shows you already know this is true.

What this article says confirms my hunches. I have heard those describe "situational narcissism" as an explanation for showbiz (and athletic stars) who only become narcissistic when they are thrown into these arenas. I am sure there are people who fall into this category and are therefore less likely to be malignant in their narcissism, but I have suspected that most of the narcissism we see in the stars was already present in them before they hit stardom. Of course, stardom amplifies the narcissism to levels of extreme that people love to read about in the gossip mags. Stardom just makes them bigger narcissists.

Drudge also linked to Rupert Everett's excerpts of his book dishing on the divas. He describes his encounters with Sharon Stone and Madonna. He doesn't realize that these women are bury-the-needle narcissists so he is mesmerized by their powerful auras if also a bit terrified of them. They command a room with their sexuality. These women have the utter and complete self-confidence that only a narcissist is capable of. They can be as bizarre (Sharon Stone) or as rude as they want to (Madonna) without consequence. They are always playing to an audience. Read this comment of Everett's:

"....make no mistake: Sharon's career was a 24/7 affair. She didn't have to be on a sound stage to be filming. The world was her camera and her alarm clock was the clapperboard."

This is true of any narcissist I've ever had the displeasure of knowing. They are always playing to an audience. Even if it is just their family and the stage is their livingroom. Sharon Stone's breath-taking beauty and Madonna's .... oh, I don't know .... talent?.....whatever....anyway, what they have just grants them a bigger stage to act on.

The Everett excerpt on Sharon Stone and why she scares him is here:

My Life With the Divas

And the excerpt on his encounters with Madonna are here:

Madonna--Before She Became the Material Girl

I can understand if you don't want to read these articles....I found the one on Madonna rather tedious. I kept losing interest in the story so I had to make several runs to finish the article. This isn't "must" reading. It is mildly interesting if you like watching the train-wreck that happens when people collide with narcissists....or just watching the narcissist do what they do. Remember that Everett has no idea he is describing narcissists. He, like most people, is awed by their power, their massive self-confidence, their commanding sexuality. Even if they scare him a bit. He reminds me a bit of a pagan worshiper. In fear and awe he bows to the god's supremacy. If he could only see how small his god really is.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Abuse Excuse

I have a particular problem with the "abuse excuse". There are abusers who can point to a personal history where they were abused as children. (Sometimes the victims of an abuser will point to this history too in order to avoid having to deal with the concept of EVIL embodied in their abuser.)

Those who try to explain the reason narcissists exist will often fall back on the old Freudian concept of early childhood "damage" caused by abuse or neglect. This is very unscientific and unreliable as an explanation. For one thing, for childhood trauma to explain the creation of a narcissist one has to ask the very important question, "why do so many children raised in abusive situations NOT become narcissists?" This theory is too inconsistent with what we see in real life. There is no clear cause and effect because there are more examples of children raised in these situations who do not become narcissists than who do. This is a clear indication that individual choice is involved in how we ultimately develop character.

The other paradox is that there are narcissists who spring up in homes where no abuse or neglect can be found. No set of parents is perfect. Every parent makes mistakes in child-rearing, but those mistakes are greatly mitigated when parents really love their children. Children tend to be the most forgiving of creatures where their parents are concerned. There are narcissists who sprout up in these imperfect but loving homes. So, obviously, childhood traumas can not apply here.

Narcissists can be formed in homes where the child is greatly spoiled, fawned over, sheltered from all consequences of their bad behavior, and generally not taught self-control. Some would argue that this constitutes "child abuse". In the old days we just called it spoiling. For millennia society recognized this kind of parenting would raise up rotten children. Spoil....rot.....same thing. Along the lines of spoiling, I have personally witnessed personalties who are so bent on what they want that from an early age they spoil themselves. I've seen it with my own eyes. I have a sister, who from a very young age, lost no opportunity to indulge herself. This propensity strengthened with the years and became worse. She was spoiled by our mother when she was very young. When our mother stopped spoiling her, my sister just picked up from there and finished the job. More evidence that narcissists create themselves.

We see narcissists come from all types of situations and home upbringing. They can come from abusive homes, non-abusive homes, homes where they seem to get everything they want, all societies and socio-economic strata. What causes narcissists? Who can know?? Why is the why important? What we need to center our attention on is what they do. They are human predators. They are dangerous. We need to put our energies into understanding this reality and not waste time fussing over how they got that way because that is a total waste of time. Our understanding the why will not change what the narcissist is.

Back to the "abuse excuse". It is more egregious when a victim of abuse turns into an abuser. I find it completely inexcusable. I loathe the psychobabble that uses previous abuse in an abuser's history as an explanation (excuse) of some sort. The explanation is an excuse because society often gives a reduced penalty when the abuse excuse is brought in. It is insane logic. I remember being a very small child and making the conscious decision that I would not inflict abuse on my own child when I grew up. (A promise I kept.) The abuse I received enabled me to empathize with how it feels to be abused. Please take note of the power of choice I employed that stopped the abuse cycle. Please also note that I was around three years of age when I made this decision. Children make choices at a very young age that shape who they become. In spite of their circumstances, good or bad. Someone who has been abused knows what it feels like and is all the more evil to turn around and abuse others because they know exactly what it feels like. Those who were abused have looked into the face of evil. If the abused becomes the abuser they made a choice to become evil too. Since they know what it feels like to be abused we can only conclude that they enjoy inflicting the pain they've experienced onto others....what is this but evil?

We are all beckoned to come to the "dark side" very often throughout our lives. How can we admire those who choose the path of light, truth and compassion if we can excuse those who take the dark path? Was it all a coin toss? Some may think yes. I certainly don't.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Narcissist is a Cannibal

We have evidence that the narcissist knows he is mistreating you as we reflect on his deceptions and the many other ways he hides his bad acts. The term used in a criminal court is "consciousness of guilt". A person gives evidence of their awareness of the wrongness of their acts by their attempts to hide them. This concept is concrete enough to be used as evidence in a court of law, so it is concrete enough for us to use as evidence to convict our narcissist.

The narcissist seeks targets of opportunity. You are abused by him because he thinks he can get away with it. To deliberately use, abuse, hurt and obliterate someone just because you can is evil. Those who argue that this doesn't mean the narcissist is evil make a good point. They say it isn't about you in the narcissist's thinking. They don't even see you so how can it be calculated evil? While there is some truth to the fact that the narcissist ignores your humanity I can't completely buy into this theory. The narcissist gives it all away when they lie and cheat to get their way. If they truly didn't "see" you then there would be no reason to create a false reality for you in order to obscure truth. They know they have to deal with the fact that you are a separate (from them) human being with a mind of your own, so they have to be aware of what they are doing to you. He has found a way to exonerate himself from the label of evil in order to continue doing what he does. Are you willing to exonerate him too? We become his slave if we do. What the narcissist does to his victims when no one is looking is evil. He knows this on some level which is why he projects his evil acts off of himself onto others in an effort to distance himself from that which blackens his own character.

The narcissist works to completely obliterate you as a separate human being. Her goal is to assimilate you. Make you an extension of herself. This is what justifies her using you. You've been transformed into another of her body parts that she gets to use at her will. You have no will of your own she has to consider. You have no needs or desires separate from her own. The way this assimilation is accomplished requires evil acts. To maintain this relation to another human being requires ongoing evil acts. It is a form of cannibalism. In my understanding, cannibalism is always evil. Even if the cannibalism is only psychological. Who you are is defined by your mind. To consume who you is that not cannibalism?

Because I believe in the existence of evil I am able to work to avoid doing evil. To avoid doing evil is to avoid being evil. Goodness in people is never an accident, in my opinion. Good character requires decision and effort. The easy path is the evil path. Good character means we practice self-denial when necessary, we consider the feelings and needs of others (sometimes at the expense of our own), we live in the truth (whether good or bad), we conduct ourselves honorably whether or not someone is looking. If we aren't allowed to call evil by its right name then we really are not able to credibly give honor to goodness. To do away with one is to do away with the other.

If we can't say that deliberately hurting someone is evil then we dis-empower victims of evil. They have no real name to attach to their experience or their abuser. Pop psychology doesn't believe in the concept of evil so victims of narcissists are left to assume the abuser doesn't really mean to do what they do, or they have to excuse the abuser on the basis of the abuser's own "damage", and they have to minimize their own experience and blame themselves. This makes it very hard to pull away from the abuser because we are left to believe that in some way we are the problem. The abusive narcissist is quick to tell us that is so because he is quick to use pop psychology to exonerate himself. He's not insensible when society hands him a "get of of jail free" card. He grabs it and runs with it. Combine pop psychology with a narcissist and you make him worse. Research is bearing this fact out.

Calling evil by its right name allows the abused the opportunity to see valid reasons to get away from the evil that ensnares them. An acknowledgment that evil does exist is directly related to the concept of freedom. As long as we don't call evil by its right name we are entrapped by it. Emotionally, mentally, even physically. We are slaves to someone's will. Call evil by its right name and see the path to freedom open up in front of you.