Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sentencing Guideline for Narcissists

Behold, the young criminal. He has finally been caught and hauled up before the law and the judge. Because he has only now been caught the court operates on the theory that this is the first time the criminal has committed this type of crime. For some reason our judicial branch began operating on the assumption that the first time a criminal gets caught for doing something against the law he is entitled to a lighter sentence, even though we know that if you punish a first time offender with a good strong measure of the law it will be more likely to dissuade him from future offenses. To quote one of the Wisdom books of the Bible:
"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." Eccl. 8:11
The so-called first time youthful criminal is granted either a short sentence and/or probation. Then, the court decides to go one better and expunges the record of the crime. The young criminal turns 18 and the court wants to pretend the criminal is going to turn over a new leaf and live within the law since he has a chance at a clean slate. Whatever. Rarely works out that way, but who am I to question to the grand judicial minds of this country? I'm no one.

But I am someone who has observed the narcissist in action. The narcissist is a career criminal. Not so much in the legal realm. They specialize in operating off the books in the moral realm. They carry on acts of subterfuge and cruel sneak attacks on the minds, bodies and souls of the vulnerable, sick, young or helpless. Those the least likely to hold the narcissist to account.

Let us say that the day has finally arrived when you think you've gathered enough strings of evidence to fashion a rope to hang the narcissist with. You have a case that you know is enough to convince you, the jury of one, that the narcissist is a crook. You confront the narcissist. They deny, accuse, rant and rave that you've got it all wrong. You are told that the rope of evidence is a thread; look, it is a broken thread at that. You get badgered into believing an alternate reality. You, at the prompting of the narcissist, lessen your intended sentence. Then, in order to be a "good person, you decide to act as if you've expunged the record of all evidence of the crime. The narcissist triumphs. They never will allow you to use this evidence against them in the future because you yourself agreed to expunge the record. Fresh slate. Do over.

As far as I can tell, we are the ones who perpetuate this scenario. As many times as you can be bribed, cajoled, shamed or threatened into once again letting this career criminal off the hook, that many times he will re-offend. That many times you'll be used and abused. That many times you'll hate yourself for not being strong enough to stick to what you know. Endless do-overs is the narcissist's asserted "right". Each time he offends, you both pretend it is his first offense. First offenders get a lighter sentence...or no sentence at all.

Does this make the narcissist suddenly decide to reform? Uh, no. Quite the opposite. You reinforce the narcissist in his belief that there is nothing wrong with him. You help him maintain his belief that there is no law he is obliged to stay within as long as you keep wiping the slate clean for him. You are just as lawless as he is if you continue to behave this way. Obviously, I am talking about laws of morality here, although we see plenty of people willing to help narcissists avoid accountability before state and federal laws of society as well.

Mostly, though, I'm talking about the sins of the narcissist in the moral sphere. When you give the narcissist reason to believe that laws of morality don't apply to him, you are showing a certain disrespect to morality yourself. The narcissist is an anarchist at their core. They rebel against any authority or law that gets in the way of what they want. They demand your complicity in their anarchist ways. When you have been convinced of the immorality of the narcissist's behavior you have an obligation to your own integrity and to others to stand up for what you know is true and right. You have to be willing to KNOW the truth and stick with it.

I have said before that the narcissist thrives in the gray areas. More specifically, they thrive in the gray areas of your own conscience. Their conscience doesn't count in this dynamic because they've corrupted theirs. Their conscience has been perverted and subverted. So the only conscience the narcissist has to deal with is yours, and that requires your cooperation. Get some moral certitude. Know what you know and be willing to take a stand. Morality is about other people. This is much bigger than you. It is more important that you are helping to protect others when you stand up against moral anarchists. There are ripple effects from all our choices. Don't fool yourself into thinking there will be no evil outcomes to others when you decide to buckle to the moral anarchist. Someone else, as well as yourself, is going to get hurt by your decision. Sooner or later.

Look at what I've said here in light of my recent posts on forgiveness for that is what I'm still talking about here. Profligate forgiveness given to the unrepentant is what I'm describing even now. While it looks "good" to others (and to yourself) to forgive, forgive, forgive, this kind of false forgiveness propagates and supports evil. There is no getting around that fact. When your actions (or lack of action) tend to support the evil-doer then you are screwing the innocent. You can not lend your support to evil and also be a champion of the innocent and true victims of evil. You can't straddle the fence. You are on one side or another. "Choose you this day whom you will serve..." Joshua 24:15.

Prolonged association with a narcissist can rot your morals and your soul. Quit issuing first-time offender sentences and throw the book at them. You can't save the soul of the narcissist--only your own.


Anonymous said...

It's true...and scary to realize they wear you down and make you abuse yourself. That is what has most motivated me,I allowed them to to devalue me. I actually devalued myself...accepted I didn't require apologies and EVEN SAID "I know it's hard for you to listen to someone like me.." meaning I was less than. I wonder if they knew what I meant...I mean in many ways I insulted myself more than they did me.

Unknown said... eyes are being opened. How she lifted me up and then trod all over me....I can still see her triumphant smile. I feel sorry for me and that alone devalues me.