Saturday, August 11, 2007

To the Narcissist "There is No Good and Evil"

"There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it..." Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Those words are coming from the character whose mind is controlled by the evil character Lord Voldemort in the popular children's book referenced above. The above words are the succinct description of the narcissist's rationale. Sorry to cite J.K. Rowling, but she has captured in few words the essence of how evil does away with the whole idea of evil.

I have stated before how narcissists don't see themselves or their deeds as evil. They have constructed a view of reality which enables them to operate as they please while avoiding such sticky labels as "evil".

It is important to understand how evil people skirt the whole issue of evil by reducing every human interaction to power...those who are strong enough to take it and those who are too weak to take it. This philosophy is often called the "law of the jungle" and "might makes right". It is the philosophy of the lawless. The narcissist performs this alchemy of words which transmogrifies his evil deeds into what he sees as a virtue: power. The world tends to admire and fear the powerful. More often than not the world rewards power. It isn't hard to understand why the narcissist wants it and how he justifies it. Not only does the narcissist turn power into a virtue, at the same time you are reduced in value and virtue because you don't seek power (which the narcissist chooses to see as your fear of grasping it). The narcissist is able to admire his evil acts as acts of "virtuous" power and to simultaneously despise you for being weak and a victim. Even if he has turned you into his victim, he hates you for letting him do it to you.

You inspire nothing but the narcissist's loathing and disdain when you are at his mercy. If you are his victim, he triumphs over you and despises you at the same time. The reason for this is captured entirely by the quote at the beginning of this post. His vice is virtue, and your perceived weakness is your vice.

I remember very clearly being overwhelmed, perplexed and despairing as a teen when I experienced my mother's active loathing of me. I don't remember what sequence of events led to it, but around age fifteen found me feeling like a cipher. I would literally cower and cast my eyes downward when my mother would walk by. The more I did this the more I sensed her active hatred of me. The more fearful and self-loathing I became the more frequent her demonstrations of her seething dislike. She made me feel like a leper. I remember trying to figure out what the hell I was doing that was making her hate me more every day. I thought I was giving her what she wanted: a show of my complete subservience and acquiescence to her rule. I didn't earn her approval by my complete psychological caving in to her...all I earned was her curled lip, her hissing comments, her treating me like I was the lowest of the low.

Thankfully, I didn't stay in this dungeon of my self-hatred for more than a year or so. A root of rebellion sprung up in my heart and saved me from being consumed by this evil woman. My point in bringing this up is to try to illustrate how the narcissist's power over you doesn't make them like you...or love you. They hate you all the more because they believe that being powerless and fearful is a vice even while they demand you take the position of being powerless and fearful. Narcissists never play fairly.

You have no hope of gaining the upper hand with these ruthless creatures until you sprout a backbone and stand up to them unequivocally and unapologetically. The language they understand is that of cold, calculating power grabs. I am not saying you should behave in that way. I am only saying you must project power. You can do this when you're willing to take a stand against their slander, their vile deeds, their history revisionism. Don't look weak. Remember, they perceive kindness as weakness. Also, sharing with them how they've hurt you only empowers them. A sure sign of a narcissist is that if you ask them to stop doing something they will do it all the more. So, sharing your hurt feelings with them is like asking them to twist the knife all the way in. Your hurt feelings are only a sign of weakness to the narcissist.

Don't think they'll let you know that they respect your strength should you start showing it. When I, for the first time in my life, stated the truth to my mother about her behavior and stood up to her unapologetically and without outward signs of fear, I was demonstrating a strength that scared the shit out of her. I was showing that I was more than willing to risk her inevitable wrath, and even more than that, that I was willing to risk my father's wrath by demanding her accountability to me for her behaviors. (My father's potential wrath had always been a shield for her.) Her reaction was two-fold. When dealing directly with me she pretended to roll over and expose her underside like a beta member of the pack to the alpha dog. (A ruse I didn't fall for in the least.) Out of my earshot and sight she was playing a different game. She was busily running to those she could count on to believe her version of events and portraying me as a pathetic and weak person acting out of my wounds from childhood. Her line went like this, "I feel so terrible for the things I did to Anna when she was a child. Her letters to me show me that she is still wounded and hurting from the past. How I wish I knew how I could make it up to her." In the eyes of her sympathizers she painted my new-found strength against her as its very opposite. In the upside down world of the narcissist my strength was portrayed as weakness. She had to get others to reflect back to her the false reality that my willingness to take a stand against her and hold her accountable was weakness on my part so she could keep her mirror from cracking. Her actions toward me personally, though, revealed where the truth lay. She was afraid of me and didn't in any way perceive me as being weak. She was only painting me as weak to others in order to look like she was being a concerned mother looking pityingly upon her wayward child. She has an image to maintain with her few remaining sycophants, after all.

Narcissists do not consider themselves human because they see themselves as being above the rest of us. Let's agree with them on this. They are not human. They are inhuman. Save your concern, your pity, your energy, your love for real humans. Do not waste it on the inhuman narcissist predator. When you do, you only feed them and make them stronger while they consume your good name, your history, your future, your whole frakking life. Quit trying to placate the narcissist. Quit assuming that you can kill them with kindness. And, for God's sake, quit trying to win the narcissist's love. They are incapable of love. If you refuse to grasp that fact then you are so screwed. When you do these things you may as well walk under a flashing neon sign that says, "I'm Weak ... Eat Me". You can not deal with narcissists in the same way you deal with a human who has a heart and a conscience. You have to be emotionally, mentally and morally tough and pragmatic if you don't want to be on the narcissist's dinner plate. If they sense weakness, they go for the kill and they'll hate you the more for it.

Remember, for the narcissist there is no good and evil. There is only power. When they bother to think about you, they only despise you because they choose to see you as weak. The narcissist will despise you whether or not you play by their rules, so you may as well define the rules for yourself and carry on without them.


Anonymous said...

I remember Edward Woodward in his role as "The Equalizer". That is what it takes to deal with an N. That is what they understand. So be it.

So, what IS in a heart? said...

A little late here, but I love this post. Heee. So true.

"Don't think they'll let you know that they respect your strength should you start showing it."

That's just it, they simply try other tactics. Even if they respect your strength, they don't respect YOU and they never will. There's a reason why it's often said that "all you can do is stay away" if you're dealing with someone who has NPD. Or, in a relationship with one, get out while you can.

Unknown said...

These creatures are heartless, soulless, vampires that preys upon the goodness in people. I lived through it, twice. I gave all, except my life. At the end... It will either destroy you or make you stronger and wiser. If you have been discarded and left bleeding, please pull strength from family, friends, God, or where ever you can find it. Do not give up! Don't terminate yourself because these vampires get off on that. Their cheating, lies, and devalue had nothing to do with you... They are sick creatures that are incapable of love. You can make it through this as I did.

pan said...

a little late comment but thank you for clarifying soooo many things in my past 2 decades of confusion.

gentleness and kindness is weak - i thought that's what makes a relationship strong. ah, yes, for normal people but not these monsters and their convoluted logic.

you have to stand up to these monsters and project power, not act like them, but show them that you are NOT afraid of their wrath. VERY true.

thank you again.