Every abuser, every narcissist, every psychopath, every rapist, arsonist, every sociopath is after one thing: power. Power over others. This is an outgrowth of the narcissistic need to have all attention focused on them. We already understand that attention is the drug that the narcissist pursues at every moment. This is the core motivation that moves them. There are natural branches that sprout off this trunk and the desire for power over others is one of them. The intoxicating thrill of absolute power is the biggest high they can get from their drug of choice.
The extent to which an individual will pursue their quest for power is determined only by what they feel they can get away with. No small part of this is how much they fear authority or the law. The narcissist mother will not pursue absolute power to the degree that the psychopathic serial killer will. But make no mistake -- both are consumed by the quest for power over others. Unchecked pursuit of power is destructive and merciless as well as escalating. As Proverbs 27:20 says in the Contemporary English Version, "Death and the grave are never satisfied, and neither are we." The grave never protests when someone dies, "We're full up here. We aren't accepting any more death, sorry." Death is always ready to open up her insatiable arms for yet another. So is the lust that drives the malignant narcissist of all brands and stripes. Never satisfied. Never satiated. Never content. Never full.
Kathy Krajco defined what absolute power looks like:
What is absolute power? It's absolute control, possession. Surely you have recognized the lust for it in the bizarre crimes committed by psychopaths. Mike DeBardeleben, a sexual sadist serving a life sentence wrote in his journal that it is "to force her to undergo suffering without her being able to defend herself."
"Without her being able to defend herself" are the key words. It isn't enough to torment the victim: this must be done in a way that keeps her from resisting. That's absolute power, possession...
This is the ultimate in mental cruelty = making the victim bend over for it. Then the sick-o gets to pretend that the victim truly does "want it," has ceased to exist as a person (with a free will) and is but an appendage of his that he thus "proves" his absolute power over.
All narcissists do this in one way of another: they don't merely abuse, they FORCE SUBMISSION TO ABUSE. This makes them God, whose punishing wounds we are to shamefully accept as our fault. We are not to resist: we are to simply hang our heads as deserving of them... "What Makes Narcissists Tick" pgs. 104-105
Notice that what is required for this to work is for the narcissist to completely disarm their victims. No right to self-defense is allowed! This is what they must strip you of first before they can go on to pretend that you are submitting to them of your own free will. Like they deserve such submission and like you've freely given it. Either they will use psychological tactics to get you to feel you have no right to defend yourself, or, as in the case of the serial killer, they will arrange your physical circumstances to make it impossible for you to defend yourself and then break you down mentally.
I made an argument in this post that your most fundamental right as a living being is the right to self-defense. It is this very right which the narcissist will first try to convince you that you don't have. It is the right that the proxies and bystanders will tell you that you don't have. "Turn the other cheek" is the pious phrasing far too many victims of abusers have gotten for advice when they desperately have sought for help with their situation. It is essential that victims of narcissists are re-armed with the knowledge of their right to self-defense if they are ever going to be able to resist and break the narcissist's power over them.
Knowing that a narcissist is driven by their need for power over others, and knowing they are always in search of this headiest drug which is absolute power over others, then you'll also be aware that they must force your submission in order to feel powerful over you. All this leads straight to the fact that a narcissist must deprive you of your right to defend yourself to accomplish this. They will always do this by fraud, lies, and threats. They will bring in their proxies to help them get you to submit to that which no one should ever have to submit to. They want to be able to pretend that your forced submission is a real submission...and this can only be done if they successfully deprive you of your ability to defend yourself. Can you see how incredibly important it is to be fully aware of your right to NOT submit to abuse? I am convinced that no one breaks free of the power of a narcissist over them until they are able to claim for themselves the right to self-defense.
It is important to mention here one very tricky sleight-of-hand that a narcissist does to disarm someone from self-defense. This is accomplished by intentionally mislabeling your defensive behaviors as being "retribution" or "vengeance". They accuse you of hurting them. They pretend to know your motives and lay the accusation that any efforts you make to defend yourself are actually coming from your desire to hurt them. If they can convince you that you are being vengeful, or at least if they can convince you that others see you as being vengeful, then they can shut you down. Force your submission once again. This happens very often when a victim of a narcissist goes into no contact. The pious howling of the narcissist contends that your cutting them off is itself abusive and is therefore coming from a spirit of malice and revenge on your part. Your act of "no contact", which is as mild and non-reproachful of a way of dealing with a serial abuser that there is, becomes conflated to be proof of your cruelty, malice, and vengeance. Don't fall for such insane logic! Don't let someone convince you of having motives you don't have! Don't let the narcissist disarm you that easily!
I used "no contact" as merely one example of self-defense that can be mislabled by the narcissist. Any type of self-defense can be characterized this way by the narcissist and will be. Expect it. Be prepared for it. Don't fall for it.
As I've been writing this I've had a clear memory of my mother quite literally demanding that I "bend over for it." For the first ten years of my life spankings were dished out frequently. For a period of time when I was around five or six the spankings were daily events. My mother was nearly always in a foul temper and the slightest infraction would be severely punished. Here's how it would go.
I would be called into her bedroom. Many times both my sister and I were summoned at the same time. My mother would then, through her teeth, demand we stand at the foot of her bed and bend over for our spanking.
The reflexive reaction of someone anticipating pain on their backside is to protect that backside. The hands would go over our asses. The act of having to willfully bend over the bed was also contrary to the desire to protect oneself. I remember with perfect clarity the terrible stiffness of my posture as I had to work with all my power to force myself to bend over for what was coming. Then, if my little hands were still covering my butt my mother wouldn't spank. She would grit her teeth until I could hear them grind and demand that I put my hands in front of me. I don't know that I can describe the intense difficulty with which this was accomplished on my part. The fear of her rage escalating and punishment becoming even worse is how I convinced myself to comply.
I have no doubt now as I look back on this scene repeated so many times over in my life that my mother could pretend I believed I was deserving of every ounce of her rage and punishment because I would cooperate by bending over and not in any way resisting my punishment. She taught us from our earliest moments that if we ever attempted to run away from her when she came for us that it would be punished with overwhelming force. So, there were no chases around that bed or the house. No, every vestige of resistance was removed before she would commence pounding our asses. I have no memory of her ever spanking me while my hands were still covering my backside. She waited as long as it took to get the total compliance that must have made these sessions such a pleasure for her sadistic torture of her children.
My mother removed all other of my rights to self-defense as well, but the above is the most literal example of her demanding that I "bend over for it." My mother has for most of her life gotten most of her narcissistic thrills from the children in her power which included other people's children that were entrusted to her care. (How well do you know your daycare worker, hmm?)
She worked tirelessly to ensure that I didn't try to defend myself psychologically from her predations as well. All signs of resistance were squelched with ferocity and swiftness. I had to go "underground" in my resistance. It was a profound secret. I had to reach my mid-teens before I mounted an organized mental resistance to her cruelties and torments. All this was accomplished in the privacy of my thoughts. This is really the only place that children can resist the power of a narcissist's control. In their thought life. Never condemn a child for their compliance to an abusive parent. The parent holds absolute control over that child's life. The child is only trying to survive. The most sad thing is that many of these children grow up still convinced they have no right to defend themselves or their own children from the narcissist thus forcing subsequent generations to be blood supply for the vampiric family narcissist(s).
Remember, self-defense is directly related to the right to live. The narcissist makes their "living" by denying you have a right to live your own life. They will work tirelessly to convince you that "resistance if futile; you will be assimilated"...to quote the Borg in Star Trek. You don't have to be assimilated. Even if you are presently in a situation where it appears you have no power...you have your own mind. All self-defense starts there. In your private thoughts. Nurture those thoughts and circumstance will afford you opportunity at some point to escape because you'll be looking for those circumstances and will be ready to seize them the moment they appear.