People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder – narcissists, though they have some differences are so universally patterned in their behaviour and the ways that they target victims and abuse them.
What happened many wonder as the shock of reality starts to slowly pull the wool off of your eyes. The wool of the sheep in wolves clothing that you have so much love for. What happened to the love? Why did the Narcissist start treating me with such cold, calculated, disdain.
Why, seemingly so suddenly, is the narcissist you might just be discovering you are in or were in a relationship with so aloof and impossible to please? Why is this person so critical of you now, so hurtful?
The answer is, no, they don’t and in the case of a Narcissist yes they do and no they don’t.
What do I mean?
Narcissists are incapable of love. The “love-bombing” that the narcissist grooms, fools, and hooks you with is nothing but targeted predatory fakery. For the narcissist nothing has ever been about love.
For you, you loved and/or likely (depending where you are in awakening to this) still very much in love with this person who isn’t at all who you thought they were, who you were charmed, manipulated and lied to by.
Now what? How does one wrap one’s head around this newly discovered awareness? Or even process or understand this if you’ve known the husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, you have given so much too and tried so hard to please to no avail whatsoever?
Now what? What does it all mean? Didn’t the narcissist love you? Did they just, or do they off and on just hit that “love button” to give it or take it away?
No, they don’t have any love that would be attached to any “love button”. It is so devastating for people as they come to realize someone they have loved is a narcissist who has been abusing, gaslighting, triangulating, and actually creating massive confusion, feelings of guilt, and shame in your like everything is your fault. If only … you could do … this or that. If only you would have given this or that.
Right from the love-bombing phase – which I call the bait-bombing phase the narcissist is pulling for toxic power and control. They isolate you from friends and family. They have deceitfully won your trust and turned it against you.
Narcissists have no empathy. They do not feel much of anything – whether they are charming, future-faking, bait-bombing overt narcissists, or the sneaky covert narcissist who will act like the victim faking vulnerable feelings to control in an entirely different way than the over narcissists.
There is no “love button” or understanding of love in those with NPD. Lacking empathy, feeling the cavernous black-hole abyss inside that irritates them and that they must avoid at all costs means that they seek supply from their targets/victims to essentially buffer that agitation of nothingness inside with your feelings, your energy. They such your feelings, energy, and emotional reactions to the ways they abuse you and many sadistically enjoy watching you hurt.
The more the narcissist can provoke you to display how you feel, how you hurt, what you want, need and were fooled into believing they were willing (but unable) to give, stringing you along to take and take and take and punish you into extreme emotional reactivity.
It makes people feel like they are going crazy as the confusion of being mind-fucked can’t quiet be grasped because unless you understand the narcissist now, how can you possibly be expected to know that they are gaslighting you, pathologically lying to you, to undermine your very sense of reality and who you are.
While this hurts like hell to discover, become aware of, awaken to, it is so important to slowly, if you haven’t already stop denying what is really going on. Everything the narcissist accuses you of doing to him or her, she or he is and has been doing to you.
It is common, “normal” in this coming to know so to speak, that one feels they can’t possibly be correct about the man or woman they love. Cognitive dissonance sets in. Your head struggles to tell you what is really happening to you and why it hurts so much. At the same time your heart, your feelings, your emotions are still trying to give the narcissist the benefit of the doubt – as if you could do more, something better, somehow reach this person.
The harsh painful reality that it is a process to go through over time is that the person who you thought the narcissist was and that person you fell in love with not only does not know how to love and has no empathy, but that narcissist/person does not exist.
This is the awareness that is the shock of a lifetime. So painful. So confusing. You don’t want to know this. You might still be (or at times being) hopeful that this person you fell in love with will return and make everything okay again, great again, feel as wonderful and as too-good-to-be true as it really was.
No the narcissist doesn’t just turn off “the love button”. The narcissist isn’t at all who you thought they were. Who they targeted you to think that they were/are. Not even close. It is confusing. It is overwhelming. It takes your breath away. It is devastating.
Then, as you start to understand while still feeling it’s something that you did wrong or need to do better, doubting yourself, perhaps having lost yourself, you turn back to a friend not talked to for the time of this relationship or a family member and nobody understands what you aren’t even sure of yet but that you are beginning to try to explain, be heard about so that you can try to make sense out of this painful abusive senselessness.
This is when and why so many need someone to turn to, counselling and/or coaching with someone like myself who really gets this. Who will not let you down in hearing you, believing you, validating and seeing you. You can watch all the Youtube videos and read all the books out there, but, even in all of that sum-total of information, to really heal, you need your own individual process where you engage with someone with expertise in this area and that you can work on many issues with including, relating, and trusting again.
In the beginning and even a ways down the road to understanding the pain is for everyone just too much to bear. So many victims of narcissistic abuse in interpersonal relationships feel so shamed, blamed, guilty, confused and like they have failed.
None of these feelings, though so painful, are telling you the truth about yourself. You have taken on the inner critic of the narcissist. That critical, shredding shame-dumping guilting abuser that never targeted you for love or out of love. And, it is not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. There was nothing you could do to reach a narcissist that simply does not care about you or how you feel. They only care about provoking intense painful emotions from you to fill them up and oh so temporarily and then they are back at it again.
You may know this as you read this and still be struggling to believe and process it. You may know this as you read this and are flooded with pain and that seemingly never-ending question, Why? Why? Why would anyone do this to me?
If you have been targeted, bait (“love”) bombed by a narcissist, lost yourself to this abuser, doubt yourself right now, or at times, please know that these predators target good, loving, caring empathetic people.
What do I mean? You were targeted for all of your best qualities. The narcissist turned them on you to provoke you to intense pain and emotion to satisfy him or herself. Everything with a narcissist, is totally for the narcissist all about the narcissist.
To and for any narcissist their means justify their ends.
There was no love except for how you loved this narcissist thinking they were really the persona (fake persona) that they skillfully groomed you to believe that they were. They are definitely not who you thought they were.
This is the wall of pain. That’s the bad news. The good news, there is a way back from feeling like your are at fault, you did this or that wrong, you aren’t good enough, you aren’t worthy, “nobody else would ever want you”.
No, you are as you need to journey back to someone worthy of love, who loved a predator’s fake persona and were fooled and lied to, gaslit. Gaslighting is the most severe form of psychological torture that there is.
If you relate to this, because you know this already, or because you are just trying to figure out what has happened to you and why you are in so much pain and no one else who cares about you understands, please know that the narcissist never had a “love button” to turn on, let alone off.
Don’t blame yourself. This is a time to be very kind to yourself. To be supported and helped and heard so that you can start to or continue to process what the predatory narcissist has done in abusing and using you for their own supply.
A targeting predatory narcissist will fool anyone for whatever varying lengths of time. It is not and was not your fault. You are capable of love, and you gave so very much. Nothing was good enough because you were targeted and abused by a narcissist – an empty shell of a not so human being.
It hurts like hell. Please believe me when I say, categorically, without exception, it is not and was not ever your fault. There is so much more waiting for you to know and learn and understand in a healing and recovery process.
Yes, there is life and love after narcissistic abuse. It takes time. It is a process. Know that you matter. I see you, you are visible to me. I care. I am so very sorry that you may well be reading this today in incredible pain and the on-going (for a time) confusion of self-doubt that and blame that is the result of how you were abused not that you ever were or not “good enough” now. You are good enough. You do matter. You are so very worthy. The journey of healing from narcissistic abuse is about coming to know this inside, for the first time, or again.
There is light and at the end of the tunnel. There is a journey to take from pain, confusion, and the darkness of devastation to the light of clarity and self-reclamation, healing and growing with time, gaining a new perspective on what you have been through, may still be going through.
Start to trust that your gut instincts, your “knowing” will not lead you in the wrong direction though it feels impossible to listen to your head over your heart. This is a time to listen to your instincts and to follow your head even if your head is still spinning.
Take a very slow deep breath in, hold it, blow it out slowly, Repeat as many times as necessary. Begin, ot continue to know that the only way through the pain you are in is to journey through it, come to understand it and be with it once you have learned the necessary coping skills to do so.
Narcissists don’t love. They don’t move on to some happy-ever-after “grasser is greener” next person or true love – NO! They discard or maybe you have awoken to get away yourself. Narcissists go on to target victim after victim in the cruel charade of “love-bombing” – the bait-bombing gaslighting lying targeting predatory abuse of taking that has nothing even remotely to do with love.
Narcissists don’t love any “self” and can’t love another. They are empty shells of nothingness. They are insecure. They use people to try to “feel” better when as I’ve had many clients with NPD tell me, blaming others always, when this or that happens, or doesn’t happen, when so and so doesn’t do this or that, or does this or that, expects me to this or that, I feel “stressed”. If they can even use an “I feel” statement. Clients with NPD or traits of NPD that I have worked with, often when co-morbid with BPD, say,
“I just go to dead inside” not self-aware enough to know that is their default reality. They don’t to anywhere inside that is them “going dead inside” – they are dead inside. That has nothing to do with anyone else so it can’t be your fault.
© A.J. Mahari, June 27, 2018