Thank you for popping by to read the second part to this series. This post will not only share true accounts of victims who have endured the abuse from narcissists, but it will also aim to analyse each story and try to asses the abuse methods and narcissistic traits involved, so that we may better understand just how the mind of a narcissist works. I can imagine that it took a lot of courage and strength for the people who have come forward with their stories. Massive respect there. I hope this post fulfils my intention of spreading awareness and knowledge on this subject, whilst also giving victims the courage to speak up and break free from their abusers, or from the memories of the abuse.
In regards to having a relationship with a narcissist: my mother. Now, I am lucky in a way that I have Aspergers Syndrome. I am able to look at her from an emotionally distant standpoint; and I think it is both this gift and curse that has enabled me to maintain a close relationship with her. She is strange in that she can be so humorous and fun, and yet only venom seems to spew from her mouth. I was constantly (I mean CONSTANTLY) criticised. She was my equestrian trainer and even at the age of 5, when normal 5 year olds would get upset, she would tell me: “if you’re going to cry, you’re going to get off the horse”. When I got pregnant at 22, having been married for over a year, she responded, “Oh 22 and pregnant, I wouldnt want to be you”. She tells me how cute and wonderful my husband is, while weeping that my father was such an awful person. (He wasn’t perfect, but she could poke the bear). GOD FORBID I would forget to wash my cereal bowl, she would flip out at me calling me a brat and ungrateful. She calls everyone “cold” “judgemental” and “weird.” She bad mouthed my father, his mother, her sister and almost everyone to me. Looking back, I think it was an isolation technique. You see, life was hard for her, it always was. She was raised poor, as her father died when she was just 9. And that’s where her emotional maturity stayed. As a young adult, she dropped acid, she got married to some jerk and aborted their child. She met my father whilst working as a vet tech. They had a fondness for animals, and both sorely beaten by the nose. My father has asperger’s and his father was the devil in human form. He was a violent, angry drunk, and that never changed. They are both socially awkward and always felt like outsiders looking in. My parents marriage was a mess. But it’s never just one person’s fault. In any event, things got worse at home for everyone when my brother started doing drugs and getting very violent.
He made our lives a living hell, and nearly killed me and her a couple of times.
So naturally, I felt a sense of guilt and a sense of loyality to my mother. But I also felt angry that she didn’t do more to get my brother out of the house, and that no matter what he did, he was forgiven. YET, dare I wear a shiny lip gloss, she told me I looked slutty. It was odd, and I never fully understood it. She told me not to wear toe rings because I “shouldn’t attract attention to something that isn’t pretty.” To this day, I still dont wear toe rings and I’m extremely self conscious of my feet. My mother seemed to take all of her hurt and insecurities and turned it into venom. There is no common ground, no rational discussions about anything. And she really seems to be able to know where to hit you. For example, she once said that people with anorexia are just “self-absorbed cry babies who want attention”. Even though she has struggled with being underweight and eating most of her life. She has this strange view that anyone who struggles just isn’t tough enough. She has called me almost every name in the book.
When I was raped, she told me, “I knew this would happen one day because of the way I would let you dress when you were a teenager.” Not only was that a HORRIBLE statement, but when I got upset by this she goes, “NO! You didnt listen! I was blaming MYSELF for what happened to you.” Which only made the remark that much more awful. When I was placed under suicide watch a few months after the incident, and the dean of my college called her to inform her, my mother asked to speak to me and told me “You need God and you need to pray.” No I need meds and you know, compassion? I do have a religion, but it’s not Christianity which she does not like at all. I did date a girl, and that was pretty scandalous to her. She tells me all the time about how my ex’s were cute and treated me well, but she never mentions the over year long relationship I had with a woman… convenient. Despite all of this, I call her several times a week, just to see how she is. I try to be that one person who never left her side, who always listened, and was always, to the best of my ability, patient with her. I describe my family (especailly her) as ‘Fascinating from a psychological perspective, and tremendously painful from a personal one’.
Analysis: Margaret’s experiences are unfortunate to say the least. Her mother is the typical narcissistic parent, with the constant criticism and put downs to make herself look like she’s the one that’s always in control and is always right. The passive aggression and verbal abuse is how they lash out if either you go against them, or challenge them. They think that they need to remind you of their ‘power’ over you. Now as mentioned in the first post, below the grandiose surface lays a persona of very low self esteem, inferiority and maybe even self hate. Clearly with Margaret’s mother we can see that she has had her own set of experiences from both her childhood and marriage. Also with Margaret’s brother. These negative memories and experiences have been bottled up and have turned into poison which she uses on someone who she can easily control: Margaret, the submissive one. She uses her negative experiences to both play victim when needed and to instill guilt and sympathy, whilst also using it to promote her ‘I know best’ mentality.
When Margaret suffered the ordeal of being raped, again we see a complete lack of a normal motherly and emotional response. We see coldness and emotional unresponsiveness. We see victim shaming and ‘disappointment’ with Margaret. This deplorable mentality is because narcissistic parents perceive and treat their children as trophies that need showing off. They cannot have any ‘flaws’. Their failures and mistakes are quickly declared as disappointing and shameful, regardless of how it is damaging the child and how the child feels. We can also see several instances of gas lighting, with her response to this incident being one of them. When Margaret was blamed for the rape because of the way she dressed for example. If Margaret was to go on believing that and ultimately blamed herself, then the narcissistic parent would’ve won more control over her.
In many other instances we can see and understand that as Margaret grew into her teens and a need for independence and self expression started surfacing, a power struggle had begun between them both. Control and dictatorship was attempted to be thrown on how Margaret dressed and acted. Her love life and decisions were also scrutinised and placed under a magnifying glass. Everything was constantly being analysed and critiqued. Margaret’s obvious displays of rebellion caused her mother to lash out more, and become more verbally abusive, whilst simultaneously becoming more emotionally cold. This would yo-yo between that and pulling out the victim card of comparing Margaret’s life to hers. We wish Margaret well and fully appreciate the courage in sharing her story with us. We also respect her decision to keep in touch with her mother out of compassion.
I am actually still dealing with the aftermath of it all. At first he denied everything I uncovered, he kept lying and even denied the fact that he was in a relationship with someone else. Swore up and down that she was just a friend. Then he tried a smear campaign and tried to say I was crazy. When that didn’t work he started ignoring me, but since I had proof to back everything by facts, he actually started playing the victim. His actions are adjusted to his needs.
This has all happened to me recently, and it has motivated me to speak out against it and raise awareness of narcissistic abuse. Ultimately this lead me to writing and publishing a book all about my story, and at the moment I am even considering writing a sequel to my book. I request everyone to please check out my website: www.prey4me.com. It is my story about exposing a narcissist. It’s the mixture of a traumatic experience and a partial memoir that focuses on a time span of about two years.
Analysis:Alexandra was in a relationship with a narcissist and it’s no surprise that it wasn’t a happy one. Narcissists are compulsive liars and serial cheaters. It feeds their grandoiseness because they need to feel wanted by everyone. They also get a rush from getting away with their lies and fooling their victims. It makes them feel like a mastermind of some sorts. But once they get caught….well we can see what happens by observing Alexandra’s experience.
The first response will be denial. YOU are lying and THEY are being unjustly accused. When that does not work, then they get very defensive. They’ll blame you and their life for their behaviour and pull out the victim card. Lastly if that doesn’t work either, they’ll then give you the silent treatment. Completely blocking you out of their life as if you’re the one that has hurt them. Again we see these events in Alexandra’s story. First denial and then lying. Once he was cornered, the gas lighting began trying to make Alexandra look insane, whilst attempting to appear as a victim himself. He also tried to use intimidation and shame to silence her as we can see when she mentions the smear campaign. They hate to not be in control of you, and will attempt to completely drag you down if they realise that you’re not going to submit, and neither do you fear them. With Alexandra we can gather that he then started ignoring her and cutting off all possible ways of contact. This is their way of escapism from the situation of being exposed and dare I say helpless, but it is also a ‘punishment’. I’m pretty sure he thought Alexandra will suffer and struggle without him.
I would highly recommend everyone to go to her website and purchase the book.
Growing up, I was never understood. I was never right; I was never good enough. My father who suffers from Bipolar Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder ruled my house with an iron fist. It was never about me. Years later, I still feel the same. My house feels like a cage, with egg shells at every corner. My crippling anxiety has become who I am, rather than a part of me. My anger has fueled other parts of my life but with little ways to cope. Part of me is angry with my dad for the tirades, put downs, and self centered world view. But as I get older, I’m beginning to understand what it’s like living his unmediated, black and white world.
My dad was verbally and emotionally abusive. He would call me horrible names. He would call me a loser and tell me that I’ll never make it in life. He would tell me that he wished he didn’t have me as a daughter. It really was like walking on egg shells around him as he’d be triggered by the smallest of things. For instance, wearing leggings, or answering him the wrong way, or outright saying no to one of his demanding requests.
Anaylisis: Gabby’ experiences with her father, just like Margaret’s mother, sums up what it’s like to have a narcissistic parent(s). Again we see the pattern of over dominance, constant criticism, name calling and emotional abuse. We see the trophy treatment in treating Gabby as a disappointment. I’m sure with anything she achieved, it was met with emotional coldness,as if it was never enough. A narcissist wants you to keep trying and trying even if your back breaks. You have to keep trying to live upto their expectations and standards, because they firmly believe that’s what they deserve and their entitled to it.
Gabby mentions being at home in his presence felt like constantly walking on eggshells. The abuse obviously leaves their victims feeling on edge, with anxiety and dread. They are afraid something bad will happen any minute, as the narcissists temperament and moods are always unpredictable and intense. She mentions he also has bipolar disorder, which obviously had a big influence over his moods. Gabby may have also felt depressed, isolated and stuck, both obviously at home, but also in her life, as there seemed no way to escape from her father. I’m very glad that Gabby is not only aware of her fathers narcissism, but is actually using her voice to spread awareness on this matter.
The relationship was very toxic, and since I had undiagnosed General Anxiety Disorder, I had very little voice and clarity of mind to protest to begin with. Although he was never physical, he would often use the silent treatment and gas light me. I get PTSD episodes everytime we are in touch now. The feeling of being ignored and being left hanging, made me feel helpless. I think we manipulated each other. But I do start to realize he did make me feel guilty about EVERYTHING. Especially when he left Denmark for an internship, my best friend had died of an overdose, and I lost most of the people around me – yet he still refused to talk to me. In the end I lost all sort of self worth and he made me think differently about the abuse I experienced in the past. We broke up in 2011/2012 (I don’t know for sure, as I have a blocked memory) and I took 100% of the guilt until I saw him behaving the same way even to this day. Now my GAD is diagnosed and I’m trying to find myself again. I do feel like I’m starting to understand that he was just…empty. All the time.
Analysis: Most of the times what attracts a narcissist is someone who is somewhat vulnerable. With Gry we can see that she was already suffering from anxiety disorder. This gave him the upper hand because it meant it would always help him in gas lighting and manipulating her. We can also understand that externally she went through a lot of changes and incidents, in which she lost people who she cared about and needed. And again, we see the narcissist taking away emotional comfort by being unresponsive, distant and giving her the silent treatment. This was all done to punish her and give him the false sense of control that he thinks he had over her. The last thing she said struck a cord with me as it really sums up a narcissist. They’re empty. Under all the grandiosity and the facade of strength, hides emptiness, low self esteem and low self worth.
I hope the stories from these courageous people give all those reading this post that have experiences of their own, the strength to speak up about them and to stand up for themselves.