Why do Victims of NPD abuse seem so obsessive about the disorder? For the same reasons that rape victims obsess about rape, robbery victims obsess about theft etc.
The key difference, however, is that unlike many types of abuse, which are discreet, one-off instances, NPD abuse continues over a very long period. It does so in two ways:
The actual abuse carries on. Narcissists are famed for not allowing their victims to escape. They will do all they can to prevent the victims cutting ties with them. So expect them to abuse their own children as a way of inflicting drama and pain on their coparents (google pathogenic parenting, parental alienation etc). If assets are jointly owned, expect them to obstruct their sale. If sources of income should be shared, expect them to embezzle. Expect smear campaigns aimed at isolating and discrediting the victims amongst joint friends and even their own family. Expect all kinds of stalking – from houses being bugged, key-logging software installed on computers, trackers fixed to vehicles, snooping drive-by’s and the like. Expect the weirdest array of shenanigans – joint kids bribed to steal the targeted parents back door keys. clothes stolen off the clothes line, tyres slashed. IN the case of divorce, expect the most ridiculous series of court cases and legal cases – because it is exactly this kind of drama to which a narcissist is addicted. They have no intent to allow their victims to break free, and thus no inclination to find resolution.
Any – and I mean – any way to disrupt and rattle a victim can and will be employed. Defending against it is hard work and keeps the victim constantly on edge. To the unenlightened bystander, this may seem obsessive – to the victim it is maintaining prudent vigilance and suspicion.
The effects of NPD abuse causes Complex PTSD, the recovery of which takes time and hard work. You wouldn’t expect a soldier returning from Afghanistan, and who is suffering PTSD from his experiences there, to heal overnight. And that is even when he is separated from the root os his abuse by thousands of miles, has formal support, and is in a protected environment with other victims being treated for the same issues. Victims of NPD abuse face the same issues, but without the support. One of the effects of NPD abuse is to totally undermine and dismantle a victims sense of identity and self-confidence. So even where a victim is able to sever ALL ties with their abusers, they still carry around their own head – in which resides a jumbled mass of confusion, self-doubt and mistrust. Their healing can take years as they wrangle multiple issues – self-validation, understanding NPD and what happened, identifying and healing their prior inner wounds that made them susceptible in the first place, and rebuilding their self-esteem. Often they are having to do this whilst financially devastated, isolated and – in some instances – having to look after dependent kids.
So once again, what appears as an obsession is in fact a dogged determination to recover. It’s a mountain to climb – and one can’t expect the victim to achieve such a challenge without breaking out into a sweat from time to time.
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