In order to find happiness, and to have properly healed ourselves, victims need to arrive at a point where they neither feel love or hate for their abusers.
Something to Aim for
Victims need to find a way of achieving this themselves – clearly every situation is different, and we all think differently. Here are a few ideas that may help.
You may wish to consider it this way – which may be somewhat counter-intuitive – but that abusers themselves also deserve a great deal of pity. If, as the general consensus amongst experts seems to be the case, it is very likely that the cause of their narcissism was something extremely traumatic between the ages of zero and five (such as physical or sexual abuse), and that’s hardly something that can be deemed their fault.
Moreover, victims have contact with them for a matter of months and years – but they must live with themselves their entire lives. Ponder that thought an instant.
Also consider that they are unable to feel love. None at all. To them, joy is a very different feeling. Can you imagine going through the whole of life without ever experiencing the delights of proper love, or of joy? It’s pretty miserable, one would imagine.
Not only can they not feel love, but they are trapped in a person and with a split personality that they hate. They are filled with deep shame. They loathe themselves and have no self-respect. So don’t feel that I am undermining your own terrible experiences at the hands of narc – but at least you can escape – they are stuck with themselves their entire lives. Feeling a little more comfortable about pitying them yet?
The Robot Image
Our default – something intrinsic to us as humans – is to treat other humans with a range of human emotions. Love, hate, compassion, disdain, admiration, jealousy, empathy etc.
Given the reality is that the emotion development of Narcopaths was arrested very early on in childhood, they cannot feel certain emotions – we’ve already discussed love, but also empathy, guilt, compassion, and remorse. They simply can’t. Please pause to let this sink in. What we witness in lieu of these genuine emotions is an act – a regurgitation of what the narcopath has studied by the close observation of others over the course of their lives. And nothing more.
So it may help to consider them as robots, as androids. They look human, the sound human, they grow and age as humans do. But underneath, they are robots programmed with an entirely self-serving agenda, and who will never have the human emotions that are so vital to any healthy inter-personal relationship. You would be well-advised to allow yourself only those feelings towards a narcopath as you would a robot, sent into your life by an enemy, that is working to a programme that derives self-serving benefit from you, that will give you little in return, that is fuelled by your pain, but cares not one iota for your emotional wellbeing.
Third Person View
You can’t see the wood for the trees. As an NPD victim, this is a very common situation to be in. You are so close to the action, you are so emotionally bound in, and so confused and bewildered by events that are so counter-intuitive, that nothing makes sense.
In considering your situation, and especially when communicating with a narcopath in any form, it is highly advisable to try and adopt a “third person view”. It may help to physical picture someone you can relate to (be they a counsellor, a wise friend or well-respected family member) sitting on your should who is doing two things:
- Actively spotting the tactics and traits of a narcopath;
- Whispering in your ear a warning whenever a type of narcissistic abuse is spotted;
- Guiding you relentless towards a style of communication that is boring – grey, unemotional, concise, firm, giving little away. Grey Rock.
Engaging with a narcopath in this way will do a number of very constructive things for you:
- Assist you with self-validation that your suspected narcopath is indeed what you fear;
- Rob the narcopath of the narcissistic supply – the drama, the tension, the sense of control over you. In time, they will be forced to seek supply from elsewhere.
- It will start to engender the very important sense of self-worth in yourself – you will feel calmer, in greater control, and things will make more sense.
- It will help you in switching your focus from dwelling on a negative past to increasingly focus on a positive thoughts and future. You will start to feel more optimistic.