So there’s a lot of information out there about how awful narcissists are. A quick search will pull up any number of websites, Facebook pages and blogs by women (it’s nearly always women) promoting their book about how they got involved with a narcissist and it ruined their life. Some of them are even worth reading, too. The best example is The Path Forward.
There are a lot of different names and labels used here – narcissist, malignant narcissist, psychopath, sociopath, … and that’s just the (loosely) scientific attempts. You may also see lizard, alien, monster, narco-path and spath. What’s my point? Just that using belittling labels to reduce a group of human beings to a lesser status is supposed to be what the villains do, not the good guys. Just an observation, and one that’s been covered elsewhere so I won’t get any more detailed than that for now.
A person with narcissistic personality disorder is a damaged individual who started off close to normal, and somewhere during their development got stuck at the ‘selfish toddler’ stage. Some toddlers set fire to the cat, some break crockery, some pout in the corner and then get over it … and so there are degrees and flavours of narcissism. You might get a selfish, charming, irresponsible person who sleeps around and never buys their own drinks. Or you might get a scheming reptile who takes control of your entire life and breaks you down bit by bit until you’re unable to function – just for the fun of it. They have the same disorder, just different behaviours.
There is this though, and this is important. Whatever type you have encountered, whatever they have done to your life, you allowed it to happen. Somehow, under their influence, you ceded control because it felt so good to be safe and loved.
Never mind your disapproving looks. I can see the rows of cat’s-bum mouths out there, I can hear you telling me I’m pushing the blame back on the victims and excusing the abusers. You can disagree if you like, but anyone who has been through this and is even halfway to healing will know it is the truth. The abuser was wrong, morally devoid and even evil, yes, but what was it in you that decided to ignore your better judgement and give somebody so much power over you? Some little gap, some void that had never been uncovered before, never mind filled, because you didn’t even know it was there. In fact it wasn’t there before, because it’s not real. It’s a fiction created by the narcissist – they convince you the void exists, and then they fill it. When they vanish, the void is all that’s left.