A very precise comparison in our view of the narcissistic abuser is to compare them to vampires. These people do indeed “extract” from us our energy and emotions to the point of exhaustion, financial resources, health, and they also draw away from us our sense of self, and drain away other relationships such as family and friendships (sometimes not allowing their victim to maintain those relationships at all).
Perhaps you’ve experienced that particularly alluring yet covertly toxic moment when you do indeed see right through your abuser’s tactics (you may even have left or they left you), but now they’ve flipped that switch again…wanting forgiveness, to come back, promising the very moon itself.
“Let me in” – the words seem to form a fog around you.
Consider this moment like a vampire movie, when the main character is awoken by a horrific yet familiar face floating at their bedroom window, woefully begging for that person to unlock the window, to allow the vampire in, accompanied by complaints of the cold, begging for your help, or giving reminders that this now ghastly-faced creature was once beloved. If that story’s character is so enamored in that moment that they unlatch that window, what’s next?
The vampire’s true intent is revealed once inside, and another victim is taken.
What happens instead if the window remains locked and measures are taken to instead eradicate the vampire?
If your abuser has drawn narcissistic supply off you again and again but is now demonstrating the steps of the falsified, trance-like lure for the above-described goal, leave your “window” locked. Keep your awareness high. Create and maintain your boundaries. Your anti-abuse “crucifix” is making a full, undaunted use of anti-sociopath education…and the drive to pursue that knowledge is self-love/keeping yourself safe against any current or future vampires.
The abuser has harmed you again, is perhaps gone having discarded you, or you’ve left.
…but you’re still thinking you “love” them. These are the words in your own voice echoing in your head—the soft-focus, romanticized ideation that your abuser actually deserves your love. You may likely be telling yourself that you have to stay in/get back in this nightmare relationship because you can’t ever get anyone else who’d treat you properly anyway.
This your internal narrative…and it needs significant redirection, an upgrade, and remodeling. This is a brainwashed-by-abuse mindset that must be corrected with truth.
Seeing an abuser as a person to still merit your feelings of love is a target point for telling yourself the truth. Remember the old adage, “The truth shall set you free”? Truth is your light to banish the darkness of abuse.
Change your internal narrative…you need to tell YOU the truth:
This person harmed you purposely and repeatedly without remorse.
The abuser did this because he enjoys harming people.
This will not change.
They have no human merit, therefore
Tell yourself the truth…change your vision of the abuser to the truth. No more twinkling, soft-focus ideations of still loving or the abuser being worthy of those feelings.
You’ve always been the person of merit…the abuser never has. Abusers target good people to oppress because it gives them a power high to cause harm to the admirable.
What is Self-Love?
(the carpenter’s level illustration)
The concept of self-love and honor is woefully undertaught, even being misunderstood as egomania. To love, care for, appropriately protect, and maintain yourself is absolutely necessary for a healthy life, healthy life choices, and healthy relationships.
Self-love reflects upon how you nourish yourself, how are you keep healthy practices such as self-care, nourishment, and exercise, and even reflects upon such things as the job you choose and how you choose to maintain your home environment and its protective, nurturing qualities.
What happens when we do not love ourselves? Often, we do not think we deserve good structures in life such as a safe home environment, or decent, honest, appropriate people in our lives to honor us and treat us well. We often think to ourselves, “Oh well, I should just go ahead and date this person because I can’t get anybody any better anyway”, or “It’s okay that he/she treats me miserably, lies, etc. … he/she pays that bill or did that nice thing that one time, etc.”.
A tidal wave of horrendous treatment is not wiped away by some small measure of what looks like good. That’s a little like someone shooting you, but handing you a Band-Aid.
So what does self-love look/feel like? Imagine a carpenter’s level with the fluid-filled cylinder holding a single bubble.
Your sense of self and self-honor are represented by that bubble. Self-love keeps your bubble between the centering lines. If someone mistreats you, you are tuned in to the fact that your bubble is being pulled out of center. You are not being appropriately honored as a human being with value and merit. This is your moment to stand up and clarify your right to be treated well.If that person mistreating you will not correct their behavior, gaslights you, projects upon you, etc., then that is an individual who does not deserve to be in proximity to you.
It’s very important also to understand that self-love exists appropriately when you love yourself as well as loving and honoring the good people around you. Only can self-love be construed as narcissism/sociopathy when it exists in a detrimental state, cutting out honoring any/every person around.
NPD does not evaporate with a change in relationship partners, counsel, nor a job change or new home, etc. There’s no new person or thing that makes the narcissist suddenly normal, rational, or better behaved. For those of us who dealt with a drug/alcohol-affected abuser, the eradication of intoxicants makes no difference–the personality disorder and its resulting abuse remain.
The disorder is ever present, and it is poured out into every relationship and interaction the narcissist has, not merely the romances–their children, parents, co-workers, service providers in the community, anyone and everyone (and yes…they are capable of manipulating therapists with their toxicity).
Loving them doesn’t melt NPD away, never has over all of the history of abusiveness in humanity, and never will. There’s no surgery, therapy, psych med, or book/video series that cures this. It does not change with new living situations or changing jobs or partners…this is permanent.
An illustration of what “hard-wired” means in the human brain: Dr. George Simon, a psychologist who specializes in personality disorders, likens full-blown personality disorders to severe Autism. The likelihood of a severely Autistic individual changing is the same as someone with a full-blown personality disorder ever-changing – none.
The Cancer Illustration
Another illustration would be to imagine he has an inoperable malignant cancerous tumor–nothing can be done to eradicate or treat this. You are literally standing in front of this person, frantically saying, “But I love you…can’t you just not have cancer?”
There was a time when you were the shiny new relationship…and some previously discarded person was in pain as you are presently. She wondered if he’d somehow be perfect with you. Was he?? And the persons before her all wondered the same thing in reverse succession, and this will go on & on now with every new victim until he dies.
Patterns speak. Patterns shout.
We glibly toss around the word “evil” and think of monsters in movies…but no, the malevolence we have witnessed is the very heart of darkness itself.
The longer a victim continues to fight the truth of this, the longer the victim suffers. It is what you tell yourself now that matters, so change your internal dialogue to factual truth.
I’m living proof that it works.
Further Resources for Dealing with and Understanding the Narcissist’s New Relationship from Our Coaches