If you’ve ever been in any sort of relationship with a narcissist or someone with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), did it ever occur to you that they seem to treat people like they’re not really “real” or as important as they, the narcissists, are?
It’s a common red-flag symptom of NPD, and it’s one that many victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse and gaslighting in relationships report: they feel like they don’t matter; like the narcissist made it clear to them that they aren’t actually important.
If you’re struggling with this kind of abuse now, you probably get what I mean – that feeling of feeling like you are always sort of “faking it” and like you don’t even really believe yourself when you talk.
Disassociation is a disconnection from your physical surroundings. It’s when you feel like you’re sort of watching the world from somewhere deep inside your head, or above it or somehow disconnected from it. Like you’re “not really there” or like you’re watching life through a movie. You know what I’m talking about?
The worst part about how narcissists treat people like possessions is that there are no limits to who they will use to get what they want – and no limits to how low they’ll stoop and who they’re willing to hurt.
The most toxic narcissists are even willing to go as far as hurting their own children – using them as pawns in their gaslighting mind games and even completely ignoring their existence as long as it suits their purposes.
I present to you a real-life example of a narcissist father who uses his two daughters and their mother as pawns in his manipulative gaslighting games.
Narcissist Sperm Donor? A Tale of Two Babies
This is the story of two little girls; we’ll call them Sally and Cally. They are half-sisters, these two, and they’re only a month or two apart.
Their father, we’ll call him Jack, cheated on Sally’s mother (let’s call her Sue) with Cally’s mother (we’ll call her Ann), according to Sue.
According to Jack, he and Sue were “on a break” when Cally was conceived. All Ann knows is that she got pregnant thanks to an encounter with Jack and that she gave birth to Cally as a result of it.
Days after Sally was born, Sue catches wind of Ann’s pregnancy and imminent due date. She confronts Jack, who initially denies it but somehow convinces Ann to lie about it if Sally should confront her directly.
Eventually, Cally is born and looks very much like her half-sister Sally, and everyone begins to suspect that Ann’s daughter is really Jack’s “love child.”
When Jack is finally confronted about this in public, he gets angry and loses control – he thinks everyone has turned against him and he watches in horror as his elaborately built house of lies tumbles down around him as the truth about his ridiculous behavior spills forth into his circle of friends and family.
Everyone finds out that Cally exists and is shocked at the resemblance she bears to Sally. Not only that, everyone learns that Jack has never even so much as met his slightly younger daughter and that he has no intention of doing so.
He says its due to stress and negativity in his relationship (or lack thereof) with Ann, but in reality, it’s just because Cally doesn’t serve a need in his life at this moment. He feels completely justified in his discarding of his own flesh and blood because of the negativity in his relationship with her mother – completely disregarding the fact that his daughter is not a possession but an actual human with actual needs and a real live soul.
In the meantime, as his relationship with Sue inevitably erodes in light of this information, Jack cannot help but implode as she understandably recoils and pulls away on an emotional level.
Even as she tries to protect herself from his gaslighting and manipulation, he tries again and again to use their daughter Sally against her.
So, just as he’s completely denying the existence of one daughter, the other is only used as an attempt to manipulate the woman he wants to possess – call his own, who at that moment, happens to be Sue.
As the situation grows in intensity, Jack starts desperately seeking a flying monkey – he calls and texts everyone he knows, trying to figure out who’s on his side – who’s really his friend. And of course, which ones might sleep with him (you know, to take his mind off the stress caused by that “evil Sue” – Sally’s mom).
And speaking of Sue, it’s all he can talk about – how horrible she’s been to him, how she’s “keeping his daughter” from him. Meanwhile, Sue’s looking for a new babysitter because Jack has said he will no longer take care of Sally while Sue’s at work – just another attempt to control her, of course.
All of this, of course, is Jack’s desperate attempt to retain control of what he wants. The women and the children in is life are pawns and nothing more – they are treated more like possessions and less like people.
Does that sound like someone you know? Please tell me about your experiences and what you think about this story in the comments.
If you or someone you know is dealing with this kind of abuse, you might want to download my free Post-Gaslighting Emergency Recovery Kit or visit this free resources page for more help and support with gaslighting and narcissistic abuse in relationships.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.