We were the lucky ones.

narcissusrevoy
“Narcissus and Echo” by David Revoy

Those of us who are ACONs and didn’t become narcs ourselves really are the lucky ones.

Narcissism, as I’ve written so many times, is a family disorder and is passed on through generations, both through the genes (as a predisposition, not as a “bad seed,” which I don’t believe in) and through early childhood abuse and neglect.

I’ve read so many of Sam Vaknin’s writings from his personal journal now. He is an ACON just like us but was never able to escape from developing the disorder himself, in spite of his insight and high intellectual ability. The abuse he suffered at his mother’s hands was horrific. With loving parents he may not have developed NPD.

I am also pretty sure my MN mother was sexually abused. I wrote about her childhood in this post. She never actually said she was, but she’s never talked much about her past. Most of what I know I pieced together from bits of information others told me. But even though sexual abuse was never mentioned, I strongly suspect she was and it would explain a LOT.

My MN ex was abused by his mother too. I haven’t written a lot about it, but someday soon I will. His mother was a malignant narcissist who mas a master manipulator and gaslighter, and physically abusive too.

I thought, “that could have been me.” It could have been any of us.

There are narcissists much worse than Sam, who have no insight and no desire to help others avoid people like themselves. Sam and his wife have chosen not to have children because of the devastating effects NPD could have on them–either as its victims or inheritors of the disorder. The fact he doesn’t want to burden a potential child with that proves to me he must have some semblance of a conscience, even if he thinks he doesn’t. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have NPD but he probably isn’t that malignant compared to some truly evil people out there. I wouldn’t call him a benign narcissist either though–his behavior in “I Psychopath” was pretty intolerable, for the most part, even if he made me laugh sometimes. Sometimes I feel sorry for his wife, who seems like a meek, codependent type and scored very high in empathy on the tests she had to take in that film. I hope he treats her well. But because he’s a narcissist, he probably doesn’t, even if he tries to.

I have complained endlessly about my disorders and the effects of narcissistic abuse on me at the hands of my family and my ex (as well as previous boyfriends before him–I’ve ALWAYS been attracted to narcissistic men, which is why I won’t enter into another romantic relationship ever again). But you know what? For all my social awkwardness, PTSD, BPD, avoidant personality, low self esteem, debilitating anxiety and hypervigilance, and intermittent major depressions, I wouldn’t trade any of that in exchange for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I could have EASILY become a narc. So could any of you reading this who suffered similar abuse, because you may have the gene for it or it runs in your bloodline, like it does in my FOO.

Maybe we suffer more than someone with NPD (although someone like Sam definitely suffers in his own way), but we have hope. We can get better. We can heal ourselves either through traditional therapy or writing about it. We can separate ourselves from the malignants and the psychopaths who hurt us (narcs can never escape from themselves and make no mistake–they are dangerous to themselves). Our healing may take a long time, it may not be easy, but we can get well. We can become whole, happy people. Because we have the willingness.

Narcissists do not. Their true self is so damaged and atrophied it can’t be accessed and the masks have no desire to get better, because the are just masks. The more malignant the narcissist, the less hope there is for them. The are the cursed ones. They are trapped in their sickness. The really unfair thing is, in most cases this was something done to them. That doesn’t excuse the way they act, but they never had a choice.

We were the lucky ones. We have hope because we never lost our true selves. Think about that the next time you feel like you’re worthless because of the mindgames your narc plays with you.

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8 thoughts on “We were the lucky ones.

  1. I’m sorry, I just have to say this. I just can’t feel sorry for narcs. There is no explanation for evil, in a real sense. Of course evil can be explained away, have you read some of Anna Valerious? She goes into that in much detail.

    I’m not strong enough to argue these points. I just know what I know.

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    • I’m kind of new at recovery and I have all this information coming in at once–I vacillate between feeling sorry for them and hating them. I feel bad they are they way they are (and maybe they couldn’t help it), but that also doesn’t give them an excuse to treat people the way they do.

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  2. But when a person lies, that means they know the truth. They know what they are doing and know it is harmful to others, but they don’t care. I’m new to recovery too, and I spent weeks and learned some things. Narcs want to be pitied, they have all this self-pity, they are a pity pot. Unfortunately, it only feeds them. The only help is to starve them. In that case they might, and that is a huge might, they might self-introspect.

    Anna teaches very well that the only way to help a narc is to stay away from them. If they are starved enough God can intervene, if God has an opening. I would love to link some stuff she teaches but I don’t have permission.

    Also too, we ACON’s need anger. It is important for recovery. But please don’t take my word for it. Please read some of Anna Valerious she is well seasoned and well respected within the ACON online community. Also too, Lisette, on House of Mirrors, she has so much knowledge of the treachery of narcs.

    I do know your intentions are good. But I take Anna Valerious’ advice, “Please save your pity for good people.” I know I’m quoting without permission, sorry.

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    • I’m in complete agreement with NC and I had (and have) plenty of anger toward my psychopathic abusers. It hasn’t gone away but has allowed me to maintain NC.
      I agree with you about Anna and Lisette’s sites and those are actually two of my favorites. I believe they’re both in my blogroll (which is under Info and Support)

      As for the lying–I see your point–in that yes, since they can lie, that means they know the truth, so why don’t they choose the right thing–the truth? If they don’t care, they actually seem to revel in the anguish their lies cause others. They may lie just to hurt someone, not to protect themselves (which is all too human and even done by non-narcs) and that indicates they like to see others suffer.

      But why do they think like that? How did they get that way? Like I said, I don’t believe kids are born bad. They might have the bad gene for MN but unless they suffer devastating abuse/neglect they won’t fully develop NPD if they do at all. Loving parents at a very early age and intensive therapy saved Beth Thomas from a life of psychopathy. She is a loving adult with normal levels of empathy and has a career helping other abused children and their families. But if the child isn’t rescued early enough, it’s too late and since (very deep inside) they hate themselves (yes, they really do) they learn to overcompensate and project their hated characteristics onto others, while at the same time donning masks to serve as a “fake self” not their real self, who was rejected by the child himself due to the abuse and allowed a false self to take over and hide the real one. They have a deep sense of shame about themselves–but you will never see this. But I completely agree they must be completely shut outof your life, or as much as its possible.
      Hurt child inside or not, these are dangerous and evil people. They should never be given an inch or they will take 100 miles. So I’m not disagreeing with you.

      Anna Valerious is absolutely correct in that while she believes narcs don’t deserve our sympathy, her observation that if a window of opportunity appears for a narcissist (and that would mean a total or near total removal of all their narcissistic supply) they experience a terrified, vulnerable and desperate time, they may become severely depressed or ill and basically all their masks come tumbling down because they lack the energy or the motivation anymore to keep them up anymore.

      I agree with her that is the only time God can step in to start the healing process. Obviously this isn’t something that happens very often, but it does happen for almost all narcissists at some point in their lives because almost all narcissists find a way to lose everything they have at some point due to their bad choices and moral stupidity. The truly evil ones are usually charasmatic, powerful and cunning enough to find ways to continue their narcissistic supply coming in, and will never experience a “narcissistic crisis” the way a deprived one will. So those truly evil narcissists probably have no hope of ever getting better and they cannot be saved even by God himself.

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      • I don’t pity narcissists unless they don’t appear to be of the malignant variety. If they are malignant I don’t give a damn what happens to them because they are beyond hope.
        I feel far more pity for the survivors of abuse than any narcissist.

        I guess the point I was trying to get across in that article is that we can feel empathy for them but still not desire to do anything for them or have anything to do with them. Empathy means the ability to feel another person’s feelings–it does not imply the empathetic person feels compelled to help them. Altruism is a little different from empathy. For example, God the Father empathized with the Son’s suffering on the cross, but he did not save him although he easily could have. he allowed him to die for a greater purpose. If he ACTED on his empathy though, he would have removed Jesus from that cross. Empathy is an emotion shared with another, not necessarily altruism (even though one can lead to the other).

        I;m not implying we are like God either, but it’s a good analogy. There are other examples of empathy that does not lead to action.

        I agree anger is best when you are trying to escape a narcissist. It gives you the motivation to get away. Anger always overrides fear when both are present. But if you are far removed and studying them from a distance, we are not in too much danger from them and can afford to feel their pain, JUST feel their pain, not try to alleviate their pain. In fact, their pain is GOOD FOR THEM.

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  3. Wow, this really shows how my mind works. It is insightful. The first time I read your response, I felt attacked. Oh boy. Then I went away from the computer then came back, and I feel much better now. The words came through to me much more clearly.

    Yes I get what you are saying here, and I would like to understand your position, and I understand you maybe are worried about your daughter because she might be one of them too. My daughter is narcissistic, she was diagnosed. She just had a baby 5 days ago. My daughter was never abused, she did have a narcissistic father however. But she was spared and raised decently.

    So yeah, I have quite the job on my hands now, but it does me no good to bury my head in the sand about it, she is narcissistic, she chooses wrong over right, almost all the time. I’ll continue to be her mother, I can’t have NC with her. I pray to God that things will get better. I’ll stay involved in her life and keep praying, and worrying. It’s a mother’s job.

    It’s true some narcs were raised abusively, some weren’t. Some good people were abused, some weren’t. It is my opinion of course, but I believe they can’t be cured. You can’t give a conscience where none exists. Perhaps low grade narcs, but still then I don’t think so.

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    • Joan, my daughter possibly having NPD does have something to do with my desire to understand the way they think. She was actually diagnosed borderline, but as a similar Cluster B disorder she has many narcissitic traits and there are times I am sure she is a narcissist, other times I don’t think she is. If she does have NPD I don’t think she’s malignant or a high level one. She does want to get better and is starting to make some better choices. She feels badly when she does something to hurt someone, but she doesn’t seem to learn from her mistakes that well either. She’s only 21 though, so maybe she just needs to grow up a little more.

      I’m sorry your daughter has been diagnosed with NPD. Hopefully it’s not of the malignant variety, since she has a child now. (Congratulations on your new grandchild!) If she’s a low level narcissist and her husband isn’t one, then perhaps things will be okay for their child. My son turned out fine even though his father is a malignant narcissist–he found ”
      surrogate families” starting in his late teens (because he was scapegoated by his father) and is developing a healthy self confidence and is involved in many worthwhile activities and seems generally happy. Basically he went NC with his father, although he didn’t know he was a narcissist and isn’t that familiar with the terminology we use. But he knew he couldn’t have anythng to do with him because of the destructiveness of that relationship.

      Yeah, I do try to look at both sides. (astrologically, I have a lot of Libra in my chart, haha!) I want to understand narcissists because of my daughter and because understanding them makes things easier for us. But that doesn’t mean I want to get close to one either! Been there, done that, it’s enough!

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