Attracted to danger.

Danger caution tape

I think many survivors of narcissistic abuse find themselves drawn to narcissists–and find their danger appealing. We have to be very careful not to be drawn back into darkness, because that darkness can be very seductive, like a fist wrapped in soft black velvet.

I am an idealist and a romantic by nature. I’m an emotional person, even though I don’t always show it. Though I lack trust, I still want to think the best about all people. While I don’t hate narcs, I have to be careful not to feel too much compassion for them and allow that to make me make unwise and possibly dangerous decisions that could hamper my own healing and cause me to lose focus on what’s important.

Earlier today I woke with this crazy idea. I was going to start a second blog, a blog FOR NARCISSISTS. My argument was that they were human too and because I have learned to have some empathy for their plight, that they deserved a place to share their experiences.

Sometimes I really live with my head in the clouds.

I was brought back down to earth pretty quickly, when a good friend I respect like a sister told me this could be extremely dangerous and that I’d be flirting with darkness should I do such a thing. At best, it would take the focus off my own recovery and the recovery of victims of abuse. This woman is Christian, and much more biblically-oriented than I am, but she was right. If the devil does exist, this could be him trying to draw me back into the same dark place I just escaped. I already know, I need to keep my distance from them, even online, so why would I want to COURT such a thing?

I don’t think all narcissists are evil, except for the malignants and psychopaths, who are too far gone to ever change or want to change. I think their illness is as much a spiritual one as a mental one. Perhaps more so. But it’s not my job or my calling to provide a place for even benign narcissists to have their say. If they want to say something, they are more than welcome to do it right here on this blog, as long as they are pleasant and civil. And they have done so.

But starting a new blog for them would just be stupid. The more I think this over, the more I’m glad my friend stopped me before I actually did this. I’m not always the most practical person and I don’t always have a lot of common sense. I’m an idealist and sometimes act on my unrealistic, romantic fantasies more than I should.

More than likely, the narcissists who need help the most (the malignant psychopaths, who are least likely to seek help) would not even post on the site, or may even try to destroy the site in some way.

I think many women, especially those who have always been attracted to or been in relationships with Ns, find something seductive and appealing in narcissists and have to be very careful not to be drawn in by their charms. I know I’m a sucker for it, and they can present a very mysterious, seductive, bad-but-hurting-boy charm, like the main character in the movie “Rebel Without a Cause.”

We may find ourselves wanting to mother and nurture them and protect them from further hurt. And yes, they do hurt, and maybe nurturing and remothering is exactly what they need, but it must come FROM A PROFESSIONAL who knows what they are doing. It’s not our job to give them that kind of therapeutic support. We don’t know how to do it. We can’t make them feel better.

I love this song by Sarah McLachlan. I’ve posted it before, but I think it describes the attraction many women have to narcissists and psychopaths and why they can be so seductive.

Narcissists are indeed building a mystery, seducing us to becoming their supply. They can never give back what we give to them; all they can do is demand more and more until there is nothing left of us or we become one of them.

Our maternal instincts would be better put to use helping each other, and helping the people we love who can return that love.

So I will not be doing another blog right now. Thank you to everyone who suggested this was a bad idea.

I will say though, my journey since I started this blog has been the greatest, most humbling, and most exciting adventure I’ve ever been on.

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23 thoughts on “Attracted to danger.

  1. A wise decision. You are not alone in feeling that attraction. Narcissists really learn to play off of our natural biology. Attraction is a healthy and normal thing, as is empathy, it is women doing exactly what we were designed to do. In abuse however, our empathy is taken hostage and we are taught to put the needs and feelings of an abuser above our own. So we feel sorry for them, make excuses for them, try to heal them. That is a psychic bond that we have to break.

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    • Most of us were probably trained to be that way, to be narcissistic supply and codependent. Women attracted to narcs are very nurturing people who put other’s needs ahead of their own. That’s great, when the other person isn’t a narc. But you will lose your soul if you do it with a narc, because they are like emotional vampires and will suck you dry.

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  2. Your desire to alleviate other people’s suffering is honorable and it’s moral. Wanting to help makes our world meaningful and joyful. Being wise about “who” we can help is part of our healing.

    Despite your good intentions, people with narcissistic traits may be easily offended. One of the problems they face is “splitting” from white to black and there may be no limits to what they’ll do to “punish” you if you offend them. (Ask me how I know!!!) They can smear your reputation, write Hate Blogs about you; make stuff up (which seems “real” to them and thus others); destroy your peace of mind and detour your healing because you’re no longer focused on yourself. Narcissistic disorders are best left to professionals, even if we empathize with narcissistic people and would like to support them!

    Wanting to help is innate. It’s a natural human instinct and I think it’s beautiful! We need more people with the desire to help others. But knowing our limits…well, we can learn that through direct experience or we can take our friend’s advice. ha!

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    • I agree. It’s good to know what we are capable of and what we aren’t. But we can pray for them.
      They are unpredictable and can lash out if they sense any kind of insult, no matter how small. If you want to help them they may take it as an insult. They are SO sensitive.

      I think part of the problem is that therapists give up on them so easily because they just assume they can’t be helped, and also because they aren’t very easy to work with. I definitely also think a spiritual component must be present in the therapy for it to really work.

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  3. As one woman who indeed is still drawn to her narcissist because of his “bad boy charm”, I thank you for this post. I know everything he is, everything he’s put me through – but every once in a while when I happen to see him, I seem to forget everything. It’s like a general amnesia and all I see is his undeniable charisma and the fact that everyone else seems kind of boring compared to him. I’ve managed to keep away from him, but I still think about him and I am still drawn to him. Despite everything 😦

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    • I can relate so well to what you said. To me, and others like me, normal “nice” guys can seem, well, dull. narcissists sweep you off their feet, they are full of surprises (at first, good ones); romances with them are dizzying and exhilarating–until they know they’ve conquered you, and then everything changes.

      This is why I am so reluctant to date again or get involved with another man. I have become used to and happy being alone. Part of that is just selfish– I spent so much of my life giving, giving and giving some more, receiving nothing in return, that I’m actually really enjoying the single life, doing things just for me and not having to worry that it might displease a man I’m involved with.

      And even thought I know the red flags now and could probably pick out a narc if I met one, I’m still afraid i could fall under one’s spell again. They can make you dismiss or forget everything your rational mind tells you about them. You start making excuses for them, wanting to think “maybe this time it’s different.” But it’s never different.

      I also don’t think I could be attracted to a nice, normal guy. But maybe I’m wrong about that.

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  4. I identify with everything you said. My narc was amazing at first until he knew he “had me”. Then it all changed but as you said, you see they’ve got problems and you think you can help, that you can “save” them. Except you really can’t but you won’t accept it. Once you’re committed to them, you become so used to the “bad treatment” that when they do one little nice thing for you (usually when they think you’ve really had enough this time), it fuels your hope again. I read this somewhere once: “if your hot water boiler is not working and you get used to showering in freezing cold water, if once in a while the water miraculously turns tepid for a minute, you really appreciate it. And you forget that it’s constant hot water you should have.” I felt like the scales had fallen from my eyes when I read this – that’s when I realised I really had to get away from him.
    I feel the same as you though, I’m really worried I just couldn’t appreciate a regular nice guy. In fact, I’m kind of seeing one now and he’s lovely but there is no spark. At first I really enjoyed his company because I was so relieved to be away from the narc who had drained me of my time and energy – and this new guy was everything the bar wasn’t: considerate, stable, etc…but now I’m starting to be bored with him and can’t help but compare him to the crazy man who may have drained me, but who also gave me such highs. And that’s really unfair because there may have been highs but there were far, far more lows. And we’re talking proper down in a dark hole lows. Sometimes I think I’ll never be happy in a relationship.

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    • That’s a great analogy about the water boiler. That’s exactly how it works. You get used to freezing cold water so even lukewarm feels hot. It becomes our new “normal,” but it’s NOT normal.
      There’s another story about a frog being boiled. If you drop a frog in water and turn the heat up slowly, the frog won’t even notice the rise in temperature until it’s boiled to death. If you turn it up suddenly it will jump out and try to save itself. With a narc, the process of romance to abuse can be so gradual we don’t even notice the change happening until it’s too late. Just like the frog in the pot of water.

      Their charm is very addictive and even if it’s only occasional it makes you want to keep giving them another chance. You can’t. They won’t change. Their “I’m Sorry”s are insincere and meant to keep you as their supply if they think you might leave. Mine would even turn on the tears to keep me from leaving, knowing that would work on me (it drove me crazy to see him cry and I had to do ANYTHING to make him stop). Later on it was suicide threats and that’s a VERY effective manipulation tactic (a true narcissist will never commit suicide and mine didn’t either). They will do anything to manipulate you. But once they have you (or have you back) they go back to being abusive. It’s a very unhealthy pattern.

      The best thing you can do for a narc is deny them their supply: LEAVE. That will be painful for them but it also opens a window to their healing–IF they choose to get help at that point. But that’s not YOUR problem–it’s on them.

      I hear you about your normal guy lol. Normal guys may not sweep you off your feet or give you that exciting emotional roller coaster ride with all its ups and downs. But a nice slow ride can be nice too and you won’t have those awful lows. Maybe you can grow to love someone like that, just give it more time. I think starting off being friends is the best way to start a relationship anyway.

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  5. The thing about narcs is that I find them just too tricky. My mother harassed me over a little rust growing on the car when I had no money. When I had a good job she screamed at me at not keeping the house clean enough. Don’t this all just seems so “logical”? It did to me.

    I remember once I was standing in the kitchen and she told me she loved to see me miserable. It took me years of NC to remember that she said that. And all the rest became so clear. She was torturing me to feel good. I could not see that before. I could never do what she did to my own daughter. Never, ever, in fact it would be impossible, I’d rather bear all my children’s pain, not them.
    The thing about narcs is that they are so tricky. Having a blog for them might be dangerous to your psyche. IMHO

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    • She actually TOLD you she liked to see you miserable? Why the sudden honesty? My mother was similar to yours in many ways. She loved to rub in what a “failure” I was. I remember being so poor I didn’t have money to buy food and she’s complaining because she couldn’t afford to go to Italy that year. And I’m supposed to feel sorry for her? She used to always put me down because of my poverty and lack of ability to move up in companies due to my Aspergers and AvPD, but of course I was just this loser. But now I realize I was trained to not think for myself, I was trained to be narc supply. She always hated me because she knew I could see right through her for what she really was. I used to have nightmares in which her eyes would go all black.

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      • Yep, and I remember she had a cruel look on her face. I don’t know why she suddenly decided to go honest, she’s old, maybe senile, I don’t know.

        That’s terrible your mother complained about not getting the trip, and not even caring if you had no food. When I had no food mother would scream at me for being so stupid. I couldn’t move up the ladder either, in fact I can’t work at all anymore, I always get fired, my nerves are too bad. So much for compassion, but I understand that employers need to think about their company.

        It’s great that now you get to think for yourself. This is so important, after all what would healing be without it.

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        • I actually thought I’d fogotten how to think for myself, how to write, how to do anything. I thought I’d lost all my intelligence and my talents. A year ago I was just marking time until death. I felt like there was nothing in the world to look forward to and nothing would ever get better. That’s what MNs do to our minds and souls–they are poison.

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        • I’ve heard malignant narcissists get worse when they get old, not better. With age they feel like they’re losing everything–their health, independence and looks, and maybe their mind too–and that’s unbearable for a narcisssist, so they turn completely hateful and don’t even hide it behind a mask anymore. Imagine dying that way. What a life.

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  6. I am very glad you rethought this. I think for ACON abuse victims there can be this moth to the flame sort of thing that happens. It is part of the Stockholming process that is done to our psyches. I ended up with some narcs in friendships, one was STRONG and SO SMART but treated people like crap. Later I asked myself after they learned I could not be controlled I ask why was I friends with this person? My narc radar has grown but this is something to be mindful of. I know to avoid narcs like the plague, but know inside I have to be careful of letting any into my life. I think there is something inside us, where we want to be the narc whisperer and wake one up successfully perhaps to make up for the emptied eyed parents? I do not know. That’s tilting at windmills. The old me used to run to try and please the narcs, now once I realize someone is a narc, I run like hell to get away.

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    • “The Narc Whisperer”–I love that! And there is definitely some of that in me. I feel like I want to try to “save” them or something, even though I don’t want to get within 100 feet of one. Pretty ridiculous, if I couldn’t save one I was married to for 20 years and lived with for another 7, what makes me think I could help some narc who stumbles by my site? Sometimes I’m deluded but at least I can admit it and laugh about it.

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