I think it’s time we stop bashing all narcissists.

stop_sign

This post is probably going to make some of you angry or upset. I understand that. After all, many of us were badly damaged by the narcissists in our lives. Anger and even hatred is an understandable and very human reaction to their abuse.

The blood sport of “narc bashing.”

blood_sport

There are a lot of people these days writing about narcissism and the sentiments found on the Internet about “narcs” and “N’s” is overwhelmingly negative:

— They can never change.
— There is no hope for them.
— They are monsters.
— They are demons.
— They aren’t human.
— God hates all narcs.
— They all deserve to burn in Hell.
— There is nothing good about them. Everything they do is evil.
— They were born evil. They are bad seeds.
— They never tell the truth.
— They have no emotions. They are machines.
— They all deserve to die.

Pretty ugly, isn’t it? This attitude is fueled by hatred and behind hatred is fear. Again, I understand this. I’ve experienced that hatred and fear myself. We have a right to be angry if we were badly treated by a narcissist. People with NPD aren’t pleasant to be around. But here’s the rub: unchecked fear and anger lead to hatred, and hatred accomplishes nothing. Hatred builds walls and leads to a refusal to even try to understand people with a devastating mental disorder. Hatred is itself evil–and narcissistic.

Hatred also leads to bigotry and intolerance. There is already too much of that in the world. People with NPD are mentally ill. We don’t malign people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder the way we malign people with NPD, but people with those disorders can also be very unpleasant to deal with. If someone started a blog that spewed hatred toward people with schizophrenia, there would be outrage. That person would be called a bigot and possibly evil.

Narcissists are abuse victims too.

abused

It’s true that people with NPD are extremely unpleasant to deal with. But all mental disorders are unpleasant. People with NPD weren’t born that way. There is no such thing as a “bad seed.” In almost all cases, a person became a narcissist because of severe abuse or neglect as children. In most cases, they were raised by people who were themselves malignant narcissists or psychopaths.

Pastor David Orrison, who writes about narcissism from a Christian perspective in his “Narcissist Friday” posts, illustrates this well in this sad story. He is rightfully critical of the disorder and its manifestations but his posts are always written in a way that attempts to understand narcissism and people with NPD the way Jesus would have done–holding them accountable without hatred.

unconditional_love

Some of you have said, “but they don’t count because they made a choice to be narcissists.” Yes, that is true, it was a choice. But that choice was almost invariably made when they were young children, as a coping mechanism to protect themselves from being hurt anymore. Narcissists are people who started life with too much sensitivity, maybe more so than those of us who identify as HSPs (because we still found a way to cope with life without constructing a protective False Self). Narcissists felt too vulnerable and naked. They were born without any natural coping mechanisms at all. They knew they couldn’t survive without this protective natural armor, so they had to construct a False Self to cope. The False Self is a lie, but it protects the True Self from further harm. The reason they act so mean is because they live in terror of the False Self being damaged and exposing the too-vulnerable True Self. Like the rest of us, they wanted to survive. This was the only way they knew how.

This doesn’t give them an excuse to act as they do. It doesn’t mean we have to tolerate their manipulations and abuse. I’m not condoning abusive behaviors and that applies to anyone. But we don’t have to spew hatred against people suffering from NPD all over the web either. We don’t have to be so judgmental. We don’t have to pat ourselves on the back because we are “better” people. Only God can judge us that way. We can try to have compassion without giving in to abuse or allowing narcissistic behaviors to destroy us.

A serious dissociative illness.

dualman

Narcissists suffer. They are deeply unhappy people. They don’t know how to feel empathy, or experience joy or love for others. They never learned how–or they dissociated themselves from those feelings at an early age because it hurt them too much to be that way. They are not without emotions. In fact, their emotions are so strong they feel like they must always be on the defensive, 24/7, 365 days a year. Imagine how stressful it must be to go through life in mortal terror of your facade of invulnerability being ripped off, of constantly having to act a part in a play, of never being able to show your pain to others, of never being able to risk loving anyone else or feeling empathy, of being bitter and envious of everyone all the time? It must be hell.

Narcissists, in spite of their name, don’t love themselves. They only love their False Self, and will do anything to protect it from exposure as the mask it really is. Because the False Self was constructed when they were so young, they don’t even know themselves most of the time. How can you love someone you never got to know? If anything, they live in deep shame of who they really are so they hide from the world behind their masks.

Some mental health experts believe NPD should be classified as a severe dissociative disorder. You can read about that here and here. It’s not that narcissists don’t have any goodness in them, but that they have “split” from their good (true) self to avoid further harm–even to the point where they can no longer access who they really are. But the pain they feel still comes through and if we listen closely enough, we can hear what they are really saying: “please love me.”

Narcissists never got to grow up. Their true self is at the emotional stage of a very young child. Inside every narcissist is a little boy or girl of 3 or 4, sitting in a dark corner crying because they feel so lonely and unloved. Their reactions are at the level of a young child too. They never learned how to experience more mature emotions, because the False Self was constructed when they were too young to feel the emotions of an older person.

NPD is a spectrum disorder running from mild all the way to psychopathy and sociopathy at the top of the spectrum. Most narcissists are not psychopaths (who actually have Antisocial Personality Disorder rather than NPD and have built a wall so impenetrable even they can never access it and will never be able to admit they are the ones with the problem). Even malignant narcissists (just under psychopathy on the spectrum) may have rare moments of insight and regret for the way they behave. It’s my belief that NPD is as much a spiritual disorder as a mental one, but that doesn’t automatically make all narcissists “evil.” Who are we to assume that God hates all narcissists and can’t help even the most malignant ones? I believe God can perform miracles should He choose to do so. To speak for God this way is itself narcissistic.

Art allows the True Self to find expression.

iris_scott

The pain and hurt that fuels narcissistic behaviors can find honest expression. I’ve noticed many or even most narcissists have a talent in one or more of the arts–William Shakespeare, Ezra Pound and even Michaelangelo (who probably had NPD) come to mind, to name a few. Good art is about Truth and is one of the greatest blessings God can give. It’s through these artistic endeavors that a narcissist’s true self comes through, that they dare give that vulnerable hurting child a means to express the truth of how they really feel. Having a creative ability–whether in the visual, literary, or performing arts–is all the proof I need that people with NPD are still loved by God. Through their art, they are crying out through their mask. They want to be loved and they want to feel love. I can think of many examples of this, but the other day I received an email that really stood out to me and made me take a second look at my own negative attitude toward “narcs.”

The email was from a young man who admits he has NPD. He expressed a strong desire to try to heal himself. He hates his disorder because of what it has done to his life and the ways it has caused his relationships with others to suffer. He wants to know how to feel empathy and genuinely love others. I have no doubt his words were sincere and came from his True Self.

This young man said he was a singer-songwriter so I checked out some of his stuff on Youtube. (I can’t post it here right now because I have not asked for permission to do so). I was blown away by his talent. The words of the songs he writes express emotions almost too deep for words. His powerful emotions of pain and the desire to love and feel connected with others come through in his beautiful voice–and in his face when he sings. I have no doubt his music comes from his True Self, not his false one. Through music, he’s able to break through his wall of narcissism and allow himself to become vulnerable, to cry out in the darkness.

Insight and willingness: ingredients for change.

willingness

I don’t know if this young narcissist can heal himself. It’s a difficult enough disorder to treat by professionals, but he says he can’t afford a therapist and can’t find one willing to treat NPD anyway. Most narcissists won’t present themselves for therapy because their disorder is so deeply ingrained they have no insight and think it’s everyone else who has the problem, not them. Some narcissists may have insight into their disorder and know they aren’t well but still not be willing to change because their mask has become too adaptive or they are too afraid. But insight is the first step toward redemption–it’s not possible to have willingness without insight. This man has both the insight and the willingness. With both present, I think there is hope for him.

Tough love, not hate.

tough_love

Just because we should stop spewing hate against people with NPD doesn’t mean we have to tolerate their manipulative and abusive behaviors. It also doesn’t mean we can’t leave a narcissist or go No Contact. In fact, doing so may be the most loving thing we can do for them. Going No Contact removes the source of supply we have been giving them, and in rare cases may cause a narcissist to seek help or at least begin to question their own motives. Going No Contact is also the most loving thing we can do for ourselves. Refusing to have further contact with a narcissist isn’t an act of hatred. It’s an act of self-love and survival.

St. Augustine said, “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Jesus inspired this quote because He hated no one but was no pussy either. We can hate the behaviors without hating an entire class of people with a severe mental and spiritual illness that causes them even more misery than they cause those they attack. Going No Contact or refusing to play their narcissistic games isn’t an act of hatred. It’s an act of survival and is just plain common sense. It may even be a way we can show them love–“tough” love.

I realize this post may be controversial because we ACONs have gotten so used to thinking of “narcs” as evil. Their behaviors may be evil, but people with this disorder are still human beings who have feelings–even if they don’t know how to show them properly or keep them under wraps. Except for the most malignant narcissists and psychopaths at the top of the spectrum–who probably can’t ever change–I think calling narcissists evil, or referring to them as demons, monsters, or machines is a form of bullying a group of very sick people and is just as hurtful to them as what they have done to us.

I also realize I may sound like a hypocrite. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve engaged in the popular sport of “narc bashing,” and recently too. While the anger and rage we feel toward people with this disorder may be adaptive while we are trying to disconnect from an abusive narcissist, when these emotions no longer serve a practical purpose (after we have gone No Contact or disengaged from our abusers), they become bitterness and hatred, emotions that eat away at our own souls and can even turn us into narcissists.

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About luckyotter

Recovering from C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse from childhood. I was married to a sociopathic narcissist for 20 years. Proud INFJ, Enneagram type 4w5. Animal lover, music lover, cat mom, unapologetic geek, fan of the absurd, progressive Christian, mom to 2 Millennials, mental illness stigma activist, passionate anti-Trumper. #RESISTANCE
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65 Responses to I think it’s time we stop bashing all narcissists.

  1. Good post, thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      Yes, I was thinking about this all last night and this morning. Frankly I was afraid to post it, but I couldn’t rest until I did. I appreciate your balanced attitude and wealth of knowledge.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. KtKat says:

    Reblogged this on The House of Hale and commented:
    This is exactly how I feel about the people who have wandered in and out of my life with NPD. No hatred, but I’m not going to put up with their shenanigans anymore either.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Its kind of strange. I’ve become fascinated with the psychology of them. I do agree, at times we can be haters of the Narc. But I find myself being more empathic. And I believe the empathic route is a healthy way of thinking. When you see them as weak and injured little children it does take away their power and control. It is sad that they walk through life so injured. And there is really nothing that we can do. We don’t hold the power to change them.

    Liked by 4 people

    • What shocks me, is that Narcs do all have similiar behavior patterns. I think the biggest problem they face is the fluctuations between their feelings of power and control. They were abused children, who were powered over and they reinact the same abuse onto their current loved ones. They aren’t evil. They are suffering from abuse.

      Liked by 3 people

    • luckyotter says:

      That’s an outstanding thought–that thinking of them with empathy takes away some of their power over us! it really does. If you can get past the hate and think of them as hurt little children, they seem rather pathetic and therefore less dangerous. Of course that’s not to diminish the fact they can be very damaging and it’s wise to always be careful around them. They are mentally ill and ticking time bombs at that.
      We cannot change them but we can have empathy, something they have trouble with.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes. They get mentally or even physically violent at the least expected moments. And always remember. To silence a woman, is to violence a woman. Psychological abuse is violence. I learned that through the National Organization for Women. The Narcs and the cults try to further abuse you by saying your taking the victims approach to life. But psychological violence can have a subtle gaslighting approach. And its important to understand psychological violence. Even as we are empathy we must learn to say no to abuse.

        Liked by 2 people

        • luckyotter says:

          It’s become so common these days to blame the victim. It is subtle gaslighting. It’s important to realize when we are being abused and demand our rights be respected and addressed.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Wow,..This did turn out to be a hot thread!!

            And I also realized that very few licensed professionals understand the psychology behind the cluster B personality disorders. I think one of the main reasons as to why the do not wish to give a disorder the label is because the average therapist would not be qualified to treat a person with this disorder. You would have to be specialized in treating these disorders.

            As you can see within what I wrote you, I am surprised how predictable the behaviors are of a narcissist is, and there are only a few in the profession that get it.

            A therapist can confuse a client and mistakingly aide a narcissist in their gaslighting abuse, if in fact they compare the Narcissist to a average everyday person in a session, and they can accidentally victim blame the client. The school of Psychology today has not advanced at the level it could be yet. It makes sense, because its not much different than what we get from pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession. Its a lot of beaurocracy that holds it all back.

            Liked by 1 person

            • luckyotter says:

              Mary, there is so much misunderstanding among professionals when they treat narcissists thinking they have some other disorder–or only treating the outlying disorder (say, depression) and failing to address the underlying issue (NPD).

              I absolutely agree about therapists unknowingly aiding them in their abuse of their victims because I have seen this happen with my ex. My ex (unlike most narcs) has always been open to therapy, but only for his depression/anxiety, not for his narcissism. In his case, I believe his being a “willing client” aids him in his “victim” mask. He isn’t there to get any real help, but to “look good,” eg, look pitiful. It helps his case.
              All his therapists aided him in his gaslighting of me. He had them believing HE was the victim and I the abuser, and even once when we were in marriage counseling (which was my idea!) he had the marriage counselor scolding me for trying to “control” him. Ha! This was shortly before I was hospitalized for major depression (and diagnosed with borderline PD myself).

              So yes yes yes! I absolutely believe some narcs use therapy as a way to gaslight their victims and use the therapist a sort of flying monkey!

              Liked by 1 person

  4. loricarlson66 says:

    Reblogged this on The Rattling Bones and commented:
    Thoughtful words on Narcissism and Hate… stopping the abuse on both sides of the argument.

    Liked by 3 people

      • loricarlson66 says:

        No, THANK YOU! your words are spot on!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I wrote you privately. I was in the shower when you wrote me. I’m home tonight because I decided not to go to my boyfriends gig. The Lost Cause band is playing in Linden tonight. Its a bad neighborhood over their and I have to sing in the Gospel choir tomorrow.

        Back to Narcissism and therapists: I can’t wait for you to write an article on this. I told you that I was thinking of taking that advanced course on the Cluster B personality disorders, and I’m starting to believe that you and I ought to teach the course. Haha…Im feeling a little Narcissism of my own here, in regards to the topic of Narcissism.

        The problem really is that the therapists believe what the Narc. is saying. I realize that every time I broke up with the Narc he twisted it around and gaslighted me to make me believe it was he who was breaking up. I learned its almost impossible to break up with a Narc efficiently. Your always the one who violated him. They are the victim.

        You can show a therapist that 4 times you went through the same cycle. Idealize… Devalue… Discard. I’ve heard the therapist say…”oh he’s trying to be a gentleman now”. Or oh…”couples do this…they break up a few times before its finally over”

        And why is a therapist acting like its a normal everyday relationship? The therapist is fooled by the gaslighting.

        Liked by 1 person

        • luckyotter says:

          I like the idea of teaching a course with you LOL!
          Yes, they turn you into the abuser and the therapist doesn’t believe you. This happens a lot in marriage counseling, where the real abuser has more power in the relationship and an ability to put on a convincing mask while the real victim isn’t as good at this, so they aren’t believed. It’s very insidious!
          Take a look at this–hope you like!
          https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/05/03/narcs-who-use-therapy-to-gaslight-their-victims/

          Liked by 1 person

          • We’d definitely teach better than that cult Narcissist Druanna Johnston. Last night I spent time writing on her YouTube’s. She is one of the many Narcs out there that posts links and steals money from people that are desperate because their hurting financially.

            Like all the Narcs we know…when you expose them, they immediately resort to a personal attack. They call you crazy, instead of addressing the issue.

            What I found interesting is that this woman is trying to sell real estate South of the border of the US by mocking the US. I told her to sell property based on the features of the property, and not by putting down the US.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I disagree with you here. If anything the entire world is wrapped about defending the feelings of the narc. If anything every institution takes up for the narcs as scapegoats get smashed down again and again. I have gotten smashed down for narcs over and over, while no one cared about how I felt. A narc that wants help and wants to change in my book isn’t even a malignant narc, that is someone with fleas or borderline personality disorder or other spiritual problems but not a narc or what I call in Christian spiritual terms. “SEARED” and “REPROBATE”. Show me a narc who has REALLY REPENTED. If they have then they are not a sociopath and most likely not a malignant narcissist. False churches will teach enabling of the evil. Otter, I mean what I say about that, there are many invested in desiring the evil is enabled.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Like I said, we don’t have to condone what they do. We can hate what they do, and just go no contact with them. It’s okay to feel the way you do and I did too, and still do much of the time. But I also realize hating anyone is not what God wants and just makes me miserable.
      I’m not defending them at all, or what they do. There still isn’t any excuse for it. But I respect your right to disagree too. And some of them are completely evil. My jaw drops every time I read about your awful mother and her sycophants. What they did to you was inexcusable, but I’d say they are psychopaths.

      Maybe we just need to stop labeling all people with this spectrum disorder with one big N label. Because “benign” narcissists who have insight and willingness to change but qualify as NPD because they meet the DSM criteria should not be lumped in the same category with psycho- and sociopaths who are really ASPD and can never change.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. loricarlson66 says:

    When I first left the N in October of last year, I was still filled with anger and yes, even some hate. I endured some of the worst pain during my 13 yrs with him. I even joined some FB pages where bashing came in steady streams. Over the course of a couple of months, when I finally got him to agree to No Contact, my attitude began to change. I was reminded of Compassion and Mindfully letting go of that hatred and anger. I’ve had No Contact since December, and although our relationship still crops up in my poetry from time to time, I don’t wish my ex any harm. And I left those FB groups because I could no longer listen to that stream of hatred. Thank you for this post and thank you for the reminder that NPs are indeed mentally ill and as one with a mental illness myself, we need to stop the stigma attached to NPs as well as to all mental illnesses. Cheers to you for your bravery!

    Liked by 2 people

    • luckyotter says:

      This was another one of those posts I really hesitated over and almost didn’t post at all. I know some people won’t like or agree with these sentiments. That’s okay.
      I think its natural to have a lot of anger and hatred at first, when we become aware of the abuse or are still stuck in an abusive relationship with one. But to hold onto that hate forever…that’s just as unhealthy as what they do, and is only going to make us miserable.

      Liked by 2 people

      • loricarlson66 says:

        I agree Otter… hate is a cancer that eats away from our souls… we need healthy souls and the only way to get that is to let the hate go and show compassion… that does not mean we stay and take the abuse and it doesn’t mean we enable them.. it means getting out, staying NC and releasing the hate. I am so glad you posted this… regardless of how many negative comments you receive, remember there are some of us who agree with you 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • luckyotter says:

          Yes, exactly. Not hating isn’t the same thing as enabling. Enabling them doesn’t help anyone. It’s like feeding a drug addict instead of getting them into rehab–or leaving the relationship. Hating them also feeds their addiction, because they are addicted to any kind of attention they can get.

          Liked by 3 people

          • loricarlson66 says:

            you hit it right there at the end… hate gives them attention, even negative attention, and feeds their addiction… only by going NC can you stop feeding them. Cheers!

            Liked by 2 people

  7. Telling people they have to feel sorry for the narcs, is actually asking people to be doormats and asking for them to be abused even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      No one has to feel sorry for them, Peep. I’m not saying everyone should, but what does hating really accomplish. Ignoring them is the best thing. Think of it like this if you want–giving them any sort of attention at all–even hate–is really giving them supply. They love attention.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Fivehundredpoundpeep,
      Her article wasn’t at all about saying people “have to feel sorry” sorry for narcs – she never said people have to feel sorry for them, this is a misunderstanding of her message, which was about understanding why people have become as disturbed as they are in a human way. In fact, LuckyOtter said – “Just because we should stop spewing hate against people with NPD doesn’t mean we have to tolerate their manipulative and abusive behaviors. It also doesn’t mean we can’t leave a narcissist or go No Contact.” This idea, which involves standing up to people and keeping firm boundaries, is a much more balanced view than your distortion of her message.

      Also, her article was titled “I think it’s time we stop bashing ALL narcissists” – you misquoted it and distorted the meaning, when you wrote about it on your own blog without the word “all.” In other words, bashing some “narcissists” in certain situations is understandable, but hating them all all the time isn’t necessarily helpful or necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. luckyotter says:

    Oh boy, I knew this was going to be controversial…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you posted this, despite your reservations about it and the certainty that it would be controversial.

      I believe that God doesn’t hate anyone; he wants everyone to repent and receive forgiveness. No one is beyond redemption. The problem is that hatred and anger are very easy, while compassion is difficult. It’s as easy as can be for me to feel angry and bitter toward someone who has screwed me over. It’s also the most gutless choice there is, precisely because it requires no effort.

      In theory, I feel sorry for ANYONE with a mental disorder, because mental illness is horrible… but when it gets personal, and they do something to hurt me or someone I love, then having any compassion toward them is very difficult. My natural desire for revenge kicks in; I want them to suffer for what they did. I have been struggling for years to forgive a former friend who did something very bad to my youngest child. I think she (the former friend) must be a very unhappy and quite possibly delusional person to have done what she did, and I am trying very hard to be compassionate, but it doesn’t come naturally. Hating her would be a whole lot easier.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. http://fivehundredpoundpeeps.blogspot.com/2015/05/should-we-feel-sorry-for-narcs.html

    Take care Lucky Otter. I am sorry we do not agree here whatsoever. I am praying for you and hope for the best for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Alaina says:

    I LOVE this. I agree with 99.8% of what you wrote. This is well balanced, intelligent, insightful, and deeply spiritual. Thank you for writing this. It needed to be said.

    When we allow ourselves to judge, hate, and condemn another human being without mercy, we are sinking to the level we claim to despise. I feel this in my heart and I believe it to the marrow of my soul. Jesus said we ought to love our enemies. Like you repeated in this great post, hate the sin and love the sinner. How do we love someone and hate them at the same time? Seriously, how is that possible?

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      This is encouraging. I was questioning my self all evening over this due to the controversy. I was thinking perhaps I shouldn’t have posted it. I really dislike controversy and being the cause of it.
      But yes, I believe what you said is true. Hate is not godly but neither is condoning hateful behavior from them either. I have no idea how you would love and hate someone at the same time. I think what Jesus meant by “love” isn’t the same as the love you feel for a family member or a friend–by “love” he meant having compassion. That doesn’t mean turning the other cheek– in fact “love” could mean turning away in the case of a narcissist who is abusing you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alaina says:

        I agree 100%. I will not allow anyone to abuse me ever again. I can love and protect myself, however, without having to hate anyone else. Shaking the dust off my feet and walking away isn’t hate. It’s “See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.” 🙂

        Like

  11. Alaina says:

    By the way, I would have jumped into the fray sooner, but you wrote this on my 62nd birthday. So I was busy. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sabiscuit says:

    I admire your strength. I’ve written about narcissists on my blog recently. The pain they inflict on people I care about is real. It’s hard to show compassion for someone who is destroying others from the inside out. I took the time to read this after one of my subscribers pointed to it. It’s easy to be compassionate when you’re not affected but I respect you for expressing these thoughts even though you are recovering yourself. I have been in the place where I could care about and admire a person even as I said no to the behaviours that were detrimental to my well being. It takes guts to write this and you couldn’t have done it until after you were exhausted from all that hurt and pain. After a while, it’s time to stop hating. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      That’s really all I was trying to say here. I’m glad my post made you think. I certainly knew not everyone would agree with what I said.

      I read somewhere else last night (I forgot what blog) that narcissists, if they have anything good to offer at all (such as being a good artist, etc) is from a distance, where you do not have to directly engage with them. There are many celebrities who are narcissists. Sometimes it’s not true narcissism but acquired because of their success and the adulation they got. But they still sell out their souls. Their art can be enjoyed, say by watching them act in a movie, but they are probably not pleasant to deal with on a personal level.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. lifegoeson14 says:

    I have just read this post and i found the part about using art to show the true self, my partner who i strongly beleive is a narcissist is a very talented artist and since I left him he has took it back up and it seems to be helping him, he says it is like therapy for him. His drawings are interesting and often are of couples in love and are quite passionate,he has done a few for me and one of them was of an angel and the devil, but unbelievably. the picture that he says his best work and is saving for a art exhibition and is the one he put the most hours into it is a picture of himself drawing himself! That to me said everything and all my doubts about him being a narcissist disappeared the moment I seen it. As for therapy, he did go and try and see a therapist when i walked out of our home but the moment I decided to give it another go he gave up on it and it was never mentioned again and he says his art is therapy for him, which he has thrown himself into it more than he ever has but his art not only helps him in that way but it also gives him narcisstic supply in the form of attention and compliments. When we spilt he put them all over his Facebook and was getting quite a bit of attention for it which I’m sure he loved and it did what he wanted it to do it made me get back in touch with him because as soon as we had contact again he turned it off. I’m not sure if he can really heal and change and I’m bit sure how much longer I can keep clinging onto the hope that he can. Good post and gave me lots to think about

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      I’m glad my post made you think. That’s interesting about your partner’s best painting being one of himself drawing himself. Very narcissistic! I do think sometimes art (no matter what form it’s in) can be the only outlet a narc has and sometimes the only time they are really happy. I’ve seen narcs actually look different–softer– when they are in the midst of creating their art.
      The bad side to this is that like you said, if they have talent, they will get tons of narcissistic supply, which actually holds them back from reaching out for help, because they will only reach out for help if they’ve lost all their supply (if they ever reach out at all). But it is a connection they have with their human side and the only way they can express any TRUE emotions. But as long as your partner keeps painting and drawing, he shouldn’t completely lose his soul the way someone like my ex, who has no artistic talents I can think of, has done. There is no turning back for him. He is completely psychopathic and I have no pity for him either.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lifegoeson14 says:

        I have seen a big difference in him since he started drawing and painting again.When he first started drawing we had a major seperation and he moved away and came back and he posted a picture on his Facebook that to everyone else just looked like a couple walking in the rain and was a lovely picture but what they couldn’t see was what I could see so clearly and i couldnt understand why. It was done very clevery and you had to really look but to me it jumped out, the background was what looked like trees and leaves but it was faces some quite evil, my exes face was in the background also our daughters face the one he questioned was his was next to that.They was also very clearly the grim reaper stood at the side. My mother pointed out quite a lot of evil faces aswell and also what looked like a hand around someone’s throat. We had an arguement and i told him I knew exactly what was in that picture and it was a horrible thing to draw, he couldnt belive it and he said there was a lot of things in the picture that he didnt think anyone would ever see and that he was angry at the time of drawing it. I told him I could see everything after he wanted to give me it as a present.mysteriously it fell of his wall and he said it got ripped so he had to throw it out. He stopped drawing until i moved out of our last home together and then started it again.This time he is using his art in a better way and i can see a difference in his drawings they are more happy compared to the dark ones he drew when i left which were drawings of himself in despair which a lot of people commented on saying how sad and down he looked which was the whole point if them i think. I can see a passionate more caring happy person when he draws and in a lot of ways it is helping him deal with things i just hope he keeps it up. Sorry about the long comment it nearly turned into a post all of its own, I got carried away. Your ex does sound like a true psychopath and sometimes they are beyond help and completey unwilling to change. You have done the right thing cutting him out of your life for your own health and sanity.

        Like

  14. I thought this post was intriguing and I understand that this approach to looking at narcissists would work for one of the narcissists I know-an estranged aunt. I no longer see her as family and I don’t have any contact with her, but you are right- with my aunt however, she’s a fourteen year old middle child with no hope of beating her sisters at anything, and burgeoning anorexia. I think that I lost most of my compassion years ago when I saw her actively trying to ruin our family, but I can definitely understand that she is very ill. I won’t excuse or condone her behaviour, but I can understand where it comes from. I don’t wish her any harm but neither do I want her anywhere near me.

    With my ex, however, I draw the line. He was absolutely terrifying- I am pretty certain at this point that he was a psychopath. I suspect the malignancy in him was ingrained from an early age or actually born into him. He sees people as objects to fuck with to amuse himself. This is different from my lonely aunt- my ex wants or needs nobody. He believes he is truly god. I’m just waiting for the day he starts another religious cult (yep, he got me and a friend suckered in to his bizarre machinations when we were about 14/15). I was never allowed to express hatred because of my religious background, but I firmly believe it has helped me break free of his abuse. The power it gave me helped me to leave. I feel sorry for the little child he once was- the abused and damaged boy- but I will never feel sorry for the person he has become. To do that is to wish myself back into his clutches- he relied on my forgiveness and my big heart to keep damaging me again and again.
    So, as you see, I’m conflicted- but I do think it was a good post and well worth writing. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      You make a good distinction here. Your ex sounds a lot like mine–excuse me, but a total asshole. I believe my ex is a psychopath or at least a VERY malignant narcissist. His mother was also MN and extremely abusive to him, so yes, I feel badly about the child he was (I actually wrote about his awful childhood some months ago) but do not feel sorry for him now. He has made his stupid choices and my daughter is psychologically disturbed due to his gaslighting and years of using her as a flying monkey against me and her brother. I have no empathy for him whatsoever but I don’t HATE him. (I don’t hate anyone, actually.)

      Now your aunt–wait, she is 14? I wasn’t too clear about that. If so, she is still a child. I’m not a psychiatrist, but it actually sounds like she could be a borderline. BPD’s can act a lot like narcs, but with self destructive tendencies — eating disorders like anorexia are common in borderlines. I guess NPDs could have an eating disorder too but they are more destructive to others than they are to themselves.

      Peep believes some people reach a point of “no return” where they cannot be redeemed. Although I don’t use the religious terminology and it’s hard for me to believe anyone can’t be reached by God (or I just don’t want to believe it) I actually think there are some people — the MNs and psychopaths and sociopaths like my ex — who are beyond hope. They have been this way too long and they kept making bad choices over and over again until now they are thoroughly evil. I do not believe my ex can ever become a good person again, if he ever was one at all.
      When I married him in 1986, he was less malignant than he is now, he has gotten worse with age. At that time there *might* have been hope for him — I am not sure when he crossed the point of no return, but he has become much meaner and harder than he used to be. It’s sad but I don’t pity him.

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      • Sorry, I confused you- my aunt is a grown woman, but she started on the anorexia as a fourteen year old and I suspect is emotionally stuck there. She’s had two kids of her own, been in therapy countless times, is convinced of her own amazingness yet is horribly and painfully insecure under her front of perfection. I suspect that she’s a narcissist because of the countless cruel things she’s done under the guise of “I need to protect myself from all of you horrible other family members,” including things like befriending my younger sister because she felt like it and then dropping her flat with no warning when she got bored. She used to actively get jealous of me (yep, a grown woman who was jealous of me when I was a child!!!) and just about anyone who could see through her narc games. She’s used both kids and a mental health professional as flying monkeys against my grandparents and her other three sisters before. I would have thought she was borderline apart from the fact that she’s so entrenched in her disorder that she’s unable to actually feel sorry for her actions.

        I believe she’s the sort of narc which wanted to recover but never did. The allure of being a narcissist was too strong.

        I wish, in a way, she was borderline. I wish that was so because borderline isn’t permanent (according to another blogger here 😊) and I personally believe it should get reclassified as some part of PTSD. Sadly, I’ve seen enough of her vile behaviour to convince me of her narcissism. I can’t get close to her and will not extend my friendship in any way, because she loves to throw it in my face to hurt me, and hurt our family too.

        With what you said about your ex, that rings a bell. I will never forget an email I received from my ex once at the start of us dating. He said he had a cold mask that he would wear, afraid of getting hurt, and he didn’t have to wear it for the first time when being with me. He said he was backsliding, that the cold mask was coming back, and he didn’t know why. He begged me to help him. I tried… But a few months later, the horror of the abuse began in earnest and that vulnerable fifteen year old was gone. I agree- I think there is a point where some of these people might be able to be helped, but a lot of the time they’re actually too in love with themselves to care. Knowing what I now know about my ex, going through therapy for the trauma I endured under him, I am beginning to understand that I never could have helped him. He was unsaveable, and the guilt for that should not be on my shoulders any more. I hope you feel the same way about your ex- these people are not going to suddenly turn from self-worship even if you tried to help, and that’s no reflection on the person you are. It’s a reflection on them- they love themselves too much to see that someone else could help. We deserve none of the guilt for that. X

        Liked by 1 person

  15. dennis says:

    Predators – of all stripes, and all species – do what they do because they get something out of it that they want.

    In short, predation secures desired ends.

    Most predators do what they do by instinct. I include the majority of human predators in this, also.

    Between the inner compulsion of instinct and the succulent taste of their prey’s suffering, it is the rare predator that will think about aught save the actions and blessings of predation.

    To hate such is to tell your cat to become a rabbit. This is not likely to happen, so do not waste your time trying to magically transform ‘felis’ into lagomorpha.

    Instead, know the nature of felis: recognize that he sees you as ‘mus’ – a mouse- and his sole concern regarding you is your savor under his fangs. He will not hear your shrieks as you die, so forget entreating him.

    He’s NOT listening to you. He only hears his gullet – so stay away from him and thereby stay OUT of his mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Alex says:

    Thanks for this post. It’s like a light at the end of long, dark, ugly tunnel. I’m not near ready to ease up on my abusers since I’m still being targeted and hoovered, but I long for the day I can get some quiet and peace in my heart and just let it rest. Diabolical overt abuse that lasts decades is something I have to continually remind myself of, or I’ll land right back in their clutches, doing their dirty work, being exploited for every last dime. All the while being sneered and snickered at as the ‘crazy’ one in the family. Blogs like this have literally saved my life. Thier abuse landed me in the psych ward twice, suicide , chemical abuse ect. Ect. First I was shocked at how spot on the syndrome is to my own experiences, now I’m daily blown away at how cookie cutter the m.o. Is in family after family. Gil baileys Violence Unveiled now makes sense. Putting it in a broader perspective is helping me invision a day when I can lay the inner demons to rest once and for all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Alex, welcome! Yes, the MO is pretty much the same even though the details may differ. I was also hospitalized twice with major depression, but most of the time I walked around like a zombie, my PTSD was so bad.

      Feeling angry after the fact saved my life, because it made me take action. Anger overrides fear and is healthy when trying to escape.

      I won’t ever forget the abuse and won’t, but to hold onto that anger when it is no longer necessary just eats away at your own soul. Anger without action is destructive and can make you sick.

      I am sorry you had to go through all this pain too. I’m so glad this issue is out in the open now, and we find out we are not alone–there are many others who went through the same sort of hell.
      Glad you’re here!

      Like

  17. T.R. Sanders says:

    Thank you for providing a different perspective through which I can perhaps better understand the narcissist in my life. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. carrie says:

    Spare me. You didn’t have to grow up with my malignant narcissist sister. Manipulative, lying, cruel, violent, mean, theiving, torturous coniving. She laughed at conning our elderly grandmother out of her pention money. 3 years older always bettet than me and my twin. Until the age gap grew smaller, my twin got her period, she went to narcissist for help and narcissist beat the sh*t out of her. Sure she was abused, so was I. So was my twin. We dont act like this. When mom had me and my twin. Nobody knew there were twin till mom delivered me. When dad told 3 year old N that mom had 2 babies. She informed him she only wanted one. I could write story after story. Even as grownups…still violent. Especially if there are men present. The final stunt was ordering drugs from what i suspect…the deep web….under my name…
    Through Canada post. Then trying to trick me intp picking up said pkg with my id. So save me your crap. You have never met anyone like this. If you did would be eyeing up a dummy. Her next victim.

    Like

    • luckyotter says:

      Carrie, I had a MN mother who was almost as bad, though not AS bad as your sister, who I agree with you sounds horrible and evil. I was also married to an MN man for 20 years and it was pure hell. I have many articles on this blog about how I was abused.

      Okay….so this particular article angered a lot of people (and it’s understandable why) but what I was really trying to say (and maybe didn’t say it too well or clearly) is that hating ANYONE or dwelling on hate just eats us up inside. It’s best to forget they exist–I am 100% supportive of No Contact with narcs like your sister–or any narc for that matter. It’s just that on other boards and blogs, I see a lot of bashing going on (I do not think lower- spectrum narcs are evil or hopeless so IMHO there is too much stereotyping that ALL narcs are hopeless demons). Many people disagree with me about that, and that’s fine. The most important thing is this: while I understand the anger and hatred toward narcs (and especially those we have had personal dealings with), I think it’s bad to let it eat you up inside….it’s as if they continue to have control even after we are NC. After awhile of being angry I think it’s best to move on, get away, and let God sort ’em out in the end. Focusing on yourself and your healing rather than hating on narcs. That’s what I was really trying to say and I didn’t anticipate this point would be so controversial…but I think some people misconstrued what I was saying too. I’m sorry if it angered you. You woudn’t be the first.

      I am very sorry you had to put up with a sister like that and I also am with you that it feels good to talk about it.
      I wrote this post awhile ago; I might have chosen not to write it at all if I knew how controversial it would be. I’m aware people heal at different speeds and some people might not be ready to “forget about” the abuse done to them that quickly. I just got bored after a few months of bashing them myself. It seemed like a waste of time and was eating me up inside.

      Like

  19. Pingback: This is the post that made a few ACON heads explode. | Down the Rabbit Hole

  20. Andra says:

    Please. I lived with them for 20 + years. there is NO remorse there. Trust me you got fooled by the words

    They hat epeople nad thye hate humanity. peoples feelings. because they dont have any and never will have

    BOGUS AND BS. they hate you, they hate humans and simply just wanted to het a reaction out o you. they just learn how to fake it really well. thats it. actors. they have no real depth. For that takes Introspection and they are too much of Cowards and scared to lookinside themselves and heal. so they use another person and destroy again and again..and again… could you have “mercy” for such a “person” ??

    Who wants to heal will go through the fire. they never do because they are too much of cowards and its all too easy to blame it and use and abuse others instead of looking in the mirror!

    Liked by 1 person

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