Narcissists in fantasyland.

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We already know narcissists lie. It’s the one thing they’re all good at. I read a conversation today about the way narcissists lie even about things there is no reason to lie about, and that they also begin to believe their own lies.

Narcissists have been telling lies for so long and have gotten so good at it that they really do believe their lies are the truth. Sometimes they even become skilled at using lies to cover up other lies. To a normal person, living a lie and trying so desperately to cover the truth would be an unbearably stressful way to live. Narcissists are stressed out by this as much as anyone else, but they don’t know where their stress comes from. They are deluded and think their lies are the truth. They honestly don’t know any better so they can’t stop lying and they can’t stop the stress that comes from that.

Think of a young child playing pretend. The child may know the fantasy is just a fantasy, but while they’re in it they believe it’s the truth. Tell the child their fantasy is a lie and they will rage and get very upset. But for young children, living outside reality to some extent is normal. When an adult lives outside reality and creates a fantasy world they think is real, we call it crazy.

If you tell a narcissist to stop lying, they will attack or sometimes, withdraw or even disappear. This happens because: 1. They hate the truth because if they know you can see through their lies, you have blown their flimsy cover and that is terrifying to them; and 2. like a young child, they don’t want to leave their fantasy world–a dream where they are perfect and superior to everyone else. Because in reality they know they aren’t. In fact, narcissists have dismally low self esteem. They hate themselves–but are in love with the false self they created. That’s where their grandiosity and sense of entitlement comes from. They need a constant influx of narcissistic supply from you to keep their false image of themselves alive.

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In “People of the Lie,” M. Scott Peck discusses a malignantly narcissistic patient of his named Charlene. After years of therapy (during which Charlene spent most of her time sadistically playing with Dr. Peck like a toy), in one session she told him about a dream she had of a “marvelous machine.” The machine did everything and was perfect in every way. Charlene proudly told Dr. Peck she had designed and built this marvelous machine herself. When Dr. Peck suggested this machine that did everything was actually an elaborate weapon Charlene had created in her mind to avoid facing the truth about herself, Charlene’s cover was blown and she reacted with unreasonable rage, attacking Dr. Peck for not agreeing with her about the perfection and beauty of the “machine” she was so proud of and what its true purpose was. She could not bear to face the truth and preferred to keep living in her fantasy world of delusions.

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Wizard: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz wanted to appear to be a powerful and ruthless tyrant, so even though he was actually a weak and unassuming little man, he hid behind a curtain, amplified his voice, and projected a scary image onto the far wall when Dorothy and her friends entered the Wizard’s castle. What gives the Wizard away as not being a true narcissist (I’d venture to guess he was probably a borderline) was the fact that when exposed, he took responsibility and showed true remorse for behaving the way he did. It’s still a good illustration of the way narcissists deny reality though.

Narcissists hate themselves and only want you to see what they want you to see. While perhaps done unconsciously, they construct a False Self which is a self of lies. This mask isn’t who they are but they sure get good at convincing everyone it is. Their abuse of others stems from the need to protect “the marvelous machine” they created. If they feel this cover may be blown by the truth, they attack, abuse and rage (or leave), because they’re so terrified you may see the emptiness inside or even worse for them, the vulnerable and defenseless True Self hiding in the dark corners of their unconscious.

I’ve seen narcissists talking to themselves, sometimes in public. It’s weird. It’s as if they don’t know they are talking to themselves. I used to point this out to my ex when he was holding conversations with himself, and he’d deny it or get angry. Could narcissism be a psychotic or dissociative disorder? Do they hear voices in their heads? Sometimes I wonder.

By telling themselves so many lies, they are abusing themselves as much as they abuse others. Only they never realize this. And they won’t ever let you tell them. They’d rather wander forever in the confusing labyrinth of their disordered minds where up is down, north is south, dark is light, yes is no, wrong is right, and they are gods. They can’t face reality because it might destroy them. Or so they believe.

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20 thoughts on “Narcissists in fantasyland.

  1. My ex also talked to himself and both my ex’s were crazy. I don’t believe my first one was narcissist but I keep thinking my second one may have been. He was like a child with his thoughts and feelings and I had no idea then that may have been a sign for narcissism. But mine never denied talking to himself but he would get upset if I was trying to sleep and he wouldn’t stop talking. Then when I told him one day that maybe I should do the same to him, he called it a game so I said he does that game then if he is going to call it that and he said he didn’t do it on purpose. I’m sorry but how do you not do it on purpose? He was a big hypocrite and could never admit it and he always had an excuse for it. He just talked all the time and would say his thoughts out loud. I didn’t think this could be a sign of narcissism. I wonder if a kid can have it because he said his parents could never shut him up and they would try and give him money to be quiet and he failed every time so mmm or could that be a lie? He liked to talk as much as me so I thought nothing of it. Oh no am I a narc lol.

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    • I doubt you’re a narc just because you talk a lot. I can’t diagnose your ex but if he played abusive and manipulative head games and lied about everything then chances are good he was a narc.

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    • Yes, they can be so confusing you wonder ir you’re crazy. They like to keep you off balance and being confusing could be a deliberate smoke and mirrors kind of cover.

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            • It’s a term from the movie, “Gaslight” where a psychopathic man tortured his wife by telling her she was imagining the gaslights in the house were dimming by themselves when actually he was dimming them himself. He made her think she was going crazy. Narcissists gaslight by denying the truth and telling you you are crazy for having imagined what you saw. Example: my ex used to steal money from me when I was sleeping. If I confronted him about it later, he told me I was imagining things and being paranoid. If this keeps going on, you start to distrust your own judgment or even your own sanity. That’s what happened to the female character in “Gaslight.”

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  2. Dear Lucky, so glad you off-loaded that load ( your ex). Taking the money, your money, instead of getting off his butt and taking the bother to go out an earn his own…ugh! So glad you are free of that.

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    • I am too. It wasn’t just the money. He was dstroying me inside. I’d have either killed myself or killed him by now, I am not sure which. If neither of those, I might be too destroyed by now to get better. That relationship was eating my soul.

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  3. Reblogged this on The House of Hale and commented:
    So much truth in this post, watching it first hand is heart breaking. Especially when it’s some one you care for, even if they are abusive. Definitely not an excuse for any abusive behavior. Just sad watching people get lost in their disorder.

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  4. The Narc I knew was aware of all of this. I think somewhere along the line…he realized he was a Malignant Narcissist and learned about the disorder or something… Because he was always trying to convince me to find my true inner self.

    He spoke about how his ex wore a Mask. How I was wearing a Mask. All women with careers were waiting their Masks and their business suits.

    Its ironic that he was really projecting his own issues on us. But is he aware that he is doing this?? I believe his must know he has an illness inside.

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    • I don’t think some of them are aware they’re projecting. “Finding your true inner self,” ha! Seems like you have and he had a problem with that. I think it’s good you’re with somebody much better now.

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      • Yes…I do to. I think my Narc was able to read me very well. I think he might have initially believed he was helping me. Its so strange. I can’t imagine a person being that active with searching for new supply on date sites and out and about constantly… With no reality with realizing its abnormal and additive behavior.

        But I guess addicts deny they are addicts. I guess its the same like drug or alcohol addiction. So a a Somatic Narc would have to admit they have become powerless and let go and let God. If they did that, they would begin to see their true selves because admitting their is a higher power is admitting to themselves that they are not the highest power.

        Does that make sense?

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        • I get exactly what you’r saying and it makes perfect sense to me.
          Narcissism is very much like addiction. Narcissistic supply is their drug, and without it they crash and burn. The “drug” makes them feel good, and they need it to give them a sense of “self”–it keeps their false self pumped up. Without that, they’d go nuts and melt down because then they’re forced to confront their true, lost self–a self they either never knew or they hate for its vulnerability. They split off from that real self and built the mask because life hurt too much before they became narcissists. That’s why I think deep down, these people started life as HSPs or at least extremely sensitive. They still get hurt very easily but have jettisoned empathy. It’s very sad.

          I’ve felt for awhile now that narcissism is a lot like alcoholism. Neither can be “cured” or cured with great difficulty, both crave their drug/supply to feel whole (and fill the hole), and both use excuses, abuse and denial in order to keep their drug of choice always available. Both use others to get what they need and may even commit antisocial acts.
          I actually wrote this post about how a 12 step program may be able to help a narcissist (who was willing to change and follow the steps):
          https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/05/23/why-isnt-there-a-12-step-program-for-narcissists/

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          • I am thinking exactly they way you do. I asked the Narcissist I knew to tell me what he was like when he was a small boy. He projected the question back to me and asked me to tell him what I imagined he would be like. To start off with, the Narcissist I knew came from a poor background but he grew up in a community that had a good public school system , but as a child he lacked a home life with healthy parenting. He did not have a father and his mother ignored him.

            So I told him that I see a small boy who was actually always studying in his room.

            But I see a little boy going to all his friends moms to talk to them and to get those moms to adore him and give him attention, love and things. And I believed he tried to impress his teachers with his knowledge. But those moms and teachers weren’t really his mother and at the end of the day he felt Abandonment from all of them as well as the deep void he felt by never being loved by his mother. So it makes perfect sense that he grew to hate women…because all these moms adored him, but they also abandoned him because they had their own children to take care of.

            So a man like this grows up to line up supply …women after women…because he only knows what it feels like to be temparily loved. He was conditioned to short term adoration and he was abandoned over and over again.

            Maybe I have this all wrong…but I think this makes sense, and I also think this addiction would become exhausting…repetitive and resentment would build deeper and deeper with age.

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            • That does make perfect sense. You almost feel sorry for them when you think about it that way. They don’t usually like to talk about their past, especially their childhood, I’ve noticed.
              I also noticed that when they do talk about their mothers, they either talk about her in the most glowing terms possible, as if their mother is a saint (and ususally the mother was abusive to them), or talk about her as if she’s the most evil person in the world. They either “love” their mothers or hate them with a passion. No in between.

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