This is why I can’t hate people with NPD.

what_they_dont_feel

Not too long ago, I was criticized by some other ACON bloggers for being a “narc hugger.”   First of all, let me clear that up right now.   I don’t hug the narcs, I don’t believe in enabling them in any manner, and I believe and always will believe that No Contact is the only viable way to deal with a narcissist.   They are dangerous to be around.

But do I think they’re demons who have no souls?  Well, no.   But I can understand why many  people, especially people who were unfortunate enough to be raised by them, think they are.    I think many of the things narcissists do are evil but I’m also all too aware that they are mentally ill people who do the things they do because they can’t help themselves.  If narcissism is a choice, for most that choice was made at such an early age it was never a conscious choice.

Some people think we shouldn’t feel sorry for narcissists or care about the poor little hurting inner child that went into hiding so long ago and constructed a false self in its place.   I can understand their viewpoint too.   That abused and hurting little boy or girl no longer exists and is not likely to ever emerge again, unless the narcissist is fairly low on the spectrum and becomes self aware and willing to change, and NPD by its nature means the lack of insight and empathy, which are prerequisites to make real healing possible.

However, people aren’t born narcissists.  Almost all people (unless they are psychopaths, in which case they were born with a defective brain capacity to feel much emotion) with NPD were once normal children with a normal capacity for empathy and love.   This was something that was done to them, and the “choice” to become a narcissist was usually made at an early age, from about ages 3 to 6.   These kids were so abused or so neglected that they turned to narcissism because it was the defense mechanism that was most efficient in allowing them to cope with their intolerable caregivers.    Some grandiose (not usually covert) narcissists may have been spoiled, but spoiling a child is abuse too, because it negates the presence of the child’s true self, an imperfect human being and tells them they are perfect, which is a lie they come to believe and try to live up to.

However their narcissism developed, and whether they are happy being that way or not, people who have it are prisoners to their own disorder.  They are not happy people.  They are living a lie and in many cases believe the lie they live is the truth.  They live in mortal terror of being exposed or losing supply.     This doesn’t mean we should enable them or let them get away with the things they do.  They need to be exposed.   They need to have consequences.   Just like the children they are.

I can no longer hate narcissists.    My mother is a somatic malignant narcissist but I also know she had a horrific childhood.  She’s never talked to me about it but I know of it.   It makes perfect sense to me that she would have become a narcissist, given the environment she was raised in.   She’s been this way since she was a very young girl and simply knows no better.   In her 80’s now, she won’t ever change.  She has never been a happy woman, has never known joy, has never really loved anyone.  She can’t.  And it’s sad.

narcissist-discard

I am no contact with my mother.   For most of my life, I felt like a victim, even after I became an adult.  I felt like the things she said and did she was doing to me because she was an evil, soulless witch who hated me.   Feeling so hated by my own mother, I felt defective and defenseless. Why would any mother hate her own child?   It must have been me.  I must have been unloveable.  I must have been a horrible child who brought her shame and misery.   For years, that was the only explanation that made sense to me, because mothers just don’t hate their own children!

When I first learned about NPD, I immediately recognized it as my mother’s problem, the reason why she couldn’t love me or anyone.   I read a lot about it. (This was years before I became so deeply involved in the narcissistic abuse community–that would come later, after I left my ex for good).   I read M. Scott Peck’s People of the Lie and thought to myself, well, that explains it.  My mother is evil.

But why me?  Why was I so unfortunate to be born to an evil parent?   I felt sorry for myself.  Other people had loving parents, but I got an evil one.  It wasn’t fair!  Again, I felt like a victim.

Only in the past sixteen months, as I’ve learned about narcissism on a much deeper level (including a short time where I thought I hadn’t escaped the disorder myself), have I realized that narcissists are mentally ill and became the way they are because they were abused themselves.    All of us who escaped developing NPD are extremely lucky.  We could have become that way too.   Maybe due to temperament or some slight difference in our circumstances as children, we somehow managed to escape.   Yes, we might have complex PTSD, Borderline Personality or other personality disorders, we might have a bad case of narcissistic “fleas,” we might have severe neuroses like OCD or even Dissociative Identity Disorder, or we may be prone to severe depressions, but we haven’t ever needed to hide our true selves completely behind a mask. We can still sometimes be what God intended for us to be.   Narcissists can’t.  They are imprisoned forever by their own defense mechanisms.

By coming to this awareness, I’ve been able to develop an understanding of what makes narcissists the way they are, and to me they seem like victims too.  And no matter what you may think of that, thinking of them as victims helps me, because when I think of my mother now, I don’t think of her as being some demon that I had the back luck to be born to; instead I think of her as a victim who had no idea how to raise a child and victimized me because she just didn’t know how to be any other way or even know there was another way.  It’s a lot easier for me to regard my mother with pity (not enabling!) than with hatred because feeling pity helps me be able to move on with my narcissist-free life and feel less like a born victim.   Somehow that makes me feel less afraid.    It’s God’s job to fix a narcissist if that’s his will and it’s God’s job to judge them if it isn’t.    All I can do is worry about healing myself and pray for people like my mom.

Further reading:  We Were The Lucky Ones

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24 thoughts on “This is why I can’t hate people with NPD.

  1. Thank you for sharing this insightful post! I am enraged and still have love for 3 of my 4 narc abusers in my life. The 3 I have both for are blood family members. I care if they hurt and I don’t want to see them suffer but if my exposure of them hurts them, that I don’t care about. I am so enraged at their prior and current abuse of us that I am totally exposing them publicly and I don’t care about their fallout from the exposure and I am at no contact. But I feel you on this article because I would never lie about them to punish them for example and I do want them not to ever be abused like they have abused me. My ex, I just go months without thinking about him but when I do, like when he came to my work and forced me to interact with him as a customer, I felt nothing but rage and temporarily thought about taking a break and running him over in the parking lot. Which I would never really do because he isn’t worth spending the rest of my life in prison and I would never hurt my daughter that way as he will always be her only father. I tell her may change it is not for me to say he won’t ever change but I am honest and tell her she should never interact with him without the help of a certified therapist specializing in dealing with psychopaths. Thanks again! I don’t know if it is ever just black or white, right or wrong for honest people……

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    • This shows you have high empathy and that’s a good thing, as long as you know when you’re dealing with a narcissist and know enough to not deal with them if you can help it. I’m glad you understood what I’m saying and agree. Some victims do not. I understand that but I also think hanging onto rage isn’t really healthy. JMO.

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  2. I agree with a lot of this. I still deal with anger but the more I learn about PTSD including the complex variety, the more I realize that narcissists developed that false self as protection. As we as non narcs developed other protective measures. And speaking from my own experience with ptsd, I certainly have narc traits. I have some control issues I’m working on. However, I’m not in denial which is what I think needs to be gotten past for most narcs, if one wants to heal from NPD…which as we know is rare.

    I think most people who are in denial know the truth deep within (and sometimes on the surface) it’s just easier for them to wave the truth away and live in that denial.

    This reminds me of and incident with my sister. I guess I should save it for my own blog though.lol

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    • I also l wanted to add that even non narcs with PTSD, we develop a false self. Being co-dependent (as one example) is a type of false self. If we were being our real selves we wouldn’t be so worried about pleasing others to the detriment of our own needs.

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      • That’s true. A false self isn’t limited to NPD. Borderlines definitely have a false self though it’s not a well developed one (we’re more likely to be chameleons and constantly change our false self to adapt to different people/situations). Even normals have a false self. Every time you’re polite to someone you don’t like, or put on “your best face” to make a good impression, that’s a kind of false self. The difference with someone with NPD is it’s there 100% of the time. They have no idea they even have a true self.

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        • They (normies) tend not not ‘buy’ my attempts that way – presuming I’m functioning well enough to pull that sort of thing off. (Usually I’m not…)

          Preds, almost by definition, see right through anything I might manage.

          Passing for normal – unless one is attempting to ‘merge with the scenery’ while moving away from ‘Normal’ people – tends to be a waste of too-scarce resources / ‘spoons’. (Spoon theory – commonly used by autists as a way of explaining the need to manage / conserve mental / physical resources.)

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    • For awhile now I’ve thought that complex PTSD is the template behind all the personality disorders, including NPD. It’s an extreme coping mechanism, we just used less complete coping mechanisms that allow the true self to shine through sometimes. I think all people with NPD or any other PD also are C-PTSD. I too have narcissistic traits, in fact from August to December I “came out” here as a covert narcissist! I even posted on an NPD board for awhile and talked to other “recovering” narcs (most of whom had never been diagnosed with it either, lol)

      Being BPD + Avoidant that can look a lot like covert narcissism. But I do have some empathy and my therapist laughed when I told him I thought I had NPD. It’s been said if you think you have NPD you don’t but I’m not sure that’s always the case. But I’m pretty sure now I do not.
      Thanks for your comments! I hope you do write that post about your sister.

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    • NPD (and also BPD) has a terrible stigma in the ACON world. It’s understandable but I just think it’s a lot healthier to try to understand without enabling. At least that’s what works best for me. I appreciate your comments and reblog.
      It’s been hard to be BPD and reconcile being an ACON too, since Borderlines are almost as demonized as narcs. But BPD and being an abuse victim go together!

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  3. Dear Lucky and Friends, narcs are saddening and maddening , how they hog up the oxygen, and don’t give one iota how they RUIN so much. As for demons i know what i saw coming out of a certain narc’s mouth. A shadowy thing. Happened some years back, but it’s like it was yesterday. Narcs are people who are so hardened, they run the serious risk of losing even common grace.

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    • Well, you are right that most of them won’t ever change and we shouldn’t really concern ourselves with them. It’s sad they’re so hardened and they probably will lose grace but I still make time to pray for them, because you never know. It just helps me not feel like such a victim to look at it that way.
      BTW, your comment didn’t go into my spam for a change! I wrote a post about this, because for some reason my spam blocker seems to think you and one other person’s comments are spam.

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  4. “dangerous to be around.”

    No, preds (in general; I tend to see MOST people as this any more…) are human – as much as I am, in fact. No, not devils. (They’d be easier to deal with if they were! Demons are predictable, unlike the bulk of Normdom.)

    That said, I tend to try to do ‘No Contact’ with people I have any doubts about at all any more. (No, not ‘avoidant pd’. Just an autist who went into advanced middle age before diagnosis, and in the process endured a LOT of abuse – it may have started at home, but it certainly didn’t end there. ‘Societally Codependent’ – much as if MOST people act like they’ve got Diagnosable-level NPD / ASPD toward me – is the best term I currently have toward how I feel around ‘unsafe’ people.)

    In the process of enduring *that* kind of abuse, one might well be ***expected*** to develop an exceeding sensitivity to anything that remotely resembles abusive behavior. Why? Simple – it’s a survival necessity – especially when you’ve got a track-record of abusers ‘turning violent’ at the drop of a hat, and in some cases, planning ahead with the goal of your injury and or death: knives, guns, road-violence, assault, swords… Pharmaceuticals, for the especially tricky ones…Abuse of power and privilege… Very long list.

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  6. Perhaps this is my lack-of-instinct (or whatever it actually is) talking :

    Somehow, I’ve gotten this impression that Normdom (as a whole, including preds) doesn’t just know (at some level) just what it’s doing socially, including deception and manipulation with the ultimate goal of predation -it’s also able to rationalize this behavior readily EXCEPT in the case of that small group of people closest to its individual heart(s).

    The chief difference for many preds is that that close-to-the-bone group is a lot smaller than the ten to twenty that seems common – in the limit, the pred him-or-her-self is the only one not considered fair game.

    More still, all Normies (and especially preds – yes even thirty-plus individuals) have the capacity to discern the thoughts and feelings of others. Trouble is, Normdom as a whole often fails to read Goleman’s tripe about empathy – that capacity for discernment…

    Goleman presumed that discerning such matters in others constrained one to benevolence – and that malevolence was a more-or-less certain consequence OF BEING UNABLE TO READ THE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS OF OTHERS!

    Accordingly, autists – who more or less by definition cannot reliably discern these matters – should be the equals of the worst preds in terms of bad behaviors. (Baron-Cohen tries to rodent his way out of this one by zero-positive… Rubbish…)

    If one cannot reliably discern the mental state of the mark, then one cannot #game# that mark. Worse stll, being ‘blind and deaf’ to social gamesmanship makes one an easy meal (and vulnerable equates to culpable, socially speaking – hence predation without remorse is the rule)

    In contrast, preds (obligate and opportunistic, i.e. most people) can mind-read just fine. (It’s what they do with that info that’s the problem) Here’s where ’empathic cruelty comes in – or as James Fallon put it – he could read people like a book (his book…) – he simply did not care.

    THIS IS CALLED MORAL DISENGAGEMENT.

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  7. Normdom – including preds- sees predation as ‘the highest goal in life.

    Normdom’s instinctual apprehension of ‘the chief of all magicians’ – “the God of the Normalistic world”, that strange parallel universe in which Normies dwell due to their possessing the correct instincts – is ‘an entire predator – a *cannibalistic* being who subsists solely upon his or her ***prey***.

    Ever here of the saying ‘the best things in life are free’? They’re free because they’re ***stolen ***!
    That’s a ***pred*** speaking – and Normdom worships – by chiefest imitation – the maximum pred. Hence predation is not only NOT an accident; it is a designed in feature, not an error.

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  8. Addendum to above: this is why bullies tend to have high ranking / social status and popularity – and why that state endures and increases UNTIL THE BULLY LOSES HIS/HER CAPACITY AS A PRED! (Much as it is in pack-type animal predators, in fact)

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