In my last post, I ranted about a few bloggers that targeted me when I began to move on from my righteous anger at what my narcissistic parents and ex did to me. About a year ago, I reached a point where my rage at “the narcs” was no longer serving me well. I began to see things in a new way–that my narcissists were victims themselves and that’s why they became so abusive. These bloggers didn’t like that. As far as they were concerned, I was a traitor to the narc-abuse community as well as a narc-sympathizer. They told me I was evil and going to hell.
But that’s also when I began to see myself a lot more clearly and realized what I needed to do to begin to heal. Why? Because while righteous anger is good and healthy when you’re trying to go No Contact or get away from abusers, once it no longer serves that purpose and you have gone No Contact, all that rage has nowhere to go. At that point it becomes hatred and begins to poison your soul. And there isn’t anything more toxic to healing than hatred. These bloggers have become so trapped in their rage it has poisoned their souls and they have become what they hate. Unfortunately for them, they are utterly blind to it.
When I began this blog, I was a lot more angry at my narcissists, and narcissists in general. If you read some of my early posts (within the first year or so), you will notice a lot more rage and even hatred toward narcissists than in my later posts. As long as I remained in that anger, I was A-OK with these bloggers. And at the time, that anger was healthy. It was how I processed the whole experience of being an abuse victim, and it validated my decision to go No Contact. It wasn’t a bad thing and I don’t regret it. But at some point, I began to chafe at the constant narc-bashing I saw, and wondered if perhaps “the narcs” were being given more power than they actually deserve.
I’m going to make an analogy here, because it ties right into this idea. I can’t embrace fundamentalist religion for a number of reasons, but here is one of them: some fundamentalists (not just Christians, but Muslims too, and really, fundamentalist anything) gives the entity commonly known as the devil or Satan a lot more power than he/it deserves. They seem to equate his power with that of God. They tell us the world is under Satan’s dominion and we must repent and believe exactly as they do or we’re going to hell. They tell us Satan planted scientific evidence that indicates evolution exists (which means he somehow got bones into the ground that looked half-human, half-ape.) They tell us he brought every bad thing that exists to the world–disease, famine, death, war, you name it. They tell us God has allowed this because of “free will.” They quote the Bible (or Q’uran, or whatever–to back their claims). But if Satan exists at all, he’s merely a fallen angel–with about the same amount of power as Michael, the archangel–he doesn’t even come close to God’s level of might. Would Michael be able to do what God does? Would he be able to create life and rule the universe? Of course not–the idea of it is laughable. To give the devil that much power is an insult to God, in my opinion. In fact, God himself created Satan!
The power some religious people give Satan causes a lot of people to fear God because God seems to exist solely to punish humanity (who “disappointed” him by sinning) for giving in to or being fooled by “the adversary.” The whole God vs. Devil argument seems like an enormous cosmic opera, with God continuously waging war with this all-powerful entity who represents evil to God’s goodness–but in the end, God’s behavior is just as “evil” as Satan’s–judgmental, authoritarian, punishing, jealous, and controlling. In fact, I would say that God acts quite a lot like a…malignant narcissist. People have turned away from religion or are put off by it because of this punishing, negative view of God as Holy Avenger. And among those who embrace it, how many are doing so out of fear, and not out of genuine love for God? If your father was an authoritarian, punishing parent, you may “love” him but you will never be able to have a healthy relationship with him. You probably did what he said because you HAD to, not because you wanted to. You feared his wrath if you did not. You find it difficult to be happy or grow into a loving, joyful person with a satisfying life and relationships because your father’s wrath and judgment became internalized. It continues its live on inside you, as an inner critic that continues the abuse in the form of self-abuse. I think that’s often the case with fundamentalist religion too. It’s nothing more than brain-washing and negative programming whose intent is to frighten and control. What sort of God would even WANT his creations (who he holds in contempt for even questioning that might) to quake in terror at his presence? A narcissistic God who craves power and control, that’s who.
The point of this isn’t to make a point about religion, though (that’s a whole other post I will probably never write). Many narcissistic abuse survivors talk about narcissists as if they were actual demons. They talk about them having almost supernatural powers over the rest of us. Yes, it’s true, their behavior is dangerous and can destroy the souls of those they abuse. But they don’t have any more real power than anyone else. They are broken people, not devils. Their brokenness is what causes them to abuse others. In their own minds, I don’t think (in most cases) they actually know what they’re doing. In their own minds, they may even think what they do is the right thing–or they don’t think about it at all. They are incapable of seeing their own narcissism and how it destroys.
Some narcissists are sociopathic and actually take pleasure in hurting others. But I think that only applies to those at the top of the spectrum–the ones who have turned malignant. Most narcs are simply unaware of the way their behavior impacts others. It was programmed into them just as surely as many victims were programmed to remain victimized throughout their lives.
Narcissists are emotionally retarded, so much so they are incapable of having enough empathy to be able to stop playing out the elaborate (and mostly useless) defense mechanisms they constructed to protect themselves. They aren’t devils and don’t have any real supernatural powers; they are merely blind and stupid. Dangerous? No doubt they are, and it’s always best to go No Contact. An angry rhinocerous charging toward you isn’t evil; it’s just doing what nature has programmed it to do. It defends itself by attacking even though you mean it no harm, because that’s in its nature and it assumes you will attack first. While the rhino isn’t evil and doesn’t get its thrills from watching you bleed to death, it does what it does and it’s best to get as far away as you can. Same thing with a narc, who (unless they have become malignant or sociopathic) isn’t evil; he or she is reacting to internal programming that was probably instilled when they were very young and defenseless. In their emotional stupidity and blindness, they think you are going to attack them (or think you are already attacking them), so they instinctively jump on the offense and launch “pre-emptive” counterattacks on you. They lie to themselves about your intentions AND their own (and I think most of them actually convince themselves these lies are the truth). They may even even think what they do is “for your own good.” Just like that authoritarian, punishing father or that judgmental, angry, jealous God.
So what’s so wrong about thinking narcissists are evil and have supernatural powers or are possessed by demons? After all, they do act pretty evil. They nearly destroyed us with their abuse. They made us incapable of living happy, normal lives or developing any self esteem. Thinking of narcissists as these powerful evil entities from the depths of hell is natural when you realize what you’ve been up against and what their actions did to you. The righteous anger you feel also helps you get away from them. I think at first, thinking of narcissists as having that much power is a healthy thing because it gives you the motivation to remove them from your life. Here’s the problem with it though. Righteous anger isn’t meant to be permanent. It’s a fight-flight response that ensures survival, but when the danger has passed (and you know your going No Contact was justified), it becomes bad for both body and soul. Besides building up unhealthy levels of cortisol (the fight-flight hormone) in the blood that can lead to physical illness, never-ending rage in the absence of an enemy has nowhere to go but inward–or turn itself on innocent people. It becomes hatred and hatred will eventually destroy its bearer. You begin to see “the enemy” everywhere and are constantly on the offense/defense against real or not-so-real monsters. You begin to see narcissism everywhere, even in normal human behavior. You live in paranoia and terror and the world seems like a hostile, evil place. Your fear of supernatural and uncontrollable forces beyond anyone’s control (even God’s) can even cause you to become a narcissist yourself, in self defense.
You can’t heal until you can let go of that rage. That doesn’t mean enabling a narcissist or staying in contact with them. But it means moving on and letting go of hatred. At some point in my healing journey, I was no longer able to hang onto my rage. I began to see them as victims too. Of course, this was heresy to some of the narc-abuse bloggers. But by thinking of them this way, they held a lot less power over me. I became less afraid. You can’t feel terrified of something that is pitiful and broken, and by seeing them as pathetic, toothless victims who were crippled emotionally, they seemed sort of…powerless. It wasn’t until I was able to do this that I began to turn my attention in toward myself–and what I could do to change me. If you’re constantly slaying dragons, you can’t have self-awareness because there’s no room for it. In your mind, if you stop fighting, you will be killed. What people don’t realize is that if you never put down that sword, even after the dragons have disappeared, you turn that sword on yourself.
Narcissistic abusers want you to be afraid. They want unlimited power. They want to control your mind even when they’re not there. So, to hold onto hatred (which is fueled by fear, so there is always terror present wherever hatred exists) is really just giving them what they want–control over your mind and soul. Ironically, thinking of them as broken people is the opposite of enabling them. What would a narcissist hate the most? Being seen as pitiful, impotent, powerless, broken, emotionally retarded people. It’s really the only way you can begin to undo the negative programming that keeps you trapped in fear and keeps you from growing into a whole person. It’s also the best revenge, because then you can thrive in spite of their efforts to keep you down.
Yes, there is a time to move on from being the child to whom a parent is omnipotent and see as an adult what they really are, captives to their own darkness. I love this statement ” What would a narcissist hate the most? Being seen as pitiful, impotent, powerless, broken, emotionally retarded people. It’s really the only way you can begin to undo the negative programming that keeps you trapped in fear and keeps you from growing into a whole person. It’s also the best revenge, because then you can thrive in spite of their efforts to keep you down.”
People used to say in a way of dismissing me or so I thought, “why do you give other people so much power”, I’d reply “because they have the power”, and the unsatisfactory comment “don’t give them the power” left me angry. I didn’t see myself as having any power at all but I was wrong because while it is true bosses can fire you, and abusive husbands can kill you if you stay in their orbit, none of them can take your soul.
In fact, like the Wizard of Oz behind that curtain and the smoke an mirrors is a person that desperately clings to the illusion of power over you. When you see that for what it really is, a broken, pitiful, emotionally undeveloped 3 year old suddenly they are laughable. Seriously, I can see the antics now and chuckle at what a buffoon they made out of themselves. The only power that is real is completely beyond their reach, and that is the power of love.
They are impoverished from that one and want to destroy those that have it, but hate, cannot destroy the power of love. I don’t mean gushing over a batterer, loving yourself enough to remove yourself as a target, loving them enough to go no contact in order to stop their sins against you is not a weak kind of love. You can be loving and no contact. In fact, I think narcs fear us more than we can imagine
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Buffoons. That’s a great way to describe them. They are buffoons. Big and loud and obnoxious and even scary–but under all that smoke and mirrors is a little “humbug.” Just like the Wizard of Oz (great example, btw). I have often compared the Wizard to a non-malignant narc–which he is–but was still able to see what a powerless little man he was when he was exposed and then called out on his bad behavior. Its my hope that, like the Wizard, narcissists who are still able to can be exposed and see themselves for what they have become. Of course this is just a story and in the story, the Wizard even became a good man. While a narcissist magically turning into a good person after one shame-inducing exposure is probably unrealistic, showing them how powerless they really are *might* make them begin to look inward. In other words, stop giving them supply! Fearing them as these all powerful demonic beings is definitely giving them plenty of supply. To a narc, supply is supply–it doesn’t matter if it’s “good” or “bad” supply. It’s still attention and feeds their egos. Once you can show them how powerless and unimportant they really are, they lose that supply and will either self destruct, or begin the long journey toward wellness. Of course, the ones who are too far gone and have lost their souls (the malignants) will never be able to see that and will attack and rage. But they are still pathetic and powerless. They’re just deluded by their own smoke and mirrors show, trapped in their own prison of narcissism.
Did you see the post I wrote before this one? It’s about what happened to me about a year ago, and they apparently aren’t done with me yet, even though I’m done with them. I want your input.
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wow these are the things I think of all the time! and I do correlate religion/devils/satan/demons and GOD so much into my own belief about narcissists and my abuse.. also because we look TO GOD to help us.. it all gets tied together “forgive your enemies who despitefully use you etc” and I need this too, it happens to me as well (total separation yet hatred poisons my soul)
my abusive narc even said to me “if you knew all that happened to ME (always about himself) that you wouldn’t even believe in God anymore
I am supposed to put God aside and not believe in God due to HIM…I am sure he placed himself in God’s role in my life and failed and still needs me to acknowledge him..it does induce a rage in me.. I always called him a “turd that wont flush” sorry but its true (I think that’s from a movie., was it die hard?)
truth is deep down I need GOD to say “Susan you should’ve never met this person” that would mean God loves me
and that’s where it gets complicated
where they feel they have “power over God”
hypothetically “God “cant admit” He “LET” this happen to His believers who depended on Him
verses in the bible describe a daughter zion whose punishment went far beyond what even “God” had originally intended
believe it or not.. that’s in the Bible
“they went far beyond my intentions and punished her beyond measure”
ok even maybe that’s NOT GOD
Bible is a mystery book with “Gods many and Lords many” what I am saying is
narcs use bible language too
its all of our story!
narcs know of our helpless situation and the way we may feel betrayed by God and they use it…
I must face myself in one thing.. my MEETING and STAYING with my ex abusive narc is ROOTED IN feeling betrayed by God to BEGIN with
narcs do know and latch on to us with abusive families… they think to “abuse us into reality” and take off our rose colored glasses when we had every right to keep them on and CREATE a rose colored life!
“ye are Gods”
in the creative sense we are… of our own lives… they want to paint us a different picture…we fight to make it pretty and deep down it was always for “them” and that’s whats so frustrating
we always wanted THEM to see the beauty and better life we created and join us in it
that’s what I spent the whole time trying to do
the fact that..that is rejected is the deepest sense of pain, hate and betrayal I can ever tell you.
it causes RAGE in me.
if you can spend your time being kind to someone.. who is claiming to have a rough life.. and you make their bed,decorate the house,smile and say lets watch this movie! set their dinner before them.. and on and on… and they can just slap you clear across the room… either literally or spiritually…well
I just REMEMBERED what I wanted to say originally as I read your article
and that is simply this : “that’s some MK ULTRA shit right there!”
I am shocked
how can it be human?
MK ULTRA I read..says to take a child…make that child love and TRUST you.. then on purpose one day,as a “scientific study” just one day randomly beat the shit out of that child (or rape)
to see what?
what kind of crap is that? how is it human ? humans don’t conduct experiments on other humans/same species.. when we love its natural…no TESTS are allowed in a same species/love situation…
this is why we get schismed and come up with angels demons Gods humans and all sorts of things
something is WRONG
something like MK ULTRA and mind control
Roseanne barr said most everyone in Hollywood/entertainers/actors/singers are under mk ultra and that she was herself
is it DEEP DENIAL? of when you do wrong? and still NEED someone to forgive you? what about when they forgive and that doesn’t heal YOU…if I forgive my ex.. he may still be the same…
what I mean is.. my ex started to even tell me about mk ultra and say the bad way he treated me was mind control…. not his fault.. not ever his fault…
so to think such a thing even EXISTS is just scary…
at the same time Jesus said when we believe in Him your own family members will act up and want to kill you etc,and it was when I became a Christian that they all went SOUR on me..
and got more abusive than ever before.. so I was dealing with praying daily in the HolySpirit AND severe daily abuse with it….and I did instinctly know it was related and my Church confirmed it too
that’s what they will tell you
however that can also feel like being taken captive BY the Church away from your family! and you can get all mixed up as anyone would if there is NO SAFE PLACE TO GO in the end………….
then it equates to betrayal
narcs use this betrayal feeling in every situation.. if you are not religious they will use another thing about you.. like being fanatic about sports.. anything to take it away from you …if you are pretty and could be a model they will call you fat and ugly or MAKE you that way…. if its family.. than they will reinforce and remind you “your family hates you”
even with PETS..anything that makes you happy… a job…
my ex worked on ALL OF THE ABOVE,took all away from me….pets,job,home,looks and more…
after I left him I had the best job ive had in my life, I still have my pets.. my looks improved vastly due to care of myself and happiness…
the “things of this world” improved.. money and looks
my relationship with God did not improve and is still fractured BECAUSE I had to “do it on my own”
same with my family who never acknowledged that anything ever happened or just don’t care.
we are giving people who create a nice life and environment for those with us that is all.
we cant stand it when its not received…making others happy is joy and life.
I received it “inside” and I call it the “HolySpirit” I cant seem to give it but I did receive it.
remember Ezekiel says “This is wickedness” and I saw a woman being shoved into a basket with a heavy lead disc on top”
the wickedness in the vision is that something GOOD is “shoved and closed up” cant get out
I used to think the woman in the vision was wicked until I saw what it said “THIS” is wickedness
then goes on to say say she gets shoved and locked up…closed in…
well just know then one thing..it goes on to say “she will remain in every home until it is consumed timbers and all”
she gets the “judgement” on all…in that “basket” all closed up she is “writing on a two sided scroll “liars” on one side and “thieves” on the other.
she longs to give/be out of that locked up prison
they maybe long to receive? but cant.. she isn’t available..
its a spiritual mystery but.. feeling she isn’t available makes KNOWN the “liars and thieves”
believing she doesn’t love you when clearly she does in other words will be NO EXCUSE for you..
just because you don’t receive on the “inside” the happy joy feelings these narcs don’t feel.. is NO EXCUSE for them to abuse you when YOU are clearly acting happy and joyful right in front of their eyes! and DOING GOOD.
now if that story in Ezekiel isn’t what we all go through with these people, I don’t know what is!
they are a liar and a thief and this is how its proven
they SEE you are good
they SAY “we didn’t receive it”
its in Ezekiel
Susan, I think the rage is natural and even necessary at first. I do still feel anger sometimes and am so glad I’m NC with all of them. I do NOT think highly of them, but fearing them doesn’t help me one bit. What helps me get past that rage is replacing it with pity–contemptuous pity. It contains an element of anger, and recognizes their utter uselessness to me — but leaves me feeling free of their clutches on me. So instead of thinking,”evil, demon being who is out to suck away my soul and I must be afraid of,” I just think, “pathetic useless idiot who thinks they can get one over on me–AGAIN–but they are so stupid they don’t see how wrong they are.” I think this attitude is a lot healthier but may be more difficult to reach because they can SEEM so powerful–and of course, when we were children and under their utter control, they WERE powerful indeed. But as adults, their hold on us is a lot more tenuous and doesn’t have to be that way. A child can’t go No Contact, but an adult can. In my post, I’m referring to victims I see who have let their rage destroy them to the point where they themselves became narcissists. I’ve seen it happen again and again, and it’s very sad, and can be avoided. Thanks for your comments!
Do you know of a movie that depict a musician ie: a pianist who has NPD? I know one who is has the classic characteristics with a large fan base that he has fooled b/c of his charisma. I think it would be the makings for a great movie to educate the public on how they are created from an overbearing parent or neglectful patent and at a time in adolescence when empathy is developed etc. etc. etc. educate the public on all the predictable traits. You could be a multi millionaire. But make it a classical pianist. I could give you some wonderful material. He is a master magician and he used those smoke and mirrors in real life every day. So sly. So fun loving, but such a temper. So many affairs. No empathy, incapable of love, but the adoration of his fans is what he lives for. His wife serves as his manager to keep his life in order. He is addicted to porn where there is no relationship or interaction. He spends hours reconfiguring his image page on the Internet and soaking up porn.
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Minister: “Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make; you can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won’t know for twenty years. And you may never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce. And they say there is no fate, but there is: it’s what you create. And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but it doesn’t really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along. Something to make you feel connected, something to make you feel whole, something to make you feel loved. And the truth is I feel so angry, and the truth is I feel so fucking sad, and the truth is I’ve felt so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long I’ve been pretending I’m OK, just to get along, just for, I don’t know why, maybe because no one wants to hear about my misery, because they have their own. Well, fuck everybody.”
,,,,,,,this was the mindset I carried in my “dragon slayer” phase. I needed it for years, but I couldn’t survive forever in this head space. It eventually became as oppressive as the abuse, only from my inner core, not others. I’m happy to leave it behind. If it’s a cop out, so be it. I want to survive!
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Yikes! That sounds like living in hell, and also sounds a lot like my head too until very recently (and still does sometimes).
“At some point in my healing journey, I was no longer able to hang onto my rage. I began to see them as victims too. Of course, this was heresy to some of the narc-abuse bloggers.”
I am impressed with this post. I think we demonstrate very healthy spiritual growth when we begin to see our enemies as God sees them. It is important to escape the control of such people, but loving our enemies is central to the teaching and example of Jesus.
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I’m so glad you liked this post, and I agree! I wish more people could think like this.
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