I’ve sometimes been critical of ACON bloggers who seem trapped in hatred and over-the-top narc-bashing, but that’s because I think of hatred as a dangerous emotion that eventually hurts its bearer (and I think can even turn the victim narcissistic themselves), not because narcissists don’t deserve the vitriol (even though admittedly I have some empathy for ego-dystonic, low-spectrum narcissists, who are pretty rare).
Besides the obvious benefits of such blogs that preach No Contact and have probably saved a lot of victims’ sanity as well as lives, there’s another, unintentional advantage of ACON blogs that harshly call out narcissists and the things they do.
Sometimes I get emails from lower spectrum, ego-dystonic NPD’s who want to change or have been shocked into self-awareness by reading the victim blogs. I got one such email from a recently diagnosed NPD. I won’t post the whole thing because it was long, but there was this:
I didn’t even know what NPD was until my diagnosis, but since then I’ve been reading lot about it on some of the victim boards. Am I really like that? I hate to think that’s what I’m really like. I always thought I was a person who cared about others and has lots of empathy, I never thought I was manipulative or god forbid, an abuser. I don’t know…I think it’s true though. I don’t know why I couldn’t see these things about myself before. I always did wonder why people said I was so selfish. Why my relationships always fail. Why I get fired from all my jobs. Why I can never finish anything. Why people avoid me. Why I’m always so angry and depressed. But I can see why now, kind of. It’s horrifying. I never thought I was evil but my readings on these boards have made me realize how badly I treated my friends and my family, and my coworkers, and so many other people. I hate the idea I treated people like that. It’s like looking at myself in the mirror for the first time and seeing how ugly I really am. How was I so deluded? I am very depressed over this. I need to get rid of this. I don’t want to be this way anymore…
I don’t know how many narcissists read the victim blogs, but probably quite a few. Most narcissists–especially malignant ones–are probably secretly pleased that they have so much power and control over their victims, and that might be why you don’t see many of them fighting against the stigma, the way BPDs do. Malignant narcs LIKE the stigma because it makes them seem big and bad and dangerous, which is how they want to be seen.
But for narcissists who had no self-awareness before, perhaps reading these blogs is a sort of wake up call, like a mirror being shoved in their face. Of course, some like what they see and it’s a kind of validation, but a few do not. The ones who are shocked and dismayed by the image being reflected back at them might even, like the person I quoted above, begin to take steps necessary to change their behaviors.