Narcissism and sadism.

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Arguing with Trumpists is exhausting.

 

liberaltears

I should know better than to argue with Trump supporters on Twitter or anywhere else. Several other people were involved in this thread. I have called them Person A, B, etc. The Trump supporter is called “Trumpist” and I’m just “ME.”  This is the kind of twisted logic we are up against.

Thread Starter: With Trump’s base showing strong preferences for authoritarianism, and continuing to support a serial predator of children [Roy Moore], it’s time to look this problem in its face. 1/ (first post in a long thread)

Trumpist: YOU are the ENEMY… you are the bad guy. Christians like me are fighting progressives like you with all our hearts. We just want to live with our traditional values without scum like you trying to push ‘progressive” bs on kids like my nephew. 😡😡😡😡

ME: Well fine but then why are you evangelicals trying to shove your religious agenda down OUR throats. And that is precisely what’s happening. To your side religious freedom only means the freedom to enforce your beliefs on everyone else.

Trumpist: because GOD wants you to inherit the Kingdom which is Heaven but you can not do that with this Progressive agenda. LGBT is a sin, coveting one’s neighbor is a sin=jealousy of the rich,

ME: First of all, I think you are wrong. My God doesn’t operate that way (and I *am* a Christian). Second of all, we have FREE WILL and should have the ability to choose our own eternal fate, not under the duress of theocrats and authoritarians who want complete control.

ME (continuing): Also we are not JEALOUS of the rich. We see a few billionaire oligarchs taking everything away from average people and actively TRYING to make our lives difficult. They have NO empathy. Most of them aren’t even Christians. The Kochs are atheists, FFS. Greed is IMMORAL.

ME (continuing): I suggest you read the Gospels, esp. the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew to see how Jesus actually expects Christians to behave. You guys are the false prophets we were warned about. Twisting Christianity to support your own selfish, immoral, sociopathic agenda.

ME (continuing): Coveting your neighbor? How about ROY MOORE coveting underage CHILDREN? And defending the rapist of a FOUR YEAR OLD? Huh? Explain how that squares with your hate filled brand of “Christianity.” The party of family values, my ass.

Person A (replying to Trumpist): so, you essentially want the same as ISIS then?

ME (to Person A): The dominionists do. They have much in common with ISIS and the Taliban, just substitute Islam with Christianity and it’s the same damn thing.

Person B (also replying to Trumpist): What values? Pedophilia?

Person A: If you want a fucking theocracy, go live in Iran or Saudi Arabia and leave this country alone. We have SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE HERE. If you don’t like it, get out. (accompanying ISIS/GOP comparison meme posted)

Person C: You most assuredly have this backwards. Christians like you are attempting to require non-believers, and other religions to live according to your values because you are afraid that your belief system is so weak that it cannot hold if kids are exposed to other ideals. 1/ (beginning of a new thread)

Person D: Hint: allowing other views to exist is not “pushing” them on you. It’s what is required for a free and democratic society. This tweet right here basically demonstrates the authoritarian instinct the thread us talking about.

Person E: Why are you fighting progress?

Person F: So, “traditional” values like bigotry, hatred and supporting pedophiles? Good luck with that. You disgrace Christianity with every word out of your mouth and Jesus rebukes you.

ME: I just retweeted that hideous reply from TRUMPIST because it’s a PERFECT example of what’s wrong with America. The theocrats and dominionists want complete control and apparently do not believe in FREE WILL.

TRUMPIST (replying to everyone): gays are wrong, period.  Killing babies is wrong, period. There isn’t anything wrong with praying in school. WRONG! We want those rich people to invest in America since they have the means, we don’t want war, some sense of morality in govt, what rights have women lost since the election?

ME: You really don’t get it, do you? I give up. Bye.

ME: (not replying to anyone in thread, which I left): Why am I wasting my day arguing with Trump supporters and religious nutcases? It’s an exercise in futility and exhausting af. Now I have to take a nap.

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I slept for about 4 hours after that conversation and then spent the rest of the day feeling depressed and deflated, no energy at all.  It’s amazing the oxygen sucking effect these zealots have on us. Of course, it might be more emotionally draining to those of us who suffered narcissistic abuse and who find Trump (and his apologists) personally triggering.   We have to be careful to take breaks and replenish. But sometimes I wonder, how are we going to win when there are so many people (like a whole third of the country) who simply deny facts and who logic, reason, and even a simple sense of right and wrong simply doesn’t work on?

I think I’ve figured out their obstinacy. There are a great many people in the United States who WANT an authoritarian president, who WANT theocracy and WANT to be told exactly what to do. They WANT draconian laws for those groups of people they dislike. It satisfies their hatred and fear of those who aren’t like them.  They don’t even care if those same laws hurt them too (which they will).   As long as they get to see the people they hate suffer. 

I’ve heard far too many Trump supporters actually gloat about how they love to “trigger the liberals.” They don’t care how morally bankrupt a leader is, as long as he is upsetting or threatening the “Others” they don’t like (who they see as the real threat).   They joke about “liberal tears.”  There’s something sadistic and even sociopathic in this mindset, which is common in people with authoritarian personalities who are drawn to other authoritarian types.   Conversely, I don’t know any anti-Trumpists who enjoy upsetting or triggering Trump supporters.  In fact, most avoid it.   If we argue with them, we’re just trying to get through, for all the good that’s going to do.   You hope you at least planted a seed somewhere.   But sometimes it feels like scattering seeds into the Sahara Desert.

There are also many people who find thinking for themselves and making their own life choices simply too stressful and/or challenging, so they prefer an authoritarian father figure who tells them exactly what to do and thereby removes the burden of having to make too many choices or do their own thinking.  It’s also people like this who are attracted to authoritarian leaders and authoritarian religions.  It’s actually comforting to them.   These people may have problems with codependency and don’t realize it.

*****

Further reading:

My Twitter Debate With a Trump Supporter

I also just read this peripherally-related, but VERY important, article about the death of Christianity in America.   At first I thought it was just another brainless screed from the evangelical far right, but it’s actually a very well thought out essay about how the alliance between the evangelicals and the far right is actually destroying real Christianity in our country.  The evangelical excuses (bordering on idolatry) for Donald Trump and now their defense of a child molester and sexual predator like Roy Moore is the end-game, at least for Christian evangelism.  They have sold their souls for political gain and power.

The Death of Christianity in the U.S. (Baptist News Global)

Trump hates anything beautiful, truthful, or good.

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“Destruction” by Binouse49/Deviantart

 

In the 1987 Cohn Brothers movie “Raising Arizona,” there was a mysterious character ironically named Leonard Smalls, a/k/a “Lone Biker of the Apocalypse. ” Smalls was a bounty hunter hired to look for a kidnapped baby, but he seemed like the worst possible choice to be put in charge of returning a child to its rightful parents:  he was hardened, violent, silent, and sadistic, and probably psychopathic.  In keeping with that, he despised anything small or vulnerable. Throughout the film, the lead character (played by Nicholas Cage) narrates several semi-prophetic dreams — including one in which Smalls tears through the desert on his Harley, shooting at rabbits, small lizards, and even struggling flowers growing along the lonely highway with grenades and huge assault weapons.

While the Smalls character was played up for humor (the movie was uproariously funny), there are actually people like him in the world.   People without a conscience, without empathy, sadistic people who will gleefully and deliberately hurt and destroy “the small, vulnerable things,” as Cage put it in the film.   There are people who live to destroy, and love every minute of it.

At first, like many people, I wanted to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt.  I wanted him to prove himself to be a good guy after all, or at least have a few redeeming qualities.  Like many, in the beginning of his presidency, I kept telling myself to give him a chance.    But knowing about his malignant narcissism and probable psychopathy, I knew in my bones that his heart, if he had one, was as black as coal.  He is an abuser and destroyer.

In the eight months since Trump became president, he has done nothing but destroy.  As I put in an earlier post, he brings out the worst in everyone, including his own staff and supporters.    He’s a toxic presence who smears his predecessor, his opponents, and even his own staff.  He tells lies about people that are intended to undermine them, destroy them, or ruin their careers.

Not only is he toxic to individuals, he is toxic to the nation and even the world.   Not one thing he has said or done has been life-affirming, empathetic, positive, encouraging, diplomatic, gentle, intelligent, or inspiring.   The people who still support him tend to be people who are much like he is — authoritarians, racists and other haters without empathy — or fearful and ignorant people who feel most comfortable with a strongman dictator who tells them exactly what to do.   He admires and encourages the most base and vile qualities of humanity and openly praises and curries the favor of cruel dictators.  He makes fun of the most vulnerable:  a disabled reporter, women, productive and ambitious young immigrants who came here as children, Muslims, Mexicans, the poor, and people who show any empathy or vulnerability.   He threatens and bullies reporters, politicians, and entertainers who tell the truth about him.

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He passes bills that threaten to take things away from people that make their lives better.  He has gutted any funding for climate science or research and grows angry at any discussion about climate change, even after two devastating hurricanes and wildfires spreading through the western states.    He seems to like to pillage and plunder our environment, supporting fracking and selling off our public lands to huge corporations for oil drilling.   He has plans to blast off the tops of mountains for coal mining, an industry which the rest of the civilized world knows is unsustainable and practically obsolete.   He has removed laws that protect our water, air and food.

Trump cares nothing about wildlife or beauty.  In fact, it seems that he wants to destroy our national treasures and replace them with the base and the ugly.    On one of the revamped government websites having to do with environmental issues, former photographs of beautiful natural vistas have been replaced with pictures showing heavy mining equipment, people fracking, and oil rigs.

Trump’s budget cuts funding for anything that help people live better or contribute to the greater good, including organizations that combat hatred and domestic terror, while he has increased funding for for the military, the Mexican border wall, ICE agents that arrest and detain undocumented immigrants without probable cause and for indefinite periods of time and that separate children from their parents, and anything else that potentially oppresses and makes our country more dangerous, scary, or ugly.

Now he is militarizing police departments, allowing them to purchase military equipment, and removing laws that prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons.  He tacitly encourages police brutality by pardoning a sheriff known to use torture to keep prisoners in line and even referred to one of his prisons as a concentration camp.

Trump is a warmonger, and seems to be chomping at the bit to start nuclear war with North Korea.   Rather than making us safer, he has made us more vulnerable to attack from both without and within.  His rallies are hate fests in which he emboldens white supremacists, Nazis, and hatred in general.   He has turned Americans against each other.

He has hired people who are dead set on destroying from within the departments they were hired to oversee:  education, the EPA, the Justice Department, and health and welfare.   Obamacare, which has helped many vulnerable people get health insurance for the first time, is now back on the chopping block.  Yes, again.     Trump and the more hardline members of the GOP are relentless in their cruelty and seem to like tormenting people with the constant threat of taking away their access to healthcare, not caring one iota how traumatizing the threat is.

After he was criticized for his cold response to the victims of Harvey, telling the people of Texas “Good luck,”  he made a lame attempt to show a little more fake empathy than usual after Irma.    He was probably ordered to do so, because it was obvious his “empathy” was forced.   Maddeningly, the mainstream media ate this up, speculating and theorizing that perhaps Trump was changing and he was capable of empathy after all.

But they are wrong.   Trump is not capable of empathy.  I wish the mainstream media would stop making excuses for him, because it’s a form of enabling.   Those of us who are familiar with his form of narcissism know that the more he is enabled, the worse he will become.   Trump is a malignant narcissist, and not only can’t he change, he will only grow worse over time.   The only remedy is for him (and the equally toxic people he has appointed) is to be removed as soon as possible.   What he has destroyed in eight months will take years to recover, if we can ever recover it.   Our beautiful country is already beginning to resemble a third world country or a dystopian nightmare.  Soon, people will begin to die of preventable diseases caused by contaminants that those pesky and “oppressive” regulations have helped keep at bay — and that’s just for starters.

Perhaps most heartbreaking of all, Trump has destroyed our unity as a country and our trust in each other.   That’s his intention, because a people who have been divided can be more easily conquered.  This is standard practice in all authoritarian regimes and dictatorships.

Donald Trump only knows how to do one thing well, and that is to destroy.  He despises anything beautiful, truthful, or good.

Where does this silly idea that covert narcissism is the most malignant come from?

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I used to believe malignant narcissism was at the top of the narcissistic spectrum, but after learning and reading more,  I’ve changed my opinion somewhat.  I think malignant narcissism is actually a hybrid of NPD + ASPD (antisocial personality disorder) or NPD with sociopathic traits. So it’s not really “higher” on the spectrum than “normal” NPD, it’s NPD that crosses over into the psychopathy or sociopathy spectrum.    They are narcissists that possess all three of the “Dark Triad” traits–narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.   I wrote about the Dark Triad in this post.

For some stupid reason, the web is filled with declarations of covert narcissism being the “most malignant” form of NPD. I call BS on that! Covert narcs are the most likely to be self aware and their NPD is less ego syntonic than the overt type.  They are far more likely than overt narcs to feel guilt and shame and want to change their behaviors and even present for therapy.    I used to frequent a forum where a number of diagnosed and self-avowed narcissists posted about their disorder, and the vast majority were the covert, fragile type and were definitely not happy being narcissists (if that’s what they were at all).  Covert narcissists, being non-aggressive, are (much like borderlines, who they resemble in many ways) likely to become codependent to an overt or malignant narcissist.    They are often victimized themselves (a malignant narcissist would never become a victim!).   I’m not defending covert narcissists.  They are still narcs and are still dangerous.   They should be avoided whenever possible. But it’s time to set the record straight.   The only reason covert narcissism might be more “malignant” is because their disorder is harder to see. Covert narcissists don’t wear a neon sign announcing they are narcissists.

Due to their sociopathic/psychopathic traits, malignant narcissism is ego-syntonic and the afflicted person will almost never think they are the ones with a problem. Even if they become self aware, they will still be “happy” with their disorder and tend to blame everyone else when things go wrong–and enjoy doing so.

Because of this, malignant narcissists will never present for therapy (unless they are forced to) and if they do, they can never get better, because the willingness to isn’t there. Non-malignant NPD, while difficult to treat, may be curable IF the patient is self-aware and willing and their disorder is ego-dystonic (which it often is in the covert subtype) .

There is a cruelty and sadism to malignant narcissists that’s missing in garden variety narcissists. Most narcissists don’t set out to deliberately hurt others, but malignant narcissists do. While they’re getting their supply, they also get a thrill from making others suffer.  Like vultures, they feed off your pain.   In contrast, some “benign” narcissists might even feel guilt when it’s called to their attention they hurt someone, even though they still keep doing it because they can’t help themselves and like a drug addict, getting their fix of supply is more important than the feelings of their victims. But malignant narcissists actually want to see their victims suffer, or at the very least, don’t care.   Malignant narcissists are almost always the overt, grandiose type.   It’s virtually impossible for a covert narcissist to become malignant, because they are generally not happy with themselves, even if they aren’t aware of their own narcissism.

There’s another difference too.    The malignant narcs I have known have a cold deadness to their eyes that’s not as evident in people with garden variety NPD.   Their eyes can also be very predatory, seeming to bore right through to your soul. That’s their one saving grace: their eyes warn you of how dangerous they are.

When does a narcissist cross the point of no return?

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This question came up on the forums I’ve been active on. I think this question has fascinating implications but may never be answered with any degree of certainty.

Where the point of no return (the point at which a narc cannot be healed) exists on the narcissistic spectrum isn’t a question we will probably ever know. However, I have a couple of theories that ping ponged around inside my head.

1. Level of sadism/paranoia. (these traits were suggested by another forum member)
I think the ratio of ASPD traits to NPD traits would come into play–and most ASPDs are at least somewhat sadistic. I don’t know what the percentage of ASPD traits would have to be (and maybe it would vary in individuals anyway) but obviously a narcissist with a lot of ASPD is going to be more sadistic, and therefore more malignant/psychopathic, and that’s the point where no self awareness is possible–when a narc becomes malignant or psychopathic. Paranoia would come into play too, as I think paranoia rises with sadism. The more malignant the narcissist, the more paranoid (and sadistic) they will be.
For more, please see my article about The Dark Triad.

2. Soul-murder/cognitive dissonance.
My second theory about the point of no return is going to sound a little strange. I don’t believe the world is just the physical world we see. I’m not especially religious and don’t interpret biblical events literally but I am Christian (Catholic) and believe with no doubt that evil exists. Whether there’s an actual entity called Satan is not something I can answer. But I think there are evil entities, or energies, and I think M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie” explains all this brilliantly (and was the first book to explain malignant narcissism even though it wasn’t called that in 1983). It was also the book that helped me identify my mother and my ex as MNs.

Anyway, I think it’s possible for a person (a victim of abuse) to be infected with the evil of another person. If it goes on long enough, the victims’ “narcissism fleas” (N traits picked up from their narcissists) can become cancerous and turn into full blown narcissism. If the victim was especially abused or sensitive (or was both scapegoat and golden child) they may be more covert but are still N.
I think choice also has to do with it. If one sides with their abusers all the time, or colludes with them in antisocial acts, I think something in the person’s soul can turn dark.

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Once this darkness sets in, a person who was low-mid spectrum moves higher on the spectrum into malignant narcissism and can’t go back to being the way they were. That’s the point of no return. This has happened in wartime, with soldiers forced to do things that go against their morals like killing innocents, or accidentally killing a fellow soldier in combat — when these veterans return they suffer severe PTSD but for some, who were forced to commit deeds that went against their conscience and morals, they crossed a line into evil.

I think the mechanics of what happens is that when one makes a choice or is forced to do something that goes against their morals, there’s so much cognitive dissonance that a split in the mind occurs, where the person, feeling so guilty over their deed that it’s unbearable, takes the side of evil, to correct the dissonance.

I think all PD’s may actually be complex PTSD (c-PTSD) that is more deeply embedded in the personality.

As far as narcisissts lower on the spectrum (low-through mid spectrum)–and I absolutely believe it’s a spectrum disorder like autism–a non-malignant/non ASPD narcissist isn’t evil and hasn’t crossed the point of no return. It won’t be easy to get that “skeleton transplant” (and will be extremely painful!) but it can be done.

I hope my BPD wall of words made sense (someone told me that all BPD’s write posts that are as long as books with a lot of run on sentences, LOL!)