Excerpts from the Archives of the Narcissism List - Part 19

Listowner: Dr. Sam Vaknin


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1. The Hated-Hating Personality Disordered

The personality disordered are usually hated. It is a fact. An unpleasant one but there it is. You need only read professional texts (case histories) to realize how despised, derided, hated, and avoided the personality disordered are even by the therapeutic professions. Because many people don't even realize that they suffer from a personality disorder - they feel victimized, wronged, discriminated against, and hopeless. They don't understand why they are so hated, avoided, and abandoned. They define themselves as victims and attribute mental disorders to others ("pathologizing").

They employ the primitive defence mechanisms of splitting and projection augmented by the more sophisticated mechanism of projective identification.

In other words:

They "split off" from their personality the bad feelings of hating and being hated - because they cannot cope with negative feelings.

Then, they project these feelings unto others ("He hates me, I don't hate anyone", "I am a good soul, but he is a psychopath", "He is stalking me, I just want to stay away from him", "He is a con-artist, I am the innocent victim").

Then they FORCE others to behave in a way that JUSTIFIES their projections and models (projective identification followed by counter projective identification).

I, for instance, firmly "believe" (it is now conscious but it mostly used to be unconscious) that women are evil predators, out to suck my lifeblood, and abandon me. So, I try and make them fulfil this prophecy. I  try and make sure that they behave exactly in this manner, that they do not abnegate and ruin the model that I so craftily, so elaborately, and so studiously designed.

I tease them and betray them and bad mouth them and taunt them and torment them and stalk them and haunt them and pursue them and subjugate them and frustrate them until they do abandon me.

At this stage I will feel vindicated - not realizing MY contribution to this recurrent pattern.

In a nutshell, the personality disordered are full of negative emotions.

They are filled to the brim with aggression and its transmutations, hatred and pathological envy. They are constantly seething with rage, repressed anger, jealousy, and other corroding emotions. Unable to release these emotions (personality disorders are reducible to mechanisms which defend against "forbidden" emotions) - they split them, project them, and force others to behave in a way which LEGITIMIZES, JUSTIFIES, and EXPLAINS these negative emotions. "No wonder I hate him so - look what he did to me". The personality disordered are doomed to inhabit the land of self-inflicted injuries. They generate the very hate that legitimizes their hate which generated the hate in the first place.

2. Hating Love

NOTHING, but I mean NOTHING is more hated by a narcissist than this sentence, "I Love You". It evokes in the narcissist almost primordial reactions. It provokes him to uncontrollable rage. Why is that?

  1. The narcissist hates women virulently and vehemently. Being a misogynist he identifies being loved with being possessed, encroached upon, engulfed, digested, and excreted. To him love is a dangerous intestinal tract.
  1. Being loved means being known intimately. The narcissist likes to think that he is so unique that no one can ever really fathom him. The narcissist believes that he is above mere human understanding and empathy.
    He is ONE of a kind. To say "I love you" means to negate this feeling, to try to drag him to the lowest common denominator, to threaten his sense of uniqueness. After all, everyone is capable of loving and everyone, even the basest human beings, actually love. To the narcissist loving is an ANIMAL reflex - exactly like sex.
  1. The narcissist knows that he is a con-artist, a fraud, an elaborate hoax, a script, hollow, and really non-existent. The person who loves a narcissist is either lying (what is there to love in a narcissist?) - or a dependent, blind creature, an imbecile, unable to discern the truth. The narcissist cannot tolerate the thought that he selected a liar or an idiot for a mate. Indirectly, a declaration of love is a devastating critique of the narcissist's own powers of judgement.

When you are happy - the narcissist wants you all to DIE. Nothing less than horrible, tortuous death. He is so pathologically envious of you that he wishes you never existed. Being a tad paranoid, he also nurtures the growing conviction that you are doing it ON PURPOSE, to remind him of how miserable he is, how deficient, how deprived and  discriminated against. He regards your interaction with your children as a provocation, an assault on his emotional welfare and on his emotional balance. Seething envy, boiling rage, and violent thoughts is the flammable concoction that floods the narcissist's brain whenever he sees other people happy (see here: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/archive01.html ).

(continued below)


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3. Living with a Narcissist

You cannot change people, not in the real, profound, deep sense. You can only adapt to them and adapt them to you. If you do find her rewarding at times - you should do two things, in my opinion:

  1. Determine your limits and boundaries. How much and in which ways can you adapt to her (accept her AS SHE IS) AND to which extent and in which ways would you like her to adapt to you (accept you as you are). Act accordingly. Accept what you have decided to accept and reject the rest.
    Change in you what you are willing and able to change - and ignore the rest.
    It is sort of an unwritten contract of co-existence (could well be a written one, if you are more formally inclined).
  1. Try to maximize the number of times that "...her walls are down", that you "..find her totally fascinating and everything I desire." What makes her behave this way? Is it something that YOU say or do? Is it preceded by events of a specific nature? Is there anything you can do to make her behave this way more often?

4. Leaving a Narcissist

You have a choice: you can either have justice - or be wise.

It is true that the predictor of future violence is past violence and, therefore, if he didn't beat you in the past, he is, probably, not likely to do so in the future.

But "your" narcissist is, perhaps, afflicted with other mental problems and substance abuse.

I would inform him, in his next phone call, that, out of courtesy, you let him know that this is the last phone call you are responding to. You will ignore any further attempt to communicate with you. Don't threaten. Be factual and MEAN what you are saying, be convincing.

Tell him that you would not like to ever see him again OR hear from him again and that - if he promises to let go - you promise to let go and forget the whole thing.

Needless to say that if he does stalk you - you should contact the Police.

5. Cognitive Distortions and the Narcissist

Narcissists are pathological liars (sometimes absolutely unnecessarily).

Narcissists suffer from severe cognitive distortions. No narcissist will admit that he has been rejected. They regard themselves as so wonderful, unique, irresistible - that they block out any information to the contrary.

They employ both negative filters (which keep out information which contradicts their False Self). But they also employ positive-enhancing filters. These filter in information congruent and commensurate with the narcissist's distorted and false image of himself AND amplify, enhance, or strengthen the information thus accepted.

In other words, if the narcissist believes himself to be sexually irresistible - he ignores and represses any behaviour by others and anything said to him which would contradict this belief. On the other hand and concurrently, he collects all the behaviours, reactions, responses and cues - verbal or not - that tend to affirm and confirm his self image.

And, then he proceeds to MAGNIFY the latter.

Example:

If a girl tells him: "I am not really interested in having a relationship with you, I am happy with my boyfriend" - this is ignored, erased, repressed, and deleted. The narcissist vehemently denies that this has ever been said and will be genuinely surprised if proof to the contrary (e.g., recording) were to be produced.

If the same girl accepts his invitation to grab a snack during lunch break - the narcissist inflates her acceptance into full scale enthusiasm and a natural reaction to his own irresistibility. In his imagination, her acceptance is tantamount almost to actually having had sex with her.

Nothing to do with narcissists but get away from them.

Narcissists are very charming and enticing. They have a lot of goodies to offer to their satellites: illusions of grandeur, a bright future, promotion, perfection, brilliance, unending love, power, an outlet to their vile, negative emotions, a licence to meanness and pettiness, the pleasures of nihilism. Co-dependents (including the Inverted Narcissist variety) are natural prey to the narcissist-predator.

The narcissist's is a corrupt kingdom of emotional wheeling-dealing, back-stabbing, double dealing, and double crossing. The narcissist subliminally, covertly and overtly, bribes the members of his entourage, moulds them, corrupts them, mutates them, exploits, abuses, and wields over them the threat of being discarded.

These temptations are hard to resist. These threats are hard to ignore.

He offers the same commodities to his superiors. The same bait is used to get the big fish as well as the smallest. A consummate fisher of souls, the narcissist.

6. Sexual versus Other Forms of Abuse

Sexual abuse is FUNDAMENTALLY different to other forms of abuse. Indeed, the psychopathological reactions and defences to sexual abuse usually coalesce into BPD or DID (Borderline Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder). NPD is very rare as a reactive pattern in cases of sexual abuse - though narcissistic traits very often co-appear with BPD.

7. The Narcissist and His Dead Ones

The narcissist's reaction really depends on the nature of the relationship between the narcissist and the deceased. If the deceased was a major Source of Narcissistic Supply - the result is a major narcissistic injury. Such injury often leads to sudden, agonizingly illuminating, self-awareness, followed by a quest to alleviate the excruciating, life threatening, pain. Suicidal ideation is followed by panic. The narcissist will consider and do ANYTHING to get rid of the ominous sense of being voided and annihilated - including go to therapy.

This set of reactions is also observed following a divorce. The vanishing of an important (sometimes exclusive) Source of NS is a very frightening experience.

If the deceased was a minor Source of Supply, or none at all - the narcissist is likely not to react to the unfortunate event and to go on with his routine, to pursue his Sources of NS, his petty squabbles, etc. Interestingly, the narcissist is likely to react in the same manner (that is, not to react, to ignore) to the death of someone who has occupied a special position in his life either as a Source of Supply or emotionally in his PAST - and ceased to do so at present. The narcissist tries to avoid the pain of memory, the grief, and the mourning by doing what he knows best: repressing, suppressing, lying, pretending. This time - to himself.

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