No One Counts to Ten: Narcissist’s Defiance of Authority

By: Dr. Sam Vaknin


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I make it a point to triumphantly ignore and belittle figures of authority. Knowing that their options of retaliation are rather limited by my official position, or by law - I abuse them flagrantly. When a security guard or a policeman halts me, I pretend I haven't heard him and proceed with callous disregard. When threatened, I go unpredictably wild. In doing so I (very often) provoke repulsion and pity and (much less often) fear and amazement. Often I find myself in danger, always punished, forever the losing party.

So, why do it?

First, because it feels great. To experience immunity, shielded behind an invisible wall, untouchable, and, therefore, by implication, omnipotent.

Second, because I actively and knowingly seek to be punished, perceived as the "bad man", the corrupt, no good, vile, heartless, villain.

Third, I project my own shortcomings, deficiencies, pain, and rage onto these mother and father substitutes. I then react to these behaviours and negative emotions I perceive in others with righteous and furious indignation.

(continued below)


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My inability to work in a team, to be instructed, to accept orders, to admit to ignorance, to listen to reason, and to succumb to social conventions, or to superior knowledge and credentials  - transformed me into a reclusive and clownish disappointment. People are always misled by my intelligence into predicting a bright future for me and my work. I end up shattering their hopes. Mine is a heartless march to heartbreak.

So, what now?

I am a little over forty and a lot overweight. My teeth are rotting and my breath is bad. I am entirely celibate. I am a ruptured nervous wreck. I communicate almost exclusively through rage attacks and vitriolic diatribes. I cannot go back to my own disintegrating country - and am trapped in another. I desperately seek Narcissistic Supply. I delude myself regarding my achievements and status, fully aware of my self-delusion. It is surrealistic, this infinite regression of mirrors, true and false. Mine is the on going nightmare of reality itself.

And beneath it all, there is an ominous spring of sadness. The flotsam that is my being in the murky puddle of my pain. I do not feel it anymore, I just recognize its existence, like a presence in the dark.

I am devoid of energy. I am denuded of defences. I stumble. I get up. I stumble again. Floored, no one bothers to count to ten. I know I will revive. I know I will survive. I just don't know what for.


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