So, yeah, I know too well why you’re reading this right now. Whether or not you like being called “Dude,” you’re here looking for answers, understanding, insight, validation for the crazy hellfire you’ve lived through with narcissism.
Maybe you’re still in the thick of it, filled with confusion, anger, and despair. Or maybe you’re out of the relationship and dealing with the aftermath: messy entanglements, nightmares, panic attacks, and bizarre unexplained illnesses. Either way, your experience with a narcissist has programmed you to blame yourself, and you’re filled with doubt and self-criticism.
Of course your parents loved you. Of course your spouse wasn’t that bad. Of course—because parents and spouses love their children and husbands and wives like you love them, right?
No. No. And no. I hate being the bearer of bitter truth, but let’s get real—you knew it already.
This is where I harshly tell you to get a grip because narcissists are different animals, and you’re damaged goods. Yes, you’re damaged. I’m not going to lie.
If you’ve dealt with a narcissistic personality disordered (NPD) partner, parent, and/or other close person in your life, you’ve been traumatized, intensely. I tell you this as someone who is traumatized, intensely, but who is also a survivor, which you already are too, whether you realize it yet or not.
People with NPD are damaged children. Because of formative abuse/neglect, they do not develop a stable identity and lack self-esteem or the ability to empathize with others. Yes, it is tragic. And yet so many victims of abuse do not become abusers. Case in point, you and me.
Personally, I vacillate between pity/love/concern for my NPD father and hard-won reality checks about his extreme and continuing abuse and manipulation. So, again, I remind you to get a grip, stop taking responsibility for sh*t that isn’t your fault or burden (contrary to how you’ve been trained), and step forward with your own life, apart from that of the emotionally primitive parasitic narcissist(s).
That’s it. That’s the lesson for tonight. Sleep tight, and don’t let those bedbugs bite.
Julie L. Hall’s articles on narcissism regularly appear Huff Post, PsychCentral, NYMed Times, SmartNews, and YourTango. She is the author of a forthcoming book on narcissistic family dynamics and a memoir about life, and a few near deaths, in a narcissistic family (read excerpts).
Related Articles by Julie L. Hall
- How and Why Narcissists Are Highly Skilled Abusers
- The Narcissist Parent’s Psychological Warfare: Parentifying, Idealizing, and Scapegoating
- The Narcissist on Social Media: The Exhibitionist and Troll
- The Narcissism Mystique: Facts and Fictions You Need to Know
- Narcissist Covert Incest: Being ‘Loved’ Too Much
- The True Narcissist: 7 Definitive Traits
- Raised by a Narcissist? 11 Healing Things to Do for Yourself Right Now
- The Paradox of the Narcissist’s Unrequited Self-Love
- Best of the Worst Narcissist Mothers on Screen
- It’s You and Me Baby: Narcissist Head Games
- 7 Things a Narcissist Will Never Do
- The Narcissist as Human Parasite: Are You a Host?
- 4 Insidious Ways That Narcissistic Abuse Isolates the Victim
- Behind the Narcissist Mask: The Bully, Coward, Liar and Fraud
- How to Protect Your Child from Your Narcissist Spouse
- When the Narcissist Is Nice: What It May or May Not Mean and How to Handle It
- The Challenge of Setting Boundaries with Narcissist Parents
- Understanding Narcissistic Rage and Why It Is Not Your Fault
- Adult Children of Narcissists Face Trauma-Induced Health Risks
- Seven Sure Ways to Spot a Narcissist
- What Raging Narcissists Break: A Damage List
- More Horrid and Shocking Things Narcissists Say and Do
- The Dos and Don’ts of CoParenting with a Narcissist
- What the Narcissist Fears Most
- The Narcissist Family: Its Cast of Characters and Glossary of Terms
Image courtesy of Matteo J. Coccia.