What makes matters so confusing for the brain of survivors is that pathological narcissists blend the most superficial levels of love with hate that is at the core of their disorder. It’s a toxic cocktail they serve continuously to their partners.
The Seductive, Violating World of Abusers
Often when we walk into an abuser’s world – we have no idea that’s what we’re doing. I certainly didn’t. I saw someone who was attentive, smart, adventurous, accomplished, and ‘nice.’ Back then I didn’t process the blatant red flags like grooming, love bombing, lightening speed pace, and abuse seduction.
When we walk into the life of an abuser, we are blending two worlds. One world reflects authenticity and truth – real bonds and connection. The other is built upon the temporary addictive love stage only to be replaced by the disordered (often dangerous) hateful character traits of pathological narcissism. It will be extremely difficult for our brain to make sense of the behaviors of a narcissistic partner.
At this point, without the addictive high of new love to protect their partners — they will be in their raw form. The flood gates to their pathology will be fully open. This is when survivors get to ‘meet’ their real partner. There will be rudeness, frequent displays of disloyalty, and possibly cruelty due to their lack of empathy.
The Value of Real Love
Loving someone comes with appreciation, respect, loyalty, willingness to put them before ourselves, concern, caring, and the overwhelming desire to protect them. None of that will come from a narcissistic partner.
You will not be appreciated for what you do or sacrificed for them. You will not be respected for your opinions or contributions.
They compete. They minimize. They play victim. They treat the emotions of their partners flippantly. They want to be on top and you’ll quickly feel the weight of having to carry and protect their extremely fragile ego. Absolutely everything is about the protection of that ego. Others will need to constantly give them verbal pats on the head (“You did such a great job.”) To do this for anyone past the toddler stage will feel like a burden for most adults; as it is incredible age inappropriate. (Be aware that psychopaths tend to be much less needy of praise and social ‘feeding.’ Their need is more in the realm of domination, exploitation, control, respect, and full compliance.)
Abusers Always Cross the Line
People we love who are not narcissistic can make us cry, disappoint us, annoy us, and might even lead us to yell. But people who have the ability to love deeply do not abuse us. Their behaviors are not traumatizing.
Empathic or loving people do not cross that very dark forbidden line … that boundary far down the road that hurts us in such a way that we need a period of recovery. Those are the people you must be careful of. A narcissist will whisper the words I love you and tell you, “this is the way I love” and “You are just too sensitive.” Nothing will lead them to look at their own behavior and realize you are having a normal, negative reaction to their patterns. And they certainly will not feel badly for what they have done.
What can make matters so confusing for the brain of survivors is that pathological narcissists blend the most superficial levels of love with hate that is at the core of their disorder. It’s a toxic cocktail they serve continuously to their partners. And as sad as it is, it is also a fact that people with pathological narcissism are limited so severely that they can harm your well-being.
You deserve peace
Whatever the underlying reason that you ascribe to regarding the cause of pathological narcissism — attachment issues, bad parenting, indulgent parenting, genetics, environment, neglect, etc… (And honestly the cause does not matter)… it’s most important that you keep yourself safe. Knowing it was genetics that causes them to lack social safety will not lessen the impact of their abuse.
What really matters is that there are no hugs, love, explaining, forgiveness, or understanding that will lead them to behave differently in their intimate relationships.
Please take care of yourself.
(c) All rights reserved