Narcissistic Abuse Recovery--It's A Journey Not An Event
by Lisa A. Romano
Anyone who has every been abused by a narcissist will tell you it is a maddening experience. First of all, narcissists can appear to be exactly what we have been looking for our entire lives. They can be charming, alluring, inquisitive, curious, gentle, kind, considerate, wise, capable, strong, independent, charismatic, and they can even appear to have empathy. Well, at least they can present with these wonderful characteristics when we first meet them. When you are dealing with a narcissist, you are dealing with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of a personality. They are wolves in sheep's clothing and just when you least expect it, their true agenda begins to surface.
Eventually, as a narcissist's true agenda begins to surface, you might be taken off guard by their sudden shift in demeanor, out of character insensitivity, passive aggressive comment, or blatant disregard for your feelings. Because they have spent so much time love bombing you and convincing you how truly amazed they are with you, their first narcissistic comment feels more like a sting than a blow. Like mosquitos do before they actually suck the blood from their victims, narcissists anesthetize you first, long before they start sucking the life out of you. Think of the sleazy car salesman who begins the sales pitch with, "Wow, I love your shoes. Hey buddy, where did you get them. You have great style, um..by the way, wanna buy what I am selling?" This of course, is all part of their manipulation.
On some subconscious and sometimes creepy as all hell conscious level, narcissists know they must anesthetize you before they can actually have any relationship with you at all. On some level, they know they are not worthy of you, or else, why would they have to resort to such ridiculous games? Now before you go feeling all sorts of empathy for a narcissistic person, please keep in mind that narcissists have no ability or desire to have empathy for others. Narcissists are beyond those we know who are routinely self-centered. Self-centered people can be less empathic than an empath while still being able to feel empathy, at least to some degree for others. A narcissist on the other hand, has zero interest, desire, or ability to have empathy for others. They focus completely on me, me, me, and me. They see others as a means to their end. Their main focus is, "What can I take from this other person? What does this person possibly have that I want? What can this person do for me? How can I convince this person they need me so I can then take from them what I want? How can this person serve my agenda?"
Narcissists are soul murderers because they find insidious ways to get others to open their heart doors to them. Once inside the heart of another, the narcissist finds their host defenseless against them. It is like the narcissist has found a way to exist within the spirit of their victim and thus renders the victim unable to defend themselves against the narcissistic abuse. I liken the poison of a narcissist to a malignant cell in the body. The person suffering with cancer may understand the malignant cell or tumor is within their body, but because the malignancy is within them and not outside of them, perhaps like a scab on their hand, the victim cannot physically defend themselves against the malignancy, nor are they privy to the damage being done to them.
Narcissists need to blindside their victims. Deliberately manipulating others either through love-bombing, sexuality, gift giving, intense flattery, or with telling you all the the things they know you need to hear, is their way of seeping past the locked doors to your heart. Narcissists are cowards in that they are too frightened to dare expose themselves to real and authentic intimacy. Those of us who dare to love with our hearts openly and who risk exposing ourselves as well as our wounds to another human being, we are the courageous ones. It takes no courage to lie, cheat, manipulate, coerce, intimidate, manipulate, and bamboozle another human being. It does however, take great courage to see narcissistic abuse for what it is, in spite of how much you might want to deny how horribly you have been betrayed.
Narcissistic abuse recovery is a journey. It is not an event. The first step is calling the abuse out for what it is and doing what you can to acknowledge the destruction the narcissist has brought to your mind, body, and your soul.