Dan, the malignant narcissist who abused me so badly for almost 4 years, that I had been diagnosed with PTSD by the time the “relationship” ended, has employed neighborhood flying monkeys to do his dirty work — much like the wicked witch of the West did.
While we were dating, shortly after, and likely still occasionally even after many years, Dan has badmouthed me to neighbors in the neighborhood in which we both live. The fact that we both still live here (separate parts of the neighborhood) is why he did it. But he would have done it anyway in general because that’s just typical of a narcissist when relationships end. I have not seen or interacted with him for years, at my own insistence. However, he is a narcissist and narcissists are gonna do what narcissists do. And one of the things they do is employ flying monkeys to do their dirty work.
I know Dan has done this for three reasons: 1) he badmouthed his previous exes to me the same way when we were dating; 2) I overheard some of this when he didn’t know I was at a venue; and 3) I’ve seen his own words he used to verbally and emotionally abuse me for 4 years screeched at me (verbatim) from other people’s fingertips on our neighborhood mailing list. I will never forget those words and phrases. When you are attacked violently, with words or otherwise, when you are repeatedly traumatized and bludgeoned with them, you do not forget that. Ever. E V E R.
Now, our neighborhood mailing list admittedly has a small insidious, indelible subset of vicious, torch & pitchfork bearers anyway. These are typically women who would berate someone at the drop of a hat and they do so almost weekly. If it weren’t me, it would be someone else. These mailing list bullies are the kind of people who feel superior and powerful when bullying and berating others and make a habit of it anyway. It’s a hobby for them. There are a few in almost any group of people. And because they love being bullies so much, they are easily duped into doing a narcissist’s dirty work for them without even being aware of it. Female flying monkeys are the worst, just in my own experience.
Below is a video by Dr. Ramani, with an excellent explanation of how narcissists employ flying monkeys (without their awareness) to do their dirty work for them. Narcissists may do this in any social or political circle where people may know or be familiar with both the narcissist and the target the narcissist wants his flying monkeys to destroy: a neighborhood, a church, a social club or organization, the political world, or a workplace where both people are known to others.
Narcissists will do this if: they feel they are losing control of their abuse target; they fear being publicly exposed as the abusive person they really are by someone they abuse(d) and thus losing public face; in any situation where they feel the hideous contents of their puffed-up but thin outer shell may be exposed to anyone else.
Dan once referred to our neighborhood as “my people“, as if he were a King and they were his subjects. I was astonished at that. And in a way, they are his subjects. They just didn’t or don’t know it.
Now it’s years later and Dan has had lots of time to ensure that in this (his) neighborhood, anyone (me) who may expose his abusive personality and malignant narcissism is destroyed in the eyes of others, silenced and isolated. Few people in this neighborhood know about his narcissistic abuser personality. His new live-in target may be aware of his personality issues by now though. He’ll do the same thing to her if need be eventually – if he hasn’t already. Dan had several relationships before me and at least a couple after. He goes through women like most men go through socks. He didn’t mind telling me how terrible and annoying his exes were. Or, how terrible and annoying I was, to him. Every day, in fact. In the meanest, most hurtful ways he could find to do it. Narcissists view it as their privilege to berate and hurt other people and they don’t have one iota of conscience about it. “The truth hurts!“, he’d flippantly tell me when I became upset at his constant verbal abuse and insults. It was a daily verbal battering. They’re perfect and you are flawed, after all. And they are always correct and you are always wrong. You are the problem. Not them. Never them. “Ninety nine percent of the issues in our relationship are because of YOU!“, he’d exclaim. NEVER expect an apology from a narcissist. At least not one that begins with anything other than: “I’m sorry YOU…” So, one can just imagine what he’s told others in our neighborhood realm over the years when any opportunity arose.
So what triggered this flare-up of Dan’s flying monkeys? Well, recently, I began remotely attending some neighborhood meetings and became visible on them for the first time in 15 years. There are some dangerous community issues I want dealt with and that greatly concern me, so I became involved. I have my own friendships with a few people in this community by now, but I can just imagine what Dan thought of my name and face showing up in a recent neighborhood Zoom meeting. I can promise you his thoughts were not nice. And I can promise you it was discussed between him and his new target / housemate — and not in a positive light. Within two weeks of that meeting, out came the flying monkeys. Sort of like … you know … clockwork. He may not have even had to say anything to them. Because vicious bullies love what they do and surely some people in this neighborhood remember him telling them long ago what an unsavory person this target (in this case me) is. And from that moment on, everything the target says or does is viewed through the filter of perception the narcissist long ago planted in the flying monkeys’ minds. The flying monkeys can only ever see the target as the narcissistic abuser does.
The purpose of a narcissist employing flying monkeys is to keep the target quiet, such that he or she is afraid to utter a peep or be heard or seen anywhere by others in the same political, geographical, or social circles as the narcissist. And if the target is seen or heard — the narcissist must ensure that they are perceived in the the way the narcissist wants them to be perceived by others: “crazy“, “angry“, “paranoid“, and as an abusive person, instead of the narcissist himself.
This leaves the target of the bullying campaign isolated and with no support system – that is: controlled. You’ll get the “paranoid” label most often, especially if you mention to anyone how narcissists employ flying monkeys. No one can believe you, unless they’ve been a target of sustained narcissistic abuse themselves.
One of the comments on the video below:
“When narcissists can no longer control you they will control how others perceive you.” – that is the truth. More often than not, they’ll find a way to do both.
You can subscribe to Dr. Ramani’s YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9Qixc77KhCo88E5muxUjmA
Dr. Ramani has a lot of videos about malignant narcissism, what the heck is going on with these people, and some advice as to how to deal with them. She’s easy to listen to and understand. I highly recommend her videos to anyone dealing with narcissists or the remnants of narcissistic abuse in their lives, which can last years if not decades.