Victims of Narcissists, Take Heart – Better to be a Victim Than Them

The excerpt below could and should have been written by my Ex. It is part of the Foreword in the book “Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited“. But more than that, the below is very much about my Ex and how he “operated”. They’re all like this (narcissists). And they’re abusive. However, as is noted in the end of this foreword, the difference between us and them is that WE can get out of their sick web of lies and illusion. THEY can’t. Like I told my Ex when we split up: ” You can break up with ME, but you can’t break up with YOURSELF.”  And he can’t.

_ _ _ _ _

“Hello. Recognize me? No? Well, you see me all the time. You read my books, watch me on the big screen, feast on my art, cheer at my games use my inventions, vote me into office, follow me into battle, take notes at my lectures, laugh at my jokes, marvel at my successes, admire my appearance, listen to my stories, discuss my politics, enjoy my music, excuse my faults, envy me my blessings. No? Still doesn’t ring a bell? Well, you have seen me. Of that I am positive. In fact, if there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, it is that. You have seen me.

Perhaps our paths crossed more privately. Perhaps I am the one who came along and built you up when you were down, employed you when you needed a job, showed the way when you were lost, offered confidence when you were doubting, made you laugh when you were blue, sparked your interest when you were bored, listened to you and understood, saw you for what you really are, felt your pain and found the answers, made you want to be alive. Of course you recognize me. I am your inspiration, your role model, your saviour, your leader, your best friend, the one you aspire to emulate, the one whose favor makes you glow.

But I can also be your worst nightmare. First, I build you up because that’s what you need. Your skies are blue. Then, out of the blue, I start tearing you down. You let me do it because that’s what you’re used to. You are dumbfounded. But I was wrong to take pity on you. You really ARE incompetent, disrespectful, untrustworthy, immoral, ignorant, inept, egotistical, constrained, disgusting. You are a social embarrassment, and unappreciative partner, an inadequate parent, a disappointment, a sexual flop, a financial liability. I tell you this to your face. I must. It is my right, because it is. I behave, at home and away, in any way I want to, with total disregard for conventions, more, or the feelings of others. It is my right, because it is.

Run to our friends. Go. See what that will get you. Ridicule. People believe what they SEE and what they see is the same wonderful me that you also saw and still do. What they also see is the very mixed up person you have obviously become. The more you plead for understanding, the more convinced they are that the CRAZY ONE IS YOU, the more isolated you feel, and the harder you try to make things right again, not by changing me but by accepting my criticisms and by striving to improve yourself. Could it be that you were wrong about me in the beginning? So wrong is that? How do you think our friends will react if you insist that THEY are also wrong about me? After all, they know that it really is YOU who have thwarted my progress, tainted my reputation, and thrown me off course.

I disappoint YOU? Outrageous! It is YOU who have disappointed ME!. Look at all the frustrations you cause me. Lucky for you, I have an escape from all this, and fortunately my reputation provides enough insulation from the outside world so that I can indulge in this escape with impunity. What escape? Why, those eruptions of rage you dread and fear. Ah, it feels so good to rage. (To embarass you in front of our neighbors who all KNOW you YOU are the crazy one. Or, in front of our friends). It is the expression of and the confirmation of my power over you, my absolute SUPERIORITY. …nothing compares to the pleasure of exploding for for no material reason and venting my anger and frustration with total abandon, all the time a spectator at my own show and at your helplessness, pain, fear, frustration, and dependence. …Go ahead. Tell our friends about it. See if they can imagine what it’s like, let alone believe it.

But you know what? This may come as a shock, but I can also be my own worst nightmare. I can and I am. You see, at heart my life is nothing more than illusion-clad confusion. I have no idea why I do what I do, nor do I care to find out. In fact, the mere notion of asking the question is SO REPULSIVE to me that I employ all of my resources to repel it. I reconstruct facts, fabricate illusions, act them out, and thus create my own reality. It is a precarious state of existence indeed, so I am careful to include enough demonstrable truth in my illusions to ensure their credibility. And I am forever testing that credibility on you and on the reactions of others. Fortunately my real attributes and accomplishments are in sufficient abundance to fuel my illusions seemingly forever. And modern society, blessed/cursed modern society, values most what I do best and thus serves as my accomplice. Even I get lost in my own illusions, swept away by my own magic.

How many others like me are there? More than you might think, and our numbers are increasing. Take twenty people off the street and you might well find one whose mind ticks so much like mine that you could consider us clones. ..It’s simply not possible for that many people – highly accomplished, respected, and visible people – to be out there replacing reality with illusions, each the same way for the same reasons and they know not why. It’s simply not possible for so many sham-phobic robots of havoc and chaos, all fitting the same description, to function daily midst other educated, intelligent, and experienced individuals, and pass for normal.

But it is.

I am, as I said, my own worst nightmare. True, the world is replete with my contributions, and I am lots of fun to be around. And true, most contributions like mine are not the result of troubled souls. But many more than you might want to believe are. And if by chance you get caught in my web, I can make your life a living Hell. But remember this, I am in that web too. The difference between you and me is that you can get out”…

—Foreword by Ken Heilbrunn, M.D. in ‘Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited

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