Wednesday, December 2, 2009
On Internet message boards, people claiming involvement with narcissists ask, "Must I leave him?"
Whenever I hear this question, I get two ambivalent urges at once. One is to reply, "Yes! Yes! A thousand times, yes!" And the other is to reply, "What the heck kind of question is that?"
Notice that the grown children of narcissists don't ask it. The mates of narcissists do.
Typically, when adults realize that a parent who troubles them is a malignant narcissist, they react to discovering that the relationship never was a mutual symbiosis, but rather a parasitic one in disguise. Their words convey a deep sense of betrayal. And relief — in the knowledge that it wasn't their fault, that something is wrong with their parent, not them. In their words it goes without saying that they will break this hostile and predatory relationship that is so hurtful and harmful to them.
So, what's with the mates of narcissists? Often the thrust of their reaction is complaint about how wronged they are. Then they ask, "Must I leave him?"
To some extent, this difference is to be expected, because the relationship between parent and child is different than the relationship between lovers. And it is much older — a lifelong, virtually unbreakable relationship of blood, not a mere recent contract like marriage. We can expect the children of narcissists to take some things for granted about them that the mates of narcissists find hard to accept. Yet, there is the same abysmal betrayal in both experiences. And the same liberating justification. So, why do the reactions of many mates seem so peculiar to the children? Why do they often lack reaction to that betrayal and liberation?
People who are stuck in relationships with narcissists are generally people who have been reluctant to call the narcissist evil. The stumbling block they are dealing with is their own inability to properly label the malevolent force they call "Mom" or "Dad" or "Spouse". There is very little evidence to support a contention that my calling narcissists evil is a stumbling block to individuals who are in a relationship with a narcissist and thereby preventing them from breaking from the narcissist. Truth is, it is their own reluctance to call evil by its right name that is the problem. The problem is not that I am consistently calling narcissists evil. On the other hand there are reams of evidence that many who were previously unable to see the evil of narcissism have found relief and escape from seeing narcissists properly labeled as the evil force they are.
Is it necessary to view the narcissist as evil in order to go no contact? Is just seeing the situation as being a case of incompatibility enough rationale to make an escape? I am sure there are people who can justify leaving a relationship based on simply calling on incompatibility as justification. My blog isn't for those people. They don't need to read what I have to say. In fact, this person is very unlikely to go to Google to type in some search in order to demystify what they've gone through or are going through. They have simply shrugged off the parasite and moved on. No damage done. The person you describe has likely never even seen my blog.
What I've recognized is that some relationships are very hard to extricate from due to societal pressures and ingrained teaching from our earliest moments of sentience. Parents. Children. Siblings. Spouses. Probably in that order. These are the relationships which we find very difficult to terminate based alone on that word "incompatibility". No one distances themselves from their parents by simply citing "incompatibility". It is never that easy.
This means that the person who is being systematically destroyed by a narcissist...usually by a family narcissist...has a daunting task before them. The task is to properly identify what force they have been trying to reckon with all these years. Many of these people have been reluctant to label this force as being "evil" mostly because the narcissist has taught them to see things upside down and inside out, black as white, and evil as good. How many times have family narcissists presented themselves as the embodiment of all that is good? All. The. Time. If someone doesn't call the narcissist's so-called good what it really is..."evil"...then there is likely little hope of helping the victim out of their victimhood. They will continue on believing that the evil is centered in themselves, that they are the one who is crazy, that they are the problem. You know, all the lies the narcissist has taught them to believe in order that the narcissist can escape accountability.
You don't have to be entangled with a narcissist for very long to get the sense that evil exists. The problem is that you're not quite sure where it resides. This is because the narcissist is careful to project their own evil outward from themselves onto whomever is handy. Likely, YOU. The narcissist is well aware that evil exists in themselves and are desperate to not get pinned down themselves with the very proper label of evil. Here, on my blog, I will put the proper label on the evil doer. I will not mollycoddle anyone by mincing my words. I won't tell you want you want to hear. My creed is: never fight reality because reality always wins. The narcissist is the one always fighting reality. We cannot hope to win against the narcissist unless we fixate like a laser beam on reality. It is reality that exposes the narcissist. One of those realities is that what they do and what they are is EVIL.
I am not daunted by people's reluctance to call evil by its right name. I present my case. Blog post by blog post. Definitions, evidence, moral principles. What is very interesting is how many times someone will dismiss evil when it happens to them but can clearly see some act against someone else as being evil. We have been taught (by the narcissist) to minimize the effects of evil behaviors on ourselves, but we will often not minimize evil when it is perpetrated on someone else. This blog is often a place where people can see the evil done to others. With a little extra help they are then able to make the leap, "If that behavior is evil when done to others then it was just as evil when it was done to me!"
In my opinion, based on personal experience, individuals who are 'put off' by calling narcissists evil have their own ulterior motives. There is very likely some behavior in their own lives they are trying to justify, to get away with. A behavior(s) which is destructive to others and aggrandizing to themselves. There is simply too much evidence that the narcissist is evil...as defined both by their intent and behaviors...to dismiss the label out of hand. When someone refuses to properly label what narcissists do and the effects they have on others then I harbor mistrust of that person's agenda. At the very least, I mistrust that person's moral sensibilities.
I am a blood hound set on the scent of the narcissist. I will sniff them out of their hiding place. They always hide under a cloak of goodness. A pretense of righteousness. They get away with their evil by calling their evil good. So, dammit, I will rip their shabby little fig leaves away so you can see the narcissist without their pretended goodness. What you are left with is naked evil. It may be an ugly sight but that isn't my fault. It is the fault of the narcissist for being spiritually, emotionally and mentally twisted and grotesque. It is the fault of the narcissist that they are predatory, cruel, hateful, insatiably coveteous of what you have, and emotionally arrested. I will call evil what it is. Each and every time. If someone is 'put off' by that then I accept that I have nothing for them. I can't be all things to all people and am certainly not trying to be.
As I've said before, a synonym of 'malignant' is the word evil. Malignant narcissism is destructive and malevolent. People who come here have been injured in some measurable way. Calling things by their right names is essential for identifying the problem and finding a solution to the problem. If someone was able to just cite "incompatibility" as a rationale for leaving the situation do you think they'd need to come to my blog for insight? People who come here are suffering. There is a reason for their suffering and I'm not afraid to name that reason.
You, the reader of this blog, have likely seen enough of the world and life to have your own observations to call upon to illustrate this truth. You've seen the contagion of evil infect from person to person in your own family. Or the workplace. Or perhaps you've found yourself co-opted for a time into someone else's evil deeds. The understanding that evil is contagious is understood by all good parents. Most parents will guard the associations of their children because they know that bad influences are very likely to lead children and teens into bad behaviors. Evil doers are never satisfied to be alone in their deeds. They want accomplices. To corrupt their peers is essential in order to be able to carry on their evil with a minimum of moral judgment or risk of exposure. Evil doers are not confined by truth or by morality if it stands in the way of getting what they want. So this amplifies the persuasive power of evil. Because it can and does lie to get its way; because it can create a false reality; because it can use the implements of cruelty, bribery, violence and exercise of any and all power it may possess without moral considerations -- all this increases the likelihood that evil doers will create other evil doers.
Having elaborated a bit in the paragraph above about the FACT that evil is like a virus that will infect those who remain in close contact with it I have again underlined the central reason I so energetically urge "no contact" with the malignant narcissist. To avoid picking up their traits, to avoid being used by them as a "cat's paw" to hurt others, to avoid becoming indifferent to evil and therefore more likely to be evil oneself, it is essential to separate yourself from it. For a Christian to urge the opposite is to reveal themselves to be profoundly ignorant of the Bible or, I fear, profoundly over-confident of their ability to not be co-opted by evil. A confidence the Scriptures do not urge us to have!
Evil doers in the family are not granted a special exemption by God! Evil doers are in the best position to harm those who are closest to them by reason of familial ties. Family ties are not any justification for evil else we condemn each new generation to endless repetititions of evil doers in the familial circle. The cycle has to be broken at some point or entire families will be destroyed. There are historical examples of this going back as far as recorded history goes. Like begets like. Evil spreads. Entire nations can be eventually consumed by unchecked evil in families.
For The Christians
For the Christians who agitate for the idea that we are not true, loving Christians if we don't emulate their own eternal patience with evil are actually only perpetuating evil rather than spreading good as they claim. Eternal patience with evil is equal with being a despiser of the good and the innocent!
Don't be cowed by the unflinching hypocritical self-righteousness of those who claim to be better than you because they won't give up hope that God will save the narcissist. Recognize the false premise in their reasoning. They reason thus: if you walk away (i.e. give up on) the narcissist you have, at the same time, shown that you don't believe God can save the narcissist.
Walking away says no such thing! God is not rendered powerless to save anyone just because you've had to go 'no contact' to end your exposure to their evil! Where in the Bible has God said that every person we will ever come in contact with will be saved by God through us?? It is no where even hinted at such a notion. The arrogance inherent in believing that God can only use YOU to save a particular person is quite odious when you recognize it for what it is. You are not that important. Or powerful. Get over yourself.
I ask, who of you is better than God who cuts off the wicked? From my view none of you are better than God Himself. Therefore, I will not listen to you who believe that the "good" Christian will never cut off the malignant narcissist. I can only see you as a coddler of the wicked not a protector of the innocent and the virtuous. Your eternal patience for the evil doer is taken by them to be a license to continue on as they are. Never cutting them off allows the evil doer to feel justified in what they are and in what they do.
It is because God loves people that He instructs them to cut off the wicked. It is not from hatred of the evil person himself. God hates evil because it destroys the evil doer and all those in the evil doer's grasp
I'll say it one more time before closing. Cutting off the evil narcissist is not a commentary on your believing that God can't save that person. Going no contact with the malignant narcissist doesn't mean God has gone no contact with him!!! Please, don't be a simpleton. God can still reach them even if you never speak another word to them. Because the Biblical instruction to the Christian is unequivocal that we must "Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person" , don't expect God's protection if you refuse His clear command on this point. And believe me, there will come a day when the trap springs and there will be no help for you.
Properly identifying evil behaviors and evil people is not a stumbling block. It is a life line. People may refuse to take the life line. That is their choice. I wouldn't throw a string down to a person trapped in a pit and say, "just grab this and you can climb out!" Would I get credit for trying to save that person even though I just threw them a string which is absolutely useless for the task? Not to sane and rational people. No, I will throw that person a knotted rope. They get to choose whether or not to use it. If they don't like my rope they are welcome to stay in the pit. I did my best.
"Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse." Prov. 2:11-12
"A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." Prov. 22:3