Originally posted by bluemirage5
It only takes time for these Narcissistic qualities to emerge if you don't know what you're looking for or you have never had close contact with
one. Fortunately and unfortunately for me, I have, probably known about a dozen of them and I know their drill. They never change their spots and
they can not be redeemed.
I do think that in some cases, there isn't a violent pathology to the condition, they may still be pathological liars and have other negative traits,
but may not necessarily become violent under normal or none-stressful conditions. The problem, seems primarily, to be when things are not going right
and the stressers trigger the negative or more malevolent aspects of the PD. But the same can be said of all PDs, it is simply that with some, like
NPD, that the 'blame' is outwardly manifested onto an 'object' of blame. And, to complicate matters further, the 'object of blame' is usually
the only one who is exposed to this side of the person, at all other times they maintain the 'front' and the self-control, furthering the
'object's' isolation and reinforcing the 'it is your fault I am like this'/'you do this
to me', line of psychological abuse. The longer
the NPD is able to reinforce this belief system, both in the object and their own mind, the more convinced they will become of their 'rightness'.
But more frighteningly for the object, the NPD becomes deeply invested in maintaining that persons perception of reality.
From a very early age I have attracted certain types, and considered myself to be fairly able to read the motives of those who approached me, and
would instantly dismiss certain approaches, and in fact actively seek at times to avoid approaches altogether. However, despite all my best defences
I still, apart from youth and the willingness to fall in love, had a weak spot, that my former 'controller' was able to exploit. He first
befriended my brother, who is/was a lot less guarded than I. He was therefore able to learn about me prior to our even meeting, and in retrospect,
due to my own PD, which means I am unusually introverted and have difficulty, at the best of times, maintaining multiple relationships, combined with
my brother's long absences overseas, I was a perfect foil for his NPD and it was many years before he needed
to resort to violence.
Retrospect, and reuniting with my brother, has been very, very painful and I have had to be startlingly honest with myself, for our child's sake as
much as my own. I have had to admit that I don't know the person I spent over a decade loving, and there have been times, certainly since exchanging
notes about events, understanding the person that he was beyond our four walls, and the depths to which he was willing to go to have control of me,
has at times made me physically ill and at others, wish for a plank with which to hit myself repeatedly on the forehead with. We live and we learn.
I don't wish any punishment for him, I have given him the opportunity to redeem himself, for our child's sake, but he shows no signs of changing,
and additionally, still seeks to use whatever means available to control me. I give him as little as possible. It was never, with us, as simple as
victim and oppressor, I gave as much as I got, hence the folie-a-deux
and the hardest thing for me was to consider myself a 'victim', it was
difficult to see the difference between a 'fight' and 'abuse'. But until I saw myself as a victim, I couldn't break free because by doing
otherwise was telling him that it was acceptable for him to use me as a vent for his violent expression.
What is the most difficult, when it goes all quiet in between outbursts, I do worry if he has found someone else to punish for his own shortcomings,
but the nature of survival is that you sometimes have to be selfish and push such thoughts to the back of your head. It is too late now and I still
know that I wouldn't have called the Police in any sooner, as he did, by the time it reaches that point, I think most of us are far too ashamed and
have invested vast amounts of time and love on that person. It is hard to look a stranger in the eye and tell them what someone you loved has said
and done to you. And mine, compared to some, was never that bad, and it was from the stories of survival of others that I draw my most strength. If
they could, I could. And for anyone in that situation, finding other voices will help you to get out of that situation, and they will advise you on
how to keep safe while you find your escape route. The help is there, but not until you decide to take it and to have enough faith in yourself, and
the longer the relationship has lasted the more the abuser has invested too, you may be all they have, and they will consider you a possession. You
need support, more than anything, because they will try everything
to get you back.
And, once you get through the tunnel there is fresh air, and life is good, and finally you can relax...but make sure you address within yourself the
whys and the wherefores; why you were 'targeted', how you facilitated the abuse, etc. These are harsh questions, but they will help avoid making
the same mistakes, for those who can handle it, group therapy seems to be the most consistently effective for doing this, it creates a permissive
environment, not only for victims, but also as Mblahnikluver points out, for the abuser as it aids in the breaking of the protective/defensive reality
constructs that help compartmentalise the reality of the abuse from their otherwise 'normal' lives and understand the consequences. To some, being
found out, is the worst kind of punishment, because the person they pretend to be, and want to be accepted as, is often diametrically opposed to the
person that they actually are and they are deeply 'embarassed' (which is not the same as guilt or a sense of responsibility), by their actions and
fear being 'found out' by those whose respect they seek.
Each case is individual more importantly, and I wish I could point to a moment in time when I could have avoided all this, and now, all things
considered, I wouldn't change a thing because of who I am now, but I do still at times feel sorry for him, but he made his choices, just as I made
mine, and given the chance to turn a corner, he instead decided to continue along the same path. What can you do?