undetected in society, but the people living with the narcissists know all too well the neglect, abuse
the narcissists is capable of. The narcissist usually puts on a facade to everyone else. Usually it is the
spouse of the narcissists who suffers the most at the hands of the narcissist, and the victim’s
unfortunate and often dangerous situation goes unrecognized.
A person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder has an inflated ego, and a deep need for attention and
admiration, they have a strong sense of entitlement, and their needs are more important than anyone
else's - even their own children. They believe they are Superior and have little or NO regard for the
feelings of others.
So how did the Narcissist become such a Monster?
As a child, a healthy self-esteem aka "the true self" did not develop in the narcissist. So from an early age they built up defenses to create a ‘false self’ in public. This is similar to wearing an invisible
mask. Wearing the mask is not only emotionally exhausting, it also means that the narcissist is
constantly on guard at being found out. Although the narcissist is an excelled liar, and very
convincing, they do live in a state of denial.
They become overly sensitive to narcissistic injury which is any perceived threat, rather it be real or
imagined the narcissist’s self-esteem or self-worth. In order to maintain their illusion and protect
their ‘false self’ they seek narcissistic supply from unsuspecting victims.
The narcissist views people as objects which can feed their needs become "sources of narcissistic
supply". The narcissist will use any tactic, with NO guilt, remorse, empathy or conscience, to make
sure they get their narcissistic supply and that all their selfish and demanding needs are met.
Narcissistic supply comes from public attention such as fame, notoriety, or infamy, since all
narcissists can't be famous they seek the private attention such as admiration, flattery, acclaim, fear,
or even repulsion. Regular bearers of narcissistic supply include the spouse, children, friends, colleagues, partners and clients. Anything that acts as a status symbol that attracts attention and
admiration for the narcissist is narcissistic supply, for example, a flashy car, expensive property, designer clothes, being a member of an elite club, or a business. They narcissist always has cash and
is flashing a wad of it when he goes out to a bar, or is gambling. To have large sums of cash, makes the narcissist feel empowered.
With an inflated sense of their own superiority, power and control, the narcissist renders themselves
susceptible to all sorts of obsessions, compulsions, and addictions, for example, addiction to; grandiosity, control, power, rage, perfectionism, attention, fame etc. The devastating impact of these addictions on their significant others can result in Narcissist Victim Syndrome. Most victims present with no idea about what has happened to them.
Narcissistic abuse is insidious because the abuse is covert, cunning and indirect. Narcissists go to great pains to avoid being exposed publicly for what they truly are, which is an abusive monster. The Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde behaviour creates fear, distress, confusion, inner turmoil, and chaos for their victim. The constant ‘walking on eggshells’ and attempting to avoid further conflict can be crippling. To complicate matters, since the narcissist is rarely medically diagnosed and often goes undetected in society, they rarely are forced to seek treatment. Even if confronted the narcissist will become so
defensive and turn everything around on the victim, the narcissist believes they ARE NOT THE PROBLEM, EVERYONE ELSE HAS A PROBLEM, NOT THEM.
Victims present when they feel like they can’t cope. They are unaware that they have been living or working in a war zone. No-one has mentioned Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) or narcissistic abuse to them. Victims of this narcissistic abuse often display a set, or cluster, of symptoms due to this physical, mental, emotional or spiritual abuse. In Narcissistic Victim Syndrome you are looking for a cluster of symptoms to emerge, many are the symptoms of trauma (avoidance behaviour, loss of interest, feeling detached, sense of a limited future, sleeping or eating difficulties, irritability, hyper-vigilance, easily startled, flashbacks, hopelessness, psychosomatic illnesses, self-harming, thoughts of suicide etc). Narcissistic abuse victims express feelings of humiliation and shame, and will begin to blame themselves for the abuse the narcissist inflicts upon them. They have learned to take responsibility for the narcissist’s behaviour because they are constantly told the problem is their fault.
Some victims develop Stockholm Syndrome and want to support, defend, and love the abuser despite what they have gone through.
The Victims of the Narcissist are often victimized by more than one person. They often internalize that something is wrong with them, that they deserve this kind of abuse, and then resign themselves to their fate. Victims may not have reached their potential in their personal or professional lives
because they always have to stand in the shadow of their Abusive Narcissist, and careful not upstage them. They learn to live in the shadows, they know the consequences if they (even by accident) get more attention than their abuser...
Victims of narcissistic abuse often appear uncertain of themselves, constantly seeking clarification that they haven’t made a mistake or misheard something. Confidence may be so low that they have trouble making simple decisions. They will not be aware that this is caused by an abusive technique called ‘gaslighting’. Gaslighting is a technique of psychological abuse used by narcissists to instil
confusion and anxiety in their victim to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception or judgment. With gaslighting, the victim initially notices that something happens that is odd, but they don’t believe it. This moves to defence as the victim fights against the manipulation. Confusion sets in after constant degrading and belittling comments such as: "You're crazy" ‘You’re to sensitive’, ‘You’re imagining things’ or ‘I never said that.’ Gradually, the victim starts to not even trust their own perceptions. They start to doubt themselves, and feel like "maybe I am crazy". This leads to depression, feelings of hopelessness and emotional pain. The narcissist is able to break their victim down so that they are unable to trust themselves. They want their victim to feel helpless. So that they have total control of them. The victim doubts everything about themselves, their thoughts and opinions, their ideas and ideals. The victim isolates from friends and family. They become co-dependent on the abuser for their reality.
Victims need validation and education about what has happened to them. They need information about the medical condition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and its toxicity in relationships. They need education about how they have contributed to their situation through co-dependence. It can take years of therapy to recover from the abuse the narcissist inflicts on their victims. They will need support to remove themselves from their narcissistic relationship, and to not repeat the cycle of abuse in their next relationship. One of their greatest challenges may come from not being believed by significant others, either because these others have not seen the private face of the narcissist or
because they themselves have been manipulated and pulled into the narcissist’s thrall.