What is Narcisissism.
Narcissism is a PERSONALITY DISORDER, it is defined by the pursuit of POWER wanting other people to see you as IMPORTANT. Seeking gratification for everything you do including ooking for COMPLIMENTS AND ADMIRATION from a personal self-image to being RECOGNISED for the things you may do. It is the feeling that you love yourself so much that you expect others to love you too and in the same way. A Narcissitic person wants to be NO 1 in everything they do and wants CONTROL of his/her surroundings. The term originated from Greek mythology, where a young man named Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.
Todays post was prompted by a comment that was made on another post which got me thinking I should write about Narcissism as this has affected me personally and over the years I tried to evaluate this particular individual that essentially tried to control me.
At first this person who will remain nameless for now was introduced to me by a friend. My first impressions was I did not like him, call it a gut feeling if you will. However it was at the time where I was feeling alone and wanting deperately, someone, anyone to comfort me as I had lost both my parents in a short space of time. It was after several meetings through my social circles I had, I met this person again.
The first time I met him he was very drunk and the times after that he was sober but it was a favour for a friend I ended up meeting him alone (Jan 2010 – all will be revealed in my book). Pleasantly surprised, I found him charming and funny and thought perhaps I had read him wrong and gave him another chance.
It was not long after we started dating and being extremely naive at the time it did not cross my mind that he was interested in me as I had inherited a lot of money. However tragedy struck again within a month of me dating him when I lost my brother.
I felt my life was falling apart and needed someone to help me hold it together.
Obviously being fairly well off I was able to fund holidays abroad and it was most probably four months into our relationship I experienced the first outburst. I brushed it off as I thought maybe he was having an off day as most people do not see eye to eye at some point in their relationship and I just thought it was a one off incident.
He showed no signs of being narcissistic until most probably a year later where he would start to question everything I did and who I was with and the first serious incident was when he sprayed an concoction of chemicals in my eyes and temporarily blinded me.
I will be the first person to admit I was very stupid with what played out after, as I refused to press charges against him. I thought I could reason with him, CHANGE HIM and make him learn from his mistakes, I even suggested therapy, how wrong was I, as it was three year after the first major incident he struck again this time kicking my knee seven times until it dislocated and to this day I now have problems with it and will have to have an operation to have it fixed. I even tried analysing his background as I noticed people in his birthplace very abusive to their partners which made think this is their way of life. His mother even admitted to being abusive to her disabled husband when he was alive, so it could even be a trait copied from his mother.
Obviously he did other things in between these incidents, in which it is all now very difficult to recall and buried deep, but I have logged all the evidence as the incidents occurred at the time, just to protect myself.
What did I learn from this:
- Never trust anyone implicitly.
- Do not believe you can change a person because you can’t.
- The first signs of any abuse find a way to end the relationship.
- Have an escape plan.
- Tell everyone, friends and family about this person.
- Isolate yourself from this person. Have an escape plan.
- Know the signs especially if the perpetrator shows no empathy.
- Do not make excuses for the narcissist, do not make excuses to yourself saying this was a one off incident or the person will change, because they won’t.
- Recognise all the traits.
- Empower yourself with confidence and start to love yourself again.
For me I have not really reflected on how I have felt as I buried it under tonnes of work and have always kept myself busy in order not to think and dwell on the past. The past is history and if anything it tought me a life lesson in which I can safetly say I will never be in the same situation again and can forewarn others through my own personal experience. I was stupid and naive to put up with all the BS and all the abuse I endured, I was in a viscious cycle everytime time something happened I would say to myself next time it will not happen but next time alway did. Eventually one day I said enough is enough and have not looked back since. Kicking my knee was what broke the camel’s back so to speak and I was lucky as it could have been a totally different story.
The traits to look out for are:
- Lack of Empathy. “The inability to identify with or recognise the experiences and feelings of other people. Everything is about them and belongs to them,”. When I asked the perpertrator to explain why he did the things that he did, he could not give me an answer, did not show guilt or remorse and was unapologetic.
- Manipulation. The ability to twist the situation to better suit their narrative is a poignant personality trait that all egotistical people possess. The perpertrator managed to always blame me for everything that he was not happy with. He would judge me all the time.
- Projection. Projection is a defence or an unconscious pattern that occurs when the person feels psychologically threatened, they will then accuse you of doing something to throw the linelight off themselves, a good example is the person who is cheating accuses his partner of cheating. He used to always accuse me of being unfaithful.
- Emotionally cold. I said earlier in a reponse to a comment that I was cold as ice, but what I failed to say I also have empathy, I do have feelings and I know when I am wrong. My life experience has made more thick skinned and if say someone critises me I just take that as their own opinion. Theres a saying “what does not kill you makes you stronger”. An emotionally cold or distant trait normally surfaces during arguments when one person is experiencing and expressing significant emotion and the narcissistic person just lets your emotions go over his/her head and does not respond, giving you a cold shoulder. This essentially makes you feel alone and unloved.
- Gaslighting. Doing things deliberately in order to question yourself, whilst taking the onus off themselves. Gaslighting term first arose from the 1930’s play Gas Light, where a husband, in an attempt to drive his wife crazy, kept turning down the gas-powered lights in the house. When the wife asked why he is dimming the lights, he denied it and said they were no dimmer. Over time the wife would start to question herself and eventually found herself going mad. “Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse that involves denying a person’s experience and making statements, such as ‘that never happened’ or ‘you are too sensitive”,
- Never Taking Responsibility. Knowing when you are wrong and admitting to your wrong doings or flaws makes us the bigger person, however with narcissists it is the polar opposite. A narcissist is a master of his/her own illusion and will try to avoid the blame with lying, cheating etc. A narcissist will make up complex excuses and rationalise anything, just so that they are left to blame.
- Controlling. The definition of controlling partner means that in most common manifestations of their relationship the narcissist will monitor your whereabouts at all times, checking your emails and text messages, criticising your appearance, and making nearly all important decisions, with little regard for your opinion. In my case not matter have immaculately I dressed and kept my appearance I was always critised and called names. I had my phone taken off me (If I did not give him what he wanted I would get physically abused) and he would post and invite his ex girlfriends onto my Facebook. He would check to see who I was meeting and check my text messages.
- Grandiose. Grandiosity is a pattern in which a person tends to exaggerate accomplishments, talents, connections, and experiences. In the case of my abuser he told tails about his past life but I never really believed in anything he said. The narcissist usually do not have to be real experiences, grandiose people tend to maintain over-the-top fantasy worlds. Grandiosity can also be manifested by a sense of self-importance, a belief that their existence is bigger and more important than anyone else’s and certainly more important than yours.
- Panic. A narcisist will panic if you threaten to break up or leave them, ss soon as you back away, a narcissist will try that much harder to keep you in their lives. They will do everything and anything to shower you with affection, they will say all the right things to make you think they have changed so that you never leave them and the cycle continues round and round until oneday day you say enough is enough.
- Mentally & Physically Abusive. Aswell as playing mind games a narcissist may also become physically violent in order to have control over you. When this happens do not hang around and have an exit plan to get away. In my case I stopped my abuser visiting me and changed the locks, I also showed him all the evidence I have collated and what I will do with it should he ever try to come near me again. So far touch wood it has worked. If you live with your abuser you must make an exit plan where you can grab a bag and run. Make a list of people you can confide in, set up secret codes. Fill your bag with important documents passports, money etc. Just take the essentials so that you can escape to somewhere safe. Or wait for them to leave and change the locks and call the police. For me my abuser is out of my life and I have seen he has moved on as he is in a relationship with someone else, which means he no longer has any use for me.
A narcissist will only move on when they find someone else they can prey on.
That is why narcissists are not loyal and are more likely to play the field. A narcissist can never find love as they are never satisfied with what they have and will always be looking for something better.
The Editor Suffers From OCD & Cerebellar Atrophy. She is an Entrepreneur & Published Author, she writes content on a range of topics, including politics, current affairs, health and business. She is an advocate for Mental Health, Human Rights & Disability Discrimination.
Whilst her disabilities can be challenging she has adapted her life around her health and documents her journey online.
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