I recently read ‘Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in your life’ by Linda Martinez Lewi. The book was quite intense and describes narcissist so well it feels suffocating. If you have a narcissist in your life, there is a good chance you may find them in this sinister book!
Narcissist are people who have their own interests at heart, and do not take other people into consideration. They lack empathy, think extremely highly of themselves, and their actions are motivated by personal gain, be it financial, reputational, professional, or even personal; Narcissist are often people who have been spoilt rotten by their parents – ‘the golden child’ or people who have been deprived of love as children.
Narcissists often posses the following traits:
- The have an inflated sense of self importance,
- The have limitless fantasies of success, power, fame, brilliance, etc.
- They believe they are ‘special’ and all of theyir associates should be just as ‘special’
- They require excessive admiration
- They feel they are entitled to whatever they want
- They expect automatic compliance from others
- They exploit others to their own advantage,
- They lack empathy,
- They are envious of others who they feel have greater success than them
- They are arrogant
The author describes 4 phases that victims of narcissists go through, namely: Adoration, Helplessness, Rage and Abandonment. If you have been under a narcissist’s spell, you may want to consider which phase you are currently living:
Adoration – Selfless Servants – Idolization
This is the stage where the victim of the narcissist is so awestruck by the character of the narcissist’s self created flawless persona, his/her high standards. At this point, the victim would do absolutely anything for their beloved. To conform to the requests of the narcissist would be as essential as the air one breathes. Total idolization and adoration.
Helplessness – Realisation – Fear
There comes a time in the victim’s life when they start to see glimpses of reality and see the narcissist for who he/she really is. Narcissists often have double images – of Gods and Goddesses to the public world (their ‘audience’) and a cruel tyrant to the private world (their ‘followers’). Once this realisation has been digested, fear sets in. The victims ‘eyes have been opened’ and the perfect image of their beloved has been tarnished, which often leads to helplessness, as the adoration of the selfless servant has already been grounded.
Regardless of the narcissist’s deceptions, lies and manipulation, the victim is drawn to the narcissist like a person with a destructive addiction. The more they feed the narcissist’s traits, the more he/she rewards the victim with false and conditional gifts of love, approval and safety and wealth. The example of Paulo Picasso is given on page 17, the ultimate helpless victim: ‘Paulo remained tied to his father like an infant sucking on a cold mother’s milkless teat.’
Gnawing Rage – The Harvest of Hatred
This is the critical stage for all victims. How long will you continue with the disillusion? The one you adore is really after their own gains, and any rewards that are tossed in your direction are merely crumbs from the one who is devouring a banquet! Once this reality sets in, it starts to fester. It brings out rage and hatred which replaces the adoration one had. Quite often victims don’t known what to do, but they are so unhappy with the way their lives are, the feel they can’t continue this way!
Their own sense of self worth is questioned, and they try to suppress it, but once they have had to much, it erupts like a volcano. Truly each person’s level of endurance is different, some last for years in gnawing rage, and some decide immediately that this these devoted actions are going against the grain of their essence. Something has to stop! What more do you want from me, blood?! It is important to understand what is happening here. You are not wrong to feel so much rage, you have been a victim.
Once the essence has had enough, it starts to exand and push out of the chains and constrictions that have been placed around it by the narcissist. Suddenly all well meaning actions are seen for what they really are – exploits to the narcissist’s own advantage!
Yet what is your essence? Do you even know? Quite often this kick-starts a voyage of self discovery. The sooner you hear the sound of your essence crying out for help, the sooner you feel it trying to break free, the sooner you see the narcissist in his/her true colours, the quicker you will feel a release from the grip of the narcissist in your life.
Abandonment – Cutting the Cord – The Great Divorce
Until you feel worthy of your own rights, the narcissist will continue to abuse them, and take full advantage of your vulnerabilities. Once you recognise your own limits, desires and standards, you can start the process of detachment. The Great Divorce. It is time to Outfox the Fox. You can know start to see him/her for who he/she really is. Knowing him better than he knows his own self, so that you can recognise what he is doing when he is over reacting – this will give you the opportunity to see him as his own being, and you as your own being, separating the bond which was perceived. This time is often very painful for victims of narcissists. A time when the often feel hurt and betrayed, and they allow themselves to feel the pain of what really happened.
A New Life – Grounding – Restraint – Mindfulness – Persevering
This is a time when the freed essence takes time for self reflection, defines his/her own standards, learns grounding techniques which will help them during the narcissist’s tirades. If you are going through the voyage of self discovery, take some time out regularly for rest, meditation, prayer – this break will give you the ability to gather your thoughts and feelings, rather than reacting to what is happening.
Create a place of peace for yourself when you can ‘be’. This could be your own home, or if the narcissist lives with you, a room of your own – be it a bedroom, living room or study. Decorated with personal touches, with furnishing that have significance to you.
Take some time to reconnect with your essence, Find out what it means to be ‘you’. You may find the choices you made previously are not suitable for you anymore. You may decide to choose a different path, or you may choose to stay on the same path but you will now be coming from a different place, one of strength , realisation and self respect. You have stepped out into a new future where you are in charge of your own life, and I wish you the best of luck on your voyage.