The evolution of a victim’s understanding, part 1: They will change…right?
There is this “evolution” that I’ve seen happen with most victims (myself included). What happens is they start off being caught up in this dance with a Narcissist. They don’t know that they are in a dance, and they don’t know that they are in a relationship with a Narcissist. All they know is that the good times are really good, and the bad times are really bad (cheating, compulsive lying, stealing, terrible management of family funds, etc.). They hang in there because the Narcissist’s good qualities are really good. And odds are they think that they are dealing with a good person who has bouts of bad, yet fixable, behavior. After all, none of us are perfect.
The evolution of a victim’s understanding, part 2: Frustration and confusion over why they aren’t changing.
However, time passes, and the Narcissist’s behavior never seems to change. The victim encounters similar versions of the same bad times with them over and over and over. Odds are they get to a point where they are in therapy or they start googling the behavior that they are seeing, because it’s so pervasive and so out of the realm of normal behavior. It’s around this time when they start coming across the word “Narcissist”. The more they read about the personality disorder, the more it seems to fit the person they’ve been in a relationship with.
The evolution of a victim’s understanding, part 3: Ohh…okay, this all makes a lot more sense now.
Around this point the victim realizes that due to the Narcissist’s lack of empathy and remorse, is dangerous and destructive. If the victim has done much reading on the topic of Narcissist Personality Disorder, then they’ve probably learned that Narcissists don’t change. For these reasons, they decide to either hop off this crazy train, or they are shoved off by the Narcissist (because he’s found someone new).
The evolution of a victim’s understanding, part 4: This person is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and I need to warn others!
Around this point, the victim realizes the person they were in a relationship is really a monster–and they’ll continue to prey on people their whole life. The victim will most likely want to warn the new person. …But here’s the kicker. Narcissists are master manipulators. When they were love bombing their new target, they were also launching a smear campaign against you. They’ve told the new victim that you are crazy, bipolar, an addict/alcoholic, and/or bad parent or significant other–because Narcissists love to project things they are, or are doing, onto other people, he might have even told her you are the Narcissist!
Because of this, the new victim sees you as the problem, not the Narcissist. After all, they’ve been love bombed to believe that the Narcissist is so perfect–he’s everything they’ve ever wanted in a man. And, if you are like most victims of a Narcissist, you got dropped like a hot potato, or found out so many lies you left, and now you are enraged. You act out. You leave ranting voice mail messages and send texts that go from rage to begging them back. You might be telling everyone you know that he’s a Narcissist and to run. In short, your behavior looks crazy to the new victim, which just serves to make his stories about you that much more believable. The Narcissist might even take their lies a step further, and convince the new victim that they are the real victim here, thus turning them into a flying monkey. If this is the case, the new victim might not only think you were the problem, but she might begin victimizing/harassing you as well. Odds are she isn’t a bad person–it’s just that he both love bombed her and fed her a steady stream of lies about you. This combination works really well at turning people against each other.
So in short, you can try to warn the new victim, but odds are she won’t believe you. If you are going to try and warn her, your best bet is to try to stay as calm and unreactive as possible. Do not let your reactions back up his lies about you. Tell her that she probably won’t believe you, and that he’s very charming and convincing, and then give her a website or info about Narcissists. Tell her to please read it, and then she can think you’re crazy if she wants. Or, you can save your breath, and start working on all the healing that you need to do.
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My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.
Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.
It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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- Episode 40: What Does Healing Really Mean? - July 19, 2017