The last several months have been insane, to say the least. So, I shall summarize everything for each development in successive posts. If nothing else, it will make things so much easier for me to keep straight and not repeat myself!
This spring my youngest daughter returned to New Mexico in her escape from a very abusive narcissist. I never really knew about narcissists, so much of what I learned was stark revelation.
Fortunately, she happened to find a video on-line by an individual named Lee Hammock, who is diagnosed with narcissism, but wants to help others to understand (https://beacons.ai/mentalhealness). What was described that was causing her so much misery from the man she thought she loved was precisely what Dr. Hammock was describing. After more research, she knew she had to get away.
So much has been learned, and I thought it would be good to share some of the highlights. First, this is an area of psychology that is relatively new (less than 20 years), this branch of specialization is sociopathic. Sociopathic specialization means studying the mental disorders that lead to killing others without feeling or remorse, which covers major psychological diseases, including extreme narcissism. Turns out, Hannibal Lector (by this specialization’s criteria) has two types of sociopathy – psychopathy and narcissism.
Symptoms may vary from person to person. The most common symptoms include:
- Being overly boastful, exaggerating one’s own achievements
- Pretending to be superior to others
- Lack of empathy for others
- Looking down on others as inferior
- Monopolising conversations
- Impatient, angry, unhappy, depressed or has mood swings when criticized
- Easily disappointed when expected importance is not given
- Always craves for “the best” in everything
- Has a very fragile self-esteem
Anyone can have 1-3 of these symptoms and be considered normal; 4-5 symptoms means they are a narcissist. However, when it hits six or more of these symptoms, the individual graduates to the sociopathic realm of disorder.
The narcissist does not kill people like a psychopath does (i.e., Ted Bundy), but rather draws their victim close to them, undermines the victim to the point of break-down, then inspires and encourages suicide.
The narcissist derives absolute joy and satisfaction from seeing an otherwise healthy, vibrant person begin to tear down and degrade to the point of suicide; this gives them satisfaction and a feeling of power. In fact, the narcissist is incapable of empathy, love or other positive emotions. The only time they feel satisfied is when others are praising them or when they can influence the destruction and death of someone — in the narcissist’s mind, this is the ultimate power.
Even before the “success” of a suicide, the narcissist will practice behavior that is very destructive to those close to them, i.e., cheating on their mate, syphoning money from an account, telling “tales” that are false. If caught and questioned or confronted, a narcissist will go into a blinding rage. Why? It is a very successful tactic that forces others to question and/or disbelieve the information regardless of the proof’s validity. Once the victim is forced to backdown, the victim usually apologizes for presenting such atrocities to a narcissist. This is a great reward for a narcissist – the power to control another and the joy of watching the obvious destruction of the victim by forcing them to deny truth and question their mental capacity.
After a narcissist’s inspired suicide, the narcissist derives deep personal satisfaction, and will use the victim’s death as a tool to acquire sympathy, support (money, resources) and admiration from others, plus possibly zero in on a new victim. As in, “poor me, how I suffer because they did that, so feel sorry for me and give me your [support/money/admiration] for being able to overcome what they caused.”
So why give this topic so much attention? Because I have come to the realization that narcissism is incredibly pervasive in America, because I now have a deeper understanding of the cause of so much of the abuse suffered today, and because I hope to help others see and protect themselves from becoming victims. Especially since a narcissist makes every effort to present a wonderful person to the public and their nightmare is created behind closed doors.
There is so much information available regarding this subject on the internet right now. If you think you may be in contact with a narcissist, check it out. If not, check it out anyway. Knowing the signs may very well keep you alive!