Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dangers of Narcissism in Your Relationship

"The narcissist is an emotional stalker who plays on the emotions of their partner until they are beat down and ready to give up."

You think you are in love. And you may well be. As the relationship progresses it becomes apparently clear to you that, unfortunately, the one you love is not reciprocating those feelings toward you. Your partner is, in fact, in love...only it's with themselves. This can be very disheartening, especially after years of loyalty to your relationship. The struggle can become too great. You may find that your significant other has been recording your phone conversations, secretly following you around, placing listening devices on your person, putting spy-ware into your personal computer, and/or placing spy camera and video equipment throughout your home. The narcissist is not capable of trusting others because they know they themselves can not be trusted. They are obsessed with knowing your every move because they can't imagine that you could have any interest in the world besides them! They also hope to obtain enough information throughout the relationship as to use your personal activities as blackmail or for your character assassination later if you pose a threat to their ego. For instance, if you tell them you are leaving them they may threaten to show the world the video they obtained, unbeknownst to you, of you in the shower. If you are strong in spirit, you may decide to escape from the madness regardless of the threats.

During the years you and your partner were together you may recall that he spent much time telling you that there was something wrong with you, that you were crazy, or needed help. In one woman's case, Darla spent 13 years with a man who repeatedly told her she needed to seek psychological help, that she was weird and crazy, and needed medication. In fact Darla did need help. She needed help in escaping from the clutches of her narcissistic partner. Most often, the narcissist revels in their mind games with others. They like to stab at the emotional well-being of others with their antics and pranks. They bask in the aggravation, anger, or sadness of others. When it comes to their partner, they count on the instability they cause so that they feel needed when their partner gets so down they do need help. It can take years for some to realize that they are involved in this unhealthy setting. These are precious years that will be lost to this disgraceful sickness.

Let's delve a bit more into this personality. It is a true disorder. This person can be an incessant jabber box or a man of few words. The jabber box can command all of your attention while denying you any by never letting you get a word in edgewise. The woman I spoke of earlier, Darla, tried to get a word in edgewise and when she did, she tried to share her feelings and thoughts. To this, her partner told her that what she said she was feeling, she actually wasn't. He also told her that what she thought wasn't what she was really thinking. When she realized that he even had to control her thoughts and feelings, she knew she was being emotionally abused and must get out. The man of few words holes up somewhere, denying you the grace of his presence. Some narcissists can have both qualities. Either way, it is just pursuing the same end by different means.

You may be surprised to learn that narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) isn't just having a big ego. It is low self-esteem, self-hatred in denial, caused by ignominious defeat, not aggrandizement. This disorder is not taken seriously enough. It isn't just obnoxious behavior. People with this disorder are predators and are not harmless. They are set apart from the rest of the human race. NPD is the usual diagnosis for your typical pedophile. These people are very dangerous! Darla talked of the time when she thought she saw her partner being inappropriate with her son. He had her 1 1/2 year old son in his lap. When she walked down the hall and saw them sitting there together on the bed, he stood, placed the boy on the floor, and quickly zipped up and buttoned his pants. Being the smooth talker he was, he and his equally narcissistic mother convinced Darla that she had been mistaken in what she thought she may have walked in on.

Throughout the years he showed and verbally admitted to jealousy over the children they had and even jealousy over the family cats, who he claimed got more attention than he did. He opted to step on Darla's favorite cat's tail whenever possible. Animal abuse is also typical for the narcissist. People narcissists victimize need to know what hits them. Society needs awareness of this disease among us, so that people who behave this way no longer pass for normal and are no longer free to abuse to their heart's content so long as they never lay a hand on anyone or commit character assassination so long as they whisper to one listener at a time, leaving no willing witness to finger the assassin.

f you recognize this behavior as the behavior of your partner, seek all the support you can get and get away quickly. Darla had to spend a month in a crisis intervention safe-house with her children. She is currently going through a divorce that is 9 months long and far from over due to her tormentors continued success at assassinating her character and his greed in not wanting to share with Darla what state law gives her - 50% of the monetary assets. She and he will soon undergo psychological evaluation, which he is procrastinating and fighting against. Darla remains as stable as she can considering he has increased her life insurance policy and has hundreds of dollars unaccounted for, which leaves Darla to fear that he may have a contract out on her life.

Until the justice system and society as a whole wakes up to this very serious disease, people's lives will continue to be destroyed at the hand of the narcissist who is held to no responsibility to their actions. It's criminal.

Sophia Moon