One of the most common problems people face after being involved in any context, with someone who is narcissistic (self centred…remember not everyone with selfish tendencies is classified narcissist but they may share some of the issues and create similar problems…resulting in similar fall out for those around them).
A narcissist is unconscious of the value and autonomy of people around them. In many ways their situation is like that of a child trapped in the “terrible twos” – complete with tantrums, deception and a childish belief that the world revolves around them.
Most grow out of this stage. It is the emergence of the Ego and in many ways the beginning of psychological autonomy. So it’s considered and is a natural growth phase. And beyond it the higher faculties are developed – empathy in particular and the ability to identify with others and to know humility.
In the narcissist something internal or external stunts this growth. Narcissistic brains tend to be highly intelligent and the process of maturation takes longer. It may be that certain stages are bypassed and emotional maturity is never achieved…it may be that being treated as an over achiever during their extended formative years means that those with narcissistic tendencies experience a longer period in which things can go wrong; that nature and nurture combine to inhibit the realisation of objective consciousness.
That’s just a theory. But as an autistic I have always found narcissists a curiosity and a proof that the theory about autistic people lacking empathy is not the case. I can only speak for myself in that and with my family members but early on I seemed to overly empathise. I never had tantrums. I never rebelled. And I think autistics with high functioning either develop so quickly through the ego phase or it’s so insignificant to our sense of reality (which is very abstract generally), we are the psychological opposite of narcissists in many ways.
I certainly feel narcissistic people seem to have a problem with me because their usual manipulations or attention seeking/self validating behaviours don’t exert the desired response from me.
Narcissistic personalities can be covert or overt and the abuse they perpetuate depends much on their type. Coverts can be very controlling and manipulative – mind games, martyr complexes and hyperchondria that means they can assume a victim role throughout life. Overts may be more obvious. Talking over you or verbally abusing you. They may even become physically abusive.
But the real damage is caused by the controlling behaviours however they are expressed. The genuine victim of a narcissist often questions their own sanity and wonders if they are the narcissist. And narcissists encourage that kind of blurring of the edges…where they end and you begin.
This kind of manipulation of reality that leaves you wondering just what you’re seeing and doubting yourself is called “gas lighting” and is a deliberate tactic in control and manipulation.
Of all abuses I think this gradual undermining of another’s sense of self and sense of reality has the most insidious side effects. It happens so gradually and is common to all narcissistic types and it casts the longest shadow in victims because of its very nature.
Addressing and removing yourself from s situation of physical or verbal abuse is easy to see. The damage done by the gas lighting really isn’t and it’s more prevalent because covert narcissists do the same thing.
Psychically this leaves the victim with the fear that they are the “bad one”; deficient in some way; unprofessional and to blame. A feeling that can take a very long time to move on from because of its nebulous nature.
Remember, the narcissist doesn’t ever stop to wonder if they are at fault. This is the chasm between the narcissist and others. Their sense of entitlement and lack of consciousness and self awareness. For them, it’s a given that the fault is someone else’s so if you are left doubting yourself, you are not the narcissist.
This kind of undermining of the victim creates problems though. Low self esteem. Anxiety. A tendency to over analyse or take on more responsibility in any given situation than is realistic. But worst I think is the sense of unreality. The victim buys into the narcissist’s view and sacrifices their own and regaining that centering isn’t easy.
On a psychic level this is the real damage of the psychic attack. There are implications on all levels and spiritually it can cause all kinds of ambivalence as the mind swings from idea to idea seeking a truth.
Many clients and students come to me to begin healing this sense of ungroundedness. And energy healing, meditation and certain rituals can certainly help. But it is as if you leave the relationship or connection with an addiction. An addiction to a person or a habit of allowing them to think for you. And that can feel disorientating or terrifying by turns for a long time. It takes time to heal and the first step is acknowledging you are not imagining it.
The psychological damage caused is what we would call a psychic attack and because you’re juggling the other attacks you may not notice it happening.
But despite the nightmare of it, if you choose the right tools to help you through, you can gain great insight into yourself and a unique perspective of the world and of life.
It creates an opportunity where you have to start again because you can’t go back to a point before happened. Starting from scratch with experience and wisdom means you have access to a greater potential happiness than you had in the past. It won’t be easy! But I can personally vouch for the fact that energy work, meditation and magick can make it easier!