(((Tribe))) I have just started reading a new book (2008 publishing) on narcissists....
"are you being hurt by the one you love?
FREEING YOURSELF FROM THE NARCISSIST IN YOUR LIFE
at home, at work, with friends"
by Linda Martinez-Lewi, PhD.
So far...the book is eye popping incredible.
For me, it is the final lifting of my denial veil (as in, "no way is STBXH a narcissist, he is just in male depression, he is just whatever".
Over and over I see STBXH and his family in this book... and I am only 60 pages into it!
From the book:
The narcissist has an incredible sense of self-entitlement. Everything is about him and belongs to him. He smoothly oversteps the personal boundaries of others, mistreating, devaluing, and humiliating them to bend them to his will and his desires. He is the hunter, they are the prey. Like the dominate male lion of the pride, the narcissist knows that he deserves the first fruits of the kill.
The heroic narcissistic vision of self bears no resemblence to objective reality. The narcissist resides in a separate universe, keeping himself expanded like a human dirigible."
The book goes on to profile some narcissists from this women's clinical practice, including some divorce scenarios that sound chilling.
In one she writes -
"Kevin was not only obsessed with winning the divorce battle but also with vanquishing his former wife. The reality that he had caused irreparable psychological and economic harm to his first spouse and their children never entered his mind. Only Kevin's wishes and desires mattered."
"Although he is a malevolent human being, the narcissist believes that he is a "good person". Blind to his deceptions and cruelties, he automatically plays the role of victim when he is accused of iniquity."
She gives examples of the narcissist fooling all most everyone into believing they are a "good person", meanwhile exhibiting cruel neglectful behavior towards spouse and children. She writes about the image maker aspects of some narcissists, how the narcissist can be a conjurer to create a "flawless persona".
"The narcissist is always preoccupied with the impression he is making. This is particularly critical when he decides that he must win someone over to achieve personal gain or satisfaction. Narcissists are perfectionists. For some, everything in their environment.. homes, cars, personal effects... must relfect a flawless self. "
... "Some individuals lead their entire lives exclusively on a surface level. They are incapable of introspection, the process of going inside oneself. Their focus is on the material."
The final paragraph in part one of the book is this:
"Beneath the bravado and grandiose actions of the narcissist we behold a psychological portrait that is dark, painful, and menacing. Backstage, the truth about this character is revealed in all of its deception, manipulation, and cruelty."
The first paragraph of part two:
"The narcissist is a master at extracting the pulp and juice of others -- their time, talent, creative ideas, energies.. to serve his purpose alone. When he has distilled the best from you and all that is of value to him, he discards the rest and moves on. ALL relationships with narcissistic individuals are exploitive. Believing that you have a real understanding with one of them is a blind illusion. Whether personal or professional, agreements, contracts, or covenants with narcissists are made to be broken."
"There is always a time certain when a relationship with a narcissist will end. ...... Regardless of their years of loyalty and sacrifice, these faithful servants are coldly discarded, like trash thrown into a Dumpster. Eventually, calamity strikes; the hour of dismissal arrives. These are the moments when one is most at the narcissist's mercy -- a little child cowering in the corner. The moment you cease to satisfy his endless ego needs, the narcissist will dispose of you. If you thwart him, he may destroy you."
"The narcissist is at all times a deceiver, never straight, clear, or true. He thrives in an illusive world of curves and meanders. He has mastered the ability to delude himself and others."
"Emotionally detached and isolated, the narcissist is incapable of truly caring for someone else. This callousness allows him to launch plans that psychologically wound others if he perceives them as a threat. In his obsession to win at all costs, he is unencumbered by ethics or morality. Hurt feelings, financial ruin, blighted reputations, incipient illnesses, broken relationships, suicides... are the tragic residue of the narcissist's endeavors. He leaves many lives in disarray and chaos, like bodies strewn on a battle field. He coolly steps over these ravaged corpses to reach his destination. The length of a relationship or its history is never a factor in how long it will last. At some point, determined by HIS wishes and desires, the relationship will come to an end. The narcissist will make his decisive move, leaving his partner, friend, or spouse bruised, battered and abandoned."
"The narcissist puts his life in neat compartments that are sealed off from one another. He is able to activate self-identifications of vitality, superiority, success and power. These are kept separate from the unconscious parts of himself that feel depressed, enraged, empty, and helpless. It is as if one side of the body is unaware of the sensations and activities of the other side. It is not unusual for a narcissistic personality to juggle a series of mistresses and wives with other peripheral affairs as well. Narcissists often have multiple marriages that produce different generations of children.
Practicing deception is common and customary among narcissists. These activities are veiwed neither as betrayals of a marraige, nor as psychologically damagin to a partner, spouse, or child."
"The narcissist cannot view himself objectively. Imcapable of insight or self-criticism, he bases his identity on the illusion that he is unqiue, that there is no one in the world with his special gifts and talents."
"He doesn't lose sleep at night over the human misery caused by his multiple cruelties."
"A narcissist is a chameleon, taking on the shape, color and texture of the environment around him."
"The narcissist is a tyrant who controls the world that he creates. He holds absolute pwer over his subjects, who have no rights of their own. Like a dicatator, he writes arbitrary laws that everyone is expected to obey."
The narcissist is always aware of the end game... how he will dispose of a partner... In his psychological world one person is interchangeable with another. The narcissistic personality adroitly finds a replacement who is prettier, handsomer, younger, more amusing, smarter, and more exciting than the last. Like a lightbulb that has burned out, the once prised individual is replaced by a new and shinier one."
"The narcissitic personality controls others the way he was controlled as a child."
"Lies roll offr the tongue of a narcissist as smoothly as butter melting on hot bread. For him, lying is as natural as breathing. Even a trained observer, a therapist, can be fooled by these lies. ..... The narcissist often believes his lies. For him there is no ultimate objective truth, only his carefuly crafted version of reality."
..."He looks you right in the eye and lies without hesititaion. He is glib with his lies, he shades the truth or tells an outright lie. He is a master at justifying lies to himself".... "Lying for the narcissit is ego-syntonic, meaning that he is comfortable with this kind of behavior.
Narcissists lie thorugh a mechanism called revisionism. They rewrite the history of an event, a contract, an agreement, or a relationship to secure their goals."
So far... this is a GREAT BOOK! I think it must reading for our tribe!