Pathological Narcissistic Abuse
Written by Randi G. Fine
Excerpt from my upcoming book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing
Pathological narcissistic abuse is far more damaging than any of us can possibly conceive. Have no doubt—it is both psychological warfare and mind control.
Various techniques of psychological warfare, also known as “psy ops” have been used since the beginning of time by warlords, chiefs, malevolent dictators, and in espionage operations to extract information and evoke desired reactions from captives.
Mind-control, also known as brainwashing or coercive persuasion, is the method used by cults to systematically break down someone’s sense of self.
Narcissists use both these tactics and for the same objectives.
The abuse campaigns of pathological narcissists may be verbal, physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, sexual and/or financial. They learn where their targets are particularly vulnerable and then attack.
Believing they are the victims in every situation and everyone else their enemies, puts them forever on the defensive. Their very survival depends on them “getting” you before you “get” them.
Any perceived attack triggers the narcissist’s deeply embedded pain. He despises this aspect of himself and subconsciously tries to annihilate it through the use of his false self. Unable to restrain himself when triggered, he must project his hatred outward and annihilate a tangible target, hence the abuse. He doesn’t want to hurt himself so he hurts others. Unable to feel what others feel or experience remorse or guilt over the pain he inflicts on others, that is easy for him to do.
As empathetic people who have the ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others, we cannot possibly grasp the mindset of the narcissist. Our eyes deceive us. Seeing people who look and act as we do in every other way inclines us to assume they feel emotions the way we do.
Fully aware that others think that way, narcissists use it to their advantage. Unable to imagine anyone having the capability for such heartlessness, we are vulnerable to their manipulations. That is how they trap us.
No matter the nature of the relationship we have with narcissists, we are nothing but an ends to a means for them. If being nice to us gets them what they want, they will be nice. But they are not nice people or patient people. Pleasantry is the longer, harder route to their destination. They can only keep it up for so long.
Narcissists are driven by one primary goal; gaining control over their victims to have captive narcissistic supply. Abusiveness is the narcissist’s natural inclination. They have great endurance for the terrorist attacks they systematically wage on others.
Narcissists are innovative and resourceful in their craft. Some tactics are more easily recognized than others, though all are destructive.
Stealth abuse is a surreptitious form of psychological abuse that is perpetrated behind closed doors. Victims of stealth abuse are unable to recognize what is happening to them while it is occurring. They know that something is wrong with the way they are being treated but cannot figure out exactly what it is. Unable to pinpoint the source of the problem, victims look within themselves for answers and ultimately assume the blame.
Because stealth abuse is unseen and leaves no physical marks it is very hard for outsiders to recognize, therefore easy for them to trivialize. Victims seeking credibility for their accounts of abuse among friends, family members, and the community can never find it.