I read and read, until my eyes bled! But still couldn’t find the answer to the taunting question: Why? I knew a lot about narcissists; how they formed, acted. But in the aftermath of emotional World War 3, you’re still haunted by “Why”. I’ll give my personal take on this. Our brains will NEVER stop obsessing with the damage done to us, if we can’t figure out the reason for all this.
A deeper understanding is the starting point on our journey to closure. (I hate the word closure, it feels so “daytime TV”, but you’ll forgive me).
So; you visited many sites that might have claimed that “there is no understanding narcissists, they’re just monsters”. Do you have “understanding” for the Alien in the movie “Alien”? Didn’t think so. They’re simply evil. Period.
Ok, with narcissists, we can stretch to: “Their evil was formed in childhood. But they still have no conscience and empathy. So, they’re monsters. Period”.
Take your typical movie villain, they’re usually also sketched in black and white, like that. But sometimes a movie villain comes along that you can actually have empathy, even sympathy, for. You understand what drives him, and why he could never be different.
By now you know the obvious reasons for the narcissists’ actions; they need narcissistic supply; attention/adoration. Like gas in a car. They also need to be in control, to feel safe and powerful.
But there’s something we’re missing here. They’re a “void”, right? I both agree and disagree on this one. I’d say the void/evil is there 95% of the time, or more. But, I have witnessed the other 5 %. Don’t get me wrong, he was Darth Vader 95% of the time.. but there were glimpses, of something else.
We talked previously about the “False self”/”Real self”. The False Self dominates. But, on rare occasions, you see a glimpse of a wounded little child. And this is not acting. This is the Real Self, (however tiny a part of the narcissist) showing.
When I left the narcissist (on multiple occasions), he’d look truly devastated, plagued in fact, in his facial expression. Sometimes he would say; “Well… Help me, then! Help me to be like you are. I want to be different”. Now, this was unlike all the fake hoovers. This was true pain shining trough all the BS and the façades.
In 4 years I only ever saw the narcissist cry once. Not for me. For himself. One fleeting moment, in which he truly understood how broken he was. It dawned on him, that he’d always be alone, every woman would end up leaving. This moment was truly astonishing to witness.
The problem with these moments is they don’t last, it’s like catching an eagle in mid flight. One second and it’s gone.
I remember being hopeful in these rare “breakthrough” moments, thinking we had the chance to heal him, me, us. 20 minutes later, the minimizing, gaslighting and BS would start again.
So, onto the real question of why. To answer it I had to give you this background. I believe that the narcissist’s detachment from human emotions and genuine relationships, means a great deal of grief for him. He can never experience what we can, in the form of true love. I believe all his machinations and evil, stem from this fact. It also fits in with the narcissist being on the emotional level of a child; if I can’t have it, I might as well destroy it. They know on some level that you love them; but not how to reciprocate. They become envious; How can it be that they, the masters of the universe, can not have this one thing you possess? They see your smiles, your joy, it drives them insane. Crush it!
And when you finally leave, they project onto you, what they themselves are; “See, you’re leaving me, seems you can not have loved me after all” (While ignoring the fact that they’ve driven you to the edge of insanity). With all their emotional abuse, what I believe they’re doing is; They’re using us as a screen, or a canvas. In their mind we are a blank page they can splash all their darkest colors upon. They can take a projector and play the saddest old movie they can find, onto that screen.
Since they can not, or will not, allow themselves to feel the spectrum of human emotions, they project their inner, tormented selves onto our “screen”.
I was always so perplexed at the narcissist’s true inability to feel remorse about his horrible actions towards me. But it was more than a lack of remorse. He needed to see me suffer, so that he could closely witness these emotions himself. Not being able to “live” and feel true sorrow, anger and disappointment, he needed to project thesee feelings onto me, live his emotional life vicariously through ME.
I am quite certain that a narcissist would never agree with my reasoning. They are much too superior on the surface. And I’m not urging anyone to try and rescue that little fragment of a child’s soul inside the narcissist. God knows I tried for 4 years, for all the good it did me?! Almost lost my sanity and will to live. So no, this is not a defense speech for narcissists. It’s just something that helps me ease up a bit on the intense hatred, at times. Remembering that little wounded child, who is trapped inside the biggest bastard I’ve ever known.
(Joker pic: copyright Warner bros. Rest: alexbailey/ scion films phantom production partnership)