What is a narcissist? What is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)? I wish I knew the answers to these questions before I spent a year and a half of my life in a relationship with a disordered narcissistic personality - a proverbial emotional vampire of sorts.
Discovering the full extent of my situation was a clear shock to the system, but it did help explain an awful lot.
Perhaps you can relate ...
Knowing then - what I know now - would have saved me a lot of trouble and heartache. It would have saved me lots of 'deer-caught-in-the-headlight' moments too. For although men may be from Mars and women from Venus - pathological narcissists seem to inhabit an alien planet entirely their own.
A planet you really don't want to visit given half the chance.
What is this alien planet - the mental, emotional and spiritual landscape of malignant narcissism? How is narcissistic personality disorder experienced up close and personal (as opposed to learning about it from a book)?
Are emotional vampires really that different than you and I? Do they really deserve a species classification all their own? Or perhaps they're just a little bit 'over-the-top' when it comes to certain things? After all, nobody's perfect right?
Prepare yourself ... for when it comes to these emotional vampires truth is stranger than fiction indeed.
If you're currently (or have been) in a romantic relationship with an egomaniac, megalomaniac or malignant narcissist - all different terms for one and the same personality disorder - you've come to the right place.
Undoubtedly you've been on the receiving end of some pretty strange - nay, incomprehensible behavior. You've met with mind-bending reactions - sweeping you clean off your feet before realizing what happened.
You've experienced the full force of the narcissist's BITE or perhaps just a nibble.
Scratching your head with one hand and clutching your heart with the other you're left wondering ... "what on earth is going on here?! What have I gotten myself into?'
And perhaps more to the point moving forward, the all important question: 'What now?'
If you were to ask me how I got caught up in an abusive relationship with a malignant narcissist ... I can tell you ... it wasn't as hard (or unlikely) as it sounds! The three phases of a narcissistic relationship explain exactly how I got duped.
Perhaps you've been duped in the same way?
Relationships with narcissists leave quite an impression - the effects aren't easily brushed off and moving on can be challenging (putting it mildly). Becoming obsessed with the narcissist for a while (sometimes a long while) is almost a given - it seems to come with the territory.
However, not all is hell and brimstone for even a narcissist's love has its positives. It moves you - compels you - to move from BITE to LIGHT ( Lessons, Insights, Growth Healing and Truth). When you stop to think about it - what other purpose could a relationship with a narcissist really have?
Pain can be a potent agent of change and narcissists are its merciless, persistent and largely clueless messengers.
If there's any revenge to be had over an abusive narcissist it's in the recognition that their sole purpose in your life is fulfilling this exceedingly humble role. That's when you begin developing real indifference towards the narcissist in your life.
Transformative lessons in life are rarely packaged, labeled and timed as you'd expect. After all, if you could see it coming much of the impact would be mitigated - perhaps even lost.
And what of relationships with narcs? Mitigated would be the very last word you'd probably use to describe them. They're anything but!
So the opportunity for change, for growth - for powerful transformation - is certainly there. Surviving narcissistic abuse can be an invitation to take a step up in certain areas of your (inner) life.
Unfortunately it's easy to learn all the wrong things from interactions with abusive and toxic people. Learning what is truly there for us to learn - that's the path to follow.
Raising awareness - a red flag - on the destructive nature of pathological narcissism and other predatory personalities is important. I hope you'll join in by sharing your own experiences, insights and personal encounters with narcissistic abuse and those who inflict it. Rest assured the world becomes a better place for it.