The Narc in the Park
Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book, right? But the topic of this article goes further than that. I wish to speak on the struggle of narcissistic abuse.
Often times when people think about abuse, they’ll think of physical abuse within spousal, or familial abuse. Many are also aware of verbal abuse, but one specific type of verbal abuse comes in the form of narcissistic abuse.
This form of abuse is a very real thing. Narcissism itself is considered a personality disorder referred to as NPD, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The diagnostic rate is extremely low, however, considering how few manage to go for therapy. Narcissists have no love for themselves surprisingly, but rather they are driven by belittling others in order to make themselves feel better about the shame they feel for themselves for not being able to achieve the projected, idealized image they have of themselves.
Some of the following characteristics may be an indication of a narcissist:
- A grandiose sense of self-importance and exaggerates achievements and talents
- dreams of unlimited power, success, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- lacks empathy for the feelings and needs of others
- requires excessive admiration
- believes he or she is special and unique, and can only be understood by, or should associate with other special or high-status people (or institutions)
- unreasonably expects special, favorable treatment or compliance with his or her wishes
- exploits or takes advantages of others to achieve personal ends
- envies others and believes they’re envious of him or her
- has “an attitude” of arrogance or acts that way
Narcissistic abuse can come in ever relationship much like any other kind of abuse. It can be seen in romantic or sexual relationships, marriages, families, and friends. Typically abuse involves manipulation, belittling, and shaming others. Often times if you attempt to confront them about these problems they will become angry and beat back everything you say and turn it against you instead.
On a personal level, I have dealt with a narcissistic parent for over ten years now. I am 21 now and still living with my parents as I am unable to sustain myself yet. Many of the reasons I am not yet capable of being on my own is owed to this narcissistic parent. For years they have kept me from going out in an attempt to grow as a person. They tell me that the world is dangerous and you can’t trust anyone. No one except for them. For my narcissist their only goal is to keep me on a lower level than they are. Since my narcissist is physically disabled, they like to make sure I am incredibly guilty over having ability. On the daily I would be told that “you have your strength I don’t, you have your health, I don’t, you won’t have your strength or health one day too then you’ll only have me.”
Everything would be turned and blamed on me, nothing made sense. They were and still are manipulative, controlling, and belittling. My Narcissist would tell me and still tells me that I will not go anywhere in life with how I look and how I act. I am unable to achieve, and no one will love me except for them. For the longest time I believed these claims and suffered through in silence, fully believing that I would never succeed or find love.
However most recently I have discovered myself in a much greater sense than before. I feel enabled and I am aware that I can have freedom. I found someone who would listen and who loves me and through help from him and a few other friends, I have realized that I can escape.
It will take time, certainly, but I have a plan and I have the motivation to work forward through this and find my way. It is important, when you are dealing with a narcissist, that none of what they tell you is true. You must learn how to leave and find the courage to come forward and be yourself. You will always have people who will help you along the way. Your narcissist may have told you that you have no one else in the world but them who cares, but I can tell you this is so far from the truth. The world is full of good people who are willing to help you through your tough times.
Healing will take time. I am far from healed. Rather, my healing process has just begun as I begin to attempt to work forward for a life of my own free from my narc. But know that you will escape, you will have your freedom, and you will have help and love along the way. The words of the narcissist are empty and void, filled only with self-loathing and hatred meant to make the narc feel better about themselves while putting you down and hurting you. These words are just that: words. You have the strength and ability to free yourself so long as you can gain the courage and put your mind to it.
Have faith in knowing that you are not alone your struggles. Have faith and have courage. Best of luck to all of you.