Until you’re living with a narcissist, you will never understand just how toxic this person can be. I’m going to be brave and share the inside scoop.
You’ve heard the words, the lists, and indicators of how it feels to know a narcissistic person, but that’s just a generalization for those on the outside. From the inside, it feels much different. Living with a narcissist can actually drive you mad, and that’s no understatement.
My attempt to explain the truth
The truth remains hidden deep behind smiles and proclamations of achievements. The truth is painted over with colors and displayed as something else entirely. This is what it’s like living with a narcissist. Basically, the reality is fantasy and fantasy is reality – yes, it can be flipped and this is how the narcissist remains so successful.
Living with a narcissist revolves around becoming their biggest fan, and always staying interested in all their little “accomplishments”. I used to think that narcissistic people genuinely wanted me as a part of their life and success, and they do…but only as a groupie. As far as my feelings and concerns, they did not matter. Everything, and I mean, absolutely everything, is about them and nothing is their fault.
When you take it away
The moment you show the slightest bit of disinterest, the narcissist notices and starts becoming irritated. Over time, the irritation grows because of the lack of a “#1 fan” in the club.
They may seek others to provide what you are taking away, but they will return to you and push their interests further until you’re quietly wishing they would go away. If you have said, “Enough!”, they may even try to worm their way back in with fake kindness.
After they’ve tried all their tricks and it doesn’t work, they will blow up. Outbursts of anger will be used to demand attention because a narcissist would rather gain negative attention than none at all. When you decide to take away their fan club outlet, you actually cause them physical pain because of the mind-body connection that most of us already understand.
Now, I will break that down further. Do you know why they have to have this much attention? It’s because, honestly, they are empty. The true personality they once had was either ripped away, covered up or rejected so many times that they have created a fake person. When they catch glimpses of that real person, it scares them so badly that it’s painful. Some of them were also abused, and this is the way they coped.
With that being said, when you deny the narcissist the attention they crave, they are faced with themselves, which is either fake or hollow. This is tormenting and horrific for the narcissist, but they will never blame themselves. The fake personality won’t allow it. They will turn to the one who denied them attention, and they will attack them, either physically or mentally… even verbally.
This is what it’s like living with a narcissist, but there’s more
Usually, the narcissist will partake in substance abuse as well, which will heighten the negative behavior. During drunkenness, the narcissist will insult and use trigger words to incite anger or start a fight. The drunken narcissist seems pathetic to those who are aware of their tactics, they somehow they continue to portray a lofty image of themselves.
During this time, they can be violent. I have tried to avoid violence before by staying quiet during the rants of the narcissist, but unfortunately, this didn’t work either. After trying to start a fight over and over, the narcissist, that I knew, started to throw furniture and my belongings just because I refused to engage in his confrontation.
I was, in effect, witnessing the breaking down of the narcissist’s greatest power, the power of manipulation.
I will now attempt to help you
The second part of this post will be my attempt to help you recognize and deal with the narcissist in your life. Now mind you, this will not be an easy task, as getting away from the narcissistic influence is like breaking free from a sticky tar pit. Here are a few indicators to help you decide if you’re living with a narcissist.
A true narcissist will be extremely charming, especially when you first meet them. They will try hard to remain charming even while trying to get attention. They will use this charm to keep you as their “#1 fan”. Now, don’t be mistaken, they will always want more fans, and most of the time, they will keep others as “intimate” fans as well, as the narcissist is rarely faithful – sorry, just being honest.
The narcissist is highly competitive, for obvious reasons. As long as they can strive to be the best at something, they will retain the spotlight. Now, competitiveness is not bad, but it’s the motive that makes it one way or the other. For the narcissist, being competitive is necessary to remain on top. If they see someone admiring a skill, they will learn how to do that particular skill in order to steal that admiration for themselves.
The narcissist is a dominant personality. This is because, in order to keep control of other people, they must have a strong aggressive nature. As for me, I was dominated for over 20 years by a narcissist. I felt trapped because I was young and I was stricken with multiple disorders which decreased my self-esteem. Only after I reached middle age, did I learn that I was not who the narcissist had trained me to be.
This goes along with domination, but it’s a tad bit different. A narcissist will make threats in order to intimidate the person in which they don’t wish to lose. They use aggression and trigger words to keep others under their control.
One example is the narcissist will frighten their wife with the threat of having the children taken from her. This is a personal threat I received after deciding to leave. It’s a fairly common tactic.
How to get away from a narcissist
Now, there are ways to get away from the narcissist, and I do mean GET AWAY because in most cases, there will be no fixing, healing, or changing this personality.
They DO NOT care how you feel, they DO NOT respect you, and they DO NOT want to be fixed. Their primary goal is to manipulate you for the rest of your life, whether they are with you or not.
I’m sorry that this is a rather negative point, but at this point, you need to be shaken out of your dream state and awakened to the truth….if you are living with a narcissist, be strong.
Here are a few tips before I go:
- If you are spiritual, pray, meditate, and be mindful of all your surroundings at all times.
- Be strong. Resist the urge to give in to the narcissist’s charm. They will never stop trying.
- Get help! You will need others to support you during this time. If you can find a way to record or take pictures of any evidence of the dysfunctional ways of the narcissist, this will help you convince your family and friends of the truth of your situation. If they destroy your home, take photos, If they start cursing you, try to turn on your phone’s recorder, and if they write anything abusive, keep it and show someone you trust. Considering the narcissist is great at hiding who they really are, there will be few people who believe your accusations until they see it for themselves. It’s just the truth.
- Do not share your plans for leaving with the narcissist until you know you have a support system and a backup. Some narcissists become violent and you will need to always watch your back.
- If you can afford it, place hidden cameras in your home to record any abuse that could be happening to your pets if you have any. Narcissists are notorious for abusing animals, and you will want to know what happens when you aren’t home, trust me.
These are just a few things you can do. I wish you luck in dealing with this type of abuse. It is so much more dangerous than you might think. When dealing with someone who is both aggressive and manipulative, it can be a true recipe for disaster. I will leave you with one final warning inspired by the hurricanes hitting my country….
“Don’t stay, leave now.”
Although that might sound mandatory, it’s just my experienced opinion considering what I have witnessed before. Take care.
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