I am a perpetrator of narcissistic abuse. I carried it out aggressively and single-mindedly. I hurt the person nearest and dearest to me:
When the narcissists weren’t around, I still carried forth their agenda with a single-minded allegiance to their mission to “fix” me. When they were absent, I kept their words fresh in my own mind. I berated myself, lectured myself, punished myself.
I was complicit in the narcissistic abuse against myself.
But why? Why would any reasonably intelligent person do this?
For two reasons:
- The desire to be “a good person.”
- To end the pain of narcissistic abuse by attaining to the narcissist’s high standards in a bid to finally please them and end the abuse.
Perhaps that sounds, well, stupid! But cast your mind back. Remember what your narcissist told you? You were at fault. You were flawed. You were in the wrong. All their criticisms, harangues and manipulation were caused by you. They did it to make you a better person.
Who wouldn’t want to be a better person!? After all, only a narcissist thinks they’ve achieved perfection and have no flaws to correct, and we certainly didn’t want to be like our abuser!
So we became complicit in the narcissistic abuse of ourselves. And for the best possible motive. You wanted to be a good person and so did I. So we internalized the oft-repeated accusations, the repetitive lectures and repeated them back to ourselves.
But it gets worse.
I’ve yet to meet a victim of narcissistic abuse who isn’t intelligent and well-spoken. In a way, our own intelligence was our biggest liability. We reasoned that if we could only achieve the rarified level of perfection our narcissist chided us for not attaining, then the abuse would go away. Hey! It’s a logical assumption.
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