Narcissism: The root of altruism; the bastard son of Platonism; the seed of sadism (part two)

In my experience, there are two essential rules which seem to undergird and describe Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I do not mean symptoms, of which I believe there are nine mentioned in the psychiatric diagnostic and statistical manual.  I mean that these are assumptions you can make about how the narcissist views you and others; and what the practical effects are upon human beings who engaged them, when the narcissist acts in service to his assumptions.  These two rules are:

1.  You do not exist as you.  You are a machine, or an appliance, of which they presume to be the sole operator/proprietor.  Their wants, needs, and desires, no matter how insane, contradictory or capricious, you are to categorically reflect.  You are a program or a switch..and this is exactly how they see you.  They react in anger when you make even the slightest pretense of autonomous existence; when you do not respond according to the preconceived notion of their sole ownership of all the appliances (people) they “purchase” with their “affection” and their “attention”.  A person the narcissist has deemed as belonging to himself but does not acknowledge his slightest whim is treated as, again, a broken machine/appliance in need of “fixing”, which comes in the form of verbal/psychological/emotional abuse, physical violence, or a simple tossing aside like so much useless trash (ignoring or the “silent treatment”).  You see, your job is to serve as a vehicle for his convenience, and thus your role is to serve as nothing more nor less than the perpetual affirmer of his omnipotence and moral perfection; their supreme ontological importance.  In short, his infinitely superior agency makes him essentially God to you.  He does not understand the nuances of humanity, the many layers of thought, feeling, and motivation which drive a human being along the pathway of his or her life.  And I mean literally.  As in he literally does not understand humanity outside of the machine/appliance model.

It isn’t that the narcissist, like a psychopath, hates people as such.  It is that he is, again, literally unable to understand the nature of other human beings as equally self-aware, equally feeling entities.  He simply does not and cannot see you as a full-on personality of your own.  You are a machine, a robot, a computer, an appliance, a thing which is merely a human doppelganger, wearing merely a thin and unconvincing exoskeleton of human form.  Underneath you are wires and microchips and transistors, brackets and harnesses, nuts and bolts.  He assumes ownership of you like he would own a television, or a cell phone.  Your life is literally not your own.  It does not matter that you may live in a different neighborhood, or county, or state, and have your own house and car and job and family.  All of that is utterly irrelevant, and makes about as rational an impact in his thinking than if you were a washing machine claiming to have a social circle of its own.   All of your life is utterly ignored…and when you are out of sight. like an appliance, you are essentially out of mind.  He may call you, or have you over for a visit, or take you out on a date, but understand that this is not in service to, nor proof of, your own separate existence as a rational being.  No, this is merely how he accesses you.  Turning on the television requires him to pick up a remote and press a button.  Starting the stove involves walking to the kitchen and twisting a knob.  Starting you involves calling a number on his cell phone and a well-imitated pretense of interpersonal interaction.  That is it.  Any gift given to you on your birthday, Christmas, or “just because” is in service to him.  Filling up the car with gas gets him around town.  Showering you with compliments and gifts and false empathy or love fills you up so that you will continue to run in service to himself…dispensing your narcissistic supply like the television dispenses his favorite shows, or the stove dispenses his favorite brownies.

You must accept this.  You are not a person to him.  Ever.  No matter how much he may make you feel like one.  For the narcissist, it is an impossible realization and connection.  As incredulous as this might be, trust me…if you know a narcissist, evaluate your relationship with him in light of what you have just read.  You will be shocked, I submit, at the eerie and seemingly uncanny ability I possess to describe this person, whom I have never met, so perfectly.  But it isn’t that I have some kind of special revelation or extra sensory perception.  This is the face of narcissism, and it is consistent amongst people, collectively and individually. Truly, when you have seen one you have seen them all. The narcissist, I submit, is the closest a human being can come to being deprived of a soul.  To being merely a plastic person.  The irony here, of course, is that he is the machine, not you.  He is the appliance, and you exist to keep him running.  And deep down, somewhere within the corpse-like husk of his “true self” which he killed years and years ago, he knows this.  But he cannot acknowledge it, lest he die.  The fear of this truth being brought to bear on his consciousnesses is what keeps him going so inexorably, relentlessly, in pursuit of his coveted narcissistic supply.

So as I was saying…you are an element of, or an extension of himself, like any other piece of his property.  You exist only to do a job that he alone gets to define.  You are nothing more, and never will be.  Full stop. If you are friends with or otherwise involved with a narcissist this is the first thing you must come to terms with should you decided to remain in the relationship.  To attempt to advocate for your own autonomous SELF will only confuse and enrage the narcissist.  Do not bother.  It is a complete waste of time.  He possess no psychological or emotional capacity to understand nor concede.  Even if he swears he does, he does not.  Being in a relationship with a narcissist thus involves surrendering yourself to one of only two options:  Leave and do not look back, or stay and accept your place as a walking canvass for his whims and desires; an ever-present source and reflection of his own self-adulation.  Accept that you may never speak of yourself as an autonomous human being without inviting the abject wrath of the narcissist.  And always remember that the narcissist does not change.

Now, over time, faced with a weakening body and mind, which are unavoidable reminders of his own fallibility and temporal existence (which he generally does NOT ever think about, let alone concede), the narcissist may grow more tolerable, knowing that he no longer possesses the strength nor alluring presence and disposition with which to restrain you and your own self expression.  He may slowly slink back and accept at least practically what he never could intellectually.  But this will come only after years and years of abuse, torment, and psychological/emotional savaging at the hands of the narcissist.  And by that point, your capacity for self-expression and acknowledgement will likely be almost as blackened and corroded as the narcissists “true self”, which only briefly existed in childhood until the false self, the monster which has been the face of the narcissist ever since and the only “self” of his you have ever known, murdered it in service to his own perceived survival.  And should you choose to remain, long term, with your narcissist, you likely won’t know what to do with your autonomous SELF any more than that he ever did.

(Please stay tuned for part three)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s