Relationships with Abusive Narcissists - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Why is it thatrepparttar partner seeks to prolong her pain? What isrepparttar 131113 source and purpose of this masochistic streak? Uponrepparttar 131114 break-up ofrepparttar 131115 relationship,repparttar 131116 partner (but notrepparttar 131117 narcissist, who usually refuses to provide closure) engage in a tortuous and drawn out post mortem.

Butrepparttar 131118 question who did what to whom (and even why) is irrelevant. What is relevant is to stop mourning oneself, start smiling again and love in a less subservient, hopeless, and pain-inflicting manner.

The Abuse

Abuse is an integral, inseparable part ofrepparttar 131119 Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

The narcissist idealises and then DEVALUES and discardsrepparttar 131120 object of his initial idealisation. This abrupt, heartless devaluation IS abuse. ALL narcissists idealise and then devalue. This is THE core narcissistic behaviour. The narcissist exploits, lies, insults, demeans, ignores (the "silent treatment"), manipulates, controls. All these are forms of abuse.

There are a million ways to abuse. To love too much is to abuse. It is tantamount to treating someone as one's extension, an object, or an instrument of gratification. To be over-protective, not to respect privacy, to be brutally honest, with a morbid sense of humour, or consistently tactless – is to abuse. To expect too much, to denigrate, to ignore – are all modes of abuse. There is physical abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse. The list is long.

Narcissists are masters of abusing surreptitiously ("ambient abuse"). They are "stealth abusers". You have to actually live with one in order to witnessrepparttar 131121 abuse.

There are three important categories of abuse:

Overt Abuse – The open and explicit abuse of another person. Threatening, coercing, battering, lying, berating, demeaning, chastising, insulting, humiliating, exploiting, ignoring ("silent treatment"), devaluing, unceremoniously discarding, verbal abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse are all forms of overt abuse. Covert or Controlling Abuse – Narcissism is almost entirely about control. It is a primitive and immature reaction torepparttar 131122 circumstances of a life in whichrepparttar 131123 narcissist (usually in his childhood) was rendered helpless. It is about re-asserting one's identity, re-establishing predictability, masteringrepparttar 131124 environment – human and physical. The bulk of narcissistic behaviours can be traced to this panicky reaction torepparttar 131125 potential for loss of control. Narcissists are hypochondriacs (and difficult patients) because they are afraid to lose control over their body, its looks and its proper functioning. They are obsessive-compulsive in their efforts to subdue their physical habitat and render it foreseeable. They stalk people and harass them as a means of "being in touch" – another form of narcissistic control. But whyrepparttar 131126 panic?

The narcissist is a solipsist. To him, nothing exists except himself. Meaningful others are his extensions, assimilated by him, they are internal objects – not external ones. Thus, losing control of a significant other – is equivalent to losingrepparttar 131127 use of a limb, or of one's brain. It is terrifying.

Independent or disobedient people evoke inrepparttar 131128 narcissistrepparttar 131129 realisation that something is wrong with his worldview, that he is notrepparttar 131130 centre ofrepparttar 131131 world or its cause and that he cannot control what, to him, are internal representations.

Torepparttar 131132 narcissist, losing control means going insane. Because other people are mere elements inrepparttar 131133 narcissist's mind – being unable to manipulate them literally means losing it (his mind). Imagine, if you suddenly were to find out that you cannot manipulate your memories or control your thoughts… Nightmarish!

Moreover, it is often only through manipulation and extortion thatrepparttar 131134 narcissist can secure his Narcissistic Supply (NS). Controlling his Sources of Narcissistic Supply is a (mental) life or death question forrepparttar 131135 narcissist. The narcissist is a drug addict (his drug beingrepparttar 131136 NS) and he would go to any length to obtainrepparttar 131137 next dose.

In his frantic efforts to maintain control or re-assert it,repparttar 131138 narcissist resorts to a myriad of fiendishly inventive stratagems and mechanisms. Here is a partial list:


The narcissist acts unpredictably, capriciously, inconsistently and irrationally. This serves to demolish in others their carefully crafted worldview. They become dependent uponrepparttar 131139 next twist and turn ofrepparttar 131140 narcissist, his inexplicable whims, his outbursts, denial, or smiles.

In other words:repparttar 131141 narcissist makes sure that HE isrepparttar 131142 only stable entity inrepparttar 131143 lives of others – by shatteringrepparttar 131144 rest of their world through his seemingly insane behaviour. He guarantees his presence in their lives – by destabilising them.

Inrepparttar 131145 absence of a self, there are no likes or dislikes, preferences, predictable behaviour or characteristics. It is not possible to knowrepparttar 131146 narcissist. There is no one there.

The narcissist was conditioned – from an early age of abuse and trauma – to expectrepparttar 131147 unexpected. His was a world in which (sometimes sadistic) capricious caretakers and peers often behaved arbitrarily. He was trained to deny his True Self and nurture a False one.

Having invented himself,repparttar 131148 narcissist sees no problem in re-inventing that which he designed inrepparttar 131149 first place. The narcissist is his own creator.

Hence his grandiosity.


Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and

Visit Sam's Web site at

Online Resources for Working Women who Juggle Family, Career and Home

Written by Cheryl Rickman

Continued from page 1

CHILDCARE Helps nannies find jobs (with tips and advice for nannies) and helps mothers to findrepparttar perfect match with regards to nannies and mothers helps’ Babysitting booking service. Resource centre and nanny directory Resource centre for parents Resource centre for parents Resource centre for parents Resource centre for women

WOMEN'S WEBSITES AND COMMUNITIES Business technology network for women For women working in new media, IT and e-commerce E-busines network for women Good advice for women starting businesses from home Global directory for women in business Executive woman magazine online Working woman magazine online Goods and services from insurance to heath, aimed at women and by women. Daily Mail Femail Section online BBC online magazine for women. Women related news regarding workplace strategies, career advancement, management, and more. African-American Women in Technology Where girls and technology click Women in business with their modems running Resources for women Internet entrepreneurs The source for women in computing National Foundation for Women Business Owners Online women’s business centre Resource for women – all things computer related Women business owners and resource centre Resources for women in business Community for working mums

QUICK CHRISTMAS SHOPPING ONLINE Women make up 50% of all Internet users and control or influence over 80% of all purchase decisions, women make up 63% of online shoppers who buy more than once a week. Here are some websites that will help you save time shopping online this Christmas. Price comparison shopping UK online shopping guide Online shopping guide The one stop shop for big boys toys Gadgets, games, boys toys Buy CDs, videos, hardware, software, instruments and equipment and check outrepparttar 131112 boystoys directory. Gifts and products designed by women for women Point clueless boyfriends/husbands towards this site Woolies online Teenage daughters will love this one.

Cheryl Rickman e-mail: In-depth Website Appraisals, Personalised Web Promotion Plans, plus Web Page Copywriting and Editing Services and Press Release packages.

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use