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In other words, society, by itself being in a state of rage, positively enforces narcissistic rage reactions of grieving victim. This, in long run, is counter-productive, inhibits personal growth, and prevents healing. It also erodes reality test of victim and encourages self-delusions, paranoidal ideation, and ideas of reference.
Victim Phase IV - DEPRESSION
As consequences of narcissistic rage - both social and personal - grow more unacceptable, depression sets in. The victim internalizes his aggressive impulses. Self directed rage is safer but is cause of great sadness and even suicidal ideation. The victim's depression is a way of conforming to social norms. It is also instrumental in ridding victim of unhealthy residues of narcissistic regression. It is when victim acknowledges malignancy of his rage (and its anti-social nature) that he adopts a depressive stance.
Society Phase IV - HELPLESSNESS
People around victim ("society") also emerge from their phase of rage transformed. As they realize futility of their rage, they feel more and more helpless and devoid of options. They grasp their limitations and irrelevance of their good intentions. They accept inevitability of loss and evil and Kafkaesquely agree to live under an ominous cloud of arbitrary judgement, meted out by impersonal powers.
Summary Phase IV
Again, members of society are unable to help victim to emerge from a self-destructive phase. His depression is enhanced by their apparent helplessness. Their introversion and inefficacy induce in victim a feeling of nightmarish isolation and alienation. Healing and growth are once again retarded or even inhibited.
Victim Phase V - ACCEPTANCE AND MOVING ON
Depression - if pathologically protracted and in conjunction with other mental health problems - sometimes leads to suicide. But more often, it allows victim to process mentally hurtful and potentially harmful material and paves way to acceptance. Depression is a laboratory of psyche. Withdrawal from social pressures enables direct transformation of anger into other emotions, some of them otherwise socially unacceptable. The honest encounter between victim and his own (possible) death often becomes a cathartic and self-empowering inner dynamic. The victim emerges ready to move on.
Society Phase V - DENIAL
Society, on other hand, having exhausted its reactive arsenal - resorts to denial. As memories fade and as victim recovers and abandons his obsessive-compulsive dwelling on his pain - society feels morally justified to forget and forgive. This mood of historical revisionism, of moral leniency, of effusive forgiveness, of re-interpretation, and of a refusal to remember in detail - leads to a repression and denial of painful events by society.
Summary Phase V
This final mismatch between victim's emotional needs and society's reactions is less damaging to victim. He is now more resilient, stronger, more flexible, and more willing to forgive and forget. Society's denial is really a denial of victim. But, having ridden himself of more primitive narcissistic defences - victim can do without society's acceptance, approval, or look. Having endured purgatory of grieving, he has now re-acquired his self, independent of society's acknowledgement.
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, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .
Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com