When a person finally figures out what they were/are involved with they often say they feel broken, crushed, don’t know who they are or what they believe in. Their world has flown off its axis and they are free falling into a black oblivion, they feel stupid, foolish, weak, naive, pathetic.
It is not just the narcissist’s lies that make us feel uncertain about everything, when we once were certain about most things and confident; it is that everything we were raised to believe about the world was challenged and used against us. Of course we are lost and don’t know which way is up and everything looks so bleak, we have nothing sacred any more, nothing to believe in.
How we raise our children does nothing to prepare them for the day they meet a narcissist, in fact we teach them how to be the perfect victim. We head out into the world thinking that every one is basically playing by the same rules.
Lets look at a few of the things we instill in our children, priming them for the narcissist.
Don’t be a tattle tale – Who hasn’t said that to a child? I ran a day care and there was always one tattle tale in the group who tattled on everyone for every little thing they did wrong. They are a pain in the ass. (sorry they are) But we need to put a disclaimer on “don’t be a tattle tale”, we need to tell our kids that it is ok, in fact it is imperative that they tell when someone is hurting them, and we don’t ask “Well, what did you do to make him treat you that way?” The narcissist has mastered the art of talking badly about a person without looking like he is, James had perfected it by starting to say something and then cutting himself off as if to say, “No its not right, I can’t tell you what she did.” Then the other person says, “Tell me, I won’t tell anyone, you need to get it off your chest.” Then he says something like, “I should have been firmer with her, or “I shouldn’t have let her get to me”, “It was my own fault for trusting her,” So it appears he is taking the blame and the person listening is assuring him it isn’t his fault and tada!!! Tell a few key people and then sit back and let them do the dirty work for you. All the while the victim is sitting at home, silent, not wanting to make the narcissist look bad or not wanting to look like a tattle tale.
Good things come to those who wait – Patience is a virtue as long as you aren’t being controlled by another person who is punishing you by withholding what they know you need. The narcissist is famous for dangling the carrot in order to get people to do what he wants and has no intention of ever coming good on his promises.
Honesty is the best policy– Honesty is the best policy but just because you are honest and ask for honesty back does not mean you will get it. Narcissists will lie to you about everything, even when it makes no sense to lie AND will use your honesty against you.
Treat others as you would want to be treated – Again, great in theory if everyone operated on that principle but they don’t. The narcissist loves people who live by that rule, because when they treat you like crap you treat them even better trying to show them how you want to be treated but what you are showing them is they can treat you like crap and you will stick around for more. You expect them to be faithful so you give them no reason to think otherwise. While you are sitting at home proving your love for them, they are out screwing everything they can and cutting you to shreds to justify it. Nice.
Play fair – or in other words, play by the rules. The narcissist keeps changing the rules and we keep running in circles, jumping through hoops and trying to play fair and by the rules but it is impossible because he keeps changing them.
Share – the narcissist LOVES this one, He tells us we are being selfish to not let him have the things he wants and the last thing we want to do is appear selfish or stingy, so he takes everything he can, anything you own is his for the taking until we realize that it is one way, we aren’t sharing, we are continually giving, handing over our hard earned money, homes, vehicles, life savings and we are getting nothing in return.
Forgive and forget – along with that comes, don’t hold a grudge. We teach our children to say they are sorry and they should accept the other person’s apology. We don’t teach them what a true apology looks like. Sorry, is not an apology if they are blaming you, you don’t have to accept blame for another person’s actions. And forgiveness does not mean you have to stay with that person, or continue being their friend, you can forgive and walk away. In the narcissist’s mind when he is forgiven he expects to be immediately absolved of his sins, a clean slate, never to be mentioned again even though he goes out and does the same thing again he expect to be forgiven again, because he was forgiven for the same thing last month it can not be brought up. Forgiveness to a narcissist is a ticket to keep doing whatever it is he did, forever more. To forgive a narcissist is to accept the behavior, you have to walk away, they give you no choice.
If you can’t say something good about somebody say nothing at all – We are taught it is wrong to talk badly about someone, especially someone we love, so we don’t tell when they do horrible things to us. They on the other hand have no problem talking badly about you and if you have done nothing wrong they will make up something.
It is better to give than receive – It does feel good to give, I have always enjoyed giving more than receiving but when you are the one doing ALL the giving it starts to not feel so good any more. When it is expected you start to resent the fact that you never get a Christmas gift but you don’t want to complain and sound selfish. The N will be more than happy to point out how self centered you are if you do mention it. After all if you really loved them you would want them to have the things that make them happy.
God answers prayers – We feel deserted by God because we keep praying for the man was fell in love with to return. God won’t give us things he knows are bad for us just because we prayed for it. He is waiting, he will be there once you are free of the N. God can perform miracles but even he has limitations; changing the narcissist into a loving caring person is even beyond God’s powers.