Is narcissism rampant or is it me? Do I have some kind of victim complex? After much reflection, I find that both are maybe just a little bit true.
I have been struggling for much of my life with the question: is Narcissistic Personality Disorder really as rampant as it appears to be (cause I sure seem to meet a fair few who are afflicted!); OR am I in some way delusional in considering that bullies abound to such a pervasive extent?
I have continued returning to this question as it’s been critical for me in my desperate quest to make sense of the completely nonsensical and to find reason where there appears to be none. It is years of abuse, in relationships ranging from family members, to partners, through to relationships in professional settings, that have made the answer to this question so vital for me to figure out. Of course, the relentless barrage of affirmations confirming that it is indeed me, generously bestowed by Narcissists, has also pushed me to sort out what the hell is going on with me and my life!
I have thought that if the answer is “yes it is me”, then the Narcissists have been right and my natural instinct to reject the abuse has been flawed: there is indeed something really wrong with me, and hope for happiness for myself is unrealistic. I should perhaps give up on myself.
However, if it turns out that it is possible that Narcissists abound and I’ve just had bad luck in experiencing it directly in multiple relationships, then maybe happiness can be claimed by me…just maybe, the patterns of abusive relationships can be broken…maybe love is really something different to what I’ve known.
Countless hours of research, therapy and discussion with others who have suffered Narcissistic abuse has led me to understand a few invaluable things:
- Narcissists target a certain type of person: those who are givers, fixers, and accustomed to taking responsibility for others
- It is hence more than possible that one can experience a ‘surfeit’ of bullies if in possession of these traits as these are a siren call to the Narcissist
- Due to 1. & 2. it is important for those who are magnets to:
- arm themselves with knowledge to immunise themselves against Narcissists; and
- understand how their own histories, journeys and adaptive behaviours contribute to this mad dance with the devil to break the patterns and find freedom!
So, my painful grappling concludes with the realisation that the answer to my question is that Narcissists have populated my life, and that I have had a victim complex as a result.
I’ve also learned a great deal more. After much hard work, the pattern that endlessly repeated in my life has been broken. I have found peace and happiness, and am blessed with many truly loving, and nurturing relationships.
I’ve been incredibly grateful to communities, teachers and writers who have raised my awareness on these topics and kept me afloat in times of deep personal crisis. I want to add to this community of support for those who are lost from the Machiavellian discombulations of the Narcissist and help reclaim, in some instances, claim for the first time, the true selves of those still stuck in that maze and find freedom.
My belief through personal experience and hard-won personal truths, is that there is more than survival and healing at hand for those who are either currently suffering or recovering from narcissistic abuse. Walking through the pain of Narcissistic abuse and being honest about the reasons as to why we fall into these relationships with partners, family members, colleagues or friends can gift us with greater strength, peace and joy than we have ever previously known. The horror can become a gift that leads to flourishing.
My intent for this blog is to chronicle my lessons learnt, and to connect with the many who share similar stories. I believe in the power of community and support, and that together the strength of our stories will help pull others from their nightmares and seize freedom and joy.