Chapter 1: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Narcissism is a force that utterly cripples an individual’s sense of belonging and self-worth in a world that is constructed and developed by a puppeteer. These predators care nothing for the sanctity of life, nor do they care for the preservation of life. Instead they are drawn to the notion that life is a game in which they must exert total influence in order to succeed. This simply means that anyone or anything who refuses to play their assigned role will be swiftly and voraciously dealt with, whether by discarding or burning that which is theirs into smoldering cinders.

Love involves supporting another’s growth and development by acknowledging their right to enjoy life. This means that an individual will not knowingly put another down for any reason or in any manner. This means that an individual will openly show concern for another’s suffering by showing compassion and empathy. This means that an individual will show humility while listening to another’s fears or concerns. This means that an individual will extend the same level of respect and dignity to others as they would want shown to themselves. This means that an individual will recognize that forces reside beyond themselves that live a completely different experience from their own. But most importantly, love shows an individual’s willingness to accept and embrace another’s differences as long as those differences do not cause physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual harm.

So if one has never experienced love in its truest form, it is highly unlikely they will be able to determine what love means to them. I know that I personally had difficulty defining love because at one time I thought love was simply the act of giving yourself whole-heartedly to another so their needs and wants were met. If you continuously and consistently give the shirt off of your back to those who are in need, they will eventually acknowledge your worth as an individual. Ha! The irony in that thought pattern is that people will more than likely take advantage of your unwavering loyalty. In other words if you keep doing the work for them, they’ll let you! A narcissist is one of the laziest shmucks you’ll find around since they are more than happy for others to tend to their responsibilities. ME, ME, ME, is the narcissistic motto that is driven by the beat of their drum on a daily basis.

One of the greatest factors adversely affected by an individual who has been entwined within a narcissist’s pattern is their relation to the world as it is. This includes their relationships to people, places, and things as well. The stigmas they create in their own mind begin to project the notion that everything is toxic in their environment, and this leads them to bring those concerns to the surface by shining a light on that which is dysfunctional. Now this could be with family, friends, images, or even thoughts concerning things that have ties with the abuser in question.

Family members will more than likely go out of their way to distance themselves from you, and this hurts the most. You may verbalize how little you connect with them since you logically recognize how little they reciprocate any interest or value in your experiences. This obviously and most definitely includes the horrible experiences, or rather wrathful nightmares the narcissist bestowed on your little world. But it also includes your everyday life even after the fact since they will, on a subconscious level at the very least, turn their backs on you.

This will hurt you on some level because your experience will be that of a tree being torn from its birthplace. In other words, your root system will be shocked and traumatized since that is the world you have always known. However the problem lies in that if you choose to stay in that toxic environment, the weeds will surely grab hold of your branches which will undeniably undermine your ability to flower. Talk about fearing the unknown – in regards to maintaining what you’ve always known as opposed to planting your roots in new territory.

You begin imagining ways for Team-Narc to reel you back in like a fish that is fighting to elude a fisherman’s grasp. You know that if you stay your life will not be valued and cherished for the very nature that it comprises, but rather exploited and repeatedly rattled as you are shown such disdain. You will serve as a lesson and symbol that if one chooses to rock the boat, they will be torn limb from limb. The subtlety of such maneuvers is the area in which the abuser prevails.

To others you are the one with the issue. Never mind the fact that you are a human being whose feelings, thoughts, dreams, hopes, desires, fears, wants, and needs which shape your world view are no less valid than any other persons. But therein lies the kicker. They often times won’t care to hear about your normal life, let alone anything of substantial worth. This wonderful aspect just goes to show how little they care about you as an individual who is alive and quite possibly struggling to connect with others in a world that has always rejected you.

As I approached my sister I thought to myself “I feel nothing for this person because I understand this person feels nothing for me.” She held her arms out to embrace me, although it felt forced as though we were simply fulfilling expected roles. In fact it would be equivalent to having two actors embrace each other on stage even though they despise each other in secret. She went on to talk about her life and career choices as she moved about the house. I continuously prompted her as though she were a dysfunctional client who cannot make their own conscious request without encouragement or guidance.

I gathered my belongings as she watched and never asked about how work had been treating me, or even what I had been up to. Even as I explained a little about my personal adventures, she interjected at some point and started blabbing about her pregnancy. There was never any mention of my well-being or life situation. Now granted I understand that if I had not asked about her growing child then it would not be considered an “Even-Stevens” circumstance, but I had done just that upon our initial meeting. This is a problem for individuals who have suffered from being abused by a narcissist. That is their constant inner battle to recognize whether or not they gave enough in the relationship to justify their own position which is more than likely just and more importantly human.

Did I deserve to be treated that way? This common thought provides the narcissist and their Narc-team members the groundwork to walk all over you without a second thought. It matters not how little affection or sympathy they show towards you because you are the one they outwardly show contempt towards. People who love one another take interest in each other’s affairs. They show concern for your troubles, and likewise commemorate you for your successes. There should never be any doubt as to whether or not someone has your back. However a good check and balance system resides in the notion that actions always speak louder than words.

Empty words and cold displays of affection will be used to sugarcoat their true intentions. Anyone can say “I love you,” but one should identify the manner in which another loves them. If love constitutes teasing, belittling, lying, distorting, or any other behavior that causes you to FEEL like garbage then it is not love. If someone makes little to no eye contact as they openly verbalize how much they care about you because they think you are an interesting and deep individual, they are more than likely blowing smoke up your ass. If a narcissistic predator looks at you from a distance and swears up and down how much they value you as an individual, look the other way.

Individuals who love their pets openly show love towards them through appropriate touch and verbal encouragement. Animals make wonderful companions in that they will love you unconditionally if you provide them an environment that supports their healthy growth and development. Pets, unlike humans, do not have the ability to hide or withhold their true intentions. To some, the notion that human beings can be crafty devils whose sole drive is to enslave and commandeer another’s identity is outlandish or even preposterously paranoid. However those individuals have obviously never danced with the Devil.

You instinctively question your self-worth and value as a living being because you never developed them. It seems so alien to me that someone would see value and worth in me as a human being because I am constantly putting myself in check. From my understanding, most people would actively empathize with others around them. Empathy is a higher understanding of an emotional drive that allows one to connect with another’s experience in life. However a narcissist exploits this because they can bolster their platform by enlisting support. This “means well” position which suggests that the abused is the one having difficulties understanding the relationship dynamics only further damages the belief that an individual is responding naturally by demanding they be treated fairly.

Narcissism offered me power because I was raised by an accomplished manipulator for my entire life. I understood how I could always get what I wanted by having those around me do all of the leg work. I recognized how I could dissect an individual in order to exploit their weaknesses. I was told that I could have a family, a mother, and friends. I just had to submit to a darker part of myself that wanted to punish the weak, use the naive, and oppress the suffering. All I had to do was tote the line and continue fueling the patterns that caused me to suffer for 23 years of my life. This is one of many reasons that I isolated myself for so long. I didn’t want to recognize those darker, dysfunctional parts for what they were. There was a monster inside of me and I didn’t want it to get out. I chose not to follow my “orders” and as a result I was severely punished for it. But life is precious, and I have no right to determine how someone will live theirs.

So ready yourself and pack your bags because you’re in for quite the journey as you walk with me through my own version of wonderland!

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