Narcissist Recovery Blog

Best Member Advice of the Day

"The Abuser and Abusee"
June 29, 2010
by James

“Abusers like to bring you down to their level”

“You may find yourself becoming abusive in retaliation; in this case the abuser can say you are no better than the abuser. Note: Abusers are much better at arguing and winning so going down to their level means that you have lost; this is a variation of one person hitting another until the other eventually hits back.”

I know there is no such word as “abusee” but please allow me to explain.

Best Member Advice of the Day

What is Hoovering?
Posted by Sarahb

The Hoover maneuver is named after the famous vacuum cleaner. In the language of our community, it describes behavior common among [abusers] and those who have borderline traits. It occurs most often when a victim threatens to leave, or actually leaves, a relationship. The intent of the hoover is to get the victim back into the relationship. This behavior has its roots in the intense fear of being alone or being abandoned that is often at the very core of the abuser's sense of self.

The Narcissist's Cycle of Idealization to Devaluation

Being in love with a narcissist is a confusing state of affairs, to say the
least. In the beginning, a narcissist makes you feel incredibly loved and
valued. He appears to be head-over-heels in love with you and worships
the ground you walk on. He writes you poetry, takes you out for romantic
dinners, and finds all your little quirks endearing and adorable.

Once a narcissist feels he has obtained control of you (through mar-
riage or moving in together), you will see a completely different side of
him that you never knew existed. Narcissists have often been described as
having a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. Once in control, a narcis-
sist becomes demeaning and cruel.

Narcissists are oblivious to others and how their behavior affects

More on Facing our Fears

I'm glad this post resonated with some of you. It's so important not to run from our feelings, but to process them. If we run, hide from them or numb them, they will only come back to haunt us later in life.

The next time you encounter fear, consider yourself lucky. This is where courage comes in. People think brave people feel no fear. The truth is they are intimate with fear.

Fear is a universal experience. It is part of being alive. Something we all share. Fear is a natrual reaction to moving closer to the truth. If we commit ourselves to feeling our emotions and staying right where we are, our experience becomes vivid. Things become very clear when we don't try to escape or run from them. Clarity provides direction.

Facing Our Fears

One thing I learned in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the importance of facing fear. Exposure Response Prevention literally showed me that by facing our fear, we can grow and awaken into a higher form of consciousness. Too often, we run from fear, we stuff it, we numb it, we avoid it.

Buddhism, which I have been studying recently, teaches us the importance of facing our fear and allowing ourselves to feel our fear and pain. You've heard the expression, "the only way through it is through it," right? Until the last few years of my life, I never understood what that meant. The article below does a great job of explaining this so I thought I'd share it with you.

The Delusional Narcissist

Interesting article points out: The narcissist consciously chooses to adopt one version of events, an aggrandizing narrative, a fairy-tale existence, a "what-if" counterfactual life. He is emotionally invested in his personal myth. The narcissist feels better as fiction than as fact - but he never loses sight of the fact that it is all just fiction.

Psychosis & Delusions

The Narcissist's Tools

The narcissist uses five main tools. These are gifts, affection, withdrawal, threats and violence, and in exactly this order.

1. Gifts: Gifts can be used in two ways. They can either be a symbol of submission or a symbol of demand. Free people generally do not give gifts because they have what they want and do not want to submit nor demand. The communication between the victim and the narcissist is based upon gifts. The narcissist gives gifts in order to make the victim depended. The victim in return accepts these gifts and returns far greater gifts in order to accept this submission.

The altruist on the other hand simply helps but does not give gifts either. Sometimes these 'gifts' can be flattery, good words, support and yes; 'love'. (faked of course)

For those of you who think your narcissist is happy now......

Many scholars consider pathological narcissism to be a form of depressive illness. This is the position of the authoritative magazine “Psychology Today”. The life of the typical narcissist is, indeed, punctuated with recurrent bouts of dysphoria (ubiquitous sadness and hopelessness), anhedonia (loss of the ability to feel pleasure), and clinical forms of depression (cyclothymic, dysthymic, or other). This picture is further obfuscated by the frequent presence of mood disorders, such as Bipolar I (co-morbidity).

While the distinction between reactive (exogenous) and endogenous depression is obsolete, it is still useful in the context of narcissism. Narcissists react with depression not only to life crises but to fluctuations in Narcissistic Supply.

Why the Narcissist Cannot Love

The easiest way to think about it is this : Narcissists are stuck at age five.

 One of the most well-known theories in psychology is Sigmund Freud's theory that as children, we pass through different psychosexual stages. According to Freud, if a child is deprived or over-indulged in any of these stages, it results in what he calls "fixation." Fixation describes an adult who is stuck or attached to an earlier childhood mode of satisfaction.

They All Wear a Mask

They all wear a mask. The mask of kindness. The mask of generosity. The mask of romance. The mask of attraction. The mask of intimacy. The mask of seduction. And so on.

This is what reels us in. The pretense. The acting. The mask. The mask of perfection. And we, in our infinite loving goodness, reflect that mask back to them. The perfect mirrored reflection of beauty and adoration.

And then one day, that mask cracks. You remember the moment.. The moment when you look in their eyes and you KNOW the truth about them. The moment you recognize the pathological lies, the deception, the manipulation, the con. The game is up.

Just Keep Dancing

Wow, I truly believe we meet people in life for a reason and I met an amazing woman today at the Printer's Row Lit Fest. Her table was right next to mine under the Illinois Women's Press Association (IWPA) booth. Her name is Susan Brauer. She was abused for twenty years. Her ex-husband had her convinced that she couldn't work so she would be dependent on him. She finally broke free, went back to school and now has her Master's in Engineering. She truly is an inspiration and I KNOW I met her for a reason.

Chicago Literary Festival - Printer's Row Book Fair - Today and Tomorrow!

I will have a table this weekend at the Printer's Row Lit Fest. If you're local and at the fest, please stop by to see me. I will be under the Illinois Women's Press Association (IWPA) booth along with other local Chicago authors on the corner of Dearborn and Polk. Would love to see you!

10am to 6pm
June 12th and 13th

I'm giving out flyers with the address of our messageboard. I hope to reach hundreds of women today and tomorrow. Look for newcomers on our site and please welcome them!