“The idea that sex is something a woman gives a man, and she loses something when she does that, which again for me is nonsense. I want us to raise girls differently where boys and girls start to see sexuality as something that they own, rather than something that a boy takes from a girl.”
— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Living with Henry the Narcissist
When I was enamored (fixated) with a narcissistic man, I did not look at the situation from futuristic and permanent standpoint. I did not visualize what life would be like cohabitating with a man that suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. I was given a glimpse of that life when I met a friend online who appears to be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder or simply exude high levels of narcissistic traits interlaced with antisocial disorder.
This malevolent net mate was controlling, inflated and possessive. He had contrived a biography where he is a successful computer engineer with numerous clients. He was a chameleon, jack of all trades. There were days when he was a lecturer at a prestigious university. Some days he was a marine engineer and other days he was a savvy business man with numerous clients coming to his doorsteps at rude hours of the night. He had the most inflated ego I have ever had the misfortune to acquaint. His inflated self image was staggering and appalling. The narcissist misogynistic overture and sexual innuendos were distasteful.
He was a pathological liar and the most sanctimonious person I have ever dealt with. His self righteous personage was highlighted by his twisted sense of justice and morality. He would lambaste an individual for lying to him and yet he lied profusely. He was rather defensive when he thought he was being offended and yet expected others to tolerate his obnoxious behavior. He did not see anything wrong with his repugnant behavior. In fact he claimed that he does not care if people liked him because he liked him self and that’s all that mattered to him. Narcissism indeed!
I made the mistake of relating his narcissistic traits to that of a phantasm from my past and the malignant figure launched into tirade, defending my phantasm and laying the blame at my feet of course. I was amused then incensed at the narcissist inability to empathize. He perceived my anger at the experience I had with another narcissist as mere indication that I was still in love with him. The man was unable to dissect emotions further cementing his narrow sightedness and incapacity to distinct human reactionary feelings. When I vented my disgust and outrage at the behavior of narcissists, he challenged that I was being petulant because I could not manipulate the narcissist. I could not compel the narcissist to satisfy my needs and therefore I become angry and frustrated. Talk about projection! What the narcissist was saying to me was a deep mirroring of his attempt to control and manipulate me into complying with his demands and embracing his line of thought.
A narcissist lack emotional intelligence and is only responsive to two types of behavioral emotions and those are attacking and raging. The narcissist will bombard you with insults as a form of attack and then when you retaliate or threatened them in any essence they will launched into rampages aimed at cowering and reestablishing control. This narcissist did not hesitate to furnish my ideals and self concepts with his scathing perspectives and supercilious ideologies. He spoke as if he was the most trenchant individual alive. His opinions were spouted with erudite terms, mainly verbiage speeches with little or no sapient content aimed at subverting my self concept and undermining my intelligence.
If I did not know any better. I would have said my ex had sent a friend to finish the job off. The man’s conduct was similar to my ex boyfriend but ten times amplified. The thing about pathology is that it is predictable and the minute one who suffers personality syndrome arrives, he will be quickly pin point and categorize. In spite of my better judgment I decided to continue this charade with the narcissist online so as to get a real life glimpse into the pathology. I wanted to see narcissism from the outside. I wanted to look at it for the first time through the eyes of a social science researcher or a psychologist and not a lovelorn partner.
I got to witness narcissism from a detached and unemotional standpoint. I converse with the narcissist daily, observed and internalized his responses like an avid social scientist watching an interesting experimental phenomenon unfold. I realized based on our daily association that this was what I had to deal with, if I had pursued a relationship with a narcissist. This was the hell that I yearned for months ago. I felt a wave of pity and despondence for the women that lived with this malignance and have endured the constant battering that composed life with the narcissist.
The narcissist constantly devaluated and avidly conflicted my opinions to shut down my concepts and doctrines. The repressive natures of the interaction, the obscenities were geared at reducing my self concept by making my existence comparable to glucose ridden edibles and at other times, Human effluent erasers. He would idealize in one paragraph and devaluate in the very next. His excuse for being abusive and for the abuse of a narcissist from my past was simple to make me stronger. He contended that I was very weak to fall in love and that deities like himself were not amenable to such feeble expressions and feelings. He made a violation and I petitioned him to apologize. He hurled obscenities and at me and questioned why he needed to apologize to me. I broke into loud guffaws. This man was something else.
The most enthralling segments of our online interaction were the mirror effecting and projection. The man perceived simple and natural reactions to my intellectualization and psychologising of his behavior as an indication that I was mad. He kept diagnosing me. He said that I was a narcissist, another time I suffered from obsession and lately I had a split personality. This man was hilarious and had me laughing to the shock and amusement of my sister who was watching our conversations sometimes.
I mused for a while when the narcissist did the most conceivable disturbing thing. He pretended to be my ex boyfriend without any inference from me. He played the role of my ex boyfriend trying to reconnect with me for two weeks. He did not blatantly state that I am your ex boyfriend pretending to be someone else because I am afraid that you may reject me. He gradually unveiled himself. Dispersing modicums of my past relationships and patterns of the untamed rage. His conversations sounded similar to the person that he was or he was trying to imitate. I was for a single moment completely confused on where my analysis was with this character.
It was intriguing yet ominous. I considered for fleeting moments that this person could be my ex playing one of his mind game. I cogitate that I was being abused by proxy and that my ex had engineer this situation and had enlisted the aid of one of his avatars to do the heinous injury. I was becoming paranoid. I kept thinking what the avatar had to gain from this situation. Why is it tantamount that these men decompose my self concept and esteem? Am I a lunatic magnet? Do I attract mad men?
The most arcane yet fundamental aspect of my observation was that this Henry personality appeared more genuine when he was assumingly playing the role of my former narcissistic friend than when he was the PhD scholar in decision making and management science. I mused that the cast of the former friend may appear more genuine because the persona that he presented is indeed falsified or I may just be conversing with someone closer to home than I thought.
This narcissist gave me a glimpse at the constant verbal abuse and excoriation I would have been subjected to. He implied that I should be grateful that the narcissist had abandoned me and cease chasing a shadow. He did not understand (as I will explain in my issue on whom to go to for support when you are a victim of narcissism) or rather he refused to see my side of the story. He wanted to me to see an image that was tarnished by his lies and constant games.
He decided to revert back to his first personage and to shed the boyfriend character. It appeared that the game had lost its passion or he wanted to befuddle me some more. The damage had already been done. When he played that role, he had destroyed any ounce of credibility. His integrity was smear eternally in my eyes. I saw him as a compulsive, pathological liar. I regard him as an untrustworthy individual. A reckless disposition that should be kept at arm’s length.
Moreover he had made it clear to me that he was a master manipulator. The hoax confirmed that this individual did not have any regard for my feelings and that this person was capable of anything. This unalleviated spiteful attack on my emotions was rudely awakening as it was menacing. But I was thankful that he showed me this side of his personality. It has reaffirmed my relationship with him and what mettle of man he really is.
The narcissist claimed that I was weak because I felt love and emotions. He asserted that I was not strong and individuals who seek to find love in the world are weak people. He did not see affection as a virtue but rather a curse and a handicap. He regarded my repulsion of narcissism as hint that I was still hang up on my ex. He was unable to construe the difference between consumed love and intense revulsion.
The most frightening aspect of the relation with the online narcissist was the exhaustion. I felt depleted after our conversations. My sister and significant other could not understand why I sat around my computer at nights conversing with an apparent dangerous and deranged man. My sister spoke with him couple of times and conceded that he was the most depraved individual alive.
It seem the more I associated with him; pieces of my vivacity and vim were eaten away. It was evident that the conversations with this toxic individual were affecting me. I quickly conceded that this was exactly how I would feel if I was involved with a narcissist, emotionally drain and psychologically teetering on sanity. Thank god!