Know Your Enemy: Reflections Of NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

Malignant Self-Love

eBook by this author now available!

As many of you know I was a victim of narcissistic abuse for over a decade. Some people may believe that my interest in psychology actually stemmed from the abuse I had been subject to. However, it was actually the opposite; my interest in psychology, psychiatry and the human mind helped me to understand better what was actually happening. I had started studying psychology before I even realized I was being subject to narcissistic abuse and the more I learned about psychology, psychiatry, personality and the human mind the more I started to understand what was really going on.

My interest in psychology actually started from a fascination with hypnosis, something which some people don't even believe in (despite the fact that it's very real and does exist). I had always had an interest in hypnosis but was unable to fully understand it until I was an adult. I soon moved on to other subjects such as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), body language, personality psychology, social psychology, parapsychology and other related topics.

By 2008 I had come to the realization that my fiancée was a narcissist and it hit me hard. I started to realize that the source of the underlying factors that contributed towards my insecurity throughout this relationship was actually the disguised abuse being perpetrated by my (now ex) fiancée. She would win every argument hands down and I would always be left feeling like the bad guy. I went through what I can only describe as sheer hell and some of the worst torture I have ever been subject to, in order to strip away the layers of deceit and dig down to the truth - it took years and it was a shocking experience. I had considered suicide several times over the years and came closer to actually attempting suicide than I had ever been before and probably ever will be again. I've been through a lot of pain and stress in my life, as have many people, but nothing compares to the devastation and damage caused by my narcissistic ex-fiancee.

I was left in a state of Post-Traumatic shock, I would wake up each morning hearing the words "it's all in your head" reverberating through my mind - a hypnotic suggestion which was being embedded into my subconscious mind by the narcissist on a daily basis, sometimes direct, sometimes indirect. I had been unwillingly hypnotized into loving someone who was incapable of loving me back.

Although I felt close to my fiancée (at the time), she would never allow herself to get too close to me and would use manipulation tactics to prevent this from happening. Eventually, I had stripped away ten years of pathological lies, deceit, distortion and disinformation to discover that the entire relationship was built on nothing more than fabrication. The woman I had been in love with was not real, she didn't exist and was just a false projection designed to pull the wool over my eyes while my fiancée continued a long-term affair behind my back with another member of her family.

The truth made me feel sick to my stomach, I couldn't wake up in the mornings without thinking about it. I became preoccupied with it and could not concentrate or focus on the important things in life. I had been left with no genuine love, two children with a narcissistic mother, no identification or personal documents, no family or friends to turn and absolutely no money whatsoever.

The more I tried to turn to people for help, the more they would believe it was me that was the problem. Narcissistic abuse is all about projection and reflection. The narcissist uses deceit and manipulative tactics in order to tie your mind up in knots and confuse you. I really thought that 2008 was the end of the road for me.

Four years on I have traveled the road of recovery, not completely, but I'm almost there. My mind is my own, my life is my own, I have identification, I have self-worth and I am determined to make something of my life. As it happens, I managed to turn the suffering I had been subject to into a form of creativity by studying and researching the disorder extensively and writing about it here at Hubpages - therefore some good has come from the experience. Creating awareness of this devastating personality disorder is an important step in educating the world about how dangerous some seemingly innocent and charismatic people can be. If I can help people understand what it is that's happening to them, help them to overcome their suffering and provide them with some insight into why this is happening to them, then that's my job done and I remain proud that I have managed to help people go through the same experiences that I had to suffer myself when there was no help available.

Down to Earth information, advice and theories stemming from my research of the subject of Narcissistic Personality Disorder will be published in my upcoming book, Know Your Enemy: Reflections Of NPD.

Limited Edition paperback copies of the book are available to pre-order now from IndieGogo.

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Comments 19 comments

SandCastles 3 years ago

"I had been unwillingly hypnotized into loving someone who was incapable of loving me back". In my opinion, you will never heal if you think you were hypnotized or put under a spell. You were conned. Say it for what it is even if it hurts. She conned you. Don't make her into some sort of magician because that gives her power. She was simply a mean spirited con. I know what I'm talking about; I was conned by N's too. It is heart wrenching but don't take it personally. You're not bad because she pretended to love you and you are not bad because you were conned. Read the book, "A Dance With The Devil" by Barbara Bentley. She fell in love with a mirage and it tried to kill her. The most important thing to do is to stop looking for that shred of humanity in the N's eyes. The child within wants to see the good person they fell in love with but that person was a mirage. When you can say, "Frankly my dear I don't give a damn", you'll be free. Also read the book, "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck. The character Adam fell in love with a psychopath. Adam finally finds peace and Cathy no longer has power over him. He says, "“I’m free, I’m free. I don’t have to worry any more. I’m free. She’s gone. She’s out of me. Oh, Christ Almighty, I’m free!”


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

SandCastles,

Narcissists use embedded hypnotic commands, they DO use a form of hypnosis, they do it naturally - that's known fact, not just speculation on my part. Many people actually use hypnosis to 'con' people. They are not just con-men or women, they have an extremely high capacity for manipulation. Narcissists use hypnosis on a subconscious level, they become experts at it. If do not think that it is a form of hypnosis then you don't know what hypnosis is.


Brenda Holstine profile image

Brenda Holstine 3 years ago from Denton, Texas

I was married to a person with NPD for twenty years. I know of what you speak. My children still see me as the bad guy in the relationship and its been 17 years since the relationship ended.


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Here is some more info on how the narcissist DOES use hypnosis:

http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.co.uk/2007/11/sig...

http://www.lisaescott.com/forum/2009/07/10/narciss...

http://www.awakeninthedream.com/wordpress/george-b...

http://www.termpaperwarehouse.com/essay-on/Narciss...

Funny how people claim they know exactly what they are talking about and try to portray you as not being knowledgeable and then go on to provide false information.


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Wow Brenda, that's an awful long time. I'm sorry your children still see it that way even after all this time. I'm going to provide you with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry"


SandCastles 3 years ago

I think we can be manipulated but not hypnotized. We have to take responsibility for ourselves. I refuse to ever say that a N hypnotized me; that gives them too much power. I had a choice and I let myself get conned. I was responsible too. I think we can be brainwashed which to me means being conned but to be hypnotized where we are completely under someone else's control with no memory of our actions; no way. I am skeptical of the people who are hypnotized who get up and cluck like chickens on the stage. The hypnotist chooses certain people and he tells others to go sit down because they are not susceptible-I think because they don't want to be hypnotized and won't pretend to be hypnotized (in my opinion). Not to offend but I think it is extremely important to not give the N any power. I know cognitive dissonance wants to protect the ego and it is easier to say, "I was hypnotized" than it is to say, "I allowed myself to be tricked-I ignored the red flags-I was bonded to a N". I wrote an article on why people keep going back to abusers or why they won't leave. Many are negatively bonded to N's and often it has to do with childhood issues. P.S. I've gone to two hypnotists and I just sat there and didn't go under. I was thinking about what I was going to make for dinner so I am skeptical. I do think we can be manipulated though.


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

SandCastles,

Hypnosis is something which EVERYBODY who has ever experienced consciousness does to themselves on a daily basis anyway, it's a completely natural subconscious mechanism. EVERYBODY can be hypnotized - the hypnotist does not hypnotize you, you do that yourself, they just guide you down the right path. If you're more worried about what you're having for dinner then obviously you're not going to get hypnotized.

Technically, hypnosis is nothing more than communicating, just as we are now on this comment section. Would you know if I had put embedded commands/suggestions into this comment? No, you wouldn't.

I have hubs on both cognitive dissonance and hypnosis by the way:

http://hubpages.com/education/Cognitive-Dissonance...

http://hubpages.com/education/What-Is-Hypnosis-Rea...

P.S. When someones repeats the same 'suggestion' to you night after night for weeks on end whilst your asleep and don't realize it, that IS hypnosis and that is something which narcissists often do.


SandCastles 3 years ago

I never thought about people repeating suggestions to you while you're sleeping; that's creepy. Doing that is like putting something in your tea. I suppose under those circumstances, one could be hypnotized. In our homes we need to be safe and if we are half-asleep and vulnerable and have a predator whispering in our ear--yikes--in those cases it is important to monitor our feelings and compare who we are now to who we were in other situations when that person wasn't around. A person may behave in ways that surprise themselves-what happened to the person I used to be? If we find ourselves feeling more and more insecure when we are with a certain person, that's a huge red flag. One N in my life was my older abusive sister. I was amazed at how she seemed to control her friends-they were like slaves doing her bidding. When I was around her it chipped away at my self-confidence and I found it affected my entire life and how I dealt with other situations-she wasn't good for me that's for sure so I stopped contacting her and my life improved dramatically. I wondered why I let her get away with so much garbage-I felt obligated because she was my sister and I thought it was my duty to keep in contact with her but one day something snapped and I told her, "I'm tired of your bullsh-t".


RobSchneider 3 years ago

Fascinating story. Forgive me if you've already covered this elsewhere, but I don't get an opportunity to read unless it's for work. What I'd like to know is where you draw the line between selfishness and narcissism. I reckon it is NPD when the individual has absolutely no capacity for compassion or empathy. I read somewhere that sociopaths show little or no activity in the parts of the brain associated with these traits.


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Yes Rob, indeed Sociopaths show very little EEG activity in the parts of the brain that deal with empathy, conscience, etc. I have written about this before and stated the fact that if these parts of the brain are not utilized regularly, even if they were at one point, then those brain regions start to become inactive.

As for where the line between 'malignant' narcissism and healthy narcissism lies, I would have to say that it becomes a personality disorder when it develops to the point that it begins to, and continues to, affect the personal relationships and the lifestyles of people around the narcissist on a daily basis - once the narcissist has those people where they want them then things are unlikely to change.


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

@Rob, to clarify yes there does seem to be a complete lack of empathy, though narcissists will often 'act' it out. This is just how they have learnt to behave and it literally is just an act.

@SandCastles, exactly! You already mentioned how people can be brainwashed. Subliminal persuasion, brainwashing, hypnosis - it's all the same thing. Just think how advertising works, embedding catchy little tunes/jingles which seem to play back in your mind seemingly of their own accord later in the day, slogans which you find repeating back to yourself, etc. This is the power of suggestion and it's the most powerful tool known to man and it can also be utilized very effectively if you know how.

However, narcissists do not consciously use hypnosis, they do it on a subconscious basis, they have learned how to do it naturally and it has become an integral part of their lifestyle.


SandCastles 3 years ago

Interesting. If someone is watching, "Little House On The Prairie", it has a positive effect I think (at least the bad guy is labeled bad (nobody likes Mrs. Olsen) and there is a good message of cooperation, hope-but with these stab your neighbour in the back shows ; I think it does affects how people behave and undercutting and back stabbing becomes normalized and encouraged.


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

I agree, portraying that kind of thing on TV does desensitize people to it and probably makes them more likely to adopt that behaviour.


Sarra Garrett 3 years ago

Now I understand you better. However, sometimes your matter of factness bothers me. Living in such a horrible way (we have a lot in common) don't you feel that it can 'rub off' on the victim? I am at the point in my life where I would rather surround myself with my dogs and my farm rather than have people as friends as words can hurt more than a knife. Excellent Hub!


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Yes, it certainly can rub off on the victim and it did in my case for a while. This is something I feel I have managed to overcome (I started to hate the person I had become and needed to do something about it).

Can you explain why my "matter of factness" bothers you? (I do try to be straight and down to Earth on this particular subject, it causes a lot of stress, trauma and suffering and I do not believe in beating around the bush regarding the subject).


Sarra Garrett 3 years ago

I would be referring not to this article as I learned a lot from this read. I'm talking about some of your answers to my questions. I just found them to be a little 'sharp'. Then again, I didn't know you or what you had been through in your life. Sometimes I am more sensitive than 'normal' people due to what I've experienced in my lifetime. To know me better read my hub on Suicide and Bullying. Then this way we can understand each other better. The healing process goes on for the rest of our lives and it's nothing to be ashamed of. I applaud you for being a survivor, now you are a survivalist. This is something where I can relate to you about. From now on I won't take your answers so badly. Never give up and do something each day that makes you feel worthy.


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Sarra, I appreciate that I can probably be a little harsh sometimes and I also appreciate you letting me know.

TBH it's quite difficult to maintain a balance between considering the views and feelings of readers who have experienced this kind of thing whilst trying to get the point across to people who have never experienced it and therefore think that it's being over-exaggerated when it isn't. This probably does stem from my own personal experience of the disorder.

I haven't read your hub on suicide and bullying yet but I certainly will do. I, as many of us do, know what it's like to be suicidal and have attempted it in the past - I dread to think of what mess could have been left behind had I actually gone through with it and I'm so glad I didn't, it would never have been worth it ever.


Sarra Garrett 3 years ago

Sparkster I so applaud your honesty and ability to share your life experiences with others so they can learn. I try to do the same through my writing as well. It is always a learning curve and when we are recovering from an illness it isn't an overnight process. Keep up your good work and now I know not to take your responses the wrong way. Peace to you my friend.


Jen Card profile image

Jen Card 3 years ago

Sparkster, BRAVO! I am fascinated with hypno-therapy as well. I go under and the information I learn, lets just say the experience leaves me speechless at times. I feel it is a wonderful tool for healing certain personality issues and it also helps one to understand the spiritual-self better.

What an amazing article. The Nars is a difficult personality to understand but even harder to catch in the act. They are the mask of all masks, in my opinion. It is a very sad disorder and one that could use people like you to help heal it. I say that in reference to your experiencing it first hand, then moving past it with the proactive action of educating yourself about the disorder.

The number of people in our society that have some form of the Nars-Disorder is amazing. I have found that in the parents ages 18-26, parental guidance is almost absent and there is no structure in these little kids lives. Respect is absent and teaching a child boundaries is non-existent.. These kids are glorified with anything they want, mostly because the parents just don't want to be bothered with the responsibility of raising a child. Their excuse- Do what is easy! The result of this is the child becomes so self absorbed, thus the Nars is born! I watch how children begin to take on these traits and it is frightening.

The trait of selfishness or self-absorbed glorification patterns seems to be the first flags I always notice. I can resonate with you. I, myself about two years ago got caught up in a relationship that was a nars-mare! It was amazing once I really began to see it, the lengths this individual would go to feed his ego or self-empowered persona. When I would not respond with demands of feeding the Nar-self it was horrible what he would do. I now refer to him as King Nars. It was a hard lesson, one I now appreciate and I can truly say I will not do that one again! I also have forgiven him, if I had not gone through that experience I would not be the wiser today.

I applaud you for sharing this personal and in-depth view of your experience. VOTED UP! Thank you ~ Jen

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