(March 17, 2019)―Reading. That’s what I’ve been doing. One author who caught my attention over a year ago through her videos and website is Shahida Arabi who has become an expert on the subject of narcissists and their many manipulative, abusive ways. I will write a lot more about her findings, including my personal experiences, when my website is up and running. For now, there are two important points that Arabi makes in her article titled ‘5 Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Manipulate You’ from her book titled Power.
The 5 powerful ways are of course:
- The Idealization-Devaluation-Discard Phase
- Smear Campaigns
- The False Self and the True Self
Here, I’m going to briefly talk about 3 and 4. I will write more in-depth about them on the website.
The Smear Campaigns. You do not know they are going on while you are with them. Being in a 20-year relationship, I learned after the fact what was said about me. Now, keep in mind that you coming forward and talking about what happened to you either to a therapist, to friends, on social media, or anywhere else is NOT the same concerning what I’m going to talk about here. *I will write further about, using the research I’m doing, society’s opinion of US who do come forward. As Arabi states, ‘This has to change!’ I agree one hundred percent…and always have!
Note: I am not a therapist. My expertise comes from personal experiences. I will use direct information on my website from those who are experts to better explain my experiences. In my books, I didn’t include bibliographies because of the nature of my writing. I did include and denote every source I discovered within the pages of my work. I will include a list of those on my website. The reason behind this is that during all the writing and editing, my mind was on the initial content and surviving what I had been through and what I was going through.
A narcissists has a group of people to continue to build their ego up. I had an idea of this group after my separation seven years ago, but I never actually saw it. This time around is a different story. I invaded this secret and that led to the total discard stage of all of this. I will discuss this in a later on my website. I did mention this a number of times in my writings this year about these people that make them get this feel good feeling. You can have some idea to the reality of this group after you think you get through to the narcissist, then they disappear―either away from your house, in their room, somewhere—and when they remerge, they are back to their old attitude and return to being sarcastic, verbally call you names, basically, think they are king of the world, even though they are clearly not. What happens here is that they get their feel good feelings by talking to their group who build them back up!
Narcissists keep harems because they love to have their egos stroked and they need constant validation from the outside world to confirm their grandiose sense of self-importance and fulfill their need for excessive admiration. A harem is a group of people the narcissist has gathered around himself to validate his opinions, cater to their constant need for attention, and stroke their ego. This is why narcissists are clever chameleons who are also people-pleasers, morphing into whatever personality suits them in situations with different types of people to get what they want—supply….
…Beware of people who seem to shape-shift suddenly before your eyes into different personas—this is a red flag that they are not authentic in their interactions with you and others. It is no surprise, then, that the narcissist will probably begin a smear campaign against you not too long after the discard phase in order to paint you as the unstable one, and that this is usually successful with the narcissist’s support network which also tends to consist of other narcissists, people-pleasers, empaths, as well as people who are easily charmed.
This smear campaign is used to accomplish three things: (1) it depicts YOU as the abuser or unstable person and deflects your accusations of abuse; (2) it provokes you into responding, thus proving your instability to others when trying to argue his or her depiction of you; (3) it serves as a hoovering technique in which the narcissist seeks to pull you back into the trauma of the relationship as you struggle to reconcile the rumors about you with who you actually are by speaking out against the accusations.
In my experience, these harems are often kept at arms length, online. Arabi discusses this at length in her book and I will write more about this later. For now, this harem consists of friends, ex-lovers, family, and sometimes strangers. I have witnessed this. How do they get their ex-lovers back? I will write a lot on this later. Know this: That business about the NO CONTACT that I wrote about in Book 6 is dead on. Arabi discusses this at length. If you were in a relationship with a narcissist, pay attention to how they re-contact you. I personally experienced this and when you speak to the narcissist’s exs and realize they are already in contact with them and how the ex-girlfriends forget about what they went through and sink into the narcissist’s charm…the importance of spreading Arabi’s professional work is so very important.
Triangulation. I wrote about a different aspect of the triangulation process starting in Book 5. There was not a whole lot of information out on this type of narcissist personality, so what was out at the time, I could clearly see. In 2015, when I was stalked by an ex-girlfriend of the second narcissist I had a relationship with, there was no connection I could find in research, but I did have an odd feeling about it. I mention this in Book 8. The following puts it all together for me.
Healthy relations thrive on security; unhealthy ones are filled with provocation, uncertainty and infidelity. Narcissists like to manufacture love triangles and bring in the opinions of others to validate their point of view…Triangulations consists of bringing the presence of another person into the dynamic of the relationship, whether it be an ex-lover, a current mistress, a relative, or a complete stranger.
The triangulation can take place over social media, in person, or even through the narcissist’s own verbal accounts of the other woman or man. The narcissist relies on jealousy as a powerful emotion that can cause you to compete for his or her affections, so provocative statements like ‘I wish you’d be more like her,’ or ‘He wants me back into his life, I don’t know what to do,’ are designed to trigger the abuse victims into competing and feeling insecure about his or her position in the narcissist’s life.*The last example is especially potent because the only time a narcissist’s victim is NOT made to feel jealous about their partner’s ex is during the idealization phase when the narcissist often devalues his or her ex as ‘crazy’ to make the victim feel special and unique. It is only when you begin to reconnect with the reality of the abuser that you reality of the abuser that you realize that the narcissist’s ex-partner was not the crazy one, but rather a victim of abuse just like you-and that perhaps you two should get together to exchange notes!
Unlike healthy relationships where jealousy is communicated and dealt with in a productive manner, the narcissist will belittle your feelings and continue inappropriate flirtations and affairs without a second thought. Triangulation is the way the narcissist maintains control and keeps you in check. You’re so busy competing for his or her attention that you’re less likely to be focusing on the red flags within the relationship or looking for ways to get out of the relationship.
Boy, does this ring bells for me. My situation dealing with this was a bit odd I guess because I was writing books about my personal experience healing from abuse. I didn’t want to totally focus on the second relationship as in terms of abuse, instead I was more focused on healing codependency and what it would take to do so. I did go through some really interesting twists and turns, but my mom had kept me grounded. I did keep notes and had it in mind to write a book just on that other part of my experience after the healing books were done. In the poetry, however, a lot of what went on in my mind shows…a lot!
The second book I read [It Wasn’t Your Fault: Freeing Yourself from the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion by Beverly Engel, LMFT] was on childhood abuse. In the past studies I’ve read, everyone said that narcissism originated from childhood abuse, which it does. But because of research and writings by people like Arabi, who are putting all the scientific data together, they are seeing narcissism originating from other areas as well. As a teacher, I don’t like to label children as narcissist. Even though I’m not a therapist, I still see narcissism as a result of childhood abuse or some type of trauma or a parent overprotecting and overbuilding a child. I do have my thoughts because I’ve seen the faces of narcissists…how they can change their persona is incredible! (I will write about this in detail later.)
As Arabi and the other book I read, narcissism is treatable. Most narcissists refuse to see that they have a mental issue. They think they are perfect. They have their group of people who care about them only on the surface, so they build them a false reality. It’s way down deep that the narcissist lives. They first have to acknowledge they have a problem. They have to SEE that they hurt people. They have to see that they are NOT entitled. If they refuse to see, and most do, they will continue down the path of mess. You, as their wife, partner, sibling, parent, cannot make them see…you can’t change them.
On my website, I will be joining tons of others who are forcing the issue in the public eye. I will discuss both sides of the issue: the childhood trauma and the adult abuser. And of course, I will be talking a lot about the healing from this type of thing. It’s not pretty. As a victim…my personal experience is worth sharing because the more of us who share and hold the abuser accountable, the more laws can be passed to make psychological, emotional, silent abuse, and tormenting (bullying) a crime that holds a prison sentence. This has always been my goal.
Read my work. My books are a tool to help you SEE what you are dealing with. The codependency is my main focus because codependents ATTRACT narcissists. If you don’t deal with the codependency, you will keep attracting these abusers. To understand what codependency looks like, read my work. It took a lot for me to put my life in the public. Codependency is unbearable at times. It is crippling. And what the narcissist do…combines with this crippling! You have to BREAK this codependency! You have to get out of the bargaining stage. Do this for YOU!
Check out My 12-Book Series on surviving controlling men. You’re worth it!
Additional On Abuse…Codependency, Narcissism, Trauma…and Healing
(Each page has loads of additional books (in every format), videos, instruction materials, and inspiration gift ideas.):
I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai
Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited by Sam Vaknin
Pathways to Recovery, A Strengths Recovery Self-Help Workbook by Priscilla Ridgway, Diane McDiarmid, Lori Davidson, Julie Bayes, and Sarah Ratzlaff
Power: Surviving & Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi
Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger
The Anger Control Workbook: Getting Through Treatment and Getting Back to Your Life by Dr. Matthew McKay and Dr. Peter Rogers.
Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts – Becoming the Person You Want to Be by Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter