Blind or Stupid

 

blind-or-stupid

 

We love to triangulate. Three is the magic number. You, me and someone else or something else. Another victim? A competitor? A loyal lieutenant? A fresh prospect? An imaginary individual? A threatened event? An inanimate object? There are so many combinations of triangulation that are available to us and each has their own advantages and rewards for their application for us. In this equation there will always be us, there will always be you and then there will be third party. One of our effective manipulative triangulations involves the “normals”. These are people who are neither empathic or narcissistic but people who are generally decent, sensible and largely kind who may be supporters of yours, they may be members of our façade but whatever they are they are not you and they are not us. These are the people who you turn to when you can no longer stand what is happening to you. When you cannot understand what is going on. When the confusion becomes overwhelming. When you begin to sense something is not quite right. You turn to these normal in the hope of them helping you, understanding your plight and/or offering some insight. This is rarely achieved because you are met with responses which leave you wondering whether the person you have just spoken to is blind or stupid. Here are ten instances of this in action.

  1. I don’t believe it

Victim – “He is horrible to me, he never lets me do anything on my own anymore, he shouts and calls me awful names.”

Normal – “Really? I just can’t see Nigel behaving like that, he is always so lovely and friendly whenever I see him. I cannot believe he would do that.”

  1. Are You Bringing It On Yourself?

V – “I am sick of him controlling me. I try and assert myself, you know, lay down some boundaries, but he is always telling me to shut up and calm down and doing what he wants without any consideration for me.”

N – “Well you have always been feisty my dear, maybe you are provoking him and that’s why he is behaving that way. I don’t mean to be unkind but you do have a bit of temper you know.”

  1. Not This Again

V- “He has done it again. Disappeared. I have been ringing him on the hour every hour and he won’t answer. I don’t know what it is. I mean, everything seemed okay when we got up this morning, he smiled and asked me if I wanted a cup of tea (cue detailed analysis of every word and interaction thereafter)

N – Glazes over, thinks to themselves “Not this again. I am bored of hearing this. They will be talking again by tomorrow. She worries over nothing.”

  1. I Feel Sorry for Him

V – “So he did this, then that, then this again and he always does this you know. He is horrible, Horrible I tell you. I don’t know what to do. Oh he did this as well and some more of that.”

N – Thinks to themselves “I feel sorry for him putting up with someone so neurotic as her. No wonder he clears off for a few days, probably needs the peace and quiet.”

  1. Someone Is Exaggerating

 

V – “No word of a lie, he locked me in the bedroom and threatened to burn the house down with me inside and I heard him laughing as he said this to me. I am so scared of him. He keeps threatening to kill me. He rings me at work and comments about how my brakes are dodgy and laughs and puts the ‘phone down.”

N – Thinks to themselves “Sure he does, nobody goes on like that, I do like my friend but she is something of an attention seeker. Every other day there is one of these stories.”

  1. I Don’t Think So

V – “So he said that if I didn’t do it he would tell everybody in the church that I was sleeping with the vicar and he would post pictures of me on the internet.”

N – “Who Norman? No way, he is such a solid and respectable man. I don’t think he would ever do anything like that. No, I have known him years, he would never do anything like that.”

  1. He Did Say She Was Crazy

V – “He hides my purse so I cannot go out, he tells me what I can and cannot eat, he won’t allow me more than a minute in the shower and stands watching me while I wash. He follows me around the house and keeps staring at me, I can even feel him watching me when I manage to slip out for a while. I know he is following me.”

N- Thinks to themselves “It’s just as Neil predicted. He said she was losing her mind and coming out with all these fantastic stories. He is genuinely worried about her and I can see why now. Poor thing. Poor him too.”

  1. Ups and Downs

V – “He sometimes doesn’t speak to me for days on end. He just sits and sulks and ignores me. It is horrible. I hate it.”

N- “Oh that’s just men for you. They all do that at some point. It’s part of the ups and downs of being in a relationship, just ignore it and get on with your day, he will soon come round, you will see.”

  1. Don’t Involve Me

V- “Hi it’s me, can I come round to see you. I need to talk to someone. He is doing it again. He has spent the last two hours shouting at me and throwing plates around the kitchen. I am sick of this, I cannot cope.”

N – “I’d love to help but I er, have an appointment. Look I have to go; I will call you later” – I’m not getting drawn into their domestic dramas I have my own life to look after.

  1. I Haven’t a Clue

V- (After lengthy description of a catalogue of odd and strange behaviour) “So what do you think, what should I do? I cannot go on like this.”

N- “I don’t know what to say really, I can’t work out why he would be lovely with you one week and then awful the next, it does add up. Perhaps if you sat down together and tried to work things out.” (I haven’t a clue what is going on here.)

Not once does the “normal” turn to you and say,

“You are being abused by a disordered person.”

Or

“You have been ensnared by a narcissist.”

Instead when you describe the behaviour to a “normal” you are met with one or more of the responses detailed above. We know this will be the case. We know it will leave you hurt, bewildered and lacking the help and insight you so desperately need. Why do people respond like this?

  1. Lack of knowledge. Fortunately for our kind few people really know what we are and what we do.
  2. We don’t walk around with a sign around our neck stating “I am an abusive narcissist”. We blend in. People think the psychopaths and sociopaths appear like some crazed axe-murderer. We do not.
  3. People although kind are not empathic like you. Therefore, there is a limit to the time and resource they will apply to assisting you. People are inward looking and care more about their own lives than yours.
  4. The façade. Our charm and magnetism has people believing us to be wonderful and decent people. That façade is hard to shatter.
  5. Your coping abilities are eroded and you are worn out. This makes you appear unhinged, hysterical and thus in keeping with the image that we have spread around that you are The Crazy One.
  6. A Quiet Life. People do not like conflict. They want people to get on and do not want to become involved in other people’s problems.
  7. Behind Closed Doors. People always take the view that there are two sides to every story. They will listen to you but they will think there is likely to be some explanation which means it is not as bad as you are making it out to be. You are provoking the abuser, you are making it up, you are being too sensitive and taking things the wrong way. The “normal” thinks life may be different behind closed doors.
  8. People want other people to get on and therefore in order to try to preserve the peace they will suggest that the behaviour is not as bad as has been suggested and pressure the victim to go home and sort things out, unaware it is not something that can be sorted out by having a chat and a cup of tea.
  9. The tales of abuse and awful treatment seem far-fetched that the “normal” cannot believe them. They have no experience of it and combined with the existence of the façade just cannot see how someone could behave in this way.

All of this results in you trying to persuade people without success which becomes all the more frustrating and distressing for you. Naturally, we know fine well how people will respond to your protestations and the lack of understanding and knowledge about our kind allows us to blend in, move freely around and continue to behave in this manner with impunity. You are left wondering if the listener is blind or stupid. They are not stupid. But they are blinded to what we really are.

Just like you were as well.

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14 thoughts on “Blind or Stupid”

  1. Hi H.G.,
    The narc that I love texted once, rhetorically, I’m sure, “are you insane, blind, or stupid?” But I understand now that I see the picture accompanying the article, that the insane part would have been diffucult to illustrate.
    Just triggered the memory; I’d never heard that phrase. Yet, he is so very creative and original in his phrase usage.♡
    Warm regards,
    Pam B.

  2. #1 – most people have no idea what narcissists do. This includes many therapists. I used to think a narcissist was just someone who was infatuated with themselves. I remember an occasion early on when mine asked me if I thought he was a sociopath, and, of course, I said I did not.

    1. I have yet to meet a therapist who has a full grasp of N’s or their particular brand of abuse. I saw one, online, who actually RECOMMENDED a victim who had escaped go back and seek therapy with her N. I interviewed one potential therapist , vote the best in my state, who was in the midst of doing research on Narcissism who had never heard of this site. I was ensnared by my N while in therapy and sharing everything with her. I’m not going to say therapists don’t know anything, but they don’t seem to know much. WAY less than your average Tudorite.

  3. #2. #2. #2. All the way #2. I have been known to poke the bear from time to time.

    However, in speaking about the situation, I would often downplay his manipulative side because I felt guilty, like I was trash talking him.

    I was being advised by friends that I needed to go on medication for bipolar disorder, when it was really PTSD I was suffering from. I am not bipolar. Telling me this only made it worse and made me believe I was obsessive.

    I also have to believe that some narcs do target normals, and while those relationships will be shitty as well, the normals seem to be able to slough it off better. They can bounce back pretty well, comparatively.

  4. This is so true! Just this afternoon I was sitting in the car with my sister and she was saying something about our mother. I said: well, that’s her narcissism, but I dare not use this word anymore because you guys think I am somehow stuck with this word. And she said: Well I understand mother may be narcissistic, but now you see everything she does as narcissistic. So I tried to tell her that narcissism is not a ‘once in a while act’ of a person, but a disorder and that their way of thinking is completely different. And I gave examples (about my Nex husband and our mother) and I tried to explain and I told my sister that I try so hard to get through to people, including her, but they do not get it, because they live with a ‘normal’ and their whole life is ‘normal’. They do not experience the narcissistic behaviour. the gaslighting and manipulations, they just can’t see it. It’s highly frustrating.

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  6. Yes indeed, thanks HG for writing this. It was a huge thing to overcome exactly because when the empath finally manages to get free she is so exhausted frazzled low on coping skills that yes she seems to be the problem , not the facade weilding N who was steps ahead all along manipulating everything and everyone , the normals are no help just when we need it most. So were forced to go it alone ( recover) and teach ourselves to start over devoid of general support . So much continued abuse since if a woman is physically abused normals get that and offer support but N’s are too smart to set themselves up for such easy blame & culpability . They appear pure as the driven snow while you wear a scarlet letter . Narcissistic abuse truly is a double whammy . I feel stronger now so much thanks to you HG but what am I now ? Not the loving caring openly good emotionally happy person I was , but Thank God not the dying shell either , some new type person unknown . Thank you HG your site has been the most helpful accurate and enjoyable source of truth out there.

  7. HG, my Mid-Range narc wants me to attend a dinner for his female “friend” who is in a recovery program. Of course, he says they are “just friends”, but I have seen some of the messages she sends him telling him how much she loves him and I know they are more than friends. I have other evidence. If I do not go with him to this dinner, I will look like a jealous wife. If I do go, I know I must be careful not to show any emotion regardless of what happens. Either way, the triangulation happens. I have been avoiding this person for almost 3 years. If I go, will he use the triangulation against both of us? Do you have any advice for me?

    1. If you do not go this will wound him. He will spin it as you being jealous, let him. It will be far easier to not go than attend and try not to give fuel as he triangulates you through the evening. Find a reason not to go which is nothing to do with the friend and apply it and stick to it. Then consider why you are still with a narcissist.

  8. HG, you mention triangulating with a traumatic event. Can you offer a brief example to aid my understanding?

    1. Talking about it, taking you to see a film which has the subject matter of the traumatic event you experienced, taking you to the place where the event happened.

      1. You answer to J about triangulating with a traumatic event was helpful, HG. Thank you very much. It validated what narcissists did to me last year.

        They sent me a letter with an invitation to the same place a traumatic event happened, although they knew about it. I decided not to answer it.

        Had I told them that it would be too painful for me to go there and that I could probably have a panic attack again, they would have said I was ‘crazy’. Had I made an excuse – that I was busy – they would have said I was ‘uncaring and heartless’. I know they used this event to tell everyone in the group that I was the latter anyway.
        They put me in a dilemma. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

        Some of the guests knew it was a cruel thing to do. However, they decided to join the narcissist and her smear campaign.

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