The Victim’s Cloak

THEVICTIM'S CLOAK

The Victim.

I know there are those who do not like that word. They regard it as stigmatising and a hindrance to recovery. One understands such an approach, but nevertheless it is the appropriate word for those who have encountered our kind in the narcissistic dynamic. What does victim mean?

‘a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action’

There is no denying this would apply to someone who has been ensnared by us.

‘a person who is tricked or duped’

Equally applicable. After all, it is the very essence of our behaviour that we trick or dupe you.

‘a person who has come to feel helpless and passive in the face of misfortune or ill-treatment’

Accurate again. Of course not everybody may feel this way, but many will readily recognise it, even if they prefer not to announce it.

Accordingly, these various definitions are valid and accurate to those who have been involved with our kind, be it romantic, social, familial or otherwise.

It remains the case, however, that when it comes to the issue of victimhood and who gets to wear The Victim’s Cloak that once more our kind exhibits our well known hypocrisy. We regard you as the victim (we have to as this is part of the maintenance of our control and need for superiority) but we also then look to remove that victim status from you.

The various schools of narcissism approach this double standard in differing ways, in respect of how we stamp you with ‘Victim’ but then deny you any use or recognition of it. We both adorn you with the cloak and then remove it in some way.

The Lesser Narcissist

The Lesser treats you as a victim because you are beneath him or her. You are considered useless, in the way and an annoyance and your dithering, inability to second guess the Lesser results in a swift ignition of fury and its manifestation as usually heated fury. You are made to feel the victim, by being lambasted verbally, physically assaulted, sexually assaulted, demeaned, having your property destroyed and seeing others you cared about drawn into the whirlwind.

The Victim’s Cloak is rapidly placed around your shoulders through this treatment of you but then the Lesser immediately rips it away, shreds it and hurls it to one side so you cannot use it. Your victimhood is created through an aggressive act or acts. However, you are not allowed to retain the mantle of victim because the Lesser takes the firm view that whatever treatment has been applied against you, well, you deserved it.

“She was back chatting me so she got a slap.”

“He was lousy in bed so I told him how useless he is.”

“The house was a mess, so I smashed it up so she really had something to clean up.”

You are denied the status of victim because in the mind of the Lesser you brought the treatment on yourself. The fact you deserve it negates the sympathy, compassion and understanding that would ordinarily be afforded to a victim.

“Leave her be, she deserves what she got, quit fussing over her.”

“It’s for his own good, so he will get it right next time.”

“Stop mollycoddling that boy, he has to learn and I am teaching him.”

Of course, this conduct by the Lesser of branding you the victim through your mis-treatment and then the wrenching away of your cloak of victimhood is all part of the further control and manipulation. His knee-jerk response will have generated fuel from your reaction to being struck or shouted at, but then, as the victim, you are usually afforded concern, sympathy and help by others. The Lesser may find himself being triangulated by a concerned relative, friend or bystander. This erodes his control and unconsciously his own innate status as a victim comes to the fore. He does not recognise this. After all, he does not want the cloak to wear for himself, he is not a victim, hell no, he is better than that, but just as he believes he does not want that cloak, you are not allowed to wear it either and thus he will deny you any entitlements associated with being classed as a victim, purely because his own inherent victim status (albeit unrecognised) makes its presence known.

Even a Lesser who belongs to the Victim cadre does not consider himself as a victim. Unconsciously he does, but he considers his preferential treatment owing to his poor health, dodgy back or sheer bad luck, an entitlement of his. He will not regard himself as a victim, but someone who ought to be looked after, although of course he is playing the card of Victim cadre extensively. Why play this card? Simple. To stop you being allowed to be the victim. You have hurt your hand and cannot cook? Too bad, he is hungry and not able to walk, so you still have to do something. You feel faint? He has a fractured eyelash and you need to get him to the hospital quick smart. But remember, he is not a victim, you are, but you do not get any sympathy, consolation or help for being that victim. Thus you receive the cloak but you are not allowed to wear it and it is ripped up and thrown away.

The Mid Range Narcissist

The Mid-Ranger will treat you as a victim because they are the perpetrator of various abuses and manipulations against you. Whilst heated fury does manifest with the Mid Range Narcissist (usually the Lower Mid Ranger), the manifestation of fury is most usual through cold fury. Thus you receive the Present and Absent Silent Treatments, the smearing, the gas lighting, the Cold Shoulders and the The Incredible Sulk to name but a few of the manipulations that are available to the Mid Range Narcissist.

The Mid Ranger treats you as the victim, as these abuses are doled out against you and one might expect that the array of emotional, financial, sexual and most of all psychological abuses that the Mid Ranger uses would mean that The Victim’s Cloak would settle snugly about your shoulders.

No.

The Mid Ranger plucks that cloak from you and places it about his or her shoulders. It is their cloak. You are not allowed the trappings of being a victim because you are not entitled to support or concerned attention. No, that must be directed towards the Mid Ranger. Whilst he rejects the notion of weakness that is often associated with the status of being a victim, he believes he is the victim.

“I cannot believe I was passed over for promotion. I have been discriminated against and I am the best candidate.”

“I cannot begin to tell you how terribly she treats me.”

“I am never invited to see the grand children by my daughter. I don’t know what I have done wrong, but she is intent on making my life miserable.”

The Mid Range Narcissist wants the cloak. It is his by right and he wants everything that goes with it. He wants the Pity Party, the Commiseration Conference and the Sympathy Symposium. He is the victim don’t you know? Show some support, offer a concerned look, ask how he is, suggest a way of helping, agree that he is hard done to, down trodden and treated appallingly and after everything that he has done.

Tell the Mid Range that she deserves to be treated better, that she is well-regarded and this person who has not done what they wanted is an awful, despicable person and an abuser.

The Mid-Ranger always plays the victim even though they are the perpetrator. You are the victim because you are the one who is abused, but the Mid Ranger will never see it that way and he or she will not let anybody regard it that way as she or he pouts and twirls in their Victim’s Cloak. You can never be afforded the ‘benefits’ that should be afforded to the true victim.

Should the Mid-Ranger be of the Victim Cadre also, then order plenty of tissues because he or she will grab that Victim Cloak from you and grimacing, stitch it onto themselves, passing needle and thread through aching skin so that they can never be parted from that cloak.

The Greater

The Greater will never consciously consider him or herself as a victim. Never. After all, we are the hunters, the predators, the ones that targets and finds our prey. Not only that, we need only look at what we do, what we achieve and how we are regarded and this underlines and reinforces that we are not victims.

We do however utilise the notion of being a victim to drive our behaviours but we do not label it as being a victim. No, instead we consider it to be based on revenge. We recognise that the world is a treacherous place, full of untrustworthy charlatans and liars who come with great promises and then who fail to deliver. The simpering and fawning lick spittles who flatter to deceive, although we naturally see through all of that. Yet still, that behaviour, unwarranted and unjustified means we could consider ourselves victims (if we truly would lower ourselves in such a way). However,  we are above that and once we were victims (although we see no reason to be reminded of that fact because we escaped it) means that you, him, her and everyone else will be punished if you even hint at returning us to that almost forgotten state of victimhood.

We have no desire to wear The Victim’s Cloak. It does not belong to us. It is not our size, colour and is made of material that is inferior to us. You are absolutely regarded as the victim because this game we play with you (and one which we revel in) means you have to be the victim because that means we win and you lose. Oh, this cloak is yours alright but just like the Lesser and the Mid-Range narcississt we will deny you any right to wear it. Why should you be afforded any sympathy, support or help? You should not and here’s why ; you deserve to be punished, you have nothing to complain about.

We have given you the world by your association with us and therefore how on earth can you have any basis for complaint? You brought this treatment on yourself, so not only do you deserve it (akin to the view point of the Lesser Narcissist) it goes further than that, it is right and just for you to be treated that way. Should the criminal be afforded sympathy when his sentence is announced? No. Should the morally repugnant member of the community be afforded kindness for his heinous behaviour? No. Then, neither shall you.

You are denied the accoutrements of the status of victim. You are the victim, absolutely but you will not wear that cloak. It does not even reach your shoulders as it does with the victim of the Lesser Narcissist. We forbid it coming anywhere near you. We are the supreme judge of your fate and we always apply the maxim of

‘commodum ex injuria sua nemo habere’

Did you not know that has been stitched into the lining of the Victim’s Cloak? Of course, this maxim is not applicable to us.

 

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42 thoughts on “The Victim’s Cloak”

  1. BurntKrispyKeen,

    “If we win a conservation award for not wasting unnecessary tears on the narcissist, will you write the acceptance speech?”

    Hehe – I might be able whip something up; but I would likely fall through on delivery.
    Stagefright.

    -Sending you thoughts of well-being during your healing process.

    1. Thank you for your well-wish, WC.
      If you compose the speech, I’ll deliver, but I might need to take a beta blocker and Xanax beforehand. Better yet, should get someone to accept on our behalf?

      Perhaps we could coax HG (by asking only once, in a polite but neutral tone, making it seem as if it were his idea)? Surely he’d be more comfortable hamming it up for us, center stage, thanking our fellow victims in that smooth yet authoritative voice.

      Move over James Earl Jones… there’s a new Darth Vader in town.

      1. Haha – BurntKrispyKeen, I like where you are going with that! Except that I have great difficulty picturing HG ‘hamming it up.’
        Wait, looky there…I think he just did!

  2. Thanks for another excellent post HG.

    I have two questions for you.

    First: how can you provide such an amazing, detailed insight on the Lesser and the Mid Range, given the fact that you belong to a different/higher category?

    Second: why would a Mid Range (narcissist mother) make herself the victim of a Lesser (narcissist father)? The lows she has reached to please this man (who kept treating her like garbage) are unbelievable. On the other hand, she has never had any mercy on her children.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer and for your very, very valuable work.

    EmP

    1. 1. I have spent a considerable time listening to, observing and ascertaining those kinds – they are in my family, socially, at work etc.

      2. She does not realise he is a narcissist. If you read the articles ‘When Narcissists Collide’ this will give you more information about the dynamics between narcissists.

      Thank you for the compliment.

      1. By the way, your mind must be something out of the ordinary. I can’t imagine the amount of work your brain has been subjected to: all the information it has been absorbing, analyzing, categorizing, recording, etc. And if we add to the mix the prolific writing, the work that your profession requires, and the handling of one or more (abusive) relationships…I wonder if you even have time to sleep at night? It must take a HUGE amount of energy to function at this level. And talent, because it seems you do it all extremely well. It is a fascinating journey you are taking us through, when opening up your mind to us.

      2. Yes, I have a mind like Canada.
        Vast and frozen.

        I do not require much sleep, hence why I get as much done as I do.

    1. Thank you, WhoCares. But can imagine how clean we’d all feel if we could get those gallons back!?

      I’m still embarrassed by how often I let him see me cry. But I guess there’s some comfort in knowing that my “movie star” performance annoyed him.

      Here’s to a Tear-Free-Day, WhoCares.
      Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

      1. BurntKrispyKeen – yes I hear you.

        Especially about the sensation of feeling clean. I recently came to the realization that I have shed tears in anger, tears in frustration, tears in sadness. But none of those are the same as tears of grief. And I could never shed tears of grief for myself…until having read something here on the blog. And it suddenly became clear that in feeling grief for that person I was grieving for myself and yes, the sensation of a river of tears was all too welcome…and the sense of being washed clean.

        I think I can manage to have a tear-free day. Happy Valentine’s Day to you as well, BurntKrispyKeen.

      2. That’s a powerful observation, WhoCares. It reminds me of the article where HG states that during seduction, their eyes are mirroring us… that we are essentially falling in love with ourselves. While that was a bit uncomfortable for me to absorb, I can’t deny how my narcissist made me feel as though I had finally found someone who represented my deepest self.

        I assume that grieving their loss is similar. We mourn the what-ifs. We find ourselves wondering what could have been if only they were truly as they portrayed. But as you stated WhoCares, we are in part, crying for ourselves.

        You said it well how our tears represent different emotions. I am glad that you were finally able to feel the cleansing of a good cry… one that was also for yourself.

        So you have inspired me the next time I find myself crying to focus more on my own grief. I believe that the only way to heal from this pain is to feel the discomfort it brings, as avoiding it will only allow its return, but it has been all to easy for me to stay focused on him more than my own healing. So during those weak moments, I’m going to make a sincere effort to grieve differently… allow myself to cry more for me.

        If we win a conservation award for not wasting unnecessary tears on the narcissist, will you write the acceptance speech?

  3. It is my opinion that the narcissist is the victim. He/she has been subjected to a period (world) of mistreatment. Unless….Wait. It’s obvious, now:
    – “You deserve to be punished; you have nothing to complain about.
    – You brought this treatment on yourself,
    – Should the criminal be afforded sympathy when his sentence is announced?
    – should the morally repugnant member of the community be afforded kindness for his heinous behavior
    – Then, neither shall you”

    It’s about deflection and guilt with the narcissist. Oh, but there is a measure of unwarranted guilt, due to No fault of the narcissist. The narcissist is the real the victim. I’m finally getting this. There is still a ways to go, but keep it coming HG, keep it coming.

    Thanks, HG.
    PS: By the way…You can have the cloak. It doesn’t fit me. Plus, I have a richly ornamented coat of many colors.

    *** “stitch it onto themselves”***that’s funny.

    Shawn-

    1. I do agree with you here, Shawn. I also see the narcissist as a victim… molded from his/her heritage and the wrongs that he/she was unfortunately forced to endure.

      But as HG’s “designer label” implies… like you, I don’t like it when they play victim at my expense! That whole avoidance of ownership tears me up. Of course, I now see how allowing them to shred me only provides more “material” to make more cloaks.

      Fuel must be ubiquitous! I can’t seem to avoid providing it.

      I enjoyed your line regarding a coat of many colors. Wear it proudly, Shawn… as it sounds as if you are well-traveled along the road of recovery. I’m still trying to get there… too many bumps in that road.

      Best wishes to you.

      1. Hi BurntKrispyKeen,

        “it sounds as if you are well-traveled along the road of recovery.”

        This is because I do not believe in giving any man/woman that much power and control over my life. It wasn’t until several months ago that I learned of narcissism. I believe this is a bipolar medical condition created by years of abuse and hurt.

        Now that I have some (very little) knowledge about narcissism, I understand its effect on another human, and it can be devastating.

        BurntKrispyKeen, my first relationship was with a lesser narcissist, and it was an eye-opener. I did not know anything about narcissism then. As I was learning about narcissism, I came across a mid-ranger and yet while I was still naive about narcissism I started to see the signs. I went along with it, but like I previously mentioned, I do not believe in giving any man/woman that much power and control over my life. Because I believe in GOD and only HE has that much control and power!

        Psalm 103

      2. I respect your devotion to keeping your priorities in line Shawn.
        That’s probably one of my biggest regrets… that I gave him too much power, even knowing that my instincts were screaming at me to “be careful with this one.” Yet I still allowed myself to fall victim to his seduction.

        Not that I don’t take responsibility for making an adult decision… but in fairness, it wasn’t exactly an informed consent. I made my choices based upon his deceptions, and I’m still struggling with the unfairness there.

        Like Catherine explained, it was his unjust behavior that had me so jacked up. I felt as though it was my responsibility to show him the light… to express my pain and tell him how it should be. He’d often say I had no problem expressing how I felt as if I was really getting to him. (Thought I was ripping him a new orifice… Instead, I was filling it with more fuel. Ugh!)

        You are doing well, Shawn, to only have recently learned of narcissism. I’ve known about the disorder for years, yet I still struggle to understand.

        But thanks to this site, I’m getting a fine education. Much appreciated.

      3. BurntKrispyKeen

        We Feel. We Breathe. We Care. We Share. We Love. And when some individual preys upon these human emotions they are the victims. They shield themselves in a make-believe world to escape their realities. The fact is we all have had some past or present trauma in our lives, but it does not give us a pass to say F### the world and the people in it.

        BurntKrispyKeen, you are strong, you’re still here, you’re still holding on, and you’re still fighting. Hey, the seduction is charming, I know. Every time I think about the seduction a smile comes across my face (even now). It was good!

        My mid-range narcissist still calls me. I talk to him like a walk in the park. I hear him clearly and hear the warning signs that HG talks about. Yet, while the narcissist seems to believe they have the upper hand, they do not when you really think about it.

        I believe in GOD and that is truly where I found my healing. Henceforth, I learned something from HG and that was “we” are emotional creatures. So, when I stopped thinking about what happened in emotional terms I began to feel better.

        BurntKrispyKeen, I know it doesn’t feel like it, and there are so many who have suffered at the hands of these individuals, but we really are the strong ones. We just need to believe in ourselves and not let what happen with the narcissist define us. Otherwise, they won. I also purchased HG Tudor “Black Flag: 50 Warning Signs Of Abuse,” It is an excellent read, and I am only on page 22. Knowledge is power!

        BurntKrispyKeen, you are going to be ok. We all are. We have each other.

        ***My comments are just my personal opinion.

      4. I take time to pray everyday, so I understand the guidance you are referring to. I respect your opinion and guidance here, Shawn. Thank you for your kind words.

    2. Narcissists indeed are victims. Unable to cope with the damage that was inflicted upon them, they rewrite their own narratives spreading the same trauma they suffered around.

    3. “Mine” is not the ‘real’ victim not when he has intentionally done this his whole life. He is the perpretrator. Has he had a hard, messed up life? You bet. So have I. And I haven’t gone out an intentionally conned and lied to people and deliberatly and consciously hurt people as he has. I take him as he is as an adult now, not as the the hurt child he might have been. Not as I watched him repeat again and again what he did to me. In his life, he might have been victimized but in OUR dynamic, “I” was the victim. He doesn’t get to take that away from the story. The two realities have nothing to do with each other when it came to accepting what he was willing to do to me and how deeply he was willing to hurt.

  4. After what I’ve been through, victim accurately describes me. So no offense taken.

    But I am annoyed at how the narcissist assumes the role. He would act as though I was treating him horribly whenever I explained the grief he caused. Perhaps that’s just part of the manipulation, but mine really did seem to be offended by my expression of pain. He even once told me that if I’m going to cry like that… wailing like an actress in the movies, then he was going to have to ask me to leave.

    He said he couldn’t take seeing me like that. But the mofo never could own that he was the sole reason I was sobbing all over his pillows. He didn’t understand that if he would man-up, this woman would too. But now I understand that I gave him exactly what he wanted. Yep. I regret how often I filled his tank.

    I want my premium tears back.

    1. BurntKrispyKeen,

      Yes, you gave him exactly what he wanted. That’s part of the manipulation. Mine did the same. He accused me of horrible, paranoid and completely untrue things (infidelity) and when I tried to defend myself he wouldn’t listen; he turned his back or didn’t answer my text messages. Finally I became hysterical, fighting for justice, crying and screaming and then he blame shifted and told me he hated my drama and I had to apologise for it. He never apologised for starting the whole thing. So the problem with us according to him was never his abuse, but my reaction to it and I assumed responsibility and he seized more and more power. In the end these occasions were so traumatic to me that I started crying in anticipation of the hurt I knew he was about to inflict on me. I’ve never met anyone in my life who says he hates drama as much as he does while being completely immersed in it in his whole life. He provoked it and it’s all a game. He seemed really offended too by the whole thing and it used to confuse me endlessly.

      1. Is it possible we were involved with the same guy?

        Just kidding. They are everywhere. But I’m amazed by the ways in which our experiences resemble!

        Thank you for sharing Catherine.

      2. Heyho! Mine once stated seriously: “I am extremely good dealing with drama”. Obviously, since he created it and denied accountability!

      3. Ha ha BurntKrispyKeen, it might be the same guy.. If he’s blond, tall, in the food industry and involved in saving the world environmentally while of course being the worst hypocrite there ever was and not caring one iota about the world anyhow it might be the same guy..

        I’m kidding too, but yes, they’re everywhere!

      4. Yeah, to you and BurntKrispyKeen,

        I got strong enough at the end to tell him that this hurt was ALL HIS and HE caused it and it was all HIS drama and I was the victim, NEVER, EVER HIM. To that, he blocked me.

        But yeah, I hate the New Age BS that says there are no victims because that is a crock of sh*t if you are the target of a sociopath and don’t get it. Damn right I was victimized and until I started to even remotely get it, how intentional it was, I claim ZERO responsibility for what happened to me.

        It happened TO me. And it was all his fault this went the way it did. Not mine, never, ever mine.

      5. Carol M, I know what you are saying! Mine always bragged about what a good actor he was. But the thespian only liked drama if he could direct every scene.

        Catherine, it’s hard to tell by your description as they all seem to have at least one do-gooder cause they support. And the physical details you described… I just dont know? They all look alike to me. (Just kidding, HG.)

        Best wishes to you, Catherine, as you move onto a gentleman without the overdose of hypocrisy.

        Sarabella, thank you. It seems I don’t have good days, only good hours. I’ll be strong for a few, then fall apart… I guess just to take a break from any cockiness I’ve managed to muster. But good for you for standing up to him and telling him exactly how the script was written. That had to feel fine!

        (I love it when we are able to point out the inaccuracies as they try to rewrite history.)

        Blessings to you all.

      6. Best wishes to you too BurntKrispyKeen! There’s lots of good men out there who won’t serve us breakfast cereal with pain on the side in the mornings and who are instead honest and kind. I’ll reprogram myself and find one of those when I’m ready. What’s so addictive with these narcissists is how incredibly passionate emotions they create in us; I’ll have to learn how to do normal again.

  5. I hate you HG. And all you stand for. I will continue to buy your books to survive in this world you Narcissist control . Because I will win. Does that make me a narcissist too. I think not. Just the Empath that believes that you are as damaged as I am. And there is hope for all of us.

    1. No it doesn’t. Thank you for reading my books. I have no issue with you hating me, that is your choice and your opinion, I also understand why you would do so, so it is not inaccurate either.

  6. Thank you for using “she” several times. It is important to be able to picture the narcissist as a woman too. Keep on with your latin ! Always looking for a new quote.

  7. Not sure where this post really fits, so I’ll just say it here. I did a search on ‘narcissist’ on both Mumsnet and Arrse.co.uk. Interesting. So glad to have found HG’s place.

  8. My MRN plays the victim when I spend a few hours helping my elderly parents, even though I am usually only away from home for 6 hours a week!

  9. HG, your kind should have the following stitched in the lining of your cloak: “Aliena vitia in oculis habemus a tergo nostra sunt.”

      1. HG, I am always fascinated by your intelligence and brilliance. I am sure glad I never met you in the real world. I would be so hooked on you, it’s scary.

    1. Insatiable Learner,

      “I would be so hooked on you, it’s scary.”

      Regarding your comment to HG, I’m sure he’d probably give me a run around a block or two, but not three blocks. When you come to realize the POWER and CONTROL your giving another human being over your emotions and psyche, abandon ship quickly! Sink or Swim? the choice is not theirs to make.

      1. Hi Shawn, I completely agree. I am very vigilant nowadays how I feel around people. If I ever sense someone is taking over my emotions and mental health in a way that feels like I am surrendering to the power and control of this person, I will bolt. Glad you liked the quote!

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