The Narcissist and The Power of Pain
My mind has always applied itself to how I can exert control over other people. I understand now that it commenced doing this unconsciously, that is the very nature of narcissism. However, I also gained an awareness of how fundamental power is to me, how I need it, how I want it and how I can use it. I recognised that having power made me feel powerful, immense, gargantuan in presence and application and that I could not stand to be without it. Of course this all stemmed from my utter need (like all of my kind) for control at all times. I did not know of this particular need initially.
It is clear I developed an unconscious need for control and power. Unlike most of my kind, this then evolved into a conscious need for control and power and thus allied with a natural lack of empathy, immense intelligence and sadistic streak I took notice of the ways in which I could actively and purposefully achieve control and power.
This control had to be over everything – the environment around me and of course that meant the people within that environment.
I had to control people. I absolutely had to.
By applying control I get them to do what I want and this will enable me to obtain fuel from them. I witnessed at an early stage the power of pain and this formed in my mind an indelible reason to utilise it in order to gain and maintain control.
I do not recall precisely how old I was but I do recall that I had not yet started secondary school so I must have been under the age of twelve. There was a group of us children that played together and it was during a particular summer that we had been engaged in some kind of game in the fields near to where we all lived. The fields and the small river which ran through them with the occasional copse made for an exciting environment in which we could play out invented games. From battles between armies, to tales of fantasy involving orcs and elves through to pretending to be astronauts on an undiscovered planet, we made full use of the space that we were afforded.
I recall that one hot afternoon we had been engaged in a game which involved a battle and one of our group, a boy called Jonathan had been the general. He was not very good and he had made a series of stupid decisions that meant our side lost the battle. I was determined not to lose the war and I proposed that I should now be the general and it should be me who organised our troops. He was a whiny child who began to bleat about how I was often the general and it was his turn today. He explained his turn was to last all day. I grew irritated by his desire to remain in place as the general and a calamitous one at that. How dare he assume the mantle of greatness when it was patently clear that he was not up to the task? How dare he lead us to slaughter and defeat? I was not happy but despite my protests he would not stand down. The other side had long since departed across the other side of the fields and were awaiting the shot for battle to be joined. Our troops had been dispatched to various locations leaving just Jonathan and I at the rear. I was furious with him. My rage at his idiocy was burning inside of me and as he stood on the rock from which the general always directed our troops, since it afforded a good view across the meadow I moved besides him. With a violent shove I pushed him from the rock and he fell into a clump of stinging nettles that had grown next to the rock. He howled in pain as the first stings took effect and wearing a t-shirt and shorts, his exposed limbs and face fell prey to the vicious stings of the nettles. He cried out and jumped up trying to move free of the nettles but as he neared the edge I gave him another shove and sent him tumbling back into the midst of them causing him to cry out again. With tears streaming down his face and arms showing the welts from the repeated stings he tried to emerge again and once more I pushed him back into the stinging nettles. I did this again and then once again until with face red and swollen he decided against trying to get past me and stumbled through the nettles, wincing and whimpering as he took another route. I watched him leave until all that could be heard was his juddering sobbing. I climbed onto the rock and from there took control of our troops and directed them to a stunning victory.
Jonathan’s father later attended at our house. I saw him striding up the path with Jonathan in tow, his father incandescent with anger. I stood at the top of the stairs and listened as he thundered and shouted but he did not breach our porch. My mother barred his way and I could not hear her voice but I knew that she would be keeping him in his place with her steely tones and flinty looks. Eventually Jonathan and his father walked away back down the path and I watched their family retreat for the second time that day.
There was no punishment from my mother. Nothing was said to me at all. In her usual fashion she had dealt with the matter. I know not what she said but she made no mention of it to me. This was her way of dealing with such matters.
I continued to play with the group and with Jonathan. Every time he looked at me I could see the pain in his eyes just as I had that day when I had pushed him repeatedly into the stinging nettles. He never asked to be general again and was always the first to suggest that I be appointed as leader of our troops. He had experienced pain doled out by me and he knew what to do thereafter. I also knew what power could be derived from such pain. It was a lesson in learning an instrument of manipulation.
I was learning. Pain equalled power.
I was finally righting the wrongs and power was THE instrument by which this would be achieved.
16 thoughts on “The Narcissist and The Power of Pain”
I’ve never landed in real nettles, only emotional ones. I’d prefer the botanical version.
An excellent article!
Sadistic was mentioned as an attribute. How does that manifest here in this illustration verse a situation with a less to non-sadistic narcissist?
Deriving enjoyment from it as a form of entertainment.
I don’t think I really want to know more than that. It kinda turns my stomach but thank you for answering.
I am very familiar with this plant, as I have had an episode while during a run I had to find a nice bush where I could, you know, pee and lo and behold it was the damn stinging nettle.
Not good of your mom to ignore that incident and not punish you for it She sounds very cold and callous. Poor Jonathan.
This scene made me think of Piggy from Lord of the Flies, a bit.
How horrible. It still blows my mind sometimes that you can hurt people like this and feel triumphant instead of remorseful.
I wonder if my MMRN felt the same triumph when he saw my tears and the pain in my eyes when he discarded me.
Although you were a bully, it does show how it started. It’s good for education. I do wonder what emotional damage to this day has done to that boy who is now a grown man. I still wonder what your mother plays in the role of this cruelty. You could of just flipped a coin! Just saying
OMG!! You were wretched with shoving him so many times into those nettles! You were just like the little girl in The Bad Seed.
My narc mother did the same thing with me once. My sister didn’t like our neighbors at all, four sisters who she told me were always bragging on themselves. One day, without even thinking, I threw a rock right towards the one around my age riding a two wheeler bike for the first time instead of a trike. I was only four, but somehow that rock went across our front yard and out to the street and struck her ankle and she fell off crying. I quickly darted inside. The two sisters came to the door, and I don’t know what my mother told them, but she never mentioned it to me at all.
Question, HG: How do you control your “superiors,” i.e., the person or people who your supervisors at work? Do you defer to them in meetings and then do your own thing outside of meetings? Things like that?
If you have anyone knows of an KTN article that speaks to this question, can you please share the link?
I do not have supervisors nor superiors at work. That is not a response based on perception, before you state as such, Lisk, it is based on structure. I am not in a position to explain further as to do so would cause compromise.
If I did have superiors, there are many different ways of exerting control, some benign, some malign, one might be, as you suggest, to demonstrate agreement on a course of action even though one intends to do something different, it might be endorsing a suggestion by another, it might be rejecting it, it might be offering an alternative which would meet with more approval ,it might be setting out a “worse case scenario” in order to cause agreement to a less problematic route that being the preferred route all along. There are many different routes available.
Thank you for your thorough and enlightening response, HG.
I never expected or assumed you would reply with anything other than a description of the actual structure rather than your perception of it.
Wow those are some great recommendations for work. I ended up here due to a personal relationship but I actually am feeling like some of those suggestions are going to be put to use this upcoming week. I’ve been reading your blog for something like two years now. I’ve made a lot of progress but I come back when I need to patch up my emotional seas sailing vessel. I’m going out into some icy waters tonight. Wish me luck! LOL
Oh dear HG, it looks like you wanted to be in control as a child. That’s the problem I ever had my my N husband he never had disciplined the kids I am now worried about the signs of Narcissim. I tried to discipline but two people need to be on the same page. Thank you for sharing a piece of your childhood very informative.