Exposure : During Escape



Should you expose your narcissist when you have escaped? Should you expose him or her if you have been discarded? It is far more likely that you have established who it is you have been dealing with for so many tortuous months or even years, when the Formal Relationship has concluded. Whether you managed to escape, or, more often, you have been discarded, the revelation of what you have been entangled with is more likely to appear in the aftermath than opposed to during seduction or devaluation.

Armed with this new found knowledge, as the pieces of the jigsaw start to fit together, but whilst the emotion remains raw, the desire to expose us to the world at large is extremely tempting. What better way to secure revenge than letting those who fawn over us understand what we really are? You know now and in accordance with your empathic nature you feel obligated to share this truth now that you have sought the truth and found it. Now it must surely be time to announce to the world that we are a narcissist?

Once again, as described during devaluation, the timing and the school of narcissist are highly relevant to understanding what is likely to happen as a consequence of this unmasking to third parties. We address here the likely outcomes when you have escaped your narcissist.

Post Escape

The next scenario is to consider what will occur should you expose us to third parties once you have escaped our grasp.

The Lesser. 

You will have stolen a march on the Lesser Narcissist. Based on the assumption that you have effected no contact and escaped his grasp without giving him an opportunity to try to prevent your escape  then your exposure will have taken the Lesser by surprise.

His efforts will have been focused on trying to win you back through the application of an Initial Grand Hoover, but if your no contact has remained intact and this IGH has failed, the Lesser will have been forced to seek out a new primary source to replace you. His fuel levels will have dropped and he will not have the energy levels to engage in any meaningful smearing of you as he tries to seduce a replacement.

As word of the your exposure reaches him, he will be wounded by this substantial criticism. His fury will be ignited and he will want to lash out at you. Knowledge of the exposure will have amounted to you entering a sphere of influence so there is a Hoover Trigger. His reaction will be to want to effect a malign hoover against you. However, if your no contact is solid and the wounding effect of the exposure will mean that you have raised the bar high in respect of the Hoover Execution Criteria. He will not effect the hoover because the prospect of fuel is difficult, he may not be able to contact you and there is the risk of further wounding.

He will however have his fury ignited by the wounding effect of the exposure. Unable to apply this heated fury against you through a malign hoover and in desperate need of fuel, the Lesser will actually be likely to lash out at his secondary sources. This creates a further problem for him. Whilst on the one hand those secondary sources – family and friends, will react by giving him fuel – they cannot help but do so as he lashes out at them causing anger, upset and surprise – he is also reinforcing what you have exposed him for.

Accordingly, in such a scenario, you have spread word of what he is. This has got back to the narcissist and irrespective of whether people believe what you have said or not (we turn to that in a  moment) the mere fact of you committing such an act of treachery as well results in huge criticism and thus huge wounding. Unable to perform what will in effect be a Malign Follow-up Hoover against you, the Lesser will have lost control and will lash out left right and centre. People will be railed against, insulted, items smashed and so forth as the Lesser damages the facade through his own inability to control his rage.

Eventually the garnered fuel will heal the wound but after this the Lesser faces the consequences of his actions. Numerous sources will turn their back on him and he will be left to rely on a diminished range of sources. Lacking the energy to draw in many replacement secondary sources, the Lesser is forced to focus on obtaining (or embedding) the new primary source. He will however withdraw generally as he regains fuel and slowly replaces the appliances that he has lost. This may even force the Lesser to move territory and seek out a new hunting ground.

Your exposure to the third parties will meet with some success, certainly more than if it took place during devaluation. This is because you are likely to be more composed in your approach, because you escaped and you have been able to get in first with your exposure before the Lesser has been able to smear. Not everybody will accept what you tell them, but others will. You will also then see that rather than fight back by smearing you and tackling your exposure, the out of control and wounded Lesser will only behave in a manner which allows you to stand back and say

“Told you so.”

So long as you engage in this exposure in a manner whereby the wild and raging Lesser cannot exact his Malign Follow-Up Hoover against you, exposing him post escape is likely to meet with success.

The Mid-Ranger

What then of the Mid-Ranger? How does he respond once you have exposed him post escape? Again, this is based on you managing to escape without tipping him off as otherwise you will initially face the scenario detailed in The Effect of No Contact on the Narcissist

Once word reaches the Mid-Ranger of your exposure he will also be taken by surprise. Although possessing of a better cognitive function and greater control than the Lesser, the Mid-Range Narcissist will also suffer a massive wound as a combination of the twin criticisms of your escape and the exposure. His immediate reaction will be one of horror at your disloyal behaviour, amazement at how treacherous you are and disgust that you of all people could do a thing like this.

The fury of the Mid-Ranger will be ignited and he will need to seek fuel. Just like the Lesser, he will turn to wanting to contact you by way of a follow-up hoover, since your exposure step has caused you to enter his sphere of influence and a hoover is triggered. The Mid-Ranger will not proceed in a malign fashion but he will want to hoover you in a benign way and for the purposes of rolling our repeated pity plays in the expectation of causing you to give him fuel and to also end and indeed reverse the exposure.

He will want to know why you could do this to him after all the things he has done for you, how you could treat somebody who loves you so badly, how you could be so cruel, so evil and heartless when all he has ever done is love you. He will be oblivious to his devaluation of you as he is intent and focused on his own discomfort. The wound will have him restless, morbid and in victim mode. If the Mid-Ranger is able to engage with you, you can expect a lengthy monologue as he seeks to draw sympathy from you and also your confirmation that the exposure is a mistake, based on a misunderstanding and you will rectify it by telling everyone that you have made a mistake and that he is in fact a decent and reliable person.

If the Mid-Ranger is unable to contact you to make this heartfelt plea, then he is forced to seek sympathy elsewhere and he will engage his energies in locating (or embedding the new primary source) as he smears you for your hurtful treachery and also rolling out his own propaganda response to those you have exposed him too. He will want sympathy and support from his supporters, he will entreat his coterie and lieutenants to disbelieve you and to persuade others of his merits.

You may meet with some success in persuading third parties to accept the true nature of the Mid Ranger if you are able to steal a march on him through your escape. If you can get your exposure in before he can smear you then you will have some success. You will face the difficulty that the Mid-Ranger will not respond in an aggressive manner but rather deploy pity and seek sympathy all in order to have people feel sorry for him. This is an effective step by him and he will not engage in the self-defeating behaviour of the Lesser.

Your exposure combined with no contact will cause him to slink away and leave you alone. He will be forced to apply his efforts to the replacement and trying to repair his reputation with the third parties and smear you also. Whilst he has more energy than the Lesser, he may ultimately opt to maintain a low profile and rely on what remains of his loyal sources as he located and embeds the new primary source. You have raised the Hoover Execution Criteria bar and therefore the prospects of further hoovers will be limited for some time.

The Greater

Finally we turn to the Greater. What is his reaction on you escaping him and exposing him? Once again, if you have tipped him off as to your intentions, the initial response from him will be as described here

If you do not tip off the Greater, what happens when he learns that you are exposing his behaviour and what he is to third parties.

Your escape and this attempted unmasking, amounts, as you would expect, to a criticism. It wounds the Greater but he will manage his fury and keep it under control. For now. His initial response will be two fold:-

  1. He will seek to apply a Benign Follow-Up Hoover to charm you. This will be fierce and sustained and seem like an Initial Grand Hoover, but it is not. He will be delightful, pleasant, apparently remorseful and will lay on the charm and magnetism; and
  2. He will deploy all resources in order to counter the effects of your exposure with the third parties. This will be initially by way of asserting his credentials, then undermining you and smearing you.

If the Greater is unable to contact you for the purposes of charming you, he will accelerate his efforts to secure a new primary source (even if the replacement is not 100% suitable) as the Greater will want a replacement immediately for two reasons.

  1. Naturally for fuel; and
  2. To parade to the facade’s third parties as part of the assertion of his credentials and the smearing of you.

Your escape will be portrayed as him leaving you. You will be smeared as The Crazy One and he will gain fuel from your replacement and his other sources. He is adept at doing so and consequently this will provide him with the additional energy to smear you and derail your exposure.

It is very hard to expose a Greater because he has charmed so many people that they will just find it very hard to believe what you are saying to them. Not only that, the Greater will be fighting back by reassuring these people there is nothing to worry about whilst pointing to your drink problem, your habitual lying, your possessive jealousy and so forth. This combination of reassurance, charm and smearing means you are unlikely to have much effect on the thoughts and opinions of the third parties, other than them to hold you in contempt.

The new replacement will be paraded in order to try to draw fuel from you, there will be frequent Relationship Bulletins and you may have escaped but your exposure will actually feel like you are under siege again because of the effects of the Greater’s sustained and co-ordinated response.

Even high calibre evidence of what the Greater is may well founder in the light of his charm and concentrated abilities and ultimately you run the risk of either being seduced again through his charm or if you can maintain no contact, you will find your exposure has not dented his standing but has had an adverse effect on your from the sustained smearing you will suffer. Even if your exposure ‘gets in’ first, the Greater can  mobilise his propaganda machine quickly with the consequent problems this will cause for you.

You may wish to consider carefully whether there is anything to be gained from exposing the Greater and instead focus on the gains you have made from escaping.

6 thoughts on “Exposure : During Escape

  1. A Victor says:

    LET, yes, the very real and terrible impact of narcissist’s on people cannot be denied. I agree, the behaviors tell us what we need to know, once we know what they are. I also don’t need a Dr to validate it. HG validating it was more than enough, in fact, as I have said other times, I trust his opinion more than I would most, if not all, doctors with regard to this. And, I agree also that the many narcissists we see in the world would likely not be diagnosed but their behavior, as you said, tells it all. I too am grateful to have been given the tools to understand and know what to look for.

    I have never enjoyed dramas or romances. The occasional rom-com, As Good As It Gets is a favorite, but not the serious stuff, too sappy. I am an INTP even as I am an empath, I don’t go in for a lot of touchy-feely emotional stuff. I was not a very “romantic” wife in the traditional sense of romance. But, maybe that’s because it is a narcissists sense of romance and it always made me wonder what was up. Haha, my “poor” narc ex couldn’t use it on me as many likely can. He had to wrack his brain to figure out how to get what he wanted. I used to be baffled by this, now I find it humorous. Music, same. I never went for the soft pop much, I like strong music, not about love usually but other things that matter to me. Or a good opera where I don’t know what they’re saying anyway, I can enjoy the voices and the orchestra. I do love Elton John’s voice. Billy Joel is a favorite also, my favorite song of his is Good Saigon, far from a love song but extremely moving to me. Anyway, learning this has not taken my joy, if anything it has affirmed my likes and dislikes, it has been refreshing.

    I have been thinking a lot about the intimacy thing. I will let you know more when I get my thoughts formulated a bit better. It is exciting though! Probably stuff you’ve already figured out but I’m getting there! Lol! Thanks for your comment!!

    1. A Victor says:

      Dang it, Goodnight* Saigon.

  2. psychologyandworldaffairs says:

    I kinda feel, that exposure rather depends on others really understanding what a narcissist is and all this term entails. Many people – myself included – until recently – will not really get it. Calling someone out, will have limited impact in this case. Unless someone truly understands what a narcissist is, the term will remain irrelevant to many.

    Call someone a psychopath and everyone will understand exactly to what you refer to.

    More education is needed I think…

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      I feel people see the term narcissist now as a bit of a throwaway term. Someone is grandiose, egotistical, bombastic, etc. and the label gets applied and the expectation is set. That’s what a narcissist looks like. I think it will take a long time to shift this impression of the narcissist. The expectation being that is how they will come across, and that is how we will either know them or avoid them. Not true. Which is what we often discover after having been ensnared. We don’t see them coming, they present a facade which js often likeable and appear as someone we can trust. They hoodwink others as well, so when our eyes are opened it’s usually only our eyes that are opened. There are so many ways that narcissists can remain unseen, or hidden in plain sight. Only when we are affected do we know who they truly are and then it’s almost impossible to convince others. We are made to look like the crazy ones.

      Definitely more education, and raising awareness that narcissist’s do not just come in one brash bundle, but in many shapes and forms, and the less obvious the more dangerous in my opinion. That is where the education is needed. We were all seduced before we got here.

      1. A Victor says:

        LET, I agree, the term narcissist is watered down in our world now. It is not known that it is a serious cluster b personality disorder and that narcissists are seriously abusive. I believe a lot of that comes from the normalization of their ideas of romance and how “normal, healthy” relationships function. And so many people today accept their narrative as what is normal that I don’t even know where education best begins. I feel that HG has taken on an enormous many tentacled monster with regard to educating people.

        I had no idea that love bombing wasn’t normal. I had no idea that arguing wasn’t normal. That drama wasn’t normal. That we can and should have a sense of security with our spouse. That disordered people are attracted to me, that I have an addiction to them. Etc. It’s huge and the fight to educate goes against the flow of what’s been set out by narcissists as “normal” for several decades now. Normals still get it, they haven’t bought in to the lies presented, I think, not having the addiction. But they don’t seem prone to helping others understand what’s up. Their example could be useful as something to measure against, a bar of sorts as to what should be acceptable. But would we even look at it? I probably would not have prior to the very obvious lesser summer narc coming along, the messages in the music, movies etc just being too appealing to my addiction.

        I could see the cycle of abuse in relationships outside of mine where there was physical abuse. I could even name the components. But I was unable to see the same within my own relationships. Because it was parents who gave their parental messages so strongly. Because it was SO’s whose behavior I didn’t understand was abuse. Having learned what abuse consists of has been hugely helpful in seeing the pattern in my own relationships. But am I still susceptible to listening to the words and ignoring the actions? Probably, which is still a scary part. Am I still too concerned with hurting another’s feelings that I allow then to repeatedly hurt mine and do nothing to stop it? Possibly. Also scary. So, still room for improvement but at least an upward trajectory.

        I met a man on vacation. It will not go anywhere but it was nice to see that my first thought was to look for red flags and not just jump in. It was nice to realize I knew what the red flags were that I should be looking for. Those are huge improvements due to my education here. I think it will take all of us discussing behaviors and pointing people to narcsite to effect real change. With HG at the helm of course.

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          So many intelligent thoughts and concerns contained in your comment, AV.

          While NPD is a serious disorder it does seem to be seriously underdiagnosed – no doubt for a number of reasons – and on that basis we have to rely on our own efforts in some ways to uncover it. How many people discussed here would officially be diagnosed a narcissist, despite all the indications that is what we are actually dealing with? I would suggest next to none. That doesn’t lessen the reality of our experience or their behaviour. It’s one of the reasons I appreciate the understanding and education provided here by HG. And everywhere I go, whether it’s here, occasionally to Quora, or elsewhere where narcissism is being discussed, I read an overwhelming amount of comments from people who have been affected. That is not an anomaly. It’s recognition, at last, that narcissist’s have had and are having a huge impact on people’s lives. There is no need for a medical professional to confirm a diagnosis for me to feel validated, and I need to know that I am not going crazy! Thank you, HG.

          The other side of the coin, as you point out, AV, is that in many ways narcissism has been normalized through a narrative of song, film and story. We buy into it with our empathic natures. It appeals to all our senses. And until we get here never think to question it. Needless to say, it’s hard to engage in any of these mediums now and not have an element of insight as to what actually lies at the bottom of them. Or at least potentially lies at the bottom of them. I’m not letting narcissism steal all my sense of joy or wonder. If I let that happen, I would be beat, and the narcissist would have truly won.

          So with all our learning and education here, I do feel we are on a victory march of sorts (you already decided that with your title here 🙂 ) and while having our eyes opened has been painful, it was necessary to overcome the deeper pain of our past. It can never be completely overcome, but the ongoing awareness acts as a salve to our souls. And it also acts as a deterrent in terms of avoiding becoming ensnared again. I see you kept that in mind during your vacation. I hope you had a wonderful time <3. By all accounts the man you met is now off your radar, but I'm not sure if that is because he displayed any red flags. Taking our time in any and all circumstances is a must now. And having HG on our side should help with the rest xox.

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