A series of memes which encapsulates the mind set of the narcissistic parent towards their child result in the creation of the Adult Child of a Narcissist.
I am often asked about the effects of the advancement of time on our kind. I have written about how this affected one of my uncles, Robert and how I have laid plans to explain how his fate will not befall me. What, though, of how the advancement of time and aging impacts on our kind more generally? The standard question that is asked is whether a narcissist will get better or worse with age. As you might expect, it is not as straight forward as that as it will depend on the cadre of narcissist and the relevant school.
The Victim Cadre
All of our kind see ourselves as victims and will make use of emotional blackmail, pity plays and drives for sympathy as part of the narcissistic arsenal to further our aims, but one cadre of narcissist takes it to an extreme and relies on sympathy, pity and being cared for more often and more intensely and thus amounts to being a Victim Narcissist.
The Lesser Victim
Age will give the LVN more to complain about, more to point to and more to seek sympathy for. Used to already drawing his fuel primarily through the application of concern, sympathy and caring, he can look forward to getting more of this as time advances. As his illnesses become worse, his flesh weakens and his conditions become all the more debilitating he will rely heavily on gaining his fuel from his primary source who is likely to be his primary carer. Lacking the ability to seek fuel from fraternising with new sources, the LVN will look to have his fuel levels maintained by the primary source and a small group of family and friends.
He will be something of a curmudgeon, always complaining about his aches and pains in order to draw that fuel and will be seen as a burden. Lacking control, he will often erupt when he feels he is not being cared for and his physical pains become too great for him. He will have chosen most likely a Carrier Empath to shoulder this burden but if the primary source should ever escape, although this is less likely as the relevant primary source will have been selected for his or her quality caring and domestic attributes, he is likely to be moved to a care home where a succession of carers will be shunted between primary – non intimate – sources and secondary sources.
The LVN in advanced age will struggle to find a replacement intimate partner primary source if he or she is lost. This is because the LVN relies on solely his need to be mothered and looked after as his ‘selling point’. His own parents will be dead and therefore they cannot be promoted to primary source and he will lack the mobility and cognitive function to seduce a new intimate partner primary source. He can do this when younger, when his conditions are not as extensive and he finds that especially caring individual but when he is much older, he does not have this option. He has neither charm, money or intellect to draw a younger appliance to him and therefore the LVN runs the risk of losing the long-standing primary source through his rants and tantrums.
He will find himself trying to rely on family members, possibly brother, sisters or children, as secondary sources but none will be willing to adopt the mantle of primary source as they will have their own lives to lead and unless the LVN can sustain fuel from these secondary sources along with professional carers also as secondary sources, he faces a diminution in fuel which will add a further weakness to the physical and mental ones which have already amassed. Decrepitude is inevitable.
The aged LVN becomes even more unappealing with age. Furious at his limitations, unable to control that fury, but weakened from fuel losses, his is an unpleasant dotage. He will lash out at those who care for him, running the risk of isolating them and becoming the author of his own misfortune as he is visited less and less by a reducing pool of friends and family. If able to secure professional care, he will be regarded as a cantankerous and unpleasant charge for those caring for him who only do so out of a sense of professional obligation and therefore the fuel provided by these professional caregivers will be limited. He will invariably lack mobility and even access to technology is unlikely to assist through reduced cognitive function, diminished hearing and eyesight.
He will also have led a life which has been poor in terms of health and hygiene. He may well have issues with drink and will turn to this in particular as he slowly drinks himself to death, using it as a crutch against the cruelty of the world leaving him in this manner. He will sink into a routine of demanding his fix of drink or tobacco, caring not for the deleterious impact it will have, but rather needing the short-term boost it provides him with, oblivious to the downward spiral he has embarked on.
A combination of poor lifestyle choices, pre-existing health problems and the potential loss of a primary source caregiver, with other sources remaining away owing to the unpleasant, nasty and malodorous nature of the LVN means that they are more likely to face death in their 50s and 60s.
The LVN, unable to control his beast, will frighten away those but the most hardy and thus he runs a considerable risk of descending into decrepitude, alone, furious and unloved as his already shortened days come to an ignominious end.
The Mid-Range Victim
The MRVN follows a similar path to that of the LVN. Age will not be kind to him, increasing his discomfort, exacerbating his pain and making him rail against the unfairness of his situation. Whereas the LVN becomes the architect of his isolation by his inability to keep his fury under control at those around him, the MRVN has an increased cognitive function which he or she will put to better use.
The MRVN will retain some degree of charm, though nowhere near the standard of the greater, but he will be able to amuse and draw people to him, politely seeking their assistance with lowering him into the bath or rubbing lotions into his aching limbs. He does not like this reliance but has enough awareness to realise that he needs the assistance of others and he also has sufficient control over his fury to avoid lashing out in a fit of temper against those he needs to care for him
The MRVN stands a better chance of holding on to his primary source and also recognises that this person not only cares for him and thus provides fuel, but will provide a host of residual benefits and accordingly his machinations will mellow as he ages. He has enough acumen to recognise that having someone cook, clean and care for him as he ages is a useful trade-off for sticking with the same person. The likelihood of infidelity will diminish considerably from an already low point since Victim Narcissists have little interest in sex but rather use their general incompetence or impotence in that arena to garner the sympathy that fuels them. They have no need to be applauded for being a sexual Olympian when they can roll out a pity play for the inability to perform and blame it on some long-standing imagined fear.
As the MRVN ages there will be a lessening of the drama that once existed and with decreased energy levels he can no longer sustain the playing off of people against one another and instead focuses on just receiving their emotional attention and being cared for. He will use his moderate degree of charm to ask people to come and see him, pretending to take an interest in what the grandchildren are doing or how his favourite nephew is getting on with his new job. He will place a sprinkling of sugar in order to get those secondary sources to pay heed to him. The MRVN will make particular use of familial secondary sources during his dotage and indeed the primary source can witness a lessening of their burden as a ‘reward’ for sticking with the MRVN. If these mild charm offensives do not work however, what you will notice is that what fury is ignited will manifest as emotional blackmail and sulking as the MRVN coerces secondary sources into caring for him and visiting to provide fuel.
‘I am your father, not that it seems to matter to you, you haven’t visited me in two weeks.’
‘I will just sit here on my own shall I while you gad about, you selfish so and so.’
‘Old Bill gets plenty of visitors so I am left wondering where mine are.’
The family and friends of the MRVN can expect such spikey comments to be made in telephone calls and messages for the purposes of emotionally blackmailing those sources into providing fuel.
The MRVN will ensure he is well-cared for with a motivated primary source and plenty of secondary sources, galvanised through the carrot of mild charm or the stick of emotional blackmail. He is unlikely to struggle for fuel and recognises the considerable advantages of keeping onside the primary and secondary sources for the residual benefits. He is not as short-sighted, either literally or figuratively, as the LVN. For the most part, his demeanour will improve, save for occasional sulks and silent treatments, but these will not be as prolific as when he was younger. His old age will be comfortable for him as he is content to settle into the routine of being cared for and given a reasonable level of fuel , able to recognise his limitations and control his fury, for the most part. Those around him will find the occasional period of self-centred sulking and demands for assistance, but will most likely find him to be less arduous that he was when was younger.
The MRVN will have taken a reasonably sensible course through life and notwithstanding his ailments and physical shortcomings, he will have sufficient charm and economic power to ensure that the autumn of his life is relatively comfortable, if restricted. He will confine himself to his ‘tower’ and expect others to attend on him.
The Greater Victim
This combination of cadre and school does not exist.
Part Two will address the Somatic cadre and the relevant schools applicable to that type of narcissist.
Our victims have many things in common. Those shared traits are why they are chosen and why they become subjected to our incessant manipulations. The evidence of considerable empathic traits is of course one of the pre-requisites to gaining the attention of the narcissist. Exhibit a tendency to care, an ability to see another person’s point of view and a desire to help and you are issuing a neon-lit “Come and get me” to our kind. Your high-scoring on the empathic scale is naturally of considerable value to us. There is, however, another core principle that you all share which is irresistibly attractive to us. This is your devotion to love. You believe in love, you are advocates of the act of loving, you give love and (although not always) you want to be loved in return. Love is all you need, love conquers all and love is a many splendored thing. Love matters. You see that the world can and will be a better place if more love is exhibited. You love with a depth that is beyond many people. You truly give your all. Your love is perfect, selfless and based on a deep-seated notion that loving someone is the best and most wonderful thing one person can do for another. Such noble and laudable sentiments. Your status as a devotee to love means that you will strive to maintain that love once it has been gained. Love may give the appearance of having departed but you know, you believe, you always believe that it can be found and resurrected. That which has become dulled and blunted will be polished and returned to sharpness. That beautiful golden glow will shine again and you are the person to make it happen. You are the healer and the fixer. That which is broken shall be mended by the application of your burgeoning heart. You are a disciple of love and as such there is nothing you can do but act in accordance with the principles of loving. It is second nature to you. You are so full of love you must find ways of allowing it to manifest in the world and of course the pinnacle of doing so is to find that special someone. You want to find the one so that all of this marvellous love can find its true home. You are compelled to find your soul mate, your life partner and your best friend. Only then can your obligation to provide this amazing love be fulfilled and we thank you for being this way. On a daily basis we give thanks that you delicious and beautiful empathic individuals are committed to the promotion, promulgation and practice of love.
We come with the appearance of being that one special person who you can lay all your love upon. That person who will readily accept all of the love you have to offer and we will return it. Some of you would happily give this love in order to ensure there is an elated recipient and amazingly it would not matter to you whether that love was returned or not. Your sacrificial nature is stunning yet even more welcome. We are of course content to reflect your love in order to bring about yet more from you. We understand the transaction and we are happy to oblige because we are giving you absolutely nothing. We have come to take. We have descended on you ready to strip you of every ounce of love that you can provide. We will slurp it from you, nibble it from your straining frame and gulp it down as we devour your love. We will take it away from you time and time again. Do not be mistaken and think that you are providing this love based on a reality. You are doing so on a false premise. You have been conned into giving this love to us because we make you think we are the very thing you want when in reality we are anything but. We are fraudsters and we have come to take your love. If you knew what we truly were you would not offer your perfect love to us but we want it. We want it so much and we always take it. We make you unknown martyrs to the provision of love. We come without warning even though we appear with an explosion, all of it aimed to distract and misdirect so that we may pilfer your love. Our thieving knows no limits or bounds as we take what does not belong to us and use it for our own warped purposes. We keep on stealing your love until you are left spent and wretched, sat amidst the ruins of the relationship which once seemed impregnable and infinite and now is little more than ash streaked across blunted stone. We gorge on your love, gluttons that feed at the banqueting table as you slowly realise that the sumptuous love we appeared to return to you is in fact empty, a puff of air and without any substance. Yet this realisation comes far too late for by then the damage is done. Not only have we helped ourselves to all of your love we have, invariably ripped away and stolen your capacity for further love. Once you finally extricate yourself from our grip and eventually make sense of what has happened to you, even though it may take some considerable time, how often have your kind uttered the sentence,
“I do not think I will ever love any again, how can I after that?”
Words similar to such a question are regularly uttered by those who have been sucked into our malevolent maelstrom. We are the love thieves. We come and take the love to which we are not entitled but we are not done with that. Oh no. We rip out your heart in order to leave you so bereft that you can never love again. We steal your love. We are the love thieves of your past, your present and your future love.
You never see us coming. You do not know what we are when we ensnare you. You have no idea what is actually happening when we push and pull you through the bewildering experience that is devaluation. You make no sense of what has happened when you have been discarded in the dust, hurt and dazed. When we return, riding back into your lives like the triumphant king we regard ourselves as, you still do not know us for what we are. How many times have you rued the fact that if only you had known earlier? How often have you remarked at how obvious it now seems with hindsight, when the eventual moment of revelation arrives, long-delayed and overdue as it often is. How frequently have you bemoaned to friends and family that if only you have seen the signs you might have done something to avoid what had entangled with you. Wishful thinking indeed and such thoughts go on to pollute your future engagements with those prospective intimate partners. At some future point you may eventually dip a toe in the pool of intimacy again in the hope of finding someone who is as far-removed from us as possible, but what if one of our kind comes a calling? You know you identified the tell-tale indicators with the one of our kind who ensnared you, but what is Lucifer comes in many guises? Would you have the craft and skill set to out one of our if he locked on to you? Would your empathic traits override the caution? Would the old adage of lightning never strikes twice play through your mind even though it strikes several times when it comes to our kind? At the outset of your engagement with that interesting and exciting person, there are of course the many Red Flags which exist and about which I have written in greater detail. You ought to acquaint yourself with them, since not all of our kind will always exhibit certain indicators. Neither does it do any harm to avail yourself of additional ones should you find yourself becoming the attention of the Greater of our kind, if hitherto you had been involved with a Lesser of Mid-Range. Utilise these five early door tactics to expose whether you are at risk of being ensnared.
Make reference to an actor or celebrity and comment about how he or she is talented and handsome. Consider admitting you have a crush on this person and if they walked in now you would be smitten and so forth. Observe the reaction.
A Lesser will struggle even during the seduction to contain the effect of his criticism and will lash out with a comment such as,
“Him? He is a homosexual, yes, well known in the industry, of course his fan base cannot know.”
“Him? Had a lot of work done you know.”
“Him? Really? He is nothing to look at. You’ve got off taste if you like him.”
A Mid-Range will fall silent and then move the topic on to something else. He has the situation just about under control but remains wounded, hence the withdrawal through a brief silence and then going to a different topic.
The Greater. Watch for the very brief flicker of fury in the eyes. A narrowing of the gaze or slight sneer before the control is exerted. The Greater will smile (but there will no warmth) or there will be a hollow laugh before he will say,
“Not a patch on me though eh?”
“I could have been an actor you know.”
A normal person would respond with: –
“Yes, he is a handsome chap, I agree.”
“Do you think so? I’m not so sure, but I can understand why you might say that.”
Either fiddle with your ‘phone repeatedly or keep smiling at the waiter and chatting to him when he serves you. It need not be excessive as even a fairly minimum distraction in this way will irk our kind. Whatever situation you are in, find a way to put your attention on someone or something else.
The Lesser will put down the third party at the earliest opportunity by suggesting service was slow, the seats are unsatisfactory or will grab the phone from you and put it to one side. He will not be able to contain the ignition of his fury at such an early juncture.
The Mid-Range will try to compete by talking to a different waitress or by using his own ‘phone, doing his best to conceal the wound you have created by effectively ignoring him.
The Greater will start talking loudly about himself so you are forced to return attention to him. Boasts and outlandish comments will be made along with denigrating the offending person/item.
“It must be hell waiting on for a living, I am delighted I am able to have so much control over my work.”
“You know those ‘phones have been setting on fire. Yes, a manufacturing error. Clearly an inferior make. Now, take my ‘phone for instance.”
The normal person would politely ask you to stop using your ‘phone as much or would not smile pleasantly at your interaction with other people as noting it as just being friendly.
We will make various boasts about what we do, who we know and what we like and the latter will be frequent as we endeavour to mirror you. In such a situation where we have ascertained what you like through our prior targeting of you, do not, as so many people do, accept it at face value as being true and accurate but instead politely press for some more details. If we explain that we engage in fencing because you do, mention some of the relevant equipment and terminology to draw us into providing more detail.
The Lesser will fudge it, lacking the preparatory depth to know anything much beyond what you like. He will backtrack saying it was some time since he had done it or such like. He will become agitated as his fury starts to ignite because your challenge, notwithstanding its politeness, will amount to a criticism.
The Mid-Range will change subject and ask you to talk more about it. Reject this and invite his comment. He will withdraw as he keeps control and moves on to a different topic or makes an excuse to go to the toilet or to point out something else happening.
The Greater will be harder to trap in this respect because he or she will have undertaken a greater depth of preparatory work and also their higher function enables them to think on their feet more readily, but a continued gentle cross-examination will expose some deficiency eventually. Once this nears the Greater will apply greater charm towards you in order to deflect you from probing too deeply. Expect a string of compliments, a flourishing gesture (“how about some champagne?”) or praising your evident knowledge of the subject before moving on to something else.
The normal will talk easily and extensively about this interest without bragging or evasiveness because it is true.
It may appear a little forward but this is a useful indicator to determine who you are with.
The Lesser will be unpleasant about her because the memory of this treacherous person annoys him and therefore you will be subjected to a volley of explanations about how terrible she is.
The Mid-Range will be dismissive about the request. He knows that if pressed he will not be able to help himself and pour out how horrible she has been to him, how crazy she is and how he is trying to put himself back together again after a horrendous experience. He knows enough that this is not the ideal topic of conversation at this juncture but so long as he can maintain control, he need not spill the beans. He will comment that there is not much to say and change the focus. Bring him back to the focus and observe what happens.
The Greater will be complimentary since he or she knows that to portray the ex in such a light at this early stage of the seduction is a sensible move. This will of course change in due course once there is triangulation and you are embedded, but prior to this he wants you to recognise he is a “good” person and that it didn’t work out and will provide some woolly and amorphous reason why that is. The Greater will not be able to help himself comment that she couldn’t cope with his brilliance in some way and then use it to compliment you.
“We got on but she ultimately wasn’t as clever as me, not like you, you and I are exactly on the same intellectual wavelength, it is marvellous.”
“She wasn’t a bad person but she struggled with how hard I work. I know you are not like that because I can tell you are diligent and admire hard work.”
The normal will provide a brief and honest explanation, often admitting to failings on his part as well or explaining that he and her remain on friendly terms. There will be little bitterness or rancour even if the relationship was difficult, this person will have moved on.
We often do not like to discuss it or certainly certain elements of it. Much of it will be patchy and disjointed to us. References to other family members will be limited unless pushed and they will not be spoken about in warm or fond terms
The Lesser will make sweeping comments about how it wasn’t happy but fail to provide any detail or say it was nothing special. He will not divulge any memories of it as he struggles to do so.
The Mid-Range will be dismissive and want to talk about your childhood instead. Anything he does say will be anodyne in nature as he prefers not to revisit it.
The Greater will talk about his childhood but it will all be boasts about what he achieved, how many friends he had, how good he was football, the fact he was top of the class and so forth.
The normal will recount a handful of anecdotes, speak well of his family, link the fact that his childhood means he sees a lot of his family now or if he does not, because of death or distance, the fact he misses them.
The fact for so long you had no idea what you were dealing with resulted in you engaging in an anticipated behaviour. This behaviour is one which we regularly rely on in order to keep you in the dark. I have made mention of the various traits which we look for in those who make the most useful victims to us. One of those traits concerns your ability to try to find the good in everyone and everything. This is a typical empathic trait and along with all of the others which you possess causes you to flare up on our radar when we are seeking an excellent primary source. Your desire to see good means that it obscures your ability to see the bad or perhaps more accurately, to accept the bad. This is something we desire because it prevents you from truly recognising what it is that is happening to you once your devaluation has begun. We of course love to operate from a position of plausible deniability, we court ambiguity since we enjoy and need to twist and turn in order to achieve what we want. If you saw everything as stark and clear as I now describe our machinations to you, you would be more inclined to escape us and bring about that unwelcome cessation of our primary source of fuel. It would also make it harder to apply those hoovers when we wish to return you to the fold and have you engage in our cyclical endeavours once again. We present you with the truth of what we are on a repeated basis but although we offer it up in front of you, we never let you see it clearly. We draw a veil across certain elements, apply a smoke screen, obscure some parts and distort others. The reality is there before you. It is evident and plain but because of the way in which we purposefully manipulate you, you are unable to see it. It is akin to us pointing out a ship on the horizon. It is obvious for us to see but when we hand you a telescope to gain a better look at this vessel, the lens has been smeared with something which distorts the view, or we place our finger over part of the lens blocking your view.
The consequence of this distortion is to prevent you from truly seeing what we are. This in turn means that you are unable to form a clear and coherent view of the person which has taken hold of you. This becomes infuriating for others who we have not been able to drag into our façade, but who recognise full well what we are. These observers tell you what you are dealing with. They may be circumspect to begin with, hoping not to offend your sensibilities but over time their increasing exasperation causes them to come out and say it straight. Yet, such candour rarely finds favour with you because you do not like to be told something about someone as wonderful as us (or at least someone who was wonderful). You do not like to think that the golden period has gone. You do not like to be deprived of the idea that what you once had will never come back or even that it did not exist to begin with. Most of the reasons why you think like this is as a consequence of our manipulative behaviour, which further foes to underline that it is not your fault. Even your desire to see the good in people is not your fault either. That is who you are. We know that and we exploit it. It is our fault again but of course in the midst of the battle that we engage in with you, we will never admit that anything is our fault. That will never do.
Thus, your view of us is obscured and because of this you will always issue excuses to explain away our behaviour, our words and our actions. You make these excuses time and time again, to others and to yourselves. You believe these excuses because this is how you think and you have been led towards this train of thought by the schooling you have received at our manipulative hands and mouths. You also utilise these excuses to continue to convince yourself that the unsavoury elements of our behaviour are just an aberration, on occasional blip in respect of an otherwise magnificent person. Your charity is amazing and naturally most welcome for through this blinkered approach you divest us of responsibility for the things we do, something which aligns with one of our many stated aims. You prevent yourself from examining further the reality of what has now ensnared you and the repeated application of these excuses keeps you in situ. We want you to utilise these excuses. We want to hear them. We want them said to us and to others. Your excuses frustrate and alienate those who are against us, your excuses support out manufactured façade and most of all they ensure you deny to yourself that which is directly before you. Here are twenty-five of those such excuses. You will have said them and probably more than once. Understand that each time you utter one you have used a further death knell for your prospects of escaping us.