According to the Mayo Clinic cases of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are rare. I am not going to say that is wrong but I also bet that you know know several people that display more than one or two of the traits. The narcissist doesn’t seek treatment or counseling because, in their mind, they are beyond okay, they are fabulous. Anyone that can’t see their awesomeness is the one that is crazy.
Someone that has Narcissistic Personality Disorder has a history of having an exaggerated sense of self worth. They don’t just see themselves as important, intelligent and special but more important, extremely intelligent and incredibly special.
The Narcissist thrives in the limelight and is gifted at controlling conversations and situations so as to keep the focus on themselves or what they want to talk about or do.
It would make sense that such a person would not have friends or romantic relationships. That, however, is seldom the case. Initially the narcissist is charming and interesting. Early on they even seem to be fascinated by you and your life. Just as a person that abuses their spouse didn’t smack them around on their first date the narcissist trains their flying monkeys gradually.
If you are in a relationship with a Narcissist think back to when you you were first getting to know them. Did they say and do things that boosted your feeling of self worth and made you feel special? This happens in a lesser degree in healthy relationships too but the narcissist draw you in and helps you be accepted by the team of existing flying monkeys (enablers). The other monkeys may not readily accept you in the beginning but the Witch (narcissist) will keep them in line as s/he adds you to the ranks. You may even feel indebted to the witch because for awhile it can be exciting and fun to be with the witch and the other flying monkeys. We all like to be part of something and feel connected.
The problem arises when you think for yourself and offer ideas or opinions different from the witch. A true narcissist will either ignore you, make you feel inferior for even suggesting your thoughts or ideas or subtly make it clear that they are in control. You must comply to remain part of the band of flying monkeys otherwise you get kicked to the curb. The monkeys don’t talk about it, but they all know who is in charge. Don’t look to the other flying monkeys for support. It is a dictatorship, not a democracy.
It sounds a lot like bullying or an issue that wouldn’t come up in adulthood, right? Narcissists attend the school of, “I’m not getting older; I’m getting better.” They have honed their skills over years, even decades.
Perhaps you have worked with a boss or supervisor that keeps employees in line through intimidation? Perhaps it is a spouse that always manages to get their way or the friend that always dominates the conversation and mostly talks about themselves?
Am I right that you know some of these people? It can be difficult to break ties with the witch and the flying monkeys.
If the witch is a spouse or parent they have likely lead you down a long path of low self-esteem making you believe that you are such a looser that you are just lucky they still throw you a few crumbs from time to time.
If the witch is a friend it can be hard to break free since you accidentally distanced yourself from other relationships as you were drawn into the the flying monkey clan.
The Narcissistic wife or husband will have you convinced that you are unworthy and maybe even crazy. Given the opportunity they will also convince relatives and friends that any problems are because of your mental state, difficult personality or character flaws.
It isn’t easy to break away from any kind of abusive relationship without a support system. You may need counseling to get through the hurt as you rebuild trust in yourself.
If you are being victimized by a Narcissist seek help. The abuse they have dolled upon you isn’t visible like a bruise, or heard like name calling. It attacks you at your core and eats you up from the inside. The witch has the disease but his/her victims are the ones suffering and in some cases dying.
You can call the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 . Not every abuser hits or calls names.