I Love You Not


daisy-flowerNarcissistic love affairs seem to be on the rise. Did I say love?  “Ha, it may be an affair, but it’s anything but love!” is the sentiment shared by an increasing amount of men and women who now look back over the fantasy they thought was true love. I was intrigued enough by their stories to do some research and found that Narcissism is actually considered a form of Domestic Violence.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) offers the following definition of DV:

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.

From what I’ve learned, Narcissists will almost always attract a very trusting soul. They seek out highly sensitive partners (HSPs) who wear their feelings on their sleeve and are overly empathetic. An HSP is the Narcissist’s prize catch, because *she will rescue him from all the “bad” people in his life. She will go over and above to make up for the wounds that he suffered at the hands of his “neurotic” ex, or his demanding children, or his dysfunctional boss. She will make sacrifices to meet his “limited” schedule and his inflexible demands, and she will ask little in exchange; just knowing that he “loves” her is enough.  (But remember, it’s not love!)

So why would she comply to conditions that seem way off balance? Why would she agree to give far more than she gets? Isn’t she the idiot for getting involved in the first place? No. Not when you consider the smoke screen he uses.

The Narcissist has a method, or to use the phrase provided by the NCADV, “a systematic pattern of power and control.”  It is through this system of emotional and psychological abuse that the Narcissist reels his partner in, clouds reality, and renders her “useless” at the end.

The trauma of psychological violence and emotional abuse is not obvious to the outside world. In fact the subtlety of these types of abuse can fool even the victim (HSP) themselves, and therein lies the problem. Through progressive and thoroughly orchestrated manipulation of their partner, the Narcissist slowly but surely isolates them, takes away their decision making power, destroys their self-esteem and convinces them that they are mentally unfit to be in any relationship.

Sound far fetched? If you saw “before” and “after” snapshots of the typical HSP, you would become a believer. They are often rising stars and pillars of optimism at the start of the relationship. By the end (however long it takes for them to finally wake up), most aspects of their life have crumbled to pieces – the last piece being the relationship itself. They have lost control of their life and they blame themselves.

That is exactly what the Narcissist wants, because he uses that as the excuse to move on to his next victim.It is deception of the worst kind. Worse yet, he draws on the sympathy of mutual friends and family for the so-called “hardship” he endured having been stuck with such an “unstable basket case.” In doing so, he drives a wedge between her and everyone he knows leaving her isolated.

Those who shared their stories had another similar sentiment, “Nothing hurts as much as the realization that what you thought was true love was anything but love.”  Each one in their own way said that no one wants to believe that the words “sweetheart, you are the love of my life” were inauthentic or have been uttered to every person before and every person after them. But one particular woman had a great point when she said, “I would prefer to accept the fact that he is incapable of love, than to accept the lie that he shoved down my throat, that I was unlovable.”

*Although written from the “female perspective” it is important to know that both men and women can be Narcissists and HSPs.  It isn’t about gender anyway – it’s about putting an end to silencing victims of Domestic Violence because in silencing them, we prevent them from educating themselves or safely opening up about the trauma they suffered. 

The following author paints an interesting picture about narcissistic “love”:

The Love Story of a Narcissist and His Victim – by Shahida Ariba

Once upon a time, his tenderness wrapped around you and his fingers traced the outline of your tattoo as his lips brushed against your ear. Most love stories begin with a kiss; this one begins with a well-constructed mask and premeditated murder. A first meeting where the conversation is sex itself; language becomes a weapon and a medicine, a healing balm for your wounds and a sick game of Russian roulette.  (Continued here…)

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