Sabotage The narcissist has an innate desire to do harm, especially harm to those who love them. Sabotage is one way they do this. They will make comments to other people and family members to try and destroy their victims’ relationships. They will play the victim giving out false and untrue information about their spouse or target, etc. The narcissist will attempt to undermine the victim’s credibility and the victim’s mental sanity in the eyes of others. They will make subtle comments to others such as, “she thinks there are people in cars who park on our road for long periods of time during the day”. This was a comment by a severe narcissist about his wife made at my workplace. It turns out she was right… but the husband did not correct his statement or validate her in any way. He kept silent, until I pointed out to him and some others in the staff room that the police had shot a man on his road that had parked there for hours after stealing vehicles in the surrounding rural neighborhoods. Even after I said this he did not defend her. His aim was to hopefully make her appear mentally unstable to his workplace peers.
Isolation One reason that the narcissist undermines their victim in the minds of others is to isolate them from family or friend support. By working to destroy interpersonal relationships the narcissist effectively isolates the victim. It is much easier to alter someone’s reality when the victim has no one to talk to, confide in, or lean on for support. The victim ends up having to look to the very narcissist (who is the perpetrator) for support or help. This sets the stage for the narcissist to create crazy-making scenarios to drive the victim emotionally, intellectually, and sometimes physically into a chaotic, stressed, anxious, troubled, confused, and debilitating condition. The victim often has no idea what is going on. They just know that they are losing ground in their ability to function. Some victims can barely get out of bed in the morning.
Deprivation The narcissist intentionally deprives the victim of what they need to be healthy and functional. They will remove emotional support from their victim and their children. This creates a feeling of being very much alone in the situation for the victim. The narcissist will do things to try and increase the stress level of the victim. They will disrupt the victim’s sleep at night. They will go to work and leave the victim sick and throwing up with two very young children to care for over the day. They will ‘forget’ to do things that are very important to the victim. They will refuse to do other things they are asked to do by the victim because they know that it will provide some emotional support. The narcissist will claim that they have worked all day and that they are very tired. The narcissist will say, “I just need to have some time to myself. I don’t want to be looking after the kids, that’s your job. You’re the one who’s home all day, your lucky, you don’t have to work “. The narcissist will reduce finances available in the bank and place the victim on a tight household budget. They will complain when the victim buys some new shoes, or clothes, even though the victim rarely buys these. The narcissist will say, “I’m out working all day to provide for our family and you’re out spending it”.
Poisoning and physical abuse This may happen after the victim begins to see that something is amiss with the narcissist. The victim may accidentally stumble on something that opens their eyes as to what might be happening to them. The narcissist will then increase their abuse toward the victim. The narcissist will do this hoping to get the victim back under their control. Sometimes the narcissist will increase their abuse in order to punish the victim for finding out something about them, or to punish the victim for confronting them about an incident that happened with the narcissist, etc. This can include the hurting of family pets in order to hurt the victim. Something the narcissist might do is feed their victim small amounts of a drug or poison in order to compromise the victim’s physical ability to function. The narcissist will say, “I brought you a cup of coffee, aren’t you going to drink it?”. When the victim drinks most of the coffee, the narcissist says, “you don’t have to drink all of it, that should be enough”.
Some other kinds of physical abuse might include ‘accidentally’ hitting the victim in the face with an object, spraying water into the face of the victim with the garden hose, and placing the victim in risky physical situations. One incident that come to my mind is the narcissist asking me to sleep alone in a tent with a dog up on the mountainside while he slept in another tent with his Uncle. During the night a bear came sniffing right up to the side of my tent and it was very lucky for me that the dog didn’t wake up and start to bark. Another incident that comes to my mind is the narcissist trying to bounce me off the back of his motorcycle when we were out riding one day. He knew about the big bump after the railroad tracks because he had told me about it earlier. The narcissist’s response after the incident? “I didn’t know that bump was there or I would have slowed down”.
There is more…. to be continued in another post.