Sometimes it takes just the right “trigger” to make you see the shockingly sad truth of your own life. In an old episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, I had one of those “aha” moments. While the narcissistic restauranteur/husband wandered around his £80,000-in-debt failing restaurant, verbally abusing his wife, the long-suffering codependent woman insisted the cameras be shut off so no one would see her husband like that.
Like what!?! Like the narcissist he was? Like the verbal abuser he was? Like the victim-player he was? Like the manipulative charmer he was? Like the financial chauvinist he was? Like the drama queen he was by talking long and loud about having a “breakdown” while relaxing outside with a cigarette, while his fragile wife was rushing about the kitchen obviously about to actually have a breakdown!?
She showed me exactly how far narcissists and their codependent Flying Monkey sycophants will go to cover up the truth. Turn off the cameras. Keep the family secrets. Play stupid. Spin the truth. Lie, lie, lie.
Most importantly, if we do finally tell the truth about them, they will always, always, always make us out to be the liar.
What other choice do they have? Their very existence, or rather the existence of their carefully created False Persona, depends upon it. A lifetime of lies is about to crumble because Little Ol’ Us told the truth – accidentally or on purpose.
My narcissists chose to make it official. They paid good money to put it in black-and-white. The letter from their attorney demanded that I publicly proclaim myself and this blog to be a pack of lies by placing this disclaimer in every article I write for Narcissism Meets Normalcy:
“Some events have been dramatized…
and do not necessarily accurately represent actual events.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, that would have been the first lie in this blog.
If you’ve spent any time living with a narcissist, you know they provide masses of drama. No “dramatization” is necessary. No fabrication is required. The bald-faced truth about what they say and the “actual events” of their actions is dramatic enough!
But my narcissists’ demand gives us a brilliant insight into the workings of the narcissistic mind on so many levels.
First, a narcissist can’t deny what they said and did during a blackout rage because, well, they were blacked out. It’s called a “blackout” for a reason. After the fact, they have no memory of what they said or did.
But we do. The shock seared every word and deed into our memories verbatim.
Secondly, there are no “extenuating circumstances” that can excuse a narcissist’s verbal abuse and unconscionable actions…ever. “But you didn’t tell the whole story,” they whine, “There were reasons I had to say what I said and do what I did.” Those “reasons” simply don’t matter. Some things should never be said, some things should never be done. Full stop. The “situation” simply doesn’t matter. Somehow the twisted logic of their narcissistic brain gave them the right to do and say those things because of “stress” or whatever their pet reason happens to be.
Thirdly. when you tell the truth about the narcissistic abuse you’ve borne, don’t expect any empathy from any member of your family. You may think they’ll be shocked. Rally to your side. Express empathy.
No. They won’t.
Your narcissist will simply do what, I assume, my family did and heap lie upon lie to convince your siblings, extended family, friends and acquaintances that you are the liar. That you are mentally disturbed. That they’ve long been covering up your penchant for pathological lying. That you misunderstood them. That you’ve made it all up.
Nevermind that you never were a liar before. Nevermind that the clues were always there. Nevermind a lifetime of being an honest, upstanding citizen. Suddenly, you and I are painted as liars and exaggerators of the first order.
Which is why I advise you not to expect a shred of empathy or a crumb of sympathy from your extended family when you “go public” with the truth. They won’t say, “I’m so sorry you went through that abuse. I had no idea or I would’ve helped you escape.” You will be kicked to the curb coldly and callously and let’s be honest, with you out of the way, there’ll be all the more money for them to inherit from your narcissist.
When you choose to go No Contact, you make yourself an orphan. Don’t expect your extended family to ever speak to you again.
What surprises me the most is how the narcissist’s Flying Monkey will behave like the wife mentioned at the beginning of this article. She was the victim of horrible abuse and yet she demanded that “no one see him like this.” Why? Why!?
That’s what I asked myself as it became clear, I assume, that my narcissist’s wife was the guiding light behind their (futile) legal efforts to discredit me as a liar. She knew me to be so honest that ever since childhood, I faithfully narced on myself for my childhood naughtiness, full well knowing I’d either receive a lecture, a spanking or both. Yet, I still told the truth.
She, of all people, had bore more mental, verbal and emotional abuse than even me. So why was she, of all people, attacking me when I write every article in Narcissim Meets Normalcy in the hopes of helping her clearly see the private horror of her life with her narcissist? Why does every Flying Monkey attack the Whistleblower???
She knew every event I related was true. She knew every word I quoted was true…or did she!?! As I thought it over, I realized most of the abuse was done in absolute secrecy. That’s one of three main reasons Flying Monkeys defend their narcissists: Isolation, Naïveté and Pride.
Think about it: How many times did your narcissist say or do unconscionable things to you in isolation? In secret. In private. Only you and them in the room. Exactly.
I came to realize that when I was slapped across the face by one parent, the other parent was elsewhere. When I was punched in the face by my narcissist, the Flying Monkey was elsewhere (and I was specifically told to keep the punch a secret and gaslighted as well.) When the narcissist or Flying Monkey talked about each other, it was always in secret when the other was out of the room. The only common element is me: I saw, heard and experienced it all and kept most of it secret for decades.
So when I finally broke my silence, it was my word against their denials. There were no witnesses to back me up. Most of the abuse was done and said in absolute privacy.
But Flying Monkeys should know exactly who is the most honest and forthcoming person. I’ve never fabricated any falsehood. I’ve always been an honest person and they damn well know it. You’ve always been an honest person too and your narcissist damn well knows it. Heck! How often did they use our own honesty against us!?! Oh, they know we’re honest for sure!
It is hard to admit your entire life has been spent revolving around a narcissist. The hardest thing you will ever do is admit that narcissistic abuse has been your “normal.” That your nearest and dearest are narcissists and your devotion to them was a fertile ground for their abuse to grow, while both you and them blamed you for “deserving” it and “causing” it. It doesn’t get much worse. Naïveté dies a hard death, screaming and writhing in agony. I should know. Sometimes the other people in the narcissist’s sway just don’t want to make this horrible and embarrassing admission.
No one wants to admit they made a mistake. Devoted decades of love and devotion to someone who caused them acute pain. It’s hard to admit that you, who talked long and loud about “not keeping abuse a secret” kept your own own abuse a deep dark secret. Agonizing to admit you were even complicit in your own abuse.
A good Flying Monkey shields their narcissist to spare their own blushes. So they don’t have to admit to themselves or others, “Yes, your suspicions were right. I shouldn’t have married him/her. I’m bonded to an abuser. I gave the best years of my life to this jerk. My whole life is built on a lie. I screwed up my life by foolishly bonding to a narcissist. I even lost my child(ren) because of them. My regret is bitter and deep.”
That’s tough to say. It takes courage, humility and a support system so you can leave your narcissist and rebuild a life without them.
Not only have I not lied in Narcissism Meets Normalcy, there are actually some dramatic things I’ve still not told you. Abuses. Unkindnesses. Brainwashing. Dirty little secrets I still hold in secrecy because, well, there’s no real point in divulging them. No point to prove. No lesson to be taught.
Just because your narcissist screams that you’re a liar until they’re blue in the face, does not make it true! Even if they make of show of investing their treasured money in legal services to make a dramatic show of discrediting you, you’re still not a liar.
Truth is truth. You can kick it, threaten it, scream at it, poo-poo it, contradict it, litigate it and demand the cameras be shut off…but that changes nothing. Truth is still truth.
Hold on to the truth! It will, indeed, set you free!