— “Forgetting pain is convenient. Remembering it, agonizing. But recovering the truth is worth the suffering.” ~ Carroll Lewis, Alice in wonderland.
The truth will set you free… But first it will piss you off.
I read that somewhere.
I thought it made quite a bit of sense, too.
Since I discovered about NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) due to my experience with a narcissist, I find myself thinking about truth often.
How I process it and how other people process it. But mostly, I wonder about how the narcissist processes it.
Of the many things on the narcissist’s hate list, truth must rate pretty high.
Narcissists simply hate to be confronted with the truth of who they really are.
Not surprising considering their entire existence is made up of fabrications to suit their made up self image.
The narcissist does not value truth, no matter how much he may harp on to the contrary.
He has no desire to be set free by your truth, but he will not pass up an opportunity to get pissed off with you…
After all, it’s all about the supply.
Being oblivious to this little (big?) fact, I made the error of confronting my ex-narcissist with the truth of how his behaviour had been affecting me negatively and causing me distress.
I was hoping to have a healthy adult conversation and reach some kind of resolution on how we could heal our seriously ailing relationship.
So, armed with expert information (that I had researched) about all the things he had been doing – the gas lighting, silent treatment, projecting, triangulation, and disrespect – I tried to navigate my way around the eggshells and landmines that characterize trying to talk to the narcissist.
I should have saved my breath.
I have since learned that one of the most effective ways to waste emotional and intellectual energy is by trying to reason with a narcissist.
You. Just. Can’t. Win!
Confronting a narcissist with the truth of their harmful behaviour and expecting them to hear you out graciously, is akin to sticking your hand into the mouth of a crocodile and expecting it not to snap it’s jaws shut on it.
When you confront a narcissist with the truth of how he has abused you (no matter how gentle or diplomatic you try to be) he doesn’t feel remorse, he feels affronted!
How dare you challenge him?
How dare you confront him and call him out on his erratic behaviour?
How dare you see him for who he is? How dare you figure out his devious plans and, worse, tell him about it? HOW DARE YOU?!
The narcissist cannot, and will not, take personal responsibility for his behaviour.
He will hardly apologise for it either.
He denies your reality – your truth – choosing instead to create his own truth and reality which exist solely to serve him.
He has no genuine concept of empathy or compassion, hence lacks remorse or regret for the way he behaves.
What the narcissist denies in himself, he attributes and projects on others.
Many are the times you will confront a narcissist over something they have done to you, only to have them throw it right back at you – magnified and embellished.
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When I confronted my ex-narcissist, he blatantly told me he did not trust me anymore.
That I was like two different sides of the same coin and he didn’t know who I was anymore.
That he could not move on from the things I had done and said to him.
That he could not reconcile the person I used to be with the person I had become.
That I never listened to him and I didn’t make an effort to understand him…
When he was through with me, I was slack-jawed in shock and confusion, wondering how the tables had shifted and suddenly I was the villain.
Naturally, I got defensive.
Trying to convince the narcissist that no, I hadn’t changed, and yes, he could still trust me and no, I wasn’t two sides of any coin, and yes, I did listen to him, and…
You get the drift.
My reaction was like manna to the narcissist.
He was having a field day feeding off my energy as I drowned in frustration trying to defend myself to him.
The issues I had confronted him with were pushed aside, unaddressed and unresolved.
I was worse off for confronting him than I had been before!
And just to make sure that I learnt the full lesson of making such a foolish and ill adviced move, the narcissist punctuated the matter with a generous helping of the silent treatment.
I learnt my lesson well.
Confronting a narcissist is an exercise in futility.
They will make you pay dearly for attempting to expose or reveal them for who they are.
Nothing good can ever come out of confronting a narcissist.
The emotional, mental, and psychological cost is too high.
And any satisfaction or victory you might get out of it will only be short lived – a pyrrhic victory, so to speak.
One that comes at such a great cost, it might as well be a defeat because the narcissist will always try and make you pay – painfully.