I find narcissists so very compelling because, point blank:
They have brought out the hero in me.
And in many people I care about.
Henry Boseley, in a great video essay, argues “Why Batman Is The Best Superhero” (https://youtu.be/b4lRkI2ScuA). I’m not sure if I agree with him about Batman, but I’ve always felt the Joker was (and is) the best villain.
A great villain catalyzes a great hero into action.
So, maybe the antidote to abuse, tyranny and trauma – is in the venom itself.
I am sure I would not be who I am today without the narcissists in my life who tried (in vein) to keep me in their lives, to be their ongoing “supply” of choice.
Some of them were super smart, super scary, super seductive and super strong.
But the worst ones were the ones who managed to disrupt my inner world, attempting to create anarchy and chaos in my mind.
I now understand “why” they did this:
because when someone is confused, it’s easier to toy with them, control them and feed off of them (which is exactly what the Joker did in Gotham).
That part made sense to me.
But as a free human being, it took me a long time to understand “why” I allowed it.
Why did my “freedom to choose” go out the window? Where did my agency go?
Dr. David Hawkins says that as humans, our achilles heel is our innocence – which is the very thing that makes us human.
We are receptive, sensory beings. We can’t un-see something, un-hear it, un-smell it, un-taste it, un-touch it.
When we are young, we believe what we’re told. When we’re older, unless we are given compelling evidence to the contrary, we believe what others tell us. (And inside of our beliefs, we often deny contradictory evidence when it does appear. Our relationship with REALITY – our true gateway to freedom – goes out the window.)
Our core innocence – and our desire to see the good in everyone – is exactly what a malignant narcissist targets.
The sweetest, tastiest and juiciest target (for energetic supply) for a narcissist is someone who is kind, empathic, thoughtful as well as strong. Strong enough to take care of the narcissist’s childish needs, to assuage their fears and stroke their egos and keep their facade of grandiosity nice and big. And yet – the targeted person must also fall under the narcissist’s hypnotic message that they are unworthy or incapable of taking care of their own needs… to be convinced that they need the narcissist in order to survive. This person must be empathic AND strong AND resilient AND succumb to the power of the narcissist.
It’s a weird and paradoxical combination of quallities. But it works.
Falling under a narcissist’s tyranny sucks. Energetically and emotionally. It can literally suck the life force out of you.
If that’s what one is faced with….
If that’s the REALITY of the relationship…
Why not spin the tale of tyrany into your own heroic journey?
ONLY YOU CAN RECLAIM YOUR MIND, EMOTIONS, SPIRIT AND IDENTITY.
ONLY YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE WHAT IS UNIQUELY YOURS TO CONTRIBUTE.
Maybe you didn’t write the beginning, but ONLY YOU CAN WRITE THE ENDING!
Batman’s villains use intelligence, strength, fear, temptation and chaos to attack Batman and the citizens of Gotham.
Aren’t these types of attacks exactly and precisely what you’ve had to face, endure and overcome in dealing with narcissistic abuse? Imagine that your mind is the city of Gotham.
In order to survive, in order to keep your mind intact, you’ve had to:
- Sharpen your intelligence in the face of their manipulative tactics
- Bolster your courage and clarity to combat the fear they generate
- Develop your strengths (physical, verbal, financial, spiritual) to protect yourself from theirs
- Own your will-power to overcome the temptations they sling your way
- Deepen your stance for order and justice in the face of anarchy and chaos
“The fact that the Batman’s villains so directly challenge aspects of his character means that he needs to show off the strengths of those characteristics to overcome those challenges. And when we see him solve his problems in this way, it makes the audience like him even more.”
Now, as you empower the hero within and take back your kingdom, you’ll want to keep using these strengths. But this time, even more on purpose. Without hypervigilance. With conscious, deliberate intent. On your own behalf. For the enhancement of your freedom, your power and your joy.
To really thrive, you’ll also want to:
- Amplify your sense of humor
- Embody the grandness of your spirit
- Sharpen your discernment
- Enliven your joy
- Share your newfound awareness and strength with others
Cheers to the hero in you!
“I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people – Maya Angelou
ps. If you liked this post, you’ll love this one:
Thriving after narcissistic abuse: 3 stages of healing to help you write your own ending