Your Crucifixion is the Narcissist’s Resurrection
A partnership with a personality disordered narcissist has an expiration date. And at the end of the cycles of narcissistic abuse, the only way it can end is with your death.
A narcissist is not gender-specific, but for the purposes of this discussion, I will refer to the narcissist as a male.
First of all, let me name that narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD, is a delusional disorder. Many have asserted that people with NPD are incapable of self-awareness, but I think that misses the mark. They are self-aware but have impaired perceptions. They know that they are different from others, but their inflated egos, grandiosity, and sense of entitlement causes them to externalize the freakishness factor and assume the position that others are merely envious, inferior, and misinformed. “Normal” becomes a negative concept designed for the weak and cowardly masses who are not enlightened or free like the narcissist perceives himself.
People with NPD have an external locus of control, use projection, and refuse to accept any accountability for their actions. The causal link between cause and effect is broken. An external locus of control supports a belief that one is helpless, without blame, and not in control, so the internal locus of control is usually the healthier, happier approach. Since they think they must fight to have control over their lives, their perceptions are often distorted. They are constantly looking outside themselves for fuel, supply, and validation for their survival since there is no internal mechanism to provide it. Studies have also found that individuals with an internal locus of control have more ethics and the ability to incorporate morals and values into their decision making.
There is something called the grandiosity gap which all narcissists must confront eventually. This disparity or disconnect between the accomplishments of the narcissist and his grandiose fantasies is staggering and, over time, completely indefensible. If the narcissist can never accept blame for anything he does, what happens when this gap suddenly stares them in the face?
So if the narcissist is a one-trick pony, a myopic, single-visioned 2-dimensional cardboard cutout zombie, their delusional insight and magical thinking leads them to “re-frame” the situation. There are two parts to this.
- He watches you and takes notes on everything you do only to intentionally misinterpret them because he needs to destroy, disappoint, and torture so that he can move that locus of control outside of himself. He transforms the empty abusive self into the good guy and the victim so he can feel better and relieve the pain of the inner trauma. You must carry his pain for him as Jesus carried the sins of humanity. When you assume the burden, he is freed, whole, and in control.
- The person with NPD needs delusions, magical thinking, projection, blame-shifting, and misinterpretations to create a negative view of you. He then uses the negative view he has created as justification to punish you and ultimately, to kill you. It is called “revisionist history” when he spins fiction into fact and transforms into the victim although he is actually the perpetrator of the abuse.
After the dynamic has been successfully reframed, the narcissist can continue his ‘torture and destroy’ campaign in varying degrees during the devaluation stage of abuse which can last from weeks to years depending on the type of narcissist, the status of the three primary aims (fuel, traits, benefits), and the matrix of external resources.
As if this were not disconcerting enough, it is only the groundwork for what follows. Most narcissists suffer from some version, small or large, of what is called The Dead Mother Complex. It is a syndrome of narcissistic dysregulation characterized by detachment from the emotional world, a sense of futility, and a state of profound emptiness where things are always ‘not enough.’ The person with NPD is dissatisfied with his job, his living situation, his relationships, and his status in the public eye. He is needy, lonely, and hollow. How does this happen to the narcissist?
When he was a young child, his feelings of safety and comfort are displaced or removed resulting in brutal damage to the relationship within the internal mother. The authentic, life-affirming love and validation come to an abrupt halt, and in some cases were never actually present to begin with. This absence of the mother image that represents well-being, life, love, identity, and grounding is now a gaping hole in the young child. There is a loss of the mother’s vital engagement that is massive and for a longer period than can be tolerated. It is a catastrophe that carries with it the loss of meaning, identity, love, and validation which in turn leaves what is known as a “cold core” in its absence. The child effectively shuts down, fails to thrive, becomes unseen and unheard, and ceases to exist. Next, the child’s ego responds with a decathexis of the maternal object and unconscious identification with the dead mother. Decathexis is the process of dis-investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea. The child becomes disinvested in both his mother and himself. The mother of the Dead Mother Complex is actual — in the sense of a primal or origin object or image which is a fundamental building block of what will become the young child’s self. When she is dead, the child dies with her. The child’s limited level of comprehension can produce the feeling that he does not exist along with acute blank states of emptiness and exisistential nothingness.
What implications does this have for the partners that narcissists couple with? Who will pay for the sins of the mother?
The narcissist picks at the mother cadaver to scavenge pieces that he may try to wear or assign to others as the roles shift and jumble up in the most tragic of ways.
With the dead mother, the narcissist was the victim — so he needs to victimize you to become the dead mother or proxy so he can have the upper hand as she did. If he can reconstruct the same dynamic, become the one who invalidates and abandons, then he wins and can feel a sense of relief, justice, and even happiness.
You must become the dead mother and ultimately, you must die.
Every time you love them, you sabotage and undermine the negative part of the narcissist that he is projecting upon you. He can’t survive knowing that he is the one that is the vampire Frankenstein monster. And he hates you for this.
The war between substance and spectacle is ongoing. The dissonance between appearance and reality is perpetual. The only predictable feature in their lives is unpredictability. Short term is all they have, and everything is brief and short-lived. They have no object constancy so they cannot attach, bond, or have meaning. They love and hate in one-dimension. Life is a painting, not a 3-D sculpture. They are a pond pretending to be an ocean.
He needs to believe you are the enemy. He is dimly aware of this “projection identification” by forcing you to act badly, then blaming you, persecuting and punishing you, and eventually destroying you. It is necessary if he wants to maintain his sparkling clean false self that is always the victim and always the good guy. That only leaves these roles for you: Mother. Jesus. Martyr.
So the person with NPD has mother issues, mortality issues, and a delusional world view. Your job is to let him externalize his pain and trauma by carrying it for him in ways the mother never did, thus you become the better version of the dead mother.
And in the end, when the discard stage of the abuse cycle arrives, you must be crucified and surrender your life so the narcissist can be healed and resurrected. The purgation or catharsis provided by your sacrifice is like purifying the narcissist in holy water; he is baptized in the river of your blood.
One of the most difficult parts about dying for him is the fact that there is no appreciation or recognition for your ultimate sacrifice, for the gift of life you give him. In fact, he hates you. Despises you. Has an abundance of contempt for you. He wants you to die. And die you must.
If you love a person with a narcissistic personality disorder, you must be prepared to give your life to him without recognition or reward. He hits the erase button, and your entire life with him will vanish like smoke right in front of your eyes. His amnesia is permanent. The history is reimagined.
There is no other outcome or end. It may take only a few weeks or maybe several decades, but it will always end this way. Be ready to hang on that cross and cry out in anguish as the nails pierce your hands and feet. You will be tortured, and it will be a slow and painful death. If you love a narcissist and cannot summon the strength to escape, you will die. One way or another, you will die, and he will be resurrected from your ashes. You have been warned.
Prajinta Pesqueda is a veteran of a war against trauma-induced C-PTSD caused by a 15-year marriage to a covert somatic mid-range narcissist-sociopath and addict. She is a recovery coach and holds a Master’s degree with an emphasis on guidance and counseling.
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