One of the greatest lessons I learnt from the saga of living with my very own narc is how they mirror. We need to understand that when we ‘fall in love’ with one, what we’re doing is actually falling in love with a mirror of all our best qualities.
Just think about the mask of a narc, if you’ve ever seen one fall, then you see the very real, very angry at everything kind of person that they truly are with nothing but spite and hatred for anyone that dare cross them by often simply saying “No dear”. This evilness is covered enough by any survivor of narcissism abuse/emotional abuse to great lengths, and in many scholarly articles by experts. It’s a very real thing.
One of the other life lessons I had to learn post abuse was to learn to love myself first, re-find the essence of me and what it is to be me. To try and grow in abundance, if I can. To stop being so damn co-dependant, to recognise my own self-worth and to try to develop a higher set of values and beliefs based on who I want to be romantically, morally and always looking for that summum bonum moment to prove to me that actually, I can be a good, selfless person.
And here's the kicker...
My recovery is a direct consequence of the fact-finding mission I endeavoured to understand what the fuck actually happened to me. My abuser healed me!
Let me try and explain...
If recovery from abuse is all about finding yourself and learning to love yourself first, then just think back to the initial few months of your narcissism abuse. Close them eyes and remember how hard it was to leave but only based on the ‘good’ times when he/she couldn’t do enough for you. They said everything often in too much agreement but they made you feel incredibly good about yourself for a time.
So, that was all fake clearly as mirroring is very real. You fell in love with an image of yourself. They mirrored all of the best parts about you. It can't count for all of the good times granted, and the deployment of weaponised emulation of very nice personal traits belonging to you is only really prominent at the start of the dynamic.
Now, proof is in the pudding. Once they have you, they feel like they own you and so the mirrors do a switch. They can't keep up the pretence of YOUR love, it's not who they are at all as they're emulating and mirroring you.
And so, the inevitable switch from stealing your best bits to them filling the void in your soul with their very own version of spite by using projection – this is flagrant accusations of wrong doing on your part without cause or evidence as usually, a good projectionist is only ever accusing you of what is actually their very real truth. And so, the avalanche of emotions comes forth and we get lost in it all and endure the lies, gas lighting, love bombing, coercion, manipulation, cheating, emotional abandonment, accusations on repeat and then the final discard and smear campaigns if we’re lucky enough to finally escape.
Further proof can come from closely watching any narcs you might know. I know a few now, one lad, a higher functioning sociopath really, who’s MO is to outflank women and take money from them, finally met his match. A true detestable human woman who was also a complete narcissist. It kicked off straight away, you know them relationships that just start on a low of continual fighting, there is every chance that the couple are both or have narc traits as mirroring cancels out the other. Think about it, the number of dickheads you’ve met who made you feel a million dollars, only to turn on a penny and start being a douche. They’ve taken what they need, the mirror has flipped and projection and torment have begun.
In the case of my Lothario chum, he doesn’t have that many immediately obvious decent qualities that another narc can mirror and steal, neither did his narc lady clearly. The selfish acts of a narc are just that, it's all about self and often in extremes of self.
More money, more love, more sex no matter how they get there. You’d be right to think that that sounds sort of idyllic, and it surely is in a non-co-dependent dynamic where two people are in love and do have healthy considerations toward their respective partner but balanced with healthy boundaries which is mostly by having equilibrium, honesty, taking responsibility and showing empathy toward the person that we claim to love.
When the coupled narcs go into auto-steal his/her best bits-mode, they had not nothing to give, or very little as best bits, and then the more money, love and sex thing happens very quickly which, from the outside would look sort of normal but inside its two strangers having daily battles, driven on by a skewed reality and trying to reach their own agendas in nefarious ways as they won't even acknowledge each other's needs at all except for harping on about their own needs and demanding change, usually on day four.
So, back on track. Mirroring.
The only good memorable part of being with an emotional abuser is highly regarded as them simply showing you the very best of you intermixed with an undertone of agenda, so intimacy is rushed and its often explosive as a bait. We get sucked in at the thought of finally finding the ‘one’ - it all seems so perfect as these qualities they're showing you ARE YOU and it's what attracted them to you in the first place. They're almost psychic in the emulation and its why, when the mask falls, that we are often shocked at what's actually behind it which is a total stranger. They reveal themselves in that moment, no more niceties, here comes the boom. But we hang on to the nice times, I remember journaling “I only hope that whatever this is that’s overcome her, goes away. Where's her vibrance and love, why are her eyes like a shark”. Because Nelly, that’s who she be.
And then I made that connection in that mine really was pure evil by my own perception. All of the aftermath of me leaving for good, with very valid reasons for doing so, showed me who she truly was.
And yet, for a time, she was amazing, right at the start, and then she shat all over my life but, when she was good, she was ok, it was, I thought, love, that I now know to have been her emulating my nature. It was so fake and none of it was real.
But, and this isn't a stretch, for a while, what I had to give, actually brought evil to its knees, it made mine a sort of good, emotionally manageable person for about 4 months – I had enough good in me, to get someone that is evidence based a sociopath to be calm and decent for a while and it was enough mirroring for me to falsely love her which was in effect, me.
Now that I accept and know what I give to be real and true and seeing how it mirrored back at me and temporarily halted a psychopath has taught me to balance what I need with boundaries, take nothing for granted, embrace my empathy and above all else it showed me that I am loveable and that I do finally love myself for the first time in my life which they strip away from us piece by piece into complete submission and control.