‘The Mask’ tells the story behind the mask…
This is a story about the incomprehensible, terrifying and diabolical world of pathological narcissism or narcissistic personality disorder. The term narcissism and narcissists are used quite freely today but there is an enormous difference between having narcissistic traits, we all have them to a greater or lesser degree, and being a pathological narcissist. Pathological narcissists harm and destroy people that they come in to contact with. They wear masks and the mask cunningly disguises a lethal unoccupied shell void of empathy and remorse. It hides their severe hatred, lies, envy, entitlement, self-centeredness, confabulations, deep pathological envy and grandiosity. Sometimes, what we see is not what we get.
Pathological narcissists share a number of traits with sociopaths and psychopaths as all three of these personality types have no empathy for others and are highly interpersonally exploitative. This makes them extremely dangerous for they are not able to care for and love others. Kind, caring, authentic and empathic human beings are severely and sometimes irreparably damaged by relationships and, specifically, intimate ones with them. This is a tale of a middle-aged man that fell deeply in love with a beautiful fair-haired maiden many years younger. It is not a fairy tale, it’s not a warm and wooly bedtime story but it’s true. It’s a tale of atrocity that will haunt, horrify and captivate. It’s a tale that catapulted me into a journey that brought me face to face with the unimaginable, the wicked and the truly heartless.
I fell in love with a human being that existed in the biological and physiological sense only.
Her mask was of empathy, authenticity, kindness and humanity. It was a few years ago that I met her and I entered into a trauma, chemically bonded psychological and emotional covenant with her that was almost impossible to break free from. She fooled me and she did it expertly. One day, three years later, I left her and broke the cycle of abuse.
In our time together, she tried mercilessly to ransack me of all that was precious and sacred. My sanity, my joy for life, my creativity, my self-esteem, my sense of humour, my integrity, my eidetic memory and her ultimate prize, my soul. Her final invoice to me was to be for my life. She underestimated not only my willpower, but also my will to live and in doing so, she failed.
So often I wish that this was not true and that she did indeed have a sweet heart that bleeds and beats to the tender drum of compassion, empathy and humanity but it is not so.
Pathological narcissists roam freely among us and are brutal and devastating wrecking balls. The damage of horrific psychological, emotional and spiritual trauma that they inflict on people defies human belief. It’s time to expose them and in the exposure, lies the power to recognise, empower and remove ourselves from these treacherous pseudo human beings.
The key here lies in the identification of being involved with someone who has this personality disorder. I had the feeling that something was very wrong in this relationship but I could not put my finger on it. The very moment that realised what I was dealing with, everything snapped into place and made complete sense. The beast was given a name and I was able to do something about it. I realised that I have become both a victim and a survivor of narcissistic abuse which is now known as narcissistic victim syndrome.
I came to understand my vulnerability in my attracting and being attracted to narcissists for the dance of the codependent empath and the pathological narcissist is a complex and deep rooted one. My power lies now in the awareness and the understanding and armed with this, I am able to break free from the compulsion of my lifelong repetition.
It was very, very difficult to set myself free from this truly toxic and addictive contract with her and it took every ounce of intuition, courage, conviction and inner strength that I had to draw on from deep within myself. I triumphed on that day when I threw off my shackles, cut the umbilical cord and let myself out of a lifetime of toxic incarceration.
I have written this story with an immense amount of feeling, intensity, knowledge and experience.
The stark reality of my experience with her and the suffering that it caused me is that it was not personal. Narcissists by their very nature will abuse all that they come into contact with. I subconsciously chose her because of my own childhood experience of having a narcissistic father. Therein, lies the pattern for me to unravel.
Ultimately this is a tale of hope, where their antitheses hopelessness and fear tried their very damnedest to succeed and lost’.
© Charles Bowes-Taylor | November 2019