Friday, December 23, 2011

Enabler narcissism clarification

I apparently claimed all enablers are narcissists too. I'm not sure I truly wanted to, but it came out that way and I kind of stand by it.

All narcissists have a void at the center of their being. For some narcissists the void is filled by being the main person in everyone's world, while for others it's filled by being the most righteous one, the martyr, the obedient one, the one in the stronger narcissist's shade - and not a real person living and breathing and loving. Just defining oneself far less assertively than one's dominant partner, but still living ON one's definition of oneself and what others might think of it INSTEAD of truly living, if you understand what I mean.

And it's still narcissistic (in being black-hole-empty and living-in-the-mirror) although it's not overtly, dominantly, abusively so.


  1. I think I can make that leap. My mother was the dominate narcissist. She was attractive eye candy and my father liked it known she "belonged" to him. I think it thrilled him knowing men wanted his wife. Too bad they got her when he wasn't around.
    She had numerous affairs but he always forgave her. I think...I think he was a complete idiot, but I think he thought it made him look evolved. That loving this woman so completely, and his ability for forgiveness, was evidence of his emotional depth.
    In reality she left him a shell. His role as martyr to her drove him to an early grave. He spent 20 years defining his life by how it dove tailed with her.
    Like the moon, his light was merely the reflected light from another celestial body. Too bad her light emanated from a bare bulb hanging by a single strand of wire in the dank closet of a cheap motel.

  2. My mother had full on destructive NPD. My father enabled to the extent that he did nothing to protect us, though when their marriage broke up, he was very critical of her. However, his stance was always that it was 'much worse for him' than for me, her daughter. Like how? He at least could walk away.

    Since my mother died, I have realised the full extent of my father's narcissism. Although he is healthier and less destructive than my mother in some respects, he is chronically self-absorbed, takes no responsibility for anything he's done, and has appalling boundaries.

  3. I can completely relate to this. Totally blinded to my EF's narc qualities and even my SGbro. Now I see the level of their own narcissism, though less obvious. They are just lower level narcs dancing around the head puppet master narc of them all. . . my NM. Truly disturbing.

    I believe it was a post by PWC that mentioned how some narcs get worse after their parents die - the last line of authority in their lives. Agree that majority of enablers are just lower level narcs, maybe waiting for the head narc to pass on so they can claim the spotlight???

  4. I think some are inverted narcissists, and all are doing something destructive, but I think the mechanism is a little different, and without someone terrible to enable (which they always seem to find), they are not quite so bad on their own.

  5. No, I agree with Pronoia - maybe the narcissism rubs off on the enabler over time? My EF said something very chilling to me - "I married your mother because she was beautiful and intelligent and I knew she'd make an excellent mother!" This was in defense - I asked what it was about her that made him stick around or marry her in the first place (she left him and now lives in the same city as me, enjoying the life I lead - so creepy! But they always covered up the 'leaving my dad' part. It was in a moment of weakness that this frank discussion occurred).
    Did you notice that "Because I love(d) her" NEVER came up? Maybe I didn't capture the moment here well, but I heard it all as "Your mother makes me look good."
    She so doesn't. She makes him look like the most pussy-whipped castrado in the history of the universe. I think he needs to believe that she's a hot commodity, otherwise, what's he other than an emasculated whipping boy?
    Maybe being married to a narcissist makes you empty on the inside too. Or maybe you always were.


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