I accidentally went on a tangent this morning, starting with a thought about sex to past trauma and the toxicity of narcissists. So here, my thoughts.
I was feeling warm and fuzzy feelings this morning after being intimate with my partner last night, and I thought, “Wow, it’s great that I feel so good every time we have sex.” Then I realized that’s what it SHOULD be like.
It was an obligation, a chore, a necessity for peace regardless of what I wanted with my ex. And then there were the psychological gymnastics I had to perform to keep him happy. Even if I wanted sex, even if I physically got pleasure from it, there was this rift between us–he didn’t really care if I enjoyed it, he enjoyed the power he had over my body, the way it felt for him. That was all that mattered to him. I’m still haunted by the way he looked at me when he feigned affection while performing foreplay or anything that would bring only me pleasure. It hid the absolute boredom he was feeling.
The toxicity of narcissists leaves deep wounds. They’re black holes that will suck you in and twist you into service to their egos before you even knew what happened. All they need is a foot in the door–playing the part of what you want, saying the things you want to hear. Sometimes they’re indistinguishable to the untrained eye, and they rarely seek out victims with an intention of malignancy. They’re looking for you to validate the person they want to be because they are terrified of the person they might actually be.
The hallmark of a narcissist is the unwillingness to be introspective. They build a wall of projections against the subconscious knowledge of who they are, they exist in an internal reality of cognitive dissonance. They don’t begin as monsters though. Underneath that facade is someone broken or damaged, but instead of addressing that injury, they cover it up. Some convert that damage to a victim complex, luring in caring individuals to pity them and try to fix them. Others hide it behind vibrant plumage of wealth or beauty or perceived intellect, weaseling their way to positions of influence to lure in others with the promise of being just as rich or smart or beautiful as them (but you’ll never reach their splendor, they must remain on top).
Which brings me to what’s most surreal about narcissists. Their reactions to those who break their spell or reject their power. If you see through their facade, you can clearly see how broken they are underneath. This is how you know that on some level, they are self aware. When you reject them, they will project all the things they refuse to consciously acknowledge about themselves onto you. Because deep down, they know what they hate about themselves, but they can’t admit it. Instead, they hurl all those things at you, as though they are exorcising their own self-loathing, and for a time, they’ll feel vindicated because the problem was you, not them. They get to deny their damage for a little while longer, safe in knowing that it’s yours now. But it will always come back because it never left. It was only ever their own.