Let's do this.
When we talk about NA, we're not necessarily talking about an illness. Here, we're talking about an abuser, and one who can essentially be understood in two broad ways.•
🔴 A NA is someone who has grandiose views of self, but who cannot internally generate their own self-esteem. They may be successful, appear functional, and never admit these views. Regardless, deep down, they'll still feel like they're an unbeatable winner, perfectly desired, a perfect or perfectly happy person, a perfect caretaker, spouse or parent. They may believe they're superhumanly talented. They may believe they're God's chosen, favorite child. These beliefs are delusional, but they allow NAs to protect themselves from an inability to generate true feelings of self worth. Healthy people can recognize their own flaws, weaknesses, rejections, losses, and suffering, and still truly love themselves. If a NA were to see those things in his or her self, they would likely be filled with a self-loathing so intense and annihilating that the fabric of their existence would feel threatened. It would feel like a living death. 🔴 Because they cannot generate realistic self-love and need these fantasies so urgently, NAs acquire people who make them feel like their fantasies are true. They need other people to see them, respond to them and love them in an idealized way. They also typically don't understand the boundaries between other people's accomplishments and their own. If their friends and partner are talented, THEY are talented. If their partner is an amazing parent, then THEY are an amazing parent. If their children are successful, THEY are successful. Other people often become totally dehumanized in this dynamic, a mere means to this end. This is where abuse comes in. If a person acts entitled to hurt other people, and if they show a sustained pattern of emotionally, sexually, physically, or financially abusive behavior to force other people into roles that serve to maintain this kind of fantasy, then that is narcissistic abuse. It is exhausting, traumatic, and real.
And I think it's time to talk about it again.