High level narcissists live strictly for themselves. They bring individuals into their lives—spouses, partners, ex-spouses, children, siblings, friends, business associates, to play “roles” that build and enhance their grandiose images and masks of their ubiquitous false selves. Narcissists are disingenuous, incapable of being true, real or authentic.
High level narcissists create chaos, pain and destruction wherever they go. Those who have grown up as children of a narcissistic mother or father, know this story too well. I hear from many of these children and the tales are hair-raising. Children are emotionally and psychologically neglected, treated like dirt or in the other extreme—chosen as perfect living replicas of themselves. These are the golden children who are picked from the rest of the pack for their physical beauty or handsomeness, intellectual brightness, athletic potential, social graces—they embellish the high level narcissist’s self image. On the opposite end are the children who are treated with derision and scorn, those who are beaten verbally or physically, neglected and cast out as “inferior” from the day they were born. They are the forsaken, the wretched ones of the family. The narcissistic parent has no problem inflicting severe levels of abuse since he/she doesn’t have a conscience and no capacity for empathy, compassion or guilt.
If you are the child of a high level narcissist, married to or divorcing a narcissist or have any relationship with one of these toxic individuals, your greatest assets are the power and depth of your knowledge of the narcissistic personality and routines and practices of self care: Learn to appreciate your real self deeply. Develop a sense of self entitlement: get the sleep and rest that you deserve. Learn how to practice rest. You deserve this! If you are resting and fall asleep, this is so positive; it is what you need and deserve. Movement and exercise that works for you; keeping solitude with yourself; expressive writing with a pen as you write down unedited thoughts, feelings, dreams, reveries. Explore your creativity in all of its forms: sketching, painting, gardening, taking photo, cooking, dancing, singing and the gifts of your imagination. Move at your own pace; no one can rush you and tell you how to speak, move, think, imagine, discern, pray, sing, write–Be your precious individual self.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D., LMFT