While there is always SO much more to say about the subject of personality disorders, both on what causes it (trauma…), what heals it (primarily, a strong connection to God and the more spiritual dimension to life), and the terrible pain and suffering it can cause others (leading to more trauma, mental illness and personality disorders…) this last word on the topic, for now, is the key to really ‘leaving the cult’ of narcissistic personality disorder once and for all.
So what is this magic formula for emancipation?
In a nutshell, cultivating the strong belief that: you are not a victim.
Now, I don’t write these words lightly. There’s a stage every ex ‘cult’ member goes through where it’s actually good and healthy and part of the healing process to recognize the wrongs that were done to you, and the emotionally-ill mind games you were trapped in, and all the guilt trips, and destructive criticisms and blame games you were made the scapegoat for.
You can’t leave the cult if you don’t acknowledge just how bad cult behavior, and cult thinking really actually is. If you try to short-cut this part of the process, you’ll end up excusing things you shouldn’t, and justifying all sorts of evil attitudes and cruel actions, and then as soon as you whitewash those things, you’ll inevitably carry on doing them yourself. That’s human nature.
So stage one is definitely to recognize just how bad things were around your NPD relatives (and others), and to acknowledge and validate your own, very real, pain and suffering.
And depending on how bad things were, and how badly your own life was messed up as a result, that stage can often take a pretty long time - even years - to properly process and digest.
But that angry, raging, furious place you have to pass through in order to leave the cult is NOT the place to stay, long-term.
Because here’s a little secret you should know about people with personality disorders and other mental illnesses: Every single one of them justifies their crazy, horrible, selfish and destructive behavior, and has a million excuses why it’s ‘OK’ for them to do it.
Every single mentally ill person out there feels like a victim - of life, of their parents, of circumstances, of horrible siblings, of racists, of anti-semites, of nasty neighbours, mean classmates, grasping employers, lazy colleagues, unreliable friends, the tax man, the other guy….
The list goes on and on.
And the way ‘victim think’ works is that as soon as your evil inclination has convinced you that you’re a victim, it’s a piece of cake to convince you that you DESERVE to treat others horribly, and to be treated specially, and not have to take anybody else into account in your mad rush to get what you need and want, because life owes you big for all the suffering you’ve already been through.
This state of mind is present in all mental illnesses, to one degree or another, but has pride of place in Narcissistic Personality Disorder-ed people. Every single narcissist out there, whether they admit it or not, feels like a victim, and that any ‘bad behaviour’ you could ever ascribe to them is only and ever in response to being victimized by others.
To put things another way, staying in a place of perpetual victimhood paves the way to developing full-blown mental illnesses like NPD, and that’s really not where you want to end up.
So how to resolve this feeling of being a perpetual victim? Again, I should state upfront this is a process, and often a long one. It’s not straightforward, it’s not linear, and there’s often a lot of going forward just to fall back again. That’s life, in all it’s imperfection. But it IS still possible to see some big changes and movements very quickly, by doing some or all of the following suggestions:
But I want to leave you with this: The main reason God put you through all this terrible, horrible stuff with your NPD relatives is because He wanted to give you a reason - a big, unmissable reason - to get back in touch with your soul, and with Him.
If your life hadn’t been so hard and challenging and painful up until now, maybe you’d live your time out in a completely superficial bubble of materiality. God doesn’t want that for you. He wants you to dig deep, and to start asking some hard questions about what life is really for, and why it’s so hard.
There’s really one solution to the problem of NPD people, and that’s get God involved in the process, ASAP. If you do that, sooner or later, the clouds will part, and you will find the way out to true happiness, acceptance and peace of mind.