For some, seeing the truth is the very hardest part, and may take months or even years. For others, it comes suddenly, almost overnight, and the shock is overwhelming, but the truth is suddenly obvious.
How do we figure out that someone we love has
Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
- Maybe we feel hatred or contempt from our narcissist, and suddenly realize that there is no reason for the hatred. We haven't actually done anything to deserve the hatred, despite the accusations of the narcissist. The hatred is simply the fact that a narcissist can't love, and must hate what it envies.
- Maybe someone suggests to us that there's something deeply wrong in our lives and that we have been abused. We begin to search for the truth in that idea, review our life, and discover the abuses.
- Maybe a therapist or counselor helps us see the truth of the destructiveness of our relationship with a narcissist.
- Maybe we see a movie or read a book that describes a narcissist and we recognize the narcissist in our life.
- Maybe we find something our narcissist wrote about us, and are shocked by the intensity of their negativity toward us, unescapably clear in black and white.
- Maybe we recognize some kind of mental illness in our narcissist - delusions, grandiose ideas, or paranoia, for example - and we go searching for the mental illness that fits this person.
- Maybe we finally tell a close friend our narcissist's "family secrets," and that friend reacts with horror, helping us see that something is clearly wrong.
- Maybe it's something else entirely, or a hundred and one little things that somehow come together to and shift the facts into a new focus and a whole new picture.
However it is that we see the truth, we can never go backward again. We are taking the first step forward, and we will only continue to see more and more truth. We can never again pretend that hatred is love, that words are reality, that parents always love us, or that a narcissist who is incapable of caring for another person cares about us. We have to face this truth, as painful as it may feel...
...And painful it will be. There's no getting around that. But if we have lived with a narcissist for a significant portion of our life, then we are very much accustomed to pain. This pain feels different, lonely, isolated, and scary. But it only lasts a little while. We can get though it. We can't go back to the land of narcissistic lies. We can never go back. We have to go forward. We HAVE to.
Step two, Breaking out of the Trap.