It's often quite difficult to talk about once having been an abused spouse because it elicits expressions of sympathy and overshadows the point of the posts or articles. It's not about sympathy for me but looking out for my country. I'm okay. We are not okay.
There have been a few times when I've said that Obama reminds me of my ex-husband. My ex-husband is not a black man. You see, I lived with a narcissist for 23 years. That experience is why I recognize the same in President Barack Obama.
Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include (Source: Mayo Clinic):
- Believing that you're better than others
Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
Exaggerating your achievements or talents
Expecting constant praise and admiration
Believing that you're special and acting accordingly
Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings
Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
Taking advantage of others
Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
Being jealous of others
Believing that others are jealous of you
Trouble keeping healthy relationships
Setting unrealistic goals
Being easily hurt and rejected
Having a fragile self-esteem
Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional
You can look at that list all day long and not understand what you're seeing in Obama without some examples.
During the last months/weeks of finalizing my divorce from the narcissist in my life, one of my friends confessed something to me one day. She lived on a hill in a wooded area that had been discovered to have old Indian burial grounds. I seemed to have a knack for finding things like that. One time when my husband and I were visiting I had gone off looking for something. She and he struck up a conversation about me, her telling him things about me he apparently didn't know but should have after 23 years of marriage. The problem was, he didn't recognize those qualities in himself and I was not a separate person from him in his world. It was when he asked her who she was talking about when it dawned on her that he didn't even know me.
The narcissist sees everyone in his life as extensions of himself (or herself, although clinical narcissism is more common in men). They are not recognized as separate entities with individual strengths and weaknesses. This country as a whole, is now an extension of Obama. We are not separate beings with our own thoughts and failings or strengths and weaknesses.
The matter of the terrorist trials being held in New York give us an example via Politico.com:
“I don't think it will be offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him,” Obama told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
When Todd asked Obama if he was interfering in the trial process by declaring that Mohammed will be executed, Obama, a former constitutional law professor, insisted that he wasn’t trying to dictate the result.
In Obama's mind he's setting right a wrong, according to the view of his world. It's inconceivable that his right thing would be very wrong for those whom it most concerns, namely those who experienced deep loss from the attack on the World Trade Center. 9/11/2001. And he exhibits no understanding they would feel any different about the issue.
“What I said was, people will not be offended if that's the outcome. I'm not pre-judging, I'm not going to be in that courtroom, that's the job of prosecutors, the judge and the jury,” Obama said. “What I'm absolutely clear about is that I have complete confidence in the American people and our legal traditions and the prosecutors, the tough prosecutors from New York who specialize in terrorism.”
The narcissist's world is all about him, his self image, having invented himself from "whole cloth" he. Because he is an invention of his own design, he can redesign, or reinvent himself at will. Nothing exists outside his own mind(Buzzle.com).
The buzzle.com article was chosen because it is in plain English and is a short sweet version of living with a narcissist. It is an absolute must read. As the writer notes, it is a nightmare.
Looking at the mechanisms by which the narcissists seeks, gains, and maintains control, any solitary mechanism could possibly be explained or excused away. However, the more you read the more realize that it becomes increasingly difficult to explain them all away:
Unpredictability: As the article notes, the narcissist keeps himself stable by destabilizing everyone else. Remember the now famous words of Rahm Emmanuel, "never let a good crisis go to waste"? How about inventing some? How many crises have we had in 11 months?
The Banking Crisis
The Auto Bailouts
The Terrorists trials in New York
The War in Afghanistan
And only he can solve these problems... with talking. And then, we move onto the next crisis, which only he can fix.
It's harder to order a narcissist's world when the world becomes as large as a whole nation. There is resistance. Resistance is bad because it upsets the balance of the world according to the narcissist. Has to rid himself of resistance and will use any means at his disposal to regain control, including tactics such as fear (job loss), intimidation (Fox News), threatening (banks and pitchforks), insulting (middle America commonly known as flyover country. teabaggers, and racists, or if you happen to be black you're a race traitor), and devaluing (Ft. Hood Massacre, assault on our civil rights) .
If I have made the case plainly, what do we do about it? What we've been doing; protesting, obstructing, and debating. What won't work is petitions to Obama. No form of begging will work. Begging merely signifies to the narcissist he has regained control.
He will continue what he's doing but we can combat him better by understanding the how and why he's doing it. He will not listen to reason and pleas will fall on deaf ears because his world is all that means anything, not how others feel about it. It won't be easy because he'll continue to assault us directly or indirectly through his connections but if we stay resolute, he will fail. The narcissist's world cannot withstand reality when reality will not be denied.
During those last months of marriage to my ex-husband, it was really ugly. The final straw was when he obstructed and refused to help me pack up the car in order to help my mother during her final few weeks on earth although he'd promised that I could do that. It's the only thing my mother ever asked of me and he did his best to prevent it. I went anyway and he responded by moving his girlfriend into our house with our children.
He didn't get the expected reaction. Instead, I called his bluff (she wasn't his first mistress) because he didn't want a divorce, only to rein me in. He did score a victory of sorts because I had to leave Mom to go back and attend to the crisis he created but in the end, he was stuck with the girlfriend and out of the house. He also sabotaged my last few months of grad school, told the children not to contact me about moving his mistress into the house, didn't pay any bills while I was gone, broke a window, broke the washing machine, and royally trashed the house. It came with the territory.
It didn't stop with the divorce, either. It takes a long time to get a narcissist out of your life, usually when they latch onto some other person to fill that position you once held.
It will get uglier. Expect the unexpected but don't give in. We can fight back and win.