I am not the type to beat around the bush, so I’m going to warn you right now- upfront- this post will probably be pretty controversial. And it will probably piss off a lot of people. And, while it is not my intention to piss people off, or offend anyone, unfortunately, as far as this subject matter goes, some people will invariably be offended by what I believe to be the truth.
I’m sorry, in advance, if I hurt anyone’s feelings- I don’t do it on purpose, nor do I write this post lightly. As you can see, I have not written for a few days, so as to give proper thought to this matter. In the end, I feel the truth ought to be told…and I can only hope that every person who reads this, can take the words written here, as they are intended- with love, compassion, and the hope of healing. Not just for the narcissist, but for ourselves, as well. (And I refer to myself, as well, when I refer to ‘the victim’, just so you don’t think I hold myself above, or beyond, my own assessments.)
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), a cluster B (emotional) personality disorder, is globally recognized by mental health professionals, to be incurable. Most psychiatrists, and mental health specialists, world-wide, cringe in fear when presented with the prospect of taking on a narcissist as a client. Second only to the psychopath (which some define as simply an ‘extreme narcissist’), narcissists are the bane of the psychiatrist’s (often society’s, always their victim’s) existence. The level of abuse that a narcissist typically hurls at his therapist makes him a more-than-unsatisfying client. And that’s on top of the fact that progress is excruciatingly slow with NPD patients…if progress is made at all, and IF they condescend to even begin therapy in the first place.
Quasi-famous author, online celebrity, and everyone’s favorite narcissist, Sam Vaknin (Malignant Self-Love; Narcissism Revisited), writes,
Cognitive understanding of the disorder does not constitute a transforming INSIGHT. In other words, it has no emotional correlate. The narcissist does not INTERNALIZE what he understands and learns about his disorder. This new gained knowledge does not become a motivating part of the narcissist. It remains an inert and indifferent piece of knowledge, with minor influence on the narcissist’s psyche.
Moreover: the narcissist may grow aware of certain behaviors of his that are pathological, dysfunctional, or self-defeating. He may even label them as such. But he never grasps the psychodynamic significance of his conduct, the deeper layers of motivation, and the relentless and inexorable engine at the convoluted and tormented core of his being. So he may say: “I really like attention” or even, disparagingly or self-deprecatingly: “I am an attention whore”. But, he won’t be able to fully account for WHY it is that he is addicted to narcissistic supply and what role it plays in his psychology, interpersonal relationships, and life. The narcissist may realize, belatedly, that he is ticking – but never what makes him tick.
Sam is a super, self-aware narcissist, and so his prognosis doesn’t bode well for the all around hope that the leopard might change his spots.
Narcissists are notorious liars, and like to feel “special”, so perhaps Dr. Vaknin insists his disorder is incurable simply because it makes it that much more interesting? Just a thought… also, I have yet to find a place where anyone has tried much more than talk therapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy, to attempt to “heal” the narcissist, and
To me this is a gross oversight, and does a massive injustice to those who must endure this pernicious abomination of character- both those who have the disorder, and those who are subjected to its effects. To be frank, I don’t see how any community, society, culture, or group, could label ANY malfunction- of body, or mind- as “incurable”, without first exhausting all avenues of benefit. I’d say that that was a pretty serious- not to mention life long- sentence, to be so flippantly imposed.
So.. Here’s the Million Dollar question: Can the narcissist be healed?
In my humble, not-in-any-way-professionalrrrr opinion… I say, unequivocally, yes! I believe that a narcissist CAN heal… IF…and this is a REALLY, BIG ‘IF’)…the narcissist wants to change. He has to find a way to acknowledge his demons, face them head-on, and work towards atonement, and absolution. With the above criteria met, the narcissist can begin to unravel the years, and the layers, of built-up defense and toxicity.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that this would be an easy undertaking. Not by any measure. But, if some narcissists have come to a keen enough self-awareness, to be able to overcome some of their more malicious behaviors, then it stands to reason that they could also be taught to identify, and integrate, their own True Self, since that is the real person, underneath the disorder. That is who they really are. They simply avoid the True Self at all costs, presently, because of its severely under-developed nature. The narcissist’s True Self is an empty shell- nothing more than a lock box where his original childhood shame and trauma are repressed.
Once the True Self is identified and acknowledged, by the narcissist, he can be taught to release the shame, rage, and host of other toxic emotions that he has repressed, in much healthier ways, thus cleansing the True Self of that which makes it unbearable to currently experience. The resulting journey towards self-discovery can be a fun, exciting, and empowering adventure (which is fantastic since the narcissist hates boredom and routine, and this would be anything but!), one in which the narcissist is continually rewarded for his efforts, by being joyously surprised at the sheer magnitude of that which he can now achieve, and experience, without constant fear, and frustration, holding him back. The more he revels, and comes to love his True Self, the more, and the faster the vicious False Self fades from existence.
Of course, the destruction of the False Self is not the only hurdle to jump. There are many other skills, and lessons that the narcissist would have to learn along the way. Things like self-control, patience, most likely manners, and basic social skills… but, considering the scope pay-off, the effort seems negligible. Incidentally, all the skills (mentioned above), are skills and lessons that the rest of learned without even being taught, by simply watching the example of our parents and peers… skills we largely take for granted.
In regards to the healing potential of the narcissist, even the most disturbing aspect of his disorder, his lack of empathy, can be remedied. Since empathy is a teachable skill, the narcissist can learn to empathize. And, through that newly acquired skill, the narcissist would inevitably begin to take accountability for his words, actions, and behaviors, having been stripped of the ability to “tune-out” (so to speak) the emotions (the pain and suffering he inflicts) of those around him.
Accountability, little by little, gives the narcissist the feeling of power and control that he craves, but in a totally REAL, and henceforth positive, constructive way. Taking responsibility for everything in our lives means that we, ultimately, have the power to choose our own reality, and the manner in which we’d like to experience it. This is yet another skill many of us take for granted, that the narcissist has had to learn how to do without.
So… having said all that. What makes me so sure that the narcissist can be cured, when generations of brilliant minds before us have tried, and failed? Simple. The generations before us, though brilliant, had no knowledge of, or prescribed use for, energetic and quantum healing modalities. (Tah-Dah!) They never tried to approach the problem of narcissism- an energetic “disease”- from an energetic healing perspective.
The task of overcoming one’s narcissism, from a strictly western medical perspective, is daunting, and fraught with pain and peril for the narcissist. A prospect none of us would likely be eager to accept. BUT- when seen from the far gentler, and infinitely less painful view of the energetic, or quantum modalities, you have a task that seems altogether unremarkable, really.
When you understand that the narcissist’s entire defense mechanisms have been put in place to avoid the conscious experience of the anguished and despairing True Self, then we can easily comprehend the narcissist’s outright refusal to heal, if that healing revolves entirely around becoming that anguished self. Makes sense, right?
But, what if the narcissist could have a conscious experience of his True Self, and find the experience to be quite…pleasant? Peaceful, even? Wouldn’t that change things entirely? Or, at least, drastically?
And what if, during that experience of peace, when coming face to face with his True Self, the narcissist were to also have the experience of feeling that his True Self was absolutely, and unconditionally loved? What if he could see that it is the True Self that is the worthy one, instead of having to pretend that it is the False Self that deserves respect, and praise? A quantum modality of healing would include reprogramming the narcissist’s subconscious with positive core beliefs (like safety, trust, reciprocity), while at the same time deconstructing those beliefs which limit him, and keep him stuck in the delusion that he is separate from the world.
In these circumstances (which I have described above), I believe that it is totally possible for the narcissist to not just modify his behavior, but to heal completely. I believe that in generations past, their efforts fell short ONLY because it hasn’t been until recently that we have discovered that the vibration of unconditional love, can heal even the most dastardly of maladies.
“Well, if that’s really the case, then why didn’t my husband heal years ago? I love(d) him unconditionally!”
That’s a legitimate question, but before I answer, I must ask you: You say you loved your husband unconditionally… are you sure? Did you really?
I don’t mean to be rude, but I can almost guarantee you, that you did NOT love him unconditionally. Otherwise, he WOULD be healed- or well on his way to healing. Now, before you get mad at me for saying that, let me explain something…
Most people- myself included, until very recently- have a skewed concept of what constitutes unconditional love. We seem to have all been brought up on the belief that unconditional love means that we have to feeling those warm and fuzzy, lovey feelings towards a person, no matter what they say, or do to us… even if they hurt us. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, look at it this way;
When we let someone we love hurt us, not just once, or twice, unintentionally, but repeatedly and with total disregard for our basic rights as human beings, we are committing an act of violent self-hate- not only towards ourselves, but also towards the person we are claiming to love.
We are all one. Connected. I am you, and you are me. If I hurt you, I hurt myself, and vice versa. If I truly love you- unconditionally- then in the face of repeated abuse, I would lovingly, and compassionately, take my leave of you…knowing that every time I allowed you to hurt me, I was also enabling you to hurt yourself (an act most would say they’d strongly oppose).
You see, our inner-being (our soul, spirit, Qi, etc.), is a being of light and love, and as such, we can not do harm to another being without feeling the pain ourselves, even if that pain is deeply unconscious. When we allow a person, we claim to love, to treat us badly, we are (by default) enabling them to act in ways that will cause them deep shame, pain, and self-loathing.
From this perspective, we can see how the true act of unconditional love, would be to protect yourself from your beloved’s wrath, and cease to allow them to do the things which will cause them great suffering. Thus, they will not be able to feel pain from their abusive actions towards you (themselves), and you do not allow them to accumulate more, and more, shame from permitting shameful behavior.
You protect the ones you love.
The topic of unconditional love, and how our culture has taught us to misconceive its true meaning, is a whole other post. Suffice it to say that the vibration of true, unconditional love, can work miracles… and along with the new science of quantum healing, I believe that love could even heal the narcissist.
…OK, I’m going to stop now. I’m sure I’ll write on this topic more, and in a much more organized fashion. But, for today, I just wanted to quickly get my thoughts down, and get back to my big project I’ve been working on… I think you’ll love it!
What are your thoughts on healing narcissism? Do you think it’s possible? No? Why not? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to hear your position on this.
I’d love for you to come say hi on my Facebook Page, and on Twitter! You can also join my secret support group for the victims of narcissistic/psychopathic abuse (or, really, any domestic abuse), the Rescue Room.
(P.S. Sorry I’ve been a little out of touch, lately. Like I said, I’ve been working hard on a surprise, and I’m hitting the homestretch now. I can’t wait to share it with you all! Thanks for all the love and support.)
I Love You,
~The Narcissist’s Wife