Today, I wanted to explain my belief in regard to one of the most standard practices in the Narcissist’s Playbook- the smearing of every former victim and painting her as a “crazy bipolar”. I think it bears discussing, seeing as how either, (a) there are a whole lot of bipolar women in the world that most of us are completely unaware of, or (b) narcissists are the unluckiest group of people I can think of, when it comes to choosing a mate.
Of course, there is a third possibility, if you’re willing to acknowledge that perhaps the narcissist isn’t being completely honest. (I know- hard to imagine, right). If you are willing to concede that none- or a very, very few- of the narcissist’s exes were actually bipolar, then the next obvious question is: If these women are NOT bipolar, or crazy, then why does just about every narcissist insist on convincing everyone he knows otherwise? And WHY do they all seem to default to “She’s bipolar”, or “She’s crazy”.
Creepy, right? Almost as if all narcs got together to come up with the rules for properly traumatizing their prey (Oops! I meant their ‘spouse/partner’). I know we are all pretty much familiar with the narcissist’s cycle of idealizing, devaluing, and discarding their victims, and the accompanying smear campaign that inevitably comes, in conjunction with the discard (narcissist’s are almost excruciatingly predictable). None of that is new.
But, why DO narcissists all tend to smear their exes by labeling them as mentally unstable? You can say that he does it so that no one will believe the victim’s claims of abuse, should she attempt to look to the outside world for help. You could also say that he makes his ex-victim out to be crazy to garner sympathy from his flying monkeys. Both of these explanations make perfect sense, and might very well also be true about that narcissist’s motives, but I believe that neither of those explanations really solve the mystery of how almost all narcissists seem to come up with this same “diagnosis”. My explanation can shed a little light, though, I think.
Another well-known fact about narcissists is that they are incapable of taking responsibility for themselves, their behaviors, or their thoughts and words. To the narc, admitting to a fault or flaw, would be the same as admitting that he is inept, inadequate, inferior and worthless. ALWAYS, the cause of any misfortune, predicament, or problem, MUST come from something (or some-ONE) outside of themselves. And, in order to achieve this nearly impossible end, every narcissist worth his salt, has become adept at employing several tactics and strategies. Splitting, projection, blame-shifting, and gaslighting are all just such strategies.
So, what does this have to do with a narc’s ex being bipolar, and crazy? Ah…this is where we get to the rub. Consider that the narcissist’s intimate partner would be the one to either witness, and/or be involved in the majority of his “misadventures” and, therefore, she would be the one to most often shoulder the blame for him- though she does not usually do so willingly. The fact that the narcissist’s partner is not a willing participant to his blame game- and very often an angry, offended, and outraged participant- is the very foundation for her inevitable bipolar diagnosis.
See, imagine things are going well for the “happy couple”. The narcissist is feeling good about himself. Confident, capable, and competent. (He really does enjoy making his partner happy. It’s just that his motivation for doing so is completely selfish, in that he loves how making his mate happy makes HIM feel.) Then, something goes wrong. The narc does something inconsiderate or rude, he says something nasty, or he gets caught telling a lie…whatever. His partner is hurt by his behavior but, instead of immediately attending to her needs- asking forgiveness, showing remorse and empathy, etc.- the narcissist starts to employ all his blame-shifting tactics and strategies, so that he won’t have to face the absolute terror, and panic, that is ‘accountability’.
His refusal to take responsibility, or show the slightest hint of remorse, makes his partner frustrated. She is shocked, feels unimportant. She tries to reason, and explain and then, when that fails, she gets angry. The narcissist is relentless though. He just keeps switching from one tactic to the next, and as he does this, she becomes more and more distressed- being subjected to all manner of mind-fucking. Her survival response has kicked in. She is completely emotionally flooded. Hysterical.
The narcissist has won.
Now the narcissist feels punished, victimized, helpless and incompetent. Wrong. Like he can’t do anything right. This alleviates the intense shame he feels in the face of impending accountability. And since he does not have the capacity to fathom the possibility that just maybe HIS behavior/actions/words might have had something to do with the reaction he is getting from his partner, he creates a delusion in which he is a helpless victim, and his partner must be “crazy”,or “bipolar”, for acting out so irrationally all of a sudden.
In his mind, his partner’s behaviors and moods are completely independent of him. She is simply either acting nice, and making him feel as though he is on top of the world, or she is feeling miserable and making him feel small. And since he can’t admit the connection between his neglect and abuse towards her, and her distressed/angry/depressed state, her fluctuating moods can only be one thing…she is crazy-bipolar.
Thus she is diagnosed.
Have you been “diagnosed”, by a narcissist, as having bipolar disorder? How did you cope with your new disease?(LOL)
I Love You
~The Narcissist’s Wife