90 Seconds, 15 Aspects of Narcissism, Narcissistic Abuse (Shadowdeangelis)

Uploaded 2/4/2024, approx. 22 minute read

Narcissists use triangulation for two factors.

One, to essentially weaken you, make you insecure, believe that you're the problem to deflect, but also in order to bolster their own grandiosity and self-righteousness.

So what they will do is essentially involve third parties, whether that be family members, your friends, their friends, and they will put seeds of doubt into your mind about other relationships.

They will make you insecure that other people are talking about you or think that you're crazy too.

Narcissists will very often say things like, "Everybody agrees with me that you're just overly sensitive." Or, "Sally said the other day that she noticed XYZ in you too.

Now, here's the important thing to remember.

Many times, this is what Professor Sam Vaknin calls "impersonal triangulation." Many times, they're just inventing these seeds of doubt.

They're just inventing scenarios to make you doubt yourself.

It creates a sense of insecurity in the victim.

So what you need to do about it is obviously find a therapist and start planning on how to go no contact because this stuff just wears on you.

There's not a magic bullet here that is a way to deal with a narcissist and deal with triangulation long term.

The best you can do in the meantime is find a support system and try to get out of this relationship.

You are not a real person to a narcissist.

In their eyes, you are not separate to them because of their broken object relations.

The narcissist's entire world is internal, internal objects.

Because of the way that they developed, they can't recognize you as an external agent of your own being.

You're not supposed to.

You're supposed to comply with what Professor Sam Vaknin calls "the snapshot."

The snapshot is essentially when the narcissist idealizes you or meets you.

They take an imprint, a snapshot, and that is never destroyed.

That lives in their mind.

And what you can do is start to change form from that snapshot.

You start to realize the framework they want to keep you trapped in.

And this will create a huge amount of dysregulation and anxiety within the narcissist because they truly have broken object relations.

So you're betraying them.

You're making them extremely uncomfortable.

You're not supposed to have that hobby.

You're not supposed to change your style.

You're supposed to stay exactly the way they need you to stay.

And they take it as a betrayal and they use a lot of subterfuge, manipulation, aggression, devaluation to try to get you back into that form.

Professor Bakten has great video, multiple that goes into this as well as what happens when they can't dissolve the snapshot of you over time.

Highly recommend watching that.

Narcissistic snapshotting.

It's a term that Professor Sam Vaknin coined and most of the terms around narcissism today were actually coined by him back in the 90s.

So if you're not familiar, Professor Vaknin is basically my primary resource for going way deeper into the mind of a narcissist, a narcissistic relationship, abuse, borderline, psychopathy, the sub variants of each.

Highly recommend if you are interested to have the time, he's going to do a much better job than I am.

But what I aim to do is distill little nuggets and be the bridge to him.

One of those nuggets is narcissistic snapshotting.

Narcissistic snapshotting.

Very quick explanation is from the moment that a narcissist identifies a potential intimate partner, they create a mental snapshot, an idealized perfect version of that person, an idea and an apparition.

Apparition of that person from that moment forward, you do not exist as an individual to them.

You exist as an internal object.

What Professor Vaknin calls an interject.

An interject is like a model, an apparition, an idea of somebody that you've internalized to mean something in relation to yourself in an interject or like the voices that go through life with you for that person living in your head.

We all have interjects, but narcissists basically only have interjects.

And so these internal objects, a.k.a. you have to stay in alignment with this grandiose perfect idealized snapshot they've made of you because it's yet another way for them to idealize themselves and you just become an accessory, so to speak.

So that's what snapshotting is and what happens when we deviate from that snapshot, that idealized image, we get punished, a.k.a. devalued or discarded because the narcissist is actually experiencing injury from that.

Almost like a little crack in the psyche, very uncomfortable for them.

That's why if you act out of character, it will throw them off. It will make them very uncomfortable and anxious.

And so as we look to the delusion of true narcissism, right, not just narcissistic traits, but a true NPD, what we're talking about is the delusion so deep where the world to them is only objects. You are simply but an object to them in their head, an idea that if you don't live up to or deviate from what they need you to be for them for their own delusion, you will then be discarded devalued, ultimately punished.

It goes much deeper.

I recommend you do your own research, but that's snapshotting in three minutes.

The dual mothership model put forth by Professor Sam Vaknin, who I find to be one of the best experts on the subject. Personally, again, this is another one of those videos.

I want to warn you and tell you that he is an expert and is going to do a much better job than I can.

But I want to introduce you to the concept and point you in his direction because I think that this model and this understanding is critical to understand the abuse you are suffering, have suffered or how to move forward from it as a bedrock layer to what's kind of happened.

So we all know idealization devaluation discard.

Well, this goes much deeper because this is the dual mothership model.

Start here. Let's go back to childhood with a narcissist.

We know that the narcissist never completes a developmental process called individuation. So they start out life. They become an extension of their parent. They merge. They fuse and they get trapped there. They never get to individuate through their lifetime.

So deep subconsciously, they're going to pick relationships and they're really interviewing for a mother. And this isn't gender specific man, woman, whatever it is. They're trying to merge and fuse is what he refers to it as to become one with the target.

This happens. This is the point where nothing you can do is wrong. You're idealized. It's called co-idealization because it's becoming ideal as one part of the shared fantasy.

Now after that merge and fuse and they succeed at becoming one with you and getting you enmeshed that deeply with them. It's when they're going to start doing the devaluation because that devaluation deep down is an attempt for them to complete a developmental process called individuation. They're trying to individuate. And so to do that, they're going to levy every insult. They're going to demean. They're going to break you down. They're looking to try to separate and individuate leaving you in a state of mind where you're confused and you're trying to reconcile out.

How can I be? I was just perfect. Why was I treated like that? And now I can't all be bad.

But to the narcissist in order to individuate, they need to make you into a bad object, completely bad, right? To be able to separate and complete that process.

And this is my opinion, not Sam Backman's what I'm about to mention.

But I think it's a fundamentally sense of satisfaction comes from that punishment and that rejection from what's suppressed in their psyche and deep developmental process that never could happen to become an adult, which is why they're like a child trapped in an adult's body.

So research it for yourself. The dual mothership model.

The narcissist lives from a very empty existence internally. It's what Kernberg referred to as the emptiness and Seinfeld called the empty schizoid core.

This is due to the fact that this child never got to individuate or manifest into the person of their own, an individual. They overcompensated before that stage of development by trying to be perfect and sacrificing their true selves for a hallucination of themselves, a grandiosity bubble and a false self in order to be protected from the reality around them that they could not defend against.

Now that empty schizoid core causes them a huge amount of suffering and that's why they try to avoid it at all costs. That's why they devalue you essentially.

You see, if you pierce the veil of their grandiosity, their shield, if you have autonomy and agency as your own person, that to them is a deep betrayal might not make sense to you.

But the reason why is because you're supposed to be an internal interject in their mind, a snapshotted version of yourself that remains constant. You're just an ambassador and an endorsement of their own hallucination.

You're not supposed to be your own person. And once you are or show signs of it to them, that creates anxiety, abandonment, anxiety. That's why they devalue and discard to essentially avoid rejection and their own abandonment.

There are different types of abuse that seem to cause narcissistic personality disorder. It's a disorder that's rooted at a point of a stunted development. It happens early on.

Now, a lot of people will say, I knew a narcissist or I was with a narcissist that didn't have any trauma or abuse in their life.

Well, there's another side of abuse and that comes in the form of unearned praise. Over-agulating the child, spoiling the child. Oftentimes this is transactional or an extension of a narcissistic parent's own ego.

Needing that child to be better than the next, needing that child to be more than they have even developed into yet.

And this is the very mechanism that stunts that child's ability to complete the milestone of individuation, to separate from the parent, to develop their own ego, to integrate their own shadow and to become, so to speak, whole.

A grandiosity gap. That's what Professor Vakda causes it.

A grandiosity gap where reality doesn't meld with this persona that you've sold yourself on as a defense mechanism to the world's judgment.

Needing to be better than because of a deep fear and shame, you're not good enough.

So you have this false self that gets developed as this mechanism, but there's big gaps between your circumstances, reality and the chaos that ensues, which is why they constantly need supply and adulation to be able to feel like their delusion is endorsed and real.

You want revenge, justice and retribution against the narcissist and that is completely understandable because you've been isolated, alienated, rejected and invalidated.

Narcissistic abuse is unlike any other form of abuse, so much so that Professor Sam Vakda coined the term narcissistic abuse in 1995 to differentiate it, to differentiate the effects on the victim.

By the way, I would check out Professor Sam Vakda's YouTube channel, Link in the bio, if you really want to heal and get actionable information to truly and holistically understand the mind of the narcissist.

Back to my point, when you are healing from narcissistic abuse, that is the retribution.

You might not like that answer, but here's what I mean.

Rendering the narcissist insignificant in your thoughts and your words and your actions in your life is their worst fear.

They don't care if you're in pain. They don't care if you say wonderful things. They don't care if you say terrible things.

What they care about is that you are giving energy to them. And if you render them insignificant by doing a few things, that's the best way, in my opinion, that you can spite them.

Here it is, exercise daily. This is biochemical. It will give you the endorphins. It will give you the right balance to be able to get through this.

The second thing is shadow integration. Face the parts of yourself that your personality rejects because the narcissist can never do this.

Become whole. Look into EMDR therapy. This heals traumas that may have existed before the narcissist came into your life.

And most of all, do not defend, do not deny, do not try to seek validation from the network. That's corrupted too.

So you became public enemy number one to the narcissist. I'm sure it feels that way. Why does this happen?

Because you disagreed with them.

End of video. I'm just kidding.

There's a much deeper, much more pathological reason why you have been demonized and devalued and made to be the public enemy of the narcissist.

This runs really deep in their psyche. It begins in childhood. They are robbed of the chance to go through a process called individuation, to separate from the child, to gain autonomy, a sense of self, a realistic sense of self, and kind of explore themselves as a person that evolves over a lifetime.

Because of this, they more or less sacrifice a true self, an authentic voice in exchange for a delusion that they can use to keep reality out, a hallucination of themselves.

It's the same delusion that they use to suck you into the co-idealized shared fantasy.

See, they're empty with a shame-filled core. And so what they do is they suck you in by shape shifting and matching all the desirable traits that you sought and you seek.

High value. Once you're there and it's euphoric, it's addicting, they get comfortable and they start to devalue you because their ultimate goal is to divorce you as the mother.

This isn't gender-specific, but it's called the dual mothership model by Professor Sam Vaknin.

And essentially, that is the role they will continue to play out through every intimate relationship.

That's why you're demonized because they want you to become their core and they want to take on your identity and move forward, leaving you feeling like the crazy one.

Common misconceptions about narcissists.

First, narcissists gaslight. They actually don't. They confabulate. Psychopaths gaslight.

Now, what confabulation is, is essentially the narcissist alters reality. They create believable alterations to events or little details that keep them ego congruent where they get to continue believing that they're this flawless person.

In other words, they drink their own Kool-Aid and that's why their convictions are so strong and it's so infuriating for a victim to deal with them.

Now, the experience of the victim is exactly the same as gaslighting because ultimately, reality is being distorted and/or withheld completely.

Now, the next thing is that they don't have a conscience. Narcissists do have a conscience and it makes them very neurotic because they're constantly ruminating, chewing through, trying to convince themselves they're a good person because they have this backlog of suppressed shame in their subconscious and they're trying to reconcile that out.

But their alloplastic defenses, blaming the environment or other people, engage last minute and then they invent some reason why they had to do what they did. They're the victim. The other person's all bad.

The last thing is that they don't have empathy. They do. They just have cold empathy or cognitive empathy. Cold empathy, as Professor Vaknin coined the term, is basically conceptually being able to understand for personal gain, let's say, or being able to model what somebody's experiencing, but not being able to be immersive to really understand.

The experiential emotional component to that person's experience.

Why you have to give up ever trying to make a narcissist accountable. It can't happen, not within their mental illness. You see, most people think a narcissist is just a jerk with a solid grasp of reality that chooses to gaslight because they're a mastermind.

Couldn't be further from the truth. They have a mental illness that started in childhood. They developed a false self. This false self is all they exist as. It's like a reframe of consciousness. It's a barrier to keep the abuse, devaluation and neglect out.

Their authentic voice and self decays completely and they go through life believing that they are this perfect being and that others are either all good or all bad. If they believe the delusion and they stay within where they're supposed to be in their mental hierarchy, then they're amazing and they'll get idealized.

And if they see beyond that or try to hold them accountable, they get devalued.

You see, the narcissist lacks the developmental capacities to be able to understand that they're capable of doing anything wrong. They can fabulate details. They edit the movie as they go. And when they look back, it's a totally different timeline than the one you've seen.

That's why they have such solid conviction. That's why they project and make you be the crazy one or the sensitive one or the one that won't let things go because in their frame of consciousness, they cannot comprehend that their truth. Their reality is not the reality. They are highly distorted and they cannot do anything other than split and place alloplastic defenses upon the target to say it's not my fault. Anything bad is yours.

This is the most important tip I can give you if you're trying to heal from narcissistic abuse because this is what blocks healing for most abuse victims of narcissists.

There's something called the narcissistic interject and that interject is essentially a frame of consciousness that is conditioned into the victim to think and experience life and themselves through the eyes of the You see, before you got to this relationship, there was a authentic voice. The voice that requires no filter that lives for the intrinsic value of life knows your preferences, your hobbies, your friends, and kind of has this healthy collage of relationships, but you yourself exist unfiltered. Now, through mechanisms like splitting and projection and projective identification, this conditions the victim to essentially silence that authentic voice, that authentic self, and instead what's implanted is the narcissistic interject, a frame of reference that filters life like the narcissist. What does the narcissist think of you? What are the people saying? How do you get ahead of the smear campaign? How are you going to prove that you're healed and not the crazy one? So long as you have this voice in your head, that will be the frame of reference that's trying to heal, which is impossible.

There's an amazing video by Professor Sam Backen called, I believe it's hijacked by the serpent voice and what to do about it.

I highly recommend you dig deep. Otherwise, all the work and money you invest in healing will not make it very far.

So first, identify and find both authentic voice as well as the serpent or interject voice.

So I want to correct some misinformation from previous videos based on my own, I'll call, lack of understanding of the nuance and depth of Professor Sam Backman's models.

And I think this one is really a mind bender and very foundationally important to understand as a victim of narcissistic abuse.

You see, I always oversimplified things a little bit because I looked at the devaluation as kind of a reactionary occurrence or phenomenon from the victim not being able to meet the needs, holding the narcissistic accountable, basically pissing them off by pointing out some flaw in them.

And sure, if you do this, you might get a rage shame spiral, you'll get devalued splitting will occur, but that's more of a temporary momentary sort of a phenomenon.

On a deeper level, the devaluation is not the victims doing the devaluation is baked in to what Professor Sam Backman's seven stages of narcissistic abuse model puts forth, which is this deep repetition compulsion that lasts over and over through a lifetime, where they're trying to merge and fuse with you as the mother, regardless of gender, and then they're trying to essentially to shorten this up, separate to individuate and become their own person and cast you out.

Now, this is going to happen below their conscious mind in a very deep repetition compulsion.

So no matter how perfect you are, no matter what it is you do, at the end of the day, you're going to be devalued because it's baked into the subconscious drives of narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse.

Anger and rage are not the same thing. And if you've suffered from narcissistic abuse, this is going to be an important video to listen to.

First, let's start with anger.

Anger is a natural, normal, healthy reaction and response the body creates to teach us how to learn from certain circumstances or environmental factors.

Now, if we ignore our anger or we're ashamed of it, then we suppress it. And like a kettle boiling over at a certain point, it's going to blow.

This is what's called rage. By the time it turns into rage, rage takes a much darker undertone, a much darker form. It creates, let's say, very toxic traits within our cell, it exacerbates certain defense mechanisms, which are toxic.

If you've suffered narcissistic abuse, well, you've definitely suppressed some anger because showing it is dangerous. And because we're on this constant treadmill of trying to prove that we're a good person and rebuild our sense of self through the narcissist eyes, which will never work because their reality is inverted and delusional.

So here are the things to consider.

First thing, I'd look at healing through the stages of narcissistic abuse by Professor Sam Vaknin. Watch as much as you can. Then I'd look into EMDR therapy to repair the bridge as a metaphor by the way.

The bridge is a metaphor between the conscious and subconscious mind to desensitize some of the trauma and memories.

Exercise is going to be huge. It's a way for you to move from mind to body and get some of that pent up anger.

When a narcissist says, it feels like I have to walk on eggshells around you. You're so sensitive. That's just your story.

And the list goes on. What they're really saying is you're failing to endorse my false self. And you're a bad person for doing that. And you're a liar because I couldn't possibly be bad in any way. That must be the line. You're a bad person.

confabulate on a subconscious level. What I mean by confabulation is, from the time that this false self fuses as a permanent defense mechanism, a lens of consciousness where they believe this holographic version of themselves to protect their inner core of emptiness and shame. They cannot see outside of that.

So it's impossible to them that they have done anything wrong. In fact, if you call them on that or hold them accountable, they will often split you into all bad because you must be the one causing this pain, this negative self state. You're not worshiping their religion and their religion is them, their false self. As Professor Sam Backman says, they are a religion of one where the worshipper is the God and the God is the worshipper. This is how delusional a narcissist really is. They drink their own Kool-Aid. It happens on an automatic level in the form of editing the movie, aka, confabulation. This isn't just a person with bad behavior, it's a severe mental illness rooted in delusion. This will make a narcissist very anxious and disturb them. And it has to do with something called object relations, which is a field of psychology that studies the human mind in development and kind of the process, the normal process of developing whole object relations to identify the difference between what's internal objects, voices, schemas, representations in our mind, ego functions, things of that nature, and the external world, what's actually autonomous and separate to us. It's how we can have social contracts and boundaries and things like that. A narcissist does not have whole object relations, they have broken object relations. Therefore, there's a process that Professor Sam Backman lines out called snapshotting, narcissistic snapshotting. This is where the narcissist meets you and they take a snapshot of you. They Photoshop it, they idealize it, and they make it fit into their internal hierarchy, their internal world and delusion in a way that makes them most comfortable, that serves their ego function.

Now, over time, if you start to deviate from this, because they do not actually see you as a separate autonomous person, they can't. So if you start to change your style, your routine, your hobbies, your patterns, any of these things can trigger a deep disturbance and anxiety within them. They will try to force you back into compliance and they do this through many different mechanisms. It's essentially what snapshotting is and it creates a deep disturbance when you pull away and you stop complying with whatever they've snapshotted you as.

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Professor Sam Vaknin discusses the nature of narcissists and psychopaths, emphasizing that they are users, takers, and exploiters who do not form committed, long-term, or emotional relationships. He explains that they operate within a pathological narcissistic space and seek novelty, and that they view women as either mothers or whores. Vaknin also highlights the importance of understanding these concepts and the role of abuse and sadism in their interactions. Narcissists and psychopaths have three types of shared fantasies: with a man, with a woman, and with creative work. The critical point in a shared fantasy is what's in it for the narcissist or psychopath.

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Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
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