My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.
The narcissist ages without mercy and without grace. His withered body and his overwrought mind conspired to betray him all at once.
He stares with incredulity and rage at cruel mirrors, refuses to accept his growing fallibility and mortality. He rebels against his decrepitude and mediocrity.
Accustomed to being awe-inspiring and the recipient of adulation and attention, the narcissist cannot countenance his social isolation and the pathetic figure that he cuts in old age.
The narcissist suffers from mental progeria.
According to childhood abuse, he ages prematurely and finds himself in a time warp, constantly in the throes of a midlife crisis.
As a child prodigy, a sex symbol, a stud, a public intellectual, an actor, an idol, the narcissist was at the center of attention, the eye of his personal twister, a black hole which sucked people's energy and resources dry and spit out with indifference their mutilated carcasses.
No longer. With all age comes disillusionment. All charms wear thin.
Have you been exposed for what he is? The deceitful, treacherous, malignant egotist.
The narcissist's old tricks now fail him. People are on their guard. Their gullibility is much reduced.
The narcissist, being the rigid, precariously balanced structure that he is, cannot change. He reverts to all forms. He re adopts hoary habits and succumbs to erstwhile temptations.
He is made a mockery by his accentuated denial of reality, by his obdurate refusal to grow up, an eternal, malformed child in the sagging body of a decaying man.
It is the fable of the grasshopper and the ant revisited.
The narcissist, the grasshopper, having relied on supercilious strategies throughout his life, is singularly ill-advised to life's rigors and tribulations.
He feels entitled, but fails to elicit narcissistic supply.
Wrinkle time makes child prodigies lose their magic. Lovers exhaust their potency.
Philanderas waste their allure.
Ingeniuses miss their touch.
The longer the narcissist lives, the more average he becomes. The wider the gulf between his pretensions and his accomplishments, the more he is the object of derision and contempt.
Yet few narcissists save for rainy days. Few bother to study a trade or get a degree, pursue a career, maintain a business, skip their jobs, or raise functioning families, nurture their friendships, or broaden their horizons.
Narcissists are permanently and perennially ill-prepared. Those who succeed in their vocation end up bitterly alone, having squandered the love of spouts, offspring, and mates.
The more gregarious and family-orientated the narcissist is, the more often he flunks at work, leaps from one job to another, relocated erratically, forever itinerant and peripatetic.
The contrast between the narcissist's youth and prime and his dilapidated present constitutes a permanent narcissistic injury.
The narcissist retreats deeper into himself to find solace.
He withdraws into the penumbral universe of his grandiose fantasies.
There, on the verge of psychosis, the narcissist salves his wounds and comforts himself with trophies of his past.
A rare minority of narcissists accept their fate with fatalism or good humor.
These precious few are healed mysteriously by the deepest offense to their megalomania, old age.
They lose their narcissism and confront the outer world with the poison composure that they lacked when they were captives of their own distorted narratives.
Such changed narcissists develop new, more realistic expectations and hopes, commensurate with their talents, skills, accomplishments and education.
Ironically, it is invariably too late. These narcissists are avoided and ignored, rendered transparent by their checkered past.
They are passed over for promotion, never invited to professional or social gatherings, cold-shouldered by the media. They are snubbed and disregarded. They are never the recipients of perks, benefits or awards. They are blamed when not blingworthy and rarely praised when deserving. They are being constantly and consistently punished for who they were.
It is poetic justice in more than one way.
These narcissists are being treated narcissistically by their erstwhile victims.
They finally are tasting their own medicine, the bitter harvest of their wrath and arrogance.
Old age is the narcissist's ultimate punishment and purgatory on earth.