The Narcissist: A Chameleon Void of Any Authenticity

A chillingly familiar account of experiences. The most amazing thing about a narcissist is their ability to change to suit any relationship. They are similar to chameleons in that they can change on a dime effectively altering who and what they are to blend into any environment for their own self gain.

However, it’s important to note these inconsistencies serve one purpose to get attention, the ego stroked, and their needs met. The truth is their behavior, the narc rage, the devalue and discard is exactly the same. All of the projection, the malicious acts, the lying, hovering, smearing, lack of conscience, and the lack of remorse is identical to past relationships.

A narcissist has many different masks to suit each new supply and consequently each changing environment.

Narcissist may refuse to do one thing or refuse to give up certain things only to go and do exactly what they stated they didn’t believe in, didn’t do, or never would do.

Take for example my own situation with my malignant narcissist and remember this is only an example , each case might be altered to suit the relationship and the narcissists individual needs.

In my case:

• He rarely took family photos as he refused to acknowledge cameras directly with eye contact

• No discussion as he would have you talk to his back or follow him while walking room to room

• No communication only emails/handwritten notes he left behind while running out the door at end of day with your agenda &errands clearly written by him

• No assistance with anything involving: family, friends, kids, vacations, homes, rentals, housework, special occasions ie. birthdays, holidays, weddings, etc.

What was my narc relationship like: A life full of secrets, promiscuity, adultery, and infidelity. Nothing that ever added up as every action is and was questionable. Countless other woman always ready and waiting in the background. Many late night business meetings, late arrivals home, no personal phone calls as it was long distance ( as I learned he would call the girlfriend in waiting after leaving our home to have her ready upon his arrival from five states away).

One thing worth noting is a narcissist will ask you a question such as this: Do you have anything else to tell me or offer me?. This is a way for them to learn more information, gather up your personal information, that they can later twist or alter in an effort to use against you.

They always want to know what others have (so they can get a good feel for what you possess),the items that you can then use against them to prove the truth about them ie. documents, newspaper articles, pictures, emails, court records and papers, etc.

The narcissist knows when you learn about the facade, when the mask falls, when the love bombing and honeymoon phase has ended, and you begin to question actions, realize you’re doing all the work and putting in all the effort, and your in a relationship that is one sided that you will start to examine the narcissists more closely, you won’t accept his or her statements as fact, you will go to whatever resources you have acquired. This might mean talking to friends, gathering up relevant information, locating those documents which now he or she knows exists.

Remember: that day when he did the discovery and questioned you on them. He’ll now go to your best friend and tell her lies, he might go to a family member and try to establish a friendship or convince them you’re crazy. He might go into that safe where you mentioned you had all the documents.

It could be as simple as how many credit cards you have in your possession(seems innocent enough) until you have to leave this toxic relationship with them ,and the narc has hidden the cards or casually misplaced them or even lost them. Now you find yourself without a way to escape, without funds, without assistance to leave the relationship.

Keeping victims financially dependent upon them, without resources to leave is something the narcissists seek to acquire. Barefoot, pregnant, unwed, unemployed, without financial dependence fits well here.

It’s all about power and control and keeping others below them. The narcissist senses a sort of power, has a grandiose ego, they feel they are truly above the law. These subtle ways of inquiry helps provide them with exactly what they need.

Watch for the subtle and casual questions that might seem innocent at the time, that will pop up from time to time throughout the relationship.

Relationships with narcissists are not give and take, they are one sided with one person doing all the work to keep it all going.

In my situation: The entire relationship centered upon him and his needs. The kids and I for all intense purposes did not exist , we were mere extensions, treated like servants and pheasants , and I was merely a “kept woman and business partner” ( as he termed me).

There was no priorities in which family came first, no love or affection with myself or our children, no family activities or active involvement in each others lives. He would never sit in the same room as our children or myself, nor did he ever sit down to eat or watch tv together in the same room. Family time for him was a tv set and dropping kids in front of it. There was a lot of hiding in various locations throughout the home or outside the home especially during holidays and special occasions. There was a lot of empty promises, and broken dreams and excuses for always being busy or lacking funds as his reason to not accept responsibility or accountability for raising our family together. We seen more of his backside than his front, so much so I took a picture of his backside to use as a mental reminder of the way things were and to never go back once I left .

As fast as he walked into our home, is as fast as he walked out, like two ships passing in the night without a connection or history together. The only reason our marriage lasted 11 yrs was because he only had weekend visits as he resided five states away. If I asked for a photo of just us he’d decline, if I asked for a trip for our family he’d decline (unless I paid). If I requested he become more involved he would miserably join in but just for one day to please me and it was unbearable as if forced and insincere. If I asked to do things together such as dinners, dancing, working out in gyms, or running races together he declined. I once asked him to go to DC a place he knew well as he lived and worked there he responded with ,” why would I want to go to a place I see every day.”

Will narcissists change like chameleons adapting to a new environment with the new supply?: Yes in fact, guess where he went on a trip with the new supply on his birthday? The very place he refused to go with his own family. Narcissists will alter their behavior just enough to make the new supply believe in them, thinking they changed, making the new supply think everyone else was wrong or had personal vendettas. Clearly they are on cloud nine, not wishing to think this wonderful person could be so destructive. Not thinking the past lover or spouse wants to spare them the same pain they experienced.They do not understand that the narcissist never changes, the pattern is the same, in time he or she will experience the exact same result.

When I requested a pet for our home, he declined because he worked in an environment in which dogs weren’t always taken care of properly, yet the new supply had a dog and he allowed it into the home. This was so different from his norm, that one of his long time friends since grade school questioned this behavior on a social media site, and he noted he has no purpose for small dogs but big dogs serve a purpose. Even his former co workers were flabbergasted on this dog issue. Narcissist change in the sense they have to alter their behaviors to fit the specific environment. What worked on you is not the same technique that will work on the next one. Narcissist can’t simply have the same routine for each new supply.

Can you imagine always having to change yourself to avoid your own authenticity? Never truly being true to yourself.

Will having a family in mourning change a narcissist?: No ,Losing a family member due to cancer is hard enough, but when we lost his mom and grandmother to lung cancer it was tremendously difficult as this was the only family he truly had as a divorced family. The narc had put his mother down constantly for her smoking, knowing it caused her med problems, feeling she could’ve simply stopped. He never once helped her quit, he rarely helped her, and never allowed me to meet her till she was nearly on her deathbed. I then recalled the old adage from my parents telling me how a man treats his mother is how he will treat you. You can tell the measure of a man by his family. Nothing could be truer than watching the interaction between the narc and his mother. He couldn’t care less about her, yet she continued cooking, cleaning, picking up his dry cleaning, and creating a nest egg for him as she provided him her pension , for him the only child (now in his early 40s) yet still he showed no love, no remorse, no emotions.

To showcase this chameleon behavior further: When the narc parent passed he put a memorandum in the paper, yet I questioned this behavior as when she was alive he spent very little time with her. After I moved into her home, a home she welcomed me into, we became close. She told me her son was a loner, and had problems, so much so she had a hard time keeping track of it all especially his wondering eye and promiscuous ways. I later found the paperwork she discussed of which she had to mark down who he was involved with at all times because the dates became intertwined. Before one relationship ended he was already on to the next and so this was the story of his entire life.

My Narcissist made it a habit, a lifestyle: Running away from the truths, from responsibility, from accountability, and if caught it was easy to walk away as he was never connected personally to any subject matter. The normal behaviors of denial, fabrication, smearing and altering facts, and hide from the truth by leaving behind past friends, past relationships was commonplace. Always reinventing a new self, a new life, a new job, a new project that will produce new results. In fact resigning from work, because people were catching on or questioning the behavior and actions, was just as easy as leaving behind a family with no remorse, no apologies, and no regrets.

If you find yourself playing detective in a relationship you know it’s time to vacate. I found myself questioning everything that came from him. I once ran into a person he considered his best friend, yet this person hated him. The rage and hurt was apparent when I spoke to him. I couldn’t believe the narc could say they were best friends after learning how he deceived this individual numerous times at work while cashing in on travel expenses that he felt he was entitled to, or that should’ve been shared rather than kept for the one : The Narc.

It was amazing how narcs alter and change on a dime.

It took years into the relationship with my narcissist before he told me he wasn’t a family man, not lovey-dovey or romantic (in his terms) and would never be involved. He hated dogs, hated smokers, hated unemployed women or stay home moms, truly disliked overweight women ( in fact as a size 10 and being 5’9 framed woman I was even criticized ), he disliked the lower class uneducated white women who didn’t put much effort into their appearance calling them derogatory names in front of me. He informed me he could have sex with anyone as it didn’t matter, it wasn’t making love it was a mechanical act. Marriage to him meant nothing, as he informed me it was merely a piece of paper.

Narcissist are chameleons as they can alter any situation to their benefit and for their own needs. When I didn’t work he would crucify me, stating I had to work once my daughter became of age to attend school, ironically the new supply has a child older than our oldest son who is 14 and she still doesn’t work.

I presumed based on his commentary on smoking and weight issues he would never allow a heavier individual or a smoker to ever be in his home, especially knowing our son is medically disabled with respiratory problems, yet he allowed her into our home. I had to then ask the courts to keep the smoke away from our children as it was detrimental to them. Keep in mind the new supply is a wonderful woman but in terms of past experiences and past narc statements doesn’t fit the mold.

The new supply: Possessed every characteristic and trait that he noted he’d never allow, yet she is a new source of energy and supply for him to pick up where we left off. The new supply is in denial as to the horrendous past, and refuses to accept the truth as evidenced in the trail of destruction from past relationships, court documents, police records etc.

This mixed pattern of behavior is disheartening to a victim because they would expect the way they were with them would be the way they are with the next partner. Victims might then question their own actions or behavior thinking maybe it was them, maybe he or she wasn’t attractive or attentive enough.

Remember: The narcissist is a narcissist. He or she will change tactics, behaviors, and even brush up on their acting, read more behavioral books, modify and alter behaviors to suit their own needs and agenda but you can be sure they have not changed.

Remember it’s all a façade, their is no real self. They do not appear as they truly are, they are able to effectively sell themselves, always reinventing, always trying to be something they are not to impress the masses.

Narcissist are not authentic or true to themselves. If they always hated the color red, and you say that to them, they will suddenly put on a red shirt. They never want their agenda made public .

So then how can they do this?

Because their is no real person there. They are fragile and crack under pressure, they repress their emotions and have learned to not care about others or be true to themselves.

Sam Vaknin notes,“Narcissists are already dead. There is no person that exists”. They need energy from others to survive and fill up their false sense of self. Narcissists survive by having a constant source of supply and having the ability to cast off their inner self loathing and self projection on to someone else.

Making their problems your problems. Making others always feel sorry for them, never accepting accountability or responsibility for their own actions which in turn allows them the space they need to create the delusion of ‘existing’ going.

In order for a narcissist to get back at you and punish you they will seek out and find your weak spots to trigger a reaction. By having a reaction to the narcs constant degradation, negativity, toxicity, mental mind games, and behaviors creates stirred up internal emotions and reactions which allows a narcissist plenty of supply which they need to survive.

Melanie Tonia Evans noted,” The ABSOLUTE TRUTH is this: When we are being delivered our wounds on a plate – we DO hang around, we DO stay in the game – for AS LONG AS it takes us to get the message and do the work on healing our inner wounds.”

The only way a narcissist can exist is to find people weak spots and try to use those fears, those inner wounds, against them.

If it provides energy or food for the narcissist by granting one wish to the new supply to get back at a previous romantic partner or ex supply then they will do it just to illicit a response from the former supply.

In essence they make others feel bad for their own insecurities that they are projecting upon others to make them appear as their own.

Remember: You are the target.

How can you prevent this from occurring:

• Heal yourself,

• Work on any internal fears or inner wounds that might exist,

• Love yourself to raise your bar higher.

• Stay true to yourself, and don’t believe the hype.

• Know your value and never settle for less than you deserve.

• Never allow toxic people to have any control over your own emotions and actions.

• Remove anyone who is no longer serving your needs.

• Surround yourself with supportive individuals especially those who’ve experienced narcissism.

• Educate yourself about NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and similar disorders, traits, characteristics. Maintain no contact with strong boundaries.

By Donna Hines

Author: thelastchardonnay Counseling individuals, families, and couples, EFT relationship specialist, clinical researcher, Supreme Court certified family mediator, qualified parenting coordinator, adjunct professor, and medical/healthcare marketer. Join me as I blog through compilations of key descriptions, components, professional and personal accounts, articles, shared experiences, clinical criteria, victimizations, and behavior patterns in persons with high-functioning alcoholism, substance addictions, complex and covert Cluster B personality disorders, and the subsequent emotional abuse of those close to them. My goal and purpose is to create awareness, share knowledge, information, and education. I hope to provide clarity to anyone who may be feeling baffled and confused, or who may not understand what it is they’re seeing or experiencing in their life, or in the lives of someone close to them. Most importantly as a counselor, therapist and abuse survivor, my hope is for those readers to know they are not alone in their journey of discovery and the process of learning, identifying, and healing from the trauma of emotional and psychological abuse. Instagram: @galvindebbie Facebook: Deborah Galvin, MSW @deborahgalvincounseling Twitter: @galvindebbie LinkedIn: Deborah Galvin, MSW

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