One common thing that many victims of narcissistic abuse struggle with is how so many people treat them as if they are forever the same person they were during the height of their time as victims of the narcissist in their life. It can be incredibly frustrating!! I understand this as I went through it too. I felt like during my entire adult life, my family & in particular my mother though I never grew up. It was as if they thought I was perpetually 15 years old, no matter my real age.
For years, I wondered why this is. I think I have the answer to this dilemma. Not just in my situation, but in general.
Obviously narcissists aren’t the only dysfunctional people in the world. Their flying monkeys & scouts are at least as dysfunctional if not more so. As a result, they don’t face reality the way healthy people do. Instead, they try to keep reality as they want it to be. A part of their so called reality is keeping certain people in a box.
Doing this means that these people can convince themselves that they are truly the smart, sane, functional people who have their lives all together. Clearly that must be the case, they think, because just look at how amazing they are compared to that person that they have decided is so weak, stupid, dysfunctional, mean, selfish, horrible, etc. If they can convince themselves that their person of choice is terrible, by default, they also convince themselves that they are pretty spectacular by comparison. By pushing another person down, they build themselves up at the same time.
Another reason dysfunctional people try to keep certain people down is so they have power over that person. While not all dysfunctional people are narcissists, they do want things a certain way in their lives. If they have control over someone, that can help them to maintain their status quo. They can push this person around until that person does whatever they want so they can convince themselves that nothing has changed. This comes in especially handy if their victim has been learning, growing & healing. Clearly such things threaten the delusions of someone who wants to remain dysfunctional. If a person like this can be subdued enough to reject their new growth, learning & healing, they will return to the old, dysfunctional patterns & that will help the dysfunctional person maintain their comfort level. People who are comfortable in their dysfunction have zero desire to move past that place, & they have plenty of desire to return formerly dysfunctional people to their previous unhealthy lifestyle.
Another motivation for such toxic people being able to control others is the high that having that power over others provides. Whether the person in question is a narcissist or not, chances are they will enjoy feeling that they are powerful enough to control another person
If you are in the position of dealing with someone who wants to keep you as the dysfunctional person you once were, know that you are NOT alone, & this is a typical problem for many victims of narcissistic abuse.
Naturally, the best thing you can do when faced with this situation is to pray. Ask God to keep you from sliding back into old, toxic habits & to be aware of why people are treating you as they are so you don’t do that. Praying for those dysfunctional people as well certainly is an excellent idea! They clearly need prayer, whether or not they realize it.
Also remember, their behavior is absolutely no reflection on you. It is a reflection on them. They are comfortable in their dysfunction. That is their right, of course. However, you have rights, too & one of those rights is to protect yourself from toxic people. Keep your distance from such people. You may need to sever ties with them, & there is nothing wrong with doing that no matter who those people are! Protect your mental health however is best for you!