When I first learned how some people in my life had been abusive towards me, I wondered if they were so damaged somehow they couldn’t control their behavior. Then years later, upon learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I assumed the disorder part meant they were sick & unable to control themselves. I figured I should be able to let their abuse not affect me because since it’s a disorder, it meant they couldn’t control themselves. Thankfully I learned the error of my ways!
I finally started to think about these toxic relationships in my life when suddenly things began to click. There were similarities with every relationship I’ve ever had with an abuser.
What they did to me was always done without witnesses. In front of others, they behaved normally, sometimes even lovingly. My late mother in-law once introduced me as “her beautiful daughter in-law”. It was only when we were alone, the abusers would treat me badly.
And, there was an unspoken rule that I shouldn’t tell anyone. My mother verbalized the rule by telling me I didn’t need to “air our dirty laundry”, but she was the only one who said it. Others didn’t, yet somehow I knew telling others would upset them terribly so I shouldn’t do it. I also knew that my abusers talked badly about me to other people, so there wasn’t a chance I would have been believed if I told anyone anyway.
I came to realize that these things weren’t just coincidences. These behaviors were done in order to prevent anyone from learning what these people truly were like.
John 3:20-22 in the God’s word translation of the Bible says, “People who do what is wrong hate the light and don’t come to the light. They don’t want their actions to be exposed. But people who do what is true come to the light so that the things they do for God may be clearly seen.”.
Narcissists may act sometimes as if they don’t know their behavior is wrong, but make no mistake about it. They know. That is why they do what they do when there are no witnesses around & even do their best to isolate victims from loving friends or family. That is also why they force their victims into not telling anyone about what they do. Narcissists want to be certain that no one finds out how badly they treat their victims, so no one will call them out on their bad behavior or help their victims to escape.
Please do NOT be fooled into thinking narcissists don’t know any better, can’t control their behavior or need people’s mercy because they are mentally sick. Doing so will result in you tolerating abuse without boundaries. I know because I did this. I honestly believed my abusers were incapable of behaving any other way so if I loved them, I should tolerate the abuse. In fact, I tolerated it for much longer than I should have. I would like to spare you this pain, so please learn from my mistake!
Personality disorders like narcissism don’t mean a person has a physical problem that renders them incapable of controlling their behavior or knowing right from wrong. Personality disorders describe a means of dysfunctional behavior rather than a brain that is physically broken that renders a person unable to control their behavior. This means that narcissists do know right from wrong, barring any injury or disease to their brain that could cripple that in them of course.
Please never, ever forget this, Dear Reader. When you’re forced to deal with a narcissist, it is vital that you always remember that they absolutely do know what they’re doing is wrong.