People who aren’t terribly familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder often can be tricked by the “disorder” part of the name into thinking that narcissists are sick. They cannot control their behavior because they have a mental illness, so you have to give them a free pass. This is completely WRONG!
You see, there are differences between sick & evil.
A sick person cannot control their symptoms. Look at a person with PTSD, for example. Flashbacks happen & the person having them can’t stop them. It doesn’t matter if the person is driving, at work or sitting on the couch watching a movie. However, if you look at a narcissist, he or she can control the symptoms quite well. I remember in my late teen years, my mother would scream at & berate me, but if the phone rang, she could switch that behavior off to speak to whoever was calling her.
Another difference is someone who is sick hurts someone, it isn’t intentional. They clearly get no thrill from causing pain & suffering, & they feel genuine remorse for their actions. They apologize. They try to make it up to the person they hurt when possible. They also do their best not to let that happen again. Evil people behave nothing like this. They enjoy causing pain & suffering. It’s rather like a high to them because they feel powerful that they can affect someone so strongly. They feel no remorse for their actions. They don’t apologize but instead offer excuses, blame the victim, say the incident didn’t happen as the victim remembers it or it didn’t happen at all.
In spite of these very clear differences, it seems many people don’t acknowledge that sick & evil are very different things. I think there are a couple of reasons for this.
Maybe this is because it is easier for people to write off abusive actions as sick. Knowing that someone you love has chosen to inflict physical &/or mental pain on you is very difficult to accept. That person loves you.. how could they want to hurt you, after all.
Another possible reason is sickness can be cured or at least managed. Give someone the proper medication & their symptoms will be either cured or at least controlled. There isn’t a pill to control or cure evil. The person must want to stop doing evil things, & very rarely does an evil person want to change. Clinging to the hope that the evil person is simply sick gives the victim hope of change.
When I first learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I got stuck on the term “disorder”. I thought that meant that my parents’ actions were beyond their control. If they couldn’t help themselves, then I shouldn’t be angry with them for hurting me. It wasn’t intentional, I thought. I would guess many people have thought the same thing. If someone who is abusing them has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can be very easy to believe at first that these problems are called disorders because the abuser can’t control their abusive actions. That also is much easier to accept than the fact that your abuser is deliberately choosing to abuse you.
There is also the fact that if this is sickness as opposed to evil, everyone has an excuse to do nothing about the abuse. After all, if it’s a sickness, no one but a doctor can fix that, right?
Claiming evil people are simply sick people does no good to anyone! What people don’t realize is they are giving the evil person free reign to abuse. They offer the abusive person no consequences for their actions, which means there is zero chance that abuser will want to change. Why should they when they know they can do anything they want with no repercussions?
They also don’t seem to realize (or at least don’t want to admit) that this also invalidates & can further traumatize victims. Victims who are trying to escape abuse or have escaped know the truth. It hurts them to be told their abuser was just sick & they were wrong for being angry with him or her.
Just remember, Dear Reader, you know in your heart whether your abuser is sick or evil. If you have any doubts, look at their behavior, & you’ll see the truth.