Sunday, April 14, 2019

God Narcissists and Demon Narcissists

I've been thinking more about my God/narcissistic parent analogy that jumped into my head when watching Lucifer.

There are various established ways to label and divide narcissists (covert, communal, grandiose etc.)  I've decided to come up with my own. It's not going to include ALL narcissists—just two types.

One would be the God-narcissist that I thought about when watching Lucifer. The second would be the demon narcissist.

The demon narcissist, unlike the God narcissist, severely lacks in power. They are powerless and pathetic. They are also disgustingly obvious....like Pazuzu spinning his head around and projectile vomiting green pea soup.,

Now... I don't think enough people are educated about things like gaslighting, emotional blackmail, darvo, etc.  I think most people are unable to spot narcissism unless the self-adoration aspects are extremely obvious. So when I say obvious, I'm not necessarily talking about the narcissism of the person but instead some other trait that makes them very unappealing.

They might be too loud and boisterous.

They might be very negative.

They might be overtly racist or sexist.

They might yell a lot.

They might be overtly controlling.

They might be drug addicts.

They might be alcoholics.

They might say and do embarrassing things.

They might be criminals.

They might be in prison.

Sometimes when people come out of an abusive situation, they will say something like, Everyone kept warning me against him. None of my friends liked him. Finally. I listened.

That would be a demon narcissist.

I'm wondering. Why did they fall in love in the first place—if the narcissist was so unlikable, so lacking in charm?

Maybe they have just enough charm for the object of their affection?  Or maybe, in some cases, it's their lack of charm that's appealing.  Yeah. He's a bit rough around the edges. But he's a softie inside. You just have to understand he doesn't mean what he's saying.  

Demon narcissists are unappealing to most people. And they lack power. They usually don't have a lot of money. They probably don't have secure employment. They're not well-liked by their neighbors, coworkers, relatives, etc.

I want to stop here and make sure to clarify something.

Not all people who are drug addicts or alcoholics or financially disadvantaged or negative or friendless or... etc. are narcissists!!!!  Most of them are probably not.

But if these people are also very selfish, self-centered, and most importantly...MANIPULATIVE; then they are probably narcissists.

Anyway....

In the past few weeks, I've seen three examples, on TV shows, of demon-narcissist parents.

On Jane the Virgin, there's Magda (Priscilla Barnes), the mother of Petra (Yael Grobglas). Magda spends years manipulating her daughter, pretending to be stuck in a wheelchair so her daughter will take care of her. Later she kills a man in (maybe) self defense. Then she goes as far as framing her daughter for the murder.  She makes it obvious that she does not have any love for her daughter and will hurt and use her daughter to get what she wants.

I've only finished two seasons and already Magda has gone to prison for two different violent crimes. So yeah. She's not exactly a pillar of the community.

Not only does Petra have to live life without a mother's love, but she also has to live with the embarrassment and shame of being related to a criminal.

On The Fosters, there's Anna, (Alexandra Barreto) the biological mother of Jesus (Jake T Austin) and Mariana (Cierra Rameriz).

Anna is a junkie who abandoned her twins when they were young. She later seeks them out, pretending to want a relationship with them. But then, like two minutes later, she's asking them for money.

First she gets Marianna to steal her brother's ADHD medicine and sell them at school. That's bad enough, of course. But she doesn't stop there. She tries to convince Marianna to steal expensive stuff from her adopted parent's home. She doesn't tell Marianna she needs money for drugs. She says she needs the money so she can escape from her abusive boyfriend. She manipulates Marianna by trying to get Marianna to pity her.  I can't remember exactly, but I think she also pushes the whole thing of sticking by family and helping them out. Yeah. This coming from a women who abandoned her children and later uses them to get drug money.

On The Good Doctor, there's the unnamed mother (Sharon Teal) of Claire (Antonia Thomas).

Before her mother appears on the show, Claire foreshadows the appearance by telling a sob story from her childhood. She saved up money for a laptop (I think?), and then her mother stole all the money and spent it...somewhere.

Claire is very angry at her mother about this. She rightfully holds a grudge.

Then Mom comes for a surprise visit to the hospital. If I recall correctly, the mother and daughter haven't seen each other for years.  Claire is cold towards her mother at first. But then she warms up a bit, because Mom seems more loving and honest. She seems willing to change. She talks about how she now realizes she was mentally ill, and she's had treatment for that. She also shows interest in Claire's life.  It seems to Claire that her mother might have actually changed.

And then very quickly, before Claire's heart can warm up too much, her mother asks for help with the rent.

I think that might be the key trait of demon-narcissistic parents. They often need something and will manipulate their children to get it. This will usually be money or something similar—like a place to live or nursing care.

The God-narcissistic parent, in contrast, doesn't usually need anything from their children. Or at least they don't need material things. They have enough money of their own. They GIVE to their children rather than take.

They shower their children with expensive gifts.

Financially, they are very generous.

Unlike the demon-narcissist, they are not lacking in appeal. Quite the opposite...they are beautiful, charming, and well loved by many.

This is the person who not only pays for dinner but entertains everyone throughout dinner with their hilarious stories.

So, what's the problem?

Well.....

Beneath the charm and generosity, there's manipulation and an excessive need for gratitude and adoration from others.

They hate being told that they're not they wonderful beings they imagine themselves to be. If you bring up something they have done to hurt you, they will tell you it never happened. You must be imagining things. You must be remembering things wrong.  OR they'll go as far as accusing you of purposely making things up to hurt them. Jesus had Judas, and they have you.

If they don't deny, they might distract by reminding you of all the gifts they have given you. Or maybe it's more along the lines of, it's okay that I say things to hurt you sometimes, because I helped pay for your apartment.  

It's like God. We're supposed to be super duper grateful for any nice thing He does for us. We're supposed to go to our houses of worship to sing praises and bow to him. Then when He does something to us we don't like, we're supposed to just accept it as His plan.

And if we fail on all this, our fellow Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. will try to pull us back in line.

The children of narcissist parents will hear the same things that those drifting from the faith might hear. He DOES love you!  He wants the best for you!  Think of all the good that's happened in your life. That's down to HIM!

While those dealing with a demon-narcissist will talk about how others tried to warm them against the narcissist, those dealing with a God-narcissist will likely say the opposite.  I kept telling them he's not always that great, and they don't believe me.

Or more likely, it will be in present tense. I KEEP telling them he's kind of awful sometimes, and no one believes me. Getting people to believe the narcissist is toxic rather than close-to-perfect is something they will struggle with until they die. It's a battle they shall rarely win.

The only people who are likely to take their grievances seriously are other people who have relationships with a God-narcissist. Those dealing with demon-narcissists are very unlikely to get it. What the hell are you talking about.  He GIVES you money rather than trying to steal it from you?????!!!!  How is that a problem????!!!  Plus he's SO nice and funny. You're lucky!!! I wish he was my dad!!!!

Some God-narcissists might be physically and sexually abusive. Then it will likely be a case of the victim being blatantly disbelieved. They will be seen as liars. Well....if they come forward.

I am guessing, though, that many God-narcissists are much more subtle in their cruelty.  They might do things that are hurtful to those experiencing it, but to outsiders it's funny, normal, harmless, etc.

For example, they might often use emotional invalidation.

I'm too hot. I feel sick.

Give me a break!  The weather is beautiful today.

I'm hungry.

You just ate! You can't be hungry.

I'm so depressed.

Don't be overdramatic.

She hates me.

You're imagining things.

They try to dictate emotions by saying things like Smile more or Snap out of it.

They will be controlling. They might not say, Do this. Do that. Or else!  Instead they might say. You can do that, but it's your funeral.  Or, you can do that, but I think it's really selfish of you.

I'm totally okay with it. But if you do that, it's going to really hurt your mother.

Do what you want. But you're going to be sorry.

Your sister is really hurt by what you're planning to do. 

They might get great pleasure from seeing you terrified. They might have you watch a terrifying movie or pressure you to go on the scariest ride at Disney World.  They might tease animals in front of you, because they know that bothers you. But it's all just for fun! Don't take it too seriously! They just like pushing your buttons.  OR because they're so wonderful and God like, maybe they're doing it out of benevolence...because they love you. They're trying to toughen you up! 

Like God-God, the God-narcissist will keep you on your toes.

One day, he's super nice. He's asking you questions about your life. He's showing interest. He's showing compassion. He's the one person who understands your controversial viewpoint and isn't bashing you for it.  Then another day, he's lashing out because you made the wrong comment, weren't grateful enough, or didn't come through on a favor he asked.

Like God-God, the God narcissist will sometimes display his wrath with loud anger, angry emails/texts, or a a punishment.

God will send destructive floods to one village and pleasant sunshine to another. It's the same with the God-narcissist. He will punish one child with threatening, angry, manipulative emails and then, on the same day, shower the other children with extra charm and compassion.  To one child, he will be a monster. To the other, he will be the nicest and funniest guy ever.  And so cool! He's going to take us all to see Hamilton!!!!  He's even letting us invite our friends along!

He'll even maybe take the bad one to Hamilton...because he's generous and forgiving like that. He's so wonderful.

But the bad one is thinking, I don't even want to go to Hamilton. And I don't want YOUR forgiveness. I want YOU to apologize to ME. Because that "abusive" thing you accuse me of?  It was simply me calling you out on your hurtful behavior.

Another similar thing between God and the God-narcissist is they will take credit for anything you might love about yourself.  Well, God probably doesn't actually take credit. But those who worship Him will push you to give God credit.  Like how you sing? Well thank God for giving you that voice! Happy that you got that raise? Praise God. Glad you stopped eating all that junk food and lost a hundred pounds? Well, don't have too much pride. Thank God for giving you the willpower and strength!

The God-narcissist might say things like, You got my genes! Or in anger they might blurt out something like, everything you've achieved in life comes from me pulling strings for you!  You would have accomplished nothing without me.

Well, the demon narcissist would probably say those things too.

I'm going off on a tangent about the God-narcissist and really a lot of what I said would apply to the demon narcissist as well.

The big difference between the two is that the former is seen by others, outside the dynamic, as being wonderful—charming, benevolent, and generous, while the demon-narcissist is seen as...well...yuck.

I guess what I was trying to say in all my ramblings is that the God-narcissist is probably more subtle with their toxicity. Because they need to hide it to keep their glowing reputation and their very high self-esteem.

In public, they might lash out in extremely subtle ways so to be seen as benign by bystanders. Or they will put on their super-nice mask on when in public. In private, they might be obviously awful or they might still be subtle in their awfulness.

The demon-narcissist is usually far from subtle.  In private, they are obviously awful, and in public, they are obviously awful as well. They are embarrassing.

What is worse?

Neither.

I think they're both bad.

Dealing with narcissists is always very painful and emotionally damaging.  The victims of both have that in common.

The differences?

Those who have a demon-narcissist have to deal with the extra burden of embarrassment. They have the shame of being connected to the demon. I also suspect that they might be more likely be in physical and sexual danger. And financial danger as well!!

Those who have a God-narcissist have to deal with the loneliness of not being believed and/or taken seriously. They are often the black sheep and/or scapegoat in their family or social circle, and they have to deal with the pain that comes along with that.










Edited to add-5/29/19:  I thought of another name for a group of narcissists. Well, another name has already been given to them: Communal Narcissists.  But to go with my Gods and Demons, I'm going to give them the alternate name of Angel Narcissists.

Angel Narcissists get their feelings of specialness and superiority by doing good deeds. These can range from being the guy in the office who spends all his spare time planning an awesome surprise birthday party; the stranger who stays with you, to give support and comfort, after a car accident, and that friend who is on the board of seven charity organizations.

Not all giving people are Angel Narcissists. Some of them truly do care, and some do acts of goodness because it makes them feel simply decent (rather than extraordinary).

Here are my signs of someone being an Angel Narcissist rather than simply kind, caring, and charitable.

1. They spread the news of their good deeds. They often post about it on social media. You see it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. They describe their acts of kindness in group emails and group texts.

2. There is a Jekyll and Hyde quality to their behavior. To those they want to impress, they are beyond awesome. They're giving. They're kind. They're hardworking. They're self-sacrificing. They are the ones that people can count on. For those they're not interested in impressing, they can too often be lazy, grumpy, self-centered, distracted, callous and even maybe sadistic.

3. They use their good deeds as a manipulation tool against you.  You're angry at them because they said something hurtful to you? Well, they're too busy to deal with that right now ever. They have to go feed the homeless. And later, they're going to be speaking at a charity ball for abused children.

Do you have a problem? You're dealing with an eating disorder? You're depressed? You're anxious. You're upset because your boyfriend pressured you into having sex? You're worried about your biopsy results?  If you're someone that the Angel Narcissist wants to impress, he'll be your shoulder to cry on. If you're not?  He'll likely make you feel ridiculous and selfish. You're worried about a biopsy? What about people who actually have cancer?! Eating disorder? You're not that thin! Come on. Depressed? What do YOU have to be depressed about?

The giving mother has a very important charity event on the same day as her child's school play. She feels terrible about it. She apologizes over and over to her daughter. She makes sure to get the play video-taped. She watches the video with joy and excitement. She takes her daughter out on a special outing to make up for not being there.

The Angel Narcissist pushes the guilt on her daughter. You don't want Mommy missing the luncheon do you?  You don't want the sick children to die. Right? And come on...you're not even the main star of the play?  You have three lines.  Let's not make a big deal out of nothing. We didn't raise you to be selfish.