You're with a narcissist but no one believes you. They think you're unhappy, uptight, overreacting, or a bitter ex. They think you are unforgiving, can't get over things, or have a need to complain. It would be easier if you didn't care. But you do care. You need to know you're not losing your mind.
The person you love is two very different people.
The charismatic one the world sees and the one you live with. A charmer and a beast. The narcissistic seducer is socially consistent so they are hard to identify. It's not necessarily a complete act. It can also be explained by the narcissist's inability to attach themselves to people. A narcissist doesn't feel things deeply unless it impacts their own world. Their lack of empathy means they don't generally care enough about the average person to show their other side.
Medical News Today speaks to a narcissist's lack of empathy as follows:
"A lack of empathy and unwillingness to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others."
"Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism."
When you unknowingly attach yourself to a narcissist you are typically confused by the behavior of the narcissist. You focus on the wonderfully charming person and tend to make excuses for their ugly and cruel counterpart. Over time, confusion is exceedingly replaced by a sense of craziness.
Because no one would believe you or believe this person is two people. Let alone, that they are cable of horrific emotional abuse. In some situations financial and physical abuse. This can make victims of narcissistic abuse feel helpless to be acknowledged, get help or attempt to leave.
If you were married to an alcoholic people would get it.
They might see them drink too much, stumble, or slur.
You wouldn't have to explain yourself. No one would think you're unhappy, uptight, overreacting, or a bitter ex. They wouldn't think you are unforgiving, can't get over things, or have a need to complain. Society understands addiction.
It does not understand narcissistic personality disorder.
Or it irresponsibly labels individuals with the title of a narcissist. Without getting a diagnosis or understanding of this serious mental health disorder. You can't guess if someone's a narcissist. It's a medical diagnosis.
A critical one for those who are controlled, confused and abused by a narcissist. Especially since those who fall in love with narcissists tend to be overly caring and deeply empathetic. Which leads them to give the narcissist chance after chance instead of escaping a bad situation. Unfortunately, the longer you stay with an individual with narcissistic personality disorder the harder it is.
If only the world could see what you see. It would somehow validate what you've experienced with a narcissist. It would make you feel better. You would be believed. The abuse would be acknowledged. Your injustice will be identified.
It's not likely to happen with most people, it's best not to focus on it and focus on yourself.
If it's difficult for the average counselor to identify narcissistic personality disorder, imagine how difficult it is for the average person to recognize it. This is why if you believe you are involved with a narcissist you should seek the help of a qualified mental health professional. A psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor who is highly, highly specialized in the field of narcissism.
Instead of hoping others will recognize the camouflaged narcissistic offender.