Saturday, November 4, 2017
Narcissistic Abuse: Are You An Enabler or Bystander?
The deeper I dig into my self, the more wisdom I find, but also the more barriers I find to peace. A narcissist does not have this ability and is therefore the reason they have no ability for empathy. On the other hand, I have no choice but to self-reflect in order to solve the only thing that matters to each of us in the end, solving conflicts of the 'self'.
I have solved most of mine, yet every time I solve one, another seems to pop up, and I go deeper down the rabbit hole of self reflection. What I discover is that I am finding myself one step closer to the absolute truth I am seeking each time, but I am not sure where the bottom of the hole is yet. What I discovered this time was quite important and if you have ever been emotionally or psychologically abused by a narcissist, you will want to pay attention to this part.
I was well respected by my peers and clients when I left my job less than two years ago, and I loved almost every aspect of my job, except the constant lack of balance and high anxiety that was being orchestrated around me. I tell you this so that you understand better how it felt for me when I was 'pushed' out in a few days, and I got the silent treatment from everyone, even the ones I considered close friends at the time. They all became enablers and bystanders at that point, and probably don't realize that they are carrying quite a bit of guilt for it now.
If they feel they have done nothing wrong, then the guilt will not be present at the moment. Once they leave their toxic situation and begin reflecting on themselves, they will know what it feels like to be in my position, and if they are empathic will feel tremendous amount of guilt at that time. I certainly don't want that for any of them! These are good people who were being unknowingly abused and didn't have the strength to help themselves, let alone me.
I had no self guilt at the time and still don't, but that is simply because I did not deserve the treatment I received. I had guilt of others because I felt like an enabler who was unable to help and had to leave for my own sanity, and therefore another negative shot to the self esteem at the time.
I was left alone to deal with a mental breakdown and my world at that time was just taken away from me, and again I had done nothing to deserve this treatment in any way at this point, except I pointed out a few truths about wrongdoings in the workplace I had been keeping to myself. Once I questioned the narcissist in front of others with some truths, I was almost immediately black-balled and perpetrated as someone with mental health issues. You are damned right I had mental health issues at the time, but I was still very rational as well.
The mental health issues I was suffering at the time were all created by one person. They were, and are, very good at what they do in this regard. Even though I had been broken down over a couple of years and was being pushed into the flight instinct on a regular basis, I still have a big heart and the fight part was still there. I felt broken and diminished at the time and everyone deserted me. Thank God they did, because I learned more about people in general from that experience than any other before in my life.
Although I took some passive-aggressive steps to fight back, being alone against a team of 'flying monkeys' was a battle I could not win, especially in the weakened state I was in. What I also learned later was that my fight instinct was not even for myself, it was for the others who were suffering along side of me, and I had much guilt because I felt like a bystander and enabler myself. I saw a problem, I saw abuse happening, and yet i could do little to nothing about it.
That is the guilt that I found deep in the hole this time. Even though I was able to peacefully walk away eventually like most of the solid research on narcissistic abuse suggests, something continued to eat away at me the whole time. I was able to spend months reflecting and rebuilding my inner self, which took a lot of work, and I am glad I did it all, but talk about exhausting! A year and half later I find both peace within myself, but also that I am still carrying some guilt, and I need to figure out why.
If you are a bystander or enabler right now and think you can change the narcissist, I hate to say it but you are sadly mistaken. You are still filling their supply or they would not be keeping you around right now. You will eventually be in the same spot as I am right now, and the guilt does not simply go away. It has to be faced head on!
I spent my whole life standing up for those who could not stand up for themselves, and when I needed it in return, there was nobody there. This huge realization helps push me forward now! I have only my 'self' to rely on, and thank goodness I have worked so hard on that!!
When I was young I used my fists to stand up to bullies who preyed upon the weak and vulnerable. Now that I am older and much wiser, I use my words to do a much greater job of this. My suggestion to you is don't be an enabler or bystander, or you will eventually suffer a lot of guilt that you may not even know is growing in you yet. Stop looking at the abuser and feeling sympathy or empathy for them and start giving those things to the other victims around you, because you know they are there!
I am now at peace with what my abuser has done to me, but i am not at peace yet with what she is doing to others. How can I call myself an empathetic being if I continue to be a bystander or enabler? Simply put, I can't!
I have been abused by many narcissists in my life and seem to attract them like bees to honey. I know that I will still attract more in my future as well. Thank God I have educated myself along the way and know how to spot them now. What I do know is that I will no longer carry the guilt that goes along with the abuse, and I suggest you find ways to do the same before it is too late.
For me, I now have the strength and lack of fear to face this problem head on, no matter the consequences. I will stand up for what is right once again, as opposed to do what makes things 'easy' or without conflict. My book will point out many of the narcissists in my community as examples of what you can look for. The only tool I have to fight back and no longer be an enabler is exposure of the truth. The truth of what I went through so the narcissist can be exposed for who they truly are, and so others can clearly see the demon inside!
p.s. I added this afterwards and found the thought very relevant, and I don't want to forget it for a later blog. Our community and many other use slogans for bullying, such as 'See something, say something', or 'Step up, Stand up'. I am stepping up, to stand up to the bullies in my community through the focus of their narcissistic qualities, and how they are affecting the 'victims'. If you aren't a bully, you have nothing to worry about. If you are considered a bully, I am about to put you all on your toes!