In Part 1 of ‘The Toxic Trap TOI Blog’ you have seen that Maslow’s correlation is sometimes, intentionally misused by those that claim to love you and care for you. Your needing the motivation from love and care is not wrong at all, however, the possibility of misuse, is unknown to you and hence would never occur to you to doubt, suspect or assess that and you fall prey to a ‘love scam’. The Toxic Trap is when faulty wiring in some individuals guides them to hone in on your unmet needs and use those as a smoke screen for supplying the love and acceptance that all individuals so intrinsically require.
Thus, as normal, healthy human beings we look for love and belonging and hence we do not go about suspecting that the reciprocity of love and belonging could be abusive or sinister or planned out like an elaborate deceitful web of lies to supply a silent, misleading, insidious and dangerous personality disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Abusers with NPD feign love and create a quiet form of veiled emotional and psychological abuse for the ‘object’ of their love and attention, that remains hidden from the ‘survivor (you)’ due to lack of bruises or scars or any outward form of abuse. Make no mistake, this is abuse and deceit at the highest, most fraudulent level, intentionally carried out from the start, to trap you and make you ‘fall’ in love and then when you are hooked onto this ‘illusion of a relationship,’ to show you traits of the real person, which leaves you confused, because those traits are tangentially opposite to the ones that got you hooked on to this relationship, in the first place.
This relationship is classified as ‘Narcissistic Abuse’. You are being abused. Severely and more harmfully than you can imagine. You could never have imagined that this is abuse and you are the victim or the ‘survivor’. All the signs and symptoms and behaviours of narcissists are textbook and can be applied verbatim to anyone who has NPD and/or is in a relationship with a NPD person. Survivor because this is a very harmful form of abuse for you and will take everything you have to break off and ‘survive.’ Ironically, It is not the relationship that helps you survive and you have to come an understanding of that yourself. You have to be willing to set aside all your romantic notions of your partner and see it. You have been unable to see it so far because of the nature of the biochemical addiction of this kind of love. While on the face of it you feel like this partner is your soulmate, a rare love you must hold on to, however, on an internal level, (unknown to you), this relationship has activated all your insecurities and abandonment issues you never thought you had and therefore, your complete inability to see a life without the partner or even believe that it is possible.
With the intermittent highs or rewards of love, adoration and companionship mixed with the sudden, stark and abrupt emotional lows of a cold, withdrawn and distant partner, you are left with biological, physiochemical and biochemical changes in your body that cause you to ‘be addicted’ and ‘not be able to see’ the truth about this relationship and believe only, that you can save it or change it. And so goes on and on the vicious cycle of your trying harder and receiving and then again very quickly falling short and trying again to restore it to the old levels of euphoria you felt at the start of it.
REALIZING this ‘Toxic Trap’ is a shocking but freeing discovery and if you find any of the symptoms of your relationship mimic the signs I have mentioned above, it is because, there is a science to it.
People with NPD dole out narcissistic emotional abuse with ease and charm. They are ordinary people amongst us, no red flags of mental or behavioural disorders, until the insanity you experience in the relationship gets intensified and you’re reeling and spinning and yearning for a sliver of normalcy. You are so invested (biochemically) by then, that you cannot recognise the signs and do not suspect that a con is at its best game. Almost always will this kind of a narcissistic relationship lead to health problems, behavioural problems and a lot of hurt, trauma and emotional pain. Even when realization dawns upon you, you will find yourself ‘addicted’ and stuck due to the highs and lows of cortisol (stress hormone) and dopamine (reward neurotransmitter) – causing a ‘trick (you’re tricked/conned into believing them and that it’s your fault) or treat (reward of love and semblance of their old kind ways)’ syndrome in you – moments of kindness and love as reward and long spells of circular fights and confusion and disconnectedness with your life and the truth of everything around you. That makes it biologically and physiologically very difficult for you to extricate yourself and creates trauma bonding in you with the abuser. Hence, explaining why abuse victims stay on in abusive situations. The victims’ neurotransmitters have been conditioned to respond in a particular manner.
When you realise that your relationship is actually a planned siege from the start, meant to provide narcissistic supply to the abuser – as a means of dealing with their own internal suffering and self-loathing; you begin to piece together the elements of your own suffering and begin your own journey selfward. This is your most catalysing moment and one that aligns you to receive the gifts lined up for you by your Universal Source.
It becomes about your recovery from narcissistic abuse, from here on out, and not about matching up the symptoms or least of all about the abuser and their reasons.
To be continued…
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.