Perhaps a big part of the reason malignant narcissists are so successful in their abuse is that it’s extraordinarily difficult to tell the story of these monsters’ insidious tactics.
Stories of bloody noses, broken bones, overt verbal abuse, and harsh sexual violence are obvious and easy to tell.
Stories of looks that inspire terror, 55 tiny little “harmless” digs a day, subtle financial abuse slowly over time, seemingly innocent manipulations, etc, these are far more difficult to tell and explain the damage they do. And particularly difficult when the average attention span exceeds about 2 inches from any person’s self-involvement.
Who has the care or time to sit and listen to someone explain such subtle and clever intricacies of abuse with multiple layers of impact that build upon one another over time like millions of tiny glass shards. One little glass shard in your skin seems harmless and such a ridiculous thing to cry over. 5 tiny glass shards? Really? Just pull em out, clean the area, and get on with it. 25 tiny glass shards? Well, that’s unfortunate, but again, pull them out, clean the wounds, and get on with it. Shit happens. There’s still just no need to go to a doctor and explain the story of each and every shard, how each individual shard got embedded into your skin, and how painful each one was or wasn’t at the time of entry. A doctor wouldn’t need to hear those minute and lengthy details and it’s unlikely he’d have the time or patience to listen to it all even if each shard’s story was somehow relevant.
You’re not a whiner. You’re not a pity whore or desperate for sympathy. Maybe you even deserved some of those shards? Maybe you even knowingly went back to the scene after the first 15 shards?
Do’t be ridiculous. You just pull them out as best you can, clean the area, and get on with it, obviously determinedly hoping to avoid the shard infested area in the future. You’re not stupid. You’ll simply choose to stay far away from that danger zone. If you can’t clean them all up, you’ll walk around it, even if it takes incredible cautious and care.
You’ll just tip-toe around the shards from now on. And get on with it.
But what happens when you get 10,000 tiny glass shards in your skin? Still, the damage is relatively minimal. Just get to the time consuming task of pulling them out, clean the wound, and get on with it.
You might need to see a doctor at this point, but still you aren’t going to load the doctor down with how each and every shard got in there. It’s senseless. You just say you had an accident, get the care your wounds need, and get on with trying to clean or tip-toe around the avoid the danger zone again. Surely, you’re not stupid enough to intentionally walk carelessly in that same area? Right? Why bother anyone with the boring story of each and every stab, every piercing of your flesh that subtly pinched or stung? It’s irrelevant and it’s just dull.
Take care of it and get on with it.
So, what happens when you get 25,000 tiny slivers of glass embedded in your skin? You dismissed the 5, then the 25, then the 10,000. Now you have 25,000 and more keep coming even as you’re still pulling the last batch out. You don’t understand where they’re even coming from at this point. They just keep coming and now with more speed than you can pull them out. Confusion settles in. You doubt yourself because who could be clumsy or stupid enough to keep inadvertently hitting that danger zone of shattered glass? It seems like a moving target, but you just can’t understand what, how, or why. You just know they sting and they seem to be gaining momentum the harder you try to avoid them.
After a few years of this, with millions of “harmless” shards embedded as well as a few far less subtle, deeper daggers and stabs throughout that time that have done more significant damage. Suddenly, you’re actually damaged and the damage is confusingly extensive. Now, how does one go back to explaining those first 5 shards?
What about after 48 years of it?
How do you expect anyone at this point, even a doctor or friend or therapist, to bother with the time, effort, and extensive bother of listening to the details of every embedded shard, the maddening impossibility of avoiding the danger zone despite constant exhausting effort to locate, repair, and clean up the site? Really, it’s too far gone to repair or resolve now anyway, so why burden others with that weight?
Who would care enough to be burdened anyway?
You can tell the story of the first 5 shards or maybe the last 20 shards, or maybe you just selectively choose to explain only those random shards that were not so subtle in their damage? Only tell the worst of the billions?
No one can be burdened with the whole senseless lifelong story of every ridiculous shard you now have piercing your skin. But there’s too many to ever remove now. And a handful of 15 minute selective explanations could never even begin to adequately describe the depth of damage or the permanent pain of all the deeply embedded ancient shards still ripping your skin…underneath the surface. Stabbing you relentlessly, always ripping through your flesh, under the surface…. unseen to the naked eye.
And yet, how would you ever explain the amount of damage without that burden? How do you ever get to them all to remove them and clean and repair the wounds without that ridiculous burden?