When you start to realize you’ve been isolated, often it’s too late to reverse the damages done. Sometimes you will have no idea just how isolated you are until situations arise that require you to be in the presence of the perfect storm.
What is that perfect storm?
How does it manifest and who is to blame?
It manifests through the meticulous grooming and manipulation of you by a narcissist, that is intent on isolating you so they have you all to themselves.
When you believe someone is your friend and has your best interest in their heart, you believe what they tell you. If they tell you these people will steal from you, you believe it and you protect your belongings. If they tell you these people are addicts and they do drugs, you believe it and keep your distance. If they tell you these people are not your friends and that they hate you, you believe it and you protect your heart from being broken by them. Anything you can possibly imagine to be horrific and not worthy of your time and presence, that’s what you are told to believe, and because this is your good friend, someone that loves you, telling you these things, you believe it.
Most of the time the people you are told to be wary of are being told to be wary of you too. Guess who is telling them to be wary of you. That’s right! It’s your friend!
If they told horrible tales to you about them, they probably told horrible tales to them about you.
Now you realize the friend telling you all of these scary platitudes about these people is actually best friends with these people! They hang out together and chat like old chums! Guess who is the only person standing on the outside of this twisted circle? That’s right! It’s YOU!
What has happened here is called isolation. The narcissist has successfully isolated you and prevented you from being close to the other people. They want you all to themselves, but not because they love you, or respect you. They also want to destroy you in the eyes of everyone else so no one will want to be friends with you too. This is what feeds them. This systematic and controlled environment where they are manipulating everyone around them like they’re marionettes. Everyone thinks they are the best friend in the world, when in reality they’re giving their love and adoration to a monster.
It’s a no win situation for both sides.
They won’t like you because they believe what their friend told them about you.
You don’t like them because you believe what your friend told you about them.
Where does this go from here?
The best thing you can do if this has happened to you, is to find new friends.
It’s that simple.
Okay, I say it’s simple, but there will be some finessing to do if you want to evacuate this with as few bruises as possible. Escaping a narcissist, especially one that has invested this much time into their master scheme, will be a little difficult. I’m not going to lie to you either. You will probably suffer many more indignities before you’re finally free. There are some hard and fast rules that work in situations like this. All you have to do is stick to them and you’ll live through this.
Never confront the narcissist about what they have done.
Never let the narcissist know that you’re onto them!
Never try to defend yourself to the narcissist or to the people the narcissist has told lies to about you.
Don’t anger the narcissist!
Are you starting to see a pattern here? That’s because there is one. It’s so tempting to play crusader and call out the narcissist for behaving badly. I know this because I am also a crusader! Take it from me…unless you have nerves of steal (and I do not have them either) then don’t be a crusader. You will never survive the shitstorm onslaught that a full blown and experienced narcissist is capable of brewing. Once you piss them off, their one goal in life will be to completely destroy you. They don’t care how many years it takes. They will stalk you and cyberstalk you and wait for the right moment to strike again and again and again until they have taken every last crumb of joy out of your life. They’re ready for battle!
And the people the narcissist has been warning you about all this time? Those will become the narc’s flying monkeys in their campaign to bring you down.
Are you prepared for all out war?
Funny…asking someone if they’re prepared for war, when all they thought that they were doing was making friends. Narcissists don’t have friends. They have supply. That’s all that people mean to them.
Is there life after the narcissist? OMG…YES!! Life will be exponentially better after you remove this blemish from your life! The lessons you’re going to learn will carry you to a much better place with yourself, and with other people. You will learn to appreciate folks that truly are genuine friends and you’ll be able to spot the next narc from miles away and choose a different path so you won’t run into them on the rest of your journey.
But what about those other people? The ones that become the flying monkeys? Weren’t they just as isolated as you were? These are all valid questions and the answer is never an easy one, or one dyed in the wool. It depends, I guess. If you stick around long enough, you’ll see which ones participate in the smear campaign against you, and which ones don’t.
I’m not saying everyone involved should be devalued, but I am cautioning you against reaching out to any of them right away. I find that when this happens too soon after the epiphany that a narc is in your midst, that it creates this space for two people to engage in unhealthy and toxic behavior regarding the situation. Your goal is to move on to a healthier place.
In fact, a good rule would be to allow them to come to you and always have your guard up and be very clear about your personal boundaries when they do come calling. The other darker side of them coming to you is they might just be there to collect intel for the narc. I know it sounds convoluted and alien that there are people out there that behave this badly, but there are and once you’ve engaged a narcissist…anything goes.
I’ve been there and tangled with some notorious narcissists. One narc sent out her best monkey years ago, to find out what I was up to. I was still feeling my way around this whole disordered melee and I fell for the monkey’s shtick. The monkey claimed she hated the narc and loved me. Everyday the monkey called or wrote messages about how awful the narc was. Then one day I happened to see comments in social media that the monkey didn’t mean for me to see and I knew I had been duped. The monkey also knew she had been exposed because I stopped taking her calls, so she tried to recruit someone who truly was my friend. My friend told the monkey to take a flying leap, but the monkey had to get one last dig in before settling back in with her master, the narcissist. She finally told her truth and that was that she never liked me.
So you see?
You never know who the flying monkeys are and you will want to protect yourself from unnecessary heartache if one seeks you out.
The one thing I want to stress is that while these people are toxic, don’t be afraid to walk away from them. If you allow them to hold you hostage, metaphorically, they most certainly will try. They need you, more than you will ever need them. That’s worth repeating…
They need you, more than you will ever need them.
If you are ready to remove yourself from a toxic friendship and realize you might be the victim of a malignant narcissist, please check out my posts in the Category here entitled Personal Boundaries Primer. There you will find valuable information about what narcissism is and how to create your own boundaries so you can live a healthier social life, free of toxic people. ❤