Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Projection Made Easy

IMO, psychologising becomes a slippery slope. It is dangerous because it enables us to ultimately blame ourselves, or even our family; our focus on the awful fact of the character disordered becomes blurred and we waver mentally. We move further and further away from the fact that there is nothing we could have done differently at the time, and that it was not our fault. Psychologising tends to keep us enmeshed in the world of the disordered, which becomes our only world. Our own issues are better served through therapy, not on the net. ~Invicta

I , personally, have not spent a lot of time exploring the defence mechanisms that the disordered use. I know it is helpful to some, but to me psychologising someone, or yourself, when in a personal relationship, can backfire bigtime; it's easy to get tangled up in concepts that are typically difficult to understand in any depth, and lose sight of the fact that it will not help you cope or get out. This is my opinion, not necessarily the right one. I, personally, think it is dangerous to get into psychological jargon when one isn't schooled in it. I only learned this originally Freudian concept in a class; my background is cognitive, and I did not use Freudian stuff in my practice. It is, FYI, only one school of thought.

I n my experience Ns/psychopaths are not necessarily wrong in some of the things they say about us, except that they manage to push our buttons when they do and to twist the knife into our vulnerabilities; this is what concerns me. So, psychologising might leave us even more confused, because not all they say is not true and then we wonder if we are projecting, we start to psychologise ourselves, and others will help us do it, and then we become even more enmeshed in something, imo, that gets worse the more we try to figure it out. So for me, that kind of psychologising can be a slippery slope. I leave it to psychologists and psychiatrists who generally see concepts for what they are.

T his is how I would use the term, "projection": Imagine that you are a blank movie screen and the N is the projector. The film is whatever is going on in his/her inner world. No matter what the N says or how they behave toward you, they are projecting their inner world on you. They are not capable of paying attention to the real you, only to their inner world.

I use this as a distancing technique: I choose an all or nothing approach. In essence, nothing the abusive/honeyed N says is worth listening to. I have learned not to pay real attention even tho it looks like I am. I let the words fall into a mental abyss after they are said. I believe nothing. Not one word. I don't think that when they're fucking with your minds 24/7 that they deserve one moment of real attention. For they will take that moment and make you doubt. You have to harden your heart and the moment they have finished turn away and forget everything they said, whether abusive, or dripping with honey or reasonable. Their communication is non-communication.

Remember, you are a screen to project their fantasies on. Everyone is. The most important thing to ask yourself, IMO, is, do you want to remain a blank screen the rest of your life?

(I should add that, when I finally got wise, I still heard what they said, and it hurt, but then I let it drop away. I did not dwell on it. The hurt is momentary. Their waspish stings, over time, became little pricks.

From: stychia Sent: 28/01/2004 3:15 p.m. It was a happy day for me when I learned about projection - partly from my therapist and partly from reading about it in Sandy Hotchkiss's book "Why Is It Always About You? Saving Yourself from the Narcissists In Your Life" Very clear, concise book, no fancy psycho-jargon. She preferred to call it "shame-dumping", rather than projection.

Because Ns have no internal mechanism to cope with feeling shame, they tend to unload it onto their nearest and dearest. They get somebody else to do their dirty work. And when the stink of shame permeates their psychological house of cards, they will fumigate with a vengence. It just helped me a lot to understand that little mental sleight of hand, and to NOT take on those feelings that weren't even mine in the first place.

Every time I figured out one of those subtle abuse techniques, it was very empowering to me - I knew what was going on and I knew I was in control of myself and I wasn't nutz. I learned how to maintain my psychological boundaries and not get sucked in to a lot of crazy N-games.


© 2004-2009 InvictaMA Reproduction, even in part, by permission only


Anonymous said...

This is so comforting to read...I'm not crazy.

Cromwell said...

Very comforting indeed...yet what alot of wasted energy. Have been thinking I was always wrong---still a no win situation, especially when one loves with depth and feeling which the NPA will never know.....only God knows.

Anonymous said...

Married to a N for twenty years. Left 4 years ago and finally getting a divorce. Each week I attend counseling to heal and grow. At first they make you believe its your fault for their issues and you believe it! If you fix yourself it will all be ok. They are amazing manipulators! They can be so convincing. I was raised by a N grandparent so I was use to this behavior. I tried to be perfect and it was so exhausting. Now I get to be me. I am dating again. Their ex was also a N. However, as soon as their ex left an extended family friend who is also a N is trying to replace the ex. When I came on the scene the behavior escalated until I had to make the choice to stop dating unless they made the choice of setting firm boundaries with the N. Unfortuately, this N did not respect the boundaries set and I had to insist the relationship end. The N still hasn't given up. They are like leeches very difficult to get rid of.

Janienne Jennrich said...

How can there be so many people like this and so little awareness? They are so manipulative and sneaky -- it is hard for me to believe they don't know exactly what they are doing.

My story of narcissistic psychological abuse is at
I Did Not See I Was Being Abused by My Husband for Over 20 Years. I would love to hear comments from other survivors.

-- Janienne Jennrich, JJNW on Squidoo

VEvil said...

While preparing to leave my "N" I loved listening to the "shame-dumping," because he was telling me what he was doing without me needing to ask him:) It is so wonderful once you understand what is going on inside of these disordered individual's minds.

I did go through all the painful experiences many of these prior posters have written about, but this was not my first experience either. It was just a shorter one...and, a less....if one could believe it painful experience than the one before it.

Oh, and this one used my first name and called me "evil," thus the new screen-name:)

VEvil said...

Janienne, I was married to a monster for 33.354 days. He covered every type of abuse known or written about. He managed to gather family members to his poor victimized self, while his own brothers and sister will have absolutely nothing to do with him. He even murdered my Border Collie, and she used to lay beside his chair so he would hold her paw until she fell asleep. I believe they do know exactly what they are doing, and they plan, plot and devise a way to destroy the lives of their intended victim. I know the creature has done his best on me, but I still remain standing and will long after he has fallen.