The Seven of Swords, Vampires in Pink Bow Ties, and Malignant Narcissists

Malignant Narcissists as the source of monster legends.

Have you ever been worked over by a malignant narcissist?

Perhaps an incredibly charming person appeared in your life and he or she seemed to absolutely worship you.  You were told to an almost embarrassing extent how perfect you were, how beautiful, how intelligent, how sexy.  You fell in love, let down all of your guards and boundaries, and within a year that same person was constantly devaluing your opinions and your self worth and telling you that you just weren’t quite good enough.  You were too fat or too skinny or not very bright or not very well informed or your hair was too long or too short or you weren’t very satisfying in bed.

Or perhaps it was a family member, someone you’d always been fond of and trusted, but you find that they’re actually tearing you down and belittling you to other family members when you’re not there.

Or perhaps it’s a co-worker that you liked and opened up to about your personal life when you had a couple of drinks too many on a Friday night.  On Monday morning you’re shocked to discover that your drinking buddy has shared your personal, “secrets,” not only with all of your co-workers but with your boss, as well.  

There’s a common reaction from anyone who’s been chopped up and spit out by a malignant narcissist and that reaction is bewilderment.

“How could I have been so stupid?”

“Why didn’t I see this coming?”

“But . . . I thought he loved me . . .”

“She totally got under my radar.”

For whatever scant comfort it may provide, you’re in extremely good company.  Some of the smartest, most empathetic, highly evolved people in the world have been taken to the emotional cleaners by malignant narcissists.  It’s what they do and they’re experts at it.  It has NOTHING to do with how intelligent you are, how attractive you are, or how evolved you are.  To a malignant narcissist, you’re just a tasty snack.

The Seven of Swords is a perfect image of a malignant narcissist.  He’s stealing someone else’s power, as represented by the swords slung over his shoulder.  The flaps on the tent are closed, showing that the person he’s stealing from is totally unaware of what he’s doing.  And even the guard posted outside of the tent – representing our conscious mind – seems to not register what’s going on.

If we type, “malignant narcissist,” into a search engine, we’ll get a huge number of results.  There are literally thousands of articles and videos discussing what they do to other people, how they do it, and why they’re malignant narcissists to begin with.  Really, it’s kind of astounding when we realize that they only comprise 5% of the population.  To put it one way, they seem to have an over-sized footprint.  To put it another way, they’ve fucked with an AWFUL lot of us.

Although the term, “malignant narcissist,” is fairly new, there’s nothing new about this personality type.  In the past, they’ve been referred to as sociopaths, psychopaths, monomaniacs, and, “utterly without a conscience.”

And my favorite term for them:  monsters.

There is something positively inhuman about malignant narcissists.  They seem to have absolutely no sense of empathy or compassion.  They have no conscience and remorse.  And, far from being intelligent in the sense that most of us might use the term, their intelligence is more on the level of a vicious animal, a predator hunting down its prey.

We don’t even have to bend reality too much to see the malignant narcissist as the probable source of all of the, “monster,” legends that human cultures have promulgated.  Vampires, for instance, were seen as beings with no souls, no compassion, who fed on their victims and destroyed them in the process.  That’s a pretty good description of a malignant narcissist.

Of course, one of the things that folklore tells us about vampires is that they didn’t have any reflection in a mirror, which would drive a malignant narcissist nuts. They like to see how beautiful they are.  It might have been the reason that vampires were always on the prowl for fresh victims:  not just for fresh blood, but for more feedback.

“So . . . before I bite into your jugular vein and drain all of the life out of you, let me ask you one question.  How do I look in this outfit?”

“Wha . . . wha . . . WHAT?”

“This outfit.  How do I look?  The tuxedo and the string tie.  Too much?  Does it make me look pale?  I can’t see myself in the mirror, you know, and I’m just dying to know what you think of it.”

“Well . . . I mean . . . it is a little stark, I guess.  Just black and white is kind of . . . I don’t know . . . a little visually boring.  It could maybe use a touch of color.”

“Ah HA!  Precisely what I was thinking!  Just a dash of something a little brighter.  A red cummerbund, perhaps, or even a pink bow tie.”

“No, no, I wouldn’t go with pink.  Pink just isn’t . . . you.  Red would be fine.  Red would match your eyes and it’s more of a statement of who you really are.  You know:  the whole blood thing.  You could probably even get away with a deep magenta, but no pink.”

“Ah, thank you, thank you.  This conversation has been really invaluable to me.  Now, just one more thing before I kill you.  How do you like this hairstyle?  I’ve been thinking less hair gel and more curls . . .”

We can extend the vampire metaphor even further.  Like vampires, malignant narcissists just . . . won’t . . . stay . . . fucking . . . DEAD.  When we finally get enough of them and tell them to get lost, they just keep coming back for another drink of our blood.  It really does feel like we’d have to drive a stake through their hearts, cut their heads off, and stuff their mouths full of garlic cloves to finally make them shut up and leave us the fuck alone.

And, of course, malignant narcissists can’t stand the light of day.  When they’re finally fully exposed for what they are, they crumble into dust.  It becomes totally apparent that there’s no human substance to them, that there’s nothing there but sharp teeth and a giant ego.

One final thing that they have in common with vampires is that they count on us to make that one flawed decision that leads us to our own destruction, which is to get involved with them in the first place.  We all know that scene in the old Dracula movies where the Intrepid Traveller is standing in front of the horrible creepy castle.  There’s blood dripping down the walls, bats are flying in and out of the windows, wolves are howling in the distance and the Traveller looks at all of that and says, “By golly, I think I’ll knock on the door and see if anyone’s at home.”

The entire theater audience is mentally shrieking, “No, no, don’t get in there, stupid!  He’ll bite your throat!  Stay at the Motel 8 instead.  I know the rooms are tiny, but there are good locks and they have those little coffee machines.”

The same thing happens with malignant narcissists.  If we don’t go through their door, we don’t get our throats bitten and have the life force drained out of us.  It may well be that most of us will never be smart enough to deal with malignant narcissists effectively.  They are, after all, apex predators.  

What we can do, though, is to learn to recognize them.  If someone shows up in our lives and they’re so charming that it’s hard to believe – don’t believe it.  If someone is love-bombing us WAY too early in the relationship, ask ourselves why they’re doing it.  If it feels like love at first sight, take a good, hard second look.  

And take a good hard look at their histories.  One of the things I’ve noticed about malignant narcissists is that they have virtually NO social media presence.  Which is odd, when we think about it, because narcissists love, love, love to talk about themselves.  Malignant narcissists, on the other hand, are terrified of people they’ve exploited blowing their cover so they have no desire to leave a record on social media.  If you knew how many ex-lovers they’d left in bloody tatters, you’d run like hell in the opposite direction.

Finally, if you’ve been victimized by a malignant narcissist even once, or if you had parents who were narcissists, I’d HIGHLY recommend watching Dr. Ramani’s series of videos on YouTube.  

The Ace of Cups, Heart Chakras, and Flounders in Rayon Golf Shirts

Opening our heart chakras to find love when our relationships aren’t working out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about broken hearts.  LOL – Again.

 At one point or another, whether it was the result of an adolescent crush gone awry or a mid-life divorce, most of us have gone through the experience that we tag as, “a broken heart.”  We fall deeply in love with someone and they don’t love us back.  Or they love us and leave us.  Or they, “love us,” in such destructive ways that we end up in shreds.

It hurts like hell.  Jeeeeezus, it hurts.

The 3 of Swords shows the classic broken heart scenario where two people were in love and one of them fell in love (or lust) with someone else.  The heart is pierced with swords and the person who was betrayed is so deeply wounded that he feels that he may never heal from the pain.

So what do we do with our poor broken hearts after someone stomped them into a jelly with their hobnail boots?

One popular solution is to just jump right back into another relationship.  “There are lots of fish in the sea,” we tell ourselves, “and I’m gonna hook me a big old flounder.”

Sometimes that works but a lot of times it doesn’t.  The divorce rate in the U.S. regularly hovers between 45 and 50 percent, which means that an awful lot of serious relationships end up as flaming disasters.

One of the big problems with just catching another fish is that, “life is a mirror,” as Louise Hay says in You Can Heal Your Life, and we tend to catch the same damned flounder over and over and over.  Whatever energy we’re radiating out into the Universe is the energy that’s going to come right back at us, in this case in the form of a lover. 

 If we’re really emotionally needy, clinging people, then we’ll probably attract other emotionally needy, clinging people and then – JOY OF JOYS – we can be needy and clinging together!  Or, if you really hate yourself and you’re constantly treating yourself like shit, you’ll probably attract an abuser to do the job FOR you.

So, basically, unless we change our energy patterns, unless we change what we’re radiating out to others, we’re going to continue to attract the same kinds of people, the same lovers who broke our hearts, only in different clothing.  (Hopefully stylish clothing, at least.  It’s doubly tragic when your new flounder shows up in a rayon golf shirt.)

That can even happen to kind, loving people who’ve gotten therapy, who’ve done the spiritual work, and are really, sincerely looking for a healthy, compassionate partner.  In some ways, people who are truly loving and on a sincere quest for genuine love may be even more vulnerable.  Just take a moment or two to listen to this video from the wonderful Doctor Ramani about malignant narcissists and, “love bombing.”

Remember what it’s like when you’re really, really, REALLY in love with someone?  You feel like – to use an old Southern expression – they hung the moon.  Everything they do is perfect, everything they say is a glittering gem of wisdom, and just being around them makes you ecstatic.

The malignant narcissist gets to us because they can perfectly mimic that feeling of being in love.  They praise us, they flatter us, they tell us that we’re smart and sexy and funny.  Just like someone who really loved us would do.  And then they destroy us.

Oops.  Another goddamned flounder.

Hopefully, we go BACK to our therapist and he or she teaches us about malignant narcissists and how to spot them and how to build healthy boundaries.  It’s all very complicated and it can take a lot of time along with a lot of emotional work and commitment.

In the meantime, in between time, we’re just hanging there with no love in our lives.  I mean, we KNOW that if we just go back out fishing without cleaning up our own emotional messes, we’re just going to get the same fish again.  And that’s not a good thing.  Living without love is NOT a good idea.  We NEED love.  It nurtures us.  It heals us.  It grows us.  So what do we do?

We can find at least a partial answer in the Ace of Cups.  It shows love – pure, undifferentiated, unattached, unconditional love – pouring into the world.

Believe it or not, we can manifest that love in our hearts and in our lives without a relationship and without a mate.  We all have a very special place in our energy systems called, “the heart chakra.”  This is the place where we receive, store, and generate love.

We can sit down at any time that we choose, do a heart chakra meditation, and, “grow,” the love that is in our hearts.  It’s not hard, it’s not complicated, and we don’t have to be spiritual masters to do it.  There are heart chakra meditations all over the internet, so you can start loving TODAY, if you want to.  (Here’s a nice one to get you started.)

The thing we frequently miss is that love exists.  It’s a force in the Universe that’s out there, independent of people, and we can let it into our lives and our being anytime that we want to.  Hell, we can set aside an afternoon for meditation and just BATHE in that energy if we want to.  All we have to do is open our heart chakras.

That’s not to put down loving another person at all.  Being in love can be one of the most magical, wonder-FULL things that ever happens to us.  It’s really hard to beat snuggling up against your partners back on a cold, snowy night, right?  (Well . . . neck kisses.  Neck kisses might beat it.  Of course, you could do both.)

Until that happens, though, until we can untie all of the weird, dysfunctional emotional knots that keep us from finding that relationship, we can remember that our lovers aren’t love itself.  They are vehicles that get us to love, but we can still experience love without a relationship.

It’s right there in our hearts.

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