This article illustrates why so many victims are fearful or simply do not speak out about them as they should. How to keep them away. And why they should rethink exposing them:
(our comments in dark blue)
[Online Predators] count on our shame to keep their secrets. They know that exposing them means exposing our own failings. That's what makes them so powerful. They manipulate us into these situations then sit back & watch us squirm between protecting ourselves or blowing the whistle. The [victim often] is still emotionally connected to the [Cyberpath], thus protecting them and accusing them alternatively. Many [victim]s will not name their [cyberpath]s to counsellors or other helpers, thus protecting their identity. The hook, which the [Cyberpath] has implanted in their heart, is hard to remove. If you want something to cry about, cry for the [Cyberpath]'s new victim(s), the innocent, unmarked, un-inoculated prey. These victims are carefully chosen...
- Mary Ann Borg Cunen"
by Kathy Krajco
Perhaps the strangest thing about narcissistic abuse is the almost universal decision of the victim to put up with it. This is something other people cannot get their minds around. And it is one reason why they withhold sympathy from the victim, blowing off severe psychological abuse and mental cruelty as mere annoyance.
But there are many understandable reasons why the victim puts up with it. All people need do is think a little to understand.
For one thing, cyberpaths don't abuse anyone they fear retribution from. They typically go to great lengths to make a lover totally dependent on them, financially and emotionaly, isolating the victim from his or her family and former friends before the narcissist's mask comes off and the abuse begins. Count on it: narcissists are brave enough to abuse only someone they already have over a barrel.
This is what makes a narcissist's own children the easiset and most abused prey. (And future prey for narcissists, psychopaths & cyberpaths!)
Imagine what life is like in a home where at least one of the parents (and probably a sibling as well) is a malignant narcissist. Marine Boot Camp is nothing compared to it. And, unlike Boot Camp, the aim isn't to improve posture and self-respect: the aim is to do the opposite. It's a constant hazing.
The children of narcissists have been brainwashed into thinking it's their fault whenever the narcissist goes off. It's because they aren't worthy enough to deserve better treatment. They have been trained to view the narcissist's crackpot behavior as normal: being irrational to keep from losing an argument is normal and acceptable in that home; blowing up because someone else doesn't dress, think, say, or feel what you want them to is normal.
Of course children raised in Hell are going to become adults who put up with narcissistic abuse. But let's get two things straight.
First, the mental healthcare industry must ditch the social and political agenda: this happens as much, or more, in high-income homes and middle-income homes than poverty-stricken ones. In fact, there is documented evidence of that among imprisoned psychopaths.
Second, the fact that grown children of narcissists are likely to put up with abuse doesn't mean they attract it. Or are attracted to abusers.
I really doubt that. In fact, I bet the children of narcissists are quicker to smell a rat than other people are. Not that it does them much good when a narcissist is out to con them. Narcissists fool EVERYONE, even cops and psychologists.
Years ago, I had a wonderful/ terrible opportunity to observe a marauding narcissist in action. He was an employer in an institution where sh*t flows uphill, so that he was unaccountable because his powerful superiors would cover up, and stonewall justice against, anything he did.
He was quite a piece of work, and I actually had nothing better to do than study him. I noticed that he always tested a new mark. Right up front, within the first minutes of your first personal interaction with him, he would test you. If you passed that test, he was AFRAID of you! If you flunked it, as most people did, he moved in like a shark after its "tasting run" for the kill.
Knowing this already, I then had the misfortune to live next door to a very different style of narcissist. One whose true colors showed to be very seedy indeed when the honeymoon was over and the domestic abuse began. In contrast to the administrator I mentioned above, this guy had a rap sheet a mile long. He tried to move the lot lines with con schemes. He would run over his neighbors' fences and small trees and bushes with his huge, jacked-up pickup truck and leash his dangerous dogs out onto your property to keep you from getting to your garage door. Mean and wild as a junkyard dog, that is, and drunk every day.
How's that for a contrast in style? Yet both men were the same at bottom. They were just exploiting different environments.
To my surprise, he tested his prey too. Immediately after his wife and children suddenly disappeared one day, he decided to replace them. In fact, I was grilling steaks when I overhead him snarl at his dog that he'd "get a new dog too" if doggie didn't behave.
Before my wondering eyes could believe what they were seeing, he was hitting on me. Testing me to see if flattery would make me revise history. I was supposed to be so google-eyed over his sudden attentions that I would forget everything I knew about him and forget what he had done to us! I must say that that was the most breath-taking sample of raw narcissism I have ever seen.
But guess what? He was now a different person, an unassuming and likeable man any woman would like. I was just as surprised at myself as I was him. His magic was truly tempting me. I had to keep a tight grip on reality and keep reminding myself of the past - when Dr. Jekyll here was Mr. Hyde. He was quite thick-headed about it and couldn't take a hint to get lost. I had to let him know with a wink one day that I saw right through him and was entertained by his efforts.
Zoom, gone just like that, and bringing other women home (or posting new profiles on online dating sites, or contacting people from reunion sites, penpal sites, support boards, or) from the bars for testing in the role of his new mamma.
If you do, you will seem to attract narcissists.
In the case of the administrator, the first test was always a test of good faith. That's a test of your basic integrity. It was a test of fidelity, probing to see whether you would betray a collegue to please terrifying him. But it could also be a test to discover whether you will betray the truth to please axe-wielding him.
A [cyberpath] seeking a lover as prey might test you by going off like firecracker in some off-the-wall reaction to something you do or say. The test is to see whether this herds your behavior in the direction he wants, whether you attempt to appease him, whether you forget about it tommorrow (when he acts like it never happened) by acting like it never happened. In other words, you flunk this test by "forgiving and forgetting." To a [cyberpath], that's commonly a green light. You pass this test by raising your own voice, saying, "What the hell are you mad about?" and "If you won't make sense and be reasonable, I won't waste my breath on you," deciding that if he is such a changeable, unpredictable Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you aren't going to date or chat with him any more.
The street con artist always tests potential marks too. For example, will you do a stupid thing to please him just because he acts like you'll be a bad person if you don't? You pass the test by replying, "WHAT? Are you nuts? No!" You flunk the test by caving in to moral pressure by saying, "OK, I'll go into the bank and draw money out of my account to help you guys catch that evil teller."
In any case this test is always a test to see if the [cyberpath] slams into the brick wall of a backbone. If he does, he flies away like a bee that has just discovered there's no nectar in that flower.
From these examples, you can see that the children of narcissists are more likely than others to flunk some kinds of tests. For example, they have been brainwashed to regard as normal and tolerate blow-ups in people with the nerve to be so rude. They have been trained to say, "Well, yes he does have a terrible temper but he doesn't carry a grudge." Note the irony in that: the fact that he's all smiles the next day is a BAD sign, not a good one!
But people with little or no experience with [cyberpaths]more likely to flunk other tests. (which is why its so important to tell tell tell to EDUCATE others!)
The bottom line is that it isn't so much a matter of backbone as it is a matter of naivite. We all must face the fact that there are people like this out there. They look just like the rest of us. You can't tell who they are by their reputation or status or anything else. Only these red-flag behaviors give the predators among us away.
Never forget that faces are masks and that we never really know what's going on in anyone else's head.
You are easy prey for predators if you are naive, not knowing that you must just ALWAYS choose to have a backbone = ALWAYS pass the test.
No matter WHO that other person is.
Yes, even if people will say you're a bad person for it: good people don't prostitute themselves to the threat of being called a bad person for doing the right and/or sensible thing.So, just always pass the test. It's a vaccine for a cyberpath-free life.
Not to mention a truly virtuous one.