I lived in the eye of the storm of narcissistic abuse for the first eighteen years of my life, just as America is starting to live this same nightmare now. I imagine it will only get worse.
My father had narcissistic personality disorder just as Donald Trump does. He was Donald Trump with a few exceptions. My father was not rich, not orange, and before he succumbed to advanced Alzheimer’s Disease , he was actually a bit smarter than Donald Trump. My father certainly was smart enough to hide his narcissistic abuse, manipulations, and lies when in public as many narcissists do.
When he was in public, he was charming, friendly, and even funny at times. He was the perfect father, husband, employee, neighbor, and church deacon. The only people who saw the truly ugly side of his character were my mother, my sister, and me. My mother had borderline personality disorder which included many narcissistic traits of her own. They both abused me and my younger adopted sister physically, verbally, and emotionally from the time we were young children. My father attempted to abuse me sexually when I was fourteen years old. He was sexually inappropriate in the things he said to me throughout my teen years and even when I was an adult. I never felt safe. I went to college when I was eighteen, paying for it myself, and moved out into my own apartment at nineteen, continuing to go to college.
I share my story to explain that I know narcissistic abuse well. I know it from my experience growing up in a home where gas lighting was a technique both of my parents used to control and abuse me. I was told that I was stupid from the time I was a young child, even as I was required to get all A’s in high school, and even as I graduated in the top ten of my high school class.
I know it from my college education, one I paid for myself with a combination of student loans and working part-time jobs, work-study jobs, and summer jobs, and budgeting carefully, and often doing without. It took me many years to pay off those loans, but I take pride in this accomplishment.
I know it from the experience and education I gained working in the social services and mental health fields for over twenty years. I know it from my personal experience in therapy as an adult when I needed to process my childhood abuse.
I know narcissists. I know the behaviors, the language, the attitudes, and the lack of conscience, empathy, and remorse. When I look at Donald Trump, I see a narcissist. I see him so clearly for what he is that I have a difficult time understanding why others can’t see him too. He, unlike my father, doesn’t try to hide who he is. He is arrogant and loud.
He lies constantly, like my father did, but Donald Trump being in the public eye has evidence of his lies in writing and on video. Even when presented with it, he denies his lies. I am not shocked by his lies. I have often repeated the old joke: How do you know if a narcissist is lying? His lips are moving. This applies to female narcissist too, of course.
It is a disturbing but amazing thing to watch, someone actually being presented with evidence of their lies and gas lighting behaviors and then continuing to lie.
I know that narcissists never take responsibility for their own behaviors. I remember working up the courage at seven years of age to walk into my sister’s bedroom, where my father sat with his head in his hands as if something horrible had just happened to him. He had just finished beating my four-year old sister. I had gone into the room to tell him that I was the one who had broken the rule.
During that time period, he woke us up in the middle of the night, turned on the light, stood us up on our beds, held onto us with one arm, and with our mother watching silently, complicit, not afraid because my father worshipped her, hit us over and over, screaming, “Just admit what you did!” He screamed it over and over, sounding out of control and terrifying.
The last thing he said, when he was done using our bodies as his punching bag, venting all of his anger and frustration, something I did not figure out until I was an adult, was the “rule” we had broken. That night. after he finished hitting my sister, he blamed my sister for something I had done. The rules were confusing. The only rule I actually remember is that one time I had moved an apple-shaped candle from one spot on an end table to another spot on the same end table. It was undamaged. I was beaten for this. I remember thinking, I didn’t know that was a rule and that I would never do it again. They simply made up more rules and none of them made sense.
I remember hearing my father shout the broken rule from my bedroom down the little hallway, working up the courage to go into my sister’s room, and telling my father that I was the one that had broken the rule. I don’t even remember what it was now. I stood there, terrified, expecting him to beat me, and he looked at me and said in this pathetic, sad voice, “How could you let me hit her for what you did?”
He destroyed me with those words. I took on all of the guilt and responsibility that he gave me in that one question. I was seven.
Donald Trump will continue to gas light America. He will continue to blame others for his behaviors. It’s projection, and he is incredibly good at it. He will continue to lie and distort the truth. I’m not saying that I think Trump is intelligent. I honestly don’t. I think he’s an elderly man who has had a great deal of practice with these behaviors. They are not behaviors to be respected, but he is good at them. He is manipulative. This is who he is and what he does. When I say he has NPD, I do not take away any responsibility from him for his actions. He is fully aware of what he is doing, and he is responsible for all of his actions. There is, however; no treatment for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
I am watching my childhood nightmare of abuse being played out on a world stage. All the people who support Trump are the neighbors, family members, and church members who loved and adored my father, and couldn’t see him for what he truly was.
I am watching my childhood nightmare of abuse being played out on a world stage. My father tried to have sex with me when I was fourteen. I had been sexually assaulted by a teenager when I was seven. I had no one to tell. Then they played the video where Trump said, “…grab them by the pussy..”
I am watching my childhood nightmare of abuse being played out on the world stage. Trump will soon be in a position of power. He will have power over nuclear weapons. If that doesn’t terrify you, then you aren’t paying attention to who Trump really is. And unfortunately, that’s just one of the many things we should be worried with about Trump.
When I say that I grew up in the eye of the storm, I also refer to the chaos that narcissists are capable of and are experts at creating. You have seen it, with all of the news stories, all of the tweets, including tweets to other countries, all of the seemingly unrelated, but potentially dangerous decisions that Trump makes one after another. If you are like me, you can feel overwhelmed, like you can’t keep up with all of the stories or with everything that Trump and his transition team are doing. That is intentional on their part. The more informed Congress, the members of the media, and the American people can be regarding people with NPD and their behavior the better, because Trump is a classic NPD. His behaviors are classic and our response to him can be managed by knowing what we are dealing with, his personality disorder as well as him, the President Elect, and it appears soon as President.
I know everyone is outraged at his lies. I am too, but please stop being simply outraged. Be outraged, but expect it from him all of the time, every time, and plan for it, and plan for a way to deal with the lies and his behaviors that are harmful to America. This is the next four years, and everyone in America needs to understand what we are dealing with and hold Trump accountable.
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder do not care about anyone but themselves. I think you can see it in Trump’s behaviors. Yes, he cares about his family. He sees them as an extension of himself. They reflect either well or badly on himself, and you can see how differently he treats Tiffany who has little to do with him and how he treats his other children who seem to do everything he wants them to do.
He doesn’t see his children as people. You have head the comments he has made about Ivanka, and that he would date her if she were not his daughter. That is not a normal way to talk about your daughter. That is how a person with NPD talks about their daughter.
My father told me I should let the lawyer, an extremely elderly man, I was working for when I was eighteen years of age catch me if he chased me around my desk so that he could have sex with me. He didn’t say it this directly because narcissists are never that direct, but it’s what he meant. Narcissists see their children as objects. They are not capable of loving people in the way healthy people do. This did not make it okay for my father to speak to me this way. It doesn’t make it okay for Trump to speak about his daughter that way.
Please keep in mind, if he doesn’t see his children as people, he certainly doesn’t see the American people as human beings. We are objects. We are things to him. We have to stand up for ourselves.
Trump cares about himself. He cares about money. He cares about his children as long as they make him look good. He cares about people being nice to him and making him look good. That’s my educated opinion.
Yes, he has a fragile ego, which is hard to understand with his obvious arrogance, but this is also true of NPD. He will rage tweet when he doesn’t get his way or someone criticizes him. Yes, he will threaten the press when they report anything he doesn’t like. However, everyone must keep writing about Trump, holding him accountable, and speaking up. His behaviors are not normal. They are not acceptable, and America is not safe with him in charge.
(Note: I speak of my father in the past tense because he has advanced Alzheimer’s Disease and for that reason and many others, to me, he is gone.)