Some narcissists are so charming and irresistible that people around them beg to become part of their magic inner circle. They are entranced by the narcissist, swept away by their fantasies of sharing their lives with such a powerful, magnetic individual who has it all. Feeling incomplete, those who psychologically fuse with narcissists are like dependent children who yearn for someone else to take over for them. They are willing to give up their potential to become secure and competent in their own right because of deep unmet childhood needs to be taken care of. As adults they unconsciously feel like small helpless children who never separated from their parent(s) to become independent individuals. They are emotionally crippled by their severe dependencies, an inability to take initiative, and chronic feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.
There are those who join the narcissist’s inner circle who have a success portfolio indicating solid educational and professional experience that demonstrates competence. But they want more. They believe that joining forces with a high-level narcissist will enhance their stature. They are convinced that the narcissist’s mastery of power, his ability to manipulate the world, and climb to the top of the mountain will rub off on them.
Many of those who allow the narcissist to take over their lives are suffering from a variation of the syndrome called Identification with the Aggressor, an experience victims of kidnapping and prisoners endure. “In the shock of being kidnapped, he has lost his own identity and fused with the transgressor to save himself, internalizing his beliefs and values.” At this point the follower is fused with the narcissist and is no longer capable of psychologically disengaging himself from the person who is controlling and manipulating his life. The narcissist’s follower has struck a fatefully flawed bargain.
Linda Martinez-Lewi holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a licensed marriage family therapist. She has extensive clinical training in narcissistic and borderline disorders. Dr. Linda Martinez-Lewi is the author of the book “Freeing Yourself From the Narcissist in Your Life.”
Dr. Martinez-Lewi has worked for many years with patients experiencing psychological problems as a result of personal and professional relationships with narcissistic personality disorders. She has clinical experience treating patients suffering from childhood trauma, anxiety disorders, and depression.
Dr. Martinez-Lewi has been interviewed on numerous radio talk shows throughout the country.
Visit her website at: http://www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com
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