I got to thinking about something I observed the other day. I’ve noticed that many, if not most, narcissists are protected by their social groups or families. A lot of groups or dysfunctional families look out for their own and hide their secrets. While group solidarity can be a good thing, it can also be toxic when the group works to shield abusers. I met my ex narcopath in a large club that has a lot of odd people. Within the club, people fight and argue, but if an outsider criticizes the club, they all come together to defend the group. Much like a family will rationalize one of the weird members. “Oh that’s just uncle Charlie. He’s weird like that.” “Oh that’s just George, he gets mad and throw fits sometimes, but he’s one of us, so just ignore it.” “Oh that’s just Jennifer. She was convicted of molesting kids, but we don’t talk about it.” “Yeah Tom was arrested for beating up his girlfriend, but we forgive him. He’s one of us.” (Those are examples that have nothing to do with real people, by the way.) With my ex in particular, the women warn each other in private. He’s been aggressive, rude and weird. He punched a woman at a party. He rages a lot. He’s a lothario. He got in a fight with another guy. He talks loudly and rudely about people so they can overhear him. Yeah, he’s a real jerk…. Lots of women have stories and they definitely whisper them to each other, but when I came out and talked about the extreme abuse I’d endured, these women shut up. When asked for witness statements, many of them refused. Some of them even socialize with my ex abuser while knowing that he’s been nasty with them and they’ve talked of their disgust for him. Forgiveness is one thing, but why would group members be willing to put up with continuously predatory and abusive behavior? Why the desire to gloss over it and hide it? Are people that afraid to be “rude” by exposing a chronic abuser? Many of them even contacted me directly to validate my experiences and offer condolences. But when my abuser had his enablers libeling and slandering me for telling the truth about his history of abuse, these witnesses who could have piped up and said “yes, me too,” but all shut up and left me to be battered alone.
I say that this kind of behavior is nearly as bad as abusing directly. It reinforces the abuser’s belief that they can get away with abusing others, and in the narcissist’s disordered mind, it says that the narcissist has their approval. In my opinion, we should shun chronic abusers and let them know that we do not put up with what they do to others, but the group dynamic protects these people. I choose to be one of the few who says “no more.”