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Christine’s Chat Corner

A place where real questions get answered.

Christine Louis de Canonville is a psychotherapist who worked for many years with victims of narcissistic abuse. The questions discussed in her “Chat Corner” are real questions, they have come from the many victims that write to her on her blog daily.

Question:  “Why did my narcissist choose me? Was it just some random meeting, and I was unlucky?”

Answer:  It is highly improbable that your narcissist chose you at random, on the contrary, they are likely to have chosen you as their victim with great care and attention for a specific reason. It could be that they are attracted by your looks, your intellect, your knowledge, your status, your wealth, your popularity, etc. Whatever it is that attracts the narcissist to you, most victims tend to have one trait in common, that is, their empathic caring nature. It is important to remember that victims are not random choices, the narcissist knows exactly who they want to snare.

Narcissists are attracted to “empaths” the way the moth is to a flame:

An empath is a highly intuitive individual, who automatically and unconsciously align themselves with the moods, wishes, thoughts, and desires of those around them, and then quickly takes on their emotions.  Empaths can fall into two groups, those who are “reclusive” and tend to choose to cut themselves off from others, blocking out the pain they pick up from their external environment (i.e. painful emotions and negative physical energy, chronic fatigue, etc.).

Then there are those who are “peacemakers”. This type tends to be humble, quiet achievers who do not need or want to be the centre of attention. They only see the good in people, and accept the short-comings of others in a compassionate way.
They value harmony, therefore, for peace sake they tend to give way to those who are more aggressive and confrontational. They have an advanced empathy, so are quick to feel subtle mood changes in others, and quickly respond to those feelings with an open heart.
They are quick to recognise other people needs, yet slow to recognise their own needs. Things must be bad before they explode, and when that happens, they feel guilt and shame at their loss of control.
They hate injustice and cruelty, and will often fight for the rights of others, unfortunately, they are slow to fight for their own rights. Therefore, the narcissist is drawn to an empath like a moth to a flame.
They know that the empath will extend compassionate understanding to their ridiculous behaviour far longer than other victims.
By the time the empath begins to work out what is happening in the relationship, it is too late. More than likely they will have been sucked completely dry by their narcissist, and devastating damage will have been done.

Narcissists always crave excessive attention and love from their victims, and empaths are willing to give that love, not only gracefully, but unconditionally. Empaths are not demanding, they do not need to be in the limelight, they are humble and happy to allow the narcissist to have all the attention. They are honest and open, and would never imagine that anyone would deliberately manipulate for self-gain.
They are very loyal, devoted and selfless in their relationships. Furthermore, they will fight tooth and nail to resurrect their ailing relationship, and the narcissist knows this to be so.
They are the “healer and fixer” in the relationship, and the narcissist takes sadistic pleasure in manipulating the relationship to their own ends. The narcissist is a great actor, and knows how to act the victim and milk the empath’s human kindness.

The narcissist sets out to make you think that you have met your soul-mate. This is particularly true during the Idealisation Phase, when they mirror back your values and beliefs to you.
The intention is to make you think that you have met a person who is just like you, someone who thinks as you, someone as sensitive as you, someone you don’t have to explain anything to. Unfortunately, nothing if further from the truth. It is all just smoke and mirrors, one big hoax, an elaborate illusion which you fell for, hook line and sinker.
The sad thing is that you were seduced and manipulated into falling in love with someone that never really existed, and the wounds of that experience will go very deep. As soon as the narcissist selects their victim, a covenant is formed in which they both enter a convoluted co-dependency dance. In this partnership one partner (the victim) is the consummate “giver”, while the other partner (the narcissist) is the consummate “taker”.

The narcissist assumes the role of puppet master, while the victim assumes the role of puppet. All the time the victim’s strings will be pulled in such a way that the narcissist becomes the centre of their world. Without any knowledge, the victim has been cemented into the role the narcissist has made for them, and as “narcissistic supply”, their sole purpose is to serve the narcissist and remain under their pathological control.
During the Idealisation Stage, the victim will be love-bombed, and bit by bit they will become isolated from everything and everybody (i.e. family members, friends, work colleagues, hobbies, etc.).

Once this is established the narcissist will move into the Devaluing Phase, and the terrifying, soul destroying psychological warfare will begin, all designed to suck the life out of the victim, and then discard them.

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Christine is a Psychotherapist, Educator, Author and Supervisor of mental health professionals for over 28 years. She was part of a team in the Trauma Unit of St. Brendan’s Psychiatric Hospital, Dublin, and has worked specifically with victims of pathological narcissistic abuse in her private practice for many years.
Her books, “The Three Faces of Evil: Unmasking the Full Spectrum of Narcissistic Abuse” and “When Shame Begets Shame: How Narcissists hurt and shame their victims” set out to to help those who have been affected by a narcissist and also to address the shortfalls in a therapist’s education, so that they become better equipped to work with survivors of narcissistic abuse.Much of her knowledge has come from her post-grad studies in Criminology and Forensic Psychology, and it is through these disciplines that she has gained her understanding of “The Dark Triad”, (Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy).
These three faces of evil are vital information for understanding the full spectrum of narcissistic abuse and the dire effects on the victims.It is her vision that narcissistic abuse becomes part of the curriculum of all Mental Health clinicians.
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