The Performance Time of An Abuser

I haven’t written about narcissists and abusers for some time, because I sometimes reach a point in which I do not want to devote any significant time and energy to their self-serving, ridiculous, and harmful approach to life.

But abuse and narcissism rears its head in my world again, as my husband’s ex-wife struggles with everything and we are the target of her rage. As my poem describes, abusers are all about the “performance”. They are completely awkward and delusional in the performance of life, but they believe they are great. As I write, they lay claim to their great performances, and thank goodness for that, because no one else would dare lay claim to such ridiculous actions.

I have also noted abusers have no grounding in reality. Such things as times and details are constantly ignored and manipulated by these folks. Things that happened years ago, they insist happened “almost” yesterday. Something they did 5 minutes ago will be blatantly denied. It’s fatiguing.

And finally, they are so wrapped up in their own insanity, they don’t have notice when you leave. They still believe they have a “relationship” with you. For all of your dealing with narcissism and abuse in your life, stay strong and know that you are not the problem.

Performance Time

Stage, light, action-
You stand-
In a glory that will
Only be called “yours”

As truly- none other
Would ever lay
Claim to such
As act as you.

With hands of the
Illusionist, you

As we, audience-
Watch a child at play.

The blinding lights
Of your imagined stage
Lend gravitas to
Your performance and
You scream-
“More! More!”

So insatiable is your
gut that all items,
attention included,
reduced to a commodity

and you, as child,
will refuse to share.

Your sensitivity to actions
Of others set to whisper-level.
An elevated act, performed “not by you”,
Invokes yells of “Too much! Too much!”

If all the world is but a stage,
You only see audience potential.

I witness you and you
Are angry for lack-
The expectation is worship,
How dare I miss, as I empty
Myself before you

But that was before, this is now
You never could tell time
Living in the Dali fantasy-world
In which clocks bend only for you.

Swept as a magician’s cape
By stage-light vision
Of your own stellar performance
You never noticed-
I left at intermission.


13 thoughts on “The Performance Time of An Abuser

  1. Another beautiful peice of writing. Every time I read words like this, I feel like another thorn or splinter has been pulled from my heart. Oh, the relief! Knowing that you know, and that performance time thing really really was just how you are showing it here. Yes, I too left at intermission! Meet you in the bathroom…. 🙂

    • Ha! Oh, I love this- yes- I will meet you in the bathroom. Thanks for your kind words. I feel we all support one another and remove the splinters, gently, from our hearts which have been wounded by the manipulation and craziness of others.

  2. I understand about the fatigue and the need for space and rest from these people. When I was married to my ex-narcissist, I went on holidays on my own just to get some relief from him. Living with him was like inhabiting a food processor.

    Great poem, also. I love the reference to Dali – that so describes their “reality!”

  3. Love the poem and I think you are right, devoting time and head space to the negative people in our life simply gives them more life and sometimes it is better to direct that energy towards something that makes us happy……..

  4. So well written, and so true! I am in awe of your talent to such a deep poetic expression to this very difficult subject. The narcissistic performance for the sake of hiding a lie is indeed one of their defining traits.

    This is exactly the point of a recent comment of Violet’s on her blog:
    – She is also victim of maternal narcissistic abuse and an avid researcher of the topic. –

    After my own research on the same I concluded that the definition of NPD is loaded with numerous contradictions, and I found her blog very helpful in resolving these. So I copy her comment here, hoping that maybe you and some others can also benefit from it. What she wrote, with reference to an expert’s book, is the most shocking I have ever read about NPD. After reading this I realised that my guess that my own mother;s purpose was indeed to destroy me, not ‘only’ emotionally and mentally, but physically as well, was entirely founded.

    “Lacking first-hand experience as the victims of narcissists can make comprehension of the disorder very difficult.

    Until you have sat in a room with a narcissist and actually experienced the twisting of truth, the disingenuous looks of feigned innocence, the absolute confidence in their lies and rationalizations, you simply cannot grasp the depth and breadth of either the disorder or the lengths these people will go to in order to get what they want.

    This is why I find Peck’s book, People of the Lie so valuable: he DID experience these people and his bone-deep shock and disbelief at the depths these people will go to is so well chronicled. One example he gives is a seriously depressed little boy who is hospitalized for his depression. In a session, the boy reveals that for Christmas he was given a .22 rifle. Peck is surprised, first that the parents would give a gun to a depressed child as a gift, second that is the same kind of gun their older son used to commit suicide. Then the shocker: it was the SAME gun the patient’s brother used! When the parents are confronted, they appear to be unable to grasp what they have done wrong, and then turn the situation around to make themselves Peck’s victims! THIS man knew narcissists–unfortunately, too many people in the profession simply do not.”

    • I can’t thank you enough for this information. I have since ordered the book you mention. On a day such as today, when I am feeling a little less than stable, your words were a blessing. Thank you…

      • I am so glad to read your reply and so gratified that my supporting words could be of help to you. I am also thankful for your support which you always gave me when I needed it the most.

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