Compulsions, Addictions, Symptoms Of An Unhealthy Environment

We tend to think of Narcissist abuse as between two people in a relationship, but it's not just that. The same patterns can be seen in elsewhere in many places, in corrupted groups, governments, businesses, organizations, and institutions. Where there are narcissists, there is manipulation and abuse, either toward it's own members, (within), or toward targeted others (customers, citizens, etc), or BOTH. It can be on a small scale or a large scale, the patterns are the same.

Take a look at people with addictions and compulsions. Most people develop addictions or compulsions as a way to escape or "deal with" a bad situation or a person. Birds pull their feathers out when they're anxious and caged, it's the only thing they can do when they're overwhelmed and feel trapped; it's a compulsion. They have to do SOMETHING.

Humans do that too, literally; they might pull their eyelashes or eyebrows out, they might scratch at their skin till it bleeds, they might cut themselves. They might smoke cigarettes, drink too much coffee, or self-sabotage at their job. They might drive too fast, or start fights, or drink alcohol, or take drugs, and/or over-spend money (self-harm via sabotaging one's own financial well-being).

They don't live in a bubble when they do these behaviors, and neither does the bird who pulls its feathers out. Why is the bird so anxious that it would self-harm that way? There's a reason. Birds who live in their natural environment (FREE) hardly ever do that. They feel mentally and emotionally healthy because they are BEING BIRDS, and not being controlled by bullies. They are free to flourish as their own individual potential, they are free to spend their time mastering flight, mastering food gathering, mastering nest-building, and mastering survival. They are spending their time in the company of other birds who are also mastering their skills and learning about their environment. No one is saying "you're too small to fly, go walk on the ground" or "you're not good enough to be one of our flock, get lost", or "stay inside this cage and don't argue while we go food-hunting" or "I am the food-hunter, you have to sit on the nest" or "you are our servant, shut up and go get us some seeds or worms to eat". They are living real lives. They aren't getting randomly attacked by groups of birds who are supposed to be their flock-mates, or being put down by jealous flock-mates.
They have enemies, but their flock-mates aren't telling them they're WRONG about the cat lurking in the grass, and no one is blaming them for making the cat behave that way. They don't have a flock "leader" who is cruel to any bird who isn't serving the leader's whims.  (Many flocks do have "leaders", but it's not a "superiority" thing. It's just whoever happens to take the lead when it's time to fly, or time to eat, or time to rest, or time to nest. It's more like a group of genuine friends who are hanging out, and one person says "Hey the sun is going down, we should go home" and everyone says "oh yeah, thanks". One person might say "I'm gonna stay and watch the sunset, I'll be along later", and they all reply "okay, see you later!" An individual bird doesn't get punished, threatened, or shamed if they don't "comply", because it's not about ego or entitlement. Although, birds who live in captivity may display domination behavior toward their flock mates that can become abusive or even deadly.) If they get in a squabble with another bird, they openly DEFEND themselves, and also FLY AWAY. No one is telling them they have to TAKE the abuse from the other bird. They don't get triggered to self-harm because they are living as free individuals, they feel their own personal power, they don't have to sit there and deal with someone dominating them, using them, or trying to turn them into a pet or a servant. They deal with hardship and tragedy without turning to self-harm, or the destruction of the other birds. They keep each other warm in the winter, keep a look out for danger for one another, and don't make a big deal out of it, they just do it.
Yes there are happy pet birds, probably, but how do we know for sure? We can only know that they're NOT happy because of the self-harming behavior that they do, and the way they display anxiety in other ways.

So~ what would a CARING human do if their pet bird was showing signs of unhappiness and anxiety with self-harm, compulsive, erratic, or addiction behavior? They would immediately try to get help, they would want to know what they're doing to cause the bird's anxiety. If it came to it, they would give the bird to someone else, perhaps to a bird sanctuary where it could be with other birds and feel safe and happy.

What would an uncaring, narcissistic human do in the same scenario?
They would first blame the bird for the behavior, "This bird is nuts". They might ask for help, but if they didn't get the advice they wanted, such as "How to "fix" my crazy bird", then they would just ignore it. They don't want to hear they did or didn't do something to cause the bird's behavior, or that they should change something in the environment FOR the bird... Subsequently, they would keep doing the things they do that cause the bird anxiety, and they might do them MORE as a "Domination display". Like if the cat likes to jump at the bird, they wouldn't do anything about it, and might even encourage the cat. If the dog barks constantly and is causing the bird anxiety, they wouldn't do anything about that either, like put the bird in a quieter room, or keep the dog away from the bird. They would not let the bird out of the cage more, or get another bird as a companion, or separate birds who don't get along well. They might change the bird's diet... maybe... They would only give the bird away because they got SICK of the it, not because they cared about it and wanted it to have a better home. Basically, they have the bird as a pet because they enjoy owning THINGS. They don't actually care about the BIRD as a living individual.

With humans who self-harm and have compulsions from narcissistic abuse and environments, it's the same thing. Controllers will not give up control, they want MORE control. They won't change what they're doing because they notice signs of anxiety or depression in a person, they'll put all the blame on the person, and take zero responsibility. They WANT the person to have compulsions and addictions so they can control them, blame them, and shame them.

Many stories of "interventions" that are aired on television are clear examples of a narcissistic environment causing the addict to stay in a loop. The other members of the family or group blame the addict completely, and often even dismiss blatant physical abuse that the subject has endured from another member. They might even BLAME the subject for the abuse, as if they caused it. It's obvious why the subject has developed compulsions, addictions, and depression~ they have been caught in a web, a cage, of Narcissistic abuse often for years. Now they are going to have to heal themselves and get OUT of the cage, but first they need to recognize that there IS a cage. Then they're going to need to find healthy supporters so they can have somewhere to go when they get out of the cage.

It's all about shame, blame, anxiety, fear, emasculation (toward both males and females), and domination.

Keeping targets circling in their own emotional reactions IS the main strategy of Narcissistic controllers. It's all the same pattern, whether they are individuals in a relationship, friendship or family, the leader of a cult, a "pimp" in a prostitution ring, a gang leader, an organized crime leader, a drug dealing ring, a corrupt government politician, a corrupt business owner, manager or supervisor, or even coworkers.

When people see young girls in the street prostituting, why don't they pick them up and bring them home, and get them help? Why~ because people JUDGE, AVOID, and FEAR, and don't know the reality behind the girl's life, or the situation the girl is in. They don't know that pimps often convince the girls that they are their TRUSTWORTHY FRIEND, who is ON THEIR SIDE and UNDERSTANDS THEM, and will KEEP THEM SAFE. They don't get that the pimp will talk these kids into doing drugs and THEN prostitute them. They don't get that the pimps pretend to be a "business partner" with the girls, tricking them into believing they have personal power in this "business". They don't get that pimps will use SHAME and FEAR as a weapon, just like in any other Narc. relationship. Picture a pimp giving a girl drugs, putting her on the street after convincing her thoroughly that he is truly her friend, protector, and comrade, and then calling her a waste-product whore. They will use ANY TOOL OR WEAPON THEY CAN to keep their targets from leaving or talking.
Why are there SO MANY "customers" of these young girls that they keep the pimps in business?
WHY do pimps so often give these girls drugs?
WHY do the pimps wait for the girls to be influenced by the drugs before they threaten and beat them?...
WHY do people seem to FORGET that these girls are KIDS?
WHY do people find it so easy to just REJECT them, instead of helping them?

And to be quite CLEAR, there are plenty of boys who go through the exact same hell.


Like the evil queen in Snow White, or Captain Hook in Peter Pan, Lex Luther in Superman, Drizella Tremaine in Cinderella. In real life, they are all around us, presently and throughout history.
They are the evil dictator, the corrupt government official, the corrupt Wall Street executive, all the way to the abusive (but POPULAR) local coach, the charismatic AND hate-inciting or manipulative preacher, the controlling head of the PTA, etc. They are the drug dealer downtown, and the corrupt individuals in local government, police, and business.
They are the bully supervisor or coworker.
They are the neighbor who is always trying to rule over other neighbors, or display their "dominance" or "superiority" somehow, either overtly or passive-aggressively.
They are the "friends" who treat their "friend" like a doormat, a mascot, a workhorse or ATM, or a little brother or sister.
They are the bully kids at school who are mean to other kids, or who manipulate other kids to do things they wouldn't otherwise.

They are individuals who's goals are about manipulating, owning, using, and harming others. They get themselves in positions of "power" whenever they can, and they target whoever they can, and they COLLECT "supporters" any way they can, half of whom don't even realize they are "supporting" a con-artist manipulator.

It's all the same pattern as anything else:
shame, blame, anxiety, fear, emasculation (toward both males and females), and domination.

Take away a person's hope for the future, their personal sense of strength and power, their sense of autonomy, their confidence in their own capability, their pride in MASTERY of skills, knowledge, and building their OWN future, and you have a person who is more slave than alive, and they don't even know how they got there. And they probably don't see any way out, or any reason to believe that there is hope, or that they could have a better life.

Just like the bird who is overwhelmed with anxiety of being trapped and pulls its feathers out, or screams and squawks, or thrashes in its cage and injures itself, eventually if it doesn't kill itself, it will die of the physical effects of stress, or just give up. When the bird has no hope of escape or rescue, it will turn on itself. BUT if the bird DID have hope, if it KNEW that it could have a better life somewhere else, it would keep TRYING to escape, even while it's pulling its feathers out in anxiety.

Addictions and compulsions are SYMPTOMS of something else. Curing the cause always heals the symptoms.

If you're looking for a cure for the cause, 12-step groups can be of tremendous help because A ) they're free, B ) they're anonymous, and C ) there are people there who share similar situations D) free coffee . It's best to go around to find the ones that suit you, and there's no need to make PERSONAL connections outside of the group. Just sit in the back and listen at first, no diving in required; if your radar tells you there's something not right, you can just leave. 

DBT  (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) can be a boon to those suffering with the effects of a dysfunctional childhood, regardless of their "diagnosis", or the lack thereof.

Energy healing like Reiki and Theta can be very helpful, even if a person doesn't "believe" in it; just the caring presence of another human being can make a very large impact.

Al-anon is a support group for people who support each other in dealing with OTHER people, mainly geared for families and partners of alcoholics and other addicts, but the support is about learning how to understand and deal with the behavior and emotional issues in the whole family system.

~M.M.Black 2013