Fantasy Land And Narcissistic Abuse

One of the most profound effects of Narcissistic abuse and control is on the target's ability to feel safe in the world of humans.
Most people live in a state of fantasy, naivete, and ignorance about the "world", about other humans. The brain creates this fantasy on purpose in order for us to go about our day and our lives in relatively happy bliss; we actually delete and ignore information that's right in front of us that makes us feel uncomfortable, like the fact that meteors fall constantly, for example, or that the balance of the natural world that keeps us alive could slip at any moment, or mundane things like about how ACTUALLY dangerous is it to drive on the highway. But it also ignores or deletes unsettling information we see clearly and blatantly about those close to us, those around us, AND about ourselves. So we go through life basically thinking everything is pretty much honky dory, not much to worry about, as long as things are going the way we expect and want.

But those who have been targets of abuse, especially Narcissistic abuse, find out about the hidden underbelly of human behavior and motivations, and find out the hard way. So the fantasies about "people are mostly good and kind" and "the world of humans is a safe and beautiful place" don't cover up the reality anymore, because one knows about the masks and the curtains. The brain has seen too much REAL information to continue the process of deleting and ignoring,
and then switches modes to a more realistic observational mode.
Targets are humans, so the realization of the actual potential motivations and intentions of people around them can cause anxiety or depression, because that's one's OWN species, those are the creatures one is supposed to live life WITH. And most still want to, to an extent, because wanting to is "normal human".
Since the other people around a harassment or abuse Target mostly still live in the fantasy the human brain creates of humans having good motives and good intentions, and that they themselves always have good motives and intentions, they often have a very hard time accepting or acknowledging what a Target has been through, or what a Target talks about. They don't WANT IT TO BE TRUE, and most likely can't handle it being true. If it's true about another human, then it might be true about themselves, too, and they can not deal with that or accept that. To them, that would be like accepting the reality that they could get wiped off the planet at any moment due to a natural event, or a car accident, or a sudden illness. They can't handle accepting that AND going about their usual day, or looking forward to their future plans. So they don't want to hear about it or know about it.

In order to keep denying, ignoring, and deleting, they may ignore, deny, or try to ostracize the person who was targeted by abuse. If they can make the PERSON go away, then the unhappy reality that they can't handle will go away too.

This is how the human brain works, and it's actually been proven by some reality-accepting scientists, who are few and far between. Humans don't like information that they don't like, so regardless of what it is, they will try to kick it away automatically. The less self-aware a human is, and the less they can deal with reality, the more they will do this. It's really their brain doing it, though.

Narcissistic abuse survivors may find themselves being ignored, disrespected, scapegoated, and treated more poorly than ever by others when they're trying to recover and rebuild their lives, because of this very thing. People who live in fantasy, which is most humans due to the brain's denial process, do NOT want to be shown or reminded that their fantasy they're using for living their life is not real, or that they themselves are not as lovely, logical, kind, helpful, strong, self-disciplined, or aware as they like to think of themselves. The very fact that the abuse survivor exists and shows up is evidence of all these things, and if the person starts TALKING about any of it, their defensiveness for their fantasy can increase immensely, so much so that they may try to humiliate the person so others won't like them, or try to make the person "invisible", or make them go away. 

Recovery may be greatly helped by working on understanding this human brain processing of denying and ignoring, because once we realize that's what humans do, we may no longer take it as personally, and we may be more able to discern who is actually trustworthy and who isn't, regardless of what type of relationship it is. Who will throw another person "under the bus" simply to protect their fantasy or their ego, and who won't. 

(If one wants to observe this process in action, simply bring up a subject that is outside of the known belief parameters of others. If you know that they want to believe, for example, that God doesn't exist, simply start  talking about God (nothing intense, controversial, or that could be construed as weird or shaming; something purposely light), and see what they say or do.
If you know they do believe in God but reject Evolution, you could bring up Evolution instead, but again in a light way, like "did you see the documentary on Dinosaurs that was on NatGeo the other was so neat... etc..."
A fun one is gender roles; if they think women can "only do" certain things, or that men can "only do" certain things, bring up professional female baseball, or your male friend who's a hair stylist, or your female friend's auto mechanic job and how hard she works, something like that.
Another fun one is whether pot is a drug, or whether it's "good" or "bad".
Another is cryptozoology (Loch Ness, Sasquatch, Yeti), and U

Simply broach whatever stance is opposite to the person's belief, but NOT in a personal or insulting way, or the observation is moot. (Saying "God doesn't exist" or "Evolution is stupid" is not broaching the topic, it's insulting and is provoking an argument.)
If they're objective and "logically minded" about a subject, they will be able to discuss all facets and all points of view relatively calmly and openly, without trying to "win", without rudeness such as interrupting, without condescension, verbal attack or insult, and without trying to shut the subject down. If they're in belief, they'll either try to "win", become hostile, or try to shut down the conversation.

When you bring up a subject, watch for body language. (You can do this with yourself too).
Actual physical "squirming" is usually one of the first reactions, because of a sensation of discomfort.
Another is random vocal noises, breathing noises, or movement noises.
Countering may be done, depending on the person's hostility and aggression issues.
Defensiveness may come out swinging, depending on how easily the person takes things personally, or how personal they feel about the subject, and how much they have made it a part of their own identity.
An immediate insult might come flying out of their mouth, like about your male stylist friend being gay, or your female auto mechanic friend getting her nails dirty.
Then turning one's head away,
turning one's body away,
looking off into another direction,
speaking to someone else blatantly over you,
trying to display "IGNORE" signals.
Then, changing the subject.
If that doesn't work, they may  suddenly feel ILL or have a pain,
or need to go to the bathroom,
or need to get off the phone if they're on the phone with you,
or need to get going.  
If they have a high level of arrogance, they might condescend to you with something like "OH Annie, do you really believe in that craziness?"
and then have to go do something "important".

In other words, they will treat you like you're a child (or a childish adult) who is behaving rudely and inappropriately. We learn these social behaviors as children, "How to shut a hysterical person down and calm the situation". "How to display dominance or importance". 
But these are often used in very inappropriate ways by those who are enveloped in belief, or who desire superiority and control. 

Of course if they ARE objective, you might end up having a nice conversation about something interesting, and exchanging information, observations, and point of view.
(What a concept..! Civil, intelligent discussion, without rudeness or primate domination displays!)


Kevin Dunbar's observations and experiments with Physics students and scientists:

Kevin Dunbar's observations and experiments about how the brain handles information:

“The scientists had these elaborate theories about what was supposed to happen,” Dunbar says. “But the results kept contradicting their theories. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to spend a month on a project and then just discard all their data because the data didn’t make sense.” Perhaps they hoped to see a specific protein but it wasn’t there. Or maybe their DNA sample showed the presence of an aberrant gene. The details always changed, but the story remained the same: The scientists were looking for X, but they found Y.How did the researchers cope with all this unexpected data? How did they deal with so much failure? Dunbar realized that the vast majority of people in the lab followed the same basic strategy. First, they would blame the method. The surprising finding was classified as a mere mistake; perhaps a machine malfunctioned or an enzyme had gone stale. “The scientists were trying to explain away what they didn’t understand,” Dunbar says. “It’s as if they didn’t want to believe it.”

....The experiment would then be carefully repeated. Sometimes, the weird blip would disappear, in which case the problem was solved. But the weirdness usually remained, an anomaly that wouldn’t go away.This is when things get interesting. According to Dunbar, even after scientists had generated their “error” multiple times — it was a consistent inconsistency — they might fail to follow it up. “Given the amount of unexpected data in science, it’s just not feasible to pursue everything,” Dunbar says. “People have to pick and choose what’s interesting and what’s not, but they often choose badly.” And so the result was tossed aside, filed in a quickly forgotten notebook. The scientists had discovered a new fact, but they called it a failure.

(Click to read the article)