The experts continue to misinform themselves and the public about narcissism, which is at the root of sociopathy. The experts who evaluated Oscar Pistorius got it half right:
- Right – The doctors and therapists who evaluated Pistorius testified this week that the Paralympic athlete was not suffering from any form of mental illness or impairment when he shot and murdered Reeva Steenkamp on the eve of Valentine’s Day 2013 in his South Africa residence.
- Wrong – Despite labeling Pistorius as highly insecure and depressed, the experts claim there are no clear indications that he is a narcissist with a personality disorder or a psychopath/sociopath with deep pathological defects.
I find this conclusion troubling and contradictory, because, as we all are very aware; narcissists and sociopaths act abusively, not only because they lack a conscience and are void of empathy, but because they are deeply insecure, highly fearful of abandonment, and paranoid. When cornered and caught, they drop the grandiose and entitled front and instead manipulate the consciousness of others by engaging and parading their insecurities to gain pity.
As Martha Stout, Ph.D. notes in her book The Sociopath Next Door, not all narcissists are sociopaths, but all sociopaths are narcissists. More importantly, people with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and those who are sociopaths do not like themselves. Knowing this should not excuse their nature or make them sympathetic characters.
So let’s remind ourselves, first and foremost, that narcissists do not love themselves and are not secure in their identities.
The term “narcissism” is derived directly from the myth of Narcissus. Like Narcissus, narcissists appear to always and forever be gazing lovingly at themselves. If you interpret Narcissus or narcissism this way, you would be half correct. Narcissus is always and forever gazing loving at his reflection, not at himself—there is a difference.
A reflection of a person is a distortion; it is not the inner reality and nuances that reveal our nature. The narcissistic sociopath falls in love with a distorted self-image, not with his/her spirit. It seems that the myth behind the myth has been obscured by the images depicting the myth. What a travesty of misinformation and interpretation.
Sociopaths hide their true nature from themselves and from everybody else. They avoid looking within, because they hate themselves and fear being reminded of why they hate themselves so much.
Another thing to remember about that reflection pool we always see Narcissus staring into adoringly–that reflection pool is a shallow puddle. And it’s this shallow, muddied effect that makes narcissists and sociopaths so dangerous and why even the experts get it wrong the majority of the time, because even the experts misinterpret the myth, which leads to misinterpretation of what it means to be narcissistic.
Instead of being real and sharing their inner fears and shame, sociopaths present to the world an idealized reflection, a projection of who they want us to think they are and of who they desperately wish to be. These projections are mere shadows and imaginings of their surroundings and are composed of nothing real or tangible.
Pistorius wanted to be seen as a super man and indestructible. And now? Now that he has been exposed? What happened to the projections?
They simply no longer serve his agenda. His agenda now is to save himself from punishment. Understanding and accepting how easily a narcissist/sociopath can switch gears should be obvious to the experts and should be the reason society pursues just punishment and insists that Pistorius be accountable for his/her actions. In light of this recent diagnosis (or misdiagnosis), it appears Pistorius may never receive just punishment.
Why do we as a society keep excusing this behavior and refuse to label the behavior for what it is? Why are we sympathizing with Pistorius? Are we afraid of being judged ourselves one day for acting abusively or carelessly? Or are we already acting abusively and carelessly on a regular basis, and we don’t want to seem like hypocrites by punishing these fools simply because they got caught? Or do we see this type of behavior as “not a big deal” and that people just have bad days and do dumb things under duress?
A woman is dead as a result of this man’s “dumb” act. Her name is Reeva Steenkamp. She did nothing to provoke her murderer to shoot her four (4) times through a locked bathroom door. She thought she was fleeing from eminent danger. She never imagined Oscar would dive into such a deep narcissistic rage and lose all awareness of reality and destroy her.
Pistorius destroyed a woman’s life and negatively impacted the lives of all of her family, friends, and loved ones. He’s now claiming to be an insecure and fearful victim of society and circumstance? Where do his self-pity and outer blame end and his accountability begin?
He is a dangerous narcissistic sociopath and society must be properly educated about what narcissism means.
Pistorius has used self-pity, “loss” of limbs, and the state of crime in South Africa to dupe the experts and the public into believing he is a rat in a cage who reacts in fear when his cage is rattled.
Well, don’t we all!?
The difference between Pistorius and the rest of us non-sociopaths is that we have empathy, remorse and a conscience. Together, these qualities would not allow us to defend our actions with the hope of eluding punishment. On the contrary, unlike Pistorius, we would be ashamed and surrender to the justice system and plead guilty.
Reeva did not have the opportunity to defend herself. Why is Pistorius demanding and expecting the grace and mercy he denied Reeva?
In addition, we should not be surprised by the latest news declaring Pistorius is now suicidal. After all, Sociopaths suffer, too, despite what anyone wants to believe. They suffer deep stress and anxiety when they get caught in such a public manner and are forced to answer for their behavior. It’s no wonder Pistorius is showing signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder…his mask slipped and he had no control, because he is not in control of his nature…ever.
This is frightening to me and why my recommendation to those who discover they have aligned unknowingly with a narcissist/sociopath is to run in the opposite direction. These are the people who deserve to be outcasts, and I have no shame or remorse in declaring such.