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What Is NPD? ‘What It Feels Like to Fall in Love With an Iron Fist’

by in Relationships on 17th October, 2018

On June 1st it was NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) awareness day, to honour the survivors of psychological and emotional abuse, this month,  I wanted to unveil a little about this disorder. *Trigger warning* the following video and poem is a raw depiction of the experiences of co-dependents and Narcissists* please be aware.

What is it?

NPD is characterized by an extreme sense of self-worth. NPD is one of a group of conditions known as dramatic personality disorders. The person will have unstable and intense emotions and a distorted self-image.  The long-term pattern of abnormal behaviour characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.

How can it affect someone

Here is an explainer video by Nick Grannon, a psychologist that specializes in NPD who personally had been on the receiving end of narcissistic abuse

“I made this documentary for all the victims of narcissistic abuse who felt as unheard and misunderstood as I did. For everyone who had their family and friends look at them like they were crazy when they tried to describe the issues within the relationship or who even had people turn their back on them for saying that something was wrong. And especially for everyone who endured going to a therapist or counsellor only to be told by a “professional” that narcissistic abuse wasn’t real and the problems were all inside their own head.”

I can map it all out, when it started, the middle, the spectrum of sounds and feelings that burst through my chest like a spurt of skittles.

All the memories come in and out of my brain like kaleidoscope images, submerging into the other. Sometimes the memories are calm and fold and lap into one another like waves on an island covered in plankton fish that light up the night reflecting off the water,

the water reflecting the stars,

plankton and stars celebrating their light.

The memories start in the middle, and drift,

before present clicks her fingers before my eyes.

Some of the memories are harsh and unkind, they leave you a broken, confused, in a daze, a little numb.

Have you ever had your heart taken for ransom?

Have you heard of the iron cladded hand that was known as the metal knight?

The one that pierced through your first shield of skin, the second and third,

it wriggled its spiked fingers around your ribcage to get further inside,

weaving in and out of blood vessels.

The iron fingers curled around your heart, first piercing it a little so you are not dead right away, in fact, you might need the fingers to stay in there, just so that you can survive.

The nails of this iron fist nestled into your heart, which now feels as if it cannot survive without the iron.

Before long the colonised heart begins to grow shrubs, herbs, and those little flowers that look bright and beautiful but are actually weeds,

they curl and intertwine around the steel hand almost convincing the possessor of the heart, that it is safe,

because it has this small garden,

an enchanted fortress to protect it from outside enemies.

Years go by,

the fist starts to rust,

and its poison enters the bloodstream,

the heart has learned to live with its intruder,

it finds safety and survival, in the pain of its chambers.

But the pain almost doesn’t exist anymore,

the pain feels quietened, almost distant.

The heart sometimes yearn to interact with its saviour,

yearning to meet the gallant iron that appears to be its lifeline. The gallant iron stays quiet, in a slumber for years and years.

Until one day, when the heart beats, and flutters a little in complete awe of life’s circumstances, and feels the warmth of another heart close,

it forgets all about the iron fist wedged between its holes.

The iron fist calls it an intruder, and so yanks itself from the heart, knowing this will invite a plunging sickening feeling so great, the trauma of the loss will kill the heart, and stop it from beating instantly.

The iron fist knows this.

Somewhere In the iron fists core, it loves the heart it has grown accustomed to.

It loves and pities it all at the same time.

It is ashamed of its weakness and mocks its ability to trick itself into thinking the fist is there to protect it and keep it alive.

But the iron fist is also encased by pride,

and will not under any circumstances allow this heart to dwell happily without it.

The rust now in some way has congealed the blood, therefore miraculously has found a way to permanently become a part of this heart that was once pure of all metals.

The iron fist yanks and yanks, until the heart is pierced open, much wider than the last pierce.

This one is much more powerful, as the fist had become so ingrained inside the heart for so long, the heart begins to pump, as a reaction.

It tries to protect itself, but all of its shrubs and trees have built their foundations on the iron.

The garden is breaking, tearing, and crying.

The hearts chambers are on fire, it is screaming for help, no one hears it.

No one believes it.

Because the iron fist just came to protect the heart from death and deserves its own life too, surely? The heart cries softly in pain as its contents spill into the outside world filled with enemies,

the blood splashes and floods the garden,

all the living things around the heart are in pain,

they are dying because the heart is dying.

The heart you see was a life force for so much good,

and so much beauty and light.

So much so, that everything that stood in its wake felt life, they felt alive and got their fill of energy. So the heart bled out, and slowly weakened, its life force being drained from it,

and its neighbours judging it,

calling it dramatic,

a liar,

for the iron fist is known amongst many hearts as a great gallant knight that has been a cause of many lives saved.

Neighbours are whispering about the heat,

and it hears,

and silently whimpers in the dead of the night,

believing it has wronged the iron fist.

The heart believed its toxicity caused the iron fist to be yanked from its hole.

The heart on its last pumps berates itself for its lack of being able to survive alone, without the iron fist,

for it forgot what it looked and felt like before the iron fist had gotten there

before it left its rust in the bloodstream.

The heart almost thinks like the fist, it wallows in a dark world of rust, grey, and black.

Congealed blood, is its only lifeline, to extend its life before the rust is absorbed by every last vein, killing it instantly.

The heart takes one breathe, before dying saddened at the state of affairs it had bought itself to.. All the while, the fist slowly pierces another layer of skin, and plunges through a heart on another side of town. That heart was lovely, it was covered in daffodils, and grew a lemon tree near one of the chambers.

I pay my respects to the beautiful hearts covered in roses, Yacca plants, mint leaves, orange bushes, crimson, roses, lilies, and cactuses. I mourn your light. I am sorry for the hearts lost to rust. I am sorry for the hearts lost to iron.

You can heal

you can grow healthy plants

de weed your lawn

and start again.

-What it feels like to fall in love with an iron fist

Amaliah Anonymous

Amaliah Anonymous

This piece was written by a member of the Amaliah community. If you would like to contribute anonymously, drop us an email us on [email protected]