Underneath the surface of narcissistic abuse with Nicole Kranz
Let's face it: We are all responsible
Nicole Kranz, a true cosmopolite and awakened soul, is pushing her way in the world of literature with her novels centered around modern society issues. What immediately attracted me to Nicole was her 100% unapologetic and dignified approach to writing about abuse. Nicole survived the narcissistic abuse in the true form of a warrior.
The first novel, which we will discuss in this interview "Bullshit: this is not a love story" goes deep in portraying all the facets of narcissistic violence. In her second novel "Dans la peau de ma mère" ("In my mother's skin") she describes the complexity of a mother- daughter relationship, the continuing absence of a mother that she felt throughout her life. This second novel is in a way an attempt to understand why the narcissistic abuse occurred in the first place.
In Katoï she speaks about the existential pain of third-sex people, through the character of a young man called Leo. She is also in the process of writing her fourth novel "Paris is Dead", that studies the toxic sociological codes of the city that she describes as "a presumptuous old lady that shows no signs of rejuvenation", contrary to some other major world metropoles like New York, where there is a constant burst of new, fresh energy.
When I read Nicole's novel, I immediately knew that we had to have a talk. I needed validation, understanding and hope. I was also in the process of healing, and Nicole has already done the work.
How can someone even think of a more appropriate title than "Bullshit", to describe the emotional scam done by a narcissist! The psychological damage created by these empty creatures is heavy, no matter which type of supply you are/were.
Once you are out it feels like a drug detox: confusion caused by constant manipulation, void, brain fog, depression, ice-cold loneliness, hopelessness. An entire belief-system ruined.
Understanding the codes of these abusers will help you see through their manipulative tactics. Raising awareness and understanding the psychological background of both the narcissist and the supply is crucial, therefore with Nicole we tried to go deep in this attempt to debunk what is really behind this pathology.
The abuse I endured I consider to be a blessing today. I was already so far gone with self-destruction that I needed this experience to become the person I am today.
What I want women to understand is that we do not fall for the narcissist's bullshit by accident. The wounds were already existing.
We need to heal them. The narcissist just opened them. What I want to scream out loud is: "Woman, wake up and respect yourself, there is no love here!"
Where there is emotional devastation there can be no love. I refuse to be seen as a victim and this is not a story for victims. I take full responsibility for what happened to me. We as women have to be responsible for our experiences and understand where they come from. We have to heal from our trauma. Today I see myself as a warrior.
Nicole managed to describe in detail the stages of this progressive abuse using the terminology of corrida, the Spanish-style bullfighting.
In the first stage, Sorteo, in which the abuser observes and slowly grooms his supply. In the second stage, Paseo, is the stage of sexual, emotional and psychological degradation and Lidia, the last one, of discard, where once destroyed, the supply becomes completely useful to the narcissist.
"Empty inside, they have an intimate need to destroy someone else so they can finally feel alive. This was my husband. Like that beautiful, perfectly prepared matador. All the lances have struck their mark. Despite all its wounds, the bull's eyes are filled with rage. It manages to stand up. With a slight smile, victorious. The bull will not give up."
With the narcissist you are never seen as a wholesome human being, but rather as a "toy" to serve their needs, never respected, and most important never safe. Narcissists provoke terrible psychological and emotional damage through constant manipulation and gaslighting.
To explain how we fall in this trap, we shall discuss codependency and sexual perversion in depth. Co-dependency has its roots in the dysfunctional family dynamics, where there is pain, neglect, shame. In short terms, where there is abuse.
Richard Grannon, an English psychologist and CPTSD specialist sees codependency as a symmetrical mirror image to narcissists, where they are both raised in more less similar abusive environment, it is just that their responses to these environments were different.
In the case of Chloe and Cedric in Nicole's novel, they are actually both trapped in a morbid trauma bonded master-slave dynamic, dominated by acute sexual, moral and psychological abuse.
"He was anchored in the identity he'd created for himself. Cedric was the product of a tortured childhood. His revenge became his modus vivendi. He would use the same principle with all his victims. He'd brainwashed me. Demeaning me was a sign of love. Subjugating me was a sign of respect to him."
We must preface that not all narcissists are sexually abusive. In some case they show no interest in sex.
However, when they are sexually perverted, sex will be used as a weapon of emotional and psychological destruction. The spectrum of this abuse is huge. There is nothing loving nor intimate about sex with a narcissist
Sex is for them just a tool to keep the supply hooked, manipulated and confused. They can hide behind the idea of libertinism and polygamy, though the only thing they are interested in is to feed from the supply's devaluation. They suppress the supply's identity by imposing their fantasies as an ultimate attempt of domination.
"He was so proud of me, so proud he'd tell everyone that because of me he'd achieved the highest level of his perverse sexuality. All while pretending to support my individuality and my freedom, he'd put me in a dangerous little cage.'
Swinger clubs are second homes for sexual perverts. Nicole has no holding back whilst describing the atmosphere of these places in "Bullshit".
These clubs are the resume of everything the cheapest, mediocre, creepy and dirty that you can imagine. There is absolutely nothing glamorous there, and honestly, I have not seen many happy women either.
A lot of deeply complexed men I must say, repressing something behind this false concept of sexual freedom.
"I will never forget the smell of the swinger's clubs or the orgies at stranger's homes. A sickening smell, both rotten and strangely fruity. It's impossible to describe the scent of a body that's been licked and penetrated by so many cocks, the scent of wetness, of sperm, and the sound of so much coming. It's somehow like death, and unimaginable if you've never experienced it."
I consider swinger clubs to be the kingdom of female submission, where the body is an object of self-revenge.
I had to become somebody else in order to survive this disguised carnage and my wig from Manhattan that I bought for Halloween saved me in this attempt. I was always disguised in these events and from that moment, when I became somebody else, I knew that I was capable of everything. In all cases, I knew I had no choice, he would leave me no choice.
"I left my own personality behind and began to camouflage myself: too much make-up, badly dressed, crude language. I played my part: the numb object. I sometimes faked my pleasure to get it over more quickly."
Labelling me as "submissive" at the very beginning was a major red flag for me at the beginning with my encounter with the narcissist. What is your view on submission?
Submission is the contrary of love. Love is freedom, equality, love is there to elevate us not to submit us. Even in the context of sexual submissive plays between two partners there is no love.
Nicole's novel "Dans la peau de ma mère" (In my mother's skin) gives an insight of where the wounds came from. The wounds that make one a perfect target for abuse. Narcissists are perfect in detecting and exploiting our weaknesses.
Nicole's was the emotional neglect. This feeling of abandonment she felt from her mother will be described in depth through intimate confessions of Mrs Berkovitch with her daughter.
In Bullshit, she opens about the lack of an intimate relationship with the father. Something that they have both overcome in the last years after her mother's death.
In one of our calls Nicole was thrilled to talk about rebounding with the father, a major step in her self-healing.
"I'd been looking for love that my father never showed me. Mistakes, awkward moments, some tenderness. One-night stands. Mornings with a rumpled sheet, ready to toss in the wash. Calling someone to hear nothing but an empty line. Hope. Gazes......I hurt myself waiting for what was good. I knew nothing about love.'
Could you tell me more about the relationship you had with your mother?
From my mother I primarily learned how to function in a seduction mode. I learned to act like a "Lolita" from a very young age.
My body became a form of self-revenge. My mother was primarily a wife of a man. There was of course this goal imagined for me to settle down with a man and have my own family.
For my mother my happiness depended on my ability to conform to the conventional norms of the post-war generation that was no longer mine.
It seems that we were never taught that we are enough, just the way we are with what we have. With my mother this is what I desperately wanted to hear, just that I am enough even if it is just me alone, even with no man by my side.
This is again something that feminists never talk about, the idea of self-sufficiency: a free human being that respects himself and respects others. They also don’t talk about respect nor love.
They have criminalised love and decriminalised sexuality. In this way, sexuality has no real value. But what is missing is the fact that men and women cannot live their sexuality in the same way, even biologically speaking this is not possible. The expression "tirer un coup" ("shoot your load") is not valid for women, if we know that chemically there is an emotional component linked to sex.
A man can just use it in a way to empty his liquids. That is why we have to stop saying men and women are the same, stop with the modern feminist brainwash.
We are not the same and we do not want to be treated in the same way as men. Where we do want to be equal is in terms of salary.
Nicole, I would like to start with the sentence that really speaks volumes for me: When a woman is lost, the society is lost.
I do feel that we speak to often about the narcissist but not enough about women today, their struggles, their fragile position between the long-established family schemes ingrained by our mothers that we can no longer fit into, and modern feminism that is all but constructive and non-judgmental.
Today we are left disoriented and therefore more than ever prone to be taken advantage of. What is your view on the position of a woman today? How can we raise awareness on these issues?
When we talk about raising awareness, we have to start with debunking the myth about the Prince charming.
The Prince charming does not exist. The education must become free of these types of cliches. The modern woman is not free. There is nothing glamorous about her. If we take the example of the feminist marches today, they are very castrating, like the masculinity of the 19th century.
Unfortunately, there is no Simone Veil today. The movements like "Me too" contain no constructive or logical message, except in one very limited area: entertainment business. Women showing off their naked breasts in front of a church's altar, this is just vulgar and disrespectful. There is no message behind this, just empty provocation. But there is this vulgarity of language that nobody talks about.
A woman of today should be strong and dignified and must learn to be strong enough to say NO. The NO is the starting point in becoming truly free. Let's teach our daughters to say NO, it will bring them respect and happiness.
Yes, because they are disrespecting the codes. You cannot expect to get your message through if you have no understanding of the cultural codes you are appropriating, in this case disrespecting.
Yes and respect says it all. It is a mandatory condition for freedom. Without respecting ourselves, we give all the chances to the narcissist to come to us and to win us over and over again.
What would be your definition of a free woman in today's society?
A free woman is the one who has her own opinion, regardless of the social trends of the moment. She is the one accompanying a man in his own development. And again, she has the power to say no and yes, that should be a true yes.
Be free within your body and mind, do whatever the fuck you want, regardless of judgments and critics. It is always good to be hated, it means you can stand up for your own beliefs and accordingly you will be surrounded by the right people.
Nicole, let's talk about the aftermath of the abuse. Once we are finally out, we are at the very beginning. I believe that the end is actually the most damaging part where we are finally forced to face our pain, where all the wounds come to the surface. Where our self-image is completely crushed.
How did you manage this process and what advice would you give to anyone struggling to heal?
It has taken me 10 years of self-healing work to be in the place where I am now with myself.
The first major and most important step is to confront yourself with all the humiliating, degrading, obnoxious, traumatizing moments. With the help of a medical professional because we do not have to do this work alone. And cry your eyes out. It is mandatory to speak-up, to go to the deepest depths of all the filthiness in order to clean ourselves emotionally.
And most important, never again exist trapped in the need to be loved and desired. We have to understand where our wounds come from and heal them.
As long as we refuse to do the work, we are in the permanent risk of becoming exploited. They play with our weaknesses. Mine was for example the abandonment.
The thing with narcissists is that they have just spotted how lost we were in the first place. And we get lost when we have no reference about what is fair and valuable in life.
Narcissists have no values or moral integrity, leaving us with a completely blemished belief system. So, where everything has been swiped up, I have introduced faith. I have enormous faith today.
Today I am on the path of truth and spirituality. I can finally let my soul talk and breathe.
« Bullshit, ceci n’est pas une histoire d’amour »
« Bullshit, this is not a love story »
« Dans la peu de ma mère »
All books are available on Amazon.com / .fr /.UK… or directly on Nicole’s website :
Thanks so much for speaking about this topic of exploitative imprisonment. As someone who has experienced this type of abuse, I can completely relate and congratulate Nicole and Ana for having the courage to speak about this so hidden topic.
This is a very particulate type of abuse that leads to deep depression. This type of men, though sick and perverted are very aware that they are abusing us.
“Plus la femme sera soumise, plus l’homme sera fort”, concept de psychanalyse misogyne qui permet toujours malheureusement à bcp des homos complexés de se cacher en toute sécurité.
Merci Nicole Kranz d'avoir eu le courage pour prendre la parole!
Thank you Ana for deciding to tap into this delicate and ongoing issue for all of us; the one of narcissism and the manipulation it may unfold...I find that Nicole and yourself have dealt with sexual repercussions of - what I like to qualify as- the TRUE pandemic of human relations- in a very straightforward manner. Every communication about it is MORE than necessary and as a young woman I thank you for this article, with hopes that you will continue to push the envelop even further... Here are some suggestions from my side:
• what happens when a woman is a narcissistic manipulator? / can a narcissist change? / How to avoid falling into another narcissistic trap once you finally detach yourself from the abuser? / Is narcissism related to the narcissist’s upbringing (childhood, relationship w both parents...)? •
Women and men over the globe might be thinking this is only happening to them so they shy away from the conversation...this is exactly why articles like this one are a must-read!
Continue the brilliant work and keep the communication as open and transparent as possible!
Impatiently waiting for your next online article...
Good evening everyone, Ana,
Interesting article but I would like to add that the NPD abuse can be inflicted by a woman as well and can take place in many other instances than just romantic relationships.
I agree with the fact that such abuse is nefarious on many levels and that bringing awareness about this topic is important.
I also advise reading a groundbreaking reference regarding this topic "Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited" by Professor Samuel Vaknin, a self proclaimed narcissist on his way to redemption by providing knowledge from the inside to the public.
Thank you both for sharing all this personal feelings and thoughts.
I totally agree about your opinion concern how it's dangerous to approach a narcissistic person (it can be a man or a woman) because they can destroy consciously or souls, or lives. But the good think is that nowadays this subject is being borrowed by specialists and we talk about it more and more. And it's really important if we want to fight against this psychological pathology.
And it have to be stoped and treated.
Your concept of a free woman is exactly the same of mine. Being free starts to respect yourself to can respect the others and be respected. Each time i see women showing your intime parts of their bodys to ask for more respect, i ask to myself, what it's going on? Have we really need to shamed ourselves to get more respect from the others?
Narcissists seem very attractive at first sight. They intentionally seek admiration, they have this grandiose sense of self-importance. The most important personality trait is that they do not know about empathy, they are heartless for other people's emotions, if they are not related to the admiration of themselves. A relationship with a narcissist is hard because there is this impossibility of healthy equality and mutual understanding. A person that is insecure, unstable, with low self-worth and corrupted self-image can easily fall in the trap of this grandiose Ego. And then, the drama starts to unfold, where the narcissist emotionally destroys the partner with his insensitivity and a completely subjective view of reality where everything is submitted to him. The outbursts of anger and rage are very strong when someone starts to confront him with the unrealistic image they have of themselves, which leads to further depreciation of the partner. So, the partner broken and helpless starts again to perceive the narcissist as strong and omnipotent, just as the narcissist wants to be seen. And that is the mechanism of this drama where the narcissist feeds of the psychological breakdown of the partner.
Merci Ana pour cet entretien édifiant.
This interview is very interesting and underlines the unique place of woman. This is far away from the common speach. And yes, woman don't have to be treated in the same way as men. Thank's also to cite Simone Veil. There's so much in this exchange, so many food for thought. Thank's a lot for this.
Il tema trattato nel romanzo di Nicole Kranz è sicuramente in tema attualissimo, purtroppo, che riguarda l'abuso sulle donne. Da tempo si tiene l'attenzione alta con tutto ciò che è possibile e in particolar modo con i media, tuttavia sembra non bastare.
Come nella mia opera Boudoir, ci sono Donne forti ed energiche che riescono a spezzare e liberarsi da queste catene. A mettere quei brutti ricordi in " bauli " che non verranno mai più riaperti. Tutto ciò per iniziare a vivere una nuova vita in cui l' anima con il cuore si vestono di Amore e positività per accompagnare la donna nel suo cammino della sua essenza femminile.
A very interesting talk with many opened problems our society is facing..
Considering narcissist, I was particularly moved my this hypothesis about co-dependency that I find so true.. put into this perspective it's probably easier to understand why they doing this and get liberated..
"Richard Grannon, an English psychologist and CPTSD specialist sees co-dependency as a symmetrical mirror image to narcissists, where they are both raised in more less similar abusive environment, it is just that their responses to this environments were different."