The first time malignant narcissist sister tried to strangle me to death I was about 8 years old and she used a skipping rope. Her plan was foiled by an oncoming car that came to a screeching halt. Just as the man got out of his car, she dropped the rope, stuck her nose up in the air, and with an indignant “humph” quickly marched into our cousin’s house. She fled the scene of the crime without an ounce of regret or guilt. I was left gasping for air and struggling to untangle the rope she had tied around my throat. The driver angrily lectured me for playing in the street.
The fact that malignant narcissist sister didn’t express any remorse for trying to murder me wasn’t the worst part. Even her crazy glazed-over eyes that were getting a noticeable drug rush from choking me to death wasn't the worst part. Even the fact that she was visibly enraged that her plan to kill me was foiled wasn’t the worst part. The worst part and the most glaring sign that she was extremely dangerous was what happened next.
I nearly died, and not only was I distressed, I was truly frightened. I needed to tell someone what she had done to me - an adult, a parent, any authority figure. I needed someone to believe me and protect me. Malignant narcissist sister needed to be taught a lesson or she would try to kill me again. I knew telling malignant narcissist mother what happened would be useless. She didn’t care if I was dead or alive. She screamed at me every day “You have no right to live!” and “I’m going to annihilate you!” So she certainly wasn’t going to punish malignant narcissist sister for trying to end me. Malignant narcissist mother would have blamed me for my sister’s violence and punished me for complaining. The only adult that might listen to me and believe me and maybe even punish my psychotic sibling would be my dad. He was the only parent that expressed a modicum of affection toward me and malignant sister knew it.
What I witnessed when I walked into my cousin’s house, where a family get together was in progress, stopped me dead in my tracks. At the age of eight, I watched a sociopath in the making continue on her quest to strangle me, this time through triangulation.
Malignant narcissist sister almost never paid my dad any attention. In fact, she never had much respect for him. She was always her mother’s minion, so she held him in the same contempt malignant narcissist mother did. He was MN mother’s scapegoat - the bad guy, the one she could blame for everything. But this day was different. He was useful to her.
I stood in the entrance of the living room and witnessed an over-the-top display of malignant narcissist sister’s manufactured love and adoration for her daddy. She was hugging him, joking around with him, fawning over him, holding both his hands and swinging them back and forth. In short, this 10 year old master manipulator was flirting with him and seducing the hell out of him with a whirlwind of narcissistic supply. He was beaming. Never before had the daughter who demonstrated nothing but cold indifference toward him shown him so much attention.
At 8 years old I knew the end result even before it was confirmed: She got to him first. Beat me to the punch. Blocked the kick. Framed me and set me up to take the fall for her crime.
As soon as malignant narcissist sister had finished her performance, I walked up to my dad and before I could explain how she tried to (strangle me) he cut me off and said, “Yeah, your sister told me you got in trouble for playing in the road and the guy driving the car really gave it to you.” Then as a sadistic smirk curled across his lips he said, “You need to be more careful.” And just like that he brushed past me and walked away smiling.
Absolutely nothing has changed. Malignant narcissist sister is still playing the innocent victim while behind closed doors she is trying to drive me to an early grave or a hospital bed. She is totally capable of physical murder and there's nothing stopping her from using my dad's money to hire a "professional" to take a hit out on me. Maybe she already did. It wouldn't surprise me if her and her seedy thug accomplice dabble in the dark web. What's frightening is malignant narcissist sister sees her attempts to kill me using covert psychological violence as her right. Her psychological violence landed me in a hospital 8 years ago. Now she feels entitled to strangle me to death by triangulation.
Triangulation can occur in any relationship but it is very common in a relationship with a Malignant Narcissist. It may happen at home, at work, with friends, or within a family of origin. An abuser/narcissist will pit you against any other person she can get to engage in her "victim-playing," who is willing to serve the role she assigns.
She may also temporarily adopt the role of Persecutor to assign blame or Rescuer to maintain control of her image. In the end, this travel around the triangle is how she dumps shame and finds someone to blame for her misery. If there is always a role to play there is always a way to escape responsibility by shifting the position on the triangle.
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Control by Triangulation:
If all else fails, the abuser recruits friends, colleagues, family members, the authorities, institutions, neighbors, any third party – to do her bidding. She uses them to cajole, coerce, threaten, stalk, intimidate, offer retreat, tempt, convince, harass, communicate and otherwise manipulate her target. She controls these unaware instruments exactly as she plans to control her ultimate victim. She employs the same mechanisms and devices, and she always dumps her props unceremoniously when the job is done.
Another form of control by triangulation is to engineer situations in which abuse is inflicted upon her target. Such carefully crafted scenarios of embarrassment and humiliation provoke social sanctions (condemnation, opprobrium, social exclusion and shame) against the victim. In this instance, society becomes the instrument of the abuser. By clever seduction, through words and posturing, she entices her pawns to do her dirty work for her. Unaware... and being persuaded by the narcissist's rendition of truth, they take up her cause and her right and align themselves against the one she controls.
The malignant narcissist creates perpetual triangles around the one she desires to systematically destroy. She sees through these eyes with no empathy - that perpetuate constant, residual torment, for her victim. Claiming that she is being tormented by her victim, she creates rescuers who then torment her victim, thinking they are protecting her from the "bully." Doing this through her family members, associates and whoever she can entice, she remotely views her operation like a director of a movie. In other words, she will frame a picture and put her secondary narcissistic supply in that frame - the borders always being the shape of a triangle and the picture within being a distorted truth she propagates.
Usually, the claims she makes of her victim are the truth about herself and while hiding behind her victim, she will spin, doctor, and gaslight until she gets her desired result. Defamation of character and destroying the credibility of her victim is her goal. She convinces her pawns that the true victim is the persecutor and she is the victim. The naked eye cannot see this game of illusions and that is why she is able to engage others in her web. They do for her what she orchestrates in secret.
Both the Persecutor and Rescuer are on the upper end of the triangle. These roles assume a “one-up” position over others, meaning they relate as though they are better, stronger, smarter, or more-together than the victim. Sooner or later the victim, who is in the one-down position at the bottom of the triangle, develops a metaphorical "crick in the neck" from always looking up. Feeling “looked down upon” or “worth-less than” the others, the Victim usually rebels.
Starting Gate Persecutors (SGP's), on the other hand, delude themselves into believing they are victims in need of protection. This is how they can so easily justify their vengeful behavior: “They asked for it and they got what they deserved for questioning me," is the way they see it. Their core belief might go something like this: “She/he is on to me so I need to get her before she exposes me.”
This attitude sets-up the malignant narcissist to think that she must strike out in order to defend against inevitable attack, even when there is no attack. Self-defense against the malignant narcissist’s psychological violence is, in her self-absorbed eyes, a threat. She sees the victim as a threat to herself, and believes that the victim will possibly expose her hidden true self to her rescuers. The victim may or may not have threatened the SGP, but the chance of being 'found out,' by those looking from the outside...the picture projected is the SGP's denial ploy. She is afraid that the real picture will be seen by all. She cannot face exposure or the reality of what she is doing and must project what she perpetrates. Ultimately there is no regard for anyone here, for all player's involved are her pawns.
Therefore, the victim stands no chance of recovering in this triangulation. Convincing her rescuer(s) that her victim is persecuting her, the narcissist is able to trap the rescuer(s) in her web. And the rescuers all become persecutors for her...while believing they are rescuing her.
The rescuer(s), unaware of the narcissist scheme, become persecutors of the [true] victim. Believing the perpetrator's deception, they do her bidding and become an extension of her. Without regard for the true victim, they have become her right hand, and very likely, the hand(s) that strangulate her victim. The smugness of the narcissist becomes more intoxicating to herself, in her superiority to manipulate all. How brilliant she feels in the evil she has masterminded. Feeling disdain, for even her rescuers, she is loyal to none. She feeds on her own view of being above all those she puppeteers.
Inevitably, the victim will do one or more of the following:
1. Strike back, in defense and self-preservation.
2. Further submit to the abuse, thinking it must be their fault.
3. Try to negotiate and convince the rescuer(s) that the narcissist is the persecutor.
4. Flee the triangle(s) and leave the relationship.
Another Term for Triangulation is Proxy Recruitment:
Proxy Recruitment is a way of controlling or abusing another person or establishment by manipulating other people into unwittingly 'backing up,' the abuser or "doing their dirty work" for them.
Description: The goal in proxy recruitment is to gain the upper hand in a relationship or in a conflict by getting other people involved. This often takes the form of the perpetrator engaging others to" help" through innuendos, false accusations, smear campaigns or distortion campaigns in which the victim is portrayed as an abuser.
Proxy recruitment can be an extremely powerful way of establishing control over another person. It forces the victim into a defensive posture - justifying or denying their own behaviors to friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances and authority figures. It often attempts to reverse roles in the eyes of others - casting the abuser as the victim and portraying the victim as the abuser. It deflects attention away from the real abuser and provides cover or justification for further abuse to occur.
Proxy Recruitment is much easier if the abuser assumes a position of authority. The infamous narcissist will project herself as an authority figure, speaking as though the victim is incompetent or inferior in judgement.
Proxy recruitment isn't just the domain of people with personality disorders. It is a universal reaction to recruit allies when engaged in a conflict situation. However, it becomes abusive when the truth is misrepresented or the recipient is being hurt.
Those recruited will partake of the abuser's plan, thinking they are doing the right thing. The narcissist abuser undermines the recruited to demise the one she objectifies. Objectification is when the narcissist reduces the one she controls to an object, having no feeling or empathy for the one she degrades. She influences those around her to objectify the victim as well. Presenting herself as though she is the one whose perception is the only credible one, she masterminds the demise of her victim by using whoever she constitutes will execute her purpose.
Proxy recruitment or triangulation is a form of gas-lighting, otherwise known as covert abuse. It is so covert that unless your eye is trained to recognize this mode of operation it can go unnoticed. This is extreme malignant narcissism - the kind of narcissism that has the ambiance of a murderer per say. I call it "the narcissist web of triangulation by strangulation." She strangles the victim through the hands of her rescuer(s).
The narcissist's denial is what makes her the monster...The victim may be screaming out in pain, yet somehow these persecutors twist a whole series of events to flatter themselves in the eyes of their rescuers. The victim being left no defense and no one who understands what literally is transpiring is murdered, hypothetically speaking. There is a slow killing of the mind and soul in progress. Picking up the pieces of their lives is difficult after this conditioning and most times, in these cases, the persecutor will have taken away all their credibility.
If they cannot paint them as a liar because the victim's character does not lie, then the narcissist will paint their victims as unstable, lacking in judgement, mentally delusional or "damaged goods." The unseen goal, even many times to the narcissist is death to the victim's individualization.
Hence, no matter what the victim does to be heard or believed, the very people who could have intervened don't simply because they have become persecutor(s) themselves. The reality here is that the outsiders join in the narcissist's parade of neutralization/traumatization of her chosen sufferer.