I just received the following message from Nemesis and with her permission, am sharing it with all of you as I feel it is very profound and should help many of us better understand why the narcissist simply cannot accept our love.
"It's really complicated - I had to do loads of reading about it before I could even begin to understand it and make it sink in. But from what I've read, I understand that they really can't handle someone loving them.
They never experienced unconditional love when they were children and it damaged them. They learnt that their parents were only interested in their acheivements and not in them as human beings. The child learns to win their parent's approval by creating and sustaining the image of success, but they know deep down that they are not loved for their true selves. The child knows that it is their false self (their image) that wins the admiration and approval of their parents (who use the child's success to boost their own image) and over time this damages the child's self-esteem irrepairably. As the child grows older their emotional development is severely impaired by this abnormal setting where being admired and adored (by their parents) has become more important to them than being loved. This abnormal development then continues at school where being envied and/or feared (by their peers) is preferable to genuine friendship. This also is often fueled by the parents who push the child to be competitve by witholding approval unless the child can "beat" others.
As adults, they continue to present their false self (the image) to others as their sub-conscious mind maintains that their true self is completely unlovable. Consequently, they now perceive the people who really do love them (us) as weak and stupid. They don't want our love - they want our admiration, adoration, envy and ultimately, our fear - a sign of the greatest power and success of all in their eyes. Just as when they were a child, they still have the compulsion to "beat" others.
We (the victims) often ask ourselves why they reject our love if genuine love is what they have always craved. It doesn't make any sense to us.
But the reality is that we loved him for who we thought he was. Exactly, for who we "THOUGHT" he was. We didn't really love HIM (his true self). We loved the image that he presented to us. Of course we weren't to know this at the time, nor did we have any control over it, this situation was completely of his own making, not ours. We were never given the opportunity to get to know his "true self" (now a broken and useless entity due to being pushed aside and therefore never having developed into anything). The narcissist would not risk introducing us to his "true self" for fear of immediate rejection. He was fully aware that, as with his parents, he was not loved by us for who he truly was but for the fake image that he presented to us.
Our d & d started when the "mask" began to come off. When this happened we (the victims) did not like what we saw underneath and began to challenge and therefore reject it. And there we have it! The narcissist receives confirmation, once again, of his worst fear. That without his "mask" (his fake image), he truly is UNLOVABLE." ~ Nemesis
Thank you for sharing your incredible insight and wisdom with us, Nemesis! Knolwedge is power and understanding it is half the battle, in my opinion. Once we "understand it" and realize it is not our fault, we are on the path forward to recovery.
Lots of Love,