Last night I watched – Hansel and Gretel (2007) – a South Korean film which takes the fairytale and flips it around in ways that are equally charming, fascinating and intensely creepy. It is a beautiful, visually captivating, and brilliant film as is…
If you’ve had or have a relationship with a Narcissist, this film is not fiction, it is non-fiction. It is amazing because it explains everything, if you’re ready to understand something which sometimes defies understanding.
One of the (many) hardest challenges faced by the victim of a Narcissist is trying to explain what happened…
What happened to the person you fell in love with? Did you imagine that they were wonderful? Is it all in your head?
Whether it is a lover or a friend or a family member – although if it is a family member, like a parent, the relationship and process is different because it happens as you are developing – the pattern is the same.
One moment they were a dream come true, a Prince Charming, a Fair Damsel (who is always in distress but makes you feel heroic), an alluring Siren who only has eyes for you, a Venus or Adonis, a goddess or god who bestows their favours on you, a Casanova who seems as seduced by you as you are by them… and then suddenly, and it usually feels sudden even when it is a slowly creeping suddenness, they turn into an Ogre, a Witch, a vengeful god or goddess due to you displeasing them, and you are wrecked on the sharp rocks around them which you never saw or turned into a pig (Circe) who must now serve them, or the seducer leaves taking your heart with them and you will never get it back.
The fairytale dream turns into a sinister nightmare. A cautionary tale. This happens over and over again. They switch roles all the time, so the witch turns back into a good fairy, the Ogre turns back into a Prince… you’ve seen their real face, but now you’re confused, maybe it was an hallucination, maybe you’re crazy…
In your moment of despair and confusion you turn to others… and they reject you. Everything you tell them about your relationship and what you are experiencing, to them is all lies and fantasies which you are making up. They don’t get it, they don’t believe you, worse than that, they agree with the Narcissist that it is indeed all your fault and you are crazy and delusional. You are the Narcissist!
Even after years – read that as all my life – of dealing with Narcissists (both of my parents and others) and this scenario and realising no one but me understands what is happening, I have a hard time grasping it because it is so illogical and the mind can only handle so much nonsense before it snaps and starts making sense out of the nonsense and making the illogical sound logical. Even now that I’ve broken my silence, I edit what I say.
Sometimes it’s easier to agree with everyone else that I’m the nutcase. Sometimes it is easier to retreat into silence and let everyone believe whatever they prefer to believe. The truth is hard to handle. I have a hard time handling it, why would I expect someone else, who has not had the experiences I have had, to be able to handle it, if I have a hard time handling it, and why do I think they could help me when I don’t even know what would help me. Just being believed for once, having my side of the story acknowledged as real, would be helpful… and it is.
I have seen Narcissists and relationships with them portrayed many times in film. One of the best was – Killing Bono. The lead is a Narcissist, and drags everyone along with him chasing his Narcissistic dream. However it is an outside view of it. And it has a happy ending where the Narcissist wins and is successful, and writes a book which is made into a film, and… so he gets away with it and gets the love he wants and everyone forgives him.
This film – Hansel and Gretel (2007) – portrays Narcissists as they truly are…
Narcissists are fundamentally very creepy cute charming children who live in a house made of candy and everything nice, and who just want to be loved, and they will do whatever they have to do, poison you with candy, guilt you into staying, imprison you in a fantasy, force you to love them they way they want to be loved, to get what they want the way they want it. And Santa Claus told them that good children can make all their wishes come true just by wanting something badly enough to imagine it into being.
And it portrays what it is like to be in a relationship with one. Trapped in Neverland, Wonderland, Narnia, a fairytale which is a nightmare where you end up going insane to stay sane because you can never leave. Hotel California on endless repeat play.
Viewed from the outside everyone thinks you’re lucky, and ungrateful, unappreciative, every time you dare to complain (cry for help). So you give up… or do you.
It has a happy ending. A strange one…
It gives you the secret to how to cut ties with a Narcissist, so that…
You too can have a happy ending.
There is a gift in the curse of being in a relationship with a Narcissist, and the relationship will transform your life, at first for the worst, but eventually for the better. You will discover your true self, a strong, intelligent and powerful being who can survive the worst and triumph. It may take a while for it to come together, it will, be gentle and patient with yourself, trust your instincts.
If you’ve been with a Narcissist and are trying to make sense of your experience, watch this film. It is in Korean and has English subtitles, but you won’t need them most of the time, you’ll recognise what you are seeing. Certain things can cross the language barrier effortlessly.
Please be warned, the film contains some distressing scenes of child abuse, some gore, and violence.
The child abuse portrayed is not gratuitous.
It is important to remember that a Narcissist was not born that way, it isn’t nature, it is nurture, they were abused by an adult who had complete power over them, the abuse was constant over a long period of time (and may still be ongoing if they continue to have a relationship with their primary abuser, which they often do and they are often fiercely loyal to them), and they became a Narcissist to survive. This does not excuse who they are or what they do, it explains it, and hopefully helps you to understand why they did to you the things they did. It’s not your fault. In many ways it is not their fault either, but they are ultimately responsible for their actions and choices as an adult.
Also be warned the children are some of the cutest I have ever seen, and you may be left wondering why the hero chose a happy ending.
Those who manage to leave a relationship with a Narcissist are always left wondering if they made the right choice.
If you do decide to see the film (not sure if it’s on Netflix or Lovefilm but it’s on one of them), please let me know what you think. And share any film you think fits the Narcissist in your life and your relationship with them.