Narcissistic Abuse Awareness and Guidance with Randi Fine
As with many other personality disorders, the cognitive style and defensive needs of narcissists merge almost seamlessly, always operating to support their sense of grandiosity. Narcissists play fast and loose with reality, altering and recomposing facts extemporaneously to reinforce their pet notions, a style Millon (1990) termed expansive. Some leaders of third-world governments or extremist political movements, for example, may mix dreams of omnipotence with paranoid trends (Miliora, 1995). Likewise, on a smaller scale, the association between narcissism and abuse of power by grandiose charismatic types within organizations is well known (Sankowsky, 1995); reality is refashioned as needed to retain followers and preserve a special status.
Whereas normal persons have realistic goals that balance their own needs with those of others, narcissists project themselves into an idealized future featuring unbounded fantasies of success and admiration. Their imagination is often so vivid that the future may seem to lack any dimension of contingency. Instead, fantasy is experienced with a compelling intensity that rivals reality itself, as with Leonardo, who "knows" his destiny holds immeasurable success. The power, ability, and glory of the self become a spectacle to be played and replayed repeatedly in the imagination. And because the narcissist provides both actor and applause, the applause is always a standing ovation, and the plot never becomes worn or tiresome, however often it is repeated. Those who admire the narcissist often make their own contribution, as did Gerald's mother, who has always told him he will do "something important," and Chase's parents, who insisted he become the "boy wonder." Interestingly, but not terribly unusual for intelligent, creative narcissists, we find with Chase that fantasy has actually been harnessed for an adaptive purpose—his writing.
By substituting fantasy for reality, narcissists reinforce their sense of o