Back in 1938, Otto Fenichel developed the concept of “narcissistic supply,” which is anything that builds them up and confirms their superiority, grandiosity, and entitlement. You are the abusive narcissist’s source of his narcissistic supply. Children, especially young, are also perfect suppliers. In fact, I once encountered a narcissist who was on a mission to procreate so that he could have his own child, obviously for narcissistic supply.

What are you supplying?

  • Attention, both positive and negative. Adoration is obvious. Being the center of your world because he is causing you problem is not so obvious but just as powerful for him.

  • Believing in his accomplishments, even those that are imagined and exaggerated.

  • Sex, and proving his masculinity or her femininity

  • Leading a stable life, which she would be unable to achieve on her own

  • Security, in the form of a home, money, and family life

  • Reputation, belonging to an organization, some element of fame or position, success, and owning property.

  • Status, including your physical beauty, position in society, or other intangible symbol.

You merely function as an object to supply what he needs.

May I also point out that this means he does NOT LOVE YOU. He only NEEDS you.

Finally, your abusive manipulator  will fight hard not to lose you because, quite simply, he hates to lose and losing means giving up, losing power, and an inability to remain dominant. He will also lose the source of his supply.  If you do leave him, he will fight to get you back -- so that he can get what he needs.

Next: Know what makes you a prime target.

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