This is a video from Dr. Ramani titled: When narcissists make you feel like YOU ARE the narcissist. (She does lots of wonderful work bringing awareness and clarity to the issues of narcissistic abuse, and her videos on youtube are great.)
This question presents one of the paradox problems where psychology and mysticism meet. On the one hand, in the midst of the abuse, the narcissist is trying to project his “badness” onto you, and make you feel responsible and guilty for all the relationship issues. In this dynamic, he pretends to be the good victim and you, the evil abuser. Everything is your fault and your problem; your reactive abuse is used as evidence of your cruelty and evil. Here, we are rightfully taught that we must not internalize his projections, maintain our sense of self and reality, and hopefully get safely out of the relationship. Gray rock, observe don’t absorb (from Dr. Rosenberg), no contact, etc. All wonderful and important instructions.
Once at a safe distance (physically and psychologically), mysticism instructs you to go in the opposite direction – taking in what they say, allowing it to be true, finding the truth in the message they are conveying, seeing all the reflections they offer, and finding ever-deeper unpleasant truths about your own destructive and narcissistic patterns.
When you’re in the relationship, you need to draw a strong and clear distinction between yourself, and how you are (and your legitimate victimhood), and their “badness,” their abusiveness, their manipulative and exploitative behaviors, the psychological harm they cause relentlessly, their inability to change, otherwise you can’t overpower the guilt of leaving them. You will pity them time and time again, give them chance after chance, because that’s how they always hook you back in. They play on your empathy, your generosity, your forgiveness…
But once outside of the abuse, you can allow the truth of the blurriness between good and evil. You can admit all of the ways you are just like them. If you stop trying to be nice and liked by others so much, if you become more authentic and assertive, you’ll see the deeply buried tyranny and contempts, the tantrums and the petty spite, the grandiosity and specialness, the desperation for validation, etc. The reactive abuse contains all kind of impurities in it that pollute healthy aggression. Those things need to be seen and worked through. You can find all the narcissistic patterns of the ego inside yourself. This way, you begin to develop real humility, seeing that you aren’t morally superior to them, (you just control it and hide it better), and they in fact serve as really good mirrors and servants of the stuff we don’t want to see or admit or allow to the surface.
Here is a bit of discussion from the Pathwork Lectures on a deeper interpretation of “do not resist evil.”
“Resisting evil means not facing and accepting the evil in you. This resistance creates a tremendous accumulation of energy, which finally comes to an explosion. The deeper meaning of the ensuing destruction is truly marvelous. It destroys the very evil that has created it.
Unfortunately it is impossible to convey the configuration that takes place. Much in the person’s life may go to pieces. The energy movement of the soul substance tears down the rotten structure, even if this means that temporarily all seems to go to pieces. However, what is of true value will automatically and organically rebuild itself.
Imagine a form composed of intense opposite movements that swirl and rush, explode and implode and destroy themselves. Soul substance is torn apart and rebuilds itself simultaneously. Creation is taking place. Every crisis is an integral part of creation. Therefore, wise ones embrace and accept crises, which remove more and more resistance. Do not resist evil in you. By that I mean, give up the appearance, the pretense that evil does not exist in you. Give in, go with the movement of life.
The process of destruction/creation is a magnificent sight for spirit eyes. The blind entity may suffer temporarily, but how good it is. The process is awesome in its benign violence. New movements come forth, old movements change direction, color, hue, sound. If you go deeply into yourself and intuitively feel into the meaning of your crisis, you may gain a glimmer of the creative process. It is apparently simultaneously both creative and destructive, as far as defective soul material is concerned.
The eternal, ultimate, essentially benign nature of creation is most eloquently demonstrated in the fact that evil must finally destroy itself. It can build up only for so long, but eventually the breakdown must occur. You will all agree that the destruction of destructiveness is a constructive, creative phenomenon. Thus, in the long run, every destruction is constructive and serves creation. Always. But in an individual’s life, this truth is not always obvious. The further you are on the path, the more you will see this truth. It will be helpful if you can meditate to truly experience this phenomenon, because then you will aid the process by your conscious determination to relinquish resisting the evil in you, which you mistakenly believe comes to you from outside—when it can never do that.
You can diminish the violence of the constructive destruction if your commitment to truth takes on a new impetus and if you unearth your negative intentionality and change it into a positive intentionality. When you express negative intentionality in concise words, you can create a new movement. It is up to you. But even before you do so, by your very admission of your deliberate ill will, you will be more in truth and less inclined to act out the evil, which you sometimes even do self-righteously. You will know who you are. And strangely enough, the more you own up to your evil, the more honorable you become, and the more you will know that and appreciate yourself.
It is the same with pain: the more you accept it, the less you will feel it. Resistance to pain often makes it unbearable. The more you accept your hate, the less you hate. The more you accept your ugliness, the more beautiful you become. The more you accept your weakness, the stronger you are. The more you admit your hurt, the more dignity you have, regardless of the distorted views of others. These are inexorable laws. This is the path we tread.”