THE FROG (SLOWLY BOILED) & THE NARCISSIST
Updated: Mar 9, 2019
My extended more detailed version of the metaphor fable of the boiling frog. A metaphor often used for Domestic Violence situations, whether the abuse occurs emotionally, verbally or physically.
About the Story Background
Very often survivors of Domestic Violence situations, especially those survivors that deal with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, will use the very popular boiling frog metaphor try to explain how slow and coercive abuse can actually be for someone who is behind those closed doors,and in the middle of it. Those who are on the receiving end of abuse will often get the full force of abuse that others on the outside will rarely see. Which is why the fog metaphor is so useful, because sometimes it can be so hard to explain to others.
If you haven't heard of the Slow Boiled Frog analogy you can find a description of it here on Wikipedia.
I based my story below on that boiled frog metaphor by taking it a bit further and adding in details of some of my own experiences. It was thought of by me as I was sitting and thinking about my current situation and how they related to the frog. I believe that it can relate heavily to many abusive & coercive control situations. Let me know what you think.
The Frog (Slowly Boiled) and the Narcissist
The narcissist said to the frog, "You're amazing. You make ME feel like no other frog has, you treat ME so special. You know just how to treat ME to make ME feel loved. I love what you do for ME. Please will you come live with me in my pot of warm water? The temperature is just right and you won't have to worry about a thing."
The frog was blown away by the amazing narcissist. The narcissist was saying such thoughtful things and making the frog feel like no other had before. How wonderful that the narcissist thought that the frog helped them feel so special. So the frog said, "Yes".
The narcissists pot of water certainly was warm. It wasn't too cold and it wasn't too hot. It seemed to fit the frog perfectly. The narcissist was so generous that they even gave the frog some carrots to add to the warm water.
How wonderful', the frog thought. 'The narcissist is so amazing & they care so much for me that they even added carrots to the warm water'.
The frog was happy and the frog sat comfortably in the water. However, as time passed, the water seemed to be getting slightly warmer. "Oh that's just my imagination." the frog thought to itself. After all, the narcissist spoke such lovely things and cared so much that they provided the frog with this wonderful lovely warm water and carrots. How could that be? Yet, somehow, the water did seem to be getting warmer.
The feeling of the water seeming to get warmer as time went on bothered the frog. Something just didn't feel right. So one day the frog decided to mention the warmer water to the narcissist.
"Oh you're just imagining things." The narcissist told the frog. "Look, the water is the same temperature as when you first arrived. Here I'll even give you some green beans to add to your water."
The frog considered what the narcissist had said. "I guess you're right." the frog said. "I don't know what I was thinking." The frog couldn't believe that it could ever think that the water was feeling warmer. "How could I think that?", the frog thought. "Look at the carrots and the green beans the narcissist gave me. I must just be imagining it like they said". So the frog continued on.
As time passed by, it seemed that once again the frog was feeling more and more like the water temperature was getting even warmer still. So again, frog came to the narcissist with its concerns. Telling the narcissist that they were worried the water was getting warmer again. Maybe the narcissist could check to see if there was something they could do to fix it.
"What's wrong with you?" the narcissist complained. "How could you think that? You're imagining things. There is nothing wrong with the water. I think perhaps there might be something wrong with you. You seriously need to fix how you think." The frog was confused now. They could swear it was getting warmer. But was it really? Were they only imagining that it was getting warmer?
"Here", said the narcissist, "have some more carrots."
The frog was ashamed and guilty. How could they have thought that there was something wrong with the water that the narcissist had given to them? Look at the carrots and green beans that the narcissist provided. "What am I thinking?" the frog wondered. "Maybe there IS something wrong with me."
As time continued to pass, once yet again the frog was feeling the water getting hotter. "Am I sure that what I'm feeling is correct?" the frog wondered. "Maybe I'll try mentioning it again" the frog thought, and so the frog did.
The narcissist became angry that the frog could even think that the narcissist's water was becoming hotter. In fact this time the narcissist was so upset with the fact that the frog could even think this, that the narcissist dented the pot in which the frog sat, which frightened the frog.
"You are so ungrateful!" the narcissist yelled. "Look at what you made me do! I've done everything for you and you sit here and point fingers at me when it's YOU who is being negative and ungrateful. I've given you warm water, carrots and green beans! The water is the perfect temperature but you are just too stupid to understand that. How could you be that stupid? It's like you don't even care for ME. Why do you act like this? How can you hurt ME so much? You're doing this on purpose just to create drama aren't you? You love drama. You used to make ME feel so special and now you just hurt ME."
The frog was devastated. The frog never meant to hurt the narcissist's feelings. They certainly weren't doing this on purpose and they so desperately wanted to help the narcissist to see this. "How can I make this better?" the frog thought. "What is it I can do to fix this? There must be something. Things used to be so good." The frog felt a desperate need to understand and fix things with the narcissist. Yet no matter how much the frog tried the narcissist seemed to get angrier.
And yet the water still felt like it was getting even hotter. But how could that be? The narcissist swore it wasn't. "Could there be something wrong with me?" the frog thought.
The frog was desperate and began searching for answers. One day the frog came across a story about another frog & how this slowly boiling fog's heated water was turned up slowly over time. So slowly in fact that the frog from the story didn't notice or feel that the water was starting to boil. Then without realizing it, the frog from the story boiled slowly, until it was too late.
After reading the story, frog sat in it's warm water shocked. It was then that a realization started to dawn on the frog.
It was then that the frog decided to do something that it had never thought to do before. The frog decided to look at the temperature of the water and took note of the water temperature. Then during the next time the frog felt the water getting warmer and the next time the narcissist gave the frog more green beans, the frog secretly checked the temperature again. The temperature of the water had indeed gone up! There was proof! The frog was shocked.
The frog had proof, yet was STILL confused. The frog could see that the temperature was turned up, but how could that be? The narcissist was still caring enough to give the frog carrots and green beans. How could the narcissist be so caring as to give the frog carrots and green beans yet be turning the temperature up at the same time? Maybe it was unintentional? A mistake perhaps?
The frog struggled with this and continued to read and research the story of the slowly boiled frog, trying to learn all it could. With the knowledge and research of the story and with more awareness of the narcissists actions as time went on, an understanding finally dawned on the frog one day.
"Oh my god, the carrots and green beans aren't a caring gesture for me! They are for the narcissists purpose! For soup!"
It was then that the frog realized that this whole time the narcissist had been using the carrots and green beans as flavoring for himself, while turning up the heat to boil the frog and in the process slowly turning the frog into soup!