Today, while attending Mass, I was reminded of the Old Testament story of Jezebel. She was a princess who married King Achab, who ruled the Northern part of Israel. She did many wicked things in her lifetime, including having a just man put to death, through the testimony of false witnesses. That's because she wanted her husband to acquire this man's vineyard. (He didn't want to sell it.) She also committed many other heinous crimes against God and against humanity. Although she lived about eight centuries before Christ, her name has become a household word, one synonymous with greed, power, cunning, envy and manipulation. All of these traits are pronounced in those with malignant narcissism.
Jezebel's actions eventually brought destruction upon herself and her household. She met her end, just as the prophet Elijah, whom she despised, had foretold. She was forcibly hurled from a window and fell to her death. Then, her corpse was trampled by horses. The man who ordered her killed later decided she deserved a proper burial. But little remained of her body, except her head, her feet and her fingertips.
So malignant narcissism is nothing new. (But it does seem to be more prevalent in this age.) The tale of Jezebel also underscores how women can commit horrific crimes, often drawing men into their evil schemes. Jezebel convinced her two sons to join her in her reign of terror. But there's also a moral to this story. In the end, people who do evil things to others will cause their own destruction.
Although this blog is dedicated to female-to-female relational abuse, this was a story I couldn't resist. It shows that women are capable of the most horrific things, despite the fact we're conditioned to think of the female gender as nurturing. Most of the time, this is the case. But those of us caught in a web of deceit, spun by a morally disordered woman, know we need to proceed carefully, especially in the beginning of a new friendship.