The power dynamics of narcissistic rage and revenge writ large for the spectacle and drama it is - thoughts on the Depp-Heard trial
I hadn’t paid much attention to the Depp-Heard trial, but after reading this article by Charlotte Proudman in 'The Independent', I now do, even though feeling so sick and sad at the spectacle and ‘entertainment’ of it all.
Watching an hour of the two testimonies was enough for me to know my response. I felt the truth of Amber Heard’s accounts, knowing myself the sickening predictability/escalation of how Narcissists behave, and then watching Johnny Depp’s performance with his undermining, laughing, disruptions, not taking it seriously… the women-hating, women-killing texts, the drug-filled vitriol & violence… I was astounded when I looked through the responses of support for him – and so many by women.
I can’t deny it triggered me into remembering my own experiences. After 8 years of intense inner healing from codependency-narcissistic dynamics, meeting many brave women -and men- along the way, I know the patterns and energies around these, often very subtle, power plays very well.
Also the unsubtle, for example when Amber describes being shouted at repeatedly, ‘I F***ing Hate You!’ – I remember being shouted at, right up close to my face, the words spat out, ‘You F***ing C**t, ‘You F***ing C**t’ over and over and over, and fists hitting the wall next to my head. And I stayed. It makes me cry now that I stayed, but being so gaslit, wanting to believe him afterwards when he said he was sorry, and ‘Oh he’s lovely really’ (I Really said and felt this).
The continuing abuse towards Amber from entertained onlookers and Depp fans, the discrediting, the bullying, the mocking of her, the professions of ‘l love u even more now Johnny’ by women responding to his testimony - it chills me to the bone. This is playing into exactly what he hoped for with the trial. The power dynamics of narcissistic rage and revenge writ large for the spectacle and drama it is, and all of us – willing observers, and some of us perfect ‘objects’ to play out the game for him.
Amber is so utterly brave and strong to be doing this - and facing such continued hate and onslaught from a society that projects so much of its own pain onto ‘stars’, glorifying and then tearing them down, making pariahs of them when they tell the truth, especially when it jars with the manufactured carnival of a dream we all live in.
My heart goes out to her and all women who’ve lived through domestic violence.