I’d believe it. Narcs go out of their way to brand a pretty bulletproof facade. They have, in my experience, no shame, or guilt, or empathy, and refuse to accept any accountability or responsibility for their wrongdoing. Even when faced with the irrefutable proof they will continue to lie and manipulate to get out of the situation. They want to be charming and charismatic, adored.
My mother is a clinical level, abusive narcissist. I mean, she is a sick piece of work. But if you were to talk with various family and friends, you’d get differing versions of her. Some still think she is the most wonderful woman in the world; the naive or flying monkeys who believe her version of things without question or proof and who find her charming and delightful, even when her stories are inconsistent. Others, her victims who finally saw her for what she really is, would say she is manipulative, a liar, negligent, abusive. For example, our mother financially and emotionally abused her own children for decades. She faked an illness and refused to take any assistance and insisted her young children be burdened with supplementing her lifestyle. She used our relationship with our handicapped brother to keep us in line. Just me, she juiced out $200k before I got away and went no-contact. I spent countless years of course, throwing the proof into the face of her and anyone who would listen, and was discredited and dismissed. It is frustrating to be a victim of abuse and people who are supposed to care or protect you refuse to help or refuse to acknowledge it because they don’t want to be involved or fall out of favor with the narcissist.
Of course, along the way I married and divorced another narcissist. Compared to my mother, he was narc-lite, but had many of her same unpleasant and selfish qualities (love bombing followed by gaslighting, smear campaigns, flying monkeys, guilt-trips, games, bullshit, and drama). He too was lazy and demanding others financially take care of him, including his own parents who were retired and in their 70s. He thought if he couldn’t be the boss, he shouldn’t have to work for ‘the man’ like every other sucker (like myself), so he refused to keep a job. He wasn’t too proud to sponge off everyone around him, though. He just refused to admit it. If I didn’t pay for something, he went after them. But he put up a really good facade in the beginning…else I wouldn’t have married him, obviously. Even his parents played along. They hoped I could “change him.” You can’t change a narc. And they just continued to enable his behavior, giving him money, praising him for doing nothing, feeding his ego so he’d still pretend to adore them while bleeding them dry. Whereas I was the heartless bitch who left him because I wasn’t going to put up with a lifetime of this bullshit. I already had a childhood and young adulthood of it. It wasn’t fair to expect me to tolerate it for the rest of my life.