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Posts Tagged ‘NPD’

Sometimes I get my ideas for a post by using the search engine terms.  One of my friends pointed this part of the dashboard out to me when I first started blogging.  She said, “Look to see the search engine phrases people use to find your blog…”  I call these my FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions.

I have been asked a few times on my blog, if I think that there are levels, or stages of NPD.  I actually had never really thought about it before.  I never got past the fact that I was targeted by a very sick individual.  I never wondered if there were other narcissists who weren’t as bad.   I spoke to a psychologist recently and she stated that “like anything, NPD is a spectrum disorder.”

Here’s some things that we know  – speaking of N’s.

We know that (or educated individuals have stated) Narcissists get worse with age.

We know that they have been classified into two types:  Cerebral & Somatic.
Think of it this way:  Cerebral N’s are brainy and Somatics think that they are “all that” sexually.
There is research by a Theodore Million, where he suggests that there are 5 subtypes of narcissism.  But in reading through his descriptions, in my humble opinion, I still think they still fall into one the two categories.

We know that narcissism has been filed into the Cluster B (dramatic) personality types with Histronic, Borderline and Antisocial. There also seems to be some agreement that there is a spectrum to Narcissism.

There is Healthy Narcissism…we take care of ourselves…we shower…

There are narcissistic traits that some people seem to have and yet they are still very nice, kind individuals.  We may chalk up these trait(s) as simply as a few character flaws.  Maybe this individual has just a few of the 20 traits of the N.

Then, there is the full on Narcissist – don’t mess with this one…..too late.  This is no doubt the type that we all were taken in by.
The N I “knew” had 17 of the 20 traits…although he probably had the other three, I was just lucky enough to not have witnessed those behaviors.

Some psychologists believe that lastly at the far end of this spectrum is “Malignant Narcissism” where all the traits of the narcissists are unleashed – including the rage.  If any of you have witnessed an N in full on rage, you know what I am talking about.  Take cover.

While I was researching this “frequently asked question” I found information about an interesting book entitled, Identifying and Understanding the Narcissistic Personality  by Elsa F. Ronningstam.  (You can find it on Amazon) It is a college/post grad source, from Oxford Press, published in 2005.  It was actually amusing to read the small portion of the book that was shown in the link…(you’ve got to buy it in order to get all the information) because the author was basically plagiarised on many of the internet sites I found while looking for answers.

I think it is safe to say that psychologists feel that yes, there is a spectrum of narcissists and their behaviors and if you get the choice, take a pass on having anything to do with one.

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Sometimes I get my ideas for a post by using the search engine terms.  One of my friends pointed this part of the dashboard out to me when I first started blogging.  She said, “Look to see the search engine phrases people use to find your blog…”  I call these my FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions.

Deja vu:  I wrote this nearly three years ago and it describes so well the frequently asked question I receive at least once a week from people trying to understand the N in their life.  I’ve dug up this dinosaur and brought it into 2011. 

A pink spoon means one thing…Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors.  I’ve had my favorite flavors since childhood, & I have a drawer full of those pink spoons at home.  It’s not because we go out for ice cream very often, but because I save the spoons.  They are very useful.  I use them for all sorts of projects, rubber stamping, mixing paint, even for serving the cat’s dinner.  When at my wit’s end, I’ve even used them for getting that reluctant child to try some new kind of food…even a bite of some dreaded vegetable tastes good on a pink spoon.  (Don’t worry, it’s not the one I used for the cats.)

So – You might be asking yourself what does a pink spoon have to do with NPD?  A Narcissist views people as disposable; they are ‘pink spoons’.  To a N, people are things, not friends, family or lovers.  He will use people (aka his victims/targets) as long as they serve a purpose for him, as long as they make him look good, as long as they agree with him.

People provide the N with what is called “Narcissistic Supply”  (NS).  Relationships mean nothing to the N; he is incapable of loving anyone let alone even showing one iota of concern for someone.  He can NEVER be emotionally involved with another person.  A Narcissist will use someone for whatever reason, for whatever purpose, as long as they are a good source of NS for him.  Break his rules & suffer the consequences.  This ‘devaluing’ is repeated over and over again.

It’s not hard to break the N’s rules.  They are varied and change sometimes daily.  What makes him rage one day, might make him smirk another.  Question his decision?  Ask him to repeat what he just told you?  Chances are you will get so much ‘Word Salad’ that you will wish you ordered something else on the menu.  You quickly learn to be quiet.  You don’t question anything, especially his statements that deep down you know are lies.  Most importantly, you have to agree with everything he says.

One might think to themselves, what kind of pansy stays in this kind of a relationship?  Obviously, I asked my self that same question.  The only thing that I can tell you is that there was a pathology going on that I still do not understand.  I am trying to understand why I was a target for an individual like this.  (I can’t bring my self to call him a person, my cats have more humanity than he does.)

It was very grievous for me when I realized that I was just a ‘pink spoon’ to The N.  I was only a thing.  How could someone who was my friend suddenly stop, do an about face, and treat me like dog s**t on his shoe?  After having been idolized, I was consistently devalued over time, and then, finally, abruptly discarded.  I was dumbfounded.  I had no clue what my crime was that deserved this punishment  I was something that he threw in the trash along with the used Kleenex & dental floss, without a moment’s hesitation. (I was going to say condom, but I doubt that he could get past the “first courtesy date” to need one….)

While The N discards his NS when he is done with them, I appreciate the richness of quality that people bring to my life.  They are important; like pink plastic spoons, they are useful, they are valuable, they are worthy, not something to be used once and then cast aside.

 

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I splurged and had chinese food last week. 
Do you know how much sodium there is in one serving of Orange Chicken?  OMG!  I had my meal with green tea and promised my self to drink lots of water for the rest of the evening. 

I didn’t see how much sodium was in the fortune cookies, but I hoped it wasn’t much. 
I cracked open the cookie and read this fortune: 

“FRIENDS LONG ABSENT ARE COMING BACK TO YOU!” 

Well, Shut The Front Door – and lock it!!!….I sure hope not! 
I’m far too happy having the narcissist gone to have him show up again.

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I knew when I admitted that I saw the narcissist’s eyes change color in my post “FAQ:  Can you really tell a Narcissist by his Eyes?” that I needed to be prepared for some unique comments.  Nearly all of the comments validated me and my experiences. But here’s the one I had been expecting: 

Ok…question. I don’t believe myself to be a N and asked my fiance’ to be sure…but if I go into a fit of rage my eyes, white included, turn completely black. A girl I dated once actually looked into them and swore it was like looking into the night sky….all black with what looked like star…white dots.
I only go into such a rage when the ones I love or those who are to weak to defend themselves are threatened. It’s only happened maybe 5 times in my life. I’m 24, male.
Any ideas as to why? Any answers are welcome…I….I just want to know whats wrong with me. I don’t remember any of the moments while my eye were like that save the one previously mentioned. I become crazy strong and fast….very….well, deadly. It scares me and those I love.
Please….anything would be a great help.
Thanks, 

Dear Don’t Believe: 

You either need to find a good ophthalmologist QUICK or…what it really sounds like to me – you have been watching too many re-runs of the X-files on Chiller. OR…Season Two of True Blood. 
If your eyes are turning completely black perhaps you have what Scully & Mulder called “the black oil”
Thank you for my comedy relief for the month.
ES

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I have received many comments on my narcissistic personality disorder posts – but I have never had a comment from someone claiming to have the actual disorder until now. 
I am torn as to whether to include it as a comment, to simply delete it, or an even more complicated choice, to post part of it here and comment on it.  There are so many people who were victimized and abused by N’s, I like to think of my blog as a safe place where my readers can read and get encouragement and support.

This is very difficult as I have just become aware that I am a N. I am 27. In my last relationship (5 years) I have mentally abused, cheated and degraded my partner to the point where she is broken. Everything bad that has happened has been due to alcohol.
I am scared and unsure of what to do. I have read many blogs and now I understand that I have this complicated disease.
I no longer want to hurt my partner. I don’t want to abandon her as I love her and she loves my so much in return. But I continue to hurt her through most of the techniques that have been outlined above.
Do I call it off for her sake? NC seem like it’s the only option for her to recover from my abuse. Is this part of my N? is this selfish?
I am so confused as I know that the way I think is distorted. I don’t know if i’m thinking the right thing or the ‘N’ thing.
It’s very scary.
I need help.

These are my thoughts: 
How has this individual become aware that he is a narcissist? 
According to all I have read, those with this insipid personality disorder don’t have introspective moments where they realize how horrible they treat those around them.
The narcissist’s I have known took great delight in hurting others and yet this man does not any longer want to hurt his partner or abandon her.   
He’s asking for help – never once did the N I knew even acknowledge that he needed any assistance. 
What do you think? 
From the information presented, it seems to me that this individual, “Jeff” does not have narcissistic personality disorder.  Perhaps “Jeff” needs to begin his recovery by giving up alcohol all together. 

But he states that he has mentally abused, cheated and degraded his partner for the past 5 years. I would say no matter what his actual disorder is – his partner needs to get out put distance between herself and any individual who has abused her.  She needs counseling as does he – she needs to understand why she would permit someone to treat her in the manner that he has for 5 years.  Likewise, he needs to find a good counselor who is well acquainted with personality & character defects.
Good luck to both of you.

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    I received the following comment a few days ago.  It was written with much thought and is very clear and concise.  I’ve been in contact with it’s writer and he has agreed to let me post it to the “front page”.  Sometimes I get great, thoughtful comments and they are buried deep in the comments on a post.  His response needed to be brought to the surface. 
Elisse Stuart

 

Q. What’s worse than a narcissist?
 A. An intelligent narcissist.

(Narcissistic) Curtain Calls…best metaphor I’ve heard in ages!  MY STORY…I can only give examples from the recent experience I’ve had with my now, ex girlfriend, (Yes, I am a man, girls – it happens to us guys as well) who I believe is a ‘covert narcissist’.  Someone who would cover up the arrogance by being the opposite.  She appears shy, like a wall flower. Wouldn’t hurt a fly, very endearing, very well liked in our circle of friends. However we are talking anout a wolf in sheep’s clothing… she has a very highly specialized status job in the city and is EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT.  How she works as part of a team, I don’t know.  She doesn’t really work in a team, it seems like she runs everything including her boss and I’ll get to the boss later in the story.
I lived and loved her for over 2.5 years.
She was never wrong, didn’t take criticism at all well. We never argued, which is not good in a relationship.  And I think this is more of avoidance than anything else.
No empathy, no remorse, working always to her agenda blaming others and failure to take responsibility for her actions.

IN THE BEGINNING… We were members of the same amateur dramatic group.  I liked her, she was attractive, sassy full of life etc.. and friends we were talking at in the pub after shows etc.  She approached me, told me her current relationship wasn’t right and she wanted to end it.
And in all honesty she told me about her dodgy past.  But now on my reflection.. how much of it was truth or being economical with the truth?  Down is up, up is down.  And she told me she was (and still is) having therapy.. now there’s a thought.
I knew I was taking a massive risk with this person as she didn’t seem to ‘know herself’.
But in life we take risks… if we don’t, we will not know ourselves’ and will remain emotionally stunted.
I went for it and became the new lover or source if you like.  She left her partner within weeks, so there wasn’t much ‘overlap’ as I didn’t want to be the ‘other man’.  I didn’t feel good about myself while we were carrying on etc.

She moved into a rented a house.  I said ‘have some space, time on your own’
No. She wanted me now, I was the love of her life etc…etc.  We all know where this is going.  She had her house and I had mine.  Although I spent all my time round at hers.

The thing is – narcissists can’t stand on their own 2 feet.
They have to have someone.  She is so insecure.
They have to have a support network, we all need people in our life’s, family friends, spouse etc. but you’ll find N’s are people junkies they like to have lots of people that they can tap into.  And when it ain’t going their way they’ll dump you.
I believe she chose me because at the time I was strong.  I told her that I was divorced, had managed to sell a very big house and purchase 2 smaller houses one for me and one for my ex-wife and my 3 children.  That impressed her.  And she knew I could help her move on to the next stage in her life and help rebuild her life ie. get out of the old relationship move and buy a house etc.
I am very good at fixing things DIY and a good organiser etc.  I did an awful lot for her.

MY whole life changed!!!

At first the love or as I thought it was love, was ‘euphoric’.  It was just something else, so wonderful something I have never experienced before. I felt loved.  The sex was just amazing.  After a few months it was a leap year 2008 and in Feb she asked to marry me.
I was very flattered no woman has ever asked.  I always did the asking and I had only ever asked twice before (1. my ex-wife and 2. one other lover years ago and she said no).  Alarm bells were ringing because she had only been out of relationship for a short while and now wanted to marry me.  It all sounds very nice but a bit juvenile for someone that’s 40.  But I was so in love etc…etc.

The first year was great.  But something wasn’t right IT WAS ALL TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.  It felt like I was dealing with the emotions of a child rather than an adult. Weird.
Sometimes she would be staring at me (lovingly) and end up walking into something.
Talk of ‘never leave me’ ‘always and for ever’ etc. etc. lots and lots of it. little notes left about the house which is all normal she couldn’t get enough of me.  I know that people in love do all this stuff but it all so gushing that’s the only way to describe it.  And I was hooked.

This was the idealization stage.
On the gift giving, there were lots of gifts, spontaneous.  (Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!) I gave back in return lots of love. love letters, gifts, flowers etc…etc.

My kids got to know her kids and they all got on great.  We had our first holiday together along with another friend and her children, which now I think was her secondary NS.  The more I write about this the more I understand the nature of the person I was dealing with.
The NS has to be on their best behaviour at first.  Thing is why did she pick me??.. she must have had other suitors… But I obviously had something that she lacked…

She did have pics of friends family etc. all seemed normal.
But no long-term friends like Uni friends etc.  In fact she would criticise them.
Then almost overnight came the depression, self loathing.  The silence. She wouldn’t open up tell me what was wrong. It was like an emotional wall.
Is this common in narcissists?
I felt like I was in the wrong perhaps it’s me that’s getting her down.  What can I do to make things better?  Why is she like this?  Why doesn’t she talk to me about what’s bothering her.
One thing they are afraid of, is intimacy.
I mean real intimacy.
Talking about real problems.  She never really talked about me, to me ie. How do feel about your brothers illness? What went wrong with your other female relationships?  Lets go and see some of your friends in your home town etc. It was always about her… and her agenda.  Never about me.  I felt lost I felt I was changing, disoriented.  I was losing my identity.  I was so desperate to make this relationship work I was changing myself into something I thought she wanted me to be.  She fed me, we slept together, the sex became less frequent, less passionate and I would always have to initiate it.
We never argued.. now I think she was afraid that would lead to her revealing her true self..
Am I right??

My ex-wife contracted breast cancer late 2009… I joking said “well, we may have to buy a big house and all of us live together your kids my kids”…and I know that scared her.  Intimacy and commitment. An adult would say something like ‘well I’m not sure if I can do that.. or I’m not ready for this.. lets talk about this and find a solution etc’.  But she didn’t.
They can’t confront real issues.  It’s like dealing with a child who isn’t getting the right sort of candy.  What happens – a tantrum – but she can’t have a tantrum, because the real person will come out.. Writing this all down is helping me make sense of it all.

It felt she was the flat tyre and I was the pump. It was exhausting. She rarely projected. On occasions I would get the blast of something that I had done, that was my fault but in the middle of something else, she was trying to come to terms with. So it was out of context.  Oh my God when she was angry you knew about it (where’s the wall flower now?). So now we on to the next stage ‘devaluation’. She would dig at me about my age or doing something that was a ‘dad thing’ or undervaluing my achievements.  From no provocation whatsoever.  No matter what I did to try to please her, it wasn’t enough.  I felt I was becoming a person she wanted me to be.  I was going insane.  It was give, give, give and nothing coming back.  So I tried to detach myself abet for my own well being.

Then came the discarding.
One night she just dumped me.  No explanation, nothing. ‘ We have no future’ that’s all I got.  I was devastated.  There was no closure.
I had no contact with her for 8 weeks, then we met in a pub by accident and she told me that she still loves me.  Let’s try to patch things up.  And like a mug I tried.  God did I get the runaround, only to find out after few weeks at trying to ‘patch things up’ and make some sense of the past 2.5 years that she’s now found the love of her life and it’s her boss that she’s worked with for 13 years.  He’s left his wife.  She (my exN) loves him but he doesn’t know it.. yeah right.  She is a good liar.
She has done this cycle of partners 3 times, including me as far as know.  With overlap basically forming the next relationship before ending the last one.  Nice person.  And then string me along so in case it doesn’t work out she’ll carry on with me.

Now there’s no contact and there never will be.  I’ve had a lucky escape.  But at a cost.  I am in my recovery mode at the moment but each day gets better.

Conclusion:
The Narcissist –
Feels entitled to do whatever they like.
Uncaring. (May show that they care but if it has no benefit to them they don’t care).
Fears abandonment.
Cannot stand on their own 2 feet.
Feels superior, above everyone else including you.
Idealization.  Always looking for the perfect lover or scenario.
You – the NS – will always be 2-3 steps behind.  And be thankful that you are acknowledged – even just for now. 
Nice, nice person.
Controlling.
Lacks empathy.
Feels little or no remorse.
Not in touch with themselves.
No sense of identity.
Can’t take criticism well.
Never wrong.
Avoids confrontation.
Seeks absolution in the abused partner.
Economical with the truth.
Lying and will distort the truth so they look good and they believe it to be the truth.  You challenge the lies at your own peril.
Secretive.
Works to their own secret agenda.
They only feel fear and rage
Fear of intimacy.
She had a particular fear of snakes… hmm perhaps she’s seeing something of herself.
Will only do something that benefits themselves.

What they are looking for doesn’t exist.
Therefore YOU no longer exist.
As we know they need to look inside themselves which they will never do.

Sad really.  As there is no happy ending.

ON a positive note… I always look at my cup being half full, rather that half empty.  I always look to gain from an experience rather that lose.

To help get over it, write down your story, post it on blogs, you will realise your not alone.  Other people have similar stories etc.  This is your story – and in fact treasure it.  Add to it, craft it, its you now and its time you nailed this demon and put it away forever.  The N has given you a gift, by stripping you away – you now have a chance to rebuild yourself into a better person.  Seize that chance because believe me you can change yourself for the better.  I know I have. You will feel better in time.   Believe that you can be happy again.  You don’t need ANYONE to validate who you are.  Believe in positive karma.  Believe in yourself.  I know I am a good person.  I am valued, loved and understood by those around me.

The narcissist isn’t any of these.  They’ve denied themselves of it and it’s not through choice.  I think its wrong to belittle them.  It might make us feel better in the short-term but in the long-term it doesn’t.  They are tortured infantile souls that have, and will never grow up.  Because quite simply they can’t.  In my case I think her mother is a narcissist as well.  Although I didn’t know her that well and I only got a bit of the devaluation at the very end.  But the point is her mum is on her own and has been for years.  She gets her NS through her kids and grand children I think.  And to add to irony – my exN has said she will ‘probably end up like her mum – alone’.  How prophetic. Or should I say pathetic.

No contact whatsoever is the best solution.

Bless you all on this site because God I know you have all suffered.

The truth will set you free.  But at first, it will piss you off

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My thanks to Mike Peters of Mother Goose and Grim for the illustration

I have said in previous posts that the narcissist had the art of “dead to me” down to an art form. 
I looked up the definition – which was not easy to find – here is a paraphrased version: 

Dead to me: 

Is it an adjective or a verb? – 1. It is the expression of such utter distaste/repulsion for a person or an object that it calls for the personal denial of their/its worldly existence. 
It can be used to express disinterest or even hatred for something or someone who has ‘gone out of style.’ 

E.G. “Torn jeans are so last season, they are dead to me.”   Really?  Not judging by the teenagers I see at the mall;  I see way more flesh than I would ever want to –  Not so much style as it is easy access, I guess –

“Gone out of style” that’s a nice way of putting it.  When you are discarded by the narcissist, you are outdated, a fashion faux pas. 

Dead to me: 

2.  A phrase used as a comeback to let someone know you are done with them. 

E. G. Mike:  Dude, I gotta tell you I did it with you mom. 
Dan:  Man!  You.  Are. Dead. To me!!

At least for the two buddies, when Dan says he will never speak to Mike again, Mike has a pretty good idea why….shagging his mom falls within the boundaries of unforgivable indiscretions. 

When the narcissist is done with you, rarely are you given a reason. 

“You’re dead to me”  is attributed to being an old English saying that was used to announce that the person in question was disowned and would never be “seen” or “heard”  from again. 

I thought it was a yiddish or Jewish saying after seeing Fiddler on the Roof.  I hate to think  that breaking all ties with someone is a tradition…
In the Broadway musical, the father renounces his daughter because she wants to marry a man outside of her faith. 
I thought how heartless, how could he not be happy for his child?  Well, the father is not nearly as heartless as the narcissist.  By the end of the play the father acknowledges his daughter and wishes her happiness.

Happiness….something that you never find with a narcissist.

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