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Posts Tagged ‘Psychology’

 

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 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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When I realized that I had been the target for a Narcissist nearly 4 1/2 years ago
I went on-line and printed out everything I could get my hands on pertaining to this disorder. 
I would go through the stacks of paper with a yellow highlighter in one hand and a glass of red wine (it’s an antioxidant you know)  in the other….. 

Y’all have heard this story if you have followed my blog. 
3M recently emailed me, concerned that I had not made a yellow highlighter purchase, in sometime….

The time has come to shred.
Nearly 3 reams of copier paper…staples…paper cuts…I am torn whether to re-read some of the articles …or just to throw caution to the wind….and shred.

Hope I have enough trash bags.

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The DSM V, the bible of psychological disorders will be updated in 2013.  It might seem like this should not be a concern, but a few of us just found out that the category of Narcissistic Personality Disorder may be shifted to be included with other personality disorders…no longer listed on its own. 

To those of us that have survived abuse at the hands of a Narcissist this is a big deal.  When I first read the DSM’s listing of NPD almost 4 years ago, I was shocked when I realized that the characteristics listed were traits that the N manifested on a daily basis.  He has all nine. 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3) believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

 

In the grand scheme of things it may not really matter if NPD is deleted or included with some other “pathy.” 
I understand that “they” are accepting comments from the public until April.  If you are interested in voicing your experiences and sharing your comments please click on the link below and follow the prompts to share your comments and concerns. 

http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/PersonalityandPersonalityDisorders.aspx
 

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ph0144

FAQ:  Do narcissists realize what they are?

Would a narcissist take his camping chair and steal away to an isolated peaceful pond to sit quietly to reflect on his life/deeds/words?

Would he make a fearless moral inventory of himself and resolve to make amends to anyone he had harmed by his callousness?

No.

I don’t think he is capable of that much introspection.  I guess that is probably good for him in a way.  If N’s had the ability to care about others, if the were able to realize how much harm they have caused other people, if they knew how much other people hated to deal with them, even for a moment…I doubt they would be able to live with themselves.

(Which I guess would be a good thing….they wouldn’t be walking the earth.)

No, they think that we (the victims) are the ones to blame, for everything.  Everything that goes wrong is someone else’s fault.  The N can do no wrong.  Just like the preschooler who gets caught being naughty, he quickly looks for someone else to blame…even if it’s his teddy bear.

Whenever I read a post from a person who is afraid that he/she has become like his/her Narcissist – I will frequently comment to assure them that if they were becoming like the N, they certainly wouldn’t be worried about it.  They certainly wouldn’t be asking.

Do I think that the N might ever have an epiphany and realize what a scum bag he is?  Could he develop a conscious and repent from how he has abused anyone having the misfortune of knowing him?

Not in a million years.

The photo above is entitled “Hidden Depths.”
There is no depth to a Narcissist, but there is a great deal that is hidden…especially from their “supply.”

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IMG

When do Narcissists lie….when don’t they?

This Frequently Asked Question is easily one of my favorites.  I am so glad you asked.

When I dredge up the memories of the N that I have buried deep in my sub conscious, I don’t think there was a conversation…correction, a speech of the N’s that wasn’t filled with lies. 

Once again, I correct myself when using the word “conversation” since it is really not possible to have a conversation with a narcissist.  They do all the talking and if the “conversation” ever deviates from the Narcissist himself, he will either get sullen or get sullen and leave. 
Him leaving is the very best of options. 
Just changing the subject (being about him) during a “conversation” can result in D & D. 

The N lies about everything.  Education, job experience(s), relationships, family, friendships, feelings…the N doesn’t have any feelings except the ones he mirrors from others.  Oh, and the stories that he hears from “normal “people…his sources of Narcissistic supply…those become his stories too. 
He did those things. 
He’ll tell you all about them….in fabulous, colorful detail…because that’s the way they were told to him.   When you respond in awe at his fantastic tall tales of courage, valor and bravery (think Paul Bunyan) it will possibly earn you an even higher level position in the Pyramid of narcissistic supply. 

No entry level position for you.  Nope.
Don’t we all want to move from Primary source of supply to the all important Secondary source of supply? 
(Sarcasm.)
I know.
It’s twisted.  I’m just reporting what I’ve read and researched.  This really should be the other way around…but…
Primary supply givers are those that provide sustenance to the Narcissist on a random/casual basis. 
I just love that word…”casual.”  I just casually lost my self esteem to the narcissist. 

Secondary sources of supply are those in a “relationship” (notice those quotation marks!) with the narcissist.  Those that provide supply on a regular basis….a spouse…(God help her)…friends, (oops…remember the narcissist really doesn’t have any)…co-workers/colleagues, business partners…(get out while you can) teachers…(so sorry) neighbors…(you could always move…) 

Sorry…brief tangent….

In looking back, I remember how the N lied so convincingly. 
Would he have passed a lie detector test?
I don’t know.  The N believed his ‘own press’ to the point that the lies became truth. 
He was a legend in his own mind. 

Have you ever heard that when a person lies they often look to the left… and they don’t look you in the eye? 
The N demonstrated this several times.  If I had not been so throughly indoctrinated by the Narcissist,  I would have stood up and said “Liar!” 
Doing this would have been appropriate, as that is what the N is….A Liar. 

…(Seated on the floor of the Senate and shouting out “Liar” is really bad manners, no matter what your party affiliation…)

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HAPPY B-DAY

I think that Hallmark is missing out on a HUGE profit market here.

A whole line of greeting cards for narcissists. 
After I thought about it though, I remembered that the N didn’t want any celebration for his birthday. 
Celebrating a birthday or holiday made the N less than superior to the rest of us humans.  Seriously. 

Read Vanikin’s take on this subject. 
A Holiday Grudge:  Narcisssists and Happiness

http://samvak.tripod.com/narcissisthappiness.html

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