Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Is there hope?

The fact that you want to help a narcissist -- to "save" him or her, as it were -- is a manifestation of your good nature and of your true love for the fictional character you thought was a real person.

It takes time for the simple truth that narcissists are predators to sink in. I mean that you can "know" a thing cerebrally and yet not really KNOW it. It hasn't sunk in enough to make you clear out contradictory assumptions and beliefs yet. Frankly, it takes some mental deprogramming.

So, if you have recently realized that someone in your life is a narcissist, it is no wonder that you are still thinking that you can change him or her, that you can get through to them, that you can help them.

They DO have feelings -- for THEMSELVES. And our ability to empathize makes us feel sorry for them. They really do suffer with this disease.

But make no mistake: their bouts of pain are few and far between. They are "drugged" with narcissistsic supply most of the time. They are high on it and they feel fine. Because they are making someone else miserable.

You feel sorry for the damaged little child inside the narcissist -- not the demon that ate him or her and now possesses them = the work of art, the fictional character, standing before you. THAT is diabolical, sadistic, malignant, and predatory. The proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing. THAT has no feeling for anybody. It ain't human. It would be the first to tell you so: it is a god. It has nothing but disdain for humanity, in any sense of the word. No sympathy is appropriate or even possible for THAT. Because it is a predator. It eats humans.

Hence our conflicted feelings, which are actually just feeings for two different beings confused.

In the comments you can see a sharp difference between those who've recently found out about narcissism and those who've been there. Those who've been there are absolutely pessimitic about ever getting through to a narcissist.

Even those who say that sometimes the best choice is to not leave but rather find some way to draw red lines within the home that keeps the predator at bay. Even THEY don't think you can help the narcissist.

Both groups just have to accept each other as they are at this point in their seperate lives. What I like about this community is that you all do that. It makes for a peaceful and informative resource.

The problem with narcissists is that they won't stop abusing their minds. They won't stop willfully unknowing the truth. They'd rather die. They won't stop thinking absurdly (such as by thinking they exalt themselves when they stoop to the despicable level of abusing the defenseless). They'd rather die. They won't stop altering "their reality" by deluding themselves. They'd rather die.

It's as simple as that. They aren't the only people who mess with their minds. But they are the only people who still do it 24-7 as a little child does, living in a fantasy world so that their personal narrative is a complte work of fiction. They are the only ones who would rather die than stop doing it.

Consider what all they'd have to admit to themselves if they did. Could anybody bear to confront such a reality about themselves? It's the proverbial "demon at the door."

It's what keeps them on that runaway freight-train ride, what prevents them from ever coming clean. And so we see the bizarre phenomenon of people shovelling faster to dig themselves out of the hole they've dug themselves into. Crazy, but it happens all the time. And not just to narcissists.

Bottom Line: when people would rather die than stop doing something, they won't ever stop doing it. No matter what. They are obdurate.

But we each have to see this for ourselves. No one can just teach it to you: only experience can. And that is as it should be. If it were easy to convince you that narcissists are beyond help, there would be something wrong with you!

So, wherever you are in this process is fine. You may still want to try. You may still hold out hope against hope. Just don't mess with YOUR mind: try to face facts squarely every step of the way on your journey.

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41 Comments:

At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm learning a lot here or really having what I've known for a long time affirmed and given names to. I am a co-narcissist who at times, has behaved as a narcissist while raising my children. During times of stress, the monster modeled to me came out. I have such deep regret for this and wish I could have known sooner what was wrong in my family.

If I could maintain the anger, it would be easier to break free of my birth family but I have a hard time maintaining that anger. I do have compassion for them, they are my family and I am blessed to have survived with the ability for compassion and love. I know that is the ability that will help me to help my kids heal. Thank you for sharing here and for clarifying what is more than not, totally befuddling.

 
At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my case my mother is the Narcissist and I experienced the same awful experience watching my beloved father die, as described in "do narcissists have feelings".
I have a question,what do they do when they regret something? A year ago,my mother lured a married man out of his long marriage, broke with me because I was not amused to put it mildly and tried to support his heartbroken, charactermurdered wife. Of course, I doubt this charmer and wonder if she is going to regret when daily routine will set in.Together they try to rip off his wife and myself out off the inheritance of my father and hence busy, but in the meantime very comfortable. On the other hand caused it a terrible scandal in their community (both are nearing 80, yes, my live was not very funny)and they are socially quite alone. I think she was so busy realising her wish and so blinded by her unreliable prey, that she made a huge mistake. He will require nourishment, in short he will tire her and previous devotion will change to hate and boredom.She is exposed in her complete old circle,and new slaves will be hard to find. Anybody experience?

 
At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is weird.Pure NPD doesnt enjoy others pain. They arent sadists. They are totally indifferent, thats all.Narcissists can make people feel like they are losing their mind, can drive people to the point of commiting suicide, but they arent sadists.Psychopaths are sadists, not NPDers. Sure best advice for someone living with a narcissist is to leave and never look back.They very rarely get better.But it is also true that some of them heal. Or do you really believe that all narcissists healed by A.Lowen actually didnt heal, just pretended they have recovered? Im sorry for my english, its not my native language.

 
At 7:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who is A. Lowen?

 
At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand anonymous' point just here, and your English is GREAT considering it isn't your first language!
The narcissists aren't worth a brass farthing either way, is all we're trying to both say and "get to" in our own recovery.
I just wish their ends would come faster professionally, personally and dentally so the rest of us can build heaven on earth as is our birthright. I tells ya folks, these weirdasses are already dead.
They are a TEST to develop the victim into a Whole Human in every way and on every level.

 
At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Kathy, could a comparisson be drawn to alcoholism? It seems that victims struggle with "degrees"of narcissism. People who are alcoholics are alcoholics whether they are drinking or not. Are narcissists Ns no matter if they are "using" NS or not? Maybe that's why us victims get so strung out, because sometimes Ns indulge more than other times and we all get psyched out when we see a binge starting?

 
At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand what you're saying about N's not caring if they hurt someone or not. I left my husband, and once he got over the n-injury of me leaving him, he doesn't seem to care one bit, except for the vast amt. of money I'm going to take from him...I quit giving him n-supply probably 5 years ago or so. He didn't show much interest in me after that, except to occasionally try to gain the adoration back. (which didn't work)

 
At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kathy---just reread your main article DO Ns HAVE FEELINGS. That's a pretty good example. My N does things like that (only smaller scale everyday stuff). Then he walks off pouting like the man in the story did. That's what is so infuriating. They do something jerk face that others may or may not notice (i call this the "weasle stuff") or that may be so subtle that you yourself may only feel the slight burn then dismiss or move on cuz you're busy. Then they either escalate the burn or move on too. But the injury was inflicted. Like a spider bite, you don't know when it happened, it starts to hurt later, you locate the bite, it gets bigger, it hurts for a while, then eventually it heals and you forget about it. Only with emotional injuries, the injuries don't heal that way. They fester and accumalate. That's when we can't bear the pain alone anymore. We sometomes have lost track of what happened to us. The slights infected us even if we can or cannot recite them anymore. When our N expresses that feeling of being injured, we recognize that and can relate so well to how that feels. All of sudden we feel connected to them again, like wow they are like me, they do have feelings! But you are right. Only for themselves. But, omigosh, this is what hurts so blasted much. We don't understand what to do with this hurt. We don't walk around feeling sorry for ourselves to the degree of keeping it all to ourselves. We look to others to validate, to comfort and to heal us. That is normal, healthy human behavior. So this is what confuses us too. To a N this is the "drug" they live off of. They take this pain in, let it show so they get a little more jazz off of it, then they walk off to enjoy their high.Poor,Poor pitiful me . Yeah!! This is so backwards. But this is how they are isn't it? Like us only different.

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Kathy K said...

That's because he doesn't care about you. Not because he doesn't care about hurting/not hurting you.

Vaknin often writes that Ns are sadistic. They know just how to go for the jugular to cause the most suffering and do.

Sorry, that's what sadism is.

Why? Not because they love evil for its own sake. But because hurting you makes them feel good. It kills THEIR pain.

Now, if hurting others makes you feel good, you LIKE hurting others. Sorry, there's just no getting around that.

Doubletalk won't change that fact.

 
At 2:30 PM, Blogger Kathy K said...

@ anonymouse at 2:19.

Yes, I think you have a valuable insight there.

The ones I have known well enough to know this wallowed in self pity over the negative reactions from the people they abused. I suppose it's party their way of imagining themselves to be the victim. Projection, in other words.

 
At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just would like to add one more thought to the post regarding N's not being sadist.

My N pretty much only reacts to n-injury. Otherwise, he is a happy camper. He can rage pretty substantially, and even get scarey, but it's only a reaction to his discomfort.

Example: when our kids were little and would do normal developmentally age appropriate "things", like hitting each other in the backseat of the car, or arguing, pinching. Not horrible stuff, just normal kid stuff, he would react 20 times worse than them. He liked everything orderly, and it would assault his stability. His equalibrium would be thrown off, and boy would he punish us. We had some very scarey rides. We also learned to behave in the car.

If he came in the house, and it was a mess, or the tv was on in the middle of the day, (for some reason he didn't think we should watch tv during the day, but it was ok for him to watch it all evening?), he would rage about us being lazy, whatever. I sensed again, that we threw something off. And of course, he was always right. You couldn't talk anything over. He could yell and scream, but we could never express any emotions or outrage at him.

As long as he got his way, expressed only his opinions, (he'd become instantly insulting if you disagreed), and didn't interrupt his space we all got along, all be it not very happily by our point of view.

He really didn't set out to torture us, we were pretty much nothings to him...

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Kathy K said...

My take on that is this.

Could it be that there are red lines he may not cross without losing his happy home? I use the words "lose his happy home" because a narcissists I know of often used that expression and in such a way as to let you know that this was her top priority.

But that didn't mean she wasn't sadistic, for she proved how sadistic she was the moment she no longer need fear losing her happy home. She turned into a monster, admiting herself that she was "at the point of robbing a bank" she had so little inhibition anymore. She became violent, swindled her aging father and had her sister disinherited, relentlessly trying to drive that sister to suicide.

All within a few months mother's death -- who would never have let her get away with this and would have thown this 40-year-old parasite out of the nest finally if she had tried anything like that.

So, could this explain what you say?

Another possibility is that an N gets the real high, the high that comes only with sadistic abuse, somewhere else? Like at work?

A pedophile priest, for example, doesn't get it in rectory, he treats the people there fine, but he's getting his sadistic kicks on the sly elsewhere. A bully in the workplace may do the same thing.

 
At 10:35 PM, Anonymous GHZBDUEI said...

I guess my thought is, it's okay to hope -- just do yourself a favor and hope from a safe distance.

 
At 11:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know many narcissist enjoy creating a drama around themselves for attention. The more emotion in the reaction the better. I've read a few things by SV but I don't like them. I think he enjoys painting narcissists as super villians to create drama around him. The average narcissist is more of a pain in the butt than anything. They are very dependent, or the ones in my life are. They would never dream of killing their meal ticket and I think if they could really understand the pain that they inflict, they would realize that they are endangering their meal ticket. I think they feed off of emotional responses but they don't understand them, it is just an energy that they need because they can't feel what we feel.

There are also differing degrees of this disorder.

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger suzieq11 said...

I have lived with a full blown narcissist for the past three years. Words cannot describe the selfishness of these people. They use you up and spit you out. When they are done, they are done. Don't ever think you make one bit of difference to them. They will look you in the eye and say terrible hurtful things and not blink. They ignore you unless they "need" something, then it's back to being ignored. They look down at you because you aren't as "smart" as they are. They keep you out of their loop of friends and family. Why on earth do they marry? I got trapped into the "pre" trapped relationship with him when I was his "it" girl. Nothing was too much for him to do for me. Now, three years later, he doesn't know I exist.

 
At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Liz123 said...

It was the same with the ex bf. I always knew something was wrong with him but thought it was just low self esteem. I wrote off all the crap he pulled to that. It did always shock me that he could just cut himself off from me for days, weeks, months, years at a time and then come back again. Of course now I realize that is the narcissist's way and wont be fooled.

 
At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say from my own experience narcissists can be sadists. My mother delighted in mentally torturing me--telling me I was ugly and stupid when nobody was around and then if someone came in pointing out that I was a difficult child because I was crying. Later I think she decided she had other sources of narcissistic supply and tried to kill me by switching my medications around. Ok, I don't know if she was trying to kill me by doing this or just trying to make me sick, but it was a very bad thing to do. She also talked a lot to me about how some children commit suicide, and it is never the parent's fault, but after the child commits suicide the life of the parent is a lot easier since everyone is nice to a parent who has lost a child. She was saying this to me at a time when she was torturing me at home, I wasn't getting along with other kids at school and was really miserable.

I think she just thought of all the attention she would get as the tragic mother and started trying to get rid of me.

 
At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you are right about your mom using your pain to get her fix. I also know how much it hurts to know you are right about it.

How do we turn off that part of us that tells us that there IS something wrong when even our mother doesn't value us? I go back and forth from rejection to hatred. I don't want to feel either.

 
At 6:22 PM, Blogger La Diabla said...

Anonymous said...
I have to say from my own experience narcissists can be sadists. My mother delighted in mentally torturing me--telling me I was ugly and stupid when nobody was around and then if someone came in pointing out that I was a difficult child because I was crying.

That's been a theme in my life too. It's after all the poking and prodding these people have done to me, that I take and take and take...when I finally blow (always at an inappropriate time, naturally) they point the finger at me and say "See how you are!" I literally had my ex say that to me.

My ex and my mother would talk behind my back about my "anger problem". Funny, but that "anger problem" only surfaces under certain circumstances involving certain people. Of course, I didn't realize what The Game was until recently so I couldn't control it well. Hard to fight against something unseen. Like a ghost, this N-ism.

My counselor told me a year or so before bringing up N-ism that my ex was "gaslighting" me. Watch the movie Gaslight sometime. You'll see. I'm sure you've all been there too, without knowing it.

Anonymous said...
I know you are right about your mom using your pain to get her fix. I also know how much it hurts to know you are right about it.

How do we turn off that part of us that tells us that there IS something wrong when even our mother doesn't value us? I go back and forth from rejection to hatred. I don't want to feel either.

I would like to know this too. I still struggle with those "old tapes". Even though I KNOW I'm not what they say I am. We were set up by people that were supposed to, claimed to, love us.

 
At 9:17 PM, Anonymous GH said...

How to turn off the part that tells us there's something wrong. Yeah, I'd like to know that one too. You can know rationally that you're not ugly, stupid, worthless, and so on. But convincing your heart is really, really hard...

 
At 3:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to learn how to function independently. I know now that I've spent my life as someone elses arm, being under another's direction so they could get what they want. There is something wrong with me, I've never belonged to myself. I have always belonged to one narcissist or another. I was well trained.

It's going to be hard this late in the game. I'm no spring chicken but I will turn off the tape and I will learn to choose what I willl do each day with my own time. I can and will exist as an idependent person.

 
At 5:17 AM, Blogger Louise said...

Part of what helped me feel better about the abuse I suffered for YEARS with my sister was learning how to value myself. How to like myself. How to be my own friend. To make a list of what was GOOD about me.

It was a very egocentric experience and I felt a bit silly at first (as well as praying that it wasn't somehow the beginnings of becoming narcissistic myself). It involved treating myself nicely and without guilt. If I wanted to go for a nice walk, I did; if I wanted to shop and indulge in some treats, I did.

And when I felt a bit better, I found I wanted to be nice to OTHERS. To share the good person I found inside me.

I STILL get so angry at her- how she took advantage of me her ENTIRE miserable 39 years on this planet. I loved, protected, treasured and valued her, ignored her (now crystal clear) verbal and physical abuse and made excuses for her behavior. So did Mom and Dad, and I have had some inner anger at them, too about it.

Did I get angry at myself, for NOT realizing something was wrong? A bit. Then I realized that I GREW UP with this and let that part quickly go. I value MYSELF too much now to go down the 20/20 hindsight road on that one.

I'm far happier now than back last spring, but it's gonna take time. And it will for you, too. TRULY BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND...

 
At 7:21 AM, Anonymous gh said...

Great advice Louise. I'm going to try it!

 
At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we all need some healing and it is possible. that's what i am searching for and will share what i find. by us all being kind to each other- that is going to help a lot. hang in there everyone. let's build up our own hope.

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger La Diabla said...

gh said...
Great advice Louise. I'm going to try it!

ME TOO!

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger Louise said...

And when I break down and feel like I want to try ONE MORE TIME to reach out to her, I hope like hell that I remember to take my own advice!

I agree- there IS HOPE. The world is a good place and I'm gonna keep trying to focus on that.

 
At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Louise,
I'm fighting that same urge with my sister and my parents. This time, I have to stick to my guns. I made an attempt to meet them half way and I mustn't go further even if it means I never see my birth family again. It's really hard not to slide under that familiar mantle of guilt so that all can be smoothed over.

 
At 4:22 AM, Blogger Louise said...

Thanks...we're coming up on what should have been her 4th anniversary, but her husband was in a coma from a terrible car accident by their 2nd anniversary. I just celebrated our 14th and I guess it's a bit of survivor's guilt- have 2 beautiful kids (who make me nuts on a daily basis) and she miscarried(3)/aborted(1) 4- she's utterly alone, except for her created world of lies and the occasionally suck-in victim.

I know it's GOOD to be compassionate as a person- it's sometimes difficult to let go of that core value, though. But it's necessary.

 
At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we all know you are compassionate. it's frustrating that our loved ones don't seem to appreciate it or value it the way we do. but people are different and process thought differently. we really miss them for that and it hurts. it's also so hard to accept. we know how good it feels(to be compassionate) but really i just don't think they own the capacity. we have to some how let that go. but how?

 
At 1:11 PM, Blogger La Diabla said...

I know this is sort of not with the conversational flow, but this book I'm reading right now mentions N-ism and it made me chuckle. I picked up a cheap novel called Toxic Bachelors by Danielle Steele and here goes:

"I loved him, but with narcissists, that's just the way it is. In the end, the only ones they love are themselves. They just don't have it in them to love anyone else...It's interesting how, when people treat us badly, we then feel responsible, and take on their guilt..."

Not much new information there, but it's ironic it's in there at all. I guess it's more prominent than I thought.

 
At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After being married to a Christian ministry leader predator, I am filing for divorce on Mon. When I finally got the nerve to leave him and, unfortunately, our 17-yr-old son, about 18 months ago, I was litterally bed-ridden and convinced that despite the fact that I have degrees in journalism and communications, I was useless. The word my pdoc uses is learned helplessness. I also had treatment resistant depression.

I actually laughed when I read the section on not being able to predict where narcissist will strike next despite all the years of predictability. "I'm much stronger now," she says w/double-fisted bravado. But. I know darn well that he won't attack the twin towers again, which for me are finances. Stay tuned!
Between your accounts and Sam V.'s, I am tempted to go line-for-line and relate my own story. It's uncanny how predictibly pathalogical these poor creatures of God can be.
I feel like I'm in the witness protection program in that I moved away and I have virtually no friends ... they all believe him. However, the gov't. provides housing, compensation and a job in the WPP. I know I'm sounding pretty sarcastic ... because I am. Truthfully, it's time to get out from under the bully and allow myself to wash clothes, cook dinner from time to time and clean house ... in my time. I can do it and I deserve it. Thanks for letting me chime in!

 
At 7:20 AM, Blogger La Diabla said...

Awesome Anonymous! I'm glad you've decided to ditch the learned helplessness and are taking a stand. Congratulations!

Now, I'd like to let you all know that I've enjoyed reading all that you've posted and being able to put in my own .02. But I will be "off the grid" for a while. I, myself, have sold my house and the movers are coming today. Because my ex-N is a stalker as well. I can do nothing legally because he is not breaking the laws simply by driving by my house, etc. So, I will move, use a PO Box, cell phone, etc. and if he finds me I will then sue him in civil court where I only need a "preponderance" of guilt rather than proving it beyond a reasonable doubt. Because at this point, if he finds me, it proves there is intent, purpose. He CHOSE to look which proves my stalking claims. And with five police reports, 6 hours of cumulative video of him driving around my bldg at work, plus a couple videos of him in my 'hood and 3.5 years of written documentation, along with a former stalking charge and plenty of witnesses...well, suffice to say I hope at that point to make him sweat. Then again maybe he'll disappear (LOL NOT!).

I will try to be back as soon as I can. I've found some really strong, intelligent people here and have enjoyed my brief time here. I wish you all the best of luck!

 
At 4:21 PM, Anonymous empathy said...

My first visit here. At the age of 51, I have finally learned about my childhood. My mother is a moderate narcissist. She has always favored my sister, also a narcissist; nothing I did was/is ever acceptable. I was an honor student, but if I made one B, the criticism was relentless. I never abused drugs or alcohol, was not promiscuous, but that didn't matter. I was never thin enough, pretty enough or successful enought. If I dared to say anything, she told me I was "too sensitive." After I became a size 0, graduated from law school and passed the bar exam, she told me that I was too thin and she never approved of my choice to attend law school.

I married an abusive narcissist to escape the domination and disapproval of my parents--my father is now deceased, and I have concluded that she, not he, was/is the problem. My abusive, narcissistic spouse told me that unless I obtained a post-graduate degree, he would outgrow and leave me; I went to law school. The verbal abuse was constant, he demeaned every aspect of my appearance, intellect and personality. He frequently threatened to kill me and/or my family members. The physical abuse was sporadic, but the intimidation and threats were ongoing. I performed well in law school, became stronger and more independent, and decided to leave him. When I said I wanted to separate, he went psycho; one night he came into the bedroom while I slept and stabbed me with a butcher knife, then blew his brains out. Thank God. While I was in the hospital, all my mother could talk about was how it affected and inconvenienced her.

It has been 20 years to the day. My mother says I am alone because I was "unable to get along with my husband." In other words, it was my fault he nearly killed me because I am such a bad person. When I cry, she asks me why, pointing out that it does no good.

I have struggled obtaining and keeping jobs my entire life. I have been unemployed for over 3 years now, and had to move in with a "friend." My own mother, who is relatively affluant, told me that I cannot stay with her even if it means I have to live on the streets. When my friend offered me and my dog a place to live, I was overwhelmed by her kindness and generosity. It only took a few weeks for me to see who she really was. Life with her compelled me to begin researching NPD. She is a classic NPD. The grandiosity, tantrums and personal attacks are earth shattering. Although we attended law school together, where I received honors and higher grades than her, she belittles and diminishes me. I pay dearly for the sofa on which I sleep by waiting on her hand and foot, cleaning her filthy house and being a captive audience for the ongoing attention she demands. According to her, she was a "model" in her younger days and has a spotless employment history,is always the best, most knowledgable employee-- of course. The reality is that her last employer chose not to renew her contract because of her behavior. Co-workers could not tolerate her racist, bigoted comments and opinions. She alienated everyone in her warpath. According to her, she had a perfect childhood, a perfect marriage to the perfect man, her life is perfect and she is insanely happy. The reality is that she cannot control her temper; her home is bursting because she is a hoarder; it is utterly nasty because it has not been cleaned or maintained since before her spouse died 15 years ago. Since moving in I have had fleas for the first time in my life, and giant cockroaches crawl across the blanket under which I sleep.

Her son is currently in prison for felony drug charges. He will be released in a few weeks and return to his mother's home. He has my pity. Unfortunatly, the liklihood that he will resume using drugs is very high in this environment. I am desperate to get a job and away from here before he gets home. Not out of fear of him, but because his presence will likely exacerbate her instability.

On one hand, I am truly grateful for a place to sleep; on the other hand, even homeless people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I have learned a lot from this experience. Although indigent, I am receiving counseling and on anti-depressants. Once I surmount the abyss into which I have fallen, I will be stronger and better equipped to spot toxic people and deny them access to my life. I do not anticipate ever seeing my family again. That's okay. They abandoned me long ago, I just did not recognize it before. It's their loss. I am a good person. I have normal friends who value me, and I count on my dog for the unconditional love my mother could never provide. Sorry this is long, please wish me luck.

 
At 4:47 PM, Blogger Kathy K said...

We wish you all the best of it.

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading this site for about an hour. Took a break, went out for the mail and there is a card from my "N" mother. What timing! Going for the "jugular?" I know that well. My N mother is passive-aggressive and has gone unnoticed (our denial) for years. Instead, she projects her defects on to someone else and accuses them of the exact thing that she is doing at the moment. She has an uncanny way of turning the tables. Where she initiates an argument and fuels a fire, the one who reacts is now the offender. I have never known my mother to take responsibility for anything, much less a character flaw. I left a message on her answering machine over the summer, she has never called me back so I decided that when she was ready she would call. Time goes by and believe me I don't mind the break. But in the card she writes how she thinks of all the holidays we have spent together and misses them and wonders if I ever think about her. There was a time (before years of therapy and recovery) that I would have felt guilty. I would have turned that around and beat myself up for not calling her, for not being a better daughter and miss those times we spent together (which were quite chaotic, I may add, especially when other family members were put stirred into the mix). I am so grateful that I can laugh about this card and not internalize it. Being raised in a narcissistic home, I learned narcissistic values. It is like being raised in a house of distorted mirrors! Before recovery, my perspectives were slightly tilted as well. I guess there is one comforting thought...as long as I have been disconnected from my family of origin, nothing has changed.

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I am now sepaerated from my narcissistic husband. We were only living together for almost 2 years. 2 years of absolute hell!! He was always picking at me for such minor things, always making mountains out of molehills. He would always take vacations from our relationship.He would set me up and start an argument knowing just what buttons to push. I would try to discuss things with him and he would just get loud and go into hiding for days weeks and sometimes months at a time. No talking, no sex no nothing. It was horrible. I didn't even want to come home. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife, although he didn't seem to mind. He would pick on my son(from former marriage). My son didn't even want to be home any more because it was so miserable there. He can't seem to keep a job. Last year he just quit his job, because he was just "so upset" over a trivial argument that we had. He is soo very arrogant. His work history really sucks too. this is a fact that I did not know about until recently. He makes me feel crazy. I went to a therepist over this and she talked to him also a few times, she said if you are going to stay in this relationship there really isn't anything thats going to change. Come back and see me when you decide to leave him, and we will get you on the path to being a single mom and happy. He tells me all the time that I need help and I told him ,hey I did go for help and the only thing that seems to be wrong with me is YOU!! I told him that he was a flaming narcissist. He never said anything at all about it. Not why are you calling me that, or no I'm not. I think that he knows that he is. His life is his computer. I finally realized why. He is very intellegent and he flaunts that online. That is where he gets alot of his npd food. Anyway..I am not going back for seconds. I think enough bricks have hit me on the head now so that I realize that he is most likely never going to change. Thanks for lending an ear.

 
At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I am now sepaerated from my narcissistic husband. We were only living together for almost 2 years. 2 years of absolute hell!! He was always picking at me for such minor things, always making mountains out of molehills. He would always take vacations from our relationship.He would set me up and start an argument knowing just what buttons to push. I would try to discuss things with him and he would just get loud and go into hiding for days weeks and sometimes months at a time. No talking, no sex no nothing. It was horrible. I didn't even want to come home. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife, although he didn't seem to mind. He would pick on my son(from former marriage). My son didn't even want to be home any more because it was so miserable there. He can't seem to keep a job. Last year he just quit his job, because he was just "so upset" over a trivial argument that we had. He is soo very arrogant. His work history really sucks too. this is a fact that I did not know about until recently. He makes me feel crazy. I went to a therepist over this and she talked to him also a few times, she said if you are going to stay in this relationship there really isn't anything thats going to change. Come back and see me when you decide to leave him, and we will get you on the path to being a single mom and happy. He tells me all the time that I need help and I told him ,hey I did go for help and the only thing that seems to be wrong with me is YOU!! I told him that he was a flaming narcissist. He never said anything at all about it. Not why are you calling me that, or no I'm not. I think that he knows that he is. His life is his computer. I finally realized why. He is very intellegent and he flaunts that online. That is where he gets alot of his npd food. Anyway..I am not going back for seconds. I think enough bricks have hit me on the head now so that I realize that he is most likely never going to change. Thanks for lending an ear.

 
At 11:41 PM, Blogger gettingwiser said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What does that mean? Imagine that you are walking down the street when there is some terrible accident or terrorist attack. You come upon a mother holding her bloody and dying child. You are not repelled or horrified, just curious. You accidentally step too close to the pool of blood and get a little on your shoe. "Oh, shit" you think, looking at your shoe. The mother is wailing and crying and emoting in many ways, which you find merely fascinating as you kinda cock your head to one side and study her face. Then you go home and practice those faces in the mirror. They may come in handy at a funeral someday or something."

That doesn't paint a very pretty picture of our society.
One to three out of every 20 people are like this...please. You have obviously had some very awful experiences with narcissists, and that must have been very painful for you. But to make this kind of claim is absurd, if not ridiculous. I'm sure you'll just pass me off as a narcissist as well when you read this. As part of my Ed/Psych course at Millersville University, PA, I researched narcissism, because I thought my father MIGHT have SOME of the symptoms. I just felt compelled to respond when I visited this site, as I am trying to help people on all sides of the issue. I've had experiences with the mentally ill (not my dad) as well, but I really feel your example is a bit perverted in it's own right. It's things like this that perpetuate the problems of the mentally ill. Yes, there are people who have been very seriously emotionally, physically and spiritually wounded by some people with some very terrible issues. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior and certainly no just cause to pathologize or blame the victim, as it surely isn't their fault they have compassion and love for someone who is this sick. I believe you're describing a psychopath and there is a huge distinction between someone with a personality disorder and a psychopath. So basically you are inferring 1-3 out of every 20 people are psychopaths. I think this country would be in a lot worse shape if this were the case. I don't dispute anything else, it's your right to state your opinion and give facts and it's your site, but I feel there's a degree of catastrophizing here. we should all work together to heal ALL sides of the problem, not by helping one and portraying all these people as walking demons and soulless psychopaths. Is that what compassion is? Since when do we exclude people from compassion, no matter the circumstance? Again, victims were shown no empathy or compassion, but does it benefit us as a society to keep the vicious cycle going? If there are that many malignant narcissists out there, we'd better get together and find a cure or treatment or some sort of solution, because that's a pretty good chunk of our population that are the embodiment of evil.
Just some thoughts.

 
At 9:23 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

@anonymous4:43,

"I believe you're describing a psychopath and there is a huge distinction between someone with a personality disorder and a psychopath."

Huh?

Psychopathy IS a personality disorder APD. And it is increasingly viewed by experts as indistinguishable from NPD, perhaps a form of it.

This was about lack of empathy. The example was adapted from one given by Dr. Robert Hare to explain the state of mind.

See Psychopaths Among Us and Predators and Hare's own site.

And of course that example is perverted, because being like that IS perverted.

This is not your average case of mere mental disorder. These people cunningly pass for normal, mainly because people like you blow things off (till you land in their clutches and see see the devil come out). They are PREDATORS. All I can do is say that: I can't make the meaning sink in.

The estimates are based on Hare's and Vaknin's.

You rejected this because it conflicted with your beliefs about society. Do that if you wish, but don't accuse me of wrongdoing or mental illness for not supporting your belief.

It seems rather arbitrary considering the facts about the human race.

Indeed, how does your assumption that bad people are extremely rare and that most people are really as good as they put on square with facts like the widespread complicity with the Holocaust or any other mass act of seemingly average good people suddenly doing things unconscionable just because what is politically correct changes? Yes that is a sad comment on society. But don't shoot the messenger.

As I said, believe it or not. But don't try to tell me to love the malicious. You either love good and reject evil or you are indifferent. I have sympathy only for the damaged little child inside the N, not for the monster that ate him or her. One might as well expact a sheep to love a wolf. It just goes against nature, and it isn't even morally right.

 
At 9:33 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

PS

Try as I may, I can find no other reason for your accusing me of having no compassion except that I show Ns have none.

That's backwards. If I'm not in denial about them having no compassion, then I am the one guilty of having no compassion, right?

Nobody wants to believe that many people are like that inside. But it's true.

 

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