Behind the Facade of the Narcissist’s Silent Treatment

Adi_Nes_from_Boys_Series_004Adi Nes from Boys Series

The other day the beautiful and insightful Kim Saeed gave me a Not Featured on Freshly Pressed award nomination. Her blog – Let Me Reach – tackles the painful experience of being in a relationship with a Narcissist and offers ways to heal and recover from it.

In her own words:

“…what matters to me most is that the people who are recovering from emotional and Narcissistic abuse are able to take something meaningful from my site, and maybe even muster the courage to leave their abuser.”

Please check out her blog, it is inspiring and informative.

For those of you who are reading this and do not have a WordPress blog, Freshly Pressed is an accolade given by WordPress to the bloggers in its community.

In their own words:

“Every day, we hand-pick eight new blog posts to highlight on the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress.com. Freshly Pressed posts can be about anything, but they all have a few things in common: they enlighten us, inspire us, entertain us, and get us talking.” – from So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.

Please check out the posts which have been highlighted on Freshly Pressed, it’s a wonderful way of discovering blogs and finding inspiration.

The Not Featured on Freshly Pressed award was created by Don Charisma as a humorous way of dealing with a conundrum which puzzles WordPress bloggers.

doncharisma-org-not-on-freshly-pressed-award-497x497

In his own words:

“The idea is entirely my own, I created the award because I’m not on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed (FP) and probably 99.99% of other bloggers aren’t either. Seems some are envious that they aren’t on FP, others couldn’t care less about FP. It’s seen as an elite accolade in WordPress circles, if you’re on it, you’re at the top table, you’ve made it, you’re in the VIP, “THE” clique. Others will certainly get on their hands and knees and pay homage to you, you clever so and so. Or NOT as the case may be.”

Please check out his blog, it is humorous, intelligent and Don is a prolific photographer of wonderfully inspiring sights. He is very charismatic.

Now you may be wondering why I’m talking about this award in a post that is supposed to be about what lies behind the silent treatment which Narcissists are known to use on others.

Well…

One of the ways to bring your blog and your posts to the attention of the editors who choose which posts will be Freshly Pressed is by entering the Weekly Challenges on The Daily Post – WordPress’s own blog. This week’s Writing Challenge is The Sound of Silence.

As I was reading the brief for the challenge, wherein they give you possible ideas for your entry, I spotted this:

“Breaking the silence: is there a post you’ve been chewing on in your mind for a while, but have been nervous to publish? Break your own silence by getting it out there.” – by Erica.

Which reminded me of a post which I wrote a while ago – Being a Child of Narcissists – Breaking the Silence.

It also coincided with the post I had just published on my blog – The First Sign of Madness – which was a rewrite of one of the very first posts I wrote when I first started blogging. I’ve been reposting quite a few of my early posts recently because I am going through a period of having nothing to say. It happens. So I’m using my voice from the past when I had something to say to speak for me now, while listening to that voice wondering if I still agree with those words spoken… and if the me who once was has a message for the me who is here now.

Our own words often reveal ourselves to us and help us to understand ourselves better. Something like that.

For me the act of blogging is a continuous breaking of my silence, a deep reaching silence which has been a constant part of my life since I was born. Sometimes I love that silence, it nourishes, protects and keeps me whole. Sometimes I hate that silence, it denies my existence, suppresses, oppresses and suffocates me.

There are many different types of silence, and understanding each one is important as it helps to understand those moments filled with noise and sound. Words need a pause of silence, a space, in between them for them to be understood.

Silence:words - Hubbard

For me, understanding is the most precious treasure in the world.

And as much as I have needed to rant and rage, release my personal anger, against the Narcissists in my life, I do not want to get stuck in that anger – expressing my anger openly, publicly on my blog, was an act of releasing myself from the heavy silence of my rage and the cage it had created for me.

Expressing anger can be euphoric, especially if it releases you from silent bondage – if you keep it bottled up inside, it has nowhere to go and it stagnates, festers, toxic fumes leaking into every part of your life, silently poisoning you and those around you with secondhand fumes. The happy facade which you show to the world becomes a cork holding back an almighty volcanic eruption.

For a while I got caught up in the rush of it. But I had a sudden awakening when I realised that I was becoming righteous in my rage, an activist against all the Narcissists in the world. That frightened me.

monsters - nietzsche

Narcissists see monsters everywhere. Their lives are one long fight against monsters, and one long yearning search for a hero/heroin to save them from those monsters… but the heroes/heroins who they find always disappoint them, betray them, turn into monsters. One minute the Narcissist adores you, thinks you’re an angel incarnate, and the next minute they hate you and try to destroy you because you’re the devil in disguise.

They live inside a ball of fear, stuck in anger. But for Narcissists expressing their rage does not release them from it, because it is the side effect of fear, and they never face their fear, for to do so is too horrific an ordeal.

Fear_by_WeirdZeek

Fear by WeirdZeek

What created the fear which rules their lives and the lives of all those who interact with them?

Narcissists were NOT born evil. To believe that may be a magic formula which appeases your pain and helps you to heal, stops you from feeling sorry for the Narcissist giving you the strength to break away from their hold over you. It may be a truth which you need to hold on to for your own sake, to save yourself from drowning in the confusion a Narcissist creates. But is not what created a Narcissist.

A Narcissist is born human just like you. As a child they experienced the same abuse they inflict on others when they are an adult. What they do to others was done to them, they are passing on their wound, repeating the pattern in which they are stuck, over and over again hoping each time they do it that it will turn out differently.

“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.” ― Narcotics Anonymous

An authority figure, who had complete control of them when they were a child, abused their position of authority and the power they had over the child and the child’s life. This authority figure consistently criticised, denigrated, and punished that child for being, existing. They gave the child an ultimatum – if you want to live, kill off your real self and become who I want you to be.

The child may have tried to fight against this for a while, but eventually they gave in to the continuous bombardment of attacks against their right to be who they were and they decided to try and become who they were told they had to be to gain the love and acceptance of the authority figure, their dictator, their hostage taker, their torturer, their keeper. They were alone, afraid, helpless and powerless, with no one to protect them or to see what was being done to them, the authority figure had complete control and dominion over them, and may have even had other adults aiding and abetting their campaign of repeated abuse.

repetition kills

The message which the child who became a Narcissist received was – you are flawed, a reject, disgusting, not fit to live, unloveable, useless, worthless – and this is a message they still hear, it never shuts up, never goes quiet, a Narcissist never knows real silence inside.

They internalised the constant tirade of abuse of the authority figure. This is why they hate to be alone, why they need to talk so much, the endless stream of words from a Narcissist’s mouth are designed to blot out the voice inside which berates them. When they lash out and scream at others it’s because they hear the abusive authority figure speaking to them through those others’ mouths and eyes.

enemy between ears

It’s never about you with a Narcissist, it is always about them. It’s always about their past haunting them 24/7 in the present. A history of violence against their soul repeating itself without reprieve. Once their abusive authority figure has taken over your mouth, you become the same monster they have been fighting since they were a child, and they will never be able to see anyone else but that monster, they see it everywhere, in everyone.

This dynamic is in every relationship and interaction which they have. They are seeking redemption, escape, but every time they think they’ve found salvation… they find that they’ve been tricked and what looked like heaven is actually just a new old kind of hell.

beauty and depth nietzsche

Redemption, salvation, heaven for them is to be loved unconditionally, to be seen as perfect, special, unique, a celebrity, a star, a genius, a hero, someone the world can’t live without, the best in the entire universe and beyond. They are looking for the exact opposite of who they believe themselves deep down inside to be. It’s the antidote to their disease. Ideal love to cure the grim reality of self-hatred. A huge affirmation of their life to wash away, like Hercules and the Augean Stables, the self-annihilation which eats away at their insides. They want admiration and accolades to lift them out of hell into heaven. They are searching for Nirvana.

And for Narcissists who have a WordPress blog, Freshly Pressed is Nirvana.

They will set their sights very adamantly on being featured there. On being a Chosen One. They will obsess over it to the point where they may not be able to think of anything else. They will study the rules of Freshly Pressed very carefully, and follow them precisely.

At first they will be filled with the joys of Spring, overenthusiastic, exhilarated, high on life, inebriated by the aspiration of winning the challenge.

If they do not succeed immediately, the fear will begin to creep in. They will feel rejected and dejected. They might write a post for their blog which subtly hints at someone not appreciating their genius. But they won’t lash out at the culprit openly, not yet, they still hope to win the prize and don’t want to get on the bad side of the prize givers.

rejection attention affection perfection

They will keep plugging away for a while, still hopeful of being noticed, of having the spotlight turn on them and acknowledge their beautiful brilliance. It will happen, it must happen, it can’t not happen…

They will study the posts which do get Freshly Pressed looking for clues, for a magic formula, for the secret ingredient which will get them noticed by the editors who make the decision about which posts are worthy of such an honour and which ones aren’t.

They will follow blogs like this one – The Return of the Modern Philosopher – which are superb and powered by winners who keep getting Freshly Pressed. Hoping that the magic which these bloggers have to get attention and be admired and lauded for their genius will rub off. Hoping to learn from these bloggers how to write the perfect post which will get them Freshly Pressed so that they can join the exclusive club.

successful people

Their dedication to studying what makes other people successful is probably one of their greatest talents. They will learn the rules with intense loyalty. Doing things exactly as they are supposed to be done, seeking to please, to gain approval, to belong. This is exhausting and requires every ounce of concentration and focus in their being, their stress levels will sky-rocket, the effort will feel as though it might kill them. But they keep at it because that’s a rule of being successful.

Each time they get rejected, the fear will take a stronger hold over them, inciting their anger. They will let of steam by taking pokes and jabs at others. They may even do a post or two about how the less talented and less deserving writers always seem to get published while the true geniuses get ignored.

It’s a conspiracy. The masses are being fooled or the masses are fooling themselves. They’ll refer to the masses as ’Sheeple’ or ‘Zombies’ or ‘Drones’ or something equally condescending and self-righteously arrogant… completely oblivious to the fact that they are insulting those who are reading, following, their blog because it’s not about you, it is about them.

It’s not about the rest of the world and other people, it is about them. They think everyone looks down on them, so they fight back by looking down on everyone. Their superiority complex is an inferiority complex desperately seeking redemption.

Zombies appearing

At some point their sense of being rejected will cause the fear to take over, and it will express itself through rage. They may lash out directly at WordPress, at Freshly Pressed, at the editors of The Daily Post (although they may avoid this one because it is too risky and they are good at assessing risk) because WordPress has now become the authority figure who abused them when they were a child (who may still be alive, still abusing them because they rarely if ever cut that person out of their life and go no contact, they’re too afraid to do that, they are also still trying to win their approval, just once… just once… once).

They may do a post on their blog claiming that Freshly Pressed is a scam, a con, a clique of snobs who think they are better than everyone else, the 1% elitist minority who make life hell for everyone else, take, take, take and never giving back anything worth having. Who needs them! They’re jealous, envious of the Narcissist and the sheer brilliance of their work, so those elitists give them the silent treatment known as ignoring them, trying to deny their existence because it threatens them.

The stress of trying to win the approval of theis new embodiment of an old enemy and monster in their life breaks their silence wide open and they will launch into a wild and unfettered tirade, free from their bondage of self-control and self-censorship, fed up with following the rules and being who everyone else wants them to be. Their tantrum will be dramatic, words exploding like fireworks over a volcanic eruption. The pyroclastic flow will obliterate everything and everyone… and once it’s over a grey, stony silence will descend over the devastation.

Rinjani_1994Mount Rinjani, Indonesia by Oliver Spalt

The Narcissist will storm out of the room (blog), slamming the door so violently behind them that the house collapses.

A while later they will recover from their outburst and realise with horror that they have exposed their wounded underbelly in all its festering and toxic gory glory. This horrifies them, cuts them to the quick of their empty core. They have lost face, the facade has dropped. If only the earth would open up and swallow them. They want to disappear. Die. Wish they’d never been born into this world of endless pain.

They will retreat into silence and hide there, hoping that no one will look for them or find them.

Then they wait. Stewing, thinking… thinking dark thoughts… dark thoughts thinking.

They consider deleting their blog, wiping themselves off the internet… the internet is a lie… it doesn’t connect you at all, it makes you feel even more disconnected from everyone else.

What’s the use of trying to connect, nobody notices them, no one sees them for who they are. People just want you to be who they want you to be for them, people just want you to write what they want to hear not what you want to say. You might as well not exist because you’re just a projection of everyone else. Projection central… that’s what you are.

Skin Deep - MichaelOSkin Deep by Michael Oswald (MichaelO)

Still… always thinking… thinking light thoughts… light thoughts thinking… planning, plotting.

They consider deleting their blog. They could do that and then start all over again under a new name, with a new identity, and a new concept. Something positive, something which feeds into what people really want, a trendy hot topic blog which will tap into the collective psyche of all the users of the World Wide Web. They’ll draw people in like flies. Captivate them. And they will be loved, admired, sought out, their posts will become famous, shared everywhere, Liked a million times over… if your purpose in life is to serve as projection central for others, then why not capitalise on it and become who others, the masses, want you to be.

Life is hard, many people are suffering, why not become the knight in shining armor who saves the world from the monsters of the world, from the beast that is existence!

messiah complex tour russell brand

And so the cycle begins again… the pattern resets itself to square one… history begins repeating itself again.

The silent treatment of the Narcissist… it’s not about you, it is about them.

If you have recognised yourself or anyone you know in these words… we’re all Narcissists because it is a natural phase of human development. It is normal and healthy, nothing to be afraid of or worry about, nor is it to be used to diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder in yourself or another.

Being Narcissistic is not the same as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

However the fact that we are all a little Narcissistic allows us to understand through detached empathy – feeling sorry for and pitying someone is a trap, understanding is liberating and frees you – those who do have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which allows us to see that the pain, confusion, fear and rage they inspire within us and inflict upon us… is not about us, it is about them.

Perception nietzsche

Thank you for listening.

Please share your stories and links in the comments.

Oh… and I’m not going to pass on the Not Featured On Freshly Pressed award, even though there is a rumour circulating that anyone who receives it is cursed with a jinx which causes them to shortly afterwards be featured on Freshly Pressed, however if you would like for it to be passed onto you take what you need. Don’t be shy about it and have fun with it, and pop a link to your award acceptance post in the comments here or pingback. It’s up to you. Enjoy!

take what you need

If you are recovering or are in a relationship with a Narcissist and would like more information and support, please visit:

The Narcissistic Continuum blog

and

Their forum – Web of Narcissism ( WON )

For more insight into The Silent Treatment – The Appropriation of “No Contact”: When Narcissists use “No Contact” against YOU

NPD traits and behaviours – Out of the Fog/NPD

Related posts on this blog – What is the Silent Treatment

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47 thoughts on “Behind the Facade of the Narcissist’s Silent Treatment

  1. Thank you so much for this. After hours and hours of research, its by far the best explaination I’ve received.

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  2. I once knew a woman who I now believe was a narcassist (I dont use the term loosely), and she became totally hooked on a narcassist man. He was a big time player, constantly on the make. She tried to snare him her usual way (the accidental pregnancy), and he played her as long as he could to keep child support at bay and to get to see his child. They were both forties neither one ever been married. Now he’s fifties and she is almost fifty and of course its never worked out and they are pretty toxic. She used to abuse him physically. My criteria for people like this is, a history of lying manipulation and exploitation and anger problems. A poor relationship history and relationship dysfunction.

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    1. When a narcissist gets together with another narcissist – best to get as far away from them as possible because the whole thing will go from the most perfect match ever to a giant implosion which will suck everyone into it. The drama will become like the blob in the B-movie.

      Narcissists are often attracted to other narcissists, but only if they share a similar goal/delusion. They can be quite the power couple. But at some point the whole thing usually blows up – they may feed on the drama of the explosion for years and years. Sometimes that’s what keeps them together – their shared love of some toxic and horrific relationship drama which sucks others into it.

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  3. I found your site,helpful and yet,I can’t understand,I came to visit my son,she was still staying in my house,and all of a suden,she’s going out and coming back tomorrow,she did,t .think of giving me time with son,I made sure I looked hot. I had new sneakers,she goes in room.and put on new takkies, lol! And she was not doing monkey dance.and just the afternoon.I sent her messages regarding what she did,she never replied? What’s hour game and she,s movinng out,to live with narc mother and step father abuser?

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  4. I found your writing on how the NPD person came to be to be similar to my family story.

    Her parents were of generations of upper class in the community and there was an expectation that this would not be interfered with in any way as they also ran a business and reputation was paramount. Grandfather was a critical and aloof person. He was likely a narcissist golden child. He came from parents as close cousins had married and had four intellectually/ physically challenged children, he the only “good” one – so much was expected. That my grandmother was pregnant when they married was never discussed in their very proper circles though people always know. My grandmother was from farm pioneers and the most loving, caring and kind person in my world and probably assisted my survival until I was 16 when she died. She was definitely my role model and I feel she lives on in me.

    Mother was very much her father’s child. When she was a teenager her willfulness and, stubborn refusal to be controlled became quite a problem she told me. “Oh I was a problem!” she declared to me once and admits she gave her parents a hard time.

    What she didn’t say, and perhaps did not want to say, was that it appears she had to suppress this part of her nature under pressure from her father who I can only assume would use the silent treatment on her if she disobeyed in any way at all – just as she did with me. It had a great effect on suppressing my real path towards an intellectual future and exchanged under her silent treatment and invisible-making for a clerical one just as she had with a “don’t do better than me” subtext. I even wrote funny letters to her and posted them to get her to “see” me.

    For her it was a case of hiding that unacceptable part of herself to get her father’s attention, creating a mask, which was ultimately successful. She became his golden child. Her brother became alcoholic. Her idolised (often quoted as) father continued to solve her problems to keep his own life smooth and superficially perfect and she never learned to deal with anything.

    When she became pregnant with me after having a passionate affair with my father it was something her own father could not fix. A hasty marriage ensued. It was never talked about of course. She had to make it work because there could be no “mistake” in her perfect facade. Outside our home she continued to portray the lie with cronies who never saw the real truth. Unhindered she could talk of the crosses she had to bear with a daughter who was wilful and so very like her difficult father! Another subliminal story !! Oh the glares at her funeral from those cronies!

    It seems she had married her mirror. My father was strong willed, used running his own race in the school of hard knocks. And often when one suppresses that part of oneself, they turn up somewhere outside as a mirror !

    I eventually discovered a marriage certificate when I was fourteen and did the math. Oh dear, she was right, it was “MY fault”. I didn’t say anything and innocently took that on for a very long time. Every time she looked at me she must have seen her “mistake” So feeling responsible I started working on trying to fix her problem, to make her happy. Impossible of course, but I was determined too. Until the day I found it was not my fault.

    Yes, my father was a difficult man who had his own issues to deal with having suffered much abandonment only to find more of it with his wife. But he was a responsible person, doing his duty to a family he had never had before. He settled for that.

    There was just one disturbing thing that I have not been able to understand.

    Just before my father’s funeral she said to me : “At least I prevented your father’s incest of you”

    This totally stunned me! At no time did I ever feel under threat from my father. My parents did have a very torrid sex life though.
    Could it have been something that she was projecting off from her own teen years? Will I ever know ?

    Any thoughts would be welcome though.

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    1. It’s very intriguing and insightful to explore family history, especially the subtle details of the early experience of family members who have NPD. It can take a disorder which has affected you personally and give it an interpersonal perspective which helps to understand it and heal your own experience of it in some ways.

      It won’t take away the pain of your own story, but it can explain it.

      My parents were the way they were because of their own stories as individuals. They were hurt deeply as children and never recovered, they just created a survival mechanism which included NPD. Their generation didn’t have access to the information which we have, just as we’ve only had access to it more easily in recent years, the internet have definitely made healing from the effects of NPD abuse much more accessible.

      As to whether what your mother revealed about your father and possible ‘incest’ is true… those with NPD live in an alternate reality where everything inside of them is projected outside of them, and twisted like light refracting through a prism. It’s very hard to ever know the truth, as you just get scraps and those scraps may be fantasy or a heavily disguised version of reality.

      Usually when something like that comes out of the mouth of a person with NPD, I figure it’s either a projection or an invention created by a deep-seated fear within them. It could be based on truth, but what part is true? Context for when they say something is vital to know – because someone with NPD will saying anything in the moment. So the context of the scenario in which your mother said this will have bearing on why it was said – was she afraid of losing you and did she think this would bring you closer together?

      Recently, due to my father’s death, his long-time partner told me that he had revealed that one of the reasons he was such a distant and absent father to me was because when I was born my mother had told him not to touch me as she thought it was disgusting that a man would touch a female baby. All he had wanted to do was hold his child, but my mother wouldn’t let him, so he stayed away. This could be a total fabrication, but it could also have truth in it.

      My mother was intensely jealous of any relationship I had with my father as a child or even later as an adult, and went out of her way to ruin it. She had had a terrible relationship with her father, and I think it was always an influence – I couldn’t have what she had not had. Since my father was a narcissist too, albeit different from the type of narcissist my mother is, in some ways I think this scenario suited him. How much was her, how much was him… they chose each other so, I think they recognised the same issues and it drew them together and then pushed them apart and I was caught in the middle like a plaything for narcs.

      Knowing the truth is difficult in this kind of a scenario because it’s very much he said/she said… and unless you have a clear memory of your own which is untouched by them, it’s all coloured by the blurred lines of memory and stories told, which can change at a whim.

      Trust what you know about yourself. The rest is a possible truth or lie and best kept in a folder of uncertainty which may one day find closure, but probably won’t. Trust your own knowledge. Live in the here and now. The past is subject to change, the present is all we can truly know… and even that can change as we do.

      When it comes to it – trust your perception of events, yourself, others, and never trust those of a narcissist – they’re fantasists even if they’re telling the truth it is never without its embellishments to suit their intentions. Trust what you know, think and feel.

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  5. Hi, firstly thank you for your understanding, education and words of wisdom. Truly great.

    I should admit right off that I’m an ACoN and have known about this for several years. I had the awakening to a NPD parent in my early 40s and went through all the anger, denial, frustration and so on. Thanks to the help and eventual understanding of our mother, my sister was able to go full no contact with my Dad. I have processed it all for the most part and resigned to have a continued relationship with him as, for the most part, his NPD was focused on my Mum. I also don’t live nearby him so our contact is sporadic and amiable. I have read on other blogs that this is often the best kind of relationship to have with an Narc’ anyway – at a distance! I’ve also read a great book called The Narcissistic Family. A sobering read.

    I am searching for a little clarity on a current situation whereby I feel I have come into more direct and recent contact with a borderline NPD in an intimate relationship.

    K is in her early 40s and we’ve been seeing each other for 3 months or so. At first I was drawn in by her very grandiose expressions of love and adoration. She also expressed much interest in my stuff; my career, my passions, my hobbies. Grand love and the future were talked about openly. Narcs’ like to “future-fake” in my opinion to get their needs met at any given time. What they say and what they actually do are two different things. This is a definite character trait of hers in this situation. If I call her out on one of these incongruent moments, she deflects or simply changes the conversation. Accountability is next to zero, however there have been moments of apologetic behaviour. i.e. I’m sorry I have been giving you a difficult time or I didn’t make our date. I’m just very conflicted and stressed right now. “lets reset” (my words)

    K marches to her own drum and often when I try to make plans with her, she says she’s busy (with other people – sometimes male friends). She sometimes doesn’t return messages, knowing full well that it’s likely to be putting me out. My time and feelings are not respected. Correction, both things were initially respected in spades but not so much now. She simply goes missing and returns some time later with feeble reasoning. She loved to come over at a moments notice to slide between the sheets until I basically gave her the impression that I didn’t like being used like that. She says she’s just a very sexual person and it’s just her thing. Sorry but I think I’ve outgrown the booty call. ha! It’s clear this is not her first rodeo. Many of the previous men she has dated have been prestigious in some way: think trader, banker, art collector et al.

    For me, there are many red flags in her behaviour and the fact that she refers to herself as a narc’ in casual conversation is also a worry. Yikes. What to do? She has a soft and charming side that really gets in under your defences. I also think she uses projective identification with me in that, the very things she tries to accuse me of (behaviours) are the very things she does and \ or ‘feels’ herself. eg, I just don’t think you like me that much. It’s just about the sex.. Huh?? I have bought her gifts and told her I cared about both verbally and over messages.

    I would dearly love some advice.
    Jim

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I’m always a bit reticent to offer ‘advice’ to someone else, because you know your story, your life, yourself, your situation and the others who are a part of it and how you experience them better than I ever will.

      The only advice I have is – trust yourself!

      You have a very clear perception of yourself and this woman, your relationship with this woman, and your family and the influences from your family dynamic which may be influencing this relationship. You have all the advice and knowledge, personal wisdom, which you need… something is interfering in you listening to yourself, what is it?

      The way that you have described this woman fits the profile for a female narcissist (whether she is just very narcissistic or has NPD, is hard for me to determine as I don’t know her – but you know those with NPD and you know her, so trust yourself).

      It seems that you enjoy being with her, there is an up-side to being with a narcissist when they are in a ‘positive’ mood, but as you well know – when they are good they are very good, when they are bad, they are horrid. Can you accept the ‘negative’ side, can you live with it? Can you put up with the NPD ‘downs’ for the sake of the NPD ‘highs’?

      Only you can answer that. You know how it works and doesn’t work. It’s all about them and if you can accept that you’ll be okay, but if you expect them to factor you in, your needs and feelings, then you’re going to get hurt.

      A narcissist is a narcissist, that’s who they are, that’s how they are. They won’t change, won’t ever be able to factor us in. It’s all about them, what they want and need, what they feel and think. Their version of themselves and reality – we’re just there to support them. They will never see us, or support us. They can’t, won’t, and don’t.

      I know a narcissist female who is lovely when all is well. She is inspiring and charming and everything nice. She has absolutely no inkling of how awful she is when she is in a funk. She says she has an inkling of it, of herself, self-awareness, and she talks a good talk, but it’s intellectual. She doesn’t mean to hurt anyone else when she is hurting, she just can’t help herself from passing on her wound to others. She often discussed how she ‘pushed’ people away and how much it hurt her to hurt them enough to alienate them… but she never did anything about it, she just made others responsible for not being ‘pushed’ away by her. Which is what narcissists do, they make the rest of us responsible for their wounds. Even though they can sometimes articulate those wounds, and seem to be aware of them… they never really are, they never sort things out for themselves, they always pass the buck to someone else.

      I chose not to ‘put up with’ it. I let her ‘push’ me away. She blames me. I blame her. I can see my part of the blame. She’ll never see her part of the blame, but she may see enough of it to talk about it to someone else who may be influenced by that story enough to ‘put up’ with it, shut up and not allow themselves to be ‘pushed’ away.

      Narcissist have enough awareness to use that awareness to remain unaware, and to keep others close and on their side, working for them, not with them.

      If you can accept this woman as she is, then you might be able to have a relationship with her which works for you and for her. Expect her to change, and the relationship will end in tears. She’ll use those tears to lure someone else in… what will you do with those tears?

      Relationships with others are always complex and complicated, because there are so many layers, of you, of them… relationships with narcissists are fairly straightforward – if you love them, then you follow them. It’s their way or… their way.

      Trust yourself… and take good care of yourself (the narcissist is taking care of themselves and getting you to take care of them too – you exist for them, they do nothing for you – unless you do it for yourself and give them the credit).

      Best wishes!

      Like

    2. Ursula, thank you for that great insight. 🙂

      You are right, it’s like I discard my inner voice in hope that if I keep going back to the well just one more time, I’ll get what I need. Living with an NPD parent, I was conscious of feeling ignored, and not within any kind of emotional reach of my father. My mother enabled this to go on. She was a carer type – the perfect partner for a Narc’ of course. I think what this relationship is doing is opening up those old wounds of feeling ignored. I see that now. Sigh…

      I’m curious that NPD people seek out people with impressive credentials, involving money, power, fame, whatever it might be, but are often those kind of people themselves. Many CEOs and Executives are NPD I’ve read. In a way, like attracts like. What happens when one Narc’ is in a relationship with one of his or her own I wonder? It’s like they need you to be impressive to them somehow, but also need you to be a doormat for their needs. That is an odd contradiction of sorts is it not?

      Do Narc’s generally want you to constantly share your thoughts and feelings? i.e open up to them. And if so, is this genuine in its intent or is all part of an attempt to get inside your head? My assumption is a true Narc’ wouldn’t be the slightest bit interested in your ‘feelings’ about much of anything. My father certainly wasn’t.

      This is all really a big mind bender isn’t it! As you say, they know what they’re like – at least many of them – and they are gaming you the whole time. Actually, what I have realised with my father is that he knew he was hurting people left and right but his attitude was, if you are silly enough to accept my shit and then come back for more, well then, you get what you deserve really. Mixed in with the silent treatment, it is extremely toxic.

      I feel what I am dealing with in the relationship is a high level of “self absorbed” and a certain degree of lack of empathy but of course, as NPD is a spectrum disorder, it really depends where YOUR specific case is on the spectrum.

      Again, thanks so much. Your pages and writings are so very helpful.

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      1. Two narcissists hooking up is not uncommon – birds of a feather do indeed flock together as long as certain criteria is met… I think people just assume it is uncommon for narcissists to get together based on their view of how narcissists operate, and their personal experience of someone with NPD. Usually when two or more narcissists get together it is because they share a common agenda, they share a similar version of reality, similar goals.

        Narcissists tend to think that everyone else thinks like they do, so they think everyone else is a narcissist… until they find out others are different and then it confuses them. It also fascinates them, they may even try to understand it, but they never do, can or will. Their interactions with other narcs reassures them that they are right ot be the way that they are, their interactions with non-narcs unsettles them… and spurs them on to view themselves as superior (it’s either see yourself as superior or face the fear of being inferior, which do you think they’d choose?)

        The reason why those with NPD seek out people with impressive credentials is similar to the reason that people who don’t have NPD are attracted to successful people – it’s all about power – except narcissists are more obvious about what they are doing. There is a ‘quote’ doing the internet rounds which encourages us to ‘surround ourselves with those who will lift us up’. In other words, if you want to be popular, join the popular group. If you want to be successful, join the successful group. If you want to be rich, hang out with rich people. It’s all about networking – narcissists are consummate networkers, they are just really obvious about networking, they don’t do tact and diplomacy. So if they don’t think you can advance them socially, financially, in a way they are seeking to be advanced (which is something that motivates them very strongly) they ditch you without thinking about how it may affect you, they’re only interested in themselves and how people and things affect them.

        A few narcs are smarter than that and know that everyone can be useful to them, so they never ditch anyone and keep everyone sweet – those narcs tend to be very aware of their NPD, and they may be a sociopath with narcissist tendencies rather than just a narcissist. Some studies have concluded that many CEO’s are sociopaths with narc tendencies. Whether they are or not… the corporate environment is ASPD/NPD so people who work in that environment and want to move up the corporate ladder may adapt to its demands to survive it.

        Why does a narc want you to share your feeling and thoughts? Because what you share may be useful to them. If you’re someone they want to be, someone they admire or whom others admire, then they want to know what components make you who you are – your thoughts and feelings are components to them. Once you’ve given them that information they absorb it and mimic it, they think that’s how they get what you have which they want. So they are interested in your feelings, not in the way that you want them to be or that you would be in the thoughts and feelings of others. It is a genuine interest, just not your kind of interpretation of genuine interest. Once they get the information they need from you, they no longer need you, and they move on to the next person who has what they want and need.

        Some narcissists know they are doing this, some are oblivious that this is what they do. It’s a difference between Overt and Covert NPD. Overt narcs tend to be more aware that they are manipulative and possible lying. Most Covert Narcs believe the BS they tell others, and believe it to such an extreme extent that they always think the problems they create are caused by others. Covert narcs tend to think everyone else is a narcissist except them. They often think they are empathy personified.

        There is a lot of information available about NPD and how to deal with those who have, how to heal yourself from the effect those who have it have on you. Many very good resources for those who have been and are in a relationship with a narcissist. Even so we still need to figure our own story out, know ourselves and understand the narcissist with whom we have a personal relationship. Lots of sorting through the knots in our mind, which is worth it, especially if you’re a child of a narc, as the dynamic runs deep.

        This is an interesting article (be sure to read the comments too) – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/insight-is-2020/201405/narcissistic-parents-impact-children-young-and-grown

        Best wishes,
        thank you for sharing 🙂

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        1. Talk about Synchronicity, I stumbled on your blog to find a lot of insight. I was in a NPD relationship almost 8 years. At first, I thought she was the “one”, We had so many things in common; yet opposite. She is a Virgo, and I am a Pisces, just to show the context. When I look back,I realize that I only knew what she told me, and nothing more. However, it was the conversation from family and friends that contradicted everything. She told me about her past, and the problems from 2 failed relationships, I was committed to changing the world she had known. We would move into a beautiful home with view many would die for, however I realized that no one even her children whom I loved as my own cared no matter what I did. I don’t want to seem like I am looking for validation, because I would get lesson in my growth emotionally, it seem the more I loved the worst she got. Then the cheating began and the blame game of not being there for her, yet I am supporting everyone except me. I was devastated, because, I would learn from a family member why she was this ways , as well as learn she had done this before in relationship 5 years before. As you can imagine, the red flags started to add up, and then I confronted her about her behavior only to hear the words of no remorse fall from her lips.
          Being the man I strive to be, I chose to stay in the home for additional year, and opted for counselling that lasted for only one month, after the therapist told me not to try to stop her behavior, and sending mix message to deal with it. I would finally put my foot down, and walk away, I tried and was very vocal about my feeling, not in a angry way but of someone who wanted to work through it. This experience also showed the mirror to many choices I had made in my military career of being very self centered, I believe this was Karma, or Divine Intervention. Now after I decided to leave the mind game would continue, however this only would bring me closer to Christ to get through it all. For starters, I realized that she didn’t love herself, nor valued her body, and this would open a door to numerous health issues, and maltreatment. As you can imagine, It hurt like hell to see this, even sex tape would surface, of course she denied it, but you know who you lay with right.

          It’s been nearly 3 years now since we’ve parted ways, and yes I still lover her, but love myself more to except bad behavior from anyone. Surprisingly I see her pop up, yet I allow the call to go voice mail, I have a bound with her dad, in whom i care about, but have step back from as well. The one thing I realize now is most narcissists, have fantasy about Venice, and the elite lifestyle, an will use whatever they have to obtain the illusion. I realized she had been with over a 100 men,and had many profiles online dating sites. but to be honest, It didn’t matter as long as she got treatment, but we know most will not and will not until either they attract someone in their own image or death.

          As for myself, I believe she was a muse to guide my path to become Clinical Therapist in which I am pursuing. I will always love this women, but until she decides to love herself I will pray in her behalf.

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  6. saying to people how much she loved me and how WORRIED she was about me 24/7…im in my 30’s! and no one thought this was strange…she held her ‘phone’ next to her all the time waiting for my call…in case I needed to talk to her…like im a confused teenager…now if she cant torment me or I fight back…now she has resorted to the silent treatment…it shows how vicious evil and cruel these monsters are….now when I think about it it starts to affect me…ie whereas SHE is affecting my life not even being in it!! but the silent treatment is a very cruel form of abuse and as this psychopathic monster creature is losing control in her own pathetic twisted life….she wants more control over me or my emotions…shes in her 60’s now and a worthless degenerate…shes also going to go visit my sisters baby when she has it and I fear for that child…she is a sociopath who is out of control and capable ofanything…im writing this too as a warning in case something does happen….look to HER for anything because she is not going to get old and just let things happen. in 10 years she has NEVER visited my sister where she lived…yet now shes going after she has the baby?? no I don’t think its to help her out… my evil narcissistic mother…has now just vanished and is giving me the silent treatment suddenly…yes its starting to drive me crazy which is what she wants…she is a monster…either she was there to torment me, or now it’s no support nothing no being no person…as if your parents are now gone. my sick father ONLY talked to me through text ONCE in many months to tell me I got a red light ticket and to pay for it…do these sickos even have souls? to others they are kind respectful…to me they are very abusive…then brainwash me into accepting their abuse b/c they are family..i don’t want to continue hating family but this is crazy…after years of torment now this abuse? my crazy mother treated me like im a child and even says to me “you think youre an ADULT”?? I mean insanity…she is a sick insane person…how do u deal with trash like this?

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    1. I dealt with my narcissist parents by going No Contact. However this is not always possible, especially if you live in the same community as your parents, if you have siblings and a close extended family.

      You might find this blog interesting, the link was given to me by a child of narcissists who is working on going NC with their parents – http://parentfreebychoice.blogspot.co.uk/ – even if you can’t cut your parents out of your life in a physical sense there are ways to at least protect your mind and emotions from them, and find support through others who are dealing with a similar scenario.

      Support is very important. A place where you can speak freely and openly about your experience with people who listen, understand, and have been through experiences like yours.

      Trying to explain to people who have never been in a relationship with a narcissist or who may know a narcissist but have not experienced their ‘bad’ side what you are going through and have been through is very difficult, which is why it is important to talk with those who know what it is like to be a victim of a narcissist.

      This site has some excellent information about all aspects of NPD – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html – and also has a forum which offers support and information – http://outofthefog.net/forum/

      The way I have dealt with having narcissists as parents and the damage they created within me (such as PTSD) is to inform myself about the disorder, how it works and doesn’t work. There is plenty of insightful material available on the internet, from professionals and from people who have earned their expertise by living the experience. The more you understand about the disorder, how it affects the person who has it and how it affects those who interact with them, the more you can help yourself to find your way out of the confusion and insanity which they create.

      http://www.bandbacktogether.com/adult-children-of-Narcissistic-parents-resources/
      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201311/the-narcissistic-mother
      http://theinvisiblescar.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/surviving-the-narcissistic-parent-acons-adult-children-of-narcissists/
      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201105/the-narcissistic-family-portrait

      There are certain mind-hacks you can do for yourself which will benefit you.

      Narcissists never allow their children to grow up (my mother still thinks I’m 6 years old). They can’t allow their child to grow up because it presents too much of a threat to them. Everything they say and do is all about them (and the fears which eat them up inside). Narcissists usually stop their children at the age when their children adored them and believed everything they said – and they keep hoping that by never allowing you to grow up you’ll return to that state of child worshipping their all-powerful god-like parent.

      Mind-hack #1 – just because the narcissist treats you like a child, and tells you that you’ll never be an adult to them does not mean that you have to accept that. You’re an adult, so be one – which includes not treating your parent as though they have any authority over you. This means breaking the habit of reverting to child-like behaviour with regards to your parents. Narcissists are terrible parents, therefore they do not earn the right to the title of ‘parent’ or the authority over you and respect from you which goes with it. Take the title away. They are never going to be the sort of parent which we all dream of having, so they don’t get to have the child they dream of having either. In fact they don’t get to have a child at all. They had their chance and they blew it. You’re an adult now, you’re no longer powerless.

      It can take a while to work through this, but it helps and it worth the effort.

      Mind-hack #2 – Stop seeing the narcissist as a monster or ‘evil’. It gives them too much power. Makes them seem big and scary. As long as you perceive them as being a villain from a fairytale, a horror film, a soap opera, etc, you will be in awe of them, afraid and feel powerless. You have to shrink them down to size. They’re just really small, horrible, miserable, and rather pathetic people. They do have souls, but their souls are lost somewhere inside of them, hidden in a very deep and dark place. They are terrified of everything and everyone which is why they have to huff and puff and make themselves seem huge.

      Most narcissist parents are terrified of their children. They’re more scared of us than we are of them, for many reasons, which is partly why they are so vicious and try so hard to control and dominate us.

      Mind-hack #3 – The Silent Treatment. Is a blessing in disguise. Stop filling the silence with doubt, fear, worries, anxiety, and start enjoying it. It’s the only time they shut up. If you embrace the silence you can finally have a moment to let yourself think your own thoughts, hear your own voice, feel your own feelings.

      The silent treatment is usually triggered when a narcissist doesn’t get their way, or they have been exposed (or have exposed themselves) or they’ve been confronted, or they’ve made a mistake and are horrified that someone has noticed the giant flaw in their perfection. They retreat into silence as a protective shield, the manipulative benefits of the silent treatment are a secondary function of it, the primary function is self-preservation. It’s a defense mechanism.

      When the silent treatment happens, don’t view it as the narcissist using it against you, instead view it as the narcissist feeling exposed and running for cover. It’s basically just one big sulk from a warped child in an adult’s body.

      I used to hate the silent treatment, and found it absolute torture, until I gradually realised how peaceful it was if during a silent treatment I stopped thinking of the narcissist and their shit, and started filling the space with thoughts of myself. Slowly I started to look forward to the silent treatment, and deliberately trigger it so I could get some peace and quiet and time to myself. Eventually I turned the silent treatment on the narcissists and went NC. They really hate the silent treatment when you do it to them.

      I know it’s difficult. It’s taken me all my life to undo a lot of the training and brainwashing, and misplaced loyalty, and to forgive myself for repeatedly betraying myself for the sake of my narcissist parents. But eventually we all reach a breaking point… that point in which we break free and no longer work for them, feeding their bottomless pit of need.

      Narcissists are obsessed with themselves and expect everyone else to be as obsessed with them and their every bowel movement as they are. They need us more than we need them. We don’t actually need them. They’re terrified that we’ll figure that out, so they don’t give us time to think.

      Take the time to think… for yourself. Get to know yourself, separate from them. See the incredible power and strength which you have… to survive growing up with narcissist parents it takes tremendous personal power and strength. We give it away to them… until we don’t. Claim your power and strength as your own.

      Take care of yourself!

      Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Like

  7. This has to be one of your best. Thank you so much Ursula.
    We are lucky you share so deeply and have such profound insight. It is a very, very, very horrible thing for a soul to be murdered as it is for the narcissist.. Never to be truly seen and loved for their true self and then the exhaustion of having to turn themselves inside and out to find the approval that was never there in the first place as they were never taught to love themselves for who they really are. Those of us who have escaped are lucky.. (by the skin of our teeth, that is).. to realise where the emptiness and longing comes from and that others aren’t put on earth to heal us or fill our empty spaces.. only we can do this and also by learning to understand what happened to us, where the emptiness and longing comes from and how we can learn to fill it and satisfy it in more nourishing ways. I can recognise so much in this. My mother used the silent treatment a lot. She now realises the damage it did. I had my first terminations of pregnancy all alone as I could not share my situation with her as she came into my house unannounced early one Saturday to find me in bed with my then partner (I was over 20 years old), then left and gave me the silent treatment for weeks, since she was so deeply ashamed of me…….I fell pregnant as I was to naïve and scared to seek advice or support at that time to go on contraception all down to our fucked up catholic upbringing. Anyway, sorry that all just poured out in response to silent treatment. Phew. 🙂

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    1. Thank you very much 😀

      This post just sploshed out of me, it’s one of those which is the result of lots of observations accumulating over time and then forming an almost cohesive thought. After I posted it I wasn’t sure if I had actually expressed what I was trying to express. I had to cut myself off a bit because offline life interrupted me, but then I thought, it’s too long and rambling, I should edit it, make it more concise or precise or split it into two posts… and then I just said to myself – leave it and move on.

      One of the hardest parts of the silent treatment is allowing it to be and not filling the silence with our thoughts and words just to stop the sound of silence and what it evokes within us.

      It’s strange really because our own silences don’t bother us as much as the silences of others. And we often get annoyed when others try to get us to break our silence, or fill our silence with their fears of what it means, making our silence suddenly a painful and noisy place rather than a restful retreat.

      Those who use the silent treatment as a manipulation rely on us filling the silence. They could speak up and tell us directly what it is they want, but if the silence is due to them not accepting our reply to a request… that is their problem. We can’t solve it for them, not without telling them what they want to hear, which often means saying what we do not want to say or hear ourselves say. To give them what they want, we have to sacrifice our truth. We heal their pain by hurting ourselves. Sometimes it is best to meet their silence with silence of a different sort, one which honours and respects our needs.

      That is interesting what you say about your mother understanding the damage her silent treatment caused. Is this truly awareness dawning and perhaps making a move to make amends, and connect in a meaningful way, reaching through the silence of the past to hear all that which was not spoken during that time or is it something else? How has this impacted you, to hear her admit that?

      And never apologise for your self-expression, it is life in motion through you… unless of course apologising is an intrinsic part of your self-expression 🙂

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      1. Ohhhh….(((–)))…thank you…

        I think my mother eventually realised that this way of going about things really caused damage, but it was all a little too late and hard to hear because at the time it was going on in younger years all of us were impacted by the tension of living in a house when my mother would not talk to my father and we had to tippy toe around on eggshells..it caused a lot of anxiety. That feeling lodges deep in the body/unconscious and then it can be evoked in reaction to other conflicts where people wont express their truth but try to wound you our cut you off for not guessing what it was, instead of coming right out and saying what they needed and why they are hurt. I think regardless of her apology and lack of insight I grew up not seeing conflict dealt with in a straightforward manner (she has Mars in PIsces btw which is smack bang on my Chiron which Neptune is transiting now) and important feelings and needs not spoken about, that causes a lot of confusion and second guessing and its a kind of torment really, it drives you into the silence of your own head where you struggle with circuitous thoughts and really it could only be healed by reaching out to someone healthy to help you to understand what the hell was going on. But can you do that as a child?

        I guess this is really Chiron in the 7th territory in aspect to Mars Saturn Moon. Its a wound that grows and infects one inwardly and then is repeated as a theme in other relationships. Sometimes also we really need to hear others distress, it maybe hard to hear but we also need to sort out if it has anything to do with us. The pain my mother was in had nothing to do with me, and that is the case with anyone else who is hurting in this way. But at times someone’s distress or hurt may have something to do with me and that is when I need to listen and be willing to open up lines of communication. But this requires a degree of emotional insight and intelligence as well as a willingness to step into someone else’s shoes and see things from their point of view if it is reasonable.

        Speaking out and opening up makes us vulnerable. as it is admitting who we are and what we need from someone else and some of us grow up feeling its best not to have needs or admit them due to them having been frustrated in the past. Also if we were humiliated for needing then its too risky to try opening up again. The people around us may really want to help if we have the courage to open up and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, but if we have done so and had our vulnerability stepped on in the past imprints of pain and fear accompany that act, so it becomes hard and we need courage to open up.

        Its a good valid thing to say don’t apologise as I know that I do feel I must apologise for expressing my truth as in the past others have found it too hurtful to hear, but doesn’t Steven Forrest say this is what happens for those of us with Pluton the first. Its the little child who comes out and says Uncle Bill really smells, Mummy and then is shushed and told not to be rude. And we do need tact and sensitivity when dealing with other egos who may be fragile.(or do we???)….not an easy balancing act.

        Also re Mum’s apology I’m not sure if she has truly made amends, as often I need to bring things up with her… I don t see her as having gone on a path of deepening self awareness, though she struggles and tries, she still can cause damage with superficial comments that don’t see the depth of things….But now I realise that and don’t allow myself to be manipulated when I get a slap on the wrist for speaking out and standing up.

        With Mercury about to station and Mars turning direct this conversation of ours is right on time, don’t you think?

        Thanks for the opportunity to share on this.

        Like

        1. I do the apologising thing too, mostly apologising for living and taking up oxygen and space, that’s why I try to stop others from doing it because I’m trying to stop myself from doing it, and because we’ll both be doing it and the conversation will just be a stream of apologies and we won’t remember why 😉

          If you tell it like you see it, then I can too and we help each other break free from old habits which censor our spirits from being free.

          I think one of the best parts of your mum seeing the damage her silent treatments caused, and anything else which she admits to, is having confirmation of what you know and knew then come from one of the other people involved. That happens so rarely because people are afraid of owning up to their part in a situation or relationship, they tend to choose a story and stick with it and never review it to see if perhaps there are other sides to it.

          Her apology is of value because it shows that she realises it needs to be offered and said aloud, but the confirmation I think is far more valuable. It offers a release that the apology might not.

          I was reading something about Mercury and Mars both standing still at the same time as something else happens… there’s my Nep mind going fuzzy… it had something to do with Jupiter. Or the New Moon. Anyway… tum te tum… yes, I’ve noticed, especially when I read http://juliedemboski.com/ posts that my conversations of that day seem to reflect the astrology of the moment. Read one yesterday which was so spot on I wondered if she’d overheard my private conversation 😉

          I love the way you share, it is unique to you and just so beautiful and authentic, moves me every time the way the ocean moves the body 🙂

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          1. Oh thank you, that means so much to me…(right now I need a picture not words to show the way my heart is bounding in my chest)…..

            Yes, I am lucky for Mum’s apology, but as you say, being so spot on.. its the confirmation of our reality that is so important for us to find freedom, cause someone may apologise and do the thing again which is where an amends is much more valuable and goes deeper. However regardless of how we are treated its how we learn what to make of it that is most important to recovery and healing. There is a saying in my 12 step group “hurt people, hurt people”.. its often not even deliberate.. however we still need to get free of it by understanding what is going on.

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  8. Hi Ursula,

    I recently removed a narcissist from my life. The relationship was initially romantic, and then became a friendship. This was not of my choosing. I pursued friendship because I wanted her in my life, and I was naive regarding how difficult it would be for me. I also didn’t realize, at that time, that she had NPD. Going down this road created anger and jealousy and resentment in me, and I denied those feelings to myself. I pretended I was okay. I put up a false front. Sounds narcissistic, no? A nice little mask. And thoroughly, completely unlike me. I don’t do masks. I am the yin to her yang.

    After about a year and half of pretending, I fessed up to myself, and to her. I ended the friendship. And I got myself into therapy. I had pushed my mind to its limits. It was an ugly ending, because as you know, narcissists need to be in control. And in truth, I handled myself poorly at the end. I was honest to the core, but I took her by surprise. I made a few mild, tiny attempts in those first couple of months to be loosely in touch, but I was turned away. And in all truth, it was the right thing to turn me away.

    It’s been incredibly emotionally difficult to disconnect from her, to just plain let her go. My therapist says that she lanced a wound, a childhood wound that has been with me my whole life, and now that wound is seeping. I was raised by a narcissist and an alcoholic. It’s why the pain continues, even though the relationship is over. It’s not really about HER. It’s about the original wound. My therapist is correct.

    The pain is starting to recede. I’m starting to feel like myself again. I’m starting to see that I’m not destroyed. I have not been changed. I am still all the beautiful things that make me me. I am still kind and honest and decent. I am still beautiful and sweet and innocent. And I am working on my childhood wound, uncovering what happened to me at the hands of two very unhealthy people who should never have met each other. And I’m correcting the ugly thoughts they put in my head about my lovability, or lack thereof.

    In between bouts of deep anger, I feel compassion for the two narcissists I’ve known. I see these narcissists as damaged, and their NPD as a trauma response. As I see that parental neglect shaped who I am, and left me with a wound I carry now, I see the narcissists as having experienced something similar.

    This brings me, in a rather long way, to my questions:

    Do we forgive them? Do we enable a place for them in our lives? They didn’t choose to become who they are. They didn’t wake up one day, as a young child, and say to the world “Oh, I’m going to be a narcissist. Won’t that be great?”. It’s a wound that was given to them.

    I don’t want someone to turn me away because of my childhood wound.

    And even as I write this, I think… but my wound doesn’t harm others. My wound doesn’t hurt and damage. My wound doesn’t lie and use. My wound doesn’t pretend and hide. My wound doesn’t prey.

    I don’t know. I’m sad for her. I’m sad for who she would have become, had her abuser not sexualized and degraded the child she was. I’m sad for leaving her life. I’m sad for not forgiving her. I’m sad for not finding a way to love her anyway.

    I just don’t know what to do with my sorrow for her.

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    1. Hi and thank you for sharing 😀

      I’m going straight to the questions:

      Do we forgive them?

      Well, this one is difficult to answer because it depends on what you consider to be forgiveness. We all have a slightly different interpretation of it.

      So…

      My interpretation of forgiveness means that the answer is ‘No, we don’t forgive them, but we do try to understand them and why they are they way they are, and why they did to us what they did.’, because, like you said, they didn’t choose to be that way. I agree with that. But they are that way and we have to accept them exactly as they are, as they have the right to be whoever they are even if it hurts us and others, but we have the right to not accept their behaviour.

      Understanding them allows us to understand our relationship with them and their relationship with us – and is a vital part of healing when you’re the child of Narcissists because they’re your blood and that thought – am I like them, will I become them? – is always there. In fact children of Narcissists are so aware of that kind of behaviour they will go to great lengths, often to their own detriment, to avoid being that way and behaving that way even if it is only slightly.

      Children of Narcissists tend to be very hard on themselves because they don’t want to do to others what was done to them – and we’ll stay in a relationship which is damaging to us just to not damage the other person even if they are being damaging and abusive to us.

      Do we enable a place for them in our lives?

      Yes and No.

      They have a place in our lives. Our Narcissist parents helped to create who we are by being who they are and doing what they did to us. We live with that legacy, sometimes it inspires the best in us and sometimes it haunts us and we find ourselves repeating the patterns we were taught and absorbed in our childhood which hurt us all over again and reopen our wounds. That’s their place. A negative muse who lives within us. Narcissistic friends remind us of our wounds, and the fact that they need to be acknowledged, cared for, understood and healed. That’s their place. Another negative muse to remind us of the work in progress that we are… but we can’t keep them in our actual lives as they will impede our progress and our healing.

      Narcissists are at their best when viewed from a detached distance. That’s the only healthy relationship we can have with them. They’re like a volcano… best viewed from a safe distance. Up close and personal and we might end up being a human sacrifice to some angry god which lives inside of them.

      We can’t actually have them in our lives because they don’t accept us as we are, they can’t help but try to force us to be who they need us to be. They encourage us to wear a mask to please them, but they are never pleased and we are never good enough and have to try harder but it will never be hard enough. It’s exhausting, and pointless in the end because we end up not living our own lives, but living a half-life for their benefit which never really benefits them. It gets to the point where even the sound of us breathing seems to cause them pain. That’s not a liveable situation.

      I know this link seems silly, and I’m not making light of the situation, this is a truth expressed through humor to make it more palatable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6xU_CPE310

      Who your friend is, is who she is. Who she could have become is not who she became. Yes, she was abused. From what you have shared about yourself, so were you. And you became a caring and compassionate person who is aware of yourself and others, and considerate of others. You did not become a narcissist. Your friend did. That is her problem and not yours. If she wants to solve it, she has to do it for herself not get someone else to do it for her and then she refuses to cooperate – Narcissists like to play the damsel in permanent distress seeking a hero to save them – the hero will eventually be turned into a monster by the damsel who quite likes the attention she receives from being in permanent distress. She’s the only hero who can save her damsel. She probably won’t do it. You however are a hero who can save yourself, and take care of yourself.

      I know the sorrow of which you speak, there is nothing you can do for those with NPD. Your sorrow means nothing to them, unless they can use it to their advantage and keep you serving their needs. They can’t help themselves and can’t stop being the way they are. You can’t save them, and they will never appreciate your understanding or your sorrow for them – in fact they may be contemptuous about it as they’re always on the defensive, and in their view your sorrow for them makes you weak and easy to use. They do not feel sorrow for you, and for the pain which they have caused you.

      Relationships have to flow both ways, if they don’t… it’s not a equal and balanced relationship, and it’s best to move on. Wish them well and then leave and go and take care of yourself, and find someone who will appreciate you as you are with all the wonderful talents and traits you have as you are.

      Use the sorrow to inspire something in your own life, perhaps to be gentler with yourself, more caring and compassionate with those parts of you which you may judge you and which need sorrow to heal their pain instead.

      Hope this helps a bit.

      Take care of yourself, and trust yourself 🙂

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      1. Thank you, Ursula. Thank you for taking the time to so thoughtfully reply to me. For your understanding. For your empathy. But most of all, for your willingness to share your pain, which makes it easier for me to share mine. And isn’t that truly the triumph of life beyond our narcissist parents? … To be silent no more. To feel it, to own it, to be proud of it. To be proud of everything we are. We will change for no one, because we are lovely….just…the way…we are.

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          1. Ursula,

            How do you get past the embarrassment of being lured/tricked/fooled by a seducer-narcissist? I thought I was loved, but I was not. The consensus is that I was mind-effed. And now…. I wish I hadn’t told anyone. As grateful as I am that these people helped me through a time when I thought I was losing my mind, I regret involving them. Because now, I feel self-conscious. I feel embarrassed. And I’m not sure how to let that go. Maybe it’s ego? I don’t like the thought of my friends and acquaintances thinking less of me, having less respect for me, or worse yet, thinking I’m nuts.

            The Narcissist in question does not have a good reputation. She thinks she controls her image, but she is viewed as deeply dysfunctional. I’m not sure if her few “friends” see her NPD, the actual personality disorder, but they absolutely see the traits. Malignant traits. And she has a past that is not as hidden as she thinks.

            Still…..I feel my reputation “tainted”. I was so willing to stick around, when clearly, I should have gotten out of the situation. Or not been involved at all. I was so utterly naive, and she was so completely skilled. But for those without experience with narcissists, either in childhood or adult life, how can they even begin to understand?

            One of the gifts in the curse for me is this: I will not seek validation for my self-worth from anyone. I decide my worth. And that includes owning my story, my self….no pretending, no justifying. I know I can’t let what they think, or don’t think, matter.

            But yet, still, I feel acutely embarrassed…..

            Any words of wisdom?

            And can I say? Clearly, all of us who have been hurt by narcissists benefit so greatly from your writings. Myself included. And this may sound presumptuous to say…. but the moment you don’t want to write about narcissists anymore, don’t. Just stop, when the time feels right. You have an obligation to your own healing, but not to ours. Not for one moment. And we will still be interested in what you think and feel and write, if you never speak of narcissists again.

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            1. It’s important to remember that there are many threads connected to interactions, that when you share your story it triggers the stories of those with whom you share it. So, your friends understand that you need their love and support, which from what you say, they have given to you. However they have their own stories too, which they may put to one side when they are with you because they realise you don’t need the extra burden right now because you are hurt and need to heal, but their stories still exist and will enter the equation in some way.

              Embarrassment is similar to shyness – there is a sense that others are thinking about you, and a certain suspicion that what they are thinking is critical in nature. That is more of an illusion than a reality. Most people don’t think of us as we think they do, in fact most people tend to think of us the same way that we think of them – we’re all wondering what other people are thinking about us and we tend to project our own thoughts into their minds. On the whole we all spend more time thinking about ourselves than we do thinking about others, and when we think of others we’re still thinking about ourselves. We think they’re thinking about us, we think of them in comparison or connection to us. We rarely think about a person without it being connected to us and our story in some way.

              Think of all the people whom you do not think about, why don’t you think about them? Now think about the people whom you do think about, why are you thinking about them? How much of your thoughts about them are actually about them as an individual who is separate from you and has a whole life and story of their own? How much of your thoughts about them is about you?

              Other people do the same thing. Humans tend to occupy their thoughts with themselves even when thinking about someone else.

              And everyone feels self-conscious, especially when their self-image is at stake. We worry that others think we’re stupid, or ugly, or not good enough, or lacking something or other, that we aren’t living up to their image of us or the image which we have portrayed ourselves as having. We tend to project our own criticisms about ourselves into the minds of others, and because we do that, we retaliate by having critical thoughts about them. It’s a human thing which causes all sorts of suffering and problems in relationships.

              The reality is you reputation isn’t tainted, there is no reason to feel embarrassed for falling in love, or perhaps being foolish because you were in love, it actually makes you likeable because you’re not perfect, you’re perfectly human. Show me one person who hasn’t been a fool for love and doesn’t feel embarrassed afterwards when that annoying thing known as hindsight kicks in (where’s hindsight when we need it? Strangely absent, it only turns up later and smugly pretends it knew everything all along)!

              And don’t point at the narcissist and tell me they’re not a foll for love, those with NPD are the greatest fools for love because they never learn anything from it, they just rewind and repeat the same pattern over and over again.

              Female narcissists are different from male ones, partly due to gender roles in society and narcissists study roles and societal rules carefully. Female narcissists are harder to spot, their NPD is usually more subtle.

              When we meet someone we are not looking for what is wrong with them (or listening to what others think about that person because we want to form our own opinion, have our own experience and relationship with them – others could be wrong and it might be different with us because we are different than others), we are looking for what is right with them. We want to like people, and we also want to fall in love with them, whether romantically or in friendship. We’re not looking for red flags and danger signs, we’re looking for inspiration and fun and compatibility. It’s a natural and healthy approach to relationships. It creates good feelings and bonds.

              It can get us enmeshed with a narcissist. There are a lot of narcissists in the world and lots of people having relationships with them.

              There is no shame or guilt or embarrassment in falling in love or liking a narcissist. Your love for them is real and it’s a beautiful feeling. The fact that they can’t love us or anyone (including themselves) is their problem, not ours. Sure it’s our problem because we want them to love us and they can’t, and their version of loving tends to hurt us. BUT it’s not a problem for our love and loving nature, it’s not a problem which should cause us to hate or feel embarrassed by our desire to be in love, to love and be loved.

              You took a chance, a risk for love, that’s part of having an open heart, don’t close your heart just because the love story ended the way it did. That’s life, you’ve experienced one type of love story, it’s enriched the wealth of stories you have lived, there are many other types of love stories still to experience and you won’t experience them by trying to maintain a reputation or trying not to embarrass yourself or be foolish. Love is a risk, if you don’t take the risk you won’t know, won’t learn, won’t grow and your heart will be encased in a prison of being safe and never discovering new ways to feel and to love.

              I saw a film the other night where one of the characters said to the other… and I’m paraphrasing – stop regretting what you did, for then your life will become stuck in the past, imagining millions of possible versions of the past and never living in the present or creating a future. Pick a memory, preferably a good one, and use it to inspire your present and future. Leave the rest in the past, and live your life now, open to the possibility of what will happen next in the adventure of your life.

              You loved, you immersed yourself in the feeling, you learned from it, created a story, and it taught you that your heart is strong and can survive. So the experience has shown you some beautiful things about yourself, don’t dwell on the parts you think are ugly, focus on the beauty and add to it.

              Hope that helps 🙂

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              1. Thank you. I know we are all unique, every one of us, but I’ve recently discovered a kinship with children of narcissists. It’s a hell of a way to be raised. It’s a hell of a thing for a child to face. And I know you understand. You’ve given me lots of food for thought. Good food, like veggies.

                You’ve mentioned elsewhere that mid-life seems time when adult children of narcissists “wake up” to their childhood and to the path our lives have taken. I see that in me. In falling in love with a narcissist, the shock and awe of “pretty love turned into high speed drive by” is melding into “ah, that’s how it all happened, that’s how I am where I am, that’s how I am who I am”.

                Quite frankly, it’s a little unnerving. We think ourselves self-determined, and then we see ourselves on a path not necessarily of our choosing. Yes, our choices are our own, but we can blindly move along thinking our eyes wide open, when they are not. Ironic, isn’t it? Narcissists, living in all that magical thinking, can bring awareness. It’s a remarkable thing.

                I’m thinking about your comments on embarrassment and shyness. And I believe you are right, about how we think of others in relation to ourselves and what they think of us. About the harm of projecting. We do it too, not just the narcissists. I will think on that some more.

                Your comments about my love story have me thinking about the story of my love story. About the story I tell myself. About the story I remember. How will I tell it to myself? Will it be a beautiful story or an ugly one? There’s a quote by Scott Turrow: “Who are we but the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves, and believe”. There’s truth in it.

                But here’s the rub. My childhood, steeped in narcissism and alcoholism, made me fiercely dedicated to “the truth” (yes, “truth” is subjective, but I’m warrior girl for objective reality). As a young girl, I bristled at the pretend land of my family. It was so fake that it was suffocating. I swore I wasn’t going to live that way when I grew up. I would be strong enough to be true, to live in the real world. In some ways, I have lived up to that promise. I am honest. I don’t sugarcoat. I don’t fake. What you see is what you get. But, I have hidden too, I’m learning. And as I discovered recently through the narcissist, I have a wee bit of the Velveteen Rabbit in me.

                Well, after falling in love with a narcissist, I began educating myself about the personality disorder. The internet was not available to me as child and young adult, although I instinctively knew all too young I had a narcissist as a mother. Some things you just know. And largely, learning about narcissism has been good. Knowledge is good. I know myself better now, and I am still learning.

                However, I wonder. Did educating myself about this disorder come at a cost? Did I shimmy-up a little too close? Narcissism is an ugly, ugly thing. Learning about it, about the guts of it, is not for the faint of heart. Here’s why I say this. It relates to the general sensibility of your reply, and specifically to your comment: “Pick a memory, preferably a good one, and use it to inspire your present and future. Leave the rest in the past…”

                At the beginning of my love story, truly my very first one, I felt so seen. If I chose one word to describe it, that would be it. Seen. And I felt important too. I felt special and needed. I felt desired and unique. I felt loved. Even after I went down the friendship path (yeah, not the best decision), I still saw the beauty in her and in my experience with her. But, that changed. It morphed into something else, when I realized she was a narcissist. All that grandiosity, all that magical thinking about her grandiose life and my grandiose future, was just an illusion. And all my memories sort of turned ugly, and my story turned ugly with it.

                You see, I am a woman who fell for a woman, a lesbian, who has a lifelong history of pursuing heterosexual women. She likes the chase, the hunt, the bedding, the “firsts”. She thinks she has a world-class gaydar, but I don’t know. I’m still figuring that part out. My therapist says, “It took a narcissist to get your attention”. I’ve led an innocent, sheltered existence when it comes to this part of life. The whole player-thing has affected me more deeply as a result, I think. It’s not something I’ve been able to shrug off.

                You see, by every objective measure, this situation was as dysfunctional as they come, with a person possibly as toxic as can be. But the truth is: I loved her. I genuinely loved her. I wanted what was best for her, even if it wasn’t best for me. I wanted, for her, whatever and whomever made her happy. And it wasn’t out of desperation, or trauma bonding, or validation-seeking. It was real and true, for me.

                My challenge is what to feel for her now, even with her gone from my life. Maybe the goal is indifference, but I can’t seem to get there. I seem to have a choice. I can love her or I can hate her. If I let myself love her, even in a distant, soft way, I feel “had”. I feel childish. If I hate her, I feel I am killing part of myself. Hate does not come naturally to me. So, which? I’m learning we don’t choose our feelings, but we maybe we can nudge them, a little.

                And my larger challenge is how to tell this story in a way that honors me, a way that doesn’t hurt so much. Can I tell a better version of my love story and still tell the truth? Maybe from my perspective only? Maybe from my side of the pond? And on my side, I loved her.

                And my even larger challenge is to finish this story, close this book. And move on, and live my life without reference to this experience. To live my life out of the long shadow of it, out in the light of day.

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                1. Your narcissist sounds like a ‘somatic’ narcissist – sex/seduction/desirability is part of their fantasy identity of their perfect self. Their ideal is to be the most desirable person in the world and for a female narcissist that would be a siren, a succubus, Angelina Jolie – someone who represents an ideal woman, the kind they aspire to be. Their need to seduce is obsessive/compulsive. And narcissists like to pursue conquests who are special in their eyes because their conquest is a status symbol and defines their identity.

                  So everything you felt/which she made you feel and which you believed she felt about you at the beginning of the relationship is genuine. This bit – “At the beginning of my love story, truly my very first one, I felt so seen. If I chose one word to describe it, that would be it. Seen. And I felt important too. I felt special and needed. I felt desired and unique. I felt loved.” – is the real bit. The memory to choose. Narcissists are at their most truthful in the initial stage of relationship, when they tell you how important you are to them – it’s true.

                  What comes afterwards is a narcissist being a narcissist and has nothing to do with you – as in you have not lost your specialness, on the contrary, they’ve just realised that they can’t have what they admire about you and they get frustrated. Because for them relationships are about finding someone unique and whom they admire and they becoming that person, they want to merge with you and become you, they take the parts of you they want into themselves, and leave the parts of themselves which they don’t want with you. It’s a body/life/personality swap of sorts… which can’t be done – so they get pissed off and all their fears rise up and things get ugly. If they can’t have the treasure inside of you, then you can’t have it either.

                  So if I understand correctly, until you met this woman you considered yourself heterosexual and this was your first experience of lesbianism. Is the embarrassment connected to your exploration of your own sexuality? Society has a lot of issues concerning sexuality, and depending on the culture and community in which you grew up and live in it can vary across a wide gamut from being open to being judgmentally prudish and puritanical in a destructive way. Don’t judge yourself based on society’s standards – society is very fickle in its views.

                  There is an excellent book – Compassion and Self-Hate by Theodore Rubin – he writes about all aspects of life, personal, interpersonal, etc, and he covers sex too – “Our culture contributes an enormous amount of sexual misinformation, impossible standards and dehumanizing dictums. Each generation is told the correct way to think, feel, and to act as a man or a woman. One generation of women is told not to have orgasms, while another is told that only multiple orgasms of cataclysmic and explosive proportions suffice.”

                  You don’t have to choose between being heterosexual and a lesbian. You don’t have to choose to be any one thing, you have many sides to you and they all are slices of a whole being. You do owe it to yourself to explore your relationship with yourself, and your sexuality is a part of that.

                  If there is one definite lesson which narcissists teach us, it’s to be true to ourselves and not to compromise who we are for others because no one benefits from that, even if it appears that way at times. Being selfish is a good thing too. Everything has good and bad aspects, and they intertwine. The self-centric ways of a narcissist are the bad side of selfish, but they teach us the hard way to be selfish in a good way, and to stand up for our ego, and ourselves. We have as much right to live, be, exist, want, need and have as they do – something which a child of a narcissist has a hard time learning as we’re born into a land of limbo, seen but not seen, existing without really existing, waiting forever for someone to notice us and welcome us to Earth, tell us that we exist and have the right to do so.

                  Whenever I wonder what to feel for a narcissist – to love or hate or something else – I tend to go with viewing them as a negative muse, someone who inspires me with their negativity and is to be appreciated from a safe distance for what I have learned from the experience of knowing them. It’s not so much indifference as detachment (Buddhism style). You understand the part they have played in your life, some of it was awful, some was beautiful. You are partly thankful to have met them, and definitely thankful they are gone.

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                  1. Thank you for replying.

                    You wrote: “Narcissists are at their most truthful in the initial stage of the relationship, when they tell you how important you are to them – it’s true.”

                    I want this to be true. I don’t think back to that early time anymore, but I want to believe it was real. It would make the pain that came after, worthwhile. If I was loved, even for a short while, then I can honestly say it was worth it. I will think on this some more. I like this idea. It brings me peace. I wonder, what makes you believe it so?

                    You also wrote: “You don’t have to choose between being heterosexual and a lesbian. You don’t have to choose to be any one thing, you have many sides to you and they all are slices of a whole being. You do owe it to yourself to explore your relationship with yourself, and your sexuality is a part of that”.

                    You’re right. That’s where I’m at, not choosing. It’s an odd feeling, and sometimes it makes me uncomfortable. I’m 48 years old, and I don’t know my sexuality, something that most people take for granted. I’m mostly okay with that, though. It’s all part of the adventure of life. And if we were all the same, if we all lived the same lives with the same journeys, life would be very boring, indeed.

                    My sorrow about this experience is very much related to my age. If I were going to fall for a narcissist in my lifetime, I wish it had happened sooner. I feel “woken up”, only to go back to life the way it was before her. Had this happened sooner, I likely would have charted a slightly different course. But, at my age, I don’t expect my prospects for finding love to be all that great. And then, you combine my inexperience with my uncertainty about my sexuality… in dating parlance, I’m a walking red flag. And the shame of it? I really, really do have a lot to offer. I really am pretty fabulous, if I say so myself.

                    Thank you for all your responses. You are helping me. And I am grateful.

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                    1. Thank you 😀

                      I was watching a pilot of a TV series which may or may not be made into a series (it’s part of an Amazon/Lovefilm development thing). Here’s the summary of that show:

                      Transparent – is a darkly comedic story about an LA family with serious boundary issues. In this exploration of sex, memory, gender and legacy, the past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone’s secrets to spill out.

                      I think the ‘Midlife Crisis’ phase of life is when we actually figure out who we are, what we love, desire, need, feel, think, and so on because we’ve accumulated experiences good and bad and in-between, and now have real points of personal reference. We also come face to face with our mortality, something which never seems to sink in until we see ourselves as being old and feel age in our body as a reality. To me the ages from 40 onwards are when we are in our real prime of life because we can own our lives, rather than feel we owe our lives to others in some way. So we can make decisions based on what we want, but first we have to figure out what that is because we’ve lived so long paying attention to what others want from us and who they expect us to be, we’ve been trying to please society… and life just feels a bit unsatisfying that way. Empty, pointless.

                      So many people have a traumatic event occur during midlife which causes a major change or life, perspective, career, sexuality, the whole lot. So, I think what you’re experiencing is natural, the timing is perfect. Life for you right now is all about you and fulfilling yourself, defining yourself from the inside out, following your bliss or taking a journey to discover your bliss, what moves and grooves you. Embrace the adventure even if you scream for the entire ride, at some point the screaming may turn into laughter and joy, rather than fear and discomfort. Discomfort is a push to leap off a cliff into something new.

                      At least that’s my take on the chaos which hit my life when I turned 40 and which has continued to happen. Lots of rethinking of my identity and my life 🙂

                      The answer to why I think narcissists are most truthful in the initial stage of relationship is due to the impulse which causes a narcissist to pick a particular person with whom to have a relationship. They are very perceptive in a way which differs from the rest of us. They scan people for qualities, talents, gifts, and they are vocal about those qualities in the early stages of relationship because they are genuinely excited to have found such a special person. They are like children (very warped children) in the way they think and behave, so when they love something or someone they go over the top with excitement. This is why they are so charming, because their enthusiasm is infectious and it knocks out our adult reserve and defenses.

                      Yes narcissists are manipulative but not all of it is calculated, not at the beginning. The ‘love-bombing’ is not all a power game, which is why the red flags don’t immediately make themselves known and obvious.

                      Their main problem is that their minds don’t allow for a balanced view. So they can’t accept any variation on what they perceive. If they see great beauty in you, you have to remain permanently frozen in beauty and can’t have a bad hair day around them or their bubble bursts and suddenly you become ugly in their eyes. That does not mean that the beauty was an illusion, it wasn’t, the beauty they saw is real and is yours, they just can’t see it anymore because they’re victims of their own split minds – there are no shades of grey in their black or white world. They’re idealists and they see an ideal in us. The ideal is real in us, but because it is real it ends up disappointing them. Learn to ignore their disappointment and focus on what they revealed to you about the real ideal which exists within you.

                      You are fabulous and have great treasures to offer by being yourself as you are in all your real glory… and you offer it to yourself as much to others 🙂

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                  2. You are good! Evrrything I come across either makes, me laugh, cry, feel inspired or totally shaken. I’m too broken up to add more. Healing is a continuum. Thanks for being one of my true guides.

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    1. Thank you 😀

      Every relationship gives us a gift of some sort, perhaps if only to know ourselves better, which is valuable. Sometimes it shows us how strong we are because it challenges every fibre of our being, and we survive.

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  9. Thank you for your site~ education aids my ongoing healing from a relationship of 10 years. I am curious about the upbringing and abuse that you speak of. The person I know grew up with two parents (and even an extended family) that seem to have been and continue to be very doting and supportive of him. I am wondering about what you think about that in reference to “authority figure, who had complete control of them when they were a child, abused their position of authority and the power they had over the child and the child’s life. This authority figure consistently criticised, denigrated, and punished that child for being, existing. They gave the child an ultimatum – if you want to live, kill off your real self and become who I want you to be.”
    How is it possible for him to have grown up with support and still turn out to have full on NPD?

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    1. Thank you 😀

      What I wrote is based on my own experience of those close to me who have NPD, and on their stories. Those with NPD whom I have observed seeking to understand what makes them tick. And it’s also based on being a child of Narcissists and what I absorbed from them. A few of the Narcissists I have known are very vocal that their childhood was idyllic and their parents were perfect – as that ties in with their image of themselves – the perfect child from a perfect family, but occasionally that mask slips and they express their pain and the pressure they are under to live up to this image their parents have of them and of being a perfect family. They feel that they have to live up to the person their parents deserve as a child because their parents have sacrificed everything for their benefit.

      You will find that pattern in instances where parents work their fingers to the bone and sacrifice their own comfort so that their child or children will have everything they never had. So the parents save to send their child to college, the first member of the family to get higher education, thus the child is living for their parents, and their life belongs to the family, they are justifying the sacrifices made by being a success even if it kills them and hurts those who love them. They are on a mission to redeem their ancestors and their parents’ struggle and pain.

      Most people with NPD will tell you what caused them to become the way they became – however it is usually woven into their ‘official’ version of their lives, reality, and you may have to read between the lines to find the actual story as they tend to create an ideal scenario, especially if their parents were Narcissists and the family motto was – we are the perfect family. What the public (and that includes friends, distant relatives who are not part of the immediate family, and in-laws) sees and what goes on/went on behind closed doors can be very different.

      Children, especially abused children, are very loyal to their parents.

      One of the simpler ways to figure out what they experienced is by analysing what they did to you, taking yourself out of the equation and viewing it as them repeating what was done to them as this seems to be the impulse behind a lot of their behaviour.

      There are different types of NPD and slightly different causes for it. The similarity is the invasion of the child by someone in authority. Overly doting parents who smother the child with too much love and attention, who are overly protective, overly invasive of the developing child’s boundaries, self, and identity, can also create NPD, but it will be a different kind of NPD from that caused by critical and cold parents. The parents believe they are perfect parents, good parents, who do everything for the benefit of the child – the child does not want to disappoint them and becomes who they want the child to be, because the child believes that being bad – expressing anger or sadness or any emotion which could be considered negative – might upset the good parent and their view of being a perfect parent and thus the parent would stop loving the child because the child has not lived up to parental expectations.

      So, yes, doting parents can cause NPD in their child. It’s about the overall environment and what was expected of the child.

      What exactly was the ‘support’ which he received? It may ‘seem’ good, even enviable (if your parents didn’t do the same with you), but how did he experience it? Did he feel pressured to perform and be the perfect child and subsequent adult? How deeply have you delved into knowing his parents and family? It’s not an easy thing to do… and not always something we want to do or which they let us do. Did he deliberately keep you away from them at all? Did he try to stop you from getting to know them?

      What we see and what is really there… even in our own lives… can be difficult to find and see.

      Hope this helps a bit.

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