A Must Read on NPD: Narcissism – Living without Feelings
Please feel free to skip my blah blah and go straight to the article which inspired this post and which I highly recommend as a ‘Must Read’ if you’ve been affected by Narcissism, Narcissists, NPD, in any way. That includes if you think that you may be a narcissist, have NPD (this article will not vilify you, it endeavours to understand and help others to understand, and may help you to understand the condition and yourself):
It is a very long (as in if you think my posts are too long, wait until you see this one) and detailed analysis of NPD, which explains pretty much everything about NPD.
How someone develops the disorder, how the disorder affects the individual who has it, what goes on behind the facade, the different types of narcissists, the gender differences in NPD, as well as its effects on others, children of narcissists, spouses, friends, colleagues, etc, its influence in and on society, and so much more.
If you want to understand NPD, this is an excellent article. Comprehensive and insightful.
Fairly easy to read and understand even though it uses some technical terms, blurs a few lines (particularly between NPD and BPD), and is very long.
Please be aware that it could trigger your issues, your wound, pain, trauma. My advice would be to read it in segments, stop when it gets uncomfortable and confusing. Pause, step back, give yourself time to absorb things. Respect yourself and your information absorption process.
A recent study found that humans learn and understand better when they take naps/sleep breaks after a lesson, and when the lessons are shorter, segmented. This study was observing the learning styles of children, but this can apply to adults too in certain scenarios, particularly when the child in us has been ‘damaged’ and is seeking to heal, and to do that we must approach the healing bit by bit, step by step, at our own pace of learning (which is a part of healing).
Please be considerate towards yourself. Take care of yourself.
This article is worth reading, but don’t force yourself to read it. Allow yourself to discard, dismiss, ignore it if need be. Let your heart guide your mind.
I started writing about Narcissists, NPD, and Narcissism… by accident in some ways.
I didn’t think things through, I just did it.
I did not register that it was a ‘hot’ topic and tap into its ‘popularity’ to ‘promote’ my blog. If I had known that a few of the posts which I’ve written would be shared in the way that they have and attract as many readers, views, as they have, if I knew that so many people would relate to my story and words, comment on my blog asking me for my perspective, help, sharing with me their pain, hardship and trauma of their lives and relationships with narcissists… knowing myself as I do, I would hazard a guess that I would not have posted them publicly.
I tend to shy away from attention and the myriad aspects of it, especially those which can overwhelm due to being bigger than the self. Sometimes throwing a tiny pebble in the ocean can cause ripples which become tidal waves.
Why did I post publicly? Why did I make my personal blog public? Why share my life, myself, my feelings, thoughts, my damage, the mess that I am and that my life has been, with strangers in this manner?
I didn’t think things through, I just did it.
I could explain it in more detail, analyse it, take it apart and put it back together (with a few screws left over), however growing up with narcissists you learn to be an excuse-generator and can’t always tell the difference between lie and truth, reality and fantasy, taking yourself apart to figure out what makes you tick and picking yourself to pieces (screws missing or left over), finding your self and losing yourself in the search to find what you never really lost, even if you’re consciously aware of yourself and your tendencies.
Let’s just say that I was going through a phase which suddenly inspired me to do it – ‘it’ being something which was rather unusual for me (and which I would consider to be – doing a George – something which refers to an episode of Seinfeld which hit a chord with me), at least the ‘me’ that I’ve learned to be, especially on the outside to protect the ‘me’ inside.
On my blog I’m very verbose, in person I’m taciturn. On my blog I share my internal conversations, in person I don’t… until I get to know you better – which may actually increase my laconic self-expression instead of unleashing talkative hell or heaven or both depending on the subject of the conversation – and until you get to know me better.
Interactions ideally should flow both ways, be a balance of you and other, respecting both equally. Ideally… hmmm… ideals are meant to inspire rather than be a hard and fast rule, so in real life the balance sways this way and that, fluctuates naturally. Sometimes you talk more and the other listens (maybe), and sometimes it’s vice versa. It depends on the moment and the elements of the moment.
Interactions with a narcissist only flow one way and there is no balance, respect, or anything for you in it (maybe), it’s all about the narcissist. Even when the subject of the conversation with a narcissist is about you, it’s still all about them – people often mistake this as something else (as the narcissist being interested in knowing all about you) and only learn the hard way that it is not that something else (their interest in knowing all about you is all about them).
Growing up with narcissists, I learned fairly early on that I was not allowed to express myself in any way at all unless it was in a way the narcissists wanted me to do so (and even that could be wrong). If I expressed myself in a way which upset them (which is easy to do and pretty much everything can upset them, trigger them and get you shot because of it), then there was censorship hell to pay for it. They need control more than they need air, food, or other vital things for basic survival. I learned to shut up and listen (with more than just the ears). But that too could be perceived as a threat by them.
I lived under the illusion that this was a temporary state. I created that illusion for myself, I hoped, prayed, that it was temporary because if it was then I could endure, but if it wasn’t… So, a temporary state it had to be, one which I would have to endure until I was old enough to escape the narcissists and get out of from under the heaviness of their influence into the rest of the world.
I found the same pattern repeating itself in the world outside my origins. Was that because of my origins, was I attracting to myself and being attracted to the same situation over and over again until I dealt with it… or was this just the way that the world is, that people are. Is NPD not a disorder but the ‘norm’, the normal order?
I have no idea. It’s impossible to know as I took myself with me wherever I went, from world to world, inside and outside.
However… changing myself (not in a narcissist shape-shifting way – which I have done – but in a learning through experience, understanding the lessons of experience, and slowly, often painfully slowly, shifting way) has changed my experience of the world and the people in it, who make it up. I am one of those people, not an interloper, alien, stranger, detached, not a part of the world as I used to feel, think that I was, and be. I’m a part of all of it.
The world is no longer the Us versus Them of my childhood, of the NPD version of reality and my Stockholm Syndrome hostage status within that dynamic. I am neither an ‘Us’ nor a ‘Them’, and others aren’t either… although sometimes I use that kind of language and lexicon, that is more about my communication style running on an old program which has yet to update itself.
And… not all updates in communication style work when you’re communicating with others. You need to know what program they are running on too. And ideal style of communication blends your style and that of the other. It’s an adaptation of both you and the other coming together to find common ground. A place of we, where us and them are working together not locked in conflict of a versus. That’s an ideal, reality is… inspired by the ideal but usually does not live up to it and can disappoint… yet not be disappointing, it’s just different from what was expected or hoped for. Sometimes this is for the better, sometimes for the worse, and sometimes…
As a blogger this is an issue which rears its head quite often (not the billion dollars thing, but… that too I suppose). Just when you have got used to the blogging platform which you’re using and its program, the people behind the scenes tweak the software and… suddenly you’re starting from scratch again, having to learn how to use your communication system again as you did at the start because it has updated itself and changed.
WordPress has been doing this quite a bit recently. I also have a tumblr which has also recently changed. I have no idea how anything works anymore… reminds me of how I used to feel when my narcissist parents changed the rules yet again. Just when I’d got used to something, found some footing, felt a bit more stable on my feet… Swoosh!… the carpet, floor, ground beneath me was pulled away and I was floating above a precipice like a cartoon character who had run off of a cliff… and suddenly realised where they were, that realisation triggered they equally sudden fall.
Sometimes I feel that way about my blog. About the path I am walking. One minute it’s there and the next… I’m over an abyss. What do I do?
That’s life really, now you see things, now you don’t… what you saw and what you now see.
Perspectives change, and yet… are they really changing or just appearing to change?
I had a very weird, strange, experience yesterday (offline)… today feels different because of it. Such is life…
And because today feels different I wandered off the beaten track and found this – The Archetypes of the Animus and Anima – which sparked a thought, an inkling of an idea that lead me to search in a way which lead me to this – Narcissism – Living Without Fellings by Richard Boyd – which is an in depth read and an incredible feat of writing and understanding. Which sparked many ideas that are changing my landscape in tiny micro-shifts.
Living is… an adventure of constant discovery.