Tales from Narcville – Stop Censoring Yourself, and other self-editing problems

Someone whose opinion I value… because… well, amongst other things, they’ve weathered the storm that is par for the course in the process of getting to know me… recently told me that I should stop editing myself so much.

I agree, you’re right, I’m trying… and that can be very trying!

I’m not an easy person to know. People tell me that all the time, often very diplomatically as in – I’m an enigma wrapped in a parcel tied up in knotty bows. I like to make my presents difficult to open, it’s more fun that way especially if they’re rather lame.

I’m an even harder person to get to know. Except if you’re my cat, and can do this:


I'm Shy


Just in case you think that once you’ve managed to get past the difficulties involved in getting to know me, things will get easier… they won’t (although my nearest and dearest seem to be under the illusion that I’m very sweet under the salty surface. I’ve only recently found out that being ‘salty’ means being bad-tempered. I can’t keep up with this ever-changing definition shit!).

Why? Why am I making something which in theory should be pleasurable – making friends, interacting, communicating, having relationships – in practice be such a pain in the patootie (I edited what I really wanted to say, which was – ass. ASS!).

Why do I make myself a difficult experience for others?

Is it because I think I’m so special that you have to run a gauntlet to prove that you’re special enough to have access to my specialness?

Shit, I hadn’t thought of it that way… hang on a minute while I edit that.


Help! I think I'm a Narcisisst! by raisedbynarcissists redditextract via raisedbynarcissists


Is it in my nature to be this frigging (edited due to the word I actually used being XXX-rated, and no, it doesn’t begin with ‘F’) annoying or is it due to the nurture (or lack of it) which my nature received?

Just today I came across this article – Happier People Are Raised By Parents Who Do These Two Things.

The two things are basically – warmth and being less controlling.

Neither of which were things my parents did naturally. They were naturally cold and controlling, however, they were quite adept at faking being naturally warm and easy-going, and they believed their own fakery which is why they could be so convincing.

Their public persona was nothing like their private selves.

One minute they could be furies and wrath-beasts, verbally assaulting you for giving them a drawing you made of daddy, mommy and you. What a devoid of any talent moron you are! You’ve wasted paper with your disgusting use of it! You’re an eco-terrorist! Your horror upon horror is making them want to die for giving birth to you! You forced your existence upon them and now you’re torturing them for being weak humans who procreated!

Then an outsider walks in and…

LOOK! LOOK! Look at what my genius child drew for me! They’re so proud they could cry tears of joy!They’ve inherited the combined awesomeness of both parents! LOOK! LOOK! Look at what we’ve made, we made a child prodigy! Our genes are superb!

The outsider thinks you’re a lucky child for having such adoring parents, and can’t understand why you’re such an ungrateful brat who looks like you’ve just taken a bite of a shit sandwich. Your poor wonderful parents… to have to put up with such a child!


narcissist parents


Unlike other people who were mostly only subjected to my parents’ public persona, and often didn’t know there was a very different type of person behind that designed-to-appeal-to-others image (oh, the terrifying disillusionment which occurred when they did!), I was exposed to both their public and private behaviours almost simultaneously (remember what you’re not supposed to remember, pretend not to know what you know which you’re not supposed to know!)… both of which I experienced as being real because I was supposed to experience them that way to help maintain them, and because they were both real to them while they were being them.

Which was very confusing as when we were a family in public they treated me differently from when we were behind closed doors. How could both of them be real when they contradicted each other? What was real, what was not…?

One moment they were loving, hugging, warm parents who encouraged their child to be a child, and were proud of their offspring, its precocious expressions and exploration of the world. That was in public when they had an audience they needed to impress with what perfectly wonderful parents they were, and how lucky a spoiled brat I was to have them.

The next moment, once public scrutiny was gone, once they no longer had an audience to restrain them, to entertain with tales of make believe, they were cold, distant yet invasive, critical cyborgs who discouraged their child about being a child – grow up, stop being childish, this is unacceptable (we’re the only ones allowed to be childish!) – and were constantly disappointed in all the flaws, faults, and imperfections which they eagerly sought by putting me under their intense microscope of wrongs which I had that reflected badly on them. These were useful to ab-use. Don’t do that it’s annoying, don’t eat/eat, don’t look/look, don’t move/move, don’t smile/ smile, don’t speak/speak, don’t etc/etc…

Everything that was right with me in public was wrong with me in private. But they were always right even when their right in public completely contradicted their right in private.


narcissist parent:child dynamic


It’s confusing enough to have to deal with erratic parents and their nonsensical parenting in and of itself, but… you’re never as isolated as you need to be to deal with that on its own. There’s a whole world of pain waiting to make mincemeat out of you out there, especially if your parents are narcissists. The let it in to help them keep you in your very tiny place, foetal position forever enabled.

Even though my parents kept me isolated from others, especially my peers (so as to better keep control of me), they also exposed me to the opinions of others (so as to better keep control of me), especially those of adults whom they had brought in to back up their persona and version of reality – particularly when I was showing signs of rebellion and independence… which made making sense of things even more confusing.

If you think the world of narcissists is a frigging nightmare, wait until narcissists introduce you to the periphery of their world – which includes non-narcissists who sometimes behave far worse than narcissists because they’ve been poked and prodded by narcissists to let loose the inner beast they usually keep very well hidden and extremely well-edited.


different beasts withinNarcissists can bring out the worst in the nicest of people, then give them a target and a just cause to shoot and kill it. If you’re the target you learn to edit yourself to make yourself smaller and harder to hit and kill.


As much as my space and self was invaded by them, I also had times when they ignored me (because I wasn’t useful or needed at that time, someone else was being used in my stead), and Itook advantage of those times to get to know myself, to discover who I was naturally. This was a blessing for me, as it helped me to maintain contact with my actual self rather than lose it to their version of me (whichever one was the one they insisted upon for the benefit of their latest persona), but they often viewed this as a curse for them. So, they’d bring in other people to help control and censor me.

Like my child psychologist Godfather/Uncle. What I recall the most about his interactions with me were him telling me what was wrong with me, often prompted by my parents – we don’t like this, tell her it’s a bad thing and she must get rid of it (edit it out).

The things which he thought were wrong with me were mostly things that children are and do naturally. I have no idea why he was a child psychologist since he didn’t seem to understand children at all, and seemed to hate them. Or perhaps it was just me (prompted by my parents – hate her so she’ll hate herself, then she’ll be who we want her to be). Since I was the only child in an adult world, it’s hard to tell.

He had a particular dislike for my shyness, and couldn’t see that part of my shyness was due to being a child surrounded by adults who were always criticising me for being a child, for everything about me, telling me to edit myself into an adult before I was actually an adult – and was the adult I was supposed to be… like their version of being an adult?

I kept quiet and tried to be invisible so as not to bother them – which, of course, bothered them. If I didn’t keep quiet and was visible… that bothered them too.


Why narcissists have children - seth meyersWhy do narcissists have children? – by Seth Meyers


Adults are confusing to a child. They insist that you be honest, then sometimes punish you when you are while praising you when you aren’t. They demand that you be truthful, then lie to you… but that’s not lying, not when they do it.

They give you a colouring book and crayons, then get annoyed when you colour things the way that you want to and go outside the lines. Meanwhile they colour you the way they want to and often cross the lines.

One of the ways that narcissists cross those lines is – They steal your originality and makes it theirs. Should you notice what they have done and make a fuss about it, they will chastise you for objecting to their theft, and may accuse you of stealing their originality which is actually yours that they stole from you.

They can do this so convincingly (because liars are better at making a lie a truth than those who tell the truth are, as it is a matter of life and death of their persona that they believe their own BS and sell it to others) that you may end up believing them, and doubting yourself. They will steal your identity and then alienate you from it.

They will plagiarise who you are, then accuse you of plagiarism if you challenge them, and even if you can prove that they stole from you what they claim is original to them by using time stamps or a signature style, they will have prepared themselves in advance for your ‘attack’.

They may have protected themselves by blaming someone else for what they have done. They know that they’re not the original source, and that they might get challenged about it , so to protect their sensitive souls and pretty derrieres, they credit another source with what they have done (a target for blame if the shit hits the fan), just not the original one because they’ll be damned if they’ll credit the actual original source as that source must never be revealed while they are still feeding off of it, stealing from it, in case anyone else wants to steal from it (they’ve got dibs on that!).


write,draw,build,play,danceJust don’t expect to keep it once a narcissist has decided that what is yours is theirs.


That’s one thing which tends to identify a narcissist for me, above many other things they do or don’t do – and what they don’t do is as informative as what they do.

They steal personalities to create their persona… and sometimes they do those stolen personalities better than those they stole them from because they don’t have all the baggage which comes with it, which created the originality of it.

Ask them why they are the way they are and they can’t explain the source of that trait, behaviour, personality, not without using someone else’s words, not without blaming someone else, deflecting, distracting and turning it around on you – why do you think I am the way that I am? If you answer that, then the next time someone asks them why they are that way, they’ll use your answer to answer them, but by then it will be their answer (copyrighted by them unless it gets flack, in which case it will be your fault).

They can’t self-reflect, and they hate to admit that they don’t know… and they’ll never say – thank you for asking, let me spontaneously explore this in a way which might make me vulnerable.


Sylvia-Plath-wanting everything and nothing


Why do I self-edit?

Because I grew up with narcissists and self-editing became a reflex, an attempt to try to just once please them with who I was (even if I wasn’t that). If only just once I could be good enough, let me just get rid of this, and that, and the other thing which bothers, offends, upsets you, whittle myself down to a nub… oh, no, that nub is ugly!

It was also a primal instinct, a survival mechanism designed to protect who I was from who they wanted me to be at any given moment, from the invasion of the body-and-everything-else-snatchers. I edited myself to hide what was my precious from those who wanted it by giving them false-preciouses to steal.

However, it’s also something I think I might have done naturally… my shyness is natural even though it has often taken unnatural forms. It spread to areas where it might not have existed naturally because boundaries were not encouraged, and the slightest hint of a boundary invited an incursion – what are you hiding… I want it!


why did the narcissist cross the road?


Narcissists aren’t the only reason I self-edit, neither is my shyness the cause, sometimes it’s just the polite thing to do… not everyone wants to hear my uncensored, uncontrolled, unedited self because it can be quite caustic, and life is hard as it is, no need to add to that.

We rely on others to be sympathetic, empathic, considerate… radical honesty is not always the best policy.

I try to keep things simple, and to be myself, authentic, as much as possible… I’m human, so I’m going to fail at doing this as often, if not more, than I succeed.

Let’s’ just say that… I know I’m hard to get to know, and not easy to know, and I appreciate the effort you make in spite of the efforts I make to elude you. I’m trying to be less elusive… and that can be trying!

You’re helping me to be less of a pain in the… ass, but it may take a while for the update to my system to work without glitches.

And… telling me to stop editing myself… that’s kind of telling me to edit myself.

A ‘red flag’ for me concerning identifying a possible narcissist is when someone demands that I stop editing myself for them (especially if I wasn’t editing myself with them). Narcissists are paranoid and always think you’re holding out on them because they’re holding out on you.

So… there’s that… too…

[Please note – the person who inspired this post with their comment that I should stop editing myself is not a narcissist.]

Once you’ve inspired a train of thought… it just keeps going…

I am who I am… edited or unedited… I’m still me, as is…




  1. Im sorry you had to grow up with parents who acted like that. How traumatic. I mean ive come to learn just about everyone has two faces. That not meaning being two faced although many certainly can be. Im just speaking of those that have a good game face or the super duper professional at work but chill at home i guess maybe those are just gears perhaps. Ive just never acquired it myself and it gets me into trouble at work often.
    However , i would be mortified if my parents treated me and acted two faced like yours did. Basically my parents are the only few people i do trust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you πŸ™‚

      My parents were the way they were, they didn’t have good parents either, and they grew up in Europe during WWII, that was tough and had difficult consequences, and so they simply passed on to me what was passed onto to them. Whenever I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself, I simply remember – This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin – puts things into perspective.

      It’s great to have good parents, and to appreciate what they do. It’s not easy being responsible for a human being, and it definitely is not easy being a human being in this crazy thing called life. Good parents are amazing beings, who pass on their best to their children, who then pass that on as adults to others.

      Those of us who had faulty parents learn from those who had great parents, and by sharing we help each other appreciate what we had or didn’t have, and we figure things out from there.

      It’s true that people are often required to have a professional face which may or may not be similar to their private face. In business our face often represents who we work for and what they want to get across. It can be a challenge if we’re not feeling it for personal reasons. Home should be where we can take all the professional make up off and just let it all out, be as we are, but we can’t always do that there either as people may need us to smile when we feel like frowning. And sometimes family has a way of making us naturally smile when we aren’t feeling that way.

      We live, have experiences and learn, and hopefully pass on some good stuff!


    • Thank you πŸ™‚

      We usually only figure out that someone is a narcissist by the time it is too late – we’re in too deep and we’re hurting, because at first they’re rather awesome, larger than life, and their take on life is addictive, the child in the body of an adult is fun to be around in the beginning of the relationship… it’s only later that the fun turns into something not fun at all. It’s a bit like a funfair ride which goes on too long and keeps going, the fun becomes fear and we have to jump off to get off of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think you’re difficult to get to know. I’ve only gotten pist at you once! I respect your opinions and learned to respect your space. I understand you have your own journey. I think you’d be super cool to hang out with. I think we’d learn a lot from each other, as I already have, and thank you for this. We all edit ourselves to some degree, but it sux that you couldn’t come home to a space to where you could just be you. I’m glad you’re able to do this more so here.

    3 more emails from her yesterday.. and, Delete, delete, delete! πŸ˜€ I never really missed her. I just missed my sanity. Her mum is definitely a narc. I always thunk it, before I even knew what one really was. I just had no clue how close the apple fell from the cart. This still perplexes me, and I haven’t quite forgiven myself yet. At what age do you think I should inform my little one that her mum is “different?” I worry about her being narced too. I want her to know that she’s more than worthy, and offer her some release that her mum’s perspective isn’t always correct.

    Thanks for being you, Ursula. Keep creating your own canvass!


    • Thank you πŸ™‚

      You’ve only gotten pissed at me once!?! Damn, I’m losing my ability to piss people off or you’re really chilled, dude! πŸ˜‰

      We do learn a lot from each other, it’s one of the great things about interactions and relationships. There’s just so much to learn and explore, so many ways to be and so many great people to get to know.

      We do all edit ourselves a bit here and there, and mostly it’s done to get along. You cut slack, I cut slack, because we’re all in this thing called life and being human together.

      With narcissists, it’s a whole other bubbling and boiling cauldron of nope! Relationships for them are all about them and since they don’t know who they are, they can’t possibly deal with who you are. They edit themselves all the time trying to find the perfect persona, but none of their personas are ever quite good enough, so who you are is never good enough either.

      The way to forgive yourself is to realise that you’re human and accept what comes with being human, which most other humans appreciate. Only narcissists have a difficult time with being human and with others being human, they’re constantly trying to transcend the natural and become something supernatural – which they don’t realise is creepy.

      Your little one will be fine, she’ll figure things out when she’s ready to do so, children are smarter than adults when it comes to understanding certain things, and she has you to help her, to be there for her as a balancing and healing influence. Just be yourself with her, that’s really all she needs from you. If you accept yourself as you are, then you’ll naturally give her the inspiration to accept herself as she is – and that’s a great gift to give to someone else!

      Kudos on deleting you narc’s emails – they’re just repeating what they always say, that’s what narcs do. Play, rewind, repeat.

      Take care of yourself, and your self care will help those you love!

      Oh, btw, I read that article you linked me to in another post. Very interesting take on things, also a very personal perspective, hard to know what’s what sometimes.


      • Haha! I haven’t beed such a chilled dude as of late, everything hit me all at once! I lost my bestest buddy of 17 years last month. I knew his time was coming close. He used to go sit in the shower for hours like it was his rocket ship awaiting the rapture or something. I used to sing Rocket Man to him, by Elton John when he hid out in there. I was able to say goodbye, so it takes the sting out a little bit. It’s weird, he wouldn’t let me comfort him the last few weeks as he grew weaker and weaker. He’s probably the only unconditional love I’ve ever had. He never left my side when I went down and out earlier this year. I really hope I get to see him again some day. This has been a year full of loss! I shook a narc, lost my lil one, lost my eldest brother in June to pancreatic cancer, and my beloved last month. I even lost myself for a bit. RIP bro, and BlackJack. I don’t want to make this post a downer. You can delete this since it’s off topic.

        I thought the article was extremely odd and especially coming from her. It’s like she’s trying to find another identity yet again. However, I didn’t join the pity party for 1 that “nobody understands her” (of course, except me).. Boohoo! Any what I’ve seen to be self-reflection, is lost very quickly. I have to be honest and say I’ve messed with her head through the prior email exchanges. I mirrored her. I just threw back at her all the shit she’s done to me. I know I was playing with fire, but I felt somewhat empowered, and yet still dirty at the same time. It must suck to be narcoleptic! The lights are on, but no one’s home. I do have empathy for her. I mean, I did love her at one time, and the disorder is not her fault. It comes from a rancid childhood of abuse and neglect. I think it’s ok to still love her, but romantically.. that part of me died, and will not be resurrected this time. I have to be very careful with this compassion for her, because I know it comes with another stab in the back. I wonder sometimes if I would have kept doing it, not knowing she has an incurable disorder. I guess it’s not important any more. My focus will be redirected to me, and not her so much. Thank you for being a part of my journey.

        Btw.. Love the picture of you cat.. Cute! πŸ™‚ Give him/her lots of hugs for me. ❀


        • Nothing is ever off topic, not where living life is concerned, and I’m not deleting such beautiful words and wisdom learned πŸ™‚

          My condolences on the loss of a very good friend. That’s a hard loss, but he left you with something worth remembering about being loved and what it feels like when it’s real.

          The loss of a love which gives, still gives in the memory of the heart.

          As for your ex and sharing that article with you – that’s a narc being a narc for you! She made it all about her, and why it’s okay for her to be the way she is and why everyone else has to put up with it and shut up about it. She only wanted to use it to back up her usual story.

          The part I thought was most interesting about that article was where the person who wrote it pointed out that once the guy got out of a toxic system, away from all those trying to force him to be who they wanted him to be for them, he went on to create a really good life for himself where he could be who he was and be with people who accepted him as he was. He was also a self-reflective guy, who changed what needed to be changed and didn’t change what didn’t need to be a changed.

          It’s okay to feel for a narcissist, and to love them if you want to love them, you’re human, and you have empathy and understanding, and it’s alright to have those for a narc as long as you do it from a safe distance from them. Do what you need to do for yourself. Compassion is a lovely human experience, just know that it has to be passive when it comes with a narc – you have to do it from a distance, and do it for yourself.

          Take good care of yourself ❀


          • “you’re human, and you have empathy and understanding, and it’s alright to have those for a narc as long as you do it from a safe distance from them. Do what you need to do for yourself. Compassion is a lovely human experience, just know that it has to be passive when it comes with a narc – you have to do it from a distance, and do it for yourself.”

            My question I struggle with is this. Is it OK for me to think about the Narc I dealt with “I hope things get better for her and she stops treating those who get close to her like dirt, and I accept that the woman I saw behind her mask was and is the real her, but I cannot forgive her for how she treated me.” The fact that I cannot find it in me to forgive her makes me feel like I am the disordered one with NPD and not her, because, as a friend put it “she destroys people and then moves on as if nothing even happened and they meant nothing to her” Do I need to forgive her, or is accepting what she is enough? I mean, you don’t forgive a rabid dog for biting you. You accept that even if it looks like a cute puppy, it’s rabid and will always be, and you keep the heck away from it.


            • Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

              Sorry for the late reply.

              There is nothing disordered about you, nor do you have NPD, for not being able to forgive her. If you consider it logically (as with the rabid dog example) it makes sense to not forgive in this scenario. This is someone who repeatedly hurts you and others, and has no remorse or conscience about it. Forgiving her would actually be illogical.

              Being able to accept that this is the way she is brings a release similar to forgiveness but without the chance of leaving yourself open to a repeat performance on her part. If you forgive a narcissist they see that as an opportunity to do it all over again. They don’t respond well to forgiveness, nor do they understand it – they think people are idiots for forgiving their behaviour because they’re only going to do it again. With narcissists it is best to not forgive and forget, but to remember and protect yourself using the reminder of the pain.

              Forgiveness is something that really only works with people who are genuinely sorry for hurting us, and want to make amends and heal the situation. Narcissists never do that, so forgiving them doesn’t work. Accepting that they are as they are does work for us.

              What you’re doing is spot on. Trust yourself and take good care of yourself.


  3. Sometimes I wonder what my kids REALLY think about their childhood and growing up in our home. They know my self and husband were not perfect parents. He with more rigid (Narcissistic nice) ideas about raising kids, where I was more than likely too unstructured in my parenting, which was my feeble attempt to create balance for them. Our house was loud, chaotic,sometimes unorganized and with a Mom and Dad who fought a lot in front of their kids. But down inside our values and desires for our kids was the same; we wanted to raise healthy, smart, loved and guided by two parents who loved them. I know there were unhappy times but there were just as many good. I’m not trying to make excuses for parents that are highly narcissistic and overtly abusive to their children. Simply that NOT all homes where children grew up and were exposed to unhealthy and some emotionally abusive behaviors, are devoid of any love. Many of these houses probably had parents who loved their children and did the best they could with what they had. Not all parents that have abused (I don’t mean physical in this instance) are evil or even aware that their behavior may be considered abusive. Newer thinking has begun to change what is considered abusive and what is on the line and what is not. At least in our home there was plenty of dysfunction,but there was also plenty of love. So back to my original point: I wonder what my sons would say if asked to describe their home life and parents and growing up years (especially if they knew we wouldn’t hear it). I acknowledge that I wasn’t always the best parent (I’m sure my husband would never admit that he was far from perfect) and that yes there were times when we didn’t do the best job (sometimes because of problems between us) but they WERE and ARE loved very, very much! I only recently have seen that there were parts of my childhood (that I thought was pretty goood) that now would be seen as abusive. Things such as being ignored, neglected emotionally or physically, not allowed to speak my opinion, always having to be the helper in a single parent home, being yelled at, inconsistent discipline and rewards. These types of things are only recently being recognized as not positive parenting.

    Please don’t misunderstand me I am not in defense of narcissistic behavior towards anyone, but as I listen to your words and just wonder if my sons feel more like you than I ever thought. That they were never wanted, or were always a bother and just in the way,because despite everything I would hope they know how much they are loved despite being irritating and irresponsible young adults at times. It hurts to think that I did that poor of a job as a parent. Sometimes it’s not on purpose, it’s a learned behavior handed from generation to next. Considering the fact that narcissistic behavior is on the rise, the chances of containing this tsunami don’t look good. But never say never or always because everyone who opens their eyes to what this abuse is. Is one step closer to reversing the current pattern. Thank-you for speaking out and sharing your stories. Knowledge is power.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      Don’t worry, I get what you’re saying. I actually really appreciate the perspective. With narcissists being such a hot topic, narcissism being such a trending issue, with NPD being the disorder of the moment, and the matter of being a victim of narcissistic abuse being a popular subject, particularly online, it’s important to keep things in perspective or we’ll all end up being labeled as narcissists by someone else or labeling someone else as a narcissist.

      Life isn’t a black and white experience, there are many shades in between, and nothing is entirely negative or positive, it’s more about what we make of it either way, and what we make of it depends on our perspective at the time. Perspective can change.

      Narcissism is a normal and natural phase of human development. It has a healthy expression and purpose in our lives and selves. We can all be narcissistic, both positively and negatively, and that fluctuates depending on what is going on with us and in our lives. If we’re in pain, then we’re more likely to express a negative kind of narcissism, but just because we’re being narcissistic, perhaps unhealthily for us and others, doesn’t mean we’re narcissists, have NPD.

      Those with NPD are very different to those who are being narcissistic temporarily due to extenuating circumstances. The context has to be considered as well as the long term. Those with NPD are consistently negatively narcissistic, and are so wrapped up in themselves that they don’t care about anyone else except themselves. This is what is normally termed as ‘lacking empathy’. They can’t see anyone else’s view except their own – and their own view is the only one which exists or matters to them. They are not interested in anyone else’s view except their own, your view only matters to them if it supports their view. If your view doesn’t support their view they will bully you, intimidate, induce fear, nag, bitch, moan and whine, play the victim, until you support their view.

      Being a parent is one of the most daunting and difficult experiences in human life. Being human is difficult on its own, being a human responsible for the welfare of another human being is intense. No one expects parents to be perfect, to live up to some ideal of always being good. If someone does expect that, they’re probably a narcissist. My mother had this obsession with being seen as the perfect mother, and she expended a lot of effort training me to tell her and others what a wonderful mother she was, while she did very little to actually earn that reputation. She also spent a lot of time criticising other parents and finding fault with what they did, pointing out to me how lucky I was to have her as my mother rather than this other person who was doing everything wrong – the parents she criticised were often really good parents compared to her, even if they had flaws (which is normal and natural), as they genuinely loved their children – whereas she only loved me when she was putting on a display for the benefit of someone else, or when I was doing something which reflected well on her.

      Narcisisstic love is always conditional, and a narcissist only loves you if… you say this, do this, will be this for them. They do not do what you have done, and that is to self-reflect. They never ask – was I a good parent? Or anything along those lines. If they do ask it, then it is done to create an expected, controlled and censored by the narcissist, response, not because they’re actually self-reflecting or give a shit about whether they are or are not good parents.

      This is a very good article about being the child of parents who a real narcissists – https://theinvisiblescar.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/surviving-the-narcissistic-parent-acons-adult-children-of-narcissists/

      When you’re the child of a real narcissist, a parent with NPD, you’re not allowed to be a child, you’re a thing, and this thing which you are is an extension of this great being that is your parent – your job is to make them look good, feel good, etc. You’re basically hired from day one to be the public relations agent of the Justin Bieber of the parenting world, no matter what shit they do, you have to put a positive spin on it and issue a press release stating how wonderful they are – and you get paid in stale peanuts for your efforts.

      From what you’ve shared of your family life, it sounds like a typical messy human experience with lots of love. Isn’t that what life’s about? For children to become healthy adults, they need to be able to accept the whole range of the human experience and of being human. Seeing their parents being human is part of learning about being human. It’s going to be emotional, and some of those emotions are going to be chaotic. It’s okay, and often a much needed lesson about life.

      Real narcissist parents are Stepford parents. It’s all about the facade. There is no real love there.

      I’m sure if you asked your kids what they feel about you and your husband as parents, they’d probably say that you both could be irritating and irresponsible adults at times, but overall they felt and feel loved, and why are you asking such a stupid question?

      Every generation has a theory about what makes the perfect parent and what doesn’t. And subsequent generations usually debunk the previous generations theories. Humans are great at creating theories, but when it comes to putting them into practice… we’re very human about that, and we do what we do, and hope for the best.

      Don’t be too hard on yourself, especially not based on what you read online or in books. Look at life, look at the life which you gave life to, you did your best, the rest is up to them, and you’re open to hearing what they have to say about it, so… that shows you what a great and very human parent you are πŸ™‚

      My mother still thinks I’m six years old, and recently she killed me off because my existence was in the way of her getting something she wanted – that’s what a real narcissist parent is like. You’re not that at all!


  4. I absolutely agree that you shouldn’t edit yourself, at least not here on YOUR blog, regardless of whether or not it’s public. People have the option to not read it or question you, but you shouldn’t censor yourself, unless you’re avoiding those things or doing it for whatever other reasons you have.

    The post itself definitely hit home though, I’m not sure if it reminds me of myself or people I know. Lol the joys of not knowing your own reality.

    The problem with narcissists “stealing” from people is that people steal from each other all the time. Not necessarily in a malicious kind of way, but because maybe someone expressed something in a way that they thought was better or made more sense than they thought they could do themselves. Or they said or did something they truly agreed with and they just took that with them. Unfortunately if someone repeats or relays an idea they don’t always give credit to the original source, sometimes it just seems awkward to throw that out in conversation. But I do agree that narcissists have a tendency to almost take on an entire persona when they do it.

    My favorite *total sarcasm* right now is when people repeat things I’ve said as their own when they claim to have not heard me say it, and they shouldn’t have heard it in the first place. But, that’s to be expected when you surround yourself with certain types of people. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

      I agree, we all get inspired by each other, borrow bits and pieces from others, absorb it, and pass it on without necessarily crediting the source because sometimes we don’t know where we got it from, and, you’re right, it’s not always practical to go into it in a conversation even when we can recall where that piece of bling came from.

      We pick stuff up and pass stuff on, that’s what humans do. One person uses a stick, and suddenly we’re all using sticks. 100dth monkey theory alive and well in practice, and usually benefiting one and all, one way or another.

      The way a narcissist steals is very different from general human borrowing from other humans. It’s what you described in your last paragraph. You say something, and if it’s a narcissist you’re talking to, they heard nothing but suddenly they repeat what you just said back to you, maybe even exactly as you said it, only they never heard it from you just now, they just gave birth to it like Venus out of the genius which is their mind… but only if it’s received with applause, if they get boos for it… it’s someone else’s baby!

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      • They steal so much hence if you get close to them you feel the paranoia & fear that they have. I recall running into her unexpectedly at the store- I could feel her collect herself and then almost make a mental note of who she was with and then go from there with the conversation. She looked surprised because she was and needed to “play the part.” This happened other times too- it’s almost like I was a total stranger to her…I felt her fear and anxiousness which I blew off but now I know why. What an exhausting way to live…makes me tired just thinking about it. Also, she would steal my words- I have some weird dumb things that I say (my husband just laughs) that I picked up in childhood from living in so many places etc. She once said one of my lines as if it were her own and I questioned her on it immediately since it was something dumb I’d say. I don’t think in the end they get away with really stealing & appearing normal though- the lack of inflection in the voice & the appropriateness of when to say something at the right moment is just “off” or “not right.” It’s a very different kind of thing overall and it’s not normal sharing that friends or people that spend time together have. It’s stealing and it feels like that once you figure it out. Of course those without NPD also steal to some degree but it’s different. Stealing is very different from sharing. A person with NPD does not really share, ever…they just can’t.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That is true dat πŸ™‚

          In the Natural History/Science Museum in London there was this machine which you could sit in, which had all these levers and buttons, each one controlled an aspect of the human body which is vital for living, and you had to work the machine to keep yourself alive. It was really difficult, and after about a couple of seconds you ended up dead, relieved to be dead because it was exhausting and anxious making. The purpose of it was to show you what your brain does to keep you alive every millisecond.

          A narcissist is sort of doing that with their persona, they have to pull all these strings, press buttons, push levers to keep it alive. To have to be in control of yourself, and others (how others see you, think about you, etc), 24/7 is exhausting, makes them very volatile and incredibly anxious. When they make a mistake or are placed in a position for which they haven’t adequately prepared themselves, they freak out.

          Since they often keep their friends isolated from each other, especially if they have a different persona for each one, then accidentally bumping into you while she was with someone else would have created a persona clash, it might expose her, as well as expose you and the other person she was with to each other – narcissists often invent stories, gossip and bitch to one person about the other people they know. They feel safe doing this because they keep those people apart, but they can’t have you swapping stories or giving away what they’ve been saying about you behind your back. Also if they’ve been stealing your words and using them in conversations with others, they can’t have you meeting them as then the jig might be up for them.

          My mother used to do that all the time, and I’d often catch her out simply because when she was with someone else she often ignored me, therefore didn’t notice I was in the room. Sometimes she’d do it brazenly because she knew I wouldn’t say anything as she’d make me pay for it later, and because confronting a narcissist in front of others usually ends up with you looking stupid and petty, especially if you’re accusing them of stealing your words. They always know how to turn the tables, will pull out all the stops if need be, and even fake an injury if it gets them off the hook and makes you look bad.

          When narcissists steal they often have no connection to or understanding about what they’ve stolen. If they share some deep thought which they say they’ve had, especially if it doesn’t sound like it’s in their own words, isn’t the usual stuff which pops out of their mouth, and you ask them to explain the thought, go into it in more detail, discuss how they came to that thought, or if you question its validity, challenge it, they will deploy evasive tactics, because they can’t explain it, unless they’ve also stolen the explanation, either way they probably won’t understand it, or have a real personal connection to it.

          When non-narcs borrow from others, it’s usually because there’s a personal connection to what they’ve taken, and they can go into detail as to why they like the idea, what it means to them, they give it their own spin and voice, and if asked they will reveal their source if they can remember it. They’re happy to share and they’ll be glad to discuss it further because it is something which truly interests them. They’re usually up for a debate, because they want to flesh things out for themselves too.

          Narcs don’t do that. They just see something they want with which to decorate themselves and they take it. They like to steal things which make them appear smart, clever, intelligent, wise, deep, beautiful, artistic, etc, anything bling which pimps them up. And they’ll often tell ludicrous lies about it.

          If a non-narc sees a watch they like, perhaps on a celebrity they admire, they’ll buy the watch from a shop and if anyone asks about it they’ll tell you exactly what happened. If the very same thing happened with a narc, they might tell you what happened (with drama added), but if it’s too ordinary it won’t appeal to their grandiosity, so they might tell you that their grandfather was given it by someone very famous in some crazy adventure, and then passed it onto them because their grandfather could see that they were special and this is a very special watch. If you point out that you were with them when they bought it, they’ll freak out and make you wish you’d kept quiet.

          There are many things which narcs do that are similar to everyone else, however, the reasons for doing it and the way it is done are different.

          And yes, they do steal some bizarre things sometimes, and tell weird porky-pies about it. It’s quite revealing to see what catches their magpie eyes as it shows what’s of real value to them, and it’s insightful for us because we often don’t value what is ours until a narc steals it, especially if it is something we say or do naturally so we take it for granted.


          • That’s so interesting…fun to read, thanks! What I have realized from time away was many of the things she said were lies- most all of it, especially the outrageous stories she’d tell to shock me. None of it was true. I ruminated over many of the things she said trying to figure out who it belonged too. Now I realize much of it belongs to no one. Some does belong to her, that she said about others but much of it belongs in a big pile labeled “bullshit!” She had her own style which was to poke & shock. She enjoyed duping which I think they all do, as they have nothing better to think about really and duping instantly gives control- the upper hand since the person being duped doesn’t know it’s a lie.

            One of her key specialties was mimicking others. It was one of the ways I figured out who she was preying on (after the fact and looking back on it all). There were times when she’d be sitting next to her husband and in a 5 second blip he’d move his body & face in a certain way and she would do it at the exact same time- it was creepy even then. It was if she was the clone of him. Her ability to do this, made people think that she was into them & people love feeling like someone is just like you…me included! One of our last conversations (once I figured things out) I told her that we are not compatible. She always told me we were morphing (hmmm) and I wanted her to know that I was nothing like her- I finally stood up for myself at that point & it was a proud moment. I think those moments are turning points- you finally get the bravery to speak your mind and you see them for who they are and then they respond to your comments in such an unusual way that it confirms things and gives you more strength to forge ahead. It’s a break through.

            I like the “fake an injury”- ha ha…so true and funny looking back. Also, isolating friends for different personas. That is so classic.

            So, having been raised by Narcs, what type of people are you most attracted too now? You can read people like no other-even through your blog I am impressed. So do you have a type that is most compatible with you? So why do I ask? Well I am trying to figure out why I have chosen the friends that I have. I tend to be attracted and they are attracted to me- people that are narcissistic (not NPD)- just ego focused types. But I am most compatible with strong personalities types (those with good firm boundaries)- the quieter but confident kind…my husband is like this. He is more simple too- I am more complicated & a thinker. Simple is a good balance to my inner chaos.


            • man…you guys are CREEPING…ME…OUT right now. it just never ceases to amaze me how similar all our stories are. narcs definitely do steal personas, and it is one of the most twisted, creepy, insidious things they do. i had a group of friends in college. we hung out so much that we all started to sound like each other. there were certain words we would all use, certain inflections, gestures, etc. this is not what narcs do. narcissists try to steal your ENTIRE identity. your personality. your persona. the movie “single white female” is a good example.


              • “Narcissists try to steal your entire identity,” is so very true. It feels very different than shooting the shit with friends and wearing similar clothes and using similar phrases to bond and connect with each other. Unfortunately it may initially feel this way with a person with NPD but it always has a twisted edge to it that seems unusual-just off. That’s the sign-red flag.

                My friend told me she was going to SWF me if I left her- it was done via text and I thought she was kidding. I like to joke around. I told her don’t worry, I am loyal like a good dog(I actually am but that wasn’t a good thing to say to a person with NPD). It makes me laugh that I responded that to her and she was actually being serious!!! WTF! And later I found out she was a SWF- she was actually telling the truth for once & I think many times we think they are kidding when they speak the truth because what they are saying is so f’n stupid, crazy or out of the ordinary that we assume it’s false. And that’s what gets us stuck in the healing process too- “what was true versus what was false.” I was stuck there what seemed like forever-and I hated it. I finally realized that in many ways I’ll never know. I think this was so important to me because I was apart of a reality that I did not know at the time was not ALL real (some was but some wasn’t). It made me feel like a bad person, like something was wrong with me & that I was seriously flawed too. It made me look at myself very closely which brought many things inside of me to the surface-things I didn’t want to see. It’s OK to not want to see things for what they are. I gave myself time to decide when I wanted to face things, on my own. Ursula- knows first hand about this and passes this along to many of us that come to her blog for support & reassurance that it will be OK. It will be OK jborn- getting creeped out is apart of it. It’s actually a healthy sign of a normal person facing hard things and apart of the healing. You’re doing good, hang in there πŸ™‚

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                • “It will be OK jborn- getting creeped out is apart of it. It’s actually a healthy sign of a normal person facing hard things and apart of the healing.”

                  thanks so much for saying that. very reassuring. i’m sure you’ve seen michael jackson’s “thriller” video? the part where they’re walking home, past the cemetery, and the zombies start to come out of the graves…then, suddenly, michael and his girlfriend are standing back to back in the middle of a slew of zombies…the music begins to build, and, suddenly, the girlfriend spins around, and, DUH-DUH-DUHHHHH!!!…michael’s a zombie too!!!

                  yeah. that’s how i felt on thursday.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • You are funny…l like your sense of humor. Use that to your advantage when you feel creeped out or overwhelmed. Or eat sour cream & onion potato chips- I was rolling when I saw that comment you made. I tend to position myself in our pantry stuffing my face & eventually one of my kids comes by and says “mom???” I just laugh & tell them I know I have problems. You gotta try to laugh at some of it, since much of it will make you cry. DUH πŸ˜‰

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                    • hahahaha!!! thank you:) yet another one of the narcissist’s many gifts – emotional eating. i rather enjoy this gift, though:) i like to couple my bouts with binge-watching “three’s company”. if you can’t laugh at jack tripper, you can’t laugh. “laverne and shirley” is good, too.

                      you give really great advice:) thanks a lot!:)

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              • I’ve had that happen so many times, been creeped out by the similarities of stories, it can be mind-boggling. It has happened more so since I’ve been blogging about my own story, especially on a couple of my posts about being a child of narcissists. So many people have commented that in writing my story I’ve written about theirs… and they thought they were the only ones who had experienced that kind of insanity.

                We’re so used to feeling alone stuck in a crazy reality which we’re certain no one else has experienced – because narcissists isolate you… all the better to eat you (old grandma wolf).

                SWF was one of the first films I watched which personally freaked me out (I’ve always watched horror and thriller films and mostly I was detached from them, but that one…) as I could relate to what happened and how easy it is for that to happen, how subtle and insiduous that kind of thing is. You don’t notice it because it happens gradually until it’s happened and then what do you do about it? They’ve taken over and… how do you deal with someone who is that driven to take over who you are? What they do is just not what we would ever do… not to that extreme extent!

                I think what is the most creepy aspect is how similar ll narcissists seem to be, in whatever form we experience them. I mean, like us they’re individuals… so how come they’re all so alike? Are they Borg, attached to some sort of hive mind or disorder?

                Recently someone from Russia shared their story of being the child of narcissists. This is a different culture and generation from my parents, and a different experience for me personally, and yet so similar… how so!?!

                Liked by 1 person

                • the funny thing about “single white female” for me is that when i first saw it, it had no effect on me whatsoever (other than leaving the theatre saying to myself, “wow, that was one crazy bitch”). i hadn’t yet awakened to the way my parents are. but, of course, when i see it now…totally different experience.

                  have you guys ever seen “poison ivy”? i remember being so excited to see that film because i love both drew barrymore and sara gilbert. i still love the movie, but, when i watch it now…totally different experience.

                  it’s like, you were watching your life, but, you didn’t know yet that you were watching your life. i have also always watched thriller films. now, my life is so much like one of these films. i used to watch thriller movies to escape, now, i watch them in an attempt to understand my parents. what????????!!!

                  just so surreal. i still own the book people of the lie. even though i think it’s so out there, i always kept it because i can relate so much to his description of what it feels like to be in the same room with someone with npd. when they’re being especially npd-ish, and you see that little, nasty gleam in their eye…or, when they’re raging…you just want to get out of that room. it’s just very strange to feel this way about your parents.

                  but, this is great advice:

                  “It’s OK to not want to see things for what they are. I gave myself time to decide when I wanted to face things, on my own.”


                  • She was indeed one crazy bitch! Yes, I’ve seen Poison Ivy. I can’t remember anything about it, other than I thought Drew Barrymore was superb. There are so many films and TV shows which use the narcissist or sociopath with narcissistic tendencies as a character, sometimes multiple characters (Suits, the TV show, is just a smorgasbord of narcissists), that it’s almost impossible to avoid them. Overt narcs don’t tend to get to me as much as Covert narcs – if there’s a Covert narc character I sometimes just can’t watch, and I often get mad at myself for inviting these characters into my home, but at least I can switch them off and shut them up with the click of a button.

                    It’s a good way to get to grips with the surreal element of it.

                    Charlie Casanova (2011) – thriller with a sociopath with narcissistic tendencies. Worth a watch as he talks to camera and explains what he’s doing to the other characters and why.

                    It is good advice, it’s important to respect your own pace, and not force yourself to do what you’re not ready to do. Have you ever read any of Pema Chodron’s books, When Things Fall Apart is very good for dealing with intense life changes.

                    β€œWithout giving up hope β€” that there’s somewhere better to be, that there’s someone better to be β€” we will never relax with where we are or who we are.” ― Pema ChΓΆdrΓΆn

                    It is strange to feel that way about your parents, to see what you now see, and with that comes a new way of feeling about yourself and of seeing yourself, which one is the more surreal.

                    Be gentle with yourself πŸ™‚


                    • i’m just the opposite. if there’s any kind of narc in it, i’m like, “i’ve got to see this!” it’s validating, and, as much as i hate to admit it, if you can detach yourself enough, it’s interesting. i’ve always been interested in psychology (hmmm…i wonder why???:), and it’s fascinating from that standpoint. that is, until it all starts hitting home, and you end up wanting to put your fist through a wall. fascinating and terrifying.

                      i read something by pema chodron. don’t think it was when things fall apart. that’s a really beautiful quote. i’ll have to check that out. the movie, as well. i write all these titles down, so, whenever you think of them, please mention them. nothing like a little book and cinema therapy.

                      yup. it’s definitely surreal. it really feels as though you’re walking around in a dream, sometimes. like you’re stuck in a kafka short story, or something.


            • Turning points are valuable moments to keep in mind, they show you that point at which you reached a threshold and a personal limit, and acknowledged it in a self-affirming manner. Very valuable to remember those, they’re helpful in a myriad of ways in life. They’re when we feel our personal power and are given the option to act on it, become aware, etc. They help us as a personal point of reference for future situations as well as reviewing past experiences.

              With narcissists lines are always blurred because they don’t have definite boundaries. It’s part of the disorder. Chances are that when they were children and going through the phase where boundaries come into play and are formed, whoever it was that caused them to develop their NPD, invaded their boundaries and wouldn’t allow them to form a healthy sense of self. What they do to others is what was done to them, in one form or another, they keep repeating the original wound which created the NPD n all their interactions and behaviour.

              I love that question, btw, about reflecting on attraction, and the influences which play a part in that dynamic. I’ve been doing quite a bit of exploring in that region, it’s always been important to me to do that but the intention behind it has changed over the course of the years. I’m trying now to be more aware of what is going on within the attraction, both ways – on my part and the part of someone else.

              When I find myself intrigued by someone I always ask myself why. It’s insightful and revealing to answer that.

              So, what is it about ego-centric people which appeals to you? Do you want to be more like them? Are they expressing something which you’d like to express? Is a trait they have one which you have, but you’re suppressing your trait whereas with them it is openly expressed? Is what you see in them really a part of them or is it a part of you projected onto to them?

              Our attraction to others informs us about ourselves. The attraction of others to us informs us about them.

              When someone is attracted to me, I ask myself – What is it that has caught their attention? What are they looking for? Are they seeing me or are they seeing something which they’re projecting onto me, and if it is the latter, then do I actually have what is being projected or is it theirs? Are they attracted to me or are they attracted to what they’re projecting onto me which is actually who they are?

              I’ve always been a people-reader, due in part to growing up with narcs – it’s essential to survival to gauge what is going on with someone else, with the narc. I also tend to blank myself out when I’m with others, I don’t think about myself, I think about the other person because the other person is thinking about themselves more often than not. I know who I am, I don’t need to focus on that, so my focus shifts to the other person and what they’re saying about themselves, what they need, what they’re after, etc. I used to be more invasive with this which often freaked people out because I’d point stuff out which they wanted to keep private and they didn’t know how I knew it. I have learned to back off with the invasiveness, but I still sometimes pick up on more than I perhaps should or which is comfortable (Pluto in the 1st house πŸ˜‰ ).

              Relationships are fascinating and an important aspect of our relationship with ourselves. How we relate to others tell us a lot about our relationship with ourselves.

              In the realm of relationships with narcissists – that kind of relationship really makes us face how we relate to ourselves in a way that can be very transformational but also rather traumatic. Trauma is transforming, both negatively and positively, ultimately both are relevant.

              How much more do you appreciate your innate abilities, talents, and value thanks to your very NPD friend. She was a nightmare, she caused you much pain, and so much drama… but through investigating this relationship you have become more aware of what an incredibly amazing person you are.

              Chaos destabilises us, it wrecks the status quo, but it also gives the opportunity to review what we consider to be order, and perhaps re-order ourselves. The need to simplify usually comes from a big mess exploding in our lives.

              I’m mostly attracted to people who think for themselves, who are open to perspectives, share their views without the need to force others to share their views, and who could be considered ‘weirdos’… because I’m what could be considered a ‘weirdo’. I like free spirits who allow others to be free spirits too, and know how to cut slack because they like having slack cut, who accept that they’re human and that others are human too, and who like to explore what being human is about.

              People who are narrow-minded, rigid, and control freaks… yuk… I tend to get irrationally angry whenever I’m around people like that, and that’s sometimes my nadar because narcs are so uptight.

              Blogging has really helped me in so many ways to figure stuff out, and interacting with people who are brave enough to comment on my blog has been richly inspiring. Your question makes for a great blog prompt, I might use it for a series if that’s okay with you πŸ™‚

              Thank you for being you ❀


              • So what is it that appeals to me about ego-focused people- if I could pick one word it would be their “neediness.” I am attracted to that since I can easily sense it and fill it-I’m good at it. So no wonder my friend was attracted to me. I do however get drained quickly and I am one of those people that doesn’t answer the phone if I just am not in the mood to “give” to someone who is always in need. So for me it’s that. Both a strength and a weakness in me. My husband is not needy- and is stable and therefore we are a good match. I like strength in others, since the stronger you are, the less I feel the need to help you and the more I can relax and just be. I do have friends like this too-the strong types. They have been my strength through this all. One of my ego friends said once when I was telling her about NPD & my situation, responded by saying “she would never fall for someone like that.” I blew it off to ignorance but I was tempted to put her in a choke hold and rail her ass. I refrained and I just know what she’s about & I decide how I want to interact with her and what I tell her etc…I think we all have friends like that. That’s life.

                I would love for you to investigate the question I asked. That’s so fun and makes me smile, thank you πŸ™‚


                • It’s intriguing to explore our relationships further. It can at times be uncomfortable to look too closely, but it can also be liberating to go outside of the comfort zone, not just for us but for others too as we release them from those invisible contracts which we have with them when we release ourselves to go where we haven’t been before.

                  The person who told you that ‘she would never fall for someone like that’… hahaha… I’ve heard that sort of thing come out of people’s mouths and it has also come out of mine, and it often precedes a tumble from our own pedestal. Or at least it does with me, I always kick myself when I’m being arrogant because I’ve just basically set myself for a fall.

                  If there is one thing I’ve learned from narcissists, it’s that our strengths can be our weaknesses and our weaknesses can be our strengths – it’s all a matter of perspective, and how we use what we have… as well as how others use them.


              • I can see how you’d be attracted to the free open minded spirits of this world. My friend was initially that- so I obviously like people like that too. I like how you said “I like free spirits who allow others to be free spirits too”- isn’t that the truth!

                Also, I wanted to comment on your ability to read people. Obviously you were trained well in how to do this with the environment that you grew up in. However I think the cool thing about this trait is that you are able to detach easily. You were taught to do this too and its a strength in you. My problem is I can read others well & accommodate but my ability to detach is tougher to do. I have to consciously tell myself to “move back & stay out” while I think you can do it without that kind of effort. Maybe that’s wrong but I think it allows you to answer and respond to so many people on your blog. This kind of thing would overwhelm me and I don’t get overwhelmed quickly. I admire this about you, even though I know the flip side of being able to do this may cause issues with attaching to others (the opposite realm). Maybe that’s total shit but it’s interesting to look at how we work. Just a thought. Do you think that’s true?


                • I hope that didn’t seem like a back handed compliment. It wasn’t meant to be…I more just enjoying getting to know you as a person, it comes from a good place ❀

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • I grew up in the land of backhanded compliments, if you put one in there then it is a most clever one πŸ˜‰

                    I love comment-chatting with you, and getting to know you through your self-expression. I know it comes from a good place, it shines in everything you say.

                    Liked by 1 person

                • Doesn’t sound like total shit to me, it sounds accurate and you know it. πŸ˜‰

                  I do get overwhelmed on a regular basis by the response to my blog, sometimes it’s a lovely feeling and at other times it’s other things. It very much depends on what’s going on with me at the time. And it’s not just on the blog, if someone talks to me in the street, even if it’s someone I know, it can completely freak me out and make me want to run for cover… at other times I’m like Santa Claus offering people my lap (that sounds… um) and asking them what they want, then reaching into my big bag of presents (and probably giving them not what they asked for at all).

                  Detachment is my go-to chilling zone. Part of it is natural, I’m a space cadet who has to keep the front door locked not to keep people out but to remind myself to take keys if I go out (and make sure I’m wearing clothes). Part of it is exactly what you do, consciously reminding myself to…

                  β€œLet there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” ― Kahlil Gibran

                  I sometimes think being able to read others is a curse, because it adds extra layers to an interaction which can cause problems that wouldn’t happen if you were oblivious to the other person. However, it’s also a blessing because being oblivious to others causes problems, you sometimes need to know what is going on with them without asking as they won’t always tell you if you ask them directly.

                  I work with it with more awareness these days, whereas before I did it almost without realising what I was doing, and I pay particular attention to the impact it has on me because when you people-read and detach like I do you often forget to check with yourself as to whether something is okay with you or not. I’m learning to be less detached in certain respects. I sometimes need to remind others that I’m here, that I’m real, flesh and blood, human, which means being aware that I am here and actually being here, sometimes in an awkward manner.

                  It’s interesting what you said about the ego-types… I’ve been teaching myself to be more of an ego-type πŸ˜‰

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • The reason I ask about detachment is because my friend would use that term a lot. She was detached from reality A LOT now that I look back on it. When she was with me, she’d be present but still detached in a way (she was looking in) and I know that at home when she was alone she was in a fantasy land of some type. I in a way forced her to be in reality (as I can be invasive too)…I felt that. She would comment that her youngest son would be in a fantasy land a lot of the day when he was home with her but it was her- she is very detached from reality. A coping skill I imagine that she learned early on. She would tell me that she would just “shove shit down” in reference to feelings or things she didn’t want to deal with. I recall saying, “so how’s that working for you?” She never really answered, just blah blah blah. So it’s interesting to me how you use certain terms in your writing. She used similar terms, ones I never really heard of before. It’s interesting stuff.

                    I think I was trying to say if you can detach so easily from things, do you find it difficult to attach/bond to people? I think they go hand in hand- if you can do something with ease & not much thought- the opposite action may be harder & require more effort. I recall my psychologist telling me that some people do not bond to others or have difficulty with it. I just nodded to that and I was ignorant to this concept- but I know more what it’s all about now.

                    I love that quote by Gibran- I have never heard that before but it is so true. Healthy bonding & attaching really is like that- it’s freeing…it’s to be free. I love that you explore yourself and your thoughts- that is ego focused which is so good ❀

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • A word like ‘Detachment’ has multiple meanings, and therefore one person may not be using it in the same way as someone else, this is a common cause of misunderstanding. Add to that the fact that people sometimes use the wrong word to describe something, either deliberately or accidentally, and things can get confusing. Narcissists in particular tend to use the wrong words, partly because they like the sound of a word and use it as they please, especially if they’ve been reading something which is expressing a persona they want to be. They pepper their speech with their new favourite buzzwords.

                      The definition of detachment I’m using is this one – freedom from self-interest or bias.

                      Which goes along with the philosophical concept of non-attachment – Detachment, also expressed as non-attachment, is a state in which a person overcomes his or her attachment to desire for things, people or concepts of the world and thus attains a heightened perspective. (via wiki – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detachment_%28philosophy%29)

                      And also goes along with the second meaning of emotional detachment in the extract below:

                      Emotional detachment, in psychology, can mean two different things. In the first meaning, it refers to an “inability to connect” with others emotionally, as well as a means of dealing with anxiety by preventing certain situations that trigger it; it is often described as “emotional numbing” or dissociation, depersonalization or in its chronic form depersonalization disorder. In the second sense, it is a decision to avoid engaging emotional connections, rather than an inability or difficulty in doing so, typically for personal, social, or other reasons. In this sense it can allow people to maintain boundaries, psychic integrity and avoid undesired impact by or upon others, related to emotional demands.

                      – via Wiki – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emotional_detachment

                      What you’re describing with regards to your friend sounds like this definition of detachment – the condition of being disengaged or separated; disconnection.

                      Which goes along with the psychological concept of detachment/attachment disorder, and the first meaning of emotional detachment in the extract above. That is probably what your psychologist was referring to.

                      If you do a search for – narcissist + detachment – most of the results are advising those who are in a relationship with a narcissist to ‘detach’ from the narcissist. In this case they’re referring to positive emotional detachment:

                      “So what exactly is emotional detachment? It is a state of calmness, and the ability not be emotionally agitated by people, events, and your own thoughts. It helps you conserve your balance and not take things too personally.

                      This is not a state of indifference, and does not mean lack of interest or lack of feeling. People, who are indifferent, do not care about anything, and are usually passive. True detachment is something else. It is an attitude of common sense, open-mindedness and practical behavior.” – via http://www.lookwithinyou.com/what-is-emotional-detachment/

                      The sort of detachment I do doesn’t disconnect me from others, on the contrary it actually helps me to connect as it increases cognitive empathy. It allows me to listen to them and what they are expressing, understand where they are coming from and what is going on with them. To give them space to be themselves as they are because I want to get to know who they are as they are.

                      Bonding with people requires getting to know them, all of them, and not confusing who they are with yourself. It also requires knowing yourself, and not confusing yourself with others. Respecting the boundary between self and other, knowing when to merge and when to detach – which is what the Kahlil Gibran quote expresses for me.

                      Did your friend read pop psychology?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Thanks for the clarification of the terms, as they mean different things and I didn’t know that πŸ˜‰ Good to know & I appreciate you taking time to add the links too. And yes, she loved pop culture anything hence a place where she got terms and lingo. It all makes sense.


  5. “distant yet invasive” – exactly. they’re either stifling you to the point you can’t breathe, or, they’re nowhere to be found. man, it’s posts like this that really shake me up. seriously, i’ve got shivers going up my spine. when people start to get into this aspect of their stories…i guess it’s the ambient abuse part of their stories…that’s when something in my brain really wants to dissociate. i start to feel like, “no, this wasn’t my life. i’m just watching a weird movie” or something. i guess part of me still can’t believe that my parents have this kind of behavior…these kinds of motives in them. yet, i’m reading this post and saying, “yup…yup” the whole time. as i commented elsewhere on this post, i guess this part of being an acon just really weirds me out, still. maybe you just never get over knowing your own parents treated you in such a devious manner. it’s like watching “single white female” and saying to yourself, “that’s my mother”. it’s like, you know it’s true, but, on a certain level, it won’t compute. but, maybe it’s not supposed to. as i said, maybe you just don’t ever get over being treated that way by your own parents. i mean, i watch shows like “snapped” and see my parents. that’s just so weird. that’s one of the reasons i can’t be around my parents now. it’s like, “i don’t even want to see you. i don’t want to look at you. i don’t want you looking at me. you confuse the hell out of me. just stay away from me.” phew…just endlessly exhausting people.

    this is a really good and helpful post. sorry, i just still get shaken up when i think about the emotional abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I take regular breaks from the whole narcissist thing, otherwise it takes over… just as our parents like to take us over. Even when they’re not a part of our life, they’re somehow all over it and dominating it. Just by researching NPD for our own benefit we end up taking a back seat as what we read about NPD becomes the focus… it’s still all about them,, we’re still all about them! FFS!

      You do need moments of dissociation and detachment to kind of get your bearings again, and remind yourself of who you are separate from all of this. You may have grown up with parents who had NPD, but there must be a you which exists outside, beyond, separate from that? Isn’t there?

      So… take a break when it all gets too much and do something which is all yours.

      I had a moment with my blog where I… had a bit of a crisis of self… awhile back. The whole Narc parents, NPD, etc was taking over and I felt like I was losing myself to it. I had a shock to the system, and decided to take a personal selfish detour. That’s why I do a lot of posts which are just about stuff that I like and have nothing to do with my parents or NPD (even if you can see an undercurrent of it in them).

      We need space to just be us… discover ourselves.

      Too much focusing on them, puts them exactly where they want to be – centre stage in our lives, whether we’re NC or not.

      Whenever you see me going very silly on my posts – I’m taking a break from heavy stuff to rebalance myself. It’s a good idea to remind yourself that it’s not all about them and what they did to you, sometimes it needs to be all about you and what you can do for you. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • i’m really sorry for that little bit of a freak out episode. the whole realization of my parents being the way they are just hits me full on sometimes. i think that when i read something about npd, or watch a movie, or something, i’m able to keep a distance from what i’m reading, seeing, etc. but then there are times when i really start thinking about it, and i can’t get beyond the unbelievableness of it all. it’s like realizing the whole first half of my life was a lie. thursday night (sept. 18th, the day i read this blog entry) i had the craziest dream about my father. i think maybe i was “triggered” by some of the events you shared. i just can’t believe how similar all of our stories can be sometimes. but, i did take a little break for a few days. i went home (i read your blog at work…don’t tell:), stuffed my face full of sour cream and onion potato chips, and vegged out in front of the tv. i’m better now:) sorry again for the outburst.

        Liked by 1 person

        • No worries, and no need to apologise, don’t forget that you’re human! πŸ™‚

          It’s totally natural and normal to freak out, especially considering what’s going on in your life right now, what you’re going through. You’re facing a lifetime within a short amount of real time, confronting a world of years, seeing everything from new perspectives, and rewiring your system while doing it. It’s a bit like downloading the entire internet into your brain and doing it in 24 hours.

          There are a few posts on this blog which are pure freak out, when something just hit me in the gut, triggered everything and my mind went into meltdown. It happens, and it’s part of the process. Be gentle with yourself, let yourself just be and do what you gotta be and do. Chips are good, they’re very good, as is a vegging in front of TV session.

          Years ago, I think it was shortly after I’d gone NC, I read Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ memoir – The Wheel of Life. It really helped me deal with the impact of going NC, of finally accepting the death of the family that never was, and of the parents who never were. I see her 5 stages of grief as very helpful when dealing with relationships with narcissists, especially the death of the illusions, delusions, etc. and for facing the reality of it, accepting all the aspects which go with it, and understanding that sometimes you’re going to be fine, feel good, and sometimes you’ll get hit by it all and blam! It’s all okay, it’s part of being human – Sometimes you just got to get your freak on πŸ˜‰

          Liked by 1 person

          • thanks a lot for understanding. that’s exactly what happened. i will definitely check out the book. never knew she’d written a memoir. and, yes, chips are the best! salty, fatty, comforting goodness:)

            Liked by 1 person

  6. This is completely on point. You could also be describing some of the online gaming ‘communities’ I’ve encountered…especially the blatant plagiarism. I’ve seen the world of the narcissist compared to that of the Vampire and the analogy is apt, especially when you point out that perfectly healthy people fall in with them and take on their traits; this is something else I’ve seen in certain online gaming communities.

    A perfectly fine person joins and within months has taken on all of the characteristics of a ‘win at any cost’ narcissist. It’s sad because the other aspect of all of this is that the stakes are usually piddling.

    Most every day narcissists occupy small worlds that they’ve peopled with small and compliant minds that don’t question them.

    Usually what they will kill to win is something that healthy people can have for the asking.


    • Thank you very much πŸ™‚

      Awhile ago I watched a documentary about Second Life, and it showed the competitive business side of it, and how people can steal others’ ideas and there’s very little which can be done about it even if you can track down who they are in RL. There was a woman who had built up a successful shop in SL and someone came along, stole her designs, and ripped her off, which ruined her business.

      If you are doing something which someone else wants to do but they don’t want to do the work like you did to get what you have, and they can just steal your work, claim it as theirs, then they’ll do it and won’t have any qualms about it other than getting caught perhaps (but they have systems to get out of being caught because they do this kind of thing all the time). If they can’t have what you’ve got, they might decide that you can’t have it either, and since envy is quite a common thread amongst people, we all have a bit of it, they can usually get a group together to help them by pressing certain buttons. Pack mentality sets in, with the narcissist leading the pack.

      Watching my parents when I was a child, and how they sucked people into their dramas – people who were often really good people until my parents corrupted them – taught me how easy it is for someone to lose their way when they fall under the influence of someone else who knows exactly which buttons to push.

      Narcissists tend to assume that everyone is like they are (only not as smart), and they use their own twisted selves to twist others. They do it even when they’re not actively trying to do it.

      They’re like the fictional devil who finds what you secretly desire, what your particular sin is, and then they offer to help you fulfill your fantasy… at a price. Once they’ve hooked someone, it can be very difficult for that person to get out. Narcissists keep people stuck with them in hell thanks to the ego’s reluctance to admit to a mistake, and what that mistake has made them do and turned them into. Most of all though, it’s hope which keeps people stuck in a narcissistic nightmare.

      Life has a strange mythology to it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • yes…what you’ve described about SL is absolutely true…What I didn’t know is that the ‘first joiners” were mostly libertarians, there is an interesting in world snapshot of first joners raising the Confedrate Flag. If I’d seen that shot on the spash page when i joined I wouldn’t have. Linden Labs should make it absolutely clear to people that it cultivates a community of cheats and con-men. The in world economic system is based on the libertarian belief in ‘Market Forces” plus blatant cheating and psychological abuse. Of course pointing any of this out is as useless as saying “You’re not your avatar” and “Your fake marriage isn’t real” or “most boyfriends don’t suddenly die of cancer.”

        I honestly didn’t understand where I was…or who I was with…and I still find the fact that even though those people could see that I was sick that awareness did not stop them from learning about my illness to use it as a weapon against me in their idiotic little games.

        So it looks as if someone actually spent time in SL and documented what I observed in 2009.


        • First let me apologise for one of my regular commenters if you happened to read their @ to you. That comment has been deleted and I’ve given that person a piece of my mind.

          The documentary was, I think – Life 2.0 (2010) – it covered multiple aspects of SL, including some behind the scenes about those who created it.

          Our creations, once we make them public domain, often have a life of their own and the creator no longer has control over what happens with it. Many artists find this problematic with maintaining copyright, especially online. You want to share your work, but once you’ve shared it anyone has access to it and not everyone has personal integrity. The things which give us creative freedom can also be a creative nightmare.

          The dilemma about anything which allows people to creatively express themselves free from the constraints of RL is that many of the issues which are kept in check in RL by social rules and regulations, and physical limitations, balloon out of control when you take away physical boundaries.

          Anything goes because you’ve made yourself ‘anonymous’ if you get yourself into trouble online, you can just delete yourself, cover your tracks, and even if it can be traced back to you, there seems to be a disconnect between online and offline which people are reluctant to cross as once you start policing the internet you may kill the benefits and purpose of it while the bad side somehow still gets away with ruining the fun for everyone who was using such an amazing invention for productive things.

          SL is a brilliant creation. If used productively it is an amazing place, unfortunately beautiful creations always attract those who want the beauty for themselves and corrupt it.

          It’s basically the human condition magnified, without the usual boundaries.

          Narcissists and those of that ilk will use anything you have against you, because they’re afraid and that kind of fear is like a ravenous blob which eats them alive and they’re passing that carnivorous goop on to others through them. They’re feeding a bottomless pit.

          I watch Catfish (the film and the subsequent series), it gives an interesting insight into the other side – those who play all those games which make the internet a bad experience for others.

          Many of those people just don’t have a clue, they’re too caught up in their own misery and pain to see that what they’re doing is ultimately the most futile thing ever. They think messing with you is a sign of them having power – but they need you to have power, so basically they’re powerless, you’re the one with the power over them, but we don’t tend to realise that when they mess with us.

          Narcissists need others to exist… so who really has the power?

          Liked by 1 person

          • You wrote: SL is a brilliant creation. If used productively it is an amazing place, unfortunately beautiful creations always attract those who want the beauty for themselves and corrupt it.
            It’s basically the human condition magnified, without the usual boundaries.
            Narcissists and those of that ilk will use anything you have against you, because they’re afraid and that kind of fear is like a ravenous blob which eats them alive and they’re passing that carnivorous goop on to others through them. They’re feeding a bottomless pit.
            I watch Catfish (the film and the subsequent series), it gives an interesting insight into the other side – those who play all those games which make the internet a bad experience for others.

            My reply: I absolutely agree when you say that SL is brilliant. For a while it looked as if it might become a new way for people to go to school and shop at reality based stores.

            But that didn’t seem to pan out.

            I see SL as an image processing program. I mean isn’t that what we do. We enter a world of pictures.

            I see SL images as pictures of pictures and in many ways these are more difficult to make.

            I enjoy my time in world on the rare occasion that I do log in. I still keep a studio in world.

            My experiences in SL became more gratifying when I understood that in general, someone with a severe dissociative disorder really has no business trying to use Social Networks for friendships.

            The vulnerability that I describe is a direct result of the fact that I did not know I was ill.

            I feel I need to be clear about the way I understand SL.

            It’s my job to know where I am and to protect myself.

            When I accepted the fact of the illness I began to see how it affected my judgment.

            To that extent Second Life really is like life.

            If you leave your house your chances of being harmed increase.

            Therefore you marshal your resources, sharpen your senses, one knows almost instinctively how to comport one’s self in public.

            For me, the solution to the problem of how best to protect myself online really rests on not having many relationships…

            People say that it looks as if I’m trying to be mysterious, but really, if you look at what my blog is about, I’m anything but a mystery.

            I get angry at what happened in Second Life because I’m a typical human being in that when I feel hurt and angry I look for someone to blame.

            People who think that setting a boundary is an invitation to break down your doors are an easy target.

            But If I am to practice what I believe I have to accept the responsibility for what happened.

            And in the final analyses, my life is a thousand times better because I joined Second Life.

            I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier or felt more in charge of my mind and creativity.


            • Thank you πŸ™‚

              Life kind of reveals itself to us in pieces, we reveal ourselves, our story to ourselves, in stray puzzle fragments found here and there, and we’re not always prepared for the way that it happens, because we don’t necessarily know that we need to be prepared or that something is going to happen to change what we thought was an orderly arrangement of that chaos known as our life.

              Like you, I do my best to accept responsibility because it seems the thing to do, logically, and it gives you more personal power to deal with things. Blame someone else and you’re stuck waiting for them to do something about it, like accept some responsibility… what if they don’t want to do anything about it, but you do? Then you’re in limbo for… ever.

              Whatever helps us in whatever form it does… that’s what we needed. We go from there. Sometimes that form keeps being helpful, and sometimes it becomes a hindrance. We go from there, figure things out as we live them and as living them opens us up to everything else which is a part of us and of living our lives.

              It’s taken me ages to come to terms with things I knew but… didn’t really know anything about. I knew them but didn’t take the time to get to know them.

              Sometimes we just need to open ourselves up and see what happens, then make some kind of sense of it with which we can work. Like a collage… all these pieces cut from other places… what do I make of them?

              Liked by 1 person

              • I see hard earned wisdom in this comment. For my part I’ve learned to take responsibility because It is the only way to remain empowered as an adult.

                I don’t believe that we don’t have the right to judge others when it comes to deciding how we want to spend our time and resources.

                If anything the ability to discern one’s own needs and perceptions is a hallmark of adulthood.

                I’ve discovered that I can tolerate what I consider unpalatable when I don’t have to pretend that I consider it anything but unpalatable.

                My personal perspective is that people who know they are on the wrong side of a moral question but don’t want to admit it are the ones who scream the loudest about not judging.

                In fact, the most judgmental people I’ve ever met are the ones who think they deserve a press pass on every shitty thing they do.

                Thank you so much for this exchange of ideas. Some of the brightest people I’ve met in SL are the people I’ve met on WordPress.


                  • I feel very much the same about our exchange.

                    There is no one more validating than someone who also see’s through the socially normalized B.S. and says so.

                    It is so rare to meet someone else understands that we don’t have to like everything that someone else wants to impose on us.

                    I don’t have to approve of cruelty and selfishness, I have the right to be a separate adult with my own point of view and standards.

                    Ultimately, the only thing that will really improve who we are as individuals is accepting the flow of time and accepting our responsibilities as adults; which includes practicing and teaching the civilizing skill of compassion.


                    • Thank you πŸ™‚

                      I agree, compassion is an important skill to have. I was perusing an article on a psychology blog which was discussing the value of self-compassion, and how they felt that it is actually more useful than self-esteem because it is more profound in its effect.

                      This is the article – http://www.psychologymatters.asia/article/305/move-away-selfesteem-make-way-for-selfcompassion.html

                      What I liked most about it was that it spoke about how self-compassion creates bridge to be compassionate towards others. If we’re accepting of ourselves as we are, then we can do that for others too, and that makes for a more relaxed atmosphere between people. It also allows us to become mature, and therefore responsible adults who realise that life has a flow and it can be tumultuous at times.

                      Many people were taught to be hard on themselves from an early age, and society reflects that. It’s what Alice Miller calls poisonous pedagogy. What was done to us, we usually end up passing on to others, and the cycle of abuse keeps repeating, becomes the ‘norm’.

                      “Centuries ago helpful advice was given to parents to encourage them to eliminate obstinacy, defiance and natural exuberance from their children’s lives. Dr. Miller states that the parents’ motives then were the same as they are today: to condition and manipulate the child and then to rationalize that it is done for the child’s own good. This process she terms “poisonous pedagogy.”

                      The use of humiliation (which satisfies the needs of the parents) destroys the child’s self-confidence. To suppress crying and feeling, the parents were told to reward stoicism and self-control. Childhood excitement was considered a vice, and “inhibition of life” was extolled as a virtue. Even the expression of natural maternal feelings were characterized as doting.” – via http://www.alice-miller.com/books_en.php?page=2a

                      Once something has become the ‘norm’, it can be difficult to make changes, even if they’re subtle shifts because humans are creatures of habit. It usually takes a shock to our system to make us question the ‘norm’ and rethink things for ourselves, independently of others. The hive mind doesn’t like it when someone bucks the system as it is unsettling.

                      I like the philosophy of buddhism which teaches compassion in a compassionate way, and says it’s okay to be human. So many teachings seem to insist that we become less human, transcend it, etc.

                      For me everything changed the moment I finally realised that it was okay to be human, to have faults and flaws and actually enjoy being messy. It made me a nicer person to be around because I relaxed into myself and wasn’t competing with others to be the best human on Earth, trying to get some elusive pat on the head from Mummy and Daddy Society.

                      Accepting my messy self allows me to accept the messy selves of others. It makes life easier and more enjoyable. Of course it comes with its own set of problems, but that’s life on Earth.

                      I love your style, it is deeply beautiful. It shows in your art.


  7. I recently subscribed to this guy’s channel. I thought this video would go along with this post. Analyzation works much better for me than emotion. I’m trying to connect the two, but having difficulty. There’s always something new to learn. I thought you would enjoy the vid too.


    • Have your ever considered that alcohol is how you connect the two… Perhaps alcohol is emotion in a bottle that makes you drink it to connect to your feelings by putting your mind out of complete control for a while. Maybe it’s time those two halves of you had a chat.


      • Haha! πŸ™‚ They don’t chat too well with each other these daze’. I’ve always been highly intelligent, but my emotions seem to be better off bottled, at least for now. This is still my favorite post, and not because it’s in response to me, but more about there’s no wording fuckery to it, and as bare as one could possibly be. Brave, very brave. Thank you for helping me do the same.


  8. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments, as I usually do. πŸ™‚

    Self-editing. I suppose there’s time and place for it, but can we get that wrong? I’m glad you don’t self-edit. πŸ™‚


    • Thank you πŸ™‚

      I do self-edit, just not as much as maybe I should πŸ˜‰

      I think it’s a moment by moment action, and it’s a part of awareness, and growing, learning by doing and not doing. I’ve found that sometimes blurting things out uncensored can create some amazing interactions and open us up to new experiences. Sometimes it frees everyone from their constraints, and their own self-editing, and you get a moment of connection which is alive with people just being themselves.

      Consideration does need to be applied, but not inhibition.


  9. How you describe yourself is like describing me. How you describe your parents sound like my ex. The person I was with was totally and entirely different than when he was around others. I didn’t know which was the real him. He claimed he was most real w me. He would be bursting w energy and suddenly be opinionated and tells stories when others were around. With me though, he was quiet, calm, didn’t share much. I assumed I was boring and felt insecure bc I couldn’t understand the two different personalities that would alternate. I often questioned if he was bipolar. But he said he was never diagnosed that but major depression and anxiety. Who knows, does major depression cause someone’s behaviors appear similar to NPD? Although, I feel a lot of my experience resonates w dealing w NPD. Could I be wrong? I guess it doesn’t matter though bc he didn’t choose me.


    • Most people have a ‘social face’ which they wear in public which may differ from the one they wear in private, from who they are when they’re alone or with those who are their nearest, dearest and most trusted. We all tend to keep certain parts of ourselves to ourselves when in group situations because we’re trying to fit in and not rock the boat as we’re afraid of rejection or being singled out in some negative way. We want to be accepted, approved of and liked by our peers, so we adjust who we are on the outside to appeal to the group we’re in. We tend to only share our naked selves with a few intimate friends, with those we feel safe sharing our uncensored selves.

      So what he said to you about being most real with you could simply be his way of expressing that with you he could just be himself, he felt safe showing you how he was warts and all, whereas with others he felt the need to put on a face, wear make up to cover up his perceived blemishes. Who he was with others was still the real him just censored to suit the social setting.

      All humans do that to a degree, we all have a spectrum of personalities within us. They’re all expressions of our real self altered to suit our social setting and who we are with. Our personality changes slightly when we’re with friends, family, co-workers, strangers, alone, when we’re in a relaxed setting, in a stressful setting, in a dangerous scenario or a safe place.

      It sounds to me as though this man felt the need to be always ‘on’ when he was in a social setting, to entertain people, to be positive, energised and upbeat, which means he couldn’t relax when with others as he was trying to give them the ‘best’ version of himself, one they would like and want to be with, and have a good opinion of. That’s exhausting, and may explain why when he was with you he was different, with you he could relax and just be himself, not put on a show, not be ‘on’, he could switch off and chill, share his private self with you. That’s a great compliment, however if you wanted him to be as he was with others, as he may have been with you when you first met before he got to know you, which may have been what attracted you to him, then his calm and quiet would have appeared to be incongruous to you, as though he had two selves and it’s normal to wonder if one is real and the other is not when a public persona and private one are different in certain ways.

      He sounds a bit like a reverse introvert. Introverts often speak of being quiet and shy in public but talkative and outgoing with their close friends – which can come across as having more than one personality. Maybe he was an introvert who put on an extrovert persona to deal with social situations, and in private, with those he trusted, he allowed himself to be introverted and indulged in quiet time to balance himself out.

      I love being around people with whom I don’t have to talk, the silence speaks volumes and is rather lovely, it’s a different kind of communication… but it only works with those who are similar and who like to be quiet, those who like to talk find it all sorts of uncomfortable and think you’re ignoring them, not speaking to them in an angry way, that somehow your silence is a negative reflection of them rather than a compliment that you’re so comfortable you don’t feel the need to do anything. Relationships between different kinds of people can be so complicated.

      Anxiety and depression can affect a person’s personality, how they behave and how others experience them. In some cases I suppose they could appear to others as having NPD, depends on the criteria people are using to define narcissism in others. All humans can be narcissistic, it’s natural and normal, and not a sign that they have NPD. If we’re in pain we may appear and behave more narcissistically than usual. Most people with depression and anxiety disorders tend to try to not bother others with their suffering, don’t want to involve others in their problems, don’t think others care to know, and therefore may pretend to be happy when they’re not, tell people they’re fine, smile and be friendly when they’re unhappy and in pain – that can come across as wearing a mask in public which could be seen as a possible sign of NPD by someone else when it actually isn’t. It can be confusing.

      From your description of him, he doesn’t sound as though he had NPD. This bit – “With me though, he was quiet, calm, didn’t share much.” – is not usual for someone with NPD, they tend to be anything but calm and quiet in private, they tend to talk a blue streak and fill the atmosphere with all their fears which they transfer to those closest to them like a burden you have to carry for them.

      At the end of the day what matters is how someone affects us, and sometimes we experience others as narcissists whether they are or not. It’s not about them or about us so much as how the two interact and sometimes two healthy people interact in a way which doesn’t work for either person and there’s no explanation for it, it just doesn’t work and those two people just don’t gel well. Neither is right or wrong. Sometimes a relationship is a place where we learn what is right or wrong for us without either person having to be in the right or wrong or have a disorder or anything like that. Sometimes love just doesn’t conquer all and people drift apart never knowing why it didn’t work.

      What you discover exploring that relationship, about him and about yourself, will nourish your next relationship. πŸ™‚


      • Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. I cried for a good half hour after reading this. This was really confirming?…validating?…I can’t think of the best word at the moment. All I know is that I have a lot of guilt, regret, deep sadness for how things turned out. Everything you said is actually the kind of person he is: shy and introverted. I actually am very attracted to that kind of personality probably b/c I am quiet, reserved and comfortable with select few people. Or, I have random moments where I seem so outgoing with everyone, but that’s only ‘moments.’ To be honest, I held him in high regards bc of who he was/is as a person. He was beyond amazing yet I felt inadequate like I wasn’t talented enough, outgoing enough, talkative enough. My time, with him (in the beginning), I did feel that he was most real. As time went on, I think he found his calling and that’s when I felt the change. I was deeply saddened yet he and I did the back and forth. I think in way, a person tends to stops caring so much when there is too much pain and confusion. I was trying my dammest to let him go to be happy and follow his heart. But this pain in me still lingers on a deep level. I know this is a result of my own wounds that need healing. Isn’t self-forgiveness or regret that hardest to overcome?? I want to improve, change for the better but I still feel like I am the same. Any good book suggestions on forgiveness? Healing?


        • I think self-forgiveness and regret are intertwined, and wishful thinking is often part of the package. We have an illusion of how things would be now if we had done things differently then and that illusion tends to be idealistic, a happily ever after which can never be challenged and which haunts us. Wishing things had worked out differently, that what happened hadn’t happened, that we’d done or said something else rather than what we did, that we’d known then what we know now. We torture ourselves with what if’s, and the what is pays for it, our disappointment with ourselves, our life, how things are, makes us angry with ourselves. We regret the past, blame ourselves for everything that we perceive as being wrong, and punish ourselves in the present for it often by telling ourselves that who we are isn’t good enough and we put pressure on ourselves to become better. But what is being better? Is better being someone who we are not or accepting who we are?

          It’s a tricky puzzle to solve, but very worth exploring as it pushes us to get to know ourselves as we are before we can change who we are – and that often leads to not needing or wanting to change who we are, which is a change in and of itself. Accepting who we are as we are is sometimes all the change we need to find a measure of peace within.

          I was trying to remember which books have helped me the most where self-forgiveness is concerned. I’ve struggled with that and with regret a lot. Regret has probably been one of the main thorns in my life and dealing with it has been challenging, it often comes with a sense of shame and that’s a real pain. I’ve been a compulsive reader for a very long time, and a lot of the books have merged in my mind. Some were helpful because they weren’t helpful at all, if that makes sense, and sometimes made things worse.

          There are a few which stand out. For relationships I found Thomas Moore’s Soul Mates to be very insightful. For getting to know myself better I really benefited from Eugene T. Gendlin’s Focusing. For learning to accept myself and accept things as they are rather than as I wished they would be, I found the writing of Pema Chodron to be profoundly moving. I started with Start Where You Are, it’s basically about being compassionate towards yourself which is something that can be very healing. Recently I read When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams, that was beautiful, it’s musings on stories of life and living as one woman explores the past and its influence on the present.

          Let yourself guide your hand to the right book for you. One of my favourite ways of finding a book is to go to a secondhand bookstore (they often have out of print books and it’s like treasure hunting) and just browse until something stands out. If when I pick it up I can’t put it down again, then it means that it has a message for me. I’ve come across some amazing books that way, more so than when I try to think things through. Just feel your way to the nourishment you need, you’re your best healer!


          • I didn’t know you replied to my second message. I was reviewing the responses from previous comments I made to you. Thank you for sharing all this. I agree that our guide will be directed to what we need. Kind of like how a book will find you rather the other way around. Thank you once again for you wisdom.


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