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Curing narcissism
December 31, 2005
2:06 pm
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snowlover
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sdesigns......"come over"..mine does tZhat already. It makes me feel degraded, like all he sees me as is a piece of meat. After 20 years all that he really misses is the sex. Makes it feel cheap to me, and that hurts.

Im not doing well with the NC. He calls, and I answer. I know its only been a week since we split up, but I keep hoping I will be able o NOT answer.

Snow

December 31, 2005
2:25 pm
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Snow: It seems like you are writing my old posts! My N actually told me it was only physical, he only wanted sex. I can't believe the games he played to get it. He lives in the same comlex as I do, so I see him doing this to others. Talk about patterns. After about 2 years he had the nerve to e-mail again to get me to "come over". After my refusal he said he was just wanted to get laid. The whole "relationship" was degrading as I look back on it. It doesn't even qualify as a relationship. I also know now that he is a sex addict. He is a recovering alcoholic and has replaced sex and computer addiction for drinking.

Garfield: Oh my gawd!

"In relationships with abusers, a birthday card, a gift (usually provided after a period of abuse), or a special treat are interpreted as not only positive, but evidence that the abuser is not “all bad” and may at some time correct his/her behavior."

After he broke up w/ me the first time(2 weeks before Christmas) and after he had been w/ other women he bought me a kitchen faucet, supposedly as a belated gift. It was nothing more than a guilt gift on many levels. Sucked me back in for awhile.

Garfield, you did it again! Thanks, SD And... have a Happy New Year. It probably is already 2006 in S. Africa. (((Garfield)

December 31, 2005
3:28 pm
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free spirit
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Hi,

I'm new to the site, but felt compelled to respond to this thread.

Wow, thanks Garfield for all the information. It was eerie reading the posts because some of it felt like my life.

I too have a story of a Narcissist much like yours, Snow and Pretty in Pink. Four torrid years with this man who brought so much pain and hurt into my life. In the beginning, it was wonderful and he told me he had not loved like this for years.

All to soon the tide changed however and I recently found out he is involved with at least three other women. It has always been a long distance relationship, thank god, now.

Last week, actually on Christmas Day (when he did not even call to say Merry Christmas) while waiting for him to change I had a life-changing revelation. He is never going to change and I will not live my life with the man I love this way anymore.

If this helps anyone at all in this situation, things finally snapped in my mind on that day and it was over for me. I have waited for this to happen for a long, long time. I always knew it was not a healthy relationship.

Always before, I missed him so much I would contact him at some point and the whole cycle would start over. This time, I realize I only miss the man I thought he was, not him. He is not the man I thought he was and will never change. I will never be able to be happy with him like this and I refuse to compromise anymore. I deserve so much more!!

I am also where Lass is and interested in the factors that drew me to him, made me an easy target, why I stayed so long, etc. I will be looking at these things in the future, when I am ready.

In the meantime, if I can help in any way, I would be happy to do so. I have only made the decision to have no contact five short days ago, but already feel better about myself. It happens to each person differently and on a different time line. I think I've been at the bottom and am now on my way up to happier and better things in 2006.

Hugs to everyone here 🙂

December 31, 2005
3:29 pm
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garfield9547
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It is 10:28 PM in South Africa right now.

I have to go join the rest. Will be accused of syber numbing again.

Not my opinion.

ENJOY the rest of tonight and may 2006 be a better year for all of us

Love
Garfield

December 31, 2005
3:33 pm
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sdesigns
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Hi free spirit: I saw on another thread that today is your first day here, so Welcome!

Since you are new here, I would like to recommend a previous post by Ladeska called "How You Become Prey to a Charmer/ Abuser Personality". If you go to the top of the page and type that in under thread search, youo will find it. Its an eye opener.

Plus, a book that Ladeska recommended that I found very helpful in finding oot why I attracted and got involved w/ such a man is called "How To Avoid Dangerous Men before you get involved", by Sandra Brown. A very interesting read.

Welcome again and keep posting. SD

December 31, 2005
8:16 pm
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prison4parents
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A narcissist will deny himself whatever he must to havewhat he ultimately wants. My mother was one and I married her in male form. He was not homosexual but he had no sexual desires other than his own right here, right now. If I was not clean enough or thin enough or dressed properly or whatever, things turned into an argument. Because I enjoyed sex, he used it as a tool and withheld it. I last had relations with him in 1990. Anyway point being an "N" will live without anything if they can hurt or torment you as a result of their sacarifice, for that reward is greater to them than the forefeiture. And they have no clue and cannot be reasoned with they are omnipotent.

January 1, 2006
11:15 am
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free spirit
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Thanks sdesigns,

I have read that post and often wondered if Ladeska was writing about a Narcissist.

I also read the book Out of the Shadows by Patrick Carnes when you (I think) recommended it to someone before. I found it very helpful. I will definitely look up this new one as well - thanks 🙂 I admire you for getting out of your situation - it's so very hard to do.

Snow - I too have followed your threads as your situation sounds so much like mine as well in many ways - I think you are doing great!! It's really a process and you can't rush it. You are doing everything you need to do for yourself and the pieces will fall into place!!

Thanks again to everyone for all the great info on this thread.

Happy New Year

January 1, 2006
10:36 pm
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Oh God, Matteo.

I read this the other day, and it did not sink in at all. Today it just blasted through my head like TRUTH. I will spend some time carefull rdg all of this, but your second post ~ the whole thing is exactly my truth. Please stick by me with this right now. I am really processing stuff.

LL

January 1, 2006
10:54 pm
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Anonymous
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Hi guys,

I'm grateful for all the information on NPD.

Can you guys tell me what do you think is the the distinguisher between actual NPD and NPD tendencies.

Is there a certain trait prominent to one that the other lacks?

Are there varying degrees of NPD?

Thanks guys.

January 1, 2006
11:09 pm
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Lass
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The following post from Pink is exactly how my present husband behaves.

I have only just hit upon this idea of living a fantasy romance in my head with exbf.

****I do believe that I lived a 'fantasy' for years. I needed to believe, since I loved my NH that we were a 'couple', and sort of a 'family'....but we really weren't, cause we lived apart more than we lived together. I didn't want to see that he was mean/cruel to me more than he wasn't (after we married), that he didn't ACT like someone who loved and cared about me. He ACTED like someone who didn't care, and he often told me, 'I really don't care how you feel'....which often followed him saying that if I wasn't interested in what he had to say (even if it was criticism of me or my sons) then he obviously didn't care about HIM. So, I was supposed to listen to his criticisms, insults, putdowns....just sit there and take it, without a flinch. I couldn't of course most of the time, and WOULD interrupt him, and he hated that.*****

January 1, 2006
11:17 pm
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Matteo
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Lass,

I am right here - or on your thread.

Young & Restless,

yes, of course there are degrees, like with any disfunction. I would have to look for more detailed answer for you, though.

bigzig, I am wondering, is it possible to have degrees of NPD or is it all or nothing. Sort of like you can't be half pregnant. The difference is: pregnancy is a normal physiological state, having mental disorder is not. But still: women can have all kinds of complications during pregnancy, so I am not even sure if that is such a good comparision after all.

January 1, 2006
11:33 pm
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prison- the true n is a self absorbed personality. he is not out to hurt u per sey. he is out to get his way....it is always about him.
believe me u will never rank high enough to him to actually think about u. it is ALWAYS about him. he seeks out the kind of person he can demand and GET what he wants. when u start standing up for yourself, then the abuse starts because he is afraid for HIMSELF that he might not be able to get his way when he wants it. if you start denieing him his wants then he will lash out like a spoiled two year old. how dare u NOT give him his way. and the war will start. not to ruin u , but break u so he can have it HIS way. if it should become apparent that he is not going to get what he wants from u then he will hurt u, because u are hurting HIM. how dare anybody hurt HIM. (this can be a Her as easily) get it? u never excisted in his world except for what u did FOR HIM.

January 1, 2006
11:54 pm
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Lass
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My husband also does do nice things for me, but the bulk of the time there is a lot of needless uproar.

Y&R, You kind of played through the middle there. I think that most of what we call N is an overlay of N tendencies or various degrees of the traits. The true N is very rare. I think that they start to seriously lose their charm at that point. MHO.

January 2, 2006
12:44 am
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Matteo
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LOL!

And probably they get hospitalized.

January 2, 2006
1:45 am
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Anyone may occasionally think they are smarter or more talented than they really are. Anyone can occasionally have an excluding reality. Anyone can occasionally be self-centered, or insensitive. But a true Personality Disorder is a persistent, pervasive problem that shows up again and again in different parts of life.

The most obvious and classic trait of NPD is Grandiosity. But NPD is related to psychopathy and also to Antisocial Personality Disorder. We could tolerate Narcissists if all they did was brag. But they also are frequently mean, even sadistic.

I believe that all three disorders are variants of psychopathy, which as of now is unrecognized disorder according to the DSM-IV. The closest the DSM gets is antisocial PD. Robert Hare the current leader in psychopathy research believes that psychopathy and sociopathy are different disorders, and that psychopathic PD should have its own diagnosis listed in the DSM.

To me, it seems like Narcissists are psychopaths who make the mistake of bragging too much, while antisocial PDs are psychopaths who get caught committing crimes.

What all three of those “dark triad” personality disorders have in common is lack of empathy, which manifests as lack of conscience. In other words, they treat people like dirt.

January 2, 2006
1:59 am
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lost and found
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as far as this goes; water seeks it's own level.

do ns seek out other ns to hang with. so as to reflect their god like status?

January 2, 2006
3:11 am
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An N wouldnt be able to very well tolerate another N.

"There can be only one."

January 2, 2006
3:41 am
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Not necessairly, according to Vaknin. He divides N into Intellectual and Physical, or sexual, I don't remember the term he used. According to him two intellectual or two sexual wouldn't get along but mixed couples do exist and it works for them!

January 2, 2006
5:05 am
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Vaknin's is very talented in describing the perversity and abusiveness of N's.

He does a good job of describing the hell that normals go through with them.

He also seems to just make up a lot of wacky stuff...inverted narcissism for example. Maybe he has some insight, but a lot of his ideas aren't reflected or shared by mainstream psychology.

Remember, it is Vaknin, after all.

I think his strength is in describing the misbehavior of N's, not the theory.

I suppose though that two phony people without empathy could get along at a superficial level. And if only we could create a matchmaking service that would get all of them together and take them out of ciculation....what a wonderfuls world it could be.

January 2, 2006
10:42 am
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Free Spirit...thanks for your words of encouragement. Its been 3 days with no contact. But its been easy, he hasnt called me either. I now feel I have the strength to NOT answer that phone whem he calls me. Im starting to fill with all of this anger, more anger than Ive ever felt.

I know that when he sees Im not taking calls, answering emails, or trying to contact him his behavior is going to change. I just feel so violated right now. Like he tried so hard to suck the very life out of me. He has always convinced me that he is so much better than me, and just about everyone else out there. For 20 years Ive believed him. Not anymore. Hes a liar, a cheat, a user, a manipulator, and a poor excuse for a man.

Sorry....Im just really angry today. Seems like everyday I find something else out that he has deceived me about.

Snow

January 2, 2006
10:46 am
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free spirit
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Hi all,

What a great discussion - for me it is almost a two-pronged type of processing. On one level, I think about my personal experience and on the other, I think about it intellectually.

I think there are many degrees of Narcissism and WD hit the nail on the head with the true ones being rare. Sometimes, life stages (adolescence) or a crisis can push us toward being more self-focused or N-like.

Another very revealing characteristic is the ability to compartmentalize or put people "in a box" or on a shelf. It comes about because of their true lack or understanding of human needs, I think. Although, some folks learn the ability to demonstrate empathy surprisingly well. The guy I knew was able to demonstrate something that looked so much like empathy that it was very believable. But, upon closer look (and after several years) I was able to see through some of it.

If the person is a true Narcissist, it truly is a pervasive personality disorder which will not change over their life span. So, expecting them to change behavior is pointless and an exercise in futility. They are who they are and in essence will not be able to meet expectations in a caring, authentic relationship, ever. Nor, will they truly understand your frustrations with their behavior, although to appease they might look like they do in the beginning.

For me personally, the devaluation was the moment of truth. When I found myself saying over and over to my guy, "hey, my feelings matter, they are important and I deserve to feel like they are valued", or some similiar stuff, I realized he would never truly understand this and I wasn't living my life with someone with whom I can't have an authentic relationship.

Interesting that in the beginning of the relationship, this never happened because he was idealizing the relationship and was agreeable to making changes in his behavior if someone was hurt by it. (One of the things that attracted me to him in the beginning). Later, in the stage of devaluation, this all changed.

Sigh, it helps me to depersonalize it and it helped some to name it so I didn't continue to wonder what went wrong. Probably some kind of defense mechanism, but if it works, good deal.

So much pain these folks cause others, with no understanding and in the end, no real remorse or maybe not even the capacity for it.

I went to a seminar on Narcissism not too long ago and was struck by the pervasive nature of it. The seminar was given by a Counselor and he had treated some of the folks for years with no real improvement or success.

free spirit

January 2, 2006
10:48 am
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Matteo
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Worried Dad,

You can tthink what you want, but I know that Inverted Narcissism is not Vaknin's invention. IN is a reaction to being cared for by N parent and I am a living example. I don’t care if someone approves it as a theory or not, because I know myself, I know my behaviour, thoughts and desires when I was a child and had all those traits. And they are perfectly described by Vankin. I had most if not all the traits described by him; nobody made it up or invented it. So please don’t tell me it is not true, because you don’t believe it is, or because academics didn’t get into it. You can call me wacky from now on.

If I were you, I would be more careful in passing a judgment in regards with people’s dysfunctions. You were talking about not blaming a victim? Does mainstream psychology say that N, just like most if not all mental dysfunctions, is a defense system developed by a child as a reaction to certain circumstances in their childhood? Or they cannot agree on that either? Probably just some chemicals in the brain...

And by the way, who is “normal” in your opinion? When does it start and when does it end being “normal”?

January 2, 2006
10:58 am
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Wow Snow!!

I think we cross posted - such a turning point for you not answering his calls - you go girl!!

You sound so strong, it's great to hear. You so deserve something better than this - that's what I remind myself of everyday. Day 8 with no contact for me and it's a hard one for some reason.

Have to go, but will try to check in tonight. Remember Snow, he will probably never be able to be the man you want if he is a true N. Sometimes I miss my guy desperately, but I miss who I thought he was, not who he really was at all!!

free

January 2, 2006
11:22 am
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Snow, you are reaching where I was last week. It seems my "revelations" are coming in weeks and/or days, rather than months, probably because I wasn't in the relationship all that long, certainly not nearly as long as you and others here, and I hadn't given up as much as you did. I'm past the anger phase and quickly moving into apathy. I KNOW my ex is, in fact, one of those rare ones. He's 61 years old and has a looonnnng history of this behavior. Women in, women out... boom, boom, boom.... I'm just one in a long line. That really hurt too, until I came here, read posts, and realized what I had been dealing with. In fact, after the failed attempt at me (and my dog) staying there in April, while he was crying as I was leaving, he actually said, "If I can't make this work with you, I can't make it work with anyone." However, that didn't stop him from looking for his supply while I was down there in August taking care of him after his accident. He made one last-ditch effort about three weeks ago by calling me and saying, after I started crying when he said he missed me, that "this was a big one." What? Did he think it was just a big fight and we hadn't talked in over two months?!? What a maroon... No, what a narcissist. He would have no discussion whatsoever of what had gone on in August while I was there. Simply said, after I told him I wasn't going to run down there again (he thought all I needed for these past three-four months of hell was "good sex and a motorcycle ride"), "well, okay, good-by!" and hung up, just like that. And that was that. It was a few days after that, that I found this site and started reading and educating myself on exactly what I was dealing with. I kind of kick myself on what I put up with for so many months, the "veiled" barbs about my weight (and I'm not fat by any stretch, just not that long, leggy blonde that he had always been used to getting based on his fame), flaunting other women in my face, his "space" issues in his house (soooo many rules to follow), and his insisting I give up my dog if we were to ever make a go of it, thus making him the complete center of my world. It was all so very, very classic. These aren't just "traits" of an N, he IS an N, pure and simple. However, I also forgive myself as well, because I kept waiting for the person he portrayed himself to be all those months, in the beginning, over the phone before we first saw one another again in March. However, we all know that personna never comes back. The real N comes out and comes out to stay. He banked on my thinking the relationsip was one thing to come down and take care of him during his recovery, fully knowing it was something completely different in his mind, and he would say and do just enough while I was there (in between the emotional and verbal abuse) to keep me there to serve his needs. Talk about confusion. What really helped me was to verbalize all that had gone on with a couple of good friends (emotionally healthy friend). Saying these things out loud made it all hit home for me on just how much I had put up with, made excuses for, yadda yadda...

You all hang in there. There IS life after an N, and it is blessedly PEACEFUL!! Yes, there are some still a couple of "aching wounds," but they are quickly getting better, literally, day by day. Ridding myself of all the physical evidence yesterday was very empowering (see my thread from yesterday), and yes, even a bit painful, but so very necessary in the healing process. It's one thing to keep something from a failed relationship that, while didn't work out, was fairly normal. It is quite another, for me, to keep anything from such a destructive relationship, realizing that while there MAY (and that's a big supposition on my part) have been a few true feelings on his part, he quickly reverted back to his true self and now I mean absolutely nothing to him. Just like that, overnight. Not something of which I maintain any fond memories.

January 2, 2006
12:19 pm
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whidbey and free.....I think Im feeling strong because there hasnt been any contact, and because I found out more crap hes done to me.

The stuff about your dog really hit home. He and I had gotten a mini daschund puppy together about a year and half ago. About 7 or 8 months ago it was a HUGE problem to have a dog in the house. HIS house, HIS rules. So the dog started traveling with the kids. When the kids were with us, the dog was with us. When the kids were with the ex wife, the dog was with the ex wife. Incidently, as soon as the ex wife found out we got a puppy, she ran out and got an identical puppy. Well...I havent seen my dog in about 5 months because she now lives with his ex wife. Everytime Ive asked about it I get my head bit off. I stopped asking about a month ago, it was just too hard. he sure makes sure he tells me stories about her though. Like hes twisting the knife every chance he gets.

Ive been sick with strep throat for a couple days now, which has made me sort of cranky I think. Hopefully the anger will stick around after I get well.

Snow

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