Word of the week: Callipygian

I challenge you to try to use this one in conversation!  ;)

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Are narc abuse blogs a wake up call for some NPDs?

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I’ve sometimes been critical of ACON bloggers who seem trapped in hatred and over-the-top narc-bashing, but that’s because I think of hatred as a dangerous emotion that eventually hurts its bearer (and I think can even turn the victim narcissistic themselves), not because narcissists don’t deserve the vitriol (even though admittedly I have some empathy for ego-dystonic, low-spectrum narcissists, who are pretty rare).

Besides the obvious benefits of such blogs that preach No Contact and have probably saved a lot of victims’ sanity as well as lives, there’s another, unintentional advantage of ACON blogs that harshly call out narcissists and the things they do.

Sometimes I get emails from lower spectrum, ego-dystonic NPD’s who want to change or have been shocked into self-awareness by reading the victim blogs.   I got one such email from a recently diagnosed NPD.   I won’t post the whole thing because it was long, but there was this:

I didn’t even know what NPD was until my diagnosis, but since then I’ve been reading lot about it on some of the victim boards.  Am I really like that?  I hate to think that’s what I’m really like.  I always thought I was a person who cared about others and has lots of empathy, I never thought I was manipulative or god forbid, an abuser.   I don’t know…I think it’s true though.  I don’t know why I couldn’t see these things about myself before.   I always did wonder why people said I was so selfish. Why my relationships always fail. Why I get fired from all my jobs.  Why I can never finish anything.  Why people avoid me.  Why I’m always so angry and depressed.  But I can see why now, kind of.  It’s horrifying.  I never thought I was evil but my readings on these boards have made me realize how badly I treated my friends and my family, and my coworkers, and so many other people.  I hate the idea I treated people like that.  It’s like looking at myself in the mirror for the first time and seeing how ugly I really am.   How was I so deluded?  I am very depressed over this.   I need to get rid of this.  I don’t want to be this way anymore…

I don’t know how many narcissists read the victim blogs, but probably quite a few.  Most narcissists–especially malignant ones–are probably secretly pleased that they have so much power and control over their victims, and that might be why you don’t see many of them fighting against the stigma, the way BPDs do.   Malignant narcs LIKE the stigma because it makes them seem big and bad and dangerous, which is how they want to be seen.

But for narcissists who had no self-awareness before, perhaps reading these blogs is a sort of wake up call, like a mirror being shoved in their face.   Of course, some like what they see and it’s a kind of validation, but a few do not.   The ones who are shocked and dismayed by the image being reflected back at them might even, like the person I quoted above, begin to take steps necessary to change their behaviors.

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What is family?

I just saw this on Twitter.

“Blood makes you related.  Loyalty makes you family.”

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Guest post: 7 Red Flags of a Nasty Narcissistic Personality (By Richard Grannon aka SpartanLifeCoach)

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I’m honored to feature an original post by SpartanLifeCoach, Richard Grannon.  His website can be found here.

7 RED FLAGS OF A NASTY NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY
By Richard Grannon

Here are tips for the modern human seeking to avoid becoming entangled in personality disordered unpleasantness.

Here’s the LOW DOWN:

Many psychologists think we may be facing a full blown narcissism epidemic.

And NO, this doesn’t just mean middle aged baby boomers whinging about girls at the gym loading up their Instagrams with selfies. We are talking a full blown narcissistic personality disorder epidemic on the real. Academics and clinicians are (quietly) holding seminars and conferences about it as we speak.

The difference between a touch of vanity and malignant self obsession?

According to Freud a narcissistic phase is vital to the healthy psychological growth of infants. If people are traumatised at a certain age in a certain way they “get stuck” in a rather infantile phase of development giving them the morality and compassion of a 4 year old toddler tyrant.
This very overbearing “me, me, me” phase is essential to the development of self regard and boundaries in a young child. It is extremely toxic when still present in a fully grown adult.

Lets clear up some confusion: Having pronounced narcissistic traits can be an advantage in certain situations, yes. Many people think the essence of narcissism is self love and/or vanity, if you are talking about narcissism with a little “n” then perhaps. You want to look your best, dress well and take of your self, this is normal.

However, Malignant Narcissism is a world away from a little dose of narcissism.
A full blown NPD has experienced a dramatic and long lasting break from reality as a result of trauma. This trauma is usually from being objectified by a highly narcissistic parent who has used that child as a kind of narcissistic supply by proxy (a bit more complicated to explain, I’ll get into that elsewhere).

Malignant NPD means a shell personality has been constructed around the authentic self as a defense mechanism to a hostile environment. Onto that shell the NPD projects a false, idealised self. They really are living inside “their own little bubbles” of narcissism. Their relationship with reality is by definition, warped.

Make no mistake–being vain and self-interested does not Narcissistic Personality Disorder make!

What this means for you:

If the psychologists are right and full blown narcissistic personality disorder is both currently under-diagnosed and on the rise then you might want to be extra careful you are getting intimate with a new partner.

Take more precautions, learn what the red flags of NPD are and if you see it, disengage, disengage, disengage.

Always? Yes, always.

Can’t I just dip my toe in? Can’t I save them? No and no.

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The risk:

Getting involved with a full blown NPD can be disastrous and can leave the partner with PTSD-like symptoms that seem at first to be a kind of intense heartbreak but actually signal a crisis of self identity and of the individuals relationship with reality itself. Yes, that’s how dangerous and damaging a relationship with an NPD can be. Look online and you will see countless stories of people losing money, property, jobs, businesses, self worth and sanity all at the hands of an NPD.

How can this happen?

Someone with NPD could be considered to be an un-personality. Instead of an individual with feelings, wants and desires there is only a shell who is hell bent on garnering certain types of emotional responses and attention from those around her/or him.

Because of this unique (and previously very rare) condition they are excellent actors and superb social chameleons who can tune in to their selected victims dreams, fears and desires and then be exactly what the victim thought they had been looking for their whole life.

Clue 1: If its too good to be true, it probably is.

Nobody is perfect, thankfully, what a dull world it would be if it were not so. If you meet a girl or a guy and they seem to be weirdly PRECISELY what you think you were looking for then stop and go back and check again.

Clue 2: Too fast, waaaay too fast.

The NPD accelerates the relationship at lightning speed. They instantly will want there to be zero boundaries between the two of you.

Most of my clients tell the same story: whirlwind romance, we moved in together within a matter of weeks, she told me she wanted to spend the rest of her life with me and I was the love of her life, soul mate and or perfect life partner…and so on…

Why? The NPD is a close cousin to the well known Psychopath (Anti-social Personality disorder). These are personality disorders defined by a lack of boundaries. Between themselves and others, between what they think, perceive and what they feel, and their fantasies and reality.

So why is that such a big deal, wouldn’t that make a person a bit of a dreamy, artistic, creative type? Fundamentally good natured if a little frustratingly scatter brained at times.

No.

Why?

Because of the essential traits of this cluster of personality disorders: exploitativeness, entitlement and a strong urge to punish.

I wont get into whether NPDs are truly sadistic or not here, but Cluster B disorders (malignant Borderlines, Narcissists and people with Anti-social Personality Disorder) are very focused on power dynamics and maintaining the upper hand at all times. It is an expedient way to exert power over someone, to simply hurt them and make them feel distress.

They want to be intimate rapidly with you, not because they love you “SO MUCH” (sorry to bring what will be to many, very painful news) but because it makes them feel significant, indispensable, powerful.

And the Cluster B has little to no impulse control, so why not just get all the way inside your life straight away? It feels sooooo good.

Clue 3: Love Bombing.

The harder and more fiercely they love you at first the more savagely they will treat you when the axe falls. And it always falls.

Why?

Intimacy terrifies the NPD. It’s a loss of control. If they “lose themselves in the game” they may start feeling their authentic feelings for you. This will make them frightened and angry and then they will give way to their “talionic impulse” (look it up, see how well this shoe fits!) and punish you for making them feel feelings for you.

If the girl or guy you just met is mauling you with adulation and love, be advised: step away from the relationship.

Take a few days to cool off and clear your head. In the early phases of a relationship this should be fine and they should not be upset by “taking a breather”, if they freak out about it and get angry (NPD) or pour scorn on you/make dramatic displays of self pity (BPD) or threaten to kill your dog (ASPD), that’s a MAJOR red flag that we are not dealing with a sane boundaried adult looking for an equal relationship. Amiright? (See Clue 4)

Why?

Even cults have figured out that the human condition is fragile and insecure and that if you “love bomb” (literally bomb someone with compliments, gifts, adulation) it makes the target feel really intense feelings of happiness and recognition all associated in their brain with YOU. Or the guru of the cult. This gives them the initial hook into you. Kind of like a crack dealer letting you have your first few hits for free.

Why are they always mean afterwards?

It’s fuelled by the mechanism called the “talionic” urge, and it’s preconscious. It’s likely that they know they are doing it, but it’s very unlikely they actually know why. These are not people who spend an awful lot of time on genuine introspection, questioning their own motives!

Its called the “cycle of idealisation and devaluation”. They put you, or rather their fantasy of you, up high on a pedestal, because it makes them feel good to do so. When you, eventually, refuse to be the fantasy they want and are annoying enough to be the real person you are, you inflict an outrageous insult against them and they are disproportionately angry (this is called narcissistic injury and narcissistic rage) and will fling you into the gutter with total savagery.

To say they are cruel is an understatement. They have a sense of your suffering but simply do not care one bit if you are totally destroyed by their cruelty. In fact they would prefer it. It would be further proof of their power and uniqueness if you were crushed by their dismissal.

Clue 4: Does not respond well to the word “no”

Or indeed to any boundaries being set.

At all.

If you tell another sane, adult, who is being truly honest with you and doesn’t have an ulterior motive the word “no” politely and they have a major emotional response to that, or indeed you just try to set a boundary and they get very angry or upset, well, you don’t need a psychology degree to see that that just is NOT healthy.

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Why? A boundary being set is them being locked out. A boundary being set is them losing controlling. The NPD experiences a boundary or a “no” as a hugely outrageous insult to their assumed superiority and they will respond with rage or an uber-sulk session that will last for days. Both have the same intent: to punish your disobedience.

Clue 5: Jealous and/or Controlling Behaviour.

Come on, I know that he or she is really hot and they are great in bed and funny and charming (the NPD as a great actor and social chameleon can really turn on the good stuff when its getting them what they want) but are you really going to ignore another sign of them being moody, bratty, bossy, petulant, jealous or just plain manic control-freakish?

Why do they do this?

The NPD is an infant trapped in an adult body. They think they have a right to everything, all the time, all of you, every part of you. NOW.

Clue 6: You Don’t Feel So Good

One of the symptoms of being with an NPD is a dysregulated HPA axis. Sounds fancy, in this context it essentially means that your brain systems “threat assessment software” has gotten out of whack as your frontal lobes and limbic system have gotten into a fight with each other about how dangerous this person is. This means you will feel exhausted, depressed, anxious, hyper vigilant and prone to over react to stress you can normally deal with. If it goes on long enough you will experience adrenal exhaustion.

Why?

One part of you is sending a signal saying: WARNING! This person is dangerous. And another part of you, encouraged by the NPD is saying: no, no, she is lovely and she loves me and I want this to carry on.

This creates a split in you in which two opposing versions of reality fight for dominance and that’s very, very stressful. Watch out for the insomnia and bad dreams!

Clue 7: You Become A Detective

You start checking their social media profiles. Maybe a sneaky peak on their phone checking whatsapp, facebook messenger and even emails. You aren’t proud of it, but goddamn it its becoming an obsession. There is an alarm ringing in your head that you are missing something and if you could just find the missing link you would know for sure and then you could relax. You being to obsess over the person. This has swung from a dream come true to a waking nightmare.

Why?

Because you aren’t stupid, your intuition is functioning and is telling you that you have been the victim of a con, ripped off, lured by a classic bait and switch. But if you face that reality you face catastrophic loss. So like any good addicted gambler you double down and pray for the best by day. And by night you are guiltily stalking your own girlfriend or boyfriend on social media or checking their phone, or looking at receipts in their wallet looking for some clue, ANY clue that proves your suspicion waiting for the other shoe to fall.

Sounds like being a tragic character from a Poe story doesn’t it? Doomed to slow death by Gin and melancholy.

The light at the end of this gloomy tunnel? I’ve helped thousands of people overcome the effects of being emotionally abused by an NPD so I know that it is possible. But it leaves scars and it changes people. Sometimes it changes them for the better, sometimes though they are left simply bitter.

Don’t let this be you.

It would be much more effective if people could learn to avoid the narcissists altogether. Learn these clues. If you have any doubt or suspicion take a big step back.

A normal sane person can permit you a few days breathing room where the NPD cannot, so doing so gives you an effective test of sanity and emotional stability. Attributes which are, according to the psychologists, sadly on the demise.

Be well, stay safe!

Richard Grannon (SpartanLifeCoach)
https://www.youtube.com/user/SPARTANLIFECOACH

Posted in guest blogger, guest posts, narcissistic abuse, SpartanLifeCoach | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

So here is my big announcement.

Richard Grannon, aka SpartanLifeCoach, is writing a guest post for this blog. I didn’t ask him to; he asked me! I have to say I was in shock. I’ve been watching his videos about C-PTSD and narcissistic abuse for a long time now and love his style. He likes this blog.:) He is emailing his post to me and should be up later today! I can’t wait to read what he has to say!   It’s a huge honor to feature him on my little blog.

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Observing your feelings.

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When you hear the term mindfulness, what that means is to quietly observe your own emotions, not judging or denying them, but just accepting that they exist.     This includes observing the way an emotion makes you feel physically or where it seems to reside in your body.    When you quietly observe your feelings this way, by default that keeps you in the present and you are not likely to act out impulsively on an emotion.    It’s central to mindfulness therapies like DBT.

I feel very anxious today.  I don’t know what’s causing it but that doesn’t matter.  Probably nothing is causing it; it’s just free floating anxiety.    In the past I might have drank too much, snarled and snapped at people to relieve the stress, or just suffered.  I might have told myself I was being stupid and to snap out of it, mirroring the very words my narcissistic parents and ex would say to me whenever anxiety (or any other emotion they didn’t like) would strike.   Feelings themselves are never wrong, though acting out on them in impulsive or destructive ways can be.

I went outside and sat on the porch and just observed my anxiety.    I realized how physical emotions really are.   The anxiety manifested as a tightness in my chest (heart area) and the middle of my abdomen [these may correspond with the third (solar plexus) and fourth (heart) chakras, if you’re into that].   I know I  have blockages in those areas and this is causing a lot of my anxiety.    I breathed deeply, imagining my breath flowing into these constricted, painful areas.   It didn’t help a whole lot, but it did a little.  I tried to connect the anxiety with a triggering event but couldn’t think of one.   I told myself the free-floating anxiety was temporary, like a headache, and that it wouldn’t kill me, so I just surrendered to it without judging it as a good or bad thing, and that the anxiety wasn’t ME, it was just a feeling and would pass.  And after a while, it did.

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Breaking Down BPD

Here’s a very detailed article about Borderline Personality Disorder that breaks it down into its components and in doing so, helps reduce some of the stigma. It’s a painful mental illness with a terrible fear of abandonment at its core. No borderline likes having it!   The article also includes examples of what exactly goes on inside the mind of borderline when triggered (the fictional rant about Donald Trump is hilarious).

Comments here are disabled, please leave comments under the original post.

Psychology4Society

According to the American     Psychological Association, the prevalence rate of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in the general population is approximately 1-2% of lifetime occurrence.  So no worries, we are not alone😉.a9a0fb9e-6e03-4b8a-bf25-a04fa3c497b5


So I was able to do the impossible, find my lost blog posts. Before I re-post this one, I would like to add that I have been practicing as a mental health clinician again, and many of my clients have been curious to learn about their diagnoses.  Interestingly enough, when asked about if learning and understanding more of the disorder helped, they all said yes.  One specifically stated “I don’t feel like I’m crazy anymore, knowing that other people feel how I do, it makes me feel normal.” I still of course can only speak for myself when I say learning about Borderline Personality Disorder, educating myself on it and understanding it has been a tremendous help…

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Inspirational quote of the day.

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The tears of a clown.

It’s old post night, so this one’s getting recycled again too. Ever watch a narc having an emotional meltdown after a narcissistic injury? It’s not a pretty sight.

Lucky Otter's Haven

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Here was one of yesterday’s search terms:
vomiting after seeing ex.narcissist begging me back

Really now? The narc’s begging you back actually made you puke?
But yes, I can definitely understand it though.

Sometimes those over the top emotional displays when you take away a narc’s source of supply by leaving them are pretty nauseating to say the least. I don’t know if it’s “acting” or desperation or what, but I know it’s not “love.”

I remember back in my 20s, witnessing the incredible reaction of a malignant narcissist boyfriend when I finally worked up the courage to tell him I was leaving him.

This was a verbally and sometimes physically abusive man who treated me like dirt most of the time, made fun of me, tried to turn my friends against me, and cheated on me as well. I had waited far too long to disconnect from him. I…

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Annoying people who take pictures of their food.

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They’re everywhere.  They’re all over Facebook, they’re all over Twitter, they’re all over Pinterest.  They’re texting their mushroom and goat cheese manicotti at the table next to yours, they’re trying to show you their Tabouli salad with ginger vinagrette in the passenger seat while you’re driving in heavy traffic on the Interstate, they’re waving their Samsung Galaxy smartphone with its Pokemon motif wallpaper in your face demanding you look at the Beef Wellington or curried chicken with beet juice they had last night whose remains are now now probably being further broken down into their elements in the septic system.

Food pictures.  They’re the new “this is me at a party with my cool friends” pictures.   The cooler looking the food, the cooler people who post food photos think they are.

It’s an insidious illness, this obsession with showing off the edible substance you put in your mouth so your body can survive.   Now I’m doing it.  At least tonight I am.  Because  tonight I had the best pizza I’ve ever had outside of New York City.     One slice is as big as an entire pizza, big and oozing with cheese and tomato and dripping amber colored grease down your chin and onto your new Gap T-shirt and down your wrists into your sleeves.  And it was effing delicious.   It’s from a pizzeria called Four Brothers and they really are four brothers who run the place and they’re from Brooklyn.   That explains why it’s so good–and totally justifies my being an obnoxious, annoying “look what I just ate” jackass.  That’s my photo of it up there.

Posted in American food, food, humor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments