The latest on the NPD* sufferer in “Another Narcissist Who Wants Help”

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I thought this may interest those of you who read my article from April 30, “Another Narcissist Who Wants Help.” It’s a followup email he sent me yesterday, describing some of the things he’d doing to attempt to heal himself from NPD or at least be able to control its symptoms better.

* I do have some doubt he actually has NPD though, due to what appears to be a normal level of empathy and a lot of self-awareness; I think he may be being too hard on himself and suffers instead from something like BPD. He also has no official diagnosis.

All that being said, what this young man is trying to do and has dedicated himself to doing –opening himself to being vulnerable and letting himself feel and share his honest emotions–is incredibly courageous, especially for someone as young as he is (he’s in his early-mid 20s). He’s also doing his homework–he seems to be doing a LOT of reading about NPD, if this email is any indication. He may not actually be a narcissist, but even so, it’s still a courageous thing he’s doing. Any of us who suffer from being too guarded–which is most of us–can benefit by giving ourselves permission to just feel life in its glorious spectrum of colors.

I can tell this young musician is sincere because he’s been watching all of Brene Brown’s videos . In fact he is the person who tweeted about Brown’s compassionate and sometimes humorous messages of being authentic and vulnerable in a world that hates and fears those things. If you take on the challenge of setting yourself free of whatever traps you– whether it’s a narcissistic mask or the fear that fuels so many other disorders — it takes a lot of strength and courage to do that. Which means becoming vulnerable isn’t becoming “weak” at all — it’s just becoming an authentic human being.

I have permission to repost the email I got, removing personal details like names.

Original email is in this post: https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/04/30/another-narcissist-who-wants-help/

Email received 6 weeks later (yesterday)

[…]It’s not really a bad thing to share how we are feeling – in fact NOT sharing how I feel is probably one of my biggest downfalls. So it is healthy to express your emotions to someone, wherever they’ve come from. If you’re feeling emotionally down, or wounded it’s worth remembering one of my favourite quotes by Iyanla Vanzant (you’d love her when she talks about relationships check out her appearances on Oprah’s Lifeclass she’s awesome) which is that ‘a wound needs a witness’ – meaning it is in our nature as humans to want to share our feelings. The worst part of narcissism is it leads the narcissist to detach from their true feelings, and results in the narcissist viewing emotions in others as weak. I could imagine that belief that emotions are weak can be contagious but we weren’t put on earth to suppress ourselves, but express ourselves! So remember your feelings are a huge part of who you are so I don’t think you should deny them, and I don’t think it’s a bad thing to express them (even if I have been trying to silence mine for years ha!)

I hope you’re doing well – I’ve been immersed in personal exploration lately. The book ‘The Drama of the Gifted Child’ has been fascinating for me and I’d thoroughly recommend it (or maybe it was you who recommended it to me?) if you want to better understand the origins of narcissism. Much of it resonated with me and it’s a very hopeful and forgiving text. I understand it’s one of the main books on the subject. I’m moving on now to a book called Disarming the Narcissist which is interesting because even though it’s from the point of view of someone living with a narcissist in their life it helps me see how I can better inter-relate with the people in my life.

I’ve kinda realised that the worst parts of narcissism don’t actually manifest themselves in my life at large: I have healthy and thriving friendships. I’m not going to lie and say I am not centre of attention a lot because I am, but I’m here for my friends when they need me and I’m working on being even more available emotionally and otherwise in the future. I don’t think I’m ‘cured’ but I am aware that the extremes of my difficult qualities tend to bubble up tot he surface only in relationships where consistent intimacy is expected. So basically romantic relationships. That’s not to say the work I’m doing on myself isn’t important across my life but it certainly is most relevant when I’m in love, because it is in those times my frequent emotional detachment becomes a problem. Detachment from my own feelings means I am longer able to experience the feelings of those around me, which in time results in me objectifying them and treating them less than well.

Interestingly music has been important for me too. I haven’t really lay down in bed with the lights down low on my own with a great album on in the background in so long. I think listening to music keeps me connected to my emotional experiences and helps draw out my true feelings. Maybe that’s what happened with you before you drafted that post? I think it’s a good thing. Music is, of course, the feelings of other people and we feel connected to the human experience by listening to and enjoying it.

Oh and Brene Brown! What a gem! I’ve downloaded her book Daring Greatly (think that’s its name) and can’t wait to get started. I feel that book is gunna be a proper uplifting read, and with the summer kicking in here now I’m looking forward to reading in the sun in Hyde Park with a gin and tonic and some olives! Yay!

7 thoughts on “The latest on the NPD* sufferer in “Another Narcissist Who Wants Help”

  1. There used to be many posts like this on the HealNPD board. It’s not so unusual.
    I don’t think the argument that “maybe he doesn’t have NPD” works. To me that is a circular line of thinking – it says that if someone is getting better and demonstrating empathy/concern, they can’t have ever had NPD, but if they are not getting better, then NPD is what they have. In other words it assumes its conclusion.

    Psychiatrists used to make this argument about “schizophrenics”, saying that if someone labeled schizophrenic got better, it couldn’t have been true schizophrenia. But that was a bunch of bullshit. Many former psychotic individuals have become non-psychotic to different degrees, people who were once “schizophrenic” and are now free from that “illness.”

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    • You may well be right. He doesn’t have a dx. I can’t diagnose him, but he’s dx’d himself. I doubt he’s malignant though. Intelligent comment as always.

      I have seen that HealNPD board. It gave me a lot of hope for people with NPD who want to change from inside can actually do so. But you get so much flack from so many people (including mental health professionals) who insist NPD is not curable. That’s why I may seem a little wishy washy about the subject (sometimes having doubts they can change, sometimes not). I’d like to see what happens with this kid. He seems like he’s definitely doing something right–and he’s doing it by himself too, which is impressive.

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      • It’s interesting what comes up when you break down the opinion “NPD is not curable.” The questions come to mind – what does cure mean? Is it cure as defined by the person experiencing narcissism, or by those who want to impose what “getting better” means for another person? Does it mean having empathy or truly mutual satisfying relationships? Does it mean not having distressing emotional symptoms? Given that NPD is not a reliable valid condition, can it be accurately assessed whether it is curable or not, under any definition? What I mean is that NPD does not represent a consistent entity from person to person, or even sometimes from day to day within the same person. All descriptions of it are subjective, descriptive, superficial, and non-biological.
        When you start asking these questions to the people who simplistically say NPD is not curable, it’s interesting how they are usually unable to offer any intelligent, thoughtful answer.

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        • I agree. I have butted heads with a few other bloggers who insist all narcs are evil and hopeless. I understand these people are very angry at the narcs who abused them and I have empathy for that, but by refusing to even consider an alternative POV they are acting rather, shall we say, narcissistic themselves. YOU are wrong, THEY are right–black and white, with NO gray areas.

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  2. I heard from the person I wrote about again. He thinks he doesn’t actually have NPD but a lower level form of narcissism or narcissistic behaviors, which makes me suspect either BPD or possibly DNP (Destructive Narcissistic Pattern DIsorder). There’s not a whole lot of information about this disorder, but on the narcissistic spectrum, DNP is below NPD and the person does have some capacity for empathy and remorse. They are far more likely to be self aware and are more easily cured.

    Here’s a good article about DNP:
    http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2008/05/destructive-narcissism.html
    I wrote about it here:
    https://luckyottershaven.com/2015/03/28/not-every-narcissist-has-npd/

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  3. Do you believe your psychopathic ex can change? Just wondering because you have one of the most fantastic blogs on the net about narcissism and I truly value your opinion and the time you take to respond to your readers. You seem to have a lot of compassion for those suffering with the disorder. If your ex got help/rehabilitated his mind, do you think he would be redeemable? You seem to suggest that people who think otherwise are “angry” or “narcissistic” just because they have seen with their own eyes that malignant narcs don’t change or get worse with age. This is, of course, the general consensus. Do you know something others don’t know? Where exactly do you stand? I would like to add that you are a brilliant writer and doing a great service to the community and society at large with your entertaining and thought provoking posts. You are really educating the masses. Thank you!!! The time and all the attention that you give to a young man who claims to be struggling with NPD is commendable. Most people would have brushed him off as fluff, but you gave him your energy and attention, attention, attention. You even devoted blog posts to him. Keep up the good work!

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