Processing my trip down the rabbit hole.

journaling

I’m so glad I talked about it. Everyone has been great. There have been no negative comments and hardly any unfollows, which surprised me. I’ve had a few comments like these though:

“You can’t be a narc, you’re too self aware and have too much remorse,”
“You’re a good person, so that can’t be true.”
“It’s just a bad case of ‘fleas'”
“It’s probably really just complex PTSD mixed with BPD”
“It’s probably NVS (narcissistic victim syndrome).”

Denial is understandable; I denied it too. For months. And it could be that all those things are true too. Narcissism is, after all, a result of being a victim. Narcissists are the most damaged of all victims, so damaged they became what was destroying them. And until (and if) I can get an official NPD diagnosis (which I probably wouldn’t get anyway, because I don’t fit the classic DSM criteria for NPD), there’s a possibility that I don’t have NPD at all, covert or not. Narcissists low on the spectrum aren’t necessarily bad people who have lost their humanity, but they are broken people and some want help. BPD symptoms and Avoidant PD symptoms mixed together can also look a lot like covert narcissism, but a few things didn’t fit–like the hidden resentment, envy and grandiosity I thought everyone felt.

In addition, because of the intensity of the emotions and events that led to my discovery and the surreal and almost supernatural coincidences that began to play out immediately after, as well as an enormous feeling of relief and a completely shifted vantage point where I could now see myself as others saw me, I can only believe my disorder is real and not a figment of a deluded imagination.

I feel like the copious tears I was able to shed just prior to and during my epiphany both cleansed me of some of the toxic, angry emotions I was always carrying around (suddenly I feel something closer to actual empathy!) and helped carry me to the next step of this journey, which is healing.

I know the next phase will be even more difficult. I doubt I can do it alone. I started a new blog intended to act as a therapy tool for this second big phase of my journey (and is also intended to help others in similar positions find their way), much as this blog has been a therapy tool for the first.

Because there’s no way I can afford the type of therapist I’d need, I’ve decided to search for a university clinical psychology program that uses BPD/NPD patients as “guinea pigs” to people training to be therapists, especially in reparenting/psychoanalytic (not just behavioral like CBT) techniques.

darknessintolight2

During my crisis last week I thought the shock of finding out the truth would kill me. But it didn’t and now I think it’s the most pivotal moment in my life. It also proved to me that God not only exists but loves me very much, because this revelation came after weeks of prayer that I thought were falling on deaf ears. I was almost ready to give up my faith because nothing was happening.
I was even losing interest in writing.
And then it happened, when I didn’t expect it. It hurt more than I can describe in words. But so does bearing a child–something wondrous comes after all the pain. God doesn’t always make things easy.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen down the line, but that’s not for me to know yet.
The idea to start a new blog happened after the dust settled so I think that was part of his plan for me.
If I’m right and God has taken the reins of my journey, I have faith he’ll direct me to the right therapist.
I’m both scared to death and excited as hell to meet my real self and for us to become reacquainted.

I think the true self comes out through art and creativity. For some narcissists, the “art” they produce isn’t real art but trash. But if they’re at all able to suspend their false self while creating (and I think some do), their art can be honest and beautiful because it’s coming from a place of truth.
Writing is when my true self is at its strongest. So I’m taking things from there.

I’m not sure which direction this blog is going to take. I’m not sure how to reconcile writing about narcissistic abuse without seeming like a fraud, even though that’s probably stupid because it’s not as if I wasn’t a victim of abuse. I was for my entire life until a year ago. Getting away from my narcs brought me the clarity I needed to get to this point. I don’t even want to think of what I might become if I had never escaped.

If anyone’s afraid I might abandon this blog, I promise I won’t. Just like I wouldn’t abandon a first child after having a second. However, for the time being I may focus a bit more on the new one, because of my need to write about things that would fit better over there right now, as well as mundane things like setting it up, putting some “meat” on it, and getting it established.

I’m not sorry this happened at all. I’m grateful. I feel so much better now, almost happy!

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19 thoughts on “Processing my trip down the rabbit hole.

  1. Interesting but I am not buying you are a narcissist. I think you might be projecting as you have been involved with the subject for so long. Will be following your blog though whatever you are because
    I like you and your writing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I enjoyed this blog, and your writing is always interesting/prolific. I have a question. I was the scapegoat (of two narc parents and now two narc siblings); and a great many flying monkeys. I also was VERY late diagnosed on the Autism/AS (2 months ago at age 60).

    My personality-type is more humbled (not because I feel great/or superior) as I don’t. It is that life does have a way of humbling the scapegoat.

    However, I can look back in my 30s and 40s (when still single and mainly money-motivated), I was a narc/copycat, in that I was quite lost and decided my parents must “have been right” so attempted to mimic them (but of course ended up empty/sad).

    The years went by and finally I learned my real condition. I also look back at that N-behavior and look at it like alcohol. I did “the party scene” back then too; but, like N-behavior, finally decided it was not contributing toward my health, stopped both, and haven’t looked back in 26 years.

    One thing I’ve learned recently though is that the S child very rarely becomes an N too; it is much more likely the G-child will do so given his/her closeness/and adoration of the “N” parent(s).,

    On the other hand Aspergers is very often confused with N-behavior (especially the aloofness, sometimes lack of eye contact, wanting to be alone more than maybe the average Joe etc.

    So my question is, could it be possible that it is just one of the (very common side effects of AS rather than the more rare situation of the S-child becoming a lifetime N?

    It seems someone who writes a heart-felt blog/column that helps so many, would be the last thing on an N’s mind. Even a recovering one. Just my 2cents and realize I could easily be wrong and often have been. TY for letting me share.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No problem at all. 🙂
      I was a S child but also a G on (lots of only children are). So maybe it isn’t that rare for someone who’s both. I don’t know. I don’t think any studies have been done on whether or not there’s a correlation between being both S and G and becoming N. If so, the narcissism is most likely going to be covert narcissism, because showing arrogance, entitlement and grandiosity is too “dangerous” if you’re a scapegoat or a combination of scapegoat and golden.
      Interesting about the Aspergers, and the symptoms are so much alike even professionals can’t tell. It’s what’s behind the behaviors though. I never recognized the narcissism underlying my shyness, awkwardness and deliberate isolating from people.
      I’ve often wondered if a 12 step program could work on a narcissist, because the need for supply is just like a drug addiction. Drug addicts also act very narcissistic when their drug “supply” is short or missing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very interesting. In my family I was definitely golden and my brother was scapegoat. I was very much the older brother in the prodigal son parable. My brother got lots of attention since he was a “problem child” and I was ignored as the “good kid.” I find that this dynamic still seems to be played out the same in adulthood. My brother is far more self-centered (not a narc though, I don’t think) than I am. I am interested in any info you have about the golden/scapegoat family dynamic.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I do have articles referencing the G/C family dynamic but one day soon I may write an article focusing on that. You can use the search bar or categories list (which is ridiculously long!) to look for articles pertaining to golden children and scapegoats. I’ll try to look for some articles and link to them.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. LO…Thank you for your prompt response. I’d not known you were an old child so of course roles could overlap (depending I suppose on the N parents mood de jour) that month or year or season….

    I’ve seen it written (am not sure how much was formal research and how much was testimonial blogs) but there seems to be a popular consensus that it is rare that the scapegoat becomes a malignant “N” which is pretty much impossible to “fix” given that the MN never really wants to “do good” but only “appear good”.

    On the other hand I have read a few research papers (you can google “Asperger’s mimics NPD narcissism” and find numerous studies….

    Since my epiphany about 4 months ago I went back and re-read Dr. Scott Peck’s “People Of The Lie”….I guess (other than Freud, Jung and Satir) he’s the first in our generation to attempt to explain this family model: Here’s one quote I just found on the web in his book…..

    “While they [malignant narcissists] seem to lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good. Their “goodness” is all on a level of pretense.” The People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck, M.D.

    Thanks again. Gr8 info.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I loved “People of the Lie.” It helped me identify my mother and ex as malignant N’s. That book was probably the first one that really opened the door and popularized the idea that some people (malignant narcs) are actually evil. I agree they are.
      I am not a malignant narcissist (at least I hope not) because MNs will step on you to get what they want regardless of what that does to you, and some are straght up sadistic. Even under that mask of being saintlike.
      I’m neither sadistic or a person who steps all over people to get what I want. I’m on the spectrum, but it’s mixed with BPD/avoidant and probably hurts me more than anyone else. I’m just tired of having all that hidden jealous rage and self centeredness (and yes, that could be the bpd too).

      Liked by 2 people

      • It is funny…I read POTL by Dr. Peck about 25 years ago and remember thinking “poor families; how do they ever survive this?). I was still being scapegoated by my NM family or origin at that time (heavily so)…I can look back and laugh about it now (to a certain degree but of course there’s still some pain/sadness).

        We Americans love to label things…..I walked into a therapists office for the first time at age 28 and told her I had depression, and was treated for depression ever since up until 2005 when they discovered it was another congental issue (vagus nerve malfunction) and had an implant done and the “depression” magically disappeared.

        I never had it again until a few days after my autism/SGoat diagnosis. I imagine some PTSD etc has occurred. An ssri antidepressant started working almost immediately and I’ve done that a month with good success.

        My wife and I hike about 3 times a week and are on a vegan diet and that seems to help.

        Just being good to oneself seems to work wonders after a few weeks of that; we are so used to not doing so. 🙂

        Thanks again.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Taking care of yourself physically is the nuts and bolts of healing anything. If you feel like shit physically, you’re not going to get anywhere emotionally either.
          That’s great you and your wife are hiking and eating well. Though I could never give up dairy or chicken, lol.

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          • LOL. We’re not “militant vegans” and didn’t even start that lifestyle till about 3 years ago. We have plenty of friends who like various forms of animal protein and that’s their choice. I like the feeling (and now knowing all the various gourmet dishes that can be made), and I am very difficult to please…having grown up outside of New Orleans and invited back to the kitchens (since the time I was 3 yr old) to watch amazing chefs make their dishes with seafood, chicken etc).

            I was used to that daily growing up; so it was a difficult “sale” by my wife Lee who had been doing it a year and I saw how dramatically it was helping her and there was no way I was not going to give it a try (was certain I’d go back to (at least sushi) several months later; but the body adjusts relatively fast and well. Don’t miss it on I’d say 98% of the time now. I can pass a good restaurant where we used to eat and have a craving but it subsides rather quickly now.

            Lee (my wife) is a gourmet vegan chef….she’s got several blogs…one I recommend is
            https://beyondmeatlessmonday.wordpress.com/ which is very colorful and tasty. (its for nonvegans who want to try very filling/tasty vegan meals) but aren’t really interested in “going vegan” as well as the “veteran vegan”.

            Thanks again!

            Liked by 2 people

    • This post and all of these comments are very interesting. I especially relate to much of what ricklondonsyndication had to say.

      After I was diagnosed with PTSD by Paul Meier, MD, in his Richmond, Texas clinic in early 2003 — shortly before my 50th birthday — Lisa, my primary counselor there, told me something that I did not appreciate the full significance of at the time. She said that after all my psychological test results and interview assessments were in, Dr. Meier and his staff had a meeting to discuss my diagnosis.

      According to Lisa, Dr. Meier and his staff had a lengthy debate about how it was even possible that I could have lived through such horrific, repeated childhood trauma, without ending up with Borderline Personality Disorder at the very least. She pointed out that I did fit some of the BPD criteria, such as the fact that I had been divorced 4 times, plus I had a history of suicidality (I hung myself when I was 15). Those facts, on top of my history of extreme chiildhood trauma (not only did my mother try to gas us all to death when I was 12, my MPD/DID father held me against the railing on the Oakland Bay Bridge when I was not quite 3, chanting in an eerie, sing-song voice that he was going to throw me off the bridge and I would die — and yes, I clearly remember that! Plus he did a similar thing when I was 9, he held one of my 2 year old twin sisters all the way out over the side of the top story of a 4-story parking garage, chanting that he was going to drop her, while her twin and I screamed and pleaded with our dad not to hurt our sister) …. with my trauma history, Lisa said, some of the staff at the Meier New Life Clinic thought that I surely must have BPD, at the very least, and just be “hiding” it somehow.

      But after all my psychological tests and therapy assessments were done, Dr. Meier and his staff agreed that I did NOT have BPD, or any other personality disorder, even though they also agreed that I “should” have.

      Looking back over my life, I am positive that I did actually fit the criteria for either BPD or Covert Narcissism during parts of my twenties, thirties, and even some of my forties. I don’t think I “outgrew” it, so much as I finally healed enough to no longer need to think of myself as “better” than anyone else, in order to feel less horrible about the fact that I was (mis?) diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 14 and put into an insane asylum by my abusive mother. After two years in that degrading hell-hole, I focused on, and flaunted, all my “good” qualities — my Cover-Girl enhanced looks, my Mensa IQ, etc. — I played all of that up, because I was desperately trying to feel better about my “crazy” self.

      After I finally got some healing for my real problem, which in my case is Complex PTSD, I no longer feel the need to be in the spotlight in order to be worthy of just the space I take up on this planet and the food it takes to keep me alive! I am content now to be average, even below average. I now know that I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to be special, I don’t have to be better than anyone else, in order to be worthy of love.

      I now believe that I am no less worthy of love and respect — and no more worthy of love and respect — than any other amazing, priceless, one-of-a-kind human being on this great big crazy planet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have found having the time and perspective to “work on myself” is one of the many benefits of aging. Of course, as a woman/mom/spouse/daughter, I have to work on not seeing the use of this benefit as not making me a selfish/bad person!
    In the end, though, I think this inward-looking behavior makes any of us a better person and enables us to better support our loved ones and to contribute to society in general.
    Good luck with your continuing self- and non-self therapy. I intend to continue to follow you and learn/benefit from your journey.

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