You are just an object to a narcissist.

objectification

I saw this post in the NPD forum at Psychforums. The discussion was about narcissists who seem to care more about animals than people. “StupidPig,” a poster with NPD wrote an interesting post, which I think is a great explanation of what “love” means to a narcissist. In a nutshell: it’s not love. It’s not even really attachment. Everything is an object to them. A narcissist can be as “attached” to an object or an animal as a person, sometimes more so. It all depends whatever is giving the narcissist more pleasure/supply at a given time and whatever requires less maintenance or emotional input from them. The “love object” can change from one day to the next. People and animals are just objects to a narcissist.

I did not edit StupidPig’s post or correct his spelling errors.

http://www.psychforums.com/narcissistic-personality/topic47260-10.html

I am a narcissist with NPD, and I used to like to “own” animals as a kid. However, I never liked to “care” for them.

Someone with NPD cares only for his image, or what the books call the “Glorified Self Image”. Anything else other than his Glorified Self Image is considered an object to him (be it his mother, his children, his spouce, his boss, his car, his own body, or his pet snake or whatever) , and the value of such object will be defined only on basis of how much narcissistic supply it would give him. I.e. how much it enhances his Glorified Self Image.
So, if owning a dog (or a car or a pretty girlfriend) would make me look better, then I would enjoy it, but I would never do any effort to maintain the car, walk the dog, or be nice to the girlfriend, because, as someone with NPD, I have an exagerrated sense of entitlement. this means that I strongly belive that I “deserve” to have the objects that make me look good, and I do not need to do any effort to “keep” those objects.

A pet is no different from a spouce or a car or a friend or a watch or a parent to a Narc. It is just an object that gains value when it makes him look better or feel superior and loses value immidiatly if it doesn’t give him such supply. Based on this, if your car does a 18/20 job in making you look better and feel superior, while your dog does a 10/20 at that job, and your spouce or son does a 5/20, then you would love your care more than your dog and your dog more than your family. But, if on the next day your son wins the world championship in swiming and tells the world on TV that you, his father, is the reason behind this victory, you would shift into loving your son more than your dog and your car, and if three days latter your son makes a fight with you because he wants the car, and the car gets dented in an accident, you will love your dog more than your car and your son, and so on.

In all cases, the narc will never do much to maintain those “objects” and will never really hold any of them dear to his heart because they are all just objects to him.

Only in the light of this should one talk a comparitive view at the different objects in a narc ‘s life and their different merrits and drawbacks. using myself as an example, the advantages and dissadvantages go as follows:

– Pet-objects: They are submissive ( do not need much effort to do as told) and not judgemental (and so do not pose a threat to the Narc’s ego), but they do have several drawbacks, the most important of which is that they need feeding, cleaning, medical care, etc. Narcs hate objects that require lots of maintenance.
Another drawback concerning pet-objects is that they sometimes require “feelings” from you. Not as much as human-objects do of course, but it is still a nagging requirement.

– Human-objects: They can offer much more supply than a pet-object ( e.g. a woman-object who adores you gives more types and quantities of narcissistic supply than a dog) but the drawbacks are that human-objetcs require much more maintenance than other objects and are apt to judge you (and hence are a threat to the ego, or the glorified self image) and they need scary amounts of feelings in order to function properly and, worst of all, they might have “opinions” about your actions and would try to aplly measures that restrict your freedom. They are great objects but they come with a great price..in most cases, this makes them not worth the Narc’s effort(in his twisted opinion of course).

-Inanimate objects (like watches, cars, computers, etc) : They do what they are expected to do, they are never judgemental, and they do not require any emotional input to function properly and they hardly limit your freedom in anyway.

Give me robots at work, at home and in bed and I’ll be a very happy narcissist! ( oh, but please make them cheap, efficient, self maintaining and guranteed for life.)

But, once again, you are never really attached to any of those “things”. You can, as a narc, always kick your dog away for a better looking and more submissive dog, and never regret it. You will never feel any remorse for having sex a billion times outside your marriage, and you will never remember how your old battered car which served you for 10 years looked like after the first week of driving your new BMW around.
A narc may have a preference for one of those posessions over the other for one day (cat over son, girlfriend over dog), but don’t let that fool you, because it is only ephemeral and can very easily change on the next day.

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Does your narcissist do this?

no_empathy

There is something I noticed narcissists do, that is one of the most infuriating things about them. They seek to invalidate your experience or side with others who have hurt you, even if there’s no real reason for them to do this.

Here are some examples from real life:

You: “I don’t really like that person.”
Narcissist: “Well, *I* never had a problem with them.”

You: “I really like that person.”
Narcissist: “Well, *I* don’t!”

You: “I wish we got paid every week instead of every two weeks.”
Narcissist: “Well, it doesn’t bother *me*!”

You: “I’m so heartbroken since he left.”
Narcissist: “Well, if you had been more attentive he might have stayed!”

You: “I wish I had more friends.”
Narcissist: “Well, you’re not that easy to be around, you know.”

A great example of this is the way my mother used to act when I told her about a problem I was having at work. No matter what the situation, it was always my fault. One time I made the mistake of telling her I thought there was a lot of favoritism at my job and I was being passed over for promotions (a problem that’s familiar to me due to my avoidant/Aspie personality). Instead of getting sympathy or support, she shot back with, “Well, you must be doing something wrong. You’re not the most pleasant person to deal with, you know.” This sort of thing happened all the time. Everything bad that happened was ALWAYS somehow my fault. That’s how narcissists invalidate your experience and diminish you at the same time.

Another version of the same thing is if you object to one of their insults, they will accuse you of being too sensitive or having no sense of humor.

“I really take offense to what you just said.”
Narcissist: “Well, it was only a JOKE! Lighten up.” (usually what they said was not meant to be a joke, so this is a lie).

Narcissists will never offer support, encouragement, or comfort. They seek to demean you by never taking your side, even when there’s no reason not to. They like to be contrary just to be contrary and “keep you in your place.”

How could someone even survive this?

dark_pozadia
Credit: http://dark.pozadia.org

I just read a comment on a forum about narcissism that made me want to throw up.

A woman who had been scapegoated all her life by her malignant narcissist mother and had gone No Contact said her adult son had been found dead (she didn’t say what the cause of death was). She says her mother never had the slightest interest in her grandson because any child this woman bore couldn’t possibly amount to anything. She never sent him a birthday or Christmas gift, or even so much as a card. She had never even come to see him when he was born.

The woman received no condolences from her mother after her son died. Instead, three days after his death, on the day of his inquest, she found out from relatives that her mother had gone out to celebrate with other family members and friends. Although the reason for the outing wasn’t her grandson’s death per se, she was told by a relative that her mother said “that stupid bitch got what she deserved.”

Wow. Just wow. Talk about lack of empathy. How could anyone be that callous? Losing a child is bad enough (I don’t think I could survive if that happened to me and I marvel at anyone who doesn’t lose their mind after losing a child) but to have YOUR OWN MOTHER–No Contact or not–say something like that is just so evil it’s beyond my comprehension. A mother who would say something like that upon her own child’s bereavement doesn’t deserve to live. Incredible.

I think if that happened to me I wouldn’t want to live anymore. Driving her own daughter to suicide was probably this so-called mother’s intention.

Letter from a narcissist’s “true self”

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Here is a hypothetical letter written from the point of view of a narcissist’s True (lost) Self.

The advice given here by the True Self is almost the polar opposite of whatever their False Self would tell you. That’s because their False Self is a lie and isn’t who they really are, even though they may have been wearing this mask for so long they can never access their True Self without enormous difficulty or even at all.

Always follow the advice of their True Self, no matter how much they protest and rage, unless you want further abuse. It’s actually the best thing for them if they ever decide to look in the mirror past the lies they show the world (and may have come to believe is the truth)–and of course it’s best for you.

Letter from a Narcissist’s True Self:

Dear Victim,

I have lied to you about nearly everything. I am not sorry for this behavior because I cannot empathize with you. I chose narcissism so early in my life that I never had the chance to develop a conscience or the capacity to feel remorse or empathy for the way I hurt you. Still. I know it’s wrong on an intellectual level. I just cannot feel your pain. Sometimes I wish I could, but I can’t.

I became a narcissist because as a child I felt too vulnerable. I was sensitive. I felt too much and most of it was painful. I was made to feel like I was nothing, a nobody. I was hurt, betrayed, abused, just like you. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t loved, or why I was treated with contempt and like I didn’t matter. I was also was never given a good example of how to become a good person. I never had anyone to model in a positive way.

Life was so painful for me I had to do something about it. Something drastic. I had to become strong and never show weakness again, because my weakness was killing me. I was trained that being a sensitive person who feels compassion and remorse, a person who can love others, is a weak person. I know that isn’t really the case, but it was how I was trained. I was so young that I couldn’t see how wrong that might have been.

I reached a point where I had to make a choice. In order to survive, I had to sacrifice my humanity. I didn’t want to do it, but I felt like I had to. I didn’t want to be hurt anymore. I had to sell my soul.

In order to sell my soul, I had to shut you and everyone else out. I couldn’t allow myself to feel too much. I couldn’t allow myself to be sensitive anymore, and that meant I could no longer allow myself to love anyone, feel anyone else’s pain or joy, or feel sorry if I did something wrong.

I had to don this mask that I wear, which is a lie. In order to keep that lie intact, I had to treat others badly. I had to diminish you to prop my false self up. I had to hate you in order to “love” the mask that I show the world, because if I didn’t continually prop myself up by making you feel bad, my mask of lies might fall off and expose the real me, a powerless and vulnerable child which I had to protect at all costs, even if it meant destroying everyone else around me. I am a bully but inside I know I am nothing. I act like I love myself but I really hate myself. I only love the mask I wear. I abuse you to protect that mask.

michelle_mallon_quote
Read Michelle Mallon’s story here.

You can never get through to my true self because the lies I tell are nearly impenetrable. I have lied so often and for so long that I myself have come to believe my own lies. I am a walking lie. That is the truth.

I will never let you get close to what I really feel. I don’t even know what I feel anymore. Most of the time I feel nothing, because a lie has no feelings. But try to destroy my protective armor, and I will try to destroy you. If I must go down in flames, I am going to take you with me. I will rage and abuse you. I will gaslight you and tell you the most horrific lies about yourself.

I may seem nice at first or when I feel like the supply you give me is threatened or you may leave. I know how to get others to trust me–by acting like a nice person. I am good at acting like a nice person but I can’t feel a nice person’s emotions. It’s hard work to act nice, because that’s a lie too.

When you begin to trust me, I will start abusing you, because I must keep you at arm’s length and keep my mask of lies intact at all costs. Both the niceness I show you and the asshole I become are both lies. I cannot even access who I really am. I have forgotten. I just know that my true self is there, somewhere, and I can never, ever, let you meet them.

If you mirror back to me too much of the truth about me–if I become aware that you KNOW this mask I always wear is a fake–I will attempt to destroy you or cut you out of my life. I cannot afford to have the truth about myself revealed to me. Nothing terrifies me more than facing the truth about myself so I have dissociated myself from it. It scares me so much to realize how evil I have become. It hurts me so much that I had to choose this fake self because of what was done to me. I hate being evil. I really don’t want to be this way but I will never, ever admit that. I cannot ever show you or anyone in the world how weak and vulnerable I really am. But deep inside, I know I am.

incrediblehulk

I am still an infant. I never grew up. My emotional and moral development was arrested when I was just a very young child, so I only have the emotional maturity of a child that age. That’s why I can’t care about you. It’s why I must always have my way. Can a two or three year old care about YOUR feelings? Of course they can’t, and like a toddler, I can’t either. I am like a mentally challenged person, only my retardation isn’t mental, it’s emotional and moral. I’m emotionally retarded.

It’s hard work keeping up my false self. I am paranoid and defensive all the time that I will be discovered and exposed. It’s enormously stressful to be a narcissist. It’s stressful and often painful, and I know I have sacrificed the ability to ever feel real happiness in order to never be hurt again.

But still, I hurt all the time. You can hurt me very easily. The only way I dare show my hurt is by projecting it back onto you through my abuse and through my rages. I’m a bully because I always hurt so much. But I can’t hurt FOR you, only for myself. I cannot afford to hurt for you. I’m too busy always licking my own wounds and trying to keep the lie going. I will hurt YOU if I must to keep the lie intact.

As I age, I may soften a little but most likely I won’t. I could even become worse. Don’t wait for me to change because I most likely never will. Once I chose this life, there was no going back. I chose darkness and once that’s done, there is no going back to the light. I sold my soul and there’s no way to buy it back, but through the grace of God himself.

If you care about yourself (because I can never care about you), you must leave now. Don’t play my games. Ignore me and act like I don’t exist. Being treated like I don’t exist is the worst thing I can imagine, but if you care about your own survival it’s what you must do. I will destroy you if you don’t. Heed my warning.

There’s even a small–a very small–chance that your abandoning me and taking away the supply I get from you could make me take a look in the mirror for the first time at the lost child I left behind so long ago. If that happens, I will be in so much pain I may seek the help I need. Don’t count on it though. Even if I ever seek help, once I start feeling too much pain I will probably leave counseling. Feeling that pain is too terrifying. It’s easier to abuse my own mind (and yours) by keeping up the masks and lies.

Here is a song that describes me well.

Don’t wait for me to change. I won’t. Don’t play my games. Even if I rage, hold your ground. You’re stronger than I am. I will never let you know I know this. Don’t fall for my lies.

Better yet, leave now. Keep your soul intact. Don’t allow me to turn you into a shell of what you used to be or worse, a person like me, even though it’s what I want.

Sincerely,
Your Narcissist

Eight fun games narcissists like to play (and one they can’t play).

not_fun

Here are eight games that are lots of fun for one of the players: the narcissist who initiates them. And like the overgrown babies they are, if you refuse to play or appear to be winning their game, they will pout, whine or throw a tantrum until you concede or let them win. This is a humorous yet serious look at the many games narcissists like to play, from the website The Narcissistic Life. Don’t play these games. Let them sulk and whine all by their widdle selves. Take the ball and go home.

Games Narcissists Play
Written by Alexander Burgemeester

Narcissists are masters at playing mind games. They play to win and take no prisoners. They are poor losers and if they don’t win they will often react in a fit of rage and stomp away like a little child. The only way for the other person to win is to not play. You really have to be “on top of your game” to avoid them though. Here are some of the more common games that narcissists play:

#1 Ping-Pong:

ping_pong

When a person begins to understand how a narcissist works, he or she realizes that it’s a bit like playing ping-pong. Anytime a narcissist has to self-reflect about anything, they will immediately throw the ball back to the person they consider their opponent. Narcissists will always throw the ball back to the other person. They do this in the expectation that they won’t have to take responsibility for their behavior. Narcissists hope that by not taking responsibility for their own actions (by using blaming, shaming, projection, denial, etc.) their partner will do what they have always done-forgive the narcissist, make excuses for the narcissist’s behavior, claim the narcissist couldn’t help himself because he was having a bad day, and so on.

The narcissist is a moving target and you are always on the firing line. To get away from them (or expose them), you always have to keep an eye on the ball i.e., their actions and motives for playing their games with you. You have to stop wanting to play.

You can stop catching the ball and put it back in the narcissist’s court by setting boundaries and making him aware of his actions. He then realizes he has no one to play with anymore. He will either drop the person like a hot potato, try to punish the person, or run away.

#2 Gotcha!

gotcha

The narcissist can be a master of phony empathy. He appears to take you in, appears to understand what you are experiencing, and appears to genuinely be able to put himself in your shoes. These acts cause you to let your guard down; just when you think there is a genuine give-and-take in your relationship, he pulls a fast one on you-a “gotcha”- most often when you’re at a low point. He will suddenly tell you about his extraordinary new career move, a luxurious trip that he’s taking, or a huge shift in financial status that will make you feel even more diminished. Narcissists perfectly execute an unexpected psychological pounce; their purpose is to grind you down, to humiliate you, and make you feel small and inferior.

[My addition to this:  Covert narcissists like to play the mirror image to this game: when you’re doing well, have good news, and are in a great mood, they’ll be a Debbie Downer and tell you all about how depressed they are or about how they never get any breaks or all the awful things that have happened to them.  Or they might “caution” you about why you shouldn’t be too happy–the intention is to ruin your mood].

#3 Crazy Eights:

crazy_8s

This is a favorite game of narcissists…YOU are called crazy anytime you try to confront them, bring up past issues or behaviors, or expose them when they’re doing something appalling. The game goes like this: you are told that you have an overly active imagination, you don’t know what you’re talking about, they have no idea what you’re talking about, or that you’re simply making things up to cause problems. They’ll tell you that it’s obvious that you are the one who is crazy (and tell you that everyone around you agrees with them about you being crazy).

They will claim not to remember even unforgettable events, flatly deny they ever happened, and will never entertain the possibility that they might have forgotten. This is an extremely aggressive and infuriating tactic called “gaslighting”, a common technique used by abusers of all kinds. Your perceptions of reality are continually undermined so that you end up without any confidence in your own intuition, memory, or reasoning.

#4 Death by a Thousand Cuts:

whale_bullies

This is a really fun game that all narcissists like to play! It involves destroying your soul, your ego, your accomplishments and any belief system you have that does not agree with their beliefs. The way the game is won is for them to try to turn everything about you, and everything you do, into a complete failure. Extra points are given when they can take all the credit for anything good that has ever happened and put it all in their own pot. Double points are earned when they manage to put all blame for anything bad onto the other player.

#5 Twenty-One:

adult-children

In this popular game, you’re not allowed to ever reach the emotional age of 21. Even if you are 50 years old, you will still be treated like a child (a stupid child, a bad child, a silly child, etc.). You don’t get to have face cards and if you do get an ace, it’s only worth one point.

#6 The King/Queen Game:

royals
Artwork by Mike Reed

The most important part to remember about this game is that no one can know the rules except the king or queen. Either the king or queen gets to make up rules as they go along; they don’t have to tell the other players the new rules and they can change the rules whenever it suits them. They are the king or queen and, therefore, always win the game. You can be penalized for breaking the rules, even if they chose not to tell you the rules.

#7 Cat and Mouse:

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This is a kind of competitive patience (solitaire) game for two players. It is also known as Spite and Malice. The cards are arranged from low to high with the Kings being wild. Suits (the normal order of things and\or common societal rules) are irrelevant in the game. The game ends when someone wins by playing the last card of their “pay-off” pile. The game can also end if the players run out of cards, in which case the result is a draw.

Cat and Mouse (or Spite and Malice) is a perfect game for a narcissist because it is actually a form of solitaire, it requires “one upmanship”, and involves pulling out “better” cards to beat the opponent.
It involves a “payoff” and for the narcissist, that usually means hurting you somehow. They keep track of real or imaginary things you do, have done, or might do. This is their “pile” and they will pull a card from it and use it against you whenever possible.

#8 Liars Poker:

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Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) play this game fantastically. They are accomplished liars. Their complete persona and their entire world are totally based in lies. Their positive attributes and alleged actions are all made up in order to get other people to give them their fix of narcissistic supply-praise, adulation and accolades.

#9 Keep Away:

narc_repellant

This is a game that you, yourself, must learn to play. It is important to recognize that the narcissist will never acknowledge that any games are being played; it is up to you to stop playing. To do this, you need to stop bringing up past events/behaviors because you will always be told you’re wrong, they are right, and that you need help. Don’t try to get them to acknowledge or take responsibility for their words or actions because they will always say they didn’t do it or it never happened.

If you are in a relationship, you can walk away from the toxic narcissist in your life. If your boss is an abusive narcissist, you can find another job. You can walk away from your parents, too, if they are abusive.
If you choose to stay, one way to stop playing their game is to not respond to jabs, barbs, pleas, put-downs etc. It is difficult to stop, but perhaps thinking of it this way will help: if you’re playing a game of catch with a ball, the only way to stop the game is to not catch the ball when thrown or not pick up the ball and throw it back. It is possible to stop playing games with a narcissist but just be prepared for an onslaught of negativity, accusations and histrionics. Ignore inciting words, do not respond back to inciting words, hang up the phone (with proper notice such as “I’ve got something I need to do “-not slamming it down) or leave the location where he is at. There are many ways for you to refuse to catch the ball or put the ball down and not throw it back. This is the game of “Keep Away”-you stay away, walk away, and refuse to play.

Reference:
http://postcardstoanarcissist.wordpress.com/games-narcissist-play/

My MN ex’s weird attitude to his son.

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My malignant narcissist ex bullied our son without mercy through most of his childhood. I wrote about that in this article and a few others, so I won’t rehash it again here.

My son is 23 now and lives in Florida. He moved there, in part, to escape from his father and our dysfunctional, sick relationship. He always hated our almost constant fights. He lived in Illinois before he moved to Florida. He hasn’t lived in North Carolina since 2010, when he was still 18. I only see him once a year, if that. I try not to let the huge distance between us bother me, because he is doing so well, has many wonderful friends, and is involved in so many activities that make him happy.

Financially, my son is doing better than I am because of his drive and ambition and he’s doing light years better than his helpless narcissistic bum of a father, who still lives at the Salvation Army, even though he gets disability now and could get a small apartment if he got himself put on the list for available apartments. Once I asked him why he didn’t do this, and he actually said he would rather live in a shelter than in the projects. He said he thought he was too good to live in the projects. As if the Salvation Army is any better! I think the real reason he refuses to do what he needs to do to get an apartment is because he’d rather be homeless so everyone can feel sorry for him. Other people’s pity gives him an excuse to act entitled and needy. He takes a perverse pride in acting as pitiful and helpless as it’s possible to be.

None of his immediate family feels sorry for him anymore. Not even his daughter, who was his only defender for a long time. He has lost her too.

My ex has a weird attitude about children. He says he hates kids, which isn’t such a terrible thing (lots of people don’t like kids–I’m not even overly fond of them) but I remember him getting annoyed when I put up the kids’ baby photos and photos of them as children around the house. It angered him. He also got upset when I would talk about something the kids did when they were younger. He accused me of being too sentimental and living in the past. I thought his reaction was strange. I just thought wanting to put family photos up around the house was the normal sort of thing any mother would do. He always hated any displays of sentimentality or nostalgia. The only thing he told me when I questioned him about his strange attitude was that he hated thinking about the past because of his own painful childhood.

I have noticed many narcissists have a bizarre aversion to sentimentality. My mother is the same way. She hated displaying family photos around the house (except in bedrooms) because she considered family photos in public areas tacky. She actually said she threw away most of the family photos, when I recently asked her if I could have some. She might be lying or she might have actually thrown hem away. I would not put something like that past my cold fish of a mother.

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Maybe this explains it.

When I was living with my ex, I remember his strange Jekyll-and-Hyde attitude about his estranged son. Most of the time he acted like he didn’t care about him. He never seemed interested in his activities, watching his Youtube videos (which are very good), and would change the subject if I talked about how well he was doing in college or in his job. It seemed as if he was envious of his son for being more successful than him, instead of proud of him. He really just never wanted to talk about him at all, except to make inappropriate and sometime lewd jokes about him being gay (he always insisted it didn’t bother him Ethan was gay).

He never seems to really miss him, and almost never calls him. Once Ethan left the state, to my ex it was almost as if he never existed. If Ethan had died, I doubt Michael would have cared much. He cried more when our dog Daisy died than I think he would if something had happened to one of our children, especially our son.

One time when they did speak on the phone, Ethan said something Michael didn’t like–he disagreed with him about something political (Michael spent most of his time ranting on political websites against anyone who disagreed with his views and trolling conservative websites). For months after that, Michael refused to talk to him at all. Ethan tried to call him a few times, but was always hung up on rudely. When I asked Michael why he did this, he just said his son was an “asshole who doesn’t deserve the time of day because he doesn’t agree with me.” True story.

But occasionally Michael could get all maudlin and weepy. Many narcissists do that. It’s weird. Usually it’s when they’re drunk. In Michael’s case, it happened when he was stoned (his main goal in life seems to be procuring weed). These tearful, sentimental moods came randomly, for no reason.

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One day I came home to find the news channel he always watched off (for a change). I found Michael standing in front of the bathroom mirror, sobbing in an exaggerated way like the baby he is. Crying uncontrollably to the point he was actually choking and gagging. I asked him why he was crying. He told me he needed a hug. I complied but felt repelled and held my body stiff. I did not feel empathy or much concern, mostly just disgust and annoyance. At this point I hated him so much after years of his abuse and constant gaslighting that touching him, especially touching him when he was this vulnerable, with snot and tears all over his prematurely aged face, made me feel a little sick to my stomach.

He never told me what was bothering him. He probably didn’t even know. He went into a diatribe about how he wanted to buy Ethan the best camera he could find and it made him feel terrible that he was unemployable and so poor he couldn’t buy him even a cheap camera. I reminded him that Ethan already owned several cameras that he either bought or his grandfather had bought him. Michael continued mopping at his eyes and interrupted me, talking about the brands of cameras he would buy Ethan if he could.

I don’t think that’s what was bothering him. But he did get maudlin like that occasionally and it was always strange and disturbing and just happened out of left field most of the time.

I’ve noticed that about narcs. Most of the time they look down their noses at normal displays of sentimentality or the normal expressions and feelings of love parents have for their children or other family members, but when under the influence of alcohol or drugs they get maudlin and weepy to a disgusting level over inconsequential things that really don’t matter. I always felt myself recoiling at these over the top and inappropriate displays of emotion.

Michael wasn’t actually an emotional person at all but used emotional displays to get attention and pity, or to hoover me after he’d been abusive. When we were first dating and “in love,” he would frequently become all teary eyed when he told me how much he loved and needed me. He cried when he asked me to marry him. He cried when we were having sex. At the time I was incredibly moved and overwhelmed by feelings of love when he did this. I thought it meant he was a big sensitive softie with a huge heart. I loved his “vulnerability.” God, I was so naive. I read somewhere that some narcissist men act like this when wooing a woman trapping their prey.

Why are narcs so creepy?

I just get so tired of it…

rejected_child

I just read this blog post “I Would Be Begging for Help if it were Me” by Fivehundredpoundpeep. I highly recommend it to all ACONs. However, I won’t lie–her well written article triggered me, and the following may be the most emotional post I ever wrote.
This actually started as a reply on her blog, but I decided to turn it into an article because it’s very much on my mind. Tears are not far away.

The mother she describes in her article sounds EXACTLY like mine–the tone, choice of words, attitude, everything. Criticism under the guise of “help.” Dismissal in the name of love. With mine it’s always “positive thinking:”
“If you were not so negative, things would come more easily to you.”
“If you were more pleasant to be around, you would be able to make the connections to help you advance in a career.”
“You never were the competitive type.”
And always, always, “You’re too sensitive.”

Well, excuse me, Mommie Dearest, you’re too damn insensitive. You may not know it, but my high sensitivity, much as it may annoy you, is going to OUT you one day as the MALIGNANT NARCISSIST you always were, and will save my sanity. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And then you dare to tell me how much you love me in the next line? Prove it.

She used to send me corny memes and hackneyed sayings about always being sunny and cheerful, and accepting things the way they are. Scooping all these memes together and throwing them in the blender, here’s the pureed form of the message she was giving me:
“You are a failure and will never get anywhere in this world because you’re not a fun person, you never smile, you’re always negative, but you should accept things as they are and be happy with your lousy lot, because you don’t deserve any better.

That’s what she was really saying. She’s one of what I call “the positive thinking nazis.” Actually both my parents are. There’s nothing wrong with positive thinking, of course, and it’s something we should all strive to do. But my FOO took it too far. They used it as a way to sugarcoat and deny real issues. It was like putting a Band-aid on a cancerous lesion so it didn’t have to be seen. If it didn’t have to be seen, it would go away. That was the sort of narcissistic magical thinking and insanity I had to deal with.
They used it as a way to deny responsibility. That’s the most glaring thing wrong with the positive thinking movement, when taken to ridiculous extremes. The denial of reality and rejection of responsibility.

Of course if I ever confronted my mother about this (which I never did, not directly anyway, since I was a teenager), she’d either fly into a narcissistic rage or vehemently deny it.

staring_at_wall
My mother still has the power to make me feel this way. That’s why we’re estranged.

Seriously, that’s the only kind of “help” I have ever gotten from my MN egg donor since I grew up. But I can’t be rejected anymore because I don’t ask her for a thing anymore. I could be lying in a gutter with a broken leg and no home and no way to get to the hospital, and she’d probably tell me I was just being too negative and drawing in my own bad fortune. I would rather lie there and bleed to death than beg her to help.

My whole FOO are huge proponents of the postmodern narcissistic grandiose fantasy of “you create your own reality. If you fail, it’s no one’s fault but your own. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and suck it up.” It’s The Cliff’s Notes version of Ayn Rand’s objectivism. No compassion. No empathy. No love. Only judgment, gaslighting, subtle put downs, no loyalty, and thinly veiled hatred. And unfair and untrue accusations of my acting “entitled” because at my age, of course I should not be needing any help. But I’ve never asked them for much anyway. They think I asked for too much. All I ever wanted was love. No their conditional fake excuse for love.

It made me furious to the point of wanting to smash my fist into a brick wall when well-meaning people who may have heard about my financial problems or need of emotional support, said to me something like, “Honey, don’t you have a family you can turn to?” Or “Surely your family will help you out of this jam.” Sometimes it still happens, though I tell no one IRL my troubles. But I don’t want to hear what they have to say: all these people assume that just because their own families will help them or give them a hand up when they’re down on their luck or just need a non-judgmental listening ear or a soft shoulder to cry on, then the same must be true of my family too. It’s just what everyone does for own flesh and blood, right?

crying_chld

These fortunate people with loving families may be well meaning but they assume because theirs will help them and give them unconditional love, that the same holds true for people like us. They simply can’t or won’t believe there are some parents who actually HATE THEIR CHILDREN.

I get so tired of it. So very tired of it. That’s why I tell no one my problems anymore except on my blog. I never ask my parents for help, ever, and never will again. Especially not my mother. But I won’t need to. I’m still poor but I’m surviving, even thriving now–but not because of any of their heartless and judgmental “advice.”

I’m getting better because I have the ability to reach out to my real family–this amazing community of people who have such similar stories–through a skill I’ve recently rediscovered and is the tool to my healing: my writing.
I don’t need to be my mother’s scapegoat anymore.

Grandiose and “vulnerable” narcissists: how do they differ?

beggar_king
Both the beggar and the king could be narcissists with a different M.O.

An interesting article in Psychology Today explains the difference between grandiose (invulnerable) narcissists, and “vulnerable” narcissists. Either can be somatic or cerebral, and either can also be malignant or non-malignant.

The two kinds of narcissists can seem very different on the surface:

Grandiose narcissists can seem emotionally cold, convinced of their achievements or success, and rarely if ever talk about their fears or their problems. They can be very quick to judge others though. On the surface they seem strong and tough. You won’t see them show emotions other than rage or pride, and if they are ever sad or fearful, you will never see that side of them. Like all narcissists, they are never happy,but they can “act” happy if they need to. And like all narcissists, they are incapable of love but may be able to put on a show of “falling in love” to obtain a new source of narcissistic supply.

Grandiose narcissists are the CEOs, politicians, narcissistic celebrities and others who have achieved a high level of success. Those who haven’t achieved success will stop at nothing to rise to the top, even if it means destroying their competition in the process. They are ruthless predators. Our current society glorifies the traits of the grandiose narcissist and doesn’t seem to bemoan what they don’t have: the ability to show emotion and feel love or empathy. Grandiose narcissists don’t care what others think of them.

Vulnerable narcissists, rather than brag about their achievements and never showing their feelings, are given to bouts of self pity, and use emotions (like crying, whining, demanding, or sulking) to manipulate others into giving them what they want. They are less likely to be materially successful, and may be dependent on others for their survival. In fact, they may seem to take a kind of perverse pride in their failures and hard luck. Vulnerable narcissists are the emotional and financial vampires who will suck your funds dry and constantly demand attention and comfort for their many problems. They are high-maintenance “drama queens.” They seem to have no self esteem. They will wear down their sources of supply with their constant demands and mind games. Both types of narcissists will shamelessly manipulate others to have their way.

…narcissists feel emotions like vulnerability, sadness, empathy and compassion in a shallow way, if at all, and cover them up with rage, blame, manipulation and disdain for others. This coping mechanism has a heavy price: they don’t feel secure enough to relax and really feel happiness and joy, although they may have fleeting moments of those emotions.

Vulnerable narcissists tend to swing back and forth between acting superior and feeling hurt; may become self-destructive when their vulnerabilities are pointed out; they may accuse their spouse or significant other of having affairs and being unfaithful, and may resort to spying on their partner or constantly asking for reassurance. They also have a pattern of looking for the “perfect mate” and then demand constant reassurance they are loved and valued.

Grandiose narcissists have much in common with people with Antisocial Personality Disorder; while vulnerable narcissists have more in common with people who have Borderline Personality Disorder. Both of these disorders, along with NPD and Histrionic Personality Disorder, comprise the Cluster B (dramatic) personality disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It can be very difficult to distinguish those who have NPD from those suffering from one of the other two disorders.

Grandiose narcissists were more likely to have been spoiled as children and treated like a little king or queen by their families; vulnerable narcissists are much more likely to have been abused or neglected as children.

But both types are still narcissists, so they still have many things in common under the surface, especially their sense of entitlement, lack of empathy and inability to feel joy.

According to the Psychology Today article, the main difference between vulnerable narcissists and and invulnerable narcissists is in the way they feel:

With their fragile self-esteem, vulnerable narcissists experience helplessness, anxiety, and depression when people don’t treat them as they desire.

They feel shamed and humiliated by negative feedback or when others challenge their superior self-image. They also experience anxiousness, bitterness, dissatisfaction, and disempowerment.

They suffer from many BPD-like emotions, like feelings of emptiness and inadequacy. Others find them sensitive and emotional; preoccupied with fears of rejection and abandonment. They are touchy, quick to be offended, and easily provoked.

A vulnerable narcissist may seem “nice” at first, but their constant demands will wear you out and they will never ask you how your day was or how you feel. They don’t care. Vulnerable narcissists may seem sensitive but they are only sensitive about themselves and how others feel about them; they are oblivious (or just don’t care) if you are suffering or have been hurt or need to talk. They are unable to give love in return for the love they demand. They cannot feel joy or ever appreciate anything. They are vampires who will keep taking until you have nothing left to give–or leave.

Earlier I said both types of narcissists can be somatic or cerebral. My guess is that women, who are more likely to be somatic narcissists, are also more likely to be the “vulnerable” type of narcissist. Acting needy and helpless are traits that are still found more socially acceptable in females than in males. That being said, I’ve known several males of the vulnerable type and some of them are cerebrals. My ex-husband is a great example of a “vulnerable” cerebral narcissist.

I also think it’s possible to be both types at once, swinging back and forth between acting invulnerable/grandiose and vulnerable/helpless. Their dramatic mood swings would probably make this hybrid type of narcissist easily misdiagnosed as suffering from the manic-depressive form of Bipolar Disorder.

A narcissist can also be vulnerable in one area of their life and grandiose in another. The high achieving company president who never seems ruffled and terrifies his underlings may go home to his wife and demand attention and sympathy from her, and sulk or whine if he doesn’t get it. The snobbish, perfectly groomed and physically fit trophy wife may fall apart and act helpless and needy if forced to look for a job.

Narcissists attack your conscience

This was another post I just found at Fivehundredpoundpeep’s blog that I just had to repost because there is so much truth here and it really hit home for me. I have experienced this “attack on the conscience” firsthand with a MN mother who seemed to look down or be critical of any genuinely good qualities in others (she called them “insipid” or “weak.”) I don’t ever remember her praising anyone for being altruistic, generous, or kind, but she did admire (and envy) narcissistic, mean, materialistic traits in others.

My MN ex, although on the surface almost the opposite of my vain, always-must-appear-perfect mother (he was a “needy” narc, while she was a histrionic, somatic one), was the same way. He walked on the side of darkness and was attracted to dark things, including the occult and death metal music. He made fun of the positive, wholesome things in life. He made snide remarks about people who believed in God or who lived a clean, moral life–as if his choice to walk on the dark side was better and “cooler.” He actually used the word “uncool” to speak of people who lived moral, functional lives–he was a perpetual 13 year old even into his 50s.

Narcissists Attack Your Conscience
By Fivehundredpoundpeep
http://fivehundredpoundpeeps.blogspot.com/2015/01/narcissists-who-attack-your-conscience.html


Smakintosh is a survivor of narcissistic abuse who has a Youtube channel with many similar videos about narcissism. Although speaking from a Christian perspective, you do not need to be a Christian to appreciate what he has to say.

This video sums up so much to me. This is a video that spoke so much to me, that I have watched it three times. Smakintosh is right about the narcissist’s moral darkening. He is right when he says, “They attack our very consciences.” This is completely true. I think the narcissists do know that something is missing in them and that they hate the “light” and “conscience” in others. Remembering my parents yelling at me for being “too sensitive” as a child, by then they were trying to stamp out the flicker of goodness and a conscience within me. I understand what he means too about this being difficult to express in words.

Spiritually, I had these thoughts as a child, knowing I was different in my core from my parents. I knew I lived among dark individuals who saw the world in a completely different fashion. Destroy or be destroyed. I wanted to help people. They saw this as offensive. I was nothing like them.

Clear consciences are something narcissists hate. They live in the darkness of seared conscience. They do not want good people around them. If anyone is “good”, they want to make them bad just like themselves. They do want people to be the same as them– moral degenerates who live for self gain.

My mother attacked my conscience. My father did as well. I was even told I was not to have my own beliefs a few times which I refused at a very young age and brought forth more of their anger. Smakintosh is right about how narcs prop themselves up as people’s moral authorities. My mother definitely is seen as such within my dysfunctional family. She is seen as the moral authority not God to those people. It is crazy how everything is tested and judged according to HER standards. I watch both siblings living as slaves to these standards, still seeking to please “Mom”. Everything is done with the idea of her watching them and her pleasure or displeasure. What about pleasing God?

Abusive parents will tell you that you are wrong a million times and elevate themselves above you, where they are always right and you are always wrong. This is something they do to people where they will try to separate you from your own conscience and intuition. They try to train you in thinking what they think and believe is above what you think and believe. They do extreme spiritual damage to individuals.. I believe this is one way they gain so much control over entire groups of people. Exploration, discovery and introspection and spiritual yearning is stamped out under many a narcissist’s foot.

I believe God has helped me separate from my narcissists. When I was saved in Jesus Christ, and put God first, I was able to test the narcissists [we need to of course test ourselves as Christians] and see them for what they were. I was able to stand for my own values with God’s help. God broke the chains of the narcissist’s false authority.

Poverty in America is getting worse

BESTPIX  Homelessness Reaches All-Time Record In New York City

This article describes the way America’s attitude of narcissism is destroying it and insidiously transforming it into a Third World country. Like an apple rotting rotting from the inside, America is a shell of what it once was. We live in a nation where narcissistic values are glorified and even thought of as virtues (“Greed is Good”) and those of empathy and compassion are “weaknesses.” People who are poor “deserve” to to be poor because of their “bad choices.”

It’s not lost on me how often victims of narcissistic abuse become poor as adults due to their dismally low self esteem and having been sent into life without the tools for success others are given by their families while still young. They are programmed to fail.

Narcissism doesn’t just destroy individuals and families, it destroys entire nations.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/christmas-in-america-growing-poverty-unemployment-and-homelessness-in-the-worlds-richest-country/5421511

I can’t repost the article, but you can click on the link.