I think Melania Trump is an abused woman.

I think Melania Trump is showing signs of PTSD.  Watch the way she flinches and looks uncomfortable when her husband passes her and touches her arm, before she starts to recite the Lord’s Prayer at the Trump rally in Florida last week.  Also watch the smug expression on her husband’s face after he passes her.

Melania has admitted she hates the position of being First Lady (because she is apparently an introverted, shy person — and English is not her first language), but I wonder if there is something more going on than just natural reticence and a dislike of being in the public eye.     I find it strange that she has rarely been seen in public with Donald, and seems to prefer to remain in New York with Barron, meeting up with her husband only rarely.   Whenever she is with him, she looks miserable and scared, and her smile is VERY fake.   When he does touch her, she always seems to stiffen, if not outright flinch.  She seems either disgusted by, or afraid of him, and possibly both.

There is also this video of Trump and Melania attending a worship service.   Melania is either moved by the song (which is very spiritual) or is just feeling sad and miserable, and toward the end she is wiping away tears, but Donald just sits there, with his arms folded, not offering her a hand on the shoulder or a hug or even a word of comfort.   He never shows any affection or love toward his wife, and appears to treat her like an object or a prop, just like the extreme narcissist he is.

Most of us also remember that viral video of Melania’s reaction to SOMETHING Trump apparently said to her during the inauguration proceedings (he smile disappears and face falls as if he just broke her soul).  This video also shows other evidence of Trump’s and Melania’s body language, that seems to indicate to me she is being abused.

Donald seems to ignore her or walk in front of her whenever they are in public, as if he’s ashamed to be seen with her or just oblivious to her presence.   During his inauguration, he just walked ahead of her, and Obama and Michelle had to lead Melania up the steps instead.   In contrast, Obama always acknowledges his own wife’s presence and seems to treat her respectfully and affectionately when they are together in public.

Some cynics criticize her for being a gold digger and says she got what she deserved.  Personally, I don’t care why she might have married him.   Maybe it was for his money, or maybe she really did love him, or maybe she’s a codependent type of person who is attracted to narcissistic men.   Donald probably lied to her  and swept her off her feet, the same way he is lying to an entire nation and appears to have swept at least some of his supporters off their feet.  I feel sorry for Melania. I think she is a quiet, sensitive person who is being slowly destroyed by this man. She’s smart to stay behind in New York with Barron.   She needs to leave him.  He may not be physically abusive of her (though the flinching makes me suspect he probably is) but he is clearly at least emotionally abusive and she seems miserable.  Melania Trump is literally a prisoner in a gilded cage.

This post is just my opinion.  I have no proof that he is abusing her, but I think there’s a good case to be made that he is.

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Karma comes a-calling for my malignant narcissist ex.

oscarthegrouch

Sometimes you can actually see what happens to a narcissistic abuser when they alienate everyone and have nothing left.

My MN ex has effectively alienated not only his ex wife (me), but also both his children. He has no other living family (and his deceased mother was also a malignant narcissist).    He runs off potential friends the first time they disagree with him and becomes abusive toward them and starts badmouthing them to anyone who will listen, so he has no friends either.

Most of you no I am No Contact with my ex.    He finally stopped trying to hoover me and these days does nothing but badmouth me to our children because I am no longer of any use to him.    My children are sick of it, and they’re sick of him.   My son can see right through his lies and bullshit, and has been able to do so for years.   Without his narcissist father in his life, he is doing very well and is reasonably happy.  He has supportive friends who serve as a kind of surrogate family to him.    He has only a few scars (Obsessive-Compulsive personality disorder, including a rather pathological fear of germs) from having been his father’s scapegoat growing up, but is working on that in therapy, as well as his lingering issues with self esteem and depression.

My daughter, who got “rewarded” when she was younger for being the golden child and her father’s flying monkey recruit, is over it–and she’s over her father.  Since he had no one left in the family to bully, lie to, steal from, triangulate against, gaslight, and abuse, she became his newest victim and scapegoat!   If you’re the golden child of a narcissist, never get too comfortable.   They will turn on you in a heartbeat if no other supply is forthcoming or their original scapegoats defect.  You, too, are merely an object for them to feed off of so their false self doesn’t fall to pieces.

There have been two incidents lately that made her finally wake up to the truth about him.  About a month ago, he stole her entire savings–almost $300, that she’d been so proud of and diligently adding to for over three months.   He not only lied to her about the theft, he tried to blame ME and suggest I might have taken it.   Even her tears didn’t move him–his own DAUGHTER’s tears, and he continued to deny that he had taken it and told her she was overreacting.

A week ago he broke into her car at work (somehow he got a spare key) and stole more money and some of her prescription medicine she takes for anxiety.    She was always too trusting of him–and she’s too trusting in general.  She tends to be codependent, the way I used to be.    But now she knows her father isn’t a loving person who will support her; he is treacherous and has zero conscience or empathy.  Like everyone else, she’s just an object to him.   This was a hard and painful truth for her to realize, and she hasn’t spoken to him since this incident.   Although she’s not officially No Contact, she is taking No Contact actions by not having anything to do with him.  She does love her father, but she is starting to realize he never loved her, or anyone, because he’s not capable of it.  She knows it’s nothing she did; it’s because he is very sick.

Now he has no one left and still lives with my daughter’s ex boyfriend because he can use him too and he’s too lazy to look for a place of his own.   The ex boyfriend (who is still friends with my daughter) is tiring of his mind-games and his constant demands too and never talks to him anymore, even though they are living in the same house.  He thinks the way he treats his own children is appalling.  He continues to allow him to live there, because he helps with the bills in exchange for the room, but he doesn’t like him and barely talks to him at all.

The strain is showing.  My MN ex is beginning to lose his mind (whatever was left of it).    My daughter’s ex tells us he is acting more and more erratic and bizarre, talking about things that make no sense that sometimes sounds like the word salad some schizophrenics are known for.  He threatens suicide all the time and spends his days and nights abusing random people on Facebook and trolling political websites, abusing and bullying the people he finds there.   He’s unemployable.  Even if he could find work, no one would hire him.  He not only acts insane, he looks it too.   He never bathes and dresses strangely or barely at all.  And so he just sits in his room all day, never coming out except to eat or use the bathroom.

My ex is an example of a malignant narcissist who has no supply left to inflate his false self–no family, no friends, no job, no recognition of any kind, ill heath, and he’s losing his looks with age and both mental and physical illness–and now he’s completely losing his mind.   He’s unrecognizable from the charming, handsome, ambitious, and charismatic person I met in 1985.   He doesn’t even try to hide his malignancy behind a “nice” mask anymore.   He’s openly mean, nasty and negative.  He appears to have completely lost any soul he might once have had and now he’s batshit crazy to boot.   Soon he will probably need to be housed in a mental institution, if he doesn’t take his own life first.

He’s a perfect example of a narcissist way too far up the NPD/ASPD spectrum to ever admit he needs help or realize that he has sabotaged himself by running off everyone, including his own family, with his repellent personality and refusal to accept any responsibility or blame for the pain he has caused them. He still constantly projects his own malignant narcissism onto the people he was supposed to love but never could.    I don’t see this man ever becoming so beaten down he would go into therapy to try to understand what his own role in this might have been.   He denies he is a narcissist and always will.   He has zero self awareness and always will.   If he ever “hits bottom” (which he’s really close to now), all I see him doing is committing suicide.   He’d be too proud to humble himself and willingly renounce his ways.  He’d rather die than do that.

I don’t exactly enjoy seeing his deterioration, but a part of me can’t help but think it’s all due to his choices and refusal to take any kind of responsibility and that he’s just finally getting what he deserves.

Mr. Stingy.

An oldie but goodie about a complete tool and malignant narcissist I dated for a short time.

Lucky Otters Haven

stingy
I remember one of my narcissistic lovers. He was a textbook example of a malignant narcissist, and a mean one at that. Although he never became physically violent, I think he would have if I hadn’t ended that relationship.

One of the strangest things about him was the way he gave me gifts. The guy had plenty of money–he had a trust fund, for heaven’s sakes and owned his apartment free and clear, and he was always traveling. He never asked me to go with him though. Instead, he’d bring me back “gifts” from his road trips. I remember he’d make a big show out of presenting me with these gifts as if he was giving me the keys to a new car. They were never wrapped nicely, but always stuffed in a paper or plastic bag.

So what sort of gifts did this narcissistic trust fund jerk give me?…

View original post 401 more words

Where does this silly idea that covert narcissism is the most malignant come from?

evil_queen

I used to believe malignant narcissism was at the top of the narcissistic spectrum, but after learning and reading more,  I’ve changed my opinion somewhat.  I think malignant narcissism is actually a hybrid of NPD + ASPD (antisocial personality disorder) or NPD with sociopathic traits. So it’s not really “higher” on the spectrum than “normal” NPD, it’s NPD that crosses over into the psychopathy or sociopathy spectrum.    They are narcissists that possess all three of the “Dark Triad” traits–narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.   I wrote about the Dark Triad in this post.

For some stupid reason, the web is filled with declarations of covert narcissism being the “most malignant” form of NPD. I call BS on that! Covert narcs are the most likely to be self aware and their NPD is less ego syntonic than the overt type.  They are far more likely than overt narcs to feel guilt and shame and want to change their behaviors and even present for therapy.    I used to frequent a forum where a number of diagnosed and self-avowed narcissists posted about their disorder, and the vast majority were the covert, fragile type and were definitely not happy being narcissists (if that’s what they were at all).  Covert narcissists, being non-aggressive, are (much like borderlines, who they resemble in many ways) likely to become codependent to an overt or malignant narcissist.    They are often victimized themselves (a malignant narcissist would never become a victim!).   I’m not defending covert narcissists.  They are still narcs and are still dangerous.   They should be avoided whenever possible. But it’s time to set the record straight.   The only reason covert narcissism might be more “malignant” is because their disorder is harder to see. Covert narcissists don’t wear a neon sign announcing they are narcissists.

Due to their sociopathic/psychopathic traits, malignant narcissism is ego-syntonic and the afflicted person will almost never think they are the ones with a problem. Even if they become self aware, they will still be “happy” with their disorder and tend to blame everyone else when things go wrong–and enjoy doing so.

Because of this, malignant narcissists will never present for therapy (unless they are forced to) and if they do, they can never get better, because the willingness to isn’t there. Non-malignant NPD, while difficult to treat, may be curable IF the patient is self-aware and willing and their disorder is ego-dystonic (which it often is in the covert subtype) .

There is a cruelty and sadism to malignant narcissists that’s missing in garden variety narcissists. Most narcissists don’t set out to deliberately hurt others, but malignant narcissists do. While they’re getting their supply, they also get a thrill from making others suffer.  Like vultures, they feed off your pain.   In contrast, some “benign” narcissists might even feel guilt when it’s called to their attention they hurt someone, even though they still keep doing it because they can’t help themselves and like a drug addict, getting their fix of supply is more important than the feelings of their victims. But malignant narcissists actually want to see their victims suffer, or at the very least, don’t care.   Malignant narcissists are almost always the overt, grandiose type.   It’s virtually impossible for a covert narcissist to become malignant, because they are generally not happy with themselves, even if they aren’t aware of their own narcissism.

There’s another difference too.    The malignant narcs I have known have a cold deadness to their eyes that’s not as evident in people with garden variety NPD.   Their eyes can also be very predatory, seeming to bore right through to your soul. That’s their one saving grace: their eyes warn you of how dangerous they are.

Knowing the Narcissist: a triggering blog for ACONs but could be useful.

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I stumbled across a WordPress blog yesterday written by a self-professed Malignant Narcissist. The name of his blog is, simply enough, Knowing the Narcissist.

Indeed, to read Malignarc’s entries is to know the mind of a high spectrum, unrepentant, sociopathic malignant narcissist. I can’t tell too much about the man from the posts I have read, other than that he claims some sort of renown (his fame may be exaggerated for all I know, after all he’s a narcissist and they’re known to exaggerate their achievements*), he lives in Great Britain, and he’s unceremoniously devalued and discarded (and possibly done worse) many hapless women. He’s in treatment and talks about his sessions quite a bit. He likes to challenge, gaslight, and play mind games with his therapist. From what I can gather, he’s not in treatment by choice but by obligation, which makes me wonder if he committed some sort of crime.

Knowing the Narcissist is creepy and unsettling, and could be triggering to many victims of narcissistic abuse. The first thing that hits you on the blog is a huge banner with a fiery background on which huge black letters spell out the word “EVIL” (it turns out this is the name of one of his novels but it’s still fitting).   It’s not exactly a subtle warning. You can leave now, or keep reading at your own risk. Being endlessly curious, of course I kept reading. His posts are addictive. They grab you and hold you in a vise grip, and even when you don’t think you can stand another second of the bleak and frightening view from inside the man’s deeply disordered mind, you simply can’t tear yourself away.

As with another narcissistic writer who writes about his NPD, Sam Vaknin, you feel pulled against your will into Malignarc’s dark vortex, but unlike Vaknin, he’s completely self-satisfied and happy (as much as it’s possible for a narcissist to be happy) with his own narcissism. Also unlike Vaknin, he hasn’t had the good manners to exile himself to a remote Eastern European country and marry a woman from there. Malignarc is still very much at large. Ladies beware!

I boldly commented under one of his posts, asking him why he writes a blog like this, thinking he must have some small semblance of a conscience that drives him to do so. He replied back almost right away, explaining that he started it because he “likes an audience” and that it’s also a requisite of his treatment. Well, at least he answered my question, and promptly at that.

Whoever has required him to get psychological treatment is wasting their time (and money, if it’s being paid for). I’m one of those who thinks that certain lower-spectrum narcissists (usually covert) who become self-aware can be healed if they’re willing to do the emotional work, but a narcissist like Malignarc can’t ever be cured or successfully treated, since he expresses no regrets over how he has treated the people in his life and appears to have no conscience or empathy whatsoever. He also appears to have almost no emotions other than seething rage. He gloats about the way he devalued and discarded one of his victims, writing glowingly about his new source of supply (who no doubt will become his next victim):

Yes I am with Lauren now. She is wonderful. She is everything I have ever wanted and I am her soul mate. I know that we are going to be very happy together now. She is the one. I know I thought that of you, but you misled me. Lauren is not like that. I am moving in with her next week. It makes perfect sense. I want to be with her all of the time. She is beautiful, just look at her, perfectly put together. She is so shiny and new. I am head over heels in love with her, I cannot be apart from her. Take a look. If you had been more like her then I would not have had to punish you the way I did. That is not going to happen with Lauren. No way. I can only see a bright and beautiful future for us. I hope she falls pregnant soon as our child will be such a wonder to behold. Thank God I did not have a child with you. Imagine that? Good God that would have been terrible having to share a child with a monster like you. Lauren will be a first class mother, we have already talked about it and I can tell that she is keen. She adores me and always will. Not like you. You had your chance but you messed it up. You only have yourself to blame.

This diatribe goes on and on. The discarded woman the post is directed to shouldn’t hate or be jealous of Lauren; she should warn her.

Knowing the Narcissist could be useful to victims, if you’re able to stomach it. You do get a close-up look inside the mind of a person with severe NPD and he does a good job of explaining the motivations, machine-like manipulations, and soulless Machiavellianism driving his toxic actions. His words could serve as a warning to the rest of us, by serving as a graphic example of what really makes a narcissist tick so you don’t get duped into falling for one of these characters ever again. I can’t say he’s performing a public service, since that’s clearly not this man’s intention, but it could be a side-benefit.

*He’s an author who writes under the name of HG Tudor

The narcissistic spectrum according to Lucky Otter

Man looking at reflection in mirror

A friend and I were talking about where exactly different levels of narcissism would fall on the N-spectrum. Of course narcissism (or any psychological topic) isn’t an exact science so giving the different levels numerical values seems a little silly, but in my mind this is how I view the different levels on the spectrum, starting with a Baseline of O (on most narcissism spectrums, “healthy” narcissism is at baseline) and the transition to NPD at around 5, which is smack dab in the middle. Narcissism becomes pathological (causing the person or others problems) at around 4.
Please note these are just my own subjective ideas.  I’m a geek who likes to classify things.

The Narcissistic Spectrum according to Lucky Otter

9-10:
Sociopathy:
A person at this level is almost indistinguishable from someone with ASPD (antisocial personality disorder), but an NPD sociopath is more concerned about image or obtaining supply than a pure ASPDer. Most cult leaders fall here. (Psychopathy appears similar to sociopathy in behaviors, but describes a condition that a person is born with instead of one that was acquired; many psychopaths were never abused and were always like that, but sociopaths were made).

8-9:
Malignant Narcissism:
A person at this level has severe NPD with antisocial traits. A person at this level will show more emotion (usually rage) than a narcissistic sociopath. Usually fits all the DSM criteria or most of them.

7-8:
Severe NPD:
Not malignant because there is no sadism present, but person is still highly dangerous and manipulative. Fits most or all of the 9 criteria and symptoms are severe.

narcissist-bird

6-7:
Moderate NPD:
A person at this level may be barely tolerable, if contact with them is casual or seldom. Fits more than 5 of the 9 criteria.

5-6:
Mild NPD:
A person at this level fits 5 of the 9 DSM criteria for NPD but symptoms are not too severe and they may have moments of acting like a decent human being. NPDers at this level may occasionally respond well to therapy or seek it out.

—Pathological—

4-5:
Narcissistic Personality (Destructive Narcissistic Pattern disorder or DNP):
  A person here fits fewer than 5 of the 9 NPD criteria in the DSM but has at least three.  Symptoms may not be that severe and the person at this level is more in touch with their true self and may seek therapy.  They usually have the capacity to feel empathy but it’s limited.

3-4:
Non-Pathological Narcissistic Personality:
Your garden variety self-centered jerk but may genuinely care about those they love.  Not particularly dangerous. Has moments of insight into themselves or empathy for others, especially their loved ones.

0-3:
“Healthy” narcissism.
Most normal people can be found here.

O (Baseline) and lower:
People down in the negative digits might as well be wearing a “KICK ME” sign. They are almost always victims of narcissists and sometimes even normal people give them a hard time or take advantage of them.

npd_spectrum
The simplified spectrum. Psychopathy does not belong here at all.

Covert (“fragile”) narcissists may be found anywhere on the spectrum, but because their narcissism is more hidden and arrogance and grandiosity may be absent, a covert narcissist at any level is harder to identify. They may appear to have BPD, Avoidant PD, or Aspergers Syndrome instead (these are the three disorders most often confused with Covert Narcissism).

High-functioning (successful) narcissists are more likely to be found high on the spectrum, and sociopaths are often extremely high-functioning. There are many sociopaths (and psychopaths, who were generally born with a different brain structure and may not have been abused) in politics, religion, and heading huge corporations. Sociopathic traits and most NPD traits are generally sought after in the higher echelons of business, politics and entertainment. A person with just the “right” combination of antisocial behavior and arrogance, entitlement, grandiosity, and fake confidence can be a devastating adversary or competitor, and they will have no scruples about crushing you into the ground to achieve their goals.

Most high-functioning narcissists tend to be the Grandiose (classic, or overt) type that best fits the DSM criteria.

Covert and overt narcissists all have the same disorder, but for most, one form or the other is dominant. That said, they can and do switch back and forth in the same person. I think temperament is partly to do with whether someone is overt or covert (the more timid or fearful types leaning toward covert narcissism), but I also think circumstances (such as a sudden loss or gain of supply) can cause a switch from overt to covert or vice versa.

Low-functioning narcissists are much more likely to be covert.  They tend to receive less supply than overt narcissists, so their false self is weaker (the “deflated” false self, according to Masterson). Because of their discontent with their lives and general lack of success, covert narcissists are more likely than overt ones to seek help. If a covert narcissist suddenly begins to receive a lot of supply, they can become much more overt-acting (grandiose, entitled and arrogant). If an overt/grandiose narcissist suffers a huge loss of supply, they can sink into depression and become covert (at which point they are more likely to seek help).

My animal hoarder ex.

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My ex, a malignant narcissist who has been diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder, is an animal hoarder.

When we were married, at one point we had 15 cats. I was always too embarrassed to tell anyone how many we had because it was way too many for us to afford or care for properly, and it just sounded crazy to say you had that many cats.

I’ve always loved cats and always kept a few around whenever I could, but my ex thought it was his duty to bring home any stray kitten he found–and he always seemed to find them (or maybe they found him). I really think it was about control though, not a real love for animals. He knew I disapproved of having so many cats (and the lion’s share of their care and litter box cleanup fell on my shoulders, of course) so he’d bring them home just to annoy me. When I objected, he’d gaslight me by telling me I was an animal hater, which is far from the truth. I tried to reason with him, telling him that we weren’t helping these animals by having so many and that we were unable to give them the proper care and attention.

As much as I love cats, in the double digits (or even upper single digits), they are no longer much fun. Cats hate being overcrowded and cat fights in our house were a daily occurrence. On top of this, “Michael” wouldn’t allow them to go outside (though sometimes they escaped anyway, probably just to get some space). We kept 7 litter boxes (about 1 box per 2 cats) and they had to be cleaned daily and changed every other day. Vacuuming was constant; I had to vacuum the entire house twice a day due to the enormous amounts of cat hair and the litter tracked in from the litter box area on the screened in porch. In the summer, because the porch would get so hot, the boxes would be swarming with flies and sometimes I even found maggots in them. The cats hated that and several began to do their business outside the litter boxes, requiring a lot of poop pick up.

The cats were unhappy and several didn’t look too healthy either. We didn’t have the money to take them all to the vet, so we started reading on the Internet about how to give vaccinations and medical care ourselves. Veterinary supplies, including injections, were purchased at a local feed store that catered mainly to farmers and people who kept domestic livestock.

cat_hoarding2

The house smelled terrible, no matter how much I tried to keep on top of it. I couldn’t invite anyone to the house. Many times I tried to talk to Michael about the situation, but he always refused to listen and we always wound up fighting. Our kids were small at that time and of course since kids love animals (and Michael tried to turn them into miniature flying monkeys against me anyway), they’d cry when I threatened to give some of them away.

After our divorce in 2005, Michael moved in with his girlfriend, a pillhead who had 2 large dogs–a pitbull and a mixed breed. Soon they had 8 dogs, most of whom were kept in large cages most of the time since they both worked and the dogs were never housetrained. When you went to their house, you had to make sure you didn’t step in dog poop. It smelled like hell. On top of that, Michael had brought along the 5 remaining cats (I wasn’t allowed to have them in my apartment at the time) and then adopted several more. He also became interested in bearded dragons but had no idea how to care for them properly and most of them died.

When Michael lived with me, he adopted a Jack Russell/Beagle mix he named Barnaby. I told that story in my article, How My ASPD Ex Used a Dog to Gaslight Me. Again, I had no say over the dog even though it was the worst behaved, most destructive dog I ever met. We only got rid of him because Michael himself decided he didn’t want the dog anymore (after we were threatened with a fine for the dog disturbing the neighbors for the third time in a row).
He always had to have the last word. He’s a class A control freak.

He’s hoarding animals again. He already has 4 cats and a dog. That’s not so bad, but I’m sure there will be more as time goes on.

A malignant narcissist’s rage in action.

I’m not going to review the movie “Boogie Nights” here but there’s a scene I want to talk about because of how powerful it is.

“Boogie Nights” is a 1997 film that starred Mark Wahlberg as Dirk Diggler, young man who fled his mother’s abuse and became successful as an adult film star during the late Disco era. The soundtrack consists of disco and dance hits from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

This was actually a very good film, and the acting by his mother (Joanne Gleason) in this scene (set in 1977, when the story begins with Dirk leaving home), is terrific. She is like a lower-middle-class version of Mary Tyler Moore’s character in “Ordinary People.” She shows more “emotion” because of her social class, which doesn’t require her to “stuff” over-the-top emotion, but she’s every bit as malignant as the mother in “Ordinary People,” and Dirk is obviously her scapegoat. She may have BPD rather than NPD, but it really doesn’t matter either way, because sociopathic, soul-murdering behavior like this is possible with either disorder.

Notice the way she gaslights and blame-shifts, while at the same time is freaking out because Dirk is refusing to provide her the supply she needs and is leaving her. This is one of the things that can happen when you inflict injury on a high spectrum, malignant narcissist. Wahlberg’s character is a somatic narcissist himself, but it’s hard to see that in this scene.

Psychopathy may not be what you think.

gearhead

I’ve been doing some reading about psychopathy and have found out some surprising things. I always was a little confused as to how psychopathy differed from sociopathy and have used those terms interchangeably on this blog due to my confusion. I’ve also used the term interchangeably with Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) and sometimes even malignant narcisissm. It turns out it’s probably something completely different from the other three disorders and may not even be a disorder at all!

Before you start laughing, hear me out.

It all started with this colorful, humorous description someone wrote on a forum I’ve been active on, describing how a Psychopath differs from a Narcissist:

When I picture a Psychopath, I think of someone who at bedtime bounces around from one thing to the next, essentially a high-energy, happy person. When I picture a Narc at bedtime, I imagine someone wearing long pajamas and a nightcap (yes, a nightcap), walking around a 19th Century house, holding a candle, checking for ghosts.

At first I thought this was a weird (but funny) analogy. But it really isn’t. According to psychologist Theodore Millon, Primary Psychopathy is something you are born with and is not due to abuse, unlike NPD or ASPD. Studies have shown that the limbic system (emotional center) of primary psychopaths is simply less active than in normal people. So they don’t experience empathy or have a conscience regardless of how they were raised, but they also don’t have very deep emotions in general.

Millon

Because they lack deep emotions, primary psychopaths tend to be fearless risk takers. They also aren’t moody because they don’t experience anxiety or depression the way others do–if they experience those states at all. But psychopathy has become associated with sociopathy and/or ASPD or malignant narcissism because a born psychopath may be more prone to developing personality disorders than the normal population, if they are abused. Because they don’t have the capacity to develop a conscience or empathy, if they do develop a personality disorder, it’s likely to be Antisocial Personality Disorder, where the right of others are callously violated. That’s why so many psychopaths are also antisocial and dangerous.

But there is nothing wrong with the cognitive functioning of a psychopath. They are able to learn the difference between right and wrong, and if they do not develop a personality disorder, theoretically they can choose to do what’s right. Only the limbic system is impaired, so any decisions a true psychopath makes are cognitively based. Emotion simply doesn’t play into it at all. They do “whatever works.” They lack a conscience because conscience is emotion- or shame-based, and a psychopath isn’t capable of much emotion in general.

So a primary psychopath can theoretically be a good person who is just extremely unemotional and only uses logic and reason to make decisions. Unlike narcissists, who actually have deep emotions but have turned all their emotions inward toward themselves and require “supply” to bolster their fragile egos, a non-disordered psychopath has no need for supply. They simply don’t care what anyone thinks. What you think is simply not something that even occurs to them. In contrast, a narcissist cares very much what you think and falls apart like wet toilet paper if supply in the form of approval or adoration is not forthcoming.

Primary psychopathy seems analogous to the Myers-Briggs ESTJ (Extroverted/Sensing/Thinking/Judging) personality type. In other words, a psychopath is an outgoing, sensation seeking, hedonistic thinker who happily jumps around from activity to activity like someone jacked up on Red Bull, yet they don’t have ADHD either because the J(udging) aspect means their high level of activity always has a goal or purpose. Such a person would be easily bored (which could also lead to antisocial behavior), never worry about things or experience (or even understand) guilt, and unafraid to try and experience new things. Their lack of emotionality would suit them well for the business world. In fact, people who have become very successful in business tend to score high in psychopathic traits.

two-brains

While many high level executives do abuse the rights of others and callously close entire departments and treat their employees like so many pieces in a chess game (whatever works, right?), because psychopaths can tell the difference between right and wrong, some will try to do the right thing just the same. The difference is, they are using cognition rather than emotion to back any prosocial decisions.

Looked at this way, primary psychopathy may not be a disorder at all but a personality variation. Of course, the term “psychopathy” has negative connotations because most of us associate it with antisocial criminals, shady con artists, and serial killers. And in fact many of them are, but not all.

Sociopathy differs from primary psychopathy because (according to Millon, above), it’s antisocial behavior that may develop in a person with ASPD or NPD and is always due to abuse somewhere in the person’s past. A primary psychopath can become a sociopath if they become disordered, and that’s where you would find the serial killers and criminals (and these people usually have ASPD). But a sociopath isn’t always (or even usually) a psychopath. Sociopaths who aren’t psychopathic are usually very malignant narcissists (high spectrum NPD + ASPD) or sometimes even Borderlines, and they differ from psychopaths because there is no logic or rational thinking behind their antisocial or destructive behaviors, only unhealthy, toxic emotion. They seem to have no empathy because all their empathy–and most of their other emotions except anger–are turned inward toward themselves. The false self is what they present to others instead of their real emotions. Narcissists have plenty of empathy but it’s all for themselves–that’s why they are prone to wallowing in self pity. A psychopath would never wallow in self pity. They simply don’t care what you think.

What a narcissistic parent sounds like.

I’m sure a lot of victims of narcissist parents will be able to relate to this graphic example of how a mother with obviously high spectrum NPD abuses, mocks, and scapegoats her daughter. Warning: these videos may be triggering.

In watching this, you can graphically see how a malignant narcissist operates, by exhausting the victim to the point that eventually the victim “loses it” (which the daughter here did not do) and then the narcissist can sit back and tell everyone how “crazy” or “irrational” the victim is. It’s an insidious kind of gaslighting.

Lucky Otters Haven

Here are two Youtube videos that graphically show exactly how a mother with a bad case of NPD (malignant narcissism) operates. These videos are entertaining in a scary and disturbing way, like watching a train wreck.

Pay close attention to what the mother says–she uses every trick in the narcissist’s book of tricks: blame, insults, changing the subject, interrupting, raging, mocking, “talking over”, gaslighting, projecting, invading boundaries, not taking responsibility, showing no empathy, and just about every other “tool” the narcissist uses to get their own way or avoid taking responsibility for their behavior and actions. Notice how childish the overall effect is–the mother sounds like a four year old having a temper tantrum.

The daughter who made the videos is trying hard to get her mother to listen, but her words seem to fall on deaf ears. She might as well be talking to a wall, for all the…

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