Is NPD really a dissociative disorder?

dissociative_identity_disorder

I think there’s good reason to think NPD (and to some extent, BPD) is really a dissociative disorder. Think about it. There is a true self and a false self that are split from each other, much the way a person with dissociative identity disorder (DID) has a “waking self” or the “host personality” (the DID’s equivalent of the true self) that has split into different “personalities”, some of which aren’t even aware that others exist. Still, the narrative of the true self runs beneath everything, like an underground river feeds the land above it. In other words, the false self’s behaviors are driven by the need to keep the true self hidden and/or protected.

NPDs (and BPDs) also have episodes of dissociation and feelings of unreality, depersonalization, derealization, or even annihilation when under stress or when injured, and these dissociative episodes can become so bad during a narcissistic crisis that a psychotic break can occur. Narcissists are not unknown to become psychotic during old age due to massive loss of supply.

There are other things too that are dissociative–the magical thinking, the splitting, and the manifestation of the FS itself, which is, in essence, a separate “personality” from the TS.
I’ve read elsewhere that NPD could be a dissociative disorder, and I think it’s a valid argument. Thoughts?

“Some days I just want to crawl into a hole and make myself very small.”

This article embarrasses me now, but I think it’s a great example of how narcissistic I can be sometimes, even online. I just thought I ought to call myself out about this whiney, self-pitying, falsely-humble, yet grandiose post that’s like wearing a neon sign flashing the words “I can’t take criticism! Waaaaahhh!” This is covert narcissism and BPD in a nutshell. Narcissistic injury. We’re always so butthurt over everything.

It’s interesting. At the time I wrote it, someone called me on this post being very narcissistic, and that upset and angered me (of course!) I actually couldn’t see anything wrong with this self-indulgent post and thought the person was being a bully. They were, but that doesn’t mean the article wasn’t narcissistic.

Seeing myself this way is like having glasses after years of being almost blind.
But I’m being careful not to beat myself up either. The past can’t be undone, but you can make your own future.

Lucky Otters Haven

internet_fame

DISCLAIMER:
I feel like a disclaimer is needed, though the above photo should be enough of a disclaimer, because it says it all. Someone made a sarcastic remark about how I think I’m a celebrity because of this post, so I let their comment make me set this post to private, because I don’t have a thick skin and am too chicken to come out with a snappy or snarky comeback. I always think other people can get away with doing that, but I won’t be allowed to. It’s because of my past. I was never allowed to speak my mind or have a voice. Now I’ve internalized that and don’t allow myself a voice sometimes. I’m getting better but I’m not out of the woods yet.

In no way do I put myself in the same category as celebrities (who are just people who get wrinkles, have morning breath…

View original post 1,301 more words

Graphic example of how Facebook feeds narcissism in young women.

Young girl using laptop on Facebook page

Okay, so my daughter isn’t exactly a kid anymore, since she’s 22, but she’s still young enough that she likes participating in those awful Facebook groups where random people rank your photo based on how attractive they think you are.

Her profile picture was ranked along with 3 other girls in this group.
Here she sums up what happened.

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She got a lot of comments telling her not to be upset, or that people were just jealous of her good looks (she is very pretty, but I didn’t see the photos of the other girls). This morning she told me her feelings were still hurt today in spite of encouraging comments she got from her friends and boyfriend who kept telling her how beautiful she is.

This sort of thing isn’t unusual. It happens every day, all over social media. Not only can such online “contests” lead to bullying based on one’s appearance by total strangers, but they also feed a girl’s narcissistic supply or cause narcissistic injury, even in non-narcissists (my daughter does not have NPD, but can act very narcissistic). Let’s be honest here–we all have some need for narcissistic supply (positive feedback), especially when we’re still young and unsure of our place in the world.

The teenage and young adult women who participate in these contests learn to value surface attributes such as physical appearance or sexiness above anything else. I see it happening everywhere. Millennial girls seem more obsessed with how cute, sexy or pretty they are than any generation that came before them, and I think this is due to the plethora of reality shows, beauty contests and Facebook photo rankings they are inundated with, as well as the trend for taking as many Selfies or Youtube videos of yourself as you possibly can and posting them for the public to see and comment on. This seems to be a generation with more than its fair share of female somatic narcissists and girls with HPD (histrionic personality disorder).

I can’t keep my daughter from participating in these sort of activities since she’s an adult and she seems to enjoy them (and usually gets a lot of compliments about how pretty she is), but I worry about a “low ranking” (which really wasn’t that bad) like she got yesterday damaging her self esteem (which is shaky to start with) or teaching her to value physical appearance above other qualities like personality, intelligence, or kindness.

The tears of a clown.

clown1

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

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

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

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

This was a verbally and sometimes physically abusive man who treated me like dirt most of the time, made fun of me, tried to turn my friends against me, and cheated on me as well. I had waited far too long to disconnect from him. I honestly didn’t think he would care that much because his behavior was anything but that of a man in love. In fact I thought he’d probably be relieved I was letting him go.

But oh, I was so wrong. SO wrong about that.
When I told him I was leaving, this narcissistic jerk literally exploded into the loud, violent, gasping, wracking sobs of a very young child, torrents of tears and snot pouring and mingling together on his fire engine red face while he begged me through choking sobs not to leave him. He actually was gagging. I don’t think I have never seen an uglier crier than him at that moment. It made me feel sick to see this, and I actually did feel vaguely nauseated. I felt no empathy for him at that moment. I just sat there with my mouth hanging open, not quite believing what I was seeing.

Then to make matters even worse, he kept telling me over and over how much he loved me and couldn’t live without me (my bullshit detector was at full volume). Then he begged me to hold him too, but I just…couldn’t. Ew. I felt myself recoil in disgust. God, I felt so repelled by him. It wasn’t even because of his over the top (and rather gross) emotional display, but because I knew all those tears he was shedding “for me” were really just for himself. They were an elaborate act. Maybe not fake, because no one who wasn’t really hurt would be able to cry like that, but they were manipulative tears, meant to “win back” me as his source of supply. This love-bombing loser should have gone into the movies–he would have won an Academy Award for that incredible performance.

I knew he never loved me, and true to form, two weeks later he found a new girlfriend source of supply.

Blargh.

puke

6 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Know About (Psychology Today)

Interesting article about the lesser-known indicators of narcissism from Psychology Today. Contrary to popular opinion, narcissists do not love themselves, only their image.
I agree with Dr. Seltzer that these six traits should be added to the official diagnostic criteria for NPD.

6 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Know About: How can you recognize the fragility behind the narcissist’s grandiosity?
Post published by Leon F Seltzer Ph.D.

narc_lovers

The recently published 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists precisely the same nine criteria for narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) as did the previous version, published 19 years earlier. So these longstanding diagnostic yardsticks are by now quite familiar—not only to professionals but to interested laypeople as well. Because only the extreme, or “classic,” narcissist fits all of these criteria, DSM specifies that an individual need meet only five of them (barely more than half) to warrant this unflattering label.

As a starting point, I’ll reiterate these selected criteria—before, that is, adding six important ones of my own, which either complement or extend these “official” yardsticks. My particular measures for identifying pathological narcissists are based not only on my exposure to the voluminous writings on this character disorder, but also on 30+ years of clinical experience. This experience includes doing personal, couples, and family counseling with such troublesome individuals. But it also involves working independently with those involved with narcissists—whether their distressed children, spouses, parents, friends, or business associates—who repeatedly express enormous frustration in trying to cope with them.

To begin, however, here are DSM’s requirements (link is external) (slightly condensed, and with minor bracketed amendments) for “earning” the unenviable diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
4. Requires excessive admiration [regularly fishes for compliments, and is highly susceptible to flattery].
5. Has a sense of entitlement.
6. Is interpersonally exploitative.
7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling [or, I would add, unable] to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
9. Shows arrogant, haughty [rude and abusive] behaviors or attitudes.

So what’s left out here? Actually, as regards identifying descriptors, quite a bit. And I’ve no doubt that other therapists could add further to the six additional characteristics I’ll provide here—features that, although regrettably minimized or omitted from DSM, I‘ve routinely seen displayed by the many dysfunctional narcissists I’ve worked with. So, to enumerate them, such individuals:

1. Are highly reactive to criticism.

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Or anything they assume or interpret as negatively evaluating their personality or performance. This is why if they’re asked a question that might oblige them to admit some vulnerability, deficiency, or culpability, they’re apt to falsify the evidence (i.e., lie—yet without really acknowledging such prevarication to themselves), hastily change the subject, or respond as though they’d been asked something entirely different. Earlier for Psychology Today I wrote a post highlighting this supercharged sensitivity called “The Narcissist’s Dilemma: They Can Dish It Out, But . . . ”. And this aspect of their disturbance underscores that their ego—oversized, or rather artificially “inflated”—can hardly be viewed as strong or resilient. On the contrary, it’s very easily punctured. (And note here another related piece of mine, “Our Egos: Do They Need Strengthening—or Shrinking?”). What these characteristics suggest is that, at bottom and despite all their egotistic grandiosity, they…

2. Have low self-esteem.

narcissists_hate_themselves

This facet of their psyche is complicated, because superficially their self-regard would appear to be higher and more assured than just about anyone else’s. Additionally, given their customary “drivenness,” it’s not uncommon for them to rise to positions of power and influence, as well as amass a fortune (and see here my post “Narcissism: Why It’s So Rampant in Politics”). But if we examine what’s beneath the surface of such elevated social, political, or economic stature—or their accomplishments generally—what typically can be inferred is a degree of insecurity vastly beyond anything they might be willing to avow.

That is, in various ways they’re constantly driven to prove themselves, both to others and to their not-so-confident “inner child” self. This is the self-doubting, recessive part of their being that, though well hidden from sight, is nonetheless afflicted with feelings and fears of inferiority. Inasmuch as their elaborate defense system effectively wards off their having to face what their bravado masks, they’re highly skilled at exhibiting, or “posturing,” exceptionally high self-esteem. But their deeper insecurities are yet discernible in their so often fishing for compliments and their penchant for bragging and boasting about their (frequently exaggerated) achievements. That is, they’re experts at complimenting themselves! And when—despite all their self-aggrandizement— others are critical of them, they…

3. Can be inordinately self-righteous and defensive.

right_wrong

Needing so much to protect their overblown but fragile ego, their ever-vigilant defense system can be extraordinarily easy to set off. I’ve already mentioned how reactive they typically are to criticism, but in fact anything said or done that they perceive as questioning their competence can activate their robust self-protective mechanisms. Which is why so many non-narcissists I’ve worked with have shared how difficult it is to get through to them in situations of conflict. For in challenging circumstances it’s almost as though their very survival depends on being right or justified, whereas flat out (or humbly) admitting a mistake—or, for that matter, uttering the words “I’m sorry” for some transgression—seem difficult to impossible for them.

Further, their “my way or the highway” attitude in decision-making—their stubborn.competitive insistence that their point of view prevail—betrays (even as it endeavors to conceal) their underlying doubts about not being good, strong, or smart enough. And the more their pretentious, privileged, exaggeratedly puffed-up self-image feels endangered by another’s position, the more likely they are to…

4. React to contrary viewpoints with anger or rage.

rage2

In fact, this characteristic is so common in narcissists that it’s always surprised me that DSM doesn’t specifically refer to it among its nine criteria. Repeatedly, writers have noted that angry outbursts are almost intrinsic to both narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. And although (unlike the borderline) it’s not particular fears of abandonment that bring out their so-called “narcissistic rage,” both personality disorders generally react with heated emotion when others bring their deepest insecurities too close to the surface.

The reason that feelings of anger and rage are so typically expressed by them is that in the moment they externalize the far more painful anxiety- or shame-related emotions hiding just beneath them. When they’re on the verge of feeling—or re-feeling—some hurt or humiliation from their past, their consequent rage conveniently “transfers” these unwanted feelings to another (and see here my PT post “Anger—How We Transfer Feelings of Guilt, Hurt, and Fear”).

The accompanying message that gets communicated through such antagonistic emotions is “I’m not bad (wrong, stupid, mean, etc.), you are!” Or, it could even be: “I’m not narcissistic, or borderline! You are!” (Or, in slightly milder version, “If I’m narcissistic, or borderline, then so are you!”) And if the mentally healthier individual has no clue as to what provoked their outburst in the first place, such a sudden explosion is likely to make them feel not only baffled but hurt, and maybe even frightened. But what cannot be overemphasized here is that narcissists…

5. Project onto others qualities, traits, and behaviors they can’t—or won’t—accept in themselves.

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Because they’re compelled from deep within to conceal deficits or weaknesses in their self-image, they habitually redirect any unfavorable appraisal of themselves outwards, unconsciously trusting that doing so will forever keep at bay their deepest suspicions about themselves. Getting anywhere close to being obliged to confront the darkness at their innermost core can be very scary, for in reality their emotional resources are woefully underdeveloped.

Broadly recognized as narcissists by their fundamental lack of self-insight, very few of them (depending, of course, on how far out they are on the narcissistic continuum) can achieve such interior knowledge. For in a variety of ways their rigid, unyielding defenses can be seen as more or less defining their whole personality. And that’s why one of the most reliable ways for them to feel good about themselves—and “safe” in the world they’re essentially so alienated from—is to invalidate, devalue, or denigrate others. So they’ll focus on others’ flaws (whether or not they really exist) rather than acknowledge, and come to terms with, their own. And in many curious ways this habit causes them to…

6. Have poor interpersonal boundaries.

space_invasion
Space invasion!

It’s been said about narcissists that they can’t tell where they end and the other person begins. Unconsciously viewing others as “extensions” of themselves, they regard them as existing primarily to serve their own needs—just as they routinely put their needs before everyone else’s (frequently, even their own children). Since others are regarded (if they’re regarded at all!) as what in the literature is often called “narcissistic supplies”—that is, existing chiefly to cater to their personal desires—they generally don’t think about others independently of how they might “use” them to their own advantage. Whatever narcissists seek to give themselves, they generally expect to get from others, too (which is yet another dimension of their famous—or infamous—sense of entitlement).

Even beyond this, their porous boundaries and unevenly developed interpersonal skills may prompt them to inappropriately dominate conversations and share with others intimate details about their life (though some narcissists, it should be noted, can display an extraordinary, however Machiavellian, social savvy). Such private information would probably focus on disclosing facts others would be apt to withhold. But having (at least consciously) much less of a sense of shame, they’re likely to share things they’ve said or done that most of us would be too embarrassed or humiliated to admit. Still, with an at times gross insensitivity to how others might react to their words, they’re likely to blurt out things, or even boast about them, that others can’t help but view as tasteless, demeaning, insulting, or otherwise offensive.

They might, for instance, share—and with considerable pride!—how they “chewed” someone out, and expect the other person to be impressed by their courage or cleverness, when in fact the listener may be appalled by their lack of kindness, tact, or restraint. Additionally, they may ask others questions that are far too personal or intimate—again unwittingly irritating or upsetting them. And such a situation can be particularly difficult for the other person if the narcissist is in a position of authority over them so that not responding could, practically, put them in some jeopardy.

To conclude, I can only hope that these additional characterizations of the pathological narcissist (vs. those with less pronounced narcissistic qualities) may be helpful in enabling you to identify them before their “malignancy” does a number on you. And if you’ve already been duped by their machinations or manipulations, perhaps this piece will be a “heads up” for you to prevent them from wreaking any further havoc in your life.

NOTE 1: I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the narcissism addressed here centers on its most maladaptive, or “toxic,” forms. Unlike DSM (the standard diagnostic reference tool for mental health professionals), the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (link is external)(PDM, 2006)—respected, but much less well known than this official volume—explicitly notes that the disorder exists “along a continuum of severity, from the border with neurotic personality disorders to the more severely disturbed levels.” And additionally, that “toward the neurotic end [these] narcissistic individuals may be socially appropriate, personally successful, charming and, although somewhat deficient in the capacity for intimacy, reasonably well adapted to their family circumstances, work, and interests.”

Who’s “too sensitive”?

sensitive_jason

“You’re too sensitive!”

This seems to be a phrase many ACONs have heard their entire lives. And yes, many of us are more sensitive than the average person, which is why we were targeted, scapegoated, and bullied in the first place.

Narcissists know being sensitive means we can see the truth about things, that we can see through bullshit and lies. They don’t like that because it exposes them for what they really are, so they turn a quality that gives us intuition and insight into something that makes us seem weak and defenseless.

If our parents were narcissists, we were trained to be ashamed of this quality and turn it against ourselves, rather than learn to refine it and develop it into the powerful gift it really is. Society doesn’t help much with that either. Sensitivity is generally thought of as a weakness rather than a strength. It’s not something you would want to admit on a job interview when the interviewer asks you what your “worst quality” is. I actually did that once, and was shown the door. They want to hear “I’m too impatient” or “I’m too greedy,” or “I obsess too much about power and control,” not “I’m too sensitive.”

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I think narcissists also like to pull out the “you’re too sensitive” card because they’re projecting what they see as a fault in themselves onto us. They’re good at that. Narcissists are incredibly hyper-sensitive–but only about themselves; no one else ever benefits from their hypersensitivity.

It’s my opinion that narcissists, before they adopted narcissism as a defense mechanism, started out life as extremely sensitive children and in some cases even had the potential to be empaths. Abuse and neglect turned them into narcissists. Narcissism is an elaborate defense mechanism that obscures, buries and eventually can nearly destroy the sensitive true self. It almost would take an act of God for a narcissist to ever shed their swagger and their “I’m a big mean unfeeling badass” mask and let their sensitive true self come to light. Most of them couldn’t do it even if they wanted to.

But narcissists can’t hide from themselves–not completely. Most of them have exquisitely tender feelings and are easily hurt. It’s very easy to insult a narcissist. They have no sense of humor about themselves and are unable to take a joke at their own expense. They are big crybabies who will whine, sulk and complain loudly should you hurt their feelings (and it’s almost impossible not to). Most will show their hurt as rage–because raging makes them seem big and tough, something they really aren’t but wish they were. Or they will retaliate by ignoring you, abandoning you, cutting you off, or giving you the silent treatment–because those things make it look as if they don’t care. You’d be wrong though. They care alright, and when you have caused them narcissistic injury they are off licking their wounds in silence where you can’t see. Or loudly complaining to others about how
mean and narcissistic YOU are.

sensitive_people

They call us too sensitive because they’re unable to own their own hypersensitivity. They turn it into a bad thing because they know they have lost that part of their sensitivity that would have made them able to feel for others and empathize. They’re crippled people. They can’t ever feel sorry for someone else–but as far as self-pity goes, no one can beat them at that.

NPD is like a drug addiction.

narcsupply

It’s been said that people on hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine can act like narcissists, even if they do not have NPD. That’s because as the addict’s body begins to crave the substance, they will do ANYTHING to get it, because to not get it will cause them unbearable agony. Even if they know it’s better for them to go through withdrawals than continue their addiction, they will still beg, steal, hurt others and even kill to get their fix. Empathy, remorse, and consideration for other’s boundaries and rights flies out the window. The only important thing is getting that drug. It doesn’t matter if the addict is the most compassionate and loving person in the world when they’re clean; when they’re jonesing for a fix to ward off the agony, they become psychopaths.

When a person becomes a narcissist (usually early in childhood due to abuse but sometimes later, even in adulthood), they become an addict too–their drug of choice is narcissistic supply, which feeds their sense of entitlement and specialness. It mirrors and validates the false self they have erected for themselves, a self they need because if it was ever lost or shattered, they would be forced to face their own emptiness.

Maintaining the mask takes enormous effort and causes stress. Narcissists live in constant fear of the mask being revealed as the fake self it really is and they live in mortal terror of the mask being destroyed or harmed (either through loss of supply or perceived insults or threats) because if that happens their protective armor would be damaged or lost. So if they perceive any attack on themselves, no matter how minor, they will react badly. That’s why narcissists are so paranoid and so quick to anger and so easily offended. It’s why they overreact to slights. There’s simply no room for a sense of humor or self-deprecation.

unmasked

What some narcissists (probably most) may not realize consciously is they really erected this elaborate defense mechanism as a way to protect and hide the scared and hurt child that was lost to themselves through abuse or neglect. Most can only see the emptiness if they “get clean” (lose their sources of narcissistic supply) and like a person suffering from drug withdrawal, if a narcissist loses their “drug” they undergo a narcissistic crisis (something they avoid avoid at all costs) and will suffer as badly as anyone withdrawing from hard drugs.

Narcissists with no insight (probably most of them) can’t recognize the hurt, lost true self hiding in terror behind the protective but always pissed-off-at-the-world mask of NPD. But for those who can, meeting that lost self (if they can see through the empty blackness that hides him or her) is agonizing because of the regret of knowing what they have done to their true self when their minds erected the defensive mask that was ironically meant to protect the true self. Then they suffer unbearable guilt and shame. This is the reason why most people with NPD cannot be cured. Like a drug addict, maintaining a mask to hide the emptiness (which itself hides the hurt child they once were who was never allowed to grow into a person) becomes the most important thing, even if it means they must beg, steal, hurt or even kill someone to obtain their fix of narcissistic supply or defend their protective walls of barriers.

Some insightful narcissists actually don’t want their disorder but they still can’t escape from its clutches because their desire for a fix becomes too strong. These are the most tortured narcissists and the ones most prone to black depressions and other serious mental disorders. They can undergo a psychotic break. Constant war is being waged within them, between the person’s desire to be a real person and react in normal, human ways, and their overpowering desire for narcissistic supply and having to harm others to get it and/or defend themselves from narcissistic injury.

This is why a few insightful narcissists may be nice at first. It could be a mask but it could also be a real effort to try to act more human. But sooner or later, if someone they’ve been nice to insults them (or they perceive an insult due to their own paranoia), their desire to repair the damage they feel was done to their false self (which is important because it’s all they have to hide behind) becomes overpowering and they will turn mean and strike you out of the blue like a rattlesnake. Some might even feel guilt after the fact, but they just can’t stop doing it. It’s an overpowering addiction, like a drug so powerful you can never free yourself from it.

A drug addict will do almost anything to get his drug of choice, even if he wants to be clean. A narcissist will do almost anything to keep his masks intact, even if he wants to be human.

They key to a cure then, would be to find a way to wean a narcissist off his need for a fix of supply and somehow make him willing to to work through the ensuing narcissistic crisis (withdrawals) and confront the emptiness that hides his or her hidden, neglected true self that lives in darkness and silence inside the vacuum.

***
Due to a comment I received on another thread this morning, from now on I am putting a link to my Disclaimer after every post where I write about mental conditions and disorders outside of personal anecdotes, obvious opinion pieces, and journals.
Disclaimer: https://luckyottershaven.com/disclaimer/

“Like poking a snake with a stick”

'Frankly, I didn't want to bite him, but he kept poking at me with a stick...'

That’s exactly what director Ian Walker said about Sam Vaknin when he was making the film “I, Psychopath.”
I do not think Sam is a psychopath but I have no doubt he is a narcissist somewhere on the top half of the spectrum, and may be malignant too.

After Sam’s over the top attack on me a couple of nights ago which had me reeling, I can see why Walker would say this. He must have experienced similar behavior from him during filming. You have to be very careful around people like Sam, or they will strike without warning, like a viper.

That being said, I received an apology from him just now. He has been reading everything posted here since this happened. I expected he would. I accept his apology but will be much more wary in the future around him. You cannot make jokes at his expense. I don’t want to get bitten again!

I will still allow him to comment here (if he wants to), because his writings are insightful and valuable to us ACONS, even if he himself is someone we should avoid. I can’t even imagine how tormented he must be and yet can still write about his disorder with so much eloquence. It’s like there’s two of him!

I’m actually shocked I received an apology from him. Does that mean he has some semblance of a conscience? I just don’t know.

Narcissistic injury.

incrediblehulk

I am keeping my promise to remain 100% honest about everything on this blog. It’s my journal, and I’m going to continue to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God. If that bothers people, they need to get over it or go read someone else’s blog. This is my blog and my life, and I will censor nothing that goes on in my mind.

Last night I insulted Sam Vaknin. My insulting him was unintentional and probably clueless, but he was angry enough about it to block me on social media and tell me to fuck off. Those were his exact words. Fuck off.

It wasn’t even me that insulted him. Well, not directly anyway. One of my commenters who frequents this blog made a sort of joke, seemingly at Sam’s expense (or at least I took it as a joke, which is why I approved the remark). I wasn’t actually sure if the jab was directed at me or at Sam. See, I’ve spent my whole life being paranoid and not knowing how to take jokes or how to respond to them (being Avoidant and socially awkward has a lot to do with this, plus having been bullied as a child has made me wary of snark and jokes made at my expense).

This joke was no exception. I was unsure about how I should react to it. I spent a long time trying to decide how to respond or if I should respond. I considered not approving the comment. Sometimes it’s just hard to know what is the best course of action when it comes to things like that.

I thought it over and over in my usual obsessive way, and when I weighed things out, it seemed the best course of action would be to go ahead and approve the comment, “like” it, and respond to it with a “LOL.” I want to be seen as someone lighthearted, a person who can take a joke (because I wasn’t sure if the comment was actually directed at me). I value this member’s opinions and her friendship. She also has an amazing blog. So I reasoned that her remark, no matter who it was directed to, must be all in good fun and a simple “LOL” would be harmless and would hurt no one.

Apparently not. I had no idea Sam would react so badly to my joining in with another commenter in “making fun of him” and failing to defend him from what he felt was “abuse.” Apparently that’s what he expected of me? I can’t say about the other commenter’s feelings, but my intention wasn’t to make fun of him at all, just try to act lighthearted and hope no one would be hurt or insulted.

But you can’t please everyone. If you go out of your way to please one person you are bound to upset someone else. Running a blog sometimes can be difficult. You are required to respond to comments in a way that engages conversation but doesn’t run people off or anger them. Sometimes you have to call them out on bad behavior or issue warnings. And you are going to insult people sometimes. People are going to disagree with you. It can’t be helped.

But when you’re dealing with a narcissist, even an educated and insightful one like Sam, you have to walk on eggshells. I refuse to walk on eggshells for anyone. I’ve had enough of that crap from all my IRL narcs. I still feel guilty about insulting him by proxy though, because I just hate making anyone feel bad.

I want to apologize to Sam, but I know I shouldn’t so I won’t. Because I didn’t really do anything wrong. At worst I made an unwise decision about someone else’s comment, but any normal person would be over it by now. To any normal person it might have even been funny.

I hate making people angry. Probably because I grew up in a household filled with seething anger, open hostility and constant discord. Anger scares someone like me. Of course it’s not realistic to expect a narcissist to not be easily upset and angered. They are incredibly hypersensitive about themselves. They hate being insulted or made fun of more than anything in the world. Still, it never occurred to me something I didn’t think was a big deal would set him off and make him think I was his enemy (I’m not).

Narcissists have no sense of humor (my mother was a perfect example of a narcissist with zero tolerance for any jokes or criticism at her expense, no matter how mild they were). Narcissists cannot laugh at themselves. I have never known one narc who can. What made me think Sam was any exception?

I admit Sam’s blocking me and telling me to fuck off really bothers me, because I was enjoying his input here and he was being so nice to me. It was a shock to find his angry epithet toward me today. It was a Jekyll and Hyde moment. I was gobsmacked.

I have a phobia about making people angry because during my childhood, it seemed all I ever did was make my narcissistic mother angry, and in my marriage to a malignant narc, if I breathed the wrong way it set him off into a narcissistic rage. Like Barack Obama, I try too hard to please everyone, and wind up pleasing no one. In this case, my decision to approve the commenter’s remark and reply with an “LOL” was a bad call, I guess.

But with a narcissist, sooner or later they will show their true colors anyway, so it probably was just a matter of time before it happened.

I’m not sure what the best action to take is now. It’s probably wisest to just ignore him and no longer feed his narcissistic supply by posting any more articles about him, at least until this blows over (if it ever does–I don’t know if Sam holds grudges but most narcs do).

I don’t think I really need Sam anymore for this blog to be a success. I appreciate and am forever grateful for the jump start he gave me in gaining more visibility, but I can continue the momentum on my own now without his help. I still respect Sam’s brilliant mind and his writings, but today he showed me his true colors as the malignant narcissist he actually is. It was a wake up call. I had my doubts before about the malignancy of his narcissism (maybe because I didn’t want to believe it); now I have no doubts whatsoever.