The chilling mental landscape of a high spectrum narcissist or psychopath

bionic_man

I read this chilling post from a man who says he is a narcissist. Based on his description of what it’s like to be him, I would say “narcissist” is probably an understatement. My guess is he’s a very malignant (high spectrum) narcissist and a probable psychopath. Most people with NPD do have emotions, but can’t access them easily or only feel emotions when they pertain to themselves. When someone claims to have no emotions at all, that indicates psychopathy to me. This man could also be “suffering” from Schizoid Personality Disorder, another disorder where the “sufferer” feels nothing–or he may have a combination of psychopathy and SPD. It’s scary and sad to read something like this. It’s as if some people have lost every shred of humanity and seem to have no soul. They are reptilian. At least this writer is self aware though, so I guess that’s something. (Post has been edited for brevity).

Certain passages in this post would make me suspect Aspergers (social awkardness, etc.) but Aspies do have emotions and empathy, even if they don’t always express them well or at all, so I’m suspecting this man has Schizoid PD mixed with psychopathy/malignant narcissism.

Also striking are the dissociative episodes and feelings of unreality this man claims to experience. I have seen these sort of near-psychotic behaviors (talking to himself in public, strange expressions on his face, etc.) in most of the malignant narcissists and psychopaths I have known. These people are so deluded they really aren’t in touch with reality at all. They live in a barren, hellish dreamworld of their own making.

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[…]I just discovered that I’ve had pathological NPD for most my life. Reading this […]has been both very frightening and a major relief. […] It’s a relief to know that many of the strange decisions I’ve made were not entirely my fault. [This material] has completely changed how I view my past. It’s like I was in a dark room and then someone finally turned the light on.

For several years, I would occasionally wake up in the early morning with a feeling that something was very wrong. I couldn’t explain the feeling but it was similar to guilt. But I couldn’t pinpoint what I had done to feel so guilty about. This has been clarified […] along with everything else about my strange life. Everyone posting on this site describes the Narcissisist as a monster, which I agree with, but it’s also a horrible disorder to have.

[…]There’s so much I want to say, but it would turn into a novel about as long as the book itself. I’m a male in my 30’s and fit every characteristic of someone with pathological NPD.

I have no emotions. When my Father left our family to fend for ourselves, I felt nothing. When my Grandmother died, I felt nothing. When I witnessed my roommate seriously injure his neck, I felt nothing at all. These events were only slightly negative, as if someone had dropped and broken a dish.

I have technical degrees from elite universities which makes it easy for me to secure employment, but when I’m at work, I hardly do anything at all because I can’t concentrate for more than a couple minutes at a time. I’m constantly day dreaming and people notice that I have strange expressions on my face when I’m supposed to be working or paying attention to a lecture. I constantly talk to myself, but I’m not sure if that’s a characteristic of NPD.

I have no social skills and am socially inept. As far as personality goes, I wouldn’t even say its a poor one, more accurate would be to say it’s nonexistent. I don’t greet anyone unless they greet me first. If someone asks “How are you?”, my reply is “Fine” and that’s about as far as the conversation goes. I can feel myself creating hatred where I work by ignoring social norms, but I don’t care how much people hate me. I feel like I’m a plague that creates pain and destruction where ever I go, and I like it. I have no friends except the ones from childhood, but I don’t feel I need them anyway. I’m more comfortable just sitting at home and playing on the Internet.

As far as looks go, I’m a 10, which makes me a somatic narcissist. I often get compared to male celebrities and women often audibly gasp when I enter a room for the first time. I’m in my 30’s but everyone assumes I’m in my 20’s. Despite this, I haven’t had a relationship with a woman my entire life (being a devout catholic when I was younger also had an influence on this). Through techniques I’ve learned from the pickup manuals available on the Internet, and by dressing fashionably, I’m able to create a huge amount of initial attraction from women. This has kept me in school much longer than necessary since there’s a huge amount of narcissistic supply in a school environment, especially in classes with many women. Despite this huge initial attraction, I always reject the (very attractive) women when they come after me, which only increases their attraction to me. I justify rejecting them by telling myself “when they see what my personality is like, they would just reject me anyway”, which is probably true considering my social ineptness. However, sometimes I will talk to a girl a few times and she still hasn’t rejected me despite my personality. At this point, I would reject her, and have no idea why I rejected her. I now know it’s due to EPIM (emotional involvement prevention disorder). It’s ironic, I’m the guy every woman in the school wants to be with, but I don’t even have a girlfriend.

I feel completely omnipotent. I will make long eye contact with girls right in front of their boyfriends, even if their boyfriends look like bodybuilders. I can hold my own in a fight with most anyone, but even if a guy is twice my size, I have no fear. I will try to seduce women who I know are engaged just to make them feel pain. I have no empathy so I don’t care about their pain and actually enjoy it. When women look at me in class and try to get me to look back, I will ignore them just to humiliate them in front of the class. Or if an attractive woman is trying to make eye contact with me, I’ll pretend I’m interested in a less attractive girl. Needless to say, I hate women. However, I also badly want to have a girlfriend. I feel this is one of the many conflicting states of the narcissist […].

Not having emotions is a powerful tool in attracting women because women are attracted to guys who don’t want them. Women want what they can’t have. It’s easy for me to play hard to get and I can easily outlast a woman who’s playing hard to get, which most men can’t do. I know I’ll never actually be able to have a relationship with these women, so it doesn’t bother me if a semester ends without having pursued a relationship. So I have many “victims” from my school years, but the biggest victim is myself since I’ve spent years upon years alone.

[…] I see women as predators who are only interested in draining a man of his money while offering as little as she can get away with in return. After the man has been consumed, he is decapitated (divorced) while she runs off with another man. I’m not sure if this view is due to NPD or what I’ve seen my friends (colleagues) go through. There is a book called “The Predatory Female” that probably helped cement this view. I’ve also noticed that in times when I’ve had no money, I didn’t exist to women.

I now realize I quit my previous well-paying job due to a lack of narcissistic supply. A somatic narcissist needs attention from women, and they were pretty much non-existent where I worked. The most abundant place for narcissistic supply is a university, and after receiving a degree, the cerebral narcissist can receive more NS because of it.

When I saw the movie Batman “The Dark Knight”, I was intrigued by the character of the Joker. He had no fear, didn’t care about anything (even money), and caused havoc ever where he went. His actions made no sense and he was unpredictable, but he wasn’t stupid. He was omnipotent because he didn’t care if he was caught, or if he was killed, and was capable of doing anything. He had no empathy caused havoc for the fun of it.

My mentality is very simple and childlike and I don’t like speaking with other adults. If someone spoke with me for 10 minutes, they would think I’m a normal person, but it’s just a matter of time before I say something factual but very insensitive, which causes the person to hate me. The only emotions I feel are jealousy and rage. When I see a guy with an attractive women, I want to attack him and have daydreams of attacking him while the woman watches in horror.

[…] the chance for healing from NPD is bleak. Even if I were to get into a relationship with a woman, I would probably just cause her a lot of pain before dumping her when she’s no longer a source of NS.

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The Narcautism spectrum!

So. Why not take the idea described in my last article to even more absurd extremes. Yes, it’s the Narcautism Spectrum!

This invaluable tool for study was tweeted to me by a blogger, Don “Dr.” Depresso, who was inspired to send it to me because of the article I posted earlier tonight.

All kidding aside, the chart does make sense, but I’m trying to figure out how “malignant narcissism” is where it is on the chart. I think it refers to the fact that MN’s have a high level of cognitive (“cold”) empathy–they KNOW how you feel, and use it against you. It looks like the “intersection” would be where non-narcissistic neurotypicals (most people) would be. The Schizoid is a complete droid–no empathy (either warm or cold) and no social skills.

Narcissism and autism–they go together, like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.

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Manic Chart: Narcautism Spectrum
Narcautism Spectrum = intersection of narcissism and autism spectra, shown across two dimensions of empathy. Low affective empathy (not caring how people feel) is related to narcissism, while low cognitive empathy (not knowing how people feel) is related to autism. Chart not drawn to scale.

The idea to draw this chart came from reading the article “Do You Think of Narcissism as an Autistic Spectrum Disorder?” in Psychology Today.

Thx 4 reading,
Dr. Depresso

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http://dondepresso.rujic.net/post/116940034025/manic-chart-narcautism-spectrum

Don Depresso, you rock my world!

musician54

The curse of the Aspergers/Avoidant/Borderline triad.

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Today I attended a beautiful Pentecost mass that was held outdoors. The day couldn’t have been more perfect for an outdoor celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus’ disciples. Unlike the disciples, I didn’t experience a sudden spiritual epiphany or dramatic change in my heart, or start speaking in tongues. But as always when I attend mass, I felt God’s presence around me (if not actually IN me) and felt surrounded by peace and light.

I looked at the tall trees gently swaying in the distance, their bright spring greens illuminated in the bright sunshine against the azure blue sky, and asked God to change me, to let the Holy Spirit flow inside me and fill me with its divine gifts of empathy, unconditional love, and joy. I asked Him to make me a better person who can connect with other people on a meaningful level–and having those gifts would make it so much easier for me to do that.

The truth is, I feel that I’m lacking in all three of these gifts. I do not have NPD and therefore have no desire to act in evil or toxic ways to others, but due to my other disorders–only one of them probably not due to abuse (Aspergers)–I often feel like there’s an emotional blockage keeping me from really being able to connect with other people, to really being able to empathize and feel WITH them the way people who have not been abused and do not have these disorders can do.

This particular triad of disorders is a tragic one. Even having one of these disorders cripples you and isolates you in various ways from others and can lead to a lonely life lacking in meaningful relationships, but having all three at once is devastating. It’s so hard for me to connect with the rest of humanity except on the most abstract level and as a result I’m often so very sad and lonely.

First, being an Aspie (the only disorder I was probably born with) makes it almost impossible for me to read social cues normally and although I can socialize well enough online (because it doesn’t require me to “think on my feet”–I have time to think through what I want to say or how to respond), in the day to day physical world my Aspieness makes me appear awkward and sometimes slow when I am forced to socialize, especially with neurotypicals who don’t understand people with Aspergers, so I avoid people. Due to my awkwardness I was a frequent target of school bullies, and it didn’t take long to learn that it was best to just keep my mouth shut and say nothing. I became painfully shy, fearing ridicule and humiliation. The old adage, “Tis better to say nothing and have others believe you are daft than open your mouth and remove all doubt” has been my motto most of my life.

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The other two disorders I have–avoidant AND borderline personality disorders–I am certain were due to years of abuse by my narcissistic mother and to a lesser extent, my codependent father who colluded with her most of the time (although I never really doubted his love for me). The AVPD (a Cluster C “anxious” personality disorder) only exacerbates my Aspergers. They feed off each other.

Avoidants shy away from social contact because of their low self esteem and overwhelming fear of rejection. As a result they are usually painfully shy but can even seem aloof or cold. Avoidants are not schizoid though (people with Schizoid personality disorder dislike other people and prefer a hermit-like lifestyle; they don’t care how others regard them): on the contrary, we WANT friends, we WANT meaningful relationships, we WANT romance, we WANT others to like us–but our fear of engaging with others due to possible rejection keeps us isolated and alone. We build a protective shell of aloofness around ourselves so we can’t be hurt. People with AVPD are risk-averse, and are likely to be underachievers due to their unwillingness to take risks that may expose them to social embarrassment.

An Aspie with AVPD is nearly–or is–a social hermit, but not out of choice, like a person with schizoid personality disorder. Making friends–a skill that comes so naturally to most people–is something most of us never mastered well, if at all. Even having a relaxed conversation or opening ourselves to another human is like rocket science to those of us with both disorders. It’s a wonder that I was even ever able to engage in romantic relationships and have a family. Of course, all the men I dated and of course the one I married were narcissistic, mirroring the toxic dynamics I had with my family of origin.

avoidant_pd
Like the girl in this cartoon, I can relate to all of this, even the refusal to play charades! I was always terrified of that game because it requires a level of being able to read social cues and an ability to think on your feet, two qualities I don’t possess. And of course, the fear of risk-taking and humiliation.

And that brings us to my borderline personality disorder. BPD is not usually marked by overwhelming shyness or social awkwardness; in fact most borderlines are quite socially adept. But their disorder, like an Avoidant, is fueled by a deep-seated fear of rejection and almost always has its roots in childhood emotional abuse or neglect, as do all the personality disorders.

Borderlines long for close relationships and actively seek them out, but then push others away if they sense the other person might pull away or reject them first. They overreact to slights and are highly sensitive to criticism or rejection. Like a narcissist, they can be difficult to deal with because of this type of selfish oversensitivity can lead them to engage in some of the same antisocial behaviors and game playing people with NPD or even ASPD are guilty of, though not usually to the same degree because people with BPD have a conscience (even if it’s stunted in some) and don’t normally actively seek to hurt others. There are exceptions though–I was shocked and dismayed to read that both the murderer Jodi Arias and serial killer Aileen Wournos were both diagnosed with BPD, though in Wournos’ case, she was also comorbid with ASPD. Still, most borderlines, when they are made aware of how they have hurt their loved ones, feel remorse–but their guilt and shame can make them feel worthless and lead to self-destructive behaviors. It is not a fun disorder.

Though Borderlines are more likely to be self-destructive instead of deliberately destructive to others, this self destructiveness causes huge problems in their ability to form meaningful relationships, and due to their “go away–come closer” way of relating to others, their relationships are usually stormy and short-lived.

lucy_charlie
Sometimes I feel like either Lucy or Charlie Brown (who I’m pretty sure would have AVPD), and sometimes both of them at once.

I am cursed with the overwhelming shyness and social anxiety of Aspergers and AVPD, but during the rare times I have been able to form relationships or friendships, sooner or later I push those people away in some form or another–not because I want to, but because I either become so afraid of rejection I reject the other person first–or more frequently, unconsciously do something to make the other person leave me. BPD is very maladaptive to the sufferer–it tends to bring on the very thing the Borderline fears the most–rejection.

I was diagnosed with BPD in 1996 during a three month long hospitalization for major depression. At the time, I also had PTSD from being a victim of abuse by a malignant narcissist husband, who gaslighted me constantly and even tried (but eventually failed) to turn my own children against me. During that hospital stay, I was given a copy of Marsha Linehan’s excellent manual for BPD, “Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder.Dr. Linehan is a borderline herself (she had originally been diagnosed with schizophrenia but felt her “schizophrenia” was really a manifestation of her BPD). The techniques in the book are a form of DBT (dialectical behavioral training) which teaches the Borderline patient to act mindfully–to think before they act and consider consequences, because Borderlines (unlike people with NPD) act on impulse when they feel threatened.

linehan_book
Linehan’s excellent manual can be ordered here.

Linehan’s book helped immensely and since my long-ago hospital stay, I have learned to control many of my borderline symptoms. In fact I have become so good at it I rarely fly off the handle the way I used to or overreact to the degree I used to do. I still have my copy and have recently begun doing some of the excercises again because I still know there’s a LOT of room for improvement.

Like NPD, BPD doesn’t just go away. All personality disorders are incredibly hard to cure because they have become so much a part of the individual’s personality. There are still many times I unwittingly either push other people away OR get too close (or do both at the same time); I still have problems with understanding where other people’s boundaries begin and end. I also feel like there is a wall there keeping me from really being able to empathize with other people in a normal way. I can empathize in an abstract sort of way (it’s hard to explain what I mean by that but the empathy I do feel is sincere). It’s just so hard for me to connect on a meaningful level because I fear rejection so much. I want to be a friend to others; I want to make others happy; I want to be able to fully share in their emotions, good or bad–but I find it all so hard–not just because of my BPD, but my fear of engaging with others in the first place due to Aspergers and AVPD. This triad has been a huge curse all my life. But at least I know what my problem is. I’m what you would call “complicated.” I have my work cut out for me.

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Having all three disorders has made my life incredibly difficult and my relationships–when they exist at all–have been stormy or don’t last. But I don’t feel that I’m beyond hope. In fact, I’ve been feeling much better about myself since I started blogging and accepted God into my life. I do feel that He is changing me in a very meaningful and deep way. Maybe it’s not happening as quickly or dramatically as I had hoped, but it’s happening. I am feeling more ability to empathize with others and feel moments that come very close to pure joy. I have always had a great capacity to feel guilt and shame, so that has never been a problem. For a person with a Cluster B disorder, my conscience is probably TOO well-developed. I apologize for things I haven’t even done. Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent my entire life apologizing for my existence. I hate the idea of being a bad or evil person. I like it when I know I’ve made someone else happy. Those times when I can make others happy are becoming more frequent, and I think that’s a step toward healing. I’m also happy to report that my lifelong problem with envy appears to be disappearing. Envy is so toxic–mostly to the person harboring it. It’s a great relief to have that particular monkey off my back most of the time now.

So today’s celebration of Pentecost had special meaning, because even though I wasn’t knocked to my knees by the Holy Spirit, I felt a deep sense of peace, centeredness and just “being in the moment” that has always eluded me. I felt a genuine desire to become a person who can make a positive difference in the lives of others and can feel unconditional love even for those I do not know well. Now I just need to overcome my fear of engagement with others, but I have faith that in time that will happen too, and when that happens, a whole new world will open up to me as the walls I built at an early age begin to crumble and reveal the me I want to be–which is really the me God meant for me to be.

Never give up hope. Ever.