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Old 03-02-2009, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
Being Silent so I can Hear
 
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Narcissism - Cause and Effect? Or not..

I ran across an interesting article, and thought some of you might appreciate it. I won't post the link here, since it's politically related and I feel that's inappropriate here. If you want the link, send me a private message.

As many of you know, dealing with a dry drunk is not an easy task, but after reading this I'm convinced that my A's problems are much much deeper.

Quote:
Pathological narcissism is the art of deception. The narcissist projects a False Self and manages all his social interactions through this concocted fictional construct.
100% true of my husband.

Descriptions of typical narcissistic behavior:
Quote:
"Haughty" body language The narcissist adopts a physical posture which implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Though the narcissist usually maintains sustained and piercing eye contact, he often refrains from physical proximity (he is "territorial").
Check

Quote:
The narcissist takes part in social interactions even mere banter condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux "magnanimity and largesse". But he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the "observer", or the "lone wolf".
Yes.

Quote:
Narcissists are polite only in the presence of a potential Supply Source. But they are unable to sustain even perfunctory civility and fast deteriorate to barbs and thinly-veiled hostility, to verbal or other violent displays of abuse, rage attacks, or cold detachment.
Definitely.

Quote:
The "membership" posture The narcissist always tries to "belong". Yet, at the very same time, he maintains his stance as an outsider. The narcissist seeks to be admired for his ability to integrate and ingratiate himself without investing the efforts commensurate with such an undertaking.
Definitely.

Quote:
For instance: if the narcissist talks to a psychologist, the narcissist first states emphatically that he never studied psychology. He then proceeds to make seemingly effortless use of obscure professional terms, thus demonstrating that he mastered the discipline all the same, as an autodidact which proves that he is exceptionally intelligent or introspective.

In general, the narcissist always prefers show-off to substance. One of the most effective methods of exposing a narcissist is by trying to delve deeper. The narcissist is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades. The narcissist never admits to ignorance in any field yet, typically, he is ignorant of them all. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the narcissist's self-proclaimed omniscience.
This is my husband to a T.

Quote:
Bragging and false autobiography The narcissist brags incessantly. His speech is peppered with "I", "my", "myself", and "mine". He describes himself as intelligent, or rich, or modest, or intuitive, or creative but always excessively, implausibly, and extraordinarily so.

The narcissist's biography sounds unusually rich and complex. His achievements incommensurate with his age, education, or renown. Yet, his actual condition is evidently and demonstrably incompatible with his claims. Very often, the narcissist lies or his fantasies are easily discernible. He always name-drops and appropriates other people's experiences and accomplishments.
Exactly what mine does. The lies just floored me.

Quote:
Emotion-free language The narcissist likes to talk about himself and only about himself. He is not interested in others or what they have to say, unless they constitute potential Sources of Supply and in order to obtain said supply. He acts bored, disdainful, even angry, if he feels that they are intruding on his precious time and, thus, abusing him.
This would explain why if I had a headache, he did too. If I had a cold, he was coming down with one too. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Quote:
Seriousness and sense of intrusion and coercion The narcissist is dead serious about himself. He may possess a subtle, wry, and riotous sense of humor, scathing and cynical, but rarely is he self-deprecating. The narcissist regards himself as being on a constant mission, whose importance is cosmic and whose consequences are global. If a scientist he is always in the throes of revolutionizing science. If a journalist he is in the middle of the greatest story ever. If a novelist - he is on his way to a Booker or Nobel prize.
They have absolutely no sense of humor when it comes to themselves. None.

Quote:
Any suggested help, advice, or concerned inquiry are immediately cast by the narcissist as intentional humiliation, implying that the narcissist is in need of help and counsel and, thus, imperfect and less than omnipotent. Any attempt to set an agenda is, to the narcissist, an intimidating act of enslavement. In this sense, the narcissist is both schizoid and paranoid and often entertains ideas of reference.
Uh hunh.

Quote:
The narcissist's personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as "victims of persecution".
Always the victim.

I didn't list them all, but these all describe my A, and from what I understand, narcissism is rarely curable.

Something else I didn't cause, I can't control, and I can't cure. But, I like to know things and found this interesting.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Stlll Waters- Interesting stuff. I also looked up things about this topic, because I wondered if STBXAH has the same issue. He may fit into the Borderline Personality Disorder frame as well. . . But, what's the point? We all want answers- WHY is he like he is? It's the age-old question- Is it the alcohol or the personality? To me, it doesn't matter anymore. My STBXAH is many things, many hard-to-live-with things, but I'm trying now to put more of the focus on me. Who am I, and what do I want to be? It's hard to do. I spent many years trying to figure him out and be for him what I thought he wanted me to be. It's so much more productive to figure out what I want. Now that you have this info- what are you going to do with it?
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What will I do with it? Use it to explain to the judge why the marriage is irreconcilable and to explain the level of abuse I was enduring.

I stated clearly above that I thought it interesting only Pajarito, and it never hurts to take a closer look at what we never ever want to have to deal with again.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for this very interesting read. The Ex seems to fit very well too.
I like to read about psychology and I add this to the Red Flag list so I do not end up with "that type" ever again.

My stepmom is one too and whatever you say, she has already done it, and it was better. How boring. Ultimately those superiority traits are the ones that prevent them from seeking help while their lies just keep getting bigger and bigger, and the efforts to cover for them too, as well.

Until disaster strikes...
How very sad.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dreamer999 View Post
Thanks for this very interesting read. The Ex seems to fit very well too.
I like to read about psychology and I add this to the Red Flag list so I do not end up with "that type" ever again.

My stepmom is one too and whatever you say, she has already done it, and it was better. How boring. Ultimately those superiority traits are the ones that prevent them from seeking help while their lies just keep getting bigger and bigger, and the efforts to cover for them too, as well.

Until disaster strikes...
How very sad.
Yes, that is very very tiring. But you know, even when disaster strikes I don't think they're capable of admitting what's wrong.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am new to this board. I found out about it from the Narcissistic Abuse Recovery board. I am trying to get over a very difficult relationship with a narcissistic alcoholic. Also former drug user. The narcissism is difficult enough to deal with, but when alcohol is added to the mix, it becomes hell on earth. The funny thing is, I still love the xA(N)bf. I'm in NC right now. Have been for 2 weeks. AGAIN. He comes to my door eventually with the "I'm sorry. I'll never drink again. I'll be a lot nicer. I'll change etc. etc." Narcissists do the same as alcoholics but at least alcoholics CAN be helped the Narcissist CAN'T. EVER. It is a permanent personality disorder with little or no hope of ever being cured or "fixed". That's the hardest part. Even if he gave up the drinking, which he doesn't want to, he would still be an N forever.

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Old 03-02-2009, 06:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Still Waters View Post
I ran across an interesting article, and thought some of you might appreciate it. I won't post the link here, since it's politically related and I feel that's inappropriate here. If you want the link, send me a private message.

As many of you know, dealing with a dry drunk is not an easy task, but after reading this I'm convinced that my A's problems are much much deeper.



100% true of my husband.

Descriptions of typical narcissistic behavior:


Check



Yes.



Definitely.



Definitely.



This is my husband to a T.



Exactly what mine does. The lies just floored me.



This would explain why if I had a headache, he did too. If I had a cold, he was coming down with one too. EVERY SINGLE TIME.



They have absolutely no sense of humor when it comes to themselves. None.



Uh hunh.



Always the victim.

I didn't list them all, but these all describe my A, and from what I understand, narcissism is rarely curable.

Something else I didn't cause, I can't control, and I can't cure. But, I like to know things and found this interesting.
Problem is, per the opinion of someone that knows a little more about the whole alcoholism/mental illness angle:

"It is also extremely difficult to even diagnose whether or not a person has a mental illness in addition to alcoholism, if that person is still drinking. The alcohol-induced crazy behavior must be at least somewhat abated by sobriety, in order correctly assess the patient".(Many people have been incorrectly diagnosed as "mentally ill"-when in fact they have alcohol-induced behaviors that mimic mental illness.)

Toby Rice Drews

Just my experience, fwiw, I spent a long time trying to figure out what was wrong with my ex, convenient way of taking the focus off my own 'issues', and in any event, if she didn't get clean nothing would ever change for her, mentally ill or not.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just my experience, fwiw, I spent a long time trying to figure out what was wrong with my ex, convenient way of taking the focus off my own 'issues'
I could speculate about just what make xAH an A til the cows come home. None of it makes a lick of difference. He is who and what he is, and it was not acceptable to me. I could not live with any of it, whatever the reasons behind it are. All I could do was recognize it wasn't acceptable and figure out what I wanted to make my life better. That is all anyone can do.

I too think for too many people trying to figure out the reasons, the whys behind our As drinking is a means of avoiding our own issues. Lord knows I didn't look into my own head for my whys until I came here and started down my own road to recovery.
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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wow, this reminds me of my former best friend.. the initial post was my best friend to a T with different varieties.I was confused and even ranted about her behavior on this forum, I blamed it on alcoholic behavior but it just didn't seem quite right..

"Narcissists are polite only in the presence of a potential Supply Source. But they are unable to sustain even perfunctory civility and fast deteriorate to barbs and thinly-veiled hostility, to verbal or other violent displays of abuse, rage attacks, or cold detachment. "

I was always perplexed about her cold detachment. the equation just didn't seem right. I always knew something was wrong. I realized she had a alcoholic problem but the start. I just thought she was a destructive liar.. I could see right through them because a logical person.. I did try to call her on it, the lies were of epic proportions.. the cold detachment kicked in, lies and insults.

does she know she is Narcissistic? shes a smart individual.. even if she did it wouldn't change anything.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi StillWaters,
You are right, maybe it would be
"Until disaster strikes and there is no turning back". For a dear friend's AH uncle, that meant death today..

As long as we are working on ourselves I see nothing wrong in learning more about alcoholism, codependence and disorders in general. Maybe it is because I like theater so much, I like analyzing personality traits of people I find interesting somehow. To learn where they "may" come from of course knowing we will never fully explain anything... learning about my ex's pain or self centeredness makes me realize how much pain I have carrying along, how much selfishness. It is like watching yourself in a mirror of long-hidden truth.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I didn't list them all, but these all describe my A, and from what I understand, narcissism is rarely curable.
It's a personality disorder. They can be cured with therapy, but the person with the personality disorder has to want to get better. It's nearly impossible for a narcissist to admit that he/she has a problem that needs treatment.

It's not uncommon for alcoholics/addicts to have co-morbid personality disorders.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It's not uncommon for alcoholics/addicts to have co-morbid personality disorders.
Indeed. There is a correlation between people with personality disorders or other mental health issues, and addiction. But where there is a drug addiction then it can be very hard to identify any co-morbid issues, let alone deal with them, until the addiction is dealt with.

I know that my AXGF shows very strong Borderline Personality Disorder traits when she's drinking. And addiction problems are commonplace with those who have BPD. But then when she's been sober for a few weeks, those traits largely disappear. Maybe she does have BPD and she can just hide it better when she's not drinking. Maybe she doesn't have BPD, and it's sheer coincidence that her behaviour while drinking regularly matches BPD symptoms....

I don't know. To be frank, I don't see it as any of my business and I'm not qualified to judge anyway. My involvement extends to "Do I find her behaviour acceptable to me or not?" and leave the emotional / psychological / neurochemical reasons that may drive those behaviours to someone else.

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