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Ah diagnosed with NPD

Old 06-03-2013, 09:36 AM
  # 41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Narcissists tend to not give a sh*t about labels.

And labels aren't condemnation. They are simply used as a classification system. It's us humans that give such labels good or bad associations to them.

Thing is - he either will live up to it or he won't. It really is that simple. To me, the issue isn't the label, its what the OP chooses to do with the information that matters. Is this a deal-breaker? Or a starting point to some kind of understanding and acceptance to his limitations?
Ok, perhaps I misread, I was sensing an inability to change diagnosis for him from some people on the thread...we can't be his higher power either, or condemn him, although criticism of his behaviors is all very understandable.

I agree with everything you wrote tuffgirl ! It truly is up to Liz, what she does, and how long she decides to wait for change, LaTeeDa, right there.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:37 AM
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BlueSkies, You make the case for not using labels--and not to cling to a label as something written in stone. I don't think your premise can be argued with--not by those who honor the capacity of human potential.

In this case, I see it as looking at a constellation of behaviors which have existed as primary features of a persons personality over several decades and PREDICTING that it is highly probable that these behaviors will continue. It is the observation of many people, over time, that says that persons with arrogant posturing and little demonstrated capacity for genuine empathy are exquisitely sensitive to criticism and notoriously resistant to any form of therapy---when they are willing, it is usually a manipulation to improve their image or position with another person--not for the motivation of self-improvement.

In other words it is a prediction based on tons and tons of evidence. A partner of such a person is generally advised of the reality of this preponderance of evidence---in order to make decisions for their OWN life. It seems humane to advise that to hitch one's wagon to this star, would, in all liklihood, be to face a lifetime living off the thin gruel of empty hope.

It is not just a question of "can a person change", so much as: "what is the liklihood that he will want to change". Sometimes, that liklihood is very close to zero.

A label is a word symbol used to communicate an image. Handy as a shorthand for professionals to communicate. I agree that labels should be avoided whenever possible.

sincerely, dandylion
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
Newer fMRI scans are showing up that generally the Long Term "Personality" Disorders are sort of Hardware Brain Malfunctions.

So while it is not written in stone, as you say, it is a real physical condition to over come with major rework of emotional and relationship behaviors.

Nature, in this case, does not favor recovery.
Ok, reading this I had a light bulb moment of clarity about NPD.

It's beyond going to the hardware store for bread... it's going there & staring down the hammer on the shelf waiting for it to magically turn into a loaf of bread.

I have long suspected that the AH of one of my friends leans toward NPD and I find these discussions enlightening. He seems to have an incredible amount of control over making sure only she sees any behavior that could be classified as narcissistic & I only suspected it myself after watching him unravel/snap a couple of times when he was extremely intoxicated. He is as skilled at using gaslighting/manipulation techniques as an Olympian!
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:44 AM
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I get what you are all saying about labels & I tend to agree that they can box us in & restrict our growth.

But on the flip side I think they can also offer a certain freedom & awareness if it's an accurate label. It doesn't mean that we can't grow beyond that point, but sometimes we have to embrace our labels in order to truly recognize the things we need to change in order to break free from the behaviors associated with it.
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:57 AM
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FireSprite, if he could contain his narcissism to only when being with her, I wonder, does that mean he is not truly narcissistic? Seems he couldn't control it, if he was. Maybe it's not off-topic either, if it applies to Liz.
Your friend's husband sure was a controlling manipulative emotional abuser though, regardless.
Ok, I have calmed down that this isn't an all-encompassing forever comdemnation for him rendered by mere mortals! That thought really had me fearful that we would consider ourselves capable of being each other's higher power...or knowledgable and enlightened enough to condemn, which I think we are neither.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BlueSkies1 View Post
FireSprite, if he could contain his narcissism to only when being with her, I wonder, does that mean he is not truly narcissistic? Seems he couldn't control it, if he was. Maybe it's not off-topic either, if it applies to Liz.
Your friend's husband sure was a controlling manipulative emotional abuser though, regardless.
Ok, I have calmed down that this isn't an all-encompassing forever comdemnation for him rendered by mere mortals! That thought really had me fearful that we would consider ourselves capable of being each other's higher power...or knowledgable and enlightened enough to condemn, which I think we are neither.
I really don't know. I don't think I know enough about the topic to really make that determination.

He DEFINITELY thinks he is smarter, better, more talented & just all around greater than everyone around him. He seems to always expect people to simply recognize his brilliance & reward him for just being generally awesome. He doesn't seem to understand why Success hasn't come knocking on his door to drag him off of his couch & make Great Things happen to him.

But I wonder because he's not foolish enough to stand up against another strong/stronger personality (although he thinks of himself that way in his mind)... he always backs down but remembers himself to be much more aggressive when he retells the story.

For years he kept her somewhat isolated & figuring he had her best interests in mind at all times she simply accepted anything he said without a 2nd thought & he kept his place as King Know It All, high up on His Pedestal.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:19 AM
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From what I understand there are plenty of people with these disorders who can function just fine in society. I think the disorder makes it easier for people to act in a dysfunctional manner by it doesn't mean they have to.

I am a very compassionate person but I do not have a strong sense of empathy. I don't always connect at an emotional level with the way people are feeling. However I can connect at an intellectual level. I can relate to the fact that I have felt that way and have compassion even if I don't always connect at the emotional level.

I hope this makes sense. I believe is was due to being raised in a dysfunctional alcoholic home.

I am working hard right now on reconnecting with my emotions and I think I have come a long way. Having a real sense of empathy may be out of reach. I'll just have to wait and see.

However this doesn't make me a bad person and it doesn't mean I treat people badly. I know what correct behavior is and I have feelings as well. I just don't pick up on other people's cues very well. It is still not an excuse for asocial behavior or being nasty and mean. I don't treat people that way because I don't like to be treated that way.

So, just because he is narcissistic doesn't mean he has to be a jerk.

I also believe through mindfulness work it is possible to rewire your brain. There are a lot of interesting things going on in neuroplasticity.

Your friend,
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:10 AM
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FireSprite, if he could contain his narcissism to only when being with her, I wonder, does that mean he is not truly narcissistic? Seems he couldn't control it, if he was. Maybe it's not off-topic either, if it applies to Liz.
Your friend's husband sure was a controlling manipulative emotional abuser though, regardless.
There is a lot of overlap in these personality disorder diagnoses. Narcissistic personality disorder is one of a cluster of "dramatic" disorders where people manipulate others through high dramatics, extreme behaviors, and often a serious lack or complete disregard of boundaries. They all live on a spectrum, but the traits are often similar and a matter of degree or severity. The key to NPD is a person having fantasies of great wealth, success, and beauty (mine was obsessed with wealth and revenge, ugh) and a belief that they are above the law, and entitled to special treatment that they certainly haven't earned. They totally lack boundaries because others are just seen as an extensions of their ego, and people who don't "reflect" what they want to see are cut out or are lashed out at with great force for long periods of time (see an epic, ugly divorce, with one person trying to decimate the other's finances and reputation, or a beloved child who is rejected once they are able to voice opinions different from the NPD -- mine did both).

We've talked about this before, but alcoholism often looks like a lot of other psychiatric disorders. Alcoholics are definitely lower-case-N narcissistic. Also, people are often self-medicating for other issues. The only way to know for sure is that someone dries out for a long period of time (6+ months) and the behaviors are still observed.

NPDs are absolutely toxic. On the outside they're doing just fine inside, it's the people around them that suffer because they have to maintain the facade or risk being emotionally brutalized and mindf*cked for stepping out of line.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:11 AM
  # 49 (permalink)  
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I would just encourage you to learn as much a s possible about NPD, Liza. Your life and your choices are entirely yours, and making those decisions on a base of solid knowledge is always a good thing.

My AXH should probably have the Dx NPD (he's diagnosed BPD) and from my experience with him, it is very confusing to have a relationship with a person like that. It was almost as if the closer someone got, the less they were human to him and the less their feelings mattered, maybe because they were perceived as being in competition with his own feelings/needs. He would donate large sums of money to Katrina relief while I struggled to put food on the table. He would cry in front of news casts about domestic violence and volunteer for domestic abuse victims while severely punishing his own children for minor infractions and abusing me. It was as if he was unable to put his own actions into the same context as the one he interpreted the rest of the world in. I've worked some with people on the fetal alcohol spectrum and his behaviors are very similar to theirs. I'd be curious to know if the brain functions/damage are similar in those two groups.

I struggled a lot with whether I had the right to leave a person who was sick. I had a lot of compassion for him even long after the love was gone. I think for me, an important change happened when I was able to look at his actions for what they were in isolation from what he *said* he was doing. While his talk was often filled with caring and compassion, his actions did not speak the same language.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:14 AM
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My BPD ex-best friend/boss had definite leanings towards NPD, and her mother most definitely was. She was also capable of hiding her narcissistic behavior until behind closed doors with me or her now exBF, and putting on a show for anyone else. This would last until the person threatened her narcissistic view in some way (i.e. hinted that she was not god's gift to the earth) and then she would have no problem belittling them, cutting off all ties, threatening lawsuits and following through, etc etc.

I am of the same mind that people with NPD are highly HIGHLY resistant to changing. There has been evidence that BPD sufferers show improvement with dialectical behavior therapy, but the difference is that narcissists genuinely don't see their behavior as flawed, much like antisocial personality disorder/sociopaths. To a narcissist, people/relationships are simply a means to an end, whether it's protecting their image as being the perfect partner/worker, etc, or a way to gain something else (money, a promotion).

Having lived and worked for one for years, I would never involve myself with one again, even to a limited degree. Much like alcoholism, until you have experienced the manipulation and abuse, it's impossible to imagine people can behave like that. I remember sitting in therapy afte going no contact and talking about what I had been through, and I remember simultaneously being horrified at what the behaviors I had come to accept as normal, and worried that my therapist wouldn't believe me because it was so insane. Living with a narcissist is crazymaking at it's best.
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:01 PM
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This would last until the person threatened her narcissistic view in some way (i.e. hinted that she was not god's gift to the earth) and then she would have no problem belittling them, cutting off all ties, threatening lawsuits and following through, etc etc.
Ha ha, yeah, I forgot about the lawsuits. My ex-NPD fell on the paranoid/victim side of things and always thought he was being persecuted for being so amazing and successful. I can't believe how many people he's sued.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:42 AM
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Originally Posted by SadieJack View Post
In the new DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual) 5, the "psychological Bible", NPD is not a designated disorder anymore. I wonder how the narcissists feel about that? HA!
They most likely don't give a fat rat's clacker. They don't care what anyone or anything or any book says about their behaviour whatsoever.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
It was almost as if the closer someone got, the less they were human to him and the less their feelings mattered, maybe because they were perceived as being in competition with his own feelings/needs. He would donate large sums of money to Katrina relief while I struggled to put food on the table. He would cry in front of news casts about domestic violence and volunteer for domestic abuse victims while severely punishing his own children for minor infractions and abusing me.
Mine blamed me for his inability to be as successful as Bono. He once RAGED at me, that if it wasn't for me he would be as BIG AS BONO! He would rant at the TV when the news or a current affairs show discussed violence against women. He would say things like "all youse women are b*tches", yet in public he would spout feminist ideals.

He told me that it was my job, as his wife, to listen and tolerate his rants and rages. When I would refuse to engage in one of his drunken rants or rages or arguments or whines against the world, I would be told: "It is your DUTY as MY WIFE!" to engage and tolerate and "discuss" whatever he chose to throw at me. King Baby.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:13 AM
  # 54 (permalink)  
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I have been thinking a lot about Blue Skies' objection to labeling someone as incapable of changing. Ever. And being outside of God's capacity to perform miracles (my words, not hers.)

And like so many have said: it's a probability game, and while I was waiting to see if my NPD/AXH would change, I was getting sicker, more in debt every day due to his insistence that we spend MY money and not his (plus, he was barely working) and my children were becoming more entrenched in our sicko relationship.

At my most detached, he left me and the children - because I had refused him his narcissistic supply - and he has not changed.

So it's not really a question of whether he can or will change, it's an issue of how much older you are going to be when Liz decides to start living again.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:08 AM
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Agreed. Thanks for sharing, Stella.

How sick is it that people with NPD view their spouse and children as a source a narcissistic supply? In my own case, my ex was recently given only supervised visitation with our son and he is throwing a tantrum as if I took his "toy" away. When I have observed my ex spend time with our toddler in the past, he treats him like a toy, with exaggerated expressions of affection and he speaks to him in a sing-song voice. Tellingly, he also often tell him, "You're MINE." It is creepy. And sad.

Now that my ex has limited time with our son (who I truly believe is his main source of narcissistic supply), I wonder whether he will move away (like he often threatens) and look for a new source.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by stella27 View Post
I have been thinking a lot about Blue Skies' objection to labeling someone as incapable of changing. Ever. And being outside of God's capacity to perform miracles (my words, not hers.)So it's not really a question of whether he can or will change, it's an issue of how much older you are going to be when Liz decides to start living again.
I just want to clarify that I am about the most non-religious person you will ever meet. I spoke of "higher power". I did not mention "God" or "miracles".

Nor "God's" ability to perform a "miracle" on Liz's husband. More like Liz's husband's ability to recognize whatever conundrum the two of them are involved in, his part, and his ability to change himself! And likewise her's!

She wants to stay married. He wants to stay married. For logical reasons, I'm assuming to each other.
Seems there are some power plays about getting there, together. Also seems that something could be worked out, since they share that goal.
No matter what labels have been put on him. Who cares about labels if they share the goal of staying married to each other? I put it aside, along with the judgment of those labels, and wonder why they can't work it out since it is what they both want. That's why I wonder if this isn't much about power plays, judgment on each other, refusing to work together.
It's so easy to label, judge, and work against each other, instead of together. I know, been there, done that. I look outside the labels that are used here, by definition, and that's the problem I think.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:27 AM
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Actually, I do believe that BlueSkies has a point here---both and Liz's and her husband want to stay married(by her postings).

I doubt that whatever labels are thrown around will make a bit of difference. Some people stay married for better; some stay for worse.

dandylion...........sigh
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:43 AM
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I wanted to stay married. My AH wanted to stay married. From what I have read on this board, most people want to stay married. It's a matter of what each person is willing to do to make staying married tolerable (if not ideal). For me, the cost was too high--as in my signature.

L
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:49 AM
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I know, Blue Skies, that's why I said they were my words - because they reflect my belief system - which is religious, and that is the hangup for me.

Can I say what God (the God I believe in) is capable of doing or what other people can do if they are committed to change? No, I can't.

I can only look at the many years I spent waiting for him to change when I should have gotten out so much sooner and if he wanted to change, he could show me that later.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:52 AM
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Liz,
There's a site named "out of the fog" for people with personality disorders. In the forums section there is one called "committed to working on it". Partners of those with personality disorders post there.
There's also a site "marriage builders". Works with anyone with marriage problems that they want to work on it together.
Just saying approaching your marriage issues from a positive pro-active position might work better than the negative. Or, convince you nothing will work....one or the other...off the fence you will be.
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