Narcissists ARE Evil.

Narcissists ARE evil.  Reasonable doubt doesn’t enter this picture.  While there are reasons that a narcissist acts the way he or she acts, those reasons do not excuse their CHOICE to act that way.

A narcissist will never do anything that does not benefit him or herself.

A narcissist makes conscious decisions; he or she makes the CHOICE to harm.

If a narcissist and his latest supply walk into a bar and the narcissist gets drunk, and then disorderly and is thrown out of the bar, whose fault is it?  If you answered “the victim’s fault” you answered correctly and this means you understand how a narcissist’s mind works.

I have posted here that I’m not certain whether a narcissist truly knows he or she treats others badly.  The reason I say that is because a narcissist, in choosing to treat another badly, makes the choice believing, in their twisted psyche, that their choice is right, good and moral.  That choice will always contain projection of their own accountability for a situation onto whomever (and sometimes whatever) they find to be their nearest victim.

While sane people KNOW a narcissist treats others badly, and does it on purpose, the narcissist has no knowledge at all.  All he has is a delusional belief system that tells him he is NOT treating others badly.

What a narcissist believes is of no relevance.  A narcissist’s mind is twisted, sick and dangerous.

What a narcissist believes is a delusion; it is a construct within which there can only be one “good” person.  You know who that person is.

A narcissist will always do only what is right for him or herself, and that action, regardless the harm done to any other individual(s), will be justified in the narcissistic mind as right.

A narcissist knows the difference between right and wrong only as it pertains to him or herself.  No one else matters.

None of the above is a justification for the pure EVIL that a narcissist perpetrates on his or her victims.

Narcissists do not and cannot love.

Narcissists do not care about you or anyone else.

Narcissists are very good at hiding all of these things – for short periods of time, usually the length of time it takes to suck in fresh supply.

Narcissists do not have relationships.  With anyone.  Period.

Narcissism is rampant in our society.  It is rampant because our culture not only encourages it, but supports it, through the venue of pop-psychology and the “gotta take care of Number One” mantra.

Narcissists do not want the best for you or anyone other than themselves.

Narcissists do not help anyone unless they can be certain it will be known by as many as possible that they have “helped.”   If you  need an example of this just look at corporate philanthropy.  That’s an entirely different post, though.

Narcissists are the embodiment of all we have been taught is morally wrong; EVIL; and they are excellent at cloaking their behavior in the guise of goodwill and self-sacrifice.

I just wanted to make that clear, in case anyone was wondering where I stand on this issue.

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I’ve been writing a comprehensive book on personality disorders with an emphasis on NPD.  I’m not a psychiatrist but I know someone who IS psychiatrist in real-life and who specializes in personality disorders.  He has agreed to review this book prior to publication for accuracy of information.  I’m also going to request that he write a forward for it.

This book  will define the term personality disorder, it will provide all the DSM-IV (cited) criteria for NPD, with real-world descriptions of each criteria.  Each criterion will probably be a chapter unto itself, since there is such a massive amount of accurate anecdotal material available.

I will also include chapters on Borderline Personality Disorder since that disorder has so many crossover traits with NPD.  Depending upon how long the NPD book is (I’d like to keep it at 300 pages!) I may have to write another on BPD.   These books are being written with the purpose of helping others recognize these disorders and understand what they can do to better their situations if involved in any way with someone who is one of these disorders.

Please remember that individuals who meet the criteria for NPD and BPD don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  Why?  It’s simple.  To have something implies that one can NOT have it.  For an NPD, the realization that they are a disorder will never come, so they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.  For a BPD, there’s a shred of hope, but in most cases, they, too, do not realize that anything is wrong with them, thus they don’t “have” the disorder, they ARE the disorder.

You will learn methods for recognizing those who are potentially NPD or BPD on the first date, but more importantly you will learn an accurate method for analyzing online dating profiles to determine whether the writer is NPD.  It’s a little more difficult to extrapolate BPD from a dating profile and not always accurate, so I won’t provide that.

The book will also contain a compassionate and common-sense guide to rebuilding emotional health during the aftermath of interacting with an NPD (remember, they don’t have relationships!) and it will provide cited research into the developmental phases of a child who grows up to be an NPD adult.  This will provide a glimpse into the why of an NPD and it will allow you to feel compassion for them, while understanding that pity is wasted and it will also allow you to learn your best method for detaching and distancing – for good.

Additionally, there will be anecdotal information based on my personal experiences, interviews with others who have had similar experiences and between each chapter there will be lined pages for you to make notes if you choose to print the book.  The book will be in PDF format and will be read-only, and you will not be able to do a “save-as” so you can make electronic notes.  Allowing that capability is dangerous for an author.

Please note, since this will be my material, garnered from many long  hours of research, and then the effort put forth to write a book that resonates with truth, REAL help and guidance, it will be copyrighted as my material.  If I provide this book and someone wants to use pieces of it in their own work, they will need permission to use it and any portions of it that are used must be cited (as I am doing with all my research.)  I want to help others, and in doing so, I also want to help myself.  If there is enough interest in this as an e-book, when I am finished writing it, I will post it here as a downloadable book at a price of $9.95  for 30 days prior to allowing my publisher to release it (at a much higher price!)

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Search Term: Narcissists Aren’t Bad

I saw the search term: “narcissists aren’t bad” in my search engine stats just now.  For anyone who wants to know whether a Narcissist is bad, I’ve written enough here about it to let you know.  🙂

That said:  Narcissists aren’t bad people, they are people who do bad things.  There is a difference.   The school of thought to which I subscribe, because I believe it most accurately presents NPD as we encounter it most, is the one that says a narcissist is an individual whose emotional growth ended between age 6 and 7.

This age has commonly been known as the “age of reason.” It is the age, in most cultures, where a human child is believed to be emotionally developed to the point where he or she is capable of understanding the difference between right and wrong, and is capable of acting upon those differences, regardless their choice of action.

By the time an NPD individual reaches this age, he or she has assimilated emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse into themselves.  They have integrated it into their own personality and for purposes of personal survival, have created clear lines of demarcation for good and bad within themselves.  Generally, they will have been born to, and raised by, at least one NPD parent, if not two.  If they have one NPD parent, the odds are very good the other parent is steeped in the emotional trauma wrought by a narcissist and is not capable of protecting the child because the non-NPD parent is too busy attempting to protect themselves.

The child witnesses this emotional war and defines for him or herself, based upon what they observe and are told, the best method to protect themselves from further hurt.  This protection comes in the form of creating an alter-ego that, within the confines of their own minds, becomes themselves.  This alter-ego is all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, and many times simply omnipotent.  The child creates an alter-ego that allows them to be God, thus giving them the illusion of control, at least within themselves.

This alter-ego is not to be confused with multiple personalities or schizophrenia.  It is simply a coping mechanism whereby the child, who, at this point has been filled with the terror and humiliation of unrelenting emotional abuse, manages to construct, in his or her childish mind, what they believe they should be based upon what they’ve been told they really are.

Emotional abuse is contradictory.  The child of an NPD may be told one day that they are the sun, stars and moon and that their N parent believes them to be special in a sense that no other child is special.  The child internalizes this.  It goes in the “good” drawer.  The next day, the N parent contradicts what was said the day before and tells the child he or she is stupid, clumsy, and compares the child to the the sibling of favor for that day.  You know the routine:  “Why can’t you be like so-and s0?  So-and-so isn’t stupid.  So-and-so got an A in arithmetic.  So why didn’t you get an A?”

The child internalizes this.  This goes in the “bad” drawer.  The child keeps the “bad” drawer locked as often as possible and only opens it far enough to allow devaluation to slide in and then the drawer is slammed shut and locked.

As the child grows physically, he or she remains at around age 6, emotionally.  An NPD has never learned to integrate the “good” and “bad” into a whole.  This is a crossover trait to Borderline Personality Disorder.  NPD and BPD have many crossover traits, and I’ve found that when the behavior issues are seen in a male, they are termed NPD and when they are seen in a female, they are termed BPD.  This is not always the case, though.  It’s simply what I’ve seen.

Now, think about a six-year-old child.  What is their primary focus?  Their primary focus is themselves.  A normal six-year-old child, raised by emotionally healthy parents will experience emotional growth that corresponds to their age.  A six-year-old child who has a narcissistic parent, and another parent who is too busy attempting to survive the abuse perpetrated upon them by the narcissist, will retain, and further, hold dear, their primary focus, which is on themselves.

The child has constructed an alter-ego who they have come to believe is their “real” self, because at age 6, they subconsciously know that they can’t be as bad as mommy or daddy has said they are.  It is at this point that all the good that might be in that child is sublimated to the alter-ego.  The child grows up believing they ARE their alter-ego.  They also know, but refuse to accept, that the alter-ego is nothing but a construct pulled from what they have perceived to be “good” along the way.  They add to that drawer full of “good” – they add the ability to mimic empathy and compassion, but because they have sublimated their TRUE ability for empathy and compassion, and because the parents have not nurtured this ability, all they have is what amounts to a photograph of it.

So they keep taking photographs.  Enter the mirror.  By the time the child has grown to adulthood, he or she has become very adept at watching others and adding photographs of what they perceive as acceptable behavior to their “good” drawer.  The problem with this is that they stopped developing, emotionally, between ages 6 and 7, so their criteria for good is that which they originally created as a child, and is unreasonable, unhealthy and a total illusion.

These children, who were unloved and abused and who learned to cope through construct, have grown into predatory adults who seek mirrors in the form of other human beings.  They seek love, because it is a driving need for them.  They will never admit it is a need as deep as hunger, but it is what they seek.  Having no foundation for love; no good role model for it, they believe love is defined by all those photographs they have taken of behavior that fits the construct created when they were 6 or 7 years old.

These adults can’t love because whatever love they gave prior to age 6, was repudiated.  Think about a child between the ages of birth to 6.  I can use my own son as an example.  I have never felt more loved or needed in my life, than during those years when my son was between birth and age 6.  At age 6 he began to truly think for himself, to spread his fledgling wings and for those who watched, including me, his behavior was a giddy balance between self-serving action and true remorse when he realized his actions had hurt someone who loved him.

At age 6, my son was learning to assert himself as an individual; he drew from his prior experience with me and his father, and grew in compassion, empathy, and love.  He learned that while he might want always to be the center of attention and so special as singularly “better” than anyone else, that he WAS NOT singularly special, beyond the fact that I thought of him as special only because he was my son,  nor was he always going to be the center of attention.  He learned this was a good thing.

Children of NPD parents do not learn this.  Their journey into adolescence and adulthood is dramatic, traumatic and filled with contradictory information.  By the time they reach adulthood, they have lost the key to their “bad” drawer and their “good” drawer has spawned several more “good” drawers, each filled with a jumbled detritus of what they have deemed, with their six-year-old emotional capacity to be acceptable behavior and character traits.

This is why an NPD is, at first, extremely charming, seemingly compassionate, empathetic and sensitive to your every need.  They are pulling from their “good” drawer those characteristics they have deemed useful to their effort to gain attention.  As they grew, they became more selective.  If they were in a group gathering, they would watch to see which members of their chosen sexual orientation seemed to be having the best time, and then they would watch to see what was causing these people to have such a great time.  They would photograph these behaviors and file them away.

Remember, a photograph is a shutter click in time.  It is not extended reality.  It is merely something that is for a short time.  At this point, an NPD has nothing within themselves to draw upon for normal interaction, because they built their bomb shelter long ago.  Nothing was allowed in that didn’t pass their stringent criteria, because anything that came in had to be something they could recognize as a reflection of what they viewed as “good” in themselves.

Over time, this collection of “good” gets confused.  It is never filed in any order, and it’s never given another thought by the NPD other than as a tool with which they can bring people into their lives.  It’s not a tool that is well-maintained.  It is a tool that is disposable. When it wears out and doesn’t work anymore, the NPD goes in search of more supply.  The “good” drawer is never quite empty because the NPD, like an addict, will see his fix getting low and will become frantic to replenish.

Straight male NPDs will go in search of straight females who exemplify all the qualities they have in their “good” drawer.  Remember, the NPD doesn’t actually have these qualities in himself, he simply has pictures of those qualities, and they are qualities he actually believes are his, not something stolen from various mirrors/prey along his journey to find the perfect mirror.

The qualities the NPD stalks are those qualities that he can only mimic, because in order to sustain the qualities, they have to be an integrated part of the personality.  The NPD stopped integrating anything into his personality at around age 6.

The most dangerous part of all of this is that the prey of an NPD doesn’t know they are prey until they have fallen victim to the NPDs abuse when they stop mirroring what the N wants, and believes he is entitled, to see.

The N believes that all the qualities he sees in his prey are HIS OWN qualities.  Because he sees them as his own qualities, he cannot sustain any form of relationship, as relationships are all about give and take.  They are about compromise and reciprocation.  An NPD does not compromise and he does not reciprocate.  He pretends to those things, for a very short time, because those are qualities he knows nothing about other than having seen them, briefly, in someone he held in esteem for a short period (because that person mirrored his beliefs about himself so well).  As soon as anyone evinces dissatisfaction with the Ns behavior, they are instantly and ruthlessly devalued and discarded.

That’s not the end, though.  The N has programmed himself to destroy anyone or anything that might reflect poorly upon him.  After the first session of D&D, the victim will probably believe she truly DID do something to hurt this wonderful person and will set about attempting to right something that she never did wrong in the first place.  The N will complacently sit back and watch, ever-vigilant for a slip-up.  He will direct the victim’s actions, controlling everything and at the first inkling that the victim might step out of line, the N stomps.  HARD.  The devaluation gets worse, it becomes vicious.  Sometimes it becomes deadly.

Herein lies the truth:  The NPD is not stomping on the victim.  He is stomping on a MIRROR that is reflecting what he  knows and understands to be his true character, and he is destroying it so that he does not have to look at it.  To look at it; to confront it, would mean deconstructing his safe-house; it would mean tearing down all the carefully constructed walls that took decades to build and an NPD does not have it within themselves to do that.  It is not possible.  Some say it is.  My observations show otherwise, but I’m not a psychiatrist.

Narcissists didn’t start out bad.  I don’t believe they are, at a soul level, bad.  I do believe that the young age at which they built their defenses dooms them to behaving badly for their lifetime.

Narcissists Fold, Spindle and Mutilate: Where and how to get help

I just read a post entitled  No Longer Dead and I knew immediately what this woman was dealing with based on the first half of her post.  My assumption is that the second half is her, telling herself that she will not accept this individual any longer until or unless he acquiesces to her completely legitimate and emotionally healthy demands.

If this woman has been dealing with an NPD, she was dead to him from the beginning.  She never truly existed as a human being worthy of love, respect, dignity and empathy.  She was simply this person’s mirror.  It appears she spent years being devalued and discarded and then finally got sick of it, found her strength and decided to move on.

This is a good post to read.  Many times, when we are the focus of devaluation by a narcissist, we don’t know what the heck is going on.  All we know is that nothing we do seems to be good enough; everything is our fault; we are crazy.  Nothing is wrong with the narcissist and he or she makes it very clear to us that we are the problem.  Still, when we’re in the middle of it, it’s difficult to step outside the fishbowl and peer in.  Objectivity seems to be the lowest on our list of priorities, with survival of a relationship that never was being our top priority.

Even if you’ve been married to an individual for most of your adult life, if you are being treated the way the woman in No Longer Dead was being treated, you haven’t had a relationship.  A relationship takes two people.  A Narcissist absolves themselves from relationship responsibilities before they engage with another individual.  A narcissist doesn’t have relationships; he or she merely has mirrors.  Even if you’ve been married for 30 years to a narcissist, it sadly means that you’ve been a mirror (and nothing more) for 30 years.

Narcissists can’t love another human being.  They don’t love themselves, even though their surface would indicate that they do love themselves – too much.  Scratch that surface and you find nothing.  Narcissists are fragile shells and to keep their shells intact they abuse before they can be abused.  This is why they are hyper-vigilant for the slightest criticism.  They twist and spin words that they believe might be critical (even if they aren’t) and deliberately make them critical so they can set about stomping the purveyor of those words into submission.

Narcissists are emotional vampires and they have memories like elephants.  Those who share emotions, who show they have emotions, who are compassionate and empathetic, are considered weak to a narcissist, ergo; they are FOOD.  A narcissist will suck you dry, and when you finally realize what’s been going on and stand up to the narcissist in your life, they will pull out every emotion you ever shared with them, twist and spin it and fling it back at you with deadly accuracy.  When they see their mirror has gained strength, thus providing the mirror the means of seeing the narcissist for what it truly is, they will move in for the emotional kill.

There is a point at which you, as a mirror can avoid this emotional kill, if you truly see what’s going on.  It’s a nanosecond in the scope of a 30-year marriage, or a many-years-long “relationship” with a narcissist, but if you see it, and flee when you see it, you will have a slightly diminished time frame during which you have to heal and rebuild your emotional health and strength.  If you don’t see it (and many of us don’t, and no one but you can say when that point is) you will be so emotionally crushed that it may be years before you have the strength to bootstrap yourself out of your situation.

If you are experiencing any of the issues described in the first half of No Longer Dead you MUST take a step back, grab your journal if necessary, and start assessing things.  Just start writing, and don’t worry about how things come out.  This will allow you to re-read and identify what’s truly going on.  If you don’t write, see a counselor.  Talk to a trusted friend.  Get an objective view of your situation.  While you’re doing this ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THAT A NARCISSIST NEVER CHANGES.  THIS IS NOT A RELATIONSHIP; YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO SAVE YOURSELF, NOT A RELATIONSHIP THAT NEVER WAS. 

I don’t recommend seeing your family pastor or priest.  Why?  A pastor (and especially priests) are trained to keep the marital unit together regardless the circumstances.  If you see a priest you may be told it’s your responsibility (if you’re female) to act in submission with your husband’s will, regardless his will.  Depending upon your denomination, a pastor may tell you the same thing.  Fundamental Christian pastors may tell you (if you’re female) that you’re the one with issues since you’re not acting in accordance with “God’s” will or your husband’s will.  Trust me on this one, I’ve been there.

Most religions don’t recognize personality disorders as an acceptable reason for divorce.  My experience has taught me that when religion enters the picture, it is the woman who pays a huge price when her mate is a narcissist.  If there are children involved, you must get them away from the daily influence of the narcissist or you will have children who grow into damaged adults.

I believe that faith in a higher power is essential.  Many don’t believe that, and I respect their choice. For me, though, if I didn’t have faith in a higher power, I’d never have made it this far in life.   If you don’t have faith in a power greater than yourself, all that’s left to see you through your turmoil is whatever reserve of inner strength you may have.

My best advice for getting free of a narcissist (and you are with a narcissist if  all or most of the first half of No Longer Dead applies to you) is to seek secular help.  Prayer works, regardless your form of worship or faith.  Positive thinking works, but getting there is difficult.   Narcissists have many crossover traits to alcoholism, as well as to Borderline Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder.

Even if the narcissist in your life doesn’t drink, that doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have alcoholic traits.  It’s very easy for someone to believe they are not an alcoholic simply because they don’t drink.  Alcoholism is defined not only by the consumption and need for alcohol, but by a very clear set of behavior patterns and those behavior patterns align with the way I’ve seen narcissists act.

If you are with a narcissist who does not drink, the odds are good you have a dry drunk on your hands.  Al-Anon is a great place to get the help and support you need in dealing with a dry drunk and/or a narcissist.  Please open the link for dry drunk to read the characteristics.  You will see that they align clearly with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

If the narcissist in your life drinks, it’s very important to get help through Al-Anon.  There are meetings everywhere and while some view it as a betrayal to the person with whom they are involved, that is simply misplaced loyalty.  Most of us who wind up with a narcissist in our lives have had prior experience with some form of emotional dysfunction in our lives, probably during childhood, when we are most malleable and taught to accept behaviors that are truly self-damaging.  Regardless your faith, if you believe in a higher power you must ask yourself if your higher power would find your situation acceptable, and would that higher power believe it to be something that is good, healthy and uplifting for you?

Remember this:  Martyrdom is not the glorification of God or any other higher power.  It is the glorification of EGO.  Many times, we have our egos too invested in who we are; that which we allow to provide us our criteria for life is our ego, not our SELF, which involves listening to the still, small voice and acting from within a higher level of knowledge with regard to self.  If we act from within the self, and not the ego, martyrdom to the cause of a narcissist becomes anathema to us.  In martyring ourselves to another’s abuse of us, we deny that which has been universally given to us:  love, in all its forms. Martyrdom is not love.  It is the glorification of our own egos, and that is not a good thing.

If you are with a narcissist, and you have sublimated yourself to that individual’s monstrously sick manipulation, you are martyring yourself.  STOP NOW!  

If you don’t stop the madness now, you may find yourself dealing with a massive case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Trust me on that one, too.   PTSD can result from recurring, consistent emotional abuse.  Couple that with the physical abuse that some experience when with a narcissist and you’ll wind up with a full-blown case of PTSD.

I Drove 330 Miles…and I’m So Glad I Did!

Like many of us, I see a psychiatrist.  I’ve seen the same doctor for 16 years, and when I first started with him, I really DID need him.  I was a mess!  With lots of support, encouragement, and good advice, I found myself healing from some serious childhood stuff.  I think my Doc is my medication now.  I was without him for almost two years after being transferred out of the area by corporate America.

I tried to find another doctor.  Folks, you can’t replace someone who has been there for you; who has been your ROCK for 16 years.  You just can’t.  It’s almost like a marriage, only with the professional boundaries in place.  So I decided, after trying yet ANOTHER shrink, that I was going to chuck it all where I am and go back to what I knew and trusted.

I drove 165 miles one way to get there today.  While sitting in his office, Doc _____ looks at my file and then looks at me and says:  “has it really been that long????  I could have sworn I’d seen you just a couple of months ago!”  I wasn’t sure what to make of that, so I asked him.  I said:  “hmmm – is that a good thing?”  Apparently, it was, because his reply was:  “Yes!  It means our rapport is so excellent that we can pick up where we left off, almost two years ago.”

My session with him was excellent and so worth the time, drive, traffic, and money.  I told him about the N, and described the situation to him.  I asked what he thought about it.  His reply:  “What do YOU think is wrong with this man?”   I replied that through research, I’d come to the conclusion the man was NPD.  Doc concurred.  He’d come to that conclusion simply from hearing me recite email conversations – and I surprised myself that I’d memorized them.  I was concerned about that because I thought maybe I was obsessing.  Doc told me no, I wasn’t obsessing, rather; I was doing what I do best:  analyzing and processing.

We discussed my primary relationship history.  Doc is a funny man.  He said:  “Okay, so far, with regard to primary relationships in your life, you’ve lived with a psycho domestic abuser, you married a dry drunk, you divorced the dry drunk and involved yourself in a long-distance relationship with a man who was very safe because neither of you had to invest anything in the relationship, then you married a man with Bipolar Disorder, you divorced him and it nearly killed you, then you moved in with a passive-aggressive Momma’s boy, and when that didn’t work you stayed away from men for awhile and started healing.  Now you tell me you found an NPD.  Are you done with men now?”

Yes, I’m done with men.  My judgment is obviously not at a level where I can trust it.  Unless the universe plants just the right man in my path, and gives me a sign that he IS the right man (and it would have to be something planetary, like Jupiter, aligning with Mars or something along those lines) I am done with men.

I don’t need a man.  I’d like one, but I’m fine without one.  I’m not emotionally needy now, although at one point in my life, as a young adult, I was extremely needy.

When I first started seeing the Doc he diagnosed me with borderline traits.  He told me this today.  I didn’t realize that.  He said he didn’t feel I warranted a formal diagnosis of BPD, because I was a high-functioning individual with a shitty childhood history to overcome.  He told me the that my official diagnosis was PTSD. I’d never thought to ask.

Without this man, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  He told me why his formal diagnosis was PTSD with borderline traits and looking back over my life (I’ll be 50 in a few days), I can see how right he was.   I still experience issues with PTSD, the most common issue being what Doc refers to as “ghosting.”

If I have a choice, I never sit with my back to a door.  There were things that would happen to me as a kid and with my first live-in if my back was turned.  To this day, I will sometimes feel as though someone is behind me and I’ll whip around, in fight or flight mode and no one will be there.  People have seen this “startle” response in me – I whip around and go into a slight crouch, my muscles tensed and I’m told I have a panic-stricken look on my face.  That’s “ghosting.”  I don’t think it’s really a medical term, but it clearly describes what I’m feeling.  I’m feeling the ghosts of my past; I’m feeling them so strongly that adrenaline kicks in and my brain sends me immediately into both an offensive and defensive mode.  My posture becomes defensive and my mind pulls forward into the offensive, bringing all the rage I had and still have toward the people who hurt me.  The rage is there, but I’ve learned to control it, as opposed to allowing it to control me.  Life wasn’t always like that.

Doc helped me work through all the garbage that caused that response; he helped me work through to my SELF, to bring the good and bad together and merge them into the person I really am.  He was there through two divorces, three downsizes, an immeasurable amount of heartbreaks; he got me through the teenage years with my son, and all the way through it, he was there to let me know I was okay and that I would be okay.

So, given all that, why on earth wouldn’t I drive 330 miles round trip to spend time with such a supportive and encouraging individual?  Why did I think I could ever replace him?  I’ll probably still be seeing him when I’m 85 and he’s 90, provided, as he said:  “I’m still alive, all the grey cells are working and I don’t need my Depends changed too often.”

I always marveled at how stable his marriage was (and is).  He got married at 21, has four grown children that he adores, and judging from the photos in his office, a wife he adores and loves as much as the day he married her.  Well, I know that, because he’s told me.  He would be lost without his wife.

That’s what I always thought I would have.  I told him that today.  I’ve been very conflicted about this turning 50 thing and mentioned that it’s really bothering me because I’m not where I thought would be at this point in my life.  He replied:  “Maybe you’re not seeing the forest.  Do you think it’s possible you’re exactly where you need to be?”

Yup.  Right again.  I thought about that on the drive home.  I AM exactly where I should be and where I need to be – for me.  I can’t compare my life to anyone else’s life.  I can’t judge myself based on someone else’s accomplishments or what society has decreed to us is defined as “success.”  I AM successful.  I’m here, writing this, still alive, and an emotionally healthy individual who has, at this point, minimal emotional baggage.

I’ve accomplished one hell of a lot in my life, but most would see me as largely unsuccessful because I don’t have the material acquisitions that our society values so greatly.  I don’t own a home, I’ve been laid off 3 times in three years, I have no retirement or savings because I ran though it all through various terms of unemployment, and right now I’m past due on my car payment because my (former) boss turned out to be a total asshole and at this writing, I have $25 to my name.

Know what, though?  It’s okay. I got an email today that is going to change that financial picture.  My entire life I’ve always had what I needed, when I needed it.  I may not have always had what I wanted, but I ALWAYS had what I needed.  That should really be enough for anyone.

I find, as I age, that the things I want are intangible.  They are things only I can provide myself.  Peace, happiness and contentment.  Value of myself FOR myself.  Self esteem without entitlement.  The knowledge that when I look back, 40 years from now (because I WILL live to be 90) I will know that for most of my adult life, I’ve worked to do the right thing, even when it didn’t feel good to do it.  I’ll know that I succeeded in becoming what I truly want to be:  A human being who works to help and heal others, because through that, I help and heal myself.   It’s an ongoing process…

Trolling Redux

I lifted the text below from planetjan’s  blog.  It is part of her post entitled Narcissistic Game Playing.  It has eerie significance for me because the last sentence echoes something my N said to me.  Read the lifted text and you’ll see some bolded text at the bottom.  I’ll clue you in below that text.

When it comes to relationships, narcissists have two birds to kill. First, because they think very highly of themselves, they use relationships to self enhance not caring whether this involves exploiting others. Think of it as feeding the beast. Although the narcissist desires perfection in a partner, in reality their partners (mere humans) are doomed to come up short. This game is not a cooperative game, but one in which the winner takes all.

But here’s the rub. Relationships are good in that they can provide positive attention and sex, BUT they are bad in that they demand emotional intimacy and prevent the narcissist from receiving attention and sex from other partners. If only they could have it both ways… (The feelings of the other person do not factor into the N’s thinking.)

So the narcissist turns on the charm, using all the extraversion and confidence he can muster to reel in a new partner. But “they would be careful to keep this relationship from becoming too intimate or emotionally close lest they lose control. Finally, narcissists would covertly seek out other potential romantic partners.” So it should come as surprise that the narcissist lacks a sense of real commitment to a relationship and is always on the lookout for an alternative, frequently flirting with others.

In this way, the narcissist maintains power in the relationship and a certain amount of freedom. If things go sour in the relationship, he’s already got his eye on his next target.

“Narcissists’ self-regulatory blueprint involves bringing people in and extracting esteem from them. If that entails being, in turn, charming, exciting, deceptive, controlling, or nasty, so be it.”

When I was in the devaluation phase with my N, he sent me the email I’ve pasted below.  First, understand that I’d already broken it off with him.  In a prior email he’d told me if I had something “important” to discuss, to call him, and not tell him in email.  So I called him and left a message letting him know I had something important to talk about.  He didn’t return the call.  So I sent him an email breaking things off with him.  The next day he sends me an email about a photo of me telling me how much he likes it.  I replied with:  “did you get my phone message?”

Below is his reply.  He completely ignores that I sent him an email two days prior telling him that I no longer wanted to be involved with him.   Obviously, nothing regarding me is important enough for a phone call, because he justifies sending what should be an “important” email by stating it’s going to hurt regardless what way he does it.  Devaluation.  I’m not worth a phone call.  At this point, it didn’t matter, except to confirm my growing knowledge that he’s a selfish, manipulative bastard who is incapable of sustaining any sort of intimate relationship.

I tell him I’m breaking it off and that translates to:  “you seem to want more than I can give right now.”

Then he gives me the slam-dunk.  He tells me he may be fooling himself into thinking he can maintain frequent contact with me right now, and in the same set of keystrokes tells me he’s trolling and has intention of spending that time he doesn’t have looking for other women.  The eerie similarity in the bolded text from PlanetJan’s blog text and what is in red and bolded below makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: RE: ops
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 12:46:11 +0000
From: The N <the N’s email>
To: ‘Me’ <my email>

I think I’m going to hurt you be it in person or not so this has just got to happen now.

I like talking to you.

I like spending time with you.

But:

From my perspective you seem to want more than I can give right now.

I may be fooling myself into thinking I have enough time to maintain frequent contact with you and I certainly don’t want to give you any illusions.

 I am trying to bring a number of people into my life right now and it has been/will be taking a lot of time.

________________________________

I thought I’d got to the laughing point about this man, but this bit of serendipity made me want to go shower.  It made me shiver in horror at the thought of the monster I’d believed was a wonderful man.  It also confirmed, without any doubt whatsoever, that the man with whom I thought I was involved is a hardcore Narcissist.  There is so much going on in this email that I would emotionally exhaust myself attempting to deconstruct it any more than I have.  It would also cause me to become depressed again, and I’m not going there again.  I’m worth so much more than to allow myself to cycle down into depression again because the man of my nightmares is actually a living, breathing entity who lives 4.5 miles from me.

Recovery: Staying Off the Rollercoaster

This post is written from the position of remaining free from your recently ended relationship with an NPD, but you can use these methods for healing yourself from almost any unhealthy relationship. 

So you’re free.  It may have been your choice, or you may have been permanently discarded.  Either way, you’re FREE.  Janis Joplin sang:  “Freedom’s just another word for nuthin’ left to lose…”

The aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist leaves you in an emotional state where you might feel you really don’t have anything left to lose.  Good.  If you have nothing left to lose (because the narcissist took it all from you), then you can start rebuilding your emotional strength.  Remember:  there’s a silver lining everywhere.  If you can do it, reach down and find that reserve of strength – think of your strength bank like your gas tank.  When the gas light in your car comes on, it means you’re on empty, according to the vehicle’s sensors.  You’re not on empty, though, because you can still drive at least far enough to get to a gas station and gas up, right?

It’s the same situation with your emotional strength.  When you feel you’re on empty, there’s always a teeny bit left.  There is just enough to get you to the strength bank so you can refill.

Narcissists attempt to totally destroy a person before discarding.  It’s a torturous path because the devaluation begins with your first meeting.  It’s insidious.  You won’t recognize that you’re being devalued until you’ve spent a significant amount of time with this individual.  One day it will all seem too much for you.  You won’t know what this person wants.  You’ll do something right today and tomorrow it will be wrong.  You’ll be criticized for things you weren’t aware you did and you’ll turn yourself inside out attempting to right imaginary wrongs, because by the time the criticism escalates to this point, the N has brainwashed you into believing that there truly is something wrong with you.

1.  Tell yourself, over and over, even if you don’t yet believe it that nothing is wrong with you.

2.  Find some way to channel the negative emotional energy.   For me, it’s writing.  For others it may be exercise, therapy, cleaning, taking up a new hobby.  Do whatever you can do to NOT sit around and castigate yourself for “screwing it up,” because the N will have quite definitively told you that the reason the two of you are no longer together is your fault.

3.  If at all possible do not maintain any contact with this person. You may continue to receive phone calls and emails from the N, but those are simply attempts to either devalue you even more or entice you back into the pairing (it’s not a relationship), so the N can begin the cycle again.  Ns hate to lose their narcissistic supply, even after they’ve   used, abused and discarded you.  They go looking for new supply, and if they can’t find it, they’ll come back to you.

4.  In my case, writing emails THAT WERE NEVER SENT was incredible therapy for me.  I would pull up a random email from my N, hit “reply” and remove his email address from the “to:” field.  Then I’d begin deconstructing what he’d said in the email and I’d write my reply to his bullshit.  I’d slam his ass against the wall, pick up my figurative steel pipe and bludgeon him until he was bleeding and crushed, slithering down the wall, like the squashed insect he is.  Then, so I could track my healing progress, I’d save the email to my drafts.  I never clicked “send.”  Don’t ever send an N your emotions.  You will find them being used against you with more brutality than you knew existed.

 Below is an example of what I did with one of his emails to me.  This never got sent:

On 7/30/2011 2:10 PM, Narcissistic Bastard wrote:

Your prior email and phone calls had and have elements of anger, damming analysis and insulting conjecture of my character. It is disturbing if you cannot see it.

I imagine it IS disturbing to you, asshole.  Guess what?  I “cannot see it.”  I notice you say “it is disturbing” rather than “I am disturbed…”  That’s quite telling.  You’ve just projected on me again.  Translation:  “You’re a disturbed individual because you refuse to accept my indictment of you as your own reality.”   Oh, btw, your selective memory is showing.  My “prior phone calls” (which I’m assuming are calls you believe happened within the past week) consisted of ONE phone call that YOU made, while you were drunk, where you unleashed enormous amounts of vitriol on me in what you probably considered was a charming and light-hearted manner.  

 When I detect this type of anger and criticism, I retract rather than argue which is why I did not want to (and still do not) talk to you personally about it.

When I detect a control freak, I run like hell.  I’m not going to talk about it.  I dumped your controlling ass, or have you forgotten?  Oh wait, it doesn’t count if I dump you.  You have to dump me for the “relationship” to be over.  Silly me.  I pity the woman who falls for you and stays with you.

 As far as I knew we were friends and I tried to make that clear repeatedly. Something is making you angry and it is now feeding on itself. The below said clearly that you were and are angry (insults are a pretty good indicator) and are very dissatisfied with me as a person in now many many cited ways both in your phone messages and email.

Insults?  Phone messages? WTF kind of drugs are you ON, idiot? “Something” is making me very angry and it is feeding on itself?  Snort.  I told you what made me angry.  It’s not feeding on itself.  You can’t stand that I found you lacking in any way, and it makes you angry that I would dare to tell you about it.  Sorry bub, that’s the way life goes.  You’re gonna be one lonely man.  

I do not care to have these things keep appearing from you.

What things?  The drugs must be good.  Are you like Alice, with the “drink me” bottles?  Oh, I now I see.  You have issues with math.  One email telling you how I feel translates into several “things” onto which you project your own anger and lack of self.  That’s right.  You’re incapable of empathy.  Even your rage and control are copies – you copied them from mommy.   When you look in a mirror you see nothing, that’s why you need people.  A static object reflects emptiness to you, but a warm-blooded, vital, confident and loving woman translates to feeding time for you.  

I have tried now on several occasions to ask you to stop sending these angry things but you will not.

When?  What things?  Oh geez, I’m a stupid woman again, aren’t I?  I’m such a bad mirror.  I keep forgetting that YOUR reality is the only one that exists and you make it up as you go along.  And look!  There you go with multiplication again.  I’m guessing you sucked at word problems in grade school, because the word problem:  “if my human mirror sends me one email expressing emotions I don’t want to hear about, how many emails expressing these emotions have I received?” got answered in the plural.   You failed, li’l buckaroo.  Miserably.  Wait.  That’s what you do.  You only appear successful because you’ve stolen that appearance from other people. 

I will ask for one more email from you.

It will contain only one thing.

 An agreement that you will take the next three weeks of quiet to cool.

And we can maybe try contact again if your anger has settled.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. OMG.  You’re serious.  Come to me pathetic insect, so I can squash you beneath my steel-toed boot, thus freeing your airspace for others, who are of worth, to breathe. 

 This is the last email from me that will have any content from me for at least three weeks or longer if you so desire.

You think this email had “content?”  What, you’re going to send me MORE emails without “content?”  Sweet bleeding Jesus, man, step away from the keyboard and shackle yourself to your crawlspace.  Better yet, take your inflatable kayak out into some class 5 rapids.  That way the stench of your decomposition won’t create issues for your neighbors.  Oh darn, I forgot again.  You only TALK about shooting class 5 rapids in your inflatable.  You tried to convince me that information from one of the top kayakers in the world is all wrong, because you know everything. 

I wrote this but did not send it.  I have a million other replies to this particular email, because after spending much time deconstructing it, I realized it encapsulated the horror that is this monster.  He showed himself to me; he showed his complete alignment with the DSM-IV criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder.    Try it.  It might just help you.

5. At first, you will still be on the rollercoaster and you’ll have to take it at your own pace.  You might feel strong and empowered for 15 minutes and then feel like you’re the worst person on the planet for the next 3 hours.  When this happens, force yourself to remember the horrible things this person did to you.  Remember the kindness, love and compassion you gave this person and how those gifts were treated.

6.  You’ll spend a bit of time checking your email and phone to see if your N has contacted you.  If that person has contacted you, please, please, please heed this advice:  DO NOT REPLY IN ANY FASHION if at all possible.  If you are divorcing an N, and there are children involved, you may have to reply.  Check with your attorney first and if you can, have your attorney reply.  If you feel your children are in danger, do what you have to do to get them away from this person.  Contact your attorney, first, to make certain that everything you do is legal, because if it’s not, your N will delight in using your actions against you.

7.  Reach out to your support network.  If you don’t have one, and you might not have one at this point, because Ns love to manipulate their victims into withdrawing from their support system, get one.  Call all those people with whom you may have lost contact during your prison sentence with the N, explain the situation. Those who are truly friends will always be there for you.

8.  Seek group counseling.  If you can find a Co-Dependants Anonymous meeting near you, please do.  Here’s the link to their home page:  CoDA .   I know they don’t have a lot of meetings, but they do have online groups.

Something I’ve noticed in my journey:  Many of us who fall victim to Narcissists fall into a group I like to call Adult Children of Dysfunctional Parents.  I’m an adult child of alcoholics, and if you are familiar with the behavioral issues inherent in alcoholism, you will recognize that they are crossover traits to NPD.  Many alcoholics display Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Disorder traits.  Regardless the category in which our parents or other authority figures in our lives are placed, the odds are excellent that we experienced such horrendous emotional (and sometimes physical) abuse at their hands that we left home emotionally paralyzed, with poor self-esteem, and we engage in self-sabotage by setting goals for ourselves that are well above our reach.  This is typical, since our parents or authority figures did that for us – we were well-trained.

It’s going to be tough, but you will have to re-invent yourself.  This is not a superficial process t that is grounded in image.  This is a very deep and painful process that is grounded in SELF.  If you’ve been involved with a narcissist, particularly for an extended period, you have been emotionally damaged.  It’s now time to heal and deal.  The first step is to acknowledge the abuse and allow yourself to FEEL your feelings, regardless how painful they are.  Don’t dwell on them, simply allow them to come, feel them, cry, scream, go run a mile at top speed, punch pillows – do whatever you need to do to let them go.  You cannot hold onto these feelings.  They MUST go.  Do something that will allow you to feel good about yourself.  If your N said you were incapable of doing something, and you believed it, go DO that something.  Whether you succeed or fail is of no importance because what the N was truly saying to you is that you don’t have the guts to TRY.

You may go through a period of deep depression.  I did.  I elected not to take anti-depressants.  I’m very familiar with depression, and I know when I’m cycling too far down to be functional.  I allowed myself to be depressed; I allowed myself to feel the feelings and then I’d say “enough.  now DO something.”  Then I’d get up and do whatever made me feel good about myself.  That feeling would last until the next round of pain washed over me.  I’d feel it, sometimes wallow in it, and for me, I’d write it.  Writing is my therapy; it clears my head and releases pain I didn’t know I had.  Do whatever allows you to release pain.  If you don’t know how, just go take a brisk walk.  That’s a great start – exercise releases “feel good” endorphins.

Whatever you choose to do to heal yourself, do NOT – I repeat – DO NOT – let your N know you’re doing these things.  Do not send “I’m healing from you” emails.  DO NOT make angry phone calls to that person just to make yourself feel better.  You want this person out of your life for good.  Treat them as though they do not exist.  Regardless how close they may live to you, make that distance a universe.

You can do it.  You’re free now.  That means you have been given the gift of life.  Being with a narcissist is the death of Self.

Three deep breaths.  1. 2. 3. GO!

 

Christopher Robin was Always Six. What About A. A. Milne?

A.A. Milne is best known for his Winnie-the-Pooh stories but he wrote a series called “When We Were Very Young.”  I owned this book as a child, and it had been passed down to me from my mother who had it from her mother.   In it is a poem entitled “Disobedience”  about James James Morrison Morrison (commonly known as “Jim”) and I find the poem startling in it’s adult theme of narcissistic control, entitlement, devaluation and discarding.

James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree  is a three-year-old in the poem, and as we all know, three-year-olds are ALL about them, and what they want.  They have not evolved to the age of reason yet, but this poem feels quite dark to me, with what I now know about narcissism.   All the elements are there.  JJMM is a grand little boy – just look at his name!  He is entitled to obedience simply because he is JJMM.

Deconstructed, JJMM, meets the criteria for NPD.  He is manipulative and controlling, he feels entitled, he demands obedience, he is grandiose, he even aligns himself with the King when his mother disobeys him, he shifts blame, and draws his relations into his fantasy, devalues his mother and finally, he discards her, as shown in the last stanza of the poem.

I would guess that JJMM was not a three year old.  Milne was writing at the same time P.G. Wodehouse was writing, and the two disliked each other greatly.  Wodehouse, however much he disliked Milne, admits to liking his poetry, which he found extremely humorous.  P.G. Wodehouse was a great humorist, and delighted in poking fun at Milne’s consistent propensity to take himself seriously.

I can hear the anger in this poem, and even though Milne states that his son inspired all his children’s work, I believe much of Milne’s children’s work was inspired more by his own personality (disorder?)  Perhaps.  It’s all conjecture, but in re-reading the book, I’m seeing a lot of narcissistic attributes cloaked in the stasis of a six-year-old mind.  If you read the Christopher Robin poems, Christopher Robin never ages past 6, and Milne states that he stopped writing children’s literature at about that time because his “inspiration” was “getting too old.”

Six.  The age that it is believed narcissistic personality disorder develops.

Disobedience

James James
          Morrison  Morrison
          Weatherby George Dupree
          Took great
          Care of his Mother,
          Though he was only three.
          James James
          Said to his Mother,
          "Mother", he said, said he;
     "You must never go down to the end of the town,
      if you don't go down with me."

          James James
          Morrison's Mother
          Put on a golden gown,
          James James
          Morrison's Mother
          Drove to the end of the town.
          James James
          Morrison's Mother
          Said to herself, said she:
     "I can get right down to the end of the town and be
       back in time for tea"

          King John
          Put up a notice,
          "LOST or STOLEN or STRAYED!
          JAMES JAMES
          MORRISON'S MOTHER
          SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MISLAID.
          LAST SEEN
          WANDERING VAGUELY;
          QUITE OF HER OWN ACCORD,
      SHE TRIED TO GET DOWN TO THE END OF THE TOWN-
       FORTY SHILLINGS REWARD!

          James James
          Morrison Morrison
          (Commonly known as Jim)
          Told his
          Other relations
          Not to go blaming _him_.
          James James
          Said to his Mother,
          "Mother", he said, said he:
     "You must never go down to the end of the town with-
       out consulting me."

          James James
          Morrison's Mother
          Hasn't been heard of since.
          King John
          Said he was sorry,
          So did the Queen and Prince.
          King John
          (Somebody told me)
          Said to a man he knew:
     "If people go down to the end of the town, well,
       what can anyone do?"

(Now then, very softly)          
          J. J.
          M. M.
          W. G. Du P.
          Took great
          C/o his M*****
          Though he was only 3.
          J. J.
          Said to his M*****
          "M*****", he said, said he:
"You-must-never-go-down-to-the-end-of-the-town-if-
       you-don't-go-down-with-ME!"

— A A Milne

What do we know about narcissists?  They have delusions of grandeur, they believe they can control others, they believe they are entitled to special treatment, they align themselves with those who reflect the greatness they believe themselves to project, and when their goals are thwarted, they resort to devaluation and discarding.

The end of this poem shows us exactly how J. J.  M. M.  W. G. Du P. truly feels about himself.  He can’t even speak the word “Mother” since she did something that he believes reflected poorly upon him, rather; all he can absorb of the entire situation is that Mother disobeyed him, thus she is no longer worthy of even being called “Mother.”

He cannot abide the notion that Mother might be an individual unto herself; an individual capable of independent thought and action.  The very idea of this is anathema to James James Morrison Morrison, who, it is stated rather early on, is “commonly known as Jim.”  JJMM does not at all like being thought of as commonly known.  He must be superior to all others.  He is not to blame for his mother’s disappearance.  No, not he.  He lets all and sundry know this.  Mother disobeyed him, thus she has now paid for her foolish disobedience.  She has disappeared.

“Mother” probably got bloody sick of JJMM’s abuse and split.  She hasn’t been seen since because she knows what’s in store for her if she ever allows JJMM back in her life.

I don’t believe this to be a poem about or for a child – it’s simply disguised that way.  This poem could be rather autobiographical for A.A. Milne.  He was an arrogant somebody, quite full of himself, with a well-documented need for attention and ego-stroking.  He had an incredible sense of self-importance as a writer, and felt himself and his writing to be misunderstood by all but a chosen few.

Kinda makes ya go “hmmmm.”

I Heard a Story…

…yesterday while talking to a friend about his three years with a woman who was(is) Borderline Personality Disorder.  I’ve read where this disorder has many crossover traits with NPD, and as he told me his experience, I felt, again, how lucky I was to have ended it with my N only 3 months into it, instead of 3 years.  I can’t imagine spending that much time with that kind of chaos in my life.

As my friend talked and told me about several of his online dating experiences, I became even more convinced that my decision to get clear of online dating is a good decision.  I’ve heard stories from several men about their experiences, and when I hear these stories, I always run them through my filters because I know that I’m only hearing one side of it.

Even filtered, the women these men dated were pure crazy.  It’s the only way to describe them.  So I’m wondering, are the women on dating sites just as bad as the men?  I’m certain not EVERYONE on a dating site has issues, but I have yet to experience anyone who is truly balanced, emotionally healthy and in control of their lives and themselves.

The first year I was on Match (2004-2005) I met 19 alcoholics.  There was one who I met and truly liked a lot.  He lived around 50 miles from me and when he would come to visit, he’d get a hotel room at the local HI Express.  He never drank around me.  He was wonderful to me.  We progressed to where I felt comfortable visiting him at his home.  He invited me to come up on a Saturday morning.  I arrive and his sister opens the door.  Surprise number one.  I had no idea his sister was visiting.

She let me in, introduced herself and said “he’s in the living room – it’s down the hall and to the left. If you need me, I’m in the study.”  That comment confused me a bit – why would I need her?  So I headed into the living room.  Surprise number two.  There he was, sprawled on an air mattress, in his underwear, passed out, with Steel Reserve cans littering the living room floor.

I headed back out of the living room and into the study where she said:  “I could have called you and told you, but I felt it was better for you to see it.  He’s like this all the time.  The Air Force grounded him because of it, his wife took their child and left him because of it and he’s about to lose this house because of it.”

Sis did me a huge favor.

One down, 18 to go.  Even the guys who said they “never” drank were heavy drinkers.  I soon changed my profile to say:  “If you drink at all, do not contact me.”   No one contacted me.  So I took that out.  The last drunk I met on Match hid it just as well until the first time I went to his home.  It was a wreck.  There are wrecks and there are wrecks.  This was the latter category.  Still, he’d cleaned his kitchen and dining room and had prepared a wonderful meal for me, so I stayed for dinner – and watched as he pounded down 15 bottles of Ice House beer.  I did the dishes, and when I turned around, he’d disappeared.  I was getting ready to leave (for good!) walked down the hall to use the bathroom, and found him sitting naked on the toilet, passed out.

I left.

There was the guy who had broken up with his girlfriend the week prior and didn’t tell me until the third date, on the patio at his house, that he was hurting so badly from the break up.  I wound up listening for a polite period (he was drinking the entire time) and then I left.

There was a member of the local symphony who, after one date, called me incessantly to find out where I was, what I was doing, and then, one evening when I wasn’t at home when he called, just ripped into me.  NEXT!

There was one who was charming, absolutely wonderful.  I wound up moving 85 miles to live with him with an eye toward marriage (mutually discussed.)  He waited until I was totally unpacked, dropped the mask and the abuse started.  Two years later, I found my strength and left.   He still tries to be my “friend.”

There was the guy who was amazing until the time he came to my house (5th time we’d been together – hadn’t been physical) and pulled anal beads out of his pocket and started playing with them.

There was the guy who was OMG beautiful to look at.  Stunning.  He was great for three dates and then the ugliness started. Just prior to that I found out that he wasn’t divorced – he wasn’t even legally separated.  He simply lived in the “small” house at the end of the “big house” driveway.  His wife lived in the “big house.”  I Left him downtown one night – he was 95 miles from home.  His car was at my house.  I got home, got his stuff together, put it all on the hood of his car, along with his keys and a note that said:  “do not ever contact me again.”  He still texts me every now and then.  I have subsequently found out that he’s been arrested more than once for drunk and disorderly in public, domestic violence and had several DUIs.

There was the guy who, on our first date at a lovely northern Italian restaurant, poured me a glass of wine, ordered and then looked at me and said:  “you’re gorgeous.  I’d love to see you 20 lbs lighter.”  I looked at him and said:  “you’re gorgeous, too and I’d love to see your IQ 20 points higher” and left.  As I was leaving he yelled after me:  “Stupid cunt bitch!”

I’ve met one man on a dating site who is wonderful.  Truly a good guy.  We’ve been friends for 6 years.  He had his chance 6 years ago, but he was just out of a 20 year marriage and put himself out there too soon.  This past February he told me the stupidest thing he ever did was push me away.  We’re beyond the point of romantic relationship though – that time passed as we morphed into close friends.  He’s been involved for 3 years now with a woman from a dating site who has borderline personality disorder.  She’s got severe health issues and her doctors don’t give her long to live (of course – that was 18 months ago), and this man feels “honor bound” to take care of her.  Co-dependent.  She’s just like his ex-wife.  I couldn’t have anything but a friendship with him because I’ve seen too much of his relationship patterns.  We’ll stay friends.

There was the guy who waited until date two at a fancy restaurant to tell me he “actually” had five children, not two.  The youngest was 10 months old and his wife was pregnant with number six – by him.  Funny, his profile said he was divorced.

So, given this array of specimens to be found on dating sites, add to it my latest – the N – and I’m not dating anyone from a dating site ever again.  I’ll take my chances in the real world and maybe I’ll get lucky.

I’d love it if some of you would post your dating site experiences here.

DSM Characteristics for NPD

Just in case you were wondering, I’ve copied and pasted these for you.  Please note that these are guidelines and a true diagnosis must come from a psychiatrist.  Good luck with that.  Most NPD won’t see a psychiatrist unless something like a court order demands it.

Diagnostic criteria for 301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder
(cautionary statement)
  

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following: 

(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements) 

(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 

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations 

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends 

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling 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 behaviors or attitudes

Reprinted with permission from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth Edition. Copyright 1994 American Psychiatric Association     

Have you  noticed any of these traits in your loved one?  If you notice a preponderance of them,  you might have an N on your hands.