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Old 02-19-2018, 02:00 PM  
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Default Re: Narcissists everywhere??!

Thanks Here Today - you said a lot. Narcissism is a spectrum disorder, of course. It's tricky to phrase things right. I should have said NPD, not narcissism. Firstly, there is healthy narcissism, I agree. Secondly, the narcissists I'm afraid of are people who pathologically control, then insidiously destroy while simultaneously deriving much positive for themselves.

There do seem to be a lot of articles and advice suggesting as you mention. Maybe that is shortchanging people with NPD. I'm new to understanding my own experience and am no expert. My post is more about my suspicion that I am reactively seeing what's not there.

Some people have suffered a lot because of living with someone with NPD. I have. I have lived with a lot of physical abuse by people without NPD. The pain I felt living with someone with NPD was so many times more intense than that, and reflecting on it still sends me reeling. But this is not a let's-side-with-the-victims forum. So while I seek the understanding of some, I do not seek to harm others. I don't wish to harm anyone.

It's not really what I meant to talk about, but since you've been open enough to share your thoughts I'd like to respond to what I sense from you. In my own up-close reality there is the person who doled out abuse and there is the person who received it and did not dish it out - namely me. So yes, in that sense I was the victim in our situation. But my own view doesn't end there. My view is that we were two broken people. That's why we ended up together. Our brokenness made us fit each other in some way. At the core of my husband is a little boy who suffered terribly, and perhaps no longer even lives. Understanding NPD helped me to not hate or blame either my husband or myself. We are two sides of a coin. We are random bad luck, or maybe patterns repeating in the human condition.

If anyone has tendencies that harm others, I commend them for recognizing it, or even for just trying to. Within the safety of the forum, I have been friendly and supportive to people who own that they have hurt others - as long as I perceive they don't want to, that they are trying not to.

I don't see good and evil when it comes to the kind of people we are talking about, and generally meeting on the forum for that matter. I see healthy and unhealthy. My husband and I are equally unhealthy. His unhealthiness hurts people, and I have to protect myself and others I care about. BUT I ALSO have to recognize, the less universally condemned but no less harmful ways in which MY OWN unhealthiness hurts people. I hurt my kids by making them feel good, by insulating them from their failures, by bolstering and "helping" them all the time, by not expecting their best from them, thus making them internalize the idea that they are weak, that they are not empowered, that they should let others be in control, that they should acquiesce... SO there's lots of blame to go around if one is looking for it.

I am glad I don't overtly abuse people, or inflict pain, BUT I have to work very, very hard not to abuse them in other ways by being "nice". I must work very hard to stop promoting my own abuse by having healthy boundaries and expectations. It's all very laden, and I'm kind of exhausted now, thinking about it all.

But because this forum is for everyone, I think the most important thing is that we are all striving to be as healthy as possible.

Here Today, I would rather be a source of support for you than anything else, and I would rather find a source of support in you than anything else. In the end, I suspect we both have pain.
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