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Old 02-23-2018, 10:18 AM  
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Default Re: Narcissists everywhere??!

I'm going to write you a little essay, because you said a lot here and I would hate for your posts to go unheard and unanswered.

Originally Posted by wordshaker View Post
I'm sure I'm not the first person to experience this.

1.5 years post 10 year marriage to extreme covert narcissist... I find myself suspecting narcissists everywhere. I don't think my suspicions can all be correct. I think I'm just quick to imagine I see them. It's sort of funny in a way, but it's still unsettling - both that I see them (because they scare me), and that I can't trust my judgment.
You're correct when you say not all of your superstitions are accurate, as that would be completely impossible. You're only human, after all. However, consider the possibility that perhaps you are not entirely wrong, either. Pathological narcissism, while not common, is also not nearly as rare as a lot of people seem to believe. I think it's a distinct possibility that sometimes, you are actually seeing narcissism in others.

Why do you not trust your judgement? I'm assuming it's due to your long ordeal with a narcissist (we are good at making our victims doubt their perception of reality, after all), but I also am wondering if anything else in your life may have contributed to a loss of trust in yourself and your capacity to make good judgement calls? I've learned that with situations like this it is typically more than one reason/factor involved. People are ever complex.

As far as the more fearful part of you suddenly perceiving narcissists everywhere, I think that is a very understandable reaction to what you've endured at the hands of a narcissist for that many years.

Originally Posted by wordshaker View Post
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.
Pathological narcissism is definitely a spectrum. I am on the extreme end of the spectrum, myself. You are correct that narcissists in general are pathologically controlling. Insidious destruction, that is a good way to put it. We tend to be a bit less overt than say, full blown psychopaths. There is also a difference between a classical NPD sufferer and someone like myself, who is a more severe manifestation of the condition and has far more antisocial inclinations than a "pure" NPD sufferer.

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.
As I mentioned I think the answer to your original question is likely somewhere in the middle. Reactive and fearful perception can be false, but it can also be correct.

There are endless websites about us narcissists, and I know full well that I am a rare case, most of us never gain much awareness (if any) about ourselves, our motives, and our actions.

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 sounds like you've been through hell. Verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse is, in my opinion, more difficult to deal with than any physical brutality. I am speaking from my personal experiences here, I am no stranger to suffering.

I, as a narcissist, am not at all offended by anything you've said here, for what that is worth.

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.
You sound like the classical victim of a narcissist. You seem to have a lot of insight into what lead up to you and your husband being together, that's a good sign for you. That tells me you're strong enough to do the necessary work to become healthier and hopefully not fall prey to narcissists in the future.

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've definitely harmed others, for no real reason except that I wanted to out of pure malice, a desire to cause harm and destruction. Any other reasons or motives are secondary for me personally. I cannot speak for all narcissists, just myself. I've destroyed many people beyond repair. I am here because well, for whatever reasons I am able to own my behavior and call it what it is, and that can provide people with some valuable insight into why narcissists and psychopaths do the things they do, and that may be the way that I make amends for how destructive I've always been, though I can never undo the things I have done and I have zero illusions about that matter.

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.
Your lack of moral judgement is refreshing, but that said, I would not be offended if you called me evil to my face. I don't see it as an insult, I see it as an accurate word to describe me. Though I think I am one of the only people you will ever meet that's comfortable with being called evil.

Again, your level of self-awareness seems to be quite high and I certainly commend you for that.

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.
"Stop promoting my own abuse", wow. That is a powerful statement of truth right there.

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.
Being healthy is my goal. I am not a good person, that will never change. I've accepted that. But what I can change is how I deal with the hand I was dealt in life, and I think that is all anyone can reasonably do, if they're being honest with themselves which I do believe you are.
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