Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Suicide Threats and the Narcissist

I received a comment on this post in the last 24 hours that actually provoked me to write.  And I wrote with enough substance that I decided to put it on the front page so that all may read it.  Here is the comment:

I agree with a lot of what is said on here. Regarding the comments about being scared of death meaning the person won't commit suicide... I just want to share that one of my family members may have been narcissistic, and threatened suicide often as a manipulation tactic. We thought that she would not do it but she did. Being scared of death might be a narcissistic trait, and they might threaten suicide as a manipulation, but I'm just sharing that that doesn't mean a person won't do it. I think it might be helpful to remember that narcissism is a disorder... so while it is angering keep some perspective about the person still being a person you don't want to die from suicide.

I will comment on the final point first: perspective is exactly what I present on this blog.  The perspective is this:  narcissists are their own creation.  Their "disorder" isn't something that just accidentally happened without their contribution.  They create their own "disorder" and then they inflict it on everyone around them.  When narcissists threaten suicide this perspective still applies.

It is well established that most people who serially threaten suicide aren't very serious about actually doing it.  The serious ones will almost always do it without giving even a hint of their intentions.  Or they will do just that: hint without an overt threat being made.  Many times those hints aren't recognized by others for what they were until it is too late. 

While suicide is always a tragic end to any life we shouldn't pretend that we can actually stop someone who is serious about doing it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to intervene, it simply means we shouldn't blame ourselves if they successfully complete the act. I don't know of any caring family member, friend or even co-worker who wouldn't try to stop someone who has threatened to kill themselves.  People will go to great lengths to help an apparently suicidal person.  This is the very reason that narcissists love to use this threat to get attention whenever they want it.  If there was an ongoing problem of people ignoring suicide threats then do you think that narcissists would use those threats to get attention?  Obviously answer is no.  If a narcissist is frequently threatening suicide then you have all the proof you need that the threats are garnering them much attention.  If they move on from threats to actually doing it then the blame rests squarely on them.

If the suicidal person doesn't accept the help when they make threats to kill themselves then I think it highly irresponsible to blame the people around them for not doing enough to stop them.  I'm not saying that this commenter is blaming people for this, but it can be inferred that they think the way this topic has been discussed on this post would lead people to not do enough to stop the suicidal person.  I'm just pointing out what I think is obvious...the truly suicidal person will carry through no matter what people may do to try to stop them.  Additionally, individuals who frequently make these threats without any real attempts should also accept the blame when people stop believing them.

The problem presented in the post (and the comments) isn't that people don't or won't do enough to help suicidal individuals.  The problem is how there are crassly manipulative people who will use suicidal threats to get what they want.  In the end, the narcissist is always after all the attention in the room.  All I was trying to get across is that there is a distinct possibility that all those suicidal threats are actually being used to get compliant behavior from us.  Recognition of that possibility isn't going to stop people from trying to help someone who threatens suicide with regularity.  I think that people deserve to know they are being manipulated when these threats are ongoing.  Being aware of this (not slight) possibility will allow people to do their own assessments of what is happening and decide when they will stop letting these threats rule their own lives.  

That the narcissistic person in this commenter's life seems to have defied this logic above doesn't negate what I've said.  There are exceptions to every rule.  There is also a possibility that the suicide wasn't supposed to work. It is well known that there are people who attempt suicide but the method and timing often reveal that the person was hoping someone would intervene.  It is usually called a "cry for help" and not seen as a total commitment to offing themselves.  These individuals do get help.  Whether they will avail themselves of it is another matter.

Suicide is recognized by the psych community as very often being a hostile act toward others.  It can be used to stick a shiv between the ribs of family and friends that can never be removed.  That is a lot of power to wield.  To pretend that suicidal people don't factor that in is to be stupidly naive.  So putting more potential blame on those who've had a family member or friend kill themselves is cruelty.  They already shoulder far too much blame.  Blame that was foisted on them by the act of suicide itself. 

Here's another thought for all to chew on:  suicide is homicidal behavior inflicted upon oneself.  (I'm sure I've pointed that out before somewhere on this blog.) Homicidal behavior is just a fancy phrase for murder.  Murder is in the heart of the suicidal person.  That murderous intent has all too often spilled over into murdering other humans for us to safely ignore this reality.  This is not something people are willing to point out very often, but if you have someone in your life who is suicidal, you also are dealing with a person who could very possibly justify killing others.  It must be said.  To say it another way, a suicidal person is not just a danger to themselves; they may easily also be a danger to those around them.  People deserve to know that fact and adjust their lives accordingly.  Frankly, I would advise anyone to try to help an openly suicidal person, but when it becomes apparent that help is not being accepted then it is best to be on guard.  Put some distance between yourself and that person.  But that is my opinion.  If you choose to risk continued close association that is your choice.  No one is going to stop you.

No one here wants anyone to commit suicide.  Not even the narcissist. Not even when they make us angry. What I have provided here is plenty of perspective.  It is perspective that factors in multiple realities...not just one.  People are smart enough to figure this out without being talked down to.  The problem out there isn't that people are dehumanizing narcissists and hoping they will follow through on their death threats against their own person.  The ongoing problem is that narcissists dehumanize us.  And then abuse us accordingly.  To point this and other realities out about narcissists doesn't dehumanize them.  It exposes them.  Narcissists are, without exception, predatory.  I have expended much effort to help people stop being prey.  Our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness isn't suspended by hungry narcissists even when they act like they want to kill themselves. 

Please read all the above with the realization the the blog author here fully understands that people who aren't narcissists may threaten suicide.  They may actually carry it out.  I'm not saying all people who threaten suicide are narcissists.  Please don't construe anything I've said to be implicating that.  But if you know you're dealing with a narcissist then all the above must be considered.

Also, I want to add that the person whose comment I responded to in this post deserves to know this all applies to her/him too.  I hope this person isn't blaming themselves for the suicide of their family member.  That is a heavy burden to carry.  Please don't carry it.  I want to make sure that no one carries that burden unnecessarily.  That is what this response is about.

101 comments:

Melanie the Little Hobbit said...

Unfortunately, my mom pulls the suicide threat so often that it doesn't even phase me anymore. She's cried wolf so many times, that it's hard to ever believe her when she wishes for death. She constantly posts on Facebook, sends me texts, e-mails, writes me letters, and says to me that "to die is to rest," and she treats death like it's her best friend. She has cut herself with a used needle before, but she did it in a way that would only show scars. She is a Registered Nurse, she if she TRULY wanted to kill herself, she knows the right way to do it. After she cut herself, she acted like she was HAPPY about it and she flaunted it around her workplace saying, "Look, I'm suicidal!!"


I am so glad that my boyfriend found this blog for me. All these posts, and 2 years of therapy have truly helped me distance myself from my narcissistic mother's manipulation. She is still a part of my life, but I know when to steer clear of her. When she tries to act out, I just stop contacting her for a few days, and let her fume until she's calmed down a bit. I can never trust her, but I am aware of it, and I accept it. She's like a toddler who never grew up and she throws tantrums when she doesn't get her way. I just hate that her childlike tantrums are in the form of suicide threats, lying, or trying to turn people against one another...



Thank you for this blog! I still have a long road of healing to travel, and much more confidence to gain, but I am well on my way. It's such a relief to know I'm not alone.

mulderfan said...

When I refused to be used as a doormat the response of the narcissists in my family was to accuse me of "killing" them.

My narcissistic father (age 93) has frequently accused me of "killing" my narcissistic mother by maintaining my boundaries. If I were foolish enough to respond, I would have to say, "She's 90 years old. As a killer, I must be a complete failure!"

My narcissistic younger brother has also accused me of causing his life-threatening ALCOHOL/DRUG induced seizures because I'm stressing him out by refusing to participate in his mind games. I'm not sure how, but my having no contact is "killing" him!

The point I want to make is this: As a decent human being and practicing Buddhist I would never dream of celebrating the death of another human being. However, should any of the narcissists in my family ACTUALLY die, because I refuse to participate in their dysfunctional lives, I will accept NO RESPONSIBILITY whatsoever for their demise.

vicariousrising said...

I should have added to my other comment that whether the person was borderline PD or narcissistic PD, all threats of suicide should be taken seriously but not necessarily become the responsibility of those in the lives of the person threatening or acting on suicide. Like you do rightly said, Anna, the friends and family should not feel to blame, especially if assistance has been refused. But I do also agree that narcissists tend to fear death as a sign of their fallibility and threats of suicide from a narcissist is more likely to be a manipulative ploy. However, borderlines do self-harm, experience suicidal ideation and sometimes act on suicidal impulses. But I believe borderlines are considered treatable whereas narcissists are fairly resistant to therapy.

Melanie the Little Hobbit said...

The first time my mom threatened suicide, we were EXTREMELY concerned, of course. I asked my therapist, a lawyer friend, and a friend's mother (who is the head nurse of a psych ward) what I needed to do if we ever thought that my mom was a TRUE danger to herself or to others. I now know all the appropriate steps to take just incase my mom tries the suicide threats again, and she is now very aware that I know what to do if we suspect that she's being "suicidal." Once she knew that I was prepared to prevent her from getting attention in this way, and that she was at risk of being publicly humiliated by being committed to a mental institution, the empty suicide threats became MUCH less frequent.
She's still extremely manipulative and self-centered, and she always will be, but through knowledge from this blog, several books, and support from my therapist, friends, other family members, and my boyfriend, I have been able to learn how to deal with her.

q1605 said...

My father committed suicide when I was 15. I heard the shot that took his life.
Him exploiting us with his threats, and our fear of him completing the act went on for years. His tactics were shameless and unconscionable.
If that makes me biased then so be it. The quickest way to lose your credibility with me as an adult, is to think you can rely on this tactic to roll me over and have your way.
I have compassion for people at the end of their rope. I have compassion for people that think they need this gesture to make their point.
But this circuit was burnt and flipped in me long ago.
I don't need the aggravation.
If you are bound and determined to see it through, then vaya con dios.
For all the people who are so quick to correct others that make light of a suicide. Take it from me.
We survivors burn out on the awkward silence early on. We just want to be normal. And if being normal means taking a serious subject a little lighter than others, then that's what we will do.
I don't need someone reading to me about the gravity and senselessness of suicide. I already know.
I earned the right to handle it any way I want.

Anna Valerious said...

A heart felt thank you to each of you who've left your comments. I appreciate you sharing your own experiences on this subject. I also appreciate how it underlines and emphasizes the points I attempted to make.

q1605 -- a very solemn amen to your eloquent words of a survivor of a malignantly evil narcissist father who brutally murdered his evil self. I'm glad you're here.

K said...

I have been on both sides of this issue. I myself, as a victim of childhood emotional abuse from my NPD mother and grandmother, was suicidal as a teen. I told NO ONE about my plans to end my life, I gave NOT ONE HINT about it either. Only a miracle saved me, that is too long a story to go into here and not relevant anyway.
Now my grandmother mostly and my mother at times would threaten suicide on a regular pattern. As a little child hearing my mother or grandmother threaten suicide was truly frightening. I still have issues and nightmares about it. My grandmother, whenever my mother didn't step into line would threaten to jump off the local bridge. My mother would say things like "well I'll just stop eating then" both would add, "and it'll be your fault when I die"
Real depressed and suicidal people RARELY give a hint of their plans. NPD people use suicide like a weapon, it comes out as a way to get YOU to do something.
A few years after my suicide attempt and some therapy my grandmother wanted me to come down, dropping everything I was doing, to clean her house for some stupid reason. I said no and she said "well if you don't care about me enough to help me then I'll just walk down to the bridge and jump." I was sick of this attention getting garbage and said, "I can come down then and drive you there if it'll help." She never threaten suicide to me again.
My mother after I cut off contact with her, years ago now (best thing I EVER did), said that since I didn't love her anymore she was going to just stop eating and die. I think she lasted a day and a half.
Suicidal threats all depend on who is saying them Be careful everyone.
And no matter who says what if a truly suicidal person succeeds, and they will, it is NOT your fault. We are only responsible for ourselves no one else.
Kelly

Tundra Woman said...

I've had that tactic pulled on me far too often. I hang up, call emergency services and they arrive with sirens, lights, ambulance and a fire truck. First time, every time. After the first time, "The Thrill Is Gone." It's beyond the scope of my abilities in any event.
Thank gawd for YEARS of COMPETE NC. My MNpsychobitch lived another 18 yrs. post NC and spent those years stalking me relentlessly, destroyed my first career post undergrad, pelted me with snail-mail no matter how frequently I moved, had an illegal tap placed on my very unlisted phone (and made SURE I KNEW about it-later), employed PIs to very obviously follow me/my family/friends and jump out of bushes taking pictures, pawed through my trash-oh, it goes on and on. Despite these few highlights, I NEVER relented on NC. I called the cops the first time she "ambushed" me at my home a very long days drive from her, a few years post NC. She made a huge scene in my quiet neighborhood after I told her through the storm door (which was locked-she was already trying to open it) she was "Uninvited and Un-welcomed, I'm calling the police" and slammed the door in her face. As soon as she saw me pick up the phone she ran for her vehicle and took off. The police arrived shortly after she left but were unable to locate her. I ABSOLUTELY would have had her arrested. She must have hit the interstate pronto. That behavior speaks to consciousness of guilt and a nefarious agenda-minimally, IMO. After all, why else would she run?
NO, she was NOT "human." She was "Human-LIKE" and the world was a much better place after her death: She parasitically took EVERYTHING she could soak up or steal and gave NOTHING in return. Evil is not simply an abstract concept: The "devil" isn't gonna arrive sporting horns, a long tail and a pitchfork-too obvious.
You tell me you're gonna off yourself? I'm on the phone. Immediately.
TW

Bess said...

My NPD father threatened suicide enough when we were children that my sister and I both were afraid to look in the garage if we couldn't find him in the event he actually had hanged himself. If someone in the family made him mad, he would leave the house at odd hours without letting anyone know where he was with the intention of making us think that. He would talk about how everyone picked on him and it would serve them right if he slit his throat/hanged himself/shot himself in the head (usually he would not say these things out loud but through actions, i.e., putting his index finger to his head, drawing his thumb across his throat, etc.) I lived in terror of finding him dead. Then I grew up and learned this was one of his manipulative behaviors. He quit saying these things around me when I, quite seriously, told him I was concerned about him and wanted him to get some help. When he said he didn't need help..."don't worry about your daddy, if I do it, I do it"...I told him I got the paperwork to file for mental health committal and felt it was my duty to file it. He immediately got mean and glared at me, saying, "You wouldn't dare." He was angry because I was willing to take action which would ruin his fun manipulations. He was a monster.

Barbara said...

This is what I tell people on my DoNM Facebook page or my blog -

If they threaten suicide, in the U.S. you should IMMEDIATELY call the police precinct nearest them and tell the precinct you need a wellness check on them ASAP. If you have it in a text from their phone - SAVE IT.

Most of them doing it for attention will stop when the po-po start showing up to check on them.

Don't get pulled into their drama. Let professionals handle it - and if they really are suicidal they can then get proper help.

Charming Frock said...

From the NIH website...

"Always take suicide attempts and threats seriously. About one-third of people who try to commit suicide will try again within 1 year. About 10% of people who threaten or try to commit suicide will eventually kill themselves.

The person needs mental health care right away. Do not dismiss the person as just trying to get attention."

Tundra Woman said...

That's why in the US I don't screw around trying to figure out "hmmm....where IS the closest police precinct?" I've had that "Wellness Check" stuff pulled on ME by my MNPsychobitch in an attempt to coerce/embarrass/LOCATE ME post TOTAL NC. YEARS post TOTAL NC. Dial 911 and let them sort it out and send the lights, sirens, ambulance and firetruck. That's what they get paid to do, that's what they've been trained to do.
I don't see where any commenter has "dismissed" a suicide threat. After multiple "cries for help" you see it for what it is-and no doubt have experienced a huge backlash when you attempted to "help." That's why I'm a firm believer in calling FIRST TIME, EVERY TIME, 911. Period, the end.
These life-or-death situations need to be assessed by the professionals, not us-the hapless family members or friends regardless of our background or education.
Ultimately people are gonna kill themselves if they so desire: Ask any shrink or Mental Health "Professional."
TW

Anna Valerious said...

Well said, TW. And amen.

Veronica Rivera said...

I am new to this blog. I had to move to another state after having to call child protective services on my mother for abusing my 4 year old son. I was 9 months pregnant at the time had no place to go since I was staying with her for the time being. Was left on the streets almost and was considering adoption because losing my kids would have been better than letting them be at her mercy. My family didn't come to to the hospital when I gave birth. My ex took me and my sons in thank God. She is a conselor for abused children mind you and is fine even got a new job working with kids. My family all except for my aunt still talk to her like nothing happened. I despise that woman, every day I hate her more. I wish she was dead every second of my life. She has made my life a living hell and nobody ever believed me. She lies and manipulates. Then actcs all saintly infront of others. I have such anger in me and nothing would give me more pleasure than to expose her crazy evil ass to the world but I know she would just manage to convince others I was the crazy one.

Tundra Woman said...

^And they do that SO WELL, don't they? You just keep reading, Little One. I'm not sure people understand we are NOT speaking to "troublesome" parents or whining because we "didn't get a pony for Christmas." These are "parents" (or others) who are hell-bent on destroying their Adult Children's lives when they were unsuccessful at destroying us as children, adolescents or young adults and we walk away FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES.
Good luck, be safe, take care of yourself and your kids.
TW

Shaun said...

Can someone point me to some literature that supports the claim that the psych community sees suicide as often a hostile act towards others? This is a new perspective for me (and one which I find enlightening and empowering), and I'm very interested in learning more...

Hot Rod said...

I don't even know where to start.

My mother was an abusive mean drunk. I lived in terror until my father let me stay with him for the summer when I was 15. I never went back.

Years later I got involved with a real narcissist. Nine days after my mother died (leaving a sizable inheritance), the N opened up a banking account with a faked Utah DL and convinced me to move to Utah and deposit my life savings.

It is all gone. It took years to find out what and how that N did this. I have all of the proof, yet the authorities refuse to assist. In fact, even they have assisted her, I am sure after she told them lies to cover her actions.

I even tried to have the courts arrest her for lying under oath, but Judge Ludlow is protecting her and cares not that she lied to his face repeatedly. http://www.scribd.com/doc/97371223/10-15-2010-Aff-n-Sup-o-Mot-2-Arr-amp-Pros-SLG

In fact, Ludlow has repeatedly incarcerated me for contempt when I try to force authorities to act. I may even be incarcerated for posting this here. It would not surprise me.

That N is evil....pure evil!!! All of this makes me sick.

Seeking Charity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tundra Woman said...

Charity, Respectfully, I don't think you're quite as "broken" as it surely does feel inside at times. Mine tried to kill me as well. Sometimes I'm amazed we weren't all toe-tagged by 3 or 13 at the latest. But listen to yourself, girl! "...then I do the RESPONSIBLE thing.." speaks volumes to your self-knowledge, grappling with the battle inside. Wrangling with Trauma and PTSD is so exhausting at times and feels so endless.
The NC in your head will come in time. No one can tell you when or how or what it will look/feel like but remember, you didn't get to where you are today with out a huge amount of inner strength and resources. You're a whole lot more together than you may feel at times. And it WILL get different. Really. That "shame" for feeling the normal effects of a highly abnormal growing-up is another way your mother has of keeping you believing you're not "good enough." But funny (not "Ha-Ha" funny) you were "good enough" to be the "Mom" to 4 younger sibs who wouldn't have survived if it wasn't for you. There was NO "Mom" for YOU.
And you're MORE than "good-enough" right here, right now to take care of YOU and it sounds like that's exactly what you're doing. Hang in, Little One.
Warmest Regards,
TW

ppaul2006 said...

You still alive lol.
Long ago ( maybe 2 years ago or so ) I send you a message.
I was taking care of my narcisistic mother.
Things were not easy since she had never accepted me.
At 14 she dumped me.
I am in the 50s already.
I got no reply.
Probably the author of the blog has moved on, I thought to myself.
Despite these thoughts O kept the link of the blog.
Today I found this new post.

Feline Friend said...

My NMIL called the doctor and said she was having suicidal thoughts when her OH left her. She actually got herself sectioned. However, she did not want anyone in the family to know. I was contacted by her neighbour on the quiet who was concerned. Interestingly the ONLY person that had been informed she was there was her OH... the very person that she wanted to manipulate into coming back. It did turn out to be quite funny that it was harder than she had suspected to get back out and she had to be signed out to her brother and SIL. Whilst she was still sectioned she would call my DH and reel off lists of all the things he did that made her sad. Talk about use ever opportunity. :-(

karen Shoemaker said...

I's not easy being a narcastic person. I have decieved and lied to my husband and he know is at the point where he is done with the stupidity and wants normalcy. I want to give him what he wants. I just don't know were to begin. I need help. I have done alot of things i at one point never saw as a problem until is was tossed in my face. He has told me that if i want to have any kind of relationship with him or my son that i need to change. And I am ready to change. I sit and stare at him which i know full well pisses him off and have been told many times to stop. I degrade him for things he does when i do the same things but worse. I am very self centered and selfish. i am the person i never wanted to be. my mom. I need help i dont know where to start, and apologizing doesn't work cuz i say i will change and don't. He says that i talk the talk but don't walk the walk. i want to take the first step towards normalcy, how do i do it.

Anna Valerious said...

I recommend you find a good therapist.

Inxi said...

I just want to say... I think this blog is amazing. Along with the Joanna Ashmun website I came across a while ago, this is the best source dealing with NPD that I have seen, and especially in terms of narcissistic parents. Not even that, it's full of some really interesting and fundamental insight you do not usually find on other blogs.

Anna Valerious said...

Inxi,

Thank you for your kind words. They are appreciated.

manicmondaymomma said...

Oh my goodness. I am so grateful I found this blog, and others like it. I have cut ties as much as possible from my parents throughout the past 15 years and I think I have recovered a lot from their abuse because of that. but lately my father as come back into my life unexpectedly, and he's immediately trying to control me. I just started reading about narcissists, and its him to a T. I wish I had come across this info years ago.

And what's more. My mom fits it to a T too. she was always pretending to be sick and hurting herself to keep the attention on her. Shame on my if I was ever really sick or had a problem. Guilt trips throughout my childhood if I ever didn't like her treatment, because her childhood was way worse than mine. she was always keeping people mad at each other (drama triangles)

and four years ago, when all us kids finally stopped playing her games, she did commit suicide. It was like the ultimate "Screw you" to us because she didn't like that we were paying attention to her. she planned it so my mentally ill brother would find her. and her suicide note was all about how horrible we had all been to her her whole life-- just full of lies.

Heartless of me perhaps, but I just felt like it was just another one of her stunts, and I refuse to take responsibility for her anymore or let her manipulate me, even in her death.

it is so liberating to see this spoken in the open, to have a name put to it, to see that others have gone through some of these things.

Crusher said...

I'm 45 and life ruined by NPD father. I have not worked for 12 years and I'm in the successful family business. He rather have me do nothing than go to the office because I rebelled. Dad is covert narcissist. I learned about my NPD predicament this year after parents falsely told brother I was suicidal leading to three police cars and my mad brother going to my house. They tried to Baker Act me to discredit me after silent treatment for six months after dad went into rage against me in public while celebrating brothers birthday. I triggered his public outrage with an innocent comment that contradicted his opinion thus exposing him and ruining brothers birthday party. No apologies or contact for six months. When they heard from a friend that friend was worried about me they did not call...they Baker Acted me. They lied to my brother. The cops made a scene in front of neighbors wanting to see my arms for needle marks. I'm not a junkie...I exercise daily...cardio and strength training and have the body. Mentally, I'm the only one aware of situation though we are dysfunctional family.

The other situation was in 2005 after my father forced sabbatical on me. This period was heavy with all kinds of abuse I only learned about recently. I always knew something was wrong. Know I understand. I got suicidal thoughts because dad took everything from me in his madness. I did not fit his narrow view...I was also usurped by a very narcissistic cousin. The are all millionaires and I have nothing to show for 27 years of work most of them faithfully and loyally but never promoted or raised. When I cracked from his mental manipulations, abuse ans mistreatment in 2005 and told him, he said I was bluffing, acting. Dad said I was working him over. Now I know that everything he accused me off, is wrong with him. I believe in myself and got through that episode however, last years attempted arrest to basically teach me a lesson for talking or discrediting for the future drove me to a bad state which I later learned was narcissistic victim syndrome. That incident made me realize something very wrong and I hit the web....amazing to be in the dark for so long and to have your parents do this to you. I have stories...Dad even tried to kill me when I was 13...I saw the setup and did not accept the invite you could say. Im not good putting so much into little space and willing to share all. Something very terrible also happened to me after the PD incident, I started having daily thoughts of killing them and myself. Off course I'm not like that and I told my wife and close friends. I also understand these angry thoughts ok just don't do it. I don't think or feel this way anymore...time does heal. I know that my dad has screwed me up good but my past girlfriends, good friends and wife aware of my dysfunctional family and tell me I'm the most normal. Sorry for the ramble and I hope I did not offend

Joanna said...

Anna,
why do none of these 27 commentators have a traceable internet identity?

Anna Valerious said...

Because Google Blogger allows people to set up an identity without having to reveal personal information to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Why do you ask? What are you implying?

mulderfan said...

Narcissists hate losing their favourite doormats and stalk them mercilessly, so many commenters have a valid reason for flying under the radar.

On my blog, I used to innocently track the source city until I was messaged privately about how dangerous this was for some of my readers. I actually consider myself lucky because my NPs have "punished" me with no contact. Others are not so fortunate.

Judge not, lest you yourself be judged!

BTW: Why does Joanna need this information?

Jim said...

Interesting topic. A couple of quick things. Yes this can be used as manipulation. It is pure emotional extortion. Frankly, if you have gone no contact with a narcissist and they are threatening suicide and are seriously looking for help to stop because they have the impulse to kill themselves, they should be going to the people closest to them first. These are the people that will most likely stop them from hurting themselves.

Second, there is a very simple way to diffuse this situation if you are concerned your narcissist is serious about suicide, if you still want to protect them from harming themselves, and still want to maintain the freedom from being manipulated back into their toxic dysfunction (and potentially expose them for what they are too if they are bluffing). Call 911 and inform them this individual has contacted you about their desire to commit suicide and have them evaluated for a 72 hours police hold in the hospital. You intervene in a serious way to protect them from hurting themselves, you do not shoulder the responsibility of assessing if the are going to hurt themselves (the police will and place a hold accordingly), and you do not risk getting sucked into their manipulation. If they truly were suicidal, they got the help they needed. If they were not sincere you still intervened, with out getting sucked back into their dysfunction, in a way that still demonstrated sincere concern for their well being. The worst that could happen is that you are accused of over reacting (though how can you take a suicide threat too seriously?). I also guarantee that if this was a ploy to manipulate you back into their control that they will NEVER try this again. There is nothing worse for a narcissist than to be publicly exposed in this way. The one draw back is that they may not go to you again in the future if they truly become suicidal, which again would be tragic and should obviously be prevented if it is possible but it is still an action they are 100% accountable for.

Charity said...

I agree with Jim. About 9 years ago, I was involved with someone who became verbally abusive. He would scream at the top of his lungs at me for things like walking into the room and finding me listening to the radio and singing along with an old Beatles song. "DON'T YOU KNOW THE BEATLES WERE DRUGGIES AND GODLESS COMMUNISTS! HOW DARE YOU SING ONE OF THEIR SONGS?"

Yeah, right whatever. I got up and got outta there, Pronto.

So then he was calling my cell phone, leaving message after hysterical message about how he is going to kill himself if I don't come back, he can't live without me, take care of his pet bird because he won't be around to do it, and Yada Yada Yada.

I called 911 and told them of his threat. NOT the reaction he was hoping for. But it worked!

So, what IS in a heart? said...

I'm glad this blog is still around. :)

Anna van Gogh said...

A narcissism blog!!! Oh goodie!! I have two narcissists in my family; my father, and my mom's father. Being narcissists, they are both vindictive and threatening, but still they are very different. I recently discovered that there are two different types of narcissists: vulnerable and invulnerable. My father is a vulnerable narcissist: less than satisfying job, deep down truly hates himself, always self-detrimental just so someone will tell him he's great, people are there to make him believe he's not as bad as he really deep, DEEP, down thinks he is. My grandfather is an invulnerable narcissist: he has a fantastic job, which supports his belief that he is truly superior to all of humanity, he NEVER is detrimental to himself, but always is to others, and believes people exist to serve him, and he rewards those that do with kindness. I believe the vulnerable narcissist is the only one of the two that would threaten and/or attempt suicide. My father constantly made suicide threats, because deep in the abyss of his lost soul he hates himself, and he wants someone to convince him he's perfect, and beg that he not do it.

Fed up with the lies said...

Anna, I'm intrigued by your distinction between the vulnerable and invulnerable narcissist, I'd never thought of it like that. I don't have experience with the vulnerable kind, but have been learning all too quickly about the invulnerable kind (I married a wonderful man who grew up with an invulnerable narcissist as a sibling, a codependent and enabling mother and a father who might have seen the problems but never intervened; my husband is "normal" and I have no idea how that happened, though am so thankful it did). Anyway, that's a roundabout segue into my actual comment. The invulnerable narcissist in my life looks great, has a great job, a very nice house, devoted spouse, they're expecting a baby (the first grandchild, naturally)... and attempted suicide (though it seems to have been designed to fail) when I accidentally began discovering their narcissistic tendencies (massive lies and a complete dissociation from reality being the first two red flags I saw). So it seems an invulnerable narcissist will make a suicidal gesture (enough to be hospitalized, not enough to actually die) if someone gets too close to discovering that they are a narcissist. The gesture refocuses everyone's attention on the narcissist and makes them the center of attention, which is what they want all along.

carla l said...

I have married into a family of N's. My husband is one of only a couple who are not. His mother pulls this card all the time. She has threatned to do this a million times. Hubby is tired of it and knows it is a game and has pretty much dismissed her from our lives. That doesn't stop the mean letters shoved under our door, harassing the children to the point they are done with her. I always try to jump in front of him and take her abuse as I don't care what she thinks of me she can't hurt me like she can him. I finally told him the other night if she ever did kill herself we would know immediatly because she wouldn't do it without an audience. My question is am I going about all this wrong. I just can't stand to watch him get kicked. He did the work he seperated from them I am just trying to be the buffer for her attacks to keep him from being abused anymore than he already has been. He and I are great we have a healthy relationship we are happy. I just wonder if I am doing the right thing? I did not grow up this way so when i was dropped into this shark tank (that is exactly what it feels like) First i could not believe what i was seeing then my need to shield my family from it became a primary goal. I just don't want to do the wrong thing but I refuse to play her games. Needless to say I am her mortal enemy.

Taking a Stand said...

I'm not sure if my mother is narcissistic or not but I am finally at a breaking point. My mom is 58 years old and is on her 3rd marriage. Her first marriage she had married at "from what she told me" 14 years old. She had my older brother and then left her husband with him because he was addicted to marijuana. She met and instantly married my dad. They started having trouble and three kids later we were all subjected to continual verbal and physical abuse. My older brother was the brunt of most of it. My dad beat him when he'd act out which led him to a life of crime until his death at 23 years old. Throughout my childhood, I'd witness my mom use major manipulative tactics to get things she wanted. She lost many friendships as a result of her constant lies, manipulation and negativity along the way. I will never forget when I was 12 and she called me a bitch. I cried and asked her why she called me that to which she immediatly denied calling me the name and said she was referring to the way I was acting. She divorced my dad when I was 16 and I paid the bills for us to live in a small apartment. She'd been dating a guy she met at work and after six months of watching me support us, he felt compassionate and moved us all into his home. From there I was blessed enough to know what a "real dad" was like. My mother however, deteriorated. She began to act entitled and began slinging insults in such a back handed manor it was at times difficult to know whether she was insulting you or not. She continued off and on with bouts of alcohol and pill abuse to which our lives were constantly affected. She always has a crisis occuring and she inundated me and my siblings with calls, texts and emails. After my older brother died, things got worse. She completely checked out. over time she pulled it together but her struggles with addiction and verbal abuse continued. She further became controlling and over involved in all of our lives. My siblings and I felt embarrassed to introduce anyone to her because she found ways to embarass us each and every time. She'd either be doped up to the point of slurring or she'd say the most inappropriate things. We lived for yrs this way. My siblings finally cut her off and if there's contact it's minimal and on their terms. I am 35 years old and have 3 young children. Since my siblings cut her off, she's turned even more severly hostile to me but turns around soon after begging for forgiveness and not to leave her alone with my step-dad. She verbally abuses my step-dad to his face and to us behind his back. He's a good man and has withstanded this for several years but after all the caretaking of her he's at his wits end too. I finally had enough when I found out she was treating my 9 year old as a best friend and divulging adult information to her, which centered around her anger and contempt for everyone. I told my mom she will not subject MY kids to her abuse and she cannot see them until she resolves her issues. She of course thinks it's everyone elses fault but her own. When someone cuts her off, she turns and states SHE'S the one that cut them out of HER life! Hilarious! Today, after my statement of giving her space from my kids and myself to get help, she called me while at work and broke down balling and stating she'd been suicidal for two weeks. She dumped (for probably the 100th time) all her problems in her life and relationship on me and begged me not to use her grandchildren as weapons against her. I'm torn. Am I dealing with narcissism or something entirly different? Am I doing the right thing?

Anna Valerious said...

You're dealing with a seriously profound case of narcissism. Please keep her away from your children. She wasn't in the least repentant for her actions. She is pulling the "pity party" act, and you must resist. I wrote about the Pity Party here: http://tinyurl.com/adsazs2
You must, of all the people in the world, protect your children from her malignant selfishness. She will do all in her power to use and corrupt them. And, if possible, to sever their affections from you in order to more firmly attach them to herself. Please maintain your wise course. Don't fall prey to your mother's begging and pleading for a mercy she most certainly would exploit to her evil ends. Be strong!

q1605 said...

Man this thread has some legs. I seem to have been the only one who posted that had the person in question actually follow through.
I read excerpts from a book that was interviews with people who had jumped off the golden gate bridge and survived.
The common denominator with them all, was that as they fell through the air they were all thinking about what a stupid thing to have done.
After my father pulled the trigger I am pretty sure he thought the same thing. He shot himself in the chest which gave him a few seconds to express himself.
I don't know why people seem to glorify that act. I guess until the moment of truth, it must seem like a noble or a romantically dare devil gesture.
All I can promise you is that it's not.
And like I said before. If anyone is that bound and determined to finish what they started then have at.
Doom the people you claim to love to live in the pall your death will cast over their lives forever more.
I agree completely with it being the inward turning of a homicidal gesture. Because every suicide kills two.

Angela West said...

This post really hit home for me. I went complete NC from my mother after a failed suicide attempt on her part. The only reason it failed was because the car she threw herself in front of was not going fast enough. She cut me out of her will prior to the attempt in an attempt to leave me with the financial burden of her funeral and no means to pay for it outside of my twenty-something income. I found this out from my uncle who thought I had a right to know.

I still kept up contact with her after the incident to encourage her to go for psychological help. She wouldn't get it, so I cut off contact completely. Many people in my life have judged me for this choice, but I bluntly tell them the circumstances and they usually keep it to themselves after that point.

For those considering no contact, I can tell you that it is the most freeing feeling and you shouldn't regret it for a moment, despite what friends and family members may tell you. And I'll echo what all other commenters have said about calling the police if threats of suicide sound like they may be legit. In my case, there was no threat, there was just the attempt, so I'm inclined to think that those who are going to do it just do it and don't warn others about their actions, but a couple of trips from police will likely put the kaibosh on threats.

So grateful for this blog and the insights it has provided. Thank you.

q1605 said...

Angela. Boy, I think throwing yourself in front of a car is a pretty determined gesture.
When it comes to those that complete the act, they are like snow flakes in the sun.
It's all my father talked about when things didn't go his way.
So much so I quit paying attention.
Yours just went and did it.
Either way it's the most selfish act I can think of, and I have seen a lot of selfish acts.
I am glad Anna V keeps her blog up.
I just wish I had found it sooner.
Thanks Anna.

Aravis said...

Anna, you are back ! I adore your blog. I have to say, if my violent crazy-mean NF killed himself, the world would be a better place. He has done nothing except spew his toxic lunacy for the past 70-odd years. I went NC a few years back, but still hear about him from family members who still tolerate his drama, and for the life of me, what they get out of it I do not know. He's cheap, petty, mean-spirited and vindictive, and believes the world and all her inhabitants are here to see to his comfort, convenience, health, happiness and well-being. I am so much happier since I cut him out of my and my family's life. SO I am sorry, if this sounds harsh, but if toxic narcissists kill themselves, so what? Unless they take other victims with them, which I guess does happen a lot.

been there too long said...

Finding this site has been an amazing experience as well as enlightening. I was raised by a violent narcissist mother who taught me I was worthless, stupid and incapable of caring for myself. I married to escape going from the frying pan and into the fire. My H is a covert aggressive narcissist (dxd). Where my mother worked at ruining my life through lies, beatings, even trying to kill me twice. My husband perfected it. I believed he was the poor victim, the blameless one. The poor thing, he NEEDED me. But he went from poor victim to one hellaceous victimizer. He convince me he was going to heaven but I was going to hell. We had debates over whether I was a human being or a piece of sh*t. He had numerous affairs , even telling his coworkers I was gay and wanted to date his female coworkers. This was very effective at preventing anyone from telling me what he was saying and doing. He claimed I forced him to work overtime, manipulated him, ran up huge credit card bills. I learned some of that from the last woman he dated that I am aware of. Earlier on in our marriage, if I made a friend, he would take the friendship over, tell me I was imagining things when I questioned this until I quit making friends altogether. He isolated me from everyone I knew. We went to counseling after I discovered his serial affairs. By the end of the 1st session, the counselor had ME sign an agreement I wouldn't date during the course of counseling. He recently supposedly attempted suicide. Long story. I thought he was ill, seemed to be possibly having a TIA due to slurred speech and incoordination. Claimed no drugs/alcohol, etc., involved. The next morning, the hospitalist had discovered he had gotten a script for a narcotic from a doctor about which he had lied to me. This same doctor had taken care of me for months for a pain problem and he had told me it was his policy not to prescribe pain meds and left that to the PCP. That was fine with me and was what I did. My NH was able to manipulate this physician into breaking his rule on that and prescribe him narcotics of all things!! Then a few weeks ago, he tells me this had been a suicide attempt and the next day produced his "note" that I somehow had missed along with a coupon for a discount cremation service. Anyway, I am not sure if this was a real suicide attempt or not but I have had enough. Currently I am "sneaking" out of the marriage with the help of the local women's shelter. He thinks we are getting a divorce to save us a lot of tax money with the fiscal cliff and Obamacare, etc. I read that narcissists are easily manipulated and decided to see if this was true. If he thought this was real, I can't even describe the games he would get going, although it sounds like most of you know what I am talking about. I must say how uncomfortable it is to be doing this, even though I know it is to protect myself financially and emotionally. I have always despised lies. I also wonder whether he is just pretending and the games are running in the background, still under the radar, and he will get me in the end anyway. Right now, I wish he had killed himself. If that makes me mean and vindictive, then I guess that is what I am. Or maybe I am just burned out, tired and want my life back with no N's in it. I know this is long but thanks for providing a place where so many can know they are understood.

silkielover4ever said...

My mom has threatened suicide ever since I was a little girl. I am 40 years sold now a family of my own. I have been sick for almost a decade and finally after some counseling made a break from our relationship. She told me I was the final straw and that i was "pushing her to the edge." I had one year of finding where I began and she ended it was amazing and I regained my health! last feb she was found almost dead from an over dose. They brought her back to life and she was inhabited for three days in the icu. Bam! I was sucked right back in as was my brother who was estranged for 6 years. I am now living in a fear wondering if I am a good enough daughter that she will not kill herself because I cannot live with that. I am basically trapped. That sounds so pathetic to read back but I just do not know what to do....I did make a counseling appt for this coming week so I can get some direction. I am thankful for this blog.

Anna Valerious said...

Silkie,

Your mother must be smugly smiling up her sleeve at her success. Please digest this post and the comments that follow it. You've been masterfully manipulated with one of the cruelest tactics that can be devised. You are not responsible for keeping your vicious mother alive. Deliberately destroying herself is a choice. A choice she alone makes.

I hope you can get some good guidance as you seek a counselor. Most of all, I hope you'll find your freedom and joy of life again.

LJ Rich said...

I know this post is pretty old but I have to comment on it. My father committed suicide in 1974. He did it because of trying to live with my mother who is a narcissist. She has only pulled the suicide threat on me one time in my life. In 2009, I was suffering from cancer about to have major surgery. When I didn't do as she wanted surrounding that situation, she threatened suicide. I told her the following, "You want to kill yourself just because you're not the center of attention right now, I'll hand you the gun. Come over here and get it and then get the hell out of my life. Otherwise don't you ever pull this crap on me again because I won't placate you, I'll just hand you the weapon of your choice."

It worked, she's still living and although my relationship with her is limited and guarded and she's still a narcissist, she doesn't dare try that crap on me again.

Anna Valerious said...

I'm very sorry to hear that your dad killed himself. Damn. It feels like a win for the narcissist. The rest of your story is an excellent example of how to deal with narcissists who use suicide threats to manipulate. Well played.

Wanderer Acon said...

Great article and blog!

I would like to comment on this as someone who also grew up controlled and abused by an NPD mother.
In my experience - and based on my readings - I think suicidal attitude itself is not part of NPD traits, it is typical of the borderline PD. The essence of narcissism is self-centerdness, manipulativeness
and lack of empathy, love and care for the others.
But NPD is often combined with other PDs, and when it is combined with BPD, the N person may use her borderline suicidal trait to manipulate her victims.

The situation your mother has put you is so awful, and so hard to handle. I am very sorry that you go through this (((hugs)))

Liv said...

I have Narcissitic Parents, brother, and ex. All of them have used threats of suicide to manipulate me. As long as they don't take anyone else but themselves, I'm at a point that I don't give a damn. I am disgusted at the emotions they manipulated out of me, just to gain attention. Sick, Sick, Sick.

Narczapper said...

Hi all, great site with lots of valuable insights and information... BTW, I am wondering what individual post length limit is and couldn't contact you directly, Anna, as your e-mail link wouldn't work. Not sure if the issue is at my end. Anyway, thanks in advance.

Anna Valerious said...

I'm not aware that there is a limit on comment length. My email is castlemania1900@mailcan.com

Julie Webb said...

I would appreciate any input on my situation. When I was seventeen, my dad killed himself. I didn't realize then that he and his mom (my grandma) were narcissist. Fast forward, after struggling with my dads suicide I managed to not marry a narcissist, although I have always found them attractive. Several years and problems into my marriage, I met an older man/friend that I accidentally fell for, because - I couldn't put my finger on it, but there was something "so my dad" about him. I struggled with the strong draw he had over me, but managed to keep my distance because of my morals. We have however, kept in touch over the years here and there and I have always cared deeply about him. If not for my morals and common sense, I would have had more of a relationship with him. He has been married for many years and has always cheated on his wife. Recently he has been in touch and told me that he is suicidal because his most recent "cheating" ended 6 months ago, she was only using him and in the process, his wife got herself a boyfriend of 3 years. He lives in another state, far away from me. Over the years, I have talked my psychological thoughts with him at which time, he gets angry with me. He knows that my dad killed himself and therefore knows that is a subject that gets at my heart. I want to not care. But my "mental weakness" won't allow me and I know that he is not being nice and that he is being manipulative, but I'm still concerned.

Julie Webb said...

When I was 17 my dad committed suicide. I didn't realize until recently that he & my grandma were both narcissist. I managed to not marry a narcissist, although I dated them and found them attractive. Several years into my marriage, we were having problems and at the same time, I met a charming older man that I became friends with (that was married). I couldn't put my finger on why, but so much about him screaming "my dad". Not in obvious ways, ways I couldn't explain. I fell into an emotional affair with him and that I could have carried on physically with him for years, because that's what he does. But that was not what I wanted, so when I decided to work on my marriage, our relationship was only on the phone or email over the past 16 years. Recently we hadn't spoke for 4 years and he is now telling me that he is suicidal, because his most recent "long term fling" has blown him off and in the process of his cheating with her, his wife decided to get herself a boyfriend. When I recently then was reading up on narcissists, it is him to a "T". Because of my dads suicide, I feel even more controlled by his threats. I am filled with fear, because I do care about him - even if he hasn't had the ability to care the same way about me.

Narczapper said...

Thanks for the contact info, Anna. I will write in due course. I am not sure where exactly to post this as it doesn't touch on suicide threats, but does there seem to be more than one kind of malignant narcissist (perish the thought)? I ask because some sources underscore the N's high self-esteem, while others do the opposite. My own traumatic experience with an extreme case was that he had a hugely overblown ego yet was abnormally dependent on constant admiration from the most indiscriminate sources. Furthermore, these sources were always those who didn't know him well and were therefore not privy to his real and highly dubious nature, which he felt had to be concealed. It was almost like some strange disconnect went on between his real and false selves, with him dissociating from the former when it suited and going to extreme lengths to protect the reputation of his false or phony self, which was clearly of great importance to him. Almost like he had real problems facing who he was deep down. (Unsurprising, since it was so wretched.)

However, that said, I concur with the view that narcs are their own abysmal self-creations, and a bit more moral fibre (OK, well SOME) might actually have seen the development of a smidgen of character. But that's just the problem though; they always take the laziest and easiest way out. Self-improvement is to a narc what garlic is to your average vampire...

Anna Valerious said...

Julie,

Your instincts should be listened to. This man isn't a good man. If you are truly concerned that he is suicidal then perhaps you should call authorities.

mulderfan said...

Julie, a quick call to the authorities and your conscience is clear. You may unmask the narc but that is not your problem. We didn't break these people and we have no responsibility to fix them.

Trust your gut. Don't walk away, RUN!

Keziah said...

My father has been threatening suicide since I was 13 years old. I am now 64. A couple of weeks ago he actually did it. He was a Narcissist - a hateful and bitter man. I was so sad at the way he died but more sad at the way he lived. Sadly, so sadly, all I felt was relief that he was gone.

Lynne Wiehe said...

My mother's been threatening suicide since I was 10. Then later in life she became hyper focused on it as a 'plan' we all had to know about in order to comply with her wishes. She forced me, as her health care surrogate, to watch right to die movies demonstrating how helium bags should be affixed properly over the head to ensure death. There was nothing wrong with her. The fear of losing control over things, and having to have her children caring for her was more than my narcissist mother could bear. She and my step father had a death pact, and we were all reminded of it in every conversation, holiday dinner, and family gathering. He died of natural causes in August, and the void he left is unfillable. We can't do enough to make her happy enough to want to live. If we dont' show enough attention, a few days later and she's planning to off herself. This morning she finally went through with it, but took only enough to make her speech permanently impaired. She did it on a day when I was to start a new exciting job. I got the call just as I was headed out the door. She's in the hospital as we speak under surveillance, mute, and destroying the fragile happiness her children have worked so hard to build. I've come here before, but I've never needed this kind of insight more than now.

Tundra Woman said...

Oh Ms. Lynne, The timing is pure, Malignant Narc. I can absolutely assure you she did *not* intend to off herself-otherwise, the call would have come from the Police or the Coroner's Office. Interesting how so many of these MNs are always "found just in time." Just "In time" to further torture their off-spring.
Your "mother" is as dangerous a Predator "mute" as she was when she was speaking. I can't think of a *better* "reason" for never speaking to that self-centered MNbitch ever again. This is NOT your burden to bear, Little One. And please, don't allow it to be either. Since you're the Proxy, tell the health care facility's Medical Social Worker *they* can make all the further arrangements for what ever she "needs" when she's released from their care, including medical appointments, transportation etc. In the US, they can call her county's Office for the Aging and they can take over with all kinds of services to ensure she's taken care of.
Please take care of you and your loved ones. At some point, you draw your line, hold it firm and walk away. Again, this is NOT your responsibility in any way and please don't let anyone try to convince you otherwise. Hopefully, her bogus "suicide attempt" demonstrated even more clearly how she planned to use this to "Control" you, to crap all over your happiness and hopefully, ensure your "exciting new job" would be superseded by her "exciting new" BS to re-focus all the attention on her-into the indefinite future...and only if you allow it.
TW

Boo said...

All of your comments are so insightful! After teen torment in my destructive family
I left the country at 21 & learned to breathe.
I returned to my childhood city after 15 yrs, as I wanted my kids to know their grandparents. (didn't know of NPD till recently) 15yrs of weekly phone calls, all the fluffy promises, I thought or relationship changed for the better. 3 yrs on, & living down the road relationship worsening, I found out I was pregnant, NF said I should get rid of it. I couldn't do that, & had the support with my husband. When I did tell NM she told the siblings, who I no longer talk to, but She didn't call me for another 12 weeks. I got a text from SIL knowing about preg, so sent an angry email to NM. She sent one back (more scathing details), as I was close to due date, the day came, I wrote a final letter, to say NC. That night my baby girl was born! Everyday after the birth my Dad was on the phone on my back to stop being silly, & to apologise (WTF). Latest is that she's on deaths door, so said NF/EF. They recently sold a small investment. & I saw her car at the shops, she was booking a cruise! I got a panicked call, EF wanted me to print out docs for NM only reason he told me! So much for deaths door! While she's sitting on her butt in front of the TV he's running around. How I'd love for him to say "you deal with it" to her.
But I digress, 12 yrs ago I left my job to come back & help clean folks house to sell, on their request. During my time in their house, i answered a phone call -inappropriate internet chat male friend of NM. She said she was my age with two kids (the girl had my name but my sis characteristics, interests, hobbies - In her perfect world I wouldn't exist)... So this guy realises I'm not a little kid. I confront her about this, get reply "if he kills himself, it's your fault".
Amazingly I didn't know till a month ago what NPD was, but have lived with the detrimental effects for decades.
My NF/EF punishes me with his no contact. I'd said to him I still want him in my life. But now he is on my back about keeping my kids away from their cousins, due to my selfishness... NF is now wanting to take my kids out, to see cousins without me, under the guise of him taking them to an air show. I'm not invited of course!
Just wish I knew NPD before I moved my family. Still carry around the "it's all my fault" & don't expect any praise for good stuff. The manipulation continues... I'd always been threatened that I'd cause my father a heart attack with my trivial probs... Evil people, should never have been allowed to procreate!

Michi said...

The ex-narcissist in my life threatened suicide for 20 years. It was always after I failed to mirror him correctly. He never attempted suicide, nothing even close, it was so much manipulation and I didn't even catch on until after the divorce. My brother's wife committed suicide several months ago, she never mentioned it to anyone. She didn't even google anything on how. She planned it out over several weeks and then did it.

Thank you for your blog and for pointing out the difference.

RestlessWings said...

Boo, you say your father "punishes" you with no contact, but NC is never bad from a narcissist. It goes with bad intention, sure, but that means you don't have to talk with him anymore. You want him back, really? He wants your kids, but not you? What a piece of shit for a father you had to put up with. Your family hurt you, that's done, but don't let your kids go through the same. Put an end to this already. NC your father yourself, and stop caring about gilt and "family". If your kids knew what their grandparents do, they wouldn't want them around anyways. Let you children know about your parents when they can understand what you were shielding them from. Even if they were to actually be good grandparents, they don't deserve the chance to be. You don't need praise or approval, if you are raising happy kids you can be proud of yourself. As cliché as it sounds, you really are the only one that can end this image of yourself that is guilty of everything, because you are the only one actually believing it. Your parents say that you are of course, but they could say the same about anyone else as long as it wasn't them. You will feel so much better after acknowledging that you had nothing to do with the things you are acused of, and that you helped such worthless people anyways.

mulderfan said...

Well said, RW! In general if you find yourself feeling guilty it's because you've been manipulated. The only way to "noramlize" our lives and save our kids from suffering the same abuse is to go NC and stay that way.

Elizabeth said...

I can't tell you how glad I am that I found this. My elderly grandmother has been a narcissist my entire life. I avoided her like the plague growing up due to all the guilt trips and manipulation. I'm 42 now and it's worse than ever. No matter what I do for her it's never enough. She tells people in front of me that I don't do enough for her. Last week she said she didn't trust me. I spent the past 7 years calling her daily and going down on weekends to do her errands, bills, and just to take her out of the house. If you do what she wants you to, it's fine. If you don't, it's torture. I've been making an effort to stay on her good side for a long time and have recently decided that nothing I do is enough and she will never really appreciate or love me. She is the most critical, depressing, negative, soul draining person I have ever known. Ungrateful and bitter towards anything and anyone, pick a day pick a person she's angry at somebody all the time. She has threatened to cut me out of the will twice and would probably do it again. I'm exhausted from her but feel the need to help since she's so old, and when I tell her I'm doing the best I can and can she please try to be positive for a change she threatens suicide. Last year it was "if you come in this house and find me dead on the floor you know whose fault it will be." I tried to explain yesterday how hurt I am by her and she put down the phone (while I was talking)then picked it up a few minutes later and told me I can feel however I like and if she wants she'll just swallow a bottle of pills. I'm at my wit's end with her and ready to cut off contact altogether. There are just some people we shouldn't be around. My sympathies to all of you for having to go through this. We weren't put on earth to be treated this way by anyone.

mulderfan said...

Elizabeth, I've spent a lifetime (67 years) trying to say or do the right so that my narcissistic parents will love me. No matter how much time I gave them it was never enough. No matter what I did for them it wasn't done right.

The brutal truth is, if THEY WERE INCAPABLE OF LOVING me as a helpless, innocent child nothing will change that now that I am an adult. For whatever reason, they were most likely broken, damaged people long before I was even born.

The fact that you have worked so hard to please your grandmother is proof that you are not the one who is flawed. You are a decent human being trying to do the right thing against all odds.

Save yourself. Walk away with a clear conscience. You have done your best.

Boo said...

Elizabeth, aint it the truth... Never enough! & yep using the will as collateral... Don't be surprised if you find you've been left out already, even after all you've done. If you do go NC, you'll find freedom. If you choose not to, I can empathise too. It's really hard to do. But standing back & saying I'm here if you need me, let her call you, gives you some power back that she needs you, & quash any negative comments immediately, in a matter of fact voice. Like a kid when you change the boundary, they fight it or sulk. She'll never,concede that power, but will realise you're stronger than she gives you credit for. If you can - become busy & tell her you're not available for some time, that she'll have to find someone else to run her errands, don't justify why (as we do without thought, being conditioned by them that they own our ass & we let them).
Mulderfan, true words for Elizabeth, & working thru your post RestlessWings about my father. Honestly my NM is a nightmare. But he actually has, shows feelings, (major edit, justify why he does it!) Could he be a different type of N? Need to go back & read profiles again... But other things are glaringly obvious that both were irresponsible parents, & continue to try to control me.
I laughed at my clarity with my husband the other day saying, "my share value (for them) has nose dived", now,that I'm not their puppet anymore.
They are on a cruise &arrive back on my birthday next week, good excuse they'll be too tired to celebrate with me.(suits us all. It's a "zero" birthday, & a new decade of freedom for me).
My nearly 12 yo boy asks all the questions, "why don't we see his my mother? (altho he doesn't want to coz she just orders him around when they visited before NC) but I'm also worried what opinions he's forming - altho prob healthier ones.. The airshow mentioned above happens to fall on Mothers Day. Typically (showing my inability to make decisions) i questioned my husband if he thinks they should still.go (without me). "No,we should be with you" (yay! Coz i just thought let them have a good time. But now I'll have to say no to Dad, & justify that it's my day. (watch for falling bombs). My son also asks lots about my Dad. I guess he's forming his own opinions. I was scared he'd hate me for being cruel to my parents, & in time hate me. I also have a baby girl & I'm trying to give her all the love that i missed. I wonder when she cries, if i was left crying. Whether i was cuddled. Whether the N traits started when i was born, the neglect was there as a baby, or whether she started off well & it went downhill.
I can't change what went on. But I'm trying to "let it go" & it eats me up every day. Would love to leave this city, put geographical distance between us.
Good luck everyone. This is such a damaging relationship. Take care if yourselves. It's never,to late to start (or improve on upping your self worth). Trying. Hugs. X

mulderfan said...

Boo, when I finally said, "If you need my help just ask." I didn't realize what a brilliant move it was. Of course they never asked...they're too damn proud! They all of a sudden discovered taxis and suckered in neighbours to do their bidding.

I was brought up to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness but now I know it takes courage and common-sense to know when you need to ask for help. Just another sign telling us who is the "broken" one here.

I used to view my NM as NF's victim but she is a willing accomplice who was so subtle she flew under my radar for many years. IMO accomplices and enablers are if anything worse that the actual narcissists they support. In all likelihood the narcissists are so lacking in empathy they don't know or care how much they hurt people. Their sidekick, on the other hand, knows EXACTLY what she/he is doing!

Elizabeth said...

You know, I was thinking today, how pervasive this has been in my life. I worked with someone with NPD for over 10 years. I left that job but should have left years before. I saw her destroy relationships on a regular basis. If her sister called her, she'd be mad at her for calling "doesn't she know I have things going on?". If her sister didn't call, she'd say "I can't believe she didn't even call to ask how I am." EVERYTHING someone did or said she related to herself. It was she who introduced me to NPD. Now, here I am finally realizing my grandmother has it as well. I knew all along something was wrong with her and constantly felt guilty not wanting to be around her, but there is a valid reason for that. She made me feel like crap most of the time. Even today, if I am sitting near her, I find myself keeping physical distance and glancing in the other direction. It is hard to be around her at all since she is so negative. She doesn't see people as actual individuals apart from herself. When her nephew died, she said she would miss him because he used to do a lot for her! Not because he was a kind person who mattered; she would just miss what he could do for her. Also she thought I was having an affair on my husband (I'm not...she dreams up stuff then accuses me of it). She said I shouldn't leave my husband because she relies on him for things. Also when new neighbors moved in she said "I hope they're good to me." I recently told her she treats people as slaves and sees no value in them apart from what they can do for her. She has barely spoken to me since. I am also realizing my dad (her son) doesn't fall too far from the tree. He has a lot of her traits and he sees people as objects to be used by him. When his neighbor is helping him, she's a peach. When she hasn't been catering to him, he can't stand her. When I was younger he and my grandmother both threatened to disown me if I transferred out of a prestigious college to another less fancy one. Never mind that I was miserable there (of course our feelings don't matter.) Nana sent me a nasty letter at colllege explaining how I was affecting HER. Also when I left that last job she was disappointed (even though it almost gave me a nervous breakdown) because at my new job she can't call me during the day with every little crisis like she did at the last job. She even asked if they would take me back! I said you really want me to go back there when I was so miserable at that place? Basically it would work out better for her so I'm at her beck and call. Thank you so much for this blog. I am finally starting to see the light of this whole situation. My feelings and me as a person DO NOT MATTER to someone with NPR. They are incapable of empathy. It took me far too long to accept this fact and not be hurt by it. Knowledge is power.

mulderfan said...

Elizabeth, I can relate to so much you have written!

Once I understood that nothing I could do or say would make my narcissistic parents love me, I was free! I had the courage to walk away from THEIR dysfunction and live my life on MY terms, not theirs!

Boo said...

I hear you Elizabeth. Had a nightmare boss who sabotaged my success, no matter how small. You know what I mean.
Just had a revelation, thanks to comments here...
Turned a certain milestone birthday the other day. Wentwith MY family to the beach. Was having a lovely day. Dad rang, had returned from cruise that day. I picked up, & he went on for five minutes all the little details. He was displeased with me saying no to my boys going on a gathering to show how great he was ( boring for my kids). politely declined. So I said I had to get back to kids. The conversation ended. no happy birthday, nothing. I was going to be sarcastic & say, "oh I thought you rang to say happy birthday", but something stopped me.
now I know if I bring it up, he'll say, well I gave you a cheque & card in the plastic bag with the list (to collect milk etc from their fridge while they were away)!!! Oh he did ask if we used his car (no, just put it on our drive for a day & took it back as it was in the way), he didn't forget to ask that tho did he!!!
I thought my mother was the worst one, but in quickly (now) joining the dots to see that I was the whingeing post he'd come to, to vent from my mother, I had share value for him to dump his rubbish on. I am now the black sheep & trouble maker in the family. I didn't expect birthday wishes from the rest, but him "actively" choosing to not say anything hurts incredibly, but I guess for the man who, as Father of the Bride, only talked about his wedding & never mentioned me (the Bride!)only talked about his wedding & his friends at my wedding, I should "know better" than to expect anything anymore.
& now not putting my kids up to strike his ego, my "share value" is pretty worthless... not going to turn this into my "great depression", going to gently go no contact with him. Just will always be busy from now on. (sigh) these narks know how to hurt, by doing nothing.
thanks for thisblog, I've learnt a lot, & continue to do so, hopefully breaking a painful cycle. & knowing sooner when a N enters my life, I can keep a safe distance. But also build a lovely village of good friends around me, who understand as best they can, this hell. New decade, New beginning, New freedom.

Elizabeth said...

I hear you Boo about having value as someone the person can dump their rubbish on. That is exactly what I go through with nana. I can be in a great mood and then within 20 minutes of seeing her I'm ready to leave. One day I counted and she complained about 4 people in that first 20 minutes. If I turn the conversation around, she tells me I'm not being sympathetic to her. Never mind that she's trying to drag me down into her misery. How about some sympathy for me? There is none. But I'll tell you she knows what she's doing. If I get upset enough and start crying, wanting to run away from her negativity & complaining, she'll say "I don't know what I'd do if you cut me off." She knows she's pushing my limits of compassion for her, and she continues to do it. My needs DO NOT MATTER. She is an emotional vampire in the worst way.
I think whether someone has NPD or traits of it, it really doesn't matter. There are some people who are lacking empathy and are self-centered and manipulative. We must take steps to protect ourselves from being hurt. For me, it means having no expectations of anything from them, at all. No kindness, no understanding, no empathy, no recognizing me as a human being with my own issues. In my dad's case, I don't even expect common courtesy from him, because he doesn't give it. I've run the whole scene of trying to understand why (fruitless - mind you. I actually went to school for psychology due to the dysfunction in my family between this and my mom being mentally ill.) Asking why to understand got me a psych. degree I can't use in real life. Now I just know this is how it is and they aren't going to change. This is why I have so little contact with not only nana but my dad as well. I remember being young (10 years old maybe) asking my mother - what's wrong with dad and nana? I just knew it wasn't right to be the way they were. To this day that hasn't changed. Stay strong everyone!

Annie said...

Hi Anna,

I've been wanting to do this for a long time, so bear with me. Actually, I have been reading your site for a couple of years now. Well, correction: I started to read your site (and devoured it) a couple of years ago, and the information you presented acted as a prosecution attorney for me (think Juan Martinez) against a narcissist in my life. Anyway, I have visited your site a few times lately for some "refreshers" for friends (not me! I'm "cured" of narcissist sympathy now, don't worry!). But I guess it always nagged at me that I never contacted you and told you how instrumental you were in educating and strengthening me so that I could make a clean break from my narcissist, who happened to be my best friend for 14 years. See? Your site doesn't just help "ACON"s, but also anyone who deals with these lowlifes.

You know how there are people in our "tribe" who "get it" and people who still make every excuse under the sun for these cretins? Well, I'm in your tribe, girl. I "get it." Between you and Dr. Simon (who wrote "Dealing with Manipulative People"), I am so visibly relieved that there are those of us who don't arrest logic and buy into the collusion that these narcissists and their enablers dish out. No. Thanks.

Anyway, now you "officially" know that I'm just another one out here in the ether who reads every one of your posts and is RELIEVED that SOMEONE out there is fighting the fine fight without watering anything down. These people are predators. End of. And, like you, I no longer try to arrest logic to keep them in my lives. Thanks again for being such a badass and for not being afraid to call a spade a spade.

Yours truly,
Annie

Anna Valerious said...

Hi Annie,

I appreciate you taking the time to let me know that my perspective and approach to narcissists has been helpful to you. I'm very happy to know that is true. And I love that you call me a bad ass. I'll wear that name with pride.

You deserve the credit for making your life better. I was there as a helper, but you were the one who recognized truth, didn't run from it, and then applied it to your life. Kudos to you. Wishing you all the best.

helder filipe said...

Hi Anna,

I've found your blog by accident, but let me tell what a pleasant accident!

Although I know that my mother is a narcissist, sometimes I find myself with doubts. I guess those doubts come from some part of me who really wants to believe that it is all my imagination, and my mother is not that horrible.

Reading your posts really helped, as I saw my mother in many of your descriptions. Thank you!

Best wishes

Filipe

Anna Valerious said...

Helder,

You're very welcome. I'm glad you've found information and some solace here. Wishing you freedom and joy for the future.

paulp said...

Hello I grew up i now discover in a family with a suicidal BDP mother and a Narcissist Father, its all come to haunt me in my 50s and I have had a breakdown.

paulp said...

Its a long story but this time last year i left my wife of nearly 30 years and it now appears used my own BPD split and disassociation to plan it for months and go. Soon after I met up with a women aquaintance and we started a relationship. We had fancied eachother for years but done nothing about it.She dumped a guy she had met who had asked her to marry him unceremoniously! I was thrilled. Soon after she asked me to move in with her, why not I was homeless, it was blissfull powerfull beautiful for a few weeks until it started to go wrong. I started getting the blame for every insecurity she had and was under stress at work and with my ex. I decided after the 3rd incident to get my own place and left, she was it felt forcing me to choose her or my kids. I moved out 2 days later she nearly died of an overdose.

paulp said...

I was shocked and confused and frightened, she was in a coma for 3 days with me and her family at her bedside, I was under suspicion. Then miraculously she woke up and wanted to see me, she was psychotic for 3 days, i stayed day and night to keep her contained as the staff couldn't cope. She was eventually discharged. She wanted to continue the relationship as did I. we saw eachother once a week platonically for a couple of months. But when I had tio admit to her that my wife new about the attempt she dumped me. I tried to explain how much pressure I was under was she was possibly dieing, it made no difference. She told me I was the love of her life I felt the same. after a couple of attempts to reach her she called the Police to warn me off. I feel battered bereft was suicidal myself. I now see that her suicide attempt has dragged up the issues I had with my suicidal mother hence my breakdown. I am off work with stress and still obsessed with her. I see her in the street but I cannot approach her for fear of arrest, its torture, i still love her even though its clear to me she has both BPD and narcissist traits. How could she do this to me?

ppaul2006 said...

Hi helder . where are you from ? Your name looks portuguese. I am portuguese either.

triedandtrue said...

Having worked in mental health for 20 years I will say this. Any expressed suicide ideation deserves an action. The action however, needs to be measured, unemotional and exacting. My response to a narc. suicidal threat would be "I'm hearing that you are [planning/thinking) about hurting yourself. I am going to call 911 to assist you in getting the help you need." No discussion, no negotiation, no hysteria and follow through on the 911 call. And if they do this twenty times, then you call twenty times. Eventually the no drama message will get through and the jig will be up, or they will be hospitalized and treated for depression. Either way, it may afford some temporary relief for you without compromising your soul.

Harold Schelling said...

I really enjoyed reading your article--it gave me great insight on what Narcissism really is--predatory behavior.

VaVaVoom said...

Oh Anna I am chuckling to myself. That is too funny -- and good to know, as well!! My family has been setting me up for years, I've recently learned. My niece's husband got a low-level job at my attorney's office in order to copy police reports on my false arrest from 2 years ago. He and my niecethen sent the police reports to the state teacher's credentialing commission to have my substitute teacher's permit revoked. The thing is... They were successful, but that permit was expired anyway. I've no idea why they did it, except to cause me chaos and harm. Jealousy and malignant narcissism at work.

Style said...

My boyfriend of 4 years became angry 2 weeks ago over me leaving to go to a Concert. He started banging his head on my tile floor. His head was laided open and I wasn't sure if he was going to hurt me so I ran outside. My girlfriend was in the home with him as he was saying he was going to kill himself. He crabbed a electrical cord shut my bedroom door and hung himself from my bed. By the time we kicked the door down and having to cut the cord we both thought he was dead. He survived after a long hospital stay. The doctors told him it was a miracle he was alive. The vision of him hanging will not leave my thoughts. He is now blaming me. His exact words to me are. (You know the way you treat me is the only reason why I decided to take my life. Lie to yourself but you are the one and only reason I decided to make that choice) He has been violent with me more and more but never takes responsibility for his actions. It's always me that put him over the edge. I'm feeling jumpy, sad, and mostly I feel sorry for him and I'm not sure why!

Anna Valerious said...

Style,

Your boyfriend is dangerous to himself and to you. You have clear and unequivocal signs of these two realities. Please, please get away from him. He is abusive to you. All abusers blame their victims for their own behavior. Don't fall for the lies. Get out while you still can. Please.

mulderfan said...

Style, I agree with Anna! IMO you are in a very dangerous situation that is very likely to escalate.

helder filipe said...

Besides leaving him, I think it would be crucial to your happiness that you look into why you remain close to such a mischievous man. Knowing ourselves, for example, why we behave a certain way and relate with certain people, is extremely liberating. Best wishes.

FairyGodMother said...

Hi Anna,

Thank you so much for your insight and determination to unveil this disorder and the damage it does to the families and friends.

I'm 51 and am the scapegoat daughter of a NMom. I had no idea that this was an actual disorder. I have lived my life believing that I was somehow less than other people. Not as smart, pretty, able or loveable. A few years ago God took me through a healing process which allowed me to look at all the negative feelings that I kept boxed up my entire life. I actually found that I love myself! My mom and I are LC and it seems our relationship is best kept at a superficial level. It ok though because I have filled the hole in my heart with the love for my children and my grandchild.

I have a DH who has a NMom too. She is off the charts in her behavior. he keeps his contact with her to a bare minimum and when he calls her, she drives him to distraction with her complaints and put downs. She says she wants to die all the time. She lost two sons to suicide and one to cancer. Her other two want nothing to do with her. It's sad, but it is the life she has created for herself.

Two months ago I was put in a situation that started me on the path to figure out what could be going on. In June of this year, my youngest son was set to marry his fiancée. One week before the wedding her mom ( my BFF) called everyone and cancelled the wedding that was to take place at her house. She claimed her daughter wasn't in love with my son! Her daughter was destroyed for about one day, packed up her stuff and moved out of state into my sons home. I made the mistake of backing the children and doing everything I could to fix the situation. When I actually told the MN that she was wrong, you would think the world fell apart!

She has actively destroyed friends, coworkers especially superiors (she is a very intelligent doctor) and even our Rabbi and done everything in her power to bring people down. She does it so well and underhandedly no one realizes what is happening unless they are in her crosshairs. She doesn't just go for the put down, she goes for the juggler vein. Two of her past relationships have committed suicide. When she told me, a whisp of a smile played across her lips. I felt so confused like I didn't know why the look and words didnt match. I remember that feeling growing up.

So now I am in her crosshairs and have gone no contact. She is texting me, trying to draw me back in and sending all sorts of vile texts to my son and his wife. She has also texted me that she wants to die. When I started googling the behavior, all the pieces fell in place. I now understand so much and am free from the pain that she tries to inflict. I told my ds and DIL and they are low contact with no contact for broken boundaries. Just knowing its the N not me has had a powerful effect on my ability to be strong. I know it was long. Thanks for all you do.

Cheryl

q1605 said...

Hey Anna V, I thought you might like to know a blogger is using your name on her blog. I run rumblestripQ and my addy is q1605qq@gmail.com. if you know "tundra woman" we are friends. She has tried to contact you and got no reply so I thought you might find this moderating your comments.
Thanks.

http://mymotherthenarcissist.blogspot.com/2013/09/where-hell-have-i-been.html

Anna Valerious said...

Tundra Woman did email me and I have responded to her. I don't know if she updated you on that. As for the identity thief...I'm unsure as to what I can do about it.

JP said...

I wrote so much, I had to split it into two comments :-)

Anna-

I realized that I have a lot to say that could validate my mother as one of the world's nastiest narcissists. But, here are just a few fun points from the past 5 years:

1. Manipulated my wealthy father into screwing me out of college tuition and getting him to pay for her tuition for a psychology degree. Father is too wealthy for me to attend college until after I turn 25, even if I live on my own. (Someone should fix those terms, btw)
2. Uses psychology degree to work at church as a counselor, preying on the vulnerable.
3. Eventually takes job at church visiting old folk's homes. Lies about number of visits and gas mileage and ignores family phone calls when the old folks die.
4. Manipulates churches into giving her money for grad school; drops out a few weeks after they give her $10,000 for tuition while lying about her back hurting. Buys a whole bunch of stuff, and makes father pay back $10,000 out of his own pocket because the allowance he gives her "isn't enough."
5. Eventually gets some certification (I'm ignorant of how this works) to preach in a Methodist church. Preys on vulnerable church people in a small town and refuses to live at the parsonage set apart for her, except on the weekends.

From number 2- my husband and I lived with my parents after we both separated from the military. We were unsure that we would be able to afford the cost of living and tuition from our GI bill. My husband suggested moving back to my parents' house since his parents wouldn't be able to help us out at all financially. I was against the idea, but I didn't think my mother was dangerous or could genuinely affect my life in a negative way anymore.

Boy, was I wrong!
My mother made my husband into a golden child. Since I was the only child growing up, I had always been a mix. Because my husband is awesome and grew up in a good household, he recognized her bullshit for what it was, and we got through our time there by using humor and getting out of the house when we could. This didn't stop her from faking injuries, demanding help from us, and harassing us during midterms and finals in an effort to fuck up our (especially my) grades.

...

JP said...

...
And then I got pregnant. Suddenly, I had a terrible realization- "We are going to have to have a baby in this house!" And of course, my mothers nastiness intensified. After I told my parents I was pregnant, she tried feeding me stuff that could prove fatal to a fetus, almost hit me with a car, almost hit my husband and me in our car with her car, wiped the wooden stairs to our rooms with pledge, and refused to pick up enough food to eat (an agreement we had with her and my father) to name a few. At this point, she had become murderous. She could NOT STAND the fact that my father and husband were caring so much for me and my unborn child.

After a ridiculous Christmas dinner where she flipped out in jealousy and ruined a ham because she soaked and cooked it in pineapple (a contraction inducing fruit and God knows what else), my husband and I ran across your site.

We read the entirety of your blog very quickly. I became terrified and the "Mommy" that was already in me set about a flight motion. I had to get out of there, ASAP.

Now, my husband and baby and I live in our own, very small apartment. But my baby is safe, and we are all happy. I am working on cutting my parents off entirely, as my father advocates her abusive bullshit no matter what. They know we live 5 minutes away, but they have begun to take my threats of cutting them off forever seriously enough to leave us alone. They have only seen my boy once, and I will keep it that way. Occasionally, my mother will use my father's email to send something upsetting and/or manipulative, but I have used it for evidence against keeping contact, just let it roll off of my back, and continue to ignore them.

ALL OF THAT BEING SAID, I want to thank you so much for the time you have spent to give strength to people like me through your blog. Not to sound creepy- but I feel close to you, as I have never met anyone who understands like you do. Because of this, I have taken your advice regarding letting my narcissist mother into my child's life. I feel that God allowed my eyes to be open at just the right time to spare my little boy physical and emotional turmoil- and He used you to do it.

God bless you, Anna.
-Jen

Boo said...

Well said JP! congrats for getting out (alive)!
Thanks for this site Anna. I keep reading and re-reading, and I do struggle with the main NM is so damaging, but my NF who I thought was an enabler is more NF than EF! & being so close locationally it's wearing me down with my own family. We moved internationally to be close to them, before I knew what NPD was. Now I'm trying as little contact as possible. It's awkward from Nov onwards with birthdays and Xmas celebrations, and finding excuses not to go, but they are happy if my husband takes my kids and excludes me as the 'troublemaker'. So we have to make solid plans to escape the torture, and I don't want my kids in their company as they say nasty things my kids really worry about for a long time after. It's so damaging I can't understand why they do it. I was wondering are Narcs so damaging all their lives? Or is there something that flips that switch?

momkidd said...

Dealimg with my mom and the manipulation value of suicidal threats all my life. She would see me heading out on a date, pull out the pistol, head for her room, "If you go out of this house, you'll come back to find my brains splattered all over the bed!" She would sleep with the gun under her pillow for days just to be able to have it handy to wave around and threaten me in order to get her way. This week she's trying to force me to agree that she can smoke in the house with her oxygen running, her reasoning being the nicotine is good for her depression and "would you rather I took an oberdose and never woke up?" One of her favorites, used over and over, "all I've ever done is love you, and you kick me in the teeth!" This is used when she can't get her way, such as wanting me to go to the liquor store or smoke shop. She has COPD and bipolar, and she's on meds that dont mix with alcohol. So sick of it!

CeCe v said...

I think it is so important that one knows that when someone is suicidal they are also homicidal especially if they are trying to hurt the other person by their suicide. I was lucky I had a split minute to get out and run. If I had hesitated for a second I would also be dead.

Boo said...

Is it possible for a NM to have Munchausens Syndrome? Heard about it recently and I think a lot of us show the possibility of the NPD is masked by illness and remaining ill (at their own hands) to get attention and have medical professionals make a fuss of them - while you are trying to keep sane by not pandering to the NM and it's a win win for NM as they manipulate the professionals and family blatantly. Hmm food for thought. I see it in my own situation, the EF is on tenterhooks should he go out and enjoy himself and she'll fall end up in hospital all because he went out and enjoyed himself with others. Sound familiar?

Courtnee Keene said...

The narcissists threats of suicide and embracing Death hit home. The very glue of our family that held us together, my great grandmother, became ill months before I was to marry my husband. It was a goal of the families to keep her out of the nursing home and cared for at home for a family inheritance and everyone in the family was expected to pitch in. After a year and a half with constant interaction with my narcissistic family, I snapped and took myself off their health care provider roster. My grandmother who was in poor health was trying to commission me to keep with it because not only did my great grandma need me she did too, we spent weeks arguing about my refusal to participate any longer and she would often say I guess I should hurry up and die and how could I be so mean she needed me. I was married and had a son, which my family proceeded to think I should turn my back on them and just accept the fact that they needed me more. My great grandma died 6 months later, which before her passing, my grandmother tried to keep me away from the hospital to visit insisting I wait until hospice received her at the hospice house, I didn't listen and went as soon as I found out she was hospitalized and after seeing her she passed later that day. I helped plan and put together my great grandma's service. Most of the physically grueling work had to be completed by my mother and I while my grandma did her own thing, she'd want us to stop writing out thank you cards so she could talk about celebrities. I walked away from her 2 months after my great grandma's service, of course se manipulated my mother to get me back, which we fought about. My husband was in a horrible motor vehicle accident later that year which most of emergency personnel didn't think he'd survive (however my husband health and recovery from illness and injury has always been incredible.) My mom fought with me from the moment after seeing his severely beaten up body in icu, I think she thought it was her golden opportunity because he wasn't there to protect me and looked as if he'd be lucky if he got to live. We fought on and off for a month since his accident, during the holidays, I just felt so exhausted my husbands accident took a lot out of me and I did not have the energy to keep up with arguing with her or her demanding my time and attention and I walked away from her. I got my husband better, back to work, she'd show up at his job and try to approach my vehicle, approach him, anything she could think of really. We had to move and change our number so she'd quit harassing us, stalking us, and vandalizing our vehicle. She sent a letter to my husband's aunts house for me around the time of my wedding anniversary, 10 months since I walked away. Her letter claimed that she had breast cancer and said she had attempted suicide 3 times by taking 200units of insulin(she is a nurse), by od of ambien, and trying to hang herself when she was arrested at the county jail. Her arrest record shows she was released later that day on bond. She still proceeds to tell people she has cancer and is angry I won't believe or talk to her. She also tells me that I am ungrateful and she should of died back in 2004, which she nearly did if I hadn't of come to the hospital and seen the state she was in and hospital staff neglected her because they were understaffed. I just think it's funny how they use death and suicide as manipulation tactics to make you feel guilty. I resolved myself to take no blame in my mother's death if she ever does commit suicide as I am not responsible for her actions.

Mandee Papa-Wassermann said...

Are you kidding me? You pull this off as general good advice? People like you are the reason people do snap and kill themselves!

Yes, sometimes people threaten suicide and don't do it. They don't want to, but feel trapped. Has it not occured to you that the person is crying out for help? Maybe you should be listening and offering clear-headed alternatives to them, instead of ignoring.

I don't think I'm a narcissist, but I do threaten suicide lately, only in the past year, due to major depression (undiagnosed) and it really frustrates me that my family doesn't take me seriously. I'm 26 years old. i'm crying for help. I want help. Everyone stands by and watches me suffer, and says "that's just the way it is." Because of this, I feel more hopeless, and also feel the need to PROVE myself BY KILLING MYSELF rather than find solutions.

Anna Valerious said...

This post is not advice directed at those who are suicidal. It is addressed to people who are being manipulated by narcissists with suicide threats that are ongoing and, over time, proven to be just that...manipulation. I have been very up close and personal with someone very dear to me who I believed was truly suicidal. She wasn't threatening it, but her actions were clearly tending in that direction. She did confess to suicidal ideation which is very different from a threat. And much scarier from my perspective. Someone who is imagining different ways to off themselves and who, in a rare moment of soul-baring, is willing to admit as such is obviously is a whole different category of persons than what I describe in this post. I was there for her every moment she wanted me there. I offered her all the encouragement, love and support I could. My heart broke for her. I wanted nothing more than to fill her with my love so she could find at least one tiny reason to keep going. It is now some years later and she is still alive. She's since moved away from where I live. Please use your discernment to see that I have compassion for people who are suicidal, but I also have compassion on those ruthlessly tyrannized by suicidal threats. If you know you aren't a narcissist and you aren't trying to manipulate people with threats of suicide then why would you think this was about you? It isn't. I fervently hope you are able to find someone who will listen to you and help you. But please be willing to be helped if you do find that person.

Olivia Greiffenstein said...

My grandmother (deceased) and my sister (age 14) both seem to have NPD. I realized from a young age that my grandmother was awfully self-centered and concerned solely for her own well-being. Only recently did I start to see my sister show the same traits.

When I was a child, my grandmother would come over simply to criticize the house. She babysat me twice, once causing me to have an allergic reaction to the cat she was babysitting (she knew I had a severe allergy yet failed to mention it), and the other time I (3) locked myself in the bathroom so I wouldn't have to deal with her. Both events lasted less than 30 minutes and involved my busy mother driving over to pick me up. She used to call my father everyday to tell him how her day was, never bothering to ask how he or his family was feeling. No matter the event, be it a birthday party, holiday, it was about her. And if it wasn't, the complaining would commence. "None of you care about me!" As she got older, she would find various reasons to land herself in the hospital to get attention from the doctors. My family would stop worrying after the incidences started to happen every two weeks or so, but it was a stressor for all. In her final year, living at a nursing home, she would claim the nurses would make fun of her and abuse her and that we were endangering her health. No matter where she was, her health seemed to be in danger. When she died, the feeling was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. There was no more burden of having to visit a woman who could care less about me.

Now, my sister is displaying signs that she has NPD. She is extremely emotionally sensitive, part of it being due to puberty, but me simply uttering a word and her immediately bursting into a fountain of tears cannot be solely puberty. Recently, I went out with my mother for dinner, but it ended before we could start because my sister called, crying that she was going to kill herself and slit her wrists. When we came home, she was calmly sitting on her bed. The only damage was the towel rack she tore out of the bathroom wall. As a child, she would scream in the middle of the night when she couldn't sleep, because in her world, "if I can't sleep, then everyone else shouldn't be allowed to sleep". For her 14th birthday, she got at least $900 worth of gifts BEFORE her birthday was even close, and threw a fit when she was told she was not getting anything else. After emotionally manipulating my parents by telling them that nobody loves her and that it was the worst day ever, she got what she wanted. She pulls the same thing on every holiday, which ruins it for the other family members. The person she has the most control over is my mother, who suffers from depression and is presented with even more stress due to my sister's demands. She needs constant praise for the work she does despite her total lack of a work ethic, as she thinks what she does is perfect as is and does not need improvement. Unless she's having my mother rewrite an entire essay for her.

I have been asking my family to take her for an evaluation, but they keep ignoring it. It seems they are waiting for someone to get injured. My father is a psychologist, yet fails to see this because his mother (he was a huge momma's boy) was the same way and he saw nothing wrong with her. There is a proverb that says "the carpenter has a broken door", in reference to his knowledge of mental disorders but unable to recognize it in his personal life. I am afraid that as she gets older, she will start to manipulate others outside the family and make my parent's lives worse in the future.

WolfX13 said...

Hi, I am a a recently Awakened ACON and i am hoping to get over the damaged caused my my father, but where should i go next? i have taken a first step of removing him from my facebook and blocking him, it seems like a ton of bricks lifted from my chest and mind. my Wife pointed me here after the incredible anxiety from an event i went to this weekend. my mother is an enabler, and i am very sure that he will shortly use her to regain "control". are there any articles that you can point me to to help with this inevitably happening?

SuzyQ said...

This blog has been very helpful to me. My brother uses threats of suicide as a means of manipulating me, and I am so sick and tired of it. In the past I have always been afraid he would follow through with it, but now I see the pattern of manipulation that he has repeated over the years. The most recent incident really had me desperate to find out how to deal with him. My mother recently died and made him Executor of her estate - a huge mistake. Everything is someone else's fault, and if you say something he doesn't like he demands that you stop "badgering" him or he will kill himself. I no longer feel sorry for him, I'm just full of anger at him. It makes me sad because we used to be so close.