Update: I'm moving this post up so it'll show on the front page. It seems a good idea to have it front and center for those who are new to this blog and/or the subject of malignant narcissism.
What is narcissism? Is it a simple case of being kinda self-involved? Is it just the human condition? This post will focus on the big picture of what this blog is about. Consider it orientation for people who are new to the subject and new to this blog.
This blog is about malignant narcissism which is another name for NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder as its called in the bible of psychiatry, the DSM-IV.) This isn't a blog about people who have a few narcissistic traits because that would mean talking about everyone on the planet. I'm not interested in throwing the whole planet into one box because it would render it a useless classification.
It is understandable that people who are unfamiliar with the terms "malignant narcissism" or "NPD" to not really know how completely different of an animal is being discussed here than the average human being. This blog isn't about assholes or debutantes. It is very possible to be a jerk or to be a self-focused princess and not have the disorder of NPD. If you label anyone who irritates or annoys you as a narcissist then you don't have a grasp of what this character disorder really is.
Every human being is bent to one degree or other toward selfishness. So to define NPD as "being selfish" is not a definition that makes any sense because it would just be statement about the whole human race that wouldn't help anyone identify the problem of human evil. Some people say that all humans struggle against being selfish and so are quick to state that we are all narcissists. Not so fast. The label is important because we are trying to identify a certain sub-set. There is a specific definition here that is important to grasp if you're going to be able to deal with the problems that proceed from calculated and predatory human evil which is at the root of the definition of malignant narcissism.
Let's look at the statement above, "...all humans struggle against being selfish." No, they don't. THAT is what this blog is about. The ones who don't struggle against their selfish urges. It is about those human beings who long ago gave up any struggle against their lusts, their selfish entitlement attitude, their demands, their need to control others. Some, I believe, have never put up a real fight against their own selfish demands. Malignant narcissism usually manifests at a very young age even though it never becomes an official diagnosis until adulthood because this is how the grand poo-bahs of psychology play the game of labeling.
There is a creature that exists in human form that has become distinctly different than those of us who do struggle against selfishness. In a very deliberate and conscious way these people have made a decision to not fight against their selfish impulses. They have embraced them. They have found ways to completely justify them. They are quite proud of their freedom to do anything they want to anyone they want. They may be quietly smug about it or openly boastful; nevertheless, they're proud of their ability to get their way.
They see themselves as set apart from mere humanity. They distance themselves from the human race by setting themselves apart from and above them. They do this by word and by action. They even usurp the very throne of God Himself as they position themselves as god over all they survey. They reserve to themselves the right to define reality to all in their domain. All this results in the train of woe that follows from the human embodiment of evil.
I make no apologies for referring to malignant narcissists as a "creature" or any other dehumanizing term I may use from time to time. I didn't dehumanize them. They do it to themselves. I'm just agreeing with them that they aren't like the rest of us...only, when I say it, I mean it in the most disparaging way unlike the narcissist who pretends himself apart from all the rest of humanity as proof of his superiority.
The outgrowth of the mental state of malignant narcissists as described above are very predictable and legion but it can be boiled down to some consistent traits seen among all who've dedicated themselves to human evil. I have covered these traits at length on this blog. I'll try to revisit some of these predictable behaviors and attitudes of the malignant narcissist in brief.
All malignant narcissists are cases of arrested development.
They are perpetually living in a mindset of a young child. The age when a child is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong but very willing to do wrong if they think they won't get caught. Like a child, they feel entitled to whatever they want. Like a child, they recreate reality to suit their fantasy about themselves and the world around them. Like a child, they want all attention focused on them. But, unlike a child, the narcissist is not subject to being molded and shaped by authority figures or reality. The narcissist is determined (read here, conscious choice) to remain a child whereas most children are driven by a desire to grow up. Children are childish and there is no crime in that. I'm not pathologizing childhood. I'm highlighting that malignant narcissists are pathological children.
This state of being leads to the other realities about malignant narcissists which are all characterized by being pathological excess of whatever we're talking about:
The narcissist has a pathological need for all attention in every context he finds himself in.
It is so pathological that if you get any attention he is obsessed by the need to take it away from you because he imagines that if you get any that it is an unsurvivable diminution of this precious commodity for him.
This is attached to his transcendent sense of entitlement.
If he wants something then, in his mind, it belongs by native right to him. And because he wants every shred of human attention, warmth, regard, consideration, that means you can't have any. This is at the very bedrock of the narcissist's motivations. The need to have it all means he must take what you have. It makes you a target of his malevolent intent. It is the fountainhead of his ill will toward all others.
The malignant narcissist's pathological need to have it all leads to his existence of being pathologically envious.
In other words, the most pernicious, pervasive and all-consuming state of being covetous. This translates to him envying anything you have or are. So, picture a human being utterly possessed of a pathological need for all the attention and all good things which flow from human relationships and you have the framework for understanding the next identifying feature of the Malignant Narcissist Creature...
The malignant narcissist is a predatory animal.
He stalks his prey. He must do so because his malevolent intent is absolute and would frighten away any source of his supply if the target could easily discern his implacable nature and insatiable lusts and his intent to feed. So the narcissist transforms himself. He is an adept at making and wearing masks. He thrives on appearances. He is short on substance. People who are easily taken in by appearances and short on wisdom to discern substance are easy targets.
The malignant narcissist is a chameleon.
This is why so many people have a problem identifying what a narcissist is. To the superficial view malignant narcissists can appear to widely differ from each other. This narcissist here is a sophisticate with excellent worldly tastes, vast charm and a following of admirers. That narcissist over there is an unemployed alcoholic who lives off his wife or parents, abuses animals and his children, and hasn't amounted to more than a pile of shit his whole life. But both of these widely disparate appearances are adaptations to environment, I.Q., accident of birth such as physical beauty, advantages such as education, sex, etc. It is important to understand the chameleon-like adaptations all narcissists are capable of and not be fooled by these adaptations to miss the substance of what they are: a pathological mess of predatory urges that feeds off of the people around them.
How an individual narcissist presents himself or herself can cause huge variations in how a malignant narcissist appears to others, but make no mistake, these basic characteristics will be found in any of them. Both the charming sophisticate narcissist and the alcoholic loser are pursuing their favored forms of "narcissistic supply.", another term for the attention "drug" that every malignant narcissist junkie is pursuing his every waking moment. How they go about it looks very different, but in principle they are after the same thing.
All malignant narcissists are parasitical.
They need people around them from whom they can steal what they need. Their need for people is desperate, yet their desperate need presents a conundrum for them. Their need for people runs counter to their even more desperate need to not appear like they need anything from anyone, especially you! Never forget, they are gods in their own estimation which means that even while they steal, demand or extort what they need from you they will trash you for giving it. The more they need you the more you will be subjected to their loathing. It is paradoxical unless you understand what the hell is really going on. Which is what I'm describing for you now.
Stay focused on the narcissist as parasite. Because the malignant narcissist is a complete failure in the moral realm they must attach to sources of virtue. This is because no lie can exist without the truth. Evil can't exist without some appearance of good. How does the narcissist wear an appearance of virtue? Most commonly he surrounds himself with those who possess real virtue. The close proximity makes it easy for the malignant narcissist to steal virtue for his own image. Does the narcissist need to feel powerful? He may prop himself up or feed on those who have real power if he is lucky enough to sidle up to them, or he will surround himself with people who are weak so he can feel powerful by controlling them.
OR the narcissist can steal virtue and substance from her profession or from belonging to certain clubs or organizations or charities. Service professions are very attractive to malignant narcissists. So is religion. As is Motherhood. An example: the narcissist can get herself close to her prey of choice by her choice of profession. Does she like to seduce young boys? She may decide to become a teacher. She attaches herself parasitically to the profession's high claim of being concerned about the education of young people. Who would suspect she is not a teacher because of the usual reasons? By association everyone assumes a certain amount of goodwill and character due to her choice of job. This is her cover to then commence her predation of her favorite flavor of attention. She has parasitically attached herself to the good name of teacher. She is stealing virtue she doesn't possess so as to better reach her prey.
In every situation the parasitical narcissist is preening himself.
He needs a mirror to accomplish his acts of preening. That mirror is you. He plays to his mirrors. He poses in front of his mirrors to get the desired reflection back. When you show looks of interest, admiration, fear, concern, he is basking in his reflected self. His insubstantial self. A construct of reality he has created out of thin air. But see? He needs YOU to accomplish this. He needs you to hold up the mirror for him. But he isn't looking at you. He is only interested in his own reflection in your face. You don't exist as a person to him. You're a means to his end. The parasite takes what he needs with no thought or benefit going to the host. If you cease giving him what he wants he will move on to a better host. He is completely heedless of his tremendous and all-consuming need of people to accomplish this act of reflection. His preening is an extension of his parasitical lifestyle, yet he is unable to comprehend this.
We are only objects to the narcissist.
He can't comprehend it because he has transmogrified all the rest of us into objects. We have no needs that he must enter into his consideration. He is first and only in everything. He refuses (again, conscious choice) to see your humanity and the basic rights that come along with that humanity. You are nothing more than a tool in his hand, a pawn in his game, an object for his use. When done, he casts you aside as so much used toilet paper. People who believe the narcissist loves them are tragically naive and deceived. The narcissist has vast reservoirs of love, compassion and concern, but not one tiny bit of those things can be diverted from himself. He loves himself so utterly and completely there is no room for anyone else in his affections. The malignant narcissist is absolutely incapable of the true emotion of love for any other human being. Period. If you doubt me you will continue to suffer under the heartless tyranny of these blood-suckers. You can never successfully deal with a narcissist if you believe he loves you in any real way. He NEEDS you. But need is not love. His need is the need that will take and take and take with no concern as to whether his taking is killing you.
Even if you've not been in close contact with a malignant narcissist, with a little imagination you can follow these descriptions to some of their outcomes. All of those outcomes are attended with ill will. Not one motivation of the narcissist is concerned with anyone else's well-being. This is what makes them dangerous and evil. They are unsafe for human interaction. Do they see themselves as dangerous and evil? Very unlikely. Some do. Most don't. Remember that they have justified themselves on every point. The evil they perpetrate is most times seen by them as their righteous cause. They have turned evil into good and black into white. This is easy enough to accomplish for someone who has for a lifetime tinkered with reality as much as those around them have allowed.
As you can hopefully see by now, malignant narcissism isn't about everyday variety selfishness. I'll use the word again here, it is pathological selfishness. It is a selfishness that will destroy anything that gets in its way.
When I decided to start a blog and needed to pick a name for it I chose Narcissists Suck for a reason. It wasn't a flippancy. My nom de plume is that of a vampire slayer. Again, not a flippant choice. The primary meaning of this blog's title is a succinct statement of truth about all narcissists -- they suck the life out of their victims. Plus, I did really like the dual meaning of the title. The other meaning being the more casual statement of, "damn, these people SUCK."
Human evil is not of recent advent. It has been a part of human existence for as long as humans have existed. Some of the evidence of this fact is found in the many legends of evil of which the Vampire bears some startling correlations to what we know about malignant narcissism. Of course, there is no one definition or legend of vampires but there are some persistent themes. I'll list a few for your perusal.
The ability to hypnotize and/or charm their potential victims.
Light destroys them. (Light is analogous to truth.)
They are shape-shifters.
They are predatory. Especially of family and neighbors where they lived before they became "undead."
They can only exist by draining the blood, life-force, of their prey.
Despite their human appearance they aren't really human.
They can infect others with their vampirism.
Great powers of persuasion.
Hard to kill. Even starvation won't kill it though it will render them somewhat insane. (Think here of the narcissist deprived of sources of supply. It won't end up in a converted narcissist; crazy, yes, converted, no. They will survive until they find a fresh victim.)
This isn't an exhaustive list, but it is enough to supply the point that legends of vampirism find their close counterpart in the malignant narcissist. This blog is intended to be the sunlight that destroys these vampiric blood-suckers. Shine the light of truth on who they are and what they do and find them scattering to the dark corners of their lairs. At the very least, the sunlight dispels the hypnotic hold of the vampire on his victims and helps them get free.
Thus concludes my attempt at an overview of malignant narcissism which is the focus of this blog. There are plenty of annoying and petty people out there. That isn't what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about those humans who've embraced evil that stalks its own kind as prey. The most scary aspect of this kind of evil is that is will suck the life blood out of its own young. The children of narcissists are the ones who've seen what evil really is. The narcissist disguises himself when in public view. It is behind closed doors that the fangs come out. Pity the children. Save them if you can.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Malignant Narcissism: A Brief Overview
Posted by Anna Valerious at 10:00 AM
Labels: Concept of Evil, How to Spot a Narcissist, Predators
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Anna....This is absolutely SUPERB! I thank you with every heartbeat and breath I have left in this world. Bless you.
Ha - I didn't get the vampire play on words for "narcissists suck" before, excellent!
True, N's don't struggle with BEING destructively selfish, they only struggle with not LOOKING destructively selfish. No one can act easily against their own deepest values without extreme discomfort, and the N's prove by their ease of harmful actions WHAT their deepest values really are.
Normal [not pathological] selfishness also realizes the value of truly getting along with others - long term, not short term, and the fact that it also healthily serves the self to have a character that one wants to actually inhabit and feel proud of. This is not just about being "good" - it is also self preservation and survival and quality of life for us social beings. It is in our best interests to have good characters. More proof that their 'selfishness' is truly a deviation. N's excell at short term "gain" and long term loss. Their brand of selfishness routinely destroys the very relationships they feed upon, and usurps any true meaning or purpose from their lives beyond feeding their insatiable hunger. I never met a single N that was doing anything real with their lives beyond covertly scheming for and managing N supply. Everything else: job, religion, relationships - all a cover.
Another proof of their deviation from what defines us as human is their ease at turning against not just other humans, but their own kin in particular. Kin bonding and extreme loyalty to kin is hard wired in us. Proof of that is how difficult it is to really leave a NFOO, no matter how much experience we have of their destructiveness. N's are complete deviants because their most common prey is the people CLOSEST to them, their FOO's, mates and own children. This is a HUGE deviation from everything in us that is innately human and natural.
Hmmmm. Check your title: Maybe "A" instead of "An" (...Brief Overview...)?
Along these lines, do you think that "narcissist" is an overly gentle way for some victims to describe a person who really needs to be called out as a violent, fraudulent, and/or manipulative lunatic? Ted Bundy was likely a narcissist and possibly this fueled his crimes, but that's of little importance to his victims' families who are more concerned that he was a murderer. Calling Ted Bundy a mere "narcissist" trivializes his carnage.
I know that I used to define my FOO as "dysfunctional" because I wasn't ready to admit they were physically violent, emotionally abusive, dishonest, and just plain negative. I was being too polite, unafraid to call them out properly, so I used the latest catch-phrase, "dysfunctional", which lumps in mildly defective situations with the severely toxic. Finally admitting that, yes, I was ABUSED was a huge step toward getting away from them.
Thanks, krl. I changed the title at some point and forgot to change that wee word.
Along these lines, do you think that "narcissist" is an overly gentle way for some victims to describe a person who really needs to be called out as a violent, fraudulent, and/or manipulative lunatic?
I actually prefer the term malignant narcissist because it is a more precise descriptor. I just sometimes tire of all the typing. I don't consider the term malignant narcissist to be anything resembling a gentle term.
No, I don't think it is an overly gentle way to describe the psychopath. Not if a person understands what all is enveloped in the full definition of narcissism. If people can be brought to a better comprehension of the full meaning of narcissism it might have the opposite effect of helping people understand that all malignant narcissists are very dangerous. Very little separates the mother who is a malignant narcissist from the murderer.
By the way, the murderous Ted Bundy was no lunatic. We should be careful to make sure that people don't call psychopaths lunatics because they are not insane in the true sense of the word. While people are looking for overt signs of lunacy they will miss the suave, slick and cunning psychopath sitting in their living room. Words have precise meanings and we do well to stick carefully to those meanings. This blog post was my attempt to put a clear meaning into the term of narcissism so as to underscore that all narcissists are dangerous. A person doesn't have to be a murderer to destroy lives.
Brilliant, fervent post as always. For some reason, when provided with a detailed, descriptive list of criterea I'm able to fully comprehend the extent, the depth of evil perpetrated by these fiends.
And you are most certainly correct in labeling them as "creatures", because they in NO WAY resemble the human being that I am and the wonderful folks I am acquainted with and personally close to.
It really is like comparing night to day, black to white, evil to good because the extremes become so obvious after a hopefully limited interraction with these "creatures of doom".
As for MNs being physically violent or not, like you said Anna, it's what they THINK they can get away with while retaining their illusory superior image of themselves.
I emphatically KNOW my bio-father was a Psychopath. No question about it, and further more, all Psychopaths are Narcissists, but not all Narcissists are Psychopaths. That's what I've learned from reading different books and websites dedicated to informing the public of the most heinous existence of PDIs.
Yes, he used his charm for selfish motives but he never really gave a damn what people thought about him. He was only charming and witty for his evil agenda.
No, he never physically abused me or my sisters but he was physically abusive to my Mother. She fought back many times and I'm sure he didn't like that at all!
He was rash, impulsive, reckless and committed loathsome felonies (or was finally busted for them) 12years after my Mother divorced him. He died in prison 2 years ago where he had spent the last 15 plus years.
He got what he deserved even though the damage he had done to many innocent, vulnerable victims means they are more than likely STILL working to heal and recover from his evil deeds.
I hated the man and I will confess....I still do. He was the exact opposite of what I consider (and fundamentally know, in my heart, mind and spirit) as a decent human being.
Maybe there will come a day when the only emotion I feel that relates to him is indifference, which really isn't an emotion but a state of mind. Right now....No, not possible.
Thank you so very much, Lovely Anna for allowing me a beautiful, loving and safe place to vent and share my journey. It is an honor for me to be a part of your most beneficial and healing website.
Thanks for another helpful article Anna. I always appreciate your intelligently written articles. I could be wrong but the 1960's/70's period was probably the greatest birth period of selfishness America had ever seen with all the drugs, rock and roll, sex and money. Since that time most have gotten whatever they wanted with great ease and our technology reflects that fact today. It's been non-stop gluttony for many since the 60's and 1970's. Who knows where it is all about to lead us? Thanks again for the article.
Bravo, Anna, brilliant post. Very very helpful, thank you for writing it and once again, when is the book coming out? You could reach so many and also maybe make some money for your time. I know I deeply appreciate what you do here and would love to see you profit from it, even though that's not your intention, but you deserve it. It would be a way for people to show how much you help them, by paying for your book.
Having said that, yes, the malignant N is indeed a monster to the utmost degree and deserves to be treated as such. They will stop at nothing, as long as they have accomplices. May they all die.
Anna, it takes a really long time for most people to grasp this paradigm. It has been six years since I ended my marriage to a narcissist, and although his craziness threatened my sanity, I sometimes forget the breadth and depth of narcissism's crazy-making potential. I also benefit from your clarity as an adult child of an N mother, a woman who taught me to accept and rationalize narcissism, a woman who now tells everyone what a "bad girl" I am for having left her embrace. It is refreshing to know someone else has such a bead on these types, especially after receiving questions from others like, "What do you mean a narcissist? Did he look in the mirror a lot?" As a matter of fact, he did, but that was the least of it. I'd love to treat you to coffee sometime - I feel like you are a soul sister :)
Anna writes, “The most scary aspect of this kind of evil is that is will suck the life blood out of its own young.”
So true. My loathsome N brother fought nasty child custody battles with two ex-wives as a means of controlling and terrorizing them. Vile lies and accusations in court, the whole bit. Both times, after losing and having to settle for court-ordered, normal, fair parenting time instead of being able to permanently separate child from mother, he walked out of court and refused to see or speak to the children ever again. Had no more use for them, you see. And narcissists don’t like to lose.
", he walked out of court and refused to see or speak to the children ever again. Had no more use for them, you see."
I hope they realized that they were lucky.
Thank you again Anna, this was a poignant and timely post for me. The word parasite was used by my therapist tonight in relation to my MNmom. I came home and opened this blog to re-arm myself with your words of wisdom, and it was a repeat of my session. Thank you for constantly speaking truth about these toxic people. It means so much to this fragile and hurting soul.
- Breaking Free
And the stake ... it's not for their heart, but for yours. The way to kill a vampire (render them socially dead, anyway) is to stop bleeding for them.
Good analogy, Anna. Thank you.
In a previous post Anna and others spoke of N/C being a private affair and not speaking of it to others.
I have been the opposite. I have been so shocked, so devestated, so appalled by the behavior of the N ILs I told EVERYONE. And the reaction from some was also bizarre.
"You have to let go."
"You have to forgive."
A whole list of what I HAVE TO DO.
Damn, I just lost my husband and now, instead of compassion, I was given ORDERS! Not only by the Ns, but by "Christians."
So I have learned to be silent.
Few people understand because so few can truly grasp that the actions of which I'm complaining REALLY DID HAPPEN. Few people can grasp others can be so cruel.
No, NPD is not the selfishness one finds in every human. It is so far beyond that to be incomprehensible. To refuse to help your dying son, to refuse his very simple, very reasonable requests IN FAVOR OF YOUR OWN SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT goes beyond reason.
Anon, to try to use your children in order to hurt their mother and then, after failing that, to cut them all off, is so very extremely cruel. It defies all logic, all explanation. I'm so sorry your neices/nephews experienced that. I do hope they understand is has to do with who their father is, not who they are. My own daughter experienced that and she's fine with it now. Children of Ns can come out the other side with their sanity and self-esteem intact.
Somewhere I read (I think Dr. Sam V.) that Ns fear abandonment above all else. C'est la guerre.
And it is just that, a war. Not engaging the enemy is the only way to win.
TO MY LIMO DRIVER,
Smooth ride to the airport!
I hope you have found your way to this amazing blog I was telling you about. If so, let me know.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
Anna will rock your world!
Brilliant, brilliant, Anna. If you do write a book, I would definitely buy it. Oprah should have it on her must-read list! You'd get rich! You deserve it.
Also, fellow bloggers and acons, your insights are so healing. You express yourselves so so well. You all possess so much insight and clarity. Something that I find hard to do. So much water underneath the bridge that I find it hard to be so clear.
This blog is truly quality therapy and keeps me on track and on my toes. Thanks, Anna, for saying it like it is and educating us about malignant narcissism. We lived with it and suffered horrendously, not even knowing what we were living with. Dysfuctional is a "mild" way of putting it and we use that word so much still trying to protect our parent and/or Foo and ourselves. We have to call a spade a spade and you do that for us. You do provide a safe haven for us.
I look forward to reading your posts, Anna, and all the comments. Its become a way of life!
Bravo, Anna. I can't thank you enough. Also, fellow bloggers, you are wonderful, too!
Be well and thrive. Bless you all.
The difference between narcissism and malignant narcissism? Substitute "wants to harm you" for "malignant". Or compare "benign" and "malignant". One is a cancer, the other is not. It makes all the difference in the world.
"This translates to him envying anything you have or are."
This is when my N-friend began to come undone. In a space of three years, I got engaged, went back to school, bought a house, got married, wrote a children's book, and had my first child.
He tried to plant doubts in my head about my fiance, would make remarks that the school I was attending was not taken seriously in the professional world. He claimed he got mugged a half block away from my new home, got so drunk the night before my wedding he almost missed it, flipped through a copy of my book like I handed him a copy of Guns and Ammo. When my child was born, most of his sentences ended with "you can do that when you don't have kids". Things like napping, spontaneous trips, dinners out- he was constantly rubbing my face in all of the things I could no longer do because of my child. But it didn't faze me, I was really happy, which of course pissed him off even more. At the time I didn't understand why he couldn't be happy for me, but then I realized that he didn't want ANYTHING good to happen in my life. And the baby meant less attention was being paid to him, and that just didn't fly.
In the first month of my having started this blog I defined what "malignant" means.
The Malignant Narcissist
Anonymous @ 8:42 AM -- you got it.
Anna, here's a question. Is it just my limited experience, or do Ns seem to hang on longer when they get critical illnesses? I know of two Ns who are to date beating the odds on very terminal types of cancer. They seem to flourish in the attention they're getting, doctors, nurses, etc. etc. It's almost like it feeds them even more.
I hate to sound cruel, but I'd be happy if they'd just go away, and yet they're doing better than most of the gentle kind souls I loved who died from such.
In a post titled The Aging Narcissist I made this statement:
Some of the most tenacious clingers-on to life are narcissists.
Although my observations took a somewhat different tack than yours I too have seen that narcissists tend to live on...and on. I'm inclined to think that some of them do thrive on all the attention that can be derived from a serious illness. It makes sense that they would receive a real boost in the battle with disease from being center stage. That is, assuming they have a doctor who cares and family and friends who are freely expressing their sympathy and concern. I'm sure not all narcissists are that lucky.
No, here is a place where you can state that you'd be happy if they'd all just go away. There is nothing cruel about wishing the evil to die...and preferably die young. I with ya. When evil flourishes, freedom dies.
A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this.
When the wicked spring up like grass, And when all the workers of iniquity flourish, It is that they may be destroyed forever.
Anonymous Mar 6, 2009 7:19:00 AM said...
"Also, fellow bloggers and acons, your insights are so healing. You express yourselves so so well. You all possess so much insight and clarity. Something that I find hard to do. So much water underneath the bridge that I find it hard to be so clear."
If you’re here then you’ve either glimpsed the light and life outside the pit of Ns, are looking at our waiting and willing hands to help you out, or you’ve crawled out. Your brain wants to… no, no, that is not it …your brain MUST classify, categorize, or otherwise put a label on what has happened to you. For this group it happens to be Narcissists Suck.
I believe our insight comes from our experiences, of course, but also spending so much time inside ourselves. Clarity, well that is so much more elusive. I think it is fair to say that we do not have clarity for everything, but for some things we have the purest magnifying lens on the planet!
You’ll find your expression. One day you’ll read a post that describes your situation exactly and, at first, you’ll be amazed. It might even be something you haven’t thought about in years that will come flooding back. You’ll realize you’re not alone. You’ll pour your heart out, offer affirmations, or otherwise let loose and be yourself. We’ll be here with you in Anna’s comfy digs. Oh, and leave that big bag-o-shit the Ns gave you outside the door…you don’t need it anymore.
Looking for that Perfect Present for the Terminally Chronically Ill Hypochondriac N in your life?? Look no further!!
Someone posed a question in a comment about the works of Robert D. Hare. I published the comment but it isn't showing up here yet. No idea why.
Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us
Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work
Both of these books are in the Amazon Widget on my web page as "Recommended". Among others.
Anna, I went back and reread your writings on the aging N.
" I think the extremely deprived conscience of the narcissist is never quite able to dismiss the idea that there may be a Day of Reckoning to meet in the hereafter. They would avoid that Day, not by actually making restitution for wrongs done, but by refusing to die. Some of the most tenacious clingers-on to life are narcissists."
Spot on. You nailed this one. One of the Ns with supposedly terminal cancer is more active than he ever was before. He seems to feed on the attention, he's well-known about town and he makes sure he's out and about so everyone can ask how he's doing. Disgusting.
All malignant narcissists are cases of arrested development.
The narcissist has a pathological need for all attention in every context he finds himself in
This is attached to his transcendent sense of entitlement.
The malignant narcissist's pathological need to have it all leads to his existence of being pathologically envious.
The malignant narcissist is a predatory animal.
The malignant narcissist is a chameleon.
All malignant narcissists are parasitical.
In every situation the parasitical narcissist is preening himself.
We are only objects to the narcissist.
Hey, Anna, I printed out the topic sentences from your latest and stuck them on the fridge to keep "the facts, ma'am" in front of my eyes and in the forefront of my mind. Ever vigilant
Just this week have had a major situation in ye old FOO. Thanks to this site, I refused to accept responsibility and accountability for another adult when NM attempted to foist it onto my shoulders. Felt great. I was roaring with silent laughter as I held the phone and listened to NM reject all three suggestions I made as to what SHE could do that would be constructive in the circumstances. "Weeeellllll, looks like there's nothing I can do about it."
Gawd, it feels so good to be able to laugh at her.
I am saving my children. This is why I am now no contact with my malignant narcissistic evil mother.
Anna, thank you for this blog. It so speaks my heart and validates my anger and hurt for being the doting daughter for thirty-five years of a MN. Now, because of my choice (which is really NOT my choice--I did not choose my mother), my family is now NC with me. I am not surprised, and I will sacrifice all of it so the narcissism does not go on another generation. I don't care how hard it is for me; I will not pass that evil shit onto my precious boys.
Thank you for speaking your truth. In doing so, you enable so many other unfortunate souls to speak and live out theirs. This is following Christ. Thank you, Anna.
"All malignant narcissists are parasitical"
My ex-NF (a.k.a. the Human Deer Tick) feels he is above having to earn his own living. He is completely dependent upon his long-suffering partner/hostage. The Tick enjoys bragging about THEIR home, THEIR money, etc. Being the typical N, he doesn't realize how creepy and opportunistic his blood-sucking lifestyle looks to others.
To JR...thanks for your kind, healing, words. They mean a lot to me.
Anna...you hit the nail on the head when you say,
"You are nothing more than a tool in his hand, a pawn in his game, an object for his use. When done, he casts you aside as so much used toilet paper."
I believe this is why N's are devoid of feelings of empathy for another human being. The objectification of people results in a lack of connectiveness and a one dimentional view of people in black and white. They are no more 'connected' to you than they would be to a vacuum cleaner or a coffee maker!
Kathleen…thanks for your comments. Like you, I TALKED and heard the same rhetoric. Amazingly though, the people who really understood what we were dealing with have said for years, NC but we never really knew how to do that and keep a relationship with MIL especially now that she is so ill.
“I am saving my children. This is why I am now no contact with my malignant narcissistic evil mother.”
Ditto for me. I’ve been thinking about how I am raising my child though. What is the opposite of narcissism? Can you overdo being non-N? What is the healthy medium? If I emphasize that my dream is for him to grow up happy and healthy and to find someone who loves him as much as I do, am I trivializing the rest? My husband and I have both explained to him that, as parents, God gave us certain responsibilities and that we are doing our best to abide by those instructions and rules. I’m pretty sure he understands that we are trying to teach him morals and skills that will help him as an adult to leave home and have/live his own life. Anyone care to share some wisdom?
Some of them are just plain evil. That's it in a nutshell, while psychology labels and defines the specifics, the basic word is EVIL.
I turned to N husband who I am busy working on escaping: and just said to him..."You are evil". Looking at the flat eyes tells me everything I need to know. He is so N or P, he does not care about the feelings of others. Same for N mother. One sees the evil in the eyes, I wrote poems about her as a teen where I would write "snake-eyes".
Jr...in response to your question: "I’ve been thinking about how I am raising my child though. What is the opposite of narcissism? Can you overdo being non-N? What is the healthy medium?"
I can only answer from my own experience. I don't know what the opposite of narcissism is; maybe it's trying too hard not to be one! At the time that I was raising my children I didn't realize that my mother was (and still is!) a malignant narcissist. I did know that I resented her tremendously but really had no knowledge of what I was dealing with and the pathology of it. I did do a number on my children. I tried to make up for having a mother who did nothing for me by doing way too much for my children...especially my daughter. When we do too much for our children or need them too much, we take away their identity. My psychiatrist, at the time, said I took out my resentment of my mother on my daughter by trying to not be like her (my mother) and making up for a mother that did nothing for me, only used me. So in a way I used my children to get back at my mother. Some of it was conscious; a lot of my behaviour was unconscious. As acons we can be pretty bent!
So, yes, yes, we can do so much damage to our children. However, I feel that you are in a different position than I was because you seem to be aware of malignant narcissism and you are asking the right questions.
Sadly, I never knew what I was really dealing with and the seriousness of it until recently and then No Contact was the only way to go.
You seem to be on the right track, asking questions and wanting to protect your child. We must protect the children. But having been predisposed to evil parenting, we are programemd in a way to repeat the past and have to be deprogrammed!
This blog is a great place to get help and understanding and deprogramming! And finding that happy medium.
Why are there so many evil mothers out there! It blows my mind. It seems that the evil want to bear children to torture them! Or better yet, to conceal their evil so they can hide behind the mask of "mother." What a curse to those innocents born to these monsters. I really can't make sense of it. Why does God allow this? At least render these monsters infertile.
"The most scary aspect of this kind of evil is that it will suck the life blood out of its own young. The children of narcissists are the ones who've seen what evil really is. The narcissist disguises himself when in public view. It is behind closed doors that the fangs come out. Pity the children. Save them if you can."
Anna, this post is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I keep reading it over and over again.
The last paragraph is particularly gripping. We, the children of MNs know what evil really is. We have to save the future generation. It does tend to run in families. Very sad and very scary. I struggle with trying to get others to believe me...to see the evil. What a curse!
Again, Anna, thanks so much for your powerful blog.
20 years now since I got away from the X-MN. & despite the time this topic took me 3 tries to read because it hit home so hard.
A couple years after my divorce I went into hiding to protect & raise my boys alone without the evil beast. It was very hard but it was The absolute BEST decision I ever made in my life!
Today they are happy & healthy and most importantly Alive, and I am Very proud of the young men they have become.
Its really hard to find people that can truly understand what I mean if I say that about my past. They look at me funny thinking I am being over dramatic or how they say something like how could I have denied them knowing their own father. So I rarely talk about many of the hardest years of my life. Thanks for giving me a place to be understood.
Exellent post as always, Anna!!!
God bless you all and kick the trash to the curb.
So I rarely talk about many of the hardest years of my life. Thanks for giving me a place to be understood.
I want to commend you for your courage, fortitude and unswerving concern for your sons. I know your decisions to protect them required a great sacrifice on your part. You prove your good character by the fact that you deem any sacrifice to be more than worth it for the sake of growing up your sons into healthy and good people. True mothering.
It is because of this sad reality of people not understanding what we've been through that I advise people to say little to nothing to others. It can be quite distressing, adding more injury to the real pain, to have people dismiss, ignore or diminish what we're telling them. So saying nothing is usually best. Now and again we will cross paths with someone who is equipped to understand.
Yes, you're understood here. The solemn gathering of those who've seen too much and been through too much. As for me, I wouldn't trade my experiences in for the wisdom I've been granted by them. Wisdom never comes cheaply. It is the treasure seldom found except by those who've been through much and have been willing to learn from it. I've definitely signed a peace treaty with the past because I can see that I've gained more than I've lost. This results in me being copacetic with the fact that there is much about my life I wouldn't share with most people I know. Who I am today is enough for them to know...they don't have to know how I got here.
When you can be sure of your decisions and can see for yourself that you've made good ones it can make it much easier to deal with the thought that others wouldn't understand. It sounds like you are there. You know for yourself that protecting your sons was the right choice. You have the witness of their healthy hearts and minds to tell you that you did the right thing. I hope you continue to find much solace and peace inside yourself. You've earned it. I imagine that the understanding you find here is simply a nice augmentation of the understanding you already have inside yourself. God bless.
Thank you for your blog!!!!
I have been reading for years and have been nc with my family for 4 years now. Truely the way to kill or render the N's life useless is to not bleed for them. Oh how true.
I have to mention I have one dream that I can remember from my childhood and it was my mother as a vampire showing her fangs to me,and i was yelling to her "your not my mother" you know narcissist really do suck.
Thank you- I know malignant narcissism inside and out and STILL I need to read and remind myself that they are not human.
Every time I read an entry like yours I am bolstered and feel calm- that to me is the surest sign, I am right. And that's important, as malignant hope is the most dangerous state for victims. It keep you in the web, in half-life, drugged by them.
Malignant hope is from the devil, it is the reverse of hope.
Thanks again- I needed to read this even 2 yrs. no contact.
Amazing and informative, Anna. The vampire analogy was excellent.
You're making a huge difference in our lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
"I’ve been thinking about how I am raising my child though. What is the opposite of narcissism? Can you overdo being non-N? What is the healthy medium?"
It is a difficult task raising a child having had an N mother for a role model. I could spend hours beating myself up over my parenting abilities- but I have come to realise a few things in the short time I have been a parent- it is a massive undertaking to try and rectify the generations of N abuse- being a parent with no role models- and absolutely no help is pretty tough- and having been raised N style I am my own (very) harsh critic. I am appalled at the amount of N’s there are working in the ‘caring professions’. They are all lined up waiting to tell you that everything you do for your child is wrong. I learnt the hard way you see, an N will try and get you to adopt their freaky parenting style because if you do it they can justify to themselves that they were not that cruel.
I am going to make mistakes- but the difference is – I will listen and learn from mine and try and make amends. This is something I never had with my family; a two way relationship- it’s a new path that I’m carving and I’m terrified of getting everything wrong- sometimes I get so daunted by it all- but I want to live in truth I want the real world- despite the pain it has brought, I haven’t given up hope.
I'm struck by what Anonymous @ 3/7/09 7:30 said - "As Acons we can be pretty bent" and that "having been exposed to evil parenting, we are programmed in a way to repeat the past and must be deprogrammed."
This strongly resonates with me. At age 49, it is only fairly recently, in learning about the concept of NPD, that I have come to the conclusion that I'm an ACON. (Years of counseling never got to the source of the problem, and were consequently of little if any help to me except as short-term coping mechanisms.)
I did not have children for a number of reasons, perhaps the chief one being that because I did not understand what had happened to me, I was afraid that I would unwittingly unleash pain on my children, simply repeating the cycle in my own way, e.g., in reaction to how I was treated by N-mom, as Anonymous describes. Not because I'm "evil" (at least I hope not) but because being a child of a narcissist is an extremely wounding experience, and you end up bent. It's as an adult now that I am finally coming to understand and come to terms with it.
I think that woundedness and bentness of being an ACON relates to the concern commenters here sometimes express, that they're afraid that they are Ns as well. I believe it also relates to the vampire analogy in your post today, that Ns "can infect others with their vampirism."
I would be very interested in your thoughts about the dynamics of being an ACON, and how - besides ID'ing the problem and going No Contact - one can begin to heal and to break the cycle. If as an ACON I'm infected, how do I become uninfected, and be sure that I am free of the infection?
Although I haven't had the "fun" of having narcissists for parents, my parents had 9 kids and there was alot of yelling in my life. My mom was overwhelmed and lost her patience frequently...she was unhappy.
For me, I have to always be on guard with my own children to be patient, and loving, to be interested in their "kid issues".
Basically, I am doing it different from my parents. We do pick up bits and pieces from our parents on how we act and respond, but the important thing is to realize what was wrong, therefore, respond in a different way than they did. I know that I can become impatient easily so I am always on guard to remain patient.
I am a work in progress...I always want to do it better.
Even though we are "infected", the realization that we ARE infected is half the battle. Knowing what we must fight against in ourselves makes us better. We ARE breaking the cycle. I just don't think we can be fully "cured"...?
Sorry...I have a hard time putting my thoughts into words. I hope this all makes sense.
God bless you all and kick the trash to the curb.
ps. I have had a great relationship with my mom and dad (God rest his soul) when I grew up.
Interesting input from ACONs who don't know what being a "normal" parent means. My H struggles with this, as well. It is hard for him to find any kind of balance, so he swings from too severe to too lax, and misses the biggest part of parenting: consistency.
I don't have any easy answers for this, but to read, educate yourself, observe other parents and most importantly, act with compassion toward your children. Compassion sometimes means doing the right thing, even if it is not what the child wants.
Anon @ 11:22:00 AM,
Well summarized. You are exactly right in my opinion. Consistency and compassion. And you're right to point out that compassion means doing right by the child even if the child is unhappy with the decision. This is one of the ditches many ACONs fall into...being too lenient. Making the child mad at you isn't a sign that you're doing it wrong.
It is important to be principled in parenting. Being principled will help a person not be unfairly strict or too lenient.
The best idea for any type of authority is this: few rules, well-enforced.
This forces a parent to really think through priorities. It is important to pick which hills are worth dying on. And there are not that many. The well-enforced aspect is where the consistency comes in. Don't make rules and then not enforce them. But don't make arbitrary rules and then become an Army sergeant to prove your position of authority. Try as best you can to have intelligent principles for your rules and be willing to change a rule if it becomes apparent you screwed up.
Anyway, well said.
To Anonymous who wrote: "I would be very interested in your thoughts about the dynamics of being an ACON, and how - besides ID'ing the problem and going No Contact - one can begin to heal and to break the cycle. If as an ACON I'm infected, how do I become uninfected, and be sure that I am free of the infection?"
In my opinion and from my experience, you have begun to heal because you know what you are dealing with and you have gone NC. I think that's a tremenedous step...the hardest to take. And the fact that you haven't had children because you realized how wounded you were is so admirable. I never realized how wounded I was...or bent....and had children at a very young age. I shouldn't have; but I did. So I think you are way ahead of me. And I'm sure you're not evil. You seem extremely intelligent, caring and responsible.
Healing is hard; but we can do it. Just removing ourselves from the evil and seeing it for what it is is HUGE.
We are not evil...it's our mother that is evil.
Let your emotions out when you can with an understanding, caring person who is capable of understanding your pain. The pain has to come out but with the right person. Most people with good mommies won't understand your suffering so you have to be careful. At least you know what you are dealing with...therefore you are well onto you way to heal and become "uninfected."
You have to find the right therapist, though, if you choose to go that route. A lot of them don't know about malignant narcissism and can make the problem worse.
For me, Anna's blog has been a lifesaver, better than a therapist.
Keep taking part in this blog. There is so much help here.
Also, a big part of healing for me is in working with my hands and doing things which resonate with me on a daily basis...enjoying hobbies, exercising, dancing, eating right, socializing...taking good care of myself. Bring joy into your life. Do fun things, laugh a lot. Of course, having good people around me and finding joy in the little things in life and appreciating what I have and not focusing on what I don't have or didn't get is most helpful as well. I do tend to fall into that trap, though. Feeling sorry for myself is not good. We can't go wrong being positive and appreciative for the good things we do have.
I quote Anna: "As for me, I wouldn't trade my experiences in for the wisdom I've been granted by them. Wisdom never comes cheaply. It is the treasure seldom found except by those who've been through much and have been willing to learn from it. I've definitely signed a peace treaty with the past because I can see that I've gained more than I've lost. This results in me being copacetic with the fact that there is much about my life I wouldn't share with most people I know. Who I am today is enough for them to know...they don't have to know how I got here."
Anna, could you elaborate on this...how can we put a positive angle to all that we've been through.
Thank you Anna for another wonderful post ( as usual ). I find your depth of knowledge of this subject and the way you impart that knowledge breathtaking. You are my NPD GURU.
After reading this post, what frightened me is how such evil vampires remain hidden and undetected, even sometimes praised and admired in our society.
I am not an ACON, in fact I was raised in a very loving and caring family. I had never met an N till about 7 years ago, in my early fifties, and new nothing of NPD.
I do however clearly remember some things about the N that seemed odd, never anything very serious, but enough for me to notice. Anna, how I wish that I had then the knowledge that you have given me.
Then one day, this grinning monster with a huge ( metaphorical ) knife, plunged it into my back, while bystanders looked away. I knew immediately that I was dealing with something very dangerous and I told him that I wanted NOTHING to do with him, and went total NC. Good old gut instinct. Some time later, he appeared, unnanounced, at my door. As soon as I opened the door and saw him, my gut instinct was to shut the door in his face without a word. Now the bystanders ( overlooking the knife in my back ) knew that I was crazy ( for not inviting him in to twist the knife further - HUH ? ).
Eventually, I found that I needed some answers. I must admit it was more to do with the actions of the bystanders than the actions of the vampire. That's how I found NPD, what a relief ( and sadness ) to find a whole community of people on the web who could explain the inexplicabe.
Over the last 7 years, I have taken on board all the advice of those with more experience, and I am very grateful for that advice. I have remained strictly NC ,not that the N has not tried to get some reaction, either directly or through proxies, and I think I have made him very angry by doing nothing. I'm not sure if this goes on for ever !
I am still a bit bewildered about bystanders. I know these N's can be very devious and manipulating and are experts at it, but when a bystander sees the evil with his/her own eyes and then chooses to ignore it, or even worse become complicit in it, then what can be done to prevent this carnage?
I don't even know if education can work, perhaps you need the practical course before you can fully get it.
I have never met ANYONE in person who knows about NPD. It sometimes feels as if I am in some secret society, that only exists in cyberspace, where everyone has this special important knowledge, and I think it would be easier to convince people that we had been abducted by aliens from outer space and the aliens were now freely roaming amonst us and taking over the world ( or is that what IS happening LOL ).
"I’ve been thinking about how I am raising my child though. What is the opposite of narcissism? Can you overdo being non-N? What is the healthy medium?"
That is such a great question. Those of us raised by N-parents have had to guess at what normal is all our lives, and it only gets exponentially harder when one wishes to parent successfully. I realized at age 18 I had NO FREAKING CLUE how to be a good parent, and so just starting picking up magazines like "Parents" to read at my dentist's waiting room, or what-have-you. Lucky for me I didn't have a kid until I was 29, and after 11 years of reading, I felt like I knew what to do. I subscribed to three parenting magazines while I was pregnant and while my kids were young, and have kept reading all along. I think the best thing is to treat your children with courtesy, dignity and respect, as you would wish others to treat you. Teach them about boundaries and limits, and to respect those of others. Have about 20 positive interactions for every negative one and for toddlers, baby-proof your house. Let them have responsibility and freedom as they show you they are ready.
And after all that, a lot of the time you will still feel like you have no clue what you are doing. Or maybe that is just me. I ask DH for advice a lot, because I am tempted to be too indulgent as a response to my own abusive, neglectful idiot N-parents. My sis, who is an N-enabler, has raised her kids WAYYYYYY too permissively in some ways, while ensuring they bend to the crazed altered reality of our N-parents. Her kids (now in their late teens) are not Ns, but accommodate Ns and often display very poor manners (not respecting the boundaries of others, or saying rude things impulsively). They are having a hard time in the real world because of this. These two kids adore being with me and DH, and a child psychologist pal of mine said it's because DH and I are "the same no matter what", meaning, I guess, that we do not change our behavior or personality, or bend the rules for MNs.
I'd like to say that consistency is important, but my parents were utterly predictably abusive. I guess consistency is only a virtue if you are not a jerk.
What evil is.
This is such a confirmation to me and I thank Anna for this blog as well as all of those who commented here. I was struggling earlier last year about the very concept of evil. I asked God to show me what evil really is because in the world today and also in my twisted family, I was thinking that I didn't even know how to discern it. After this is when I began having trouble with my NM and went further with it. Very long story but now several months later, I know she is an MNarcissist. I have confronted her only to see before my eyes the escaping responsibility, blaming me, etc., all of the responses that narcissists make. Only this time, I was ready (and I had a checklist and checked them off - just kidding - but I could have). I went no contact 2 months ago and am now in therapy working on 40 years of issues with my past. I, too, realized not too long ago that EVIL does exist and that spirit is called Malignant Narcissism. I have no doubt. Though I have this revelation, I feel the same way many of you do in that it took me so long to realize this. Some people NEVER see it and never will no matter how we try to explain. I am remembering the phrase, "to those who believe (ACONS), no explaination is necessary; to those who don't believe, no explaination is Possible. So, here I am this very day with the knowledge of evil! I certainly know what it is now! How Ironic that I have to say to myself, "well, you asked for it and God heard and answered :o) Gee, thanks God!". Yet, even though it is a tough issue to face and walk through, I know that what the devil (or MNarM) did to bring me harm, God will take that very thing, turn it around and use it for my good. I am healing little by little. "I'm not where I want to be (in the healing), but thank God I'm not where I used to be. I'm Ok and on my way."-to quote Joyce Meyer. Thank you all again for sharing your experiences and feelings which have such healing power for many other people dealing with this "evil".
Julie, you said:
"my family is now NC with me."
I know this hurts but it may just be a blessing in desguise. My "family" won't leave me alone after NC - still doing her bidding after all these years. Acctually, I hear from many of them more NOW than I ever did before! Nut cases all of them!
It also may be a good thing that your children aren't around thoses MN pleasers, that can be destructive too.
It ends up costing alot but having evil out of your life is worth it!
Regarding MN's living longer with critical illnesses; I have one experience with that too. In addition the time passed so very slowly until he finally died...
"Your father always tells me, you never know what goes on behind closed doors!" She (my N-Mom) would always say this at the strangest times. She would get really excited about it, like it was the greatest realization she ever had. That both she and my step-father (she told me he was my father) could do whatever they wanted, because she knew I got the message that I wasn't supposed to talk to anyone about what went on at home.
Their marriage (her second) was a perfect storm of malignant narcissism. I am sure that they both had their N qualities and tendencies, but the two of them together, wow! She learned a lot from him over the years.
Thank you for your blog Anna.
Some people NEVER see it and never will no matter how we try to explain. I am remembering the phrase, "to those who believe (ACONS), no explaination is necessary; to those who don't believe, no explaination is Possible.
I knew something was not right but I always thought it was me. I was not smart or too sensitive, or not caring or just plain lazy or bad and I could never be good enough. It took me 60 years but I did wake up just a couple of weeks ago. Although this is still very new to me I am starting to understand what happened in this event that is my life. My invisible armor (this armor of obedience and duty without question) has been broken and some light is shinning in and I will never be the same again. I was shocked at first and then angry and now sad and I am even starting to doubt myself and my memories. I am not to sure of anything right now but I know I need to be here reading and learning and I"m so glad I found this site. Anna your uncompromising love of truth is rare and so special. There is so much wisdom in these pages.
thanks to all of you
Hi Anna and everyone else!
I emailed Anna not too long ago and asked her thoughts about Facebook. I won't get into all the details about our emails, but a week or so later, I got an email from someone I hadn't heard from in about three years. A request for a donation for a truly good cause. Well, you'd think I'd learn from the past dealings with this person. This person who I suspected was a N. I have a hard time labeling someone a MN as it's so tough for me to call someone truly evil; I'm just not so sure that he's evil. I don't have enough contact with him to label him as such.
Anyway...."stupid is as stupid does" and I responded back to this person who has treated me like crap so many times in the past. I mean really hurtful ways and I always forgive and forget and hope for the best; "things will be different this time."
Well, he invited me to join Facebook. I didn't want to in a way, but then in a way I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. So I joined and he was my "friend" and I got to check out his "all about me" page. It's funny how truly his page was all about him......
I made my page and it was all about my family which is the most important to me and then about me and what I've been up to so that friends from way back that I hadn't talk with in 20+ years could read in case they wanted to know.
So I had my "friend" and a few family members that live out of town on my friends list. Now here's the kicker: As soon as I started to befriend people that we went to high school with, he stopped talking with me. Wouldn't reply back to any instant messages or Facebook emails. He did this so many times in the past -- the silent treatment. Punishment for my "sin" of not giving him ALL THE ATTENTION! Well, I've learned. I have truly learned. I learned quickly that he's a wolf in sheeps clothing. I'm not going to fall for this one again. I don't need this in my life.
And now that I think about it, it's funny how he didn't have ONE friend from high school in his list of say 90 friends when I first signed up. Not one single friend. I was his first! And he was posted on our high school list with our graduation year. No one invited him to be his friend. Well, not until I showed up. Now he has lots of friend from high school, but not me. I'm done like dinner!!!
And Anna, I could go on and on with what happened with my NSIL on Facebook, but I won't bore the masses. What I knew would happened, happened, so there's no surprise there.
So I pulled the plug on Facebook. I don't want people in my life that are not good for me.
"A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." Prov.22:3
I love you, Anna. Thanks for all the words and time you give to us. Thanks everyone for blogging and keeping on the fight. I get "filled" when I come to Anna's site. God bless you all!
My mother is close to dying from lung cancer. I have heard that she is in the hospital and has about two weeks left. I have been NC with her for about 1-1/2 years after suffering a "brutal" relationship of just being used, abused, and never loved. Well, you all know the story of an evil parent and how they treat their young.
My children think it is a good idea for me to see her before she dies. One son said that even though she is a narcissist, she is still a human being. I don't agree with him; but he's very persistent on this theme. For whatever reason, my children seem to love her.
Of course, I am feeling terrible now and am sad and crying.
Anna, I would so appreciate your advice on the topic of dying MN parents. You wrote in a previous post and I quote "When their time comes, narcissists do not die well."
Could you elaborate on what I might expect.
I think I'm safer if I don't visit her on her death bed and also if I don't attend the funeral. I can't imagine it being healthy for me to say goodbye to her in person. I'm a kind and sensitive soul. I have also been NC with FOO who think I am selfish for deserting MN mother.
I received a phone call from my Nbrother whom I haven't heard from since I went NC with my mother which is 1-1/2 years ago. He left a message on my answering machine saying that mother is on her last legs and it would be nice if I said goodbye to her. I somehow do not want to talk to him, either. We have no relationship.
Thanks so much. I am really feeling like "crap" now that the end is coming soon. I feel like I should go into hiding for self-protection. My insides are shaking as I write this.
Do your children have any respect for the idea that you are an adult capable of making your own decisions? I think, first of all, it is time to shut down the "discussion" of this subject with your children. You could calmly tell them you've heard what they've had to say and you've taken it under advisement. Then remind them it is your decision to make and you are not going to entertain any further discussion of the subject.
Frankly, at this point, it is taking the form of coercion. People are sensing your internal struggle and sniff out an opportunity to get you to do what they want (not what is best for you) by using shaming and guilt. If you could find a way to not feel guilty for deciding to stay away from your dying mother then these tactics would utterly fail to move you (except perhaps to piss you off that they are trying to manipulate you against your will) and you would find it easy to tell them to mind their own business.
From my experience and perspective you have more to lose by going to say good-bye to your mother than by staying away. Either way, people are going to find bad things to say about you. Even if you go those who think badly of you as a daughter will continue to think so because their opinion is not based on reality in the first place. So, just because you capitulate and go to your mother's death bed it won't improve your "image" in the family. They will continue to trash you in a myriad of ways because it is a fun way for them to feel superior. If you don't go...people will happily go on thinking all the bad things they want to about you but at least you are better off because you didn't present your person to your mother and FOO so they could get the last knife jab into your back. Less pain for you by not going, in other words.
If you go to your mother's death bed you can expect nothing to be different. There will be no sudden realization on her part for the reasons you've had to walk away from her. She will not be suddenly rendered into a sweet, loving and concerned mother by her impending death. I would bank on her finding a way to drive a shiv between your ribs right into your heart as her parting "gift" should you present yourself in person. This is part of what I mean about Ns not dying well. Most times the N isn't going to accept the reality of their imminent death which means they will act just as badly as they ever did. If they do accept their impending death then they will often use that acceptance to find a way to hurt those sensitive souls around them that they've always hated in a way that will last long after the N has died. Kinda like the N is insuring they live on forever in your memory in a way that will hurt you perhaps for the rest of your life. They are evil to the end. If you decide to go then know the risks and do not hold to one shred of hope of some kind of "closure" or any kind of reconciliation. The risks far outweigh any possible good outcome.
It is past time to shut down the people who are pestering you to go see your mother. Respect yourself and tell them to shut the hell up. Time for you to take control of the situation. I would never allow even my own children to badger me on something this personal and this important. It is your decision to make and it is high time they respected that fact.
Thanks a million, Anna, for your prompt answer. It makes so much sense but our emotions sure can get in the way. Facts are facts, though. Ns don't change.
I feel so much better now. I will stand strong!
Losing a parent is always hard and harder, I believe with a MN because of the deep, deep betrayal.
I can't say it as well as you can, Anna!
Found an interesting article on abuse I thought I would share:
Your question....and the answer from Anna....bring to mind what a 'thing' we are up against...(tho not really..) in this whole aging process....and it isn't just about the N dying!!!! If their spouse or close relative dies...then, GoodGawd....the funeral has to be about THEM!!!! They want catered to because they will use ANY funeral to create their own little 'center stage'.
I'm already thinking ahead about the possibility of DumbSheepDad dying first....and though he is a DumbSheep I honestly don't think he is Evil like she is....I'm NOT GOING TO HIS FUNERAL IF SHE IS ALIVE. Decided this. I already know that one way or another Nmom will make it all about HER....and I think I would go ballistic at some point. DumbDad won't give a rat'zass if I attend...(uh...he'll be dead...)..and I don't give a rat'zass what 'family' thinks about me...and tho my kids might be surprised, they won't question me. So....
Yes...I'm a responsible and decent person. I will help my Sis...wrap up anything that needs to be wrapped up...but it will be 'business'...not 'personal' in the event of one or the other of my parent's deaths. I already know that I am written out of the Will....(another DontGiveARatzass on my part...)...so it will be what it is.
Unfortunately...(for those of you still looking for 'closure'...) the passing of the N...and/or their minions...is about as close as you are going to get. Personally? I've already grieved the 'deaths' of my Nmom and DumbDad. Once I became aware of what was really going on...slowly and painfully letting go of them...letting the illusion of 'Family' and 'Love' go....grieving and weeping and swearing and gnashing my teeth....THAT was the real death of them to me. The next stage is only a formality. Sound cold? Well....no. Simply SURE.
For Anon with the dying mother...
Please read Anna's advice over and over until the surety of it sinks in. I have, and I admire her ability to be so definitive, not a bit wishy washy. I really admire this, it's very hard for me to do myself.
Anna is 100% right. Do not go to your mother, it will be another bad memory, one you'll have a lot of trouble erasing, maybe never, it will be very very ugly. You owe it to yourself to not go, to your future peace of mind. This is something you must heed, been there, done that and wish I hadn't.
When my mother died a little over seven years ago at the age of 98, it was a relief that she was gone.
I had just learned about NPD a few months before she died but I really didn't understand much about it. The only information I could find on it was that written by Sam V. and really, it wasn't very helpful. I did know though that it described my mother.
I had spent the previous six or seven years with as little contact with her as possible. I was her only child and there were times I thought I had to be there for her because she was old and there was no one else. The last seven months she was in an assisted care home just five minutes from where I lived. Ouch!
The older she got the meaner she got. She was just one big manipulation machine. Everything she did was an attempt to manipulate. Lie after lie after lie.
I don't think she ever accepted or acknowledged the fact that she was going to die.
There was never any closure for me before her death. Two months before she died she delivered a tirade at me that lasted a good 20 minutes. She ripped me up one side and down the other including, "You are going to live a life of hell." It was so bad I thought she had become psychotic. I called the night nurse at the care home and told her my mother was in a bad way. I asked her to check on her. It couldn't have been more than 15 minutes after my mother had hung up the phone that the nurse called me and told me my mother was in bed and sound asleep. I was stunned.
So she spit her vile accusations at me for 20 minutes and then went to bed and straight to sleep. You know, if I had been that angry at someone, the last thing I would have been able to do would be to go to bed and immediately fall asleep.
It was more dangerous to have contact with my mother the last six or seven months of her life than it had ever been.
I didn't have a funeral for her and I posted no obituary. I notified a few relatives of her passing and just told them there would be no funeral. I don't know, but I think they were probably relieved.
No, I would not visit an N-Mother on her deathbed. No way. Don't go. And don't take any flack from relatives either.
After years of being the only child in the family that did anything for NM and never got an iota of respect for it, only criticism, I have finally gone NC for the last 8 months and what a freeing experience it has become!! She can no longer pit me against the other children!!! She has now moved away to live with her parasitical son and guess what?? She is now pitting her grandchildren who live nearby against each other. No surprise there!!! This it what that vampire lives on!!!
I want to commend you for your courage, fortitude and unswerving concern for your sons. I know your decisions to protect them required a great sacrifice on your part. You prove your good character by the fact that you deem any sacrifice to be more than worth it for the sake of growing up your sons into healthy and good people. True mothering.
Thank you Anna . That’s one of the nicest complement any one has ever given me. And thank you for understanding that yes there were many sacrifices. They just became part of life. I learned I had more strength I ever thought I would have and I did slowly learned to trust my own decisions. My boys were always the deciding factor on what ever I did. Where I went, what I bought, where I lived and who my friends were. I think they helped keep me more sane than anybody.
I don’t think I would trade it either for an easier way of life. I have gained wisdom in ways I can not explain.
They and me would not be where we are now if I didn’t have to struggle thru some things. I was simply real with them while raising them. I had to be. I could not hide the struggles and poverty we were in.
Ya know Anna, at the time I was really mad at God for the dish he served me. One day I screamed & cried long and hard at Him and ended my rant with “It better be worth it!”…Today when I see my boys in their lives right now, It makes it all worth it because they are both doing well and are happy and they both make me proud to say they are my sons.
MNs on their deathbeds - My N-enabler mom, who became an N herself after decades with violent, abusive MN-dad, got cancer and died, after a six month illness. This was two years ago and she was in her early sixties so really unexpected. I had gone nearly NC with N-FOO, because of living on the other side of the USA. I thought I would be sad after she was gone, but it is more like freedom. The only really bad bit is idiot MNdad is still alive and really healthy. My entire life, I've wished he'd drop dead, the world would just be such a better place without him. Every now and then we get an email or whatnot from him where he is still milking the "poor me, my wife died" thing - WTF? Dude - it's not like you treated her well when she was alive. My sis lives next door to him and says he still tries the pity party with unsuspecting bystanders in their home town but now, after 2 years, isn't getting any sort of NS from people over his unique, tragic loss. It's pretty hilarious, to be honest, since mom was his big NS source, telling him how fabulous and special he was. She once went on and on about how "amazing" Ndad was, because he changed planes in the Dubai airport once on a trip.
I even went to see my mom a few times while she was dying and she still drove me completely barking mad after about 20 minutes of conversation - all about this wonderful life she had lived, etc. etc. ad nauseum. Jack Daniels and valium got me through those trips.
I have DH on board to be the one to pull me aside out of the public eye, and tell me if MNdad croaks unexpectedly because I know I will react "inappropriately" (picture the castle guards in the Wizard of Oz singing "Ding Dong the witch is dead").
For ACON with dying parents-
because you (and your children or other family members) are sensitive and are equipped with feelings and are capable of empathy, going to the hospital may seem like a good idea. But narcissists never change. It's not like your deathbed parent is going to have a change of heart and apologize for the horrific way he/she treated you. No one should have to suffer a childhood like you have. D what's best for you, keep moving forward, and don't look back.
Thank you, caring bloggers, for your support. I went NC with MN mom and it was easier than I thought. I was getting comfortable with it. If only I had done it before! Anyways, suddenly she's in the hospital dying! It's the shock of it. It was okay with NC...nobody really bothered me too much. Now it's as if she's a saint because she's dying.
I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time with it. Is it guilt? I hope not. I'm not the guilty party to say the least. It's a sad time...stressful to say the least but I'm trying to take good care of myself. I'm a caring, giving, kind, sensitive person so how can I expect this time not to be difficult. Silly me!
I've suffered three bouts of severe depression and I'm afraid of it coming back! It was awful...those times were nightmarish. I am afraid for my health.
I'll get through this thanks to Anna, my fellow bloggers, my dear hubbie and my own strength.
Life is tough sometimes but hopefully we learn valuable lessons.
I just have to share with you what my experience has been because of not visiting my mother in the hospital. I didn't know that she was dying but she was.
I would have never guessed that my sibs would have ostracized me (a verrry powerful punishing tool) but they did because I was afraid to go see my mother in the hospital. I too am a sensitive, caring soul and had been hurt by my mom and she lied to my sibs about me... so they were not happy with me but our relationship was not irreparable at that time. I was the one staying away because of hurt, and fear of further hurt... understandably so.
But what I didn't know, or would have never guessed is that they didn't tell me she died, didn't tell me about her funeral, but contacted my son instead. I was horrified! I became the scapegoat for all their past bad behavior, the dumping ground for their feelings of guilt and shame and a way for them to feel completely superior. It. was. crushing.
No matter what I tried to say to them about it... they wouldn't listen and took real joy seeing me suffer. And suffer I did. These last 7 yrs. have been full of pain and real depression. I had gone off of my depression medicine, and boy did I fall. Sold our beautiful house, moved back to my small hometown that I hadn't lived in in 30yrs all because I wanted "to go home". I wanted the feeling of home again. Biggest mistake of my life!!! I never had a bad relationship with my sibs... maybe not super close, but still pretty good but you've never felt so alone in your life until you are ostracized.
I'm telling you this not to muddy the waters, but to give you another perspective on what might happen.
I think the best thing for me to have done would have been to have detached from some of my fear and from all the emotions, taken care of myself by not staying too long and just acting instead of re-acting. Then I wouldn't have been the dumping ground for all those negative feelings that my sibs had, and not stir up their feelings of needing to feel superior and justified by what they did to me.
Now, I never suffered physcial abuse in my family... if that were the case I wouldn't be saying this. Anyhow.... I have gone NC with a NSIL who is really covertly abusive verbally to me (what a nightmare she is) but I have done it by protecting myself from further harm by not coming right out and saying it... but by making a conscience decision not to answer calls and having a bullshit excuse for it if I'm ever asked.
I think because we're so vulnerable we have to protect ourselves with different tools, and instead of always being so honest and expecting people to automatically respect our boundaries and have common courtesy we have to set them for ourselves.
I've never regretted anything in my life, I'd always made decisions with my heart, but moving was a decision made out of fear, and maybe not going to see her in the hospital was one I made out of fear too. The 2 most harmful decisions to myself that I have ever made. And my husband has always been completely supportive but that just doesn't replace the feelings of belonging that my sibs took away from me. This is just my hindsight 20/20. Hope it helps.
P.S. My favorite niece just got married and guess who was invited... my grown son and not me. Further violations against me. Going around a parent to get to a child is unspeakable and I would never have guessed they'd do anything like that in a million years! Good luck.
Anonymous Mar 10, 2009 7:53:00 PM
Your mother falling asleep after spending 20 minutes spewing tirade at you reminded me of when mom and I were the only guests in this Muslim hotel in the Gobi desert.
My mom was in near hysterial and went on and on about the real horror stories of young Asian women being kidnapped in Islamic countries and sold into prostitution. I end up not sleeping most of the night guarding the door and rechecking the lock. Meanwhile my mom was peacefully asleep in her bed and woke up the following morning all refreshed.
It was those tirades directed at me at age 35 that the light bulb finally clicked on. Same complaints and tirades since I was a kid, nothing of the content changed. I looked at her and realized, this was not normal. She and dad were never normal. Adios.
I cannot impart the lifesaving merit in your work on this blog. This last post is astonishing in its veracity and seeming singularity of purpose: to help us--the victims of malignant narcissists--recover from the deep wounding of these vectors of evil. I have been following your blog for about a year and am just now brave enough to post a response, frightened that the MN would somehow find my post and come after me.
Peace to you.
To anonymous who wrote:
"I would have never guessed that my sibs would have ostracized me (a verrry powerful punishing tool) but they did because I was afraid to go see my mother in the hospital. I too am a sensitive, caring soul and had been hurt by my mom and she lied to my sibs about me... so they were not happy with me but our relationship was not irreparable at that time. I was the one staying away because of hurt, and fear of further hurt... understandably so."
Thanks so much for your help. My feeling is that if your sibs ostracized you for not going to the hospital, then they are not the people you want in your life. Please don't beat yourself up. You had a very good reason for not visiting your mother and it was non of their business; and that is not a reason for loving, caring sibs to disown you. They are not worth it. They are cruel people, as far as I can tell.
As for my situation, I have been already ostracized from my FOO and I think my MN mother was a big part of that. I really want nothing to do with them; they are not family any more. Part of staying away from the hospital is so I don't have to see them. They disgust me. I, too, was left out of my niece's wedding for not being the good daughter they thought I should be. Really disgusting when they judge the child of a MN. It's all so sickening.
I couldn't go to the hospital and not be who I am now. I have worked too hard to free myself. I pretended long enough that I could stand who my mother is. I sometimes had to take tranquillizers to stand her. I took enough abuse and she does not deserve me. I had enough of this garbage. I'm no spring chicken and its time to really take care of myself. And that means not subjecting myself to further hurt and abuse from the mob family and dying MN. I know I just couldn't present myself to her. It would be too painful. But I have written her a letter saying goodbye. I don't give a crap what anyone thinks. I am doing what feels right for me, finally. And I will hold my head up high! And if they don't like it, they can all go to hell.
I'm hoping that when my mother dies all this will stop. The torture will be over. I'll have no connection whatsoever to Foo.
Please don't beat yourself up. Sounds like losing your foo was a good thing.
I know its hard and so painful when the ones who you thought should and did love you turn out to be monsters. It is such a betrayal and it hurts so deeply. They are such cruel people that it is much better to put them out of your life.
Perhaps they have done you a favor!
I feel for you and I'm so sorry for your pain. I hope you enjoy life and feel better soon. You deserve that.
There is more to life than rotten family who think their sh...t doesn't stink!
To my fellow bloggers and acons who have answered if I should visit my dying mother in the hospital:
Thank you, thank you so much for giving me your advice and most importantly, your experience. You don't know how much that means to me and how much I appreciate you all.
I definitely won't go...so don't worry! I don't need that experience haunting me for the rest of my life.
Thanks so much for warning me. Bless you all and Anna, of course!
Your help and concern is truly lifesaving.
I can go to sleep tonight and hopefully sleep well and not be so troubled. I tend to wake up feeling crummy.
It's sad that whenever the topic of my MN mother becomes problematic, I feel so sick and needy. The stress is awful. My world suddenly becomes a scary place. And I'm no spring chicken. I'm too old for this garbage. Life is too short.
If it were a normal situation, I'd be at her deathbed holding her hand. But the relationship is so toxic. It's poison, pure poison. So perverse.
Please keep the input coming about visiting N's in the hospital and/or your experiences with the aging N. These stories are so important to hear. The N in my life was so skillful and clever in her lying and evilness that I can barely stand to have any amount of contact with her to this day. She would like to pit others against each other, and is so skillful at making me feel substandard and painting my brother out to be "golden". I know what is going on, though. Thanks to this blog I have figured this lady out.
To the poster who said that any funeral is a stage for the N because it is ALL about THEM. So TRUE!! So TRUE! Forget the fact that the deceased meant something to someone else. It is all about the N's loss, the N's pain, the N's struggle. What a bunch of Bullsh*t. The N in my life enjoys painting a picture of how much work it was for HER when her spouse died. She never discloses the fact that some family helped, others sacrified, and others gave of themselves to assist them in the many months her spouse was on hospice care. She lied to her dying spouse on his deathbed, for gosh sakes, telling him the hospice care cost them $$ (it was free!) The N enjoys hiding the truth. No wonder we got a cold shoulder from others at the funeral that didn't know the truth. These N's are empty people with shells -- no real substance or truth in them.
I once thought I meant something to the N (before I figured out that she was an MN). I thought there WAS a relationship, but really there was not. I was just someone that "listened" to the B.S. that I'd often hear about other people in the family. I believed it! I was misled, but no more.
Indeed, I did mourn that "relationship" which I thought was there. It's gone. It died and it will never be back. It was never there in the first place. Just took me many, many years to figure that one out.
So, I agree, in many ways that a funeral is so unneccesary to attend. Let people "think" what they want to -- if they judge you not attending a funeral. The only thing I'd like to be sure of seeing is the placement of the casket in the ground. Maybe I would go to see that. But the mourning and the grief are things that have all passed. Been there. Done that.
Thank you Anon KB, for your very kind and helpful reply.... it is really appreciated and I feel better.
You make a lot of sense .... and I will remember that I'm not responsible for their terrible behavior.
At one point when I was trying to figure out how to deal with certain people and what the problems were, some thoughts started to surface: no compassion, no empathy, no conscience. (This was before I knew about NPD.) I’d push those thoughts away, because I didn't think it was possible. I thought if someone lacked compassion and a conscience it would be obvious, practically written on their forehead. I thought they would be criminally insane, the kind of people you hear about who tortured small animals when they were children. I didn't think they could be average people you'd encounter in normal daily life. But those thoughts kept coming up and I finally had to look at them. It was shocking, but I knew it was true. It's a big relief to get validation on what I'd suspected.
The therapist I went to several years ago told me my mother was an N. I didn't know much about NPD, so it hadn't crossed my mind. She called what my mother, and people like her, do "soul murder." I read "The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists" and it was all there. Not only did the lightbulb go off about my mother, but it also explained all the problems and pain I'd had for years with several other people. Just about every sentence in that book described my now ex friend.
Falldowngetup: Yes, the “flat eyes”! Pretty chilling isn’t it?
Yes, they can suck the life out of you. And make you lose the will to live.
I think the opposite of narcissism is being able to admit you're wrong, and being able to say the words "I'm sorry." My mother has never said those words to me my entire life unless she knew she'd get something if she said it and didn't mean it.
I didn't make real progress myself until I learned that no one likes a smartass, and that you never learn anything by trying to be the smartest person in the room. My mother never listens to anyone, never really learns, hasn't changed in the two and a half decades I've known her because she's Teflon. She's always right and everyone else is irrelevant.
It's not about how you parent your kids, but how you see yourself and how you learn to respect other people. They learn from your example.
Anna, I can fully understand your rationale for associating the pathology of the Narcissist with the male gender (ie, "he", "him", etc),based on your life experiences. However the association of this disorder with the male gender, as if men are the sole perpetrators and women their innocent victims, is grossly inaccurate and misleading. The fact is there are equal numbers of men who have sustained inordinate levels of abuse and psychological from very narcissistic women or women with borderline/narcisstic characteristics!
So, it is necessary, in spite of our individual negative experiences to attempt to objectively acknowledge that this disorder is not in the sole realm of the male gender but of women as well.
You're not paying close attention. My personal experience with malignant narcissists are with women, not men. Also, I use the gender terms interchangeably. Everything I write is completely applicable to male or female narcissists. Again, my personal experience is with female narcissists and I am one of the few writing on this subject that focuses attention on this particular reality.
Does anyone here have any experience with Narcissistic CHILDREN? I am currently residing with a wonderful individual who had custody of his oldest son. This 13-yr-old exhibits ALL the signs, and my children have been so upset that I now do not allow him to be alone with them EVER, in order to allow me to catch/mitigate his actions before he manipulates my children. In addition, my roomate has two other children who visit him every other weekend and his daughter (aged 8) is so verbally unpleasant that I have changed my work schedule and re-arranged my children's visitation with their father to ensure that they are not present when this daughter is visiting.
I have combed through the blogs and can't find anything here that really addresses children who exhibit Narcissistic personality traits. I have read of the childhood stories recounted by ACONs who are re-telling something in their childhood, sometimes relating an experience with siblings who exhibited these traits, but what I'm really looking for is some advice on how to keep a CHILD from being a full blown Narcissist. I've spent the last 2 years working with these children, and I'm at my wit's end. Due to financial reasons, I cannot physically move away from my roomate (who is NOT a Narcissist, but who's ex-wife absolutely IS a MN), and to tell the truth I really don't want to because he is a wonderful person, but I don't know how to "fix" these traits in children. I'm hoping someone out there has some experience, or at least some usable advice.
Please help me - desperate
I recommend you get the book by Stanton Samenow, "Before It's Too Late: Why Some Kids Get Into Trouble--and What Parents Can Do About It". I have it featured in one of my Amazon widgets on the blog. I highly recommend any material by Samenow because he has worked extensively with kids who exhibit the traits of narcissism/anti-social behavior.
I didn't go...
Recently, I received the dreaded phone call that my NM was dying.
I have been NC with both my NM and my brother (who I think is her golden-child son) for over 2 years. It took a restraining order against him for me to receive some
validation that his treatment of me was not acceptable. I suspect he shares similar personality traits to our mother. When the restraining order was granted, I also felt I had no choice but to go NC with my mother, as her first question in phone conversations was always, "How's your brother?" I didn't want any communication with her to be misconstrued as trying to get a message to him (a restraining order works both ways).
My NM was diagnosed with dementia about 3 years ago, and has been moved from one nursing home to another. The most recent NH didn't receive my contact info from my brother until the day of my NM's 80th birthday when her condition worsened. I found this out when I called back and spoke with the nurse. I flat out asked the nurse, "how long do you think she will live?" to which she responded, "She probably won't last the week."
I thanked her for taking care of my mother, but told her I was in the awkward position, and that legally could not be in the same room as my brother. While a part of me felt I should rush to her bedside (a 3-hour trip by car)to say good-bye, the other part of me didn't want to risk running into my brother.
I "twisted in the breeze" so to speak for days...I couldn't think straight, couldn't concentrate on my work...got a migraine headache which lasted 2 days, so missed two
days of work anyway (anyone who knows me knows I "never" call in sick). I can't describe the guilt and anxiety I have felt, struggling to come to terms with the probability that I wouldn't be at my mother's death bed vs. what is the "right thing" to do.
Then, I thought....what is the point? To do a "command performance" for my brother, to "prove" that I loved our mother? Being drugged and "out of it" she wouldn't know who I was anyway. Yes, I loved her, but most times I did not like her. She is the reason why I sometimes feel disconnected from my children, why I can't enjoy my success in my career, why my marriage of 26 years was almost destroyed; I have this tape playing over and over in my head, "You're not good enough." I am SO over trying to please my mother, and trying to prove to my brother that there is nothing wrong with MY character. I am also a sensitive-person, but for years I was told I was not entitled to my feelings.
It's too late for me to resolve any issues with my NM. In my mind, I already said "good-bye" to her the last time I visited her in the NS and took her for a daytrip with my husband, and her grandchildren.
Toward the end of that trip, she was asking my husband, "Who is this lady?" in reference to me. It was a painful parting, but my husband commented what a
"Sweet Old Lady" my mother had become in her dementia. When we went home, I was thinking how "convenient" for her that she had forgotten all the things she had done and said to me before she developed dementia. If I'm sad now, it's because of what NM and I COULD have had...my one "ally" has gone over to HER side. He once emailed me, "I am the GOOD son."
In the end, I didn't go to her deathbed. I missed the chance to hold her hand while she took her last breath (I was there for my father). I am sure my brother thinks the very worst of me, but then, he has already passed judgement on me. I was afraid of seeing her in her condition and being confronted by my angry brother. I couldn't take this chance. I had to spare my own health and sanity.
Finally, the following week (7 days after the original phone call), I received a call from the NS informing me of my NM's death.
Here's the sad part: I don't even know the name of the funeral home. Not that I am going. Unlike my father's funeral years ago, I can't plan anything for my mother with my brother when we have a restraining order in effect; my brother had already told me before our relationship deteriorated, that my husband would not be welcome at our mother's funeral. No way I will go alone.
I keep checking the newspapers in my hometown for my mother's obituary. None has been published yet. I do not know what this means. She had once told me that when she died she wanted, no funeral or church service; no flowers and no announcement. "I want your friends to ask you six months after I've died, 'How's your Mother' and for you tell them, "Oh, my mother died 6 months ago.'" By the way, this is the same woman who raised me in a strict Christian household.
Why would a mother say this to her daughter, except to "guilt" her? She resented me for my successes. She once even told me, "You are responsible for my happiness" and that I thought I was better than her because I had a car (she had her license, but could not afford a car).
Despite our turbulent relationship, I still feel like the "Bad Daughter" my brother told me I was. The guilt is overwhelming. My doctor has advised me to see a therapist, but I do not know if this will do me any good. It's been helpful to have found this blog. Thanks, Anna, and to everyone who cared to read my post.
Anna said: "I recommend you get the book by Stanton Samenow, "Before It's Too Late: Why Some Kids Get Into Trouble--and What Parents Can Do About It". I have it featured in one of my Amazon widgets on the blog."
Thank you! I have read a few of the other blogs and I hope I did it right - I tried to link to Amazon through your site in order to give some assistance to assist the site. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!! I can't tell you how much this site has helped, even it if hasn't addressed some of my specific issues. From what I've seen (and now realize I've experienced), Narcissism tends to run in families. I'm wondering how much of this is due to unchangeable genetic traits and how much is due to upbringing. Sad to say, but I see myself in some of these traits, and I worry about the effect I have on my two children. I always thought I was "weird" until I saw this site. Thank you, Anna - I don't know what else I could say that would be more impactful.
Signed, Again --
Please help me, desperate
I have been thinking about this post for a while and point you made about the Narcist not struggling against his/her selfishness. I want to add, that I think the lack of struggling is true of even more then the selfishness they possess.
I have a very toxic N in my life who has caused so much hurt and damage to my family and I often struggled with the question of, if the N was in trouble, would I help? I struggled with this. On one hand it is good to help others but on the other, my kids and family would be so much better off if she was not around.
The N in my life, when I was in medical need and had 2 young children and needed my husband. The N in my life lied and would not give me access to him and not only did not struggle that she in essence left me for dead (thankfullly things worked out) but she did it in a sing song voice, she enjoyed it. I was afraid and crying and she could not care less.
To this day this N has no idea what she has ever done wrong and has absolutely no shame in what she did at all, not only to me but to the grandkids she claimed to love so much at the time, one was a newborn and the other was 2.
Even after this, this N pretends that she is just gushing with love for everyone. Gushing so much with love that my oh my, how can she handle how loving and sainty she is. She claims this whilst doing all kinds of evil things.
For me, it is that difference that gets me between who they really are and what they claim to be.
Having just discovered your site I find your writing to be very good and in touch with your average readers. We are all not professional psychologists with PH. D’s and access to the most recent tests being done these days to allow one to “label” the Malignant Narcissism and in fact these “labels” really don’t go far enough to explain the deep hurt and emotional damage caused by the MS or what I refer to as a sociopath. Which is way I mostly just refer to them as a Cluster B personality disorder.
What I found most interesting was your view on “age” and how these MN are very much like children but children in adult bodies and statue. I too agree that those that suffer from PD’s for some reason stopped maturing at a young age and then never mature beyond that. A person that wrote about these type of people wrote “that is you were to leave them and never hear or see them for years and years and then returned one day you would discover that they haven’t changed much at all”. In short they will be the same type of person you left years ago. I can only guess this to be so because they never take responsibility for anything they do and therefore can’t learn from experiences albeit it good or bad. No they are not children but if one was to see an MS display their Narcissistic rage one could also compare it to a “child tantrum” almost like a child when it goes through it’s “terrible two”. Of course we are talking about an adult and not a child, which if it’s the first time one were to see it that it can also be very terrifying to witness.
I am a survivor of a malignant narcissist. It has been 11 years since our relationship ended and I am only now beginning to put the pieces of my life back together.
I dated a charismatic and extremely good looking medical student who exhibited every behavior that you described, except that he was very adept at pretending to be empathetic. However, flashes of extreme lack of conscience/sincerity gave him away at times. I was young and didn't know what I was dealing with.
Our relationship suddenly took a violent turn when he brutally raped me and tried to kill me... I was only 36 years of age. The entire mask was gone and I was with a cold lunatic with dead, evil eyes. I was kept hostage in my apt (in unbelievable pain) for 6 days as he openly tried to figure out how to get away with what he had had done.
It was a harrowing, life changing experience and it took all of my strength to simply survive it with my sanity intact. I did not have the strength even to report this evil person.
I learned the term 'malignant narcissism' from HIM.... he is now a psychiatrist in New Jersey and get this-- he was diagnosed in mandatory therapy due to his profession. He fits your description to a T -- even to the point of arrested development (he has a bizarre, secret compulsive addiction to a childhood cartoon).
I wish I had known then what I know now. NPD is much worse than a 'selfish person'. It's a dangerous, evil, deadly person who can strike out and kill you without warning... and wear a genuine smile while doing it.
I wish I had known then what I know now. NPD is much worse than a 'selfish person'. It's a dangerous, evil, deadly person who can strike out and kill you without warning... and wear a genuine smile while doing it.
Thank you for sharing your terrifying witness of the truth above. I am horrified at what you went through. I appreciate your being willing to tell some of your story here to illustrate what I have tried to transmit on this blog: how utterly dangerous these people are. They are only constrained by what they believe they can get away with. When dealing with someone so loosely corralled by outward pressure is to be confronted with someone who can flip a switch and do their worst to you...up to and including murder. People tend to dismiss such conclusions as hyperbole, but you are a stark illustration of how truly dangerous these people can be.
Again, thank you for sharing your shocking story. Please, be safe.
I recently was divorced from my N husband. I was a super independent, happy, adventurous woman when I met him. I fell madly in love with him and we were married, at his insistance, 6 weeks after meeting. My N was the handsomest, sweetest guy I had ever met, but also contolling, posessive and jealous. I gave up my friends and family for him -- he had me totally convinced that it was all out of love. After 18 months together where we were virtually inseparable he literally changed into a monster over night. We moved to Alaksa at his insistance and he suddenly hated everything about me, but I loved the person he had been so much and wanted him to be that man again and would not give up trying to prove to him that I was not weak and pathetic as he said.He finally said that if I would not divorce him he would "destroy me." I just hope other people don't have so much hope like I did -- he did destroy me, crushed me in every way, convinced me I was crazy and in the divorce proceedings claimed I had tried to kill him, that I belonged in a mental institution and that he had never loved me. I tried to get a Domestic Violence protective order and the judge was so smitten with him that she concluded that I was "too well spoken to be a victim of abuse." He owns 8 guns, knives, and has a history of being angry and aggressive. I will never recover -- watching this man whom I thought loved me more than anyone in the world stand up in court and claim he had "married me by mistake" was heartbreaking. He did suck the life out of me -- I am in my mid 30s, was a professional extreme athlete, a scientist -- he refused to work and spent all my money. Now I have nightmares constantly, cry all the time, and have lost all faith in people. If you have a hint that your partner is an N do not let yourself be crushed as I did. What is worse is that I still miss him -- I still think of him as the amazing man he was that first year. I have become the pathetic person he claimed I was. In the end he was psychologically abusive, sexually abusive and claimed that "he was the best thing that ever happened to me and I was a failure as a wife and would always be a failure." I still blame myself thinking that if I had not ben so successful, had not been a better athlete than he was, had not made more money that maybe he would still love me. I couldn't give up my dreams and he hated that, but I wish I had. There you have it -- that's what will become of you if you stay with an N. I am destoyed but you don't have to be. You don't want to spend the rest of your life missing someone who wasn't even real. Spare yourself learning that evil really exists.
I am just learning about NPD. I have apparently been involved with one for two years. I thought I was going insane. I had panic attacks, night terrors... he was the strongest most confident person I had ever thought I had met. He is the weakest most insecure individual entity I have ever known. I used to try to explain that he was two people and that the exterior person he presented to all was just a facade. I know now that he is a classic malignant narcissist. Any compliment ever given to me was perceived and a threat to him. Thank goddess I got out now. Thank you for your writings... it is so nice to finally find some validation after living in an upside down world for so long.
i am really enjoying this blog. i had a terrible experience with a NPD team, yes two, both trying to destroy my wife's life - she's young, pretty, nice, happy, and she rejected them. so they set about trying to destroy her.
a little bit of digging here, a little bit of asking around there - got the dirt i needed and they are being hunted by every intelligence and police agency in the Western World - they do some stupid things don't they? not nearly as clever as they think they are. ha! can't wait to see their mugshots in the newspaper ... time for those NPD freaks to really start sucking!
Wow. Where do I go to read the full story? Sounds like it should be a book! Hope the bastards get nailed.
Thank you Anna and all of you. I just found your blog and have read the first page and all the posts. I would like to tell you about my experience (I think it surpasses anything posted here so far) but like another person posted, I'm afraid that this site is being read by one of them. Believe me, he has tentacles everywhere. Before I post about me I have some questions because I'm only just figuring out what MN is.
First, for those who have read, The people of the lie by Dr. Peck, what do you think is the reality of demonic possession? My ex seems acutely aware of his own evil and doesn't seem to care. His goal is to take as many converts to hell with him - that is why he has tentacles and minions everywhere. He decided that I would never get away from him (abandonment issues) and has planted people to watch me, including cops. Those with a good soul, whom he cannot convert, he will focus on their destruction by making them lose the will to live and kill themselves. That is what he was doing to me. In the past, he has shown an inordinate interest in the subject of exorcism (true exorcism, not hollywood) and one day when I sort of flippantly mentioned that he sounded possessed, he gave me a long, hard stare. His mask fell away and he seemed to be searching my face for the possibility that I had uncovered the truth.
Dr. Peck also mentions that you can sense "revulsion" in the presence of these people. I did feel that when we met but overrode it because I was so young and couldn't make sense of it. Does anyone else get that sense from meeting a MN person?
Roundeyeradio, has the right idea, we need to be vampire slayers not victims. I understand that many of us are inordinately sensitive that's why we are chosen by these demons. They have no emotions of their own and they suck up ours. We need to fight back or we will never regain our sanity or our lives. Not to mention are we trying to build a future here? This disease is spreading like a cancer and all we do is run and hide? I know it sounds "grandiose" like a narcissistic tendancy, but I want my life to have meaning. I don't want to have suffered all this and have it mean nothing but fear and hiding. Our collective knowledge needs to be put to use.
I don't understand all of the acronyms like FOO etc... can someone direct me to the glossary?
Also, Dr. Peck referred to these people as being especially willful to the point where they refuse to submit their will to any other power, including even to reality itself - thus the term People of the Lie. In the Christian creed we say "Thy will be done" to God. We submit ourselves to a higher authority, but in the Wicca (witchcraft) religion, their creed is "mine own will be done". At least one of the families that my boyfriend has working against me, is wiccan - the wife told me so. Does anyone have any experience with other wiccans and /or know if they are all narcissists?
My feeling is that our ancestors lacked modern psychoanalysis but had a deeper understanding of this personality profile than we do. Without the psycho babble to help them relay the wisdom, they resorted to stories and folklore which would convey the idea of a MN. These stories included the ideas of witches and vampires. Their fear of witches was very real because they understood the danger that someone who would not submit to God could pose. The stories of vampires presented the idea of how a head vampire could turn others into vampires and how only light (truth) could destroy a vampire. Dr. Peck wrote that he still had many questions about the way these MN work, for instance, what happens when two MN meet? Do they each sense the evil in each other? Do they try to suck on each other? From my own experience I can tell you that it works exactly like it does in vampire stories. They will work together, but the stronger ones will often feed on the weaker ones and then they might kill it. But their favorite meal will always be the young tender innocent victim, someone who is good, deep in their soul and can't be converted. They like to keep that one around to feed on it while it grows weaker and weaker. That was supposed to be me, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Anonymous posted that her life was ruined. I can see why you think that but you must change your perspective or else you are still in their clutches. This knowledge came to you for a reason. You survived for a reason. You and I found Anna's blog for a reason. Giving up is like going to college and paying tuition and then going on to a low paying, menial job that has nothing to do with your field.
One last thing: laughter. When my boyfriend was going on his tirades of intimidation and fear, I would start drinking - a lot - then I would laugh at everything. It shut him right down. He had to wait until the next morning when I was sober to resume. I'm guessing it has to do with the way alcohol messes up the emotions and he couldn't feed on them when he couldn't get past the alcohol.
I don't understand all of the acronyms like FOO etc... can someone direct me to the glossary?
FOO = Family of Origin
DH, DD, DS, etc. = Dear Husband, Dear Daughter, Dear Son, etc.
ACON = Adult Child of a Narcissist
can anyone recommend a therapist that understands the problem of surviving the MN? He isn't done with me and I don't think he ever will be. He has a network of other people including cops trying to find me. I'm near Seattle. If I can get him diagnosed, then perhaps someone in law enforcement will listen to me.
I am a 37 year old ACON. whew, that is the first time I have actually written those words!!
Only 3 years ago did this become crystal clear to me during a blow out.. that I have an Narcissistic Mother! I am her firstborn and only daughter and yet she does not have any regard for me, it is and always has been All About Her
The healing begins with awareness.
I have had much difficulty with my interpersonal relationships and have been abused on many levels, physically & emotionally.
For the better part of my adult life, even prior to my epiphany about my Nmom, I have fought hard to become an independant self-sufficient woman, even having gone so far as to become successful in a male-dominated profession. I regard this is as an overcompensation for the things that are lacking. In that effort, walls have been built around my tender loving heart...
Due to the recent realizations that I have been primed as NS, I thought I had done enough introspection, reasearch and healing to see the Red Flags of N's ...however I have just recently been put through the wringer once again yet another of these bloodsuckers; a manipulative controlling evil person who was well-veiled by his highly public do-gooder profile who only wanted me around to serve his purposes. One of the things that alarmes me about Ntypes is that the facades they build can be so highly effective... that is to say that if I were to divulge any of our personal details to our mutual friends they would be hard-pressed to believe half of the things he said and did to me behind closed doors! I would not participate in is program so he cast me aside...
Just like good ole Nmom did, again and again from as far back as I can recall...
My Nmom's abuse amplified after my father died after a short battle with cancer. My father was a loving, protective, wise, gentle, good man who balanced love & discipline. He most certainly must have kept her in check! I was 12 years old when he passed and subjected to all manner of emotional torture & physical abuse. I was removed from the home at age 14 and she was later deemed by the courts to be an unfit mother. (Which, by the way, I am 'supposed' to feel guilty about and sorry for her and placate her with forgiveness & understanding of how hard her life has been, fooey to that) I am only just now starting to feel the gravity of it all, having been blinded by her indoctrination that all of that was all my fault because I was bad and I put her through hell? I saw through her crud aven as a child but had no idea just how deeply disturbed she actually is until recently.
I am most certainly primed to be N prey, but I refuse to fall victim!! Now it is time to sort through the things she implanted into my psyche, to process & deprogram myself... much like fighting off a very bad virus.
I find it difficult to extricate myself (or rather my formerly unaware self from my enlightened self) enough in order to attract/be attracted to healthier more well- balanced people who do not seek to harm me in some way. It is like a broken record, skipping again and again.
My soul cries out for a relatively normal drama-free life; I deserve so much better than to be treated like garbage and cast aside.
I know that it will take time & effort to undo the damage done.
Anna, Thank you for this blog, you are very much a part of my healing process. You are so insightful, well read and educated on the topic of N's. Thank you so for sharing your knowledge & insight about these issues! And thanks to all of the people who post their insights & wisdom here.
Oh how wonderful to know that I am not alone! I knew that I wasn't alone but it sure feels like it sometimes!!
The best revenge is to live a good life and be happy just to spite them.
Welcome to the world of ACONs.
It's a rude awakening, like the matrix, red pill vs. blue pill. I haven't been awake long enough to know how it ends. Seems like everytime I turn around there is another N somewhere.
I'm sick! I wish I'd known about this disorder and Passive Aggressive Disorder two years ago.
I'm one of those Christian's you spoke about; I'm also a woman who had an affair and discovered what she's really made of. I have all of the so called "good qualities," yet for the life of me I couldn't understand how I married an abusive man--an abusive Christian man, it wasn't supposed to happen, I'd done everything right. To make matters worse, my deacon, counselor, friend for 14 years happened to be the person I had the affair with. I went to him for counseling (even confiding in him that I was about to have an affair with, name less man, when he flipped the script and told me how much he loved me, etc. Needless, to say...since this was a man I knew and I knew loved me, and thought I could trust; I did it.
It has been pure hell! I never knew such monsters could exist. I told him two months ago that I wanted him out of my life for good. He's been quite, but he goes off often and has silent tantrums, so I don't know if this is one of those times or if he's finally gotten the message. The only thing this affair has been good at is showing me myself. I never realized how I allowed myself to become a victim. My husband rescued me, this man resued me. I've never been a big girl, and taken care of myself. I was always told growing up how "good" I was, and how a little girl should act this way and that way. That set me up, I always found myself leaning, crying, and depending on me (and others for advice).
What's really sad is this man is a marriage and biblical counselor. I know now that he prays on vunerable women in the church. I see his MO so clearly now. I tried talking to him, but it's all to no avail. I keep telling myself that I love him, but I love what I thought he was; I can't stand his behavior. For 14 years he's been attetive to my every need. We talked on the phone for 14 years everyday, well for 12. The past two years we've been in the affair and I've had to beg for his time, attention, and kindness. He told me that the reason he had begun to be so rude to my husband was because he couldn't stand how my husband treats me, but he treats me worse.
I'm thankful that in researching his behavior I found out about him, my husband and myself. I've gotten him out of my life. I've shared with my husband what I suspect his problem is and mine. I've asked my husband to never let me get or another man get so close to me again. I told him that the relationship (he doesn't know about the affair. Well he says often that the man and I have had an emotional relationship for years)was unhealthy.
I use to blame my husband, and the other gentleman, but I see so clearly how I allowed myself to fall into the trap. I'm a bit scared because I've read where these guys can become violent. The guy always tells me that I belong to him; I'm his, and he's just down right posseive, and very jealous. I hope he doesn't try coming back, and if he does when I ignore his calls...I hope he just fades into the night and quietly move on with his many other victims. I see him working on others...so I hope he just moves on, and leave me to alone so that I can heal and continue moving forward.
I love your blog and I love your writing. I'm so thankful to you for putting this together.
I went googling away to try and find out what is wrong with this person i have fallen in love with. All the realisations and the things that have happened over the past few months. I'm shocked. The other woman he has been "in love" with and sucking dry sent me a brief description of Malignant narcissism - she said use it, dont use it, and good luck. this is after I contacted her to tell her that I know about her and she now knows about me and what has been going on. this man has lied to her, to me, to he's ex wife and god knows who else. so much so that i believe he believes he's lies. He was going to couple's therapy with her and telling me he's sorting he's life out alone and that I was discussed in therapy. I was hoping to be rid of him from my life as i believed he would hate me for confronting the woman, but now he has come back to me saying thank you for helping him realise what he was doing is wrong. Now says we should give us a chance (my head is telling me he's replacing her with me now and i will be her in just a short time) but I cant stop thinking that this MN is a self diagnosis from her or from me, how can we be sure if he is like that? All the things discussed seems to be just what is going on in he's mind in he's life. I feel stupid for wanting to believe him, I feel stupid for loving him, and stupid for needing him right back as much as he needs me and whoever else....
I dont know what to do, and i'm not sure if i can do it. Can MN's be helped? Healed?
but I cant stop thinking that this MN is a self diagnosis from her or from me, how can we be sure if he is like that? All the things discussed seems to be just what is going on in he's mind in he's life. I feel stupid for wanting to believe him, I feel stupid for loving him, and stupid for needing him right back as much as he needs me and whoever else....
I dont know what to do, and i'm not sure if i can do it. Can MN's be helped? Healed?
Your concerns and questions are dealt with at length on this blog. Hopefully, you'll spend time here reading more until you find the answers to those questions.
I will try to briefly address your questions but still encourage you to keep reading the blog to fill our your knowledge of this devastating personality disorder. First of all, you don't need an official diagnosis to determine whether or not someone is a malignant narcissist. The signs of MN are clearly outlined here and at other sites. If you find yourself recognizing the descriptions in someone then you have your answer. MN isn't subtle. It is like a Mack truck. And it will destroy everything it rolls over. Don't be dependent on the "experts" in this because they aren't much help. Largely because people who are malignant narcissists don't present themselves to the "experts" except in the rarest circumstances. Most of those who are MNs are not officially diagnosed. The people most qualified to spot the MNs are the ones who are in relationships with them! YOU are the expert in this situation.
As to whether or not MNs can be helped or healed -- that is a large question and can't be answered in the space of a comment. Check out the label on the left column of the blog, "Narcissists Don't Change" for some substantiation of why I don't encourage people to hold out for the reformation of the narcissist.
Check out the labels, "Self-work" and "Savior Complex" for a beginning of understanding that you need to change yourself, not the narcissist. Your need for him is an indication that you have some work to do on you. He speaks to a broken part of your thinking. You need to correct your own thinking if you're going to be able to let go of the pathological person that is hooking you into his games.
All the best,
We have had the unfortunate occasions to have not one, but two, MNs latch on over the last 2-3 years. We are now in the process of extricating ourselves from a person who screams vulgarities and threatens to ram his truck into our house. The entire community is up in arms against him, but he is the victim, of course. My dear husband has finally seen the light and stopped trying to rescue or hope that change is possible. He now sees that it gets worse and worse, and not better.
I am getting very wary of overly friendly and outgoing people. I don't trust them at all. The red flag goes up, and I keep MN at the forefront at all times.
We watched the movie "Pacific Heights" the other night. A must see for anyone in the rental business.
Ashli, my heart goes out to you. My oldest granddaughter has experienced these things from the day she was born, and we, as a family, watched with horror and yet unable to do anything to this day. You see, we are the in-laws. Things appear to be better now, because MN was called out on it early on, but I don't believe people change. She is still what she has been since she was young - a MN.
I am getting very wary of overly friendly and outgoing people. I don't trust them at all.
I'm wary of them too. We have a next door neighbor who comes across this way. It didn't take us but about two interactions to realize something was very wrong about this guy. We've kept our distance since then and he's quit trying to grab our attention every time he sees us outside. We've been able to observe some of his behaviors in the last year or so since he spends so much time outdoors (trying to get attention from neighbors and hanging out with his less than reputable looking friends) and I'm now convinced he's a raging narcissist. Literally, raging. There is much evidence to support this conclusion. I'm glad we listened to our instincts early on.
Anna said "It is behind closed doors that the fangs come out"
As a kid, I can remember thinking, if MOMSTER treated us like she treated people who came to the door, we would have it made.
She is such an actress. I can also remember one of my classmates telling me how nice my "MOM" was. She had everyone fooled so when I would claim what a horrible person she was, I looked like the bad guy.
Thank you.... I have been trying to decide if all of the arguments and the evil things that I have been going though, were all in my head. I have been involved with a man that I realize now has NPD and
does not realize this. He thanks that it is funny to destroy marriages and families, and cause
hurt that beyond anything that I have ever gone through in my 56 years. Thank you, I have thought these things before about this person, wondering how someone could be so mean and evil to someone that loved them so much. I have done alot of reading on NPD and now I understand, and I will not get back in this situation again, I will run the other way.
Thankfull to be alive:
Thank you for creating this blog- my girlfriend discovered it while researching.
My story is long and somewhat sad.
I was involved in a relationship for over 8 years with what i believe is a "malignant narcissist". She is an alcoholic, abuser, and refuses to accept accountability for her poor choices. She is a cheater, lier, and has no remorse for actions, or hurting others. She will just justify that it was all warranted.
I ended up marrying her thinking I can change her or calm her.We had a beautiful baby girl.
My marriage was doomed from before the " I dos", yet i proceeded forward. I have no one else to blame but myself.
My dilema is more so our daughter. The moment I filed for the divorce - she announced that our daughter was not my biological child. The moment I found out, the divorce spun out of control. Besides finding out my daughter who I raised and love was not my biological child --the accusations were non stop and ridiculous, they involved not only myself but my complete family- all to paint me as a monster to the courts and prevent me from any contact with our daughter. The lies, control and alienation to our daughter since she was 3 and continue to this day - she is now 6- again all to destroy the bond that we share.
I am dealing with a person who has stopped at nothing to destroy me and any relationship I have with our daughter.
The Courts and Legal system agree and always side with the mother and awarded primary custody to my ex. I was fortunate to have 1 day a week and everyother weekend visitation.
Presently my ex uses our daughter as a "tool" to dangle and confuse and manipulate to her favor telling her that every boyfriend she is with should be called "daddy" and that I am to be refered to by my name not "daddy". She tells her I am not her father even though she has no contact with her biological and only knows me as her father since day one.Her mother refers to myself, my girlfriend, my other daughter, and my girlfriend's son as jerks and only out to hurt her. She will stop at nothing to try and destroy and suck life out of each one of her victims, including the one she should be protecting.
I know when our daughter gets older she will understand more and more who her mother is, but in the process I do not want her destroyed.
My story is long and sad. It would make for a great book even movie of the week, but most likely a Jerry Springer Show- where my daughter, myself, and my family are the innocent victims who want no part of it.
If anyone can relate- please chime in.
Although MN's view everyone as potential prey, I think children born to MN's, especially MN mothers, pay most dearly. Due to the duration and physical proximity of child and parent during childhood, MN mothers are in a unique position to inflict the maximum possible amount of torture, pain and damage on their children; while concurrently depriving children of love, attention and affection. In fact, seems to be that MN precludes any maternal-type behavior whatsoever. Anyone every hear of or know of an MN female with any maternal tendencies?
Thank you Anna for all the time, effort, and talent you've put into this blog.
And thank you to all the readers for the stories you've been willing to share. It's amazing to me how much commonality people find in their abusers' behaviors.
I'm coming at this from a slightly different angle. Your perspective, and that of most of the commenters as well, is that of an adult child of a narcissistic mother. I'm married to a woman with pronounced narcissistic tendencies, and we have 2 daughters, ages 10 and 15. I arrived at what I think is an accurate view of my wife about 6 years ago, and have been vacillating on divorcing her ever since. The main thing that has deterred me is the effect on our children. I go along with my wife for the most part to keep the peace, so she can mostly satisfy her need for control by my apparently knuckling under. For the most part she leaves the kids to me, which suits the 3 of us just fine. They love their mother, but know better than to expect much from her.
I'm exhausted with the situation and think I'm finally ready to push through the divorce. I think I've been partly successful in shielding the kids, but I'm also well aware that I've enabled her by not contesting some very negative behavior, no physical abuse but pretty much everything else. Once it becomes clear that I'm making a serious bid to escape her control, she'll focus her control efforts on the kids for its own sake and to indirectly control me.
NC will not be possible, since her offenses haven't risen to the level that would deny her a custody share.
I've read any number of stories on this blog, but don't think I've seen a single one that described a father even trying to extract his children from one of these situations. It seems like nearly all of them just stayed and took the punishment too or else were part of the problem, and the few remaining took off. My heart goes out to all the readers whose fathers didn't stick up for you.
I understand you are not posting to this blog, but I was wondering whether you or any of the readers would have any advice for me. If not that's fine; it's been an eye-opener to read so many stories from people who have come through childhoods like the one my kids are experiencing. I just wish for everyone's sake that the stories of fathers didn't only describe things not to do.
I think kids are being seduced into becoming narcisisstic by what I call self-absorption technologies. These include social network web sites (My
Space/Facebook), Twitter, cell phones, IPods, MP3 players, blogs, and the like.
The Dallas Morning News (and perhaps other papers) has just run my OP ED on the view that young people can be seduced to be self-absorbed and even narcisisstic by such technologies.
Such electronic environments are self-absorption technologies because they encourage kids to indulge all their trivial thoughts and feelings. Kids can easily come to think that the whole world needs to notice them and have access to them on a 24/7 basis. The article also examines grade inflation and how students can easily get unwarranted high opinions of themselves and their skills. The on-line version and growing number of comment postings can be found if you go to www.dallasnews.com and click on opinion, and then op-ed.
Professor of Neuroscience
For fathers dealing with "crappy mothers", this place can help:
Can you give Malignant
its own link address? Then I can
just send that out, or embed
that link in my web page for people
to click on.
Click on the blog post title and it will give you a specific address for that particular post.
Your posts are brilliant. I too had a father whom I suspect was a malignant narcissist: we were just accessories to his life and a lot of his family history spanning the past 25 years has turned out to be projections to justify his behaviour. He was always detached from me as a child but everything I could do that would potentially make him look bad was always the subject of fervent arguments. The only redeeming feature for my dad was this: he also was an alcoholic and a chain smoker. Do these go with MN?
I did not know about MN until I joined a band and a series of events made me come across your blog. Our drummer, who founded said band, was a jack of all trades: actor, director, stuntman, drummer, scriptwriter, had 5 myspaces, 3 FB groups, a complete bio on imdb... He even aspired to be a singer.
We hit it off from the start (fuelled by a mutual love of the same music). I now realise he was just mirroring me so he could use me as his sidekick. I guess being a good singer, educated, foreign and pretty (my other bandmate's analysis) made me worthy of this role in his little fantasy world. He also told me about childhood traumas (he was a bastard child, his parents were cousins and got married as a result of said pregnancy, he is an only child, he is 22 and still lives at mom's and got bullied because he was ginger) which made me feel we were closer. We even called each other sister and brother. I now realise, it was merely projection: his parents prob did not give a crap about him and let him roam and do whatever he pleased...
I bought it: I was truly a bullied kid and other crap. I later "made the mistake" to let him down by not turning up to one of his parties. I also "denied him access to his narcissistic supply" by not being on MSN every night to talk to him. I was then treated like crap in front of the other band members. I usually would put up with it (used to bullies, just ignore them) but one certain gig went wrong because of him and I was hung to take the blame. I had a heart to heart and he apologised to everyone in the band, only for us to realise later on that he only apologised because it was an easy exit strategy. FF 6 months down the line: he has just been fired from his own band. Unfortunately, the world of the arts (esp music) promises a feast of attention too big for MNs to resist: he would drown the band out on stage, putting off customers, score free drinks, tax lifts off anyone (inc my friends) as he did not have a car, try to bring me down whenever I was getting praised for singing well, etc... His reactions to me getting praised during recording sessions and photoshoots were self-explanatory. He also quit the band by email: not even interested in appearing to have a set of balls and at least do it on the phone. The following emails that ensued were proof of his distortion of the truth, and it was also a self-pity fest. I came across the wikipedia definition of MN (which fitted him perfectly, down to the over the top laughing at silly stuff) and made sure to let him know what he was.
My only reply was this: "2 words to define you: malignant narcissism. I won't hope to see you in the next life".
I did manage to get something out of that relationship by just being myself: I got 2 other fantastic band members, I did not lose any of the friendships he tried to destroy, I only lost a concert ticket to him and I managed to get him to do my wedding video and the DJ for free (the first got given to me 6 months after said wedding, the second threw a logistical nightmare on me 48 hrs before my big day as he wanted me to bing my own sound system, not the one he uses for his work). He genuinely thought that by doing so, I would go back in his circle of admiration. No empathy, no understanding and no contemplation of other's feelings. Keeping in mind, these wedding favours had been arranged before I realised there was something wrong with him.
Believe me people: it is always great to beat a MN at his own game by just being yourself. If can fidn a use for them, do so, then cut them out. If not, just cut them out. Indifference did prove to be the best thing in his case: he would have rants by private messages on FB and we'd just ignore them, which drove him more nuts.
I really feel free now. Thx Anna.
Anna, I don't agree with the way you demonize narcissists. Narcissists - as you say - are developmentally arrested, but this is because they did not receive healthy love, mirroring, caring and admiration from their caregivers. In most cases malignant narcissism is a reaction to severe childhood emotional abuse and neglect. Narcissists subconsciously feel fundamentally flawed and ashamed and don't dare to show out their true selves (being children hungry for unconditional love and acceptance). They have incredible anxiety and shame flowing all around their bodies and they constantly judge themselves in a very negative and dehumanizing way. Having internalized the negative attitude of their parents towards them, they actually believe that they are bad and evil, and this is where all the behaviors you listed in your post come from. The life of a narcissist is full of hidden suffering and extreme depression. People around them should defend themselves from N behavior by setting clear boundaries and if necessary, leaving the narcissist unless is he is really committed to healing. There are many examples of narcissists who have been healed. To heal from narcissism, the narcissist has to accept his real self and learn the distinction between shame (the feeling of BEING bad) and guilt (the feeling of HAVING DONE something bad). Fundamentally, they should feel no worse than others (they should not feel ashamed) but they should feel guilt without the feeling of being flawed when exhibiting bad behavior.
You can proceed with your utter ignorance. Good luck with that. You reveal you understand nothing about malignant narcissism as you spout cliches and discredited theories.
Do not believe there is such a thing as a "healed narcissist." That would require insight, desire to change, willingness to change and ability to change. No way an MN is going to give up all the advantages they derive from their behavior and do the HARD WORK of GROWING UP! By the way - many abusive behaviors result from childhood abuse - that's why it's called the cycle of abuse. This doesn't make such behaviors acceptable. Destructive behavior is still destructive regardless of the origin of the behavior.
I ran into a classic example, you can find him if you google "Prakk"
My husband and I were married with a 1 yr. old child when an ex boyfriend came back into the picture, at a time when I had just lost 3 remaining grandparents, miscarried our 2nd child, and had to sell our home b/c my husband lost his job. This ex wooed me, appealed to my ego, and against my beliefs and morals, I had an affair with him that resulted in the conception of my 2nd son. Almost as soon as he "had" me, he turned on me, it was as if he put me on a pedesal only to knock me off it. The hard part was that I was so guilt stricken over what I had done that I didn't feel I had any right to blame him for the horrible way he was treating me. My husband was amazing and kept fighting for our marriage, having already decided he could love the baby as his own. We reconciled 2 months before the baby was born and as soon as we got back together, my husband met with N, N's parents and sister, and the few mutual friends and set up proper boundaries. At the time, everyone agreed he should not be at the birth, but of course he showed up, was videotaping the outside of the hospital and came inside once my husband and family left for dinner. I called my husband who confronted him in the parking lot and my wonderful S-I-L told N "you create your own truth, you live in your own reality" and when N kept saying "I didn't intend to hurt anyone...", she replied "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Fast forward 5 1/2 years and we now have a total of 4 boys, but have just lost primary custody of the child in question. I was given the link to this site by N's ex-girlfriend of 3 years ago who came to my husband and I out of concern for my son and seeking answers to her own hell she had endured while dating him. Since then, another ex has come to us, but despite their involvement and evidence in our case, the 2 female case workers have decided N is just a "relationally naieve" father who will do anything to be with his son. They are taking our boy out of our home for 5 day stretches, away from his brothers who he is very close to, and into the home of N, who married a girl he'd known 7 weeks days before he was able to re-open the custody case if he could show "significant change of circumstance". Now they are pregnant. He lives 30 minutes away and is insisting my son go to school down the road from him despite my plea to have him in school with his brothers. He told me "the study proves that his relationship with me is more important than his sibling relationship". He has completely attacked my character, my marriage, my husband (painting him as stern and controlling, maintaining that I got pregnant on purpose, that I'm still in love with him, etc.). Despite evidence from the 2 ex-girlfriends that he broke into and rummaged around one of the exes homes and was watching our home after drop-off, the case workers dismissed our concerns and then wrote they were perplexed as to the amount of animosity b/t us. At this point, I don't know whether to just give in to every demand he makes, so he'll leave us alone, but I don't feel that would be protecting my son. Honestly, I'm lost here. I really wish I could go to no contact, and for the last 9 months before the case re-opened, that was how I operated. I'd respond to nasty emails with a simple "thank you very much for emailing your concerns." and not try and defend or explain...I wasted too many years trying to get him to see the truth, or at least my viewpoint.
If you aren't able to cut off contact with a MN, how do you deal with them?
And thank you Anna for your blog...having the two exes has been a veritable support group but we've been referencing your blog to help us understand our experiences even more.
If you aren't able to cut off contact with a MN, how do you deal with them?
With great difficulty. This is why most of my advice has to do with getting distance between yourself and the narcissist. There is no formula or prescription for smooth-sailing with a narcissist except to give them their way and flatter their asses off. When you're stuck having to deal with a narcissist then there is only one guarantee: it will suck.
I'm sorry I don't have any specific answers or formulas for your situation. As you are the one in the situation it remains with you to do the best you can with what you know about narcissists to navigate with the shark in the water. What I share on this blog are principles so that people can apply those principles to their individual cases as best they can.
As the parent of this child who is caught in the tug-of-war it is essential you remain vigilant to the child's experience and do all in your power to protect him. You have been undercut by the ignorance of the case workers for which I'm heartily sorry. But don't give up doing what you can for your son's sake. Stay engaged with your son to learn what he is going through. Look for opportunities to somehow gain the sympathy and support of the authorities. Where innocents are involved it requires not relinquishing your efforts to protect as best you can.
Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to my comment, Anna. As many commentators have said, this blog has been immensely helpful and I'm sure I'll be referencing it many times. I have been saccharine sweet and flattering and practicing my responses to him to make them as unreactive as possible. I'm leaving it up to the parenting coordinator to decide between our 2 schools after hearing both sides, and am hoping that once all this is decided and in place, he'll leave us alone and focus his attentions on new wife and baby to be born, both of which I feel heartily sorry for.
I've been here before, but I was not supportive of this site. I want to admit that I was wrong, and I am sorry. I was naive. Over the past few months I have come to realize that I can not help my mother, I can not change her. No matter what I have said, or done, no matter how much counseling she gets, or even drugs she is on, she will not change. Not "can not" will not.
Anyway, I just wanted to apologize for coming down hard on you. Biblically speaking, there are times when we must brush the dust from our feet and walk away from people. No matter how difficult it is. Mark 6:11 and Acts 13:51
God bless you, and may you find healing and peace.
The monster in the mirror Tuesday, 30 June 2009
- Times Online
The monster in the mirror - Times Online: "“But when the narcissism is extreme, it’s hugely destructive to everyone around. It’s a form of emotional abuse that isn’t properly recognised yet, and it ought to be. Narcissists play a subtle, long-term psychological game that is truly deadly to the other person’s psyche.”"
Posted by lottascot at 26/05/10
Hi Anna, I believe you have literally saved my life. I have a MN husband and mother. I have read so many books and online information. These are the most clearly defined,honest and strength giving words I have ever read. At the moment I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. My charismatic mother wanted my 5 children, schemed to get them..and managed it. Do I stay 'friends' with my mother (who was always my best friend) or cut ties (she's 88yrs old but half that age!)(the adoration has nothing to do with age, I grew up with it.),and therefore make enemies of my children and her other adoring, innocent 'fans' As they say, MN's can be raised in their own eyes - therefore in others - to a form of deity. How cruel that is to love and be loved by your daughter and then - as MN's do - transfer her attentions elsewhere. Of course it makes it almost impossible to cut ties, even though she breaks my heart regularly. (in a nice way, of course)! But it is so true what you say, they do suck the life out of us. My MN husband is an evil child, and deals out mental cruelty constantly. He has low self-esteem, no matter what he does well. He is so afraid when I try to say any trivial thing - he interrups to let me (and himself) know how much better he is.He 'confiscates' my things, has carried out some really bad child and not funny 'tricks'. I'm sorry about the scramble to get some of this told. Of course, there is far more, but I wanted to be able to thank you immediately. Bless you for being there. Lottascot.
My experience with narcissism began when I started dating my 1st love(age15)for the 2nd time(at 36).At first it was wonderful.I thought the Lord had blessed me with my true love at last.He was kind,attractive,attentive and quoted bible often.He was my gentle giant.As time went on his true colors came out.He became abusive after a few months.Small incidents at first.Then it progressed with each incident becoming more violent.My love for him quickly became a fear of him.I was living just trying to literally survive each day.I wanted him to move out and he wouldn't leave,all the while later I find he was a pervert on the web,compulsive liar,was charging my credit cards w/o my knowing w/d all the money from our acct(severly damaging my credit),and of course he was cheating as well.I was left emotionally, physically,financially and sexually abused.The police were called on several occasions, but they didnt believe me because he was so good at convincing others that he was the good guy and I was crazy.I finally was able to get a rstrning order against him and he moved out.I was living in a constant state of fear.I told the police I was terrified for him and terrified of him.That once the restraining order was issued that he no longer had anything to lose and I was in danger of my life.I was correct.Within 2 wks he did come after me,drug me out of my car and up the stairs,knocking me out and attacked me in our home,I awoke on the bed to him smotherig and choking me to where I was sure he was going to kill me, and ultimately raped me.After he was satisfied he stopped, and then turned the shower on and did his laundry.As soon as I could get to a phone without him seeing me I called 911 and they immediately arrested him.He was sentenced to 5yrs in prison.I have approx 400 letters that he wrote me while locked up, professing his undying love for me(no apologies by the way,just not understanding how I could be so cold and not visit him)despite the restraining order and my pleas to the courts and prosecutors to make him stop.This whole relationship took place within an eight month period. 3 months to figure out what I got myself into,and 5 months trying to get out of it, alive.It is uncanning how people react to such incidents as these. They don't want to believe that people are capable of doing such things.I heard often,"well, it takes two to tango" and "well you must of liked it if you didnt leave." What people don't understand is that it is a very dangerous position to be in.You cant just leave w/o risking being seriously hurt or killed. They will come after you.No piece of paper,lock or law is going to stop them.I have been seriously damaged from this.At first it was a struggle just to find the will to get up and move. Nights filled with terror and nightmares,was afraid to go to sleep.I began to drink heavily and ironically became sexually agressive.I had been permanently changed,and held an anger in me that I didnt know what to do with.I didnt want to feel anything so I drowned myself by drinking to oblivion.I would frequent the bars just to not have to be at home because I was afraid of being alone.Of course that led to me doing things Im not proud of and now feel guilty for(adding to my depression),and I have 2 DWI's as a result of drinking and driving. But I was in a state of mind that I didn't care what happened to me and I really just wanted to die.I lost all faith in hope and humanity.The people I thought would be ones I could depend on turned their backs on me,and it was just a spiraling effect resulting in a lot of damage to my psyche and my life.I made a huge mistake getting involved with this guy,but its easy to do because they are so good at playing their game.It is very subtle at first until they have you in their wraps and you cant easily get out(without being harmed).For anyone out there currently dealing with a similar situation please take it seriously because it really is your life that you are putting on the line.YES-it is that drastic!
Hey Anna, this blog is just what I was looking for.
I fled my family when I was 19 but I didn't break contact. Today at 21 I am breaking all contact, also with my other family members that are under his influence (mother, younger brother), also to send a message of seriousness to hopefully make them consider doing the same. They have no idea even remotely as to what life should look like or how it feels to be even just a little bit happy. I am leaving them with a gaint pack of information, that they sadly have failed to respond to yet. I have only just read the stockholm article but I got a glance at your statement: 'no life is ever wasted, that of a n. can serve as a bad example at least' or sth. It is exactly how I feel. I brushed into a psychologist, hopefully for help. She sent me to a psychiatrist that I'm pretty sure is one as well. She tried to convince me to take anti-psychotics. In other words, over here they have their own clean up institution to silence victims that come to understand what is going on. No high school diploma and in debt. It all might look like I must feel horrible and be worried, but I am just ecstatic that I have finally uncovered it and I feel like from here it's really nothing but bliss that lies ahead. Bless you!
I had children and married a narcissist and feel like such a fool 18 years later when the stress became too much for him and he completely lost it. It is so confusing, no one really understands. I had to piece together all the weird symptoms and finally figure out that I was his prey. I was easy prey apparently. Sad. Now he is the father of my children. I wish I had someone to explain it all to me.
Interestingly enough, although the Narcissist flower smells so delicious- like Jasmine... it has a back note scent of shit. If you keep it too long in the vase, your house smells like poo. Believe me, after 18 years with this guy I soaked the towels in bleach for hours to get his smell out.
I like the description of living in a house of mirrors. It gets so confusing, because you are living with someone no one else sees. People are always telling you how amazing your guy is. Women are coming from every direction shoving themselves on him. You start to believe it is you.
After 18 years and two children it finally took watching my husband absolutely lose it and attack my son and throw him into metal excersise equipment for me to really and truly get that he is NEVER going to be that person that other people think he is. Good luck to all the ladies out there who are going to get sucked into that mess. I am done! Unfortunately, he still wants it to be all about him in the court system and attack me so venomously that it is hard to focus on anything else but "what the hell is wrong with him? ". I am going to order the book "Surviving the Storm" as soon as I can afford to.
Janavere- i just typed a super long comment and then it got deleted and I don't have the time to re-type, but to suffice it to say we just got finished battling my son's narcissist father in court, and we lost primary custody, despite the fact our son has been with us since before he was born (my husband and i reconciled 3 months before he was born) and he has 2 younger brothers and one older brother. Our narc convinced the authorities that be that he has been a victim all these years, they overlooked his claim to make only $19,000/yr. despite the fact that he owns a $200,000 home and takes multiple trips a year and hardly ever works, they overlooked or maybe just didn't think it was important that his 2 exes came forward and reported behavior of breaking and entering and stalking, we even finally had unbiased witnesses come forward...didn't matter. I'm sure he cried a bit, told them how I've kept him from his son, kept him from being the father he's always wanted to be by him only having 20% time (every other weekend) and now he's won 50/50 time and my boys will be experiencing a sharp change in their lives with my son gone every other week five days in a row. I'm telling you all this to say it's best to go into court expecting the worst, expecting him to convince them that you are evil and manipulative, when in fact it's the opposite that is true. If I had known that, believed he was good enough to hoodwink "professionals" despite all the evidence against him, I wouldn't have been so devastated the day the court study came back painting me as someone stuck in guilt and shame and unable to let go of the past, when in fact, I've worked very hard to have the marriage I have and the family life we have today and my actions were dictated by an intense primal need to protect my son from someone I see as evil and toxic. Best of luck.
What a useful and refreshing forum. My mother had NPD and my father enabled her to fully blossom in her sickness--at all costs, and the cost was abuse of his daughter. My father was as inflexible in his view of my mother as perfect as she was brittle in her own sense of perfection, which was her false self that she had to defend at all costs. Their shared insanity was fantastic. (When separated from the primary source of insanity--my mother--my father regained full and admirable functioning as an otherwise insightful, brilliant, and compassionate man.)
My mother died five years ago, and it was THE best day of my life. I maintained only enough contact with her to avoid severing all relations with my father--no more. And if she were alive today, I am very certain that I would have no contact at all with her even if that meant having no contact with my dad. But as things did in fact play out, I do now have a friendly relationship with him because she is dead. He has fully recovered his sanity, as his illness was a secondary illness, which I believe was the result of Folie a Deux (Shared Insanity). When removed from the primary case (my mom) the secondary case or enabler (my dad) recovers quickly and completely. It is good to interact with him now that he is not polluted by her illness, her NPD. I myself was polluted by her NPD until I finally moved away from home, and to some extent for several years after I left. Narcissimm was modeled to me as the right way to be since I was an infant, and I was INFECTED with her illness because I was her primary source of sustenance. Like my dad, I got sick too.
I want mainly to say: THANK GOD SHE IS DEAD!!! And luckily for me, she died when I was only 33--the only considerate move she ever made in all the time I knew her. Let us not feel guilt to have the source of our suffering removed.
Thank you Anna for providing this wonderful place where it is safe for me to say such "unacceptable" things. And I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has posted here: knowing I am not alone is a huge gift.
Wow! This is awesome. Thank you for being strong and being a vampire slayer.
Your words really help me. Thanks.
Vivid and thorough description. Thank you. Women with eating disorders are particularly vulnerable to the malignant narcissist. A narcissist as you describe makes their eating disorder recovery particularly difficult.
Joanna Poppink, MFT
Los Angeles psychotherapist
author: Healing Your Hungry Heart, 08/11 Conari Press
I can attest to the validity of your point about eating disorders. I've seen it up close and personal with a close family member. She was unable to get a handle on her eating disorder until she was able to cut off all contact with her N father. It became apparent that without a cut off she would likely kill herself with her eating disorder. It was a close call.
Thank you for this. It verifies my own observations. I just got out of a room mate situation, I was to the point I thought I was crazy. I did notice they are always the victim and you are the villain no matter what! They never take responsibility for anything only credit for everything. They can twist and turn everything you have ever said or done. This one accused me of bragging on my son to get to him. They will never get help because there is nothing wrong with them, its all you and everybody else. Again, I can't thank you enough. oh I also noticed they steal other peoples memories and experiences. The first time I heard one of my childhood experiences coming out of his mouth I was just dumb founded. Please people don't ever believe a word they say, liars and yes I also believe they are pure evil..
I am just now reading your 2009 post. I am grateful for people like yourself who have taken the risk to put your painful experiences out into the public domain, in order to warn others of the signs of this terrible condition.
It always amazes me how someone who has also experienced a MN can put into words experiences and observations so similar to my own MN experiences. My wife's father is a MN, and sexually abused her and her sister, on top of the mounds of emotional abuse. Young girls and lonely, desperate women are his preferred narcissistic supply. Once we had kids, we cut off all contact with him - because we learned the hard way that there is no way to maintain boundaries, with a MN. There is no truce. In my opinion, you either stay with them and die a little more each day - or you leave. It really is as simple as that.
Your statements about MNs finding 'refuge' in religion and volunteer activities really rang true to me as well. He has a band of loyal followers at his church, where he is viewed as a saint, is BFF with the pastor, and leads the youth ministry. He volunteers loads of time and effort into 'helping' everyone (at least everyone outside his closest family). Most of my wife's and her mother's friends in the church abandoned them, because the just couldn't comprehend how they could accuse such a 'man of God' of such horrendous things. (So the real victims are seen as the abusers, and the real abuser is now seen as the victim.) It can really drive you crazy. I am just so happy my kids will never have to deal with him. Losing a grandfather was a small price to pay.
Thank you for this indepth post. I have to say, after reading this, that it also sounds like Sarah Palin. Am I wrong?
Yes, you're wrong.
Thank you Anna. I don't even know where to start. I guess I'm just looking for someone to tell me I'm not insane & for some advice on how to cope or lessen the affects of my NM's behavior, b/c I can't go NC right now. I was also wondering if anyone had been to therapy & found it helpful.
My parents are elderly & I've been at home helping to take care of them, my F in particular is ill. My M is so abusive, both verbally & emotionally, I'm having a hard time coping. I'm also worried about my F. I think she's actually jealous of his illness & angry that he no longer waits on her hand & foot & may actually get more attention. A friend pointed out to me a few months ago that she thought my M was a N. Btw, I'm in my late 30s & recently moved back close to home. I have the feeling my M was previously one of those very clever & subtle Ns, & now she's become an MN. From my reading, it seems that can happen. My M has been "sick" for most of my life. I always thought it was depression, I kept pointing it out, no one would do anything about it & she wouldn't take meds. But now that I spend so much time with her & have wised up a bit, I realize almost all of her behavior is extremely dramatic & manipulative. It's more than depression, manic D, anxiety, OCD, old age, or struggling with her mortality. There is something very insidious about her behavior. & she gaslights me constantly & turns everything around on me. (She also tries to control what I think, eat, say, wear, do, etc). Sometimes I do feel like I'm insane & I ALWAYS feel guilty, although I'm becoming less sympathetic to her, if that makes sense. I also get the sense that she has absolutely no respect for me or concern for my welfare or happiness. I told her that my blood pressure was very high recently & she said flat out that she didn't care. She abuses & insults me all day long, causes all sorts of drama over the stupidest things, & then 10 minutes later everything is fine. Or she gets on the phone with one of my siblings & criticizes me so I can hear it, which she has done to me my entire life. (This is so upsetting to me.) I'm much younger than my siblings, so I never really had anyone to tell me she wasn't normal. I also realize that she has pitted us against each other, so my siblings aren't very nice to me & pretty much treat me like I'm not a member of the family. Also, I've read a lot of posts on the Internet about NPD & it's scary how similar my experiences throughout my entire life have been. I didn't even realize that the behavior I was experiencing was abusive or that I was being guilted. I feel like an idiot. I've also blamed myself throughout my entire life for everything & I always feel guilty, b/c I realize I was always made out to be the bad guy by everyone in my family even though I was always a good kid & am a good person. This last in particular has affected my confidence & my relationships with other people, b/c I always feel unworthy. I believe my M to be an N, my brother was diagnosed an N years ago (but no one took much notice), & I think I have at least 2 other siblings who are N or have quite a few tendencies. I also realize that my F is the enabler, as he never criticizes my M or condemns her behavior. In a way, I feel sorry for him, as I think he's probably had a pretty tough life.
I feel like such a fool for letting her take my power, my money & my confidence. I'm embarrassed & angry, b/c I'm having a hard time getting out of this situation b/c of her constant drama. I am exhausted from the highs & lows of the day. Is there any way to manage her behavior & defend myself by perhaps manipulating her back? I try to ignore her, but sometimes that just makes her worse. I need to get her off my back so I can do some things for myself.
Thanks for listening!
In my experience, you will never ever ever change your mom. You MIGHT be able to shape her behavior slightly in the same way you might train a dog. (If you leave the house every single time she talks bad about you to your siblings on the phone, she MIGHT do that less.)Abandon all hope of "fixing" her. Don't attempt to counter-manipulate; you will only escalate the abuse and she will win anyway--she is better at this than you are.
Thanks Evelyn. I really appreciate your advice. I will try what you suggested. Boy, there doesn't seem to be much to do with these people though, does there? I'm trying my best to ignore her and remain calm, but it's hard. She did such a number on me earlier when I was giving her her medicine, I had a hard time breathing afterwards. Thanks again!
Seriously, this post is the best piece I've found on the subject, including the books my counselor recommended to me.
Thank you. Am emailing this to several members of my family (not the Narcissist, lol!)a
Anna -- This is a wonderful article. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting it. I have lived a great deal of my life in the shadow of malignant narcissists, but up until one of them literally harrassed my best friend to death, 16 years ago, I didn't have an understanding of what they were and what they are called by psychologists, psychiatrists, and FBI profilers. When the landlord that did that to my friend started laughing and boasting about it to his cronies and I found out about it, I did some research and learned about psychopaths and sociopaths. But I didn't run across the term "malignant narcissist" and the description of it until much later -- a description that fits to a T my adoptive parents, two sets of foster parents, one truly evil boyfriend, a woman who latched onto me to "help" me and succeeded in ruining my life as she ruined many others, and several others. Now, at least, I can recognize the damned things for what they are and avoid them, which is several orders of magnitude better than my situation before 1995. You have been a real help, Anna. God bless and keep you always. -- Yael D
Thank you. You just described my experience with one of these jerks. They can kill your soul if you let them.
I believe our current President is a malignant narcissist, as described by your vampire analogy, and have said so since the 2008 Democratic primaries on my own political blog, http://www.gjchitchat.blogspot.com.
The current post is a re-post of an earlier posting of a "Post-Obama Apocalypse" I wrote during his first year in office. It shows how far narcissism can be taken at its worst and most malignant. And it is a warning that in the hands of a malignant narcissist, our nation and our freedom are at stake. This is not based on partisanism. I am a registered democrat and an African-American woman.
My apologies to all of those who've been taken in by this charismatic politician, but the signs of narcissistic personality disorder are there and in the hands of the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, malignancy is inevitable.
This is a strongly useful blog site.
I had the amazing and hellish experience of being thrust from the care of a beautiful, coherent and tender mother into the care of a MN at the age of 9. It's like going from heaven into the depths of hell at age 9. My real mother died, and my father was trapped into marrying a second wife who was and is a snake with great ability to hide her scales.
My childhood was a sickening visit to hell, and it's still with me, and I struggle with it every day. The good parents are all dead; the MN is still drawing breath at the age of 94.
This blog has helped me and I'm grateful to you.
I have one additional question for Anna.
Do you think people ever become MNs in midlife, after perhaps, brain damage or neurological problems or alcoholism?
In my life, I have had two NMs. The first as I mentioned above was a step-mother I who got her teeth into me when I was nine. The second was an ex-wife who had a personality collapse of sorts due to alcoholism, and a permanent medical problem, at the age of 32. The step-mother NM and the ex-wife NM became buddies of sorts. A key commonality was their enjoyment of inflicting pain on me.
So, Anna, am I wrong in thinking that sometimes people adopt the six-year-old demonic personality later in life?
So, Anna, am I wrong in thinking that sometimes people adopt the six-year-old demonic personality later in life?
No, I don't think you're wrong to think that possible. But what I think more likely is that your ex-wife was already a malignant narcissist prior to what you call her collapse into alcoholism. Very often addictive personalities are also very narcissistic if not full-blown MNs. Circumstances shape the expression of a person's narcissism. A narcissist can cloak their narcissism to varying degrees depending on the rewards they perceive in doing so. Once they feel safe, though, the fangs will come out. The sense that they have nothing to lose frees the narcissist to a fuller expression of their evilness onto those close to them.
I have just read Baron-Cohen's book "the Science of Evil." He asserts that there is a range of empathic behaviors, with zero empathy a real possibility in psychopaths, borderlines and narcissists. He talks a lot about 10 parts of the brain which he says are linked in the "empathy circuit"--a term that seems a bit ad hoc, though he could well be right. Interesting book, though a bit sentimental near the end when he talks about Israel and the Palestinians.
The morning after I finished his book I realized he'd said nothing about the possibility that someone can choose to be zero-empathy. He pooh-poohs the religious term "evil" and wants to replace it with empathy scores....but as I said he neglects to mention or discuss the insights of religion that say people can choose to become evil. This is a weakness of his argument. The question of whether a person can chose to go zero-empathy, and to starve his empathy circuits, still needs to be addressed.
Excellent blog. I thought I understood narcissism but until I read an Anne Rule book, Dead by Sunset, the true case of a malignant narcissist who destroyed each of his four wives and actually murdered the last one, I hadn't heard the term malignant narcissist. After my divorce 11 years ago I suppose I was rather needy. The man that came along at just the right moment was a malignant narcissist. It took me years and lots of dollars before I got away from him but the scars remain. So far I've only read your overview, but I can't disagree with anything you said. It all fits. I never believed evil existed until this man entered my life. Thanks, again, for your blog.
Thank you for sharing your strength, Anna. Sadly, I have been in a business partnership and friendship with a narcissist. I am planning my escape with hopefully the least amount of damage for my clients and self. I think I have hung onto for the last year because she had a daughter whom I have "mothered" for the past five years. I have been so worried about this little girl and how she has been treated like an accessory to help "Jane" appear as a mother and thus entitled to the experiences of a mother. There is nothing I can do now, but pray for this little girl that she survives the hell of having a narcissist for a mother.
Thank you for this wonderful blog. I am dealing with an EX who I believe is a malignant narcissist (the reason why I left this abusive man nearly 2 years ago with my small child in tow). Due to the wonders of our legal system, I have been forced to allow more time than I believe is healthy with my 5-year-old son with his father. Of course this is since his father is so good at the shape-shifting that everyone sees him as the loving father. I am scared that my son will somehow end up like his father. I have already seen some behavior that mimics his father's. Aside from counselor for my son (which, incidentally, I cannot get since his father has to agree to this and of course will not agree) is there anything you can suggest that I watch for in behavior in my son and anything I can do to try to prevent my son from becoming like his father? Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thank you and Bless You.
Excellent blog Anna, thank you.
I have been on the cusp of being involved with a very dangerous woman who I suspected was mentally ill in some way, but allowed myself to be sucked in by because of her beauty, charm and erudition. More and more however, I discovered that all my contact with her would leave me feeling undermined, hurt or even down-right abused. I'd challenge her on what she said and she'd act like nothing was wrong, even eliciting surprise that I should be offended by her telling me things like "I don't really see you as a man, or even human really".
She has a hatred for psychology and psychotherapists that I knew about early on and should have made me suspicious, but I foolishly allowed myself only to see her charms in spite of the fact that in my peripheral vision I could see red flags popping up everywhere. Your description of malignant narcissism fits her to a tee and I feel like a man saved from drowning as a result of finding it. So again, thank you.
One thing I would ask though is how you deal with them when there is no ready way to get them out of your life?
There is a good chance that that woman is a borderline personality disorder person. These people believe every changing thought they have is true--they are the kind who can have the thought "I wonder if he's human" and then believe it and say it with full force, and forget they said it 30 minutes later. They are the classic marital or romantic nightmare. Flee, of course.
What a great blog! I LOVE IT! Thank you so much!
Anna, I think I love you.
Seriously though, your blog really does connect with me. Thank you for speaking my mind it feels good to know that somebody really understands.
I am by no means a saint myself and have done tremendous inner work to reclaim my soul.
As a child I ordered hypno-coins that were advertized in comic books, to try to hypnotize my parents, and make them stop hitting and humiliating me.
Now many years later I am a certified hypnotist.
After studying yoga and the Tibetan Book of the Dead I learned that when people look back over their lives from their deathbed, they wish that they had "loved more". This animated me to make amends with my mom before she died and to make amends with everybody.
There is a documentary about the "Weeping Camel". It is about how animals will abandon a newborn if the birth was traumatic and painful. In human history, difficult birth babies would be considered evil spirits, they would be abandoned or killed, because they would grow up into angry adults. This is when I realized that I was a difficult birth and put immediately into surgery for a collapsed lung. My mother's anger was sort of beyond her control. Kind of like PTSD. There are hundreds of websites detailing how women's emotions are affected by a difficult birth and lack of bonding with the infant. They do not understand it and it is beyond their control.
After learning this I felt great compassion for my mom, she suffered greatly and tried her best for me. I am glad that we made amends before her death, which has devastated me.
Meditation is a remarkable tool for understanding and healing.
I stumbled across your blog after getting fed up with my narcissistic brother posting on Facebook and I deleted my account there. I decided to break the ties that have already been broken, only I refused to accept this, because of familial sentimentality.
My was real mean, but now in later life, he is actually helping me out, and we have made amends. This was possible in part because my studies in hypnosis have provided deep insights into the hidden connection between memory and behavior. Explaining this to my Dad, he understood and was actually grateful, for the knowledge.
Meditation and introspection can be liberating and healing.
Now I finally understand about Intra-species Predators. The mystery that has confounded me is revealed. Some "people" are just rotten to the core and there is no cure. They are cunning and deceptive. It is important to recognize this and behave accordingly.
Understanding the mechanism of psychic pain makes me feel compassion for many people that I would have just hated.
When trying to figure out if someone is an intra-species predator, I try to detect if they feel empathy or are superficial. If so I avoid them very politely.
Thanks again for the great blog.
Great post, provides the much needed strength to a victim of constant N abuse.
My Ns are worthless pricks and follow me around everywhere. They cyber-stalk, cyber- harass and stalk me in real life as well.
I liked this other blog as well and was sharing my personal story and thoughts like other victims/survivors but those evil creeps crawled out of their holes and infested that blog.
Whatever I do, be it online or offline, they rear their ugly heads and poke their monstrous noses in EVERYTHING! Feel sorry for them really, with all their power they could very well be stalking someone more stalk worthy.
In the mean time, I'm just waiting for justice to give them what they deserve.
Some people need to get a life! like seriously!!
I'm being emotionally abused by a few very sick people. Psychologists have various names for them- psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths etc. They are a bunch of freaks wreaking havoc in my life.
Even though, physically I'm at a distance from them, they have been stalking me in real life by planting spying devices in my home where I currently live with my family. Additionally, they continually cyber-stalk and cyber-harass me. THEY TOLD ME THAT THEY ARE KEEPING A TAB ON MY EACH AND EVERY MOVE. My family and I are all suffering. My father even lost his job because of their dirty tricks and far reaching influence.
They are powerful/ influential people and have influenced my friends and acquaintances as well. I have no support and people don't even understand my problem. They tell me to move on.
I'M DYING TO MOVE ON BUT CAN'T BECAUSE I'M BEING SPIED ON AND HARASSED CONTINUOUSLY, EVEN IN MY HOME. THEY SEND ME E-MAIL ABOUT CONVERSATIONS THAT TAKE PLACE IN MY HOME! Can someone not see that even my most basic rights are being violated upon? They interfere in anything I do in my life or even if I leave comments on websites or the internet. They want to control everything.
Clearly, they are very sick people and I'm the one whose suffering.
Because they're powerful and influential and keep exerting control in my normal day to day life, I'm unable to do anything but silently suffer.
I'm looking for help wherever I can get it but everyone I know or approach is under their influence and so I have not received any GENUINE help from anyone or anywhere.
Thank you for some much needed insight. I believe I am dealing with a narcissistic daughter.
After reading much of this blog I have identified with many of your readers. I Have recently tried to reconnect with my daughter, just to be rejected again. Losing sleep trying to figure out what I can do to get her to forgive me......But forgive me of what?
After 15 years of "walking on egg shells" and listening to her lies and not saying anything for fear of her exploding into an unfathomable rage. This not only by me but my family. I called her out publicly on all her lies and deceits.............After a year and a half of her silence because she "publicly "said she wanted nothing to do with me ever again, "because I hurt her deeply with with my words and humiliated her" I decided to give it one more shot.
I now realize the blood sucker was just waiting to strike................
I have had much peace in the last 18 months without having to listen to her delusional interpretation of her life and the failure I was as a mother. Just writing this brings freedom to myself from the chains of pain she has wrapped my heart and mind in. I was so focused on the hurt of my heart I had forgotten the poison she had caused my mind. This BLOG is helping me see clearer, to understand what I am up against.
Again, thank you
Ive been reading these excellent posts, and am just recently coming to grips with the realization of who and what I have been married to for 26years. I would like to post more when I believe the situation is" safe" for me to do so, but in the interim, I am happy I have stumbled upon this blog. Thanks for the good, true, and right explanations of what I have been living with. I am not art home anymore, afraid to ever return, but hope to draw strength from this site. ..L
I think this is very good commentary on Narcissism. I would add that not all Narcissists are losers. In fact, many are very accomplished professionals. I am pretty sure that I just got out of a very dangerous relationship with a Narcissistic cop. He was really pathologically involved. We only dated for a month but in the end he actually used the suicide threat card as a way to push me away. I believe this had more to do with him knowing that, as a therapist, I was on to him and he figured if he used that card I would leave him alone. I noted regardless of his threat to take his life he was back on an online dating site within a week. He was very preditorial, chasing me relentlessly, claiming love, marriage, babies etc and then when I started making small demands such as why don't you drive to my place ( 20min) instead of me coming to your place all the time, he started to pull away. The relationship was entirely on his terms. He also admitted to past violence which was tricky because as a cop its easy to justify this kind of behavior and yet if he was not a cop his behavior would be easy to identify as toxic.
Anna, great work here. I have my own experience with narcissists and a friend who is trying to extricate from the grasp of one now, and you've verbalized it well. One thing I would add to the list of similarities with vampires is that they will not enter your home until invited. This would represent that they will patiently earn your admiration so as to be invited into your life. Then the destruction slowly begins.
You are so correct. My malignant N father is highly intelligent and all that has ever worked in 25 years is total no contact. There are no boundaries. The give them sn inch they will take a mile is accurate. These toxic people are all or none. Either you allow yourself to be 100% totally controlled if you are their unfortunate target, or you have to go no contact. They have no ability to compromise on anything. Their way or the highway. And they usually pretend to be very religious. It's all a lie. In private they remove the mask and say things like scream at their child over and over "you are expendable". They say I gave you life and if god tells me to I'll take it away, I'll have you killed, threats and more threats. But then an evil joy in reminding you, "if you tell anyone what I said they will never believe you". And guess what they are right. Cause they surround themselves with pawns and enablers and the golden child to do their worship. They all will try to make you think you are nuts, or you are just exaggerating, or you are just oversensitive, or he never did that, or he never said that, or he didn't mean that, or you must have misunderstood... Sound familiar? Damage. That's what these families do. Get put, get away, go full no contact, never believe they will get better. They only get worse! I hope my daughter figures out that she should not let these crazy people back in to her life either. My doctor told me I should continue not to see my father or his enablers. That no one should put themselves around anyone who will not show them honor. We victims/targets have to stop feeling bad that we haven't forgives these evil twisted creatures. They are like a snake looking for prey. Slithering, plotting, calculating, even if it takes months or years. It is one big chess game to these creatures. And they are the king and all others are but pawns. To be used or removed or pushed aside.
Wow wow wow this just described my mother to a perfect T. I have been trying to put into words what she is and now I can easily.
Thank you it has helped me also to see why my daughter behaves the way she does. She had assumed the same traits as her grandmother. Not all but many. I have struggled for years under her painful scrutiny, betrayal, put downs, the constant demeaning attitude, treatingnme like I didn't deserve anything, denying my need for attention and making sure I didn't get it espically when she could. Example:I was in intensive care for 9 days not one time did she come now my brother was in ICU for 4 days she was there everyday day. Why: his doctors were her focus and she could get all the attention for him being ill. Like she was so tired and worried and stressed out so the doctors would pay attention to her. For me none of my doctors wanted to discuss her"illnesses" as I was their focus not her therefore she said that it cost to much to park and it was ti far too walk again obtaining attention any way she can.
Thank you for helping me understand her behavior. It has really opened my eyes.
I have just read "The Psychopath Inside" by James Fallon and found it illuminating. This is a man who had a successful career as a neuroscientist and then discovered one day that his brain scans matched those of murderous psychopaths. He then did "research" of sorts and reported on what he found. The last couple of chapters shed a great deal of light--particularly his assertion that he takes real solid pleasure from getting revenge on people in secret years after the "offense" for which he is retaliating. If you want a window into the alien world of these people, Fallon's book is one. This is a rare report from inside the brain of high-functioning psychopath, and it's convincing to me.
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