Tag Archives: BPD

Narcissism and Masochism: The Origins of Eternal Victimhood

In my last post, How to make yourself fall out of love, I mentioned my tendency to devalue those who treat me well and idealize those who treat me poorly. It’s something I’ve done over and over again throughout my life with little awareness.

But after writing that line, it stuck with me all week. I wondered why that was.

If I feel hurt, I will express rage. I may attempt to counter-control, counter-manipulate or straight up fight. But inside, there’s this nagging feeling that says I must deserve this. I am lower than. My opinions count less. My feelings count less.

Having no empathy means having none for myself either.

I think the person doing this to me is better. I obsess over why they would hurt me. Why I’m unworthy of their love or respect.  I want to understand them, and understand why I didn’t measure up. I assume their feelings are valid, but question my own and search constantly for outside validation that tells me I am not defective. Only no amount of outside validation is ever enough.

Am I stupid? Am I ugly? Fat? Wrong? Do I have terrible taste in music? Not interesting enough? What is it? Why was I unworthy? What could I have done differently to make them love me?

Why do I do this to myself? What am I, some sort of masochist?

Well, apparently, yes. And apparently, all narcissists are. In my search, I found this abstract of a larger piece, Narcissism and masochism. The narcissistic-masochistic character:

“Developmentally and clinically, narcissistic and masochistic pathology are so intertwined that their theoretic and clinical unraveling requires specific attention to their linkage and the predictable forms of response to interpretation.

It is therefore useful to think of the narcissistic-masochistic character as a clinical entity. In this condition, pathologic narcissistic tendencies are unconscious vehicles for attaining masochistic disappointment and masochistic injuries are an affirmation of distorted narcissistic fantasies.”

The eternal victimhood of narcissists suddenly makes so much sense.

I have been getting narcissistic supply from ruminating and obsessing over past hurts. I replay the pain over and over again, dissecting every aspect of it. Going over every detail with a fine tooth comb, looking for anything I may have missed that could explain how I failed. Rinse and repeat.

I search for any slight—real or perceived—to latch on to and continue the dynamic, if only in my head.

I initially had trouble understanding the Borderline urge to self-harm. But I self-harm emotionally, by obsessing over past hurts and humiliations, and by devaluing myself.

No one remains to hurt me, so now I do it myself. With memories and a never ending series of questions I will never get answers to.

It won’t hurt anymore if I’d just stop caring. But I can’t stop myself from caring. In this way I’ve become my own abuser. The pain would have been long over by now, only I won’t let it be.

Sexually my fantasies often revolve around degradation and situations where I am controlled, humiliated, used, and where consent straddles the line. This is not an all-the-time thing for me. But every so often I play out these fantasies in my head and am satisfied by the  mistreatment.

Self-compassion is one of the first things my therapist began suggesting to me when I started therapy. It’s something I try to remind myself of, but it’s the hardest thing for me to do. Harder than any of the DBT skills I’ve learned so far. Harder than learning to feel empathy for others.

Aiden reminds me often. He says, “Are you being kind to yourself today?” That always makes me smile and reminds me to give myself some credit. I guess hearing that someone else thinks I am worthy of compassion is still more powerful than me telling myself.

I hope that’s not always the case.

I have noticed that the more emotionally connected I feel to Aiden, the less I fantasize sexually about being hurt.

I am learning to allow myself to be pleasured. Actual intimacy. It takes a level of vulnerability that before now, I’ve never allowed myself to experience. It’s like an entire erotic world has been opened up to me, that I guess I never believed I had a right to.

Maybe feeling more connected to myself emotionally can help me stop the emotional turmoil I put myself through.

How to Make Yourself Fall Out of Love

Ever been in love with someone you knew was bad for you, but couldn’t help yourself?

Cluster B’s have a tendency to idealize and devalue others. When I have idealized someone they can virtually do no wrong.

Even, and sometimes especially, if they are treating me poorly, it can be hard for me to let go. I see only the good in them, and have a tendency to internalize their bad or hurtful behavior as some fault of my own. I am defective. Unlovable. That’s why they are treating me so poorly.

At times like these my old friend, Devalue, would be really handy to have around. But I can’t control the devaluation process. Devaluing for me, is like falling out of love — it just happens.

Worse, I have a tendency to devalue those who treat me well, and exalt those who mistreat me. I think, if they love me, there must be something wrong with them.

Or, they are trying to manipulate me.

A couple of weeks ago, someone in one of my Cluster B groups mentioned the DBT Peer Connections series on YouTube. I finally got around to checking it out and found it helpful.

The series consists of 23 episodes, ranging in length from 3 minutes to 2 hours. So, it’s a time investment. But from what I’ve seen so far, it’s worth it.

In this video (below), she talks about using the DBT skill, “Opposite Action” for emotional regulation, and goes through a series of emotions including jealousy, anger, shame, guilt and even love. DBT Opposite Action Love.png

This was the first time I had seen love covered as an unhealthy emotion that requires regulation. But for a lot of us, it is.

When love doesn’t fit the facts, when the person doesn’t deserve our love or admiration, there are things we can do to change our feelings — we don’t have to be slaves to unhealthy emotions.

She gets to love at 18:00, but the entire video is worth a watch. I identified with needing help on all of the emotions, especially anger.

DBT Peer Connections Ep 4c – Emotion Regulation Opposite Action

Loving & Understanding A Narcissist

My friend, who blogs about living with Borderline Personality Disorder, gives her perspective on loving someone with NPD. She writes about her fiance with a lot of unconditional love and compassion — something most of us NPDers never had growing up.

Since waking up, I’ve learned more about BPD, and have been surprised at the many similarities in our internal thinking. This has become more evident as I’ve started learning DBT, which was originally developed for Borderlines.

It’s also striking how many Borderlines and Narcissists find ourselves in relationships. I’d say there’s a special relationship between the two disorders.

Borderline Mama writes:

His behaviour is not okay, I’m well aware of that. But it is fueled by his need for attention, love and validation. I put up with his behaviour by choice, because I know he is as emotionally damaged as me. I have BPD, and he puts up with my negative borderline characteristics. So why should I give up on him?

Our personality disorders are quite similar in some ways. Both narcissists and borderlines have a distorted sense of self, issues with rage, a deep fear of abandonment, and black and white thinking. Through these similarities, I am able to understand my SO’s behaviour to some degree.

Read the whole article: Loving & Understanding A Narcissist

No: Narcissists don’t like “Empaths”

There’s this idea going around that’s pretty widely accepted in the “narcissistic abuse” community that narcissists are drawn to “empaths.”

Empaths are supposed to be so highly empathetic toward others they can almost read other people’s minds. Apparently narcissists love empaths because we feed off that raw empathy, which we are so lacking in.

Ironically, before realizing I was a narcissist myself, I considered myself to be a highly empathetic person and possibly even one of these empaths. Turns out I have very low empathy. Yet, I’ve heard this same sentiment among other self-aware narcissists too – all believing we were highly empathetic prior to waking up. How is that possible?

My guess is that it’s cognitive empathy at play. There are different types of empathy: cognitive and emotional/affective.

Affective empathy is an automatic drive to respond appropriately to another’s emotions. It allows you to put yourself in another person’s shoes and actually feel their feelings with them. When they are sad, you feel their sadness with them. When they are happy, you share their happiness too.

Cognitive empathy is knowing how another person feels and what they might be thinking. It is also referred to as “perspective-taking”. Cognitive empathy can help in a negotiation or in motivating people.

Narcissists are low on emotional empathy, but actually very skilled at using cognitive empathy. I can “read” a person’s emotional state very quickly and then relate that back to their underlying feelings and motivations. I pick up on subtleties, nuances, voice inflections, physical movements. This can come across as me being very emotionally attuned, almost like a mind reader. And I could always feel sympathy or compassion for that person, which I had confused for affective empathy.

Until recently, I never realized there were two types of empathy. I never grew up with affective empathy – I didn’t experience or witness it at home as a child so I quite literally did not realize I was missing it. My cognitive empathy was off the charts though.

When it comes to narcissists being attracted to highly empathetic people, my experience has been quite the opposite. I tend to be attracted to other low empathy types. In my case, this is usually paths (ASPD) or other NPDers. You can’t get much more low empathy than thatI also had a strong, almost reflexive disdain for emotional weakness.

At the time I never realized this, and wondered why I always found myself the “victim” to these types of personalities. Looking back, I see how comfortable I actually felt with them, in part precisely because we could be low empathy together and not feel judged or out of place. Additionally, because we are generally more skilled in hiding our own emotions, other Cluster Bs were more interesting and even mysterious to me — they presented more of a challenge.

In my experience Cluster B’s are drawn to each other and can act as codependents to one another. In fact, the most common pairing for a narcissist is a borderline personality. The common parings are BPD/NPD and BPD/ASPD. I’d say this has to be followed by NPD/NPD and NPD/ASPD, although I haven’t found the statistics yet to back this up.

This is for all sorts of reasons, but primarily, we feel comfortable with each other. Plus “normal” people can’t stay with any of us Cluster B’s too long before jumping ship. Media tends to get this right sometimes, for example, shows such as House of Cards (NPD/ASPD couple), The Sopranos (BPD/NPD mom/ASPD dad) or even the black comedy, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (“the gang”: three narcissists and a sociopath).

I’ve also asked around about this in my Cluster B support groups, which are primarily filled with other NPDs, BPDs and ASPDs. The overwhelming consensus was that we are all generally attracted to other Cluster B’s. We tend to view each other as partners in crime — someone else we can take on the world with. Anecdotal evidence backs this up as well. 

Quite frankly, people who exude lots of empathy have always made me uncomfortable. First, I have never gotten used to having anyone really support me or care about my feelings. Vulnerability is extremely hard for me. So when someone shows me a high level of empathy, I clam up and become incredibly uncomfortable. Like, I have to get out of here pronto, level discomfort.

I have a friend who is very empathetic. Once we had just come from hanging out and she was dropping me off at my house. We sat in the car talking. I started sharing with her how I had recently had two back-to-back miscarriages and was very depressed about it, worrying if I would ever have a full term pregnancy again. As I spoke, her eyes welled up with tears and by the time I finished she was full on crying. She seemed more upset about it than I was!

Far from being comforted, I felt trapped and panicked. On an intellectual level I appreciated her concern for me but I didn’t know what to say or do. I looked at her like she was some type of alien whose actions were completely foreign to me – because they were. I remember thinking, great, I just wanted to get this off my chest, now she’s crying and I have to deal with this. And I never know how to respond when others cry or show vulnerability around me.

It was so incredibly uncomfortable for me, I had a hard time not registering my shock and confusion. I clammed up and struggled to continue with the conversation. She never said anything to me about it, but I don’t think I pulled it off. I definitely registered a flash of confusion on her face as well. It was weird. I made an excuse to get the hell out of her car. 

Based on the evidence, my own experience, and the anecdotal stuff I’ve gathered from other awake Cluster B’s, I can’t imagine any narcissist purposely choosing or seeking to be around highly empathetic people. That’s just not how it works.

For those of you with Cluster B personality disorders, who do you find you’re most attracted to?

More Help on Dissociating

I got some more helpful advice on how to deal with dissociating that I wanted to pass along.

This DBT IMPROVE the MOMENT worksheet is great. This was suggested in one of my DBT Facebook groups for dissociating. It offers help for ruminating about the past or future, help with getting back to the present moment, and panic lists for feelings of melancholy, obsessing, and other difficult emotions.

From YouTuber, Ryan Liberty: Try to understand why the dissociating is happening in the first place and what your triggers are, such as times of celebration. This way you can prepare in advance if you know a triggering event is coming up. He suggests giving yourself positive messages such as “you can do this, it’s only a few days”, watch your breathing and plan self-care time. “It helped me to repeat to myself mentally ‘I am safe’ and to feel internally the bottom of my feet.”

Ryan also mentions advice from Kati Morton, who says sucking peppermint candies can help with dissociation. 

Finally, Lucky Otter’s Haven has a piece about dissociating in NPDs and BPDs that gives some great insight and outlines the difference between derealization and depersonalization.

She writes, “A common symptom of both NPD and BPD is dissociation: a splitting or fragmenting of the personality not very different from what occurs in the Dissociative disorders such as DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) and Psychogenic Fugue. It usually happens in response to a severe loss of supply or major narcissistic injury, or a sudden awareness of oneself as not oneself (realizing your false self is not who you really are–which happens when a narcissist becomes self aware). These disorders themselves, especially NPD, are dissociative in nature because a split in the personality has occurred. In the narcissist, it’s a substitution of the original personality for a false one. ”

You can read the whole post here.

 

Growing up with a TV Family: Not the one everyone thought

Growing up, everyone thought my dad was the BEST. It was the 80’s and all my friends compared him to everyone’s favorite TV dad, Bill Cosby. Even I thought he was very much like that…in public. He was funny, smart, charming, fun, handsome.

In private, my dad was much more like Tony Soprano. In fact, the Sopranos is one of the best overall descriptions of my family life growing up. Not from a mafia perspective, but based on the personalities — or rather the personality disorders — of the characters.

One of the most familiar and recognizable characters to me, is Livia Soprano, Tony’s mother, who is described as having either Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder — or maybe even a mix of the two. This scene below is an apt description of what life with my mother was like. Word for word, down to the, “I gave my life to my children on a silver platter.” In fact, I relate a lot to the scenes of Tony’s childhood growing up with a narcissistic mother and ASPD father.

After watching the Sopranos, it was clear to me somebody in the writer’s room had some personal experience. It was all just too spot on. Turns out I was right. David Chase, who produced and wrote The Sopranos, says Livia’s character is based on his own mother.

“Chase claims his father was an angry man who belittled him constantly as a child and his mother was a ‘passive-aggressive drama queen’ and a ‘nervous woman who dominated any situation she was in by being so needy and always on the verge of hysteria. You walked on eggshells.’ One of his characters on the HBO original series The Sopranos, Livia Soprano, is based on his mother. Chase struggled with panic attacks and severe depression as a teenager, something he still deals with today.”

I haven’t watched the Sopranos in years, but it may be time to watch again, this time with a fresh, better informed perspective.  I only wish they went a little more into detail on Tony’s relationship with his kids and how his sociopathy affected them. In many ways, it’s overlooked in the show, although we do see some splitting between his son AJ (who does demonstrate some behavioral problems as a child) and his golden child daughter, Meadow.

Guest Post: Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Voices of NPD spotlights guest posters with Narcissistic Personality Disorder to share their stories of what it is like to live with NPD, becoming self-aware and personal growth. 

By Lauren Bennett, Down the Rabbit Hole

I’m honored to write this guest post, because I think the owner of this blog has done something very courageous in starting this blog.  She, like myself, has realized that NPD and narcissistic abuse is not an us vs. them issue, as most of the narc-hating blogs would have you believe. There’s a lot of overlap and grey areas.

Often, those of us who identify as abuse victims with “fleas” actually even have narcissism or even NPD. We aren’t all that different — whether we have NPD or C-PTSD or are codependent to a narcissist, all of that has its roots in having been the victim of something we had no control over: usually, not having had parents who were able to love us unconditionally and give us the early mirroring we needed so badly.

Pete Walker, who wrote the very readable and helpful “C-PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving,” even acknowledges that narcissism is one of the four responses (“the four F’s”) of C-PTSD.  Narcissism is the “Fight” response. On other words, narcissism — even NPD — is a manifestation of C-PTSD.

“Going down the rabbit hole” is an apt description of what it feels like when you finally realize that you — a person who believed you were merely an innocent victim of narcissistic abuse — are actually a narcissist yourself. It’s very surreal, to say the least. But I’ll get to that later.

I’m only a victim!

The trajectory I took to self-awareness has been a strange one. I began my first blog, Lucky Otters Haven, as a blog for people like me, who had been raised by narcissists or had had close relationships with abusive narcissists and were trying to navigate the world on our own and tend to our wounded, fragile psyches after going “no contact”. I started that blog four months after going “no contact” with my very malignant sociopathic ex-husband.

I spent several months as a narc-hater. I wrote scathing posts about how all “narcs” (a word I am trying to avoid now) are evil, have no souls, and are incurable. I posted on other blogs that regarded them much the same way I did. In fact, most narc-abuse blogs take this attitude, and to be fair, rage and even hatred is a normal reaction when you are going “no contact”.

Anger overrides fear, and we can’t make our break and get away if we remain stuck in fear and codependency. Anger can give us the motivation and courage to get away and begin to pick up the pieces of our broken lives. So it has its place. The problem is when you can’t let go of it. Once the danger has passed, and you are safely “no contact”, that anger has nowhere else to go.

Many narc abuse victims remain stuck in their hatred and victim mentality, and begin to see narcissism behind every lamppost and under every bed. They see narcissism in normal human behavior and become paranoid and hypervigilant.  They can even become narcissistic themselves.  Only they are so consumed by hatred they can’t see it. They can’t get better or be happy, because they refuse to take any responsibility for their own healing beyond ousting all the narcissists from their lives. No, what happened to us wasn’t fair, but I realized I would never heal until I began to look inside myself, instead of at what everyone else was doing to me (or what I imagined they were doing).

Beginning to question

At some point I began to tire of the constant narc-bashing. Hatred was no longer doing it for me. I began to want to understand what made narcissists tick, and why they behaved the way they did.  That didn’t mean I wanted to be in contact with them, I just wanted to understand.

I already knew they were broken people who developed an elaborate defense mechanism to avoid ever being hurt again. They were people who were so sensitive or were so badly hurt in childhood they dared never feel vulnerable again. So their true, vulnerable self was sent into exile, and a “false self” of invulnerability was constructed over it. I began to read and post on a forum where both NPDs and “nons” posted, and was surprised how little drama there was.

I began to think more deeply about narcissism and the idea that just because one hates “narcs” doesn’t mean you can’t be one yourself.  I began to look at myself too. Was it possible that I was a narcissist?

Both groups seemed to want to understand each other, and many of the NPDs (both diagnosed and self-diagnosed) on the board wanted to change! Several were even in therapy. I began to entertain the idea that narcissists COULD change, and not all of them were incurable, and most of them weren’t evil either. They didn’t choose their disorder; their disorder chose them.

I wrote a couple of posts describing what I’d learned — that not all “narcs” were evil or incurable. That it’s a spectrum disorder and there are shades of grey. That it’s a disorder caused by trauma — the same as their C-PTSD! To the haters, this was blasphemy.

Suddenly I was being mobbed.  A narc-hater I had thought was a friend began to gaslight, project onto me, and tell vicious lies about me in her blogs. Her flying monkeys (other narc hating bloggers who were her friends) came flying out of the woodwork to destroy my reputation. They were like pit vipers. I was so traumatized by this that I almost took my blog down. I was shocked! These narc haters were acting like exactly what they despised. I felt like I was in some crazy house of mirrors.

Could I be one of “them”? 

I began to think more deeply about narcissism and the idea that just because one hates “narcs” doesn’t mean you can’t be one yourself.  I began to look at myself too. Was it possible that I was a narcissist?  Although I didn’t fit the DSM criteria for NPD that well, I had been reading up about covert or vulnerable narcissism and realized that I fit the profile for that perfectly. I took an online test and got a very high score.  At first, this was extremely disorienting, even devastating. I fell into a depression and cried and felt dissociated for several days. I felt as if my perspective on everything was backwards — up was down, left was right, everything I had believed was the truth was a lie, and everything I had believed was a lie was the truth.  I felt like I had fallen asleep and woken up in another, nightmarish dimension.  So now I was on the other side — I was one of “them.” I had fallen down the rabbit hole.

I started my second blog, Down the Rabbit Hole, as an attempt to process this new knowledge about myself and figure out what I could do about it. I didn’t want to be a narcissist!  Narcissists were bad!  Although I had stopped demonizing them, I didn’t want to be one! The stigma was unbearable. Thinking I couldn’t afford therapy, I set about on a slightly nutty self-healing regimen, combining aspects of DBT (I have a BPD diagnosis I received in 1996 and still had Marsha Linehan’s wonderful DBT workbook), meditation, hot baths, prayer, self-talk, music therapy (to elicit emotional catharsis), and other things to heal myself of both my BPD and what I believed was my covert NPD.

My journey in therapy

I talked about all this on my new blog, but my friends (my real ones, who didn’t abandon me just because I thought I was a narcissist) kept saying there was no way I could be a narc, it was in my head, it was just “fleas,” I was too nice, I had too much empathy. I entered therapy in November 2015, and my therapist told me he didn’t think I had NPD and probably not even BPD (he thought I’d either recovered or was misdiagnosed in the first place).  But my therapist also told me he didn’t believe in labels and only treated symptoms, so he never gave me a new diagnosis.

Over time, I began to show more of my narcissism in my sessions. In early sessions I tried hard to impress him and make him like me. Of course, I was making no progress while doing this but I took pride in my ability to make him laugh and think I was a nice person. But over time, my narcissistic traits –envy, faked empathy, secretly believing I was better than others (while at the same time being insecure and thinking I deserved nothing), inability to take criticism well, a tendency to devalue those who didn’t think highly of me — began to come to the surface.

I felt as if my perspective on everything was backwards — up was down, left was right, everything I had believed was the truth was a lie, and everything I had believed was a lie was the truth.  I felt like I had fallen asleep and woken up in another, nightmarish dimension.  So now I was on the other side — I was one of “them.” I had fallen down the rabbit hole.

It was around this time I began to feel unpleasant emotions in therapy and despite a temptation to run away from feeling them, I made myself explore those dark emotions anyway, no matter how much it hurt.  At first it was impossible to cry in therapy (I only cried alone in those days) but eventually I learned to trust him enough to cry in front of him. This was a huge win for me. We talked about my core of inner emptiness and this awful feeling of something missing inside, and the dissociation I sometimes felt.

I realized with a shock how fake I was.  That fakeness is exhausting for me, and makes me avoid social situations because I feel like I always have to “rehearse” what I’m going to say to be seen in the best possible light. I’m always worrying about what everyone else thinks of me, at the expense of caring about others.

It’s not that I lack empathy. I actually do have quite a bit of it.  But the effort involved in always thinking of how I will appear and having to rehearse how I’m going to act or what I’m going to say makes it hard for me to really hear what others are saying. For over a decade I thought I had Asperger’s or high functioning autism. But now I know differently.

When I was a child, I was very sensitive and often bullied.  I felt everything too much, and in my family, showing emotions other than fake happiness (even though we were all miserable) wasn’t acceptable and I was punished or shamed for showing my feelings.  In school, I was made fun of and ostracized.  By adolescence, I learned to cover my sadness and sensitivity (which I had become ashamed of) with anger and frequent, uncontrollable rages, leading to a BPD diagnosis in 1996. But as I entered adulthood, this sort of behavior doesn’t get you very far or make people like you much. Unconsciously, I began to cover my inability to regulate my emotions with a thin false self, which eventually led to a narcissistic personality (albeit not a malignant or sociopathic one).  I never wanted to hurt anyone, but unwittingly I did anyway, in my attempt to avoid being seen as the vulnerable, hurt, victimized person I knew in my heart I still was.

Now that my therapist has been seeing me for a year, I think he has a better idea of what is really wrong with me. At first he didn’t think I was a narcissist, because I was too “nice” to him and didn’t let him see those traits. He still hates diagnoses, because of how stigmatizing they are.  But last night, he let the truth slip out.

Getting my NPD diagnosis

I studied psychology and know a bit about the different techniques used on people with NPD and recognized that my therapist was using some of those techniques on me.  We do a lot of “chair work” and inner child work, which has been very powerful (and often painful).  Last night, I brought up again my suspicions that I had NPD.  He asked me why it was so important to me to have a label and I explained it was because it would be a confirmation of what I already suspected and would help make things clearer to me about why I did the things I did. It would bring me some closure.  I guess that made him decide to finally spill the beans.  Although he didn’t come out and say “you have NPD,” he let it “slip.”

My therapist let it “slip”.  I looked up at him, feeling shocked.  “Are you saying I have NPD?” I asked, incredulous. He looked slightly uncomfortable, “How does that make you feel?”  “It explains everything…”

What happened was we were doing some “chair work” and I was speaking as my 8 year old self. Lately I’ve gotten good at slipping into my younger self and even speaking as a child would. I always get emotional when we do this kind of work, sometimes even crying. He asked me what she (the little girl) wanted and I said I just wanted my daddy to hold me and stop confusing me. He talked to me in a “dad” voice. I started to cry then. I just wanted to be loved unconditionally.

He was quiet while this was going on, then he said this: “Most narcissists aren’t as good at accessing their younger self as you have become. You have made so much progress. I’m proud of you.” I looked up at him, feeling shocked.

“I just meant–” he started to say. He looked embarrassed. “No, wait. Are you saying I have NPD?” I asked, incredulous. He looked slightly uncomfortable. “Well, yes. I hesitated to tell you because it’s such a stigmatizing label. But you needed to know. You were ready. How does that make you feel?”  “It explains everything and validates what I already knew.”

I thanked him for telling me and laughed about him letting it slip out like that. It’s not that I want to have NPD, but it felt good because now I can stop spinning my wheels and driving myself nuts wondering if I really have it and always trying to speculate that it might really be “something else.” It’s a sort of closure and now I feel like we can really get some work done, so I am very grateful.

Moving forward

I agree with the owner of this blog that many, if not most of us, who suffered narcissistic abuse (and might have once identified only as victims suffering from C-PTSD, or in my case, comorbid BPD) actually have NPD ourselves, or at least are on the N spectrum.

I agree that the concept of “fleas” is actually low level narcissism, only most narcissistic abuse victims and bloggers can’t bring themselves to admit this, because to do so would cause too much cognitive dissonance and put them in the same camp with the “enemy.”  As long as some victims continue to think in their rigid, us-versus-them, black and white way, they will never be able to see their own narcissism because they must continue to be seen as blameless “empaths” and stay trapped in their victim mentality.

Narcissists or victims, we are all broken people. We are all victims of abuse. And none of us (except probably malignant or sociopathic narcissists who are too far gone) are hopeless or incurable.  I am so grateful to have found this blog and be able to write this post for it.

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