May 29, 2016

Dear Narcissist Problems, "Dating Corporal Shithead"






Dear Narcissist Problems,

Curious if one who is diagnosed in past as passive/aggressive disorder now classified as personally disorder also may exhibit narcissistic tendencies? I have been dating a man/former Marine not involved in front line tactics. But in administrative position. Nothing against them as my Dad was also a Marine Vet, but they receive/conditioned with a very superior almost arrogant mentality. A lot of times when we have a disagreement he twists the situation /my words around blatantly like a pretzel and when I call him on it to defend what I said/meant he dismisses my explanation/feelings. Such as, "You always want to start an argument and bitch!" Most of the time it happens when we have been drinking. He doesn't drink/ smoke every day, but when he does it is binge drinking. When he is sober he needles me and is quick to point out what he considers are flaws. We don't live together, but have different routines. He goes to bed and rises early. If I stay over and happen to sleep until 8/8:30 he sometimes acts like I slept the day away. I tell him just because we have different routines doesn't mean I am not also productive. I have told him before l don't need a dad. And when I feel like he is "lining” me out that the code is my reply is, "Alright Gunny!" A figure of speech about a Marine drill sergeant. I also have said just because we do things differently doesn't mean one way is right and the other is wrong. We both have been divorced for quite a while and thus being independent for so long and each having our own routines/ways doesn't make it easy. But I feel that's when compromise comes into play. Sometimes he agrees and other times he just walks away and does other things. We go for a month or two and have a disagreement or I say something he doesn't like I get the silent treatment for a few days to a week.

Sincerely,

“Dating Corporal Shithead”

 

Dear “Dating Corporal Shithead”,

I wonder if the better question would actually be can someone with narcissistic personality disorder have been accidentally diagnosed as passive aggressive.  We are referring to people who use gas lighting as a form of manipulation of our realities.  So it isn’t too much of a stretch to notice a lot of narcissists are also passive aggressive.  I’m assuming because of the plausible deniability of passive aggression.  It’s easy for passive aggressive to be left open to assumption.  It’s also easy for a narcissist to say “You are misinterpreting what I did or said because I didn’t mean it that way”, even when they know full well they meant it that way!  The silent treatment is actually one of the number one tactics a narcissist will use to put you in your place.  To show their disapproval of your behavior they will literally just ignore you or the topic until you submit to whatever their requested behavior or ideas were. 

In the fall of 2013, there was an article written about the passive aggressive conflict cycle written by Signe Whitson where she states “Persons who are passively aggressive can provoke angry responses in another while not overtly appearing to be aggressive themselves.”(Whitson 2013).  This is very important to understand as Narcissists are notorious crazy makers.  Signe then went on to identify the five stages of passive aggressive conflict while emphasizing the only way to avoid a conflict is to understand the passive aggressive conflict cycle.  The five stages are as follows; Stage 1: The Self-Concept & Irrational Beliefs of the Passive Aggressive Person which explains that a passive aggressive person has been raised to avoid displaying anger because doing so is dangerous.  I’m not going to go into too much detail on Stage one because from my perspective it is irrelevant because most people would refuse to put in the work to change their behavior in the first place.  In other words, it’s pointless to explore why he would feel that expressing anger is dangerous. 

Stage two is The Stressful Event where the passive aggressive becomes the victim because they are asked to do something.  This can be seen when he stated that "You always want to start an argument and bitch!”  He feels as though you are picking on him for bringing up valid points of his bad behavior or expressing things in the relationship that displeases you. 

Stage 3, and here comes a very relevant fact; The Passive Aggressive Person’s Feelings “The passive aggressive person has learned over the years to defend against his angry feelings by denying them and projecting them onto others.”(Whitson 2013).  I found stage three pretty interesting since Narcissists are also Notorious for projecting all their negative feelings and behaviors onto their victims.

 Now here is where you might want to take notes, Stage 4: The passive aggressive Person’s Behavior.  Here it is stated that “The behavior of most passive aggressive individuals is both purposeful and intentional.  What is more, the passive aggressive person derives genuine pleasure out of frustrating others to get someone else to act out his or her anger.  So essentially Corporal shithead is pushing your buttons on purpose with the sole purpose of watching you explode in anger or rage.  They do this by, “Denying feelings of anger, withdrawing and sulking (silent treatment), procrastinating, carrying out tasks inefficiently or unacceptably, and exacting hidden revenge.”(Whitson 2013). 

Finally, we come to Stage 5: The Reactions of Others.  In this stage the passive aggressive waits for the expected reaction and then claims victimhood of your anger or frustration.  It is important to see this behavior and be able to identify it so the next time your buttons start to be pushed when he is constantly keeping track of your daily schedule you are aware that he is seeking your negative reaction. 

Honestly, after reading this article it seems that passive aggressive behavior might actually go hand in hand with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  Obviously I’m not a doctor but it’s all right there in black and white.  I hope this helps to answer some questions for you.  As to your situation I have my own question to ask; “How long do you want to be treated this way and deal with the drama?”  Good luck on your healing journey!

Regards,

Narcissist Problems

 

Reference

Whitson, S. (2013). The Passive Aggressive Conflict Cycle. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 22(3), 24-27.

Dear Narcissist Problems: "Enlightened"





Dear Narcissist Problems,

I work with the local domestic violence advocacy group to help my children and I deal with their father and my ex. Our counsellors have expressed that in the addition to his abuse he displays behavior characterized by narcissistic personally disorder. Of course, they cannot make an official diagnosis without him as their client, but from books I have read to help cope there may as well be a picture of him. I stumbled across this sight yesterday and I can't believe how your posts and statements hit the nail on the head. It's a struggle to deal with this and seeing your posts brings some relief knowing I'm not losing my mind and there are people out there like this. I just wish law enforcement and child protection groups could be more educated in recognizing this type of behavior. The narcissistic is adept at putting on the act and getting away with crime. Thank you.

Regards,

“Enlightened”

 
 

Dear “Enlightened”,
 

            I would like to say Kudos to your local Domestic Violence Advocacy group because they even considered that you could be being abused by a narcissist!  Give those women and men a medal!  As you have probably realized by now you are one of the very few people who found their way without doing that infamous google search looking for answers.  This is exactly why I do what I do here because not many people do know or have heard of Narcissistic Abuse.  This traps victims in situations of abuse for YEARS because they start to believe the problem really is them after years of the narcissist eroding their self-esteem and perception of reality.  Sana Loue, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., wrote an article on the legal implications of emotional and psychological abuse which stated; “Emotional abuse, a label often used synonymously with the terms emotional maltreatment, psychological battering, psychological abuse, and soul murder, has been called “the most elusive and damaging of all types of maltreatment for a child” and represents “the core issue and most destructive factor across all types of child abuse and neglect” (Loue 2005).  Here we have one of the most destructive forms of abuse and there is little recognition of it in the healthcare field or legal systems.  The article further illustrates that “The very elusiveness, however, of the identification of emotional and psychological abuse casts doubt on the accuracy of available data relating to its occurrence, and it is likely that the incidence and prevalence of such abuse are subject to significant underreporting”(Loue 2005).  So not only is this type of abuse very difficult to identify victims are also not reporting it.  The ones who have reported it are left feeling disbelieved, discouraged, and shattered.  This is how and why many of us in this community have reached out into the public to share our stories and offer support to others living through hell.

 I know you didn’t really ask a question but you said something that I would really like to highlight “seeing your posts brings some relief knowing I'm not losing my mind and there are people out there like this. I just wish law enforcement and child protection groups could be more educated in recognizing this type of behavior.” (Enlightened 2016).  Dealing with a narcissist we know they will destroy our lives and the way in which they do it leaves us looking insane, unstable, irrational, and the list goes on.  While we try to maintain any resemblance of being the normal rational human beings we are once a narcissist gets their hands on someone who has control over your life such as a lawyer, police officer, or judge it usually means game over for us.  Some of us have watched our therapists be manipulated against us through couples counseling and then that same therapist will be utilized for court.  Some narcissists will call child protective services on us and then play the role of caring adult in our children’s lives to manipulate the state against us resulting in the loss of our children. It was seen that “definitional issues further compound the difficulties associated with the identification, documentation, prosecution, and prevention of emotional and psychological abuse” (Loue 2005).  It’s no wonder that nothing is being done in the legal field to prosecute abusers and protect victims as we can’t expect laws to be written when there is no clear definition on what it means to have your soul murdered.

 What is my point here?  It is essential that when you find out what narcissistic abuse is and that you have been abused you need to spread awareness of this type of abuse.  More than that, as many of us do, go out of our ways to support each other when we see a victim getting abused further by people in positions of power or authority because they don’t fully understand or recognize what emotional or psychological abuse looks like.  You will see many survivors going to court to show support, campaigning for funds for court cases, starting petitions, or simply blogging to get the word out.  It’s imperative that we take on this responsibility, when ready, so that narcissists do not get away with their crimes.  You do not need a special degree or a certification to become an advocate for victims of Narcissistic Abuse.  All that you need is your voice, your story, and your passion.  The more who get involved with this effort the sooner we will see legislation and policies being passed that not only recognize this type of abuse but also the prosecution of the abusers.  The way to do this is to just get out there and get involved by finding and joining others with a similar cause which is typically experience specific.  Good luck to you on your healing journey!

Regards,

Narcissist Problems

 

 Reference

Loue, S. (2005). Redefining the emotional and psychological abuse and maltreatment of children: legal implications. Journal Of Legal Medicine, 26(3), 311-337 27p.

May 7, 2016

Dear Narcissist Problems, "Parental Concerns"





Dear Narcissist Problems,

Hey I'm really struggling with my narc at the moment.  He walked away from our child for 2 years for a woman and when it suited him ( because they had broken up ) he wanted my son in his life again I struggled for months with this I know what he's capable of he has emotionally traumatized my wee boy. The only reason I let him is because I used to have a serious drinking problem but am 3 years sober now and I could see how I was guilty of a lot myself like: played games, I provoked him purposely, I would always go back to him not that that excused his behavior.  He was cold, nasty, and unhuman towards me and my children but I can see my part.  Since getting sober I have learned to be healthy and have boundaries and good people around me and I have my faith so I thought since I had changed maybe he could too.  This went against everything I knew about narcs but 2 years and my son was still crying every night for dad so I let him back but with very strict boundaries and the last several months he has been good. He still tries to play games and snarky comments and mind games and the flirting despite him having a new gf but I shut it down n don't play into it.  This weekend after having 2 sick kids all week he had my son stay and started playing games with refusing to go get him medicine or letting me bring any over...eventually he did but he wound me up for a hour thinking my son was going to go without while he was sick and he loved that he got a reaction. I had sensed it was driving him nuts not being able to get a reaction for so long when I used to be so predictable so I think he knew how exhausted I was and jumped on his chance. Nobody I talk to understands why this has upset me so much but it's because I can see he's still exactly the same cold narcissist he's always been. Using my child's wellbeing to get a reaction from me it brought up all the stuff he's done to us in past. I try to not judge him on the past but it's hard. Everyone I've spoken to keeps saying no matter what he's still his father he has a right to have overnight access but after that I don't want to send him I wouldn't stop it completely that would mess with my boy but I don't want him there overnight by himself.  It reminded me I don't trust him with our child despite a few months of ok behavior I know who he is.  I desperately need advice on what I should do? There's no custody agreement as he walked away for so long so balls in my court. I want my son to have a dad but I'm scared of the damage it's doing by me giving him chance after chance. I get what others are saying that he needs to learn to be a dad and be patient but do narcs actually love their kids? Am I doing serious damage letting this man in his life?

Sincerely,

“Parental Concerns”

 

 

 

Dear “Concerned”,

            I’m really glad you threw in that last part about there not being a custody agreement because that was my first question.  Nobody wants to be a parental alienator.  Further, you have no control over his decision to abandon your child’s life.  You have no control over this man’s manipulative behavior either.  I would immediately stop any unsupervised visits until there is a court order in place.  I would also urge against overnight visits at all.  This man has been absent from your child’s life for years.  While yes he needs to “learn how to parent” it is not your job to teach him or your child’s duty to be a guinea pig.  Your past mistakes are mute at this point.  You have taken the steps to make your life right and are working on yourself to become a better person and to have a positive role in your life.  Stop the visits and site the withholding of medication as a sole reason.  If you did something like this the government would have your ass in court for medical neglect in a heartbeat, especially if something bad happened to the child as a result of the medicine being withheld.  Here is the thing, we are not psychic…or doctors.  We are mothers who are put into place to look after the best interest of our children.  You could not know if the withholding of medicine would seriously harm your child.  At this point, every encounter this man has with your child is evidence for a judge that he has a relationship with said child.  It’s not that you are trying to prevent this man from being a father.  What you need to do is get a court order in place that will allow this transition to take place safely.  Your goal is to have your child build a healthy and stable relationship with his father.  However, manipulating you so early on is a huge red flag that you need to ignore all of the advice you are receiving and head straight into a court.  Good Luck to you and stand firm!  No more unsupervised visits until this man proves he is capable of having them.  It’s one thing to ask for supervised visits for a father who has always been there for his child.  It’s quite another to give unsupervised visits to a known abuser who abandon the child for years.  Stand strong and call the police if you need to.  I would have called the police the minute he started playing games with the child’s health.

Regards,

Narcissist Problems

Dear Narcissist Problems, "Im a Survivor"



Dear Narcissist Problems,

I'd like to suggest posting how it feels when you stay strong, positive and keep moving forward, and take action... It's so indescribable no tension no worry pure happiness and pride and amazement of oneself and its feels amazing I could go on and on but I am finally free of control and can't wait to drive my life.

Sincerely,

“I’m a Survivor”

 

Dear “Survivor”,

     I totally agree!  We do focus a lot on the negative around here and I love your suggestion!  I’ve actually been reflecting a lot lately on how much has changed in my life since going No Contact with my narcissist and anyone who enabled that person.  At first, it feels miserable!!!  In my own situation I went no contact with my mother and then many family members as a result.  I ruminated about how I could go on without these key people in my life.  Who am I without them?  Can I survive without them?  But the most important question I’ve ever had to ask myself and reflect on for a very VERY long time would be “Am I doing the right thing for my own children?”  I spent so long wondering where things had gone wrong and what I could do to fix them that I finally reached a point of realization that these people were slowly killing me.  I had been gutted.  I spent time reflecting on my childhood and how I always felt a sense of connection to my family.  What I did not take into account is that most of that connectedness was in the form of chaos and drama.  That connectedness was a form of connectedness was slowly tearing me apart one humiliation, degradation, and lie at a time.  We truly can’t tear ourselves apart in order to keep others whole and nor should we be expected to.  Especially from family.  After deciding, no family is better than family who actively tries to destroy you from the inside out!  I thought about my children growing up lonely and without those connections but I have made peace in that I know with all of my heart that I had to break this generational pattern of dysfunction.  While I struggle to make holiday traditions or anything else I never learned how to do growing up, I think I’m doing a great job as a mother. 

What happens once you leave a narcissist?

            The first thing that will happen is that your levels of anxiety will slowly wane.  You will probably spend a few months or years afraid to leave your home.  But! Once that anxiety passes you will be filled with a sense of ambition and excitement for life!  Yes you!! The one sitting there in the same clothes without showering for three days because you are depressed or afraid to be caught vulnerable naked in the shower by a random narc attack.  This fear will pass and you will be motivated to finally break out of that image the narcissist created for you and live your life!!

Second,

You analyze yourself.  You read books, you join support groups, and you get into therapy.  You think you know who you are but you have spent so many years being told who you are that at this point you really need to find out the truth.  Being with a narcissist in any relationship will wear you down to your core.  You will leave that relationship feeling like an utter failure. A loser, a whore, a liar, a cheat, a drug addict, a horrible parent, a basket case, a control freak, and even possibly an abuser.  You are no good and dirty!  You are a shame and you are guilty of it!  Who knows what it is, but you did it or do it! 

Now is the time to discover the truth and what you find will amaze you!!!   You find out that you are do not have every negative trait known to mankind all in one body.  You are compassionate and caring!  You are creative and intelligent!  Most importantly, YOU are capable of achieving anything you set your heart and mind to.

 

Third,

You do everything you have set your heart and mind to.  You take the steps necessary to building a better life.  A beautiful life.  You take the steps to finally build the life you deserve!  You are finally ready to be you and to be the best you YOU can be!  Unapologetically you.  You start writing and encouraging others who are where you were last year.  You take classes.  You finish that college degree.  You create art.  You redecorate.  You apply for your dream job and you get it!  BECAUSE YOU ARE CAPABLE AND YOU DESERVE IT!!!

Fourth,

You stop to feel grateful that you had the courage to leave.

 

Fifth,

Just like with abuse you realize there are setbacks in your healing and recovery as well.  There are highs and there will be lows.  These lows come in the form of self-doubt, grief, failing to build proper boundaries in new relationships, paranoia, or a random trigger like a police siren.  This is when you know you have the strength and courage to continue on.  You force yourself out of these negative feelings and the cycle of healing begins again.  You read, you share, and you continue setting goals and smashing them.  There has been a fire lit in your soul and never again in your life will you allow anyone to squelch it.

 

Regards,

Narcissist Problems


Dear Narcissist Problems, "Confused"


 
 
Dear Narcissist Problems,

 
     I know it's possible to have PTSD from being in an abusive relationship. I have yet to run this by my shrink. But imagine this. The narc so quickly scooped me up from a marriage I choose to leave. Blinded me of course. The destruction, loss of just about everyone and everything. I never gave my now ex-husband a second thought. Not one. Our bond a hidden box because to even think of him shamed me in fear of what my narc bf would think. Now that the spell is broken, we have been living apart fir 5 months, had a restraining order last Sumner, this is our 25th or so break up. But he knows I'm done. On to the next. .. But is it possible... for me to still be IN love with my ex-husband or is this just me mourning the huge loss of my life due to the narc. I'm coming to the thought that had I not been so enraptured by such a con artist, I would have given my then husband the second chance he rightly fully deserved....

Sincerely,

“Confused”

Dear “Confused”,

      You have described here the perfect example of a rebound relationship.  Unfortunately, your rebound after divorce landed you in the arms of an emotional predator.  Break ups of any kind can be devastating and leave us feeling broken, unloved, and unlovable, damaged, and left with a general sense of there something being wrong with us.  I am going to assume that you were love bombed by this narcissist you jumped into your next relationship with.  While you were experiencing rejection from your divorce here comes Mr. Wonderful who is full of immortal love and admiration for you.  He probably showered you in attention while simultaneously telling you that your ex was horrible and stupid for wanting to leave someone as amazing as you are.  What you didn’t do is give yourself space or a chance to think about things clearly before continuing on in this relationship.  I’m sure you ignored many red flags that this relationship would most likely be doomed to fail.  Now after this horrible experience with Mr. Wonderful you are probably doubting the problems that you had with your ex-husband.  There is a saying out there about nostalgia helping us forget all the bad while focusing on the good that occurred in past relationships.  This is probably why you are feeling confused about your ex-husband.  I would give yourself adequate time to sort out your feelings.  It seems as if you are a giver and in this moment you are trying to find someone to fill a void.  Someone to give that love to.  I want you to stop right now because you need to be giving that love to yourself.  Divorce doesn’t just happen.  There were reasons why you split up.  I’m not saying it’s impossible for you to still love your ex-husband but perhaps you should take things slow if anything and rebuild a friendship before exploring feelings of being in-love.  I don’t know about your childhood but you just might be confusing feelings of intensity with feelings of love.  Take a lot of time to get to know yourself before even considering a relationship with anyone other than yourself.  I hope this helps! Good luck to you on your healing journey!

Regards,

Narcissist Problems

Facebook