Showing posts with label manipulation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label manipulation. Show all posts

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I found out my fiance lied about buying our dream home after we went furniture shopping


What to do when your narcissist does it all. From suicide threats, caller ID spoofers, faking deaths, and faking family members to harrass you 




Dear Narcissist Problems,

Hi, I would like to share my current situation with the group anonymously. I believe I may be dating a Sociopath. It started a little over two years ago. We met online and talked for about 2 months before meeting at a local festival. That same day he said "I love you", which was a little soon for me but I went along with it. Within a few months he spoke with my mother and siblings about marrying me. Months went by and I asked him if I could go over and spend the day with his kids. He said he wasn’t ready for that and that he preferred I stay away and respect the privacy of the home. I wasn’t sure why he wanted to marry and yet I wasn’t allowed in his home. A year went by and he still not proposed like he had told my family.

Then he decided he wanted to buy a home and basically created a distraction away from the "wedding". We spent nearly another year searching for a home yet he would find everything wrong with every place we looked at. Finally we had agreed on one home. He decided tonight through his realtor. He called and said the house was ours! He even took me out to shop for furniture and cabinets and flooring. One day I decided to drive by the house and noticed there were people living there. I confronted him and he (of course) made a scene and cried said he didn’t want to disappoint me by telling me we didn’t get the house. I was shocked because he knew all along and still had me out shopping. I didn’t feel like I could trust him anymore. He would threaten me with hurting himself if I left him. Our arguments always somehow ended up being my fault.

 After nearly 2.5 years with him I decided to end the relationship. He disappeared for a few days. Then the messages started. It was his ex-wife asking for me to call his mother because he had jumped out in front of traffic. I called and of course no answer. His mother never called me, all she did was text and I thought it was weird. I went to his job and his employee said he had been there earlier and was not injured. So I knew in that moment it was a lie. Then it got more interesting with his mother texting me telling me he had passed away and planned his funeral. I went to his place of work and confronted him about the huge lie.

He said he just wanted me to feel how he felt when I ended the relationship. That he loved me so much that he couldn't live without me. I changed my number but he found he could still email and is still threatens me with taking pills to end his life. It’s too much. I’m emotionally drained. He has taken what little trust and faith I had left. Too many coincidences too many little things adding up too many BIG lies. I'm know I'm not crazy. Help!

Sincerely,

“Emotionally Blackmailed”


An update from “Emotional Blackmail” 

            A shocking twist. His first attempt at faking his own death was uncovered but that was not enough for him. He admitted he knew he needed psychiatric help and asked for me to be supportive. He blamed his PTSD for all his problems. He claimed to have checked in to a mental hospital and even called me from the hospital a few times to prove to me he was there. A part of me that wanted to think it was true and he was getting help.

A week later he called and said he had been released and asked me to run away and get married in Florida. I simply replied “You already know my answer”. Anyone who loved me would never ask for me to leave my family. Little did I know, by declining his proposal to run away, I had signed up for my worst nightmare.  

No sooner than the next morning I started getting emails and messages from his friends and family for the second time telling me he had committed suicide by overdose and I was going to be held responsible. Email after email accusing me of ruining his life and being the cause of his suffering. I was even sent a copy of the death certificate and his family demanded I sign over to them power of attorney.

There was a moment in time when I started to think this may be real, but my gut told me otherwise. I decided to go to the Coroner’s office to verify the certificate, and of course, it was FAKE! They advised me to report to the police department, but I was disappointed to find they could not help me due to the fact the document did not have my information and I was not in immediate danger.

 In the meantime, the emails persisted, still demanding power of attorney for an estate, children left in my care, and a body that needed to be released from the morgue. I had not been replying to the email or messages because I was so sick and tired of the games, I knew he was playing with my head all along.

As the emails continued I could tell he was getting frustrated and angry that I was not engaging. He started using his nieces name to send me threats like, “I’m going to strangle you”, “I will make you pay for this”, and “I will ruin your family”. With emails like those I was finally able to provide the police evidence of the abuse. I was granted a protection order and a detective would be assigned to my case.

 My sister once again took it upon herself to dig a little deeper, she found my ex-boyfriend’s niece on Facebook and asked if she knew my ex. She described him and asked if she was aware her uncle was using her name to threaten people. The poor girl was horrified to find that her own family would do such a thing, she even questioned if this could be the same person because the night before they had gone out to dinner and trick-or-treat and even his WIFE was there with them and that they had never been divorced!

 My sister called me with the news, my jaw and stomach dropped to the floor. I could not believe that I had been with a married man for two and half years. How could anyone get away with so much for this long? How could this happen to me? He did send one last message, he did not admit to the emails but that he had lost everything because of me, his family, his life, his job. He said he would leave me alone and give me peace “you can be happy it will be like I never existed everything is gone”. He wondered why I had not gotten him arrested. I never did reply to him.

 I can only assume this was one last attempt at controlling me, my emotions and hurting me. I feel used, empty, I even feel stupid for falling for this crazy person and all his lies, and I had been living a lie all this time. I was “the other women”.

 I had gone through abuse in the past but nothing like this, bruises and scars heal, but emotional abuse is the hardest to overcome. I am currently struggling with anxiety, stress, constantly feeling edgy, sensitive and afraid. I feel like I’m withdrawing from everything I once loved and everything that made me happy. I look forward to the day this will no longer be a painful memory but a story to tell about a lesson learned and how I became stronger, braver. I will continue to follow through with the protection order and police report. He will need to confront reality and all those he has hurt with his lies.

 Sincerely,

“Emotionally Blackmailed”


Please Talk to a Lawyer about this for free Copy and paste this whole message here in "ask a Lawyer" under the legal topic tab here:




Dear “Emotionally Blackmailed”,

        What a royal mind fuck that guy was!  Excuse my language but dayum!  Can we be sure there really was an ex-wife or children?  Honey, YOU are NOT the CRAZY one!!!  When you first started explaining the situation (in your first message!)  I was sitting here thinking “we have a common cheater here” and then by the end my mind was spinning to grasp what I had just read.  If my mind is spinning and I don't even know the guy.... I can't even imagine your mental state right now. I'd be questioning my own sanity as well!
     The good news is that you ended the relationship and I’d really like to thank you for sharing this because there is someone out there shopping for furniture and cabinets right now who desperately needed to hear what you went through. 
     The sad part of this situation is that his threats of suicide are clearly tactics he uses to manipulate people.  This is sad because there are people out there who really are suicidal and they might not get help because of people like this.  I have some advice and that is to document all the crazy you can.  One blogger who has experienced a similar situation as the very first sentence in her blog states that;

Self-harm and suicide threats are amongst the most terrifying – and effective – manipulation tactics in an abuser’s toolkit.”



     I would change your phone number as soon as possible. I can't over state the importance of this. I have been hearing some crazy stories for the past two months about how narcissists are using caller ID spoofers and its making my skin crawl. CHANGE YOUR NUMBER!  For the future if someone sends random threats of suicide call the police or the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at 1-800-273-8255.  Moreover, continue to go no contact with this emotional blackmailer!  It might be (a BIG might at this point!) tough but move, change your number, change your job, or leave the planet just don’t go back! Get in touch with a lawyer and file police reports.

 I don’t know if the guy is a sociopath but he is clearly disordered!  I'm pretty sure he is using an app that can send a text and make it look like it came from another phone number. I wouldn’t doubt if the ex-wife who called wasn’t him with one of those voice changing apps.  He might have even hired some random person in a bar or off the street....OR he has been practicing his woman voice for years in order to impersonate his mother for whatever reasons... i.e. skipping class in high school and calling in or worse!
What do we know about this guy? 1. He has (might have) a wife and kids.  The “ex” is up for debate at this point.  Hell the whole previous marriage is up for debate in my book.  2.  He lied about buying an entire house to the point that you were out shopping for furniture and found out by seeing another family moving in.  3. He threatened suicide and then had a phone call made to you so you would know.  4. He pretended to be his mother and sent you text messages telling you that he was dead as a form of emotional revenge.  I would say that would qualify him as being an experienced abuser who is a master of mind manipulation and emotional blackmail.


  I would go no contact, change your number, and get into trauma therapy. 


             I think this goes beyond dealing with a regular Narcissist Problem. The first time you wrote in I thought you were dealing with an extreme narcissist but this second elaboration of the situation just confirms that this guy is a narcopath!!!  I’ve seen my fair share of Narcissist Problems but this guy takes the cake!  Also, good for you for digging into the lies by going to the coroner’s office for confirmation.  It’s insane that one would even need to do that yet here we are.  I can only imagine the coroner’s reaction and I hope they didn’t treat you like you were insane for too long.  

As for the police doing anything about the fake death certificate you found out the hard way that going to police with these things is a lost cause.  Trust me, I haven’t had to go to the police with a fake death certificate but for other fraud related incidents.  I learned that they will turn you away and worst case scenario they will make you feel like a paranoid schizophrenic even if you show them evidence. 

When I had my situation and the police were of no help I contacted a criminal defense attorney because I figured if anyone had answers they would.  One attorney instructed me to go to the prosecuting attorney’s office with all the documents and see if they will bring a case against the person for forgery (not fraud).  I learned that there is a difference between the terms fraud and forgery and you were the victim of a forgery. BUT I'm not a lawyer. However, you can ask one for free here.

 For better understanding, fraud is when someone deceives you for monetary gains and forgery is a technique used to commit fraud by creating a document in order to deceive.  Since they were demanding power of attorney for property, children, and the forgers “body release” I would say you have a pretty good case and should consider pursuing this further.  I know it would be easier to just walk away but the reality of the situation is that the crazy is not going to end unless you disappear. 

I’m really glad you got an order of protection against this guy.  Keep documenting the crazy because you are going to need everything later. They are really good at recruiting flying monkeys to harass their victims but it seems like this guy is a pro at creating flying monkeys.  Honestly, his lack of manipulating people into doing his dirty work but instead creating flying monkeys and harassing you himself scares the hell out of me. I mean its normal for them to create fake profiles to stalk but this guy doesn’t even seem to have anyone in his life that is aware of you yet you have been harassed by his “whole family”.  First the mom, now the niece, and who else is really just fake?  That’s a whole separate level of hate and I’m starting to wonder if he is actually a psychopath.

  I think that your reactions are normal in this situation.  These relationships will take a toll on us permanently but you need to know that you were not and are not stupid. The only thing I can suggest is completely cut yourself off.  You might even need to move to another state, change your number, change your emails again because this guy will never stop.  It’s scary, confusing, and it’s not fair to be forced into such drastic measures but we are talking about your peace. 

Evil people don't announce themselves.

  They show up as everything you've ever wanted

 and then turn into your worst nightmare

Staying where you are, if he knows where you are, will only force you to withdraw more.  What you have been through is going to take a very long time to recover from.  In fact, it’s probably going to change you forever.  Who you were, who you are, and who you are going to be will meet in this moment and how you go on from here is going to define your future.  You can let this break you permanently but from the sounds of it you are going to be stronger, wiser, and possibly an advocate for others.  There is a quote flying around the internet that is dead on and it goes something like this “There are going to be moments in your life where a clear line is drawn between before this moment and after this moment.” I don’t know who wrote it but it is so true.  You got this so just keep going!

Sincerely,


Update: These correspondence took place over a few months with the last message from "emotionally blackmailed" being that The police decided to pursue a case and this person was eventually arressted.  
     



Sunday, 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.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

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

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Dear Narcissist Problems, "Too Close for comfort"

 
 
 
Dear Narcissist Problems,
 
     Okay so here I go cause I don’t have anywhere else to turn to about it...I am hoping that you post this answer to me in the group or here ...I know she is not around the computer.... I met my now fiancée 5 years ago she is real sweet to everybody she wants to be too she is a pub manager , liquor store manager and I am aware that her family , older brother, mom and dad and she are narcissists. She being the youngest. I have witnessed that her and her brother are a wee bit closer to each other ...leaving me in the living room while the brother has to talk to her in the bedroom behind closed door or in the kitchen he is whispering in her ear as she giggles all the while I am seated with the parents. The list goes on ...they even as a family went to Vegas and they shared a room. She and her brother. I was really upset and I confided in the ex sis in law and I figure she said something to him...I also included that I have a right to know so I can make up my mind about things and that they better figure things out b/c I am ready to leave her. All of a sudden he is madly in love with this woman, and is already got her thinking that he is gay. They broke up but got back together...whenever he was not dating he would be showing up at her work and telling their mom that he misses his sis...when her mom said that , I say he should find himself a girlfriend! I think that they are aware (parents) but because the mom worships her son they carry on as if nothing is wrong. Tonight is the mom’s b-day. He has never invited us out, only we met him at the narcs house so they could go talk. We had dinner out with his new fbuddy once and tonight will be number two. I am feeling ill over it and I just because he has a girlfriend doesn’t make it okay for me to have to pretend like nothing ever happened. I know he emails her, she denies it, he texts her, never once during my back surgery has he ever called me to see if I needed anything ever. I don’t even want to go tonight! Thanks for being here for me and I look forward to your comment.
 
Sincerely,
 
“Too Close for Comfort”
Dear “Too Close for Comfort”,
 
     If you are confused then there might be a narcissist involved somewhere. I guess my first question is: Are we talking about her biological brother or is he a “friend” of the family, or possibly adopted??? The whole situation is off! I mean, obviously I came from a dysfunctional family so I have no idea what a normal happy family should look or act like but sharing a room in Vegas?? Where you on the trip as well? I know, I know I have more questions than answer but I’d like to focus in on one of your first statements: “I am aware that her family, older brother, mom and dad and she are narcissists.”(2015). Let me just document that as being said, I’ll leave out your name but you get the point. You are aware that this entire family are most likely a nest of narcissists. For the love of God just run for the hills!!!! Being aware of some of your other past relationships I do believe you know in your heart what needs to be done. You need to protect yourself! I don’t know if this is normal or just plain incestuous but if it were me in your shoes I would be out of there! I have a brother and I have never missed the guy that much nor he me. Maybe at the age of 5 or 7 we might have spent time together like that but as we age we begin to become our own people with our own lives. I’m starting to wonder if there is some kind of trauma bond going on there. What is clear from what you have written is that the two of them might use their sexuality as a form of manipulation. You know my advice is only going to be to get out of this relationship! I didn’t mean to sit on this response for so long but here is the point, it’s been a few months and you still feel the same way. I really want to see you focus on yourself. I want to see you doing things that are going to make you happy. I want to hear that you are meeting people who are not drawing on your insecurities and exacerbating a negative situation. When we are in a normal and caring relationship and we tell our significant other “Hey, this really bothers me”. The normally try to understand why and don’t do things like share bedrooms and hide and whisper leaving you in the room with their strange parents. I mean I don’t know much about normal families but that seems a little abnormal. I’m gonna leave it at that and let the readers decide what the heck is going on here. As always comments and advice are always welcome. The sooner the better! Anyone else ever deal with something like this? Let’s hear it!
 
Regards,
 
Narcissist Problems

Friday, January 1, 2016

Dear Narcissist Problems: "Public Warning"



THIS IS YOUR WARNING:

WARNING: Do NOT come to this page or its affiliated groups to recruit flying monkeys and spread further propaganda in the form of a smear campaign.  Posting a person’s private information and then making very serious allegations about them without their ability to know about the allegations or defend themselves against said allegations will not be tolerated. This is a place to heal and share our stories, obviously.  I do believe our stories can be shared without sharing another person’s identity.  When we share a person’s identity whether we are trying to help them or not we open them up to further abuse which could include the emotional abuse of being publicly shamed and humiliated.  The very real possibility that we could expose the victim we are trying to “help” to further abuse when the abuser finds out they are being labeled an abuser on the World Wide Web.  Further, by sharing private information of the victim of abuse to the whole world we risk ostracizing the victim from any support system they may hope to find.  I don’t care how strongly you feel about the situation.  This page will not be used to increase the abuse that is already happening no matter how “right” you think you are.
I started this advice blog and page as a way to spread awareness on the emotional abuse that is inflicted upon the victims of a narcissist.  The following is an example of what will not be tolerated on this page or in these groups.  These were posted as comments for the world to see.  In fact, they were posted as if it were some distorted marketing campaign as this information was posted repeatedly on multiple pages.  The dynamic of this conversation is very telling and insightful as to how a flying monkey is recruited and the dynamics of a smear campaign in action.  All names have been removed out of respect for the victims involved.

“Our daughter married a career criminal who is labeled deported but he's still living in and committing crimes in California, abusing my daughter and 13 month old granddaughter. We would do ANYTHING to help her get out of the situation but she refuses our help. I am beyond heartbroken. We can't even send them Christmas gifts because he would just steal them and sell them. The name of the maggot is R***i K********rian in the legal system. You can access his criminal records through lacourt.org On Facebook he goes by Raffo B**h K********rian. How do you help someone who doesn't think she needs help? She thinks we are the enemy at this point and hasn't spoken to me since June of this year. Occasionally she will answer her father's texts but will have nothing to do with me. Someone called CPS on her approximately 3 times and she says they told her it was me. But I didn't do that. I was afraid foster care might put my granddaughter into an even more horrifying situation.
Lupe Gomez You can’t help someone who doesn’t think they need help. What have you seen him do that would make you think he would sell the Christmas gifts? What have you seen him do that you consider abusive? What has happened to make your daughter consider you enemy number one? Perhaps you have made the same allegations that CPS came to investigate? CPS usually tries to place children with family if they are fit. Have you ever threatened grandparent’s rights? I’m not discounting your situation. I’m only trying to understand how you ended up at this point. I would try to find a therapist as a starting point.
Yesterday at 6:29pm · Like
Lupe Gomez What are we searching for? A criminal case? It’s trying to charge me 1.00. What kind of crimes are we talking about?
Yesterday at 6:35pm · Like
Lupe Gomez Maybe your daughter stopped speaking to you because she is feeling attacked by a smear campaign? You have posted this under three different advice posts. I feel as if you are trying to convince us of how bad this guy is by smearing his name through the mud. Maybe your daughter stopped speaking to you because you are sharing her personal life, true or not, with everyone she knows? She is an adult. You can’t "save" her from anything. By dragging her personal information into the world you are only pushing her further away. If you want to help her start by respecting her privacy.
Yesterday at 6:47pm · Like

You: Out of respect for your privacy I will not post your Facebook name.
I'm am extremely offended. How dare you!
Yesterday at 7:04pm

My daughter is severely mentally ill. I have copies of restraining orders that SHE FILED and have worked with the ALL law enforcement agencies trying to get this maggot get what he deserves. What is wrong with you, attacking me?
Yesterday at 7:08pm
(At this point I just got to ask; was one of the law enforcement agencies you worked with CPS?)
Thank you.... apparently the owner of this page wants to make me the evil one!
Yesterday at 7:10pm
(Someone made a comment about the original post, it was not validation for your argument)
Hey "Lupe" go away. You are just making things worse with your ignorance
Yesterday at 7:12pm

I'm betting your real name is raffo b**h k********n
Yesterday at 7:15pm

Or his really ugly obese sister Ri**a k**********n
Yesterday at 7:16pm


Lupe Gomez I’m not trying to make you the "evil one". I think you should focus on healing yourself. Trying to "out" this guy could make you go insane. And by doing what you are doing you are only going to hurt your relationship with your daughter more.
Like · Reply · Yesterday at 10:35pm


Lupe Gomez You are telling me your daughter is severely mentally ill and her husband is an abusive criminal who is here illegally. They have been investigated by CPS several times and the child remains in their care. I’m not saying they might not have problems but broadcasting this guy’s name/profile/record is opening your daughter up for even more abuse. I went to his profile. I now know who your daughter is, what she looks like, and where to find her. If you are trying to help your daughter opening the door to her private problems isn’t going to help the situation. I’m not trying to offend you. I’m not trying to attack you. I’m being honest. You can’t figure out why your daughter won’t speak to you....this could be a reason why.
Yesterday at 10:46pm · Like · 1


Never going to stop trying to save my granddaughter...daughter may beyond saving
Yesterday at 7:18pm
(Nobody has asked you to stop and your last statement makes it clear that you did call CPS)


Lupe Gomez Well do us all a favor J**y J*****y, while you are putting your daughter at further risk of abuse stop trying to smear campaign the rest of us like you just did. If your way of saving your daughter is to ostracize her from everyone she knows by broadcasting her personal life to god knows who, good luck to you. Hopefully you don’t get sued for libel and slander. You say you "worked with every law enforcement agency trying to get that maggot what he deserves" and you expect me to believe you didn’t call cps on your daughter. Instead of just answering the question "what did you see him do that would make you think he would sell the presents" "what did you see him do that was abusive" you exploded. You are throwing around some very serious allegations. And now because I’ve questioned your allegations you are alleging that I am this abusive criminal "maggot" who needs to get what he deserves. I don’t need to prove anything to you lady. If this is how you behave in all your relationships I wouldn’t want to be around you either. No matter how right you think you are you still need to respect the boundaries of other people. You are displaying an utter lack of boundaries. You came here asking for advice and then YOU exploded and attacked me because it wasn’t what you wanted to hear. How dare YOU for trying to turn us into your flying monkeys. You need a self-check if everyone who asks you a question when you ask for advice is attacking you. Were you working with your daughter with law enforcement or were you only trying to rip their lives apart and doing it in secret?
1 hr · Like


As you can see this was a very circular conversation in which I was blocked from this person after her explosion.  This has nothing to do with “doing anything to help” her daughter.  What I see here is an attempt to undermine her daughter’s credibility while tearing her life apart.  I have a feeling that her daughter is not speaking to her because she is a human tornado who goes in for the kill and then disappears.  The first post involving the daughter’s husband giving his Facebook account information allows all to read her post and then access his page and then ultimately her daughters.  Who has access to this?  Her daughter’s friends, family, anyone in her town, her job, as well as strangers.  What happens when people she knows read this information is that they will immediately reject her, gossip about her, and possibly target her for the infliction of further abuse.  Does this sound like someone who would do anything to help their daughter?  Lady, if you want to help your daughter you can start by respecting her privacy, her boundaries, and be there for her.  At the moment, you are behaving as a verbal assassin.  Sitting and waiting to strike when least expected.  I have a feeling this is the same sentiment of your daughter and her husband which is why you think anyone with questions about your behavior or motives makes you think it’s your daughters husband.  I am not going to say what you want to hear just to keep you happy or entertain you in this part of your show.  Sorry not sorry.
Regards,
Narcissist Problems

Dear Narcissist Problems "Sick and Tired"




Dear Narcissist Problems,

     I have read tons on narcissistic behavior, and have a couple of questions. My family has an individual who displays mostly passive narcissist traits, but we have been at our wits end for years dealing with her being an extreme hypochondriac. She also has an insatiable need for attention. She will drink, pop pills, and then call everyone for days complaining of how sick she is. If we try to change the subject, or avoid "feeding the monster", we are accused of being insensitive and cruel. Also, if we try to make suggestions for getting well, she shoots them down immediately. She is highly skilled at using guilt of all kinds to try and get her needs met. ANY suggestions are welcome! Thank you for offering your time and effort with this group!

Sincerely,

“Sick and tired of being sick and tired”

 

Dear “Sick and Tired”,

    Let me just make my first statement of the year be: I am not a psychiatrist nor will I ever claim to be.  What I will say is that I can totally relate with your situation!  With that said “Happy New Year”!!!!  The insatiable need for attention seems to be the calling card of all narcissists.  This is why I like to refer to them as emotional vampires.  They will suck you dry and leave you believing that you are the one who is tragically flawed for not feeding into whatever need they are trying to have met by you.  Narcissists in general will do many things to get their needs fed whether it be to manipulate you, scapegoat you, triangulate your entire family/friends, ruin your life, or play the pity card.  It seems like your narcissist has a need to be fed by playing on your sympathy and getting attention by either feigning an illness or down right making themselves sick.  What happens when we are sick?  People who care about us want to make us comfortable, they want to help us, and they will usually go out of their way to do this.  I know I usually do when someone I care about is sick.  I guess what I’m wondering about right now is if this narcissist has recently created some rifts in the family by causing drama or ruining relationships. Did she spend the holidays solo? Has she lost any sources of supply for her ego?  You might be surprised to notice that this person tends to get ill if other people in their lives have been staying away from them due to their toxic behavior and general destructiveness.  In my own experience with my Narcissistic mother she loved to create storms of drama.  She wasn’t able to function if there wasn’t some tragedy going on in her life.  When there was something awful going on she was at her best.  Happy, energetic, smiling, and on that phone gossiping with whoever would listen.  As we know about gossip and human nature people usually love to listen to what is going on with others.  Now when she couldn’t stir something up she became depressed and would stay in bed until 2 or 3 p.m.  She would come down with chronic illnesses acutely. Mark my words, as soon as some shit storm was stirred up again her illness was cured!  During the times she was ill she needed a caretaker, me.  Someone not to offer advice but to take care of her needs.  I took care of the household, I took care of her emotions, and I took care of her own responsibilities like caring for other family members or getting a job at the age of 14 to make sure the bills were paid.  If I were not taking care of her needs there would be hell to pay.  If I suggested she see a doctor there would be hell to pay.  If I told anyone outside of our home what was going on there would be hell to pay.  My point, it is not your job to take care of this person’s needs.  She needs help and it’s a help you will never be able to offer or suggest if this is a true narcissist.  This is the way it is.  If you suggest that she seek medical help and then refuses there is nothing more you can do for her.  We are all adults and we all have the responsibility to take care of ourselves, including our own needs.   Back away slowly and keep your distance until/unless she decides she will take the action necessary to make herself well again.  As always, this post will be shared.  Comments from readers as well as suggestions, advice, or a “me too” is always appreciated!

Regards,

Narcissist Problems

Edit: After posting this a member of one of the groups used a the term "Help reject complain" which fits this behavior to a T.  Here is an article if anyone cares to understand this further.
http://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapy-soup/2013/02/how-to-deal-with-a-help-rejecting-complainer/


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dear Narcissist Problems, "Stuck"




Dear Narcissist Problems,

     I need advice/help. I'm in a very unhealthy relationship, but I feel stuck. I don't know how to get out. He is manipulative, controlling, and abusive (more verbal and sexual with occasional physical). I've tried multiple times in the last year to make him leave and it never works. I got a better job in August and was hiding money so that I could leave and he started doing little things (unplugging my alarm clock, calling me at work saying my daughter was in the hospital so I'd leave early [she wasn't] and once even leaving in MY car and taking the keys to his truck and not coming back until an hour after I was supposed to be at work) all of which have resulted in my losing my job. When I was working, he would take money out of my purse, he's told me that he paid certain bills and actually just blew the money, one of which was a traffic ticket, resulting in my license being suspended. He has cheated on me more times than I can count, but I'm the one with the problem because I'm "jealous" and "insecure" and I make him cheat because I'm so awful. I have 2 children and I can't keep putting us thru this. I don't have anyone who can help me or that we can stay with. I have a car payment and insurance now a suspended license and no income w/o him. I've been distributing my resume and filling out job applications since I lost my job 2wks ago with no luck. I'm at my wits end and I don't know what to do

Sincerely,

“Stuck”

 

Dear “Stuck”,

     When I read through this I literally felt the burn of pure anger I felt with my own narcissist.  The first step in getting out is usually the hardest and that is to accept that there is a problem.  You are 60% of the way there.  The first thing I would do is print this letter up as a starting point and heading down to the local courthouse and seeking the help of a victims advocate.  I am really sorry to hear that you lost your job and I am not going to lie to you:  This next year will probably be the hardest year of your life but I know you can get through it!  The hardest part of these relationships whether it is a family member, friend, or significant other is wriggling out of their tentacles.  You need a support system.  Think really really really hard and try to see if there is anyone in your life who is willing to help. If not seek help just as you have done here.  You are not alone! All of these problems seem really overwhelming but the important thing is to work through them.  When you go to the court house talk to them and see if they can’t point you in the right direction regarding the abuse AND your license situation.  The longer you put either situation off the worse it will be later.  Try to be as proactive as possible even if you have no money.  I know that here in Chicago we are having an amnesty week for parking ticket violations.  I don’t exactly know what that means but I’m assuming either having the ticket dissolved completely or setting up a very small payment schedule.  If you lose the car; I know that will only make the situation worse but remember this isn’t the end.  You are being abused mentally, sexually, physically and financially.  This person is sabotaging your job, your income, and your ability to take care of yourself and your children.  I would not, under any circumstances, leave the children with him as a babysitter.  The children have already been through enough.  While you have a car let your determination to survive and later thrive be your guide.  Seek out community support.  Go down to the office for family and child services and see if they can assist you in finding daycare options.  I wouldn’t go into too many details but keep it strictly regarding money.  I would also see if they can possibly help you find some certification classes so that you can get a higher paying job later.  You are in a jam and the longer you stay with this person the more he is going to tear you down.  The most important thing to do is take the first steps toward your safety and independence.  Good Luck to you!  You can do this!  Further, document the crazy.  Get the police involved.  Get a restraining order against this person before you end up losing your children because of him.  The most important thing to do is to stay safe and get out as quickly as possible!  None of this is going to be easy.  You are going to need to be filled with so much fear and determination that it forces you to break the barriers of “out there” being scarier than where you already are.  Know this, you are capable enough and strong enough to do this you just need to start!  It will help to seek emotional support in a support group and you can find them on Facebook.  Also see if there are any free services for counseling in your area.  Get out there and get talking.  When we talk with others who have been there not only can they help guide us out of the nightmare but it helps to get out the pain and frustration.  You got this!  Finally, I would avoid any conflict or threatening your partner that you will leave if he doesn’t change his behavior.  Make the plans to leave as silently as possible otherwise he will sabotage those plans and he may actually hurt you or the children.

Regards,

Narcissist Problems


Monday, September 7, 2015

Dear Narcissist Problems: "Suddenly Slapped"


Dear Narcissist Problems,

Hello, I'm needing some advice concerning my wife. After much reading and honest thought, I believe she may be somewhere on the spectrum of NPD. I've been hit in the face multiple times, hard (to which she says, "it was a slap, my hand was opened")....well, I'm a 200# man, and my ears were ringing. She changes into someone else when she's mad. After following her around the country for her PhD (in psychology no less), supporting her all the way, only to have her abandon her dissertation at the last minute, and blame me for her quitting. Recently I believe that we've entered into the devaluation/discard phases. Over the past two years, I've been working on being my best, and feel I've made big improvements. 5 weeks ago, shortly after her getting a big raise, I noticed her not needing me emotionally anymore. She's always been very attention needy, so I knew something was wrong. I checked the phone records and discovered an hour/day phone relationship with a lawyer "friend". It quickly became her primary emotional relationship, and when confronted, she yelled at me for things in the past, and showed anger, not remorse. She's stated repeatedly that she "doesn't have much empathy", and that she "wants a man who would go to the ends of the Earth for her"- which I do. After asking the lawyer to stop talking with her, twice, with no reply, I threatened him with a lawsuit and he cut it off. Now she's angry at me, stringing me along with enough charm to get what she wants, and distant coldness, especially after intimacy. I could go on....but I'm trying to figure out if she is indeed on the spectrum of NPD or something else.

 Thanks much,

Suddenly Slapped


Dear Slapped,

    I would first like to say I do not hold a degree in psychiatry the only thing I can do is give advice from experience and help dig up some research.  Before I get into the research I would like to ask: “What in the hell are you doing with this woman”?  I see so many men stay in abusive relationships and I really need to understand this more.  I already understand why but are you seriously thinking of sticking around to salvage this train wreck?  It sounds to me like it doesn’t really matter how far on the spectrum she is with any disorder she is abusing you physically and financially. I was just participating in a conversation earlier in a group for people who support men who are abused.  This man posted a picture of what his girlfriend did to him.  I’m sure it started out with slaps but over time this escalated to being stabbed with a fork and onto a butcher knife.  He almost died!  This woman has also confessed to you that she has very little empathy, thank god she didn’t finish her dissertation in psychology.  My point is that this woman is toxic and I have seen from experience what an aggressive woman with no empathy is capable of.  They are capable of stabbing you, running you over with a car, and trying to smother you with a pillow in your sleep.  They will make your life a living hell and then tell the police and the courts that YOU were the aggressor.  You stated that you are a 200 pound man and I’m sure as soon as she turns on the water works the authorities will buy her story of self-defense.  Get away from her and make sure you document the crazy!

    As for how far on the spectrum she is According to the DSM-5 there are two criteria that must be filled to diagnose a person with a personality disorder.  Criterion A is used to test an individual’s level of personality functioning.  This is further diagnosed by assessing an individual’s pathological personality traits, Criterion B.  So if you are looking for how far down the spectrum your wife is you would want to ask how extreme her personality traits are.  It can be noted even by experts in the field of psychiatry that “numerous potential inconsistencies in the conceptualization of narcissism, including variants in describing its nature (normal, pathological), phenotype (grandiosity, vulnerability), expression (overt, covert), and structure (category, dimension, prototype). In all four of these areas of conceptualization, DSM descriptions of the concept have been limited.” (Skodol, Bender, & Morey 2014).  It is also noted in this article that there is very little research on narcissistic personality disorder, its manifestations, and treatment available.  As far as psychiatry is concerned the study of this personality disorder is lacking.  This is why you will find so many of these support groups and pages popping up all over the internet.  Victims of Narcissistic Abuse usually have no idea that they were abused or they blame themselves for the abuse and rationalize it away.  Moreover, the topic has such little research into it that when we do go to therapy we are further invalidated in our experiences. 

So what does it take to be diagnosed with NPD?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) - The DSM Criteria

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) as an Axis II, Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic) Disorder:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

Requires excessive admiration

Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes


I suggest visiting the above link.

There has been research springing up here and there that recognizes the need to further explore this personality disorder and the conclusion to a recent study was that “Conclusions: These findings suggest that DSM-IV criteria for narcissistic personality disorder are too narrow, underemphasizing aspects of personality and inner experience that are empirically central to the disorder. The richer and more differentiated view of narcissistic personality disorder suggested by this study may have treatment implications and may help bridge the gap between empirically and clinically derived concepts of the disorder.”(2008). This article goes on to say that “Despite its severity and stability (1 , 2) , narcissistic personality disorder is one of the least studied personality disorders.”

Attached is a useful study into the subject that will help you further explore what could be going on.

Regards,

Narcissist Problems

 By: Elsa Ronningstam
Harvard Medical School;

Pathological narcissism is characterized by fragility in self-regulation, self-esteem and sense of agency, accompanied by strong self-protective reactivity, emotion dysregulation, and a range of self-enhancing and self-serving behaviors and attitudes. Areas or periods of proactive and healthy narcissism coexist with pathological narcissism. Self-regulatory fluctuations and accompanying shifts in self-esteem are context dependent and affected by situational, that is, interpersonal or event triggered reactivity. The phenotypic presentations of pathological narcissism and NPD range from interpersonal pretentiousness, arrogance, and assertiveness, to insecurity, shyness, and hypersensitivity (Cooper, 1998; Russ et al., 2008). Notable is also that narcissistic individuals’ internal experiences may differ significantly from their overt behavior and descriptive accounts. From an attachment perspective narcissistic personality style and pathological narcissism are suggested to be anchored in a detached-dismissing pattern (disliking attachment to others and preferring investment in interpersonal space and own agency), or in an avoidant pattern (defensive self-sufficiency). In addition, sensitive, vulnerable narcissism has been associated with anxious or fearful preoccupied attachment style (aspiring attachment but anticipating disappointment or rejection; Fonagy, 2001; Dickinson & Pincus, 2003).


Grandiosity and accompanying self-enhancing and self-serving incentives and behavior are part of a self-regulatory spectrum of narcissistic personality functioning. Overt as well as covert signs of both grandiosity and vulnerability coexist and affect narcissistic personality functioning in each situation (Pincus & Lukowitsky, 2010). Sense of competence, control, standards, and achievements are crucial for self-evaluation and self-esteem (Zeigler-Hill, Myers, & Clark, 2010).

Self-agency conceptualizes the subjective awareness and ownership of goal setting, and planning, initiating, executing, and controlling one’s own thoughts, intentions, actions, and accomplishments (Fonagy, Gergely, Jurist, & Target, 2002; Gallagher, 2006; Knox, 2011). It signifies implicit as well as explicit initiation, mastery, and self-direction, and it is a fundamental part of self-regulation and self-esteem. As such self-agency is a potential base for evaluating self-esteem regulation including grandiosity and inferiority. In social-psychological studies of narcissism, self-agency has been introduced to conceptualize narcissistic interpersonal and self-regulatory strategies, such as attention seeking, competitiveness, and self-esteem-enhancing relationships (Foster & Brennan, 2011).

Psychoanalytic studies noted that the subjective experiences of fluctuating or loss of self-agency are especially consequential for people whose sense of self-worth is fragile and whose ability for interpersonal relatedness is compromised (Knox, 2011). Disturbance in self-agency is an essential part of psychopathology (Spengler, von Cramon, & Brass, 2009; Fonagy et al., 2010). For example, schizotypal traits correlate with deficits in prediction which lead to weaker sense of self-agency (Asai & Tanno, 2008; Asai, Sugimori, & Tanno, 2008). Discrepancies between predicted and actual action–effect connection contributed to decreased sense of agency (Sato & Yasuda, 2005; Spengler, von Cramon, & Brass, 2009), and perceived reduced control of events was associated with decreased experience of authorship/instigation (Aarts, Wegner, & Dijksterjuis, 2006).


A young man, Bob 21 years old, dropped out of college and was hospitalized with a range of problems: At the initial evaluation the clinician noticed general anxiety, obsessive–compulsive preoccupation, racing thoughts, social anxiety, avoidance, and suicidality. Family members and friends portrayed Bob to the case-manager as inconsiderate, demanding, and demeaning, with threatening and verbally aggressive behavior, and involved in poly substance abuse. Bob described himself as struggling with internal agony caused by his inconsistent cognitive intellectual functioning, and feeling overwhelmed by insecurity and internal self-criticism. He often felt frustrated with other people; he found them stupid, unpredictable, and difficult to understand. In addition, he had been isolating and engaged in Internet sex-dating where he felt safer and more in control compared with if he tried to meet somebody at bars and parties.

Bob also described the week before being hospitalized; on Friday he met with his professor and began outlining a project for a paper. He thought the meeting went well as he perceived that his ideas were well understood and appreciated by his professor, and he left feeling motivated and competent. On Sunday he spoke in front of 10,000 people at a big sports event at his college. Apparently he did a good job, both according to his own assessment and based on the others’ enthusiastic feedback. With a smile he admitted that he felt he could become a future president of the United States. On Tuesday he found himself unable to speak in front of his class of 8 peer students. It was his turn to present the outline of his project, and just before the class began he experienced sudden anxiety with difficulties holding on to logical thinking and reasoning. When he was about to begin he experienced a total cognitive blockage and had to leave the room. A day later he saw no future for himself and struggled with excruciating self-reproach and intense suicidal ideations and impulses. He admitted that he anticipated critical and “stupid” comments from his peers and feared the anticipation of exposing himself to something he could not control. Most of all, he felt unable to rely upon his own competence and dreaded a sudden loss of his ability to think and speak.

Bob was highly intelligent, with an IQ in the range between 140 and 150. Some even considered him to be a genius, although he himself did not believe that, but he appreciated the admiration and acknowledgment. He was a competitive swimmer and leader of his swim team, and had encountered no problems with either swimming or team leadership. He had overall done well in college, especially on exams, and received high grades despite some inconsistencies. His professional aspirations and plan was to become a lawyer like his grand-father. He met 8 of the 9 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM–IV) and fifth edition (DSM-5) criteria for NPD (not #6, interpersonal exploitive) according to the Diagnostic Interview for DSM–IV Personality Disorders, DIPD-IV (Zanarini, Frankenburg, Sickel, & Young, 1996).

After having presented this rather diverse set of experiences Bob said to the therapist: “I cannot trust my faculties, I do not know from one day to another whether I can rely on my thinking and reasoning, access my knowledge, communicate, and perform. I struggle inside myself with dreadful self-scolding, constantly comparing and criticizing myself. I am a perfectionist, and I know that I can be very good, even exceptional. I have been considered a genius, but it does not hold up. I can’t tolerate closer contact with people. I get so angry and frustrated at them. I can see that I may be unfair, at times . . . , but I just can’t stand it. It works much better when I am in charge or if there is a distance to other people, like if I have a large audience. I feel extremely afraid of the future and ashamed of having to be in treatment. Some days I really doubt that anything can change or that I can get help, other days I can feel more optimistic”.


Bob presented with areas and moments of real potentials, consistent competence, and proactive interpersonal functioning, that is, as a swimmer and team leader, and in individual academic performance and interactions with his supervisors. On the exceptional side was his ability to speak in front of large audiences. He had both unrealistic grandiose fantasies as well as real age-appropriate professional aspirations. He came across as confident and self-promoting, alternating between bragging and a disdainful attitude. However, internally he struggled with extreme self-criticism, self-doubt (the reverse side of perfectionism), and interpersonal insecurity when facing close and intimate or collaborative interactions with peers, as if they tend to become critical enemies. However, this most consequential vulnerability was not triggered in his physical sport activities, only in his intellectual academic activities. In terms of self-agency, Bob was unable to integrate and regulate perceptions of challenges, failures, and interpersonal limitations with his actual competence and real abilities. From a self-regulatory perspective he used perfectionism and avoidance as well as substances to enhance self-esteem, and sense of control and to modulate self-criticism, fear, and anxiety. Apparently he had reached a point where he faced a rapid and extreme downhill spiral. High ambitions, perfectionism, and intermittent experiences of competence and even exceptional abilities under certain circumstances, turned into escalating interpersonal intolerance and fear, insecurity, distancing and avoidance, self-criticism and self-scolding, with substance usage and suicidality.


Although grandiosity is a diagnostic hallmark for NPD, and an indication of the pathological grandiose self (Kernberg, 1975), its complexity and changeability suggest that the diagnosis of NPD should not depend heavily on overt indications of grandiosity (Ronningstam, Gunderson, & Lyons, 1995). State-dependent signs or temporary reactive increase of grandiosity can alter or coexist with more persistent overt or covert grandiose self-experience, as well as with more proactive or authentic functioning. Given narcissistic patients’ identity diffusion and difficulties knowing who they are, identifying and differentiating their real competence, assets, and accomplishments from exaggerated or non-existing achievement and wished for talents are important. Equally important is the differentiation of their age appropriate ambitions and proactive aspiration from high-flying or unrealistic fantasies. It is not uncommon that patients with NPD struggle with uncertainty, shame, excessive self-criticism, and insecurity related to their actual talents, value and competence, parallel with an enhanced self-presentation, especially if they are young. Like in the case of Bob, it is also important to acknowledge areas of actual individual uniqueness and special talents or potentials as part of the overall self-regulatory functioning. In addition, encouraging patients’ own narrative, especially describing moments when they experience incompetence, inferiority, and fragility, is also a most essential part of the diagnostic process. The shifts in self-esteem from grandeur to inferior or vice versa with accompanying self-regulatory change in self-enhancement and self-devaluation are most informative. The subjective experiences of those interpersonal or situational conditions that cause such shifts are diagnostic hallmark for pathological narcissism and NPD (Ronningstam, 2012a, 2013).

Diagnostic evaluation and treatment tend to mobilize self-protection and control in people with narcissistic personality functioning. Some can be extremely and effectively defensive, focusing on details or seemingly relevant issues while avoiding more urgent or deeper and challenging problems. Others can mobilize plasticity and adjustment, agreeing and following along, and still others can get argumentative, aggressive, and critical. Although on the surface intelligent and articulated, even with moments of perspective-taking and reflection, these people also present with a significant resistance or inability to deeply connect, attach, and change. Doubts, shame and insecurity, confused self-identity, and self-criticism, combined with a range of self-enhancing strategies, contribute to their sometimes drastic self-regulatory interpersonal stands.

A conditional and limited alliance is unfolding, that can seem collaborative and interactive with common language, and even with processing of challenging inquiries and complex interpretations. However, the patients’ motive for seeking help and experience of facing treatment may be totally separated from acknowledging their problems and work toward changes or modifications of problematic areas functioning. Their reputation of being difficult to treat, or even untreatable, stems from a particularly complex and constricting mental functioning. Clinical observation and empirical findings indicate compromised functioning and impaired abilities behind the NPD diagnostic traits that indeed underpin pathological narcissism and contribute to the specific internal and interpersonal regulatory patterns. Awareness and integration of these factors in the diagnostic process is crucial for gaining a meaningful identification of the narcissistic patient.


The first set of such factors concerns the ability to access, process, and identify emotions. Studies have shown that both defensive and compromised emotional functioning influence self-regulation in people with pathological narcissism or NPD (Model, 1975; Krystal, 1998). Avoidance of emotions, especially fear of failure and humiliation, is considered a motivating, self-regulatory strategy (Bélanger et al., 2012). Vigilance, sensitivity, and reactivity to negative events and anticipation of humiliation (Besser & Zeigler-Hill, 2010) can coexist with emotion intolerance and difficulties processing feelings, in particular fear and shame. Fear, recognized in both psychoanalytic and empirical studies as essential in pathological narcissism, is also underlying several management and avoidance strategies typical for narcissistic personality functioning, such as competitiveness, perfectionism, risk-taking, and procrastination (Ronningstam & Baskin-Sommers, 2013). Shame also plays a significant role, especially in narcissistic interpersonal relating, and can motivate avoidance as well as defensive, retaliatory anger to regain agency and control (Tangney, 1995; Trumbull, 2003).

Compromised emotion recognition, that is, impaired accuracy in recognizing facial emotional expressions in others, especially fear and disgust (Marissen, Deen, & Franken, 2012), weaken the narcissistic patient’s ability for interpersonal guidance and information processing. Similarly, alexithymia, that is, the inability to feel and identify own feelings, either because of unawareness or incapacity to distinguish physical and affect states or because of lacking words for emotions (Krystal, 1998) can also impede on the ability to recognize emotions in others (Fan et al., 2011).

Studies of empathic deficits, another outstanding feature of NPD, have raised the question whether motivation/self-regulation or actual deficits, or both, contribute to compromised empathic ability. Impairment in emotional empathic ability was found in patients diagnosed with NPD (Ritter et al., 2011). Although their cognitive emphatic ability was intact and influenced by motivation, their emotional empathic functioning was affected by compromised ability for mirroring and responsiveness to the emotional states of others. On the other hand, NPD patients’ failure to accurately recognize emotions in others combined with overestimation of their own empathic ability indicates a more general empathic deficit (Marissen, Deen, & Franken, 2012). Emotion intolerance may also play a role in empathic ability as the person may be able to notice feelings in others, as mentioned above, but the perception of others’ feeling states can evoke overwhelming powerlessness, disgust, shame or loss of internal control, and hence trigger strong aggressive reactions or emotional or physical withdrawal (Ronningstam, 2009). In addition, noticeable fluctuations in narcissistic patients’ empathic ability may be influenced by self-regulation, with increased ability to empathize when feeling confident and in control, and decreased ability when feeling exposed, inferior or threatened.


The specific attachment pattern associated with pathological narcissism and NPD, as mentioned above, contributes to a second set of factors involving significant difficulties relating and connecting, especially in ways that can promote change (Kernberg, 2007). NPD patients often do not know who they are on a deeper level, and their identity is influenced by more profound and persistent self-enhancing efforts. Difficulties with dependency and mutuality and strong tendencies for avoidance and control are also, like in the case of Bob’s choice of intimacy via Internet, typical indicators of compromised interpersonal functioning (Kernberg, 1998). Perfectionism is such an effort because it involves both exceptionally high or inflexible (although inconsistent) ideals and standards of self or others, with strong reactions, including aggression, harsh self-criticism, shame, fear, or deceitfulness when self or others fail to measure up (Hewitt et al., 2008; Ronningstam, 2010). In interpersonal and social situations perfectionism can be self-promoting to enhance certain qualities, but it can also be self-protective and serve to hide something non-perfect. On the other hand, self-prescribed perfectionism can contribute to extremely unyielding self-criticism, like in the case of Bob, with hypervigilance and automatic cognitive appraisal of interpersonal situations as overly provocative or threatening. Especially, it contributes to reluctance to acknowledge and being seen as imperfect, and hence, to seek help for own distress and to integrate and benefit from treatment interventions.

Impaired ability for self-disclosure, self-silencing, selective or noncommunicativeness, and inability to share feelings and thoughts (Model, 1980; Besser, Flett, & Davis, 2003) are all aspects of narcissistic pathology that contribute to diagnostic challenges. Similarly, reversible perspective taking (Etchegoyen, 1999), the tendency to smoothly adopt the therapist’s comments and interpretations and seemingly internalize those given perspective without changing one’s own, and without incorporating the therapeutic process to generate change in own personality functioning, is yet another complicating defensive feature.


A third set of factors relates to the specific psychological aspects of trauma that can reinforce pathological narcissistic functioning. A narcissistic trauma is caused by a subjective experience of loss of supportive or sustaining external life conditions, such as changes in marriage/family, work and career, or financial situation, or loss of connection to a good, supportive idealized other person, leading to a loss or distortion of internal ideals and meaning. Sudden loss of a sense of control and competence, like in the case of Bob, can also be traumatizing for people whose self-esteem is strongly connected with performance and achievement. Such losses cause an acute internal state that threatens the continuity, coherence, stability, and wellbeing of the self (Maldonado, 2006). Narcissistic self-protection aimed at organizing and understanding the traumatic experience fail, and the sense of loss, rejection, and abandonment, along with feelings of shame, fear, and worthlessness become overwhelming (Gerzi, 2005). A narcissistic trauma is more subjective and self-esteem related, and involving exposure and humiliation. Sometimes such trauma can even be entirely emotional and internal, accompanied by compromised hope, sense of value, control, meaning, and affiliation. This contrasts to more external obvious traumatic experiences, such as physical attacks, abuse, accidents, and so forth. Narcissistic trauma, like in Trauma Associated Narcissistic Symptoms, TANS (Simon, 2002) can be intrinsic to the characterological vulnerability to disruption of self-regulation, and loss of agency and self-esteem in NPD. On the other hand, narcissistic traumas, experienced in young age, can also be deeply internalized and subjectively organized in a narcissistic patient’s mind, contributing to an armor-like, seemingly impenetrable narcissistic character functioning, with denial, omnipotence, and organizing and protecting narcissistic fantasies, covering split off shame and fear. These types of traumatic experiences may easily be either misdiagnosed or bypassed in a diagnostic evaluation as they often differ from standard psychiatric definitions of trauma involving abuse, neglect, catastrophes, and so forth (Ronningstam, 2012b; Simon, 2002; Krystal, 1998) and can remain effectively shielded. Facing the impact of external life events might actually help some patients to begin to access and process such subjectively internalized experiences.


This study has focused on identifying underpinnings and self-regulatory patterns behind the diagnostic traits for NPD. A flexible, exploratory, and collaborative diagnostic process is recommended that attends to the patients’ internal experiences and motivations as well as to their external and interpersonal functioning. The patients’ limitations and compromised abilities, as well as their interpersonally provocative, although sometimes quite elaborative self-regulatory and enhancing strategies should be attended to in ways that are informative and meaningful for both the patient and clinician. Identifying and differentiating healthy or protective aspects of narcissistic patterns from those that are pathological and perpetuating is important. Clarifying the threatening, injuring, or traumatic experiences and situations that escalate narcissistic reactivity is equally essential. Clinicians’ observations of the narcissistic patients’ functioning often do not concur with the patients’ own experiences of themselves or formulations of their problems. More detailed exploration of a recent event that caused fluctuations in the patient’s self-esteem and agency can be a useful start. Such exploration can provide the opportunity to clarify the patient’s internal subjective perspective, needs, and motives for self-enhancement, experiences of vulnerability and deflation, and the organizing and protective role of narcissistic functioning, both internally in relation to self and in relationship to others. A focus on these areas of functioning is in line with the Workgroups proposal for personality functioning in DSM-5 Section III, which includes identity (regulation of self and emotions), self-direction (self-agency), empathy and intimacy (interpersonal relatedness). With regard to the diagnosis of NPD, these changes represent significant improvement compared with the entirely trait-based diagnosis. Encouraging self-assessment and the patients’ own narratives of their performance, anticipations, aspirations, and shifts in states, self-esteem, and emotions can begin to bridge the different perspectives of the patient and the clinician, and help reaching a diagnostic agreement and understanding of the patient’s functioning.


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Source: Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. Vol. 5. (4), Oct, 2014 pp. 434-438)
Accession Number: 2014-42878-005
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1037/per0000034


Russ, E., Shedler, J., Bradley, R., & Westen, D. (2008). Refining the Construct of Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Diagnostic Criteria and Subtypes. American Journal of Psychiatry AJP, 165(11), 1473-1481. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.07030376

Skodol, A. E., Bender, D. S., & Morey, L. C. (2014). Narcissistic personality disorder in DSM-5. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, And Treatment, 5(4), 422-427. doi:10.1037/per0000023

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