January 1, 2016

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!


“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!


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.