4 thoughts on “The Addiction of Narcissism

  • March 8, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    You could easily replace my name in this article in a lot of places. I took me three marriages as well until someone who was watching out for me put me on the path of researching narcissism and I found a good therapist who specialized in personality disorders. My experience was not the power-hungry plastic surgery women, but the silent treatment, intimacy withholding, subtle abuse that seeped into every part of my life at the hands of a covert narcissist.

    The initial phase where you are the treated like the greatest thing in the world, is very addicting and deceptive. It is so intoxicating and you feel like you have found something you have never had or have always dreamed of. With me it was especially bad because I was raised as a child who always had to work for parental love and approval.

    Although I thought I had identified the things that I thought were at the root of my failed marriages (Including long hard looks to see how I kept failing as the common factor) I kept repeating the cycle where I felt like the best in the world and was shortly reduced to begging for scraps of love, intimacy, and acceptance.

    I realize I was pretty much advertising myself as food for someone with this type of personality. My dad said once to me when I was very young “You weren’t born with a bat utility belt, you can’t save or help them all” But it didn’t stop me from the attempts.

    I was so desperately trying to be something more than I was told I was growing up at home that I developed a very bad case of ‘White Knight Syndrome” I wanted to save someone, everyone, anyone, because I am sure deep down inside I needed someone to save me.

    One of the things that was present in all three of my marriages was the rush of how amazing it was and a very accelerated timeline. Married in 3 months twice, and 72 days the last time. I was riding high on the attention and affection that I was showered in and would have agreed to damn near anything at the time.

    I definitely now see the wisdom in the saying like “date for a year’ (four seasons), watch how they treat others, and step back if you find yourself making excuses for them. I just wish I would have realized how great they were when I was young.

    Right before my marriages, each time there was a ‘feign’ of a withdrawal i.e. being asked if I was sure I loved them, or if I was sure we should be getting married, or if it was too fast. Each time I responded with something similar about how much I felt for them and that I wasn’t in a hurry that I would wait until they were ready. I think now that it was a test to see how much I was hooked and sadly none of the three relationships ever improved or matured after we married. They all fell into a constant state of decay where I kept trying to do more, add more, give more just to get back to where we started.

    I did receive a pat on the head every now and then, just enough to make me think that I really had a chance to have what I was working for. But I found myself being ‘wrong’ all the time, being told I wasn’t doing enough, allowing my boundaries to be disrespected time and time again, and all the while feeling like it was my fault or that I could do something to make it better again.

    I am sure I had a hard time looking at myself because of how pathetic it was. I am a successful professional and have done really well in my field and have a lot of friends and coworkers who I have enjoy great relationships with for years. So, to be failing so completely at home all the time was really hard to wrap my head around and my ego kept me from seeing just how completely things were failing.

    It mentions the ‘mother wound’ which until I learned about NPD I hadn’t been able to draw the correlations between all the things I had experienced and done. That unknown need to still be wanted by a mother that I had to stop talking to a decade ago because I wouldn’t allow her to mistreat my daughters. The last words I heard from her were “you need to come sit down with me and I will tell you what you need to do to make things right with me and keep talking to me.” This is after mistreating and threatening my youngest daughter (5 at the time) for saying that she wasn’t nice.

    Being raised the way I was, put me in a state of where I didn’t realize that other people loved without expectations or requirements you had to meet in order for them to keep loving you. If you were a good person, reliable, respectful and followed through with what you said that was more than enough for most. But I sought out the ones that always wanted me to prove myself to them and it ended miserably each and every time with me giving until I was empty, and either being discarded or cutting it off for self-survival.

    For someone who would have sworn he never had an addictive personality, I had to realize and admit that I was an addict of sorts and I did have to hit rock bottom too many times before I found out that it’s not how love is supposed to work. I had been told so many times that the way I loved was wrong that I believed it and didn’t realize that is how it’s supposed to be and that people do love you on the good days and the bad.

    It has been a lot of work to clean out the wounds the wounds and to start them healing. But I have hope. I share because I know once I started looking how helpful it was to know I wasn’t alone and that others had felt like I did and had similar experiences and hurts that they were trying to get to the root of.

  • March 31, 2019 at 2:23 am

    Ash, thank you so much for sharing this! Yes, it is Tim, you, me and maybe millions of other people who live in the prison of their wrong assumptions about love, about themselves and about the others.

    Realizing that we are in a prison is a huge step forward but healing is a long, long way. I still don’t know how to get of the prison.A huge effort is needed – it seems to me almost like I have to modify my genes. The change has to be so profound and at all levels. I think that I can’t do it on my own. Maybe only God can help.

    I started to work with a therapist but I got caught in the same dynamic. I have the impression that the therapist is not realizing that by choosing to be a “blank screen” he is actually reinforcing my pain. The “therapy” feels like yet another narcissistic abuse. I don’t know whether this feeling is coming as a side effect of my distorted perceptions, or as a side effect of the therapeutic method, or simply my therapist is yet another covert narcissist… But I felt great pain and I got worse than before starting the therapy.
    When I told my therapist about the way I was feeling he said he hadn’t been aware about my pain (although I had written several e-mails suggesting that I don’t feel comfortable). I did not blame him – I know it was not easy for him. He nevertheless felt obliged to say that he was not feeling any responsibility and remorses because he had not done anything wrong. He keeps on saying he is not a “claire voyante “.
    I am rather confused about everything. Yes, I am a “broken doll”. I am aware of this. But my therapist – is he aware about his distortions… When I was reading the article about Tim I was recognizing the relationship between me and my therapist… How is this possible?!

    • April 19, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      I was very fortunate, when my therapist I was working with heard the words, “I think I am dealing with a Narcissist” she was immediately honest and caring and let me know that I very well may be, and that it was not within her skillset but that she knew someone who focused on NPD and covert/vulnerable narcissists that I should go talk to. She put my needs ahead of my $180 an hour and for that I will be forever grateful to her.

      My new therapist has helped me educate myself, suggested great reading, and most importantly for me, helped address all the negative feelings that come with the trauma of these types of relationships. She also helped realign my perspectives with a lot of the examples that are already available in the other aspects of my life that reinforce that’s not how things are supposed to be.

      With everything I have read, and experienced, traditional relationship and personal therapy can make you feel like you are sinking even more. The pain that comes with the ineffectiveness of all the things that are suggested and that you try to do to make things better in a relationship works against us in ways of increasing our feelings of inadequacy and failure.

      How can you we trying so hard and getting nothing real in return, right?

      Please keep in mind that we didn’t get where we were overnight. We were trained over years to accept less than we offered and it doesn’t go away without time, and lots of work.

      You have to keep reminding yourself that you deserve to be treated as well as you treat others and find a few people that will help you remember when you forget. Never beg for scraps.

      A trusted friend/family member/therapist who shows genuine concern for you right now is one of the most valuable assets you can have.


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