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12 thoughts on “Beware – The Narcissist Wound

  • February 12, 2016 at 3:54 pm
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    Wonderful article! Although I blog about the effects of being raised by narcissists and try to reverse engineer their thought processes, I needed to read this article. Thank you!

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    • February 12, 2016 at 10:38 pm
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      I did not grow up with one, but the effects, I’ve learned, are the same for those of us married to them as they are to those who grew up with them.

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  • February 16, 2016 at 3:15 pm
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    I’ve lived with/been married to one for over 25 years. He uses “gas lighting” (disambiguation) and manipulation as his primary tools of attack with such skill that I’d began to question my own sanity. I haven’t left him partly because of financial reasons, because I’m an undying optimist that he can/will change, and because I deeply fear his wrath and retaliation if/when I do leave. It’s like he has two sides -one in which he seems to have the capacity to care for, show kindness in, and empathize with when he chooses, and the other where it displays itself as vicious, sneaky, manipulative, threatening, and so very controlling…

    He accuses me of crazy things and, when I disprove that accusation, he either becomes irate and states I’m disrespecting him, or he defaults to an accusation that is not disprovable. He never apologizes or admits wrongdoing. Each time I say something positive about something/someone new, he attempts to discolor it with a negative/defaming statement.
    Each time he verbally attacks, it is another nail in our marriage coffin. On a rare occasion, his behavior ceases for a while, and that lid loosens a bit, but then gets re-nailed even firmer back into place when the behavior returns. It is almost as if he’s an alcoholic with the behaviors but without the alcohol. I feel the joy being slowly sucked out of my life as he continues to turn up the control efforts in his. I find refuge and the most happiness in small things that do not include him, but the reality always crowds back in. I hold out hope that medication and counseling will change his perceptions enough that we can have a healthy relationship,because, stupidly, I still care. Right now, a future with him seems pretty dismal and I can’t help but hope for deliverance in some form.
    So for now, I’m making a plan and it’s helping me survive, just in case he doesn’t change enough to be compatible to live with. I am setting aside what money I can each month so when the day comes, I can leave him without setting myself up to be homeless. I am waiting for the children to be on their own (two years) so my choice to leave (if it comes to that) doesn’t impact them as much.

    I have so many questions… Are narcissists ever capable of giving love unconditionally?…Do medications (with counseling) help? CAN they change, or is this something hard-wired? For many years, I’ve imagined myself as titanium, but even it can wear over time…

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    • February 16, 2016 at 10:11 pm
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      I suppose anyone can change unhealthy relationship patterns if motivated to do so. Have you read the book, Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft? It is an excellent resource for people in emotionally and physically abusive relationships. From what I’ve experienced in my own life, narcissists only tend to get worse. After years and years of putting up with their manipulative and disrespectful behaviors I think everyone gets conditioned. The abuser gets conditioned to believing there are no consequences for his unacceptable behavior. So emboldened, his abusiveness only increases. The abused exhales every time an abusive incident passes and carries on with a clean slate in her mind as if nothing unusual ever happened. The kids just carry on with business as usual. If you ask me, a relationship with a narcissist is a nightmare. You know there’s a good person in there somewhere because you know him, but, alas, he lives in the same skin as Satan…

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  • May 26, 2016 at 6:52 pm
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    having spent 10 years married to what would be called a “covert narcissist” I don’t think such people will change until they recognize that their behavior is maladaptive and commit to doing the work necessary to grow and heal. and I don’t mean playing games with some unskilled therapist hidden away in a private office. group therapy with a really good clinician is just about all that can have any influence. there is no medication for narcissism. maybe for some of the co-conditions that underlie the disorder, like depression, anxiety or substance abuse. what I expect is that most narcissists, when confronted with the loss of supply, i.e. the spouse, the lifestyle, the children, the job, will fight harder to maintain the status quo than truly change. when that fails, they will reject those who they see as removing their ego supply and find it elsewhere because that is what provides the most internal nourishment. they have no real attachments. just that gaping wound that needs to be filled and kept topped off which means giving is out of the question. i am very fortunate in that i had some of my own financial resources as well as an established career both of which i could lean on to propel my escape. and the man i was married to was a bit afraid that i would out him as a porn addict who lusted over everyone’s wife and daughter and despised anyone who wasn’t rich and important in the church where he is a minister. so when push came to shove, he wasn’t willing to try me. i have no desire to out him and no interest in his status or his future. that is his story and his to deal with. my only goal was to escape his emotional, sexual and financial abuse, which i did while maintaining my own dignity and morality. i suppose that until titanium finally accepts that she will not have what she needs from her husband and makes a decision about whether she can spend the rest of her life in misery, she will remain married to him. it would be a shame for her to settle for so little and give so much.

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    • May 27, 2016 at 2:06 am
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      Many experts believe that there is no real change for narcissists. While they can be taught some behavior modification, for instance, how to be on time; but, while they may be on time they still won’t listen to you. Narcissists are a nightmare for anyone who loves them. Your comments are the perfect example of how it ultimately tends to end up…

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  • September 19, 2016 at 4:04 pm
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    Amazing article! It is really true that who hasn’t witnessed a narcissistic injury hasn’t seen the real wrath.
    I was wondering after the great narcissistic injury that the narcissist has experienced and the narcissistic discard, whether the narcissistic will stop all the contact. He said he would and it seems to me like the narcissistic injury was devastating to him. What else can we expect from them other than blaming, ignoring, devaluing, insulting, slenderizing us to all our joint friends?
    Do they all of a sudden change their mind (stop seeing things all black, stop blaming us)?

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  • November 3, 2016 at 8:56 am
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    I have experienced the wrath of “no” and other small infractions at least twice a month for 25 years. And it lasts 2-5 days each time. Lately it is more frequent. There is no way to “earn points” with him by stroking the ego every day, as all is forgotten as soon as the fragile ego is perceived to be threatened by the most innocuous, unforseen things. So how can one prepare to leave a Narcissist? He steadfastly refuses to consider divorce. Is there a way to minimize the pain? Maybe if I actually did one of the horrible things I have been accused of, he might initiate the divorce and make it easier for me? I temporarily left him once and he “found Jesus” (basically found a person to tell him he is good) but his behavior didn’t change a bit. None of our friends or his awesome family knows. I hate to lose them all. Is there a best way to leave to minimize the aftermath?

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    • November 8, 2016 at 9:05 am
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      My opinion is that responding self confidently, honestly, and boldly to abusers is the best approach. Even if they do not change one iota, you feel better about yourself and strengthen your self respect.

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  • January 12, 2018 at 12:02 pm
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    Dear Sharie,

    I just read your post and wanted to reach out to you. My name is Tammy and I’m a 59 year old woman with four children, ages 21-38. I believe after much research, that I may very well be a narcissist. I developed an addiction to marijuana 15 years ago and it caused me to be extremely manic, claiming that I had come up with the world’s greatest economic development strategy, capable of generating billions of dollars, that turned into trillions the more I failed to make it successful. I became extraordinarily angry and vindictive against anyone who called me grandiose and was extremely wounded when leaders in my community told people that I was pie-in-the-sky. I was a magazine publisher for several years with enough success to live in a five-bedroom house and live well.

    After 9/11, I went to a town meeting conducted by the former VP of the Coca Cola corporation who had retired to Livingston, Montana where I live. He asked us to brainstorm entrepreneurial ways to help the local economy because businesses were going under due to people being afraid to travel to Yellowstone National Park after the twin towers were destroyed and so many lives were lost. It inspired me to want to use my magazine publishing skills to come up with a viable economic strategy and I became 100% obsessed and the obsession lasted until recently, when I became so angry and so many people, including my family and children, who did not support my plan to save not just the local economy but the entire world. It got so bad that people started calling the police and some got protective orders against me.

    I was vile, slanderous, didn’t care who I hurt. The police officer who fielded all of the calls and took people’s statements brought me to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and he told me that I am a narcissist. That was the first time I’d been called a narcissist. After the evaluation, I was taken to the state mental hospital, where I stayed for two months. I was homeless by then , which is why I became so outraged. Not only were people not supporting my economic development strategy, they weren’t contributing to my GoFundMe account that I set up to raise the money to get myself off the streets. Instead they were telling me to get psychiatric help. I was threatening to commit suicide if people didn’t give me money. My checking account had gone into a negative balance because I was spending what little I had on marijuana and alcohol, which were contributing to a complete psychotic break.

    When I got to the mental hospital, I positioned myself as a peer support specialist. I had been the secretary of our local mental health board for five years and had attended the Peer Solutions Drop in Center for many years. I had also studied and practiced dialectical behavioral therapy for three years, so I fancied myself to be a mental health expert and I made that claim many times. When the staff told me to cease trying to be the resident peer support specialist, I demanded the forms necessary to file a grievance. I filled out several forms. When the psychiatrists forced me to take anti-psychotic drugs, I changed my strategy and became completely compliant. I became very friendly with the staff and my psychiatrist commented on how great my progress was. He even went to my website and said that he was very impressed with my work. I’m also a singer and songwriter and I was allowed to play my YouTube videos for the staff and patients. I got lots of accolades and was well-liked and appreciated.

    But secretly I was becoming very suicidal. When the psychiatrist asked me if I was feeling suicidal or homicidal I always said no. But I was acting. I knew that when they released me, if I couldn’t find a home and the love I was needing and craving, I was going to kill myself. Sure enough, at my request, they finally put me on a bus to Albuquerque, New Mexico to a homeless shelter. I was so depressed and frightened, that I made a suicide attempt just six days after I got there. I took two and a half bottles of Tylenol PM which I washed down with three beers. Right after I swallowed all the pills, one of my 21 year old twins called me. She loves me very much in spite of my behaviors. All of my family love me very much and have been trying to convince me to get the help I need so we can enjoy healthy familial relationships in the future. I told her what I did and she was devastated. I agreed to call paramedics and get medical attention. Her twin sister called me too and told me how much she loves me and wants me to live and get mentally healthy. I spent a week in the hospital and was released back to the homeless shelter.

    On January 5th, a friend of mine and former boyfriend offered to let me come back to Livingston and rent a room from him if I would agree to seeing a paychiatrist, a therapist and go to narcotics anonymous meetings. The only times I’ve ever become psychotic have been when I’ve been smoking marijuana. I could never smoke just a little. If I smoked it at all, I had to smoke it all day every day. He said that I would have to be clean and sober.

    I agreed to his requirements and am now living with him. I’m no longer in denial about being a narcissist and I am genuinely feeling very humble and my heart is contrite and I feel great remorse for the pain and devastation I’ve caused my family, friends and community. I have a very honest desire to heal from the deep trauma and abuse I suffered at the hands of my parents and grandparents. I was sexually abused by my grandfather from age four or five to age 13 and when I developed a weight problem, all of the significant others in my life, including my older sister, I was told I was ugly, would never have a boyfriend or husband and was going to be the fat lady in the circus when I grew up. The pedophile grandfather told me I was the schluck of the earth. My father became a raging, violent alcoholic and when I was nine years old, he sexually abused me after I finally got the courage to tell him what my grandfather was doing to me. He said it was my fault and next thing I knew, he molested me.

    The only thing I drew my self-esteem from was my scholastic and artistic abilities. My parents and grandparents, along with my teachers, praised my intelligence and my talents. In second grade I was called a child prodegy for my writing abilities. I learned to live for that praise and nothing made me happier than to impress them, my teachers and my schoolmates. I was deeply traumatized and tortured at home, but I was not allowed to show it or express any negative feelings. The only feeling I was allowed to express was happiness. So I developed a false self that exuded confidence and pretended to be happy even though I was dying inside from low self esteem and deep shame.

    I am feeling confident that I will be able to work through these issues and achieve healthy relationships now that I am finally honest with myself. I believe that I will be able to embrace the painful parts of my psyche and will be able to give healthy expression to my emotions in a safe, supportive environment. I love my children, my sisters and my friends. They have all been extremely forgiving and have been wonderfully supportive since I decided to get the help I need. I want to be healthy and I don’t want to hurt people. I radically accept that I am not going to be a huge financial success as a media producer or as a singer/songwriter. I used to think that I needed to be financially successful in order for my family and my community to love me and be proud of me. They would much rather see me mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy. So would I.

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  • June 16, 2018 at 3:24 pm
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    No they will not change. They’re manipulative, they play games, and they only care about themselves. Lying through their teeth is like their full time job. They only want to look good like they’re in charge. And they usually deal with their emotions with extreme amounts of alcohol. They are disgraced, and some other names that I should not say here.

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  • January 20, 2019 at 1:53 am
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    Terrible reality is, it may not always be a metaphoric knives they plunge in. Sometimes it’s a real one.

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