The Heart of Narcissism
You can read a lot about narcissism these days. That’s partly because narcissism is so commonplace. Narcissists are everywhere, it seems, wreaking havoc in relationships. And many believe culture has had a lot to do with that. A culture that promotes or even rewards egocentric, self-serving behavior is bound to produce more narcissists. But what exactly lies at the heart of narcissism? What things contribute to its development? What really makes narcissists tick? These things have long been subjects of debate.
Traditional theories tended to see low self-esteem as lying at the heart of narcissism. They viewed the narcissist’s braggadocio as an unconscious compensation for feelings of inadequacy and low self-worth. Now, to be sure, this can sometimes be true. But it’s a huge mistake to assume so. Some narcissists aren’t unconsciously compensating for anything. In fact, they truly believe they’re all that! They hold an inflated opinion of themselves. And just because that opinion often doesn’t match reality doesn’t mean they’re unconsciously compensating. It also doesn’t mean they’re delusional in the true sense of the word. (See also: Two Main Varieties of Narcissists.)
At the heart of narcissism of the “grandiose” type lies something quite sinister. Grandiose narcissists simply cannot acknowledge a “higher power.” This kind of narcissism is more than a psychological disorder. It’s fundamentally a spiritual disease and a serious defect of character. And it’s rooted in an unwillingness to acknowledge or respect anything bigger or more important than oneself.
What Flows from the Problem
The troubling behaviors grandiose narcissists display all stem from their “higher power” issues. Let’s take the problem of the exaggerated claims they make. Sometimes it seems to us they must be blind to how preposterous their claims are. They play so fast and loose with the truth. Their lies flow so freely. We’re tempted to think they just don’t see themselves. And we’re tempted to think they just don’t see how others regard their behavior. But it’s not a matter of blindness. For the grandiose narcissist, reality is only what he/or she insists that it is. And that’s because objective reality represents a “higher power” of sorts that they simply refuse acknowledge or respect.
Grandiose narcissists bow to no one and no thing. That includes the objective facts. They live in a world of their own creation. In that world they can reign unchallenged. They are their own authority. Moreover, it’s not that they don’t see how others regard their strange, grandiose behaviors. They’re aware alright. But they simply don’t care what others think. The opinions of others simply don’t matter.
Grandiose Narcissism and Empathy
So, at the heart of narcissism of the grandiose type lies a lack of reverence. Reverence for what? Anything or anyone other (or “bigger”) than self. Grandiose narcissists find nothing outside of themselves worth revering. That’s partly why they have trouble having empathy. To care about something you have to first find value in it. But the grandiose among us see others as inferior. Grandiosity makes it hard to care and all too easy to disdain. Now, grandiose narcissists can fake caring, especially when it suits their purpose. But they can’t really care. To do that they would first have to acknowledge your value. And that’s impossible to do when you just know in your heart that everyone around you is inferior.
It will be some time before I announce an alternative to Character Matters. In the meantime, you can still access podcasts on both the UCY.TV website and YouTube.
53 thoughts on “Grandiosity and the Heart of Narcissism”
Gnosis. Knowledge without understanding and wisdom. A product of pride with unbridled arrogance. No one to answer to or worse, a god in their own mind.
The world today continues to exist in the Grecco/Roman mindset… the worship of ‘self’. Enlightened to dominate and when necessary, exterminate.
The Greek myth of Narcissus tells this story ending in tragedy… self annihilation. The question remains… will we succumb to playing the role of Echo? or Nemesis?
There’s another path reaching back further in humanity’s origins. Freedom from the ‘game’. No game, no illusion. Remove your own mask and live free.
Seek your identity as God made you, righteous and pure. Your power is within.
Shalom (the highest blessing one can give)… may all be well with you.
Thank you for your work on this Dr. Simon. Unfortunately the psychology profession has not reformed itself and finding a therapist who knows what they’re doing around narcissists is a needle-in-a-haystack journey. I tell so many people to avoid the therapist, read these books and do some spiritual work.
On psychologytoday.com is an example “The One Word a Narcissist Doesn’t Want to Hear” (that word is “no.”) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201805/the-one-word-narcissist-doesn-t-want-hear
While it’s better for the citizen (the non-narcissist) to avoid unnecessary inflammation of tension with the narcissist, it behooves the citizen to know she has a right to be firm and centered with where her boundaries are.
The psychiatrist recommends accommodating the narcissist. The person writing the article doesn’t distinguish whether the narcissist is in a manipulative frame of mind, vs. a reactive frame of mind.
I’ve seen people go to couples or family therapy with a narcissist and the therapist “obeys the advance” of the narcissist, leaving the non-narcissist more victimized than before therapy.
“I’ve seen people go to couples or family therapy with a narcissist and the therapist “obeys the advance” of the narcissist, leaving the non-narcissist more victimized than before therapy.”
My question is how do you avoid this. My husband is, no doubt, CD. Only my children and I lnow there is something very wrong with his personality… lack of empathy, put downs, constant disappointment towards us, very high level of entitlement, lives in his own world where logic is not important (he has said in the past that logic does not matter, what he knows to be the truth is what matters). On the other hand, he is one of the most charming people I’ve met when in the presence of others (well, he also goes between charming and put downs with the children… not me, now I only get the put downs…)
So, how can I be sure to find a psychologist who is not fooled by his charming ways? What should I look for?
There is no certainty in life. Read the books. And if after reading them you want to find a psychologist, you’ll be better equipped to find one. But even then there is no such thing as avoiding risk. There is more risk and less risk.
There is a section in one of Dr. Simon’s books relating to “charmers”. Maybe you can search it out on this site and copy it and give it to the counselor and have your own individual therapy session. are you intending on doing marriage counseling, family therapy, or what type?
My thoughts are that you can learn a great deal from reading Dr. Simon’s books, you’ll be well educated yourself of personality type, and maybe glean more from therapy sessions.
Once you get a real handle on this husband’s behaviors and traits and a good understanding of his character issues, his behaviors, to you, will become predicatable, making it easier for you to handle. Then there may come a time when you come to realize this man will not change, will probably worsen, then you’ve got to decide where you want to go with it, continue the same as you do presently, or leave.
It’s a rough road, but many of us here have done it. And you can too.
The first link will take you to Dr. Simons series on Conscience
The second link is part of the Tag Archives: Conscience
regarding “Charmers” Lucy was talking about. Lucy, thanks for remembering this topic, its a great series that sheds an enormous ray of light.
Up in the “search” button you can key in the word “charmer” and it will direct you to articles Dr. Simon has posted.
I went to “counseling” with my narc/cd spouse and he kept lying to the counselor. I was losing control of myself in the therapy session saying he’s lying again. The counselor asked me if I could just believe that what my spouse was saying was the truth then he (the counselor) could try to work with my husband!!!
I said are you asking me to pretend he’s not lying? The counselor said yes, just for the time being!!!
Dropped his butt immediately! What a flake!
I totally get it about the lying at counseling. But my counselor didn’t buy into it, she kept rehashing his lie story and repeating it trying to get him to fess up. But he wouldn’t.
She said in her career she had never met a person as evasive as he.
She taught me how to confront a liar and how to deal with him.
The best way to deal with him turned out to leave him.
Which I’ll state again, dealing with these fools is a total waste of time and energy. It best to divorce yourself from them, if that’s possible.
They are life suckers, joy suckers, waste of one’s precious time. I always go back to that, when a person is so character disturbed that they make your life hell, let them go. Be done with it.
Many psch doctors go into this field for the reason of trying to heal themselves. Many go into this field for the fact of trying to control others. Power over one. I do believe their are many good doctors who are altruistic and practicing for the sake of healing others. I found good doctors by interviewing them first. I did find docs that practice Dr. Simoms work and are well aware of the CDN. On the other hand, many doctors practice with false perceptions of the CDN.
“He has said in the past that logic does not matter, what he knows to be the truth is what matters”
You cannot change the way others see them selves.
I do know that. It took me many years to realise how disturbed my husband was/is and that I cannot change that, but I am finally there.
My problem now is that my son (13 years old) is having lots of stress/anxiety issues and the school insists that he should see a psychologist. This psychologist is going to be working with the parents too, of course. My son also has lots of issues with my husband’s behaviour such as manipulation, lying, lack of empathy, etc..
I am sure my husband is going to be there saying all the right things and playing the victim as no one understands his good intentions. I feel that if I start going on and on about all his CD characteristics I will look like I am crazy and paranoid. On the other hand I don’t know what I will do if the psychologist buys into my husbands play and tells my son that he should be more understanding with his father and give him the benefit of the doubt.
What should/could I do?
I would send the psychologist a copy of Dr. Simons first two books. I know I have done this in the past and it was an eye opener for those I gave it too. I would also see if I could talk to this counselor on a one to one before you go in with your husband.
Catch him when he lies. Call him an liar. Repeat it as many time as necessary. Don’t let him muddle things up. Keep his lies in focus of thing.
Don’t let the counselor bypass it too. Tell that counselor that he/she cannot help unless parties (you, husband and son?) involved cannot even agree on what the truth is.
I found that with my kid he was constantly lying since age 32 until now. He went off on me telling me you need to stop calling me a liar. I hadn’t called him a liar I said that’s a lie.
Now I don’t use the word liar, I simply say “that’s not true”!!! It literally stops him in his tracks and he asks why it’s not true.
I’m not saying it’s making a difference because I don’t if it is. But I don’t get a fight or violent reaction!!! Feels good to me!
I don’t KNOW if it is.
“tells my son that he should be more understanding with his father and give him the benefit of the doubt.”
Give benefit of the doubt to those who are also willing to admit some fault on their part.
Keep the discussion focused on what actual behaviour was, what actually transpired.
Send your son to therapy and tell your husband it doesn’t concern him.
If you haven’t read the books, please say why.
BOTV gave you good advice. Although whether or not he/she read the books is questionable.
But I would have a one-on-one with the counselor and let her in on your observations of your husband and describe how you see the interactions between the husband and your son.
I wish I’d left my husband when my son was still young. The husband’s ugly traits worsened with time. Now that I look back it makes me uneasy knowing I stayed in this emotionally abusive marriage. As long as you and he live with the husband just know that the behaviors will continue and possibly worsen, therefore your son’s condition will worsen.
Don’t ever forget who you are. The husband may try to make you look crazy to save himself. And he might try his darndest to try to convince you that you’re crazy. Stand strong, always.
I lived as you do, for two thirds of my life. A total of 47 lost year.
And after she (The Mother) had done her best to kill me with the brothers help.
The only thing you can do and say is “GOODBYE”
True words. It takes us a while to realize that, once we’ve studied the behaviors, recognize them, re-think all that we thought we knew about the relationship, prepare, plan, then leave their miserable selves.
Thank you all for your support. I read the blog but I usually do not post. I’ve reached the point when I am preparing and planning. I have children. How do I leave him and take the children with me without my CD husband having an anger rage like no other before (and he has broken stuff before for nothing in comparison)?
Suggestions are very welcome. My lawer told me to just leave and serve him the divorce papers later that day… but he knows where I work, where the children go to school… he will show up there and play the victim treated so unfairly… or if he finds me alone, I am not sure what might happen…
Your lawyer needs to give you some more specific advice. It’s hard to try to sneak out and leave, when you’re going to need personal items and when the husband is looming around.
If it were me and I was in fear I would go to the police station and speak with them, tell them your concerns and go from there.
My husband was behaving like an aggressive idiot when he told my daughter to leave him home, her and her child. He wouldn’t allow her to take their clothes, nothing. I told her to go to the police station the next day and explain what happened. They escorted her to the house, told him she would retrieve what she could that evening and that she’d be back to retrieve the rest.
You think you know their low, then you realize, there is no low.
If you’re scared, you have good reason to be scared. Trust your instincts. I can’t imagine that the police would not protect you during a move.
Have you tried going to the Womens Resource Center (Shelter)? There usually is a Womens Center in every county. These centers usually offer counseling, group support meetings and a have a legal advocate that can usually answer questions for you, give you some direction and in many cases go to court with you if you don’t have an attorney. These Centers may have a place for you and your children to to stay if you are in fear or danger from your spouse.
I would also encourage you to keep posting and asking questions. You will find many posters on this blog who will give their input and also support you. I would throw questions out to our group and see if someone can answer you, therefore, saving you $$ instead of calling the attorney. You have no idea how expensive it can get divorcing a CD individual.
Of importance is a well thought out strategic plan. I would not let the X find out you have been reading about character disorders or tell him you know he is XY&Z if you plan to separate from him. Make sure you delete your history every time you log out.
It is imperative you think this through and prepare. There are many things you will need to do in order to protect yourself and your children. I am sure other posters will have much to say on this topic.
Individuals such as you are describing are extremely difficult individuals to divorce. You will experience behaviors you never imagined him capable of. I am not trying to scare you, I am trying to prepare you. Posters here have dealt with unbelievable crazy making behaviors during their divorces and leaving CD individuals.
It will get worse before it gets better, many times one is safer in the relationship than out of the relationship. So far you have said very little about his behavior except for he is slick in not letting others see who and what he is.
I would also caution you not to say anything to anyone, friends and family. Perhaps only your mother if she can be trusted. People choose sides during a divorce. Friends and family will choose sides and it can vacillate back and forth. Anything you say can be used against you by the CD, ones family or friends depending on circumstances and if family or friends have character issues.
If I may, I would like to ask you questions as you post, it is entirely up to you whether or not to answer. If you have questions, please feel free to ask.
In regards to the psychologist at school I would go and see him/her alone. I would not tell the CD, also, the psychologist by law should not tell the CD you were there or vice versa . If you are able to afford it I would consult a psychologist in the private sector. I can tell you you will need all the support you can get.
As far as the attorney is concerned, it you need time to ground yourself in making plans don’t let the attorney push you. There is an invisible you will cross once you serve papers. With a CD individual there is no turning back once this line is crossed. Women who have gone back have found the opportunity to leave becomes impossible as the CD is now forewarned.
Take the time to think things through and proceed with wisdom and caution. Try never to make decisions out of panic, fear, obligation or guilt. Try to make well thought out decisions.
You’ve got no control over his rage. You’ve really got no control over anything he does. He’s going to do what he’s going to do, but you’re going to plan your exit so that you’re safe.
You go on and on at yourself. Trying to understand WHAT THE FCUK is WRONG.
And before you realize it, you have lost DECADES OF YOUR LIFE.
“And then you see things so clearly” IT JUST CUTS YOU IN HALF
” And what you see is SSSSSSSOOOOOO SIMPLE”
“THEY, JUST, DO’NT, LOVE, YOU” and never have !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know, I am still feeling numb about that part of the whole story… because the moment I finally realized that was a couple of minutes before I realized that same individual is the father of my children… Will the guilt I feel for that ever go away?
The guilt will go away with time if you let it, never forget it though. This too, can be worked out and released if you are willing to do the work. It is about understanding truth, acceptance, forgiveness and caring for oneself. I think many times we beat ourselves up far worse than others do. Trust your instincts, forgive yourself and be the best you can be. Living in truth moral character as your compass will help you to achieve your goals.
The guilt is worse the longer you stay, because more damage is done. HE should feel guilty for what he’s done. You’re trying to protect them. You should feel good about that.
I’m going to go through a list of things you need to do BEFORE you let him know you’re leaving. Don’t let him catch on that something is up.
I know this all from experience. My X sounds the same as yours. He will get worse. This will be war when you leave, so for now, Be as normal as you can be.
Follow all the advice BOTV laid out.
Snoop and find any documents that may be helpful to you.
Delete browsing history or anything else you don’t want him to see on your computer or your phone.
Gather all important documents. Once you leave it gets difficult if not impossible, because he most probably won’t comply with discovery in in court.
Get your birth certificates, car titles, credit cards, passwords of his.
Figure out all of your bank accounts.
Remember that as soon as you leave HE WILL wipe out the savings and checking accounts, so you need to beat him to it. This should happen the day you leave.
Prior to you leaving, set up your own checking account, your name only, and have your paycheck deposited into it. If it’s electronically deposited, it can take up to a month to change over to your new account.
Get any extra keys, car keys, etc.
Take your personal items that have meaning to you, if it’s something that he won’t notice gone.
Alert the police the day of the move.
Put all your photos in one place that you know you can easily take with you. You don’t want to be running around the house in a frenzy.
Once you’re gone, he might lock you out. When you leave, try your best to get the important things. It will be a court battle after you leave, very costly, so keep that in mind.
Your attorney will charge you (mine did) every time you call with a problem. It adds up quickly. Try your best to keep it to a minimum. The CD such as yours make litigation costly because they don’t comply, they aren’t normal, they are angry, and their behaviors in turn rack up your attorney fees.
I’ve lived this. I hope these tips will make your exit easier.
And I’m very serious about the savings and checking accounts. That is the first things he will do, is take them before you get to them.
Take that savings account money and put it in your checking account, the one you will open in your name only.
And when you leave, try your best to get your name off of his checking account and if you can close the credit cards you hold jointly.
You’ll still be responsible, in the bank’s eyes and the credit card company’s eyes for any charges.
I literally BEGGED my bank representative to close the bank account. With the spouse using the debit card and making withdrawals constantly, it gets difficult to close with the continuing purchases, etc. pending.
I know this is a tremendous amount of information, but it’s all very important.
Good luck my friend. Eat well. You can do this. You’ll be okay in the end. Many of us here have done it.
Keep posting. We are here to help.
Fenix, don’t spend your energy on guilt right now. You need to focus on what it is you think you need to do. You can sort that stuff out later. Be kind to yourself, you didn’t know, a lot of us didn’t know either.
Fenix I think you are doing fine. I would send the son to therapy and do whatever I could to keep your husband away from therapy.
If you’re not financially positioned to leave your husband, don’t. These forums are free-for-alls, some people told me to leave all my siblings, my parents, etc. That’s severe. I did for a few years but I honestly think that was overkill and it messed up my memory.
Life is a funky journey, we have to make the most of the hand we are dealt.
Oh I just read that you are planning on leaving. It is all very tricky there is no one pat formula for leaving. I wish you the best.
Just don’t leave because other people told you to. Only leave if you think it is right.
All the items I listed are issues that do come up when leaving a difficult person. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
You have to SEE THEM FOR WHAT THEY ARE.
You cannot LOVE THEM; You must not hate them either.
You must understand that THEY ARE DIFFRENT, A THREAT TO YOU.
Some what like a contagious disease. IT WILL INFECT AND AFFECT YOU BADLY.
IT is hard to see my own The Mother as a contagious disease. She was!
And when it is gone THINGS GET A WHOLE LOT BETTER.
From one to another who has been through it, I totally agree.
6th June 2018 I have been No contact For THREE YEARS
It’s what you felt you needed to do to get well and heal and live your life to your potential.
Bravo to you for having the perseverance and stamina to do this. It’s very difficult but now you’re reaping the reward of living free.
To me the hardest relationship to leave is your child. I left the ex CD, I distanced myself from certain family members because of their scapegoating me, and I had NC with both my parents until I felt I had worked thru the issues – they were not CD. There are few people left in my family – namely 2 of them that I can be around. So besides my daughter and granddaughter I only have these 2 family members, my parents have passed on. I think that is part of what makes me not want to go NC with my daughter. I have basically gone NC with the CD Grand Daughter. She doesn’t want to be around me anyways. But the GD learned it from my daughter, who learned it from the EX-her Dad.
I won’t go into the guilt thing anymore, I didn’t know what was going on and it came from my Family of Origin for me as well. What a cycle!
My daughter calls me everyday, at least once, and we talk about whatever, whatever is going on like everyone does – but there are other comments that bother me that are things a CD would say just to rub things in, or get to you and make you feel bad. I know she tries to get a reaction out of me so I go grey rock and don’t give her the satisfaction. But I feel caught in the middle – I want to have a relationship and I feel we do on one level, but on the other hand there are always the exaggerations, lies and “getting back” at me to deal with. Its a real quandary for me. I guess I hang on because I love my daughter despite it all, and I don’t think I am being harmed by it – I know what is happening and it is not pleasant at times and those are the times I feel like – heck – she doesn’t really love me anyways. In fact, my pastors wife, upon meeting her stated that very thing. Why would she call me all the time?
I understand what you’re going through because my daughter, who with her son, lives with me, and she’s picked up traits from her CD father. I call her out on it. They are quite ugly traits, meant to divert conversation or manipulate me. She’s had what I believe is a mental breakdown from dealing with her CD father, and other issues, and is now living with me, and coming along and healing from the emotional abuse.
I get it. You love her, want her in your life, get along ok, but it’s those digs . . . . I’m experiencing the same.
As far as loving, I see it more as to how one behaves towards another, how they show their kindness and gratitude that matters.
She may be a work in progress, but you know you can’t change her, but you can most certainly call her out on her ugly behaviors.
Lucy, I have to commend you for taking in your daughter and grandchild after all you have been through and lost. Truly, you are a survivor, what I admire most is your caring concern to open your heart and homes to help others.
It is truly painful to watch our flesh and blood step into the shoes of the CD individuals we talk about here. I hate to say it but the healthy solution for all involved is to cut the ties and demand accountability and respect. This all becomes extremely difficult when children, grandchildren, innocent parties are involved. Please remember, we don’t owe the CD our health and our lives, we need to stay healthy as the day may arise that we are truly needed by the innocent.
Under these circumstances it is a difficult decision to make, either way will bring sadness. I would say, go with your gut, above all ,let your “Character and Faith” be the determining factors.
Lucy, I am glad you have the fortitude, wherewithal and love in your heart to open your home to your family.
Kat, it is obvious you love your daughter, the question is, does she love you? I can’t answer if your daughter loves you, the observation of your pastors wife does speak volumes so does how your daughter treats you and talks to you. Accepting the truth about the shallow care and concern coming from someone we love is painful, in the end it is imperative we deal in truth and truth alone.
Kat, I admire you for all you are doing, only you and you alone can make the decision where you want to draw the line with your daughter. Know that all of us are here for you, we will always support you and give you our input on how we see it.
Lucy and Kat, above all, be well and take care of yourselves. It seems in these times, we may be all we have as far as family is concerned. Be of good cheer, we do belong to a family of sorts on this blog.
Shalom and Gods Blessings
“As far as loving, I see it more as to how one behaves towards another, how they show their kindness and gratitude that matters.
She may be a work in progress, but you know you can’t change her, but you can most certainly call her out on her ugly behaviors.”
This is so true, its about actions, words are cheap. I pray your daughter is a work in progress. Your right, kindness, gratitude and humility are everything. ” You can’t change her.” We can be the change we want.
I have a similar situation, it is difficult to live with, I too, have limited family like you. I am experiencing what you are talking about, I understand Generational Sin, it is to bring me down. You understand Timothy and what the warning is, it is about divide and conqueror. Hold fast to the Prize, don’t let it slip from your grasp not for ANYONE or ANYTHING……..
You are not the only only one in this position.
Hugs and Stay Strong Sister
Thanks so much. I was thinking about how I would call her out and confront her and it would really take some thought because she can be covert a lot of the time. But still there are opportunities. I have taken the approach that what I say is not going to effect change because of the times I have confronted her. And she is one to covertly tell “stories” about me to others and put me in a negative light. It depends on what she wants – she does that to some people and not others.
I am with you on the way love is shown. I only learned to love when I had my children. My parents didn’t teach me by example, my EX I loved but he couldn’t love me back and either can my daughter. It just isn’t in her, she is not capable, which is so sad.
I feel like if I go NC she will have lost someone who is interested in her well being. But she wouldn’t lose my prayers – I would always continue to pray for her. There is nobody else to harm in this situation besides myself. But I am getting really fed up with her negative innuendos and don’t like setting myself up for abusive behavior. I know I can’t have any expectations from my daughter or it sets me up for disappointment. I am going to pray about this as well, I am really not sure what to do.
BTOV…. Ditto! Keeping a sound mind is dedicated work. The soul is where memories are stored. The prize is the soul. Evil desires to possess your soul. Luke 21 speaks to this…”in your patience possess ye your soul”. Stay strong. Much love to all who are in the battle to keep their soul from evil. Shalom…
I don’t know whether what I do is right or wrong, harmful or helpful, but I keep it honest. When my daughter makes a snide statement in a manipulative way I tell her I know all the manipulative tactics, it won’t work with me. You’re acting like your father, and I got rid of him. She knows I have a hatred for him. This is a true statement, not geared towards hurting her, but my way of shoving back and letting her know I know exactly what she’s doing. And she was emotionally abused by her dad and I’m sure does not want to be like him. My hope is that when I say these words that it enlightens her to what she’s become. And she can change her behaviors and ways of communicating if she’s aware of what she’s doing when she does it. And yes it does hurt her when I say it. She quiets down and sometimes there are tears. But I’m not about to be verbally or emotionally abused by my daughter, who has come to live with me, with her son, because she cannot afford it on her own. I am helping her heal and showing her how to behave in a respectful manner and hopefully in time she will follow my lead and give up those learned behaviors. Also, she’s still immature, in my view, but I’ve also learned that what we sometimes view as mature is what they are stuck with, that some people don’t mature.
I’ve got hope for her. She’s come a long way and now is more emotionally healthy than I’ve seen her in five years.
So I won’t give up my daughter, but I also won’t sit back and accept verbal or emotional abuse without having a say in it.
So this is my way of dealing – right or wrong – it’s my way and it seems to be helping.
Maybe you can point out to your daughter, as soon as she goes into one of her CD behaviors, you’re onto it, it’s ugly, she’s learned it from her father and can unlearn it, that that behavior is what drove you away. She needs to wake up! She may lose you! A great loss to her.
My daughter was groomed by the EX, she was the favored one and our son was his scapegoat. My son doesn’t even consider his Dad as a Dad, which he wasn’t to him. I had to convince him to come see his Dad before he died, just to make a visit in hospice. I just didn’t want him to have any regrets. But my daughter always took her Dads side. She always preferred him to me, even though he did all this crazy stuff and she knew about it. That is why I don’t hold out much hope for her maturing. I figure only God can change her. I just got back from a historical tour with her and a group of people who signed up. We both enjoyed it, but theres always that undercurrent of trying to get at me. Your daughter sounds like she is willing to change – when she cries about it, my daughter would never cry in front of me, that would be showing too much vulnerability. I have to believe she has made a choice to lie and manipulate and try to get at me. She knows what she is doing. When I was raising her alone, her and I used to really battle. I tried my best to make her suffer the consequences of her actions. She got locked up in a youth facility once for her behavior, I went to counseling for at risk teenagers since she wouldn’t go, and listened to their “tough love” advice. I tried to keep her from going down that path. But she was always very rebellious towards me, I believe because the Ex was covertly turning her against me from the start, and I didn’t even know it was going on. I can’t adequately express how angry I feel about that. I have forgiven but not forgotten. It feels like she is against me but doesn’t even know why.
Your story is really sad. I think you’ve done all you can do, with all the counseling, to come to understand exactly what is taking place. Your head is not in the sand and you know exactly what is going on, the snide remarks, etc., you’re fully aware.
There is nothing more you can do to repair what broke. Your daughter would have to WANT to go to counseling to understand herself, before there is change. And she seems to think she’s just fine.
I can imagine the anger you feel against the X, even though he’s deceased. He left a big hurtful mess behind.
What is the relationship of your son with your daughter?
Only you know how much you can tolerate from your daughter.
I know what I’d do. I’d reach a point where I’d tell her if she can’t treat and talk to me with respect that we’ll limit our time together, including talking on phone, that what she does is abusive and you’re done with it, don’t need it. You’ve got plenty of good people in your life.
I can see how you feel you need to protect her, (which you can’t protect her from herself) and how you want to be in her life, because you understand that she herself was a victim of the X.
I thought about all this last night. It is troubling.
A good friend advised me recently to use my time and efforts on ones who want help, who want change, who listen. I’ve been wasting efforts and time and energy on a person who is just too messed up and lies continuously that I’m just done with it. My efforts and time will be spent on those worthy of it.
You have a lot to offer to those who need help coming out of bad CD relationships. You’ve been there. You’ve come out of it with your spirit, soul and heart intact.
Maybe we should all refocus to those who want help.
I love what you said, you truly understand. My daughter doesn’t have much of a good word to say about her brother, always running him down. On the other hand he is just living his life, he doesn’t say anything bad about her but he keeps his distance. Growing up they were fairly close, doing a lot of things together, but as adults they rarely see each other. They do keep in contact thru Facebook though, even though they are only about an hour away from each other. About the anger, when I think of the damage he caused it creates such angry feelings I don’t even want to go there anymore, its over and done so I try not to ponder on it.
I like your straightforward approach to confronting. I have done it with the 16 year old granddaughter. When I see an opportunity where it is clear what my daughter is doing and she can’t deny it, I can let her know what I think . I know I have let a lot of it slide because I know its not going to change her thinking or her behavior, but now I need to think about how it is affecting me. I am trying to overcome some of the negativity I have about myself and not allowing others to treat me like that is necessary. I also wish I had left much sooner, but I just can’t go there anymore to think about it , my life was chaos with him and I wasn’t thinking straight. I do hope others take our experiences to heart for the sake of themselves and their children.
On the subject of misinformation, there was an article that was all over the internet about narcissists, and it claimed that narcs had “bushy eyebrows” much of the time. What rot, can you imagine people looking at all people with bushy eyebrows and wondering? It did tell a few other traits to look for but bushy eyebrows? Where do they come up with this stuff? lol
Whatever study they did, using physical traits to spot a Narc makes that whole study irrelevant.
BTW – the X narc had bushy eyebrows. haha
But don’t about half the older men have bushy eyebrows?
Also, your story tells how a CD parent can infect a child to the point of the effects being possibly irreversible. It serves as a warning to those that are already seeing what affect the CD is having on the children, and further shows why living with a CD is such a harmful environment to raise a family in.
I wish – I wish – I wish – yes I wish I’d left my X much sooner, I mean like 20 years sooner. He caused harm to both my children (now adult).