Narcissism’s Sometimes Strange Allure

Narcissism, the focus of the current series of articles, has been recently recognized as not so much a distinct condition but rather an important dimension of personality (see also: Personality and Character Disorders: The Narcissism Dimension) that factors into a wide variety of character disturbances.  Many know how problematic it can be to have a narcissitic individual in their life. But there are several aspects of this character trait that can be captivating at first, luring many an individual into a relationship they later regret.

Perhaps nothing is a “attractive” in another person as confidence. This is especially true for individuals who lack confidence themselves.  Folks who project a “can do” persona and who seem devoid of the anxieties and insecurities so often hold people back can appear to hold the keys to success and prosperity, which many potential relationship partners find quite alluring.  But narcissists are more than confident.  They’re often grandiose (as mentioned in an earlier article, narcissism comes in two varieties – the “vulnerable” or more “neurotic,” compensatory type and the “grandiose” type – the latter type being far more prevalent than the former in the modern era – see: Narcissism Revisited in Light of New Research and Two Types of Narcissism and How to Tell the Difference).  Unfortunately, sometimes folks are drawn to what they see as confidence in someone when that confidence is masking an underlying grandiosity – a grandiosity that doesn’t become fully evident until later in the relationship.

The grandiosity some narcissists have stems largely from what and who they value.  There are some things they value too much and some very important things for which they pay too little regard.  They’re often far too enamored of their innate talents and abilities (e.g., their intelligence, their physical appearance, their shrewdness, etc.).  And because they claim ownership of these nature-given (or God-given) attributes, they can easily get a “big head” about them (While I was one of the first mental health professionals to conjecture about this dynamic in my books In Sheep’s Clothing and Character Disturbance, there’s now solid scientific evidence for it and how it fosters grandiosity). Despite what they might outwardly profess, there’s no room either in their ego-inflated mind or in their heart for a “higher power” or powers at work in their lives and contributing to their success (I speak to this issue at some length in The Judas Syndrome and in the article: Egotists: “Above” the Need for a Governing Higher Power).  So they don’t factor into their successes the fortuitousness of circumstances, the support of their partners, etc.  In their minds, everything they possess or have achieved is all due to them and their special abilities. Relationship partners usually find this out the hard way, after they’ve been taken for granted, taken advantage of, or exploited. And sometimes they’re tempted to fault themselves for being taken in by the confidence that attracted them in the first place.  But confidence itself was never the problem.  It’s the narcissist’s grandiosity and disregard for everyone and everything else that creates all the problems.  Unfortunately that grandiosity can be masked by what appears as simply confidence.  And having been drawn primarily to what appears merely self-assuredness, a less than confident soul can easily find themselves in a situation they later regret.

I’ll have more to say about how narcissism factors into several character disturbances and disorders in next week’s post.

Announcement:  My first monthly professional training workshops for Cross Country Educational Seminars begin in January 2016. The first workshop locations will be in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Omaha Nebraska, and Urbandale Iowa, on Jan 19, 20, and 21 respectively.  While these workshops are designed for professionals, anyone interested may attend as an observer (although you should beware that professional workshops are typically priced much higher than those designed for the general public).  Additional details about these and the future workshops for the coming year will be posted in a few days on the Workshops and Seminars page. PLEASE NOTE! THE WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS PAGE HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH DETAILED INFORMATION.  FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, VISIT THE CROSS COUNTRY EDUCATION SEMINARS WEBSITE.

Character Matters will again be a live broadcast this Sunday at 7 pm Eastern, so I can take your calls.

 

76 thoughts on “Narcissism’s Sometimes Strange Allure

  1. Dr. Simon,
    I greatly respect your work, though on this specific topic of grandiosity I beg to differ, maybe because I have been surrounded by thousands of students over the years, and I have came to the conclusion that the narcissist is never the wisest, more talented, or highly skilled person. It is quite the opposite: those who lack any kind of talent and discipline are usually the ones who behave “as if” they owned them. They create a false persona and become the bullies of those who are the true stars of the show.
    I don’t think the good people get attracted by their “I am omnipotent” behavior… quite the opposite. The good people is attracted by the “I am so talented and the people in power will find out one day”, or “I am such a hard worker and my boss is an idiot”, or “I dedicated so many years to my family and I was never understood”.
    Do they display a sense of confidence that can be proven with FACTS? The answer (for what I have seen) is NO. They don’t. They are notorious for their lack of passion and values, therefore they use to adapt their character to whatever is needed in order to catch the next target. It is called grandiosity in your article, but I would call it costume, because it is not always “I am the best” label what define them. Sometimes is “I am who has suffered the most”, “I was betrayed in such a horrible way” and so on.
    What I mean is: If the narcissist choose you, he will play the character that complements your needs, and it will trap you almost always if you are a decent, centered and trustworthy person.

    1. Marianne,

      I think Dr.Simon is referencing the narcissist most liable to snooker people. An overt bully without talent or intellect is much easier to see through.

      They don’t catch those who love respect and admire them unawares as the confident, competent and smoother types do.

      The puffed up bullying braggart is pathetic, uninspiring. People are repulsed by him/her.

      Another trait I’ve observed in the brilliant and talented narcissist, that draws people like flies, is an engaging and disarming sense of humor, too.

      Emphasis on ‘disarming.’ It’s all about the ice breaking ‘warmth’ of laughter where you end up giggling with them. Laughing with others is has a magnetic quality — a resonance. When you convulse with laughter, with the comedic narc, you are slowly vibrating with them. That resonance forges bonds.

      1. LisaO,
        Reading your post I was able to imagine that kind of person. It might be hard to resist. Maybe what happens is that I have never met a brilliant and talented person trying to be the center of attention at all costs.
        What I have witnessed is someone fairly smart (or not smart at all) trying to achieve the status of brilliant and superb.
        This is only my experience; what I have seen in some of my students and family members.
        I felt compelled to make the distinction between grandiose pose and real talent or intelligence, because him who IS something rarely needs to pretend that he IS what in fact IS. That’s why I called it a costume.
        Anyway, I feel a little bit confused about the topic right now, because, as I said before, I have never met that kind of narcissist.

      2. LisaO,

        “Another trait I’ve observed in the brilliant and talented narcissist, that draws people like flies, is an engaging and disarming sense of humor, too. ”
        That’s my STBX, highly intelligent, witty, one of the funniest persons I know. He knows how to engage with a stranger, no matter what their financial or social status is. He draws people in. Talks to strangers all the time. Who would know what he is capable of . . . . . . the sneaky sick *****.

      1. Narcissist may always have false confidence. But, pretending part is not always true. Sometime they fake the confidence to coverup, but many times they simply believe in their unrealistic image/beliefs.

    2. Hello Marianne,

      I would ask you to take this article in the context of all my other writings on the subject. And I would also ask you to reconsider the “never” assertion you make here. Narcissists are who they are regardless of their actual abilities or achieviements. Some have absolutely nothing upon which to provide even a small modicum of legitimacy to their claims (i.e., they’re not anywhere near as smart, capable, successful, etc. as they claim). But others actually have some legitimate claims to make. What distinguishes them as narcissists, however, is how much they overvalue themselves (regardless of what they can legitimately claim) and where they place their attribution for any success they’ve achieved or ability they possess. They are in complete diregard of and recognize no “higher powers” or influences in their life (regardless of what they might profess on their lips – in their hearts there’s no room for a higher power) and are overly enamored of themselves. That’s why they also tend to exaggerate even their partly well-founded capabilities and acheivements.

      Because there are plenty of narcissists who have little to back up their grandiose claims (you seem to have encountered several of these types) the traditional thinking in psychology was that they must be compensating for underlying feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. While this concept was accepted as fact for a long time, we now know that it’s only sometimes and increasingly rarely true, and applies to the more “vulnerable” or “neurotic” type narcissists, who are in short supply these days (I have a couple of articles on that very topic).

      I appreciate the thought you’ve shared. I hope I’ve explained the perspective a little better.

      1. Dr. Simon,
        I thank you for the reply.
        You explanation was clear in the article and in the answer. I was the one who did not explain properly.
        My experience with narcissistic people hasn’t been long enough or close enough until now. I have lived with my husband for 7 years, and been married for two years, and he is not a narcissist, thought my stepdaughters are.
        My research on the topic started this year, as the issues with my youngest stepdaughter are becoming unbearable, because she is living in our house and making our marriage miserable.
        On the other hand, in twenty plus years as a teacher overseas and in USA, as I said, I have never met someone very talented and achieved that was pretending to be so. I considered carefully the statement before posting it, and it is the truth.
        Now, I am not saying that your statement is not correct. You are the specialist on this matter and your books and videos have brought light and knowledge to my life when I need it the most. Besides, I read stories on this forum that fully resemble what you are explaining.
        Then my mistake was to differ in the first place. I should have stated my opinion without that first line, so consider the “I beg to differ” voided.
        I appreciate the feedback.
        Merry Christmas and God bless you!

        1. Merry Christmas to you, also, Marianne. And I assure you, I found nothing about your comments in this matter in any way offensive or inapproprite or even that diagreeable and I appreciate you sharing your experience. I wish I could say I that in my experience I hadn’t met some folks with incredible talent, achievements, etc. who weren’t still unbearable, egomaniacal narcissists. And believe me, some of them were so unbearable that I would have easily traded them for the blow-hard big-talkers who are completely fully of hot air. It’s one thing to think you’re great even when you’re clearly not and quite another to know your great because of all you have and have done but yet are still pretty much a cad. What’s the word???….insufferable!

          1. Dr. Simon,
            When I read the word “insufferable” I understood immediately why I did reacted to the word “grandiose” before. It was the word, not the concept!
            English is not my first language, then in Spanish and French something “grandioso” is a marvelous, superb, beautiful thing… in fact it has the word “Dios” inside, and Dios means God.
            Then I think I was having a language meltdown, because in Spanish we don’t use that word when describing narcissistic people.
            We say “Manía de grandeza” for describing someone that is not great in any shape or form, but pretend to be great … while insufferable is something that fully explain them, as “insufrible”… and we use it a lot: This person is “insufrible, insoportable”.
            Thanks again.
            God bless you.

      2. Some have confidence and splybdont have the capacity to imagine any other point of view, way to handle a situation, see no reason to believe anything else that what they believe, they don’t even consider there might be a better way than their way, and because they get away with what they do and they never seem to differ consequences that ate bad, and they don’t feel bad ……so they just figure they are right. Not advertising or bragging just quiet singular thought reinforced by the success they do have even just small successes in obtaining what they want. They don’t see physical harm. N they know hurting u but they dont feel it so they don’t understand the negative impacts. “All’s well and so itust be because of what do say think”is an auto rrsponse no reason to question their assessment. This type like to Stonewall cuz they figure what’s to argue.

  2. Marianne. I would tend to agree with you to a certain extent. I think there is such a large pool of individuals who fall into this category that while some NPD might actually have talent and skills there are others who just think they do. I’ve unfortunately met several kinds. My husband unfortunately has many of these types on his side of the family that have caused great turmoil and trouble for everyone but particularly myself and husband due to their erroneous attitudes of entitlement and superiority and almost complete lack of empathy. The one in particular I am thinking about fits what you describe Marianne. She is a grandiose young woman who really does believe she is ‘all that’ and those she defined as ‘inferior’ (ie me and my husband for not fitting into what she valued) she lacked total regard. It’s not because this woman actually did have superior skills and talents to us… She is relatively ordinary, small minded, lacking of intelligence and mediocre… But she still thinks she’s all that. And she’s cunning. She can shape shift to whatever people want to hear and think to catch her ‘target’ as you describe. And the sad thing is, it works, and no one holds her responsible because no matter how much harm she has done to others she makes people believe she was an innocent bystander and/or equal victim though most people who are unbiased and evaluated the situation objectively I doubt would draw the same conclusions. These types of people are just so crafty and all you can do is try your best to stay away from them because they’ll hollow you out and drive you insane.

    1. Marie,
      I understand what you are describing.
      “And the sad thing is, it works, and no one holds her responsible because no matter how much harm she has done to others she makes people believe she was an innocent bystander and/or equal victim.”
      Well, ask someone that was actually her victim. They will not think that she is that innocent creature.
      There is not such a thing as unbiased people, unless you are in a forum like this one or talking with a well trained therapist.
      In order to harm you, these wolfs have to be close to you, and once that they are close by family, work, love or friendship ties, you are part of their crowd, and your opinion is totally biased by the manipulator.
      I am living the same situation with my two stepdaughters, and every single person involved with them is terrified by the idea of their reactions:
      -My husband walking on eggshells and being bullied 24/7.
      -Stepdaughter 1’s husband suffering complex PTSD.
      -Stepdaughter 2’s ex-boyfriend and father of her son scared of what she can and has put in the head of the child.
      -Myself suffering PTSD and making plans for leaving the house and the state for the best.
      Are they grandiose? One of them, sometimes, but the strength of both is when they play the “I am this poor marvelous person who’s life has been ruined by (fill the blank with whatever name or situation you choose)”.
      Now that they have been in my life long enough I can count at least 7 people completely messed up because they trusted/helped them.

      1. This subject seems complicated to me. My STBX had a brilliant mind, attended prestigious colleges, was confident and zealous. Fast forward 30 years. His life is now a complete mess.
        “So they don’t factor into their successes the fortuitousness of circumstances, the support of their partners, etc. In their minds, everything they possess or have achieved is all due to them and their special abilities. Relationship partners usually find this out the hard way, after they’ve been taken for granted, taken advantage of, or exploited.”

        After a 30 year marriage I am divorcing him, and he says “I contributed nothing to the marriage.” And in his mind, he believes this. I don’t how he can be labeled.

  3. Linda

    Narcissists require a constant stream of attention and information ie Narcisstic Supply
    It is that they see themselves as perfect. But ! us mear mortals have to remind them of that. It is like they are not quite sure.
    They use Contempt as a weapon. It underminds you. My mother and grandmother were highly narcissitic.

  4. Linda,

    I think your Stbx can be labelled as the kind of perfectly confident egotist that Dr. Simon described. His very real talents fed his narcissism. The naturally gifted narc doesn’t realize that something a person’s born with has to be kept in proper perspective.

    I find it really annoying when people who were born physically healthy, relatively well off, and gifted with tremendous talent and brains, blah blah blah about how hard they worked to get where they are. Yeah ummmm sure.

    In fact, they were born a couple of feet from the finishing line. Others, less accomplished, are held in contempt by these braggarts lesser human beings, when the circumstances of their birth, leave them limping to the finish line, after what can be compared to the Bataan death march.

    I’m thinking Donald Trump who brags that he was able to ‘acheive’ what he has, after a ‘small loan’ of a million dollars from his father several decades ago. That million would be 10 million in today’s dollars. He’s a perfect example of unbridled malignant narcissism, contempt for others and self-glory. Yuk.

  5. Dr Simon, this is a bit of a bunny trail, but I gotta talk to someone about it. I have just looked into what’s been happening in Sweden for the last so many years. Sweden used to be one of the nicest places in the world. Then, in 1975, they instituted their “multicultural experiment.” Now, they are teetering on the brink of collapse as the huge wave of refugees adds to already sizable problems they were having from many years of slower influx of people who did not integrate.

    As I have searched. baffled, for the roots of the problems Sweden is experiencing, I discovered that in Sweden, the point of view that you have exposed in your work as so harmful — the point of view that people who behave in odious, antisocial ways are really just poor victims of their upbringing or environment, and must be rescued in every which way possible because imposing consequences would be so unfair! — this point of view has overtaken Sweden in the form of fervent secular religion. There is no other word for it. I saw a high level politician break down into tears at a press conference, when announcing that her own party actually, in her own words, forced her to look reality in the face and she had to agree to stop uncontrolled immigration of endless thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands (Germany just registered a millionth refugee and no one knows how many unregistered there are).

    Swedish web sites document case after case of extreme entitlement, where people basically break stuff, vandalize, assault, rape and pillage, and the system is unable, completely unable to deal with them. If the legal system tries to impose consequences, there is an outcry among these folks. A man who was not even a Swedish national raped a 12 year old girl till she was lacerated and bleeding, and got 23 days of community service. When pressured to deport the man back to Somalia, the DA argued this would just be unfair.

    It’s unbearable to read about this. It’s like what we have gone through in our own lives (shared here), but writ large in the chaos in Germany now, in Sweden, and some other countries. To enable bad behavior, the politicians and agencies are sacrificing their own citizens’ welfare in order to accommodate endless demanding young men from cultures of extreme entitlement who have no intention to behave accountably. Even those few who are convicted, most are not repatriated. A man who had murdered someone in Lebanon and then was apprehended in Sweden could not be returned to Lebanon because, well, it would be so unfair that he would go to prison there!

    Nothing in what I am saying is implying that people fleeing bad regimes and wars should not be helped. What I am saying is that large parts of Europe are being swept away by a wave of refugees and migrants, partly because of the point of view that holding people responsible for how they behave is racism and discrimination, grossly unfair, and those who don’t agree are aggressively shouted down and silenced by the enablers.

    A Swedish sociologist (originally from Iran) argues that this “religion” arose because Sweden is one of the most secular countries in the world, and people became vulnerable to this cult and groupthink because human beings need to have something overarchingly meaningful to believe in. People call it Europe’s suicide. Thank you all for listening. I am European by birth and upbringing, and this is horribly painful to witness.

    1. Vera,
      Sweden is one of the countries with highest rate of suicide. It always sounded really odd to m, the fact that in a country where people are born with so many things solved, depression and suicide were rampant.
      The answer to my doubt came in very strange way: my only nephew and niece are Swedish and live there. Four years ago, my nephew started communicating with me almost on daily basis and he was desperate and having really dark thoughts, because his girlfriend (from 14 to 22 years old) ended the relationship, and his friends and people around him couldn’t understand why he was so sad.
      I told him: pray, go to therapy, ask for help, call me at any time, but please don’t try to harm yourself.
      Then he told me that he didn’t know anything about religion, like if that was an old fashion thing, but he will try to pray and go to therapy because he was very scared. I explained to him the best that I could how we, catholic people, pray, and that he didn’t need to be catholic to talk with God.
      I contacted my brother, who lives here in USA and is an atheist, asking him to call his son and give him support. My brother didn’t have any idea about his depression and said that the boy was too sensitive.
      The mom speaks only Swedish, then no way to explain to her what was going on, and my niece, who was 20 at the time, came out with the same “that is nothing” answer. “He only needs to go out and have fun.”
      Thanks God he asked for help, went to therapy and he recovered from depression, but the lesson for him was that God matters, family ties matter and sensitivity is not a bad thing.
      Secularity in the government of a country is not bad, ONLY if is not interfering with the right and the need of every human being to believe in something higher and better than the practical and cold everyday reality.

      1. Marianne, no I did not know that. So happy to hear your nephew got your support and was able to break through! It could be the climate adds to it… when I live in a place that is cloudy all winter I don’t do well. When I was still in Europe I would drag around come late fall. Nobody knew about depression for lack of sunlight in those days…

        Secularity in government, however, can be very bad if it becomes the official religion of sorts. I grew up under communism. Basically, what we had was either the “happy tomorrow” fanatical utopians, or the cynics. I was very fortunate to spend a lot of time with a village family who were genuinely religious (as well as nominally communist, I think for self-protection). And they were the only truly sane and kind people I knew growing up.

  6. Well said, Vera. Cultural relativism run amok. On one end of the spectrum there is the black and white thinking of fundamentalism that places too much responsibility on the individual and frames everything in the harshest moral absolutes. On the other end of the spectrum you have exactly what you have described and what Dr. Simon decries, a complete abrogation of personal responsibility and a society that caters to it.
    I have witnessed, first hand the incredible kindness of Islamic people in my own extended family. I have also had dealings, through my husband, with fundamentalist Muslims, from a different country, who tried to control his family. They themselves had zero respect for Western culture. It was very hard for my husband.

    1. LisaO, thank you. You understand! And to see all the confused people running around blaming Islam… when it is the CDs within any religion… or a secular belief system for that matter, that give it a bad name…

      I think it is not Muslims that ought to be excluded from immigration, it’s psychopaths. They used to check for syphilis in the old days. Why not do fMRIs of people’s brains to identify those without empathy, before giving them a green card?

      1. Vera, I think that would be probably the only thing that would work in screening the refugees. Certainly, paperwork and identification has not worked at all. We are afraid here in the USA of the same thing happening.

        It is so sad to think that the European countries have this happening to them. The things that make them so unique are being destroyed.

        1. Noel, the whole old fashioned paperwork has broken down completely. The people flooding Europe, many are either paperless, or have forged papers, pretending to be Syrians. I read recently there are whole underground factories forging passports. These “refugees” are big business for a lot of people, esp. org. crime. Follow the money, eh?

  7. Dear Dr. Simon,
    I am thrilled to see you’ve announced some professional workshops. Please do keep us posted on your destinations! If you are coming to the west coast, I will be the first in line to register.

  8. vera: “Now, they are teetering on the brink of collapse”

    It’s not only your country. The entire free world has already been infiltrated. It may be many years too late for our countries. The world as we once knew is on the brink of collapse.

    It has been happening for many, many years now. They are hiding among us this very day in our countries, in our communities, in our neighborhoods. The refugees are another symptom of the preexisting world crisis.

    vera: “I think it is not Muslims that ought to be excluded from immigration, it’s psychopaths.”

    I agree, it’s not the Muslims. It’s a disordered political ideology that is hiding behind religion. Hiding behind a religion is something that is also seen in my country. Religion is a cozy, ideal hiding place for the disordered from all walks of life.

    A false religion or a false belief system has a way of tricking people. So what about the enablers? The sympathizers are equally as dangerous. How many of the refugees have been tricked? In the millions and millions of refugees how many of them will sell their souls to the evil ones? Then do harm in the countries that rescued them?

    Perhaps it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. That is until we apply what we’ve learned by following Dr. Simon’s blog and the comments.

    There has been much discussion on this blog about the first step to protect ourselves is setting strong boundaries. In order to live in peace in our private lives, in our countries and in our world we must know what we are dealing with.

    Remember we can be too nice for our own good.

    vera: “I was very fortunate to spend a lot of time with a village family who were genuinely religious (as well as nominally communist, I think for self-protection). And they were the only truly sane and kind people I knew growing up.”

    Perhaps because of their belief in a higher power you felt a light that shinned in the darkness of a secular environment – there was something different about them.

    No government, no nothing can ever take the place of being the higher source of humanity. No man can be a god.

    The village family may hold the key to what peace is really all about.

  9. The situation seems worrying all over the world.

    And it messes me up that some enablers are so willing to pat criminals’ heads there there and do what you want no punishment, just because some idiots want to cling on to their cherished progressivism or whatever the hell it is.

    1. Timothy Yea, that’s right: “whatever the hell it is”

      What matters the most is that we learn how to spot them and take serious action to protect ourselves.

      Enablers fuel the character disordered. Those that choose to be nice and not stand up to injustice. Those that turn their backs, look the other way, keep secrets, sugar coat everything and live by the motto “be nice.” Keep the peace at all cost. People with their heads buried in the sand.

      It’s amazing how people can see injustice right in front of their nose and manage to twist and turn it into some kind of strange mode of thinking thus allowing for all sorts of excuses.

      Perhaps the lies from abusers sound more believable than the truth from victims/targets/survivors. So it seems the character disordered among us and all their lies have the upper hand. They push their agendas and run the show.

      They seem to be crawling out of the wood work. They are everywhere.

      It’s a simple fact of life – if we don’t stand up for something we will fall for anything.

      A vicious cycle – what a mess!

    2. I recently read something about how some researchers either ignore socially dangerous aspects and actions of some groups or outright defend them and attack victims.

      You might want to give this a read. I read this a while back. Goes on to show you what damage it can do when academics and scholars fail in regards to character and/or judgment.

      http://www.apologeticsindex.org/c11.html

      Must be a part of a reason why people find it easy to blame religion, with this euphemistically used term “new religion” being thrown around so casually.

  10. This is so right on target Dr. Simon.
    Not only do they suck you in in the beginning, but even after you realize they are sabotaging you, it is hard to get out from under the spell. I’m mainly talking about the spell of guilt. After being married for 40 years to one very sick individual, I find that I have been “brainwashed” to the point where even though I know what’s going on – he still manages to make me feel guilty. I feel guilt that I wouldn’t bend enough to continue. Believe me I KNOW how ridiculous that sounds. But I’m talking about the deep seated feelings that the intelligent can’t control. I am 59, so this feeling is also a cultural issue I was taught in my childhood and upbringing. Someone younger may not have this issue as much.
    I am hoping and praying for the day when I can completely let go of my sense of failure about not being able to make my marriage last. At this point I realize, that day may never come. I know that for me to had made it work I would’ve had to become silent again – depressed and hopeless again. Hidden any confidence I felt so that he wouldn’t attack it. I couldn’t do that any more. I am sad. I grew up with him, and the last 20 years of my marriage was trying to “fix” it. I was fighting a losing battle.
    I feel he has played with my life – and the only thing worse than that is knowing that I allowed him to.

    1. JEAN,
      I feel like this sometimes too. I think having allowed them to do it isn’t the worst thing. To me the worst thing would be not to take this opportunity to live life to the fullest, find yourself again, do the things you want to do and make these the best years of your life.

      Hold your head up high and laugh and smile. Don’t let him steal your peace and joy. There is so much more,just give yourself a chance. Blessings

      1. Jean: “I am hoping and praying for the day when I can completely let go of my sense of failure about not being able to make my marriage last.”

        Julieann: “Hold your head up high and laugh and smile. Don’t let him steal your peace and joy. There is so much more,just give yourself a chance.”

        None of us are superman or miracle workers. It takes two to make a marriage work and only one to ruin it. Only one – it’s not you, it’s him.

        It’s the same way for all relationships. Caring, sharing, compassion and empathy takes teamwork. The fine art of giving and taking. The character disordered are not team players.

        Knowledge is power and awareness is a weapon.

      2. Julieann,

        Great advise. I left my husband of 30 years and although he’s pounding the hell out of me in court, I have a peace that I haven’t felt in years. Number one, I no longer defend myself from the verbal emotional twisted statements coming from his mouth. I was constantly defending myself – from everything it seemed.
        Yes, there is a better life than living with a hateful CD. I’ve finally found this out. Wish I’d done it much much sooner. But, what is important is the NOW.

    2. Jean, I too was married to one for 45 years. I look back now and see that I saw and heard things that were confusing. It mostly makes sense now. It was subtle and on going. I was busy raising three daughters. I worked full time for about 30 years and part time for about 10. I feel he stole my right to make decisions about what I did and did not accept. He hid his affairs and made promises that he never kept. I gave him the benefit of the doubt all too much. I don’t blame myself because they fool the best. He is very intelligent but lacks in wisdom and common sense.

      1. Noel,

        I have lived exactly what you just stated above. What I do blame myself for, though, is having been too lazy to thoroughly check into matters that I should have, for instance financial matters, and I should have stood firm on demands to see proof of matters I felt uneasy about. I should not caved into his authoritative and bullying tactics. Only through my counselor’s help in seeing his evasiveness during sessions did she teach me, and tell me “Don’t let him walk away from you until you get your answer and are satisfied.” Well, then he would actually leave the house to avoid answering questions or just refuse to give me a straight answer. Even if I got an answer, what I find out now it was all lies.
        Geez, if anyone is stuck with one of these CDs please do all you can to get the hell away from them.

      1. Timothy,
        I know you asked Suzi and I look forward to her response. I googled TV Trove and think you should too. Look forward to what you think. There are some good You Tubes that are spot on. I’ll let you know which ones I think are good. I try to take what seems to be of help to me and discard the rest. There is a lot out there, one needs to be cautious.

        I guess CDN is a hot topic and and every opportunistic sociopath is on the blood trail. So we have to weed out and be very careful. There are many very well qualified health professionals with sites too. I was given In Sheeps Clothing from a health care professional whose associate attended one of Dr. Simons work shops. I was impressed with Dr. Simons history in working directly with these individuals and seeing the truth behind the mask immediately. He was not fooled and he reported his findings without all the psychobabble and gobbledygook. Dr. Simon verbalizes everything in layman terms and makes it so easy for us to understand.

      2. BTOV,

        About Tv Tropes:

        I know the site got a lot of criticism back then because some of its more disturbed, difficult and questionable posters. I’ve heard it from some people I know that have frequented or visited the site. Apparently as a part of a site redesign more troubling folks were kicked out, from what I’ve heard, and it’s gotten a lot better.

        I think the wiki-side’s sensible and their articles do link to different sources, so you needn’t be logged in to get something out of it. Not to advertise the site, but to try to be as fair and objective as I can.

        Do you know something I don’t?

      3. Timothy,

        “Can you say how accurate the article is?”

        Oh, that’s a gottcha question. Well I merely skimmed over it so I can’t answer your question because I haven’t the foggiest idea.

        Since the days of the computer and technology society has gotten to the point where information overload has become a new stressor. I try not to get bogged down in all the stuff that’s at my fingertips. I prefer to keep things simple.

        A word of caution – whatever is written or spoken we must always be careful. Very careful – prudent. Keep a watchful eye for half-truths and lies. Often times words and thoughts mean different things to different people.

        Our responsibility is to keep learning and sorting out the pieces. Then make choices and decide what is good and use it or lay it aside for later. And the rest, all the bad stuff, we throw away.

        Reality is the truth and the truth is – God gave us a brain so it’s our responsibility to learn “how to think” and not fall for “what to think” by someone else’s written or spoken words.

        Big difference between “what to think” and “how to think”.

        Be patient with yourself, dots are connected and puzzles are put together slowly. It’s a lifetime journey, bits and pieces will be found along the way.

        Keep things Simple. Listen to your gut. And always protect your heart.

        1. Okay……….

          It’s insidious, really. “Often times words and thoughts mean different things to different people.” People can have such different private definitions of words and that can cause confusion in its own way. It tends to come forward when conflicts arise. How I wish that wasn’t the case!

          And the curse of the information overload, blight of the modern age, if you will. It’s too easy for more sound info to get drowned in a constant stream of stimuli competing for attention, so I get what you’re saying. That’s without counting all scammers, charlatans and predators of different types lurking or camping around.

          Not to mention, what you say, Suzi, sounds obvious – but isn’t. At least I wish there doesn’t come a time when we live in a totalitarian state and our thinking is stunted.

          Do you mean I should be more careful here? I don’t think I have said anything insulting or unrelated to what anyone else may have said.

          1. Timothy

            “Do you mean I should be more careful here? I don’t think I have said anything insulting or unrelated to what anyone else may have said.”

            No you did not! You have not said anything wrong! Did I write something that made you feel bad?

            This is a safe place with so many wonderful commenters. There’s no safer place to be!

            Timothy you are kool!

          2. Timothy: “And the curse of the information overload, blight of the modern age, if you will. It’s too easy for more sound info to get drowned in a constant stream of stimuli competing for attention, so I get what you’re saying. That’s without counting all scammers, charlatans and predators of different types lurking or camping around.”

            Speaking of information overload, I’m burnt out. The title of a recent article written by Dr. Simon pretty much sums up how I feel. The title alone says it all for me.

            Are You Trying Too Hard to Understand?
            http://counsellingresource.com/features/2015/09/14/too-hard-to-understand/

            I don’t care what makes the CD’s tick – they are destroying everything – they make me sick.

            All I care about is those of us who have been victims/targets/survivors and how to heal and protect ourselves.

            I stopped trying so hard and I’m trying to keep things simple.

  11. Thanks Suzi and Timothy
    We do need to reprogram our being, it can be done with perseverance and yes knowledge is power. I find my strength in God and his word. Then I have to come back here and find the validating articles like you just shared Timothy that reaffirm the truth.
    Blessings

    1. Timothy and BTOV,

      I don’t know off hand what the subject was but I remember Timothy saying a couple of months ago: “Gawd it’s awful”

      It sure is.

      Not only do we have to break the chains that held us hostage to all the lies then we have to reprogram our way of thinking.

      Yep, it’s awful. It’s all so exhausting!

      1. All those sayings we grew up with:
        “Love will beat all odds”
        “Love conquers all”
        “Hang in there! It will get better”
        “You’re just going through a rough time.”

        blah blah blah

        No it doesn’t! We hear the same statements over and over again, as if they are true. They aren’t. It’s just something that’s been repeated to us throughout our lifetime, without us even questioning the truth in them.

        1. Oh yes, those bumper sticker sayings we grew up with.

          Once upon a time I had a wooden plague hanging in my hallway: ‘love means doing the things we don’t have to do’.

          That saying drove me day and night – after many years I got mad and took it down and put it in the garbage.

          Now I live by this: ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’

          You know – like get tough, run, don’t walk, for the hills and don’t look back!

          1. Suzi and Linda,

            I agree. It is impossible for one person to maintain a marriage. It is totally unfair. He thought his new marriage would be perfect, but I think he has found out that it isn’t. Oh, well!

            I always wondered if I could make it on my own. Well, I’ve been alone now for 9+ years and I’m still here! I enjoy my three daughters and their families and he hardly ever sees them.

  12. I think we need to remember and thats where I get stuck, the CDN’s conception of love, is so distorted and twisted. It has nothing to do with love and compassion, growing together and nurturing each others spiritual growth. It is all about ownership and control, power over one.

  13. Vera,

    I hope you are OK?

    Among all the terrifying atrocities that have been happening in your country, I heard that they are now putting threatening letters on people’s front doors.

    Please know that there are many all over the world who care. My thoughts and Prayers are with you and your people.

    1. I am ok, Suzi, thank you! I live in America now. Will the letters wake people up? The whole country has its head in the sand… and the “politically correct” bullies successfully intimidate, and rule the day.

      1. vera,

        Oh gee, I’m sorry for my misunderstanding. But I sure am glad to hear that you are in the USA!

        It seems most of the free world and the leaders are stuck in the sand. I don’t know, but so many things don’t makes sense any more.

        December 15, 2015 – ISIS BEHEADING PLOT
        Sweden is now on lockdown after a series of disturbing letters from the Islamic State were discovered posted on doors across the country. The message, demanding an immediate conversion to Islam, states that failure to do so would result in a steep tax or death by decapitation.

        http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/626885/Islamic-State-ISIS-letters-Sweden-convert-Islam-decapitated-murder-jihadi-Syria

        1. Since the topic has evolved to what is going on in the Character Disturbed world, I would suggest you read
          The Naked Communist by Cleon Skousen and
          Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky
          The Judas Syndrome by Dr. George Simon

          Also look up Lenin who stated First Europe , then Asia then encircle America the last bastion of capitalism. It will fall like over ripe fruit.

          Nikita Khrushchev the Premier of Russia (late 50’s early 60’s) We will invade from within. Spoon feed them socialism until one day you will have communism.

          Now, what is the “ALLURE” to the individual and whole populaces . Consider the dictators above who are the epitome, the ultimate example of the CHARACTER DISTURBED MALIGNANT NARCISSISTIC PSYCHOPATH and the outright MURDERERS of the same people who trusted them. I ask what was/is the “ALLURE” that drew “the people” to trust t in them and then whole nations to follow them.. (Many in silent rejection)

          What is/was the “ALLURE” of the CHARACTERED DISORDERED despots who are trusted and one will ultimately lose their freedoms to, being rewarded with enslavement and tyranny and losing their lives. I believe it is coming an it will be very soon.

          They say it is a phenomena of our age the epidemic of the Charactered Disordered. I ask, Why is That? Where did it begin? This cancer has infested the world. Its not just on the other side of the world. It is in our nation, our government, our schools, our churches, OUR HOMES.

          Our LOVED ONES are infected by this cancer called Character Disturbance. It is The Judas Syndrome that is destroying us , breaking our hearts and stealing the souls of our fathers, mother, sisters, brothers, husbands, OUR CHILDREN our neighbors and our beloved nation.

          Oh the pain the unbearable pain and sorrow. It is so sad the loss. We all have felt the pain here. So helpless, what do we do?

          How did we wakeup one day with sleepy eyes to being alarmingly wide awake, realizing something is wrong, so very wrong? The churning in our guts saying, NO! NO!

          I am humbly praying , diligently, without ceasing for God’s mercy. God be with each and everyone of you.

          Blessings

          BTOV Bonfire Of The Vanities

          1. Do you remember Nikita Khrushchev appeared at the U.N. and banged his shoe on the podium?

            “Your children’s children will live under communism. You Americans are so gullible. No, you won’t accept Communism outright; but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of Socialism until you will finally wake up and find that you already have Communism. We won’t have to fight you; we’ll so weaken your economy, until you fall like a overripe fruit into our hands.”

            ~Nikita Khrushchev Quote, September 29, 1959~

            We’re almost there…

          2. BOTV: “Now, what is the “ALLURE” to the individual and whole populaces”

            The same root cause for all – a deadly decay of the heart = me-ism.

            BOTV: Oh the pain the unbearable pain and sorrow. It is so sad the loss. We all have felt the pain here. So helpless, what do we do?

            We take a leap of faith and reach for the one and only true higher source.

            BOTV: “I am humbly praying , diligently, without ceasing for God’s mercy. God be with each and everyone of you.”

            Amen

        2. Been wondering about those letters. They could be genuine. They could be a provocation by the authorities… who will soon declare them a hoax and chide people for their paranoia. Or they could be a provocation by the pro-multiculti fanatics, also to chide the “xenophobes”. Or they could be a provocation of people fed up with the status quo and perversely trying to wake people up. Or they could be a provocation by those who are actually behind the chaos, the well placed CDs, who are trying to sow chaos everywhere in the world now. Crazy. It’s almost like gaslighting, when you think about it. Chances we’ll never know who really did it.

          We’ll never know until we take the world back from the CDs.

          1. It’s baffling when we don’t know. Thanks, Vera, for pointing out what could be a case. Your comment clears things up nonetheless.

        3. Can I just say, as someone living in the UK, that the Express is a VERY unreliable newspaper (for Americans, think ‘National Enquirer’). In the UK tabloids tend to hammer a message and put out false or misleading reports inciting fear and hatred of immigrants, minorities, etc. to whip up emotion and sell newspapers. Please don’t take it as gospel truth.

        4. Very good that you said that, Gwen.

          Spin, it has different forms according to each one’s agenda. It’s not obvious. It seldom is. The good ol’ lying by omission and distortion, perhaps plain lying, too, are then back in town.

          Alternative medias also may warn against mainstream medias, but aren’t necessarily any more reliable. Myself I’m suspicious of Anti-Media and Fourth Column News.

          1. *Fifth Column news

            Damn, mistyped.

            Actually I’m really not sure about most of the media today altogether.

          2. Mistyped again, except thanks to being tired and thoughts getting all mixed up.

            I’m not sure about media in general ever.

  14. When I read about the decapitation letters I thought they were probably left by hard right pro-fascists, playing on the fear and annoyance of ethnic Swedes….or bored kids!

    1. Vera,
      Interesting thought process, (Smile) all we are missing is Dastardly and his sock puppets. (Smile) In the end I believe we will find out. There is this giant can of worms slipping and sliding, twisting and turning. There all in it together. If he is the real thing he won’t last… Looks and feels, rather, Orwellian. Oh, what a Revelation!

        1. Vera, A very good article, Thanks My first thought was, how did she come across this. It sure is a completely different world from the one of my early years.. Its gone past the edge….. to No Return. I am grateful I am as old as I am.

          How is it going with your father? I took care of my father who was CDN for a year before he died and my other 5 siblings did nothing, not a visit or call to the N father in 15 years. Wouldn’t you know everyone of them showed up for the reading of the will!

          1. BTOV: It’s a bit quiet now, since he tried to hit me with his cane.

            A respite. I have no sibs, I am sorry to say. All up to me. Pray for me dear ones.

        2. Vera,

          Have you personally run into such PC bullies? (This is intended as a neutral question btw; ain’t taking away from anything you say)

          1. Well of course, Timothy. They are all over the web. Just try talking to someone about what is happening to Europe without toeing the “welcome refugees” line. I dare you. 🙂

  15. Wouldn’t be surprised if pro-fascists got more popular, with “tolerant” apologists protecting criminals left and right and flattening people’s reasonable concerns into straw men.

    It’s sad that it’s the more extremist types, who are more vocal and more adept at appealing to people and just as good at bullying more sensible people out. It’s already mentioned how those hyper- “tolerant” people like to shout down anyone, who takes legitimate issue with their policies. Oh no, you ain’t got a point, that would mean I’m wrong. I say you’re a racist! Play a victim card and encourage others to feel like victims and you have a self-righteous wave of stampede waiting.

    Who, these days, are teaching people to make their internal structures stronger so siren calls have less power?

  16. vera,

    “Pray for me dear ones.”

    Yes, I will pray for you. I’ve been where you are. I understand that it’s not easy.

    And I also know how easy it is to forget about yourself – take care of yourself – you are special.

    Many Prayers!

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