Personality and Character Disorders-The Narcissism Dimension

In my books In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbance, and The Judas Syndrome, and in several articles here on the blog, including this most recent series of posts (see also: Personality and Character Disorders: The Continuum Revisited), I make the point that character disturbance exists along continua of quality and severity (see also: Character Disturbance Exists Along A Continuum).  I’ve also long made the point that narcissism is a key dimension of several character disturbances, a fact that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has now recognized officially in the dimensional approach it’s taken in conceptualizing all personality and character disturbances.  Now, the manner in which the APA’s newest diagnostic manual has chosen to treat this issue has many upset because in eliminating Narcissitic Personality Disorder (NPD) as a specific category the psychiatric profession appears to be suggesting both that narcissists don’t exist and that narcissistic personalities aren’t the problem anyone who’s had to deal with such folks knows all-too-well they really are (i.e. aren’t truly “disordered”).  Psychiatry erred, therefore, in the manner in which it chose to address this issue. But it’s definitely on the right track in recognizing that narcissism is indeed an important dimension of personality and a prominent feature of several problematic personality types.

Narcissism is more than just self-centeredness (i.e. egocentricity). And it’s more than just super self-confidence.   It’s pathological self-love (see: Narcissism: Pathological Self-Love), and recently, solid research has emerged supporting the notion I’ve long espoused that not all narcissists are compensating for inner feelings of insecurity or low self-esteem.  In fact, most narcissists aren’t.  They really think they’re all that! And it’s the grandiose and entitled among us that can cause some really big problems for the rest of us (for more information on this topic see the article: Two Types of Narcissism and How to Tell the Difference).

In the coming series of articles, I’ll be showing how narcissism factors in to a wide variety of personality and character disturbances and why it’s perhaps the most essential feature of certain disorders.  I’ll also explain how narcissism combines with other personality characteristics to make certain personality types particularly problematic.

As some of you may already know, two new books are in development, one of which draws from some of the best material on the blog.  I’ll have more to announce once the books are near release.

Sunday night’s Character Matters program will again be live, so I can take phone calls.

89 thoughts on “Personality and Character Disorders-The Narcissism Dimension

  1. Thank you for your work. Separated x1 ur from husband. He is going to counseling at Nystrom Counseling in Duluth, MN. But how does one find a counselor truly qualified to help? The two prior ones were useless.

  2. Hi Mary,

    Yes, just as BOTV said read Dr. Simon’s books and watch his videos and follow this blog. Good counselors are difficult to find.

    Reading and writing when needed allows us to move along at our own pace and at any time of the day and night. And as they say about internet shopping – we can do it in our pajamas.

    Learn as much as you can as fast as you can. Don’t give up but be sure to rest when you must!

  3. Hii Suzi and Mary,

    I read both your posts and they are so familiar. I had the same experience. At my weakest moment he treated me the worst….. It is like you are a wounded animal and the CDNSP can smell blood and they get excited, a power trip, control and a sense of strength and power over one. Think about it, in many cases they then have the power over life or death. Thats a whole lot of I AM GOD POWER. You need medicine, you need kindness, you need nurturing, you need to be fed. You need to be nursed back to health in order to recoup and more scary in some situations to live. They have control over your life or death. When your weak and needy they hate to give of themselves, remember they are selfish. This attitude may change if they have an audience and if they have something to gain. (Life Insurance) I wouldn’t put anything past them.

    In their sick minds they are repulsed by weakness, the frailty created by sickness. Perhaps, they see and fear their own human vulnerabilities and hate you for reminding them of it. I do know they get off on weakness and they will attack and try to destroy you if they can. No worse than the wolf taking down the weak in the herd of sheep. It also shows a lack decency and is cowardly.

    Mary, many of the doctors, regular MD.’s do know when you present to them. But how many patients would believe it if they said: Lady/Sir you have a charactered disordered spouse that is making you ill. This patient may love that person and is blind to the CDN faults and projections therefore the spouse that needs medical attention is the problem. If you present with physical complaints they treat the physical complaints and have to rule them out first with testing. The doctor can’t tell you you he suspects you are being abused and you go back and tell him/her CDN spouse the doctor said my symptoms are a direct result of the toxicity given off by you the CDN spouse. Him/her may not be in a position to understand or will not leave the situation and in many situations it can make the situation worse. It was said to me “You can lead a Horse to Water but you can’t make him drink.

    Normal healthy people just want to get away from these kinds of people as soon as possible, they know they are nothing but trouble.

    On the other hand if the patient is asking the doctor for answers perhaps the doctor but I believe the doctor may be held accountable and is his duty to rule out all physical complaints first and findings must show no conclusive basis for the complaints. Then, the doctor can at his discretion suggest mental health care and in return the person learns about what is making them ill.

    The question Mary asked is how do you find a doctor that can treat these people. One of the reasons is the doctors becomes so repelled themselves by having to dealing with the CDN. It is a constant power struggle. The CDN goes to the doctor for help but in turn goes at the doctor – sledge hammer ready in hand to pound his twisted thinking (nail) into the doctors head.

    Another scenario the CDN are such good liars and so good at playing the victim part (bad childhood) they dupe many doctors. Many doctors are not prepared for the battle of resistance the CDN puts on.

    Many doctors are of the old school of thought that the CDN is hurting and has low self esteem, instead, the doctor is treating and looking for something that is not there.

    I agree so many of these doctors do not have the skills and training and are not capable of treating the CDN. The main problem is the CDN does not want to change, they know full well what they are doing, and love themselves. The CDN is upset that you are onto them and are expecting accountability.

    I hope I haven’t rambled to much and now need to get a little sleep. There is an epidemic of CD individuals today. This has not been the case in the past. Its sad because these individuals only get worse as time goes on and so many in society are brought down because of them. The demise of Nation in the making.

    1. Suzi,

      I believe what is so insidious with the Narcissistic CD are the lies. The lies are the truth and the truth is the lie. Now what is the truth? your truth or my truth? their truth or his truth? It becomes such a jumbled mess of crazy making. I have been told the devil is the master of lies. This world is so full of deceit whose truth do you believe anymore.

      1. Hi BOTV,

        Yes, it’s lies that dismantle and destroy etc.

        You believe the truth that is written in the Book and that which is written on your heart. Your heart is the glue that holds you close to God.

        Who is the father of lies? In the garden who’s voice was heard coming from the serpent – reptiles don’t speak. That is who the father of lies is.

        Do a personality profile on Satan – the profile of abusers fits perfectly.

        1. Linda,

          Are you asking me? Well I don’t know. I’m not a professional. But I would think that years and years of lying rewires the brain in some sort of way that eventually it does some sort thought processing damage, shifting brain functioning. And it would be tremendous blow to their ability to feel empathy and compassion.

          But then, I don’t know – you sure got that right: “so messed up”.

          1. Linda,

            Mine would make the rules and break the rules. Yes, they do believe their lies. I believe somewhere in one of the Topics archived Dr. Simon addresses this.

            The CD I have dealt with know they are telling a lie at first. They have given the lie they want to tell a lot of thought. Once they have told the lie, retell the lie, live the lie, believe the lie, the lie becomes their truth. Deep down do they know they have lied? some of them do and some of them are so delusional it is their truth. I have seen some of the CD after living the lie and telling it for many years reverse course and deny they even ever said the lie.

            True of the CD I went to court with, he made things up as he went along. The wonderful thing about technology the Judge has a screen that prints out the testimony. The Judge: “Excuse me, you just said, XY&Z CD: “No I didn’t.” Judge: ” Just a minute Sir, several paragraphs back you said: “^)&(^^(%*%^%*” The CD stuttering couldn’t lie his way out that one.

            In the end when all their defense mechanisms and protections fall away they deep down know the truth. The next phase is to become completely delusional and burrow down further into their Peter Pan world of fantasy. They go completely insane. Or, they have a choice to grasp some reality and mellow out. LOL Prayer is powerful and I never stop praying for them. I have many in my family, all very different in ways but it is all the same thing, they are DC or CD.

        2. Linda,

          I am not sure if many character disturbed people start believing their lies. More likely, they just simply do not care, and repeating same lie is probably a matter of convenience.

          As a character disturbed, my thinking may go along following line…

          As long as my need is fulfilled, rest is just details, does not matter if it is real or otherwise. Is it a lie? Maybe, maybe not, maybe you care, but I definitely do not.

          If I consider myself to be center of universe (which obviously is not true), then I will need to distort everything around me to fit my belief. That distortion is a lie.
          Do I believe it, if confronted mildly? Oh yes, I believe my center of universe position. If you disturb it, I will sooner or later restore it back in my head.
          Do I believe it, if confronted (exorcism style)? Maybe not.

          1. Andy D,

            Thanks for your input. It helps me deal with my CD husband I’m trying to divorce. He even tell me lies about myself, like I don’t know what I am and have done. When I was communicating with him (big mistake) I’d say “Just keep repeating the same lie over and over again will not make it true.”
            It must be exhausting keeping up the charade.

        3. Hi Linda:
          Answering your question “do they reach a point where they believe their own lies?”
          No. I think they don’t. If the did, they would not change their audience or crowd of followers frequently.
          For what I have witnessed, it is hard to track back the history of these people. At least the three that I know have no long lasting friendships, go from a job to the next one in less than two years (if they work at all) and blame people that you never get to know for their present miseries, even if is apparent that there is no misery in their lives, other than their behavior.

    2. BTOV,

      Thanks for telling it like it is. We are taught to be kind, blah blah blah, but when dealing with these CDs who treat us like dirt, being kind only gets worsens your health and soul. Knowing what I now know I so wish I’d left my husband years ago. What a waste of life he was.

  4. There are two problems – the first being finding a Doctor who recognizes a character disordered person, and the second problem is (even if you do) will the CD be open to therapy?
    My soon-to-be ex of 40 years has from the beginning refused couples counseling, and refused individual counseling. He still insist that our problems are all my fault and he said that 1000 doctors in 1 million years could not get me to forgive and forget. But how do you forgive and forget when their behavior hasn’t changed? He has told me that I expect perfection of him. I am getting stronger in trusting myself and not caving in when he tells me these things, but it is hard after so many decades.
    I have done individual therapy for four years and I believe it has saved my life. When I doubt myself and start to believe his accusations I remind myself that people that don’t have anything to hide or anything they’re afraid of would be open to at least trying couples counciling – especially if it might save a 40 year marriage.
    It still breaks my heart that he would rather walk away from me and our marriage than to put any effort into it. All the time blaming me.
    I have been naïve for many years, not so much anymore. I’m aware of the dynamics going on but it will always be very surreal to me. I will never, ever understand.

    1. Jean,

      The one thing we do need to understand is that they show us what and who they are. They don’t want to change. For some reason, they “need” us. I don’t understand that part. At some point we thought they “loved” us but they have shown us otherwise.
      Like yourself, I’ve undergone immense therapy and when I walked away from a 30 year marriage I was 100% sure I did the right thing. I’m so disappointed in myself, though, for not doing it much sooner. I wish you the best health and hope you find peace and strength and happiness.

      1. Linda,
        It’s very hard isn’t it when it has been your whole life. I also am sad that I wasted so many years – but I kept trying and trying. I felt it was my job to make the marriage work. Even now my support system is weak. I was recently told by my mother that she wished that my husband and I would be more responsible – What? She also said that I have really upset our sons – Who happened to be 33 and 36! The guilt I have felt over the years hearing those things! That’s what kept me in the marriage.
        I think that is why I didn’t listen to my own voice.

        1. Jean,

          So sorry you had an awful support system, which wasn’t support after all. Like you, I kept trying and trying. Wish I’d just have said enough is enough and walked. Now I’ve got a huge mess to clean.

      2. Linda: “The one thing we do need to understand is that they show us what and who they are.”

        They show us, then in the public square they act normal. That’s the terrifying part – they act ‘normal’ in public.

        1. Suzi,

          I think a lot of people understand though that what goes on in a marriage is not always what it appears to be when in the presence of others. Yes, and it is amazing the masquerade that they can pull off. They can “behave” when need be, some of the time. My STBX appeared to “behave” while we were in joint counseling and I was trying to decide to stay or go, and then I came to find out he was lying even during sessions. I am so done with him and his nonsense.

  5. I find it helpful to read this blogger from time to time. He is a recovered addict/narcissist, and echoes what I read on Dr. Simon’s blog: that character (e.g. selfishness and narcissism) is at the root of it all.

    When I am having a hard time understanding why the CD behaves the way he or she does, and my own behaviours in the relationship, I find it helpful to hear the point of view of a person who has been that selfish and narcissistic person.

    Here is just one such link:

    1. Joey zanne

      I have seen Vaknins blogs and so much of what he says rings true. He gave me a lot of insight into CD too. I’ll check out the other U tube too. The pathology of some of the MNCD I have to deal with is right out of the text books. Being said this makes me all the wiser but at the same time know I have a possible ticking time bomb on my hands. The question is how to proceed? Thanks for the input

      1. joey zanne

        I watched that particular you tube, and what the woman said was true about the disconnect of the N. However, there are so many different factors involved in each CD individual. The MNCD I know, knows there is something wrong with him and he knows he cannot deal with anyone nor do they want to deal with him.

        The projection is absolutely true, the vile cesspool of all their rage, guilt, hate, shame, etc…. is spewed unto others. The turning point for me was a specific incident of this. This time I refused to be a receptacle for the toxic waste.

        The MN went //*/$%&^%&$&.
        The next day the MN denied the event ever took place.
        I in turned said Ok!!!!!
        No conversation for a day.
        A day later the MN said; ” I suppose you want me to get down on my knees and beg for forgiveness.” I said “I never said that.”
        He then kept the stance the event never transpired. (Defining my reality)

        I tried to keep the above event short. My point is the above event proves the MNCD knew what he was doing and felt guilt about it in his head. Being who they are then twisted it to fit that I was the one at fault and the next step was to deny it ever happened in their mind and deposited it into their inner cesspool which has huge holding tanks and extension rooms.

        Can you imagine how disgusting it must be inside their being. Dr. Simons book the Judas Syndrome is a work of art. I am going to try to write the story of an individual I know that did turn their life around and have a proverbial come to Jesus moment. I do believe this is the answer, but they must be allowed to hit their bottom just like the other blog describes. They must feel enough pain they will reach out to “want to change.”

        To many times we think we are helping when in fact picking up the pieces for the MNCD we or at least I helped them to be more CD instead of letting them feel the pain and holding them accountable. Thus, maturing and accepting responsibility for themselves. The other big factor is their false pride does not allow their selves the ability to forgive and until they can forgive they will be lost.

        1. BTOV,

          From what I’m reading, these CD’s have so many similarities. It’s like I’m reading my life on other’s comments. The projection, the denial, the lies, the abuse they inflict upon so-called “loved ones”. My CD STBXH will never admit guilt, will never apologize. I had to tell my daughter this, who he has hurt numerous times. I know it’s hurtful, but you’ll never get an apology. I just won’t happen. My counselor told me, after several joint sessions, that he is the most evasive person she has ever encountered in her practice. She taught me how to stand up to him when I confront him, to not back off, that when he felt threatened he would say things to make me “give up” on the topic, she taught me how to now leave till I had my say. Boy did things change then. I was finally empowered. I would “corner” him in my questioning and he would walk out of the room/house in a huff. I never knew how strong I was. Screw him. He’s a coward. And alone now.

      2. BTOV,

        When My some day to be EX’s time bomb did go off, getting caught with prostitutes, spent retirement, savings, lost his law license, and more. I hung onto the marriage much too long and now will pay the price.


    1. Nice idea, those videos, but I couldn’t listen to the computer voice for more than a minute, and I often couldn’t catch the meaning because of the unnatural flow of the words.

  6. Dr. Simon,

    Several months ago I fell upon your website looking for answers to the behavior of my now ex husband whom I married twice.

    He is from Brazil and is now a citizen. I am a first generation immigrant. So, on that level we clicked immediately. I my opinion, an immigrant and a first generation immigrant have some if not all of the same issues “fitting in,” that being said, I was able to adapt but the ex has not.

    I do not think that he has not been able to adapt (although that is what I thought at first and made a campaign of helping him).

    The ex is a Board Certified Internal Medicine, Hematology, Oncologist that cannot keep a job. I got to the point where I observed that if he were in a conference with a huge amount of other doctors, all wearing white lab coats, he would instinctively get in an argument with the one doctor that signs his paycheck. We were married the second time for 7 years, and the ex was fired from every job he had in those 7 years.

    7 years, 7 jobs. I only got feedback from one manager who told me how much she liked me, but the ex, all he does is argue. He was unemployed for more time than he was employed. At this time his reputation preceeds him given the medical field is a very small world and word gets around.

    He believed that people were out to get him and that his lost jobs were always their fault. No amount of discussion could persuade him that just maybe it might be him. His big complaint is that he is being discriminated against because of his Central American origin. Of which he spent much money litigating to no avail. He lost every time. While he was with me I was able to keep this wanton need to fight, fight, fight to a minimum, but the last time was the last time for me and I left.

    The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was when he came back from another lost job, had tried to litigate without my consent and had informed me that because “I don’t do anything!” he was going to keep all the pay from that job for himself.

    When I had begun to make plans to leave he became even more disruptive and one day while I was in my separate bedroom he came in an proceeded to lay on top of me (I am a small woman 125 pds and he 6’2″ @ 260 pds. He lay on top of me, holding my hands by the wrists in a loose clasp, so that there would not be any bruising (recall he is a doctor and he knows how to do these things), for two hours until I would promise not to leave him. I fought like a she cat but I finally had to comply. Once he got off of me I ran down stairs, tried to call the police, and we had a big fight where I was able to run from my house to a neighbor who did not even know me that then called the police.

    Since I showed no bruising, and I was yet not ready to give up completely on our marriage and with the knowledge that if the ex was charged and adjudicated he would lose his license to practice and I was not ready to do that. The police read him the riot act and then they left.

    When he was in the mood, or when he did not get what he wanted from me he would run around the house slamming doors and cabinets, open and shut the dishwasher with a bang that broke dishes and kicked furniture etc. He never broke anything that was his, it was always mine, or something that I treasured.

    He enjoyed walking over my clean floors, with full knowledge that I had just steam cleaned all the wax off of the kitchen floor, with his boots full of mud as I was still on my hands and knees finishing my work.

    The ex would sit in my favorite antique (expensive) chair with a large glass of wine, spilling on the chair as he screamed at me what an alcoholic I was.

    We did not have sex for the last 5 years of our marriage. He said he no longer found me attractive, although later he denied that he said such. He would do this on other subjects, saying them, then when I called him on it he would deny he ever said it.

    When I called my friends he would hide behind the door and listen to the conversations. He also called the neighbors to tell them that I was mentally ill. They knew me and told him that I had done nothing but good for them and he was not allowed to call them again. I was not allowed to talk to people.

    As it continued to escalate, he began screaming at me in public as I was talking to someone, in a place that there were witnesses that knew both he and I. They were shocked, but it did not stop him.

    I had to stop going anywhere with him because of this behavior. Riding in the car with him I also had to stop because once in that enclosed space he would proceed to tell me all the horrible things I was.

    Toward to the end he would not allow me to use the bathroom or take a bath with out him being in the bathroom with me. He always had something urgent that could not wait until I finished urinating etc.

    I could go on but suffice to say I think you pretty much got the picture.

    I ran from that marriage and got an apartment and slept on the floor until I was able to enter our house and take 1/2 (that was mine) and I made sure I had money so that I could exist until the divorce was filed. At this present time the ex does not know where I live although he continues to call me because he wants to see the dog that was awarded me in the settlement. I call the ex deadbeat doggy daddy since he wants me to feed and care for this dog (which I love and the dog is very happy) but he wants to have the dog over for a visit. This last time I agreed with the proviso that he take the dog to the vet and have a wart removed. He refused to pay for it. So I told him that we have nothing left to talk about.

    I tell you all this because your site opened my eyes to what I believe is his malignant narcissism and it is not me (sure, I have issues but nothing like this!) This knowledge has helped me heal and to be strong in the sight of his continued harassment. He will not manipulate me ever again. With your site and the reams of knowledge I found here has saved me.

    I now know it was not me…when I agreed to marry him again after a very short marriage the first time, I believed him when he told me he had changed and that he was on medication and he had had treatment. Just another lie.

    One note that all is not lost. I am a very astute investor. During that marriage I invested very wisely, especially during the crash of 2008 that brought us almost one million dollars. A few more years and we would have had the immigrant’s dream. A better life, a million dollars. That being said, I split the investments down the middle and walked. I am now sixty and I have had a hard time finding meaningful, well paid work. That is OK. I am used to living frugally and with the settlement I will not be poor, maybe not rich, but if I am careful I should always have a warm home to come home to, a place of peace, and a few treats from time to time.

    Oh, yes, I got the two cats too. My animals give me love and they are happy. I am finding my way back to being happy also. Every once in a while I feel less frightened and more carefree…what I felt before I had this profound experience that taught me so much about what drives me. Or, should we say, what used to drive me. My neediness does not drive me anymore.

    Theresa Maria

      1. Noel,

        Dear one, all it takes is that first step and some good advice. I was scared to death…but then I got mad. Stopped making excuses for his behavior. I kinda just shut down, a cold white rage.

        That will get you out of the black hole every time.

        And never ever ever tell him what you are going to do. You will lose all leverage, make him think you are still the little woman ready to be kicked again.

        Theresa Maria

        1. Teresa,

          Yes, getting mad when you should be mad, there is no harm there. When you realize what a jerk these people can be to you it sure opens your eyes to the truth and readies you to leave.

  7. I dont know if I have the strength to do it anymore. He has left me in tremendous debt financially and in every other way…more than once. I wish I could forget he ever existed. I keep thinking God wants to heal the marriage. But I also know it is killing me, and more every time I let him in even a little. In the end I am a worse person for ever having known him. I dont even like me anymore.

    1. Hi Mary

      I am sorry your have such a struggle. Don’t let him take your life too. I went NO CONTACT and it is the best thing I could do with these kinds of people. Its very painful but it will protect you. Read everything you can on no contact. Be kind to yourself and take it a little at a time. Come here and post your thoughts and feelings you are safe here.

      Read Dr. Simons blog, there are so many others that have told a similar story, you are not alone in this. I found prayer the sustaining factor that has gotten me this far. Find what works for you and possibly it would help to find a supportive therapist or support group to help you through this.

      Take very good care and blessings.

    2. Hi Mary,

      I understand the tremendous debt and all the emotions that go along being treated badly. It sounds to me like you know what you need to do. Don’t let him steal away the rest of your life. There is no good enough reason to let that happen. And like BTOV said, No Contact is the best thing you can do for yourself. Yes, those life-suckers are exhausting.

  8. Teresa Kielty,

    Your ex sounds like a board certified lunatic! So happy for you that you are out of there! My God. And what a creep half crushing you with his body weight. Ugh.

    As an aside — to any woman finding herself in this kind of position — and I know it sounds grosse. Cops will tell you that if you think you are going to be raped, (or in your case, crushed to death) fake that you are going to throw up. Just start gagging.

    Your story has to be one of the more interesting, in that, your ex is degreed up the ying yang, has or had so much potential to have a great life, but blew it all by being such a weirdo.

    And, what is particularly interesting is that he has strong narcissistic symptoms, but don’t think narcissism, in his case, would be the actual diagnosis. If I had to guess, I would label him a paranoid sociopath. And narcissism is a part of that disorder.

    I think, though am not sure of this…Most non criminal pure narcissists present very well to the outside world, would use their credentials to advance themselves and would be much more stealthy than your ex. Would kiss up to authority…I think.

    Whatever he is…yikes! I wouldn’t let him near any pet, not even to have a wart removed! Just happy for you that your biggest wart has been excised from your life.

    It’s wonderful when it finally dawns on us that we are dealing with rigid personalities who won’t/can’t change. It makes it so much easier to just throw up our hands and leave or give them the boot.

    If it’s family, that once a year imperative get together, air kiss and all, that they hate as much as you, is all you have to show up for. If not ‘no contact’ really really LOW contact!

    1. Theresa Kielty,

      My sentiments echo LisaO. He sounds like a nut job just like I have. If you were awarded the dog then that is how the courts ruled. By you allowing him to interact concerning the dog you are still connected to him. I am sure he could get another dog if he wanted to.

      My dog was awarded to him and I was crushed. I would had liked to have seen my dog again but it would had only kept me connected to him and I spent enough of my life with him and trying to disconnect from him.

      So, I got a rescue dog, a 9 month old beautiful Pomeranian/Sheltie that would had been euthanized. I will say given the aberrant behavior I wouldn’t trust my dog with him. These individuals are capable of anything and I hope you consider just maybe, to get back at you, and this is one scenario, he calls and says the dog ran off and he cant find him….. then what do you do? Something to think about.

      How do you finally go on with your life without him being in it?

    2. LisaO: “If not ‘no contact’ really really LOW contact!”

      For those who cannot go no contact – consider what LisaO suggested – really really LOW contact.

      It may work well enough with adult children if they are already out of the house and for the sake grandchildren.

      As for those who are living in the same house with spouses/partners then there may be ways you can live together, but separate.

      I know it sounds strange and believe me it is! But there a lot of people giving it their best shot.

      It’s no picnic, but…………

  9. Mary Schneider,

    If you are dealing with somebody who is hurting you and has no desire to stop, as evidenced by repetition, I would think God would want you to get the Hell (literally) out of there!

    1. Ladies,

      I am in complete agreement. I will not allow my dog to go with the ex. The ex, without my knowledge encrypted his own address and telephone number into the dog’s coat. I found out because my vet knows the whole story and decided to see if the ex had done just what he did do. In other words, it shows that the dog just might be his if someone questions ownership…however…I still have the settlement document that states the dog is MINE. My attorney made sure her name is on there with everything else I was supposed to get that took a whole year for the ex to comply and we had to file a Motion for Contempt and so the ex finally fulfilled his obligation. He is terrified by the law.

      I moved to a place that has a strong police presence and which they troll the grounds day and night. Like I said, he does not know where I live and there is no one he can ask,,,they would never tell him since they do not know either. It has been almost 3 years and we are still going through this.

      Thank you for your support. I took a lot to write this here. It is like a testimony of something one would never believe…but you all believe because you have been there done that. I have tried to discuss it with people and they look at me like I caused it or was making it up. They just do not get it. Shoot, I do not blame them. This is not your run of the mill abuse story. And when you say you divorced a doctor then they really think you are nuts. Which to my mind, they must be nuts if they are willing to put up with this kind of really scary behavior just to be married to a doctor.

      Oh, well. And the amazing thing about this whole story, to my mind, is that because he is so friggin intelligent he got ALL of his medical education for FREE on merit. Go figure. And now he can only get short temp jobs because he is almost 57 and has never kept a job for more than two years and they gave him a bad reference when they finally let him go. It was a government contract job and he flew under the wire with that one. Hard to get fired from a government job, as you well know…but he did.

      I am totally no contact now and thank you again for the back up. I feel so very alone living the memory of this. I have had therapy but that only helps to a point. I believe that the ex is dangerous and that is a cross that no one can bear but me. I do not know when he is going to explode and whether that means he will explode over me. Sorry, but sometimes I just get scared that he will blame me for all of his failings and start looking for me. He is like that …. into revenge, big time.

      You have a good night and I hope to post more in the future. There is so much more, but I am just too tired to list all of the craziness of those 7 years.

      Theresa Maria

      1. I need to clarify about saying “run of the mill abuse” I did not mean to minimize any abuse whatsoever….I just meant what people are more likely to hear about, or experience when they are with a person with jerk qualities, see them and run like hell. That is what I meant by the difference.

        Theresa Maria

        1. Teresa, why don’t you go “no contact”? Why in the world do you still speak with him, allow phone calls? Other than that, your story is very inspiring, and good luck to you. You sound like the person who will have a whole new wonderful life in a few years. Fuggetabout working. Go have fun! :-)

      2. Theresa Maria,
        I hope you do come back and post. Get it all out, so many of us have experienced the same thing and everyone is most willing to share and support you. We learn so much from each other and our experiences are validated.

        Dr. Simon has written 3 excellent books about these individuals and I would encourage you to buy them.
        1. In Sheep’s Clothing
        2. Character Disordered
        3. The Judas Syndrome
        Dr. Simon also has a radio program and is on u-tube.

        I hope you have peaceful and restorative sleep.

      3. “He is terrified by the law”

        It must be mighty funny to watch him transform from roaring lion to meowing cat in front of lawyers/cops. :-D
        Well you know the details, but it just may be a case of practicalities associated with situation, instead of a genuine fear of getting punished after getting caught doing the wrong thing. ;-)

        1. Andy,

          I think what I meant to say about being terrified of the law is that the ex is terrified to lose his license to practice medicine (and he knows of those that have for domestic violence and they can’t get a job) and he is also terrified of being deported even though he is now a citizen (thanks to my telling him to become so since the seas are changing around the whole issue of immigration). That being said, he is a dual citizen and just because you got your citizenship in this country but it is not the country of your birth you can be shipped back to where you came if you do a violent crime.

          That is what he is afraid of…not because they are some sort of authority figure.

          Theresa Maria

          You see, I was a litigation paralegal who ran with the big dogs at Federal level for 20 years. Another reason he wanted me in his camp. I know a lot about the process and I know a lot of people in the field (or at least I used to).

      4. Theresa Maria,

        I believe every word. So sorry this all happened to you. Some day I hope to be totally NO CONTACT but for now I have some and EVERY time I see his email pop up I feel emotionally sickened.


    2. I think you are right. And I that not letting go is more my problem. (God hating divorce…etc…) Strange tho, is if I say I want a divorce, he agrees but wont cooperate on the paperwork. If I say let’s stay together, he agrees but refuses to actually implement any changes that I say I need. All talk. No action. Ever. I’m depleted. I’m 50 and have no security at all in this world. If I dont plan for my future years now I will be destitute or dependent on my kids.

      1. Mary,

        I’m feeling your pain, being in the process of divorcing a disbarred attorney. Imagine that. Yes, your husband will be a royal pain to divorce. And expensive. It’s good to do your homework before leaving the man, such as going to the banks and finding all accounts in your name. (you won’t have access to any accounts not in your name). I had to close joint accounts. Good thing I had bank clerks who worked with fragile situation. Also, I’d snoop around the house and gather documents and keep a journal. There is a smart way to “leave”. It needs to be well thought out. Sounds to me like you are taking the steps to do what needs to be done.

  10. Thank you for believing me.

    For those that do not have the resources to leave…then start to build them. You think I did not know I needed other resources other than what the court or he would give me. Three years in I made a decision to start a way to be able to walk away regardless of what he may or may not do.

    Start now.

    And for gawds sake if you are not really ready to do this then do not. Telling him.her that you intend to do this is just you expecting them to somehow love you. Sure, they, in time, may or may not give you love, but in the end…you have to give yourself love….start stashing..

    When they give you the love you deserve, and after about a gazillion years of that love, go on a cruise around the world with the stash that you kept for the lean and mean years that never happened. Shoot, women have been doing this for time immortal.



    1. Telling hoping somehow they will love you…yes. “Perhaps I haven’t worded it juuust right yet. Let’s have another go around the bend.”

  11. Its so very hard to let go of our hopes and dreams, our futures. But then, can we call that any kind of life, to constantly forgive and forget. In respect we become like them delusional, believing a lie. The lie that they are sane and we are insane. So in order to live the lie and survive as a mere shell, we must give the last drop of hope our last drop of blood/our being to finally lose all freedom from reality, this is their dream and the only peace we might find. A living Oblivion Express.

    We have fulfilled our dream to have lived out our life with the one we love in a pathetic shell of nothingness, fulfilling the needs of every leach that can latch on for a ride. Perhaps, they can all start feeding off our carcass and I say that in respect to once we are 6 feet under what assets you may have left they covet.

    Many times the tears will well up and I cry and cry, it is not easy this cross to bear, the rejection, but perhaps, that is why Dr. Simon called his book the Judas Syndrome because in fact we have been sold. We have been sold a mountain of lies, in order to use us, drain us dry, lie, cheat and steal. Who does that Suzi? Yes, we know the answer. So how do we break free? The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God. Shout it from the rooftops I say!

    Whenever, I start feeling soft and I get a warm feeling of what could had been and the little bud of hope starts gnawing, I start reading Dr. Simons site and all the postings and I know the truth again, like having a nice cold glass of refreshing water thrown in my face. How invigorating. Blessing to all and may the truth set you free.

    Suzi, yes, if you replace the word narcissist with the word abuser or vice versa, oh how sickening, they are the same person and whole lot more, we haven’t even begun to speak about those definitions in this topic this week yet. Narcissist sounds better, it give them a psychiatric out instead of calling them what they truly are.
    ABUSIVE BULLY’s and they know what they are doing They are selfish and don’t care about anyone that isn’t of use to them. Its beyond Tums time.

    1. Hi BOTV,

      “Who does that Suzi? Yes, we know the answer.”

      Yes we know, reptiles don’t speak. In the garden the voice coming from the Serpent was the voice of Satan. He is the father of lies. It ALL started with the first lie.

      Hope has been real tricky for me. Many times, so many times I have burnt myself out on my hopes. I have been trying to learn to place my hope on more realistic and stable grounds. It hasn’t been easy. Interestedly many of my hopes were based on lies that I told to myself. Now I figure that if I can make sense out of nonsense then I am likely lying to myself.

      We have to keep faith and hope alive. We have to! And my golly every once in a while miracles do happen. Yes, miracles do happen, yet I don’t hold my hope for one but I sure as heck watch for them and I’m ever so grateful when they happen.

      Oh yes, the Judas Syndrome – sold for a few sliver pieces. The days between the Last Supper and Easter gives the viewer the perfect picture of the mindset and mentality of the disordered. Perfect! No better description ever described. There is no path that we take that He hasn’t taken before us. He knows it all and He cares – BOTV, that’s where we place our hope.

      With the zillions of descriptive words to describe disordered behavior it merely adds more confusion to good people’s way of thinking. Thus the confusion is exactly what the father of lies loves – smoke screens, confusion, and chaos, for individuals and for the masses.

      Narcissist, abuser, bully etc. – the list is endless for names, labels, buzzwords that have been used throughout history. Absolutely endless. Call it whatever, divide it into different categories, sub groups and add in all the what’s, ifs, whys and maybes, it doesn’t much matter, it’s all the same root. Different behavior styles and different patterns – all with the same root cause.

      The psychiatric labels have given the disordered plenty of medical disorders to hide behind. The past 50 years or so the medical reasons have caused more confusion and that in itself gives the disordered an edge and provides them a warm comfortable hiding spot and a hell on earth for good people. As said, they thrive best in confusion and chaos. And that in itself has made it easier for the lies to spread among the good people and fuels enablers.

      The enablers see it something like this – Oh the poor little things. Give them a break. They’re trying. They have a medical problem.

      I think[?] I read this somewhere on this blog: “I killed my parents, don’t you feel sorry for me, I am an orphan.”

      They come like thieves in the night and steal from all those who care and from those that truly need the psychiatric research, services and medical care. They steal from ALL walks of life. The burdens and cost is overwhelming causing a domino effect throughout society.

      A matter of degree but all the same root….man’s decayed and rotten heart….evil. It’s a battle between the good and the bad; between the givers and the takers.

      It’s all about the lies.

      Give Satan an inch and he’ll run with it every time.

    2. BTOV,

      Wow, you have a way of expression. It’s right on point.

      “Whenever, I start feeling soft and I get a warm feeling of what could had been and the little bud of hope starts gnawing, I start reading Dr. Simons site and all the postings and I know the truth again, like having a nice cold glass of refreshing water thrown in my face. How invigorating. Blessing to all and may the truth set you free.”

      I do this same thing. It’s like GET REAL! Reflecting in the past and daydreaming is kind of like hallucinating. That mind of ours can surely go places…….

    3. “In retrospect we become delusional…” I watched “I, Psychopath” last night. His wife was, indeed, delusional. I think I have have heard it called trauma amnesia? Or something similar? My counselor did say this to me. Why??! How stupid can one be? All of that abuse time and time again, and his denials of any responsibility. His ability to turn all of the blame on me and just as I forget all the evil he
      does, he has zero recollection of any good I have done. I helped him clean up his life and his credit among other things. He has ruined mine. Why is this so forgettable to us as empaths??

      1. “In retrospect we become delusional…” I watched “I, Psychopath” last night. His wife was, indeed, delusional. I think I have have heard it called trauma amnesia? Or something similar? My counselor did say this to me. Why??! How stupid can one be? All of that abuse time and time again, and his denials of any responsibility. His ability to turn all of the blame on me and just as I forget all the evil he
        does, he has zero recollection of any good I have done. I helped him clean up his life and his credit among other things. He has ruined mine. Why is this so forgettable to us as empaths?? And he did leave me about a year ago, leaving me to complete a renovation project in my brother’s house that HE promised to do. I’ve just been unsure if he is a salvagable human being or not. I think not.

        1. Mary: “Why is this so forgettable to us as empaths??”

          Because we share and care about others – we have empathy and compassion and we do not hold grudges and we not keep score.

          1. “Because we share and care about others – we have empathy and compassion and we do not hold grudges and we not keep score.”

            Really? This whole site is dedicated to “holding grudges” and “keeping score”. You can’t be serious.

        2. Mary,

          I ask this: why would you feel the desire/need/responsibility to put so much effort into making a relationship with a person who makes your life miserable? There does come a time when you need to look at yourself and take care of yourself. It sure is much easier to look after yourself than jumping through hoops with a CD. It’s exhausting and, in my case, not worth the effort. (that is after 30 years)

          1. Mary,

            I just don’t give a crap about my EX anymore. He has done so much harm. Screw him. Let him live in his own filth.

          1. Linda, Timothy, Mary,

            I watched I psychopath and found the film rather disgusting. First of all I have watched many of Sam Vacknin’s YouTubes. So many of the things he says are very true because he is a CD Narcissist. We know that he is very smart, on the other hand we know all the deceitful characteristics of the narcissist and one of them is being a lier. Using someone like Vacknin as the mouthpiece for understanding Narcissism and or Psychopathy is a very poor choice.

            All I can say is, Vacknin has been imprisoned for his past conduct in taking advantage of people. He has several venues that he gets attention from and probably derives further supply and revenues from. He lives off the proceeds of doing interviews and his writings. Now he has made a so called “movie” WOW talk about a non stop flow of Narcissistic Supply.

            I personally found the film to be rather “cheap.” Vacknin makes out like it is normal to treat people the way he does and TO Bad for anyone that needs something from him because that is how he is wired. I think he is creating an environment of acceptance. I personally found the movie nauseating. Learn from it I did but what will less informed individuals take from it?

            Just my personal opinion.

    4. BTOV,
      I call these people vacuums. They suck everything and everyone, then they move on looking for the next room/victim/good person/people pleaser, and they repeat the act.
      I have been a few days using the “observe don’t absorb” technique, watching my own life as if was a movie… oh boy… it is amazing the demanding behavior, the amount of responsibilities that my so call “family” has put over my shoulders without even asking if I am willing to do what they want or not. The vacuums in full power.
      You are absolutely right when saying “We have been sold a mountain of lies, in order to use us, drain us dry, lie, cheat and steal.”
      I was thinking today: Shame on me, for believing all their BS.
      Then, after the guilt trip, I thought: Shame on them for their infrahuman lives.

      1. Marianne

        I have many CDN in my family. I came across this quote by

        Samuel Butler: I believe more unhappiness comes form this source than any other. I mean the attempt to prolong family connections unduly, and make people hang together artificially who would never naturally do so.

        This quote said it all for me. I don’t like these people, I would otherwise never have anything to do with them, why am I forced to interact. I decided I don’t have to be around them. Its a wonderful feeling and so much less drama, peace and quiet.

        My little rescue dog is so much joy too. It is something when you are around these emotionally deplete individuals whose goal is to drain you of your peace, don’t give it to them. Find someone or something that gives back and encourages your growth and happiness.

        Blessings and thank you for sharing

        1. Linda,
          I found out about the “observe don’t absorb” technique a few years ago, and it is difficult to put in practice on daily basis, but if you use it once in a while it brings complete clarity about reality.
          Warning: Reality is painful to discover, nevertheless, it is better than these blinds that so often we have chosen, because we cannot believe that people who we love and care for are damaging us in the most insidious way.

  12. As you will notice, I changed my last name….not a good thing to be so transparent so going forward it will be Teresa K.

    I found for myself that the deciding moment for me was when I knew I was starting to become ill physically and mentally. The stress of dealing with the fall out from his actions was taking a major toll on me. I started to think….Good lawd, what if I stay with him and we retire together. Then I will have to deal with all of his crap when I was entering the last portion of my life on this earth. I also knew that he was beginning to go down hill big time. I have always said “f@@ck with me but don’t f@@ck with my money.” And he had begun to do that I will not be in poverty in my old age. I grew up with little, I was not going allow him to do that to me when I am old. I finally got angry. Very very angry.

    When I was young I realized that I had a real temper. I made the choice to stifle that temper because I saw the damage my mother did with her unbridled temper. But that temper is still there. When I finally let that anger lose…it was total action. No turning back. It was a cold anger, rage, I would say. I was able to look him straight in the face and be the sweet wife (kinda), all the while gathering the financial info I needed to prove that he took $100,000 and hid it. I always had the responsibility of handling the money. So when I was ready to file I had all the documents I needed to show what we really had. All the way down to the furniture and the value of the cars, what I brought to the marriage, what he brought to the marriage. I also had been stashing cash for 5 years and believe me that saved me…why? Because, although I had run our business, I did all the background business of his contract work, it meant nothing when I started looking for decent paying work. Age 60 forgetaboutit! I have a part time job as a substitute teacher now making $10 an hour.

    I am just waiting for 62 when I can collect on Social Security. Just remember, if the marriage lasted more than 10 years you are entitled to a cut of his Social Security. To bad for me I did not stay the full 10 years. I would be sitting pretty. But freedom is the price you pay for less money. I think that is more than a good deal.

    Freedom from hell. Yep, he never saw it coming. Never believed I would do it. Which ended up being good for me, like I said, he never saw it coming so he didn’t have time to hide anymore money or do something else. Just remember….never tell him/her what you plan to do. Just think of it as an emergency fund. Shoot, I got a bank deposit box and paid cash for it so there was no record. I filled that sucker every week I went to the store. Pennies, dimes, dollars…it all added up after awhile. And now, I can get to retirement because I have the extra cash to keep me from starving. Oh, and do I feel bad about it. Nope. Not at all. He is not the only one that has a penchant for winning. That is the immigrant in me. Fight to have a better life. And he has money in Brazil that I could not prove he had.

    Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

    Oh, yea, when your attorney tells you to not take anything from your house don’t listen. When the soon to be ex is at work, you pull up with the movers and haul out 1/2. Make a record of it. Take pictures. I did. Movers do this sort of thing all the time. I was able to show that I took half and that is all the court cares about. Do you really want your stuff waiting for you in the front yard as it pours down rain and ruins everything. It has happened.

    Just remember marriage is something about love BUT divorce is all about the money. It is all about the money and don’t you ever forget that or you will walk with nothing.

    Thanks for those that said they believed me. You have no idea what a stroke of caring love that is to me!

    One last thing, it really hurt to have to do what I did. I wanted that marriage. I wanted him. When it was good it was really good, but that all went away and I had to choose. I chose freedom. I felt guilt for leaving what I see as a mentally ill person. I will carry that but the weight is getting less and less as I learn just what he was. Maybe not mentally ill, just one SOB and for all his education not a very smart one at that.

    Theresa Maria

    1. To all you Kindred Spirits,

      Just a big hug and thank you for the kind words. All of have have shared and spoken from your heart.

      I would like to caution any of you going through or contemplating a divorce your emails can be used in court, so be careful. If necessary use an alias for safeties sake. Another thing to check on, get a copy of your credit report. Prior year tax returns may prove useful in revealing accounts bearing interest where I believe the government or bank sends you a statement a (1099) on interest that has to be reported. Being a joint filer, if you don’t have a copy you will be entitled to request a copy from the IRS.. Take pictures of everything you own, I mean everything. If he/she is that disordered they will count your “underwear” and I am not kidding.

      Just thank you, all of you, on the days that are so difficult all of you make the difference. God bless all of you and I pray your pain and suffering is just a little less too. We give each other the strength to go forward. A kind word, a soft touch, encouragement, sharing resources and understanding, it really makes a difference.

      You can then see a glimmer of hope a developing smile that has been vacant for so long. Little things that can give us that little push to go forward. I have to say some of the things these CD have said or done has given me a much needed “belly laugh” it so insanely ridiculous. Since we have gone through so much, I ask, can we use this last portion of our lives to make these the best years of our lives? I believe we can!

      1. Such wonderful practical advice from so many here about divorcing the disordered. And so agree that you have to act stealthily when dealing with someone who has your worst interests at heart.

      1. Linda,

        If possible have as little contact as possible. Try not to engage. Not having to get the last word in – is the last word! More than anything he wants to get your goat. Ignore him unless you really have too, believe me it is the answer. Remember they can become desperate to get even and if you think he lies now, it can get far worse. Just be very careful.

        1. BTOV,

          I’m FINALLY to the point of very minimal contact. I still get emails from the loser because we have to split household bills, per court order. And, of course, each email comes with a “get your goat” comment. Yeah he gets my goat. But I step away and don’t respond to it anymore. I like that – no word is the last word. And it’s so important to him, for some reason, to ALWAYS get the last word. And, yes, he certainly does worsen. He’s out for blood – in court for now anyway. The lunatic has two safes full of guns, semiautomatic, sniper gun, you name it. And that’s a whole nuther issue.

  13. Please do not think that I went about this without making a boatload of mistakes. It took 5 tries for me to finally end the marriage. 4 x I moved out to a hotel, the 5th time I called him while he was as work and told him I was leaving him. I thought he was at work but he was not….he was home just as I was pulling away. With his doctors lab coat on he proceeded to open the passenger car door, I am still driving the car, he is hanging onto the door and then he sees me look at my purse and then he grabs it, I grab the other side and we are in a fight over the purse, going 25 miles a hour in our apartment complex when I young man in a big landscaping truck hears me screaming.

    The young man gets out of his truck and runs toward us…the ex jumps off the car, lets go of the purse and starts running back to our apartment. The young man asks me what is going on and I tell him that I am trying to leave my husband. The young man shouts WELL GET GOING BEFORE HE COMES BACK! That gawd for young men in big trucks!

    I was crazy that first year after the divorce. I had night terrors, no friends, no family, no job. I got a job. The second year got alittle bit better but I did not go out after dark. I basically hid in my apartment. How I was able to finally get what was coming to me, get a job, keep a job (I have had the subbing job for two years now and am a favorite at a few of the better schools), I drank too much, but that is now under control and I kept off the pounds. I just got a yearly panel done and I am healthy. Thank goodness for that! Sorry to say, I am losing my hair, stress related and due to a family history of alopecia. But it is not too bad and I just got a cut that hides most of the thinning!

    Well, so don’t think for a minute that I am strong and this was easy. I had my doubts right up to the paper signing. If he would have agreed to counseling we would still be together. But the counselor told me….you either stay and accept what he is or leave because he is not going to change…he thinks there is nothing wrong in his behavior. So those were my choices….stay or leave. Simple. So I gave up. And giving up in very hard for me to do.

    After the divorce he lost through Weight Watchers 110 pds. He is down to 155 pds at 6′ 2”. He looks terrible. Like an old man, the skin just hangs off his face. But he thinks he looks great so what can I say. He doesn’t even look like anyone I know and he was one good looking man before he lost all that weight. I like to think that his behavior has finally caught up with him and it shows in his face. Sad, very very sad.

    Theresa Maria

    1. Theresa Maria,

      What a beautiful name. You are so right it is so very very sad. What a wasted life and the even sadder part, the sheer tragedy is all the innocent people they try too and do destroy along the way. All I can say is my heart goes out to you and I truly and all the others that come here do feel your pain. Know you are not alone.

      I hope you can find strength in sharing your story, I know it has given me strength to have read your experience and I thank you for sharing.

      You are in my thoughts and prayers.

      1. BTOV,

        How very gracious!

        And I thank all of you. Getting this out is like opening a wound again…but what does not get cleaned out, festers.

        I feel like I am in limbo. I have a dog and two cats (I got the furry kids in the divorce) and I made a promise to take care of them until it is their time. I just got notice that my apartment complex has been sold, I just moved in two months ago, and the rents are going up. JEEZ

        This apartment complex does not charge a monthly pet rent but it appears that along with the non refundable deposit there will be a monthly charge. Sure, I got a decent settlement and it is around $370000 at this time. I have a part time job substituting but that does not cover my bills. I began taking my dividends and cap gains at 59 1/2. I realize that to many this would seems like a boat load of money but not when my rent is half of my expenses. Oh, shoot, I think I am going to become a bag lady! I will figure this all out. It was just a shock. Plus I have two friends, one of which just had her kidney removed (cancer) and we all will find out if it has spread tomorrow. Sometimes life just sucks. And I have had the flu for over a week now. JEEZ AGAIN!

        Theresa Maria

        1. Teresa,

          Thanks for sharing your story. Yes there is a lot of us who have been abused in numerous ways by these CDs (I call mine “jackass”). I find even through the rough times of a difficult divorce (financially and strategically ) I am still more a peace than living with the crazy mean bastard.

  14. And my $0.02 –

    I always thought there was something creepy about Vaknin. It’s also horribly creepy that these characters are coming out of the woodwork all over the internet. The more they get their stories out the easier it will become for future generations to feel more comfortable and accept them as simply being different.

    That’s the way things go in life. Things that bothered us in the past 20-30-40-50 years ago become acceptable to those coming up behind us. People slowly learn to tolerate the intolerant. Another example of dumbing down the people – a slow change in people’s perceptive. A slow type of brain washing and controlling the masses.

    Vaknin and others like him send the message: ‘look at me. I’m a malignant narc and I’m trying to teach you something. See, I’m not such a bad person, just different – if you’d only try to understand.’

    It’s a dumbing affect and it’s contagious. The more dumbed down a person or the masses becomes the easier it is for the liars to control.

    All those students on the school bus that attacked an innocent student were not all psychopaths – the were likely emotionally dumbed down and trained by the social environment in which they live. It’s happening all around us, in every area of life. Nothing is being untouched.

    Accepting difference means many things. But give me a break, how about these creeps allowing me the right to my own good old common sense. It doesn’t mean in any shape or form accepting or tolerating people who have a faulty, weak or lack of an conscience. I may be stupid, but not that stupid.

    It’s Pandora’s box, the doors are opening, eventually they control the world. Maybe they already do!

    1. Suzi,

      I could not even finish the movie. I got through part 1. That was enough for me. The only part if Understand about these narcs are that they could care less about us, are entirely focused on themselves and what they want. Who needs them in their life? I certainly don’t.

  15. OK more confession time.

    I told no one this until now. I just did not want anyone to know what a crazy person the ex really is. I was still protecting him from himself (enabling), and protecting myself too since we had to move around the country I was not able to keep my career…in essence…his career was my career. Ah, yes, the Medical Marriage. That is what it is called. All energy goes to the medical career, laid at the alter of the all mighty dollar.

    Why did I marry him again. Sure, I could say he pulled the wool over my eyes, but in the dark of night I am able to now admit that I wanted that paycheck….I wanted the instant credibility that comes with being married to a doctor, I wanted the status.

    There, I said it.

    Nothing prepared me for his breakdown though.

    Yes, he had a breakdown of sorts when he lost the 6th job. Seems he was hooking up with a nurse and something happened that I can only glean facts from what he said. The ex never stopped talking about this nurse and that her answer to all life’s questions was to have sex. What do you think, were they already doing it. Sure. Then they got caught doing gawd knows what at the hospital…the ex told me that their supervisor told both of them that he would fire them both if they didn’t stop…didn’t stop what. There sure are a lot of beds in a hospital so knowing the ex and that he wouldn’t stop talking about this nurse and how her answer to everything is to have sex.

    Doesn’t take much to connect the dots. He was again quietly let go. I was commuting to where he was working by this time, I had had moving a four bedroom house by myself (sure I had movers, but I did the packing and I got very good at it, the logistics and all, finding a new place to live, then having to start all over again when after less than a year he was quietly let go again. As far as he said, all they said is that he is just not a “good fit” Which you know what that means!

    So he comes to the hotel room where we were staying and he has a meltdown. And I mean a REAL meltdown. He grabbed me and held me down on the bed (this was the first time) crying and begging me not to leave him, totally lost it. He got on the phone with a doc that was an kinda buddy and stayed on the phone for 6 hours. The doc kept him from being locked down in a mental facility for a breakdown. If that would have happened, his license would have been suspended for issues of mental stability. Those docs stick together about stuff like that. Anyway, this doc that kept him talking on the phone was a good doc, caring, kind.

    The ex had a way of making buddies with the real caring kind. Then after a while, they would quietly disappear. I attribute this more to the ex just not keeping up a connection with them unless he wanted something. He has no friends in the world. He told me once that he hoped that he died first because he did not want to be alone. He did admit that was purely selfish on his part. But was that just a part of the game or did he really know or care that it was selfish. I doubt it. Just tell me what I want to here. He was good at that. And at that point I still cared. I still care now. At a distance.

    Well, that is as much as I can tell you right now. It makes me very tired to relive in my mind the detail of our life together. I must get it right or it will be a lie just like all the other lies of our marriage.

    Teresa Maria

    1. Teresa,

      Wow. That’s rough. I understand the money part. My some day to be ex and I enjoyed a nice lifestyle for quite a few years, but we basically lived separate lives while raising a family. In all their selfishness they need us for something and apparently we think we need them for something. But we wait much too long before we leave. We wait till they tear us up emotionally and financially and sometimes physically. Like you, I watched my husband spiral down to a point where I thought he’d harm himself, so I stayed till I felt that threat was gone. Now that he’s back on his feet he’s a bigger ass than ever before. But – I’m living a better life and he’s wallowing in his filth he’s created, and I really don’t care. I’m just want to be so done with him. And I know what you mean when you say you still care. How can we? Well, I don’t know, but we do. Because we are human. But does that mean we should be engaged in their madness? Heck no.

      1. Linda,

        You are right. No, we do not have to live inside their madness. I really had a hard time leaving since I thought he would kill himself or just continue his craziness until he had nothing left.

        Oh, yes, I was trained very very well in my family or origin. The caretaker of my parents, having to accept my brother and sister as the golden children of the family (whom I finally left and I will not go back) who the sister just thought I was to do her bidding.

        When my mother died and my sister e mailed me demanded money to finance her (she has a $60000 pension but is $100000 in debt and I was to finance my niece’s education since GET THIS….my sister had to take care of me when I was a baby because dad drank and he would leave my brother and I with her. So now that I was married to a doc (said I got him to marry me again through my feminine wiles) I was to finance my niece’s college education (all though somehow my brother and sister decided I was not acceptable to put it mildly, and that I was also to finance my sister since she had cared for me as a baby). I haven’t been allowed to see my niece since she was a baby.

        Lawd, as I write this I may well have a reality show.

        So I dropped her and said good riddance to my brother and my niece. If that is what they think of me…so be it. And I wrote to my sister and told her that our only connection was our mother and now she is gone the ties that bind have been broken and I severed the relationship. Been going on about 5 years now and I just think of her as dead. Long dead, my brother, I do not even know who he is so he is long gone…28 years.

        I got a Kincaid Christmas card from me sister last year…all glittery and sugar sweet talking about hearth and home and peace in life. I threw it in the garbage.

        I have a friend that had the same kind of a relationship with her family. She was definitely that black sheep of the family…mother ran off and married an American Indian full blood. The family got the mother back, pregnant, because they have money or so they had money. My friend got a fruit cake from them one year. She took it to a bridge and threw that thing as far as she could. Lawd, we laughed till we cried over that one.

        God must shake his/her head over the human race.

        Theresa Maria

        1. Maria, I am so glad that its been helpful for you to be able to get some of the things bothering you out. And hopefully, by reading more of the stories on this site you won’t feel so alone. Its good that you finally were able to let go and start taking care of you.

          As a doctor your X always has the door open for him to seek mental health care. He can do this by paying privately and it will only be between him and the doctor he pays. Or, he can use a doctor provided by his medical insurance. It is not uncommon, nor is frowned upon, in fact it is encouraged for a doctor to occasionally see a psychologist or psychiatrist. It is a known fact that doctors and nurses and others who work in the medical field (especially hospitals) are usually working under a lot of stress.

          All that aside I hope you are seeking some outlet for yourself too. It helps to have someone help you put things in perspective and validate your experience. Take the time to start thinking of the positive things you can do to make your life easier. I know you have been through a lot and its not easy, just one foot in front of the other. Try never to look back anymore on what could had been rather try to focus all your energy on looking forward to what your life can be.

          Thanks Maria, I needed that self-talk!

          Blessings and take good care of you

  16. It’s really interesting to understand character in a dimensional approach. It does seem like narcissism is one of the most important variables in a really harmful personality.

    I’m thinking back to someone I knew who was probably genetically a “psychopath” in the sense that I don’t think he experienced emotion like we all do. He is highly intelligent. A cardiologist, licensed pilot, and computer engineer. And under 40. He just never showed appropriate depth of emotion in a lot of situations. Such a death of a close relative, towards his child, etc. However I never sensed any egocentrism or malice in him. To be honest if I had heart surgery I would probably want him to perform it and not someone who would be distracted by feelings of empathy while cutting me open.

    Had he experienced some kind of abuse or neglect as a child to trigger some kind of pathological egotism or rage leading to narcissism and aggression, I’m sure he would likely be an extremely dangerous person. I’m still unsure as to weather narcissistic or aggressive tendencies can occur on their own from birth. Same as manipulativeness. I’m thinking lately these are largely learned emotional adaptations that interact with inate abilities/ sensitivities or lack there of.

    I would warn that despite there not being any intentional malice, I did notice difficulty in his relationships due to the “coldness”.

    People with inate low empathy and fear etc probably have always had and still have a very important role in our society. As with people who are highly empathic and creative.

    It seem to me the “malice” in people’s character is highly due to suppressed emotional energies of anger, fear, shame, etc. It’s not that DC’s don’t have these feelings it’s that they have them in abundance and they are deeply suppressed. They use others, especially empathic people because it is so easy to project their inadequate feelings on to them. They want their target to feel their anger and shame for them, so they behave shamelessly to provoke those feelings in others as an outlet. It’s an emotional rape where the victim is left with the shame.

    People don’t fit into neat boxes of antisocial, narcissistic, borderline, etc. I think you can be narcissistic but highly empathic, (depends on how you get your supply), or emotionally cold but still have a healthy balanced ego. It’s when you get people who have a constellation of personality and emotional problems that you really get trouble.

  17. Valencia: “I’m thinking back to someone I knew who was probably genetically a “psychopath” in the sense that I don’t think he experienced emotion like we all do. He is highly intelligent. A cardiologist, licensed pilot, and computer engineer. And under 40. He just never showed appropriate depth of emotion in a lot of situations. Such a death of a close relative, towards his child, etc.”

    Brilliant mind yet totally clueless when it comes to feelings.

    Valencia: “To be honest if I had heart surgery I would probably want him to perform it and not someone who would be distracted by feelings of empathy while cutting me open.”

    Yes, I also choose doctors based on this understanding. Although I am careful to keep all communication between myself and the nursing and office staff. They are notorious for a total lack of bedside manner.

    Valencia: “I would warn that despite there not being any intentional malice, I did notice difficulty in his relationships due to the “coldness”.

    That’s right. In emotionally close bonding relationships they can be extremely destructive.

    A thought I have often pondered is that as annoying and hurtful as they are in close bonding relationships due to their coldness and lack of feelings we are likely to be just as annoying and hurtful to them with our feelings and emotions – especially when they are children. We know how we think, now to only imagine how they think.

    Using intellect as a substitute for empathy

    “Valencia: People with inate low empathy and fear etc probably have always had and still have a very important role in our society.

    Very, very, very important roles.

    Valencia: “However I never sensed any egocentrism or malice in him.”

    I seem to think that neuro-biological research will eventually come up with a new defining word, as is, the definition of psychopath doesn’t always exactly fit.

  18. I want to wish everyone, where ever you are a Very Merry Holiday Season. Bless those that you love, pray for those you hate, pray for those that hate you. In the end, it just keeps the pain going if you do not.

    Random acts of kindness, not necessarily to the person above, but to those that do not expect anything from you is the best and this is truly the time for giving.

    Take care though, sometimes to love at a distance is the only love that is safe to give.

    And remember this, you did not cause it, it is not your responsibility if the person chooses to live a chaotic life, and you cannot fix it. The only one that can fix it is the one that is broken. Yes, we put ourselves back together.

    I look on the relationship that I had with the ex as the most important and profound experience of my life. It changed me. For the better. Did he change me, NO…I changed myself and being with him I found the strength to find the necessary power to change myself.

    So, in its own way…with all the pain and sorrow…was just what I needed to be a better, stronger, more resilient person. And, somehow, someway, I am even kinder, for the right reasons now, than before. With all my flaws still intact but I accept myself more now. A lot more.

    Amen to that.

    Theresa Maria

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