Vulnerable Narcissists and Relationships

Narcissists relate to others in some highly problematic ways. The very manner in which they perceive themselves and look upon others impairs true intimacy and depth in relationships. As mentioned in last week’s post, narcissists come in two main varieties. (See:  Ways Vulnerable Narcissists Relate.) And relationships with the vulnerable narcissists can be particularly challenging when it comes to intimacy

What Vulnerable Narcissists Crave

Some call vulnerable narcissists the “compensatory” type. That’s because the inflated image they project masks an underlying insecurity. In their insecurity, they seek to be admired. They frequently fish for recognition and praise. They seem to need constant reassurance. And they constantly compare themselves to others. It matters to them how you think they stack up against the competition. And they’re not happy unless they think they’re at the top of the heap.

Relationships with any narcissist suffer because it’s always about them. They’re so wrapped up in themselves and their desires that there’s no room to consider others. And because they can’t really concern themselves with you or your needs, intimacy suffers.

What Vulnerable Narcissists’ Relationship Partners Crave

From our earliest days, we humans crave intimacy. Infants can’t even thrive without close physical and emotional contact. And this need for human “connection” never goes away. In fact, our need intimacy needs only appears to grow over our lifetimes. The biggest single complaint hurting relationship partners have is a loss of closeness.

Pay attention to them or give them positive strokes, and vulnerable narcissists can act like they really value you. But ask something of them – especially caring concern for your wants and needs, and it’s another manner entirely. They don’t know how to be close. That’s because they don’t know how to care. They can’t step outside themselves and their own wants and needs. And that means they can’t concern themselves with the needs of another. This leaves their relationship partners starving for affection.

Another Type of Narcissist

As mentioned before narcissists differ in type. The grandiose narcissist makes an even poorer relationship partner than the vulnerable type. And we’ll be looking at why in next week’s article.

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95 thoughts on “Vulnerable Narcissists and Relationships

  1. They’re so wrapped up in themselves and their desires that there’s no room to consider others.

    They are Never Wrong, Greatful or Sorry and they never Praise.

    They are Consumed by Envy

    1. Patrick,

      The CD I have had to deal with practically refuse to ever say, Please or Thank you, besides what you mentioned above. Another interesting thing I am curious about, did your mother call you by your given name or did she call you something else? I have noticed the more malignant N’s objectify you to the point they refuse to identify or acknowledge you by your given name.

      The CD feel they have the right to address you however, they believe you should be addressed, rather than how you prefer to be addressed.

      1. One of them I had would rarely say please or thank you or if she did it was begrudgingly. She would never compliment the food but she’d compliment the condiments. She was always fishing for compliments with anything she’d cook. Also come to think of it BTOV – was the most recent one I encountered she would never address her son by his name, I don’t think I ever heard her do that she would refer to him using several pet names both derogatory.

        The name thing is interesting – from Silence of the Lambs “put the moisturizer on it or it gets the hose again” Jame Grumb to the kidnapped senator’s daughter.

        1. Eudox,

          It’s very important about the name. Your name defines/ identifies you as a person, who you are. There is deep meaning in all this.

      2. No. I had a very good childhood. Bought and paid for every toy a child could want. Violent outbursts, silent treatment. My way or highway. I conformed.
        The real problems started when I found my own feet and started to look for work and seek an independant life.

        1. They can’t stand you being independent and thinking for yourself. It’s one of the many things they try to upend. I’ll re post the below for the benefit of anybody who missed it:

          When I say that evil has to do with killing, I do not mean to restrict myself to corporeal murder. Evil is that which kills spirit. There are various essential attributes of life — particularly human life — such as sentience, mobility, awareness, growth, autonomy, will. It is possible to kill or attempt to kill one of these attributes without actually destroying the body. Thus we may “break” a horse or even a child without harming a hair on its head.

          Erich Fromm was acutely sensitive to this fact when he broadened the definition of necrophilia to include the desire of certain people to control others-to make them controllable, to foster their dependency, to discourage their capacity to think for themselves, to diminish their unpredictability and originality, to keep them in line. Distinguishing it from a “biophilic” person, one who appreciates and fosters the variety of life forms and the uniqueness of the individual, he demonstrated a “necrophilic character type,” whose aim it is to avoid the inconvenience of life by transforming others into obedient automatons, robbing them of their humanity.

          Evil then, for the moment, is the force, residing either inside or outside of human beings, that seeks to kill life or liveliness. And goodness is its opposite. Goodness is that which promotes life and liveliness.”
          ― M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil

          They particularly get off on breaking people; they are a sick and twisted disease on this planet. A human variety of cancer.

          On a lighter note – please enjoy your Easter folks :-

      3. Wow, the whole name thing never occurred to me. I just ended a relationship with a VN, he would always call me Mabel, never by my given name. I was also in a relationship with another narcissist, I don’t remember him ever calling me by my name either… Thanks for the eye opener!

  2. Please beware of therapists when it comes to PDs. Therapists will give you therapy-induced trauma because their profession does not educate them that PDs are close to impossible to reason with. Therapists are not educated to look for signs of covert aggression.

    I had developed many coping skills over a life time dealing with my PD mother. When I was really gaining traction in my life, my mother hired a therapist to try to heal our relationship – I smelled trouble and knew it was fruitless. But my PD mother was playing hardball, she refused to speak to me for three years for the most part. I was smart enough at that point that I insisted on talking to the therapist to explain my mother was too enmeshed in my life, and that we needed to limit therapy to one session or two max. The therapist pretended to understand me and believe me. Little did I know, my pd mother was feeding the therapist a bunch of lies that I was too resistant and too fearful of my parents, and the therapist needed to pressure me to being vulnerable and closer to my parents.

    That therapist was the biggest idiot ever and was so easily manipulated by my parents. Moreover, the therapist was actively working against my interests without disclosing to me that was what she was doing. Finally when I confronted the therapist with this information after about a year, when I still had very troubling flashbacks and PTSD, the therapist scoffed at me and said “that was YEARS ago” and said I was just experiencing “transference.”

    The field of psychology is very very very corrupt. A lot of narcissists who do not like to be questioned are in the higher levels of this profession. Once in a great great while you will find a therapist who is good at what they do. But most are educated to not screen for character, but instead trust untrustworthy people. A NIGHTMARE. Beware be empowered do your homework and research therapists. For the most part, when it comes to PD, you are on your own. Life is hard, learn as you go and keep going.

    Thank you for all your good work in this area on “Covert Aggression” and “Character Disturbance”.

    1. FJA

      Sounds like your mother and mine are similar. They are always looking to Sh#T
      STIR, cause some kind of friction.
      They are Aggressive Overtly and Covertly

    2. FJA – this is important. I would suggest you focus more on yourself and not the therapist in order to deal with your own trauma. The entire world is corrupt in all professions and in all walks of life there are good people and there are bad people. When we are sovereign human beings things are seen differently. It is necessary to own the situation and deal with that. Blaming therapists or anybody else never will assist you to resolve your own pain – yes other’s do damage beyond contempt. The trick to recovery is not blaming but acceptance. It is knowledge not anothers’ opinion because at the end of the day that matters not one wit.

      Stand in your own power and understand yourself – “Man know thyself”. That is the key then you won’t need a therapist because you have your own inner guidance system. You can after all, trust yourself and don’t have to accept anothers’ version of reality imposed upon you just because “some authority” says so.

      1. Identifying harm and warning others about harm is not “blaming”. Such identification presents an opportunity to listen, to validate, to show compassion, to learn, to grow, to explore, to heal – individually, societally, etc.

        Tone of comment above feels: blame-the-victim, minimizing, other?. Is the above too not an example of the linguistic “flip”/”turning it around” that marks manipulation? Shuts down FAJ’s exploration, denies FAJ agency, impact.

        There seems too to be some kind of logic problem, as the writer *advises* FJA against relationships with *advisers* (i.e. therapists). Eudoxia – good deeds? :/ Hmmmm…

        1. Devils Advocate, FJA

          Tone of comment above feels = what you are feeling. Something very important is being expressed. We are talking about blame. Blaming is a very dangerous position to put oneself in. Once we start blaming it can easily turn into a vicious cycle. I have been a victim of the CD many times.

          Yes, this person caused such and such but once we get it stuck in our minds and give all our time, strength and most of all our power over to blaming the bad guy, we are sabotaging ourselves. We in essence are stealing our precious time, strength and most of all our power that we should be using to focus on ourselves.

          I am sure FJA’s CD mother would love to know how much the therapist is causing FJA distress. A double whammy if the therapist is a CD person herself and/or plain incompetent. What I gathered Eudox is saying is, we know who and what the problem is. Forget about blaming we can do that till we die and we get nowhere, like a hamster running the wheel forever. We actually play right into their hands by doing this.

          Yes, we know they are guilty, we know the dirty deeds they have done, we know the truth. Now we stop blaming and take ownership/control of the situation, we can begin to take back our lives and be in the drivers seat instead of someone else. Blame keeps us stuck, we wither, we stop growing and many times lose ourselves completely.

          Eudox said: Stand in your own power and understand yourself – “Man know thyself”. That is the key then you won’t need a therapist because you have your own inner guidance system. You can after all, trust yourself and don’t have to accept anothers’ version of reality imposed upon you just because “some authority” says so.

          Logic problem?????? FJA was just given the best free advice she will ever get. This is how we begin to think for ourselves, stand up for ourselves, believe in ourselves, begin to be the authentic person who has been squashed and denied the right to exist.

          FJA focus all your attention and energy on yourself, forget about your mom and this therapist. Know your truth and trust your gut truth and live your life to the fullest. You will find freedom and happiness and won’t give a hoot about what some CD silly women think. What is important is what you think about yourself. You will never change their minds, don’t waste your precious time.

          Be kind to yourself and live. Surround yourself with people who build you up and truly care about you. I hope you keep posting, you will begin to see and become strong. Blessings

        2. Devil’s Advocate

          Seeing you are new here just a heads up – most people on this site can make a healthy determination about what is and what isn’t manipulation. It seems you’ve misinterpreted the point being made. However, I can accept your faulty perception of me. You are after all perfectly entitled to your reality.

        3. Devil´s advocate, I agree. I thought exact the same thing. When the target for abuse is supposed to “own their problem”, the target is doing exactly what the abusor wants them to; to focus on the EFFECTS of the abuse
          (= the narcissistic supply), they love when we focus on ourselves and our pain, instead of the abusor and the abuse. It´s a trick of mind, this is the exact manipulation. The target would sit and lick its wounds, while the abuse can continue without abruption, and more abuse is coming our way. This is to cripple the target, to suggest that we go to sleep and pretend there´s nothing going on.

          What if we would to say to the victims in WW2 to “focus on their own healing, because the world is corrupt anyways?” The trick to recovery is not blaming”. I don´t agree. This attitude is the reason why abusors get away with the abuse.

          1. Hello, maybe this is just problem of timing . To heal from CN´s abuse is like going through pain from your own death: first you batle the unnecessity of imminent death./death in this case = your abuser/ You are angry with him, naming all evil done to you, all the pain caused. Next you are depresses: why me? Why not somebody else? Why others have much better lives?… after you become depressed, not arguing, not blaming. Just sad, desperate as you are not going to make it for at least one last sunny day…Finally, you surrender, you droped on the bottom of your being, on the abyss of your soul…and if there is the spark of Light still remaining, it will lead you and save you. At this point no blaming ,no accusing will help neither you or punish more your abuser. You are not going to carry him on your shoulders any longer. You want to walk free, overcoming your own death…and with THIS knowledge you can become light of awareness for others . Helping other fellow souls to recognize good from evil.

      2. FJA,

        Eudox is right, know thyself. It can be difficult to do when we were raised in such an abnormal environment and basically were being brainwashed by the CD from birth on. It was never about us, everything always revolved around their wants and needs. The CD are always lovingly, shoving down our throats their distorted world view.

        If this therapist is being paid by your mother, it makes sense why the therapist would agree with her. The therapist knows the money will keep rolling in. If you are paying for the therapist she may be getting her own CD gratification on being one up on you.

        Many therapist go into the profession with the hopes of figuring out their own issues and others like the position of control.

        I myself have been fortunate to have superb health care providers whom I esteem as healers. They truly care and love their patients and want the best for them. A doctor can only do so much, the rest is up to the individual to do the work required work to heal.

        I would suggest you read all of Dr. Simon’s books, they are by far the best written in simplicity for anyone to understand. The book we have recently been talking about is by Dr. Scott Peck called: A Road Less Traveled. It was on the best sellers list for over 10 years, Dr. Peck followed up with a sequel called Beyond the Road Less Traveled which I am going to read. These are excellent self help books that encourage building character like Dr. Simon.

        There are many good books out there which you could benefit from, rather than, going to a therapist that is making your life more miserable and from what you suggest enabling your CD mother. I welcome you to stay posting on the blog and everyone is more than willing to help you along.

        Be patient and kind to yourself and read as much as you can. Knowledge is power. I don’t know your specific situation and caution you about divulging your knowledge with your mother at this point. As for the therapist, I wouldn’t go to see her anymore, let your mother go and you find your own support group. You do have one here, their are other ones though. Perhaps, a Life coach. Coda groups are good, take what you need and leave the rest.

        You can always go to the Women’s Resource Center where the subject revolves around abusive relationships, which is exactly what the CD do, they abuse. It almost sounds like you are still living at home, perhaps going to school, or just wanting to love your parents and have somewhat of a relationship.. It’s sad to say in circumstances like these, regardless, when its your own family, for your own sanity and survival, many times it is best to cut ties or have as little to do as possible with them.

        No relationship is worth being degraded, discounted and treated badly. A relationship should not be about control, but about laughter and joy, building the other up and wanting the best for them. This world is so full of these sick distorted relationships nowadays. The media, the music industry, this whole world is about controlling, manipulating, buying and selling people, pure greed of money and power. How very sad. We do have a say so in all this, we can say NO and resist the enticements and schemes this CD world uses on us.

        Surround yourself with like minded people. Find a group of faith based individuals set on doing the right things in life. People who uplift you and most of all stay true to yourself and build a strong character of moral values and beliefs. Get involved in giving, instead of taking, reject and refuse to accept anything less than being treated with dignity and respect, just as you treat others with dignity and respect. Don’t lower yourself to their level.

        You may be lonely at times but you will be far happier and content. As time goes on you will find other like minded individuals that want the same for this world. It starts with one, then another and we build on that and reject bad behavior, we refuse to be part of this distorted, selfie world. Don’t buy into it, reject it, even if it is your family. Change will never take place if we don’t stand up for it, in the end, even if you are the last man standing, you will retain your dignity, self respect and character.
        No one can take this away from us, only if we choose to give it.

        1. I HAVE read all of Dr. Simon’s books. I am commenting to get the word out because I saw it yet again happen to someone else, a blank recommendation to “get a therapist, any therapist” without shopping around for a quality therapist who understands some people are neurotic, while others are aggressive.

          I instead advise people to read certain books on the disorder to try to educate themselves.

          Way back when, I *did* bring it to this therapist’s attention that she would be biased towards my mother because my mother was paying her. The therapist was INSULTED and said my idea was RIDICULOUS because after all, she was a THERAPIST. And therapists, apparently in this one’s view, are NEVER BIASED. They apparently are above being human!

          Many therapists enter the profession to try to heal themselves. A few therapists are actually good at what they do. A few enter the profession because they like to be controlling. Many do not understand that they’re running a business – they believe they are utterly altruistic. I said to one OK if that’s true then I’d like to keep seeing you. I just don’t want to pay you. He said no, that’s unacceptable. Of course it is, he’s doing this to make money so he can eat! He may have good intentions and he was a nice guy but come on!

        2. I HAVE read all of Dr. Simon’s books. I am commenting to get the word out because I saw it yet again happen to someone else, a blank recommendation to “get a therapist, any therapist” without shopping around for a quality therapist who understands some people are neurotic, while others are aggressive.

          I instead advise people to read certain books on the disorder to try to educate themselves and try to develop their observing ego. Going to a therapist will take so much longer than just reading these books. The profession could do some good if it went through some reform.

          It is so interesting that I’m commenting here to get the word out and people respond by giving advice. I don’t need your advice!

          1. I do not need yours either. When someone is suffering at the hands of an abuser. They do not possess sufficient ability to take up for themselves. Self help books are not really a good idea. If you are suffering extreme anixiety or worse. Go see your doctor and ask a trained medical practioner for correct treatment.
            Go see a Doctor, is and always will be my advise

          2. FJA,

            I have one right now, but my CDN has a birthday in two weeks. We decided that since I have cut off contact for good, that I can discharge from therapy on that day. No need anymore. My break from reality got better (gone) as soon as the tie was cut.

          3. I agree with you completely! Psychoterapist and psychiatrist are indeed very often in the bussines to heal their own wounds through the patients stories. Maybe only later towards the end of their pracitice they are able to really bring some insight and this is mostly due to their own awareness that body caries the soul as well. Until they separate these two things, no amount of psychotherapy will be able to help. I have a friend, a good one, psychiatrist and she was never willing to help me in my case, she encouraged me to search on my own and to rely on Light above…

    3. FJA,

      Sounds like you had a rough go with a therapist. Many years ago, I went to a therapist to help me deal with a passive aggressive boyfriend who was covertly controlling my life.

      I was flipping into rages, felt like banging my head against a wall etc…because I could never get a straight answer from this man and was being f’d over with manipulation, constantly.

      I didn’t know what was going on with me and if CD guy was driving me nuts or if I was developing some weird seizure disorder or what.

      Anywayyyyy….the psychiatrist deflected all of my questions about this crazy relationship. Then he started asking me questions like, “are you very religious?” and “have you ever given away all of your possessions?” Like…huh?? Following the line of questioning I was waiting for,”do you have invisible friends and do you hear voices?”

      After not letting me actually discuss what was going on in my life, he told me I was depressed (not really. I was sometimes angry and it was only around this guy) and because I was depressed I had never managed to rise above living a meagre existence! It was laughable. It was too funny to even be offended by.

      Then he told me he thought I was also cyclothymic (rapidly shifting mood disorder like bipolar) — apparently completely disinterested in what was making me angry! He tried to put me on anti-depressants but I refused that advice. CD boyfriend used to tell me I was bipolar, too.

      So…fast forward a year. CD boyfriend and I decided to break up. At that point I told him how curious my visit with therapist was and if he had called him on the phone to discuss my situation before I had gone to see him. He admitted he had and told the therapist he thought I was bipolar!

      The entire time that I should have been treated as someone being driven out of their mind by a CD, I was instead being treated for psychotic depression and a mood disorder — and all because the shrink, who had never even met the CD boyfriend, let himself be influenced by this man.

      And talk about a red flag of manipulation that any reasonable person, let alone psychiatrist, should be alert to! The boyfriend of a client you haven’t even met yet, calls you up to “fill you in???” Huh??

      Honestly, there is no end to the head games that CD’s play and Dr. Simon has been great in countering some of the nonsense in the therapeutic community!

        1. FJA–you are so welcome! I want to add that nobody else has ever suggested I am or ever have been bipolar. Maybe a little weird, eccentric, but bipolar…nope.

          And the other thing…anger isn’t the same as sadness or depression. I kept repeating to the psyciatrist that I wasn’t depressed. I was angry, irritable. I am not sure of this but feel that they are not only different in sensation but physiologically very different processes. Putting up a fight against an abuser or attempting to is not a depressive reaction. It is the opposite.

          Most psychiatrists dispense medicine, don’t listen, don’t dialogue. Many of them are losing a tremendous amount of business. I would rather talk to a wall!

          1. Yes I have compassion for therapists who have been working for a few years many clients per day. They may not be as attentive as they were at first.

            To many therapist’s credit, my npdMother reported to me she called many therapists who refused to take her on as clients. They asked how old her daughter was and when they learned her adult daughter was grown on her own, they said they could not take her as a client. npdMother was persistent and found one who was very eager to get more clients and who was not very self-aware, and who was very easy to manipulate.

    4. FJA,

      It’s also really hard for psychologists to get a handle on what, who the real problem is, when dealing with slick liars.

      When I was a teen, I saw a therapist who concluded my father was the main problem. He was not malignant, not particularly devious, but very screwed up, abusive. She didn’t tell me this but suggested he get counselling, which he did. So there is a case where a psychiatrist made a correct call. But it was easier for her because my father didn’t try to present as anything other than what he was.

  3. Approval-Demanding. It is as Dr Simon teaches. They are SO ENTITLED. If the do not get what they want they rage a insidious and malevolent war agaist you.

    1. Patrick,

      Yes, I agree, they do feel entitled and the raging is the worst. Were you taking care of your mom too? Doing all the work around the house and such and then they just want more.

      1. I di’nt do any work around the house. I was manipulated into becoming her Mummy. I was the care giver. She just took. She was wealthy and paid for just about everything I need or wanted. I just did not see the undermining of my ability to take care of my self. The real abuse occured when I applied myself. Looking for a good job this process would happen. Harass,Harass,Harass,Provoke,Harass,Harass,Harass,Antagonize,Harass,Harass,Harass,Provoke,Harass,Harass,Harass,Antagonize…………………..
        I tried for 2/3 rds of my life with Reason,Negotiation and Compromise. The day after my arrest IT CLICKED BIG TIME AND I MEAN BIG TIME.

        I just kept my mouth shut. I even Lied to her telling her I was having an affair. When you put smart clothes on to attend an Interview. I was living in her house. I need a reason for them. So I made the story up. Just to be free.

  4. Their behavior is abuse, it should be seen by the law as criminal for the damage that is done to people, children included.

    1. This the point they have a preditory side to them. They play the victim behind your back and play to your consciousness to your face. It is all about getting what they want.

      1. Patrick – reason, negotiation and compromise never works with them, they don’t know what that is. The only thing they know is what they want and the only thing they know how to do is manipulate in order to get it. Whether it’s from childhood imprinting or because they chose to do it. Either way it’s unacceptable. They will undermine at every opportunity. They are very good at playing the victim and never accept responsibility for the situations they incur as a result of their many assorted strategies particularly when their strategies fail – then they become apex predators. They do not take responsiblity for the quality of their own experiences. Something you have decided to do. They project their own behaviors onto you and expect you to agree with them. They will work tirelessly in order to mess with your head so they convince themselves that it’s you and not them. It’s part and parcel of gaslighting. They’ll up step the abuse when they realise you are wriggling out of their clutches or not buying into the scenario they paint for you. God forbid you bring to their awareness a few facts about themselves. That’s when they really get vicious but sometimes that’s good because it helps us recognise how very problematic they are and just how severely emotionally disturbed they are. They are the exact opposite of a solid person.

        We’ve all been down that path, I’m sorry you had to go through that for as long as you did. Just be grateful you finally saw it for what it is. As the doc says they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. When you step out of it and are away from them it’s amazing what starts to happen. New doors will open and you will be the wiser for it. You will notice people of shallow character very quickly.

  5. Why do people advise “don’t blame”. My abusive covertly aggressive mother, who blamed me for everything, advised me “don’t blame”.

    If someone commits fraud and they get sued, is the prosecution engaging in “blame”?

    1. FJA – naming the perpetrator is one thing, and we have an absolute right to do so and it right to do so. Getting stuck in it is another thing entirely because that is suffering. BTOV explained the why’s and wherefores very well above.

      You have every reason to be angry and nobody is discounting that here. We understand the pain, humiliation and hurt these people cause. Many of us have had friends and family turn on us based on the lies of CDs. Many of us here have been betrayed time after time. Then comes a point where we realise something much bigger.

      The important part of the journey is now. It’s about accepting things you can not change and more often than not attempting to vindicate yourself will only make matters worse. When mud has been thrown that mud sticks and there is sweet FA you can actually do about it. Just allow it to be – you know the truth and that is all that matters. Also please bear this in mind. If someone you have known for all your life, or even less but knows you well and who is close. If that person does not have the discernment and loyalty to go directly to you to share with you what they were told affording you the opportunity at that time to correct anything then they do not deserve you as a friend or sibling or any other kind of relationship with you for that matter. They are extremely shallow, and bitter cowards at heart and now operate as flying monkey/s of the CD. They are inverted narcissists who don’t have the courage to be the full on monsters their vampire master is. If they had any courage at all it would be the courage to examine the truth in the first place. They are not worth your time FJA.

      I know I got stuck in trying to work out who was the head vampire in my situation before it finally occurred to me that it doesn’t matter. Whether they were the instigators or the flying monkeys. They are all the same and as guilty as each other. Not worth my time of day or life energy.

      You have commented a lot of the time about your therapist but give little information about your actual situation or experiences. It’s sharing this information where you will get a good deal of advice for moving forward and picking up the pieces of your life by those who have lived through a similar nightmare. To explain it to others who have not had this happen to them will only lead to “you need to see a therapist” style advice or worse. Do not caste pearls before swine etc.

      1. I gave plenty of information. I think something I said must have touched a sensitive nerve within you. I don’t know what’s going on but I didn’t mean anything personal towards you.

        Please stop taking my posts so personally. And please understand as I’ve said before, I am not looking for advice from you. I posted to get the word out. I politely request for you to stop replying to my posts.

        1. No nobody touched a sensitive nerve within me and I take nothing personally. We offer support here and share our experiences. We don’t beat up on others. If that’s the way you feel, I respect that, I have no control over how you feel and this will be the final time I respond to you.

          1. The Serenity Prayer is the common name for a prayer written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). The best-known form is: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

    2. FJA,

      “don’t blame” is a good advice, but primarily as a check against a normal human tendency to put full fault on others without any balanced assessment.

      Blaming as first reaction, externalizes the problem, and makes a person biased in the assessment of the situation, and that may lead to person not learning the right lesson for self.

      There is difference between blaming and accusing.
      Accusing is saying that a person did something wrong. He choose to do wrong. He was fully capable of doing alternative and better deed.
      Blaming is just holding a person responsible for something that happened without any regard to what actually happened, and whether the accused person is really responsible for it or not.

      I think your mother indulged in blaming. You tried accusing, but she coloured it as blaming.

      Prosecution engages in “accusing”. You did XYZ.
      Defense engages in “defense”. I did not do XYZ.
      Judge, I guess, does the “accusing and extent of blaming”. You did XYZ, in circumstances ABC, and your guilt level is 123, and you will serve ZZZ % of maximum legally allowable punishment for the crime.

      My thoughts only.

      1. AndyD,

        Great input, words have meaning, a slight variation, but the wrong word, one word can change a whole outcome, turn a situation into something it is not. Many times just that one variation of a word, I realize I could of should of said it differently. The outcome takes on a whole different meaning. Thank you, I need to heed this insightful thought and be more cautious of this in the future and making this mistake.

        1. BTOV/AndyD

          AndyD you’ve just jogged my memory in a huge way. Indeed the use of words can greatly effect a certain outcome consciously or unconsciously – the meaning and context of words has many broad and varied connotations. While I am writing letters in either personal or professional business I am always extremely careful. I am not as careful writing on blogs or in emails to friends. Perhaps I should pay more attention to this as well.

          Also of interest and it is somewhat off topic is the difference in the interpretation of words between a law dictionary and a normal dictionary. If you find yourself in court without a legal dictionary, you are in a very dangerous place indeed. In fact it’s a good place to steer well clear of with or without a dictionary. Should you find yourself embroiled in litigation if you can settle out of court then do so. It’s why they call law terminology legalese. It’s not really English. It’s literally spellbinding.

          I noted some years ago in an article I was reading about legalese the author made reference to Lewis Carroll who wrote Alice Through the Looking Glass – apparently according to him he wrote it about the legal system. Talk about back to front and upside down. I recently wrote a piece of satire using ATTLG diaologue of a conversation between The Red Queen and Alice. I based it on a discussion with a CD. I called it Reverse Engineering a Narcissist – crazy shit! It helps in the recovery/healing stage well it does for me anyway.

  6. BTOV that reminds me of the CD version: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to find a place to bury the bodies of all those who did not bend to my will”

    Dealing with CD’s is a distorted version of Alice Through the Looking Glass only written by Stephen King.

  7. Hi all commentors

    Wondering if you advise or guide me in this situation. This will be a little long.
    I have been with my partner/fiance for 4 years. We have a baby girl who is 16 months. My father in law has died in the last two weeks. He was 69. My father in law was a dictator and bully. He seemed to not be able to handle stress without losing his temper all the time. His wife, mother in law, is always anxious and can’t seem to ever be comfortable in the ‘moment’. He used to put her down and she is an anxious wreck about things such as driving. They married young and she told me that after their first son was born she ‘gave in’ for the quiet life. Because they argued too much and she recognised it wasn’t good for their son.
    The drawback for this of course is that she has 0 confidence and let him have his way all the time. The reward she got for it I’m guessing is that she didn’t have to try too hard in many areas of her life as he would always jump in saying she was too stupid if she found something difficult.
    The issue now is that my partners older brother is 43. He is 41. His brother has never truly grown up and become an adult man. He went to uni to do art, but something happened. I am guessing from the story that his ego was challenged. But it could of been something much more traumatic than that, we just don’t know. He came back and acted moody and wouldn’t tell his parents why he dropped out. He acted depressed and angry and he took it out on my partner who was still idealising his older brother. He slept with my partners girlfriend once behind his back during this period, he treated my partner like crap at this time. He was an attractive, cool guy. Then he got work in the film industry making props and sets. Eventually he moved out, but never quite severed the ties keeping his post at the parents house, as he was always back at his parents due to the film studios being near them.

    To cut this story short, my partner eventually moved away from his parents and unlike his brother he severed his ties. Years later, his brother got into trouble with rent and moved back home, then moved in with a girlfriend. But not properly, he still came back whenever he wanted without any boundaries and no cost for staying their. He used the house to hide from his girlfriend when they fought. Then four years ago, it became known he was in £10,000 worth of tax debt. He wasn’t paying taxes and other bills. His parents and my partner bailed him out. He said he would pay them back, but has not mentioned it since. He has failed in his career as he still gets low paying work when all his peers have moved on. He is unreliable and his employer has told my partner he goes awol sometimes. He is pretty superficial and wont speak about anything personal or deep with you, accept about popular culture or sports. He seems dissociated often. He also smokes weed.
    My partner has been bogged down by his draining brother for years and after doing some life coaching he decided to confront him (although hit was quite a ‘soft’ confronting) As he had enough appeasing him and being the one who keeps the relationship going. His brother was ore honest than he’s ever been, but is been over a year since we’ ve heard from him. My partner invited him to get to know his niece and said he wouldnt bother him about anything personal, but we’ve had silence.
    Now their dad is dead, the mother is asking my partner to spend more time with him and his annoying gf (i dont like her, shes an enabler and very much into relativism). My partner had to tell her straight that apart from funeral and stuff to do with that, no socialising will be happening, as much as she’d like it to happen.
    She denies any responsibility for this and goes on about how he takes after his father and how the family is all like that (except my partner of course). She tells me that she ‘takes people as they are’. I told her that I understand that, but her son takes the piss and takes from people, but as soon as they ask him for anything worthwhile, hes absent or descends into rage. I told her that she has the lowest standards for her son I have ever seen. She gets happy when he pays lip service to the smallest thing. Hoping hes about to change. It actually sickens me the mental gymnastics she does to relieve herself of any responsibility or her husband.

    Now I am bracing myself for the funeral. Because I am not sure my partners frustrations can be held down if the brother does or says anything controversial and if im honest I am not sure I can keep my mouth shut either anymore as he most certainly dislikes me and his girlfriend does I think. Now that I have been upfront and honest with my mother in law ( where I told her that she cant expect her mature son to appease the immature son anymore and that until the immature son makes any kind of effort we wont be coming near them apart from the funeral etc.

    I have a feeling there will some retaliation for this stance, any ideas what it could be?

    1. Natoya Raymond,

      My take…

      I think following stand is very fair enough, “she cant expect her mature son to appease the immature son anymore and that until the immature son makes any kind of effort we wont be coming near them apart from the funeral etc.”

      You are probably right about “I have a feeling there will some retaliation for this stance, any ideas what it could be?”

      It always helps to be prepared.

      Case 1: You all are made to sit together.
      Your response will be to repeat, “she cant expect her mature son to appease the immature son anymore and that until the immature son makes any kind of effort we wont be coming near them apart from the funeral etc.”

      Case 2: She cries.
      Your response will be to repeat, “she cant expect her mature son to appease the immature son anymore…”

      Case 3: She cries more
      Your response will be to repeat, “she cant expect her mature son to appease the immature son anymore…”

      Case 4: She asked you to leave.
      Your response will be to repeat, “she cant expect her mature son to appease the immature son anymore…”

      Case N: She pulls out a gun.
      Fall on your knees. Concede. Pray to God along with her, and bolt while her eyes are closed.
      Later from a safe distance your response will be to repeat, “she cant expect her mature son to appease the immature son anymore…”

      Your reaction is your choice. Probably the best one will be…

      Stop worrying.
      Keep quiet.
      Nod and smile.
      And, repeat in your head, “she cant expect her mature son to appease the immature son anymore…”. And just enforce your boundaries once the gathering is over.

  8. Nayolla R – AndyD’s advice is par excellent. You can count on retaliation, they have to win at all costs and always at your expense. I’ve included some rules of engagement I did for a friend of mine recently. It’s a cross sections of strategies by some very amazing people who I’ve learned from.

    You can never appeal to a narcissist’s empathy (they have none) or hold them to your own code of ethics they play with another set – theirs. They will do everything in their power to make sure you adhere to their rules which is “do what I say or else”. There are certain rules of engagement you simply must understand and utilize every time you have to deal with a narcissist. I’m not sure of the nature of the disturbance with your family but you have identified some key attributes which are pretty much a dead giveaway but remember it’s a complex condition and an entire assortment of variable styles exist within that condition but these strategies apply to basically all of them.

    This is also very important. Narcissists only want you around if you can be controlled and are easily manipulable. If they can’t control you and they don’t set about to destroy you, they will just stay well clear of you. Allow this to become a blessing and just pray for abandonment.

    1. Never show your vulnerability – never trust a CD, you don’t require their approval nor can you make them understand or appreciate how you feel or interpret events. You can show your vulnerability to others (people with empathy) NOT CDs. i.e. I was alarmed by such n such’s actions……….BE A BLANK SLATE. Let them reveal themselves to you instead by asking them questions. Don’t answer theirs – If they ask you how your injured knee is – say it’s GREAT. They are always looking for ways to devalue you, to bring you down so don’t give them any.
    2. Never be authentic – if they ask how are you (even if you are really bad) say you are terrific! (well in your situation “fine under the circumstances) They are looking for any weakness in which ever they can exploit you. Step behind a very large wall and remain there. Never give them information willingly, keep yourself to yourself.
    3. Pay attention to your gut instinct – recognise the red flags that’s your physiology moving into flight, fight, freeze mode. You are already on high alert – pay attention. Your solar plexus will tighten reminding you you have one. This means you are being played, your instincts are registering inauthenticity at best – it’s your instinctual warning signal – Raptor in general vicinity!
    4. Learn to play emotional ping pong – if they claim you make them feel like such n such you need to not be bothered with that and I am going to state this twice. 1. It doesn’t concern you. You have no control over how they feel. 2. 1. It doesn’t concern you. You have no control over how they feel. and 3. 1. It doesn’t concern you. You have no control over how they feel. I know that technically that’s 3 times but I felt it so important it was worth saying a third time. You have about as much control over how they feel as you do over the color of the sky – remember that. You can’t change their perception of reality nor have you a right to nor do you need to adjust your behavior or thinking to fit into their perception because that is what they will try to do (covert manipulators can do this very well it’s called gaslighting) Change the subject and keep firing questions back them. Example: N – How are you? You – GREAT couldn’t be better. N – oh what about that pesty fellow you were having trouble with at work. You – Oh that wasn’t anything at all the situation couldn’t be better! BTW how’s Bob and the kids? Engage them not the other way around – just keep them on their toes, keep batting that ball back to them.
    5. Recognise your own limitations – you have no control over how they see you so stop resisting their judgement. You do not need to defend yourself, they are bullies, they will always find ways to judge and exploit you. Deal with it, you can’t change it. You have nothing to prove, so allow their judgement by not defending your own position. If they say “I feel like shit because of you” oh and they are really good at this one “I feel so offended!” Just say – I’m sorry you feel that way but I have no control over how you feel especially about yourself. You’re allowed to feel anyway you like and just walk away. They particularly hate this because you have just ripped the rug out from underneath them and made them responsible for their own emotions. This can send them into narcissistc injury so be prepared for an attack and as long as it’s safe to do so just sit there and laugh at them – erm perhaps not at a funeral though. Google narcissistc supply and injury.

    Those strategies are easy to comprehend but they are in fact easier said than done. It takes a great deal of practice to get this down pat. Fortunately I get a lot of practice! In time the neural pathways will be re-programed and it will become a routine response – an instant shield against vampirism. Just a word of warning, these strategies could also be used inadvertently on some people who are non CD they may just be nosey or genuinely interested in how you are. This is where discernment is paramount.

    And as AndyD recommends just repeat in your head “she cant expect her mature son to appease the immature son anymore” One more thing do what you said you will do and without further explanation, no socializing just leave and leave with your integrity intact. To stay longer will be placing this in jeopardy. Good luck.

  9. Natoya Raymond,

    AndyD and Eudox, gave you excellant advice.

    I would like to expand on 2 points in Eudox’s response.

    Authenticity, is a must, in us we wear many hats. All the hats are part of our authentic self. We may wear a different hat at work, a different hat going out with our friends, a different hat going to church, a different hat at a town hall meeting and so on.

    In all these instances and interactions we show and share a different part of our authentic selves. We must be true to ourselves always and not get lost. The covert N is a master at destroying our authenticity and trying to mold us into their idea of who we should be.
    Our true inner authenticity may be the most loving, kind, generous, altruistic person in the family. I believe this is why Eudox advised you to never show your authentic self, meaning never show your empathetic part of yourself to the CD. Wear your authentic hat of strength.

    It is a very good to say to the CD ” I am sorry you feel that way……” The less you say to the CD the better, give them nothing. If they are insulting, just shrug your shoulders and excuse yourself to get a drink of water or use the little girls room.

    Never engage or take anything the CD says personally, the CD will never hear you, they only hear themselves. Eudox said: never show vulnerability, this is key, never show weakness. Weakness to them is like the wolf smelling a wounded animal and then going in for the kill. Use all of your God given wisdom in dealing with these kind. No reaction, no real response, give them nothing. Learn to listen to what your gut an inner being is telling you. Watch and listen carefully, after awhile your instincts will kick in.

    Again, excellent advice by both AndyD and Eudox. I wish you the best and God bless.

  10. BTOV

    I agree totally about being polite when a CD is being insulting and man can I think of quite a few less diplomatic retorts but remember she’s dealing in a sombre social gathering. Always better to be polite in the face of adversity, especially in public as they do after all try to bring us down to their level and make us out to be the tormentors. Any type of response they can “work up” to appear to be insensitive will be, especially in such a sombre setting – the CD is always the victim. They are so morbidly good at it it’s best they don’t succeed. It’s best that we come up smelling like roses and they look like the horses ass they are.

    It reminds me of an old saying “Never argue with idiots because they will bring you down to their level then beat you with experience” rings true for CDs too.

    1. Eudox,

      The CD is never satisfied, it is wise never to stoop to their level. Be short, sweet and courteous even if they are rude. You have everything to gain by retaining your dignity and not taking the bait. Easier said then done. Believe me, people will notice the difference in the interactions of the CD and a person that is level headed and maintains their composure.

      When you enter the snake pit, you have to tiptoe your way gracefully, not an easy task when there are several with their fangs out. Take charge of your emotions and let your natural survival instincts guide your way. Never show fear or be intimidated by their hissing, resists their lures and stay focused and you will make it out of the pit and hopefully, have gained more insight and wisdom. Powerful weapons for any future encounters.

  11. Natoya,

    As Dr.Simon reminds us, you can’t control other people’s reactions and attitudes, least of all pathologically disordered individuals. The best you can do is emotionally remove yourself. Understand you mil has been damaged by her relationship with her now deceased partner, make allowances for her and then let it drop.

    Your husband should be distancing himself from his brother, emotionally, as well. Harder when it’s family though. But if he doesn’t or can’t do that, just limit your own interaction. When you go to the funeral bare all of this in mind.

    My late husband and his family were very kind but could be a bit on the passive side. Events that occurred just before husband died, coming from disordered people outside the family were VERY concerning. I would have taken a very tough stance with these interlopers and acted differently. But….I was just one person and I realized whatever was happening had to play itself out. I let husband know what I thought, repeatedly.

    Ultimately, I had to drop it because they had a way of dealing with life that was very different than what I am used to and I couldn’t impose my style on my husband. I had to separate emotionally and let them do their thing.

    My desire to rescue was overwhelmed by familial forces that had been in play for multiple generations.

    Sometimes just giving up or, “letting go and letting God,” as they say, is the best way to proceed.

  12. I am new to this blog, but have read some of the comments with interest. I would like to weigh in on the subject of complaining about therapists who are not helpful. Perhaps an analogy will help. If you go to a doctor for a physical health problem you expect him or her to listen to your symptoms and check you out and make a reasonable diagnosis and treatment plan that will get you well. What your parents think is wrong with you is irrelevant if you are an adult. Even if you are a child, the doctor should diagnose and treat you based on all information, that from your parents, yourself and what he sees when he checks you out. Ina the case of a child a doctor should always be aware that parents themselves might be causing the problem for the parents could be abusing the child or causing the symptoms because they have Munchausen syndrome by proxy. If they don’t treat you with all that in mind are you at fault or are they at fault. You are coming for help, they are paid professionals.
    I know that we have to take responsibility for our own mental wellbeing, but when a professional is being paid and they don’t preform as they are trained to do, they are fully responsible for their actions. If someone names their failure they should not be criticized, but rather applauded for the good sense of seeing the fault.
    I went to a marriage therapist once. It was clear that my character disordered husband was pulling the wool over her eyes. I became quite angry. She told me she didn’t know how to relate to me because I was so angry. Huh? A therapist who doesn’t know how to relate to anger. She could have instead asked me why I was so angry eh? I the victim of my lying controlling husband, became the victim of the clueless therapist who should have hung up her shingle since she didn’t know how to deal with angry clients.
    Luckily I had a few decent therapists who helped me get to the point where I could become responsible for my own salvation from disordered characters. But I paid lousy therapists more than once to do little or even blame me.
    For me the solution was to learn to identify these characters and put as much distance as I can from them. Learn to identify, and put up barriers or distance as much as possible. They might change but if you don’t need them in your life why go to the effort and put yourself at danger.

  13. Kasey, Thank you. I guess we can applaud all the good therapists out there and condemn, blame, criticize and find fault with all the others!

    I think this thread went a bit off the rails with the issue of ‘blame.’ Obviously, those we pay to help should at the very least do the bare minimum to get all the facts AND to get past the idiotic notion that lying and deviance aren’t also part of the power dynamics involved in counselling when two parties are in opposition.

    Some highly educated people are incredibly stupid at street level. I don’t know how they would survive outside of the ivory towers of their professions.

    1. LisaO,

      The thread might had gone off a bit, which it does many times, however, its all interconnected and better expressed than not. Could not had said it better: ” Some highly educated people are incredibly stupid at street level.” I am glad these points are brought to the forefront.

      1. BTOV/LisaO

        I’ve worked with some serious academics and PhDs in my career and can’t agree more that some intelligent people lack common sense. A good deal of them lack empathy too as a vast majority of them are totally left brain types. PhDs in particular, however, I wouldn’t go so far as to say they are all like that but I haven’t met to many of them! I used to work with a lot of environmental scientists and to say their arrogance is beyond the pale is a understatement. Some of them are also incredibly rude and have no “people sense” as in how to deal with people with respect. It is their holier than though attitude they think they are superior because they have a PhD. One of the women I worked with was one and she also used to lecture at Uni – she said the PhDs also made the worst students. A lot of them do post grad studies. At the end of the day a person’s IQ is irrelevant if they have low EQ.

  14. I think some psychiatrists are trying to figure out human emotion using their patients as guinea pigs. What a bizarre set up! And yes, being overly left brained can be a hindrance. Those in the helping professions should be balanced in the hemisphere dept!
    Hope you guys had a great Easter!

  15. Just a little side – note, a recollection I have of counseling.
    While attending a “marriage counseling” session I continually asked a question of the husband, of which he would not answer. I was becoming agitated and frustrated. The creep would not answer the question. I made some snide comment, at which time the husband jumped out of his chair and said he’s not taking this and headed for the door to leave. At which time I rushed to the door, sat in a chair by it and blocked his exit. I said, “Oh, no, you can stay. I’ll quit asking.” My counselor then says “I don’t think you’re going to get your answer.”
    I can laugh at that now.
    She was excellent.
    She saw the creep for who he was, would question him as he’d evade, evade, evade, but she was relentless.
    She later told me he is the most evasive person she’d ever seen in her practice 30+ years.
    Lucky me – that husband of mine. The Most Evasive. Not surprising. I was glad though that she saw through all his manipulation and lies.
    By the way, I do have a court hearing upcoming. Maybe I’ll actually be divorced this year.

  16. Hi Lucy,

    Great to see you posting and so hoping you can have that 160lb boil you have been lugging around, lanced by the judicial system! LOL

    I read something so great the other day by a nutritionist. She said that so many women in their 50’s and 60’s come to get her advice about how to rid themselves of the 10 to 20 lbs of extra weight they are carrying around their mid sections.

    She said often the real problem is the 160 pounds of ugly fat, sitting on the sofa beside them. They should be doing their utmost to get rid of that!

    Btw, I saw a counsellor with a couple of partners in the course of a life time. I got amazing support from both. Thankfully, all of this therapy was done in a subdued atmosphere. There was no major acrimony, hatred or major personality disorders involved. So MUCH easier!

    1. Well I can’t blame my weight gain on him – I left the marital home over two years ago. Maybe in stress eating. And I do love food
      Counseling with a lying sack of crap is a waste of energy and time and money. I got things resolved in my ow. Mind, at least, through counseling, seeing clearly that the marriage was a lost cause, a waste of my precious life

      1. Lucy, as I am wrapping it up in the last little bit of therapy (CDN birthday is in a couple weeks, and quitting therapy as now the source of the need is done, considering the options, doesn’t matter if you’re overeating. God knows I prferred to self medicate with food, there are worse things. When I had this converstation with someone today, I said that the CDN, she has a gun permit (and a mother, makes no difference), but had correctly marked the box, never had any mental health treatment-it does no good. Only thing she did as far as pain killers is quit taking them. I had counselors and so forth, who kicked her out and asked her not to come back.

        I hear ya!

        1. CDN of course are perfect and don’t need treatment.
          The best treatment for me was to get the heck away from the jerk and not read emails, texts, any communication.

          1. Lucy,

            She doesn’t have my number. Only an address-which the folks at the desk where I am living right now, have been instructed to send it back-any checks, my bank has also been given her account number, and told to also return those checks too.

            All due respect to Dr. Simon and Company, but is it not the case that a vulnerable narcissist is an oxymoron? Like “Peace Force?”

          1. Eudoxia,

            The only thing I have noticed is that my father never laid a hand on us, psychologically or physically, all of these things came from my mother. My question about this video: How much did they pay that guy to be so honest?

  17. JC

    Just as well you had one non abusive parent. However if they are enablers it can be just as damaging. The guy in the video is Sam Varknin he wrote Malignant Self Love Narcissism Revisited. I’ve listened to hundreds of hours of his talks he’s legitimate. He takes you straight into how they think. I’ve learned a lot about their kind from Varknin.
    HG Tudor is another one who is putting additional information out there he’s a diagnosed narcissistic sociopath the most dangerous kind.

    1. Eudoxia,

      I was referring to the man in the video who is talking about what he is like to be a narcissist, I can’t remember his name-but he was the narcissist talking to the others in the video. And was spot on. The specifics are what got me, when he tells people about his “internal aggression,” and so forth. He even talks about the money issue, which to me, it is right on with where my CDN mother came from. This is what hurts, but the things about my father that she hated so much are the ones that are my saving grace. I told him thank you.

      They want you to blame everyone else. But telling her to get a psychiatrist for her own mental problems it does no good. There is no treatment.

  18. JC – why are they doing it. Supply what else. Tudor has to as part of this therapy in order for him to keep his inheritance he’s apparently from a very wealthy family probably one of the older monied families is my guess. He claims he’s a descendant of not Henry Tudor (Henry VIII) but one of his closest advisors. Oliver Cromwell comes to mind but I’m just guessing Tudor wouldn’t say, so I didn’t press it. I had an hours consult with Tudor and he greatly assisted me in working out what class of narcissist my daughter is – the worst kind there is. But that’s okay because I already suspected that she was. It’s all in the behavior.

    It depends on how much you wish to know about their kind. Me personally – everything I can. Tudor has a different way of classifying their kind as in lesser, mid ranger and greater narcissists.

    Varknin and Tudor are obviously not for everyone but each to their own in our own healing journies. I find them both particularly helpful and insightful.

    1. So to me, the answer is clear. A lot of money, is the obvious answer. Just wanted to know how his cooperation was gained. I would not want to be in the same room.

      You are right, I don’t want to know the rest, it doesn’t matter.

      1. JC – money is always a motivation of course but Varknin does give lectures at Universities and yes I assume he would be paid for this. Narcissistic supply is their No 1 source of motivation and always will be money will be secondary to that.

        In order for you to know how his co-operation was gained you would have to listen to him personally or ask him. He does not have evil intent from what I can make out and speaks the truth as far as I can tell – I know that is difficult to believe coming from one of them but thus far I can’t fault his material. I am not a health care professional or practitioner but from my own personal experience with a broad range and I would say every type and style of narcissist there is I appreciate the service he’s offering. He’s at least giving back in his own way and this is exceedingly rare.

    2. The question that occurred to me at first when I realized where the problem really lay, was how someone can claim they love someone, that “you are the love of my life,” and continue the destruction of my own life with no regard, that isn’t love, and neither are conditions. Then when I sent all the electronic mail even, returned the post mail? It isn’t love of me, it is love of herself. That doesn’t change. For her, no.

      1. JC
        During a counseling session my psychologist told me that she thinks the husband really did love me. I thought to myself it doesn’t even after. His kind of love – if there was such thing – was not the kind of love I needed. It didn’t matter. Maybe these people are not capable of loving others the way some of us do. Their makeup and character is different.

        1. Lucy,

          I was re-reading this thread. The counselor (waste of $$$), IMO is wrong. Or only partly. Whatever the narc is in love with about you is anything that reminds them of themselves.

      2. JC/Lucy – they don’t love us. We are a source of supply to them nothing more. While we are obedient slaves all good. When we are not or God forbid, start to stand up for ourselves and our own rights like breathing etc – that’s when they up the ante on their abuse.

        We are not our own beings in the world according to God Narcissis. We belong to them – we are their property! And they are entitled to treat us any way they like. Well they can go take a flying f**^*

        1. I completely agree. “Go hire a psychiatrist for your own mental problems” were the most freeing 9 words I ever said. It is a good thing that we live in different states, if for no other reason than in their infinite wisdom, the governement gave her a gun permit. One in the right hands saveed my life a lot of years ago, but minutes before that happened, it also nearly took my life. No easy answers.

          1. JC
            She came after you with a gun? My goodness.
            Through the 2+ years of divorce proceedings hell, the SB X had two large gun safes full of guns, rapid fire guns, one gun that the bullet travels two miles (a sniper gun). pistols. rifles. hand guns. I asked him to remove them from the house. You know what his answer was? They are locked up according to law. I don’t know why you’re concerned. Well – he had the safe combo – and I didn’t. I was afraid of him using it on me and claiming self defense. He’d keep saying “But they are locked up.” He thinks I’m so dumb as to not understand he’s got the combo and therefore it’s not safe. Is that gaslighting? I don’t know, but it’s screwed up.

        2. Eudox
          To me love is how you treat a person, care for them, help them, have genuine concern for their well being. It’s not a “feeling”. The X needed me because I held together what little was left. I was the last piece that he lost. And boy did he come after me! The divorce is final. Now for the monetary cleanup job. He created mass destruction for me. But piece by piece I’ll resolve it. It will take several years, but I’ve got no choice, do I but to clean it up.

          1. Lucy

            I totally agree with what you are saying. To love is to genuinely care for others with empathy, compassion, understanding and acceptance in a non judgemental way. True and pure love is unconditional. Being “in love” is something else but notwithstanding the same parameters apply.

            What I have learned through my trials and tribulations is that CD teach us everything love is not and in a strange way it may or may not be part of our evolutionary process – the CD make us realise to one degree or another how we have not been truly loving ourselves (not as in narcissistic love but love as mentioned).

            Lucy we all know what you have been through with SB. At the end of the day you have not lost one single thing. Yes you’ve lost some money. But on the other hand you have gained something far more valuable – YOUR TRUE SELF. You can now clearly define what love is and above all what love isn’t.

            God will never leave you empty.
            He will replace everything you’ve lost.
            If he asks you to put something down.
            It is because he wants you to pick up something greater.

            Well done Lucy, you have come out of the crucible, you are alive, well and know what real love is. I wonder how many of us alive on this planet today will be blessed in such a way. I know I am and for that I am eternally grateful.

            Big huggzzzzzzzz to you.

  19. Lucy,

    This is right on. All the break in reality stopped when I told her to get a psychiatrist for her own mental problems. No treatment. But setting myself free!!!!


    1. JC

      Setting yourself free was the best thing you could do. Let her sort out her own issues. It’s not your problem anymore.
      Do you find your tolerance for dramatic people and nonsense is much lower now? Lately I’ve found that when certain people talk to me like a dog chasing its tail, or negative or rehashing over and over and over again the same issues of the past – things that don’t matter – I can literally feel my mind tensing up, I try to go somewhere else with my mind because I cannot listen to dramatic nonsense any more! I don’t know how to get out of these situations gracefully, but I find myself getting out of sorts sitting there listening to the BS.

      1. Lucy,
        Just a suggestion, know the names of several books to and suggest they read them. Sympathize with them, such as:
        I am really sorry you have to go through this, I read such and such and suggest you read the book as well. Also, suggest a you tube and then politely excuse yourself.

        Just a thought!

  20. Vulnerable narcissist is an oxymoron.

    I’m now incapable of it. Truth in the statement that if you’re lucky they’ll abandon you.

  21. JC

    I can understand why you would say that. The vulnerable narc is really another kettle of fish. Having experienced quite a few of them they can actually display genuine affection. They, just like classic narcisists are short on empathy. It’s the vulnerable narcs who have low self worth. The classic narcs have an over inflated opinion of their own self worth (I am not talking about true self esteem here). They are really quite pathetic. They are also the ones who lash our aggressively and violently when put into narcissistic injury. The others will still damage you but more covertly. This was taken from Melanie Tonia-Evan’s narc test it’s from one of the results that was returned for a vulnerable narc I know.

    Unhealthy narcissism is at play, and your life is often viewed as ‘what can I get’ instead of genuinely contributing to and caring for others. It will be difficult for you to sustain healthy relationships and establish consistency and durability in your life. There is the ability for you to create your ‘self’ and establish a healthy life, but it will take concerted effort. It’s highly suggested that you don’t engage in personal love relationships (if single) until you have worked on yourself. If you’re in a relationship it’s likely that your love partner will also require assistance for their recovery of self.

    The above is what I envisage is a decent explanation of a “vulnerable narcissist” they are also referred to as lesser narcissists (Tudor).

    1. Dr Simon

      It would be of value if you could give your opinion on the above? I for one would greatly appreciate it. You have exceptional knowledge of the types and I am sure the others would value your opinion as well.

      Many thanks


    2. Euxodia,

      I still feel that vulnerable narcissist is an oxymoron. The only narcissist that is vulnerable is one who wants to be. Period. If there was any concern for others, then maybe this would be the case, long as they are all about themselves, I am not going to agree.

      At one point, yes, maybe they were vulnerable, but only very early on. Once you reach a certain point, you are also at the point of no return. A narcissist in my experience at least, you never are going to really know.

      Benefit of 42 years of putting up with the same old same old before I finally said she needed a psychiatrist for her own mental problems, the problem I have is when she applied for a gun permit, the box was marked, “No mental health treatment,” lol, there is none. She was being honest on that end.

      In her case, vulnerable, my ass.

      1. JC,

        I would put the gun permit out of the mix. You are now states away from the CD, I would say she bought the gun for self protection as most CD are cowards and paranoid. On the other hand the CD is alone and it is good for one to be able to protect herself.

        I think you are doing a terrific job in taking back your life and understanding the dynamics of the CD. In all, she is your mother. Deep within us all, regardless, love our CD parents. Not in the way a normal person does, but we do love them at a level of consciousness for what we believe they should of been and the the few bones we were tossed.

        Understanding the diseased mind of the CD will set you free, especially, if you forgive her. I am not suggesting a relationship as it will only keep you in the sick loop. The forgiveness is more for the forgiver, it will set you free to go on in a healthy way, it will give you inner piece. In the end the CD will have to answer for their sins.

        Believe me in the end the CD will bring enough grief and troubles upon themselves without you lifting a finger. No Contact is the key for you too.

  22. I see your point. Sounds like my mother.

    She is going to have to be the vulnerable narcissist with her husband. Poor guy.

    She has also done quite enough.

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