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Dr, do you have any experience dealing with a true narcissist?

Started by catherine, Mar 22, 2004, 12:35:39 PM

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I am not the doctor, but I have been dealing with a "True" narcissist for a long 10yrs. My ex wife is a "True" narcissist. My ex wife has physical custody of my children. Before my ex wife and I divorced, we both took the MMPI testing during the course of our marriage and family counseling. We both subpheona each other's test results during the course of the divorce. My ex wife was attempting to prove via the test that I was clinically depressed and thus an unfit spouse and father. I found out via ex wife's test results that ex wife had a very bad personality disorder, Narcissisium. And her narcissism had fully developed.

There is a web site and author of a book that explains narcissism. The only advice I can give you for dealing with a "True" narcissist, is that if you can stay away from the person that is a narcissist, the better off your life will be. A "True" narcissist is a very sick person and will make any person's that has a direct realationship with the narcissist, crazy.

A narcissist has to have the approval and praise of person's that are close to them. This approval and praise is like the need of a drug for a drug addicted person. Also a narcissist is a very self centered person, and it's whole view of the world is about the narcissist/person. A narcissist views person's that are close to them and others, are only to be used by the narcissist. And a narcissist will use person's to only benefit the narcissist and other person's that the narcissist comes close to are viewed "only" as what they can do for the narcissist and serve no other purpose.

The narcissist I have been dealing with only views it's children as a possesion. The children have no other use or value other than to validate the narcissist's need to prove to others that this narcissist's is a good mother. That this narcissist will go to great lengths to prove to other's a myth that this narcissist is a good parent/mother. But behind the secenes and behind closed doors this narcissist is a horrible mother and has done horrible things to my children(neglect, verbal abuse, spend all monies for the narcissist's benefit not the children's benefit, ect.)

Also, a narcissist will lie, steal, fraud, and do just about anything it wishes. A narcissist does not have conscious. Also, a narcissist spends it's whole time attempting to portray something it is not. A narcissist is in a constant search and constant attempt to portray it's self something other than what actually the narcissist is. Also, a narcissist will lie, steal, cheat, or do just about anything to win. And I mean win at anything, win arguements, win court battles, win at any sports, win at any games, win the approval of others, win the praise of others, ect. ect.!

Also, a narcissist's does not like to be considered common or as a common person. A narcissist's always thinks it's self as
being/having  "grandeur".

To answer your question, 'How to deal with a narcissist?'
You stay away!

Kitty C.

What you wrote struck a chord with me.  Can you pass on that website  and the title of the book you mentioned?  I'd like to look into this further.  Thanks!
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


I noted a "true" narcissist because a person can have nascisstic tendencies but not the personality disorder.

I am a firm believer that our PB has the disorder.  It's difficult to "stay away" when DH and her have kids together!


Our PB is Histrionic.  This disorder has many of the same characteristics as Narcissism, but is much more theatrical.  Drama about EVERYTHING is sought after.  Every cold is a "horrible virus" for sympathiy.  Every new guy in her life is "the love of my life, my soul mate" - so after two weeks she's moved in and involving the kids in every detail of their relationship.  

By far the most damaging characterisistic where the kids are concerned is that they aren't allowed to "feel" things - only she is.   If they disagree with her "they hurt her feelings".  If she misses their performances, due to a date and they tell her , SHE cries and says "they have devastated her and how could they hyrurt HER like this, etc."  What this does to them is make them afraid to feel anything. They live in fear that she will "react" in dramatic fashion .   They feel "guilty" all the time.

She can't stand to be alone, because if she's alone she will disapear.  So she has called at 10pm to see if the kids can come over to "keep her company and sleep with her because she's all alone".   She won't discipline because they might "get made at her" and leave her alone.  

It's alwful.  However, she can be exteremely charming, and is excellent at portraying herself as the helpless damsel in distress, worthy of  rescue. She is the eternal victim.  Nothing is her fault and she is not capable of accountability.  If you disagree with her you are a "bully".  She lies without remorse and does it so much I think she believes what she says.  The kids both lie, I suppose due to the extent of exposure to it and encouragement not to "tell".   And the youngest child has stated that he thinks lying is "an instinct - something he just does..."..    The teen years are going to be soooooo fun.

I sympathize with you greatly!  Unless you have been around these narcissitists-types it is hard to convey the amount of damagae and distruction they can to do to a family.  No one would believe that they can do the things they do and get a way with it.  But they do.  She is rewarded for her behavior all the time.  Her current boyfriend (who "rescued" her from the one....." ) is buying her a house and paying her bills because she's too "stressed out" to work (DH had his CS increased because she was "unable to work due to stress" as well).  


Yes you are very correct about a true narcissist causing much damage and having the very easy ability of not paying a price for the actions of the narcissist's. A true narcissist, in my opinion, is a "very" dangerous person and will cause/extract great problems and harm to person's that are closest to the narcissist. A huge problem with a true narcissist is that they have "no" conscious or they believe everything is another person's fault. If a narcissist steals money from someone, they believe that they have every right to take the money because after all the person they stole the money from, either has plenty of money or the person actually owed the money to them. "As my ex wife did: She changed the amounts on medical bills on my children that she was sending and I was suppose to reimburse her for. My ex's reasoning for changing the amounts on the bills was that I already owed her and I had been deliquent on reimbursing her on prior billings. Also that I was wealthy and she was poverty."

The above example is a prime example of the way a true narcissist thinks and rationalizes it's actions. Also, once a narcissist is caught and made to be portrayed/publicly exposed, a narcissist will find other targets and will attempt continue to use or fraud other's. As my ex has done. My ex's new/latest victim is the state/federal government and her local community. My ex has obtained State Medicaid and Federal Food Stamps. My ex lied on the application for both, stating her income to be much lower than it actually is. The amount of income a person can have and be approved for medicaid is very low. But my ex wife own's a 2story home, w/swimming pool in backyard, in nice neighborhood, plays tennis for recreation 3-4times a week, takes expensive week long vacations about every 3-4months. But receives medicaid and food stamps? But my ex uses some of the food stamps to purchase grocery's and then prepares some of the food and takes it to the homeless shelter to feed the homeless.

A narcissist will also be totally self serving and only do what the narcissist believes that the public expects. Example: My ex took my handicapped son to rehab therapists. She was very public about how many times that she took son to therapists. She was very public about how many times that she had to take off of work to transport son to therapists. But very seldom did she actually attend the therapy sessions with son and basically did not have a clue as what the therapists were doing with son. The therapists had repeatdly requested via son for son's mother to attend the therapy sessions, so that the therapists could show son's mom exercises that son needed to do at home. After months of non-compliance of son not doing home exercises, the therapist discharged/terminated therapies. The above is a prime example of how self centered ex is and how a narcissist will portray that image of being a very good mother/provider, but cause great harm.

Once confronted with the facts of ex's failure with son's therapy. Ex rationalized that the therapist was at fault and that ex really did not like the therapist and that the therapist was to far away(across town). That a new/better therapists is needed(4th therapist). Even though the last therapist was highly recomended by a doctor and trained/specialized in treating son's type of condition. Son's current therapist is not specialized.


An excellent website:


"Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited"
The Introduction: The Habitual Identity

This has excellent links also:


I was a member of N_Magnets Anonymous for several years.  It's a Yahoo group, and you can learn a lot from the members.  Unfortunately it can also get pretty depressing, which is why I don't participate anymore :-(


I am a firm believer that our PB has the disorder. It's difficult to "stay away" when DH and her have kids together!

Yeah, you're right.  Unfortunately the sanest thing to do is to run....if you can.  Check my post to KittyC.  There's some good links.  


You know, I've argued about personality disorder here.  Imo, it's not the gender, it's the personality.  My ex husband could be both your ex's twin.

God the lies he tells.  My kids lie.  The teen years are no fun, so brace yourself.  And the attitude?  I posted about his latest letter of instructions on the Father's board.  People probably think I make too much of things, but you all know how they love to yank the chain.  I was married to mine for 19 years. There are things I just won't talk about. The youngest is 9, so I have 9 years to go.  Between his lies to get his wife hooked, and the neighbor from hell (whom I "devalued"-see rant and moan on general issues board, lol), my health kind of did a weird turn.  

Notice how nothing sticks to them?  Brand new houses, new cars?  Look, the man does work for a living, but when I personally know a guy who had to live out of his van for 2 years, because of his divorce....I just have to ask if these people have Satanic protection.  

Does anyone have a problem of being a "magnet" for these types of people?  Besides my ex, I had a boss who was completely insane(conditional Jesus freak) and hired me personally, then my neighbor decided to be my best buddy.  She moved in when I was 10, and my mom couldn't stand her.  Unfortunately my mom had some problems, and it conditioned me.  Hey at least I take after my dad :-)

One more thing...this is contagious.  All I wanted was peace and sanity in our lives.  Nothing fancy, just a peaceful boring existence.  My kids have "it", so nothing is ever peaceful around here.  Oh well.


This was in jest and means a lot more if you know the whole story which would probably take about 5 years or at least a 20 page paper.


Crazy, insane, mentally ill
You really need
To take a pill.

Self admitted bipolar
God won't cure you
Born-again, holy roller.

Blinded by insanity
You need to work on
Your vanity.

Egomaniac to the extreme
Beyond our world
Self esteem.

Poet, author, soldier, and more
Cop, lawyer, doc, medic
All ideas that you adore.

I'll tell you what you need to do:
And see a doctor too


Yup, this has to be one of the toughest disorders to deal with.  She is such a great con artist and always protrays herself as the victim or as the hero when in all actuality her "reality" is so far from the truth it's sickening.

Kitty C.

Wow, what a TON of information!  I've already printed off almost 50 pages!

I have reason to believe that my sister has these tendencies, along with OCD, ADD, and some developmental disabilities.  Yes, it's a mess, to say the least.  And right now she's in some hot water.  She's receiving services and there is a review with the staff who works with her tomorro, how convenient.  I'm taking some of this info with me.......
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


I'm sorry to hear about your sister.  Don't rule out schizophrenia as a possible cause of her issues.  Hope all goes well for you both tomorrow :-)


Scary thought! My siblings and I were told by a counselor that our father was a classic narcissist. We were not to worry because it is very rare for a child of a narcissist to become one themselves due to the very nature of the way they are raised. They are raised to enable their disordered parent. To serve, to compliment, to worship them, and are rejected harshly for deviation from the worship.  Instead of being selfish, the child of a narcissist becomes almost pathetically selfLESS.

After reading these posts.. a terrible thought came to me. I have long suspected that my daughter has the same disorder. She has absolutely no conscience whatsoever, lies without effort, no remorse, never did, and calculatingly surrounds herself with friends who think she's the bee's knees. She is absolutely classic. I've noticed this behavior since she was about 18 months old. A car accident changed her entire personality dramatically and that was what she's been like since.

And here I am .. the child of a narcissist.. raised to enable one. How much of this was my doing?? I feel like throwing up right now..

To make matters even more confusing... my mother seems to have the classic symptoms of Histrionic Personality disorder... No lie! No wonder my parent's marriage didn't make it!  My ex-hubby is just like my mother. Imagine, I've always.. all my life HATED mushrooms...and I marry this guy who tells me, "The only reason you hate mushrooms is because I love them!" That is just one example in a million of how irrational my life was when I was married.  Drama king of the world!

What conclusions can I draw from all of this information??


I've never heard of it before, but the way you describe it, it sounds like my SO's ex wife to a T....Is it a real illness?  What causes it?  And how can it be proved?


 BOY , do I understand Narcissism!! I have been studying this disorder for the past three years. My DH's EX wife is a passive narcissist. Nothing is her problem or her fault. It's truely mind boggling the sheer audacity of these bozo's, I mean really!!! I am always picking my jaw up off of the floor due to her entitlement issues. She does nothing for no one EVER( including her own children), yet , everyone is supposed to bend over backwards "just because" she exists!! She is never to blame for anything, ever and has never apologized for anything in her entire life!!    

 Everything is due to the fact that she is"broke" or "she can't afford this" or "can't afford that." OR "this happened because you did this first " OR  "I don't see my kids or call them because you make me pay child support" (EVEN THOUGH her and new DH make a combined income of 60K per year). She ignores her children and rarely calls them (we moved to another state) and this is also our fault because we moved. She sends her children the cheapest gifts, she sent her daughter four dollar store items in a bag for her birthday, no card, no letter. She will send her sons a t-shirt each the cheap ten dollar kind.

 HELLO, she gave us permission to move and didn't care yet she says she is like this because we moved!!  She is emotionally aloof and lacks empathy in a truely pathologically disturbing way!! She gave us custody in 1999, she didn't even meet me until I had already been raising her children for nearly a year! I have been raising this womens children for five years and NOT ONCE has she ever showed me any warmth or gratitude. She fought tooth and nail to get out of paying $100 per week child support for THREE children, no insurance and no extra's EVER!!

 She walks around with loads of make-up, hair fully loaded and sprayed down with a gallon of hairspray, three inch long nails painted brightly and perfectly manicured,mini skirts and provacative clothing. YET, when she had custody the children were bathed WEEKLY and dressed in wrinkled, stained clothing that didn't fit. Her children looked like trash and she looked like  a hooker painted up to go out and walk the streets. She does nothing for no one but the barest possible minimum. She isn't angry or argumentative she says nothing to no one, ever. She is too good to fight or stoop to anyones level because in her eyes she is perfect and can do no wrong. She is immature, presumptuous and thinks the entire universe revolves around meeting her needs, yet, she does nothing for anyone else.

 The women is the most selfish human being I have ever encountered on this earth! The best way for DH and I to deal with her is to keep alot of distance. She only see's her children once a year (per her request) even though we offerred fall break, spring break and Christmas. She says that...  " I would like to see the children more but I know you wont go out of your way for me because you are too immature to go out of your way for me and bring them here and back!"  HELLO? She lives 13 hours away we offerr to share transportation as it is court ordered as shared. SHE blames us for her not wanting to bring them back after her parenting time. SO she see's them once a year and its all our fault!! LOL  She doesn't ask for any pictures,report cards,medical reports, nothing...WHY? because she honestly could care less!!

Dr. D

Yes, I do have experience in dealing with Narcissistic Personality Disorders.  These type of people need very clear boundaries and rules!  Do not give an inch!  Part of a narcissistic personality is that sense of self entitlement -- to everything and everyone!  It is VERY difficult to handle this without professional help.  It is much easier to deal with the family and those around him/ her.  Find yourself, be true to yourself and protect yourself.


very good and sound advice. But I would really like for you to tell everyone the reason that it's better/easier to work with the family that's around a narcissist and not attempt to cure or help a "true" narcissist. I have been told and have studied, that a narcissit that has totally developed this personality disorder, is not able or seldom able to receive theraputic help for the disorder. That most narcissist's seldom are able to see their problem(ie; "it's always somebody else's fault"). That most narcissist fail with any therapy, because they are not willing to self exam.

So, therefore it's better,  more reasonable, more effective and less time consuming, to teach person's(spouse's, children, business partner's ect.) how to deal with a narcissistic personality disorder.

Also, the advice of being true to your self and protecting yourself is true. But most victims of a narcissist, are neurotic and very giving of them self's. As these type of persons are prime targets of a narcssist. Therefore these types of persons also tend to "not" have tools and abilities thwart the control of a narcissist.

Again, from my experinces of dealing with a "true and fully developed" narcissist, is to distance yourself as far as possible from the narcissist. And I know when you are the former partner of a narcissist and have children with a narcissist, that it's very difficult to distance yourself from the narcissist. As distancing yourself from a narcissist is the "only" way I have found to not become easy prey, controled, and entangled in the narcissist's totally messed up world. This is not to say that you should totally abandoned your children that is still with the narcissist. Rather, just distance yourself as a form of self protection, so that you may be allowed to help protect your children.

Also, developing clear and defined self bounderies with the narcissist, is another tool of dealing with a narcissist. One of the few things I have found that dealing with a narcissist understands, is clear and consiece rules/bounderies. And that a narcissist will recoil move on to other easier targets when the person that is the target of a narcissist, stands up and sets bounderies and enforces self control. And a narcissist will change/seek other targets/victims if forceably and absolutely exposed to the narcissist's false attempted persona that the narcissist is attempting to portray.

Example: My ex was sleeping with every person that she could bed with. My ex was neglecting my kids. Leaving them home un-attended at night, while she pursued her next pariomont at the local bar/night club secene. When I had finally had enough of her exposing my kids to a steady stream of men brought into my children's home and negelecting the children. I went to my ex and told her (exposed her) that if she did not stop the behavior (set the boundries), that I would seek custody of the children. Within 2weeks, my ex moved herself and my children 3.5hrs away(recoiled and sought other victims/sources). Then my ex was able to find another new whole pool of victims in the new city/town that she moved to and do so without any interference and lesser chance of being exposed. In my opinion, 'classic narcissistic personality disorder behavior'. Also moved as form of punishment to me for exposing her or even crossing/confronting her behavior. Punishment in the form or moving thus harming/thwarting me and my children's relationship.

"Classic" and very predictable. The only problem I didn't understand the personality disorder until it was too late and my children were taken/moved away. Taken away to only be subjected to more grevious behavior by their mom and have no one able to view and expose the behavior. Oh sure, I could have called CPS(child protection services) or the police. But as with a true narcissist, CPS and police are no match for the clever and tremdous abilities of a narcissist. And the narcissist has the easy ability to portray it's self to be totally something that it is not or portray the situation to something totally other than what was actually happening. Thus often the usual total inept/un-educated/non-experinced CPS agent, is no match for the "ture narcissist".


 I can't agree with you more. To defeat the enemy is to know the enemy. You have certainly done your homework as have I. These Narcissist's are very dangerous human beings. They can completely destroy your life without blinking an eyelash. Whatever you do, never ask them for anything, because they have nothing to give and will punish you for trying to make them feel responsible.

 Our lovely Narcissist BM has distanced herself from all of her children because they are no longer a consistent supply source to feed her inflated ego. When she gave us custody and moved in with her mother she exposed her true self to her entire family. Her family was devasted with her parenting skills and her behavior toward her children. They had no idea how neglectful she was because she put on a huge show for them the children's entire lives. When she had visitation in her Mothers home, her Mother and her sister witnessed her detachment from her children. Her careless and self-involved behavior sickened them. They had to bathe and feed the children because she would completely ignore the children's needs. She was always  like this the entire 7 years she was married to DH and no one knew.

 DH was offerred a job position in another state. The BM's own family told her to let us move because they knew the children needed to be away from her. It wasn't really hard for her to let her children go because they had become a reminder of her shattered true self due to being exposed to her family, the way she treated the children in front of them.  She had another baby (with another man) , another supply source and her older children were no longer needed. It was that easy, just like that, she was through with them.

  Your children will return to you some day when they start to see their Mother for what she truly is. These narcissist can only "play the role" for so long without exposing themselves. Good Luck.


If there's no way to help her.. and all there is to do is to teach others how to work around her... what's a mother to do???


 I am not a professional so this is just parent to parent advice. Boundaries and clear consequences will help you deal with a narcissistic child. Our BM refused to adhere to court orders until her freedom was taken from her. She was arrested and placed in jail. We knew that would be the only way to get her to pay for her children and it worked. It was NEVER about money for us, it was about principle and providing for your responsibilities in life. It wasn't that she couldn't afford to help raise her children it's just that she felt that she was above the rules and should not have to pay. She has a strict one payment missed order to keep her providing for her children. A very minimal order even though she lives a very comfortable lifestyle. This is what is meant by clear , strict, enforceable, boundaries.

  Most children are inherently narcissistic thats why I find it odd that your daughter was diagnosed with this disorder. Did you seek a second opinion? Full blown narcissism usually manifest itself in early adulthood. Children do have this disorder though and your child is proof of this. As has been stated in this thread, boundaries and consequences will help you cope with your daughter.


Like I'd mentioned, when my father had been diagnosed with NPD the counselor gave us a lot of information about it. He said that  a narcissist almost always has suffered an extremely traumatic event BEFORE the age of three. We've identified this event in the case of my father.

My daughter suffered a blow to the head when we were rear-ended by a semi when she was 18 months old. As her mother I immediately noticed a dramatic change in her personality.. even at such a young age. I swear they sent home from the hospital a different little girl.  

She has never been officially diagnosed with NPD but as the child of a narcissist.. I am very familiar with how it is manifested in someone. She is now 17 years old. Imagine raising a teenager with almost no conscience to speak of. Every issue is a battle. I love my daughter with all of my heart.. and believe she is genuinely incapable of loving me back. Of course, I realize now, that I was raised to enable a person with this problem. I think had I put two and two together years ago.. perhaps I could have given her the support and boundaries she needed when she was little and first started these traits. Instead.. I can see how I failed in that respect. Of course that began with the guilt from the car accident. I couldn't discipline her for about a year and a half. I kept thinking she'd been through enough. Guilt is ugly, and powerful.

This disorder is absolutely devastating to a family. I've had the misfortune to watch it do it's thing to two family's. Both mine.


After years of letting my ex control things with visitation to not rock the boat....things start to go bad for our son.  I have dealt with this man for years knowing that if I went up against him there would be hell to pay and not only for me but for our son.  

He's the smartest, best, most successful victim of life that lacks all luck and financial and life sense that has ever lived that I know.  I witnessed him control his other family from the outside as the new girl.  He raised a Narcissist that runs back to dad everytime he gets in trouble knowing dad will hide him or get him out somehow regardless of what happens to anyone else in that process.

I recognized it last year.  It's starting again.  Only this time i'm on the inside and so is our son.  Our guy is so confused and I spend so much time running through life lessons that make sense and have him answer the questions himself so he's teaching himself what's right that coincides what he learns in school and with friends as well in our house.  I hope it stays this easy for a while still and pray our son doesn't fall into the role himself even though he blames me for things that don't make sense at all at times but we work through it. I remember all the nightly yelling and arguing between the two narcissists in the house years ago once the younger one moved in with us.  A short few months later I physically left with our son.

In 2002 things were OK, he was using my computers for email, my car when he didn't have one to take our son here and there for the weekly evening run around but he became more rude and more demanding, but never when my husband was in the house.  I finally told him he wasn't welcome in our house, use my computers, use my phone unless it's an emergency or my car until he said "please" and "thank you".  It took until snow and rain for that to happen.  

The verbal attacks started agian, not only when we are alone but in front of our son and when he and our son are somewhere else because our son was bringing this home to me in the form of just up and saying it or in the manner of "guess what".  I got him to counseling immediately to relieve the pressure and talk with a neutral party.  I had already read novels on PA and PAS to alert myself on how to not fight back through the child but that wasn't good enough, that doesn't stop it on the other end.  I finally told my ex that our son was seeing the school counselor and the initial reason I sent him.  He thinks i'm just making it up yet he practiced it that night, three days later and three days after that.  So, he 1.) Doesn't know he's doing it.  2.) Will not admit to any wrong doing on his part, ever.  He's right, all the time, about everything and if I go against him the verbal abuse starts but never when there is anyone else around, unless it's our son.  I don't react with words or slamming things, I just look at him and continue what i'm doing and ignore it as fighting is what he wants and what scares our son.

This man is down to renting a room at a house.  Has never had a bed for our son, never a room, keeps his toys now in the trunk of his car.  Our son has always had a horrible habit of chewing on his lips.  I get them in real good shape, when he comes back home they are all chewed up.  Last Friday he had been crying because he broke a garage window at a friend's house.  The lotion went on.  When he came back home they were as if noone had taken care of them at all and were starting to crack.  One other time I had stopped by this house and our son had been gone from home for 30 hours.  The lips were in perfect shape but now the top one was beet red.  

The man claims to have raise three boys already and knows best.  I know the oldest stayed with his mother and is fine and married 15 minutes from where I live.  The middle one is working for his mother and the youngest (the narcissistic one) just went to court for selling his ritalin last December and has been in and out of legal trouble for as long as I have known him.  The two youngest were withdrawn from school by their father who boycotts a super store chain for life because they made the middle one pay for things his stole from them and do time in juvenile hall.  I could go on for days.

So how do I feel? I can't run, can't hide, can't react as it only makes it worse for not only me but for our son.  This man has been at this for a very long time and this is his second family so he's a seasoned player and has hashed out the rough spots already.

What am I going to do?  Take him to court for back child support, unpaid medical, credits given to him on child support because he agreed in court to provide medical insurance and never did and file a petition to stop overnight visitation until he can provide shelter.  It's going to be an explosion but this is the first time I'm holding him up to what he's supposed to be doing and not just by myself.


 I am really sorry to hear about your daughter, it must be really difficult trying to parent a child with this disorder. The good news is there hasn't been an official diagnosis. Maybe your daughter is exhibiting all of these symptoms due to her age? Teenagers often behave as if they are impaired emotionally. I know I was one of them, I acted as if the sun would rise and set in my own little garden of life. No one mattered in my life but me and my needs. I still feel enormous amounts of guilt about that time in my life because my Father had cancer and I wasn't really there for him emotionally. I WAS in a crisis at the time however because my parents had split up after 20 years of marriage. I don't think anyone in my family was capable of helping each other at the time.

 Not all N's have a had a traumatic experience before the age of three. I am sure most have, but some may have had other factors in forming their disorder. My skids BM was raped around age ten. I firmly believe that is what caused her to end up with this disorder because her home life was relatively stable.  Her family is so kind and generous but she is the direct opposite of them. Her Father sufferred from schizophrenia and depression and left her at age three so I am sure she had some gentic factors not helping her especially after the abuse.

 Your daughters head injury could very well have been significant in the formation of this personality disorder. Also if you had a parent that was an N this may show a gentic link to emtional problems in your family. I am sure you have your hands full with your daughter. I can only imagine what its like having a child with this because you can't distance yourself from your own children. It's never too late to set personal boundaries in your home. Remember that you are not to be abused by anyone not even your own children.

Good Luck To You

Dr. D

Well said - I don't NEED to say all this - you did a fine job with it!  You are well informed.

Dr. D

Needless to say, when your child develops a narcissistic personalility it is more difficult and more painful to deal with than in other relationships.    It is imperative that you set boundaries, have clear consequences, and be very disciplined in expectations AND the consequences.....giving in will not work with narcissistics......Love them and set those boundaries.

Dr. D

Narcissistic, Borderline Personality and Antisocial Personality Disorders are all VERY difficult for family members.  It must be very difficult to deal with loving someone, that you don't believe is capable of loving back.  However, most of these guys CAN love back, (they don't always show it though), and many of the destructive behaviors burn out over time (although usually not until the person reaches the 40's and 50's).  I can't emphasize enough the importance of protecting your own emotional wellness.  Setting clear boundaries, being true to yourself, is NOT self sacrificing it is essential for your own survival.  Best of luck.
Dr. D


Interesting that you mentioned narcissism "burning itself out" in the later years. My father is now in his late 60's and is a completely different person. He's the genious with an IQ of 156 and had always felt he and God were at equal levels. He was beyond the rules of mere humans, therefore they didn't apply to him. Because we humans wouldn't understand, he always broke the rules in secret. No one would have ever guessed what went on at home. Though his kids confronted him at one point there was no way to extract any sort of remorse.

Now.. he lives pretty far away, and though he believes he is a "prophet of God" (His wife insists it's true) and wrote a book that God told him was going to shock the scientific community, and is currently developing plans for a community much like the Davidian Compound, he is very gentle, actually somewhat humble.

When I did go visit him recently a business associate had asked to meet me as I am an artist and he was interested in commissioning a portrait. My father told him, "I haven't seen my daughter in 6 years, so I'm going to be very selfish. You can stop by for a few minutes." Growing up.. I was a "showpiece". He sought opportunities to show me off.. the old Dad would have not cared about spending the time with me.. over the chance to show off the progeny of his brilliance. HUGE difference.


------->>>"Though his kids confronted him at one point there was no way to extract any sort of remorse."

 This was a profound statement, it speaks voumes in regards to this disorder. Your father is a classic "N". The good thing is you are aware of his disorder and you are able to understand why he does the things he does. However, I know it still hurts and that is the tough part.

  I personally have issues with Narcissists because I expect them to play "fair" and show some empathy. To apologize or behave like a natural human. My logic tells me not to expect these people to behave like the rest of the human race, but their lack of ability to "put-the-shoe-on-the-other-foot" is hurtful regardless to how much you educate yourself about their disorder. To me it will never be okay to be this way, personality disorder or not.

 It's like allowing people to be selfish and hurtful just because thats the way they are and there is nothing you can do to change them. The core of these people's psyche causes you to give up or disengage. At the same time you feel like they should be held accountable like everyone else in this life. This causes everyone around the "N" to feel conflicted and confused. These people harm so many people that care for them without even realizing it. It's so sad.

 You must have outlets in your life such as this to help you cope with their self-centeredness and abuse. It is through other peoples experiences with "N's" that you will find solace.

 Good Luck to you.


OMG, I think that the woman you described is the BM of my SD that we have custody of. You have described her to a T, looks, gifts, attitude, behavior...EVERYTHING!!! I just thought she was a real witch and didn't believe that she cared about my SD, but didn't know that it was an illness. I knew that she took nerve pills, b/c she told me, and I assumed she had something wrong with her, but had no idea!

SHe rarely sees Sd and then blames it on us. She owes a ton in Cs, yet blames us. She said that we make more with our combined income, so she shouldn't have to pay. She didn't send a christmas gift last year or a bday gift this year. Usually she sends crap...salvation army or goodwill stuff. When we see her, she is decked out in all namebrand goods and all made up, nails, makeup, hair and all, yet the kids look like welfare cases. She filed bankruptcy as a wedding gift for my husband and I and we had to pay to salvage my husbands credit. She stated that although it was her bill in the settlement, that theitems on the credit card were my husbands anyway, so he should have to pay for them. She moved away and never calls. If my Sd wishess to speak with her, she has to call her.

Last year, BM refused to rt Sd to us days before school. She was in another state and SD was scared. Needless to say, we went to get her. She did this b/c she got angry at us on the phone oer silly issues about what time to meet, so she just said we couldn't have her back. She used the child as a pawn to hurt us, without regard for my SD.

So then holidays roll around and Bm hasn't spoken with Sd since Aug and is saying that he will be at our house to get Sd for Christmas. Sd was scared so we denied and said she could visit at our home but couldn't take her away. (Sd 12 at time, I've been married to DH for 7 years at time). A big deal occurred, we hired an atty etc etc. Sd then spoke with her on the phone and said, MOM, I don't want to come there b/c you scared me the last time...but I love you. BM responds with...THAT"S A VERYT CONFUSING STATEMENT! and they hang up. Bm never called her back. SD finally called her BM in April of this year...3 1/2 months later. BM still doesn't call. She needs help and apparently, now I know that we do too.

Sd was placed in thereapy in Nov of last year. HOw do you handle this with the children? Do they know that there is something wrong with their mom? How did you get the courts to come down hard on her for CS. Ours owes $9K in arrears? How can we get a personality test or something to prove that she has this? We are in the process of court now.


Here are the 9 criteria (according to the DSM IV)
Having 5 of these 9 "qualifies" you as a narcissist...

1)Feels grandiose and self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

2) Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion

3) Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)

4) Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).

5) Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favourable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations

6) Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends

7) Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others

8)Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her

9) Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.


Reading these posts is somewhat comforting to know that they might "brun-out" or give up on us as a source.

For now, she is a constant thorn in our side, and constantly tormenting and alienating my SD from (mostly me) our entire family. Even the grandparents. Problem is she has her mother as an enabler. She supports her financially, pays her apartment, car, bills, and she lives in the nicest area. She has been a student for years with MBA, and 2 bachelor degrees, and no job for 3 years and counting.

Yet to the world, and court she is somehow able to portray herself as having it together, responsible,organized and intellegent, as she is well spoken (unless you listen real close it usually makes no sense) But her words are large and she speaks fast to throw you off. She writes the same way, very condescending...

However she has her mother get her daughter (my SD) ready for school in the mornings because she can't get out of bed herself. (Sleeps alot). She doesnt work, but is never home for her daughter. She dumps all the homework projects on us. My not tending to them on her time and when she is with us it is due to turn it, and we are stuck scrambling to help her get it done.

Then she has the nerve to publicly demean us in the schools, and report to people that our home is "sub-standard", and we have no structure, and we are irresponsible and loose things. Funny part about it is, the stuff she accuses us for is stuff she is 20 times worse at. We are always picking up the slack.

But if we confront her ablout anything it only intensifies teh situation, so we ignore everything and hope she gets no "fue0, of foodl" to feed her source.

She is able to manipulate any situation to suit her needs. Any.

I hope it does tire and wear soon. I keep hoping she will get pregnant by someone and go away.

But for now we can't distance, we have to deal with her, and we hope by ignoring we are doing the right thing.


I understand creating distance between you and the narcissist, but what if it's your own child?  My first thought was "...what am I doing that is teaching her this?" My wife doesn't believe it is by our example.  It feels, at times, as if it is too late but giving up is never an option, however ...I'm afraid to say that I'm at a loss....        Any ideas?