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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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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.