Welcome to SPARC Forums. Please login or sign up.

Jun 15, 2024, 05:20:12 AM

Login with username, password and session length

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

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

Previous topic - Next topic


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.