Archives for posts with tag: narcissist

Narcissism is a term used to describe an emotional dysfunction and personality type. I never knew what a narcissist was until I lived with one. What is so crazy about life with a narcissist is how they are able to operate for years undetected even by their victims. The narcissist is a consummate actor or actress. They don’t even seem to be acting, they appear to be completely convinced of the positions that they take. It is their apparently certainty that makes them hard to spot. They are highly functional people who hold positions often of power and control over other people. They can be leaders, authorities of some kind or another. For a narcissist to be successful there is one thing they need to make it all work: the victim. This isn’t just anyone. This person needs to be unable to understand how a narcissist could in fact be devoid of true feeling and proper emotional boundaries. To the victim the narcissist seems normal. In fact, the victim can often want to believe that the narcissist is a normal person. This can go on for years. I was married to a narcissist for 16 years and most of what she did to me and my children was carefully done behind the scenes, behind my back, so that I was left wondering what on earth was going on. I doubted my sanity, I felt like something was going on but I just didn’t know what. This ate at me, and it wasn’t until years later when family members began coming forward to fill me in on what she had been saying that the behavior all began to make sense.

My abuser was so successful because I was so unwilling to consider what it was she was doing was as bad as it was. No way she could be working against me. No way she could be trying to hurt me by using my children as pawns. I just could not imagine anyone doing that. I mean, who would do such a thing? After all, I had lived with this person and she showed no sign of being the kind of person who would do something like this. Get real, already!

This did happen, though. It was nothing short of a nightmare. After seven years of this kind of petty behavior that drew my children into an abusive spiral, my ex when confronted, refused to admit that she had done anything untoward or wrong. Standing outside my building which I had caught her breaking into, I asked her why she had said the things she did to my children. She looked me straight in the eye and said she had never said such things to my children. Ever. And if you didn’t know her very well, you might believe her, or want to. She sounded….wow, it was a great performance. I think people like this are missing something in their heads and hearts. They think what they are feeling is real but they just don’t know this level of real. it is like they have a reptile brain and they just go along and ape everyone else when it comes to the higher functions of being a mammal or a primate. I know that sounds hard, but after years of this I finally realized that people like this are fundamentally different from the rest of us….and most of us don’t even know that they are.

Years ago I had an old friend from high school who I remained friends with throughout my college years and into after I got out of graduate school. I noticed how she had a string of relationships that always started and ended the same way, over and over. I became her go-to shoulder to cry on when things went south. It wasn’t until years later that I figured it all out; she was having relationships with men in her life that were replays of her relationship with her father, which was strained to say the least. Because she was unable to get past her misgivings with him, she replayed that drama over and over in her relationships with other men in her life. Remember the saying “what you resist persists?” Well, it happened to my friend and later in my life it also happened to me. After I divorced my ex, almost exactly a year after we separated, I became involved with someone who was a carbon copy of my ex in many respects, but with a twist. In this case, this person actually tried to utilize my own kundalini to facilitate hr own awakening. This was something that was done in absentia, or through the etheric, but the result was very real. Strange, but real. A telepathic bond was created that was so strong I was unsure that I would ever be able to break it. My life with this person was an experience of their projecting most everything they suffered from being put onto me. The narcissist has no ability to truly self-reflect. But wait….didn’t she say how sorry she was? Didn’t she say how sorry she was, how horrible she had been only to tell me later how she had gotten better? Turns out this is another part of the abuse spectrum, which is saying how horrible they have been and then begging to be taken back or swearing how they will change even though the behavior never does change in any material way.

My second narcissist told me early on in my knowing her that she hadn’t stayed in any one place for very long. She said she only stayed about five or six years in one place at a time, a pattern that had been with her her whole life. Before knowing me, she had been married for about six years. Before that, she had also been married prior to that. She wound up staying about 5 years in the area before moving on. Publicly she sounded like she had a great life, but privately she expressed how much she disliked her work and how unhappy she was. I saw how she would say one thing to one group of people and say something different to another group. Sometimes, these stories would grow or shrink in scale depending on how stressed or upset she was. It is never about herself, it is always about another person or some other source that is causing the problem. What happens when you combine kundalini with narcissism? Is it even possible? We are all human and the realm of spirit can be nuanced and complex. There are also levels to it. We all go at our own pace and we often get in trouble when we try to define their experience through our own experiential lenses. Fundamentally, there is a dishonesty lying at the base somewhere, a dishonesty with ones own self that keeps a part of the self in a broken and delusional state where these types of people seem to believe that the problem is with the world, or with some person or some other shadowy threat “out there” when in truth, the threat comes from within. Trying to redeem them never works because all of this is an inside job. So the empath can get sucked into trying to help this type of person. Round and round they go until the empathic person finally realizes that the same pattern continues to repeat. It only seemed like they were gaining ground. It was all a show. And the only cure is to cut them free so they can go on and continue their behavior until the universe conspires to reveal to them when they are ready to see the fatal flaw within and then set about healing it. it might not happen in this life, who knows when it happens. It is an inside job. The empath learns a great lesson that it is not their job to save anyone, only themselves. This is the lesson for the empath that will lead them to their own healing, which will take them out of the orbit of people like this in the future. The one thing I had in common with a narcissist was me.

It’s easy to point fingers, harder still to do the work inwardly to look good and hard at your own flaws. And yes, needing to help so much that you are blinded by who the narcissist is is a flaw. It is the one flaw I am working to give up in total. Sometimes the greatest act of compassion is letting go. It doesn’t come easily, but within it lies the greatest of lessons. To be able to cease seeing yourself as a victim in this is the next step. If you were pulled into this type of dynamic, you played a part. It was a great cosmic set up meant to help to show you where the flaws exist on both sides if you are ready to see clearly enough. The most important thing one can do is to forgive yourself for putting yourself through that. I have found that when I do this first, forgiving them comes naturally. This isn’t the usual perfunctory “I forgive you” but is instead a much deeper and ore substantive forgiveness that has the power to shift the draw that we have with people like this. The lesson is learned and when it is, these people lose all their charge for us. This isn’t something you can fake, it has to be done in an authentic way. In some cases, just being away from it long enough can help to create the contrast necessary to see just how bad it all was and how you never want to go back to that kind of madness again.

I was once told that the universe is neutral….but the forces in the universe are not. Whether you are drawn to someone based on negative or positive karma, the draw can often feel very similar….but the difference is what lies beneath. Being able to get to that deeper substratum within the self is where the work lies. It seems the way forward is in being radically honest with yourself. The draw can seem supernatural but the past can be marked by strife and trauma from other lifetimes. All of this is healed with love and that just lets all those threads drop away.

I was actively doing this with my first narcissist years ago in a period of rapid cord removal. It was one of the blessings of kundalini; I just made myself available. What I found that bothered me a good bit at the time was that many of the cords I was dissolving were cords that were tied to my ex at the time. I could feel these taut cords let loose, often in quiet moments, and moments after it was gone I could feel her presence on the other end pulling them back into a taut position. By then, it was too late. But what was so interesting was how she would go into a meltdown within about 12 hours or so after the release. I counted nine times that a cord was released that was tied to her, followed up with her going into an emotional meltdown, upset for some reason or another. It was very instructive to me because it showed me the etheric effects and presence of these lines of influence that work behind the scenes in our lives. Instead of my ex accepting the healing, she went in the other direction completely. She got worse. She got more angry, more mean, and poor thing, she didn’t seem to even know why. All of this felt very dangerous to me because this I knew would lead to her lashing out at me and my children. She was never able to see or sense more deeply to understand what was at the root of her own behavior. It showed me that at least in this life she was not redeemable. She wasn’t about to heal, she was going to hold on for dear life, and that was that. I had married someone who didn’t have it in her to heal in any substantive way, at least not with me around. Narcissist 2.0 was much the same except with the added quality of saying how she was changing while she in fact had not changed. The stumbling block that I had sensed in her from day one remains to this day. Some day she might get around to healing it. I hope she does because it will add a little more peace to the world somewhere, but luckily, it wont be anywhere in my sphere of experience. When I am able to give up these things, the universe has a very efficient way of clearing these people from my life. Thank goodness.

Acceptance is the most adult and most compassionate thing that can be done in my estimation. Narcissists only respect the authority like judges and police, never their victims. Until they can see what it is they have done will they begin to change. Only they can do this work, and who knows how that will play out. It has been incredibly instructive, just as my inner voice had told me it would be, which would be one of my greatest of teachers. It just wasn’t the kind of teacher I thought it would be. But that is fine, because the universe is neutral and sometimes we take the light with the dark and do what we can as we can.

What is interesting is how everything can change when I decide to no longer be silent on the matter. In the case of my first narcissist, writing to one of my children who was affected by what his mother had done was one important outgrowth of this process. It is hard to explain how vulnerable a child can be when their mother is so willing to lie and obfuscate the truth to a young child. What is a child to do? Whom are they to believe? Families can be torn apart by this kind of behavior, something known and parental alienation syndrome. Whether that child can take what I write to heart isn’t what is important at the cosmic level because that child will do what that child’s freewill dictates. However, just by writing the letter some things have shifted for the better. And for my second narcissist, just by writing to that person and letting them know some of the inconvenient truths which I never spoke about (what was the point I wondered?), that alone has begun to bring rapid change in my life at a material level. New people are beginning to filter into my life all with a very different vibe than from before. When we signal we are ready, that signal can often be honored. I think for me, it was long over due.

How To Deal With A Narcissist

But before you deal with a narcissist you might need to figure out if they are a narcissist or not. One thing that is helpful to understand is that when identifying personality disorders, you don’t need to have all of the symptoms present. People exist along a spectrum in all aspects of life. You can easily have someone who has borderline personality disorder who only has half of the stated symptoms as stated in the DMS 5, a guide for health professionals in diagnosing and treating personality disorders. My first narcissist was hard to identify because she had so many behaviors that looked like she was selfless, kind, and caring. When the gloves came off, though, the truth was revealed to me: a lot of this was an act. When she got mad enough, she would start telling me exactly how she felt, and it wasn’t pretty at all. It was in moments of stress that the truth came out and that was when I was able to see for certain that this person said a lot that sounded like she was a kind compassionate person but that these outbursts would show how she really felt. Was she an undercover narcissist? Did she submerge a lot of her behavior that was narcissistic unless there was stress in her life? With narcissist #2, some behaviors were easier to identify right out of the gate. I suspected that this was a replay of my life with the first narcissist, so I think I was more able to watch and observe behavior. With narcissist #2 there was more apologies but with the result of pulling me back into the web of manipulation and chaos. Being able to identify these types can save you from a great deal of strife in the future. Luckily, narcissists are fearful of being found out and will go to great lengths to keep that from happening. In my situation, I was told by my attorney to make notes of my ex’s behavior and to save all texts and emails. This helped a lot in helping to dispel any notion that this was just in my head. The same was repeated for the second narcissist. I saved posts and emails and texts and they helped in creating a library that revealed how contradictory her statements were and how much of a liar she had been. Because she tends to crave others’ attention and approval, having someone who can call them out is not someone who will stick around you if they know that this is the case.

Identifying A Narcissist

Good luck, and take my advice: there is not real dealing with a narcissist. They alone must reach a point where they themselves are willing to change (or an authority imposes it on them). It is better to step away and ask yourself why it was you were drawn to them in the first place.

~Parker

The story of the night in shining armor has a shadow side that we often prefer not to look at. 

I was one of those people-pleasers who grew up with all the right family dynamics to bring this trait out in me. What begins as a desire to make the life of a depressed or bereaved parent or sibling’s life better can set up a pattern that gets carried into relationships later in life. Most of this is unconscious behavior, so it is neither recognized as it’s being felt or acted upon nor experienced. This is most often experienced as what some call the “karmic merry-go-round” where certain behaviors and personality types come into our lives repeatedly (hint: we are attracted to them without fully knowing why…and this is why I say “karma creates chemistry” for all you twin flame and twin-souls out there).

 For every man who wants to come to the aid of a damsel in distress, there is a woman who wants to be saved. Notice I didn’t say “needs to be saved.” We do these things because they satisfy a deficit in ourselves. The deeper problem is that there is a brokenness in both people, allowing themselves to be drawn into a relationship that is highly codependent. The question becomes, why does that “knight” need to save anyone, and why can’t the woman save herself? The answer, or part of it, lies in our inability to be truthful about how we feel. The man probably feels innadequate in some way and saves people to make himself feel better about himself. The woman, incapable of accepting her own feelings of inadequacy, relies on others to fix things she believes she is powerless to affect.  Both are relying on someone else to give them what they lack within themselves. I don’t need to tell you that such relationships don’t end well unless both are equal in their respective need or dysfunction. The moment one grows or changes is the moment this delicate house of cards can fall.

It’s common for us to point to childhood as the genesis for these behaviors, but this is short-sighted when you bring in the issue of karma. In all of my experience in releasing karmic blocks, all of them emerged from a central point within not just me, but within my larger being on a reincarnation-based scale. What I am saying is that many of these glitches come about not through a linear progression of lifetimes lived, but outside of time and most often trouble multiple lives at once.I say this because I have had access to numerous lifetimes and I have seen how these issues often repeated in some lifetimes (but not all). The themes predate life here, ad in going to their root, I did not find a Genesis here, but “elsewhere.”

 It appears that we come back over and over to work through a number of different themes, some which can be very different from each other. 

Some cycles in reincarnation can be fairly straightforward in the sense that a soul comes in as a woman, man, father, and mother. These encompass the entirety of our possible relationships (including siblings when we are a part of a family). For others, a soul with a more expansive interest will come back in a variety of cultures in order to get a larger perspective. It’s possible to develop many major currents in karma as well as sub-currents.  All of these come in with you while the soul is drawn to the very factors in life that will help activate these patterns, even when they are negative. Once a soul on the planet begins to be self aware, these deeper patterns begin to be more noticeable and they can be worked through. Healing these patterns actually can have an effect on past lives as hard as that might be to believe. I have seen this happen in my own experience when my spiritual guardian awakened me in the wee hours of Good Friday seven years ago to show me a vision of how all my past junk was being shoveled out through my lifetime now. I stood outside in the cool night air at 4:00 a.m. as he motioned for me to look off to my side. I saw a long hallway appear going off into the woods behind my house. He told me to watch and the hallway tilted downward while the other end tilted up and I saw the doors to each room (a lifetime) fly open and the refuse contents all came sliding out. Hopes, dreams, fears, upsets, all repressed emotion the self was unwilling to deal with, all of it, came sliding out. Sandalphon turned to me and explained that this was part of why I had come here, to be that life where this material was cleared for lifetimes. This wasn’t just from my life as a child, this was from my soul, a pattern that was being made right again. If you understand how something you do here and now can impact your existence both forward and backwards in time, its easy to get very “hungry” for wanting to clean that kind of mess up in your life.

The result of these changes I was going through in the early stages of my awakening put me on a collision course with my then-spouse who was unsteadied by the forces at play in my awakening. Angry over the changes taking place that made me less reactive to her codependent behavior, I had to move forward with the forces in my awakening regardless of the ramifications it might have had for my old life.
I learned that I was drawn to these damsels who, I would learn, were engaging in a form of destructive behavior known as projection. Projection is a type of lie we tell ourselves, a lie that we completely believe….

Projection is an observed behavior that both Freud and Jung wrote a lot about. Jung ascribed the need to project to the Shadow Archetype in the self, a part of us that does not reflect on itself. Jung explained that when the person affected by their shadow self has a deep enough fault or a deep enough misgiving about a fault they have, they will turn this on others and believe that the fault lies with the other person. This is more than blaming, it is the result of a rift within the shadow self that can make this possible. While we all appear to project from time to time, those with neurotic tendencies or who are pathological, will most often do it regularly. For people such as this, projection becomes a way of life. I know because I married one and because of how traumatizing it was, I was drawn to yet another person a few years later who had all the same traits. Because I was awakened, the karma fueled a powerful connection which I attempted to work through a number of times with no success. People like this woman who are serial projectors are said to have either narcissistic tendencies or have a condition known as Borderline Personality Disorder. My first clue about this was when I drove with a friend to a neighboring state to pick up a car she had bought online, and while we were going, I talked about my ex-wife. My friend, who was a licensed counselor, said that my description of her behavior was consistent with BPD and narcissist tendencies. 
As a result of our discussion I did some research into these designations and found that I had not just one run-in with this kind of person, but two. Remember that merry-go-round I mentioned earlier? That’s what I mean. I was drawn to another person who would repeat all the same behaviors as my ex-spouse! And the crazy thing about it was after a few weeks of knowing this person and seeing how she let down her guard and began showing her true self, I had already begun to suspect, even was able to predict what range of behaviors I was likely going to see come from this person, assuming at the time that this was a karmic connection modelled on my ex-spouse. And I was right. To make all of this even more entertaining, I actually thought I needed to work this karma out with this person so I could put an end to this extremely hurtful pattern once and for all!

One of the most difficult part of being with these kinds of people are the lies. In fact, when I saw how both of these women were psychopathic liars, I was accused of being a psychopathic liar. Living with someone like this is like living in a hall of mirrors. Everything that is theirs gets put onto you and then they begin isolating you and trying to alienate the healthy people in your life so your relationships with them are ruined. 

My wife said I didn’t love my children and said this directly to them numerous times. It was a cycle of denigration that had a destructive impact on my life, my sense of wellbeing, not to mention how it effected my children and how it strained, unnecessarily, my relationship with them. It was a nightmarish kind of experience. This second person said I was online seeking to seduce women using my “kundalini powers,”writing publicly and creating an air of drama and conspiracy.  These were the tame lies, and they got worse from there. All of the lies she told appeared to me to be efforts at character assassination in order to isolate me from friends and family, or from colleagues professionally. The really crazy part to all of this was how this person worked in a professional capacity dealing with issues of harassment in the workplace. Talk about a fox in the hen house. 

What makes these lunatics believable is how functional they appear to be. How can they be psychotic when they hold down jobs that require a degree of responsibility? In truth, the narcissist and the Borderline personality type have a public face and a private face. No one saw how the Borderline personality would behave at home, ranting and raving at family, or at themselves. “I talk to myself like this to calm myself” she would say when we would get out of public and into private. The truth was, for as composed as she seemed, she was really repressing a huge amount of emotion second by second and on a few occasions would simply go into a temporal meltdown that would be the reason why she would have to leave a public place because she couldn’t hold it together long enough. 

All I ever saw was that this behavior and the words she used were not about finding peace, but as a way to keep the tension in place. We say that venting helps, but all venting does is it serves as a way for us to justify our upset. If venting is done without being defensive then, yes, it can help release stored anxiety. But this wasn’t what was happening. She was putting her neurosis onto me.When she claimed I was hiding her presence in my life by not friending her on Facebook, I was instead not wanting her to have access to my friends for fear she would use them as she had used me in her need to shirk her responsibility for her feelings and reactions. I feared that she would do to my friends what my ex had done to my children. She complained about my not introducing my family to her, but the truth was, I suspected she could use them the same way my ex used my own family members to try and distance and alienate them from me. The jealousy I’m talking about here is beyond anything anyone would call within normal bounds. It was scary. The “clusterfuck” of emotions she claimed marked my emotional state were the result in large part to her own raw emotions and upset, which was vented directly at me. She would get upset if I looked a female cashier in the eye and thanked her by name for checking out my groceries. I was dressed down for being playful with wait-staff at a restaurant. Behavior that was just me being nice suddenly took on a sinister tone. I found myself being punished for being me. What was happening was that she was putting her own hard emotions on to me , the guy so eager to help. The result always felt like having someone pooping on you and then saying what a mess you are. It was beyond upside-down.

It’s hard because people like this do not see how they are creating the crisis they claim others bring to their lives when it’s all their own doing. In fact, the victims of this form of emotional abuse often wind up being enablers by being afraid to speak out against these kinds of people. I was accused of having sexually assaulted “all” of my female art students at my work. When I confronted her with this lie, she pointed out how she had not used my name which is the definition of slander and libel. She then said that had a Constitutionally protected right to write anything she wanted. I have the email. 

The problem is that in our society when a woman makes an accusation like this, people tend to believe the woman. In this case, it was another in a long line of lies. People don’t stop to consider the pain that this causes men who are often stuck in roles that expect them to just “suck it up” and go on. It’s a deadly double standard that assumes women don’t lie about these things. My experience has been that they do, and do so in spectacular fashion.

So how do you make sense of all of this? How do you deal with people who project? What are some of the symptoms and the backgrounds of people who engage in behavior like this?

Projection is a psychological defense mechanism in which individuals attribute characteristics they find unacceptable in themselves to another person. For example, a husband who has a hostile nature might attribute this hostility to his wife and say she has an anger management problem.
In some cases projection can result in false accusations. For example, someone with adulterous feelings might accuse their partner of infidelity. Considering how much the woman I knew engaged in affairs while being with other men, it began to make sense that she was putting on to me her own inability to control her sexual appetite. She claimed that I had broken up her marriage when she actually said to me privately that she divorced her husband because she was not happy with him. She said that you don’t go looking unless things aren’t alright at home to begin with (I have screenshots of those texts). Months later, she was blaming me for her own broken marriage. She was also claiming that I too was married at the time, but I was not. I had been separated for over two years by the time I met her and my divorce was finalized the following year.

According to the psychiatric community there are types of projection. Like other defense mechanisms, projection is typically unconscious and can distort, transform, or somehow affect reality. A classic example of the defense mechanism is when an individual says “She hates me” instead of expressing what is actually felt, which is “I hate her.”

There are three generally accepted types of projection:
Neurotic projection is the most common variety of projection and most clearly meets the definition of defense mechanism. In this type of projection, people may attribute feelings, motives, or attitudes they find unacceptable in themselves to someone else.

 

Complementary projection occurs when individuals assume others feel the same way they do. For example, a person with a particular political persuasion might take it for granted that friends and family members share those beliefs.

Complimentary projection is the assumption other people can do the same things as well as oneself. For example, an accomplished pianist might take it for granted that other piano students can play the piano equally well.

What Is the Purpose of Projection?
Sigmund Freud believed projection to be a defense mechanism often used as a way to avoid uncomfortable repressed feelings. Feelings that are projected may be controlling, jealous, angry, or sexual in nature. These are not the only types of feelings and emotions projected, but projection most often occurs when individuals cannot accept their own impulses or feelings.

In modern psychology, the feelings do not necessarily have to be repressed to constitute projection. Projection can be said to provide a level of protection against feelings a person does not wish to deal with. Engaging in either complimentary and complementary projection can allow people to feel more like others or relate to them easily.
It is fairly common for people to engage in projection from time to time, and many people who project their feelings on occasion do not do so as a result of any underlying issue. In some cases projection can contribute to relationship challenges. Projection may also be a symptom of other mental health concerns. In my case, projection was part of a personality disorder.
Projection and Mental Health Concerns Projection, one main mechanism of paranoia, is also frequently a symptom of narcissistic and borderline personalities. A person with narcissistic traits who does not respect their partner may say to the partner, “You don’t respect me or see my true worth.” Some individuals with borderline personality may be afraid of losing the people they love and project this fear by frequently accusing friends or partners of planning to leave. However, individuals who project their feelings in this way do not necessarily have either of these conditions.

A person in therapy may be able to address these projections with the help of a qualified mental health professional. When a person can explore the reasons behind any projected feelings, it may be possible to prevent or reduce occurrences of this behavior in the future.

In the end, there is no “working” with a person like this. Instead, you learn when enough is enough. I thought I could heal a troublesome pattern, but I learned that this is not possible with someone with neurotic and delusional traits. In the end, it was far more productive to work out my stuff instead of tossing my junk into a cauldron with another person’s junk and expect anything good to come of it. But I knew this already. I was stupid. I was foolish. I learned you can only do this work quickly and productively on your own. Everything else is an invitation to the tar pit of karmic entanglement no matter how much that karma revs up your pranic engines. The result is I am genuinely happier, feeling safe, free, and ready for the next big adventure I’m about to embark on, and it finally looks like a dream come true.

References:

American Psychological Association. APA Concise Dictionary of Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2009. Print.

Corsini, R. J., & Wedding, D. (Eds.). (2007). Current Psychotherapies (Eighth ed.). Brooks Cole.

Perry, J. C., Presniak, M. D., & Olson, T. R. (2013). Defense Mechanisms in Schizotypal, Borderline, Antisocial, and Narcissistic Personality Disorders. Psychiatry, 76(1), 32-52.

Projection. (n.d.). Changing Minds. Retrieved from http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/projection.htm

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