Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), Parental Alienation PA

Vindictive to the max

If lack of empathy is one of the narcissist’s key characteristics, I think we often misunderstand it. Some of the difficulty may have to do with distinguishing fully between sympathy and empathy. When we are sympathetic, we connect largely through intellectual understanding and feel badly about the situation in which a person finds him or herself. Empathy is an emotional response in which we literally feel another’s pain as opposed to understanding his or her pain in the abstract. The truth is that most of us are not consistently empathic, nor are we equally skilled at this most important trait.

So what, precisely, makes the narcissist different?

The answer is his or her utter separateness. It’s not simply that he or she doesn’t feel for others and their pain; it’s that the level of connection, of attunement, is utterly foreign. Since you can be sympathetic on a very superficial level (writing a check and contributing to charity; being helpful by dropping off your neighbor’s dry cleaning; recommending your attorney to the guy who needs one), many narcissists appear quite sympathetic because they like looking good in the eyes of others. More important, they like reassuring themselves that they’re nice guys or gals. Empathy is another matter entirely.

Here are four behaviors that might tip you off to the real personality you’re dealing with:

1. Plays emotional “hot potato”

2. Withdraws and then attacks if a demand is made

3. Vindictive to the max

“Because of his distorted, defensive relationship to reality, the Extreme Narcissist often believes the lies he tells, both to himself and other people. He doesn’t see himself as a liar but rather as an embittered defender of the ‘truth’ as he has come to see it.”

4. Indifferent to emotional outcomes Continue reading “Vindictive to the max”

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

The narcissistic collapse is a dangerous and often psychotic thing

narcissistic person, in his hatred of the frustrations of reality, refuses to give up or returns … Such a person will often come over as arrogant or bombastic, but this hard … a way of psychic functioning which lies between neurosis and psychosis. … life in the world will typically feel precarious and in danger of imminent collapse

The narcissistic collapse is a dangerous and often psychotic thing

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

Collapsed Narcissist, Collapsed Histrionic

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

Why experts say even the most self-absorbed can adjust.

“Believing that they should be able to control life and be strong and self-sufficient, individuals with severe narcissistic vulnerability do not allow for human limitations or the effects of life’s vicissitudes… indignation, bitterness, envy, disbelief, and humiliation are commonly expressed and may, in some extreme instances, result in vengeful acts of violence” (pp. 410-411)

In addition to empathy, people experiencing the bursting of the narcissistic bubble may benefit from “mirroring,” in which they receive “applause” or “self-affirmation” from others (p. 412). If you’re feeling ashamed that you need these little encouragements to restore your self-esteem, Goldstein would say to the contrary that we all need to be appreciated. From a practical standpoint, this can also mean that you get over yourself and do something that will allow you to gain that tiny bit of applause from others. Bring cupcakes that you baked to work or make something such as wooden or crocheted toys for your young relatives.

Goldstein also recommends that you seek out role models who can help you accept your changing self. How are they navigating the stress of getting older? Try not to feel envious, but instead figure out what they seem to be doing right. It’s possible to age without losing your groove, and these individuals can inspire you to find what’s right for you. Continue reading “Why experts say even the most self-absorbed can adjust.”

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

Why Narcissists Love Borderline Women and Why They Hate Them Back

Narcissists love borderlines because they can mortify them, like their mothers did. Borderlines hurt narcissists because they love them.

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

Narcissistic Mortification: From Shame to Healing via Trauma, Fear, and Guilt

Narcissistic mortification, is, therefore, a sudden sense of defeat and loss of control over internal or external objects or realities, caused by an aggressing person or a compulsive trait or behavior. It produces disorientation and terror (distinct from anticipatory fear). The entire personality is overwhelmed by impotent ineluctability and a lack of alternatives (inability to force objects to conform or to rely on their goodwill). Mortification reflects the activity of infantile strategies of coping with frustration or repression (such as grandiosity) and their attendant psychological defense mechanisms (for example, splitting, denial, or magical thinking).

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

Mortification in Borderline Women, Narcissistic Men: Let Me Go, Give Me Life

The False Self in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is akin to the host personality in Dissociative Identity Disorder: to moderate and to switch between self-states is a secondary psychopath and to regulate the resulting repression, denial, splitting, dissociation, and other infantile defenses in an attempt to maintain self-constancy rather than object constancy. Mortification is an extreme and intolerably painful form of shame-induced traumatic depressive anxiety. Consequently, the Borderline patient seeks mortification in order to feel alive, not free: she seeks to introduce novelty, thrills, and reckless risk taking into her life via chaotic drama. It is the only way she can experience transformation and also the only method open to her when she feels like self trashing, self-punishment, or self-mutilation). Mortification in Borderlines is self-inflicted in preemptive abandonment and the Borderline then copes by becoming dissociative (disappearing) or by displaying traits and behaviors of a secondary psychopath (making others disappear), or, more commonly, both.

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

When the Narcissist Has to Face Reality

Aging itself can bring about a withering, if not bursting, of the narcissistic bubble. You’re no longer a fresh young thing and are starting to develop wrinkles, bags, sags, or a gray or bald head. Your clothes don’t fit the same way they did before, and you find you can no longer squeeze into your favorite skinny jeans, no matter what you do. Then there’s the inevitable “ma’am” or “sir” that the barista uses in referring to you (yes you, not the person behind you).

The factors that cause the narcissistic bubble to retreat and burst were addressed in an astute article by Eda Goldstein in 1995. Goldstein described what happens somewhere in the middle years when narcissists come to grips with their own failings, exposing their weaknesses to themselves. They can become both enraged and ashamed.

As she noted, there are dangers associated with the sudden coming to grips with reality that can put the individual’s life into a wild tailspin:

“Believing that they should be able to control life and be strong and self-sufficient, individuals with severe narcissistic vulnerability do not allow for human limitations or the effects of life’s vicissitudes… indignation, bitterness, envy, disbelief, and humiliation are commonly expressed and may, in some extreme instances, result in vengeful acts of violence” (pp. 410-411)

The thicker the bubble, in other words, the more damage it leaves when it bursts.

There are ways to survive the sudden realization that you’re not really all that special and, in fact, have defects. Whether the bubble bursts in midlife, with its associated stresses, or at some other time, people who must come to grips with their limitations benefit by taking a page from the therapist’s playbook. Goldstein wrote about three cases of midlife individuals suffering from the bursting of their bubbles and noted the therapeutic strategies that seemed to work to get them through this period in their lives. Continue reading “When the Narcissist Has to Face Reality”

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

The Concept of Narcissistic Mortification

To those who have happened to read some of my previous papers, another paper on the subject of the Narcissistic Mortification may be something of a surprise. After many years of preoccupation with the study of this phenomenon, it is embarrassing to be forced to admit that an important aspect of the problem has eluded my attention completely. In mitigation of such an ‘offence’, one may plead that if we stumble on something new there is rarely anybody around who would be able to explain it clearly and distinctly, and in consequence, a description of a phenomenon hitherto unknown must appear confused, blurred, and even contradictory. In addition to the ‘conscious‘ difficulty connected with an accurate portrayal of the Narcissistic Mortification, I have had also to overcome my own unconscious resistances. Probably, the recognition that the Narcissistic Mortification has nothing to do with our own desires was too difficult for me to accept, although I had recognized long ago that my patients, in addition to repressing their infantile wishes, eliminate from their conscious minds other phenomena, the so-called Narcissistic Mortifications.

Using a descriptive approach, it was thought that a Narcissistic Mortification took place whenever the subject became an object of another subject. An attack by a robber was used as illustration in which the robber had the power to force the subject to do what he wanted. The consequent Narcissistic Mortification was defined as a sudden loss of control over external or internal reality, or both, by virtue of which the emotion of terror is produced, along with the damming up of narcissistic libido or destrudo. Continue reading “The Concept of Narcissistic Mortification”

Posted in Alienation, Malignant Narcissism, Narcissism, Narcopath, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)

Narcissistic mortification of ageing men

The development of a male gender identity involves the task of relinquishing the identification with the female primary object. If this separation is experienced as loss or expulsion, and responded to by the development and libidinous cathexis of phallic‐narcissistic characteristics, a specifically male narcissistic vulnerability emerges, which can, particularly in ageing men, escalate to critical proportions. However, phallic‐narcissistic crises in the ageing process also contain opportunities for development, provided the losses of age can be faced with mourning. The author sets out the statements on the subject of old age in the myth of Narcissus and makes use of the concepts of developmental psychology. He outlines clinical examples illustrating this problem. Finally, he brings to mind the narcissistic plight of the aged Oedipus. Continue reading “Narcissistic mortification of ageing men”