Narcissistic Personality Disorder

So to recap before I go Into details, here’s a definition from last week,

Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.18 Nov 2017

http://www.mayoclinic.org

People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are usually described as being arrogant, self-centred and demanding. They are selfish individuals who are manipulative and have great difficulty with empathy and considering the needs, thoughts or ideas of other people. They believe themselves to be superior to others and think nothing of making others feel small. Their ego is such that it needs constant admiration and don’t even think of giving them criticism positive or otherwise, it just doesn’t sit well with them! They tend to crave the attention of others.

The individual with NPD struggles with relationships because they tend to put themselves first. As far as they are concerned, they are always right, their way is always best. Their grandiose opinion of themself means that they often exaggerate their accomplishments and talents. They perceive themselves as being quite special. Persons with this disorder tend to have mood swings too.

Though they may exhibit high self-esteem, this may merely be to cover up their own insecurities. As a past scapegoat of a narcissistic husband, the possibility of a perpetrator not having to take total responsibility for their actions is an idea not easy to entertain. However, when you have walked a path of healing its easier to see this from an angle of an unfortunate childhood. Mr Impatient had a dysfunctional upbringing. He never had a sense of belonging. I can understand his need to portray an air of confidence having been through his own trauma. He displayed a confidence that was not instilled in him. I suppose it was his defence mechanism against the world. What wasn’t ok was making me the enemy when all I wanted to be was his ally.

A relationship with someone who has NPD is a special living hell. They are easily hurt which makes the victim tend to walk on eggshells around their spouse. They tend to overreact to simple situations. When you speak to them about their flaws they make excuses. They have no intentions of changing anything about themselves. I remember once feeling neglected. Whenever we got home from work he would wash the car and the dog. He would come inside for supper when I called him in for it. Then he would usually spend the rest of the evening on the computer or on his phone. This had gone on for weeks. I plucked up the courage to talk to him about the issue. I was up early one morning making breakfast and lunch. When he came into the kitchen I smiled good morning, turned off the stove. Gently taking him by the hand I led him to the dinning table. My heart was thumping loudly, but I maintained eye contact as I held his hand. I spoke softly, used only ‘I’ sentences to own my emotions, not laying the blame at him. He listened quietly and without interrupting. I waited for him to respond. Why did I bother? He accused me of putting him in a box and trying to control him!

That experience was one of many and reflects how they generally refuse to take responsibility for anything they do that inflicts hurt or pain on others. They always find a way to blame others for the pain they create. Listening is not their greatest skill as they spend half the time interrupting but they are exceptional at neglecting the emotions of others. Though they can be charming and charismatic, they can switch to anger and are easily irritated especially when their ego is threatened. They are often suspicious of the motives of others and are socially withdrawn.

God never has to apologise because He never does wrong. He is the most superior being, yet cares for us His little children. He is so in tune with our emotions that He sent us the Holy Spirit to comfort us.

As for God, his way is perfect . . . Psalms 18:30

The King James Bible

https://www.healthline.com/health/narcissistic-personality-disorder#traits https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/narcissistic-personality-disorder https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/9741#symptoms

Narcissism 101

https://sparrowhawkkarearea.com/

Narcissism is a term I first came across when I was studying A-level psychology. The second time was whilst I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Behaviorial Science. Back then it was just theory.

Echo, a nymph (Greek female deity) was attracted to Narcissus a handsome young man who was the son of two Greek gods. When she did muster the courage to show her affections to him, he scorned her. Echo never recovered from his rejection. She pined away until she withered and died. Some time after whilst he was on a hunting trip, Narcissus became thirsty and stopped at a pool to drink some water. He was captivated by the reflection. In vain he tried to reach out to it. He was so mesmerized that he remained at the pool consistently trying to make contact with the elusive character. In the end he was so self absorbed, Narcissus died by the water.

https://www.slideshare.net/100007653184768/narcisus-and-echo-by-elvin-calimag-53780962

The narcissistic personality disorder was born of Narcissus.

Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.

The Mayo Clinic

Psychology Today describes it as

Narcissism is characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy for others, a need for excessive admiration, and the belief that one is unique and deserving of special treatment. If you encounter someone who consistently exhibits these behaviors, you may be dealing with a highly narcissistic individual.

Psychology Today

So how did I know my ex-husband was a narcissist? Yes I’d come across it as a student but I didn’t immediately make the connection. I noticed a reoccurring pattern of behaviours in my marriage; it would start with a peaceful phase which would be interrupted by a volatile argument instigated by him over some very trivial arbitrary matter. This was sometimes but not always followed by profuse apologies and then the cycle would repeat itself. Around the same time, a particular post kept showing in my facebook feed, ‘Life after the narcissist’. To this day I’m unsure which contact was responsible for these posts. It was one day on my lunch break that I finally took notice. I clicked and began to read. It felt as if whoever was writing these posts was spying on me. It was uncanny.

I started researching narcissism. The more I clicked the more fascinated I became. I wasn’t crazy, I wasn’t imagining that there was something wrong in my marriage. I didn’t have to try harder and I wasn’t being unreasonable. There was something wrong with him. It had a name, a label. He was a narcissist! Now I have no medical training or even psychological, but the characteristics fit him to the ‘t’. I pored through copious amounts of accounts of people living with such toxicity, it mirrored my life. The devastating thing was that there didn’t seem to be any hope, all the narratives said that they didn’t, couldn’t change. The victims only refined strategies to deal with their behaviour.

I printed off some pages to give to Mr Impatient. I placed it on the dinning room table so that he would see it and read. I prepared his supper when he arrived and put it on the table. I could see that he’d noticed the document but he was resisting picking it up. Eventually he asked about it. I told him that I had found out what was wrong with our marriage.

“Is it about me or us and is there help available here?”

“It’s about you and I’m not sure if there is help available”.

“Ok”. I stood waiting, but he continued eating and made no attempt to pick it up. I turned and left. In short, I never witnessed him read those pages but he was uncharacteristically quiet for a number of days. The cycle resumed shortly after.

My research into narcissism taught me a few prompt lessons. I could let myself of the hook for supposedly not trying hard enough because nothing done for a narc is ever enough. I was never going to have any of my needs met because narcs are inherently egotistic. My marriage was going to be an everlasting rollercoaster ride.

Narcissism is the antithesis of everything Godly. God loved us so much that He sacrificed His only Son to redeem us. The narcissist makes no sacrifice for anyone but would readily sacrifice anything if they were to get great personal gain. Ironically, Mr Impatient was always reminding me of his sacrificial love for me 🤔. The narcissist is always moving the goalpost, but God’s principles for our lives have been so well thought of from the beginning that He doesn’t have to ever change them. After all, He is omniscient! God’s love for humanity is everlasting, eternal and unconditional. Hallelujah!

God’s love is meteoric,
    his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
    his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
    nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
    slips through the cracks.

How exquisite your love, O God!
    How eager we are to run under your wings, Psalms 36: 5-7 The Message Bible

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Narcissus-Greek-mythology https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hide-and-seek/201803/who-was-narcissus https://www.greeklegendsandmyths.com/echo-and-narcissus.html https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20366662#:~:text=Narcissistic%20personality%20disorder%20%E2%80%94%20one%20of,lack%20of%20empathy%20for%20others. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/narcissism

Mottoes

A memory of this book was triggered the other day. Our Pastor asked us to purchase it as part of our premarital preparation. I smiled when the book came to mind because I remembered that though I partnered with a man who cared less, it was filled with delightful gems for couples. To this day I recollect the ones we adopted; ‘I would never intentionally hurt you’, ‘Team Hypolite’ (insert your own surname), and ’75+ more years!’

The authors, Gayle and Mike Tucker predicate that on a daily basis, both parties must make the conscientious and proactive decision to make positive choices.

Our attitude is always one of goodwill.

is another motto in their book. It implies that an individual decides that they will do whatever it takes to accommodate their spouse, that you will make reasonable changes if it is needed to strengthen the relationship.

There was one motto that was quite unexpected. I had to read it a few times!

Not only would I be crazy to leave you, but you’d be crazy to leave me!

Page 24

They explain that

Focusing on your spouse’s positive qualities enhances the value you place on the relationship . . . It’s the second part of this motto that many people struggle with . . . Yet, many problems arise in a marriage where a proper self-valuation does not occur.

page 25

Sometimes I don’t like you, but I will always love you.

Page 40

Let’s pray about it.

Page 80
vecteezy.com

I will express concerns and make requests without criticism or attack.

Page 98

I will never attempt to fix or change you.

Page 45

It is more important to love than to be right.

Page 126

You’re stuck with me. Good, bad, or ugly, we’re committed to each other.

Page 74
thisisblacklove.com

The bible doesn’t record the first wedding vows. God decided that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone; he needed a helper. He created a woman and brought her to him. Adam eventually named her Eve. He ‘knew’ his wife or consummated the union and Cain and Abel were the results (Genesis 2-3). No bands read, no church ceremony, no reception. What we do see is that Adam and Eve become lifelong partners. I’m pretty sure that initially they argued over whose fault it was that they got kicked out of Eden, but they had to work things out and move beyond losing their perfect home. The Creator gave them a foolproof relational model and they messed it up. He has given us an impeccable example, but Homo sapiens continue to corrupt it.

Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. Romans 13: 8.

The Message Bible