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Am i a narcissist?

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BobbyDaBlahh

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Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
16
Location
USA
No I do not regret being honest with my family. We all know where we stand now. My wife now understands who I am a lot better now - this does not mean she can always accept who I am - and I have learnt to accept that (not without significant frustration at times).

A third of the family who know about my mental health issues (including my wife and daughter) seem to feel that their lives will bear the taint of 'stigma by proxy' - if I can call it that - if they accept this part of who I am. The rest of the family (those I grew up with my sons) just accept this is Aurelius. At worst they see me as always having been a 'bit different', a 'bit mad/insane -especially in my younger years), or 'just weird'. These are descriptions that are frequently used in the family about many of its members.

My wife and her family have always viewed my family as being a 'bit abnormal' and at best a 'bit different, but interesting'.

My mother never forgave me for being as I was and as I am - although she proudly took ownership any achievements I accomplished that received some external recognition. Outside of this, she treated me as if I was deranged and had been sent to do evil to her life - to the extent that she held me to blame for much that had happened long before I was conceived. My emotional detachment (from birth) just served to confirm this, as did my subsequent attempts to discuss any of these issues across the next forty odd years.

So did you mask up until a certain point? I'm glad you don't have regrets but what was there to gain beyond not living your own personal lie anymore? Or was the negative secondary effects still worth just being able to be open and honest?
 
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BobbyDaBlahh

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Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
16
Location
USA
How do you value "this" I don't understand.

This is what you did:

So one of my friends that I've never met IRL and isn't a part of any of my digital social circles off handily brought up how he lost his job and covid sucks. So I took him under my wing and over the last 2 months sent him over 1k to help with bills, helped him rewrite his resume, helped him look for a new job, and setting him up with an investment account.

This is then what you thought about what you had done - in other words, this is how you interpreted it:

I then realised I was once again only using someone to see if "I" felt anything. I didn't. How do you value "this" I don't understand.

There is part of me that could interpret what you did (if it was me doing it) in the same way as you have and certainly this was true for over half my life.



Can we change?

There is another part of me that would now interpret the same actions from what I have now learnt about myself:

I have always thought happiness to be important. If things I have done or do can help bring happiness or add to happiness in others' lives, then I feel that with their help I have achieved something meaningful.

I have learnt over the course of my life how crippling (and even deadly) anxiety can be. If people allow me to try to help lift part of the burden of anxiety in their lives, then I feel they have afforded me a very great unearned privilege - one that I always feel incredibly humbled by and wondrously thankful for - especially as if now they are people I have never met and will probably never knowingly meet.



How do we do this?

The person who most helped me did so by helping me to realise (amongst many other things) "Man is affected, not by events, but by the view he takes of them" (Epictetus). This led to me exploring my long held beliefs, including taking on board perspectives that I had expressed to others but had failed to recognise myself and asking myself very different questions about my motivations for doing things.

One of the things I learnt is that we can hold many conflicting truths at the same time without discord or distress - in the same way as we look at different images in a photograph at the same time. Depending on what we are seeking or a feature that stands out to us on the day, we might interpret what the picture 'tells us' quite differently from time to time.

We can review, re-edit and re-interpret our experiences similarly. The first step is examining what other perspectives might have become hidden over the years . The second step is exploring new viewpoints we can take on board to broaden our current perspectives. We can take these steps separately or at the same time. I do whichever based on when an opportunity presents itself and I have the time/motivation/energy to follow it up.

For me, coming onto the forum presents many opportunities for this. Something I am really grateful to other members of the forum for!!
Wow very well thought out. Ok so your right I need to change my interpretation of things and the good that can come out of certain actions instead of focusing on the negative.

I appreciate that even with an altered view of emotions/enjoyment you still come on here and try to help others. That's pretty selfless.

By looking at what you've been describing I feel like I need a focus. Something I can channel my energy into. Should I continue to force myself to do acts of kindness and then by using proper interpretations try and gain meaning/enjoyment/emotions from this?
 
GretaVon

GretaVon

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Messages
152
Location
Europe
Should I continue to force myself to do acts of kindness and then by using proper interpretations try and gain meaning/enjoyment/emotions from this?
If I can jump in here.

I recommend you start small. Listen and appreciate. Then make compliments, give thanks and perhaps flowers. If you jump straight in without developing a basis for appreciating people, then your efforts are going to come across as insincere ("lovebombing") and that might actually paint you as a narc in people's minds.
 
B

BobbyDaBlahh

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
16
Location
USA
Hi and welcome,

I don't have an answer to your question (about being a narcissists or not ),
but I fully understand everything you've said about emotions, lack of empathy, guilt, acting ...
I live with ASPD myself every day and I often feel the only one, and in these times it's hard,
to continue to be what others find 'acceptable', but then I carry on normally, since now this is me and I'm not interested nor able to change.
The only thing I'm trying to control is my impulsive anger and my unhealthy thoughts.
I don't know if there's a way to change, surely if empathy is lacking it cannot be created (and I have tried several times).
In my case it comes from childhood but I know that you can also be born like this.
It's nice to find someone else that understand, that not everyone with this have to be a criminal.
You're not alone.
I can definitely relate to trying to control my impulsive anger and unhealthy thoughts.

It is nice to know I'm not alone and not everyone is a criminal.

So you have just reached a point of pure acceptance? You say you carry on normally, how differently is your true self to your mask?
 
B

BobbyDaBlahh

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
16
Location
USA
If I can jump in here.

I recommend you start small. Listen and appreciate. Then make compliments, give thanks and perhaps flowers. If you jump straight in without developing a basis for appreciating people, then your efforts are going to come across as insincere ("lovebombing") and that might actually paint you as a narc in people's minds.
I guess the issue is I don't care to much if people see me as a Narc. I just want to feel the love and empathy. I can already play the part, externally I function very very well in society. My kids already look at me and I can tell they love me, I see it in there eyes, I can recognize it, it's like I've even learned how to cultivate it into others, but i, I can't feel it. I have some friends that I could call at any Hour and say hey I need you now we have to bury and Body and they would do it. Idk maybe that's loyalty not love but

I'm sorry to get side tracked, things are just difficult.
 
GretaVon

GretaVon

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Joined
Nov 18, 2021
Messages
152
Location
Europe
Part of being a normal person is being seen as a normal person.
 
B

BobbyDaBlahh

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
16
Location
USA
Anyone on medication? Earlier this year before I started taking meds when I was being open with my therapist and in a pretty depressed spot she asked me a question about what happens if I can't change. If I can never make any true connections. I thought about it and at the time I decided this whole game just wasn't worth it anymore. I then started medication for depression, and about the same time my therapist started shifting to not necessarily change but acceptance of who I am. I'm not sure if it's a combo of me becoming more accepting of who I am plus meds, or just meds, or just dealing with acceptance, but either way right now I feel the best I have ever in my life. I've never taken meds before this and I'm about 4 months in. I'm a bit worried that this way I'm feeling right now will crash down though at some point. Has anyone else experienced this? We're you able to maintain or did you crash hard?
 
T E_90

T E_90

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Jun 4, 2021
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__
I can definitely relate to trying to control my impulsive anger and unhealthy thoughts.

It is nice to know I'm not alone and not everyone is a criminal.

So you have just reached a point of pure acceptance? You say you carry on normally, how differently is your true self to your mask?
More than a point of acceptance, I've reached the point where I've realized that a certain hidden behavior I have, could be seen as a red flag, so much so that if I acted on it (and I got very close several times), it wouldn't bring me any good for the rest of my life.
Anger is also damaging the facade that I've built of myself over the years, with the risk of destroying who I am and my social relationships.
I have already gone through the anger and damage phase, in my adolescence I did things related to it, as well as having had problems with alcohol abuse.

My 'mask' is very different from what I'm inside, I feel empty, angry and depressed most of the time, I find it very hard to listen to others when they talk to me, as I'm unable to engage emotionally, becoming quickly impatient and bored, but I will hide this by pretending emotions that I know are expected, in essence I'm what others want to hear and want to see.
I know how to comfort, to listen and I'm a good shoulder to cry on if need to be, but if they knew the reality I would lose everything.
So it's very tiring for me to maintain long lasting relationships with people, since if I don't have an interest that benefits me, it doesn't come naturally to me to look again for such people.
I know this is wrong, as bad as it can be, but I can't help it.
On the outside I'm seen as sociable and friendly (if not provoked, which is remarkably easy making me lose control very quickly).
I could never tell anyone my diagnosis, or I would lose close relationships I care and that suit me, aswell as family members, and probably be seen as a liar and evil human being in an instant.
I know in my childhood I was bullied, because I was a loner and because of my inadequacy in understanding social interactions.
Probably not having known who my real father was has also led to how I am now,
to my anger, and apparently the psychiatrist is convinced that the fact of not having had a reference figure in my childhood, a stability, apart from my mother and stepfather, has brought to these consequences.

Yes I carry on normally, since changing now wouldn't bring back emotions that are not present in me anyway.
Writing in here it has also helped to control my urges, even if they'll be always in the corner of my mind, and once they start it's difficult to think about anything else.
But learning about who I am and understanding the roots, will perhaps help me to control this, as well as feeling less alone.
I know what you are talking about and I can relate, and maybe writing can help you too.
 
A

Aurelius

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
716
"Should I continue to force myself to do acts of kindness and then by using proper interpretations try and gain meaning/enjoyment/emotions from this?"

It already sounds like you do not have to force yourself to do this - "My kids already look at me and I can tell they love me, I see it in there eyes, I can recognize it, it's like I've even learned how to cultivate it into others, but i, I can't feel it. I have some friends that I could call at any Hour and say hey I need you now we have to bury and Body and they would do it. Idk maybe that's loyalty not love but..."

Two things I think you could do pretty rapidly are:

  1. Stop over analysing the reasons behind the things you do
  2. Stop over thinking the actual things you do
My oldest brother used to sometimes 'counsel' me with:

"Why on earth do you concern yourself with all this all the time. You are just doing the same stuff as the rest of us, but we don't question ourselves every minute. Once in awhile put the microscope away before you drive yourself nuts. How many times do I have to say this before you hear me bro - and don't bother answering?"

Another time he told me:

"When you talk about finding love and relationships you make it sound like a scene out of Predator. Give yourself a break, to the rest of us you are pretty human - just accept it."

These words alone (from my oldest brother) made it "worth just being able to be open and honest?" - in answer to your earlier question. Maybe the things you hear from your children can start to have a similar positive and 'fun' effect?
 
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