Dazed and Confused

Generally, Aunt Alex doesn’t like to delve into the whys and wherefores of what goes on inside the “brains” of narcissists, as this tends to encourage thinking about him and even feeling sorry for him. However, she understands the questions don’t fizzle away that easily, and can be distracting. That “roadkill” feeling can be soothed with yet another reminder that there’s no way you did anything wrong in the relationship, and nothing you could have done. So, let’s take on a few of those questions here.

“Why are narcissists the way they are?”

There’s some minor disagreement about this, but the reality is pretty clear: They’re born that way. They’re born with a major personality defect; the whole empathy – interrelationship piece is missing. If it seems like he MIGHT be damaged because one or another parent was horrible and he had to grow up with them, then the horrible parent is probably the one from whom he inherited the damage he was born with. Key point: It’s permanent, it’s not fixable, and he will never, ever have an awakening to the power of love or the instincts of bonding. He’ll never grow, and he’ll never change.

“Don’t they get lonely? Doesn’t this make them want to be better people?”

They’re ALWAYS lonely. That’s one of the things for which they use other people; they’re always seeking to abate the crushing loneliness they have. But normal people get lonely when their friends and family aren’t available; narcissists are lonely because they have zero people to whom they’re connected, because THEY CAN’T CONNECT. The narcissist himself is the broken link. It’s not that there’s no one special for him to connect with, or no one with whom he can be friends. He could be in a stadium full of people who adore and admire him, and two hours after the glow has dissipated, he’s just as bleakly and hopelessly lonely as ever. But he’s too broken to do anything meaningful about it, so he uses people, family, partners, girlfriends, friends, even kids, hopping from one giving person to the next, constantly embezzling their emotional strength, in order to keep from feeling bad. Yes, it’s that pathetic. No, there is NOTHING you can do for him.

“Does he miss me?”

Oh, boy. First, you deserve better than what he was throwing at you. You’re emotionally generous (which is why he picked you), loving, and without question can do better. You’re special. But one of the ways in which these asshats are a disaster is that they can’t — not ‘don’t’, but CAN’T — value a person. Valuing, missing, wanting, loving a person involves bonding with them, and that equipment is missing in a narcissist. He doesn’t miss anyone, ever. He misses the attention, the sex, the appearances of being in a couple. He feels sorry for himself that he’s not being taken care of, or coddled, or paid attention to. But only normal people miss other people. To narcissists, attention is like a drug, and they don’t really care who’s pushing it, as long as the drug makes him feel good.

“Why me?”

Because you’re emotionally generous. Did you have a narcissist as a parent, which “bent” your boundaries when it comes to them? Maybe, maybe not. Do you have a taste for bad boys, or for lost souls? Maybe, maybe not. What’s a certainty is that you’re emotionally generous, which is a fabulous gift that I want you to cherish, not change. Emotional generosity isn’t a problem, or a fault. It’s part of being a loving person and having a rich and meaningful life. The only thing we’re going to “change” is the boundaries — beefing them up so that people with personality disorders don’t barge in and wreak havoc like a rabid yak in a china shop. Narcissists can smell emotional generosity from a mile away, and they bolt on in and immediately start charming, intoxicating, and figuring out how to push your buttons. All with the cold calculation of a serial criminal.

Sound creepy? It is. And now you understand why Aunt Alex is so hopeful that you’ll hang on to these guys, and distract them away from the rest of us.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Dazed and Confused

  1. Donna

    I think it will take me a very long time to be able to comprehend this type of person. I just cannot wrap my mind around, not the refusal to, but the inability to value another person. It’s like a foreign language! Thank you for a great attempt at explaining the unexplainable…

  2. Rae

    I agree Donna. The mere idea that there is an inability to bond and value another living being….it’s unfathomable. And I guess that’s cause we aren’t that way. I keep trying to remind myself the fact that I can’t get it, is a GOOD thing. My N hates women, thinks all others are “mental midgets” yet complains that I have close friends and he has none, that I have tons of people to talk to and that I’ve replaced him with all those people in my life – after he was caught sexting with other women and trying endlessly to talk me into a threesome with the first one cause she could be like a sex toy to use at our disposal… It’s taken me 3 years, multiple times “catching” him since then, more fights about all this than I can count that always end in my being unreasonable for not getting that this is who he is and there’s nothing wrong with it cause he’s seen all his female friends naked and it just doesn’t matter, him storming off and then pretending everything is fine, and the bottom line when I found out he met someone in a bar and gave her his cell number to FINALLY get counseling for me, learn how to respect myself, refuse to let him shove everything back under the rug and pretend it’s not happening, going back to school and filing for divorce. We’ve been married 12 years. I had a hard time accepting that Real Guy and Pretend Guy were unable to merge into 1 and that he could actually BE pretend guy for REAL. I kept thinking that he was just moody. Depressed. Hormone imbalances. Whatever…there had to be a REASON for why he is the way he is that I could fix if I could just find the reason. So, I researched, and googled, and went to book stores, and spoke with counselors and went through their diagnostics to try to find the reason. Then I stumbled on this blog. And Narcissistic Personality Disorder had come up before in my research, but I just kept thinking that couldn’t be it, because that wasn’t fixable. There had to be something else. But, anyone who can curse me, call me horrible things, threaten to leave, tell me I have nothing, threaten me with all sorts of horrible things…and then turn around and be this “loving” person who just wants me to accept him for who he is “grow with him” he even said once and take this journey into his nightmare with him… surely, he is a narcissist. And I must save myself. I realized even in his “loving” ways, he was still just trying to make me be something I’m not and make sure he got what he wanted out of me. He needs me for his image. I’m what keeps his imagine of wonderful family man in tact.

    I hope you are free of your N. Good luck!!

  3. Clarie

    Why me? This is me and I will not change. I say … Love em more.
    This post made me smile. I will never change. I don’t think I need to change my boundaries either. I’m just putting him outside mine now. It’s his loss and deep down he knows it. I pity his life. Maybe I always have. That why I stayed so long. Truth is, I’ll miss him and always wonder if he survives.
    You’re last paragraph was halarious. I feel I should keep him from his new supply. But like me, she’d never believe it. Quite charming and no way anyone would resist. He’s a pro.
    I actually feel like he was too fun ! Helps to remember when he was!

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