Tag Archives: covert narcissist

Let’s Set The Record Straight, Right Now!

There are some misconceptions going around that have the potential to be dangerous to unwitting victims of a narcissist.

Twenty years ago no one had even heard of a narcissist and a psychopath was someone depicted as running the Bates Hotel.

I had heard of Narcissist, the fabled guy who fell in love with his own reflection, but he was a joke, not to be feared.

After leaving my ex I was determined to figure out what happened to me and warn others.

There really wasn’t much information out there about narcissists and what I could find was vague and didn’t seem like my ex. One of the reasons I had fallen in love with my ex was the fact that he wasn’t a braggard. I had dated egomaniacs before and they never lasted long. I could not stand a guy who had to put a price on everything, interrupt people and be the center of attention. You know the guy, the one telling off color jokes at the top of his lungs, the used car salesman stereotype, the sleazeball leaning against the cigarette machine with his shirt undone to his navel with a gold chain and hitting on all the women. I never understood how they got women.

Or the guys in the gym who can’t walk past a mirror without flexing, or the highschool jock who has girls flocking at his feet. No fear of me ever falling for someone like that! As for a guy controlling what I wear, who my friends are, or when I go out; that was downright laughable!!

I was reading a post on a victims of a narcissist support site and some woman was saying she has learned to co-exist with her narcissistic husband. According to her, she knew exactly how to “handle” him. When I hear anyone say they know how to “handle” a narcissist and they can co-exist peacefully, I know one of three things is going on,

1. they are not with a narcissist

2. they are deep in denial

3. The narcissist has not revealed his true colors yet

She was defensive and told me she had done lots of research and knew what she was talking about. She related a story of a friend who’s husband was so selfish he filled the garage with all his “toys” and the wife could not park her car in the garage in winter and said, she would never presume to tell this friend to leave her husband and find someone better.

I would hope the hell not!! If that is the worst the woman has to deal with she should consider herself lucky.

This woman has a very warped definition of a narcissist!! Narcissists are NOT benign!!

It seems to me calling someone a narcissist has become the “in” thing to do. Everyone who has had a bad experience of any kind, been rejected by a man, or been with an inconsiderate man, is quick to label them a narcissist. The self righteous, “I am woman hear me roar” women will tell you they know how to deal with a narcissist. They tell a man what they think, they never let a man walk all over them. They aren’t a doormat.

Let me be very clear, narcissist is NOT the new age term for asshole.

If you sleep with a man even though he refuses to commit, you are making a conscious decision to have sex with a man without a commitment. If a man is honest enough to tell you, “I don’t love you”, “I don’t want a commitment”, “I don’t want to ever get married” believe him! Don’t assume you are going to win his love by being a doormat.

If a man falls out of love with you, it’s gonna hurt, but it happens, deal with it, it does not make him a narcissist.

Now, what does make him a narcissist?

The DSM 5, used to diagnose personality disorders, says at least 5 of these symptoms must exist:

    • A grandiose sense of self-importance

    • A preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

    • A belief that he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions

    • A need for excessive admiration

    • A sense of entitlement

    • Interpersonally exploitive behavior

    • A lack of empathy

    • Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her

  • A demonstration of arrogant and haughty behaviors or attitudes

In a proposed alternative model cited in DSM-5, NPD is characterized by moderate or greater impairment in personality functioning, manifested by characteristic difficulties in 2 or more of the following 4 areas [2] :

    • Identity

    • Self-direction

    • Empathy

  • Intimacy


It still sounds rather obscure and benign if you don’t fully understand how these traits manifest themselves.

Besides, by the time a victim goes looking for answers to “what the hell is happening?” They are in so deep it can be almost impossible to safely leave the relationship.

Any normal halfway intelligent woman wouldn’t date a narcissist if they saw him without his mask on the first date or two. When you meet the narcissist he is nothing like the description above, in fact he probably seems the exact opposite.

It isn’t even possible to describe how to a pick a narcissist out of the crowd or say what kind of woman they are attracted to because they morph into the victim’s perfect partner. They don’t have a “type” of woman, every woman they meet, regardless of age, looks, economic status, or religious beliefs is assessed for their value to the narcissist. Not every woman will fall for them but that is of little consequence to the narcissist because he has so many women in various stages of falling for his act he always has one or two ready to step into the role of his main supply.

He will use women for whatever he sees of benefit to him. One might provide a roof over his head, another could give him prestige, or a desired job, it could be simply a sexual relationship.

The one thing all the women will have in common is they will all think they are special to the narcissist and that he is totally in love with her alone. They will all think they know him better than anyone else and not have a clue who he really is. Most women find out exactly how little they knew about him after the relationship ends.

Before we go any further, let me clarify some misconceptions about narcissist. The mental health professionals can’t even agree on many aspects of narcissism. There is controversy about how dangerous they are, if they can be “healed” and how someone becomes a narcissist.

Some quick facts:

Not all narcissists were abused as children. I believe many of them were simply because they were narcissists and the parents were trying to teach them right from wrong. There can be numerous children in a family raised by the same two parents in the exact same way and one of them will be a narcissist and different from birth, always lying, breaking rules, blaming their siblings, getting in trouble in school etc

Brain scans have been done that prove narcissist and psychopath’s brains never develop the ability to feel empathy or guilt. Consequently, they can not be healed, not with therapy or by your magical love.

People will tell you narcissists aren’t dangerous. But recent research is showing otherwise. All psychopaths are narcissistic. They say narcissists don’t murder people, only psychopaths do that. If they both display the exact same traits how does a lay person distinguish between the two. A narcissist is just a psychopath who hasn’t killed yet.

There are three personality disorders that are considered the most dangerous; psychopathy, sociopathy, and narcissism. The reason they are so dangerous is because they are the only disorders that lack a conscience. Think about it; without a conscience what stops a person from doing whatever they want whenever they want. Most of us have been so angry at someone at some point in our lives that we thought, “I could kill the bastard”; but we don’t! Because we know our conscience wouldn’t allow it. We may see something we like and think, “I really want that”, but we don’t steal it because we would feel too guilty, or we would think Karma would get us, or God, or we know how we would feel if someone stole from us. A narcissist doesn’t have those filters. He wants it, he takes it, without any guilt, in fact he feels entitled to take it.

Therapy doesn’t help a narcissist, except to help him be better at being a narcissist. Counselling only provides the narcissist with more information he can use to manipulate his victims and improve his acting skills.

Narcissists will tell you that they aren’t dangerous or even that evil. I have been told by narcissists that I am describing a psychopath, psychopaths say I am describing a sociopath or narcissist, the sociopath says, “Not ME! You are talking about narcissists!

One of the leading traits of a narcissist is that they are pathological liars. Why would you believe anything they say?

I heard a long time ago,

“If a narcissist’s lips are moving, he’s lying.”

Which is another reason therapy doesn’t help them and why therapists don’t agree on the cause, motives, and severity of narcissism; they never get a straight answer from the narcissist.

They are academy award worthy actors. They knew at a very young age they were different than everyone else, so they learned to imitate the emotions of those around them in order to fit in and go undetected. They learned that acting the way they wanted got them in trouble and worked against them. They are usually highly intelligent so figure out they get much further if they pretend to be like everyone else. That is where upbringing plays a major role in how they present themselves, and some are more sophisticated than others.

Look! I don’t really care what label you put on them, there is a type of person out there in the world destroying lives and they all follow the same m.o. The Diagnostic Manual wants to put narcissists, psychopaths, and sociopaths under the same classification and call them Antisocial Disorder.

People want to break it down even further to Malignant, Covert, Cerebral, and Somatic Narcissist. As far as I am concerned, we give the narcissist far too much attention as it is. A narcissist is a narcissist is a narcissist.

We go looking for answers so we can put our experience, the narcissist in a nice little box and file it away. We think if we can figure out how the narcissist ticks and why he does the things he does, it will help us heal, give us closure.

We think he can give us answers for why he wants to destroy us, the one who loved him unconditionally. Because we do have a conscience, empathy and guilt, we know that for us to treat people that way we would have had to have something truly horrible happen to us. No one acts that way without reason.

You are wrong, narcissists treat people that way without any justification…..because they are narcissists. They know they “hurt” people, but without the ability to feel empathy, hurt, is just a word. Love, is a word they use to manipulate their victims, they have no idea how it feels to truly love someone. In order to truly love someone you have to feel empathy.

Now don’t go crying for the narcissist, feeling sorry for the poor guy who will never know how it feels to love and be loved, doomed to live a lonely loveless life and die alone.

The narcissist actually feels superior to the rest of society. He sees feelings as what makes people weak, it is the thing that enables him to victimize so many people. Why would he want to be like his victims? He thinks his victims are stupid and weak so deserve to be used by him. Every time a victim forgives him he is more disgusted with their gullibility to believe his lies yet again!

So how can you protect yourself? You don’t want to be suspicious all the time. If they are such good actors how on earth can you know until it’s too late? It’s really very simple.

They all seem perfect at first. Not perfect for everyone, but perfect for you.

They think you are perfect, where have you been all their life? They have never known love like the love they have with you.

They push for sex early.

It’s a whirlwind romance. Him rushing to live together or get married. Talking about having kids etc.

He will try to get you to quit your job, move to a new town somehow make you dependent on him.

He usually keeps you away from his family somehow. They are vicious addicts, have always abused his good nature or they don’t like you.

He will point out how disrespectful your kids are to you. How your family doesn’t appreciate you. He just wants to protect you. You are always taking care of everyone else. There probably is a smidgen of truth to it too.

All his ex’s were psycho bitches that are out to get him and destroy him. He will forbid you to talk to them because they will try to turn you against him.

You will discover some lie early on and he will down play it, beg forgiveness and promise it will never happen again.

He will more than likely have money tied up somehow and will try to borrow a bit until the big payoff comes through. He will have money to wine and dine you at first though. He is getting it off some other sucker.

He might have questionable work ethics or credentials.

Often he is new to town so has no long term friends you can meet, he becomes friends with your friends.

Sex is intense and frequent, at first.

Then, all of a sudden, like a switch went off; he is moody, critical, flies into a rage over nothing and you are shocked, don’t understand what you did wrong. He might disappear for days at a time. He will pick a fight and not call or answer your calls for days and then pop back into your life like nothing happened.

If you try to break up with him, he will cry and beg you to give him another chance but things quickly go back to him being moody and angry all the time.

None of this is normal behavior and this is when you exit stage left and cut off all communication. You can NOT talk to him because he will put doubt in your mind. Trust your gut that is telling you something is not right.

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An Aha Moment About Covert Narcissism

I don’t have many epiphany’s or aha moments about narcissists any more. I have visited so many blogs, listened to so many stories and watched so many videos that I rarely come across something that makes me think, “OMG That was my ex!”: In the beginning everything I came across brought up that reaction.

I watched a video this morning from the Spartan Life Coach, who I love by the way because he says it like it is and even has a sense of humor; I often feel while watching his videos that I am just sitting with him in his living room talking and not like he is reciting from a script. Anyway, about this video; it is about the Covert Narcissist and the difference between a Covert and a Classic Narcissist. I haven’t delved too deeply into Covert, Overt, or any of the other “types” of narcissism because to me the traits are all so similar and really, if you are being abused; that is all that should matter and not what type of narcissist is abusing you.

But I have noticed that there are subtle differences between narcissists from the stories of victims who share on the blog and I can see where someone might think, “My narcissist never did that, so maybe he isn’t a true narcissist and so maybe the relationship has hope.” Put that thought right out of your mind!! just because a person doesn’t seem to have ALL the traits doesn’t mean they aren’t a narcissist, and besides that, it doesn’t matter what you call it, abuse is abuse. Like the Spartan Coach says in the beginning of the video, If you are on the net looking for answers about your partner because you know something is wrong but you can’t put your finger on it, there is a very good chance you are with a narcissist, because in a normal relationship, a person does not go looking for answers to their partner’s behavior.

Here is the link to the video Spartan Coach ,it is 45 minutes long, I wasn’t going to watch it to the end but I found myself wanting to hear everything he had to say. My ex didn’t fit every single trait to a T but there were some things that stood out to me that my ex did and not all victims can relate to, probably because my ex is covert and the other victim’s were with a more classic narcissist. Like I said, it really doesn’t matter, covert or whatever, narcissist is a narcissist is a narcissist, it’s like trying to classify the devil, evil is evil.

do gooder

The things that stood out for me that were different about my ex to many of the narcissists I have heard about was his wanting to “rescue” people. It is one of the things that made it so hard for me to accept he was a narcissist. Selfish people, self-centered people don’t go around rescuing people, nice people do that, not abusive people. (that is what I used to think) He presented such a  benevolent image to the outside world, it was very hard to not doubt myself when he did such horrible things to me, it was such a contradiction. I loved the charitable part of my ex that I saw and it just didn’t add up that the man who would spend all night helping a stranded motorist could come home and hit me.

I can’t count how many times we would be driving in his flat deck (he had a truck that could carry a vehicle and he always had tools on his truck and he was amazing at fixing vehicles and “McGyvering” something) we would see a car broken down on the side of the road and we would stop to help. He never drove past a broken down vehicle, ever and I never minded, I was always proud of his skills and thought it was wonderful that he was willing to help people. I loved watching him, I would fill with pride and he was always so humble and helpful, I loved when we helped someone. He was at his very best at those times and usually he would be in a good mood for a while afterwards too. I thought he was getting that feeling we all get when we help someone, it feels good to do something nice for someone but he was not feeling good for the same reason I was feeling good, it was more of an ego thing for him, it made him look good, he was powerful and the savior, the hero.  There were times we loaded the person’s car on our deck, drove them home to our place, I made something for the people to eat while my ex fixed their car and then they would be on their way without him charging them a dime. Or the time we helped an old lady with a flat tire and he told me to get out and tell her we would help her (because it was dark and he didn’t want to scare her), the look of relief on her face when I said we were there to help was unreal. She hugged me and said her prayers had been answered, we were her angels. We ended up putting her car on the deck of the truck, driving her and her car home and then the next day my ex took her a tire for her car. She had come from her father’s apartment that she was packing up because he had died during a home invasion, she was scared to death and a bundle of nerves, poor thing.

To be honest I think that is how he met his present victim, I think he rescued her when she was broken down in a parking lot one day, what better way to find victims?

Another thing that stood out about my ex was he was so humble, he was NOT a bragger, yes he falsified certificates saying he was a licensed mechanic, welder etc and he showed off his skills but he did it in such a way that he never seemed conceited (which seems to be the general opinion of the public, that they are full of themselves). I remember being so impressed in the beginning because he almost seemed embarrassed to talk about himself and his achievements. Haha I have said before, they are great actors! When I overheard him lying to a young guy about the race car he had in storage that he was going to bring to BC and rebuild so he could get back into professional racing I later said to him that he is wonderful just the way he is and he doesn’t need to lie, lying just makes him look like a bullshitter and people will like him just for being the great guy he is. Little did I know his whole life was a lie at that time. (On a side note, one time he showed me his racing stats on the internet, the Internet user name he always used was Barefoot63 and sure enough, there they were, his stats. Many years later while search the internet (yes I was snooping) I come across this racecar driver, Barefoot63 and he is still racing, hmmmmm, in the states, the bells start ringing in my ears! I was duped again!! Shit I hate it when that happens.

He used to say his love for me was cyclable, (no I don’t believe it is a real word, but that is what he called it), in other words, he might love me today but not tomorrow. In fact he said that to me one day, “I love you today”. I asked what that means, you love me today but tomorrow you won’t? and His reply had been, “You know by now that my love for you is cyclable.” When we were split he always looked so much better, he dressed better, got his hair cut, showered!; like when I first met him. When I met him he showered twice a day (probably because he was seeing more than one woman) he dressed well, always a cotton button down shirt, clean well fitting jeans, his curly hair short and always shaved, every day. Once we moved into the house we were buying he stopped showering every day, he was a mechanic, he needed a shower everyday. he would leave black greasy finger prints all over the house, I hated to get in the vehicle because usually my hands would get black from the grease he left behind. He let his hair grow and like I said it was curly so it went really wild, he wouldn’t brush his teeth, and he started wearing jeans that were way too big and falling from him, the crack of his ass showing half the time. He was withdrawn and distant, spending hours staring into a fire every night. I would ask him what was wrong and he would say nothing but between him isolating himself, the moods and the not taking care with his appearance I assumed he was depressed. He would finally push me out the door, we would split, he would hang around acting all depressed, crashing at my place, not leaving me alone but not loving me either and when I had enough and kicked him out of my new place he would all of a sudden get a job, start dressing well, showering and well, generally turn back into the guy I met. I would take him back and within a short while he would fall back into the sullen, slob he always did.

For years I thought he changed back into the guy I met because he knew that he had to in order to win me back. it was kinda for that reason but now there was a subtle difference. He had a conquest to win over again, it brought him alive to have prey, it gave him huge NS to have the challenge of sucking me back in. After years, and I mean years I noticed a change in him. He was always a slob at home but If he started to shower and look good again he was seeing someone new or had his eyes set on someone new. He started packing a clean shirt and cologne in his vehicle with him, I guess so he could be like Superman and change into his Super Hero outfit in a phone booth when he found a damsel in distress. If he showered and made love to me one night and said he loved me and gave me a kiss goodbye when he left for work, I knew he would not be home that night. If he didn’t have the constant challenge of winning over a victim he all but shriveled up and died, he needed narcissistic supply so badly.

The theatrics!! OMG this man could put on a show like I have never witnessed before or after being involved with him, but the lines he used were too well rehearsed, (at first I thought he had practiced what he wanted to say, it meant so much to him, yeah right) the tears, it still amazes me how he could cry at will, and if he couldn’t squeeze out the tears, he would put his hand up to me and turn his head as if to say, “I don’t want you to see me crying.” He would take his glasses off and wipe at his eyes, act like he was composing himself, take a deep shaking breath, his chin quivering, and then look me right in the eye with his eyes brimming with tears and say, “I love you, I will always love you. Didn’t I tell you that? I am so sorry you don’t know that.” I swallow the hook, twice, the third time that he gave me the same line I tossed it back. But he was good! he was real good and I am positive that his new woman has heard the same lines at least once. he must have seen it in a movie at some point or had someone say it to him, and it works so he keeps using it.

He wrote me a poem once, it was after we were together about a year. He had gotten a job, the first one since we started seeing each other and he worked 24/7. I had gotten really upset about it because he was never home, when I say  24/7 I mean 24 hours a day and I knew he was not working, he was on the internet, had personal ads and was watching copious amounts of porn.

Anyway, I hadn’t threatened to leave or anything but I think he knew I was getting close so one day I came home from work and there was a poem on the table. it was so sweet, about how sleeping with me was the best he had ever known and he was stupid to put anything in front of that and to please forgive him. He walked in just as I finished reading it, took me in his arms and walked me into the bedroom. We had wonderful sex and as he stared into my eyes, he asked, “If I asked you to marry me, would you?” (notice how he phrased that, IF he asked, he wasn’t asking) I had not wanted to get married again but I was so taken with his sensitivity and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I said, “Yes I would marry him.” From that day forward he would throw it up in my face that he would not marry someone who acted like I did, how he HAD wanted to marry me but not any more; and even though marriage had never been important to me, now that he was taking it away, it became much more important. It was a couple of years later while looking through some papers in his briefcase (yes I was snooping) what do I find? 5 photocopies of the poem he wrote me. Why on earth would he need 5 copies? it worked so well he planned on using it again? and he didn’t want to waste time writing it all out again so he would give the woman a photocopy??? THAT is lacking empathy.

OH and one other trait that stands out from most narcissists, he always talked about how wonderful his childhood was, never had a complaint about his parents, they were the greatest and he had the happiest childhood of anyone I ever met.

He also was always the victim of someone who was jealous of his talents, or took advantage of his trusting good nature, or they misunderstood his motives, he even blamed the water. He never did anything wrong, he was always wrongfully accused, misunderstood or the people were generally just fucked in the head. He was so passive I would think, “why does he have no problem raging at me for the slightest perceived infraction, and rolls over without so much as an angry word when someone rips him off for hundreds of dollars?” I only ever saw him hit three other people in 10 years, once it was my son when he ambushed my son and I, another time it was his own son (for eating his donut) and another time a guy he did business with was accusing him of something and my ex wasted him. But he was a pussy out in public, no one would have believed me if I would have told them he hit me, strangled me or sabotaged my truck. From all outward appearances he didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Sure he was a thief and a liar, but he never got angry, ever, except with me. (which made it easier for me to believe him when he said he only had problems with me, no one else misunderstood him, no one else made him angry, it had to be my fault)

jesus

The Spartan Coach made reference to them acting like they are Jesus Christ. My ex even compared himself to Jesus and talked about how he was wrongly persecuted just like Jesus was and wrote, “Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do.” Serious, he did. Not kidding. And the police took that letter and never thought it was a sign he might be unstable. Go figure.

Anyway, go watch the video if you have the time, it is interesting.

Have a great day all. Love and hugs Carrie