Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Narcissist as Chimpanzee.

  It often happens that evil may be recognized by it's very disguise.The lie can be perceived before the misdeed it is designed to hide. The cover up before the fact. We see the smile that hides the hatred, the smooth and oily manner that masks the fury, the velvet glove that covers the fist. Because they are such experts at disguise, it is seldom possible to pin point the maliciousness of evil. The disguise is usually impenetrable. But what we can catch are glimpses of the uncanny game of hide and seek in the obscurity of the soul, in which it, the single human soul, evades itself, avoids it's self, hides from itself.
Buber, "Good and Evil"

    Before I discovered the existence of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I thought no one in the world could be like my mother.  No one I know can come close to matching her brainless affect. Her whole essence is a pathological and self serving vortex of nonexistent impulse control. It was hard to believe there might be others like her. 
She would display the most erratic behavior to people in our family.  My sister and I would watch her slow burn of chaos, and wonder which day would be the day that she dragged us back into some new shit storm. 
    After I went no contact, I read every thing I could find about NPD.  My mother has every single defining characteristic, on every single check list.  That didn't surprise me.  Her bat shit behavior commandeered and ruined the lives of everyone around her. The only way out was to die, or run away and join the circus.
    If you have ever wondered if someone you know is personality disordered, they probably are.  If THEIR their actions, makes you question YOUR sanity,  it isn't you.  It's them.  It takes a lot of negative reinforcement to make a person abandon their relationship with a parent or family member. Sometimes there is no other way.
  A person with  personality disorder is an enigma.  They are impossible to define,  harder to understand.  The envelope of dysfunction surrounding my mother defies logic.  Only those of us trapped in her sphere of influence knew what she was really like.  No one else got to see the monster we lived with. 
    I  wish there was more written on how to deal with an NPD.  I don't think professionals want to take them on.  People post inventories and check lists about their entitled behavior. These lists are thorough enough for a lay person to read and assess what it is they have on their hands.  There is enough information to decide about wanting to live your life in their toxic quagmire. 
   I can tell you now.  NPD's will never change. There will be no awakening of self awareness. No landslide of them reflecting on the faults that are so obvious to others. 
 NPD's just get worse. That means whatever you are facing now, this is as good as it gets. Things will never improve. No matter how hard you wish it were so. 
   If you ever wonder if you should walk away from a family member and never look back,  this person is probably toxic.  And you probably should.  No one cuts family members out of their life on a whim.  If an adult chooses to leave a parent behind, it  isn't on impulse. Estrangement comes from years of dominating and capricious bullying.  
  The problem with having to rely on blogs to decide how to handle a PD is that most belabor some way to placate and co-exist with the disordered person.  They rarely suggest that you might want to consider ending the relationship.  
  No contact is the only sure way to regain control of your life.   As long as they have your ear,  you are just a rat in a cage.
   I had written all the NPD traits I could find in a journal. There are a lot unacceptable things they do. It all involves them making the people around them as miserable as they can.  Just because. After months of compiling notes, I tossed it all in the trash. There are two quirks that will tell you all you need to know about a person. This will take the guess work out of moving forward in your life.
It applies to lovers, employers, family members. Dog catchers, hitch hikers and pan handlers.  Life is too short to waste one minute being someone's tool. 
Quirk and red flag #1:   Does this person habitually use contrived and deceptive tactics to fuck you over?   Do they always take more than they give and fuck you over. Do you always get left feeling foolish and fucked over?
Quirk and red flag#2:  After they fuck you over, do they display a total lack of self awareness about fucking you over? They may recognize that the excess dividends in their life are derived from fucking you over.  But this  works for them.  It's OK.  You are supposed to be happy about them fucking you. They will never see how wrong it is to fuck you over or why fucking you over makes them a bad individual.
And that's it. There is no need to know more. If a person will actively exploit the most basic tenets of interpersonal relationships, they are not safe to be around. No debate necessary. Accept that NPD's are the Three Card Monte dealers of family and friend's, and as such they should get the same consideration you give a shark.
The only joy I take from NPD's now, is trying to figure out how they got the way they are.
All the nature versus nurture bullshit.
You can't argue nurture with an NPD. The fabrications about their childhood are part of the facade of bullshit they snow you with to keep your wheels spinning and you going no where. You all ready know they are pathological liars. So consider the source.
Here's all I've got on genetics.
Chimpanzees and humans derive 98 percent of our DNA from a common ancestor. One would assume that the non shared two percent is what sets humans apart from chimps. 
 Normal people get in touch with that two percent. We resist the urge to be petty and we  exploit the potential that the two percent affords us. I don't think personality disordered people made it over that hump. They dwell in the other 98 percent with the chimps and they like it like that. No amount of chest beating is too much.  Crowd them  and they'll fling their feces at you.
If you don't believe me,  piss one off.  It'll be a day at the zoo. You get a  hooting chimpanzee establishing his place in the chimp pecking order.
As for NPD's notorious propensity for lying and cheating their way through life?  Has a chimpanzee ever lied to or cheated you? Me neither. So chimps are actually better companions than an NPD.
 Disordered  people are not the movers and shakers of the world. NPD's are the brazen bastards that fill their pockets with ripe horse turds and sit in the lobby of the Waldorf waiting for the concierge to stuff a c-note in their pocket to get them to leave.
Nature or nurture? Who fucking cares?
This is as close as I can get to an answer. One that works for me.
I will no longer be a party to the actions of any one that is comfortable with tactless manipulation. I will no longer look the other way as the scum of the earth drags every one else into their pit of dysfunction. And if these douche bags are so shameless that they are actually proud to be perceived as a lunatic, I will certainly show no remorse in pointing this fact out to others.



Jonsi said...

Great post, Q. Very point-blank in it's description of dealing with narcissists. And I really have to agree with your sentiment that the only relationship to have with a narc is none at all.

They're just too toxic, and they'll never change. That's a recipe for disaster.

q1605 said...

If my family had used a point blank approach with my mother, she might have been put in her place and not destroyed so many lives.
They went for the quick fix, which was no fix at all. She became like Kudzu and engulfed us everything.
Instead of the temporary shit storm of standing up to her way back when, they died the thousand deaths of a coward.
That's the way they wants it. That's the way they gets it.
By the time I got her dumped in my lap there was no fixing her.

Anonymous said...

I think nothing much is written about dealing with NPDs because it would be the shortest damn how-to manual that ever existed.


Page one, paragraph one: Initiate NC and never look back.

The end

That's the only LEGAL way I know how to deal with them anyway.


p.s. I'd prefer to deal with 10 chimps all at once instead one narcissist.

Anonymous said...

Good one!
Yes, I think it's similar to dealing with an alcoholic. I've read that only choices are to accept them as they are, or get out. Any attempt to change them or control them leads to a big co-dependent mess.


Charity said...

When I was 16 years old, my doctor urged me to get away from my parents as quickly as I could, and never go back. "I have talked to both of your parents at length," he said. "And believe me, they are both nuts, and dangerous. You are nothing like them, I don't know how you came to be their daughter! If you don't get away from them as soon as you can and STAY away, I m afraid they will destroy you."

December, 1969 that was. I did not follow his advice. I hoped he was wrong. I loved my family. I wanted to keep them in my life.

After many countless times over these past 4+ decades of me going back and trying yet again and again and again to get along with my momster (the N-dad died in 1988), I finally went no contact in 2006. She has only gotten worse with age.