Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Covert Narcissism

   
I had an anonymous comment asking if I thought my father was a covert narcissist. I'm not really sure what a covert narcissist is. If it's millennium speak for being a free range asshole, my father certainly qualifies. He had no problem with his wife tormenting his kids and fucking his friends as long as she kept her legs open for him.  My father was not in his right mind. Other than that, I really can't comment about him, or us, or any other thing. I hoped that as I got older, and could see him through the eyes of an adult, I could make it make more sense. But that insight isn't coming.  I really forgot what he was like. It's been 40 years of hard living since he snuffed it and most of my memories of him are a blur. 
 I ran across this quote early on and it's as close as I ever got to an answer:
   "Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship, which struggles on in the survivor's mind towards some resolution which it never finds."
Robert Anderson
Hey anonymous! I am not trying to give you a hard time I really don't have a handle on the covert narcissist concept. If you want to write something I would be happy to give you space to post it!


















21 comments:

Five Hundred Pound Peep said...

He very well could have been some sort of Cluster B though it's usually the borderline personalities who commit suicide? I am not sure if covert narcs are prone to suicide. I have realized there's a lot of narcs surrounding my mother some are more covert narc. Sometimes I think covert narc is another name for "flying monkey" or "enabler" and your father fit that bill and then some. Sometimes if there is one that is more evil in the room and more shining evil, the lesser evil ones get somewhat hidden but the evil is in them too.

q1605 said...

The first girlfriend I ever had was so compelling to me I can only call it love at first sight. I was so surprised that she would have a relationship with me that for about a year I was as transfixed with her as my father was with my mother. But there came that point that it was down to me or her and I picked me.

Five Hundred Pound Peep said...

The problem is your father choose your mother over himself and even over his own children. Even of my own father I ask myself "Why didn't he care about his own daughter?" He saw me at the time I had the 400lb weight gain in Chicago and saw how sick I was. These narcs and sociopaths seem to get people's souls don't they?

q1605 said...

I wrote something a long time ago......even before the internet and I compared him to cock roaches and how even a cock roach has enough sense to scurry out of the way when the lights get turned on in the middle of the night. I still don't hold him in high esteem. His troubles were over that night, it was up to the rest of us to pick up the pieces and move on...and move on with no help from my mother. He hit the ground and wasn't cold before she was trolling for a new husband. That's what got me she had a good guy I mean Jaysus she would have gone to prison if not for him and us. She just never missed a lick and turned to the next guy and asked him How about you? And that poor sex starved bastard was turned into my step father as soon as she could herd him down the aisle of the JP's office.

Judith said...

I'm guessing your dad had borderline personality disorder, not covert narcissism.

Joan S said...

I tend to think that a covert narc is someone who is severely twisted but tries to act human. Sometimes they go over the top with the human act, like my ex crying for days when Princess Diana died. Not like she was his close friend or something like that. He also used to tell me that I didn't react normally to things. And my covert friend, well, she was always reading me the riot act over something. But there is no caring or love. Just this coldness, that you better behave. Just the covert act of controlling you, I would say. And I think they can lead crowds and, gulp, countries, and really do a lot of damage. That is my take on it anyway.

I think your father had a very "moral" stance when it came to your mother. He just couldn't do without her and she was perfect in his eyes. And I think maybe she led him to commit suicide that way. They can always make us feel depressed. Narcs still make me feel depressed, and I have to leave at times they get too overpowering. My ex tried to make me feel so down on myself, said I wasn't worth anything. I wonder what would have happened to me if I actually believed everything he told me. He made compelling arguments that he was the important one, and I imagine what would have happened if I believed him. I gave him everything and did everything for him for he made me believe he was important and I wasn't. I was fortunate he slept most of the time, that was the part that saved me, but it sure didn't feel like it at the time.

So I think with your father he might have fell for these tricks. Just my opinion of course. Could she have brainwashed him to commit suicide? I believe my ex was trying to do that to me.

q1605 said...

Judith I was going to say he wasn't crazy enough, but it reminds me of a conversation I had with my mother where she called him crazy......And I just said I don't know if you could call him crazy just because he went out front and shot himself with a........mmm never mind.

q1605 said...

I had cut a psychology today article and was going to post that and from what I can tell a covert narc is like a regular narc that sort of elicits his supply in a more off handed or passive aggressive way. My father was the high priest of Passive aggressive actions. I'll save it for another day I had a long day and it can wait.

Five Hundred Pound Peep said...

Was your father ever a drama king? [well beyond the suicidal stuff] Sorry to ask sensitive question like this or did he have substance abuse problems for years? Did he have a secure career or was he always running around? Covert narcissism and borderline personality disorder kind of overlap. In examining enablers in my own family there were some who were really passive aggressive. I think he had the traits of obsession with your mother whatever personality trait that means in the psychologists handbooks. Something in him was attracted to the sociopathy. I remember a glitter in my own father's eyes especially as my mother trashed any enemies or talked about coming out on top. I think Q's father was definitely brainwashed.

mulderfan said...

My mother chose my father over her kids and manipulated us to keep us in line. When I took the "red pill" I started to see her as the more dangerous one in the tag team because she was so subtle you didn't even see her coming. Wasn't until her last month or so when I witnessed the old man turning his guns on her, that I realized, it had been about self-preservation on her part. Being a mother myself, I still can't imagine putting myself ahead of my own child.
Another thing the NGC never understood because he, mercifully, chose to be childless and sees nothing wrong with having a parent who sacrificed her own kids.

q1605 said...

Peep not in his day in and day out living. But he did it to try to keep her in line which is like trying to siphon out lake mead with an eye dropper. She thought she was trading up and just said bub eye!

q1605 said...

No peep Aside from his suicide ideation he wasn't much on Drama and if he was ever high you couldn't tell it. He drank the occasional beer. But thinking about your question and the anonymous one is giving me an idea what covert narcissism might be. It's commanding everyone's full attention while at the same time sort of being an aw shucks guy. During him taking emotional hostages with his threats of suicide he would also give us this you'll be sorry when I'm gone attitude. Sort of like that police song "Can't stand losing you"........
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH0vjLwMyc4

I guess this is our last goodbye
And you don't care so I won't cry
But you'll be sorry when I'm dead
And all this guilt will be on your head
I guess you'd call it suicide
But I'm too full to swallow my pride
I can't stand losing you again

I found out later that he took his shirt off before he shot himself. I don't know if there was a message involved in that
Like my life isn't worth as much as the hole I will put in this shirt.
That the thing about it all. You see all these weird gestures and you don't know if there is some message or significance to what he did. He's dead and I'm not. The woman who he killed himself for is dead and yet we all live on. For now that's as good as it gets.

q1605 said...

M-fan you really summed up my whole families handling of my mother. Sacrifice the kids so she won't set her sights on us. But eventually you have to face the beast and feeding it your kids has done nothing but made it stronger and more bold So you didn't buy any relief by feeding it your kids.

Judith said...

I think my sister falls in the BPD spectrum, and I wouldn't call her crazy. Just terrified of being alone and needy.

By the way, I just looked up that National Lampoon issue, and you can buy it on eBay. I might have to order it ;)

q1605 said...

At one point I had every issue from start to finish but they got tossed somewhere down the line. Is she like the woman in the sociopath test?
While at the funeral of her own mother, she met a guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing, so much the dream guy that she was searching for that she fell in love with him immediately.

However, she never asked for his name or number and afterward could not find anyone who knew who he was.

A few days later the girl killed her own sister.

Question: Why did she kill her sister?

Answer: She reasoned that if the guy appeared at her mother's funeral, then he might appear another family funeral.

q1605 said...

With narcissists my thoughts are that they lie so they know what they are doing is wrong or they wouldn't lie about it.

Judith said...

Omg lol, that's awful ;)

If the punchline had been "to kill the competition", it might be true about my sister. She was perpetually trying to seduce my significant others, even if I only had a few and she had many more.

q1605 said...

My sister wasn't the seducer in our family. She would have had to get ahead of my mother and unless we can now fly faster than the speed of light that was never going to happen.

Judith said...

My sister has always needed a lot of attention. Even though I hated when she tried to steal my men, I felt sorry for her at the same time. Her identity has always been wrapped in attachment issues and attention-getting. She hooked herself up to a big time narcissist, her first husband, and it was hardly shocking given how we were raised. I'm just glad it seems like her second husband is a pretty decent guy. I think she's kind of tiring, though, with all the drama. I miss her, though. She's the only person who was there when we grew up, you know? We don't really talk anymore -- probably mostly because I went NC with the parents and she lives near them. God knows what lies my mother has been filling her ears with.

Actually, I should've said she falls somewhere in the histrionic/borderline spectrum.

I don't know what my father's issue is to stay with my mother. But I don't think he fits any of he cluster B categories. I vote "coward". Is that in the DSM?

q1605 said...

She's the only person who was there when we grew up, you know? Yeah I get it. It's a little of why my mother had her hooks in me. She was the only living person but me that was there when my father snuffed it. It's the only person I didn't have to explain it to. Too bad she couldn't have cared less. I could tell you stories of my mother attaching herself like a barnacle to my sisters boyfriends but it's too nauseating and I would want my sister to sign a press release.

q1605 said...

Judith if you have time check out that song. Lucinda is the best in the west and highly recommended in the east.