Table of contents:
- If you read women's publics on the Internet, you get the impression that every second participant has a husband with a diagnosis of “narcissistic personality disorder”. There is a feeling that soon only they, the daffodils, will remain on earth. Their high adaptability and success in life are especially frightening. In general, we will all die, but they will remain. It is not clear only who they will torture then
- Imitation of the ideal
- My own monster
Video: "My Husband Is A Narcissist!" Narcissistic Personality Disorder Or Narcissistic Trauma? - Self-development, Society
If you read women's publics on the Internet, you get the impression that every second participant has a husband with a diagnosis of “narcissistic personality disorder”. There is a feeling that soon only they, the daffodils, will remain on earth. Their high adaptability and success in life are especially frightening. In general, we will all die, but they will remain. It is not clear only who they will torture then
Imitation of the ideal
In science, there is no unified theory and diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder. If you try to find statistics on the prevalence of this diagnosis, you get a spread (across sources) from 0.4% to an incredible 80% of the population. However, let's leave the scientific research to the researchers and talk about how we can not throw out the baby along with the water.
As with any disease, narcissism has varying degrees of severity, there are comorbid (parallel) diseases. For example, a person with severe narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder looks like a monster by human standards. And the forecast for him is, to put it mildly, so-so. A lot has been written about such people. And you really should stay away from them.
In this article, I want to separate two concepts:
- Narcissistic personality disorder (regardless of severity);
- personality disorder caused by narcissistic trauma.
There is no consensus among scientists on these issues, but what I will write about is recognized by most psychiatrists.
The human psyche is formed in accordance with the biopsychosocial model. We are born with certain features of the functioning of the nervous system, then we are raised by our parents. Well, society shapes us significantly.
- In the case of true narcissistic personality disorder, the person must be born with a specific nervous system. Then to this must be added stable and very characteristic conditions of education and formation. That is, he should be "unlucky" three times.
- This is not the case with narcissistic trauma, and this is what gives a good chance of healing, unlike true narcissistic disorder. Most often it is a child born with a "sensitive" nervous system, obedient and kind. But at some point in the formation of his personality, who fell into the conditions in which he was real, his personality, soul, feelings, turned out to be unclaimed. And what was required was compliance with a certain image, certain expectations of significant adults.
During the period when the baby had to get to know himself, form his inner world, learn to accept himself, he begins to "grow" an outer shell that meets external needs. He looks, but does not appear - after all, in fact, no one cares what he has inside, what matters is only what he demonstrates. And the baby's strength is not unlimited
At the same time, his skill of recognizing the emotions of other people and their expectations is simply unrealistically “pumped”. In the future, it becomes a powerful tool for manipulating others. And this skill has nothing to do with empathy, although outwardly it is very similar to it.
And he is very, very much waiting for praise and admiration - because he really does a great job. Just imagine: completely abandon your real self and build a cardboard colossus to please others.
My own monster
A young man of about thirty sits in front of me. We are "nodding" familiar - social networks, sometimes we intersect at events. About a year ago I liked photos from his wedding. A couple of months ago - a photo of his pregnant wife. He is successful, handsome, well-groomed, very pleasant to talk to, with an excellent reputation. This is his first visit to me. He politely greets, tries to speak and … begins to cry. Childishly, to the point of shuddering, smearing tears with his fist over his sleek face. Pulls himself together.
- I'm a freak!
- Why do you think so?
- I destroy and kill all the most beautiful in my life.
- What exactly have you destroyed now?
- Your marriage. Your future with the most beautiful woman on earth. I changed. Stupid. Not necessary. Just out of boredom. Pregnant wife. To your child. This is the third marriage. Everything is always according to one scenario. I fall in love, surround with incredible care, promise the sky in diamonds, get married, and … change. I don't care about my wife. No, when I think about it, I realize that I love … sort of. But basically, in my head, this feeling lies in a separate box, which is closed most of the time. And then I can just flirt with the waitress in the cafe where my wife and I go, and go have sex with her in the back room … and safely go home … This has always been the case since the first relationship at school. I've always cheated on everyone. He also often talked about it later. Do you understand? I'm a monster!
- Do you enjoy sex with unfamiliar women?
- Oh, no, what are you! It's always awful: the first strong excitement passes very quickly, it becomes boring and I can hardly bring it to the final. And that's not always the case.
- And with your wife?
- Everything is fine with my wife!
- What kind of child were you?
“Mmm… kind, I guess. Some kind of soft-bodied. Obedient. I always studied well. I really wanted to be accepted into the courtyard company, but it didn't work out.
- And parents? How were you raised?
- Dad worked a lot, there was a time - he drank. Now I understand that I cheated on my mother. Probably hereditary, right?
- At the moment, science has not found a gene responsible for promiscuity, if that's what you mean. And mom?
- Mom was often sad, but tried not to show. She worked hard.
- Can you give an example of the first memories from childhood that come to mind?
- Winter. Morning. I am able to “lift up, forget to wake up”, my mother takes me to the kindergarten. I trudge in silence. Mom says: “Why isn't my sunbeam shining? Why doesn't the trickle gurgle? " And I begin to tell my mother something funny in a cheerful voice, although I don't want to at all. Mom smiles.
- What else?
- I really wanted to get into the yard company. But the guys were tough there. And one day I went into the yard at the moment when a poor fellow like me was dropped into a puddle and laughed at him. I understood that I needed to defend him. And I realized that I would immediately be in his place. I got cold feet and began to laugh with everyone. And then in the evening his parents told mine about the incident. And my mother put me on a stool in the kitchen. She was cooking something with a sad face. And every time she passed me, she looked at me with disgust and bewildered: “No, this is not my boy. This is someone else. My boy couldn't do that. " I don't know how long it lasted, but for me it was forever.
This case illustrates very well the formation of childhood narcissistic trauma. It was this attitude of the parents that informed the child that his feelings, emotions, experiences were absolutely not needed by anyone. Some other boy is needed. And he learned to look like him.
And inside, where the real he was supposed to live, a black hole has formed that requires endless fuel in the form of other people's emotions, admiration, approval … And all these waitresses, random women are mirrors that help him not to fall inside and keep the illusion of his beauty … And he "repented" to his wives of his infidelities only in order to see that he is so beautiful that they suffer so much because of him, but even after this they love him.
They came to the next session with their wife. I told them about the mechanism of the formation of this disorder in him and about what can be done about it - provided, of course, that both of them are ready to work (the process of looking inside the narcissist is not pleasant, and it will be difficult for loved ones). She gave him a second chance, provided he underwent full therapy. Now they are expecting their second baby and are very proud that they passed this test together.
Case study published with the permission of clients.
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