Runboard.com
You're welcome.
Are you walking on eggshells with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
Welcome to our Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Psychopath Survivors Group.
A Learning, Resource and Support Forum.

runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)


Page:  1  2  3 ... 6  7  8 

 
LynnS Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Administrator
Global user

Registered: 10-2008
Posts: 2215
Karma: 170 (+170/-0)
From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


I am going to repost a piece from the MSN NPD forum that dates back a few years (around 2004, I believe). At that time, we had a member some of the senior members may remember whose screen name was GotSumQuestions. She was a therapist who had been involved with a narcissist. She would have been the first to assure you that, yes, they do fool professionals. Her insight into the disorder from both a professional and personal viewpoint was helpful to and resonated with many of the members at the time she was posting.

She wrote a piece back then describing her own perspective on the differences between NPD, Psychopathy, Passive-Aggressiveness, and Borderline Personality Disorder titled "Ten Steps Out". It had an impact at the time, so much so that it has been referenced on other forums outside of the MSN NPD forum through the years.

I thought it appropriate to bring it here and repost it for our members. I think that it really gives an easily understandable take on the "What's the difference between X,Y, And Z disorders?" questions which come up frequently. I thought of it this morning in particular because of the thread currently running which questions if anyone thinks they may be a borderline. I think this essay may give some perspective on that as well.

So, with that short background on its origin, here is the post as it originally appeared on MSN.

Lynn

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ten Steps Out
by GotSumQuestions


What stopped the whole cycle, was taking charge of my behavior, and accepting reality. Here is my version of reality, in ten simple points:

1. An N cannot love me.

2. Nothing I do, can "make" anyone love me, N or not.

3. My own behavior is the only behavior I can control.

4. Painful feelings are painful but they will not kill me, and like all things, they will pass.

5. No point in looking for, and pouncing upon, and fighting about, things he does that show me he doesn't love me, because I already know that he doesn't love me.

6. No point in trying to "make" him see he's an N, because he won't see it, no matter what I do or say.

7. Love is not about filling someone else's emptiness; not mine, not his.

8. Love is about two "full" people choosing to be together because they bring each other joy.

9. Being by myself will not kill me.

10. I am not in prison, and therefore, I can choose who to be with; if I'm unhappy with that choice, it is my responsibility to change it.

By reminding myself of this, over and over, and choosing to change my behavior to line up with reality as I knew it, I got out of the BPD-in-response-to-N trap, and I got out of the N-world, and I am now recovering my life, and feeling quite sane.

The main thing to remember, about a character disorder, is that it is a disturbance of the "self". Something has happened to give the person a distorted sense of "self", and --- this is important --- what they fear most, is anything that challenges this view. That is because unconsciously, they fear that they would either go completely insane, or die, or face complete annihilation, if their distorted sense of self is destroyed. To them, that very distortion of self which we see as a handicap, a problem, or an illness, they see, as being the very rock they cling to, in order to save themselves from the waves that would overtake and drown them if they let go. So for them, maintaining this distorted sense, feels like a matter of life and death. That is why character disorders tend to be so intractable (hard to treat).

I think the character disorder (Axis II) problems are most clearly visualized if you think of them as messages, which they give to other people.

Here is the Passive-Aggressive's message: In order to exist, I must feel in control, and I will lose my control if I become angry. In order to feel in control, it helps me to see the contrast of how out of control you are. So the easiest way to know I am in control of myself, is when I see that you are out of control. When you are angry, I feel much more in control than you are, and that is how I know I am safe.

Here is the P's message: In order to exist, I must be powerful. The only way I can know that I am powerful, is to make you feel pain. If you feel happy, it is because you have something I don't, and I want to take it away from you so I can feel powerful again. If you threaten my power, you threaten my existence, and I cannot let that happen. If I have to destroy you to show you my power, that is your fault for trying to make me feel I'm not powerful.

Here is the N's message: In order to exist, I must be perfect. It is a lot of work, to always see myself as perfect. So I need you to help me to see myself as perfect. At first you did, and everything was fine. Now you don't see me as perfect, and are therefore trying to destroy me. It must be because something is terribly wrong with you. By seeing how much is wrong with you, I can still see myself as perfect, in contrast. But that is more work than having you think I am perfect. So I will have to move on to someone who will see me as perfect.

Here is the BPD's message: In order to exist, I cannot be alone, because I am empty. This hurts unbearably. You could take away the emptiness and pain, if only you loved me enough. I want to make you love me. But you don't love me enough, and that causes me more pain and emptiness. If you only felt how angry I am, how hurt I feel, how afraid I am, then I bet you would love me, and I could exist because I wouldn't feel emptiness and pain. I'll do anything to make you feel my pain, and to try to get you to love me, so I don't feel so alone.

I think it is so useful to leave aside issues of diagnosis, "traits" vs. "full blown disorder", style, etc., and just go with, "Does my behavior, or the other person's behavior, convey the message of one of these disorders?"

Now as to our situation: In living with an N, we are going to feel very alone. I think that is the predominant feeling of being in an N relationship. Why? Because we are alone; the N is busy fighting to preserve his own sense of perfection, and doesn't have any energy to spare for us. We are going to feel pain at that aloneness. We are going to think that if the N only loved us, we wouldn't feel so alone, and so much pain. We're going to feel angry, hurt, and that we deserve love. We're going to try to show the N, how if only he loved us, we would feel better, and not so empty and alone, so we're going to try to show him by making him feel some of the painful self searching, making him feel some of the loneliness, making him feel some of what he is doing to us . . . we're going to make him see, and if he would only see, then he would only love us, and everything would be fine.

So in a way, many of us start to look like, quack like, talk like people with borderline symptoms. That is the Nworld: emptiness, nothingness, pain, sense that without the other person's love and esteem we are worthless, and if only we could "make" them see, "make" them feel what we are suffering . . . it is very borderline, in style.

Does this mean we are all pathological? I think, yes and no. Yes, while we are doing that, we are! Why? Because it is neurotic, in the sense that it does not take into account reality. We are reacting over and over in the same way to the same behavior, every time thinking something different might happen. So that is pathological. But are we pathological in the sense that we had borderline symptoms before the N, or that we will have them after? Will they be a permanent part of our character? For almost all of us, the answer is "no". Once we get out of that crazy-making situation, we won't be crazy any more.

Can you see how an N, living with a person who was exhibiting borderline symptoms in reaction to the N, might develop PA symptoms of his own? He is living with someone who is always out of control, always demanding something he cannot give, always insisting that he be emotional where he isn't, doing what he hasn't done, meeting needs that seem boundless. So to make sense of their existence, to remain "perfect', they sometimes take on PA traits to remain in calm control. Sometimes they take on P traits, to remain in control. Can you see how that can happen, too? But in reality, the underlying issue, is N, in the case of someone who truly has it. The PA and P symptoms are just as transient, just as situational, as many of our borderline symptoms are when we live with an N.

I speak as one who experienced this, and came out the other side. I was, I think, pretty normal --- and everyone in my life seemed to think so, too. Met the N, found myself acting in a way that I could not recognize as myself! I was yelling, screaming, arguing, totally centered on what he was thinking about me, or not thinking about me, or what each and every single one of his actions "revealed" to me about how he didn't really care, and then I would pounce on those things, and challenge him on them. I barely felt I existed unless I was concentrating on him and how he felt about me --- CLASSIC borderline symptoms. This took only about two months to happen, and about another four months to figure out. Meanwhile, I was giving him a pig-in-a-corn-bin level of NS, unknowingly. After all, he was the center of my world! He'd developed some PA traits, and the entire storm and raging helped him feel in control.


Last edited by LynnS, Jan/8/2009, 9:46 am


---
"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Jan/8/2009, 8:05 am Link to this post  
 
getsmart Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 1128
Karma: 17 (+17/-0)
Re: From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


Lynn, Great post. Thanks for posting it, GS
Jan/8/2009, 9:04 am Link to this post  
 
LynnS Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Administrator
Global user

Registered: 10-2008
Posts: 2215
Karma: 170 (+170/-0)
Re: From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


You're so welcome, GS. Glad you like it.

Hugs,
Lynn emoticon

---
"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Jan/8/2009, 9:07 am Link to this post  
 
HearMeRoar1 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 4333
Karma: 115 (+115/-0)
Re: From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


Lynn, thank you thank you thank you for resurrecting this! It explains so much that I am finally in a place to grasp with both head and heart! Can you put it here permanantly?
Jan/8/2009, 9:15 am Link to this post  
 
LynnS Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Administrator
Global user

Registered: 10-2008
Posts: 2215
Karma: 170 (+170/-0)
Re: From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


Hi, HMR. You're very welcome. And yes, we can make it permanent. [sign in to see URL] just added it to the Best of MSN section, here. emoticon

[sign in to see URL]

Hugs,
Lynn

---
"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Jan/8/2009, 9:54 am Link to this post  
 
Change9 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 789
Karma: 14 (+14/-0)
Re: From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


Wow thanks for this...


quote:

Now as to our situation: In living with an N, we are going to feel very alone. I think that is the predominant feeling of being in an N relationship. Why? Because we are alone; the N is busy fighting to preserve his own sense of perfection, and doesn't have any energy to spare for us. We are going to feel pain at that aloneness. We are going to think that if the N only loved us, we wouldn't feel so alone, and so much pain.



This is one thing for my future I ponder, I think I am already alone NOW, what does it matter since you are afraid of being alone. You are alone NOW!


Last edited by Change9, Jan/8/2009, 10:48 am
Jan/8/2009, 10:48 am Link to this post  
 
LynnS Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Administrator
Global user

Registered: 10-2008
Posts: 2215
Karma: 170 (+170/-0)
Re: From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


You're welcome, Change9.

You are so right. You've realized that you are already in the midst of what you thought you feared, so take heart. You can cope because you already are.

Lynn

---
"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Jan/8/2009, 1:14 pm Link to this post  
 
narcissistjunkee2 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 664
Karma: 6 (+6/-0)
Re: From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


Actually Change9 I felt more alone when I briefly lived with the Xn then I do living alone now.

At least now if I'm alone it is because I choose to be alone for the most part.

With the Xn, I never knew when I'd be with him, when I wouldn't be him etc. I was kept in the dark and just had to go with the flow or with whatever he or his son was doing. Or, they would just take off and do things without me without any notice. And, I didn't live near any friends or family or near people that I coould socialize with.

Now I've put my self in a situation, like you are trying to do, where I'm around some friends, not much family to be truthful, and friendly strangers.

It's obviously a much healthier position to be in.
Jan/8/2009, 1:29 pm Link to this post  
 
WillowWhite Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 476
Karma: 13 (+13/-0)
Re: From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


Hi Lynn,

This article makes so much sense! Can you put it in the permanent links?

Some people in another thread are wonderin if they are borderline-- I'll refer them to this thread. Thx!

Willow
Jan/9/2009, 4:48 pm Link to this post  
 
Change9 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 789
Karma: 14 (+14/-0)
Re: From the archives: "Ten Steps Out"


quote:

LynnS wrote:

You're welcome, Change9.

You are so right. You've realized that you are already in the midst of what you thought you feared, so take heart. You can cope because you already are.

Lynn



Thanks Lynn,

Ive had to face what it really is already.

Jan/9/2009, 5:06 pm Link to this post  
 
Page:  1  2  3 ... 6  7  8 





You are not logged in (login)
http://bnarcissisticabuserecovery.runboard.com/t24062