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)
What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


I was going through my archives this morning and ran across something I want to repost. On the old MSN forums, we had a member who was plagued by the thought that the N might indeed be treatable or be able to change and she was struggling with cutting off the relationship because of that. I want to repost my response to her again here, because many people struggle with this fear.

Is He Treatable?
What If He Can Change?

"Treatable", even if that were possible, is not the same thing as "he'll change for the right woman", or, "he'll change if he wakes up" and I know you have expressed a lot of fear in the past that he'll be different with someone else and that will in effect be sufficient treatment.

Here's my understanding of N's and 'change'. "Treatable" with [sign in to see URL] and years of [sign in to see URL]. That's a BIG maybe. However, then it comes down to a definition of success of the treatment. I seriously doubt if treatment can totally ameliorate NPD. I've read some studies that say that cognitive behavioral therapy might help the disordered to modify their behaviors, to 'act as if', thereby enabling them to see that their destructive behavior to others is actually self-destructive and the therapy can give them tools to modify that behavior. However, I really do not think Narcissists can drop their defense mechanisms or their 'false selves' completely. Their defense mechanisms are their identity. With an N, IMO the defining one is grandiosity. He's perfect. He splits the world into good and bad, and he's good. He dumps blame, responsibility, and shame. Why would he abandon that? If he did he would have to embrace the true self which in every individual is flawed and for an N who fears that notion, who rejects that notion because rejecting it has allowed him to survive, there is far too much shame involved for him to abandon it.

I believe that entering therapy is usually due to some other issue with an N; it's not usual for it to be because they think they're N's. They want the outside world to change for them and may go to therapy because the world just isn't cooperating anymore. They seek a therapist in most cases to prop up their image which is being threatened due to some major life problem which causes them distress or perhaps depression. Internal change? Nah. That goes against the construct of their disorder.

They hang on to their false self which says 'I am perfect' for dear life. He is the center of his universe and everyone is an extension of him and a tool to prop up his perfection and reinforce his grandiosity. Interpersonal relationships are reduced to object relations. If you threaten the N's image, if you fail to reflect it properly, you are cast out. And so goes the N's eternal chase for the perfect mirror which by nature does NOT exist since none of us is perfect. Every partner will be subjected to the idealization followed by the inevitable devaluation. "Good mommy' becomes 'Bad mommy'. The N has failed to mature past the primitive, infantile defense mechanism of splitting the world into black and white. He can't abide both good and bad existing in one person, least of all himself and especially not in his mirror. His mirror must reflect back to him only the good.

Can this change among the disordered who rely on N defenses? Well, there is some evidence that Borderlines can benefit from therapy, I believe, because Borderlines, while possessing narcissistic traits, do have empathy, they suffer from LACK of self more than a false self and can be encouraged to abandon the defenses they've always known and find a true self under the fear of abandonment that plagues them; but I really still believe that the prospects of treating NPD are extremely poor. N's have a false self to cling to and cling they do [sign in to see URL] works for them.

All that psychological stuff aside, I think you may be struggling with something else here besides the thought that he can be 'treated'. You mentioned in another post that you had spoken to him, told him you thought he was an N but hoped not because that meant he couldn't change AND that you thought he heard you. Pay very close attention to those words, "I Think He Heard Me." That's what this is really about when it comes down to it, isn't it?

Maybe your hope was that he would wake up when threatened with losing you permanently, hoped that he would finally see and acknowledge your pain, hoped that you would matter enough that he would say, "Wait, I'm being a jerk and I don't want to lose you. I'll CHANGE." And maybe it's the same hope you had with your father who gave his attention to someone else.

I think you may be struggling with the fear that he's not disordered after all, or maybe that he's not THAT bad, maybe N but not NPD, and that he might change with someone else. Perhaps the underlying fear all the way around here is that it was you.

I know it's painful. You also said that you have so much to do to reconstruct your life that you don't want to be wasting another minute on him. The reconstruction is daunting. It always is. However, it IS the work that needs to be done. Granted, staying in the N fog is more familiar. Staying focused on him keeps you from walking into a future where you and only you are responsible for your life and more than that, you are no longer responsible for his. And think about this. Could you really walk back into the N door and NOT take the caretaker role again? He made you responsible for his life. He would do it again. It isn't healthy for you and it will keep you from your primary [sign in to see URL] is YOUR life.

There is a loss here. You will grieve it. You will grieve this loss in combination with your previous losses. However, please repeat this to yourself, whether it is in regard to the N or your father: His inability to value you was NOT your fault. It was their [sign in to see URL] yours. You cannot 'make' someone mistreat you. Now the work is to start valuing yourself, not as someone who can fix THEM, but as someone who is valuable just because she is.

These feelings of emptiness will pass if you fill your life with you. That is the blessing of this board. There is story after story of that very outcome. Believe it. Draw strength from it. Maybe knowing that will help you to not give into those feelings. They will pass. You have but to look at the result of his presence in your life to know that he's not good for you. Your life is not better today because of him. He has caused heartache, chaos, self-doubt, financial problems, and destruction. Perhaps he did nice things sometimes, too. Perhaps he helped you out in ways that are difficult to do for yourself now. But the price for [sign in to see URL] you. Too high. Far too high.

Take back your power. Change your life. You have so much to give but it's wasted on him. There's a hole in his bucket that will never be filled. Don't pour any more into it.

You can try and help and it will still be the same:

There's A Hole In My Bucket
------------------------------------------

There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole
Then mend it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Then mend it, dear Henry, dear Henry, mend it
With what shall I mend it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I mend it, dear Liza, with what?
With some straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
With some straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, some straw
The straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza
The straw is too long, dear Liza, too long
Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, then cut it
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, with what?
With a knife, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
With a knife, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a knife
The knife is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza
The knife is too dull, dear Liza, too dull
Then sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Then sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, sharpen it
With what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, with what?
With a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
With a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a stone
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, too dry
Then wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Then wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, wet it
With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, with what?
With water, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
With water, dear Henry, dear Henry, with water
In what shall I get it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
In what shall I get it, dear Liza, in what?
In a bucket dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
In a bucket dear Henry, dear Henry, in a bucket
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza
There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole


Lynn

---
"The best way out is always through."--Robert Frost
Mar/16/2009, 11:17 am Link to this post  
 
LookingAhead Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 01-2009
Posts: 366
Karma: 5 (+5/-0)
Re: What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


Lynn, this spoke right to my heart. Really addressed what I am struggling with right now. Thank you so much for reposting this. :heart:
Mar/16/2009, 11:38 am Link to this post  
 
happy cat Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 12-2008
Posts: 2014
Karma: 20 (+20/-0)
Re: What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


Thanks for this post. I almost didn't want to open it..."What if he changes?" I don't even want to go [sign in to see URL]'t even want to hold onto any hope. I see the article addresses just that. :heart:
Mar/16/2009, 11:51 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: What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


Thanks Lynn. The fact is, it is easy to forget this, Hugs Gs
Mar/16/2009, 12:11 pm Link to this post  
 
seligman Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 01-2009
Posts: 3589
Karma: 36 (+36/-0)
Re: What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


Thanks for this article.

I must be getting somewhat better because when my family have made comments that perhaps the N "might" or "if only" ...I stop them in their tracks. I say, "C'mon, there is no "IF", he will never change!".
Mar/16/2009, 12:16 pm Link to this post  
 
happy cat Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 12-2008
Posts: 2014
Karma: 20 (+20/-0)
Re: What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


Same here, Selig! Someone wrote something similar on another post. If anyone tries to excuse away the N's behavior, I kinda lash out - I can even feel my eyes squint in defiance. No one can convince me he's worthy of my time.
Mar/16/2009, 12:18 pm Link to this post  
 
damaged goods Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 01-2009
Posts: 208
Karma: 5 (+5/-0)
Re: What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


What timing Lynn!

Struggling full time for a couple of days already with this one, because he has started therapy.

I have to get it through to my head and in my bones.

Thanks so much
DG
Mar/16/2009, 1:02 pm Link to this post  
 
lola3 Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 02-2009
Posts: 1924
Karma: 23 (+23/-0)
Re: What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


I know my xn will never [sign in to see URL] wont even go to a psychiatrist to be [sign in to see URL] it would help him get permanent disability

He will never change [sign in to see URL] false self will change to suit the new supply in the beginning then revert back to his pathetic ways
Mar/16/2009, 1:14 pm Link to this post  
 
happy cat Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 12-2008
Posts: 2014
Karma: 20 (+20/-0)
Re: What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


I was the one who went to therapy. He tried to ask me about it, but I said nothing. Wasn't going to give him anything to use against me.

He agreed to go to therapy awhile back, as long as we went together and split the cost. It was all about splitting the cost to him, so I could prove to him I was willing to do that. Had nothing to do with therapy. Needless to say, we never went.
Mar/16/2009, 1:28 pm Link to this post  
 
Affectionatedragon Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Banned user
Global user

Registered: 11-2008
Posts: 4540
Karma: 71 (+71/-0)
Re: What If He Changes? The Hole in the N's Bucket


I still sometimes struggle with this. Thanks for posting this

---
"Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity." Mark Twain
Mar/16/2009, 3:23 pm Link to this post  
 
Page:  1  2  3 ... 6  7  8 





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