"Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." ----- Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet.
"Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in a muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you?" Greg Baer
"The Secret in healing Narcissism is not to heal it at all, but to listen to it. Narcissism is a signal that the soul is not being loved sufficiently. The greater the Narcissism, the less love being given." ~ Thomas Moore, 'Care of the Soul'.
Q. Is it really possible to heal NPD?
A. Anything is possible. You do not have to be a negative statistic on a probablity curve of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Location: Go via geocities.com/kayneich for a tidier copy of this page
Date Joined: Oct 15 2004
Date Joined This Board: 21:10:10 Sun Dec 19 2004
Personal Bio: UPDATED : Oct06~~~~ MANIFEST NARCISSISM - a discussion to the extent I believe that the self-object construct can have validity ~~~~ <BR><BR>::::::::These dynamics may be on the wane in each of us by now. These are what my perceptions were at the time. They were real to me then and I think it helps to see what I may have been thinking and how circumstances came about. Both of us involved may have attained greater understanding and healing by now. There is a possibility that we are currently both individually ending up where we are building enough on our strengths to look at our weaknesses without covering these up with pragmatic quick fixes. <BR>::::~A STUDENT LOST IN NARCISSISM : PERSONAL DYNAMICS, RELATIONSHIPS AND NATURE : ATTEMPTS AT SUSTAINABLY REESTABLISHING A LOVE OF LIFE (AND EVENTUALLY A MORE MATURE MIND TO CONCENRATE ON ECOLOGICAL CONCERNS)~ <BR>::::I would love to be able to write about nothing more than ecological matters soon. this writing pertains to personal matters only, but with personal nature as well as the nature i study in mind - i've drawn from my training throughout here too. the more i gain in mental health, the more i am anxious about neglecting greater concerns than i, and i missed these being at the forefront of my mind without even having to try. solid ways to avoid burnout was another issue tackled before i now go about racheting up the intensity again - living like a wet week was mindnumbing.
<BR>::::<i> i trust these narratives show just how much of a spoilt brat i am and that all my comments should be taken accordingly, not as special writ. The two narratives are indeed integrated in my own mind, suggesting that the way i look at things myself, has been the problem. The influences of others just helps me to understand and explain what happened. The ultimate responsibility for what happened to me was mine.</i>
<BR>::::this sometimes seems like a girlish sob story, but i hope a bit of more grunt behind it all is evident. i grappled over whether it was grandiose of me to think so, but this might be of some use to others. throughout my life, i've often been branded as a show-off ; sometimes for just merely communicating with such variable control over my intonation. other times, i have been clumsy at expressing sheer joy. when younger, i have been told to just get out of the way by third parties, when others are in serious need of compassion and kindness. subsequently, like many, there are some skills i feel awkward with using and feelings i am awkward at expressing. with my speech impairment the way it is, there are times i've been scared to death with what people have attributed to me as saying. nervousness because of all this just confirmed how incompetent i began to think i was. working through this was all coming together and working out as i grew older, i thought - later relationships where i walked on eggshells as an adult dug into a wound that wasn't hurting as much until then, and then it became an extremely piercing pain like nothing i had ever felt before. but i wrote this about narcissism, and in reading about it in an effort to understand others, i regained and achieved a lot more understanding of how to better appropriate features that were in my life too.
<BR>::::INTRO <BR>::::i initially started writing the following for "healing narcissism and disorders of the self" (healnpd.org), but then thought this became inappropriate for the website before i finally did submit it. i have ended up typing this out in so far as i could take it to a counsellor if it ends up that i need one again. please don't panic though as nothing i ever submit here again should be as long. it would be difficult for me to slot bits-and-pieces of this into different threads, topics and contexts in the time i've got without me going off on some destructive ego trip, i think - so - i present this all in one bang. it would be preferable if i could post more gently and just as a matter of course every now and then, i agree, but time would not be on my side. having this writing here does seem to help me in not going off to vent more suddenly and destructively, and at more detriment to myself and others who i do not want to hurt (by such venting) when i am thinking more calmly. in time, i shouldn't need this at all.
<BR>::::the fuller picture should not be orientated around my ex, but this goes into explaining a few points of the past. as a further note in respect of his privacy, in retrospect i doubt he ever made our "relationship" known to anyone as if we were of any importance in each others' lives. the only ones who still might make a connection if they were to bother reading this from stumbling upon it, would never lose respect for him and the work that he does do tremendously well for others. it could only improve once he sees the fuller potential of his emotions. many would also realise that in more general terms, situations like this need elucidating and discussing. we all have worked extremely hard for our lives, along with others dedicated in supporting us way beyond the call of duty, and i would always ask others to think of how much of an effort life has been for themselves before judging and making life more difficult for those living in the only way they've known how to survive. undue disdain and condemning of individuals will not help people who have grown up with significant extraneous circumstances heal and let all things work out for the best in the future. in our case, it would probably also undo a lot of community work which i actually join with others in enthusiastically supporting and could well have to rely on myself in the future. <BR>::::although everyone exhibits narcissism to some degree, and this can be healthy, what is discovered in sufficiently disciplined research for personal reasons can be a shock to the system for those who venture into finding out as much. i also found plenty of misinformation abound. it is my wish that people who have overwhelming narcissistic tendencies not have their whole world destroyed by those who do not understand what has to be dealt with by those in need of healing from this. i would again implore others to remember how hard their own lives have been. i also suggest that if we are very serious about preventing intimate partner abuse, we look beyond immediate notions in reference to blame and purely pragmatic strategies. for me, this entailed acquiring some knowledge of child mental development. there are flow-on effects of having to divert resources to people distracted by a lot of pain, and who are therefore not able to contribute to other pressing concerns in our world. <BR>::::i illustrate where the qualms i have with the disability movement potentially plays a part in some of what is presented here. however, in the post-script, i do not hesitate in reiterating that in the final analysis, any problems i had had probably already existed before outside influences compounded these effects. the dynamics involving these external influences were still worth examining in order to gain insights that would otherwise not be able to be suggested and built upon. <BR>::::(DIS)CLAIMS AND FURTHER REQUIRED CIRCUMSPECTIVE
<BR>::::i recognize some mild narcissistic traits in myself, but i had thought these have been no more than what is common for someone who gets her first degree and then she finds life isn't exactly what she expected. attenuating circumstances made it harder for me to come off my high-horse than most do - and yes, my situation was dire enough for my family to seek extensive mental health services. narcissistic personality disorder would probably not be what i have by a fair long shot, but it was the narcissistic traits that i do have (i once read a brilliant paper by William Cloke years ago on rage which made me familiar with some of the basic dynamics involved) that led me to a very disillusioning relationship with a man whose behaviour seems extremely consistent with a more pervasive form of narcissism (this is based on more than what it says now on discredited websites) no matter what it really could be and it all has been enough for me to find myself here. <BR>::::i do not advance this speculation of what i find consistent with my observations lightly at all, but do explicitly point out that it is just speculation. i know that i must remain open to other explanations for the effects which resulted in what i allowed to impact upon me so heavily. if i am only indicating my lack of experience in the things that i recall, i think this still has learning value and, in this sense, it is not very outlandish to say that it was <i>as if</i> a considerable extent of narcissism was involved. i am not removed enough from the situation to make sure that i'm not just trying to cover for extremely great lapses in my own conduct. i am certainly not qualified to make diagnoses. nonetheless, i too wait for the day when the possibility of having a mental illness is not shameful in society, but a factor in life to contend with. it is life that i really wish to give a voice to without glossing over the inadequacies felt, the inconsistencies and the self-serving parts. <BR>::::there is no doubt in my mind that this man did have a considerable degree of empathy for people he saw as having lives like his own, but he got close enough to mine to gather that we both had depths unaccounted for by only looking at the surface. <BR>::::as i explain further, due to a culmination of reasons, i felt my love of the world around me eroding away like i had never thought it would and emptiness took over. having lost all trust in my feelings, thoughts and actions had left me lonely ; i was helpless and it was an effort to get through most days in amidst my confusion from everything. i wondered if this was what real life was like and tried so hard to make do. i had done many things which got me into this mess that i was in, and for that i was infuriated at myself - although that did not help the ones who were still helping me. <BR>::::SOME PERTAINING SPECIFICS
<BR>::::we've both been physically disabled since birth, been fiercely independent and had pride in doing things our own way - we've laughed like hell at unquestioned traditions and at giving societal conventions the one-fingered salute - that had always been a part of our lives and i cannot say enough how over-the-moon i was to find someone who i thought understood. now i realise how much he needed societal validation, and his contempt of it was out of craving it desperately. i've always maintained that my irreverence was out of a sheer love and respect for what really mattered - things in life that could not be tied down and appreciated by contrived societal constraints.
<BR>::::he is now an extremely successful and respected person in the disability advocacy and supported independent living movement. this is why he could profess to understanding all of what i had been going through with issues i had when i met him as a 22 year old. i felt that at that stage i was just taking off in my academic career somewhere in the field of behaviour, evolution and conservation ecology - which, up to that point, was what my whole life was building towards. i see now that emotionally i would have fallen over at any rate, anyhow, had i not met him. in the beginning, he was immensely impatient with me in trying all i wanted to do to be sensitive towards my parents' natural, and certainly not overly-protective, concerns as i became more and more independent. <BR>::::my mother is from a completely different culture as i, and that did create a few complications that i tried as hard as possible to not involve this man in. i agreed with him that he did not have to get involved, but he saw the empathy i had towards my mother as a weakness, a lack of understanding on my part as to what "independence" was and neither him nor my mother had any comprehension of how hard i tried to make the situation run as smoothly as i could for both of them. both thought i wasn't taking them into account at all, and the thought of that killed me (that had always been an accusation my mother levelled at me throughout my childhood, no matter what i did. it has since been explored with her and an understanding has been reached). as it is, i have taken an age to move from my parental home at least partly because we all thought we mutually understood so much more than what we did. eventually, mum and i grew up. my parents have been absolutely amazing and have given a hell of a lot up for themselves in order to see me through this. my extended family too has always been there.
<BR>::::THE SITUATION AS I SAW IT <BR>::::time and time again he'd continually let arrangements fall through, but in the early years, i thought i was just being fussy. people who trusted and relied on me to be extremely competent and reliable and who went out on a limb in order for me to do things, now, i believe, would doubt my capabilities. this is because i let myself trust a man who i now know just was not capable of understanding that my own life was important and i could no longer live up to expectations nor fulfil promises. he always implied that i had no idea what pressures he was under or how belittling my circumstances at home made him feel, when i was actually as conscious as i could be and run ragged in attempts to figure out more and more of what i could do for him while keeping my study up.
<BR>::::what could be construed as verbal and psychological abuse from him when we resumed contact after a five year break when his five-year marriage had ended was hard. i am sure this was unintentional, and he was not aware of how extraordinarily disorientating and continually undermining his behaviour was to me. initially i was overjoyed to think the pain of his five year absence (which was abrupt and without closure), was somehow validated by the fact that he must have felt something to want to return. then the minute i appeared to be asking for more than he could give, or to do something he did not expect, through letters i felt i was yelled at, screamed at, told i could not cope with life, was not independent, spoilt by my parents. i kept telling myself that he and i always managed to come to an understanding nonetheless, and could hardly wait for the precious times we could see each other in person. sometimes i saw his outbursts as a refreshing honesty which i rarely get, and tried very hard to accept. <BR>:::: i try to explain what happened in that five year break below - but the clinical effects of severe depression alone, ultimately due to my own make up, made these hard times for me, and i was just too mentally unfit to handle all that came at me. i was pretty incapacitated. in the beginning when we first met, i was going through some pretty inspirational events in what i was learning academically, i wanted so much to share that with someone who could be so close. i guess i was always trying to hang on to this feeling. i know now that it's best now just to be satisfied with my own rewards that i get from learning. i guess i had been so damn lonely at times in my life, and i couldn't even believe my luck that a man who actually had the potential to understand my life so well, i thought on an equal footing, actually wanted to spend his time with me. my way of living had shown me then that i had needed some sort of life outside my studies and it felt that combined with his expertise in community work, we could take on the world and this in the long run would bolster my work and commitment in conservation (reading Virginia Goldner pointed out to me how susceptible i was here). yes, i was very young and didn't realise how much i must have been living off a tonne of dreams to get as far as i had in my life. the rationalist that i was was screaming out in denial of this all the way. <BR>::::i felt i had to fumble hurriedly through my words in the times we were together because that seemed the only way i could entice his interest in what i had to say. i am very used to slotting keywords in, in order to get basic messages across to anyone, when i can see they are busy. but once i think about it, i don't think i should have to feel stuck in this mode all the time, and i am not with others i am close to. i let it become more of a habit with others though, the more i communicated both orally and in writing with him. one of the reasons i kept persevering nevertheless were for the moments we did breakthrough in understanding each other very well, the hints he gave inferring that he wanted more of this too, and his very vocal stance in public that crips are never listened to, but should be. whenever i tried to talk about things in my life that he was not familiar with, or thoughts that i had been developing for years and years that he unknowingly indicated in his responses that he only understood at an exceedingly simplistic level, he very casually dismissed all these as though they meant nothing, and that i did not understand at all about things that mattered. he is a leading light in the disability advocacy and support field. i just felt stupid. there were times he advanced in public what he shot me down for in private, so i kept hoping for the day when misunderstandings would cease as i was sure that our communications just needed tweaking. when he presented himself as an example, and a success story of the way to go about things, i guess there was a level within me wondering if i was like that, and if i had to be in such a way. <BR>::::spats and arguments and disagreements among people are inevitable and are a part of normal healthily growing relationships. agreements to keep disagreeing on certain things can also be accepted as a part of this. i accept research done by Neil Jacobson and his colleagues insofar that observed disputes within couples work well when these usually ended up tending towards achieving greater mutual understanding of feelings and what can be done about what each other needs. others write that usually remorse turns into making amends (see Terrence Real but be very sceptical about his colleagues ; among other psychologists i do recommend, Carol Tavris suggests that education about how relationships can work may be more favourable than just discussing things that go wrong and relying too much on increasing self-esteem). i kept waiting for the day we would sit down and discuss things, and actually realise that we were both on the same team. i didn't realise that apart from what may have been a rigid incompatibility for all i know after all, there were formidable psychological processes in the way.
<BR>::::he said he had never felt understood by many in his life. there were times he told me that i had kept him sane and that he needed what we had and hurting me would be his very worst nightmare. i took it upon myself to believe that the times we continued to see each other and share a bed was his way of showing acceptance and forgiveness of more turbulent times - in my madness, i justified this by thinking of how many people just don't understand my ways either. i also believed in all my naivete at the time, that we were being very honest in not having a totally commited relationship. but, in all honesty, i can see now that some of these more caring sentiments were what i was dying to have from someone all my life, but i had always convinced myself that i did not care. the first time he left me, i was kicking myself for years for trying to be so tough and not letting him see what he meant to me. that was enough to put myself through hell, wondering if i had blown the only slight chance at the only bloody good relationship that i had ever had, and was likely to ever have (Nicola Gavey, from my own university and whose other work i concur with when it overlaps with what i study, has done research where she presented commentary from women in my demographic which seems congruent, i think, with mine in how their expectations in casual relationships changed in similar ways over time). <BR>::::then there were the later times that i went back to him coz i felt sure that i must have been missing something he meant in what he said for him to get embittered in the way he sometimes did - and i wasn't about to let mutual misunderstandings get lost in a lifetime of regret for me and unnecessarily add to his pain whatever it was all about - surely he could understand by now why i was staying at home and doing what i needed for the long term ; it was actually about taking responsibility and not behaving like a kid, while he too needed to solidly sort out a lot in his life - things could have been worked through. but also sometimes i continued contact just to figure out how to get the closure that destroyed me the first time and so that we could both get on with our separate lives with confidence.
<BR>::::i guess i had no idea of my own boundaries either and consistently kept giving him the benefit of the doubt and kept thinking of how much a person has got to look a bit beyond the surface and put a bit more work in to understand my needs so that i could participate in things. <BR>:::: i thought that i had better do the same for him.
<BR>::::what i thought we had in common was a real rarity, combined with such an intense love of life. it felt like he took that away from me at times, even though i know that thinking that way in actuality is absurd. i was worried about succeeding so well again academically, only to be let down again in great emotional confusion. the ways in which i was weakened were very gradual and subtle, but in retrospect, the way i conducted myself just sounds so stupid, that i can barely live with knowing what i let happen. i believed i was just being insensitive and very impatient towards him. i gave, and i gave, and i gave. he has [a very messed up family - details deleted] and i've been there for him throughout a lot of difficulties from this although i did not know how messed up his childhood was until he came back to me after his seemingly out-of-character marriage fell through. had i known, maybe i'd have twigged earlier that he needed much much more than just understanding and my patience and love. as well as one extremely critical domestic role in particular, he has taken on some other daunting responsibilities, and has continued to succeed amazingly with these. <BR>::::what really crippled and knocked the life out of me was that there he was going on in his public capacity about valuing disabled people and how he always wanted someone to share his life with, while in private, with me, things were such a different story. at the time, the way he kept going on about teaching kids to dream, while he walked all over my dreams, hurt me immensely. i was wrong to keep on taking him back. i was wrong to keep agreeing to just emotionless and "casual" sex. i kept thinking i just was not independent enough and too mucked up by societal constraints if i could not accept those terms. increasingly, over a period of nine and a half years which ended in April 2004 after a big break and hard work during reconciliation and in more general healing in the year before, i felt not capable of anything. interestingly enough, i have entertained the thought that maybe in these nine years, maybe due to my own experience with this man, i've had the opportunity to see reasons why my own behaviour seemed narcissistic, especially towards my own mother, when i was growing up. <BR>::::i thought people understood more of what i was about than they actually could. in turn, i wasn't respecting their belief system that they had grown up with through all sorts of adversity. this lead to frayed tempers on occasion.
<BR>::::a hell of a lot of people who i have loved have passed out of my life because i did not know how to get to know them without bomblasting my way through, whilst clumsily failing at consciously trying not to be so intrusive. <BR>::::the work i put into healing wasn't lost, but it sure did feel like it before i could see how bizarre our situation was and could not be explained away as just being my fucked up head. my unfinished thesis still gnaws away like hell at my brain, some of the content of that was so mixed up with my personal life, it felt that i could not ignore dealing with what i saw were the personal consequences. i was also very scared that i would flip out of gear again as when i got my first degree, if i became pragmatically hell bent on overriding everything i had been mixed up about in order to finish. hell, it could be said that my very thesis is on how best to appropriate pragmatism when it is absolutely required in biological conservation without losing data or obscuring useful theoretical explanations to explore further.
<BR>::::ATTEMPTS TO RECOVER AND MOVE ON <BR>::::after our first split, in the five intervening years while he was married suddenly and unexpectantly (he left me abruptly and shortly before, had another casual partner, and was then saying that he was not suited for a commitment with anyone), i was lost. i had been recovering from a complete nervous breakdown which i was told may have been the first of many bipolar episodes which could recur all my life, clinical depression set in, i completed another years study half-heartedly, had transient relationships of a similar nature which were just as difficult for me. i was completely going through the motions and since everyone could see that maybe i concentrated far too much on my studies when i was younger, i felt during my recovery that i had to pick up on whatever other things i had left. up until then, as well as my studies being of intense interest to me in it's own right, my "intelligence" was everything, a ticket to my independence and beyond, and now i was an officially certified nutter! i can laugh now, but the forecast then was bleaker than bleak. years of clinical depression were so painful, but it was then that i initially became insistent in finding what had the potential to put me in such a state beyond biochemical imbalances and couldn't really do anything else but this for ages. it did become habitual, though. i think. Now i've worked hard to know how to maintain good mental health and the threat of another hypermanic episode has been greatly diminished by all manner of measures. there were a lot of false starts, too many to mention and i think that is because i found little intervals of feeling happy again, but was still wary that i had not a very satisfactory explanation as to how i had got as low as i did and hadn't seen yet the ways in which i would be stronger under any future duress.
<BR>::::i myself tried living away from home twice after my hospitalisation for the hypermanic episode and tried to involve myself in disability movements as well as finishing my thesis in an attempt to get moving again. i was a bit concerned that my parents now would get overprotective of me seeing what had happened. they did not. however, the anger and sense of entitlement amongst the disability movement really did knock me for a six, as did the unquestioned cult-like following. i found their ideas, although enlightened on the surface, could be taken in very rigidly and feed a lot of bitterness. i found myself getting very edgy, angry at things i was once so happy to think i've dealt with as a young teenager and i began lashing out too. yet my own thoughts that i had since developed, and were once very reliable, failed me. i saw the desolation of others. for a long time i wondered if that was that what i had been reduced to. yes, my ex was right. i couldn't cope. could not concentrate on my thesis. was ever vigilant at noting my thoughts down because i couldn't rely on my memory, and felt sure i was always forgetting things. i did move home during this time. he moved to the same city and he came back to me as i've said, mum got cancer, things plodded along, mum is now hopefully cleared and dad had been my rock throughout. <BR>:::: i was going through the motions not feeling and not knowing what i was doing, everything felt dead inside for a longer period including the five in-between years of having a shaky understanding and no respect for my own emotions. this lack of trust in myself continued. weakened, i think we all entertained the hope off-and-on that my relationship with this man would ensue in the end after that five year break, but it did phase out with me still thought of as pretty useless and yet he was the one who never used to come through - in the end, he projected and gaslighted on me to the point of me knowing there was something very unstable going on with presumably both of us. [<a hrefhttp://geocities.com/kneich/stuffed/within>"Within"</a> actually describes these poorly labelled aspects better without implying intent]. as i was thoroughly ragged and worn out by then, of course what i let myself become was pitiful. it was then that i really developed an understanding that the problems were beyond what is just usual for any relationship and individuals going through life's struggles. it was enlightening, but more heartbreaking, nonetheless.
<BR>::::i still want to put together whatever i can do now with my thesis, but so much time has elapsed that i think i've been really pathetic given all the help, support and opportunity that i had just let fritter away to nothing. i feel i've been ridiculously stupid - but such a feeling is not going to help me rectify the situation and come up with something of at least some worth.
<BR>::::mum always loved the thought that maybe one day i would step back from academia, and in her eyes "work out in the community". i however see no such stark dichotomy, and have proved satisfactorily to myself over-and-over again that any participation i have in her well consciously defined "culture", will just be out of a matter of course for me, if at all, and i see it artificial to give it any special consideration. i can see that this may well happen, and of course i will draw upon my background, as i work with matters of conservation, animal welfare or anything else. it was confusing at that stage coz i was getting involved with people in the wider community and those with wider experience than i, and all i could really see were people who were just as isolated and insular as some you would find on any university campus. why should i waste my time getting shirty with the others about either place? i was thrilled that i couldn't really see a distinction and mad that others couldn't see this as being free and flexible - open to all sorts of ideas from anywhere. <BR>::::SPEAKING FOR MYSELF <BR>::::surely, where it is possible, a society where compassion and empathy is extended to anyone in difficult circumstances, whether or not a disability is a contributing factor, would be laudable. i am not denying that at times there are massive societal injustices, and at times the factors involved are those pertaining to experiencing disability, but i have occasionally been taken to be in absolute denial of this. it has just been one more annoying little niggle in my mind and i wasn't prepared for it coming from the quarters that it did. now i have assimilated this and realise the need to grow up and shake off comments directed at one's intentions and not just at ways of working things out. <BR>::::i am concerned that disabled advocacy movements are often still stuck at declaring what disabled people can do, and that abusive situations are more from the "outside world". from what i have observed, it is not explicitly acknowledged enough that saying so does not fully address the damage anyone can do to themselves and other people.
i've seen approaches hailed as a success in complete understanding, when the right immediate outcome is arrived at, regardless of whatever other reason could be explored with whatever else ensued as well. in the general case, there is no reason to hold everyone to just one chosen interpretation built on grounds asserted as absolute. however, i do think that in explaining particular circumstances, i have no right to be whimsical about the limitations in what leads to the personal interpretations i give here. i should say that the readings i loosely refer to above here in my own writing are just guidance notes out of more personal research i have done, and equally in no way have i exhausted all that could be done to gain a good overall perspective of what i go on to write.
<BR>::::i venture that it is worthwhile to use my observations of what happens in some of the disability sector in seeing what behaviour could likely end up being sanctioned amongst some individuals who maybe already prone to thriving with narcissistic-like dynamics. i believe that a lot of problems that individuals have, which can go on to impact severely on others, can continue and be perpetuated further behind the mask of thinking of oneself, and who one identifies with, as undervalued and marginalized in society. i found that there is just no room for enough critical thinking within such ideological frameworks passed off as having sound bases. it is not realized how descriptive sociological research has become mistaken for what should and should not be done, as if research can be directly translatable into action. of course there is nothing wrong with putting theory into practice - this is laudable, but not as if it is conferring value judgment outright, and especially when the bases and scope aren't left open to ongoing verification. as a lot of sociology used to do, at least up until recently, much of what became used in disability politics was interpreted in reference to standards of some dominant culture before juxtaposing whatever findings there were upon other cultures and ways of seeing regardless of differing contexts. being divorced from a disciplined understanding of strengths and weaknesses in all this, i believe, is what makes situations ripe for people to rationalize a righteousness, grandiosity and ideas of entitlement how ever much they assert that care is being taken not to go into excess, as stringent criteria is claimed. i know what it feels like to have what seems akin to objectivity as a back-up. <BR>:::: i have often been patient in thinking that many friends very dear to me will grow out of this absolutionist mode of thinking as i thought i had, first as a teenager. instead, i eventually allowed them to influence me into thinking that they were the experts and that i just did not know anything. i just have a different approach that they probably will forever think as lacking now. i've known a few in the sector to regard themselves as slightly removed from a group mentality, but then go on to set up pretty rigid criteria against which anyone who questions these is still held in quite bitter contempt - sometimes being seen as against inclusiveness and equality. a societal validation defined is often seen as the having the utmost approval. none of this strikes me as being the independence that i've seen it claimed to be. i believe independence is completely dependent on context, and even that, by the way, is no excuse for me not getting off my ass...
<BR>::::SEX AND EMOTION
<BR>::::among other things, i had been studying about problems with empiricism and pragmatism when things were all happening. ready to see that some of science was just a load of shit as much as anything else could be. i wanted a few people in my life to celebrate with me that i could see that, as it seemed they had always wanted others to. i think now that i had met this man exactly at the point when i was beginning to see worth in having a social and emotionally healthy life. for the first time, that was something to nurture, and not just be cynical about. but i was still very very young in knowing what this all could mean. i did still think i could block out emotions and enjoy things for whatever they were at the time. <BR>:::: this as i know now was very naive and immature. however, as i had already read and known directly of a lot of confusion, even in academic circles, on things to do with female receptivity, social and biological determinism and in the politics of human sexuality, it felt then like i could not rely on anything but myself regardless of a plethora of spoken advice i could access in sorting out matters of certain choices we all have to always make for ourselves at the personal level. if there was a way to short-circuit my stupid female physiology within prevailing cultural contexts, at one stage there, my mentality was that i was determined to find a way by working through what had been shown with research! for example, simplistic though it may be to think about now, it had been getting to me that even the popular Masters & Johnson has been very much superceded and this indicated to me then that there is hardly anyway at all we should be taking anything as gospel. that study had been for a while and had influenced viewpoints and lifestyle choices. <BR>::::i had grown up thinking i could be very casual in my relationships with men, and in this way, i could show them that my disability was absolutely no obstacle. consciously beyond that, i never gave it a great deal of thought as to what would happen next until my life became such an enormous wreck. there was a bit of a healthier insight there just before i went back into my old lines of thought, since i had the offer to act for the first time upon these. after my crash, obviously the lifestyle i thought i was after wasnít possible. but with the weak state of mind i was in, the alternatives i saw as being traditionally-minded quasi-religious mumbojumbo or californicated mysticism, just were not worth thinking about either. taking this further with the screwed up mindset i had then before i got past all this, it felt like everything i ever was, and all i had ever believed in about doing all i could to be open-minded was such a sham. i didnít know where to go from there. i didnít feel strong enough to navigate my way through the terrain. this all sounds like an overdrawn overkill now and i struggle in retrospect with why the hell these became such big issues for me back then. i suppose i was young and felt lacking in all sorts of knowledge. i had no faith in anyone to realise that i needed completely normal advice and support, and i did not want to be the subject of what i was too quick to believe was going to be patronizing censorship. i suppose that i had to ensure that i could make any decisions i had to in the future without permanent blinkers on and without ending up in an acute psychiatric ward again ... and i do have a neuromuscular condition which alone had created a hell of a lot more anxiety for me right throughout my life whenever i wanted to express intense feelings. <BR>::::the schism between mind and matter had always been such a pervasive interest to me from ever since i can remember - i'd say things can get pretty catatonic from having this in all sorts of areas in life.
<BR>::::i still don't want to be too scared to live. now with a better and broader grasp of knowledge than before, i now have something i feel has some substance with which i know how to support my feelings. these issues have decreased into more appropriate perspective for me, partly as this knowledge has been fused and integrated more and more with much wider understanding of emotional dynamics and health.
<BR>::::ongoing pragmatics always have to be developed and dealt with, but fall completely short of the whole picture. although i've looked at these, deeper down i now concede that i was mainly worried that i could only get so far emotionally with a relationship that i would end up putting my heart and "soul" into, only to crack up again.
<BR>::::SKEWED WORST FEARS AND LONELINESS
<BR>::::although my mother certainly had her difficulties in ways i did not expect and these did suprise me, there were other ways in which i was probably unnecessarily nervous at how my parents would accept sexual aspects of my life. there is a sense in which concerns about my sexuality were the one thing i wanted to keep totally privately to myself and away from mum and dad. they had enough to cope with a disabled daughter who could not even feed herself or have her speech readily understood and yet i did guiltily feel intruded upon in the course of this whole situation. in the beginning, all i really wanted them to know that i was indeed keeping safe and that i was immensely grateful that i thought they understood. on the other hand, yes, i did eventually and completely end up a basketcase because of my behaviour and the results did have a very severe impact upon my life, and thus, on theirs'. mum and dad were actually extraordinarily accommodating towards me and in letting me deal with things in my own way once they saw that i needed to, whereas had i been them, i would have eventually become a whole lot more condemning.
<BR>::::i had once wondered if this meant i was not independent enough and had to let caregivers take over much more responsibility for my decisions than i thought they would. i've seen how some authorities and caregivers end up controlling the finances and medicating of people. what if i ever needed powerful psychiatric medication again as i once did? on what basis could i ever drum up the guts to assert myself again?
<BR>::::moreover, did this mean i now should follow more conventional perspectives for more conventional and unchallenged reasons? no. but this did mean i had some exhaustive reading and thinking to do, and which i did as i alluded to in the last section, if only to get past and beyond a lot of it. i had to come up with a perspective that is still healthy, not unnecessarily restrictive and is still, i think, ethically sound where it involves others. for all tense and purpose, my life has and always will be very damn conventional! i have just been of the mindset that my life due to cerebral palsy can be very restricted anyway, and i'd be damned if i'll be restricted further by inane rules, regulations and belief systems that are just there for the sake of themselves in any aspects of life. however, having been through all this protracted growing up, i duly acknowledge the need we all can have for a sustained intimacy, a relaxed sensitivity towards life around us, and a healthy sensuality which doesn't have to be laughed at, as we live alongside others.
<BR>::::i have read about how much i probably have gone through life in situations where i have not felt very accepted. i am wary of becoming too caught up in thinking in such a way, but should also treat this as a caution of how much finding someone's acceptance could mean to me. this is where an idealism, similar to that found in narcissism, could set in as it had before. i think i had a shock when i learnt how many people did not realise how much i was working at such a lower capacity after my breakdown - maybe i used to idealize about how well i was doing beforehand. i also want to acknowledge the vulnerability of knowing loneliness without letting it take me over, because there really is so much more to life. these implications can be made into something very special with another, transforming into compassion for others no matter where i am personally, or these could kill me without proper handling. sure, i know now, and i knew before, that everyone feels such loneliness occasionally, no matter where they are in life. yet i had let myself really slip in grasping this. i was mentally distraught and psychologically incapable of just going with the flow and having fun anymore . Life was miserable not knowing just how much i could take things on the fly and enjoy for whatever these were. i have been a pain to live with and put up massive protective barriers, not knowing where the subtle triggers of pain from wounds now laid open, were going to come from next. <BR>::::walking on eggshells fuelled my relentless and extravagant pedanticism again - it was once on the wane - and i am now getting this into perspective again. this time i can see this entails both technique and understanding.
<BR>::::PATRONAGE? ...and speculation <BR>:::: there are times i just want to be there for my ex, and times i wish i was there for him when he was a child growing up being kicked across the floor by his dad and not being able to protect his mum or siblings, and only recognized by his community as this cute little poster boy. i know he's hurting very deeply and i can't help - he'll have to arrive at it himself. <BR>::::his irate frustration at people who he says wants to "rescue" him as soon as they get close, would be something i could completely understand and thoroughly concur with, to a degree that he never realised. but sometimes this is a completely normal and human response between any two people that i've come to appreciate as i matured beyond 22ish - and i remember what a release it was for me about then. my guess is that this is mistakenly perceived as contemptible pity by him. but this however is often not at all about what things have been directly attributed to by him, in this case his disability, amongst people who really do understand him as an individual. <BR>::::the problem occurs where the situation is only addressed at such a level, and the real pivotal issues - some pertaining to just the basics of simple humanity and compassion - continue unrecognized and confusingly perpetuated further. <BR>::::with other matters, hell i know how maddening and frustrating it can be to feel as if something one has believed in being, asserted, and held fast to for years and years in order to deal with this world, has been threatened and may amount to a terrible waste. regardless, one has learnt so many other things along the way, all is not lost at all.
<BR>::::nobody is perfect, and i don't expect nor want anyone who knows me to believe me over him. rather than a contest, it would be a great coup if he was independently-minded enough to do some disciplined research of his own rather than drawing solely on life experiences.
<BR>::::on the other hand, from what i've read on the healnpd group, he'll never wholly accept and understand the pain he's caused others, until he really does see the full extent of his own. i believe he was making some strides in places there. he's aware he has interpersonal problems, but always ends up using grandiosity and borders on the verges of being abusive to get back up again. i emailed him in Aug 2004 just saying that there are some real unfounded ideas floating around the place now about people with his background, and how i would consider it an honour that if when he ever gets told this stuff applies to him, to call me if he wants and we'll nut it out together. he responded well to something as chatty as that. however, i didn't want to be patronizing or turn things into a game. he's also been to some therapists and from what i can tell, he then goes on to live to die another day as he embarks on setting up strict guidelines for himself in relationships, lists to do etc. very task-orientated stuff. which is all fine up to a point. i can very well imagine him being keen and impressing on others that after going through a lot of issues, this is all it will take. i once hoped when i first read this board, that if or when the time came, i could steer him into solid steps, but always knew not to push at all. that's another reason i came here too. i'm like him and know a lot of others like us too, in that we want friends most of all, not counsellors. i wanted make sure i knew how to just be a relaxed friend in the future with anyone, without myself going under. <BR>::::many disabled people have grown up with notion that whatever they do and succeed at, they must come back at a later date and teach the younger ones. it was hard with this always at the back of my mind regardless of what i more consciously believe now. it becomes so much like an unquestioned ethos, and it did rip my heart out to think of all i could be giving to others, but know that i cannot do this amidst a climate which favours the kind of intoxicating "can do and stop at nothing" mentality i myself once got caught up in. however, i had gone too far the other way in my recovery before achieving the balance that i think i have now.
<BR>::::people, with their feelings, have their own standards and measures. it seems to me that narcissism results in fiercely defending all that for oneself and fiercely claiming that one person's world is the only world. with all that defence to maintain, life becomes draining and bloody insular. there becomes nothing left to explore with others and yet there is our shared world by which a good mental health is worth finding in order to avail us all to more and more of. it takes balance upon which to openly go outside of yourself. i personally do not believe that there ever is a single reality whenever there is more than one individual, but have not forgotten how important it is to be disciplined in finding where shared realities can be and i can't wait to explore all the reference points...!
<BR>::::in sum, it took years to ensure i wouldn't make the same mistakes with anyone else that i did with this man and to understand my relationship with mum. with or without this "partner", i had one hell of a lot of growing up to do. i had developed a crippling lack of trust in myself, my ways of relating to others and to life were hauled into question maybe too drastically for me to cope with at once and i suffered from an inability to feel. i was scared to feel and was sure i'd just be disappointed yet again at anything i attempted in life. on the other hand, i could see how damaging it was to develop a single bloody-minded grandiosity and how impoverished goal-directness to the exclusion of everything else in life could become. my mental and emotional incapacity to cope with even the simplest of everyday tasks at various stages felt humiliating yet terribly self-involved, unappreciative and dismissive of the immense love and support of those around me and the incredibly rich life just there waiting.
<BR>::::i have read that one can intellectualize the narcissistic condition forever and yet never be free of it since it is a disorder of our feelings. it has been said that spiritualism helps, but i am an atheist. maybe i get the sense of belonging and connectedness i need from my professed love of nature, which, until writing this, had really alluded me amongst all the concentration of working through this. maybe if i separate this love from my success or impended failure as a biological scientist, this may take the pressure off and motivate me to work more effectively. i think this has been a problem. i would like any good work i do to be supportive of that love and to nurture it's growth, but to not use it as a substitute or proxy for my love of nature itself.
<BR>::::so yeah, having done the bookwork, and written all this self-absorbed self-justification down, i know it's time i take my mask off again (some days were fine, some days until lately, everything reminded me of him - but at last i'm viewing these triggers as just the normal consequence of any breakup, not a sign to worry even more about going nuts!). it feels that the next stage i want to approach with a humility and a open heart about how to really be with all sorts of people i know, and have yet to meet, in the best of mutually supportive terms. obviously, my approach is usually to defensively intellectualize everything to death! despite what it sounds like, i can listen, and always wanted to get into a healthy state of mind where i can listen to the best of my ability. an understanding of narcissism helped me understand more deeply what that meant. <BR>::::the works of Jiddu Krishnamurti are also what come to mind as helping me to cease struggling in order to obtain happiness, and instead try remaining open to what comes out of whatever exists. it may sound flaky, but really can be far from a complacent and passive attitude. I have included some of Krishnamurtiís teaching on my own site at http://www.geocities.com/kneich/1 .
<BR>::::i wish everyone all the best in their journeys, and thanks for this site.
<BR>::::Kay : edited from healnpd.org <BR>::::--------------------
<BR>::::PS : a later post to the forum :<FONT FACE"Arial"> i feel good now having read virtually all through the open topics in the last 3-days after a real shit of a weekend (the 2004 US elections didn't help my mood either).
<BR>::::was a bit shaky there for a while, but now words can't say how much humility and gratitude i feel towards you lot for helping me see some things within my own life that i needed understanding in. it brings peace to me to realise i have a lot of rage within me myself that i must take care of. i made a lot of noise, ranting and raving and crying my eyes out this last weekend at what a wreck i've made of my own life, yet a lot of people say i work damn hard - and it's always been difficult for me right through my life on gauging how i really am treating others - some who really slog their guts out for me.
<BR>::::well, i thought i had really lost it last weekend, and all that really hard work of healing for years had been properly undone and for nothing. but - to keep it short - i think my rage and tears were quite a catalyst - supplemented in no small part by what i've read here. i think having others speak for me all my life and assume so damn much of what i'm feeling, or what i should be feeling, has given me a lot of confusion and pain inside although i concentrated on believing i was so damn sure of myself. my tears and rage were enough to remember that there has been a toll taken. no one was to blame for what this resulted in. it's time i let others embrace those experiences within me too instead of me always being too brave to let people in. it sounds pretty stupid now as an adult, but some of this i grew up processing as a child. it makes me keen to work in order to get in a place where i'm relaxed enough with myself so that i can see others as more human too, not as tools or objects to get what i want. there was definitely an element of that in me too which subsided at an age later than i would have liked. <BR>::::as evidenced by members of the forum, people with npd can still contribute very meaningfully to society when they are also
very serious about healing. from all accounts, this entails processing a great deal of pain which is usually regarded as
better to placate and avoid in favour of more highly functional pursuits. many have been said to be too scared to face their
npd because of extremely poor public attitudes towards this condition. healing seems to entail a massive restructuring of
worldwiews once thought vital, and hard to see as maladaptive from certain points. i know that i completely lost my love for life and had no idea of how much more authentic in my human relations i could feel as i do now. someone on this group said that with more emptiness, one finally realises there is room to take a lot more of life in. but it does take ages to reach such a point. i have heard that being pushed into therapy effectively for npd can make defensive denials a whole lot more stronger and fortified. <BR>::::it is very very very difficult for those with many narcissistic tendancies to form a bond of trust with others, and betrayals are so easily wounding, preventing any healing process - noticeably none at the emotional depths required. i also know what it feels like to live under accusations of denial when these do not have any substance other than being self-fulfilling prophecies. my friend is an individual first, and is worth far more than any labels or pity. the silly bastard deserves so much more than just to feel betrayed by someone who still considers herself a friend.
<BR>::::although i certainly cannot neglect the understanding that i have now, i feel i am ready to reintegrate much of what i know again back into an appreciation of what life is and how it has to be handled sometimes. i will always carry significant regret should there be a time i meet my friend again, and i can be natural and safe in his company finally with solid reasons for only being able to appreciate that time for what it is, but he not being at a stage where i could tell him what i have known. my own thoughts and attitudes towards people and life will always be changing over time. i am finding that i just cannot be human, nor offer my humanity, if i don't allow myself some give and some flexibility. i won't feel human if i don't give some voice with respect to genuine feelings when i feel safe enough to let these occur, even if only for a moment. it is my wish that he'd be able to look back on our experiences together at a later date, no matter where his life and healing takes him, and can believe what was derived from attempts to appreciate the totality, as well as the madness, which is life. i struggled for a long time in not knowing the ways in how i could let things flow from wherever i may find myself in life again. <BR>:::: i hope he can forgive me if i never find the opportunity to tell him all that i could to let himself question and decide for himself what indeed is valid and relevant, and that he'll realise that the awareness for many of these issues has to be raised under a set of conditions to have a beneficial effect. this whole piece of writing was constructed with that in mind. <BR>::::Any further interaction we may have will be out of love on my part as I now am sure that it always has been. If this can occur to him one day in retrospect, I wish it to ease his feelings and help his defensive barriers come down - for him to know that we did probably experience love and to not look back on it with contempt or pain, but we each did the best and the most we could. The world is not such a cruel place as he has sometimes experienced it. He has given a lot to me as I have given to him, and many more individuals will never see it as weak when a man lets his own defences down to eventually regroup himself more wholly. Any rebuilding will be a monumental task and I hope heíll see it as an exploration, a journey, even though it might still entail immense pain seemingly easier to ignore. All I ask is that he gives himself some flexibility and leeway and not fall for more rigid belief systems or on fixed ideas about the expressions of others. Iíve been on a long journey such as this too, it becomes less about healing and more just about living. Iíve had to go where it takes me and know that no one should feel the need to follow anyone else. <BR>::::allow me to caution against dominant popularist material which says npd cannot be healed, and please see any of most writings by Carol Tavris for a good caution debunking popularist myths in psychology in general.
<BR>::::~~~~~<BR>::::In retrospect of writing this, and upon further reading, it does seem as if what i did experience at the age of 11 was something akin to a narcissistic injury. This was an age too old for a full narcissistic pathology to develop, but enough to produce some of the characteristics which could have propelled the higher likelihood of this stage of development being stunted for me. Whether or not this contributed to what happened to me, a common reaction of others in similar circumstances is to attempt to block out emotions.<BR>:::: I went into the mode of being overly-responsible and tried as hard as possible to convince myself that what happened were just embarrassing accidents or my attention-seeking imagination. I remember deciding to do this after taking my confusion and frustration out on a fellow pupil for what an adult was doing, and listening to reasons why people thought I did this. This was when self-disregard for how I really felt started, but it was reinforced and perpetuated further by other reasons. The age of 11-15 was the developmental level I feel I regressed to as I underwent extreme stress in my twenties.<BR>:::: In the main, early-to-mid adolescence was a tremendous struggle for me after living overseas and having returned to find the conscious identity of my peers quite different to mine, and the expectations of us cloaked in fairly sickening patriarchal ideas. In a different way, the surrealism was worse for me at high school. These times were more often than not devoid of the opportunities for developing intellectual dissent and discussion as I had grown accustomed to in the States, in my own home and with more understanding health and educational professionals (all had the very best of intentions. thankfully some who could see past the usual rigidity were still working with me with an astounding dedication that i can only hope to emulate in my own life towards others). I was confused, and probably my own solution for this was to grow up way too fast in some areas, leaving other areas in my development which I never completed at all.<BR>:::: I only got so far before the discrepancies caught up with me, and it was pride that kept me acting out against the shame of really looking at the problems. I had progressed so well in some aspects of life, I was beginning to think I had to throw all this skill away, and start from scratch. I can see now that the other skills Iíve neglected and thought useless, which emerge automatically in situations only causing me strife due to still feeling inadequate nonetheless, I did acquire during that adolescent period. I no longer need treat these with thorough disdain as a result of feeling let down by some events in my life. Itís now all become just a fairly good toolbox.
<BR>::::It would be narcissistic to believe I could just click my fingers and get on with life having gone through my depressions and out the other end before trying to meet my leftover responsibilities which I could not meet for so long. Catching up properly and thoroughly in itself takes time. I believe that after this, Iíll be ready for all else to happen, just as a matter of course, as I had always hoped it would. I actually welcome more mistakes, which I plan to meet more flexibly now that I have more of a sound basis behind me.
<BR>::::I keep these profiles only for those who will understand all involved lovingly. To help those to see what has the potential to occur. there was a subtle point in this that i was just dying to edit, and thus do so for educative purposes along with other detail. this edited version, i believe is a lot clearer in including greater perspective than the one i cannot delete and the original post that i cannot delete would be associated with both my monkiers no matter what i do. i have remained within the context and spirit of what i originally posted, and have en
This has been written to the extent: that the self-object construct can be shown to apply to substantial effect, perhaps even the best to date, but nevertheless I personally am very open for it to be subsumed within constructivist approaches where dichotomies become less rigid by the very virtue of such a perspective
Members and non-members alike should also feel free to advise: if they feel disturbed by this writing moreso than it currently holds any general educative or therapeutic value. I will endeavour upon consideration of such requests, to delete or edit accordingly when time allows
Attempts to delete some of the custom fields above and amalgamate these into an update as of June 2005: are just making things worse. My friend now knows of this essay and along with my continued love & support, I still offer a willingness to review anything I've written here if it is not conducive to any healing he may need at any stage. Having offered my ongoing support, I hope he can also be assured of how much I still realise that it can often be easier to work things out ourselves. Aaaaaaargh! Sorry for the annoying repetition
No one can develop more trust in themselves and faith in another: when at the very moment they find the strength to open up to how much they are needing warmth and understanding most of all, it is inferred aggressively that they are not capable of anything. Although I know the theory, I still seem to feel inordinately worthless when I make the simplest of mistakes. Here, I have been reminded to a degree of the stress of knowing what it is like to be shouted down, once a semblance of trust and faith has been built up again. The stress was over the constant threat of rage that one became continually preoccupied with avoiding, even if the actual aggressive events were spaced out in time. I'm glad those days really are over and we should both be able to look forward to better lives with awareness of a lot more subtlety around us
I don't like this mode of continuously going over the past as though I have never been heard: Is this all an excuse, I still wonder. Part of the answer for me I think can be found in knowing how much energy gets put into defences, and how valuable it can be when those defences are able to be let down
Again: to be clear, it should never be assumed that healnpd members endorse what I say here. I have not asked for such approval. The responsibility for what I write is solely carried by myself.
And to reiterate once again: this does not mean at all that I do not appreciate all the tremendous hard work and strides made in the disability sector which clearly does make a hell of a lot of sense regardless of what I've written as concerning me.
I am currently offline.
Community created 3.10.2003
The Healing Narcissism And Disorders of the Self Community is not affiliated in any way with any mental health professional or agency. The advice given is from personal experience and should never be used as a replacement for therapy from a qualified licensed professional. If you are having a real life emergency and live in the United States please call your doctor or 9-1-1.