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Help! My brother is a narcissist!

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Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby Eternity75 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:44 am

Hi all,

I just leanred in the last 2 days that my brother is a narcissist. I feel slightly foolish because I have a BA in psychology and all these years trying to figure out what his problem is and why he treated me so badly constantly for no reason and I never thought it could be a psyhcological issue...I just thought he was an egostistical jerk! But recent events involving my mom made me do some reasearch and he fits every single criteria in the DSM. Everything I have read fits him to a T! Now I am not sure what to do with this information.

My brother was severely abused by my father from the age of 2. My father is psychopathic (diagnosis by proxy) and terrorized our family. My mom stayed with him for fear that he would kill her (he threatened so many times) if she tried to leave him. She was scared for my brother and I and so she endured 25 years of his abuse before finally divorcing him.

My brother always vowed he would be nothing like our father.He always tried to be "perfect". In the meantime he also became a "hero" to my mom and I. He gave us advice constantly, he did things to help us, lavished us with expensive gifts for Christmas, birthdays etc. He tried to be the perfect son and brother. He could do no wrong. I now believe at the time, that we were his sources of Narcissistic Supply.

Anytime he had a girlfriend we became unimportant but not entirely. We have always noticed how quickly he would dismiss friends in his life...even those we thought were close friends. But he always justified it by making them sound either crazy or lowly (they were no longer good enough to be in his life because of _______). He always seemed (and is) highly intelligent and we trusted his judgment almost without question. But he could also be brutal towards us. He could rip us apart with his words almost effortlessly. He would eventually come back and make an excuse for his behaviour (he was overly tired, sick, etc) and we would forgive him.

He recently got married and has a 2 year old child and another on the way. Since he got married he has changed incredibly. He treats my mom and I like dirt constantly. He has stopped spending birthdays with us and now says Christmas presents will be budgeted. He belittles us, makes us feel and look stupid in front of his wife and her family at get togethers, he insults, demeans, and is now trying to make my mom believe she is crazy. Recently my mom was at his house babysitting and decided to talk to him about some of the insulting things he has said to her recently. She was very calm when she mentioned this but he went into a rage. He sent her an email afterwards telling her she had belittled him, she was dysfunctional and crazy and he would no longer tolerate her emotional baggage. My mom is a very gentle and loving person and rarely ever loses her temper...she certainly would never belittle someone or yell at them (as he said). She emailed him back and tried to tell him it never happened that way and if he felt she belittled him by asking her to be more respectful of her then she was sorry he felt that way.

She was shceduled to come up again and babysit and celebrate my niece's 2nd birthday a month later and she told my brother she would still come unless he didn't want her to. He never responded. She again emailed and told him she was on her way the day of the birthday party and he never responded. So she went because she said he would. Everything seemed to go fine at the birthday party. My mom chatted with my brother's in-laws for a few minutes but mostly kept to herself and talked with me. She emailed my brother a few times afterwards about other things and didn't receive a response. She phoned him once...he never called her back. After 2 months of silent treatment she emailed him again asking if everything was ok...if he was still upset about their "talk" or if he was upset about something else.

He responded and told her she was an embarrassment, didn't care about anyone but herself and had her own agenda. He again said she was dysfunctional and dragged her emotional baggae through his door. He told her she had humiliated him by repeatedly asking his in-laws how their trip was, showing that she had no interest in anything else they might have to say and that she had her own agenda. Finally he told her she is no longer welcome in his home...that she can still see her grand children on special occasions but that would be all. I have summarized all he said because it was a long and painfully brutal email. My mom came away from this totally confused. She told me she had never once mentioned the in-laws trip or asked them how it was and she only knew of one trip they took which was months ago so why would she even bother asking about it now. This is what got me wondering what the heck was going on in my brother's head. I was there for most of her conversations with them...they were very brief, pleasant and polite and nothing strange was said or "repeatedly asked". My brother claims they were so offended by her and he had to apologize profusely to them.


So all of this has lead me to finding this forum and this information about narcissism...and I can tell you there is not one doubt in my mind that he is one.

I barely have a relationship with him as it is. I keep my contact with him to a minimum and have learned not to talk around him because I am afraid of him and have been for a long time now. Everything I say to him is taken the wrong way and twisted around before having him rip me to shreds either during or after contact with him. So cutting him out of my life completely at this point would be quite easy for me.

There is a problem though. I am very concerned for the welfare of my 2 year old niece and the new baby on the way. I lived with a father like this and I don't want her to suffer at the hands of that kind of abuse. Right now he dotes on her and his wife. The are his Narcissistic supply just like my mom and I used to be. We have been discarded for the most part...but I dread the day he turns on that little girl. She is so precious. I feel like if I cut off contact with him I will never know her and she will not have me to turn to in the future if ever she needs me. I feel like if I try to stay in his life in some way...that maybe in the future I can help her if she needs it and just be there for her.

I have advised my mom to minimalize her contact with him as much as possible. Another problem for her is that she gave him a large amount of money to invest for her. It was invested in his name. She tells me it was done legally and they signed legal documents and such, but who knows what these legal documents really say- she trusted him when this was done and so I am sure there could be loopholes or something (he is very smart in legal matters). I have told her to ask for her money back and tell him she has decided not to invest anymore because the markets are supposed to be bad this year.

Does anyone have any suggestions for how we can keep contact while keeping ourselves in tact? Like I said I want to protect my niece as much as possible and be there for her if she needs me. And I want my mom not to get completely screwed financially and also be able to kbnow her grandchildren. Is contact even a good idea? The thought crosses my mind that my brother would poison his children against us eventually anyways, even with minimal contact.

Any advice or suggestions would be very appreciated!

Thanks
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Re: Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby arrested » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:22 pm

Do you have any idea if his wife is having issues? If so, maybe you could offer her some support and through her maintain contact with the kids.
Disclaimer: My stbx was not diagnosed with NPD. I recognise the behaviour I experienced in others' posts. I don't assume that every 'ex' is NPD, I just respond to the behaviours described. Doesn't matter anymore, NPD won't exist by 2013.
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Re: Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby Euler » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:10 am

There is no possible way you or anyone else could diagnose your brother with anything unless he goes through extensive counseling first as a proper diagnosis takes months.

Now, that I said that little disclaimer I will say that much of your brother's actions resonate with my own. So, I'll do my best to illustrate exactly how I would naturally think although much of this has been changing as of late.

Keep the following things in mind:

-I have no natural emotional vocabulary as was not allowed to develop one myself.
-There are and always were "feelings" there but they were not allowed to develop at all, thus I only felt rage and anger and, even they, went cold a long time ago.
-being raised in a childhood environment where I was the only person to not be allowed to develop such emotions or its vocabulary includes everything associated with them: boundaries, space, etc
-I'm naturally incredibly very pissed off that you (let's assume you're my sister) were free, even in part, to develop such things. In fact, I'm pissed at mom as well for allowing me to go through this. This leads me to the use of collective punishment, as I lack object constancy, so anyone with a fully developed emotional self can and probably will be a target at some point...thus the envy.

The problem is this: I'm just not capable (naturally, thus requires a shrink to help sort this out) to express any of this...so it all just comes out as rage. The "reasons" are just rationalizations as I'll pull anything, reason whether valid or not, that's recent or past history to beat you with as a club. JMO, that's where the sense of entitlement stems from...I can't express any of this, so I demand you to see it and express it for me[/i]

So, any situation may or not be valid, but if you argue than, once again, "its all about you, you're development, you're boundaries...and don't you know I'm the only one who went through this crap to come out this way while you developed a real emotional life". So, if he is potentially the real thing just keep in mind that he probably relives his childhood experience on a daily basis. That has nothing to do with you, your mother, or anything he might throw at you. Just, in your own silent way, let him know that you know about that rage and he might change his tune somewhat.

Or maybe I'm just projecting here, which is possible. I hope that helped, if I'm just projecting than I fully apologize.
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Re: Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby Eternity75 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:26 am

Arrested...his wife has issues but not the kind you speak of. She has grown to hate my mother and I as well...for reasons we have yet to understand. She seems to be playing right along with my brother. Whether he has poisoned her against us or she has her own "reasons", I don't know. It makes NO sense to me. We have always gone out of our way to be friendly to her...but she has verbally "bashed" me to my mom about the most ridiculous things- the same things my brother has chosen to bash me about. And they are the weirdest small insignificant things that no normal person would even give a second thought to. So I am at a total loss when it comes to her as well. They got married very quickly. She was pregnant before they even got married and we only knew her for less than a year before she was pregnant and they decided to get married. We had very little time to get to know her before it became very clear that she disliked us. If I felt I could go to her with my concerns I would...but in this case it would only contribute to their believe that I am "worthless" and "crazy". My biggest concern here is how to protect these innocent children from the inevitable abuse that is sure to come. I don't know that I can. Which is why I believe I should maintain some contact to at least keep open the possibility to be there for them if ever they need someone to turn to. I guess I just wonder if this is even a logical possibility under these circumstances.
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Re: Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby Eternity75 » Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:57 am

Euler while I am not a psychologist, I do have extensive experience working with the mentally ill and also lived through the experience with my father. There is no research I have done on NPD that does not describe every aspect of my brother's behaviour and personality. He will NEVER go to counselling- he believes he is perfect and far above such a thing although he will preach to others about that they need counselling or "professional help". Given that most people with NPD do not choose the route of counselling in order to be diagnosed, this is highly unlikely and so I can only go based on what I know of my brother and the situation.

I appreciate your input. And I feel your description is entirely accurate of what he is going through. Trust me that I sympathize with him, despite his horrific behaviour towards myself and my mom, I realize that having been beaten and terrorized by my father from the age of 2 was not something he asked for or wanted. I have recognized for years that he is filled with rage over what he experienced as a child and it is almost as if he has tried to completely deny and erase the past, pretend it never happened, and vowed to be nothing like our father. The his desire to seek to be "perfect" and to hold himself up as such. It is sad that he cannot see that he is becoming just like our father, in a slightly different way...he is not beating his wife and child...yet...but it is like they are his puppets in his perfect little play and as long as he can pull their strings he is "happy", just as he was with my mom and I prior to finding new sources of NS. And so as long as they continue to make him look good, to ideolize him, they are fairly safe. I feel it's inevitable that this will change. The way he interprets the slightest actions is completely twisted. Like he has his own reality and sees events and circumstances in a completely different way than anyone else. My niece wasn't even 2 years old yet and we were in a restaurant and she pointed to a tree and said "look, tree!" and he kept shushing her as if she was yelling and causing a scene. She was actually being very quiet for a child and she was certainly not drawing attention or anything. In fact anyone who saw her was smiling and admiring how cute she was. But after dinner that evening my brother commented on her poor behaviour and angrily said "I guess we can't go out to nice places anymore!". Such a huge reaction to such a small innocent act from a child! And I fear it will only get worse.

I also understand the apparent "jealous" he holds against me. I was looked on as the favoured child by him. He was very hyper as a child and that pissed my dad off to no end- hence why he started getting beat up from the age of 2. I feared my dad and learned to never say anything around him or I would hide out in my room. I didn't start getting beat up by him until I was around 11 or 12 years old and developed a voice- even then my voice came very rarely and so the beatings I got only came as often as I opened my mouth. I have always tried to express to my brother that I love him. My mom has always tried to make him realize she loves him as much as she loves me and that she appreciates the many talents he has shown and the fact that he tried so hard to protect her and be there for her. Unfortunately I don't think much of this ever really sunk in.

I have tried to tell him once, after he ripped me to shreds over some insignificant thing...that his behaviour towards me was abusive and I told him I was becoming fearful of him and was starting to learn not to talk around him the same as I did my dad. I expressed to him that I was concerned about this, etc and that I wanted us to have a good relationship. He told me everything I was feeling was "drivel" and I was stuck in a juvenile mindset based on the past. He belittled me some more and completely dismissed my feelings and tore me apart. His attitude was one of "How dare you talk back to me or tell me anything is wrong with me...it's all you...you're crazy and it's all in your head" So with that kind of reaction, what hope exists that he would ever set foot in a counsellor's office to get help for himself?

I love my brother deeply and it kills me that the last remnants of our family are crumbling to pieces. It is sad. I feel sad for him because I want him to have a happy life and a happy family...and I know how hard he has fought to avoid being like our father...he never wanted this- and yet he can't even see that he is recreating that which he despises. It's mind boggling. I feel for anyone who has a personality disorder like this. I can't imagine anyone deliberately seeking out such a life...filled with never ending anger and rage within and an inability to truly "feel" those emotions that allow us to experience the joy in life.

How did you come to seek help for this and choose to begin chaging your life?
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Re: Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby Frizzlechic » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:10 am

Hi, I have been much troubled by my brothers actions and choices over the years and realised he is probably a narcissistic pd. I googled narcissistic brother, found yor post and relate to 100% of yor ecperience, apart from a present abusive father, ours was mostly absent due to divorce. He is about to marry again and the woman he is marrying is his twin, hence the fireworks that has gone in between them over 2yrs but of course it is everyones fault and they have isolated themselves from our family inc his daughter who has been vocal about her dislike of stepmum and good reasons too. I have observed if anyone disagrees with them or dares vocalise concerns about their choices they are excommunicated and treated with veiled hostility and I saw the barely controlled rage one day when I dared to gently challenge the way he was treating my niece one day, totally over the top response that I.did not meet or allow to escalate further as children were present. Fortunately my niece lives with her mum who left him after very short marriage, contributing to his hate for women but need to have one in his life at any cost. this means I can focus on my relationship with my niece without needing my brother and hopefully impart some healthy life skills. I will attend this farce of a wedding but I have some boundaries about not playing a role of happy family, because it is not. They dont want my niece at their wedding in case she gets upset an steals the limelight from this self absorbed bride and in her words nb will never talk to his daughter agaun if she ruins my day so she is better off not going. Unbelievable! So I am there to support my family bu
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Re: Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby Glober » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:53 am

I can relate to everything you folks are saying. I have a degree in psychology and it is still hard to deal with my Narcissist brother. Actually there are 3 boys in my family (I am the middle) and I am certain that my younger brother has this disorder, and am beginning to think my older brother might have this it as well. It has been extremely difficult for me and I feel like an only child these days.

My younger brother only thinks of himself and does not seem to understand emotion or more specifically, empathy. He is always turning my parents against me, but does it in such a way that they don't see his manipulation. He is getting married next week and he and his fiancé have planned the most lavish wedding and it is all the family has talked about for the last year. I wonder how he will divert all of the attention to himself once the wedding is over. I am constantly pointing out to my parents that something is not right with him but they don't completely get it yet or they make excuses for him like "he is stressed" or "not feeling well", etc. I feel badly for them because I fear they are in for a rude awakening one of these days.

My parents are great people. Although I think my mother probably has narcissistic disorder to some extent, she really does care greatly for us all. My father basically tries to please everyone and our family is the most important thing in the world to him. It has to be hard on him.

I guess the reason I am on the Internet tonight, searching for support and info on this disorder, is because I'd like to know if there is any hope. I was really close to my brother as a child and although I know that that kid is gone, he is now materialistic, manipulative, un-empathetic, and probably wants me out of the family so that he could inherit everything. It's disgusting to me that a person could think that way, let alone my little brother who I helped raise. How did he get to be that way? Was he born with it? Why can't I get through to him? I have a degree in psych and I am usually very good at getting throught to people. This disorder is a powerful one! Is there anything I can do short of losing my little brother forever?
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Re: Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby gs-web » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:48 pm

I am 57 yrs old, a woman, and grew up as the middle child in my family. I was 40 yrs old before I understood that my older brother has NPD and my younger sister is probably a sociopath/NPD. I was the scapegoat of my family and all 3 of us grew up to become alcoholics. I got sober when I was 31 yrs old and my younger sister got sober a few years later. Our older brother got sober for 8 yrs, but went back out drinking about 8 years ago and at this point I'm not sure whether he will ever get sober again. It took quite a few years to thread through all of this and get down to the real issues of what was wrong in our family, especially since our family thought I was the problem. As I read through this blog on narcissistic siblings, I can sympathize and also give you the benefit of my experience of living in a family of narcissists.

In a way, the fact that I had a sponsor in my 12 step program really gave me an edge in all of this, because my sponsor had great advice. In the 12 step programs we are advised that its not so much the world that needs to change, rather it is me and my attitude, so we begin by inventorying our own actions and responses, then we can move on to examining the behavior of others. I also married a man who came from a family similar to mine, so we had to deal with HIS NPD sister, who was actually diagnosed with NPD by two qualified therapists. Alcoholic families are generally chuck full of NPD.

I could write a book on all of the cruel, heartless, rotten things my brother and sister have done to me throughout my life. Because I had no idea that they had this, and my mother was completely enthralled by both of them, I always believed their assertion that the problem was me. So I kept working on myself and working on myself and working on myself. The good part of this was that I became a really wonderful person. Now that I look back on a childhood with them, I realize how wonderful it was that Mom DIDN"T like me, because I became a person who TRIES. People with NPD don't feel the need to work on anything, really, so they don't tend to have good relationships with spouses and children. If you grow up as the unloved kid, though, you have to get out there in life and find your people and that's what I did. After a bad first marriage and getting sober, I found a good man to love me and I worked hard on my marriage and to raise my child to be a happy, well adjusted adult.

In my experience, you can try to just "be polite" to your NPD sibling. When I see the phone ringing and realize my sister is calling me, I pick up the phone about 1 in 10 calls. That keeps the contact at a minimum and my life much more peaceful. My brother calls me about once every two years or so. I call him about twice a year to say hello, I am polite and friendly and we usually talk for about 10 minutes. He lives in another area, so its not hard to put distance there. The main point is that I have decided how much time I'm going to give either one of them. I had a harsh realization about my brother when I was about 40. I realized one day that he doesn't love me one bit. I had spent years gnashing my teeth and adoring my brother for everything I wished he could be. It had been so bad growing up with him and my mother had such a false impression of him as the wonderful son, that I hero worshipped him for decades. The day I realized he had not a drop of love for me was the day I was free. Its funny, because as long as I thought he loved me, I would cry about him. As soon as I knew he didn't care a whit about me, I stopped crying and haven't shed a tear since. I just let it go.

My terrible relationship with my sister was much harder to release. Our father died when we were kids and I felt a heavy sense of responsibility toward her, allowing her to lie, cheat and steal from me for decades. I could write three books on the manipulations and the game. "The Game" is my sister's torture of me. She treats me like complete crap in secret, talking behind my back, lying about me, betraying me at every turn - but in front of the relatives, like my husband and daughter, she is as sweet as cream. She tells them how much she loves me. She treats them like they were made of gold and is so wonderful to them that they can't help but love every minute they are around her. She is so funny, charming, and sweet! So its been very, very difficult all these years. It took years for me to realize the truth of what she is, because I loved her so. And I did the same with her as with my brother by covering the truth of who she was with a fake persona. I started by limiting my contact with her, but as the years have progressed it has become increasingly agonizing until I am at the point of declaring no contact. The Game ensures that my husband and daughter are tied in to her, so they keep clamoring for contact. I have finally convinced my husband and he has been able to see the manipulation - my daughter has not matured enough yet to understand. Its difficult because their payoff in their relationship with my sister is to be adored and lauded - mine is to be betrayed - and its very hard for most people to truly see what is happening in a situation like that. They can't help but be swayed by the flattery.

I'm not sure whether my sister is both NPD/sociopath and whether you on this thread have the same experiences I have had with my sister. It is like we are playing a game and she is always 8 moves ahead. She is calculating and manipulating from the moment she awakes. I know this because I grew up with it and back then I just thought that was normal. So while I am gallumping along living my life and thinking about my job, or the next trip to the grocery store, she is scheming on the lie she can tell my daughter to get her to go on a trip with her because she has discovered my daughter and I are planning a trip. The sociopath has all the information, because they are the only one in the situation who is scheming, conniving, planning and manipulating - the rest of us are just trying to pay the bills and figure out what to cook for dinner tonight.

In reading your story of your narcissistic brother, my advice is to see it for what it is. Cry your tears and feel all of the feelings - don't suppress it. Then pick yourself up - you know how to do that quite well if you have grown up with an NPD brother - and dust yourself off, and get on with your life. Take that love you had for him and focus it on yourself, on your home, on your wife, your children, your dog or cat, your job, your friends - and don't waste another minute of your life snarfing around after an S.O.B. that could not care less about you.
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Re: Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby love_the_neighbour2 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:15 pm

Eternity75, you have just described my younger brother. Please do not blame his attitude on your father. People hide behind child-hood for their bad behaviour. And if he does not want to keep in touch with you, why maintain such a toxic relationship. Please do not let this "neice" weakness land you in mental trouble, after your brother must have victimized you for too long. Thoes are his children, and do not let greed for "neices" pull you into hell. I know that all that is popular now is, love, oh my nephew and neice, I am a good aunt or uncle. This is a grattification that is so subtle to see is based on egoism and greed, by itself. So, either you talk to your beother and let him realise his mistakes and change, or you keep away.

My younger brother is more narcissistic than your, from your description. I am male, and older than him, but he belittles me when his wife is present, mostly in a subtle way. And he thinks he is a superiour human being, which I find strange. He once helped me with some noney, and ever since he has always mentioned this with so much hatred and violence, coupled with arrogance.

I hear there is no treatment for narcissism, because such individuals are highly intelligent and cunning, and they believe that their way of thinking is the best. They are also often deluded with over-confidence.

He has no respect for me, and insults me a the drop of a hat. I also tend to make mistakes whenever he is around because of the nervousness he has caused. That is a very BAD aura he has developed. But one day his wife convinced him to visit me, and she came with him. He did not converse with me, because he was only caressing his wife. He did not allow the chance for any conversation. And after that we went together to dance, which still was not a way of coimmunicating. Anyway, I was the one who had invited them for the salsa party because he is so arrogant he would not just visit me for visiting sake. Okay, to cut it short, when we sat at the table to eat, he started biting his fingers shyly to prove to the wife that he is this young brother who is shy at the presence of his elder. And his wife commented on that, no knowing that when she is not present, he would scold and treat me like trash. These are the difficult people you and I are unfortunate to be with in our families.

Each time he telephones me he only talks of hatred, and such an innocent happy person like me, I have already been affected by association and now I feel bitter. I should simply not have allowed myself be exposed to such negativity.
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Re: Help! My brother is a narcissist!

Postby love_the_neighbour2 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:28 pm

Eternity75 wrote:Arrested...his wife has issues but not the kind you speak of. She has grown to hate my mother and I as well...for reasons we have ye...to. I guess I just wonder if this is even a logical possibility under these circumstances.


Eter, You are even lucky that you know your brother's wife a little. I have only met my brother's wife three times for short periods like 10 minutes. Narcissists, I read, are extremely paranoid so he would protect his wife from everyomne else. Narcissists have no trust at all, so they must protect their wigfe from everyone else. And they are self-righteous, so they do not like their own hatred for you, so they would blame you for tiny things just to justify their hatred.

We are dealing with the most difficult, overly-complex humans called narcissists, so please do not think you can solve them so easily.

I also have an unce, a complete narcissist, so when I complained by copying him and my brother in my email, my brother confirmed his attitude by insulting me in that email and yet no-one was honest enough to tell him not to do that.
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