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I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

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I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby SamGabor » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:22 pm

I will also post this into my blog.

Recov)ery from NPD is 100% possible.

My story

I don’t want to bore you with my whole NPD / life story so I will keep it short. I never thought there is any problem with me all the way till I was 23. I knew I had a bad childhood and all I knew is I wanted to be famous as a musician. I thought my life is going in a great direction and looked on myself as a special survivor. I quit college (actually three different ones) and started to pursue music instead. I got a successful start, but for some reason did not continue my career. This was the first time when somewhere in the back of my mind something told me that it is off (first little awareness of the gap between the real and false self). Fast forward, I had a panic attack one day, and it started a debilitating depersonalization and derealization, which did not go away.

Next few years, I tried to tell myself that nothing is really wrong, tried to continue my career, but constantly self sabotaging. Also started heavy learning about depersonalization (Harris Harrington’s program, very good stuff!), dysfuctional families, psychology. Got a lot of answers but nothing solved it. Fast forward, few years later I started to get in a really deep whole, still fighting, still maintaining my perception of myself (got really successful in different areas, but never stayed at anything, always needed the next goal).

At a point, when I was really at a low point, no sleep, anxiety, constant dependency on people, more and more issues with people. I was with a girl, we broke up twice and she left me, and for the first time in my life, I was not able to rationalize why the other person was the stupid one. I just simply could not come up with an answer on WHY she left me. She was just right.

I was in pieces. Constantly googling everything about psychology, I convinced myself and others that my father is a narcissistic psycho and this is what is wrong (of course I was trying to fix my narcissistic narrative, with less and less success). I wrote blogs about narcissism and psychopathy, and really believed that my dad was a psycho and this is the reason I have emotional problems. At that time I did not know that even though I PERFECTLY described narcissism, whom I really was writing about was not my dad but me.

I started to blame everyone, but at this point I was less and less successful in attempting to convince myself that I am right. The pieces just did not fit anymore, and it was not possible anymore to filter, distort these stories enough to convince myself. I started to act in ways which were totally out of my self image.

At one point, I started to read Sam Vaknin. I did not even consciously knew why. He did not say anything I did not know about narcissists. But I kept reading. He described NPD so accurately that it was simply IMPOSSIBLE to deny it. It resonated with me on such a deep level that even my high intelligence and creativity could not justify it away. Every day, those words broke bigger and bigger parts out of my self image. I did everything to deny it but it took more and more effort and became less and less effective. There was no turning back.

The inner emptiness I experienced I believe is the most terrible thing a person can go through IMO, but I don’t have to say it, if you read this you probably now.

RECOVERY

After that, I got to a point where I thought I will commit suicide soon. I did not cry, I did not panic, but when I looked at my life I really believed that I will need to commit suicide soon because I was left with NOTHING (I thought then). No social connection, no ability to relate to people, no self, no personality, nothing. Knowing what Sam wrote, I experienced such that I just can not find words to describe. I also read addx’s posts on here and I believe he also explains some stuff pretty well.

So at the lowest possible point, I just had a click in my mind. Ever since I watched Harrington’s DP recovery program, there were a few words from him which constantly in the back of my mind. He explains that how important is mirroring from the mother in infancy. I watched that program 5 years ago but it just did not click until now.

So

WHY YOU HAVE NPD?

You have NPD because deep down you are NOT AWARE THAT YOU LIVE. I know it sounds stupid. But I believe that NPD is the opposite of awareness. You have NPD because you don’t realize that you exist, just like others. You live in your head, and from this perspective, you are still an infant. You are not aware that you are a living, existing, aware human being.

You go through life like it is not real, which is the default state for infants. They are not aware of themselves yet. They only see a „screen” (=life), and have a very low awareness level.

This explains everything about NPD.

YOUR REAL SELF

Your real self does exist, and you can start to „use it” anytime. I tell you why. REAL SELF is not a tangible thing like your computer, it is not an organ in you and not a part of your brain. It is simply an abstract term which describes what we call personality. Personality consists of many things, part of it is how you look, what you like, how you talk, your innate traits, which everyone even NPDs have. It is not a single thing which you either have or not, it is an abstract term.

NPDs live in their head, and look at life like it is a movie. They don’t experience life like others but think about them. It is very hard to notice on yourself because it is the default to you.

The reason you have this urge to chase supply is not because other people are better than you or have something you don’t have (well in a way of course they do), it is because you simply haven’t realized that you have the EXACT SAME life energy they do. This is why it DOES NOT MATTER who the source of your supply is, because it is not the other person what you need but the joy of awareness which you are looking for ever since you born. You have not realized that you have THE SAME thing in you, which is capable of the same reflection you are after in others. You just never realized it because so far it worked even if in a dysfunctional way.

I believe that through mirroring, when the mother constantly looks into the eyes of the child, the child learns that it exist, and is safe (I am writing this like I am the first one who discovers it lol).
The very self you are looking for, which CAN provide that constancy which your developed self can be built upon, which will give you a sense of time and sense of self, is the simple fact that YOU EXIST. Deep down , very deep down you believe you are somehow LESS. But you are not less, you just never passed through this development stage, because your mother neglected you, OR she also did not receive this from her mother, so she never knew you need it.

YOU LIVE. I know it sounds pretty new agey, unscientific but it IS really the key in NPD recovery.
NPDs operate in their mind, and for some reason, our mind can not provide a sense of self. It is not what it is for. Your mind is for solving things, etc.. but if you don’t deeply know that you are a seperate, LIVING, EXISTING human being, then there is no base self which you could build.

If you are an NPDer, it means all of your innate traits, preferences, etc. in one word everything a real self consits of DO exist in you, but it is all "in the air", not connected to that deep knowing that you simply exist as a human being.

I believe that most things an infant does is basically a shout to the outer world : I EXIST!!. I AM HERE! I believe NPDers never got a proper validation for that deep inner feeling, that they exist. This is why everything they do is a call for attention. They never got confirmation that they ARE.

I believe that the false self is NOT for survival, but the false self is just a spontaneously developed way to function, and the attention seeking elements are an attempts to get this confirmation.

In other words, you live as an actor, because deep down you want to be like others but since nobody confirmed that you ARE LIKE OTHERS, you MIMIC them. But mimicking means you are empty at the core, just acting like others.

BUT, when you do things to get attention, success, look, or anything, you always mistakenly look for the confirmation for the ACT itself, not realizing that you are doing it to get a confirmation that you EXIST TOO.

You dress up and look good to get supply. People notice you look good. But you don’t realize that the original deep intenion is not to get confirmation for your new clothes but for the very fact that you exist.

You make a lot of money to buy a new car. People notice, they admire it, notice it, praise your car, you get a short satisfaction, buti t goes away because you don’t realize that you did not do it to get a yes to your new car, but for the very fact that you exist.

THIS is why we always want new things, new goals because we look for the wrong element in the response.

THIS is why threats to the false self trigger the fear of death, because threats to the false self to the NPDer means: you do not exist. Because THAT is the original question everytime you go after narcissistic supply.

NPD, REAL SELF AND THE NEED TO CONTROL

If you have NPD, you only see a screen, a movie, and you try to direct that movie. Addx wrote something about in-group and out-group stuff and he wrote that maybe the real self does exist buti t is out-groupped, whatever that means. Which I did not fully understand back then, all I knew is that it rings true, and now I see that it is true.

NPDs lack a SENSE of self and not a self.

You do have a real self, but it is only in your brain, and it is not internalized, not connected to the self-object in your head simply because you never realized that you exist just like everyone else, so there is NO self object. Why would it be, since you have not realized that you are a LIVING person?

So you, instead of living your life (using your body) by your real self, you somehow try to „paint” your preferences, wishes, goals, etc.. into the „screen” you see, which is life. But it is dysfunctional, because you are trying to control what you don’t have control over, instead of trying to build your life by controlling what you DO HAVE control over, which is your body and mind.

But this is NOT a full stunt in emotional development. It is only one, although very important difference between normal functioning and NPD. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that you are an infant because you have learned a lot in your life just like anyone else, the only difference is that you have operated in a different way.

You can be sure that if an infant can realize that it exists as a seperate being and develope a sense of individuality, you can too. You have not lost that ability, it is built into every human.

Of course doing this only possible if the false self crumbled.

TO BE CONTINUED

-- Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:31 pm --

This also explains why a lot of self aware NPDs are so confused and blame themselves because they dont feel they were abused.

A well intentioned mother who praises your accomplishments, loves you BUT never got this mirroring from her mother, will not be able to give this mirroring to the child since she never got it herself therefore does not know that the child needs it.

Of course the neglect and lack of mirroring can be the result of the fact that the mother is really a bad mother who doesnt give a crap about her child. It doesnt matter much from this perspective.
Last edited by SamGabor on Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby SamGabor » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:33 pm

The child can go every day to get praise for his school accomplishments from his mother, if the REAL reason the child subconsciously does it is to get this confirmation for his very existence.

This child just like adult NPDers can come out like a complete attention whore, because he wants to get praised for everything, seemingy. While the real reason is different.
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Re: I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby SamGabor » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:49 pm

This also explains why selfaware narcissists who ran out of supply report a lack of motivation. It is LEARNED HELPLESSNESS. They been trying to control life all their life and they failed and they feel like it is hopeless. Because all this time they been trying to control LIFE, and not THEIR LIVES.
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Re: I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby NimplyDinply » Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:41 pm

Hey Sam, great post. Very profound stuff you posted here!

Great job. This is the kind of stuff we need to see on the net, not stuff that talks about how evil narcissists supposedly are.
what a tangled web we unweave, when we practice to just be
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Re: I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby dabading » Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:50 pm

i second what nimply said, that was a great read.
I think that what you said about it not being a defense mechanism, but it being a dysfunctional way to confirm your existence is half right... i think its both!
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Re: I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby Truth too late » Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:59 pm

SamGabor wrote:This also explains why selfaware narcissists who ran out of supply report a lack of motivation. It is LEARNED HELPLESSNESS.

I frequently identified with "learned helplessness" before being self-aware. It's one of those things I've said were always in the back of my mind (that something was wrong.).

My situation is a little different because I shattered and willingly accepted what was wrong with me, the repeating things I do, self-defeating things, etc. I didn't have an explanation. Just the knowledge of myself.

That felt unmotivating because I was suffering narcissistic injury without realizing that's what it was (and is). It just felt like I was the worst person in the world. After a year of that, cNPD came to my attention and it was like finally catching up to myself (as described in my immediately preceding post in another thread). I felt plenty motivated.

That might help explain what Ns feel when the shattering is more of a controlled process consequent to having the "explanation" for what's being dismantled. There is a huge narcissistic injury involved in deflating yourself back to ordinary atmospheric levels. But, it gets better! It's only an injury. Like any injury, it's a healing. The injury is for a part of you being invalidated. A part that became all of you. The healing is validating the the real you in a real way: being honest enough to take it wherever it leads.

When you're sick you have to lay in bed to get well sooner. It's boring (which is a lack of supply for us). But, it's not how it will continue to be. When that injury/virus can be seen for what it is, you can give it the awareness it deserves while still taking asprin, drinking chicken soup, etc. Eventually the injury heals and you'll have a head start on experiencing reality (with both feet on earth).

I think that's what I missed because my injury wasn't consequent to understanding what the illness was. I just felt injury for a year. Then I had a massive head start (easier applicability of) the details of the disease. It was more a relief, like the light went on. There was never a thought: "I don't want to be this." I already had accepted it for a year without knowing what it was. I.e., a lot of the healing had occurred (getting honest with myself).

So, I'd say, the pain (lack of motivation) is just a phase. Don't let it get you down. Read and learn. What you feel is emotional vomiting. It's developing a revulsion for what should have always been revolting. That's the NLP-like inner focus. But, that's not all you. A new "you" comes from the CBT-type outward focus. (Like I described in @Graveflower's thread.

Maybe it's like re-parenting. It's ok to feel like you should when you're sent to your room. You're suffering an "indignity" and invalidation like that. But, you can be the good parent, and help yourself be more present in reality, participating with others.
I never seen you looking so bad my funky one / You tell me that your superfine mind has come undone (Steely Dan, Any Major Dude)
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Re: I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby SamGabor » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:00 am

Thanks for the replies guys and sorry for the so many typos. When this realization happened and everything clicked I did not take time to make notes because I was too busy planning my life.

I have so much stuff in my mind that I can't catch up with myself. Im taking notes now soon coming with the next part.

-- Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:04 am --

Truth too late wrote:
Maybe it's like re-parenting. It's ok to feel like you should when you're sent to your room. You're suffering an "indignity" and invalidation like that. But, you can be the good parent, and help yourself be more present in reality, participating with others.


Before the realization I described, reparenting never worked. Now it does. You can not reparent while you feel like nobody is there to parent. I feel like now there is - uh this gonna sound pretty deep - a parent awareness in me which is able to calm me, able to give acknowledge if I do something good, able to stop me if I want to do the wrong thing.

Before this I only had the awareness but not the feeling of me, so there was nobody to acknowledge or warn.
Last edited by SamGabor on Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby madjoe » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:08 am

just like everyone can run a marathon with the propper training
it's just a lot of work and not a lot of ppl like to do it
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Re: I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby SamGabor » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:15 am

I also have pretty new "features" in me, which I always knew I should be able to do but never was.

For example: When someone says something I don't agree with or don't care about now I am I able to ignore the person emotionally BUT at the same time acnowledging that this is who (s)he is (storing the emotional content into the person's schema in my head). Back then, I either tried to convince the person or ignored him totally. But now there is a clear boundary between us, I don't have the urge to come to some common conclusion about the subject.

My grandmother is a little bit of emotionally violent lol, nothing serious for example if she wants me to eat fruit she will tell it 10 times. Back then I felt like I need to tell her all the 10 times that thanks but Im not hungry and explained why. Now I don't have the urge to explain why and I am able to give an emotional response which makes her feel that I REALLY WON'T eat it so she stops trying.

I guess this is the first real little emotional connection.

-- Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:24 am --

I also feel like I am totally able to control my urge for instant gratification now. It comes up but I am able to stop it. I can choose to let it happen but I am aware constantly, but most of the time I decide to deal with more important things. I am no longer a supply chasing robot.
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Re: I believe NPDs can recover, here is how IMO

Postby SamGabor » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:35 am

I have so much stuff in my head to write about I don't even know where to start, I feel like I could type all day, but I need to work and build my life.

I will definetely continue today.

Thanks again for the positive replies I really appreciate it.
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