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Question about "loss of self"

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Question about "loss of self"

Postby cultofbyron » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:47 pm

Hello there. This will meander, I apologise!

For a while now I have been experiencing a flatness of emotion, motivation and all that, brought about by "pretending to be normal" all the time to the extent that I don't know who I am anymore. Hence the title of this thread. I feel I have lost myself and am seriously going through the motions. It's a weird detached feeling and "brain fog" sums it up pretty well.

The reason I post this here in the NPD section is that despite a diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome nine years ago, I identify very strongly with the definition of a covert narcissist, albeit sub-clinically, insofar as I have not been diagnosed as such. I expend a vast amount of mental energy projecting a self that I want to see projected, repressing interests that I don't think others will approve of, and this has taken its toll over twenty-five years now. The artificiality of my performed self and the energy it takes to maintain it have led to me avoiding almost all social encounters outside the workplace. I live far away from my family and see them for a couple of days every few months (on separate occasions as my parents split up when I was twelve.) I have no friends except for my girlfriend who I have lived with for over ten years now but am concerned that she is drifting away from me. I assumed that as time went by and I got older I would care less what other people think but if anything it's got worse.

Basically I am wondering if anyone here can point me in the direction of any tips or advice as to how to find out who I am underneath the performance, if there are any reconnection techniques or methodologies I can look into, before it's too late to have any kind of authentic life to speak of.
(Not to sound too dramatic!)

I have searched online but it is very hard to exclude the many results that are for people on the "other side" of narcissism.

Thanks in advance,
Cult of Byron.
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Re: Question about "loss of self"

Postby cultofbyron » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:48 pm

Well, responding to myself, the irony is not lost...

I wanted to edit my post but the "edit" button has vanished... Anyway, I wanted to comment on the Youtube results of a search on "Covert Narcissism" in which I expected a few videos of rational analysis and maybe a few "confessionals". Boy was I surprised! (Yes I have been on Youtube in the last few years) Every single result demonising those with NPD, covert or otherwise, like they are some kind of predator species.
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Re: Question about "loss of self"

Postby ZeroZ » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:36 pm

I’m not as familiar with the subtypes of narcissism, I believe at the core of NPD there is a lack of self, most who develop the condition were shamed for expressing themselves or taught they weren’t good enough, so a projection of what they idealize or they think other people idealize becomes the what they are to an extent except it’s not, and deep down they know it and the bad behavior you tend to see from narcs is them trying to protect this fragile balance, which of course is impossible to do because the self that is hidden was determined to be defective by the narc long ago and discarded sometimes along with most of his own feelings and the perfect persona they try to project is impossible, everything is a cycle of going back and forth back and forth.
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Re: Question about "loss of self"

Postby AProphet » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:43 am

cultofbyron wrote:Basically I am wondering if anyone here can point me in the direction of any tips or advice as to how to find out who I am underneath the performance, if there are any reconnection techniques or methodologies I can look into, before it's too late to have any kind of authentic life to speak of.
(Not to sound too dramatic!)



Is there love in the relationship? Now you have to be extremely mindful about what you call "love" and I mean the feeling in the strictest sence, with the fall and heartbreak. Becouse I f.e I thought I was in love and I realy wasnt. Your not suposed to fall in love as a narcissist. You cant fall in love without empathy I learned.


cultofbyron wrote:Well, responding to myself, the irony is not lost...

I wanted to edit my post but the "edit" button has vanished... Anyway, I wanted to comment on the Youtube results of a search on "Covert Narcissism" in which I expected a few videos of rational analysis and maybe a few "confessionals". Boy was I surprised! (Yes I have been on Youtube in the last few years) Every single result demonising those with NPD, covert or otherwise, like they are some kind of predator species.


Its true. A narcissist is an automaton. Not a thinking, feeling human being. Yes, most the chanels are all about how to break free of the narcissist. But the narcissist doesnt understand there is something wrong with him. Its a sick person, not someone to demonize.
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Re: Question about "loss of self"

Postby Akuma » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:23 pm

cultofbyron wrote:Basically I am wondering if anyone here can point me in the direction of any tips or advice as to how to find out who I am underneath the performance, if there are any reconnection techniques or methodologies I can look into, before it's too late to have any kind of authentic life to speak of.
(Not to sound too dramatic!)


I'm gonna throw a quote at you that I got reminded of when reading your post, maybe it can give you a direction.

Bromberg, Philip - Awakening The Dreamer wrote:A child's core self becomes internally bonded to the early parental
objects through interactions that reinforce who the parent perceives
the child to be and who the parent denies the child to be. The main
source of power that parents have over children comes not so much out
of what they tell the child to do as from "showing" him who he is. That
is, by relating to the child as though he is "such and such" and ignoring
other aspects of him as if they do not exist, the parents "disconfirm"
(Laing,1962) the relational existence of those aspects ofthe child's self
that they ignore. This disconfirmation, because it is relationally nonnegotiable,
is traumatic by definition and is intrinsic to the existence of
developmental (relational) trauma. Such trauma is typically cumulative.
1f the child's sense of self is to remain intact as he matures, he has
to preserve the early attachment patterns on which his core self rests by
continuing to exist in the mind of each new significant other that comes
along as the same "self' that was "his parents' child." As he does so he
continues to dissociate those aspects of self that originally were too
disjunctive with the core attachment to be contained as "me."
This is a major reason why it is so difficult for many people to
change in treatment. An unreflective attachment to the early disconfirming
object means having to be whoever the other person seems to
see you as (in order for you to prevent self-destabilization), not simply
having to do what the other person seems to want you to do. Thus, a
central goal of any treatment is that the therapist enable the patient to
move from experiencing his enacted patterns of behavior as the person
he is, to experiencing these patterns as something that he does, and
thereby facilitate the development of self-reflection. Again, for many
patients characterologically, and for all patients in some areas of their
personality, the development of self-reflection must precede any attempt
at investigating conflict. In the areas where development has
been thwarted, the analyst attempts to help a patient change what is
classically called ego syntonic to what is classically called ego alien.
Thus the enacted ways of being are no longer "who I am" but are gradually
replaced by the cognitive perspective of "what I do." As this
change takes place, a person is more able to hold, reflect on, and potentially
resolve disjunctive self-experiences as states of conflict without
the effort's being automatically short-circuited by dissociative processes
designed to protect self-continuity.
dx: dissociative disorder + npd
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Re: Question about "loss of self"

Postby AProphet » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:02 pm

This is realy beautyful fragment you posted there Akuma. Couldnt agree more. Developement of self reflection proceeding anything else.
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Re: Question about "loss of self"

Postby cultofbyron » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:37 pm

Thank you all very much for your insights, lots to think about there!
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Re: Question about "loss of self"

Postby xdude » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:44 pm

AProphet wrote:This is realy beautyful fragment you posted there Akuma.


Agree, that got right to the heart of the matter.
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