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Has anyone, ever, managed to explain to a narcissist what a narcissist is ...and to accept that they are one?

(130 Posts)

Trouble in my family is brewing again, and I am being called upon to help and advise my siblings and their partners about dealing with our npd mother.

I have had very low contact with my npd mother for many, many years now, can't remember if it is 12, or 13 years, but a good long time. I have posted on here before about this, spent much time on the Stately Homes thread, and am quite happy most of the time with the boundaries between me and my m.

But my siblings are still suffering and want my help. One has written to our mother to tell her what is wrong and how he would like to change things, and has asked for my comments on what he has written to her. I have explained as much as I can, about dis-engaging, FOG, etc. and the fact that it is pointless to explain things as she won't see it in the same way. But, he doesn't want to cut her off. He wants things to change.

I feel sad that he is going to be very upset when she responds in a hideous way to what he has written, as she invariably will. I feel sad that I can't think of a way of him changing things without getting done over by her. He is and tries to be a loving son and is bewildered by how nasty she can be. He puts so much effort in, to no avail.

I just want to know, from anyone who has good knowledge on this subject <waits for Attilla and others> if there has ever been a narcissist who knows they are one, and whether if so, there is anything such a person can do to get help to be less of one IYSWIM?

Or does the very nature of narcissism mean that there is no way such a person could be made to recognise the disorder in themselves?

Any help would be much appreciated.


Dothraki Thu 14-Feb-13 09:25:44

Ha - sadly no - as we could join forces grin

Are you my sister in law dothraki? grin

Dothraki Thu 14-Feb-13 00:54:26

Thanks Scarlet - thats what she does - but I wont do her bidding. It was" I hate X" (this was before I understood what was going on) - did she want me to cause trouble between x and y ? Sadly we didnt challenge the earliest remarks, or the next few years...... I just wish I'd been aware earlier - but realistically nothing would be different, I am convinced this has gone on for many, many years, all the remarks about what a wonderful person,mother (heaven forbid) and its only us that seem to be hurting, I feel so sorry for her children but there is nothing I can do about that. Then the reality hits home, evil stinky bitch - now I need to concentrate on my sanity. I've had toput up with shit like we all do in life - but nothing compares to this - malicious immature vile bollocks.

Meant many years minimal contact

Bloody hell! These narcissists just wreck everything don't they? I am many years down the line with mine, but it has not been easy. Mine also does lots of talking about family members in a judgmental and derogatory and fantastical way, to other family members. Tries to divide everyone, set them against each other. Luckily my brothers and I don't fall out over it, but she especially tries to cause trouble with their wives and get one of them to discuss the other etc. total nightmare!

Dothraki Wed 13-Feb-13 23:49:44

Scarlet - I know she has been very offensive about others, but they chose to ignore it. Master manipulator has them all eating out of the palm of her hand. As I said before I thought her problems were different, controlling dh, depression - but I think it was because I did not worship at her altar (which everyone else in her life always has done) I think she found a need to eliminate me -her other relatives have come out with lies about me i.e. she has told them shite about me & dh and they believe her. I know her strength is growing, she is becoming more brazen. I have one person who does see it all - thank goodness. But dh needs to recognise the full impact of this - and what he is going to do - I want him to challenge certain things - or yet again I will be seen as controlling - YIKES !

Oh god, dothraki, sounds difficult. Are you and your dh her only targets or does she treat others badly too?

Dothraki Wed 13-Feb-13 18:44:08

At least he is understanding what is happening, so thats a good thing. We are still at the stage where most people think the sun shines out of her arse, and I am the trouble maker hmm

My db has decided not to send the email. He says he doesn't want to unleash the chaos it will cause. I completely understood his urge and need to tell her all this stuff, but I also thought it wouldn't get him anywhere, so I think he has made the right decision about this.

He has simply arranged a date to go with the dcs and see her (he wanted to stop her coming to his house all the time and causing mayhem with all her nastiness and narc nonsense), and says he will wait and see how this goes.


So frustrating that there is no satisfactory solution to this.

Dothraki Wed 13-Feb-13 18:04:39

Er - she sounds a bit lonely, but you can read up on narcissism. I found the "Goodness versus nicesness" thread very informative, as are other links on this thread, and the "But we took you to stately homes" thread.

peachcake Wed 13-Feb-13 14:35:59

Does a Mum who always tells relative strangers ie, shop assistants her woes, health problems and indeed sometimes life story fit into the catergory of narcissism? I find it so totally embarassing. She will also phone me and rattle on for 20 mins about herself, what she bought for tea, what her friends are up to etc etc without even asking how me or the kids are???

Are these the traits of a narcissistic person?

Please advise x

Dothraki Mon 11-Feb-13 15:42:57

True - but he will have to accept it.
I think its just broken his heart. I looked at him one night in the pub, he looked broken and sad. We very rarely argue, but this hit fever pitch. I think it was my frustration - I have never had such anger. I think its easier for me - I am not conflicted. I hate her for what she has done. I will never forgive her. I never have to. He is conflicted - that is his burden. He loves her - but he can see the devastation she has caused me, and him. I hope her lies can no longer hurt me, but the lies about him have cut him to the core. I think he would like to think stuff just didn't happen, but it did.
Thanks Garlick - I guess me & Mr Dothraki need to talk - tonight

garlicblocks Mon 11-Feb-13 15:20:10

Thanks for your reply, Dothraki. It must have been horrible for you when the outbursts started - it's natural (for us 'non's) to wonder what we did wrong; how can we fix it. Then there's the confusion; disbelief ... and you know the rest.

Wobbly - How can someone not be able to think about other people's thoughts?

My poor mum struggles with this! She wants to. But she either takes people too much at face value or assumes overly negative motives in what they do or say. If she'd married a decent bloke, I think she'd have got away with appearing rather vain, selfish and naive. Inevitably, though, she married a psychopath who twisted everything to the dark side - so the person she turned to for insight (as much as she could manage) complicated things still further.

I wish I could swap my background for a 'normal' one! grin Who needs to know all this stuff? Not Mr Dothraki, anyhow!

Abitwobblynow Mon 11-Feb-13 14:36:23

Buffs, there are degrees of everything. My H is not overtly abusive, and as long as I truly understand that he is only capable of functioning within limited parameters - well that took a long time. I mean, how can someone be empty inside?! How can someone not be able to think about other people's thoughts? But he can't.

He went to IC because he had some remorse. But as soon as he found out what hard work was required, he stopped going!!!

steadythebuffs Mon 11-Feb-13 10:46:37

wobbly. Counsellor told me that I could only truly work on myself when I was no longer in the relationship. Like you, I made progress still in it but it's only when you're removed from it that you know how twisted and manipulative and disabling their effect is on you to be yourself. How did he see a professional? That is unusual.

Dothraki Mon 11-Feb-13 10:14:25

Garlic - I read him the "goodness verus niceness" thread - as this was what actually made me realize exactly what she is. You are right - he'd rather look away. For a long time I had said I was concerned about her - I genuinely was, I thought she was depressed, she never smiled, never talked - except to make snide remarks. I though her husband was controlling her. Dh tried to talk to her, and other family members expressing our concerns. Then all of a sudden these vitriolic outbursts started. Then vile texts, and lies on fb. Then I think I read something on the stately homes thread which lead me to the one I've just mentioned. I nearly cried when I read it - it totally defined her. So no she hasn't got a dx - why would she, she is perfect, she is beautiful and I am the vile evil ugly bitch that is destoying her life hmm
It really helps to know I am not making the wrong decision here because I really cannot cope with her in my life.

garlicblocks Mon 11-Feb-13 10:12:54

Umm, that's not what I said wink

steadythebuffs Mon 11-Feb-13 10:11:50

garlic, the reality is having to then heal and repair the damage suffered as a consequence of being in a relationship with a narcissistic person. But at least your eyes are wide open. My post came across too bluntly because it's so familiar and hindsight is a great thing.

garlicblocks Mon 11-Feb-13 09:58:10

Dothraki, have you shown any of these threads to DH? Does he want to understand, or prefer to look away? (I suspect the latter might be wiser!!)

garlicblocks Mon 11-Feb-13 09:56:36

Btw - if anybody's interested - my scapegoat role has become all-consuming, from my siblings' perspective - since making progress in myself and in my relationship with Mum. I was the surrogate parent (am the eldest) and they seem angry/confused that I'm now showing a lot of weakness, not to mention stepping back from the traditional family games.

It's a lonely road. I'm bloody glad of my recovery friends online; thank you Mumsnet grin

Dothraki Mon 11-Feb-13 09:56:36

Eclectic thanks for your post last night. In the last year my narc has nearly destroyed me and my dh - does she care - no. Still her other family members don't see it (mind you I think several of them have issues) she has actaully got the rest of the family to phone us and critise us - for not dancing to her tune. The pain we have gone has been unbearable, and I have decided for my own mental health the only way to go is no contact. I have never felt such anger. No one forced her to spread lies about us. She seems to be quite successfully manipulating everyone into believing everything is my fault. These threads are invaluable as dh struggles to talk about it - I know its breaking his heart. Totally agree - narcs can start their own thread.

garlicblocks Mon 11-Feb-13 09:51:00

You didn't have to be so rude to steadythebuffs, Wobbly. You gave a very prickly response to someone showing concerned interest in your process. You do that a lot, ime. Perhaps it's worth considering this in your ongoing life review.

Coming from a PD hotbed gave me 'fleas'. I'm still working to overcome some of them. My fleas led me into relationships with narcissists and psychopaths - doing what I knew best sad

Of course it sets you up for abuse & manipulation; it's not as if you've got an alternative, healthy background to call upon, is it? I've turned my back on a lot of nice, well-balanced people; I simply didn't get them. The repair work takes a long time and is a lot of effort. I really don't blame others who choose not to do it (looking at some of my siblings!)

steadythebuffs Mon 11-Feb-13 09:47:14

abit I'm glad you've realised that an important thing to learn from narcissists is to be more selfish yourself and look after yourself because they are neglectful and being married to one can be soul destroying and exhausting when you have to be on your guard to protect yourself emotionally and shut down your natural personality to cope with the coldness.

Abitwobblynow Mon 11-Feb-13 09:20:54

And - how long does it take to get a degree, and do enough volunteering to get the hours in to get someone to offer you a permanent job? I am getting there, but it takes TIME.

How nice that you live in Star Trek and can get to warp speed, but I live in RL.

Abitwobblynow Mon 11-Feb-13 09:18:37

50 years from birth, born to not one but two narcissists successfully 'broken in' by, hmmmm, 4, and marrying a narcissist - how long do you think it will take, Buffs?

If change was that easy, we would all change! and why I think self-help books are pants

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