Narcissistic Personality Disorder - The mind of one - A personal account

This is a first person account into the mind of a Narcissist who also happens to be a relative of the author. Let’s under the mind of a Narcissist.

The world starts with me, is me and ends with me!

I feel like this because I know clearly that nobody gives a damn about me. In fact I do not validate myself that well. The reason for that is when I see myself in the mirror; I know I lack something which brings out the dirt in me. To cover that dirt I expose myself to this aura of grandiose which is nothing but a mist under whose illusion I have kept my near and dear ones.

These people I do not see as people to nurture or reform but to control. The power to control and the authority to make others weep over me is what makes me way to strong.

I don’t understand the word criticism and cannot take it well personally at all. Even the slightest of it blows my lids.

If I see someone more successful, more powerful and more pious than me, I gloat at them as they make me realize as to how weak, gullible and useless I am.

I do not want to be exposed ever, as I have so much of filth inside me that there is no place to store that much of filth. That filth has come from my obsession rather it is excessive self- obsession.

I do not confuse it with self love as I do not know what that even means. I have an idealized, grandiose image of love that of an inflated self-image because it allows me to avoid deep feelings of insecurity. Never prop up my delusions of grandeur as it takes a lot of work — and that’s where the dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors come in or so I am told.

I am told that my Narcissistic personality disorder involves a pattern of self-centered, arrogant thinking plus behavior, a lack of empathy and consideration for other people, and an excessive need for admiration. Others often describe me with NPD as cocky, manipulative, selfish, patronizing, and demanding. This way of thinking and behaving surfaces in every area of my life: from work and friendships to family and love relationships.

I am indeed extremely resistant to changing my behavior, even when it’s causing everyone around me problems. My tendency is to turn the blame on to others. I am extremely sensitive and react badly to even the slightest of criticisms, disagreements, or even perceived slights, which I view as personal attacks.

For the people in my life, it’s often easier to just to go along with my demands in order to avoid the coldness and rages. The want to spot me, protect themselves from my power plays, and establish healthier boundaries.

Signs and symptoms that I display of narcissistic personality disorder:

1) Grandiose sense of self-importance

I am the undisputed star and everyone else is at best a bit player.

Lives in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of grandeur.

I spin self-glorifying fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, attractiveness, and ideal love that make them feel special and in control.

2) Needs constant praise and admiration

My sense of superiority is like a balloon that gradually loses air without a steady stream of applause and recognition to keep it inflated. And if there is ever an interruption in the admirer’s attention and praise, the narcissist treats it as a betrayal.

3) Sense of entitlement

Because I consider my special, narcissists expect favorable treatment as their due. I truly believe that whatever I want, I should get.

4) Exploits others without guilt or shame

Narcissists never develop the ability to identify with the feelings of others — to put themselves in other people’s shoes. In other words, they lack empathy. In many ways, I view the people in my life as objects — there to serve my needs. Narcissists simply don’t think about how their behavior affects others. And if you point it out to me, I still won’t truly get it. The only thing I understand is my own needs.

5) Frequently demeans, intimidates, bullies, or belittles others

The only way to neutralize the threat and prop up their own sagging ego is to put people down. I may do it in a patronizing or dismissive way as if to demonstrate how little the other person means to them. Or I may go on the attack with insults, name-calling, bullying, and threats to force the other person back into line.

Never ever fall for the fantasy created by a Narcissist

Narcissists can be very magnetic and charming. They are very good at creating a fantastical, flattering self-image that draws us in. We’re attracted to their apparent confidence and lofty dreams — and the shakier our own self-esteem, the more seductive the allure. It’s easy to get caught up in their web, thinking that they will fulfil our longing to feel more important, more alive. But it’s just a fantasy, and a costly one at that.

Your needs won’t be fulfilled (or even recognized). It’s important to remember that narcissists aren’t looking for partners; they’re looking for obedient admirers. Your desires and feelings don’t count.

Look at the way the narcissist treats others. If the narcissist lies, manipulates, hurts, and disrespects others, he or she will eventually treat you the same way. Don’t fall for the fantasy that you’re different and will be spared.

Take off the rose-colored glasses. Denial will not make it go away. The reality is that narcissists are very resistant to change, so the true question you must ask yourself is whether you can live like this indefinitely.

Focus on your own dreams. Instead of losing yourself in the narcissist’s delusions, focus on the things you want for yourself. What do you want to change in your life? What gifts would you like to develop? What fantasies do you need to give up in order for creating a more fulfilling reality?

How to leave a narcissist for good

Ending an abusive relationship is never going to be easy. Ending one with a narcissist can be especially difficult as they can be so charming and charismatic — at least at the start of the relationship or if you threaten to leave. It’s easy to become disoriented by the narcissist’s manipulative behaviour, caught up in the need to seek their approval, or even to feel “gas lighted” and doubt your own judgement.

If you’re co-dependent, your desire to be loyal may trump even your need to preserve your safety and sense of self. But it’s important to remember that no one deserves to be bullied, threatened, or verbally and emotionally abused in a relationship. There are ways to escape the narcissist — and the guilt and self-blame — and begin the process of healing.

Educate yourself about narcissistic personality disorder. The more you understand, the better you’ll be able to recognize the techniques a narcissist may use to keep you in the relationship.

Write down the reasons why you’re leaving. Being clear on why you need to end the relationship can help prevent you from being sucked back in. Keep your list somewhere handy, such as on your phone, and refer to it when you’re starting to have self-doubts or the narcissist is laying on the charm or making outlandish promises.

Seek support. During your time together, the narcissist may have damaged your relationships with friends and family or limited your social life. But whatever your circumstances, you’re not alone. Even if you can’t reach out to old friends, you can find help from support groups or domestic violence helplines and shelters.

Don’t make empty threats. It’s a better tactic to accept that the narcissist won’t change and when you’re ready, simply leave. Making threats or pronouncements will only forewarn the narcissist and enable them to make it more difficult for you to get away.

After you’ve left and decided never to look back

Leaving a narcissist can be a huge blow to their sense of entitlement and self-importance. Their huge ego still needs to be fed, so they’ll often continue trying to exert control over you. If charm and “love bombing” doesn’t work, they may resort to threats, denigrating you to mutual friends and acquaintances, or stalking you, on social media or in person.

Cut off all contact with the narcissist. The more contact you have with them, the more hope you’ll give them that they can reel you back in. It’s safer to block their calls, texts, and emails, and disconnect from them on social media. If you have children together, have others with you for any scheduled custody handovers.

Allow yourself to grieve. Breakups can be extremely painful, whatever the circumstances. Even ending a toxic relationship can leave you feeling sad, angry, confused, and grieving the loss of shared dreams and commitments. Healing can take time, so go easy on yourself and turn to family and friends for support.

Don’t expect the narcissist to share your grief. Once the message sinks in that you will no longer be feeding their ego, the narcissist will likely soon move on to exploit someone else. They won’t feel loss or guilt, just that never-ending need for praise and admiration. This is no reflection on you, but rather an illustration of how very one-sided their relationships always are.

If you need help for narcissistic personality disorder

Due to the very nature of the disorder, most people with NPD are reluctant to admit they have a problem — and even more reluctant to seek help. Even when they do, narcissistic personality disorder can be very challenging to treat. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope or that changes aren’t possible. Mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotic drugs are sometimes prescribed in severe cases or if you’re NPD co-occur with another disorder. However, in most cases psychotherapy is the primary form of treatment.

Working with a skilled therapist, you can learn to accept responsibility for your actions, develop a better sense of proportion, and build healthier relationships. You can also work on developing your emotional intelligence (EQ). EQ is the ability to understand, use, and manage your emotions in positive ways to empathize with others, communicate effectively, and build stronger relationships. Importantly, the skills that make up emotional intelligence can be learned at any time.

About the author:

Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less travelled but a journey that I look forward to everyday.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.

Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.

Trishna fancies the art of expressive writing and creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers and thinkers.

You cannot force someone to respect you. But you can refuse to be disrespected.

The Quest to Achieve Exemplifies with Patience, Passion and Perseverance