Narcissistic personality disorder

I dislike “self diagnosing” patients who come to me and tell me they have “bipolar” because they are a bit moody, or lupus because they have a spot on their face.

And I try hard not to diagnose myself – I have a wonderful GP and I trust her 100% tomake sensible decisions about my health. She is secure enough not to be challenged by the fact I am a colleague, humble enough to come to joint decisions when required and mature enough to be firm ! 

BUT. I’m now going to do exactly what I hate others doing and do a bit of armchair Psychiatry with respect to my ex P

Narcissistic personality disorder: wiki definitions in italic, my observations in plain type

According to the DSM-5, individuals with NPD have most or all of the following symptoms, typically without commensurate qualities or accomplishments: 

1. Grandiosity with expectations of superior treatment from others. Yes yes yes. He expects others to treat him with the utmost respect and deference, yet shows little to others. He really believes he’s had a successful career when he has sold two works in the last 6 years, and has earned no money

2. Fixated on fantasies of power, success, intelligence, attractiveness, etc. He has  a whole load of completely unrealistic expectations as to how he can take small comments forward, believes he will be a global success without putting in any of the spade work

3. Self-perception of being unique, superior and associated with high-status people and institutions. He was once and I don’t think he has got over the loss 

4. Needing constant admiration from others. Always always, especially me. Have to tell him how wonderful everything he has done is…

5. Sense of entitlement to special treatment and to obedience from others. Enormous sense of entitlement to be supported financially whilst he does very little. Expected everyone – including me – else to do as he wishes. Shows no respect to my kids, but excpects them to respect him

6. Exploitative of others to achieve personal gain. Hmmm 6 years or not working not contributing and having everything paid for, absolutely no remorse or understanding as to how that could have been detrimental to me. Note debt in the 10,s of thousands … 

7. Unwilling to empathize with others’ feelings, wishes, or needs. They are so unimportant to him he won’t even discuss them

8. Intensely envious of others and the belief that others are equally envious of them not so sure about this one

9. Pompous  and arrogant demeanor, Oh yes, extremely 

So where does this get me? I sent this to my friend K ( without the annotations) and she saw immediately the traits within ExP. I also asked if it mattered what you call it ? She thinks it does, and I’m beginning to believe her – it helps me to know I’m not going mad, that this is him not me, that he will never change because these are fixed personality characteristics and he doesn’t not, cannot , see where he is wrong ? In which case I have to give up any faint hope that he will change, do anything different, understand what I’m saying and why I am upset. 

I have to let go, and understand that I can’t win. K also pointed out to me that I sound like I do not LIKE him much, and I realise I don’t – he has few of the personality traits I admire and many I positively dislike ; and that I don’t have much respect left for him. 

So maybe I’m going to go ahead , inside me and say that I believe my ExP has a narcissistic personality disorder. And that just maybe I’ve had a lucky escape. 

Empathy

Yesterday I had a series of email exchanges with my exP.

This was unwise really, as it reiterated my gut feeling that I am still very vulnerable to him, his words, his opinion, and to the bond we had.

it started innocently enough with a question about the location of some gadget or other, but soon developed in to an exchange of painful opinions about the demise of our relationship. Of course, it hit my empathy points. My caring side, the part that loves him. Of course I feel bad that he has no income, no home, no stability. Of course I care.

But then I come back to what my therapist, and my loved ones are trying to help me believe, that these things are not my fault. Not my responsibility. He is a fully able adult who made choices , including not listening when I said I was unhappy , including taking huge advantage of my financial generosity….

i look at my boys, and I see that they are happier. There is less tension, less shouting, they fight between themselves less. I have space and time to support them better, and to involve them in decisions that affect their futures.

last night, we all sat in one room, swathed in blankets, hot water bottles, and the dog for warmth (boiler not working) and watched a movie together. Simple. But so nice.

Our puppy will arrive in 3 weeks time – we are all very excited ! He represents a joint project between me and the boys – and we will all need to do our part. I have a puppy sitter for 4 hours a day when I am at work, so he will not be alone for any length of time for the first 2  months he’s home. After he’s immunised, he will he able to be taken out with Lola …

this is a hard path I’m travelling. I’m lonely sometimes, and afraid of the future. I feel like a failure at times, other times I know I just have to keep going and better things will come for all of us. I know I have love and support from friends and family, and that helps a lot !

Im sorry I’m not ‘giving’ a lot into the sober community at the moment – I’m struggling (tho not with sobriety) – but I do think of you all xxx

lily 🌷Xx