[This message edited by jjct at 7:15 PM, February 17th (Thursday)]
And so very true about reading books for myself and why I chose someone as he is.
I think I am mainly worried about my kids--being that my STBXH and his mother both have strong NPD characteristics and is this hereditary or the way they are brought up...or both?
THAT WHICH DOES NOT DESTROY YOU (Will Keep on Trying to Destroy You or Hump Your Leg Like an Energizer Bunny)
My personal favorite. I will let my thoughts simmer and contribute a title or two. I agree, jj, we have to remind ourselves to find the fun or to have some. And with each other may be the best/only place to have others "get it."
How about if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it's probably a fucking NPD zebra playing a duck for everyone else.
Or Just because I am the nicest person you know doesn't mean I will still be nice to you, you fukker.
No one thinks as much of you as you do.
If you laugh I know it ain't funny.
Yeah, that's good therapy.
How's this for a snippet? DS6 freaks out when a motorcycle passes us on the road this afternoon. Asks me what motorcycle gang he is from. I am all what? it's a guy on a motorcycle. It's a beautiful day.
DS6 tells me that there are motorcycle gangs and he is afraid because they murder people. And when asked where this tidbit of wisdom came from? NPD fuck Stretch told him. And apparently used this bit of lore to elevate himself by telling that he has actually met these guys, thereby making them real and himself what? brave? What a moron! I went with the whole "give me a break" attitude and rolled my eyes.
I have another title... just for me and trixie.
101 places to put those used caulk guns...
As for my opinion on genetic NPD tendencies. I have two boys. One has always felt entitled. The other has always been very empathetic. I am teaching my ass off and keeping it real with both of them. Do I worry? hell yes. The trauma of divorce and abandonment and the disappointment by dad and the fucked up reality shit he shares and the truths he spouts... they got it coming at them. I know that the one I worry about though, he is sweet sometimes (although he just told his brother "I didn't mean for it to hurt" as he apparently just hit him with his dirty clothes.)
One more. The algebra of NPD: solving for y and imaginary irrational numbers.
[This message edited by caregiver9000 at 8:02 PM, February 17th (Thursday)]
Here's how one of our exchanges went:
Me: I am going to write a book one day.
Him: You should. You have enough material. I hope you mention me in the Acknowledgements.
Me: By name?!
Him: Sure. Why not?
I am sure there's a title in there somewhere!
[This message edited by Nicole5 at 8:07 PM, February 17th (Thursday)]
It is my purely my unscientific opinion that nurture is the most important determining factor in whether or not a child will exhibit NPD tendencies longterm.
I have never known an NPD that didn't come from a seriously messed up FOO situation.
I believe that NPD starts out as a defense mechanism; a way a child learns to shield him/herself from unbearable emotional abuses. They build an inner "fort" and play a form of make-believe that counteracts real life.
The problem is that make-believe becomes the norm after awhile and they are trapped like a dragonfly in amber.
if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it's probably a fucking NPD zebra playing a duck for everyone else.
I firmly believe that these people have to have some very serious emotional damage done to them very early in life and that it causes them to develop a false mask for the world while keeping a very screwed up real person hidden. Over time that mask becomes real and the real person starts to fade away. That mask tries to be what it thinks people want from it all the time so it is constantly shifting. It shifts so much and so often that they have no clue what is or isn't real.
If you think about it the whole messed up gift giving does fit. They have this deperate need to be adored and it is easy to impress those who don't know you with gift etc. Those who know you won't give you that same ego stroke because it won't make up for all the crap they are so good at dishing out.
My ex is a packrat too. He would throw stuff in boxes and then stuff them away and then buy more because he never could find what he already had. So yes half empty caulk and so much else. I made him take it all and he was so pissed at me because he had to pay for a storage unit to store it all in.
I have seen his house and he is doing the same thing there. He always blamed it on me.
My ex has always been horrible at gifts. these last 2 yrs he basically stopped giving the kids anything at all. Kind of sad. I clearly remember getting a sapphire cluster ring for my 10th anniversary. He gave it to me and said "here I got you a ring with your birthstone" I was born in May. Not my mother and his sister are September.
I tell you, not having to deal with someone like this is such bliss.
The essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.
A clean house is the sign of a broken computer.
Love the book titles!!
My parents helped me clean up some of the complete disorder that the Assclown had in the garage. We found multiples of everything. Seriously - how many caulk guns does one household need??? We got hysterical over the stacks of electrical and plumbing tape we created.
Oh, and moving their crap. Yeah. I finally threw out the pair of old stereo speakers that he refused to part with because he was going to "use them". We had moved them 3 times! I was actually surprised he didn't specifically ask for them in the divorce proceedings.
Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
~Robert Louis Stevenson
I guess the more stuff they have means the more important they are??
Lied2--very sad that he does not give the kids gifts anymore?? Their own father...that is sad.
So like Nicole5 was saying about NPD coming from messed up FOO...is that the case with everyone on here?
My STBXH does not talk of his childhood whatsoever, never did. The only thing I know is he was really, really shy and if it weren't for him and his mom, the school he went to would never have a gifted program because they were the reason it came to be.
Although his sister, who hasn't spoken to him or his parents in almost 10 years sent me an email telling me she'd like to tell me about their childhood. She said it was pure hell living with her mother.
What kind of household did everyones NPD spouse grow up in? Did they talk about their childhood a lot?
Assclown's family was totally dysfunctional. His father was a long haul trucker, so he was largely absent. FIL was a serial cheater who eventually took up with a neighbor and left his family for this woman (wow, does that sound familiar).
His mother had moved away from her family to California, and she was a SAHM. She had 4 boys under 9 when they split. They were dirt poor.
His mother was a bitter, angry woman. I believe she was both emotionally and physically abusive to the kids - though Assclown never discussed it. She never hid her resentment of her children.
Assclown still has no real relationship with his mother or any of his brothers. His father passed away 14 years ago. FIL had been trying to re-establish relationships with his kids. I guess he finally realized the errors of his ways...a little too late.
So, yeah, he's really screwed up. Still I loved him and accepted him. So did my parents. Assclown was like a son to my parents. His actions stunned and hurt them too.
There is no filling the sucking vortex of need within them.
No matter what the story, it seems they all come to some form of abandonment and its resultant abuse, and the need anyone has to survive such. I'm thankful my boys weren't from her. If the family has an NPD dad or mom, odss are?- there will be that. One? More? of the kids will model the NPD's behavior as a coping strategy, and since the kid (this makes me sorry for them), develops this out of pure survival. They're kids! They're the ones most used in the taking! Survive by agreeing and Stockholm...
abandonment, a loss, a forever empty cup. To survive this
their minds split I think, into stark good and bad (one? of the genesis of blaknwhite thinking I think),
but in them, the abused one, one part's denied and talks to the hand in their minds, the bad part which they want to deny, who wants to revisit such abuse? They're kids, so they deal...
Somewhere back there in THEM, the adult who's the reason we're HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!
There's that story.
The better story's about US though. BELEE DAT! Once when you get to the point you can spot an NPD a mile away, you're safe!
hugs to all.
umm and if you avoid them that is.
Avoid loud and aggressive people, they are vexatious to the spirit. MAX Ehrmen, I think, in Desiderata.
At least I comprehend that now, and like the rest of us here, survive.
[This message edited by jjct at 7:23 PM, February 18th (Friday)]
I LOVE IT!!! My heart is warmed by the image and the idea. What a perfect visual image and code word!
You guys, we ROCK! We SOOOO rock...
We are better equipped to deal with damn near anything that life throws at us. Most days I go, "yeah, so what. that will never be as bad as (fill in the blank)" shrug and move on. I am STRONG. I am a survivor.
And I have awesome friends.
He always made remarks about how his mom would NEVER allow her house to be as filthy as mine was. I worked full-time and cooked and cleaned and tried to keep up with him and 4 kids who never lifted a finger to help.
Now I live in a teeny apartment with the 2 kids who were technically "mine", and you could eat off my floors. I was never a slob. I was simply fighting a losing battle every day.
I can't tell you how many times I threw something away and he removed it from the trash, because "someone might want it". Every inch of our home, and garage, and two sheds was filled with crap and he tried to blame it on my poor housekeeping skills.
Oh.... and yes he had boxes upon boxes of half-used tubes of caulk, spray paint, speakers and old cassette tapes in the garage that are no good because they've been frozen and cooked in our crazy NY weather 15 times.
Apparently the hoarding instinct is strong in this group.
We should declare the ZebraDuck our group mascot.
Hint here dipwad - you took it down from the garage ceiling and spent $ on a new light. Because. It. Is. Broken. Throw. It. Away.
Before I ever heard of NPD this is what I observed in my husbands household: Blame! and lots of it. No problem was too small to miss out. Blame had to be assigned first, long before a solution was sought. This was the complete opposite of how I was raised and it seemed so odd. Little did I know how it would come to rule my world.
The way I grew up, we were taught not be afraid of trying. Mistakes will happen, learn from them, learn from other people's mistakes.
I am not exaggerating here: at the dining room table, a table full of kids eating over carpet (seemed like a baaad idea), two arms reaching for a bowl, knocked over a glass of milk. My FIL had to scream and holler about who did it, lots of finger pointing, not me, it was his fault. In the meantime, I run to the bathroom, grab towels and crawl under the table to try to clean it up before the whole glass full soaks into the carpet. Nobody even knew I was under the table working on the mess. I remember thinking, I don't want to come out from under here and be up there with people screaming at each other.
So refusing to take responsibility for something was ingrained into him and siblings, they learned to deflect blame onto someone else at all costs. I think it was a coping mechanism.
And I'll bet all the excuses I made for STBXH all these years qualifies me as a co-dependent ?!?
[This message edited by ItsRocky at 7:51 PM, February 19th (Saturday)]
there should be a warning label on caulk...
thanks jj for sending this thread in this direction for awhile. It was good for me, I know.
After the isolation and the lost sense of belonging somewhere with the end of a lengthy marriage, finding somewhere to roost and be accepted and to belong is priceless.
As for a lousy childhood, he has it in spades; verbal abuse, physical abuse, neglect, drugs, alcohol. With the exception of physical abuse, his childhood has been played out during our marriage.
InvisibleMe, I was having Nam-type flashbacks while reading your post
When he moved out, he left tons of unfinished home renovations. For example, he was insistent that we needed to wall off one of the doors in DS' bedroom. It took him a year to put up the drywall and he never did get the wall painted to match the rest of the room. He just left it for me to deal with.
I know we've talked about this (unfinished home projects) on this board before, but it might be interesting to see what the newbies have to say. It seems to be a common NPD trait.
I'll see you 3 caulk guns and raise you a broken ceiling light fixture.
I thought I was the only one who lived in a house that had a basement, garage and back porch that you could not walk through. The rooms were all filled with everything he would not throw out the entire 18 yrs I've known him. I took great care in keeping the house clean but it was always such an overwhelming job.
And I was always embarrassed about the mess in the basement and garage but he freely would bring neighbors and people walking down the street in to see something they could care less about with no shame whatsoever.
And to think the caulk guns all over the basement and garage were all in your houses too? And him with the cassette tapes too! Boxes of cassette tapes he would not throw out. Why??
I finally feel vindicated after all these years! I was not over-reacting like he told me I was!! He WAS crazy to keep all that crap!
And the blaming? My WH and I had the worse fights over him thinking I was blaming him for everything. I could not have a normal conversation without him freaking out that I was blaming it all on him. I always felt like it was me. Like there was something wrong with me and the way I communicated.
Unfinished home projects?? I could just cry--like caregiver said--to feel as if there is a place here where everyone understands and lived this--it is priceless.
I lived 13 years in a house that was being remodeled non-stop. One room at a time. We had paint cans, caulk guns, tiles, gallons of spackle, sheetrock in different rooms all over the house for 13 years. My closet was down the hall in my daughters room for 6 years because he was redoing the bath and closet in our room and he told me it would take 6 months tops.
Thank goodness to not have to put up with all of this anymore. I should have the kids buy him caulk containers for his birthday next month.
And the unfinished house projects!
he told me it would take 6 months tops.
hmmm, this almost sounds reasonable. I was told, as a sharpie outlined the hole where a wall was going to be taken out, that it could be completed in a weekend. Three days at the most.
I should take over and under bets on how long I lived without a kitchen during this eternal three days. And you know what I got? Pissed off "I can't believe how ungrateful you are. I am doing you a favor."
I never again had a full counter top. Or all the cabinets installed.
I had piles of clearance tile. I had baseboard lying in my dining room.
And my yard made me cringe from the piles of old decking boards, burn barrels, mulch that was never spread. Every time I wrote a check for several hundred dollars to have a dumptruck of mulch delivered I imagined just setting dollar bills out in the yard to wash away...
I do not miss him at all.
I got all of you in trade. And it was definitely a trade up!!
You took the words right from my brain with that one. I get that from him and that I never listen to him. He often asks me if I am deaf, stupid, or just ignoring him when he doesn't like my response to something, or if I don't answer fast enough. God forbid I ask him to repeat himself when he mumbles; things get very ugly with that request.
As for unfinished house projects? I have been looking at drywall that has been hung to make one room into two rooms, for the last 3 years. It has not been taped or mudded, its just drywall, hanging there. This aside from the holes he put in the walls when he had a rage-filled episode...usually brought on because I don't know how to communicate.
God, this thread makes me smile and makes me want to cry all at the same time. I have always felt so alone, thinking that there was something wrong with me. It has done my heart and soul good to know that I am truly not alone. Thank you all for sharing