"Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." ----- Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, 13th century Sufi poet.

"Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in a muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you?" Greg Baer

"The Secret in healing Narcissism is not to heal it at all, but to listen to it. Narcissism is a signal that the soul is not being loved sufficiently. The greater the Narcissism, the less love being given." ~ Thomas Moore, 'Care of the Soul'.

Q. Is it really possible to heal NPD?

A. Anything is possible. You do not have to be a negative statistic on a probablity curve of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Heal NPD :: Open Topic :: Healing the thought of being a victim
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Little_by_Little
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Healing the thought of being a victim ( 19:52:42 SatMay 7 2005 )

I see how its harmful to myself to think of myself as a victim of my husband. Even so I confess there are times when I feel this way. These feelings seem to be increasing rather than decreasing. So my question is simply how does one heal the thought of being a victim in a relationship?

  
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gailabelle
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Re: Healing the thought of being a victim ( 20:41:49 SatMay 7 2005 )

I too feel victimized a lot and have been trying to shed that mentality. The only thing that helps me is when I feel like I am making my own decisions and not allowing certian behaviors in our home like yelling rages etc... I think we need respect for ourselves first but then we need to be treated respectfully as well or the feelings return. Emotional detachment has also helped somewhat. However, I've already given up on doing what you are trying to do so I am sure I don't really know anything that works that well. But I do feel less of victim now than I did a year or so ago and it is a better place mentally for sure. Of course it also helps that my h has not been acting up so much lately which I think is partially a result of my raging back and letting him know that I know it is not me despite his projections, and misplaced agresssions. His acting up definitely triggers my victim feelings so I imagine all that stress at your house is triggering yours. I know it is a painful place and I sure wish I knew something wiser to say.



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Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.--Michael Pritchard
 
 
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The_Therapist
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Re: Healing the thought of being a victim ( 00:57:04 SunMay 8 2005 )

If you are raging back you have given up the possibility of any change in HIS real problem and are wrapped up in a "thought" which exists only in your head.

What's your goal?

"Victims" need to realize two BIG things about Ns.

1. They didnt choose to be this way. You can't choose your early rearing....others determine what the basic foundation of your personality is.

2. He can't see the hurtfullness of his actions...it's a big blind spot created by his defenses.

Those defenses act as a shell against all your raging so it's not really reaching him.

In order for a N to see the hurtfulness of his actions he must first be helped to acknowledge, one by one, the "bad habits" he just happens to have ... put these in terms of BEHAVIOR... things he can't really deny doing and DON'T attach any blame to it. Just get him to admit that "yeah, i' do that sometimes"

Only after he has admitted to enough BEHAVIORIAL "bad habits" ...or whatever you can get him to call them, can you suggest that there may be a pattern to them..... maybe somebody could make sense of the pattern. .MOST important maybe this pattern has something to do with HIS OWN bad feelings.

Showing a N that he is one and getting him to accept it is very tricky because of the "bad press" this personality disorder gotten over the years.

A person can admit to being a Borderline Personality and get gobs of sympathy..... but there's no sympathy for Ns..... they're BAD!

If you have been raging back at him there's little chance that you can be the person who he eventually trusts to show him that the "bad habits" when added up, equal the DSM Diagnostic criteria for NPD. That will have to be a therapist or another N.

It has to be done gently, constantly reminding him that "he DIDN'T choose any of these traits. They were taught to him before he can remember well.

ONLY after a N comes to accept that fate stuck him with this particular cross to bare can he experiment with changing a behavior or two and realize people respond differently.

At first he will still feel the same empty, cut-off feeling inside emotionally but as you learn that working to deliberately change behaviors that you have found bring you trouble and rejection you gradually reach the point that your emotions can start to change too.

This is a HARD, SLOW process and any raging from others just serves to convince him that they ARE the problem.

YOU can't heal a THOUGHT of being a victim.... whereever you go; there it is...... in YOUR head and the source is unchanged.

With a lot of work...preferably with professional guidance you can stop actually being a victim in the first place and he can start coping with a real problem he doesn't even understand yet

Every N is different and they have to be approached differently. But he's hurting inside too.

If you can tap that motivation and he eventually comes to accept that he has this disorder, THEN he can start to change his behavior. But it's like alcoholism. So long as you don'y recognize yourself as "one of them" you cant see through the blind spot and you don't even see the problem.

And you can't just TELL him... he has to come to see it himself. How to get him to that point requires an analysis of his personal motivation and how HE perceives the "problem"... if he sees one

You need some help "seeing" him for what he really is and deciding what your goal is.

To "heal" just YOUR THOUGHT about a real problem someone else has is just to shield your own emotions against the reality of the situation.

It doesn't address the real problem

a therapist

  
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Re: Healing the thought of being a victim ( 00:57:41 SunMay 8 2005 )

I found that taking control of some of the simple things in my life, having my own job, doing things that interest me and not necessiarly him were important parts of getting beyond the idea of being a victim. All of the sudden my entire life didn't revolve around him and what he expected of me. The problems didn't go away and we eventually got divorced, but I felt much stronger and more at peace with myself and thereby better able to handle the strangeness that continued. I don't think there is a clear roadmap but these things have worked for me.


  
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TcBrown
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Re: Healing the thought of being a victim ( 02:14:45 SunMay 8 2005 )

Well said, The_Therapist. And welcome to our community :smile: I have to admit I don't have a lot of great ideas on how to get beyond the idea of being a victim because its been such a conscious effort on my part to never fall into such a role. I wish you success Little, and I do believe as you explore your own thoughts more you'll feel less and less like a victim.



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Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you? Greg Baer.
 
 
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gailabelle
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Re: Healing the thought of being a victim ( 04:28:24 SunMay 8 2005 )

The average person is unaware and untrained and ill equip to provide the kind of help necessary to help the average pder IMO. I found myself in way over my head (despite good intentions) in a sea of gaslighting induced confusion. :drowning:
However something I said while raging (and not the raging itself perhaps) does seems to have rang a bell or turned a light on or somehow contributed to a change for the better in my h's behavior. I've ponder what it might have been but I just don't know. I was so lost I don't remember a lot of what I said but I do remember saying a lot about his punishing me for everything wrong with him or that happened to him. Things like, "you had a bad childhood, well by all means - punish ME for that, ... you had a bad day... well by all means punish ME for that... as long as it makes you feel better then punish ME for that" on and on I went as the rage poured out but when all was said and done I felt better and he is behaving better. So for those reasons I dont regret it but I am not recommending it either. I'm just saying one can only take or suppress so much and when we stack it up and hide behind it, it still comes out in other ways whether or not we are aware of it or why or not. Changing ones own thoughts and focus helps but when the pain is all consuming this is a very difficult and painful task. It is well worth the effort in the long run.
When someone seems to be taking advantage of you over and over I think it is natural to feel victimized and thereby a victim. And just like any other feelings I think it is healthy to allow oneself to feel them regardless of popularity or whatever. I may always think my h took advantage of me, yet at the same time I think I am mentally morphing and I am having less and less victim-type feelings and feel reasonably sure they will continue to dissipate over time as I heal and grow. The power to heal comes from within ourselves. We tap into it through awareness and desire IMO.

:bolt:

  
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TcBrown
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Re: Healing the thought of being a victim ( 15:12:20 SunMay 8 2005 )

I definitely agree the average person is untrained and ill-prepared to deal with someone who has most mental illnesses or disorders. Regrettably there are a fair number of professionals who are almost equally clueless. Some of whom feed the idea of others being victims. I know families working through bipolar, major depression, Asperger's, Conduct Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder in teens, all of who have experienced major problems in dealing with loved ones with these problems. Believe me when I say some of the behavior experienced is very disturbing to all concerned, but the only group of people where I have come across the idea of being a victim is with this Axis II "personality disorders." Yes, Borderline is more socially acceptable, to a degree, than the others, but there is not universal sympathy for these people either. There is no Sam Vaknin leading a crazed online community around BPD, but spend some time at BPD Central, designed for family members of those who are BPD, and you get some of the same degree of victim mentality found around the other personality disorders. Even within this community there is a degree of bad feelings toward BPD, at least some of which comes, I think, from the fact that BPD is more acceptable in our culture . I mean you look at the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill who does not work with Axis II disorders, with the exception of BPD. Come on folks, its time for people to wake up and see NPD as a legitmate condition which is harming the people suffering from it to incredibly high degrees.

I think the whole victim idea comes from not seeing NPD as legitimate, that we are intentionally engaged in some kind of bad or evil conspiracy to harm others. Yea, right. :crazy: It is not politically correct to say this, but oh well, here it goes, again. I don't believe a person who is well connected with themselves and aware of their own feelings is likely to enter into a relationship with someone with NPD. I believe the idea of being a victim does come from experiences associated with the relationship, but its more about these experiences bringing out old, unresolved issues within the other person that is feeding the idea of being a victim. As I've said before had anyone given any serious thought to entering a relationship with me during the height of my NPD defences I'm pretty convinced it would have been an indicator that something was seriously wrong in their own emotional makeup because there is no way I could have presented myself as a soulmate to anyone during that period of my life. :mrego:

I think healing the idea of being a victim comes from looking within and not looking at the PD of the other person. I appreciate how difficult it is to look within, but it is the only way I have found to bring healing which connects a person to their true self.




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Have faith that people do their best. I don't know anyone who would eat with pigs out of a trough in muddy barnyard if he knew that a well-prepared meal was on the table in a clean house - do you? Greg Baer.
 
 
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Re: Healing the thought of being a victim ( 16:29:33 MonMay 9 2005 )

No doubt that if my h had a PD sign on his forehead then I would have investigated, or if he had acted abusive in any way while we were dating, then I never would have started this relationship and I surely would have not have married him. So while I agree with the majority of TC's comments, I don't think that all people are pre- hosed up themselves to begin with that get in these situations. However, if one has pre-existing issues I think they are defininately exaggerated by the relationship. But new ones (ie mental type problems) are projected, added, grown, or developed regardless of past problems IMO.
I was naive and gullible and uneducated about these things. My h was lying and and pretending and faking me out. He was not acting up whatsoever, until the day we got married.
No one survives childhood without some wounds but mine were not debilitating or extreme or affecting my happiness. They were more like lessons learned or whatever.
I hope this next comment is not offensive because it is not intended to be anything other than my own observation but the comment is that it seems to me that assuming all or most others are the same way, or equally damaged, or differently damaged, or functioning with similar defenses etc..., is perhaps a misconception, or a blindspot, and / or a symptom of some of these so called disorders. While I am sure there is truth to the assumption in some cases, I do not think it is ALWAYS the case and I personally believe someone who is completely mentally healthy can also become adversely affected by these relationships.

:bolt:



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Re: Healing the thought of being a victim ( 19:52:24 MonMay 9 2005 )

I think it is true, Tony, that a healthy person is not going to get into a relationship with a serious neurotic. But NPD'ers, like some psycho's, can be charismatic and charming. They are intelligent and sensitive. Throw in good looks and sex appeal and a young, naive, hormone-driven person can fall in love with one of these, and discover too late that he/she is destined for heartbreak.

As gailabelle says, they don't come with a sign on the forehead. And if the healthy person should marry one of these types, it is going to hurt to get out, no matter how together he/she may be.

  
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TcBrown
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Re: Healing the thought of being a victim ( 11:30:05 TueMay 10 2005 )

I suppose we could enact a version of the Scarlett Letter and place "N's" on the forehead of all known or suspected NPDers. But if we are going to do this we should go all the way and place all other known labels on people: "C" for codependcy; "B" for Borderline, etc. Of course this leads to the question of just who is it that's making these judgments? I think there is a very good reason why the Creator of Life does not place such labels on people. He/she/it does not believe in these mankind artifical labels. We all have the ability to connect with our true ourselves. Personally, I have no interest in living in such a world and I'm rather grateful that this is not the case.

People definitely have blindspots and this is in no way restricted to those with what we call PD's, not by a long shot. Once again this leads to the reality of our perceptions being a mirror of our own thoughts. I love the teaching from Plato that the shadow we see dancing on the cave wall is what we believe to be real, when in reality its a reflection of ourselves given life by the fire behind us.

The idea of being a victim comes from attempting to place blame on other people for who they are, and expecting them to meet our expectations. It is about looking at the other person instead of going deep within ourselves. Can a person with NPD give false surface appearances, you betcha ya. These shallow appearances do not cover the fact these people do not have the ability to give and receive Real Love, or unconditional love. They don't even do a particuarly good job of presenting this because they have no idea what it is. They appeal to people who are searching for something and are willing to accept the surface level, which is indeed very shallow. Ultimately each of us is responsible for our own happiness and mental health. Healing is about looking at ourselves and going deep inside to find out what it is we needed and were not getting within ourselves that lead us to be in some of these unhealthy relationships. As Greg Baer suggests that acting like a victim is a form of Getting and Protecting Behavior we engage in when we are not receiving Real Love. People with NPD are more than capable of this kind of behavior as are all those who fall outside the label.

So, again I believe as long as the focus is on the other person its going to be very hard, if not impossible, to truly heal any thought of being a victim.



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