*Sigh* O.k., sounds like you’re all in agreement that I can’t play the role of the PD fairy who can swoop down, wave her magic wand over the heads of the chosen and, Voila!, lift the fog. Thanks to each of you for addressing this. It helps to know from you all that these kinds of things are not so unusual, even if there isn’t much (or anything) an “outsider” can do to change it.
As I continue reading through the various threads, seeing glimpses of your lives revealed, I am ever more grateful to have found this site. After being exposed to SV’s material a couple years ago, I pretty much gave up hope and settled into “complaisant” mode: enjoy what I could and endure the rest. It is heartening to see a group of folks trying to help yourselves and others even as you endure your own trials by fire. My hope is renewed.
To Mel: Your frustration is completely understandable. If I had never crossed paths with someone who compelled me to seek a source of understanding deeper than “Dear Abbey” can address, such things would sound totally outrageous. (Well, actually some of it did sound like the more familiar signs of hiding adultery). Even if we can never really accept certain behaviors as ‘okay’ at least now we have a different perspective from which to view them. As Tony so gently reminded us:
A person with NPD does not view the world or in specific instance does not view a relationship in the same paradigm that you are describing...
...A person with NPD is first and foremost looking out for themselves. They are not there to see how their behavior is effecting others.
To Mel and Deckhands: Where you touch on resentment against “checking in” and the perfectly logical reasons why we are expected to do so, especially when it’s as easy as taking 10 seconds to dial a phone number...whoa! I suddenly feel my own chain being rattled!
Most people who know me would likely say I’m fairly easy-going, dependable, responsible, etc. But I have long known there is a little monster living somewhere inside. It sleeps most of the time. When it wakes, it feels like a fire-breathing dragon trying to claw its way out. I agree that it is about control, whether direct or indirect, real or perceived. And, as Deckhands said, the accompanying emotion does not line up with the rational, logical process.
I have experienced it in a range of situations.
* Resentment at being pulled over by the policeman for a traffic violation.
* Obstinance about being made to do something by someone who has not been internalized as a proper authority. Something on the order of, “neener neener neener. You’re not the boss of me and you can’t make me. So there!”
And the infamous...
* causing someone needless worry by not bothering to call and reassure them.
Like Deckhands, I find this last especially inexplicable... particularly as have been a grown-up person (or used to think so) for an incredibly long time. This happened about a year ago, yet I could still recall and describe every step of the process, nearly every thought that went through my head, the sleepless night I spent trying to convince myself it was no big deal, and finally becoming so worked up that I called the injured party in the wee hours of the night to apologize. I still can not imagine what possessed me to put either myself or anyone else through hell over what should have been a simple 30-second phone call. I pray it never happens again.
Funny part is...when my friend does the not-calling thing (as long as I'm not sitting someplace public waiting for him)...I sometimes sort of understand... Yeah, I know: Neener neener neener.