Does he really have no idea how his actions effect others?

  • 6 Replies
  • 1128 Views
*

Emily25069

  • New Member
  • *
  • 14
Does he really have no idea how his actions effect others?
« on: June 16, 2016, 02:35:43 AM »
My brother is at this moment in time pretty text book Narcissist.
I am racking my brain trying to figure out if he has always been this way and I come up with "maybe" for an answer.

He was always a good big brother. 12 years between us and he always loved me and took care of me. (except for the one time when I was about 8 and I threw up and he got mad at me for being sick instead of empathetic)

When I was young he bought me scooters and a really cool stuffed dog. He had a sweater that I loved to borrow so much that he finally just bought me one. He always let me drive his brand new  cars. He just always seemed to really like me.

His first marriage dissolved after about 6 years, but I loved his wife. When she left it seemingly came out of nowhere and it hurt me so much. My husband and I had gotten married just a few years after they did and we did a lot of things together. I never really did find out why she left. We seemingly got close around that time. I knew he was snobby, yes.. But to me he was always kind. We hung out quite a bit. I was always proud to have him as a brother.. Good looking.. successful.. Really really nice. I just loved him. He was my hero.

He got married again, and while it took a while to get to know this new woman, I eventually loved her very much. She had 2 young children when they met, and he helped to raise them.

My parents raised their children impersonally. I never felt like I "knew" them. THey were nice enough. They provided for us. I guess we knew we were loved. I never knew there was anything missing until I became an adult. I thought all kids were impersonal with their parents. I don't think either one of my parents are PDs. But my dad really struggles with close emotional relationships, as in.. he just can't do them and so shuts down emotionally and doesn't communicate at all about anything other than sports or weather, and my mom has issues, though I can't pin point what they are. Her mom left her dad when she was 12... just ripped her away and moved her across the country and she never saw him again-or her aunts and uncles and cousins she was close with. So there is definitely a deficit of something. She does odd things that seem very unloving (like, once she left my dad and only took one child with her---the one who seems to be a narcissist. The other 3 kids were left behind).. But she didn't not love the other kids.. she just couldn't afford to take them all and she felt she needed to leave. My dad came and got her, and she stayed. But my siblings never forgot how hurt they were. My oldest sister definitely says that my unNpd brother was the golden child. But I think it was only that way to my mom. I don't think my dad had any golden children or scapegoats. He just had children.

The reason I bring this up is because none of us feel particularly close to my parents, and once I mentioned this to my brother, saying that I found it hard to go visit my mom and dad because I just didn't feel close to them. He listened, but then his advice was to do it anyways because its important and right.

When my other brother, the special needs one tried to commit suicide, my uNPD brother visited him in the hospital every single day. When that same brother got arrested for drunk driving and ended up in rehab, my uNPD brother visted him often and got the family together to talk about helping him. When we went to see a lawyer about me becoming my other brothers legal guardian, my uNPD assured me that even though only one of us could be the guardian, I was not alone. He would be there.

None of this sounds like narcissism to me. I feel like I was hit with a brick this year.

Initially, I thought it was just midlife crisis. He turned 50 and lost his very well paying job. He spent some time interviewing, but he was having trouble with the fact that he was so old and was being interviewed by 20 somethings. He ended up going to the middle east for a job for a year. Nobody wanted him to go, but he just felt like he needed to do it. About 6 months in, he started to change, though his now newly ex wife says that he had always been depressed and difficult to deal with. But he cheated on his wife while overseas. He has absolutely no empathy for how this effected her.. like literally.. just none. Insists that they are just different people and they both know it and it was better to separate. But that just isn't true. She was completely devastated. She did not want this.

But she also tells me how he was always miserable.. how the kids used to spend the  night at their friends houses to get away from his criticism.. how when they would be out with friends, he would embellish his accomplishments to make himself sound important and how it would embarrass her.

And there were small red flags for me too. He always dressed just a little sharper than anyone else he would be with. He was really self conscious when he moved from his huge "McMansion" to a smaller, but totally gorgeous and modern house in a great neighborhood. He had no reason to be self conscious. He started to try to get in with some of my extended family who we had never been particularly close to, but who are very wealthy and "important".  He wanted to own a business so bad and felt degraded working for other people, even though he was always well employed and well paid.

How he is treating my parents is what is baffling to me today though. He was home from overseas for a bit. My parents are older and need help around the house. Instead of helping, he judges.. Criticized my mom for having a dirty car. My mom can barely walk as it is. I can't see her taking her car for a vaccuum. I try to clean it for her when I can, but I have 2 small children and its not always possible when I am over there. But instead of helping, he basically just said "ew gross"..  He treated them like a cheap hotel. DIdn't tell them of his comings and goings.. but what takes the cake is that a couple of nights ago, my mom expected him home. She waited up because he doesn't have a key. He never came home. Never called. Know why? He is headed back to the middle east with no goodby or anything. Didn't let any of us know. He just left. My sister got a text back from him when she asked if he would be around for fathers day. Nope. He was already gone. Unbelievable.

This new woman he is with.. He never talks about her and what she is like. She only talks about how she respects and admires my brother. He talks about her Ivy league education. He talks about how she comes from a super rich family. He talks about the upscale vacation they just took to Taiwan.

This just does not seem like the brother I remember growing up. 

When he announced he was divorcing his wife, he tried a little smear campaigning on her, but it was too late. I know she is a woman of good character and he was already crapping on his family. It made his story completely unbelievable.

Is he really unaware? or is he aware and just doesn't care?

*

Miss Mermaid

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 45
Re: Does he really have no idea how his actions effect others?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2016, 07:04:42 PM »
Hi Emily, thank you for sharing your post. I'm really sorry to hear what you're going through with your brother and family. It sounds like a lot of complex dynamics and emotions, which is typical for a family, but it also sounds like some of the situation may not be as typical. It's hard for me to say from this description of your brother and his behavior if he definitively has NPD or some other PD, but obviously his actions are hurting you and probably several other people close to him in his life. Have you spoken to other family members about how you're feeling and your concerns? Have you spoken to him about how you're feeling?? Not to tell him that you think he may have a PD, of course, but just to tell him that you're upset and worried about what he's doing and how it's affecting the family?

It's totally understandable that you would be upset with what he is doing, and I'm glad you are looking for resources to help you figure out what to do. If your brother does in fact have NPD, it will probably be hard to change much about the situation; and even if he doesn't, he's clearly exhibiting some really obvious behavior issues. I hope you can at least talk to your other siblings about it, if you want to, and get some support from them. Best of luck to you.

*

Emily25069

  • New Member
  • *
  • 14
Re: Does he really have no idea how his actions effect others?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2016, 09:04:31 PM »
Yes. I have definitely talked to him and my whole family. My whole family was broadsided this year. Like I said, he always seemed a bit snobbish in looks and mannerisms, but he never treated any of us poorly in the general sense.

I never would have guessed that he would cheat on his wife.

I think losing his job was a really big blow for him. Its a big blow for anyone, but his whole life turned upsidedown.

I actually did straight up tell him that I thought he was a narcissist. He didn't really respond. He just stopped emailing me back.

BUt you would think if he didn't believe he was, he would try to deny it or apologize or something.

Its just really sad.

His wife sees all the signs of NPD, but won't call it that. Their couples therapist did tell her that she was co-dependent though. .. Tip toeing on eggshells to make sure the house stayed peaceful. He wouldn't really rage in anger. He just criticized and was intolerant of his family.

BUt me and my parents and siblings, we never saw that side of him. He was pretty awesome towards us.

Until he wasn't.

I am feeling very much like he just done with us and doesn't need us anymore, which is why he can't even respect my parents enough to tell them that he was leaving.


*

lkdrymom

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 700
Re: Does he really have no idea how his actions effect others?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2016, 09:19:17 AM »
I think they really don't see how it affects others and even it if is pointed out to them they cannot comprehend how it affects others as they are so focused on their own wants and needs.  They want an end result and to them the means justify the end. Even if it was pointed out that someone else suffered consequences to their actions they cannot comprehend that it was a bad thing because they got what they wanted and of course the other person would want that for them too so it is not big deal that other person was hurt in the process.  Their lack of empathy makes it impossible for them to comprehend anything beyond their own orbit.

*

looloo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1453
Re: Does he really have no idea how his actions effect others?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 11:41:28 AM »
He was always a good big brother. 12 years between us and he always loved me and took care of me. (except for the one time when I was about 8 and I threw up and he got mad at me for being sick instead of empathetic)

When I was young he bought me scooters and a really cool stuffed dog. He had a sweater that I loved to borrow so much that he finally just bought me one. He always let me drive his brand new  cars. He just always seemed to really like me.
...
We hung out quite a bit. I was always proud to have him as a brother.. Good looking.. successful.. Really really nice. I just loved him. He was my hero.

My parents raised their children impersonally. I never felt like I "knew" them. THey were nice enough. They provided for us. I guess we knew we were loved. I never knew there was anything missing until I became an adult. I thought all kids were impersonal with their parents. I don't think either one of my parents are PDs. But my dad really struggles with close emotional relationships, as in.. he just can't do them and so shuts down emotionally and doesn't communicate at all about anything other than sports or weather, and my mom has issues, though I can't pin point what they are. Her mom left her dad when she was 12... just ripped her away and moved her across the country and she never saw him again-or her aunts and uncles and cousins she was close with. So there is definitely a deficit of something. She does odd things that seem very unloving (like, once she left my dad and only took one child with her---the one who seems to be a narcissist. The other 3 kids were left behind).. But she didn't not love the other kids.. she just couldn't afford to take them all and she felt she needed to leave. My dad came and got her, and she stayed. But my siblings never forgot how hurt they were. My oldest sister definitely says that my unNpd brother was the golden child. But I think it was only that way to my mom. I don't think my dad had any golden children or scapegoats. He just had children.

The reason I bring this up is because none of us feel particularly close to my parents, and once I mentioned this to my brother, saying that I found it hard to go visit my mom and dad because I just didn't feel close to them. He listened, but then his advice was to do it anyways because its important and right.

When my other brother, the special needs one tried to commit suicide, my uNPD brother visited him in the hospital every single day. When that same brother got arrested for drunk driving and ended up in rehab, my uNPD brother visted him often and got the family together to talk about helping him. When we went to see a lawyer about me becoming my other brothers legal guardian, my uNPD assured me that even though only one of us could be the guardian, I was not alone. He would be there.

...But she also tells me how he was always miserable.. how the kids used to spend the  night at their friends houses to get away from his criticism.. how when they would be out with friends, he would embellish his accomplishments to make himself sound important and how it would embarrass her.

And there were small red flags for me too. He always dressed just a little sharper than anyone else he would be with. He was really self conscious when he moved from his huge "McMansion" to a smaller, but totally gorgeous and modern house in a great neighborhood. He had no reason to be self conscious. He started to try to get in with some of my extended family who we had never been particularly close to, but who are very wealthy and "important".  He wanted to own a business so bad and felt degraded working for other people, even though he was always well employed and well paid.

How he is treating my parents is what is baffling to me today though. He was home from overseas for a bit. My parents are older and need help around the house. Instead of helping, he judges.. Criticized my mom for having a dirty car. My mom can barely walk as it is. I can't see her taking her car for a vaccuum. I try to clean it for her when I can, but I have 2 small children and its not always possible when I am over there. But instead of helping, he basically just said "ew gross"..  He treated them like a cheap hotel. DIdn't tell them of his comings and goings.. but what takes the cake is that a couple of nights ago, my mom expected him home. She waited up because he doesn't have a key. He never came home. Never called. Know why? He is headed back to the middle east with no goodby or anything. Didn't let any of us know. He just left. My sister got a text back from him when she asked if he would be around for fathers day. Nope. He was already gone. Unbelievable.

This new woman he is with.. He never talks about her and what she is like. She only talks about how she respects and admires my brother. He talks about her Ivy league education. He talks about how she comes from a super rich family. He talks about the upscale vacation they just took to Taiwan.

This just does not seem like the brother I remember growing up. 

When he announced he was divorcing his wife, he tried a little smear campaigning on her, but it was too late. I know she is a woman of good character and he was already crapping on his family. It made his story completely unbelievable.

Is he really unaware? or is he aware and just doesn't care?

Hi Emily,
Reading your description of your FOO and your brother's life and circumstances, I wonder if he was possibly parentified--he sounds like as an older sibling, he had a real knack for being stable, for being connected in a way that your parents were not.  The description of your father's remoteness, and the traumatic incident with your mother leaving with HIM only must have had a real impact on your brother, maybe in a much different way than the way you experienced it.

His treatment of his spouses, his kids, his slightly "snobbish" attitude--I can't say for sure, but he seems to have straddled two extremes--being a real stand up guy in so many ways, and now at this point in his life, deciding to say "f--k it".  I have felt this way at times, and for me, it's because I'm overwhelmed and depressed (situationally, not clinically).

I hope your brother turns a corner and can somehow "integrate" these two seemingly opposing inclinations (being a great guy vs. alienating, and then walking away from loving family).  Maybe he's open to talking to someone?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 12:11:02 PM by looloo »
“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.”  Oscar Wilde.

"My actions are my true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand."  Thich Nhat Hanh

*

lavalove

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 224
Re: Does he really have no idea how his actions effect others?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2016, 05:03:44 PM »
What you describe is a lot like my experience.  Depression was involved and several events seemed to trigger emergence of a PD.  There is a lot of it in his family.  He didn't have any self awareness, and suddenly had a lot of materialistic concerns.  He was doing things that might give the impression to others that he was important.  The term co-dependent got thrown at me, and I called BS on it.  It was a cop out for him not taking responsibility of his role in the relationship and a cheap shot at me holding him responsible for his behavior and to make me look like the crazy one.  There were so many strange things happening that my mind could not make sense of it and didn't know what small thing I said or did was going to set him off next.  There was nothing rational about it.  He was incapable of thinking about other people.  It is good that you and his ex-wife can support each other. 

*

BullyBuster

  • New Member
  • *
  • 7
Re: Does he really have no idea how his actions effect others?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2016, 11:53:36 AM »
Some of what you describe about your brother sounds a lot like my uNPD sister. My sister has become much more covert with age. She has taken control of every family crisis/situation since my mother's passing and my lazy, uncaring, alcoholic uNPD father lets her. She has always tried to control things but my non-PD mom would not have it. She enjoys playing the role because it boosts her ego (her superiority), it allows her some control over my fathers finances (to maximize her inheritance) and at the same time it makes her seem like a good caring person to the outside world. The only thing she is is selfish.