Is there help for Narcs?

  • 8 Replies
  • 1475 Views
*

rosalieaprile

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 103
Is there help for Narcs?
« on: September 21, 2016, 04:58:03 PM »
I'm not talking about Nmom, she is someone who I could never see again and be fine with that.

Its narc older sis I'm thinking of. I miss her, and I really feel bad for her. She got the worst of it from Nmom, and when I say the worst I mean the name calling, the constant verbal harassment. I feel like nmom sucked the life out of sis because Nmom was jealous of the personality that sis had.  Sis was vibrant and energetic, full of creativity and willing to try anything. Until nmom verbally beat all of that out of her and turned sis into a narc herself. IMO I think that is more of a defense mechanism against the vitriol that came from nmom.

I had a different experience because while I lived with nmom as a teen she ignored me, and I became a master of disassociation. Then I went away to college and my perspective on everything changed. Although I was still in nmom's clutches I definitely came in to my own and didn't let Nmom get to me. It's only recently that she came at me hard enough for me to decide I was done. Over the years she pretty much left me alone and it was sis who would come to me and ask for advice about getting nmom to leave her alone.

I see a lot of nmom traits in sis. The inability to make friends. The cruel way she treats her husband and daughter. Her complete lack of self awareness.

My question is really this: sis is a part of the CO. As bad as I feel about things I still wonder if she can be saved, like if I stepped in and shared with her some of the things I've learned she may have a lightbulb moment. She is most certainly a narc, but is that because of what has been done to her? or maybe she isn't as bad as I think.

I haven't talked to her in 6 months. She reached out but I didn't respond. Should I reach out to her or just leave her alone and move on with my life?

*

bopper

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1656
Re: Is there help for Narcs?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2016, 05:03:53 PM »
Interesting...is she a Narc or was she trained to act like one? If she is in the sphere of influence of nM then she may have never learned differently.
Just because they are incapable of loving you, doesn't mean that you are unlovable.
Anything makes the false self appear real is supply.

*

Menopause Barbie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 451
Re: Is there help for Narcs?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2016, 06:02:35 PM »
I think all narcs start out with the potential to be wonderful human beings. Something in their lives (usually bad parenting--abuse, neglect, mini-me spoiling, etc) puts them in the position to have a choice of going PD (and taking the easier way out of the abuse) or self-reflecting/rebelling/fighting against/calling out the abuse (like we are all trying to do--a much harder road to take). If we could look back on our PD parents' childhoods, I'm sure we would see their potential to be kind and loving gradually disappear over the years of abuse. I know, for example, that both of my parents suffered under terrible parenting. They chose to turn inward, not for self-reflection, but for self-defense. Lesson learned from their difficult childhoods: Take care of me by any means necessary. It's like a drowning victim that doesn't care if their frantic clinging drowns the person trying to rescue them. That's how they go through life.

With your sister, you have been privy to the process of her becoming a narc. You got to see her before she went over to the dark, self-preservation above all else side of life. But she did go there. She had a choice-we all have a choice-and she decided that her best bet was to put herself first and not concern herself with the effects of her selfishness. The only difference between your Nsis and any other narc you ever met is that you actually saw her "before" picture, prior to her gradual, self-imposed narc makeover.

What could you tell her that wouldn't be extremely offensive? "Hey, sis, I remember how you used to be so nice, but now I've noticed that you are selfish and mean to the people you say you love and you remind me a lot of Nmom?" I'm sure her husband and child (if she's old enough) have tried to get her to treat them lovingly. If she won't change for them, why would she change for you?

 I know we grew up feeling responsible for fixing every awkward or painful family relationship, but, despite our tears, words, and actions, how many of the PDs in our lives have actually responded well to our "fixing" and had a-ha moments that held for the long term? In my experience, I've had zero PD conversions, despite my very best, most loving and sincere efforts. They are the way they are because they like the way they are. We look at them and think that no one could really WANT to be that way. But apparently they do, because they work very hard at not changing!

*

Bloomie

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 14133
Re: Is there help for Narcs?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2016, 07:45:10 PM »
rosalieaprile - This is an age old question that you are asking. You say this: "She is most certainly a narc", but is it at all possible that your sister has a really bad case of fleas? Everything is on a continuum as well from traits being slightly manifested all the way to full blown malignant narcissism.

The true key to if anyone can change in my humble view - PD, non, and anything in between, is if they can self reflect and respond appropriately when they are given feedback that their behaviors are harming or hurting others.

The best way I know how to "show" another family member that life can be lived free of PD abuse and Out of the FOG is to continue my own healing journey alongside of them and when they ask, as it sounds like your sister may have done, how I cope, or how come I have peace, or how I have broken free, I then can share in more depth what I have learned, but even then it doesn't mean that person will choose to do the hard, excruciating work that we all are doing to get to a place of healing and wholeness.

Your concern and love for your sister is to be commended. If she is looking for change and healing, I believe she will eventually make that known to you and open the door. If she is not seeking this herself, then offering the pearls of wisdom and the important work you are doing in all of this may be an exercise in frustration and hurt. Just some thoughts.

*

Nadine

  • New Member
  • *
  • 12
Re: Is there help for Narcs?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2016, 08:57:15 AM »
Nature or nurture that is the question.
IMO narcissism is an inherited personality type.  I don't think abuse causes it because I know so many NPDs that were not abused. My mother was born that way, as was her father and then my middle sister.

Three emotionally neglected children in my family but only one is NPD if abuse 'causes' it why are we not all NPDs? The conclusion can only be there is a genetic predisposition towards the PD.
Can you sister be helped, I doubt it. A pathological N will never admit fault, because as far as they are concerned they are never wrong.  Any attempt to 'help' them will be seen as you being accusatory, jealous and spiteful. 
You can always try to help her if you want you are clearly very fond of her (put your protective amour on first just in case!)

I don't believe all people start out with the potential to be wonderful human beings, everyone is born with a personality some are not wired for empathy, that app ain't been downloaded  :sadno:
My Nsister was tough, determined, powerful, ruthless and supremely confident from the get go. She ruled the roost early on.  She scares me.

*

rosalieaprile

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 103
Re: Is there help for Narcs?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2016, 11:16:59 AM »
Interesting...is she a Narc or was she trained to act like one? If she is in the sphere of influence of nM then she may have never learned differently.

And that's the struggle, and its tough only because I remember her having moments of kindness when I was a teenager and being ignored by nmom.

*

rosalieaprile

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 103
Re: Is there help for Narcs?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2016, 01:27:31 PM »
I think all narcs start out with the potential to be wonderful human beings. Something in their lives (usually bad parenting--abuse, neglect, mini-me spoiling, etc) puts them in the position to have a choice of going PD (and taking the easier way out of the abuse) or self-reflecting/rebelling/fighting against/calling out the abuse (like we are all trying to do--a much harder road to take). If we could look back on our PD parents' childhoods, I'm sure we would see their potential to be kind and loving gradually disappear over the years of abuse. I know, for example, that both of my parents suffered under terrible parenting. They chose to turn inward, not for self-reflection, but for self-defense. Lesson learned from their difficult childhoods: Take care of me by any means necessary. It's like a drowning victim that doesn't care if their frantic clinging drowns the person trying to rescue them. That's how they go through life.

With your sister, you have been privy to the process of her becoming a narc. You got to see her before she went over to the dark, self-preservation above all else side of life. But she did go there. She had a choice-we all have a choice-and she decided that her best bet was to put herself first and not concern herself with the effects of her selfishness. The only difference between your Nsis and any other narc you ever met is that you actually saw her "before" picture, prior to her gradual, self-imposed narc makeover.

What could you tell her that wouldn't be extremely offensive? "Hey, sis, I remember how you used to be so nice, but now I've noticed that you are selfish and mean to the people you say you love and you remind me a lot of Nmom?" I'm sure her husband and child (if she's old enough) have tried to get her to treat them lovingly. If she won't change for them, why would she change for you?

 I know we grew up feeling responsible for fixing every awkward or painful family relationship, but, despite our tears, words, and actions, how many of the PDs in our lives have actually responded well to our "fixing" and had a-ha moments that held for the long term? In my experience, I've had zero PD conversions, despite my very best, most loving and sincere efforts. They are the way they are because they like the way they are. We look at them and think that no one could really WANT to be that way. But apparently they do, because they work very hard at not changing!


You're 100% right and I totally agree with you. Don't get me wrong, for as much as I feel for her I am well aware of how cruel she can be and has been over the past few years.

BUT she is also the first person to call out nmom on her shit. sis had a huge blow up with nmom a few years ago where sis told her that she was a terrible mother to us, that she never prepared us for live and that the world did not revolve around nmom. This last statement was made after nmom humiliated a waitress in a restaurant because her pasta wasn't served al dente. Can you imagine? At the time I had no idea that these were all classic narc signs so I laughed sis off. I actually thought nmom was a good mom because she DIDN'T RAISE ME. Other women did. I think once I brushed her off sis was like if you can't beat them join them. Sigh.

*

rosalieaprile

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 103
Re: Is there help for Narcs?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2016, 02:56:10 PM »
rosalieaprile - This is an age old question that you are asking. You say this: "She is most certainly a narc", but is it at all possible that your sister has a really bad case of fleas? Everything is on a continuum as well from traits being slightly manifested all the way to full blown malignant narcissism.

The true key to if anyone can change in my humble view - PD, non, and anything in between, is if they can self reflect and respond appropriately when they are given feedback that their behaviors are harming or hurting others.

The best way I know how to "show" another family member that life can be lived free of PD abuse and Out of the FOG is to continue my own healing journey alongside of them and when they ask, as it sounds like your sister may have done, how I cope, or how come I have peace, or how I have broken free, I then can share in more depth what I have learned, but even then it doesn't mean that person will choose to do the hard, excruciating work that we all are doing to get to a place of healing and wholeness.

Your concern and love for your sister is to be commended. If she is looking for change and healing, I believe she will eventually make that known to you and open the door. If she is not seeking this herself, then offering the pearls of wisdom and the important work you are doing in all of this may be an exercise in frustration and hurt. Just some thoughts.

The way she treats her husband and 10yo daughter makes me believe she is a full fledged narc. Eg, she wouldn't take my niece (when she was a baby) to get a congenital heart murmur checked out because it would take too much time to find a specialist and my niece would outgrow it anyway. Yeah she's not nice at all when it comes to things that interfere with her time. This is in contrast to my younger sis who I'm pretty sure just has bad fleas but she wasn't nice to me for years, so I have very little incentive to try and salvage that relationship.

I feel like I keep coming to her defense, but in her entire life I can honestly say that I'm the only recipient of any of her kindness. Even her husband never really saw that side of her and they've been married over 20 years.



« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 02:58:42 PM by rosalieaprile »

*

Menopause Barbie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 451
Re: Is there help for Narcs?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2016, 05:23:13 PM »
Rosalieaprile, don't feel ashamed to be "always coming to Nsis's defense." It is a thing to be admired that you are caring and hopeful and looking for the best in others! But we can't take responsibility for fixing what they will fight tooth and nail NOT to fix. Sick as it is, dysfunction works for them.

I didn't mean to open a can of worms in the nature vs nurture debate, and I can understand how people could disagree with my opinion that PDs become PDs because they choose to handle life that way. I respect others' experiences, and I can only speak to the PDs in my life.  In my experience, I have had the chance to watch  a few of the PDs in my world grow up from the beginning (what you witnessed with your Nsis, Rosalieaprile). I am thinking specifically of my niece. I spent lots of time with her as an infant , a toddler, preschooler, the whole lifespan into adulthood, when I was cut off from my whole FOO. I watched her change from a sweet, empathetic, loving toddler, who would put her chubby arm around you if you were hurt or sad, to the person she is now--a self-centered phony who puts on a show of caring but only really cares about how her behavior makes her look to others and on facebook. My FOO is so gross! A nest of phoniness and self-centeredness disguised as religiousness and niceness and perfection.

You know that thread on here about who rescued us? I wanted to be that person for my niece. I tried so hard to defend her and shelter her from my uNsis's emotional and verbal abuse. But in the end, my niece chose to deal with her feelings of insecurity by preying on those around her, notably my own daughter. She gas-lighted her from maybe age 8 and up, set her up to try to get her in trouble (suggested my daughter do something and then told on her when she did), and competed against her over the most trivial things. My daughter is an adult now and she still cries recalling these betrayals by my niece. My daughter and I reached out to try to repair the family breaches (My niece's treatment of my daughter being one of those). My niece admitted to having done those things (not to us directly though-never validated the abuse to my daughter or me but admitted it to other FOO members) but attacked my daughter and I for holding on to the past.

 That's where things inevitably go with the PDs in my life, the ones who I have tried to lovingly encourage to go back to their kinder, gentler pasts. They attack. Any attempt to fix things or to encourage change is seen as criticism. Nobody likes criticism, but to PDs it is unforgivable. I am not saying you should never talk to your sister to try to help her--you need to do what you need to do. Just do it with a realistic idea of the end result, and be prepared for her to go nuclear on you. Yes, PDs give a whole new definition to the "nuclear family unit!" :tongue2: