So confusing when he is behaving well

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11JB68

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So confusing when he is behaving well
« on: October 14, 2021, 11:54:51 PM »
This is part of the cycle and is so confusing and part of my FOG.
I know that there was a man I was in love with in the beginning.
Sometimes that man shows up.
He's been on a positive cycle very recently. I think because he knew his behavior over a medical issue was unreasonable and also realized again how much he depends on me.
Today I found out I had made a significant error at work. I'm pretty upset. I normally don't tell Updh much but felt I must.... What if there are repercussions at work etc...I need him to know what's going on.
He was super supportive, empathic, understanding etc! That's the guy I loved. That's the guy I need to show up most of the time.
Unfortunately that guy can just as easily make me feel like an idiot for some silly mistake at home....
It is so confusing.

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square

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2021, 01:41:50 AM »
Yeah.

I see that guy sometimes, too. Actually a few times lately.

But hope is dead in me. I feel kind of numb to it. It’s just a good day, is all. It doesn’t mean anythng.

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SonofThunder

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2021, 10:13:52 AM »
My opinion is that there are mini ID-D cycles inside much grander, longer ID-D cycles: Idealize then Devalue (and then if the target doesn't react in order to start over), then Discard.  If not, the grand ID-D cycle’s forward motion halts because the target will simply disappear under the constant critical manipulation pressure of Devalue. 

I believe PD’s are very-very sensitive to their target supply and have learned the proper ratio of Idealize and Devalue necessary to keep their specific supply target circling around as long as possible. 

In the FOGgy past, i would ride (caretake) the Idealize and Devalue emotional rollercoasters, but im simply now down on the ground, watching my uPDw ride them solo, wondering why I wont come on board for the next ride (mini or grand). 

Shes getting very tired of riding alone and so I'm in perpetual Discard, because with the toolbox at hand and my determined calm attitude of indifference (its an odd, purposeful mental observing and mc reacting), I'm never riding again.  She’s got to find supply from somewhere and its not coming from me or inside herself.  So im just loving myself and her in 51% living (which is just roommates…😕 who have periodic maintenance-sex), medium-chill and boundaries until her mistakes reveal a future supply, and then that may ease some of the very difficult circumstances of my particular situation in a potential legal departure. 

I recommend you mentally consider what you see from him, relative to the ID-D cycles and his mind internally gauging your frustration and so he sprinkles a few shakes of periodic kindness on your PD shit-salad to keep your life with him, just barely edible. 

SoT
« Last Edit: October 15, 2021, 10:47:45 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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losingmyself

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2021, 11:20:13 AM »
Sometimes I prefer the crappy days over the fake nice days, because I know it's not bs, and I don't have to listen to the stupid shit he says.
It is not confusing to me, I know he thinks he crossed the line, so he has to act nice, to get me back on board. Not buying it.....

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Lauren17

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2021, 02:06:03 PM »
11, I just wanted to say that I’m right here with you.
Since I said “divorce” uNPDh  has been acting perfectly.
I know that it’s an act. I know that it’s to keep me hooked. But, emotionally, it’s very very hard.
SoT makes an excellent point about the big IDD cycles interspersed with smaller ones. Right now, my roller coaster is going backwards. Several days of nice, interspersed with an hour or two of nasty.
It’s very hard. I’m finding a lot of solace in OOTF right now. I hope you are, too.
I’ve cried a thousand rivers. And now I’m swimming for the shore” (adapted from I’ll be there for you)

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SonofThunder

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2021, 05:45:14 PM »
11, I just wanted to say that I’m right here with you.
Since I said “divorce” uNPDh  has been acting perfectly.
I know that it’s an act. I know that it’s to keep me hooked. But, emotionally, it’s very very hard.
SoT makes an excellent point about the big IDD cycles interspersed with smaller ones. Right now, my roller coaster is going backwards. Several days of nice, interspersed with an hour or two of nasty.
It’s very hard. I’m finding a lot of solace in OOTF right now. I hope you are, too.

I agree with all, its very hard.  Im doing my best to remain calm and indifferent, but it has little affect on my uPDw’s actions of discarding silent-treatment, with interlaced devaluation by harsh criticism of the smallest things im choosing for myself as well as things i don't choose, such as not responding to her criticism haha (damned if you don’t).  In addition the situational and time manipulation to create off-balance ‘punishment’ of my protective boundaries and medium chill.   All the while the TOTAL hypocrisy of the whole thing.  Drives me mad!!

Lol, Its no wonder I spend so much doing my solo hobbies and flexing my introvert needs.  It feels like my boundaries are in gear 100% of the time (she will interrupt my sleep purposefully with lights and noise and sometimes baiting questions) and it takes so much mental energy to be prepared at all times with the toolbox and therefore is both mentally and physically exhausting. 

SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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11JB68

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2021, 09:00:03 PM »
SOT... Thx as always for your in depth feedback.
Can you say more about ID-D?? I'm not sure I totally understand
Also, if this is too personal or if it may get shut down... Don't answer, but I'm curious about what you call 'maintenance sex'. Maintenance for you or for her, and does either enjoy it? Ours is greatly reduced which suits me fine, I have zero desire, while it doesn't bother me I definitely participate out of duty and do not enjoy it. His need and/or ability are reduced due to medical issues.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2021, 09:19:26 AM »
I used to allow the "good times" erase abuse and mistreatment during the bad times.

I know longer do this.  Too much time has past.  Now too many core aspects of my pdh s personality have changed, and I have emotionally detached too much.

Reality is that there has been way to much over the years for me to fall back I to believing there will be a real connection.

Now with the age related mental decline and or dementia it would simply feel wrong to try to have that relationship again.  He is like a child now and that is the dynamic of our interactions.

I will occasionally slip and try to share what is going on with me or about  business or such and it will not be long before I realize my mistake.  His responses will be so far from what is expected based on the old PDH, I will quickly be reminded that "we" is no longer available.

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SonofThunder

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2021, 09:41:23 AM »
I used to allow the "good times" erase abuse and mistreatment during the bad times.

I know longer do this.  Too much time has past.  Now too many core aspects of my pdh s personality have changed, and I have emotionally detached too much.

Reality is that there has been way to much over the years for me to fall back I to believing there will be a real connection.

Now with the age related mental decline and or dementia it would simply feel wrong to try to have that relationship again.  He is like a child now and that is the dynamic of our interactions.

I will occasionally slip and try to share what is going on with me or about  business or such and it will not be long before I realize my mistake.  His responses will be so far from what is expected based on the old PDH, I will quickly be reminded that "we" is no longer available.

1Foot, I I can surely relate to this post regarding the “good times erasing abuse”.  Before coming Out of the FOG, i did the same thing.  I also digitally journaled a lot back in the fog (haha on the then high-tech Palm Pilot) and i would sadly allow the good moments to make me feel FOGuilty for the harsh reality writing i was doing regarding my experiences and would go back and delete the entries. 

I sure wish i could review those old writings, which were during the times i was juggling the many hats of a young family and growing business venture all while struggling to please (caretake) a wife and be the necessary soothing mediator between my uPDwife and: kids, neighbors, parents, siblings, friends, teachers, coaches, and others.  It was exhausting. 

But as you said, those short glimmers of good times gave a brief period of hope, only to have the hope dashed by another outburst, manipulation and so on.  Im sorry your husband is now like a child with his mental decline.  Sending you wishes for relaxing and frequent micro-escapes you can create for yourself.

SoT
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 09:42:56 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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SonofThunder

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2021, 11:27:10 AM »
SOT... Thx as always for your in depth feedback.
Can you say more about ID-D?? I'm not sure I totally understand
Also, if this is too personal or if it may get shut down... Don't answer, but I'm curious about what you call 'maintenance sex'. Maintenance for you or for her, and does either enjoy it? Ours is greatly reduced which suits me fine, I have zero desire, while it doesn't bother me I definitely participate out of duty and do not enjoy it. His need and/or ability are reduced due to medical issues.

11JB68,

I throw around that IDD acronym because i get tired of writing the full words and need to remember its not (i think..) a OOTF posted acronym.  The typical repeating cycle that PD’s and their target go through over time is:  I=idealize, D=devalue, D=discard.  *Dr Ramani has a YouTube video regarding it. 

In the I=idealize phase of the repeating cycle would be the ‘behaving well’ part of the cycle that you referenced in this post. It can also be love-bombing with some PD’s but i only was ‘love-bombed’ pre-marriage (3 years dating) through our first child (2 years into marriage).  After the relationship lock of a child occurred, the love-bombing stopped and the manipulation and hurtful attitude toward me began (D=devalue).

In the D=devalue stage, the manipulation, gaslighting, criticism, anger, rage and other attributes of PD control and conflict occur, in order to confuse and belittle the FOGgy target into servitude/caretaking, which the target proactively does in order to try and please the PD and make the D=devalue return to I=idealization.  If the rod of devalue is bent over the ass of the target too long, the target may emotionally detach or physically depart, and when the PD senses the harsh treatment is now having a detrimental effect on the servitude/caretaking, the PD will cycle back to I=idealization (your behaving well) in order to ‘Hoover’ (see the OOTF toolbox) the target back to start the cycle again.  The reason I personally used a dash (ID-D) is because my experiences and therefore belief is that the cycle normally repeats itself at D=devalue, therefore for many caretaker types of non’s, its ‘ID-ID-ID-ID…’ as the good behavior hoovers the target back around again. 

But imo (in my opinion) with some types of non’s (non-caretaker types or newly Out of the FOG types) the D=devalue stage is harsh enough for them to emotionally detach from/become numb to the PD’s devaluation of them, but still be physically present in the relationship.  When this occurs, the PD will add D=discard to the cycle in order to accomplish two things (my experience and therefore opinion): 

1. Attempt to emotionally injure the target by conveying the target is no longer needed.
 
2. Re-fortify the PD’s self-image (facade) that they are powerful, independent and desired by others. (Because the target is not responding with this necessary supply)

In the D=discard phase, it is my experience that both discard and devalue are interlaced together, as discard reinforces the devaluation in order to get the target to finally re-engage back so the cycle can start again.  Discard examples are standard ST=silent treatment (no eye contact, ignoring, door slamming, walking away, facial smirks, barely audible remarks to self, sexual withholding).  A ramped up version of ST’s is pretending the target does not exist, with intentional, visible actions and activities that are new for the PD (done so target recognizes its new) and push right up against the ‘affair’ boundary, such as questionable social media exploration, extended time away, hiding their phones from view and flipping phone/computer screens when target enters the room.  All these ST activities are ultimately attempting to ‘bait’ the target into asking “why?”, so the PD can unload a dump-truck of devaluation on the target and get them re-engaged in caretaking/pleasing.  The ultimate D=discard is a real emotional and/or physical (or both) affair.  I am currently in D=discard with my uPDw, and because im Out of the FOG, never getting hoovered back around.  Im emotionally detached while trying to uphold the 51% rule with an understanding of the 50% rule (both rules in the OOTF toolbox) with the rest of the toolbox fully engaged as best possible = living with a roommate. 

*My personal situation is very complex regarding a proactive departure on my part, as my BPD/NPD wife, in a very complex divorce by nature b/c of assets (and potentially intentionally maximum hurt attempt by my wife and her lawyers) would cause a lot of hardship for others who are a part of my business assets.  Therefore, my goal is for her to find a new supply target which may ease some of the potential legal hurt in a divorce.  But my wife’s hallmark trait is ‘Fear of Abandonment’ so imo, it would be VERY difficult and a unexpected event for her to have a real affair, because of her loathing the ‘abandonment’ of going through a divorce and the negative perception it causes on others in the family and outside our home (and on her reputation). 

Lastly, regarding IDD, i believe that there are smaller (short time, less intense) ID cycles inside larger (longer time, intense) ID cycles.  If a cycle reaches the last D=discard, the time span is the longest and most intense experience.  The FOGgy target, who may panic the first time they experience discard, may simply return to ID, ID, ID… until they come Out of the FOG. 

Maintenance Sex: 

As a trial, I originally tried to ‘match’ my wife's discard by doing to her, the same actions she was doing to me, so she could experience it herself.  But, because hypocrisy is so prevalent in PD’s, that trial led to explosive devaluation alongside harsh time/situational manipulation.  Frankly it wasn't worth my mental effort of the trial to deal with the rage and intensive, hurtful manipulation.  So therefore i have chosen the (imo) better alternative = indifference.  In the trial of matching discard, i also withheld sexual desire, just like she does, but hypocrisy led my PDwife to quickly confront me strongly on my lack of desired sex :stars: and harsh accusations of infidelity.  I also experience prostate infections if i dont “keep the pipes moving” lol my doctors words.   

Therefore, in my settling into ‘indifference’ within the perpetual D=discard, i purposefully initiate sex 1x per week, which helps to (my desire) perpetuate the discard.  It also keeps me from prostate infections and provides a brief supply need of ‘desire’ to my uPDw, which helps to perpetuate discard.  She has never initiated sex unless she wants something (some grand to-do, or grand purchase), because initiation is providing ‘desire’ to me and her PD drives her intense internal need to be desired, which nullifies anybody else’s needs.  Therefore, i call it ‘maintenance sex’. 

Hope that helps explain my prior writings and opinions on this thread.

SoT
« Last Edit: October 16, 2021, 11:45:18 AM by SonofThunder »
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

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11JB68

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2021, 04:19:20 PM »
Thx SOT...I have to come back and re-read this later.

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Gettintired76

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2021, 06:51:40 AM »
I ve been on that Good Times vs Bad Times rollercoaster, a lot. And I honestly thank OOTF for helping me find my way 6 yrs ago, and what I have learned from you all has helped me so much. How to distance her lovebombing, Ignore her gaslighting, medium chill her threats, and stand my ground for the sake of my sanity and my children's. There have been times I have let myself get "drawn in" its all too easy to do. But I think for a long time now I have know what she really is. As for maintenance sex, I know that one all to well also. 

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Justanotherlostgirl

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2021, 11:19:36 PM »
During fights I remember saying this to my stbx so many times:

“Where is the man that I married?”

There was always this hope in me for so long that that person was real. Finding OOTF and other forums, I’ve really come to the realization that this person never existed, they aren’t real. Actually, I’ve been chasing a ghost.

They always come back around to be that pretend person for a little while, to draw you back in and make you believe that person is there, but they aren’t.

My husband often remarks (and I’ve heard this from other people in these types of relationships) that his life is like a movie. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a character that he has created to draw people in. I’m sure he has many “characters” for friends, family, me etc. At the root of PD behavior is a person who was never able to truly form a “self”. They have a false self, a facade that allows them to function, but at the core of themselves, they are deeply broken. I have even visited forums where people with NPD talk about wearing their masks and how tiring that is. So it makes sense to me when I hear my stbx say he is a movie character.

There is one psychologist who is also diagnosed NPD, and it is his belief that NPD especially is somewhat like DID. In DID, the trauma the person experiences in childhood causes their personality to fracture into multiple different people as a protective mechanism. This psychologist posits that NPD is similar - I.e childhood trauma/neglect (or a combination of neglect and adoration by adults), causes the person with NPD to fracture their personality in two parts instead of multiple parts. Hearing this man talk about his experience made it very clear to me that actually the hurt/traumatized child is their real personality, and what we see is the personality which they have created. Therefore this personality can change at will and the PD can become a “character”, taking on different aspects of their fake personality at any time. As they feel like characters in a movie, it is just them playing their parts. All of this to say that the person you see glimpses of is truly NOT real - what is underneath, the unformed personality, is the true heart of the PD. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this person has changed. They haven’t. At their core, is a disturbed child whose personality has not fully formed. What you normally see is that child. They just play the parts to get their way when necessary. Actually the PD is very aware of doing this (unlike in DID, they know and remember that they do this), but they do it to feed their false self and their ego, even if they don’t understand why they do it. If they didn’t do this, they would fall apart, because they need to feed their false selves by creating the illusion they are a good person. If they don’t it will cause a narcissistic injury, which would further damage their false self, which is already deeply damaged. So they know they are doing this, but it is out of absolute necessity. They must do it. To keep up the facade and to keep their true ego from shattering. So once again, it’s about them. It isn’t even about the nonPD, or about changing to give the nonPD what they need to be happy, it is more about them keeping themselves intact.

This all really helped me to get myself OOTF and to really understand a lot of my stbx’s behaviors.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 11:55:05 PM by Justanotherlostgirl »

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Gettintired76

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2021, 02:14:23 AM »
Yes, I came to that realization along time she was just in denial, I knew she had many parts, the fractured child, the mean you know what, the good girlfriend, etc. and I never knew which one was really her. I never knew which one was going to show up either. I’ve know for a long time that everything she is only in he best interest, or strictly about what she wants. From complete love if not adoration to total abhorrence, it left me in som much turmoil for so long. I know the rollercoaster and movie all so well it seems I have  a season pass and have seen it reel to reel. But eh it seems she has found what she has always wanted in her new man, at least till his money drys up. Does anyone have one that swaps “parts” as were by the shows they watch?

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Gettintired76

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2021, 02:19:58 AM »
It was supposed to be “what she was”. But anyway, with my ex as crazy as it sounds, you knew what was coming by what she was watching. She started watching Buffy, Charmed and Bad Girls Club a couple months ago, and she usually does when she watches those she started demanding we break up, and then Fifty Shades of Gray and boom as usual she was seeing someone else. Just wondering if anyone has someone that goes like that.

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Justanotherlostgirl

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2021, 03:04:27 AM »
It was supposed to be “what she was”. But anyway, with my ex as crazy as it sounds, you knew what was coming by what she was watching. She started watching Buffy, Charmed and Bad Girls Club a couple months ago, and she usually does when she watches those she started demanding we break up, and then Fifty Shades of Gray and boom as usual she was seeing someone else. Just wondering if anyone has someone that goes like that.

Yes, getting tired, I relate to this very much. My husband watched Ozark and suddenly he is a bad ass drug dealer persona. He watches a tv series about love, suddenly he is love bombing the shit out of me. They just like the character and fall into that persona, and not only that, but now they can pull it up whenever they want to, it has become a part of them.

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Lauren17

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2021, 03:08:10 AM »
JALG, the description you wrote up was fantastic. Thank you.
My stbxh also mimics characters from movies. Less in actions than in words.
One of my most memorable early OOTF moments was when I realized conversations we’d had when dating were actually him reciting lines from 80’s movies.
I’ve cried a thousand rivers. And now I’m swimming for the shore” (adapted from I’ll be there for you)

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Gettintired76

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2021, 04:25:25 AM »
Wow I never realized it was so common, my ex starts watching bad girls club she’s suddenly single again guzzling booze cussing me like a sailor. It’s bizarre how that works. What’s sad is she has our 10 yr old doing now. I know she has someone she love texting and whatnot because she starts playing the love songs and watching the fifty shades movies, then telling me how awful I am, all my short comings, etc. Like she’s trying to convince herself she is in the right for what she doing, the funny one is no matter what the topic of conversation is she pop off the she did not cheat she is not a cheater, again like she is trying to keep convincing herself.

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SonofThunder

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2021, 10:06:08 AM »
During fights I remember saying this to my stbx so many times:

“Where is the man that I married?”

There was always this hope in me for so long that that person was real. Finding OOTF and other forums, I’ve really come to the realization that this person never existed, they aren’t real. Actually, I’ve been chasing a ghost.

They always come back around to be that pretend person for a little while, to draw you back in and make you believe that person is there, but they aren’t.

My husband often remarks (and I’ve heard this from other people in these types of relationships) that his life is like a movie. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a character that he has created to draw people in. I’m sure he has many “characters” for friends, family, me etc. At the root of PD behavior is a person who was never able to truly form a “self”. They have a false self, a facade that allows them to function, but at the core of themselves, they are deeply broken. I have even visited forums where people with NPD talk about wearing their masks and how tiring that is. So it makes sense to me when I hear my stbx say he is a movie character.

There is one psychologist who is also diagnosed NPD, and it is his belief that NPD especially is somewhat like DID. In DID, the trauma the person experiences in childhood causes their personality to fracture into multiple different people as a protective mechanism. This psychologist posits that NPD is similar - I.e childhood trauma/neglect (or a combination of neglect and adoration by adults), causes the person with NPD to fracture their personality in two parts instead of multiple parts. Hearing this man talk about his experience made it very clear to me that actually the hurt/traumatized child is their real personality, and what we see is the personality which they have created. Therefore this personality can change at will and the PD can become a “character”, taking on different aspects of their fake personality at any time. As they feel like characters in a movie, it is just them playing their parts. All of this to say that the person you see glimpses of is truly NOT real - what is underneath, the unformed personality, is the true heart of the PD. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this person has changed. They haven’t. At their core, is a disturbed child whose personality has not fully formed. What you normally see is that child. They just play the parts to get their way when necessary. Actually the PD is very aware of doing this (unlike in DID, they know and remember that they do this), but they do it to feed their false self and their ego, even if they don’t understand why they do it. If they didn’t do this, they would fall apart, because they need to feed their false selves by creating the illusion they are a good person. If they don’t it will cause a narcissistic injury, which would further damage their false self, which is already deeply damaged. So they know they are doing this, but it is out of absolute necessity. They must do it. To keep up the facade and to keep their true ego from shattering. So once again, it’s about them. It isn’t even about the nonPD, or about changing to give the nonPD what they need to be happy, it is more about them keeping themselves intact.

This all really helped me to get myself OOTF and to really understand a lot of my stbx’s behaviors.

JALG,

this is an excellent post and observations/comparisons. 

Its amazing just how fragile our PD’s are and in a way, sad that they must “keep up the facade to keep their true ego from shattering”.  I have to remind myself of the ‘three C’s rule’ often or i can find myself over-compassionate toward my uPDw’s personality handicap of underdevelopment because it causes me to let my toolbox guard down a bit and then ‘wham!!’ Im t-boned by devaluation and/or manipulation. 

SoT
Proverbs 17:1
A meal of bread and water in contented peace is better than a banquet spiced with quarrels.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

*

Justanotherlostgirl

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Re: So confusing when he is behaving well
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2021, 10:52:41 AM »
During fights I remember saying this to my stbx so many times:

“Where is the man that I married?”

There was always this hope in me for so long that that person was real. Finding OOTF and other forums, I’ve really come to the realization that this person never existed, they aren’t real. Actually, I’ve been chasing a ghost.

They always come back around to be that pretend person for a little while, to draw you back in and make you believe that person is there, but they aren’t.

My husband often remarks (and I’ve heard this from other people in these types of relationships) that his life is like a movie. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a character that he has created to draw people in. I’m sure he has many “characters” for friends, family, me etc. At the root of PD behavior is a person who was never able to truly form a “self”. They have a false self, a facade that allows them to function, but at the core of themselves, they are deeply broken. I have even visited forums where people with NPD talk about wearing their masks and how tiring that is. So it makes sense to me when I hear my stbx say he is a movie character.

There is one psychologist who is also diagnosed NPD, and it is his belief that NPD especially is somewhat like DID. In DID, the trauma the person experiences in childhood causes their personality to fracture into multiple different people as a protective mechanism. This psychologist posits that NPD is similar - I.e childhood trauma/neglect (or a combination of neglect and adoration by adults), causes the person with NPD to fracture their personality in two parts instead of multiple parts. Hearing this man talk about his experience made it very clear to me that actually the hurt/traumatized child is their real personality, and what we see is the personality which they have created. Therefore this personality can change at will and the PD can become a “character”, taking on different aspects of their fake personality at any time. As they feel like characters in a movie, it is just them playing their parts. All of this to say that the person you see glimpses of is truly NOT real - what is underneath, the unformed personality, is the true heart of the PD. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this person has changed. They haven’t. At their core, is a disturbed child whose personality has not fully formed. What you normally see is that child. They just play the parts to get their way when necessary. Actually the PD is very aware of doing this (unlike in DID, they know and remember that they do this), but they do it to feed their false self and their ego, even if they don’t understand why they do it. If they didn’t do this, they would fall apart, because they need to feed their false selves by creating the illusion they are a good person. If they don’t it will cause a narcissistic injury, which would further damage their false self, which is already deeply damaged. So they know they are doing this, but it is out of absolute necessity. They must do it. To keep up the facade and to keep their true ego from shattering. So once again, it’s about them. It isn’t even about the nonPD, or about changing to give the nonPD what they need to be happy, it is more about them keeping themselves intact.

This all really helped me to get myself OOTF and to really understand a lot of my stbx’s behaviors.

JALG,

this is an excellent post and observations/comparisons. 

Its amazing just how fragile our PD’s are and in a way, sad that they must “keep up the facade to keep their true ego from shattering”.  I have to remind myself of the ‘three C’s rule’ often or i can find myself over-compassionate toward my uPDw’s personality handicap of underdevelopment because it causes me to let my toolbox guard down a bit and then ‘wham!!’ Im t-boned by devaluation and/or manipulation. 

SoT

Completely agree SoT. Actually when I first starting talking about this with my therapist, she asked me “don’t you feel bad for him?” I was angry about that at first, because I spent so much time feeling bad for him and his childhood, and trying to give him all the things he wasn’t given. After a while, I just started feeling indifference, I find it hard to feel sorry for him anymore.

Just like your wife, my husband has a very strong fear of abandonment. He was abandoned pretty much by his mother when he was young. She was always working, entertaining men, and never available. And again in his teens, he was shipped off to another country for his bad behavior. He sometimes talked about how much that hurt him. So I made it a point to not leave, thinking I could help him and show him that.

Once I started understanding NPD, and that the person I met is not a person at all, only a character, I realized he would never change back, because he wasn’t real to begin with. It was so shocking, but also so eye opening how fragile they are. I wish I could have helped him as a child - but I can’t. That time has passed. There is nothing, not a thing any of us can do to bring back a person who never existed. It’s sad, but the toolbox is so helpful, and all we can do to keep ourselves sane until we can escape from it.