Am I the Narcissist?

Here’s a really fucked up thing about being married to a man with NPD. I used to find myself constantly second-guessing myself. Too often, I would find myself worrying over (more like panicking, fearing, being terrified of finding out) one, horrifying question. The answer to which frightened me- even more than answer to “Am I married to a narcissist?” And what was this more-terrifying question? It was this: ?

“After all these years, the line separating where the narcissist ends and I begin,
seems to have gotten a little blurry.”

I know, it sounds crazy, right? How do you not know if you’re the abuser, or the abused? Any fool could tell the difference between the two…right? Well, it’s not always that black-and-white because, some days, I wasn’t sure who was who anymore. And, that, really freaked me out. The one thing that kept me from totally losing my shit was knowing that, if I was a narcissist, I wouldn’t have been wondering whether, or not, I was a narcissist.

See, I’d read probably a hundred lists, detailing all of the signs, symptoms, warnings, and red flags. To be quite frank- I fit a lot of those descriptions. Especially, after years of slowly deteriorating character & emotional maturity. But, then again, I felt like my reasonsfor why I fit those descriptions was totally explainable. And simple….it was because of him! 

Ah, but there, again, was another sign of …not taking accountability. Was it any wonder I was so confused? And, not a little panicky about the whole thing? It’s enough to make your head spin, really. That’s exactly why I felt this post needed to be written. I’m sure I’m not the only woman out there who has been confused about this. OR, the only woman who has worried herself, almost to death, thinking that maybe SHE is the problem in the relationship. I want you to have absolute clarity on this. And thus..this post.

Am I the narcissist?

I admit, I don’t really have some super-brilliant formula, or anything to share. Mostly, I thought I’d share my different experiences, and thoughts because, I think that is what most of you could probably relate to most, I guess. For example, on this one site, I read that a sign that you’re with a narcissist is that he won’t let you get a word in edge-wise, during an argument. He believes that his point of view is the “one and only right one”, and there is no need for you to even speak, because you’re already wrong.

I admit it. I did this. Not to everyone, though. Only to my husband, and only when he was lying to me, or trying to gaslight me- which was pretty often…OK, almost always. Nevertheless, I thought, if I was not the narcissist, wouldn’t I have given him the basic consideration of being able to finish a sentence? The answer is, NO.

If someone is purposely trying to manipulate you, or is perpetrating verbal abuse (which I think lying is a form of), then you have a right to not have to listen to it. THAT was the whole reason why I hardly ever let him speak. Not because I believed he had nothing worthwhile ever to say but, because he only opened his mouth to spew lies, vitriol, and abuse. Cutting him off was not narcissistic, or abusive (as he liked to pretend), but rather it was simply me, exercising my right to not be subjected to verbal abuse.

Another sign that you’re a narcissist is not having empathy for others. Like, during an argument, if you don’t make an attempt to understand the other person’s point of view. That was another sign I found myself guilty of. Again, it was only with my husband. Of course, the narcissist’s behavior is only present with his spouse. So, that wasn’t really helpful but, there was one important factor to consider.

When I’m debating someone, other than my husband, I do actually take the time to hear their point of view. I really try to understand where they’re coming from. And, for the most part, I have very few enemies because, I generally AM able to see where another person is coming from. That’s empathy, which narcissist’s don’t have.

 

Another example of a sign of narcissism, that I fit pretty damn good…is that whole “sense of grandiosity” thing, I guess. Not just because I happen to be a smarty pants (a.k.a. insufferable know-it-all), but I am also convinced that I am destined for greatness, somehow. I believe that, in some way, I will change the world. I believe I have special talents, and that, if I apply myself enough, that I will achieve something that no one else has ever done, nor even attempted (as far as I know). I believe that it is my destiny to do this thing.

So, does that make me a narcissist? I don’t think so. For one, I don’t believe that I AM great, while still having accomplished nothing. Two, I believe that IF I work hard, and achieve real-world results, THEN I could possibly make history…someday…maybe. Three, I don’t expect people to treat me as though I’ve won the Nobel Prize already, when all I’ve done is write a few blog posts. (LOL) If I were a true narcissist, I would be under the impression that I was entitled to the “special, I-just-made-history treatment” NOW…before having ever accomplished anything. That’s the difference.

I think that, should you happen to be wondering if you’re the narcissist, or not, the big idea to take away from this is that, when you’re a narcissist, you’re unconscious of your behaviors. Now, that doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t know what you’re doing. You would…you just wouldn’t comprehend the “why” part, of the doing it, and so it all gets twisted, and reality gets a little tweaked, and your motives are rationalized to the point where you actually believe what you’re saying.

So, now here’s the million dollar question………

Do I believe all these things about myself because they are based on actual reality? Do I say I’m smart because I’ve got the IQ to back it up? (yes) And do I believe that I’m entitled to special accolades because I’m destined to change the world? (Nope. I don’t actually even believe that I’d be entitled to special treatment if I do succeed in changing the world. Though, I can’t lie…a little recognition would be nice- LOL)

I guess the reality is that I DO exhibit a lot of narcissistic behaviors. We ALL do. But, the litmus test of narcissism is one simple question: Do you care enough to try to find out the truth? Are you seriously concerned that it might be YOU with the problem to the extent that you’re looking up signs and symptoms to see if there are behaviors you need to change within yourself?  If so, then you are NOT A NARCISSIST.

A true narcissist would never condescend to research whether there was something wrong with his behavior. True narcissists do NOT even think to question whether what they’re doing to you is wrong, or hurtful. It’s what they do, so it must be right. Period. End of story.

I leave you today, with a word of warning, though. A lot of my “narcissistic behaviors” I have justified by saying that I only exhibit those behaviors in the presence of my husband. And, I only do those things, or act in that way as a defense. But, really, if I’m honest with myself (and, I think if you were honest with yourself, too), then regardless of HIS behavior, bad behavior on my part isn’t justifiable. In other words, just because he’s a dick, doesn’t excuse me from acting like one too. The way I see it…

“An ‘eye for an eye’ mentality will leave both of you blind. And, then,
how long before both of you are narcissists?”

To healthy narcissism,

~ The Narcissist’s Wife

Are there that YOU display, or that have made you nervous that you might be the narcissist in your relationship? Need some reassurance that you’re NOT a narcissist? What was the sign that really freaked you out the most? Let’s talk!

Hi. I’m Story Lynne, (a.k.a. The Narcissist’s Wife). Nice to meet you. I’m the mother of 4 amazing kids, the (soon-to-be-ex) wife of a narcissist, and the author of this blog. I’m also a teacher, a healer, an intuitive empath, and Angel Card Reader.
I love fairies, angels, the color pink, anything sparkly, and Legos. (the Elves are my absolute favorites). I also love fixing cars, building shit, and shooting my bow (as in, bow and arrow).

29 Comments

  • I am in the process of leaving my other half now. I have thought I was losing my mind until one day the word narcissist popped into my head. I am educated, smart, funny, and a very strong, independent woman. Always have been. But now, after only a little over a year with him, I find myself sad, depressed, alone, isolated, rarely laughing and so insecure that I don’t recognize myself. I have thought I was losing my mind, that I was a bad person for being who I was. I have made some very poor life choices and done things that I am not proud of because of his emotional and verbal abuse, and games. He refrains from physical, I think because he knows that wouldn’t work on me. So he uses what he does know works, and has had me so messed up that I am barely a shadow of who I was. I have a plan in motion to leave, and know that once I am back in my circle, I will be ok, physically….. Emotionally and mentally are gonna take some time. Thank you for these blogs and sharing your story. I am using my experience to earn a BA in Psychology so that I can help on a different scale. I don’t want another person to ever feel alone or that they aren’t good enough, because I have now lived it and I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.

  • I’m glad you posted this because I have at moments thought that maaaybe I was the one that was flipping things. But then again a narcissist is very good at making you feel like you’re the crazy one.
    Now I’ve been reassured by you that I’m not. Thank you!

    • I’m so happy to hear that! That is why I write, and why I’ve spent the last few years of my life, dedicating almost every single day, researching and studying and learning all I can about everything from psychology and personality disorders, to at tamest and emotional intelligence… To help my sisters relieve the pain, and heal themselves/their families.

      Thanks so much for reading my posts and taking the time to comment. It’s the best encouragement I could ever receive.

      Be sure to check out today’s post … It’s an absolute MUST SEE for anyone in a narcissistic relationship, or has survived one, and is truly ready to heal the pain, in order to move on to a more peaceful life filled with joy and love.

      There’s hope yet,
      ~The Narcissist’s Wife

  • Anonymous

    OMG! I went so far as to tell one of my bloggies that I thought I was the narcissist instead of my ex (Loser.)
    After living with him for forty years, I guess some of him did rub off on me. I know I perfected the “silent treatment.” He would not come home for dinner or anything else, for that matter, and when he did he would smell like beer. He had been at the bar…probably with one of his tramps.
    I’d get mad and he’d get mad at me for being mad at him. He of course was over it in a few minutes and expected me to be as well. I wouldn’t speak to him for days. It really pissed him off but he never took any accountability for how he made me feel.
    I know the silent treatment is a sign of narcissism so I thought “hell….I must be one.”
    One thing I didn’t do however, was proclaim to be God…like he did.

    • Sometimes, it’s scary how much their behavior rubs off on us… Or, how much our own behavior deteriorates when with them. A lot of it is done through projective identification but, just as much of it- I believe- is there hidden inside of us lurking….and I, for one, am glad I was made aware of what I need to clean out of my closets, so to speak- LOL

      I’m glad you never wholly fell for it πŸ˜‰

  • Linda

    OMG. This post and the comments are exactly how I feel and what I am going through. And do you feel like you really can’t explain this to anyone. I don’t think anyone can truly understand what we go through. So I stopped trying to convenience anyone (and very few even know anything). I now have decided to take my life back. Little by little. I am working on healing me and waiting until I have my FULL strength back to fight him big time. What keeps me going is that he thinks he has one over on me. Little does he knows what’s coming. I’m getting finances in order and waiting for my last two children get into college. Two more years. I am acting as if nothing is too terribly wrong now because I can’t have my kids screwed up like I am because of him. They already know things are bad and it’s already affected my 20 year old. By the way I have a question. Should I see if he might need a psychiatrist? I am seeing one myself because of all the damage he has done to me over the past 25 years. Today my doctor suggested I should have my son talk to someone. I never thought of this so I’m just sharing it with you. You might have the same situation. My biggest concern now is not me because I have given myself permission to not let him get to me any longer. But I wonder what affect this has on the children. Does anyone have adult children and how are they doing. My top priority is to ensure he is never alone with the kids because I know he can say some sick things to them. THANK YOU THENARCISSISTSWIFE AND for everyone who comments. You have no idea how this is helping me. Every night I get in bed and I read this. Helps me feel good and helps me sleep better. He works second shift so I’m in heaven during this time already.

    • I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comments. I’m so glad this helps you! Thank you,thank you, thank you.

      As to your question: I’m afraid I don’t have a very happy answer. Children of narcissists usually suffer one of two fates: They ether end up being narcissists themselves, or they become victims of narcissists in their adult intimate relationships. Of course, that isn’t 100%, ALWAYS the case…but often enough to be a pretty assumed outcome.

      There ARE things you can do to help your children understand what is going on & heal the damage….and it all starts with you. I know it can be a very controversial point of view but, I advocate for talking to your children about what NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is and how it affects people. I absolutely, 100%, do NOT , under ANY circumstance, advocate bashing the father, or bad-mouthing him, putting him down, etc. That is always harmful to a child- regardless of their age, or the situation.

      I have made enough screw-ups during this process to feel like I’ve finally found a good balance. When anything absurd, hurtful, abusive, or even criminal occurs, I talk with my children, in age-appropriate language (my kids are still young) about it. But, I also try to do so in the most loving, compassionate way possible.

      I can explain how someone with a personality disorder sees the world differently than we do yet, at the same time, also explain that- while it’s not okay to let someone hurt us- we must always have compassion for those that do. I explain that it is always the people who act like they don’t love us, or that they don’t need love from us, who desperately need our love the most. Not in any way that would put us in harm’s way- emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually- but in whatever way we can give that love, and from whatever distance we need to safely give that love from. Even if it’s praying for their father every night. Or sometimes, meditating together and visualizing a beautiful circle of golden-pink, healing light around him… sending our love and protection to him.

      It’s a very hard line to balance, for obvious reasons…and especially when like, in my case, we were just abandoned without a word- and my kid’s father calls MAYBE once a week- if not less, and then pulls a no-show a lot of the time, after promising the kids he’ll be there “tomorrow” to pick them up. It’s very hard to convincingly lie to the kids and say, “Oh, Daddy loves you. Daddy cares about you so much.”

      Number one, I know that that is the common philosophy- “Don’t ever say anything negative about a child’s parent, and so on” and hey, I’m all for that- if those negative things are either (a) lies, (b) an spouses bitter opinions, or (c) saying the “negative” thing serves no protective purpose.

      In the case of the narcissist, I don’t feel that the above applies, and I figure…can you possibly imagine how damaging it would be to try to convince my kids of how their father’s abusive, neglectful behavior is”loving them”????!!! In my opinion, that ranks right up there with telling little girls that little Jimmy is mean to them because he likes her. Say what?
      I think it’s just teaching them that abuse is love, and furthermore dooming them to a life of abuse. I can’t stand for that…at all. I do NOT want my children believing that they way their father has acted, either now- or in the past- is IN ANY WAY what true, reciprocal, respectful, honoring, enriching, supportive, kind, trustworthy love looks like…EVER.

      As far as seeing a therapist, or some other professional is concerned, that is really a personal call for your 20-year-old. A word of caution though… there are more than a few narcissists in the mental health profession (along with law enforcement, and business) and so, I would make sure that the person your son(?) is seeing has a lot of experience dealing the targets of narcissistic abuse. I would look for a therapist who acknowledges Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome as a real issue, and who also is willing to treat C-PTSD.
      That’s a good way to tell if the person is a legit healer of abuse, or not. Many professionals do not acknowledge C-PTSD or Narcissistic Abuse Victim Syndrome.

      I am of the mind, personally, that the best thing we can do for our children is to learn the skills we should have been taught as children ourselves, so that we we help guide them in learning these skills for themselves too. In short, I think that leading by example is a powerful thing.

      Also, I would suggest letting your kids see you taking responsibility for your part in the relationship, forgiving yourself & the narc, learning about your own E.Q., and etc. (basically, all the skills I outline on my “Healing From Narcissistic Abuse Page”) Let them see you doing these things, and allow them to work through learning these skills for themselves, too. I would also suggest trying to emphasize that whatever feelings that they may be feeling at any given time, isn’t wrong or bad.
      My son was so angry at his step-father, that he started talking about some pretty hateful things. I could’ve lectured him on how that wasn’t very Christian behavior, or whatever…but instead, I actually just told him that he was right to feel those things. Not because I thought he literally wanted the things he said to ever really come to pass. But, I explained to him that feeling angry, even enraged, or vengeful, or even hateful was his spirit’s way of healing those feelings. (We feel what we are healing) and so it was a good thing that all that stuff was coming to the surface. It was being let go from his consciousness so he wouldn’t have to carry it around with him his whole life.
      Together we wrote down the worst things that his step-father did on note cards… stuff that my son was really enraged about…and then I lead him through the process of, what I call, “Warrioress Forgiveness”, or in his case “Ninja-Master-Level Forgiveness”…then we burned the cards… just because it was fun to do.

      Anyhow, WOW! I’ve just rambled on forever here…sorry about that…ha ha ha…

      I hope this gives you some help. You can also check out a few posts I wrote about Protecting Your Children From the Narcissist. I’m adding the posts to the ‘Healing’Page right now, so you can just select them from the menu. Be warned, they are not edited yet, to account for some major learning I’ve acquired since writing those…but it’s a start, if you’re looking for some direction πŸ™‚

      Thanks again for your support. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.
      ~The Narcissist’s Wife

    • I think it’s part of the mind-f*cking… They poke and prod and incite, until we explode under the strain of enduring such un-endurable treatment.
      Then, we end up behaving in ways that we would have been HORRIFIED to even IMAGINE before we fell in love with our narcissist. We end up acting LIKE THEM….
      In order to avoid total annihilation, and defend against the ignorant cruelty, you use their tactics against them- hoping and praying that JUST MAYBE they will see how BADLY the things they do hurt us…
      Of course, they SEE the hurtful behavior…but ONLY when YOU do it. They will always have a million excuses for why they are excused from doing those things to you.
      I continue to hope and pray that there is some way to break through the fog… If there is, I WILL find it.
      Until then, keep your head up… And take care of yourself. Forgive yourself…

  • This is so funny. As I was reading this, I felt like I was reading about how I have often times doubted myself and I couldnt help but question and feel ashamed about what I was possibly accusing my husband of being. AM I the narcissist?? And if I actually am, am I willing to admit it? Hell no! Not to him, anyway. He’d LOOOOVE that, because he’s been telling me that the things that he does to me that I call him on everday, are all “in my head.” He’s really good at making me feel crazy.

    Do I think I’m always right? Umm…pretty much. I’m the logical one in this houshold. I’m the one who is always douted on every turn. Nothing I say is ever right or even matters to him. Heck, I read books! He barely will pick up a book unless its about hunting and killing a poor old dear! How dare he question me on how to raise our 16 year old when I am taking tips stratight out of and straight off web sites that tell me how to handle a my child!? He lets our son (who suffers from and has been diagnosed as have Oppositional Defiance Disorder) do whatever he wants (including disrespect me!!) I have been told by every psychiatist, councelor, and psychologist professional that or son could end up in juvenile hall if we (my husband and I) do not get on the same page, support each other and discipline our son. But It seems to go in one ear and out the other with my husband. I’m sitting her trying to discipline our son, make him respect not only us but others, make him accountable for his actions, make him suffer the consequences for his actions (grounding), while my husband sits there and does absolutely nothing. NOW who sounds like the dumbass? Sure is not me!

    When I try to “discuss” things with my husband, I am immediately accused of starting an arguement and either I’m interrupted as if what he has to say is more important than what I’m trying to say or he disrespectfully walks out of the room leaving me to feel like a wife “without a voice.” So nothing ever ever ever gets resolved.

    Is it the fact that everytime that I do something he thinks he NEEDS to come along and push his opinion it, and I ignore it consider me being narcisistic? I wouldnt think so. I’m just sick and tired of him thinking he knows it all. Cause I know it all! -LOL! I’m just kidding ya’ll, I don’t know it all, however if I wanted his opinion, I’d ask for it. But I woulnt ask HIM, because if I did, he’d get an ego as big as Sigmund Freud (bwahahah!! yeh right!) and turn into a friggin a-hole.

    Naaaaa, he’s the narcsissist, not me.

    • Yes… He definitely is.
      Somewhere inside of them, they can sense your integrity, and honor. They KNOW you are an honest, and gentle soul…so there is a victory in being able to incite us into a rage…It brings us to their level. Equalizes their shame- for the moment.
      I don’t think it’s so much about power, as it is about mitigating the painful feelings of shame and self-loathing.
      The more severe the abuse, the more your reactions deteriorate…the more you start acting JUST LIKE THEM. And then, they don’t have to feel so inferior…so defective…
      When I look at my own situation, I see how all the good things about me- the things he was first attracted to so much- those are all the qualities that he has now spent years systematically breaking down. (I’m healing them back now though- so take THAT! HA!)

    • were you able to complete this case study? Can you help me and explain your step by step process to do the case study on the input and output shLfst?aet me know.. Thank you

  • You’re tired and need some No Contact time. If a magical fairy took him out of the country for a month, you would remember who you are. And yes, you will change the world in some amazingly amazing way – but first you have to remove the cancer… and you know it.

    • Yes, I do know it. You can’t be anything but sick, when you fill your heart and home with something toxic.
      My plan is to heal myself, and keep working at it, bit by bit, until I gain some of that strength back. I don’t EVER want to leave again, only to come slinking back, tail between my legs, like always. This time, I do nothin, until I KNOW, FOR SURE, that I’ve got the strength and the wherewithal to carry it through.

      Thank you for caring enough to share your thoughts… XO

  • These are normal reactions to ABNORMAL (not to mention cruel) treatment. I sometimes scream and cry and insult and mock. I feel so ashamed after, because I have never been like this. But somehow, it makes me feel like what he does to me doesn’t quite so much. It’s like I can either be angry, or broken hearted… So I choose anger.

    It also helps me to convince myself that, if I’m fighting back… Then in not really just “taking it”. It’s a pretty lie I tell myself.

    Be gentle with yourself. No one is perfect, and you’re under unbearable stress. Don’t beat yourself up and feel like the abuser. Just keep reminding yourself that these are “normal” reactions to abnormal treatment. And hey, as long as you’re still fighting back in some way… I think that’s good 😊

    • I was woendring if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

      • The Narcissist's Wife

        YES!!
        Omg…I’m desperately trying to restructure everything. Shorten all this crap…ha ha ha. It’s just slow going…I’m no web designer, and I have been fighting some health issues these past few months….I’m on it though… I promise! Easier content and navigation coming soon….LOL

    • The Narcissist's Wife

      Oh god… Shit.. I know how that goes. It feels fucking awful. But you’ll come up soon. I know it. I can feel it coming in the air tonight…ha ha ha ha

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