Narcissism Cured?

It’s Narcissist Friday!

 

Not long ago I suggested that narcissism was becoming the new “fad” diagnosis.  It does explain much of what we see in our culture and in our relationships and narcissists are often extreme characters.  Those who struggle in narcissistic relationships often have dramatic and tragic stories to tell.  And narcissism is often confused with egotism and other personality issues.  Add to this the intense longing victims have for help and you have the formula for marketing success.

There is a great deal of information about narcissism on the web, just like there is for many of the diseases and relationship issues regular people face.  One website that has been called to my attention is narcissismcured.com.  It is a platform for Kim and Steve C.  Of the several books sold through the website, the primary one on their story and solutions for narcissism is “Back from the Looking Glass.”

I always appreciate new resources.  This one concerns me.  I learned about this resource through a comment left on this blog, but I held the comment until I could purchase and read this book.  Here are some of my thoughts.

Narcissism is a multi-faceted problem.  One of the more important things I have learned is that solutions that work for one person or relationship may not easily transfer to another.  The Cs identified a problem in their relationship that they consider to be narcissism and found ways to deal with it.  There are many things on their website and in their book that will be helpful to some people.  To others it will bring more discouragement and condemnation.  This is why I really cannot endorse their work.  Some of the things I will mention are just things that concern me.  But I know the desire some readers have for a solution to their problem and a cure for their marriage.  I know that some would be happy to part with all kinds of money to follow the suggestions of the Cs.  I also am confident that, for many, this money would not only be wasted but would purchase more trouble.

Here are some concerns.  You are welcome to disagree or ignore or whatever.

  1.  A website called narcissismcured.com is almost comical in its marketing promise.  The suggestion that the Cs have stumbled onto something or have invented something missed by generations of therapists seems a little much.
  2. The website is built like the intense marketing websites that promise solutions to health, dating, and sexual performance.  There are many things to purchase.  Some free information is shared, but it all leads back to the obviously primary focus on sales.  Now, I understand that people have a right to sell information and that this is a legitimate style of marketing.  Many of the points of the free information are genuinely helpful.  But this will seem almost mercenary to many people.
  3. The booklet is short, just fifty pages or so, and may be difficult for people who care about the details of good writing.  It is a personal success story with the author’s opinions on what worked and why.  For those who are in narcissistic relationships, there is some basic and powerful information about boundaries and how to use authority.  Those who purchase it will find some useful information about how to confront narcissism in a marriage relationship, but will probably be disappointed at the cost/value ratio.
  4. Of course, my perspective stems from Christian thoughts.  This book does not share that view and I think it falls short of providing the real cure for narcissism in Jesus Christ.  Now, that’s my perspective.  I am entitled to it and you are entitled to disagree.

So far these are style or philosophical concerns.  I found it a little disconcerting to find a hard marketing approach to a problem that has hurt so many so deeply.  But the value isn’t in the marketing, but in the content.  Unfortunately, I have some concerns with that as well.

  1.  It is difficult to believe this story.  I am sorry to say that.  There is something off in the telling.  It may be that the author avoided too much of the negative.  It may be that her solutions are a little too familiar.  I am not saying that it is fiction or a lie; just that it is off somehow.  When something is hard to believe, it becomes a difficult source for learning.
  2. Apparently some have doubted that the husband was actually a narcissist.  I did not find where they had received a professional diagnosis, but the author rejects anything less than a full NPD situation.  From the little that is written by the husband as affirmation in the book, it seems to me that he shows too much empathy to be narcissistic.  That may be the result of hindsight, but he writes as though he actually understood and valued her needs at the time.  He was glad that certain actions were taken to hold him in check, for example; and he was glad that she was taking the opportunity to stand up and grow in herself.  This is hardly narcissistic character.  It seems much more likely that this was a troubled individual who had to learn some limitations and deal with his avoidance issues.
  3. The primary mechanism for change in this relationship appears to be some kind of re-parenting for the narcissist.  That is the word used in the text. This approach is questionable at best and I would never consider expecting a wife to do this for her husband.  The definition of a marriage relationship would seem incompatible with this approach.  Perhaps a counselor or an older guide of some kind could do this, but a wife?
  4. The wife in this story seems almost super-human.  Yes, it is obvious that this was a struggle, but the success is powerful.  Her tenacity and personal strength must have been off the chart.  I cannot help but admire her dedication to the marriage and her faithfulness to her husband, but the way she takes over his life would be difficult for a normal person.  A narcissist would recoil at such intimidating control.  Now, again, this is my opinion.  Perhaps she is right about the need to control his friends, his time, and almost everything else in his life and perhaps some narcissists would agree to that control.  It does boggle the mind, though.
  5. Although the promise is the cure of narcissism, the result seems to be a change from narcissistic behavior.  I have always believed that this was possible through strong and enforced boundaries.  Narcissists have needs and when the supply of those needs is tied to behavioral change, they can comply.  They may even do so willingly and positively.  But this is not the same as a cure for narcissism.  The book does address the need for perspective change in the narcissist, from being afraid to being secure in love, for example.  I think the author understands some of the core issues of narcissism and tries to suggest ways to deal with those issues.  However, since it seems doubtful that the husband actually was a narcissist, the cure may be simple behavior modification.

That’s just a few of my concerns with this book and website.  You are free to judge for yourself.  I appreciate learning of new resources and am happy to look them over, but I won’t blindly pass them on.  If you want to get the C’s book, go to Amazon and save a little money.  But you could save your money altogether.

While this is not a resource I would recommend, you might find some help there.  Look over the free articles before buying anything and look with a critical eye.  The practical steps suggested are helpful for those who need to know how to protect themselves.  My primary concern is that someone would read this and become even more discouraged and shamed.  The idea that you just have to do a certain number of steps to cure someone’s narcissism and save your marriage is a message that can make someone feel even more of a failure.  Believing that there is a way and that you cannot measure up to the competence or strength needed may make you very discouraged.

The bottom line is what we have talked about so often.  It is certainly not mandatory that you give up on your narcissist.  Some have chosen to live with their difficult person.  But you will find more success if you set solid boundaries, backed by strength greater than your own.  Be willing to use law enforcement.  Be willing to have a safe place to go.  Be willing to plan ways to stop the abuse.  Understanding the narcissist’s needs may allow you to do this through negotiation.  Whatever you do, seek to be healthy.

 

(Kim Cooper has sent a nice note, which I have included in the comments below.  Since I directly addressed the ministry and web presence she and Steve have, it seems fair that she has this opportunity to respond.  Please scroll to my comment on February 14, 2017 for her note.)

26 Comments

Filed under Narcissism

26 responses to “Narcissism Cured?

  1. I looked at their website just long enough to see that they’re selling a book to teach you how to create empathy in your partner. That was enough for me. When I decided to divorce my husband, he had managed to live 50 years without developing any empathy. He had a wife and five children and never developed any empathy. I don’t think a $15 “picture book primer” would have made a difference.

    I think those people are trying to make money from the I-want-to-save-my-marriage crowd. Sadly, it will be about as successful as “How to Save Your Marriage Alone”–lots of sales, not many marriages saved.

  2. Victoria

    Greetings!

    I too stumbled upon the site long ago! I quickly dismissed the couples claim. They did not seem “real” for there was way to much happiness (in a Narcissssit relationship) to their claim!! I can not imagine conforming to the Narcissist traits. It would truly be death for my psyche and soul.
    God does not us to suffer.

    Question, what are your thoughts on mental stress and diseases such as cancer, or other aliments when exposé long term?

  3. Your words and strength are always so helpful. I love your grounded approach to the issue of narcissism- which can be so fatiguing and overwhelming. Thank you. (P.S. From what I have witnessed, I do not see that narcissism can be “cured” by such an approach).

  4. Fellow Survivor

    With true narcissists, if you set a boundary they don’t like, they will just ignore it. If you enforce the boundary with consequences they don’t like, they just leave. You either have to have something they need or want or some bit of information that can harm their reputation for them to respect your boundary. The problem is that if you have something they need or want, that something isn’t you. Its your social status, your paycheck, your car, whatever it is, its not you.

    That’s what hurts so much. We had a relationship with another human being. They had a relationship with our stuff. If a woman marries a man for his money and in later years the money is lost, then the relationship is over because she married the money, not him. If a man marries a woman because of her beauty and in later years that beauty fades, then the relationship is over, because he married her beauty, not her.

    The woman can find another rich man and the man can find another beautiful woman in a day. It can take years to build a solid relationship with another human being that is meaningful.

  5. Fellow Survivor

    Its been a hard week everyone. July was wonderful because the X was out of town all month. Just me and my baby girl. My daughters birthday was last week. The X plans a birthday party for her at a fancy restaurant with her friends. She sees her mom, who has been out of town for month remember, for 2 hours at the party..(The X put on one heck of a show for all the other kids and mothers. They must think she is the best mom in the world). Poof, that’s it. As far as I know the X hasn’t tried to have lunch with her, ask her to come help her set up her new place, come stay with her. Nothing. I could tell my baby girl was just about to break out in tears the other night, but she held it back. This narcissistic force is so strong it doesn’t even regulate the pain they cause their own children. Their own children for crying out loud. How pathetic is that.
    Because both my daughter am I are blessed with empathy we feel each others pain, which make it harder on both of us.

    The other day I was talking to her about how I need God’s Grace to help me forgive her mom. She told me “dad, sometimes you just need to be poured into before you can pour out” or something like that. How cool is that. The teacher has become the student.

    • Tammy C

      Fellow Survivor, I just replied to this post and then I saw your reply. It is true that I am healed, but like you there are casualties. My heart feels your pain for your daughter. She deserves so much more!

      I was strong in writing my reply to this blog post and then I read your post. My heart is heavy for my children just like yours. I too had a birthday heartbreak for my daughter last month. She is only 14 and I still hurt for our 22 year old son.

      I often read and re-read Pastor Dave’s blog during times like these. His post titled “Hard Hearts” gave me comfort when he said “a loving parent can affirm the heart of a child in spite of a narcissistic spouse”.

      I know God is in control. I needed to be reminded of the incredible power of affirming Love. I can only control my own actions, so am constantly asking God for self control, wisdom and peace. It is difficult to let go and trust God when your instincts tell you “flight or fight!”

      Pray for peace. Pray for wisdom. Pray for God’s will. I have seen the result in my children and am encouraged.

      When you and your daughter feel discouraged, remember that God is in control. Listen to Chris Tomlin’s song “Our God” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYJfuFQe4cc

  6. Cora Marandino

    Your column on Fridays is so helpful to me in my relationship with an addict … I don’t think he is NPD, but there are many “small n” characteristics … reading on narcissism helps keep me in reality … we are both Christian … the dual nature in him is various obvious to me (don’t see my own as clearly!) … reading on narcissism has also helped me see my own … not just in the relationship with him, but with others I have a co-dependant relationship with … “when it is good, it is very, very good … when it is bad, it is horrid” … sadly my adult daughter is one of those relationships, and part of my pain is my contribution to her wounded psyche … perhaps you can write some time about parent/child narcissistic relationships when the child is the narcissist?

    I am familiar with the site you wrote about today … I found the things the husband says helpful in seeing inside my partner’s narcissism, especially the poem he wrote … but I also found myself asking “who really is the narcissist in that relationship?”

    A book that was very helpful to me is “The Wizard of Oz, and other Narcissists” by Eleanor Payson. Have you heard of it? It is a thorough, but kind, read on the overt (them) and covert (me) narcissistic traits in most of us, as well as the more specific NPD person.

  7. Tammy C

    I agree completely. It does look like they have good advice for setting boundaries and dealing with a difficult partner with narcissistic traits. However, I am unwavering in my opinion that there is no 50 or 1,000 page book with words and techniques strong enough or boundaries high enough to ‘cure’ a narcissist.

    I strongly agree that the wounds from early childhood can cause a wide variety of emotional, social and psychological conditions, disorders and just general fears. I have seen it in more lives than I care to admit. I am also sad to say that I have had exposure to narcissism on a particularly high level and can identify with every word written by Pastor Dave. I know enough to say – buyer beware.

    Personally, I believe that when a true narcissist emerges from those wounds, their behavior is on an entirely different level than most. Those that have been abused by someone like this is aware of the disturbing evil, lack of empathy and remorse, and the trail of broken hearts left scattered along their destructive path.

    If you are looking for a cure for your narcissist, you are not likely to find it. I definitely encourage you to set strong boundaries and do not waiver. Pay close attention to the things and people that they use as supply sources. You may be able to facilitate a change their behavior if you have the ability to hold that supply source just out of their reach. They may behave, but only until they can either loosen your grip or find something else to replace it.

    Certainly give these techniques a try, but please do not believe that they have found a cure. If they work for a time, be grateful. When the behavior continues, realize that the chasm is too wide and the evil too deeply rooted to be healed by your efforts.

    Please do not let your discouragement make you feel like a failure. God created you and the almost tireless hope that you have within you. That deep longing and hope was created by the Lord and for the Lord. Give your energy, resources to the Lord. You will find rest in Him and Him alone.

    If you place too much hope in a narcissist to be cured, you will most likely be disappointed (at best), and at worst you could spend decades waiting on something that was never there and will never be there.

    If you are reading this and feel as if I am speaking to you. It is because I am. I was there. I felt your pain. I prayed. I waited. Most of all I hoped.

    The narcissist in your life cannot be cured without the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. They have difficulty with the first step: admitting that they are a sinner. Then they have to believe that Jesus died on the Cross for them so they could have the Gift of Salvation. This step is near impossible for them.

    Matthew 19:24 says “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

    The rich man believes that he does not need God. The narcissist believes that he does not deserve God. Either belief results in the same outcome.

    Be certain that you are saved and listen to the Holy Spirit. You may be fearful and it may be difficult, but you will know in your heart what you must do for yourself and especially any children that are involved. Heed Pastor Dave’s advice regarding counseling, setting boundaries, etc.

    I planned to write a few lines and be done. I couldn’t stop typing. I know there is someone that needed to hear this. I’ll leave you with this thought. God loves you. He can heal your pain. I know. He healed mine.

  8. Fellow Survivor

    Tammy, Great post. Your words “the rich man thinks he doesn’t need God and the Narcissists doesn’t think they deserve him” hit the nail on the head. My daughter led my ex in bible study for over a year once a week for an hour. She would encourage her mom to read certain scripture and then discuss. One time my daughter told me her mom told her “I’m going to hell, I’m just to bad of a person” She doesn’t think she is good enough. Well of course she’s not. No one is, which is the hole point. I would think with that attitude the behavior would be “lets get the most out of life while we have a chance, because this is it” OH Who knows why they do what they do. Anyway, spot on with your words.

    The thing that really sort of creeps me out is the evil in their actions. Years ago before we were married my ex and I were driving through Lake Tahoe, a big gambling town. Casinos the whole bit. At the time I could just “feel” something that was not good while driving through the town, especially the Casino district. It felt like evil to me anyway. I have the exact same feeling whenever I am in contact with her now. Its like invasion of the body snatchers. Someone or something has taken over her body because it sure isn’t the same person that I used to know.

  9. John

    I also agree that the site Dave mentioned had too many red flags for me to take it seriously. There are many excellent books though on narcissism and can be checked out for free at a public library.

    As far as websites, here are a few that I believe are excellent resources for realistic views on the subject (ie don’t sugar-coat it but offer real advice or insight).

    1. Of course, Pastor Dave. The best thing about it is the compassionate, realistic advice that you know is coming every Friday.

    2. Joe Burgo (after psychotherapy). A therapist who specializes in shame and its affect on personality disorders. He writes on many topics, but he is very compassionate and insightful on NPD and BPD (borderline). His post, “The Narcissist and his Woman” is one of the best I have read.

    3. The Last Psychiatrist – another professional who offers not only accurate portrayals of sociopaths and narcissists, but also offers clear warnings on how to spot narcissism in society and in yourself. I find his overall message to be “the way to healing is to look outside yourself and do for others. He is certainly not a religious person and is, in fact, critical of religion, but ends up the same place as some traditional religious teachings do.

    4. Planet Jan – a school teacher who is very insightful and has several posts on her encounters with narcissists. Her main message – get away and fast, they will not change.

    5. Baggage Reclaim – Natalie Liu’s relationship blog is no-nonsense and focused clearly on making ourselves the best we can be before pursuing relationships. Also, gives advice on Code Red behavior in a relationship, how to spot it, and how to move on.

    Hopefully, this is helpful and not outside the boundaries of Dave’s blog. Anyway, understanding is healing and so I hope helpful.

  10. prodigalkatherine

    @ Fellow Survivor-
    Your last paragraph unsettles me bc I feel a wave of recognition that what you say feels true, but can’t be reconciled with my belief system. I really have a problem with people who cry “demon possession” because I’ve seen accusations that were out of left field by individuals who fall very much into the legalist category.
    And yet- what you say rings true on a gut level. At times, it seems like a separate entity had taken over. It was enough for me to leave the relationship with the man who I had forged a family with and considered to be the love of my life.
    Even today- I can remember certain expressions that would send a chill down my spine and a sense that if he could get away with “punishing” me for deeds I was unaware – he would have. I was deeply in love, and yet understood something sinister was at work.

    @Dave
    Would you be willing to share your thoughts on the demonic and evil and how it relates to narcissism? I still can’t make sense of it, and this is a topic I am really afraid of because it feels like to discuss it is to literally demonize someone- and I don’t want to do that. But if narcissism is a spiritual issue- where does this dynamic fit (in your experience) ?

    • Fellow Survivor

      Katherine,

      Read the attached post. Anna Valerious is a wonderful writer with excellent points. She is very much of the opinion that narcissists are evil and she is not afraid to say so. And, she has some pretty strong arguments, all supported by scripture. Dave’s posts and Anna’s post pretty much got me from a 1 up to a 5-6 today with 10 being OK and myself again. I just love her posts. I must have 100 plus of her posts printed out that I read from time to time to to keep me grounded in what I am dealing with. There is another site that deals with this same subject that I site in a separate message.

      http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com/search/label/Savior%20Complex

    • Fellow Survivor

      Katherine, This is another site that can be pretty straight forward with how to describe this character disorder. There was an email circulating several years ago about Albert Enstien arguing with a teacher over good and evil. His position was that there was no such thing as evil, and he clarified. His response was that there is not such a thing as cold, darkness, or evil. Cold is only a name we give to lack of heat. Darkness is only a name we give to lack of light. Evil is only a name we give to lack of Goodness. So when we say someone is evil, we only point out that there is no “good” in their actions. There is nothing good in what they do, so because what they do is a lack of good, we call it evil. When someone purposefully causes you harm, they know it causes you harm, then there is no good in that at all. The writer of this blog points out in the end that the narcissists is a victim too. I do not purport to agree with everything he/she states but it is interesting reading with historical biblical context.

      http://www.deconstructingjezebel.com/malignant-narcissism.html

    • Tammy C

      Fellow Survivor – thank you for sharing. It is uncanny how similar of a story you, I and so many others share. And thank you for reminding me of Anna’s blog.
      John- Thank you for sharing those sources. I needed a good source to better understand BPD in someone unrelated to this post, and especially a link to his insightful Vindictive Narcissist post.

      Katherine –
      I hope you don’t mind my chiming in. My perspective comes from many directions. I am not a layperson nor in the mental health field. However, my life has unfortunately been saturated with narcissists of various kinds and I posses a keen awareness of this behavior and the resulting devastation.

      I am happy to say that I am emotionally healthy. I grieved, healed, and in the process grew my faith and relationship with Jesus. I attend a Protestant church but it is about Relationship with me and not Religion. When I share personal experience, I am only sharing with the hope that someone else will feel like they are not alone and know that there is hope for them too. With that said, I welcome comments, questions and even advice. The more we can help each other the better!

      I’ll introduce you to “my narcissists”…
      *My covert “Christian” grandmother that regularly drugged my disabled grandfather to keep anyone from finding out about the skeletons in her closet that were unearthed. She was so good at playing the martyr that no-one believed our family and he eventually died.
      *My “Christian” narcissistic legalistic family member that somehow believes that I have a supernatural power and have turned everyone in our immediate family against him. His favorite tools of fear, manipulation, control, blackmail and being just plain mean do not work on me. Ah! That is my super power!!
      *The covert, manipulative, crazy-making, emotionally manipulative narcissist that is my ex-husband of 14 years. To elaborate on that would require a mini-series. Pastor Dave, I owe you an update. I shared with you last October that he was saved. He shocked everyone when he came to my home and apologized to me. I had forgiven him long ago and was very happy since we have children together. (Now 14 & 22). Well folks, I am sad to say that the evidence of conversion lasted only briefly…
      *There are a couple of other miscellaneous narcissists that aren’t really worth mentioning.

      Now a few thoughts about that demonic question…

      I can tell you without hesitation that he truly seemed genuine. I am his worst threat of exposure that exists, and yet I believed that he had gotten saved.

      I can tell you that has happened before. I have witnessed that empty, hollow expression change instantaneously to almost excited disposition, full of life and promises of change. The sad thing is that it always is short lived.

      I do believe that personality disorders, mental handicaps, chemical imbalances and psychological issues of all kinds exist without demonic influence.

      I agree that the word “demon” gets thrown around. While I do not think that all narcissistic behavior is demonic, I really do believe that demons are at work here in an especially powerful way. Is it oppression or possession? Frankly, either way is very scary.

      Why do I believe that? He hates me with every fiber of his being. Thanks to John I have a link I can share: http://www.afterpsychotherapy.com/the-vindictive-narcissist/
      His shame is of epic and catastrophic proportions. Dr. Burgo describes extreme narcissistic vindictive behavior and divorce. Ours was amplified because I was pregnant with our daughter when I exposed his affair with a married woman, did not allow a word of discussion, did not waiver and got a divorce.

      Last October he came to my house, cried and said how sorry he was for all of the pain he had caused me and told me he got saved. I cannot judge whether he was saved or not. I can only observe his behavior. Based on scripture and what I saw that day and what followed, this is what I believed happened to him:

      Matthew 12:43-45 clearly says that demons can go into and come out of a man at will when the house is empty.

      I believe the demons have left him on several occasions as they did in October. I believe that he thinks he is unworthy of Jesus and will not accept his Grace and salvation. I believe he felt great relief because the demons left him. That relief lasted just long enough for him to get his wife to come back home.

      Ephesians 6:12. This is spiritual warfare.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Tammy, you write so well. We all hope to get to the place you are someday soon. I have always enjoyed Joseph Burgo’s writing as well. To the point, concise writing style. He is especially clear on the subject of “Shame” and the denial of Shame as a central factor in the behaviors exhibited. You may not know my whole story, but in a nutshell after years of raging attacks over nothing, the verbal abuse, put downs, you know the drill I finally told her “enough” When I refused to engage in the yelling any longer she escalated up to physically attacking me by kicking me a bad place and then saying she was going to call the cops on “me”. Strange right. Anyway, I refused intimate contact until she told me she was sorry and it would not happen again. My rejecting her was a narcissists injury she could not process. I would be terribly ashamed of myself if in a fit of anger I struck anyone, much less my own wife. Rather than look me in the eye and say ” I don’t know what came over me, I am sorry for my behavior” she divorced me, we sold our house of 13 years and our kid is living one week on one week off with each of us.

        And the divorce. Vindictive is a good word for that. She and her lawyer attacked me like I was a bad guy. For two months after the assault she would send me texts and emails telling me how much she missed me and I would respond back, apologize. She never would. For 5 years these attacks just kept coming and finally I said no more. I guess I could have just been intimate with her but then the cycle would just continue and get worse. Eventually this was going to happen because she wanted it to. It was only a timing issue for her. I had nothing left to give her. She used my name and social status to move into a more prominent social circle. She is firmly ensconced there with richer more well dressed men to fish for,so why does she need me? She knows I am a great dad so she doesn’t have to worry about our daughter and now its play time.

        Anyway, one of the posters on this site provided a link to “DivorceCare” This is a site that sends daily emails about recovery. This is not a narcissists orientated site, just recovery after divorce. Today it started with “Anytime you do not feel anger, blame, self-pity, bitterness, or resentment, then you are experiencing recovery.” Tammy, it sounds like you made it. I can’t wait until that sentence describes how I wake up every morning. The fact that I am writing today means I am not there yet.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Tammy and Katherine. Both of you seem to be much further along the road to recovery “being yourself again” than many of us. This morning’s sermon at church was really cool and something I needed to hear. Worry, bitterness, and resentment. All emotions that consume me right now. Basically he was saying when we worry we don’t trust God for our future, and bitterness and resentment are emotions that express our disappointment that God got the past all wrong. I am angry about what has happened in my life and I think God screwed it up. I am just saying what is in my heart because I certainly can’t hide that from Him. That is wrong thinking of course and its good that this was brought to my attention. I really must get over the bitterness and resentment and anger about what happened. I gave my heart to a woman that did not value me. So why should I be angry about that? These are damaged human beings that with time and space I should feel compassion for not anger and resentment. That’s my goal, to have compassion in my heart and not anger and resentment and I want to get there as fast as I can. The more I think about everything the more I come to realize that it is not her that I miss, but the excitement, the rush I got being around her. It was always something. My brain has figured it out, I am just waiting for my heart to catch up. I really want to date again, but I can’t until I somehow manage to let my heart let go of the woman I loved.

  11. Fellow Survivor

    Off topic but I just have to share. Today, I am riding my bike through the park asking, begging Jesus to take this burden from me. I am not capable of carrying all this bitterness and resentment and worry around any longer. I am not strong enough. I have a high school daughter that plays both volleyball and basketball, therefore I must see the ex at all of her games, AND her best friend lawyer who’s daughter is also on the team. This is where most of my worry comes from, besides finances. Also, what has she told all the other parents that I see at these games?

    Anyway, I am riding through the park and I hear a cry for HELP!!. Just by chance I had stopped at a stop sign while riding when I heard the cries for help. At first I thought is was nothing but after further investigation and more focused listening I found a 78 year old woman who had fallen down a steep ravine with her little dog. From all accounts by the parimedics and firemen she had broken her hip. Why was I there at the exact time that this woman needed me? Because I was riding my bike I did not have my phone so I ran up the ravine and “like a crazy man” flagged down two cars. They called 911. Now, this is where it really gets crazy. I was holding the womans hand while she pleaded with me not to leave her. The day my daughter was born my wife held my hand until the circulation was almost cut off pleading with me not to leave her. One of the best memories of my life, and believe me, I had to go to the bathroom really really bad, but I didn’t leave her side.

    Next up, this young man that has cleaned up the lot at my business shows up needing work. I tell him I will call him for work later but walk him to his car. What can I do. He has a little 3 or 4 year old baby girl and his wife in his car and they have been evicted from their apartment.. I am sure they are not responsible in many ways, but non the less, they show up on my doorstep. I helped them with most of the cash in my pocket. What else can I do? Jesus doesn’t say make sure they are responsible before helping his children he just says love them

    Now, the question is are we suckers or has God sent these people into our lives to do his work? The old woman with the broken hip, with no family? Definately God’s work. She could have been down there for hours because there is no one else crazy enough to bike much less walk the trails in texas when its 104 degrees outside. But the irresponsible young man? Maybe Jesus will affect his life somehow through my kindness, who knows?

    The overwhelming feeling I get is the “I am here” message. That’s what I need to hear. “I am here”. Throughout my whole life I have always heard the “I am hear message” so I just have to “wait” and see what happens next. It is hard because there is so much confusion but as Jesus promises “he knows when you are sleeping and he knows when you’re awake” The other part of the equation is he told us that there would be troubles in this world, but He has overcome the world so be at peace. Sorry to go on so long, but just writing is theropy for me. It helps me stay grounded.

    • Tammy C

      Fellow Survivor,

      You are right to note that I have already traveled the road to recovery. I can still identify with your pain from the abuse and the resulting anger. When I offer suggestions to help in healing, I do so from my own experience with narcissists that wrecked both sides of my parents families, and especially the one that tried to destroy my life.

      I’ll share a bit more of my story so you know where I was and how far I have come. I pray this helps you and others in abusive relationships! Although I did not know what a narcissist was at the time, I had lived with narcissistic lies, extreme selfishness, abuse and “crazy making” for 14 years and far too long. I didn’t believe in divorce, but our son was 8 years old, I was pregnant with our daughter and learned that my husband was out destroying another marriage.

      Understand that I was devastated, but this was no new occurrence and I knew that I MUST face reality and stop hoping and waiting for him to become the person “I hoped he could be” and face the person “HE ACTUALLY WAS”.

      Your link to Anna Valerious’ blogs “No Contact” and “Refresher on the Savior Complex” sums up the split. A few calm words later and I went no contact except for necessary conversations regarding the children.

      If you are reading this and are contemplating a separation or divorce, I STRONGLY urge you to prepare in advance. I was blindsided by the mind blowing cruelty, lies and even false legal motions in court, etc. I believe Pastor Dave has written some about this, and there are books and other resources on the subject.

      Back to identifying and healing…

      Fellow Survivor, you are not alone in feeling anger from the pain and suffering that you and your daughter have endured. You are headed in the right direction because you recognize that you were abused, and that you and your daughter deserve better. You are searching for healing and that is healthy and good.

      This particular post raises the question “Is there a cure for Narcissism? I know God will forgive even the narcissist, but I have already said that I do not believe that they would accept His forgiveness.

      I believe that we should focus on healing for the narcissistic victims You. Your daughter. Others with broken hearts just like you.

      I have some thoughts on your anger towards God. May I ask that you read this with an open heart and mind?

      Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created us in his image. Some wonder why they are here… You see, God created us for a relationship with Him. The Bible talks a lot about hoping in the Lord, seeking the Lord, waiting on the Lord…

      We all feel a great need to be seen, really seen, like Pastor Dave described in his blog today. We have a built in longing for acceptance, unconditional love and a RELATIONSHIP that fits that description. There is even an international internal radar built into mankind that recognizes wrongdoing. Even those that deny that there even IS a God will admit that these feelings are universal.

      These needs come from our Creator. These needs, and that void, can only be filled by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Abundant Love, acceptance and peace are freely given to those that are willing to accept His Grace.

      This is a ridiculously long post. I am finally getting to the point!
      Conversely, Satan is the author of sin, pride and pain.

      My husband and I recently listened to a sermon about spiritual warfare by John MacArthur called “Spiritual Warfare: Fighting to Win”. Satan hates God with every fiber of his being and roams the earth seeking to destroy anyone and anything that promotes the Kingdom of God. Pastor MacArthur said the primary means for passing Christianity down from generation to generation is the family, so Satan is doing everything in his power to destroy the family as we know it.

      We don’t hesitate to say it is “Evil” when someone harms a child or does unspeakable things. I think we should recognize narcissism as the evil that it is. It feeds on your desire to be loved and understood. It instinctively finds your deepest needs and uses that knowledge to break your heart and crush your spirit. It does not care if you are a spouse, sister, brother, friend or innocent child.

      The good news is that Jesus already knows you and everything you have been through. Read Pastor Dave’s last post “In His Presence” and his other posts on Grace. Admit you are a sinner and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you are already saved, get to know Him. His Grace will give you the ability to forgive.

      And that heavy burden you mentioned? Matthew 11:30 says “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

      • Fellow Survivor

        Thank you for your words Tammy. Who knows why, but God’s been part of my daily life going back to my teenage years and I am 53 now. There were times in the past when my faith was so much stronger and my walk with God was daily. He was teaching me all day long and I could feel his presence just as I can now. I know he knows how much I loved and was devoted to my ex but unfortunately she did not have the same heart. Over 5 years ago is when the true devaluation started with the ex. That is when the spiritual warfare began. It was horrible and it was during this time that I started to fall away. Prior to these attacks I prayed everyday and read the bible to my daughter just about everyday. But it was unrelenting. No matter what I did it wasn’t enough. In our first counceling meeting 5 years ago she told the councelor that she was just more sophisticated than I was. Sure, I’m in the park pushing our daughter on the swing until dark, then bathing and feeding her and then putting her to bed while she’s off once a week with her girlfriends at fancy dinners. Or she’s in NY in 5 star hotels and eating $100 meals while I’m at home taking the daughter to her 8am YMCA basketball game. (She told me what an awful childhood she had so I was happy for her to do such fun things. Now I know from reading several sources that the boo hoo story was just a tactic to get me to feel sorry for her) I was the coach on all of her teams, the leader of the “Princess Group” of dads and daughters and on and on and on, and what do I get for this?
        On several occasions I asked her if our daughter’s future husband treats our daughter the way you treat me will you be happy with him? But, that’s logic, and logic and reason aren’t part of the thinking of these people. As previously stated, her dad is super rich. I asked her “if all the wealth was gone, never existed, but your mom and dad were a happily married typical middle class folks, which would you prefer? What you have now or your parents happily married?” The later of course. She couldn’t answer. What she wishes she had for herself she can not give to our daughter. Where she would be angry at a future son in law for treating our daughter like she treats me, she continues to do what she would be angry with if someone did it to her daughter.

        I can not deny my anger because He knows what is in my heart but I do trust in his plan for me. I know He knows how much I am hurting. In the last month or so the sermons have been covering John: 14,15, and 16 where Jesus reminds the 12 that there will be trouble in this world so get ready for it. But he also reminds them that he has overcome the world.

        Tammy, the good news is that some days are good and some are bad. In the beginning they were all bad. Today is just a really bad day. Last night my daughter told me she was going to stay with her mom. So now the ex has a boyfriend on the side and my daughter and that just hurts. I am to broken to start dating again so I am just plain left out in the cold. Although from reading everyone’s experiences the last 2 lines of this posts are pretty typical. They always have someone on the side. My objective is to be complete with Jesus on my side and not another human being on the side.

  12. L D

    Hi Dave, I had emailed you back a couple of times and did not hear back from you so I hope you don’t mind me making a quick comment to you. I just wanted to say that I spent lots of time on Kim’s site trying to get help. I emailed them and stated that I was desperate but did not have any money to buy the book because I was separated from the N and he refused to give me any money. Steve replied personally and sent me the books for free. They really do want to see people helped and I don’t  fault them for trying to make money on something that clearly takes a lot of their time. However, I had to agree with you that I don’t think this man was really an N. If I EVER called the cops on my N for his verbal abuse then two things would have happened: 1.) cops would have laughed at me since no one really recognizes verbal/emotional abuse and bullying by one’s spouse as being ‘illegal’ 2.) N would have made my life even more of a living hell for ‘making him look bad’. I know the above to be true because he would not let me move back in and ultimately he divorced me because I said that the way he was talking to me was considered verbally abusive. He freaked out and said I called him an “abuser” and that was that. He ended it and put me through hell. So, I just wanted to tell you I agree with what you wrote and I’d be amazed if anyone would be successful calling the cops on a true N. Unless, of course, I was not with a true N…but after years of research I can’t see what else he could be. Thanks for your writings. I hope your lack of responses to my emails is not indication that I am bothering you. I know you are busy so I do not expect a response. I just like to write to you to send encouragement of what a great job you are doing! -LD

    ________________________________

    • LD, I appreciate your patience so much. The last few months have been almost a comedy of internet problems and time issues. I plan to respond to more comments here and to catch up on correspondence as well now that I am back in my office.

      The more I read of the Cooper’s story, the more I see that it is quite different from what others have related. Yes, I think there would be much more negative response in most narcissistic relationships from the kind of approach this lady has taken. Does that mean her husband was not really a narcissist? I don’t know. I do know that prescribing that approach for others could be very discouraging for some who find that it doesn’t work.

      And I still find the intense marketing to be out of sync with the message. I am glad to hear that they are willing to help for free, but it still smells funny to me. That doesn’t invalidate their message or their sincerity, of course.

      And please don’t worry about contacting me again. As you can see, if I am unable to respond, I just won’t until I can. You and others will find answers to the personal correspondence soon.

      Dave

  13. Good thoughts, Dave. I really appreciate seeing people offer things that can be helpful. I’m sure these folks mean well. But I had a similar reaction to yours, especially to the marketing angle.

    I did a project in school about narcissism and figured it would be worth signing up to their site to see what they were saying. A steady stream of emails followed, sometimes tailored for a holiday, always offering more materials available for purchase, etc.

    The one that set me off was this, a form letter pretending to be a personal note:

    “Matthew,
    I’ve forgotten if it was you
    who asked me about this?
    … [a link was here] …
    Please don’t answer by email
    but on Facebook …”

    That ended it for me. I asked to be removed from their list and let them know I felt this was a shameful tactic. When your whole site is geared towards people who have been belittled and used, and then you use a person’s name and pretend to be making conversation when you are in reality building a facebook presence, that is going to provoke cynicism.

    • In fact, for the record, after I rec’d a welcome email from them, over the course of 98 days following I received 23 more emails (just now went back and counted out of curiosity). Sometimes more than 1 email per day, sometimes more than 1 email per week. Always advertising their site or their books. To be fair, they did offer the ebooks free if needed. It felt very much to me that they were pretending to be friendly but the motives were mixed with an energetic desire to build a web presence. I don’t mean to be overly energetic myself in stating my concern, and I have no doubt they have helped some people, but I certainly did have some concerns.

  14. Tan

    Thank you for doing the research on the narcissismcured site. I agree with you, it was one of the first sites i found when discovering about narcissism, i at first was interested and a little taken in, but after doing more research i became very wary of it.

  15. Vivian Malmo

    Read about Leviathan in the bible in the book of Job chapter 41.
    I believe this is the root of narcism. In my husband he was circumcised at the age of 2 when his mother decided she couldn’t keep him clean enough. He would not even look at her for a year. My mother is also a narcissist. It can come down the family line because there is an open door for Leviathan to infiltrate a household until someone closes the door. In the case of Job, God did close the door and Leviathan left. “All things are possible to him who believes”
    My question is: what happened that God suddenly intervened and cast away Leviathan from working in Job’s life. How do we access this quickly in our situations.

  16. Hi Dave, ​ As the purpose of this post appears to be helping your readers evaluate the value of our work, I hope my response
    ​to this article ​ m​ight​ be useful.

    Please Note: My email address is freely available on our new website (www.TheNCMarriage.com) if any of your readers have any further questions . . .
    1. The front page of our other website narcissism cured (www.narcissismcured.com) says plainly that the title of that site is not claiming a universal cure for NPD but referring to our personal story (cured not cure).
    2. With all of the current misinformation online about NPD being incurable and w​ith​ so many families in despair being left without any guidance beyond the advice that they should divorce, we felt it was very important we share our message of hope. This especially now after 10 years online and having received over 2000 testimonials.
    3. We do not speak directly of our personal religious beliefs in order not to alienate any person looking for our help. In truth these beliefs were not part of our story’s narrative. Still our website is Christian friendly and a good share of our online members are Christian and/or practice some form of religious faith. Steve and myself are not theologians and feel our ministry better suited to anyone who needs us by being non denominational. We sometimes call ourselves ‘lay psychologists’.
    4. Your post makes emphasis of the cost verses value of our books. The truth is that we keep them as inexpensive as possible and rely totally on word of mouth for promotion because paying for advertising (as we used to do) meant we had to charge more for our publications. We have also probably given away as many ebooks as we have sold.
    5. I do not think that I was any more super human than the majority of people who write to us in similar or worse situations. I believe that the power (of God) lies in each of us to rise to the what ever challenges life presents us with.
    Steve was not ever formally diagnosed no. But you would certainly know that this is a rarity with NPD. Many professional mental health care workers at that time assessed Steve as possessing marked narcissistic traits.
    A major emphasis of our work has been seeing this problem as one based on our society’s moral degradation more than being a problem which should be medicalized.
    I also make a point regularly through my writing that I have come to see that I was very narcissistic in the past too.
    7. I wonder if our critics might pause in their judgement if they knew these simple truths about us?
    a. Steve and I have now written and published 6 books ourselves as well as 3 audio products with no help from a publisher and only one friend who helped us financially in the beginning with a fairly small amount of money ($4000) to help our ministry when it was struggling at the start.
    b. I have personally built our websites (with whatever coaching in website building, sales and marketing I could glean help with, with only the little assistance I could afford – the budget for which often still eclipses Steve and my personal spending).
    c. We have built this business/ministry from home for over 10 years while also pulling our family back from the brink of poverty and near ruin.
    d. In this time we also took our youngest son out of school and home schooled him for a year and a half to help him build his status in the school pecking order which he had unfortunately found himself at the bottom of. On getting back into school he was voted prefect in grade 6. Before we took him out of school his teachers had said there was nothing we could do about the fact he was being bullied every day.
    d. We also take care of my 23 year old bipolar nephew (yet another male everyone else in the world had given up hope on) with no financial reward for this whatsoever. His story is still a work in progress but he has a loving home with us with clear rules and boundaries.
    Steve and I may seem 2 dimensional online, but obviously there is a great deal of our personal lives and personalities we choose to keep private because it offers little service to our readership who we know are usually desperately in need.
    Neither of us were authors/radio or video personalities when we started this work and have developed these skills exclusively through our determination to get our message out to the many families who are struggling and need the advice we offer.
    After years of practice it is still hard for me to relax and talk casually on camera.
    I hope this helps you get a better idea of who we are and what it has taken to get our message out to the world. We are not perfect and life still has it’s challenges – but we now have a frame work to deal with those challenges that has been tested over time.
    Kim Cooper

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