It is difficult to deal with a narcissist when you are a grown, independent, fully functioning adult. The children of narcissists have an especially difficult burden, for they lack the knowledge, power, and resources to deal with their narcissistic parents without becoming their victims. Whether cast into the role of Scapegoat or Golden Child, the Narcissist's Child never truly receives that to which all children are entitled: a parent's unconditional love. Start by reading the 46 memories--it all began there.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An invitation to have your say...

Today I got a comment from a person calling herself “Annie Byam” on the No boundaries: 10 Commandments of DysfunctionalFamilies Pt 7(1) blog entry.

I found the comment offensive and after reading it a couple of times, began to wonder if it might be the work of an internet troll or perhaps even a trolling narcissist, looking for a place to offload some choler in an effort to stir up a little Nsupply. I thought I would publish her comment here (as well as my irascible reply) and invite your opinions in the comment section.

Annie Byam:
Unfortunately, the writer of this original article ( above - at the top ) has used this medium to show his own anguish, deteriorations, indecisivieness, and powerlessness - as he sees it - to all who will read it. It is sad of course, but should not be taken too seriously - after all it is from a person who at the bottom of this blog here, makes the disclaimer ( to protect himself no doubt ) that he is NOT a "mental health professional" ... but none-the-less has traded on his reputation and standing in the community as a pastor of religion, to promote some ideas that are downright dangerous to those in true need, and who are extremely vulnerable to suggestion. Shame on him for doing so. I can think of at least 3 people in my life ( 3 too many ) who, if they read this diatribe, may be so devastated by it's revelations as to sink into further despair. Narcissists come in many forms - some mildly, some badly, and some completely off the rails where their 'me first' attitudes reach out to all. It is difficult to deal with, but most people can do so. It is a form of selfishness, and self-centredness ... and if chronic, a professional counsellor or psychologist can help those on the receiving end of the abuse a narcissist dishes out. It is NOT for a minister / writer to regale readers with his own sad stories. That helps no-one, except himself, in offloading his personal worries to readers. It does cross my mind that perhaps he is truly narcissistic himself. i.e.. Wanting attention. !!

I publish your comment not because I agree with you or even think you make a valid point, but to demonstrate to other readers just how off-the-mark and sunk in denial a person can become. None of your criticisms against the original author are valid: the fact that he is a pastor (who, BTW, do lots of counselling in their work) does not invalidate his views; the fact that he has suffered at the hands of narcissists, nor does his willingness to reveal his personal experiences, mean he is an attention seeking narcissist. Sometimes our personal experiences and discoveries put us onto the path of finding useful information and sometimes, instead of being attention-seeking narcissists, we discover that sharing our experiences and insights and discoveries can actually help other people.

If I tended towards paranoia, I might think your comment was a thinly veiled attack on me, my blog, and my writing since I, too, publish a disclaimer that I am not a mental health professional, either. I am a retired executive secretary who knows therapy from the inside and narcissism from both personal experience as a victim and from extensive research. Do you want to hang the "attention seeking narcissist" label on me as well? Does everything I have written on this blog have no validity because I'm not a psychologist or other mental health professional? Seems rather odd that you would come on the blog written by a layperson who uses her personal experiences as a jumping off point for much of her writing to complain about someone who does the very same thing...

Your comment " It is difficult to deal with, but most people can do so. It is a form of selfishness, and self-centredness ... " tells me several things about you: 1) you are not the scapegoat child of a narcissistic parent and if you even know one, you have very little empathy for that person's experiences and pain; 2) you have no idea what the personality disorder, NPD, is all about because it is a great deal more than "a form of selfishness, and self-centredness"; and 3) your lack of empathy blinds you to just how much help it is for victims of narcissists to read the personal experiences of other people who have been victimized by narcissists.

I can't quite tell if you are projecting or if you are simply so deeply entrenched in denial you can't see beyond your own opinions and thoughts. But if you'll take the time to read the comments on this blog from the readers...ignore what I have written, just read the will find a lot of people who clearly state how much it has helped them to learn they are not alone, that they aren't crazy or bad or wrong, that they are part of an unfortunate community of people who, as children, were the scapegoats of narcissistic parents and we all have had similar experiences from parents who behave similarly.

Finally...professional counsellor or psychologist...I recommend this so often I feel like I should just create a piece of boilerplate to copy and paste into many of my replies. But the truth is, some people can't afford professional therapy, some have had bad experiences with therapy and are not yet strong enough to go back, and there are a lot of therapists out there who know little or nothing about the kind of devastation a narcissistic parent can wreak on the psyche of a little kid. Some therapists actually do not believe the client's stories, thinking them OTT. There is no subspecialty in psychology designed to help the victims of predatory narcissists, particularly the adults who were raised by them.

You seem to have a lot of opinions based on very little knowledge and your attempts to invalidate the efforts of people who are trying to help those who have endured childhood at the hands of narcissists falls on deaf ears here. I'd say more, but I fear I might get rude and then I would have to apologize to you, which I defnitely do not want to have to do.

So...what would you like to say to Annie and her opinion?


  1. I believe she summed it up herself at the end: "i.e.. Wanting attention. !!"
    If people are "vulnerable to suggestion" then I think this is a great place to be. Loving yourself, protecting yourself, and becoming a strong person are all great suggestions for the vulnerable!

  2. Thank you for bringing the issue of malignant narcissism out of the shadows and into the light. Many who struggle with malignant narcissists in their lives think that they are alone in their suffering. They are not. They need to know this. Not all "professional" counselors are aware of MNs, and what having an MN in your life can do to a person. The MNs on the far end of the spectrum of narcissism is more than just a selfish person. They are life-destroying, soul-destroying, sociopathic, sometimes psychopathic messes. Most people caught in this web find it very difficult. Bringing the highly toxic, disordered people of the lie into the public arena is very important, and the first step in taking a stand against these violators. Carry on.

  3. In my early adulthood, I went to many, many therapists, trying to "fix me". It wasn't until I read other's stories that I begin to "see" what was really going on. Reading other's worries did not shatter me, but helped me to FINALLY gain confidence in myself, my voice, and what I was experiencing. These behaviors are often so covert that it is very difficult to figure out what is going on (as opposed to just plain "selfishness") and only by comparing stories against others did I realize what was going on.
    I'm not sure why the commenter feels being a minister, or psychologist, or anybody for that matter, opts them out of being able to share their personal stories.

    1. The commenter seems to take the position that unless you are professionally qualified and are writing an objective, scholarly article, you have not right to speak.

      This is invalidating and minimizing every victim of every narcissist who ever lived, essentially telling them that if they do not have a degree in psychology, they should just shut up...and if they DO have a degree in psychology, they should confine their writing to objective articles that do not reference their own personal experiences. This, basically, is advocating the narcissist's point of view: keep quiet, don't air our dirty linen, sweep it under the rug, pretend it never happened.

      I am as yet on the fence as to whether the commenter is a narcissist advocating we keep quiet (by blaming us for speaking out when we have no right to do so) or someone with elephantine fleas, or a GC who seeks to protect her own N and condemn a scapegoat who may have let a cat out of a bag. I am still cogitating on that...

    2. Your second paragraph sums up the problems with this commenters perspective: it is compartmentalized, minimizing, and invalidating. I wonder if they would feel the same if a pastor spoke out about their experiences with physical or sexual abuse?
      I'm guessing your commenter has a mixture of a whole bunch of the things you mention. I always find these comments interesting, as they seem to be so concerned with the "victims", yet they are uninterested in the actual facts of the abuse.
      I also should mention, regarding the "selfishness" they mention. In my experience, my narcs were not JUST selfish. It was not enough for them to have it all, they had to ensure that I had NONE. It wasn't enough for them to get attention, be admired. They were out to make sure that I was slandered and seen in a poor light. The had only felt they had "won" what they were after, if someone else lost. They were not simply selfish, they were out to destroy others in their quest to have it all.

  4. The commenter seems somewhat ignorant of the reach and depth of pathological and malignant narcissism and what it's impact can be on those who suffer, especially they're children. There are many licensed therapists who know very little about narcissism as a specialty field; and one doesn't need a license to educate oneself about the impact of narcissism. More importantly, "Byam" doesn't understand family systems theory (Bowan), or the huge body of psychological literature on the topic of dysfunctional families as well as cluster B personalities; once you really learn about this, you can never again see narcissism as a merely annoying or challenging characteristic. I've found your blog to be one of the most intelligent on the topic. As for the minister the comment derides, I do know that for many people, malignant narcissism borders on, or actually IS, the manifestation of evil. There is a spiritual component to the disorder that those on the victim end can actually feel. Sometimes in their bones! As you well know, Violet. Thanks for letting us comment. CS

    1. You make a good point about evil, CS. M. Scott Peck's "People of the Lie" addressed evil and characterized the behaviour of narcissists as evil. Peck was not only a practicing psychiatrist, he was a minister as well.

      I agree that Byam is ignorant about reach and depth of narcissism, but it goes further than that...basically she doesn't want us to talk about our experiences with narcissists, at least not in a public forum. The fact that the public sharing of these experiences allow fellow victims to meet and through sharing, heal, seems to either escape her or to be of no value...which to me bespeaks a terrible lack of empathy.

      Be that as it may, her petulant, self-centred scolding isn't going to stop me...and I really thought the readers of this blog could offer her a better response than I, alone, could do.

      And I was right. You guys are awesome!!

  5. Give me an afternoon with Annie and a cup of tea and scones. I will explain to her in very simple english how it is that a Narcissist actually hates thier true self to the extreme and that "selfish" and self "centred" is not an acceptable description these days.
    I would then describe why it is that the victim of a narcissistic parent is aultruistic.

    The information in her post suggests to me that she has researched the net, all be it, in the wrong place and most of what is said is out there disguised as solid information.

    Her criticism of the article written by a pastor is not all that difficult to understand when you look closely at the analogy drawn there to the ten commandments. I find it rather awful.

    I am not sure of the stats but in my experiance the Narcissistic people were themselves abused in childhood by Narcissistic parents who were using religion and the mindless adherance to the 10 commandments to inflict the abuse.

    However i would suggest that the article does have a deep understanding of the problem. I just think is is a bad way to describe it for the victims of religous abuse.

    This brings up a question that i would like to see addressed.

    In a religously abusive childhood where the child is taught to deny the true self, some come away as an emotionally inteligent but aultruistic over sensitive person. Others come away as a heartless imbecile with zero sensitivity and zero emotional inteligence. Why the difference and what are the stats.

  6. I'm so sorry you got this nasty, ignorant comment, Violet... My guess is the woman is in denial about the narc in her life, probably her mother. Almost certainly a GC defending her narc mother.

    1. That's where I was leaning, Amanda...thanks for the validation. (I also suspect the three people she claims would be "shattered" by reading the post were also narcs...)

  7. Happy to find this website. Just starting my journey of recognizing, grieving and hopefully someday relief.


I don't publish rudeness, so please keep your comments respectful, not only to me, but to those who comment as well. We are not all at the same point in our recovery.

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