June 21, 2011

The Jekyl-Hyde Split


"The mask slipped.  When it did, and I called him on his abuse, he couldn't stand it. He turned on me like a cornered animal. Watching it unfold was truly enlightening, and frightening at the same time.  I was shocked at how rapidly his verbal abuse escalated, and by how little it took to 'trigger' it. "~WoN Forum Member 
The Jekyl-Hyde Split

“Man is not truly one, but truly two.” ~Dr. Jekyll
by CZBZ

It is a beautiful afternoon. You are strolling through a park, watching passersby who had also stolen a few minutes from work to appreciate a wintry day. You reach over to intimately squeeze your partner’s hand. He pushes your arm aside and seethes, “How DARE you!”

Now you are facing a madman who is accusing you of preposterous things for having spontaneously caressed his arm. You make the assumption there is an explanation for his anger and frantically search for a probable cause. You attempt to calm him down but your ministrations are perceived as trivializing. He doesn't need to be coddled by you, he insists, you are the problem! He accuses you of controlling him. You embarrass him with your clinging behavior, "can’t-you-won’t-you-will-you please grow up?" And besides, he accuses, you ALWAYS make a fool of him in front of other people. You ALWAYS act as though he's your possession, a plaything you can maul at your pleasure, he says. You are dumbfounded and maybe even scared but you're still looking a reason.  

When the narcissist is raging, most people assume there is a rational antecedent but they underestimate the degree of irrationality they are dealing with. This is because narcissists use "primitive or immature defenses” preserving their inflated self-esteem, their perceptions of power, and their desperate need for control. Defenses are unconscious and there are several mechanisms triggering the rapid switch from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. Maybe your surprise touch represented his loss of control. Instead of querying himself about his need for control, he accuses you of controlling him. When the narcissist sees in others what he cannot tolerate in himself, this is called Projection. Other defense mechanisms commonly used by the narcissistic personality are: denial, fantasy, idealization, even delusional projection. However, the defense that is particularly confusing is called Splitting. Splitting is a psychological mechanism that splits reality by dividing people (including the self) into All Bad or All Good extremes. There are no shades of gray.  Reality is black or white, right or wrong. People are powerful or powerless; and reductively: winners or losers.

Splitting is a primitive defense. You can think of it in relation to an infant. The undeveloped baby cannot integrate both good and bad behaviors in one person. Seeing other people as both good and bad is complex, requiring psychological maturity.  Until the child has accomplished this developmental task, baby will see mama as ideal (all good) or devalued (all bad). This is exactly what happens when the narcissist splits reality, seeing his partner-the-arm-toucher as an engulfing, rejecting, frightening object he must punish or control because she is BAD; and only later, after he has restored his equilibrium, praising her as a forgiving, perfect, empathetic and ideal woman for not having knocked his fool head off. 

In addition to splitting, the narcissist’s lack of empathy means he does not understand your feelings. His sense of entitlement and exploitation means he can rage without remorse. He will not feel terrible about his rage because it makes him feel powerful. Besides, you must have deserved it. For narcissists, raging is Ego-Syntonic (they are comfortable with their behavior) which means, Dr. Hyde will never be denied visit.

So back to our January stroll through the park: When the narcissist has evacuated sufficiently and you have been sufficiently chastised, he vows never to repeat his monstrous performance. He apologizes not because he is taking responsibility for the harm he has caused, but because he is fearful you will leave---and he’s not ready for you to leave. Narcissists fear being abandoned by their ‘narcissistic supply object’, which means he will promise the moon to get you to stay. And you, having invested your heart and soul in this relationship, relent on your threat to leave.  You feel sorry for him. Besides, you love the guy and like he said, maybe you were too needy, and too demonstrative in public, and now that you understand him better, you will work on being more considerate. This is the beginning of a dangerous pattern leading to the cycle of violence/abuse. 

Yes, maybe you started walking with the kind and sensitive Dr. Jekyll but you ended up sharing your afternoon with Mr. Hyde, the unpredictable third party in every narcissistic relationship. Nearly every person writing about living with a narcissist has commented on the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde split. The quick switch from professed love to undying hatred is crazy-making for anyone in the narcissist’s circle of associates, friends, and family. Still, the brunt of the narcissist's archaic rage is focused on his partner who is subjected to star performances by both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It’s amazing she isn't accused of bigamy.

The above depiction of Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde is a classic interpretation of splitting as an unconscious defense mechanism. It is not a conscious manipulation terrifying victims into submission.  When the narcissist is raging, making false accusations that have no basis in truth, and HE knows it, this is not unconscious splitting

As Dr. Dr. George Simon writes, "Unfortunately, the term splitting has been used to denote the very conscious tactic of pitting one entity against another."   

“An offense is not a defense.”
Rage as a BULLY Tactic
"I read somewhere that when a narcissist starts raging, you can stop it cold by mirroring that behavior back at them. I decided to try it when my N starting raging at me because I told him he sounded groggy. I called when he was taking a nap, he was groggy and cranky so I suggested calling him later. He exploded at me, raging that I was calling him a liar (he told me he was not groggy) and that I must not really love him if I think he is a liar. So I raged right back at him, accused him of calling me a liar and therefore he must not really love me. It was like flipping a switch. He stopped immediately and began speaking in a normal tone about normal conversational things, as if the rage episode had never happened.   It was the weirdest thing I'd ever seen. It only took another week or so to convince me to go No Contact." ~WoN Forum Member
Narcissists use anger deliberately. Raging becomes a narcissist’s means to an end, reassuring their dominance. Thus, narcissists may be in control even when others perceive them as being out-of-control. We fear (and not unrealistically) that their out-of-context raging will lead to punishing retaliation or violence. As rational beings, we back down, take a more submissive stance, and the narcissist gets what he wants: power and control. Overtime, the aggressive narcissist becomes extremely adept at terrorizing people into submission because Dr. Hyde performs to the narcissist’s bidding. When Dr. Jekyll needs to 'put people back in their place', Dr. Hyde makes an appearance. At a certain point, after repeated performances, people are so well-trained the narcissist need only suggest he's displeased and other people alter their behavior.  

When the aggressive narcissist is raging with criticism, insults and accusations that YOU are the devil's handmaiden, his extremist perceptions may appear to be defensive ‘splitting’. It is not. It is a deliberate fear tactic intended to disorient his victim(s). The more disoriented the victim, the more damage the narcissist inflicts. The more vulnerable his targeted victim, the more powerful and dominant the narcissist feels. Contrary to how most people feel when they hurt another person, the aggressive narcissist begins towering when his victim is cowering. In other words: the narcissist's need for power exceeds normal people’s relational need for intimacy. 

The walk in the park is a good example of unconscious splitting versus anger as a manipulation tactic. The pathological narcissist might want to shout halfway through your stroll but he will wait until he has cornered you in a private place without witnesses. He will wait until the car ride home. Then he will turn on the rage spigot, showering you with criticisms so he can manipulate you into submission.  Splitting, in the true definition of the term, is not consciously controlled. And a normal person cannot turn their anger off and on like a water faucet. 

Whether unconsciously splitting reality or consciously pitting one person against another, you may get a hearts and roses apology afterwards. You will know if the narcissist's apology is sincere by his next choice. Does he seek treatment because his victims are afraid of him? Does he ‘admit to’ and ‘take responsibility for’ fixing his problem? If not, please accept the fact that he is comfortable with his behavior because it gets him what he wants: power; control; domination; an inflation of his self-esteem. In other words: He feels good when you feel bad. 

Anyone for whom terrorizing others is Ego-Syntonic, is not a person with whom you can develop trustworthy intimacy. Unfortunately, by the time you question the health of your relationship, you will be so disoriented and beaten down that you won’t even believe you deserve better. You do. Anyone who is kind enough to care, who sticks around in the belief s/he can help her partner, deserves nothing but the very best.

Love,
CZBZ


Resources:

I  wrote this article for The WoN Connection, published in February 2011. 

The artwork on this essay is the result of my PHOTOSHOP class this winter. I love Photoshop. If you haven't Photoshopped yet, you may want to give it a try. It's a marvelous way to spend your lonely nights and solitary weekends AND, you won't even miss the narcissist. Say, let's consider Photoshop to be a method for sticking to No ContactPhotoshop your way to mental health and spiritual peace. That should be the title of my next essay! ha!




27 comments:

  1. Unnerving to read my life written on somebody else's blog.

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    1. You took the words right out of my mouth..........

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  2. ^What Ruth said!

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  3. You my friend are a constant wealth of insight and inspiration. Photoshop huh? I've been tempted, haven't yet bitten the bits and bytes of photoshopping my way to mental health -- :)

    PS -- I got your email. I will respond. But as always, you ask such deep questions they require more than just a quick -- yeah, thanks.

    But... in the interim... yeah, thanks. It was a tough experience -- way more difficult than writing the book. But they did a good job of telling the story.

    I will write more later :)

    Hugs

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  4. Hi Louise!

    While you're writing books and making documentaries, I'm messing around on Photoshop and torturing people with my masterpieces.

    How about we trade places? You learn Photoshop and I start a book (no documentaries for me...my experience happens all the time. nobody really cares except for family members who loved these rat bazturds).

    For those who would like to watch the documentary about Louise (the gist of my email to her), we have a direct link to the website featuring "Devil in a Pinstripe Suit" on The Web of Narcissism message board.

    http://www.webofnarcissism.com/forums/index.php/topic,8861.0.html

    Definitely a riveting story for anyone who was caught in a pathological web.


    Hugs,
    CZ

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  5. Dear Ruth and Ruth's "echo",

    When we're IN the Jekyl-Hyde relationship, we feel like it's unique and no one else could understand the brain-pain we're experiencing. Because to me, cognitive dissonance is brain pain...its hurts not being able to merge conflicting thoughts. Is he Jekyl or is he Hyde 'cuz I surely can't decide.

    Then we discover the blessed Internet and start talking to people only to discover that we are not alone and that there are more Jekyl-Hyde people in our world than we ever imagined.

    I am glad that something I've written 'validates' your experience, too. Thanks for reading another long blog essay and especially--thank you for commenting.


    Hugs,
    CZ

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  6. I'm excited to stumble upon you again! I was on the MSN site years ago and remember you. And I just found your interview with Ellie on the WON blog. Back then I realized my ex-husband had NPD. After MSN, I went on to a different group of people from the MSN site, but was banned for my liberal views. Today, I am revisiting NPD, after figuring out that my mother also has the disorder. I now have no contact with my family of origin. It's good to see a familiar name.

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  7. new reader here. Great insights! Looking forward to your blogs.

    I'm wondering if you've watched "Tatum and Ryan O'Neil (Paper Moon) on the Oprah Winfrey channel. Ryan is a classic raging "N."

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  8. Hi Brenda!! I love it when someone from the old NPD forum shows up! That was such a powerful experience, stumbling on information about pathology and then being able to write about our experiences.

    A lot of people discover problems in their family-of-origin once they've learned about narcissistic relationships as adults. Not everyone of course because ANYONE can be involved with a narcissist---even people coming from relatively functional homes. Though it can be said, can it not, that every family has issues and every family is w work-in-progress and most families do a pretty good job raising children even without a DSM-IV on the bookshelves. ha!

    I'll check out your blog and see what you're up to these days.

    HUGS,
    CZ

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  9. Hi Cheshire! Welcome to my blog! My experience with narcissism extends beyond the predatory pathological...so this blog is a way to write about narcissism on a broader continuum.

    I have not see the Tatum and Ryan episode but will check it out. I happened to be folding clothes one afternoon and turned on a TV show called 'Talk' with Sharon Osbourne. She was interviewing Tatum about her father which was the first time I'd heard anything about their horrid relationship.

    So thanks for the tip...I'll try to find that particular episode online and watch it. But ya know, aren't most folks narcissistic in Hollywood? Guess I need to watch the show and see just HOW narcissistic Ryan might be. As much as I dislike following 'celebrities', they do serve as models for what the general public finds acceptable, repellent or even admirable.

    Sounds like Ryan doesn't fall into the Admirable Category, though...Sharon Osbourne said he was 'creepy' which made me laugh freakin' out loud considering who the father of her children is!

    Life. It's a laugh a minute.


    Hugs,
    CZ

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  10. You are right CZ, Finding the internet has taught me many things that my counselor just didn't mention. The validation is appreciated. I also feel sad that so many people are trying to cope with this. I plan to keep learning and improving the relationships I have that can be improved.
    Thanks,
    Ruth

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  11. How can I get an N to read this?
    What do you think his reaction would be?
    Would he be also surprised as all these victims in the forum that his life unfolds right before his eyes through your message? Will he recognize that he is fitting a perfect pattern of typical N behavior or he will use his immature defense mechanisms to abstract himself from the mirroring picture? Are they capable of rational, critical thought? Will this message have any effect whatsoever, on them as it had on us?
    Thank you in advance!

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    1. How can you get a N to read this? Well, you might get him/her to read it but they won't 'see' themselves. As many people have corroborated, they will likely see 'you' in the article and accuse 'you' of having a Jekyl-Hyde split personality.

      If the narcissist is able to 'see' themselves in this article, they will likely justify their behavior as necessary. Or blame their behavior on the person they're raging against. Narcissists place higher value on being dominant and aggressive than they do on communal values such as kindness, love, and trust. So if you tell the narcissist that he or she is a brute, they might be pleased because dominance and power prove their superiority.

      I write for people who need the cold hard truths about narcissistic relationships so they can have a fair chance choosing whether or not they want to BE in relationship with a narcissist. If people hope to 'change' the narcissist by having them read my writings, that just ain't gonna happen.

      Narcissists 'may' be able to change; however, THEY must be seeking information about their relational problems. I haven't read or heard of very many examples when family members or lovers insisted the narcissist get help (or read my blog!). That increases their defenses because YOU are asserting they need help and that threatens their sense of superiority and grandiosity.

      Nah, narcissists have to seek help on their own. There really isn't anything you can do to help him or her "get it." In fact, even suggesting they need help could incite their wrath and alienate them from you.

      Good question though. I really should address it more carefully in an article.

      Hugs,
      CZ

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  12. Thank you very much on the comprehensive reply!
    Wow, your message opened so many ways of thinking, but I also think the thought-overflow and swirling-thoughts is one of the outcomes of having a relationship with the narcissist. In some strange way, I feel that this is a positive outcome because it improves our capability of abstract thinking and our understanding of Theory of Mind (e.g. "you think, that he thinks that you think etc etc") because we always think for two people. This is deep intellectual capability and in some strange way I reached a stage when I am happy acquiring this capacity because now I don't employ it in order to improve my strategy of dealing with him (this would be very frustrating because we all know that it's always lose-lose situation) but in dealing with other people in general. Do you agree that there can be certain benefits of relationship with N?
    However, because I don't want to improve my strategy of dealing with him, my question was not posed with the intention of me trying to enforce a change on him, but of him realizing his condition on his own. Namely, I was wandering, if in a staged situation in which he would "spontaneously" discover this writing on his own (thinking that it is without any external influence which would set him in offensive/defensive mode), whether he would be able to recognize the description of himself? It is already mentioned that the Jeckyl/Hyde split is not subconscious process but rather manipulative one. However, I am not sure whether the N is aware that while performing his "original" manipulation he is actually "copying" the textbook pattern of behavior of NPD? So, to reach the moral of my story: are they aware that they have personality disorder? Ah now that I reached to the final question it seems as rather stupid one but I will leave my reply as it is :)
    One more thing: can you list some of the benefits of having a relationship with N? (I know that ultimately it is catastrophic for one's well-being, but now I have reached a stage when I feel that I am demonizing him just for the sake of protecting my own ego which also seems like immature splitting defensive mechanism, so I just want to keep the realistic picture in the process of my healing)

    It was pleasure talking with you!

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    1. O dear. It looks like I left in the middle of a conversation but I didn't see your reply until someone commented on this post today. You have asked a very complicated question and it deserves some serious thought.

      Most people who are not 'narcissistic' are very concerned about "demonizing" the narcissist. It can actually be a stumbling block in our healing process if we're afraid of being angry or judgmental. We may still be censoring ourselves out of respect for someone who had little enough of that for us, right?

      What I've experienced with people online is that our anger, judgement, blame and even desire for revenge is simply part of the process. We get our feelings moving. We stand up for ourselves and our self-respect. As time goes on, we move towards the center balance again, our anger spent. Our desire for revenge absent.

      As far as benefits to the narcissistic relationship? Well, that's so subjective and entirely dependent on the degree of abuse, violence, mistreatment people experienced. If children were involved, I daresay most people are loath to see 'benefit' because of the life-long impact a narcissistic parent can have on their child. If someone was in a "mildly" narcissistic relationship and wasn't traumatized or hurt too badly, there may be benefits. That would be a tough topic to introduce to people who've never recovered their ability to trust again, though.

      The negatives outweigh the benefits. I think it's fair to say that...which doesn't mean narcissistic relationships are black-or-white. There's a mix of good things, for sure. If there weren't, if the relationship were completely horrid, no one would stay and no one would have a hard time letting go!

      Hugs,
      CZ

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  13. I am so very glad you have written about this...I am coming out of my defeated and beaten down thoughts and perceptions about myself being in a relationship with a very narcissistic partner. This helps me so much...I truely want to help him be better yet dread Dr. Jekyll confrontations...one day I will have the courage...when I feel I have nothing to lose...so I'm not quite healed just yet...its coming though..I feel it...my complete well being in dialogue with a narcissistic person.

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    1. Hi Linda,

      I can feel your determination coming through the monitor! Healing takes time, patience and lots of compassion for ourselves. I've joked many times about being nicer to suffering friends than I am to myself. ha! So be kind to yourself, Linda...treat yourself with the same dignity and respect you would any other person who'd been through a devastating experience!

      Have you considered joining our forum? Finding friends who've been through (or are going through) a similar experience can be amazingly helpful! Our community is located here: webofnarcissism.com

      Big Hugs,
      CZ

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  14. Hi CZ,

    Not so long time ago I wrote for the very first time. I am the Dutch anonymous. That was a big step, because I find it hard to let my voice get heard and it was hard to talk about things like this, because I feel ashamed to be so stupid to be in a relationship like this. When I wrote for the first time I felt power, because my partner was such a hero to admit he is a narcissist. He even read your blog.WOW! And than I had the guts to write about me in public. And than you wrote back! And your sweat reaction made me feel so worth it. I still want to thank you for that. But first I wanted to read more, because I was too shy to respond back. And I have read more. In the meantime my partNer was aware of himself and tried to work on himself. Very maybe would go see a shrink. I was surprised about his insight already(he's 50 jrs.) and did not expect him to change in Mr Niceguy overnight. So everytime he had an Narc-explotion he set himself strait. But when we were with his mother, he had to show off to her what a looser I am. I let him know how low that was of him and short after that in private he said I was right and he was sorry. But this was also the moment I realized it would be too hard for him to change, because he has a very close bond with his Narc-mother. And the next morning his father was getting it twice as hard from them both when I wasn't responding to their crap. It made me cringe; poor man. I didn't have the guts to stand up for him. Since than my partNer is slowly changing back into his old self. Trying to make me feel good to rip me down short after that, over and over. But it all doesn't effect me anymore. When he takes me down, I drag him down with me. Sounds strong huh? Yes, but I am also aware of the danger of being thrown out of the house before I found a place of my own. On the other hand I think he will not do that, because I am his very best friend (is that stupid of me?). I feel stupid anyway. I am confused all the time. This morning he was nice to me. I looked confused; why are you nice? He said he hated to be an asshole all the time and wanted to be nice. An hour later that was over. By the way, he denies now he is a narcissist. The problem is the house, the environment. I told him his problems will always follow him, where ever he goes. In our fight and make up talk he asked me if he should see a psychologist. I told him that would be useless if he doesn't see he has a problem. He has to want to go himself first. Sorry, I'm rambling. Anyway, in general he has no idea what I am rambling about, even about the subjects he so understood before. So, to calm myself down a bit I went to your forum and here I read my story. But most of all the responses of you people and these questions I ask myself all the time; 'How can you get an 'N` to read this?` I could already tell the answer, but reading this blog I still asked this question to myself. I love that one of you actually asks the question. Than I read the answer I already know and I hate the answer, because it is true. I want to help him. I want to bend him into someone who can be happy. I want to show him the truth. We went through so much together. Deep deep inside he is really nice. But no matter how hard I search for the answer I want to hear, I can only find the answer to accept things the way they are and do with it what I think is best. By reading your comments I don't feel alone anymore in my (ignorant) confusion. You people make me realize it is normal to feel confused in this situation. Do you also recognize this?: I am angry with him. I am angry with myself. I accept him the way he is. F*** him!(sorry) I will not leave him. I never want to see him again. He can't help it. He does it on purpose.Aaarrrgh!
    Love your blog CZ and I love to read you all.

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    1. Hi Anon! I believe you're the same woman who commented on my post, "The Democratization of Knowledge." Welcome back! And welcome to your partner, too. New information about the narcissism suggests our 40-50's are prime time for developing a personality disorder. Psychologists are much more knowledgeable about treatment so don't hesitate seeing someone before you do what my X did and mess up the last part of your life! We really cannot 'cure' pathological narcissism on our own---as much as we don't want to, we must seek outside help. That's the bad news. The good news is: there's help.

      I read later in your comment that while he was receptive to the idea of narcissism at first, he now denies being narcissistic or having a psychological problem. That is typical--to be expected. Ego defenses "kick in" to protect the narcissist's fragile self and this might happen immediately or the next day. I had the same experience with my X when I tried my best to tell him about NPD. At this point, we don't encourage people to do that because "some" narcissists become irate at the idea they might have something wrong with them.

      Usually, they project their wounds and feelings onto the person who told them they were narcissistic. So its not surprise he has 'attacked' you and put you down, to discredit what you've talked with him about. I have an article about this on my blog. You can find it here:

      "Do Not Tell Someone They Have a NPD" http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2013/07/do-not-tell-someone-you-care-about-hey.html

      It is very very normal to be confused when you love someone with a Jekyl-Hyde personality. Mr. Tough Guy one minute and the next, he's fluffy as a lamb. This makes our heads spin while we pick which guy we think is real. If we love them, then of course we'll pick the lamb.

      I can stress enough how important it is to let HIM own his behavior, own his process, make his own choice as to whether or not he likes himself exactly the way he is right now. Of course, the problem is that he professes to WANT the kind of relationship you've talked about but he simply cannot achieve that on his own.

      I think that basically, we must accept the narcissist exactly as he or she is and choose to live our lives as 'we' believe we should. That might mean 'ending' the relationship but it can also mean staying in the relationship and accepting the narcissist's limitations. In that case, do your homework and learn how to protect yourself from the inevitable put-downs. You can also increase your emotional boundaries so the slings-and-arrows bounce back. Some good books on "emotional containment" have been written by Dr. Nina Brown. One that you might find useful right now is her book, "Loving the self-absorbed".

      Hugs,
      CZ

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  15. Hi CZ,

    Thank you for your response. I have already read your article, but it is still hard to follow it up for me. He actually kind of pulled it out of me when he noticed in my behavior I knew something. At that moment he wanted to do something about it. But when he was with his mother I think we both knew it was going to be too hard for him, because that would mean he will have to change the bond with her as well and that is impossible. I felt so disappointed about this that I became detached towards him. Now I realize that has made him back to how he was. I always accepted him how he was, but he has done so much hurt by constantly blaming me for everything, even for my response after he mistreated me. I have forgiven him over and over and now I am just so full of poison and regret I can't think strait anymore. Sounds familiar huh?
    Reading your response has cooled me down a bit though. It put me back to how I used to think in the first place and I feel understood. So thank you for that.
    I will use your advice and let you know how things go in the future. Maybe people can also recognize my up and down, black & white way of thinking, 'wink`.

    Hugs,
    S Anonymous

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    1. You are in a tough place, doing a very hard thing. As people read your comments, they'll hopefully forgive themselves for deciding to end the relationship. It can be excruciating walking away from someone who has a mental disorder/illness but sometimes 'staying' makes things worse for everyone. You have to determine when the right time might be to leave. Or to stay.

      But "staying" with someone who has a narcissistic disorder will require getting support for yourself AND taking tender loving care of yourself. Recognizing when you are being blamed is a good first step (most people don't realize their partner has blamed them for years and this erodes our self-esteem and confidence).

      I am guessing (I could be wrong) that he felt compelled to prove to his mother that she was still "the best", that you were no match to her status in his eyes. His "need" to do that might be modified through direct efforts over time. It won't happen overnight or in one visit, especially if his mother is narcissistic, too. That she was comfortable with him putting you down in front of her speaks to her narcissism. Sounds like you have your hands full.

      To help you keep this in perspective, our most respected psychologists agree that treating a narcissistic personality disorder requires years of therapy. I've read some say about seven or eight years of weekly sessions so this is a very complex, very challenging disorder.

      Write me anytime, S anonymous.

      Hugs,
      CZ

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  16. After reading the first 2 paragraphs...I finally realized the difference! Thank you so much for clarifying. I knew there had to be a difference, but in all my reading and searching, no one had attempted to explain the difference between splitting and raging with examples the way you have. Thank god for your insight and professionalism. This is the best article as when he first treated me the very way described in that 2nd paragraph, I just knew there was another woman in the room he had eyes for. Was I ever so wrong! His behaviors are so becoming a socio/narcissist that my head is spinning. I don't cry anymore (1 1/2 years) now that I know what I am facing. I am healing. I have big choices-decisions to make. PS I have raged back at him, just recently and he did actually back off. But he will wait several days until he is back on the job again and apologize over the phone. I don't really believe that they are sincere!
    xoxox
    JSSW
    Keep up the great work

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    1. Hello JSSW,

      Thank you for reading...how satisfying to know that my article clarified the difference between splitting and raging. Sudden rage coupled with 'wild' accusations is disorienting and confusing. It doesn't make sense so anytime you hear your inner voice saying "What THE hell???" stop trying to make sense of it. There isn't any sense to be made.

      I hope you arrive at a "good enough" choice to protect yourself from the Inevitable Harm people suffer in all pathological relationships. Getting IN is easy; getting OUT is hard. Good luck to you and don't be a stranger. I love hearing from people!

      Hugs
      CZ

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  17. Thank you thank you thank you!!!
    I can't even begin to explain how happy I am to have discovered your blog! Just love the way you write; funny, to the point and the articles brings so much clarity. I tried to make sense of this kind of behavior for over two years, still find myself thinking there must be some kind of reason..but I couldn't find it. It's amazing how everything you write fits my ex completely...it's like we all have been trapped, cornered and abused by the same person.

    Thank you ever so much and keep it up!

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  18. I cant believe it,i am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog and finally not feel so desperately alone anymore. All comments inclusief,this is what i have been facing for five years. I have been in this 8 years relationship with a wonderful,caring, passionate soulmate, with whom i also got a six year old daugter. I never wanted Kids,but with him i dared to take the leap. Hé assured me we were a team. After she was bornand turned one, we moved five years ago from his country to mine, to be closer to my relatives. I have been living with dr. Jekyll mr Hide ever since. I have fallen gravely ill last year,but hé is nowhere to be seen,he is basically living his own life, i dont know any of his friends and if i ask hé says i dont report to the Police. Gaslighting, verbal abuse, the whole thing. I got recent help with a therapist which is rescuing me,as finding this blog. As hé has been the past five years...I almost hate him for it. But i cannot seem to let go of the wonderful four years in his country, where hé thought the world of me and our child. How could that period be so heavenly,and here in my country so hellish. I didnt understand the blaming and shaming, until i read your blog. Nobody understands i just dont dump him,including myself. I keep hoping for better times.. I miss our happiness together. But Reading this,i am afraid i Will need to make a conscious choice and just deal with my broken heart later..? My daughter already decided for herself hé should live somewhere else. So,its just me being blocked like a rabbit in the shining headlights of an approaching car.. Thank you for all your advise and your kidness!! I hope for a miracle awakening on my side. I love him, i deeply hate him, it is driving me crazy.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous! I'm so happy you stumbled on my blog, too--especially since you don't feel desperately alone anymore. ;-)

      I am sorry to read about how he's treating you, suggesting he's "above the laws of common decency" and doesn't have to report to the police! Accusing you of being too controlling is a common tactic and it often works since women will go overboard to prove they aren't Bossy and Controlling. Don't fall for it. You are fully within your right to ask where he's spending his time, especially when he has a small child at home and you are sick (or have been sick. I hope you're doing better!) A reasonable man wouldn't need to be told to account for his time. He'd be home or you'd know where he was AND he'd be back on time, too. It sounds like your partner feels entitled to do as he wishes and expects you to Put Up With It. This is also something societies teach men and women but please know that it's not right and you do not have to be shamed for wanting to know where he might be.

      Everyone has good years with a narcissistic partner. Maybe even decades of good years, with only a few sporadic bad times. But in times of stress and when narcissists are middle-aged and older, their narcissism can get worse. They can become increasingly hostile and callous, treating family members as indifferently as strangers! If they were always mean, it would be easy to leave. If they were always hostile, we could say "good bye" and move on. But nobody has ever reported in the decade I've been doing this work, that the narcissist they loved was 100% Yucky.

      Therapists can be extremely helpful while we integrate the good and the bad. It's common for people to minimize, rationalize, and/or completely deny the Bad Times. But the bad times turn into Terrible Times and we will eventually be forced to deal with their hostility.

      I know this is a crazy time (I've been there, too) but how great it is that you are getting therapy to help you work through this!

      How Bad does it have to get? That's a very very good question to ask ourselves.

      Hugs,
      CZ

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    2. Good day
      Please can you help me with this as I had 4 brain operations and feel my bfriend are making me crazy and it feels like I am in a story book but the reverse of Aspoestjie. Ek weet nou ni of dit di brain opperasie is waar ek memory loss (short and long) term opgedoen het nie en of dit hy is wat my mal maak nie want ek het hom ontmoet die selfde tyd van my 4 de recurring brain tumor removal..
      Ek is besig om al hoe agteruit te gaan. Maar is lief vir hom en gaan elke 2 de maand terug na hom toe al vir 2 jaar al. Ek nodig help asseblief.
      Hy sal ook kom.
      Ek is ook doof in my een oor en bietjie blind wat elke jaar erger word.
      Help ons asseblief.
      I also believe this story can be very interesting and educational in dissolving a lot of psychological and mentally issues.
      Hoop my attachment motiveer my probleem.
      Groete
      Vic

      Delete

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