Narcissism, faking, and speechlessness

Yesterday I decided that it would be cool if I found a blog or two by people who have been diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, just to see how they experience things, how they feel…so I googled “Narcissistic Personality Disorder + blog” and…came up pretty much empty-handed.

I managed to check the results on the first six pages before I ran out of patience. I had found several blogs by mental health workers, some stuff on the DSM-V controversy, and an armada of blogs by and about victims of narcissists (some of them very interesting) – but nothing by anybody actually diagnosed with NPD himself. The only thing I came across that at least was somewhat similar to what I had been looking for were the writings of Sam Vaknin. I found them quite intriguing, but they are not what I want to discuss right now. I might come back to them at some point…(or I might not, given how lazy I am^^)

What I want to discuss is the fact that it is so hard to find any blogs by people who talk about how they deal with having NPD. There are plenty of blogs by people with Bipolar, Anxiety or BPD, after all. Why do people not blog about what it is like to have NPD?

Huh. Maybe nobody is ever told of his diagnosis, so they cannot blog about it? But there are forums for people who have the diagnosis, so that cannot be the reason (though the majority of members often consists of non-disordered people who assume their ex or a relative have NPD).

Or maybe narcissists decide that if they sincerely want to recover, they have to stop blogging? It´s not entirely impossible. I struggled with myself over having or not having this blog. I felt like I was going further down a rotten road if I started it; it felt like pure attention-whoring. On the other hand I envied other bloggers (and particularly the successful ones) with all my heart and soul. I found myself making up blog entries in my head (I still do that, I make up more than I could ever write). Eventually I decided that if I was this passionate about doing something, I ought to do it instead of envying others who were good at it.

Others, again, might find it natural that narcissists don´t blog about their disorder – they want to look perfect, after all. But that just reveals a lack of imagination,  really. Which full-blown narcissist can seriously resist the temptation to publicly display himself as the incurable patient, the bad seed, the dead soul? For details, see Sam Vaknin^^

The way I see it, anyway, is that the lack of blogs by folks with NPD might be down to a neat little paradox:

Telling someone you are a narcissist is a bit like saying: “Whatever I do and write, I only do it for the effect it has on other peoples´ perception of me.” By doing so, the effect it would normally have is annihilated. If a person you believe is healthy and normal writes about how sad she is, you will conclude: That person is sad. If a person you believe to be a narcissist writes about how sad she is, you will conclude that she wants you to think she is sad – and that whatever is really behind this, her sadness is definitely fake. It´s like she had posted a disclaimer saying “I always lie.”  People won´t believe that anything she does is genuine and authentic. But what, then, is the point of doing anything?

We tend to see narcissists as fakers, as people who either hide behind a “false self”, or who have no “true self” in the first place. A person who believes herself to be a narcissist might see herself just like that. Now why would she start a blog? She wouldn´t expect herself to be able to deliver a true, authentic account of her experience, after all!

Here is where being labeled as narcissistic turns from being offensive and humiliating towards something even worse. Believing that you are a fake means that you feel unable to communicate with others. You feel unable to do, say, think or feel anything that is not a lie, pretense, a strategy to make an impression on yourself or others. And the worst thing is that you do not even feel like a prisoner behind a wall. You are that wall, and you fear that there is nothing behind you. No true self that was locked away long ago to protect it from damage. Just nothing. It feels like the most authentic thing you could do is do nothing. Say nothing. Think nothing. Feel nothing. Just stop being alive; stop being conscious of yourself. Lie on your bed and slowly turn into a fossil.








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