So How Self-Aware are They?

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Thorn bird

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So How Self-Aware are They?
« on: August 24, 2013, 06:43:38 AM »
I have been doing a lot of thinking - which isn't unusual for me, but more so at the moment.  I have been wondering how aware are Pd's that they have a problem - a disorder even.  There seems to be so much conflicting advice and different views.  For instance particularly with NPD's I have always thought that because of the invention of their 'false self' to replace the 'real self' which is too flawed and ugly for them to live with they have all but destroyed it.  They do everything to prevent injury to their 'false self' and to maintain it.  If this is the case then how for instance can Sam Vaknin a self professed Narcissist be so eloquent in describing all the 'feelings', 'emotions' and' actions' behind the disorder.  He is apparently so self-aware and educated .  Is this kind of awareness unusual?  Even, if they do have some insight, particularly when they sustain a 'N' injury how aware are they really that something is 'wrong' with them, their personality. How self- aware are they really? :unsure:
The bird with the thorn in it's breast is driven by it knows not what to impale itself and die singing. But when we put thorns in our breast we know, we understand. And still we do it. Still we do it.

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prairie gal

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2013, 08:20:12 AM »
Thornbird- My husband seems to know he has a problem but like he said earlier this month...he has to work to make a living, he has debt to worry about and it is hard for him to take a look at himself.

He see's himself as a special case, and therefore should be excussed from taking responsability for his pain and growth.

I assured him that most everyone on this planet is busy making a living, trying to get the bills paid and finding that taking responsability for our relationships and self growth is hard for everyone. Not just him. Pg

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Thorn bird

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2013, 09:26:56 AM »
Prairie gal is your husband NPD ?  I really think this must depend on what PD the person is suffering from. My friends eldest daughter has BPD and is in therapy - she isn't cured - but it is helping and she is aware that she is different and has a problem.  My partner sometimes says 'I am sorry for being me' but he does not clarify and this is usually proceeded by him carrying on as normal with his' raging' etc and then projecting by blaming me.  Last night he raged at the Sky box because it wouldn't work - I thought he was going to smash it - I was actually dumbfounded and realised that I was not therefore the sole cause of his 'rage'! :no:
The bird with the thorn in it's breast is driven by it knows not what to impale itself and die singing. But when we put thorns in our breast we know, we understand. And still we do it. Still we do it.

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marten77

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2013, 09:37:02 AM »
In my own personal experience, I can say that my NPD is somewhat aware that she has some sort of problem.  She has no idea what it is.  During our counseling meetings she has repeatedly said she does not know why she does or says the things that she has said or done but realizes after the fact when confronted with them that they are, in fact wrong and cause hurt.  Part of her hoovering me in the past has been to admit (prior to my discovery that she was NPD) that she knew she had issues and needed to work on them and promised to seek out some help.  Of course, she never did.  We are going to couples counseling.  Some progress has been made.  But when the counselor did try to probe one area that was what I believe the core of her NPD problem (her NPD mother, her upbringing and the way her mother treated and still treats her as well as her somewhat absent-minded father), she shut down completely.  So, at least in my case, there is some self-awareness there.  My NPD did not totally destroy the true human being that is suffering inside of her.
Doc Holliday: A man like Ringo has got a great big hole, right in the middle of him. He can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it.

Wyatt Earp: What does he need?

Doc Holliday: Revenge.

Wyatt Earp: For what?

Doc Holliday: Bein' born

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Oneness

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2013, 09:52:09 AM »
My unNPD mother will admit to being "difficult," but that is as far as her self awareness goes. She built her false self when she was young to replace the fragile and hurting person she was - she admitted that. But she has no idea that the new "false self," is abusive and controlling. She takes no responsibility for how she treats others - if she hurts you, tough shit, you deserve it - that is her attitude and she won't change.

But my unBPD exSO is another story. He is self aware, he knows he is a train wreck, but it too hard to live with that self awareness long enough to get the help to heal. When he faces his issues and actions, his shame core takes over and he falls apart. Only being able to accept who he is, forgive himself by not using PD defense mechanisms, and getting the professional help he needs can help him. So he compartmentalizes and dissociates, to protect himself....but ultimately, he knows. He is self aware.....
It's better to love and lost, then to live with a psycho for the rest of your life.

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Thorn bird

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2013, 11:49:20 AM »
Thank you that is interesting I have had so many people tell me  particularly with NPD's that they have virtually killed off their 'real self' and therefore their 'false self' is only aware of the self he has constructed which is 'perfect'.  In some ways it is comforting to think they do have some sense of awareness,  because then they could be capable of seeing what they are doing and how they are behaving.  I am sure there are varying degrees of this depending on the individual but thank you - very helpful and somewhat enlightening :)
The bird with the thorn in it's breast is driven by it knows not what to impale itself and die singing. But when we put thorns in our breast we know, we understand. And still we do it. Still we do it.

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rabbithole

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2013, 01:09:10 PM »
for me I think He is aware but to what degree........  Mine has a diagnose......  actually many......He has not been specific with all of them too me.... just the ones that he used to justify. 

I watched him struggle sometimes with it, swinging from being aware and the pain of being aware and then the denial that it can not be him but rather every one else and everything else that is causing him to be 'sick'.  At times he is  aware enough to know what drives some of the actions.  fear, and other feelings.  but aware of the root..... I am not really sure.  Or willing to see that it is the real problem and not other the other issues he assigns blame to.  On some level he can, I am sure of that, by some of what he says when in clear moments. 

I can just say this........ the more aware he got of those things the more tormented  he seemed to become and the more dramatic the swinging became...... rages got bigger and the down end (crying and depression ) got deeper and more tormenting it seemed to be......  really hard to watch at times. 
I think if they are self aware enough then it is more a question of coming to terms with who they really are......  and that the fact self really is worse and uglier then the real self that they are protecting or hiding and despise so much is just a wounded child really.
ďBut I donít want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you canít help that," said the Cat: "weíre all mad here. Iím mad. Youíre mad."
"How do you know Iím mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, or you wouldnít have come here.Ē
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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Joan

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2013, 03:35:20 PM »
Id like to turn this question to ourselves a bit: how sel-aware are we?

Are we aware we are/ were doormats? Fixers? Are we aware we were abused? Are we aware we had put up with too much for a normal person?

Like us, the ammount of awareness depends, I think. Also, the time we took to be fully aware. I can say that some are never aware. They spend their lifetime in the fog. Why? Cause either they dont see it or either dont want to see it, its paying off somehow. In that sense, its similar to PDs. Most are very confortable in their current situation, so why look inside? Why think abt change? Makes no sense.

I read that most Cluster B PDs never go to therapy. Or if they go, its cause they are pushed/ threatened by family. Most of the times they go, they do that to please the others and keep the status quo, not to change.


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marten77

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2013, 03:51:24 PM »
I became aware that I was a fixer and a door mat about 2 years into the relationship.  I couldn't tell you what exactly caused the realization to set in, but it did.  I wasn't one specific thing.  My NPD has definitely taken advantage of my weaknesses (fixing everything and taking on additional responsibility). 

To that extent, when we started going to couples counseling, I started subtly setting boundaries.  She didn't notice them at first.  After a while she did, but by the time she did, she was more or less used to them and realized the actually worked for her.  Plus, I found ways of making them seem like they were her idea or they made it better for her.

Sound like reverse gaslighting (and probably is to some extent).  But something had to be done because I got sick of her accepting no responsibility for anything around the house.
Doc Holliday: A man like Ringo has got a great big hole, right in the middle of him. He can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it.

Wyatt Earp: What does he need?

Doc Holliday: Revenge.

Wyatt Earp: For what?

Doc Holliday: Bein' born

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corky

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2013, 04:04:17 PM »
Id like to turn this question to ourselves a bit: how sel-aware are we?

Are we aware we are/ were doormats? Fixers? Are we aware we were abused? Are we aware we had put up with too much for a normal person?

Like us, the ammount of awareness depends, I think. Also, the time we took to be fully aware. I can say that some are never aware. They spend their lifetime in the fog. Why? Cause either they dont see it or either dont want to see it, its paying off somehow. In that sense, its similar to PDs. Most are very confortable in their current situation, so why look inside? Why think abt change? Makes no sense.

I read that most Cluster B PDs never go to therapy. Or if they go, its cause they are pushed/ threatened by family. Most of the times they go, they do that to please the others and keep the status quo, not to change.
I was totally unaware that I was a fixer/doormat or being abused at the time. Not a clue. My ex was not physically abusive and never yelled or name called so when he had a rage it just seemed like he was letting off steam from the stress of work---only it was usually so random. I excused so much of his behavior as being under a lot of job pressure. It might have been easier for me than some on here because no kids & we weren't together that long. I NOW know that gaslighting is abuse & so was his projecting & manipulating & certainly the push/pull torture and pass-aggressive crap. But I never once felt abused--just frustrated. The things that I would now see could be called doormat behavior was just me being loving to a man that I loved. I didn't mind putting my stuff on the back burner because that is what I thought couples did for each other. And he appreciated it so it didn't feel like I was being used....I was mostly a willing participant.
so now that I am aware....I must admit that the thought of working on my problems seems so overwhelming that I can't even start. I can imagine how they feel.

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Mina

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2013, 07:01:20 PM »
My OH (OCPD) knows that "the world" considers he has a problem but persists in maintaining his lonely war in the belief that actually it is "the world" with the problem, not him.......needless to say he is currently sole member of this particular crusade...........

Go Figure I say to him, well to his back as "he goes marching on"  ;D

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Thorn bird

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2013, 07:40:11 PM »
Hi! Christina I always thought I was self-aware, introspective etc. but with my partner maybe it is not that I am not aware but that I am confused - I don't try to fix I just try to be 'me' - sometimes being 'me' is enough - it all depends on his mood and his reactions.  I know I have my faults and foibles I am always 'looking inside myself' to see how I am behaving or if I am overreacting or making a situation worse.   What I needed to know was how much is he able to understand himself and how aware he is that he has this problem - that was all I have never said I am going to stay in this relationship long-term but as I have always said when it is good - it is so good the problem being that when it is bad it is very bad - please be assured that I am under no illusion about any of this my head is screwed on - it is my heart that is the problem   :barfy:
The bird with the thorn in it's breast is driven by it knows not what to impale itself and die singing. But when we put thorns in our breast we know, we understand. And still we do it. Still we do it.

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Joan

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2013, 08:35:34 PM »
Hey Thorn Bird!

I was talking abt me also, it took me many years to realize there were a few PDs in my family. They were called "difficult", "bossy", etc... But the truth is they are BPD/ HPD, etc.

I understand your need to analize and understand. I did that too. We want answers. But in the end I realized the main thing is how we feel abt a certain situation, not why its cause or how. I guess I closed that chapter. I ended up in a more difficult now, I guess. But Im healing.  ;D

If your husband is NPD, he is aware. This is what I got from reading some websites provided here.

Lets assume hes not aware, just for a discussion. Will that make it easier for you to deal with him?

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Survivor43

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2013, 08:51:09 PM »
I dont think so because they exist within their own reality which doesnt allow for self criticism.
If I am wrong on that , then I think they are always able to justify their behaviors, words, etc in a way
that keeps them "right", gives them supply etc..

Non PD's use a different system entirely so its like comparing apples to oranges
. :smug:

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overit830

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Re: So How Self-Aware are They?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2013, 09:00:33 PM »
My MIL and M are uNPD and neither are aware there is anything wrong with themselves. Ironically I was talking to my mother about problems with my NMIL and hearing her talk about my MILs narcissism was surreal. I wanted to scream, "you too!!!"  :doh:

she is completely and utterly unaware. But feels compelled to talk about her problems with OTHER people she suspects of being NPD or BPD and how frustrating they are. :stars:

even more ironic she started talking about how these people just have no self awareness at all! Oh, how I wished I could for once say what I REALLY was thinking!