[DWJ] narcissistic personality disorder site

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Jan 26 12:01:13 EST 2007

The Knowledge Pika came to my rescue:

>> Does anyone who hasn't happened to give birth ever present with
>> narcissistic personality disorder, or is it confined to females with
>> children; if so, how do these people get by if they happen not to spawn?
>> How do they express these characteristics if they lack child-victims and
>> have nobody readily-available to practise on?
>Oh, there are lots of narcissistic personality disorders in other kinds
>of people. I've been listening to an audiobook called "Social
>Intelligence" and have just gotten to the point where he talks about
>'the dark triad' of Narcissistic Personality, Machiavellian Personality,
>and Psychopathy, which are all characterized by lack of/severe
>deficiency in the neurological/psychological capacity for 'empathy'.

Well, thank goodness for that!

>> That may be a silly question, but this entire site seems concentrated
>> exclusively on "the *mother* as evil Aunt Maria figure"
>It does seem to be concentrated on mothers with narcissistic personality
>disorders. Now, it just happens that I've met 2 people who really do
>have mothers of this exact stripe, to the point where both mothers have
>had run-ins with the law. So I recognize the description.

I can think of at least two mothers I've known who were like that, but I
didn't put an label on it beyond "complete cow".

Actually, one of the children of such a mother was going for treatment (in
her late fifties!) during which her inability to love her mother was being
a major issue both for her and for the shrink, and I inadvertantly cut the
Gordian Knot for them when I was told this in a despairing way.  What I
said, or rather exclaimed, was, "But *nobody* could *possibly* love your
mother -- she's a complete cow!"  This seemed to be what was needed, for
some reason; what I couldn't understand was that she hadn't noticed it for

Thanks for the more general-site reference.  The particular reference given
smacked so strongly of personal-axe-grinding that it alarmed me somewhat.

>> Is there any defence a mother can make when her adolescent turns round and
>> says "You've got narcissistic personality disorder", or is this like "When
>> did you stop beating your wife?", one of the Great Unanswerables?  I can't
>> off-hand think of any way to rebut, rebuff, refute or otherwise squish that
>> charge without it instantly looking as if it were true!
>Hm... Well, I'd say dealing with the charge calmly is probably one's
>best bet. Since adolescents have a fair share of narcissism (it's a
>developmental trait of the age), it's going to be tough going. Nothing
>much you could say in the heat of anger, definitely-- my best bet would
>be to tell them go look it up in some psychology books and write up the
>charges, and we'll discuss them later.  In the cold light of a standard
>psych text and having to do homework about it, it might be easier to
>deal with.

Ah, but that's specifically mentioned as being typical disordered-mother
defence tactics: "We'll talk about this later when you're calmer", right?

I just felt that it was all very well making the claim that the child can't
win, but equally the mother couldn't, going by that particular website.

I find myself remembering the moment in *Three Men In A Boat* when J reads
the medical textbook and realises that he's got everything in it apart from
Housemaid's Knee: I suspect that any adolescent who found that site might
well decide that his/her mother was a clear case of narcissistic
personality disorder, given that almost any mother will occasionally and in
particular sets of circumstances have done things that could be taken as
looking like some of the examples given.  <grin>  My Ma mostly didn't, and
she nearly drove me mad by being impossible to complain about with any
actual justification.  <more grin>  She just had a rather explosive temper,
and a short fuse before breakfast.  So she used to get up long before
everyone else to avoid getting tempted to commit pre-coffee braticide.
Aaargh!  How cruel is that?  There ought to be a special description for
mothers who are an impossible act to follow, and leave their daughters
feeling forever second-rate by comparison.


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