I’m following a blog where the writer, who is a diagnosed NPD in therapy (I am not going to link the blog here), has been showing signs recently of his hard shell beginning to crack and unfamiliar emotions starting to break through his formerly impenetrable emotional wall.
It’s been happening over time, and in fits and starts. His last post expresses quite a lot of vulnerability and sadness for his lost self and the hurt he felt as a child. It made me feel like weeping, but in the good kind of way. If this blogger is being candid and honest, then his unfolding is a beautiful, painful, magnificent thing to behold.
But earlier posts by this writer have described the way he feeds off the emotional reactions of other people (the way all narcissists do). Whether the reactions are positive or negative don’t really matter; it’s the fact they are emotional reactions to him that feed him. The blogger also happens to be an extremely skilled writer. I could easily believe he may be merely manipulating his readers (many who are empaths) into falling for the epic drama of the Big Bad Narc transforming into a man with the ability to love and feel like a normal person. It’s the stuff of Hollywood. It would make a great 10-Kleenex movie. He no doubt knows the effect such a thing would have; he could use his skill with the English language to write breathtaking, transformative passages and become the star of his own tear-jerker movie.
I must have watched the ending of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at least 20 times, and it still has the ability to make me sob like a little child. It’s basically the story of a narcissist being healed by the love of another person, all dressed up in period costume and fairy dust and magic, and rendered suitable for children. I can’t get enough of that damn sappy ending. But I think that, for me, it’s symbolic of something much deeper going on.
Maybe I’m being (in Sam Vaknin’s words) a malignant optimist or maybe I’m just a gullible fool, but I really, really want to believe the blogger isn’t manipulating his readers for narcissistic supply. I want to believe what he says he’s feeling is actually real. Nothing would move my soul more than witnessing a narcissist actually healing from his disorder. I’m a starry-eyed romantic INFJ and love this kind of stuff. I need to see that movie and believe it’s true. Maybe my obsession with narcissists being able to open their hearts again has to do with having narcissistic parents and having wanted so much to see it happen for them, but alas, my dreams were dashed.
Is there a way to know if this writer is telling the truth or just putting on a show for his readers in order to garner supply for himself? I suppose this is a rhetorical question since obviously no one can answer that. Only the narcissist himself can answer that, but there’s no way to know if his answer would be the truth or not.