But overwhelmed in a good way.
Coming out as a covert narcissist here a few days ago was incredibly scary. Even though I’d already written posts explaining why I felt like I was one, I was only self-diagnosed. That’s not quite the same thing as actually getting a real diagnosis of NPD. People can dismiss self-diagnoses pretty easily and find all kinds of reasons why they think you’re wrong. Then you start to doubt it yourself and you’re back to where you started.
Having such a disorder (and BPD also), I’m terrified of rejection, disapproval, and negative judgment. Especially because NPD is an incredibly stigmatizing diagnosis to be saddled with. Hell, having BPD was bad enough!
I imagined the worst: my friends high-tailing it off my blogs, and never speaking to me again. Other friends deciding they had to go No Contact with me now. Trolls and narc-haters writing abusive and hurtful comments. Losing a bunch of my followers and readers.
Well, surprise! None of that’s happened. If a few people decided not to follow this blog anymore, I’m not aware of it (I can’t keep track of that). No one has been the slightest bit negative or judgmental, and the people I consider to be my real friends have stuck by me and have been overwhelmingly supportive and encouraging.
I feel like having the diagnosis actually is helpful, in that now other people with this disorder (the self aware, low level ones who want to change) feel more encouraged to share their stories or even start their own blogs. Both self aware narcissists and non-narcissists have expressed their appreciation for what I’m doing and for having enough courage to “out” myself.
Is getting narcissistic supply the reason why I feel good about this, or is it just normal? Maybe I shouldn’t analyze that so much.
One thing about becoming self aware is that you begin to question and suspect *everything* you do as being somehow narcissistic! But we are still just people, broken people–and sometimes, as Freud famously said, “a cigar is just a cigar.”
I also feel more motivated to start writing again. As Sleeping Tiger expressed in her “coming out” post (which I reblogged here the other day), when we feel like we can no longer be completely honest on our blogs, out of fear of being judged or abandoned, that’s when you run the danger of losing interest in blogging. That was beginning to happen to me. I couldn’t let that happen, because writing and blogging has been such an important part of my recovery.
I was finding I no longer wanted to just write about narcissistic abuse for victims only (so many other people are doing that anyway). I was chomping at the bit to share this news even though I knew that doing so would be a huge risk. I wanted to take a slightly different path, and now I feel free to do that, without unpleasant consequences. I hope this gives courage to others to do the same.
Prior to posting my coming out article, I prayed a lot about it. Then spent several days waiting for an answer. And the answer came:
YOU MUST DO THIS.
There is no other way.
God (or Providence, or the Universe, or whatever term you prefer) is showing me that I *am* loved, and was never really forgotten. My NPD was finally revealed to me because I was ready.
But I have a job to do too — using my own experiences as someone with covert NPD — and this journey to healing I’m on — to help others who suffer from this disorder (as well as those suffering from related trauma and attachment disorders such as C-PTSD and BPD).
I’m overjoyed and moved at all the positive and supportive feedback I’ve received so far. Coming out was a game changer, I think. I feel like I’m now I can move forward onto the the next leg of this amazing, frightening, mind-bending, often sad, often very weird, but also joyful adventure whose goal is to reclaim my true self and internalizing her needs and wants as my own. As she begins to unfold and come out of hiding, my hope and dream is that I’ll be able to say buh-bye to my false one, as she will no longer be necessary. She has served her purpose, but it’s time to down-size. She’s got her pink slip.
I know I made the right choice. This coming from someone who has a history of always making the worst possible choices.
So thank you, everyone, for being here for me and continuing to be so supportive. I appreciate you all so much.
Have a happy and safe holiday!