I’ve been having a little trouble deciding on an appropriate blog description (the subheader that appears under the blog’s title).
I have tried various descriptions (especially over the past week) and I haven’t been really happy with any of them.
“Recovery from childhood trauma” stayed the longest, and it covered all the bases. I was very confused about what I “had,” and for the longest time my therapist wouldn’t give me a proper diagnosis (due to both hating labels and not being sure what my real problem was). I knew I had C-PTSD and BPD (or at least BPD remnants) and suspected narcissism too but had never received any kind of diagnosis for that. Since all three are caused by childhood trauma and because I was so confused about myself, it just seemed prudent to leave out the psychiatric labels altogether. This worked because anyone suffering any kind of childhood trauma wouldn’t feel intimidated by posting here, but it also made this blog sound too much like another narc-abuse blog, which it isn’t, even though I am a victim of narcissistic abuse.
A few weeks ago, my therapist finally tentatively diagnosed me with low spectrum NPD (used as a protection from the emotional ravages of BPD and C-PTSD). He saw that I had just enough traits to get the stigmatizing diagnosis (yikes) but he also assured me I wasn’t in the hopeless category and am no way malignant. I’m not proud of the label, but it also came as a relief because it validated what I already knew and resolved a lot of cognitive dissonance and confusion I’d been experiencing.
I felt like as far as this blog was concerned, I would be dishonest by not admitting it, so I wrote a post about it. I also decided I should change the description to include that. But I couldn’t bring myself to use “NPD” because it’s so off-putting to so many people and might run off my readers who are “only” C-PTSD but not Cluster B at all. I decided “covert narcissism” would be a bit easier to swallow, but after a few days I felt uncomfortable with that too.
I also began to notice that while no one seemed to run off and abandon me after my shocking admission, my regular commenters seemed more careful about what they said, adding little disclaimers to their comments. I assumed this meant they were now a little wary around me — maybe they thought that if they weren’t careful about how they said things, I might go off on them, devalue them, or otherwise start abusing or gaslighting them or something. I left in the “…caused by childhood trauma” in the description to encourage my non-cluster B readers to stick around and not decide I was now one of those “evil people” just because I had not just one (BPD), but two, stigmatizing diagnoses now. Besides, childhood trauma is also something I write a lot about on this blog.
Since “covert narcissism” is almost the same thing (or really is the same thing) as “vulnerable narcissism” or “fragile narcissism,” I changed the “covert” to “vulnerable.” It SOUNDS less intimidating. But that made the description too long and aesthetically unappealing, since I still wanted to leave in the “…caused by childhood trauma.”
But every time I opened up this blog and saw the term “narcissism” in the description (referring to ME and not my abusers) I inwardly cringed. It made me feel sick to see that. So last night, I changed the description AGAIN, this time to “recovery from cluster B hell caused by childhood trauma.” After all, “cluster B” was pretty general and could refer to BOTH BPD and NPD, without specifying which one. (It could also refer to ASPD!)
But no, “recovery from cluster B hell…” wouldn’t work either. It hit me how much that description sounded like this blog would be about narcissistic abuse and might attract narc-haters thinking this was just another ACON blog that would demonize people with NPD and other cluster B disorders, and I didn’t want to do that. Don’t get me wrong — those blogs are necessary and good (for the most part, except those that are clearly run by un-self-aware Cluster B people who think in a black and white, us-vs.-them way), but I’ve moved away from writing about myself as a victim only. Seeing that cluster B disorders arise FROM abuse and are primitive defense mechanisms against further abuse, I’m now trying to write for BOTH sufferers of C-PTSD and for Cluster B people (both NPD and BPD) who want help, since we are ALL victims of trauma.
I thought about going back to my original “recovery from childhood trauma,” but again, it’s TOO general and leaves out an important bit of information about me that I think my readers have the right to know. I also wanted other people with self-aware NPD who wanted to change to feel welcome posting here without running off my non-cluster B readers. I also felt it was important to include “BPD” in the description, since that was my first diagnosis and much of this blog is about that.
I finally settled on “recovering from BPD and narcissism caused by childhood trauma.” I know it’s a little lengthy and cumbersome, but I don’t think it’s too off-putting for non-cluster B people and victims of abuse, but it also is honest and encouraging to cluster B people who also want to comment.
This is so hard to reconcile because of the negative, us-versus-them mentality that’s so pervasive when it comes to narcissism and victims of narcissistic abuse. That, of course, needs to change. We all have C-PTSD.
Please share in the comments what you think. Was this a good choice, or do you think I should change it to something else? If you have any suggestions for a better (or catchier!) subtitle, please put it in the comments.
One more thing: please don’t feel afraid to state your honest feelings and opinions on this blog. I might have a stigmatizing diagnosis, but I think I’m basically a good person, just a broken one. I want to help others who have suffered too, and that’s a big reason why this blog exists. I’m not without empathy either (lack of empathy isn’t a requirement for NPD anyway — it’s just really common). I promise I won’t bite! I’m pretty mindful about the way I treat people these days and feel like I’ve made some progress anyway.