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Posted (edited)

I fear this mostly based on my experience with a psychologist I had five years ago. I was reading about transference because of feelings I have for my current therapists, and then read on about countertransference. This is something I have begun to suspect took place with the therapist I had over a period of nine months in ‘15-‘16. A countertransference involving negative feelings. 

I had the distinct impression he didn’t like me very much. He always seemed wary or suspicious of me. He rarely asked questions. He did more eye rolling, scoffing, sighing and glaring than he did talking. Anything he did say was out of offense at something I’d said, or annoyance. He seemd dismissive of what I thought were my issues. I feel now like he believed I sought him out purely to tell him my tragic life story. Apparently, narcissists will go into therapy purely to elicit sympathy or to gain the attention of the therapist. In my mid-20s, I was at the time deep in a ‘goth’ phase. I exclusively dressed head to toe in black, worse NIN and Marilyn Manson shirts, and talked about a lot of gloomy and depressing subject matter. Apparently, when a therapist works with a narcisstic patient, they feel ‘used’. I wonder if that is why this guy seemed almost willfully unhelpful. He didn’t want to ‘indulge’ me. 

I and almost everyone I know—family and mental health professionals—would describe me as someone severely lacking in self esteem. I’m not sure a person with narcisstic personality disorder necessarily needs any self esteem at all. I’ve sort of gathered that they can hate themselves out of extreme regard for themselves. That their self-hatred is a part of self-obsession. 

The fact that I deify my current psychologist, regard him as almost god-like, plays into this too. Narcissists will apparently idealize anyone that they like. Am I idealizing him out of narcissism? I hope I’m making sense. 

Edited by SqueezeWax

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15 minutes ago, SqueezeWax said:

II and almost everyone I know—family and mental health professionals—would describe me as someone severely lacking in self esteem. I’m not sure a person with narcisstic personality disorder necessarily needs any self esteem at all. I’ve sort of gathered that they can hate themselves out of extreme regard for themselves. That their self-hatred is a part of self-obsession

 

I will be watching responses to this thread with great interest. I feel some recognition with what you said there. Uh-oh.

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There is a difference between self-centeredness and good self care yet they can look the same at times. I believe that putting myself first and getting the care I need is my responsibility. With mental illness, we need extra support and care yet I don't see it as selfishness. If one acts out of a "everything is about me" attitude and blames all their problems on others, then that is self-centeredness. Yet sometimes when it is extra hard, we need to focus on just ourselves which is very okay for the time as we have a serious illness that we didn't cause and can't control.

BW

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You help me and so many others here on the Forums, SqueezeWax, that I could never see you as a narcissist.  Your posts break down the isolation we feel in our struggles with our own personal anguish and pain.  That is more than a healing effect you give us.  It is a life saving effect.  If you are a narcissist then all of us are narcissists.  

My experience is that sometimes the candle that burns the most furiously and agonizingly gives off the most light.  We all feel blessed that you are here on the Forums!  - epictetus

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I don't think a narcissist would have low self esteem.  They usually have a god complex.  They think they are the only person that matters and they usually think they are the strongest smartest person in every room they walk into.

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The thing that I have heard about people who worry that they are narcissists is this: worry that you are a narcissist means that you are not a narcissist. Actually - what you describe sound like someone who has dealt with a narcissist. My mother is a narcissist and one of the things that she instilled in me is a fear of being selfish. The reason narcissists do this is that it puts you in a position where you are trained to put their needs before you own - but it really messes you up. I have a terrible time taking care of my own needs - because when I do I feel like I am being selfish.

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fwiw, SqueezeWax, I don't sense that you're a narcissist at all.  Among those I've known, they'd never open themselves up or make themselves as vulnerable as you have with us.  Also, in my experience, I think it's likely we'd have seen some indication of it in the way you respond to our posts.

I'll be the first one to grant that narcissists are devious, but I'm not getting that with you.

As is often true, I'll go with @JessiesMom on her take, particularly since I was raised with a narcissist who caused, imo, irreparable damage to my self-esteem from an early age.  That's to say, when we finally recover just enough to embrace self-care (or, if you like, selfishness), it feels like narcissism.  For me, standing up for myself is not easy at all...and even tougher when I encounter resistance from people who, ironically, DON'T have my best interests at heart.  It sounds to me, for example, like you've had a few of those among the professionals who've treated you. 

Shifting from the therapeutic, nor do I sense any narcissism in the course of the struggles you've mentioned in your design studies.  If you were a narcissist, seems to me you'd be crowing about how your designs were so cutting-edge that your classmates were too stupid to recognize it.  You wouldn't hesitate for a minute to cut them down.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with @JessiesMomfor sure.  No narcissist has ever worried that they might be a narcissist.  If they worry about it they would have to have empathy for others and worry about the chaos they are causing around them which they don't at all.  People are nothing but chess pieces to them.  Another thing is there is almost no chance a narcissist would come to a place like this to get help and no chance at all that they would help others.  

Edited by sober4life

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Great responses. I'd be hard pressed to identify anyone here at DF who is a narcissist, at least from how I understand the term.

I have horrible self esteem, yet I try to help others whenever the opportunity arises.

14 hours ago, JessiesMom said:

The thing that I have heard about people who worry that they are narcissists is this: worry that you are a narcissist means that you are not a narcissist. Actually - what you describe sound like someone who has dealt with a narcissist. My mother is a narcissist and one of the things that she instilled in me is a fear of being selfish. The reason narcissists do this is that it puts you in a position where you are trained to put their needs before you own - but it really messes you up. I have a terrible time taking care of my own needs - because when I do I feel like I am being selfish.

This makes a degree of sense. I grew up with the same fear of being selfish too. I constantly ignore my own needs in order to keep everyone else "happy".

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There is a lot to respond to here and I haven't read the whole thread, but I would try not to get too hung up on the word "Narcissist."  It is just a  word and ultimately one person's opinion. I believe it is often used disparagingly by people in order to describe someone they don't like. Instead of just saying someone is acting selfishly, they will call them a narcissist because it is easier to label someone rather than try to understand why they might acting selfishly . 

Specifically, it pained me to read about your experience with this therapist:

Quote

I had the distinct impression he didn’t like me very much. He always seemed wary or suspicious of me. He rarely asked questions. He did more eye rolling, scoffing, sighing and glaring than he did talking. Anything he did say was out of offense at something I’d said, or annoyance. He seemd dismissive of what I thought were my issues. I feel now like he believed I sought him out purely to tell him my tragic life story.

Eye rolling? Scoffing? Sighing? Dismissiveness? This is NOT how a therapist should act. I am deeply sorry that you had this experience, and also very glad to hear that you have moved on. It hits me personally because I had an oddly similar experience in therapy (sounds like it could have been the same person!) and it ended up really doing me a lot of harm that I have yet to recover from.

Seriously - no matter  what sort of issues you may be bringing to a therapy session, this kind of behavior is not only unprofessional - it is egregiously irresponsible and dangerous. Please do not judge yourself in anyway due to the influence of this clod. He has no business pretending to care for others and should be run out of town. 

 

 

 

23 hours ago, SqueezeWax said:

I fear this mostly based on my experience with a psychologist I had five years ago. I was reading about transference because of feelings I have for my current therapists, and then read on about countertransference. This is something I have begun to suspect took place with the therapist I had over a period of nine months in ‘15-‘16. A countertransference involving negative feelings. 

I had the distinct impression he didn’t like me very much. He always seemed wary or suspicious of me. He rarely asked questions. He did more eye rolling, scoffing, sighing and glaring than he did talking. Anything he did say was out of offense at something I’d said, or annoyance. He seemd dismissive of what I thought were my issues. I feel now like he believed I sought him out purely to tell him my tragic life story. Apparently, narcissists will go into therapy purely to elicit sympathy or to gain the attention of the therapist. In my mid-20s, I was at the time deep in a ‘goth’ phase. I exclusively dressed head to toe in black, worse NIN and Marilyn Manson shirts, and talked about a lot of gloomy and depressing subject matter. Apparently, when a therapist works with a narcisstic patient, they feel ‘used’. I wonder if that is why this guy seemed almost willfully unhelpful. He didn’t want to ‘indulge’ me. 

I and almost everyone I know—family and mental health professionals—would describe me as someone severely lacking in self esteem. I’m not sure a person with narcisstic personality disorder necessarily needs any self esteem at all. I’ve sort of gathered that they can hate themselves out of extreme regard for themselves. That their self-hatred is a part of self-obsession. 

The fact that I deify my current psychologist, regard him as almost god-like, plays into this too. Narcissists will apparently idealize anyone that they like. Am I idealizing him out of narcissism? I hope I’m making sense. 

 

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I thank each and every one of you for your responses. I’m relieved. I thought knives would come out and I would be told that I’m clearly a narcissist based on the content of my postings on this forum. I am touched to know that I have been helpful in some way. I always hope that my posts will resonate with someone no matter what they’re about. 

I’m preoccupied with this therapist. This guy was supposed to be someone who is neutral, and was being paid to help me, and I managed to alienate him to the point that he couldn’t do his job. It makes me question what is really wrong with me. I think he confused what I thought and talked about with how I felt, though. And all he could tell me was that the things I spoke about were bad bad bad, wrong wrong wrong. I couldn’t get anywhere with him. I know I don’t need to let him matter to me, and I’m going to try to put him behind me. 

 

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