Submitted by Marie Shukaitis (Baptiste), A.C.S.W., author of a book about NPD titled “Red Flags Matter: I was his Crooked Hillary, Weak Obama, and Fake News ”
The enormous coverage of the Donald Trump campaign for the presidency illuminated on a huge and dramatic scale this serious and destructive inability of someone with severe narcissistic personality disorder to live in a world of reality; rather, they live in their DISORDERED reality. While there is not yet a formal diagnosis of Donald Trump’s illness, more than 11,000 mental health professionals have privately opined that he has some level of NPD.
The disorder within their minds, probably resulting from early childhood deficits and/or wounds, requires them to develop defenses to protect their fragile, interior worlds; their very survival depends on that. In short time, they learn to project that disordered world outside themselves and require others to conform to it. Soon that disorder results in chaos, rigidity and even cruelty for those around them, but comfort for themselves, the ONLY important being in their disordered world. This is not done consciously or deliberately; it is not intentional or cruel. However, because of the dissonance with the reality in their sphere, it often leads to cruelty. It is developed much as most of us develop various defense mechanisms – unconsciously.
From the beginning I was fully aware that in describing this very unhappy and destructive marriage, it would appear that I was pointing fingers, laying blame, etc. But the very value of these writings rests in pointing out and describing the ramifications of being closely involved with a person who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The goal therefore, is to point out the “red flags”, the indicators, and offer ways to make wise and positive decisions. So, here I invoke a mantra I developed using it as a “shield” when his raging and rants began.
“He is not mean, he is not bad; his disordered world is all he has. He’s doing his best; his best is not something I can detest.” It did not solve problems, but it did deter escalation of them.
My own deeply beloved daughter recently shouted at me ACCUSINGLY “You have serious mental health issues, Mom.” I had been aware of that for several years, was pained by it and the effects it had on her; had done everything I could to alleviate the damage: therapy, hypnosis, self-hypnosis, smoking, support groups, medication, even turned to alcohol for about 2 years, neurokinesis.
They all gave some temporary relief, but none were lasting or satisfying. PTSD is at least as painful for the sufferer as for those around them, probably much more. More than twenty years of serious, destructive discord would not be undone easily if at all. I had always believed I would get support from her. That was my last hope for help. All I had left was my faith and I believe it will be adequate support.