How to summarize and eloquently tell a tale of horror than unfolds and manifests repeatedly in life implosion after life implosion. This isn’t my usual chipper self. However, I’ve always promised you all the truths I know.
A narcissist suffers from a Reactive Attachment Disorder, within the first 18 months of life, where they did not consistently get their basic needs met. They were not consistently responded to when they hungry, tired, or needed to be engaged by their primary caregiver. It’s a tale of abuse and neglect. They can’t remember this time period, however, they may remember other dysfunctions in their childhood of ineffective parenting.
When an infant isn’t consistently getting these needs met from a primary caregiver. They don’t ever form a secure attachment to a caregiver at all and can consequently, never securely attach to anyone ever. They don’t ever develop a feeling of love for a caregiver, they don’t develop empathy for their caregiver. They lose the ability to have any deeper feelings for anyone, ever. Their feelings stay in the realm of surface feelings only. They do develop an underlying feeling of rage and anger that is always somewhat present under the surface, and erupts consistently when they don’t get their way and more importantly when their fragile ego takes a hit.
The losses are profound. They lose the ability to feel true happiness. They lose the ability to trust their world. They lose their sense of self. They lose their self confidence and self worth. They lose the ability to self regulate their own self esteem. They lose the ability to have healthy relationships with others. They lose the ability to maintain consistent life styles. They lose the ability to have morals and a conscience because they have no gravitational pull towards others.
They gain so much too. They gain an empty feeling that eats at their soul. They have a deep mental gash that causes constant mental pain. They have a mother void that creates dysfunction in their sexual relationships with others. The ability to view their lens of the world through only themselves. The ability to put themselves and their needs first always. They gain an ability to live life without ever needing a singular other person. They are mentally independent of others always. They develop an ability to create a false mask of super confidence. They develop an enhanced ability to mirror others. They developed an enhanced ability to manipulate others. Those last two had to be developed as infants when they were trying to get their basic needs met.
The mask, the manipulation are obvious ones for sure. They need external validation and things to fill their tragically low self esteem up. Their appearance and image is everything to them. Consequently, things like their clothes and being on time are very important to them. They want to be surrounded by the highest quality things they can obtain. They have very black and white thinking. They view many things, people included as all bad or all good. They most likely have issues with food, where they are overindulging or depriving themselves. There is very little middle ground there.
Their self esteem is low, however, hidden with the mask. You can tell it is low because they can never be insulted, look badly in front of others, or accept consequences of their actions that would be in the negative realm. They punish, lash out and create smear compaigns if you try to hurt them because they simply are so full of pain they are not capable of absorbing anymore.
Because they don’t have a full range of feelings, they are uncomfortable talking about or trying to understand human feelings. Many of these feelings are foreign to them. Funerals and death do not bother them. They prefer to die than to live often. They see this as the only way out of their mental pain. They are unable, however to commit suicide because while trying to survive as infants of neglect their brain consistently told them, don’t die… don’t die. So although, they don’t always want to live, they are kind of still stuck on this earth. Many of them resort to drugs and/ or alcohol to help numb the mental pain.
I hope this helps give a brief yet profound over view of the disorder.
It’s quite sad no matter what angle you try to view it from. From: Ms. Romine, Quora