Narcissism and Secrecy

solaceIt’s an interesting contradiction that narcissists are very secretive.  They shout from the rooftops about their accomplishments, their beauty and their talents.  They’ll have you believe that they are fabulous, but they never let you get close enough to see for yourself.  Maybe it’s because they know that if you get close, you’ll see that they aren’t any better than anyone else.  They can’t risk the possibility of anyone discovering that their house is normal, their yard isn’t spectacular, their furnishings are ordinary.  Perhaps they can’t control how much you’ll learn about them if you go to their home.  You’ll see that their home isn’t as grand as they’ve led you to believe.  Maybe you would discover their vulnerabilities or weaknesses, not that they’d ever admit to having any.

Mark and I seldom entertained.  No one from work was invited over.  He would get irritable if I suggested having anyone over for dinner.  I’m the type that likes to sit on the deck and share a glass of iced tea with the neighbor gal.  I never had to ask her to leave when Mark got home.  She could tell by his demeanor, that once he was home, there was no reason for her to stay.  It was the same with phone calls.  I always had to make excuses if a girlfriend should call while Mark was home.  It wasn’t that we would be busy doing anything, it’s that he didn’t want to risk my telling her how normal we were.

The whole time I knew him, I had this feeling that there was more of him to get to know.  I always felt like he just wasn’t letting me in.  I sensed that I had to pass a test before he would grant me further entrance.  Every time I failed to meet a standard, I was held at arm’s length.  He kept his inner thoughts and feelings a secret.  It made me try harder to get to know him.  It was a challenge to try to get to the real Mark.  I was only allowed to see the Mark that he wanted me to see.

I used to think that he knew me better than anyone else.  I realize now that he knew me only to the extent that he was interested in knowing me.  He knew me enough to push the right buttons so that he’d get his narcissism fed.




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  1. I really enjoy reading your writings. They have made me realize that I am not crazy. What I have perceived all this time is really true. Thank you.

  2. Ann,

    Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

    I remember when I thought I was crazy. It often felt like I couldn’t take a breath.

    I also remember searching the eyes of those close to me, looking for signs that they believed me.

    All the best to you.

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