Dear Michael, Thank you for helping others with your personal perspective. The irony is, you are actually helping others in an apparently selfless way – which is, as we all know, contrary to the Narcissist’s way.
As you have said in a previous post, the learned behaviour of the narcissist is ingrained from a very early age – from a narcissistic parent or someone else as an authoritative figure.
I hope you do not mind me asking you, but as you have become *aware* of your personality and the narcissist traits, has this helped you to *change* in your attitude towards relationships and how you treat people generally?
Do you think before you act or say anything now – or do you still have to be in control? Or has the realisation set you free?
It would be nice to think that some Narcissists do actually *see* themselves for what they are and find the strength to change for the better.
I can only speak from my experience and growth, with that being said, after a LONG time of destruction and pain inflicted on others I have come to the point of being aware of how I treat others. I can see and feel the pain I have caused and the suffering I have inflicted on ones I loved.
I am fully aware of my disorder and what I have done. I take each day as a victory that I can go without “relapsing.” I know it is not something that can be cured with some magical pill and I need to work on myself each and every day to restrain from going back to who I was.
My attitude towards relationships has grossly changed and I value and cherish them more now then ever before. Although I know I have done irreversible damage I know I can look forward and treat the new people in my life with respect. It is not something I am proud of BUT I am proud of the fact I have seen the abuse and damage I have caused and am making every effort to stop repeating it.
I 100% have to think before speaking or acting, it has NOT become second nature yet and at times I do see myself falling back into old ways. I do however have a great accountability group and working daily to improve myself. My relationships have improved drastically, some have forgiven me, others disbelieve me and have moved on. I cannot control how others think and feel about me.
I hope this helped you and answered your question.