Saturday, December 17, 2011

Envy: The Narcissist's Unconscious Demon Revealed

In the final chapter on "My Ex-Boyfriend Has Narcissistic Personality Disorder," we come to the blurb in Psychology Today about the topic of envy vs. the narcissist. I witnessed this trait in my ex on numerous occasions, when he'd feel threatened by someone else I knew and admired, whether that was after meeting that person, hearing me talk about someone in a complimentary fashion, or if he feared someone else *might* actually, gasp, have love in his (or her, if it was one of my girlfriends who I loved but who didn't think he was the cat's pajamas) heart for me.

My ex insisted that he never, ever felt the emotion of jealousy with regard to anyone, when in actuality, his behavior was overtly hostile towards those he envied who were in any way close to me. If I had a friend who didn't like him, that friend was automatically toxic in my life in his opinion, and he'd twist words around and mix my emotions in a dizzying way towards the people I loved. Only one of my friends actually liked him, because he turned on all the charms for her and she's just a sweetie who wants to believe the best in people. The rest of my friends (and family, and doctors) all thought he was a scumbag who was stringing me along.

He spent an evening watching a crowd of close to 10,000 people scream and cheer and sing along to my friend's band a couple of winters ago at a local radio station's big holiday bash concert extravaganza. I brought him along as my guest and we had excellent VIP seats in a massive arena my friend said was like playing in "an airplane hanger." The band is relatively famous (2-time Grammy winners) and my friend is widely considered to be the musical genius as the band's multi-instrumentalist. My ex knew that my friend and I understood one another on a level and with an intensity that he couldn't penetrate, us both being recovering addicts and my friend, at the time, was an active alcoholic with a complicated history. Still, I wanted them to meet because they were both important to me. I had my friend's Christmas present in tow, something for he and his family to enjoy. I'd had the stomach flu the whole week before the concert, but there was nothing that was going to stop me from seeing the band play, I remember that vividly.

After the show, backstage, my friend emerged from behind a curtain and the security guards and immediately, enthusiastically approached me and gave me a big hug. It'd been a year since we'd seen each other in person, our time together in person sparse. I introduced my boyfriend to my friend, who was nonplussed meeting him. He wasn't interested in talking to my ex, who tried to interject into our conversation, my friend pretty much ignoring him totally and concentrating on catching up with me, which might have come across as a little rude to my ex, but anyone normal would understand that we were treasuring our brief time together, catching up. My Tatus understood that even before meeting this friend of mine, and said when I took HIM backstage this summer that he didn't mind staying out of the way, understood that we wanted to catch up, and wouldn't intrude. But I told my Tatus, "I WANT you to meet him and talk to him. You're both important to me. That's WHY I BROUGHT you here," I told him.

On the way home from the concert what cold December night, my ex said that my friend was "pathetic" and that he "felt sorry for him." He thought that my friend was intimidated by him for some reason, which my ex thought was weird. The reality is that my friend *could* have a really big ego and be an implied extrovert because he's famous, when in actuality, he's shy, reserved and very humble. My ex had no basis on which to frame my friend as pathetic. My ex felt that my friend was somehow jealous of him and before the concert, had envisioned the two of them getting into a physical fight backstage over God knows what, with no basis for such a delusion. It's just the narcissist's way of reducing someone threatening to the level of an insect that should be stomped on.

Envy, Part of the Definition of Narcisistic Personality Disorder

Narcissists feel contempt for those whom they really envy

Shortly before we finally broke up, my ex and I escaped to the Dells for a weekend together, which was supposed to be one last hurrah (hurray?) before he went off and started attempting to seduce anything in Chicago with a vagina, leaving me in the dust after our long relationship.

Ironically, walking down the street, we stumbled upon a group of furries (those people who dress up in furry animal costumes as a lifestyle and prance around like that on a regular basis) who applauded and recognized the t-shirt I was wearing as being one from the band my aforementioned friend plays with.

One night at dinner, we were talking about my Tatus, during a conversation I don't recall really, but where I was probably complimenting him about something. Out of the blue, for no reason, he called my Tatus a "loser." "Don't say that about him!" I said. "He's not a loser. He's an accomplished physician." (At the very least, my Tatus has held down the same job for 25 years, where my ex has been fired from or forced to quit or was laid off from half a dozen jobs in as many years.) No predication, no reasoning, he was just a loser. My ex had violent delusions of beating my Tatus up too when I was in the hospital, in the event he came into my hospital room to examine me and would've requested that my ex leave the room during the examination, which is SOP for how he sees patients. Knowing I saw my Tatus as a father figure, and that I had a "daddy complex" because of losing my father when I was only 11, my ex was completely threatened that there might be another older male figure in my life to whom I looked up and adored.

My ex was big on reminding me of his giant stature, strength and power, especially when it came to men who were slimmer or shorter than he was, and how easy it'd be to beat other guys up.

But no, he insisted he wasn't jealous. Heavens no. Envious? Of what?

The more I learn about narcissism, the more evident and prevalent it is in my ex's personality and the devastating effect it ultimately had on our relationship as a whole.

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