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Case Study Too Involved

Submit a Case Study and Sam Vaknin, in person, will analyze your situation and offer insight, coping strategies, and remedies.


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Case Study Too Involved

Postby samvaknin » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:31 am

Hi, Dr.~

Here’s my story and I’d appreciate your feedback. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

I’m still not perfectly sure my ex-boyfriend is an N/S/P, but I’m rather convinced. Skip (you can change his name if you’re going to post this online) and I met at the gym and had our first date a few days later at Six Flags. Skip was a very fun, exciting guy and I guess I really wanted that. He’s also “cool,” like the popular guy in high school. It sounds so silly and juvenile now! But I was flattered that someone popular, fun, smart and hot wanted me. It’s actually a little weird but when we’d go to the gym together, a LOT of guys would come up to him saying, “Heh! My man! How you doin?! Sup?” stuff like that and give him a (fist) pound or something. It was like all the guys wanted to be around him. People are friendly at our gym, but they just seemed to flock to him. People also tell me I’m beautiful all the time but…I guess I still have low self-esteem, so I was envious of him. It was like I was dating Homecoming King.

Together with my low self-esteem and the fact that I’d just gotten out of a BAD relationship when I’d met Skip AND lost my job a couple of weeks before, I needed to feel good for a change.

Early on, he gave me his debit card and pin number, and a key to his house. He said I could answer his cell phone if it rang. But I still did not trust him at all. He told me his first name and I doubted him! Alarm bells were going off in my gut and they were deafening! But, still, I went out with him. I kept trying to tell myself that I was gun shy because of the previous bad relationship. But I could not shake the feeling that something was very wrong about Skip. That feeling only intensified as the months went on.

I’ve come to find out that some of the things that endeared me to him are classic S/P behaviors. For the first few months we’d shock each other with some strange similarities. For example, we liked the same rare flower. How many guys even like flowers?! Or we liked the same one Entenmann’s cake. Small, I know. But it was weird. Neither of us even likes Entenmann’s except for that one cake. Sometimes we’d just sit a talk about things we both remembered from our childhood. We are only a year apart in age, so we recall a lot of the same things. He has this uncanny ability to know the theme songs to every TV show! A friend of mine said it sounded like we were soul mates. (She said it in Yiddish though and I forget the Yiddish word for it).

Skip knows all about the city and I’m from the burbs, so the city is exciting to me. He’d take me to this cool place called South Street where we’d hang out at his favorite tea shop or falafel place. He took me to his mom’s house a few times and we all had Thanksgiving dinner at his place together. He said he wanted her and me to get to know each other better. That was weird to me for only being together a few months, which I told him, and he let it go. He even asked me to drive him to work once. I wasn’t sure why. But I didn’t feel like he was using me (you know how some guys will leech off of their GFs?) because he’d drive me all over creation too. It was almost like he either wanted to show me off or he wanted me to be proud of his job.

I wasn’t all that impressed at first though. As a city boy, his speech doesn’t match his exterior. Physically, he’s almost perfect. Not everyone would be attracted to him, but he does keep himself very “together.” He gets his beard trimmed and head shaved EVERY week at the barber. He NEVER wears clothes twice before washing (you know how you can get away with wearing jeans more than once before washing?). He’s quite the metrosexual. He ALWAYS smelled good. I don’t know anyone who ALWAYS smells good, even after just leaving the gym. He cleans his house every 2 days. His sheets/wash done every week. The food in his cupboards is lined up with all of the labels facing the same direction. We’re opposites in those ways! But within a week of meeting we were almost inseparable. And I was in love. He’d stay at my place or I’d be at his. Within a few weeks he was already talking about marriage and “the future.”

He said he loved me because I’m smart. He said he’d seen me at the gym before but waited to make a move. He would tell me how good of person I was and how I changed how he saw the world and other people. I once asked him why he trusted me so much, what if I lied to him or cheated on him. And he said very confidently, “No, I don’t think so.” I was sort of proud of that then. But now I just think it made me easy prey.
He didn’t hang with many friends that I knew of. He talked to a couple of female friends several times a day, which really bothered me. I never did meet them. Last Christmas he invited them over to exchange gifts, but they blew us off and didn't even call. That made me mad - and suspicious! He called one of them to see what was up and she said she was waiting on the other friend for a ride over. I asked Skip to call the other friend to see when she was coming, but he refused to. He stopped talking to them for a few days and removed their names from his address book. It was odd. They talked all the time up to that point, as mentioned, multiple times a day. But THE DAY they were supposed to come over and meet me they blew us off?! Too coincidental in my opinion… They became chatty again a few days later. And he never asked them why they blew us off! Fishy…
The lies had started and I wanted so badly to believe him. I remember sitting at my desk one day crying because I just had this awful feeling that he was screwing around with one of his female friends.

I went out of town for my birthday on a trip that was planned before I met him. He sent me a sweet text for my birthday, but when he picked me up from the airport, he hadn’t gotten me a gift. I got *him* something while I was away, a housewarming gift for his new apartment. But he didn’t even get me a card. Other people said this would be a lame reason to break up with him. But it bothered me.

I figured he was nervous about possibly getting me the wrong thing, since he’d say he was “no good” at picking gifts. But not even a 99 cent card?! I kept bringing it up to him, which looking back now was so pathetic. He even left a voicemail for me saying he got me something “really nice” and he hadn’t forgotten. That was a lie. He never got me a “really nice” gift. He later implied that he was going to get me a pair of diamond earrings like his, but money ran tight. I STUPIDLY accepted that because he was setting up his new home. Plus, we were still a very new couple. Diamonds after one month is too much.

But as he spent thousands of dollars on his new apartment, still, no gift. Of course, some of this money spent was necessary, but a lot was not. Finally, we were at the mall one day and I asked one more time. So he took me to Banana Republic and got me a necklace I’d been eyeing.

Other strange things would happen too: Like, he left my place one morning around 8am and went back to his apt. to let the maintenance guy in (leaky, disgusting bathroom ceiling...I saw it). He was just going to “let him in,” but that turned into staying there ALL day. We had plans to go out and he was adamant that he would be back in time for it. But he didn't show until 5pm! He said it was small, minor and no big deal. But it was important to ME that he keep his word even if we’re just s’posed to hang for the day. He could’ve called to say, “I need to stay with the maintenance guys and make sure the work is done right.” (They’d done a crappy job twice before). But he just blew me off and he didn’t see why I was upset.

Anyway, for the first few months we were together, he was constantly asking me to move in with him and get married. I told him I didn’t believe in living together and didn’t really want to get married again (I’m separated). After months of asking me, I finally said if things kept on going well, we could move in together when my lease ended.

Don’t you know…that when it came down to make real plans to move in together, he said, “Maybe we should wait.” What? It was like he just wanted the satisfaction of getting me to agree to the idea, but he didn’t really want to actually move in together.

He said he wanted kids and he was even trying to get me pregnant. It was odd, but I was so wrapped up in him that I went with it. He’d make jokes about how, after we had kids, he’d escape by working all the time. It was strange to be so anxious to have kids but then want to get away from them. The more I thought about it the more I realized he probably wanted kids for the tax deductions and he had no intention on actually raising them. Even his mother told me he didn’t really like children.

Skip’s own childhood wasn’t very good, from what I can tell (unless it’s all a lie). His parents divorced when he was a baby and his father didn’t seem to want much to do with him, although his father went on to have another family. He contacted his dad about 10 years ago, but he wasn’t very responsive. Skip said his father used his name to get into a lot of debt and eventually Skip had to declare bankruptcy.

I’m not sure how much of the above stories about Skip’s father is true. Some of the details are hard to believe and other aspects of what he’s told me about his family don’t make sense as well.

For example, Skip told me that one of his grandparents is from Cuba. But he didn’t seem to know which one: grandmother or grandfather? Skip’s mother confirmed that one of her parents or grandparents is indeed from Cuba. But whenever I’d ask him about it, the answer seemed to change. And because my memory can be awful at times, I usually couldn’t remember what he’d told me before, just that it sounded off somehow.

His brother was murdered when Skip was 14, over 20 years ago. One time he said he was thinking about is brother, but when I asked if Skip were sad, he immediately seemed to change moods and forget he ever said anything about his brother. When he did show some sadness or attempted empathy with another person, it always seemed phony (I noticed this long before I started researching sociopathy).

Generally, however, Skip, as you might guess, was not very empathetic. A friend of his (supposedly) was diagnosed with cancer and didn’t have long to live. I asked Skip if he felt bad for his friend and he sternly replied, “No.”

Skip also told me about a friend of his who’d committed suicide years ago. I said, “Don’t you feel bad for him that whatever he was going through was so bad that he decided to end it all?” Skip’s reply: “No! He was weak!”

The day things ended once and for all (April 2009), he told me he was going to his mother’s house and would call me later, as we’d said we were going to catch a movie that night. Hours later, I ran into him with another woman named Gabrielle at the supermarket, of all places. He acted like he didn’t even know me! He saw me as I walked up to them and looked away with no expression on his face. Not even two weeks before that, he’d told me he loved me and wanted to go to Australia together.

He said he and Gabrielle were going to get something to eat. When I reminded him that *we* were supposed to go out that night, he said, “You be arrright.”

It was like the nice guy I knew had just died right in front of me. He was actually laughing at me, like my pain and humiliation was some sort of joke to him.

I FLIPPED and lost all composure! I screamed and called him names, threw things at him, kicked him, punched him and chased him around the store. Gabrielle just stood aside, looking frightened. The manager called the police and we were the talk of the town for days or even weeks. But I’m happy that I didn’t just go home and sulk and cry without giving him a piece of my mind. Thankfully, the police didn’t want to arrest me, since they said they thought I had a good reason to be upset.

As we were all standing in the store’s parking lot being questioned by police, I heard Skip say, “A long time ago!” I didn’t hear the question or comment that preceded that though. However, I can figure out what it was. Gabrielle probably asked him if I were just some random psycho or if he and I really were dating at some point. “A long time ago” was his answer and it almost makes me laugh how outrageous his lies are. He lies about things that don’t even make sense to lie about.

Not only had we not dated “a long time ago,” but Skip had had dinner with me and a few friends of mine the night before the big blow up AND he’d spent the night at my place.

I should add that we fought/broke up a few times due to the trust and jealousy concerns, and the grocery store incident happened during a breakup period. So, technically, he could date other people, as could I. But he lied to me, humiliated me and let me think we were on the path to reconciliation. He broke my trust. Again.

At some point, I had started snooping through his cell phone and he eventually became very protective of it. He started leaving his phone in his car when he came to my place. I should have seen that as a red flag.

During another one of our breakup periods I found out he’d given me herpes. Was he cheating when he caught the virus? I don’t know, nor will I ever know. Not necessarily. He may have had the virus for a long time and just transmitted it to me. He might be a carrier and show no symptoms himself but still be able to pass it on to others. He never even apologized for giving me this lifelong virus. We did have unprotected sex after I told him of my diagnosis. So he probably already knew he had it or maybe he just didn’t care. He kept talking about getting some herbal tea for me, which is supposed to be a blood purifier. He got it from his mother’s house. I was with him when he did so. But he never did share it with me.

He could have just said, “Look, this isn’t working. I can’t deal with the jealousy and suspicions anymore. Let’s just end this as friends.” Instead, he did the EXACT thing I feared. Self-fulfilling prophecy, some might say. However, I say he was probably lying all along and my gut recognized it. Even once he’d been caught, he STILL could have tried to end things in a better way than he did. But he was heartless. He even said to me once about my jealousy, “At least it means you care. You must love me a lot.” If he believed that, then he should have KNOWN how much he’d hurt me.

In fact, he did know. Either he didn’t give a damn or he *meant* to hurt me.

I see where I messed up and played a role in our breakup. But I wonder if I just finally caught him in what he had been doing all along. Or if I pushed him into it. You know, always accusing him of cheating, snooping on his phone, etc…Maybe he figured “If she’s going to accuse me, I might as well cheat.” He basically said that to me. I don’t really believe people cheat because they’re accused of it. That’s hugely immature, selfish and irresponsible. *I* can’t control someone else’s actions. But I realize that some people do use that as an excuse to cheat. It’s passive aggressive and the wrong way to respond to an unhappy situation.

I truly loved him, even if he didn’t love me. And I miss my friend. But he was never really a friend at all.

That became undeniably clear when he accused me of stealing his car. The police came knocking of my door at midnight one night (in May, I think) and asked if I might know what happened to Skip’s car. It had disappeared.

I had been sleeping and would normally be not quite coherent right then. But, knowing Skip as I do, I was able to tell the officers to look into the possibility that Skip himself disposed of the car for the insurance money. He’d been talking about getting rid of it for a while.

A few months later an insurance investigator contacted me and told me that Skip’s car was actually found the same night it was reported stolen. It had been torched and abandoned in the city somewhere. The investigator seemed to think Skip was responsible, but I haven’t heard whether an arrest was pending.

Many times I should’ve run when Skip told me some things about himself:
1) He falsely claimed a friend’s kids as his own foster children for the tax deductions. When I told him that was tax fraud, wrong and theft, he got mad at me for judging him. He wouldn’t believe me when I said I wouldn’t do that sort of thing.
2) He and a friend crashed a car they were drag racing, claimed the car malfunctioned, sued the car dealer and won a settlement! The car itself did not malfunction. They just lost control while doing something illegal! That’s perjury AND theft. He took no responsibility for this and said, “Well, I didn’t get caught, did I?” “My lawyer did all the talking and he just did what lawyers do. I didn’t even have to take the stand.” He made it sound like it wasn’t his fault for that reason. But I can not find record of such a lawsuit, which makes me question this story.
3) He stole a truckload of cigarettes and then sold them. Again he got mad at me for judging him. He said he was only 18. That’s old enough to know better. If I even believe this outlandish story, I’d feel bad for the truck driver who would’ve gotten fired over that. He recalled this story right in front of my good friend, a very religious person, as if he had no shame whatsoever! About this story, he said, “I wasn’t always such a nice guy.”
4) He lied on a polygraph test for work and of course passed. Ugh…
5) Admitted he asked his last GF before me out on a bet. Piggish.
6) Dealt drugs in high school.
7) Narrowly missed a car accident but sped off before seeing if the people who did crash were OK...because he had no insurance!

I do not want to believe he’s a bad, irredeemable guy. But there’s too much evidence not to.

Here are my five questions:
1. Does it sound like Skip is an N/S/P to you?
2. Do you think giving me his debit card/pin, a key to his house and asking to move in together were all part of some “plan” to fool me into trusting him?
3. How much do you think his childhood plays a role in his behavior?
4. What do you make of the situation with his two female friends at Christmastime?
5. Do you think he kept asking me (pestering me, really) to move in with him just to get me to agree but had no real intention on actually moving in together?

Thank you, again. And please let me know if you have any questions.

TI
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books or 3 video DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships - click on this link:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
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samvaknin
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Re: Case Study Too Involved

Postby samvaknin » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:06 pm

1. Yes, he does. BUT:

Only a qualified mental health diagnostician can determine whether someone suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and this, following lengthy tests and personal interviews.

For a more detailed view of pathological narcissism and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) - click on these links:

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/npdglance.html

http://samvak.tripod.com/personalitydisorders12.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/per ... ers13.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/per ... ers14.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/nar ... lance.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/faq1.html

Other Personality Disorders

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/faqpd.html

Pathological Narcissism diagnosed with Other Mental Health Disorders

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/faq82.html

NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and AsPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder, Psychopathy, or Sociopathy)

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/per ... ers16.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/per ... ers15.html

The Narcissist and Psychopath as Criminals

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5003

The Narcissist is Above the Law

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4983

The Narcissist as Liar and Con-man

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4951
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books or 3 video DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships - click on this link:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
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samvaknin
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Re: Case Study Too Involved

Postby samvaknin » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:08 pm

2. Immediate, faux, unconditional intimacy is a red flag for an abuser. Read this:

How to Recognize a Narcissist or a Psychopath on Your First Date, Before It
is Too Late?

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4976

And these:

Approach-Avoidance Repetition Complex and Fear of Intimacy

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5000

The Narcissist or Psychopath Hates your Independence and Personal Autonomy

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4959
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books or 3 video DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships - click on this link:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
User avatar
samvaknin
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Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:30 pm

Re: Case Study Too Involved

Postby samvaknin » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:08 pm

3. Pathological narcissism is a reaction to prolonged abuse and trauma in early childhood or early adolescence. The source of the abuse or trauma is immaterial - the perpetrators could be parents, teachers, other adults, or peers. Pampering, smothering, spoiling, and "engulfing" the child are also forms of abuse - see these:

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/nar ... lance.html

http://malignantselflove.tripod.com/journal42.html

http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc. ... doc/id/419

Narcissistic and psychopathic parents and their children - click on the links:

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4727
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books or 3 video DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships - click on this link:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
User avatar
samvaknin
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Posts: 5951
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:30 pm

Re: Case Study Too Involved

Postby samvaknin » Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:12 pm

4. Too many possible scenarios and insufficient data to respond intelligently to your question.

5. He was testing the extent of his power and influence over you:

Approach-Avoidance Repetition Complex and Fear of Intimacy

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5000

The Narcissist or Psychopath Hates your Independence and Personal Autonomy

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4959

Narcissists and Personality disordered Mates, Spouses, and Partners

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/5013

Does the Narcissist Have a Multiple Personality (Dissociative Identity
Disorder)?

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4950

Narcissists as Drama Queens

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/na ... ssage/4948
Encyclopedia of Narcissism and Psychopathy:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/siteindex.html

Buy 16 books or 3 video DVDs about narcissists, psychopaths, and abusive relationships - click on this link:

http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html
User avatar
samvaknin
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Posts: 5951
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:30 pm


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