I finally posted on a narc forum to ask a couple questions and one of them I asked was why is covert narcissism considered low functioning and I said I had found out my ex was one. The first response I got was
How did you learn your ex is cN? Sometimes people pathologize others for closure.
Then he wrote his long post.
Also in another thread someone posted about *nons and others making a diagnoses. It was about people labeling others with it and someone else suggested that people get so hurt by their ex’s that they end up labeling them.
I have noticed that people tend to throw the word narcissistic around, every time someone was in a abusive relationship, their abuser was a narcissist. Some got abused by their parent, their parent was a narcissist. It seems like every abuser is a narc.
Before I understood the word narcissist, I said my ex was emotionally abusive. Before I realized my ex was an abuser, I said he was an asshole, a jerk, narrow minded, a bigot, judgmental, closed minded, negative. I had all these terms for him than one word.
But the reason why I say he was a covert narcissist is for these following reasons:
He was very emotional, he cried very easily and pretty much anything could make him cry.
He was a loner, didn’t have many friends, always felt invisible in social situations, felt anxious around people.
He was shy
He was socially awkward
He was very self conscious
He always worried what others thought of him and what i said to my parents so he had to listen in on my conversations so I had to wait until he wasn’t home or go outside to talk or wait when he is in the store or something if we were on the road.
He had low self esteem and didn’t like himself so he over compensated
He had fantasies so he tried to live on them and acted like he had the money when he didn’t and he was under the delusion that he could get custody over his son and his ex girlfriend’s daughters even though they were not biologically his
He was vulnerable to stress
Had depression and anxiety
He was overly jealous and had to put others down to make himself feel better
He convinced me I was worse off than I really am with my disability
He had no empathy and he didn’t care about peoples feelings, he admitted this to me
I felt I had to keep my feelings bottled up or it might have upset him if i expressed them
He always took things I said the wrong way
I felt I had to walk on eggshells because I had to be careful what I said and how I said it
He was always the victim and had all these sad stories about himself, his ex was abusive for one
He seemed naive and innocent and someone who needed someone in his life, naive of me to decide to rescue him and be his helper
He always projected
He always humiliated me, for example, always telling his son everything about me, the first reg flag should have been when we brought his son back from California for the week and it was after I had moved in and the first thing he did was show his son my kid movies and his kid bursted laughing after my ex told him “She had kids movies, come look at them.” There was nothing between us because everything we talked about and what happened between us his kid had to know.
He would deliberately do things to make me uncomfortable, for example I told him I thought he was going to hit the mailboxes and after that he started to deliberately drive close to them every time he put papers in them. I just ignored it knowing he wouldn’t really drive into any mailboxes.
He seemed loyal and also nice when you see him and you wouldn’t even guess he is abusive
He was considered a cold hearted manager and didn’t get different perspectives
He was insecured
He was controlling, always would call me self centered, also made me feel like he didn’t want me to go to work or head home (this should have been a red flag but I missed it, instead it made me feel special because he really liked me and he was going to miss me) didn’t like me talking to my parents and would get upset about it so it made me feel I couldn’t talk to them which was why I would sneak around doing it.
Gaslighting no doubt, tell me he never said this or that and that I said it not him. Made me feel I was too sensitive because he is just being honest so I had to toughen up and it’s not his intent because he doesn’t lie.
I also think he may have deliberately done things to be sure I wouldn’t get a job which would explain why he slacked of fixing my car as he promised and then decided to after we were living apart, also the fact he all of a sudden changed his car insurance so no one else could drive his car but him after he had told me I could use his car to look for work after I move in with him, telling me how unsafe it is for me to be alone in the city and to take the bus because of dangerous people and they would be able to tell I am vulnerable and naive and he didn’t even bother trying to help me.
I also think he may have deliberately done things to trigger my anxiety such as keeping this piece from me that Dish Network wanted back and then he finally gave it back to me after I had a meltdown about it and it was after I had posted a thread about it online about fearing getting into trouble with Dish Network because I wasn’t able to return the piece they wanted back. I thought it was a coincidence he decided to give it back but I bet that thread made him decide to give it back because of what I had posted in it, talking about suing him, involving the police for theft, saying I can get Dish Network to call him for it to get it from him so he can send it to them, my dad wanting to come to town and get it from him at his work or at his parents’ apartment.
The fact he would ignore me if I didn’t act the way he wanted me to act and I also felt he wanted me to change so he will be happy
And oh the silent treatment, he all of a sudden stopped answering his phone
The fact that he came back when he found out I had a new boyfriend and then was silent again and then he messaged me again around Thanksgiving wishing me a Happy one and we chatted for two minutes like nothing ever happened between us and he asked me about my new boyfriend again and then I never heard from him ever again
Yes things I read about covert narcissism sound a lot like him. Sure he did loyal things and apologized sometimes and acted concerned about how he came off to others so he told me he didn’t want to be a control freak so he never told me I couldn’t do this or that and never stopped me, he let me do what I wanted. He even offered to give me my money back a couple times and I declined. He also refused to answer my questions sometimes because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings and he also didn’t want to lie to spare them. Someone may not even guess their partner is a narcissist because they apologize and have low self esteem, they have emotion, they care what others think, they don’t have high egos and they don’t exaggerate their achievements.
Covert narcissism is a term that is not recognized in the medical field. I read because lot of doctors do not know about it, people with covert narcissism tend to get misdiagnosed such as with Asperger’s for example. Jerry thought he had it and even took the tests online and always scored high, same thing also happened with Lauren Bennett, blogger of Lucky Otter’s Heaven before she realized she was a covert narcissist. Over ten years she thought she was an aspie and even had it confirmed by a psychiatrist. Plus my husband has told me it didn’t sound like my ex had Asperger’s and he could tell by the stories I have told him about my ex.
I was hurt, it’s possible he wasn’t a narcissistic and he was just an asshole, just someone who didn’t like himself so he over compensated, he could have just been someone who was overly jealous and had low self esteem and just had anxiety issues, it is possible that him being a transgender made him act that way and him worrying about people thinking he is a pedophile. It’s possible all this made him come off as one and behaving like one. Maybe me and everyone else is just misunderstanding him. That’s what he also was, so misunderstood so I did my effort to understand him by listening to him but yet his actions contradicted his words. Actions speaks louder than words alright. Of course I had to realize I cannot help people when they have problems, only they can help themselves. I could tell a PTSD person that there is nothing being blown up outside and no one is being killed, it’s just fireworks going off outside, they will still have the flashbacks and the triggers and the panic attacks. Me reassuring them will not cure them from that issue. No matter how many times I told my ex’s things, they still didn’t change. They still had their same fears and thoughts. And yes behaviors do over lap that might make someone come off as a narcissistic such as autism, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, BPD, antisocial personality disorder. But his behavior was still toxic and I was basically lucky he let me go and had disposed me even if it meant losing my paycheck and few of my other things.
*Non, a term people with NPD use on people who don’t have NPD.