Narcissists Need to Show Perfection to the World, At Any Cost

There is an elderly woman I know (whom I will not name) whose narcissism is so severe that it is physically destroying her. This woman has been suffering from a painful auto-immune disease for thirty-five years.

Progressively over the years, the steroids she took to relieve the pain caused irreversible damage to her bones, eyes, skin, muscles and organs. Her cervical spine no longer has the cushion of discs between vertebrae; bone sits on bone. When she gets an injury of any sort she does not heal. She has had innumerable surgeries to repair the damages caused by her auto-immune disorder. She is literally eroding away.

With all her pain and physical problems, I often wonder how she gets out of bed each morning. I am pretty sure that under the same circumstances I could not. But she does get out of bed each day; always has and still manages to do so. Most days she even goes out. Her will is ironclad.

Generally when we think of someone with a strong will we imagine someone who has an insatiable zest for life, or someone who knows what she wants, lets nothing stop her, and goes after it with gusto. None of these characterizations applies to the will of this woman. Two things motivate her; her desperate need for narcissistic supply and her egotistical determination to appear perfect to the world. She refuses, no matter the condition, to allow anyone to see her (or think of her as) weak, injured or infirm.

For the past five years her ability to balance and walk has all but disappeared. She has been unable to walk more than a few steps without holding on to her husband, the wall, or the nearest piece of furniture. Still she insists that she walks fine. Any mention of her using a device to keep her from falling, such as a walker, cane, wheelchair, or scooter is met with volatile defensiveness. She insists that she does not need help.

Needless to say, she has taken some very hard falls in the last five years. She once fell backwards from the floor to the bathtub; the back of her head bashing full-force into the ceramic soap dish attached to the wall. Her head split wide open from the blow.

This woman has been told by her doctor, in no uncertain terms, that if she falls again, the probability of her ending up paralyzed or dead is great. Even though her worst fear may be realized (having to sit or even more dreadfully be seen in a wheelchair) she still insists she needs no assistance to walk.

Recently she fell in her closet and broke her dominate right arm. Her hand has been rendered useless as a result of that injury. The doctor says that her bone is not healing. Ironically, even if she decided to rely on a walker now, she physically cannot.

She has been told by this doctor to either live without the use of her arm or have a major surgical procedure that will hopefully correct it. I would not want to be in the position to have to make a choice between these two bleak results. Neither option is desirable; however, finding herself between a rock and a hard place, she has chosen to undergo surgery.

I am not a doctor, but logic tells me that since she does not heal very well, the surgeon should not even recommend this procedure. But he has, and she is having the surgery today. I hope my gut feeling about the outcome is wrong. I do wish her well.

Obviously I cannot share the results of this tragic story with you. It is too soon to tell. But that is irrelevant to the point I am trying to make. I am illustrating the severity of the NPD disorder; the extremes someone who has it will go to in order to feed their ego and keep the narcissistic supply coming.

I am providing a glimpse into the workings of the minds of those with Narcissistic Personality Disorders. Their narcissistic needs define every aspect of who they are. They cannot love anyone – especially themselves.

Author's Bio: 

Randi Fine is a Narcissistic Personality Disorder abuse expert, Life Issues Counselor, radio show host and author living in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

As a Life Issues Counselor, Randi specializes in (but is not limited to) helping others work through issues relating to relationship codependency, narcissistic personality disorder abuse, emotional boundaries, letting go of the past, and letting go of unhealthy guilt.

Love Your Life, is an online journal she writes to spread light, love, and healing to the world. Her blog is read in 180 countries around the globe. She hosts the blog talk-radio show, A Fine Time for Healing: A Sanctuary for Your Emotional Well-being. On her popular show she interviews the top people in their fields, discussing self-help and spiritual life-skill topics that heal and enhance the life experiences of others.

Randi Fine is a deeply spiritual person, following an enlightened path of her own design. It is a connection that she faithfully trusts to guide her in every aspect of her life.