September 21, 2020 at 8:50 pm #63911cabnfvr2011Participant
They never stop popping up. I’ve done no contact several times, but he always eventually approaches me in a public place. So frustrating
September 22, 2020 at 11:41 am #63912
I have been free of & 100% no contact with a disordered guy for about a year (our contact has all been online or via phone), but lately I’ve been getting hang-up phone calls. This disordered guy allegedly had Stage 3 colon cancer (who knows & how terrible is it that I can’t say for certain that he isn’t lying about his health status), we’re in a pandemic that per PBS News Hour ~90% of the people who have died from COVID-19 infection are aged 55 & up & this guy turns 70 on Sunday.
So I’m thinking somebody may be a little freaked out about aging & health vulnerabilities. He has a wife he’s legally separated from. I wrote to her earlier this year about me & what happened between us (all not in person, but he was definitely emotionally invested in me, me not so much, mostly confused by his behavior, this is the first disordered person I have ever been involved with). I suspect this guy of sex addiction, uncertainty / ambivalence about his sexual orientation, stuff he’s told me puts his wife and/or anybody having intimate/sexual contact with him at very high risk for contracting an STI given his impulsive/compulsive/possibly addictive behaviors). It’s possible the wife has called me, I’m not averse to discussing him with her, but I suspect it’s him more strongly. He’s done so before.
I’m very curious as to how these disordered people handle aging & health issues but I don’t need to be personally involved in it. I can imagine they become MORE miserable & misery inducing as they age, lose ‘relevance’ & ‘potency’, have their bodies (& possibly their minds) betray them, have trouble finding people who will care about them but not take advantage of them (like financial or elder abuse) given their history of despicability. I believe Donna has research on this & would be curious as to her findings (would watch videos, listen to podcasts, possibly buy a book etc on it). I’m very aging positive, I find myself happier & less anxious & more accepting of myself as I get older, but I suspect generally the opposite is true of Cluster B disordered types.
September 22, 2020 at 11:53 am #63913
Nosp I’m also curious about the aging aspect. My ex is in his fifties now. I don’t know how he is doing because we have been NC for years. But I know when he was younger he used his good looks as part of his charm to reel people in so he could manipulate and use them. His looks were a big part of his identity.
There is an article or poll somewhere here about whether sociopaths/narcissists get worse or better with age. I think the prevailing opinion is that they are supposed to mellow with age but when Donna did a poll most people said they actually got worse or the same with age.
September 22, 2020 at 11:59 am #63915
September 22, 2020 at 1:50 pm #63918
@sept4 Shayel Naava had a From Emotional Abuse To Euphoria event online with the most profound Sam Vaknin YouTube video I’ve ever seen (also a good one from Dr. Les Carter https://emotionalabusetoeuphoria-day2.gr8.com) but it wasn’t specifically on aging narcissists, just good basic insights into them generally
Sarah Ramsey’s stuff is great too, it focuses on the person dealing with disordered people & is present & future focused rather than stuck in the past
September 22, 2020 at 10:57 pm #63921
Oh thank you, I will take a look!
I’m not familiar with Sarah’s work but I have read extensively on Sam Vaknin’s website and it’s very interesting and explains a lot.
September 22, 2020 at 7:38 pm #63920Donna AndersenKeymaster
Yes, I have lots of data about sociopaths after age 50 – that’s the topic of my next book. I can tell you that 93% of survey respondents who knew the sociopath both before and after age 50 said he/she got worse with age. Just as deceptive and manipulative, or worse. If you have a sociopath in your life, definitely dump the person before he/she gets old.
Or, for that matter, dump them before you are too old to do anything about your situation. You do not want to be dependent on a sociopath when you need care.
September 22, 2020 at 11:08 pm #63922
And also dump them before they get dependent on you for caretaking. So you don’t end up in your older age spending your time and energy and money on caretaking for someone who does not love you at all.
I was actually in that caretaking position temporarily with my ex. Thankfully it was only a week while he was in the hospital with a life threatening infection. I stayed with him at the hospital and helped take care of him 24/7 that entire week.
During that entire week he gave me the silent treatment, would not talk to me at all or even look at me other than scowl at me. It was a surreal experience. At the time it was so confusing and I did not understand it at all. I remember thinking that if the roles were reversed I would be so thankful for his care and for staying with me at the hospital. But he seemed to treat me with hate and disdain.
I was very confused and I thought it was the infection or medication affecting his mind. It was only many years later that I understood what happened that week. The illness was so intense that he did not have the energy to wear his mask and put on his fake personality act. The mask came off that week. His ugly true self was exposed for that week because he could not muster the energy to keep his mask up.
It was terrifying and I shudder at the thought of having had to grow old with him and deal with him in that state in his older years if he became ill or dependent on care. I would’ve wasted all my time and energy and love taking care of someone who is so ugly inside and who did not love me at all.
September 24, 2020 at 12:55 am #63923
@sept4 Sarah K. Ramsey just emailed me this (I’ve personally spoken with her over the phone, she’s a delight to talk to & would make a good coach for someone recovering from the damage a narcissist has caused, especially when they are at the ‘okay, it should be MY time but I’m still feeling stuck’ stage)
September 24, 2020 at 2:20 am #63925
Beautiful article! Thank you so much!
September 24, 2020 at 1:38 am #63924
@Donna Andersen you have just hit on my greatest fear of trying to date or partner with someone at age 50+ (I am now 51, single, never married & no kids, I definitely knew I never wanted to be a mother so I never worried about the ‘biological clock’ & spent my younger years doing what generations of women before me couldn’t easily do like have careers, hobbies, interests, personal & spiritual growth & learning practices, traveling, having friends, pets, etc.). I don’t regret any time I spent doing what I wanted to do solo.
I always saw myself happily partnered in my old(er) age, but somehow until recently, I’ve largely avoided dealing with disordered people in an intimate context. I did have a boss that put me into a #MeToo situation back in 1997, but I quit that career (law) & did other things for income. Within the past year or so I successfully ducked a deeply disordered pathological older man (he turns 70 soon, possibly this week even? Sorry I’ve forgotten his birthdate) who reached out to me in social media, but wow, does online dating & the apps & sites specifically designated for such concern me. My theory is the pathological & disordered men & women are over-active & over-represented on those places (think like con-man Richard Smith). The terrible thing is they spoil it for the decent (honest, agreeable, conscientious, empathetic) men (& women) on those sites legitimately looking for serious intimate monogamous partnerships or relationships.
I have been online in some form or fashion since 1987 (before the Internet was commercialized, that happened in the USA in 1994) & I do know of people who met online, married & had & still have good relationships, but it was very different then. They didn’t meet via social media or dating apps, sites, etc. (off of which dubious others profit), they met through other online means where their initial connection(s) were shared interests of some kind. They had something initially in common to discuss, they discussed their obvious shared interests *HONESTLY* & naturally, those discussions *GRADUALLY* (we’re talking months & years here) led to discussions of shared values, compatible life goals, mutual friendships, etc. They called & emailed each other a lot, they wrote physical letters & cards & mailed each other photos & care packages. This takes a lot of time & energy & patience (something the disordered don’t have at all).
When they finally met in person, neither person was superficial about physical appearances (online photos & videos were not a thing, heck even sound files would have been too big to exchange online), neither person in each of these couples were interested in money, power, status, etc & again nobody was rushing to the altar to lock down potential gains or to get a commitment before getting caught in one (or more) big lies.
I just don’t think it’s like that online anymore, at least not on the ‘popular’ sites especially the popular sites for social media and/or dating.
And if you add in being 50+, you’re at an age where ageism is a thing (unfortunately). I am at my happiest now, the anxiety of my teens to my 30s finally started to go away in my 40s. I became more compassionate when I gave care to my ailing parents (I’m an only child), they have both passed on but caring for people you love, like, respect & admire is a very good thing. It’s difficult, it is draining on the worst days, but on the good days it’s heart-warming, you feel like emotionally you’re a super-hero & with time off from caring, adequate time to grieve parental deaths & restructure your life as an elder, well that too is good.
But wow! Getting enmeshed with a disordered/pathological person at 50+ is not something I’d wish on my worst enemy. It’s got to be bad enough to have put up with them earlier in your life for anything like months, years or decades. And if their health is failing & they need care and/or someone to advocate for them especially if/when professionals have to provide that care but they’ve burned everyone else out so it’s too exhausting to fight their corner in institutional care? I can only imagine that they’re the ones dying in substandard congregate care facilities of COVID-19, alone, friendless, vulnerable to the same exploitation they once perpetrated on others (elder abuse, especially financial & sexual elder abuse is a huge thing no one wants to acknowledge, talk about or correct). There’s something almost karmically satisfying about that, but as someone on Team Decent People even I have some qualms about & limits to gloating over them ‘getting what they deserve’.
Anyway, a pandemic isn’t a good time to be dating, but *anytime* is a great time to be focused on my own personal learning & growth. In the past year since ‘no contact’ I’ve grown a lot there (call the bluff of a disordered person who thinks you are ‘crazy’ ‘psycho’ or ‘it’s YOUR problem’, start talking to the competent people here online, learn about the disordered in order to know how to get & keep them out of your life then learn about your own vulnerabilities to correct them, make yourself less ‘hackable’, heal any emotional or psychological damage they have done you & enjoy yourself more than they ever will.
Remember as much as it sucks to be around them, it sucks even more to *be* them.
You can leave, you can minimize or totally end contact with them, you are not pathological or disordered, you can learn & grow & get even better (you don’t realize how great you already are).
They are going to die that way.
I pity them that, but I don’t take responsibility for their poor choices & whatever makes them the way they are.
And I resolve to be happy. With or without someone else.
September 24, 2020 at 2:22 am #63926
“Team Decent People” – I love it!
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