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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Oct 31, 2012
DEAR AMY: My brother-in-law is a textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder. He has three young-adult children. Their mom died when they were young. They have put up with years of his raging at them and putting them on pedestals.

I have read that NPD is often passed from parent to child through successive generations. I'm not sure if his children are aware of or understand his personality disorder. Members of my husband's family recognize this man's NPD but are unwilling to involve themselves on his children's behalf.

I've found several very good articles on the Internet explaining NPD and its effects on adult children. I was wondering if I should send these articles to them or stay out of it. What should my responsibility be to help children with a parent with a personality disorder like this? They all live fairly far away from me.-- Worried Aunt

DEAR AUNT: It's dicey and sometimes dangerous for amateurs (like you and me) to "diagnose" another person. Narcissistic personality disorder is a complex condition. My own reading about personality disorders emphasizes that clinicians find it challenging to diagnose and treat disorders along this spectrum.

Rather than abruptly sending these children information about this condition gathered on the Internet (with the admonition that they could also have this disorder), you should try to engage them in an ongoing dialogue, not only about their father but also about their own lives. If they see you as an open-minded, caring and concerned family member, they will trust your motivations and be more open to any information you may have for them.

Learning and facing the truth about their father's issues could transform their lives. Reading about this condition might provide answers to lifelong questions and lead these young adults toward healing and help for themselves. However, before sharing anything with them you should establish your own bona fides and also urge them to discuss their family issues with a mental health professional.

DEAR AMY: I am currently seven months pregnant. I am extra clumsy now, and the other day I nearly hit a guy who was crossing the street. I've had other close calls while driving. I am trying to be safe and stay off the expressways.

My friend has planned a "Girls Night In." She lives about 40 minutes away on the expressway and insists on my attending. She refuses to meet halfway at a restaurant. She thinks I'm exaggerating by not wanting to drive far during my pregnancy, but I want to be safe and cautious.

I am a little surprised that she doesn't understand or respect my decision. Is there a better way I can explain myself, or do you think I am exaggerating too?-- Clumsy Preggo

DEAR PREGGO: You should not have to turn yourself inside out to satisfy your friend. Furthermore, you should not have to provide reasons (or excuses) for not wanting to drive 40 minutes at night along roads you don't want to traverse, regardless of your condition.

Let this be an early lesson regarding the risks and responsibilities of motherhood. You are in charge of your life. You are also now in charge of your baby's life.

All you have to say is, "I told you I don't feel comfortable doing this, and you don't seem willing to accept my explanation or compromise, so I'll just have to thank you for the invitation but take a pass this time."

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#2 Oct 31, 2012
DEAR AMY: "Upset Mother" reported that she gave money to her two daughters unequally based on their need -- creating resentment from the more independent and successful daughter.

I come from a similar background. My parents poured their money into my needy sister, and I got nothing. You can't help but feel you're the "loser" for being more successful.-- Sad Sister

DEAR SAD: Some parents handle this by "paying down" their inheritance. Whatever amount they give the needier child, they give an equal amount to the non-needy, with the understanding that this diminishes any money they might receive later. But the diminishment happens equally, and I like this solution.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Oct 31, 2012
LW1: So his children are ADULTS and this is your arm chair diagnoses? Butt the F out.

LW2: Clumsy means you trip over your own feet and bump your hip on the corner of the table. Almost running someone over has nothing to do with clumsy. And I'm not buying that being pregnant has any affect on your driving ability. You just drive like shit.

"I am trying to be safe and stay off the expressways."
So you almost ran a guy over who was crossing the street and your solution is to stay off the roads that have no pedestrians?

"I am a little surprised that she doesn't understand or respect my decision."
No one would understand this decision. It makes no sense.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Oct 31, 2012
LW3: "Some parents handle this by "paying down" their inheritance."

And some parents make a point to keep those matters private. If they give money to child A, there is no need to inform child B.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Oct 31, 2012
L1: "I have read that NPD is often passed from parent to child through successive generations." What? It's not GENETIC. It's learned behavior. Stay out of other families' business.

L2: So being pregnant is an excuse for being a stupid driver? How will you cope with parenthood? Don't use this stupid "clumsy" claim (I understand being physically clumsy while pregnant, but this has nothing to do with driving -- you're just a horrible, inattentive driver).

L3: Money = love, obviously.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Oct 31, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW3: "Some parents handle this by "paying down" their inheritance."
And some parents make a point to keep those matters private. If they give money to child A, there is no need to inform child B.
And the two kids should know to keep it private as well. My brother and I don't tell each other when our mom has given us money.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#7 Oct 31, 2012
1 I think you are OCD over your BIL's NPD.

2 Face it, you stink at driving. Stop now before you endanger you kid anymore.

3 Cry me a river...

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#8 Oct 31, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
And the two kids should know to keep it private as well. My brother and I don't tell each other when our mom has given us money.
Yeah, but in *my* case, it's blatantly obvious...

Ignoring where I can and priding myself on being an independent adult seem to help me feel better, though.:-D
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#9 Oct 31, 2012
LW2: I agree with you guys. SHe isn't "clumsy", she's a bad driver and doesn't pay attention. The expressway is probably safer for her to drive on. If I were her friend, I wouldn't get it either. Because there is no logic in it whatsoever. Hopefully the kid doesn't inherit the "I make stupid excuses for my own idiot behavior" gene.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#10 Oct 31, 2012
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, but in *my* case, it's blatantly obvious...
Ignoring where I can and priding myself on being an independent adult seem to help me feel better, though.:-D
True.

I do think the level of giving should be fair and as equitable as possible. If your sister had developmental delays and truly needed more help, you'd understand that. It's more like she never grew up and no one forced her to grow up.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Oct 31, 2012
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah, but in *my* case, it's blatantly obvious...
Ignoring where I can and priding myself on being an independent adult seem to help me feel better, though.:-D
I think it probably has to do with your(and my) mentality too.

Looking back, I know I can pick out different money related things where my sister had it better than me, but the fact is, once I was gone, my parents had that much more money freed up. Once I was gone, my parents had been at their jobs that much longer and therefore were making that much more money and were more financially stable. At that stage in their life, I was fully independent. My mindset is that their money is their money and I make no claim on it. I feel like hte people that feel it should be even steven every step of the way have an undeserved sense of entitlement.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#13 Oct 31, 2012
LW1: I hate agreeing with Amy.

These kids will not take kindly to your help since you have absolutely no relationship with them.

If you want to help, you need to actually know them, so start there.

LW2: Tonka's right, clumsy has nothing to do with driving a car.

You better get this figured out *before* you give birth, because if you're this distracted now, just wait until you have a screaming baby in the back seat.*That* is distracted driving at it's finest.

LW3: Whatever.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#15 Oct 31, 2012
As I said, you have an increased risk if it's in your family. They believe it's partially genetic. It'll be interesting when scientists get further with the DNA and how genes affect your brain and actions.

From the Mayo Clinic (which isn't exactly a fly-by-night place):

"It's not known what causes narcissistic personality disorder. As with other mental disorders, the cause is likely complex. The cause may be linked to a dysfunctional childhood, such as excessive pampering, extremely high expectations, abuse or neglect. It's also possible that genetics or psychobiology the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking plays a role in the development of narcissistic personality disorder."

And from the earlier link I provided:

"This suggests that no single factor is responsible -- rather, it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important. If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be "passed down" to their children."

It's probably like other physical disorders like heart problems, diabetes, etc. Doesn't mean you ARE going to get it since environment plays a big part as well. So I agree, it's not guaranteed but it plays a role. I think the LW is blowing it up though.
Sam I Am

Cedar Grove, TN

#16 Oct 31, 2012
1. Ummmm, shut up.

2. First, I don't get how being pregnant makes you a bad driver. I have seen plenty of preggies and people with very large bellies and they manage to drive just fine. But, the bottom line is that you are acknowledging you shouldn't be driving in this situation, so tell you friend firmly and if they persist scream "Do you want me to kill my baby?!?!?!?!" and hang up on them. Hopefully they'll feel like crap for a few minutes.

3. I have one word for you: Reparations.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#17 Oct 31, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
There may be *evidence* that it's genetic, but that's just a theory with no proof at this point.
Like global warming and teaching abstinence leads to more pregnancies?

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#18 Oct 31, 2012
LW1: Okay wannabe Dr. Phil. You have busybody personality disorder.

LW2: Just decline the invitation.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#19 Oct 31, 2012
Toj wrote:
As I said, you have an increased risk if it's in your family. They believe it's partially genetic. It'll be interesting when scientists get further with the DNA and how genes affect your brain and actions.
From the Mayo Clinic (which isn't exactly a fly-by-night place):
"It's not known what causes narcissistic personality disorder. As with other mental disorders, the cause is likely complex. The cause may be linked to a dysfunctional childhood, such as excessive pampering, extremely high expectations, abuse or neglect. It's also possible that genetics or psychobiology the connection between the brain and behavior and thinking plays a role in the development of narcissistic personality disorder."
And from the earlier link I provided:
"This suggests that no single factor is responsible -- rather, it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important. If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be "passed down" to their children."
It's probably like other physical disorders like heart problems, diabetes, etc. Doesn't mean you ARE going to get it since environment plays a big part as well. So I agree, it's not guaranteed but it plays a role. I think the LW is blowing it up though.
It's still JUST A THEORY. No proof. Until there's proof, they don't know. Saying it runs in families is just as likely (or more so) an indication that exhibited bad behavior becomes learned behavior by others.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#20 Oct 31, 2012
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Like global warming and teaching abstinence leads to more pregnancies?
There is proof of BOTH of those things.

BUt you don't understand logic of science much, so i don't lose sleep over your lack of comprehension.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#21 Oct 31, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
There is proof of BOTH of those things.
BUt you don't understand logic of science much, so i don't lose sleep over your lack of comprehension.
So if it's a theory you agree with, it's an indesputable fact. If it's a theory you disagree with, it's just a theory.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#22 Oct 31, 2012
Nope. It's proven that the planet is warming. Even your own party has decided to admit it. Now they just say "But we don't think humans contribute to it, it's just what would be happening even if humans didn't exist."

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