Want to learn Landmark by phone
Date: March 08, 2003 10:38PM
The misconception is that people with weak personalities and self esteem are the ones getting hurt by Landmark. This is not necessarily true. Many strong personalities get drawn in. Everyone obviously has a weak spot and times when self esteem may be lower than other times, but I've seen Landmark create self doubt in self confident people. This is a normal phenomenon with people involved with narcissists, and I strongly believe that LGAT is not only led by Ns but is akin to continuing ed for Ns. Paragraphs 9* + 10* below describe the stronger types that get sucked in.
Mary Ann Borg Cunen , M.A. Counselling Psychology (Baltimore, U.S.A.)
Echo No Longer; The Recovery Process of the Partner of the Person Suffering from a Narcissistically Impaired Personality.
In the past few years I have come across an increasing number of persons suffering from NPD and also an increasing number of individuals whose partners seem to be narcissistically disordered. Through my practice I have met clients at the various stages of this process and each stage has its characteristics as regards both the state of the relationship, and the
emotional state of the partner.
Narcissism is usually described by a list of behaviours most of which involve the individual himself. Here I will focus more of the way narcissism interferes with relationships. I believe that there is no better way to diagnosis a narcissist than to look at his relationships and at how his Narcissistic Abuse Study List ex partners have been effected by him.
In describing the victims of narcissists Patrick Hurst’s has suggested the diagnosis of EPD, Echo Dependent Personality to describe type of person who is so good at reflecting and affirming another but is lacking in a solid sense of self. “Echo has been captivated by the voice of another of which she is a mere reflection. Echo and Narcissus fit together perfectly; neither is able to initiate and sustain dialogue”.
A characteristic predisposing background of EPD involves individuals being parented by caretakers who are themselves self-absorbed, narcissistic, or overly punitive. In the words of Joanna Ashmun : “Narcissists are so much trouble that only people with prior training (i.e. who were raised by narcissists) get seriously involved with them.” In this kind of environment the child learns that asserting one’s ‘true self’ will be met with (often serial) rejection, to which the child responds by substituting ‘compliant’ behaviour in place of true selfhood. Such compliant behaviour can then be witnessed as a stable feature throughout the child’s growing-up years, with other school children, and within the family. These may feel “at home” who takes control, belittles and is emotionally cut off. (Hurst, 1998).
Types of “Echo”
In the introduction to commentaries about the story from Greek mythology we find the appropriate warning: “It is important to note that Narcissus had many lovers, both men and women, so this treatment of Echo is not meant to be a description of every person who has had a relationship with a narcissist. Echo can be seen as just one of a myriad of different
personalities who found herself caught within the spell of Narcissus.”
Some persons may find themselves drawn to one N after another, perhaps unable to learn from the experience, or alternatively needing to work something out intrapersonally through being with an N. Having been parented by an N. often predisposes an individual to seek this dynamic again with a partner.
I have also met many altruistic, empathic rescuers in this situation. While some of these can be seen as suffering from EPD others are well defined individuals; I believe these get in touch intuitively with N need for love and self-acceptance, and think they can heal this person if they only love them enough. The implication of this, of course, is that if he does not improve it is their fault. So they try even harder.
The need for someone to idealize, admire, look to for guidance is perhaps an especially. dangerous one. When these persons are let down by their Ns they may sink into a loss of hope wider than pain of the abusive relationship itself.
*However I wish to emphasize very strongly that being in relationship with an N changes a person (momentarily) and it is easy to become dependent, insecure and clinging. I recommend that counselors and psychotherapists withhold diagnosis of a person in this situation unless they knew her before or until they have seen the “freed” version of the individual. The contrast is sometimes striking. I have seen spirited, assertive, self-assured young women fall under this spell.
*”I became this dependent, fearful, insecure person about one year into my relationship with my N. I did not trust my thoughts, my feelings, and my intuition. I shut off all of these so I could fit in with my N. and become what he wanted of me. Just a year before I had been this confident, self-directed, independent woman. None of my friends would ever have described me as dependent.”
The article is too lengthy for this forum. I would be glad to email the remainder on request.