My Compassion for the Anti-Social Personality

After the Storm by Iragerich
After the Storm by Iragerich

The narcissist is a person who either because of childhood neglect or abuse never learned to grow beyond that stage in childhood where the ego needs constant and continual praise and/or attention. The narcissist may or may not be anti-social.

The anti-social personality has these symptoms from the age of 15 years (from Wikipedia):

“There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and the rights of others occurring since the age of 15, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:[1]

1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;

2. deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;

3. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;

4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;

5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others;

6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;

7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.”

Although I have been interested and reading about personality development since college (1958-1962), I never had consciously studied personality disorders. Imagine my surprise to find that I had been married to one for 15 years. The way I discovered this was doing the 5th step about my marriage during my 32nd year of recovery (2009).

The 5th step is from AA and all 12 step groups. It is:

“Admitted to God, to myself, and to another person the exact nature of my wrongs.”

The key words for me about my marriage and my taking the 5th step are “my wrongs”.

So, I was married to an anti-social person who drank alcohol everyday, and I was completely blindsided By his choosing to find a new  audience. I shouldn’t have been because for narcissists and anti-social personalities the only important emotion you must have to be with them is admiration. I had stopped admiring.

What did I do to maintain this relationship? I was dishonest about my “admiration” of him. I had quit admiring him years ago. I am amazed that we lasted this long. What did I get out of this union? Security—not really. Appreciation—not often. Affection—almost never. Friendship—no. But I did get the one thing I needed—rejection.

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