As far as armchair psychologists go, who better to identify an NPD than someone who lives or works closely with one of these toxic individuals? We see their true faces, the ones most of them would never show a clinician.
During the time we lived with my in-laws, my narcissistic mother-in-law engaged in gas-lighting, verbal abuse, rewriting history, blatant attempts at manipulation, playing dumb (or forgetful), projection, lying, denial, double standards, tantrums, crocodile tears, threats, bullying, emotional blackmail, and at least one meltdown of nuclear proportions.
The issues outlined here are written to relate to those who have been romantically linked to toxic creatures, but they can apply to other types of abusive relationships as well. For instance, adult children or siblings of narcissists typically ponder the same questions.
Healthy boundaries are typically established as you’re growing up. You learn to implement them by watching your parents and guardians. However, when your caregivers are dysfunctional, they tend to have no boundaries of their own, therefore setting the wrong example for you to follow.
When my husband and I arrived back in our home state, several years ago, the plan was to stay with his parents while he settled into his new position with the company we were working for, had a minor surgery and a sufficient recovery period, and searched for an apartment. It was my mother-in-law who extended the invitation for us to stay with them during this time.
In a previous post, I talked about giving some insight into what it was like living with my narcissistic mother-in-law during the time my husband and I had to do so out of necessity. The following is an example taken from one of my personal journal entries from about five years ago.