Child showing signs of NPD

Tarisus

New Member
Hi gals and guys, I recently married my wife and her child is showing signs of Narcissistic personality disorder. What can she do to prevent things getting out of control? So far the child cuts herself and manipulates her mom to get things her way. She has trouble holding onto her friendships long term wise. Her bio dad shows signs of manipulation and extreme selfishness plus he will disrespect the elders for no reason in the past. Her extended family says the child is similar to her dad.

She was a school dropout with terrible grades. When she was younger, she would throw massive crying tantrums if she didn’t get what she wants. She insist that she takes drugs to Medicare herself. Those are all from her mom.

What I’ve seen in the past 8 months. She cut herself recently and shows signs of jealousy to the point where she would get depressed and have to remove herself from the situation. When we were singing birthday song to her younger sister, she removed herself. They know I try to save every cent I can and she tries to purposely order food multiple times and only to waste. Also gets jealous over if my wife washes my cloths or buys me new shoes. Things have improved between her and I but my question is what can I do as step father?

What can my wife do? I get the feeling that she doesn’t want to get a job and worried that she will play her guilt cards on us to financially support her in the future.
 

Simion

New Member
I feel for you. You have married into a family that was suffering the effects of mental health issues before you. You didn’t mention your step daughters age. One thing that stood out is that there appears to be no boundaries or accountability for this young girls actions / behaviors. You share of young girl who is hurting, and symptoms of a personality disorder. Living with one who has a personality disorder is very difficult for the entire family. My daughter is diagnosed with Boderline Personality Disorder but shows signs of narcissism.
For myself and my family I had to set boundaries as to what was acceptable & not acceptable in our home & what the consequence would be if these weren’t upheld. When my daughter was younger her rage went to physical violence in no time. Any physical violence would not be tolerated and the police would be called. Sharing how one feels, regardless of its validity or anyones agreement or option if shared in an acceptable manner was encouraged. Screaming and swearing , mentally & emotionally abusing another family member would not be tolerated. The consequences depended on the one who was behaving unacceptable & what would make sense for them. . The one must: each family member living in the home had to be in therapy. Mental illness is a family illness. The day came when I had to act on those boundaries in the toughest way & tell my daughter she could no longer live in my home. I will not allow anyone to abuse me & certainly not my own child.
You have taken that first step reaching out & sharing so honestly.
 

Tarisus

New Member
I feel for you. You have married into a family that was suffering the effects of mental health issues before you. You didn’t mention your step daughters age. One thing that stood out is that there appears to be no boundaries or accountability for this young girls actions / behaviors. You share of young girl who is hurting, and symptoms of a personality disorder. Living with one who has a personality disorder is very difficult for the entire family. My daughter is diagnosed with Boderline Personality Disorder but shows signs of narcissism.
For myself and my family I had to set boundaries as to what was acceptable & not acceptable in our home & what the consequence would be if these weren’t upheld. When my daughter was younger her rage went to physical violence in no time. Any physical violence would not be tolerated and the police would be called. Sharing how one feels, regardless of its validity or anyones agreement or option if shared in an acceptable manner was encouraged. Screaming and swearing , mentally & emotionally abusing another family member would not be tolerated. The consequences depended on the one who was behaving unacceptable & what would make sense for them. . The one must: each family member living in the home had to be in therapy. Mental illness is a family illness. The day came when I had to act on those boundaries in the toughest way & tell my daughter she could no longer live in my home. I will not allow anyone to abuse me & certainly not my own child.
You have taken that first step reaching out & sharing so honestly.
Thank you for the reply Simon. Sometimes we feel helpless and not sure what to do. It certainly wasn’t easy reading your story without worry back of my head. There is first time for everything. I will find a time to discuss with my wife about your idea of holding the child accountable for her actions, if not she will likely push harder and manipulate us only to get what she wants.

She’s 15 right now and will disrespect males for some reason. My wife told me her ex husband kicked her out and that didn’t turn out good. She calls her dad by his name which is extremely disrespectful. I’m very worried that she will have a lot of trouble in the future when she will be on her own. She will try to do as least possible, won’t pick up after herself and lives in a room that’s full of mess. My biggest fear is that she will find every excuse in the book to not work and will be living at home 20-30 years old. Hopefully there’s some stuff we can do to help her prepare for adult life. We will try to hold her accountable for her actions. Thank you!
 

Newksm

New Member
Have you got professional help? If not for her, for you and your spouse? Many times personality disorders are not officially until they are an adult. Could there be trauma in her past? It is hard to get help for an older teen... and even harder as a young adult...unless they want help. Newksm
 

Tarisus

New Member
Have you got professional help? If not for her, for you and your spouse? Many times personality disorders are not officially until they are an adult. Could there be trauma in her past? It is hard to get help for an older teen... and even harder as a young adult...unless they want help. Newksm
Thank you for the reply, Newksm. Yes, she’s been seeing a psychiatrist for past 2 months and have went in the past. It’s definitely best to try now instead of when she’s an adult. That’s the ironic part of being officially diagnosed as PD as an adult. But we never ignore the signs and assume the worst and hope for the best. Here’s some history her mom and I know.

Grandma from dad side admit that she treated the kids unfairly and would always favor the younger one(older kid has the issues here). Grand would always yell at the older kid and give the best/treats to the younger one. That’s how she also treats her kids.

There was an incident back 4-5 years ago where this child called my wife and ask to be placed under my wife’s custody. Apparently her bio dad was yelling at her about something and told her to get the **** out. This was told to us about 2 weeks ago. He admits that his words were little harsh for a young child.

I’ve picked up signs of jealousy when her younger sister is around. She even gets jealous when my wife buys me things. From my eyes it seems to put her in a depressive state if the spotlight is not on her. I spoke to my wife about it and now, I give her more attention than her younger sister. That seems to help A LOT. I love the younger kid tho, she loves being around me.

So we’re looking for advice to minimize and do our best before things go out of control, if it does.
 

Simion

New Member
Newksm’s suggestion is so on target. Everything she touched upon is so true. My daughter has a trauma history, abused by bio father. The gene pool on both sides a boiling pot of mental illness. She was born prematurely due to stress & abuse in relationship with bio dad. The odds were not in her favor. Although she was sick often in her first 2 years she was the absolute joy in our life. I have children from a marriage before. Just writing this I can still see her in my minds eye. She had the most radiant smile, infectious laugh & loved with such abundance.
Sadly that all changed when the court allowed visitation with her abusive father. A year later that child of mine no longer existed. She became a defiant, dark child who would throw violent tantrums. I’ll not share the details of the story, only to say I sought help & her PCP recommended a child therapist. It was during her therapy session that she disclosed the abuse.
Years of therapy for the entire family followed. For my little one there were many hospitalization, therapists, psychiatrists, medications & what felt like every form of therapy & behavior modification known. I am certain this added to her trauma & delayed treatment & a correct diagnosis. I could not have made it through all of that had I not been in therapy & additional supports. [ Domestic Violence Support Group ] Having a child with a serious mental health issues takes it’s toll on the whole family. One of my teenagers refused to deal with any of it, would not continue with therapy & sought relief in drugs & alcohol. Becoming a full blown heroin user. My middle school child suffered sever depression & was hospitalized as she was suicidal. I share this not to frighten anyone only as a precautionary story of what can happen within a family when there are mental health issue.
You are in for the fight of your life, of your family’s life. One can not do this without professional help. I was already in therapy dealing with my own trauma history and was determined to fight for wellness for all of us. Wellness comes dressed in many different ways from high couture to street wear. My now adult child who was a heroin addict is clean & sober. Works with HIV positive addicts who live on the streets providing social services to those willing to take the help. My other middle schooler is now an adult as well. She has worked many years in therapy dealing with her mh issues. Today she is a successful professional, owns her own home, travels & got married. My youngest, finally correctly diagnosed Borderline (BPD) is a hot mess who looks like a top model. It is still a day to day struggle. I reached the point where I had to draw the line & she had to move out. Fighting with the state to get her proper services & housing as arduous as dealing with Borderline (BPD). Reality is I will never have my beautiful loving child back and I will have to work hard to have some semblance of a relationship with this young adult. I know with support I can do it.
 
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