I've been a member now for about 2 weeks. I haven't yet posted my story but have been reading all of your posts and I have to say that your stories/comments, in addition to a couple of strong moments of clarity that came out of the blue over the past couple of weeks, have really helped me during the grieving process. Thank you so very much to all of you for being a large part of the recovery of my self-respect.
The reason for this topic is because my impression is that most of you have dealt with somatic narcissists. Those guys who are driven by all different types of sexual conquests as their primary source of supply. I haven't read as much about experiences with cerebral narcissists. My understanding is that cerebral narcissists derive most of their supply from intellectualizaion / rationalization of everything and target those who are smart, hard-working, driven, but perhaps over-compensating for low self-esteem or insecurities. That was definitely my experience and I would be interested in hearing from any of your experiences with cerebral narcissists.
I also understand that all narcissism exists on a spectrum of severity. My cerebral N did not demonstrate the more flagrant physical or sexual abuse that many of you describe (although I was a recipient of narcissist rage in the form of hysterical screaming in my face while I feared for my safety three times). My CN was less flagrant about his behavior and was a master mind F-er. I also understand that even CNs behave in a somatic, overtly sexual way when it will help them reel in their target and this is what happened with me. So for the four months we were together, he was very giving sexually with me (and I hope no one else!) but then reverted back to the life of a computer-geek hermit.
The rest will be left for the posting of my story but any comments or feedback would be appreciated. And a final question - which many of you will find humorous - do you ever feel guilty about "diagnosing" someone you once loved with a personality disorder, if you aren't a psychiatrist or psychologist? I've read tons of books and filled out the quizzes about narcissism and my N is off the charts but I still can't help feeling that it is very, very presumptuous of me to do so. I guess in the end, what does it matter if it helps me undertand what happened to me and helps me heal, right?