But first, what I have learned about narcissism.
There was a storyline in the sitcom Friends that there is no real good dead; if it makes you feel good, then it is not unselfish. Most, or many people have narcissistic tendencies, particularly if they are ambitious, confident, or other such adjectives. These people are not “dangerous” in any way. In addition, there are narcissistic disorders (malignant narcissism or psychopath) where narcissists become abusive or even a danger to others.
The basic premise is to look more inwardly than outwardly. For me, the degree of severity–or danger–is best gauged through empathy. Those with malignant narcissism want to or don’t care about hurting others.
It is rooted in one’s upbringing. Factors such as mirroring, entitlement, abuse (sexual or otherwise), discipline, or a lack of affection or attention influence it. It could be called inherited.
A key component (I learned this from Dr. _____) on Youtube, is me against you or them. I am right and you are wrong. This includes difficulty appreciating or loving people for who they are. Taken further, contentiousness and conflict.
Steven Powell, the father of killer Josh Powell, is as disgusting an individual as I have ever seen. I cannot forget the police interview videos of him. He is smirking and smiling and all the while talking about his infatuation with his son’s wife. He took pictures and videos and masturbated. He sang songs and wrote poetry, used mirrors under the bathroom door; there were neighbors and other women/girls too.
There are many other stories too. There is evidence or they are made in court by people who know. They are not just allegations.
Powell believed he would marry his son’s wife. Even though she and her husband Josh moved out of state because of the conflict–Utah and the Mormon church provided solace–he still believed she was flirting with him.
There are more anecdotes including he wanted multiple wives and he believed women are unequal or subservient to men. He called his daughter who was there for a holiday gathering a “fucking bitch” (i.e., not supportive of his edicts and family secrets) and ordered her and her husband out of the house.
This is me against them contention.
He was given a 10-year sentence; he served some three years at age 65 for voyeurism.
In the videos before Josh Powell killed himself and his sons, he looks extremely conflicted. If this is possible, he looks as though he has intimacy problems.
In the police station, he is cowering in the corner during the interrogation in his Winter hat and coat. He is looking at no one and saying nothing.
Then a reporter shoves a camera in his face while he is getting in–the rental? police confiscated his minivan–car. Again, he is more or less looking at the ground, and says “We got a late start,” referring to the 2 AM “camping” expedition with very young children.
Prior to that trip neighbors reported a lot of car alarm noise coming from the garage. The stereo was loud and there were large fans around a wet carpet. The minivan has no trunk, but Mommy may have been in the back per the young son. There are conflicting stories that father Steven or brother Michael were along on the trip; another, a report from a gas station worker, suggests Susan was alive and there too.
From that point on Susan was no longer seen, ever, and those were the last people who saw her. (To me that, and other circumstantial evidence, was enough to arrest Josh Powell.)
While father Steven is one of the more disgusting people I have seen in the news, Josh is as pathetic as they come. Steven did it as a conspirator, leader, manipulator, and something of a “white collar” approach. Josh did it hands-on.
He couldn’t do anything right, including the murder of his wife which he was forced to follow-up with the complete destruction of his family. In his early 30’s he had a bankruptcy. Despite a degree in business from the Univ. of Washington he could not hold down a job. He wasn’t even all-in with Mormonism. This relates to almost nothing but I cannot forget it: the family had one car which Josh used–he wanted to be a realtor–and Susan rode her bicycle to work.
She seemed industrious. She was just twenty when they married. She became a licensed realtor to help his floundering careers. She was apparently a “broker” at Wells Fargo. She seemed great, but he could not love her for who she was. Past tense.
Josh seems eternally conflicted. When his wife had their first child he couldn’t go to the hospital because he had to backup his hard drive. Maybe distracted is a better word, or even tormented. Everything has to be his way, which is not the right way for others.
Brother Michael killed himself too, for the same reason.
Why? The father Steven.