Marilyn Monroe and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Marilyn Monroe and Narcissism
Marilyn Monroe and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Marilyn Monroe to me is a woman who is endlessly fascinating. Previously I wrote about my belief that she could have had Aspergers Syndrome i.e. please see my previous article on Hub Pages, Marilyn Monroe and Aspergers Syndrome.
Now having delved into the Norma Jeane psychological make up a bit more and reading another biography about her life i.e. Marilyn Monroe, Private and Undisclosed by Michelle Morgan I think that the character that became Marilyn Monroe had many layers to her personality and that now it can never be truly unraveled.
Below is a list of clues from Marilyn Monroe’s life that to me indicate that along with Aspergers Syndrome Marilyn quite possibly also had a Personality Disorder. It is a pretty frequent occurrence for a person who has had a traumatic childhood. Or also people on the Autism Spectrum are much more likely to also develop a Personality Disorder. The most common ones being: Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Histrionic Personality Disorder. In the past it has often been speculated that Norma Jeane definitely ticked a lot of the right boxes for having certain characteristics of all three of these disorders.
Marilyn Monroe and Narcissistic Romance
Marilyn Monroe was extremely unpredictable and volatile when it came to love. She always claimed that all she really wanted was a white picket fence, a loving husband and a family of her own. However in spite of these claims Marilyn Monroe never seemed to be able to sustain a long term relationship. Although in the early days of a new romance Marilyn would gush about her latest love and at times she seemed to be almost obsessed with her latest man. She always threw herself into a new relationship wholeheartedly and did everything possible to please her new partner. This behavior is very consistent with how the Narcissist acts when they are trying to woo a new love.
Anyone who has loved a Narcissist will say that in the early days of their romance they really could not believe that they had met such a perfect person. In fact most will probably tell you that they had to keep pinching themselves to really believe they had been so lucky as to find such an exciting, charismatic, attractive, intelligent, romantic, caring individual. Except the sad truth is that it is all an act and eventually the truth will be revealed. When the Narcissist thinks they have you hooked you will the begin to realize so called perfect partner was just actually the greatest actor or actress whoever lived.
This is consistent with how Marilyn seemed to treat her partners i.e. as time passed she seemed to become more and more demanding on each new partner. Or as was the case with her first husband i.e. Jim Dougherty (whom she married when she was just sixteen) she seemed to become totally indifferent to him once she started to build a modeling career.
Her second husband Joe DiMaggio was a high profile Baseball player and as their relationship progressed Marilyn’s celebrity status was very much on the rise. It is also documented in many sources that as Marilyn became more famous she began to take great pleasure in reminding Joe DiMaggio that he was no longer the number celebrity in their relationship and that now it was her turn to shine while he stayed in the background.
Husband number three was playwright Arthur Miller and it has often been written that the real cracks first started to show in their marriage when Marilyn found Arthur Millers journal in which he had written his real thoughts about Marilyn’s erratic, demanding behavior on the set on her latest movie, i.e. Arthur Miller had written in his journal that he was ashamed of Marilyn’s behavior during the shooting of the movie. That her constant lateness, insecurities and diva like behavior was an embarrassment to him.
For a Narcissist the perceived insults that Arthur wrote about his wife in his journal would have hit her hard. Indeed Marilyn was reported to have been irate with fury at her husband over his comments. It has also been written that Arthur Miller claimed that he could not write very well while he was married to Marilyn Monroe as placating and being her partner was pretty much a full-time job that left him drained and emotionally fraught at the end of her day.
Though Marilyn never married again after Arthur Miller she did keep in contact with her second husband Joe DiMaggio who it is said never fell out of love with Marilyn Monroe and after she died he paid for roses to be left at her crypt three times a week for another twenty years.
There were many other men in Marilyn’s life during and between her marriages, the most infamous being the whole issue of her reputed affair with the American President JFK and his brother the Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. More about this later.
Childhood Narcissism and Norma Jeane Baker
Norma Jeane Baker never had a father figure and even now it is still not certain who her father actually was. Her mother pretty much abandoned her early on i.e. Gladys Pearl Monroe wasn’t at all maternal and also had her own psychological issues to contend with. Despite Marilyn always claiming that her mother was dead in reality she actually outlived her daughter by many years and spent a number of years in a home paid for by Marilyn.
The young Norma Jeane lived in many different foster homes some of them were good but none of them ever seemed to last for one reason or another. Undoubtedly the young Norma Jean had the textbook type of childhood that would allow a Personality Disorder to develop.
It is believed that a person usually develops Narcissistic Personality Disorder in childhood as a defense mechanism against abuse or neglect. Or consequently a child can also develop Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a result of never being given any discipline or never having to adhere to any boundaries in relation to their behavior.
Often it has been said that Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a child’s way of coming to terms with their less than perfect environment. If they are exposed to an unnatural environment very early on in life it causes them to cocoon their real self very deep inside of them and create a new false self with the intention of never letting anybody else in.
From now on what they allow other people to see is the self that they imagine the world wants to see. This someone is often extremely polite, soft spoken, always smiling, always sociable an apparent people pleaser and this is often exactly how many people have described Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe and her legendary lateness
Marilyn never overtly worried about being on time for anything. She exasperated actors, producers, directors and Studio bosses on every film that she ever worked on.
This was also verified by many of the crew members on the set, one said Marilyn had no regard for them and must not even know they were alive taking into account how late she always arrived on set each day (if she arrived at all). When and if Marilyn did finally make an appearance she would usually rush into her dressing room and refuse to come out until she felt ‘psychologically ready.’
This again is consistent Narcissistic Behavior i.e. she is too important to have to follow the rules that apply to others. She is so superior and wonderful that they will just have to wait until she is ready to appear. Fortunately for her she got away with this behavior because after all she was Marilyn Monroe.
However it never gained her too many friends on her film sets and many also described her as being aloof, haughty and not a woman to cross. While there are numerous accounts verifying that Marilyn could be the most charming woman ever there are also other stories in circulation that paint Marilyn in a very different light.
In one instance Marilyn took an intense dislike to an onset costume designer i.e. Dorothy Jeakins. As time went on during the filming of, Let’s Make Love. Marilyn started to consistently refuse to work with Jeakins and eventually even started insulting her to other cast members and made her job so impossible that she had to leave the film and she was then replaced by a new costume designer. Marilyn never commented on this afterwards.
Therefore while Marilyn often seemed to pander to the needs of other film stars, politicians and those that she classed as being ‘important people.’ However in classic Narcissistic fashion if you were deemed to be in the 'inferior people,'category then you were subjected to Narcissistic type condescension and cruelty.
The Narcissistic version of the truth
Anyone that knows a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will know that the Narcissists version of the truth and their memories of certain events can often vary greatly from the actual truth of the matter.
Marilyn was infamous for changing certain details of her life and it has often been documented that on a number of different occasions she often claimed her father was a number of different men. She also constantly changed the details of her childhood making it more terrible each time and was severely insulted at one stage when Frank Sinatra is said to have exclaimed something like not your damn sad childhood stories again.
Marilyn consistently lied to many of the people in her life and at times she may even have convinced herself that her new version of past events was actually real. Many biographers and interviewers often claimed that they were never sure when Marilyn Monroe was telling them the truth or when she was inventing another elaborate lie.
JFK and Marilyn Monroe: Narcissistic Stand Off?
The last men Marilyn Monroe was reputed to have been involved with were the President of the United States John F Kennedy and his brother the Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. Unfortunately for Marilyn neither romance worked out well and eventually she ended up face down on her bed lifeless and overdosed on a large concoction of prescription drugs.
Depending on which version of Marilyn Monroe’s life that you chose to read there is still huge speculation as to what exactly caused Marilyn Monroe’s death? But unless some new evidence comes to light at some stage in the future the true nature of Marilyn Monroe’s demise will never be totally certain.
It would appear though going ton the large body of evidence out there that Marilyn did have a relationship with the then President JFK. There is also a huge body of evidence out there that Jack Fitzgerald Kennedy and many other members of his family could certainly fit the profile of having Narcissistic Personality Disorder themselves. JFK had scant regard for women, concealed a massive amount of his life from the public domain and had some very dubious high profile campaign contributors. His own father was also ruthlessly ambitious and nothing was going to come in the way of him getting a son into the White House.
If Marilyn Monroe did indeed have Narcissistic Personality Disorder then JFK would undoubtedly be the ultimate prize for her to obtain. However she may have massively overrated her appeal to him. For a Narcissist to be unceremoniously dumped in the way it appears JFK may have done in the case of Marilyn would have been a massive blow to her ego and undoubtedly she would have wanted to get revenge.
Was Bobby Kennedy part of Marilyn’s master plan to exact her revenge on JFK? Or could it have been her attempt at making JFK jealous? It is certainly possible but unfortunately for Marilyn it was a doomed plan from the start. Marilyn may have disastrously overestimated how her celebrity status could ever possibly be any match for the might of the Kennedy Clan.
When you have two Narcissists in a relationship it can only be a completely destructive experience and the only way it is going to end is very badly. Unfortunately for Marilyn this dangerous liaison was followed by the end of her life. Whatever the truth behind the Marilyn image really was she surely would be very happy now at how the Marilyn Monroe legend lives on ..
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