How To Play The Narcissist’s Game

*I’m adding a disclaimer of sorts to this post due to a few people who seem to think that I’m claiming to be an expert. When I use the word – expert – to refer to myself, I’m being sardonic towards myself. I use humour to deal with my pain. I am not an expert, I simply grew up with parents who are narcissists, who made my life a confusing hellish nightmare.

I’m sorry if I did not make it clear enough in my words, I thought I had.

This is a personal blog (by a real person and human being) where I share some of my experiences and thoughts. This is one of the ways I have chosen to sort through my own issues.

When I wrote this post I did not expect anyone to read it, posting it publicly was a challenge to myself to break through the silence and censorship of my self-expression which was imposed on me by the narcissists in my life.

I realise that any discussion about NPD triggers our own experiences of it, and we may react to the ghosts which haunt us.

Please take care of yourselves.

Please be considerate of others who, like you, have suffered. We all know how hard it is to heal the pain of our personal wounds.

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

The title of this post comes from a search criteria in my stats which led someone to my blog. It caught my eye. The first thought which popped into my head was…

Why exactly do you want to play games with a Narcissist?

I can guess why based on my own reasons for wanting to outwit a Narcissist. Frustration, and the urge to be acknowledged by them just once. Just once you want them to admit that you are an individual separate from them, and right about them. But they never will, not genuinely, although they might do it as a ploy, to placate you, a manipulative device to get you to stop being who you are and become who they’ve decided you are. However I don’t know anything about the person who was doing that search or the Narcissist they are dealing with.

The very first thing you have to ask yourself before you engage in game playing battle with a Narcissists is – Are they a Narcissist or a Sociopath/Psychopath? There are similarities, they are often confused, but the differences will make all the difference to your survival and win rate. If they are a Narcissist, are they a regular one or a Malignant one? There is a subtle difference, not always obvious to those caught in a relationship with a Narcissist.

Once you’ve determined that…

Every Narcissist you meet is different. Sure there are similarities of behaviour in all Narcissists, but they are people just like you and me. And ‘Yes’, to the person who searched for whether Narcissists have a soul, they do have one just like you do. Narcissists are human. They are just stuck in an early phase of development. We all pass through that phase too, but we passed through it onto the next phase and the next and so on.

So, you want to outwit a Narcissist? To win at a game they’ve been playing before they even knew they were playing it? They sometimes still don’t know they’re playing it, which is why they are so good at it.

I won’t go into the difference between subconscious and conscious awareness, because I’ll probably end up confusing both you and myself. However it does have bearing on how to deal with a Narcissist. Simply put, at least I hope this is simple, take any question which you might ask yourself about your life such as – Why do I attract Narcissists?

Your conscious mind will try to answer this question as best as it can with the information consciously available to it. The stuff of which you are aware, about yourself and others, on a day to day basis.

Your subconscious knows exactly why, and it would probably say – you attract Narcissists because you are attracted to them. They have something you need. A gift for you. And the only way to get that gift is to go through a relationship with one or two or three.

You access the subconscious through dreams, sometimes through therapy if you have a good therapist, and through pausing to listen to yourself, really listen. The subconscious communicates with you all the time – that song, memory, image, scene from a film or TV show, that uncomfortable feeling, sudden ache in your body, which popped into your head, made itself conscious, for no apparent reason, the subconscious has a reason. The subconscious uses everything to communicate unlike the conscious mind which mainly uses words and verbal thoughts.

For more about how we communicate with ourselves, read this: Focusing by Eugene T. Gendlin.

Much of what a Narcissist does and is, is subconscious. They will never admit to being a Narcissist, not consciously they won’t, because consciously they are not. A very rare few will figure it out, there are one or two who blog and have written books about their experience of being a Narcissist and how they are slowly curing themselves because most therapists don’t know how to cure NPD as very few who have NPD go into therapy and those who do don’t do it to cure Narcissism and usually mess with the therapist and then leave. The Narcissists who openly admit to having NPD are rare and brave. Brave because would you want to admit you were a Narcissist to yourself and others with all the Narcissist hate on the internet and elsewhere?

Both my parents are/were Narcissists. I am in some ways an expert on the subject, but I don’t consider myself to be. I didn’t study it academically, I lived it and then tried to make sense of what I’ve lived. I’m still working on making sense of it. It took me a while to figure out that they were Narcissists and then figure out what that meant. It has only been in recent years that the subject has been explored in a detailed way.

Best book I’ve ever read on the subject is – Going Mad to Stay Sane by Andy White. I found that book in a secondhand bookshop, I wasn’t looking for it, it found me. It’s one of those books which glued itself to my hand and forced me to buy it. It changed my life. It’s not an easy book to get a hold of. Why!?!

Anyway, back to playing games with Narcissists.

I’ve played Narcissistic games with Narcissists. Not just with my parents, but with others who have NPD. Usually I don’t know I’m playing the game until something strikes me as odd about the interaction, such as the fact that they are not being who they said they are – we all do that a bit, but Narcissists do it all the time and the gulf between who they say they are and who they are is gaping – and it dawns on me that yet again I’m dealing with a Narcissist.

I have also played actual games with Narcissists.

Want to find out a whole bunch of subconscious stuff about a person, play a board or video game with them. Some people undergo a complete character change when playing a game.

That very polite and nice person you know so well, suddenly becomes a control freak with a vengeance. That laid back, peace-loving dippy hippie turns into a scorched earth policy activist. That aggressive bully turns into a screaming scaredy-cat who yells help and eek a lot and wants all violent games banned.

I’ve never played a video game with my parents, but I did play one once with a Narcissist. It was a boxing game. He usually only played it with his kids, because they always let him win without letting him know they were doing that. He made the mistake of playing it with me. I did not let him win, but thrashed him and then laughed out loud about it. I can be so socially awkward at times. He stormed out of the room and created a drama in another room.

To be honest I did it deliberately. We’d played a board game earlier in the day and I didn’t like how he’d treated his son. He’d intimidated and bullied him. But you can’t tell a parent how to treat their children, especially if you don’t have children. So… I thought I’d give him a taste of his own medicine and see how he liked it. I didn’t solve anything by doing this, I didn’t change him or make him see any light of any sort about his behaviour, I may have even made things worse by doing what I did. Although I did catch the son’s eye when I thrashed his father and there was a glint in it. It was the same glint I had when someone did that sort of thing with my parents when I was his age. A dawning of seeing that the person who has convinced you they are perfect and you are flawed beyond repair is actually just as flawed, maybe more flawed, than you are. It’s a moment of freedom for the prisoner of a Narcissist.

I did however play board games with my parents. They had different styles, but both were very Narcissistic.

Narcissist tend to play games exactly like they live life. So there is not much of a character change. One rule for you, the rules of the game plus a few invented ones they’ve just added so you can’t win. And no rules for them.

My father taught me how to play Chess. I later learned how to play Chess properly from someone who wasn’t a Narcissist. It was very boring compared to the Narcissistic version.

Taking on a Narcissist at any kind of game is a bad idea. But is it a bad idea worth having and acting on?

Those who think I’m wise… clears throat while looking confused and embarrassed… thank you but I’m not really. My wisdom, if I have any, lies in allowing myself to make mistakes and learn from them, then make some more, learn from those, and so on. An evolving path of mistakes. I used to be terrified of making mistakes. Why? Because my Narcissistic mother was perfect and punished me for being imperfect all the time. To her, I was a mistake. Being afraid of making mistakes became my personal hellish prison. Allowing myself to make them and enjoy the results was my key to freedom. That’s it really.

Narcissists don’t have rules. Not for them. For you… they have so many that it suffocates the life out of you. They hand out censorship like after dinner mints. Less freedom for you means they have more freedom for them. They are the classic free spirit who doesn’t allow anyone else to be a free spirit.

So, if you play games with them you’d better be prepared for games which have rules that keep changing throughout the games.

But as prepared as you try to be, you will hit a wall at some point, a boundary of your own making. You have values and principles, and a line you won’t cross no matter what. The Narcissist knows that, consciously, subconsciously, both. At some point you’re going to hit one of your boundaries. They don’t have boundaries, well they do, but they move. Their rules are designed to change when they are losing and basically even if they lose they will turn it into a victory.

Can you ever win a game against a Narcissist? Yes and no. Depends on the game, but mostly it depends on what you consider to be winning. They will always leave you frustrated with your win and your loss. Can you tell the difference?

I sometimes deliberately lose to a Narcissist to ensure a win. Why? Because they are an obsessive persistent pain in the ass when they think they’ve lost, but if they think they’ve won, they will fuck off… most of the time. And to me that is a win.

The best way to make a Narcissist go away with their tail thrust firmly between their legs – Show them you’ve seen the face behind their mask, the face which hides behind every one of their masks. You become anathema to them. At first they may try to prove you wrong. You’re the inferior baddie and they are the superior goodie. Stay firm. Don’t allow your ego, your need to be seen as the goodie and to show them up as the baddie, to weaken your resolve. Can you do that?

Much of what it takes to mess with a Narcissist involves doing the opposite of what you would do with someone who is not a Narcissist and what you would normally do.

Narcissists are very good at finding really nice people. Your niceness is a weakness. They need that niceness because they don’t have it. Their favourite thing is hearing you tell them how wonderful they are, nice people do that, encourage the good in others and give compliments freely. This addiction to nice people is the Narcissist’s weakness. They tell people how wonderful they are, but they don’t believe it, not consciously or subconsciously. They are very aggressive about how wonderful they are, they will fight to the death to prove it… to themselves most of all. They use others to prove it.

There is a football chant in the UK – You’re shit and you know you are – which is a good one to use with a Narcissist if you want them to go away. At first they will try to get you to see that you are the shit one and they are the wonderful one. Keep singing it. Eventually they will run away, dump you (you’re not allowed to dump them), and find someone who will sing – You are so beautiful to me – to them.

There is always someone else, they discard relationships like we discard trash. They change identities in a similar way, but they never change their pattern of relationship, and they rarely change who they are underneath all of their masks. Still a lonely child hoping someone really special will love them, what a tempting trap, what a prison! Your love will never be enough to save them no matter how much they try to convince you it will. You will lose yourself trying to do that.

One of the most effective ways of ‘winning’ a game with a Narcissist… let them win. If you’ve been in a relationship with a Narcissist for a while, you’ll know that at some point they stop being ‘nice’ to you, it’s an effort for them, and they switch to being mean. They will tell you some awful truth about yourself for your own good, of course, they’re wonderful like that. Don’t try to prove them wrong, that’s what they want, that gives them what they need, all of your passionate attention. Tell them they are right and walk away. You agree with them, you are the bad daughter or son, the toxic friend, the negative lover, you’re bad for them and will always hurt them, they need to get away from you, move on, let go. Can you do that?

It won’t always work, you have to be consistent and persistent or they will wear you down with their infinite persistence. You just have to keep blocking their nonsense. Block the blah blah which confuses. They are nonsense blah blah experts.

I cut ties with both my parents over ten years ago. The ‘No Contact’ approach. Which worked for a while, but Narcissists never follow the rules of others. They do it as long as it suits them. Both my parents recently resurfaced. My father because he died. You’re not necessarily free from the games of a Narcissist just because they’re dead. My mother because she wants to get her hands on whatever inheritance my father left behind. Which is a frigging mess typical of a Narcissist. A poisoned chalice or Gordian Knot (got that from Going Mad to Stay Sane). My mother has tried many Narcissistic ploys to engage me in her games. I’ve been ignoring them. Her latest one was claiming that she thinks, poor her, that I may be dead. She wants me to react to that by proving I am alive. Fuck her, let her prove her nonsense blah blah, frankly I’m relived to be dead to her, not that she really believes her own nonsense.

There you have it. My view, my expert advice… !?!?! I’m still making mistakes and trying to turn the experience into some sort of learning and crazy wisdom.

Take what you need from my posts – there is not going to be a book – and do what you want. You are responsible for your own life. Live it, learn from it… try to enjoy it. A bit. A lot. Good luck!

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If you would like to know more about Narcissistic Personality Disorder please visit:

Update 2017 – I should really go through the links below and update them, but some things are better left as they were. However I have recently come across an excellent blog (which also has a Youtube channel for those who prefer the spoken word, and the author of the blog has written books for those who prefer books).

This is the blog – Knowing the Narcissist

This is his Youtube channel – Knowing the Narcissist – Youtube

The author is a Narcissist – he states this in his bio, but before you run away, pause a minute, many victims of Narcissists have claimed to have found healing and help in their recovery through reading his posts (read the comments on his posts). I find his posts to be informative. In his posts he explains the Narcissist from the perspective of a Narcissist, and the Narcissist’s victims from the perspective of a Narcissist (and he gives detailed information about the different types and levels of Narcissists) – this is often what is missing for those trying to heal themselves after Narcissistic Abuse.

He is also rather patient, compassionate, and understanding for a Narcissist. Please be respectful – do not go there to bash a Narcissist, he is not your Narcissist.

Everything below this update are old links, some are still active, and maybe one day I’ll re-check them out. Thank you for visiting. Take care of yourselves. Best wishes.

The Narcissistic Continuum. There is also a forum, for those seeking support, advice and information.

If you’ve been or are in a romantic relationship with a narcissist, please visit – Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

Narcissism and the Fruit of Suffering– the blog of my favourite author, whose book Going Mad to Stay Sane helped me to figure out and explain many aspects of my own experience with narcissistic parents, especially my tendency to be self destructive.

Narcissism – Living Without Feelings – A very long and detailed analysis of NPD, which explains how someone develops the disorder, what goes on behind the facade, how the disorder affects the individual who has it, and its effects on others, and so much more. If you want to understand NPD, this is an excellent article. Comprehensive and insightful.

Out of the Fog – Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) – an excellent resource of all the ‘games’ which Narcissists ‘play’.

Games Narcissists Play by Alexander Burgemeester

How to Handle a Crazymaker by Kimberely Key, M.A.

The Vampire’s Bite: Victims of Narcissists Speak Out by  Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D.

The Narcissistic Family Portrait by Karyl McBride, Ph.D.

Why Some People Will Never Learn by Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D.

Selfishness and Narcissism in Family Relationships & The Drama Triangle by Dr. Lynne Namka

Don’t Play The Victim Game by Robert W. Firestone, Ph.D.

Energy theft: toxic forms of shame and guilt by Marty Cooper

How The Trauma of Narcissistic Abuse Changes Our World Views

Communicating with a Narcissist

7 Things You Need to Know About Narcissists from a Psychologist’s Perspective

5 Ways to Shut Down a Narcissist

Five Powerful Ways Abusive Narcissists Get Inside Your Head

Worth reading if you’re thinking of telling a narcissist that they have NPD:

Is There a Cure For Narcissism? by Kaleah LaRoche

Narcissists in Fiction:

Honest Science vs. False Friend: A Contrast Study of Temperance Brennan and Angela Montenegro  – This is an interesting post examining two characters on a popular TV show (the Narcissist as a TV & film trope is very common), one of which could be perceived as being a Narcissist but isn’t, the other is a Narcissist but may not be perceived as one (because Narcissists are focused on how others perceive them thus they are better able to manipulate their image and control how others view them). Like the person who wrote this, I find the character of Angela Montenegro intensely annoying and distressing (I have been known to shout at the TV when watching this show when her character appears and does her ‘thing’) because she is very narcissistic yet gets away with it, everyone makes excuses for her (including the resident psychologist who is supposed to be very clever) and thinks she’s lovely, very ’empathic’. Episode 6, season 5 was particularly explicit in showing Angela’s Narcissism and I got intensely angry about how it was handled). This episode reminded me of CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum’s post of Puppygate – Part Two Online Narcissists: A case study called PuppyGate.

Some other posts I have written while working through my issues:

When Narcissists Claim to be Victims of Narcissists – Who is the Narcissist?

Are You a Magnet for Narcissists?

Being A Child of Narcissists – Breaking the Silence

An insightful guest post on NPD:

The story of a relationship with a Narcissist: I Am Not Special by Hope

459 comments

  1. I love this blog…and agree you can get burnt out on the topic. But I’d like to offer that the way I feel I’ve won with any Narcissist is to help cushion the blows to their victims if possible. They aren’t such bullies when someone who has their number is by their target’s side. You’ll never change them, but you can help mitigate the damage they do to others – even if it is just by NOT buying that their victim deserved the way they were treated. It can get complicated, and there are people out there who never learn – they will continue to be victims over and over and will exhaust any support and sympathy. Don’t let that spoil it for others who need help.

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    • Thank you 🙂

      The points which you made are excellent, thank you very much for sharing your view. What you said about getting burnt out on the topic reminded me of that therapeutic technique which involves telling your story over and over again (without discussing it or analysing it or hearing anyone else’s opinion about it, just telling it) until you basically get bored of the story, of telling it and of hearing yourself tell it – when that happens the theory is that you can then analyse the components of the story with detachment because you are no longer attached to the story itself, the telling of it, and what you get from it every time you tell it which keeps you stuck in it. You’ve reached a place within yourself where you want to learn and evolve, change your story, your pattern, and are committed to doing it actively – and don’t expect anyone else to do it for you, or to support you, give you sympathy or anything else which might end up inadvertently encouraging you to stay stuck in the story.

      Support is an important element in recovery, however sometimes the support becomes a crutch and if the person heals they may fear the loss of support, and having to stand on their own two feet. Someone who has received a lot of sympathy because they are a victim may be reluctant to let go of their victim status as that may mean losing the nourishment they are getting from the sympathy – something which they may have been starved of for a long time and now they have it they don’t want to lose it. They may feel strong in their role as a victim and fear losing that position of strength, especially if they have never felt themselves as being strong before.

      We all learn at a different pace and in different ways. Repetition is often necessary, doing something until it sinks in, until we no longer need to keep repeating.

      I think some people never learn partly because somewhere along the way they’ve learned a lesson which taught them that they get more by not learning. Learning has become something which takes away rather than gives, whereas not learning gives generously and takes away from others. Narcissists are prone to this kind of reasoning which is why a certain type of narcissist plays the eternal victim.

      The complexity which goes with a relationship with a narcissist can take a long time to understand, and often entails a lot of contradictory factors which are hard to resolve because they don’t always make sense to the logical mind. Such as the question – Why does that person keep going back to their abuser? – they may ask themselves the same question and until they find the answer to it, which may require digging deeply into themselves and facing aspects of their psyche of which they are unaware, they will be more likely to repeat the pattern. And even if they know their answer, they then need to figure out how to apply what they know – which sometimes requires a rerun of the pattern. They may need to keep being involved with a narcissist until they get the narcissist’s number. Once they have the narcissist’s number they may still need to replay some of the dynamic to confirm their understanding – which is why, when you have been a victim of a narcissist and have learned from it, it helps to support others, not just for them but for you. Even when we’ve learned something, that is just the beginning of the next lesson in life, which may be the same lesson in a new format. We are always the pupil and the teacher and life is our classroom.

      It sounds like you are a great support, not just for others but for yourself too 🙂

      Like

  2. Thank you for making sense of this other world ive been struggling with. You made it simple and thank you for taking the time to help others. Thank you!!!

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    • Thank you 🙂

      I’m still figuring things out, and sharing my process of figuring things out (which involves embracing the mistakes I make rather than being afraid of them). Life and relationships is all about learning and exploring.

      Like

  3. An excellent article. It may not be a good idea to use the word “expert,” even though it is evident that you are extraordinarily knowledgable, insightful, and articulate. I can relate all too well to your thoughts and experiences and I look forward to following your blog. Thank you for sharing!

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    • Thank you 🙂

      You’re right, it wasn’t a good idea to use the word ‘expert’, I can see that with hindsight. It’s one of those words which has multiple definitions. It is also one of those words which some people take very seriously and may miss the way I was using it (which was a kind of sardonic view of all my years as a child of narcissists dealing with their nonsense – which falls into one of the definitions for the word ‘expert’).

      I considered removing the word, but then decided to keep the post as is, because those sort of things are a part of life, and the learning curve of it. Remove one thing which some people think is wrong and those who are looking for what’s wrong will find something else to pick on, because that’s what they’re focused upon. Other people will focus their attention elsewhere, such as what is right, what inspires, what helps. That’s life and being human, living in a world full of other humans living life.

      Thank you too for sharing, I just followed your blog and look forward to reading your posts!

      Like

      • Thank you for this article. I read this months ago as I began a relationship with a man whom I suspected to be a narcissist – but he was charming and I was charmed (and confused). Your article is very well written and easily relatable. At present, I am revisiting your article because I have come to recognize that he is not only a narcissist but a married one who cheated on his wife with me. I did not know he was married and ended it promptly. I’m not sure if I can let him win this battle. I am not sure if I can walk away without teaching him a lesson; whatever lesson I decide that maybe. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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        • Thank you 🙂

          I can understand the temptation to teach a narcissist a lesson, however narcissists don’t learn life lessons, at least not the way those lessons are usually intended to be learned.

          A narcissist (if they really have NPD and aren’t just someone being very narcissistic – the difference makes a big difference) is a bit like a serial rapist who gets caught and sent to jail because one or more of their victims reports the crime, rather than learning that rape is bad, the serial rapist learns that the only way not to get caught and end up in jail is to kill their victims as therefore their crime can’t be reported, and so what they learn changes them from a serial rapist into a serial killer.

          That’s an extreme example, but it reflects the learning style of those with NPD. What we try to teach them usually ends up being used against us and others. The lesson they learn is how to up their game rather than not play it. The consequences they see aren’t how much they’ve hurt someone else with their behaviour, they see exactly what they saw in the first place which is all about them, what they need and want, and justifies their behaviour, often confirming to them that they should keep doing it.

          A narcissist is only focused on their own pain. A narcissist who is cheating on his wife, and lying to his mistress about his marital status, doesn’t care if his wife gets hurt or his mistress (who doesn’t know that she is a mistress) gets hurt, he only cares about his hurt, and how much his wife hurts him (for whatever reason he gives himself) which is why he is cheating on her (it’s her fault, not his, that he is cheating). His mistress is supposed to ease his pain and hurt, which she does for a while, but then she ends up hurting him too (perhaps because she finds out that she’s the mistress of a married man and not the girlfriend of a single man as she had thought). And so he goes off in search of someone else to heal his pain and care for his hurt, leaving a trail of pain and hurt in his footsteps, a trail of pain and hurt which he will never see because he never looks that way, the way he looks at it is always from his perspective which is always about his own pain and hurt. He sees himself as a great guy who is unfortunate in love, but that’s not his fault, it’s the fault of everyone else.

          If you try to teach him a lesson, it will only confirm his view and he’ll never see your side of the story (or his wife’s side of the story) – which will annoy you even more as what he has done to do, he will do again only in a slightly different scenario. And some narcissists love the battle, the drama which ensues when they hurt someone, they feed off your pain and it nourishes them.

          So, the best revenge where a narcissist is concerned (and this applies to those with NPD and those who are very narcissistic) is to forget about them (or at least give them that impression – faking disinterest often leads to actual disinterest which is helpful in healing from a relationship with a narcissist), get on with your life, keep busy, go out, socialise, be happy. Showing him that your life is great without him will have more impact on him than anything else because most narcissists expect their exes to never get over them and to end up miserable without them. Doing this will also help you in actually getting over him and getting on with the wonderful life ahead of you.

          There’s a blog you might find worth checking out – http://reversepsychologyzone.com/reverse-psychology-on-relationships/ – as reverse psychology is one of the more useful tactics to use on a narcissist.

          Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you think it through, and mostly make sure that it is beneficial for you to do it. The most important thing in this is to take care of yourself. The reason why we let others win, isn’t for their benefit, it is for ours. With a narcissist letting them win ends the game playing (to a degree, depends on the narcissist and their relationship with you) and frees you from being forever stuck in a vicious circle. If you teach him a lesson and things don’t turn out the way you’d hoped it might make you want to teach him another lesson, then another, and before you know it teaching him a lesson has become the main focus of your life, which means that he is getting the narcissistic supply which narcissists crave and love.

          If you’re thinking of informing his wife, be prepared for unexpected and unpleasant consequences. He might decide to teach you a lesson – those sort of things can flow both ways.

          Take good care of yourself. Best wishes!

          Like

          • Thank you so much for your very thoughtful reply. I have been reading up on NPD and learning more and I believe this guy is NDP and just not your garden variety Narcissist. You are absolutely right that the best thing is to forget and ignore him. Funny thing is that I don’t necessarily feel hurt (broken hearted) but angry – I guess my anger stems from the fact that I was deceived and feel so stupid for letting him play me like that. I did not allow myself to get emotionally attached to him and perhaps this is why I am not feeling devastated by the discovery that he is married.

            I will definitely think about what you counseled on informing his wife and preparing for the lessons that he may decide to teach me. It is a vicious circle. I have written his wife a letter and it was very matter of fact / no emotion from me (which was very hard to write). I apologized to her for what happened and told her that I wish her best – however which way she decides to handle the situation. I would think that if I was the wife, I’d like to know. However, I don’t know the nature of their relationship and none of my business. I would think if I was the wife – I would leave him. Interesting enough, she works in the mental health field……..

            While I know NPDs have no empathy, feel absolutely entitled and take no accountability for their actions – I hope in the back of his mind, he is looking behind his shoulder wondering when the other shoe will drop. But then again – I’m sure he has no conscience and could care less.

            I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to get it off of my chest and allowing me the venue to talk it through with someone who has gone through this battle. I wish you well during the holiday season and please continue your wonderful writing – I enjoy reading them.

            Best of luck to you and stay well.

            Gothamgirl1

            Like

            • Thank you very much 🙂

              Your story resonates with me, being the child of a father who had many affairs and a mother who knew about most of them and put up with them and his philandering ways because she had her reasons for doing so. Some wives know and don’t necessarily respond to being informed about it the way that the informer thinks that they will. A mistress, especially one who didn’t know about the wife, may think she is the only one, or at least the first one. Maybe she is, maybe the wife doesn’t know, but if the husband and lover has NPD… things may be a very knotty problem.

              Those with NPD may treat their spouses, children, and family like shit… but they guard them jealously as their spouses, children, and family are an extension of them, they are limbs and expressions of the narcissist. So, they are very defensive and will go on the offensive if they think an outsider (which a mistress sort of is and sort of isn’t) does something to hurt them. If his wife didn’t know (yes, it is probably the correct thing to do to tell her, however…) and now she knows, this will impact upon the narcissist and his carefully controlled version of reality. He won’t like that at all. Informing her is akin to informing him that he isn’t as great as he thinks he is.

              One of my father’s lovers (who knew he was married from the get go) decided to make a scene at a family dinner – a dinner which included my father, my mother, and a group of their friends at my parent’s home. My father tore her to pieces in front of everyone (a favourite tactic of an overt narcissist) and my mother drove her home after she’d been torn to pieces and demanded to leave as she was staying with my parents but didn’t have her own transportation. My mother was very sympathetic towards this woman (a favourite tactic of a covert narcissist). I only know about this story because my mother liked to tell it as an anecdote for social gatherings to show everyone what an amazing wife she was, a martyr and a saint to her husband’s devilish ways (another favourite tactic of a covert narcissist).

              Narcissists (both overt and covert) love to brag about their ‘conquests’ to build their ego and persona. That’s the whole trail of ‘crazy exes’ tale which you find on sites which talk about narcissists and the stories they tell to their new love interest. Their anecdotes are the trophies which they collect from all their discards.

              Hence my warning about informing the wife and being prepared for the unexpected. You may be certain that he’s a narcissist, but you do not know anything about his wife so you don’t know the dynamic of their relationship. Maybe she is as innocent as you were, maybe she is not. If she is and your letter removes that innocence, he could decide to teach you a lesson (because nothing is his fault and narcissists are never responsible or accountable for the consequences of their actions). When a narcissist decides to teach someone a lesson, that becomes a source of narcissistic supply to them, so they don’t tire of it easily and it can escalate rapidly.

              Hopefully he’ll prove to be just very narcissistic and not someone with NPD, and/or he won’t be interested enough to pursue vengeance against a bruise to his ego.

              Narcissists tend to live permanently waiting for the other shoe to drop (for someone to discover their fraud), and they are very paranoid, that’s partly why they are the way they are.

              The ‘Empathy’ issue is where I end up pissing off people who have been in a relationship with a narcissist, and professional experts, who are convinced that narcissists lack empathy. The disagreement is more a matter of diversity of opinion on what empathy is. Narcissists don’t care what others think and feel, and yet care very greatly about it in as much as it relates to their persona and ego. They study people and how people react and interact with them – they don’t care about what you think, feel and experience unless it has bearing on what they think, feel and experience. They do have a version of empathy, but not the kind which non-narcissists consider to be empathy. They use the ability very differently and thus it gets labeled as something else. The narcissist’s version of empathy is how they get under people’s skin, they can tap into what is hidden inside of others, the bad which may be dormant and latent in good people. They can bring out the worst in the most peaceful and benevolent souls. It’s the very bad side of empathy, but since non-narcissists only view empathy as good, they don’t accept that it can be used in a bad way, as most things can be.

              For a narcissist, empathy is used to find where someone else is vulnerable, the soft underbelly. You can find that most easily when you tap into how someone else feels and thinks, how they view the world, their perspective. In that particular scenario and version of empathy, narcissists excel. They always know which button to press to get someone to do and say, feel and think, what they want them to. That is much harder to do without empathy, and narcissists are lazy so they take the shortest route to get to where they want to go. They just don’t use empathy the way that non-narcissists want them to, and therefore non-narcissists have decided that they lack empathy, because for non-narcissists empathy is a good thing, conscience, caring, sympathy, etc. – all things which a narcissist can fake really well, how can they fake those things so well if they don’t have any knowledge of them and how people view them?

              A narcissist won’t care that they hurt you because they’ll be too busy caring about the hurt you have caused to them. They won’t feel empathy/sympathy towards you, partly because they believe you’re not feeling empathy/sympathy for them. They are very petty. You don’t care about them, so why should they care about you. You have no conscience, so why should they have one. You hurt them, so they are going to hurt you and make you feel their pain. And they know exactly where to hit you to hurt you because they have no boundaries, ergo they can feel you, know your thoughts, and they know your buttons because they know their own buttons and yours happen to be similar to theirs. Bad empathy at its worst.

              Sorry, I digressed into something else.

              The best case scenario is, he’s not as much of a narcissist as you think he may be and he’ll learn from the experience and endeavour to be better because of it. Or his wife will discover something very painful which she needed to know but perhaps did not want to know, it may shatter her reality and after a very difficult period she will come out of this stronger. Hopefully they don’t have children, but if they do… well, time is healing, even if it doesn’t heal all wounds, it sometimes turns them into wisdom. A cautionary tale.

              Focus on yourself, on what you need to do to heal, and see this as an experience which is a part of the learning curve of life. You’ve now been inoculated against narcissists, and your next relationship will benefit from this. May it be one which fulfills your dreams, and makes them real.

              Best wishes, take care!

              Thank you for sharing!

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              • Here’s where maybe I’m going to make another comment that wouldn’t work for some…but I think you ought to let the cheated-on spouse know. Gently and without emotion…maybe anonymously. I have watched a couple people (one a Narc sister-in-law) get away with adultery and then hammer their clueless spouse in a divorce. Adultery is a violation of your marriage contract, and it matters in a divorce in many states. I see many women and men talking about how they got cleaned out financially by their Narc. Hate to see that – and it is important to not get engaged or worry about the outcome – just let them know if possible and if it is not dangerous for anyone. (BTW, I am an accountant, so I do tend to focus on these things. They may damage you emotionally, but don’t let them do it financially as well. ; ) )

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                • Miss Dill: Thank you for your comment and I agree with you that his wife should know. As a woman, I thought she would want to know that her husband is cheating on her. do plan on sending her an apologetic letter with no emotion (not an easy letter to write when you are angy) informing his wife of our affair. I don’t think it will be as effective if I write the letter anonymously as he will definitely know that I am the source. I want to be as transparent with the truth as possible as I have nothing to hide and will offer proof so he cannot refute it with his lies.

                  I hope in the end, it will be not be for naught because he is a narcissist after all. He will be vengeful and feel that he is entitled to her money. He will punish her for divorcing him and take her to the cleaners. From what I do know, the assets are in her name and their assets are not much – which I find interesting if not strange as they are both successful professionals. However, I do not know their relationship and cannot speak to their financial situation. You would think that a narcissist would make sure his name is on all the assets so he can secure his share. Like I asked anupturnedsoul, perhaps the wife is also a narcissist and the stronger one in the relationship. Perhaps that is why he feels inadequate and cannot leave because he needs her financial support and himself feel trapped. I honestly don’t know and frankly, I don’t care.

                  I appreciate your thoughtful advice. I would advise the wife the same about protecting herself – but somehow, I have a feeling that she would not be interested in my financial advice.

                  Take care.

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                  • Well, as the spouse who was portrayed as many things to other people, I can tell you that probably little of what he tells you is true. Especially the part where he tells people he has to cheat and lie beause of the spouse!!! No choice, poor baby. ; ) I would not get involved in thinking anything about the spouse YOU helped him cheat on, and who cares if he knows it is you if you do anonymously? Either you are doing this as some attempt to right the wrong you’ve done and to help the other spouse protect herself, or to upset other people because you are angry about being used by the Narc – in the latter case, you should not do. Never do anything when you’re angry/hurt, and be careful – my Narc spouse went into horrible rages when I held him accountable for what he did. His Narc GF tried to kill herself when she found out he was lying to her, too, and then she went after me. Absolutely unbelieveable, as he is the ultimate covert narcissist – everyone thought he was SUCH a good guy. I was only trying to point out that I was happy to get the info about his affair(s) because it gave me the upper hand in the divorce – something he had never thought of. Typical Narc thinking – no one could possibly think ill of him, or actually not think him justified no matter how he treated people. And it took enormous guts for me to do because I had zero support from people around me and family/friends of over 30 years do not speak to each other anymore. The devastation this guy wrought was incredible, but at least I am financially sound.

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                    • Miss Dill: I apologize if I’ve misrepresented what I had said. I mean the wife no harm and my intention of telling her is to make her aware of his past actions. I have no desire to engage with them after I tell her. At the point when she finds out, it will be up to her to decide what she wishes to do. The retaliation I spoke of is of his against me for outing him and unmasking him for who he really is – not of me getting revenge on him. That’s a narcissist’s job, not mine. I do not have the energy/desire for revenge nor do I wish it as it serves no purpose. If the wife believes it to be helpful, then perhaps I did the right thing. If she does not, I cannot control her actions or how she wishes to deal with their issues.

                      I am thankful that I have support of family and friends during this period. I have thought long and hard about disclosing this information to her. It was not an easy decision to make as I am sure it will hurt her regardless. But perhaps for selfish reasons, I wanted some closure for me.

                      Thanks for your thoughts! And I am glad you are healing and able to reach out and advise people who need your support.

                      Best!

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                    • Whenever narcissists and relationships with them are being discussed, you will find that those who are discussing such a subject have a painful personal story of their own. Some areas of discussion, however detached a person may seem, trigger the pain and this may be expressed in their words. It is not directed at you, it is pain expressing itself. If it is directed at anyone it is the ghost of the narcissist who still haunts in other guises.

                      Even from a distance, even when wounds are healed, we still feel our deep wounds, their rawness is still vivid. They never go away, they become a part of the healing of the wound, and we share them to help others who have a similar wound. They are there to remind us to be compassionate, to be aware of our own vulnerability, and therefore empathise. But it sometimes is too raw, even after a lot of time. Don’t fear the rawness, therein lies power.

                      Miss Dill was sharing her story with you. Within her story lies wisdom which was earned with blood, sweat and tears. Just as your story contains those same elements.

                      Our pain holds healing within it, and that is why it urges us to express it.

                      Both you and Miss Dill are sharing an experience which has healing that comes from pain.

                      Thank you both for sharing with me and with each other 🙂

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                  • I am sorry I mixed up the area of where I should have replied to your post (it was late at night as I was responding). Please see my reply on December 12 at 12:34 am. Thanks!

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                    • I only wanted to point out a different way of viewing the situation. When I left my Narc, a few years of absolute chaos ensued, as what he had been telling people and what was actually true collided. I had to fight hard, as when outed, he in no way was remorseful or even slowed down. When exposed as a liar and worse, his tactic (which he stated to me many times) was to try to personally ruin me. As I had some serious health issues at the time (when else would a Narc feel comfortable in attacking? at least my Narc), he was able to get some traction on that for a while, but I did finally prevail – if you can call any of any engagement with a Narc prevailing. I did finally find it almost funny and certainly ironic that this paragon of virtue (in his mind) was living a pretty sordid life behind the scenes – and lying to everyone around him, including his mistress du jour.
                      The only part of his adultery that I found distressing was that he chose to involve people in both our workplaces in his mess, which did complicate things and embarass me. But was I jealous? No way, no how. Just furious that there were still women out there who are stupid enough to fall for this crap and undermine other women – having no respect for them, their families, or their careers. (I know it can be men who fall for Narc women, but that is not what my personal experience is.) Just realize that you were getting used, too, and try not to take it out on the wife or try to charactarize her in any way – I assure you I was in no way complicit in his machinations, nor was I angry at the women who I know he was lying to – except for their stupidity. Ladies, next time a guy tells you he’s not happy in his marriage, tell him to address that with his wife and a marriage counselor, and stay the hell away until he sorts out his stuff. The reason that guy still wanted to be married to me, albeit lying to me, was because I earned a lot of money and took care of EVERYTHING in our lives – families, sick relatives, houses, cars, entertaining – again, while I earned as much money as he did. He was only pissed that his gravy train was finally over when I got sick – hence his going around making himself my victim to any women he perceived would fall for it. I even wished him well – and of course tried to make it easy for him when I left – but he was still determined to be MY victim – apparently he gets oodles of sympathy – and help – from the ladies for that and that had become his M.O. I finally realized that no one can make life easy enough for this guy (and my Narc father and my screwed up family did not fail to jump on and complicate my life even further). So that is why I write about giving “support” to the victims of a Narc – not enabling them, but just be willing to believe that there are people out there who harm people who don’t deserve it. No one believed me for quite a while, and that was what hurt – not that my Narc didn’t “love” me – I knew he wasn’t capable of that.
                      I do wish you well, and hope that maybe you take this experience forward and try to keep other people from undermining or getting involved in other peoples’ relationships and families. I was not aware that people could be covert Narcs – I have known tons of overt Narcs – so this was a learning process for me and many people around me. I hope that by sharing my story I convince another person to be careful. And thanks to everyone who shares – so appreciated – information is power and the Narcs try to control all that. I am finally having a great holiday season this year after 5 years of sheer hell – and I wish you everyone reading this a wonderful holiday and better New Year!!! : )

                      Like

              • I am sorry to hear about your painful story. I admire your ability to share your story in the context of your responses to my questions – there is just something so real about the human experience. You write with such powerful emotions yet expressing no anger or bitterness – just very as a matter of fact. Yet there is a nurturing and caring tone is all of your responses and that is an amazing attribute. I find that in this day and age, people are all out for themselves and not really helping one another. So, thank you for taking the time to write back.

                I agree with you that I should expect the unexpected after I inform his wife. I am prepared and ready for her reaction (negative) and his retaliation (fury). I am prepared for her not to believe me even though I will send along proof. I expect him to lie to her – the same way he lied to me – and tell her that I am some obsessive and vengeful bitch. I expect him to convince her that he is the victim and I am the temptress who trapped him into this affair. (I laughed as I am writing the word “temptress” – as my picture will not be the one next to the dictionary definition. LOL ). I expect him to retaliate and try to ruin my reputation and paint me as some crazy woman. I am prepared and have compiled enough fact and proof to protect myself and unmask him for the sick person he really is.

                While retaliation may very well be the result, I am hoping that his wife will be strong enough to not let him get away with this betrayal and leave him. However, I don’t know her or the dynamic of their relationship. She could very well know that he is a cheater and has turned a blind eye. Maybe she’s never had the proof and could not confront him with her suspicions but now will have the ability to do that. Perhaps their marriage will be better as a result or continue in its current status. I honestly don’t know and to be frank, I don’t care. To address another issue, they do not have children and I would have not considered telling her if children are involved. I would never want to be responsible for hurting a child.

                I am done with him and will focus on myself and healing. I have detached myself and no longer a supply for him to feed on. He may believe that he is strong but for every strong person, there is always someone who is stronger. Strength is about honesty, truth and conviction. I know my self worth and he cannot invalidate me.

                Thank you again and I will let you know what happens when I deliver the letter next week.

                Take care.

                PS. One question. Do you think 2 overt narcissist can co-exist in a relationship? I somehow believe her to be another narcissist. I think she wears the pants in the relationship and he is resentful of her success and drive. Perhaps having affairs is a way of punishing her for being better than him?

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                • Thank you 🙂

                  Two narcissists can co-exist, it’s not uncommon as they find each other very attractive and tend to find and found a mutual superiority admiration society- it is only considered to be uncommon for two narcissists to get together because of black and white thinking which simplifies the complex to mitigate confusion and because you’re often only hearing the side of the story told by one narcissist about the other narcissist. My mother’s story about my father was that she was the heroin and he was the villain. My father told the same sort of story only he was the hero and she was the villain. Since narcissists tend to triagulate and isolate those they triangulate, they could get away with their respective stories never being fact-checked by those who listened to them, were the audience for them and were selected to become minions in their game of human chess. However when they were first together it was awesome superior them, a heroic couple, against the world which was the villain, and inferior, in their story at that time when they co-existed as peacefully as narcissists ever co-exist. How they co-exist depends very much on their personality types (and how their individual expression of their NPD expresses itself through them). All those with NPD are human and have their own individual version of the disorder.

                  Therefore two overt narcissists can get along as long as the relationship follows a pecking order. You see this type of relationship dynamic most commonly in certain types of celebrity couples, the ones which can’t live without media attention, and don’t really care if that attention is negative or positive as long as they are at the centre of it. Resentment is an intrinsic part of the way a narcissist relates to other people whether they are narcissists or not (partly due to their experience of childhood and their earliest relationships, and what caused the NPD wound in the first place). Many of those who develop NPD experienced love as being something which was resentful, therefore love when they feel it (which they do only in a narcissistic manner) is filled with resentment. This is normal for a narcissist – they miss it when it isn’t there and can’t really handle it if it isn’t there. They always need someone to hate, to envy, to resent.

                  Having affairs for a narcissist depends on what kind of narcissist they are, where they are on the spectrum of the disorder. Usually it has more to do with meeting the needs of their hungry ego, and supplies their persona with the nourishment it craves. The excuse for it, which is usually a blaming one, passing on the blame to someone else, may cover up the real reason for it. Those with NPD who need to have affairs tend to fall under the label of Somatic Narcissist ( http://www.decision-making-confidence.com/somatic-narcissist.html )

                  Again, remember the narcissist, whether you are with them or not, wants you to be obsessed with them and never get over them. They expect this. So keep your focus on yourself, take care of yourself, get on with your own life. You need your attention and the nourishment from that – a narcissist wants to subvert that onto themselves any way they can – when they are at their most vicious, they get the most attention and will often prefer negative attention to the positive kind because the positive kind requires more work on their part, whereas the negative kind is more like play than work and gets them more supply for less effort.

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                  • Very interesting. Thank you for explaining. I will take your counsel and focus on healing and taking care of myself. You are correct that they feed off of all this negative energy and attention.

                    Thank you again for your time.

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  4. I couldn’t have found your blog @ the most perfect time. Thanks a Mil for sharing. Just what I needed to hear and validate my own suspicions. Here’s my brief story, I fell in love with what I thought to be an intelligent, we’ll educated guy. Sparks flew, we courted and a few months ago tried to give a relationship a go after 26 months of what I thought was dating.

    Believe me in all this time, never been told that he misses me, loves me or even a single compliment. But he loved it when I sang his praises. He will occasionally highlight my flaws as if joking, and also manipulates me into doing stuff because I love him.
    If there’s a misunderstanding, I get punished with the silent treatment. Leaving me all confused. When he’s over himself then he comes back as if nothing happend. He would occasionally remind me how lucky I am to have his friendship, as if it’s a reward for me. Stupid me, I’d welcome him with open arms everything happy to be in his devine presence.

    I don’t even want to discuss the sex as it’s all always been about him, he wouldn’t even reciprocate. I had to just keep giving. One thing I’ve just realized, is that these people are sensitive. I pointed out their weaknesses and guess what, he retaliated by trying to make my weaknesses worse then he gave me silent treatment again.

    Again, stupid me I welcomed him back after weeks of absence, arms wide open and I again I felt honoured to be in the presence of this devine being. Who could resist their charm and beauty. Then I started noticing a trend, whenever he’d meet somebody new, he’d just go quiet, if you enquire, you are made to feel that you are needy until they get bored of their new prey. Then they start charming and pulling you back to them, and we always oblige.

    The final straw that broke camel’s back was a recent incident where again I thought we were having a normal discussions about things he needs to do. Guess what? Suddenly the silent treatment again…. And that’s when I decided, love or no love, Ive had enough of this sh*t. I went No contact, cancelled all plans we had made together. And I swear, I will never ever engage with him on any emotional level. Screw the relationship. I’m bowing out. It’s been over 2 months now of ignoring his messages. And if I do decide to engage, I’ll be very indifferent.

    The first week on No Contact was living hell, craving their presence etc. But I spent more time with friends and resumed my hobbies. They are slowly becoming a figment of my imagination. And have also decided to stop playing shrink thinking I can change them. There’s lots of people that appreciate me and my time.

    Your article has confirmed that I may have bee trapped in a hell I created myself with an emotionally empty guy. It hurts thinking back that in over 2 years he’s never ever been affectionate and yet I stuck around. After his disappearing acts, he’d always ask if I missed him.. Wtf!

    In hindsight, I also noticed and have picked up from my introspection that I literally have everything he himself wanted and he envied me, money, looks, popularity and a brilliant career.

    Thanks again.

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      Sounds like you have a very good handle on your situation, kudos, it can be so confusing, and finding clarity can be difficult.

      You’re absolutely right, No Contact is easier said than done, so many traps and temptations, and traps caused by temptation, especially where love is concerned. The best way to love a narcissist is from a safe distance (which usually doesn’t involve them or their input on what love is), however love urges us to connect and with a narcissist that’s when love turns into anything but love.

      It’s true, narcissists tend to be attracted to and fall hard for those who have everything they want. You’re their miracle cure for everything which ails them, you’re their hero who will save them, you’re the person they want o be and by being with you they can become you… They can mimic you, but they can’t be you – this is something they think is one and the same… but it isn’t and they don’t like learning that lesson so they never learn it the way that it is intended. They reach that obstacle of not actually being able to become you, then everything they admire about you becomes everything they envy about you and they start to criticise it, pick on you, hate what they love.

      You’ve sussed the narcissistic cycle perfectly. It never changes. They go around and around on their merry-go-round, and drag you onto it with them until the spinning makes you sick, then you get off, but they never get off.

      The important thing is to learn, and see the gifts to you which the experience offers – the narcissist in your life has confirmed to you just how incredible and awesome you are (although it was done in a way which ended up with you feeling the opposite of that – you can retrieve it and build on it).

      You are very intelligent, the way you have handled this relationship and situation shows that, proves it. Keep nurturing that ability and all your other talents and see where it leads. You may attract other narcissists, but you know how to handle them now. You will also attract people like you and those relationships are valuable.

      Take care of yourself, best wishes!

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  5. Hello dear ..
    I really need your comment & help. I have been in a relationship with a man I believe he is a Narc for 3 years ..
    He has been cheated on me with his ex lots of time & everytime he denied it and begged me to took him back .
    One month ago I caught him again & confronted him and I went NC right away .. At first he ignored me then 3 days later he started to text me that how sorry he is but I ignored him and never respond to him .. He continued to text and call for 3 weeks then one night he texted me that : if I don’t answer him , it means I m with someone and he won’t bother me anymore !!!! .. I didn’t respond again .. Since that he didn’t contact me and it is 10 days so far …
    Do you think he really thought I m with someone ?!!!! He can’t understand how upset I am ?? I really want to end this but I can’t stop thinking about him 😦
    Please tell me your thought ..
    Thank you very much

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Does it matter if he thinks you’re with someone else if it gets him out of your life for good?

      I know that may be a strange question, one which might trigger a strong reaction, but you need to consider what it is that you really want and the options you have available to achieve it.

      If this man is a narcissist and you want out of the relationship, and he offers you an out, take it, even if it’s not the sort of resolution and closure which you would like. Dealing with a narcissist is very different from dealing with a non-narcissist, their logic and reasoning does not work along the same lines as others, and sometimes you have to adapt to get what you want from them. So if you want out of a relationship with a narcissist, you may have to accept the exit they give you even if it leaves lots of loose ends.

      Perhaps he needs to believe that the only reason you could possibly have to not be with him is because you’re with someone else. This is his solution for something he does not understand which is hurting his pride and denting his ego. He will never understand what you want him to, he will never get why you really broke up with him, he will never acknowledge how upset you are and if he does he will not accept that it has anything to do with him, his behaviour. Narcissists never accept the blame or think anything is their fault, if things go wrong, it’s not them, it’s you.

      Narcissists can’t empathise, and what you want from him is empathy – that’s never going to happen, not if he is a narcissist. It’s all about him, how he is feeling, what he is thinking, what he needs and wants – you’re supposed to empathise and sympathise with him, supply him with ego nourishment, and narcissistic supply. It only flows one way, you give/he takes. Don’t ever expect it to flow the other way, that’s not how it works in a relationship with a narcissist.

      Let him believe what he wants to believe and use his belief to get out and stay out.

      Wanting to end it but not being able to stop thinking about him is a natural and normal reaction and part of the process of breaking up. Narcissists have a way of getting under the skin of those who love them, and staying there for a long while afterwards. They want those who love them to never get over them. Even when people hate narcissists, that hate binds them rather than releases them.

      One of the reasons people who want out of a relationship can’t quite get over them or let go and move on is due to frustration. The narcissist frustrates and that frustration keeps you hooked on them, trapped in a relationship even when it is over. Narcissists instinctively know that if you want to keep a person stuck to you never ever give them what they want the most from you. The more you want something from a narcissist… the more they never give it to you. They will never quench your thirst.

      So if you want closure, acknowledgment, understanding, a confession, an apology, etc, from a narcissist, they will never give it to you. And that will keep you thinking about them forever.

      Have you checked out – http://letmereach.com/ – Kim writes a lot about the process of getting over a romantic relationship with a narcissist.

      You might also find an online support forum worth trying out, there are quite a few for those who have been in and are recovering from relationships with narcissists, like here – http://outofthefog.net/forum/ – as there are many who have been through the experience and sometimes talking about it with those who know what it is like can be healing and releasing. It helps to share your story with those who understand, to tell your side of the story with people who will listen – a narcissist never will do that, but you still need to be heard.

      Best wishes, take good care of yourself!

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  6. Thank you 🙂

    That’s a difficult position for you to be in, and it is one which is difficult for your daughter too. There are many elements to consider which will inform you as to the best approach for your particular scenario.

    Keep in mind that her mother is her mother, one half of her in some ways, and therefore what you say about her mother, your daughter may interpret as being about herself too. When a parent criticises the other parent, even if that criticism is justified, the child often takes it personally.

    The age of your daughter and her circumstances make a big difference.

    If she is an adult who does not live at home with her mother and is therefore free of her mother’s influence to a certain extent, then the conversation may be one which you can approach in a straightforward manner. She may have already figured things out for herself about her mother, she just hasn’t spoken with you about it. Speak to her from the heart, do it as one human being to another not as a father to a child. Children of narcissists are highly sensitive to subtle cues in social interactions – if when you talk to her you do so with a specific intent, such as for her to side with you against her mother, she will pick up on what you want from her, on your needs, and react to that. Try to keep things neutral if you can, or at least let her know that you are sharing your story and do not expect her to do anything other than hear you out. Be respectful – if she doesn’t want to discuss it, hear what you have to say, reacts in a way which upsets you, then give her that option, let her know you’re open to talking when she is ready to do so. No pressure. She does not have to see her mother the way that you do.

    If she is still a child or young adult and has to live with her mother, it is perhaps better to approach things indirectly. Rather than inform her about her mother, offer her a safe-haven from her mother. Be supportive of her, encourage her in being herself, pursuing her passions, let her share herself with you and let her know that she is seen and heard, that she is loved. If there is an activity she loves, offer her the opportunity to do this activity with you. Make being with you a fun and relaxing experience where she can be herself and doesn’t have to worry about you or her mother. This is actually more important than telling her the awful truth about her mother, she may already know that there is something wrong with her mother, but since she is a child trapped in that relationship there is nothing she can do about it. You can give her a balanced experience by being there for her and offering her another experience of what a parent is like. This is in some ways more powerful than coming right out with – your mother is an abusive narcissist.

    An article which may be interesting – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201108/how-empathic-parenting-is-the-antithesis-narcissism

    Be aware that her relationship with her mother will have bearing, as will her relationship with you.

    And her mother will have bearing on her relationship with you – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201311/where-was-daddy

    Narcissist parents use their children in many ways, and if there is a battle going on between the narcissist parent and the other parent the child will be used as a pawn. The more extreme the NPD, the worse it is for the child. The narcissist parent will set the child up in several ways to always get caught in the middle, to fight their battles for them, to be the bait which lures the other parent into a trap, and some narcissist parents will even sacrifice their child to win against the other parent. The child will feel under constant pressure and stress, torn apart, alone, unsafe, fearful, anxious, unable to escape the situation, and they will create coping mechanisms to deal with things as best as they can and survive. This is part of the war zone which causes children of narcissists to develop PTSD.

    One of these coping mechanisms may be to side with the narcissist parent against the other parent, because the narcissist parent places the child in that position and does it in a way which makes the ‘decision’ excruciating for the child to make. For a narcissist parent the child is not allowed to love both parents, and if the child does not ‘choose’ to side with the narcissist, then the narcissist will cut them off, disown them, excommunicate them. Basically the narc parent says – it’s my way or the highway. If the child refuses to choose the narc parent over the other parent, there is hell to pay for it.

    In a dynamic where the narcissist parent is a mother and the child is a daughter there are added layers of twisted bonding. NPD mothers are very envious of their daughters, and very jealous of the daughter’s relationship with her father. They will drive a wedge between the daughter and the father, and may use very devious tactics to do so. The father’s love for the daughter will become something the daughter must learn to fear and reject, if only to protect herself from her mother’s envy and jealousy.

    An article about this aspect of the narc mother relationship with her daughter – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201310/mothers-who-are-jealous-their-daughters

    Being the child of a narcissist is a bit like being a hostage, you develop Stockholm Syndrome, amongst other coping mechanisms. The older your daughter is, the more she will be able to understand certain things about her mother, about you, about herself, about you and her mother, about her and her mother, about her and you, and the dynamics in your family unit, however certain aspects will need time to be understood because healing in this scenario takes time, patience, understanding and compassion.

    Be gentle with yourself, be gentle with your daughter, being in a relationship with a narcissist especially within a family is very complicated.

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    • Thank you 🙂

      She’s very lucky to have you as her father, your love for her will make all the difference to her, and will help her as she comes to terms with being the child of a narcissist mother. Trust in your love for her, that’s a powerful gift.

      Like

  7. Wow. You’re good. Great read. Spot on too…thank you 🙂 my hubby has a MN mom and oh boy that’s been something else. To his very great credit, he sees it and is working through it. I didn’t grow up with such disfunction so I have been trying to educate myself so I can be the wife my husband needs me to be so he can build himself up and develop his autonomy. Not alot of info out there on the effects of this on men….I would say that I hope more guys will work through the junk they deal with from this and share even if it’s for the sake of helping others help their partners. Anyway, well written and right on the money. Thanks again.

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    • Thank you 🙂

      You’re right, there is not a lot of easily accessible info for men about being the male child of a narcissist. A lot of what applies to daughters of narcissist mothers also applies to sons, but there are some important differences. You can find the male child of narcissist perspective, it just takes a bit more digging through search results.

      There is one blog I would recommend – https://thenarcissistsson.wordpress.com/ – he is the son of a narcissist mother, he writes with a lot of feeling about his experiences and offers a lot of insight.

      There’s a forum you might find to be of interest – http://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists/ – as those participating are both male and female children of narcissists. They share their stories, experiences and links to articles of interest.

      This article is an in depth insight into NPD and its effects on children, male and female, of those with NPD as well as a lot more – http://www.energeticsinstitute.com.au/page/narcissism.html

      As for info on being the spouse of a child of a narcissist, I haven’t searched for that side of the equation online, it is an area which needs to be addressed. Someone asked me about that a while back, about my partner and his side of being with a child of narcissists. I didn’t inflict my parents on him for too long a period, his support helped me to cut them out of my life, however he has had to learn to adjust to how they have affected me. Children of narcissists can come across as rather weird, particularly where love and accepting it is concerned. I did ask my partner to write a post about it his experience of me and my parents, but it never got finished and I didn’t want to nag him about it.

      The best thing my partner did for me and which has helped me enormously is to just accept me as I am, love me as is. This was traumatic for me at first because it was so unusual and I didn’t know how to cope with being loved without endless conditions – the sort of conditions which always come with the love of a narcissist that never ever accepts you as you are and demands that you become who someone else (the narcissist) wants and needs you to be. My partner helped me to accept myself just by accepting me.

      So, my advice to you in supporting your partner is – keep it simple, don’t put pressure on yourself, just love him and accept him as he is. It may freak him out, but eventually he will trust and feel safe – that is priceless for a child of a narcissist, we never had that with our narc parent. It takes us a while to believe that we’re loved and accepted exactly as we are – no conditions apply.

      Be yourself, be natural, let your love flow as is, and love him as he is, ‘junk’ and all. That’s it really. That’s the most impacting and healing support needed. It’s simple, and sometimes what is simple, natural, is all that is needed – it can also be a challenge to keep it simple.

      But the thing is that since we were born the child of a narcissist’s life has been a complicated mess of being caught in an NPD parent’s world. Love was always a quest, an heroic pursuit full of enemies and dragons, sacrifice and more quests upon quests with no end in sight, no reward for endless battles fought… and we’re exhausted, relationships drain us, love is painful… so someone who just loves us and that’s that is a wonderful oasis which we’re afraid is an illusion and if the bubble pops we’ll be back in hell again.

      Just let him know you’re there for him by being there for him – actions mean more than words. Because narcissists talk and talk and talk and never do… or at least what they do conflicts with what they say. They say they love you and then tear your heart out and stomp on it, then they say they did that because they love us, and other blah blah blah. So, actions mean more to us, love is a doing word.

      I imagine that he’s been able to see things and work through things because of you loving him and being there for him – you don’t need to change, just keep being you and loving him. That’s it.

      Or at least that was what I needed from my partner to sort through my ‘junk’. 🙂

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      • Thank you for your kind words and recommendation 🙂

        Always happy to help if I can. I know how hard it is for men to accept the damage that may have been done to them by their N-parents.

        I hope you are well!

        Stephen

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        • Thank you very much 🙂

          It’s hard for all children of narcissists to speak openly about their experience for many reasons, but there is more out there about being the daughter of a narcissist than the son of a narcissist – there is a certain gender inequality in the information and resources available. What you do on your blog is very valuable and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I just stepped out of a relationship with a Narcissist. Well, trying to being the operative word. Its not easy, it feels like I am dying inside. But I am reading. Everything I can about the subject. And in doing so are seeing that my eldest son might be developing these traits. I am scared as hell for him, and the future. His dad was a narcisstic psychopath and we suffered much under him. I thank u for ur blog, at least I realise, I am not imagining things.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      It is very difficult to be in a relationship with a narcissist, especially those on the extreme end of the spectrum of the disorder. It is even harder to get out of the relationship and to heal from all the damage which has been done. It takes a lot of courage, strength, time and effort to process everything and work towards a better way of experiencing life.

      Keep doing what you are doing, information is key in your recovery process. There are many very good resources available online about NPD. Many people benefit from joining NPD support groups (online and offline) and seeing a therapist (many therapists are now fully aware of NPD and its impact on those in a relationship with someone with NPD). Trust yourself and be gentle with yourself.

      I am the child of narcissists, and I have behaved in similar ways to the way that narcissists do – children pick up the behaviours of their parents, but that doesn’t mean they will become like their parents. I have slowly outgrown those behaviours, mostly by throwing out everything I was taught by them and starting from scratch as best as I can. So although your son may be displaying narcissistic traits, it does not mean that he will become like his father, he has simply absorbed the behaviour and in time he may outgrow it. His age will make a difference, if he is a child or a teenager, then some of the narcissistic behaviour will be a natural part of those phases of development.

      The thing to keep in mind is that his father is not the only influence in his life, you have also been and are an influence on him. A non-narcissist parent can make a big difference in the life of a child whose other parent is a narcissist.

      This is an article worth reading – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-legacy-distorted-love/201108/how-empathic-parenting-is-the-antithesis-narcissism – it is by a therapist who writes extensively about NPD.

      Right now, I think you need to focus attention on yourself rather than worrying about your son in a fearful manner. Being in a relationship with a narcissist can cause PTSD and everything can seem frightening and too much to handle, the sky is always falling. You need to take time to nurture and nourish yourself. Your son’s well-being depends on yours. What you do for yourself, how you heal yourself, will help him too. Just as his father passed his wound on to you and his son, so you can pass your healing on to your son, enabling him to heal his wound. But first you need to heal your own wound.

      I know the feeling of dying inside – part of this is a death that needs to happen, the death of that part of you that put up with being with a narcissist. It’s not you who is dying but the part of you which kept you in an unhealthy relationship. As that part dies so a new part is born – the strong, independent side who wants to be free and thrive rather than just survive. It’s very painful and frightening, but you survived being with a narcissist, you can survive this experience too, especially as this is all a part of you breaking free.

      Be gentle with yourself, the process of healing from a relationship with a narcissist is similar to the five stages of grief. The anger stage is often the hardest to go through. It takes time and patience, and will be painful but you will heal and feel alive again. Trust what you are doing, trust yourself.

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  9. It is so refreshing to read a story with some sort of humor about playing the narcissists game. I have just recently broke up with my narcissistic boyfriend of 10 years and this breakup stage seems like hell. I have read about 20 articles and they all describe my life to the T, but they are all so sad and depressing. So this story was a good one to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much 🙂

      I use humour a lot to deal with things that are weighty, heavy and serious. It helps me to get perspective. However it can get me into trouble with those who are more black and white about life (hence adding the disclaimer to this post – someone shared it on an NPD forum and got flack for it. People in pain don’t often have or like humour). I grew up with narcissists, if I couldn’t laugh at it I’d have been squished into non-existence by seriousness by now.

      It can be sad and depressing, especially when you consider things from the perspective of the narcissist – their world view is very sad and depressing. One psychiatrist recently published an article about the depth of depression which those with NPD suffer due to a tendency towards self hate – which is a part of the NPD and the reason why they are the way that they are in many ways. The article is behind a subscriber wall, so I haven’t added it as a link – http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/personality-disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-rethinking-what-we-know.

      The healing process after having been in a relationship with a narcissist is similar to the stages of grieving – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model – if you can bring humour into it, then I think the recovery process may be quicker or at least less oppressive in the sad and depressing department. A lot of what a narcissist does and says, and the disparity between what they say and what they do is ridiculous – if you take it seriously it can bind you to frustration, confusion, and them – trying to get them to admit to things they will never acknowledge, to see themselves as you see them which they will never see, etc. Meanwhile they’re still trying to prove their point – that everything is everyone’s fault but their own, and they will die for that.

      There are quite a few people who write humorously about NPD. Some are using humour to share very insightful knowledge. One of my favourites thus far – http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2010/11/a_generational_pathology.html

      Humour is actually a good way of figuring out how narcissistic a person is, and whether their narcissism tips into NPD. When I was writing this post I had images of playing board games with my parents – and just how seriously they took such a thing, more seriously than life at times.

      Keep researching, take a break when it gets too much, pauses are much needed when dealing with this subject and its personal impact, and be sure to nourish yourself, take care of yourself. Let yourself laugh, it’s very liberating, especially when seriousness gets too much 🙂

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  10. Amazing article!! Actually read this a few months ago and want to write myself, but finding it hard to put everything down! Been out of a relationship with a disgusting narcissist for a while now, although considering other peoples experiences i seemed to have been rather “lucky” with my experience. My family also fit on the narcissist spectrum with BPD thrown into the mix. I was the scapegoat, the cause of all the problems and the crazy one. It is sad and mean that the only consolation, in my opinion, we seem to have is that these people will continue to suffer, even when they think they are happy, deep down they know something isn’t right. Even after you’ve left them, they will most likely repeat the pattern of behaviour again.

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    • Thank you very much 🙂

      It’s something that happens when you explore the subject, especially online with so many people sharing their stories, you find yourself comparing and contrasting your story with theirs, and you may begin to feel that maybe you had it ‘lucky’.

      In some ways it’s a necessary part of the recovery process. Sometimes we get very caught up in our pain and need a pause of perspective, to step away and out of our story and pain for a moment. Perhaps if only to see ourselves in a different light. Maybe you had it ‘lucky’ because you have something within you that weathered the storm in a certain way which kept your inner structure sound.

      I sometimes think I was ‘lucky’ that both my parents were narcissists. Yes, it screwed me up in many ways, however in some ways it made me able to deal with certain aspects of life. There’s always a flip side to the bad, which can be good for us.

      I see the consolation as being more about the things which we learn about ourselves through interacting with those are so disconnected from themselves and others, which helps us to understand ourselves and others better and perhaps which leads to a more fulfilling experience in relationships, with ourselves and with others – those others who like us have suffered but stuck the suffering, passing it on – and with life.

      There are a lot of lovely people in this world, those who aren’t make us appreciate those who are more, and show us how to appreciate ourselves more too.

      There’s also a certain appreciation for life which comes from being around those who can never accept life as it is. Things which are normal, ordinary, natural and simple, have a certain appeal that is wonderful when you’ve spent enough time with those who are obsessed with being special, perfect, superhuman, with living the extraordinary life, with turning everything into a complicated drama… that becomes very tedious and gives an appreciation of the wabi-sabi of life and existence.

      So that’s the consolation, the positive which comes out of the negative and what it inspires in you.

      I’ve spent a lot of my time and imagination trying to figure out how to either get through to a narcissist or get revenge of some sort for all the pain inflicted on me, and I eventually ran out of steam on that when I realised they live in a permanent state of hell which is why they do what they do to others. And that’s when I finally understood why living well is the best revenge. You don’t have to stay stuck in their hell with them, you can step out and walk away, sure you have scars which still hurt, but you can actually figure out how to be happy and pass that on to those who are open to it.

      I still have my moments of wanting to grab a lightning rod and zap the narcissists in my life, but then I pause and think… they are always zapping themselves with pain, so they won’t feel it, however me going off and having fun, fun which they can never feel… that is something else 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • That reply encapsulates so much that is true. Thank you for sharing it…it males sense of the deep resentment we can carry difficult to do at times. They do create their own hell and a hell for others with their perfectionism. Its a relief to understand you can step outside of that hell and live a simple happy life..something I am really working on at present. ♡♥

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  11. Very interesting blog, from someone who has the experience of narcissism in the family. I always felt very intimidated by my older sister who is a narcissist and a nasty bully, hence the fear, her bullying is scary, her face changes, she grits her teeth and you feel you’re about to be physically attacked. She is brilliant at playing triangles, involving other people when she’s done something wrong and wants you to appear to be the perpetrator and her the victim. In recent years I’ve put my head above the parapet, I just had to stand up for myself of be forever cringing in fear inside, angry at myself for being such a coward. So I started with really simple things, i.e. she asked to be invited to one of my family celebrations to meet my son in law. I agreed and gave her a date which she agreed to. The night before she calls to tell me she had a fight with her husband and doesn’t want him to come to the celebration so is going to tell him, that – I cancelled on them – and that she is going to visit another friend. For the first time in my life, I said no, I’m not getting involved in that deceit. So she didn’t get to come either. A few months later, she tells me, I’ve been asking to meet your son in law numerous times, but you never respond to my request!!!! I reminded her of the previous invitation and the reason she didn’t come to the celebration. She flatly denied ever being invited, denied having a fight with her husband which led to her not coming along. I persisted in telling her what really took place, she was invited and didn’t come. Again she flatly denied, again I persisted in telling the truth, until she finally had to say, ‘well I don’t remember that’. As if, two months later you have no memory of something like that.
    Recently she again invited herself to a lunch I was having with friends and brought her ‘support’ person with her, read that as her new best friend who thinks she is wonderful. We’re sitting having lunch and my sister turns to me and says, “I don’t want to see your face today”, she is MY guest at MY lunch right. Normally I’d go quiet and try to ignore such comments, not this time. I said, ‘well that’s easily solved, don’t come to MY lunches with MY friends if you don’t want to see my face and to be honest, I don’t care if I never see your face again” Wow. For the first time ever, she went silent, didn’t have a sarcastic come back, she was floored! Simple things, but I cannot convey how standing up for myself has made me feel, I’m shedding all the false and shameful beliefs I had about myself, due to the years and years of put downs, character assassinations, blame etc etc.
    Don’t let them get away with trying to gaslight you. You don’t have to get angry, just persist in repeating the truth of the situation until they have to give up trying to convince you of their lies. Good luck to you all on this site and thanks to the blogger!!

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      That’s a great story, the one about the lunch with your friends where you finally confronted her and it shut her up. Those moments can be rare (but oh so satisfying and empowering) because we get so used to putting up with their behaviour, especially when they’re family. They rely on us not wanting to make a scene – while they make a scene.

      I remember my mother once explaining how to make a scene to get what you want because other people get embarrassed and cave in, they please you to appease you. She was very proud of this, as though she’d just discovered penicillin. If I had called her out on it, pointed out how manipulative that was, and how much she hated it when my father used the same tactic on her in public, she’d have blown a fuse because she’s the good guy and she always said that she didn’t have a manipulative bone in her saintly body.

      A lot of the gaslighting they do is for their benefit, to maintain their persona and self-delusions, which is partly why it is so difficult to deal with it and to recognise it. They believe it when they do it, thus they sales spiel is more convincing. And since they rarely listen to anything they say, they don’t necessarily remember the contradictory statements they’ve made, even if its seconds before, in the same breath. If they didn’t hear themselves say it, then they didn’t say it and you’re lying.

      You’re right in the way that it should be handled. With calm firmness. If you lose your temper, they’ve got you. If you show the slightest doubt, they jump in. You just have to know your truth and be stubborn with it.

      Best wishes!

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      • Absolutely correct. Stay calm and firm and keep repeating your truth, never makes excuses, as I used to, like, oh I must have misunderstood. An the author of this blog again spot on, never lose your temper, that’s what they want, then you appear to be the out of control person while they look innocent and smile smugly to themselves. And doubt? they can smell it a mile off and love to taunt you on your perceived weakness. Love this site it’s a great place for practical information and the means to arm yourself. Kats.

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  12. Can someone please help. I had a terrible nightmare relationship with a narcissist. He blackmails me now. Recently I needed to find out something important and I had no choice but to comunicate with him. Now hes coming around looking for you. Im afraid that if I tell him to leave me alone he’s going to divulgate what he knows. How do I handle this. Thanks for listening

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      The most expedient way to deal with a narcissist who is blackmailing you is to take the power out of what they are holding over you – in other words, to reveal the secret and then it will no longer be a secret, therefore he won’t be able to blackmail you with it.

      However if this is something you do not want to reveal or to ever be revealed, then you may have to figure out a way to convince him that you don’t care if he reveals it or not, even if you do. Calling their bluff sometimes works, pretending you don’t care anymore about whatever it is they’re using to control you.
      That’s a gamble and is risky. But so is putting up with him because he’s blackmailing you. He could still reveal your secret even if you do what you think he wants you to do.

      Being nice to a narcissist, pleasing them to appease them, can end up having the same results as being rude to them.

      Narcissists like having power over people, and knowing a secret, using it to blackmail, is something which gives them power and control. They often prefer to threaten to do something rather than actually doing it. Following through on their threats puts them in the line of fire, may make them look bad, may damage their persona, and have consequences which they would rather avoid. It may cause them to lose power and control.

      http://outofthefog.net/CommonBehaviors/EmotionalBlackmail.html

      They prefer to threaten than follow through on the threat. But it’s hard to tell, he may be the kind of narcissist who follows through on threats. They can be very vindictive.

      If you can bring yourself to reveal the secret yourself, then you won’t have to worry about him revealing it or put up with him anymore. He won’t have that to hold over you. You take the power back, from him and from this secret.

      If you can’t do that, then prepare yourself for the worst happening – psychologically this can be a good exercise. The worst is usually never as bad as we imagine it to be. Imagining the worst can sometimes help you to stop fearing it. And if he does reveal it, at least you’ll be prepared.

      I know the fear which narcissists can inspire, learning to face the fear is important for your well being. I know how hard that can be, and the PTSD it causes. Sometimes it’s easier to be reckless than to take what seems like the ‘safe’ option. The ‘safe’ option of putting up with a narcissist is hell, and can make other types of hell, like a secret being revealed, the lesser of two evils. Pick the one which liberates if you can.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

      Take care of yourself!

      Like

      • The previous post gives very sound advice. I can only add one example of my many threatening experiences with my older narcissistic sister who thought she could frighten me and and hold power over me, by telling me she was going to tell my boss all that I’d said about him, when she made this threat, she laughed out loud. My response was to laugh back at her and say, ‘too late, I already told my boss that I have a psycho sister so he won’t take you seriously’. She laughed at my response, but never mentioned it again.

        But we don’t know exactly what it is that you are being blackmailed about, or how damaging it could be if it did get out. At times when I felt I couldn’t confront my sister out of an irrational fear and so felt I had to comply with her demands to visit me, I’d be very polite and make an excuse, I’m not well, I had other plans etc etc. they get bored easily, so tend to forget about their threats if they’re not getting the response they expect. Don’t show fear, that’s what they want it feeds their sense of power.

        I hope you find a way out of this dilemma, I know how stressed and hyper vigilant we become when a narcissist imposes themselves in your life.
        From my recent experiences with the narcissist in my life I’ve learned that when they know you do not care, don’t feel fear, don’t feel hurt, don’t need them, they tread very carefully with you. Good luck.

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  13. Thank you for writing this and I’m
    So sorry for your loss of a good childhood, gaining of a hellish and them missing out on a lot. I’m glad you caught on and learned from them. My ex is the same way. I can’t have a normal conversation, all reverts back to him. I have fought to keep him turning our kids into him and won with court in not letting it happen. According to him I lie, I cheat, I am a painted monster for I didn’t do what he wanted. I have stopped all of us doing this and that. He uses people to get through life and is in film and loves to watch movies to escape life. He changes his stories, he’s very secretive, constantly lies, cries when things don’t go his way (literally), wants sympathy and empathy but won’t give it. If he does it is fake and if he does something for someone then that person owes him 5 times. It is hard to deal with him. He can’t handle someone that is better looking such as a girlfriend. He has to have someone he sees that’s lesser of a person.
    He has custody of his first daughter that never smiles and never seems happy. She smiles and talks to me when he isn’t around. Nothing is ever his fault, but everyone else’s, he has to succeed at work and be better than everyone else. It’s a no win battle with him. He drive me to being mentally exhausted and wanting to collapse.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Having a relationship with a narcissist is like getting sucked into someone else’s reality and getting stuck there. A bit like Alice in Wonderland. You’re not just having a relationship with them, but also with everyone and everything that inhabits their psyche. It is exhausting and crazy-making. Their drama never ends, and they keep adding to it, rewriting it, changing the story and the roles they give to people in it.

      I saw a film last night which captures what it is like to be the child of a narcissist, in more ways than the obvious – What Maisie Knew – it’s based on a book by Henry James which was published in 1897. The more things change the more they stay the same. It also showed the role expected of the partners of a narcissist. Basically everyone in a narcissist’s life is there for them, to serve a purpose for them.

      Like this – http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/5-signs-youre-being-played-by-a-victim-fiff/

      It is part of being human to be self-centric, however narcissists take this to an extreme. Everything and everyone does not just revolve around them but is also all about them.

      Part of the reason it is mentally, physically and emotionally draining to try and deal with a narcissist is because they are permanent children, big hungry babies, who need constant attention, who need and need and need, are never satisfied, nothing is ever enough, and you – the person they’ve latched onto – must provide for them 24/7.

      They can’t see you as a separate individual from them, they can’t understand your side of the story, your being, your needs, or anything because they are stuck in a bubble of themselves. You exist for them.

      The way to heal from the experience requires taking a lot of time to get to know yourself, to nurture and care for yourself, give to yourself everything which has been given away, taken away, lost in the reality of the narcissist which you lived in, and which a part of you may still be living in. You can’t win with a narcissist if you’re playing their game – you have to step out of their game of life. It takes time to do that. And lots of gentleness towards yourself during the process.

      This is a good blog – http://letmereach.com/ – for those recovering from a romantic relationship with a narcissist.

      Take good care of yourself!

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    • Thank you very much 🙂

      I did feel twinges of extreme awkwardness when I realised that I had recommended a book which was difficult to get a hold of, and had such a crazy price, so I contacted the author, and he has said that “Going Mad To Stay Sane” is about to be reprinted and will be available for a reasonable price sometime this year. I will update my post and add a link as soon as this happens. Sorry about the rudeness, hopefully this will be remedied soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I think a way to piss off the narcissist is to just be happy. When they’re in attack mode & doing everything they can to hurt you and their tactics genuinely have no effect. I think that would really effect them. Just let go and be genuinely happy. Happy that your still alive and that you finally see the light and that it’s not your fault it’s their problem. Happy because you realize the your a great person and you finally want to live your life and BE HAPPY!! Their tactics won’t work the same anymore if at all. I understand that physical harm is different. I’ve experienced emotional & mental harm from the narcissist ex boyfriend. I found that my happiness really frustrates him & that makes me happier! 😀

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  15. I don’t usually comment on posts… But I wanted to say thank you. My parents divorced when I was your and I was controlled by narcissistic mother for most of my life. It took a long time to realize how bizarre my childhood actually was and that my mother had narcissistic personality disorder.

    It took severe debilitating trauma for me to really cut her out of my life and go no contact. It’s hard sometimes because my she has turned my entire family against me… I guess they were never really supportive… But the narrative is that I am the one with problems. Its encouraging to see that you have been able to go no contact for 10 years and continue to heal and move forward with life. All I want is a life without crazy makers.

    I guess my turning point was when I realized how much happier I was in life without my mother in it. I felt guilty about it, but I realized I shouldn’t feel guilty for not wanting to hurt anymore. For wanting people in my life that I can trust and build healthy relationships with. Anyway… I just wanted to say thank you!

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      I’m not a frequent commenter either (except on my own blog, which is different), so I understand and appreciate it very much. I think part of it may be connected to growing up with narcissists, where your every word becomes something to be measured, something which can cause more pain than the pleasure of expressing and sharing, what you say is so often used against you that you end up preferring to keep your words to yourself.

      Going no contact with a parent is very difficult, even if you know that it’s the best choice for you. There are many conflicting aspects to it, which come at you from many angles, both internally and externally. Oh, the guilt for doing what is good for you! It takes a long time to make that kind of decision, and often requires an intense shock to the system – which is what happened with me and what finally made me do what I should have done many years before that point. I was pushed to breaking point and something snapped inside, this time for my own benefit.

      Going NC from my father was easy, since he didn’t care to maintain contact, but with my mother… her claws were embedded.

      Once you make that decision, and enact it, you then have to stick by it – which is sometimes even harder than making the first step of going NC. Long term requires loyalty to the self and the self’s choices, which for a child of narcissists is not an innate thing to do. We were trained by our narcissist parents to betray ourselves for them, so we sort of have to completely reprogram ourselves.

      And then there is society to contend with, which can whittle away your resolve by nagging you with its special brand of right and wrong and political correctness. Society does not approve of children who cut their parents out of their life no matter what the parent has done – I think it hits a sore spot for others and they make you responsible for their own issues when they pressure you with their opinions. The amount of times that I’ve heard the old – Oh, but your parents love you – from others… I used to try to explain that my parents did no such thing, but then I gave up, others weren’t interested in my side of the story (they were mostly interested in their side of the story), and so I just met that kind of statement with socially appropriate nonsense, or a wall of silence, or sarcasm (along the lines of – if you are so concerned about my relationship with my parents, and their side of the story, then you adopt them and be the perfect child to them, see how long you last, as for me, I’ve quit that job).

      This is an interesting site – http://parentfreebychoice.blogspot.co.uk/

      I have had a few people do the opposite along the way, ask me why I put up with my parents. That was novel, but at the time I was still stuck in things and didn’t get what they were telling me, or got it but felt helpless about doing anything about it. A friend of my mother’s once told me what my mother said about me behind my back – how awful I was (evil) and how much she suffered because of it (she’s the kind of narcissist, ‘covert’, who plays the martyr/victim). This person did not think I was as awful as my mother claimed that I was, mostly because they’d just been on the receiving end of one of my mother’s manipulations, and they were trying in a rather misguided way (there was some revenge against my mother involved in this) to snap me out of my loyalty to my mother. It’s hard to break the training of a lifetime. And to think that part of the reason I was so loyal to my mother was because ‘someone had to love her’. Ugh!

      Nowadays there is more support for Adult Children of Narcissists (ACoNs) due to more awareness of NPD and the issues faced by children of those with the disorder. It’s still in its nascent stages. There’s even a study and survey going on at the moment, which I’ve written about here – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/is-your-parent-a-narcissist-take-the-survey/ – with links to the study (no, I haven’t taken it myself, so no worries if you don’t want to take it) designed to create a system to help people identify if their parents are narcissists using information gathered from those who know this is the case, having figured things out the long, slow, hard way. So, we’re getting there, to that point where it’s okay to say – I’ve had enough! and I don’t have to put up with my parents just because of the whole family, birth, society, etc, thing.

      In some ways being the child of narcissists has a gift in the curse. We’ve known the worst and therefore it helps us to recognise the best in people who are truly worth knowing and being in a relationship with… people who help us to become healthy in our relationships, in our relationship with ourselves and therefore in our relationship with others.

      Trust yourself, and take care of yourself… the rest will come naturally 🙂

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  16. After reading many articles I feel that my mother may carry a narcissistic personality. My 3 sisters have always had a very distant relationship with her. For many years, I thought they were just selfish, ungrateful, and unable to have feelings of empathy for others. I have always been closer to my mother. My mother has always been there for me when I’m going through a struggle. My divorce being one. She is known to come to my rescue. Looking back I have realized nothing she has done was to see the better doings of me as there has always been a prize to pay for the help of my mother. I could go on and on speaking about terrible past problems she has caused for me. I will not go into all of that but will say this….My entire life she has said and done things to look good from the immediate family and close friend’s. She has made up lies and has turned several events into something it was never which usually involves either making her look good or making me look bad. My dad is in the process of divorcing her as he says he cannot deal with her craziness any longer. My children and I moved in with my parents after my divorce that was rather difficult. My parents offered us to live with them until I am able to do for myself and children without struggling on my own. In 2014 my divorce was final. It took another 6 months to get the state to step in as I had requested as my ex refused to follow through with child support, etc. Prior to my divorce, I had left my career to stay home with my young children. When my divorce took place, I moved in with my parents, went back to doing insurance and working my best to provide for my children. My plan to move was 2015 with my returns. My mother talked me into giving her my returns as she stated she needed for a lawyer. She was fully aware of my plans to move and stated she would pay it all back. So I helped her. Months have past, she has been very different As I have watched the changes. She is never home, she wants to party every night. She has boyfriends, and each one she gives her life to as she has abandoned her home, her animals and her responsibilities. She has done explainable acts. One nite she came home to change out her suitcase and while doing this decided to walk outside with no bottoms on, showing her privates to my children and partner. She doesn’t recall this. The same night she came home just to hideout under the carport because she said she was running from cops. Mothers day she had nothing to do with the family. Now she has a New boyfriend who is dying of cancer and stayed she can no longer help in doing small favors or spend time with my children as they may get him sick. Now that I need the money I loaned her she is claiming she does not owe it as she has allowed me to live here and that it was owed. On top of this my income has been smaller then usual as I have had to stay out of work because my child has had issues with her intestinal areas. She has been in and out of the hospital all month. Child support I do not get. Of all times, financially this is a difficult time for me. I’m aware what I need and have to do as my job as a mother and that I do. My mother who comes and goes is now mad with me as I told her I really need that money. She is now telling me to get out or she will force my children and I out. What do I do?

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      This is very complex, as all things are in life, especially when a narcissist is involved and has woven their way into your life and its affairs.

      Certain types of narcissists are very hard to recognise because they’re disguised as the good guy. ‘Covert narcissist’ is the term most often used to describe this type of narcissist. It’s a type more common with females than males. The Good Mother. The Martyr. The Saint. The Victim who is anything but a victim. Those are all roles the covert narcissist plays… and believes themselves to be.

      It’s intensely difficult for the child of a Covert narcissist mother to break free. There’s always something which drags you back into their fold, their area of control and manipulation – and it always seems to be for ‘your own good’ but it isn’t. It takes an enormous effort to see through the illusion, and that can suck the energy right out of you.

      My mother used to go on and on about how afraid she was for me if I fell in love, had a relationship with anyone other than her – yet she was the main source of pain for me. What she really meant was she was frightened that she would lose control over me. When I fell in love, she behaved as though I’d betrayed her and that it was the worst thing that had ever happened. She tried to make me feel awful about being in love. She repeatedly tried to drive a wedge between my partner and myself. It was basically a choice between her or him. I chose him because I’d had enough of her. But circumstances favoured that choice. If they hadn’t… I’d probably still be stuck in her dramas and version of reality. Alone and miserable in her company.

      It’s very hard to break free from a narcissist, let alone a mother who is a narcissist. The world revolves around them, and as their child, they own you and you never get to grow up (because they never do), and as long as you do what they want, you’re okay (battered and bruised by their endless manipulations and drama, but not as messed with by what happens when you refuse to play their life games).

      Ultimatums are important to them to maintain control of you. If they can’t keep you their prisoner through finances, they’ll use your children. They’ll destroy you if that’s the only way to keep you. They are ruthless when ‘protecting’ their loved ones and version of love and family.

      The sort of ultimatum she has given you forces your hand – it’s terrifying in some ways, but also liberating. You’re seeing her true colours and there’s no denying them. She is openly showing you who she is. Very harsh and tough and completely hell bent. Don’t let her drag you into her hell with her.

      As to – “What do I do?”

      The answer lies with you – What do you want to do? And can you do what you want to do?

      Narcissists often make us feel powerless, and we help them do that especially when they’re a parent. They often use money as a way to control us. They’re very vicious and greedy where money is concerned. They want it all and give us nothing – even when that money is ours. Money is power to them, the power to control people. She’s never going to give that money to you – even if you lent it to her and it’s yours. That money is her connection to you at this time, and her leash on you. She holds the reins – as long as you give her that power over you.

      I recently had to relive a similar kind of scenario. It’s still ongoing. Yet to be resolved because my lovely mother has made a frigging nightmare out of it. That’s how a narcissist operates.

      She’s using your children to manipulate you – if you give in and do as she wants, you’re running the risk of exposing your children to what you had to grow up with. But… that’s a long term thing. What about the short term?

      What is it that you ideally would do?

      Now what can you realistically do?

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    • Find a support group ASAP- whatever works for you, like al-anon, or families of those with mental illness. Don’t stay isolated in this- reach out and take action, for the sake of your children, especially. It’s important that they learn from you how NOT to develop a victim mentality.

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  17. Thank You! 10,000 times, Thank You! My story is so similar to yours here. Recently figured out what to call it. Have survived it my whole life and still managed not to become one. Attracting the familiar has gotten very old. The last Narc did me in. Although surviving narcs my entire 45 years, I am ready to be done with them all together. I want to thrive, not just survive. Having gotten away from them all, I now have no interest in engaging with a narc ever again! The last one spun me around so well, I have taken 20 tests to make sure I am not the narc. Phewwww! Glad to have made it out somewhat in tact and ready to grow and move in a good and healthy way. Again. Thank you!

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      What a wild ride, isn’t it? Especially trying to figure things out, looking for answers to so many questions!

      I’m at that stage where I really don’t care anymore about the dramas of narcissists. The familiar is indeed very old and boring. I always felt like it was my responsibility and fault. To care. To fix things, etc. For them, as they often get others to do, and use to lure us in. Then. One day (an accumulated ‘one day’ made up of many past days) I was Atlas who just shrugged. And what a wonderful release! So much guilt in doing it, but that guilt was eclipsed by personal freedom.

      I think many of us have to go through that. We are so very patient, put up with a lot, a big fat lot, but then ‘one day’ we’ve finally had enough. And when you get to that point… it all begins to fall into place. You find the name for it, the reasons for it, the information. You understand what you’ve been through and once you understand it, you also understand what you never want to put yourself through again.

      Takes ages sometimes to get there, but once you’re there… Phew, indeed!

      Best wishes on your freedom, and on doing what is right for you! Awesome feeling and goal!

      Take good care of yourself!

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  18. I liked this post but I have seen in here and sometimes authors like Sam Vankin… the idea that a narcissist can admit it. Here it says about a big person being willing to admit it. That is not true of a high level narcissist. A real narcissist cannot admit it as they truly believe they are right and the centre of attention and wish to seek out narcissistic supply. saying I am a narcissist is putting themselves on that humble plane etc and thereby diminishing supply and denying that they really are the centre of attention but acknowledging a disorder. I therefore find this idea of people admitting they are narcissists to be a bit mythical. The very concern also to say wait a minute am I a narcissist? something many people including me think of is in a way evident that you are not as you have that conscience. I’m a therapist by the way and that view was passed down by my mentor who has a PHD in Counselling.

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      Overall I would agree that those who have NPD don’t know it, therefore can’t admit to it, willingly or not. Even if they were diagnosed by a professional, they probably would not accept the diagnosis, would dismiss the professional as not knowing anything, but they might use it to their advantage, as it might get them the attention and supply which they seek.

      Narcissists can put a spin on anything. And might admit to being a narcissist if it got them supply and attention, and just as quickly deny it if the attention and supply went the other way.

      Since NPD, narcissism, being a narcissist, etc, is now part of popular consciousness, a hot topic, trending, especially online, narcissists may get in on the act to be where the attention is located. They may play the victim of a narcissist or play the narcissist – whichever one gets them centre stage.

      You might find this of interest – https://anupturnedsoul.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/how-to-piss-off-a-narcissist-without-even-trying/ – not my post (or the links to my posts therein) but the LINK to someone else’s post, someone who claims that they’re a narcissist.

      I have come across people whom I consider to be narcissists ask – Am I a Narcissist? – but their reasons for asking are not sincere, not designed to confirm it and do anything about it, but to garner sympathy, support, and denial of them being a narcissist. There is nothing humble about the question when a narcissist asks it, other than the appearance of humility because they’ve noticed that people like humility, and if you want people to like you, you have to give them the facade which appeals to them.

      Once a narcissist gets a grip on information about narcissism, the lines inevitably get blurred and confused. And they tend to study what others are interested in, and do so in a way to use it to get what they want.

      Those who genuinely wonder if they’re narcissists, are truly willing to self reflect, and look into their own possible narcissistic (but not NPD) behaviour, usually aren’t narcissists.

      My mother is the sort of narcissist whom you describe – always right and always the good guy. Saint, martyr, hero. She fits the criteria perfectly but everyone except her is the narcissist, wrong, the problem. My father on the other hand was the sort of narcissist who might admit to being a narcissist if it was useful and beneficial to him to do so, whether he believed he was or not was completely irrelevant, and he could make a sharp U-turn if need be. Say he was a narcissist, then deny it emphatically.

      Someone recently in a comment on one of my posts got annoyed with me for not confirming that I was either a narcissist or not a narcissist, and for saying to others – you decide whether I am or not. They wanted me to say whether I was or not a narcissist for their own benefit. They wanted me to reassure them that I wasn’t or warn them if I was. I thought – if only it was that simple! If I am a narcissist, would I know? If I say I’m not a narcissist – isn’t that what a narcissist would say?

      This is just a personal blog where I ramble on about personal things as I try to figure my own shit out, and make a mess while doing it. I’m very relieved not to be a professional, NPD is very complex. Narcissists love what is mythical, and love that others find it so appealing. Magical thinking is their wheelhouse.

      Thanks again, and Best wishes!

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    • @anupturnedsoul I think I love you. Honestly. I appreciated your comments to me last month, they were spot on.

      As I’ve read through most of this blog and your comments… they are usually “spot on”. The concept of “Atlas Shrugging”… is genius. To a person who’s ever been under the burden of a narcissist, the imagery is perfect. The sky is always falling for a narcissist. They create burdens and they put them on your back. For many, we don’t even know how heavy that burden actually is until we “shrug”. Half the time, the shrug in itself is half-hearted… We simply cannot hold anymore weight. We wanted to… shit we’ve been trained to. If the narcissist had simply given us a moment to acclimate to the last burden that they threw upon us… we probably could have handled this new burden too. But they didn’t… so we broke down and shrugged. The irony, as you have so beautifully pointed out, is that although we feel guilty for shrugging, we cannot deny how much better we feel. The freedom of having those burdens lifted from off of our backs. As we begin to heal, we realize that it was never our obligation to carry those burdens and “shrugging” becomes our practiced response, our natural response, as it should be.

      I am not exactly sure how to express my sentiment, but when I read your words… the way that you communicate… process and respond to your readers… It really resonates with me on a deep-level. There was a part of me that instinctively knew, instantly, that you had been through a lot in life. As I read more of your blog, I learned that you had. I don’t expect you to remember my story, I know that you get a lot of comments from readers. Nevertheless, I was raised by a covert narcissist. My mother. My parents divorced when I was young. My entire life, I always innately knew that something was “off” with her… the way she communicated and got us to do things (i.e manipulated), but I could never place my finger on exactly “what” the issue was… until the burdens became too unbearable and I shrugged.

      My mother played that martyr, saint, religious zealot role to the tee. If you talk to her long enough, she can convince you that Friday, is the day in the middle of the work-week, not Wednesday, and that your understanding was just confused. She’ll also do it with a straight-face and provide you compassion, that you have been so seriously led astray. It will be a pity that anyone would have ever taught you differently. Being raised by a narcissist is interesting because I think you’re innately taught how to “size” people up, spot their vulnerabilities and manipulate. It’s the only behavior that you witness and therefore pick-up. It’s your unconscious way of being and your only way of being in the world. I’ve read in the comments you discuss the nature of behavior and the inevitability of picking up narcissistic traits by virtue of being raised by a narcissist. I can also relate to your comments pertaining to learning new ways of being. I think for the children of narcissists, its much deeper than, “are you a narcissist or not?” If only life were that simple. I digressed.

      It took me getting dropped on my head several times before I realized how dysfunctional my family was. Severe pain and trauma we’re the catalyst for change. It’s interesting because “pain” is often the catalyst that finally forces us to move. If the pain is not debilitating… we usually just grin & bare it. We rationalize pain as a necessary part of life. I am sure on some level, a legitimate argument can be made in regards to the necessity of pain in life, but when the “pain” becomes debilitating… when life no longer works and our world collapses… when we are forced to reevaluate every belief we have been taught, because we realize they’re faulty… when the identity we previously assumed in the world, no longer fits… Good God. It’s the type of personal development that no sane individual would ever thrust upon themselves… But as you begin to heal and emerge on the other side, you’re a different person. You commented to a reader something to the extent that “even as their wounds heal… when the pain subsides and is not so raw, that the narcissist will heal alongside as a permanent part of their psyche.” Desensitized? Yes, to some extent, depending on the extend and exposure of the trauma. Gone? No. The narcissist will always be there to remind you of that experience and the growth that you have experienced as a result of that encounter. The sentiment that you expressed is correct. I can truly relate to it.

      As I began healing, when the pain was especially raw… when I barely could remember who I was… when the pain in my soul was unbearable… I remember reading so many websites and articles. Many were written by professionals and some were written by people like you. The thing that I find so beautiful about you is that I can tell that you are communicating with people from your soul. Your speaking from experience. I can feel it and I can relate to much of what you write because I have experienced it as well. This is the first blog that I ever felt compelled to respond to. I have spoken with enough therapists and read enough academic literature, to know that many speak and write about narcissists, like a researcher studies and writes about plants. They speak authoritatively, they have done their research but they have no life experience to truly draw from. I trust my gut a lot more these days. Just because a person has a fancy degree does not necessarily make them an authority. This is a false premise. Therapists are people too. Some are aware and some are unconscious. Its important if choosing to work with one, not to completely give up your own power and ability to draw conclusions for oneself. There is a difference between “belief” and “knowing”. A world class pianist can identify the subtly between a really good pianist and a great pianist. To the laymen, they virtually sound the same. By no means am I trying to bash psychologists, I think they have their place and do a lot of good in the world… I am just trying to relate the difference in hearing someone give advice and express opinions from personal experience that is clearly verifiable, from my own experience, as opposed to reading a checklist on how you should deal with narcissistic abuse.

      You give me hope that I can continue to heal and get better. I can relate to your life experience. In certain Native American cultures, they talk about Shamans and Seers, as those who have experienced severe pain and suffering, in order to come back to the community and serve the people. It’s almost as if the process of suffering, experiencing the dark night of the soul, puts a person in a position where they can relate, empathize and understand the sufferings of others. I think that’s the work that you’re doing here. I appreciate you sharing your life to help others regain their grounding and confidence in life. You would not be able to relate to people in the way that you do, if you had not experienced extreme suffering yourself. In my own life, I can relate with anyone. I can communicate with anyone. I can find where a person is, on an emotional level, and relate to them there. That’s what every person really wants, right? To feel understood. I am pretty sure you have that same ability. I am not sure if its a combination of being raised by a narcissist and having become a bit of an empath. Or, simply the awareness that has begun to arise as a result of my own healing process. Either way, I am sure you feel this way to a certain extent. When you seem to have a lot of answers, I know that people assume that you “have it all together”. I know that isn’t true. I know that you still have your own internal struggles. In the comments, I consistently hear you tell people to “take care of themselves”. So while you pour so much of your own energy into us, I am also here to tell you to continue to take care of yourself!

      I thank you for being you and pouring so much love into this blog. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself. I read an article today about a women that was put up for adoption, that traveled cross-country to find her birth-mother. I am sure you’ve read these types of stores before. It just highlighted the strength of the bond that nature has implanted between child and parents (especially a mother). When I hear or read a person say they went “no contact” the only word that comes to my mind is “PAIN”. That individual experienced such a severe amount of pain that they actually chose to severe the bond with their birth parent. No matter how you cut it, that individual has experienced trauma in their soul, that may never completely heal. I am not sure of the state of your relationships or support network, I just want you to know that if you’re ever feeling a little blue or insignificant, I want you to know that there a person here that loves you and appreciates all that you do!

      Thank You!

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      • WOW… you completely took my breath away! Thank you very much, truly and deeply! No words can express how much your comment means to me…

        What you have shared is so intensely beautiful that I would love to share it as a post… but not without your permission. I think many people would resonate with what you have expresses as I do.

        You definitely caught me… perhaps because you are so able to capture yourself, yet be free in that capturing… you know me because you know yourself, and you know why you know yourself… pain is a double-edged sword, which is both gift and curse.

        I do tell people to take care of themselves… and often am not sure if I’m doing that for myself… which is perhaps why I say it. I always am aware that I’m saying it and meaning it, and what it means from many angles…

        When we take care of ourselves it can be both healing and a source of pain… a wound wounding itself… it is very complicated and complex…

        When I reply to comments I try to tap into the heart within it… I’m never sure if what I say in reply is making things better or worse… or neither… or… I just am myself as best as I can be which can be a challenge at times, as you know… a child of narcissists struggles with being themselves.

        We’re trained to tap into others… and we know why, therefore we aren’t always sure if we should, and so on… in a world without boundaries, we learn things as we go along…

        I do remember your story because you introduced yourself in a way which struck a chord with me… as your words do now.

        Your grasp of all the facets of such a complex dynamic is… a gift… thanks to a curse of sorts.

        Ugh! I’m not really expressing this well… you’ve rendered me speechless and awed! Thank you… more than thank you could ever express!

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        • This is exceptionally beautiful. I too have felt this way about you. More probably do but just don’t express it as should. I’ve withheld because I know you’re a very private person and didn’t want to ‘pry.’ He/she also expressed it better than I ever could. I sincerely thank you for your support, encouragements and guidance by just sharing so much of yourself. I too, grew weary of the clinical view and judgments I found other forums. I’ve deeply appreciated knowing your expressions come from the heart. I really don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for you making some sense of the insanity. I’m forever grateful.

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          • Thank you very much 🙂

            We’re always stronger than we know, and we often only find that out when we face difficult times in our lives. When people and events try to crush us, feel as though they are destroying us, that’s usually when we find our core and it’s made of adamantine.

            There have been people in my life who have offered me a port in a life storm, a moment of understanding, heart to heart, soul to soul, which has made all the difference. They taught me a lot… took me a while to learn it though.

            Often others are too caught up in their own troubles and they can’t give what they don’t have to give, or they react with pain, or their pain makes them afraid of the pain of others. No one likes to be in pain or to see others in pain (except for those who find pleasure in it). Pain connects us on a visceral level, and our primal, survival instincts kick in.

            For a long time I cut myself off from others, withdrew, built a fort and hid in there, but then what was meant to protect became a prison, so it was time to come out and open up. It’s been a very intriguing experience, and I have met some very wonderful souls along the way. I’m very glad that I decided to share, because things like that always flow both ways, and what you and many others have shared with me… I am very grateful.

            Like

        • I, too, have often thought what WeGonnaMakeIt has written. But this is much more beautiful and eloquent than anything I could have produced. Ursula, you deserve every word, a thousand times over.

          I think of you often and about the wonderful impact you have had on my life.

          And yes, take care of yourself.

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          • Thank you very much 🙂

            Thing is… it’s very hard for me to accept, yet a needed challenge. I don’t see what I do as anything other than me being me as usual and sometimes wishing I wouldn’t do that.

            Others give me a much needed perspective… I sometimes squander it. But sometimes… just sometimes… I see and… it’s hard to accept, but if I do then… then what?

            You and many others who I’ve connected with since I’ve been ‘an upturned soul’… you guys, thank you ❤

            Like

  19. I am married to what I believe is a narcissist (16 years). If you pray, please pray for me. I am at the end of my rope….I see it all now….the games, the faces, the blaming and manipulation. I held on for the children but I am at the end now. My greatest worry and fear is that I have become like him and sometimes catch myself becoming argumentative. Every, and I mean every important conversation including the many mundane ones lead to an argument. I so don’t want to be that way with others but I worry that his poison has influenced my conversation style! Thank you for reading this and thanks to the author for posting this blog and all the helpful links. I will be making my way through them as time allows.

    Like

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      With regards to the fear of having become like him – narcissists do have a way of bringing out the worst in us, and prolongued exposure to the ways of a narcissist can infect us, however I would say that the argumentative aspect to you is more down to the exhaustion which you’re feeling, and that the fear is also a part of that.

      When we are physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, drained we tend to be less patient, are more prone to misunderstanding others, and are more likely to be frustrated by small things. It’s extreme tiredness, the kind which comes from being at the end of the rope. So I would say that perhaps your argumentativeness is more a sign that you’re trying to hang in there – it’s a primal instinct, the need to survive kicking in and kicking out. It’s your inner pain lashing out. The stress of your situation.

      What you need is a time out, time for yourself, to figure things out, get back in touch with who you are as you. But that can be hard to do when you’re caught up in a relationship with a narcissist.

      Do you have anyone in your immediate environment with whom you can talk about this? Finding a support system can be helpful. Just someone with whom you can let it all out, who will understand and offer shelter. If you feel isolated, which can happen when a narcissist is controlling your environment, this can trigger defensive reactions. Maybe joining a local support group, or visiting a therapist might offer a safe space to find your centre – there are many people who have been in your position, who understand your fears and who can help you to find a way to cope and free yourself.

      There are quite a few online support groups and forums for those who are in a relationship with a narcissist, but you do have to be careful in choosing one.

      This is a blog worth checking out – http://letmereach.com/ – Kim, the blogger, was married to a narcissist. This site is also worth checking out as it provides a lot of information about NPD – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html – there’s also a link to a forum. And this is a useful resource on NPD and relationships with narcissists – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/ – which also has a forum.

      It’s also worth reading up on C-PTSD:

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201012/high-conflict-relationships-can-lead-stress-disorder – this is a psychology today blog worth checking out as the author writes a lot about long term relationships with narcissists and how they affect us.

      You’re going to be fine, you’re made of strong stuff, but sometimes even the strongest need to allow themselves to be weak, admit to their vulnerability. It can be hard to let others know when we’re at the end of our rope, but sometimes that’s what we need to do to get help.

      Take good care of yourself, give yourself time, cut yourself a lot of slack, and be compassionate and gentle towards yourself. If you’ve started an argument with someone, catch yourself being argumentative when you don’t need to be, pause and just admit that you’re stressed and apologise if need be – most people will be understanding about it, we’ve all been there, at the end of our rope, stressed out, afraid and lashing out in pain. Others may surprise you with how much they understand what’s going on with you, but you do have to give them that chance. You have to give yourself that chance – be very kind with yourself right now!

      Like

  20. I’ve been in.a relationship with a narcissist for three years now. He was cheated on.me since i.met.him. he has three baby mamas…smh, antway. He just cheated on me two wks ago and so he went in.my fb…saw me trying to neet an OLD WHITE guy for lunc in. Costa Rica….now im fucking him. It went from.him being that bad guy to now….the big blow up is I’ve been lovers with this man for a while and i need to b honest about it. I told him i never met the guy but he keeps getting mad telling me to be HONEST. I want to kno…does he kno i really didnt cheat and he just want to give e shit….or nothing is going to.make him think differently bcuz he kno hes thr cheater.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      This sounds very complicated.

      This – http://letmereach.com/ – is a great blog for anyone involved romantically with a narcissist, it has many posts about the complications experienced when you’re in love or in a romantic involvement with a narcissist, and offers options on how to handle things.

      If you’re involved with a narcissist, things will always be very confusing. Narcissists don’t react or behave the way that non-narcissists do. If you are doing something to get back at a narcissist, to make them jealous, to hurt them, to find out if they care about you, it won’t affect them like it affects those who are not narcissists, and with a narcissist those relationship games will most likely end up stinging you rather than stinging them. They’ve been playing those games longer than you, and do it instinctively.

      If a narcissist cheats on you, they won’t feel any guilt about it, in fact they may blame you for making them cheat on you and they might feel justified in doing what they did. If you decide to get back at them by doing something similar to what you think they’ve done to you, it will affect them differently from how it affects you, and you may end up playing straight into their hands.

      If a narcissist thinks you cheated on them – that’s it as far as they are concerned, you are now the villain, the bad one, no matter what, their side of the story is all that matters to them. If you do it publicly – public image is something they know how to work better than you. Even if all you did was pretend to cheat on them to make them jealous – they don’t care what is real and what is not, for the most part, it’s the facade which interests them.

      If you’re doing all of this to change him – if he’s a real narcissist, it won’t change him at all, it may actually make him worse towards you. Narcissists can’t be changed.

      A cheater, whether they’re a narcissist or not, cheats because of something going on with them which may be deeply ingrained in their psyche. You can’t change them, they have to want to change for themselves, and even then they may find it hard to do so. They didn’t cheat because of you, they cheated because of themselves.

      It’s best to keep things simple, whether the other person is a narcissist or not. Playing games in relationships always ends up hurting someone, especially you in the end.

      Focus on yourself, and on taking care of yourself. Best wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Very interesting article about the games that narcissist play. I just found out that my best friend of 3 years, is a narcissist. (more of a cerebral narc) I am also learning that I am an Empath, so this probably explains why the friendship was formed. He loved bombed me for months, and I gave him the adulation and admiration he wanted, without asking anything in return. I have wizened up of late, and have stated to him that he need to give back some in the friendship, rather than always taking. Once I did this, I saw the mask fall totally off.

      Before we used to hang out all the time, write all the time. Now he “sporadically” appears, and sometimes cancels outings together at the last minute. I am starting to realize just how pathetic and immature he is. For example. He has a cat, which he professes his love to ALL the time. He is married, and claims that this cat, is the only one that has ever truly loves him. Although I loves all animals, he knows that I love dogs more than cats. So, he always would say that dogs were more subservient to mankind, and had not self-intelligence. That cats thought more for themselves, and were equal with their owner.

      Of course, I responded stating that cat’s are hypocritical and lazy.. After I said that, he didn’t respond, until last night. At 3:00 AM, yes 3:00 AM, he sends me links about this cat that predicts death in hospital. He then sent me the message ” The difference between a cat and a dog is significant. Here are 2 reasons why. A dog has a master, while a cat has servants. A dog answers your call quickly, while a cat takes the message and comes calling eventually:”

      Now, I was tempted to respond by saying “Well, if cat’s has servants, does that you mean you are a servant to your cat?” However, if I did that, then it would be an endless back-to-back battle, and I don’t want to waste my time doing that.

      Instead I thanked him for sending the article, and I sent a few other articles stating that dogs, and other animals have been known to sense death, and for the various reasons why.

      I also could have just ignored his message, and not respond, but I wouldn’t want to grant him that win.. Plus, these situations show me just how ugly and evil he truly is. I am being put in the devaluation phase by him, and I am working on going “No Contact”. Which is very hard, because we did have some good times together. However, I am know realizing that “real” friends, was just a mirage, and I am now seeing who he truly is….

      Good luck to all those with narc’s in their life. Get out while you can!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

        Once you realise that someone is a narcissist it can take a while to allow the information to sink in, and to grasp all the changes in perspective which that knowledge brings. You can see all the things you didn’t see before, and you begin to understand that you and the narcissist were in different relationships with each other rather than in the same one. It can at times be overwhelming as suddenly your eyes are open to a new view and there is so much to take in.

        So sometimes it’s quite good to observe a scenario as you have with this cats and dogs story. Sure ignoring his message was an option and that is a recommended tactic for dealing with narcissists, especially when you want to distance yourself from them, but I think you have to do what is right for you, therefore choosing to engage was done for your sake and not his, and you’ve learned a lot by doing it which is important.

        We often doubt ourselves when it comes to narcissists, and narcissists encourage that doubt in us by twisting everything around, blaming us for what they’re doing, and often accusing us of being the narcissist and of all of the things that they are. So seeing clearly and holding on to those moments when they show you exactly who they are helps to keep you focused and clarify any confusion which you may encounter – narcissists are adept at confusing matters and people.

        Keep doing what you are doing, trust yourself and give yourself time to gradually go NC at your own pace.

        Take care of yourself!

        Liked by 1 person

  21. I just happened across your blog and this is the first of your articles I have read. I honestly don’t think I have ever before commented on anyone’s blog before as far as I can remember, but your post has resonated so very deeply with me that I just had to say something. Honestly, I have a million thoughts spinning through my head after reading this, but at the same time, have nothing specific I felt compelled to share…..other than what I just had.

    I am a 30ish daughter of a N mother (and non-N but enabling father) and was the scapegoat child (golden child is my little perfect brother), so you already know first hand how damaged I am and have been for pretty much all my life. They live RIGHT NEXT DOOR by the way. They bought the house next to me about 2 years after I bought mine, which was about 12 years ago now. I’m sure it won’t surprise you when I tell you the pattern has repeated with my own children with my mother. My oldest (age 18) is the golden child and middle (age 14) is the scapegoat. As far as I can tell, I don’t think she noticed my youngest (age 6) really exists.

    Speaking of my children, just one of a million examples of the fuckedupedness (can I say that here?) that my N mother brings…. When pregnant with my last child, I was 31 years old, married, own my home, have two Master’s Degrees, a professional career, and financial stability. I was terrified to “break the news” of my pregnancy as she strongly encouraged me to terminate my pregnancies with my older two boys because of my “irresponsibility”. So, despite living right next door, I hid it until I no longer could at about 5 months. When I finally told her, she began sobbing and actually said, “How could you do this to us (meaning her and my father of course)?!?!? We are too old to be dealing with these messes you create!!! I was planning on retiring in a few years!!!”. She then stormed off into her house, slammed the door, and refused to speak to me or acknowledge my existence until a few weeks after my third son was born. (Just to be clear, my parents have NEVER supported us or provided any of us with even a dime since I was 17 years old and escaped the madness under their roof.)

    So, after sharing that, I’m sure it won’t surprise you that I am also am married (and so very severely suffering) to a N for the last 10 years. He has played by the “N Handbook” faithfully and has mastered each objective…. pathological lying, manipulation, exploitation, cheating, stealing, degrading, discarding…. and so on. His abuse is so advanced at this point that he regularly makes statements such as….

    ~”being trapped with the likes of you is why I need to keep being with women so much better than you could ever be.”

    ~”There is nothing that will ever make me see you as a human being!”

    ~”You weren’t even important enough to me for me to simply not fuck someone else while you were pregnant with my son!!!”

    ~”You are such a fat, disgusting, hagred pig and you still wonder why I fuck other women?”

    ~”You are a pathetic, worthless embarrassment!!! You can’t even deny it because your own husband and parents know it!!”

    ~ “You can try to convince me all day long that you are actually worth something and have actually done anything for me worth appreciation, it will never change the fact that you will never be good enough for me or any sane and normal person!”

    ~”You serve absolutely no legitimate purpose in life. Nobody would give a shit or probably even notice if you died, not even your own kids! You should probably consider that solution to the problem of your meaningless existence!”

    And on and on and on….

    I’ve lived this nightmare of “worthless”, “disposable”, etc. for so, so long. I really am an empty shell. My poor kids deserve the “real” me that I know I was intended to be before these monsters stole it away. These people are so very dangerous and destructive and devastating, and they walk amongst us, work amongst us, and even live amongst us freely. To this day, I still can’t begin to wrap my head around how theirs functions.

    Thanks so much for providing the validating support people like us so desperately need!!! And, thank you for letting me vent a bit on here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Feel free to vent here and use words like fuckedupness, getting things out into the open, expressing yourself and telling your story is an important part of getting back in touch with who you are, and your truth. When it is all stuck inside of you, it goes around in a circle, and it can be hard to see clearly. Letting the pain out, releases the pressure of keeping it all inside. I’ve learned a lot about myself from venting, from allowing myself to express my anger (which you’re never allowed to do around narcissists), and found a lot of healing through telling my story. I’ve figured out a lot about myself and my story.

      I see you have a blog, that’s an excellent way of finding and freeing yourself from within. Blogging has helped me enormously and I’ve met some great people through having a blog, there are a lot of us who have experienced the crazy world of living with narcissists.

      This is an article worth reading – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201404/the-vampire-s-bite-victims-narcissists-speak-out

      It’s going to take time, patience and gentleness towards yourself to emerge from the nightmare and from all the crap they’ve piled on top of you, to heal the wounds they’ve given you, but you are made of very strong stuff – every child of a narcissist has great inner strength. You may not necessarily feel strong but you are very strong and you have more power in this situation than you know. Knowing your own power is important when dealing with narcissists.

      Do you have a support system at all, perhaps a local support group you can join? Or maybe one online, there are many forums and support groups who offer a safe place to tell your story and find people who know what you have been through and are going through. You do have to be careful though with online groups, as quite a few people have had bad experiences, but a lot of people find them very helpful as an outlet. So check them out, even if you decide not to join one what you read on there may prove to be helpful as they share a lot of links and resources.

      This is one for children of narcissists – https://www.reddit.com/r/raisedbynarcissists

      This is a resource for finding different types of therapy groups in your area, they have a section for NPD – https://groups.psychologytoday.com/rms/

      Take good care of yourself, and take your time to find the right way for you to heal. Be gentle with yourself!

      Like

    • I’ve just read your story here and my heart goes out to you. I agree with the author of this blog that you are made of very strong stuff. You’d have to be to have survived what you’ve been through so far. Clearly, you’re intelligent and articulate also – and it is just someone like you (a good, loving, strong, intelligent but vulnerable human being with a great capacity for compassion, which I’m willing to bet you do) that a narcissist will target. They don’t look to mediocre people – it makes them feel so much better about their ugly, empty selves if they can bring someone unique and special to their knees. After all, mud sticks best to the cleanest wall, yes? I’ve heard stories like yours from so many people, I could cry.

      You already have huge resources at your disposal if you want to leave his sorry ass – and believe me, nothing would make me happier than to see you do that with your head held high. You have your degrees and own your own home. At such a young age, you’ve already achieved far more than most. See what you can do to gather all your resources together, see a lawyer and a darned good psychologist (one trained in domestic violence). Don’t attempt couples’ counseling. It will backfire on you for many reasons – too complicated to state here.

      Gather your friends and be very, very aware of the power you have. Make the plan first before you leave and don’t be ‘hoovered’ back in, something your abuser is bound to try to do. The blog community, as well as the youtube community, is a truly supportive network, full of information and emotional support. Lean on us all until you are ready. Then go claim your life, my friend. Love and light.

      Like

  22. Hi.
    My dear friends. You’ve suffered enough. All of you have.
    I know, I’ve been there. Thank you for your blog. You are a Trooper! I like you. Keep taking care of yourself and shine on!

    Now, I’ll give you an idea to consider if you’re having a hard time with a narcissistic relationship, breaking up and moving on.

    Stockholm Syndrome (with regards to abusive relationships)

    Please review this type of information because it will give you understanding as to where your feelings come from i.e.: Loyalty to the abuser, Unconditional Love, defending the abuser, etc.

    With this insight you will be able to engage a no contact rule, control your feelings better because you will know yourself better.

    If I could hug all of you and comfort you I would. You are worth it! GOD bless you and keep you safe.

    Hope springs eternal and so do bad puns so given the choice I would go with the hope thing rather than the puns… I’m not so good with the words. : )

    If you like this, feel free to post it, you have my permission.

    Peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Take good care of yourself, if there’s anything a relationship with a narcissist teaches us, it’s that we need to look after ourselves!

      Best wishes on your recovery!

      Like

  23. I dig Angels, and have been trying to reconnect with mine. I liked this movie. It has a Jason Stratham feel to it. I didn’t know where to plant it, so felt this was the best place to do so. It’s an Australian film but this one has Arabic subtitles, but hey, it’s free. I dunno how long the link will last, so you can delete this post if you’d like, but I wanted to pass it along to you. Wishing you Love and Light.

    Like

    • Thanks for sharing, I’ll check it out, I like Aussie films they’re usually very original.

      I saw this recently –

      – it’s a psychological thriller/horror film which has a strong narcissistic theme. It’s about the opposite of angels, but it takes place in the town of angels.

      Like

      • I don’t do horrors. I’ve had enough of that in my life to not invite further more. Why don’t you do a post about this. I’m still having difficulty accepting from what was recently confirmed, that she was having sex while preg until the 8th month. Kinda hard deny any more when emails came from 60 y/o’s grumpa’s IP address. I dunno how to rid the rumination, and losing hope that I can save my lil one. Grandma is a narc as well, so dunno if I can beat two. Any hope or direction would be greatly appreciated.

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        • Be careful that you’re not projecting your own story and experience onto your lil one. That you’re not transferring your inner child to her child self, and that your desire to save her isn’t actually a desire to save the you who was hurt by your ex, and by your parents in your own childhood. She’s her own person and her experience will be her own, she’s coming at it from a different angle from you. Your ex is her mother not her lover, and her grandma is her grandma (not her mother). Things will be different for her than they were for you and also for her mother. She is not you and she is not her mother, she’s herself.

          If you want to help her, don’t make her a part of your battle with your ex. The last thing she needs is to be placed in that kind of position. She doesn’t need you to be her hero and beat her mother and grandma for her – that will stress her out because it will cause conflict and confusion for her. She may end up feeling guilty for loving her mother and grandma if she thinks you don’t want her to love them, and if loving them might make her lose your love she will come to associate loving people with pain.

          If you really want to help her, then just be there for her – for who she is, not for what she represents to you because of her mother and your relationship with your ex. Be interested in who she actually is, in what interests her, and support and encourage her to feel good about being herself. Let her enjoy being a child.

          You should watch What Maisie Knew again only this time pay attention to Maisie’s relationship with the two people, Lincoln and Margo, who showed her love and were interested in her as a person in her own right.

          This clip shows the difference between someone (Lincoln) who genuinely is interested in a child (Maisie) as a person and someone (her mother) who is only interested in a child for what they represent for them:

          You’ve asked before when you should tell your lil one that her mother is a narcissist, and at times I’ve felt that you are in a hurry to tell her as what you want from your child is an ally in your battle with your ex, that you want to turn her against her mother – this is something you want for yourself, not something your lil one needs nor wants for herself.

          With my own parents – when I spent time with my father he used most of that time telling me how awful my mother was, trying to get me to hate her because he hated her. My mother wanted me to hate my father because she hated him. Neither of them gave a shit about me, I was just a piggy in the middle of their battle with each other. Neither of them realised (or cared) that by doing what they did made me hate myself.

          When you tell a child that their mother is a horrible person you are also telling that child that half of them is horrible too, and the child will take it personally, they’ll be afraid that one day you’ll hate them too because of the half of them which comes from their mother.

          Stop worrying about your lil one being damaged or ruined by her mother, her grandma, and whoever else, and instead focus on what you can give her which is positive, which builds her self esteem, which gives her stability, security, love, freedom to be herself and enjoy being herself. You can’t stop her from getting hurt, but you can give her the ability to accept hurt when it happens and heal from it because she believes in herself.

          Just be yourself with her and let her be herself when she is with you. Don’t make your relationship with her all about her mother.

          Like

          • I’m trying not to be too anxious, but I’m just over-whelmed with having to deal with 2 narcs, and her mother is far worse! She’s overt. I talked to her step-dad this week and found out she’s leaving her with her mother, for days at a time. This is discouraging, and I don’t know if he’s even on the up and up. My intuition tells me there was some sexual abuse going on (hence, grampa). She’s always had quite the affinity for much older men since a teenager. Worrisome. And if she ‘betrays’ her in the womb, then it frightens me what’s to come. I don’t want to “out them.” I’m just very afraid for her. I treat my nephews and nieces like the guy does in this video, and plan to treat my lil one the same. I just know it’s going to be high conflict on the other side. Already was and is, so I don’t expect this to change. She preyed upon my compassion to rescue her from that mess, and now I’ve found myself suckered into it. Gonna get some rest. Thanks for addressing my worries and concerns. With Love across the Lake.

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            • I understand that it’s stressful for you – it always is when narcs are involved because they sow seeds of stress wherever they go. They’re stress-central, drama-mongers.

              But that’s not who your lil one is. She’s not one of them, she just happens to be growing up amongst them. A child can grow up with narcissists without being completely ruined by them… all that child needs is a balancing influence. One person who sees the child as a person in their own right… that’s your biggest weapon against the narc issue. Give your lil one personal power to be confident in herself and that will mitigate whatever else is going on. Just focus on her, forget about her mother, your ex, and grandma, and all the other adults.

              You’re too focused on your ex and her mother (grandma), worrying about your issues with them and making those issues a source of concern for you about your lil one… these issues are not your lil one’s issues, they’re yours.

              She’s a child… let her be a child. Appreciate her as she is, not as you need her to be for you. Or as your fears imagine her, imagine her mother, her grandma and what they’re doing to her.

              She is not interested in the shit which is going on with all of you adults. You’re all caught up in your adult stuff expecting her to be interested in it because you’re all obsessed with it. She’s interested in her own stuff… and she’d like for you to be interested in it too.

              Children are far more realistic than adults about life, mostly they see adults as being full of complicated BS, and they appreciate it when things are kept simple. They love it when adults don’t expect them to deal with adult nonsense and just let them be children.

              Deal with your own stuff… don’t transfer it to your lil one. She’s okay, all she needs is to know you love her as she is – keep your issues with her mother and grandma out of your relationship with her. She’s living with them, don’t make that a nightmare for her because it’s a nightmare for you, maybe she likes and loves them… don’t make her feel bad about that. Help her deal with it from her own place of being by loving her as is.

              Like

              • I will NOT place my crap upon her. I will NOT talk disparagingly about any of them to her. I WILL offer her a safe place and of empowerment by just letting her be her, and loving her for her being her. I’m going to have as little contact as possible, unless it’s with or about her. I will not involve her in the adult BS and drama. Maybe I was misunderstood. I’m just very frustrated and worried. I don’t believe leaving an infant who isn’t even a year old for days at a time is healthy, especially with her mother. But what can I do? HEAL! I’m still learning self-care and self-love to come from my own place of personal empowerment. Please be patient.

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                • Being a parent is one of the most challenging experiences in life, you’re responsible for the care of another human being who is completely reliant upon you. I know you’re a great father because of the way you talk about your lil one, you really care deeply for her and truly want to do what is best for her. She’s going to be okay because of you, and because of what you’re doing for yourself which you’ll pass onto her just by being with her. She doesn’t need you to save her from her mother, she needs you to show her how to save herself and you’ll do that naturally by giving her a strong sense of self.

                  If her mother is being abusive towards her, and it is in a manner which you can prove legally then there’s that aspect of things to consider. However, if her mother is a typical narcissist, the abuse tends to be too subtle and they’re adept at making others think that they’re good parents when they come under scrutiny.

                  It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the situation, and if you’re really worried about your lil one spending time with her grandma, then you could consider offering your ex an alternative, but you’re going to have to be careful as to how you do it. Make sure first that your worries are founded. Grandma might be good with her grandchild, even though she was a bad mother to your ex.

                  Do you have a custody agreement? If you do then you could perhaps get it amended in some way that might make your lil one’s stays with grandma supervised in some way or at least get someone to check on the situation. If you don’t you could consider going down that route, which would give you more say in who takes care of your lil one. I don’t know how those things work, and if they work or make things worse. It’s always worth a try if you feel the need to do something.

                  Take care of yourself, and please be patient with yourself!

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                  • Thank you for sharing you thoughts and suggestions. She lives 3 hours away, so offering my availability is pointless in an N whim, as you well know. I’ve thought about relocating closer, but it’s seriously the worst hell hole I’ve ever seen and around there, and believe it would be best for me not to be sucked into her hell at this time. It’s a demed if I do, and demed if I don’t situation, as you’re clearly away of these. Reading your last few blogs has got me thinking.. How do you expect one not ask questions when you put yourself out there? I sought advice because you seem to have a better awareness and understanding about narcissism than most. It’s another demed.. equation. Thank you so much for being you, Ursula. I think I got this, but I’m sure I’ll have, “What the fuckery is this” moments. Stay calm, and love JS. 🙂

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                    • Thank you 🙂

                      When dealing with a situation which involves a narcissist, especially if the situation is very complex, it’s important to clarify with yourself what you are actually going to do and what you are not going to do, even if you’d like to be able to do it.

                      Try to minimise the ‘If only…’ factor in your mind. Keep it simple for yourself, because otherwise it’s going to get even more complicated than it already is. Look at the mess JS’ heroics get him into.

                      You need stability, and you get that by being honest with yourself. Calmness comes from knowing yourself, facing who you are and accepting it.

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                    • i wish I could.. but I’m not a superhero I’d wish to be. I hope she’ll forgive me. We got this. 😉 I love you, Ursula. Please do the same.

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                    • Yes, I’ve noticed that you want yourself to be a hero.

                      The only person who needs to forgive you for not living up to your superhero expectations is you. Superheroes and heroes are the fantasies of teens and adults, and adults who are still teens inside. Your lil one is at a more realistic age than the adults in her life. Your lil one just wants to be loved, simply and easily. Heroics are not needed. Heroes always need too much from you anyway, and often start fights just to show how heroic they are. Children don’t need that kind of thing… it’s the stuff of adults.

                      Stop trying to be someone you’re not, allow yourself to be who you are – this is the real heroics as being who we are frightens the crap out of us and we create crap for others because of it, but once we accept who we really are and let ourselves be as we are, then we encourage others to do the same, and that’s what a real hero does, they make people feel good about being themselves because they feel good about being themselves.

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          • I don’t want strive to be a superhero anymore. I only want to be best I can be, which will hopefully will reflect in my life.

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  24. I saw my lil one this weekend. She is amazing beyond words or description, and it’s not just because I’m a proud papa. Wicked smart beyond her very young time, with an unmatched determination and personality. Her mother showed up like a bad penny as I thought she would, after sending dozens of un-replied to emails. It was just longer than I expected. She came with lots of apologies, professions of love, and affection. Sex was on top of the menu of course. I honestly might have responded if I hadn’t found out she betrayed my lil one in the womb. It took me several minutes, but I couldn’t just close the door like I promised to myself in my mind. I’m just not that type of person, albeit. I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to have been (house was a total mess and answered the door with an extreme hangover), but are you ever really, with a narc?

    We had a lot of fun, but when it came down to the skinny of reality, it fell flat. After many swears to God and on everything else she loves in life, I showed her emails from her sent to me, traced to gramp’s IP address while pregnant.. She still claimed it wasn’t her, and some sort of ‘conspiracy’ by others out to get her. I couldn’t convince her otherwise as much as I wished she could accept realty and responsibilty. She even tried to convince me I was the one who was ‘crazy’ with eyes filled with tears. It left me thinking, do they really believe their own story? She also seemed to have forgotten many parts of me and our relationship even in good which I found odd.

    She’s in a hot spot as I told her she would find, but I don’t think she found what she was looking for by coming here. I haven’t heard from her since, and I don’t believe I will until another ‘necessity’ arises. Spending time with my lil one was amazing! She called me ‘dada’ without much prompting in less than 2 days and at just a year old. She actually grabbed both her mum and dad’s hands and put them together which I found very touching and intuitive. i can see she already has empathy which is very promising and encouraging. I let her come to me and she did more and more as I did. Her mum seems very doting, attentive, and affectionate at which I was happy to see. However, I believe it’s just about how amazing this kid is a reflection upon her. I fear once my lil one starts finding her autonomy, this will change. At least I know she’s safe for now.

    With all being said, I’m glad I opened the door. I had the opportunity to spend time with an amazing lil girl, and found the demon and monster I feared so much minimized. She is truly tortured and trapped in her own paranoia. I wish I could help, but unfortunately I can’t on this one. This is new to me. I still hurt deeply, but at least I’ve come to a place of peace. She expedited acceptance with the visit much more quickly without even her knowledge. I just wanted to share this with you since I’ve shared so many other things. Thank you, Ursula.

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      • She set off seeking the ‘culprit’ who betrayed her. I told her she will only find the ‘man behind the curtain’ was her, I haven’t heard from her since.

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        • She’ll be in touch again, you know that. My guess is she enjoyed the visit with you as much as your lil one did. Your lil one will always be a bond between you. You can use that to your advantage to see your lil one more often, and be a positive and healthy influence in her life. It will take awhile to figure out how to deal with having to interact with your ex for the sake of your lil one, but you’ll figure it out, you’re smart and have a strong soul.

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          • I know she will, but it won’t be for some time. There wasn’t fights but questions, so she didn’t find what she was looking for (another escape), and wasn’t able to draw me back into the fantasy again. She just sent the ‘goodbye’ email. She didn’t ‘enjoy’ it like me. It was sadly all about her, and nothing more. I wasn’t holding my breath though. I was prepared for it so the sting is much less, and more hurt for her than for my own grief. It’s relieving not to walk on eggshells and expectations. My lil one will be ok is all that matters, but I can’t let her know this for now. They are extremely exhausting to deal with, as you well know.

            I still wish her well on her own journey. I’m just very grateful I’m no longer on that journey with her. I think she already knows she’s sick, but doesn’t like it or want to know she’s sick. I don’t need to beat her up about it. Do you know what I mean? Next time will be much more enjoyable. I will be able to live more in the moment (with complete acceptance as is) as she does, and hopefully my relationship with my lil one will grow from there. 🙂 Thanks for the support and encouragement.

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  25. I didn’t know where to plant this, so I thought here was best. I’ve been on a bender 24-7 since seeing her and my lil one. I’m sure you’re not a Taylor Swift fan, but this song and video is exactly what I’ve gone through and dealing with. I’m struggling, but I really dunno how others survive this without financial stability. The car she clubs is an extremely rare and valuable Cobra which is fitting. I’m not as lost anymore, just reflecting, and thinking of the best choices I can make for my lil one under the circumstances. Thinking aloud. Sorry.

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    • Meeting up with your ex was always going to be tough, especially since your lil one was part of the equation. Your heart was open because of your lil one, and that made it more of a challenge dealing with the mind games of your ex.

      It’s hard to deal with narcissists, whatever the circumstances, and however prepared we are, even far along the recovery road, they can unsettle the psyche because that’s their thing. They are a talking and walking collection of chaotic matter. Just being in their company, even if they keep quiet which they rarely do, can be like sitting in an electric chair. They zap you with their voltage and it can cause you to blow a fuse.

      I’ve seen the most level-headed people be completely flummoxed after only a few minutes of exposure to one of my parents.

      So be gentle with yourself about your recent bender. It happens. It’s a coping mechanism. Be sure to catch yourself when you fall and offer a comforting hand. Give yourself time and space to figure things out. There’s no quick fix, just building on experience and what you learn as things happen. You’re okay, and you’ll be fine. Heal at your own pace, remember what you know, and be open to knowing more.

      I know it’s not Monday, but… this song fits those days that feel like a Monday:

      Take care of yourself, thinking out loud helps 🙂

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      • Good song, especially with a morning cocktail! I like it much better than the Taylor Swift anthem.. “Find out what you want, Be that girl for a month, But the worst is yet to come.” She wasn’t even my fun type!! But I mistook all the attention and drama, for ‘true love.’ I thought how could anyone have missed how truly important and valuable I am. How fuckn more narcissistic is this!!??? I remember her literally kneeling on my chest pointing fingers in my face exactly like Taylor does in this video, and filled with snot and tears dribbling down on my face. I can’t find a therapist, because they have no fukn clue about narcissistic abuse, and lost in only female being the victims of abuse. She came here seeking another fairy tale of a ‘happily ever after’ without any regard for the pain caused and damage done. It didn’t suit her, so apparently she’s seeking new resources that will. It’s like the end of the video, when one burns out with a beat up Cobra, another one movies in with a vintage red Rolls Royce this time. I know our experiences are different, I just wish I knew these people existed. I really fail to see the point anymore. I need to go replenish my liquor cabinet before the other clerks recognise me. Thanks for the song.

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        • We find pieces of our story in everything, and it can all be helpful. So when you find a piece of your story in a song, a film, a book, in another person’s experience, etc, pay attention to what it means for you and explore it.

          It doesn’t matter why narcissists exist, they do, they always have, history is rife with examples, and that is that, many other types of people exist too, and everything balances itself out. We only tend to find out about the different types of people in the world from personal experience.

          Why did we have to have personal experience of a narcissist? Because they’re part of our story and our type. Sometimes we need to be changed through a trauma, it pushes us to evolve, go beyond our comfort zone, learn more about ourselves and the world around us, and the resulting transformation can bring latent talents to the surface which may be useful for us or someone else who needs what we share because of what we have been through. We’re all in this alone and together.

          Some of the greatest advancements in human history have come from a bad experience which has inspired a positive reaction. But to get the benefit of a painful experience we need to go through the pain.

          Have you watched the Ip Man films. Very interesting, based on the true story of Yip Man, who was Bruce Lee’s teacher.

          Self-mastery often comes from having our lives thrown into chaos, the pain and damage inspire healing and understanding. 🙂

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      • I beat people up legally for a living. I used to believe I could help by offering advice and direction instead, by being raised on the wrong side of the tracks. Then it became about being concerned about my own personal safety. Now, I enjoy a shots fired or a forced entry call. I’ve taken more high risk opportunities than even a rookie should. I just don’t care about my personal safety any more. I actually enjoy taking people down now, which scares me. I see grampa in every one of the scumbags I deal with now. I’ve lost mercy, grace, and the compassion that I once valued about myself so much. I’m glad to be independent contractor, or else I would be dead or homeless by now. She’s forced me into early retirement sooner than I expected. I have enough to go away for awhile as I’d hoped, but feel guilty about leaving my lil one. Society seems to have all the answers about what ‘dead beat’ I would be. “Fuck em” is the shortest prayer in the whirled. I just want peace.

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        • Sometimes life takes us on a complicated journey through phases, from a starting point all the way around a variety of experiences of ourselves and others, of life, until we come around full circle, wiser with a deeper sense of ourselves.

          All the detours evolve us and develop our original ideas.

          Your original idea of helping others by offering advice and direction is still valid, in fact it is even more valuable now that you have had a wealth of different experiences.

          Your pain can be a source of healing for yourself and for others.

          To help others you need to understand others, and that is done best by helping yourself, understanding yourself, your motivations, impulses, etc, because what is in you is also in others. Pain and suffering is universal, is part of the soil of this earth and everything and everyone on it. It must be understood through deeply personal experience to connect us to the core.

          To help yourself you must take a personal voyage of discovery. Confront all aspects of yourself and integrate them.

          When you help others, you also help yourself. Everyone is connected and intertwined.

          To help your daughter you need to do what is best for you first, sort yourself out and then pass the benefits of that onto her. If you’re worried about being seen as a ‘deadbeat dad’ then you need to deal with that concern or it will haunt you on your journey, and if you take a defiant stance you may get distracted by fighting against ‘society’ from what you actually need to confront.

          We often transfer our issues onto society and use society as an excuse for why we’re doing or not doing something. Because society often does cause problems for us, we can find proof that we’re being unfairly judged or treated, that the problem is everyone else, society, not us… but we are society, even when we feel like an outcast from it.

          Before you go on your trip away, do some research, there is quite a bit of info and resources online for dads who want to be part of their child’s life but may get labeled ‘deadbeat’ due to extenuating circumstances. Deal with the issue before you go, find out your rights, check out options. Maybe you could create a trust fund (those are not just for “richies”) for your daughter which can provide for her with rules applied (such as that your ex can’t use this money for herself). Perhaps you could put the money you’re spending on alcohol in a bank account for your lil one instead – that way you’re providing for her and giving yourself a good reason to get sober at the same time.

          There are always options even when we feel there are none. Trust in the goodness in you, it’s still there, it just gets covered in the shit of living and being human sometimes. Your heart has been battered and wanting to fight back is a primal impulse when we feel that our survival is at stake. Don’t worry too much about the inner darkness, it can be scary, but it can be mastered once understood. We all have an inner beast which frightens the crap out of us, often because it can make us like the taste of blood and we’re afraid that we’ll give in to the lust for blood, vengeance, doling out pain because we’re in pain. Get to know what it is actually about. Learn to master it… JS style, use it for good rather than a descent into depravity. The inner dark is the same energy as the inner good – it’s all chi/Qi – learn to focus your chi/Qi. It is used in Martial Arts when taught by a teacher who understands the philosophy of fighting.

          Have you read – The Book of Five Rings – it begins in anger and ends in understanding.

          Remember all of who you are – your whole story, not just the bad bits. Use your intelligence and strong heart to guide you when you’re at your most confused, and vulnerable.

          Take care of yourself!

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          • I’ve experienced all the cut up best suits and stuff throw out crap. I’m not confused anymore about who she is. I’m caught in what are my best choices for my lil one from here. I’ve already started a trust fund for her, but money can never buy what her father could. I need time away to figure things out, but this never happens with a narc. I believe it’s time for me to go on sabbatical. I found a Buddhist Monastery in Mount Shasta, Ca. I think a few weeks of prayer and mind silence is the best ‘time’ I can give to my lil one for now. I also believe it’s time for me to retire from my line of work. It’s a different game now with people who are actually evil and not just created through bad childhoods and choices. I’ve spoken far more than I should have, but thank you for sharing and the suggestions. Namaste.

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            • That sounds like a wonderful adventure and a good way to adjust to change. Sometimes all we need is to take a break from the world, get away from the externals and focus on the internals.

              Have you ever seen the documentary – 3 miles North of Molkom

              Take good care of yourself. When we care for ourselves, caring for others becomes a different experience.

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  26. Most helpful blog iv ever read at just the right time.
    You have just helped me.
    Sincerely peacefully. Thank you.
    I get it!

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      • Probably one of the best Blogs I’ve read regarding NPD… After many years with my so called Best friend, i came to realize only quite recently and after much research that she is Narcissistic.. I called her on all of the manipulative games she’d been playing – and the damage that she’d caused. She neither denied any of it or agreed. she just replied “I’m sorry you feel that way” I was hoping that she would come round.. But in true Narc style she distance herself, and although i have now realized we can no longer be close friends or friends at all, she still sent me some beautiful flowers for my birthday, and replied to a message i sent regarding our fading friendship that in her mind nothing was wrong and that she loved me very much. It has taken me a long time to distance myself,and release the hurt and pain that came with being close to her and her toxic games. Giving her behaviors a name has helped with this process tremendously as is writing this reply.Thank you very much for you heart felt honest insights.

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        • Thank you for sharing 🙂

          You’re right, it definitely helps to give a name to the behaviour as it allows us to clarify what has confused us and put things in perspective. It can be painful to identify that someone we have cared for deeply and still care for is a narcissist, and we can be reluctant to label them with something that has such negative connotations. It can feel as though we’re being harsh and unfair to them for seeing them that way, but in the long run it is better to see the situation as it is rather than as we would ideally hope that it was, and to see them as they are rather than as we would like for them to be.

          Once we know that someone is a narcissist it can release us from a stressful relationship, and from riding the rollercoaster of a relationship with them. When a narcissist is on their best behaviour, when they are in a good mood, focused on pleasing others to win their affections, then it can be wonderful to know them as they often do things which are generous and give us amazing highs. Such as sending you beautiful flowers for your birthday – a narcissist often knows exactly what it is you desire and when they give they often give in a way that is hard to forget and can make you feel guilty about thinking anything other than good thoughts about them. Unfortunately those highs are usually accompanied by many complications which lead to distressing lows. When they give it always comes with strings attached, their giving is always a favour that’s wants something in return, and if they don’t get what they were expecting to get in return for giving they feel cheated by us.

          They’re constantly thinking about the impression they’re making on others as this is where their sense of self comes from, from others, we’re a mirror for them which shows them who they are, and many of the manipulative games revolve around controlling what you think and feel about them, so they can control their image, and if they think that you’re not feeling and thinking what they need you to feel and think they can get rather nasty.

          Not all narcissists are malignant, that’s the extreme end of the spectrum of the disorder, and not all narcissists are aware of the extent to which they manipulate and play toxic games, it’s second nature for them to do that, it’s something they learned to do as children to protect themselves from the person who caused their narcissistic wounding (usually a parent who could not accept them as they were). In their relationships they tend to replay their original wounding, they’re still battling the person who originally hurt them, still trying to defeat an old foe and save themselves, so they tend to project onto others the parts of themselves which are negative, seeing themselves as positive, as heroes, and therefore they often play those games in reaction to what they think someone else is doing to them. Anything they do to us they justify as being in reaction to what we are doing to them. So if you confront them about what they’ve been doing to you it they may see it as a game which you are playing and therefore they will react to it with more games rather than have an epiphany which causes them to change the way that they are. A narcissist will always think they know what is really going on better than others do. They have a version of reality which they see to which they are very attached, and that includes who they think others are – they rarely if ever see you as you are, they see you as they need you to be for them and give you a role in the film of their life.

          Your friend will never be able to see your side of your relationship story, she will cling to her version of it firmly, and in this case I think that works in your favour as she sees herself as loving you and will try to prove to you that she is not who you think she is, that she is who she thinks she is – a loving friend. Narcissists can get very nasty when rejected as it is one of their greatest fears, but if she has accepted it graciously then it will help to ease the split.

          The pain of a long and deep relationship ending hurts, and will take time to heal. A certain melancholy about it will always remain, as the heart never forgets those it has loved. It can be a healing pain as time passes, a love lost can deepen our feelings, and a relationship with a narcissist can give us a stronger connection with ourselves.

          Take good care of yourself, give yourself plenty of time to heal, and be gentle with yourself.

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  27. I am curious, to this comment:

    “there are one or two who blog and have written books about their experience of being a Narcissist and how they are slowly curing themselves because most therapists don’t know how to cure NPD as very few who have NPD go into therapy and those who do don’t do it to cure Narcissism and usually mess with the therapist and then leave.”

    Can you reference them please?

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  28. Why do I only ever see this sort of valuable comment on blogs that I have to search for? I wish that society as a whole could be made much more aware of the damage these types do and how they work. So many people are trapped in a world where nobody believes how foul the perpetrator has been because outwardly they are so charming. A malignant narcissist is not just a vain person – they are mean, devious and without conscience which makes them dangerous. One in 25 people have this trait and those without it need to know about them and to recognise them, not just find out accidentally when they are so stunned by some atrocious behaviour that, in their incomprehension, they start searching on the internet. How do we broadcast this to the world?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      I think that this is the sort of matter which we only become aware of when it becomes relevant to us personally to do so, and then our journey to find out more begins. It’s the kind of awareness which happens gradually, one person at a time being inspired by a painful experience with a narcissist to look into it, research and know more about it.

      People don’t tend to believe in narcissists until they have a personal experience of one. They’re a bit like the monster under the bed, if you tell others about them people think you’re imagining it, making it up, they only believe in it when they see it for themselves.

      Awareness of NPD is growing, but it is still in its nascent stages. This kind of issue takes time to understand. Psychologists are still studying it.

      This is an interesting in depth article – http://energeticsinstitute.com.au/narcissism/

      This is a very informative blog – http://n-continuum.blogspot.co.uk/

      As is this site – http://outofthefog.net/Disorders/NPD.html

      Take good care of yourself.

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  29. I played games with my nex. He actually said I was doing them but I was just giving him a taste of his own medicine to show how ridiculous he is being but that didn’t work. I also used to do something he hated to show him and he called it a game. I found out online that retaliating against them or trying to prove them wrong and show them how they are does not work and it hurts you at the end. I am not saying you shouldn’t have done it. I would just say that doing this with a narc can really backfire because you end up hurt at the end. My nex also discarded me and I think it’s because he was being found out by my family because I wouldn’t stop talking to them and also the fact they were on my side so there was no way he was going to control me and have me be who he wants me to be. He would also flee if he felt found out. I used to think he was being paranoid and he always worried too much what people thought of him. Now I know that he wasn’t being paranoid and he really was an ass and controlling. I suspect he has been told by others he is that or else he wouldn’t have that thought so instead of trying to change, he tried to keep people from thinking that about him so that was him not wanting me to talk to my parents on the phone. He didn’t stop me but he would get mad at me and would want to listen to what we are saying and want to know everything we are talking about it was like I had no privacy. But that sure backfired on him because you know what I did, I would talk to them while he would be at work or inside a building and I would always step outside to talk so he wouldn’t worry. Back then i just thought he was paranoid and had anxiety about it and worried too much what people thought, not that he was trying to cut me off from them. I realize now after reading about narcissism that he played so many games but yet he didn’t like people playing them with him and anything he didn’t like he called it a game. So anything about me he didn’t like, it was a game to him. But I am glad to see an article about this.

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  30. Reblogged this on My World and commented:
    I am glad to see I am not the only one who played games with my ex which was me retaliating and me trying to give him a taste of his own medicine.

    Like

  31. Great article and equally great comments. Keep fighting the good fight, one and all. My story is this: father is a narc, mother (RIP) an empath. I grew up in that house and that alone was a mindf—. Fast forward to 2012, I am married and start counseling to sort out said childhood mindf—, and come to encounter a fast friend who claimed then to have a similar experience growing up. Over the next several months, we talk about what our parents/growing up was like; she clues me into what the whole HSP/empath v. narc dynamic is and I’m grateful for the help. We become pretty tight as pals, but not until the following spring. But by THAT SUMMER, she started acting erratically and I knew something was wrong there. She went through these mega-inappropriate outbursts (for things like not being able to hang with our mutual friends over sudden unexpected work and family commitments) and failed on about how awful a friend I was, how awful life was, and threatening to kill herself and all this scary stuff… I tried several times (in vain) to get her mental help before I finally realized that she, too, was a narc — and that the whole thing was a ploy to reel me in to her crazy game.

    Breaking free of our friendship several times, only to be reeled back in by a suicide attempt, talk of suicide, and a bogus “cancer scare” (I have medical community friends) I finally wrestled myself away for good — and then she proceeded to engage a fellow friend/narc to befriend me (under the guise of professional development in our mutually chosen careers) and to lovebomb me with flattery and attempt to seduce me. Once I figured out they were friends, I tried to slink away from this person, too.

    This sh– is the real deal. I won’t even go into the whacked out stalking and badmouthing I’ve endured as a public figure for this (lost friends and colleagues over it) or the “turning up” she does at events where I’m known to frequent. It’s like being trapped in a movie.

    Look, I have a big heart. All I ever wanted to do was be a good friend to this person; she wore me down to such a point that I became incredibly depressed and started self-medicating to stop from feeling so bad about myself and the harm she might do to herself or others. These people are BAD NEWS, people. I’m not saying you HSP/empathy like me should steel yourselves to the world, but they are a MESS and you’re better off without them, so don’t cave in to any bad feelings about yourself that they drum up. Go “no contact,” and move on with your life if you can. AND. If you’re married to one of these narcs, get help and counseling fast before they suck the ever-loving life force out of you the way my dad did my mom.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      It’s interesting to explore the HSP/Empath and Narcissist dynamic. There have been quite a few articles written by professionals looking into it, offering alternative views and trying to solve it.

      This one – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/anxiety-zen/201508/shy-sensitive-introverted-and-narcissistic – I found to be particularly intriguing because I’ve noticed that certain types of narcissist may classify themselves as being HSP/Empath, and may come across that way at first.

      For those of us who are children of Narcissists it’s fairly straightforward (as straightforward as it is ever going to be when a narc is involved) – our Narcissist parent needed us to be highly sensitised to them and their needs, and being that way became a coping mechanism for us. If we were hyper-vigilant, pushed ourselves aside for them, and tuned in to their moods, feelings, ups and downs, then maybe we could avert one of their dramas, or at least skirt or quell the storm to a degree. Because we learned to be so tuned in to the moods and feelings, the fluctuations of others, we attract Narcissists who are looking for someone to be highly sensitive to their overly sensitive selves.

      You’re absolutely right about needing to grow a thicker skin. It’s nice to be empathic but it has to be done with a certain logic, and with our own well-being in mind. Sometimes being insensitive is healthy for us, especially when dealing with someone who is very narcissistic. Being sensitive towards them only makes things worse rather than better.

      Glad to hear you’ve managed to free yourself from your friend. It can be very difficult to do that once they’ve become attached to you, and nothing attaches them more firmly than when they feel you’ve done them wrong and they need you to pay for it, when they want you to be sorry for what they think you’ve done (which is usually just saying ‘no’ to them when they want something from you – like your undivided attention all the time).

      Your experience is very valuable for others who are going through something similar, it helps to hear stories like yours because they show how complicated a relationship with a narcissist can be, how easy it is to get caught up in their crazy, and how hard it is to untangle ourselves, but it can be done. We do have to go through the aftermath, the deep dark depths of ourselves, but we always come out wiser and stronger.

      Take good care of yourself!

      Like

    • Thank you for asking 🙂

      There’s a Follow button in the lower right side of the blog, if you click on it a dialogue box pops up where you can enter your email to receive email updates. You need to have JavaScript enabled on your browser or the button doesn’t show.

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  32. Hey Ursula darling. I think you should know, this is the best post I have ever read about narcissism. So succinct. So accurate. So touching in its honesty. I am getting over many years of abuse at the hands of more than one narcissist and I am rebuilding. But MISTAKES are the blood of life and I am no longer afraid to be ridiculed for being a human being who errs. Thanks for your words. They strengthened me so much more. And reaffirmed my decision to break free of these chains. I had the key to the lock all along.

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    • Thank you very much 🙂

      My narcissist mother led me to believe that making a mistake was akin to the end of the world, and that the end of the world was my fault for making a mistake. She was perfect, of course, and never made mistakes.

      One of the most important things I’ve learned from making endless mistakes is… they’re actually rather useful to make, they’re experiential experiments, and there’s nothing like the wisdom you get from the DIY approach to life. They are indeed the – blood of life. Love it!

      We do have the key to the lock, but we’re often made to see that key as anything but our way to freedom. Funny how things change when you look at them long enough 🙂

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  33. I want to thank you for sharing your experience. I have been trying to make sense of all of this, a rational answer to give my children and grandchildren. A way for me to feel like living again. I appreciate your honesty. I am looking in a mirror.
    I would like to get through 5 minutes of him not interrupting my thoughts, taking over my mind…invading my dreams. Thank you, I feel like there is hope of a living kind.

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    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      It can be a long and arduous journey to make sense of something which so often makes no sense at all. It does get easier, it takes time, patience and especially requires being gentle with yourself.

      We all go through a period, which can last for years, of being obsessed with the narcissist in our lives – the longer you’ve been in a relationship with them, the more there is to sort out. The five stages of grief apply to recovering from a relationship with a narcissist. The anger phase can be the hardest to deal with especially if you’re not used to feeling that kind of anger, or it’s been suppressed and denied. However once things start falling into place, and you untie the inner knots, the ripple effect can be intensely healing.

      The feeling that they have invaded your mind, body and soul intensifies when you start looking within and asking questions of yourself. It’s almost a crucible effect. The fever eventually breaks. As you work on understanding your story and experience, everything you’ve experienced comes into view for review. You have to go through it to get through it – you will get through it and come out of it able to let go and move on, and not have him ever present within.

      I used to think that there wasn’t a moment I could have to myself without my parents being present (it was like that while they were in my life, and when I went NC I thought it would stop, but it actually got worse for a long while). Everything reminded me of them, and I spotted parts of them in others. I just couldn’t get away… it was only when I stopped trying to get away that I managed to resolve it. Now I keep surprising myself with how little I think of them, and how when I do it’s detached.

      In those moments when you find yourself feeling hopeless and giving up on hoping to ever be free… that’s the storm before the quiet which is soon to come.

      Take good care of yourself, and be gentle with yourself, you’ve been through a lot give yourself a break. Give yourself the time you need to heal and to find the rational answers which you need, once you find them for yourself giving them to others will be easier, it’ll come naturally. A few things will always be irrational as that’s the side which goes with a narcissist, it’s not your job to make them rational.

      Best wishes!

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  34. Great blog. I, also, was raised by extreme text-book narcissists. One overt the other covert. I cut them out like the tumor that a narcissists is 15 years ago. I am now 51 years old. Never regretted it , nor wondered if I did the right thing, for even a second! Their hate games was a fog I was lost in for years. I had to feel my way out. Once the fog cleared from my mind, my Sanity started to show itself. Both have died since. I was happily over the moon when I found out the female covert was dead. Such a huge relief(!!) for there not to be even a remote possibility to be subjected to her guilt hell realm ever again. She lived in the same area, and we had a few mutual people in our lives. I obviously did not go to her memorial that was put on by, and attended by, her narcissistic fan club. I would have been there to bury(!) her, not “praise” her hate-filled guilt existence. Like this blog said though, even in their death their bs is still played out, and food for the other narcissists in the “family” narcissistic cult. But, I continued absolutely NO CONTACT with any of the remaining haters (there is no hater like a narcissist), and dealt with her estate proceedings only through the attorney overseeing the matter. I saw the overt male (hitler wanna-be) narcissists obituary on the web a few years later when something in me felt nudged to google his name. What a beautiful site to see! No better narcissist, than a dead one! Sounds harsh? Not to anyone who has been subjected to their extreme hate, verbal abuse, mind games, and relentless attempts at contact with complete disregard to your boundaries. It feels like the final ‘victory’ when they no longer have a body to use for their hate. Only a sadistic person would grieve or be sad about a narcissist dying. What Valuable Lesson did I learn from them, and their other narcissistic/sociopath off-spring? They taught me, very harshly, what is NOT Love! I learned (by force really) that my Security is within, not without. Especially in any human relationship. I became aware that they had no ability to destroy the Love and Peace in my essence, no matter how hard they tried. And their whole existence is spent in trying to do that in them self, and in everyone else. Most of all I learned they are not WORTH giving up Peace and Sanity for. AT ALL. EVER. When they cross my mind now I chuckle to myself at the absurdity of their behavior/ploys. It was so ridiculous. I also learned what a huge lie(!) this world upholds about your “family” being your main source of love and support. I also have come to see that it is the narcissists and sociopaths themselves who uphold that lie. What a hell realm they “live” in. That is their choice. My choice was to simply walk away. Completely. For good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      That’s a very interesting point about narcissists and sociopaths being the ones who encourage the continuation of the myths of what family should be and what the rules of it are. If relationship becomes a prison and hostage situation, and love is Stockholm Syndrome or a tool of blackmail, then chances are a narcissist is involved in it.

      I don’t think that family being a source of love and support is a complete lie. It is exactly that for those who are a part of a healthy family. Healthy families don’t usually make a big deal or show of it because they’re not competing in the perfect family Olympics, they’re not trying to impress an audience, they’re just doing what comes naturally and feels right. Love isn’t bondage in those families, it’s a bond which people willingly and gladly enjoy having.

      Narcissistic families, on the other, make a big deal out of it, everything they say and do is for show, they’re performing for an audience, competing in the perfect family Olympics, and they expect every member of the team to play their part to win the ultimate prize. If you have to take steroids, cheat, lie, steal, pretend, and sacrifice yourself to live the narcissist’s fantasy version of family, then that’s what you have to do or you’ll be scapegoated, excommunicated, or thrown into a volcano as a sacrifice to the angry god of the narcissistic family. It’s basically The Godfather.

      There’s a celebrity family which comes to mind as an example of the narcissistic family and what that entails. It’s actually rather useful that they exist and are so high profile because it has made it so much easier to explain to people who have never experienced having parents who are narcissists what it is like to be in that kind of a family, and why if you can you get the hell out you grab the chance and never regret it.

      You’re spot on about the lessons learned from growing up with narcissists. They’re the perfect example of the negative side of many things. It certainly makes you appreciate the opposite, and take stock of what truly matters in life.

      I also walked away. Best decision ever! Recently I got dragged back in due to my father’s death. I also used lawyers. I hired one just to deal with my mother because there was no way in hell I was ever going to interact with her directly. That lawyer got caught up in her routine of being a poor poor victim of this and that and offered to facilitate a reconciliation. I said ‘No, thank you’ then waited for him to find out why for himself rather than try to explain it. He eventually requested to be taken off the case because he couldn’t stand talking to my mother (having her shout abuse at him when things didn’t go her way and tell him all about the dramatic conspiracy theories which her mind invents). My other lawyer thought I was exaggerating (and a crackpot) when I told them what my mother was like and how she would behave. People have to experience a narcissist for themselves to believe it.

      I probably wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it, and it took me a long time to accept that it was the way that it was because I kept hoping it wasn’t. Once you accept the harsh reality, it frees you from being stuck in it. It can be hard to accept. I do understand why people stay stuck in it. I stayed stuck in it longer than I should have, but in some ways that made me never waver once I decided to get out and stay out.

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    • Thank you for speaking so openly about this! I know some people who suffer from this disorder. 2 of them I shut out of my life last year. It’s sad because the main player, my older sister, still tries to attack me by using triangulation in the family. It’s like I am constantly finding new people that I have to distance myself from because she contacts people to see if they have spoken to me and then she pretends to be a victim of my heartless behavior. Of course everyone believes Her.they were never her target. Well not that they were aware. Theres the uncle she always told everyone was a child molester and a pervert. But she only told us that so we would avoid him. That’s how she got to be the sparkle in his eyes. I thought she had outgrown her childhood jealousy and hatred of me since we are now in our forties. It seems she was only pleasant to my face all these years because she needed to be in my personal life so she could secretly destroy my reputation with her twisted versions of the stories.
      I also have the misfortune of working with one. He’s always had a hatred for me because I have the highest seniority. Seniority at work doesn’t mean much to me but to him it means everything! He began talking about his seniority shortly after his hire when he would talk to temps. He pretended to be my friend but behind my back he was telling other people awful stories about me. He would twist things that I said jokingly in to a real life version of something horrible. He would do it right in front of me, completely disarming me and throwing me off guard.
      He would say nasty things as women who were temporary workers would walk by us. Making reference to their weight and personal hygiene. Then he would run in to the office to tell the boss the things “I” had said. If any of the women would confront him he would blankly stare and tell them he he didn’t say it, only later he would privately tell them they must have misheard the voice because it was me who was saying such things. I was constantly being brought to the office for discussions about my behavior. I was completely confused about what was going on! Everytime I discussed it with my “friend ” he would just chuckle. I’m stupid! The trouble maker was him all along! I didn’t know it until one day, a manager, who also thought this kid was his friend, was sick of being accused of things he didn’t do. He put in his 2 week notice on a friday. By monday, we were informed that our “friend” was his replacement as manager. The kid was almost glowing with pride! Not because of his well deserved promotion but because of his ability to manipulate people with so much drama, caused by him, and instead of being reprimanded he had been rewarded!
      Well, he still works there. He just gets the workers to target me with his BS. Some do. Some don’t care to get caught in that type of work drama. The bosses still adore him. At least that’s what he tells everyone. He openly tells people he is going to take the plant supervisors job. He is the most pleasant and agreeable person towards the boss.
      Anyway, I hate to say this, but some of the things you have said I completely agree with. I think, who would miss these people and why would I be upset or even waste time pretending to be upset if they were gone? They cause so much misery for so many people and far to many people ignore the gut feeling that somethings not right. They are mean and malicious people who only serve their own needs and wants. They recruit others to do their dirty work. Later, they turn on those people by pointing out all the bad things they’ve done even though they were only doing what he told them was right.
      I often thought if thinking about how I would react if these particular people had passed, which would honestly be relief with a little joy and satisfaction, was narcissistic in itself.
      There are people who still believe they are loved by the narcissist. These people would be grieving. How could I withhold from dancing when someone who caused me so much misery was finally gone? I guess that’s what it means when they say they still target you from the grave.

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      • Stevie, Very well said!! Your description of your sister could have been written about my female “parent” ( I use that label for technical reasons only). To feel relieved (at the very least!) I feel is appropriate when a person who spent their whole life perfecting their skill at manipulation, abuse and games passes.Otherwise, It would be like the prisoners in the concentration camps feeling sad because Hitler committed suicide?! Narcissists and sociopath’s project that same energy, but it is usually on a one on one personal level, and often times covered with a false sweet veneer. Also, every single one of them that I have personally known over the course of my life (which has been a lot!! I am well schooled.) has at one point or another gloatingly acknowledged they choose to be that way. Who in their Right mind would miss that when they go?? Or grieve over that?? In my opinion it would be someone who has not looked deep enough in them self, and found what it is in them that was participating in that unhealthy interaction. There is something inside them SELF they are grieving the loss of from that interaction, it isn’t the person who died they are truly grieving the loss of. Also, one thing I have seen is narcissists and sociopaths do NOT love anyone! They use others and exploit others only…. including their children, siblings, spouses, “friends”, everyone! I think there is far too much being said about how “they can’t help it, or it is a mental disorder”. They can help it. They don’t want to. It work’s for them. Period.

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      • Real true but when you tell a narcissist they’re right they get worse and way more abusive. The only way to let go is to have a plan. It’s a matter of survival. Outlive the narcissist. I had no money, I had to escape to jail to see what I could do for myself without their interference and now my son’s father is a narcissist. I felt kill or be killed still- feel that way. It’s a kidnapping in my case and the judge’s always rule against me to prove a point. “I’m going to make an example out of you” the 7 different judge’s said; at every milestone in my life lost a lot of privileges for college, work and success. My folks stole all of my belongings and shortchanged me. I need to get a very healthy distance from the narcissists…My thoughts are for blessings for positive supporters and to stay away from the negatives of these narcissists. They’re always jealous of our human kindness. My hope is to remain a better example for my child and to teach my child to be free from narcissism, and to remain positive and surround himself with positive supporters. Please keep an arms length…Move forward, remain positive, and believe in ourselves. Focus on our owning our future.

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    • It can seem that way especially when you’re dealing with someone who is at the extreme end of the narcissistic spectrum, but that type of narcissist can cause as many problems when they’re dead as they did when they were alive because they plan ahead and tend to leave a big mess for others to tidy up.

      Narcissists are well described by that old rhyme – When they are good they are very very good, but when they are bad they are horrid.

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      • I couldn’t have said it better. The narcassist in my family was my Mother who has passed. Because of her lies and the fact that everything was about her at the cost of the family we have no family anymore due to her. Although she is gone the damage has been done and now the siblings don’t even talk to one another.

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  35. Thank for validating all the insanity I grew up with…my family still attempts to gaslight me & I recently decided to have zero contact & finally be free to be who I am. SMART FISH DON’T BITE 🙂

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  36. I think experts are created from experience. I rather take advice from someone who has gone through what I have gone through than someone who just studied on it. Life experience is the best teacher.

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    • Thank you very much for sharing 🙂

      I also prefer the advice of those who’ve lived an experience rather than those who’ve only studied it. Those who study a subject can be insightful and wise, but they often miss the subtleties which come with living. Life experience is a lesson we can’t avoid.

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  37. Hello and thanks for this empowering post. For 21 years I have lived in peace, after my mother’s ultimate and worst betrayal at which point I told her that from that moment she was “dead” to me. In one second my feelings for her disappeared and I thanked God for it. In these my free years I have been able to enjoy life and accept and learn to love myself warts and all and I am grateful for it.
    Of course in these years she did try through others to arouse my sympathy and make me feel guilty for “abandoning” her, but I was not going back to the pattern of 45 years in which she tortured my soul and tried to break me.
    But haha….they never give up do they?
    Last week I turned 66. She is now 92!!! The day before my birthday there was a card in the post box. “Happy birthday blah blah”….ending. ….” I will pray to God to release you from your association with the devil. God loves you and wants to save your soul like he did mine”.
    Naturally once again she managed to hit a raw nerve. I know her games and yet it upset my whole day.
    Then, unbelievably, two days after my birthday another card. “Happy birthday blah blah…..you really should try to better yourself like I do, I pray that you may be relieved from your bad thoughts and come to see me”.
    Of course all the old history has been racing through my mind the last few days and completely upset my apple cart after so long. I wanted to write and give her a bit of my mind but I know she just closes up and hears nothing. Then I decided to write a kinder reply instead as she is so old. So….she has succeeded once again in confusing me……wondering…should I fight back or just forget it and carry on being happy. I know I should do the latter but it is hard to take abuse and not react.
    Both my father and brother at times grabbed her and bashed her head against the wall so frustrated they were with her games and I could see that she enjoyed it. In fact she provoked them to then blame them. Attention at any price!!!!
    These people are really hard to bear and capable of ruining lives. Why oh why??????

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing 🙂

      As I was reading your story I could predict what was coming next and feel those shifts which happen within because the story is familiar. There’s nothing like a narcissist parent’s ability to use a ‘special’ day to make contact and turn what might have been a good day into a bad one. They’re like a big black heavy cloud of noxious substances but they usually see themselves as pure sunshine.

      Birthdays are their favourite to use because they gave birth to you and you owe them your life for that – it’s the ultimate emotional blackmail from a narcissist parent day.

      Thinking that God is on their side (and working for them) is typical even if they’re not religious. This is a post about a narcissist mother doing to her son something similar as your mother did with you – https://thenarcissistsson.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/ill-pray-for-you/ – it’s an insightful post, one which speaks clearly about what it is like to be the child of a narcissist, having to deal with a parent who is completely oblivious to anyone but themselves.

      When my parents resurfaced in my life (due to my father’s death) after years of NC I found myself going into a deep funk. All the old reactions, patterns, programming, came rushing out of storage. The old confusion and desperation, powerlessness and helplessness returned with a vengeance, as did the intense anger. It was like being sucked back into the past where they dominated my life and I was constantly being dragged through one crazy drama after another, used as a pawn for some game they were playing. I felt as though everything I had created for myself during the No Contact years was suddenly smashed into pieces and it was back to square one. I want to find a cave and hide in it.

      The thing is that nothing you ever do makes any difference to them – but it does make a difference to you. So whatever you do has to be done because you’re doing it for yourself. You have to be utterly selfish when dealing with a narcissist because they are utterly selfish.

      A narcissist parent is stuck in their routine, they’ll keep doing what they’ve always done. As they age it can become more erratic, more crazy, but it’s still the same old stuff. And nothing will change it or them. What your mother wants is the only thing which matters to her.

      Narcissists usually want attention, and they often don’t care if it is positive or negative, in fact sometimes they prefer negative attention – hate, anger, etc – because somewhere in their twisted minds that means you care more about them. The drama is more exciting when you’re angry with them and they get more out of it. It’s as though they’re feeding of your energy – and angry energy is very nourishing to them. When you ignore them it kills them, so any attention is better than none at all.

      Choosing to be happy and carrying on with what you’ve been doing which has worked well for you all these years = ‘not taking the abuse’. By living your life on your terms, your way, free from her, you’ve made the best statement to yourself that you’re not going to put up with her abuse anymore. Not reacting isn’t ‘taking the abuse’, it’s the opposite because what she wants from you is a reaction one which will get you caught up in her version of reality again.

      Whatever you decide to do, whatever you do – do it because you need and want to, and don’t pick on yourself for whatever you do – support your decisions and remember that you can change your mind at any point and do something else. If you contact her, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay in contact. You’re allowed to be erratic in your approach. You’re allowed to be confused. If you want to fight back, do it, but remember it won’t make any difference to her, she’s not going to hear you, listen, understand, and she may enjoy it because it’ll mean she has your attention and that’s what she wants. She’s bored and needs drama.

      You are free even when there are times you feel as though you’ll never be free, so do what you do, let yourself do it, and let yourself not do it when you don’t want to do it.

      The ‘Why oh why?????’ is because they’ve got a whole lot of twisted crazy mess going on inside of them and they are trying to get away from it, avoid it, distract themselves, escape from the big black hole of awful within, get someone else to deal with it for them, passing their wound and mess on. It’s like the story of the lion with a thorn in its paw who lashes out at everyone because it is in pain, only with narcissists you can’t take the thorn out of their paw and make them better.

      Take good care of yourself and be gentle with yourself.

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