Signs That You’ve Been Abused by a Narcissist



Do you recognize that you’re doubting yourself more than you ever have before?

Victims of narcissistic abuse often appear uncertain of themselves, constantly seeking clarification that they haven’t made a mistake or misheard something.

This reactive adaptation to narcissistic abuse is because the narcissist is ALWAYS finger pointing and shifting blame to YOU for ALL of the ups & downs both in the relationship AND in the narcissist’s personal psyche.
Because this relationship has NON EXISTENT boundaries, you will find YOURSELF constantly PUT UPON and FORCED to accept responsibility for things you didn’t do or say. This borrowed humiliation and shame is exactly what the narcissist intends for the victim to take from the narcissist. Their own unfelt core of shame.



Just refer to the above explanation of self doubt and boundary transgression if you want to understand the CONFUSION that is part and parcel of narcissistic abuse.

Daily boundary transgression and criss crossing of responsibility starts to wear on even the clearest minded of targets.
Suddenly you wake up and realize that all the realities and borders between yourself and others is not only BLURRED but MISSING.

It’s confusing to KNOW that you aren’t responsible for someone else’s behavior, thinking and feeling but to be CONSTANTLY SCOLDED for behaving, thinking and feeling as if you ARE.

It’s crazy-making and a narcissist purposefully causes this confusion. They know that a divided and conquered mind is their most vulnerable and susceptible target who won’t be able to identify that their confusion is caused by an abusive technique called ‘gaslighting’.

Gaslighting is a technique of psychological abuse used by narcissists to instill confusion and anxiety in their target to the point where they no longer trust their own memory, perception or judgment.  With gas lighting, the target initially notices that something happens that is odd, but they don’t believe it.  The target attempts to fight the manipulation, but are confused further by being called names or told that they’re: ‘Just Too sensitive’, ‘Crazy’, ‘Imagining things’ or the narcissist  flat out DENIES ever saying anything hurtful. Gradually, the target learns not to trust their own perceptions and begins doubting themselves.  Broken and unable to trust themselves, they isolate further. The target now doubts everything about themselves: their thoughts and opinions, their ideas and ideals. They become dependent on the narcissist for their reality.

For it is in your CONFUSION and acceptance of responsibility that belongs to the narcissist, that a narcissist is able to successfully CONTROL YOU and USE YOU as a scapegoat for their problems.


Every minute of every hour of every day of every year, a Narcissist, who has a DSM classifiable personality DISORDER (ie: not playing with a full deck) is PROJECTING their disorder onto those around them. If you don’t think that having a crazy person constantly blaming you for being “crazy” will make you crazy, I’d like to introduce you to a narcissist that will convince you otherwise.

This disorder isn’t a relationship gone wrong. This disorder isn’t kid stuff. It’s MALEVOLENT. It’s a transference of malevolence and MENTAL DISORDER from the person who has it to the person who DOESN’T.LOVE QUOTES (39)

Frankly, before a narcissist, I’ve not once in my life, FELT CRAZY. Neither have I ever been told by a psychologist and I’ve seen lots of them – that I had anything WRONG with MY own MENTAL HEALTH. Personally, I always had it “together”. I was resilient, mentally tough, and withstood many events in my life that would make others crumble.

Yet, when I unwittingly dated someone with this serious mental health malady, I wanted to slam an entire set of broken porcelain down his throat sideways and every obtuse moron that believes the garbage that comes out of his mouth. No, it’s not that I suddenly became a person interested in physical violence, I suddenly became a person who was witnessing a DSM category all wrapped up into a physical being – who turned his mental health problems ON Me. I became a target of a person with a problem. They say, “Hurt people, HURT people”. I say, “Narcissistic People DESTROY PEOPLE”.



All I could muster to the narcissist in my dear john letter when I broke up with him that wonderful New Year’s Eve, was “I DONT KNOW what’s WRONG!! But I just don’t feel like myself. Something feels EXTREMELY TOXIC and I don’t know why”…..This should be the alert when a victim of narcissistic abuse presents themselves to therapists. The inexplicable “complaint”.

My first visit to my therapist were those words exactly. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but It’s SERIOUS!” I felt it. I did – I felt BEWILDERED inside, but I could not articulate what it was. (another red flag for someone usually able to articulate every feeling and explanation about myself in-depth).How was it that after 43 years of explaining, analyzing and discussing my own deficiencies quite well, I could NOT for the life of me explain to my therapist what was so “wrong” with me that it was palpable. His answer, set me free, it really did. 


My therapist had some background with this person. He’d WITNESSED the narcissist calling me, berating me during sessions. I held the phone away during one session, so that my therapist could hear the narcissist on the other end questioning me about cheating, “Accusing me of having an affair with the therapist”.  Grilling me about what the therapist looked like and would speak to me like. He even accused the therapist of wanting me sexually and that was the reason the therapist spoke so lowly of the narcissist. (of course it couldn’t just be that the narcissist had a bad reputation and the community was on to him)

Sufferers report that their spark has gone out and, even years later, find they just cannot get motivated about anything.

Unaware that we’ve been living in a war zone with a tyrannical narcissist, we can’t quite grasp the words to articulate the abuse, yet at the same time, we VERY MUCH FEEL IT. We present ourselves to the mental health community, incapable of speaking about an abuse we yet know nothing about. Until that word, “NARCISSISTIC ABUSE” is given to us, we have NO IDEA that is what’s causing our pain. That’s why it’s SO IMPORTANT to get the word out there, what narcissists look like, their modus operandi, the words and phrases they use, so that when a victim of their abuse begins looking for answers, they quickly will be able to identify that they are involved with a narcissist.

In Narcissistic Victim Syndrome you are looking for a cluster of symptoms to emerge many are the symptoms of trauma (avoidance, loss of interest, feeling detached, sense of a limited future, sleeping or eating difficulties and nightmares, irritability, hyper-vigilance, easily startled, flashbacks, hopelessness, psychosomatic illnesses, self-harming, thoughts of suicide etc).Some victims develop Stockholm Syndrome and want to support, defend, and love the abuser despite what they have gone through.


Victims tend to ‘dissociate’ or detach from their emotions, body, or surroundings. Living in a war zone where all forms of power and control are used against you (intimidation; emotional, physical and mental abuse; isolation, economic abuse, sexual abuse, coercion, control etc), the threat of abuse is always present. Dissociation is an automatic coping mechanism against overwhelming stress.

dissociation 3

Symptoms of dissociation resulting from trauma may include depersonalization, (disconnecting your body awareness from your physical self) psychological numbing, disengaged from life and passions, or amnesia regarding the events of the abuse.

It has been hypothesized that dissociation may provide a temporarily effective defense mechanism in cases of severe trauma; however, in the long-term, dissociation is associated with decreased psychological functioning and adjustment.

Other symptoms sometimes found along with dissociation in victims of traumatic abuse (often referred to as “sequelae to abuse”) include anxiety, PTSD, low self-esteem, somatization, depression, chronic pain, interpersonal dysfunction, substance abuse, self-mutilation and suicidal ideation or actions. These symptoms may lead the victim to erroneously present the symptoms as the source of the problem.


Let’s face it. If I didn’t mention PTSD, or Complex PTSD, I would NOT be doing the topic of narcissistic abuse syndrome ANY justice.

Ptsd, in layman’s terms? From a fellow sufferer? A Cerebral anxiety attack that makes your whole body come alive with PALPABLE FEAR. The rapid heart beat, the intrusive and spinning thoughts and fears – just like the abuse is CURRENTLY HAPPENING SEQUENTIALLY ALL OVER AGAIN. This is called RE-LIVING.  It’s as if the traumatic abuse event is occurring in the present tense. All the emotions of fear, shame, shrinking, wincing, looking over your shoulder & walking on eggshells waiting to be attacked ruthlessly AGAIN.     ptsd

Physical numbness -

(toes, fingertips, lips) is common, as is emotional numbness (especially inability to feel joy).

Avoidance -

of places, sounds, tastes, and songs that remind them of their abuser or the abuse. Intense feelings of anxiety even in anticipation of having to revisit the memories.

Memory Loss – Almost all targets report impaired memory. Partially due to conscious avoidance as well as from the damage done to the hippocampus, an area of the brain linked to learning and memory.

Need for solitude / tendency to isolate -
We’re EXHAUSTED after narcissistic abuse. Feelings of withdrawal and isolation are common; we just want to be in our own head for a while, find our own answers; thus, solitude is sought.

Lack of Joy and Hope -
Inability to feel joy (anhedonia) and deadening of loving feelings towards others are commonly reported. One fears never being able to feel love or trust again.

The target becomes very gloomy and senses a foreshortened future sometimes with justification. Many targets ultimately have severe psychiatric injury, severely impaired health and/or stress related illnesses.

Melatonin became my new best friend after narcissistic abuse. The nightmares and night terrors can be overwhelming that good restorative sleep becomes impossible.  Napping became my new favorite passion.

Sleep becomes almost impossible, despite the constant fatigue; such sleep as is obtained tends to be unsatisfying, unrefreshing and non-restorative. On waking, the person often feels more tired than when they went to bed. Depressive feelings arrive very early in the morning, making falling back to sleep an impossibility.  Feelings of vulnerability and loneliness may be heightened overnight.

Anxiousness, Guilt & Disturbing thoughts – 

Targets have an extremely short fuse and are easily irritated. The person frequently experiences obsessive visions of violence happening to the narcissist  hoping for an accident for, or murdering the narcissist; the resultant feelings of guilt further limit progress in healing.

Fight or Flight Response – 

With your system on alert for ever-present danger in the environment it’s easy to react sensitively to sudden changes – causing the startle response.

Awareness of symptoms – 

It’s very harrowing to realize that you are different from you were before the narcissist; FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT. When you are very aware that PTSD has replaced the narcissist, it emotionally drains the target of any hope for being PERMANENTLY NARCISSISTIC FREE. We don’t want to be constantly reminded and aware of the person we escaped. We want to live freely, however symptoms, are a constant reminder that we DON’T.

Posted on December 1, 2013, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 129 Comments.

  1. I have difficulties trusting people, due to being raised by extremely narcissistic parents who would put me down for being honest about myself, even when I was as young as three or four. And for some reason, a number of the people I’ve met later in life have solidified that distrust, continuing to teach me that opening myself up is dangerous and bound to lead to hurt.

    While I still have trouble trusting people, I’ve found that one way to break the Narcissist’s Spell, is to open your most vulnerable spots up to them, and dispassionately note their response.

    I wanted to give a narcissist a last chance because I was young and had deep emotions I couldn’t let go (sounds like many here have been in that exact situation), and told him something dark, private, and vulnerable about my family life when I was growing up–something I had never told anyone else. This was the last chance, I felt it intuitively. His response would tell me what kind of person he was, and if he could ever show me love or kindness when I truly needed love and kindness. His response to my meaningful and personal tale was: He ignored it. IGNORED IT. If the topic wasn’t about validating him, or something he could use in attempt to manipulate me, it wasn’t a worthy topic. “I just told you something deeply personal and disturbing.” I said to him. Again, he brushed it off, making light of it. “I’ve made some poor choices in my life,” I said, describing him. He didn’t defend himself, he didn’t reverse or even show any latent caring.

    That broke the spell. I realized then and there, he truly did not care about me AT ALL. While depressing, it liberated me from the entire song and dance routine Narcissists do, stringing you along, never giving you what you truly deserve, but keeping the hope alive that someday they will care and treat you well.

    Just sharing my POV. I think this could be a helpful tactic for those who are trapped in the web of a Narcissist. While definitely emotionally raw, it exposes their front to the light of Truth, and there’s nowhere to hide then. When I was growing up, undergoing so much parental abuse and their put-downs, a small part of me still held out hope that my parents loved me, and even though they were destroying me, that they still cared for me. In romantic entanglements, the deep intimacy that sex and romance can bring, that attitude showed itself in a way that it didn’t in other parts of life.

    Try this tactic. It really does work. DEMAND that you be cared for, and let the garden weed itself. He didn’t care.

  2. I was engaged for a few years to a guy like this: lied to me, used me, stole from me, manipulated me, belittled and controlled me, intimidated me, he would flip out and go into a tizzy over almost anything, I lived walking on egg shells never knowing when the next flip out would come, why or how long it would last. If I questioned him, because he was convinced of his own perfection he would become unbearable to live with. One time, for example he stole from a store, he had a good job and no reason to steal he was just a raving nut case- I demanded he return the merchandise, but being a narcissist he seemed to truly believe rules did not apply to him and he could do whatever he wanted to- he screamed and ranted and raved for 4 hours. It was like this all the time. The man was so full of himself if someone didnt kiss his butt and tell him how perfect he was he would go all out ballistic for days. Another time he literally stormed out of a reception for his job because two in a company of 2,000 people got awards for their work and he didn’t, because according to him he’s “the best person they have”. I felt so trapped with him. I hated my life. I tried to leave him so many times, but this article is true: living with a nut makes you a little nuts! You can’t think straight anymore. I finally got away by calling off our wedding, moving back home (I’m American and met him here but he was Israeli and I lived for two years with him there) and by making it very clear I thought he was a nut who I would never marry. He wrecked my life for years. Today I’m married to a wonderful man, that nightmare was 5 years ago and I have a baby daughter and living husband. I hear wacko is still alone and my guess is: he’ll die that way like he should. Please if you are with one of these people run like hell: mine was starting to become violent and I suspect maybe cheating also. These people will wreck you, you cannot reason with them, they are not reasonable. Just run like hell. Their lives are and will remain miserable and empty, don’t let them drag yours down with them! Run just run! Smartest thing I ever did!

  3. Thank you for writing this! Thank you! I finally sent this to my abuser and said here is what I have been through. Of course he turned it around and is punishing me with silence. Thank you. This writing has helped me so much!

    • The only best thing to do is to run away and stay strong. They will keep punishing you even harder if you give them another opportunity. They live in anger and you become their punsh sack, so stay away and keep strong. You will find no merci at all, first they will make you believe they “love” you and rather sooner than later an escalated attack will begin. Healing is possible, it might take time but it happens. Stay focus on your healing and if needed find help from a psychologist, in times of darkness and confussion they will take your hand and guide you through.

  4. I would like to know is there really happiness after the narcissist has left. My daughter was involved with a narcissist for 6 and half years . I took him in to live with us he clamied he had know place to go I treated him like he was my son as well as my husband did then little by little he took over my house and our lives including my daughter whom my heart breaks for its been 2 years since he left and he still bothering my daughter . They have a son together . He moved on with someone right away after he left my daughter but does not want my daughter to be happy it seems like .any advice for this family I would really appreciate thank you

  5. Yes, speaking as someone who was involved with a narcissist for almost 13 years, there is happiness. A lot of happiness. But you have to let go of the narcissist, and that’s actually hard. Your sense of worth becomes so wrapped up in the narcissist during the relationship that you have to make effort to find yourself again. In the year after the breakup, I said over and over again that I felt like I was meeting myself again for the first time as if I was old friend who I bumped into at the grocery store. I had lost my identity to the narcissist. I had no feelings of self-worth without the narcissist because I had been stripped of everything about me that made me an individual, so I felt lost and it was like taking baby steps to learn how to walk on my own again. I did, but I had to deal with my own codependency, and be honest about why I’m attracted to narcissists. He doesn’t want your daughter to be happy because she is still supply for him. Most victims of narcissists have a certain level of Stockholm syndrome, and will continue to defend and feed the narcissist even after the relationship ends. I certainly did. Narcissists don’t give up a supply, the supply has to give up the narcissist. It’s up to your daughter.

    I don’t know if you have seen this slideshow, but it’s very informative. The one page I keep returning to is the one that says, “It’s amazing how much destruction one person can cause.”

    I saw so much of myself in it, and it helped me to recognize the pattern and how it affected me. I said so many of the things in this reference at the end of the relationship. I felt as if I had lost my soul, and I was just floating through life without any associations or connection anymore. I didn’t trust my own emotions or judgements anymore, and didn’t know if what I was feeling was valid because I had been told for so long that I was just a drama queen and exaggerated everything, so I suppressed my emotions because I believed that I didn’t trust them. I had been living in a mine field for so long that it was a natural state for me and I got used to living in paranoia and fear. It wasn’t good, but it was familiar.

    The only way to take your life back from a narcissist is to cut off the supply. The best way to do that is to accept the fact that the narcissist never actually loved you, and the relationship was built on nothing but lies and manipulation. And you have to WANT better for yourself, and you have do to something that you have been conditioned to not do by the narcissist: put yourself first. You have to do selfishly and unapologetically.

    • I Thank You so much for the reply .It helps to know we are not alone . I did watch the slide show it helps and it also feels like we were such a fool that me and my daughter and family were. I am trying to help my daughter she does dout herself alot as well as I .since I was a part of the relationship . He was always nice to me because he needed me and my family on his side . When he would get in trouble for things like cheating texting girls even when she got pregnant he cheated on her . He always got out of it because I would be the one to tell my daughter don’t worry it’s ok he won’t do it again . She loved him so much and now she has there son who is three and he will always make the excuse to try to talk to her even though he has a rich girlfriend who he is doing the same thing too . I read so much on this and I have been passing on too my daughter telling her just because you have a son you don’t have to talk too him you can go through your sister . The court also told her that because he has a domestic violence against him last year for making threating phone calls to her about seeing her with someone else . It seems like there is no stoping him he always gets what he wants even if it had been 2 years since he left my daughter and my home . Thank you again .

  6. Only recently have I found out about this toxic term related to my nm. Fifteen years of my life has been wasted by this bitch. All this time I always thought it was me and how she indirectly told me how better the golden child was. All this time I always thought it was my own problem and obviously the words “you think too much” pop up regularly. This slut never forgets to mention how great a mothers love is and one must be filial to their parents, not regarding my dad of course, otherwise the gods will teach you some respect. In every one’s eyes she is the saint, very religious, a Jehovah witness, so she claims.. the only place I see her after life is playing mind games with Satan, since she’s so good at it. She is so god fearing not because she respects the gods but since she already knows the shit she has pulled will reap dire consequences, so as to reserve herplace in heaven, which i highly doubt.

  7. My N makes my life hell daily. There is no escape. He was in jail for 8 months. Most peaceful 8 mo. in my life. He’s out now. And I cry everyday. 20 years of deplorable treatment. Don’t tell me about help. There is none.

    • First let me say I am so sorry he had taking so many years of your life . I know it’s a terrible feeling of not knowing what you can do not too deal with it anymore . My daughter has gone through it for 6 and half years and had a son with him and then he decided he didn’t know what he wanted and got up one day and left and found a rich girl to take care of him and continues to make my daughters life a living hell . It’s been 2 years since the break up she is going out with someone that was a mutual friend and he tells her he don’t want the baby playing baseball with him he stalks my daughter. He calls her all hours when ever he feels like the girl friend broke up with him and he calls my daughter to have sex with him and hang out with him , He does things to undermine my daughter by using his son . There is so much more its just so much to write I am so very sorry for you and my daughter it’s so frustrating I hope your life as well as my daughter gets better .

  8. This is and was my life, I know it’s not me it my fault, I left my ex husband the narcissist, 3 years ago, we have 3 children and going through a very difficult time through the family courts, no therapist has ever used the word narcissist before, however I do remember 2 therapists in the past telling me that the love I had for my husband was odd, unconditional and normally the kind of love you would have for a child,

    • My Daughter too back snd forth to court . It seems like this is never ever going end . Today was a cleaning day and I found my daughters book when she was having the baby she wrote that she had found out that day she was having a boy and that her narcissist was happy and that she could not Waite to have her family and she cod not have picked a better father . It just stood out in my mind a better father 3 years later wow .

  9. I am pretty sure my husband of ten years, is indeed a narcissist. We have four boys, three of them are his. We all walk on egg shells, to make sure no one disturbs dad. He has horrible tantrums, for instance, we are both smokers, the other day I went to school and bought myself a pack before class. When I got home two hours later, he asked if I had gotten him any. When I told him I didn’t, because I figured he would wake up and go get his own, he flew off the handle. I broke down and got him some, then he acted as if nothing had happened. When i told him I was upset with his behavior, he blew up at me again. I just can’t win. The other thing he likes to do is belittle our oldest (who hates him). He yells at all the kids if he is watching tv and they are a little loud. Our ten year old thinks that he hates him. I have tried so many times to discuss my issues with him, he will behave for a little while, and say he is trying, but it always comes back to the yelling, he says it was how he was raised, and I have seen it from his father as well. He tells me that kids should be scared of their parents. I don’t for a second believe this is true. We had a talk about intimacy a few weeks ago, and I told him that we needed to be together more than every two weeks, the first week was great, yet there was still no emotions involved, and I have to initiate it. Then the cigarette fight happened and now it has been over a week of loneliness. Though I checked his browser history and yup, sure enough, he was watching porn. (I don’t normally check, but he did a load of white laundry in the middle of the night, which he never does) He acts as if everything is fine. He has asked me if I am okay, but doesn’t wait for me to reply before leaving the room or he asks while on his phone. I am tired, I do not cry in front of him, I am experiencing pretty much all of the PTSD symptoms mentioned. I am so scared. Last time I felt this bad about him, he made me get on anti-depressants. I was on them for 6 years. Am I crazy, or can he really be a narcissist?

  10. 6 years later, I continue to deal with the effects of being married to a narcissist. It affects all of my relationships, my self worth, and passion for life. I was once a confident, vibrant, and passionate woman. Now I struggle to keep my head up and put on a fake smile. I constantly blame myself for the past with him and relive the bad memories on a daily basis. He continues to harass me 6 years later, even though he’s remarried to the woman he was cheating on me with. I feel that I’ll never escape his torture and be able to move on and heal. The courts don’t help even though he’s violent. My poor children having to grow up in his demented world, is absolutely the hardest part of the entire situation. I pray that they come out mentally healthy and feeling loved because I try so hard to counteract my ex’s impact. It’s so sad to lose yourself because of another person’s mental illness and doesn’t seem to be any escape from it.

    • Dear Tracy, i am exactly the same way. Im currently preparing again to go to court and Im terrified. Over the past 3 years exN has taken me to court 4x.. Im amazed they even entertain the minute issues but whats painful is that no one seems to acknowledge me. Warring parents can appear just that so I feel they dismiss the important issues. Sometimes I want to explain my issues but then it makes me think the person listening is wondering what I did to make him that way and then im back to self blaming again.. Im so happy to find this resource and this morning I prayed again. Something I stopped doing because of him and how he makes me feel. I do have a little anger that court officials and child speacialists and the counssellors I have seen iver the years never recognised my victim status and circumstance. I woke up today, wanting to educate myself more on the subject so I can offer the proper support needed in cases like this. Lord knows I’ve suffered enough mental torture to be able to connect with others like ourselves. I will be praying for us all to get back our ‘full picnic’ :) and put a higher price on our sandwiches for the next relationship :) good luck everyone and thankyou for sharing. I cant express how much this has been a breakthrough! X

  11. Hi, I am so happy to find this site just now!! Tears are streaming now I know whats wrong with me and can finally explain to my family that it is not just me being a cry baby. I used to be confident, happy, with lots of friends and most of all I had a will and desire to succeed in anything I put my mind to. Since getting involved with this guy at 28, having a baby at 30, breaking up at 32, I am just a mess. Honestly its soo much I cant even write some of it because its such a long history. I hate myself for trying to keep him in our sons life by putting up with his shit. I’ve bent over backwards, searched every possible solution and resolution for the issues he always raises that really are more to do with him than me and still its war. Im such a peaceful and compassionate person so I dont understand why Im going through this. Is it my karma for something? Im so so tired and Im scared Im gonna lose my son now because Im just so weak on all levels. He wants to take me to court again, citing I dont clothe our son properly. I had to speak to the school and they wrote a letter saying its utterly ridiculous as our son is very popular, healthy and well attended. Last week during handover of our son, he came at me aggressively, somebody tried to help by pulling him back, now he has reported me for attacking him to the police. That didnt even happen and i know it didnt but somehow I still feel like Im to blame. If i didnt look at him maybe it wouldnt have happened? My family are fed up of it and I can see its making them look at me crazy and I dont blame them because thats how I feel. Im just so happy to find this article cos maybe I can now find a way to explain properly what is happening to me and find proper help because the courts dont seem to acknowledge this type of behaviour and how its affects the environment for the child and the mother to care for the child. On the outside it just looks like your weak and why dont you stick up for yourself but what they dont realise is that when you try to, that evil person manages to distort reality soo much that even your own reality is blurred and all i feel is pain, frustration and confusion. Its affected my ability to work as Im constantly second guessing myself, my thoughts and ideas and really its trapping me and Im getting nowhere. As he is now poisoning our sons mind against me I just want him out of our life totally until our son is more grown and less influenced by his negativity. Thankyou for giving me some light, it has been so dark for me this week.

  12. Jana Maksuta Waltz

    Thank you for helping others in great pain. God bless you.

  13. A very enlightening article indeed! I have been experiencing ALL of these post-traumatic symptoms for years without knowing that other people have gone through the same. I just assumed that I was a failure, a complete oddity, someone who is not sufficiently normal to deserve to feel differently. I have failed everything I have tried to achieve and I believe incapable of being good at anything. Now I know the cause of these problems within me: this is the result of 19 years of living with a sick narcissist!

  14. Please help I just want to feel and love how I used to before ,I dont like feeling scared,or,stressed please any adwice to practice is highly appreciated

  15. Just ended a relationship with a female who was narcissistic. What a ride for 2 yrs, the emotional and physical abuse has driven me past the edge. Im in counselling and though it does help I feel helpless. The best way to describe it is riding the most violent roller coaster known to man. Promises never kept and when I did say something about it she would say I never said that, then being cold shouldered for weeks after that, lies, cheating and put downs were all apart of my last 2 yrs. I tried my hardest but to her it was never good enough. Anxiety from it has also made me question myself if I was crazy. Sleepless nights happened at least twice a weak. Mind games that were very frequent and since ive lost all trust to all except my immediate family. Its been a month and at least once a week I get a text saying I miss u lets fix things and when I do text back she tells me im wishy washy about getting back with you. She did have an alcohol problem which I thought I helped her out with but the whole entire time I found out she was closet drinking. Theres so much more to this story, I bet I could write a book and it become a best seller. Im finally realizing when she said I love you she never meant a word of it.

  16. My ex-husband is a psycho-therapist in private practice. I was emotionally/mentally abused by him for 20 years. Now he is turning on our teenage daughters. These guys are slick, well put together, often professional people who have never addressed a deep sickness within themselves…In my ex’s case his mother was an active alcoholic until the day she died. I am grateful everyday for the therapist who was able to open my eyes. After I presented the first appointment with the statement, “I’m here to figure out if I should get a divorce.” She responded (after ten minutes listening to my story,) “What I’d really like to know is why you think it’s OK to be abused?” The problem is, because there are no visible bruises, broken bones, etc., many people don’t recognize how devastating this type of abuse can be. While I will never get those 20 years back, I now know it was not ME and not MY FAULT that I was so depressed and unproductive. Now I am happy, active, fulfilled, loving and FREE!

  17. Everytime I open up and want to tell my mother about a decision I made, it results in a very very emotional backlash from her whenever she doesn’t agree with my choice.

    I don’t expect her to say nothing when I try to have a heartfelt conversation, but it’s like I’m not allowed to make my own choices in life at all. I get harsly judged and criticized when I open up to her. I don’t feel free as a person at all. I can’t be myself. She tries to make me regret every decision she disagrees with. But I’m not her!

    Every time I feel down, I can’t rely on her for emotional support either. Like I said, opening myself up results in her condemning every thing I tell her if she doesn’t like it. She also comes up with arguments about why my choices will result in failure. If I have a good argument for why I do something, she “searches” for another argument why my choice is bad. And if that argument doesn’t work, she’ll search for another one etc. etc. etc. So in the end it doesn’t matter if I have a logically sound argument for something. It’s never good okay if it isn’t exactly how she wants things to be.

    I’m dealing with a hardcore naysayer that I cannot rely on for emotional support. It’s her way or the highway, even when it comes to personal decisions. I’m not talking about her giving a different perspective on things or advice. No, she actively makes me feel bad about every choice that she doesn’t agree with.

    I feel like I can’t grow as a person if I keep exactly doing what she wants. And I tried to explain this time and time again. But to no avail. She really gives me this feeling that she doesn’t trust me to make my own decisions.

    I’ve now reached a stage where I have to push through this negativity of hers, because if I don’t, I will keep living a life I’m not motivated to live.

    • Wow! Thanks so much for sharing. I sure can identify, I feel exactly the same way in my relationship with my mother. I’m getting treated like one tenth of my age, I feel she doesn’t trust me with any of my decisions; she seems to think she owns me. No matter what, she (thinks she) is always right and there has been so much ongoing criticism and disapproval. I used to try to do what she expected but ended up hating and resenting myself and it hurt my health. I have come to believe that loving her does not mean I cannot be who I am. I will choose to live free to be who God made me to be and if she is upset, let her be upset but I can be happy with myself. I’m at the point of having to pull back and get some space… somehow…

  18. Omg. Right now this very moment im dealing with this abuse. Im scared and i dont even know myself. I think he will kill me

    • Run! I was so lucky that mine left. When I think about long term I feel amazing. My N told me that his ex gf thought that he was goin g to kill her so she had a cop stay with her for protection. That shoulda been MY run point. 6 months of abuse from him and now I dont even recognize myself. I am spending time with friemds and family now. Losing weight and just working on myself. Deep down I hooe and pray he just stays away forever but something says he wont. Please leave before you end up like me. Lonely, confused, and sometimes helpless. I will pray for you.

    • Erin I really hope things are a little better with your situation . As I had stated that my daughter went through it and everyday I will blame myself for it . She met him when she was only 16 and fell in love and 4 years later they had a son . I let him live in my home for 6 years and let him control everybody in my house I was the one that said he could live with us because his mom coukf not take him where she was going so the type of person I am I took him in and pampered him because I felt so sorry that his parents just left him like that he was only 18 at the time no job the first year it was good he did everything for me and my husband and her sisters to make nice to us . Then it started the jealousy came in to it and then putting her down if she would gain a little Waite or didn’t do her hair the way he likes it . My daughter was always a beautiful soul laughing made jokes and comfortable with herself no more he always talked for her and got in good with her friends and deleated the ones that he did not benefit from sad real sad and I still did not see anything wrong . He started taking over my house as if he was the man of the house my daughter quit school because he would question her everyday and time her and day she talk to long and that would start a fight . To make a very long story short after a few months of the baby being born he was not getting any attention he decided one morning to leave for good my daughter and our family were devasted we have done everything for him put him throught school gave him a home and my daughter and bought him a car the a month after he left he found a rich girl to take care of him and he still tries to control my daughter by using there 3 year old son he gives no child support but yet gets to spend 48 houses a week with his son that he does not take care of his mother does . My daughter has a boyfriend for a year now and he is trying to ruin that by telling him all kinds of lies why do they do that I don’t understand let her be happy she does not bother him .

    • Erin, get out now! File a restraining order and go somewhere safe. Please get help.

  19. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
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    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of

  20. I am recovering from a year and a half long relationship with a somatic narcissist. It’s been 6 months since he broke up with me and over 3 months since no contact and I am still struggling. I’m 36 and my ex is 29. We met at work and he was talking/flirting with me for a month before asking me out on a date. As far as I knew he was single. On our second date, we went to a party and he pulled me aside and said there was a girl there who liked him but he didn’t like her and he had made it clear he didn’t like her but she wasn’t taking it well so she might say something to me. If she did, I should ignore her and he made it clear how much he liked me. She was very mad at him and there was talking among his friends about it and drama but I was told by his friends not to worry about it and that it was between the girl and my ex. I later learned that she had been his girlfriend whom he abruptly dumped after our first date but he had always said they were just friends with “benefits” and that he wanted a “real” relationship with me. There was little to no honeymoon period that I could tell, although there was always plenty of flattery, charm and seduction. He flaked on dates, did nothing for me for my birthday(he said he had a surprise and told everyone, but it never came to fruition), flirted with women in front of me, broke promises all the time and was completely unreliable and didn’t care that he let me down or hurt me by braking promises and didn’t try to make amends or make me happy by fulfilling the promises. When confronted, he was immediately defensive and angry. He was mad at me that I was upset with him and always blamed me for what he did somehow, even though there was no evidence to blame me. If I was crying because of his attitude or behavior, he didn’t comfort me or reassure me. He would look confused. He gaslighted me a lot. He would deny blatant evidence of his wrongdoing. He would disappear at the bar or a party we were at for chunks of time and then make an excuse for where he’d been when confronted. He projected all the time. I learned he was cheating on me with two people after two months of dating and it lasted for several months until they found out about me and then at the end of the relationship he was having numerous one night stands, including transgender, and seeing two other people regularly on top of that and dating me! I knew that him telling me he was working on the weekends wasn’t truthful at the time. I was very suspicious but by that time, he was verbally abusing me and had been emotionally abusive for enough time where I was beaten down and felt like I couldn’t live without him despite his blatant horrible behavior. There were good times in between though and he would have good behavior for weeks at a time and then bad for awhile, then back to good. He told me he loved me all the time. We spent time with his family and friends. I had a key to his house. After about 9 months of dating he was talking about marriage, kids and living together. He told everyone we were going to get a place together. At the end though, he was cruel to me consistently and dumped me saying HE wasn’t happy and. He told our mutual friend that he never loved me and that he said it because that’s what I wanted to hear and that he had slept with his ex-girlfriend last summer. He lied to me so much it was ridiculous. I learned that he had been talking badly about me to his female coworker that he was interested in and acting like he was a victim of a bad relationship. He started dating her 1 month after he dumped me. I heard that she has a strong personality and is strong willed and assertive and will not let him get away with his behavior even though he’s tried, so he is being good right now. How can this happen? I didn’t think that a narcissist would tolerate being dominated by his target/supply and allow her to have the power in the relationship. Is he being genuine with her and has he changed? Or is he just waiting and planning his next moves? How does a narcissist act/proceed in this situation? Will it last? I had called him out on his behavior many, many times to no avail. He would just rage right back at me with anger and blame. Sometimes he would act remorseful ( a little bit) and change his behavior for awhile but then revert back. So why is it that he’s able to be put in his place by her or seemingly listen to her and behave? Side note: An affair he was attempting on the side didn’t work out because the other women found out he had a girlfriend.

    It’s killing me thinking that he is being different with her and making me think I was the reason for his behavior after all. Also, my friends and family are not being supportive. They keep telling me to get over it and move on. I’m having a very hard time because they don’t understand. They act like I’m choosing to be angry with him and be upset. They tell me to control myself. I feel like I’m still in hell sometimes.

  21. My ex is a narcissist and has hooked up with a female narcissist. To keep their world looking perfect they have brainwashed our two kids to believe that I am a horrible person. As a result, both children are now living with them. I am very fearful for their mental wellbeing if they live in that environment for a prolonged length of time. It’s very difficult to prove emotional abuse…I know because I went through it with my ex and now my children are going through the same thing. I know court orders will not help as they both have no regard for the law in this regard. How do I protect my children when Idon’t even have contact with them?

  22. proudly gang stalked since 06

    The more you know the better off you are. Read read and read some more. Stay away from these people let them wallow in their own ____ like a pig.

  23. Very interested in your website as I think my mother has been very seriously affected by this type of relationship and has now gone in to a care home. Everyone sais she has dementia, I think she has been gaslighted! Help.

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  6. Pingback: Signs That You’ve Been Abused by a Narcissist | Exposing Narcissism as a co-parent


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