Im So Sorry You’re Hurting

As a moderator of a very active page, I receive alot of email from hurting targets, that are at their wits end, as to how to cope, what to do next, and simply how to SURVIVE in the aftermath of a narcissist.

I feel horrible that I fail you if I can’t respond right away, as I relate to your feelings of being lost & not getting the response you need. (and deserve) Ive been on the receiving end of being put on hold, or not having the support I needed when I reached out for it. It’s a sad, lonely spot to be in.  I am in the process of putting together a type of crisis response team – and to make resources available to provide an immediate band-aid to triage our wounded. Please know in advance, I send up an open and infinite prayer to God that you receive hope & protection immediately – that you feel his presence and loving arms around you – so that you know you are not invisible, ignored, nor alone.

This all being said, Let’s discuss your hurt and some things you can do to right away to start feeling better.

You’re fresh off the narcissist boat, whether you were discarded or you were the one that jumped ship, the pain’s the same. You dont know who you were dealing with yet. You dont have a name for it, you only have the pain. The pain, is EXCRUCIATING; I liken it to a kind of “psychic flu; on steroids”.

It is very typical for a target to feel the following feelings:










SUFFERING FROM PTSD (which in itself has a whole host of symptoms:  intense fear, nightmares, reliving the pain, great sense of having no future, impending doom)





Something in you, makes you sit down at your computer and type the word….”narcissist”. Possibly you typed, abuser, confused, crazy, passive-aggressive, arrogant,etc. All words that when put together – add up to the psychological condition of a person who is clinically defined by the DSM – The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – as an NPD; Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  In lay terms, that stands for “Your Worst Nightmare”.  As you begin to pour over the plethora of information available on the web about narcissists – you suddenly realize that not only does this beast have a name, you also see that left in the wake of a narcissist, there is a TRAIL of wounded victims (targets) that are speaking out about their devastating experience with a person that drove them to their breaking point.

As you begin to identify the behaviors you experienced with someone half the world over that describes the same mental anguish and set of behaviors, you realize, that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  That validation is HUGE for a target.  Narcissistic abusers isolate their victims and pipe their propaganda (brainwashing) into their targets minds OBSESSIVELY.  Because narcissists are incapable of being responsible for themselves, they BLAME the partner and project onto them – all the heinous faults they find in but are UNABLE to accept about themselves. (denial / delusion) A target, therefore leaves this union with non-existent  boundaries and the inability to validate themselves and their own experience.

It is imperative that the target of a narcissist immediately turns off the part of their routine that catered to the narcissist, and TURN THE ATTENTION TO THEMSELVES.  Because I was so brainwashed to meet the narcissist’s needs instead of my own, when I broke free, I would take every time his name, face, etc popped in my head – and used that for a trigger to begin thinking of ME instead.  Id say, ME ME ME or Stop! Then say ME ME ME. Once I got the focus back on myself, I’d then say, Ok…”What do I need?”

We become so accustomed to putting the narc before ourselves that we feel guilty or that we’ll be ugly narcissists like them if we focus on ourselves or say, “me me me”.  But that’s what we NEED to do. Me Me me is not a bad thing for someone who wouldnt in their entire lifetime behave that way on a regular basis; plus, we as targets – arent the one with a mental disorder that harms others.

I define boundaries in this way.
I am responsible for 4 things:
My thinking     My actions
My feelings      My words

Others are responsible for:

  Their thinking  Their actions

  Their feelings and their words

     By owning our own responsibility and asserting our boundaries as they exist between ourselves and the narcissist, we cast back to the narcissist the huge amount of shame and responsibility they laid on us for the duration of our time with them. We dont try to ACTUALLY get the narc to see or do ANYTHING, because we tried that enough when we were with them, to no avail. We know a losing prospect by now, so we dont waste our time trying to get them to see ANYTHING.  At this point, targets should be under STRICT NO CONTACT terms – even if we’re co parenting – as leaving ourselves off limits as a topic of conversation is still NO CONTACT in spirit.  Instead, we cast off the shame by either holding them accountable for crimes they committed against us, which means, obtaining that restraining order, filing police reports and telling the truth about their abusive and stalking behavior.  We no longer remain silent and keep the narcs dirty little secrets. If they dont mind, BEING BAD, then we dont mind telling everyone just how bad they are.


In being responsible for ourselves, we begin to figure out what it is that allowed us to be vulnerable to a narc. Was it that there flattery got somewhere with us? Were we lonely?  Did we not trust ourselves? Are we “too nice”? Do we believe the best in people but not jump ship fast enough when we realize they’re harming us?  Do we not love ourselves enough to walk away from mistreatment?  Whatever it is, is not as important as WHAT WE DO WITH THE INFORMATION.  We MUST be prepared for the daunting task of shoring up our vulnerabilities and facing ourselves with true grit and unabashed honesty.  We only hurt ourselves by not getting this honest.  Whatever it is we learn about us, BE THANKFUL that you are the type of person who is open to understanding your not so healthy traits.  At least you CAN! Remember someone with a personality disorder would NEVER be able nor want to do this.  They can PRETEND they are self depracating or “willing to change” but narcissists dont mean what they say. When they speak, they are GAINING ADVANTAGE of whatever they’ve marked as their “take”. Theyll do and say anything.


They’ll come at you again, when you least expect it. Dont be surprised, be PREPARED! Stare them down, and let them know that the day you left was the day you decided you were no longer their victim. Their inability to face reality or let go of control, is part and parcel with the fact that you dated someone with a disorder in the first place. These people dont go away, just because we WANT them to.  FIGHT THEM every step of the way, even though youre not a fighter. You know the truth. You know that their behavior has a criminal and diagnostic criteria to it, each and every time they act out, report it, and then follow the report all the way up the chain of command until someone takes his actions against you seriously.  We as targets dont want to keep things going, we dont like to fight. We want this done and over with.  PEACE is our goal.


Finally, be relentless in your pursuit of freedom and healing from narcissistic abuse. Dont ever give up, get tired, rest, but get back up. Be gentle and easy with yourself, forgive yourself, learn to trust yourself and above all else, LOVE YOURSELF as much as you thought you loved the disordered one.  Seek counsel, group therapy, read books, get massages, do yoga, meditate, pray, eat well, exercise, generally take care of YOU. You deserve it!!!

Posted on July 30, 2012, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. i suffered what i know are permanent mental problems from a narcissist.this so called former friend of mine mimmicked my personality and claimed it was hers and she also mimmicked my mannerisms,acted like she had my values,interests,thoughts,opinions and everything about me so i would do her some favors at work-it worked twice but i eventually caught on.since i have permanent damage and i can prove it from my psychiatrist i looked online to see if i can win a lawsuit over her for emotional abuse and i never got a response back from anyone regarding this matter.this monster does not care about anybody but herself so it’s not even worth contacting her since she blows off most people and she always will blow me off since she doesn’t want to associate with the person she ruined-if i’m the only one.the damge she caused me affects me everyday as have daily headaches,struggle to get out of bed most of the time,can never work again and have trouble with relationships with everyone i know.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have too suffered at the hands of a narcissist.everything you’ve said is mirror image of what it’s been like. Mine dumped me after 20 years of what I thought was the best marriage. Just a couple of weeks before a huge holiday and six weeks before his daughter wedding. TYPICAL OF THE NARCISSIST. Six months on and divorced he’s continuing to hurt me. He’s been parading his Barbie doll around town. I feel I’m getting there now would never have believed I’d be saying that but I am. The best advice from my solicitor was “silence is golden” good luck to everyone dealing with a similar situation. YOU ARE THE BETTER PERSON AND YOU WILL SURVIVE. X


  3. annette bradley

    Why do we feel so lonely as a victim it appeared everyone that you have met in your life has this disorder has a narcissist is it just me thinking that I’m perfect or have I became I’m narcissist


  4. I just want to say thank you. I have recently managed to break free of an intensely destructive and abusive relationship (3 months zero contact now!) and I never could figure out just what exactly was wrong with this person. I stumbled across your blog because I was googling the Greek God Narcissus (I can’t remember why!lol) and your words hit me like a steam train. Everything just clicked into place and you have described my experience perfectly. So thank you for helping me realise what it was I was dealing with. It has helped me in my recovery, to be able to find peace of mind, and for that I am very grateful.
    As many around me can attest, I am a different person now, and I feel like I’ve probably never been happier. I know this person could come back at me in the future and I expect him to, but I feel prepared now. I will remain vigilant and not let my guard drop again.
    Thanks again.


  5. I mad the mistake of taking him back after he discarded me for the other woman, he said he was not happy so I gave him a second chance we were together for 15 years. He was with her for 2 1/2 months, so I still loved him he came back. The 7 weeks he was here was hell on earth we all thought that he had made a mistake and wanted to come back home, but it wasn’t that at all he wanted money and lots of it, she paid for everything while he was there. So why I said it would be better if we got back together, my view of better is talking this out no arguments etc. He wanted to buy a house he was refused the loan so he wanted me to go out and get a job to help pay for his house. So after that it was hell he went through all the stages of silent treatment to devalued and finaly the discard in about 3 weeks. Because he couldn’t get the money he wanted. So now he’s out looking for someone to get money from to get that house. I went through hell when he left in January started to heal then he comes back we all thought because he missed me and waited to try again, but we were all wrong it was all about money and nothing more there was no affection from him the 7 weeks he was back no hugs kisses and he with held sex also. So he was sneaking out his stuff little by little a real coward, so I packed his stuff for him and he’s finally gone again this time for good. I told him I deserved a man that loves me and to not come back ever again.

    I feel so stupid to think that after 15 years that he felt the way I did but he’s pure evil.
    How do you get over the betrayl not once but twice.


  6. I find myself in a weird position. I’m pretty sure the girls I’m dating exhibits narcissistic tendencies. I find myself stuck. I don’t want to ride this roller coaster anymore for my own health. Yet I don’t want to make this person out to be something or someone who is evil. I understand what she does is holistically harmful. Yet she and others like her are unwell. It’s unfortunate though that theirs is a sickness that one of the main symptoms is denial. I’m understand the pain people feel here. I just wonder if there is something we can do to help. How can we stop the cycle? How can we help these people heal so they may become healthy again? I’m want to be clear I’m not asking how can we take responsibility for them. I’m asking how can we facilitate and environment that is conducive to helping them?


    • I find myself in a weird position. I’m pretty sure the girls I’m dating exhibits narcissistic tendencies. I find myself stuck. I don’t want to ride this roller coaster anymore for my own health. Yet I don’t want to make this person out to be something or someone who is evil. I understand what she does is holistically harmful. Yet she and others like her are unwell. It’s unfortunate though that theirs is a sickness that one of the main symptoms is denial. I’m understand the pain people feel here. I just wonder if there is something we can do to help. How can we stop the cycle? How can we help these people heal so they may become healthy again? I’m want to be clear I’m not asking how can we take responsibility for them. I’m asking how can we facilitate and environment that is conducive to helping them?

      in the sentence girls I’m dating. It was meant to say girl I’m dating. Sorry my phone likes to change my sentences. Its kind of narcissistic :p

      Liked by 1 person

      • First, it’s a compassionate response that you’re having that is a good sign you feel empathy and a desire to help.

        However, sometimes our helping can go too far and we end up enabling the bad behaviors as opposed to doing any good for anyone, including ourselves.

        Narcissism exists on a spectrum Manny, so depending upon the level of narcissism of the person you’re dating will depend on HER ability to break through the denial and see the impact that her behavior is having on others (and herself).

        If the person you’re dating is empathetic and can be responsible for herself, she is likely a candidate that will be able to HEAR someone speak to them about their behavior. Probably best to leave to an independent 3rd party such as a counselor. Narcissism, the disease, PREVENTS reality and truth from sinking in – via defensiveness, denial and projection. (the problem is always OUT THERE, someone else, or YOU, not the narcissist themselves).

        Our answer has always been walk away from these malignant types, because they have an energy and ability to fight your attempts to be healthy and honest. (just as they fight reality)

        You could simply ask, if they’ve heard of narcissism or ever spoke to a counselor. This will be enough of a statement for you to know if you’ve just “started world war 3” I mean, confronted a true narcissist.


  7. Do not feel guilty for what you gave even if nobody recognizes it. There is good in what you’ve done, but now you must focus on yourself. God loves all of us even the ones who cause others great pain. I am still living with my pain but have begun to see, feel, taste and touch the world again. I will never make this mistake again and will allow my love for that person to continue but in a healthy way. They will never know what you went through. That is ok. All goods deeds are noticed. I am sorry you hurt but you are not alone. Keep your head up. Someone will give you what you truly deserve. It takes time but someone will notice you and love you the way you deserve to be loved.


  8. tiny words on a tiny phone plz forgive typos I miss. For some reason my spellcheck decided empathy should be apathy. Apathetic is the last word I’d use to describe myself. Unless in terms of this takeship


  9. Funny I’m reading reading reading and I’m so amazed and grateful to have found this site with all it’s links. I’m feeling better. It’s been a long crazy road. As I read through the posts and comments I found myself lol or just busting out in tears, feeling sorry for myself. I have endured enough and yet, still I reach out to this hateful person. What a serious idiot I was. I believed the negative stuff even knowing it wasn’t true because I’ve been healing from my past and having a tremendous breakthrough when we met. Years of healing down the drain. My soulmate turned out to be an imp. Straight from my own personal hell. I shared everything with this manchild. Including my private thoughts that I wouldn’t tell a soul. And he used all of it against me. All of it! Nothing was off limits. I stopped knowing which end was up, so stayed down. I finally decided to take action. Seek real help. I’m excited and fearful of my future but at least now, finally free of him, I actually have a future. And I’m no longer afraid, not really, of the smear campaign. Been there. Done that. I am afraid of the stalking. Trying to get me back. Not something I thought he’s fo. He was too good for that. Plus I was not good enough to try and win back. Experience says otherwise. So now my life is a game for him to play. I don’t think so. Thanks to these websites and my inner strength, I know I will grow past this trauma drama. I do in little ways. Moment to moment. I’m seeing this ugly person for who he really is. While I used to feel so bad for him, still do, I will never allow him to hurt me, in anyway again. I cannot thank you enough. Plz forgive me if I seem vague or confused. I have read so much valuable info and want to respond to so much. At the same time I know he cones to these sites. I’m so afraid I may give myself away. But I’m just so deeply grateful for the knowledge and empathy I cry and have to thank you. I feel sorry for the people he may find online. He’s a predator. Less a lion and more a hyena or magpie, stealing others’ accomplishments calling them his own. I used to be infatuated with his larger than life persona. Then the name dropping or flat out lies to make himself look like somebody doing big things. It got annoying over the years. His way of bring did not match mine. I fo not know how I did not see this. There were warning signs but I didn’t see them. I think because he just told me who he was. Straight up. I thought, surely he’s not that bad. We all have things we need to work on. I changed my bad behaviors but still back slide from time to time. So I ignored his disclosure. God, why? Thinking love, esp my love, would conquer all. Well here I sit, feeling exactly like every posts describes. Shell-shocked. Like wth just happened. Love? No! Definitely not. I have no privacy. He’s added every group, page, interest of mine on Facebook so I cannot follow you there, he calls my family, or claims he does. It’s ridiculous. Apparently, I’ve attracted this personally for quite some time. Again thx to you and all the individuals giving of their time and helping us get through this. I could not be here now, if I had not come across these post. Anupturnedsoul was exactly how I felt years ago, during the beginning of my imprisoned life and added you on Facebook. I can’t even go there for uplifting…he now does that. Watching those post bring me joy, he stole it lol I will slowly reintroduce all my loves back into my life. He has won nothing. Understanding him, I am working on releasing the anger, holding onto the lessons and remaining apathetic, and moving on into the joy I was creating when he “love-bombed” his way into my life. Thank you for allowing my expression. Too often I’m left feeling as though my pain doesn’t matter. “You went back to him. Why should I care?” You shouldn’t. I no longer try to explain. I tell them to Google it if they really want to understand the question of why I stayed. I really can’t answer that. Not and have it make sense! I just know, this time around, I am determined to stay gone. His silence is deafening. I will fill it with joy 🙂 if you’re reading my words and feeling trapped…you can do it. If I, love starved fool that begged him to take her back over and over again over the years (who does that but a fool…he stopped talking to me. I was free. I begged him back. I got what I deserved.) Never again. I tried to go it alone before. Now I have support here, if nowhere else. You are a godsend…this time has been my “dark night of the soul”. These pages then, are answers to my prayers of “Please help me. I just want out!” Amen


  10. From NarcShark,
    I too have rececntly come out of a ‘relationship’ with a N. For the 20 months we were together, it was such a rollercoaster ride of amazing highs and devastating lows. We must have broken up at least 4 times during those 20 months (2 times for me, 2 times for him.) but, I always wanted us to get back together because the reason we broke up in the first place didn’t seem that bad! Towards the end he would say the most cruel things to me, ie: making crude comments to other women in front of me but, the icing on the cake was when he dumped me, he said that he didn’t respect me and that he was only using me for sex for the last six months and now has met someone else who he is ‘happy’ with! I mean, how do you get over something like that?


  11. It has been 12 yrs since I broke down and sought help. Five yrs since I finished the divorce. Also born with ADHD. Before meeting her I was a happy, generous well heeled professional with a lot of friends and good self-esteem. She was beautiful and needy. In the beginning she did everything she could to seduce me into a relationship. She was unstoppable. Slowly, she changed into a manipulative, controlling monster. She sought “entitlement without accomplishment” as one psychiatrist put it. It took 25 years for me to finally realize she was never gonna be happy; and everything was always my fault. Diagnosed w/ PTSD, Major Depression, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I am financially ruined and now on disability. Now, I am a worthless, isolated loser and don’t care about anything anymore. I have seen therapists and psychiatrists. But I am not getting any better. She has lied since the beginning and alienated my children and friends from the close relationships I used to have with them all. I have lost everything, including my own self-respect. Any way to get better?


  12. Ana I love reading your work, it is through your work that i started my road to recovery, just understanding the effects these people cause and reading my life in your writing is the validation i needed to begin understanding there was a name for it and that what i was experiencing was real and not a figment of my imagination as he often told me. Thankyou, I have come a long way since first reading your blogs


  13. ibelieveinyou2012

    Ana thankyou for all that you write and do,I have been somewhat a silent reader for almost a year i believe. Having read virtually every post you write on FB I have gotten to the point in my life where i am standing on my own two feet again (even if still a little wobbly at times).This has been largely down to taking note of your posts,asking myself questions,researching,reading not only the descriptions of the narccissist but the victims suffering and emotional pain too. Had i not read the information available i would still have been spinning out of control and directionless, probably down a route of suicide,since i was already most of the way there.Your work has truly been a beacon of light and an inspiration in my life,my journey,the start of my healing and to me finding myself again,I wont deny the agony of it all,nor pretend that i am healed completely, far from it. But armed with plenty of information I know i have a much better chance at not being bait for the predators that we live amongst and having a much more successful chance of finding love and a much more fulfilling life,whilst slowly loving and respecting myself enough to listen to my inner voice and not allow another soul to rape me of mine again.Right now i am just having a little fun,I am a deeply respectful person so dont do anything to harm another intentionally,but if my boundaries are crossed this time,i will insist they are respected or leave if they are not.Thankyou from my heart for your education and tireless effort to reach out to so many vulnerable people in their hour of need including me,please keep up the great work that you do,it reaches almost every dark place and provides so much more light than anyone could ever tell you about. 😀


  14. they are dangerous people and need to be stopped


  15. ANA! I follow you on Facebook and am so grateful to you! It is lonely and heart wrenching to be ‘free’; but I know this will change with time. I love this blog! Like so many others, words can not convey my gratitude to you for using a terrible personal experience to help, create, and support a wonderful, positive resource. ❤


    • Gypzy,

      Thank you so much. I appreciate you being a part of our healing family JUST AS MUCH! It takes a village to bring the awareness to this rampant social ill and supporting eachother through our growth and healing is such an important part of understanding what happened to us.

      The narcissist spreads darkness, and WE spread LIGHT!!!

      Many blessings and much Love to you Gypzy.


  16. I feel for those who have been through this experience and you are so right, it’s lonely, isolating, soul destroying because those around just don’t believe what you say. You’re being overly sensitive, dramatic, attention seeking…. Yet when I discovered this blog by a happy accident I suddenly felt lighter and started to hope that finally I could know I wasn’t those things and I realised that I might find others who understand something I have been through. My narcissistic abuser is my mother. I did have a no contact policy for over 4 years and it was the best thing I ever did. The worst mistake I made was to take her call and believe she was sorry. Narcissists are never sorry. It’s time to do this again. Is there anyone else that has this story?


  17. Dear ANA, thank you again. I follow you on Facebook, but that arena is too public to comment. I am one year out and co-parenting. It’s amazing to me that I can still doubt myself and wonder if I was wrong all along – if maybe I truly am the crazy one.

    If there really is a hell, it’s probably similar to this feeling – watching (almost) everyone just lap up the lies about me like they never knew me for decades.

    At least they’re getting a good show. A+ for entertainment value.

    My husband is fairly civil and very intelligent and charismatic, and never hurt me physically – and sadly, I can still miss him. This is the worst. If he were more overt, it would be easier. But I know what he is and I always have. And he has hurt our son beyond repair with his words. You, and the paths I travel down because of you, bring me back to that. Our son feels validated now. He too was always told he was imagining things. Hopefully his life can be somewhat improved because his feelings were finally acknowledged. If I waiver and return, it will ruin all of our progress. And his strides have been huge. He grows in leaps and bounds every day that he is away.

    When he grows into the wonderful man he will be, I will send you a note so that you can see what you helped him become 🙂

    Thank you for taking your experience and using it to help so many. That is not an easy road, but we will appreciate it forever.


  18. Thank you
    Thank you
    Thank you
    This is beautifully written and resonates with me deeply at this moment. I am forever grateful for finding your page. I was at the point of considering admitting myself for treatment. I know am slowly understanding what I have been up against.
    I have also contacted you privately through email, and I am so grateful that you validated me. Through the page, I have also contacted others and have a buddy system in place with someone who lives on the other side of the world, but has helped me beyond words.
    Please keep up the good work – you are changing lives.


    • ((((Elsy)))))

      I AM SO HAPPY YOU FOUND US TOO. In my beginning, I also was lost & hopeless. No support; by that I mean, NO ONE THAT UNDERSTOOD or could identify with the abuse I’d endured.

      Your connecting with others who VALIDATE & SUPPORT YOU IS HUGE! Congrats! And Yay!!!! That youre able to finally STOP blaming yourself & see where the real cause of the problem lies.

      When we are boundary enmeshed with a person whose entire life is an identity crisis, we suffer an identity crisis.

      Thank you for being part of our family of healers.

      Much Light, Life & Love to you!!!


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