Signs That You’ve Been Abused by a Narcissist


Self-Doubt

1. YOU DOUBT YOURSELF

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.

2. CONFUSION

confusion

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.

3. FEELING CRAZY


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”.

4. EMERGING CLUSTER OF SYMPTOMS THAT HAVE NO OTHER EXPLANATION

1inexplicable

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. 

“YOU HAVE BEEN IN A DOMESTICALLY VIOLENT RELATIONSHIP WITH A NARCISSIST “

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.

5. DISSOCIATION

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.

6. PTSD

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.

Sleeplessness-
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. 1,030 Comments.

  1. I was married to a narcissist for 28 years. Seven years ago he left me and I fell apart. After about four years I began to emerge from the fog and have since been saying that I felt like I had a form of Stockholm Syndrome. It was so affirming to have this mentioned as a potential result in this article.

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  2. I’m almost two years out and leaps asks bounds better than I was then, but I’m in a different kind of phase that I’ve been stuck in for a while. I’m ANGRY. I still feel dwas inside and painless. Detached from the world. I’m not the creative force I once was and I can’t better my situation because of this stuck feeling. I’ve done so much life coaching and self improvement, but I can’t get back to being me. Any suggestions?

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    • I just ended a 3 year relationship with a woman who has left me broken from the game of cat and mouse, divide my family, and horrible mental abuse. I go from hurt to angry, every moment of the day, I also have no idea how to cope. If you want to bounce off your feelings, I would listen, my family is not believing my craziness, and its really hard to focus or work, I missed 3 weeks of work, and its just getting worse.

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    • SheWonTheFight

      Hi Melissa
      Id check out Cryingoutforjustice.com . Lots of posts and resources on there that may help you understand more, have a voice for this stuff and perhaps help you through the stuck times.
      Also, I mentioned to another commenter here today, the book Why Does He Do That? By Lundy Bancroft is helping me see what may really be going on in my abuser’s mind and why my children and I have reacted the ways we have. He wrote one called When a Daddy Hurts Mommy, I think? Haven’t read it yet but it sounds helpful to me.
      Don’t give up! You are very much worth the fight!

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  3. I am in a relationship with a narcissist. Like most of you I have felt crazy, desperate, misunderstood and helpless for most of my relationship but I have chosen to use this as an opportunity to self reflect. I have realized that I am not a victim! I will continue to attract narcissistic people into my life unless I discover and heal the part of myself that is vulnerable to these types of people. The brokenness in me attracted the brokenness in him. Become proactive! You can’t change others but you can change yourself with God’s help and direction. I have discovered patterns… Sometimes subtle … of other narcissists being present throughout my life. This has just been one of the most abusive! My advice is to embrace this knowledge and see it as an opportunity to heal and grow. Take the focus off the narcissist and focus on self (the only place that true change begins) Get strong so that the pattern of abuse will be broken forever. You are so much stronger than you realize.

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  4. Great article. I wish you touched a little more on platonic relations & family relations, but this is all very easy to identify with for me. Following your blog, check mine out sometime!

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  5. We need more awareness. And shame to talk or report about it

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  6. Thank you for this article. It says so many of the things that I have felt. I especially thank you for the “I’m tired” list. It so says what I have said over and over in my head. Now that he walked out 2-1/2 years ago, I’m still saving up enough for a lawyer, and I really cherish my time alone and to myself, not having to keep my mind “on guard” for whatever is coming at any time.

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  7. My daughter is dating one, and I don’t know what to do- she is a shell of her former self, but claims she loves him and that their problems are normal… It’s very heartbreaking to see all of this going on and I feel helpless/ I hVe tried to get her to seek counseling and have talked to her endlessly but I feel like she’s distancing herself because she doesn’t want to hear it anymore- please help!… I feel like the longer she is with him the worse it will get

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  8. This is a really good article to explain the narcissist. My mother was one. I grew up very confused, sad and angry. Thankfully I received a lot of great therapy in my 40s and 50s. My mother has been out of my life now for 7 years, yet at 91 she is still reaching out to other vulnerable family members to try to get to me. Unfortunately for them, they are still happily (?) living in denial. That is their journey. Thanks for the article.

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  9. I was raised by a narcissist. I don’t have a “before the narcissist.” It took YEARS to figure out what was going on. I saw a post below that implied a “victim” could possibly have BPD and use narcissistic abuse to remain a victim. That’s a dangerous thing to say. Narcissistic abuse is VERY real and intense. You should definitely be able to recognize it after you’ve learned about it. The Gas-lighting actually makes you think your crazy. For example, when I was 12 we were in a battered woman shelter. My mom snuck out to get drunk and drugs overnight while my sister(4) and I slept. The next morning when she wasn’t back, they noticed, and we were kicked out. For years Debbie has told everyone I had her kicked out because I was being too loud. Now I knew I didn’t do anything, but the more she said it to family, social workers, friends, and everyone else. I started to actually THINK it may of been my fault. I doubted myself. They’re actions are just that confusing and insanity inducing. In 2008 I had began to pull and set up boundaries but my sister(20 by then) had not. One drunk night Debbie was being rude. I kicked her out of my house and she went to my sisters. 30 minutes later I went to check on her cause I know she was more vulnerable. I found her running down the street crying. Debbie had kicked in the bathroom door while she was showering and put a knife to her throat. I called the police and she was arrested. I attended a visit between my sis and Debbie at the jail. She had my sis put her hands to the glass and said “look in my eyes baby girl. Remember we were reenacting the scene from Psycho?” My sister began to cry. I became enraged. My sister answered reluctantly “I guess.” It was the most disturbing and unbelievable thing I’ve ever witnessed. That’s when I knew there was something more wrong with our family dynamic than I ever thought. And these are minor incidents. The things narcissists do are very intense and absolutely insane. They’re very good at getting people to believe them. After my sister said “I guess” during that recorded jail call, Debbie was able to plead down to disorderly conduct. Even though during the conversation I could be heard calling her a liar and crazy. I even called my sister a brainwashed fool. You could very well have developed BPD by being raised by a narc. But also, BPD is a common disorder a Narc will accuse you of having. I’ve been accused many times. She’s told lots of people of how her daughters are “crazy,” and of her forever suffering because of it. I struggle a lot with the guilt of all the terrible things I allowed her to do me mentally. It’s everything this article says, along with a lot of the symptoms of battered women. I’m so glad I finally found out what was wrong. I can see how it’s played out in my life. I have a lot of self doubt. Like in my nursing field I had to learn to trust myself and my knowledge. For instance. I was sure a pt had a certain serious condition. I sought reassurance instead of relying on my own knowledge. The person I asked was wrong, so I thought I was wrong. That pt lost his leg. I feel like if I would’ve had faith and confidence in myself I could’ve gotten him help earlier and possibly prevent the loss of his leg. I was told he would’ve lost it anyway, I don’t dwell on it, but it made realize how deep my self doubt is. Narcissistic Abuse is so serious, it hides even from the victim that has it. Took me a long time to even agree that I have PTSD. I haven’t been in a war. Bad things happened, yes, and I have bad flashbacks since the blowout in 2012 when I went no contact, but I didn’t realize how much I’d been effected. It changed the fabric of who I thought I was. I’m so confused. Looking back I can’t believe I was such a fool for so long.

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  10. My ex husband did this to our son. While I was home he was nice and lovely to our child. But when I would go to work he mentally and emotionally abused him. My son never said anything to me I guess fearing I wouldn’t believe him. So his girlfriends parents audio recorded my husband a few times while my son was on the phone with his girlfriend. They played the recording for me one night and what I heard shocked me to my core. He was screaming at our son , cussing him , calling him every name in the book. Telling him is was worthless and that he wasn’t his child. Telling him that I didn’t love him and I’d never believe him if he told me anything he said to him. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. But once the recording were finished and I confronted my husband even with the recordings in hand he continued to denie all of it. I packed my sons and my bags grabbed our pets and left my husband. I filed for divorce. No man will ever talk to or treat my child like that again. But the damage was done. My son suffers from PTSD and is on meds now. He is no longer subject to anything like that abuse now but he still suffers. I wish I knew about it sooner. But I didn’t know.

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  11. Cynthia muirhead

    Pedfile narcissistic parent thank god they are dead. Now how to live

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  12. I am very blessed to see this. I have seen a lot of friends go through this and I’m happy I can finally put it into prospective.

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  13. After enduring two of these relationships I have become totally withdrawn from life. It’s hard to want anyone now because of the worry of funding it again! This article is bang on and a very good read.
    I know I’m in a better place right now until I get my head clear. My first ex and I get along well now but it has taken a lot of time and became more about the kids as well as her new husband really helping out. My last ex however, has been the difficult one, to where I had to sell my house so she would move. We have a child and unfortunately I have serious health issues that make being a primary caregiver impossible right now. I try to keep my distance from her but unfortunately she feels the need now to use our child against me. As much as it hurts, I’m glad to be away from her. I no longer have to doubt everything I do or say. I miss having someone to hold and enjoy my life but with a narcissist you will never enjoy life.
    Good luck to all of you who have escaped from this prison. To those that haven’t, I pray that someday you will escape! And live a long healthy life after!

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  14. All of this is true, and it can be misdiagnosed as Dependent Personality Disorder.

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  15. I read this and started to cry. Right here is everything I have ever experienced. Add sexual abuse from an outside source and this is me. My abuser was my mother. I don’t remember before the abuse because there was never a before. It’s all I’ve ever known. I’m 25 and I finally stopped talking to her at the end of this last year. I feel lost and I’m fighting to find myself and Fighting the diagnosed PTSD. I know that my mother was narcissistic but I never knew that this was this damaging. Thank you so much for this article. I feel clarity.

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  16. I just wanted to give a little hope. I almost married a narcissist. I have a child with him. I left him about a month after my child was born. And I was devastated. But I’m fine now. I’m really happy now. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. And who I was before still exists; just a way stronger and happier version of who I was before. Hang in there. Work on yourself. And you WILL make it through this. I see him once every few months. (Visitation. I won’t allow him to see my kid alone because there’s also alcoholism in this). And all I do is pity him now.

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  17. 12 years I lived with one! They say luv is blind? But he was a drug addict and a drinker! And a liar and coward! Hadn’t seen him in almost 3 years and hadn’t talked to him in 2! Don’t want to eather!

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  18. I thank you for the article. Narcissists destroy people. I have each and every symptom you mention. And I am desperately trying to set boundaries and recover. Its not easy. Guilt kills me. But I have to recover. Thanks from the core of my heart for such a pertinent article.

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  19. Very true. All symptoms very accurately narrated. Narcissistic People DESTROY PEOPLE – thats the reality. This helps. Truly helps a lot. Thank You

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  20. In the year 2000 I married a female who after two years presented with narcissistic behaviour in that she had an over inflated opinion of herself and her head was rammed very firmly up her own arse. I just assumed that that was her personality and no more. In 2011 she instigated our divorce which was finalised in 2013 (thank God). I’m not suggesting that I was perfect, as relationships really do have to be worked at….constantly but I could never figure out what I was doing wrong in our relationship to warrant such nastiness spewing forth from my wife’s mouth in particular public humiliation. It is now January 2016 and after all this time I had never heard of NPD until about 3 weeks ago when researching narcissism on the internet. Without wishing to to give tales of woe, I can relate to almost every symptom referred to in this article and I still suffer as a result of this behaviour. Also, my ex wife “suffers/uses” virtually every tactic/trait of NPD and since our divorce our mutual friends have avoided all contact with me and that one thing alone eats away at me more than anything else so I’m constantly battling with the thoughts of what has she said to them. I hope that one day the “light switch” will turn on for them and they will realise just who and what they are dealing with and what sort of “friend” they really have.
    I thank you for your article. It doesn’t resolve my psychological issues – depression, psychosomatic illnesses etc etc that I am now suffering as a result of living with a narcho but it has made me aware that this is probably the cause of what I am now suffering as I have been worrying that there is some other underlying problem. Narchos are very very nasty people and need to be exposed and it is extremely difficult to shake off the psychological damage that they inflict.

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  21. Isolated, alone, restless, defensive

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  22. I just finally ended a relationship with a narcissist after almost 3 years. I tried to commit suicide for the first time in all of my 45 years. My memory has changed, how I feel about myself, my abilities personally and professionally. I have no friends or interest in making friends. I’m so tired all the time. I am actually hoping that she was a narcissist so that I have an explanation for all the changes in my personality and my psyche. It also means that I can work on healing now that she’s gone. Your article was helpful. Thank you!

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  23. 10 yrs with a narcissistic borderline personality disorder. I’m out now but we share children and I see severe damage in my boys.
    Everything is true for me from the way he made me feel like I was the crazy one to wishing something horrible will happen to him.
    Not only do they take your power while you are together but they destroy who you are to your core.
    I realize that my mother is the same and two husbands. I never had a chance. I long for a healthy relationship but realize I am probably not capable of having one.
    My hope is that my children aren’t too damaged by this to have happy lives.

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  24. I dealt with narcissistic abuse for 14 yrs, He took every ounce of me away. I am trying to deal with what I have endured but it is so hard. I have nightmares from his abuse and can’t allow myself to trust or believe in anyone. I am so used to walking on eggshells for so long that I don’t know how a normal couple behaves. I am hoping that the love from my family will help me become the person I once was.

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  25. Almost 20 years with a narcissist. During that time I became extremely codependent and lost a large part of myself. Happily, I have regained some inner strength through CoDA (Codependents Anonymous) and continue to grow stronger every day. It is hard. It is work. It is a process. It is a journey…but you can do it. Seek help and stay strong!

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  26. I have been married for 25 years to someone who it always right. He cannot keep a job because of his attitude. 12-13 jobs in 25 years and he either is forced out or fired. I have made excuses to everyone for his behavior, but I am tired. Our daughter is grown and he has been out of work for 6 months now and doesn’t seem to understand the hardship he has put on us. I am at my wits end. I told him he is ruining our family and he says I am being mean to him. I can’t seem to get him to understand that when he applies for a job and his previous employer says unkind things about him he should take a look at his attitude. He says he has done nothing wrong, everyone else is stupid. He is smarter than the bosses and everyone else. He has no income coming in, but needs a new iPhone, TSA pre-check, and a trip to Orlando, by himself. I feel terrible that I can no longer sit by and not say anything. He now feels I am not being supportive. I just can’t. He lets me know I am not very smart and I now know he is correct. If I were smart I would have run from this relationship after he was fired the second time in 3 years. Thank you for letting me vent. I feel desperate.

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  27. This is a mixed day for me, sad yet liberating. I have a narcissistic sister, she’s the youngest of 5 of us. She’s blown up out of the blue numerous times in my life. She’s mentally ill, will all kinds of labels, schizophrenic, bipolar, manic depressive and takes 12 pills a day to not go psychotic. I’ve always felt sorry for her and probably also guilty, be-
    cause compared to her, I’m healthy and have had a full life. Her life is small and shrinking
    because of her narcissism and paranoia. She’s really sick. But right now I am just coming
    out of mourning a great loss and my own physical health and energetic aura is fragile.
    So when her narcissistic rage came out of nowhere like a missile, it really hurt. I’m 62
    and she’s 6 yrs. younger. It’s hard to let go but I’ve tried all my life to be a good sister,
    and believe I have, but it’s not good enough for her, so I give up. I’m just going to try
    to be a better friend to myself. Just because she is my sister doesn’t mean I should
    take all this junk off her.

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  28. Thank you for this article….I was married for twenty years to a narssicist…and this article is dead on…I can’t believe..we didn’t kill each other…im glad I took the step to get out…only wished I would of opened my eyes sooner..for my children’s sake..it’s been a long. And difficult road….but I’m glad I have been strong enough to move forward and never ever look back at him again….and to this day in still learning how to trust and accept people in my life…and afraid to get in another relationship..because of my past experience..with my mind manipulating ex husband…but I’m glad I took a hold of the person I once was …before marriage…and took my self back from him…they can’t handle when you take control back …it makes them weak…i can say it’s a long road to recovery…hoping one day I’ll meet Mr right…

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  29. I was "married" to a narcissist for 13 years

    Thanks for writing this article. It’s one of the best articles I’ve read! To the point and no sugar coating.

    This is a very serious problem in America! People of all walks of life need to be aware of the dangers these narcissists can bring into their lives. They are evil and hell on earth!

    I was with one for a total of 16 years, “married” for 13. It wasn’t until after I finally left that I realized he was a narcissist. None of the counselors we went to ever mentioned it but he probably had them fooled too. When I left, my mind was spinning and my world was out of control. He had done so much damage that I didn’t know what was happening. Crazy-making, gaslighting, silent treatments for days and weeks at a time, were all very common aspects of my life for 16 years.

    It’s been 5 years now, since I left. And it’s been the best 5 years of my life. I feel like a new woman! It is possible to get through the pain and to get past the insanity. It won’t be easy but it’s possible. And most importantly, it’s worth it. You have to do the work, though. Just remember, none of this was your fault. It’s theirs.

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  30. Omg. This just hit home for me. I am currently healing myself from a 10 year relationship with a narcissist. Wow. I didnt realise that til reading this. Thankyou thankyou thankyou. I know im not crazy now. It was him not me. I just need to find me again now.

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  31. I’m 53 years old, and recently figured out that I’ve been a victim of a narcissistic sister and a mother who has been her full time supplier. I’m so hurt and angry with both of them, that I want nothing to do with either of them. The last straw was when my mother treated my kids like second class citizens…the way she treated me my whole life….because my narcissistic sister has to have her way and control everything all the time. I’ve been pulling away from them over the years (and feeling guilty about it) only to realize it was a natural reaction to the emotional abuse from both of them. It was self preservation. I still have to have some sort of contact with them, but when I do, they make me so sick. The last time there was contact, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I went to the doctor and my blood pressure was through the roof. A month prior, my BP was absolutely normal. Discovering that this sickness has a name and learning more about it makes me feel like I’m not crazy. It’s real and I haven’t been nuts my whole life, but at the same time I can’t control my anger. I’ve never felt such tremendous anger and hatred. I truly feel like my mother and sister have poisoned my whole life. I don’t know how to begin to un-do all of the damage.

    Like

  32. I wasn’t married to a narcissist, but I was married to a sociopath for almost 20 years, so there is some cross over. It seems like it has deadened my feelings, even to my children, and I hate it. The article mentioned this but didn’t say if there was any hope of regaining our softer feelings and, if so, how to do it. Anyone know?

    Like

    • I feel like I’ve just gotten better over time. I’ve had that person (mom) out of my life for almost four years now with the exception of a 2014 relapse. I noticed over the last year that I enjoy my children more.

      Like

    • It is difficult to change the fundamental character of someone else, take your time and seek counseling, the one issue you recognize is likely accompanied by some that you don’t and someone else with professional ability is more likely to be able to help you than any chat board ever could.

      Like

    • I can relate. And I am sad to admit that I know what it has fone to my persnality.My soul rvrn.Kind regards Christine

      Like

  33. While I don’t deny the profound impact that abusive individuals can have on their partner and other individuals close to them, so much that is written here is also common in people with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Individuals with BPD often times struggle being accountable for their behaviors and may seek out information like what is contained here to blame their partner, allowing them to remain in the role of victim. I know a divorced couple who is facing this very thing. The wife, who was unstable in the relationship, had an affair, and split her children apart to move to the state where her affair partner lives recently posted this article on Facebook to drum up sympathy so she could remain the victim and justify her actions. She resonated with this article partially because she did experience the symptoms outlined here.mhowever, her husband was not a narcissist. Rather, she had BPD.

    Like

    • A true victim of a narcissist would be highly offended but this comment. The woman you are talking about maybe bpd and her husband may not be a narc but your comment seems to invalidate npd abuse victims. True victims know what they have been through. It is the most frustrating and revictimizing thing in the world trying to explain what you have been through to basically anybody else unless they themselves have been through it. They just don’t get it. They think they know and tell you to get over it and frankly it makes me want shove my fist down their throats and isolate myself from the world more. I’m so fed up with people invalidating or blaming victims of npd. If I’m not mistaken bpd and npd are similar so the effects of their abuse are probably similar as well and it would be very easy for outsiders to mistake the victims of this abuse and their symptoms as the one with the disorder. It happens every day. I want to bring this to people attention. The true victims need validation not blame.

      Like

    • This has also happened with my husband his ex cheating wife put it on Facebook so she could play the victim further

      Like

  34. I was in a relationship with a narcissist for 11 years and after loosing everything I tried to start again. Only to again 6 months into a relationship realize I’ve done it again. But the worst part is I have no supports or friends here and this dirtbag is pulling out all the stops using my past against me and trying to get me so low and depressed I kill myself… Please help, someone anyone……

    Like

    • I’m praying for your right now. It can be extremely difficult to recover from abuse of any form and my heart is with you tonight. Please don’t rob the world of your life and worth because of someone else’s hate. You are precious. You have incredible worth. You are loved.
      “29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[a] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” Mathew 10:28-31

      Like

    • Formerly "married" to a narcissistic for 13 years

      Please seek counseling. That’s the best way for you to gain the strength and knowledge you need to get out of the abusive relationship.

      Like

    • Michelle i want to hold you! Thank you for still being here and reaching out for help. Please look up a hotline to call right now.

      Like

    • Michelle, my email is jeffpcasey@me .com
      I am here for you if needed.
      Don’t do anything silly ok xxx
      Talk to me.

      Like

    • I’m getting away from a narcissist at the moment too, something I thought wouldn’t be possible after moving with him to a town away from all my friends and family. You need to go ‘visit’ someone. For me I went to visit my sister. I bought one way ticket and have been here a month already. The space will give you time and clarity to break up with them, and help you adjust to the separation. I also struggle with depression and justified away almost everything that my boyfriend has done and we have gone through to fate. Now I realize he is just a good liar and actor and although I may love him and he may love me, love is definitely not enough.

      Like

    • I absolutely know what you are going through
      Find a good therapist who understands this mental impaired person. I believe they seek out people who are good, sympathetic, and one they know would be easy to control because of their kindness. I went through 13 years of hell and thought i could never truly get away. I finally did, but our son is narcissistic and is in his late 30’s and still makes me crazy. Get help. You need a person who values you.

      Like

    • Do you have kids? if no…then LEAVE HIM AND NEVER TURN BACK.YOUR HAPPINESS IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR. I’m a 15 ur old turning 16 in Feb and I’ve been in narcissistic abuse for 3 yrs and never flee physicall but tried to cut all ends but now i tried to expose the narcissit and it turned my life upside down. I don’t even feel like taking an education, im a footballer and I am thinking of dropping it and my dream is to meet CR7 and coach Liverpool female football club. Thats to show all my energy is GONE COMPLETELY. Im trying to get back on track. With prayer and ignoring the narcissit existence. PLEASE LEAVE HIM, FIND GOD, GO TO CHURCH, GET A WELL PAYING JOB, LET GO OF RELATIONSHIPS FOR A WHILE AND LIVE LIFE MY FRIEND. I AM TELLING YOU ITS NOT WORTH IT. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE TREATED LIKE THIS GOD MAKE ALL OF US HUMANS NOT ROBOTS. WE HAVE FEELINGS, LET THIS GUY GO, HE HAS SOMETHING GOING ON WITH HIM OR SIMPLY HE IS BORN WITH NPD OR FIGHTING AN INTENSE INTERNAL BATTLE. LEAVE HIM, FIND GOD, ITS A NEW YEAR, NEW SETTINGS, LET GOOO PLZZZ.MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY!!!!!!!! PLZZZZ!!!!! DONT FIGHT THAT BATTLE AGAIN!

      Like

    • michelle, if you’re reading this, know you’re not alone. I’m currently going through a divorce from a narcissist. Your past is your past, not your present. You have the ability to establish boundaries. You know what you’re responsible for, and what you’re not. You are not crazy, despite how you feel. My soon-to-be-ex says all sorts of hateful things like “you’re the reason nobody wants to be a christian” or “you’re a traitor, disloyal to the people who were loyal to you”, bringing up all the mistakes my family members have made, trying to belittle them and me to make her feel better. I filed for a divorce, she upped the ante and got an Order of Protection against me. They’re never satisfied, always have to be in control. You can do this. Same goes for anyone else. I say this because I had to have counselors, family, friends, and church family step up and say they understood what was going on, that it wasn’t me. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re incapable of doing something. I’m missing a leg but have surfed, rock climbed, play volleyball, anything. You can do whatever you put your mind to. You’re not alone.

      Like

    • Omg!! I was in THE most horrible marriage/relationship with a man that, if properly diagnosed, Prob was not only a Narcissus, but sociopath and bpd. I won’t go in to how it ended..that’s a whole different nightmare. But after not dating for almost 7 yrs, I’m 20 mo into the exact same thing, only it has never be one physical. I didn’t realize I had ptsd until him. Along with the self isolation, depressiin, sleeplessness, nightmares, hyper awareness etc mentioned above, my mouth becomes COMPLETELY DRY..to the point I can’t even speak, I get claustrophobic to the point of near fainting..omg the panic..I really do NOT know what to do!

      Like

    • Michelle…are you ok? !? I hope you got out! Don’t blame yourself. I’ve done it twice myself. Still in my second marriage….14 years now. “Just” recently discovered they are both Narcissists. Bit I also discovered I am codependent and looking back, I believe my father was a Narcissist too. I thought that was “normal” treatment in relationships and.endured the misery. I am working on my Blueprint to escape…….please let me know you’re ok!

      Like

    • Did you get help Michelle? Please message me anytime, I’ve had a lot of experience with this as well. It helps to talk to someone who gets it. If I just give my address the site might not post it so just take the spaces out and use the “at sign”instead of at and a “. “Instead of dot.
      Blueyez at my dot com

      Like

    • U ok?

      Like

    • If you need someone to talk to. Give me your email.

      Like

    • Please leave your email I’d you need someone to talk to.

      Like

    • Find your support people from before and ask if they will help you one last time. Get a therapist pronto. No one else except YOU can save you.

      Like

    • Michelle I too have been in my relationship for 36 years. Recently he started having an affair with my next door neighbor and just threw my son and I away like discarded junk… I know you are hurting and that he makes you crazy feeling. But no one is worth you losing your life over. I have been struggling with the pain, loneliness and the rejection myself. Your life is worth so much more than him.

      Like

    • Michelle, where are you? I will hel you if I can. You are not going to let him make you feel suicidal. Even without family or friends or support you can overcome this and rid yourself of this parasite. I know how you feel and I had to just tell myself I’m stronger than he realizes. He messed with the wrong girl this time. I’m going to make him regret underestimating me. He may be able to hurt me but he can’t break me–I can see through his bullshit, even with tears in my eyes. I am smart enough to see his sick manipulation for what it is. It’s ok that you are hurt by it. Doesn’t mean it’s working. You will be ok. He can’t brainwash you. I will help you if I can. Where are you?

      Like

    • Michelle,

      Are you ok? I am available to talk but you absolutely should get into counseling…. please see someone that can offer you professional support

      Like

    • Join as many groups on Facebook as you can, get involved with others exactly like you and go from there. I just got a restraining order served on one that has almost made me lose my home, my car, and my sanity I completely understand and Im here.

      Like

    • Michelle, I’ve been going through the same thing. How can I help?

      Like

    • Hang in there! Find a chat room or forum. Make some connections – even if they’re only online. It helps me to read every so often that I’m not the crazy one. And see that there are others in the same boat. Take care of yourself. Don’t let him “win” by making you crazy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Michelle,

      Please fight the urge to let him win. Find a women’s shelter get out. Get a bus ticket back to family and friends Be strong. Im b dealing with this for 31 years and have in the past 2 years realized he has really damaged me. I have had thoughts and still do sometimes that my life is over, he’ll never let me go. He will hunt me down and make me suffer. He has tried to turn our children against me. Has said many times this past year yelled it in front of kids that I’m crazy! He has always accused me of things he has done. He has me paranoid, I Fear going out because he has told me so many times how he has so many friends that are sharp shooters. He has told me he would burn house down with me in it. I think he even was drugging me. I have gotten very sick this past year. Please please get away from him. You need to do that for your sanity. I pray for all of us.

      Like

    • Remember who you were, before your NPartner, and love yourself knowing that it is not your fault. Because our NP blames us for everything wrong, we inadvertently take the blame for why they are the way they are. He came to you like that. the fact that you looked up narcissistic abuse tells you something. do your research, get the help and the courage to love yourself again and possibly leave,

      Like

    • I’m four years into a relationship with a Narc after almost three with a sociopath. I feel so low too as I’m completely trapped. So you are definitely NOT alone. Did you manage to break free ?

      Like

    • Always a way out..get help..gp..police..work people..shelters

      Like

    • Hello, I am in process of getting out of abusive relationship as well, he has completely drained me financially also, stole all my stuff etc. I know how your feeling, i’m there and living it. But as bad as it hurts be strong, there are also good men out there. I was married 12 years prior to an amazing man who I left this my narcissistic personality disordered bastard. He ruined my life , but you have to realize one minute at a time. Just get through one minute. The pain will fade, you will heal and nobody is worth taking you down.

      Like

    • Hang On– Turn to God & He will Help…
      Psalm 61 & Isaiah 12 & Jeremiah 29-21
      God loves you & so do many!!!

      Like

  35. I endured this for 5 years. I tried hard to make things right and make him happy. I ended the relationship and feel so empty and lost. All of these symptoms are spot on.

    Like

    • I also have recently ended a 5 year relationship with a narcissist. At first I felt similar to you, couldn’t understand what real and what was lies in terms of our relationship. I kept looking back, wondering if I did everything I could to make the relationship work. When I found out that he moved on to another woman so quickly, it broke my heart. I started doing the reading on this disorder and, for me, made the puzzle pieces of our relationship fit. Everything!! He had me feeling like such a failure as a woman and partner, but after the researth, I can away with this: that I was in love with a lie, not one thing I loved about this person was really true. It’s a hard thing to come to terms with bit once you do, it’s a load off. Also, the fact that in every article that I read said that narcissists never change, so don’t take what they do to you personally, it also helped me understand that no amount of crying about the ended relationship, thinking about the past, replaying every situation, and wondering what else I can do or say to him will help. It just won’t. So instead of doing any of that, I focused the attention on myself and wonderful things started happening. I started working out, doing yoga, put myself together better when I leave the house, smile more, laugh more, have better conversations with the people I love and strangers, am going back to school. My whole life changed. You just have to decide if this person is really worth more to you than yourself, and in my case it was a hell no!

      Like

    • I lost my partner my soul mate to a narcissistic she was able to take all his attention to focus on her as a hurting female on how her husband was treating her and mAking my man think I was paranoid and jealouse which was not the case I knew there was something menevolent about her and I tried to get him to see it to no avail and she ended up getting me kicked out of my man’s house by his mother who owned the house now my man knows everything she has done and is doing but he can’t break away from her cause his mom adores her and he has no place to go if she kicks him out cause I’m staying with a friend so he can’t stay here and he has no clue she is a narcissists and he can only see me when she secretly goes to stay the night with her husband or if he doesn’t have to work but tells her he is working just to see me she constantly takes and hides his things and goes through his phone and tablet till finally he put lock codes on Them how to break him free from her before she destroys him

      Like

  36. I kno a 50 year old who exhibits all symptoms with OROOF yet NOONE wants to hear of it (not even police!?), because it’s inflicted by his entire family! He disappeared forty eight hours ago according to voicemail I heard upon listening to when I pulled in his driveway upon his request for me to come see him! I reported the event to police and they told me that they saw no reason to be concerned!? It’s sad for me! Then over forty eight hours later when I calld police back, they told me no need to worry because he’s in #5?! He’s being analyzed for mental illness even though IV seen him perfectly fine on occasions when not around family for a few days! He exhibits all the criteria listed & has told me that I’m awesome & he’s not, he’s got nothing, & he has to wait for something to turn up , he hasn’t had money except when he begs for change while on long bike rides whether it’s freezing out or raining or hot. Then he tells me that he’s dead tired & say how do I breeze through life & I know how to talk but he can’t talk so why talk & why think!? I offer him many options for high paying jobs but he has to be around people more like him & he can’t be what I want him to be?! All IV ever asked him to be was happy?! So, he calls me all day & next morning & at 11 00, he texts me that he has nada & tells me nevrmind go with your friends?! He has a lot to do like laundry & vacuum?! Which I try & explain & he points to the tv & points!? I’m upset for him. He’s told me that he can’t get away because IV seen all his scars & broken bones & suddenly stops himself!? He then follows by asking me what am I talking about? Now, he doesn’t text nor call and his contact with me has dwindled down to 1 day on 1st of month & 1 1/2 days on last days of December?! Is there anyway to get him help? I have tried everythin & apparenltly not!!! I guess it’s Darwin’s theory & survival of the fittest as of this date in time sadly! Several times he’s told me that the next weeks or days are very important & after he works tortuous hours making him “dead tired”, he says that he feels like a liar cause he “can’t get it right!” Congratulations for any survivors who have managed to escape what appears an extremely torturous life!

    Like

  37. How do I move on now? Im not the same person I wasi look at everything different now. People, love, life, relationships, family, man kind, right and wrong, everything. I didn’t plan pass him killing me, now that its “over”(it’ll never be over )how do I fix me? How do I be “normal” again?

    Like

    • I’m sorry! I am in the same boat as you, and the scary thing is mine isn’t ‘finished’ but always ‘finishing’; meaning I don’t know what the next minute, hour or day is gonna bring.

      So how to heal? I don’t know. I need a miracle too. And I really would like to know if you’re a bit better right now. I don’t believe in prayers, but i want to pray for all the women here, and for us, who are suffering.

      Like

    • Hi Dee – I have just read your post. It’s a mirror image of how I’m feeling. How are you doing?

      Like

  38. This is what I have been living with and continue to experience due to my narcissistic ex. Over 11 years and counting, but I will tell you this. This little thing called KARMA is finally catching up to him. I will continue to stay strong & protect our girls from this “Monster”. I AM TAKING CONTROL BACK AND IT TERRIFIES HIM. and it damn well should. Stay strong and respond only when necessary. Direct & to the point only, then conversation over.

    Like

  39. OMG!!! Thank you so much for educating me on what was happening and has happened to me. You have certainly given me clarity. I have been trying for at least 4 years to understand why I couldn’t get back to being me. Trying to understand what happened to that joyous, live, viberant person I always had been but lost along the way. Now I know. So enlightening and certainly will be the tool I’ll use as I continue on my road to recovery. I find myself praying everyday not only for the narcissist that abused me but everyone else that falls victim to their illness, simply because I strongly believe that they’re going to come across someone that’s not going to be able regain themselves from the abuse and violently hurt the abuser. That’s two lives destroyed instead of one. I don’t have enough words to express to you how you have given me my life back(tears). Thank you, thank you, and thank you again!

    Like

  40. yes me too. I definitely dissociate. I see myself taking the abuse of my BF the N, a victim when I’ve never before in mylife been a victim. Every word applies to me. I see it now, but cannot yet get myself to escape.

    Like

    • It can take time. I was married to one for so long that my dissociating was more or less a conscious, purposeful act. Once It got into therapy (a necessary step for me), it still took me four years to build myself up enough to escape. And if not for the impact I saw it was having on my kids, I’m not sure if I ever would have had the courage to do it. By recognizing it, you’ve already taken the first step.

      Like

      • How are your kids taking it? I was wondering how did you escape? Did you take them with you? I sure can’t think of escaping I find it so difficult. I don’t have a job been in this for 12 years. It’s so bad now I really don’t know what to do? Help

        Like

  41. Getting away from them is a first step but in some cases these people get into your mind body and soul on much deeper levels. Healing work is needed once you are away from them, or even while you are with them if you can afford some privacy. Filling yourself with light, covering yourself with protection, loving yourself enough to do all it takes to heal, get away from the abuser and stay safe, and also knowing that you don’t and never have deserved any of the abuse that you have suffered. I am also in this situation. When i am fearful i notice that my health declines drastically. I am only feeling strong when i take steps each day toward radical action and am focusing on light meditation and protection. It is my personal belief that in this situation it is good to call on higher powers. I don’t belive in worshipping gods and godesses but i do believe we have a higher self that we can tune into. Darkness cannot stand in light. Protect yourself in any way you can. Visualisations are powerful if the intent is behind them.

    Like

  42. I’ve been dating one. Didn’t know what was going on in my head? Until now after reading the story. Thank you for the information. I,ll never see him again, now that
    I understand.

    Like

    • So happy for you that you recognize his and are getting out before it gets any more serious! Beware the “love bombing” and “hoovering” narcissists use to keep relationships ensnared. Good luck….blessings to you!

      Like

  43. 50 years with a narcissist. Learned about it early in marriage. No one understood my concerns so i started researching the traits, remedies and made a decision to count myself blessed to know what I was dealing with and to seek help. I read many books, seminars, and prayed for comfort of mind. I can now respond w/o a smile and move on. My friends, n family says, “You are heaven bound and the strength of faith”. I feel truly blessed .

    Like

  44. It’s taken me eight years to “get it”.. He’s a true blue narcissist.. he’s exhibited almost every symptom in the worst way…and I have experienced almost every reaction.. The most distressing for me is the crazy making…never again…My guilt feelings for not being tuned in enough to ” get it” earlier.

    Like

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