We all have an expiration date with a Narcissist! Understanding the attachment to a Narcissist! The denial and cognitive dissonance that distorts our normal reality.

PhotoFunia Motivator Regular 2015-07-16 04 42 54

Almost every target/victim that has been abused by a Narcissist goes through a long and arduous period of emotional denial. The denial is based on the emotional connection (love) because a target/victim hangs on to the belief that this Narcissist loved them and it is very hard to let go of that. A normal person just can’t turn love OFF – but a Narcissist can turn it off just as easily as they turned it on because love is a tool they use to con people! They DON’T love because they don’t have the emotions or empathy to support it! So we all had an expiration date that was set in stone by the Narcissist when something newer came along.

Because there was LOVE involved with this person (the Narcissist,) we believe that they could have NEVER committed the atrocities that stand before us! Love is a VERY strong emotional attachment! It is virtually impossible to TRULY accept the hideous reality that the person who claimed to be the love of your life, or a parent, brother/sister, or even your loving best friend is actually a Malignant Narcissist that ABUSES you. No way, this was the real thing, this person totally LOVED you and you loved them. It was SO REAL and you just can’t ascertain that someone could be that adept at conning you into LOVING them and then being so toxic in your life! You try to justify this over and over again and you keep returning to this powerful emotion that you shared reciprocal LOVE with your Narcissist. Yes you do feel love because you are NORMAL and can love – but that is all you are feeling the love YOU have for THEM!

You have to think back and recall just how uneasy you felt in this relationship, how YOU were continually accepting the negativity that always seemed to be present when you were together. Think about the lies, betrayal, put downs and so many other things that just weren’t normal to a loving relationship. You worked your hardest at rationalizing and justifying this LOVE and continually tried to fix this distorted relationship (love) rather than accepting the truth from your intuition shouting out at you. You STILL keep justifying that it was love and you must have overlooked something or other that could have fixed everything! WHO was making you try so hard to fix this? Who was telling you everything was wrong and it was YOUR fault? Who never put an effort into allowing you to voice normal concerns? Who silenced you over and over again and why? The truth is that this could never have turned out any different than what it did because it was meant to be temporary! What about the new supply and how quickly this Narcissist JUMPED right into that relationship! Where is/was the love that you kept fighting for? It was NEVER there in the first place!

Then ask yourself how many times you had to reassure yourself that everything WOULD be OK if you did this, that or any number of different things! Also the many important ‘personal’ things concerning your needs that were always dismissed to make and keep this Narcissist happy and it was NEVER enough. How many times were you so confused about crazy statements, arguments, accountability, or the many lies that you probably justified or ignored? What about affairs? Were there any or many? Did you always feel as if you had to explain yourself for most everything you did or said no matter what? Did you feel any sense of normalcy with this person after the ‘amazing love’ in the beginning? Did you feel like parts of your life had mysteriously disappeared and it isn’t the same as it used to be. You always felt so frustrated in general, confused, anxious, you felt tired or exhausted from day after day of arguments that had no basis, and just the general feeling of unhappiness. Or maybe you feel shabby about yourself or worthless. Is it a feeling like things have spun out of control in your life and you are WONDERING WHY this has happened! You haven’t done anything different than you have in the past (as it concerned your previous ‘normal’ relationships,) but YOU are always working on something or other to get this relationship right! What is the coefficient here? Where is the distress AND stress coming from? Why do you always feel so ANXIOUS and CONFUSED? If you think about this and compile a ‘distress list’ of all of the crazy making and chaos from this relationship it will be hundreds of times longer than a list that would outline the good things that showed this person (the Narcissist) was actually reciprocating with love.

I think most of us know the root of the problem, but trying to get past the emotional stronghold has been the problem and what kept us believing in the huge lie we were living. Through all of this we twisted and tweaked our thoughts so much so that we were able to justify most everything in a manner that made us change our behaviors and basic beliefs to meet the needs of this Narcissist so we could keep believing in what we were conned into believing – this love. We believed that WE could change things to make this relationship right again – but who was telling us to change and WHY? We took charge of trying to make things right and make changes! We ACCEPTED the blame that was handed to us. We accepted silence to avoid arguments. We accepted lies to avoid hearing the truth. We possibly believed that more LOVE would heal! Was it love that would heal this? Just exactly what WAS this love? Was it totally one sided? Could you even ascertain what this relationship was OR were you always wondering?

Was there anyone else (like the Narcissist) involved in the process to make this relationship work or right again or was there actually someone that was making everything wrong (the Narcissist?) Did you ever have a firm grip on this relationship as far as security and a future? Were you ALWAYS walking on thin ice and feeling that at any given moment it would break and you would fall through and drown? Were you giving EVERYTHING you had and received nothing in return? What if ANYTHING actually CHANGED with the extreme attempts that you made to fix this relationship! You and I changed as a result of all of this – we gave most of ourselves away because we were dealing with a psychological abuser and terrorist that PLAYED with us in a cat and mouse manner, and they were so good at it! Yes we changed and lost so much of ourselves in this horrendous game only because we were conned into BELIEVING A HUGE LIE by a manipulative and self-serving creature! So much of our belief system was shattered as well as our innocence as it concerned how another human being could hate and deliberately destroy another human being’s life. THEN we realize that we loved this monster that did all of this. That is the mistake we have made MANY times, the one where we start looking inward and applying blame to ourselves in many ways, as well as denying that this couldn’t be real love and the whole vicious cycle starts and repeats itself over and over again. It is OUR emotional bond that has us attached at the hip to the Narcissist and that is what keeps you hanging on.

These were just some ‘examples’ and observations as it concerned my relationship with a Narcissist and ONLY the tip of the iceberg! It is also familiar or very similar to what many other targets/victims have experienced. Ask yourself how you feel today (post abuse?) Let’s say it is a few months to a few years AFTER this relationship ended. Do you still feel very alone and just so worn out. Do you feel a sense of worthlessness like you don’t have a place in this life like you use to? Do you feel hurt by many things that surrounded the relationship and can’t get to a real closure yet? Are you still wondering WHY? Do you feel like you are avoiding life in many ways like getting back out there with friends and you definitely don’t want to think about getting into another relationship? Are YOU the spouse that has accepted ALL the responsibilities as far as raising the kids from this relationship and still enduring the highs and lows because of the lack of involvement from your ex and regular bouts of chaos? Do you keep tabs on what and where your ex Narcissist is in life and feeling that they have moved on and doing good and you are JUST STUCK? Do you feel disabled in many ways?

With all of the extreme confusion that surrounded the departure of this abusive Narcissist from your life you were left with significant and distorted messages that put the heavy burden of the blame onto and into you and those messages are still living in your mind and heart! This is the same confusion that always surrounded every aspect of the relationship and has now has reemerged and turned into more denial of the real truth with the discard. This denial has planted itself firmly in your life and keeps you in a constant state of limbo in your mind and your heart. It is really a chaotic conflict that keeps cycling back and forth inside of you. Consequently instead of confronting the reality (or truth) you keep turning to every other avenue to reach a closure that ISN’T based on reality and you BASICALLY reject that you were abused by a predator. You don’t really see that it was abuse because you were conditioned to see it as something about YOU that caused everything disparaging in this relationship. When a person is physically abused with a blackened eye for example, that singular action undeniably DEFINES it as abuse to you personally, as well as anyone that sees the damage. With psychological abuse there is no one singular action that leaves an outward bruise. Sometimes you are not even aware of all the actions and words that are harming you. The bruises are on the inside as well as the many scars that build up. It makes it extremely difficult to express the damage that lives in your heart, soul and mind because they are so many there in every level of your life. So where do you start to reconcile?

This is basically conditioning as in being ‘brainwashed’ by a very manipulative and cunning person AND a pro at it! That Narcissist wanted you to BELIEVE that they REALLY loved you at first, but when they REALLY got to know you in such a personal/loving manner then all of a sudden they realized that YOU really had all of these horrible issues and that YOU were REALLY defective and abusing them. REALLY? They have been sending this message to you subtly from the very first day they met you and then stepped it up with the devaluation and discard because that expiration date was inevitable. The Narcissist has been out there securing MORE supply probably the same day they met you! So look at the focus and where it was aimed – at your vulnerable loving heart and mind! Why doesn’t a Narcissist just take the goods and run when they are caught? Why do they have to play such harsh psychological games to harm people? Why do they have to destroy as much of you as they can? So they can keep abusing new people and avoiding exposure by destroying the evidence or the last person they abused!

Simply put this is just part of the agenda that enables them to MOVE ON by blaming you (devaluing) and then discarding you! This is them getting away with their abuse. This very astute con artist got everything they wanted with their big love scam and they needed to move on and find better supply because you just weren’t serving them and they got bored and went out looking for something better! There was never any real love! They were ALWAYS looking for more supply even when things were supposedly good. So when you reached your ‘expiration date’ they were off to a new target/victim and unscathed because they had an alibi (blaming everything on you) like every criminal does and dysfunctional people that believe them and support them! Their alibi enables them to avoid exposure by discrediting you completely! Job well done and the Narcissist is off and running. Don’t try to make them accountable because they will start a war with you that will literally drive the point home that if you play with them they will discredit you with words (LIES) that can damage you for a lifetime. This is their lifestyle, this is their disorder, this is always what they do, this is their pattern, this is abuse, and THIS IS A NARCISSIST!

You are disabled by their HUGE con and not truly capable of accepting any part of the reality because of the constant brainwashing which now becomes your vulnerability in all of this! The TRUTH or reality of the situation that it was abuse becomes suppressed and surfaces as anxiety, depression, self-blaming, worthlessness, fear, and trauma – the VERY messages that were pounded into your head and now your heart. Rather than confronting this reality, targets/victims entirely go into a place of denial like they were conditioned to do by their abuser. It is not that you are just that stupid or that much of a fool that you totally allowed this relationship to put you here. You were CONTINUALLY managed down by seamless manipulation slowly but surely and day by day until all of these scenarios became a way of life for you. Little by little you accepted your role with this Narcissist. Now little by little you must purge these negative messages out and replace them with the truth and positive messages about yourself! Introspection will become your next step in recovery once you actualize the real truth of your situation. You will look for your personal weaknesses and create new boundaries and a healthier lifestyle. That is when you will put the emphasis TOTALLY into yourself to move forward without any singular thought of this Narcissist.

You were akin to being a personal lab rat for this Narcissist that was reinforced and shocked so many times that you learned how to respond to the stimuli that was presented to you. You were confined in a cage with a water bottle and a dispenser that would basically give you a few pellets of food when you responded the way you should have. Your life was totally controlled by another. If you didn’t respond correctly you would be shocked with a jolt of electricity that drove the point home to change your behavior to get that life sustaining food. Even when you were performing normally you were still shocked now and then to comply with whatever NEW conditions were set for you. This was basically behavioral modification to make you serve a destructive creature that was so very clever with their deception and choice of poison to get you to this place BUT hid it all behind a mask of sanity like they were your savior and the GOOD person.

SO today you are left with all of those messages that modified your beliefs about this relationship and yourself. Seriously it is very sad to know this and to have to believe this. NOW you are free and out of that cage but you are still left in that mode of trying to respond the way you were conditioned to and hanging on to the wrong beliefs. This is what psychological abuse is all about – conditioning and control! It sounds a little bit crazy of course, but positive/negative behavioral modification is part of our everyday life. That is why there are laws, rules and regulations to protect good people and avert crime. But behavioral modification to gain power and control over another person in a manner to subjugate them is psychological abuse, sadistic, and basically terrorism! This is a Narcissist’s modus operandi or mode of operation that they willfully choose to extort life and people!

At some point in your relationship the evidence of your Narcissist’s highly disturbed/distorted personality reared its ugly face, especially once this Narcissist was no longer invested in you (the devaluation and discard phases.) Then the Narcissist no longer makes a significant effort to keep his/her invented and fake mask of deception on. Then total denial is no longer possible with you but the damage is already done. The floodgates of reality suddenly burst wide open and a whole new set of inconsistencies, horrendous lies, manipulations, criticism, rage and emotional/psychological abuse flows through to the surface of your consciousness and becomes a new reality! Unfortunately the behavioral modification and psychological abuse still keeps you locked up in that cage hanging on and believing. If there is no one there to totally release you and stop those messages they stay with you for a very long time and you want to run back to the comfort of that cage and keep pressing on that bar in hopes that you will receive a few pellets of reinforcement where there is none! You hold on to the distorted beliefs that this was love and you bend so much so that you practically snap in half.

It is virtually impossible to absorb such painful information AND the truth all at once. Your heart still yearns for what you were persuaded to believe during the ‘love bombing’ that this WAS somehow love! Your mind is still overwhelmed with the memories of the so called good times with the Narcissist. Yet, the truth about the infidelity, the constant lies and deception, the manipulation and the backstabbing, the constant breakups and returns can no longer be denied because the truth is staring at you in the eyes! You can’t undo the damage AND everything you have learned about the Narcissist. You can’t return to the point of original innocence and the total blindness. The ‘end result’ is this contradictory existence and a HUGE internal battle clinging to the denial or accepting the real truth. How many times did you do this in the relationship by returning to a day or two of fake happiness and then it was right back to the same old same old? This is the definition of cognitive dissonance!

Cognitive dissonance is this inner contradiction concerning the target/victim’s attitude towards their abuser (the Narcissist.) It is by far not logical or normal thinking, but more of a defense mechanism for coping with the extreme deception, domination, control and abuse. Targets/victims engage in cognitive dissonance, in an attempt to reconcile the contradictory actions, words and behavior of a toxic or disordered individual that has taken over their lives. Yes taken over their lives!

The denial takes on several different forms. First it can manifest itself as hanging onto the idealization (believing it WAS love) or still hanging onto the false hopes and beliefs from the trap that lured you in (the love bombing!) It can also shift in a manner that we do blame ourselves for what went wrong with the relationship or perhaps even shifting the blame to the person that the Narcissist was cheating with or the new supply (the ‘other’ man or woman) instead of holding the Narcissist accountable for their actions! It is by far easier to blame someone you’re not emotionally invested in than someone you love, particularly if you still cling to that person or relationship. Remember the ‘new supply’ is no part of this and they are being conned and psychologically abused as well. It is only a matter of time that the ‘new supply’ will be in this same place!

Have you justified infidelity during your time with this Narcissist? Did you hold onto the belief that after this lurid ‘new’ affair was over with that things would go back to normal – or even after the discard the Narcissist would return to you because THEY LOVE YOU! Did you justify or deny that the affair or the new supply exists in a manner that they are just not real or temporary as it concerns your future and getting back with the Narcissist so you just accept or justify this! Do you sit there, waiting and believing that your Narcissist is going to knock at your door and come back to you? How many times did this Narcissist do this to you during the course of the relationship by always using deception to cover up so many lies and betrayal? That is the REAL message right there! You are not anything real to this Narcissist and replaceable! In time you do actualize the truth that they aren’t there in any normal sense of a viable relationship!

So more than often target/victims project the blame back onto themselves as they were conditioned to do all throughout the relationship and accept things that they normally wouldn’t. After all it was YOUR fault as we were made to believe! We got there because we accepted all of the Narcissist’s projection of blame and began questioning ourselves AND our emotions led us there. What did we do wrong, to drive them away? What was it about us that was so wrong or lacking that made the Narcissist become so negative or unhappy in the relationship? Was I not good enough, smart enough, virtuous enough like the Narcissist claimed, hardworking enough, beautiful or handsome enough, sexy, worthy, submissive enough, didn’t I give enough, do I REALLY have issues like this Narcissist said. Did I, could I, should I, if I? It is always the same coefficient from the Narcissist constantly managing you down and it always became OUR issues and never holding this monster accountable for what was only psychological abuse. We never get it that we were just ANOTHER object for this Narcissist to use and discard. We only believed the lies and fell into this abuse so we live with the distorted thoughts until we purge them out of us OR until we actualize the truth and get help to move away from all of the negative messages that modified our behaviors in such a destructive manner. THERE IS NEVER any closure with this Narcissist because it was all an agenda that ends with destruction and they are not going to take responsibility for their abuse and be exposed for who and what they are.

When a target/victim experiences cognitive dissonance, our rational ability to actualize reality or accept the knowledge about the psychopathy as far as it concerns the Narcissists doesn’t fully sink in on the powerful EMOTIONAL LEVEL. Plus we never had ‘real time’ experience or knowledge about this personality disorder to help us understand what was happening to us! Consequently, we continually move back and forth between that old idealized fantasy that was pounded into our mind and heart and the pathetic reality of the NEW truth about this disordered individual that terrorized our world and try to rationalize it. This is such a confusing process as well as an emotionally draining one too. Just remember that initially, when you were in the idealization phase and LOVED so ideally the fantasy was that this Narcissist could love you and that he/she seriously committed to loving you. Then, once you were devalued and/or discarded, the fantasy still remains that he/she is capable of LOVE and loving others, BUT just not YOU. You feel that you weren’t right for him/her, but NOW someone else can be SO RIGHT for them and it only reinforces the distorted messages. Narcissists don’t know love or feel love with ANYBODY they are only looking for supply. There will be MANY more and newer ‘others’ in this Narcissist’s future but ALL of them are just new objects to use and throw away! Everyone has an expiration date!

This is the fantasy (manipulation) that the Narcissist tries to convince every target/victim of once they enter the devaluation phase and that it is the problem is never with the them (the Narcissist.) Narcissists do truly believe this because they never see anything wrong with themselves or their behavior, so if they are no longer vested in or excited by a person, the Narcissist concludes it must be your fault because YOU were deficient or defiant and didn’t serve them in every way they deserved to be treated – omnipotence. That is where the incredulous stories and lies come from as it concerns the Narcissist pinning this all on you (smear campaign!) Then WHO has ever tested the Narcissist by trying to completely expose them, and were they successful. What law protects a target/victim and makes the Narcissist’s accountable with criminal charges! The Narcissist is a clever thief and usually has minions that claim his/her innocence and turns it back onto us! Karma and time will get them for sure because their lies do catch up with them!

Because you put up with the emotional and psychological abuse from this Narcissist you were with for such a long time and because the devaluation phase was also so long and drawn-out, you have absorbed AND accepted these particular beliefs despite everything you NOW know about this Narcissist’s inability to love or even care about others. In time and with no contact, the rational knowledge and emotional beliefs that this was real love will merge so you can accept this duality of what you believed and what is really the ugly truth. The last bits and pieces of this totally distorted illusion of this Narcissist loving you will diminish so the real healing CAN begin! BUT you have to put the effort there to stop the messages as well as anything that concerns them or you will constantly spin your wheels and stay stuck in this victim mode and BLAMING yourself. The reality here is that this was abuse!

Cognitive dissonance is part of the disabling process of being a target/victim of a personality disordered Narcissist and doesn’t occur in healthy relationships. When there are two healthy individuals in a relationship there are good and bad parts as it concerns two separate personalities merging. But by far one or the other person doesn’t have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality or a mask of sanity that hides a malicious, abusive and destructive person. In a healthy relationship, there is a certain level of transparency, so basically, what you see is what you get and it is pretty consistent, flaws and all. ALSO healthy relationships aren’t based on emotional/psychological abuse, control, domination and an insurmountable mountain of deliberate lies and manipulation. Furthermore healthy relationships don’t end abruptly, as if they never even happened because normal people can’t detach so quickly from deeper relationships and JUMP right into another one UNLESS it was completely built on deception and basically one partner is a Narcissist! Cognitive dissonance happens in those cases where there is a horrendous contradiction between a reality and an increasingly implausible fantasy which when fully revealed, would be too painful to accept, so much so that you would rather cling to parts of the fantasy than confront that sad reality and move on.

So what is related to this cognitive dissonance is that the Narcissist still has a form of power over you and the Narcissist’s distorted standards still have a place in your brain AND heart. Call it ambient abuse! Even though you may reject the Narcissist on some level, on another the Narcissist’s opinions still somehow matter to you (those old message still playing in your head!) Narcissists are frauds, their actions, words and opinions are distorted and delusional with a personal and self-serving agenda attached to them! The Narcissist’s connections to others, especially the ones the Narcissist CLAIMS to be “the love of their life,” are only empty, controlling and abusive bonds too. But if you stay emotionally attached or you still care about what the Narcissists thinks or feels, then you are giving a highly disordered person too much power over you.

Completely cut those imaginary ties and cut the cord that still connects you to a pathological Narcissist, as well as his/her disordered supporters and their abnormal and distorted frame of reference AND games. Nothing good will ever come out of allowing a Narcissist and his/her pathological defenders or minions having a place in your life, heart, or mind. The connection between the Narcissist’s and their followers/supply is a disordered perspective that messes with your healthy life AND creates the intense inner tension or cognitive dissonance. To eliminate this means to free yourself body, soul, heart and mind from this Narcissist, their followers and their opinions, standards AND games. What they do, say, think or believe and the silly mind games they choose to play simply does not matter OR belong in your world. What they post on social sites is just another mask they use that hides the truth and them begging for attention! Totally disengage from anything and everything that concerns the Narcissist. I did a long time ago and I am very clear about my situation and the real truth. I do not connect to THIS NARCISSIST at any level, I pull myself away from ANY and EVERY situation or connection that might exist. Everything this Narcissists does or projects is just more and more layers of ridiculous lies to protect themselves from exposure and the real truth of what they are. I absorbed all of that information a long time ago and saturated my mind with the truth that this person is dead inside and really a monster! These are words I never believed I would use in my lifetime to describe anybody BUT that is only the truth as it concerns this person so I can say them now! I can also say I am repulsed by this person and their lifestyle. It is all so clear now and that is what moved me forward to live and love again! This was the first step to my recovery but a very important one for clarity!

What does any connection with a Narcissist yield? Just blame, shame, sadness, frustration, a sense of defeat, doubt, constant and conflicting thoughts, many lies, mistrust, feelings of worthlessness, distorted emotions, betrayal, destruction, and ABUSE. PLEASE internalize that despite how intense the emotional upheaval might be, it is so worth getting your freedom back to live life as you should – otherwise what other option really exists? Remember this if you remember anything, you are not weak, stupid, you are vulnerable and struggling to find answers so it is particularly distressing when your normal reality has been intentionally corrupted by what you believed was just a caring and loving human being that turned into this MONSTER! Please remember that your emotions bond you to this creature and that is what you have to actualize by accepting the truth about them as far as the fake love they offered that you believed in – it wasn’t real it was a trap. This is where you must start by rationalizing the truth and rejecting everything about this Narcissist. A relationship and love does not involve bargaining parts of your life away to meet anybody’s needs! No/minimal contact PLEASE. Greg

Posted on July 16, 2015, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. amy cook cessna thomas

    True story

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  2. ALICIA LILLARD

    I was with a narcissus boy. I learned very much evil, cold hearted. Ugliness from him and his family. They even have certain friends that will participate in their ploys. It attacked my entire Family. Caused so much pain. We have been away since July 2016. No looking back. Just time to heal. My FAITH IN GOD IS WHO KEEPS US GOING. NO CONTACT IS THE ANSWER.

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  3. Very helpful because I still have feelings for this person, and the pain he caused me still resurfaces!

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  4. Thank you

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  5. thank you so much, Greg, for writing this and made it available.

    it’s such a long writing, and I can relate to most of it. I read all of it, one word at a time, sometimes pausing to digest and let it sink in.

    I’d say I’m already out the door due to support from counseling and some close friends. it was a new experience that made me confused and feeling “crippled”. it was a rollercoaster that I couldn’t get off from.

    I still feel confused and broken sometimes, but I’ve read many similar articles and I’m actually grateful that this happened to me. I can see and feel that it’s transforming me into a stronger better person. I am healing and growing.

    thank you.

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  6. That was awesome! Thank you. I’m not quite out of denial yet. There are still things that keep me thinking it just cant be true…. it cant be that clear cut….. and then it is. It’s like the million similarities are justified in mind because he didn’t leave I did. But that was after so much abuse. And I think it’s somehow easier for him to keep trying to hook me back in than find someone else completely because I was his income. I’ve saved the article and plan to read it again.

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  7. That was awesome! Thank you. I’ve saved it and plan to read it again. I’m not quite out of all denial that’s for sure.

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  8. I’m studying to be a licensed counselor, and was with a man like this for 29 years. I still can’t wrap my head around it not being my fault.,..although he left for another woman.
    Tonya

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  9. I walked out from a Narc man 5 days ago, it is not an easy road ahead, but reading your writing is helping me understand and get by from day to day working towards freedom and my old laughing happy self. Thank you.

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  10. I walked out from a Narc man 5 days ago, it is not an easy road ahead, but reading your writing is helping me understand and get by from day to day working towards freedom and my old laughing hppy self. Thank you.

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  11. So glad I have read this info. Now I need to dig myself out of this dark hole and put your advice in my mind. Time to reclaim myself and fight my monster. It would be so much easier if he just died. Sharing our special needs 28 yr old child brings on so many challenges that breaking away completely is seemingly impossible. Thankful for my faith in God and good friends awaiting my new self.

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  12. You are a superb writer. This post was powerful and well written.
    Namaste,
    Annie🐇🐇💕💕

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  13. I ended things last week with my narc that I have been through hell & back with over the past 4 years. I painfully let him go because after months of being, what I now understand as devalued, was told that he doesn’t know if he wants to end things but that he doesn’t feel the same way about me anymore. All of this abuse, that I thought was because of me & made to believe that I am emotionally unstable because of my military background, has landed me in the darkest & most depressing hole. I went from a very confident, healthy & vibrant 31 year old, to a skinny, unhealthy, depressed, devalued, and broken 35 year old. All while he so easily moves on….and mostly likely with a brand new victim already. I have struggled with being told that I am to blame & me actually believing it. I have been devalued in every way by my narc & his friends who treat me as if I am crazy…because that’s what my narc had them believe. I am so worried that he will come back for more as soon as I lift myself back up and I just pray that I will be strong enough to stay away. My heart & mind feel crippled, but after reading this article I know what to address with the therapist I just scheduled an appointment with. Their is hope – even when I have lost sight of it. Thank you so much for everything you truthfully uncovered. It is actually a life saver.

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  14. Reading tbese posts I cant believe how much I identify with them I am so glad ive found this site I am still struggling to understand what is happening and still in and out of the relationship with my narc tbe hardest thing for me to understand is why I find it so hard to break away from him, I know I have to for my own sanity I feel weak

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  15. Awesome job laying it all out! Yes. And the hardest part was to accept that my mother, sister, 1st husband, 2nd husband, all love relationships,- never loved me back, never were capable. It makes me ask myself if I even have the tools to have a healthy relationship? I don’t think I do. This is sad. They are sad and the whole situation totally sucks. That said, I am forging ahead with my life such as it is with PTSD, a total aversion to dating or even looking at a man and good days and bad days, never to feel a part of society again. I can’t even answer a simple question about family without it being too personal, so I lie. It’s a happy, yappy world out there for people who do not suffer from Narcissistic abuse, so we hide because we are seen as negative or troubled. I have the “move along, everything is fine here, nothing to see” act down to a fine art. Such is life. I am happier to be sure, but left with a lot of baggage that is hard to unpack as I have no good experience that involves love to replace it with. I do love God and that is how I live, that I can count on. Really well written piece.

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    • You nailed it! I use that “move along, nothing to see” act most days of my life. Let’s hope the rest of the world wakes up during our lifetime…

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This was the nasty ugly truth I needed to comprehend. In black and white before my eyes, I read my past 7 years. I was in disbelief that such soul-less demons do walk the face of this earth. It’s discerning to know such evil monsters do actually exist, let alone I LOVED ONE UNCONDITIONALY and SHARED a life with one. The suffering and pain that I am left with in the aftermath, of him, is unspeakably ugly to say the least. To realise my love was met with deciet, lies, betrayl, adultery, cruelty, selfishness, gas lighting, trickery, just every imaginable ugliness derived from the Pitts of pure hell by this spawn of Satan has me repulsed, agitated, writhing from the sheer stench these unhuman demons emit. Thank you for this needed article to clarify to me that no matter the amount of love given these degenerates of mankind will never be worthy of anyone’s true real love. I take solace in knowing these monsters will forever seek something they will never find. Their own demise is to never be fullfilled, complete, content, have true happiness. For such destruction they can inflict on another human, they should have forever enblazenoned on their forehead, the mark of the beast. For that is truly what they are. I’m strengthened, fearless, and empowered to leave my past and make way for my future by your insight. I will not allow this demon to take anymore of my time, life, thoughts! I thank you for that. I have no doubt my life will be better. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your post,Jennifer. Yes, they are in fact without a soul. That is what makes it so hard for us humans to wrap our mind around their cruelty. I appreciate how you so accurately described the ugliness they emit. Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. This is not a funny subject, but I had to laugh at your article title. LOL, if only I had known!

    Like

  18. I have read so much on narcissistic abuse in the 3 years since learning what it is, and learning that I had been married to a covert narcissist for 24 years.

    But I have never encountered such a clear and healing explanation of what exactly “traps” the target in emotional brokenness, and what exactly breaks the cognitive dissonance so that we can heal. Many counselors do not understand these key/critical concepts. Denial can be devastating.

    Thank you. Forever, thank you!!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I can relate to everything you write Greg. Just in the process of trying to disengage with my man after 5 years of insanity. Struggling to let go even though I know there can be no other outcome. I have nothing left, he’s had it all. I feel empty and am grieving as I let go of my illusions and contemplate life without him. I should be jumping for joy at finally saying ‘NO’ to the lies and manipulaion and cheating, but I don’t feel joy. I just feel empty. I am furious with myself for allowing this to happen to me. I don’t think I can ever trust a man again. This hurts like hell.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. Thank you Greg!!!! You have helped me so much. You nailed it. I could not stop reading. Every word touched my wounded heart. May God bless you always for your loving kindness to help me heal.

    Like

  21. Dear Greg, this article has just saved my sanity and my life! I can’t thank you enough.

    Like

  22. Wow!! What an absolutely amazing article!!
    I recently ended a long term relationship with a woman I now know was a text-book narcissist. As I read this, I had so many emotions and feelings come to the surface that I had to stop reading a few times. My stomach was churning, my heart was racing, throat went dry…actual physical reactions. Everything that you mention, was exactly as I experienced in the relationship – and I’m currently working through now.
    The more research and reading I do, the more I learn about NPD, the more I understand what I experienced was the result of this pathological, selfish and heartless “creature”.
    I am a well-educated, logical and caring man – and I could not understand and comprehend what was happening to me.
    Articles and experiences like yours are helping me enormously to accept what I experienced, grieve, deal with and move forward with my life.
    Thank you so much for sharing…and for helping with my recovery!!

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Call abuse center get help from them they will get u the CORRECT help…I am going threw it now and its helping a lot

    Like

  24. Nicola Collins

    Love your’re writing Greg, it speaks in a language only that only victims of Narcissism could understand. Thank you ❤ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  25. What if the narcissist knows there is something wrong with them? The narcissist in my life believes he is bi-polar. What is they constantly refer to themselves as “selfish assholes?” He is constantly asking me if he should be in therapy to which I always say YES! Do you think he has a chance to recover? To heal? To be a partner in a healthy relationship?

    -Thanks!

    Like

    • Melissa,
      I too related to many things in this article. I can simply tell you my experience with a narc is that my narc would NOT go to couples or communication counseling. Her response was “There is something wrong with YOUR brain. You go.” So I did. I so badly wanted to find out if there was something wrong with me that I asked for every possible test or challenge. The result was that I was emotionally and cognitively stable, but was showing some signs of depression from the marital situation I was in, rather than from an internal predisposition. At that point my narc’s response was “THOSE PEOPLE don’t know anything. I know myself very well.” I think she was afraid to have either statement confronted.

      If your significant other is bi-polar and wants to do therapy, that seems hopeful. Since it is a relationship issue, it seems that at least couples counseling should be a part of exploration for an improvement. Don’t send him for counseling with a ” “There is something wrong with YOUR brain. You go.” That is the know-it-all narc’s way of managing a victim. It is not supportive; it sounds as if you are, so give this a chance by offering support.

      Many sources on the web tell readers that there is no way narcissists can change. A minority, including my own counselor, says that change is possible but the person really needs to be committed to it. Rather than “change,” I like to think of this as “growth.”

      A more positive consensus exists that bipolar disorders can be successfully treated. Again, not easy, but no serious adult growth is easy. It takes work. In a way I envy you in that your narc is open to therapy. I wish I had had that admission of imperfection from my narc. I could only go so far alone with a counselor. I could assess and do my own growth, but that does not produce a successful relationship. None of us, no matter how capable or gifted, can save a relationship by ourselves. My counseling is now about addressing grief and progressing through a divorce.

      Others call the author “Greg” in this discussion; I must be overlooking where the author’s name appears. But I can certainly relate to cognitive dissonance. I grieved the loss of the wonderful girlfriend I dated whenever I visited the region where we met and dated. After she became my wife, that wonderful person vanished. The dissonance comes from truly living with two different personalities in one body. When I began to recover myself, I could start to recognize the positive act when it was presented to others. The real person I lived with was destroying my mental well-being and physical health. I had to get out to survive.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your post,Jennifer. Yes, they are in fact without a soul. That is what makes it so hard for us humans to wrap our mind around their cruelty. I appreciate how you so accurately described the ugliness they emit. Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Melissa. Unfortunately, a true narcissist would never admit their cruelty or need to change. The nature of the narc beast is that they will say or do anything that serves them. There is no lie or manipulation they will not use to hurt someone. This may include refering to themself as a “selfish asshole”. Saying something like that is most likely intended to pull on your heart strings and give you the hope that somehow, someday, they will “heal”. Believe me, I understand what it is to hope that somehow the one you so deeply love will change. I am actually a counselor myself. My experience is that people in general think “counseling” or “therapy” will magically fix someone. The truth is, it helps humans, but narcs are not human. Counseling does help those who want to help themselves. I encourage you to focus on healing yourself. Hang in there.

      Like

    • My N has been dragging me to couples therapy for more than ten years now. He charms the therapist, and he lies and “forgets.” Couples therapy is just another form of his abuse. An opportunity to discredit me in front of an “expert.” Another opportunity to outline in some detail another failing on my part. Another opportunity for me to rise angrily to my defense. Look — I got angry: Evidence again that he is right and I am wrong. The therapist seems to agree that being angry lacks dignity. The therapist seems to scoff at my insinuation that my N has no remorse, no empathy. As the expert in the field, the therapist invents for me feelings that I am supposedly unaware of and ignores feelings that I am able to articulate. The therapist is unbothered by the fact that my N has demonstrated a complete inability to discuss emotions. At $110 per hour, it also has the convenient effect of dissipating our bank account, which means that the house improvements I desperately need our financially out of reach.

      Liked by 1 person

    • NO!! This is part of the victim game!! He is getting you to sympathize with him and keep you close. He will NOT change for you.

      Like

  26. very good read, you hit it spot on. (sadly) . peace

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Reblogged this on My Year Of Living Selfishly! and commented:
    I am learning so much about myself!

    Like

  28. I fell in love. It took me 5 years to figure it out. Why was the relationship so destructive. Your blog and information has risen me from the deep fathoms of that bad hell. Once I entered counseling and begin seeing the patterns I became an observer and saw it for what it really was. As I continued to witness the manipulations I became wise and finally just had to cut it off and walk away. To her surprise I actually left her. She had been pushing me away and pulling me in time and time again. She thought she was the winner. That I was her puppet. Its been 3 months since my last contact and I already know I have begun the healing process. It is a long road to completely erasing the fake broken relationship of my past dream. I compliment the input and the learning that I have gained from this website. Self help and searching the internet was actually much better then real time counseling. I applaud all those strong adventurous courageous hearts who seek healing to never give up the truth will set you free. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I’m divorcing what I discovered to be a Narcissist just 6 days ago. I was with him 12 years and I could never make him happy, I could never win. I was told I was always to blame and that I was selfish. He manipulated me into thinking I was flawed, raged at me, and tore me down. I truly loved this man but wish that I had known how he behaved had a diagnosis attached to it then I would have gotten out earlier. He now literally says I’m worthless, and the 12 years together we’re all bad. I did so much for him, tried and tried to make things work, to “fix myself” for him. I’m a professional, good looking, the mother of his child, have a muscular body like he wanted, gave him great sex, kept the house lean, but nothing was ever enough. At this point I’m glad to be divorcing him because he’s insulted me beyond belief during this divorce process. He has stooped to new lows unlike I’ve ever seen or heard before. Told me I needed a beating and to be dragged through the mud because I destroyed the marriage! Words so hurtful that make no sense to me. Said that the divorce was 100% my fault. I’m emotionally destroyed. Oh and he’s in a full blown new relationship as of two weeks into the divorce process. This will never happen to me again. The terrible thing is that I have to co- parent with this monster who is so charismatic, funny, and good looking to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Dear Greg,
    I have gained my freedom from my narcissistic sociopath after 18 years of marriage. I have felt the blame, shame, sadness, frustration, doubt, etc. that you speak of. I have accepted the truth about him, as I had no idea who I was living with. During our marriage I found out he molested his sister when he was a young teen. It has been a difficult road for me. I tried to hold my family together as we have 3 children, but my moral compass would not allow for that. I believed in the fake love and it pains me to know it was a trap. I have rejected him and with the help of friends tried to build a life for myself again. Everything you describe personifies my life. If you have any advice, or words of encouragement, I would truly appreciate them.
    Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  31. So much helpful, empowering information here. I’m past the point of blaming myself, the denial and the questioning. I know the reality of it and I’m starting to finally not miss the narcissist. I’m now trying to grow something back in my heart and arouse some sort of enthusiasm for life. I’m 50, a single mom trying to make it alone. And the creative, loving happy part of myself is gone. He drained all of it from my soul. I know it is time to seek professional help. Thanks for the writing. You must help thousands of folks. One small suggestion: you may want to minimize the capitalized words in your sentences. You use the technique so often that it loses its effectiveness and seems like you are randomly shouting. Otherwise you offer a wonderful blog.

    Like

  32. I’m so pleased I found your website. For the last 2 1/2 years I have been manipulated and abused by what I understand now is a obsessive self soothing narc. I can’t talk to anyone about this as he is in a long term relationship as I’m I. But it has been the worst time of my life, I knew things weren’t right but made so many excuses for him as I had no idea about this kind of abuse. I’m in the discard phase….again and this time I feel like I can break free (I hope) but I feel so lost, confused, hurt, angry, used, abused & devalued. It’s a living hell! I hope now it can finally be over and I can go back to who I was before!

    Like

    • Wow….same exact situation and same spot I’m in now. I have a few extra issues thrown in to boot and do not know where to get help that is super confidential. I’m not even sure that what I’m doing here is safe either. Scared!!

      Like

  33. Janice Glomba

    have been involved with a narcissistic person for over 27 years, married, grandchild, took me having absolutely no contact with him (in four years during divorce saw him once) but a long time to realize it is not me – you are right we all had a expiration date and I no long fell confused, am I crazy, why doesn’t this story make sense etc.etc. It is him and I love this sight they tell a story that is so my story…..Thank you, Jan

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Dear Ana, and thanks to what passes for music, the message is: if someone doesn’t love you like crazy (make a goddess of you) there’s something wrong with you. Uhm, your too fat, too this, too that… But the (Scriptural) Truth is: in this fallen world, where the unregenerate rule (and annoy the stuffing out of the Lord’s people) for-real love is in terribly short supply. Narcs are out there & the world is fOOl of those crum-bums. As for the mus-eechh on the radio, it does nothing but enable narcs – and their flying primates. A big YYAYYY to the people who are (by the Holy-Spirit) able to walk away from the worldling feed-fests. Take care, Ana and God bless you.

    Like

  35. We have a new law coming into place in the UK where psychological and emotional abuse will become a criminal offence and punishable. It will no longer be necessary to prove physical violence but how can victims make good use of this new law? How can we prove the abuse took place? Any suggestions?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suggestion: Go for regular counseling and keep a journal of your events. Make these journal entries part of your counseling and ask that a record be kept. Evidence will build over time concerning what you are dealing with and what you have tried.

      Like

  36. It has been over a year since I got away from my narcissist but I still struggle every day. He took one of my dogs from me and has made me out to be crazy to everyone. I lost my home, my dog, my self worth and dignity. I found out he was a severe porn addict I had to go. He ignored me for almost 5 years. It hurts so bad.

    Like

    • Monique, ditto. Mine was long-term porn addict too. No sex over 5 years. Porn makes them impotent. He hid his porn 23 years. When I discovered his truth, he instantly discarded. Already had mistress on side anyway.

      They are not worth the tears we shed for them. The sooner our heart understands they never loved us, the sooner we can heal and be strong again.

      Great article here. Take the advice seriously. You are worth it!

      Liked by 1 person

  37. I’ve finely “confronted” my dad who has been abusing me and controlling me since I was a very young child…so after a whole lot of back and forth, telling him to please stop emailing me, I finely just stopped …his last email says, when I detox myself(I have Lyme Disease), and have clarity of mind, he will accept MY apology…that “apology” will never come from me…I had to bloke pretty much my whole family…they are his trained flying monkey’s …I did not know the lies about me he was telling the family..he wrote a litany of made up, elaborated, exaggerated sexual lies about me…he is so in the moment he doesn’t realize how he sounds…like a jealous boyfriend or husband…talking disgusting terminology about this person, and that, even about multiple boys…and we’re talking when I was very young…my childhood was so painful because of him..and he wants an apology from me…I didn’t really understand how evil a person could be until it has hit me full force..

    Like

  38. Thank you Greg.

    Like

  39. Greg how long have you been ”out” of the abusive relationship . just curious really, your writings are very powerful and are a great help, however you seem either consumed by it, or are just plain determined to share with the world the HUGE grief these people cause, i’m going with the latter, and this is your gift to the world, your insights and experiences, your knowledge and the way you write it, is actually inspiring …. and they do really make a difference…………. so it seems too simple to say and not enough in return…. however….

    THANKS VERY MUCH

    Regards
    John

    Like

  40. My “ex” lies to the court and because he is so nice and I am angry about the abuse to the kids and me, though the GAL says I am brutally honest, dad gets what he wants, took my son from me with twice unethical psychiatrist who killrd a child thru overdosing in 1997 lying (there is a reason he does not take insurance) and continues to treat son like he was – 10 years of ritalin, behaviorist and psychiatrist to prevent dad from hurting his younger sibling. Would have been nice to know before the divorce filing. Noone in the family said a thing. They covered up his broken-Ness and are just as guilty in perpetuating the abuse that happened and is still hapoening.

    Like

  41. My “ex” lies to the court and because he is so nice and I an angry about the abuse to the kids and me, though the GAL says I am brutally honest, dad gets what he wants, took my son from me with twice unethical psychiatrist who killrd a child thru overdosing in 1997 lying (there is a reason he does not take insurance)

    Like

  42. Wow!! This was/is my life!!!

    Like

  43. belinda collins

    I agree totally with this post.the man I fell in love with did all these things in our relationship. He was doing thing’s like messing around with the lady next door and I caught him red handed and confronted him …he got angry at me and tried to convince me that what I saw was not going on.he did this with me a lot.i started breaking down and getting depressed because of the games he was playing with me. He started telling his friends and family lies about me..in the mean time he had a few females he was contacting one’s he has been sexually involved with before. With all this he was doing he then tryed to convince me that I needed to go be seen by a doctor and get on medication. In feeling the way I felt I fell for it. …well that was not enough for him finally one day he threatened to kick me out of his life through advice from a friend of his.so I agreed to pack and go. He did not like that and ended up assaulting me .now im away from him and picking up the pieces of my life. Reading these posts have helped me understand what who he is
    and that I am convinced to never return to him thankyou so much.

    Like

  44. Yuck. So true. My former best friend is a narcissistic/antisocial who ended up married to a very nice but extremely insecure and naive girl. I’ve been contacted by mutual friends asking me to explain what the narc’s deal is because apparently he’s crushed her into complete adoring submission and she toddles after him like a pet dog, rarely goes out unless it’s with him, and talks about him the whole time when she does. From what I’ve been told it’s reached the levels of “mindless panting zombie” and from what I’ve seen he’s ensuring that she’ll never leave him because she’s put on at least 70 pounds when she was already about 50 over. It’s so bad I’m actually afraid that if/when he leaves her she’ll end up killing herself because she is extremely weak.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I read every word and all I can say is thank you!!!!! I was reading my experience with my ex narcissist on paper. After a year and a half I am slowly putting back the pieces of me but with a stronger re-enforcement. I am in therapy. I have good days and bad days, but in the future I will set boundaries and I will demand respect. This relationship did so much damage to me as a person, but it also taught me so much about people and how one screwed up person can screw up another person with no remorse and move on to the next person. I
    have removed all the minions from my life that were connected with my ex because I knew I had to. I couldn’t have those followers who thought so much of my ex and so little of me connected to me. I would not be able to move on and heal.

    Thank you again for this article. It is a complete description of everything that I endured.

    Like

  46. I have been helping my brother who is mentally ill by driving him to visit his friends. If I try to talk about my ‘woes’ he always comes back with a hurried and uninterested, “I know…I know,” but his friends are all important…not me, his sister. If I call to see how he is doing he immediately goes into ‘user’ mode, for instance will ask, “Are you in the area? Cause I could use a ride to…” and never anything about me (but here’s the kicker…will ask about my health, but not out of concern for me…he does not want to lose his ‘driver’).

    Like

    • Grace, I don’t know if this is relevant, but if you Google “The Effects of Gaslighting on Victims of Narcissistic Abuse” and then go down into recent discussions over the past year, there is a note by the author of “The Three Faces of Evil” who discloses that some researchers believe that extreme narcissistic lack of empathy can be a gradation into full-blown autism. You mentioned your brother is mentally ill, which is why I posted a reply. It may be that his illness prevents having normal empathy or emotions. Unfortunately, what you describe might be as good as he can do, and he is further incapable of seeing how that affects you. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with him and depend on him for your emotional support that you should be able to expect from a significant other.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: After Narcissistic Abuse Article | Lovely Wounded Lady Says …

  2. Pingback: We all have an expiration date with a Narcissist! Understanding the attachment to a Narcissist! The denial and cognitive dissonance that distorts our normal reality. | vckhs7

  3. Pingback: Cold sweats | narcissismrecovery

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