What Happens When Targets Aren’t Believed

Ask any target, even in the aftermath of leaving their narcissistic abuser, what the worst time with the narcissist was and  you’ll hear the harrowing and depressing effects of the mind games and devaluation; the shredding of the targets sanity and identity piece by piece while the narcissist smiles with delight.

The time spent with a narcissist is without question the worst times in targets’ lives. Many of us found ways to cope with the blaming, shaming, isolation, threats, withholding, power and control over us, to end up unceremoniously discarded without explanation or remorse.

But what happens afterwards? After we leave, do we instantly become better?

Narcissists isolate their victims and often commandeer the relationships we have in our support system to garner the sympathy of our friends and family before we even have the chance to crawl for help, mustering the words, “They abused me”.

We never realized how MUCH assistance we were going to need when it was over. We need the validation and empathy from others who objectively see the actions by a narcissist for what it is: ABUSE for most targets to even understand that what we went through was in fact abusive. Many of us are still willing to call the relationship “loving” and give the narcissist the benefit of the doubt (for being a caring human – perhaps misguided or lost) long after this generosity is due.

By the time we’re ready to tell others of our abusive experience, we realize that the narcissist has preempted us and gotten THEIR WORD OUT FIRST. While we’ve been dealing with what we thought were real emotions and a real relationship, the narcissist has already strategized their exit plan. They get their words out: The words that we know intimately are nothing short of pathological lying and twisting revisionist history. The narcissist will tell others we’re crazy, a stalker, vengeful, a poor loser, losers, or emotionally unstable. They’ll site our reactions to their abuse as evidence, never mentioning the abuse that caused our reactions.

Those who have been manipulated by the narcissist’s façade, who have been purposefully themselves manipulated by the image the narcissist wishes to portray, these “onlookers”, by believing or even lending their ears to the narcissists tall tales and outright lies, become unknowing participants in our further abuse.


We need VALIDATION not further doubting, questioning, or blaming. We need accountability, not others who make excuses for or enable the narcissist to continue abusing. We need justice, not a system who can be manipulated by the narcissistic criminal sociopath / psychopath. We need support, understanding and empathy, not aloof  statements such as “I don’t want to get in the middle” or “But he seems so nice”.

What happens to a victim of abuse when they’re met with such doubt and invalidation?


It takes great courage and self belief to press on towards healing when we’ve seemingly got NO ONE on our side to hear our stories and acknowledge our mistreatment. That targets continue searching for kindness, answers, justice and support for our experiences, is a testimony to our natures. We BELIEVE in the goodness and justice that “should” exist in this world even when we’re hard pressed to find it.

Find it we do. In other survivors. We know not to question or doubt a fellow target. As surreal stories are shared, we don’t doubt the veracity of the survivors statements, instead we nod our heads in validating assurance that we know all too well the monsters actions they describe. The bending mind games. The twisting blame game. The shame dump. The smear campaign. The projections, the lies, the cheating, the legal abuse, the stealing, the hacking, the stalking and the parading of new victims under our noses.  We too suffered the sheering mental cliffs and valleys that narcissists drive us to, hoping we’ll jump off and fall to a disastrous end.

Onlookers find it easy to throw out the judgmental words, “You should just let go, move on, forget about it. Forgive”. Would they say these same thing to a Ted Bundy survivor when he was still on the loose?  Would the police tell them they’re exaggerating or too sensitive or outright crazy? What does it take for these conspirators to understand the gravity of the situation and the harm that was done to us, is a harm that will be done to them if they continue to bury their head in the narcissists pile of delusionary sand.

We want to shout it from the rooftops! Be careful! Run! Save yourself! Look what they did to me! Don’t trust this person! Please, for the Love of God, this person’s dangerous!

Yet, when we do, we’re met with judgment, disbelief, shaming, name calling, and invalidation. This is Not the empathetic treatment that should be given to victims of narcissistic abuse; in fact this treatment is just as inhumane and unempathetic as the narcissist themselves.  All invalidation is a form of psychological attack. In response to this attack targets withdraw further into depression, helplessness and low self esteem.

If you find yourself having left a narcissist and facing the disbelief and invalidation from those around you who you’ve assumed would be there to help you, Please don’t internalize any further these negative messages. Don’t let another person’s inability to be humane, piggy back the abuse of the narcissist and drive your further into despair. REACH OUT TO THOSE WHO CAN AND DO CARE TO HELP!

There are many great survivor resources all over the web to meet a target on the journey with kindness and empathy.  It takes a community to overcome this abuse and until we educate the general public about the atrocity and insidiousness of this abuse, we must band together to heal and become stronger. Stay the course, keep the faith and remember that we are in this good fight together and we will be victorious about making narcissistic abuse an abuse that is detectable to the lay person, acknowledged as inappropriate, recognized for the dangerous situation it is and that all narcissists will be held accountable for their crimes against humanity.



Posted on September 18, 2015, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 69 Comments.

  1. My neighbour of 30 years I believe fits the profile of a narcissist but I have only just realised it. Finally after years of abuse, lying by omission, nasty digs, vindictive antics, her vanity, her sense of entitlement regarding money, even stealing from centerline. I finally called her out last week on all of what affected me. Just feel nothing for the woman, no guilt whatsoever. I normally feel bad in regards to arguments even if I’m justified.


  2. Amen…and then some


  3. I can’t begin to tell you how painful it has been for me to have been demonized by my husband when he discarded me. It still hurts a year later, his family turned their back on me, our mutual friends did as well…I don’t understand the loyalty especially when he’s an 8X convicted felon. I’m the bitch, the bitter one, the hateful one…see this is why I left her…but I wasn’t like this until he did leave me…with a shattered heart and no future. I still don’t know what to do…I still get so angry at both of them…and believe me I have no interest in saving his new supply…she’s the new dumb bitch and she deserves him.


  4. My wife is targeting me. It’s getting worse and worse. Her parents have no contact with her, her sisters have no contact with her, my family has givin up on her. Most recently, my wife told my 84 yr old mom that if she continues to boast about what a great person I am that she is no longer invited to our home. My wife continually shreds me in front of our children ages 2,5,7,12. She is projecting her failures upon me, blaming me for them. She thinks she pays 99%of the bills but I do. She tells me to stop screaming at her and she is the only one screaming. She has a continuous contention for superiority. Three years of malice without provocation. Recently she said that she was going to choke me with butter! At what point does she self destruct? What can I do to save our children?


  5. This is SO true. One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with in the last 7 years is the reaction of people I thought were my friends. They only know one side of him and the comments were brutal….”oh that’s just how he is….but he’s such a good dad…..how could you let yourself get into this mess….” I could go on and on. That alone is very isolating. You learn to trust no one. They talk about “sides” in divorce — and nothing is more true than divorcing a narcissist.


  6. Great article..exactly what I’ve been living. I not only deal with aftermath of vengeance from my N but lost a 30 year friendship from one couple (who I thought were loyal, loving friends). Two people I truly believed had my back, would confide in, and sought support from during my divorce.
    They had a holiday party last December that I offered to help with. Low & behold I get the email invitation with my N’s name at the top of the list. He RSVPd he was going. I was shocked & shaken to the core. I sat on this for two days before responding ‘no’ to the invite. When asked why I declined (highly invalidating) I respectfully explained I had no idea he was invited and it would be uncomfortable for me to be there with him. “Well he is still our friend. I hope you reconsider” was the reply it got (more blatant invalidation).
    The next day I dropped off the gift I got them. Wished them well and left.
    These were people I was in contact with daily. I haven’t spoken to them since.
    But you know what….I’m ok with it now. Much better off.
    My N has since taken me to court, taken away my financial support by falsifying documents, tries turning our kids away from me, & still constantly smears me to others. Yeah it still stings, it’s not fair, moral, deserved, etc. I can’t control what he does. Only me and my life. So that’s exactly what I’m doing. Living well is the BEST & ONLY way to move on.


  7. It’s articles like this that help me get through day to day. I have never felt so desperate for understanding in my life. I recently had a therapist tell me it was my fault I allowed this abuse and I needed to come to terms with this and fix what is wrong with me. I don’t deny some truth to this, I obviously have issues to be able to take 8 years of narcissistic abuse. As a therapist she also advised me to stop dwelling on it and acting like a victim. I was tempted to write her an email about educating herself better on narcissistic abuse but she would have probably pegged me the crazy unstable narcissist.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for the courage to stand up and share your feelings. This has helped me to identify myself at a very confusing time in my life with no apparent answers until now. Best wishes.


  9. This is my family but the worst is my mother & sister. They feed off each other. I have been the family target since my first memory. Dont think they will change cause they won’t. TOTAL AVOIDANCE is the only way. This is in person, phone, emails, text, fb, etc. ABSOLUTELY NO CONTACT!!!


    • Angela, I felt so not understood until I read this post. I am 60 years old and tolerated a sister with NPD until 7 years ago. I believe Mom was the one that started a chain reaction of narcissism. She died in 1995, long before I had a diagnosis by proxy of my victimization by my mom and sister. We will probably never know the full story. I am still recovering and have forgiven them but have cut my sister out of my life.
      I have a wonderful supporting spouse but my adult children don’t “get” it even though I have had many conversations about this. They love their “sweet” aunt and can’t imagine the monster she really is. I do know they love me but since they still have contact with her I’m not sure what she may be telling them. I don’t want them to feel torn but I also want to protect them from her. Having them, as well as other family members (who are really clueless) support her over me has made me feel like a victim all over again.
      In the meanwhile I am still figuring out who I am, having not been truly loved by my mom and my only sibling, who joined in making me feel like I was the “odd” one.
      I pray every day for healing for me and wisdom for the ones I love to finally see what took me 53 years to figure out.
      To victims out there, please get counseling. For many years I knew there was something not right but I was so convinced I was the one with the problem. When I finally went to a therapist she figured out in my first session why I was so sad. She had me read The Ugly Duckling and put myself in the place of the duck. The light bulb finally went on and I knew I wasn’t the crazy one. I wish I had sought therapy ages ago and so did my therapist. I suffered far too many years without knowing why.
      I hope this post gives some answers for someone in the same situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Walk AWAY, folks. NO CONTACT or, if you have kids, as little as possible. We must remember that who we fell in love with was……ourselves, not them! We watched their eyes dance, as they were sucking up our narcissistic supply to THEM. They mirrored our behavior, because they don’t have a personality of their own. They are nothing more than a conglomerate of all of the good people they’ve already ruined. Their bag of tricks is full, because of this, even though they are empty. The second that we become human, they’re through with us. Why? Because they regard themselves as superhuman. They hate the word “nice”. It represents weakness to them. They can’t even fathom what love is. And never feel sorry for them. They know exactly what they’re doing….trying to evoke ANY kind of a reaction from us, good or bad. They thrive on it. Think of them, as an octopus, wrapping their tentacles around us, and slowly sucking our lifeblood away. Then, there’s the shame and the PTSD, after we finally break free. How could we have not seen the truth? The answer is that we did, but we just didn’t want to believe that they are abnormal. They disregard life as an endless folly, all meant to entertain themselves. Just remember that these bullies will be OLD and INFIRM someday. They’ll have a harder and harder time, getting their supply…until they are crumpled up in their chair, watching Judge Judy or Sports-TV…all…alone! That’s when they’ll call us again….and I intend to be sitting at a French cafe, enjoying a fine glass of wine, with someone who is NORMAL, when that happens! Be brave…break FREE!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am still going thru this with the N who has money with a lawyer just like himself and the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) on his side. He got son diagnosed with adhd, odd and conduct disorder by taking the test himself, per his son, from a twice ethics-violated psychiatrist to do it, then get the unneeded drugs to give to son that started more problems. I have no one, my lawyer is inept and scared of the GAL, the GAL and N lawyer and N are all buddies and make fun of others who have problems. I learned in August the GAL was giving dad “parenting lessons” and dad was “losing his mind” in front of the GAL and that is ok. There is no justice, just lies that are orchestrated for males who want to do whatever to their children and the courts let them. No one cares about the truth, just who can scream and complain and accuse the best.


  12. How do you know if what you experience is truly abuse? What if I’m the one that is wrong? What if the way I see things happening isn’t really how it is? And if it is how do you begin to get away from it when you’ve been married 20 years, have three children and are financially dependent with really no support system?


    • It is not easy to get away from someone when you financially fully depend on him. But just think what options do you have if you will stay in these relationships. First option is you will kill yourself because you can’t see the way out of that abuse and you can’t take all the humiliation and lie anymore. Second opinion you will end up in the mental institution because you will doubting your own sanity. Just take that step. Trust your own abilities to survive. I was in the same situation. I was married to my narc husband for 14 years. Luckily we didn’t have any children together. He brought me and my daughter from a different country to marry him. Now I am 54 years old. Have very little income and very unlikely will able to develop my own business. I am surviving on £460 per month. Which doesn’t cover even my bills. But I discovered that my husband hiding millions from me. Trust me your husband has already hidden money from you during your whole marriage. Just try to open your eyes and found it. Search on internet how to found hidden assets in divorce. Here is a few tips for you. Have you ever re-mortgage you family house? Where the money were going? Does your husband runs his own company? Check “Companies House” website. Maybe the company you know about not just the only company he is running. Don’t forget narcissist will always make sure that he has money. You have to discover it. But don’t tell him anything if you will found it. Don’t confront him with your discovery. Because he won’t tell you the truth anyway. And will hide it even deeper so it’s will be much more difficult to find and prove the connection of the assets to your husband. Good luck and never doubting yourself. You will able to survive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Was married to my ex wife for 15yrs. The few jobs she had over that time she lost quickly. She just refused to work. She physically attacked me one to many times, she is only 5’4 and I’m 6’1, and she has caused pain but she couldn’t do to much physical damage. I think her real goal in it was to get me to strike her back. I had, had enough. I snapped and escaped. I didn’t know what it was going to cost me on the downward spiral. She warned me if I left what it would cost me, and how she would do it, and that was no lie. I was a career Firefighter of 13yrs than. In the beginning when I knew we would be sitting on a porch together with the grandchildren having just had a baby girl, and a home of all our own, “we” decided she would be a stay at home mom. I would make the money and she would pay the bills. Turned out she was keeping all the bills a month some of the 2 months late and only paying what was required to pay the bills now while pocketing the remainder for herself. She was probably doing this for 8yrs before I suffered an on the job injury. A The foreclosure notice was my first clue that something was up. Her Daddy had lost his job again during that time and she explained it away with the excuse that she had been paying there bills too. That she hadn’t wanted to stress me out about it, and that if I hadn’t gotten hurt everything would of been fine. I was being an asshole for getting upset over our house. I got back to work put I’m the overtime working up to 96 hour shifts on top of the 240 hours I already worked a month. She was constantly mad at me for always being at work, and angry with me when I wasn’t. My parents were worried that I was going to work myself to death, and I just kept going for a year. Until, at a party with friends her best friend “slipped up” and I found out she had another affair, a threesome with her BFF and her BFF’s boyfriend. They just never realized I was sitting close by? I never mentioned to her I learned about that one, she would of just lied again. Soon after my wife and her BFF had a falling out and she wouldn’t tell me why, but that was her same reaction she had when I found out about the previous one. She had slept with my best friend. He however came to me the next and confessed what had happened and showed me his scratched up back to prove it. When I asked about them she smoothly lied no big deal, until I told her that he had told me and showed me his back. Needless to say I didn’t doubt the threesome. After that I stopped working any OT and started to subtlety searching the house, eventually finding money and drugs. Asked her about that, told her I had the evidence and now was her chance to tell the truth. She lied. I proffered the evidence to her shock. That year was better, I thought our marriage was on the mend. I was wrong. I got sucked down the rabbit hole, and she got better at her artistry of deceit. They take care of themselves always and only, and she thrived on it.

        Be prepared if you get a chance to escape. I gained my personal freedom, the price for it was everything else, daughter and career included. I look back and struggle to understand what I went through and why. I was the paycheck.


    • Continual disrespect is abusive. When I left everyone said I was abused and I did not believe it. The police begged me to get a restraining order and social workers wanted place me in a domestic violence shelter. I moved in with friend and my children were older. The slander and backlash from leaving was terrible. My family ganged up with my husband to destroy me. It still hurts. As time when by I read more and more about narcissism. My mom and ex husband had every characteristic. The more I read the more I realized just how abused I was. You need to plan an exit carefully. It may take a year or so. I pray everyday. That has helped me know I am not alone in this mess.


  13. This experience is living hell. Watching your child deal with it is even more traumatizing. Having your family invalidate your experience as if it was no big deal, at some point life is not worth waking up for as the abuser has destroyed you and your child. Living hell.

    I have “returned” to abuser multiple times because of the reaction of my family.


  14. This experience is living hell. Watching your child deal with it is even more traumatizing. Having your family invalidate your experience as if it was no big deal, at some point life is not worth waking up for as the abuser has destroyed you and your child. Living hell.


  15. THIS IS SO TRUE!!!! I feel no less humiliated by the society then by the narcissist. EVERY SINGLE WORD IS SO TRUE!!!
    Nowhere to turn nowhere to go. No justice for us!!! How to live with it? HOW???


  16. some incidents no one will ever believe (as simplified as i can make them, though there is MUCH. MORE. behind these):

    The Final Visit

    root cause of punishing behavior: unknown. something completely inadvertent of which i’m not aware.

    punishment: planning to meet me in the store (after along, exhausting shopping trip) while i went to take my little girl to the bathroom, and promptly leaving the store when we went to the bathroom; forcing me to walk around the store with my 4 yr old daughter looking for the narc.

    mask slippage: when i came out, the narc was beaming. beaming! in a narcissistic rush.

    my response: why are you out here? (tone was frustrated/exhausted, but that’s it – no name-calling or cursing, just why?).

    further punishment: i had dared question this action. now i would be told off in front of my daughter.

    my response: i set the person straight, and told them not to speak to me in such a way in front of my daughter.

    narcissistic rage: narc would not drop the subject, began shouting throughout the car ride, and became physically and verbally aggressive in my daughter’s presence. at her house, narc blocked in my car with her body so i couldn’t leave, and shouted in my daughter’s door at me. when i got out of the car to draw her shouting away from my daughter, she advanced like she wanted to fight. when a neighbor came out during this altercation, she stopped her demon rant long enough to put on a hurt face and ask, “why are you doing this?”

    silent treatment/abandonment: narc said she was “done” and gave silent treatment for 2 weeks. upon contacting me, she would only shout accusations and i felt the need to hang up on her 2x. she refused to submit to boundaries in future visits, and has stayed away since.

    smear campaign: called my mother! called my ex (her son). called flying monkeys. her story is that supposedly i would not allow her to see my daughter. not the case; i offered to move forward without apologies on either side for the sake of my daughter, who loves her (sick, sick) grandma, just so long as there were boundaries. she also says that i wouldn’t let her talk to my daughter – TRUE, and of course not! it would break my daughter’s heart to talk to this person with no end in sight, no plan in place to see this person. it would be manipulation of the sickest kind. so now i have taken this woman’s only grandchild from her, and have mistreated her, i “verbally attacked” her, i am ungrateful, i am possibly mentally ill, and i am evil in every sense of the word. projection much?

    Come to Lunch

    root cause: unknown.

    punishment: invitation to lunch. narc made 3 grilled cheese sandwiches for 4 people and took one for herself. prompted us to compliment and thank her, making it clear from her tone that we had NO manners (i had already thanked her).

    my response: complimented and thanked her. UGH.

    smear campaign: were i to bring it up, her response would be that she simply ran out of bread and i am paranoid/crazy. but the narc didn’t choose grilled cheese and then run out of bread. the narc chose grilled cheese because she knew she -would- run out of bread. which is more believable to a normal person? her story, because they cannot accept that people who think this way actually exist.

    Stealing Easter

    root cause: she would not make my daughter mind in church. i made my child come sit with me, so that she would behave respectfully (not making noise and moving about).

    punishment: every time my daughter and i would have a personal, sweet moment this day, she moved to break it up. thankfully, there was a witness, and so as ridiculous as i know it may sound, i know it happened (can’t be gaslighted out of it). in the egg hunt, she went so far as to cross in front of me and take my daughter’s hand for the hunt. i knew i could not protest. my daughter was trained to worship grandma with love bombs as well as the clear understanding that we do not wish to upset grandma. if i’d tried to take my rightful place, my daughter would have had a fit and grandma would have been delighted.

    smear campaign: no point. were i to speak up, NO ONE (aside from the witness to these events) would ever believe.

    SO MUCH MORE. telling my daughter how much toys and meals cost in dollars and cents, and expecting her to get grandma’s money’s worth. subtly insulting me while lifting herself up to my daughter. telling her family that they needed her permission to see my daughter. taking over every event MY family has, and inviting herself to every occasion even when i’d just like to enjoy one joyous occasion without her sucking every ounce of attention there is to be had away from everyone else. buying my daughter so many toys that we have a full playroom, a full bedroom, toys in our garage… toys coming out of our ears!! reminding my daughter of each present… “look what grandma did for you.” emotional blackmail, gaslighting, triangulation, refusal to accept any blame, multitudes of enemies, victim status, it goes on and on.

    sorry for the length of this, but… who else could believe but other survivors. these are a FEW of the scenes i have endured over the years. grandma is fixing to retaliate (it’s now over 3 weeks since she’s seen my daughter – the ultimate status symbol and trophy to her – and i have not caved to the various ways she has tried to coerce me). she thinks she can take me to court, but will soon find out that there are no grandparents’ rights in my state (thank God!!!). next will be escalating attempts to disrupt our lives and punish/destroy me.


  17. You say “There are many great survivor resources all over the web to meet a target on the journey with kindness and empathy.” I have not found them and in fact the GAL has handed dad sole medical decisions for son (to medicate son and “his bad behavior”) because of the claim (with no proof, just dad’s say so) of behavioral escalation. Son is and was the scapegoat, daughter a secondary and then me. N knew he could physically abuse the kids and nothing would be done. He also knew I would try to kill him if he touched me if I could not get him jailed. I was stupid enough to think it could not, would not happen to me even with the proof that N’s grandfather was an abuser and I had suspicions biological father was an abuser too. Lucky to have found two people who love each other and understand each other – the N and the GAL who is just like the N. So my kids and I are screwed and have been for quite a while.


  18. Is it just me or do quite a few of the “victims” sound like abusers too? Who also seem totally out of touch with their own faults. Perhaps I am just blaming maybe it does only take one to tango.


    • No I am wrong, maybe only one or two victims sound like they are selfish abusers who got taken in by a stronger abuser. Everyone else is still just reeling in remorse.


      • The targets actually become narcissistic as well…my reaction from being discredited and discarded was very much seemingly narcissistic…because I was completely blindsided and in a panic. And yes we take responsibility for our shortcomings and mistakes; something the Narc’s will never own up to…they’re too busy blaming everyone else.


  19. Thought I was doing pretty good 4 months into the separation, and then I pulled up along side my ex at a stop light and her new boyfriend was driving her car with his kid in the backseat. Felt like I went all the way back to day one; drove a dagger through my heart. After 15 years its painful to see how flippant they are about the life commitment you gave to them.


    • I so feel for you. I struggle with the destruction that was caused to my life by narc. Positivity, light and love to you for healing and strength.


  20. Thank you. You get it. You know how it works. I’m NOT crazy. My mother is a narcissist and I am her victim. My family stays on the sidelines because they don’t want to get involved and my sibling thinks everything can be resolved using a peaceful tone of voice. Well she didn’t grow up the scapegoat, I did. I was treated like garbage and she was coddled so she doesn’t understand why I “carry so much anger” and it’s “unhealthy”. I was abused. Psychologically and emotionally. I was humiliated, second guessed, undermined, insulted, had my attempts at self identity and individuality pulverized because my mother demanded perfection ie that I be a mirror image of herself.
    It was horrid and when my family spews that “your mother loves you” and “she’s so giving / kind/ selfless” and I am such an ingrate for everything she does for me it’s like a hot poker up my rear end. I’ve been to therapy but I honestly don’t know if or how I can ever fully let this go.


  21. This is one of the best articles I’ve ever read on this subject. It’s so spot on in expressing the pain one feels when trying to heal while not having a support system. My family has deserted me because I revealed the truth about my mother’s narcissistic treatment of me and the fact that my father molested me. My mother didn’t believe it, and she started a smear campaign about me so that when I did bring up the abuses I suffered, everyone would think I was a crazy nut. But, they made me the crazy nut I’ve become!


  22. As you begin to look at happened free from the fog of being gas lighted and the illusion, your emotions whiplash you all over the place.

    For me, to finally acknowledge what I allowed to happen has been the most difficult. Yes, I was the target of a very sick person, but I still played a part. Me, an independent, intelligent, accomplished adult allowed myself to be abused. I wasn’t a child, I made my own choices and repeatedly denied realty because, in the moment, it felt more easy than facing the truth of what was going on. I am still coming to terms with this, but it is this knowing, that will prevent my being abused ever again.

    Now my 17 year old son has starting talking and mistreating with the exact same tactics he learned (I guess) from my Ex-husband and recent ex-boyfriend, i.e. the JERK!

    The EX abandoned us when my son was 8 years old. He rarely saw him or paid a penny in child support. I quickly got involved with a “friend” from high school at our 25 reunion, how cliché. Thank goodness I never married the JERK.

    After 7 years of blowing hot and cold, idealizing, devaluing, discarding and boomeranging back, JERK finally did his last (b/c I will NEVER speak to him again – have ZERO desire) discard within 48 hours of telling me I was not alone in dealing with my son, who has been acting out as of recent.

    My son saw his biological father treating me horribly and manipulated my son. It was so painful to watch. I could only hope over time and with age my son would see who actually parented him. Since his father rarely saw him, I was grateful that JERK spent time with him. Little did I know that JERK was brainwashing my own child to use as a tool to continue the abuse, even after he had discarded me.

    My son and I have been having a difficult relationship the past 2 years. He may have Oppositional Defiance Disorder or maybe he is just a N too? Or maybe, it an egomaniacal teenage stage that he will grow out of? I do not know, praying for the latter, but it feels like Ground Hog Day with a N that keeps showing up in my life, just in different bodies.

    My son always been a handful, but his most redeeming quality used to be his kindness and empathy. This has evaporated! He has zero respect for me, the rules, and zero ability to accept any constructive criticism, blaming everyone and everything else for his mistakes. I have failed as a parent.

    He recently got kicked out of boarding school for breaking the rules. Instead of learning from his mistake and taking responsibility, he has blamed me for not talking to the Head of School before I withdrew him. In trying to find a common place where we both could feel heard, I have found myself apologizing to him for accepting the Academics Head’s (different person) decision and not turning into myself into a pretzel preventing his dismissal.

    I need to be institutionalized to heal, stop the abuse and quit allowing my kind spirit to be manipulated! I can’t even do that because now I can’t get away from my son to make this happen.

    He does the circular conversations; when I point things out in the relationship that are not reciprocal, i.e. my telling him he is not contributing around the house, he flips it around and tells me I am abusing him and making him fell badly about himself. When I point out that he has starting physically intimidating me, he spins it saying that I am trying to define him, i.e. calling him a bully. And when I do not provide him the material things he wants, he calls me mean and accuses me shirking my responsibilities as a mother.

    I do not owe him a lifestyle I have EARNED and broken my back providing for both of us, all on my own while trying to have a relationship with parasitic misogynist person. Will I ever be free of this hell?

    In closing, it’s horrible and more cognitive dissociative experience when you are not believed by loved ones. It’s even worse when they use the experience to double down on you, futher continuing the abuse and dissociation.

    Say a prayer for me!


  23. It might also be strange to our friends. I know it took me several months after NC and some help from a psychologist to see that I had been in an abusive relationship. So I can also see that for some it might sound like sour grapes on my part, jealousy that my ex married a virtual stranger only six weeks out of my bed – to start calling him an abusive narcissistic sociopath only six months after breakup.


  24. I must say that many of my friends were, and continue to be pretty amazing. Including those whom I had drastically reduced contact with during my time (I don’t call it a relationship anymore). There were those who saw through my ExNP, immediately, and quietly stood by me through those years, waiting for the friend to come back. As one said to me “what hurt most was that for one of the funniest people we know, for two years we never saw you laugh once.” Some might ask why did they not say anything, because they didn’t – and yet I knew that they were mistrustful of this person, had a poor opinion of him. I also know that they know me, and had to stand by for me to learn my own lessons. I’ve had two people say “Oh get over it”, and another friend who is busy developing a friendship with my ExNP. I’m ok with that. I know that they only see the doe-eyed sweetie, the charmer who can haul out crocodile-tears at a moments notice. Perhaps this is the only version they will ever know. I know that I myself ignored the fact that within days of meeting my ex had listed more than twenty people who probably have a lifetime hatred of him. Even though alarm bells rang, I (chose to?) believe his victim story. I chose to see a version presented to me, despite clear signs of caution. Perhaps I am lucky with my friends, or perhaps we need to be more trusting of our friendships. I know I am blessed with the people in my life. And I have no problem with people who see only the mask. I did too.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you for posting this article. I am living this at the moment. Friends and family saying “that doesn’t sound like him at all – are you sure”? Then they distance themselves from you because they “don’t want to get involved” whilst still welcoming the abuser into their lives and home. No warning that the abuser is manipulating them to stay in my life and keep tabs on me is heard. He’s now taken to harassing me covertly so as not to be detected. The good news for me is that the UK police are totally believing me and have interviewed him under caution, taking fingerprints at my property and conducting house to house enquiries to see if he has been spotted on my street tampering with my property. So, I’m at the point now if not caring at all who believes me or not because I KNOW and the police are supporting me. They may continue to enable him in his abuse but I am putting a stop to it….

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Reblogged this on socalifnana and commented:
    All I can do is put the truth out…its up to you how to deal with this monster.


    • It took me years of limited and no contact to see all the lies ands manipulations. I slowly came out of the fog and began realizing how abused I was. I could not defend myself when I was gas lighted and brainwashed and now I am told “so much time has passed. Stop talking about it and get over it.” I only started to heal when I went no contact and stopped caring about what my family thought of me.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Excellent post, thank you for the validation. When someone is intentionally trying to make you look crazy and non-believable, it’s easy to give up hope that you will be believed – which is exactly what the narcissist wants. I spent most of my life in this state. Largely due to your site, I now recognise that some people, who are truly good as well as aware, will believe me. Validation is so important. What pathetic creatures narcissists are, that they spend their time messing with people’s reality – and feel it is an achievement when they have done so.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Perhaps telling our stories here is a good start to doing something. At least this site is a gathering place where those who have been through the damage can be heard and believed. It would be useful to make these stories as detailed as reasonably possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. It feels like i just woke up from a dream of someone elses life after 12 years. I used to write his words down… i knew they were bad but his words became my words. it started with our first Christmas together. i was wrapping presents and doing a terrible job. he started laughing, said i didnt do anything right. i didnt cook right, didnt dress right, didnt wear make up. after that i became the bad welfare mother he would never take parenting advice from. The night he said that, i cried all night and he sat there and watched. The next morning i was exhausted, red eyed and swollen, i took the kids to school and came back and cried some more asking him why he thought so badly of me why he was with me. he told me he never said it. it didnt make sense to me, nothing made sense. i started seeing everything through his eyes. he attacked everyone i got close to and i started seeing them as a threat too. He told me, look at the way people are looking at you and I did. They were looking at me the way he was looking at me. I was sure of it. I stopped talking to people, i stopped talking to them
    mostly because I couldnt explain in my words what he was doing because i had his words in my head. Every time I left him, i was drowning in the misery of his lies. it is only now that I remembered the fear he put in me, how when I started talking to a friend I had isolated myself from, my heart beat out my chest when he found out and I never understood why. At one point i even called a friend to tell him not to post on my status because it would make him mad. I remember now, all of the words other people have said to me, you put up such a fascade… how do you do it? You’re in pain and you dont even act like it. You should be screaming at him, it’s your life… why aren’t you angry? I wasnt angry… i was confused. I was numb with grief. I was silently drowning. I could never understand how my friends could hold me while I cried but he couldn’t. That’s not true, he held me while I cried about the people i felt completely isolated from, asking me ,”Do you want me to beat them up for hurting you?” I literally had flashbacks about the things people would say, “What’s the matter with you?” I told you that you were bad? “why don’t you
    want to sit by me?” is there something wrong with me that you wouldn’t want to sit by me? All of which confirmed everything he said about me, that there was something wrong with me. I remember all of it, all of the nasty things he ever said to me, did to me and I wonder how long it will stay with me? I also wonder after I leave him when the numbness will come and then the pain, the drowning…I remember I used to watch and wait for his lips to thin out, tried to prevent it with everything i had inside of me because I knew what it meant. It meant that those bad words were coming but would it mean that this time he would ridicule me like a child, point his finger in my face like last time, what name would he call me this time. The worst part is that my daughter will grow up and find a man just like him and he’s gonna make her cry and he’s gonna steal her joy and her hope and she’s gonna wonder why she wants to die.
    i just wish he would have just hit me, atleast then I could have found the right words to explain what was happening to me. I tried to tell people but I didnt know
    how… i couldnt explain it… all i ever said was he was mean or he doesnt contribute… he’s bad with money…or he mistreats me financially because I was trying to make sense of it by looking at his actions but i never thought about the words. I remember when i would pray out in pain, I knew in my heart God was trying to tell me something. All I heard was, finish your book, finish it… what you are looking for are in the words.
    I remember when i first move to Texas, God was stronger. i would look at signs find words, put them in my book. And I heard God again. The words are every where.. now that i know and have found the right words… i want to shout it from the roof tops… I’m not crazy.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. My pastor and 90% of my congregation turned their backs on me. And my ex tried to convince my two grown sons from my first marriage than all he wanted for me to be happy; which was garbage. So, I finally told my sons some of the sordid details and they were shocked. Then I told them I never wanted to hear his name again and not to tell him where I lived no matter how sincere he seemed. Trying to turn my own sons against me took the cake! It was one thing to mess w/”friends” & church members, but mess w/my sons and their wives! To tell them of his sexual abuse woke them up in a hurry.

    I found support group on Facebook. One group led to another….to another…..to another. I didn’t have to try to defend myself. Whew!!!!

    This past year has been to hell and back, but by the grace of God, I am still here. Hang in there!


    • Your ex’s initials wouldn’t happen to be JWS would they?
      Just curious, because I might have graduated from high school with him.


  31. Everyone tells me to move on in my birth family. They want me to be quite so they do not have to hear the terrible stories. They need not acknowledge there was so much abuse and they did nothing if I stay quite. My brother pretends to care saying it hurts me more to talk about it. I am the scapegoat for all their issues. I believe the truth will come out because there is a God who cares.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. They would have to admit to their mistakes. It is easier to blame the victim.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thank you for this post and your entire blog. I’ve reposted it to my blog, to help spread the word.


  34. Reblogged this on lettersnevermeanttobedelivered and commented:
    Please read this. The more I look into narcissistic abuse, the more I realize how often I was a target of it. If you’ve spoken up and not been believed, this is important.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Interesting timing. Last night my narc sensed my readiness to leave, and purposely stated, “I’ll say it is my fault, but no one will believe that it isn’t you.”

    In terms of “What can we do?” I believe the first priority is to avoid the first temptation to respond in kind to narcissists. I made that mistake at first and I responded to her cruel comments in kind. Soon I began to realize that I was losing myself in doing this and was taking in the toxins. I had to resolve that “I just do not do this any more” and have been able to keep from doing so for several weeks now. In doing so, I sense I am regaining more of who I used to be before I was gaslighted.

    We can disclose what is happening to us by affirming the actions–the emotional neglect, the shunning, the gaslighting, the constant criticisms and put-downs, the treatment we receive in comparison to the charming act put on for others without trying to undermine the reputation of the narc. We can disclose this with our counselor, who needs to be a good one who understands narcissism. If your counselor does not, and Christine Louis De Cannonville, author of The Three Faces of Evil affirms that too many counselors are too ignorant of narcissistic abuse to give good counsel. If you have one of these, get a better qualified counselor.

    Other persons to share with is your health care providers who see the effects of continual stress on us. Let them know of the stressful home environment. It is relevant to your health. In my experience, my narcissist sees my friends as inferiors, just as she sees me. It is a pretty safe bet that they will not try to befriend your friends and that the narc will compartmentalize you from her/his friends. So seek out the support of your friends that are truly YOUR friends. It is not safe to initiate sharing with mutual friends, who may serve the narc in the role of “flying monkeys” (look it up). If the narc is working to destroy your reputation, but you are not seeking to gossip or undermine theirs, that is eventually recognized by perceptive, thinking adults as disclosing the kind of persons they are really dealing with. Sometimes a short summary of “The fact is, I loved this person and she/he did not love me. The situation was destroying me daily, so I had to leave.” is truthful but does not degenerate to toxic gossip.

    I think in recovery, one needs to rid her or himself of the poisons by rejecting engaging in the actions of a narcissist. That can be hard to do after living any extended time with one.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Thank you for this post. It is the only one I can read and feel normal. No one understands the trauma and recovery one goes through from these men. They ruin your life, whether they are in it for four months or forty years. God help us support each other

    Liked by 1 person

  37. What i don’t like is when they try to get you to respond back to the in the same way so that they can say you ate the NAC its your fault and all alomg they push you till you crack.And then they say your the abuser:(


  38. I strongly believe in Karma. It’s only a matter of time, before these people reveal their true identity to just ONE of our support group. I mean that only an uncaring idiot wouldn’t eventually see their pattern of broken relationships and, in some way, also feel the wake of their destructive lifestyles. After all, Johnny or Janey march to a different drummer than the rest of us who are normal. Part of our healing entails not becoming co-dependent on anybody and that includes our closest friends and family. Yes, it’s very hard to not have our nearest and dearest believing in us anymore, but, just maybe, we should reevaluate who our nearest and dearest really are? If they don’t support us or believe in us, maybe we need to find that support in different people or on a wonderful site like this one. And, the first person that I would turn to now for support is none other than myself. I was THERE…THERE…THERE. I wasn’t nuts. I am the only one who bore witness to this monster. I tried to rationalize all of it, but it still had no hint of normalcy. I now trust myself to know what is normal and what is not. We can’t continue to heal, if we still need validation from others, but validation does soften the blows. It isn’t worth our LIVES and the lives of our children, to keep interacting with such aberrant slime. I have, oftentimes, told my friends and acquaintances that I would much rather share a stale cheese sandwich, next to a burning trash barrel, beneath a train underpass with someone who was caring and normal than go back to where I once was with that knuckle-dragger. I have learned that if my friends and family see a new light in ME that had long been extinguished, they are much more inclined to believe in me again. True freedom from this destructive disorder sows it’s seeds within ourselves first. Without any doubt, believe in YOURSELF, as your strongest support group! Yes…move on and FORWARD…that’s all we can try to do.


    • Boy, you moved me to tears! Today I feel defeated and I was the only one there that saw this monster rip me apart and I am lucky to know you thru here because I feel as tho I live alone and share that crusty sandwhich under a bridge with no place to call home.


  39. Dear Ana, there was a lady at my church who had undergone terrible abuse, and twenty years after the fact, had not “gotten over” it. Heck no, the slime-ball ripped her off bigtime. And what was the church doing for her? About zilch, basically ignoring her. Yeah, she was weird. Well who wouldn’t be after all that! Needless to say, since i’ve been going there (about four years) not ONE sermon addressed to people suffering under abusive slime-balls. If anything, just the same-old flowery “forgiveness” talk. Oh, but not a word about real saints dealing with real problems. Forgiveness is a process, one that may take a lifetime.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a sad commentary to the church. As children of a loving, living God, we “should” be there for others. Please let her know our web address and facebook page to see if we can offer any help. Thank you for writing and sharing!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • When you wrote you felt like you were drowning, Spot On! What I didn’t realize was that he had his foot on top of my head pushing me ever lower…..letting go just long enough to let me catch my breath….then wham!, he’d shove me back under…all w/o warning.

        I remember the day I sat in the couch staring at the wall, and thinking, “I don’t know who I am anymore….”
        I finally left them last year without his prior knowledge. God got me through going to hell and back. Now I’m relearning who I am. And I’m much stronger than I was before!


      • I, too, had such an experience at my former church. What God revealed to me is there was nothing coming from the pulpit, b/c my ex pastor is a narc as well. I thank God I’m in a healthy church now.
        About 95% of my ex church sided w/my ex. I feel so much freer now that I left those flying monkeys.
        God bless you. ❤️


    • Narcs feed on their target’s forgiveness. As a Christian, I am told to forgive when others have done wrong to me. The narc in my life would justify his abuse by saying, “we all make mistakes” & “I can forgive you for hurting me… you aren’t doing what Jesus says you should do: forgive me!”. In 15 years, this man emotionally raped me over and over. I forgave more than I probably should of… but church members don’t understand the severity of narcissistic abuse, and the cycle involved. Hopefully someone will help the Church realize that these wolves in sheep clothing are as active today as they were in the Apostle Paul’s time period. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!! God promises to avenge our broken hearts.


  40. Sent on a Sprint Samsung Galaxy S® 5


  41. I need help, after six years in divorce court, he will not stop!!!! I don’t have a support system. He left me and my boys displaced and destitute.


    • My divorce took over a year. I was lied to and about, he spread rumors, filed police reports accusing me of stalking and child abuse which led to a visit from social services….afterwards, the woman told me she’d pray for me because it was obvious to police what he was doing. We almost went to trial and the deposition alone cost me $7K!! I never added up the total cost of my lawyer fees (at one point, two were on my case because he was so bad) because if I knew how much it totaled, I couldn’t handle it. I left with NOTHING. I had no couch, table, bedroom furniture for me and my boys, he tossed my daughter out of the house because he needed her bedroom for the girlfriend’s daughter. My oldest son had a stroke from the stress from his father and my youngest son suffered a seizure. Their father is a mean, vindictive tyrant and they couldn’t handle it. Any “friends” we had during our marriage are silent. No one wants to be “involved”. I never asked them to be. As my sister said, it’s easier for people to be his friend because they’re afraid of him. So…I’m on my own…completely. I had no support system and the one person that was (my boyfriend) died of cancer last year. I have been beaten down, but I get up every day and endure. During the past 2-1/2 years since my divorce, I have slowly come back from the brink of despair. Garage sale finds, trash picked kitchen chairs, working two jobs…I’m surviving and my kids are doing much better than they were a couple years ago. My point and advice is this….if you’re fighting over something, stop. It’s not worth it. (My ex makes well over $100K/yr and his wife makes in the $60’s…I made 27K last year) Only have contact with him if it’s in regard to your kids’ schedule. Leave all personal things out of your emails. Email contact or texts that can be saved should be the only way of communication. Write your email, but don’t send it. Come back to it later and revise to leave ALL emotion out of it. Treat your emails like a business communication….cold and impersonal, sticking to facts only. Don’t bother explaining yourself, it’s never going to bring you anything but frustration. They don’t care about anything making sense. Don’t talk to your kids about anything between you and him. They don’t want to be in the middle and they will see by your actions how things really are. This takes time…my kids were nasty to me because their heads were pulled in so many directions…but after a very long time of just holding my head high and forging forward, they see and understand things. My boys are teenagers and my daughter is 22. Get up every morning and force yourself to do something positive to keep moving forward, no matter how small. Don’t allow yourself to stare out the window and feel hopeless. Get another lawyer…good grief, it shouldn’t have been 6 years! Please also understand….I base all this advice on my own experiences and no one lives the same life as another. There are similarities, so if you find anything from this post that helps you, I’m glad. It’s a hard road, filled with frustration, tears, exasperation and pain….but eventually we all get through it. Because we have to. Much luck and hugs to you.


  42. This is so spot on, I have been trying to protect my children from their father and gain full custody . I have attended court so many times and been denied by benton county court commissioner Joseph Schneider stating that there is not enough to modify the parenting plan. Letters to CPS from others that are concerned ,my children themselves, my fiancé that has been with us for almost 13 years, school counselor, his second ex-wife, myself and friends and he had one letter from a 4 H leader because I didn’t take them to a 4 H meeting because we had other plans regarding another child playing sports on that evening. That’s all he had and I was told that I exceeded the limit on submitting letters to the court. My request was denied again on September 15,2015 and yes the father Kip Wood sat there and smiled while everyone in the court room sat there in disbelief. I walked out of the court room to here other attorneys state that he should excuse himself from my case and how unethical he was. Still my daughters have to go to their fathers home in fear.


  43. My sister and I know we wouldn’t have made it without each other. However, we spent decades pitted against each other. We were in our 40s and seeing the same counselor before we finally started comparing “notes,” discovering the breathtaking depth and breadth of the lies. Anytime “new” information comes to light, we immediately double check with each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Plenty of sites talking about it on the web. None doing anything. No human being to talk to. Even counselor says move on.


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