Recovery – What Phase are You In?

This word conjures up many intense feelings for former targets of narcissists.  It’s no surprise that when we first free ourselves, we are apprehensize to embrace the concept of recovery. To do so is a reminder that we must again expend our energy “changing” and “fixing ourselves” to deal with yet another transgression by the narcissistic people around us.

In assessing the receptiveness of targets to authors and healers in the narcissistic abuse community, we find feedback shows that targets respond less favorably to those healers who shame or focus on labeling targets as “victims”, “codependent” or whose program blames targets for enabling or bringing on their own abuse.  We’ve also found historically that our blog posts which focus on ourselves and recovery are not our most popular posts.

Our approach has always been “target trusted and target led”. By that we mean, that we focus on the individual and trust that we all intuitively know what’s best for ourselves and that where each of us are in terms of our own journey of recovery, is EXACTLY where we are meant to be based on our own circumstances and personalities. Recovery is definitely NOT a one size fits all event.  Timing is everything!

When we are in the early phases of “light” or educating ourselves about narcissistic personality disorder and malignant narcissism, we are not going to be focusing much on ourselves or our own “issues”.
Let’s define “recovery”.  First, we are discussing recovery from narcissistic abuse. Narcissistic abuse is the abuse we suffer from being in a close relationship with a person who has been formally diagnosed with the mental disorder of “NPD” or someone whose malignant level of narcissism and lack of empathy causes severe disturbances and abuse within their close relationships by which we were traumatically affected.

Recovery then becomes the process that ensues in the aftermath of accepting that the narcissism of another person became so toxic to us that we had no other choice than to sever the relationship and go no or minimal contact in order to save what’s left of our soul, sanity and identity.

Recovery is not an option; we either embrace the process and let it teach, transform and free us or we let recovery drag us through unending pain with no resolve and the inevitable repetition of the patterns of our past with one narcissist after another.

The Ana Stages of Recovery:

No Contact – The First 90 Days


The most difficult in terms of an intense and baffling rollercoaster of emotions, battling the addictive and obsessive pull of the toxic relationship, the dying of very bad habits, the smear campaign, the realization of the horrible things you were denying for so long, all make the first 90 days a true hell on earth.

The needs during this period are frequent crisis intervention, intense communication regarding the problems and the relationship,  assistance in remaining no contact, emotional triage for extreme feelings and withdrawl. etc.

Light – Education about Narcissistic Personality Disorder



Knowledge is power! There’s a strong need and desire to read information that helps targets understand the narcissistic personality and abuse tactics, Reading everything you can get your hands on about the disorder and talking about it and Participating heavily in support groups.

What happens over time, as we educate ourselves about the disorder, we begin defining our own identity, separate from narcissism. We’ve been blamed ad nauseum by narcissistic people for being: “selfish, self centered, jealous, cheating, mean” (projection) so as we begin to learn that narcissist’s project, they have agendas, they are serial cheaters, etc. we begin to  KNOW that we weren’t really those things, we are who WE are and no one outside can define us. We begin to form boundaries around our identities and protecting ourselves because we recognize that our hard work to get ourselves back should be relished and valued.

Life –  Focusing on our own lives now that we’ve learned about the disorder, and have separated ourselves and our identities (boundaries) from the disorder. 


This is the phase where, we no longer focus so much on the narcissism in the world and people around us, but we are willing to consider our own state of affairs. Our goals, boundaries, our family histories, our work lives, our friendships, and even our own levels of narcissism; our passions in life and how egoless our pursuits are. We strive to live our best lives, through our own authenticity and assume responsibility for the health and well being of our own lives.

Narcissism is nearly a distant memory, until something out of the blue triggers those old abuses.  We can easily become frozen and drift right back into reacting as if the abuse is occuring all over again. It’s a day terror of sorts, realizing that we are PERMANENTLY SCARRED by something so traumatic that we can’t let go of the trauma, no matter how desperately we want to. PTSD. Today’s reminder that narcissist abuse occurred in our lives.

Love – God’s love, Self Love, Other Love, all things love

love 1.jpg

Love is a concurrent state to our everyday lives, but it deserves a special call out in our recovery program. Because the lack of genuine self love whether the narcissist’s or ourselves, gravely harmed us. Love doesn’t hurt. It’s the golden rule. It’s the only way we create peace in our lives.

Communion is important. After narcissistic abuse, we need to push through an ENORMOUS MOUNTAIN of mistrust towards every other human being on the planet and at times, even God. We no longer blindly trust others the way we once did. If you’ve never had the type of conscious altering experience as loving a soulless human, you won’t understand this desire to isolate from all humans, out of fear of ever encountering this again. Targets forever feel braced to prevent this abuse from recurring.

At this phase, accepting responsibility freely and humbly increases our self love. By living authentically without attack, so far from our narcissistic pasts, our self worth and love flourishes because it can! The more we love ourselves, the more we protect our goodness. Always striking a balance between being exposed, being known and trusting to not be devoured.

Our relationship with a higher power, in my own life, “God”, also develops love in our  lives. Knowing that we can rely blindly on someone to always have our best interest at heart and who desires to know us and be close to us, despite our flawed state, is the kind of love that makes us joyful to be alive and deeply trusting.

Laughter – Without laughter, this whole process would be too overwhelming, dark and weighty. 


The resurgence of laughter in our lives is the universe saying, “Everything’s going to be fine”. We know instinctively that when we can laugh about things, we just aren’t taking ourselves and the whole experience so seriously. We can’t always be focused on the struggle. Sometimes, we need to just laugh.

There were times in my own recovery that I’d read something or see a picture that would just make me laugh so hard out loud at the absurdity of big egos, selfishness, grandiosity and personally, what I’d been through. It wasn’t always the narc I’d laugh about, it could be my own, faux pas as I awkwardly stumbled through my own recovery. The ridiculous things I’d done or said, out of response of just being so hurt and broken.

This recovery has definitely showed me that the God I believe in, has a SENSE OF HUMOR! and Im so thankful that he does!



What we focus on, what we grapple with, what we choose to read about or gravitate to in our daily lives will depend upon where we are in our phase of recovery.

Once we are conscious of the inescapable reality that post narc abuse, we’re in “recovery” whether we like to admit that or not.  Embracing the journey and being aware of where we are in the journey helps us be more patient and understanding with ourselves.

Where are you in your phase of recovery?

What are you learning?

What do you need at this stage?

Are you growing?

Do you ever desire having “not to recover” anymore, that you just want to live life without having to think about “narcissism?

What do you need from us and others around you at this phase?








Posted on December 20, 2015, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. loveearthvisionary

    Reblogged this on Love Earth Visionary.


  2. I am responding to Cynthomas’s post in December. I am 67 years old, retired, with no children or family. I know EXACTLY how you feel. My friends are sick of hearing this. They say just forget him and move on! I tried therapy but found no one who could help me. I read all I can about this disorder but since I have been told over and over the problems were all caused by me because I am crazy, bipolar, jealous, etc., I now wonder if I am the one who is the narcissist. I lost my home, got divorced because of his continued insistence that God sent me into his shop, that hex waited his whole life for me, that he loved me and wanted us to marry right away. This was all done in a three month period! I am left with hardly any money, I asked for no alimony because I thought my narcissist and I were do in love and getting married, I sold the house I received in my divorce because he told me to sell it because we were never going to want to rent it because it’s was next door to my former husband, I later had to buy it back from the man I sold it to. Thank goodness he agreed to sell it back to me. But now I have to live next door to my X husband because the house won’t sell for enough for me to move and buy anything else. I have barely enough money saved yo last me another ten years. I will most likely die alone in this house. Meanwhile he goes on in his life, is now dAting, still texts me and wants to come down occasionally, and tells everyone who will listen his distorted stories of me and makes HIMSELF look like the victim. I try NO CONTACT but I still keep thinking he loves me and that we will work out! I know that’s crazy but I am do miserable and almost addicted to him that I am afraid this is the life I will have until the end!!!!


  3. I just NEED someone to assure me that the person I have been involved with for SIX years is a malignant narcissist. I tried therapy twice but all I received was the idea that Zi was co- dependent. My last therapist said after listening to me recant various events with him, that she would have NEVER talked to him again after the first incident and she couldn’t understand why I kept being involved with him! I know everyone thinks that but he continually made me think I was crazy, bipolar, very insecure and jealous!! He is now dating two people but he continues to text me like we are friends and to make me think he still cares for me. I have tried no contact do many times but I fail EVERYTIME. I need HELP, I feel so depressed, alone and I have no one to talk to about this. My friends are sick of hearing about him and they all say to just stop talking to him and forget him. I WISH I COULD!!


  4. I’m just happy I found this.

    I worked with the Narc, he was my boss. I have always had a problem developing crushes on my bosses. At the time I met the Narc, I was engaged to someone else.

    My work relationship ended up being that I worked closely with the Narc, and the abuse and mind-screwing began in terms of my professional accomplishments. My best work was diminished or even punished. He would claim credit that was disproportionate and I knew deep down that he didn’t deserve. But he would always insist that without him I wouldn’t have even had the opportunity in the first place.

    He would belittle me for not coping well with the crazy stress he would put on me, and I was resolved not to fail professionally. And I liked him. Sometimes he would talk me up to other people, but I was always HIS right hand.

    My feelings about the narc were intense and I was sucked toward him. My relationship to my fiancé was bland by comparison. I threw it away.

    Then the narc, who had seemed to grow closer, provided me no comfort in the aftermath of my broken relationship. He had seemed like he was going to, leading up to it, but he never really did.

    So I dated casually and started making big reckless choices, because I wanted to break out of his grasp. Subconsciously I was trying to escape. He became vengeful and abusive at work, and my professional life was stressed into a threadbare overworked mess.

    I knew the choices weren’t good for me, and they didn’t make me any happier. I just ended up burnt out, and with a case of herpes. And the abuse at work continued.

    Finally, a coworker of mine stood up to him, and called him out on his behavior. He made a point of apologizing publicly for it, and stating it was never his intention and that he didn’t realize how harsh he was being.

    A few months later, the dynamic between us evolved into a relationship. Lovebombing. Lured me in.

    I had to disclose my herpes, which he always pretended to be understanding of, but that he always used to hurt me. He called me out on my weight. He criticized me for everything.

    He lost his job where we both worked, and I supported him through his emotional journey. I encouraged him to pursue his own dreams. I took care of him. But as I needed love and support, he accused me of nagging or being insecure.

    I left, after 3 months, this last Sunday. He began a rage episode over my cat tracking litter into the bed. It lasted for two days. I woke up on the second day in panic, and my fears were realized as the hysterical angry screaming continued.

    I spent the day afraid to do anything. And he left for the store instead of talking to me, when I told him I was afraid. And I packed as much as I could and I ran. I grabbed my cat and I ran like I was running to save my life. And I guess I was because I feel like if I had stayed any longer, I would have disappeared and all that would have been left was a husk.

    And I’m so thankful that I found this. I felt crazy. I felt warped out of shape inside my head. I was so angry, I was hurting myself, putting my fists through walls, punching bricks, wanting to hurt him and the pets.

    I just quit my job, to get away from the place where he seduced me into this toxic, awful, destructive, soul crushing situation. And today is the first day of no contact.

    He called me 53 times in a row. His texts were are first a wave of rage and poison, threats and blame. Then calm “disappointment”. And then realization that I wasn’t coming back, which triggered the whining and begging and pleas to return, he promises to change, I am his angel…

    I am so thankful I found this. I am so lonely, even around my friends and family. Because I CANT trust them now. But I don’t have to be alone.

    Thank you.


  5. I’m at the stage of learning about her disease. I am also learning that I am co-dependent. This is the reason she tolerated me until she found somebody else to concentrate on. I am very ambivalent about no contact. I keep blocking and unblocking her on Facebook. I want to contact her, but I refuse to give her the satisfaction of my begging her to come back; that would only make her laugh. I know her a little bit.


  6. It’s been four years and countless hours of therapy to get to where I am now. How do I cope with the fear that I am making the same mistakes with my current partner. It’s not a gutt feeling, my gutt feeling is that he is a great man. Initially I didn’t to go out with him because I thought he wasn’t my “type”, but realized my previous type was a charming, lying, selfish, narcissistic jerk. So I went outside of my comfort zone (what I was used too). I trust him unconditionally, I feel like I can tell him anything without ridicule. He helped me out of the hole that I was in. These aren’t things I could say about my ex. I’m afraid of finding myself in the hole that I was in for twenty years, broken and feeling used. But I don’t want to give up what could be a relationship with a good man.


  7. my first time ever to post…my no contact , is not by my own choice. I KNOW, I KNOW , but he has me blocked from an form of contacting him, yet he sends me daily post an quotes, about how evil, an hurtful, an selfish ,etc.. I was to him. I no I should block his mess. an have tried a few times but to no avil. we are still in the smear champaine stage. he is working (somthing he didnt do when we were together) over time to convince those around us that I was the evil one. even joined a site similar this , an post quotes about narr. as if its me with this condition. after five yrs. of researching all I could to try to find the name of the codition I was sleeping with, I finally found the title NARC. an omg was I blown away. it was as if someone had been watching thru the window at my life an had written a book on it. once I uncovered this info an confronted him with it everything has changed. its as if he hates me for knowing the truth about him. an his biggest fear is that ill leak this to the world. so he must discredit me at all cost. yes he took my job, my friends, an almost my freedom. now that im struggling to get by, he has (after 5yrs. living off me) gone back to work an acts as if im a bum of the street if he buys m a pack of cigs. my angure an resentment frightens even me an he claims to be terrified of what I may do, AN IM NOT SO SURE I CAN WALK AWAY without some sort of justification, acknolgment, are at least a M SORRY.for screwing up your life….


    • Story after story and each one I read mirrors my own story of being targeted and manipulated. The chain of events and phases of abuse that we victims go through (love-bombing, devalue, discard) are so identical it makes us wonder how everyone else around us cant see whats happened or happening to us…Many of my friends and family who are on the outside looking in seem to interpret my situation as just another broken hearted spouse that fell out of love…..Aarrgghh. I only wish that was the only issue… Its weird and depressing and tragic all at the same time… The loneliness I felt when was consuming me until I found other victims of this vampiric abuse that exactly relate to the trauma…. It helps to share

      Liked by 1 person

    • All of the feelings u have expressed in this post I have felt. I am so sorry u are in such pain. Please attempt to reframe this to emotionally survive. It is difficult for people who have not been in our shoes to understand the devastation narc abuse causes. If the emotional wounds these narcs have inflicted upon our minds could be seen as physical, the world would gaze upon a bloody and broken body in such agonizing pain they would assume death was imminent. But fight! Fight for ur survival because u deserve to survive! U must get through this one minute at a time. I promise u, for every minute you survive it will get easier to do so!!! Breathe through it-understand that breaking free of the narcissist is akin to breaking free from a drug like heroin. We ARE ADDICTED to the neurological chemical reactions these manipulators are able to conjure up within us. There is life after addiction!!!! I know u don’t believe it now, but the longer u have no contact THE BETTER U WILL FEEL and the EASIER it will get to be without him! Please believe me, u CAN and U WILL be free of this pain and u will enjoy ur life again. He NEVER HAS AND NEVER WILL enjoy his life or be free of pain. He filled u up with all his toxic shit. When u break free u give it all back to him!!!! Rest assured he does not get away scot free because he still has to live with himself.


  8. Oh, I wish I had the no-contact option. We have children, we live together, we’re stumbling through a divorce. This process has been incredibly difficult and painful. I’m dealing with much of what you mention, including victim-blaming and notions that I was somehow codependent and created ‘our’ situation (vs. recognizing that he was an abuser). He is love-bombing all over the place, trying to smooth this over so the notion of divorce will go away. Every day, over and over again, I need to remind myself that getting away from this man is the best thing for me and my children in the long run. But every day is hard. I’m exhausted and stumbling forward, but every day is hard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Don’t buy into the love bombing bullshit! That’s another form of control. Manipulation and control. Because you know good and well, if you cave into his false promises of love and “changing”, it won’t last. He’ll act nice for as long as it takes for you to come around. And if you do, he’ll go right back to his pattern. His comfortable, narc ways.

      I spent a year in hell divorcing my narc. Was just finalized in December. But we have 3 children. I cannot go No Contact either. Every day I wish I could. Now that I’m away from him, I see his act clear as day. I see his lies so very clearly too. The man lies like he breathes air. I went through, and to a degree, am still going through a smear campaign. Narcs will take NO responsibility for their actions. The blame will always be turned around onto us. They will become the victim. They will project everything they did to us onto us… tell people we did that to THEM. Oh, and get ready for them to charm and manipulate the court system. Lawyers, judge, even court psychologists. My narc lied though his teeth to the court psychologist… and he did it so straight faced and smoothly that she believed him. He also coerced and intimidated the kids before their visit with the court psychologist (which I didn’t find out about until my 16 year old daughter confessed it to me after the divorce was finalized and her narc dad won 50% custody!). He told my kids “Choose your words carefully, watch what you say about me and I’ll know what you said because I’ll be getting a copy of the psychological evaluation report.”. He’s a nightmare!! An emotional and verbally abusive nightmare. And I pray your narc isn’t as manipulative as mine. But I also pray you are not trying to navigate a divorce without a lawyer, because a narc is all about himself. Selfish. And can’t forget manipulative.

      So dear, I can relate. And I feel for you. And my life is in limbo now. And I have days where I feel I’ll never be “me” again. And I get sad. But then I think of how happy I am to be AWAY from him every day and not having the distress he brought to my daily life. The walking on eggshells feeling. Not having to be called a fucking bitch over anything and everything. Narcs are emotional vampires. Anyways, I’m not an overly religious person, but I have been talking to God a lot more lately. And I will talk to him for you. Good luck, and keep moving forward.


  9. After 28 yrs married to a narcissist, I finally escaped. He took almost every thing I had, in spite of a rep-nup agreement. He lives in our beautiful new home while I rent a hovel. He sits at home everyday like he has done for years while I work so very hard selling real estate.
    I have paid off all his debts and owe no one a dime. I’m healthier and thankful I left.
    Yet, I feel there is no joyful future in store for me. I’m 69 years old. Feel I have @10 good years left and then will probably sit in a nursing home until I die. I have no family. That’s why it was hard to leave. I try to make friends and be joyful with clients and at the ofc, but prefer to be home alone. How do I recover from this point on?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am 54 years old and have decided to estrange myself from my narcissistic mother. She has crossed the line for the last time. I have one sister who is 10 years my junior. My NM has always referred to me as the problem child to others. And I believe my sister was the “golden child” Recently my mother and I had an argument. A few days later my sister called our mother. Her conversation with my sister quickly turned to the argument she and I had just had. My mother told her that I hated my sister. That I had hated her since the day she was born. My sister and I are very close and have always been. How could a mother want her daughter to think that her sister hates her?! My father is the enabler. He has always taken her side. This is an on going problem with my mother. Sometimes it is me, sometimes it is my sister, sometimes it is my aunt or uncle. My mother never realizes she is the common denominator. It has been well over a week and I have not contacted my mother. Yesterday my father came to see me. He wanted to know how to fix things. I told him that I did not things could be fixed this time. He understood why I feel the way I am feeling, but said there was nothing he could do to change my mothers ways. He said that he has to take her side because he has to live with her. Many things he told me made it quite clear to me that he has lived a miserable life under her control. I am quite happy to not ever have to deal with my mother ever again…..but how do I do this knowing it is hurting my father? Granted my father was not a great father to me as I was growing up, but as we both get older the relationship has been pretty good. Is there any good solution here?


    • It is very good that you follow the No Contact rules. I hope you really choose for yourself and understand you are not responsible for other, including your father. Your father chooses his own life. You are not hurting him by believing in yourself. If he says so, I do not think that is kind of acceptable towards you..


    • I would stay true to your convictions. Stay calm. Recognize your own feelings and calmly share them with your father. Arguments may arise but it’s because your father might want you to “Change back!” as according to The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner, PhD. This is an amazing book and I would highly recommend it. My own therapist recommended it for me as a part of treatment; I came in to see her because I also recently got out of a narcissistic relationship.


  11. I’m still in the marriage. Don’t have a job. Trying to have minimal contact, but am not out physically. Have kids that need so support to move on. I find this helpful, because it keeps me from feeling like this is my fault.
    Right now, I can’t imagine wanting another relationship, other than a platonic one. I get to escape for short periods to a friend’s house and do something I love, ride her horses.
    Right now, friends see me as damaged and changed, not who I used to be. I’m just doing the best that I can. I agree about the laughter. I look for any chance to laugh.
    One thing that these posts have done for me is realizing that I am not crazy. It’s hard, but understanding that there never was anything that I could do to fix this is a burden I no longer carry. When my NARC starts, I don’t care. He doesn’t believe it yet. He thinks his emotional distance is his idea. I use it to stay away.


  12. yes the good old smear campaign been a victim of that ! Everything you write is true and I have been reading your stuff for two years ! Amazing!


  13. What about horrible therapists who took advantage of us? Narcissist therapists? I have seen more than one.


  14. Tough situation. I failed at another job. One right after the other. The only places that hire me now are ‘desperate’ (as one interviewer said to me recently, “we are desperate”). Narcissistic parents did a job on me…really destructive. I am a nervous wreck, having slipped back to NUMERO #1 in your survey on this site. Back in Square One. Horrible.
    Like nothing I ever did matters. I did perform well on several jobs, and people even asked for me again. But in today’s world, if you cannot hit the ground running (or worse, if your psyche is as skewered as mine), then God help you.
    Is anyone bothered by ‘God’ being mentioned in these posts? We assume that everyone believes in a divine being, usually a Christian God, but not everyone does. Is it fair to agnostics/atheists that we assume like this? My mention of God in these posts was automatic…I am truly not sure, especially when my luck remains so relentlessly bad.
    Perhaps it should be kept personal…the way I wish the campaign for President would was run…separation of Church and State, the way our forefathers handed it down to us.


    • God should always be mentioned, it doesn’t matter about the athiest!!!! Jesus said that if we deny Him, that He will deny us before His Father in heaven. This country was founded on freedom of religion, I believe we should never be afraid to talk about God or Jesus!!!!


  15. I am not to the gate yet of being able to laugh about it. Still nothing funny about it. The offender’s made it all a big joke, and said and did terrible things, knowing I was in a shit load of toxic pain. Blamed me for being too serious, too sensitive, too out of it. On drugs. No drugs. A bunch of clever soulless court jester’s they were who were to benefit from my demise. Gave themselves permission to end the misery they were causing me. This was from what I am gathering narc psycopaths. No contact because they won’t talk to me, and I can’t talk to them without them turning everything back on to me in a big joke.


  16. why would they (narc) want to recover when they have so much fun


  17. It’s been years since my last contact with my sister. I have less fantasies of her being ripped apart by a horde of rampaging zombies than I used to. I still fantasize of appearing at a family reunion and making them all eat crow.

    Absolutely there are times I don’t want to forgive or let go. That hatred keeps me warm some nights. I couldn’t hurt my sister ENOUGH to make up for what she’s done. But the lack of contact has made these times less and less. She’s not in my life messing things up and tripping my triggers. She’s off somewhere, being her obese and nasty self, probably putting her current husband through hell on earth. Let the Universe sort her out.

    I AM ready to pounce if she crosses my path again. And I might just kill her for real if she got too in my face. So, you know. Loads of time and it’s still fresh and hot and ready to rip her throat out. My only defense is to take it day by day, reminding myself that she’s no longer in my life and can’t hurt me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Every time you lash out at her, you give her power and she knows it. That is why she does it. It’s like a drug, they need it. I realize it is very difficult but you control your anger, don’t give her that control. Take the power back, it’s not easy, I’ve been there. Try to prepare yourself for your next encounter. Image yourself responding in a calm manner, think of calm responses and walk away. That really angers a narcissist and throws them off balance. Taking back control is very liberating and you’ll be smiling for a month.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Great article. I’m 4 months in (breakup and no contact), and I find some of these things overlapping. At this point, I have come to terms with the fact I will never have an authentic apology for what happened or even acknowledgement of everything I tried to do out of love for my ex of five years – although every now and then, I get a brief daydream where she does give a heartfelt apology. I’m still struggling with wondering if she even “feels” for me or whether anything she said and promised was ever heartfelt. I just realize that these people have their own version of events that happened in their head which makes you this monster to them – anything to justify why you deserve being treated as an enemy. I was shocked that I was utterly dropped when the rug fell out from under me because of the position I allowed her to put me in, yet she was upset at me for blocking her from my social media and telephone after she told me she wanted nothing to do with me (losing your job and health from narcissistic abuse tends to be a turnoff I see – I just couldn’t do it anymore). Even at the end, she was more upset that I put up barriers to protect myself. Anyways – she did try and wish me a happy birthday in October (with a reminder that a bill collector called her) – but i didn’t bother responding back. Can’t believe I gave five years of my life to someone who tore me down, but I’m just focusing now on building myself back up and not letting her cruelness create an unforgiving heart in me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Anthony, your post has inspired me to keep moving forward. I am just one month into my no contact contract with myself and I’m being portrayed as a horrible monster. I am about to lose everything I’ve ever worked for because his behavior. Not to mention my sanity, soul and self respect. I saw the signs three years ago but was foolish enough to think I could help him be a better person (all part of the game). He would always tell me “teach me to be more like you, I really want to be a better person” then two days later he would beat me down like a dog telling me all the things that were wrong with me. I am just finding my focus again, remembering who I really am and that only I am responsible for making it all right within myself. He blows my phone up daily. I haven’t responded to him in over a month. It’s been the hardest to deal with, constant manipulating, I wonder if he will ever give up. Well good luck, sounds like you are on the right track. Hope I am where you are soon.


  19. While I enjoyed this article, I cannot go No Contact. My divorce from my narc of 17 years was just finalized December 1st. We have 3 children. I am still dealing with his manipulations. He won 50% custody and 50% joint legal and physical custody by coercion and intimidation of our children. I recently learned from our 16 year daughter that before they were to speak with the court psychologist back in July, he told them “Watch what you say about me & choose your words carefully…because I’ll know what you said…I’ll be getting a copy of the psychological evaluation report.” When I told my lawyer this, he said “Well, that’s intimidation and coercion.” I have asked my lawyer to get my kids back in to talk to the psychologist. She needs to know what he’s done. She’s the one who recommended 50/50 custody because that’s what the kids told her they wanted. What she didn’t know was that they were told to say that by their manipulative narc father. They were too scared to go against his orders. He has them conditioned, just like he had me. And now, that we’re doing this 50/50 custody living arrangement, life for my kids is unpredictable. Their narc dad is no longer hoovering them. His mask is off, and his selfish, cruel, manipulative side is freely open when he’s “home” with them. He was going to leave our 8 year old daughter home alone one day when she said she was sick to her stomach! No phone at home. When our 16 year old spoke up and said “Dad, you can’t leave her here by herself” he blew up at her “How dare you undermine my authority! I know the laws! Don’t ever talk back to me again!!!” When in fact, she was only speaking truth and reason. He wouldn’t text me to ask if I could take her or even inform me she wasn’t feeling good. Instead, he sent her to school sick and teary eyed. All of 2015 for me was spent trying to deflect his outrageous lies and blame in court. He’s told everyone who would listen how I AM to blame for this Divorce. Told people I drained the bank account, cheated on him, am a horrible parent, etc. Deflection at its finest. He has disobeyed court orders regarding property and even lied about a classic car he still owns, saying he “sold it exactly one month before you filed for divorce”. (Yes, he said this during mediation with 3 lawyers present.) Meanwhile, it was sitting in our garage. He had a friend put the title in his name. I an go on and on, because everything I just told you in only the tip of his abusive, manipulative iceberg. I WISH I can go no contact. I don’t sleep at night anymore. I worry about my children constantly the week straight he has them. I have been punished for divorcing him. And he doesn’t necessarily even want all this time with the kids, he just doesn’t want to have to pay me extra child support. He knows the more days he has them, the less he has to pay me. What can I do??? Any suggestions? And, my lawyer has been a joke. Getting him to follow up on anything has been like pulling teeth. (He is also a day away from excusing himself from my case. In Michigan, your attorney dismisses himself 21 days after the judgement of divorce is signed.) I’m really at my wits end. 😦


    • Carrie, First and foremost-Please do everything you can to heal. You can’t be the best for your kids unless you take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. I’m a believer, so my healing although still difficult, came fairly quickly because of the prayers of my friends and family. Pray for your kids daily and their emotional development, safety etc..Learn everything you can about this disorder-just like the article said-knowledge is power! Give up trying to coparent. Doesn’t/can’t exist with someone like this. “Parallel Parenting” is how I operate. Go “Grey Rock”-heal so that he never ever sees you rattled. Pursue healing so that when your kids come home from his time-they feel the difference-an authentic safe/loving home. Begin documenting everything. Take pictures of texts. Send yourself emails of actions/comments made by him. Use receipts as documents-mine would not show up at meeting place so I would go through drive thru to get a receipt with time/date on it etc… Don’t reveal anything of your documentation practices- even to kids.Stick to the letter of the law. Do not engage-one or two word responses to “necessary” questions-they want to create chaos-they enjoy crazy making. Try your very best not to speak poorly of him in front of kids-they will eventually see the truth about him if they haven’t already and the love/respect they have for you will be for life. The 50/50 parenting may go away just naturally as he sees you are not going to be rattled by it, moving on with your life.-they sometimes move on quickly and lose interest in those things that they see don’t affect you including parenting unfortunately. Parenting for them is rarely about being a good one for their kids-its usually about hurting you. They use you for supply-do not give it to them-force them to go so ewhere else to get the supply. If you feel you must go to court-search and find a lawyer/law firm with expert knowledge of NPD. It should be your first question. They are more expensive,but they know what questions/process of dealing with them. Above all, be gentle with you. You might be experiencing PTSD. Recovery means learning how to live again, feel again, do life again. I will be praying for you. Please feel free to contact. Blessings to you and your family. May God supernaturally deliver you and bring immediate comfort.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer, thank you so much for for your lengthy reply. It was full of very good advice. I have actually been doing most of what you saI’d to do. Try to keep conversations/texts short replies. I have saved many texts and emails. He is one who also seems to think that whatever he puts in writing is the truth because it’s there in black and white. He’s pulled that move several times during the divorce process.

        I have built up a thick skin and really don’t show that I’m stressed. My former therapist told me I was the strongest person she ever met. If I need to vent, I call a friend. (Or vent here. Lol.) My children know I have taken the high road. My 16 year old has said as much. She was instrumental in me actually leaving and filing for divorce. She went to her high school counselor concerned over her dad’s unwarranted verbal abuse of me on a near daily basis. Then she came to me about it. I told her I stay because I know if I were to leave him, she (my teen daughter) would become his new target. And also because I knew the hell he would rain down on me for leaving HIM.

        I agree that I do need a new attorney. I’m so livid about the lackadaisical attitude of mine throughout this process. The kicker of it is, he’s an old high school classmate & he related to my plight because he recently went through a divorce with his wife who was/is borderline personality disorder. That and narcissist personality disorder are very similar. Honestly, I think he got too wore down by ex.

        But again, thank you for reaching out. It means a lot to me. If we can lift each other up in the slightest, we should.


  20. Is there recovery plan for narcissist disorder?


    • Unfortunately, NO. Our focus is on the target’s abuse recovery. Statistically, the odds are against a narcissist breaking through their heavy defense mechanisms and denial.

      It is easier for the target to heal because we are in touch with our pain and our feelings and are thus motivated to change.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I am forever saddened by this fact, because despite the fact that I can never again trust this person who has utterly destroyed my faith in him, I still love and care about him. I truly feel that many narcs are a result of poor nurturing from either one or both parents, and yes, nature has a lot to do with it too, but like you said they will undoubtedly not let down their defences to even desire to get help. Even if they do, their brains are so hardwired to just continue repeating the same abuse patterns because denial is the world they live in. Sadly they do believe they can do no wrong, and for that fact alone…..why would they seek help? If you’re perfect, then everyone else needs a shrink, not them. Anyways, I feel for his next victims, I want to warn them, but to no avail will I get anywhere. Nor should we focus on that. Finding inner peace and healing is what matters, and being able to wake up everyday without guilt is a major accomplishment for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I haven’t been able to laugh much about it yet. I wish that I could…but then I think about all of the times that my narc made me laugh with his outrageous jokes. It really scares me to think that such little things will draw my memory back to him – I wish so much I had noticed how much power I gave him over my thoughts – and I partially blame his “harem” of supporters who enable his behavior by praising him – but I guess they themselves are victims. I also fear for his daughter who will one day realize that her father is less hero, and more a sad, sexist coward.
          To Tracy and Tina – I am in a similar phase…I feel a deep heartache and need to help my narc. Because I still care for him – even knowing that he probably didn’t really care about me – but there is a part of me that recognizes that the fact that I care is what makes me different from him, and what makes me NOT a narcissist like him. I sometimes get scared that this experience will turn me into a narcissist (i.e. someone who will manipulate others to avoid being hurt again, someone who will avoid others or misinterpret care and criticism, etc.), because it does seem as though narcissists are victims of bad parents and past betrayals. So for us victims, it is therefore a torturous struggle to be strong and true to ourselves. We naturally want to help – that is probably why we offered good supply in the first place. Even as I write this, I hardly know how to take my own advice because I desperately miss my narc and find it hard to comprehend that he had no feelings or even hateful feelings (though ironically he always used to say that he doesn’t hold grudges and is “incapable of hating”). As a deeply religious and spiritual girl, this has been a real test because I wish so much that God hadn’t put me through this. I have to remember that this life was not meant to be forever perfect, and that people are flawed – something that the narc managed to make me forget.
          Tracy, I would like to know more about why you don’t think it is worth trying to warn others (i.e. new supply)- I feel that sense of responsibility/protectiveness too.


        • Hope he’ll pick the wrong victim who’ll shaft him up to his tonsils in more ways than 1.


    • Narcissists brains are actually physically different, so, no, they don’t recover but will change the brain of an intimate partner over time by constantly keeping them off balance, in fight or flight mode and hyper-vigilant so they are left with PTSD.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m struggling to separate from my narcissistic abusive husband, can you elaborate how physically different are their brains?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Louise, I am sorry to hear that but glad you are getting out. The ONE book if you read no other, I would suggest for understanding the full spectrum of the dance is by Sandra Brown, called, Why Women Love Psychopaths. Narcissists don’t experience the feeling of ‘LOVE’ or ‘EMPATHY.’ When you have sex with them you produce the bonding chemical, oxytocin. It is what bonds you together when things get tough. They don’t produce this chemical either. I wish you much love on your journey out. Stay strong and no contact, if possible, is the best for you. It’s all about you now!


  1. Pingback: Recovery – What Phase are You In? | After Narcissistic Abuse | lasenoritagrande

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