Narcissism; Once You’ve Seen It, You Can’t ‘Unsee it”

“I see it. Clearly. Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it” – Sheri S.

Before I definitively had answers about the peculiar form of abuse I was enduring by a person with a malignant level of Narcissism, I inordinately blamed myself for what was happening. My naivete about my then partner’s systematic way of blaming and destroying me, allowed me to well…be blamed, destroyed AND dismayed.

It was only 4 weeks into no contact with my ex-abuser that I was introduced to the fact that what he had been doing to me had a name. The name I was given was the DSM classification, “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. I then understood that I’d endured, “Narcissistic Abuse”; the particular type of abuse that a person with NPD perpetrates.

The initial stages of recovery were focused on my educating myself about the disorder, which is what we spend most of our time doing helping other survivors on our Facebook page; After Narcissistic Abuse. Knowledge combined with no contact, propelled me along that first year to such a degree that I began to easily notice and pick up on the Pattern (modus operandi)  of the abuse perpetrated by a person with a malignant level of narcissism; in effect, I had become an expert on spotting malignant narcissism.

The stories, conversations, and experiences we’ve witnessed and experienced through our Facebook family of survivors, clearly illustrated the same expertise. Once we assisted targets through the highs and lows of emotionality and uncertainty during the No Contact phase, survivors catapulted quickly into the knowledge or “light” phase of narcissistic abuse (as we call it), and we began to see recovery happen swiftly.

I believe the reason for the swift movement and heightened recognition, is due to a few things:

  1. Without ongoing manipulation and brainwashing, due to No Contact, we as targets are transported from the belief that we were dealing with a “loving” relationship with a “normal” partner to quickly realizing that we were in a toxic, abusive relationship with a person who had a classifiable and possibly diagnosable personality disorder.
  2. Personality disorders are FIXED for a lifetime. As such, their abnormal psychological schemas and defenses are so fixed, you can easily recognize the similarities of one narcissist born in raised in the outback of Australia and compare their abusive traits to a narcissist plucked from Sudan, Asia, or the US with very little uniqueness.
  3. Without ongoing projection and blame by the narcissist, for being the “true abuser” or “the crazy one” or any other ways they shifted the responsibility for the abuse to their targets, we are able to finally begin to put boundaries between our own identity, behavior and responsibility and that of the narcissist’s. While none of us behave perfectly within ANY relationship, we clearly begin to see that the abusive dynamics were driven, controlled, and carried on by the desires and intent of the Narcissist and that we were along for a ride that we were completely unaware existed, until we were finally able to manage our way out of the situation. Basically, the responsibility for abuse, lies with the perpetrator and that is the Narcissist.
  4. As a result of trauma and in some cases, developing PTSD, we became hypervigilant to people and situations that remind us of our abuse.  Once we’ve been burnt by a narcissist’s abuse, we try to avoid it at any cost in the future.

As we solidify our knowledge of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, we begin to see the traits everywhere. We see pathological lying, we see entitlement, we see incongruity between words and actions, we detect love bombing and flattery, we sense when people are using others as objects, we can detect triangulation, manipulation, a smear campaign, insecurity cloaked in bragging, and most of all, we can spot what a lack of empathy not only looks like, but what it feels like.

It’s been said many times that the Narcissistic individual will never change and can’t be helped but that the people around them are the ones who seek help.  I believe this is a true and accurate statement. The people around a narcissist are the ones who CAN FEEL the PAIN. We suffer. We seek relief. We seek answers. The narcissist bullies their way through life with expectations of being pampered, excused and enabled for some really atrocious and immoral behavior and usually skate away unharmed, unaffected, and unaware.

Through it all, the inability to “Unsee” Malignant Narcissism and Abuse, protects us from ever being manipulated and taken by these con men and women in the future. It also provides a Public Education Prevention Platform about Narcissistic Abuse that we can share with others to help them spot the warning signs and avert being suckered into the Narcissist’s Evil plot to use and destroy them.

Enjoy your clarity, knowledge, safety and freedom – and Congratulations for achieving your Phd in Narcissistic Abuse to be aware and to use your knowledge to steer clear of this abusive personality in the future and to help others do the same!

Ana – After Narcissistic Abuse


Posted on May 18, 2017, in Narcissism. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I read this post and started crying, I’ve been away from my abuser almost two years and everything written is scary that I’m. OT the only one out there this has happened too, I work everyday trying to get past this part of my life, I still connect have a relationship as I cannot give that kind of trust to anyone again. Ai saw my avuser three or four times in the last two years and his prawn even sends my aniexty through the roof, I shake I cry. I live in an area that is a joke for health care but mental health is just not a concern in this area so I fight this battle alone as I know no. One that has experienced what I have so thank u, I appreciate Kate this and it was very helpful


  2. Narcissists also tend to be very good at “hiding”. Manipulating others with charm and flattery.


  3. This is me. This is my life with my children. My soon to be former husband, the love of my life and the father of my children is the epitome of this profile. And it is one of the saddest things you will ever witness or experience. Until you look back with clarity on the situation you have endured after a period of no contact, you will have the confidence to move forward. It is like a hostage taking – and then you are released into the sunshine.


  4. Is knowledge and awareness enough? I am grateful for all the information about narcissistic disorder. It helped me organize my world better. To see who I am better. To see my abuser better. However, somehow I feel it is not enough I need a lot more but a lot more to overcome the trauma and the hurt I endure on a daily basis. For my self, I found prayer as the most effective way of overcoming the pain and suffering. I feel once I prayed that I am not alone and in fact my abuser helped me reach higher and achieve more in particular spiritually. So, thank you for all the knowledge as it shed lots of light on the problem but still reading Psalms everyday go further and deeper. Mali smith


  5. Thank you for your information. You saved my life. I am free from this abuse.


  6. Krista, Don’t give up! The biggest revenge against a narcissist is to be happy. My current companion has a an ex-wife that is a in the closet narcissist that only married him to take advantage of him in every sense. She works, but would hide money and make him pay for everything including houses for her original family that included her parents and brother. She got pregnant immediately after the wedding when he started to notice that something was fishy about her. She almost destroyed him as his blood pressure skyrocketed and she didn’t care at all. He stayed 20 years with her , so that his sons wouldn’t grow up without a father, even if she always told him that he was a bad father. Then, he decided that it was either him or her, so he finally left her and she has become a beasts spreading lies everywhere and yet she is the first one to run into church to be seen. My companion was emotionally injured and broken, and he had difficulty in being intimate. However, with time and patience I have become his defender and helping him see that life can be beautiful with a person that truly loves him. You will survive your narcissist and you will become stronger for it. Never give him what he wants- you to suffer and depend emotionally on him. There will be someone out there that will truly love you and become your defender. Don’t give up hope!! Hugs


  7. Just living in hell as what all has happened to me has destroyed me.

    I don’t want to live anymore.


    • Been there, less so lately. But don’t give up!


    • Krista,

      Do you mind if I ask where you are now in your recovery? Are you just finding out about NPD? Are you still involved with a narcissist? Be kind and patient with yourself.

      I think it’s important to reach out when you feel you need help. I have a hard time with that myself, so when I read your comment I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been where you are. I’m sure you feel you gave everything to this person and they not only used it against you, but now it feels like there’s nothing left for you to survive on. I know it is hard, but I’m here to remind you that you’re not alone in this. It will get better, if you want it to get better. That does mean getting away and staying away, which is something I struggle with. When I’m tempted to believe that maybe I can make things work out, that maybe he does actually care for me, it always helps to read these posts. There is always something in each and every post that serves to remind me why I cannot go back.

      I’m just finding out about NPD, so I think perhaps there may be a journey ahead of me to educate myself and find healing. But I know that if I put even half the effort into my recovery as I wasted on the person who hurt me, I will not only get through this, but I will come out of this a changed person. That is my hope for you as well. It’s important to know that others are experiencing all the things you’re going through. And we do understand.


    • Please hold on. You are not alone. I felt the same way. I prayed and kept no contact and the sadness eventually cleared. I also got counseling. It’s not you. It never was. It’s a sick person.


    • Krista,

      I felt that way too – PLEASE talk to someone close to you about this feeling. Pray!! God’s peace is available to you!! Also – you can call the Suicide Prevention Hotline to talk: 1.800.273.8255.

      You have MANY things to live for. This hopeless feeling is TEMPORARY I promise you. Your Joy RETURNS – even in the most simple of things.

      Please reach out and talk to others. Isolation isn’t good when you’re feeling hopeless and depressed.

      Let us know you’re ok!



  8. loveearthvisionary

    Reblogged this on Love Earth Visionary.


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