About ANA

ANA was developed out of sheer desperation of the human spirit clinging to it’s last bit of hope.

Lost and confused after ending a long term relationship that at one point had felt like the greatest “love” of my life, I struggled to find answers and put a finger on just WHAT IT WAS that had gone so terribly wrong.

So desperate was my need for answers, I sat on my therapists couch, tears streaming down my face, begging him to tell me, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEEEEEEEEEEEE?”

His answer surprised me; and forever changed the way I view this world.

“You were in a domestically abusive relationship.”

“WHAT?????”  I asked in utter shock. “But he didn’t “hit” me?”

He answered with, “Not with his fists.  You are dealing with a narcissist. You have just ended an abusive relationship with a NARCISSIST.”

My mind whirled  – when I heard my therapist name what it was – I began to be flooded with many examples from the narcissist’s behavior that fit what the therapist was telling me.

The narcissist lured me into a toxic affair with charm, mind games, promises & flattery – sold me on a soul mate love that he’d never felt before and then proceeded to take every good thing he could from me; my love, my innocence, my trust, my sense of justice, my kindness, my empathy, my unconditional love, and my good name – and replaced it with abuse. Lies about me (he told others I was stalking him), got me fired from jobs, created a fake website about me claiming that I was crazy, delusional, a drug addict, and even talked poorly about my children, who he was a father figure to for years.

The therapist ran over the list of symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder:

Lack of empathy? Check!
Boasting about his image? Check!
Perfectionism? Check!
Lack of boundaries? Check!
Expects special treatment? Check!

Obsessive Compulsive and sexually perverted? Check!

Pathological lying? Multiple serial affairs and cheating? Check!

Guilt tripping?  Check!
Passive aggressive? Check!
Possessive, Jealous, downright mean? Check!
Controlling. Wouldnt ‘allow’ me to have feelings or express them? Check!
Loved by everyone on the outside – but HATED by those who know the real them? Check!

I was dating the poster boy for narcissism

For the first time in many years….I finally felt that IT WASNT ME,  like the narcissist had blamed me for over & over.  It explained why I’d never been able to do anything right to ‘earn’  his “love”.

From that day on, I promised God that if he brought me through the darkness, that I would pay forward the knowledge of everything I learned through my lesson, about the narcissist, their red flags, their abuse, my upbringing with a narcissistic parent, my own vulnerabilities and how to never allow myself to be exploited again by another narcissistic individual; be it a boss, boyfriend, family member or friend.

My philosophy is very simple: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER  – I am making available all the knowledge I’ve gained as a result of this experience with a narcissistic abuser in an effort to help empower you and let you know  that you are not alone in your suffering.

There truly is Light, Life, Love & Laughter after narcissistic abuse, It is my hope for you, that you truly come to know this for yourself.

xo,

ANA

 

 

  1. My narcisstic ex has moved on to his next target. Of course he has he is a narcissist. I read all these articles on how he will do the same to her as he did to me. But a part of me still has the doubt that did I make it up? Is he really a narcisstic? Was i to blame? It’s been a year and although the healing process has come along away- but seeing loved up photos of them I feel slapped in the face and angry. Logically, I know he will do to her as he did to me. But what about someone looking after her and protecting her from him. How do his family not intervene?? How do they not know? I feel so angry that I’m still allowing this man to upset and affect me. When does it get easier? And what more work do I need to do on myself to finally be rid of him!

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  2. I didn’t know that there was such a thing as narcissist abuse. Now I don’t feel like “it’s all in my head.” It’s so oppressing, especially when it comes from your adult children sometimes. Their father is the same way. It feels like a prison when I’m supportive of them but when I try to assert my gifting or want to be respected and express it, I’m accused of being negative or get verbally attacked. I hate having to walk on glass and it really is affecting my nerves. Anyway, I’m glad you’re here sharing your knowledge to help us. 🙂

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  3. My problem is with my mother. I´m very confused about her behavior. Actually I´m devastated. I have no personally life and I don´t know how things got to this point…She is very demanding and jealousy.

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  4. Thank you for your work. I’ve gone public recently in exposing a very prominent one…It was a painful experience but I am definately stronger on the other side!! Do you have contact information? I’d like your perspective if you have time….peacefulsurvivor17@gmail.com

    https://sites.google.com/view/lundybancroftwarnings/home

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  5. I’m in tears right now cuz this is absolutely my my life!!!!
    My name is Lori but when he wants to be intimate ( 24/7) he calls me Ana!!

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  6. Great article and great post on narcissism. I would be interested in methods for working with Narcissists, how to protect yourself / others, etc

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  7. You are a beautiful woman and it’s hard to believe you were in this type of relationship. I, too, have been the victim not only of narcissistic abuse, but also verbal and physical abuse. It is difficult for others to appreciate the hold which abusers have over their victims; often leaving them isolated form friends and/or family, without money, and generally dependent on their abuser, (especially when there are young children involved). Domestic abuse of all types is much more common than most people seem to or would like to believe!
    However, i question your qualifications to be counseling people about DSM Disorders…do you hold a license, LICSW or PhD, or any other credentials to be dispensing this type of psychological advice other than your own unfortunate but nevertheless purely anecdotal experience?
    Good for you, that you have “absolutely nothing wrong psychologically.” I find this a little suspect, since all of us are broken in some way. I feel i can say this because i hold both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Psychology, as well as being an RN.
    I like that you are trying to do a service to others and thank you….but you could be doing more harm than good by dispensing advice that is not reliable or valid or based on empirical research.

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  8. Umm, hi. I am a 48 year old guy who has been married for 25 years. I feel guilty for sharing this, but I feel like my wife is a narc. I have not been a perfect person at all…In fact I think I am the poster boy for a co-dependent, but it has been a very difficult marriage. for too long, I thought it was me. now, to be fair it aint all her….however I am thinking that she helped propel the pain that both of us feel. we have kids that understand how mean mom can be. we are still married and under the same roof but has made it clear that we are not a couple in any way whatsoever. its very hard and also makes me feel incredibly lonely

    Liked by 1 person

  9. After reading some of the articles on your site, I am a little confused. What you describe as a narcissist, I would consider a sociopath. I understand that all sociopaths are narcissists, but how are they different?

    BTW: Great photo

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  10. This is as though I had written it myself.. 😔 thank you, I wish I had found it months ago, would have saved me so much reading, documenting, pleading, begging for help… 😔 NA has brought me to my knees.. No idea how to start rebuilding my life. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah,

      Im just thankful you found us at all! Oh boy do I relate to your feelings. Please know, there are SO MANY OF US, ALL OF US, felt broken. I can tell you this, at least you have within you the ABILITY to rebuild yourself, your identity and your boundaries – and I also promise you this: YOU WILL REBUILD TO BE A STRONGER VERSION of yourself!

      Here are a few suggestions – based on what worked for me:
      No CONTACT is everything! It is difficult – but it will get your head clear.
      Knowledge about this disorder will help you discern whose responsibility is whose. The disorder and all the dysfunctional relationship and lack of care belongs to the narcissist. You may need to work on your love for yourself, your vulnerability to someone selling you a “pipe dream” and your boundaries. Most targets do.
      To help overcome the obsessive thoughts, everytime you start to think of the narcissist, just say STOP! in your head – then redirect your energy and focus to yourself. Use this as a reminder to ask yourself “What do you need?” Hug yourself. Tell yourself you love yourself. Give yourself what you hollowly gave to them.
      Seek support!
      Our page is one of many that offer a community of like minded survivors who either are, or have been EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE. Draw from those people. Most targets are EXTREMELY LOVING AND EMPATHETIC!
      Rely on your spiritual beliefs!! If you believe in God, cling closer to him. This kind of love a narcissist offers, is NOT love at all. It’s the antithesis of love.
      And Finally, be gentle and patient with yourself. Provide yourself exceptional self care.

      You WILL recover!!! 🙂 🙂

      xo

      Liked by 1 person

    • I found a good therapist with experience of treating NA … also I talk to one or two close friends..i ask them not to give me advice but to just listen… I read … psychopath free…mans search for meaning… borderline mother… YouTube Meredith Miller… Lisa Romano… sparatanlifecoach …. Sam vackni … hope this help..daily dose of ANA is good too …. Bless You…. my kindest wishes go out to you…. (I’m not into the fairy dust stuff.. but have cried…prayed… slept… ran 5ks every week..swam… walked..cycled …even while hating doing it …. slowly very slowly I think I’m getting moving forward… really good book too..cure for heartache…plesse respond and I can give you more tips.. good luck

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Michele Stuhmer

    Wow! Thank you from the depths of my heart for sharing your experience. I am and have been walking in your very same shoes. The guilt, the pain, the alienation from my son has nearly put me over the edge and I have had no idea what I had done wrong! I understand now what I’m dealing with. But now how do I cope?

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  12. I am going through the devalue and discard stage again, and what they say that each one is more damaging than the last is so very true. We are friends, were co-workers, never dated or intimate. It felt like a relationship, but I would never engage that type of relationship with him. The friendship is hard enough, and I seen what he done to someone who he said he actually cared for…yet somehow, I still ended up his “victim”. 5 yrs now, and the brunt of it the past 3 yrs. My anxiety is through the roof again today, I knew it was coming and thought I was prepared for it after what I had been through and learned this past year. I started my own blog on wordpress as well. Not very thought out writing, but it helped me those few times I needed to write, and it looks like I will be doing that today. Can’t talk to friends because they think you are crazy, as he is “such a nice guy” and everything I am saying is all made up. No family to really talk too, they have no clue about this kind of stuff and would just look at me like I’m a brick wall. So, I have been dealing with this all on my own. I went to a few sessions of counseling and calling my insurance company to try and find one that deals with narcissistic abuse, or at least knows about it. I will say though, I am doing much better now than I was last year. I do not react to anything anymore, I do it silently. Never to him or in his presence. It isn’t any easier, and I was doing good until this devalue and discard stage is in full force right now. I have been trying to keep myself busy since the semester is over. And I think one of the reasons for this right how is because I don’t have to drive past his house to get to school, so he feels he doesn’t need to be “nice” to me…plus his gambling has been more active, at least from what I know, and I believe he hasn’t stopped at all like I thought he did. So when he gets heavy into gambling, I all of a sudden become the “bad guy” who is judgmental and he has “better” friends to talk to and hang with again. I really need to go NC and stick with it and not get reeled back in again. I thought I was doing good, and yet here I am suffering at his hands all over again.

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    • If you ever need someone to talk to please give me a call 914 522 8576. I know what you are going through and this seems like a silent battle with no support the only people that really understand are those who have been through it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s very true that these breakups are special and often more difficult than others. And even in the mental health community there is a lack of understanding about them. But you aren’t alone. I work with clients very often who have been in these kinds of relationships and I deeply understand the issues involved with relationships involving Cluster B personality disorders like Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, or Antisocial Personality Disorder.

        Anyone who feels they could use extra support can always get in touch through the site I’ve linked to this comment. Just send a message through the contact form. I will even do a free hour on the phone with you to see if I can help. And, if for some reason in your case I can’t, I’ll try to help you find the people or resources that can.

        Liked by 1 person

    • THIS POST is a very good reminder that NA occurs outside of romantic relationships, also. I think we sometimes forget this, and that’s why it’s often harder to realize that is what is happening with co-workers or family members or just plain frenemies.

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  13. Hi Ana, It has been nearly a year since I separated from my differentiating covert/overt friend whom I had spent quite a few years with, but now anytime he comes into my head either through reference or recollection, I start having panic attacks, start breathing funny, become seriously fatigued, and muscles cramp up, I feel like the definition of being winded through or as if something really awful has just happened, I find it hard to think and I basically shut down and just want to cry or die, I don’t have any available help in my country Australia, that understands the things about Narcissism you do and many others in america seem to, I was wondering if you can recommend any online therapy or resources books,dvds,online videos,downloadable videos,web course,online helpline, or someone who could offer affordable skype therapy? I really can’t stand this emotional, mental and physical pain caused by anxiety,confusion and helplessness anymore.

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  14. Hi. I left my marriage almost a year ago and was married to an extremely narcissistic individual. Even though I am very aware of it all now and understand it so much better, when I recently started seeing someone (who in fact appears very empathic and caring) I had a very strong reaction and am continuing to struggle with it. I keep thinking I cant do this, even though this individual is what I would want in a healthy relationship, and instead I would keep thinking back to the good memories with my ex-husband. I even start just wondering whether its best for me just to be single rather than in any relationship at all. I dont understand why this is happening and was wondering whether you could please explain it to me so I dont end up losing something that might end up being a ‘good’ relationship.
    Thanks!

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  15. I am the mother of a 34 year old narcissist. He has not actually been prof diagnosed, but through all of my reading, he actually ticks all the boxes. Left school early, no friends, can’t hold down a job, demanding, controlling, egocentric, gas-lighting, charming, a liar, ……. It’s really, really hard to end your relationship with your son. Ending it with his father was a doddle compared with this. It is heart-breaking and the fact that there is no word to describe what I am doing (separating from him … divorcing him..) makes it even harder. I am doing this for my daughters because they have had enough and have brought me around to realising that he has been manipulative their entire lives, and they are scared of him. They have refused to come to anything he comes to, and told me they are scared for me. I realised that they are right after a barrage of emails which tried to tell me how evil THEY were. Then when I disagreed they received a barrage telling them how evil I was. Something inside me just clicked and I realised that we needed to get him out of our lives. I fear for his lovely partner whom he has convinced to leave her job, and has forced her to ‘stand up’ to her own mother and sisters. He has forced her to break up with many of her friends. He is always sick or injured and she is basically his housemaid. He can’t stand her making any noise at night so she has to sleep in another room. I read so much that it is the mother’s fault if the child is a Narc, which makes it even harder to admit or seek help. If it’s my fault he is the way he is, then how can I cut him off, and not help him? My husband (his step-dad) is great, and my son will only talk to him now, but we are going to let him know that we don’t want to have any contact with him unless it is in a psychiatrist’s clinic. This must be the hardest thing a mother ever has to do, but I’m doing it for my girls. I wish there was more about parenting a narcissist adult child – but as I said, what there is out there is mostly blaming the mother. Thanks for your site. Although it is about partner abuse, it still helped.

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  16. Thank you for all your shares. Please pass your experience on to other people so they can learn to recognize the narc in their life. It’s like living in ‘upside-down’ world. Nothing makes sense. I’m mature, smart and accomplished. I thought I was past all of this. But a narc will watch and learn, and find your weakness. In a healthy relationship, your partner wants to learn how to connect with you in order to strengthen the relationship. The narc only wants to feed off you. It’s hard to believe when you’re in it, but at the age of 65 I am recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship. I can barely say the words.

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  17. I am involved in a custody dispute with my sons father whose narcissism is OFF THE CHARTS. There is no limit to his lying. Telling absurd and ridiculous lies to cover initial absurd and ridiculous lies. He NEVER admits to being caught in a lie, despite smoking gun evidence. He’s just like Donald Trump. My question: Do you think narcissists really believe they are telling the truth? Or do you think somewhere inside their messed up heads, they know they are lying?

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  18. Hi Ana, Why can’t I comment?

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    • Oh never mind, I think there was a glitch where it said I couldn’t post any comments. I was like..omg I hope I wasn’t barred. Anyway, you can ignore the last post. I did want to personally thank you for this website. Women need a place where they can talk about these horrendous beings. I wish there was a place where you can post their pictures as well.

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  19. Broken hearted

    How do i unlove my narcissistic daughter? It is breaking my heart and soul.

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  20. no one can understand unless they have lived it. people think you can just “move on” I feel like i am infected with a deadly virus. Feeling hopeless, helpless and suicidal. Just knowing someone else understands helps a bit

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  21. August of 2016 I left our family house. I was running away from my 20 year marriage and to someone else who treated me well. I left our 17 year old son at home with his dad thinking that I was the problem and when I left the household would be happy. My son was getting ready to enter his senior year and has gone to the school with the same kids since he was in preschool… I could not move him to a different town (our town has only 3,000 people in it) but I knew I had to get a job and start a new life. I moved into a small apartment with the man who made/makes me feel good about myself because I had no money, my credit is poor and I had been a stay at home mom for most of the marriage except for a few jobs here and there (until my husband decided I should quit or I got bored going to work and not being at home with him to go where we wanted/when we wanted). My husband works 24 hour shifts at a fire department as a paramedic and he’s also in the army/special operations. He does psychological operations and is a staff Sargent. He did two tours to Iraq and was gone for 2.5 years total not including monthly drills, schools etc.

    I am now lost emotionally. My kids barely speak to me (our oldest is 22 and hasn’t talked to me since last July except to send a text saying thank you for the Christmas gifts I had bought her and her dad delivered to her). My middle is very innocent and loving. She speaks to me on a regular basis but I can tell she feels in the middle. She is 19, had moved in with her older sister but after I moved out and my husband got a girlfriend (II fear he’s had her for a while) he wanted to stay at her house with her kids so my ex had my 19 year old move back to the house so she could take care of her 17 year old brother. My 19 year old now works at a nursing home the night shift as a cna across the street because she has no drivers license. My 17 year old son speaks to me but he was mad at me for a very long time. He was told I left him and his father for another man… Which wasn’t true. After the judge ordered on November 3rd I get to see my son once a week during supervised visitations with a therapist (my husband said I had abandoned our son and done serious emotional damage), my husband fought me and didn’t let me start seeing him until January. Visits have been inconsistent and everything must go through my husband, even though he says they don’t and he supports me seeing my son. Afterthe second visit with the therapist, the therapist said I was a great mom and the more time my son spends with me the better.

    The man I ended up with… I was only with because my husband wanted me to start shaving sex with other men. For a long time I said no and was against it but eventually I did a lot of things I’m not proud of. I wanted to make my husband happy. I eve suggested things and begged him to do or let me do certain things because I thought he would love me more. I’m humiliated at what I have done and that it was me who suggested a lot of things. The guy I ended up with…. Is a fellow firefighter who was married for 25 years. He’s going through a divorce now but both he and his wife are getting happily divorced. This just means my husband can tell people I broke up someone else’s marriage and ran off leaving my kids.

    I know this is long and redundant… But it feels good to tell people who may understand. For so many years I’ve felt crazy. My husbands obsession with porn our entire marriage, though I always felt like he cheated on me and I was very paranoid for almost our entire marriage and looking through his phone when I could, his computer and iPad, work pants… I don’t think he had cheated on me, I think he liked making me paranoid and playing with my emotions. I eventually did almost go crazy… My doctor was prescribing me tons of medications, I wasn’t taking it like I should no even my husband went and got two prescriptions like I had and started giving me his so I wouldn’t run out. He would tell me to take two and three ambien a night so I wouldn’t remember what he’d do to me but I was pernicious and not care what he had planned.

    In May of 2016, I took two ambien and woke up the next morning in the emergency room. I had taken two ambien and I had sent a text to my mom saying I wanted to die, then I took quite a bit of my other meds. When the ambulance arrive and police, I kept screaming ‘help me, my his and sexually abuses me and mentally abuses me’. I had hidden some journals of my husbands writings and I told the police where they were… But because it’s a small town the police just said ‘okay’ and let my us and get the journals which he destroyed the next morning. I ended up checking myself into a mental hospital and they diagnosed me as having ‘secondary ptsd’ due to his ‘severe ptsd’ from Iraq. All of this only made me look crazier.

    Like I apologized earlier… I’m terriblly sorry for rambling. This is thei first article I’ve read that describes how I felt and still feel. I feel so lost and broken. I am afraid at times that it was me who was the narcissist or like my husband has eluded too… That I’m bipolar. I used to be so strong emotionally. I took care of three kids and raised them while he went off and did his own thing, spent money we didn’t really have and got the fame and glory for being a firefighter and serving our country. But now I am just broken and going through a divorce with him (and his girlfriend telling him how amazing he is and that I deserve nothing because she wants my house and property) and he’s made my life hell. He says I deserve nothing… No alimony, not the house and he even boxed up my things and wants to give them to me but I’m almost positive his girlfriend has gone through my things and pulled out what she wanted. The paperwork he has submitted to attorneys and the court isn’t correct and he has lied about pretty much anything financial. You think marriage to a narcissist leaves you questioning your own reality…. Try going through a divorce with no money. It’s pure hell.

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  22. Hi Ana,
    I came accross your site and have found it really helpful.
    I was in a friendship group with 2 other women …the narc and I were friends first and then the 3rd person entered and suddenly I wasnt as easy to manipulate so suddenly started to treat me appalingly even when I went into a pysciatric hopsital they were still treating me awfully and adding to my illness.
    I was wondering can the discard phase happen while the friendship still exists?
    The 3rd friend has become her flying monkey …speaking out about all the horrible things Ive done to the narc.Yesterday after 8 months of no contact the flying monkey contacted my friend to ask what Ive been saying about them …fear of exposure? …is this an attempt to hoover ?

    Any insight you could provide would be amazing.

    Thank you

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  23. In Response to 151 Lies:
    This is similar to what kinds of things I am told pretty much daily in the Narcissist’s insistence on being “honest.” well, maybe. Maybe what they say it true, but maybe it is not, or not for long. I’ve seen them switch what they say to the complete opposite, not in the same day, but in minutes! So maybe, as you title you comment, it’s all a lie, all of it.
    To try and figure a logic in the “content” of what they say is to become lost; to think in terms of “process” is the better way to go–and that process of their talk has a single intention: to destroy.
    For what reasons, I cannot fathom, but in reality it has nothing to do with us and everything to do with them, their own wiring.

    Like

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