Saturday, January 31, 2009

Afterlife Without Narcissists

January 8, 2010

Someone, a long while ago asked what my life was like now, in the aftermath of the aftermath.

Actually there isn't much to say, because in my day to day life, I don't think about it.

If asked to think about it, there is no doubt that I recall that my brain was fried to a crisp by my encounter with a psychopath; I suspect that some of the damage is permanent. I haven't forgotten, in a distant way, the trauma that I experienced and this is a good thing. But more importantly, I haven't forgotten that I educated myself to identify the personality disordered, the abuse, the trauma symptoms and that has held me in good stead. I am more likely to identify an emotional vampire and remove myself from them than before.

Sometimes it is your boss, and that has happened to me, in the aftermath. When you need a job, you have to find ways to direct their attention from you. But the beauty is that you are not devastated nor feel annihilated- this time. Because you know it's not about you but about them. Sometimes it's a landlady, who holds your life in your hands because you can't afford to go elsewhere; and when you get the cut of her jib and begin changing the rigid social structure that she demands, you see her true colours come out and then you bail at the first opportunity, knowing she's a psycho, and it's not you.

Along with dealing with a psychopath, I was going through heavy life changes like divorce and conversion to another religion, and leaving all I know and madly love and moving to another country. On the psychological stress scale, it was off the charts. And yet here I stand, unbowed. I learned. And learned. And learned a lot.

What helped me most is knowing that it was not my fault. In separating my general psychological issues that everyone possesses, from the abuse and mindfuck that is the narcissist's/psychopath's trademark. In knowing that they cannily target the brightest and best out of primitive, barbaric need; a wimp would not do. In knowing I was dealing with something that was not normal, and in retrospect, subhuman, in my opinion a genetic mutant. You don't need to stick an evil label on them to realise that sucking the life out of you is their mode of operation and the thing you need to avoid with all your might.

For different reasons, 6 years later I entered deep psychotherapy. I can see where some personal issues intersected with psychoguy's ability to target my vulnerabilities. But that is all. Those without empathy have the knack of targetting a person's soft spots; it's not really that special. What makes it special is the kind of people they target, for their qualities, strengths and virtues.

Arguments of evil v sickness will go on, but that doesn't matter to us who were victimised by the personality disordered. All I know now is if I recognise the pattern I need to get myself out, pronto! And I do it. Without doubt, uncertainty, vacillation. I've learned to be harsh and to draw the line about what I will and will not tolerate.

Apart from all of that, I live and I love. It is an amazing life because now, I accept that there are people in this world who represent the dark and evil, and it is not my place to fix them, make them better or even to tolerate them; it's a huge load off me. My eye is objective and neutral. If you try to con me, I will cut you dead. And I largely know when you are trying to con me. I no longer have empathy for everyone in the world. I have learned to be discriminating. Nor, in the present, do I want to perpetuate the drama of having been victimised by this sort. For me, it's truly over.

Life is good without narcissists/psychopaths. I know myself better. I am myself. I love and enjoy and find the world wondrous. I have good and great relationships. I know that I have suffered from PTSD. But oddly, unlike my childhood, I don't relive the psycho moments when they are raised. I think it is because I faced the truth and worked it through. I was not a deer frozen in the headlights. I was an adult with many resources and I used them. I accepted that abnormal people had entered into my life. I accepted that they left damage in their wake and my wake, and that I needed to get them out of my life. Unless you do that, unless you stop blaming yourself, you will never really get out. You will be upholding an image of yourself, but not facing the facts and the truth.

And most importantly, I had somewhere to turn. To the doing of and attending to meaningful things. To kindness and attention to what really mattered in the world, to making a difference. If you pursue superficial and shallow things, soothing baths and candlelight and mantras and affirmations are not going to change the deep structures of your psyche. Nor are step by step solutions, nor "taking responsibility" when it means blaming yourself.

It is better to remember than to forget. And that is why I manage to remain narcissist and psychopath free. Because I took responsibility for my worldview, and looked that befuddling evil straight in the eye, and having known it and understood it, I turned away. To Life. Once I educated myself, I had a choice. And then it became a no brainer.

~ © InvictaMA 2010-2012

32 comments:

shacri said...

Your posts have TRULY helped me get through my recovery from my N relationship. I'm nowhere near "the end" but knowing that one day I WILL have peace gets me through each day. I also am reading and learning everything I can about the disordered. Through therapy I have uncovered things about myself, also, that are helping me become a stronger person (and no, none of it consisted of blaming myself for HIS behavior). Again, thank you so much for your words.

Anonymous said...

Im feeling much betta but no i still have a way to go as i have a little girl by the ex f n i feel the jezebel knows it has backfired on her as shes now scared of seeing me as im sure she knows i know ive found this evil nature she has . took me two years off pain after 11years off mindf... i see my daughter to her today and i think she knows theres something wrong with her nm not sure how to handle telling her as shes only 11 i just tell her to go into her room or play with here dog and that here mams got problems from her past .d said mam had told her already and thats why nm treated d dad(me)badly bs excuse .any way i realise i have to tread carefully for my little star of a daughters sake .thank u inv, and everyone who has give me this knowlege of power . ps i dont bother with fools like sv and the like .thanku thanku thank u i must feel a we bit like elijah did but will soon feel like the one who finally defeated jezerbel if u know what and who i mean .keep fighting this and u will win .

Anonymous said...

Invicta, I also just want to say thank you for being able to articulate so eloquently - for all of us - the predicament, the nature and result of having been victimized by a relationship with a narcissist psychopath. It is SO affirming to all of us who've shared that experience and honey for the soul, because there really is almost nowhere else and no one else to get that kind of validation from.

It was 8 years ago for me and at that time I suffered a true nervous breakdown, attempted suicide, was hospitalized and came out of all that with my brain so fried I didn't know which way was up, nor could I even make sense of it, for many, many months and even years. I worked through a lot in psychotherapy but it honestly was not until I found this blog and others like it, that I finally started to really understand what had happened to me and why, and to really come to terms with it.

There is no need for me to repeat what you have already said so clearly and elegantly about all it but it describes exactly my experience and exactly what I eventually learned and understood, the epiphany that began to make me whole again. You hit all the nails squarely on the head.

I'm well today and life is good. The N still tries to contact me, all these years hence (I never engage) and I know why - he vants to drink my blood. And I am exactly the kind of person an N would target, earnest, empathetic, strong, etc. Nuh uh, not my problem.

Huge thank you. Love to all here.

Tanita said...

It is very healing to read your posts and to know you are not alone in this twisted situation, when the abuser poses as the victim and projects on you the role of the abuser, and you start wondering who is going to ever believe me, the one whose life is wracked while he is off to his next victim, suave and charismatic?
I am in the process of getting out of the relationship with two young children. How do you tell the children that he is a fraud, without questioning their emotional investment in and attachment to him? How do you prevent them from experiencing the trauma you had been subject to? It seems to me that the emotional abuse was a precondition for me to recognize the true character of my partner.
Lastly, I am so glad to hear that you, like me, do not see yourselves as victims. There is a lot in the literature that suggests that it is your fault that you signed up for this relationship. I want to emphasize, that if you are an independent minded, empathetic, benevolent, conflict averse, strong and intelligent woman, you can still end up in a relationship with an N because you want to work things out, you are generous, you are not a control freak (so he can move around freely and be the various himself), and you tend to intellectualize the problem and believe that things can change. This is all great, the task is to find someone who can reciprocate and appreciate what you give.
With all my heart to you out there.

Merula von Mondlicht said...

Hi, I am sorry if this is not the right place to post this, but, I was not able to find an email address regarding my request. My page is listed on your links as Internet Danger Zone: http://www.geocities.com/lycium7/; however, Geocities was shut down and I have moved my website. I would really appreciate it if you could replace my old link with the new one: http://sites.google.com/site/lycium7/

Thank you so much!

Joan-Marie said...

Invicta,
thanks for this post; I am right behind you! Also a seasoned therpaist coming off a 20 yr. "relationship" with a P. Have had unbelievable personal, spiritual and professional help and have been moving forward with grace through some excruciating times.
I agree with the sentiments expressed in your post, looking forward to the day when I only check out info for professional reasons; soon come.
Joan-Marie

homeless suburbanite in monmouth county said...

Invicta ~ is there any way we could communicate in private? I feel I might be deeply involved with an N and I have some questions. If you are willing I would be very grateful for your insight. Tracey

Anonymous said...

OMG! Invicta, you just spoke to my life, I was a child of a Narcissistic mother. My husband (soon to be EX) is a narcissist as well. I was in a constant state of emotional stress, confusion, anxiety, anger, and resentment. We've been married for almost 7 years and I've been unhappy with him all that time. It took me a long time to accept that the issue was with him. I convinced myself everyday that its better to be married. After a while I accepted that I was wrong and that something had to change. We started seeing a therapist. It was the discussion about my mom that I learned about narcissism. But then when I started evaluating my husband, I realized, he was the same way. I married my MOM, so to speak. Its quite interesting to know that other people have experienced this and were strong enough to decide No More. Its liberating. I have two children by him. My fear is that they will be impacted by his behavior. I can pray and teach them to not accept UGLY behavior from no one.

I too decided that I am not a victim. The hard part for me is that I was so conditioned by my mother to accept the behavior. Now I have to work hard to recognize the behaviors in people and accept that it is ok for me not to accept their behavior.

I will be divorced sometime soon. I am happy to know that I can work through my issue and find a healthy loving relationship again. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Skip to the second part if the first part gives you the "queesies"...
Part 1:What's under the rock? Apart from the practical and honorable reasons that we stay too long, there is the understandable reason that we do it to not face what is under the rock. There sits inhumanity in its various ugly forms and thats a mind/soul bender to face (down). To hope for a turnaround that redeems all of those inhumane crimes has a good sense: It will not just assure us that our life was not misspent but even more, that our beliefs (in others)pan out: Even if the perpetrator was criminal that underneath it all, there was a person like us...someone who did not mean any harm. I think alot of the analysis we might do of these perpetrators is misguided: It tries to explain evil in humane terms, like disorders. Of course, these miscreants are disordered because doing evil is actually irrational: It can never enrich or fulfill a life. But, we are left with us to understand not them... to undertand that we have been done wrong by this miscreant: made to suffer, be tormented, brought great pain/hardhip for no other reason than a mindset that had a void of regard for others. This is BIG: To not live with a code of regard for human beings no matter what diagnosis is attached. He/she didn't care...Did not see themselves in us, didn't see us as real, with flesh/blood/being as they are. This is never about us, its about them: It always does extend in a variety of ways to any other human being although, not show on first glance. It is evil to disregard welfares of others: We were given life not to desecrate other lives.
How does one wrap their head around the will to cause suffering and desecrate another? I don't think it is possible, fruitful or even wise to attempt to figure it out. We have a more profound matter to sort out: What it has cost us to have encountered evil... It's been dear and some dear things to us. Okay, so maybe we do gain strength and some nice virtues for getting through it but, honestly, who of us wouldn't gladly refund those for the return to a sunny kind of belief in others even if it is naive? Who wants to live out our lives circumspect and loaded with the knowledge that there can be others to will us harm? Its a heavy burden to bear. For each memory we faced down, we may gain but we also lost, too, something dear to us...We will now life differently when how we did it before was perfectly okay. I wonder, if all that is there to come to terms with is what makes it seem sensible to hold out hope for redemption and linger too long? Makes sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Part 2 goes to one viable way to manage what we face under that rock when the time comes that we have to do so. It is what I am using and it has been of benefit. What's under there is shattering and each memory that exemplified the inhumanity can make one sick. Scott Peck wrote a book about narcissism, The Road Less Traveled, that admonished anyone to encounter it to run.. run for their lives because it will bend the mind and shatter. Well, we're past that advice but we can use it after the fact: We can be careful with ourselves to avoid being immersed by it. The first safeguard is to call it for what it was and let it be as awful, wretched, wicked, evil or whatever. Nothing of it to examine or theorize about... nothing to gain for doing such. (Doesn't it make a good deal of sense to wonder/contemplate how a human does the amazing/awesome against all odds than be wondering about something terrible that is incomprehensible by its nature? Where are we going to put our time, our life time? In drek, in fetid stench, in the worst of human kind or in all that is inspirational about human kind?) The best way I know to stop rumination is in hard physical work...any activity that gets us good and sore/tired. I can't think about anything when I am huffing and puffing to get something done.
The second thing that I do to lift me out of the somberness and fearsomeness of realization is a gallows sense of humor. There is always in these cases alot of idiotic to the perpertrator even with the terrible. I entertain myself and others with a kind of gallows humor. There are a few people, only a very few, that I will open up to about the dark corner because, while I do need to do that, I need more to lighten this business up because I do want to travel as light as possible. I find that putting a humorous bend on the miscreant is strengthening to me: I have a handle on it in a less burdensome way. Too, I like that the way I put it to some friends/associates makes them laugh and I laugh as well. There's alot in life that is very serious and while this encounter was devastating, it maybe best carried with some humor even about ourselves.

Anonymous said...

First I would like to say that I am ever so grateful that I found this blog. If ever anything has "hit the nail on the head" so precisely it has been here. I am almost two months out of my N relationship and I feel as though I have been set free! I will be honest in saying that my entire relationship was nothing short of being an emotional war zone or as I read here an emotional mindfuck! And yes describing an N as an emotional vampire is so very true. They take and take until they suck the life out of you! I made the choice to leave, to get out, and never ever look back. For years I thought it was my fault, I felt like I was crazy and because I am a human being with a soul I felt sorry for him and was manipulated by guilt and did everything in my power to try and help him get better. Not once during the entire relationship did he ever say that he was sorry for the viscious and cruel things he'd said or done. He was never there for me, he was never fully or truly present in the relationship. Looking back in hindsight what I thought was a relationship was nothing more than a facade on his behalf. He saw my children and as objects/possessions
and not as human beings. To those on the outside he presented himself as a wonderful, caring, helpful person but to those of us on the inside he is anything but. Behind our walls he was a raging, self absorbed, evil entity. I am on my way to beginning my wonderful
N free journey, life is going to be completely amazing without that dark cloud of evil negativity hanging over my head everyday. I will never let someone like this into my life ever again, life is to short and precious to sell myself out for someone that never gave a shit anyways! Sending positive and healing energy to everyone here! :-)

follower said...

hi, i have been with a narcissist for 14 years, and i am just seeing the truth for about 3 months. i live for the day i will not have to have the life sucked out of me, and i will be able to retain my energy for myself. thank you for your site, it is like air for me to breathe. my story is on my blog.

MelissaW said...

Thank you for posting this. It has been over 3 years since I was in a relationship with a Narcissist. I spent a year in turmoil and was, like you, going through a divorce and my son battling the court system, and my other son sick with a heart condition when I became his next victim. He raped my soul, my mind, my body -before meeting him, I was ambitious, strong-willed, supermom -for lack of a better term- I did it all and had the strength to do it. I had determination and my goals were high in life, family, and career. But after spending a year with HIM -my entire being was gone. I still struggle every day to pick myself up and move forward.

OnceSmitten said...

I love your information! Thanks so much. I am a survivor of severe abuse and have been treated inpatient and out for complex PTSD but was never given any information about the kinds of people I would be drawn to for intimate relationships and had to glean the Internet for years to find information about NPD and psychopaths. I'm 27 years sober and every intimate relationship I've had save for 1 while I was really into my drink and drug era, have been with classic exploitative and abusive scum. Vaknin was my first introduction to the subject but I also read Kohut and Freud and others, and felt Vaknin was trying to come off as a helpful guy but was actually just looking to put the onus on the kind of people he exploits. His "Inverted Narcissist" description is from hell, as I'm sure you're aware. But anyway, thanks. I've just started reading your work and will continue to do so. I'm also getting a lot of self esteem support and boundary establishment modeling in Alanon meetings, which I recommend although I would note that not all meetings are alike and that some are full of people who seem to me to be pretty parasitic, emotionally.
I would also like to tell you that I have been exploring shamanic healing for the last few years after having become involved "romantically" with a particularly toxic sociopath, posing as a spiritual leader in aa. I was so devastated by her that I was experiencing suicidal urges unlike any I had experienced before, and that's saying something. A friend who is a survivor herself of childhood sexual abuse recommended a shamanic healer who has amazing abilities. I can only say I was astounded by the effectiveness of this mode of healing. Again, not all who claim to be shaman, like those who claim to be therapists just because they have a piece of paper, have any healing skill, but this woman is a heavy hitter in the shamanic community and in my experience, so if you would like more on that I would be happy to supply you with what I know.
I came upon a description of a "soul thief" in a book on Celtic shamanism that succinctly described, you guessed it, the NPD personality, and also have found native American shamanic information delineating the personality type of what we call NPD or sociopath or psychopath as being individuals who do steal energy, and that stated that indigenous people teach their children never to look into the eyes of a stranger as they may be one of these types. Looks like it's an old problem.

Again, thanks so much and good fortune on your journey. You are helping so many.

Barba

Anonymous said...

Been married to an N for 25 years now. Never met anyone like him and now I wish I hadn't. I was so naive and trusting. I have kids to raise so have been waiting till the last one finishes school (3 more years). For years I thought it was all my fault, that i was overly sensitive, etc. Then his mother stayed with us for a summer and it woke me up. Also therapy for the last 2 years (which he does not like paying for!) has helped tremendously. So now I'm working on making a life outside of him so when the time comes I can leave.
Latest emotional disaster - our 25th anniversary. He made me the "sweetest" video of our wedding with pictures of the kids interspersed. He took it to his work and wowed all the women with what a "sensitive" guy he was (he has a consistent habit of emotional affairs at work). Then he puts it on the tv to show me on our anniversary. As soon as it's over he brings up a fight we had 4 1/2 years ago at Christmas. That was the Christmas he did not buy me a single (not one) present nor take the kids out to buy me any presents either. Then when I complained and dared ask him why he didn't get me anything he gave me the silent treatment for 4 days until I apologized to him! (I was still in great denial at the time.) So, on our anniversary he brings up the fact that I was mad at him about not getting me a present for Christmas but I had not gotten him a present for our 25th annivesary (I did not plan on giving him a present for our anniversary until the weekend when we had planned a trip together!) I felt like I had been punched in the gut. He is the most self-absorbed person I have ever known.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I am asking for permission to quote a few of your statements in your blog. Can you please email me at Randi at BPDCentral.com? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judith-acosta-lisw-cht/nice-but-not-good-the-art_b_772965.html

The Huffington Post has a great article on spotting N's

Anonymous said...

Tonight was the first time I found your blog, and I intend to print, read, and highlight your notes to help myself out of my own horrible situation with a narcissistic mother. This has been a long time coming, and I am more than ready to separate myself from her psychopathy.

Thank you for having the courage - and for taking the time - to share your experiences with others. I have been through the paces with my own mother, and whether she is evil or just selfish matters not - I don't want a relationship with her regardless. As sad as that sounds, I feel so incredibly empowered now that I have finally decided to take these steps away from her. She is inauthentic at best, evil and conniving at worst - either way, not a person I have come to know and want to continue to know.

Living with a narcissist is beyond torturous. Over ten years ago, I moved thousands of miles away with my then-boyfriend, and she still stalked us and told me that there was nowhere I could go that she couldn't find me (and know what I was doing). She has irrevocably damaged my relationships with others, and now I realize how much more I value even just a chance at happy, healthy, genuine relationships with a few other individuals instead of any with my mother or her family (yes, the little blood family I have left have all blindly taken her side).

Thank you again, and I pray that we all can find our way safely and healthily out of these awful, repressive situations and into happy and successful lives away from these people. We can't change anybody around us, but we can decide to no longer allow them into our lives. Good riddance, as they say!

Anonymous said...

If there is a text book example required for a narcistic relationship it would be mine. I met this man while working in my store and him requiring an aptmt which I was offering for rent. At the time I was very down and was contemplating divorce. The n drank and would show up for a chat in the afternoons. My soul fell for him and fell in love. He charmed me with gifts and I succombed to every demand he wished including purchasing expensive jewellery, clothing, electronics to find him returning things and destroying things. I remodelled the apartment to his liking and spent over forty thousand dollars to make it an upscale with jacuzzi marble etc. to have him say that he could have done better. He has been living there for 4 years and threatens me that he is leaving but never does. He drives me crazy when he took all his artwork down and changed even him bed from his balcony room to bring it down to the living room because he says that he can't deal with the temperature difference. Having to deal with his every command of where to drive, how to drive what time to meet and not be one minute late, demands that never ended and seeing him never happy. In fact never knowing if the plans would manifest. The many times of intimacy ending with me crying and having to leave feeling empty and helpless and unloved. His showing up or calling never saying he is sorry alwys saying that I should not have "made a scene" or accused him of being the one at fault. I helped him rekindle with his only son and family for two years and now he turned on them because "They don't want to listen to him". He no longer wishes to se them again. He has destroyed everything I gave him. My total self , my time , my love for everything he needed. He doesn't drive but rides a bicycle due to his drinking. His big deal is that he is responsible for having worked the same automotive job for over 28 years unlike the rest of his family. This has been going on for 5 years and up to last night after 3 weeks of silence he asked me out for dinner at the casino. Again the evening ending in shambles. No more nice compliments and kisses and hugs or even him asking if I wished a drink of water. Only that I didn't know how to use the slot machines and didn't know how to play. I didn't know where to drop him off and am irrisponsible for not having changed my windshield wipers. This morning he called to say he is better off alone since he feels cheated and used because I've been separated for 3 years and still am not divorced. I am laying here totally devastated and empty. I have sacrificed my whole family to be there for this man. I work 2 jobs to try and keep up with his demands and he puts me down by saying that if I were smart I would be making millions. He wished for me to put $50,000.00 in his bank acct and when I refused, he told me that I don't trust him and that I don't love him the way I used to. I bought his a rolex a breitling, five diamond rings made to his specifications etc etc and he to this day says he wasted 5 years waiting for me. All my dreams of being with him and marrying him have gone out the window and am feeling that maybe I am the n instead of him. I being rushed to the hospital for heart palpitations and he told me not to be dramatic like his ex wife and his son. I am laying in bed not even having the energy to call my kids or my parents. It is like being hit by a Mac truch and not having one bone in your body unharmed. I am a total wreck and don't even know what to do but cry. Thank you all for the listeneing ear. Will I ever get better? Please write
Piratesbride

Original13 said...

Thank you! WOW! I'm not alone? I married a
Malignant Narcissistic. On 1-1-2011, he had me jailed for domestic violence because I slapped his laptop to the floor. Bench trial found me Not Guilty, so now he blames my one witness is a liar. He filed divorce & says that I filed first. His current demands for my return reads like a contract to slavery. He took all the money, cut off the credit card, stop paying utilities. I know I will survive this mess. Has also spread lies about me, all the while promoting his two books, so I know I'll never be completly rid of him. His world is crashing in on him & after 7 years, I'm out of harms way. The divorce is a relief from this Twilight zone N Thank you for giving me an outlet to know your strength.

Anonymous said...

It's been 4 months since the death of my N husband, who by the way passed away 1 month before our divorce is finalized. Before his death, he was with a girlfriend and realized it's not doing to work and wants to come back to me but 4 hours after our telephone conversation he died tragically from an automobile accident. After 22 years of marriage, 2 children and more memory of abuse, I find it very difficult to mourn without anger and pain. He left me with bills, blogs and blogs with comments of his girlfriends missing him for the great memory he had with them. All was done without me knowing it (adultery), countless unerased e-mails which I was able to access after his death (should have not done it, but too late)....etc and multiple unpaid medical and personal bills along with IRS issues. Don't be a victim like me, holding on to a futile relationship for the sake of my dream of a family because at the end it will wear you out. He portrayed himself to others that he is all that and so I gave him an honorable funeral for the sake of my children. Now , I must move on, as difficult as it is to do it, I will detach slowly and be a winner. He thought me that life is too short to waste in a N relationship.

Nene

OnceSmitten said...

Grieving the end of a relationship with a narcissist and knowing they believed themselves to be performing as the best kind of partner is pretty strange. This is the disconnection from the rest of the human race that occurs with this type of disorder, though, and really illustrates the inability, not refusal but true inability to experience empathy that they experience. I have found in my relationships with N's that they are often quite intuitive, by the way, which I believe would be a way of compensating for the lack of empathy, but they can and always do paint themselves in the nicest of colors in their self assessment. I would guess it is a skill they learned early on if their narcissism is trauma induced, as a way of skipping over depression. If it is inherited I am guessing it is simply not seeing the necessity of honorable comparison with other humans. At this stage in my life what I am really seeing is the similarity between the behavior of the N and the behavior of people that are intoxicated to the point that the limbic system, or "Reptile Brain" has taken over. They do seem to have a way of thinking that approximates that reptilian thought process, which is interesting to me as often someone with a history of exploitive and of course heinous actions is referred to as a reptile. There could, I think, be a genetic throwback to an earlier stage of evolution of the brain in these people, and also in those N's created by prolonged childhood trauma. I'd really like to see some research of phase transition in diagnosed N's. Back to the way they characterize themselves, though, it's been my experience that even when confronted with their actual behaviors they run a quick program of justifications or totally manufactured excuses and then of course, resort to rage to keep the investigation from proceeding further. Dealing with one is often just as nefarious in action a their own behavior, but unfortunately useful of necessity. You are dealing with the utterly ruthless, and to know that and understand that their reality is entirely colored by their inability for connection to the net of empathy that is the best characteristic of humanity, is an essential step in moving away from being one of their exploited relationships. Of course of your experience of that is post-mortem, what you can do with the information, however disturbing, is pay attention to it and detach as much as you can from it while assessing it's effect on your life and hopefully, finding a good place to share that emotional distress that you have been treated to with people of empathetic cast, such as alanon, where people are dealing with the effects alcohol's reduction of the brain to the limbic system have had on their lives and self images.

OnceSmitten said...

I was reading some information about the DNA changes that occur in people like myself that have had the experience of severe abuse in early childhood and was searching for information about being attracted to N types when I came across a study of pheromone attraction in survivors of abuse to N type personality pheromones.
"Shit." I said to myself, but then I thought about it and looked up the personality characteristics of the abuse survivor to get a list going, and then thought about how to approach it from the outside in. I had used subliminal hypnosis recordings in the past with some success for weight loss and wondered if there would be something I could approach the "list" with along those lines. I found some CD's utilizing hemi-sync binaural beats with subliminal messaging in them that have gotten some positive reviews on Ebay, from www.keytomindpower.com and started with one for self esteem. I literally moved out from where I was living after using that recording because my housemate had some distinctly N behaviors that I became aware of and also intolerant of, which was interesting to me as I am a pro at overlooking bullshit from other people, but I found a wonderful place to live with loving and very good hearted people. So I also started using the CD from the same company for stage fright, which has worked well for me and now find that I can speak in large groups without feeling like I am in a vacuum, and without losing my train of thought, which was a big problem before. I am also using a CD of theirs on personal power and a couple that have to do with prosperity.
I have to say, I am impressed with the way my brain is working. I feel like I am also accessing much more information in my memory and able to consolidate concepts more broadly. I know it sounds kind of unrealistic but that is really my experience of this stuff. I just felt like having a DNA change was more than talk therapy was reordering, so I needed something more effective, although I am not downgrading therapy. I have had a lot of it though, and been told repeatedly that I would just have to live with the way my emotional setup was as a result of having a very N mother. I have mentioned that my healing done with a shaman of some serious skill helped me a great deal as well, so just know it's some suggestions that may be beneficial to some people out there.
I would say that if you are thinking of having a shaman help you out, that checking their skills out by asking others about their effectiveness and also seeing what their actual affiliations are as far as shamanic schools are concerned would be a good idea. Unfortunately there are not too many accredited organizations out there and I have worked with 2 shaman I did not find to be at all effective, so the Shamanic Institute would be my recommendation in that.

Just some notes on my path of healing. Take what you like and leave the rest, as they say, and good hunting.

diana said...

The Malignant N that I was married to has left me in hell! Isolated, disconec and has used every resource I made available for him! Im left in financial ruin! Its really hard not be bitter and angry and it seems to be getting harder and harder for me to forgive myself. I NEVER felt anything from him! When Id question it , it wiuld get so twisted I felt bad about something I hadnt even done? I didnt trust my own instincts! Of coarse he knew what he was doing!
I had lived a very sheltered and protected life! Naive and was in a very low place in my life when I met him.
I was even warned that he was possibly just gonna use me! I even knew some of his history! He was about 10 years sober and had been made new by Christ! He was 50 too! I suree never dreamed he would ever leave me!
He lived in my ready made home for 6 years with his belongings packed in the basement always ready to flee, but I had convinced myself that he loved me!I mean deep down down how could he not? He had nothing, was running from the IRS, he was mid fifties, and I licked his ass! He wouldnt ever find better! Wrong!
One thing about it, he sure has shown me who he is and I am so ashamed of myself for being such a fool!
A year after he abandoned me the stress was bad and the consequenses have been so impossible for me I had a heart attack at 42! These people need to be locked up for what they do to other people! Tricking someones heart and soul is the worst thing you could do!! I was sooo blind to who he was, or I saw how he treated everyone else but just didnt know. I feel stuck and pray everyday for Gods guidance and direction. You women give me hope.
Its been about 15 months scince my N walked out. I have to say I am still in hell today! I feel real bad about myself and what a huge mess I have created for my parents

Katy said...

After living in hell for almost 6 years with an N, who became my husband, i am now really free for the first time. We had years of tumult, and then he even moved back and forth across the U.S. twice. I would get him to leave and then he always hooked me back. This time it is over; i am 2 months N free and feel stronger everyday.
The PTSD I have been living with, of course is still hanging onto me like glue. When does it stop? I have very unexpectedly met a new man and in my head i am constantly asking myself, "is he for real or is he out to screw me?" Just waiting for the ball to drop (of course in the 'honeymoon' stage with an N they do not show their true colors.) I was NOT looking for a new relationship but this has given me hope again. I have my eyes wide open, and he genuinely seems like a caring, empathetic man.
I guess my question is, has others been able to begin a 'normal healthy' relationship after suffering with an N? I do not want to sabotage my happiness because of what N did to me. psychologically i am working hard to rid myself of these thoughts of fear and mistrust. have others found love and happiness post N?

Anonymous said...

Vampire Spirit Suckers:
They find good people and suck them dry. I like your description, "fried Brain".
After 20 years with this man, I am finally seeing the truth and on my way to happiness.
Thank you for your website.

Karen said...

Katy (comment 11-1-11) or anyone please contact me directly.
kdrebelxt@yahoo.com

Katy,
Your post could be my post!
You expressed what I feel and exactly what I am experiencing.
I'd love to chat directly with you.
Karen

i_am_stronger said...

I discovered I was in a relationship with a N only weeks ago, and feel compelled to write to thank you for your blog and posts. By educating myself in this short space of time I have resisted the urge to be in contact with him. In moments of weakness I log on to your blog (whether I'm at work, at a bus stop, in bed at 3am, anywhere) and I find great strength from the insightful words of a stranger. I am so grateful.

I don't regret the 2 years I spent with him, but I do thank my lucky stars that it wasn't longer. I've lost my home and my 'best friend' and learnt that my life was riddled with lies, deceit and manipulation, but I've also realised how strong I am. I know I'll be OK in the end because I guess that my strength is what attracted him to me in the first place.
I've been in touch with many of his other women, and we've given eachother comfort and courage. There are good people out there indeed.

He once came home drunk in the early hours, crying and mumbling that if I knew the real him that I'd hate him, that his Dad wouldn't be proud. This is the only time that the mask ever slipped. These thoughts will remain buried somewhere deep inside him and he will continue to breeze through life playing his evil game. I'm just glad I've managed to break free.
I ran fast and I won't look back.

So, thank you.

Wishing everyone on here a wonderful 2012 full of hope and happiness and all things good.

Anonymous said...

been 10 yrs since the narcissist left our life of 25 yrs. The abuse was unlivable after he left as at the beginning I shunned him and his ego was wounded..then the evil came out and he tortured me for the next several years and drug out divorce til I had nothing left in me.He still is daily in my mind and I often wonder what I did to deserve my life destroyed by someone so cruel and cold. A hypnotherapist at mayo clinic diagnosed him thru my therapy. I had no idea..but once reading about what they are and how they work..It was my life in a nutshell. I really feel kinda sad though because I have tried everything to forget it all and to move into a new better life..but he is in my mind everyday and after this long I feel I am one that probably is not gonna ever heal. I have tried lots of counseling and I do not have any contact with him. Will it always hurt this much..its been such a long time. Also I get lonely as I do not trust men now. I am afraid.

Life its better said...

Wow, hard to believe there are so many of us out there. Its been a week since my relationship with the man i was going to marry ended after 2yrs and 4months.
When i googled " how to get over a controlling relationship i came across this blog page.
After reading only a few blogs i realised how Narcissits my ex really was.
Its insane to think i was going to marry him.
I have no family only a handful of friends and he kept me way from them. I became so co-dependent on him, emotionaly and fincial,that when he kicked me out of his house he knew i had no one to turn to, no money, no car and no credit on my phone so i had to go back that night and grap what i could carry on the bus the next morning. That morning after throwing water on his tv when he told he will have someone else by that night i picked up my bag and walked out. I used IOU for credit and messaged him saying i was sorry for getting angry and throwing the water, i recieved a message to never contact him and that the locks have been changed. Since that had happened in the past before and i went back, i knew he meant it, because i never reacted to all the things he ever did before, and that morning i wanted it to be over. Afew days passed and he got one of his friends in the police force to call me to say i can collect thing but to do it peacefully and not to contact him.
I did not know it was not offical, but on monday morning when he called me again and after talking to one of his friends i found it wasn't, i contact the police my self and made offical. That all started a week ago today.Its finding what to do with my self with all the time i have.
after reading everyones blogs it has made realise that life goes on and I'll get over him but i do need some help and these blogs is where i know i will find my strengt and with counselling. Thank you to everyone whos told there stories, my friends are keep saying talking about it helps but reading about all yours makes me know you that you all understand and I will be great in time.
peace x

Katherine said...

OMG. This is amazing. I never understood what was going on in my life, until I found this. I was just looking for resources to help me grief a broken relationship (why this break-up seems much harder than others I've had??), and I came across this. I started reading, and suddenly it all makes sense!!!! OMG again.

I always knew my man was 'a bit' N, meaning that he likes to be admired (he is an artist), and I did, but I didn't have the least idea that being a N meant all this crap and crazy behaviour!!! It's as if all I'm reading here had been written about 'him'. It's unbelievable how all of them follow the same patterns.

And it's unbelievable too,

Why do we always think it's our fault??
Why do we become addicted to the relationship??

For me, it's exactly like coming out of an addiction. I've been through absolute hell, and just today, reading this, I lifted my head for the first time in several months. Because I've started to understand. Knowledge is power, and now I know why it all happened like this. And, now I know it's possible to get out of it.

Thanks so much to you all!!!!

Anonymous said...

leaving it behind

I've read the posts and they are all so sadly familiar. I've been involved with a Narcissist (although I don't really like labels) for nine years, married for four, hopefully I gain my freedom to move out and on within the next couple of months.

I had plenty of warning signs before I married him but blinkered myself. I entered psychotherapy a year ago as I knew I could not separate off from him without professional help. I don't agree with the concept of "Inverted Narcissists" - I read somewhere that Sam V is himself a self-confessed Narcissist.Hmmm...

My experiences fall into the usual categories: lies, manipulation, financial control, undermining,, sex without real intimacy. He said his marriage vows with a pocket full of texts to and from another woman and it got worse...Never an apology for anything he'd done, my wonderment at his persuasive and plausible lies - once I cottoned on to what he was. My attempts to make a marriage from nothing. His constant negativity and self pity combined with arrogance, total lack of empathy for me or anyone else, his emotional emptiness. All of this of course led to very disturbed children by his first marriage. As I said, the red lights were flashing but I ignored them because he could also be so charming. But always blaming me if anything went wrong in his life.

The idea that Narcissism is a way of avoiding depression is interesting. That had occurred to me as, although superficially sentimental, he doesn't appear to have any deep emotions. It's as though he's blocked them. Appearances are everything, what's going on underneath is another matter, but it is vital that his respectable and middle class veneer is never punctured.

I have found the psychotherapy to be very helpful in two ways. One: why I married him and thus learning to recognise such people in the future. Two: the advice to covertly build a new life among people I like via voluntary work in the town I intend to move to. I hope this means that the break will be easier as I have a different circle of people in a different town in place so that I don't feel isolated.

He can be charming and like most of us, I expect him to try to recontact me once his present sources of narcissistic supply dry up.

He has exhausted me, drained me, caused me to doubt my sanity but they do know how to hook us. As someone said, they do go for intelligent, talented, good looking people with verve. Just so they can drain these resources before moving on. Vampiric.

I feel much stronger now, rediscovering who I am under the accretions of self-doubt induced by his behaviour which led to a breakdown.

Just can't wait to get away from the surreal and bizarre world of the Narcissist. Had enough of feeling like Alice in conversation with the Mad Hatter.