Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Soul With No Footprints

* Narcissism is considered a less severe form of psychopathy.

This opinion piece arises from my experiences in several support groups and the concerns that survivors bring to them and how those concerns are treated. It is also based on my own experience in healing.

Healing is a mysterious process. We use the word, but what does it mean? Does it mean the scars don't show, that we forget, that all is forgiven? Does it mean we just move on as best we can and try to put things behind us? My experience has pretty well fit the process as outlined by the article:Healing Facts. This means that there is no definable process except that healing seems like a neverending spiral.

Looking for Answers

It would be great if we had answers, if we could chart a course in healing that would give us certainty in our path, but I don't think that life is ever that simple and rarely that certain. Because we are unique, with different sensitivities and needs, how can our healing be anything but unique? And as for certainty? Perhaps that is the crux of the matter. Perhaps that is what is most horrifying about the effects of our encounters with evil.

Out of our disorientation and confusion, more than ever, we want life to be certain. We want the certainty of answers. But what we find, having encountered a character disordered person, is that all of our certainty crumbles. We become disoriented as if the world has gone awry, and all our most precious beliefs are smashed against the granite-faced reality of a psychopath/disordered N. It is a reality so alien to us and so twisted, and the psychopath's/N's being so deformed, that we are sent spinning and wobbling like a satellite loosened from earth's gravity out into deepest, darkest, unfathomable, unexplored space, with no way, it seems, to get back. Or, in my case, as if I had been thrown into a clothes dryer and left on the tumble dry cycle- knocking against the side of my walls of disbelief, erratically, bruising, being knocked and jolted about some more, not knowing where the next blow will come from.

In that dryer, I remember. In retrospect, I gather the evidence and recount the signposts that I missed, the history of my abuse that I did not know was abuse, the slow, insidious, sadistic rape of my mind and heart and soul. As the proof accrues, and unspeakable reality dawns, I am finally knocked senseless by it, the shock is so great.

"Obsession": The Beginning of Healing

Some call this preoccupation "obsession" which I think pathologises the thought processes of the individual. Many years ago I was in a motor accident (I was in a bus) where I saw someone die in their car in a fireball; I felt the need to go over and over that scenario in my head- I was in shock, in disbelief. I wanted to find out the victim's name, who he was, what family he had. I needed to tell my story over and over again, to anyone who would listen. I didn't know why I had this desire to do this. Then I read a study of burn victims who had survived terrible fires who were in intensive care. That same pattern emerged, the need to repeat their stories endlessly. This, to me, is the beginning of healing. Our beings, I realise, have been created in such a manner that mechanisms of infinite wisdom fall into place to start the process.

We can give psychological reasons- that it is the shock and that the mind and emotions have been sent reeling and that this is their way of reworking their worldview in a new way, because that world can never be the same. We can talk about 'cognitive dissonance' as Healing Facts does, or about 'paradigm shift'. All this is true. In layman's terms, we need to rework, recreate what happened until it becomes not alien to us, but a part of our ongoing and renewing selves. We need to integrate the experience bit by bit as part of our healing and that may take a life time. But in an encounter with a psychopath/pathological N, I think that there is more.Link

Failure of Beliefs

We need to recreate the past because we suddenly realise that all that we thought and knew, all that we believe, has failed us. FAILED us. And so, first of all, we need to retrace the steps of the relationship with our newfound perspective, our knowledge- that they were mentally disordered. It doesn't matter how long that past, or how short, what matters is the intensity, the severity, and the sensitivity of the individual. Like survivors with 3rd degree burns, we need to go over it again and again until it becomes real. We need to reorient ourselves with a new and revised knowledge base, where once the psychopath/N had turned the bedrock of all our cherished beliefs, and all that we knew, into quicksand.

But I also believe that we make a natural, predictable mistake: We believe that by changing ourselves that we can change the past. We believe that by changing ourselves we can find a reason we can live with for what happened to us. We believe that by focussing on ourselves, we can take control over what happened to us and what is happening. I think that none of this is true. None of this is true!

A Soul With No Footprints

It happened and there was nothing there. The relationship was one-sided and we were relating to a 'soul with no footprints', a shade, a ghost, a wisp, that leaves no trail because he never was. Our love was unrequited. The relationship did not exist. That, I believe, is the unvarnished truth.

Why is it easier to blame ourselves? Why do we need to engage in further self-abuse? What we can control, I believe, is in the work- of reremembering by thinking back, reframing, facing, changing, with our newfound knowledge.....that is control- but we cannot get back what we never had- we cannot get it back by blaming ourselves, even in part.......for as long as we blame ourselves, we hang onto a relationship, one that never long as we blame ourselves, we cannot let go....we may have issues (and who doesn't) that we may wish to work on and that may have been sparked by the encounter, but we did not CAUSE the encounter- other than the human foibles we all carry, our strengths and weaknesses.......we were not remotely at fault- but to see and acknowledge these things it would mean that we would have to GIVE UP the idea that there was a relationship and that we had ANY control!

Blaming Ourselves

It is intolerable for us to realise that we were relating to this soul with no footprints. We would, then, need to give up the certainty of closure, of healing in a prescribed and predictable manner; we would need to chart our own course and find answers for ourselves that no one else can give us; we would have to give up the belief that we have any control over our lives and that there is certainty in life.

I think that that is why we need to blame ourselves in some way, and to work to change things in ourselves that may need changing but which did not cause the encounter with a psychopath/disordered N. We want to believe that we had some control. Yet, it is known and proven that if a psychopath/disordered N targets you, no one is immune (Robert Hare). And that if it happened to you once, it could happen to you again, even after you know what there is to know, if you remain uneducated about psychopathy/narcissism. This is also the opinion of Robert Hare. It isn't because you are an "N-magnet" but because you don't know any better, like most of the population.

Even if you are used to abusive relationships, from your childhood, you may tolerate the abuse of a psychopath,/N but this has nothing to do with that person being a psychopath/N- it just means you're even more vulnerable to such familiar abuse, but none of your weaknesses caused you to be the target of the disordered. It is NOT your fault. In our need to control events, even in the past, we blame ourselves, look for faults in ourselves which supposedly made us an "easy" target. We ignore anything which suggests that we have strengths that could have been attractive to the psychopath/N, who usually love a challenge. We pathologise ourselves with impunity, for the world is built on pathologising. We will always find someone to tell us what is wrong with us, rather than what is right with us.

Psychology, I find, is particularly adept at shaping our beliefs about ourselves. And it is frightening to be reeling out there in the cosmos, unhinged from the worldview that did not save us when we needed saving. So, we look to psychology to save us. But instead of stopping at the dysfunction of the perpetrator, the psychopath, the character disordered, the morally insane, the type that we should learn about and commit to memory for the rest of our lives, we focus once again upon ourselves and our "faults" as if that will somehow make the memory of our abuse more palatable. We depend on gurus and "experts", those who have never endured such devastation, who can only describe perhaps, but certainly not connect, with the survivors, to tell us who we are and to tell us how we should think about our encounter.

Losing Ourselves, Gaining Ourselves

There is an old adage, "for the want of a nail ........a kingdom was lost". For the want of a soul/relationship, the kingdom that is the person is lost, the nobility, the dignity of loving, of trying to love, of being human and having weaknesses, of being tempted and seduced, of being caring and giving and believing in a just and merciful world. Of hating. All these things, the kingdom of the human being, is slowly lost when we give ourselves up to beating ourselves up further with our 'faults and weaknesses'. It is not weakness to want love and to love, or to care. Even in the extreme. The greatest weakness is to give up ourselves to the worldviews of another. The unrequited love was still, love. And even though we beat ourselves up over it, the love remains and even our own self-contempt cannot erase that spirit, that soul. In truly loving, we are "captains" of our soul. But we would rather forfeit that and let others steer us right back into a worldview that will fail us once again.


Bottomline: we need to self-abuse because the alternative seems unthinkable. How does one wrap their hearts and minds around the idea that there was no relationship? That the months or many years we spent with the psychopath/N simply existed in our own minds, because we assumed the other was normal and they let us fill in the gaps with our own humanity? All those wasted years and energy. For nothing. Who can gaze into that abyss and not flinch? Who can live without certainty? Who can live without certainty of closure? If it was one big fat lie, what will fill the hole? We need to fill the hole, connect the gap, in order to heal. How will we do it? How much disbelief can we bear? We tell ourselves, perhaps it is better to hear that we are defective in some manner. We are echoes. In time they will make a new personality disorder just for us, let's say, for example, "echo personality disorder" and then we can finally understand.

And yet, the world and the survivors will never understand the Holocaust. And targets of true psychopaths/disordered Ns survive an emotional and psychic holocaust. Our greatest and hardest path to healing is to accept that it happened, that some things have no answers. That evil exists. That we don't know why. To accept that we are dealing with someone truly from another world, a soul with no footprints.

©2002-2010 InvictaMA


Helena said...

Thank you for this. It's a huge comfort to me to know that I'm not really alone with this experience.

kasscho said...

Do we teach our children to be narcissists when we cover up conflicts in the home? When we treat a child as someone we need him to be, how does the child learn to know who they really are? We provide a disconnect to a child's ability to empathize when we don't honor his treasured feelings.

Robin said...

I have taken up the study of narcissism over the past week trying to get some sort of handle on this unbelievable relationship. Thank goodness I stumbled into an article on the topic and your writing is truly helpful to me. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I have just been thru a traumatic experience with a narcissist. I find it still hard to believe that he ended up being someone who I never though he was. I cant believe that such evil exists.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous...this has helped explain my struggle in healing from being with a person with NPD for more than 30 years. I have been in counseling for 18 months but I needed more. It truly is a bizarre and sometimes lonely journey but info such as this eases the pain and uncertainty. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I have just found this site...I will spend this evening looking over this.

I am in a marriage with an N and have spent the last 6 months realizing how his personality has adversely affected me and the children. What upsets me the most is the legal system does not recognize this for the devastating abuse that it is. Because of that, it the legal system does not afford me and my children the same protection as we would have if there had been physical abuse.

Any action taken to protect myself and the children could end up creating more danger, if the court system refuses to hear the case.

This has to change.

Anonymous said...

This website will be an invaluable tool for change and recovery for me, i am extremely grateful to the author of this site. I haven't read anything more truthful in my life. Each topic is so clear and honest i can hardly believe it as i read it. Thank you thank you.

Cindy said...

I read and reread these articles - They are amazingly helpful!!!
I cannot thank you enough for sharing your power of knowledge. xoxo

yellowduck said...

I have been obsessing about this topic. 4 years of the most intense romantic experiences of my life and all that time with "a soul with no footprints". This site has helped me appreciate that there was something, just not what I thought it was. My love was there. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 49-year-old survivor of an exremely malignant N mother. I fell into the co-dependency trap as well. Words cannot describe my gratitude to the author of this site. My best friend has recently had a step-child enter her life who is an N much like my mother. Everything is coming back. I relive the nightmare over and over again.I want so much to be able to help my friend, knowing I risk more damage to myself in the process. I will return here as often as I need to remind myself that I am sane.

Invicta said...

@Anonymous 10.46 am

One of the things I've learned is that a lifetime of damage is not going to disappear. Those of us especially who grew up in abusive environments need to recognise that our life's work is repairing ourselves and taking care of ourselves. We must become number one when it comes to safety in the face of triggers and danger.

No matter how much you desire to help a friend, the fact is that if you are vulnerable to triggers, you will not even be able to help yourself.

You recognise that, indeed, you will be reliving the inexpressible nightmare. It takes a lot of work and time and distance to even consider engaging in helping someone, especially for someone brutalised as a child.

I would advise you and anyone else in your situation to think carefully about the consequences, and to protect yourself, first and foremost. It is up to you now to keep yourself safe and out of harm's way. The buck stops with you.

You can help at a distance. Send your friend links and literature, but let her know that currently you are not able to engage in discussion or be supportive beyond that because it is too soul-destroying for you and forces you to relive the feelings. She may or may not understand but then that is the chance we have to take when we are fighting for our own lives.

If you do not set hard boundaries for yourself and know your limits, you will be denying yourself the healing you deserve and the life you deserve. You've paid your dues and now it's all about you, the person missing from the picture since you were born. These decisions challenge our image of ourselves as well, and can engender some thought about our place and purpose in life. All good stuff.

Wishing you healing and a good life.

Anonymous said...

thank you for putting into words the chaos that whirls through my heart and soul I do exist I know this for certain as after reading this I know someone else feels my pain

markie said...

even when I tried to describe the behaviors i would inturn find myself arguing or debating myself Ive read reread and gone over it all again all the while exclaiming yes oh my god yes Youve said it all so well there is no winning with him his mother i wonder is she the creator of his being or is she a complicit being like the others under his control?

Anonymous said...

I was married to a N for 38 years, and even though I suspected he was an N I didnt realize the full extent of his treachery until I found he had been having an affair for 5 years before I found out. Even then he continued to deny and dance around about it, "not that long", "just friends", all the usual. And then it all stated to be my fault. He thought his girlfriend was going to leave her husband and kids for him, so he divorced me. I blamed myself big time, trying to figure out, go to counseling, "fix" everything. I gave this man my heart and soul and I still love him deeply. Even though he still wanted to "date" occasionally (gf never left hubby) I eventually had to make him sit down and tell me where the relationship was going. I no longer see him because I cant accept his on again off again attitude.
I guess the hardest thing is I am very lonely and yet cant force myself out to socialize. When me met I had only a few friends and he got rid of those. Now I am 63 lonely and at loss as what to do with my life. Your site has been a huge help however-keep up the good work.

christian said...

Wow. I had no idea what I was married to! Thank you for posting all this information.

I recently found out that my wife of ten years has been taking sexually explicit photos of herself and posting them on various websites. Apparently she has been doing this for years. I caught her in an internet based affair three years ago, which she promptly blamed on me because I was working night shift and it was not her fault that she was "lonely."
Now she is displaying the exact same attitude, none of her web-based exploits are my business and if I loved her I would accept it.

I filed for divorce a few months back. I may not have understood the problem, but I knew then that it wasn't something I could endure any longer. Of course, since my filing she has vacillated from hatred and resentment towards me for not accepting her "work", and slyly conniving her way back into my bed, which, sadly, has happened twice.

It is so difficult to break this cycle of abuse and it is nice to know I am not the only one out there suffering. I struggle every day with the idea that there never was a relationship, just me performing constant maintenance, it is unbelievably painful to look back upon your marriage and see that it was never really there.

Anonymous said...

Of all the messages, or shared stories I have looked for...this one is admirable. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

So many web sites are about all about the N or P that crawled into our minds and life like a parasite. I need to focus on me... my future...

Your site is not about ~them~ once again...

Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

I've spent 9 years with this N/P and just recently found out what this person is all about. I honestly felt our relationship was so special and deeply connected with incredible love and loyalty. I was wrong. However painful, I am beginning to heal from this relationship. He continues to pursue me, trying to convince me I am not thinking clearly about this relationship. He is angry that I'm confronting this demon head on. It is painful to discover that you were involved with a "Soul With No Footprints" It feels as though I was sleeping for a very long time, and woke up to a nightmare. I'm taking one day at a time, rediscovering who I am once again. Thank you, as it is encouraging to know that there are others who have suffered through this difficult reality. Peace to all...

Julie said...

Thank you. I have lived with this for so many years,and the obsessing and fear-based need to think constantly about the new abuse that I suffer endlessly from my sister is so humiliating. She wants to get the next generation to despise me with her lies and it is like a broken record of public humiliation and lies in my brain. I had three years of PTSD therapy and have become an accomplised teacher, musician, and amazing talent who is also close to God. The fact that you pointed out "there never was a relationship," and a N, "takes on those of talent and good," with a particular vengeance, finally gives me more of the pieces that I need to stop obsessing. There is so much more to life than thinking about her, my father and the abuse through generations to their children by this disorder. Though i have moved away from them in my mind, it is clear i have given my brain too much time and too much of their power in the precious time I have here. i am starting to understand why i have not allowed myself laughter and joy, "because i must be ever-vigilant of the next onslaught" and that i must do everything to stop it from coming, as if it is inevitibly my fault. it is not. I hope this helps anyone feeling the same.

thank you so very much for the post.


Von said...

Thank you for this, it makes sense of everything.

Anonymous said...

finaly, I am amazed. I have been trying to find answers to a thirty year marriage. I loved and trusted him. I new something was wrong but thought it must be my fault. When he left me he was having an affair with three women he told them all he loved them.I looked into the past and found more, one killed herself. He is very smart and has an important job makes a lot of money. My whole adult life I lived with evil. He was very good at saying I love you honey

Anonymous said...

I was with a narcissist for 3yrs He was the man of my dreams at first,Then he went to prison for 2yrs I waited faithfully for him I have so many letters telling me how much he loves me etc..the man I picked up from prison was not the one I knew.I thought he was crazy.He was emotionally and verbally abusive everything he was doing he accused me of doing. He always said its your fault like a 5yr old.I am a strong willed person I just could not give him what he wanted just to make peace.I earned the right to be treated good.Also my husband taught me what it feels like to be loved and cared about.I gave him a choice to treat me the way he wants me to treat him or leave,he chose to leave it hurt, to top it off he turned off my cable internet even my phone I paid the bills!he did everything to make my life unbearable I think he thought I would take him back and accept the less abuse, not me.I was searching on mental illness and narcissism came up they could have wrote the article about him personally.I am having a hard time grasping the fact that a human can be so cruel & heartless and walk away with no remorse.I knew it wasnt ny fault but I still think I have ptsd over it.The only emotion He can get is anger and only if its about him And I am so hurt and betrayed that I have texted him stuff that I know he will show anger over just to hurt him.So now Im turning to support from people who have been there even though it dont stop the overall betrayal and humility I feel I can know there are alot of people who fell for it to.Now that I am aware I can see the signs that were there all the time but I so wanted him to be what he said I ignored it.If I can help someone else to see the signs and stop them from being another victim I will.

Maia said...

Thank you thank you so much for your comments re Narcissistic sociopaths!Its so easy to blame ourselves, we are so caught up in all of their lies, drama, and con tricks.In my case the narcissist is my 46 year old daughter. I finally went total No Contact with her in June 2009, after supporting her for years, being conned out of huge sums of cash, lied to devalued,used, and abused by her. I now know that I mean no more to her than a used Kleenex tissue.In May 2009, I found a wonderful website, Lovefraud, and the pieces startd to fall into place.The gaslighting, the projection, the mirroring, the lies, the con tricks, the defrauding me and the croc tears, the betrayals, all started to make sense. I learned taht you cnnot ever change them,as they think they are pefect. Nothing is ever their fault.When she was 17, she trashed my art studio and defaced some of my paintings. She threw a heavy steam iron at my head. She beat me up with a bamboo pole. So, in 2009, I asked her, by email, for just ONE apology for all of it, the lies, the trashing of the studio, everything. You guessed it, Im still waiting, and Ive never seen her since. Her husband {they ar still not divorced,}now has FT custody of her 3 kids, They have been separate d for 5 yers, and he loathes her. She has thrown away her home, her husband, good jobs, her Mum, her kids, she is still up to her eyes in debt, and she still, Im sure thinks shes a superior entitled, special being!
I now feel very little love for her. I cant stand her as person. Ive over the years, given her well over $10,000 in response to her desperate croc tears over the phone, for yet another self induced mess. I no longer give her any money. Yet Im terrified that if she rang me with another sob story Id fall for it again. Thats why I cant and dare not see her again.I learned a year ago that she embezzled $62,800 froma firm she worke d for, and laundered it thru another form, then into her bank account. No wonder she got the sack, Im surprised she can stillget any work! At present, she s renting a room in a shared condo, and sees her kids a t wekends, while her husband drives off to see his girlfriend.She has taken my love and devotion and caring and spat on it.she would sell me for a dollar if she could . I now know she does not love me, they cant love anyone.They are truly sick people, people without conscience, empathy, remorse, compassion, or kindness. I turne d myself into a human pretzel for her, Id have done anything for her. No longer. I nee d to survive.And I mean to, without this sick, selfish, lying bitch to ruin my life, daughter or NO daughter.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe what I am discovering. My ex-wife has BPD, as does my daughter, who is seeking help and accepts change must come through acceptance and responsibility. My son I fear is a fully blown narcissist and beyond reach. He was a hpyer sensitive highly strung child, but i was aware of his sensitivities and self esteem issues and he would discuss them and work through them with me and showed big improvements. However when I divorced the communication become fragmented, and he has completely withdrawn and pushed me away completely

The lastest devestating revelation is my mother is also a narcissist. We have always been at odds because I have resisted her world view and her attempt to control me.

The consequences of these disorders are just devestating. I can handle my mother, I have a strong sense of self and her gaslighting is now transparent, but the issue with my son is so difficult to take and my BPD is not about to do anytjing as she is in denial about her own condition

Anonymous said...

Wow...I could not have put the way I feel into better words. My eyes are tearing up as I read this. I just came out of a 12 year relationship with a person I now realize is a narcissist. We went through several aborted wedding attempts, we married and annulled it, I moved 45 minutes away and he still pursue me. I even left him a year ago for 8 months and thought I had moved on- only to be sucked back in. When I finally came to the conclussion, of which I am 1000% certain, that he is a narcissist- my friends don't buy it, they don't understand it, and they tell me to stop obsessing and move on. The funny thing is, I feel that I finally have moved on. I feel that I finally have answers and things make sense. I am able to say that the relationship was never real, although it appeared that way to all who knew us...I am able to admit that he never loved me and never loved my son. I am able to see that every nice, kind thing he ever did for us was just a tool to manipulate us. I feel oddly sad and empty but also at peace- FINALLY! Thank you for writing this!

Anonymous said...

This last comment is classic! There are some really good support groups out there. I'm in a Yahoo! group and it has been truly a lifeline!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely excellent article: the nail that lost the kingdom, you found, and hit it on the head !

Anonymous said...

I like it better backwards:
this is not a soul without footprints, these are footprints without a soul ... you can see the footprints all over their vicitms... but you cannot find a soul anywhere !

Anonymous said...

Hi,I came across this today about narcissists and I have heard of it but never read about it.I met a woman that I thought that was one of the most prettest and nice person I had met.We met over 2 years ago and I did everything I could for her,and treated her as good as a person could treat someone.I never said no on buying things or traveling many places and doing whatever she wanted.It only took 2 weeks to see that there was something wrong with as fast as she would get mad about something that was really nothing.She said that she was not happy with me after a year and wanted to date other people,at almost 50 years old I would of thought that she would of had the dating thing out of her way.I am a very nice looking man and my personality was good so I didnt know what was going on.Someone told me about this problem that people have and thats why I looked it up.I told her that she was bipoler,and many other things and she was but the real answer is that she has this disorder.I loved her very much and it is hard not to talk with her,she has tried to call many times and I dont answer her no more.She seems like she has no heart on other people and just used me as much as she could to get ahead and then she was done,just to find out that she is with her x boyfriend.I found out that these people do go back to people that they have know for sometime.I did find out that she was very sneekey on things in her life and it was very hard to ask a question because they most of the time would not answer and tell you that it none of my buisness.I could wright a book on all that I went though with this person and I know that it takes time to heal wounds when you care about people.I do have a lot more to say but I better go for now,I do hope that this will help someone else to,good luck to all with someone that you care about with this disorder.ed

Anonymous said...

Thank You so much for this. I was skeptical about reading it at first because of the name, but so many other blogs referenced it I gave it a shot. It truly has been the most helpful thing I have ever read. It feels amazing to have all these feelings and responses I have been embarrassed to talk about, finally expressed in words. I was recovering from literally loosing everything because of a Sociopath I had been dating and an Emotionally abusive boss when I was targeted by a Disordered N. So any warning signs were dismissed as me not letting myself be happy and normal after the traumatic experience. I have been truly happy and in love for a year and a half with this amazing guy who swept me off my feet at a time where I had never been so down on my luck, connected with my daughter who was just at the right age to know him as her Dad, and was amazingly attentive and supportive. I have a six month old son with him now. I had been going to therapy and actively overcoming my fears and anxieties, and I guess my progress caused his true nature to surface. Our seemingly amazing life became a living nightmare before I knew what hit me. I have no idea how the custody battle I am about to face is going to look like. I am a stay at home mom and have no resources... I am not sure how to approach this but I know he should never be alone with my kids again. But it helps to know all of these things are normal reactions. It is so comforting, and my strength is what attracted these sick people and I know I am strong enough to stay strong. Someone who has never gone through it can't understand. And you start to feel like a broken record, not taken seriously after crying "personality disorder!!!" so many times. It's hard not to feel crazy. I went from being outgoing and independent, to being stripped of the career I loved, destitute and anxious, to being dependent and taken care of, to being uncertain of what's next except for the fact I have no resources and am the newly singled mother of two great kids, all in the time span of two years. But I needed the confirmation gained from this, that I really am not crazy. I feel like it gave me hope and I know I'll get through this. I'll be fine. I should write a book or something, cause I don't think people believe me anymore, ha.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this blog post. It has brought me a lot of comfort. I was last week dumped by a narcissist (on Thanksgiving no less.) The dump came as an absolute shock as did his abusive words and even the fact that he was a soul-less narcissist. I was lucky in that he told me in detail that what we had was a "fabricated bubble" and that he never missed me or thought about me. Actually called me his "vacation" and told me I never really knew him. We were together for 5 months and I thought blissfully in love. Any distance he displayed during our time together I excused as his own fear of moving too quickly after his recent divorce. I had no idea he was pretending the entire time and using me as a source. I've cut off all contact (he actually thinks I will want to continue seeing him - he is giving me time to figure out what I want!!!!)It hurts like hell to know now that thre was no relationship and that I was completely deceived on such a deep and personal level but it helps to know I am not alone in this.
Tahnk you!

Anonymous said...

My friends and family have given up. I've left a P/N over 20 times and always go back. This site and articles have given me knowledge I never knew was out there. Now I know other people are dealing with the same I feel stronger knowing people have come out the otherside. I will do my research and gradually separate myself and become independent once again. I will no longer be used as a mental punch bag. Shame my friends n family don't understand. But thanks again. I'll be on this site alot from now on. X

kc101 said...

Thank you for comming forward and sharing your experience.i found out two years ago now that my mother is narcisstic.. still im comming to terms with it and i have no idea what to do.. i have read countless articles on this.. i have already come to terms with the fact that she does not love me and isnt capable of love.. being the scapegoat child i spent years her turning people against me and putting me down dismissing all my achievements.. making me feel worthless.. but now i have come to terms with the fact none of it was true.. what you said about trying to change yourself wont make things better clicked with me.. when i went to university this year i sunk into depression.. i thought all of it would be okay once i went to college.. all of my life i had thought that.. i was wrong its just worse.. the hardest part is im the oldest of 3 the youngest of who is 9.. i know i have to be there for them, my father lives in another continent.. but how? i feel as if i need to sacrifice myself for them.. Maybe if i fully come to terms with things i can eventually learn how to deal with her and be there for not only me but my sisters also.. thank you for your help :)

Anonymous said...

Thank god for this site I was in a relationship with a man on and off for 4 yrs I was totally besotted and thought he was too, we had a break last year but got back together in the summer I thought we had sorted everything out until one sunny monday he txt me and told me it was over. I was devastated and at first thought it was a joke, 6 months down the line I still aint seen him oh yeah he always txts me telling me things take time, when I found this site it was then that I realised our 4 yrs together was a lie to him, we planned to get married and get a house of our own nope nothing ever came of that in fact most things he said he never stuck to, its hard at the moment getting my head around the fact that I loved him and he didn't love me is awful.ano as time goes on it will get easier, but struggle to understand the nature of these beings :(

Anonymous said...

Part 1:
Hi: well ppl., I'm sure spending a lot of time reading these articles and posts! I'm seeing so many references to "bursting bubbles","filling in the gaps", "Jekyll and Hyde personality", "predator", etc. that there are bells ringing in my head. Also, I'm remembering how I had this feeling sometimes that the guy with whom I was involved was saying the right words but I had the sense/gut feeling that he was parroting lines he'd heard before and there was no real emotion behind them.

He is a spin doctor/master manipulator, for sure, and loves to be the centre of attention! He makes excuses for his thoughtless, selfish, irresponsible, unreliable behaviour and is very manipulative. His one true emotion seems to be anger when confronted with examples of his behaviour and he can be very nasty in his responses while in this mode. He is very careful and very good at “working a room” to present himself as a “kind, good hearted, generous person.” He is verbally adept at twisting facts so blame which should be rightfully attributed to him is attributed to his victim(s). He craves attention and adulation, and wants ppl. to see him as an important person. Although he has skills, they are in reality nowhere near as great as he imagines them to be.

As we are both teachers, I attributed a lot of good character traits to him that I believe good teachers should possess. That was a mistake. He suckered me in, for sure, but he couldn’t maintain the façade. In a nutshell his “talk and his walk” didn’t match. He continually pushed my boundaries in many ways and I, believing he truly cared for me and truly caring for him in return, acquiesced even against my own principles. He lied to me several times about significant issues, and was vampire-like in sucking me dry re energy, time, resources, knowledge, etc. He damaged my property without accepting responsibility to repair what he broke, stole from me, abused my children verbally and physically, and me verbally, sexually, emotionally, and psychologically. Our initial seemingly loving, joyful, hopeful, and fun relationship quickly soured as incident after incident in which his “words and actions” did not agree occurred and I became increasingly uncomfortable and emotionally and psychologically confused and depressed. My children, initially, were polite to him and gave him a chance as they could see I was happy, but they grew to hate him over time, especially when they saw their mother crying and depressed.

We were a couple for a year and a bit, and I have spent the last two plus years trying to recover from the emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual damage he caused. I can’t apologize to my children enough for allowing this man into our lives YET, at the same time, I see him at various functions and it would be so easy to become sucked into his web by his superficial charm. It is really creepy! Ppl. think he “seems like a nice guy!” The word ‘seems’ is key. Appearances can be deceiving, especially when the deceiver is adept at deception.

Anonymous said...

I did blame myself for being “stupid”, “naïve”, “too trusting”, etc. and there is perhaps some truth in the naïve/too trusting part. I also had gone through the angst of analyzing my part in a failed relationship. Although I accept that no one is perfect, myself included, I realize now that I was manipulated by someone whom I believe has a P/NPD. I had been out of the dating world for 30 years when I met him and was clueless as to how to date. If I am ever ready to date again, things will proceed very differently and I will, no matter how appealing the person appears to be, not allow myself to be swept off my feet. It takes TIME to get to know someone. If the other person truly cares about you, s/he will be as willing to invest the time, energy, and resources to get to know the real you as you are to get to know the real her/him.

It has been an emotional rollercoaster ride but I take comfort in three main ideas:
1) I am a good person and I genuinely cared for/loved him.
2) I will get through this, eventually, and I will, I trust, be a wiser, stronger, and better person.
3) It is better that I find my own harmony, happiness, and peace by striving to be the best and strongest person I can be, than to look to someone else to provide this for me by sacrificing my self-esteem, self-respect, and values.

My advice to you all is: be sincere in all that you do, love yourself in a healthy manner (warts and all), strive to be the very best person you can be in all you do, and tread carefully and slowly in all new relationships. Observe, observe, observe CAREFULLY and CAREFULLY OBSERVE on an ongoing basis! Trust your gut instincts!

Best to you all! xo

hope said...

This has been so helpful. I've only recently brought up the notion that my ex has NPD to my therapist, and she has countered that I was obsessed with my ex. I am wondering if the manipulation and control that the NPD had over me can be equated with an addiction/obsession on my part. I have started to read a book on how to break an addiction to a person, and while I find some truth in what I'm reading, I don't feel that an attachment hunger within myself connected me to my ex for such a long, dysfunctional time. Does anyone think that those two can happen simultaneously?

Anonymous said...

after 14 years I recently found out I have been with a person with NPD. I feel like Alice in Wonderland, everywhere I look in the past has changed shape, colour, meaning and one by one his evil intentions unfold. I feel hurt in my soul and injured in my mind. Healing will take years, building carefully layer after layer to cover a huge wound. I regret so much this happened to me. Can't see the lesson, can't see the meaning, it's just inflicted injury

Anonymous said...

Iam lost for words on how I feel ,do know what I feel is real ,all comments are real,I lived it for 6 yrs,with a man who not work not help support ,call me filthy names act as if my feelings had no value,he stay up all night on net so engrossed with himself ,he portray he some rich famous person,he laugh at me everytime I tried to talk to him on any level about his mouth his attitude ,lack of being fair in relationship,allowing me to feel secure safe he tune me out ,walk away I begged him to listen to me he say I dont care what you feel or say,he never comfort me say he sorry ,all the porn was to much ,he say dont know why you are upset no one else would be ,he had no respect for me ,he loved it if I let him live for free ,keep my mouth shut ,nothing worse telling someone how u feel then have them turn around and say I dont know what you mean ,head games where just crazy I could go on n on about his behavior all I do know, is this is real and its not normal damage my heart is left with I pray I heal I know I am not crazy like he keep telling me I was ,he is fake online and fake in a relationship all he did was use me ,my love ,he broken all trust ,I do not know what to believe that comes out of his mouth,he walked out of my life a week ago calls me today acts like nothing happened ,he is hospital ,sent me a pic prove it and to him life goes on while I sit back try to understand it all do know there is no why just is with people like him if I told ya the whole story you wonder how Iam not in a straight jacket ,crazy ,I am stronger even though I endured this abuse he will not brake ,I know what is real and this night mare was very real ,time to heal move on ,,,,,,,this site made me feel better knowing Iam NOT ALONE this experience ,horrible as it is ,was real my ex will say he doesnt see it this way ,me and my family do, even though I love him so would give anything make it right with him I cant ,we are unhealthy together I will aid n abet his behavior cause I allowed it ,it is a pattern set

shan_clance said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this website tonight and have been glued to it for the better part of the past 2 hours. As many others have said, it is eerie how similar (some almost identical) many of the posts on the site are to my experiences in my 2 long-term relationships with Ns…one my ex husband of 8 years (+ the 2 extra bonus years of separation in which he was drawing out our divorce process for as excruciatingly long as possible, just to keep proving to me he still had power, even though I left him and he was finally unable to control me for the first time in our relationship) and the other with my friend of 15 years who I ended up dating for a year after my divorce.
Even though I feel like I am out of the most extreme darkness of those relationships, reading through this site still brings up a lot of feelings of regret, anger, grief, and shame...but finding this blog, I am so glad to see that I am not the only one who has had this kind of experience and I want to thank all of you for sharing your stories.
I am confident that my relationships with my 2 Ns played a critical (albeit painful) role in my life - I learned (and am still learning) a lot about myself- about how to not give away my power, about how to really love myself (not just say I do), and how to create relationships out of reciprocal, mutual respect and honest communication, not out of need, fear, or unreasonable expectations. I realized that I am a lot stronger than I probably would have ever known had I not been in a relationship with an N, and now, knowing that I never have to go back to those soul crushing places of the past again if I choose not to-- that I never have to feel those horrible feelings again; that I have control of my own thoughts, emotions, and sanity-- and that no one else can ever have that kind of power over me again - I now have an even deeper appreciation for all the positive and wonderful people/experiences/opportunities I have been blessed with.
I thank God every day for the miracle of my new partner in my life...I was still working through my feelings of "broken-ness" when he and I started dating, going through many of the processes described in the blog above… I was on the road to feeling healed...and I found someone who I knew was different. I had the same hesitations that many of you have mentioned at first – how do I know its not going to be the same thing all over again? How much of a sucker will I be if I fall for another N? Those thoughts make us put up walls that can hinder the building of new and healthy relationships. I decided that living with that self-imposed emotional distance from people was just another way my Ns were going to take something away from me. So I have been working to keep myself open and emotionally available, but in the aftermath of my N relationships, this looks different than it did before. I have learned to be more discerning regarding who I share these parts of myself with – and it is only with those who earn my trust and deserve to have access to this part of me.
Now that I can look back and see how far my partner and I have come in the past year that we have been together, I can almost cry with joy. I think this is one of the things that bring such a profound sense of happiness and peace to my life now-- why I KNOW I am finally OKAY. Because the kind of relationship I once thought was out of my reach- a relationship that is defined by love, support, trust, and nurturing - is what I get to come home to everyday. There are times when my partner and I are making dinner together or just sitting on the couch watching tv that I am overwhelmed with the feeling like I have won some sort of cosmic lottery. It truly feels like being given a second chance at picking the *right* life, the one I always knew I was supposed to have and the one that I will not let my Ns take away from me. They took so much for so long. It is finally MY TURN and it feels SO GOOD!
Thank you again for this amazing site. It has done wonders for me in continuing to heal my heart.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this site. My experience with a married N who also happened to be my pastor continues to show me the reality of EVIL. A year of my life and my family's life was nothing more than that of a horror story. Unimaginable. I was to blame... this is his lame explanation. I still struggle. I need counseling and I plan to get it soon. The imaginary relationship has been "over" for six months now, and I have made myself aware of his illness. At first, I pitied him (because I can have real feelings) and then I moved on to realizing the need to concentrate on myself and family...the hurt, the guilt, the pain, the fear. Wow. The situation brought to light so many things about myself I didn't know. It hurts in the process.... but I pray for strength daily. Thank you for every single story. It is hard to share details.... for me, because it gives me a feeling that I should have had more control and should have been able to resist the pursuit, etc. Knowing there were no feelings makes it even harder, because I am a very emotional, sincere person. IT HURTS!! But, thankfully I have a wonderful family and precious children. I have a need for normalcy which I know will come.

Anonymous said...

I was married to a narcissist for 20yrs, had been divorced for 3 years and landed another one. Wow, how did I get into that again? This last relationship lasted almost 2 years. These post have been very helpful for me in helping to deal with the feelings that I am having, Thank you to all who have posted, it really does help to know I am not the only one. But just for everybody to understand, if they didn't put on that charm, we would have never fell for it. I heard a phrase a long time ago, it's like a frog in boiling water. If a frog jumps into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out and live, but if you put a frog in room temp water and slowly bring it to a boil it will stay in because it slowly gets used to the temperature even though it is starting to come to a boil and will eventually die. This is what these people do to our very soul and they do it slowly and we start to become used to this life style and start to overlook some things they do even though it is tearing us apart inside and destroying our belief in ourselves. What they have done to us it on them, not on us. We were just trying to love and be loved which is normal, they are only out to destroy a life. I would recommend anyone to go to Youtube and watch Joyce Meyer Getting on with life part one and two. I accidently turned to it on the TV the other morning and it was very uplifting. I have been broke up now with my boyfriend of almost 2 years for about 2 weeks and I can't believe that I put up with all that I have. I Can't believe that I have let him stress me out to the point that I let him cost me my 2 years of schooling and alomost my friends as well. I let him make me an emotional wreck, That's what he wanted and I know that. I have made my mind up I am getting my self together and moving on and I do not want to be around him because I know it is no good for me. These people are a destroyer of souls, thats what they do so stay away from them. And I think it hurts so bad for us because it is hard to believe that some one that you loved and that said that they loved you can walk away and not even care or miss you. Just know they are going to do it to the next one too. We can only be victoms if we allow ourselves to be. Good luck to all of you. I am going to work hard to follow all of the advise and Not get another one!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

As I have learned more about this personality disorder, I think it is definately possible to be sucked in by these type people more than once! They seem to either prey on weak and vulnerable people OR the people that seem a challenge for them. They thrive on games. They like them and play them as a way of life. They plan their pursuit, only with the intention of ruining another person. It is really sad and pathetic! This blog is so helpful and the ones of us that have been involved with them know that support is crucial in healing! As I read in one of the posts, these people have "footprints with no soul"....

Anonymous said...

I am healing...and last night I was ready to revisit the past...except this time I did it by looking at the events in my life like I was a fly on the wall. I thought I had suppressed a lot, but when I started thinking in this way a lot came back. One by one each memory led to another like dominoes. I'd been second guessing and doubting whether my 20 yrs of marriage had been as abusive or as evil as what I have been reading here. Previously when ever I had thought back on my memories it had always been in reference to me...what I was feeling...what I was this regard my memories had been completely one sided and I suppose rather narcissistic. Well anyway I went back and forth recollecting events from the first 10yrs. I played them back in my logic thinking mind with the whole cast of members that were present for each scene, without assigning judgement and not second guessing their feelings or motives. Just replaying, Using hard logic and not rationalising what had happened, I realized that the events that I was holding myself accountable for were actually not my fault. I was young (married at 16) and at any point in time logic tells me that normal human beings would have given me guidance or shown kindness. Every morsel of humanity that I was given, I took with gratitude. My behaviour was a direct reaction to the coldness, punishment and abandonment that I felt. So at some point I started linking my feelings with the events. In fact the feelings just came flooding back...literally hit me like I am frozen in a silent scream (this was my posture) and I realised the truth. It was evil, like horrific evil. I dont know how long I was frozen this way...mouth open...tears running down my face all the while with the realisation of the horrific. And then in quick succession I realised a few things: I knew what to do with the deep pain I have been carrying around with me...instead of having it pointing into me...I had to literally hug it and then let it dissolve in to my being. Weird imagery yes...but I felt an emotional shift as the pain melted. Its there now in me but its not pain anymore and it certainly isnt sharp anymore.

Anonymous said...

I guess this led to a Huge aha moment! I realised that I had been confusing the feeling of love towards my husband with the need for love. Thats actually what I came here to say because I'd been puzzling over it. Like the women on this forum I'd been struggling with leaving because I thought I loved him. But its just a confusion of feelings...through the years I have wanted him to be with me...yet I never felt him there. Except when he was hurting me. And so because I desperately wanted to feel him I confused my NEED FOR HIM with my LOVE FOR HIM. This need feels the same as love because it is unrequited love. Which led me to the realisation that there was never anything there. I literally can not feel his presence...except on a handful of occasions and when he was being cruel. This is over a span of 20yrs. He was almost totally absent (I literally cant feel his presence) for the first 5yrs. I was left at the mercy of his narcissistic parents and sisters. On occasion when he was present the red flags were blazingly obvious. Then as he became more autonomous he voluntarily joined them against me. And now he is a one man show and thinks no one should wield the hurt except for him. So looking at them now...I realise that the pain in me was what was horrific...and evil is the power they have over my feelings. Yet they are actually empty. Its all smoke and mirrors. I am conscious of my safety there is so much suppressed anger in my husband that I am afraid of pushing him into a corner...but that again is the illusion...his false self. He has only been kind when he has thought I would leave other times he has played his part giving me compliments and what not...but thats not real either. I cant say how much he does from a place of awareness or whether it is just reflex from all he knows. The point is that the real self is shrivelled somewhere inside of him. And it is neither my job nor in my capability to help him. But knowing that the real self is innocuous helps me to feel stronger. The feeling that I am mad, must be imagining all this or am blowing things out of proportion comes from the dissonance of my internal feelings with their outward behaviour.
This site has saved my life! Thanks is not enough.

Anonymous said...

Why do we turn our bullshit meters off? and ignore those red flags. I mourn the past. But not the relationship...from reliving past events I know it was never there. IT WAS NEVER EVEN THERE. Doh!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful site. Thanks many times over.
I have been married to my N wife for too many years. Working on my escape plan.

Here are the affirmations that help me each day:
-I am OK
-I am not crazy
-I am worthy of happiness
-I am responsible for living my life well
-I am strong
-I am smart
-I am on my way

Best of luck to all living in a bizarro world and wanting out.

Anonymous said...

I am just waking up from a 16 year "relationship" with an N ..I am so glad to find this support, my life had to crash and burn all around me before I finally see the extreme abuse I had been accepting as normal for years .It is still a bit surreal.

Anonymous said...

Twenty-five years with my N, though not living with him the last five, he kept stringing me along until I did the unforgivable and chose to help my daughter through a difficult pregnancy rather than follow his advice to wait and see what happened. Didn't know what I was dealing with until then, but told a friend who is a therapist about it and she said it sounded like he was NPD. Starting reading up on it and had such a sense of both relief and regret. Wish I'd had this information years ago. Anyway, am gearing up for big divorce negotiation next week. NC not an option until I get a settlement and support agreement as am having a rough time finding a job at my age (61)and need to stay on his good side so he doesn't jerk the financial rug out from under me, as he has shown he is capable of doing. Mainly, though, I just want to be disentangled from his machinations. Worry some about our daughter who is living with him while finishing college, but she's his "golden child" and seems to know how to handle him better than I ever did, so will hopefully be okay. All in all, things could be a lot worse, but will be glad when it's all over and I can finally move on.

finely shredded. said...

I am left with a pulse, everything is gone, not even a photo. I nursed my nsp mum, till I found her body, I was just a slave. No one came, to help me none of 28 people arrived 2 share my pain. They went 2 my sisters and began boozing. My man of nearly 8 life sucking yrs, was in rehab, 2 recover, and rebuild our shattered mess of losing everything I had aqiured as much as a single mum of 3 could hope 4. On the day of the funeral, he txted, we are not together anymore. My thoughts are with your family, let go, let god. Not another word.he had already moved in with a single mumand her 3kids.that was 5-6mths ago. Now I amalone, homeless, and 3 hours away from my kids. Just exsisting. Coach surfing. But just 2 fucked 2 heal this tornado of wreckage. We had shared the care of mum, he was like valium to her.they just hummed. I have been to mental health 4 help, none, hospital, cuppa and blanket. I spent 3 mths living on back seat of my car, not one offer of a feed or bed. Its a small country town, we moved there over 30yrs ago. I will never go back to that 1st three months of a ordeal, through ptsd, the minute I. Arrive in my mind.I want 2 vomit. I can't do this, just too much too much.

Anonymous said...

to finely shredded: I am empathize with your pain as I am sure most ppl. on this site can. Don't give up. Be brave, be strong, and be persistent in accessing the support you need via social services, churches, hospitals, and shelters. If those fail, make some noise so people stop and take notice. If your children are adults, call them. There are times when grown children are in a position to help a parent going through a hard time. If they can't or won't help you, keep asking for help from social services. --best, xo

Anonymous said...

it's not about us.we were chose as a target of a predator. whew, the clarity i needed. no more than a child had anything to do with being raped by a pedophile are we to hold any idea that who we are has anything to do with being soul raped by a n other than to give us the conformation of the value of who we are is in need of protection from the souls with no footprints who hunt us down to steal it. amen

Anonymous said...

My name is Hope (I am posting as anonymous because the other options seem that they will disclose my identity, but I will call myself "Hope" because that is what I have).

Part 1: I've known that my mom is a narcissist for over 10 years and did a lot of research and healing around it when I realized her disorder. (My ex of 15 years is also N, but right now I'm focused on Nmom.) For some reason, I've begun another "wave" of healing, and have discovered that there are loads more blogs and websites about this topic than there were 10 years ago. Awareness has grown! I’m so grateful for this because last week I finally set some boundaries with my Nmom that will most likely result in her cutting me off for the rest of her life (I’m in my early 40s, she in her early 60s), and, more distressing to me, will definitely cause her to badmouth me viciously to my much younger half brothers, who believe most of what she says. So, I’m needing support as I face these losses.

I've been reading this site for a couple of hours and want to comment on a few statements that are especially pithy to me right now. First, I am very grateful to Invicta for calling Obsession the beginning of healing, and explaining how that works. I AM obsessed with Nmom and our "relationship" right now. Well-meaning friends tell me to "stop obsessing," "stop reading," "get on with your life," "be unaffected," "don't take it personally," "let it roll off your back." No, no and NO!! I will obsess about it for as long as I darn well please, and I will talk about it, write about it, as much as I want to as many people as will truly listen (unfortunately, that’s not very many).

I am also very grateful for the insight that I WAS THE THING THAT WAS ALWAYS REAL. Whether it was my needs, my longings, my struggles to get what I needed, my attempts to fix the N, my confusion, or MY LOVE, those things were REAL. It is easy to forget that we are real when we are raised by a narcissist. It finally dawned on me recently why reading "The Velveteen Rabbit" always brings me to tears. I don’t want to engage in semantic or philosophical arguments, but I have to say that I think the narcissist is “real” too, it’s just that THEY DON’T SEE US, so we are not real to them. Because of this, the “relationship” is unreal in a way too.

Anonymous said...

Hope, part 2:

Invicta responded to a comment by writing: “Those of us especially who grew up in abusive environments need to recognise that our life's work is repairing ourselves and taking care of ourselves. We must become number one when it comes to safety in the face of triggers and danger… No matter how much you desire to help a friend, the fact is that if you are vulnerable to triggers, you will not even be able to help yourself… You recognise that, indeed, you will be reliving the inexpressible nightmare. It takes a lot of work and time and distance to even consider engaging in helping someone, especially for someone brutalised as a child.”

This paragraph holds so much for me. I had a couple of very important breakthroughs recently, one of which was the realization that I’ve done a darn good job supporting myself financially with a job that is not very challenging, and certainly isn’t any kind of “career” that I’ve ever felt proud of. I realize that after all I’ve been through, it is ENOUGH for me to have taken care of myself this way, and I can stop apologizing to myself or anyone else for my government bureaucrat job. This job has allowed me to not worry about my basic physical needs being met (which I had to worry a lot about as I was growing up, and on into early adulthood) so that I could focus on myself and my healing.

Another thing this paragraph holds for me is self-forgiveness that I was not able to pursue a career working with troubled children that I spent 2 ½ years in graduate school preparing for. I was triggered horribly by knowing the problems these children were enduring, to the point where I was drowning in tears and had to end the internship that was required for licensure.

Something Invicta wrote later in that post frightens me: “If you do not set hard boundaries for yourself and know your limits, you will be denying yourself the healing you deserve and the life you deserve. You've paid your dues and now it's all about you, the person missing from the picture since you were born. These decisions challenge our image of ourselves as well, and can engender some thought about our place and purpose in life. All good stuff.” It frightens me because I see my life’s purpose now as becoming a spiritual healer. Is this purpose just more of the same “trying to be good” so others will like me and I will like myself? Is it unrealistic to think that I could ever be helpful to anyone when I have so much damage, and so many triggers?

Somewhere on this blog Invicta writes: “See, it isn't accurate to paint all narcissists with the same brush. Not all of them are malignant. If they were, none of us would stay. Not all of them cheat, habitually lie, or lose their jobs. Some are simply victims of themselves and their own emotional immaturity. They are desperately unhappy and seek to fill the emptiness any way they can. However, they are all energy vampires. Unless you are very strong emotionally, they will suck you dry in their search for whatever it is that they lack.” Many folks writing here seem to be under the impression that the Ns in their lives are purposely setting out to make them miserable. Perhaps I’m naïve, or in denial of my Nmom’s “true motives,” but I honestly believe that many, if not most, of these Ns are not consciously setting out to ruin our lives. They are just incredibly damaged individuals themselves who unwittingly “learned” a very dysfunctional (and hurtful) way of trying to get their needs met. I think they REALLY BELIEVE the lies they tell us and everyone else about themselves and about us. Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure there ARE people who purposely hurt others, including those close to them, on a continual basis. I just don’t think that applies to most of the Ns.

Thanks for reading, and for sharing your stories.

Anonymous said...

Hi..yes how can we blame ourselves of the hell masterminded by our so called love one? My ex was very clever, very smart to pull the blinders and shit he pulled to deceive and betray and lie! Yes we have the problem of being naive, trusting, loyal, sympathetic, unconditionally! There's our blame!! Sorry..still hurting. One thing I know thus far..."I didn't Love myself!!" more of blame responsibility! Thank you for allowing me to vent..alittle Judy R