Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse Without Validation
One of the tragedies of narcissistic abuse is that victims never get the validation so desperately wanted from their abuser(s), to help them recover from narcissistic abuse.
When a Healthy Person Hurts Someone
When healthy-minded people hurt someone, whether deliberate or not, or whether they agree with an alternate account of what happened or not, it is their validation of the other person’s perspective that allows the other person to recover. And it is that validation that allows the relationship to repair.
When a Narcissist Abuses Others
That never happens with narcissistic abuse. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), by nature, blinds the abusers to their responsibility for the devastation they cause. When confronted with the casualties of their behavior, they always believe that they are the ones being victimized.
Victims of NPD abuse are met with rejection, judgment, dismissal and disproportionate rage at any mention of wrongdoing by the perpetrator. NPD abusers infamously tell their victims to “stop living in the past” or to “get over it already,” even though they remember everything their victims ever did or said and will use these things to hurt them over and over again.
It is very difficult for any of us, abused or otherwise, to move forward from any type of assault or tragedy when our feelings and emotions are so adamantly discounted. It is especially trying for NPD abuse victims who have suffered constant devaluation and “gas lighting” (invalidation) of their perception of reality.
How to Recover from Narcissistic Abuse without Validation
Healing and moving on from pathological narcissistic abuse requires immense inner strength, the very strength that narcissists systematically try to strip from their victims. Survivors must rebuild what they’ve lost, or create what was never created in the first place. That is not an easy feat, but it is an attainable goal; something that must be done for personal sanity and peace of mind.
It doesn’t seem fair. Survivors must do all the work; they need extensive counseling, must stay dignified under the pressure of unfair judgment, must take actions that feel contrary to their natural behavior or inclinations, and must accept the reality that they will never make sense out of the irrational behavior exhibited by their narcissistic abuser.
Survivors have the right to live their lives unencumbered by the abuse of their past. They have the right to live happy lives, despite the malevolent intent of narcissistic abusers that wish them otherwise. And they have the right to do whatever is needed to protect themselves from abusive relationships. Saying “yes” to happiness means saying “no” to toxic relationships.
If you are suffering from narcissistic personality disorder abuse, do not waste another day in pain and feeling powerless. Seek professional help with someone who has lived and fully understands this confusing disorder. Decide to take your power back today.
This article was written by:
Randi Fine is a narcissistic personality disorder abuse expert, radio show host of A Fine Time for Healing, author, and life issues counselor practicing by telephone worldwide. She resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Find Randi on Facebook and on her website.
To be a guest author on the Your Mental Health Blog, go here.
Author, G. (2015, October 15). Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse Without Validation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, October 1 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/yourmentalhealth/2015/10/recovering-from-narcissistic-abuse-without-validation
Author: Guest Author
I read your story and for some reason felt like you were telling mine. I'd like to talk with you if possible can you please email me? Thank you.
It has only been a little under 1 month since our fallout. This is someone who I truly loved and still love. I thought he would be the one for me. For 3 years I have endured the ups and downs. Any small argument turned into a verbal fiasco. Never in my life have I allowed a person to treat me so badly. He made (and still makes because we stil have contact) me feel everything was wrong with me. He left over something small & I haven't seen him in almost a month. If he ever truly loved me how could he stay gone for so long? We talk everyday still but he insists that I don't appreciate or support him. It's so easy for him to write me off, stay distant, not answer phone calls or texts; but when I ignore him, it's F me. I can't even hardly write because of the tears. We have a business together and he takes it away and gives it back at will. I have no income other than our business & he knows that. He has even gone so far as to go to Wells Fargo and remove me from the business bank account. I now have to start from scratch because I do not have enough money to start my own business from scratch and support my two children. He told me so many times I should be thankful that a man would except me into his life already having two children from a previous relationship. He really is Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde in the flesh. On the outside he is handsome & well put together, but behind closed doors he is a menace. I can not begin to explain the verbal, mental, & sometimes physical abuse I have suffered from this man. He has cursed me out in front of my children, his child, his own mother (who is a nutcase in her own right), & in public. He has punched holes in my walls, broken personal belongings & overall made me feel less than a woman. He never gave me a compliment or showed affection. He is extremely controlling. He tends to "punish" me with the silent treatment, no affection, witholding funds, witholding sex & by being distant. Tonight we got into it because I asked him over for dinner & he seemed repulsed by my question so I got mad and hung up the phone. He sent me a text saying I was crossing business with personal. We have been broken up for a little under 1 month and I'm supposed to magically view him as only a business partner? Go figure. When I tried to call him back he wouldn't answer or respond to the multiple text messages that I sent to him. He seems to have the magical ability to cut me off completely at any given point in time, but give him a few days & he will call back like nothing has happened. I have to get out of this toxic spiral because it is detrimental to my self esteem and overall state of mind. He never sees his wrongs. No matter what it is always my fault because I am selfish & unappreciative. As much as he hurts me I still find it difficult to let go. I want to let go but I don't want to see him happy and treating someone else good. On the outside we appeared to be perfect for eachother. We have a massive amount of things in common people tell us how good we are for eachother but have no idea what I have endured. He is all about the veneer, but on the inside he is someone totally different. I'm beyond hurt. I have so many unanswered questions but he will never answer them because I need to "stop being emotional" & "get over it." How do I get over this? I try to go no contact but it is not easy. I really send prayers and positive thoughts to everyone on this thread who has dealt or who is currently dealing with an NPD. I commend those of you who have overcome this beast & I hope to follow in your footsteps of healing. Stay strong everyone of you.
Please please please don't contact him again, cut him dead!!! This is how a narc works. He is feeding off of your need for him. Every txt phone call and tear you give him he is feeding off of it. He's provoking you and you are giving him exactly what he wants. Then hell disappear and not give you a second thought until he needs a fix again. Don't give him what he wants. Only deal with him in business like manner and you will see him change in his attitude towards you. Being nice and trying to win you over then when he does he'll do it over again. Its all just a game. I know its hard believe me im still having to deal with mine because of our daughter but i will never give that man anymore of me. The man i thought he was doesn't exist never did and i have to accept it so do you before he destroys you .
No contact only email about the business and please don't think hell change because he wont.
A message for Caroline........your post touched every part of my feelings at the moment. This is exactly where I am right now. Thank you. Mandy
This article was very helpful, the parts I struggle with are that whilst I am recently out of the relationship, and can see the red flags the frustrations I felt drew me to anger, and was accused of control. My N was an alcoholic and i was accused regularly that she walked on eggshells? Was it really me that's the N? Or was my actions an effect of the toxic relationship, and constant lies and cheating? She has a new fella, and flaunts him at me and blames me for her drinking too!
is there a certain degree of narcissism ? Can someone be having mild degree of this behaviour ?
Please help me. I live with a narc and just started to figure it out in June. He denies everything, it's like he has a second life... I don't even KNOW this man.
It's scary. I still live with him. If I contact his ex To find out then tRuth, I would be in danger so I ant.
I try to tell myself I don't need her words to confirm, I know the truth already.
I have to get out of this but how can I afford to live in my own.. I'm working on it but will take a few months during which time ihave t keep my sanity.
I believe I am a victim of narcissistic abuse and I don't know what to think. I am extremely concerned that i may have picked up on the abusers behavior as I was and still am very young. I was 15 at the time and now 17. I was lucky enough to be discarded after only two years. The most prominent warning sign that the abuser was in fact abusive is gas-lighting. He got so angry that i didn't believe his lie (or anything that he said for that matter) that he accused me of false accusations and left. I was devastated. I had no understanding whatsoever of what had happened to me and believed that perhaps it really was my fault. I have gotten a small amount of validation from the abuser himself since then and have cut contact, but only a few things that had been bothering me had been addressed as he denied most things that i was concerned about. There is a part of me that is still terrified that I may have been the abuser. Is this normal? Am I the abuser? How do i learn to trust my self again?
Completely dead inside. Feel so trapped. Been involved in a relationship with a narcissistic man for 14 years. Feel trapped and so weak. No job, no income, no car, no family and only one friend who I have only known a couple of years. I have 2 cats that I can't bare the thought of leaving behind. I recently caught him cheating again, and know I need to leave. BUT HOW!? I said before, my cats are all I have left... I just can't leave them... They are the only things left I love. I am suicidal every moment of every day now. I would have a hard enough time finding a place to go for myself, let alone me and 2 cats. So what now!? He has blamed me for everything wrong in his life and it's just too much... My heart, soul, and spirit are shattered, and I am starting to feel like I won't make it through this ordeal alive.
@Lynn...my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain because I've been there. Narcs are not capable of loving others for who they are; there is usually some shallow reason behind it.
I've dated men in the past who were initially drawn to me because of my looks, but they were also very critical of me. "You need to straighten your hair, you need to wear different clothes" etc.
Over a period of time, they would become more insulting and abusive, sometimes even allowing their families and friends to disrespect me. I stayed with an abusive partner much longer than I should have.
If a person only "loves" you for WHAT you have instead of WHO you are, it isn't love. A man who can't accept the flaws that make you human is not worthy of you.
It sounds like he defined your relationship based on shallow things like your money, your home, your appearance. But what about YOU? Did he truly care about you?
Maybe this will turn out to be a blessing in disguise for you. This guy left because you gained weight but it is his loss. Think about it...what if you got sick and the illness changed your appearance?
If a person leaves you because you gained weight or your hair falls out or you show any hint of being human, it is THEIR problem, not yours.
You are no less beautiful or worthy because this guy walked out on your life.
I am on a long and painful journey to healing from the damage that was done. I agree with Sara's comment..."a narc will never be sorry, therefore you are not obliged to forgive them".
I've forgiven only one of my abusers and this is because he died a few months ago. I made the choice to forgive him despite his lack of remorse for hurting me. The way I see it is that he can't hurt me anymore. I am still alive and I am determined to rebuild my life no matter what happens.
What we need to do is set boundaries and protect ourselves from toxic, harmful people. I have distanced myself from a lot of people who have hurt me in the past.
Life is too short to spend it with abusive people who only aim to tear you down. Now I focus on being with people who appreciate me, uplift me, and infuse happiness into my environment.
Both positive AND negative energy are contagious. When I was constantly surrounded by narcs and couldn't escape, the negativity affected my mental/emotional state to the point where I felt suicidal.
When I am in a positive environment with positive people, I feel renewed, like a whole new person who can do anything. Narcs are vampires that drain us of positive energy.
This is why I've learned to spot these kinds of people and avoid them or limit contact in cases where I still have to interact with them.
I once had somebody try to tell me that I'm a bad person for not wanting narcs around me. "You have no compassion" this person said, "you need to understand that they act that way because they're in pain".
Well, maybe that is true for some of them, but that is still not my problem. It's sad if a narcissist became that way due to being abused themselves, but at some point they have to learn that hurting others is not OK.
As survivors, we should never apologize for wanting to protect ourselves from anyone who tries to hurt us.
My thoughts exactly. Well put. For me it is the injustice with these people. My narc is my sister and she can twist everything said or done so I am to blame. Nothing is ever her fault. She tries to manipulate saying I will carry the shame of "No contact" with me the rest of my life. She say I am acting out of revenge and trying to hurt her. She tells me how much she is loved by her card group and others. My temptation is to try to explain myself, but I realize all this is just a ploy to get me into a conversation. Then she has got me again. When you refuse to talk to a sister there is a group of people that think YOU are a bad person. All I am doing is protecting myself from abuse. Believe me I feel badly about it because we are both in our 70s and this is how it is going to end. I have a wonderful husband and six daughters and 15 grandchildren. She has no one, just all these "friends" that love her?? You would think she would try very hard to have a relationship with me. All my life I have included her in everything ...family dinners, vacations, wallpapered her kitchen, had parties for her and taken her to many appointments, so I HAVE TRIED. She does not get it. So there is no explaining. I do not owe anyone an explanation. It is still difficult for me.
Dear god, people need to stop spreading this damaging garbage off psychology or how to deal with your partner. This is all based on a few popular online therapists who borrowed bits and pieces from clinical psychology into this set of rules they use. These are meant for leaving abuse, not diagnosing your man and ghosting lol… it’s sad how fast this caught-on.. I see Facebook groups with almost 100 thousand female members giving this advice, bullying and shaming women they claim to be empowering to be strong and follow the rules.. these are things you should be discussing with a real licensed therapist.. no contact destroys us too.. not in healthy empowering ways. It’s a cowards way out and real women Real feminist’s are waking up to how the fake ones are using us to make a buck and are the real abusers these days.
Thank you for your courageous post. You've been through hell and it's now time to put yourself and your kids first, reclaim your life and enjoy being free. I hope you find a good counsellor who understands NPD (some don't, you don't want someone who doesn't really get it) Go with your gut feeling on things and you will get through ( narcs always try to get us to ignore our gut feelings) don't feel guilty, all this is HIS fault not yours. You are a strong person with a good conscience which is why you were attacked like this. A narc has no conscience and therefore will never be sorry, therefore you are not obliged to forgive them as they will never seek your forgiveness, so don't feel bad about that either.
Put yourself first now, this is the time to heal and get your life back - surround yourself with good people who do not want to manipulate or control you. My mum is a narc, I went no contact 13 years ago for my sanity and self preservation, I'm told it's the only way forward. It's harder if you have kids with this guy as he may try to keep up the game by manipulating them ( speak to your counsellor about the best way forward with this). I've just read an interesting book by George Simon jr. Ph.D "In sheeps clothing" about understanding and dealing with manipulative people, this guy has studied narcs for 30 years.
I hope I have encouraged you, please don't feel bad about anything because it wasn't your fault in any way- these types are parasites. I wish you every success, love, healing and a good life X X
It's been 7 months since my narcissistic EX has abandoned me and I feel like it's been 7 hours no one could understand the mental pain it is to miss someone, yearn to
be with someone that has treated me so bad.. all because I believed in his words did this man loved me....he has taken me to the edge of my sanity. I am so tired of being depressed and I have no one to turn to because my closest girlfriends they say you should be able to just get over him I was with him for almost 5 years he's 52 years old and you would think that he will grow out of this it hurts so bad to love someone that you know never loved you he loved how I looked, he loved the house that I own the career I have, the jewelry I wore but as soon as I gained a little bit of weight he left me my heart is hurting thank you all for giving me the opportunity to share my pain I have no one else to talk to
So happy I found all this information! I am just getting out of a 24 year marriage from narcissist. I always dismissed him as having bipolar disorder...but the information I am finding is he has NPD. During the course of our marriage I have been physically abused, which did stop when I finally called the police...but I still went back. I have had a restraining order, because he was basically keeping me trapped, he hid my car keys and unhooked my car battery. He has accused me of cheating constant...and the verbal abuse was always there. What has complicated matters is I work for his father and I have a son in a wheelchair along with 3 other children. My house until this past year was in my father in laws name although I paid every house note. All of these things were over my head when I would try to leave or get him out. I finally was able to get the house in my name. I think little by little I had became a little stronger every year. Realizing people do like me. He never worked until this year...I think I have been sort of preparing him to get out by helping him this year...I helped him go through classes stood by him through weight loss surgery. I always had such guilt when I would try to breakup because of the house, job etc. He started working this year and it was a very good paying job but he wanted to use that money for himself and not contribute...I was paying all the bills. I also found out he cheated again. I told him to get out and this time he did. That was 4 months ago and has led me to try to figure out why would I be sad, why in the world am I feeling like this? He has done so much. He once chopped my hair off when I was pregnant. I am so happy I have found this and other sites to explain my feeling and that I am not totally mental and I can recover from this, and help my kids and the guilt that I let it go on all those years and always made excuses. My grown daughter just told me this week "mom you taught us wrong, you always just had us let it go when it came to dad and his mom, even when they did things to hurt us, you always made us let it go and forced us to reconcile. I do feel so guilty for those things! My husband has someone new already and at first I was devestated. And everyone thought it was because I wanted him back, but I just couldn't see how he was sleeping at night with what he has done. But I am now seeing that I will never get that validation, and his new woman, I almost feel sorry for her! I am going to seek some counseling when my kids go back to school because I need to be a mom and can't be letting this all consume and eat me up!
I was 30 before I was able to seek help for the severe depression, anxiety and emotional problems caused by being raised by narcissists... I had a breakdown when I was 29 and fell to pieces and all the pain from my childhood came to the fore again - I had been in denial most of my life. I've now been in weekly therapy for nearly four years and I've only just come to the realisation that the way I was treated as a child was a form of abuse and that my parents are not ever going to be able to give me what I wish I could have from them, namely love.
My mother was the worst abuser. She's an extremely damaged individual and I don't hate her, I just now know I must protect myself from her. When I was six she started threatening to commit suicide and 'tried' a number of times, although I now know these were never meant to be genuine attempts. She wears the scars (where she slit her wrists) as a badge of pride.
I spent my childhood terrified that I would cause her death by being 'bad' because she would tell me frequently that I made her life so difficult and didn't I know she had so much to deal with (failing to bring a cup or plate down from my room would mean that I didn't care about her and so she might as well leave/die). My dad had left us and the rest of the family just put up with her, no one ever wondered what potential damage she might be doing to her kids.
She treated my like I was her 'best friend', telling me things no child should really hear from their mother, telling me lies about my dad to turn me against him (that he was a paedophile - categorically NOT true - she said the same of my grandfather), slagging off others in my family, using me as an emotional punchbag for all her issues, then dropping me when someone more glamorous or exciting came along.
If I ever dared to have a thought or opinion or feelings that she didn't like, I'd pay for them... She was and is a master game player and extremely manipulative. As long as I play ball, she acts like she cares, as soon as I stop feeding her desperate need for attention and admiration she just doesn't want to know and "abandons" me emotionally and physically (easier to cope with when you're in your 30s but devastating when you're 6,7,8,9,10 years old, etc...). If I dare criticise her or challenge her, she becomes a vindictive, cruel, nasty and spiteful person (the sort of person who says in a text message 'I hope one of your children dies!') that cannot be reasoned with and can only be placated if I apologise and get back in my box, so to speak.
Getting help isn't easy. I'm lucky that my skill-set is relatively sought after and that that pays well enough for me to afford £50 a session for four years (so far) and I am so grateful that I have found a good, reliable therapist who has given me the space to work through my trauma and has never intruded upon it with her own stuff. I'm a long way off any kind of healing. There's so much pain and hurt... and grief. There is a need to grieve for the mother I didn't have (that I wanted so badly to have) and will never have. And so much anger directed at her that has been suppressed - I'm angry that I blamed myself and felt (still feel) so inadequate and rubbish and that all her behaviour was my fault).
The biggest challenge for me is finding my authentic self as that is what she took from me when she insisted that I become a mirror to her emotions and issues and damage. I'm getting there slowly.
Get help wherever you can, Samaritans, or online support group, or anywhere you can. The effects of this kind of abuse are insidious and can be devastating. Love and peace. KC.
CAN ANYONE RELATE TO HOW I FEEL....OR IS IT JUST ME.2
If not for my wisdom in dealing with breakups, I would most definitely be transformed into a murderer and receive a 25-year prison sentence.
As Chris Rock said in one of his standups comedies, when you hear what’s going on in a relationship, and the man loses it and ends up hurting the woman, he doesn’t condone it – but he can understand.
So with what’s written here in this manual, it would be to your benefit to take heed to what’s being said because you never know who you may encounter that may take advantage of your good nature. This book is not to scare you from dating, but meant to prepare for the unexpected because when you are not prepared, you don’t know what to do, and that’s what gets people into trouble..2
You get engaged to a woman. PROPOSAL ON MY TELEVISION SHOW https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhBJpuerbo82
You move to Texas to close the distance. Four months later, the girl says, I don't want this anymore, I'm not going to marry you.
You pack your shit and leave the next day.
Before the plane lands, she's "BEGGING" you to come back.
[Email Subject from Lilith]: I must be a fool
I swear I will speak to someone who will not only better understand my situation but also give sound advice. Why am I so hurt right know! I came to an empty house and all I could do is cry.
I miss you terribly and I feel like a fool.
I love you so much and I miss you. I know you told me to not contact you but why do I feel this way? I must be fool to have let you leave.
Please don't give up on us. Please don't.
As I enter into the gait of my complex all I could thing of is a since of emptiness. I know you said dont contact you but I feel terrible right now. I must be a fool.
You are the best man I have ever had and know matter what I want you and need you back.
I have never cried so much over anyone not even when I was in love. Why is that.
I know this isn't infatuation this is and it must be real love because I still want you and need you.
Regardless of your aliments. I will try my best to help. Just please reconsider!
I Love You Andrew Benjamin
Couple of months later, you figure it was wedding jitters since she's already been married twice.
You go back.
Two months later, she's seeing someone else -- only to find out that she's been seeing another man the entire 2 1/2 year relationship.
Per that man's request (no one serious, just someone she's fucking, she tries to put you out on the street. Since you have residency and she can't do that, she calls the cops FIVE TIMES with FALSE accusations of domestic abuse so she can get the court order of protection to put you out.
She calls the so-called fiancee 5 O'clock in the morning to tell him she's sleeping with someone and have that someone tell you she's in good hands.
You lose 8 jobs in NY being in TX and Four jobs in TX being in NY.
And you are stuck with a $30,000 car note.
You think you look good, but you are “Too Ugly” to be beautiful.
You’re the type of woman that turn men into murderers because heinous acts forces someone to unleash a vicicously, hellacious wrath from the deepest parts of their souls! I learned that when I comtemplated killing you! This is your lifestyle – running out of houses in fear and climbing out of windows to escape the rage and fury of someone you abused.2
You’re a black-hearted Succubus that makes this a cold world which leaves many people changed to their core! “If someone treats you like crap, remember it’s something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don’t go around destroying other human beings.”
CAN ANYONE RELATE TO HOW I'M FEELING.
Reading these comments has really been helpful & I hope that you all get to a place of peace.
I have been disgarded for the 4th & final time! After 10 years of friendship it is hurtful but i know its for the best.
I'm doing the NC thing except that my Narc is also a coworker in my department who sits very close to me. I can hear her personal phone conversations or conversations with fellow coworkers. I believe she is trying to make things uncomfortable for me.
So any suggestions on keeping it professional while maintaining my personal boundaries would be greatly appreciated.
This is for all the those who have written comments and are suffering:
I left my husband almost 6 months ago due to his behaviour and mental cruelty. He was not physically abusive but he often baited me to be physically aggressive towards him. He used the knowledge of my traumatic childhood as a means to demean and devalue me as a person. When we discussed an issue, he often pretended he "didn't remember" and would pepper me with questions about- what did I say? Where were we when it happened? What time of day was it? only to reinforce that he did not remember the event causing me to doubt my sanity. I was seeing a therapist at the time- who did not seem to clue in- who asked me if I thought he might have had a brain injury in childhood. It's ironic, because he did- but it was emotional, not so much organic. He had a very hypercritical and abusive father, and a mother who praised everything he did to make up for it. There were 8 children in their family in all- and a lot of emotional neglect. I have found that it is not helpful to focus on how a narcissist becomes who he is but rather on how you found yourself in the relationship and more importantly- GETTING OUT. Once you are out you must go through the painful truth of your own accountability (such as being co-dependent, seeking partners that are like the narcissistic parents we grew up with, etc.) The learning is more about yourself- so that you do NOT repeat your past. For my part, my first husband was also a narcissist- I am just repeating patterns. A published psychoanalyst, James Hollis, once said, "You find the teeth that match your wounds." Until you really heal from your childhood wounds- and we all have them to a degree- you will look for these "teeth" in your primary relationships. It is important to seek therapy- but be very careful as not all therapists are familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the effects of these people on their family members. Some therapists due to their lack of knowledge can in fact, be hurtful or counsel clients in a way that is further damaging. Make sure the therapist is familiar with the disorder. I have found for myself that psychotherapy was very limiting and frustrating. Recovering from NPD abuse is complex and will require every ounce of strength and commitment that you didn't think you had. Read EVERYTHING you can get your hands on- Sam Vaknin's youtube videos and his book are brilliant. The internet is abundant in material to read- there are also many videos to watch. This knowledge will arm you and strengthen you. If you are a person of faith- PRAY. Do not pray to save the relationship- pray for the strength and wisdom to leave- "love" is not tolerance. Formulate a PLAN. Do not fool yourself into thinking you have to have all this money- you don't believe in yourself because the narcissist (s)- many times we have more than one in our lives-- has led you to believe your are incapable and stupid. You are not. The first husband I left--I had absolutely nothing- and I got through it. This time was much easier in some ways because I had no little children like the first time around. Be prepared for everyone you thought would support you- to not get it. It's OK- you will get support from those you did not expect (this is an interesting phenomena). Even if you have to stand alone- so be it. Eventually the family and friends that really love you will come around. Don't wait for approval from them! Own your life! Once you break from your narcissist don't contact him/her. You must break the "supply" they get from you. THIS IS THE HARDEST PART. You will even find yourself missing this person or the relationship- don't cave in to this feeling, it is part of being codependent for years with this person. In fact, the only "relationship" the narcissist ever had was with himself- you were never part of the equation and they don't care. The sooner you understand this- the more free you will be. Let me repeat: NO CONTACT. If there are children- go through a lawyer for communication- not through relatives, friends, etc. If you must communicate do it through a communication page- sort of like Facebook- for the sole purpose of discussing children. No emotion- one liners only. Don't get dragged into any drama. As soon as that happens cut communication or don't answer. Don't write anything that can implicate you in court. If this doesn't work: email and copy your lawyer on everything. Be professional and impeccable in your behaviour and words. Remember- many people will side with the narcissist because they are so charming. Don't text message- block your phone number. At first you will feel relief after you leave, then a sense of grief, then some depression. At some point- if you are doing your personal work on healing- you will accept and move on. Life will not be "beautiful" all at once- but it will be- and probably better than you have ever known. That is true healing. You will have bad days. But they will become less and less. Take care of your health: eat well and exercise- walking everyday is meditative and doesn't cost anything. There are apps you can put on your phone- calm.com is free and you can use it to help you sleep. You will have horrific nightmares. They will lessen with time- it is a response to the trauma you have suffered living with this person. Keep a dream journal and write down your dreams. They are a key to your healing and have messages for you in the form of symbols. One final note: if you are a person of faith- especially a Christian- please don't let this be an obstacle to your leaving. And many NPD people are found in the religious and faith based communities. They actually have great power there and will use your faith to guilt you into staying with them. Even/especially leaders. Living with an NPD is damaging to your soul. This decision is yours ultimately and is God's gift to us. Noone else has a say. It's called free will. No more excuses- now is the time.
There are some videos on setting boundaries and how to recover from narcissism- I cannot remember the presenter. Some of them are an hour long but they hold treasures of knowledge for healing. Also check out EFT videos (emotional freedom technique) to deal with the TERRIBLE anxiety you will be hit with- expect it and arm yourself to deal with it. The videos will talk you through the technique. Go see a doctor if you need meds- short term--don't get hooked or lean on them for life. I also found YOGA really grounded me physically and mentally.
If you are a person who likes to go very deep into the mechanisms of the mind- read Carl Jung, James Hollis, Joseph Campbell and the like. This is not specifically about NPD but general about the human psyche. For the academics out there- you will find this ENORMOUSLY satisfying.
I hope this is helpful and I wish you peace, strength, courage and discernment-
Pfft. If reading the same tired old advice and yofa were the solution, then none of us would be suffering. I need some REAL help, something to make the sense of loss and hurt I feel from being discarded go away. I need it NOW, I keep being told “give it time”, and that is bs. I dont HAVE time. The pain is to great, I will die if things do not change immediately. Been reading for days now trying to find a real answer, nobody has one.
Dobt bother giving me phone numbers to suicide hotlines, after all, the narcisstic psychopath Ted Bubdy used to work at one. They never give real solutions either. Its not just a feeling, its REAL. He was the only thing that had value in my life, Ive lost everything and now I have no hope no resources, and ive lost both my liver and best friend. I cant cope and I cant last for months feeling this pain. I refuse.
Holy spelling mistakes, Batman. Ive lost my lover, not my liver, y’all. I think the rest are pretty self-explanatory.
Hi Ms Truth,
I'm sorry to hear you're feeling such pain right now. As you have requested, I won't give you any hotline numbers.
What I will say is that if you're feeling this much pain you need to reach out to a therapeutic professional. In other words, I highly recommend you get some therapy for yourself. Nothing you are going to find online is going to give you the personalized information you need -- only someone who knows you and your situation intimately can do that.
You can get better but you need to find a therapist to help you do that.
- Natasha Tracy
- HealthyPlace Blog Manager
Love this… the whole mantra sounds like a cheer at covert narcissist camp now. People take all this psudeo psychology and apply it to to their relationship, they join groups filled with people chanting along to these rules that are meant for extreme circumstances… and now we have Facebook groups and court rooms full of confused sad people who probably just needed to work and communicate with that partner instead of labeling them with a major personality disorder, than doing all the same things narcissistics do to their victims. The silent treatment, ghosting, vilifying. These life coach types and YouTube therapist, womens groups, latch onto what they selectively choose from clinical psychology and turn it into a witch hunt that harms both sides, to exploit other women in the name of empowerment, it’s disgusting and we all deserve better.
Twenty five years and four kids, left with only two suitcases and what little is left of my sanity. Trying to get a grip on my reality again, questioning every relationship in my life now. It's the constant second guessing yourself that destroys you, everything you once held as true has gone. I still catch myself blaming myself. It's horrific, I don't think anyone else understands why I left. I just want to wake up and be normal again. To drink a cup of tea without worrying about everything including my kids who are still living with him, sucked into his web. Broken is an understatement right now...
I'm a gay male and my last boyfriend of a year and a half is a Narcissist. I also feel his mother is, as well. I've been gaslit before and never even realized it was a thing until I read up on this behaviour. I used to get bad headaches during and truly believe this was doing some real damage to my brain. Things seemed odd from the beginning. There was love bombing, selfishness, lack of responsibility and money management, having been fired from countless jobs previously, thrill seeking, like Gina above he would chat with other men online if we ever fought. He told me he didn't like confrontation, but it wasn't until after fresh air out of the relationship that I realized it was because he couldn't HANDLE confrontation.
I'm posting because even though I know all of this now, after about 7 months it bothers me that I held on so long to something that was so damaging for my well-being and wish I had known about this personality type earlier. At the end of the relationship we got into a massive argument. I drank too much and explained everything that was bothering me during the relationship. It was really not my finest hour but I couldn't take it anymore, I didn't even feel like myself anymore. It was almost like I looked at myself in the mirror one day and realized I had become him, I was mirroring his interests and traits to please him and forgot about me along the way.
I had to really do some soul searching and find who I was again, and regain that power over my life. I feel like I still have work to do but I'm getting there.
It was not your fault, G. For most of us who are kind, willing to offer benefit-of-doubt, and who genuinely care, we find it pretty hard to believe that someone who seems so much like us, during the first phase of relationship, is even capable of what starts happening to us. Couple that with the narcussist’s Manipulations and spin on things, as well as intermittent love bombing and apologies, they slowly (literally) brain wash their victims. You then aren’t capable of truly thinking for yourself. It takes significant wasting-away for many of us to think, “this is not how i used to feel about my life or myself.”
It’s not your fault. You did the very best you could do, and that was good. It led you out of the situation, and back to your life.
Where do I begin?
I left my abusive narsisstice husband 9 months ago and we have been divorced for about 2 months. The divorce was horrible, but I let him have almost everything, so that helped it end quicker than most.
I'm going to a great therapist, but it is still a daily battle. I still don't trust my reality because so many times my ex would present and alternate reality, one in which I was ruining our life, and I keep feeling like that will happen again. Only this time I fear it will be someone else who tells me I suck and maybe my ex was right. What if it was me that ruined our marriage and made it awful like he says. My logical side tells me that can't be and so does my therapist, but I still can't shake it.
To me it worse, I loved his family and he has turned them all against me. Painting me to be the one that was abusive and neglectful of him, which is so crazy!!! In the end, as this article points out, it's the validation from him that I seek, but that I will never get. I wish, if even for a moment, he would let himself see all that he has done to both me and our daughter. I want him to feel bad and be sorry!! He isn't ever going to though-not ever. He always made it my fault that my failures (like not picking up the dry cleaning on time) we what "forced" him to be the bad guy. It was always my fault that our daughter was scared of him.
I hate him for what he has done to me. I hate him for not caring what he has done to me and our daughter. He sucks as a dad, but when he is around others portrays himself as the best dad ever. What a joke. He doesn't even bother to ever brunch her hair.
How do I ever let go of wanting the validation and the apology that will never come?
I'm so sorry for all of you too. I realize so many of you have it far worse than me.
I wish we could ban together and do something about this. Make a legal change somehow!
@sam Gabor thank you for your honesty. Thank you for trying to become better. Use the guidance of a therapist that acknowledges your issue. Someone who addresses it directly. Narcissists are people who had a trauma during the "primary" or normal narcissistic development period. This could have been caused by something as innocent as a new sibling being born or by something darker, abuse. Either way, you can work with someone who will guide you through your personal path to wellness. Do it with the help,of an educated counselor. And best of luck! You will find the right place to pay it forward! You may not be able to fix the things you broke, but you have a place here, and you will find ways to pay it forward. Persevere!
For ten years now he's off to new and younger women.um in a riverbottem where he left me.I'm unemployed carless,he wrecked my last two beat me up before new job .I m devastated.
Sorry I posted twice, I thought the first one didn't post!!!! Lol
I've confided in his mother, and she keeps telling me honey be patient he'll come around, he's just in his feelings. That's all. But he'll come around just give him a little while.
He has put me through so much pain that it's insane. My pregnancy was miserable. He blocked me from contacting him throughout my entire pregnancy. He slept with me the day before Christmas while I was still pregnant with my daughter, and the next day he told me to leave him alone and he never liked me, only dealt with me to use me for rides. I was so embarrased and humiliated.
He would always do things to me such as sleep with me, and then the next day tell me we don't need to do that ever again. For no reason. He would always blame it on my feelings getting too intense. When he would recently come over to hang out with me and my daughter he told me we couldn't cuddle or kiss or have sex because we need to build a friendship first. He feels that we never went through the stages of having a real friendship because I immediately got pregnant upon us meeting. The most I could do was hug him. And I never understood why, and it made me feel like I wasn't physically attractive or something. Then a week later, he'd be wanting to have sex. I never realized this was a form of abuse.. until now. It's sickening what I've been through. I shouldn't be here today after all of the emotional turmoil I've endured..
His mother keeps telling me to be patient that he'll come around. She keeps saying he's "in his feelings." I'm not a bad person, I have great qualities, but he just doesn't care. It hurts more because I'm the mother of his child, and am being ignored like a stranger or a piece of crap on the street. It's a lot to wrap my mind around. The pain he put me through when I was pregnant, the pain he's put me through after I had her.. Insane. He would sleep with me and then immediately the next day will tell me we can't do that ever again. For no reason. Or he'd come over to "hang out" with me and my daughter and I guess I wasn't allowed to be physical with him. No cuddling, no kissing, or only kissing sometime, and no sex because he wanted to build a friendship first. He said we weren't able to go through the friendship phase because I immediately became pregnant right after us beginning to date/hang out. I almost felt like I was being punished or tortured for no reason. The out of nowhere he would want to have sex. My self esteem was crumbling slowly because of this. And now I feel like I have no self esteem left. I'm sitting at work today like a zombie. Haven't eaten all day. Nothing. I'm just torn up. How can someone be so cruel, and evil?
I don't even know where to start or what to say, except that I feel like I'm dying inside if not dead already. Ive been narcissistically abused by my daughter's father for the last 3 years, and I've been suffering in silence for a vast majority of the time. It isn't until recently that I realized that I've been abused. I've always looked at abuse as being physical, but I'm now realizing that mental and emotional abuse can be worse than physical. It's effects are devastating. I'm in the stage of the silent treatment, and I just feel that he's evil because he's silently getting off on hurting me, and treating me as if I'm nothing. That's the hardest for me to come to terms with. I just want to scream at the top of my lungs to be recognized, acknowledged and respected. What makes this even harder for me to get through is that he's so many years younger than me. He's only 20, and everyone keeps rationalizing his bullshit and accrediting it to him being young and immature. But I feel like he's young, but everything about him is so calculated and evil. I take great care of our daughter, and I don't even so much as get a thank you, or any money to help out with her. His mother has ruined him and made him into the monster that he truly is. He's been pampered his entire life, and always slapped on the hand when he does anything wrong. His mother picks up his slack as far as raising his daughter and providing for him. He works a full time job, still lives at home, and is able to just do nothing without any consequences. I hate that he goes on social networks showing off my daughter as if he's father of the year when he only sees her when his mother gets her.
I've don so much for him. He had a place to stay at my house when he was put out. I was there for him when his friend committed suicide, and even though we weren't speaking during that time I put my pride to the side to be there for him. I've Been a selfless loyal and genuine friend, lover etc. and all he's done is just play with my feelings to the point that I got fed up and said I was done with him. I cut him off and I was doing good for awhile, but then k started reminiscing and thinking about him so I've reached out 3x's this week. I've apologized when truly I've done nothing wrong. He's been ignoring me and it's killing me inside. I don't understand how I've gotten to this point in my life. It's like I've died and lost a sense of my self. My spirit is crushed but one thing I will say is that I want to heal, and feel happy again and regain my life back. But it seems like it'll never happen. He haunts my dreams, my thoughts, everything. I don't know what to do.
If any of you can offer advice, please help :-(
The more i did for my ex girlfriend the worse it got-wouldnt pick me up from my house when i lost my licence, never said thank u,denied affection-saying i dont like your hair or u biting your nails-but plenty of affection at the start-all a con
I have just gone through the same , could you please email me , would love to chat .
Help... I am fortunate that I got away for my husband and my mom. It's only been a little over a month and as much as I'm determined I still have my weak moments. I won't ever go back but I still want to just give up. It is so hard and as much and how far I've come sometimes it just feels like it will never be normal. I was married to my husband for 28 years and just recently realized living with my mom that she is exactly like my husband. As strong as I know I am there's still a part of me but that misses the toxic love. Because even though it wasn't real love it's the only love that I've ever had and it's so twisted. I'm tired all the time still. The last few years with my husband and my mom I would sleep that was only way I could get away. And I'm still wanting to sleep I have no energy and I have nothing to look forward to. I know there is saying is it's just I don't know if I've lost the energy or the drive to find something that makes me happy. I'm living with my brother and his family and I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop even though it's nothing like being with my mom or my husband. And I have made friends but it always seems to turn out and I'm still putting myself in a negative light. I am very fun outgoing adventurous loving empathetic and I am not doing the typical codependent things anymore. But trying to figure out all the other underlying issues that I need to work on when I have no idea what that is. I just learned the word validation after watching Coraline the movie. I want to feel alive now. I've been doing mindful meditation and it's helped a lot. I don't overthink worry I live in the moment. But a lot of people don't understand that and even though they're not as toxic it's still a judgement and it triggers things. I'm tired of crying all the time over everything. And I'm staying strong when somebody says don't cry why you crying now. I'm staying true to myself but I have a long ways to go I know. I just don't know if it'll ever get better enough. I don't know where to turn professional help. I had a great life coach therapist up in Oregon and two weeks before I left come down here they fired her and I can't find her. I don't know what to do please help I can't even find a co-dependent group and I'm just so so tired.
Wow reading everyones comments makes me so sad... Never knew what a narc was until a few mths ago (thanks to google) 2 years ago met the love of my LIFE! Swept me off my feet, was my dream and so much more. Then 4mths in the relationship it all changed.. started do drugs (him) but it was my fault because I depressed him, started abusing me but that was my fault because I pushed him to far.. Got engaged and he was online dating which was my fault because I am never happy! If I didnt give him 100% attention then he was finding it somewhere else. Why did i stay so long? Because i truly beleived everything was my fault. I left a few mths ago. Some of his verbally abusive words to me were " Go look in the mirror, you will hate yourself too... Your mom is dead and shes probably happy shes dead and not around you anymore. Noone will ever love you, your psycho and bipolar. I cant deal with you your a lost cause. The list goes on. Physical abuse of choking, pinching, ripping clothes, pulling hair.. it was like walking on egg shells. I could never bring up anything that was bothering me because it would end up a fight when all i wanted was some advice and love. He needed attention 24/7 if we argued he would go online and try to chat with women. Typing this and reading it I CANT BELEIVE what i have been through. He trys to come back every so often. I have him blocked. Ive taken him back more times than i should of. There has been no closure. I am left depressed and full of anxiety. Never told my family or friends the situation. His family and friends think im a crazy person because thats what he tells everyone.. I think i suffer from PTS from this. Thanks for listening. Feels good to share.
Did you date my ex after i escaped? No, seriously, this sounds so familiar. I’m glad it feels good to get it out. I hope it also feels good realizing you’re not alone. No matter who it is, leaving someone is incredibly painful. You become bonded to another over time. In ways we’re just now understanding, and on a cellular level. This is why breakups can feel physically painful. And that holds true whether your ex is healthy or abusive. Brain chemistry can’t tell the difference; only that you’re with them. So, your grief is 100% normal, under these circumstances, as are your ‘Why?!’ moments. Give your brain a bit of time to find equilibrium, which will bring everything into clearer focus, once you’re back in your driver’s seat.
My question continues to be around victim blaming, which happens in the therapeutic world as well as collective culture. I understand human nature leads most to want to find ways we could never, ever find ourselves in “that person’s” shoes. But, that’s impossible. Tragedy happens. Betrayal happens. Some narcissists are incredibly adept at sneaking in under the radar. So, defining the victims of narcissistic abuse “approval seekers,” is not only grossly inaccurate but grotesquely patronizing and dehumanizing. If you’re married, it’s natural and healthy to prioritize your relationship and work toward healthy/happy with a spouse. That requires both parties sometimes being willing to give up things in compromise. Most covert narcissists can do this to some degree. I’m not talking personal values or dignity, here, but smaller things. Victim doesn’t yet see narcissist’s tendencies. A narcissist also usually knows how to pace their tactics and manipulations so they don’t give themselves away. They are excellent at pulling on sympathies from the healthiest among us (hence, do not do couples therapy with your narcissist; much has been written on this). They can be seemingly ‘normal’ when agreeing to requests— assuring that they will (or won’t) do ______(whathaveyou). They twist the meanings of words; they derail and sidetrack arguments. they interpret through self-serving lenses that they convincingly are able to justify in the moment. They master the art of lying to your face—looking you straight in the eye as they do so. As a result of these skills, it can take some time before realizing that none of what you thought you were building your relationship on, is actually there. By this time, you’re alreafy at full boil, as the metaphor of the frog in a saucepan of slowly heating water goes. And, as we know first-Hand, that means you are in the throes of full-blown trauma & react as such—you begin to flail wildly to just keep head above waterline, gasping for air. They narcissist then goes behind your back dropping hints to everyone who’ll listen, that you’re going berserk. They’ll even point out examples of this to your best friend, watching you from across the room, as well as concoct scenarios where your very understandable reaction to having the rug pulled out from under you, is one of those examples they can point your best friend toward, as his proof. Your mind begins to shatter.
So, fair warning, Internet blogosphere; misguided therapists and fault-finding opinionated masses: I’m sick of being retraumatized by your small-minded attempts to feel safer, somehow, by ‘diagnosing’ victims to fit your internal belief/wish System; your brand of magical thinking. . Even if we pretend for a second it holds a tiny grain of truth, you do not talk about victims in shaming ways and then expect them to find healing. The number one anecdote to trauma is empathy. Loads of it. The more of their story you can get them to speak about; the more empathy their story is met with; the more integrated their trauma becomes—which is the very definition of healed trauma.
You wouldn’t dare so overtly label prisoners of war, ‘attention seekers,’ and neither should you do so for other people trapped in tormenting situations with a callous manipulator. Quit it. It has become the number one hallmark sign to watch for when researching and/or interviewing therapists.
I have found your input helpful to me. I'm only 1 month in to discovering that my husband of 4 years is a narcissist. I've had so many red flags that I ignored bc he makes empty promises to change his bad behavior or just denies his behavior as anything close to wrong. He feels his actions only hurt him and not me and my 2 boys. I see that the pain I've been put through over the last 4 years in not my fault and neither is his hurtful behavior my fault. I'm still in the phase of getting my heart to accept that he won't change and that I'm waiting my life away waiting on a change that will never come.
But I haven't the heart to leave him yet. I also have a mindset right now to make one last effort to get him to see what he's losing and try to keep his attention toward me and not out other means for attention. I have convinced myself that plotting to validate his bad behavior before I leave him will give me closer and peace of mind. But most importantly, because he will never own up completely to his hurtful behavior, it's my way to expose him so he can't lie anymore. The truth will be staring him in the face.
I know I have a long way to go and I feel, reading up on narcissism and educating myself as much as I can will give me the tools I need to begin my long journey. This is my second marriage to a Narc and I never realized it for the 11 year marriage to my first husband. I decided to leave him bc I refused to raise my 2 boys thinking that this is how you treat your wife and family. And now, here I am again in the same type of marriage but with a different person. I am promising myself that I will not waste another 10+ years on someone who is treating me this way!
Does anyone else feel like, "Why me?"
I do almost every moment of the day
I asked myself the same question at one point after I was discarded and rejected as a worthless piece of garbage and having my own kids plotted against me to try and prove that I was indeed the toxic one. All those who know me knew it was not the case. Thank goodness for our supporters and each other who understand this level of pain and confusion.
The answer is no, you did not miss "helping" him. You cannot help someone who never sees their actions as a fault. You can never help someone who does not want help. You are never ever in charge of another persons happiness. Ever!
Narcissist are infamous for being very charming in the beginning of any relationship. And making life look so hunky dory. He is no different now than he was while with you. It's the same mask he wore while first meeting you. It will crumble. His mask will come off. And it will probably be your fault.
The best and only thing to do is move forward every single day. Never look back. Never think you missed to do something. You did everything!!!
Live peacefully knowing that. Move forward knowing that you can and will be better for this experience. There is no greater pain. But because of it you will become stronger and happier.
I'm here for anyone who has suffered at the hands of this sad mental disease. It's destructive but it is not the end. It's a better beginning to your best self. Find that person and lover her. Every single day.
I just want to say as far as support goes, I have found education, strength, and a knowledge that has set me free. Or else I would still be with my abuser, (Narc)..that support is on face book called Narcissistic abuse survivors (no contact)! there is help hope and strength, actualy within the walls of that group, there are many articles and books and how to find them to educate and empower yourself to get out...it only cost time to read, internet (free at macdonalds) lol and the real frustration to finally do something and gain back your true self who can get out on your own and be treated right...it starts with you...
I am asking for perhaps some kind of answer but it may not be what I really need. I am now 9 months out of a Narcissistic relationship. I am wondering, since I was the one to finally end it and now it appears that he is in a relationship with the one he always went back to but it seems to be working. Does this mean that he could actually be in a positive relationship? I feel like I have some how perhaps missed what he may have needed?
I guess I am trying to validate that I did the right thing and didn't lose someone that I truly did and still do love but I know we can never ever be together because of his narcissistic personality.
If it felt right for you- it was right. Don't allow your thinking to take you back. You have done such an amazing step by leaving. You told the world and him you deserve better.
It is no longer about him and as you know things always appear differently from the outside then what it actually is.
Just be happy that you now can find love ❤️
I was in an abusive relationship with a narcissist for 8 yrs. After trying to leave many times I always went back. The scenario always the same. He would give me the silent treatment, usually lure me back in with a text or phone message that sounded like he was going to apologize. When I returned his call he yelled and swore at me and convinced me it was my fault. I coward and cryed and backed down. And then the cycle started again. It got easier to leave only because each time I went back he treated me with more indifference. Finally with the help of a friend I drew the line and ended it. After 8 yrs of him screaming obscenities at me, Telling me I was stupid, making everything my fault, he now gets to play the victim. He's very charming until you really know him. The hardest thing is he has a "following" and he convinced them all im the crazy one. I've basically been shunned by former friends. Even by the ppl who saw how he treated me! The ones who supported me, tell me not to say anything because they don't "want to burn their bridges" with him, these are the same ppl that told me to get out. WTH? Nothing like the true victim being punished. On the upside, although the first two wks were terrible for me, I'm finally feeling a sense of peace and joy I haven't felt in 8 years. I still have bad days but my only regret is that I didnt get out sooner!
If you have hurt people, the only thing, and i mean ONLY thing that will help is that if you have no contact with them. It is not about you in any way.
I was a narcissist for 9 years without realizing it. How can I help those I have hurted if they don't want me to help them? I can't live with this on my soul.