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Verbal Abuse

Verbal Abuse Support Page

 ”I Think I am Having A Nervous Breakdown”

That’s what many people say. It’s verbal abuse.

Are You The Victim of a Liar?

LOVE, BETRAYAL, DIVORCE

Feeling sane is a matter of feeling in control.  You need help. One is the loneliest number when you’ve been betrayed, hurt, manipulated. Click this link, get the short document that will hold your hand and let you know, “Been there, done that, survived and so will you”.  narcissism

 HELP IS HERE

 

 

The narcissist doesn’t want you in control of your feelings or emotions. He wants you off guard, feeling chaotic, despair and need.  You may end up angry, depressed and sometimes suicidal.

But you don’t have to.

There are ways to navigate this journey.  There are practical, down to earth strategies that are exactly what is needed to take control and lose the feeling of going crazy.

In myths of old, perilous journeys are metaphors for the trials and tribulations we endure to develop strength.  It is important not to have a victim mentality.  Don’t despair. You are not mentally ill, you are injured. Getting to the other side of this means finding strength that will be with us for the rest of our lives. Life CAN get better.

“Experience is a good teacher, but she sends in awful bills.” Minna Antrim

My new book explains thriving and surviving narcissism in a series of short essays geared to everyone for every occasion a narcissist can bring to the table.

Fight or Flight

Slow down.  You are not “crazy”. You are feeling the physical reaction to extreme trauma and stress. Your reaction is normal.  It is an awful feeling, but normal under the circumstances.

Your body is in the fight or flight mode and you feel the physicality of your stress.  Cortisol and adrenaline, the stress hormones, are flowing through your body causing your heart to race and your breathing to become shallow.  (Deep breathing really does help switch from the panic mode to a calmer mode, done deeply enough which means your belly expands as a baby’s does when breathing, then completely emptying the lungs switches you over to the calming side of your nervous system, away from the fight or flight.  Give it a chance. Don’t try once then give up. Stay with it. Tell yourself you are in charge of your emotions, that you are learning how not to be a victim, then change your body to feel that way. It CAN work.)

Women and Madness

In the introduction to the 25th Anniversary Edition of her book, Women and Madness, Phyliss Chesler, M.D. writes:

We now understand that women and men are not “crazy” or “defective”when, in response to trauma, they develop post traumatic symptoms,including insomnia, flashbacks, phobias, panic attacks, anxiety,depression, dissociation, a numbed toughness, amnesia, shame, guilt, self-loathing, self-mutilation, and social withdrawal.

Oppression causes bodily changes. These changes make you think you are going crazy.  There is a difference between a mental illness and a psychological injury.  Victims of abuse are not mentally ill, they have been injured.  Healing does happen.  We  find ways to move from victim to not-victim.

A Sense of Entitlement and Domestic Violence

We now understand more about what trauma is, and what it does. We understand that chronic, hidden family/domestic violence is actually  more, not less, traumatic than sudden violence at the hands of a  stranger, or of an enemy during war. We understand that after even a  single act of abuse, physical violence is only infrequently needed to  keep one’s victim in a constant state of terror, dependent on her  captor and tormentor.

Victims of narcissists are often not believed.  They become the victims of character assassination, betrayals, lies and manipulations. The shredded dirty fragments of a narcissistic self are thrown on them and at times they mirror their behavior.  The reaction is to become horrified.  Or to cower and shake. It is time to reframe, renew, exit learned helplessness and begin to pick up the pieces for renewal, hope and optimism and a future orientation. Allowing the narcissist to remain in control is destructive.

Courage is resistance and mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”  

Mark Twain 

Read this when you feel powerless:

Skills For Dealing With Narcissism
by Bruce Gregory, Ph.D

Most people feel victimized by narcissistic forces and narcissists.  This is because they have felt consistently oppressed, suppressed, or frustrated by narcissistic forces   This becomes problematic in terms of achieving sustainability.

When one is in a “victim state,” one sees the oppressor as the enemy, as the one with the power, and as a result, the victim is easily manipulated into frustration and anger.  The narcissist will utilize this dynamic to incite people into emotional states which can be exploited into distractions from the core issues.

Skills for dealing with attempts to intimidate can be divided into two areas, intrapersonal and interpersonal.

Intrapersonally, it is essential not to react.  This means that reactions of fear, impatience, or anger are not  practical.  In their place should be patience and curiosity.  On an interpersonal level, responses and questions like, “that’s interesting; could you explain  that?; or, “I am not clear about that; would you please clarify (or elaborate)?; or, “it seems like there is a contradiction in your logic.”

All of these can generate positive results in terms of reducing the control of the narcissistic forces.  This is done through the non-reaction, which communicates, “you are not so powerful that you can manipulate me, or us, and distract us from the issue.  It is also done through the questions which communicate, “I/we are not afraid of you; we are not leaving the space/situation to your control alone; we will challenge you if necessary; you cannot win through intimidation or disinformation.”

Excellent individual emotional boundaries are so critical for dealing with narcissism. These emotional boundaries prevent the force of the narcissism emotions from throwing an individual off balance.  The emotional boundaries are also helpful in not taking the narcissism’s actions or positions personally.

The narcissist, consumed and driven by the grandiosity, feels responsible for everything; therefore, all failures, frustrations, and disappointments are its fault, and are directed personally at it.

In interacting with narcissism, one does not want to fall into the narcissist’s world and take what is going on personally.

Narcissism’s actions are indiscriminate. It’s verbal abuse. They are directed toward any object, person or group that threatens its control, domination and grandiosity.  An excellent emotional boundary system does not allow the force of another person’s emotions to penetrate one’s own personal space.

Ann Bradley

59 Comments

  1. My girlfriend was married to a NARC, she recognized my agony watching me deal with my NARC Father. I am 52 years old and have been living in agony with my Rich NARC Father who has given everything to my step-sisters and swept me under the rug with nothing but criticism. Thank you so much for helping me realize why I have had such depression. Understanding the Narcs of the world has taken a load off my shoulders. Good luck to all of you that have been victimized.

    • RE-SUBMIT: VAST ERRORS IN ORIGINAL COMMENT CAUSED BY CITE.

      Fred, the reality is that while the agony may have been taken off of your shoulders it will remain in your mind, unfortuantely. But perhaps knowing where it comes from can help you get pissed off enough to vindicate yourself from the chains of shame and worthlessness that this demon (I said demon) has inflicted upon your soul since your childhood. There has been so much said about narcissism and the striking resemblence is remarkable but not all true. Narcissism is a disease of the soul, it cannot be cured by any doctor, or any person, there are only two cures for this malady, faith and self worth, both lacking in narcissists. Fred have you heard of “original sin” The Christian Doctrine that has to do with the sin of humanity resulting in fall of man? But perhaps knowing where it comes from can help you get pissed off enough to vindicate yourself from the chains of shame and worthlessness that this demon (I said demon) has inflicted upon your soul since your childhood. There has been so much said about narcissism and the striking resemblence is remarkable but not all true. Narcissism is a disease of the soul Fred, it cannot be cured by any doctor, or any person, there are only two cures for this malady, faith and self worth, both lacking in narcissists. Fred have you heard of “original sin” The Christian Doctrine that posulates Humanity’s state of sin resulting from the fall of man. The “first disobedience” if you will. That idea is pertinent in the understanding of Narcissism. Faith: It is important first to understand that religious teaching tell us that God is about freedom (free will and choice) and that evil is about power (possession of control over others). Both are forces upon the earth, neither can be destroyed. One force is strong and continuous while the other is weak and temporary; notice Fred, freedom is infinite — the choice is always ours, while power is temporary — only viable insomuch as others will allow you to have it. The good news is that since freedom infinite, it is inate, evil is not, it remains only as a temptation. Self-worth: Self-esteem, then, a term in psychology that dictates a person’s overall evaluation of their own worth. Thus Iam worthy. Then we come to Narcissism: Many psychologists believe that it occurs in childhood as a result of trauma, that is only partically true. In infliction of narcissims can happen at anytime, infancy to later years of life, it is caused by an opening in the victim’s spirit, mostly from dispair and hopelessness to that one place where the victim believes that freedom is non-existent and surrenders itself. This deficit of mind creates a weakness to our spirit and in our energies which create an opening for evil to invade. So sliently is festers Fred, it is a gradual sense of power providing a false sense of superiority over others. It creates a place of false comfort and like all evil it will manifest to action and of how others respond to quenching its thirst for power which serves to reinforce that false and temporary sense of well being. But it is so short lived Fred because evil does not have the power to stay within us long (guilty conscious, remorse), it is too weak and cannot overpower our good will (empathy), that is why good always defeats evil and always will. But to continue, Fred, Since that completeness narcissists feel is only temporary, they must continue to seek out their prey (“narcissistic supply”) in fear of losing that sense of power and completeness. The only cure for them is to turn to faith in God by praying and every day they must give of themselves to others in good will which builds the character they lack and brings about forgiveness to those or that incident that led them to this desolate place of spirit at the onset. They are the only cures for this evil infliction. No human being can cure this infliction. Turning to you Fred, pain has been with you but is NOT part of you, that is what you have to understand now, you cannot let this poor victim’s disease become your disease because you are not entitled to it you did nothing to earn it you created no weakness to harbor such evil. Remember what we said earlier: “power is only viable insomuch as someone else will allow you to have it.” What you are feeling so intensely if self-sorrow, justified self-sorrow, a healty behavior that only turns distructive when you let it linger too lng. For it is this self-sorrow that stops our lives from going forward and fosters fear, uncertainty, insecurity and mostly depression. But the good news is, the infliction of that poor damaged soul that has inflicted your person has not inflicted your spirit, because all spirits are individual, that is why no two of us are alike, your spirit Fred is still in tact and you’re still fairly young and have a lot of happiness awaiting for you. You remain strong, you just got to find your inner strength, all you have to do is throw it off, that’s right, it is evil, throw off its yoke, give up the ghost if you will, it has no place in your life, for its strength compared to yours is almost nonexistent it onlyt remains as long as you allow it to. Fred, know this, you are not garbage because God doesn’t make garbage, you are free so throw off its chains, you must give of yourself to others and there is so much out there for you along your journey all you have to do is reach out for it. Yeah, you’ll meet a lot of jerks, but you will meet so many that make you happy and fulfil your life, prove me wrong, just try. That is how life works Fred, we are given these temporary vehicles to enjoy conscious and to share love, love is the most powerful force on earth because it is Gods gift to us to share joy and hope and to gain spiritual strength for ourselves through other; and ya wanna know the best thing, the most wonderful of it is we pay forward with the birth of our children. It is time for you Fred, it is time for you to sore like an eagle and no longer to scurry along like a rat. You have done nothing to deserve the treatment you received from the evil that possessed another (and evil knows no prejudice of who it chooses), but you can defeat it by not giving it any worth so throw off its chains. It is time for you to live for the first time in your life, because you are indeed a life apart from the victim of evil that held you hostage for so long. Thus, your life with God, your family, your friends, and acquaintences await you. “Arise and shine Fred, pick up they bed and walk.”

      • Eileen you are so enciteful. Your comments have helped me also.

        Thank you

        Linda

      • Wow, what a beautiful synopsis of narcissist’s effect on the person living with them. I’m a year into co-dependence support group (12-step) and working with a therapist to strengthen ME! Whew, it’s been a journey of self discovery. I am only very recently accepting that I cannot EVER allow myself to believe that this man is going to be whole. He is doing neurofeedback and working with both a neurologist (brain development) and a psychiatrist. Good for him, I hope that he will find comfort for himself. As his wife, I have detached (something that scared the shit out of me, but on the other side, it’s soooooooo beautiful to see the sun again!!) and am learning to look at my own horrendous childhood that brought me to the doorstep of my third relationship with a narcissist. I am also breaking the silence, speaking my truth about my home life with a couple of trusted friends and I cannot tell anyone who reads this how freeing this is!!! Where will this end up? Wherever God intends it to. I am a true believer that God send us people/situation for our own healing. My leaving this situation without having looked at myself would have had me ringing the doorbell of yet another . . . narcissist!!!! Love to all who are walking this path – it’s a journey, of self discovery! xo

      • Wow Eileen!
        You said it!!! You have helped me a great deal. Praise God!

      • Thank you for this, it’s given me strength to say the least! Know that it is not me that has caused this evil to harbor itself, your post was very enlightening, Thank you again!

      • Faith and fear CANNOT be friends when one begins the other ends! You have such wonderful incite on this matter. You put the feelings that are within my heart into words! Thank you so very much, Carly

  2. Thank you Fred for your comment. Narcissistic parents can be so toxic, but the antidote is understanding what they are and realizing you are not defined by their personality disorder.

    Ann

  3. Hi Ann, Is there any place to get your book about narcissism in bound book form – not kindle? Thank you.

  4. Ann, your book is incredible and I wish I had it when I went through my hellish divorce 10 years ago. My ex was narcissistic and very abusive. Just seeing him in court caused panic attacks. My attorney professed during my consultation to know exactly how to deal with individuals like this but he was either mistaken or lied. The bigger problem was the family court system. Of the 20 times we were in court, we never saw the same judge twice – this is such a disservice to individuals of high conflict divorce!

    10 years later, our child is now 12, and I’m still feeling very controlled by this individual because he continues to violate and ignore the court order. The police tell me they can’t do anything and to just take him back to court. He loves the court system and I believe he’s pushing me to take him to court which I do not want to do (he has a legal plan that gives him a free attorney if he’s the respondent). I’ve never found any good information about “coparenting” with him and professionals I’ve spoken with all say to avoid any/all contact with him and just endure it until our child is 18.

    Do you have any advice or books you could recommend?

    Thank you for the important work you’re doing. Too many people do not understand how painful this situation is and that people like this truly exist.

  5. Hi I have been a victim of Narcissism from family to mothers partners to an ex partner of mine and am finding it very difficult to heal as its been all my life in one form or another. I have had counselling and i will seek more now i have recently moved to a new area with a new partner. But since being with my new partner, who is a lovely man with 3 lovely kids, (he lost his wife and mother of the kids 2 years ago), it has come to light that i am having difficulty in dealing with confrontations in a “normal” way & have been hurt by this as i feel i am acting exactly like my exN did towards me. I get very defensive, i see things in black and white and can be very hurtful when i dont mean to be… is this behaviour because of being with an N? Can i get help with this? Thanks. Lou

  6. I am currently married to a NARC and my life is a living hell, he does everything in his power to go against anything I say, whether it deals with the children or work. On the outside everyone thinks he is a great guy, but at home I know that he is cynical, abusive, manipulative, mean spirited, and downright inconsiderate of his family. He never has anything but criticism and insults to say. And when I interject because I refuse to stand by and let him demolish my daughters’ self esteem, he tells me I am the problem and the reason they misbehave is because of me and my interfering when he says something. He says he is the man and he runs the house, which would be fine with me but he is unfair and unjust and I refuse to let him hurt my children, I will die first. I don’t know what to do. I am being worn thin and I feel like he always wins. He holds advanced degrees and thinks that he knows everything but in reality he only has book sense, no common sense at all. I dont really have anyone to talk too about him because people think that I am lying when I tell them how he is, they say oh he is such a nice guy, you shouldnt feel that way, so I have stopped talking to others about him and his behavior. I have gone to therapy alone because he refuses to come and I feel like I am just paying someone to listen to me blubber about how much of a wreck my life is. I am confused and alone, any advice will be appreciated.

    • Value yourself as much as anyone and make life decisions based on that premise. You deserve a life – a good and rich and rewarding one. Learn how to leave if that is the answer you come to. This type of person cannot be reasoned with – you need to train for leaving as if it were a marathon. Talking to others isn’t going to get you anywhere if they are tired of hearing the same complaints because they can’t do anything for you. Action has to begin with you, then others can assist in what you are doing. You can begin by learning what rights you have or by reading what others have done in your situation. Value yourself – make your life worthwhile. Best to you, Ann

      • Narcissists Blame and Attack You.

        I’ve noticed that many narcissists use projection to blame you for things that they’ve done. If they were hurtful they say you were hurtful. If they behaved in a disgusting way, they accuse you of being disgusting. Being around them is mind boggling and if you’re not careful you can begin to doubt your own sanity.

        I remember one vivid example from when I was a child. A childhood friend had an abusive brother who was always attacking her. One day he threatened to hit her with a yard stick and when he raised his arms above his head to strike he smashed the chandelier. My friend pointed to the chandelier and her brother instantly said, “Look what you did!”. When you confront a narcissist with their behaviour they will automatically accuse you of the wrong doing. They will say that your words are poison and they will most likely start naming off all the people who like them (all the toadies).

        Narcissists will accuse you of being selfish for catching a cold because you inconvenienced them. They will accuse you of being selfish for having a family emergency. If you cry or show emotion, the narcissist will sneer and show contempt for your feelings. Only they are allowed to cry or get angry. When you cry, you’re gutless and weak. When you get angry, your anger is poison. Only they are allowed to express feelings. Only they are allowed to have needs. In my experience, you’re needs and emotions mean nothing to them.

        Your time doesn’t matter to a narcissist either. If you let them, a narcissist will keep you on the phone for hours talking about themselves. As they talk they will intermittently attack you for not listening closely enough and they will attack you personally and then they will resume their long list of complaints, sprinkled with tales of their past glory days. They don’t care that you are getting tired. They don’t care that you have other things to do. They selfishly take and take and take until you put a stop to it or until they get tired and don’t want to talk to you anymore.

        So who are these people to judge you? Don’t listen to what the bully is saying about you. When you confront their behaviour they are going to instantly accuse you of being the one who is wrong because they won’t admit fault ever. They won’t take responsibility for their behaviour and really they don’t care if their behaviour hurts you. Often they want to hurt you to boost themselves or they are simply using you and your emotions are irrelevant to them. Remember, that it doesn’t matter what they think and it doesn’t matter what they say. When a narcissist says you are disgusting it is because they are disgusting. They are projecting their bad behaviour onto you and you don’t have to take it anymore.

        Note: There is a thing called healthy narcissism. You don’t have to be humble and self-effacing to be good. It is okay to like yourself and be proud of yourself and there is nothing wrong with competition. The narcissist however, from what I’ve seen, does not like himself(herself). I believe this is why they are so easily threatened by others and why they need to be constantly praised. When they see someone with talent, I’ve noticed that they are not inspired by them and instead want to destroy them. They cope by stomping down everything around them. Instead of rising above and bettering themselves, they smash the person. They’d rather smash a skater’s knees than learn to skate. They’d rather convince someone that they are stupid than improve themselves. That’s been my experience with narcissists.

        • Thanks for this great and insightful reply. A lot of wisdom here! This is much appreciated. And I agree with your argument for healthy narcissism, thank you for bringing this to the table.

    • Ruby,
      I am married to a NARC as well. My husband is also a sex addict and a former alcoholic. He is similar to your husband in that he thinks he knows everything, but can’t seem to function in a family. He is easily overwhelmed by everyday tasks and is easily frustrated as a parent. We have been separated since October because I found texts on his phone soliciting prostitutes. I plan to divorce him, but need time to formulate a plan. My kids are 7 and 4 and are very hurt by his absence.
      My advice for you is to continue with therapy and detach from him as much as possible. Focus on protecting your kids and yourself. Please know that I will be praying for you and you are not alone.
      Hugs,
      Gretchen

  7. Hi i think my husband is narxacistic but I think he has other problems too. he is controlling manipulative emotionally abusive a bully and not honest. I actually admired my husband and looked up to him for the most part of my mirage to him. He worked away from home. i worked also. he took my money and gave me an allowance. we have retired recently and he controls everything. he has told me my breasts are too big but they are better than nothing. He belittles everything about me physically and my personality. I thought that I had to keep working at the problems we were having. lose weight. Work harder for him anything -everything. Recently he told me he was getting a seperate checking account and my name would not be on it. i blew up. Usually I don’t show emotion because he criticizes. He watches my expressions for what reason I don’t know. i had surgery for caner and as the nurse was leaving my room he said in a very angry voice you hurt her feelings. Because I made a slight groan noise. he has no feeling for me when I am injured. In fact recently he withheld medical help when my arm was out of socket for falling from the hay. He continued to load the load of hay and came and told me because iI wouldn’t let him look at it I will wait another 10 minutes. The look on his face was evil. I’ve not seen it before. The nerves and tendons were ripped from my arm and it just hung there. Due to that accident my arm was paralyzed. He tormented me on the way to the hospital and told me he didn’t know the way he said we were lost. I was seriously thinking of jumping out of his truck.while it was moving. i was panicking. i had to turn away from the door and try to concentrate on something else. I was completely traumatized. When we were home I would step down on the floor and it would sent shocks through my arm. The arm was taped to my side. I had to walk so gently. 2 days after we were home he started coming up behind me and lifting my shirt trying to get to my bra. Any movement was agonizing and he knew it. I was able to make him quit. I was panicking inside again. I put a knife under my pillow. I slept that way every night. i told him he wasn’t welcome in my bed. I told my sister and daughter about it. My sister believed me. After I was able to do physical therapy for myself, she came to my rescue. i ran away. But for some unknown reason, I went back to him. he bought me diamonds. Something he has never done before and he began taking counseling together. The counseling did not address any of the problems and he continued to drift back to himself. He told me hes going to get his own account now, because he is trying to be romantic. Of course he sayas he doesn’t expect me to understand it. He says its because he doesn’t want me to run away again. Eventually with that and everything else that hasn’t been mentioned I began to feel like a mouse in a box with no windows. Its not like I’ve ever had much freedom before now. It’s just that he put in my face. I realized some of what was going on. I’ve been married to him for 38 yrs. I loved him (most of the time). I began to see what a lie the whole thing was and how used I was. I started feeling lost and I sunk even lower than I ever have. I usually get back up. But this time I wasn’t coming back. I called my Mom and told her I wanted to leave but I just couldn’t hardly move. My husband was on a hunting trip (1 wk) I don’t really know what was happening to me. i thought about killing myself. I don’t think I bathed or combed my hair or slept much. I had lost all feeling. My husband came home early from his trip. I looked like hell. he asked me what was going on. i told him truthfully how everything has made me feel and I had felft like killing myself. He kissed me briefly and said he had a few more days to hunt in. He said you be here when I get back. Then he drove away. he blew me a kiss on his way out. The next day my Mom and sister were at my house. They had driven 14 hours. Traveled to two states to get me. They helped me move. I’ve been here in California for 5 months now. it was traumatic everything about it. Even the leaving. I think my husband wanted me dead. Maybe was hoping I would do it myself. I know this sounds crazy and I feel like I am but this is very hard. to do. I find it hard to concentrate. To sort out my thoughts. I have been married to a man who is no good. Who uses me. So why am I having trouble? he filed for a divorce then he dropped it. he said because he was mad at me. i receive letters from him and usually he sends a copy to my father. strange. They usually tell me how much he loves me. The only contact I’ve had with him on the phone was just to give him a brief explaination as to why I no longer want to be around him. My husband tried to convince me while I was still with him that I was crazy and you know what he almost succeeded. He lieds about me to everyone. That I am no good. That I’m not right upstairs. You should hear the drama skit he puts on if he thinks I have told anyone anything. I get threatening calls every now and then from him. I have started my own divorce. As I said this is not easy. I don’t like me much sometimes. My husband was bald and look old for his years.. Everyone thinks of him as the most wonderful giving person. And so helpful. At home he is a different person as he was at the hospital once we arrived. I could use some help to feel better. my mind feels so over worked. Do you have any helpful suggestions? Thank you Linda

    • Linda, You have had quite the journey. Sorry to hear about it all but you have made the first big bold steps to recovery. Don’t, though, don’t, don’t don’t make the mistake of thinking it matters what others think about him or you. It doesn’t. Women sometimes care way too much about the opinion of others. Let it go. He will lie and that’s that. Some will eventually see through it, others not. Doesn’t matter. Your opinion of yourself is all that matters as you heal and make a new life. You are doing fine. But if you want some help, this is a book many like: http://amzn.to/GH2bBo It is about healing, recovering and moving on after living with a narcissist. Maybe some others here will provide something from their experience. Give yourself the gift of peace and time and you will heal. No looking to others for validation! You don’t need it – you really are doing fine under very trying circumstances with an incredibly difficult situation. I admire your bold move and your use of a support system. Good for you. Best, Ann

      • Thank you Ann you are very wise. I have many new problems occuring from my having left the x. While I was with him. I was not his wife, I was his servant. I did not realize it until just before I made the decision to leave. If my sons wife wanted a break from our three grandchildren, my son would call my husband and see if I could come and take over on the grandchildren. I never saw this as a problem. I adore my little ones. They brought me such deep happiness. My daughter in law seemed to need my help frequently. My x would send me to their home to be nanny for awhile or I would be able to have them at my home for awhile. However I began to feel like a useful object as far as x was concerned. I was expected to drop what ever I was doing and go immediately because the daughter in law was in need. I traveled alone for many miles to get to be there for them. I was never to crazy about traveling alone. However, now that I have left my situation, my x has probably convinced them that I am not okay mentally. My son never calls me to see how I am doing. My daughter in law was setting my husband up with dates two weeks after I left. (Poor who ever) I called my son the other day to see if I could have one or two of the grandchildren. He replied that if I came to his house I could see them. In the past I have had them for extended periods of time. My little ones mean so much to me and so do my children (2). The x began a campaign, once I left, to make me look like I had lost my mind. I really don’t know what to do about this. It hurts. I don’t want to be forever without them. Please help.

        Thank You

        Linda

        • Linda, there are no easy answers when the narcissistic ex starts on a campaign of put-downs. I advise not buying into it. The more strength you show, the less needy you look and they see there is no point in continuing. You have to put on a front sometimes to make this work, but it is worth it. I know you hurt and this is difficult, but if you want it to improve I would stand my ground now. I’d tell my son that when it was convenient I’d be over and meanwhile the invite for him to bring some of the kids remains open. Leave it there for now. And keep up the contact with the kids maybe through little gifts and invites directly to them if you can. Tell them they are welcome any time their mom and dad can bring them over and tell them what you have planned for them. It sounds like your daughter in law needs the approval of your ex. Nothing you can do about her neediness. Just ignore it, show strength, don’t lose touch. Be direct, drama free, and stand your ground. Show them, don’t tell them that you are not crazy! You can do this by not buying into their games. I know you want to see the kids. And I hope you will, soon. Think about this. And while this approach is what I would do, if it doesn’t feel right for you, then just ignore. There is never any one perfect answer and you have to do what feels right and best for you. But no matter what, you are not their doormat and they need to know this. Value yourself. You are worth it. Best, Ann

    • Wow your story is amazing and as angry as I am with husband, I am even more happy that you got away from him. “I don’t like me much sometimes”, I know it may be hard to hear but please know that you not only like you but you really do love you, and that is why you left. You realized your worth and you realized it was ok to love yourself and finally look out for yourself for once and it caused you to take action. You realized you were worth the fight and the effort to get out of that “marriage.” I think you are great for sharing your story.

        • Thank you. You Caring replies have helped me every day. I have printed them out to include your replies in my notebook diary. I have made a diary of my life as a reminder of why I moved out of my former life. It helps immensely. The notebook and your replies have helped me not to sway in the decision to end the situation I was living in. Yes I am finding that I now like me. I am beginning to feel. I was engaged in a game of dominoes with my sister and her 14 year old grandson the other evening. We were laughing and having fun. I haven’t done that in so long. My x at times wanted to play games and have fun. My heart would never be in it. I was used to my x teaching me lessons if in some way I had angered him. So we could be having fun and he would take the joy out of what ever it was at some point. (intentionally.) I never truely had fun with him because of that. After a while of that kind of treatment, you expect it will come. But on our game night with my sister and her grandson we were laughing and telling jokes as we played. At one point I laughed till I cried. I haven’t done that since my early twenties. (early part of my marriage.) It felt great. I am attending church and making new friends. I am loving having friends. I am planning a backpacking trip from California to Oregon soon. I think I should take some time to smell the roses for awhile before going back to work. Just wanted to say the support and encouragement we get from you and others is so needed and so appreciated.
          Thank you soooo much.
          Linda

          • That just made me smile. I think that is just great. That says to me he did not win, YAY Linda! Go get yourself some more of that happiness and joy that you deserve and enjoy it! Wait , did you say backpacking from California to Oregon, ok now I’m just jealous LOL. Have a wonderful time and make sure that time is all about Linda and your loved ones 😀

    • Wonder how ur doing now? My life is what u described about yours. I need to know how u handled things.thanks

  8. I have been divorced a year from a Narcissistic doctor..tall..dark..good-looking and extremely charming..this is how the devil got me! Over the almost 20 years of marriage..I thought there was something wrong with me..he was controlling. jealous..possessive of a latin culture. I knew, however, that there was something confusing about him and I confused these behaviors with “he loves me”. Over the years, I started to sink into a low-lying depression…confused by his lack of boundaries with his twin brother, macho friends..he would say I disrespected him..and isolate me..berate me. The last 10 years..he became worse..the financial pressures of having a lone practice tuned him into a bitter..more abusive man. Financial control…verbal abuse. .betrayals with his office secretary (he would tell her everything about his disappointments in our marriage..she didn’t even know me but would disrespect me in the office when I visited..isolate me from the office). A therapist finally dx him..and everything clicked! But this revelation made him worse..because I saw through him..an imposter..he blamed me for all his failures,,he bought an expensive boat w/o telling me (couldn’t afford it)..then our only child became ill for years..his behaviors became worse. Occasionally, every few years..he would strike me then deny it..financially..I had to give him monies to pay for his business taxes because my working as a social worker catapulted us into a diffferent tax bracket and it was my fault! At the end..when he struck me again (badly)and I finally called police..he ran carrying a huge safe (I called it the trust safe). I denied his abuse to the police but he ran to the hospital with a scratch on his face as I defended myself (ex football player; 6’4) to my petite size. I was arrested. He always threaten to leave me with nothing if I left. I still suffer PTSD. I do not talk to him..I cry all the time..and I’m still fighting him in court…he is a cruel..vindictive bully..it’s jusy that now I see things more clearly..Now, I can easily recognize these personalities and tell people to run like “Forrest Gump”!

    • Sue,
      I found it so interesting that your husband got worse after his diagnosis. My husband did the exact same thing. When he was diagnosed he cried like a baby and then never mentioned it again. His behavior became more aggressive and the blaming hasn’t stopped. According to him, I caused all of his pain. Hang in there, we are all in this together.
      Gretchen

  9. Hi Linda,
    I’m writing from Australia. Amazing how this is a universal problem; though not really I guess. We’re all the same all over the world.
    You’re really not crazy! My partner tells me continually I am, and loves the fact that I was in hospital for three weeks with depression. No sympathy, just thrown back in my face as proof, he thinks.Of couse that was when we were living together before this stint together again.
    I feel I didn’t learn from the last two years living together before we broke up and have done it again.
    Now I can see things more clearly and am doing my best to detach and not respond to his incredible demeaning outburts, until I AM READY TO LEAVE. wHICH WILL BE WHEN MY DAUGHTER HAS FINISHED SCHOOL IN A FEW MONTHS.
    I am determined to keep my sanity and hopfully learn from this experience.
    After such a long marriage, you will have to GIVE YOURSELF TIME to work through this and stop being hard on yourself,as he has taught you to be.

  10. I once read that living with a narcissist is hell, but just trying divorcing one! I waited almost five months for a property settlement from my NARC and when it finally arrived I felt like I had been raped. The response was so horrific it felt like putting gasoline on my open wounds. These have been the darkest days of my life and I am wondering when the sunshine will come out again. Peace and strength to all those who have the courage to leave a narcissist…you are going to need it!

    • Yes, I can validate that I left with the clothes on my back and packed what I could in the storage shed around the house, then of all things my Dad. Has an empty shed that he won’t let me use and I have been here for more then five years. Really I think I just made the mistake of marrying someone like my father . Mine has my daughter his step daughter living there with him, and really I think he prefers it that way since she is young and beautiful.

  11. My problem is that I have a narc, bi-polar, and I believe, psychotic ex-daughter-in -law who is determined to alienate my 11 year old precious granddaughter from me forever.

    She was married to my son for 10 years before they became pregnant. Shortly after Hannah was born she began an affair with my son’s best friend, and thus ended their marriage. She had worked for me for about 9 years, I thought of her as a daughter. Many times she would insist that she felt closer to me than her own mom.

    She has always been a control freak and had a reputation of being a drama queen but I never saw the potential for what she has done to my family. Especially my granddaughter. She has actually re-written the good memories we have had and convinced Hannah they were actually bad memories. She tricked and baited me into making statements that she then totally changes and repeats to Hannah. Hannah has “hung tough’ until the past few months, when she has now decided she does not want to ever see me again and Loves me “only a tiny bit in the very bottom of her heart”.

    I know that Hannah has to survive and has to put herself in a place mentally that makes that possible. My son is not a strong person and has always let the ex-dol manipulate him. The ex-dol now wants him to go with her to get a restraining order against me so that I cannot see my granddaughter even at his house. I hope he know better than to do anything so ridiculous. I have begged her to forgive anything she thinks I have ever done to her and have told her I have forgiven her and that I still love her, which through the strength of the Holy Spirit I have. My greatest concern is the mental damage she is doing to my granddaughter. She has low self-esteem, has never been allowed to play sports or do any extraciricular activity (because she says I would be there to watch and she wants to keep me away from Hannah!) She is living for the 2nd time with a man she is not married to and Hannah does not even have her own room. She is not allowed to communicate with anyone in our family. Even to speak to her father she must call on her moms phone so her calls can be monitored. Few attorneys and counselors, I have discovered, are educated about alienation. They also do not understand the effects narcicism has on a person especially a child. I am at my wits end. I want so desperately to help my granddaughter but do not know how. I started an Alienated grandparents organization and have been shocked at the number of grandparents who are sufferring as I am and worried about their grandchildren. This woman is evil and dangerous and no one sees it but me. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Good for you for starting a support group. This is an excellent idea. I suggest Googling, “Grandparent’s rights” and the name of the state you live in. There is law specific to this situation in many places and even if you don’t find law to help you, this search should take you to some other places with information on your very specific need. I suggest less interaction with the daughter in law as this gives her fuel to continue. She loves to hear you beg and ask for forgiveness. Be calm, neutral and fact oriented. Ask to see your granddaughter, make a suggested time and if it is not forthcoming, say. “Ok, maybe you next time” and walk away. Your withdrawal may be more compelling for her to deal with than anything else. Best, Ann

    • Who knows for certain really whether or not this is your biological grand daughter. Does she resemble your family line a good deal? The woman sounds like she’s BPD. Do you really think she was loyal to your son all along?

  12. My narc. ex-husband shocked me with his callous disregard for me when I found out that I needed a total hip replacement. After we got back from the doctor’s appt., where he acted loving and totally concerned about me in front of the doctor, he actually yelled at me, 5 minutes after we got home, “Do you know how hard this is going to be on ME?!!!” I was absolutely in shock. He had no concern for me. He had faked all his concern for me up to that point. I guess he couldn’t pretend anymore.

    Half of my hip bone was already dead from compromised blood supply and the other half was destroyed by arthritis and an autoimmune disease, plus I had a hairline fracture in what little bone was left. I was the second youngest patient my surgeon had done a total hip replacement on. I was normally active, physically fit and vibrant. Dancing and yoga were two of my favorite things. But the deterioration of my hip had taken it’s toll. I could barely get around on a cane at that point. Surgery was vital and quickly needed in my case. He completely turned on me at that point.

    He had been nasty, cruel, abusive and beyond mean for a few years prior to this and now he just let it rip. Long story short – a few weeks later he threw me out of our marital home in a screaming narcissistic rage one morning as I was limping around getting ready for work. I threw some clothes and personal items in the back of my car, left, and never went back. Something in my snapped or woke up and I knew that I had to get away from him. (I cancelled my surgery which was scheduled within the next couple of weeks. I couldn’t go through major surgery and this trauma at the same time.) I got an apartment, continued working and had the surgery 4 months later WITHOUT HIM. He had already filed for divorce at that point. If he had not filed, I’m sure that I would have filed very soon. It ripped my guts out, but I knew I had to get away from him. It has been almost a year since my surgery and I am walking like a champ. I am rebuilding my life one day at a time. I cry when the memories of the abuse overwhelm me and then I push forward. These men are twisted, evil and sick. I did not know about narcissism and the evil cruelty that spews from this disorder/mental illness. He asked a new woman that he had only known for six weeks to move in with him in the house we used to share. I am still alone and trying to find a loving partner. No, it is not fair – far from it. It seems that these evil, vile men continue to triumph while we, their victims, continue to deal with the aftermath of the abuse. But I am determined to do the best I can to live a beautiful life, as hard as it is on some days.

    • Good for you! You do indeed have the soul and strength of a survivor. I agree we deal with the aftermath of their vile behavior – male or female. It is difficult to accept but accept it we must and move on so we are not victims forever. Living well is the best revenge is worth remembering. Thanks for sharing. Best, Ann

      • Boy the more I read Tthe more I think is that my husband how can he be in all this place? It took me two years to walk after a freak accident and he couldn’t t even be there after surgery or the two after that. Then when my disability came thru had the gall to pull off a heart-a-tack which just showed he had a stroke at some time back?… Told the dr. He was stressed out hell if it wasn’t for my Mother at that time she was alive who cared for me on the couch she was to old to help me shower so I crawled to the bath room while he watched and did nothing, so I went and found work and know my body is really out of whack and I can’ t reapply for my benefits. Why are we attracted to men that are like this makes me question myself and the value I have put on myself.

  13. Hi everyone..The guy I live with has written 2 books. The first one he is actually trying to convince everyone he’s the messiah. I met him over 9 years ago.

    He and his wife had separated for a few months and he fled and drove around the country for weeks. I met him online and he appeared charming. I fell for it as I had been married to an alcoholic man for over 17 years. I grew up in abuse.

    He didn’t work for almost 2 years when he first arrived. I was working for a doctor all along. Then he got a few jobs contracting but most never lasted longer than 6 months. The job he is working now has been over 2 years. In March this year, I decided to quit my job and design jewelry for work. He makes 5 times what I did so financial was not a problem. The problem is this…I get compliments on my work! I’m finally doing something I like. I think I earned that right. I’m almost 55. I raised 3 kids mostly on my own and the job I was working just about put me over the edge. But now, he is finishing me off. I get called “stupid bitch” in his raging voice. Everything is my fault and I put him in finacial stress. But he can afford to wine and dine his co-workers and pay the waitress big tips. He can afford to live the good life. And now he is back to smoking pot. He is gone M-F stays in a hotel all paid for. He even buy his co-workers gifts but tells me I can tape my hair dryer back together. His behavior is different in public…loves to buy and tends to target the needy ones. Yeah, I am emotionally drained. He is worse than the cancer my son had because there is NO hope for him. He is a loser all around!

  14. It sounds like a lot of women want to wed narcissistic, alpha male a**holes and then they aren’t so happy about what they’ve got; the children certainly aren’t. Reminds me of the story about Zeus eating his offspring.

  15. I’m so relieved to have stumbled upon you, this gives me hope that I’m not crazy! My Dad is 86 and I live here with him after a separation with my husband who was controlling and verbally abusive and the last year I haven’t found a job, so I feel helpless in my life . When I was able to pay him cash for staying here he mostly just went thru my things which was irritating and oh course defined it and would really get mad saying I was crazy! Now he takes my things and hides them, moves them and then when I ask him if he might have seen them he tells me I ‘m nuts!

    I have set him up a few times just too see and he takes the bait every time but there is so many times that he has done this to me I’ m starting to question maybe I am? Please help find perspective back in my life and help me to take back the control of my feelings. I feel helpless Stacy

    • Stacy, What you describe is called gaslighting (from a movie long ago of that name in which a husband hid jewelry from his wife and made her think she was going crazy. I think every narcissist plays some version of this trick). It is really, really maddening. I’ve had it happen and I know how bad it is. No, you are not crazy, you are the victim of someone setting you up. He does it because he can. He knows how to get to you, so if you can, don’t allow him to do so any more. He’s pushing your buttons and knows it – breaking you down, wearing you down so he can control you. This is all about power and control in a very abusive way.

      You aren’t helpless. Please, please, look up the phrase learned helplessness (coined by Martin Seligman, PhD). This condition makes you think you have no options and you overlook opportunity to take control. Your emotions are the one thing you can begin to control. You can’t control his thoughts or behavior, only your own.

      I can’t tell from your post if you are back with your husband or not. Clearly you need to find a path away from him. Plan, plan, plan – do it in stealth mode so he can’t take over – and as you do, feel the hope. That’s you, coming back….to yourself, to who you are, to life again. No one can function with an abusive individual. It’s like trying to make a sandwich with rotten ingredients. It doesn’t help, it makes you ill. Time for growth and taking control..Ann

      • Dear Ann, yes I’ m working on that I’ ve reached a point here with my family that there is not a place nor room for me and I need to move on. I will miss my Grand children but, if I can find work else where I must go on. Looked up helpless And I’ m stronger then that They have trained me to be okay with abuse and say it is normal! You have inspired me to work on myself and get the help I need. I will find away to get your book for me. Stacy Thank You for being there in a time of desperation.

  16. Hello – I just found your web-site. I grew up with a narcissistic father and today my manager told me that I had victim mentality. The definition of that on the internet varies quite a bit so I was happy to come across your site as it pinpointed my situation more. I look forward to reading it more in-depth.

    I have communication issues with my supervisor (who is male) and if they can’t be worked out then I am out of a job. I’m desperate to help myself do what I can to change, however in the past I’ve looked at myself as the only problem and my manager assured me today it was a two way street. I am back in therapy and working on adjusting my meds.

    I am frustrated because my boss is a nice guy and works right along with us – I know that how I respond to him has a lot to do with our communication problems; my constant expectation of being beaten down. It doesn’t help that our conversations are about what I need to change and very rarely any positive feedback. It hit me today that he has never said anything about my job performance – it is always about my self-confidence level and my need of reassurance, anger, etc. that comes through in my communication…

    When I am dealing with patients I have none of these issues (I am in the medical field). If you have any advice of books to read or other resources I’ll be glad to look into them.

    • Hi – My immediate thought is that you look into the field of positive psychology which focuses on what is right with us instead of what is wrong. Work from your strengths and your self confidence improves. One thing I see that is a positive is your insight into problem solving. You identified issues and then gave voice to them. This is a great communication skill. You also say you work well with patients. Why? How? Think about what you do there that works so well and do what is called ‘broaden and build.’ Use those skills in other arenas. I suggest teh book Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman PhD. I read it during my divorce and it kept me sane, taught me skills and was a game changer. For so long therapy has focused on what is wrong with us and ignored the character strengths and the positives. Look for them and use them and respect them. People are not static – you can change. But your supervisor may be stuck in old fashioned human resource mode: look for the negatives and give feedback so the employee can improve. Works sometimes, yes, but, we’ve come far from that place. Take a look at Marty’s book. I think you might enjoy. Best, Ann

  17. I’m struggling to overcome victim mentality. I was adopted as an infant and raised by a N mother, if that wasn’t enough I then went on to marry an N. All the N characteristics I despise about my mother became larger than life in the man I vowed to spend the rest of my life with.

    After twenty plus years of abuse from him I legally demanded he leave our home. That was five years ago and we’re not divorced as he refuses to let go. He’s an extreme Narcissist, engaging in illegal activity for profit while portraying himself to be a savvy entrepreneur.

    With him what you see is definitely not what you get! Behind closed doors he’s highly abusive mentally, verbally, emotionally and sometimes physically. No matter what I said or how I said it, if I cried, begged, or spoke kindly, nothing changed his course of action and I was inevitably the one at fault. While I was not “beat up” I was infact “beat down” both by him and my mother (who I have no contact with). Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a life so full of pain and angst. The constant chaos, fear, and the day to day drama of living with a Narcissist is exhausting, confusing and overwhelming. While he was out “conducting business” with his cohorts I was working, raising our two children, caring for our home and trying to make things look “normal”. As a direct result my nerves are raw and I frequently run on emotional overload. In my experience living with Narcissistic abuse changes who we are and who we want to be.

    • Oh my…I have read my life. I too have the added complication of being adopted by an N. Mother then marrying male versions of her. It is pure hell the the path I have been on for 40 yrs.

  18. Thanks to all of you! I felt like crying and now I just want to get out of here.

    For the last five years this man has cheated, stole from stores, lied to me about everything. If I say yes he says no, if I rant or cry he mocks me, laughs at me, sneers at me. My feelings mean nothing to him nor does my health.

    Recently I broke out it hives head to toe. When I said I need to go to the hospital he did not want to take me. My eyes swelled shut then I had a reaction to the medicine that left my lip and eyes swelled and had to cope for two weeks this way.

    I have severe migraines since being with him and there were times he left me laying on the bathroom floor crying to go out to eat. After the incident with the hives I stopped sleeping in the bed with him, he stopped having sex with me in July unless it is convenient to him. I don’t speak to him and he has control of the money, transportation and has run off all my friends. He and his friends belittle me constantly sometimes all day until I would be in tears or having an anxiety attack. There have been times I thought he was putting something in my water. I would get ill and now I throw away anything that he has had access to. This man is pure evil.

    A few times he hurt me sexually and a few times he tried to get physical. I stood up to him and that only made him smile. I read these stories and it reminds me how I always try to justify things. I started going to school online last year and he broke three of my computers and this one he owns and I don’t want to quit school. But I believe that tomorrow I will call the women’s shelter and get the hell out of here. The thing is I am afraid of him. The last time I left after 6 months I began dating and one day the new guy and I were joking on my bed cloths on and I look up and Mark was standing at the window, then I got emails about knowing where this guy and his kids lived I stopped seeing him and two weeks later took mark back. He is only interested in himself.

    • Please, don’t take chances. Take care of yourself. You have been the victim of crimes. No one should have to put up with this or be afraid to take action with the proper agencies. Glad to hear you are getting help. That’s excellent. Be well, Ann

  19. My Dad was a Narcissist with explosive behavior. My sister and I worked through our issues which took time, patience and a lot of self and ‘other’ awareness. I credit my initial exploration of meditation and subsequent practice of Buddhism with helping me focus and reconstruct a shattered self. I did not put a name to my Dad’s disorder until recently but knew from a very early age that something was really unhealthy in our household and mindfully removed as much of my energy from the destructive behavior as possible.

    My brother followed in our Dad’s footsteps and convinced our Dad to leave control of over $ 500,000.00 of our parent’s estate to him. This is a cautionary note to any children of Narcissists’ please ask the question before it is too late. My sister and I did not approach our Dad about his will basically because money was another form of control for him and we were afraid of that topic and although we knew our brother was bad news we did not realize just how monstrous he would be.

    The other reason for the post is to ask what actions might be taken to unhinge him and force him to give us at least some of our inheritance. I am contemplating letting him know I plan to write a letter exposing his recent behavior as well as past deviant acts (he sexually abused me at the age of nine) and send this to his boss and neighbors and anyone else who he may know.

    Civil responses are welcomed.

    Thank you

  20. I’ve just recently stumbled onto your site and researching this topic once again. It’s really helped me a lot, thank you, and to all those who have suffered and are survivors.

    Some days I am still in so much denial, the next day I feel empowered like I haven’t felt in at least two years, then back down into questioning myself, him and anything.

    The hardest part is wrapping my mind around the fact that in the initial part of our relationship my partner is the one who introduced me to literature about psychopaths and narcs due to my previous short term relation with a man who quickly became abusive after luring me into moving with him rather quickly, a decision I’ve regretted ever since. An attempt at my life was made in a short 6 months of knowing him and I fled. I spent the last two years or I thought rebuilding my life. And it was hard.

    I never connected,who would? The literature I had read to my current partner, but only in terms of my previous partner whom I fled. However, since day one, aside from his intensive interest in psych. literature and seemingly to diagnose anyone he knows or loves when I look back now it seems so much more obvious that he started subtle ways to tell me I was crazy …..

    Just before two year mark, he told me to go to therapy or he’d leave me. I did and am going. I went believing him and after some months everything changed and now I go to therapist for me and my therapist opened my eyes.

    And now I am just recently informed from my partner his therapist recently told him he has at least narc. tendencies or more, although two years ago his therapist had not shared that with him. I now wonder if any of this is even true? He wants us to go to therapy each and together, but only recently I am not sure I am up to it.

    I have been wrecked to such a degree that I could never put words to it, finger it, explain it…. to him or my therapist until she helped me. I am not of low intelligence and have many years of formal education, yet have never met any one in close relations quite like this and I’ve always felt something wrong but could never word it somehow.

    In my previous relationship which manifested as abusive, also a first for me in my life, there was physical abuse and outright name calling. Somehow I can deal with that better and have overcome those experiences, yet I am disheveled and brocken apart, and have not left my current relationship of over two years where there is no physical abuse, no direct verbal abuse, but an insidious indirect manner of emotionally and verbally abusing me with suggestions, crazy making gas lighting and so many techniques described here.

    I vowed I would never get in bad situation again and here I am, but didn’t see it coming as so different then my ex partner. And this time I just can’t leave, as we are so enmeshed in life realities whereas with my ex partner we were not and so much easier to flee. I am now planning exit plan and taking my time, but it almost seems like as I do this my partner senses it somehow and everything just keeps getting worse and worse and I only hope I have enough time because I already know how hard it is to leave with 50 cents in your pocket because your ‘partner’ is financially abusing you and withholding any assets to control, and I’m not sure I can do that all over again. I’ve been there, yet I feel weak, or is it smarter to try to make sure I’m safe as well while making my exit plans? I have no family, so can’t run there as there is no ‘there’, so I need more planning. Last time I fled because my life was threatened and attacked, whereas my current partner does not attack me physically, just my soul.

    Thank you, All the Best, Stay Strong

    • Be safe. Be calm and make your exit plan. Doing so will give you hope and calm your fears. Keep yourself healthy mentally and physically and you will be in condition to handle and plan your exit.Take your time. Best, Ann

  21. Ann i am having a very hard time. I am in the middle of a seperation of a verbally abusive narssitic man who is doing everything to break me not only financially emotionally and close personal relationships. I have become isolated and very insecure. I am doing everthing to follow up on the restaining order violations and the court contimpts why am I feeling that what I am doing is so wrong and sad. In the past year I have been kicked out with 2 children rebuilt my life have been to court over a dozen times still nothing settled yet in a wonderful relationship and now I have turned him in for another violation and I am feeling that I am doing the wrong thing. I have read studies and many books on this matter and really having a very hard time understanding why everytime he does something to violate me I am the one who feels responsible for it.

    • Please look up positive psychology – the study of what is right with us, not what is wrong. I think you will like it and find some pathways for yourself. Learning to trust yourself when doing difficult things is not easy for women to do at times. And realize this: it is sad what you are going through. It is ok to feel sad but not ok to be a doormat. Socialization of women has not always been the best and still leaves a lot to be desired. Your journey is difficult, not impossible and the more you do for yourself and the kids the more you will process many emotions. Normal, normal,normal! I think you are going to be just fine. Accept what comes, don’t drown in the feelings and learn to find new ways of using your strengths. That’s what positive psych is about. Best to you, Ann

  22. Thank you for pointing out that it’s the grandiosity that causes the N to be so over involved in the failures of others. This describes to a T why my husband rages when one of our sons makes a tiny little error.

  23. I have been brought up with narcissist mother and siblings the worst one of my siblings were my brothers. I have escaped and trying to heal and move forward it is very hard when I reported them with her of support and counselling they all ganged up even my sister who was abused and continues to put up with it and they all accused me of being the crazy one and the one who was getting them back etc the police and my support worker believed them and called me a liar to my face and dropped the case. The worker then proceeded to pretend to listen to all I endured which included physical abuse and sexual abuse at the hands of my family. While I was trapped there I had been abused by another family member my step dad physically and sexually and a neighbour and Also raped by a stranger and also abused by my ex. I expressed those to my experiences too because I was still overwhelmed and fled abuse there and then after 22 years of it and I wasn’t sure if I had caused it or if it was me or them it was so painful and I was forced to repress it they also abused the animals living with them my family I mean I witnessed the murder drowning of our bunnies in the bath and the murder by hammer smashing of our kittens and puppies out the back that as also scarred me for life.
    Every time I expressed it it was minimised and squashed down down by support workers and counsellors like it didn’t happen or wasn’t a big deal. And it’s left me confused and alone and more of a mess in my head.
    What I struggle with now is being a victim over and over again
    Verbal abuse by strangers
    Groups I joined to help me instead of isolating myself and committing suicide turn and call me attention seeker or using PTSD as excuses
    I’ve been attacked for my achievements and my faith and only because I shared them and my progress not for support to encourage others of the possibilities it is all I have to believe in when I struggle how far I’ve come already and to help another soul keeps me striving and fighting and healing to be attacked for it has made me really ill
    My worse tho is feeling like a victim again who has no control of my safety or rights or boundaires
    There are many narcissists out there not just in families and I’m learning that
    I’m not good at defending myself with PTSD defence attack flaring up
    I’m learning about healthy defence where you don’t be victim either by attacking or walking away where instead you put out the flame and feed for the fire
    I think it is pretty hard to do that but I want to try
    I’ve had so much attack s online which is making me very very ill
    But without being online I’m isolated and suicidial
    I can’t win
    This is very very helpful because it recognises that PTSD an injury and fight flight freeze responses are the real problem when it comes up against verbal attacks
    When a group admin on a suicide group attacked me when I first seeked out for help she was the one who claimed me as attention seeking and minimised my illnesses etc she got to banned me from the group after she verbally attacked me
    I find really hard to break the victim label and hold on me now
    Because all the authority abusers their power and I am usually the one left with it without any power control over the treatments I get while
    The police make a joke out of my injuries and believe the narcissists and don’t take it further
    While group admins abusers you and ban you when your in real crisis
    Where other narcissist online attack who you re your progress your faith etc and some how come across as the ones as the victim and while you being calm and keeping yourself protected look like the attacked so in the end you get a gang up of people attacking you in their favour land there isn’t anything you can do about it
    If I isolate myself completely in life and offline
    I’ll get sicker
    But if i don’t
    I’m victim to self esteem self hatred all the things you mentioned above and I don’t live or feel safe at all
    Either way I’m not healing or growing
    I need to know how to win
    How to be in control of further attacks
    How to be safe
    How to also be believed when I’m victim
    And how my past haunting especially made worse by the authority of police which is making all this other things way way harder to move on from can be solved and made right and better

  24. Having lived with my partner of 14 years, I came home on the 24th Feb to find a note on the kitchen table to say he was not happy and had decided that to disappear was the best option for him. We had cuddled up in bed together that morning and he had given me a big hug and kiss as normal before I left for work) The letter was all about him and his needs. The house looked like it had been burguled and I went into deep shock. He emptied the joint account, took what he wanted with no regard for my feelings. I felt violated. All at a time when my father is fighting cancer.

    I knew my mother in law was self -absorbed and had a very “special” relationship with her son, the golden child. It is only from reading about my partner’s self absorbed behaviour, showing no remorse for my wellbeing, that I am beginning the think he is possibly the 3rd generation narcissit in the family.

    My partner’s gandmother, had 4 children by different men, commited bigamy and had no interest in raising her children (accept my mother in law who was the golden child). She was favoured, whilst her brother was neglected, criticised and finally driven to nervous breakdown by his mother.
    So my mother in law was the golden child, when I first met her she was charming, witty and engaging. A counsellor / pychotherapist by profession she had a number of sycophantic friends who polished the pedalstool she put herself upon. Gradually these disappeared and everytime we would meet she would be completely over the top, boasting about her acheivements and how great her clients thought she was. She never showed any interest in me, what I did, or my wellbeing. Overtime I became aware of her history, she was divorced from my partner’s father and fleeced him for every penny she could get (boasting how well she did from the settlement). She constantly put down her new partner, calling him all names under the sun, all she wanted from him was his money and a certain lifestyle. When the finances were no longer there to provide the lifestyle, thats when she kept calling more, all times of day, even if my partner had done a 12 hour day, as soon as her got home he had to ring his mum. She always referred to him as her son, treating him like he was still 5 years old (making him milk jelly when he went to visit). Then only he would get invited to see his mother (she only visited us in our home about 6 times in 14 years), I wasn’t invited as she was tired and wanted special time with her son. She decided she was unhappy and wanted to leave her partner, so asked my partner to buy her a home (he declined and said that the money was for our future together). She had an accident and became even more self absorbed, she wanted her son at her beck and call. For a while my partner was aware of his mother’s manipuation, boasting and arrogance and was embarrased by her behaviour. She took great pride in my partner’s profession, boasting to anyone who would listen.

    During these 14 years my partner and I had a good standard of living, travelled, had a number of shared interests, I thought he was my soul mate for life. My parents treated him as their son, held respect for him and valued his opinion.

    Then in May 2015 my father took ill, my partner started getting stressed in July, acting weird, crying, couldn’t sleep. Dad was diagnosed with cancer in September. In October when dad started chemo and was stable, I suggested we had a break (we hadn’t had one since June). He went mad at me, saying didn’t I realise how much work he had on his plate and how dare I put pressure on him to take a few days away from work. I agreed to just taking 2 days at the end of the month when his work pressure should have subsided. I came home from work on many days (he often worked from home) to find he had not progressed any further with his work, he would be in tears and get himself wound up. He was a total perfectionist and was receiving criticism that the work he was doing was over due and when he finished it, it wasn’t at the standard required. We had a rental property, but he was unable to cope with the issues raised by the current tennants, so I dealt with that, along with my partner’s stress and dad’s cancer.

    He insisted he had time for himself, gym twice a week, boys night out every Monday and frequently spent hours engrossed in movies. He worked in his office most nights until 7, so I made tea, ensured the washing was done, etc (after my day at work).

    By January I hadn’t taken a weeks leave in over 6 months, I was exhausted, had back problems, couldn’t sleep and my health was suffering. I was spending a fortune at the physiotherapist, who advised I needed a good break, as she felt a lot of the symptoms were due to stress. When I told my partner he went mad, screaming how dare she recommend a break. No thought for my health or wellbeing. So I carried on, visiting my parents who live 130 miles away every few weeks. Supporting them.

    He then started to put down our friends, saying why should we bother with them. My sister asked if she could stay the night and he said “what does she do for us, tell her to get a hotel”.

    I suddenly realised we were always using my car on trips out. He no longer volunteered to treat me to lunch, he put it on the joint card. Then we needed a new kitchen bin, he wouldn’t agree to spend money on one.

    Days later he left, all planned with the help of his mother a counsellor and therapist. He had been seeing her on a regular basis and she had been phoning him throughout the day when she thought I was at work. Many times he stopped or changed the conversation when I walked into the room. At the time I was too exhausted to think about it in detail. She had taken the month of February off work as she was tired, on Valentine’s weekend she had been on the phone to him on the Friday, and he had said to her “no mum, not this weekend”. It was obvious the only person he had talked to regarding any unhappiness was his mother, wanting her golden child back home, no doubt manipulatimg him, pushing him to make a decision.

    Since he left, he has done nothing but dig in the knife further. Boasting nothing I could say or do would make him change his mind, now he has had time to think about his actions he has done the right thing. He won’t speak to me by phone, his whole mother’s side of the family have obviously been ordered not to have contact with me. He has totally fleeced me and taken advantage.I feel violated. He has caused immense stress on my parents, mum already stressed having been caring for dad for 6 months, dad fighting cancer not needing any further trauma after intensive chemo. Within a few days dad should have some results.
    How can someone cause so much devistation on a family who loved him for 14 years even sleep at night? How can his mother (a counsellor) support and aid her son, knowing how abandoned me with little explanation leaving me in shock, grief and to deal with betryal? She would know this was the most crippling and devistating impact he could have. Especially at a time when dad is ill.
    It is early days for me and potentially more life changing news to deal with within the next few days. Any support, help, suggestions, thoughts much appreciated

    • What a story – you have been through an enormous shock. Deep regrets for all of it and I am sure I speak for all who read your story. I am only theorizing here but it sounds like he had a breakdown a while ago, hid it from you, and strategized with his mother behind your back and she suggested he leave. What caused his breakdown (if that’s in fact what it was) I don’t know. It sounds like planning to exit might have become addictive and assisted in calming him down. None of this is your fault. I am wondering if he would have acted differently had he been able to discuss his issues with a competent therapist – or even, sans his mother in the picture, if he could have done this with you.

      People who are struggling are often very good at hiding their feelings – his cuddling with you is proof of that. Don’t blame yourself for not knowing what he was thinking. He’s deeply disturbed but you don’t have to be. This is a huge loss and you need time to grieve, but it should not, and does not, have to destroy you.

      Many therapists have been identified as sociopaths and narcissists – his mother is one of them. She has taught him well and at the same time, been very destructive to his mental health. And thus to you. As far as not talking to you, he knows that talking to you might undo what he has done and he needs to feel secure in his decision – and to please mom.

      Take time to grieve – this is a huge loss.

      I wish you all the best going forward.

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