Victims of NPD Relationships: Stages of Recovery

“Narcissism is an evil that masquerades as good. Like a Pied Piper this master illusionist can lead you to Hell all while making you feel flattered to be chosen to go there. Only when you wake up in Hell do you realize the real evil that existed in his fluted song. By then it’s too late; not only have you fallen victim, but most likely you have paid for the flute, as well.” ~Tigress Luv

Stages of recovery from narcissistic abuse can be viewed in two different ways. The first is four stages, or levels, which are based on time/distance from the narcissist as well as on actions-things you need to do to leave the narcissist. The second is based on the stages you will go through with your feelings as you leave the narcissistic relationship behind.

Levels of Recovery

Level One: It has just dawned on you that you’ve been in a relationship with someone who has the traits of a narcissist. You may or may not have left the relationship but are clearly intending to. You have gone to a therapist or a recovery group to get support in leaving and coping with your current situation. You are probably in a lot of pain but at this point you just want some relief from the toxic interactions and abuse. The therapist or support group should provide you with lists of contacts– help organizations, law enforcement agencies, other women in similar situations, domestic violence shelters, and victims’ support groups both online and in your city. Seek to learn everything you can about narcissism. Knowledge will empower you as well as reduce your sense of isolation and worthlessness. Education is a very important tool in the recovery process. You need to become aware of the prevalence and nature of violence perpetrated by narcissists, stalking, warning signs and red flags, legal rights/procedures if needed, as well as coping strategies.

Level Two: You are out of the relationship and have truly ended it. It has been less than three months since the relationship ended. You have cut off all possible contact with the ex including Email, Instant Messaging, Phone, Letters, and Third Party Communication. (This is essential). The only exception is if you have children. If you have children you have set up some kind of third party mediation to handle all business. You are still in a lot of pain but feel you are making some progress.

Level Three: You have had no contact with the narcissist for at least six months. You have regained some degree of sanity and feel you are back in control of your life. You may have weak moments and difficult days but feel you are progressing It is important to stick with counseling or the support group to help you through the difficult days..

Level Four: You have had no contact with the narcissistic personality for at least a year. Your life has moved on and you are feeling so much stronger than you did when you first started.

Stages of Recovery- Feelings

(The following is adapted from the NPD site on MSN

1) The Road kill Stage: The first stage is when you hit bottom due to your experience with a Narcissist. You are exhausted from the constant turmoil, lies and abuse. You are tired of walking on eggshells, living in fear of setting off his rage and abuse.

2) The Realization Stage: This is when your questions begin to get answered and you now have a name for what you have been dealing with all this time. You begin to research everything you can find on Narcissism. Although you feel better that you know, the sense of betrayal begins to painfully sink in. Unfortunately, you start to feel angry at yourself for letting it go on for so long.

3) The Anger Stage: The full impact of what you went through hits home and all hell breaks loose! You are angry at the narcissist but also at yourself. Anger is uncomfortable, but it is a necessary step towards healing. At first, it feels like an erupting volcano but then it decreases and you can focus on how to get through.

4) Taking Affirmative Action Stage: This is when you begin to effectively focus your new-found knowledge into making life decisions. This is also when you begin to learn- and practice- techniques on how to protect yourself from the Narcissist. This is the stage where you may decide on divorce, relocating, changing jobs, or other lifestyle changes. This is a time of great upheaval, because the Narcissist knows that the “gig is up” The Narcissist will fight you tooth and nail to win. This is a crucial stage in healing, because it is at this stage that the Narcissist will also try to “put on the charm” in an attempt to return things to how they were. However, when the charm doesn’t work, the Narcissist can be very vicious at this stage.

5) The Fall-Out Stage: At this stage, you become more comfortable in your knowledge of how to deal with the Narcissist. It is where you begin to forgive yourself and begin to feel better about yourself and your abilities. You are actively planning your future, getting to know “you” again, and you notice how much better you feel, physically and emotionally, out of the presence of the Narcissist. Although you begin to get your confidence back, you may still experience the waves of the prior stages; it seems to come in cycles, but these will diminish in intensity over time.

6) The Mirroring Stage: Not everyone goes through this stage, it is a personal decision. This is when you mirror the Narcissist’s behavior back at them, effectively scaring them off. It allows some people to siphon off the anger and project it back to the person who caused it. It is quite effective in scaring off the Narcissist, but sometimes it takes many sessions of “mirroring” before the stubborn Narcissist finally “gets it”. Unfortunately for many victims, many Narcissists aren’t willing to accept that it is over(if they don’t “win”) and continually try to get back under the victim’s skin using guilt, fear, pity, threats, violence and financial abuse. Some Narcissists keep coming back seeking more narcissistic supply. DO NOT, under any circumstances, give the Narcissist any narcissistic supply!

7) Realization and Apathy: Once you effectively block all means of communication with the Narcissist, protect yourself from them, gain knowledge and confidence in yourself, you then reach a stage of realization that there was nothing you could have done to prevent the nightmare that you just lived through. You start looking working toward your new future and close the door on the Narcissist. The most effective way to do this is with apathy. Apathy works. It requires very little work on your part. If the narcissist is still trying to keep you engaged, you simply don’t display any outward emotions toward the Narcissist.

They want to be able to evoke an emotional response from you. If they can’t make you love them, they will try to make you hate them. If you don’t give them anything, eventually, they will move on to the next victim as they have to get their narcissistic supply “fix”. This stage can take some time, because as we know, the Narcissist does not give up on precious supply sources easily.

References:

  1. www.narcissism-abuse-recovery.com/narcissism-support-group.html
  2. http://narcissism101.com/CopingwithNarcissists/victim%27sstages.html
  3. http://www.psychforums.com/narcissistic-personality/topic39399.html
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About Alexander Burgemeester

39 Responses to “Victims of NPD Relationships: Stages of Recovery”

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  1. Jennifer says:

    You have communicated this needed information very well. Thank-you.

  2. Jillian Evans says:

    “Holding Back The Years” (simply Red)

    Holding back the years
    Thinking of the fear I’ve had so long
    When somebody hears
    Listen to the fear that’s gone
    Strangled by the wishes of pater
    Hoping for the arms of mater
    Get to me the sooner or later

    Holding back the years
    Chance for me to escape from all I’ve known
    Holding back the tears
    Cause nothing here has grown
    I’ve wasted all my tears
    Wasted all those years
    And nothing had the chance to be good
    Nothing ever could yeah

    I’ll keep holding on
    I’ll keep holding on
    I’ll keep holding on
    I’ll keep holding on
    So tight

    I’ve wasted all my tears
    Wasted all of those years
    And nothing had the chance to be good
    Cause nothing ever could oh yeah

    I’ll keep holding on
    I’ll keep holding on
    I’ll keep holding on
    I’ll keep holding on
    Holding, holding, holding

    That’s all I have today
    It’s all I have to say

  3. Jennifer says:

    I cannot seem to let go completely and stay away from my abusive ex-partner. Things officially ended last January and there have been periods of no contact that I’ve been able to maintain the longest being a month, but somehow I keep going back for more abuse and pain. I’ve been seeing a therapist and though it has helped I keep letting him come and go as he pleases. I know he’s been with other people but as early as a week ago he came back and gave me a deadline to be with him 100% and on his terms otherwise he told me to go F myself forever. He has been squatting in a home that has gone into foreclosure and then he told me that he’s staying with a “friend” When I ask him where or who’s he’s staying with he tells me that it’s none of my business since we’re not together, I wasn’t a real partner and there when he needed me, and that he’ll only disclose any information when and if we are back together. He’ll constantly tell me not to contact him and then I don’t and just when I start to feel a bit better he comes back around like he knows I might be a little better and I get hurt and set back all over again. I keep looking at his public postings on Google and this past weekend I saw a reply publicly from a female and of course because I’m a glutton for punishment I found postings on another social media site where he is “following” her and she’s “following” him. I deleted the account I had on that site because the only reason I created it was because he asked me to in order to send me things about he wanted to dress me etc. It cuts me right to my core because that’s what he’s doing with her now. I’ve been crying nonstop, cannot focus on work, and am an emotional wreck. I waste so much time trying to figure out why he does these things to me. I’m stuck thinking how happy he is with her and how miserable I am. I also think that she must be better than me and I’m comparing myself to her and how lucky she is because I’m sure he’s being so great and doing all the nice things and events he used to do for me with her now. I don’t understand why he keeps coming back to me if he’s found someone else? Why tell me he still loved me and wanted an “us” and then I see the other female? Is he with her? Did he do all this on purpose for me to see? Does he think I’m an idiot and it’s a game to him to see if I’ll keep hanging around? I’m so hurt and feel so unbelievably low. I know I deserve better treatment. I wish he would stop treating me this way. I wish I was stronger and felt better about myself. I wish I understood why he keeps doing this to me. He’s called me the most horrible names, spit on me, has hit me and degraded me in the worst possible ways- yet I still love him. Any insight would be helpful.

    • PGH says:

      Your heart hasn’t yet acknowledged that the malignant narcissist in him is evil (demonic) at the core and getting away with it.

      Healing will only occur when you acknowledge that you are dealing with someone who has consciously chosen evil and is proud of it.

    • lynn says:

      Hello,
      I wanted to check to see how you are doing. Sounds like you were a few steps behind me and I have never posted or replied to any post ever on any site but I wanted to see how you are and maybe there is something I can say that may help you.

      I was on my own with this false life I was living and had to just deal with it. No family or friends to help me but it’s great that these sites are available. I had a best friend of 15 years that was who I always went to for any emotional support and when I was not with him after relying on him for years and I had no other support in place, it was so unbearable. I finally opened up to God for help, asking him to help me do something that I was so of shame of even asking for help with….I couldn’t seem to stop my feelings for this person or my addiction or my dependence for his abuse…so instead of hiding behind shame and guilt and pain I finally ask for help with the desire to want these bad things for myself….help to loose the attraction and desire to be with this person that didn’t exist and to help me out of this hole I had fallen or been pulled or shoved into. . . I needed out of the place that didn’t exist and out of a place that was reality.

      Lynn

    • Evelyn Ryan says:

      You still have a victim codependent mentality.

      You must suck it up and accept this that you were targeted and need to go NO CONTACT.

      It is easier when your self worth and self esteem are at healthy levels and you believe you DESERVE better than this evil loser.

      You must correct your thoughts so your actions will follow.

      You have been brainwashed to mask healthy thoughts with this idiot’s these lies that serve him..

      This is NOT LOVE….accept it so you can move on.

      If you know better, you do better.

      Here are a list of personal rights and authorities to post and read several times a day. You were born perfect and must come into a healthy truth and stop living someone else’s lies. These will help you get their and show you and teach you what is normal and what normal boundaries are.
      ———————————————-

      Bill of Personal Rights

      I deserve the following anytime, anywhere and with anyone:

      •The right to be happy
      •Freedom of choice
      •The freedom to say what I please and the wisdom to know when to say it
      •The right to set personal boundaries on my time, feelings, expectations, money, sleep, property, and body
      •The right to always have my personal boundaries respected
      •The freedom to protect myself in a responsible and mature manner
      •The freedom to ask for what I want and need and the wisdom to know when and whom to ask
      •The right to have my needs and wants met
      •The right to exercise my innate creative abilities
      •The freedom to say “no” when dictated by my best interests
      •The right to respectful and dignified treatment
      •The right to know who I really am, unhindered and NOT through others’ tainted filters
      •The freedom to know what I want
      •The freedom to choose the life, food, clothes, friends, home, education, partner, lifestyle, religion, career, home or whatever I want
      •The right to assert my likes and dislikes
      •The right to voice my opinion
      •The right to accept myself for who I am
      •The right to accept compliments
      •The right to love and like whomever I choose
      •The right to be successful and to celebrate and be recognized for my success without insults, fear, jealousy, envy, denigration, diminishment, or reprisal
      •The freedom to regulate my thoughts and emotions without input from another person and without defending what I feel and believe
      •The freedom to cultivate and communicate my interests and points of view
      •The freedom to tolerate points of view that differ from mine
      •The right to accommodate or help another person without losing my own identity or bank account
      •The right to assert my rights without fear of rejection or abandonment
      •The right to assert my rights without fear of physical or mental punishment or other reprisals
      •The right to be likable and lovable in a healthy manner without pain and suffering
      •The right to pursue my own interests
      •The right to spend money I have earned on whatever I want.
      •The right to be healthy and fit
      •The right to abundance
      •The right to make mistakes
      •The right to not be perfect
      •The right to pursue my goals
      ———————————————————————-

      Bill of Personal Authority Rights

      Print these out and repeat this to your self 20 minutes a day.

      I ALLOW MYSELF THE FREEDOM – I DEMAND THE RIGHT:

      To recognize myself as the most important and interesting person in the world – a unique and precious part of life. There will never be another me in the history of creation.

      To love myself.

      To gain the skills, knowledge, and abilities to make the best decisions I can for myself.

      To go after my dreams.

      To live a harmonious peaceful angst-free life.

      To be the best I can be for myself, to obtain personal validation from myself.

      To feel warm and happy, kind and loving toward myself.

      To be selfish and take the time and effort to care for my own needs.

      To be treated with decency and respect from EVERYONE and to treat others accordingly.

      To realize that my character may be better than others.

      To realize at my divine center I am no better or worse, or more or less important, than anyone else in the entire world.

      To be different, to make mistakes, to be “wrong.”

      To take the time and effort to fulfill my own needs.

      To succeed and live a quality of life I aspire to.

      To be financially and emotionally independent.

      To be open and kind, loving and lovable – compassionate and helpful without pain and self sacrifice.

      To be healthy and energetic.

      To feel bad sometimes and to have “unacceptable” thoughts, images, desire and experiences.

      To change my mind.

      To be emotional – to love, to cry, to be angry.

      To be genuine – to not fulfill other’s images of me.

      To accept constructive criticism and request input from those I trust.

      To ask for help and accept help when I need it.

      To make mistakes and to learn from them.

      To be loyal, courageous, and exceptional – in both my personal and professional life.

  4. jan says:

    I have a narcissistic family and I was the scapegoat. Finally marrying late after I gave up my chosen one(probably a closet narcissist of course) due to intervention by my family (jealousy) and married one I felt the family would accept.
    25 years later and discarded and asset stripped, I found a description of narcissism/control/psychopathy. During the marriage the abusive, dishonest, sadistic and psychopathic controlling nature of my birth family had emerged into my sight.
    Now I am weakened and isolated. My willpower is down. my drive and creativity is down. I have some physical damage. All I built up materially and socially for now and next generation were destroyed. I dont care about the fool and the stupid family.
    But I have not rebuilt a life…… this is the information and support which is lacking.

    • Linda says:

      “Now I am weakened and isolated. My willpower is down. my drive and creativity is down. I have some physical damage. All I built up materially and socially for now and next generation were destroyed. I dont care about the fool and the stupid family.
      But I have not rebuilt a life…… this is the information and support which is lacking.”

      Jan, I am at this same stage, searching for ‘how to go on from here’!!

      It has been a year and a half, and I have not gone out with anybody since, I just do not feel up to it. I AM very grateful that I am not in that horrid situation anymore, but is THIS how I am going to live my life out? Would love to love again, but WHEN I will be able to trust a person again, I do not know….

      Maybe we should just mount the next bronc and see how hard we land!!!!! ;-)

      Regards Linda

  5. jan says:

    Reply to Jennifer: read Dee Graham: Loving to Survive. Brilliant short book. Societal Stockholm Syndrome. Available on free download at RadFem… google and then choose to buy.

    What he guy is “doing to’ you is just what they do. Its not personal. THey have a genetic issue which causes the brain structure to get pleasure from hurting others, and its a constant driver. If there is no one or no animal or plant to hurt they hurt themselves. They dont have guilt or ability to love etc so they mimic and their insides are empty. So they feed emotionally, copy, and are needy.
    As little kids they copy emotion as they dont feel it and work out how to trigger emotion in others and so manipulate… and get pleasure from hurting them emotionally. Of course they lie and cheat and blame others.. and project.

    Jennifer its not personal. You are in charge here, you decide. you get out.
    Be glad you dont have his child and it one too. He cannot love you, its just words to get you going. He feeds on your pain. Your pitiful easiness to control. I have been thru it many times.

    Whatever they do for anyone else it will not change. They cant, they are hard wired. Just laugh, you are lucky, you have been almost discarded because he has almost sucked you dry. You are a proper human.
    You cut him off. You RUN.

    • Jenni-Lynn says:

      Very well said Jan. Once the pieces click and you discover what they are, what you’re dealing with, then you KNOW not to pet the snake anymore. RUN! Run before it swallows you whole.

  6. Sad says:

    I hurt so bad right now! I wonder what is wrong with me to keep allowing this guy back into my life. I feel alone when I’m with him and yet devastated if I feel it’s over. Someone help me please, it’s been 6 long years and many broken promises. I have dealt with verbal abuse, cheating, neglect, lies and soooooo many break ups. I need to move on and as soon as I feel strong he comes around again. I can’t seem to stop loving him. I am an educated single mother with a good job. I am attractive and have so much love to give. I can’t get more than a few weeks of no contact. Please tell me what to do.

    • Stronger says:

      I think that you once grasp the understanding that they’ve only cared about themselves and that most of what they’ve shared has been fabricated, only then will you be able to move on and regain your self-esteem, confidence and your joy for living life. I’ve been no contact for the past 6 months and keep getting stronger and stronger with each passing day. I would recommend you read ‘without a conscience’ by Robert Hare and the Art of living by Epictitus. Both are good reads that will make it easier for you to pick yourself up and be on your way to freedom.

    • Jenni-Lynn says:

      The longer you’re away from him the clearer your mind and soul will feel. No Contact. It’s the only way to deal with them. Walking out of the fog will make you feel like the strong person you always were before this monster twisted you into what “served” HIS needs. Time to think about YOU for a change—put YOU first and heal. :)

    • Ark says:

      Just know you are not alone. We are all doing the right thing by reading these posts that have a lot in common and gaining as much knowledge as we can about Narc’s. I’ve been praying a lot and asking to take this person out of my mind, my heart and my soul forever. The damage that is induced upon us is disgusting and they know exactly what they are doing. I think we have to remember that we are lucky that we still have the chance to get out!

  7. Michelle says:

    Do you have any suggestions for what to do when the narcissist who is destroying you IS your therapist and despite tons of evidence in the therapists own writing the licensing board protects him?

  8. One thing I’m finding out about myself is that I am frequently attracted to and attract narcissist. After trying to figure out why my last relationship failed (again) and yes he returns to use me. Three times so far. The latest was to fly me to San Francisco was a perfect gentleman and within weeks the cracks started to show again and thank God I got out early this time but not without feeling more devastated that the last two times when I was with him & it ended. It hurt far more this time. Again confused by this latest episode & blaming myself that I wasn’t good enough I started google searching controlling men, I stumbled upon narcissists and what a revelation, this is what’s been going on in my life & many of my relationships. One thing I noticed is that people like myself who are involved with narcissst seem to have self esteem issues, ignore red flags and when it ends beg, wait, lower themselves, change who they are, don’t fight back and when it ends are devastated and unable to or have difficulty letting go. Many “normal” people would have kicked the narcissst to the curb and not walked but ran from the “N” Why don’t or didn’t I??? WTF Im decent looking 50 year old woman, size 2, drive a sports car, have a good job, nice apartment, workout & am somewhat intelligent. Now smoking cigarettes & haven’t been to the gym but three times in a month. Total knocked down like a set of dominos.
    Im starting to see when these “Ns enter my life I have boundary issues, my already shaken self esteem gets even lower. Being single isn’t always easy and Being alone isn’t a problem for me but I do get lonely at times which can make me vulnerable and when I took a look back at my relationships I now see i have often ended up with these “N” type of guys and why are they the hardest for me to to shake? I have to admit to myself in addition to healing from the latest episode, I’m going to have to take good look at what is it in me where I would tolerate the intolerable from a partner. Otherwise I will be in this place again with the same person or someone else. I may sound strong but the pain comes & goes, and at times is unbearable. But now armed with the knowledge of what a relationship with a narcissist does I’m trying not to beat up on myself. Trying to get it through my head it’s NOT ME! I’m not the first he’s hurt and I won’t be the last. I kinda feel bad for his ex wives (he told me some BS, why he’s twice divorced) and also feel bad for a kinda girlfriend he had while he was trying to get with me that I found out about. After that one I left him alone but not with having those thoughts of I wondering what she had that I didn’t, now I know, she was more willing to buy into his bullshit than I was. I’m sure he had her twisting in the wind just like me. Wow what she must of gone through with this a-hole. Probably worse than what I’ve gone through. Although I’ve been hurt & still hurting that I got played I can’t let my hurt feeling or pride lead me back to try to change an outcome because it will never happen. Jennifer, my heart breaks for you. But get out. Go to a co dependency meeting, if you have insurance make an appointment with a counselor & if you don’t have insurance there are free support groups somewhere. Don’t isolate yourself that’s the worse thing & what I usually do and isolation will get you head spinning in dark thought. Get help so you can at least take some baby steps and begin to hold your head up. I know it’s hard believe me but girl you gotta fight for yourself, I know how it is, hard to get out of bed, hard to do the simple things, unable to concentrate, obsessive thought and feeling down on yourself. Yep, all that shit I’ve been through, am going through. But fight for yourself, for your child, children your future. Taking some sort of Action will help. Keep breathing, keep reading post, you’ll hear your story in many post. It may take awhile but if you really put in a little bit of work the fog will clear enough so you take another step. No contact is harder than hell but it works, during no contact get help. If you slip keep trying & trying. One day you’ll be on your way but it’s a process that isn’t easy. I look at it this way the work to get out isn’t nearly bad as staying in it. At least now, I can begin to have some peace & worry about me instead of his ass. Jennifer, I thank you for your post it’s given me the strength to reach out to keep fighting for myself. Tears & Big hug!!

    • Shirl says:

      This site is a blessing. I just ended with my narc today after struggling with no contact for weeks. You are right staying in it is worse than getting out. We know we deserve better than what these narcs have to offer. When I told him it was over this morning and he knew I really meant it with time, he was shocked. I asked for my door key back and he said can he put it in my mailbox and I said no, I handed it to you and I expect for you to hand it back. This is a 15 year off and on relationship. I discovered he has been huting again and found one. She has only known him since November but she is in love with him already. And get this, she is a Psychologist. lol This should be interested. She is in for the ride of her life with this one. He gets bored easily and goes on the hunt for new meat so to speak and it always seem to happen in the Spring on up until the Fall and that is when he comes back to me, so I am left spending the summer alone. Well not this year. Reading stories on this site, I feel like I am reading my story. It has given me the strength and courage to move on. God bless everyone on here and just know you do it!

  9. anon says:

    is there a reason this article is gender specific? I am recovering from a friendship with a narcissist who was female.

  10. Mr Man says:

    I am also recovering from a relationship with a female narcissist.

    Almost 7 years of my life wasted. I saw the signs early on, tried to get out time and time again. It was hard.

  11. Andre says:

    BIASED against males! I have encountered WAY too many female narcissists with NPD. NPD does not discriminate on the basis of sex.

  12. Chrissy says:

    Hello to the men,
    I don’t have a specific statistic, but the majority of NPD’s are men, and their counterpart is the BPD woman. However there definately are women with NPD and men with BPD.
    I think there are more support groups online for partners of men with NPD because women tend to talk more, go to each other and share their vulnerable sides, their worries, etc, so seek out other women who have similiar experiences. (Again, many, many exceptions, and men are wise to connect with other men and women who are victims of NPD).
    I hope you can reverse the gender in any reading you come across in your mind, that talks about the NPD man. Just know, it’s not male-bashing. Well, it can be. But it shouldn’t be. Women likely feel a huge distrust of men after being with an NPD, even though they know there are good men out there, men now seem like too big of a risk as we heal. Perhaps you feel the same way about women now, after you have been a victim yourself. I think there is a period for some of us where we are very averse to the other gender, but as we heal and get educated we realize – it’s DEFINATLY not the gender, it’s the person!
    So please feel welcome, and congratulations for speaking up.

    • Jenni-Lynn says:

      Chrissy you explained that very well. I can see how men who visit these sites think it’s male bashing but they must know that women are here “N” bashing not male bashing. The anger and resentment and comments are on our computer screens because we’ve encountered narcissists and psychopaths–not because we’ve encountered men or dislike men. We have men in our lives who are good people–sons, fathers, coworkers, friends. It’s our relationships with the Narcs that we’re trying to understand by venting about them. Hopefully men who visit will stop thinking we’re male-bashing as us women who read the pain in their stories understand that the male victims don’t hate all women :)

  13. lynn says:

    Well I replied above before I read all of the replies already on here. I have never actually participated in any kind of post, replies, blogs…I guess I don’t or didn’t feel like I deserved any support for my mistakes in being in the dark place Ive been for years, but then when I read other post I want to offer help or support to others that are going through the same nightmare I have.

    I was wrong for being in the relationship and had no one to talk to because of the guilt shame and the fact that I don’t really have anyone close enough to share my horrible problems with, I guess I kind of have always felt like ” I made my bed, guess I have to lie in it”, . Ive always been the person with the happy face and smile and positive motivational things to say. I know that what I should do but Im broke down and it hurts, not easy to hide the pain anymore.

    Well not sure where I was going with this but I guess in one way or another this is the beginning of “my story” I guess that one of the proper steps in dealing with all of this is to write it down and start working on a better ending than in the past.

    I haven’t wanted to re live the pain or feel anything if I’m capable of tucking it away but I guess when I hear the pain from someone else I feel they deserve any help and support and hopefully I will think the same about myself as well.

    Best to all , hugs and prayers
    Lynn

  14. Jase says:

    Hi

    As a man completely shattered by a Narcissist woman I too like to voice my frustration and sadness at the regular assumption that its ok to term Narcissist and Men in the same bracket!

    I was a loving and committed partner who would put her first in every part of our lives. Never taking anything for granted. Committing my life to being together no matter what life throws at us.

    From the very start I was aware she was a breast cancer survivor and the mental/physical scares that would carry. I was proud to have a partner with such mental strength.

    However that wasnt enough. I too had to deal with a depleting permanent health problem which I have worked hard to overcome but for her it was a way to stab insults at me during arguments – a way to hit my sensitivities and vulnerabilities. Such insults as ‘poor you had to go back home to have your family look after you. boo hoo’..so on and so on!

    I still let those things ride and tried harder to make my partner as happy as possible. It became worse and anything I did was wrong and gaslighting (blamed for anything and everything) was a regular occurrence.

    In the end her gaslighting almost caused me to be bashed by a bunch of thugs and 6 months after the relationship to appear on a train knowing I will be on (40 hour journey) and hitting on men in front of me to get a rise! To the poor man she lured…I just hope you were smarter than me and realised early what a monster she really is.

    I could go on but my point of sharing my story is…PLEASE make articles on Narcissism non gender specific…it insults me and other men suffering from similar stories to condemn narcissism as a male disease.

    Thanks

    • kathlene says:

      Narcissistic mothers are demons! They cause a certain kind of trauma that is hard to put your finger on. Don’t worry we know npd is relevant to both sexes….don’t take it personal…these are pples experiences. I’m freaking surrounded by narcs!but I tend to be an empath…..like a magnet Npd pple are attracted to that! I am sorry for your pain- id give anything to find a good guy. My npd ex tried to kill me….but my npd mother she enjoyed it. Sick sick stuff! Keep on keeping on! Best of luck!

  15. gBB says:

    I was involved with a narcassist and am a mess now. My self esteem is destroyed. I feel worthless and pathetic. I had a great career and a good life. He struggled financially and is 48 never been married or had kids. No one to date has been able to stay. After a year all his relationships end either because the girl confronts him and he leaves or she just leaves. He told me awful stuff like I am ugly, dirt under his toes ,worthless and a skank. He would make me cry then mock me. I went from having it all to being a lost person who believes all those things. He told me the names he called me where my fault because I made him angry. I can not pick myself up.

  16. LSL says:

    I just started reading the comments on this site. I feel the pain expressed by all of you (male or female–hurts like hell). After a year of no contact, I still want nothing more than to call the narcissist in my 15 year relationship for the much coveted closure that I so desperately need. For all I’ve read (which is a lot about narcissism) there is no closure from the narcissist, even when you are the one who ends the relationship with the narcissist because you’ve had enough and–most importantly you are no longer willing to be narcissistic supply). Even though I did not know I was narcissistic supply until after the severing of the relationship. Then I started to look for reasons for the insanity of what I had experienced. I landed on narcissist personality disorder and it reality hit home for what I had experienced–everything seemed to fit. At the same time, I feel I need to hear from others who have experienced the impact of a narcissist on their lives as I can find few who understand this. Any support for no contact?

    • Sue says:

      Hi I have recently split from 8 years of hell. It was his decision to go No Contact!!! I couldn’t understand that?? He said, “Now, don’t you ever ring or contact me never again!” Soon after he left I had a house fire and h e still wasn’t prompted to call and see if I was ok. I thought he loved me some where in his heart. I was wrong. It hurts but finding similar friends on here is invaluable. Hang in there. Lets all hang in together!!!!!

  17. Jenni-Lynn says:

    Hi LSL,

    I am NC for 4 months come June 8th. I ignored his texts, emails, and deleted him from my facebook when I found he had reopened his account and snuck back in there. It’s been hard. I sometimes remember little things about him that made me smile and then I find myself thinking about him and then missing him. I want to reach for the phone and text him. Then I easily talk myself out of that by telling myself remember when he gave you the silent treatment, maced you, used you, took your money, stole off you, belittled you, ignored you and all the other horrible things that I ignored back then but haven’t forgotten. How would he ever explain away all of that in my attempt to get “closure”? It would never happen. It’s nicer knowing I got the last word in by not accepting his attempts to get a response from me by texting me, emailing, or “poking” me on facebook. That was my closure and now I’m healing up–you will too. Don’t rip off the scab to start the healing process all over again. Pretty soon you’ll have an old scar that’s barely noticeable and not to fret about. Enjoy your life. Be happy in your life. We can do this.

  18. Lisa says:

    I was with NPD for 35 years. It was a very confusing relationship with little support from friends and family because he was an expert at being a swell loving person outside the home. We have been living apart for almost 1 year and I am in the process of healing . Over the years I’ve gone to different support groups. Co dependency, anxiety classes, relationships in crisis etc. After learning about NPD I was so relieved because this described finally my relationship with him and his relationship with our children and his pretending to the rest of the world. I have forgiven myself for being such a doormat because he not only fooled me he fooled everyone. Without his narc supply he is lost. He is in rehab after 20 years of sobriety and leaving him has been exactly like leaving an abusive man. He has tried all the tricks and it even led to stalking me. He is not evil but very f up. He is under psychiatric care and shared he has Been trying to fix himself his entire life. My road to recovery is going to be a long one but I am so greatful that I know what it feels like to truly love and have empathy. it must feel so empty to know you don’t know how to love. Good luck to everyone coping with this crap.

  19. courtney says:

    I was with a narcissist for 14 months. We met online and i should have known how desperate for a victim he was…cause he contacted people i knew to date them before me…my sister included. I fell for his wit and was so lonely after being on my own with my kids from a 10 year relationship. He was so sweet and handsome…at first. Then the red flags started. He didnt want to go to work so he could lay in bed with me etc. he stopped getting called for work and he knew i had an apt…car…home…and 2 little kids. He started planting the seed that because we spent so much time together he should move in and help pay bills. He moved in a month after meeting…WORST MISTAKE. he moved in took over. he is addicted to video games and every free moment he had he played. Finally after 2 weeks I helped him with his resume and he got a job. He was generous…bought me stuff etc but had a cold heart about him. He would never do anything with my friends and family…but blew a gasket if i refused to drive him to see his. he had 2 impaireds from a different province…that he skipped out on…another red flag. The first 2 months was great…i found my soulmate the love of my life. Im a single mom i go to university full time…he never made me feel good about myself. It was all about him and his family and his stories. The first big fight we had…he had been playing video games for 9 hrs straight he kept ignoring me when i told him to get off…i got mad and called him a loser it slipped out…i knew he was gonna lose it…he stood up and smashed my 600 dollar coffee table…my fault. After that the arguments continued. He moved in took over my livingroom with gaming and me and my kids are to sit in our rooms if we want to watch tv. He was the BEST at everything he did or so he claims….appearance…sex…dick size….construction…hockey….basketball. Anything I did was noise to him. He goes on facebook and posts selfies and thinks he has tons of friends. I never met one. He isolated himself all the time he didnt need anybody. I startrd giving ultimatums over the game its me or that…he would choose the game claiming he could be a cheater…drug addict or alcoholic instead im lucky. addiction is addiction his games made him feel powerful in a fantasy world. Over the course of 14 months I changed from a vibrant funny caring person…ive always had depression issues and self esteem issues and now im a shell. i feel nothing. The fighting got worse…because i wanted him to step up and be a good role model for my girls. not just some gaming psycho. He never went anywhere with me and the girls. all me and him ever did was movies and supper. isolation. He was really weird with his mom…and told me if i didnt like her we couldnt b together. i never told him i didnt like her. just because i didnt drive him 45 mins to see her when he wanted…i might add it was winter and i was scared to drive he has no license. but that didnt matter i was keeping him from his mom. wow. Things startrd to get worse. I realized this guy was using me for a place to live…cheaper rent…..sex on demand…and etc. he never loved me nor the kids even though he said it often. My life accomplishments were nothing…he knew nothing about my past he never asked. red flag. The fights started to get more intense and nasty ..holes in walls…broke my desk chair amd the names he called me…fat…whore…ugly…scarface….bad mom etc. but then thinking saying sorry after helps. i said mean things to but more on the lines…why dont you have any friends? So here i am. The last fight was physical again i went to turn off his xbox he attacked…i fought back…i was covered in bruises…he said self defense i say yeah ok. im no angel but i only freak out if i feel threatened. After that fight he looked at my 4 yr old and asked…”why did your mommy leave your daddy?” i kicked him out for a week he stayed in a motel begged to come home cause he had no apt lined up yet..i told him i needed time. That was it..he got his place and has totally cut me off. wont talk to me…and is moving on to other girls after 2 days. Im broken. everything he said i believe is true now. im a crazy psycho loon…noone will be stupid enough to put up with me…whose gonna want me with 2 kids…etc. He has alot of underlying family issues from childhood. And i dont think he ever loved me. i loved him but he claimed i thought i was too good for him…it was always a mind game. what he could do or say to get what he wanted…if i disagreed he would do it anyway. please help…im so lost i cant eat..ive lost 15 lbs. he left that day said no goodbye to my kids…they only saw the good some bad but my kids r so loving they look past that. I hate myself for moving a stranger in…and the sickest part i miss him :( its been 3 weeks since he blocked me out of his life. help me.

    • Dev says:

      Okay, Courtney, take a long slow breath. You will get past this.

      In time, you will be grateful you recognized him for what he is so quickly. It took me 27 years.

      And that he’s not the father of your children. We have two, though I haven’t seen my daughter since the fall of ’09 when he called while I was away to say he was locking me out of the house at her request because I’m crazy. Then he told her I ran away and started gas lighting her. She turned 18 two weeks later and refused to see me, so there was nothing I could do. I’m grateful my son had just graduated from college and returned to Japan to teach English. It kept him out of the line of fire.

      He promised me I would walk away with nothing, then embarked on a scorched earth policy that ran everything we had into the ground. He got a new GF within 4 mos and abandoned our daughter to move in with her after losing his job and letting our home go into foreclosure. Then he either sold off all my stuff or gave it to his new mommy.

      They initially took our daughter in, but kicked her out shortly after. She only recently put me back on FB where she told me she’s working at Starbucks and on food stamps.

      My story goes on, but it’s just like every other on this site and many other forums because these people are everywhere. None of the therapists I saw over the years ever mentioned NPD. Most wanted only to help me be happy with what I had.

      NPD is a growing problem. I have some theories as to why, but they’re too complicated to explain here.

      You are lucky this man has cut you off and isn’t calling you at all hours or showing up to manipulate your kids when you’re not home. Because you’re also single, you’ve obviously been through a breakup and know that recovery is a survivable process.

      It’s still summer so spend time doing activities with your kids. I’ll bet they’re as traumatized as you are and in need of some reassurance. By helping to ground them, you will ground yourself.

      You are not a psycho. You are a good mom. Go back to school and you’ll see what a competent student you are. You’re gonna be okay.

  20. Annelise says:

    The realisation hit me a while ago but I never had a name for it…now it is as clear as day. What confuses me is that he never displayed any anger or physical abuse and most of the times he could be so loving and making me feel special. It is so surreal still that I am in doubt if this is really his fault or maybe mine. Is this normal?

  21. Teresa says:

    I am less than 2 months out from being cheated on by my girlfriend of 6 1/2 years. The week before she was talking about marrying me to family and friends. I was blindsided and am still reeling and don’t know what to do. She lives next door to me. The first girl broke it off fairly quickly and she went right on to a “mutual” friend. She is still messing with my head. I am convinced she is NPD/BPD but more BPD than NPD but maybe I’m still delusional. I miss her terribly and feel like I would take her back in a second but I haven’t. I feel so lost and stupid. I don’t understand how she could go so long without cheating and then suddenly she has lost her damned mind? She is shirking responsibility of taking care of her niece, grandma and financial responsibilities and has quit her job. I just don’t feel like I will ever get over her. I miss her so much!

  22. Gypsy Lake says:

    I have been looking for support for the destructive person in my life. We are not together in a way that two people share time together, never. He is hidden, like in the song, “Mr. Invisible” but he is always watching and following me and leaves little recognizable objects, sort of a Pavlovian tool of his, so that I can know he is around and react out of fear, because he is Mr. Powerful. He demands obedience and subservience, he plays all kinds of games. He was someone that I met and splintered his ego because I did not understand his game. To get even, to repair his splintered ego – he has torn my life, my psyche, my emotions, body and spirit to shreds. He has spread lies about me everywhere so that no one will be my friend, he has isolated me in every imaginable way. His humiliation knows no end, he has got all kinds of secrets to tell the world about me. This has been going on now for about 25 years. I am kept in suffering, poverty, loneliness, and in a state of crisis. I do not think a more vicious, selfish, greedy, and destructive person inhabits this planet. He is able to employ anyone anytime to his cause. I am alone and he secures that I always will be. He is a weak impotent vicious monster. He has sucked the life out of me, a weak parasite that I alone can not remove and no one else is willing to. There has been little escape from him. He always gets his bite out of me. I exist in a state of disgrace, he starves my soul, even my body. He has lied so much to everyone that some markets will not even let me buy food. He broke into my home and stole all my records, documents, diaries, cards and letters I received from years ago. He called my family and told them a bunch of lies and they will not speak to me. He is the demon in my life and if some human being had mercy on another and took him off of me, than I could live. He is pushing me out of life, out of self, out of everything. The sadness is so much. I cry often, he leaves behind tissues on the ground. He is a real creep, the worst thing ever, and people lick up his godliness and unholy evil for its fun. I suffer in the hell he made for me. He needed a victim – I have no idea how many he keeps. He does not work – he works at keeping me under control and however many prisoners he is keeping at any given at any time. He is the boy next door, charming and such good looks, and my sense is that no court would ever convict him of these heinous crimes. It is such a betrayal of humanity what he has done, but worse yet is the betrayal of humanity anywhere that permits, accepts and allows someone like this loose to destroy others lives because it is what they do, or need to do, or whatever excuse given. In reality there is no excuse; inhuman arrogance, indifference, and privilege are the worst parts of the society and it is the very real problem for humanity everywhere. I really need someone to care and help get him off of me permanently.

  23. Yikes says:

    What a very succinct, insightful article about the truth of recovery from Narcissistic abuse. Thank you!

  24. Melvyn sherlock says:

    can anybody advise where there are any free support for NPD victims, I have been with somebody for 18 years and have severe Mental problems across the board and I am worried that I shall also develop personality disorder issues as I already suffer with bipola effective disorder however the long relationship and my discoveries have magnified my bipola , does anyone have the knowledge or expertise to be able to help me as I only have the energy at this moment in time to gotno work and then sleep

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