14 Ways of Narcissistic Abuse – The Narcissist Brainwashing his Victims

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A relationship with a narcissist involves cruel and relentless emotional abuse.

Narcissists are able to do this by brainwashing their victims. They use a variety of methods in order to obtain control over their significant other.

First they “love bomb” their prey, then they threaten, degrade, shift blame, criticize, manipulate, verbally assault, dominate, blackmail, withdraw, withhold love and affection and gaslight their victims.

Self-professed narcissist and author of “Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited,” Sam Vaknin describes how a narcissist abuses his victim:

He infiltrates her defenses, shatters her self-confidence, confuses and confounds her, demeans and debases her. He invades her territory, abuses her confidence, exhausts her resources, hurts her loved ones, threatens her stability and security, involves her in his paranoid states of mind, frightens her out of her wits, withholds love and sex from her, prevents satisfaction and causes frustration, humiliates and insults her privately and in public, points out her shortcomings, criticizes her profusely and in a “scientific and objective” manner – and this is a partial list.

Very often, the narcissist acts sadistically in the guise of an enlightened interest in the welfare of his victim. He plays the psychiatrist to her psychopathology (totally dreamt up by him). He acts the guru to her need of guidance, the avuncular or father figure, the teacher, the only true friend, the old and the experienced. All this in order to weaken her defenses and to lay siege to her disintegrating nerves. So subtle and poisonous is the narcissistic variant of sadism that it might well be regarded as the most dangerous of all.”

The narcissist will try to brainwash you and has many tools in his toolset. The aim of this is to keep you under control, to get the needed affection and attention he so deserves.

1. The Narcissist and Love bombing

“Love bombing” is an attempt to influence a person by lavish demonstrations of attention and affection.

It has been used to refer to abusers in romantic relationships showering their victims with praise, gifts, and affection in the early stages of a relationship. One victim describes it as follows:

The narcissist girlfriend thought the world of me, came to me for advice, and would do anything for me; she was so like me and so perfect until the cracks began to show. They cannot keep up the facade for very long. But they are masters, if you don’t know better, at getting you hooked.”

That feeling of “love” that you have is more intense than normal because the narcissist first floods you with expressions of love, and then they withhold, and then they give a little;

over time this changes you- it’s a form of manipulation, control and brainwashing.

There is no doubt that you have loved. But narcissists can’t love you back.

What happens in these types of relationships is that you get so caught up in the feeling that you don’t listen to the alarms that go off in your head.

2. The Narcissist uses Degradation

Narcissists degrade their victims and tear apart their self-esteem which can make resistance to their control strategies difficult.

They use tactics such as sarcasm, criticizing, name-calling, berating, belittling, excessive blaming, screaming, threatening and humiliation.

Over time, the constant verbal and emotional attacks weaken the victims and erode their sense of self-confidence and self-esteem while it makes the narcissists feel more powerful and, hence, exert further control.

3. The Verbal Assaults of the Narcissist

This includes berating, belittling, criticizing, name-calling, screaming, threatening, excessive blaming, and using sarcasm and humiliation.

It also includes exaggerating your flaws and putting you down in public. Over time, this type of abuse erodes your sense of self-confidence and self-worth.

4. Emotional Blackmail

Here the abuser plays on your fear, guilt, compassion, values, or other “hot buttons” to get what they want.

This could include threats to end the relationship, the “cold shoulder,” or other fear tactics.

5. Demonstrating Dominance:

A Narcissist believes and projects an attitude of being all-powerful and all-conquering which can convince the victim that resisting the narcissist is futile.

They need to be in control of others, must have everything their way, and will resort to threats or any other methods to achieve submission. Eventually, the victim loses their self-respect.

6. Threats If Victim Does Not Comply

Narcissists will promote feelings of anxiety and despair in their victims by making threats and using intimidation.

This encourages the victim to submit to the unreasonable demands or bullying of the narcissist.

Read more about: Narcissistic Rage and the Silent Treatment.

7. Abusive Expectations

The abuser places unreasonable demands on you and wants you to put everything else aside (including your children) to tend to their “very important” needs.

It could be a demand for constant attention, frequent sex, or a requirement that you spend all your free time with the person.

But no matter how much you give, it’s never enough. You are subjected to constant criticizing and berating because you don’t fulfill all of this person’s needs.

Read more about Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome in one of my other articles.

8. Isolation

Isolation deprives the victim of any social support which reduces their ability to resist.

The narcissist will keep the victim unaware of what is happening (e.g. by taking total control of the family finances, making plans that are unknown to the victim, tell lies about them to others, etc).

This strategy leads to the victim becoming dependent on the narcissist for validation and information.

The narcissist will insist on controlling their partner’s time and physical environment to try to curb their natural behavior and feelings of independence.

They may insist on their partner giving up certain hobbies, social or work activities.

They may even insist their partner move away with them to a new location, further isolating the victim from their family or friends.

9. Total Control of the Victim’s Perceptions

Abusers may convince the victims that aspects of the victim’s character or behavior are ‘wrong’ which takes the focus off what the narcissist is doing.

Using the isolation of the victim, the narcissist can then control what type of information and stimuli the victim has access to.

10. Unpredictable Responses

Drastic mood changes or sudden emotional outbursts are used to keep the victim unsettled and anxious.

This behavior leaves the victim feeling like they are always on edge. They are always waiting for the other shoe to drop and can never know what’s expected.

They remain hyper vigilant, waiting for the other person’s next rage or mood change.

Living like this is extremely demanding and anxiety-provoking, causing the abused person to feel constantly frightened, unsettled, and off-balance.

11. Constant Chaos

A narcissist may deliberately start arguments and be in continual conflict with others.

They are often addicted to “drama” since it creates excitement.

12. Gaslighting

The narcissist will deny that certain events occurred or that certain things were said.

The victim knows differently but the other person will deny their perceptions, memory and sanity. That makes them begin to think they are crazy or losing their mind.

13. Enforcing Trivial Demands

They will make a huge commotion over trivial matters in order to condition the victim into developing a habit of being compliant.

14. Occasional Indulgences

The narcissist may provide ‘treats’ or demonstrate kindness to encourage and motivate compliance with their demands.

In the end, the victim is brainwashed to believe their partner is somehow supremely intelligent and all-powerful; the victim feels it is useless to resist them.

The reality is that the narcissist is a dysfunctional, malicious and abusive individual.

Narcissists and other abusers employ these techniques because these tactics are highly effective for achieving their goals of manipulation and control.

66 thoughts on “14 Ways of Narcissistic Abuse – The Narcissist Brainwashing his Victims”

  1. Whoa! This is so true to life. It’s freaky even. Their games and deceit – all of it is so true and I don’t have to be part of that elaborate circus act anymore!

    • If you are being stalked then the next step is a restraining order, if you haven’t done so already. Stay strong and remember you are better than what others have led you to believe.

      • I know how this feels… But it would be impossible for me to get a restraining order when he does everything behind my back. This guy has destroyed my reputation, he makes people see me from his messed up perception of me. And every time I think it’s finally over, and I start to relax and breathe, he starts all over again. The sickest thing is, he’s married to someone else and all he thinks about is destroying my life! He has people believing that we’re soul mates, which I used to believe too, but that I wouldn’t marry him or go out with him. Of course, he doesn’t tell anyone the reason for anything. I was never actually with him. He tells everyone that every time he “asked me out” I wouldn’t go out with him. But he never really asked me out, he asked me to get drunk with him a few times. And at the time, I was young and shy and wasn’t really ready for a boyfriend, so his solution was to be with someone else, who looks exactly like me, who he basically turned into me, then he somehow makes everyone think that this is what “I wanted”. That is the sickest thing I’ve ever heard! Then he makes everyone feel sorry for him, “What could he do? I wouldn’t marry him, I couldn’t get her to go out with me, I “ignored” him.” It’s sickening!

        • And another thing… He tells everyone “he’s doing this for me.” He somehow got it in his head that I can’t handle it in reality. I do have some health issues, that I’m working on, but he makes it out to be some major reason that I couldn’t “handle” the real thing. He basically wants me to be a fantasy, to turn him on so he can be with his wife. It’s sickening! Then he somehow makes everyone believe that this is what “I wanted”. He is truly sickening. But if I try to say anything, he says I’m just jealous because I wouldn’t marry him. He’s sick!

          • Before you get a restraining order, Google what Gavin de Becker says about that. And get his book “The Gift of Fear”

  2. This is everything I suffered for 18 months including physical abuse. I don’t know if I will ever trust again. He is a monster. I am out of my situation but it still affects me on a daily basis. Emotional abuse is so damaging.

  3. For 2.5 years I lived this nightmare. She was absolute, relentless, and nearly complete in her devastation. Repeated physical assaults, and horrible psychological abuse. She had me completely isolated from my friends, family, even my daughter. The culmination of the abuse ended in a suicide attempt on my part, as well as possible felony charges because I tried to defend myself against a very violent assault. These people are dangerous, violent, destructive and cruel. Listen to your friends and loved ones. Get away and stay away. You’re too important to live and or die like this.

  4. AMEN. Their is life after a narcissisitic relationship. You can’t see the whole picture until you escape, you can live again, smile again, love again but deal with what brought you down that road to begin with, get rid of emotional garbage and live again.

  5. I am currently free of the Covert Narcasist who I spent 18 years in a cyclical relationship. Her last knife to the gut was in August. That June I was seriously injured. We live

  6. I am currently in what I believe to be a narcissistic relationship. He shows all of the behaviors mentioned, but what got me is the gas-lighting. He does it constantly and tries to make it my fault. For instance I will mention something he said that was horrible, and he will immediately object and say he never said it. I should know if I was called ugly by someone especially if it hurt. He does it over and over. We have been together for 11 years and he refuses to marry me, wouldn’t leave his house so i ended up having to move in here and my mom died one month ago- he’s back to name calling. But when he makes me feel guilty it throws me off…if he’s a narcissist wouldn’t he have no feelings? Or is this just more manipulation?

    • Hey Kathleen. When people say they have been in a realationship for a couple of years with a narcissist I think it is early enough for them to escape fairly in tact. I was with mine for seven years and my life has become a wasteland. I still can’t get my head around her malevolent intentions after having left her two years ago. One of the worst things for me is that I have recently started having feelings which I now know are the same ones that she had.

      If there is doubt then there is no doubt; get out. It’s a painful journey away from your narcissist and in my case they even made leaving with constant aggravation.

    • Hi Kathleen
      I know you wrote this a few months ago and I really hope that by now you have left this horrible man. I was with a narcissist for just a year but that was long enough for him to completely strip me of my self-confidence and spirit. I was called b****, w***e, sl*g and sl*t but of course when I got mad he was ‘only joking’ and I had no sense of humour.

      I understand the gas lighting – one night he called me a prostitute and for some reason I let it go. But the next morning I was angry and called him on it. He denied saying it and said that because I’d had a few drinks that night how could I remember what was said, and then started going on about my imaginary drinking problem – a clever deflection! I was so brainwashed by him that I actually apologised for accusing him of calling me a prostitute!!

      I walked away from him 1.5 years ago and I’ve never been happier. It was so hard at first but now I have my confidence back. If he is calling you names just after your mum died then he is a sick individual. These people are disgusting human beings. Please, please leave him.

    • A bad relationship is a bad relationship. Why do you need to put a title on him to know that? That in itself shows how out of touch you are. Ask yourself at what point in your past did feel shame and unworthy of love.Because that is what keeping you in bad relationships. Forgive yourself and move on that and future bad unions.
      My Best

      • These people don’t need to forgive themselves because they didn’t abuse themselves.

        So why are you here on this page? Research for future exploitation tactics?

      • Yeah, I’ll work on forgiving myself for the night terrors, the CPTSD, the scars inside and out, the broken dreams by him drawing me back in over and over to abuse me more. I’ll work on the wrongful arrest with his lies and my friend also arrested, committing suicide cause of them. I’ll need some help plucking the knives from my back tho…

  7. Kathleen, I’m so sorry about the loss of your mother.

    You are not ugly and that is a sadistic thing for somebody to say, I’m sure you would remember.

    YES! it is manipulative for him to try to make you feel guilty, and now that your Mom is gone he may turn up the volume knowing you are hurting, so be on the alert and do what she would want you to do: protect yourself.

  8. I have met a few people with NPD. There is an early warning sign, observable on day one, that I call “narcissistic chatter.” They want to talk about themselves (and to have someone listen) an extraordinary amount of the time. Not every one who I hear talking about themselves has NPD, but if it is a constant pattern, look out. You will eventually see all of the other things that take time to come out.

    I went to visit someone I had met. She talked about her personal history for 2 hours. When I had to go, she invited me back. This happened 3 more times, always giving me her life story. She never asked me a single question about me. The fourth time I saw her, I said that I knew almost everything about her, but did she know where I was from. She did not know. I pressed her as to why this was so. As they always do when confronted, she became very hostile, and asked me to leave.

    To me it was all very strange. When I described it to a psychologist, she said, “Oh, that was probably a narcissist.”

    One guy at work would log onto conference calls about 5 minutes early, then dominate the pre-call conversation with self-praising chatter. Later experiences made it clear that he had NPD. When confronted about unprofessional behavior on one call, he was unable to contain his hostility and acted up in front of the whole group.

    This method probably will not work for a one-on-one counselor, since in that setting, a person is paying to talk about his self and have someone listen.

  9. My N never chattered, Zaphod. Mine is covert and everything he does is very manipulative. He never belittles me in front of anyone except the last time when he did it in front of our children. I finally caught him “flirting” over email with a co-worker. He gas-lighted for 3 hours over it. This was in black and white and I emailed myself a copy so when he deleted it I’d still have it! After 3 exhausting and brutal hours he finally gave in. The first time in our 20 year marriage! A few days later he confessed to years of flirting. He swears he’s never physically cheated, but he’s imagined “being with them”. It’s all the same in my book. I definitely do not believe him, either way. Here’s what has me wondering if I should give him a chance… He moved all the assets to my name… nothing joint. His paycheck goes into my account. He set himself up to see a behavioral therapist that specializes with NPD, BPD, etc. The therapist tells me he things my N is being sincere and truly wants to change. He’s been seeing him for two months now. Should I trust this? Do narcissists really ever become self-aware and if so can they ever really change?

  10. Narcissists are also very convincing in the lies they tell. They can make up untrue stories and make it seem so real and true. If you don’t know how a narcissist works, then you will believe the lies. Narcissists are everywhere in society. They are nurses, school teachers, bakers. You can also find them in churches.

  11. I spent 25 years with a narcissist – I was so depressed, I don’t know how I had the strength to leave. He never showed his true colors to anyone but me, so everyone in his family blames me. Talk about PTSD!! I am still suffering 8 years later, but I am much better. Have been going to counselors for years. When you live with someone like that for so long, you don’t know how to be your own person and be without them, as they have controlled your identity out of you. Still fighting depression, even lost my job due to the depression. But I still have hope for my future.

  12. I’m 90% sure my son’s father is a narcissist. We have known each other for 5 years, it all started with the love bombing…then 9 months later he was withholding affection and telling me daily that he had never been attracted to me and it must somehow have been my fault. I have always been in good shape and consider myself to be pretty. I finally left a little over a year later. My self esteem and self worth were very damaged.

    He spent another year and a half trying to get me back (again with the love bombing and false promises) I gave in and I got pregnant. He was good until the baby was born and then he turned on me again. My daughter is 9 months old and I left 7 months ago. He has threatened me, drug me through court, made false accusations against me and everyone I know…now suddenly he loves me again and has told me he’ll stop fighting and give me more time with my daughter only if it’s the 3 of us spending time together as a family. He also told me that I imagined everything that happened between us. I see it for what it is now, his attempts to scare me back to him didn’t work and now he’s trying to leverage our child to get me back under his control.

  13. I have just been left by my husband of 16 years.
    This website is so interesting- it all fits: he left suddenly, after having found another group of people from whom to get his narcissistic supply; I recognise the occasional treats given to keep me compliant, over against rigid financial control ( he has left me without anything); I felt deeply that he had forced a family weekend to go awry by behaving badly on purpose ( inexplicable and almost engineered outbursts ), which he used as an excuse when he left ( gas lighting: he told me it was me who was out of control- even said this to my 14 year old son about the weekend. Thank God I think my son realises how his dad is and we are very close).
    It was very healing to read this article, as I have been a mess and in moments believe it was all my fault, as he would have me believe- but this helps me to realise that it is a personality disorder on his part, and one that has massively got worse of late- or, as has been stated on other websites, it is just that ‘his mask has fallen’, as it is bound to do with all narcissists sooner or later.
    I am now in the process of trying to beat him at his game and secure financial security for my boys and I ( he did not want me to use solicitors! Of course I needed to- he would have, and had begun to, manipulate and bully me financially in relation to a settlement, trying to force me to agree to something ridiculously minimal- or else he’d ‘come to the house’ etc.
    I have logged everything, and these websites on. At issism help me to give actual examples of his controlling behaviour and type of manipulation as evidence in my case, also helping me to decipher details of his plan to ruin me!

  14. All your postings are helpful to me. Two years ago my husband told me that he had sexually and emotionally betrayed me since the beginning of our marriage 16 years earlier —

    I was devastated. He told me traumatizing information little by little, admitted he was a sea addict and he had sex with hundreds of women.

    Only 3 months before his disclosing his secret life, he had talked me into reducing my full-time job to only minimal hours – THEN he revealed his infidelity and I could no longer walk out the door and be self-sufficient.

    My early “retirement” has diminished my financial security for the rest of my life – I am 62 and was a professor and there is no possible way to return to my previous position or income!

    I believed the sex addiction professionals when they kept claiming that he would “recover” and be able to be faithful and loving and create a solid, healthy relationship!

    I should have immediately divorced. He has abused, maligned, defamed, terrorized, and humiliated me so badly I now have severe PTSD, several medical conditions caused by exposure to HPV, gonorrhea, herpes, and hepatitis B.
    But his therapists believe him! Seriously! He taunted me about past affairs, some with my friends, and then he started having more sexual affairs, sending me notes about how hot sex was, how old and bitter I was… Cruel, shocking, ugly notes, then he would cry and beg me to forgive him — when I reacted either in anger or sadness, he printed my reactions and carried my notes with him and talked to his therapists about how I was disturbed, unstable, etc – his therapists told him that I had my own issues, that I had likely been sexually abused as a child, that clearly I was not willing to trust him!

    I am so alarmed by the attitudes toward women and partners of sex addicts, I get even more depressed! How absurd to claim that wives of sex addicts have their own issues!
    They have been betrayed, gas lighted, emotionally abused and then made to feel responsible that they are part of the “dynamic!”

    Abuse is abuse! It damages the victim! Narcissists are expert at cutting down their partners a bit at a time – they are covert and no one sees what is happening! His therapists believe his lies, but smugly buy the theory about wives being codependent – the therapists who believe these deceptive sex addicts are codependent!

    If one has been damaged and destabilized by an abuser, one is NOT codependent AND NOT part of the dynamic of abuse! One is abused! And esteem was shattered from the persistent, covert abuse!

    Run! Run! Run! They do NOT get well! They dupe and loop in more people and little by little, they convince more people that THEY – the sex addict – the narcissist – is the VICTIM …

    Run! Run! Run!

    • I dated someone like this too, for 7 years. It’s common that they go to therapy or recovery groups and the therapists or group facilitators blame the wives for being “codependent” and “untrusting”. It was a slap in the face but now I find it funny. His ex swallowed it and believed she was codependent. I did not. I unbrainwashed myself in secret by writing myself a book and then I tricked him and left his ass.

      He called me 33 times and I used his own tricks against him and lied on purpose about how “he just didn’t seem happy”. *plays world’s tiniest violin* The revenge is that he will never know what a piece of shit he is and he will never improve. I will never see him, speak to him, hear of him or be in the same room as him again and I will always know without a doubt that he is a sad, sick, monster who has already decided for himself that he wants to have a bad life. He never loved me. He never really hated me. It was never about me. Other people like me just fine and I will go have a nice life now because I deserve it. I will not go to therapy so that people can tell me my boundaries were never good enough and shove victim-blaming down my throat. I know better than that because I thought about it for 24 straight months. I. WIN.

  15. The things they will do…then deny it ever happened! I literally thought i was about to go bonkers. Besides him always telling me, that i was mental, going all around..to anyone who would listen and put me down to them. it was all just too much.He was like a gossiping old woman, spreading lies and distorting everything. It always seemed to make him appear to be the victim, of my ‘disease”.He certainly loved to get someone to stroke his ego, rub his belly. He just thought he was so great and he needed to put me down, in order to make himself sound like a hero. Trust me, he didn’t never want his ‘real self’ to be exposed, that’s why he never would leave. He knew, the real deal would be put out, for everyone to see. People already, those who knew him that is, already knew what he was about, who he really was. He was the one in the dark about who he was..who he wanted the world to see, was another person altogether.Run, run run..far away..if anyone sees traits like this in their spouse. They will always blame you, never sorry for anything they do…cause they are always right. Then, in the end..try to ruin your reputation. they will do whatever it takes, to keep you from exposing them and what they done to you.They will try to beat you to the punch. They have been known to do some horrible things, vindictive things. They will blame you for the break-up, always.The one i divorced, died..without ever acknowledging any wrong doing. He was an evil man, abusive in everyway possible.His mother certainly didn’t make things any easier for me, when i was still with him. She would always side with him, blame me for whatever. She praised, adored…and admired him to the end.He would always run to her, anytime we had a fight. he would have to get his ‘supply” fix. Then, they would “run me down” together. i had to hear about what a wonderful, great woman she was…all the time. How i could never compete with someone like her, she was a Goddess.It certainly added fuel to the fire, because i had finally stopped, gave up..realized that i could not change him. when i finally figured that out, it was time for me to go…let mommy have him, let her supply his need for admiration, praise..and whatever else.in his end..he left his gf, went to his mommys to die. He had spent all those years with his gf, but she wasn’t good enough for him to spend his last few days with..in their house. He literally got up, called his mommy to come get him and died at mommys house a few days later.No woman could ever compete with his momma, nobody. It was strange, how he was so dependent on her…even til his death. The gf, she could do no more than what she had always done, though..it would never be good enough for him.

      My np husband has left for the 100th time and been gone for 3 weeks..
      He didn’t work, we were living at my mom’s. I have an 11yr old daughter and we’ve been married ten years December. He is ALWAYS LEAVING AND GOING TO HIS parents! I didn’t realize why until now. …but Ihave a double triple whammy, he has npd,bi polar, schizophrenic tendencies, was molested as a child, and has told me he is gay even in previous attempts to leave me and get my blessing I guess. …he is also A GARBAGE CAN JUNKIE!


      HE IS A POS!






      how do I make sure I’m strong enough to tell him no when he comes crawling back with the love bombing and I’m so lonely?. ..how do I find out how to be strong? I pray every day all day. …I’m suffering from depression and severe panic attacks. ..I never thought I might have ptsd,but I think I might. ..how do I tell?

      I’m so hurt and confused,even still he is controlling my thoughts. ……

    • Can I ask if he stopped you from seeing your immediate family. My daughter is married to a narcissist and I have two granddaughters now 17 and 13. I practically did all I could for them and my daughter. I haven’t seen her for over three years and the girls for seven years. He has assaulted and threatened me, called police to me, accused me of being insane and the rest. I had to move away from him. The police didn’t believe him btw.

  16. I’ve been with my boyfriend since freshman year of college. I’m a senior this year and things aren’t getting any better. All this makes me realize it never will. I’m this close to leaving him again but I always doubt myself I’m scared not only about being alone since he never liked my friends and isolated me but also about what he’d do. I constantly feel like I’m walking on eggshells I’m afraid to be away from him for too long because at least when I’m with him I know his mood and can prepare myself for a shitty day but when I am alone i have anxiety and I worry whenever I get a text that it’s going to be a nasty one about how I’ve done something wrong and about how I’m a slut or whatever. I avoid even glancing in the direction of another guy because he’ll accuse me of cheating or something so stupid like that. He constantly changes his feelings about me and I hate being caught off guard like that. He’s cold, demanding, rude, and has a sense of entitlement like no other. I feel like I’m scared to do things because I don’t want to “get in trouble” which is crazy because I don’t think it should be like that. He’s cheated on me more than once but the one time I start to like someone when he and I weren’t even together at the time he accuses me of cheating and I honestly I’ve been called every name in the book that it’s starting to just go in one ear and out the other. He tells me lies about about someone saying something bad about me just to hurt my feelings and make me feel little. He has degraded and embarrassed me in front of other people even his own family. However he’s convinced he’s a saint and that I’m the devil. He blames me for everything even when I know I haven’t done anything. I find myself constantly apologiZing for stupid shit that I know I haven’t done. He’s a nightmare and it’s sad that I’ve wasted my years at college stressing about him. We’re on and off at times until I start to feel so alone that I convince myself I can handle his shit because there’s nothing I haven’t heard before. I’m only 22 and I don’t want to keep on like this. I just want to get away and be disciplined enough to stay away because he does have moments where he comes to me saying he’s sorry and that we can be as good as we used to be 3 years ago but I’m just now learning that it’s all a lie and I have no clue how to go about separating myself completely and moving on to a healthy relationship with someone.

    • Dear Evelyn,

      I really hope you see this reply and take heed to what I am saying. You are ONLY 22 and have the rest of your life ahead of you. GET OUT NOW. And stay out. Don’t second guess, don’t question, don’t doubt, don’t justify – just trust yourself, and know that you deserve way better.
      The only way you are going to succeed is to empower yourself with knowledge. I suggest you go to this site “lovefraud.com” and read as much as possible about other peoples experiences and know that everyone of you is dating the exact same guy.

      Please enforce the “NO CONTACT” rule, and whatever you do, do not break it, as I can guarantee that you will feel so stupid and a complete idiot after you engage in any way with him again. Do not let him know that you are educating yourself and psyching yourself up to walk away. Just do it quietly and never let him know whats going on in your head. That way, when you take your life and run, you will be doing it from a place of strength and will not be vulnerable to his manipulations. Pull a Katie Holmes / Tom Cruise covert op on him. Do it quick, research, know who you dealing with, know that if you don’t trust yourself and your worth, then you going to be stuck in this vortex of doom for a very long time and then when you do eventually leave or he kicks you to the curb, you will regret this very moment when you should have taken control of the one life that you have and stand up for your soul and well being.

      PLEASE – get out now, and take time to heal yourself. Discover what it is about you that made you stay for as long as you did, and develop yourself from that.

      BE FREE…………. and stay Free.

    • Dear Evelyn,
      Get out now. Never regret the time you have spent on this man. Never regret friendships that have been lost or be concerned with family perceptions. Save yourself! Know every day that you are a capable, intelligent woman. You will get past loneliness, fear and sadness. Give yourself a positive self-talk. There will be new friends. Better days. More fun and joy for you. Leave him now. I know where you are. Life will afford you greater choices and chances that you can see now. Keep seeking support. Counselling will help and should be available at school. Go there! Keep seeking! Put your two feet on the ground and use the two hands in front of you to break free of him. Do it now!

  17. Evelyn, you can break that addiction. When you’re ready. Never spend time with a man who does not respect you. Life is short. There’s no value to wasting time or energy with such a man.

  18. These monsters are pure evil, they live to destroy love, peace and happiness of their victim. In my case, I had no choice,no cares or concerns that mattered. My only job was to be submissive and to comply, all the way without a second thought. If you’re in a relationship with someone like this, than leave now!! i left, after 12 years, with literally…just the clothes on my back. That’s all i would have had anyways, we were very poor, had always been below the poverty level. Now, things are much better for me. A person with NPD, are just out for themselves, they care nothing about you, or how they hurt you…get out!

  19. This article is the best I’ve ever read in regards to narcissism. My husband of 9 years has NPD. I believe he is the original origin of which NP derived from. He is NEVER wrong & blames me for everything. I caught him cheating by way of a dating sight which he stated he was divorced. I confronted him & he said he said wasn’t cheating ( lies). He says I wasn’t giving him what he needed (blame). When he says he wants us to talk this means I am to listen to him without interruption. When its time for me to speak and I say something he doesn’t like, he ends the conversation. He belittles my parenting by saying he’s sorry my son (his step son) didn’t do his chores & its b/c I wasn’t raised the same way he was so I don’t know any better. He hit me once & told me I provoked him. Never apologized. One minute he buys me rosehs the next he is cursing me. He avoids conflict by over talking. He is the worst person I have ever meet in my life. He believes he is above the law, all the women just love him & all others are beneath him. If I tell him he has insulted me he says ( no I didn’t) I tell him he has hurt me he says ( u hurt me too) & on & on. He justifies his hurtful decisions by saying he did what he had to do with no care for the other person. He consistently makes bad financial decisions & when it falls through he blames it on the economy. Never any care for the damage his decisions puts on the family. He never makes a decision & sticks with it. He’s never content its always what he can get instead of give. He is controlling by keeping money and food from the family. He thinks I should ” perform” or ” earn”. Threatens to leave constantly, always total chaos. I’m gonna leave him!

  20. This article is the best I’ve ever read in regards to narcissism. My husband of 9 years has NPD. I beli
    eve he is the original origin of which NP derived from. He is NEVER wrong & blames me for everything. I caught him cheating by way of a dating sight which he stated he was divorced. I confronted him & he said he said wasn’t cheating ( lies). He says I wasn’t giving him what he needed (blame). When he says he wants us to talk this means I am to listen to him without interruption. When its time for me to speak and I say something he doesn’t like, he ends the conversation. He belittles my parenting by saying he’s sorry my son (his step son) didn’t do his chores & its b/c I wasn’t raised the same way he was so I don’t know any better. He hit me once & told me I provoked him. Never apologized. One minute he buys me rosehs the next he is cursing me. He avoids conflict by over talking. He is the worst person I have ever meet in my life. He believes he is above the law, all the women just love him & all others are beneath him. If I tell him he has insulted me he says ( no I didn’t) I tell him he has hurt me he says ( u hurt me too) & on & on. He justifies his hurtful decisions by saying he did what he had to do with no care for the other person. He consistently makes bad financial decisions & when it falls through he blames it on the economy. Never any care for the damage his decisions puts on the family. He never makes a decision & sticks with it. He’s never content its always what he can get instead of give. He is controlling by keeping money and food from the family. He thinks I should ” perform” or ” earn”. Threatens to leave constantly, always total chaos. I’m gonna leave him!

  21. I was with my my bf for 3 years.He is the father of my 2 year old son.He has destroyed my confidence,self esteem and his mental abuse me like no one ever has.He even put his hands on me twice.Thank god!I was strong an left him.I couldn’t take no more abuse.He was always blaming me for cheating.When I never cheated on him.Everyday he would check my phone thinking he would find something.
    Also blame for cheating on him with diffrent men that I didn’t even no.Since I didn’t work Because I took care of my son.He would always check our bed when he came from work to if he found any proof that I was cheating.My son would leave stains on the bed sometimes ,and he would fight with me.
    While he was working. He would think I had sex with other men.The truth is always faithful to him.
    At the very end to all this was.He told that a man text him .He said that the man told him that me an him were having sex behind his back.I was being blame again.All this was a lie!I was not having sex with nobody.
    Finally I had courage an took my daughter that was not his an my 2 year old son .I left him.
    Leave a mental abuser it will only get worse..Just leave!I hope to recover soon from all this. NPD they don’t care about nobody.Leave now!

  22. Evelyn, I totally agree with Sunshine 100%. That was the best advice another person that has had an encounter with a non human (NPD). In my experience with an ex husband &”a mother with that personality disorder !! Please get out now. Run run fast and far. They DO NOT Change. You have your whole life ahead of you. My ex ruined my self esteem & told people that everything was my fault. I had to kids with this man & he tried to turn them against me. I could actually write a book. If I only knew that the man I married was hiding behind a MASK I would have Ran, fast & Far. Please get away while you are still sane. Best wishes to you. I’m 54 now & wished I had gotten away years ago! They only think of themselves &’will never see a need to change!

  23. I got out! I saw it and I said NO you aren’t doing this to me anymore. 14 years off and on with denying me affection and days with no conversation because he pouted when I wouldn’t go along with what he expected and he always made assumptions. When I would call him out on the assumptions oh boy it was always my fault and one day I said NO MORE! I’m ending this here and now and I did. I refuse to let another human being control me. He criticized my accent and tried to make me speak the way he wanted and that backfired on him. Then he said I was fat and needed to lose belly fat when in fact I have photos of him extremely over weight. I wouldn’t say things like this to anyone and hurt their feelings. Since this all happen I developed IBS-C and suffer each time he began the emotional abuse. So I said enough! I started going to a specialist for my stomach and to the gym and now I’m getting back in shape. I’ve rid myself of this monstrous heathen of a man and I will one day in the far off future meet a decent man! Until then I’m going to get to know me on a more intimate level and personal level and love myself once again. I enjoy my family and love my pets. I love my friends and I’m not able to have my bible study without him sending me demeaning sexual text messages during my bible study or Sunday school class. I’m the type when I’ve had enough I’ve had enough. It may have taken 14 years off and on but I am thankful I’m hardheaded enough to fight back and then demand no more contact. He won’t bother me I’m sure. I have cameras inside and outside my home and I have means of protecting myself and a couple of close friends that watch my house as well as the SO rides through the area often and this ego maniacal narcissistic little man knows it because I told him. I know I sound differently than most but I began therapy a few years ago because of him. It’s helped and now I’m helping me more! My advice ladies and gentlemen get into therapy and don’t let them continue to take you from you! Sadly these people will see you won’t take it and move on to the next person. I’m sorry for that person and I wish there was a law to lock them all away but there isn’t so until then take care of you!

  24. *sigh* I am currently dating one of these NPDs. It’s almost a year now and already I feel so exhausted, mentally, emotionally and physically, half the time I don’t even know if I’m coming or going. He started out all charming and loving and caring, promising me the moon on a string. I was swept off my feet with stars in my eyes and ‘soul-mate’ music in my ears.
    Then, about a month into the relationship, he took me out to a fancy dinner and spend the first 30min of the evening talking about his ex. He’d been doing this frequently and I’d chalked it down to him openning up about his past but that evening it was TMI and I just couldn’t contain myself any more and told him off about it. I told him I didnt get all dressed up and come out to dinner to listen to him harp on all night about his ex!
    Imagine my absolute horror when he stood up and stalked off from the table in a huff, leaving me all alone! He did eventually come back after about 10mins, said he had stepped out for a smoke to calm his nerves because “my petty jealousy made him so mad and revealed my first imperfection to him.” I wasn’t in the mood to argue, and after all we were out in public so I just brushed it off and chalked it down to growing pains. Looking back, thay should have been my cue to quit while I was ahead.
    But they can be so convincing and charming that we just get sucked into their unhealthy and draining dynamic without realising it. Then one day, you wake up and you’re a shadow of your former self. You have no voice because you have been muted. You have conflicting self persception because you have been made to feel like there’s A LOT wrong with you (that you were previously never aware of ’cause you’ve never had anyone else complain about it before). You’re pussy-footing your way around everything because you’re afraid that even the slightest creak of a floorboard in your relationship will lead to a major erruption and you just don’t have the energyto deal with the fall out, the silent treatment, the ugly accusations

    • I got so bad, I worried when he went to work that he would tell people what I was really like because he made me feel that I was the cause of all his unhappiness. He worked so hard at making everyone like him outside the home, but the kids and I knew a different person. I walked a tightrope never knowing what would set him off. I couldn’t walk down the street without someone telling me how wonderful he was and how could everyone be wrong?

  25. After having been in a abusive narcissistic relationship for many years, had anyone else ended up with fibromyalgia and other illnesses?

  26. I find this topic fascinating and believe this is a real problem .. I have lived through two similar relationships and one common thread is excessive drinking. When both of these ladies – one I was married to and the other a recent relationship that ended a month ago -hit their drink limit and then proceeded to binge drink….. it is a scary place to be. Anything can happen – and the things that come out of their mouth are so hateful, degrading, and harsh – I can remember staring at the ceiling after they passed out thinking wtf just happened. Even though alcohol clearly made things far worse – alcohol was only the tip of the iceberg and not necessary to bring out the NPD behavior – so much so that I needed to take some time before I came home each night to take several deep breathes and prepare myself – not knowing what could happen.

    So as a man – who was taught by his mother to always be in control and never touch a woman… I have always lived to treat women with respect and never become angry enough to physically fight back. However I will tell you that NPD women will use this to their advantage.

    And I certainly believe that there are as many NPD women as there are NPD men – and so this is huge issue. I am not a little guy, I know how to take care of myself, and I am certainly not afraid to defend myself if necessary. However, it was a scary place to be some days. I am just thankful that I kept my composure and when she demanded that I leave for 20th time – I left and as much as I love her and believe she loves me – and as much as it hurt us both for me to leave ….I am not looking back….

    This entire article is fantastic however if I had to pick the section that was most frequently in play – the below section seemed like a perpetual nightmare..


    Narcissists degrade their victims and tear apart their self-esteem which can make resistance to their control strategies difficult. They use tactics such as sarcasm, criticizing, name calling, berating, belittling, excessive blaming, screaming, threatening and humiliation. Over time, the constant verbal and emotional attacks weaken the victims and erode their sense of self confidence and self-esteem while it makes the narcissists feel more powerful and, hence, exert further control.

  27. My mother is an extremely narsistic. She brainwashed me all my life, even as an udult. I look back on my childhood, and I had no idea it was happening. I was tricked. Even though I have a restraining order against her, I still am damaged because I’m actually still brainwashed to this day. There’s got to be a way to reverse it all, but I need to find out. I worry that I’m turning into her, even though my husband doesn’t agree.

  28. i dealt with all of this along with physical and sexual abuse from 15 to 21, I am now 24 and he’s still not completely given up on trying to manipulate me and we have a child together. I suffer anxiety and panic attacks because of it. I wish I knew how to let go of it all and quit letting him have such an impact on me and my life.

  29. First, thank you! I came across your site a few days ago and have already found much helpful info/insight.
    In my (somewhat desperate) quest got answers, I’ve begun to notice that there are many resources and quite a bit of information regarding narcissistic parents. However, I’ve been unable to find much- next to nothing, really- about narcissistic children. More specifically, adult daughters. While the info about parents is helpful for me, as I know more about what to expect for my grandchildren, I am truly DESPERATE for info, answers and/or resources that may better assist me in dealing with my own narcissistic (30-year-old) daughter.
    I would appreciate any guidance in this area immensely!
    Thank you in advance.
    Love and light-

  30. Hello,
    Thanks for information. I have been under narcissistic personality who is my sister in law. Everything written above fits her perfectly. she gained my trust by helping me to come out of my abusive marriage and somehow shemail made me believe that I am not good mother to my kids. Until such extent that I gave my 8 years olday daughter with her. I worked and sent her money while she separated bonding between me and my daughter. Now every time I don’t do what she wants she threatens me with my daughter!! wish someone can guide me how to bring my daughter back!!!! please!!

  31. I just left an emotionally abusive marriage. It was just under 1 year of marriage, and I left before getting pregnant, which I think has made him furious. He wanted to trap me for my money for life. I know I made the right choice, but it’s amazing the daily effects I am still experiencing. I feel anxiety, fear, guilt, hurt, etc. But each day is getting better. Life is too short to be run down by a monster. If they have baggage or past issues-they should be dealing with them with a counsellor, a church, a support group, etc. and NEVER abuse another person. Don’t be trapped in thinking you have to stay with them to fix their brokenness! We all carry our own burdens or get the right kind of help when it’s too much to handle.

  32. Hmm. …not sure about a lot of this. My mother is a PURE narcissist and she does not name call or use any other type of verbal abuse. That’s what makes having her in my life tricky.

  33. My son’s girlfriend is like this. I was searching for answers on the Internet, and came across this. It is 100% her. Expecially the part about the lies , isolation and I have to say ,all of it. Making him think that one member of his family is a really mean person. When in reality, she’s not. What do you do about it? Everyone’s noticed the change. But does not know what to do. Please let me know what can be done to help.

  34. These people are sick. They are toxic and dangerous. The narcissist that I was with used to say awful things that literally made me cry. When I challenged him about his behaviour he said he was testing me??WTF. I have been NC for 2 weeks now but in that 2 weeks I have had no end of texts, emails professing undying love, I am not going to be horrible anymore. I will treat you better. No thanks go and find someone who will listen to your lies because I am done. Love yourself you do not need toxic bastards like these to validate you or make you feel alive that’s what they crave. You are a beautiful person don’t ever forget that. Mel x

    • I was married to one for 42 years, I loved him but it was never enough. He made me feel totally inadequate.
      I became incredibly depressed the last 4 years of the marriage. He always abused alcohol and then turned to meth, great situation, huh? He became violent and I had him arrested and served him with a restraining order. He faces 3 court dates next month for 7 felonies and 4 misdemeanors, for which I am the witness. I have since divorced him and not till after all of this did I find out what NPD was. Every single article I’ve read on it, fit our relationship down to the letter! I am finally FREE and HAPPY. My advice to anyone in that kind of relationship is…get out NOW!!!!

  35. Why don’t their seem to be any women who are narcissistic? This is a lot of male bashing. You love bombed us with the love bomb being your first sign, are you suggesting that people don’t fall in love quickly, sometimes? Abuse sucks, and I’m not saying that narcissistic people aren’t out there, but be careful with labels, and sexism, or you just might be guilty of a little psychological abuse yourself… I wonder, how many of the women commenting have cheated on their spouse?

    • Dwayne, it is unlikely that the women commenting on this thread are narcissistic abusers I believe I am with an inverted narcissist women and it is painful to be in it but I feel lucky to have identified what I think I am dealing with. The one thing I have noticed about my NP girlfriend is an incredible lack of self reflection about themselves on their own but when confronted about something they have done or said that hurt me …. they know all the answers about what MY problem is. I also knew a full blown sociopathic NPD. coworker who was exactly the same way … he didn’t know why he was banned from coming back to the work group we were in and I had to tell him that if he hadn’t kept backstabbing everyone all the time while being nice to their face … he wouldn’t have been banned. He had zero understanding of what I told him. In my experience in our dysfunctional society, males are far less likely to openly discuss what they may be going thru with narcissistic gf or wives … thus far less commentary about np women on forums

  36. My daughter has married a narcissist who has convinced her that her parents are dreadful. She has been totally brainwashed and now has no friends or family contact. It is clear to everyone else except her that he has total control of her life. She has completely changed and walks on eggshells every minute to comply with his demands and needs.

  37. i have been with him for five years and am about to leave again. i try and stay away for awhile each time but inevidably he draws me back in. he makes me send him videos all the time of where i am. rather, says NOT to but id i dont accuses me of cheating so i BEG to so that he wont say i was sleeping with other men. then when he does he goes through my phone and reads all the things i said about him to my friends and family, when i finally felt strong enough to be honest with them. when i would try to date and move on he’d say even though we werent broken up i cheated because i abandonded him and HE didnt decide we were broken up only i did. then he is sweet and nice and perfect for months. then things turn and he DEMANDS i tell him every single way i was sexual with other men when we were apart. he tells me i’m not myself. that the me he fell in love with is dead. that all i have to do is tell the truth and spread myself open for him and he’ll love me forever and never leave. when i cant remember exact sentences of conversation during sex from two years ago or where exactly my hands were he says i am a liar and cant tell the truth. he calls me so many names. threatens to leave. guilts me and tells me i am the one who gas lights HIM becaue i lied and i cheated and i said mean things to my family about HIM and ruined his reputation with them. he says i am rhe narcassist. i am the psychopath and i dont feel bad when i hurt HIM and i am the evil one. some days i really really believe him. he is domanant sexually and i always liked rgay but then he would just start hitting when he got mad and say it was my fault because during sex i liked it and he found that confusing. it messes with my mind so badly that i really do believe some days that i am the one ruining our relationship.

  38. i have tried leaving him twice already. every time i get sucked back in. and then he says i abandoned him anf i feel so guilty. in the time apart when i wouldnt even speak to him i try to move on and date other people and then when we get back together he claims that that was me cheating. that he would never do that and just waited for me, even though he dated other girls in tat time too. he said he only did it because i left him and broke him and he never slept with them which i know is a lie. i leave because of the name calling, the control (going through my phone, needing to know every single thing i do, etc.) if i even watch a tv show without telling him he says it is decietful behavior and that i am a liar. he got on this kick where he told me i needed to tell him every single sexual thing i did when we were broken up or when i “cheated” like specifics of where mens hands were and if my story changes or i cant remember he says i’m nothing but a liar and he threatens to leave me. he expects me to remember every detail from two years ago! claiming he would be able to. until i give him the “full truth” he expects that to be my only priority or it means i dont love him. i just have to go straight home and think of the truth or i am not taking care of it and fixing our relationship. he hits occassionally and when i threaten to leave he says he is going to kill himself. i feel so scared he’d actually do it and so guilty for leaving him again and i again that i feel to scared to do it now. i told him last time i thought he has a psychological disorder which was such a mistake because know HE accuses ME of being the one who gaslights. he even does little things that reval what he does. the other day i asked him if he wanted me to wash his clothes and he pointed to them and said these? and i said yes and he didnt respond. then later i asked again. he said why are you nagging me i said yes. i said no you didnt you didnt answer. he said i pointed and said these? and you said yes. and i said yeah wash them. and i said no….you didnt reply. and he said, but are you doubting your own memory now? when things are good he is the most incredible and i dont believe he is bad but when they are bad they are the worst and i really feel he is what i fear but i’m too scared to hurt him and leave him again

  39. I think my husband may be a narcissist. I’ve been thinking it for a while but this last act has been the most over the top. He just up and left me said he needed to be around his children. We didn’t talk about it or anything we had a plan for us to move start a new life get our place have the children visit he even said he eventually wanted custody. I’m starting to think that’s just what he uses to lead me on. Then yesterday I spoke to his child’s mother or so I thought I’m starting to think it was him texting me the entire time because when I reached out to her today she sent me one word replies she wasn’t nearly as open to talk as last night and she even told me to stop texting her phone… I’m beyond confused

  40. Wow…..I lived like this for 11 years of my life.
    Everything here is a reflection of my life but I said No last year and he took my three beautiful children away to Nigeria leaving me without a penny but guess what? I knew it was painful but I didn’t want to be a victim of his abuse but rather a survival
    Am now in the law school in Ghana and am involved in helping other women to empower themselves so they can depend on themselves. Plus I made a choice to trust God and it has paid off.
    Thanks so much

  41. My daughter is married to a narcissist and he has turned her against me. I have not seen my granddaughter for 3 years and never seen my new granddaughter. He told all his friends I’m the crazy grandma.
    He only wants his mom in the picture.
    My Ex husband is not even her real dad and she asked why didn’t I leave him while she was growing up, now he gets to see the girls, stays at their house with his wife that he cheated on me with.
    My son in law has my daughter convinced that he is trying to help her and I get together.
    I don’t know how to fix this, how to deal with him.
    What I don’t understand is my daughter and I were so close.
    I don’t

  42. This was an excellent write up about the brainwashing a Narcissist does to his victims. The malignant narcissist I was with did all of this to me, he tried so hard to destroy my sense of self, to isolate me, to control me and make me think I was crazy, he spread smear campaigns all over the place to destroy my reputation in order to further isolate me. The brainwashing that they did with their intermitant behavior of good and bad treatment makes the trauma bond even stronger, and cognitive dissonance protects us from the abuser and the dissonance of our true believes and values, as we lose sight of them and hope to survive and have a better life, and the love that we have given will be returned if only we try harder. But this is all a catch 22. He is the great puppetuer and we are the puppets indeed. This is a cat and mouse game, and we are the mouse. There has been so much pain and so much abandonment feelings, as I moved into infantile regression patterns, and the Stockholm syndrome was thus created. I live in two realities, one that I know is real and true, and then the reality that is not truly reality, that he perceives and claims to be true. With his threats of annilation, no way of escape, his isolating me with smear campaigns and trianglelization, and good and bad behavior, I move towards the unreality that he lives in and begin to comply and be what he wants me to be. Wanting always to be strong against his brainwashing, gaslighting, but his arms flailing and the way he lies chronically and distorts reality, within minutes I feel literally hynotised by him. I finally left the area to get safe, I can’t look at him, he has an affect on me like hitler did to his people. I know I will get better in time with NO CONTACT, their is emptiness within me and a feeling of helplessness and loneliness as everyone has been taken from me, yet I want to survive this trauma. I have read how to survive the trauma bond and the stockholm syndrome. I see a councelor this week after searching for 3 yrs. who works with traumatic memories buried in our bodies, I hope this helps me, Melanie Tonia Evans does Quantum Freedom Healing, I havent been able to do this, but I think I can with this woman I see this week. I wish everyone recovery and peace and love. Mine is a cyberbully also and still tries to destroy me with lies and not taking any accountablility, I have proof of all the cellphones he has destroyed and the computers. This is hard for me as I am trying to have peace within, and it brings up fear and trauma being hacked and stalked.

  43. My sister-in-law is a master manipulator. 26 years ago, the first thing she did when they met was to isolate my brother. Suddenly my parents and I were under her rules, subject to her paranoid interpretations of our actions, apologizing for everything we did “wrong” (thinking we were taking the “high road” but in hindsight I see that we were just giving her fuel). My brother could see no wrong in her and in fact became very defensive of her.

    Lately they had been fighting quite a bit, some terrible fights. He can be intimidating when he’s angry, and she used that. She used his show of anger against him, victimizing herself. They almost divorced. She blamed him for destroying her life and made him feel guilty for the things he actually did wrong AND for everything else wrong in her world. She “weaponized” their 2 young-adult children, and the three (she and her children) together finally severed my brother from us (me and my parents) by using her children as blackmail.

    *In order to have his children’s love, he must show allegiance to his wife by denying love to his own family, unless those family members begged her for forgiveness (for silly accusations she made up) and came crawling to her in a show of the same allegiance.*

    He is once again by her side, and this time our relationship is completely severed. My parents are old and in the last years of their lives, they’ve lost their son and grandkids. It is truly heartbreaking to see my parents’ sadness.

    I guess there are some in this world who can bring strangers together as family, and there are some who can tear loving families apart. At least I am no longer controlled by her, but the price is loss of a brother and nephews who I never had a quarrel with. I can handle that, I suppose, but seeing my parents suffer is unbearable. I’m sad to see others going through this too.

  44. I’m 33 years old. I always thought that my mom had severe PTSD. Today I closed my eyes and thought parental narcissim and i found this site. My mom is a narcissist. Brainwashing, jealousy, gaslighting everyone to think I’m crazy when I’m not. Recently I was Diagnosed with BPD and wondered why. This is why. My mom was in the psychology field and realized I was autistic and purposely kept me undiagnosed. The took control a 21 and at 33 im taking control so i can escape. She doesn’t acknowledge my marriage. She usually talks about me in the family holiday card. No mention of my marriage. She says my husband is using me. She says hes not gonna be around for the long haul. My husband saved my life and is the only reason I’m alive and yet, she hates him. When i was 8 she got mad and held me down and wiped her vagina on my face and when I asked why as an adult she said “self defense” she sexually assaulted me and rationalized it with self defense. I’m shocked, im crushed but im no longer brain washed. I see her for the MONSTER she is.

  45. This article is straightforward and accurate. I have trouble verbalizing these objective observations about narcissists without losing my temper. It’s as if you wrote out my thoughts, sometimes word for word. Except that I will word it in such a way that insults the narcissists. I’m so angry at the injustice and disrespect that I will fail to be objective when I try to describe their tactics.

    I am really impressed that in this article the author fairly represents both the victims AND the narcs who are abusing them. The author does not justify or rationalize the behaviour of the narcissist, nor does he demonize them.


    It’s important to note that some people don’t consider NPD a ‘disorder’, they just think of it as good solid advice. My parents are firm believers in narcissism. If you show them a list of traits of a narcissist, my father will say it’s the first rational thing he’s heard all day.

    They defend their own behaviour, insisting that their natural superiority entitles them to disregard others. They do not empathize with anyone and do not display emotions of their own. My father actually has claimed not to ‘have any feelings’ in the way one might insist on not having scabies. They believe that what we call ‘narcissism’ is just a good recipe for a successful life.


    It is easy to confuse my mother with the narcisisstic behaviours which define her to me. But I think she is more like an alcoholic in a perpetual stupor – she is ‘drunk’ with narcissism for so much of the day that it is like a mask she never takes off.

    She alternates between denying that there is anything wrong with her treatment of me… to saying she hates who she has become and that she was not like this until I was born. She claims that long term exposure to me made her into who she is today.

    When I mention that her logic could be extended to include the fact that she has known me as long as she has been living with my father, she will abruptly change back to denying that she displays narcissistic behaviour.

    This article helped me to see my mother like a human being suffering from narcissism, much like an alcoholic who suffers from alcoholism. Long ago she accepted this as her entire personality. She no longer wishes to break free of this vicious cycle. She doesn’t change because she believes in narcissism as a way of life, not because she is ‘evil’.


    It is not in good taste to humanize the narcissist, but I must also resist the temptation to shame them. There is no shame in making a terrible mistake for years and realizing it and turning over a new leaf. There is no shame in failing and trying again.

    I know that because now I, too, am a narcissist. And I am not ashamed. There is no shame in being unfairly conquered by a treacherous adversary. They have conditioned me to emulate them. I am dismayed but never ashamed.

    Every day I practise overcoming their conditioning. I don’t believe in narcissism as a valid way of life like my parents do. But their brainwashing has altered my ability to escape their narrative of me. I have been indelibly altered by their abuse and though I put great effort into not mirroring their tendencies I am now conditioned to respond to all situations automatically like a narcissist.

    I don’t believe it is possible to truly lack empathy. Perhaps they are deaf to it but I believe that once, long ago they were just normal (albeit troubled) people coping with childhood, adolescence and adulthood.


    Thank you so much for this moving and extremely helpful article. I am so grateful that you could put it into words what I have always tried to express.


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