Contact Me

If you need support, or have a question, the best way to get a hold of me is in one of my two support groups, or through my weekly live Q&A on YouTube. Due to the sheer volume of emails that I get I am no longer able to respond to individual emails, however, I want you to be able to get the support and feedback you need.

YouTube:

The Live Streams on YouTube run every Wednesday night at 8:30pm EST.  Click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified of when a live stream starts, or when new videos are posted.

Support Groups: 

Support Group on this website: www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum

The support group on my website is “open” meaning that anyone can see your posts, however, you choose your own screen name so you can maintain as much privacy as you want or need to.

 

Facebook Support Group: www.facebook.com/groups/HealingAfterNarcissisticAbuse

 

  • The support group on Facebook is “closed” meaning that only your Facebook “friends” can see that you are a member of the group, however, they cannot see what you are posting–unless they decide to join the group.

 

  • If you want to join the Facebook group, but are concerned about privacy, you can create a new/different account with a fake name (make it look like a real name or your account will get shut down by Facebook) so that none of your existing contacts can see that you are in the group.

If you are wanting to connect for a potential YouTube collaboration, speaking engagement, sponsorship, or other business related idea, please email me at: connect@www.thriveafterabuse.com

  • To send in your story, please email it to mystory@thriveafterabuse.com and please make sure to change any names and locations to ensure your privacy and safety

Wishing you all the peace, love, and healing possible,

–dana

 

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Dana

I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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Must Read: Psychopath Free

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About Dana 306 Articles
I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse. My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life. Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics. It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.

66 Comments

  1. Hi Dana, I split up with a covert narcissist just over 3 years ago. I have been trough hell and am trying to heal and become more knowledgeable about narcissism. We have an almost 4 year old daughter together, Penelope. I almost lost my life during her birth. My older daughter, Shannon is 17. She has witnessed narcissistic boys ruining girls’ lives in her social setting, already. Do you know of any preventative/building awareness measures being taken to disseminate the devastating, life-long effects of narcissism for our youth..Ie: school assembly education… Also, are you aware of any movements toward the understanding of narcissism in the family court/legal system? In my mind, this life-threatening issue must be acknowledged and dealt with through school assemblies, in the home and in the family courts.

    Thank you,
    Mara

  2. I love you videos and they have really changed my life! I just survived a cover narcissist girl. We dated from October until I left her in March. She was textbook: Came on STRONG for sex after the second date (and nearly every day after), I was “the one” after only dating for six days, wanted me to move in with her a few days later, gave me a key to her house and a garage door opener during week two of dating, bought me over-the-top gifts constantly, and told me deep stories that “she’d never told anyone else” – one being about her having a “fling” with a teacher in high school. YIKES!!!!

    Her dad, whom she never spoke to, was an abusive alcoholic to her mother. Her and her mother were very close. Her mother was also one of the nicest people I’d ever met. In January, I bought an engagement ring for her. She’d recently said how she had no doubts that I was the one she wanted to spend her life with. (WOW WAS I DUMB!!!). We’d talked to great lengths about how in love we were with each other and how she “would marry me tomorrow” when I would ask her how sure she was that I was the one for her. And that I “had nothing to worry about. The answer is yes.”

    It all turned one day when I told her that my mom and I had gotten into an argument. We’d planned to have dinner with my parents, and I asked her if she would like a mutual friend of ours to come along to the conversation stayed light. A “buffer” of sorts so my mom wouldn’t be able to ask uncomfortable questions. The argument was about religion, whom me and my girlfriend were on the same page about. The emotional vampire stint of our relationship began. It was like that kid asking why, why, why, why over and over and over again. Nothing I said could calm her down and I was set on the fire for simple comments, or even when I would try to brighten her day with simple cards or leaving flowers. I was “pressuring her too much to be happy.”

    I ended it after she put me, yes, a DUDE in tears during a trip to Atlanta. Booked a great room with a cool view and had a great evening planned for us. I’d been walking on eggshells for about a month at this point. This trip was no better. Her cold attitude was awful the entire time. Simple kisses felt like chores and forget her attempting to hold my hand or show any affection at all. When we returned home, I knew it was over. A few days later, I told her that I had some things to get off my chest and that I needed to come over to talk about them. I walked in, sat down, looked her in the eyes, pushed through my tears, and told her that it was over. That I’d done all I could do and that I had no more left to give her. My emotional reserve tank had been completely depleted.

    Leaving her was difficult. I managed to do it, somehow, with the only shred of dignity I had left for myself. I am in therapy, working through it all, and your videos have been amazing. However, would you be able to make a video talking specifically about a guy dating a covert narcissist? My resources are limited in this area and, while it is generally guys who display this behavior, there are women out there who do the same thing. Trust me, I have NO problem finding them.

    Thank you for your video blog. It’s awesome! It’s been the biggest help and you’ve hit on targets that I didn’t even realize existed.

  3. Hi Dana,

    I was very impressed with your YouTube video and I thought you would be the best person i could contact for advise.
    I am a teacher in a UK primary school and there is a 11 year old boy who has shown many traits of narcissism and it’s greatly hindering his progress.
    I was wondering what advise you could give me and the teachers on what to do and how to help him.

    Regards.

    Rabbi Levi

  4. Hi Rabbi Levi,

    Thank you for writing. You bring up a very interesting question with how to address a possible personality disorder in a child. Many psychologists and psychiatrists are hestitant to diagnose someone under the age of 18 with a personality disorder, which can make treatment really tricky. Does he have a treatment team of anykind? Are his parents involved in his life/schooling? What troublesome behaviors are you seeing?

    If his parents are okay with him meeting with a child psychologist who is familiar with potential personality disorders in children (as well as trauma, as trauma often manifests in different ways in children), that might be a good place to start. A specialist should be able to help develop some sort of specialized school plan for this child.

    I wish you all the best with this child, and I sincerely hope he finds the help and healing that he needs.

  5. Hi Mara,

    Thanks for writing. I am glad that you have been able to recover from such a difficult delivery (and marriage). You ask a few great questions, but I’m afraid I don’t know of any info that is out there geared towards children, or even the general public. Frankly, I strongly believe that both Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder are grossly understudied, misunderstood, and go largely unaddressed. I have no idea as to why this is, as the social, emotional, and financial cost of these disorders is staggering. I would love to see some programs geared towards society as large, including the schools, courts, police, and even therapists–as many aren’t familiar with the different ways NPD/ASPD surfaces.

  6. Hi there,

    Thanks for writing. 🙂 I’m really sorry that you hurting right now, and I know you know this, but I’m going to say it anyhow: you dodged a HUGE bullet by not marrying this woman!

    …Yes, you are right that men go through Narcissist abuse too–and I think many of them have a really hard time moving forward, because society doesn’t understand how men can be abused, and difficult women are often seen as “bitchy” and not abusive (which adds to the further crazy making of it all).

    I will make a video about how female covert Narcissists operate, and try to present more of the male experience–because you are not alone by a long shot. I’d say that of all the messages I get everyday, probably 40-50% are from men. Which tells me that men experience Narcissistic abuse a lot more frequently than is reported in the statistics.

    I’m glad you are seeing a therapist, and talking through this experience, as it sounds like this has happened to you more than once.

    I’d also encourage you to examine your standards for how you expect to be treated by others, as well as the strength of your boundaries. I’m not sure if you’ve seen this video yet, but this question that I cover in the video really gave me the huge aha moment that I needed so I don’t keep falling for covert Narcs! http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/dating-a-narcissist/

    (((hugs))) to you, and I wish you all the health and healing possible. <3

  7. Thank you for speaking truth in such simple words. There are two booklets that may help you. “Exposing Human Sharks 100 Ways” and “50 Ways To See Thu Men.” By Vernon Howard. Your teachings is helping us in our marriage for there is no ego in higher love.
    Thank you again for being our teacher.

  8. Hi there,

    Thank you for the booklet recomendations! I am always up for a good read, and look forward to checking them out. I’m glad that my info can help, and I’m flattered and humbled that you would think of me as a teacher on this topic. Truth be told, I am as much of a student as you are, as I am always continually learning about this. Thank you for your kind words. <3

  9. Your sound quality on your You Tube videos is poor
    Cannot hear you. And yes my sound in on full.
    You need a stronger microphone

  10. Hi Dana, currently I am in therapy for PTSD stuff after being in a 16 yr relationship. I had no idea what I had stepped in. I can tell you that it means towards sociopathic behaviors. Predatory, sex addiction. Women on Craigslist. I am sure he was involved with prostitutes. He hates women but cannot be without one. He has to have a victim in his cat and mouse game. At his job I did not exist. Our daughter is a prop he uses, as well myself probably to look normal. He is far from this. He is into, what I uncovered accidentally, very vile sexual behavior. Urinating and defacating is what he advertises for on Craigslist.his world is so sick and so dark I cannot wrap my brain around who he really is and who I thought he was. He was came off lil the victim of his crazy mother and ex wife. He pitted people against me. It was so weird, i had no idea how I had gone from a well liked person, to someone who was always getting these weird looks. I know now, everytime I brought his lunch, i was ” stalking” him. Lol! His face and appearance would shift, like a shapeshifter, depending on what he was doing. I felt like I had been sleeping with the devil himself.

  11. Hi Dana,
    I’m thankful for your site. The guy I am trying to leave fits every single red flag except for two. Is it common for narcissists to want to control someone, like tell me I cannot have more tattoos or I can’t wear certain things unless they’re around? I was starting to think I was mentally sick from what he would say until I found your site. The most common thing I hear is “I’m sorry you feel that way”.

  12. I have one more question. I work with the person I am trying to break away from. How do I deal with this when I work closely with them and the rejection when he has told people bad things about me?

    Thanks so much

  13. When I use the word Narcissist (which I’m actually trying to get away from, as the word adds more confusion than clarity), I am talking about a person who is selfish, entitled, lacks empathy, lacks remorse, and is self absorbed. These types of people are very driven by power and control, and always believe their needs and wants should come first. So yes, him not wanting you to have tattoos or certain clothing is very normal for this kind of a person. These seemingly “small” requests are also how they push boundaries with people. If you give them an inch, they take a foot. You are not crazy–but the longer you are in a manipulative relationship like this, the crazier you will start to feel.

    Please consider joining the support group: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum <3

  14. Start looking for another job ASAP. I know this is a big pain in the butt, but people like this only bring chaos and drama wherever they go. They won’t change their behaviors, and do a great job at convincing other people that they are the victim of others/you. If you choose to stay, you will be most likely have to continue addressing rumors about you, as well as being on guard all the time around them–as they are capable of anything. That’s a lot of energy to exert–both emotionally and physically, which is why I suggest you find another job. This way you can pour all that extra energy into you and your profession, and actually get some traction instead of always looking over your shoulder or addressing rumors.

  15. Hi Dana, Just popping in to say hi, leave a comment AND ask a question lol. So here goes… Hi! I just wanted to say that your voice is so soothing and calming to me. I’m a big believer of happenings in life occurring at just the right time, and you certainly have shown up at the right time for me. You are the smarter younger sister that I never had. I have no sisters 🙁 so I will find my sisters in healing here. This is the first place that I have felt safe or compelled to post anything at all. Thank you for that.
    I have had numerous times with enduring the ” narcissistic stare” from different people, mostly men, a phenomenon that is deeply disturbing, creepy and very disorienting when it happens. I think this could be something that may be included in the red flag list. There is not a lot of information out there on this. Have you had this happen to you? I would like to hear your thoughts on this and if others have had this happen to them as well. Namaste, Alaynne

  16. Hi Dana.
    I think your videos are great and its so wonderful to know other people (and normal people) have gone through exactly the same thing. My covert Narc left me for another woman who appears narcissistic in some ways too… I dont know her but there are profuse online posts about her “love” and from even before I found out he was cheating etc… What do you know about narcissists being in relationships or being attracted to other narcissists? Maybe it would make a good video?

  17. Hi Dana,

    I dont know how i came across your videos or website. But i must say i m really happy and delighted to know that i was not alone in being a victim of narcissism . Thank you for taking the initiative to be of help to many people suffering today . You are a blessing to many people !!! Until i came to your page , i didnt know there was something called Narcissism . When i look back at my previous relationship,i could relate to all of the red flags that showed up in my ex girl friend . Thankfully i m out of it now and i m seriously thinking of pursuing a relationship with another girl.After reading your articles, i m now aware of the red flags and the different types of covert narcissism . While i will definitely watch out for all the red flags, my concern is that it will take time to find out if the person is a narcissistic ( especially when it is covert narcissism). So is there any way i can know in the beginning stages of a relationship if a person is narcissistic ? The red flags might take time to show up in a person . So is there any way i can force the person to exhibit narcissism ( if she was hiding as covert narcissism) . I m kinda looking for some kind of quick way to test anyone to push them to see if they are really narcissistic or just normal ? I don’t want to waste my time with someone only to end up months or years later to know that they are narcissistic. I would appreciate if you can speak on this .
    Thanks,

    Raj

  18. I’m glad my videos are helping. 🙂

    I think if a person has healthy boundaries and solid standards, as well as an awareness of what the red flags are–then they will most likely see problematic behavior within the first 5 dates with a person. (I look back and with all of my Narcs, there were warning signs within the first 2 dates–but I glossed over them because I has flexible standards and soft boundaries.) If you see a red flag–and most people have them, it’s a sign to slow down and do more digging so you can find out just how problematic this behavior is, so you can make your decision accordingly.

  19. Hi Alaynne,

    Thank you for writing. 🙂 There are LOTS of sisters in healing here, so welcome. <3

    I know what you are talking about as far as the "Narcissistic" stare. Both Steve and Jack had this stare, but it wasn't creepy (like what most people seem to experience when they get "the stare". With both of mine, they stared, but I think it was more because they were trying extra hard to come across as sincere, when in reality they didn't care one bit. I even brought up their "stare" to both of them, saying how endearing it was, and how I could get lost in their eyes. Little did I know that was their intention. :/

  20. Hi Dana,

    I got out of a relationship, and I’m not sure whether it was a narcissistic relationship or not? I feel like a lot of your red flags were applicable to my ex-fiancé’s behavior/personality, however I can’t help but feel that it was all my fault – and had I been more attentive, affectionate, and loving, then the outcome would have been different? I’m torn between not knowing whether he was truly the love of my life, or if he had NPD.

  21. Hi Dana, ran across your videos. Love them. I am a male who started researching because of the behaviors of my ex. I seem to have concluded that males who behave in this manner are diagnosed narcissistic or narcopath and females as borderline personality disorder. You say 70% narcissist are male and I say 90% Borderlines are female. They are both cluster B. Basically they have given the almost completely same diagnosis two different names. One for male and one for female. The only thing I do not here you say about narc’s that applies to borderlines is fear of abandonment. Anyway, just wanted to say keep up the good work and try to make you aware there are just as many men victims as women. Check out the shrink4men website. You will read horror stories there.

  22. Hi Dana, ran across your videos. Love them. I am a male who started researching because of the behaviors of my ex. I seem to have concluded that males who behave in this manner are diagnosed narcissistic or narcopath and females as borderline personality disorder. You say 70% narcissist are male and I say 90% Borderlines are female. They are both cluster B. Basically they have given the almost completely same diagnosis two different names. One for male and one for female. The only thing I do not hear you say about narc’s that applies to borderlines is fear of abandonment. Anyway, just wanted to say keep up the good work and try to make you aware there are just as many men victims as women. Check out the shrink4men website. You will read horror stories there.

  23. There are some key difference between Borderline PD and NPD–the key ones being the lack of empathy and remorse. However, I will agree with you that women seem to be diagnosed as Borderline, whereas men tend to be diagnosed as NPD. This is unfortunate on so many levels, as women are often much more effective as causing destruction, as they have more social backing and understanding that women can only be victims.

    Both of these personality disorders–any cluster b personality disorder really, is highly destructive. And yes, the men that experience these kinds of destructive women really are some of the most misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and minimized victims. There really is a ton of education and outreach that needs to be done on these topics. My intention is to be a major driving force behind that.

    If you experienced an ex with these kinds of extreme behaviors, I would encourage you to use that pain as a signal that something in your life needs to change. See, we tend to think pain is bad–it’s not. It’s a signal that we need to be redirected away from what is hurting us. This is why I encourage people to view the pain of these relationships not as a rejection, but as a redirection–and a sign for us to take some time and examine why we were snuggling with a porcupine thinking it was a kitten. Most often this happens because we see all the similarities between kittens and porcupines, and overlook the spikes, thinking that “no one is perfect”. While this is true, no one is perfect, we set ourselves up for continued pain if we are snuggling with a porcupine thinking that our love can change it into a kitten.

    I would encourage you to examine your boundaries about what you feel is acceptable behavior in your life for others, as well as for yourself. It’s okay (and healthy) to move away from the negative, and to move towards the positive. (((hugs)))

  24. It sounds as though you have a lot to sort through. I would encourage you to join the support group, and hopefully we can help give you the clarity that you are seeking. <3

  25. Hi Dana, want to ask you if you have done any videos on exposing the Narc and what could you expect from the Narc after being exposed. also videos on the Children That still live with Narc. My youngest daughter is going to University and lives with her Mother.

    Best regards Angelo

  26. I think you are 100% right on in your assessment of women being diagnosed as BPD, and men as NPD–but oftentimes we are really talking about the same personality issues. I’ll check out the website you mentioned, thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  27. In video 39, you mentioned something about it being narcissism or PTSD….do you have info about how to distinguish one from the other?

  28. Hi Dana,

    What has happened to your YouTube account??
    I was working my way through your videos and the account has been terminated.

    NOOOOOOOO!!!!!

    Can you please let me know when they will be back up??

    Thanks you

  29. My YouTube account has been suspended and/or terminated for reasons that are unclear. I have no idea what happened or if I did something wrong. (I was racking my brain all last night, and nothing comes to mind!) I have an email into them, so hopefully the videos will be back up soon. I have an announcement posted on the home page of my website, that I will updating as soon as I know more. <3

  30. My experience is very similar to Adam’s only my 8 year relationship ended when I found her cheating on me. I’m really new to NPD and your videos have been a huge help. So thank you. I’m a week into my third go at no contact and I’m struggling every minute of every hour of every day. Although I was very subtly abused i miss her terribly. I’m also finding it incredibly hard to accept that she has NPD. She has all the signs and behavioural symptoms, and I mean ALL, but it’s still hard to believe. I also feel very alone as the outside world just has no idea of what it is like or the dynamics of a relationship with a covert altruistic narcissist. I recently told someone I trusted that I was torn between knowing I must keep no contact and yet half hoping she would call me or turn up. I was told I was being pathetic and I should grow up.

  31. Hi Dana,
    I have just been introduced to your vidieos and am whatching them. They are very helpful and I am having so many of thoes “ahh” moments! I want to suggest you do a video about an additional red flag that in my more than decade long relationship was there right from the statrt and I ignored it. This is the double standered. You mentioned this in your videos a little bit, but I think it could be useful to make it a red flag all by itself. by double standered I mean of course, things he’s alowed to do but you are not.
    Thank you for this website and your videos and all you hard work and compattion.
    Keren

  32. I Do wanna know because It is something that I have tried to find information about and very little to my avail but all this is kinda new as far as the discovery of what narcissism is and sociopath and also never been with anyone who had these characteristics.. I am gay and my narc / sociopath partner of 7 yrs i have been with but but was in a 12 yr prior to him the previous one was the best 12 yrs of my life but no longer together he is gone now … But my current partner for sure I do know is narc/sociopath i know he has it and almost all signs of sociopath he steals he cheats lies does not seem to worry bout anything like court money losing license my health is only wanting what he wants he has lied about his past even career education even who his real mother was and just crazy stuff . he was in foster care and adopted and even his adopted mother could not help then he became ward of state til 19 and even then had issues with-behavior in the program I have his records and its all there … He has lost license went to jail for theft plus driving on suspended license 4 times next time .. he will leaves month at a time no contact at all even twice left me in hospital i came home empty house and lights disconnected … Its so much more but I am white he is black and we are gay .. So I was wondering is narcissism different in gay people I know its sounds lie odd question was just wondering is gender / sex / race has anything to do with it or whatever info can offer because i know he has this or several disorders even . I been with 7 years and this started yrs ago but has gotten way way way worse … like jail cheating porn lies all the time no morals now at all cheats abandons trouble with law and does not matter where he sleeps and even if its staying in shelters to do what he wants … He just has turned into a 16 y old kid t seems .. He is almost 30 yrs old.. Thank you just any info please would help .. Its so much it would take a book to tell u all of what he has done .. Thanks Kaleb

  33. Hi Kaleb,

    Narcissists and Sociopaths (abusive/manipulative people) are all the same. Abusive people come in all ages, genders, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions, education levels, and walks of life.

    More often than not their behavior does tend to get worse over time. If he is so reckless, and no regard for you, the law, or himself, then I would encourage you to distance yourself from him. Please do not try and sink yourself to save him, as so many victims try and do. This “over-giving” is called codependency. In a nutshell, it’s where one person is dependent upon another for love, or approval–it feels like we are “addicted” to the other person. Here is a video that you might find helpful: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/dating-a-narcissist/

    (IMO) the “cure” to codependency comes from identifying what areas of your emotional life that you are starved out in–and then being able to fill up those areas in different ways (instead of looking to one person to provide all that love or affection to you). The second part, is to realize that you have value, and that it’s okay, and healthy, to have boundaries with others. Boundaries aren’t just telling people how you feel (although that’s a good start), boundaries involve also taking action and walking away from toxic people in our life–without trying to get them to change, or be what we want them to be. It helps to accept them for what they are, and then to act accordingly. This doesn’t mean to accept a toxic person for what they are and then just never bring up their hurtful behavior–it means accepting that they have toxic behavior, and bringing it up–and then leaving if they continue to do it.

    Try asking yourself everyday, “If I really valued myself, how would I handle this?” By asking yourself that question, you can really start to guide yourself to the answers that I think you are looking for.

    I will be doing a series here starting next week on codependency that you might find helpful.

    Hope that helps. (((hugs)))

  34. Narcissists are all about themselves. The only way a relationship between two Narcissists works is if they are using each other for different reasons. So for example, if one Narcissist is an egomaniac, and another is materialistic, as long as the materialistic one tells the egomaniac how great he/she is, and as long as the egomaniac provides the materialistic one with “stuff” then things can somewhat work out. But if both of these people feel entitled to lie, cheat, steal, exploit others, then long term, this relationship will most likely implode on itself.

  35. NPD involves selfish and entitled behavior, manipulation, and generally a lack of empathy, lack of remorse, lying, cheating, stealing, or otherwise destructive “character” type behaviors, whereas PTSD often involves feelings of paranoia, constant fear/hyper-arousal, changes in sleeping, eating, socializing, nightmares, anxiety, and/or depression. …Keep in mind that people can have more than one thing going on with them (aka dual diagnoses). So it is possible for a person to be both NPD and PTSD. However, if the person is a habitual liar/manipulator and is blaming their bad behavior on PTSD, it’s probably not the PTSD that is the problem. Hope that helps.

  36. Hi,
    I like your videos and intend to watch them all. I do want to point out one thing. I am a self diagnosed borderline. I was marred to a narc (pretty convinced by everything I have heard, read etc.) You mention the cluster B types and how there are no hope for them.

    As you know, a BPD can have a blow up, but unlike a narc, they do feel shame, regret and promise not to do it again. I did follow that pattern as my narc partner pushed my buttons to get a reaction (supply). It wasn’t till after my divorce did I reflect and learn I was likely a BPD. Having a name for what I am helped me a lot. Over half the battle is knowing what you are, what can trigger it, and recognizing a situation as it is occurring. By doing research, I almost have my condition under complete control. Even when my ex lured me out with our kids to go trick or treating and then told me she is seeing someone else (first time she ever told me anything like that since the divorce), I reacted completely different to how she expected. The “old” me would have felt sad and perhaps walked away, or got angry for putting me in a situation where I was sort of trapped, as we were out with the kids together, 10 minutes walk from my home. But I said, ok. I wished her good luck.

    My point is, A BPD, if they can figure out what they are, and when a trigger is occurring, they can be a better person. A narc, well, they are superior so there probably is no hope for them as its everyone elses fault.
    Thanks for reading

  37. Hi there,

    Please let me know where you came across that I said that BPD people can’t change, as I fully believe (and know) that they can. Frankly, the more I get into talking to different victims of Narcissistic abuse, there is a large part of me that thinks BPD is more like an extreme form of codependency. Like you said, many BPD people tend to be highly emotional, and very reactive, but they do feel empathy and remorse, and they are often very sensitive, caring people–which makes them (IMO) even more susceptible to abusive situations. DBT therapy can really help, but I think many BPD people could really benefit from understanding healthy boundaries, standards, and learning about codependency. (((hugs))) to you. I’m glad that you were able to get out of your situation, and have been able to make so much progress–that is a huge victory, so yay you! 🙂

  38. Hey Dana, I’ve been watching your videos couple of months now. They’ve really been inspirational & motivational. I was in a 8 year relationship with who I suspect was a covert Narc (4 year engagement). Earlier this year I attempted to push for a wedding date and it resulted in him saying…..” He wasn’t ready to get married….didn’t want to be forced….recently has curiousity about other women……and doesn’t feel like he’s in love “butterflies feeling” – subsequent to that I found suggestive texts on his phone from another woman (he used initials instead of a name). I decided to move out shortly after (moved from end of July). He has been trying to get me back & now it’s at the point that he does “baiting” via Whatsapp……I keep the convo short & non-confrontational…… He’s been quiet for almost 2 weeks now but I’m fearful he will become vindictive to me….we own an apartment and land together…..but I’m not ready to start settling those as yet. Do you think he’ll quickly move to the other woman & leave me alone? Or is it gonna be constantly like this?

  39. I can’t really say what he’ll do in the future, but I can recommend that you get yourself out of any situation in which you are somehow tied to him that he could use against you (or worse, really screw you over). So, I’d look into getting him (or you) off of the loans for the property or selling it. I know you don’t want to sell these things, but if you both own them, and you want to go your own way then you’d be wise to untangle yourself from him (and any ramifications from his potential actions) sooner than later.

  40. Hi Dana.your website has been an eye opener.wish i knew this 7 months ago.my question is:will a narcissist ever risk exposing himself just to hurt his victim especially if he has a high profile job and has a lot to lose

  41. I guess it depends on what you mean by “exposing” himself. Like, telling people he’s a liar? …Whatever they do, trust me, they are 15 steps ahead. So yeah, they might expose themselves for being a liar, but they will have some sort of plan to do damage control and restore their reputation. It’s hard to really get them busted for things, as they lie, lie, lie, and then lie some more–and because they are so charming, other people generally let their behavior slide or they believe them.

  42. Hello Dana,
    I just finished watching your ask a question episode #59 and I was wondering if you could talk a little more about boundaries. What are healthy boundaries? And are there unhealthy boundaries? The reason I ask is because in my experience I’ve been told that I was violating boundaries but once my eyes were opened I realized it was really just another way for the narc to lie to me and blame me for being the one in the wrong. I look forward to your response!

  43. Hello Dana, I have found your youtube channel a couple of days ago and I was so glad to find someone who can understand what I am going through. I was in a very abusive relationship two years ago. He was chasing me like crazy and I eventually wanted to give him a chance. He love bombed me and I had the time of my life, I fell deeply in love with him. But all of the sudden he changed completely. He treated me very badly and made me feel guilty about everything. It was a back and forth for months, he humiliated and belittled me, asked me to come back and did the same again. Eventually, a friend of mine told me that he has a girlfriend – since months! He never talked to me in person anymore, I was of no use for him anymore. I felt so used and thrown away. At the same time, he had the time of his life and they are still together after all this time. I think he has really changed for this girl, it hurts so badly… Can people like him actually love someone and are they capable of love?
    Thank you for your help xx

  44. I can totally understand your hurt and level of devastation and confusion about all of this. …I think we all can. So many victims, and I was once there too, internalize what happened to them, and they fear that perhaps they were the problem–or that their ex is somehow going to be the perfect person for the next girl. But personalities and people don’t work this way. If he handles life by becoming abusive (either verbally, physically, emotionally, financially, or sexually) that’s how he handles things. Just like you handle things in your own way. It’s REALLY hard to change the way any of us handle life–and it for sure doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen because we find someone new. It’s hard to change even when we want TO change. So, has he changed? No. What you are describing between them is often referred to as the “honeymoon” period, or in terms of Narcissistic abuse, the “Idealization” stage. Here is a link that talks more about that: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/red-flag-of-a-narcissist-28-craves-power-and-control/

    You ask if he’s capable of love. The answer according to most professionals out there is, “no”. At least not in the way that we describe love. Abusive people are driven by their ego, and their need for power and control. People are just pawns in their game, and they use and abuse them to get whatever source of “supply” they are looking for at the time.

    I strongly encourage you to check out the support group: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum

    The way he acted towards you is not a reflection of you, but of him. Please remember that. You are “enough”. You are lovable. You are worthy of finding a nice man who treats you well–and they are out there. (((hugs)))

  45. I am so glad I found this site! I searched a YouTube & your video popped up & you gave the info for this site.
    Question: it’s probably basically the same Basic information but have you dealt with marital affairs. (It’s sad but a had an affair with a narcissistic man) background: mom is a narcissist, ex husband is a narcissist & married to a wonderful man..but ended up having an affair with a narcissisic man.

  46. Yes, there are lots of people in the various support groups who have had affairs. Here is a link to the support group: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum …I think the big question is why do you think you had an affair? If you can answer that, maybe you can gain some insight and prevent it from happening again. (((hugs)))

  47. Hi Dana,
    About 15 years ago I became involved with a woman who’d had some pretty bad previous experiences with men. Her inability to trust was a problem for me and we eventually split up after five years of trying. Unfortunately she rebounded into the arms of a guy who was pretty much as you describe these narcissists. He really took her for a rough and painful ride before she caught on to his cheating and lies. I guess my point is that the consequences of getting involved with one of these guys can be durable and far reaching. In her case I think there were a couple of that type prior to meeting me as well as the most recent. If she’d been willing/able to trust me we’d still be together. We’ve remained friends but I’ve since moved on, met someone, and married. I’ve sent her the URL to the video I watched. Maybe you’ll hear from her.

  48. Dear Dana,

    I was watching your videos because I have a friend that I’m living with that has many signs of NPD. It is ending soon thank god. I wanted to say that I suffer from BPD, which is cluster B, you keep saying that people in this cluster cannot be treated. This is not true. Dialectical Behavour Therapy works with BPD and not all of us want to manipulate and blame other people. I personally want to get better and it is not my fault that I have a personality disorder.

    I would really like to see a video separating BPD from the other cluster B disorders. Not all of us should be just thrown away.

  49. Currently I can’t do any counseling right now ($), but I listened you for a while now. You are the most easy to understand gal out there in YOUTUBE world. I left my husband after 19 years of marriage and I just walked out the door on Feb.17 and never came back. All I had in my hands is my computer. Since then I got an apartment, moved my mother with me and got a job a week ago. And all that in some kind of survival mode. I listen your videos every day, sometimes twice a day and I have a block, I can’t feel anything, it is easier for me do not feel right now. I don’t think about past at all. I’m afraid I can afford to feel right now, I need to survive and take care of my mother, I can’t be depressed. I can’t cry, because I don’t want my mother to get scared, I already took her away from her comfort zone to my broken world.
    I just watched your video how to feel the feelings. I know it is not going to be a real recovery if I won’t do the work, but I can’t crash right now ether. Any suggestions here? Thank you

  50. Oh my gosh–if I ever said anything about people with Borderline PD not being able to get better, I am sorry–I don’t know why I would have ever said that! I’ve seen amazing things happen with DBT therapy and Borderline PD people. (Frankly, it’d be a good therapy for the whole world to go through as far as I’m concerned!) I wish you all the health and healing in your journey, and for the record, I don’t think anyone should be “thrown away.” We are all victims of victims, and love is the best medicine–although with the dangerous people out there we can send them light and love from behind a closed door that we nail shut! (((HUGS)))

  51. Hey I have posted this on the forum but thought you might like to read it, so…

    (I have not gone over to the Dark Side…Injust don’t see the value of the whole I’m Good, They’re Evil thing…we’re just both sick in a different, yet temporarily complementary way

    The Narcissist and the Codependent are a Perfectly Imperfect Match.  Yin and Yang.  Salt and Pepper.  Bacon and Eggs…or are they?  In truth isn’t more like Yin and Yin, Salt and Salt, Bacon and Bacon?
    In truth, we recognise each other deeply.  Our deep Shame, our Fantasy worlds, our misplaced Blame and our Avoidance of Intimacy.  There is no Good and Evil here, just Balck & White thinking to help us avoid our Shame.
    We function perfectly at first, since our BEHAVIOURS are complementary, serving the Narcissist chiefly, but the Codependents real NEEDS eventually emerge as incompatible with those of the Narcissist…After much turbulence, distress and dysfunction, it dawns on one or other party that there is just no space in the relationship for the Codependent, so the Narcissist Discards, or the Codependent goes No Contact.  Then the cycle continues with another ‘Victim’ and another ‘Knight in Shining Armour’
    Here are just some of the ways in which we are the same in different ways:

    Narcissists are Hypersexual, Codependents are prone to Love Addiction
    Narcissists Abuse us, Codependents enable/facilitate Abuse of ourselves
    Narcissists are Intolerant, Codependents Put up and Shut up
    Narcissists make decisions with Dogma, Ruthlessness and without Caution, Codependents avoid decisions with Doubt, Ambivalence & Indecision, walking on eggshells, or later have Regrets
    Narcissists are Selfish, Codependents are Selfless
    Narcissists are Arrogant & Disrespectful, Codependents are Self-depricating & Reverent
    Narcissists are Disrespectful, Codependents display Reverence..I 
    Narcissists Discard, Codependents go No Contact
    Narcissists Exploit us, Codependents Enable our own exploitation
    Narcissists expect Mind-reading,  Codependents Read Minds, or believe we can
    Narcissists Break Rules, Codependents are Over-Compliant with rules
    Narcissists are Grandiose, Codependents are Over-Humble, sometimes self-righteously so
    Narcissists Rage then move on, Codependents Resent and bear grudges
    Narcissists are Anti-dependent, Codependents are Hyper-dependent
    Narcissists Gaslight Truth, Codependents Deny our own Truth
    Narcissists Break, Codependents Fix
    Narcissists feel Entitled, Codependents feel Unworthy, Undeserving
    Narcissists are Serial-Takers, Codependents are Serial- Givers
    Narcissists are Financially exploitative/reckless/controlling, Codependents Enable this by giving without boundaries/trying to control/being reckless ourselves
    Narcissists Cheat on us, Codependents are Self-righteously Loyal to them, to a fault, even when we have been cruelly dIscarded
    Narcissists avoid Feeling, Codependents Feel for them
    Narcissists Project their feelings, Codependents Hide their own Feelings
    Narcissists are not Accountable, Codependents Blame ourselves for everything
    Narcissists Devalue us, Codependents Under- value ourselves and Over- value them
    Narcissists engage Flying-Monkeys, Codependents post YouTube videos about them or post on them, fashioning them as Evil Monsters rather than sick people
    Narcissists lack Empathy, Codependents identify more to the dramas & traumas of others, than to their own
    Narcissists Contain themselves (double lives/lying/distance) keeping themselves Unknowable and therefore Invulnerable, Codependents Over-share, revealing too much, making themselves disproportionately & dangerously Vulnerable
    Narcissists Renege on Promises to us to change their behaviour, Codependents  Renege on promises to ourselves by returning to them 7 times on average before leaving 
    Narcissists Fantasise about military success/status/achievements, Codependents Fantasise that we are saviours who are desperately needed and that we are loved, heard and seen
    Narcissists are concerned with Self-Image, Codependents conceal our suffering to uphold Self-Image (as well as sense of Loyalty/Hope)
    Narcissists Love- bomb, Codependents fall Head-over-Heels

    Neither party experiences real Intimacy because neither party brings their true self to the table
    Both parties are Controlling
    Both parties fear and avoid being Alone
    Both parties are simultaneously Over-and Under- Attuned to the responses they SHOULD be attuned to, both of Self and Other
    Both parties punish with Silent Treatment, although Codependents get called ‘huffy’ because they often carry out this punishment with mixed messages
    Both parties use Sex and withholding Sex as bargaining tool
    Both parties suffer Addictions, eg Alcoholism/ Eating Disorders
    Both parties Idealise the other party
    Both parties experience difficulties with Self-care
    Both parties Manipulate, although Codependents believe they do it for ‘the good’, but both do it for own protection
    Both parties Stalk each other when relationship ends, failing to accept it’s over
    Both parties over-react with Panic when the other Discards/goes No Contact
    Both parties experience Anxiety over relationships/intimacy
    Both parties tend to be Obsessive/Compulsive or Chaotic, often symptoms of both
    Both parties use the Pain of others for Validation, although each  in a different manner
    Both parties are sexually focussed on Capacity to Arouse Other & sense of Performance/Power for own gratification, although Active/Passive behaviours are interchangeable in this arena
    Both parties Fear Abandonment above all else, although for the Narcissist, Abandonment is experienced as intense Dis-empowerment & Shame, triggering an immediate thirst for Power (new, ‘cold-stored’ or revisited Supply and bolstered Self- Esteem) while the Codependent experiences it as Betrayal and Isolation, triggering a need for comfort & reassurance from others, ie Action vs Passivity

    I propose that neither party can really Love or be Loved unconditionally, although Codependents demonstrably & desperately Believe in and Hope to experience Love, yet Fear it (fluctuating between Anxious-Avoidant & ‘Gushing-Needy-Clingy’.  Narcissists want Love theoretically too, but Fear Abandonment to a much greater extent and have no Belief or Hope left in  obtaining Love or Intimacy

    I propose that both Narcissism and Codependence are, as you say, indeed different manifestations of broadly similar spectrum of Abuse/Neglect/ Dysfunctional & Disordered parenting, but I believe Narcissism may result from lack of comfort or insufficient or insincere (Narcissistic?) comfort being offered by Abusive/Neglectful Caregiver, meaning that the aim of ‘Empowerment of Self’ became the drug of choice through necessity.  Codependence, on the other hand, results when just sufficient or heartfelt comfort was offered by (Codependent?) Abusive/Neglectful Caregiver, to warrant some degree of Hope and Belief in Unconditional Love in the child, so a posture of Vulnerability was the drug of choice through perceived availability of some comfort, although scant or overwhelming and often badly timed.  The presence or absence of Hope seems to be the main difference to me.  Learned Resilience of character could also be a factor, as could degree, timing, duration and nature of Abuse/ Neglect

    I don’t see sufficient motivation for relying on inherited or genetic traits, to explain the differences between Narcissism and Codependence, which, in my view, would be akin to resorting to ‘analogy’ to explain linguistic anomalies: heredity must only be used as a last resort in discussing/explaining psychological & behavioural matters.  Brain differences cited by scientists could, after all, just as feasibly develop alongside Personality Disorders, as to have caused them

    So, the good news is, that it we stick together, at least it won’t spoil two families.  Can the Codependent ever heal after such a relationship?  Probably yes, although in reality, only with either immense self-control, or the opposite…by completely and successfully letting go of everything from the past, in the way that someone with Buddhist beliefs might let go…sort of being born again.  And what of the Narcissist?  Can they heal?  Due to the Death of Hope mentioned earlier, generally No, for there is little motivation and no reliable means.  Therapy, intended as a tool for healing, also offers a forum for honing skills, observing weaknesses and can thus be the forum for a Masterclass in Narcissism.  And what of the children?  Little Cody and Narc Junior?  Sadly, the show goes on, but at least YouTube advertisers do well from it.  Best of luck to anyone Fighting Abuse, if that isn’t a telling and ironic paradox, but even better luck to anyone Avoiding Intimacy.  Welcome to my world.

    I reiterate, get healed and get out, in that order, or it’ll be an endless cycle of more of the same. Narcs do suck, but they’re sick and to be pitied and avoided, rather than blamed and Ordained

  52. I can’t tell you how helpful your website and videos have been! I thought I was going crazy… but I’m not! You’ve helped provide the information I needed to put all the pieces together. It’s probably saved my life. Two thoughts: you might want to include “PTSD” as one of the pity ploys of a narcissist and as an excuse for bad behavior (violent temper, convenient forgetfulness, etc.). Second thought: a vulnerability you haven’t mentioned (“empty bucket” concept) may be grief. The narcissist who almost ruined my life prayed on me shortly after I experienced a loss even though I’d known him for years. In retrospect, I believe my grief opened the door to the sort of love bombing I would have more carefully scrutinized before. Someday maybe I’ll feel safe enough to share my story.

  53. Hey dear! Im not sure “where” to go to post or ask for help with this, but I have been trying to register for either one of your groups. The one on here won’t show me the verification image for me to sign up, like it wont appear on any browser I have tried? And the facebook request hasn’t been accepted but Im not sure if Im just missing a step there! lol Thanks so much!

  54. I am trying to register (I neeeeed this group) but the captcha keeps saying I’ve entered the wrong letters. I keep trying and trying… aaaurghh! Please advise.

  55. Dana, when you address matters of narcissistic abuse, please be broader than just “partner” as you know, narcs come in many forms. I have had the worst experience of my life with someone who was verbally abusive, manipulative, controlling, and bullying that it is not my husband – it was his sister. I understand how painful it must be to live with a narc/have them as a partner, but there are many suffering at the hands of family, friends, co-worker, etc. Thank you for all of your expertise in this area. I love your Facebook page and would respond to each and every post if it didn’t show up on my timeline – there are mutual family members still on my Facebook and I don’t need them to see my personal posts of pain since many of them decided to just look the other way, deny, and chalk it up to “it’s how she’s always been!” Again, thank you for helping so many realize that it was NEVER EVER ABOUT US! You’re an angel!

  56. I’m almost finished reading Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson, and I wanted to recommend it. I think it’ll be most helpful with people who are getting stuck on labels. However, it has a kinda different way of communicating with inner child/outer child/adult self, so I don’t think it would be healthy for a client with Disassociative Personality Disorder. (would that be personality or personalities?)

  57. I was seriously cyberstalked and monitored by a narcissistic ex who happily labeled me the narcissist. It was very textbook. This was a person that expertly mocked me, pushed me, and blew up over everything that I was walking on eggshells within months. I was the one that said let’s forgive and forget because I honestly was so hurt by him that I thought that is we both forgave each other and moved on, we both would have satisfaction but then I saw a recent tweet that stated the Narc uses the “Forgive and Forget” as a tool to leave the other person hanging? I tried desperately for a honest, straight forward conversation with a person who was hacking and cyberstalking me (before I realized I was being hacked), someone intentionally taunting me with the ability to watch what I was doing (as in, making sure it works) and that left me the one hanging. I thought that we were never going to have an honest conversation, since I was only getting denial and lies, so I figured that us deciding to forgive each other for our perceived wrongs (whatever they may have been) and move on. No, that wasn’t enough. He went to more people and recruited Flying Monkey’s.

    On another note, I really like and appreciate your C-PTSD Video and have saved it for daily use. I have been used, abused, frustrated, betrayed, afraid, and frustrated for two years now and I have been very tense, so thank you, I really needed it. I appreciate the people who reach out and try to help others. Many thanks.

    Thank you

  58. Hey Lady!

    I was going through the audiobook “Healing from Hidden Abuse” by Shannon Thomas and she did a wonderful thing that I want to share.

    She wrote a letter to the abuse survivors’ loved ones.

    She talked directly to an abuse survivors support group and explains the nature of what happened. She talks about Trauma Bonding, PTSD, gas-lighting, discard, etc. and what a supportive person should/should not do to help.

    For months after discard, I didn’t have words to explain what was going on to my family. This letter would’ve been very helpful. You ask for video ideas. How about one from you directly to the family and friends of the survivor?

  59. Hi Dana!
    I hope I’ve chosen the right channel to contact you… I would like to thank you for your great work. It helps me a lot being survivor of narc relationship and a sociopath’s sister.
    Now I’m starting to write my own blog about the topic, because there’s no information whatsoever in my mother tongue (I’m from Czech republic), except from some magaziney gibberish. So I would like to ask you of permission to use your Red Flags videos as a reference.

    The second thing I have is slightly peculiar question: I would like to write kinda case study, using a movie analysis for my readers to better understand the topic. I would like to use movie Dangerous Liaisons (1988) to show typical narc on case of Marquise de Merteuil and the victim, developing the narc traits on Vicomte de Valmont. If you know the movie, do you think it is adequate?
    Again, thanks a lot for your work and thanks for your thoughts.
    Regards, Hana.

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