I get a lot of messages everyday from hurt and confused people out there. Like the rest of us, they are confused over what happened, as well as why and how it happened to them. They are looking for clarification and validation of what they went through, and reassurance that they can indeed reclaim their life and to make the transition from victim to survivor to what I call “thriver”.

Many of these emails start off with, “I know this sounds crazy, but…” and then they proceed to tell me a variation of the same story that we all share.

I’d like for them to not feel so alone in their pain, as we all know, a relationship with a Narcissist or Antisocial Personality Disordered person can lead to a lot of shame and embarrassment (among many other emotions).

I think it’s really validating for people to be able to hear a wide variety of survivor’s stories–and oftentimes for different reasons.

For those who are out of a toxic relationship, knowing that they aren’t alone in their pain can be very reassuring.

And for those that are still in a relationship, but on the fence as to whether or not what they are experiencing is part of the normal highs and lows of a relationship or troubling behavior, that they can hopefully see similar elements in other people’s stories–and seeing those similar behaviors will give them the clarity they need to make whatever decision they are ready to make at the time (hopefully in the direction of health and healing).

So if  you would like to share your story, please do the following four things so I can make sure I’m posting exactly what you want me to post:

1. For safety’s sake, please don’t use real names, or last names.

2. Please email it to me at dana@www.thriveafterabuse.com in exactly the way you’d like for me to post it on this site.

3. Please include some sort of statement that you are allowing me to use your story on here.

4. Please let me know if you’d prefer your story to be anonymous, or if you’d like me to use a certain first name.

Thank you for being willing to share your story. <3

68 Comments

  1. Hi Nancy,

    I’d love for you to write about it here. …Let me think of a way to make that happen–I’ll get back to you in a few days (tops). Technology and I aren’t the best of buddies, and it might take me a bit of head scratching, but I know it can be done. 🙂

  2. i have started a blog on blogspot.i need somewhere else to write and clarify another baddie.i cant do it there because it is my boyfriend’s sister and he is still very very attached to her.his wife is just like her,but he is unwilling to recognize this.his ability to become free of either one is now questionable to me.however,his sister has been a friend of mine in the past,although ive cut her off several times for being abusive.it appears she only gets worse with time.she is in her early seventies now.she has ganged up with my NM in times past.i need to write about her to clarify the situation for myself and get feedback.can i do that here?

  3. thank you so much,dana!i have already started.i wrote a few paragraphs today her as either ‘agnesangst’ or ‘nagnes’.this has really cinched thingss for me.i have developing psychic abilities and one thing i can tell is when someone is really angry with me.i see her face.i know that type of anger.
    are you a native american?i am 1/8th on my fathre’s side.you look kind of like my cousin.this is one thing my mother has tried to distort all my life.
    i believe in evil,now.i have wavered back and forhte as to whether this type of thing was an illness or not.i know i have faced crises of concience throughout my life and have had to make decisions to be good or bad.i know also that my mom and joyce have also.unfortunateoly they have gone in for more and more ‘selling their soul’.this is the reason,imo that these people get worse with time.they consciously turn off their conscience.
    thank you again – i have now watched all the red flag series,and i am watching ‘how to talk to victim’.i have some counselling experience;but i want to talk to kane as my friend.we have been going through some of this together vis a vis my mom and his wife;but the link via his sister,i can never bring up.i encourage him to set limits for her,when the issue arises,that’s all.
    you are great!i love your style.-nancy

  4. Hi Nancy,

    Thank you for writing. …I’m glad you are enjoying my info, and that it’s helping. I am not Native American (I’m half Sicilian), but I do think that many victims of highly manipulative people tend to be empathic and intuitive, as these con artists can often pretend to be very empathetic and intuitive like us! (Mirroring this back to us.) (((hugs))) to you. <3

  5. Hi…my story is one of my daughters. She has gotten involved with a jerk. She is in her twenties and feels she can fix this guy who won’t work, and sells drugs, and lies lies lies and cheats cheats cheats. He’s done it to her over and over again and yet when she leaves him and says she is done with him he has an unbelieveable pull on her and she keeps going back. She has told me that he screams at her but hasn’t hit her however I don’t believe that. I can see fear in her. He keeps her away from all her friends and does his best to keep her away from me. I’m afraid for her..does anyone have any advice for a very worried mother?

  6. Hi Shelly,

    Thank you for writing. I am really sorry that you and your daughter are going thru this. I am going to put your question on the “Ask a Question Show”. This way you will get a wide variety of responses from people. Hopefully we will be able to give you the support and feedback you need.
    …I plan on doing a response video tomorrow by the latest. <3

  7. You have stated several times that therapy never works to “fix” the N. You have said that the N will never get better. I would be interested in hearing the reasons this is true.

    Love your videos. So very helpful in understanding what I have gone through with my husband from whom I am separated. Life is so peaceful without him and his drama. He exemplifies nearly every characteristic you have mentioned.

  8. Mainly Narcissists don’t change because they don’t have a sincere desire to change. They tend to think everyone else has the problem. They also feel entitled to their behavior, and they lack empathy and remorse. If a person feels entitled to do what they do, doesn’t “get” that what they are doing hurts other people, and doesn’t care that what they are doing hurts others, all points to a person who lacks the insight into the fact that they have a problem.

    I strongly believe that couples therapy is one of the most dangerous things a person can do with a Narcissist (or any other highly manipulative, destructive, and/or dangerous person), because these kinds of people exploit others. If a person is out to use and abuse other people, then the perfect place to get insight into their victims’ vulnerabilities is in therapy, as you’ve got the victim who is working towards open, honest, assertive communication and their manipulative partner who is working towards getting better at hiding their bad behavior, and finding ways to use and abuse their victim. If either the N or the victim want therapy, I highly suggest they go alone–and not to couples counseling.

  9. Yes, Dana, I agree with your response. Here is my story in as small a nutshell as I can manage. I am 61, he is 59. Married since 1978. Have seen N signs since the beginning, but of course I did not recognize the crazy making. I have a masters in counseling psychology. Was a high school counselor for 30 years. I did not learn about Narcs in any of my courses! He is very controlling. Did not want me to have friends. Tried to tell me what to wear. Critical of my family. He has no friends bc he is such a whiner.Hence, we had no social life. He is SUPER connected to his mother. They bonded at his birth bc his father was an alcoholic and did not meet the needs of either one of them. He never once chose me over spending time with mommy.

    Fast forward to 2001 when I went to work in a new school. He suspected I was screwing every man on the faculty. The raging began in earnest. Constantly accusing me of affairs I was not having. Called me constantly at work. Started hanging up on me at the end of each convo. Accused my friends of “changing” me. Would tell me off with his 2 hour rages. Finally in 2007 I stopped physical relations. I simply could not stand him. If I had left, my younger son would have been forced to live with him half the week AT HIS MOTHER’S HOUSE. That is why I did not divorce him earlier. I could not let my two sons be under his and his mother’s control.

    He moved to his mother’s house two years ago to “take care of her.” She has lost her mind….totally crackers. Should be in a nursing home. Well, I assumed no woman would want him. Ha. The laugh was on me. A former student clued me in to his girlfriend this winter. I have found out he has moved a 49 year old woman into his mother’s house. I have learned that she has been in various former abusive relationships. Far from hating her, I am thankful that she came along bc he left my house to be with her. She saved my sanity. I have spent the last two years in total peace and quiet. My sons are out of college and working, so they are no longer a custody issue. I retired from the public school system last June, so I have spent the last year purging stuff from my house in preparation for moving. And I have researched ad nauseum on the Internet to figure out WTF happened to me. I did not grow up in a crazy family.

    Anyway, I discovered Patricia Evans’ book “The Verbally Abusive Relationship.” I have read it several times and still cry my way through it. She is spot on with verbal abuse. My husband exhibits nearly every characteristic she lists. Then a week ago I found your videos. I cannot tell you what comfort you have brought me. You know, I could care less that the other woman is sleeping with my husband. But it made me mad that she is getting all of him bc his mother can’t ruin their relationship. She has totally lost her mind. Your video showed me that he will “re-offend” with his narcissism with her at some point. He hasn’t changed. He won’t change. So in time she will get just what I have had for years. And the best part? He still won’t be happy. He will never in this life be happy bc he has no clue. He is so selfish. He interrupts. He walks away during convos. He slams doors. He has tantrums about money. He hides purchases. He can rage for hours. He can monologue for hours. I watch your videos over and over. Dana, you have finally brought me answers that I could not find anywhere else. There were pieces to the puzzle that were missing. Now I know I am not crazy. Now I see. I am finally feeling some internal peace. Some closure to the years of abuse.

    I have changed beneficiaries on all financial things and had a new will made. My sons know what their dad is. They basically have little to do with him. I found a church I love and am finding comfort in making friends of my own at church. I attend weekly Bible study for women. I hate that I have wasted so many years with him, but I believe I was meant to be the mother for my two sons. And last, let me tell you that he begged me to go to counseling with him back in 2008-2009. I refused, bc something just told me he would throw me under the bus and that we might not be able to find a counselor who would recognize his warped sense of reality.

    He wants me to file for divorce, but I am waiting for him to file so I can agree to divorce on condition he pay my legal fees. I would think that the other woman would be pushing him to get rid of me so they can get married. Hmmmm. Will update you in the future.

    Thank you is not enough. Your videos are spot on. What a blessing I found them and you on You Tube. I look forward to more videos.

  10. Bonjour,
    Voilà mon histoire…
    Je suis en relation depuis 2 ans avec un narcissiste, enfin, je crois…
    Alcoolique, menteur, beau parleur, charmeur, soigne son apparence, se vente, dit qu’il n’est pas fort sur le sexe mais consulte à tous les jours des sites pornos, voyeur, exhibitionniste, parle souvent de danseuses et de club, dit qu’il en a fréquenté durant sa jeunesse mais plus maintenant. On est en couple mais il veut me voir les week-end seulement du vendredi 7pm au dimanche 5pm. A tous les vendredis il me dit qu’il va finir tard. Quand il vient chez moi pour le w-e, il arrive entre 7h30pm et 8pm. Il m’accorde un 20 minutes de sexe par mois et jamais chez moi car il dit ne pas avoir d’intimité chez moi mais chez lui, il invente d’autres raisons. je n’aime pas son regard envers les jeunes filles, j’analyse son comportement par ses paroles et ses gestes continuellement. Il a une relation avec une de ses sœurs qui me fait croire à une relation tres intime entre les deux, comme s’ils étaient mari et femme, ils demeurent dans le meme immeuble et se voient à tous les jours et je me sens comme si je lui volait son frère, comme si elle était éprise tout comme moi de l’amour de son frère narc… C’est vrai que l’on aime ces personnages et je ne sais pourquoi d’ailleurs… Alcoolique, fumeur, ex-consommateur de cocaïne, menteur, parfois méchant verbalement, surtout sous l’effet de l’alcool et en presence de d’autres femmes, décide pour moi, me prête des intentions, ne fait pas l’amour avec moi (sexe 20 min par mois si j’en pleure à épuisement moral si non demandé, ne fait rien, ne me touche pas non plus de peur que je lui demande,.. Comme s’il était promis à quelqu’un d’autre), il me fait souffrir moralement et je ne peux me rendre chez lui à l’improviste ou le jour et l’heure que je voudrais meme si j’ai la clé de son condo. Je suis épuisée et malgré tout ca, je continue de l’aimer… Pourquoi ? Je croyais que le tout s’arrangerait avec le temps mais plus ça va, plus je découvre son vrai visage et ca me fait peur car j’ai investi beaucoup dans cette relation. J’ai l’impression d’avoir négligé mes enfants, ma famille pour lui…
    En visionnant votre video sur Youtube, j’ai peut être persé le mystère. Mais je continue mes observations car je ne voudrais pas commettre une erreur.
    Merci

  11. Dana, I love your site. I came across it after seeking understanding following a very dangerous relationship. I was attempting to understand how I get myself into these relationships. It prompted me to investigate each red flag and really evaluate my part in these poisonous relationships. I would rather be alone than to go back through this mess again.
    I have had 4 serious relationships in my adult life. First is Rick, the musician, was 32 when I met him at the age of 24. Why was he hanging out with 24 year olds? Then after my divorce, I met Daniel, he was a fellow RN at the hospital I worked at and he was physically beautiful. I didn’t marry him. He couldn’t hide his behavior more than three months into the relationship. After that relationship I remained single for 4 years, it almost destroyed me. I then found Fred. He was completely different from my previous relationships so I thought he would be safe. I married him. I later filed for divorce after he quietly moved out of our home. I didn’t even know that he had moved out until my son called me and said there was a uhaul backed up to the house and Fred was there with two of his friends. He was literally going to clean out the entire house while I was at work. I filed for divorce that Monday. To add, my son passed away from a pulmonary embolism a month after my divorce was final. I was devastated and slipped in to a deep depression. My family couldn’t even handle what was happening to me. Then I met a man named Chris. He has turned out to be more dangerous than anyone I had met.
    Seeking understanding, Me.
    Red Flag #1: Love Bombing
    Rick – excessive phone calls, excessive compliments, excessive flattery. Excessive display of public affection. Wrote me a song, bought me jewelry he couldn’t afford (he didn’t even have his own place). Complimented my taste and even told me that my best friend didn’t have good taste like I did. “I was classy.” At the end of our relationship, he just left me after 7 yrs of marriage, while I was in nursing school.
    Daniel – multiple visits to my work, said I was the most beautiful woman in the ICU; excessive flattery. Insisted his children “obey me” upon first meeting them (should have been a sign to run!!). Excessive display of public affection. Then stopped. At the end of the relationship he left and never talked to me again. He sent a friend to tell me, “Daniel doesn’t seem bothered by the break up. He doesn’t even talk about you.” Why would you seek out someone to tell them that?
    Fred – brought me a fake ring on our third date and told me some day it would be real. Told me he was going to buy me a house on the 4th date. Excessive flattery. Stayed up for 36 hours so that he could drive to Abilene (4hrs away) and deliver a picnic table to my mother that she never asked for in the first place. Then later refused to come to any of my family functions.
    Chris – excessive flattery, said he had been searching for me for years after our first and only date eight years prior. Complimented me excessively on how good I was at my job and how lucky they were to have me. Then later in the relationship began to insult me by saying, “you’re not important, you’re not special.” He later tried to choke me….
    Red Flag #2: Rushing Intimacy
    Rick – excessive amount of personal information given on the first date. Moved in with my best friend the first month after meeting and later moved in with me before I realized he had.
    Daniel – sex on the first date. Moved his children and himself in with me on the second month of dating, after telling me he had nowhere to go because he was “in between jobs.” I couldn’t throw him and his children out on the street. One of his children even said to me, “are you going to kick us to the curb.” He and I worked at the same hospital together; he told me he quit his job due to some conflict of interest but now I suspect he was fired.
    Fred – moved in with me by staying at my house excessively even though my home was 45 minutes away from his job. Sold his house “quick sale,” after revealing to me that he was in the process of a divorce. Then after the first month of sneaking into a free place to live (my home), made me feel guilty because he had nowhere to go.
    Chris – arrived at my house the first night we spoke on Facebook. Never left my house after that night until being carried away by the police 6 months later. Insisting sex the first night of his arrival. He told me he was about to commit suicide the night I reached out to him on face book. Then proceeded to tell me I saved his life.
    Red Flag #3: Good Listener
    Rick – great listener until we got married.
    Daniel – great listener until we relocated to another city together. He wasn’t able to find a job in the town we both lived so we relocated to a new area. He still couldn’t find a job. Btw, he was an RN. I saw the back ground check sent to the house. He had a rap sheet longer than my body. Had no idea.
    Fred – great listener until I began questioning his honesty.
    Chris – great listener as long as it was something he wanted to talk about.
    Red Flag #4: Mirroring
    Rick – I don’t recall
    Daniel – I don’t recall
    Fred – he began training with me because I loved to run 5K. He went on a strenuous weight loss program and lost 70 pounds in the first 6 months we were together. I wanted to do volunteer work at a homeless shelter so he started feeding the poor at a place called the Agape house when I said I was interested. Then invited me to come help him. He began adopting the same interest that I had such as hobbies, church, historical hotels, etc. This appears benign and not too bad except he began to take on my interest and ideas as his own. I was just along for the ride. He immediately began attending my church and abandoned his own church. He hijacked my thoughts and views on the world. Then later in our relationship became angry that I believed the way I did.
    Red Flag #5: Charming
    Rick – wrote a song for me and had it recorded. When he presented this to me, he told me it was written just for me. I currently suspect he gave out this song frequently. He would get up on stage at some of the pubs we would go to and dedicate songs to me. Learned songs to play to me. He would make sure I had VIP privileges when bands would come to town. Stupid stuff that only a 24 year old would appreciate. I will say that he was amazing after my son passed away, he called and checked on me frequently. Once after calling me he said he had to go because his brother was calling. I guess he didn’t click the phone over to his incoming call and said “hey baby.” I told him, I’m still here and asked him when did he start calling his brother “baby.”
    Daniel – became overly protective of me and chivalrous.
    Fred – Would tell me enduring childhood stories but related them to similar beliefs of my own. For example, after learning I was on a spiritual journey, he told me that when he was a child, he tried to dig a hole in the earth deep enough to put out the fires in hell. He bought tickets to shows that he couldn’t afford because he knew I loved music “to treat me to a night on the town.”
    Chris – showed deep remorse and sadness at the loss of my son. He even tried to tell me he remembered him even though he had never met my son.
    Red Flag #6: Unusual Amount of Crazy People in their Past
    Rick – musician. They were all crazy.
    Daniel – married and divorced two different women and had children with both of them. His first wife had a drug problem and the second wouldn’t sleep with him. Probably because she didn’t want to catch anything from him.
    Fred – He said his ex-wife was crazy and cheated on him. He told me her children (from a previous marriage) stalked him and would send him threatening phone calls. On another occasion he told me that on the way to my house he had been held at gun point and they took all his money as well as the special gift he bought me at the Christian book store. Yes, my bull shit meter went off but it was too strange to let my mind continue thinking it was bullshit so I choose to ignore it. After we were married, each year he continued to get robbed. Always in May, and always his lap top that was concealed under the seat of his truck. After the second time, I actually called bullshit. Another event occurred the following year, when someone took $500 dollars out of his locker the day before we were to leave for vacation.
    Ok, probably none of this belongs under this title. But my head is shaking back and forth when I go back and recall some of the bull shit I use to eat.
    Chris – everyone in his life was crazy. All his sentences would begin with, “that fucking bitch (insert ex-girlfriend here),” when speaking of past relationships. He even had his password to his IPAD set as, “fuckingbitch.” On another occasion, he arrived to my house with his car window bashed in and glass everywhere. He told me that when he was getting his things from the place he had previously been staying that someone attacked him. I identified with the attacker and believed that one……
    Red Flag #7: Fragmented Relationships see above.

    Red Flag #8: Poor Financial Management
    Rick – new business owner. Had opened a music store in the town I lived in. After our marriage, he would make me go open his music store because he didn’t want to get up out of bed in the morning. The hours of operation were 11am – 7pm. He frequently wrote hot checks ….remember, he was 32 yrs old. And I was 24 at the time. He had never had a job for any substantial amount of time. He even asked me for money after learning I had just received my student loan money. (I was a single parent of one trying to put myself through college). No, I didn’t give him the money.
    Daniel – He had no money, no investments and he was the baby daddy to two mommas. Always behind on his child support which I began paying for him to keep him out of jail. Yeah, I did that.
    Fred – spent money he didn’t have. Maxed credit. Lost home in a short sale so he could come mooch off of me.
    Chris – had excessive bills to pay and wasn’t paying any of them. I even hired an atty for him so he could come to some agreement with the thousands of dollars he owed. While I was deeply grieved after the passing of my son, he took my credit cards and maxed them out on “home repairs” to my house. He opened credit cards that I never knew about. I later learned he would purchase items at the hardware store and then take the item back to another hardware store to get the money from the return. Once they caught on to his scheme, he would take the item back, and receive store credit. He told me he bought me a carpet cleaner once…….he worked 4 days the entire 9 months he was here. Yes, I said nine. I’ll get to that story.
    Red Flag #9: Hyper-sexuality
    Very, except for Fred. He had erectile dysfunction? Very nervous, inappropriately nervous.
    Red Flag #10: Big Ego
    Yesx4 except Fred. He always was overly humble.
    Red Flag #11: Concern with Status Items
    Rick – uncertain. But he was a name dropper.
    Daniel – overly sensitive about his private life but would do things that brought attention to himself. He took great pride in his physical body. I brought him home to meet my family during the holidays one year. He took off his shirt at the beginning of the evening and never put it back on. He literally ate dinner with me and my family with no shirt. His daughters, my son, my nieces and nephews were all present. Everyone was stunned and very polite. We allowed Daniel to show off his muscles during dinner.
    Fred – yes, He always wanted to look good but only when public. He was also a name dropper. He even tried to be an extra in several movies after we got married. It was weird. At the time I was just glad he had found his own hobby. However, his hobby became increasingly strange over time.
    Chris – always.
    Red Flag #12: Victim/Hero Speak
    Rick – never a victim, always wanted to be the hero. He had heroic stories he would tell friends of events that never took place.
    Daniel – came to my house after we had just met to protect me from an old friend I had gone to dinner with. I know. I know.
    Fred – told me that his dad abused him as a child. He actually became childlike while telling me the story. It was too late, I had already married him. Ugh.
    Chris – told me that he was so depressed after his “wife” left him that he was about to commit suicide (he’s never been married). But his life was spared when he saw that I had answered his face book friend request that he had sent to me years ago. I don’t recall this request. But I don’t get on face book often and thought to myself, “I must have missed it.” By the way, this man has never been married. He then proceeded to tell me that God had brought us together (he later reveals he is an atheist). Yes, I drank the cool aid. But remember, my son had just passed away so I didn’t really care what I was drinking.
    Red Flag #13: Behavior Changes Never
    Red Flag #14: Flashes of Inappropriate Emotion
    Rick – I don’t know.
    Daniel – would go for days without speaking to me.
    Fred – had a total melt down when I gently confronted him about my feelings of his dishonesty. I was careful about asking because it was early in the relationship. He actually started yelling Layla, Layla and disassociated for a brief moment….btw, my name isn’t Layla. I don’t know who he was talking to. Later in the relationship, actually a few months before I filed for divorce, I told him that I didn’t trust him and didn’t understand why. A week later, he kicked in my bedroom door for no reason and then went upstairs to where my 27 year old son was sleeping and began yelling….”get away from me, get away from me.” My son came out of his room and later told me that he thought it was strange that no one was around him. There are too many of these stories to tell.
    Chris – In the early days of my hijacked life with Chris,I was beginning to feel very uncomfortable with the relationship and asked him to get a plan to move out. He actually faked an asthma attack and fell down in my kitchen floor and poured coffee grounds into his mouth while pushing the water fountain button on the refrigerator. The water was pouring all over his face and to the floor. He kept repeating to me, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” I told him, yes you can. I reminded him that I am an ICU RN and I know that if your talking and screaming….your breathing. He never tried that again.
    Red Flag #15: Verbal Put-downs and Insults
    Rick – he left me while I was in nursing school to go live in a town 4 hrs away at a bartering company. The woman he was going to work with belong to a cult called The House of Yahweh. I knew it was a cult and begged him to not go. This woman actually believed that there was another civilization on the other side of the moon. I had to return home to my mother’s house to finish my last semester of nursing school.
    Daniel – he would not speak to me if I made him mad.
    Fred – he would revert to a childlike state
    Chris – There is too much to say. He started by trying to cover my mouth and nose during sex….it progressed to more violent acts over time. He spit in my face, threw food at me, trapped me in the car which is when he liked to rant because I couldn’t get away. My body stayed covered in bruises the entire time we were together. Close friends at the hospital I worked noticed my arms and face were bruised and began to press what was going on. I finally started opening up. I felt ashamed. So much had happened to me the previous year, I feared my friends and family would think I was attention seeking. So I didn’t tell anyone for a long time. This was the most toxic person I had ever met and has put me on a journey to understand.
    Red Flag #16: Concern with Public Image
    Rick – not sure?
    Daniel – private but was inappropriate
    Fred – had over a 1000 face book friends. Had to look good. Actually called my sister and brother in law and told them that he had been picked up by an ambulance at our home after he became hypotensive because I wouldn’t take him to the hospital. My sister lives down the street from me. There was never an ambulance. He fell down at work and pretended to be ill. I still don’t understand this situation. We divorced very soon after this.
    Chris – too crazy to care.
    Red Flag #17: They Get You to Introspect

    Red Flag #18: Lying
    Rick – I am unsure but remember a woman coming up to me and looked very confused as she said, “You’re really beautiful.” My husband was standing next to me at the time. I believe now that he had a sexual encounter with her and he told her things about me that were untrue. After meeting me she realized I wasn’t what she expected.
    Daniel – After relocated to our new town he convinced me that he needed a vehicle. He said he needed for his children after wrecking his own vehicle in an alcohol related accident. I agreed after learning, the youngest child was having to walk to school in the cold. Yes! This played on my heart and convinced me to buy a car so the kids didn’t have to walk to school in the cold weather. The children in his custody at the time were 8 and 12. And yes, I am a being, so I bought him a car. Shortly after the purchase of the car, I had his children with me and we were preparing to go to a party at my sister’s house. Daniel called and said he couldn’t make it because of blah blah blah. I said, no problem. I later learned from one of his friends that Daniel and a strip dancer were driving around town in the car I had purchased for him. We separated shortly after. I was devastated after the breakup but never heard from him again. By the way, I did get the vehicle back.
    Fred – anytime his mouth was moving
    Chris – by omission
    Red Flag #19: Parasitic Existence
    Rick – I was too young to make that distinction. When I met Rick, he had a very small music store, with a couple of amps and a few guitars. After I graduated with my BS I didn’t know what to do with a science degree (not my original plan but caught up in this narcissistic person). So I agreed to help him build his business. I was a slave. Not a wife. After 7 yrs, we built a fairly profitable business, so I decided it was a good time to return to school to get my nursing degree. One month after I left the music store, he said he couldn’t handle the business alone and sold it. He later told me after I started nursing school that he really sold it because I would be making enough for both of us. When I questioned him about this concern, he said, “I have paid my dues.” He had never worked at a real job for more than a year
    Daniel – I paid the man’s child support for one mamma baby and provided for the children that were in his custody. He quit his job shortly after he secured his place in my life and never worked again.
    Fred – emotionally parasitic
    Chris – he is still a parasite. I have an order of protective custody that will end next month. He worked 4 days the entire time he was here. I think he was trying to kill me. I identified with you when you spoke of this. I feel crazy when I talk about it.
    Red Flag #20: Stories of Heroic or Unusual Military Service, Religion/Spirituality, Exaggerates Success, or steals other people stories
    Rick – yes. I will have to come back to this. My brain is actually imploding due to my stupidity.
    Daniel – He had a “wall of success.” It was a wall of everything he felt were accomplishments in his life. It was strange to me at the time but I didn’t want to embarrass him.
    Fred – He was proud of his social status. He told me stories of how his ex-wife came to him at church and asked him for support for herself and her children. He was proud of the fact that he pointed toward the man she was seeing at the time and told her to get her financial support from him. Like he was John Wayne or something. He then proceeded to tell me how all the men at the church congratulated him for not killing her. It was strange.
    Chris – He served in Katrina Red Cross (he has the t-shirt). He said he organized and managed an entire unit. He said, “I walked in to that place and they asked me what can you do? One of the leaders recognized me from other jobs I had…pointed to me….and said I want that guy.” Yep…I let that slide.
    Red Flag #21: You Have the Feeling That Something is off (Predator/Prey feeling) or they are Too Good to be True
    Rick – I never felt that. I was too young and dumb.
    Daniel – warning alarms. I actually recorded a prayer in my journal asking God to remove the man from my path….lol.
    Fred – my gut said something wasn’t true. But I could never put my finger on it. I thought we had similar beliefs at the time.
    Chris – my gut told me to run like hell on our first meeting 8 years prior. At that time, I felt he didn’t have boundaries. That’s an understatement!
    Red Flag #22: Questionable Sexual Behavior/Cheating
    Rick – yes.
    Daniel – yes
    Fred – yes. In fact, he had already moved out and had an apartment. He was seeing a phlebotomist at the hospital. I should have seen that coming. She actually went way overboard to become my friend before I had any idea.
    Chris – he was freaky. In the beginning he was attentive and pushed my boundaries every time. I actually came home to find hooks mounted all over my bed……yelp. I could go on but I think that says it all.
    Red Flag #23: Intelligent
    Rick – very artistic,
    Daniel – raising his children. Put himself through school. He recalled days when he and his children lived in a home with dirt covered floors because he couldn’t afford to support them while he was in nursing school. I identified after being left by my husband a few years earlier while I was in nursing school and supporting a child.
    Fred – nawwww….definitely an idiot playing the sympathy card.
    Chris – he was able to read people quickly. He had amazing communication skills. He actually taught me how to improve my own memo writing skills at work. But his skill to understand and read people blew my mind. He would tell me about my office politics and what to expect way before I ever say it coming. I remember him saying to me, “your tougher than I thought.” I think he underestimated me because he seems to target women in their 40’s with low self esteem. I know this sounds crazy. He met me in a unique time in life that has never happened or will happen again. The loss of a child. I have read that this type of psychopath is worse than a narcissist. He has no desire for anything but pure evil. He only sleeked to gain fulfillment of his immediate needs. I mean, if I am going to screw someone, I would make sure I set myself up. Forgive, just trying to understand.
    Red Flag #24: Never Apologizes
    Rick – don’t remember
    Daniel – once. It was after some rumors came up in the beginning of our relationship that made me question our relationship. I brought up my concerns and he was so sympathetic and apologized that I had to hear such nonsense. I later learned he went to that person and threatened them. He left the woman crying and terrified. Maybe that’s why he lost his job…. hmm
    Fred – all the time but insincere. When confronted, he would become like a child. I eventually stopped trying to converse with him on adult topics…such as truthfulness.
    Chris – only when he wanted something.
    Red Flag #25: Triangulation
    Rick – I don’t remember. But on a side note, he was always on his phone talking to anyone but me. That came after the marriage. He would literally ignore me during an evening out for dinner.
    Daniel – he used his children to manipulate me. He knew I loved them. He actually had his oldest daughter ask me, “if we leave, can daddy keep his car?” I was confused at the time because I didn’t know he was preparing to leave.
    Fred – he called my mother and asked her, “Momma (yes, he called my mother this), Why do I make Linda (names changed to protect the innocent) so mad?” I don’t know how to explain this crazy psycho crap…
    Chris – he said I had issues and needed to see a counselor. I wasn’t behaving after being screwed over by Chris so he wanted me to see a counselor. But he felt it was very important for him to be there because he didn’t think I would be able to communicate my own feeling properly…..
    Red Flag #26: Gas Lighting
    Rick – I don’t remember
    Daniel – I don’t think so
    Fred – Yes but it was too confusing to identify.
    Chris – Frequently!!! When I asked him to get a job, he would explode and tell me that I told him not to work.
    Red Flag #27: Impulsive/Reckless Behavior
    Rick – on so many levels
    Daniel – yes
    Fred – In his excessively long bogus lies he tried to portray himself as extraordinary in his wisdom and responsibility.
    Chris – I found crack pipes among his belongings after he was taken to jail. And an endless list of other behaviors. But this is becoming emotionally exhausting…..
    Red Flag #28: Craves Power and Control
    Rick – I don’t know about socially. But he would pick lint off my clothing and smooth my hair like I wasn’t a person capable of grooming myself. It would make me angry. Most notable was in bed. He always said, “You belong to me.” I thought it was sexy at the time and now feel differently.
    Daniel – He controlled everything.
    Fred – he had an eating disorder. I later found his stool softeners and diuretics among his things. He actually would make himself vomit after eating. I didn’t learn this until late into the relationship. I couldn’t speak to him about the simple things without him falling apart so I didn’t even bother with the issue.
    Chris – When making love, he actually told me “you will have an orgasm at the count of 5.” He was literally telling me when to have an orgasm. There’s no way anyone can make this shit up.
    Red Flag #29: Overdependence on Partner
    Chris – He insisted driving me everywhere, even when meeting my friends. I eventually stopped hanging out with friends.
    Red flag #30: His Views on Women
    Rick – property
    Daniel – property
    Fred – afraid???
    Chris – hates women
    Red Flag #31: Know-it-All
    I just thought they told a great story.
    Except Fred – He always expressed himself in strange ways. When he told a story he would take you through the clouds, around a mountain and to the stream, just to tell you that he found a new candy bar he liked at the convenience store.
    Red Flag #32: Low to No Regard for Laws
    This was dependent upon my belief in what they said. I’m going with no regard for laws.

  12. Hi Linda,

    Well it sounds like you are getting a lot of clarity into their behavior, and seeing some patterns. Yay you. 🙂

    I’m sorry you’ve been tangled up with so many of these people–you are not alone in that. I am also especially saddened to hear about your son. I can’t imagine how difficult of a time that must have been for you. (((BIG HUG)))

    I would encourage you to consider joining the support group if you haven’t already, and hopefully we can work more there on how to break this cycle: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum

    Here is a video on the biggest “aha moments” for me in figuring out where I was going wrong. I hope it will help you too: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/dating-a-narcissist/

    The next step is now to examine your standards and boundaries to figure out how you can “shore up your dam” and keep all the wrong people from flooding your life.

    I’m excited that you are here, and have already put so much thought into things. I really think we can help you get this figured out. <3

  13. Merci de prendre le temps d’écrire et de partager une partie de votre histoire. <3

    Je voudrais vous encourager à oublier l'étiquette de "narcissique". Au lieu de cela, nous allons désigner les personnes qui mentir, tricher, voler, manipulent, exploitent, et trompent comme «toxique». Je pense que ce fait est plus facile de voir leur comportement pour ce qu'elle est, au lieu d'essayer de déterminer si elles sont en fait un narcissique. Après tout, une personne peut être toxique et ne pas être un narcissique, et une personne a seulement besoin d'être un peu toxiques, afin de vous rendre malade.

    Ce que vous décrivez est un beaucoup de «drapeau rouge» comportement toxique.

    Vous vous demandez pourquoi vous "l'aimes», même si il fait ces choses. Je vais contester votre idée que vous l'aimez, que je ne pense pas que vous faites.
    L'amour est l'autonomisation, de soutien, et la nature. Il est basé sur l'honnêteté, le respect, la compassion et la dignité.
    Qu'est-ce que vous avez avec cet homme est aucune de ces choses, qui est pourquoi vous êtes dans cette grande douleur, et pourquoi vous êtes tellement confus quant à la façon dont vous pouvez l'aimer et encore être dans tant de douleur.

    Il est comme si vous êtes désireux d'être une abeille un chaton, puis se fâcher et déçu quand il vous pique, ou ne se recourbe pas sur vos genoux.

    Je pense que vous êtes en amour avec l'homme que vous espérez qu'il peut être (le chaton) -et pas qui il est vraiment (l'abeille). Une fois que vous commencez à le voir comme une abeille et non un chaton que vous espérez qu'il peut devenir, vous aurez très probablement ressentir un mélange d'émotions, mais la façon de procéder à cette relation va devenir limpide.

    Vous parlez de passer beaucoup de temps avec lui, et ne voulant pas faire une erreur en laissant.

    Oui, vous avez passé beaucoup de temps dans cette relation, cela est vrai. Mais il ne sert à rien de jeter «bon» moment après «mauvais». Signification, jetant plus de temps loin en espérant qu'il deviendra un chaton ne sera pas lui faire un chaton. Il est une abeille, et il semble se contenter d'être une abeille.

    Si vous êtes encore confus avec la façon d'aller de l'avant, je voudrais vous encourager à vous demander quels conseils donneriez-vous à votre fille si elle était datant un homme comme cela?

    Si vous voulez un peu plus de soutien et vos commentaires, je vous encourage à rejoindre le groupe de soutien: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum

  14. I am so humbled and honored that my videos have brought you so much of the peace (and pieces of the puzzle) that you were seeking. <3

    If you haven't already joined the support group, and could use some support and feedback on this next chapter, I would encourage you to check it out: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum

    I sincerely wish you all the health and healing possible in this next chapter of your life. You are free my dear, free…and I hope you live this next chapter in a full-out, authentic, happy-to-be-you kind of way. <3

  15. I am so glad I found this website. I’m the 61 year old daughter of a profoundly narcissistic father, and have always been his scapegoat. He tells everyone that I made our family dysfunctional starting when I was 10 years old. I have a younger sister who is his golden child flying monkey, who likewise exhibits narcissistic traits herself, from whom I am totally estranged. I want to sever ALL CONTACT

  16. Three years. That’s how long it took me to go from meeting the NPD in my life to the moment I finally got out and away from him. And got out in a way that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
    Those of us who have found Dana and her excellent site here have all been through every step of what she mentions on her videos. Unfortunately, the majority of us didn’t find out until after the fact as we were wondering what the hell we had just gone through? And why?
    My experience with the NPD began as a discreet encounter from an ad he posted on Craigslist. A “BiMWM seeking a friend” was how he described himself. We met and the two things that I will never forget were the overwhelming charm and charisma (he was average looking and slightly overweight), and what he said after that first meeting. “I have issues.”
    For the next three years it was exactly as has been described. From the Love-Bombing (up to 40-50 texts a day!), the Hoovering, the massive amount of lies that, even though I questioned all of them, seemed entirely plausible because they were so well thought out that it must have been true. Then there was the total lack of responsibility. The parasitic lifestyle. A past littered with “crazy people” who had wronged him.
    We’ve all been through it. The facts may be different for each of our experiences, but the feelings are the same. How many of us have lost our hard-earned money supporting the N? How many of us have had feelings of self-doubt and lost our own self-esteem? How many of us have lost friends because either the N isolated us from them, or our friends simply did not want to be around the N? We made excuses for the N. We vowed to support the N no matter what. We sacrificed our own happiness for theirs.
    And towards the end, as we started realizing we were in a rabbit hole and falling down faster and faster with this person. We had that moment of clarity and asked ourselves, “What am I getting out of this?” The answer was always: Nothing. Loss is not a gain.
    The Red Flags were there from day one. Why didn’t we acknowledge them? A good friend of mine said to me one day (as I was pouring my heart out to him of the daily horrors and aggravations of what I was dealing with), “You knew he was a snake when you met him.”
    This was a snake with an amazing amount of charm, intelligence, affability, and with dazzling, heroic stories of being in the military assigned to covert operations, a pro football career with the Dallas Cowboys, a brilliant career in Marketing, not one, but three degrees from Georgia Tech. Impressed? You better believe it. As Dana says so perfectly on the NPD: “If their lips are moving, they’re lying.”
    What I discovered during the three years I knew him (and lived with him for 1 1/2) was the truth. This was a man who had committed perjury and was facing a trial for it. Who had been living with his drug addicted ex-wife, whom he drove to the point of madness as she lived with his chronic barrage of abuse and isolation. A man who had never been able to hold a job from the time I met him. He conned the V.A. to pay for him to go to school. And what an education! He went from studying law, to studying to be a pilot, to being a diving instructor, to marketing a concert venue, to a car mechanic, to a handyman for the homes of the wealthy. Jack of All Trades/Master of None. An Intellectual Master, yes. He definitely studied the subject. But how would anyone know if he was a true Master of a Trade? Of the 3 jobs he had during the time I knew him, NONE of them lasted longer than a month. He would get fired or quit. He even threatened to kill a man, and would have if the police hadn’t been called. This was a life history as I found out later. The longest he held a job was one year before he was fired for sexual harassment. He had lived in no less than 12 homes in 15 years. Usually getting evicted.
    As for me? I helped get his wife out of the house. Contacted her mother to bring her back home to GA to get her treatment. I supported him financially. Well… let’s say I worked my ass off and he lived off my income. I chose to look the other way when people would make the remarks of: “There’s something about that guy I don’t trust,” “That guy is nothing but a con artist,” “You need to get away from him.” I made decent money for myself but at the end of the month, where was it? Not in my hands. His!
    Getting away from them is not easy! They have us so wrapped up into their worlds and needs. Why? Because we wait for those extremely rare moments when they tell us we are their best friend and how much they admire us. It’s all bullshit! ALL of it! They don’t admire us – they admire our wallets. They admire what they can get from and out of us. They admire the fact that they have us in their power and control, which is all based on us feeling sorry for them. WE feel for them. They feel nothing for us. We are the pawns in the chess game – expendable.
    Then there come the days when we open our eyes to the truth. For me it was finally having it in front of me that there was no military career beyond 4 months (not 11 years), and definitely no ‘covert operations,’ there was no record of him with the Cowboys, not even a degree from GA Tech. It was ALL made up. Even his name was made up (he claimed the military changed his name). He had several names. And many, many damaged lives in his wake as he had made a career of conning, deceiving, and recklessly going from one scheme to another. I was just one in a long line.
    The final straw for me was finding that he had been forging my name on documents. I found them and confronted him.
    That rage.
    We all have seen the face of That Rage. It’s like pulling off the mask of the Phantom of the Opera. Horrifying and frightening. His rage landed me in the hospital for 2 days with a minor heart attack. I had been keeping all of my own anxiety, frustrations, sadness, and anger bottled up in me. During the confrontation my blood pressure skyrocketed and I went down. Fortunately it was before he could physically harm me, which would have happened.
    That was the last time I saw him. That was my wake up call. Yes, it left me financially and physically devastated, but I have my life. I have my life back! Going “No Contact” is actually quite healing. You never, ever have to be near, see, or hear that person again. It is a gift of your own freedom and liberty. Despite the pain I went through, it’s as if a two-ton weight has been lifted from me. And I am grateful for every day (and it’s very, very tough starting from nothing again because he took almost everything I had) because I can finally get back to me.
    There are so many other things those of you who are still with the N to be aware of and perhaps we can start a discussion to help each other. These are what I’ve noticed:
    1. They will constantly interrupt a conversation and bring focus back to themselves. The old “it’s all about me.” They know more about the subject – regardless of what it is – than anyone. They hear the first few words of what someone is saying, then jump in right away without any regard or courtesy to you or anyone else. If you disagree? Look out! You’re stupid and don’t know what you’re talking about. You do not matter! You are only their to supply them with their needs. They only listen when you’re talking about them. UNLESS… what you’re saying can be used against you. They love that!
    2. They will constantly look at you to gage your reaction to something. It’s a scrutinization of you and your character; what makes you angry, upset, laugh, etc. They are not only studying you to see how to use it against you in the future, but also mimic the emotion themselves. They have no real emotions. It’s all a facsimile of emotions. Studied behavior.
    3. They are sexually out of control. In my case, his bi-sexuality was only to seek another narcissistic supply. Me. They want sex and money. Sex is simply a means to an end. It has nothing to do with love or interest in you. They use sex as a weapon. They have learned how to be very good sexually. But it does not matter who their sexual partner is. The guy I was with had a long list of women he had gotten pregnant, as well as men who had been drained of their wallets. Needless to say, the idea of using protection is not at the forefront of their minds. They will lie and say they haven’t been with anyone in a long time. That is never true. Unless one considers “a long time” 24-hours, then the fact is that this person usually has several people on their sexual list.
    3. Love the holidays and things like your birthday? Love having friends over for celebrations? Forget it! To the N, the holidays and your birthday mean absolutely nothing. Holidays are a time of goodwill, gathering together with friends, companionship and, most of all, feelings. Without empathy or being in touch with actual emotions, the N simply avoids the holidays. The concept of gift giving is foreign to them. Unless they get something out of it. My N had a bag of toys for Toys for Tots. He never gave them to the organization. He wanted to be seen doing it, and admired for it, but they sat in the garage. My Christmas gift was a used ipod he found in his drawer one year, and a $20 Starbucks card he got Christmas morning. I don’t drink Starbucks. BUT – when he was going after his next person to fill his narcissistic supply? The sky was the limit. And all on my dime.
    4. If you suspect it – it’s true. Listen to your gut. If the N is saying or doing something that gives you that gut moment of “something’s not right here,” then listen to it! However – do not ever question the N. Unless you’re a glutton for more lies because that’s all you’ll ever get. Do your own research. Find people the N knows and start asking questions. They are very good at separating you from their outside friends and associates, but social media can be a great tool. Is it a risk? Yes. But if you finally need that kick in the ass to realize you have to get away, then you may want to consider taking that risk. Do it wisely. You are not only saving your own life, you may be saving the life of someone the N is manipulating as well. And that’s all they know how to do – manipulate. I have had people that the N I knew reach out to me in regards to the lies and even the sexual promiscuity. Unfortunately, I have to be the one to say “you need to get tested.” My N had Herpes Simplex II (genital herpes) and was having unprotected sex with many people.
    And finally, as I sit here a little more than 3 weeks after I got out of the hospital, I look at those past 3 years and say a prayer of thanks that I survived. And I send prayers to all of those who have been or are living in the nightmare of being with a NPD. You can never help them. They cannot be helped. But you can. Healing starts with that first step away from them.
    Take it!

  17. About two years ago I discovered the world NPD – After much research and mostly thanks to Dana creating this site this years, all the pennies dropped! – Now in my mid 40’s, I reflected on many people, life situations and events and for quite some time, I was flabbergasted in remembering things that I had felt guilty about or confused etc. Starts with my mum, the one who said ill always come to nothing, what a sh** I am, just like your father, no one would ever want to read your book, look at you, youre nothing – I can go into many more comments and hours I listened to her over the years and still today, I walk egg shells around her but now with boundaries which I assert. She still tries it on but I can see clearly and she can’t get up to her old magic anymore but I have learnt to forgive, understand and love her for all she is regardless. Ironically, we get on better than ever before but I have to remain alert to the patterns and games and not give in. She gave a guilt attack on me only yesterday because I wasn’t up for driving her somewhere which meant she couldn’t drink and relax, the fact I had made plans already didn’t fit her idea of how my day running her around should be. I just detach and view her moments as sulking and hissy fits! When she kicks off, I always respond with kindness, offering her a cup of Tea or anything with simple kindness. It really gets to her that no longer engage in her anger. The feeling for having control now, is wonderful. — Sadly, not knowing about NPD or even imagining my mum was with the, caused a life time of relationship issues with girlfriends. Every time I looked happy, mum would do best to destroy a pleasant evening when in company of my GF. Many put downs and lies, gob smacking causing arguments and with GFs unable to cope or want to visit. When I left home and got on my own two feet, mum always turned up, randomly knocking on the door letting her self in, taking over causing disruption. – Early 30’s and I met someone a really cared about but again, somehow, mum managed to say things that caused problems and I lost many friends as well as my GF, I had know idea why people were ignoring me or not wanting to contact. Now I understand it was mum dividing us all. I even met a girl online, helped her with her website and youtube channel, she had modest success and unwittingly, I was attached all loved up yet all too often felt drained and humiliated but always yearning to make up as unable to leave. It was like the strongest drug in the world, a spin of what I now know Idealise to devalue cycle. I guess I have her to thank because this is when I started to read comments from others calling her a Narc, so I began to investigate in great detail. Once again, I had been sucked in to a Narc relationship big time, humiliated, made to fall from grace, hurt, confused and always made to feel guilty and bad for things I couldn’t quite figure out why, I just kept on loving an giving over and over and what turns out to be for nothing. After a while, armed with 101 general knowledge about NPD, I began to see her patterns repeat, hoovered in, love bombed, dropped and devalued etc. Thankfully, late last year, I could start the no contact phase and boom, down came her masks in the grand finale – now she disclosed it was in fact her identical sister I was involved with and not her, two of them playing the sick game they loved, however, I had suspected such so wasn’t that surprised and even laughed at them, pitting them as detached from any of their games now able to see clearly the bigger picture. How pathetic they looked but how stupid I felt for not seeing it sooner. — However, more recently another encounter with a friend I’ve known since 17, not seen for many years since she moved over seas – she came back home for personal reasons due to family member passing. I was keen to tell her, which I did, all about recent Narc discoveries and what I had learnt. With all the the thanks to Dana explain about Red Flags, they waved the moment I carved at the train station early morning, as arranged to find her not there to collect me. I called and got the ‘oh, i didn’t know you were coming so soon!’ even after talking to her the night before and email confirmation! I waited for an hour or more. She only lived 20 ,minutes away. I explained I had to be back for meetings in 3 days time by 12pm as had re-arranged my diaries to accommodate helping out as requested in the garden and around the house, doing some odd jobs. I explained I don’t eat red meat, so she cooked lamb spam bowl for lunch, with pork dish for dinner. I don’t drink so much, just a few casual beers, so strong spirits were only offered and to refuse both I was given the full on guilt verbal of how selfish I am to not drink such expensive liquor after all this time in not seeing each other, and how dare I not eat the food she cooked which cost so much etc. She wanted me to sleep with her in her bed that evening, I found this weird because I don’t ‘fancy her’ but she wanted her sister to know we were on to something, with the usual youre sleeping in the spare room the following evenings, as if to lead me up then bring me down. Sunburn on the back of my legs were dismissed as any bites! Watching an listening to her talk detached and full of awakens to NPD, my heart was sad for seeing someone I had known almost all my life and considered my sister, play out red flag after red flag and on me. The comments she made were intent on being harsh, putting me down etc, but I didn’t take any of it personally. The morning I was due to leave, she mad sure I was late. Inviting her gardener over who I was told I must chat with for her late father always made for him. Then, her neighbour visited, yet another friend I just had to talk with and see, and how rude it was of me to leave! – eventually, I was driven to the station, but not the one I wanted as, ‘too far’ – Thankfully, train delays and strikes were happening so all my meetings were cancelled which was a relief so I had not need to rush or worry. Also on that morning, armed with this knowledge, I allowed her to ask me questions that were very personal and would trigger old memories of times not good in my life, I could see how she manipulated me to become introspective, I even cried just to watch her face and again, even though I was in fact playing the game with her, my heart broke watching this girl lap up and enjoy watching me hurt. When I got my self together and changed to a more together and happy vibe, she would poke and provoke constantly until my mood was again lowered. The next day, she called with a shallow ‘how are you, are you ok?’ – she just wanted to hear my voice broken but I wasn’t at all, just preoccupied and busy which I could tell annoyed her. Before we said could by she said I must come back to visit before she flew home over seas, of course, feeling drained, I could only say yes but inside knew I wouldn’t hear about the invite again. Now she’s back home and with posts on Facebook of that party I would have liked to have gone to. Also, before visiting I asked for her to see if another friend of hers who I’ve always got on with would like to go out – not a chance of that, she made sure we didn’t see each other but only to say on my day of leaving that she was seeing her that evening and laughed right in my face when she said it! — I have reflected over the years of our friends ship and can see clearly now how she caused so many problems with my closest friends, trying to divide us all and say things that were not kind. I have become friends with a few of her friends over the years, but would like to break free of all of them but its not so easy. Im just glad she gone but will be better prepared for when she returns and do minimal if anything. Shame how people aren’t what they seem, but this I guess is the way of NPD and how we find out. She certainly is a covert Narc and Im happy to at least see al the red flags waving now and with this knowledge can keep a distance and not let her involve. — There are a few more red flags waving with others Ive known for along time, but i don’t see them too often as it goes anyway, probably because I always managed to assert myself to stop them feeding off me and I can see how they play. So, to share this brief life long insight is really to say with knowledge you will find power and once you do, they vanish or at least, you can detach and watch their patterns play out. And with thanks to Dana, and so many others who have gone through , going through and help others for helping me over recent years and months to gain self empowerment. My advice is, try not to be around or contact with them at best but if you are, detach, see them as they are and pity them. Show them kindness and love and smile, because they absolutely hate that 🙂

  18. I met Bill through a friend. Bill played drums in my friend’s band. The night I met him his best friend of 10 years had just left him (resigned from the friendship) after a big fight that happened at his house over band issues. Then later allowed his bandmates to make a catty video reenacting the events that took place that night. I should have thought about that initially, but he was great at making me and everyone else believe that he didn’t understand why he left and how it really hurt him.

    Anyway.. Bill was charming. Called me every morning before he went to work to say hello thinking of you. I thought that was sweet, and I liked that. I was also just forming a band. Little did I know, he was (and still is), someone who has plenty of respect and is extremely liked and valued in the underground music scene. He saw my band play, and was “floored,” even compared himself to a young version of himself when he first began playing in bands. He was and is also quite the charismatic performer. So time went on, after four months of knowing each other he told me he loved me and wanted to be my boyfriend. Soon after that, he asked me to move in with in. He said you will only have to pay a quarter of the rent. When I moved in he made sure he actually was getting half of the rent. Soon after I moved in the fights started happening. Then the insults. Then he got physical and pushed me. In any other relationship if I felt like I was in danger, or that the person was violent I would leave. This might sound awful.. but being we are around the same height, and hes actually pretty thin I felt and feel less threatened. The physical stuff has happened a handful of times, but I have always pushed back. We’ve been on the ground wrestling before too. That was the last time we fought.. that happened about 3 months ago.

    He has called me a stupid white bitch, a lazy bitch, a fat bitch, a fake, an inauthentic musician, compared his female band to my band, all the while (and still) acting like a loving adoring boyfriend in front of all of his and my friends and his cronies and fans. Stories have gotten back to me about how he made girls in our circle uncomfortable because he’d sensually grab their legs and say inappropriate things, he has a shit ton of female friends and acquaintances, but I’m not allowed to have that same privilege with the opposite sex, he is gone all the time at bars, booking shows, dj’ing, out out out. He also drinks heavily and often, he has twice fallen asleep (passed out) in his car- then was angry with me for being worried.

    I had an altercation with two people he worked with musically; who were essentially bullying and scapegoating their problems, and insecurities on to me- and instead of lending some support or even understanding to why it bothered me- he would tell me I was insecure and that I think too much. Instead he paired up with them (triangulation) and would talk about private intimate details of our fights and our lives. Causing them to further act ugly towards me. These people were once friends of mine, and were the only people I have had problems with in the 7 years of living in this town. How ironic he chose them to vent to.

    This relationship caused me to do and to act in ways that I typically would view as emotionally messy and irrational. I became hyper-jealous, obsessive, isolative, paranoid, unhappy, violent, experienced suicidal ideation, acted desperately and dangerously, jumped out of his car at a stop sign several times, lied, abusive back, mean, spiteful, vengeful, reckless, defensive gained weight, drank excessively, even began to believe some of the things he would say about me. He is best to me in public. And that is where it is confusing. Everyone loves him, and I was the new girl on the scene who he is merely helping get shows. That and split his rent, and somehow make him look good. He is very concerned about his image and repuation. Sometimes I think thats all he has. Well now that my band is getting offers to tour Europe (which has nothing to do with him) he has become even more nit picking, verbally abusive, dissapears, is absent, doesn’t respond to me. Often tells me I make him feel like shit. I think he’s freaked out that hes losing his power and the thing he used on me as leverage. He has become impossible to be around, and impossible to please.

    Our arguments are never leading towards anything productive, probably never have. He likes to outdo, he likes tit for tat, he likes one upping, he likes right-fighting. I told him today that I do not want to be his opponent anymore, and that we are either partners in this or not. He ignored it. And is out getting drunk right now. It’s all so messy, and enmeshed, and to be honest with my feelings; extremely hurtful. I go through feeling totally lost, and confused and afraid of detaching, to feeling strong and believing that there is a way out of this. I even thought to fake-move far away- so he thinks I’m gone and will leave me alone. It’s like he can’t reciprocate in an emotionally mature, non-abusive way, but for some reason still appears to want me around. Well.. these last couple days I havent really even heard much from him. So Im thinking theres a chance he also might be throwing in the towel. Which could be a total blessing. I could hope and wish all day that this would just get better, but it won’t and I have to leave. Im just kind of concerned that I get these strong feelings of leaving when I’m PMSing.. but I also think that hormones or not this is absolutely obsured.

    I took a year off of my graduate program this last spring. I am hoping in this year I will create an exit plan. I am taking good care of myself, drinking exponentially less, eating nourishing healthy foods, spending time with loving positive, supportive people. I start full time employment again tomorrow. We shall see. I’m just so seriously tired of having living with this emotional vampire who poses as a supportive adoring partner to everyone but me. Poor guy, little does he know that I’m getting stronger and won’t be settling for a mirage much longer. Well that’s what I say know until he throws me a crumb. I really hope that I gain enough self worth, and stop being intimidated by his favorable reputation and also to not accept crumbs. The other day he said I will always love you, he was buzzed.. but I couldn’t reciprocate. Even though in some weird sad twisted way it made me feel good. I need to be on this support group religiously.. I think Im ready.

  19. I would encourage you to do whatever you need to do in order to stay safe and sane, and I wish you all the health, healing, and happiness possible in this next chapter. <3

  20. Hi Dana!
    I’ve been in a toxic relationship for three years. Now he changed me for another girl. Eventhough i know that he has a narcisistic personality, and eventhough i know that this is the best for me, there are some days when i really miss him and i think about him ALL day long. And to be honest i still want him to come back.
    I just want to heal! Please! How can i forget him?? How can i get over this??
    Thanks !

  21. I have e-mailed “my story” as instructed above 3 times I received the automatic generated reply saying that you had received my e-mail them after 24hrs had a mail notification to say it had not been delivered …..so I am a bit confused. Can I just share my story on the threads here? in the forum groups as thats where I most wanted to share it anyway to let other people know my experiences with the Narc in my life and hopefully help otheres to see how they operate.

  22. Hey Dana,

    I was wondering if you know any case of narcissist pretending he’s got cancer to keep a person along with him.

    Seems like i have this case on my shoulders.

  23. I have been having email issues of epic proportions for the last few months now. I have no idea what the problem is–and have tried all kinds of things to troubleshoot the issue, so I apologize that you got stuck in that mess.

    You are more than welcome to share your story here. 🙂

  24. There is such relief finding out what kind of person I married and lived with for 13 years.
    I have been separated from him for 9 years and up until a year ago I was still being sucked into his insane world.
    I moved 600 miles away from him, but distance means nothing to these monsters.
    My story is one of horror, day in day. No physical abuse, but oh the emotional and mental abuse was ungodly. The gaslighting was so intense, I lost my grip on reality.. The anxiety attack and depression became debilitating. I was sent to a mental hospital several times. I was fed hand fulls of antii-psychotic, antidepressants and anti-anxiety
    medication, believing my husband was my safe person. I went years having been isolated from friends and family and was labeled crazy. He would feed me the meds, all awhile telling lies about me to people and keeping a journal of the most horrific lying story’s he conjured up and was sharing it with my psychiatrist.
    I was diagnosed bipolor and borderline.. When I read about these disorders, it didn’t sound like me at all! However, the terrible lying things my husband was saying and writing about me helped the doctor to come up with this diagnosis.
    I eventually became mentally stronger, even though his gaslighting continued. The constant drama he created was unbearable, he hated the fact I was coming off the meds and thinking clearly.
    There are so many horrible degrading things he did to me from being raped (sodomized) to him convincing a state trooper to come to my home at 2 am and drag me out of the bed and cuss me out in my own kitchen for over an hour, because I refused to have sex with my husband that night. I called internal affairs the next day and reported the incident and the officer was reprimanded for this offense, but the damage was done, that’s how persuasive and deceitful these monsters can be.
    I do believe he was going to kill me before I left him as he hated to pay child support. . He would often ask if there was poison in his food or if he took me hunting would I try to shoot him and make it look like and accident. The funny thing is, when I use to go hunting with him, I never had a gun!!!
    I’m free now! Not because I live so far away from him, but because I know I AM NOT CRAZY!!

  25. I needed someone to punch me in the face, not my back, to wake me up from this wicked spell/coma ive been in this past year brought on by someone I THOUGHT I knew & loved..
    Having never experienced or heard of such evil behavior before, I was the perfect victim/target for beginning a relationship with someone having real serious issues & mental disorder called Narcissism. I had absolutely no idea of what was about to happen until it was too late….
    Being oblivious of the underlying signs, the 1st stage of this mental disease, I was being love bombed by someone i thought was real & honest. By the things she did & said i was convinced i had found my soulmate. I was tricked into believing the feelings of love were mutual. I supposedly was everything she’d been looking for & wanted. She has never loved anyone this much before.. We were meant to be together, that God gave me her. It seemed to good to be true. Come to find out it was.. It was a very happy few days of my life. I felt so lucky to find someone this wonderful that loves me unconditionaly. It felt so nice to have someone in my life again that i let my guard down. I would later find out that it was ALL fake. NONE of the things she said were real. It was all so she could keep her need of attention & control going.
    I was so brainwashed that after only a month of being together we got engaged. That ended the “honeymoon” phase & so began stage 2- devaluation.
    It started slowly until i finally realized this isnt a normal person or a normal relationship. After she set the bait i swallowed the hook line & sinker. Things started happening that didn’t make sense. One minute im the love of her life. The next minute she hates me & im a piece of shit lowlife.
    The control issues came first. Having to know everything im doing at all times. Having to talk on the phone 6-8 hours a day. Constant contact with me.
    The trust & jealously issues then started. She secretly went through my phone without my permission or knowledge and read every text, emails- saved & deleted, call log, voice mail, Facebook, pictures, files to find everything she possibly could. She took all my phones & made me get new phone and number so noone could contact me. I didnt know she went through my fb and deleted nearly all my female friends and whoever else she was threatened by. I wasnt allowed to have ANY contact whatsoever with anyone from a past relationship. Not even a member of their family was allowed to talk to me or even comment to a post that related to me. Even if they were saying something nice to support my racing or about my dog, she made sure they were all blocked from my life. That was considered cheating on her. Somehow she had gotten my email password & secretly kept tabs on my account. When asked about it she would ALWAYS deny deny deny. She didn’t do that. Even when i showed her the people who she unfriended were all the ones she always complained that i had something going on with each of them. She never admitted doing ANY of it.
    She was NEVER wrong. She kept telling me I was the one to blame for everything & I was crazy..
    That began the lies & secrets. She would lie about everything and hide different profiles on several sites where guys she didn’t even know were giving her an unlimited supply of attention and praise but somehow i was being accused of cheating or talking to someone else everyday. She had a double standard. She was allowed to do all the things she told me not to do. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with friends at any time or even go out to eat them but she would go to bars with her single friends, get drunk and flirt with guys and send me pics of what she was doing.
    The insults, accusations,ultimatums, threats, demands, lies, jealous fits, rage tantrums were a daily argument. I didn’t love her enough or give her enough attention was brought up constantly. Since she wasn’t getting enough attention from me, the threats of finding someone who can was thrown in my face. She even went as far as covering up the tattoo she recently got of my race number on her ankle just to prove she was still in control. She had posts & comments on her fb from guys sending her inappropriate things & posting drawings of a guy with a boner from one of her pictures. I was constantly being blamed for everything bad in the relationship & even for her mean behavior.
    She had become an expert in getting anything she wanted by means of pussy power and cock teasing to manipulate people to think she was the innocent victim of mental & verbal abuse. She perfected her mind games through 3 marriages & divorces, all of her many broken relationships including the thousands of perverted fb followers, for giving her the attention she couldn’t live without, for making me jealous, more attention, to feel sorry for her, to tell her they want to sleep with her. Then as soon as she got everything she possibly could use from that person she would oust them and make up lies to cover up her guilty actions.
    A lesson learned was never tell a narcissist anything you don’t want to have used against you in the end of the relationship was finding out that she was using my closest friends for attention, flirting and getting all the dirty information about me as possible to start a vengeful smear campaign against me and my reputation all because i called her out & stopped giving her whatever she wanted. It got worse as she realized she was losing control of the relationship. When she found out an ex gf of 11 years had called to check on me because she heard i was very depressed she threatened to end the relationship unless I change my number and deactivate my FB & promise to NEVER contact her again. She began harassing & stalking her with threatening phone calls & messages. After i changed my phone number she went and supposedly deactivated both our fb profiles. First she deleted everyone on my page that she didn’t approve of & told me she had deleted all the guys on hers that she dated & didn’t know. Little did I know she had a secret fb profile already set up that she was using instead to keep in touch with whoever she was getting her needed attention from & to make sure i wasn’t using mine. I finally figured out what she was doing a few weeks later when she left a harassing voice mail as to what I was doing & who i was with. It was posted by the person i was with & she was fb stalking them. She never deactivated her account nor deleted any of the people she said. Upon catching her in a huge lie she went on a rage tantrum that finally ended this crazy relationship. She kept telling me it was over whenever she would leave during an argument. That was her idea of saying that she wasn’t cheating because we were broken up. The last time we were together she started a huge fight just to be able use that excuse again. That afternoon 2.5 hours later she left a message to me on speaker phone in her car while reading it back to me. She only got to Jensen beach in all that time. She made sure to say she moved on and that we were broken up over a complete lie she couldn’t prove because it was a lie. With her sick & twisted mind games she calls my phone 15 min later to leave a message of her with someone else telling them to fuck her brains out and he says lets go to the bed. Not wanting or able to tell the truth about it she only could say “get over it”
    Ive learned alot about this disorder & the wicked things these psychotic people are capable of. It is impossible for them to love anyone except themselves. They will manipulate, lie, cheat, use anyone they can to get what they want then discard them & show no remorse whatsoever. They emphasized this person or behavior will NEVER change. I learned that was soo true. No matter how hard i tried to make her happy by changing my days off, spending the holidays with her family, days of working on her house & car, the countless times commenting on her posts that she never appreciated, all the gifts & flowers for her & daughter, the new expensive perfume i bought for her that she purposely threw on the ground to break all was NEVER enough to make her happy. I know very few people actually understand or care what this behavior is all about & the damage it can cause to a normal persons life. Most of you reading this may say its a joke that im overreacting. Noone believes she would act like that. Ive been told that im pussy whipped. Just break up with her & leave her alone. The few that have actually seen what she is capable of & know what im going through was just the tip of the iceberg. I didn’t want anyone to know how bad it really was. Some have even said shes crazy enough to kill me in my sleep someday. It was embarrassing actually, that i allowed someone to treat me like that for so long.
    I tried many times to end the madness but for some reason i kept going back for more torture & abuse. When you’re promised the world & all these things from a person you think worships the ground you walk on who turns out to be exactly the opposite of the person you fell in love with changes a person forever. They’ll tell you EVERYTHING you want hear, promises to love & be with you forever, wants to get married & have your baby, loves you unconditionaly, has never been in love with anyone like this before, tells you she never could be with anyone else, that nobody turns her on as much you do. They will give you some of the best sex you’ll ever have in your life. When all of it comes crashing down after you put everything you had into it is a horrific feeling. Realizing it was all a show about her and she didn’t even love me was demoralizing. When she promised to be honest and faithful, that she would NEVER EVER cheat on me was a huge knife in my back & heart when i found out she was having a secret relationship with one of my best friends for over 6 months behind my back that neither of them were going to tell me about. Even more hurtful is she was the one that initiated the contact to use him for whatever she possibly could. The knife twisted when neither of them would ever say they were sorry & they claimed they were doing nothing wrong when it was obvious after reading some of the texts it was VERY wrong. Whenever she wouldn’t get her way or i didn’t do what she told me to made her scream & yell-
    ” l hate you & i dont love you anymore” & ” I never want to see you again” ” Im going to find a real man that makes me a priority because you never will” …
    Each time the arguments would get nastier & last longer. A few days of not talking to each other then suddenly she would show up & act like nothing happened. There was NEVER an apology for what she did. NEVER once did i hear sorry for anything. If i wanted her to apologize id have to tell her to tell me she was sorry. Even then, it wasn’t heartfelt nor did she show ANY remorse. The makeup sex was her way to keep me believing that she really did love me. How could someone say they love me then tell me how much they hate me & punch me in the face? She was constantly sending mean & harassing emails, texts, voice messages all day & night. I even saved about 40 of her best ones.
    She demanded me to quit racing for good because it was ALL a waste of attention, money, time, energy, effort, all which should be given to her instead. She knew how important racing was to me & how i worked my whole life to get where i was & how happy it made me but it didn’t matter. I was never going to win, im not good enough, im too old and washed up she kept telling me. She threatened that i make her my number 1 priority over everything and everyone else or she was going to get it from someone else.
    This had put me in a deep depression. I was starting to doubt myself and believe her insults that i was the worthless person she said i was. This went on for months and months & took a major tole on me. Everyone was starting to see I wasn’t the same person. After all that pain and abuse i knew i wasn’t either.
    Asking her to stop being disrespectful and treating me like shit, that i deserve to be treated like a real person just made it worse. It got to the point of telling her that i couldn’t do this anymore and i was having bad thou ghts of ending it ALL. I begged her to stop this behavior but her response was to
    ” go commit suicide ” & i fucking hate you now leave me alone”…
    A few days later i had taken way more sleeping pills than i should have because i never woke up for work and had to send people to check on me.
    It was affecting my life, job, health, mind. She had people around me convinced that i was up to no good. I knew i wasn’t the same person from a year ago. After all that pain and abuse, of course im not the same.
    The final straw was when her vengeful smear campaign jeopardized my job & everything i worked so hard for.
    It was the punch i needed to wake me up. I love my job & the people i work with. I am soo grateful for the the opportunities that ive been given by everyone.
    To allow someone to come in and take it all away because she didn’t get what she wanted is absolutely ridiculous. Her evil personality infected my entire life & ruined friendships with people ive known over 20 years.
    I have alot of things to fix from her destructive path that she left behind.
    It definitely a lesson learned & something i never want to go through again. I feel sorry for the next guy though.

  26. I’m so sorry you went through this. Normal, decent people don’t even realize that there are these kinds of people out there–and if we do, we think that we’ll be able to spot them quickly.

    (((hugs))) to you. I wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life, and I hope it’s filled with all the health, healing, and happiness possible.

  27. I’m glad you were able to get away–and that you got FAR away at that! Yay you! I wish you all the health and healing in this next chapter in your life. <3

  28. Hi Dana, I stumbled upon you on youtube and have been watching all your video’s. I’m sort in a state of awakening now as I never realized what I a magnet I’ve been to these people. I never knew that all the years I’ve been involved with these people that there was a real name for what they were and the effects they all had on our lives.
    Before I found you on youtube, I was clueless as to my patterns with narcs. I finally started investigating after I had a run in with a (I believe) narc neighbor. Here’s what happened. I have not been dating anyone for 10 years now, because I went through a horrific medically induced illness that I had to fight for my life to survive from and this whole ordeal left me with ptsd and agoraphobia. It’s a long story, but I’m at the tail end of my recovery and I walk everyday for exercise and healing. Well, I have this male neighbor in his sixties (I’m a women, age 40). This neighbor who I will call Tom, would see me walking and engage me in conversation. He was very friendly and seemed very concerned about what I was going through. I had told him my story and he offered to be of service to me, if ever I needed anything. The only thing I really needed at the time was a walking buddy, and so he said he would go walking with me in the mornings.
    So I started to walk with him and every day. And every day he would say things to complement and flatter me, which I didn’t think much about. But what I did find annoying was he would ask me out to dinner several times even after I told him I was not interested in anything romantic with him. He told me he was fine with being just friends with me and he insisted that a dinner date would be strictly platonic. I told him I would think about it. Then I noticed whenever we would meet up for a walk he would get all giddy and weird as if we were actually on a date together. He would get nervous sort of and crack endless unfunny jokes. The jokes sometimes had hidden meanings to them, like he would joke about things that were really inappropriate and then when I would look at him like he was crazy, he would say to me “I’m just joking!” If I didn’t laugh he would continually nudge me and say “why aren’t you laughing?!” One time when we were walking my former walking buddy came driving by and honked and waved at us and as she passed by he said to me, “I don’t want you hanging out with her anymore.” I was like “what?” And then he would go back to that stupid joke mode “I’m just joking, ha, ha, ha,” He would say weird outlandish, and sometimes evil stuff and then play it off like he was joking. I kept telling myself that I was making a big deal out of nothing. So I ignored these red flags.
    He would also do unsolicited favors for me. Like he came by my house to give me some Sensidyne toothpaste because I had mentioned once that I had sensitive teeth. At the time I found this to be very annoying, but again I kept doubting myself because there was nothing concrete to really nail this guy with.
    Then I started noticing that if I disagreed with him on any matter, he would get angry pretty easily. He wasn’t obvioius about it visibly, but because I’m highly sensitive I always could feel a sense of anger and rage coming from him. I became afraid to disagree with him.
    The final straw for me was when he began asking me to go down the shore with him as if I was his girlfriend. He would project into the future out loud while we were walking saying things like “when you and I go down the shore together” I mean, he didn’t even ask me anymore about going down the shore he started literally telling me that that’s what we would be doing, He insisted that it would be just friendship but I could tell that he had no respect for my boundaries and that in his mind I was his girlfriend. When I finally told him that I don’t think going down the shore together was appropriate for us to be doing together, he would act like there was something wrong with me for thinking that.
    Finally I realized I had to get away from this creep, so I contacted my other neighbor and asked her if she could go walking with me. She said she would and so I contacted Tom and told him I was going to walk with my other neighbor on a particular day. When her and I went walking that day, Tom went walking at the same time and we ran into him and when he saw us, he looked pissed. He was ahead of us and he was walking slow so that we would catch up to him. Me and my neighbor Jen had to stop walking for a few minutes so that we would lose him. It was like some real grade school crap. It was like I was looking at a 4 year old trapped in a 65 year old body. It was at that level of absurdity. Part of what I’m saying probably cant be affirmed in words because you almost have to witness the dynamics of what happened. We ran into him twice that day during our walk, and the second time we ran into him he said to me jokingly “are you stalking me?” And then his face changed from joking to serious, I was skeeved to my core by this guy.
    I went home that day and texted him telling him exactly this, I said, “ I think our walking arrangement has been misinterpreted as more than friendship and because of this, I feel it best that we do not continue to go walking together.” Well, I didn’t hear from him until the next day and when he called me he left me a voice message and he sounded so pathetic, his voice was trembling and cracking and he wanted for me to call him back. I just texted him and told him I didn’t want a confrontation and that I think it best that we do not talk to each other anymore. He called again and left another voice mail and sounded so appalled that I would be afraid of a confrontation with him, he insisted he was not like that.
    Anyway, I’m telling this story because this is the guy that got me to explore this sort of behavior. And then everything started to unravel. I have dealt with these kinds of people my whole life both men and women and I just couldn’t understand why I kept attracting them into my life. I got to the point where I felt so angry about it, and I kept replaying this episode over and over in my head to try to understand what happened and why it happened. Why do I keep drawing these idiots to me like moths to a flame?
    I’ve been studying and researching NPD ever since. I also realized that I’m a highly sensitive person. I also reflected on my upbringing and realized how even though my parents were good people, I never got any real outward signs of love and affection from them, and for the most part they neglected me and my brother. My brother is married to a narc.
    So this guy really got me exploring all this. I realized that every exciting relationship that I’ve had with men were with narcs. Including my last boyfriend who was into bondage and S&M.
    So its nice to finally put names and labels to things, it gives me the validation I need to be more aware of this pattern for the future. So thank you for shining a light on these disordered relationships.

  29. Just one more thing, I think the reason this whole episode with my neighbor made me so angry is because this man preyed upon me while I was going through the most horrific thing I know of, I mean I literally had to fight for my survival for a long time and this prick comes along and used that as leverage into my life. What an unbelievable creep.

  30. I hear ya, these people prey on the vulnerabilities of others, and their lack of empathy and remorse knows no limits.

    I’m sorry you went through all of this pain. (((hugs))) to you. <3

  31. Thanks for sharing your story. Your example is a great one, as it shows how subtle the red flags can be at first, and how that slow feeling of confusion, and questioning starts up–the whole, “Is it me or is it him?” I’ve found that once we start finding ourselves asking that question, then the answer is it’s probably their behavior that is questionable–expecially if we don’t ask ourselves this question when we are with other people.

    You mention that you’ve had people like this in your life for a long time–I hear ya, I have too. It was a really freaky realization, and quite the eye opener. I really thought that my relationships with Jack and Steve were a fluke. The more I got into making these videos, and talking to others, the more my eyes began to open and I began to see that I’ve had toxic people of many kinds in my life for decades–I had just been quick to brush off their red flags, as they were major red flags like physical or verbal abuse. I knew I had issues with boundaries when I was in high school, as I had a best friend who was incredibly manipulative, and was very toxic. I really thought my boundaries had improved since then, and in many ways they really have, but the kicker was, they just hadn’t improved enough! It took me dating Jack and Steve to realize that, as when those relationships ended, I knew there were some red flags I’d glossed over, but I really felt that they were red flags that most people normally gloss over. That’s when I realized that people don’t just fall into the categories of “toxic” or “normal”, but that there is a third category there: “healthy”. Healthy people don’t gloss over red flags. They slow things down and take the time to examine what’s going on, and they pay attention to how they feel when they are around this peron. If they feel confused, skeeved out, or suspicious, they have no problem with drawing that boundary and distancing themselves from that person immediately. Where I had been going wrong, was that I was stating my boudaries with people, but I never took the action necessary to actually enforce them (distance myself or walk away). I fell into the “thought hole” of feeling obligated to continually work on the relationship or friendship.

    Here’s a link to one of my playlists: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/youtube-video-playlist-on-narcissism/ (Scroll down to the 3rd video series on “How to Avoid Dating (or Befriending) a Narcissist Again” –I think the first couple of videos on “empty buckets”, “Cognitive Dissonance”, and “thought holes” might shine some light onto boundaries and why we do what we do. I hope that helps. <3

  32. Dear Dana,
    I am nearly at wits end with my relationship with my family.
    I did email you earlier this week, things are now escalating.
    My mother is a narcissists, and my sister is her flying monkey and i am the scape goat.
    I feel ready to cut my mother off, and i told my sister that i am done with this. I guess i am in a bit of a trap at the moment as my mother as brought tickets for us for christmas to be used on her birthday. My journal is below of me – trying to have other plans and not wanting to spend all day with this person. My mother called me in the middle of the day whilst i was at work, on my work phone.

    Me:Hello
    Narc:Hello, I need to talk to you, are you on your break?
    Ma:No.
    Narc:When is your break?
    Me:I don’t have a lunch break, I have a lot of work to do, why are you calling?
    Narc:I need to discuss my birthday, you are the only one that can’t come.
    Me:No I didn’t say I couldn’t come I said I had plan and if you please let me know the time of whatever you have booked.
    Narc:Its my birthday, what is my important than my birthday, you are being so difficult, Brent, Av and Corinna are coming, why can’t you be more like them. I have spent all this money on these ticket, so you better make sure you come.
    Me:Look if you just let me know the time so I can sort out my plans that would be great.
    Narc:You are getting the tickets for Christmas, so you can sort out you plans after that.
    Me:Ok bye I have to go back to work now.
    Narc:Oh I love you bye.
    Which brings me to me questions?
    How do i break away from this relationship? would i have to change my number, block her on Facebook, do i need to tell her i will not be contacting her anymore because of a, b and c?

    Does anyone have any siblings that are flying monkeys, do you still stay in touch or are they so gas lit that they blame you ‘like the narcissist would’? I am very scared that i will lose my sister when i go no contact.

    Any suggestions and comments would help me through this process, is anyone in a similar situation where their mother uses a child as a scape goat and the other as a golden child? and uses triangulation and pins/plays the children against each other?

    Do you think i should cut ties after the christmas holidays or now, when is a good time?

  33. I apologize for not being able to get back to you sooner–I get hundreds of messages a day, and it’s impossible for me to keep up with them all. :/ …I would encourage you to join the support group if you haven’t already: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum as this way you can get more feedback from others who are in a similar situation.

    As for when you should cut ties, and if you will lose your sister. There is no right or easy answer for this. Odds are that you will potentially anger other members of your family if you cut off your mother–and some may quit speaking to you, or they will try to push you into keeping communication with your mother. You will have to weigh the consequences of this–and I’m sure it won’t be easy. At the end of the day, you need to do what you need to do in order to stay safe and sane. (((hugs)))

  34. Thank you for you reply and support. Your are right at the end of the day i need to look after me 🙂 Something i have never done xoxo

  35. To all those who are under the horrible influence of a Narcissist I am here to tell you that you MUST and you CAN get out of it, and away from it. I was living with one for 3 years. I helplessly watched my life, my finances, and my career go down hill fast. You go down a rabbit hole and you can’t find your way out. The hell that you go through! Convincing yourself that you can help this person. You can’t! I went through one of the most horrifying and life-threatening moments of my life with this person 5 months ago and that was when – through the Grace of God, good friends, and my own sense of survival – that I walked (more like RAN) away. I had nothing. Less than $300 and found myself living in a hotel. But it was that low point that gave me the way to get my life back. And I did. It is not 5 months later and I am the happiest I’ve been in a long time and have my life back.
    I have to give a deeply felt thank you from the bottom of my heart to Dana for these spot-on accurate videos. They were the answer to everything I had questioned. What I had been living with now had a name, a definition, and an explanation. Knowledge is power. I urge anyone who is suffering from the hands and manipulations of these people to get out. Go No Contact! It may hurt. It may confuse you. It may leave you feeling isolated. That’s because YOU have a conscience. They do not. They are not going to feel that way about you. They are on to someone else. And God help that person. The most important person is you. Do it for you. Do it for the people who actually do love you.
    Blessings to you, Dana, for the understanding you gave me.
    Tom

  36. Dear Dana,
    Thank you very much for all your hard work researching this subject and delivering information to us. I just finished listening to all of the videos of Red Flags of Narcissists. Only recently, I realized that I could sum up all my bad relationship experience by admitting that I suffered narcissist abuse. I did realize that I was manipulated, mistreated many times before, however I never realised that it was in such quantities. It was mind-blowing experience to listen to your videos. Hope that healing process will be successful as well 🙂
    I would love to SUGGEST A SUBJECT OF VIDEO:
    Red flag of Narcissist: Pets
    I used to have a friend (covert narcissist) I shared apartment with who was over obsessed with her cat. I always sensed that we become friends because I was following her crazy orders about her cat. Ok, maybe it was excessive precaution about safety of cat.

    However, there were things, which were very off. Like she never came to my room to say hello or good-bye except if her cat was there. She always started to say long good-bye note to her cat in a very sweet and loving way. After this conversation (sometimes over 1 min) she said in a very formal way hello to me (sometimes laughing about it as if it was joke). I don’t remember exactly but I think many times she failed to say hello to me at all.

    Another thing that seemed very off that she failed to receive any criticism about her cat (I used to joke that her cat is her ALTER EGO (she didn’t mind)). Like I said that cat is gaining weight and she always denied this. Even everyone else could see this. Once I said that while she was on holidays with her cat, our white bathroom floor stayed clean longer because she and cat was not here. She didn’t understand. I said because cat is like another person constantly walking in and out and bringing in dust with her feet. She said that her cat is perfect and is not attracting any dust whatsoever with her feet.

    Another thing that was off that she was always so crazy obsessed over cat’s safety but once when I told her that our roommate repeatedly leaved window opened she was so calm about that. Then I realized those rules are not that much about safety but about herself.

    It will seem crazy, but I would like to suggest another SUBJECT OF VIDEO:
    How can I know I am not the crazy one

    Txs a lot,
    Margarita

    P.S. Excuse me for my mistakes. I am not living in English speaking country.

  37. Dear Dana,
    I saw all of your videos about Red Flags of Narcissists. I realised so much. You can’t even imagine.. I have gone through almost all of the experiences you described (except the very bad ones – trying to kill, bankruptcy).
    In this message, I want to tell you about my mom. I always had sense that out relationship is not bad but that it’s complicated. Now I know why. For the last decade I have known that there is something wrong with her. However, finally I will stop confront myself about feeling so less for her, not liking her to touch me, not wanting her to be at my wedding (if I will ever have one), being aggressive towards her etc.
    I assume that she is covert narcissist that is why it is not obvious. Other people used to say you have such a nice mom and I was so surprised by that. She is not the worst case.. she says criticism now and then. She always says I just want the best for you.
    She is never happy with my looks but once I change my looks like she suggested she fails to notice it every single time.
    Once when I was a kid she said that she has to tell me two things – bad and a good one. “Which one you won’t to hear first”. I said that bad one. “Your cat is dead”, she said. I was so devastated, I that cat so much. Then she said – don’t you want to know the good news. Yes, I answered. “Your cat is alive”, she said.
    Once my sister was begging mom to take her with my parents (they were going out) and while she was dressing up they left. Later she said she forget her.
    She always changes her stories and I am so confused because I remember what was said very well (mostly I can quote if I was interested in).
    Probably the most shocked I was few months ago when husband of my aunt died (on my mom’s side). As we have very few relatives and this is the only family we meet on regular basis I was very devastated. However, while we were going by our car from service to remembrance meal (we have tradition to have meal together over here in Eastern Europe) she was laughing so laud and joyful that I was shocked.
    Once we went to retirement home to visit my other aunt (on my father’s side). She is entirely paralyzed (only one hand works) and even her eyesight and speech is very bad. When we left after visit of 50 min she started to cry like a baby. Never in my life had I seen anyone that desperate. I could sense her despair of staying there and doing nothing, meeting no one and her family and kids visiting only once a year or twice. My parents already left but I found it so hard to leave. Me and my niece stayed behind. We comforted my aunt as we could and said that we will come back for Christmas (after 2 months). I am so heartbroken even to remember about it. Later my mom said she doesn’t mind to come back because this place is very clean and doesn’t smell bad. “it is not unpleasant to visit this retirement home” she said. She never ever said anything else about this visit. I was shocked.
    What is very typical for her is to complain about health or politics. She can go on and on for hours until I have sense that there is no sense to live at all. If I would let her, she could talk this nonsense for hours. When I try to change subject or ask her to stop she is not respecting it at all. She loves to tell horror stories (which sadly are true) about kids killed, women raped, beheading etc. She loves to go into details. When I object she says that I am not interested into anything. I am not kidding. She also talks super loud and I am very bad with loud noises. She ignores that as well.
    Once when I came home from a school she said, “I am glad you are home, that I will see you for the last time because I will die today”. She never called ER or visited doctor afterwords. However, later every single time I came from school I was standing by the door and could not dare to come in as I was afraid someone has died.
    Our communication is better by phone. However, many times she forgets to ask me how I am. She calls me only when she needs something or wants to tell something. Sometimes she does not call me at all for few months and after that she calls me every single day for extent of several days.
    If I call her when I am upset, she can be very comforting. However, at the end of the conversation she usually brings up something that will really upset me – if you would be settled down you would be much happier (thanks for bringing it up, it never crossed my mind!). “You should wait no longer (I am 32) and you should have baby on your own”. “You can quit your creative job and become accountant and move to smaller city where rent is less” (basically this is giving up everything I am). “I will help you” (she hardly walks and is not allowed to lift anything more than 5 kg, she loves to interact with grandkids only for 1-2 min at a time).
    Now I think she deteriorates her health on purpose. I have called her doctor in secret and asked to explain her how dangerous it is for her health to stay obese. However, she becomes super angry if someone is pointing out that she is having second cake in a row etc.
    When I was seriously ill for extent of several years, I lost a lot of weight. She asked me many times how I managed to lose that much weight. She always failed to remember the answer.
    Sometimes she can become very angry and tell me or my niece (which lives abroad) “don’t visit me anymore”. She says this because of smallest reasons. My niece is sweetest thing ever.
    When I broke up with my first boyfriend, I was crying in public. She asked me to stop, because she was “feeling ashamed”. When I later confronted her about that. She said that she was not feeling ashamed but feeling sorry for me. She always changes stories like that.
    From age 3 months to 6 years, my granny raised me; I stayed with her all working days and nights (because my mom was working). Since I was 3 yo I went to preschool and I stayed there all working days. Later I was sent to far away school (“because you were so sensitive you would not fit in school in a city) and I had to stay there overnight for 5 days a week. When I chose to study in Secondary School in another city, she was offended by that (that I don’t want to be at home).
    I had to take over her responsibilities because she neglected them. I had to take care about everyone – my dad, youngest sister, nice, nephew and oldest sister and brothers. Actually, I almost forgot that I started to work many hours a day since I was 7 yo (during my summer breaks-full June, July, August, I come from Post-Soviet country that is why Summer Break is so long).
    OMG, I never realised how wrong it all will sound. Now I know why I have such a hard time to forgive my mom. Because there is a lot to forgive. I have thought about going no contact many times before. Often when I go to visit my parents I am not sure why I am doing that at all because it brings up this tremendous pain of being hurt for decades.
    However, the only thing I do not agree with you that you should go no contact with your parents as well. Ok, I would agree that one must do that if situation is beyond one’s control. However, I see this as a good platform for training to set borders, to learn to protect myself. Maybe I am mistaken. Maybe I still see my parents as source of love and that is why have hard time to let them go.
    Kind regards,
    Margarita
    P.S. When my brother had his first child he said, that now he realizes, that loving your child is not something extraordinary, it does not require effort.

  38. I am so glad I was able to help provide some clarity that you were needing. (((hugs))) to you in this next chapter of your life, and I hope it is full of health and healing. <3

  39. Thank you so much for sharing part of your story. You really have gained a tremendous amount of insight into your situation and how to handle it–although I’m sure it took a lot of pain to get to that point. …And I absolutely love your attitude of “Show them kindess and love and smile, because they absolutely hate that.” It’s so true. The best revenge is a great life. 🙂

  40. I’m so sorry that you went through so much with this man. Healing really does start with taking that first step away from a problematic person. The second step is to then examine our vulnerabilities and how (and why) we fell for the charm–especially if the behavior we were experiencing was so obvious to others. This second step is perhaps the hardest step in healing. On a personal level, it took me quite awhile to really figure out where and why I had been going wrong. What really helped me was a question that someone posed in the support group. Here is a link to that article and video: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/dating-a-narcissist/ I need to do an updated version of this video, as there’s a lot more I want to add to it–but I think (hope) you’ll find some clarity in the existing video as it is.

  41. My Husband abandoned me April 30 2015. My world shut down he lived a past secret life I knew nothing about. 8 months down the road I find out he was already shacking up with a older woman. Our marriage was good. No fights no arguements. He planned his leaving I never knew. He told his family bad things about me turned them against me. I still am clueless of why. Two weeks ago his ex girlfriend of three years ago contacts me on my fb telling me he visit her Dec 9th and he ran his mouth about me. She knew that the things he said about me was the same he said about her also when he left her. A pattern he lives. I couldn’t believe I married a man so kind and good then little by little he started to change into a different man. Anger and stuff. Hitting the walls and quiet traits. He started being sneeky. He was raised up with his mom cheating on his dad then married a drunk then he burns in a fire then his mom goes back to his dad. My husband 1st wife cheated on him. Now he cheated on me. I knew him for ten years worked with him. I had no clue he was like this. He wiped all our money out and he still can’t face me. But yet runs to the x girlfriend for I guess wanting her back. She said he was abusive to her he hit her tried to kill him self and he hit walls and lied to me saying he left her because she was abusive to him. After all said and done he is the one who was the abuser,lier,and cheater. He turns his family against you. I was raised in a very great upper class family. He wasnt. I was good to him I dressed him well. My credit is good. His I found out was not. He lied about paying bills.

  42. I’m so sorry that you are going through this–but please know that you are not alone. There are many people out there who have gone through something very similar. Everything that you are describing: the Dr. Jekyll/Mr.Hyde transformation, the lies, the double life, the projection, (accusing you of things that he actually did) the anger and abuse–all of it are elements that most (if not all) of us go through. I’m glad that you were able to talk to his ex and get some validation that his behavior was a pattern–it can be really crazy making sometimes if we don’t realize this. …You can heal from this. (((Hugs)))

    If you are interested in joining a support group, we’d love to have you: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum

  43. Thank you so much for sharing some of your story. What struck me the most about your story was how you said that your brother said that after he had his child he realized that loving your child is not something extraordinary and doesn’t require effort. That speaks volumes about how you both were left feeling emotionally starved out by your mother.

    You mention that there is a lot to forgive, and that you are not certain you want to go “no contact” with her. Many people really wrestle with going no contact with family members–and you don’t need to do anything that you aren’t comfortable doing. If you feel that you still want to maintain contact with her, then that’s fine–and 100% up to you. (((hugs)))

  44. I’m in a situation right now living with a malignant narcissist. It wasn’t a traditional love bombing quest but I guess the “love bombing” came in his charming excessively kind treatment so I was constantly giving him compliments on how wonderful he was. I came as a roommate to shortly crash temporarily after spending nearly a year in Asia. Unfortunately, due to work situation and money it’s been half a year. We never actually dated per say as he refused to label it that way, although, every aspect of it was a traditional relationship. We spent most of our time together nights/weekends, slept in same bed, cuddled holding each-other at night, he did boyfriend things for me beyond a friend/roommate and we had sex. I was like the wife trying to keep the house clean and cook. In fact, I thought he was the best roommate/”boyfriend” I ever had. He did however constantly play games with me regarding sex and would reject me often then express the desire again then reject me all together in the end probably as his pity for me increased. There was no passion in sex ever. In the beginning it was very very rough ripping clothes off, pushing me on the bed, even biting drawing blood (which I got pissed about cause I told him not so hard) then I felt it was just a chore for him and I was just a hole. He was merely masterbating in me.

    At first he’d say I’m not looking for a relationship cause of life circumstances (he was going through some major changes) then finally “I’m
    ready and looking you are just not the one”. Which would confuse anyone. Despite our bf/gf like relationship and time spent. He always came home at night and I knew where he was on weekends. Rejection, I’m
    sure he quickly realized, was one of my biggest issues. The other missing piece was he seemed to want to hide me from FB never allowing tags of us even without pictures. He would tag other people we were with but not me. I think I speak of most people when I say they don’t really experience this from friends unless they particularly want to keep themselves private altogether. Obviously as anyone it both hurt and pissed me off he would keep lying about the reason why. And it seemed he wanted to hide me from his co-workers and of course through gas-lighting to make me feel I was crazy for thinking that he was hiding me from FB and co-workers. He told a series of lies after lies in my quest for the motivation. I still couldn’t figure out why he was “embarrassed” of his roommate he was also very attracted to and hung out with all the time. His friend and brother were also confused telling me that I was a beautiful woman with a lot to offer and couldn’t figure out why he would treat a good woman like that.

    In the beginning, I thought he was as everyone else does among his sea of acquaintances “the sweetest, most kindest man”. You see hardly anyone including his siblings know who he is not even his twin brother. He’s very private sharing very little if any details about his life to anyone. People who have known him nearly a decade can’t say anything detailed about him and truly have no idea who he is besides the humble, kind, will never say no to helping, attractive, fit, quiet, volunteering man. He’s 47 and I’m the only person he’s ever lived with.

    Anyway, I can’t leave cause I have no where to go and stay working. If I leave I won’t be able to get to work and been in and out of lower paying temp jobs still trying to get on my feet after being a year in Asia. I work in Manhatten and have no car. Every permanent job I apply for I am not selected and so may have to buy a car and go where the jobs are which takes working and saving money. Anyway, he’s done a # on my already fragile self esteem. I grew up with narcissists both my parents and stepfather were narcissists and I think that’s why I felt so comfortable and that comfort confused me blocking my intuition. I kept thinking despite the flashes of inappropriate emotion, great listening skills, extreme lack of empathy, gas lighting, the inability to be accountable for behavior and excessive lying that he’s the most kindest human being I ever met! Now, that I have finally realized and accepted his covert charming, volunteering, free room and board very helpful malignant narcissism and am no longer duped calling him out for what he is, the hostility is cranking up. I’ve had several emotional breakdowns in front of him (all this before I truly understood what a narcissist was) I just recently realized and accepted my mother and father were but didn’t fully understood what all that entails. Growing up my mother drove me to want to kill myself. She’d laugh at my self mutilation. Now this person also has driven me to these dark lows which I now know are what he was trying to do. He pities me and now can’t stand me for calling him out. I need support in someway.

  45. I strongly encourage you to join the support group if you haven’t already: http://www.NarcissistSupport.com/forum

    Here is a link on how to do a safety plan which can help you plan how to leave: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/develop-a-safety-plan/

    If you have credit cards or a decent credit score you should be able to take out a loan to help you get funds to move out. I know it’s not ideal, but it’s a thought, and it’s better than being in a place that is draining you.

    (((hugs)))

  46. This has been valuable info for me. I was in a relationship for 22 years, which ended on Jan 2. I compromised over and over to make him happy. Our relationship was emotionally intense and I believed I loved him very very much and believed he loved me. He was very possessive and not only did he not want me to do things with girlfriends (without him being there), but also my kids. This drove a wedge between my kids and rick. Rick was an introverted narcissist (I am learning). We did everything together. Just this past November, we had our typical Thanksgiving with his family in San Diego, stayed at a luxury resort on the trip down, made love. Status quo. Then in December, he started having a lot of work outings, business trip (in 22 years he has never done this). It was very curious to me, but I still trusted him because we had always vowed no infidelity in our relationship. We celebrate Xmas eve. I didn’t see any difference (but both my brother and daughter noticed something different about him). On Xmas day, he announces that he is going to a Xmas party some 30 miles south (at his riding instructor’s home) and that he will spend the night there because there is a horse clinic the next morning. I was angry. I asked him why I couldn’t come. He said students only. I said how could you go to a horse clinic without your horse. He answered he was observing. Well, off he went. (BTW, his riding instructor is in her 70s and is gay, so she is wasn’t the object of his desire, just an excuse). On the 26th he called around 4pm and asked what I was doing. I answered nothing, and why hadn’t he returned. He said he was just relaxing. I answered ‘at your riding instructor’s home???’ I was angry again and told him why don’t you just stay there again. Guess what, he did. That next week we were out to dinner with his horse trainer, also not the object of his desire. She asked what we were doing NY eve. I said nothing. She said why don’t we all get together. He replied, no, there may be other spontaneous parties *he* may need to go to. So after that dinner I, of course, said what spontaneous parties. He mentioned something about an important project. He has the idea of introducing a new monetary system (little grandious!) and that he is meeting some people on New Year’s Eve and will be spending the night. Well NY eve came, the first night was hard on me, the second night I was having panic attacks and called him. He was sleeping. It was horrible! I told him he needed to come home right away and tell me what was going on. He came home on Jan 2 and told me that ‘he met someone’. Said they have soooo much in common. Apparently she is younger, an executive in the tech space of cash transactions (which he needs info to further his monetary project); she is an advanced endurance rider (having completed the granddaddy of endurance events–100 mile Tevis Cyo and he has one a few 50 milers; and she has a masters in economics, he has a major and collects antique economic books). He assured me that he still very much cared about me and I could continue living there (was his house). The night of the 2nd, armed with very little information other than she is an exective, where she used to work and is in to horses, I set out on the internet to search and figure out who she was. Guess, what, BINGO. I found her. I opened his bedroom door (as we were sleeping separately) and announced her name. Well, he flew into my bedroom so fast with cold reptilian eyes and told me he wanted me out of the house in a week. He was completely freaked I would ruin this for him. I had to talk him down. The next week, he said she was helping him with his ‘project’ which was very important to him. I asked him if she stopped helping him, what would that that mean and he said it would be very detrimental. He then proceeded to be gone Thurs-Sun for the next 2 weekends. He said things like, “think of me as being away on a business trip.” or, “think of this as a new dynamic to our relationship.” On Sunday, Jan 17, he came home and asked me if I wanted to go out for a bite. Well, I was beside myself and told him know and proceeded to berate him with what a cold heart, how could he give up his best friend and 22 years, etc. etc. Didn’t phase him, really. Said, that it makes him feel bad. That night I drank a tall glass of whiskey (I don’t drink whiskey, only wine moderately). I took a hand full of old hydrocodone and OD’d. Thank God he decided to lay next to me in the other room and read, because he heard my last gasp. Did CPR and called 911. I spent 8 days in hospital (5 in psych ward due to 51-50). I am not crazy. I was driven to emotional disparity beyond anything I could imagine. While in hospital, he had to go on a ‘bona fide’ business trip. While he was gone, my daughter went into our home of 20 years, and had movers pack all of my things up to a storage pod. He wasn’t very happy when he returned, meticulously citing all of the things that were taken that belonged to him, down to the olive oil. I had no contact for 2 weeks, which pissed him off (according to someone he reached out to). He texted me yesterday and it said ‘are you over your heartache yet?’ — I asked why, and he said ‘thought maybe we could go to dinner some time’ — I said what for; he said to talk; I said about what; he said moving forward. I said you already moved forward around 5 months ago and that I have been trying to since Jan 2 and that the short answer is “no” I don’t want to go to dinner with him. Anyway, that’s my story. My daughter and son tell me now they always have known he was a narcissist but I had blinders on and loved him so much. It is spot on that the information you have shared about the intensity of the break up. It has been very hard on me, but learning more about him (and he is textbook introverted narcissist) the better I am coping. In fact, when my heart heals, I will come to realize that this break up was a blessing in disguise.

  47. My story started b4 my current NARC/addict. We have been married for 4 years its been so many lows and not enough highs. Jails, rehab, treatment has prolonged me staying here. But after joining this support group n another I have been gaining the power and strength to walk away. The things that I have discovered are so hurtful, bizarre n unbelievable. But I’m sure that I have to divorse him and NEVER over look those red signs and cross my own boundaries again. The manipulation is terrible, I just pray to stay strong and detach from this unhealthy relationship, my children deserve to be safe n so do I. I also want to empower other people who has experience d this type if abuse. Thx Dana for pouring into some many?

  48. Hi, Dana! I can’t believe it took me almost three years to find this site, but this support system you have in place is incredible. My sister and I struggled (and still struggle depending on the day) since my mother left our dad Spring of 2013 – scratch that – since my mother decided to destroy our dad almost three years ago to the day. She claimed he was abusive and that she was afraid for her life. Ha, riiiiiiight. She literally did everything possible to destroy my father, between telling us we had a half sibling, me calling the police because my mother was waiting for my father with a shot gun, my mother tricking my dad into committing HIMSELF into a mental institution…the list goes on and on. Only when I cut my mother out of my life did things start getting better. My mantra became “I’m not a new me, I’m the me I was meant to be.”

    I’m so proud of how much I’ve grown and been awakened to this amazing person hiding inside that I was never allowed to explore, HOWEVER, any time people hear that I have no relationship with my mother, I am judged and looked down upon as being a bad daughter. “How can you not have a relationship with your mother?! She’s your mother!” Even people who were around during the “chocolate cake fiasco,” as my dad refers to the beginning of the end, still to this day say things like, “It’s a shame. I’m sure you’ll patch things up eventually.” Excuse me, but WTF!!!!

    I’m so glad I found your site and am hoping to connect with more people who have struggled with having a mother with NPD. I, myself, have a daughter, which I believe gave me the realization that I would never do the things my mother did to my daughter, nor is it healthy for my daughter to be around her grandmother. I would love to feel supported in my decision and hear stories of other survivors/thrivers!

    Thank you so much for creating this space and giving people who once felt voiceless a voice <3

  49. So, Here I go…

    I didn’t know Narcissistic people existed.
    I didn’t know that I could be a victim. As I wander daily for answers, I find myself, vulnerable, exposed, and ashamed. Ashamed of what I allowed to happen to me. Ashamed that I ignored what I felt, and confused on how I wasn’t able to stop myself….

    We was “in love”…
    We was going to get “married”…
    We couldn’t stop thinking about each other, and for a moment in time I felt as if ” this is what a dream could be for me”

    But there was something off.
    Something odd.
    I could never put my finger on what was truly going on.

    I feel lonely, and helpless..
    He lied to me.. more than once.

    I think in my head everyday ” Was there ever a time you loved me?” What did I do? How can we fix this?

    Come back to me is what I asked, because I wanted to feel something, rather than nothing.

    Most days, I sit and fantasize about what we could of been ( what I wanted you to be )

    I’ve never felt this way about anyone before, and I have an idea that I never will again…

    You hurt me. You hurt me to the point that I couldn’t trust my own self. I questioned my own judgement. You made me feel like I was everything and nothing, at the same time.

    It’s hard without you…
    I sit and stare at the next supply, and can’t help but feel jealous, and envious…but I know it’s not right.

    You hurt me and I never got to say goodbye.

    So, I’m saying it now..

    Goodbye to the crys
    Goodbye to the lies
    Goodbye to the pain that time you cheated on me, and I took you back in
    Goodbye to the ups and the downs
    Goodbye to my frowns

    When I squint to see the light..

    Know that, I’ll be alright..

    Signed,

    A Narcissitic Recovered Victim

  50. Ow, and BTW he is in a stable job position but I figure out he gets adrenaline kicks out of dangerous situations from the side of life not related to work…

  51. Dear Dana
    Thank you for this great work you are doing. It’s important for people to know about Cluster B personality disorders and how frequent they are in our daily lives. I also appreciate how you share your experiences in a professional way, without being angry or bitter.
    Unfortunately I have experienced narcissistic disorders from very early on. Mostly I have suffered because of my mother who has a histrionic personality disorder. Histrionics are similar to narcissists, but particularly they crave and create drama in which they can either be the hero or the victim. I don’t remember any normal conversation with my mother. Everything was always about her. She often said how incredibly hard she had to work (even though she had no job and we had an employee for cooking and doing all the housework) With that, she meant that because of her heroic sacrifices, her children, should idolize her and that we owed her everything. Once I remember that I was happy and laughing when I suddenly saw my mother looking at me with anger, like saying “how dare you to be happy, when your mother is so miserable. If you are not miserable too, then you don’t care and you are a bad person”. When I became sick, she got very angry and hit me with shoes and other objects. She said it was my fault that I didn’t take care of myself, and now she had even more work to do by taking care of me. Meanwhile, my father was sitting in a chair and reading the newspaper. If I told her something very hurtful or personal, she listend carefully, but then blamed me for it and used it against me. It’s impossible to describe this whole complex situation in an email. The most important thing I want to say is that I felt all alone. My closer family knew everything that happened, but they were either so brainwashed or so helpless, that nobody would ever say a word to protect me. In contrary, they asked ME, why I was so sad (really?!?)! For Cluster B parents it is also typical, that they often appear very nice and normal in front of other people like neighbours or teachers. Thus, they all assumed it was me there was something wrong with. When you try to explain the situation to a friend, they think, you are exagerating and tell you that every family has an argument now and then and that we should just sit down and talk with my mother (great idea, hadn’t thought about that!). There is just no awareness at all about emotional abuse.
    When I grew up, I realized that to recover I had to go no contact with almost my whole family. On the one hand this was really, really hard. On Christmas, you just to know where to go. But on the other hand I finally feel free and enjoy an almost normal life. Hugs!

  52. Just have to email you I started watching your vids about a week ago 🙂

    Suffice to say that I am just coming out of the otherside of 6yrs+ stalked/stalking with narcisistic ex boss whilst breaking up with life partner (also narcy but nothing like ex boss). Limerence tribe and net say it is ”all about you” !! This was crazy I disclosed he denied and he hoovered and gaslighted on social media 🙁

    I am now happy in my tiny house, self employed living frugally finally looking outward.

    Your vids are so relaxed cool make total sense THANK-YOU SO much helping me greatly to make final acceptance/break BIG LOVE to you from UK 🙂

    Happytobefreex

  53. I am so glad that you are “coming out on the other side” of all this–and I love that you are in happy and have regained your power and control. Yay you! I wish you all the best in this next chapter of your life. (((HUGS)))

  54. I had the narcissist wife abandon the “marriage” of 3.5 years last month and she left some of her items including photographs of her 3 children. How long should I keep them bagged up in the closet? What to do if contacted? If not contacted?

  55. I’d text a friend of hers (keep a papertrail of this) and see if you can give the friend the items. This way she can’t try and use those items as an excuse to reopen communication with you down the line (this is generally referred to as “hoovering.”) hoovering

  56. I couldnt believe how far a human being would go to hurt another one who was completely undeserving of it. As an HSP or highly sensitive person I was the perfect source for an abusive narcissist. I had grown up with a narcissistic mother who never approved of me and then naturally fell into the trap of falling for a man like this. His cruelty to me was so bad it almost made me suicidal. I was already suffering from anxiety disorder and depression when he came along and swooped me up. He lured me in by offering to do photo shoots of me as a photographer and made me feel really beautiful. It was all a facade then the real monster came through once we started dating. He actually had me believing I was a bad person, no one would want to date or be with me, I was dilusional, my family was completely screwed up and no one would want to work with me. He even refused to have sex with me if you can imagine. His controlling tactics went on for years until I was just about suicidal. I couldn t understand how another human being could be so cruel to another especially knowing the difficulties I had already faced in my life and how sensitive and caring I was as an individual. Thank God I found someone who understands here! It is such a life changing and crippling thing to go through but there is hope and once you understand what they are all about you can learn to move forward which I am starting to do now.

  57. I’m so glad that my videos and blog have been able to give you the validation you were needing…and I’m so sorry that you went through so much with this man. I’m glad you were able to get away from him and from the relationship. <3

    If you haven't already started watching my video series on codependency (which talks a lot about the concept of "empty buckets" and examining what our vulnerabilities might be--so we can better avoid dangerous and destructive people in the future), here is a link: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/red-flags-of-a-codependent/

    Here is link to the support group too if you are interested: http://www.facebook.com/groups/healingfromnarcissisticabuse

    (((HUGS)))

  58. Hopefully someone can help me. I only came upon this website today because I am confused. I am male and married to my ‘wife’ for 12.

    So where to start: Lets start with sex. The first year into our marriage my wife suggested an open relationship. I was a bit surprised. I never thought like that and appeared fine together. We had a little girl, aged 1 then. She stealthily persisted and eventually we went to a swingers club. I didn’t play, she did, and she loved it. So we went to a few more parties and then I said I didn’t want this. She was a pissed off, but agreed to stop. However last week I have just found out my wife is on sex sites. In one week she was with 3 different men in various hotels. She with another 2 men the week after. We have 2 kids, 9 and 5. I found this out after investigative work. When I initially confronted her, she was really nice and comforting saying I was mad and that she never cheated. At this stage she did not know I had hard evidence of her cheating. So just to see how she would act I played along. She swore she was not cheating. Anyhow she eventually admitted cheating on hearing the evidence. Initially she was remorseful. However 1 hour later she launched an defensive attack that took the wind from my sails. She said that I made her sleep with these me ( I was minding the kids when she met them) Now nearly a decade later she is saying I made her a sex addict by agreeing to her fantasy and going to those clubs. Also about 3 years ago I found her arranging to meet another man for a sexual encounter. She was arranging it for when I was away with the kids. We got marriage counselling (I ended up looking like a fool in the counselling despite the fact that she was the one cheating. Anyhow all appeared rosy a few months later. I have not cheated in all my tie with my wife.

    Money: My wife also says that I don’t earn enough. We go on 2 holidays a year. She says If I earned enough she wouldn’t look for attention elsewhere. I am so confused. My wife has a good job. She is a workaholic. 12 hour days. She is ruthless when going for promotion. She is now threatening to take to the cleaners in a divorce and ruin us both financially. She always seems to twist everything and make me confused.

    Control: My wife wants loads of male friends. When I get suspicious she calls me controlling. When I told my family about her cheating she mad completely nuts. She said her reputation was ruined and I had no right to say anything to my family. She has not told her parents about what she did. She says if tell them the truth she will accuse me of making her sleep with those men. So her parents think I am a control freak. That I am divorcing her because she met 1 guy for a chat in a hotel bar. They think I am depressed.

    Empathy: My wife has no remorse now for what she has done. She doesn’t care that her actions affect the kids also. She is making divorce impossible. She wants to live in an open loveless marriage. She is doing for the kids and appearance.She is all over the kids these days. Again unlike her.

    History: The most confusing part is how she rewrites our relationship history. She will always try to justify her behaviour by bringing up past events. She says she was a victim in our marriage. Her versions of events are so different from my perception of events that I wonder who I married.

    Self love: My wife is attractive. She is beautiful and knows it. She works a room. One day she said she so beautiful the whole room stopped. She regularly thinks she is so beautiful it causes problems. She says she wants to do charity work and help others. yet she never does. She has grandiose opinions about herself.

    To conclude, I cannot cope with my wife. She is after sleeping around, have a fake sex profile, hidden phone, lived a double life and yet she makes me feel like I am controlling her. She makes me feel I am the one who has cheated. I cannot even tell her parents the real reasons I am heading for divorce. A divorce she is resisting for self image and finance reasons. She appears to have no empathy. when I told marriage was about self sacrifice sometimes she looked at me blankly. The next day she had printed a definition of Self sacrifice out on an a3 page and learned it off. This is mad stuff. Who is my wife???

  59. Here’s my story, my truth:
    My earliest childhood memory is of my dad putting my mother’s head through the pantry door. Hence he is not a narcissist. He beat her and my younger brother until he left her for another woman (much younger) at work, I was 8. He came into the room where my brother and I was and told us that it’s not our fault but he was leaving. I sighed with relief, my brother cried uncontrollably.
    Skip forward to my years after that, new school, I never saw pavement as we were raised in the country. I walked my brother 2.5 miles to and from school everyday.(latch key kid) I made all of our dinners since then, my mother worked but resigned to her cozy couch every night checking outta life. No dinner I ever made at 8 yrs old was good enough. I took Spanish, got in softball, and played sax. She never came to an event or anything in fact if I didn’t mow the yard (1 acre sucky push mower) on Saturdays before ball practice I wasn’t allowed to go.
    Fast forward to 13 yrs old, I ran away a lot! I mean every chance I could. How I didn’t end up in juvy I think cause my mother the narcissist couldn’t bare people judging her. My dad always came to my rescue but that was all he was good for. The golden child my brother threw knives at me, plates, whatever and I always took the punishment when mom came home which was your grounded. I was ALWAYS grounded for anything. If her boss pissed her off I was grounded, my friends parents in band especially felt sorry for me but no one said anything.
    Skip to my HS freshman year, I was in Spanish club and every band you could be in to stay away from home. I pulled 4.0 through my sophomore year my mom’s solution, you’re bipolar, you need help. From the beginning of my freshman year through my junior year she drug me to every family therapist on the planet to find out why I avoid her and why I’m such a horrid kid. (Her exact words)
    Finally the last therapist my junior year told her what she wanted to hear, that I was a degenerate, ungrateful brat (his words) and that she was a saint for dealing with such a hateful child for so long and couldn’t remarry because of me. I did what I always did in therapy cause no one believes a teenager, I looked at my shoe the whole time and took it.
    I turned 18 and moved out went no contact but I didn’t know anything at the time. I lived in my car for months after my roommate didn’t pay rent with the money I gave her. I worked full time and still went to high school my senior year but because of a technicality I didn’t graduate. (mind you 4.5)

    A year or so later met a nice man got pregnant right away. We married when she was 2, moved to Florida. It turns out he had bigger childhood issues than me! We amicably divorced 10 yrs later and remain best friends to this day.
    I was divorced a year and met this guy on a job site. He had sole custody of his then 5 yr old son. What a fantastic man I thought. We spent 7 months living separately then a year together in a house to meld the kids together then married. RED FLAGS everywhere ONCE WE MARRIED. He is/was good at hiding it. Overt narc brother moved in and had a confrontation with my child and behaved horribly so I threw him out. My now husband backed him up ganging up on me, cornering me in my own kitchen!!! I left with my daughter a month later for 7 months.
    He ruined me in my industry. (I own my own business since 2014 BEFORE him) He took over my business ran it into the ground. I went back for financial reasons and my dog of 16 passed. He lost our house, one that I thought was a bad business deal, my first house! Now we rent out of our means but nothing but the best for him! The torture, silent treatment, pissed off look on his face all the time, the belittling IN PUBLIC! Best of all last July my best friend had her friend down from Chicago and she hung out at my house. Long story short we tied one on and I had my husband drive her back to my friends house. He dropped my daughter at her bf house first then had sex with this woman in his truck in front of my girls house. I only heard about it months later when he was in NYC working on and off for 9 months when the credit card bill came in and he was entertaining. Also he told me that his roommate had drunk chicks over the night before but he didn’t leave his room. That prompted a bad feeling so I face booked girl from last July and she admitted to all. Her and I are still friends.
    I could go on and on but why bother. I am at a place that I accept he is what he is a narcissist and I need to get my own happy life.
    There is way more to this story like a hospital visit that I was so ill and he went through a drive thru for coffee before dropping me at the ER. It goes on and on.
    Now that I am awake I know what’s going on from all the months of research I have been doing! I wake up with what I call my adrenaline switch stuck in the on position. I live on it like that, constant panic attacks, just fight or flight, panic, pain in my chest, can feel my blood pressure rise in my neck and face, stuck on for days then I crash for days at a time. I sleep maybe a total of 2 hrs a night of constant interruption. I go to bed for 8 hrs but wind up in 15 minute cat naps all night. All my dreams have him belittling me, or humiliating me in front of people. Sometimes he’s just condescending in private.
    I just want to heal and make no mistake about it I am well aware that I am co dependant!
    Thanks for hearing/seeing me!
    P.S. Sorry so long lol

  60. I don’t know where to start. There’s just so much. About 2 years ago I caught him in 7 lies in 1 week.I found phone bills hid in the closet.His bill had 5to7 thousand calls and texts on it.I’ll never know what that was about.His Facebook account under friends had hundreds of Asian boys and girls. Facebook blocked him.I found a strap on dildo hid in my bathroom.He use to use my phone when I went to bed.He is addicted to porn.His favorite 2 were she male f*** buddies and tranny dates (transvestites).He charged them on my phone. I found out he was having sex with men. He also had a sick affair with a 13 year old girl.He was stealing my money and credit card. Thousands of dollars. I caught on to what he was doing and I had to start hiding my purse and my phone.He almost always found them.I found 3 insurance policies.One was accidental death and the other 2 were on my 2 boys.He was going to a 26 year old girl’so house. She goes with older men for money. He’s 64 years old.He stole my 13 year old sons galaxy 4. I know because I had the serial number traced. It went to this girls account.I found all kinds of text to her. He also stole my son’s beats headphones (300.00).He invited her to eat Thanksgiving with us I told a friend of hers she better not show up at my house.He took her a plate anyway.He was so mad because I wouldn’t let her come he cut my oxygen cord he unscrewed the cap off my windex so the bottom would fall off and spill. He knew I cleaned my glass tables every day.He also took the piece you push back on your vacuum cleaner to vacuum off. It was screwed on!He said the cat did it.We went to town one day and I had no money. I asked him if he would loan me the money to get a drink. He gave me a 5.00 bill. I got a drink and just put the change in my purse.He went in my purse and got the change that night. I found texts to a man. They said my my my aren’t you just a dirty little boy and he texted him forever and a day over 20 times. Nobody knew about forever and a day but me and him. That’s what I signed all my cards and letters to him.And he was sending it to a man.He went on Google +and his intro was unhappy single just got out of a 22 year partnership never married her just didn’t love her enough.looking for my soul mate not one like the last one she was sorry as owl shit.He steals all my things.He threw my galaxy 4 in a sink full of dish water. HE IS PURE EVIL.He had an affair with my psychiatrist.I was seeing her because of an abusive childhood.I confronted her and told her I knew. Her husband who is also a psychiatrist called me and told me my husband and his wife were having an affair. I already knew. That night at midnight the law knocked on my door. They handcuffed me and took me to a mental health facility where I was kept for the maximum 9 long days.I cryed and I cryed. It’s a terrible feeling to be locked up for something someone else did.He had talked to her 3 times that day.He’s turned my 2 younger boys against me. My 20 year old son has severe separation disorder and severe anxiety. He got a job working in a warehouse.He hated it but he did it for a year.One morning he was crying and I heard him say Why do I have to do this just so I can give yall all my money. I thought you’ve never gave me a dime. I found out his dad was taking all his money yet he was making 500.00 a week and getting 1000.00 disability.My son use to jump on me. He’d grab me by the neck and throw me across the room. I’d scream for his dad to get him off me and he never did anything.One time I saw a smirk on his face.I told my son if he ever touched me again I’d call the law.I blame his dad for his attitude towards me.He never taught him anything about respect.This has all happened the past year. My 13 year old made all A’s and B’s. His grades dropped dramatically.He’s always trying to create drama between me and my 20 year old son.I cry everyday over him. I love him so much.It’s his dad and he loves him and doesn’t want to believe all the things this man has done to me.It would take another 2 days for me to explain it all. I am 57 years old. I’ll probably grow old alone.He is still staying with me.I can’t afford all the bills. It’s a very lonely,sad,depressing life.I woke up the other night and he was standing at the end of my bed. I didn’t move. He stood there for a couple minutes just staring at me.He claims to have killed 4 people. He is a pathological liar. It’s unbelievable the way he lies.About everything.He is a narcissistic psychopath.HE NEVER STOPS. HE WILL NOT STOP STEALING.IM SO TIRED OF HAVING TO HIDE EVERYTHING. He steals my medicine. He opens my mail. He throws a lot of it away. My Mother died in 2011. We have a family reunion every year. I didn’t get an invitation. I was looking for some pictures and I found my invitation. HE’S PURE EVIL.He had hid it from me. He knew how much I wanted to go. I cryed over it. He never said a word. He just let me sit there and cry.He does things intentionally like going to porn on my phone and not deleting it. He wants me to find it so he can create some drama. His phone locked up because he tryed to go to child porn.He had to pay a fine.Of course he didn’t do it.He goes to animal porn. He goes to young gay porn.Trannydates is one of his favorite.He’s a member.He charged it on my phone.His introduction says want to f*** my ass with a strap on dildo want a big d*** black man to f*** me in the ass. Prefer 2 men. Well that explains the strap on!! I’d rather live with the devil.I’ve been through so many emotions. He didn’t cry when his mother or sister died.He has never in 25 years been wrong about anything. He always blames someone else. He makes excuses.It’s him my 15 year old and myself.My other son moved out. He couldn’t take anymore.I don’t talk to him.He doesn’t talk much anyway.To busy planning what he’s going to steal from me next.I have never wanted to hurt anyone but I’ve thought about doing some bad things to this man.He took 25 years of my life from me.It was all a lie.My children are damaged.I’ve lost my 20 year old because of his manipulation.He did and is still doing everything he can to keep us apart.I don’t know how much longer I can continue to do this. I’m so unhappy, so sad,shocked.He thinks he is entitled to everything I own.It’s a terrible situation. I want to do NO CONTACT.The worst part of it all is how he has turned my son against me and I had a real hard time when he stole my 13 year Olds phone. He used it to go to sleep.listening to music.He’s a dangerous evil common nasty sick S.O.B.AND I HATE HIM.There’s so much more but it would take day’s. HE NEVER STOPS.

  61. I am really sorry that you are going through all of this. Perhaps consider calling your local domestic violence shelter and see if they can help you leave, or at a minimum if they offer free or reduced cost therapy to help you cope with all this. (((HUGS)))

  62. Hi Heather,

    I’m sorry that you are going through all this, however, I’m glad that you are getting the clarity you need in order to move forward. …The symptoms that you are describing is part of C-PTSD, and it’s VERY normal after a relationship like this ends–and it does tend to pass with time. Right now your body is stuck in fight or flight mode because this man has continually been causing you emotional harm–and all those feelings of adrenaline pumping through your system is because you body is continually preparing to get away from the danger (him).

    You may find it helpful to go to your doctor and let them know that you’re having a lot of anxiety and that you aren’t sleeping and to see if they can give you something to help with that–as well as to get your blood pressure checked. At a minimum, I highly recommend cutting out caffeine, as it makes these feelings worse.

    When I was going through all this, I found it helpful to take a few benadryl at night (as those cause sedation) or Zyquil (which is a sleep aid that you can get at Walgreens/drug store). Just sharing what worked for me–not making a formal medical recommendation here lol.

    Also if you are interested in joining a support group, we’d love to have you: http://www.facebook.com/groups/healingafternarcissisticabuse

  63. Hi Ed,

    I’m sorry you are going through this, and I think you are making a wise decision by divorcing this woman, as a marriage can’t last if there is no sincere, open, honest, and solutions oriented communication as well as if there’s a lack of dignity and respect–and it seems that none of these factors are here. Such is the case with emotional manipulators.

    You mention that she “rewrites history” this is called “gas lighting” http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/?s=gas+lighting and can be really crazy making, although it sounds like you’ve done a good job at not accepting her reality as your own. And as far as her blaming her sex addiction on you, this shows a total lack of accountability on her end for her behavior–and her sex addiction is not your fault.

    As you move forward in your divorce I strongly recommend you keep as much of a paper trail of her activities and lies as you can–so try to keep things between you in email, text, voicemail, etc. so it’s not he said/she said.

    (((HUGS)))

    If you are interested in joining a support group, we’d love to have you: http://www.facebook.com/groups/healingafternarcissisticabuse

  64. I found your site while searching for support tools for a friend that I work with who recently was D&D’d and, upon doing a little research, discovered she’d been in a relationship with an N. I have been trying to help her for a few reasons, other than I feel badly for her and understand a little of what she’s going through:
    1. I’m 20 years older than she and am the daughter of an N.
    2. I’ve been in therapy on and off since I was 13 (same therapist, who also tried to treat my mother)
    3. I’ve got high EI and am highly empathic
    4. I was in a relationship (a term I use loosely) last year with someone with NPD (someone I’d know from HS who swept into my life like an absolute whirlwind) but I, luckily, without realizing he was an N for quite some time, exited the relationship after several months.

    I consider myself one of the lucky ones. Not where my mother is concerned as I have been estranged from her now for about 7 years (I finally asserted myself at age 45 and said “NO MORE!”). That wound up being a pivotal moment in my life for many reasons, but the one relevant to “my story” here is that it helped me establish and assert personal boundaries, recognize that I needed to learn to trust my intuition, and ultimately, when I had my brief relationship last year with my N – we’ll call him John – it helped me realize that the niggling in the back of my brain, almost from the very beginning, was something I needed to pay attention to because of my history, therapy and the situation with my mother. Walking away from her enabled me to walk away from John. And it wasn’t that hard to do, though I wasn’t in love so I suppose that made it easier too.

    When everyone in my life was saying “oh, this is it, he’s the one, he’s wonderful” and on the surface, he was, I held back and couldn’t quite agree with them, though I couldn’t put my finger on why. Something was just off. (Aside: I knew him in HS and we’d had a little thing for each other way back when but both of us were otherwise taken and that attraction never came to fruition. 30 years later, after he got divorced and found out I lived near by and was single he absolutely seized the opportunity. That I’m a fixer and an empathic was, for him, like hitting the N supply lotto, though not for long…).

    Anyway, no one could figure out why I was reticent. Why I wasn’t gung-ho and head over heels. Especially given our history and that we’d “found” each other again. But I wasn’t. I always held back, and I didn’t know why. People just assumed I was being too picky (for a change) and that I’d been single too long and didn’t know how to be in a relationship. I didn’t listen to them, I listened to my internal voice that said “not so fast” …

    After dating for a few months, once the love bombing phase ended and his mask started to slip, I was ready to walk. Actions didn’t match words and for me, that’s a deal breaker. My therapist, who hadn’t met him (yet, he actually had a session with John and a phone conversation with him later) suggested that I stay and try and work through the issues I was having. He was a part-time single dad (I’ve been a single mother from the day of my son’s birth so I can certainly understand how that is). He explained that no relationship is perfect and sometimes we have to fight through the problems that arise, because problems always arise. And I did for a few weeks before I officially broke it off. Because as time went on and I explained to my therapist in more detail what was bothering me, he then realized that I was likely dealing with someone who had some N tendencies, if not full blown NPD (he wouldn’t diagnose without meeting him at least, but that was his professional clinical impression – strong N tendencies). And that we tend to be attracted to what we know (my mother is an N so …)

    So I broke it off. And I went no contact. I didn’t verbally break it off, I did it in writing for a few reasons. One, the first time I’d try to break it off in person he charmed me into giving him more time. Two, I write better than I speak – I have time to formulate my thoughts and not become emotional – angry, upset, etc. – and I can come from a calmer place. 3, he talks too damn much and I just didn’t want to hear it anymore.

    Shortly after the break-up I went away for a week. When I came back (I’d been out of the country so my phone had been off and I was, for him, unreachable) when I landed back in the US my phone blew up with messages and a v/m. Just wishing me a happy Easter, missed me, can we please be friends, etc.

    I agreed to meet him for dinner one night and against my better judgment and knowing it was never going to work, I gave it another shot. He’s an Oscar worthy actor – tears, longing, realized what he had in me, blah blah blah blah blah. Long story short, it lasted maybe another 6 weeks. Maybe 8, I don’t remember exactly.

    This is what I learned and are some of the lessons I’m trying to pass on to my friend, who discovered that not only is her ex a N, but was having a whole other relationship for the duration of their relationship. I know my ex N cheated on his wife with at least 2 women that he admitted to me, and while I don’t know for sure that he was faithful to me during our brief time together, I would not surprise me in the least to discover he wasn’t. Though given how much he was with me, on the phone with me every single night for at least an hour or more, I don’t know when he’d have had the time, LOL, but again, I’m sure that there’s a high probability he wasn’t faithful. In fact, my ex N has a pattern of beginning new relationships (new supply) before the last one ended. It’s something I had discussed with him in fact. But I never let the relationship go long enough to go thru D&D. I walked away, twice. And I’ve been hoovered a few times (last time last week).

    I’m one of the fortunate ones. Breakups are hard enough. A breakup with an N is hell. It’s got to the be the worst thing a person has to go through (other than the death of a child or other close loved one) because you have to mourn the ending of a relationship, which is healthy, but you also have to mourn the illusion of the relationship that never actually existed. That’s the hardest part. Realizing what you thought you had never actually existed for anyone but you.

    Ns are not capable of love, intimacy, emotional connection. They mimick, act, and are extremely good at pretending … but they do NOT feel what we do. And when you come to realize that your relationship was a carefully crafted illusion, what you then have to get over is not only the ending of the relationship you thought you had, but the fact that, you got played by a master manipulator and that there was really nothing you could have done to stop it or create a different outcome.

    This script was written long before you came into the picture and has been edited and perfected many times before you, and will be after you. Feel sorry for the Ns next victim, because s/he won’t fare any better. I promise you, you’ll heal, the N will live in their own hell for the rest of their lives. They’ll love bomb the next one and if s/he doesn’t get out on their own accord, they’ll be D&D’d and the N will move on to another victim.

    It’s only about supply. I know from my own personal experience how intensely insecure John is. How he constantly needed my approval and validation for everything he did or said, past or present. He wanted to be told that it was okay that he was unfaithful to his ex wife because she was cold and loveless and only married him because she knew she’d never do better. Because SHE didn’t love him the way he wants to be loved. And the GFs before her, how they were crazy and alcoholics (he’s one too but he knows he is, he admits that much at least), and his father was an alcoholic and was verbally abusive to him. His sad stories just went on and on … creating a person who needs more validation and attention than any human being I’ve ever known. Who fished for compliments and adoration more than any human being I’ve ever known. Who could justify ANY behavior, rationalize EVERY time actions didn’t match words … who admitted to being a “weak an terrible person” after he’d gone on a bender after I broke it off the 2nd time and hit another car – a woman who had 2 kids in the car. Who admitted he needs help and actually sought therapy but after 2 sessions, quit. Who has a DUI on their record but who got off without serving any time. Who still drinks and drives because, you know, he’s superior and he can handle it.

    In retrospect, I find his entire being pathetic. Not just a fraud, but I do see him as he sees himself and while I may feel badly for him, because I know this person was created as a defense mechanism during some childhood trauma, I do not like nor respect the man he became and I can have empathy, but it will forever be from afar. Though truly, I really don’t waste my care of someone who will never be a part of my life again. Just from a human standpoint, it is sad, and I’m sorry for him, but that’s his lot in life, not mine.

    I’m hoping my experience and the things I’ve learned in therapy and the websites I’ve found (like this one) will help my friend get over this terrible experience. She’s young and smart and has had a lot of A HA! moments since this happened about a month ago as she reads and learns about NPD and how she was completely taken in by her ex. She’s got a ways to go, but she has a great support system.

    And if I can help one person through their ordeal in getting over an N, then that will make my experience that much more meaningful (for me personally it helped me break a pattern of being attracted to toxic people, ejecting those that I need to from my life, and establishing and keeping my personal boundaries, maintaining my self-worth and paying attention to my intuition). I am, on a certain level, grateful for my experience as it helped me evolve personally in immeasurable ways.

    Just remember – whatever you think was real, wasn’t. Ns are masters of deceit, of manipulation, of lying, of pretending. They are actors on a stage in search of a thing they will NEVER find. They will never have the tools or capability to function as the rest of us do. Life is full of ups and downs. We suffer, but we heal. We are fooled, but we learn. And always, life goes on. Remember this – NONE OF THEIR BEHAVIOR IS YOUR FAULT. You didn’t bring it out, and it didn’t start with you.

    We, as non-Ns, live, we learn, we heal, and we move on. They don’t. Ns stay on the hamster wheel, spinning in an endless loop of same shit different person for their entire lives. Be grateful you got out, and be grateful that their lot in life is not yours.

  65. Hi Thank you so much for your fantastic videos and website you have helped me so much in my road to recovery. I’m not out of the woods quite yet but I’m getting there. My Narc was an old school friend that I thought I could trust 100%. I wondered if anyone else has encountered this, it was in an early stage of the manipulationship where we would be messing around and he started to see how tickleish I was. Then it change to a play fight, which very quickly turned into him pinching me. I let it go the first time without to much fuss but stated I wasn’t up for him doing that. The next time he did he started to give me what we call in the UK a Chinese burn. Its a twist of the wrist which is painful. I have had a couple of injuries to mine and they are very weak. I again told him to stop and how much pain I was in. He tried another time a week later and it bought me to tears. It took for me to shout and tell him off like I was his mother for him to stop. I was in so much pain I had it xrayed and he never did it again. He of course told me he was messing around and hadn’t realized how hard he had done it. But the look on his face while he did it, the hardest time was, the same face I saw a year on in a Narc rage. Thank you for your time it is greatly appreciated.

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