Always On Your Mind

“He is always in my mind.”

“Try as I might I just cannot get him out of my head.”

“I can’t stop thinking about him.”

I am sure such comments or similar have been made by you at some point about the narcissist in your life. We have this formidable capability to get into your head and remain there for a long time which evokes bittersweet reactions from you at best and utter miserable frustration at worst. I have written about ever presence previously, namely that ability we have to ensure that you keep thinking about us, even when you have been pushed to one side or if you have sought to go no contact. This insidious form of manipulation is pervasive and very difficult to deal with, but how is it so effective?

Like much of our effectiveness it actually comes down to you. As an empathic individual you are much more susceptible to our method of remaining in your mind which is achieved by encoding. Since you care about others and take an interest in the thoughts, actions and well-being of other people, you have been wired to take on board stimuli from other people in a far more effective manner than others. Take my kind for example. We are so focussed on ourselves and what we need that we are not wired to be especially encoded by what others do. Our minds are nearly impervious to the actions of others. It is as if they are so full of what we do and what we want that there is no room for anything or anyone else. You on the other hand are like a sponge and you soak up the words and actions of others. Combine your susceptibility with our determined application of suggestion through what we say to you and what we do for you then the outcome is a devastating form of encoding which creates powerful and near indelible memories in your mind.

Through our visual encoding of your mind, you create a vivid mental picture and this will be recalled in pin-sharp crikey vision time after time. Every detail of a particular scene will be recalled by you and it is ingrained in your mind deeply through this encoding. The more you recall it, the more it becomes ingrained as if you are wearing a groove in a piece of wood. We make particular use of music (think how often your narcissist used certain tunes to woo you and/or create  special moment) to achieve acoustic encoding. Our voice is used in this way as well by the careful selection of key phrases which will resonate with you. You always remember the things that we say because we have encoded them into your mind. Similar encoding occurs in respect of taste and scents as well as tactile encoding. Accordingly this quintet of senses is assailed by all the things that we say and do in order to achieve this encoding. We create powerful memories so that you have no option other than to recall them and with that comes the emotional attachment. You will remember so much of what you have done with us compared to say what you have done with family, friends and colleagues. You will recall more memories, in greater detail and more often when they involved us because of this deliberate encoding.

You might think this was enough in terms of the efficacy of this method of affecting you, but it does not end there. Most narcissists are male and thus it follows that the majority of victims are female. In general terms, women remember events better than men (men have better spatial memories) and therefore you are genetically pre-disposed to remember all those occasions and dates you spent with us in such detail. Females remember pleasant memories in better detail than men, thus this is a further reinforcement of why you can summon up such powerful memories of the golden period and why it hurts you so much. Conversely, in general terms, men remember unpleasant events better than women who tend to recall them in a ‘blurred’ manner. This is why despite the abuse you have suffered the golden period memories tend to triumph. It is not the case with everyone, admittedly, but generally this holds good. Add to this the fact that women’s memories retain more of their potency through the advancement of age than men and you will see why your memories of us are so difficult to shake. Not only do we specifically encode your minds, which are primed to accept this more than other people, your gender also makes you more susceptible to retaining these detailed and vivid memories of the when everything felt wonderful.

These memories are deeply ingrained and very hard to dismiss and remove, even with professional help. Combine this efficacy with the fact we leave you exhausted and broken, it is little wonder you cannot shift us from your minds. Everyone knows how difficult it is to think straight when you are tired. Little wonder then that we always loom large in your mind when you have been exhausted and shattered by our behaviour.

These memories of the golden period are massively powerful and all of the above means that for someone like you, you will often think of them and suffer the emotion that is linked to them .It is a devastating weapon in our armour. Pretty memorable eh?

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52 thoughts on “Always On Your Mind”

  1. Nope I must be an exception to the rule. I don’t think of anything as a golden period. Even the love bombing was a drain. I am completely indifferent to him now.

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    1. Hi Victoria, fair enough. That narc did not do his job properly, he is hereby dismissed ! Was there a golden period at all and you are now able to be indifferent to it or do you not believe there really was one? Sometimes (and it is rare) the golden period is just an okay period (although it is golden compared to what then follows – it is more a period of hiding the abusive element for a period) and is something more likely with low-functioning narcs.

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      1. Oh no he love bombed hard !!! Swept me off my feet or tried to . He made himself sick he was so obsessed with owning me. But my gut instinct was so strong that I never completely feel for it and the golden period felt so fake. It was so over the top. I used to actually think he’s creepy weird. Don’t get me wrong he had me at times but never for long and when I look back at it now I’m free I don’t have any feelings of nostalgia I just see the monster that he is. I thought I’d feel jealous of the new one but I feel sorry for her. My nightmare is over while hers is just beginning. Not to inflate your already inflated ego but reading your stuff had been the icing on the cake for me. I’ve downloaded your books and added to what I already know they have made the final discard a breeze and I only ever think of him as an education. Never with any fondness. Thank you for your help 😊

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      2. Inflated ego? Surely some mistake ! Interesting that you ascertained that the golden period was fake. Was there anything in particular or was it just good old instinct? I suspect your lack of nostalgia is because you evidently saw through the golden period and it did not have its addictive effect like it does on so many. Glad you have found the books useful. It is clear you have seized the power.

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      3. I wouldn’t say I didn’t become addicted. I just think I was aware from the start that it want real and that it was too good to be true and what goes too far up must come down so I didn’t fall too hard to begin with. But he was persistent. Trouble is he destroyed his own life in the process. Not that he cared. He just made a new one lol. However regardless of my gut feeling (which I repeatedly ignored) he was just too over the top. The whole thing seemed contrived. Literally like he was reading from a script or a book of how to please a woman. It was at times cringy. But I was desperate for some attention and of in honest he was so easy to play and I enjoyed it. I became as manipulative as he was to the point where I thought I was the narcissist ! I’m not by the way. I think I knew from the first time I let him down that he would not leave until he’d destroyed me and taken me a way from my family. He had a score to settle. He didn’t win though. He didn’t break me. He broke himself but as I said he’s ok now as he has a new victim to break. Let’s see how long it takes this one to see through him. Longer than me I think. The one before me was about 10 years. Fortunately I was privvy to the deceitful double life he led behind her back so I already knew what he was capable of and that probably more than anything is what saved me. He is a very violent psychopath and he has already killed once that I know of and probably more that I don’t know of. I just hope sheaves it out alive as there was a time when I didn’t think I would.. This is why I don’t reminisce about a golden period. He is a persona non grata.

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  2. Another very accurate piece if work HG.

    Laurel you’re so right my ex Narc was very good with the half truths. If I could cut out the piece of my brain and heart that are infected by him I’d say pass the scalpel.

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    1. Freedom,
      This made me think of you:

      “You’ll find grief comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
      In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
      Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
      Take it from an old guy. The waves never truly stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too.”

      It’s hard having to grieve the loss of not just the person you thought you knew, but of all the dreams you had for you two.
      But you’ll get there.
      And you know you are not alone. All these other women and all the ones who read and nod their heads in silent sympathy, but don’t comment, are in this ocean with you too.

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      1. Hi Kat
        Sorry for my late reply.
        Yes I agree this post is very much a description that relates to me. The two things i’d add to your comment are
        1) no mention of the rat deserting the sinking ship ( ex narc)
        2) the shiny new pleasure cruiser racing past spraying water in my face whilst my ex and his new prey laughing and enjoying their golden period making sure I can see but do nothing.

        😢😢😢😢😢

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      2. Perfect description Kat .im in this sea – HG,s blogs are my lifeline . Spot on freedom with your points .

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      3. Kat that’s exactly how I feel in the sea surrounded by a shipwreck. Somedays I manage to get on to some drift wood and I can see dry land, then bang another wave sends me crashing in to the sea and under the water.
        Hopefully still waters and dry land will reach us all soon x

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  3. I too , do not reminisce about the ” Golden Period” , to me , it never existed.
    He has however , trapped me with wondering when and how he will kill us and has my children doing the same.

    He repeatedly told me how he could see why someone would want to kill me or beat me and to get rid of my son.
    He repeatedly told me to say it say it say I own you and choke me into saying it.

    This is not funny nor a joke not a chapter in a book it is real life and YOU should tell me how to deal with this since you are the expert and almighty all knowing and all powerful being

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    1. Hello Setmefree. You need to read Departure Imminent and Escape and apply the principles therein immediately. All the steps you need to organise yourself and apply no contact and what to look out for are contained in those books. You need to get out as soon as is feasible being faced with this violence. You need to apply No Contact and stick to it and if necessary utilise the assistance of the law if the threat of violence is maintained. Call on all support networks available to you. I know what our kind do and therefore I know how you can escape it. It may prove difficult if he is determined but the tools are there for you to do this.

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  4. I’m curious if what you do initially is mimic what we want during love-bombing to learn about us and lure us into your world, doesn’t the victim leave some sort of everpresence on you as well? For example, with my Narc, we frequently made bets with our 2 favorite baseball teams. I would like to think that even when we are in no contact whether initiated by me or one of his silent treatments, when our teams play and he’s getting a score update, how could he not think of me and some of our “fun” in that way? Doesn’t it work both ways and that is why you (the Narc) never leave us completely alone for good? I would think you are constantly playing back your machinations and maneuvers with a new source of fuel based on thinking back to how things played out with a previous victim with similar attributes. You vividly speak of your memories of Karen, Caroline, Alex, Leslie (It girl) etc. And the Omnipotent Amanda… I would think anyone with a delicate and lightly tanned wrist sends you right back thinking about her! You may not be so different from us.

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    1. Interesting point Clarece but we are too busy thinking about ourselves, fuel and what we will do next to be concerned by memories such as that which you describe. Sitting and thinking about you in this manner serves no purpose. Of course, we will pull up those memories if they serve a purpose to make us feel powerful or for the purposes of manipulating you e.g. I buy tickets for the baseball game involving the team and give you a Hoover call to tempt you with attending. I do play back machinations for the purpose of revelling in their success and also how they might then be applied to someone else and yes one does compare how one person reacted with another. Nobody has a lightly tanned wrist like Amanda!

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    2. Yes, I agree, I do believe they think of us but without emotion. They are reminded of us and their thought is, “hmmm wonder if she is ready for me to get more fuel from her. I wonder if she has licked her wounds enough so they don’t ooze so much on me. I need her to be nice and so I can slam her again. I deserve her to be perfect for me. Might be time to reach out.”
      Yes this is how they think of us.

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      1. Wow! I can actually picture his face saying those words. I think you’re on to something! Too funny (the way you worded it). Enjoy your day!

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  5. I am intrigued about something… when you tell your old fuels that you are dreaming about them… it is true? What kind of dreams do you and your kind have? It seems that I have moved on but it is me that haunts his dreams… is that so?

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      1. I don’t know if it applies too all Ns but it certainly does to me. My view is that dreaming serves no purpose for me so therefore it is not needed but you may be right about not needing to process emotions. I might raise it with Dr E and Dr O and ascertain what they think.

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      2. Thanks HG, I’ve read that this applies to all Ns but there is never an explanation as to why? I’d be real interested what Dr O and Dr E have to say. Did you dream as a child ?

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      3. This is fascinating! My ex narcicist told me he never dreams, but then said he had horrific dreams that he couldn’t recall, wouldn’t share and only went to bed when he knew sleep would come quickly. On average, he’d sleep 4-5 hours a night. Did you ever ask the good docs about this?

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  6. Your posts are painful to read – they could very well have been written by ‘my’ narc. But at the same time they validate my experience; I wasn’t going crazy after all…!

    I’m interested to know… Does the narc get further satisfaction the more we suffer? Why does he set out to destroy us so deeply? Is there genuinely no affection or compassion for their ‘target’?

    I’m currently in a self-imposed phase of NC and it’s incredible observing the silent gameplay that’s still going on.

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    1. It depends on the narc and their need for fuel. Some do not engage in inflicting the suffering for a long time if there are other sources of fuel that can be turned to. Others will maintain this for a long time because they find the fuel provided by the victim who is suffering to be the most potent and thus they will continue with the campaign. Some of us will go elsewhere if the target is determined to escape as the energy involved in pursuit outweighs the potential gain. Our malign variety however regards such defiance as punishable with terrible retribution. Those narcs regard the expenditure of energy as wholly worth the eventual pay-off when the target is broken and shattered. That reaction on their part is a powerful form of fuel to the malign variety. All affection and compassion is an artifice to assist us in the harvesting of fuel. Tell me more about the silent gameplay that is occurring please.

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      1. Thanks HG, it really is interesting to gain your perspective.

        As for the silent gameplay… it’s incredible. During our relationship there were (increasing) times he was unable to call or text, so he suggested Facebook Likes as a silent hello. Looking back now, it seems juvenile and pathetic. But at first it was comforting on days of no contact, but then he’d suddenly stop. Nothing. I’d remind him of it and he’d come up with any excuse as to why he couldn’t. But then suddenly he could again, and round and round we went.

        Since we split up, he often goes on Facebook Like sprees, which of course then trigger me to miss him, and then I’ll send him a text, to which he’ll either reply with a one word “Thanks” or absolutely nothing.

        It’s the same with WhatsApp – he logs in to show me he’s around (that used to be his ‘signal’ to let me know it was safe to message him), but never gets in touch.

        The more time and distance I have, I can see that I was blatantly conditioned.

        The past few days, I’ve forced myself to completely stop logging in to Facebook and WhatsApp – not to give him the smug satisfaction of thinking I’m ‘looking’ for him, but I can view his accounts via another profile (of course), and he’s posting about how wonderful his wife is (“Mom is just a reflection of Wow”). He logged in to WhatsApp about 6 times on Sunday evening; literally every hour, on the hour and then nothing at all yesterday. Almost like he’s trying to double-bluff me so that when I ‘return’ to WhatsApp and see that he doesn’t care either, I’ll message him.

        The confusion I feel is immense. Part of me wonders why I’m still giving him brain-space (that’s why this post hit a nerve), and another part honestly wonders if there’s something wrong with me, yet I can relate to almost every single one of your posts. The self-doubt I feel is sometimes overwhelming.

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      2. Hi Megan, thanks for adding some more detail. You are correct. You have been conditioned to respond to this manipulation through FB and WA. Not only that, you now realise that you are being manipulated in this way but you continue to allow yourself to be subjected to it and you continue to do it by keeping tabs on him through a different profile. He sends you a signal as to when it is ‘safe’ to message him (presumably so his wife does not find out?) so you are utterly under his control. You are giving him brain space because he has conditioned you to do so and you cannot bear not to know what is going on since you are being royally triangulated with his wife. Your self-doubt has also been purposefully achieved through his manipulation of you.

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  7. I have prayed that 2016 will be the year that he is out of my system. Just when I think I am well on my way, the memories come roaring back. I don’t want to think about him anymore.

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    1. Hi Time Wasted,

      The forbidden fruit is the sweetest.
      That is true for thoughts.
      The more you try to suppress thoughts of us, the more we will come to mind, the more emotions we will trigger, the more you will fight and pray to suppress thoughts of us…
      It’s one hell of a loop.

      “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou.

      HG is absolutely right. Nobody makes you feel like we did.
      Nobody knows how to mess with your head the way we do.
      We are the ultimate forbidden fruit. The soul mate and love you always yearned for…and lost.
      And we don’t spend a single sleepless night wondering what we lost. Unfair, isn’t it?
      Then again, since when does the world owe you fairness and justice?

      Trying to suppress your feelings and crying for karma, god, or Nü gui to make it all better only gives us more power over you.

      Nikita posted some great advice recently. The need to resolve cognitive dissonance. http://relationshipedia.me/2015/12/19/getting-over-a-narcissist-by-dissolving-the-stranglehold-of-cognitive-dissonance-2/#more-2313
      It might help.
      So might remembering what activities brought you genuine pleasure, before the narcissist took them away from you, then resuming those.
      Take advantage of the unique opportunity to learn that HG offers here and take back your power.
      It really is the best revenge.

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    1. Why put the power in his hands?

      Why not apply No Contact for 6 months yourself? If that works well, awesome! If not, go for another 6 months… 🙂

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    2. Timewasted. Kat and HG are completely right. Take the power back yourself, it’s the only way.

      Before the N I had gone NC with my N sis about six years earlier, immediately after I felt for the first time in my life that I was in control and my confidence soared immediately.

      This really helped me when the N started to devalue me. I quickly realised that he wasn’t making me feel very nice but I didn’t know why.

      So I went NC with him. I didn’t tell him, I just cut him off completely, deleted FB changed my number so that he was not able to contact me in any way and therefore I would not be waiting for a text or a call or disappointed if someone else has text me and not him because I knew it could not be him. I cut out everyone who knew both of us so there was no possibility of him ever contacting me. You will get over it much faster. It’s hard, really hard but it’s the only way to heal. Otherwise you are just rubbing salt in your wound constantly and it won’t get better like that.

      I understand completely how you feel we have been conditioned to think about them all the time. But it will eventually become a distant memory and a damn good lesson!

      I always went regularly to the gym before the N and I really didn’t feel like it after I went NC but I forced myself to carry on doing the things I enjoyed and slowly but surely it will all work out again.

      It’s like being on a roller coaster that you can’t get off. But you have the power to do this.

      You feel they have the power, they’re the only ones who can make this pain go away. But that is not the case at all, you have the power, you just need to find it, from you. Not from anyone else or anything else.

      It’s like having that one last cigarette or that one last drink.

      You can do this xxx

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      1. He walked out the door in June. We haven’t attempted to contact each other one single time. He dropped off the face of the Earth. He doesn’t have social media accounts.
        It is a total mind F*ck.

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      2. That must be awful. I can’t even imagine how hard that is.

        But don’t let it fuck with your head instead make up your own ending as to where he has gone. After reading all of HG’s posts and books I’m sure you realise he is off with new supply. You won’t ever get real genuine answers from him so just create that ending you seek but don’t ever let him back in again. If you start getting better and moving on, you may still be hurting and feeling vulnerable but progress is being made. So why go back to square one ? Plus it can’t be very pleasurable when you’re with him because you must constantly be fearing when he’s going to disappear again.

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  8. Hi Megan and HG, megan.. Somehow u need to stop checking on this man, childish of him to be on social media so much, does he have a real job and a life. A real man gets things accomplished in his life. Anyways I understand the want and addiction and them being availabe only when they can. I somehow have tried to break away so many times for my own life to stay safe and productive but have been brainwashed back a few yrs ago, my problem which I wish someone can help me is that i know everything, i know about seperate phone, wife, others and am always told thats in the past yet I ‘m completely aware of his tactics and i dont let him know anymore that i know what he is. He doesnt put me down, always speaks wonderful to me, its hard to be mean or ignore but when reading here and away with my thoughts, i get angry that i know hes speaking to others and im not strong enough to tear myself away!! I have been able to at times and try to let time pass but need to stop the obsession.. I do have a family to take care of, let me know thoughts

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  9. I am not sure who reads the post or if my favorite Narcissist Mr. HG himself reads this. But I wanted to destroy the guy who took me on a short ride as I was too much work for him. Perhaps I am a bit of a N myself but not to the point I destroy.
    After reading most of HG’s books in the past week, I forgive him. He can’t help what he does.
    I am a firm believer that if they could be more mainstream they would. Who wants to be the guy/gal that in the end most will detest and be disgusted by the thought of them. I understand that it is a real physical mental disorder that we wish we can just shake them back to their senses to think like the norm, or what is acceptable to society.
    I love him still with his retched soul and demons…………..but from afar, very afar. But then again, I love both my ex husbands. 😉
    What will I do when I have no more HG Tudor books to read? Perhaps return to reading Snowflower and the Secret Fan.

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    1. Hello Stephanie, don’t be concerned about having something to read there are many more titles in the pipeline. I am interested in some of your comments. With regard to your ex husbands, are they narcissists or not? What causes you to still love them?
      By the way, I, HG, read the posts and respond to them.

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    2. I feel the same way, I wanted to destroy him. I kinda of knew from the beginning he was a N, and played along. The crazy part was I was willing to put up with his bullshit, except for the lies and drinking. I told him to just tell me the truth that i could deal with it. He had the golden egg, but he could stop the boos, out of the blue I just filed for divorce. No warning, nothing. I am hopelessly in love with him but I love myself
      more. I would do things to screw with him, like react a certain way at something and then when he parroted me I would chastise him for being inappropriate. I did the same as you, I fought back, and even thought I was just as much of a narcissist as he is. After reading these blogs I am beginning to wonder if I have some of the tendencies. Hang it there kiddo.

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  10. “Our voice is used in this way as well by the careful selection of key phrases which will resonate with you. You always remember the things that we say because we have encoded them into your mind. “

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  11. “our voice is used in this way as well by the careful selection of key phrases which will resonate with you. You always remember the things that we say because we have encoded them into your mind. ” that is so true G Xxx

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