The Futility of Your Feeling

Feelings are an unnecessary burden and thankfully I have been relieved of many of them, being left only with those which are deemed necessary to enable me to pursue the harvesting of fuel. Feelings blur and weaken. How many times have you heard your alarm go off in the morning and you have rolled over feeling like you do not want to get up? Many times I should imagine. That feeling of apprehension about what the day holds for you, despondency at what has happened to you and dread about what you have to do weakens you and holds you back. You spend much of your life in the pursuit of this notion of happiness but are you ever truly happy? Do you look at what you have and wish you had more? Do you look at other people around you and imagine how happy they must be and you wish that you were more like them? All you achieve is bitterness. Perhaps you do feel happy but as the empath that you are you see those who you regard as less happy than you and you wish that they could be more like you. All you achieve is vanity. You spend so much of your time seeking to be happy and then you worry about whether it is fleeting in nature. You express concern that you just want to be happy and spend more and more time trying to achieve this state of nirvana. You suffer from feeling sadness which leads to paralysis and indecision. You feel frustrated which sucks up your energy and leaves you feeling spent. You take pride in your ability to feel and to be able to feel on behalf of others yet all you are doing is allowing yourself to be burdened. Why bother pursuing those feelings which are regarded as positive, such as joy, happiness and elation? Is the effort truly worth it when you get there only for it to be a fleeting moment which then casts you into despondency? What was the point of that? Why allow yourself to be mired in upset, misery and dejection? You achieve nothing as you slowly sink into a quagmire of such negativity. Your feelings deceive you, press down on you and above all else allow us to manipulate you. It is because you feel this array of emotions that you provide us with emotional reactions. Of course you know that these emotional reactions create my fuel. Your feelings are to blame.

I never acquired these feelings. This is because the pursuit of fuel cannot be distracted by these cumbersome emotions. They serve no purpose and thus were never developed. I am built for the acquisition of fuel and nothing else. I am an efficient design, single-minded and driven. All excess baggage was not jettisoned, it was never stowed on board to begin with. I am not wholly without feelings. I have been developed in a way to allow certain feelings, those that aid my purpose, to come to the fore. I feel fury which ensures that I can exert control over other people and thus extract fuel from them. I feel envy which drives me on to strip away those traits from other people which I need to create my construct. If I felt no envy, I would not want these characteristics – thus this feeling serves a purpose. There is no superfluous feeling connected with me. I feel jealousy which again causes me to strive to better that person by lauding my own achievements and prompting a reaction which garners positive fuel or by berating the person of whom I am jealous and thus I harvest negative fuel. I feel hatred. This allows me to see everything as it truly is. Hatred hones and brings into sharp focus the reality of this cruel world and thus I am better able to navigate my way through it. Hatred is visceral, it is not fluffy or amorphous. It does not cloud or blur. It is direct, straight to the point and electrifying in its capacity to allow me to always go forward. All of these feelings and ones of a similar nature have been fashioned around me to assist me in my quest for fuel. Each one discharges a method of enabling me to gather fuel so that I can feel the ultimate emotion. My pursuit of fuel is predicated on the use of these various emotions with the sole purpose of allowing me to feel that emotion which I prize above all others.

I feel powerful.

I am powerful.

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206 Comments

  1. I’m new to this site, or relatively so. I don’t want to run on and on, but I’m feeling vulnerable right now. And for the first time in forever, feeling as though I want to contact my N.

    I was so stupid. I got pregnant by my N last year. He discarded me last October, 6 months along (but of course he forced me to break up with him so he didn’t have to look bad to his family and friends. Told them I broke up with him, broke his heart, that I am crazy, etc.).

    I have been in a custody battle since 2 months after our daughter was born, I’m broke, tired, and so exhausted. But mostly I am lonely.

    I had to get a restraining order initially as he just wouldn’t leave me alone. Kept texting, emailing, showing up at my work. It seemed neverending. And I was and still am heartbroken. How do you recover when he is is in your life in the background constantly?

    And today he finally gave my mother all of my stuff back. We had been living together for a while, you see. Until he started devaluing, silent treatments, etc. And I’d finally had enough. And I knew with certainty that our daughter deserved a mother who placed her first and I couldn’t do that if I stayed.

    So here I am. And I have been so good. 5 months NC, no checking social media, changed phone numbers, court ordered contact by email only. I have only seen him in mediation and court and don’t even look or talk to him unless I have to.

    But suddenly I’m back to being utterly devastated again. I miss him, or what I thought he was. And none of my family or friends understand why I would.

    He’s hoovered a few times but all have been ignored. It’s been instinctual for me as I didn’t even know he was an N until recently. My attorney pointed out what he was, actually. And all I had to do was Google search a few of the things he has said to me and there it was in stark black and white. Hes a narcissist and everything I have read about the MR suits him to a tee. No more lying to myself.

    But I need something or someone to tell me I can keep going. That I don’t need him or his future faking, lying, melodrama.

    It seems so final. The N finally giving my mother (who hates him with a fiery passion) back my stuff. And I feel its finally done and over. Sure I know I have lots of court battles ahead, discouraging all on it’s own, but just getting past the idea that he has never cared or really missed me, is suddenly hitting me all at once.

    I just need help, I guess. Or someone who really understands what I am talking about. And all of you have been through this.

    And while I know, HG, that you are the ultimate N, your writing has been a gift.

    But tonight…I am just so tired and sad. For myself, for my daughter, for the part that I played in bringing this onto us.

    1. Welcome Setsuna, you will find a consultation of considerable assistance in bolstering your resolve.

      1. Thank you, HG. I think I must do that. So far, reading your articles has managed to keep the worst of the addiction (for I know that’s what is) at bay. Still no contact. But getting him out of my head and remembering all that he has said and done is haunting me.

    2. Setsuna

      Know you are not alone even thou you feel lonely. You are stronger then you know. The first steps are always the hardest and you may not find many in your life that will understand the things you have to deal with in regards with your ex, yet there are some amazingly, beautiful and wonderful ladies here that have been right where you are. They are supportive and understand. HG can give you accurate information with how to handle your ex in a manner that can benefit you and your daughter, in that I would say you may want to consider a consult with him.

      I feel your pain and really just wanted to reach out and say hi and to let you know your not alone.

      1. Thank you, Twilight. I really appreciate your welcome and I am planning a consultation forthwith. I have to see the exN in court again next month and am dreading it. I keep thinking, what if I give in? What if he approaches me and I don’t have the wherewithal to reject him? I am so tired of this inner battle and it has been my daughter alone that has kept me strong. I think if I hadn’t gotten pregnant then I would still be there, struggling to get out, so in a way she was the rock that allowed me to pull myself out of the swamp.

        I had to change my number just recently because his Flying Monkey relatives have been texting me. Luckily for me, I’m not big on social media so I’ve never been tempted or harassed there. But I do live 5 minutes away from the exN. And they all know where I work.

        But he’s been distracted recently (guessing he’s seducing his newest candidate IPPS) so I’ve had a bit of time. But that in itself is a hard thing to come to grips with. When you’ve been harassed constantly for months and then it stops…the silence is deafening.

        And the loneliness starts. And the doubts. When he’s around all the time and demeaning, blackmailing, and criticizing, it’s easier to stay away. But now…

        I’m still NC. I haven’t given in yet. And maybe HG and all of you can help me to bear up.

        1. Setsuna

          You are doing amazing. For myself I found fear to be the root of my feeling lonely and I have had to remind myself that fear is nothing more then False Evidence Appearing Real. When you start to doubt yourself it is false and a lie that emotional thinking is conning you to believe.

          HG is the best for a reason. I am glad you are planning a consult with him, he will be able to help you navigate the minefield dealing with your ex with sound advice.

          Keep hanging on and soon you will look back and see not only the strength you possess but the wisdom you will have acquired to pass on to your daughter.

          1. You are so right, T. And of course, my logical thinking has asserted itself just enough to keep me away from him. But there are triggers everywhere these days, it seems. Walking past a jewelry store, engagement rings in the window (he would often promise to buy one, always “soon”). Pregnant women walking by with their husbands’ hand on their back as a show of support. Even going baby shopping is a trigger since we did that more than a few times, even after the devaluation had begun.

            But worst was the argument we got into last week (limited email contact, baby business only). That I allowed it to devolve into such and where he had the final smug word brings me shame and a fire in my belly that I find untenable. I managed to refrain for the most part, in letting him bait me. Still, I was more hot than cold in my responses than I wanted to be. I have since made the resolution to let my mother handle scheduling and visitation and that way I limit contact even further.

            He has been bringing up the subject of “co-parenting” counseling recently, in almost every email. I can’t figure out if that’s a hoover? Or just a way to manipulate the courts in the future so he can say that he was willing to go to counseling with me and I refused. Obviously so he can appear as the more “reasonable” one.

            Thank you again, Twilight. I don’t know how far you are in your own situation, hopefully much further along than I. But you will be in my thoughts.

          2. Setsuna

            Yes I am standing on firm ground and have been for awhile now. I only have one trigger, and I guard it because I will never take the chance of him knowing.

            I would take it as yes a Hoover and yes it can be used to show he has been reasonable. Don’t let this cause doubt or fear, definitely consult with HG on that.

            There is one nice thing about emails you don’t have to respond nor send a response right away if you write it out in the heat of the moment. If it was me I would write it out and then wait until the emotions are under control and reread it to see if I have expressed any emotion in it instead of direct and to the point. They are not immune from the effects of ET, it just affects them differently. Our biggest thing is it is not natural for us to be emotionless.

            You are welcome! You are in my thoughts!

          3. I like your approach to fear. But what do you do in the few times there is a legit reason for fear and there’s nothing false about the reasoning or evidence?

          4. The evidence.

            When I was younger and my children were small my husband threaten me that accidents happen and children die it would be a shame if this happen due to me leaving. This was emotionally triggering for me and at first it kept me in place, when I challenge this he showed me he could have it happen and get away with it. Now it was based on a fact. Now I had something to base my fear on. At that point I let my fear control me and missed opportunities to leave. So again fear proved to me to be a lier and kept my children and myself a prisoners.

            Fear can be healthy it is discerning which is and which isn’t. That is not always an easy thing to do.

          5. It’s a fine line discerning it though when you are also trying to be a protective mother. I get that. I’m very glad you overcame the fear when you did so you could escape with your kids. It did happen. That’s very important.

          6. Clarece

            Yes I overcame this fear, I didn’t escape. When I discovered that even the system would turn a blind eye, my family wouldn’t help me and I was isolated from people in general I took matters into my own hands. I went to school while my children were in school then went to work after they went to bed then maybe two to three hours sleep before starting again. I was prepared to leave when my husband found out and I found out just how low he would go to keep me from leaving. I have no respect and a serious dislike for lessors and a slight tolerance for midrangers.

    3. Hello Setsuna,

      I’m sorry to hear of your circumstances but happy that you found your way to HG’s blog and have initiated ‘no contact’.

      You should not feel ‘stupid’ – we all regret parts of our entanglements – but we didn’t know we were dealing with a narcissist at the time, did we? Plus, it sounds very much that you’ve done right by your daughter in disengaging with your narc – even though it feels absolutely depressing and difficult at first.

      I understand the struggle and how tiring it can be.. and the near desire to give up and give in – and looking for the energy…or something…to just keep moving forward.

      One thing is; you have your daughter and her well-being to help you stay motivated. It can be hard, moving forward alone – especially when the narc made us believe in a future together – this is the part that can still be depressing and distressing for me as well.

      Many people here will attest to the fact that: it does get better – with time AND with as little contact (with the narc) as you can manage – given you may be in a situation of co-parenting. But it sounds like you are striving towards low to no contact.

      You are fortunate to have a lawyer who pointed out the reality that you’re dealing with a narcissist during the court process!
      Also, I would take HG’s advice, if you can swing it, and do a consult. It will give you peace of mind and more…

      And if you ask around here, I’m sure you will find much support from fellow survivors…

      Take good care.

      1. Thank you, WC. I truly appreciate your words and they go a long way toward mitigating this feeling of “stupidity”. So many red flags ignored in the beginning, and now, having faced the constant and casual cruelty, it seems a joke that I would still miss him.

        I have been exceedingly lucky with my choice of attorneys. He admitted to me directly that he had been in counseling for quite a time for his own codependency so can recognize the signs of a Narcissist (apparently his father, ex-wife, and brother all fit that description).

        And of course, I didn’t realize my own background set me up for failure in that regard. My mother is a diagnosed co-dependent, my father a true Narcissist. And it was my conflict with my father that propelled me into the arms of my exN. I always told myself I was strong, that I would not repeat the unhealthy patterns of my family, only for me to do just that. The shame and humiliation of that realization has been the worst feeling.

        I am not certain how codependent I am. Certainly I have more than a few shades of it, though not nearly to the extent that my mother is. I was ever the only one to stand against my father for the rights of my siblings to live their own lives. I have been the Golden Child but have fallen out of favor more than a few times due to my lack of fear in standing up for what I believe is right. My father sees in me what he values about himself, someone who won’t let anyone push them around.

        But that hubris is what has caused my situation. I was so stupidly sure of myself- that I had faced the ultimate Alpha Male (my father I always thought of as akin to Patton, if that gives you an idea) and survived, so no one less could bring me down. My family was honestly shocked at how broken I was, that it was even possible for that to happen seemed unbelievable.

        And I have every intention of taking advantage of HG’s advice with a consultation before next month, especially since I have to see my exN again and I am feeling about as strong as a wet noodle.

        Thank you again, WC. I am so grateful for your bolstering.

        1. Setsuna,

          “But that hubris is what has caused my situation. I was so stupidly sure of myself- that I had faced the ultimate Alpha Male (my father I always thought of as akin to Patton, if that gives you an idea) and survived, so no one less could bring me down. My family was honestly shocked at how broken I was, that it was even possible for that to happen seemed unbelievable.”

          I actually understand this very well. I’ve always been viewed, by others around me (and by myself!) as level-headed and the ‘strong’ one…and in my entanglement I often attributed relationship problems to stress or to outer factors. Even when I determined that there was something wrong with my ex (still not realizing that he was a narc) I thought I could ‘handle’ it.
          My hubris kept me in the relationship way too long…to the point where I could not believe how I found myself in a place where things had gone so terribly wrong. And yes, I was embarrassed that I had somehow allowed this to happen and I was past the point of shock – I wasn’t even registering how bad things were – I was just operating by rote.
          My thinking and feeling had shutdown and I didn’t know (never mind others) how broken I was.

          1. Yes, exactly! Always seen as so confident and sure, I knew that was what I had always sought to project. But if anyone can find the chinks in your armor, it’s a narcissist. I should’ve known that, having dealt with my father for so long. And truly his pattern was not much different than my ex. I will say, that my father’s disapproval of the relationship just added to my stubbornness in seeing what was going on. And I HATED that he was right.

            Ironically, he was of course, very supportive of my decision to finally leave but not without the, “I told you so”. He did do everything he could to help me build my confidence back up, for what good is a broken daughter? He has his own version of compassion, in what can serve him best in the future. And I was just grateful though I know it will be held over me for the rest of his life.

            But I still feel broken in so many ways. I doubt everyone, see things in black and white that I once saw in shades of gray. Paranoia at its finest, a piece of my exN that I can’t seem to get past.

            And I think it’s my lack of trust in any good deed or expression that hurts me so bad. I didn’t realize how essential to my character that faith in people was. I am still wondering how I will ever recover. Even if I can move past the “addictive” part of the struggle, getting that piece of myself back seems next to impossible. And therein lies the root of the confidence I now lack. I’m scared that if I build my walls too high, I am just building myself a cage. I’ve seen it happen to other women who come from abusive situations and I truly don’t wish that on anyone. It is exceedingly lonely.

          2. Setsuna,

            Yes, trust, post-narc is a sticky subject…I don’t even ‘trust’ my own voice on this one. Maybe some others will chime in too…

            I also hate that I can no longer trust in people’s actions and motivations – but when you’re healing and your instincts are out of whack…sometimes a ‘wall’ makes the most sense. Doesn’t mean it has to be a permanent wall, or impervious – empaths don’t function that well with constant walls up.
            I have unintentionally hurt others around me who care (not narcs) because I cannot trust, anymore, the way I used to pre-entanglement…I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I don’t know what the evolution of trust issues looks like for others further along in their healing but I have confidence that I’ll find a middle-ground somewhere between blind-trust (not ever going to happen again) and ‘building myself a cage’ as you describe.
            You are already seem very self-aware; you’ll figure it out when you’re ready but probably safer to just protect yourself and your daughter (even if it’s over-protective) for the time-being.

            On a similar topic; I’m very cautious how I reinvest my empathy now…you could say I take my empathy out on little walks or ‘practice excursions’ for short durations and then go ‘ok, well that was fun’ or ‘nope, that wasn’t good’ and quickly reel it back in to a place of safety.
            This not a great analogy, but it is accurate to how I feel about reinvesting myself in the world around me while I heal.

    4. Setsuna
      Your comment was heartbreaking and I am so sorry that you are going through this hell. I haven’t read through all your comments yet (I have to run errands), but please arrange a Skype consult with HG ASAP and I was very pleased that your lawyer identified him for what he was, shocked and pleased. That tired and sad feeling is so familiar and it is the worst feeling in the world. I understand why you miss him and everyone else here does, too.

      1. Thank you, KK. All of the posters here have helped me so much. Just being heard and replied to has ameliorated the worst of the loneliness and kept me from reaching out and destroying the progress I have made. I just couldn’t believe how bad I suddenly felt this weekend! As if I was right back to being devastated that first week after he disengaged (rather than discard, right, HG?). And I just missed him so much, but it’s as if I see him as two different people — the demon I knew him as later in our relationship who seemed to get nothing but satisfaction from my misery, and the wonderful, supportive person I first met.

        Now the only time I see signs of that person from the beginning is when he’s trying to manipulate the judge and mediator by expounding on much he loves his daughter. How he treated me so well and was so wonderful, but that I was a terrible girlfriend, etc. And then cue the waterworks. And while the mediator hasn’t bought a bit of it (maybe because she has a PhD in Psych?), the judge seems to eat it up.

        And when he does things like that, I realize how MUCH of the relationship was false. Because the second he’s out of the courtroom he’s emailing me threats (passive-aggressive ones that walk the line and I can’t really use in court).

        So HOW on earth can I miss this person? The experience has been so devastating and surreal. I do not claim to be a wholly logical person, I know I am passionate by nature, but this just makes NO sense to me. I should be past this! So why aren’t I? And why do I feel like I’m back-sliding? After months of being so good, of doing what I know to be the right thing, and yet here I am again, feeling lost and hopeless without him.

        I know I am better off and in many ways I was lucky. I have read so stories of sadness and despair here and on other sites, the men and women who stayed for so long. And I left relatively soon in comparison to some. It took 5 attempts for me to break it off for good, though, and I still look back and wondered why I just couldn’t walk away after that first break up.

        But then I wouldn’t have my daughter and the cost was so high but worth it. I love her more than anything.

        Thank you, KK, again for your kindness. I hope you are faring well in your own journey through this.

        1. Setsuna
          We are here for you and we hear you loud and clear. You are correct; it is disengagement and he was both the demon and the wonderful, supportive person you first met. He was an illusion who morphed into whatever persona was necessary to get your fuel.

          It all makes sense to me; you are addicted to the Golden Period and you are dealing with ever presence and binding. Your emotional thinking (ET) is running rampant and you need to replace it with logical thinking (LT) and you are in the right place. Here are some articles to read and, please, disregard any that you have read.

          https://narcsite.com/2018/06/05/the-golden-period-5/https://narcsite.com/2018/08/09/ever-presence-6/https://narcsite.com/2018/05/22/the-importance-of-binding-you-to-the-narcissist/

          The back-sliding, missing him, feeling lost and hopeless, that is all normal and I went through that, too.

          There is a search bar on the right underneath “Knowing the Narcissist” when you have a chance type in:

          children
          impregnate
          hoover
          prime aims
          Humpty dumpty
          strawberry

          Some judges aren’t bright. I had to go to court over custody issues with my ULN (upper lesser narcissist).

          Keep reading and don’t stop.

        2. You are welcome Setsuna
          P.S. Love and protect your daughter; she is the best thing in the world!
          And, I am doing very well in my journey, thank you.

          1. Yes, K, I will do that. The more I read, the less appealing he becomes! And it has been reading yours and others comments to HG’s blog in addition to his edifying writing that has brought me real clarity, even if I still doubt myself everyday. I am trying so badly to heal, but some days it is like trudging through a swampy quagmire and it feels neverending. I have my good days but then I get a dreaded email from the N and I’m afraid and exhilarated, as if I’m going into battle. And then the let-down because I know I just can’t allow myself to be drawn back in. So my replies are always short and to the point and wholly focused on custody issues alone. Anything else gets ignored.

            I am doing my absolute best to focus on my daughter and shut out thoughts of him. Most days I succeed. It’s the failures though that have brought me here and I will continue to be here until he becomes only the shadow he deserves to be.

            Best to you, K.

          2. Setsuna
            I remember those bad days very well; it took me about four months to really start to feel better and an additional three months for ever presence to fade. Keep up the reading and the posting and in a few months time you will be in a better, stronger place.

            These articles may be helpful:

            https://narcsite.com/2018/05/21/fighting-back-how-to-handle-the-narcissist-in-court-5/
            https://narcsite.com/2018/07/09/how-to-reduce-giving-fuel-to-the-narcissist-2/

          3. Failure. Yes, it really is supposed to be a positive thing if we can recognize it’s ability to help us grow.

            I suppose my problem is that there are so many people around me who constantly question why I should be sad at all that causes the constant feeling of failing. I know they mean well, but it just doesn’t help that I am judged for still being affected by the N. Which is one of the things that has brought me here. No judgement about still being hung up on a person who was so incredibly abusive and toxic. And that lack of judgement is so valuable for me right now.

            Just today I was in my work email inbox trying to clean out some of my old photos and found pics of myself in the later stages of pregnancy. I am smiling in the pictures but I look at them and remember how unhappy and miserable I was then. God, I was so heartbroken and was having the hardest time because every time my daughter kicked, all I could think was that her father didn’t really want either of us.

            I still remember one of the last times I sat down with him at a restaurant. It was right before the discard, and I asked him if he really wanted me and the baby, or just wanted the image of the perfect family. He hesitated and then asked me a counter question which succeeded in changing the subject and diverting my attention.

            These last few days, that expression on his face has haunted me, that look right before he deflected, before he put the mask back up, like a reptile calculating the striking distance to a mouse.

            And that’s where I’m stuck right now. Haunted. I don’t know if I’ve been repressing or I’ve been so distracted by court, attorney fees, and scheduling/visitation issues that I just haven’t taken proper time to grieve and get past any of it. But I feel very lucky that right now he’s distracted (by whatever or whomever) as I think that if he were to walk through my door right now, I wouldn’t be strong enough not to engage.

            Maybe it’s the weather here lately, gray and windy, like it was in those days leading up to the discard…

            Thank you, K, for reading my posts. I feel very lucky to have your advice.

          4. You are welcome Setsuna
            You have every right to be sad. Feel it and let it all out and don’t apologize or explain it to anyone. And, if they judge you or don’t like it, too bad, that is their problem. He was toxic and abusive but that doesn’t make the love or the happy memories disappear. That takes time. Sadly, many people don’t understand grief or even allow others to express it.

            I don’t write much about my ULN but he vanished when I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter and, like you, I smiled too, however, I was miserable and brokenhearted inside. He didn’t want me or his daughter either so I understand exactly how you feel. It is a profound loss and there are no words to describe it; it is agonizing.

            You will be haunted for a while but stay here and those ghosts/memories will fade away, but it won’t be easy and it will take some time. You may be suppressing your feelings but you need to grieve. You are safe here and I haven’t felt judged here, ever. Most of the bloggers understand what you are going through because they have been through it too.

            We are lucky to have you on narcsite and thank you for reading my posts, too.

          5. How did you get through it, KK? I mean, were you aware that he was a Narc? I think one of the only saving graces I have had through this is that I am not responsible for the fact he cannot love me. Maybe if he had been a Neurotypical he still would have been unable to love me because we are so different as people, but the fact that he is a Narcissist means that in this lifetime, I am not responsible for his inability to feel anything for me.

            DId you have to face your experience alone or did you have people who supported you? I hope with everything in me that you were not alone. I cannot even imagine the pain of that or the strength it would require. Your daughter is so lucky to have had you though, and more because you made it through. I will take what you have said as inspiration that it won’t always feel this bad. I am almost a year to our last “break-up” and I still hurt. Everyday.

          6. Setsuna
            I was not aware at the time that my ULN was a narcissist and I was all alone and I had absolutely no support whatsoever. I was surrounded by narcissists and they just made everything worse so I avoided everyone. There are no words to describe the loneliness and abandonment, no one should ever have to go through that, ever. It is unacceptable.

            Right now, you are going to hurt a lot! And that is normal and you need to feel the hurt so you can move past it. Don’t suppress it; let it all out. I think you should read and post your thoughts and feelings and don’t stop until you feel better. You need to get as much information as possible so you can focus on protecting yourself and your daughter.

            Keep reading about no contact (NC), hoovers, fuel, closure denied, etc., because once your LT starts to take over then your ET becomes manageable and you will start to feel better.

            Even though it has been a year, you have every right to feel your hurt every single day and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for that. Knowledge really is power so learn to use what you learn here to help yourself get control and feel better.

            There are so many bloggers/readers here who truly understand what you have been through and we will be here for you anytime, day or night.

          7. I cannot even tell you how much your words have given me comfort. I truly abhor that you suffered so, and that society is so ill-equipped to foster empathy for people who need it most. And yet here you are and here I am, on a blog written by a Narcissist, no less. So all hope is not lost. And good can come out of evil. Your suffering had a purpose for you as an individual, made you strong when everything about your circumstances could have driven you down the abyss. But it had a larger purpose, too. Because I will get better just knowing someone like you was able to pull through. Thank you, K, for your response.

            I had my own epiphany today. That though I still grieve for a love lost (because no matter that HE wasn’t real, what I felt for him was true) there is nothing he could do or say that could change this outcome and nothing I can do either.

            He can beg, plead, throw tantrums, obfuscate issues, blame me, etc. but he has painted us both into separate corners. My family and friends despise him, my daughter deserves someone who truly loves her, and though I don’t have the confidence or desire right now to date again, there is the possibility that I can find love again. The bottom-line is, I can’t unlearn or ignore what I now know him to be. The blinders are off.

            He has no hope for anything better. More of the same, yes. But ultimately every path leads to the same outcome – failure, and the inability to evolve.

            I will learn and I will somehow get past him. I will do as you and others here have recommended and keep reading HG’s writing.

          8. Thank you for your kind words, Teresa Rodriquez
            Yes, here we are together on a blog written by a narcissist and the blinders are truly off. I am happy that you have found comfort and strength in my words. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you will find that light soon enough.

            Your love for him was very real and knowing that there was nothing that either of you could do to change the circumstances is a manifestation of your logical thinking taking hold and that is the key to letting go.

            Knowledge will give you the tools you need to move forward so you can protect yourself and your daughter. Don’t be surprised if you take two steps forward and twenty steps back. It is a continuous journey and you will have bad days. We all do.

            Windstorm has inspired with her Yoda quote and this quote is a great example of empathy.

            “Around the survivors a perimeter create.” – Yoda

            This is what is means:
            “When someone is vulnerable, they need support. Whenever you can help someone by showing them the love you learned as a Jedi, you must. It’s what Yoda would’ve wanted. It’s what Yoda still wants.”

            When you feel better you will date again.

          9. Hi KK,

            I had not heard this part of your story until now:

            “I don’t write much about my ULN but he vanished when I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter and, like you, I smiled too, however, I was miserable and brokenhearted inside. He didn’t want me or his daughter either so I understand exactly how you feel. It is a profound loss and there are no words to describe it; it is agonizing.”

            I’m sorry. I never understood in the past, and in a relationship, how someone could just walk away from a pregnant woman – just because we now understand that person could do such a thing because they are a narcissist doesn’t go very far in resolving the disbelief, hurt and yes, the grief. Not to contribute to dredging up old stuff for you; but I’m sad that you went through that.

            So, yes, even when we are in the know and recognize narcissism, as HG show us, in the individuals we’ve shared our life with – it doesn’t somehow negate the need to address that grief.

          10. Thank you WhoCares
            I never understood it either until I came here and then it all made sense. The most difficult part was the loneliness and having no one to talk to. People are not allowed to grieve and, when we try, we are discounted, brushed off, ignored or worse, we are told to get over it.

            Setsuna has the benefit of knowing that her ex is a narcissist but you are correct; it doesn’t negate the fact that she still needs to grieve and she won’t realize the benefit of the silver lining until she gets better and that is going to take time.

            If I could go back in time and discover narcsite while I was pregnant it probably would have made my recovery faster and a bit easier. I would of dragged his narc ass to court sooner and ignored his hoovers.

            Knowledge is power!

          11. Your comment about not me not knowing the silver lining until I move past this was so right! While I’m still in the middle of my inner battle in regard to my Narcissist, I learned about silver linings with my father’s behavior.

            I still remember when I moved past the memories of some of the horrors of my childhood, I felt so free and at peace. That one moment that I knew I had transcended, it will always remain with me. It was such an amazing feeling.

            I look forward now to the time where I can feel that for my ex. Forgiving him is unnecessary, it would be like trying to forgive the scorpion who stung me. It’s simply his nature. I’m not saying that as a free pass to bad behavior, but only saying that I am capable of learning from my experience. He is not.

          12. Teresa Rodriquez
            You will start to realize the benefit of the silver lining approximately six months from now. Everyone gets better at their own pace but I think that is a pretty good estimate for you. I might be wrong but hopefully I am not.

          13. KK,

            “If I could go back in time and discover narcsite while I was pregnant it probably would have made my recovery faster and a bit easier. I would of dragged his narc ass to court sooner and ignored his hoovers.

            Knowledge is power!”

            Yes, K, knowledge is power.
            And silver lining: better late than never.

          14. I was wondering when HG would jump in. I was hoping for some HG quotes in Yoda format. I remember once somebody made a back to front comment and he said welcome Yoda. HG, favorite DV quote?

          15. WS
            20. From my point of view, the Jedi are evil.

            Just replace Jedi with empath and there you go: the narc/empath dynamic in play.

          16. KK
            Yes. He would be a Lord of the Sith. Lots of parallels with narcs/empaths.

          17. Windstorm
            I’ll split on the book of quotes with you so we dont have to watch that wretched movie.

          18. NarcAngel
            Wretched movie!?! I actually watched the first Star Wars 33 times IN THE MOVIE THEATRE!!! Paid to watch it 33 times! I saw Return of the Jedi so many times that I actually whited out the parts of the book (of course I read them, too) and rewrote it to match the movie script! 😁

          19. Windstorm
            Well you think you know someone……

            Ok now I’m intrigued. I thought people were just getting swept along on a wave at the time because of all the hype and there being little else to choose from. You know-one of those things people dont want to be left out of and want to be in on the conversations. I only watched but a bit of it and seriously thought: no one would watch this if it were released today. I could see at its release that it could have been viewed as the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter of its time, but its popularity seems to have endured. Maybe I should try to power through again. Was it the message or characters that resonated with you? God knows it couldnt be the cinematography. 33 times paid and not pirated??!!!!

            Waaaait a minute! Are you telling me no one got killed? How could you watch it if there was death or violence?

          20. If you do not like Star Wars (and I mean the original trilogy) you are a bit weird.

          21. HG

            I’m a bit weird?

            Says the guy who consumes 3 fresh souls a day (and thats just the skin regimen).

            But you’re right of course.

          22. NarcAngel
            Yes, many people got killed in Star Wars and yes I felt pain each time. I did make sure to read the books first, so there would be no surprises. Sometimes I looked down or away. After I’d seen it once, I knew when to get up and go outside the theater into the hall, but it did hurt each time.

            I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you don’t care for Science Fiction. Lol! It is my favorite type of book or movie (followed by Fantasy). If you love SF, then Star Wars has it all. It is intricate with lots of detail. Massive scale, cutting edge technology for its time, spectacular imagery, classic struggle of good and evil, family angst, complicated friendships, well developed plot, likable and hateable characters, humor – it’s just got it all.

            For those of us who believe our world is just one of many containing sentient life in the universe, such a well-done, spectacular concept and depiction of a possible reality is very entertaining. I love the ways authors devise to allow realistic time travel, how they devise their ships, the various alien peoples, the terminology they invent, both the solutions and the problems in their “future.”

            Those like me who were Star Trek fans as well enjoyed comparing and debating the merits/inconsistencies of how the two series explain the science of not only the “future” depicted in the movies, but also the science used to produce the movies. George Lucas had to invent a company, Industrial Light and Magic, to be able to create the special effects he wanted because they had never been done before. I thought that was absolutely awesome!

            Different people like different genres. Despite how great I think it is, SF may not be one you enjoy. I absolutely can not stand any movie or program that can be described as a “chic flic.” That doesn’t make any sense to most of the women I know. It’d be a boring world, though, if we were all alike.

            Oh, and I don’t think we could pirate movies back in ‘77. Not sure we even had a VCR back then!

          23. WS
            His wisdom is awesome! I was going through them earlier and saw a lot of the narcissistic/empath dynamic reflected in his quotes.

          24. Setsuna

            P.S. If you think about it, those failures brought you here. I did a quick google search and this is what I found:

            Here’s why failure is GOOD:

            1. Failure is a redirection. It shows you where you shouldn’t be.
            2. Failure is an opportunity. It’s a chance to reevaluate and come back stronger with better reasoning
            3. Failure is not fatal. No matter how hard it may be know that failure simply means you get another shot to try it all again.

            Best to you too!

          25. Setsuna,

            “It’s the failures though that have brought me here…”

            I like what KK found and posted on ‘failure’ but I just want to point out that you have not failed your daughter by ending the relationship with her father and finding your way here…but there’s a good chance you might have failed her by staying in a relationship with him.

            I don’t think you realize how far you’ve come.

          26. I am working on it, WC.

            I am still far too aware of that cognitive dissonance. For the man who got out of bed most nights at 2am to fetch me crackers when I had morning sickness, who walked my dog in the rain because he didn’t want me to catch a cold, who brought me lunch everyday and cried the first time he told me that he loved me.

            But then there’s the monster, the man who told me I needed to work harder to earn his love. That kisses and hugs needed to be earned, and I wasn’t working hard enough.

            Who told me that I was the most difficult girlfriend that he’d ever had and implied over and over that all of his former girlfriends were better (so that I would work harder).

            The man who used to speak coldly if I even looked in his direction when he was texting.

            He gave endless silent treatments when asked what time he would be home but when he refused to answer, would still criticize me when dinner wasn’t on the table (but of course, he’d already eaten. It was that I was so thoughtless as I should have made it just in case he decided to come home. And why didn’t I cook his favorite dish? His former GF did it better though anyway).

            Who dragged me and our daughter through a DNA test to prove paternity (as I’m such a slut, of course, and who knew what I’d been up to in those hours that he’d left me during his silent periods) while simultaneously sending me text messages threatening to have me thrown in jail for “kidnapping”, yet claimed he was going to steal her from me if I “forced” him to.

            HG and all of you have given me reassurance that I can keep going. I hope you can comprehend how important you have been to me. You have validated me and I know I’m not crazy, that what I went through was real.

          27. Setsuna,

            Yes, they really do make you feel like you’re the crazy one. I too recall, that feeling of validation when I finally realized the reality by coming to Narcsite and reading and hearing of others’ stories.

            It’s peculiar because when you’re still swamped up in emotions you feel like you’ll never gain headway and you can’t see what it’s like on the ‘other side’ (i.e. the people that state: it will get better; you’ll see). And now reading your list of the narc craziness your ex put you through – I see the similarities so clearly and could write up my own list but my lack of emotions attached to the behaviours helps me see that I can be really objective now. In fact, it is difficult for me to look back and put myself in that subjective experience again…when you’re ‘in the midst of it’ you cannot see the other possibility: of being free of it – when you’re relatively free of it: you have this feeling (or at least I do) of detachment and it’s hard to put yourself back there and recall the fog and the ‘crazy’.

            Sorry if that did not make sense; late night ramblings..or early morning ramblings..depending on your perspective.

            Thank-you for sharing Setsuna as well.

      2. Setsuna

        “…the second he’s out of the courtroom he’s emailing me threats (passive-aggressive ones that walk the line and I can’t really use in court).”

        A word of advice; document everything, all communications. It may feel tedious, annoying – especially when you don’t want to be thinking about the narcissist and their behaviour – and exhausting (during court proceedings you can’t really help thinking about them anyway) but it may be advantageous in the end. Patterns in their behaviour become evident and you might not always have the same judge…I had one that I’m certain understands personality disorders; and maybe even specifically NPD – so my narc wasn’t able to pull one over on him.

        1. Thank you, WhoCares. Yes, I am doing my best to document all of our communications (as my attorney has said something very similar. Actually, direct quote from him: “Your ex will screw up eventually and say something that he can’t smooth over or lie about. And it only takes one time for the judge to finally see who he really is.)

          I did have a temporary restraining order but the judge, who was brand new to the bench, fell for the tears and whining. I felt incredibly bitter at the time because I played everything right, did not respond to anything he wrote me, stayed away from him, and my responses were always on point. I told him several times to leave me alone.

          However, the judge wouldn’t even listen to my testimony, completely disregarded all of the threats and texts. My ex-N even admitted to the judge that he TOLD me I would need a restraining order to keep him away.

          All the judge ended up doing was to give the N permission to continue his harassment of me without consequences. Luckily my attorney wasn’t having any of it and wrote a letter directly telling the N to cease and desist or there would be jail time in his future, restraining order or not. It got him to back off a bit, if not altogether and at least he has stopped stalking me.

          My mediator sees right through him though, without me having to say a word. He has tried to intimidate her but if “gray rock” were a person, she would be it. Blandest woman you ever met and so matter of fact that he doesn’t have anything to work with.

          But having said all of this this, you’d think I would just get over him, right? I HATE myself right now. This feeling of self-loathing is just as bad as the craving itself.

          I have no pride left but I do have my daughter. And THAT is all that I can ask for. I had to fight for her and I got what I needed, if not what I wanted.

          Thank you, WC, just for reading. I have been reading yours and others posts here long before I subscribed or commented so it’s good to finally feel heard.

          1. Setsuna,

            “All the judge ended up doing was to give the N permission to continue his harassment of me without consequences.”

            It really…how do the Brits say…’boils my piss’ when I hear of the system letting people down. I’ve not had as bad an experience with that as some but, incidentally, it’s been a huge eye-opener for me – that’s for certain (alongside learning about narcissism).

            It gets doubly frustrating because you are finally attempting to address your narc’s behaviour but then it gets depressing because many professionals in the system don’t recognize their behaviour for what it is.

            I think I’ve been fortunate in my case – partly because I’ve been proactive and sought good advice where necessary (and then followed that advice) – especially with regard to HG’s cousel on how to deal with your narcissist in court (KK provided you with links I believe).

            I also had a judge (different from the one previously mentioned) who erred (in my opinion) on the side of leniency towards my narc. I expressed my opinion of this (not to the judge) to professionals involved in my matter:

            “In the case where physical or sexual abuse is evident in a domestic dispute; these behaviours are addressed and the victim is protected. However, in a situation where the abuse is psychological or emotional – and the tools of abuse are words and emotional manipulation – you don’t put that person back into a situation where they have to dialogue with the abusing party”

            In my case *in order to protect myself* wherever I could curtail communications with my narc (and still obey the order) I did – it was clear that this frustrated him because, as a result, whenever the lines of communication were open he would use that opportunity to engage in emotionally exploitive behaviours. And, then because I had been documenting everything, I could draw clear attention to this and demonstrate that I had predicted his behaviour in previous court appearances, and despite being given the benefit of the doubt, he continued to behave in the same manner and prove my predictions.

            But I would not have had the confidence and resolve to do this had I not both consulted with HG and documented everything.

  2. If seeking validation through others is Co D, Facebook should be renamed The Codependent Carousel. It feeds the addiction while twirling you around and around in circles obscuring its exit ramps to avoid losing its heavily enslaved victims to logic and a better life. Its legal, in almost every home posing as an innocuous pastime and portal to the world, and practically free. The injection site is your home and device. Do you need any more proof than narcs love it (and other social media to be fair) and use it extensively? Genius.

      1. Hey Alphatina!
        How goes it? I dont have to worry about you being on FB. What game is the obsession now? Glad to see you pop in-I miss your humour (intentional and otherwise).

        1. :-) Sims 4 at the moment – the new Season expansion is great.
          I’d like to say I have been relatively sensible recently but that would be a lie!

          I like to have a browse every so often – keep an eye on Mr T – I see he has yet to branch out into fame and fortune and ignores all my merchandising ideas…….

  3. HG

    But do you aquire traits and characteristics really? I mean if you did would you not be finished collecting by now?

    Perhaps I misunderstand yet it seems to me that mimickry isn’t getting anyone anywhere 24/7. Surely there aren’t endless traits to aquire..and if you aquire them really then how many more can honestly be left.?

    Is this not the endless circular quest? To aquire and yet the acquisition isn’t real?
    Eating and never feeling as though you are fed?

    It’s this constant gathering up of things/traits which are never truely aquired. Seems like such a waste of time now.
    Surely the facade needs no further acquisitions by now.

    It is difficult to understand admittedly so.🤔

    1. It is nothing to do with the facade. It is to do with the construct and the elements which are applied to the construct are applied and jettisoned as required.

      1. Ok. Some days I find it’s feeling more complicated than others. Perhaps I’m just feeling a little weary. Thank you for your reply.

  4. Multi part question here:

    Interesting, how can be sure that which you have never had is useless? Dont take this as me being critical. I’m really curious. It’s a bit like a child seeing another child with a toy and saying well that’s a stupid toy and I never wanted it anyway.

    The thing I’ve noticed in your writings is that you seem to be developing a keen awareness that you are missing what others have and I say awareness bevause awareness does not equate to feelings or action it’s just that awareness. It seems you’ve always been aware but the awareness seems sharper now? Would that be because of this blog and so many people sharing why they feel or do you think that’s a result of therapy or am I imagining this? I’m curious about this

    The Narc once said he didn’t like that I had the ability to hurt him and that made him very uncomfortable. Was that all bullshit or do you think there was truth to it?

    1. My awareness has increased owing to a number of factors – the good doctors, my own assessment and the comments and questions of readers.

      1. Yes! I have noticed this. Honestly the whole awareness things is something that fascinates me in that I have “awareness” of my Codependent behaviors and I’ll even indetify something I’m doing or have done as a dysfunctional Codependent behavior. I’ll think geez I probably shouldn’t be doing that yet I still continue to do it because it’s like it’s hard coded me. I can be totally aware yet fail to change the behavior so I totally get how you can be completely aware but absent of any feeling associated with it that produce change

        I always see victims saying can’t they see what they are doing is wrong or dysfunctional? and I think the answer is yes, a lot of them can on a cognitive level but since it doesn’t not have a corresponding feeling with it they just don’t care

        Do you feel you have made progress?

  5. Hello HG,

    The fact that a narcissist truly believes his next victim is his salvation during the idealization phase shows that he recognizes there is need for it. What is the point of being so successful or achieving the grandiose fantasy when no amount of success can truly quite the beast enough to feel love and kindness to oneself? Never ending paranoia is a huge price to pay. Isn’t the amount of respect and gratitude you get on this site for an instance better than what you get from an ensnared victim because its for the real you as opposed to some fake show you have to put on? An Empath on the other hand feels the joy of honest love, peace and satisfaction many times in their lives consistently from their relationships(since not everyone is a narcissist), vocation and passions. Isn’t the need for excessive power driven from having excessive fear? I know you probably do not believe in karma or any such ideology because it wont serve you well in your quest for fuel but I am curious if you do believe in soul and after life? Also, I do not understand the pride you take in your capacity to manipulate and hurt. Did you chose to be a narcissist? I believe the answer is no Just Like I didn’t chose to be an empath. I guess that makes us all puppets at the hands of a higher power. You are an extremely intelligent person and truly blessed with so many qualities and powers, Can that not be wielded to minimize the need to inflict pain? If it is admiration that you seek, aren’t there ways to get it without causing hurt? Also, I understand you cannot feel empathy but you do intellectually understand things so you are capable of controlling your actions. I understand that it can get extremely challenging for you but what makes me truly disappointed is that even the most self aware narcissists do not try. The real enemy is not the world or an empath, it is that beast and it can be defeated. The universe will come together if you try , anything is possible!

    1. Truth seeker
      I’m a “hope springs eternal” too, but I would add my own experience to what you’ve said. Maybe it will give another perspective.

      True we value and admire HG here for his intelligence, but we don’t really “know” him either. Reading his blog is not the same as being actually around him. I have my own cerebral greater narc in my exhusband. He knows what he is, and why he does what all he does. And he knows I know as well. He does actually try to not hurt me, but that does not make him easy to be around or possible to live with.

      Part of the problem (at least with my exhusband) is while he is very smart and has much cognitive empathy, it’s more like an intellectual activity for him to consider others feelings. It’s not real for him. It seems to me to be sort of like being around people who are pretending everything is different than it is. Like actors in a play (only they believe it’s the only reality) and you don’t have a script.

      When the narc’s seen people acting out this play many times, he knows what his lines would be and he can play along – but it will never be real to him and he’ll probably think they’re all crazy for believing it is actually real.

      He really believes he’s smarter and better than them, because he thinks he sees reality and they’re living in delusion. While sometimes he plays along, it gets old and boring. He realizes he can play pranks on these unsuspecting people around him and toy with them for his own amusement. Why shouldn’t he? They say he hurts them, but isnt that really just part of their delusion?

      My exhusband knows how to act around me without hurting me and generally tries to do this. But he has to think about it. It doesn’t come naturally. And maybe it’s unhandy for him or he’s busy and forgets. And the knowledge that he can’t just be himself around me always irritates. Like all of us, he wants to be able to be himself and do what he enjoys.

      While smart narcs can control their behavior, they can’t stop being narcs. My exhusband will always need fuel. And he can not get anywhere near the quality or quantity of fuel from me that he can from someone new, or from someone who doesn’t know him well or from anyone he teases and torments. There are advantages to my fuel and he values it, but it is limited in nature and comes at a price and that chafes him.

      1. Hi Windstorm. I know your ex husband’s father was a self aware narc and was big on AA program. I do not remember about your ex husband’s mother though. What was she?
        Was your ex father in law the same as your ex husband? Did he try not to hurt people but still ended up gathering negative fuel from people around him? How was the relationship between he and his wife?
        Hope you do not mind me asking.
        Thanks!

        1. Lou
          I never mind sharing stories. My FIL was purely somatic. He was a scary, dangerous man – the closest thing I’ll ever see to a mafioso. He was nice to me because it was in his best interest to keep me from breaking down and ending up in a mental hospital (and my MIL insisting they raise my children).

          He was the greatest philanthropist I’ll ever know, as well. Money meant nothing to him (he ran poker games for a living. He always said, “It’s only money. I’ll get more tomorrow.) and gave away thousands and thousands of dollars, cars, furniture, whatever to the wives and children of alcoholics. Because, as he told me once, “I have a lot to make amends for.” (Step 9 in AA)

          My MIL was a super empath and also a very colorful person – strong willed and religious. Her life was very hard, but she was very tough. She stuck with him thru much that would have broken others – me included. He was always very charismatic, charming and sexual and was notorious for being able to talk her into anything.

          My FIL’s family was very important to him as his legacy. After he sobered up (his late 30’s) he was careful not to be overly abusive to any family and to do what he could to teach and help those of us in the family struggling to live with his narc sons. But he remained a scary, dangerous man. My exhusband and I were talking about his dad once and I said, “I hope your dad never actually killed anyone.” He replied, “I just hope Dad never killed anyone who didn’t deserve to die.”

          1. Thanks for your reply, Windstorm. Your ex-husband’s answer about he hoping his dad did not kill anyone who did not deserve to die made me laugh. It is a good one. It is a little like HG causing chaos there where it is deserved, as I think he recently wrote somewhere. I sometimes wonder if he is not doing his own version of the Step 9 of the 12 Step Program.
            Just one more question. I believe your ex-husband is an alcoholic too. Is he on the 12-step program? I do not recall reading he is but I do not read all comments. Did he try but left, or is he sober now?

          2. Yes, Lou. My exhusband is on the 12 step program. About 8 months after I left him, his boss gave him an ultimatum- quit his job or go into treatment. He chose treatment. He has been sober since 2004.

            The forced counseling and therapy in treatment and the mandatory first months of AA meetings made a big difference in his behavior by increasing his awareness of the effects of his behavior on others and increased his cognitive empathy.

            Dropping dead a few years ago with a stopped heart and being brought back by defibrillator and quintuple bypass surgery brought home to him a greater appreciation of family and introspection of his effect on the world around him.

          3. Windstorm, another question, if I may: do you know what drove your FIL to AA? I know it was alcohol, but did he ever share with you how he touched bottom?
            Thanks.

          4. No, Lou. I don’t mind. In fact my FIL told me once himself what caused him to go to AA.
            He said,
            “I used to blame my drinking on having to live on that cursed farm in West Virginia with my momma, but I moved away from there. Then I blamed my drinking on being in the army and the Korean War, but the war ended and I left the army. Then I blamed my drinking on my job and my boss and my wife and kids and having to pay rent and have responsibilities.”

            “Then one day I realized that my wife had left me and took the kids with her. I’d quit my job, had no boss, no home and no responsibilities. But there I was still drinking. Didn’t take a genius to finally realize that I must be the problem. And if I was the problem, then it was up to me to find the solution.”

          5. Windstorm, so your MIL did leave him. I somehow got the impression she had stayed with him.
            What I find interesting is that alcohol does put the narcissist in a more vulnerable position because it becomes more obvious there is a problem and there is abuse, so they receive more pressure to make changes in their behaviour (at least stop drinking). So they become more self-aware if they do seek help to address their alcoholism. That, of course, does not stop them from being narcissists. None of my narcs has any obvious addiction, so their facade is well preserved

          6. Lou
            My MIL left him at least 2 maybe 3 times. One time her father drove up to where they were living in Cleveland and told her to get the kids and get in the car, he was taking them all to Kentucky to live with him – no choice. (That was the catalyst for my FIL to have his epiphany about his drinking being his fault.). My husband told me that the two years they lived with his grandparents were the best two years of his childhood. He hated when they had to move back in with his dad. After my FIL sobered up, she never left him again and they lived together until he died.

          7. I feel sorry for your ex husband, Windstorm. I know what it is to have an alcoholic parent too. My father was one, but I do not think he was a narcissist. And I did not grow up with him. My mother is the narcissist.
            Thanks a lot for your answers.

          8. Windstorm, do you think your ex-husband resents his mother for not having left his father and protected her children better from him?

          9. Lou
            Resent may be too strong a word. Regret more like. He’s a very intelligent, philosophical man with tremendous insight into human behavior. He doesn’t resent people acting predictably. He knows his mothers intelligence level and limitations. He knows his mother loved them all as much as she could and that she did the best she could for them in a bad situation. He knows the effect and control his father had over his mother.
            It’s not logical to resent someone acting according to their nature and abilities.

            And before you ask, he doesn’t resent his father either, for being who and what he was. Regret it, yes definitely, but not resent.

          10. Windstorm, a
            I have one more question Why do you think your MIL was a super empath and not a codependent? I hope you do not take ithis question as a challenge because it is not. I just want to understand better.
            You said she was lively and colorful so I guess that means he didn’t wear her down easily (?). What makes me think of codependency is the fact that she didn’t leave by herself, it was her father who took her away from your FIL and yet she still went back to him even though he was toxic for her children. I know those were different times and women were financially dependent on men and divorce was less acceptable in general, which made a woman stay in this kind of situation. Yet she did have the support of her dad. Anyway, just wondering what your opinion was.
            Thanks.

          11. Lou
            No, my MIL was not codependent. I think she was a super empath for several reasons. One was she had a lot of narc traits. When I first came to this blog and was trying to figure out family members, I wondered if she was a somatic narc herself since she had so many characteristics. But there was no denying that she had tremendous empathy for others.

            Another was that while she had strong empathy and concern for others, she never interfered in other people’s lives. She didn’t try to fix people or take care of them. That was their own job. If someone needed help and came to her, she would listen to them, be supportive and help if they asked her to. But she would never step in and take charge and clean up other people’s messes like the family codependents do.

            Another reason I think she was a super empath was she was very fiery and independent. She led her own life and had no trouble standing up to him. Her supernova episodes were oft told stories in the family. She’s broken chairs over his head, got into fights with him in bars. The family favorite was when she went to get his paycheck from him at a bar and shoved him into a jukebox so hard it fell over and broke. Although no one talked about it, she seemed to have had her own share of relationships with other men.

            She did leave him herself 1-2 times and kicked him out of the house at times. The time her dad drove up and got them, she was worn out working nights with 4 young children and totally broke. Even if she’d had a car and the money to drive them all the 500 miles to her parents house, she was too proud to have done it.

            My final reason that I know she wasn’t codependent is that one of my sisters- in-law is. I’ve seen them often together, heard them discussing my narc brother in law and my SIL’s problems many times. No one who saw and heard them together could have put them in the same category! They were like night and day.

          12. Ok, thanks Windstorm. What I have understood about HG’s classification of Empaths is that the main characteristic of a codependent is that they have the same core as the narcissists but they do have empathy. They are kind of half Narcs, something that is not easy to accept. I see this very clearly among the members of my family and sometimes I have problems classifying them because they all have narc behavior one way or the other and it is difficult to know if their empathy is genuine or fake.
            Now, I accept that I do have some of the core of the disorder because I was raised by narcs. Especially the shame. That’s something I identified long ago and deal with it. However, my behavior is not typically codependent, although I do have some of it. But I am not weak and have never been. I don’t stay until I am broke and someone removes me. I have been fighting the totalitarian narc regime in my family since I was a teenager andI definitely don’t behave like most members of my family. I do it only when I’m with them to protect and defend myself. However, I do recognize the “NPD virus” in me because they just passed it on to me. But I am aware of it and do fight it.
            Anyway, thanks for your answers Windstorm.

          13. Lou,
            I’d never really thought about it, but all the codependents I know do have a lot of narc traits. What I was taught that distinguishes a person as codependent, however, is they support and enable another person’s problems or addictions. They take care of the other person, clean up after them, provide whatever they need. In other words they make it possible for that person to continue in their addiction/life-style without having to take charge and control of their own life. Codependents can be very strong, take charge people.

            I try to avoid codependents because the ones I know will just take charge and try to run my life. They have no ability to see and recognize boundaries or to understand that their actions may actually be hurtful or unwanted. I find codependents insulting. When they just step in and take over and redo or “fix” what I’ve done. It’s the same as saying I am incompetent to take care of that aspect of my life. One of my codependent aunts came in at the last minute and redid the entire refreshment table at my wedding, that I had set up myself.

            I’ve had a codependent friend come in my house and reorganize my cabinets and kitchen drawers while I was gone. She was so proud and couldn’t wait to show me how much better they were. It never occurred to her that I had them organized the way I wanted them. She even threw away a lot of stuff because she thought it was too old or unnecessary.

            The codependents I know often feel used and unappreciated. They get depressed because they worked so hard to help the ones they love and then don’t get the love and gratitude back that they expected. That’s no surprise to me. They can’t see that all that hard work really was for their own benefit – not the ones they were “helping.” My codependents can’t recognize the difference between helping and interfering any more than they recognize when they are just being used by narcissists.

          14. Windstorm, I also had that image of codependents and that’s why I never thought I was one. I don’t do those things (although I may do some of them to a certain degree). The reason I consider myself a codependent is because I do have a core of low self steem and shame, and grew up having weak boundaries and letting people violate them to a certain degree. My codependency was more about not knowing how to defend effectively my own boundaries and letting people cross them than me crossing other people’s boundaries or taking care of them to feel validated. I say effectively because I did defend myself (I have been very rebellious most of my life) and was apparently a strong person. But the low self steem was always there and I did let people’s behavior affect me more than they should have affected me.
            So i conclude I am a codependent.
            Now, I do have relatives that act as you describe in your comment and I decided to have no contact with them. They are as toxic as the narcs to me and they do enable the narcs to abuse.

          15. Lou,
            “Codependency is a controversial concept for a dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.” -Wikipedia

            Well, based on your description of yourself, Wikipedia and I would say you are not codependent. Your description of yourself sounds a lot like me and I am definitely not codependent.

            I have a core of shame that was placed in me by my narc upbringing. I didn’t even know boundaries existed until I was in my 30’s. Lots of people have low self esteem and weak boundaries, but they’re not codependent. Codependency is a behavioral problem. If you’re not exhibiting the behaviors you’re not codependent.

            According to Positivepsychologybehavior.com,
            “To sum up, codependency is a psychological concept that refers to people who feel extreme amounts of dependence on certain loved ones in their lives, and who feel responsible for the feelings and actions of those loved ones. “

            I don’t know about you, but I haven’t felt extremely dependent on anyone since I was grown and I’m certainly not responsible for anyone else’s feelings and actions – not even my children, since they are all adults. I have a lot of problems and issues, but codependency is not one of them.

      2. I have a lot of narc traits yet i have been diagnosed Codepebdent. Codepebdents are quite similar to Narcs in many only it manifests at the opposite endbof the empathy spectrum.

        As far as Super Empath well I don’t know no shrinks use that term at all.

        1. Lori, indeed, the term Super Empath is a category HG invented and uses to classify empaths. .Super Empaths don’t have the same core narcs and codependents have, according to his classification. They are “normals” with more empathy than “normals”. At least that is what I have understood, although the word normal may not be completely apt.
          They do not show their empathy as easily as codependents. Their empathy has to be earned. That is a characteristic I have. I have empathy but do not show it that easily. However, for me the most important aspect to consider whenever one is trying to see what one may be in HG’ categories is the core narcs have too. And I do have some of that core, although my behavior differs from the typical codependents behavior HG describes in his writings.

      3. I’m am an inherently good natured person but I also have the ability to be a ruthless bitch if the situation warrants it and / or it’s necessary for me to feel in control. Aside from empathy I find that the most dominant characteristic of Codepebdent or at least me is the need for control them followed by a need to be the best but not in everything. I tend to pick specific areas that I have to be the best.

        I’m not sure whether a shrink would classify a Super Empath as a Codepebdent or not. I tend to think so. It’s always been interesting to me though that on a narcissistic recovery page I’m the only diagnosed Codepebdent. That blows my mind since a Narc prefers Codepebdents. Either some folks aren’t aware or some people are in denial.

        There tends to be this perception that Codepebdents are the weak little people and I can say that’s absolutely not true. There may some but many use perceived weakness as a way to manipulate and control which is more often the case. Codepebdents are a bit Narcissistic in that they really think they can fix or control anything and they are persistent as hell at achieving goals that are important to them. They seek their worth from outside themselves. Codepebdents like Narcs kind of seek fuel as well always looking for that person or project that needs fixing which gives them a sense of value and worth which Is their fuel. Often they are achievers looking for the next thing that will determine their worth

        1. Lori
          I agree with everything you wrote here.

          It did make me laugh when you said, “They think they can fix or control anything.” I know that I CAN’T control anything- not even myself! Lol!! I’m a big believer in chaos. To me the whole idea of “control” is an illusion.

        2. Lori, I think there is both, lack of awareness and denial. I also think many know they are codependents but don’t say it. There is kind of a “stigma”.
          The different definitions of codependency don’t help either. It may be a concept that is being overly used nowadays. I do not find myself in the definition Windstorm found in Wikipedia, at all. In that sense, I am not a codependent. However, I do seek validation and sense of worth from outside myself, which is a codependent trait.
          I think that, at the end, the label is not so important. What’s important is to be aware of what your issues are and work on them.

      4. Codepebdents often rise quite high in organizations or are highly compensated for their respective position. They make sure they are the best always wanting to be viewed as indispensable. They do however struggle rising to the very top because they have trouble dekegating and think no one can do the job like they can do their efficiency begins to suffer but it has been my experience that a lot of them are achievers

      5. The original definition of Codependency originated out of the substance abuse groups where it was very prevalent but the definition has expanded greatly. In my situation, I had no abuse of any kind growing up but somehow I learned this as a child and here I am. The most rudimentary definition I can give is: if you seek validation of your worth from others. It is a shame based set of behavioral patterns and much like narcs there are many flavors but the only one people seem to think of is the door mat, but don’t be confused by the doormat often the doormat knows exactly what they are doing. It’s just they have learned to control others. If you’ve figured out that by being a door mat everyone comes to you and needs you well, you are in effect controlling them. Codepebdents need to be needed. They need to be the best. It’s all about. Control for Codepebdents. When the Codepebdent finds themselves out of control you find chaos. This is why anxiety disorder is found in many Codepebdents and when they are out control you will see other control based behaviors start to manifest like eating disorders etc. They or I guess I should say we are quite similar to Narcs in many many ways only we have empathy and conscience

        It seems Codependency was up for consideration to be included with the personality disorders in the DSM

        1. Lori
          Yes, I consider Codependency by the original definition. But labels are just useful guidelines. In reality things don’t all fit into useful guidelines. Like your doormat example. I’ve often been called a doormat, I believe because I don’t get angry or fight with others, even when they are abusive. Throughout my life I sought escape as my primary defense strategy and that works best when I don’t call the abusers attention to myself. I always resented people just assuming I would do things for them and often seethed under the surface. I guess I used my behavior like a cover to hide behind and be invisible.

          Now I enjoy feeling that I am being helpful, cheery and reducing stress for others. It makes me feel better to think I’m making my corner of the world a better, less stressful place. But I have no desire whatever to have control or power over anyone, nor is my self-esteem linked to anyone else.

        2. Thanks Lori, that makes sense to me.
          I really have no problem to admit I am a codependent. I have always said it. I also think there are many types of codependents and I know I am not a doormat.

      6. LOU

        If you haven’t read some books on Codependency do. I wouldn’t diagnose yourself off the Internet. Get yourself some good books on it where it goes into detail as describes it in detail.

        I was diagnosed after Narc 1 resurfaced after 10 plus years and wreaked havoc in my life and I ended up in therapy. I was convinced I had BPD but the therapist said no Lori that is absolutely not the case. You are a moderate case of codependency and exhibiting clsssic symptoms of someone who had been entangled and enmeshment with a narcissist

        Oh another inherent characteristic is lack of boundaries and /or enmeshment and enmeshment is a classic dynamic between the narcissist and the Codependent

        After awhile, I wasn’t really permitted to discuss him anymore. The therapist would just say Lori we already know what he is we don’t need to identify him anymore this is no longer about him thid about you now and why you allowed this man in your life mot once but twice

        1. Lori, I did start reading a book about Codependency and did see that I had most traits: low self esteem, internalized shame,pleasing, guilt, perfectionism, dysfunctional boundaries and the dependency on others. There were points where I did not see myself entirely but I think I can say I am a codependent.

          And this reminds me I need to go back to that book.
          Thanks Lori.

      7. Lou & Windstorm – just ‘listening in’ and wanted to say what a fascinating discussion this is!
        Thank-you for sharing.

        1. You’re welcome, WhoCares. It’s nice to think my ramblings may benefit another and not just myself. Have a great weekend!

          1. Oh, I don’t consider them as ramblings – I’ve already mentioned that I love hearing about your family dynamics. Have a good weekend yourself Windstorm!

          2. Thanks, Who Cares (I like your name by the way).
            I also find Windstorm’s family very interesting. That’s why I often ask her questions 😬