The Ten Empathic Obligations

 

 

In order to manipulate you and control you, we rely on certain behaviours which cause you to act out of fear. Fear of injury, isolation, financial ruin, loss of your home or loss of your children. We also rely on your deeply embedded sense of obligation. Owing to your honesty and decency, you feel need to do certain things. Your sense of obligation is greater than normal and we exploit this in the following ways:

 

  1. You feel responsible for us

So much of what we do is of our own doing. In fact, next to nothing is caused by you when looked at through your worldview. From our perspective you are responsible for everything. It is always your fault and we repeatedly project and blame-shift in order to condition you to feel responsible for us. You already have a sense of responsibility towards us. You feel a sense of responsibly to nearly everybody because of the fact you are caring and compassionate. This increases when it comes to us because we are your intimate partner and you believe that it is the intimate partner who ranks amongst the highest who deserve such responsibility. This increases again when you realise that we have certain flaws and you feel a need to take on responsibility for them. Indeed, combine this natural state with the conditioning that we cause and you become someone who is over-responsible for us.

 

 

 

 

  1. You feel that you owe us

Once again this is a combination of the natural and the condition. You have been given such a wonderful time during the seduction period, given so much both material and emotional that you feel you do owe us. You are also a person who is polite and well-mannered and you feel a natural desire to return favours, thank people for what they do for you and a sense of paying the debt that has arisen. We also believe you owe us for everything we gave you during the seduction and accordingly you are obliged to repay us for the rest of the relationship and beyond. Combine these two elements and a powerful obligation of owing us is created which we are then able to exploit to our advantage.

 

  1. You feel sorry for us

That natural sympathy people possess is available in spades with someone as empathic as you. You never regard someone as weak or pathetic but rather feel sorry for them. You would not regard a homeless person as a stain on society but rather feel sorry that they find themselves in such a situation and you consider how they ended up where they are what might be done about it. You realise our behaviours are abhorrent but rather than always feel angry about it, you feel sorry for us that we behave this way. You feel sorry that we cannot explain ourselves, that we lash out and behave in such a destructive fashion. Your exuding sympathy not only fuels us but it creates an obligation on your part towards us.

 

  1. You feel guilty

Even if you know that a certain course of action is for the best, you are assailed by the guilt that you might be hurting someone, stopping them what they want to do or upsetting them in some way. Tough love is not a concept you want to embrace as the guilt at seeing someone else hurting, as a consequence of something that you have done, is too great. This sense of guilt forces you down different routes, often doing things which are not the best for you but nevertheless you feel obligated to do out of this considerable sense of guilt which looms large which someone empathic like you.

 

  1. You feel a need to fix us

You are a problem solver. You enjoyed the Sound of Music when you were younger and you always felt that if you had been given the chance you would have solved a problem like Maria. You regard it as your role to heal and to fix. You are of the unshakeable mind-set that everybody can be fixed. Everyone can be made better and when you experience the broken elements of our machinations and manipulations you do not shirk from them. Instead, you remain in situ and work out how you can resolve them. This obligation to make things better and to heal is a central part of who you are and is readily exploited by us since we know you are unlikely to go anywhere despite how bad things are.

 

  1. You feel it is your duty

You have a strong sense of duty. Duty to be an excellent parent, supportive friend, caring son or daughter, hard-working colleague and all round decent human being. Most of all you regard your duty to your intimate partner as one where no matter how difficult things might be you are not going to walk away. This duty is often compelled from the vows that you have taken and a strong religious undertone to your personality.

Duty is paramount and from that rises the obligation.

 

 

  1. You feel a need to abide by your standards

So often the world appears to have lost its moral compass and therefore it falls to a diminishing group of people to right the wrongs, stand up for the vulnerable and defend the weak. You often see that people are ruled by those twin gods of sex and money and this causes people to forget who they are and the standards they once adhered to. This is not for you. You do not do this to be lauded by others but do so because you cannot lie straight in your bed at night if you do not uphold these standards for yourself and in your daily dealings. This translates into treating people with patience, understanding, compassion and empathy, no matter how difficult it becomes. Some might suggest that you are making a rod for your own back.

 

  1. You feel a need to maintain appearances

This is not done for your own benefit. You are not like us creating an image to show the world. No, you do this to maintain appearances for the sake of others. It is keeping the family together for the sake of your children so they are not upset. It is appearing to get along with your difficult brother for the sake of your fragile elderly parents. It is taking one for the team in order to maintain an appearance so that you deal with the pain and aggravation so others do not. This need creates an obligation in you which we are content to exploit as we know it will keep you around and stop you from speaking out about what we do.

 

  1. You feel a need to never give up.

You are not a quitter. You do not give up at the first bump in the road or black cloud. You keep going, you are tenacious. You are indefatigable and you persevere. You plough forwards and feel that it is only right to do this because you know that the just reward will come at the end of it. Anything worth doing is worth doing properly. Anything worth having takes effort. We applaud this desire to stick at things.

 

  1. You feel a need to have done your best

When everything is added up and evaluated, at the end of the day, you want that satisfaction, just for yourself, to know that you did your best and you could have done no more. You always consider whether you could have done something a different way and more effectively. You are self-critical and behave like this in order to fulfil your chosen role as a good person. This obliges you to try and try again.

 

These empathic obligations result in your remaining with us longer, enduring more of our abusive behaviours and forgiving more of what we do than an ordinary person. We know these obligations exist and we exploit them.

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65 thoughts on “The Ten Empathic Obligations”

  1. This kind of makes me feel a bit sick as to how spot on it is. 😷😑😔.

    I am so tired of obsessing about, thinking about, caring about, worrying for my exN.

    Also, I think that I’m doomed to always end up with an N as I can’t resist a bit of bad. 🤔

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      1. Sure, just let me tidy up my credit, get back into shape and rebuild my other relationships real quick so I can give you the best of me!! Just climbing the mountain of recovery after 6 years with my exN. 🤕 Maybe you’re my soulmate?

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  2. 10/10 … Its sad that they have to be exploited. Should not be like this 😢…
    Seems like the ying & yang but one that hurts.
    Excellent description! Excellent description, Excellent read .. No wonder the followers grow and grow.
    El Mejor 💝

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  3. Are these truly the traits of empathy? It is true that dependent on ones state of health, where they are within their self development, their level of self awareness ect ect ect , affects where the narcissist can hook into for the purpose of victimizing. Like the acts of narcissism, the acts of empathy navigate on a spectrum in relation to capacity ( intelligence and development). This is why it is rare ( not impossible) for a malignant narcissist at the top of his spectrum to be able to sustain a relationship with a true empath at the top of the empath spectrum. The combination of the two creates the momentum in the evolution of historical impact and change. The synergistic power in this, is the oldest power in the world. It, is, their only salvation, of which they fear and simultaneously gravitate towards. What many are not able to ascertain is the true meaning of salvation.

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      1. Yes this can and does occur, however in this rare and profoundly rich intimate union both parties, The Empath and The Narcissist, understand it as simplistic

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    1. Some very specific needs will be totally fullfilled in a way that perfectly fits in .
      The extreme need of the Empath to Love and care and the need of the N to take this.
      The way the empath feels through the N all his or her emotions, and the N himself can take all that love and care that the Empath needs to give to maximize the feeling of love. Both will alive by giving amd taking. In addition there are other spects that chain two people at the same place of two opposite sides. the need to be controlled vs the need to control, the need to direct vs the need to be directed. Healing each others childhood wounds at the core of the disorder. Maybe salvation can be seen like a kind of mutual rescue from those extremes….
      What is your view of salvation in this specific case F&R?

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      1. Hello Nikita, hope this finds you well. I would like to point out that an evolved Empath does not feel an extreme need to love or to care, to protect, to heal, the “need” to do any of these indicates co-dependency.
        Most people misunderstand what an Empath is, and we can see these misconceptions displayed throughout this blog, of which include the author. We often see him using the term Super Empath, interestingly he often correlates this with co-dependency. I have never heard of such a term. The great thing is that empathy can be taught, it can be honed and can increase in its levels, which is what an empath does in a very complex set of ways, however you cannot teach someone to be an Empath, they either arrive as one or they do not.
        .

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      2. Hi F&R
        I am very good thanks. Hope you too.
        As I understand from RR, an empath is a high sensitive person. Feeling the enegies of other people. There are empaths and there are people with high empatic traits
        Codependency is then very broad and its mainly somebody whose behaviour is depending on external factors rather than him or herself.
        An empath codependant feels through the person she or he cares about and tries to ” fix” the energies which are being felt as demanding care.
        Not all codependants are empaths and not all empaths are codependants he says.

        So in other words only a codependant empath is always trIng to fix the others and depending on this to feel validated lacks self love and until she or he finds it, he will be involved in finding happiness in giving love and care to others who want to take and take and take.
        A super empath I have never heard neither but I guess HG means somebody who gives and gives in a bigger way than a normal empath.
        I agree you are born an empath.
        So good to read you .

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    2. Hi again F&R

      After doing some meditation this morning and reading a little bit about the N/Cod empath relationship, it did occur to me that just as the empath cam give the praise and adoration to the N through her own self love, that he can also feel this love as he is by himself unable to feel it or build it, i was thinking that in the same way the empath can advance in her own healing she/he cam give to N in a way that he can also feel this healing through the empath as the N is unable to heal his true self. Is this the way out of simplicity and leading to salvation that you mean?

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      1. A co-dependent and narcissist are unlikely to produce a healing environment for one another, as they are often stuck in the same regressed developmental stage. Do some research on Oedipus/Electra complex. With work these can be traversed, and it is my position that in part one can come to understand that there is indeed no wound.

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      2. My mother wanted to name me Oedipus but my father was against it for some reason. Still it’s been a while since we have seen my sister Electra.

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      3. Hi FR

        I heard today that the empath/cod can heal and love her or himself and move on and stop settling for narcissistic relationships and that the narcissist will never be able to love himself and therefor will always have to be on the quest for fuel and relationships whic end up doomed.
        This lack of self love is based on childhood wounds and once this wounds are healed, love will come in abundancy for the empath/cod. I understand the reason for external fuel is because the N cant feel this selflove nor love for others. I do tend to think that like in autistic people there is something on the brain that disables this feeling of love and empathy.
        Agree an N and an codependant cant heal each other.
        According then to todays theory the codependant can heal and grow self love and when staying in a relationship with an N can just give this love in form of admiration and adoratiom and get fullfilled from doing so. The N inspires all these things in the Cod.
        So the more the E/C is healed and has self abundancy the more she can give in terms of love, healing and acceptance.
        So the healing each other does not take place. Nobody fixes the other one.
        The ideal world is the N be the inspiratiom and the C/E the provider creating a mutual symbiosis. Which is different I hope from the taker taker taker theory and the other becoming emptier and emptier.
        It happened to me that when ai was in the middle of growing this self love abudancy after having understood and healed my childhood, that at that very moment I was experiencing very strong feelings for a person and I then when I came across the wise words of RR who said the codependant has to give herself that what she feels and gives others and Ns. It was so clear because in that very moment everything was so intense, so without the need that a therapist helps me find out all this, I had like a self enlightment.

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      4. In regards to the Oedipus/Electra complexes, it is important to use critical thinking when learning of these types of theories. Although there are many errors in Freuds thinking, his theories created a foundation to which gave way to other schools of thought. If we look at this particular theory and understand that in its essence it is speaking of how one is placed in a position to overcome where they have been placed.

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      5. Ohhh F&R
        You will have to excuse me but I still dont understand. What do you mean by overcoming the position where she has been placed?
        Girls do fall in love with men that reminds them theira father and men to their mothers..
        Hope you can Expand and I can slowly get it 😃

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      6. What I just exposed was a mind rework of the theory of RR where he explains how and where it fails but I dont know if this works. I just developed a ” theory”.
        On the other side I did read on Electra and Odipus, but did not manage to make the connectiom to our subject. How does that fact that girls gets attracted to daddy and boys to mami apply that Ns and Cod cant heal each other?

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      7. Because they each place each other in the position of having to overcome the other. The positioning of this is false.

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  4. It’s so ironic to hear you describe these wonderful qualities because, to us, they are so inate we do not think about being these things. And yet, knowing the Narcisst, has given us insight into these exceptional human qualities- some of us realizing only after abuse and exploitation, the gifts we possess.

    It is also interesting how you describe us- never holding back in the positive regard in how you view us. I know you view these as vulnerabilities that enable you to exploit…but sometimes I hear something beyond that…a resigned respect or admiration. is there more or is this just total projection on my part?

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    1. I respect you being able to feel the things I cannot. I respect the way you conduct yourselves but ultimately it is because it serves my needs.

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    2. It is in part the chaotic tension that resides at the core of creativity and self and collective evolution. It is highly intimate. These aspects are an alchemised elixir of natural emotional and intellectual intelligence, which in turn influences the visionary, pioneering, and leadership qualities of the personality; co-creating prolific intimacy, trust and reverence inside its relationship. The narcissist knows this, however insulates this, the Empath has already embodied this.

      It would prove unwise and irresponsible at this juncture to get heavy into this type of discourse as of yet, as HGs is correct in his natural intelligence as being methodical in how he is supporting victims to look at where they are in their own personal journey of healing and self awareness. It is common and normal to want to expedite the healing process, to avoid pain and discomfort; however it is important to be gentle in the unraveling of traumas, which in my observation is courageously occurring here.

      In simple terms, salvation will be experienced with an empath, however it is not an act of giving it to another, it is the act of the empaths ability (which is very complex in its nature ) to choose to offer unwavering loyalty, deep reverence and adoration through tethering herself to the union – as an Empath does not self sacrifice. The traits that are listed here in this post are not traits of an evolved empath, nor are they traits of empathy.

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      1. .-** as an Empath does not self sacrifice, which in turn facilitates the discovery process of one navigating and arriving at their own salvation

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      2. Hi F&R

        Very assertive. Do for one self and offer through tethering to the relationship. Exactly as you say. That is about the way. The empath does the work as she is the only of the two that can do it: get self love and healing and offer to the N, but the N is the inspiration and the force to do this work. Total symbiosis.
        An evolved empath does the same , but gets the imspiratiom in her self and directs these offerings to herself . That is how and empath/codependant becomes an evolved empath and a strongly recovered codependant. 🌷🌷

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      3. I read and reread this a dozen times trying to decipher, to understand what you are saying here. In simple term saying that the empath and her path (when following the guide of this emotional and intellectual intelligence) is LIFE AFFIRMING? And Malignant Narcissism is not? The Empath flows with the River of Life but the Narcissist swims upstream against it? This is why they are never truly compatible?

        Thank you for your amazing insights. I am deeply grateful for the learnings, though admittedly I am a slow student.

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      4. Flower and Rock- do you know the work of Matt Licata? I feel you would highly resonate with his work. Also- I can’t find you on WordPress- your poetic connections blog that I follow…have I missed something?

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  5. All ten commandments; oops, sorry: points hit home! But no. 3, 5, 7 and 9 are just so ridiculously true that again, I wonder whether you are not coming from a place of someone who hast been a used by a narc themselves.

    Could it be that those posts where you are walking in our shoes describe how little HG felt and acted around his narcissistic mother, before he switched to re-programme and take on her projections by becoming a narcissist himself?

    Do you realise that by setting up masks and adopting narcissistic defense mechanisms, you have self-fulfilled your mother’s prophecies, projections and accusations of being ‘bad, not good enough, a deception and deceptive (to her over-exaggerated expectations)?

    Instand of proving her wrong by opposing her nasty, critical voice with your adult true self, you have chosen to become like her? Really?

    But there is hope, because you are gaining more and more awareness through therapy (if that part of your story is true), through introspective (blogging, writing those ebooks) and most of all.through the anonymous interaction with hundreds of empaths on this blog. Another proof that your kind needs us just as much, probably even more than we need you! 😏

    In fact, you have become a full-time professional narc analyzer, LOL! Of course, this did not happen just by chance or accidentally. It was planned from the get-go, right?

    As a narc, it’s all about control. You want to stay in the driver seat. Even when you are selling us – your ‘virtual harem’ the illusion of your healing?

    No offense meant though. We like to be tied up & bonded to you in that way:-)

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    1. The child kills its true self and replaces it by a false self to be able to deal with the pain. This false self only functions through manipulations just like person who was the intellectual and actual author of the death of the true self.. Its not a decision that is made in adulthood.
      Copyright material.

      And in my opinion and as I heard it from someone the behaviour of the N will depend with who he/she sourrounds himself with. People and environmenta that trigger the traits to the top or people and environments that minimize them.

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  6. It looks i am NOT an empath 🤔
    The only thing which really correspondes to me from a description is the last one: i do try to help up to some extend to my friends or even unknown ppl if i see they need it.
    But up to some extend coz only a person itself cam solve their problems, nobody else.
    So my role is to show possible alternatives (sometimes we dont see them coz we dont see the situation from the side)

    But that s all… hajha

    May be i am mot empath at all? 😲😮😨😨

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  7. This is a fascinating topic to me and I’ve been reading the replies and learning as I go. I do think Ns and Es have a symbiotic relationship, although I can’t say that it can ever be truly “healthy.” Functional for both,maybe (especially the narcissist), but healthy, no. Both are getting something they need emotionally however.

    I have actually been nursing a theory about empaths/HSPs (not quite the same thing, but similar–I am not an empath but I am an HSP). I, wrote a post about this theory it a while back (“Are Malignant Narcissists Really HSPs Gone Bad?”–I won’t link to it here because I do not want to steal any of HG’s fuel, lol!) It was a controversial article (though some could see my logic). I can see that the subject matter could raise some eyebrows at least, but hear me out. (I’ll try to keep it short, you can always do a search for the article).

    Narcissism runs on a spectrum, from barely narcissistic (or healthy narcissism, which almost everyone has–if you didn’t you’d be dead) to pathological narcissism all the way up to malignant narcissism/ sociopathy. Most mental health experts and writers about NPD agree that narcissists started life as very, very sensitive children. Not all highly sensitive children become narcissists, of course. Some grow up to be empaths or empathetic but emotionally healthy people who truly love themselves and because they love themselves, can return that love to others.

    Highly sensitive or empathic children who were abused or neglected early in life, emotionally abused by their caregivers also don’t always develop NPD. Some become Borderlines instead, or acquire some other personality disorder or CPTSD (which I think is the same thing as BPD but that’s another subject). These other disorders still allow the growing child some small contact with their true self and their emotions. They don’t become COMPLETELY dissociated from them. Children who go on to develop NPD become completely dissociated from emotions/true self and in extreme cases feel nothing at all, except rage (when threatened) and puffed up with pride and ego (when fuel/supply is abundant).

    Malignant narcissists are narcissists who find it the most difficult to access their true self and their emotions. If they were abused/rejected/denied self-hood as children (which I think all Ns have been), no other defense mechanism besides NPD allows them such thorough protection. Children who go on to develop NPD have no natural emotional defenses at all, which is why such a complete defense mechanism is necessary. Becoming a narcissist isn’t a conscious choice; it happens too early for it to be that. It happens because for these extra-sensitive children, life just hurts so much and the pain is so unbearable that it’s the only way that life can be rendered bearable. Being exposed or having to confront their hurt and pain is so terrifying to a narcissist because they don’t have the natural coping mechanisms to be able to cope with it any other way.

    Just wanted to throw this out here and see what people think. HG, does this resonate with you at all?

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      1. Hi LO.
        yes I have one but I dont want to make it public here so I just created one. @amorestodo73. You can send me a DM there and then I will give you my tweeter account. Look forward 😃

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      2. Hmmm…it’s not coming up. Tell you what, can you just follow me on my Twitter account? You can link to it from my blog page or find me at @orangepeel18

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      3. Hi LO
        was to sleepy and I still had to do lots of steps to set up a profile. Now I have to delete it because I am your new follower 😃.
        Look forward to talk to you 🌷

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    1. Hi!

      You might want to choose another word beside “dissociate” here. Dissociation is a specific technique applied by those with Dissociative Identity Disorder (and less severe forms of dissociative behavior), a maladaptive coping mechanism of child abuse like NPD, yet very unlike it in that it (usually) preserves the core self by creating whole constructs or Alter Personalities to protect that core rather than the pieced together Construct the NPD creates to attract fuel. DIDs require no external fuel b/c the core self remains to create/nurture identity(s).

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      1. Thanks for pointing this out. I know about DID and wasn’t using dissociate in the same sense it is used in someone with that disorder, but I can see that it could be misleading and another word might have been a better choice.

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  8. I wanted to add here, that in no way, shape or form do I think a narcissist can’t be healed–not even a malignant narcissist. Just because they weren’t born with natural emotional coping mechanisms and had to acquire a False Self to cope with life, doesn’t mean these skills can’t be learned. Learning healthy emotional coping skills is basically what Mindfulness is (and is what I have been working on in healing from my BPD). I use DBT skills; but CBT is similar and often used for narcissists and people with other disorders. Part of the problem is that narcissists were never given these tools by their emotionally abusive parents so were never able to internalize them. Being highly sensitive meant that things got to them more than most children–life hurt more.

    If a narcissist can get to the point of allowing themselves to feel their pain–through good psychodynamic therapy (of course this requires both insight into their disorder AND willingness to change) and then learn mindfulness skills through some kind of behavioral therapy like CBT (even DBT has been said to work for some NPD’s) to be able to process these painful feelings and release them (the courage to cry is absolutely necessary to healing), then I think it’s possible a narcissist can become a non-narcissist. Of course, most narcissists are so “comfortable” with their narcissism they have no desire to change, and the false self they present to the world has gotten them all kinds of creature comforts and the admiration of others–BUT I used to be active on an NPD board where there were some diagnosed narcissists who did NOT want to be narcissists–because they felt their lives were empty and hollow, and they wanted to be able to feel–and give–real love. You can’t do that if you’re walking around wearing a mask all the time. Getting to that point is very, very difficult,of course (and is not possible if the willingness isn’t there), but I think the rewards of being able to feel real love for the first time and the freedom of not having to always get fuel from others and to truly love yourself for the first time — I think these things far surpass only having material success or worldly achievements (not that those things aren’t nice too).

    Sorry this was so long, but this is a subject that interests me deeply.

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      1. I get emotional myself when I think about narcissists who heal from their NPD. It can happen, I have seen it happen (not with my own narcs, but a couple I knew from a forum I used to go on) . I pray all the time for their hearts will be opened probably because I know they suffer so much — I don’t know why I have so much empathy for them…maybe it’s because i can identify to some extent . Sam Vaknin says narcs can empathize with other narcs…I don’t think I am one but I do have BPD (although my therapist says I no longer qualify for the dx.)
        Look up this post I wrote called “Letter From a Narcissist’s True Self.” I actually cried while I wrote it.
        Look me up on Twitter and follow me. You can link from my blog page.
        Anyway, I’m glad what I wrote here resonated with you. I don’t get fuel from your shedding tears over it like HG would have, but it does make me feel good, so thank you. <3

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      2. Thankyou Lucky Otter. I am following you now. I am so very happy for you that you recovered from BPD.
        I have also seen major improvements of the NPD of my ex-husband compared to 17 years ago when I met him. Two years ago he started a therapy. Part of it was like you said, go back to a very painful childhood. His mother is an N.
        I am sure major improvements can be reached when they want the change and do something about it.
        I like your blog very much. I saw your pictures of the lake and the snake some days ago. Very nice ☀️. I will look for your posting and let you know.
        Bless you 🙏🏻

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      3. I agree with you, if you want something badly enough you can achieve it. Blogging/writing helped me a lot too. I’m not completely over it. Probably never will be. There are still moments when I slip. But my therapist thinks all I have now is PTSD (which I think is at the heart of the Cluster B PD’s)

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