Grief, The Whole Grief and Nothing But The Grief


Grief. You may think that this is an alien concept to our kind. It is and it is not. On the one hand we do not feel grief but we do understand what it is and what it engenders in other people especially those who are empathic in nature and who have been entangled with us. We have watched with an almost child-like curiosity when you have received news about the passing away of a relative. If this happened during the golden period, you at least received some false empathy in the shape of some fabricated support and understanding to make it look as if we at least cared in some way. If your pet died during the devaluation, a long-loved pet, then we will have watched your display of sadness, longing and grief with contempt and jealousy. We would not have supported you but instead said something to provoke you such as,

“I don’t know why you are so upset, it’s just a dog.”

So that you focused on us again rather than wallow in your own grief. We have witnessed grief in others, observed and learnt how it is displayed. We have listened (when it served a purpose for us) during the golden period as to how it makes you feel and stored all of this information away. We do not feel grief. We may exhibit is for the sake of appearances if this will garner fuel for us and to preserve the façade, but it is never felt. You however experience grief in an intense fashion, given your capacity to feel and to empathise. We have seen your grief over a deceased relative, a friend taken suddenly and violently in a car crash, the celebrity who you adored who has passed away after a long battle against illness. We know just how capable you are of grief and we know that not only does it have the potential to be a potent source of fuel but we recognise its paralytic effect on you. Grief takes a hold and has the capacity to prevent you from functioning effectively. Not only that, its paralysis is such that it can prevent you from escaping this state of grief, keeping you locked-in a grieving mode, unable to move forward. Grief is an intense emotion. We have seen this. From the wailing cries of a parent being told that their child’s body has been found after they have disappeared to the dignified grief of a war veteran stood in silence with a single tear trickling down his or her cheek as they pay tribute to their fallen comrades. Whether noise or silence accompanies this grief it remains a powerful emotion and naturally one that our kind is keen to draw on for the purposes of extracting fuel. We see grief as serving two functions. Keeping you in a state of paralysis and therefore it follows that you will keep pumping out potent negative fuel for us to extract.

Now, I am not suggesting that I will embark on some kind of killing spree slaughtering your pets, taking down your favourite celebrities and murdering your friends and family, in order to create this repeated state of grief. Whilst one might see certain attractions in doing so, the effort involved and moreover the considerable downsides to such a course of action mean that it is not one that we would embark on. No, instead there is an alternative way of looking to create an enduring state of grief on your part. We want you to grieve for us.

This does not involve us taking our own lives. We rarely commit such an act. We will threaten it, certainly, as part of a hoover, but we regard the world as needing us and therefore we will extremely rarely commit suicide. We will however cause you to grieve for us and we do this when we eventually discard you after a harsh devaluation. When this discard takes place we will leave you with three losses over which you will grieve. Your grief will be prolonged because there are three losses and thus this maximises not only the prospect of paralysis but also a longer period of the provision of potent fuel.

The first loss is the loss of who you thought we were. You were seduced and swept off your feet by this charming individual who mirrored everything you liked and disliked. We ticked all the boxes, we professed to be your soulmate, we gave you a perfect love, made every day special and had you excited to see us and hear from us. We created such a wonderful start to the relationship, unlike anything that you had experienced before. We understood you, we cared, we showed you such passion, we listened and engaged in those things which you always wanted to share with someone else. We wrapped ourselves around you, permeated your very core and entwined our lives so that you were never happier and you could never comprehend a time when such delicious rapture would end. But it did and how.

The loss of something so brilliant and splendid hurts you and feels like you have suffered a bereavement so intense and painful is the experience. Even though you hear the words that it was an illusion, that none of it was real and that you need to let go, it is still so hard to accept all of that and you miss us. Oh how you miss us. You miss that wonderful person we were at the beginning and you want that person back. No matter how many times you are told that he or she was just a creation, that it was an illusion designed to fool you and that we never loved you and never meant or felt anything we said to you, it is still incredibly hard to accept. Just like someone who cannot accept that someone who has died will not walk through the door at any minute, you cannot accept for a considerable time that the person you thought we were has gone. We know what you will be thinking (because we have caused you to think and feel this way) and although we may not always see your grief-ridden response to our absence we know what you will be thinking and feeling and this fuels us. Even greater is the fuel from your messages telling us you miss us, that you want the “old me” back and begging for another chance. Your grief for loss of the person that you thought we were, is both huge and prolonged.

The second loss that you sustain and grieve for is the loss of the potential that we showed to you. There was no doubting that we were brilliant at our job. You saw the plaudits and you felt the benefit, for a time, of the accompanying pay cheque. You saw the trophies amassed for our various achievements in different fields and you heard other people speak so highly of our accomplishments. The compassion, kindness and love that we showed to you and to others (although false) still causes you to think that somewhere we are truly capable of this goodness, if only we would harness it and let it be free. You have witnessed two things. The reality of our drive to be the best and the accompanying good that such drive and ambition brings – a surgeon saving lives, a scientist inventing cures, an entrepreneur creating wealth and jobs, a policeman making the neighbourhood safer, a teacher educating so many people to a high degree – means that our rampant desire to be the best has the considerable potential to actually do good for others. You also saw something in terms of the way that we treated you and as an empathic individual you still believe that this goodness can be freed and used to both our benefits so that we are both happy together. You came to regard us as a wounded and hurt person and in conjunction with your innate desire to heal and fix, you felt that if you could heal us then the mutual benefits would be amazing. There was so much potential waiting to be unlocked and utilised and now with our departure and your discard, that potential has been lost. You grieve this loss of opportunity and how things might have turned out oh so different. You want to turn back the clock, do things differently and the inability to do so causes you considerable grief and pain.

The third area of grief which you sustain from coupling with us is not grieving over us, but it stems from being with us and that is grieving the loss of your identity. Before we came along you were happy, independent, strong, bright, well-liked by family, friends and colleagues. You had many interests and you enjoyed life. Yes, there were flaws and vulnerabilities but you handled them as best you could as you forged a path through life knowing who you were. Then we came along.

We subsumed you into us. We eradicated your characteristics as we either stole them for our own construct to show the world or we eroded them through the steady application of our vicious manipulations. Your confidence evaporated, your self-esteem disappeared and your self-worth plummeted. You became steadily isolated, losing friends, neglecting your interests and even become distant with family. You allowed yourself to be fully consumed by us. It was entirely understandable how this happened because we wanted it to happen and we acted in a manner to cause it to happen, but nevertheless your loss of identity was a steady and insidious consequence of the grip we held over you. Now, as you sit alone, ruminating on what once was, grieving the loss of who you thought we were, the loss of the potential, you are also hit by the loss of who you were. You no longer recognise that face which stares emptily at you in the mirror each morning. The world is grey and drab, music sounds harsh and grating, conversations irritate and make you fearful, even your favourite foods taste like ash in your mouth. You have lost yourself and the sense of foolishness from allowing this to happen and the grief arising from such a loss is substantial.

This triumvirate of grief arising from entangling with us provides us with substantial fuel and we know that burdened by not just one or two, but three forms of grief, it will take you a long time, if ever, to escape the effects.

85 thoughts on “Grief, The Whole Grief and Nothing But The Grief

  1. ava101 says:

    HG, have you ever wondered if your mother was behaving at family gatherings as she does, to actually avoid too much closeness, getting too cosy with family? Because she might otherwise have to show real concern/interest and have real, deep conversations? Just asking because I’m thinking about my mother’s crazy behavior today.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, she has no capacity to show real concern therefore she has no need to feel that she may have to do so.

      1. ava101 says:

        Thank you. So when my mother keeps busying herself in the kitchen when I visit her or starts scrubbing my bathtub 10 minutes after arrival in my own apartment, it’s a kind of victim strategy, passive aggressiveness in a way? She also went from room to room downputting whatever she lay her eyes on; actually starting with my car after ordering me as her taxi to pick her up. Never mind the wooden floors, real fire place, etc. So at the end of the day, I grieved once again for the supporting mother I never had. Did you ever?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          No I have not done so Ava101.

  2. superxena says:

    Hello numb and NarcAngel!

    yes..the validation of the hell/abuse you have been going through is very difficult to get because :

    1. People might HEAR what you tell them about the abuse, but they do not GRASP IT ( I think just the ones that have been abused by a narc can grasp it…if they are aware themselves)

    2.Or people sometimes even BLAME the “victim” for having been abused or staying with the narc. They have NO IDEA about the “why “and “how”. It is even seen “shameful “!!!!

    I am not expecting validation from people that are strangers to me. But getting understanding from the persons that are near me has helped me a lot in the healing process.

    I have actually shared HG’s site and books with several people ..not just my near ones. They might not “grasp” the dynamics completely but the curiosity of reading what happened to me and why of great support to me.

    This is one the many reasons I find HG’s work through this site and his books…VERY VALUABLE!

    It is FAR more complicated ….and it is certainly deeper than ” just” the narc being a “bastard”.!!

  3. C6H12O6 says:

    It wasn’t just these for me. I grieved for these things, but it was also as if he had reached into me and tapped into ALL of my old trauma, abandonment, all those deepest wounds and losses… all at once, in addition to the pain he caused. Then just watched me wail and writhe in torment.

    I’ve never felt anything like it. It didn’t just crush me, it left me nearly catatonic. but somewhere along the way I made the connection that he reminded me of my dad. That was the first little spark of realization that got me thinking and googling.

    I think the dissonance still gets me. Or was it trauma bonding? Because despite all that, something flipped and he started becoming… Big. Sorry HG I’m not gonna wax poetic about another narc on your blog. I’m trying to describe the resulting mindset which I’m sure you know more about than I do.

    I’m sure I am in the minority here. I’ve never felt like that or experienced that in any other relationship either. I hesitate even mentioning it but I’m curious to know if anyone else got these godlike views of their narc as well and how they overcame it.

    1. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

      The Witches of Eastwick.

      That’s what They do isn’t it. Tap into our darkest fears feigning sympathy and understanding at first, then use them to raze us to the ground at the end.

      I watched that film years before my Ex was even a glint in my eye, and enjoyed it simply for what it was. Because I was fortunate to not know anything more sinister than that. It popped into my head relating to your post C6 and I now see it in a different light.

      Same with Girl on a Train – a good thriller to some, an expo of psychological abuse to me; the song Heathens by 21 Pilots – a decent track to some, an insight into Sociopathy to me; Sam Smith’s song I’m not the Only One – an ode to familiar heartache to some but to me he’s been stung badly by a narcissist and lays it out for all to hear.

      We see things so differently after an abusive relationship don’t we. Personally speaking I feel I’ve seen too much. My innocence has gone.

    2. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

      Also C6, if I read your post correctly, yes I can relate to the trauma bond you suffer from. Stockholm Syndrome. Mine was twisted enough to labour the point on occasion in general conversation with me when I didn’t even know what he was getting at. I do now though.

      It’s the crumbs HG talks of. So grateful for crumbs of kindness from your abuser that you eagerly and hopefully woolf them down, like a dog grateful for their owners attention. Post discard I got mine. I took them, not gratefully but still took them knowing it was wrong but they gave me comfort. Sick isn’t it.

      For what it’s worth, the realisation of what he is and how he operates, educating myself on it, along with not beating myself up at all for falling for it, plus good old fashioned time – that is what is helping me.

  4. wompus says:

    “One of the hardest things you will ever have to do is grieve the loss of someone who is still alive.” So very true.

    1. Gabrielle says:

      I posted this very same picture on my social media many months ago. Last week I combed through my posts and took it down along with many others now that I realized I was inadvertently fueling him. But yes….that quote is so very true!

  5. superxena says:

    *Typo* hindrance as in obstacle instead of ” hinder”

  6. bernstar says:

    also… i don’t like to think of anyone as a lost cause. just because something has never been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t ever be done. narcissism is a relatively new study and i will hold out hope for a treatment. or solution.

  7. bernstar says:

    as an empath, and i identify with the magnet…, it’s enough to feel what everyone else is feeling without having to examine what I’m feeling, too. ive been programmed to keep my feelings to myself. that doesn’t mean i don’t feel them. i just don’t readily communicate them. it is not necessary for anyone to be burdened with my emotions, i deal with them and process them myself. quickly, efficiently, and most of all quietly. it is my nature to feel others emotions, and to be singled out by those who need to unburden themselves. i can’t change or block it. i don’t want to. we all get validation somewhere, somehow, and this is mine.

  8. Gabrielle says:

    I have a question….regarding when you say the following…

    “You came to regard us as a wounded and hurt person and in conjunction with your innate desire to heal and fix, you felt that if you could heal us then the mutual benefits would be amazing.”

    I had this very same paragraph twisted around and hurled at me during a phone conversation many months ago while I was being “discarded”. I questioned why. Why pursue me only to tell me that it could not continue. He then said, “I have always felt that I have a tendency to attract broken people, people who need fixing. People like YOU, Gabrielle. It all makes sense to me now. I thought I could fix you but I can’t. I cannot give you what you need.”

    Yet everything I read has this spinning opposite. We are the ones who keep trying to give YOU what you need. And we can’t because you keep discarding us and going elsewhere. Why the hell would he say this to ME? Everything I have read of yours thus far classifies him as a middle mid-range. And again I believe you have stated that they do not know what they are. Is that why he says this crap? Because he does not know what he is?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Makes him appear like a white knight, maintains the blame on you by blame-shifting (he is not to blame, you are beyond help so it is your fault).

      1. Gabrielle says:

        I believe I asked a similar question in my first email consult with you which you elaborated on in greater detail. Thank you again for that.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome Gabrielle.

      2. Gabrielle says:

        I also forgot to add the way he twisted it all around and said it back to me…that it wasn’t delivered in a rude or mean tone at all it was actually said so politely and sweet. Just like a fake white knight would act. But that’s just his “personality” of always being the “nice guy”. Mister Church, the good Christian. So nice and polite to everyone. But his “fury” still exists. I’ve never really seen it firsthand but I’m sure his wife does as many people have indicated here. A continued Blessing in disguise that I’m 13 hours away I suppose .

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Thank you for clarifying. It was very much the case then that he was appearing as a white knight and the blame-shifting remained, albeit not in an aggressive manner.

          1. Gabrielle says:

            Yep. That is/was his usual way of delivery. Sweet, polite and nice. Never aggressive. He used to say aggressive things surely but they were always delivered in the most caring and sweet tone of voice. Seeing as how I was not IPPS and did not live with him, I continue to wish I was a “fly on the wall” to see how he must treat his wife.

    2. windstorm2 says:

      Gabrielle, my German narc did the same. In the beginning he even said he was a knight on a white horse. He declared he could fix my depressions “with his pure essence.” To me this was always ridiculous. I have bipolar disorder and tried to explain what this is to him. After I broke off our attempt at a relationship, he declared that I was just too broken and crazy and he was unable to fix me. There was no point in trying anymore. I agreed and told him obviously he was just not good enough. After all he couldn’t even fix his own narcissistic personality disorder. From then on his name in my contacts was ‘Pas Assez Bien’ – not good enough.

  9. numb says:

    Very true superena. Not only is the abuse virtually invisible, the victim is typically to blame for focusing all their attention on the Narc and ignoring their family and friends. When you try to explain what the narcissist was and the abuse they inflicted, you’re met with… Yes he was an arrogant, selfish bastard. We all tried to tell you to leave him long ago.
    If someone hasn’t lived this type of abuse, or been properly educated on NPD (herein lies the problem) they are clueless!!

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Do you men the abuse was invisible to the victim? Because if you were met with “he was an arrogant selfish bastard. We ALL tried to tell you to leave him long ago”, his behaviour apparently wasnt invisible to everyone.

      1. numb says:

        Others, unaware of the full extent of the abuse we suffer, only understand what the majority of the world recognizes a Narcissist to be… Arrogant, selfish bastards. As we all very well know, this definition doesn’t even scratch the surface. That was the point I was trying to make. People hear narcissist or narcissistic abuse and think just that, they have no idea what it truly entails.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          I do understand your point. The one Im making is that no, they do not understand the full extent, and that is because they have identified the LIMIT as to what they would accept to a person being, is an arrogant selfish bastard. They cannot conceive that you would actually endure MORE than that and stay committed. That is because if they are pointing it out to you, they are most likely healthy and understand boundaries, so it is beyond their scope. They do not have a name for it. All they know is that they identified it as unhealthy, they pointed this out to you, and yet you continued on with the abuser while as you say, “ignoring family and friends”. Then, if and when you break free and try to educate others as to what has happened to you, they wonder why they should listen to you and understand, when they tried to intervene long before and it fell on deaf ears. Its easy to be angry at others for not understanding but that is a two way street. Hopefully with continued education on the subject, people will not only be able to identify it, but offer help or intervene in a way that the victim can more easily accept than just offering criticism. And maybe, just maybe people who find themselves entangled will be open to the fact that people are not trying to be hurtful, but directing their attention to the fact that something is wrong before the tentacles are so tightly wrapped.

          1. windstorm2 says:

            I completely agree. Very good explanation. They see a selfish jerk and have no understanding of why we don’t just walk away. When we then try to talk things thru with them, they have shock but little sympathy and less understanding. They soon make it clear they’re tired of hearing about our hurt and confusion and get irritated if we keep bringing it up – and we NEED to bring it up, because we’re so desperate to make sense of what’s happening. I believe it frustrates them to hear about it because people don’t like to keep hearing about problems they don’t understand. And for us it’s just extra pain to have your friends cut you off when you need your friends the most.

          2. NarcAngel says:

            Yes. That is why it is important to come here and be amongst people who know and understand, until you begin to heal and the outside world catches up.

    2. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

      I am still quite new here but (HG perhaps you can you clarify….) am I right in thinking that it depends on the type of narc as to whether anyone in the victim’s circle will have seen him/her as an “arrogant selfish bastard”?

      Mine was as undercover as they come. He played the charmer so well externally, whilst killing me slowly with the cycle of anxiety/relief behind closed doors, that NO-ONE thought of him like that. Not even me. Hence I stayed with him for so long and kept believing his cover-up lies, fake apologies and promises to change.

      His Mindfuckery was so well-honed, so calculated, so disgustingly perfect, that I didn’t even know everything was wrong until after he’d gone.

      Although i certainly didn’t have this opinion at the time, months on I am now thankful every day that the woman he left me and my family for came along and thought little enough of herself to drop her pants for a married man, as she brought me my escape route.

  10. superxena says:

    HG! I totally agree with your description of the different griefs we go through . You couldn’t have described it better!

    I will add though one more grief we have to endure in all this aftermath :

    The GRIEF of NO VALIDATION of have been abused. I don’t mean validation from the narc( that will never happen of course) I mean validation from people surrounding the one that was abused. This is specially the case of those who have been mainly submitted to psychological abuse. There is no tangible testimony of the abuse ( as with physical abuse) so the understanding of this abuse is lower or non existent sometimes. That validation is VERY IMPORTANT for the healing process…As for my experience, this validation has been CRUCIAL for my healing process..

    1. windstorm2 says:

      Yes! This lack of validation of psychological abuse is SO hard to deal with. In my family they do not believe that emotional or psychological abuse exists. Denying it is a way to excuse the narcissists and their behavior and pretend that everything is normal. Whenever I complained about my mothers behavior being abusive, I was ridiculed by my aunts and uncles and told I was just weak and whiny. I was the problem. Everyone closed ranks to pretend there was nothing wrong. That is so debilitating for the victims -particularly when they are children. I think it’s often this lack of validation from those around us that does the most warping and lasting damage to those growing up with narcs. It undermines our sense of self-worth and keeps us doubting our own judgement.

      1. superxena says:

        Hello Windstorm (and numb)

        I agree with you.This lack of validation is an important factor that contributes keeping the abused trapped . But unfortunately most of those who are abused :
        a) do not understand that they are being abused. Specially in the case of children.
        b)or ( as an adult) they have completely lost their ” normal” frames of reference.

        I was referring mainly to the lack of validation after being in an abusive relationship.In the process of healing .
        This grief of not being understood and validated by others( of why and how were they abused) is a hinder for the healing process.

  11. Why says:

    How is it that you can also understand our kind so well? All that you have written are exactly my grief, everything that I am still feeling, almost 3 months after being discarded. And we were only physically together for 3 months. No one else can comprehend my sorrow. More than anything, I grieve the loss of my identity. Like a large piece of me have been snatched away. Will I ever get them back? To feel truly at peace again? I feel tainted…is there a way to turn myself into a narcissist? I don’t know why you would go through therapy. You seem to be in a much better position than the rest of us.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Awareness, observation and consideration, Why.

  12. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

    Do you have an interest in internal refraction HG?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Do you mean total internal reflection?

      1. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

        I meant what I asked but it is known as that also, yes.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I am not a keen student of physics.

          1. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

            I didn’t ask if you were….

            The number 7 features regularly. Is it just coincidence or does it have some potence for you?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            I was pointing out that the subject matter you raised is part of physics and that is not a subject I am a keen student of (nor relevant here). The number 7 is just that.

          3. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:


            It was relevant to me in as much as my ex mentioned it from time to time in relation to rainbows/prisms etc and was most earnest in me “hearing” (not just listening to) his lesson about it. With hindsight now, it strikes me as another one of his tells.

            In his delightful parting performance he told me I was “one of seven” so seeing the number linked several times to your posts brought it to the forefront of my mind.

            Part of my healing process is realising the blurred lines that his considerable psychological abuse has left me with. Everything could be followed up with “or is it?” I’m sufficiently down the line of recovery now for this to no longer upset me – instead I find it fascinating and enlightening.

            Also linking to another of my replies it was reminiscent of the universal language that seems to exist – from my experience anyway – amongst your kind. Is there another of your posts you could direct me to on that subject? I may well have missed it….

  13. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

    I have been avidly reading all over your blog since discovering it….hadn’t uncovered that info though. Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No problem, there is a lot to cover.

      1. Iseethroughyou says:

        How are you doing with your new books? Defender and Work??? I’m patiently waiting….
        I need a little revision…

        1. HG Tudor says:

          They are coming along ISTY.

  14. Mona says:

    Thank God, that you are not of this kind, HG:

    Please watch it

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Most interesting. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Mona says:

        Hello NarcAngel, thank you. It is a lot to think about.

  15. Mona says:

    Bernstar, I do not believe that we cannot change. I think, at first we need awareness about ourselves. That is the first point. We have to know it and recognise it intellectually, the next point will be to feel it and to integrate it into our construct of love/ self/ and reality. When you change your view, you start to change yourself.
    I know I have changed a lot in the last three years. It is not enough, but I am on my way. It is a very hard way to go, but it is worth.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You can change in terms of awareness, expectation and managing responses to defend yourself more effectively but you cannot rid yourself of your empathic nature.

      1. Mona says:

        I do not want to, I am not a Sociopath. Even narcissists can have some small empathic traits. But you have to put their nose right on it. And they are able to feel sadness, joy, happiness and whatever there is also..A Sociopath has a full lack of empathy and other feelings (as you describe). And you know best, that I can lower my empathy down to a degree that others say they would prefer to cuddle with a series killer than to be with me. What a great compliment. .

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Youve misquoted me. I said your posts (on that thread) made me want to cuddle with serial killers for some warmth. It did not say rather than be with you. Big difference. It just indicates you served the message cold-nothing else. Im very direct if nothing else so theres no need to read into things.

      2. Free Bird says:

        This reminds me of the meme of the woman by the train tracks, with the tornado in th background entitled, “You will always attract us.”. I have found that statement to be powerful and true. At least I can recognize narcs more quickly now, but usually not until the damage is done. Thank you for continuing to arm us with your insider knowledge HG.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome FB.

      3. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

        NarcAngel – I’m free on both counts. I have four children under 10.

        HG – with all due respect, is there a reason that you don’t answer the questions I ask of you? You have said that my posts were held in moderation because they had questions and/or required your thinking, yet they’ve since appeared with no response from you alongside others that do. You suggested I take a personal consultation in response to one but I didn’t take that to mean you wouldn’t respond to me publicly at all.

        “HG what are your thoughts on narcissism/sociopathy being born/created? In general I mean, not just your own personal situation.”

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I have answered this repeatedly previously hence that is why an answer was not provided. I thought you might read around to find out, nevertheless, the short version is this – I am of the view that there is a genetic predisposition which is then ‘unlocked’ by the application of particular behaviours towards the individual. The combination of these two elements results in the creation of our kind.

    2. Free Bird says:

      Mona, I’ve come to recognize that part of the difficulty derives from our upbringing and family of origin (FOO.). When peeling the onion layers many of us will discover we had a narcissistc or psychopathic parent. We grew up trying to earn their love by (fill in blank here)…but it never seemed to be good enough. I can only speak for myself, but we probably have a warped view of what true love is from watching our parent’s interactions. Romanticized Disney movies, The Notebook, etc., don’t help either. But someday our prince will come, or maybe just another nightmare. :'(. Sorry to rant, I am in the peculiar position of being hoovered, haven’t seen the narc in over 6 months, but am going to see him this weekend. Hoping something will have changed, but I know it hasn’t. Hopeless eternal empath.

      1. Mona says:

        Free Bird, it takes time to change, a lot of time and a lot of awareness. I do not know why but I do not find my narc attractive any more. I think it was only the similarity to my own family that made him attractive for me. As described my mother is a highly manipulative narcissistic person, but my narc is a sociopath too. That is a huge difference. He has had in parts a similar history like HG and I believe that that caused his inability to feel any empathy or sadness or real happiness. We can change because we reflect our belief/our history and our behaviour. They cannot because they have no capability to reflect their own thinking or in the case of HG and others they deny to do it, because it is so functional . There is always an empath somewhere to exploit and to manipulate. Of course there are others reasons too. We can change to a certain degree. Look at your upbringing. Look at each event that hurt you in the past. Look at your beliefs. Are they useful to be happy or not? Consider each word, each belief. Look at your family dynamic with different eyes. And watch what HG writes. It is the cold, hard truth. Stop your own exploitation before too much damage is done. (Easily said, I know) Do not let your family dynamics / your upbringing win and dominate about your life for eternal.

        1. Free Bird says:

          Thabk you for your thoughtful reply Mona. This is my third narc relationship that I am aware of. I have always been a jerk magnet and don’t know how to change that. I had taken myself out of the game after #2, then #3 swooped in from nowhere when I had my guard down. I struggle witht the head (logic) vs. heart battle. Fortunately N#3 lives in another state and will just be in town for the weekend. I’ss survive. Blessings to you.

  16. Mona says:

    Hallo HG, although I said, I would go now, I changed my mind. This blog is so interesting!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      But of course it is.

  17. Mona says:

    Hallo Bernstar, your comment is quite interesting. I agree to you, that this feeling to be needed is one of the reasons that we connect with a narcissist. And of course, he abuses them. I do not think/believe that this is a natural feeling that we have. I believe it is created (I can talk only about my experience/childhood). I remember the day when I was sent to my grandparents and told by my mother, she would come back in a few days. I was about four years old. She did not come back for about six weeks. I felt so much abandoned. After three weeks or so I decided to look for other parents and I accepted my grandfather and my grandmother as parents. After six weeks she came back and was offended that I did not listen to her or obeyed her anymore. She has had the entitlement, that I had to love her at once again, because she was my mother. I had no choice. I had to go back with her.
    When I asked her as a little child, if she loved me, she always said: “Of course, because you do this or that for me.” She never said: “I love you, because you are my child.” It was always connected with some conditions, I had to fulfill. And so, if someones asks me to do something for him and tells me that he likes me, I react like a little child. That was what I was told, what love is. To do something for someone else and to prostitute myself for some lovely words and crumbles of attention towards my needs. Additionally told in a very subtle way, no one else besides her would love me and a father, who seemed to be not interested in me, although he was there each day, influenced my view of “love.” That “education” garnished with the adage : “What you will do for others, will come back to you in the same way.” and you create a so called empath. And when you have to solve the problems of adults as a child and they say to you : “I love you.” you are right on your way to find a narcissist attractive. It took me a long time to find out. I know there is much more, what creates our choice for a narcissist, I am still on my journey to find out.
    Narcissists are needy, although they tell the opposite.They need more, more, more and give only crumbles. They have the entitlement that we have to make them happy or satisfied or whatever.
    Sorry HG, you do not feel happiness, my mother is able to feel that. She is no sociopath. She is only a person with strong narcissistic traits and a lowered empathy for other people.

  18. bernstar says:

    narcissists don’t or can’t change. ok.
    but in my opinion, neither does the empath. much like the narcissist who hones in on us, i realize that your kind is the only kind I’m attracted to. not for that fake love i see right through. i know the difference between love and hate, you can’t fool me. but to an empath, love does not compare to being NEEDED. and This is why we stay. not because you fooled me with fake love, but because you NEED me. even if it’s for fuel… you need me. desperately. and i need to be needed. this is not something you can hide from us. sometimes, hg, i think you either forget what being empathic means or can’t grasp it. we feel what you feel. rage. hurt. rage. hate. and we feel, and therefore know, that somewhere inside us, together, there’s an answer. a solution. hence the hoover.
    in short, empaths don’t and can’t change who we target either. we can wise up enough to stay away and maybe enough to find someone who doesn’t need us so much, but…
    me… i would rather stay alone.

  19. NarcAngel says:

    The name seems obvious but are you physically free or do you mean just aware and free of the illusion? How old are your children?

  20. MLA - Clarece says:

    In your chapter, “Crocodile Fears”, from Elated and Eroded, you write that you cannot feel grief. You cannot feel sadness. You are struck with woe. It allows you to muster up the masterpiece performance to cry the waterworks.
    How does woe differ from sadness from your perspective?
    Also, if Lessers and Mid-Rangers do not know what they are, they themselves will think they are experiencing grief. Their IP will think they are witnessing someone grief-stricken. Neither side will ever know it’s an illusion.
    I had a very surreal experience with my ex-husband today. A conversation the night before about a hypothetical situation involving our daughter turned into a call first thing this morning outlining his anxiety and loss of sleep over this and then THREATENING for the first time ever that if I did this he would take me to court to fight me tooth and nail so he doesn’t lose his daughter and he would get a second mortgage to keep spending money to make sure he stops me.
    You know what I said the night before? I’m going to a retirement dinner for an old work friend at a former employer in Chicago 2 hours away next week. They have 2 openings, one being my former job. In passing I said, “wouldn’t it be something if I could get my old job back with them, but then I’d have to move back up there and I hate to pull our daughter from her school now. ”
    That’s it. Simply stating a coincidence.
    This was nothing to get worked up about. I stayed very calm but he kept saying over and over, promise me you aren’t leaving and taking my daughter from me. My children are everything to me.
    It was such a production. At one point during the conversation I was reminded of “my emotional abuse” to him at the end of our marriage. He has no clue what he is and was completely convinced of his convictions.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      He has no clue what he is?
      I did not realize your ex was a Narc. I had only read about JN. Do you think he was all theatre because someone was listening in on his end? It sounds like it if he kept repeating promise you arent taking my daughter from me. Of course that would sound like the worlds greatest father on the other end.

      1. MLA - Clarece says:

        You and me both NA. JN was solely what broke me down in 2015 and landed me here. You may have noticed in the last 7 months or so, I will comment that something written about triggers me that I actually may have spent my whole adult life married to one too and I start to feel physically sick. I think you may have been the one who replied back once saying no wonder I was primed and ready for JN.
        I’m still on the fence to what degree my ex husband may be. It could be he is higher on the narcissistic spectrum.
        He was driving to work on his cell when he made the call to me the other day. I figured he’ll want to give whatever spin he wants to his new wife since she didn’t overhear the conversation.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Ah yes, I do remember saying something to that effect now that you mention it, about being ready when JN came along. Oh! About the proposal after the fight I think. I remembered about your husband, just not that you suspected him of being an N. Its funny though-now that we know what we do, I think more things come to the fore that seemed strange but we dismissed them. I find myself going over many incidences now and being able to see what likely caused it and everyones role in it. It sounds that you are finding that too as Im sure are all reading. I do hope HG was easy on Rachael today if he was at dinner and didnt bring up about the time her bunny got out of the hutch lol (still very suspect). Happy Easter to you and your daughter with the hope for much indulgence of chocolate for both of you.

          1. MLA - Clarece says:

            I know, right! If HG goes easy on Rachel and doesn’t tease her that her Easter dress is so 2014, she’ll probably cry happy tears!
            As far as my ex husband goes, I just know I’m reacting to him more in the way I started treating JN, in that I show less emotion mainly just to conserve energy. There has been a definite hostile undercurrent developing with him. I didn’t set out to act that way, it just seemed applicable. But I sense him bristling when I do it. We’ve had 3 blowups in the last month whereas we’ve had maybe 1-2 per year since the divorce.
            Hope you had a very Happy Easter too!

  21. MLA - Clarece says:

    Does the level of grief you wager one is feeling over your discard factor in with your Hoover criteria? Meaning, you say you want us grieving for you because it leads to potent fuel. So it would seem you will be curious eventually to see how wrecked we are or if we are.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thus would factor in as knowing how potent your fuel was and is likely to be alongwith how easy it will be to contact you (if you are grieving and wanting us back, then there will be little to no resistance).

  22. voicebening says:

    I’m curious as to how the narcissist knows so well what will instill grief, and make it well up like it was all new again, even after so much time.

    My narcissist just hoovered me after a year of silence. He e-mailed me today to say that the baby he forced me to abort missed me from heaven (it’s the two year anniversary of the abortion). I was his mistress for 4 years and 1 year ago had to flee the country because he had essentially destroyed my life and career (he is a high-powered politician with lots of influence).

    The grief just flooded back when I received his e-mail. I didn’t write back, and I can’t understand what this hoover is meant to supply for him.

    Thanks for sharing so much, HG.

  23. Iamfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

    Yep. Dire.

    And recovery pretty much mirrors the key stages of grieving the death of a loved one; shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, seeking solutions, acceptance. Trying not to beat yourself up about feeling any of those things along the way is hard but, I found, crucial. You have to let it be, roll with the punches and keep getting back again. If you have enough in you to claw yourself back into the real world.

    The horrific thing for me as a parent is to realise how hard it was as an adult to get my head around the fallout, but for my young children? How do they reconcile being dropped like a stone by the one person they never thought would do such a thing. Not to mention the Mindfuckery dished out to them via his upbringing before during and after The Great Reveal.

    Showing them how to be happy (when you’re capable of doing so, if ever) teaching them about healthy boundaries, never bad mouthing the abusive parent, keeping it real yet remaining strong, one loving and sane parent is all they need etc is all well and good but their recovery is still going to be waaaay longer than mine.

    And then there’s the nagging worry of one apple not having fallen far from the tree. My experience leads me to think (hope) any behaviours I can see in my son that concern me, result from how I saw (and didn’t see) my abusive ex treating him, rather than it being an inherent trait, so can hopefully be arrested.

    HG – what are your thoughts on narcissism/sociopathy being born or created? In general I mean, not just your own personal situation.

    1. NarcAngel says:

      I asked because I was the eldest of 4 in a home controlled by an extremely violent narc and an emotionally vacant and unavailable mother. Two of us his natural children and two not. We ended up all different. You would likely benefit from a consultation because a lot of questions are going to lead to others and HG can tell you what is effective in dealing with your Ex. I can only speak from the childs point of view. I also wanted to say thank you for removing your children from that environment. Their recovery (and yours) may be long but it at least is now possible due to that one single loving act. Had my mother done that I believe all of our lives would be very different today.

      1. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:

        Hi NarcAngel

        Thank you for replying to my comment and for sharing that information. I’m sorry you had the experience you had….Sorry any of us have.

        My children being in the equation has made it all the more loaded – I’ve read so many comments here and on other blogs about how hard others without children have found it to recover and I couldn’t help but think how much easier it would be if I hadn’t had children with mine! It seemed an almost desirable situation! And I stress here that I am not minimising those individuals experiences at all, just how much easier it seemed in comparison to the quagmire I was/am in.

        Thank you also for what you said about removing them from the situation. Although it wasn’t really my decision – he dropped them along with me, albeit after going through the motions for a while – presumably until my replacement had been fully tested and embedded.

        I am thinking on a consultation but have had no contact for months now and am hoping my appearance as grey and rock-like will be enough to maintain that.

        I have no doubt that he will rear his head again one day but am so much stronger now and hope that the work I’ve put in with the children so far will arm them, or at least give them a fighting chance, when he does.

        What worries me most is the subconscious effect this will have had on them. No matter how well I, or our friends and family, model what love looks like, they still have the experience of (in very basic terms): daddy dropped me, I obviously wasn’t good enough, I must be bad.

        Does this sentiment resonate with you NarcAngel? If you don’t mind me asking, what age roughly were you when you left that environment?

        1. NarcAngel says:

          My mother met Stepnarc when I was 5 yrs old (I am 55 at present). I did not leave until I married just 10 days into my 19 year. I stayed to protect the other children The reason she gave for not leaving was that we would have no place to go (she had no family whatsoever). So I married with the plan that they would then come to live with me but thats when I found she had no intention of leaving. That was worse for me not being there to monitor but I did everything I could. She finally left after the last child could no longer stay to protect her but StepNarc controlled her until the day he died even though they lived apart (freely walk into her home without knocking etc) My youngest brother is a narc who looks and acts exactly like him (his child).He has no children. My sister (his child) is Empath who is easily manipulated and taken advantage of but is angered if the subject of abuse comes up. She defends him weakly and points to my mother as being as guilty as he was. She has one son. My other brother (not his) was the most abused and has many issues but despite that-is a loving father of two boys. I am the oldest (not his). Stepnarc and I had the most turbulent of the relationships. I have both empathic and narcissistic traits but more to the narc end of the spectrum. I dont know love-I know responsibility. I am not affectionate. I have no children. I feel more betrayed by and can never forgive my mother because she was weak and did not leave. We see her only to make sure she has the bare necessities and have really no relationship with her. She still makes excuses and claims to have no memory of some things or denies and points to some family she feels had it worse. The 4 of us children really have no relationship to speak of. Too much pain and differing of opinion. So thats the short version believe it or not of the result in my “family”. You can see why I am so glad you have have removed your children from further direct exposure. It will not be easy but I hope he moves on and you get past the hurt and anger enough to see that as a gift. StepNarc did not die until 2015 despite my wish everyday that he die the most painful and protracted death a human could endure. I am only now really free.

          Hope any of that helps.

          1. Imfreebutmychildrenarenot says:


            Powerful and emotional for me to read. You gave so much, and would have given even more despite being injured yourself. It makes me feel so so sad – such a lightweight word for the horror of it all.

            Isn’t it an awful fact of this level of psychological abuse that actually if the individual isn’t open to seeing what’s going on then it doesn’t matter AT ALL what anyone says to them, even if they’re family and they love you, it simply won’t register. Be it through denial or just the inability to grasp it because they’ve not experienced it.

            Do you think your mother might have been so psychologically abused by your Stepnarc that she was oblivious to it and his abuse of you/your siblings? Rather than weak for not leaving him? Maybe not as she was still gaslighting you years later, but could this also have been a result of his abuse as the abused can become the abuser without even realising. I’m stating the obvious especially bearing in mind our forum….but also speaking from my experience as I questioned myself is it me? Am I the narc? Omg i’m the narc! My tolerance/temper is on a hair trigger and my poor children have suffered as a result but I am fortunate in that a couple of very close friends totally got what I was telling them (and were also dropped by him) I could not have got through this so far without them and their reassurances of my sanity, amongst other things.

            I also know I feel remorse and feel awful as soon as I see my behaviour upsetting my children. I make sure i apologise if i’m in the wrong and take responsibility for it. I have also given them an age appropriate framework to understand why mummy might sometimes behave like this as well as assuring them everything will be just fine.

            It’s a fine line we walk though after being subjected to the horrors. As you and many others, including obviously HG, can testify.

            It’s also reassuring for me to hear that your brother, despite being the most abused, is a happy father. Although he doesn’t have the genetic predisposition that mine could.

            There’s just SO much WEIGHT sometimes isn’t there and yet that is also my saviour too as, after a period of realisations and subsequent over-thinking, I come out the other side going oh ffs, get over it. We’ve escaped! It’s OK! We will be ok. And breathe….

            Interesting to me that you only felt truly free after your Stepnarc died – did you carry your injury as anger all that time? Was it because you knew he wasn’t walking the same earth as you anymore that you felt free?

            I worked hard to shake my anger about my ex (and the new victim) as I knew it would have swallowed me whole otherwise and only through realising what he was and that it had absolutely nothing to do with me, was I able to let that anger go. I don’t pity him but I certainly don’t envy his lot in life. I think he is at the extreme end of the spectrum – sociopathic/psychotic/dark triad etc. Although sometimes I wonder if even that conclusion is as a result of his mindgames!

            I too hope that he moves on and yes I definitely think that the circumstances surrounding his departure were a gift….I will be repeating myself here as I have another comment in moderation saying as much.

            Do you think you’ve been able to reconcile the issues from your childhood experiences? Sorry to keep questioning you.

          2. NarcAngel says:

            My mother had issues before she met StepN so he hit the jackpot there. She was not oblivious to the abuse but had a million excuses not to do anything about it. I brought up many times as a child (pre-teen) that we would be safer in a shelter. She would snap at me that I didnt understand (she was right about that) and slip into a walking coma until the next incident. So we were hostage and we didnt even have her for comfort. I filled that role for my brother and the other 2 victims she provided him. I say that because she knew the situation before she had his children. I was a smart kid and look like my mother and im not sure if thats why, but he gravitated to me. The way he knew to get at me was to threaten or hurt the others, including my mother. Constant psychological but also physical violence (the physical mostly toward but not limited to my mother) I found it easier to invite his cruelty toward me than the soul crushing pain of watching and hearing it directed at others. I cannot express enough how damaging it is for a child of any age to witness abuse (verbal or physical) of their family and be helpless to do anything. I got very hard and learned to manipulate him. This did not spur my mother to act but allowed her to reason that things were manageable. As I said, she left right after the last child did. For herself, not us. And that is why I say she is weak and is afforded no sympathy. Yet to hear her talk, you would hear a woman who will vacilate between telling you about being horribly victimized, to denying we were treated that bad, to critiquing the way you raise your child. My bottom line is that the minute she became a mother she ceased having the right to make decisions that better suited her. I recognized that I was damaged and was not prepared to give up that right, so I did not become a mother. I told her in one of her pity parties about how she “had messed eveything up and it was too late” that if she would from that day forward make the break from him with our support that we could forgive the past. She did not. Her reason was she was afraid he would kill us and I said I would rather die having tried (i was a teen then). Her response: Youre talking stupid. I still cant reconcile that a child could have more strength and sense than an adult.

            I relayed all that to let you know how much worse it could be or get. That you are already miles ahead by leaving. It only gets worse with more exposure. Im glad you said “ffs get over it”. I have been taken to task for saying just that and Im ever struck by the irony of people being angry with me for it like I dont have the right, like I dont know how hard it is, or understand how much they LOVE him. Thats true only in the sense that I dont know love. I was denied love period. From her or anyone else. So hang onto that anger over trying to reconcile with him or letting your guard down and Empathic traits take over, but dont let anger consume you.
            You will of course be angry, but that energy would be better spent rebuilding a new life with your children. They may have their issues (most likely in their teens) and you cant change the past, but them witnessing your strength and moving forward is something they will recognize in time as your gift.

            Ive gone on and this is HGs blog not mine haha, so to get to your other questions:
            I dont consider myself as having had a childhood so I wouldnt say reconciled.
            I say free now because as long as he roamed the Earth he was my adversary, my dragon to slay, his tentacles in every one of my family members and I did not feel I could rest until he could no longer hurt them. They are on their own now and Im tired.

            No need to be sorry for the questionsof me.
            Please have the consultation though with HG about how best to proceed. You really cannot afford to miss out on the invaluable information only he can provide in dealing with your ex for what amounts to the price of a pizza.

  24. Karin says:

    In addition to your quest for power and control, do you aim to destroy the purity and goodness in others?

    I feel that is what I lost through my ordeal. Also, through the rise of Trump. I used to believe good (or love) would ultimately prevail. Now I don’t.

    Recently I heard read something with respect to world affairs. The writer mentioned the quote “It’s always darkest before dawn.” But then he countered, “It is also darkest before it all goes black.”

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The destruction you refer to is collateral to the pursuit of fuel.

  25. Iseethroughyou says:

    HGT.. you’re right! The word grief… yes we all know what it means, it’s not a nice word but one we are all familiar however engagement with a N, the word takes a whole new dark, deeper than the ocean meaning. The emotions engulf your mind, flood over and drown your existence …. any life or positivity is hauled from your body with severity as forceful as being punched, kicked and near bludgeoned to death. The grief of many things
    The loss of love, loss of sanity, the confusion of what you believed to be love, how could you be so wrong? They look like the same person but the person you knew, no longer exists. Love is now replaced with seething hatred and for no apparent reasoning and whilst the N can switch off the feelings the victim can’t because for them the termination of a relationship has come as an utter shock, completely out of the blue. You grieve not only for your friend/partner, the person you trusted but for yourself, for your own identity and sanity because without them we cease to exist

    1. Yes, there is definitely a period of grief. But it will pass. Your identity is still there. The real you is still hidden behind the grey cloak of sorrow and pain.
      There was a time when I thought that all there is was pain. But it passed. I have mourned for the person I once was, because this changes you, and some of that is permanent. You are changed, irrevocably. But all of this pain will pass.
      There is still a memory of who you were before they came along. Tap into it. Drink it. Remember. You’ll find yourself back.

      1. Iseethroughyou says:

        Thank you Dorian. When we mourn the death of a loved one, its painful but we understand the cycle of life so therefore it can be accepted.
        To mourn a person who is still visible rips you to the core, The loss of love, when you have such wonderful memories to reflect on, loss of sanity, when your mind is being distorted by their bitter tongue is hard- it totally contradicts what you recall.

  26. Sookie Stackhouse says:

    I second that Insatiable Learner, thank you!

    “The compassion, kindness and love that we showed to you and to others (although false) still causes you to think that somewhere we are truly capable of this goodness, if only we would harness it and let it be free. You have witnessed two things. The reality of our drive to be the best and the accompanying good that such drive and ambition brings – a surgeon saving lives, a scientist inventing cures, an entrepreneur creating wealth and jobs, a policeman making the neighbourhood safer, a teacher educating so many people to a high degree – means that our rampant desire to be the best has the considerable potential to actually do good for others”

    HG, though your motive is not equivalent to an empath’s, I am curious if repeated positive fuel from these actions can open the possibility to even mild empathy for narcs. My narc is a surgeon and it is scary knowing the end justifies the means. He is also likely a sociopath, though I have not yet confirmed it.

    Despite the harsh devaluation and possible criminal acts he has performed against me, I pity his emotional ignorance. “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.”

    I am sending this letter with no expectations.

    “I know what you did to me. I know it comes from a place of hurt within you. You do not have the power to hurt me. There is good in you. You are a good person. You need to hear that all the time. I see your picture, it is as clear as day. Without verbalization, I am aware of your childhood. I’m not your mother, I am not your father. We are from different cultures but we are still human beings. Your illness makes you an animal. How do you overcome it? It is so taboo no one studies it. There are no medications for it. I am a super empath and of relative intelligence. How does one overcome a monster? There’s only one answer, the answer is something so simple yet so complex because no one ever showed you what it was. You can regurgitate information and reason through equations, but the simplest of problems you are unable to solve. The answer is simple, unconditional love. Because of your illness, it takes a special person to provide this love. I do not refer to a romantic love, rather a general love. It is the only way. I will not fear you, I will not reject you, if I do those things I am no better than your illness. You must accept your diagnosis in order to understand it. That does not mean you don’t fight for a cure. All along I have told you that I am a fighter and you have said you are a lion. This is a fight I was never prepared for, but I accept the challenge. I will not fight you, I will fight with you. “

  27. Insatiable Learner says:

    This is truly brilliant! Amazingly insightful and accurate! As an IPSS, i have not experienced the loss of the third type (well, maybe just a bit like trust, for example) but I have experienced the first two to some degree. Thank you, HG! You are a very talented writer!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

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