I Want To Be Adored
The only time that I have felt safe when I was young was when I felt powerful. There were two ways that I was able to achieve this. Adoration or fear. By causing someone to adore me, I felt powerful, I felt myself swelling inside, a warmth sweeping across me, a sensation of unlimited potential. I have realised now that this gave me a sense of feeling omnipotent, invulnerable and capable of doing anything. Indeed, the achievements that I accomplished, through academia, sport, hobbies supported this sensation that so long as I felt powerful I could do anything that I wanted but most of all nobody would hurt me. Of the two catalysts for this, people adoring me or people fearing me, it was adoration which arose first. When I am forced to think back to my childhood (since it is not something that I voluntarily do) I remember that those isolated and they were isolated, those isolated moments of adoration shielded me from everything else that went on.
When I was praised, complimented, lauded and applauded I felt this sensation of power surge inside of me and this overcame the wariness and nervousness that otherwise governed my day to day existence. You see, I learned that it was wiser to remain in the shadows. Out of sight meant out of range and therefore the caustic criticisms and cutting chastisement could be avoided, but only for so long. I cannot recall the first time that I felt the power which rose from praise but I do remember on one occasion I had finished first in the class in respect of English. I did not know what my position would be and I passed the sealed envelope to my mother who loomed over me as she always did. I waited for the irritated sigh, the articulation of disappointment or even the stinging slap of annoyance but none of these familiar mechanisms visited me this day.
Had I misheard? No, I had been told that what I had achieved was excellent and I felt the warm surge which I would later come to know as the power. I tried to reach out, emboldened I suppose by this feeling of safety, to hug my mother but she sidestepped my attempt and moved away. For once though I did not feel that crushing sensation whenever she did such a thing to rebuff me, I felt good, I felt safe and it was because she had praised me. It was only much later that I began to understand the connection between being praised and adored made me feel so much better inside. I was always pushed, driven, instructed and commanded to excel and I knew that the achievement of excellence would surely draw more of this delicious praise that I craved so, so much. Little did I realise how elusive this place of safety caused by adoration would prove to be.
The following year, my first at secondary school and I received a mid-year report, around the end of November. With the change of school came the change of practice, for we were allowed to see our list of placings follow the mid-year examinations and besides the placing was the percentage score achieved, the grade and comments thereafter. I recently located all of my reports and sought out the very first one from my secondary school as I needed to check that my memory had not rusted given the passage of time. It had not. There amongst the results was the one for English Language. I was placed first, the percentage achieved was 76%, the grade was B+ and the comments are best described as cautious encouragement. I was first again. Top of the class. I felt the anticipatory surge of the praise that was sure to come once this report was passed to my mother.
Later that day I handed the report to her. My results were very good, I realised that, but it did not matter. I wanted, I needed her to tell me and make me feel good.
“I came top in English again,” I commented drawing attention to one of many highlights. There was no response as my mother took the folded sheet, opened it and examined the paper for evidence to support my assertion. I waited for the praise to come, relishing the warmth that would rise inside of me.
“Edward!” exploded my mother calling my father’s name. My father dutifully entered the living room from the adjoining study.
“Yes dear?” he asked.
“He came top with seventy-six per cent, just seventy-six per cent. That was enough to top the class. Have you placed him in a class of idiots? This is not good enough.”
My father began one of his protestations as he sought to mollify my mother. I do not recall what he said or what she said by way of response as their voices became background noise as I felt the anxiety and fear sweep over me. I was not good enough. I came top just like last time but it was not good enough. I turned and ran upstairs, the shame burning through me. There was no power. I felt unsafe, exposed and vulnerable. On the landing I passed my sister, Rachael, who had no doubt emerged as a consequence of my mother’s screeching and my father’s bumbling replies, ready to try to pacify the eruption as she always sought to do.
“What is it HG?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I snapped at her. I didn’t want her mocking me as well.
“Is it your exam results?” she asked. I nodded.
“Did you come top again?”
“Wow, that’s great, you are so clever HG,” she smiled and hugged me. I did not respond. I felt stiff and awkward but her comment caused the shame to lessen and a slight surge. It was not the same though. I broke away and headed to my room to curl up on my bed and hope that the still lingering shame would leave me alone.
I so desperately wanted that sense of power again and it had been denied to me. I felt useless. I knew however that there was only one thing to do. Work harder. Apply myself. Try harder and then she would give me the praise that I wanted and needed and that was rightfully mine.
I am beginning to understand that the seeds of my need to be adored were sown through instances like this. Adoration created power which created safety. Adoration created power which created the ability to do more, achieve more and gain even further adoration. Hers was always the adoration I wanted the most for with it I felt more powerful but I also found that any form of compliment, praise or adoration achieved a similar outcome. I knew that in order to be the powerful figure I knew that I actually was, all I had to do was ensure that I was adored. Achievement and accomplishment were the routes to gaining this adoration but then I realised that whilst I was successful, it was actually the image of success that mattered. Who were people to know that I didn’t actually hold the school record for swimming 100m when I recounted such an achievement years later? They did not know but the looks of admiration came nevertheless. All I had to do was show that whatever boast I made was vaguely credible. My physique being athletic meant that nearly all sporting achievements could be passed off as my own and I began to supplement those that I had with the bogus ones. The results were just the same if not better. Thus it became easy to tell lies. I did not stop securing achievements, I still had to be the best in my chosen fields, but I began to tell more and more lies to achieve the looks of admiration and adoration. I realised that it served my purposes to acquaint myself with other successful people because firstly, I belonged to such a group and secondly, I could listen to their achievements and then go and use them as my own. I could build up my suit of armour with a combination of my accomplishments and those stolen from those I interacted with. All that mattered was that I gained the praise, I received the admiration and the adoration. This desire infected all of my relationships and as time went on, I wanted and needed this from the man I passed in the street as I walked to the convenience store. I wanted and needed it from colleagues, friends, strangers in particular from those that I coupled with in the form of an intimate relationship. This was what mattered. I had to be adored because once I was I felt powerful, I was the person that I was meant to be. I ruled. I conquered. I felt safe. Nobody could hurt me when I felt this way. This is why I want you to adore me, each and every day, to praise the way I make a cup of tea for you, to compliment the way I dress, to admire the money that I make, to laud how popular I am, to adore the way I lead you by the hand into the bedroom.
She taught me that to survive I had to be praised. If this did not happen I felt weak, crushed and useless and such a sensation would arise from any and all criticisms that I perceived in respect of people’s treatment of me. The fact that praise was not forthcoming meant that this must inherently be a criticism and this wounds me, makes me feel small and pathetic and I am not those things, but you make me feel like that and that is why I lash at you. That is why I blame you because you do make me feel like that when you have it in your gift to adore me and make everything better for me.
Isn’t that what she was meant to do? Make everything better. I need to you to do that now. I want to be adored.
88 thoughts on “I Want To Be Adored”
This is one of the most crushingly sad and poignant things I have ever read. You deserved to be hugged and praised. Many times over and over. My heart and eyes weep for the little boy waiting for the warm embrace that never came. Particularly, resonant to me is the longing to feel safe. I have never felt safe, not as long as I can remember. What a novel, contented feeling that must be. ‘Tis a shame we cannot choose our parents. I’m so very sorry, HG.
HG, this type of writing (beautiful and insightful) is why going completely No Contact is difficult. It’s easy to draw a line in the sand with someone who is dangerous and I’ve done it many times with people who were far less dangerous than how a malignant narcissist can be dangerous, but, in relationships with narcissists or covert aggressors, when we’re dealing with emotional factors, childhood issues, there is (for me, at least) a softening or resonance with a history of having been wounded and finding unhealthy ways to manage.
I’ve known a few covert aggressive and narcissistic abusers. None of them felt good enough ‘as is’. All of them had to demonstrate to others why they were worthy of attention, affection, etc. and when they got it, they didn’t know what to do with it or they found ways to devalue the person giving it.
There is a quote I keep in my heart, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” Of course, the narcopath isn’t capable of these sentiments, but I am, and it’s what makes me humane. Your writing is humane.
You recently posted a poll asking readers why, knowing the facts, they didn’t go No Contact. The number one answer was “hope for a different outcome’. Do you ever hope for a different outcome? For yourself, I mean. Not with a particular person or fuel source but for you, a different outcome in how you interact with others, a change in your motivations due to a change in your knowing / understanding how to meet your own emotional needs?
Best regards. I really enjoy your blog. If we met in person I’d probably totally adore you, until you played all the mind games you describe on these pages. Be well, HG.
Thank you Well Wisher.
Ah, the ever-dreaded showing of report cards…I always did well, but if there was ever one B marring the line of A’s, that disappointing failure was ALL my father would see. Especially when compared to my brother’s ever-perfect report cards. All my A’s might as well have been invisible then.
I began opening those report cards before I showed them, just to be prepared. This particular time I had gotten straight A’s, so I was practically glowing as I handed it over (re-sealed). My father was just beginning to compliment the work I had done…then he saw this obnoxious teacher’s comment on the back, remarking how I had “slipped” from a 96% to a 92% in his class. And so…no praise, no reward, just everyone making caustic and sarcastic remarks about my “slipping.”
I guess, given the context of this article and the comments about it, that these reactions were not typical? I always thought they were.
It was really interesting, in such a tragic way, hearing about how you felt and how it made you who you became. I wonder if my brother, over-achieving little punk that he is (which I say with love :D), would relate to what you wrote. I wonder if this is why he always needs to be “The Best” as he puts it…because the only way to get the tiniest scrap of recognition is to be the best there is.
She didn’t deserve to have you. 🙁 How selfish, and self involved.. I would’ve made sure to kiss your little head every day & tell you, you’re doing a lovely job HG. She should’ve been the first woman to make you feel like a King, not King of the world (easy tiger :P) but the King of her world.. She let you down HG and I’m sorry she had to be your first experience of love.. You always deserved better. 💜
“Achievement and accomplishment were the routes to gaining this adoration but then I realised that whilst I was successful, it was actually the image of success that mattered.”
That is the most compelling moment! Your switch from real achievements (you worked hard for) to pretended achievements (you stole from others). Peoples’ reactions were real even if your stories of success were not. You could generate much more adoration (fuel) with little effort. That’s when you turned to the dark side.
I think that it’s very difficult for the victims to adore you constantly because of many reasons:
1. Our adoration changes into love, trust and support in time, those loving gestures that you don’t appreciate.
2. we’re completely unaware of the fact that it is adoration that is important more than anything else. It simply out of our logical thinking.
3. You are unable to provide us ANY adoration so it’s very difficult to praise the person who doesn’t even notice that I matter too.
4. It gets even more difficult when you start to belittle us or call us bad names. How am I suppose to praise you when you call me stupid and ugly?
5. At some point, some of us CAN notice that you’re showing off to others. That you’re overly boastful when talking to friends and family. For a normal and intelligent person, this is at least immature. I didn’t want to be a part of your fake audience.
Exactly this. It’s lose-lose. I pretty much have it in me to swoon over someone in all my free time IF he gives me something to work with. But if I notice something’s wrong, and you just notice, even if you don’t exactly know what it is, it makes the swooning impossible. It would have been relatively easy for him to keep me happy like a fat kid in a candy shop. I’m not very high maintenance. But cheating and lying was not the way to go :/
I thought some more about this article and suddenly it makes sense. I mentioned elsewhere that he was working on a new supply, but then decided to spend two nights in a castle with me and rejected that new supply 3 days after booking our trip, telling her he’s interested in someone else and “feels very good about it” so doesn’t want to pursue things with her. Of course, he conveniently forgot to mention that I’ve been around since 2013. I saw that entire conversation because she sent me a screenshot. This new supply then sent him a message that was the length of a novel (sort of like my comments on here), and said she was really sorry she didn’t have time to meet him but she’d been ill and her father has cancer and bla bla bla and that he seems like an awesome guy and the lady he’s interested in is very lucky bla bla bla. That must have pleased him immensely. I actually felt a mix of “WTF” and discomfort reading her message to him because if a guy rejects me, I’m certainly not going to go on about how great he is. But whatever. That’s just me. So a week after our trip, he messaged her again saying the woman he was interested in is moving abroad so he’d like to pursue things with her again. He wasn’t acting any differently towards me. In fact, he messaged me 20 minutes before he messaged her after he came back from an exam (that might have also given him some sort of high) and things were really good between us at that time. This was 10 days before my escape. So I’m guessing this complete stranger managed to provide that adoration and he probably went back to read her message daily and decided he needed more of that fuel. Which to me seems really ridiculous because yes, after 4 years I’m not going to be his #1 fangirl at all times, only sometimes 😀
My narcissistic father would have reacted just like Martinarc if I came top of the class with “only” 76%.
“My results were very good, I realised that, but it did not matter. I wanted, I needed her to tell me and make me feel good….”
The praise you received from your sister or from other people was not enough at that time. I felt the same way when I was young. We wanted to hear it from our narcissistic parent (in your case, from Matrinarc and in my case from my father).
Could this be the beginning of the *deep void* narcissists have? They work hard to fill their void with praise and recognition but no matter how much positive fuel they receive from other people, it cannot be completely filled (and if they achieve this, it is only temporary) because the only individual who can fill their void seems to be the narcissistic parent who caused the problem in the first place (Matrinarc).
I am self directed so I always tried to do well and get satisfaction when I do. My mother would say “of course you did well, I would expect no less from a daughter of mine. No one ever told me how to do well or praised my efforts.”
This mothering philosophy didn’t work out so well for my two older brothers…
re “of course you did well, I would expect no less from a daughter of mine”
Your mother praised herself. Your success was *her* success.
Thanks EB. I had been skipping over the narc parent topics because I didn’t think it applied to me. Disconcerting to find out it does. Very enlightening though.
(Both hands to cheeks ala The Scream painting)
SKIPPING OVER ARTICLES???!!!
Report to the naughty stool.
Yes, very narc-y of me just thinking of my own interests…
On my way to the naughty stool…
Will I like the naughty stool…?
Well thats not for me to say and for you to decide. The very worn spot with the reserved sign is mine. Oh! and dont gargle with the Listerine. Thats all I will say.
Jesus Christ, I forgot about the Listerine. Thanks NA!
What?!! Its not like I mentioned wipiing things on curtains.
Hahahaha… I walked right into that opening for you! I need more coffee today!
I will avoid the listerine 🙂
It is good that you are starting to see your mother for who she is. I am glad HG is posting about this subject. Many victims/survivors of narcissists are in denial because it could be too painful for them to face the truth that their parents were unable to love them.
People who were raised in a safe environment, who were treated as individuals and were able to express themselves without being judged or criticized and who had their boundaries respected do not want to have a relationship with someone who treats them disrespectfully, who uses sarcasm to put them down, who sees them as an extension of themselves or as an object. People coming from functional, loving families will feel uncomfortable when interacting with someone with a Cluster B disorder and will not want to spend their time and energy on a frustrating one-way relationship.
I believe that narcissists and empaths come from controlling, manipulative, narcissistic families and that we engage in unhealthy relationships with each other to meet our unfulfilled needs.
Thank you E.B. it’s hard to process the possibility of not actually being loved by a parent. Can’t let myself think about it for too long at one time because it hurts and gives me the feeling of falling (not sure how else to describe it).
Apparently, I’m good at compartmentalizing since when I feel like this I put it away in a little box to deal with later – because if I let myself feel the full hurt of something I’ll fall apart and I can’t let that happen. There’s always someone depending on me to be strong or do the right thing. I’ve have many little boxes that i hoped would disappear with time or stay in a place to be dealt with “later.”
Some hurts refuse to be stuffed in the box. They overflow and crush me. This is one that could if I dwell on it too long so I will just peak in the box a bit at a time to process this.
Thanks for listening to my lengthy and self indulgent rant.
Sorry for my late reply. I have the feeling of falling too. We put painful memories in a box and we do not open it until we feel strong enough to deal with it. It is a defence mechanism. You will be able to face the truth and deal with the pain when you are ready. It can take several years, even decades.
This really confirms for me that the narcissist is so because they are unable to survive away from the parent.
And why those same guys now look at me and want to steal my coping mechanism and I remember very well developing it. In cases where my mother did such things as yours I created a new story “she is barracking for me and wants the best” so I would let her arrange things to her liking such as choosing a private school for good grades and I would arrange to benefit through other ways and then get the grades etc. only I wanted them for myself and naturally liked the English and arts she pushed me in. She didn’t have to do any pushing. It was a random coincidence these former plot mechanisms were part of me anyway and so that’s why I didn’t notice her plans. I just thought she was always fretting for fretting’s sake. I took on interests that made her feel insecure and watched her face try to etch into a “yes that was my exact idea.”
I just knew I was treated better when I “won” for her ego. And sometimes I would purposely lose and then be completely ok with it for maximum fury from her, because I remarked all narcissists out pressure on themselves and control others to offset that tension. So I allowed her to do this and made her my kind of manager when there were things I couldn’t do. And then would unexpectedly betray her to show her who she can control. I would endure these abuse sessions which she loved to do before a public appearance by telling myself “her words are about her not you.” I stayed way too long because of the Christian forgiveness gaff. And I had been educated by her and so many dissonance stories that this was a minor event. It was not. It was serious abuse.
I didn’t manage to overcome her car conversations, isolation, putrid words, sexual abuse and glee when my psychopath brother had just bashed me. Something in me thought she cares but I should have called the police.
In my narcissist boyfriends I feel they wanted me to protect them from their mother. At the point they were at ease with me I became frustrated with how boring they were and lack of adventures I could have with them. Generally a sociopath is very adventurous but all narcs are spastically conservative. It cricks my neck just thinking of it.
I truly advocate sterilisation for narcissists as an ethical solution to a problem that is costly, unnecessary and terrifying.
Your last sentence amused me considerably.
Ethical ha ha!
I think I peed myself a little bit.
this will become mandatory in the future after genetic studies are concluded
And that comment has also amused me significantly.
I’m delighted. However, I was referring to the 22nd century, which you or I may not see. I’m hoping this takes place at least by 2075.
The genetic studies have concluded and your observations were found to be delusional, but more importantly irrelevant. This was said in a completely neutral tone with no emotion. Run along now and find some fuel to suck-theres none here for you.
Your comment made me laugh 😂
Reading ED comment thou made me think of the blind leading the blind for the second time today. I shall stick to following one that actually knows what the hell he talks about.
Violet – I disagree with your statement that narcissists should be sterilized. Some narcissists are needed in this world and are much better at getting things done well because they have higher energy levels, are detail oriented, intelligent competitive people and a lot more. Feelings and emotions are not always conducive to certain desired outcomes like leading a war and winning it or firing somebody from their job etc…
Certain empaths have so much emotional baggage that it becomes a hindrance to themselves and society then an explosion of victim-hood ensues. So depending on the situation but if empathy weakens your mind and body then that may very well be a mental disorder too just as much as someone with NPD and we don’t need more of that either.
I grew up with both empathic and narcissists around me and I am happy to say, had I not witnessed both traits in action I would not have been ready for the world – bad or good. The empaths would teach me ” if one wrongs you – you don’t do an eye for an eye instead you throw them bread and show them goodness”. The narcissists would influence me differently saying “Sniglet, you don’t throw bread because it costs money, you throw rocks” – not literally, but you can make up your own mind what those statements mean.
Sniglet, there is no narcissist needed to fire someone. They are not better to get things done. The full blown narcissist is mean, manipulative, antisocial and/or criminal. And do you really think, they should be the ones to rule the world?
There are other people who fit better to these jobs. They have to have clear values and the strengths and power to enforce their values. I am glad, that there are people of this kind. They are not emotional like a narcissist, they do not change their mind every second and they do enforce, what they think is the best for society and not only for themselves. They do not hesitate, if it is necessary. They are rare, but they are.
I agree with you that they are needed in some (I would say many) areas to make the decisions that those who are handcuffed by emotion cannot. There are many examples, one of which may be deciding who must die in order to keep others safe for instance.
I’m sorry for your childhood HG. All children want is for their parents to be proud of them, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to not get that.
Maintaining adoration is hard work over the long haul in a relationship. Not because it isn’t still there, but adoring someone or being in awe of them, to me, happens during the early getting-to -know-phase and what continues to draw you in to someone. It dissipates and over time one shows their appreciation in other loving gestures, but that doesn’t hold the same intensity as that gushing, overtly affectionate adoration. Your preemptive move is to disengage because you expect to be hurt and you can’t allow that. That’s why loving gestures rank lower on your fuel scale than adoration.
If only those two could switch places. Because the loving gestures carry more weight. It means you’re still adored and valued truly with what’s on the inside and outside. Is that something the doctors ever discuss with you? Learning to move past needing so much adoration to fill the hole inside?
Great post mla! You always hit it on he nail! Ive often thought about what you said in your post and youre right adoration is usually the beginning phases then changes to loving gestures. Its important to keep showing your partner they matter to you but it can never be what a narc has in their mind for expectations and even if it was itd grow stale. It grows stale bc their love is infatuation and that is a short phase. In a normal healthy relationship it “grows” into real love thru trust and time. Sadly for narcississts they struggle to understand or feel real love. This is where i feel badly for people with npd and see the dysfunction so clearly 🙁
Thank you NA! So to expand, although negative fuel is the ugly, confrontational side, it’s intense. Like adoration is during the seduction. There is definitely an intensity level of emotion that needs to hit for a Narc (HG). That’s why I wondered if the doctors explore this with him at intervals, but I guess he’s thinking about it. Also goes back to with the intensity of emotion, these relationships are so energy driven with such high peaks and low valleys that become addictive. 😊
Hi mla…definitely the highs and lows are the addictive component (trauma bonding) and the chemicals induced are very real. This is helpful to know bc you realise it us an addiction like any drug addiction and you can treat it as such and use a 12 step program tailored for abuse.
The addiction is just as much a high to the narc if not moreso bc they inflict it.
But imagine if you dont know or feel love. All you know is that the adoration you understood and that made you feel powerful has changed. Feels diminished. Others say this new way is deeper and more powerful but all you see and feel is less effort and familiarity. Familiarity equates to loss of superiority and opens you up to (perceived) criticism and wounding. Thus the striking first.
Yeah but guess what, it happens on our side too. The “fireworks” fade away. Someone is seeing more and more layers to us and our vulnerabilities. We stay steadfast, true, open and most importantly we keep interested in where the journey will go next. So fuck the familiarity card. (Not at you, I totally get the point you were making. In general).
BRAVO! I 100% agree!
Haha. Ok little perculator (you seldom swear), if youre open to a little friendly debate…….
True. But could staying steadfast, true and keeping interested in where the journey will go also be a kinder interpreration of the dogged determination of an Empath to just not let go? To put aside once again their own recognition that things have changed by putting the positive spin on it that the relationship can be salvaged with the idea of a deeper connection?
It seems a bit like the concept of faith in that evidence lacks that it can actually be more than it has become and yet the Empath soldiers on determined to “fix” it and replace the initial adoration with something of “substance”, unable to let go. At what point does the Empath realize that it is not worth pursuing or that despite their attempts, their tenacity alone cannot make it happen?
I’m not trying to butt into your conversation, but, I just wanted you to know that you completely nailed it, like a boss! You described me to a tee~Brilliant!
Feel free to join the discussions or comment anytime.
You ask at what point does the Empath have their a-ha moment.
1) When their health takes a major turn from the anxiety, stress and toll the relationship takes, which may also lead to the discard.
2) When they discover HG.
3) Someone close to them intervenes and helps to get them to break away.
4) They may have their own threshold from past experiences and pull away after certain acts are done to them.
Those are what came to mind first.
However, the Narcs would not be drawn to a person with these traits (like the dogged determination you mentioned) if they didn’t value them and have that desire to make them their own.
As defined by my daughter’s band instructor (of all people), it is appealing and admirable to be someone who has “grit”. What is “grit”? When one can maintain their core purpose and integrity even through obstacles and surprises by bouncing back and being resilient. It is a focus on attitude with firmness of character. Maintaining the core purpose does not involve lying, manipulating, cheating, etc. Empaths and even “Normals” have this and that is what draws the Narcs into us. That inner strength. If you are not aware of what they are and deceived by the facade, you are simply following your own innate purpose to push through obstacles.
Thank you. I appreciate you thinking so!!
That should have been Percolator lol.
Agreed that points 1-4 are often the aha moment for an Empath, but evidence shows that despite the severity of these things, it is not usually enough to keep them from staying involved due to the emotional infection.(Witness the ever asked will he hoover and when, even once discarded or escaped). Of course the Narc licks his lips and is drawn to this grit, determination, and resiliency. They count on you maintaining that strength and firmness of character you speak of (and want it for themselves). The harder you will fall and the more potent the fuel will be (both positive and negative) and they need/want (another debate) that intensity. But lets not talk about them for once, lets talk about you yes? (Haha, thanks HG). Quite right that the fireworks fade for both sides, but this is where you suggest that exposing more layers, vulnerability, and loving gestures carry more weight. But to whom? It has been explained that Narcs view these things as weakness and have no interest in them. Do Empaths alone hold all the cards when it comes to determining what constitutes a satisfying relationship? This is where it appears the Empath decides what is required in a relationship according to some seemingly pre-determined criterion and insist on bending the Narc to their will. They are love devotees and are, as you observe, pushing through obstacles as they are driven to do to attain it, but is this now still with the belief that they can actually secure happiness for both sides despite the Narcs opposition?, or are they pushing aside once again, their own needs, to focus on this affront to their idea of “love” and continue to try to fix the Narc to fulfill some other need in themselves? Love has been described and observed as being reciprocal. Is devoting significant time and expending much energy in another fulfilling enough for the Empath when it is unlikely to be reciprocated long term? Is that love? Or just the win?
The illusion they create for an Empath simulates real love being reciprocated. As HG has said, lessers and mid-rangers don’t know what they are, so even they think they “love” their victims. Relationship advice books and columns will guide that he is just afraid of commitment and tell you to be more accommodating and patient. Such a flurry of mixed messages. Then one still has to just function with everyday life (jobs, house, bills, kids, aging parents). We’ve become the rare little club soaking in all this new information daily.
You ask about me. I’m not the one labeled with a disorder – of any kind. You interact with me on the outside of this, you will not be driven to the brink of insanity. Rather you will have the pleasing and added value of friendship, love, humor, loyalty, honesty, etc. Typically not things that drive another googling self help with this on another sleepless night. I am not playing a game to win.
I should not have used the word you. I meant it only to represent the Empath side of the equation and not you specifically. Apologies if you thought otherwise.
Yes, the illusion is one of believable love, and aside from the red flags people admit to overlooking, one could be led to thinking the adoration phase has passed and they are settling into “real” love. Its after that when it becomes apparent to the Empath that the love is not being reciprocated that I was referring to. Instead of focusing on the fact that their needs are not being met (to put it lightly, as in most cases the disrespect and abuse is pretty overt), they go into overdrive to fix the Narc (usually by sacrificing their own needs),thinking they can change hiim/her and then have the relationship they envision. This is when I question if the Empath has their own version of fuel. Not the want, but the NEED to fix that overshadows all other sensibilities. Quite right that the Empath is not the one labeled with a disorder (to this point), but perhaps that should be looked at. The Empath sees the Narc as needing fixed because they cant fathom that their (the Empaths) intent and purpose being mighty and altruistic love could be a bad thing. They often see only the two sides they are embroiled in, but there are others. The normal looks at the Empath and sees someone sacrificing their own happiness and sometimes their entire life (as they shut out others and cease being who they were previous to the relationship) to continue to concentrate on making this work (even allowing it to affect them post relationship by not being able to move on and resume with their former interests and pursue happiness.)That doesnt look like love or even healthy, but it has not been labeled (other than by normals as needy, clingy, or until you get to co-dependent) possibly due to the fact that they are not causing harm to others-just themselves. Perhaps too many Empaths consider themselves to be “normal” and accept that the Narc is as powerful as he believes himself to be in “infecting” and conditioning them when all he had to do was look around to find the love devotee that would offer themselves up on a platter to pursue their fuel in the need to “fix” another. That doesnt seem so powerful to me-just observant and opportunistic.
I will add here that this is for purposes of looking at things from a different angle. A difficult one perhaps, and one that I apply to myself as I have been very much affected by these types of relationships. It is not to assign blame but rather to look at how we can remove some of the power and hold others have over us by focusing on our own part in this dance macabre.
At least there is finally a place to have the different angles explored. If it wasn’t such a mystery and so complicated, HG wouldn’t have 5 million hits on his blog in under 2 years. You did specifically say to talk about me and not them though, so I was following your lead with the conversation. lol
The line: But lets not talk about them, lets talk about you yes? Was intended to be hiumor in taking a line from HG in one of his previous posts and thats why I thanked him. “You” meant directing the focus back to the Empath. Sorry if you missed the reference , I can see the confusion and why you may have taken it personally. It was not meant to do so.
You raise a good point.
Yes, we are fortunate to have a place to explore the different sides. I should be especially grateful I guess in that my views seem to be received for the most part as rather harsh and in the minority. I offer them because there are indeed other sides. Yes 5 million. There are a large number who come to find (most importantly) the information that HG provides to finally allow them to see what has occurred and to use that information to arm themselves and to heal. Many interact with others, exchange stories and find comfort in the comraderie. Still there are some who come to confirm what has happened to them, and then remain stuck. Their posts sound the same from day one to now. They appear (to me) to stay comfortable in the role of victim and have others offer explanations, coddle them, and confirm why it seems impossible to move on. It is not impossible. There will be a certain amount of time needed to process things yes, but they should not get so comfortable as to just accept thats what happened, that they have lots of company, and that they have no role in it, or whats it all been for? I realize my comments can be irritating, just as I am irritated by things I read. People can tell me to piss in the wind-I dont mind, but sometimes I suspect when they are telling me that its because secretly Ive hit a nerve. Something they dont want to entertain about themselves but gnaws at them. Maybe they should wear that hair shirt for a minute and get real with themselves. Or not-they can just mutter piss off and continue on lol. Fine by me.
The light bulb went off and I finally grasped the “you” statement. I understood the humor part parroting HG, but yes, I misunderstood thinking you were asking specifically how it pertained to me. lol
I would say the comradery here is a huge draw to me staying and reading each day. Sometimes I think people are going to see me commenting again and think “My God Clarece, get a hobby, go make slime with your daughter, go shopping, anything, just go away from here finally”. But there is an understanding here that just doesn’t happen on the outside. You hear people’s personal stories and root for them and want to see them make it to the other end of the lighted tunnel. And I’d like to see that for HG too. Since I do get attached and sentimental, this has been a great place to do that. I would say the first 18 months I read along here and had consults with HG, I was trying to so hard to figure out JN. That was my tunnel vision. Understanding his actions and coming out of the fog. I’d say in the last 8-10 months I started peeling back a lot more layers on life with my ex-husband, my family, myself, etc. So it is definitely a process.
I enjoyed the friendly debate with you!! Hope you did as well!
I always enjoy exchanging viewpoints with you and reading your posts. People may have vastly different approaches but the same goal, and I believe for the most part we are among those. People love to see you here and read what you have to say. I doubt there is any thought to you being too frequent. That would be like having too much ice-cream. Impossible.
NA… You big Love Bug sending all those warm and fuzzies my way. Thank you!! Perfect timing actually when I read your message. I’m on day 6 of being separated from my daughter while she’s on a 14 day trip with her Dad and his family. And she’s great about sending pics and checking in. But tonight she was too busy to chat on the phone because she was outlet shopping with her step-mom. Such a Tween now. Sniff sniff.
Great comments Clarece and NarcAngel!
NarcAngel, I agree that there must be fuel obtained by empaths as well.
Unrequited love is like a drug for me. It makes me want to work very hard to ‘earn’ their love and approval. If the love was reciprocated then what would I work towards? Yes, it is a flawed mentality. Garbage sang it best in Only Happy when it Rains:
I’m only happy when it’s complicated
And though I know you can’t appreciate it
I’m only happy when it rains
Pour your misery down on me…
I’m afraid I was very lax in giving out adoration for the selfies he took of us. I never thought about it much… He had the long arms…not me. Every little thing probably requires adoration for your kind. Seriously, I never received any from my parents. Each kid had to stand and watch my dad look at the report card. He was silent if he approved. The only thing I felt was grateful that I was smart and didn’t have to scrub baseboards for making a B. His big thing was for me to be able to skip a grade. I didn’t want to skip grades but he said he was disappointed that it never happened. He said he should be able to tell everyone at his work that he had a smart daughter. I did make straight A’s but that wasn’t good enough to brag about. I failed one period of Biology class because I wouldn’t dissect a frog. I couldn’t do it because I didn’t believe it was right to kill them but I could identify the frog body parts. I was punished by doing homework and straight to bed for six weeks.
That was a very insightful article. Thank you.
I was wondering, though, since our childhoods resonate so closely with one another how you turned your abandonment, neglect and shame into Narcissism and I took all of my same issues and turned mine into Empathy?
Is this because you are a man (boys shouldn’t cry and always be strong) and I am a woman (girls need to care and nurture under any circumstance)? I realize the creation of these personality types goes beyond such simplistic reasons as stated above I was wondering about you thoughts on this subject?
I think this is where the genetic predisposition influences the decision that is made. You turned it into empathy, I saw the power that came from such behaviour and I wanted it. I wanted it because I saw that as the way to protect myself. I do recognise however that my conscious decision to embrace these manipulations actually will have come after the formation of what I was to become, because that was an unconscious act. I think my conscious decision added a further layer to what had already formed.
I doubt gender has anything to do with it. My mother is excessively narcissistic and neither my older sister nor my older brother ended up being that way. In fact, my brother is probably the most empathic of us three. I have strong empathic traits but also a dose of narcissistic ones. This wasn’t always the case. It developed later in life when I pretty much had enough of certain people confusing me with a doormat. The narcissistic traits aren’t present when I’m interacting with people I care about.
Thank You Anonymous,
It’s very interesting to see what happens to the children of Narcissistic parents (mom was BPD, dad a mid range narc). I’m not sure if it is our placement within the family unit (Eldest to Youngest), the way we learn and utilize coping mechanisms as children, the varying abuse types inflicted on each child or a combination of them all. My sister is an empathetic fixer but not comfortable with emotions at all , my brother is a Mid Range narc, and I’m definitely a higher range empath (still trying to figure out which type). I think of other families that I know with the same varying levels of these personality disorders..it’s so sad that we do not realize what’s going on until later on in life.. 🙁
My sister and I only discovered what mum is a few years ago. I never really looked into it much, and I really should. What makes me laugh a little is that I used to try to talk to my ex about it – whilst he was a narc as well and I was entirely unaware.
I guess the effect on us depends on the abuse we received although I think you were probably right with your initial assumption about gender because guys are more likely to be narcs.
I was never the “golden child”. My sister was for ages (20+ years), pretty much until she got married to a guy my mum dislikes. But then she dislikes everyone – especially those who spend time with her children – so there’s no way to get married to a man she doesn’t dislike. Then my brother became her golden child. Although at times she still favours my sister, definitely over me, probably not over my brother. A couple of months ago my sister and I were out with mum and mum asked her “do you need money?” and my sister said no and mum gave her a significant amount anyway. I said “um, what about me?” and mum just laughed and my sister said “come on, give her some as well, this is ridiculous”. So mum reluctantly gave me some whilst making an ewww-face 😀
HG reading this made me feel as if finally my ex was honest with me… I feel so sorry for you and him. The saddest thing about this story is that we could compliment and praise you 6 days a week… but all of that didn’t matter if we did not provide you those compliments on day 7. It’s never enough. It’s never satisfactory. You always want more to such an extent, that you need to feel better than us, you need to belittle us to make yourself feel appreciated and ‘safe’.
It’s very sad that you cannot take your confidence and safety out of the simple fact that someone truly loves you for who you are, not for your achievements.
Great post HG! I understand now how a Narcissist is created. No one escaped unharmed in that family dynamic, did they?
Thank you and no.
Thank You for sharing… It helps me to expand my understanding of you on a more personal level…. AND, I now I know why you write so well! ✒️
What will happen if some wonderful women will come and will adore the REAL YOU , not the façade which you have created?
I don’t know, it has not happened. I imagine that her positive fuel will turn stale, or she will not maintain that fuel at the required frequency or quantity and then the devaluation will commence.
You know HG, it probably has happened. But you’re like the dead people in The Sixth Sense. You only see what you want to see.
HG, I hope you “crack the code” on that. For your sake as well as your current/future victims.
for it to ever happen you’d have to take a risk and show your true self and see… no one can adore YOU, all they currently get to adore is the facade you put up…
probably because you fear it won’t get you adored… except look at this blog’s popularity… we enjoy your writing, we enjoy your honesty and the answers you provide.
we react with fuel to your honesty. but then maybe you no longer know your true self… years of playing games and being someone else… I cannot imagine that would leave you clear on who you truly are…
and of course that would leave you opened to other narcs stepping in to stir up trouble… though you are an elite narc you would surely use your knowledge and insight to deal with them swiftly.
my mother was not a narc but a lot of my early years had a lot of similarity where I was pressured to do good, only in my case it eventually led to bullying because i was too smart academically
in any case i don’t know what tosses someone to one side or the other of the line, but i do know we all have a potential for good and evil but that it can require a greater sacrifice for some then others…and we all handle the same issues in very very different ways…
just my take on a very very complex issue…
Thank you for your observations, always welcome to do so.
He was adored..I worshipped the ground he walked in until I realized everything out of his mouth was a lie, & he had other women
Same. I mean I wouldn’t say I worshipped the ground he walked on, but I adored him. One time he had one of his phases and he said “say something nice to me” and I said “I love you” and he made a face like I just said “I wish you were dead”. He repeatedly told me I don’t really even love/like him. I guess he did have a point because if I had known about all the lies and cheating, I wouldn’t have liked him. I suspect he knew that all along. Another time we had another one of our conversations and during those conversations, I could always tell he was about to say something but he never said it. So I yelled at him “just fucking say it already!” and he looked at me like an abused puppy and then yelled back “it bothers me that you think I’m a bad person”. I told him if he doesn’t want me to think he’s a bad person, he should stop acting like one. Note: at that point I had no idea he was cheating and lying. I didn’t even think he was a bad person, just that he wasn’t nice from time to time. I still don’t think he’s a bad person, because I realise it’s not his fault.
Funny( not in a haha way) how this story brought me back to a time and place where I used to bring home my report cards of mostly A’S and a few B’s only to hear my dad say ” mmmm not bad but I know you could do better” Though my mother , who truly was a beautiful person used to try to make up for it, inevitably his attention would be focused on her and he would put her down and degrade her. I would end up feeling even more of a failure for indirectly causing hurt to my mom. This article really made me realize that maybe I have been attracted to narcissist types because of my own childhood conditioning. It’s As if I am still trying to to be good enough.My mom died 12 years ago and thankfully dad has made a lot of changes and has many regrets.Myself and my children are all he has left and he is lonely.Insights such as these are so therapeutic HG and I thank you for this. I am sorry though that as a child you didn’t get the true love and acceptance from your mother. You deserved so much more.
My mum was the same. Best grade here is 6 and if I came home with a 5.5 she said “why not a 6”. Then I got a damn 6 for my master thesis and she wasn’t even excited – because she expected nothing else.
You know almost everyone would adore you if you were nicer 😀
I adore you, HG. All of your followers do.
You did not know if you were coming or going, how confusing. When you said she stepped aside it made me cringe.
Do you want to change from this attention seeking person that violates boundaries and tells lies?
I need a compelling reason to do so.
So you can be adored, instead of regarded as contemptible and despicable for your actions and some of your behaviours. So you can live up to the adorable side of you and be admired for that.
“I need a compelling reason to do so.”
Would you not want to experience what authentic, honest interactions with others really feel like? No fake smiles, no nauseating Small Talk, no playing nice with people you cannot stand.
You can do it on here, and it seems that you’re enjoying it. Apply this to your personal life, and see where it leads you! 🙂
So what do you think the compelying reason would be?
I do not know.