You’ve Changed


You’ve changed and I don’t know why. Have I done something wrong? Have I done something to offend you or upset you? Why have you changed? You aren’t interested in me anymore. Once upon a time you would sit in rapt attention as I explained things to you, as I told you about the things I had done. The things which mattered to me. I thought you liked them too. You seemed interested and it was a genuine interest as you asked me questions and admired me for what I told you about. Do you remember those conversations? I do, although I must admit there are days when they seem such a distant memory to what we have now that I wonder if I made them up or dreamt them. Those afternoons where we lay in bed, the world so far away from us as we held one another and made plans. The world was ours to conquer wasn’t it? We made such grand plans, you and I, with nothing to stop us or hold us back. Except ourselves. How have we come to be so far apart? Where did it go wrong? How did these changes happen? What caused them? We were united as one. We did not know where one of us started and where the other ended, we were so entwined. I was happy. I thought you were too. You seemed happy. Tell me you were happy.

We did everything together. I never wanted to be anywhere other than by your side. You completed me. I completed you. Two halves at long last united. Two lost souls who were wandering through the wilderness and then we found one another and all became wonderful. I did not dare to believe it was happening at first. After so many had failed, those who offered so much yet turned out to be pretenders with nothing but failure dripping from those promising lips. How I yearned to find the right one and just as I had almost given up all hope, along you came. My saviour. I knew from the moment I saw you that we belonged together. I could sense it and that first kiss, well, I can still feel the tingling up and down my spine even now, after all this time, after everything that has been said and done.

Why did you change? I did nothing wrong. I gave you my all. I believed in us but perhaps I have let you down, perhaps I have failed you in some way. Is there another? Is that why your eyes no longer shine when you look at me? Is that why your special smile has not been seen in these parts for too long? Do my tales and stories bore you now? Does the re-telling of these famous tales grow stale? Perhaps you have found someone else, someone who gives you what you want, someone new and exciting? Is that it? Is that why you have changed. Have you found sanctuary in the arms of another and now you have become malleable in their hands as you once were in mine? Do you remember how you said that my touch brought you to life and how you had merely existed beforehand? Do you remember taking my hand as we walked mile upon mile, never faltering from having something to say to one another. How we used to talk? Now I am lucky if I get a sentence from you as you take refuge in a monosyllabic citadel, seeming as if you are more content to reside there than with me. Your words used to flow, enchanting and marvellous and how I delighted to hear what you had to say. You could make the mundane magical and all through that perfect and delicious mouth of yours. Does that mouth still weave its magic for someone else now? Do the words feel leaden, your mouth full of dust when you talk to me? I still listen. I still give you the attention but it no longer works as it did before. I know it is not me that has changed. I never do. I can see that it is you that has changed but I am at a loss to understand why this happened. Believe me, I have spent long hours working out everything that has been said, what has not been said and all the acts and omissions. I have played them, replayed them and chopped back and forth, like some detective analysing CCTV footage in the hope of finding that one clue. That one lead, that certain something that will allow me to understand how we lost that certain something.

Is it that you want me to change? Do you need me to transform into something different? Is that it? I will be whatever you want me to be if only we can have what we once had. You have changed but if you need me to do so too, if that is what it takes to recover ourselves then I am willing. Tell me, just give me a sign, some kind of signal so I know what to do. Your wall of silence gives me no indication of what I must do in order to save us. Do you do that because all your time and attention must be saved for someone else and therefore you have none to give me? Have they come like some silent-footed thief and stolen away the person who I want more than anything on this earth? Perhaps that is what has really happened. You have not changed but rather the real you, the you that makes everything matter again, has been acquired by a pilferer. Has your soul been stolen by another? Have they taken it when I was regrettably distracted and have they now placed it in a gilded locker, far away from me, leaving me with just the husk, the image of what once was? Perhaps that is what has happened. I know you have changed but perhaps, just perhaps it was not of your doing. Maybe an outside agent has influenced you, brought about this alteration, neither seeking nor obtaining our consent to this heinous act. Yes, that must be what it is for I know you would not willingly leave me. How could you? Why would you? Why leave what we have and leave me with so little when once we had so much? You have changed but it is at the sordid and filthy direction of another which gave you no choice. Did you warn me? Perhaps you did but I did not notice. Did you cry out and seek my help? Maybe you did but I was distracted and I did not hear. Tell me now, tell me how I can help you. I will do anything to win what we had back. That brilliant, loving, passionate and above all seemingly perfect union that you and I created before this change occurred.

Please, I am begging you, just tell me what I have to do. I am lost for ideas, I have no more ingenuity or guile to achieve what needs to be done and I need your assistance more than ever before. Don’t let them win, do not let those who are jealous of what we have, the green-eyed interlopers who have watched and waited for that moment to drive a wedge between us. Don’t let them make your change permanent. Fight, fight with me, for me so we can succeed and shine again. I cannot stand where we are now. The pain and weakness that sweeps me tears me apart, makes me feel disgusting and wretched. I cannot stand to be this way for it causes me such great distress as I look over to you watch you, unnoticed by you. You are not who I knew you once as. I do not recognise the person who sits across from me now. So much is alien, so much has become foreign. I don’t feel like I know you anymore. Or that I ever did.

80 thoughts on “You’ve Changed

  1. JL says:


    I appreciate the insight you offer to us. I am an adult child of two narcissists. They have a bizarre symbiotic situation that I believe works because my father is what you classify as a Lesser and my mother is a Mid Range. After 3 1/2 decades of my life being wasted trying desperately to make them “happy” and, unknowingly, trying to be the perfect narcissistic supply, I quit. I set reasonable boundaries, which they trampled over and treated as a joke or pretended they didn’t remember, then I cut off contact except for email.

    Several months later, I stumbled upon the definition of NPD. I was stunned to find my parents so perfectly described. After a few more months of research and learning that, no, I cannot save them from themselves no matter how much I give and how hard I try, I recently went no contact. I informed them that they were unhealthy for me (and my spouse and children) to be around and that we did not want them to ever contact us in any way.

    It is amazing how many thing your letter above says that they tried to use in their reply (which I did not respond to and I have blocked them on phone, email and I don’t use social media).


    “Have I done something wrong? Have I done something to offend you or upset you? Why have you changed? Once upon a time you would sit in rapt attention as I explained things to you, as I told you about the things I had done. The things which mattered to me. Why did you change? I did nothing wrong. I can see that it is you that has changed but I am at a loss to understand why this happened. Did you warn me? Perhaps you did but I did not notice. Did you cry out and seek my help? Maybe you did but I was distracted and I did not hear. Tell me now, tell me how I can help you. Please, I am begging you, just tell me what I have to do. I am lost for ideas, I have no more ingenuity or guile to achieve what needs to be done and I need your assistance more than ever before.”

    Some of these were verbatim. Others were words they used that had the same meaning. They also refused to accept a break in the relationship and informed me that they are waiting for me to get over whatever it is that is wrong with me and make contact again. They will be waiting forever. I am done wasting my life.

  2. Geminimom says:

    I told my husband I’ve changed and I don’t give second chances to anyone who shows a sign of evil or hurts people and I don’t need to be the victim of it I can also observe it happening to someone else. Not sure what was going on in his head when I said that. But when he calls me crazy, lunatic, and bipolar I completely agree with him like he’s telling me Something nice. Oh, when he tells me I’m pure evil, omg, I get happy and I blurt out really!, I’ve been a nice person all my life and You really see me like that? I like it, I want to be evil. I have expressed that reaction in three scenarios and his face freezes looking at me. I won’t be repeating it again since narcs don’t forget and I don’t want to erode what I’ve acted out. I was faking it all. I learned it from my crazy mom. She always agreed with us kids when we called he names. Stopped us dead in our tracks.

  3. Ali says:

    some times HG I wonder if what you write is from your (your kind’s) perspective or ours…

    I just want to point out that we empaths do not change, we learn, we wake up to what’s true and adjust our behavior accordingly. Well, alright, I cannot speak for all empaths… some might change in that they bury their empathy behind walls so as to not get hurt anymore… some might, at least temporarily, cauterize or deny their gift…

    for me though, I’ve learned to embrace what I am more then ever.. if I get hurt then so be it. I can no more deny those feelings, even if sometimes it brings terrible pain with it, then deny that I am flesh and blood. It would be like trying to trap a flood into a tiny jar…

    my child, I worry about… “cauterizing” their emotions is something that they said recently… and I wonder if that is what happened to you HG… you cauterized them because it hurt too much…

    but you’re missing out on so much because of it. And yes, LOL, that is an opinion, my opinion…

  4. Indy says:

    I see this as one awakening point, but resisting the truth.

    The narcissist starts with the lie and knows that some of their targets also have a script they tell themselves about “love”. They play to this fantasy in many cases. Then the dance of lies ensues. One intentional, the other unconscious. Mesmerizer and the mesmerized.

    However, we wake up and simultaneously they dis-mask. (Unusually after the infatuation chemicals fall back to normal in 12-18 months) Who had changed really? No one….shit finally got real.

    1. Narc affair says:

      Indy…thats just it. Infatuation is never sustaining. You can be the most mesmerized and eventually you see that person warts and all for who they are. The narcissist is aware of this and why the narc cycle happens. Triangulation is to keep you interested and fighting for the person who mesmerized you. I look at someone like oj simpson and the infatuation wore off. His wife was looking elsewhere probably after reaching her limit of narc abuse and his fury turned to rage and he killed her and her supposed lover. His ego couldnt handle the fact that he was no longer wanted or in control.
      Bottom line is its toxic from day one and never lasts. Money, fame, charm, looks are all nothjng once youre subjected to a narcs true ugliness.
      Btw i watched a bio a couple weeks on oj simpson and it was very interesting.

      1. Indy says:

        Yes, those chemicals take time to wear off…and thus those red flags look enticing instead of like a warning. It’s all the more reason to pace things very slowly with anyone and not get engaged or move in until after this point. Thankfully I did not move in or share finances or it would have been so much more challenging to escape. Still doable, though more hurdles to get through.

      2. C★ says:


      3. sues423 says:

        I remember the OJ mess when it was going on…. I also recently saw about 3 or 4 different documentaries a month or two ago and was fascinated watching it, now knowing what I know. It was amazing to see that OJ fit the exact descriptions of how HG describes a narcissist to be.

        1. MLA - Clarece says:

          Hi Sues423!
          Last year, did you watch “The People vs OJ Simpson” on FX? With Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr.? I was mesmerized seeing OJ portrayed wtih his rages at his attorneys and his playing the victim card. Well worth watching!!

          1. sues423 says:

            Hell yea I did! Lol. It was an awesome series.. my son was the one who reminded me to watch it .. I did watch it again in reruns. That whole story fascinates me so much . The documentaries I saw recently were really amazing to watch he because there were so many taped police interviews where you could see him in action.. no remorse whatsoever .. and total victim attitude.
            How are you doing? What state are you in again?

          2. MLA - Clarece says:

            I was glued to my TV every Monday night for a new episode. It was like getting a video tutorial supplement to reading the blog here. I agree, seeing interviews too, where no remorse, no flicker in his eyes, victim card but fury seething underneath. Oh and the entitlement.
            I live in IL a couple of hours away from Chicago. (Funnily enough, when you asked what state I’m in again, I had to think does she mean mental or geographical. (Mentally, I’m post-fog and generally upbeat) lol I think I’ve been on here too much the last few days. haha)

          3. sues423 says:

            Right? So interesting..he really is a great example of a true narcissist.
            Illinois , that’s cool. I loved going to Chicago although I went in August. Ugh the humidity! I live in Virginia but I grew up in New Jersey at the beach. Hahaha!!! I didn’t even think about the question what state are you in might be taken in a different way . That’s hilarious. Like who is the woman? Lol. I can tell you’re upbeat, you have a great personality . I’m looking forward to You Tube on the 16th. The last one was very entertaining! 🙂

        2. sues423 says:

          Ironically it’s on TV today! The documentaries.
          Do you think that the whole bronco driving drama was intentional by OJ to gain fuel or that he just used it when it presented itself. Also, do you think he really intended on committing suicide?

          1. HG Tudor says:

            It was a collateral consequence of his desire to evade justice, but the manner by which he tried to evade justice was certainly one whereby the need for fuel played an impact.

            No I don’t.

    2. Mary says:

      Yes, Indy… THIS! Shit finally got real.

  5. Helen says:

    This should be a happily ever after Disney story!!

  6. DJ says:

    This really does apply on different levels to both the narcissist and the victim. The narcissist is playing out the eternal cycle and will never change, but still feels let down by the imperfections of yet another victim who has failed him. From the victim perspective we are seeing the narcissist without the mask so, yes, he has changed. He’s not the person I fell in love with. What I sometimes wonder is, as my ex is a midranger and unaware of what he is, did he ever have any genuine hope of returning to the infatuation stage or were his proclamations and accusations that I’d changed just subconscious smoke and mirrors? Any thoughts HG?

  7. Nat says:

    Oh yes I heard it all the time! His argument in the devaluation stage would usually go like this:

    “I know I’m no longer the same as at the beginning. But you know, there is a reason to that. It’s because YOU’ve changed, you’re not the same woman as you used to be.”

    Which was total bullshit, cuz from the very beginning of this relationship I promised myself that I will be fully myself, perfectly imperfect, that I will have nothing to hide and I will not pretend.

  8. Irie says:

    Saw my narc recently. We laughed and talked about the good old days. I waited patiently for the “the real person to emerge “. Yep right on key
    ” you said I was the love of your life , but you kicked me out ‘ Funny I used to say— “but why did I say that ? ” This time I said — yes I did!!!
    2 min later. He got up and left Bye bye. Have a great life
    He never fails to deliver and show himself — so glad I am prepared and recognize him now. I used to. Try and explain again and again. What a waste of time that was .
    I have seen him several times this past month . I think hes having a rough time believing I’m not playing the games anymore I’m seizing the power!!!

  9. CJF says:

    Interesting, I did change because I had a workplace injury and developed depression and anxiety. Nex apparently couldn’t change or cope with this so wandered off to have and affair which kind of unmasked him. I was given a chance to toe the line, live with the affair and go back to being his doormat but my most basic self refused to allow this and without really realising I was doing it I stood back and waited for him to either come to the party and get rid of the affair or I remained emotionally unavailable to him. So he ran off. I’ve been told he did not have the capacity to be the adult in the relationship when I was unwell and went seeking someone to adult for him. He appears to now have moved on to an uber adult OW who appears to completely control his life to the exclusion of his children. He couldn’t cope with me changing but he’s gone through 2 women now…which would have been a change. I don’t get it. Simply seems like a control thing, could no longer control me so bailed.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I never got this speech. Not even anything close to it. As we would say in German, I feel a bit assfucked now.
    The speech I got is that “I don’t understand why you didn’t get the permanent residency”, “you said you would move”, “if you had moved it’d be different”. Basically, all was MY fault. Always. As an explanation: I was born to foreign parents. I do not have permanent residency where I was born/still live because I can’t be bothered with the annoying process. If I leave for more than six months, I might not be able to come back. I did say I MIGHT move to his country but I didn’t (really glad about that now). Plus, he said he’d move, he applied for jobs, etc. But that maybe never really happened.

  11. HG, Is this you (or your kind ) saying this or one of us? Or both. Like I’ve thought before it’s yin and yang.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      That is for you to reflect on SW.

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        It appears all of my technology last night wanted to go completely batshit on me. I’m not sure if some of my other posts even made it into moderation. In the event that they did not…

        HG – you get public dedication 😀

        You’re dripping like a saturated sunrise
        You’re spilling like an overflowing sink
        You’re ripped at every edge but you’re a masterpiece
        And now you’re tearing through the pages and the ink….

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Maybe, but I’m not secretly in love with the father.

          Why are his hands blue? Is he cold? I found her voice to be unremarkable.

      2. I think it’s both.

      3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:


        Your comments amuse me lol!

        We all know you love the ladies 😜

      4. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        You know most people find Amy’s character in gone girl as completely nuts.

        I find her quite relatable…

        I mean sure she went too far (obviously) but I mean her husband was a jackass lol.

        “Nick took and took from me until I no longer existed. That’s murder. Let the punishment fit the crime”

      5. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        Personal shout out to HG…

        Thank you for lending everyone that beautiful brain of yours.

        You have helped me more than any psychologist ever has – or any narcissism ‘expert’.

        I would say hugs from afar but I know you hate being touched lol.

        High five? Chest bump? Pound?


        1. HG Tudor says:

          Your compliment in itself was sufficient thank you Dr Q.

  12. Narc affair says:

    I really feel its the reverse in my case. Hes changed a lot but swears nothing has changed. It all fits tho bc narcissists lie compulsively and the narc cycle ties into the cycle ive been going thru on a regular basis over the years. The narc changes and as a result we change which is only natural. Who wouldnt when youre not being treated the way you used to be treated.

  13. Lisa says:

    Hit the nail on the head.

  14. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

    I have gotten this speech before. I recall my ex narc saying how much I had changed and how I was basically false advertisement. I did not change. I became tired of giving and receiving nothing in return. If someone treats you like shit you don’t want to give anymore. It becomes pointless.

    Generally speaking, it is important to understand that when you enter into a relationship pretending to be something other than yourself you have set the relationship up for failure. The underlying theme is that the person putting on this façade does not feel as though they can earn the affections of another being who they are. The person feels unlovable and unworthy.

    Both parties suffer in this type of situation. The person falls in love with the person you’re pretending to be. No one can keep up a façade forever. When the person who is putting on the façade starts to show aspects of their true self (whether that be a preference, a thought, a need, an attitude, or just overall nasty behavior etc.) it is very confusing to the other individual. The other individual will often reject their significant other because this is not who they fell in love with.

    If that person you choose to be in a relationship with does not in fact love you and accept you for who you are you shouldn’t be with that person. You ultimately chose the wrong person. Why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t even like you? Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t accept you?

    I acknowledge that to be the ‘real’ you means you must be vulnerable and it allows you to be open to the possibility of rejection. Rejection then is perceived as “I’m not good enough”. This is actually not the case. This simply means the person is not a right fit for you.

    I also acknowledge that narcissists lack a stable sense of self. Then we questions: who am I? What does that even mean? That question can be perceived in so many ways. It can be answered in sooo many ways.

    I am a woman, I am a psychologist, I am realistic but I can be idealistic, I am open, I am stubborn, I am sensitive, I am someone who fights for the underdog…. it goes on and on.

    Are we our actions….? Are we our thoughts? Are we our perception?

    We have preferences and opinions.

    I am my strengths and I am my weaknesses. I accept them. I can compensate for my weaknesses.

    I am a contradiction at times.

    If you can’t state what hat you are maybe you know what you are not. That is always a start.

    It has been communicated to the narcissist from a very early age that the are not good enough and are unacceptable unless they are presenting and behaving in a certain manner.

    If someone does not accept you for you are fuck it.

    Now someone does accept you for who you are the only way to maintain a relationship is to give back. You can’t give nothing and expect everything.

    The narcissist often believes if their needs are not being satisfied if they are being told no for whatever reason this translates into the other person does not love me. This is not the case.

    We also need to communicate our wants and needs to other people despite how we are afraid it might look. You will go your whole life never being satisfied if you don’t state what you want and need from another person. Both people are just wasting time.

    Fuck anyone who doesn’t like you for who you are – how boring that is – they will never understand you…

    this message is for empaths, normal, narcs etc.

    1. Patricia says:

      I love this ! Very well thought out and stated Dr Q.

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        Thanks Patricia 🙂

    2. Narc affair says:

      Dr Harleen.. great post! So true what you said about if someone goes into a relationship with a facade from the get go doesnt feel deserving of that persons love and i think this is why narcissists self sabatoge their relationships. They know they arent who they pretend to be and know eventually that love will end when they can no longer keeo the mask on, hence the narc cycle. Get rid of the victim before they get rid of them. They sabatoge all their intimate relationships.

    3. emotion detective says:

      Dear Doc,
      Would you write the same in regards to the other complexes, a and c? You see, they seem to be related, maybe belong on some continuum, or spectrum of personality/ conscience disorders.
      There’s no sense in writing what you wrote above to the narcissist, there’s no chance he will understand you. You can try explain this to a schizophrenic or multiple personality disordered while they are half sane on their best day.
      There is NO person there to talk to.

    4. abrokenwing says:

      Great post Harley! 🙂

    5. Nat says:

      Dr. Harleen that’s a phenomenal question: “Why would you want to be with somebody who doesn’t even like you?” Exactly to the point. But I guess I will never know the answer, there is no answer. Is this what you call addiction? When somebody doesn’t like you, disrespects you, but you still want to do everything to make it right.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        But therein lies the problem. You think we do like you, that we love you or that we once did and that can be achieved again. Your empathic traits of wanting to love, be loved, heal and find the truth compel you to remain and your emotional thinking overrides your logic so logic whispers “This person behaves like someone who does not like you, that is wrong.” Your addicted emotional thinking yells “BUT HE MUST LOVE YOU – HE ONCE DID – YOU HAVE SEEN IT! FIND IT AGAIN!”

        1. MLA - Clarece says:

          HG, but it is not always linked to just emotional thinking. Logically, our mindset to persevere and keep trying to fix is REINFORCED by the other positive, loving relationships we do have in our life. Whether it be with our children, our best friends, other relatives, co-workers, etc. Especially where issues come up and get resolved in a healthy way. That is where we derive our point of reference from. Why wouldn’t we logically apply the same principles to our relationship with the Narc then and expect successful results? Especially if close friends and family, not understanding what we’re entangled with chime in with the standard, “he must care about you and is afraid of his feelings, or afraid to commit”. It’s so layered and complicated.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            No. Your emotional thinking takes over and drowns out the logic. Logic will tell you this is not working or I am being abused but it is not even heard because of the noise of the emotional thinking. With some people they hear the logic briefly but it is overriden, with others they are unable to even hear it.

            Take a naughty child. Logic says – take away the privilege because they have misbehaved. Emotional thinking says oh look how upset he is, you don’t want him like this, give in. You know that the removal of the privilege works (it is the logic) and it makes itself heard more readily so you follow it and fight off the effect of the emotional thinking. When you are with our kind, the maelstrom is such and the confusion so great you are unable to hear or pay heed to the logic. You may not know why it is happening but you do recognise that it is wrong and logic will say “This is wrong. Stop. Get away.” but emotional thinking swamps that and tells you to find an answer, help, fix.

            The difference with say your child where you fix a problem is that logic tells you “It is right to help them, they have shouted but they are a child, this is bad behaviour but not abusive.” You of course feel love for that child, but the emotional thinking does not interfere in that scenario.

          2. MLA - Clarece says:

            I’m still struggling with this perspective, because in other scenarios with different types of relationships that are not narcissistic related, I can see where a person juggles both – logic and emotion – and can still have a successful outcome and issues resolved. Emotion can add depth and passion without always being a negative. And there are many here who did start to pull away on their own first. Did we get hoovered and pulled back in, yes, but again it’s because we had a point of reference leading us to believe one behavior would lead to a successful outcome. We think someone is coming back being genuine with remorse or whatever the justification is being presented by the Narc not knowing it’s under false pretenses.
            As a mother, I have no clue how to not flow with emotion along with juggling the logic. It’s always present. But so is patience, consideration, temperance, etc.

        2. ballerina9 says:

          Indeed HG but then you send a mini “respite” our way we’re only too happy to silence our logic telling us to leave with…and round we go… See, in the end it really is all YOUR fault lol…

      2. Nat says:

        Absolutely HG you are right… it all comes down to the point that the golden period was not true from the very start. But damn, it felt SO real! What’s more, it became so inprinted in our mind, that it feels like I remember every single moment, every single word that was said back then. I guess this is exactly what keeps us in those shackles… “This was such a big love! It must have been true, I need to do everything to wake it up again.”

      3. sues423 says:

        Speaking from my own life experiences, I was a very sensitive and empathetic child. I had parents, mostly my dad, who constantly said things to me and did things to me to make me unsure of my thoughts, feelings, decisions. My emotional compass was all over the place. No boundaries whatsoever. I consider myself to be intelligent and with a lot of common sense, which was always there, but the emotional misfit always took over. I am still having problems to this day but it is much better.
        “What if? What if I’m wrong about him?” ” what if I’m supposed to help him?” “What if he had a hard childhood and I am being selfish for not understanding?” “What if I’m wrong, make the wrong decision and I leave and my kids hate me for it. On and On and On.
        The tape recorder in my head played the negative parental tape over and over that I am worthless, don’t know what I am doing, stupid, etc. so that on top of that, no boundaries makes for person who is unsure of what to do lest they do the wrong thing.
        I also had three children and the wonderful extended family that always told me that “if I was a better wife he wouldn’t be this way” I’m exhausted just saying all of that LOL..
        So my point of saying all of that is, it is extremely hard to just say to yourself , “Why would I want to be with someone who once liked me and now seems not to?” and then act on it.
        As much as I knew what I saw and felt was wrong and As much as I saw ALL the signs.. my human need to be loved and accepted over rode all of that because I was never loved correctly from the very beginning.

      4. Nat there is an answer. You want intimacy. You had what you thought was intimacy in the beginning but it was mirroring. Then they keep pulling and pushing you because they have an avoidant attachment type. They are in such fear of intimacy and giving up control of their emotions that they deactivate their attachment to you. You can’t understand why they can switch off. You don’t do that. So out of desperation to regain a sense of closeness you keep anxiously trying to get back what they intermittently gave. They in turn will move on then come back when the perceived threat to their superiority (emotional connection) has dissipated. Or when they are fooling themselves into thinking that they should have stayed with you (the ex girlfriend) as you really were superior to the treacherous dim wit they have now.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Not deactivate, it was never there to begin with.

          1. It was repressed in childhood. So deactivated in the sense that if the attachment starts to come up, it is forced down by devaluation to the partner to feel superior or regain control. Despising someone’s neediness or feeling that they will be completely enmeshed with you is a fear and danger to your control of emotional connection. You deacti

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Thank you ABB, I appreciate these observations. I am not sure if the end of your message was an error or a pun!

          3. Haha….I’ll take credit for a pun like my high narc traits tell me to. Wouldn’t want to miss any fuel. You taught me that. Thanks.

          4. MLA - Clarece says:

            Hi HG! Speaking of things repressed from childhood, during the YT Live Feed Q&A, someone had asked you if you had ever been punished as a child for doing a kind act. You paused and answered yes, once. Will you ever be able to talk about that in an article?
            From that answer, it would appear that what was in you initially as a child, was conditioned and stunted for any further development.

          5. HG Tudor says:

            It will be covered in due course, yes.

          6. It was there in childhood. It was repressed. You developed an avoidant attachment style. The need to devalue your intimate partner stems from needing to eliminate those feelings of attachment and exert control. It feels like the person is too needy and is trying to enmesh themselves with you. Therefore they are shoved away so that you don’t become intimately involved. You did start out with a feeling of attraction. You deactivated those feelings by focusing on the negative traits and the perceived neediness of the partner. Once the intimacy threat is pushed away and you move to the next fuel provider you can have attraction without intimacy. A shallow emotional attachment and then you have your fear of intimacy dissipate. So a repetitive cycle of feeling this could be the one because of noncommittal surface emotion and then deactivation of that surface emotion when deeper emotion starts to come up. Then devalue to exert control over it and repeat.

    6. Indy says:

      Beautifully written Doc,
      I loved this part especially “We also need to communicate our wants and needs to other people despite how we are afraid it might look.”

      Yes, we have to be vulnerable to be able to truly connect with another, or it is all based on a lie.

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        Thanks Indy 😁

        Maybe it’s good I never got a golden period?

        It appears those who got the golden period become even more confused and rightfully so.

        1. Indy says:

          Hi Doc,
          I never got a golden either, though the socio-Narc guy that I had three dates with tried to start one (he made a huge impression on me as I reference him a lot, he taught me a lot in those 3). First date he offered to take me on a shopping spree for dresses, he “requested” I dress a certain way for dates. I refused his offer and countered his challenge as I knew this was a big red flag (and damn that charm, eyes and hair! He was an actor-writer). Well, next date…yeah he was sexy so I took it as an adventure as I knew….took me to the best sushi sashimi in Atlanta and dropped major dough.,.i knew and yet enjoyed his humor and company. Then the subtle references to more. And to hints of all things dangerous and yet sexy. Yeah, third date done.

          The last ex was an upper mid cerebral and there was a bronze. No crazy over the top love bombing, or I would have ran. thoughhhh he did hint to wanting to marry me at 2 month mark…flag seen, acknowledged conciously and….ignored( my down fall) . I still didn’t know as I chalked up his tendancy to be simultaneously arrogant and self affacing humor as an adorable quirk. It also threw me off the suspicious on narcissism as I didn’t think they engaged in this type of humor. I still like that combo, but now, I will not write it off.

          Wondering how any potential future partner will scale my walls now. Oh yeah, fuckin charm….check. I do like those mopey artist spiritual types too, but I’m sure many are mids now…😂😂😂

      2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:


        That’s crazy ha! There are a lot of people that would have taken him up on that shopping spree lol!

        Funny, my ex psychopathic music producer ex is now in Atlanta. That’s where they are all hiding eh?

        My music producer ex (one of the shortest relationships I’ve ever had lol) was veryyy good looking – a little baffling he sucked in bed though – especially because he had been with so many people (even prostitutes). Goes to show you not all psychopaths are good in bed lmao. I remember he told me that with prostitutes “I pay them to leave” lmao.

        Another funny line from that one: “I’m not good on top.” I remember thinking dude really? Wow lazy as can be lmao! I always had to do the work lmao. You know what’s strange by the way and maybe you or HG or anyone can answer this one….

        This guy would often want to jerk off and have me miss him. He specifically asked for that. Very confusing.

        Wtf? Lmao


      3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        *kiss him

      4. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:


        Is it safe to say you didn’t have to worry about the cerebral cheating?

        I do know a cerebral that was cheating. I helped my borderline friend catch him.

      5. mistynolan01 says:

        Indy, great posts here.

        Always afraid to express my wants and needs and boundaries because I’m not ever sure if they are reasonable and acceptable. BUT, after I recognize that my unexpressed wants and needs and boundaries are being overlooked and/or disrespected, I take action or say things that, to the other person, have come out of left field and they are like WTF!!!?!?

        Once upon a time, I was vulnerable and learnrd from it that people can’t be trusted with my truth. They’ll use it, twist it to their advantage and leave me in shambles.

        These are the elements of my broken personality that DBT is helping me to address.

        Your last sentence describes where I want to be again, Indy. Vulnerability allows for trust and openness and the ability to bE myself.

        Your posts are very insightful and you always say the most sane, rational and compassionate things.

        When I read you, it’s revealed to me how wrapped up I am in my own shit and may not be as aware as I’d like to think I am of other people’s pain. Something else on which I’m glad to learn I need to improve.

        Thank you for your openness and willingness to share and for your genuine compassion for posters here. 😍

        1. Indy says:

          Oh MistyNolan02,
          You really touched me with your kind words and thank you. I meant what I said, I too learn from you and others here. The courage to face fears, our weaknesses, and flaws is impressive and inspirational.

          Yes, I used to do what you describe, be very accommodating up to my brink and then lay the law with a fist. It is confusing to others and I’ve had to blend my boundaries with my personality so it’s less surprising when I say, “no”. And, it is excellent that you do set boundaries! Keep it up!! It does not really matter what they think, it’s your line and your limit!

          This is why I love this blog as well as the work I’ve done in DBT personally and in my career. They are true soul journeys. It’s real, no fluff here. My kind of folks!

    7. lansealan says:

      Well said Dr. Q. 👍

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

        Thanks Ian ! 😁

  15. A.R. says:

    I am resigned to the knowledge that none of what I thought was real ever existed.
    My feelings were mine alone. I would ask him “What was it that first drew you to me?” And he would answer “I don’t know.”
    I will always know that as a red flag from now on.

    1. RecoveringNarcoholic says:

      A.R. — I think “I don’t know” is a common defense mechanism, especially of the mid-ranger. Mine used it as a deflection every time I asked a searching question about how he really felt or what he really wanted. The mid-ranger is all about protecting his facade and maintaining his self-deception. So asking him to do any self-examination is very threatening. It’s also a convenient way to avoid giving an honest answer. His last “I don’t know” is burned into my brain — it was his response when, during the discard conversation, I asked “Can’t we fix this?”

  16. Cindy says:

    After my escape, my ex said these things to me almost word for word. He even scraped up a little eye moisture which wasn’t even enough to pool and overflow. Once you know what they are and what they’re (trying) to do, you become impenetrable. You reach a point where nothing they say or do will make you want to go back. You can’t un-see them once you’ve unmasked them.

  17. emotion detective says:

    I wonder who’s talking here, me, him, or you. I’m totally confused.
    Two mirrors can’t talk like this.

  18. Patricia says:

    So sad. You deplete me.

  19. lansealan says:

    Wow…you guys are all hatched from the same egg. Ugghh. Always thinking there must be someone else capturing our attention? When in reality it is us detaching from your fantasyland. You sense it…but not only can’t understand why, you refuse to believe it. Unable to see the REAL dynamic that is taking place. You say you have done nothing wrong, when it seems that’s what you do best. The total lack of “object constanance”…leaving us in consistent head scratching of bewilderment. The doing and saying “what you think we want to hear” mirroring, projecting, etc., gets old and stale after awhile….especially when WE see that your motive is not to please us…but to make sure your wants n needs are met…usually by your old stand by’s of lying and deceitfulness. Your concept of US is objective and serves only as a purpose for your status. We wise up to being an appliance and apparatus. I could go on and on…bottom line is you just don’t get it…you do your best to pretend and fake it…everything you do just eventually catches up to you and you refuse to accept that you are “losing” the battle of holding onto “US”. Not all will agree…however, I am thankful you were not able to sustain the facade(for my sake and we’ll being)…and I do not sympathize you’re fate.

    1. My sentiments exactly….. you go on and on ad nauseum about our pseudo-obsession with you, our pseudo-pre-occupation with you when, in fact, all but the gullible, naive, co-dependent door-mat types have gotten your number early on and moved on or — egads!– are just completely indifferent to your “charms”. Your entire life revolves around these petty, amateurish games which are everything to you and, frankly, nothing to us. Believe it.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        I think you do a dis-service labelling those who remain impacted by their entanglement with us by labelling them gullible, naive, co-dependent, door-mat types. True, there are many within that category but others are not and they still obsess.

      2. Anonymous says:

        What HG said to your comment. I stayed with my ex for almost four years, so I definitely didn’t get it early on. I know nobody who knows me would describe me as gullible or naive. I’m definitely not a doormat either, nor am I co-dependent. So go easy on us.

      3. sues423 says:

        I don’t think it is fair to make a blanket statement about people that get tangled up with Narcissists. To imply that people who stay are gullible, naïve and co-dependent. There are so many variables and factors that come into play with each individual. Aren’t we all naive when we first go into the relationship? And with that being said, what’s the time frame for being naïve? “I stayed a year and a half and got out, but you stayed for three” that makes you less naïve? in turn smarter, better? I don’t think one can make that judgement so readily. There may be children involved, there may be financial reasons, and they themselves may have had an abusive childhood and never learned any boundaries through no fault of their own. No one knows and individual’s situation and what their background is. Empathic people live for hope. Hope for a better future, a better tomorrow, a better relationship so they hold on. Not always because of the things you mentioned.

      4. ajo says:

        Naïve and gullible, I am not. However, did I love to “rescue” men? Absolutely!!

      5. abrokenwing says:

        Well said Sues!

      6. Love says:

        BesideMyself, based on your comment, I assume you are one of the non-naive/gullible ones that moved on early in the game. Good for you. I’m curious what brought you here. Something obviously still lures you/ draws you back.
        Even if you are over the ‘trifling’ games.

    2. ajo says:

      Funny how we start to see it, get annoyed with it and still stay!! At least I did. But, once I started to catch on and started poking at the things such as stating “I feel like you’re manipulating me, This kinda feels like abuse, I feel like there is someone else”… That’s when the discard came in. He never really devalued me. He never said much of anything negative about me until I caught him with her after my discard. Hate flowed towards me from then on, and it was hard to understand when I was even “cherished” during discard (he just needed to find himself and get healthy for me, whatever!!!).
      Every week it gets easier to see it and now I am blown away that I put up with such a half ass relationship. It really shows that my fear of being alone trumped the extreme anxiety and constant disappointment I had in the relationship. I am single, finally okay being alone and the thought of being with him or another like him to me is akin to strapping on a ball and chain to both legs. I’m running now! Why on earth would I want to be weighed down again! I want a running partner, not someone who is going to slow me down by whining constantly about their injuries.

    3. lansealan says:

      I do agree with HG and others responses that “labeling” and sterotyping “victims”(don’t like victim) is not applicable in all cases. I stayed for 6yrs…early on I was the codepend., naive, gullible doormat. She was soo good at projecting on me, coupled with my issues…ended up just being a vicious cycle. As I said in orig comment, it led to me seeing and coming to terms with my codependency, which I worked very very hard on for two years. As I learned boundaries(1st time in life) and how to enforce them…she didn’t like it at all and would just keep coming up with new tactics and devices in an attempt to derail my control. She obviously “perceived” this as relationship control…however in reality, I was learning how to control myself. Again, HG and others are correct about this mysterious HOLD they manifest over us? In all honesty, I still obsess occaisionally…but as time goes by with NC, my dicipline increases. In addition, I have been fortunate to not receive any type of hoovers(yet) . She presents way higher on the BPD side of the spectrum, comorbid with NPD & Codep. I’ve heard through the grapevine that since my escape, she is in major depression and I’ll health. My empathy “wants” to sympathize…but my intellect says NO WAY! don’t go there again! And to those still trapped…get off the merry go round! Whatever it takes…seize the power!

      1. Indy says:

        Seize the power indeed. And never forget we the first rule of Codependence Club(reference to a fav movie of mine lol), the other person is an adult and it is up to THEM to heal and seek treatment. We cannot do it for them.

        Good work getting out and doing personal work. I have to say it is one of the things I am grateful for from the toxic tangos I have had over the years, learning more about where I need to heal and my part in it. It’s a rough teacher, like those waves and rip tides, it’s often counter intuitive. And we survive stronger from it! “You cannot control the waves, but you can learn how to surf” (Jon Kabbot-Zinn)

        🌊 🌊 🌊

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