The Devastation of the Illusion


You fell in love with an illusion. You fell hard and deep for something which never existed. The golden days that we created together were the twisted reflections of my manipulative hold over you. I know how anxious you were to try to recover the golden period. You poured your beautiful heart into securing the impossible. I know that my silences, my verbal violence, the cheating and the lies, my perfidious control of you was brutal, malicious and devastating. I understand that the whole avalanche of manipulative techniques I applied to you, in savage wave after insidious wave crushed your self-esteem, mauled your sanity and shattered your world. This brutality was nothing compared to the aftermath.

For now you have slipped away from my tight, choking grip. I know however that you sit looking from the window where you used to watch for me strolling up the driveway, a bouquet in my hands and the pain still wracks you as you remember how you fell in love with someone who was not real. Memory after memory stirs from within, an endless loop of ‘best of’ moments that you want to stop remembering but you cannot. It hurts yet you still want to remember because even as the pain rises in your chest, you still feel the flicker of your love for me and you still cherish that. Like the drug addict, you know that line of cocaine is no good for you but still you need to snort it. The cold silences may no longer chill our living room. The sting of my slap across your cheek has long since faded. The barbed comments I fired your way each day have lost their power to wound. All of that has gone. The one lingering, tortuous pain that still sits deep within you is the knowledge that you were in love with an illusion No matter how much you discuss it with your friends, the earnest hours with your therapist and the pile of books about healing that are stacked up besides your favourite chair (which I always tried to sit in before you), none of them help take away that awful aching.

You can manage the shame of being fooled. You take a strange pride in having given your all to such a despicable person because that is the person you are. Honest, decent and a provider of unconditional love. You do not want that to change. You do not want to lose the empathy for which you are renown. The battered bank balance will repair (eventually) and the dosage of the medication will come down (your doctor has said as such in soothing tones). The strength of character which made me choose you means you can deal with all of these things. The one thing that will never leave is that deep-seated pain that you loved a ghost. Your head will eventually accept what happened, that you were charmed, entranced and enchanted and you never stood a chance. That was why you were chosen. Emotionally, you will never lose that dull ache as you sit and reminisce about our time together and how wonderful being in love with me was. Your heart will never accept that it was not real.

That crack, that fracture, that tiny chink that remains from your frenetic and devastating time with me shall always remain. It is through it that I can return as I slip, shadow like into your heart through that unhealed wound. That is why we did what we did; so we always had a way back in. For all of the strength that you exhibit through never taking a call from us, from changing email accounts, from burning the pictures and changing mobile numbers, you are never truly safe. Yes, you manage to evade the snaking tendrils that we uncoiled to try to haul you back under our spell. You will have to maintain that vigilance for the rest of your life. Our polluting influence, if ever allowed near you again, will creep and trickle through the hole that will never seal. You are consigned to a lifetime of wariness and maintain your defences because that damage is permanent.

You will always be in love with the person you thought I was.

55 thoughts on “The Devastation of the Illusion

  1. Primrose says:

    “Nothing is sadder than the death of an illusion” — Arthur Koestler That’s how I felt when I first realized the friend I loved was somewhat different from my interpretation of him.

    But when you think about it, we always see people from our own center of the universe, based on our own experiences. All people (or surely almost all) try to show their best side to the world. Almost all people lie socially. One says, “You look beautiful in that dress,” or “I really had a great time this evening.”

    Most people exaggerate their accomplishments, at least occasionally. I doubt most people feel remorse for any of these things.

    This friend of mine, or I should say former friend, showed me some really good times, gave me some delightful little gifts. If I want to feel bad about it, I can; or I can feel grateful for the good times and move on (provided the little bastard doesn’t come back and annoy me — so far when he has tried, it has not worked out well for him). As of right now, the ledger is balanced, far as I’m concerned. He cost me some time and money, but I got benefits from him as well.

    I can see, however, that many people don’t get off so lightly, such as when there are children involved. I think what saved me from greater damage was that I wasn’t the person he thought I was, either. He met me when I was going through some very rough times and was unusually vulnerable. He actually helped me to get stronger. The Golden Period was just what I needed to get back on my feet! When he switched to the nasty part of the devaluation stage I immediately told him to fuck off. Maybe that’s the secret of dealing with narcissists — bask in the glow of the Golden Period, then dump them. I guess one has to be something of a narcissist oneself to pull this off, though.

    1. Patty Roe says:

      Thank you for replying as you did! I have recently come to the same conclusion which contradicts the article ending! Hope everyone else hurt by narcs find the same truth about this that we both have so they too can heal. God bless you for your above remark.

    2. Patty Roe says:

      When my narc found me I was an utter mess. His dad and brother helped save my life from people trying to cause my death through family court order of all things! All credit for my being saved actually goes to God Himself because he used them to save my life and others who did so out of the goodness of their hearts, namely my doctors, one of whom came to court and told that judge that someone was trying to murder me by forced court ordered meds. She risked her life to save my own coming into such a corrupt county run by organized crime. I survived that and I can also survived this narc I married. He and his family, helped me get back on my feet and gave me time to heal. They advised me against listening to my doctors but humans fail to realize when they’re being stupid so I forgave them for it and told them so before moving along in my life with their son. In hindsight this is something all who marry need to pay attention to in their marriages, the mental health of their family members because this one while being functional were also toxic to a degree to hide their son’s homosexuality and pedophilia. If you’re going to be gay then own it don’t hide it from those you want to marry. If you want your spouse to hide that fact from the public then make a deal to do so, don’t hide it in order to use them and their being straight. But narcs will be narcs right. Mine helped me heal from the abuse of my dad the narc and a research lab & gov’t. who’d had their hands on me, also narcs undoubtedly. Who else would do such things to a baby and the rest of their lives too? Yep, only narcs. But my narc picked the wrong girl because I grew up with worse than him. He kept asking if he beat me, if he verbally abused me, if he cussed me and of course the answer was no but I always said that his abuse came in other forms, more covert forms and the truth hurt him even though it was the truth he tried to get me to say it wasn’t true. Yep, I kept telling him the truth and even that I was disconnecting my heart from him seeing as I could not financially leave him because he controlled our money, every bit of it even birthday money given to me by his mother he thought he had to control. I ratted him out to her of course and she gave him hell for it, lol. He’s abused her before he got to me you see. Learn who you can go to to out them and get them punished and wow there’s a difference. It shuts them down from abuse for a time til they figure out how to do it again. But than you for saying what you did in comments here. It means a lot to me and I’m sure many others.

  2. Yolo says:

    Robots need love too. How pathetic some animals have better instincts than narcs. Well, some narcs .

  3. M18 says:

    This is my ex girlfriend…Ouch…
    She’s gone for 7 weeks now. Of to her (still) husband and small child of 3 years old. She still got my housekey… This is her second discard. Scared for the day she will stand again at my front door…. I do no contact, but my last mail from 7 weeks ago, did left a door open in both ways, i asked her to reconsider things and to give it some time. At that point I was a novice…knowing nothing about NPD. Now I know and it hurts like hell.

    1. K says:

      It most certainly does hurt like hell, M18.

  4. Tizzzi says:

    If it’s enough for you to be loved for how you act and not for who you are, so…ok, good for you. Anyway, you’ve never been really loved by none and victims know that in their heart… you have never given yourself the chance to be loved for real. Thstthat”s why people consider you sad guys… i see that for you it doesn’t matter…but why wasting time speaking of love when you don’t know what it, is?

  5. Janet says:


    1. Deepsigh says:

      Yeah if he hit you….yeah no more chances….once it gets physical it only gets worse! And more brutal! I do not know this from experience as I have never had a man hit me! But I’m going off of everything I’ve read… please stay strong and do not ever go back to him! Not saying you will….but this is still fresh so be careful!

  6. Jeannie says:

    Spot on, right there.

  7. MaryJane says:

    Nope..In the end..I have won…I am 13yrs younger..I still hv a whole life ahead of me..while he got stage 4 cirrhosis and sits alone at his house a shell of a man..sick..skinny with a GIANT belly..selling off all his possesions for money to survive while relying on help from the state to see mediocre Dr.’s who dont care cuz u did this to yourself from drinking cuz he lost his excellent job with excellent insurance cuz his ego wudnt allow him to keep his mouth shut on a jobsite at a school where he verbally threatened a teacher..haaa…sweet vindication:) I love life..the end:)))

    1. K says:

      They sometimes do self-destruct.

      2 dead from cirrhosis
      1 got drunk and froze to death
      7 dead from drug overdoses
      2 died from AIDS: dirty needles, unprotected sex
      1 lung cancer from smoking 4 packs a day

      1. MLA - Clarece says:

        I have seen it also with 4 people (former bosses and friends). One dead from cirrohsis too, at 46. One going to prison for major money embezzlement at 55. One getting stripped of Vice President status after 15 years for a manufacturing company and demoted to salesman having to work from home and banned from the office at age 60. (Think along the lines of #metoo catching up to him). One getting fired from his law firm for harassing his nemesis opposing attorney for over a year creating fake dating profiles and corresponding with men when said harassed attorney is happily married with kids. He is 39.
        Life catches up with them. They get their comeuppance. My best friend has a saying which I think you’ll appreciate, K. “Deal with your shit, or your shit will find a way to deal with you”.

        1. K says:

          I like that saying and it is true, life can turn into a shit storm so fast it will make your head spin. Sometimes, I wonder if my narcissists have their own emotional sea, different from ours, that they have to navigate (find fuel). And I wonder if that is why so many of mine are heavily addicted to alcohol, drugs and junk food. You are right, eventually, it does catch up to many of them and it ain’t pretty when it does.

      2. Primrose says:

        I wonder if narcissism tends shorten the lifespan. Close personal relationships are correlated with better health in old age.

    2. Deepsigh says:

      Wow….your definitely better off without him! Just think it would have been you taking care of him in this state he worked himself into…..but now nobody wants him….he truly is all alone…and it’s nobody else’s fault but his… truly sad as it is for someone to be in such shape….he’s not your problem anymore! Congratulations!

  8. Deepsigh says:

    And besides it wasn’t him….it was the dreams that were connected to him and what he could give me! And yes love would have been nice….but in the end….it’s not him I miss….it’s just the life he could have given me…..or at least so I thought…..because truth be known….I had to force myself to fall for him….I hadn’t more to do with me falling for him than he did….many nights of self talk telling myself…..just give the nice guy a chance once in your life…..yah lol….the nice guy…..however of course at the time I had no idea he wasn’t really nice and that he wasn’t a bad boy after all! Anyways no….it’s the trips and the support and the money and a boost in my career now…..that I miss!

    1. Ellie says:

      Wow I could’ve written this .. thank you

  9. Deepsigh says:

    Nah….I can feel that shit fading! It’s fading and it’s almost lost it’s color! It’s black and white now….and slowly I can feel it slipping away….so yah it won’t last forever! Like a dream that you remember when you first wake up….and then throughout the day you forget….besides….in reality….it was just a dream!

  10. Me says:

    What is described here also sounds very much like what a psychopath does. A person CAN fully recover from narcissistic and psychopathic abuse. As much as these colossal losers like to think they will forever have a grip on someone…They won’t. The very qualities that they were attracted to target is what will help the individual to get over them and realize what garbage they truly are. And remember this: normal, good, empathetic people do not need narcissists and psychopaths… They need us. They can’t survive without targeting someone; but we certainly can and do survive and thrive without them.

    1. Deepsigh says:

      So true! So true!

  11. Cristy Brown says:

    Clair, don’t kid yourself, U read this for a reason.

  12. Anna Ellington says:


  13. Anonymous says:

    Hello, HG. I can accept it was all an illusion, but I cannot accept how much of my life I have wasted on that illusion.

  14. Lish says:

    You think too highly of yourself. You’re not omnipotent as much as you think you are or want to believe. Eventually your victims get over you and move on with their beautiful lives with the sky being the only limit. Not you. But if you must lie to yourself because of your God complex and mental illness, so be it. As long as you’re away. Your thoughts do not matter anymore.

    But the most beautiful thing in all of this is as you sit back and lie to yourself, proud of your disgusting character and rape that you’ve committed your victims are off truly enjoying life. Meanwhile, you’re in your head jacking off to hurting people. How utterly sad, pathetic and disgusting is that. Your karma is your life period. You truly are your own worst enemy. And when you get old and alone unable to play people anymore because you’re old as dust I bet a single tear will roll down your cheek as your pathetic and destructive life comes to an end. That tear simply means, why am I like this? I pity you.

    Happy Holidays!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I understand your need to make statements such as this. It does not concern me. On the contrary it is a small dollop of fuel but moreover it demonstrates the continued misunderstanding that exists. That misunderstanding is a device to try to cause you to feel better about the situation where you have suffered as a consequence of your involvement with our kind. I can explain to you the inaccuracies in what you have written to aid your understanding, although I suspect you will not, at this juncture at least, be inclined to take them on board owing to your emotional thinking needing to try to issue a valedictory jab.

  15. TMCT says:

    Unbelievable. I was just reliving it all tonight before I read your post.
    It makes me feel stronger knowing its not just me out there trudging through this neverending nightmare..
    I am not alone.

  16. margaret grant says:

    No…I guarded my heart..and when I recognized your actions fell short of the mark..,I cut you loose with the pleasure if knowing that my self esteem would not allow your gone!!

  17. Paul says:

    I have been in a relationship with an Italian girl for nearly 4 years. I fell so hard for her. She manipulated me and my family. I have given her so much love, so much. I have been abused for so long now and living with the cognitive dissonance that this creates, that I am a complete mess… and I’m just about hanging on.
    Even though I’m spending this Christmas Day with my family.. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so lost, destroyed, and empty.
    I got engaged to her… wanted to spend my life with her…… I’m lucky I know. What bothers me more is how this might affect any future relationships I might have… I don’t want to stop being the caring loving person I know I am… but I’m finding it hard do deal with what seems to be an underlying RAGE inside…. I’m short tempered and easily triggered… I don’t really know who I really am anymore…. part of me feels like I AM THE NARCISSIST. She started calling me a narcissist about 2 years ago… and the fact I’m a drummer and a natural performer doesn’t help…. these people know how to dial straight into your weakness and fragility.

    1. K says:

      It is very difficult and I am sorry you are a complete mess. The rage is normal and you are not a narcissist. The dissonance is mind blowing and does work itself out eventually. In the beginning it is very, very painful, it is absolutely heartbreaking and you have every right to be angry and short tempered. I found it very helpful to read the articles and comments and venting my anger felt good. Also, communicating with others here is very helpful because we all understand NPD abuse. Narcissists really do know how to find your weaknesses and fragility and then they try to destroy you. They are machines, have zero empathy and are completely incapable of love.

    2. Blank says:

      Paul, if you can love deeply and feel sincere empathy for people, you are not a narcissist. Make sure you go and stay No Contact with her. Let the pain come, cry and cry and then tell yourself you deserve better. Stay No contact (this will help you to get rid of the ‘drug’ in your mind), read everything about NPD and try to distract yourself. Do things you really enjoy. It takes time, just let it happen and in a few months you will feel better. Remind yourself you do not want her back, you do not want to go through this again, you want real love. real love does not hurt like this.
      Take care Paul x

    3. PureRage says:

      The reverse here:
      I am Italian and he is English..
      Hell on earth its his game.

    4. Elvira Perla says:

      Hi Paul. I so connect to this and feel for you. Your psyche has been obliterated, your compass destroyed, you have been “raped” emotionally, spiritually and maybe financially and possibly in other ways . What you are feeling now is entirely normal. I personally thought I was going mad, suffered from anxiety, PTSD, I became a recluse and was very depressed. I also felt I lost my innocence (at 40) and was unable to engage in personal relationships, even with close family. It was as if i was shellshocked and could not concentrate on anything before me, be it a person, a book, a TV program. I had a sense of foreboding, a feeling of drowning and didn’t believe anything to be true. I also felt completely invaded by the Narc, his comments his judgments and his shaming. It was as if i no longer existed and because I had allowed him to erase my “self” I felt I had nothing to fall back onto. It took me years to stop being so crippled. When I discovered the truth (that it was all an illusion/lie) I believed it straight away, luckily I was able to awake to this reality enough to not feel i was missing him. If anything I felt better. I also went no contact , apart from a letter in which I told him what was what, using his preferred put-downers which obviously fitted him to a T. Now at last after years of silence I could speak. That felt good. It’s now over 4 years on and though I am not who I used to be I am feeling better in myself. In time the pain and rage will subside, they will give way to a more settled if not peaceful state. It just takes time. Take time to heal, understand what happened and what was is it in your personality, wishes, dreams, beliefs that prevented you from seeing what was being done to you. This will arm you with at least trust in yourself and the ability to either evade a narc altogether or escape intact from their clutches in the future. best wishes!

  18. Carrie Espinoza Villanueva says:

    Indeed you like to write. It gives you a little thrill every time someone responds. You are the hunter trolling, giving a little of line there…., pulling it snug here. Your words reaching out into the cybersphere probing, touching , toying; the tendrils curling into the tiniest of crevices always prowling for the point of entry. Of course you choose the prey for it’s strength, it’s vitality because only then can this trophy reflect the brilliance of you. Yet every big game hunter knows there is always the prey that has learned to hunt you. You don’t know where or when but one moment you will be almost on the kill and you will feel your skin crawl. It will be your time to pay.

  19. narc affair says:

    No its not if you heal and are over the narc then they no longer hold power. Narcs like to think they have that power but WE hold that power over our own lives.

  20. Jen says:

    Even after knowing the truth and reading your writing over and over again, I can’t stop loving the fake person. How can I stop? Sometimes I don’t care if it’s fake, I want it.

    1. K says:

      Read Exorcism; that may help you. I find reading such accurate information helps me realize the truth of what I am dealing with, which makes letting go so much easier.

    2. Deepsigh says:

      The fake person will fade eventually! So will the lies! You will be whole again! I promise!

    3. Silly little Empath says:

      Read about trauma bonding. Once the bond is broken, you won’t want the narc anymore. No contact is the absolute best thing to do. HG has emphasized how important this is.

  21. Marc A. Washington says:

    How sweet your venom is…was. I now need something stronger. I will sit quietly and wait for you to slip back into my heart so I can break it…break you…

  22. Yolo says:

    Hope Floats…Narcs are like Fresh Christmas trees. Nice with fresh smell of pine, but makes a mess in due time. Plastic trees are consistent bland but, reliable without the mess. We wake up and realize that some things are good fake/ substitute not narcs… Never …Merry Christmas

  23. Catie Garrett says:

    Is there truly no hope? Truly?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Do not look to hope, she is a charlatan. A fraudster. A denier. Look to me, I am the answer.

      1. Tappan Zee says:

        Ha. You & hope are twins.

      2. Noname says:

        You are right, Tudor, a hope is a charlatan in the most cases. Pretty dangerous thing to play with.

        But do you know what? I’ve noticed, that the hope is what that keeps the Narcs “alive”, a “human”. I’ve seen a lot of “dead Narcy souls” in my life and all of them didn’t have a hope in their constructs. I remember when I witnessed it, I was thinking “Ohh, that guy is incurable. He has no hope in him. Nothing in this world would help him. He is dead”.

        I have a suspicion, that a hope could be the last chance, the Ariadne’s thread, that could lead the Narc through his dark maze to the light. I see you have a hope inside of you, Tudor. Don’t kill it. Who knows, maybe it is what that will save you one day. Wait.

      3. Paula70 says:

        Yes you are.

      4. Just Interested says:

        I hope you will remember that the monster was ones your friend as he started of as a coping mechanism.

        I hope you see how he is in fact your mother in disguise.

        I hope you will see how the monster can not really hurt you.

        I hope you will see that he has no weapons except fear.

        I hope you see that your mother could at least physically hurt you. The monster can’t even do that.

        I hope that you see that, just like your real mother, you have outgrown the monster.

        I hope you see that you can look the monster in the eye and see that it can only scream ans shout and look ugly.

        I hope you can see that you created it and the monster is you.

        I hope you can see that therefore you can get rid of it too.

      5. Windstorm2 says:

        “Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.”

        Dont confuse delusion with hope. When we delude ourselves that is “false hope.” Hope is not a charlatan or a fraud and certainly not a denier. Hope is an affirmer. Hope gives us the optimism and drive to push through the dark and difficult times and to see the positive outcome of healing and growth possible in our lives.

        Hope is why we are here reading your blog. Hope is what sells your books. Hope that we can escape our misery, hope that we can learn, hope that we can become the happy, successful people we want to be, hope that we can achieve the legacy we strive toward. Hope is our ally, not our enemy. And I for one am forever grateful that she springs eternal.

        1. MLA - Clarece says:

          Ditto what WS2 said on having hope. I loved your analogy also to SuperXena about treating the Narc like the weather. You just have to deal with whatever blows your way but not let it affect you. I guess watch for Hurricane-like signs and know when to “board up” and take cover.
          You’re like the Narc Whisperer!!

    2. Carrie Espinoza Villanueva says:

      Dear Catie, There was never any hope. It was an act , pure and simple. No amount of compassion or giving will change the situation. You see i am going to assume you are a woman with a conscience, because of your choice of wording. You have morals, there are lines you will not cross because you couldn’t live with yourself. In his/her mind there are no boundaries, everything is fair game. Whatever needs to be done to win will be done, without remorse. Most people think the opposite of evil is good, however evil is a adjective, noun and verb whereas “good” cannot span the gamut of such descrptives. You will come to understand moral is the opposite of evil. You cannot be amoral because you could not face yourself. He/She has no problem facing her/himself. In fact he/She will pat themselves on the back for having so easily manipulated you. Do you want to be that way? He /She has absolutely NO reason to change because most of the time the manipulations work…in the marriage, workplace, courtroom etc. We people of moral and good character don’t want to believe there is no “hope” and that love can change evil. Nope that is not the job of love. “Change” is entirely the right and option of him/her, they have to choose, they have to commit to something higher than themselves. But what is higher if you are your own god?

    3. Narc Angel says:

      Hope is inaction. Replace hope with action and only then will you see things change.

  24. Clare says:

    No I will not – because it wasn’t love. Love is what I have now with my husband. The kind loving man I dumped you for.

    1. Carrie Espinoza Villanueva says:

      You wrote a response. Do you understand this feeds Narcissists? This electronic connection was made because you looked or listened to his website or a YouTube video. He knows you were looking and listening for a reason, you are probably still uncomfortable with putting this terrible time in your life totally to rest. That “vulnerableness” is what his kind preys on. Do not gaze upon his ilk again, there are other kind educated credentialed people on YouTube. There are only two types who can see and smell this species , narcissists themselves and those who hunt THEM.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        I have made no pretence that responses provide me with some fuel but as I have explained time and time again it is of low potency and it is not the purpose of this place. Rather the information provided here is accurate, insightful and goes beyond the many shortcoming and inaccuracies found elsewhere. Nobody here is preyed on by me – that does not happen for several reasons. This is a place where you get the answers to set you free.

      2. Narc Angel says:

        Carrie Espinoza Villanueva

        You are on his website, so you are watching and listening also, and you wrote more than one response in fact. While the one you attacked was merely a positive comment relating how that person now recognizes and has survived the devastation of the illusion, yours delivered a tasty little treat of venom. THAT is what they feed on. You are vulnerable if you think that just because there are others that are kind and credentialed that they have your best interest at heart. Some of them are narcs also with a different method of hunting prey, and some are not, but we do not all respond to the same methods. You speak in your other comment of narcs having choices. We have them too, and I hope you make the right ones for you, but please do not attack those who have made theirs to be here. They were out there being abused and some visited those sites with no success and they are now here and finding answers. We are all free to come and go and to make the choices best for us.

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