Poll : Which Elements Of The Narcissistic Dynamic Have Had A Significant Impact On You?

POLLHG WANTSTO KNOW

There are various entanglements with our kind and it is invariably the romantic one which has the most significant impact on the victim.

Many commentators fail to identify and breakdown the fact that there are different dynamics within the romantic arena, instead focussing solely on the idealisation-devaluation-‘discard’- hoover cycle. There are other dynamics besides this, which I have written about in numerous articles.

There are different stages within those varying dynamics and you are invited to choose between one and three of those stages which has had significant impact on you. No doubt all relevant stages have impacted on you, but do choose only the top one, two or three which have had the most significant effect on you.

Was it the realisation that the delicious golden period was just a manufactured illusion? Perhaps it was the sudden change from vibrant partner to unresponsive robot as you were taken into the Stranger Zone ? Was it the lack of explanation for why you were unceremoniously dumped or perhaps the sudden switch from idealisation to devaluation? Were you affected significantly by always being kept waiting, The Other Woman or The Other Man, as you waited patiently (or perhaps not so patiently) for the narcissist to leave their partner?

Choose upto three which are relevant and as always please do expand on your thoughts in the comments section.

Thank you for participating.

Which of the following have had a significant impact on you

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133 thoughts on “Poll : Which Elements Of The Narcissistic Dynamic Have Had A Significant Impact On You?”

  1. Dear Kate,
    I am fortunate to have not lost a child. However, I very much appreciate your concern. I had posted a comment to Ayla who has lost a child and also faced abuse during that difficult time. Our hearts go out to her for having to endure the unthinkable. (My comment to her might have caused the confusion.)

    There is so much information here, so know that you are not alone in being overwhelmed. Like you, sometimes I lie awake at night, worrying over others or fearful that I’ve done something to upset another. That type of anxiety has plagued me since I was a kid, so please don’t give this another thought, as I’ll worry over you worrying over me.

    You and I are probably just designed that way, but dealing with a narcissist makes it worse, as they do such a good job of making us feel at fault. Considering their blame-shifting and our female design… it’s easy to be programmed to feel guilt… even when we’ve done nothing wrong.

    I will read someone’s post and think, “I should let her know that she has support.” But like you, I often post at night when I’m tired, so I’ll often get sleepy before I can comment… drifting away with my phone in my hand, Narcsite lit up in full brightness. (If that burning heart with that bold EVIL gets burnt onto my screen, I’m gonna be pissed!)

    I’m just teasing, but if I keep hand-contact with my screen, it will stay lit up, so I’ve burnt an image on it before while I’ve slept… but that’s a whole other story.

    I’ve posted when I’ve been rushed, and I’ve commented tired. I’ve gone back to review and thought, “What the heck was I trying to say?” But please know, Kate, that you have said nothing to worry about, nor would I be upset for long if you had.

    I”m pretty much placing all my anger on my narcissist, so everybody else gets a pass. 😉

    I’m kidding… but I am serious, Kate, when I say that I can tell that you have a big heart. So no matter how you say it… that’s the message that comes through to me.

  2. Kate – still, you were strong enough to know what needed to be done and accepted support where it was to be found.

    1. Hi WhoCares,

      Thank you! You are absolutely right and I still have to keep reminding myself that it is okay to accept a compliment and that I need to stop seeing all people as good.

      I think it is possible that my parents have motivations, including their wanting to appear like totally good people and bragging about my son and taking credit for his own accomplishments and personality traits. He is nothing like them.

      To be completely honest with myself, I need to remember that they did not look out for me. The worst thing that I can remember is what they did to me when I was in preterm labor. The doctors were expecting a 2 pound baby to be arriving. I had to lie still in a hospital bed, with painful contractions and no medication (because it would have been harmful to the baby). I lied still and never made a sound. They told me that the longer that I could delay the birth, the better because his lungs(I found out he was a boy when he was born) needed to kick-start the production of surfactant so that he could breathe. The only people with me were my parents and my sister.

      My parents left because they wanted to go to bed and tried to convince my sister to go, too! She stayed, thank God because she watched the machines and got the doctors and nurses, who had also gotten bored with me.

      Seriously, people are so selfish and horrible. I can’t believe that my son and I are still here.

      1. By the way, my painful labor was more than 24 hours and this experience is what made me believe that I had strength. He was born fighting!

  3. Hi WhoCares,

    Your sweet note made me cry!

    Thank you. I could not have done it without my parents’ help and must give credit where credit is due..

  4. Dear BurntKrispyKeen,

    I am hoping that I made a horrible mistake in an earlier comment to you and that I was mistaken in interpreting a comment of yours – please tell me that you have not lost a child of yours? I stayed up too late when I posted my comment to you and went to sleep wondering if I had typed something stupid. Please forgive my confusion!!

  5. Hi Lou,

    You and I both seem to have some sister issues! Just want you to know that you are not alone with this.

    It sounds like there are three of you? My ex-live-in from a few years ago did not have custody of his three teenage daughters, but I got to see them every Saturday and we would go to their sporting events, too. I really enjoyed and looked forward to spending time with them! It was interesting to me to try to get to know each of them and to observe their dynamic. Almost not a day goes by that I don’t think about them and I was thinking a lot about them today. Anyway, because of time spent with them, I can sort-of imagine what that would be like. My sister is too busy for me and that’s what our dynamic is like.

    1. Hi Kate,
      I have mommy, daddy, sister and even cousin issues 😉
      Sister issues are big for me at the moment. I think I am processing my relationship to them at a deeper level.
      Yes, we are three. Always competing with each other. We have very limited contact now.

  6. There is only one narcissist that has ever impacted my life in a way none other has or ever will again. That is you HG.
    He showed me they were wrong. Everything I have gone through I have held on to one belief. They told me I was wrong, He showed me they were wrong and I was right.

    Thank you HG!

  7. The devaluing is childish and he uses stupid name calling . I didn’t grow up this way. He only had a few words in the first (8 years ) he used . Bitch ..or idiot. I know iam none of these words . But none of them hurt me . If he was to say them in a calm matter of fact intelligent manner ……..it would hurt me more.

    My narc acts like a hyper freaked out maniac when he does this supposed devaluing . He is the one that looks like white trash when he does this. He is the one looking less of value .

  8. Nature of devaluation-LMR- narcoholic, very abusive but knowing it was on PuRPOSE is what gets me. Tried to erode my self esteem, make me feel worthless

    Illusion of Golden period (UMR -that I was in competition for IPPS and won the position of IPSS /. DLS instead… The golden period was a try out )

  9. Excellent poll again HG! I’m sure there will be lots of interesting comments to read on this one too. Looking forward to World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day. June 1st I believe.

  10. I started to read the introductory text to this poll, and I must react to the first paragraph. I do not believe the romantic relationship with the narcissist is the one that has the most impact on the victim. I think it is the relationship child-narcissistic parent which has the most impact on the victim’s life. At least, that has been my experience. Just my opinion.

    1. It’s true, because primary caregivers have a big influence on psychological development. I’m only vulnerable to narcissistic relationships as an adult because of this and it has nothing to do with being conned, but addiction. I have an almost supernatural narcdar!

    2. Lou,
      I think you are right on this one. My N sperm donor was mostly removed from my life by the time I was 5, but he was still in the background and I am sure my experience of him was what made me a prime target for my N husband.
      I have also noticed reading the responses, even though offspring is not mentioned in the poll, as the question was to romantic partners, the treatment of those with children to be particularly horrendous.
      Becoming a step mother to his child, his callous response and shifting blame elsewhere to the loss of “our” child, his planting children elsewhere, in other relationships, like a cuckoo, letting someone else raise his child to an age where he does not have to share attention, yet can return to tighten the bond and claim a new appliance, is truly cruel and disgusting in the extreme.
      I can imagine it would be levels worse if the mother is the narcissist, or the family is intact so the child is constantly exposed to this behavior and treatment.

      1. Being born to (and grow up with) a narcissistic mother is the WORST that can happen to a person. There are no words to describe it. You have to have gone through that special kind of hell to understand.

      2. EmP

        A mother who refuses to choose her children over one and stays with him is no picnic either.

      1. /iroll, Perse, Emp, NA, I saw my exNarc walking on the street last week, and I just felt the urge to get out of the car and scream “You fucking narcissist” pointing him with my finger and laugh at him. I did not do it, obviously. He did not look happy anyway and that gave me some satisfaction. The next day, the incident was completely forgotten. The damage my Darth Moeder has caused, however, at all levels in my life, will last beyond her death and until my last day.
        I can go no contact with any narc relationship I have and just a few people (usually not close ones) will judge me for it, but when one goes no contact with a parent, society in general and specially your close ones will judge you and isolate you.
        Even in the internet I have the impression people speak more freely of a narc partner than a narc parent. It is just more acceptable in the collective psyche.
        EmP, I agree with your comment.

      2. What I mean is that the damage my ex N caused was devastating indeed, but I have been able to overcome it. With my narc mother, however, it has been, is and will be much more complicated and hard.

      3. Hi NarcAngel,

        Of course. The only difference is that the narcissistic mother applies all the techniques you have read about on HG’s books to her own children.
        So, not only are you neglected, you are subjected to never ending mind fuck.
        And the occasional physical abuse which, needless to say, YOU brought on yourself.

        But, yes, child abuse/neglect is ALWAYS a tragedy.

    3. Hi Lou,

      A ‘virtual’ warm hug first of all!

      I understand very well how you feel.

      NC with my parents and it is very, very difficult. Not because I miss them (I miss having parents though) but because society has a hard time accepting the idea of a child cutting parents out of their life.
      And obviously if my parents had been normal I would have loved to have them in my life.
      Too bad they are all BUT normal.

      People have told me to get over the past, forgive them, put myself in their shoes, blah, blah: well-intended bad advice.

      They will not/cannot get it. Most of them have good, or at least good enough, parents and cannot fathom the narcissistic family reality.

      Society definitely needs more AWARE NESS. And it seems like we are finally moving in the right direction (thanks HG).

      The stereotype that all parents love their children (and therefore children who don’t love their parents are degenerate and unforgiving people) is hard to die.

      Just like you, I really wish I could tell narcissists that I know exactly what they are. But then, what would I achieve? Most of them have no idea what they are and cannot change anyway.
      The thought that Mid-Rangers have occasional ‘reality gaps’ is a tiny consolation though.

      I heard HG say, in one of his videos, that the damage created by a narcissist is PERMANENT. I have to agree, unfortunately.

      But at least now I know I am not crazy. And that’s a relief.

      1. When people make statements like this, I always want to tell them to go fuck themselves six ways from Sunday.

        “People have told me to get over the past, forgive them, put myself in their shoes, blah, blah: well-intended bad advice.”

        Narc parents suck!!!

      2. Thanks a lot for the warm virtual hug, EmP, I really appreciate it.
        I also think that the damage a narcissistic parent causes is permanent, although one can learn to manage and even change some of the emotional and behavioral patterns/habits learned earlier in life. But I guess it is a life long task. I have come to accept that and I even find it interesting and exciting sometimes.
        What I am struggling to accept at the moment is the permanent damage my narcissistic mother has caused in my relationships with my sisters and extended family. Specially my sisters. It is all fucked up. I have known this for a long time already, but the fact that I will never have a normal relationship to them has hit me again recently Of course, to them, it is all my fault (I”denounced” and got out of the “family’s system” some years ago and have been made the scapegoat since then). At this moment, I really wish I had had a normal family.
        I was thinking yesterday that I do not know if a narc mother is the worst that there is in this life (I think there is worst actually), but it is certainly amongst the hardest experiences a human being can have.
        It is certainly the ultimate narcissistic mind fuck.
        Hugs to you EmP

      3. K, a cousin of mine who apparently saw the abuse in the family told me once that I should forgive and love because that was the good healthy way to deal with it. I lost my patience with her and we have taken distance from each other. We just write sporadically. She recently wrote to me how lucky she felt for having been able to celebrate her birthday with her sister, my two sisters and all the nephews. Those kind of messages do make me wonder sometimes why the hell I cannot do that. There must be something wrong with me indeed, because I feel so uncomfortable around them and apparently see things that are not there. I am too sensitive and neurotic. I always have been. That is why I left my mother’s house quite young.
        I guess I just have to finish mourning the whole concept of family.

      4. Hi Lou
        There is nothing wrong with you just because she has adopted the pack mentality and joined them in trying to make you feel guilt and rub your face in all that you are supposedly missing. You feel the way you do for a reason, and its self protection. Its just easier for them to believe that its you. My sister spouts this “life is too short to hold a grudge or drag up the past” horseshit believing shes healthier, and guess what? Shes back on the hamster wheel being depleted by another opportunist. Sounds like they just hate the healthy boundaries you have set for yourself in keeping your distance from them because it identifies theyre the ones with a problem-that being refused another fuel source.

      5. I can forgive and even love them but from a distance. I think that is what they do not understand.

      6. Hi K,

        I had never heard the ‘six ways from Sunday’ phrase before. Good one!

        Anyway, it is very frustrating to hear those statements. But what frustrates me the most is how difficult (if not impossible) it is to explain/prove the abuse to others.

        As I have said before, those who haven’t been around narcissists will not understand. And there is so much misinformation out there..

      7. Ha ha ha.. thank you, EmP!

        You are absolutely right. Every time I tired to tell people about my childhood they refused to believe me; they thought I was lying, so I stopped talking about it. People just don’t get it. The misinformation, and lack of info, is appalling and the APA should be ashamed of itself. I think our only hope is word of mouth and social media.

      8. Yes, not having a normal family is a disgrace Lou. My parents cut ties with everyone else years ago so I haven’t had cousins, uncles, aunts around for ages (most of them were narcissists anyway).

        My sister is a narcissist too, abusive, jealous and aggressive, and we are currently very low contact. Plus I live in another country now.
        Of course she blames me for having gone NC with our parents and has been using various manipulation techniques to exert control and try to make me go back to the old status quo.
        It is painful but relationships between siblings within a narcissistic family will always, always be compromised. Someone will HAVE to be scapegoated.

        I understand that saying a narcissistic mother is the worst that can happen to someone might be a bit extreme and, in the end, abuse is always terrible. Being denied your primary caretaker, though, not being able to learn how to form a bond with someone (which is what the interaction with a mother should teach a child) seriously screws you up for life. Not to mention all the symptoms that you experience after years and years of torture and mental abuse. That stuff makes you ILL.

        I have just started to recognise my fucked up relationship patterns too. The fact that my partners were all, more or less, the same is a clear sign of repetition compulsion, re-victimisation.
        Bottom line: it could have been even worse, but I am pretty messed up nonetheless!

        I hope you manage to sort things out Lou.

      9. Narc Angel, K and EmP, thanks a lot for your messages. I really appreciate your words at this moment. I have been recently in contact with my two sisters and the above mentioned cousin and that stirred some things up inside of me.
        NA, my younger sister, who is into yoga, energy and reincarnation, told me recently that everything depends on what you focus on, “one needs to see the positive and grow”. She said it in the typical indirect speach we use in the family to insinuate things but deny everything if you react to the things that are said. “Oh, I was not talking about you, I was talking about… x”. Anyway, it is always a competition between us even as to who is the healthiest and more evolved one of the three. 😂
        K, my cousin is a puzzle to me. I know she is not normal and I have wondered if she is a narc too, but does not look like she is. I think she is most probably a codependent.
        EmP, I agree that the narcissistic dynamics make you ill. II know my body has suffered a lot because of it.

      10. You are welcome, Lou
        Your cousin is a mystery to me too, she doesn’t seem to understand your position or have any empathy, and re: your sister’s comment about “one needs to see the positive and grow”, just respond with something like this: I’m trying to see things from your point of view, but I can’t get my head that far up my ass, then disengage and say, “bye Felicia” as you walk away.

      11. K, LOL.
        I woke up this morning thinking that my younger sister may be a narcissist too. She definitely has a lot of narc behavior toward me. Always has. But I am not sure. Difficult to Tell. One thing is sure: I am better off having limited contact with her. She is also toxic to me.
        I will read Chained again. I need to deal with the family’s codependency.
        Thanks K. 😘

      12. My pleasure Lou!

        Your sister should definitely be on your narcdar. Enjoy reading Chained again. That is one of my favorites.

    4. Lou
      Wow! Your cousin doesn’t have much empathy. I read that invalidation is an aggressive form of emotional abuse where the goal isn’t a compromise but a power play used to suppress your needs (to be heard, believed and understood) in favor of the needs of another person (or group). And then she wrote to let you know how lucky she was because she celebrated her birthday with her sister, your sisters and nephews. Wow! Again, I think she displayed complete lack of empathy and tact.

      People say stupid crap like: just forgive and love and everything will be all cupcakes and rainbows. Don’t listen, there is nothing wrong with you and the abuse you endured was real and is unacceptable. Your feelings are valid so don’t deny them for the “group”, keep your distance and take care of yourself. To hell with everyone else.

      Your instincts probably had a lot to do with you leaving your mother’s house when you were young. It was a form of NC. Losing a family is very, very difficult and it will take time, but eventually you will be in a position of strength where your feelings will be tougher and it won’t bother you as much. As far as I am concerned, it is their loss.

  11. For me, it was the sudden shifts from idealization to devaluation for the increased intensity of fuel. Because I do not seek negative attention or negative emotions, it was hard to wrap my head around the fact that others do find it satisfying.

      1. Hi Narc Affair,
        Aww thank you. Hugs back.

        I like to refresh myself on HGs work so I do not forget how easy it is to slip back into these relationships.

        I saw this poll and thought I’d post. Grateful for the knowledge gained here at HG University.

        Hope you are doing well, NA😊 Nice to see a familiar name as well as lots of new ones. It’s a good thing!

  12. Catherine,

    There is nothing you can say that will bring closure. You can’t get color on a black and white tv. He doesn’t care that he hurt you… words won’t change that. At this point… your silence speaks louder.

    As for the poll… the illusion. Believing that he was a good father kept holding on.

    1. Just Me,
      Thanks for your reply. You’re absolutely right that he won’t understand or regret that he hurt me, but it’s not about him. He can flush the letter down the toilet for all I care; he can have it for breakfast and never read it. For me it’s about standing up for myself. I never did; the appeal of the letter is purely to dare do so and to get closure from having said what I never did before. I would get some of my power back that way; daring to speak up. That’s all. I need to put the colour back into my life; I honestly don’t care about him anymore.

      1. Catherine,
        I get that. I got the chance to unleash 28 years of bottled up hurt and pain before i served him papers. I feel no closure.. but I do feel empowered. His reply… nails in my tires and than some.

  13. As far as I’m concerned, it’s missing an aspect that really impacted on me: the sudden impossibility to recognize the person standing in front of me. Like Dr. Jeckill and Mr. Hyde. This dissonance messed up my mind.

  14. My narc is my mother, and since you have only one mother in your life, it means that I can never move on and find a new love or anything like that. I have to deal with the fact that she willfully hurt and devalued me over decades and that she not only didn’t care that I was hurt but even drew positive feelings from that. This is a tremendous burden and frankly, I think this is much much worse than encountering a man that you idealize and then get your fantasies shattered because he turned out not be the perfect love you wanted. Just move on and forget him! But how can I forget my own mother?

  15. I chose why could he not leave me alone. When I realised something was wrong with him and I had enough, not knowing quite yet that he was a narc I started to plan my escape. I was horrible to him, calling him out on he’s BS, giving him silent treatments, making him jealous and so on. I wanted him to discard me as I thought he’s BIG ego would accept this better. But nothing was working, I couldn’t wrap up my mind what kind of creature I was involved with as he kept saying he will never let me go. But around that time I discovered this community and HG and realised what I was dealing with and my mistakes of feeding him with negative fuel. Went NC as that’s the only solution. Now after two months of NC still occasionally getting malign hoovers from unknown numbers, but I know now what wounds him the most “silence”. Stay NC people if it’s possible and they will shoot away…hopefully.

    1. This sounds like exactly what I tried to do, Lilly! At first, I tried to just do the “it’s not you; it’s me” thing to spare his feelings but when he begged me not to leave and swore he’d change, then started the same BS after giving him another chance (again…. I can’t even count how many chances he’s had) I tried to be as horrible as I possibly could… what this got me was punishment for my bad behavior…. and I had no defense because I actually was being awful. I went NC several times and each time I caved as he upped the ante with each hoover. At one point he said it would be over when one of us stopped breathing. That’s when I found this site and realized exactly what was happening. Seven months NC now (198 days!) and every time he sneaks a phone call through and I hang up the second I hear his voice, I smile a little knowing that is his biggest fear…. being insignificant. I hope he gives up soon because I don’t know how much longer I can go without whispering a little, “Eff you” before hanging up…. and that tiny drop of challenge fuel will start it all over again. It’s exhausting recovering from narc abuse….

      1. Snarkandgrace, your comment about “Eff you” put a smile on my face as I too sometimes feel the urge to do the same. But he doesn’t deserve that, it is still an emotion and I am not going to waste any energy on him. Yeah I too tried the it’s me, not you approach and went through the whole cycle of promises etc, but these people have their own (toxic) logic and only when you realise this, you win. I do agree with you, it is difficult at times, but 7 months of NC is a nice milestone. I hope you keep it that way and he becomes a distant memory. In a few days I am getting a new phone number again and then I am gone forever as he will not be able to reach me.

      2. Dear SnarkandGrace,

        Your courage gives me strength. Seven months… that’s impressive.

        And I know what you mean about chances. The attempts to change are short-lived. I watched the odds diminish with each return.

        Thanks for the inspiration that each day of NC eventually turns into months.

      3. BurntKrispyKeen, that is exactly why I come here… to find strength by hearing that you guys surviving. So glad my post could lift you up. I admit I come here more often when I am struggling. I should post more than I do because I get such strength from the posts of others…. but I’m still gun-shy and just waiting to fail. I don’t want to be all, “Look at meeee! Seven month narc freeee!” and then have to tell y’all that I caved again.
        We’ve got this, though. Days turn to weeks turn to months turn to years…. I’m celebrating BIG on September 24, 2018…. The first anniversary of the final KMA! I think I’ll change my birthday to that day. Hang in there!!!

      4. Hello Snarkandgrace … I felt a lot like you about posting and I am mindful of the extra work for HG too but I find the interactions have strengthen me.

        I was never on a blog before – I was really insecure at the begining and like you – came in bad times .

        Now I want to write all the time … I feel I have so much to share and learn from others…

        I bless this blog 🙂

      5. I understand S&G…
        On the days when I’m feeling confident, I’ve been known to get a bit cocky. It actually feels pretty good. I’ll tell myself that I’m through with him and ready to move forward and never look back.

        Shortly thereafter, that’s when the tears will come. Ugh! Those weak moments are sooo dangerous for me.

        But please do remind us of the special day this autumn so that we can celebrate with you. You can do it!

        And if the unmentionable does happen, you’re still stronger and will get right back on track… I just feel it.

        (And yes… popping in has many benefits. So please keep sharing. More than you realize are being benefited.)

        Take Care SnarkandGrace, soon to have two birthdays…

  16. I chose the sudden change to and nature of devaluation. I am thinking about when we found out that I was pregnant and my ex-husband went ahead of me by a day or two to his mother and step-father’s house to share our good news. From when I pulled up in front of the house and throughout my pregnancy, I was hated, bullied and badgered by the three of them (later to be added was my ex’s grandmother) to get an abortion. “Wicked witch of the east” felt she was too young to be a grandmother. And an unborn child should die??? EVIL . . .

    It all comes down to my ex-husband’s actions, inactions and how he let my son and I down. He could not have ever loved me, our son or even himself. He threw away a life that many would have appreciated and found immense happiness!

    1. Kate, I chose the same option you did. Their abrupt change from sweetness to bitterness leaves us rattled. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be to have to endure that while pregnant.

      To feel happy and loved to suddenly being belittled while with child… it disgusts me. I am sorry that you were treated in such a disparaging way.

      I wish you well on your journey to heal.

      1. Dear BurntKrispyKeen,

        Thank you for your kind words! It was so difficult to be the only one who wanted this baby, but I did my best to eat well, exercise safely and keep myself focused on what was important. When my ObGyn told me to leave for my baby’s sake because he knew what was going on, I did. It was so hard on me that I went into pre-term labor a week later. I feel that it is a miracle that he is even here!

        I read a comment of yours earlier today and want you to know that I can’t even express my sympathy for your loss. I am so sorry..

    2. Thank you so much Kate. I am so glad that your little miracle has blessed your life! I can see that you are a strong, caring mother.

      While most everyone here has experienced some form of loss, you might be referring to my comment to Ayla, who had to endure the unthinkable. Our heats certainly go out to her. (I sent my comment to Ayla twice because the first comment had typos, but the flawed statement hasn’t been deleted just yet, so I apologize for adding to the confusion.)

      I’ve read several of your comments Kate and have found your input helpful. So keep sharing! Best wishes as you continue to heal…

      1. Thank you, BurntKrispyKeen for your kindness and encouragement! This is the first blog that I have ever looked at and contributing is new to me. I am kind of a loner and when I first received a message from a fellow blogger, I was like, “Oh! They wrote to me!!”. I guess that sounds a little silly, but it’s true!

      2. Same for me Kate. I had commented one brief statement on a site re: nerve damage and the healing process/time frame. (I know – boring.) Other than that, here is the first time I ever felt compelled to “say” something. (And I’ve visited PLENTY of narc-websites!) I still do check in on others from time-to-time, but here was where I felt safe enough to actually open up and share.

        There was something about the intrigue of getting a chance to glimpse inside the brain of someone who resembled the man who hurt me so. I wasn’t about to miss out on that rare opportunity, so that aspect was great! But there was more to it. The gift that HG shares in his ability to relay information in a direct yet entertaining way… his words simply pulled me in…

        Typical narc. Ugh!

        Then I started reading the comments. I was impressed with the intelligent and kind manner his audience presented themselves. So I felt like I was in very good company.

        I sent that first burning question, and HG promptly responded. I immediately wanted to learn more. I had suspected my guy was a flaming narcissist, but I didn’t feel entitled to make the call. But honestly, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to accept what that fully meant.

        So I chose a spot….an older thread to where there was no current activity. I didn’t want to disrupt the ongoing conversations (as they are often pretty darn funny). I didn’t want to be the spoiler of the party by dropping all of my baggage in the middle of folks who seemed to have already been acquainted. I didn’t know if anyone would even see my comments, but now that I better know how this works, HG must have gotten little sleep that night. (I still feel bad about that.)

        I just started unloading… not knowing if anyone would even notice or care. It was the first time I’d ever “told” my story. (I don’t really talk about it with others either, Kate.) I was so angry that night when I was sending in parts of my experience to the Narcsite comment section.

        In the midst of my rant, Perse responded to me during what seemed to be in the middle of the night. I remember holding onto every word she wrote. I felt so appreciative. I bursted into one of those ugly cries. I couldn’t stop.

        But it was the most cathartic therapy for me. And I will forever be grateful.

        It was the real the start of my healing. So keep posting, Kate. It is obvious that you are a kind, intelligent woman with plenty to offer… so keep sharing. It’s good therapy. ☺

    3. Hello Kate,

      I am so sorry to hear what you had to go through. It must have been hard to protect yourself during your pregnancy while putting up with your ex and his family’s hating and bullying at the same time. None of them deserve to see your child. Your son has a strong, loving mother and I hope that both of you are safe now.

      1. Hi, E.B.,

        Thank you for showing concern for my son’s and my safety! Fortunately, I was a young, healthy woman. Also, the doctors told me that my careful diet made a difference for my premature baby.

        Believe it or not, but I was able to keep his father from getting overnight visitation and I was almost always with them (there is more to it than that!). There were no overnight visits until he was old enough to drive himself! He is a strong, smart and hard-working young man now and I am so proud of him!

      2. “Believe it or not, but I was able to keep his father from getting overnight visitation and I was almost always with them (there is more to it than that!). There were no overnight visits until he was old enough to drive himself! He is a strong, smart and hard-working young man now and I am so proud of him!”

        Kate – that is an amazing story. It must have taken much fortitude to be able to protect your son throughout your experience and up until young adulthood. That’s pretty freaking awesome…and must have required much personal sacrifice on your part.

  17. The further away from myself I got because I didn’t listen to my gut instinct, and the self flagellation for not being as feisty externally as I was feeling internally. I think feeling my feisty power and letting it out would have been a pleasure and solid confidence building material. I missed that opportunity because I was clinging to the hope of the golden period returning. If I let that feistiness out however, I probably would have extended the whole narc/empath dynamic longer than I did, because the excitement of it all would have been compelling for us both.
    Instead I got tired and boring, he got bored and I lost confidence and I’m trying to build it up again.

    1. Anna Trad- I feel the same and have the same regrets. And I’ve been battling not sending a letter to my narcissist letting out all the things I held in. Hoping to show my patience and loyalty and love. The letter is not necessarily attacking -but acknowledging what happened. But I think it will be seen as an attack if I ever send it because none of it looks very good for how she acted. Good luck on your journey building back your self worth. I am working on the same.

  18. I chose these 2

    Lack of cogent explanation for the devaluing behavior. This almost always seem to come out of nowhere, and when I thought things were calm, and therefore everything was good between us. The reasons given were ridiculous and false, so I would, of course, try to correct him, which would enrage him, or try to soothe him, which worked sometimes, and not other times.

    The other was that he would not just leave me alone when I escaped. If he hated me so much that he was accusing and degrading me in most of our daily interactions, and actively going out of his way to cause me misery, he should have been joyful and triumphant that he had gotten rid of me.
    But no, there was his most gentlest form of gaslighting, that I was mistaken he didn’t love me, he was trying to let me know where I needed to improve, and he was so very frustrated that I was “dense, oblivious” he assumed I was being “thick” on purpose. He would not have been so angry if he realized it was my “condition” causing me to be that way.
    So many “nice” ways to call someone stupid. And I was, cause he was able to bring me around to the point of view he wished me to see, so that he could seduce me all over again, from romance (tough sell to me) to obligation (worked quite often with me).

    But really, it hurts more to learn these things about me, than about him.

    What HG has taught us about narcissists has given me more relief, than pain.

    I hope the hurt I feel will help me change enough to enforce boundaries much more fiercely.
    But at this point, I want a intimate relationship about as much as a fish wants a clothes washer. Sex and a hand with repairs (I got neither from him) would be nice, though.

  19. Every time he tornados back into my life (and I always let him even though I don’t really want to), he’s somewhat changed. He erodes me. He’s making me regress to a time long ago when I was a child and had no control. He catapults me backwards. At least I’m much more aware these days after hearing other people’s lived experiences and from your detailed writings H.G.

  20. I would have chosen an option not available on this poll but given the offerings I chose: ‘Knowing the golden period was an illusion.” Mostly because after having read ‘Sitting Target’ (highly recommend reading btw), and being enlightened about that aspect of the dynamic, I am still struck by one of the things my narc did the first day that I met him (and he could not have pre-harvested knowledge about this particular part of my life) It will always stay with me and cause me to compare him (positively) to other men. The reality that the one thing that sealed the deal for me was likely contrived is very hard to accept.

  21. The honeymoon abruptly stops one day like a vehicle hitting a post at 60kms.
    The whole world turns upside down.
    The change seemed so random.
    I focussed so deeply on the change itself that I did not look around to see if there had been a catalyst to the incident.
    My continued need for support was an annoyance. Every emotion was “too much”.
    I sought to please him and became a resentment instead.
    His life fell apart when I left. I managed to escape. He being a public figure in our community he saw quickly the asset I was to our household….not perfect…though certainly a consistent stream of warm energy.
    Everything he thought he had built disappeared and not by my doing.
    I didn’t call the police or the movers or the neighbours. He failed miserably on his own without me.
    All I know now is that whatever his definition of success is it isn’t mine. I’m no longer attracted to emotionally unavailable people. The liberty I have in this new found freedom defies expression in the English language.
    It’s truly an amazing experience.

    1. An eternal student … I love what you wrote. We can read the healing and evolution. That is amazing the eduction for your friends that is a very good empathic way to have a purpose.

      Also – I recognize myself so much in «  each émotions was too much » I heard that so many times … thanks butiful writing !

  22. I know it is not there… but it is the overall ” Insult to my intelligence” – my heart intelligence, body intelligence, brain intelligence.

    It was all in my face and he was telling me, I am a narcissist, it is all about me, only me, I am an egomaniac, I am bad , the demons etc.

    Stupid me… If he tells me all this then he wants to change, he can change, I am powerful and loving enough, he will become good, he is good, he just does not know it.

    Then slowly was taken time away, Sunday with other woman, than Sunday Mondays then salami sliced me to almost nothing and now shelving , unshelving.

    It is really like the frog in hot water analogy, the water warms up day by day until it is too late, too hard to jump out. The good things is that he gets busy getting fuel and forgets to heat up the pan and so the water gets colder and we can jump out ! In due time. 🙂

    1. On My Journey, thank you for sharing that great analogy. It is so true! And isn’t it ironic?

      The narcissistic search for additional fuel results in his/her neglect of a premium source. Whether or not those silent treatments are to punish or to create a little free time for some fuel seeking… their neglect of us is what allows our escape.

      I even told mine that once. During the period where he’d start to get all sweet as soon as he sensed that I was getting upset enough to exit (or even just restless) … he’d become oh-so-charming and do whatever he needed to pull me back.

      I told him that it was during his silence when it became quiet enough for me to hear my own voice… that it was during his absence when I learned how to live my life without him.

      1. BKK – yes that is so true and thank you For the story. The first days of NC feels really good for this very reason – being atuned to ourselves again !!

  23. The sudden switch from idealisation to devaluation
    Changed like night and day .

    The lack of a cogent explanation for the devaluing behaviour

    Keep doing the same “negative things “ and apologize for it when I didn’t even mentioned them to begin with weird !

    The nature of the hoovers

    Confusing !!! . The line stayed open no New IPPS being rubbed all in my face “for ever single looking” taking all the blame . Just strange .

  24. The nature of the devaluing behaviour. The shock to realise, what kind of human creature I had invited in my life and that I did not recognise it earlier. I do not want some kind of a closure from someone, whom I cannot respect or appreciate anymore . What kind of closure could that be?
    I am still angry about me, that I have had a relationship with that creature and that I cannot tell other people: “It was only a short affair, a mistake.” They would not believe it.

    1. Mona, I don’t want closure anymore. I tried it 20 times at least and he just was not willing to give it a try. I don’t think he understands closure in the same way I define it. He told me very early on in our relationship he would never say goodbye to me. And that he never ends a relationship. I was so puzzled by that . . . Now I know. I am an appliance, a Stepford wife, he owns me until one of us dies. I have to accept this.
      Please forgive yourself for making a ‘mistake.’ That’s human. On this site, the vast majority made the same ‘mistake.’
      I actually do not look at it as a mistake. I have learned so much . . . I will never be in a narc/empath relationship again. And I am open with my female friends and educating them. I have support I’ve never had before. This site, HG and many friendships.

      1. Melinda, thank you that you tried to comfort me. I know that nearly all of us made the same mistake and that it is human. I do not know how to explain it, I actually do not want to forgive or forget this mistake. It is more a question of proud than of feeling guilty or responsible for that mistake. I feel like an elephant who never forgets the person, which treated him badly. No, I am too proud to forgive me that mistake. And if he would call me at his last day of his life, I would not go to visit him at the hospital. There is no, really no compassion for him anymore, only contempt. And I do not want to hear my name mentioned in his environment. It is embarrassing.

        Melinda, he does not own you, he only tries to make you feel that way and he will try to do it again and again. There is a way out of it. He is not almighty. He is only a nasty, reckless,devious human with buttons you must find and push carefully. (Be always very cautious with this type of human desaster.)

  25. I think the nature of the devaluation and the lack of explanation were the highest hurdles for me. I tend to be a truth seeker, if you will, and the confusion about what exactly the truth was, or is, plagued me. It still does some nights. I find myself recalling beautiful memories, wondering if there was any part of him that was emotionally invested. My logical brain knows there was not, but my heart so desperately wants to make the pain have MEANT something. My discard and devaluation came at an incredibly painful and critical juncture in my life – when my son died. To be abandoned, beaten – both physically and emotionally, at that time, destroyed parts of me that will never heal.

    1. There is one thing Ayla I have done well I think . Everytime I felt I was getting too confused or damaged , I took time off him , the first time I told him I needed medical support and I would
      Get back to him in a couple weeks and wanted nc.

      It did put me back on my feet. I did it again 2 months ago and back on my feet.

      I know the price I pay – I come back and I need to win my space again etc and less and less time for me . But everytime I gain strength that is the prize . With this site and HG I must say my LT is growing stronger everyday .

      1. That is very sad and especially when someone add a burden on you.

        You can never count on Narc when in difficult moments, I have always known that instinctively.

        My mom gave birth to 4 kids alone- my dad was never there. I have learned very young that you better not count on them and find alternate strategy rapidely when you are in emotional or physical pain.

    2. Ayla

      I am sorry about your loss. I like your name, it was the one I chose for my daughter. He isolate me from everyone and was one of that factors leading to her death.

    3. Dear Ayla,

      I am so sorry that you have endured the unthinkable.

      It is incredibly difficult to make sense of narcissism, but to have to attempt to bear the pain of abuse alongside the agony of losing a child… no one should have to take on such burden. Pease know that you are not alone and may you contine to find the strength you need to heal. God Bless You.

    4. Dear Ayla,

      I am so sorry that you have endured the unthinkable.

      It is incredibly difficult to make sense of narcissism, but to have to attempt to bear the pain of abuse alongside the agony of losing a child… no one should have to take on such burden. Please know that you are not alone and may you continue to find the strength you need to heal. God Bless You.

    5. Hello Ayla,

      I am very sorry to hear that this happened to you and that parts of you have been destroyed and will never heal. Nothing prepares you for the loss of your son and at the same time you had to endure so much cruelty. It must have been very painful to write that.

  26. I chose:
    1. GP was an illusion (narc heroin)
    2. Lack of cogent explanation for devaluing behavior (fuel, WTF!)
    3. Stranger Zone (that was weird)

    The experience with my MMRN was an absolute mind fuck and I won’t let it happen ever again.

  27. – Knowing the golden period was an illusion – that’s almost at times been impossible for me to grasp. Not only the golden period though; knowing that the whole relationship as I saw it was an illusion that I even participated in creating and upholding by being kept in the dark as to his true nature, by allowing my ego to refuse to see what was happening and by not being able to give up on him and see him for his despicable actions instead of for his deceitful and sweet words. That what I thought of him, who he was and who we were together rested on a, to say the least, flimsy and frail supposition by me that we both shared the same reality. That’s almost been unimaginable to me. Hurtful and difficult to understand.

    – The nature of the devaluing behaviour – I still feel the impact of how he treated me; how he ensnared a carefree and loving woman who would do anything in the world to make him happy and managed to almost annihilate my strengths and turn my weaknesses against me until I in a matter of a few years was left with an emptiness of self that I’ve never experienced in my life before. I still feel complete horror when I realise more and more the intricate games he played with my sense of justice, my sense of reality and my refusal to believe him to be evil for so long which gave him plenty of time to turn me upside down and leave me hanging there. I still shiver when I think of how he custom made his punishments and his praises to suit my character and to inflict the most possible damage on me. He managed to obliterate me as a person, he almost destroyed my soul. I was physically violated, but that hasn’t left the worst scars. I still feel like I’ve been psychologically raped if that makes sense? How can that even be possible?

    – The lack of explanation for disengagement – I always return to the matter of getting no closure and I choose to interpret this alternative as such. It’s been beyond difficult for me to accept that the only closure I’ll ever get will be the one I create by myself. Then I’ve wanted for so long to create that closure by writing him a letter and having the final say, I’ve needed that kind of point you get to when you pass the threshold and you can thereby pinpoint “the before” and “the after” if that makes any sense; where “the after” is where I move on with the rest of my life and leave him behind me in body, mind and heart. The kind of point where the power and control of my life finally belongs to me and only me again. I don’t know where I’m at with all this yet though; I’ve bored my therapist to death with these constant obsessive thoughts of closure.

    1. I can relate to almost each line you so beautifully shared and I can offer you a piece of interpretation/advice: you did have the closure. Remember when he sent your keys back? That was a hoover. A Hoover is the closure, as it proofs he indeed is a narc and you have indeed escaped. All love to you <3

      1. You’re so sweet Carol M, and yes, the keys were part of the puzzle for me; they symbolised a power being returned to its rightful owner to me. Still I’m battling with my wish for the last say; voicing my disgust with him and with what he did to me; but I haven’t sent anything at all; more than likely I will not ever do it. I don’t feel any longing anymore, I don’t feel any positive emotions towards him; what I do feel at times is hatred and when I get like that I’m fuming and I want to send that letter ha ha… I hope you’re well and that your narc is keeping his distance from you? But yes, he’s here in Sweden still?

    2. Catherine, I feel this too – psychologically raped is a very accurate description 🙁

      1. Thank you blackunicorn, yes the more I think of it it’s quite an accurate description of what we went through.. Hugs!

      1. JAX, it’s amazing how all our stories are so much alike; but then we’ve all been exposed to people with a personality disorder. I hope that you’re doing fine and that we all manage to leave this mess behind.

    3. As always Catherine, you have said it suitably.
      I enjoy your well-contemplated posts. ☺

    4. I received my closure from HG and this site. I am living my post narc life now. This is my after. I don’t block them and I no longer feel anger towards them. I guess I am free. All I feel is radical acceptance.

      Btw, HG. I dont know how significant the impact was or is. I have a hard time believing Sex and the narcissist. All for fuel.

      1. Yolo, that sounds great. That’s what I’m striving for; my after. Freedom is the ultimate goal.

  28. Great poll! I chose the nature of the devaluing behaviour and that the golden period was an illusion.
    First off i do think in any relationship the golden period is a bit if an illusion. What i mean is you see that persons best side. You dont experience any struggles with them or serious life issues. Its all romantic and ideal. That isnt real life and to expect that to carry on indefinitely is not realistic. In a healthy relationship i look at it as a honeymoon stage. The difference is that in a healthy relationship you grow together and build something meaningful whereas with a narc its infatuation not love and it soon spoils. The golden period ends and theres nothing else but the cycle. The devaluing sets up a cycle of mean and keen trauma bonding where you think youre getting your golden period back but you arent.
    Its easy to read that the golden period was an illusion and even understand it to be so but actually grasping it fully is another thing. This has been an ongoing struggle for me. I think too its bc when youre thrown crumbs and taken off the shelf it triggers hope for that stage in the relationship again. That golden period will never be for two reasons one being that it was the beginning of the relationship and you can never recapture that unless youre a narc and keep obtaining new people to rekindle infatuation and new golden periods. Normal people want to grow to the next stage and the golden period is a beautiful memory but it too fades. The fact it was an outright facade tho is whats really impacted me most. I grieve that period in time bc it was so exciting! That level of attraction and feeling desired only to realise you maybe werent desired but rather being used to boost an ego and fulfill anothers needs. That is a level of rejection that hurts. Truthfully its also my own ego that has been hurt. The plus side is im learning so much about myself thru this experience. Its been painful but its been a blessing too! Thats where attachments can be important to those that allow themselves to take from them lessons and not dwell on the fact you got hurt. Narcs dwell on the potential for pain and avoid attachment at all costs and…they never benefit from learning from those attachments.
    The devaluing behaviour has impacted me as well. I think learning about negative fuel has really explained why he thrives when im upset so i practice grey rock. The fact i do this has probably lead to even more devaluing and the shelving. The shelving has been the worst part of it bc its not a shelving where hes not around as much no hes around me the whole time but our intimacy gets shelved on and off. Going from friend type mode to hot lover mode is so so confusing! I know its bc hes recycling between sources but to someone who doesnt do this its mind boggling. Again a huge ego rejection.
    He was the one who made me feel desirable and now hes the one thats made me feel undesirable.
    Npd is a disorder and with that brings disorder. Thats the bottom line. Youre dealing with someone who doesnt think or act the same. Its toxic on so many levels and impacts every facet of your life.

    1. Well said. I completely agree Narc Affair. I feel exactly the same way.
      As an aside, I’ve just been hoovered after quite a gap – I thought I was ready for it, but he’s still managed to get under my skin, and I am so cross with myself. It’s so frustrating. The bloody Golden Period is the hook for me too. I KNOW it was an illusion, but dammit, it gets me every time. Argh.

      1. Hi blackunicorn…hoovers are difficult. I think the more times ypuve been thru the cycle and been hoover the easier it is to see it for what it is an illusion.
        Before reading these blogs i equated hoovers with interest in me. Now i knlw theres different types of hoovers. Some hoovers are not as often and its just to see if youll reply and are approachable. Theres many reasons why they hoover and most of the hoovers are not to restablish the formal relationship. Sometimes its just for an ego boost nothing more.
        They dont care theyre playing with another persons feelings bc they only care about their own.
        Dont give in to the hoover. Stand your ground and realise nothing good will come of replying to them but a relapse in your healing. Best of luck 🤗

      2. Hi Narc affair – I absolutely and completely understand what you say…and I thought I’d “got there” with it…I know hoovers aren’t about me… and I fended him off quite well, and thought I was ok…but it’s these few days afterwards …he’s back in my head….even though I logically know what he is and what he is doing.
        It still hurts, which frustrates me, even though on the positive side, I realise this is not about him now, it’s about me and an unhealed wound.. he’s just how it is being expressed…
        I will get there, one day! 🤗

    2. So true! You bring up several excellent points about the Golden Period, Narc Affair. And you offer a great reminder on how that new love phase is applicable to all relationships.

      And I understand what you are saying about the ego. I often wonder that about myself as I chased that elusive Golden Period with a passion. While I believe that my narcissist possesses qualities that are rare… or at least not easily found in men around here… I do think that at a certain point, I hung in there more to mend my own bruised ego than to get him back into my life.

      I eventually (finally) started to see that having him back would only bruise me further. So I “escaped” … but not well enough to avoid his attempts to lure me back! And I even sensed that he only wanted me back so that he could be the one to toss me aside. It was a vicious cycle that went on for too long.

      So thank you for sharing, NA. I need all of the reminders I can get!

    3. Great… to have so much knowledge and not apply it puzzles me. I do not mean that in a bad way. Your comments appears to come from logical thinking but, continuing to do the dance seems illogical to me.

      Your example of the golden period in normal relationship is spot on. H.G. said lessers and mids don’t know what they are. So the intensity they feel in the beginning may not be love but a great replica of love. Remember, we are the ONE…. their (saviour) in the beginning until they perceive us as failing them.

      It’s like any other disease, it will cause dis-ease at first but we bear the pain and move on. Some choose to remain, therefore no need to complain.

      H.G. now I am a rapper. H.G. is giving us the game so we are fools to remain with them lames.

      Apologize , in advance if I offended anyone. However, this is serious and should treat is as such.

      Peace, Healing, and Well wishes.

  29. HG will you be sending me an answer to my question some time soon . 😉 Email consult . I only had one question …this time . Excited to hear your well read / educated and informed answer .

    😉

  30. What’s confusing me most currently as I now feel.I have a grip on why the golden period ended why I was devalued discarded etc , I feel I understand those things but I still don’t understand the hoovers , what he can possibly want now. I know a hoover takes place when they realize u can still be of benefit in some way not because they miss you , but I still can’t fathom what residual benefits I ever provided him or what he thinks I can provide. Initially my confusion when I came here was about the sudden devaluation over a shirt I bought him and how he suddey discarded me so cruelly but I moved past and understand those things now. I still don’t understand the hoovers.I know they are partially for fuel, partially to see if they still have control and partially to resume getting benefits from you. I just don’t u derstand my particular narcissist and what he actually wants from me , I guess I’ll never know and it shouldn’t matter because I do have enough distance to know he dies want SOMETHING and its a selfish thing, none of it has anything to do with wanting to be a loving companion to me , nothing to do with wanting to uplift me , all he ever wanted to do was to tear me down , our relationship was a war not a relationship

      1. Ugotit – I think you pretty much answered your own question:

        “I just don’t understand my particular narcissist and what he actually wants from me , I guess I’ll never know and it shouldn’t matter…”

        And wouldn’t your narc love knowing how much you invest in puzzling him out?

        But, actually, I hear your question because I’m there right now. I am currently obligated to interact with my narcissist despite having previously reached roughly 99.5% no contact with him. So while I’m dismayed at having to take – what feels like to me – two steps backwards (and believe me, his likely awareness of my frustration with having to do so fuels him) I also ask myself why does he do this?

        And while from our perspective it makes no sense, if you look at it from the narcissistic perspective it makes perfect sense.

        In my case it is actually to his detriment to engage with me this way at this time. (Other than the slim chance that I’ll lash out at him because of my frustration with having to dialogue with him.) But then I realize that his feelings of entitlement spur him on to communicate with me, plus I’m fairly certain that he has moved on to a new target (or has professionals that he can garner sympathy from) so the interactions (in the form of malign and benign hoovers via text messages) with me, allows for and element of triangulation and further sympathy/attention gathering. Even though I only respond to specific texts that I’m obligated to reply to (and with no emotion attached) he could be portraying me to someone else in a way that gets attention from that third party. So for example: “Oh, look how she is being controlling,” or “Look how she wants to reconcile the relationship,” OR “Look how she wants to cause me hurt by ignoring my text messages.”

        All still about the fuel; just not even necessarily from me/you.

        But I’m well aware now that if I can just manage my emotions – and be patience – I can wait it out and he’ll mostly be denied what he wants (from me anyway) and engage me less.
        I’m not sure if sharing this helps your understanding in anyway…

  31. I choose ‘not understanding why the N will not leave their current partner for you’.
    First I didnt know he had one and then when he told me, he kept saying “I cannot hurt her” (he didnt want to leave her) and “I want only you”.

    The Master of Contradiction, he used to call himself (oh, his sense of humour!)

    I do laugh about that now, but back then it drove me crazy and oh so sad/confused, being love-bombed and hurt at the same time.

  32. Idealization to Devaluation….constantly defending myself. Knowing that it was all a lie from the very beginning. Everything he did behind my back and what he actually admitted to.
    If I could go back, I’d never let him into my life.

  33. It was the sudden change that left me flabbergasted. How does a man treat a woman so well… tell her that she is “the one and only – the best out there” … and then unpromptedly handle her like shit?

    Oh, yeah… he’s a narcissist.

    I think I have finally caught on. (Credit to all of you for the enlightenment. 😇)

  34. The illusion was definitely number one. This was a 20 year marriage, I spent 3 years in therapy trying to deal with the illusion of this man that I created in my own head. Devaluing would be second, I never could understand why he was always intent in “throwing me under a bus”, if he could. I finally got a clue and left, all I heard was how I left him and how dare I leave him etc…, yet he always kept me in the wings and I willingly stayed there for three years, I became the “other woman” after I left for his numerous liaisons, and I obliged for way too long. Even now, he calls if we have no contact for 3-4 weeks, using the children as an excuse, who are 22 and 17.

  35. 1 – knowing all the time I was being played and still staying even after I repeatedly kicked him out and feel for the hoovers
    2 – the any forms of abuse that i took and eventually being abusive towards IT.
    3 – could have cared less about closure, never believed in it anyway. But in hindsight, the thought of the supply and new monkeys IT has have all fallen for a mask of me that IT now wears is GREAT! What an awesome compliment.

  36. 1. The brutal utilitarianism of devaluation combined with intermittent future fake crumbs.
    2. Sudden switch from connect to disconnect = creating cognitive dissonance. ‘On the shelf or in the fuel bag’.
    3. Also the keeps hoovering despite the seeming finality of discarding.

  37. The hypocrisy is also disconcerting for me. It’s hard for me to believe that he can’t see how HE is actually doing the things he accuses others of doing. He is an intelligent man, so he can’t possibly not see his own actions. He just chooses to follow one set of rules as he sets quite another set for me and his other “subordinates.”
    Also bothersome is the fact that he denies certain behaviors or events when there is physical proof that the events happened. He claims he never said certain things nor wrote certain things when there is a voicemail or email to show he DID, in fact, say them. He continues to dismiss hard evidence and it’s maddening….I guess that’s the whole point of gaslighting.
    But all this is nothing compared to the fact that he won’t let it…the f*#k… GO. I’ve accepted the fact that he will never see his own flaws and bad behavior and he will continue to tear me down for my imperfections… and I’ve told him goodbye… multiple times…. Now, in month 7 of No Contact, he is still badgering my friends, smearing me, and playing the victim to his own entourage…. Yes, I’m a lying, manipulative whore…. move along…. nothing more to see here…. Why can’t he just let it go?

      1. I’m stuck between wishing he would get new fuel already and not wishing this madness on my worst enemy…. at this point, it’s someone else’s turn…. Is there a special Narc dating site I can sign him up for? NarcsOnly.com, maybe???

      2. Snark and grace,

        I think HG’s work should be plastered all over dating apps and sites. My ex MMRN was on eharmony for sure(behind my back of course) and I imagine others.

    1. He doesn’t have to follow any rules, he is special! Rules are for ordinary people, he is entitled to act as he pleases, lol! I know this is so nerve wretching!

      1. Thanks, Yolo. I’m purposefully staying up until midnight EST so that I can celebrate 200 narc free days at the stroke of midnight. I feel like I need a chip or something…. Hello, my name is Grace and I’m a NarcAholic…

  38. No explanation for disengagement except too busy with responsibilities. That was after begging shamelessly for an explanation for four months. I knew it was because he had a new lover. I just couldn’t accept reality until finding HG. Ridding myself of the “surely he loved/loves me” tape in my head was hard but it has happened and I’m so so grateful to live in reality instead of fantasy.

  39. I voted for “no explanation for disengagement” This kept me in a state of utter misery for two years. Then the Hoover came and I was even more confused. I wish I had known about your work then. It concerns me no more since you gave me the answers I was so desperate to have. Thank you for giving me that peace.

    1. A hoover after 2 years? MB, were you the IPPS? In my mind, 2 years of silence = no expectation of ever hearing from him again. But then I was never the IPPS.
      HG, how about this option “Always being kept waiting for the narcissist to fulfill his promise of seeing each other more and towards the end, waiting for the narcissist to just contact you at all”?

    2. My number 2 ghosted after 4 years … took me 1.5 years to start seeing the light and met a friend to whom he did the same golden beginning but she saw through him and ditched and went NC.

      Crazy the kind of closure you can get in unexpected way.

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