Why Does The Narcissist Seem So Odd?

WHY DOES THENARCISSISTSEEM SO ODD?

 

It is accurate to state that we operate in three essential states. There are varying degrees within those states, differing levels of intensity which are affected by factors such as the type of narcissist that we are, what we require from you, the level of empathic individual you are as well as several others. Nevertheless, there are three basic states. The first, as you would expect, is the golden setting. We are at our most wonderful, most brilliant and most loving when in this state. This always appears during our seduction of you and we will reinstate it from time to time and often when we hoover you in order to suck you back in and keep you hanging on to us. The second is the dark setting when we instigate our devaluation of you. This dark setting allows us to deploy our various machinations against you, a variety of different  manipulations as the abuse begins and we make your life particularly unpleasant. This requires effort and energy on our part and whilst we will be rewarded with fuel, a certain degree of application is required to use these manipulations against you. When we unveil our dark setting it is upsetting and confusing but often you will find some reason to explain our behaviour. It is usually the wrong reason but you will find one nevertheless as you like to understand and have a reason to explain why someone is behaving in a certain way towards you – you decide we are stressed, tired, hungover, in need of affection or perhaps you are unduly harsh on yourselves so that you, in that usual empathic manner, blame yourself for the behaviour we have meted out against you. Perhaps you did not listen when you ought to have done, perhaps you should have realised that we wanted to go out tonight, or that we would not want chicken for a second time this week.

There is a third setting and this often proves more confusing than our unpleasant dark setting. This setting might be regarded as a neutral setting, somewhere between the golden and the dark, but it is not. This setting is on the road to the dark setting and is closer to that than the golden. This particular setting is the stranger setting.

There will be times when we do not wish to apply considerable energy to our continued devaluation of you, but the devaluation must continue. It may not be as harsh, since there is no shouting, no violence, no insults and such like. It is not the golden period because we show no affection, we do not do things for you and we do not exhibit any of the charm that once flowed so readily from us. During this stranger setting we are neither wonderful nor awful but we behave like someone who doesn’t really know you and you are certainly left feeling like you are dealing with somebody else.

If you telephone us we will not dole out a silent treatment and ignore your repeated calls. We will not answer in less than a ring and speak to you with affection and enthusiasm, instead we answer and engage in a monosyllabic conversation. It is like drawing teeth. We confirm that nothing is wrong and you may think there is but we have not responded angrily or harshly. We have not accused you of anything, we have not labelled you in some way but the conversation is flat. It is as if our personality, whether golden or dark has vanished and left almost an automaton in its place. We function, we talk about our day but with little detail and certainly no enthusiasm. We ask questions of you but they are polite and perfunctory as if we are just going through the motions. There is no nastiness, no backbiting or sneering. It is difficult to process because it is not nothing, that cannot be the case because we are talking to you, but it feels like nothing.

We may call around to see you but it feels like an inspector has called around. We sit, we decline a drink that you offer us and we answer your questions without offering you anything much in return. Where has the charmer gone? Where has the monster gone? Who is this stranger that looks like us, sounds like us but is not behaving like us? You cannot accuse us of being unpleasant but it feels unpleasant because you are dealing with someone you do not recognise. Any questions about what is wrong with us are politely answered and you are assured there is not a problem, but we seem lifeless. You flatter us, compliment us and whilst we accept them there is no spark of interest, there is no response.

Why are we like this? Why is this being done? Why do we seem like someone else? It is as if we have been abducted by aliens in the night and replaced with a robot which is neither wonderful nor savage but is frustratingly something else. This third setting occurs during the devaluation period. It is not a respite from devaluation as that is the golden setting once more. It is clearly not the dark setting as that is the rolling out of nastiness and abuse. This third setting is an indicator of the calm before the storm. Whilst there are occasions where we might switch from golden to dark setting in the blink of an eye, this third setting is used when we wish to conserve energy in readiness for unleashing a particular savage next stage in the devaluation as we will move to the dark setting and crank it up to eleven. You are not cruising along being driven by fair winds, nor are you being thrown up and down buffeted by a storm, instead you are becalmed or moved along by a weak breeze. This is the time we are girding our loins, gathering information and plotting. The switch of functions to the organisation and scheming of what is to come, along with the intense outpouring of energy required to sustain the vicious intensifying of this devaluation means we adopt this near automatic state. You may not ever see this happen dependent on the nature of the narcissist you have become entangled with, but when you do, you should be aware that a storm is brewing and not just any old storm but a supercell storm of savage and damaging proportions. This is a warning.

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290 thoughts on “Why Does The Narcissist Seem So Odd?”

  1. MB
    I had relatives visiting from Austria recently and my younger hipper fearless cousins convinced me to do the edgewalk. Of course partly I did so out of politeness lol and also not to be teased by those half my age. OMG talk about anxiety! At first I was frozen to the spot! I thought I was going to die!! But one baby step at a time chanting ” oh god help me. OMG don’t let me slip.” But at the end…wow what an adrenolin rush!!!!!

    1. Thank you for sharing Star! Good for you, facing your fears. I haven’t talked to anybody who’s done the walk. I’m nervous, but lookin forward to it.

  2. I remember this. It’s weird and I knew it wasn’t good.

    The narcissist died recently. I was not expecting to revisit the topic of narcissism as it had been almost 5 years since going NC. I was not expecting to care as I had moved on, at least I thought I had. The news of the deaths of other previous significant others didn’t have an impact. Weird.

  3. Not the same guy … once I said to HG – would that be cool you beat the same Narc twice ? Lol !!

  4. Thanks – MB, actually that’s good to know about Exorcism.

    Re: vacation brain…I understand what you mean and figured that you would have answered Quasi had you seen the post. I don’t have vacation brain – but I don’t always have the freedom to follow all the threads, I also don’t always get all my notifications – two reasons why I choose not to comment extensively because I feel bad if someone acknowledged/replied to a post of mine and I missed it…

    1. WC
      Your empathy is showing! I’m the same way. I felt guilty for not answering Quasi. That’s why we all get along so well. Her empathy allows her to be understanding and know I wasn’t ignoring her and didn’t intend to hurt her feelings. It makes me think of the stereotypical Canadian. “I’m sorry.” “No, I’m sorry.” “No, really, I am sorry.” “No, it was my fault. I’m the one that should be sorry, not you.”

      1. MB,
        Lol, yes…I think my Canadian empathetic side really is/was my downfall…

      2. I didn’t know you were Canadian WhoCares! Canadians are stereotyped to be very polite is what I was referring to.

      3. Hi MB – just to follow-up and let you know that I’m not at all offended by your comment. I am certainly able to poke fun at my own Canadian-ness. And the resulting thread below is insightful and makes me giggle – when I can really use a laugh. I’m only sorry that I have to read it after the fact…playing catchup..too many commitments atm!

      4. Haha SMH! Mine too, and I hoped for a visit at some point. I know the chances are almost zero and plenty of Narcs to go around, but wouldn’t it be cool if some of us knew the same ones! It’s a small world.

      5. Haha MB. Does not surprise me at all. Somewhere on this blog there is a discussion of narc nations and Canada was right up there :). Anyway, they ARE all the same but do let me know if the reproduction visits so I can know if I am painted black!

      6. I want to visit Canada! I have a virgin passport that I never got to use. Always wanted to see Niagara Falls especially from the Canadian side. I also want to do the skywalk at the CN tower. There’s a woman friend in Quebec that I used to work with but she’s older and I’ve lost touch, so can’t go there. I could go alone, but I want a native to show me around. Plus, in Toronto, this small town girl would be overwhelmed without an escort!

      7. I’ll go with you MB. I’ll soon be in the northeastern US for awhile. Easy to get to Niagra Falls or Toronto or Montreal from where I will be.

        See what I wrote in response to OMJ about whether we all have the same Canadian :). I know exactly where he is all the time because I planted a tracking device on him!

      8. SMH, you’re kidding about the tracking device, right? What did you do? Inject it? Like the smart blood on 007!

      9. Haha. Yes. Kidding. I am a good sleuth but not that good! He’s so sneaky anyway that he’d probably get a transfusion.

      10. I wish we could SMH! We gotta stop by and pick up K. Catch up with OMJ and make a stop at NA’s place.

      11. Road trip! The revenge of the empaths! Except we will not drive off Niagra Falls at the end.

      12. Hey MB & SMH – I would totally play ‘tourist guide’ if you were both headed to TO. I’m a small-town girl now but lived in Toronto for while…

      13. Thank you, WhoCares. I’m sure you would make a fantastic guide! I do think of Canadians as having a good sense of humour. When narc told me he was moving to X I said, ‘guess I am moving to X too.’ To his credit, he laughed because the joke was that he owned me to such an extent that he inhabited me. I actually would like to go to Canada but not unless narc will take me to Baffin Island or is dead!!

      14. Don’t worry SMH, we won’t tangle with any Narcs we cross paths with on our empath adventures. We will see the red flags now thanks to HG!

        Whocares, take me to try the best poutine. Let’s have coffee at Tim Horton’s, do the Edge Walk, and see the Falls.

      15. Yes MB – I’d so do the Edge Walk with you! The only time I’ve actually been up the CN Tower was a time when I was pissed off at my narc (and caught in downtown TO between travel connections), so I decided to distract/treat myself to something utterly touristy! Your suggestion sounds like a perfect – and effective – way to replace that memory!

      16. I would do the edge walk too but Im older like MB’s friend in Montreal so I guess she wont hang with me lol. I think I told the story here previous about having dinner at the top of the tower. I put my purse on the floor and when I went to get it, it was gone. Tracked it down half way around the restaurant (it rotates).

      17. NarcAngel
        I love to visit Canada, and haven’t got to run up there for a few years now. I’d hang out with you! But “edge walk” sounds too scary for me. You can do it and I’ll watch you and say prayers!

      18. OK girls … let’s meet in Montreal – the finest man are here. Not the cold torontonian.

        We will call it the HG summit – get your shit together and GOSO. 🙂

        Truthfully I would like to meet you girls truly speak openly xox

      19. I would like to meet you all in person too! Montreal sounds good but are they even letting Americans in these days? Bunch of savages that we are…

      20. Get to know each other off blog SMH. It’s for our on protection. I guess I’m going to Canada on my own. My husband hates to travel. His loss. I should be able to pick up a narc to accompany me. After all, Canada has lots, right?

      21. But that’s odd, MB. On Facebook people use their own names and HG has a site there. I wouldn’t do it but lots of people do. HG can’t control who friends who on Facebook, right HG? I just don’t know how we would connect on here without HG’s practical help and I am sure he wouldn’t want to do that.

        To be honest, as much as I would love to go to Canada, it doesn’t really seem the right place for me at the moment. I have to get over my emotional thinking first.

      22. No I cannot however the interaction on the FB page is different from here.

      23. Yes, I’ve looked and I don’t think people have such involved personal discussions on there, understandably.

      24. SMH
        I made up a fake profil to check FB out previously and they seemed much meaner and more adversarial, too.

      25. Windstorm and SMH

        If one stands their ground using logic and truth people actually listen.
        I believe due to being exposed most are just defensive and letting their emotions drive them instead of letting them down, here people have the choice to remain anonymous and can let the vulnerable side out with out worrying about feeling ashamed, foolish etc by being duped by a narcissist. IMO you don’t see as much anger here as there and in this they are not using it to support and heal but to keep stirring the pot. So in this HG has provided two places for people at different places in their journey, those that desire to continue stirring the pot and those that desire support, healing and growth.

      26. The quality of interaction is totally different . We have been playing around now for a coopLe days and that is a nice change but I love my safe place here – I do feel safe .

      27. I’m not on Facebook anymore. It’s ok SMH. It’s fun to dream. I live in a fantasy world most of the time anyway. It would just be nice for a fantasy to come to fruition sometime. I’m not getting any younger!

        I’m sorry if all the Canada talk has flared your ET 🙁

        Thinking of you, sweets!

      28. Thanks MB, hun. I think it did trigger me but so have narc’s hoovers. I am on FB and today I blocked narc’s two profiles I am aware of, but I am gearing up to leave altogether (wise words from SuperXena). I wouldn’t use HG’s page on FB anyway because I don’t do anything personal on there.

        Canada, well, narc doesn’t give me room to breathe. There are significant overlaps in our work, travels, countries, cities, and even our kids’ school. He makes it so I’ve had to avoid neighborhoods, institutions, cities, and whole countries. I claw back my space but then he tries to take cyber-space too. It’s like he does not want me to have a life with or without him. Once I was away and hadn’t heard from him for weeks. I went on a dating site and that night he contacted me. Anyway, I got one of my cities back when he moved to Canada, but that was only a few months ago and it means I cannot go to Canada right now. xx

      29. Best of luck with your no contact SMH. You can do it! No more talk of that country north of the US.

      30. And then in the middle of an amazing conversation a deep voice with a cute British accent will join us 🙂 I won’t be able to resist an empath feast :)) lol

      31. I don’t know if “cute” is the word to use, OMJ. I’m going with “sexy” British accent. But don’t hold your breath girlfriend. He ain’t coming out of hiding for us!

      32. Lol, NA – I’m not exactly a youngin’ either but I’d tack on the Edge Walk to my bucket list – only for MB though!

      33. NA, I think I misspoke once. My friend is actually in Quebec. French is her first language. We used to get a kick out of her. One day we asked her if she was hungry and she said, “no, I had a beagle for breakfast.”

        Never a dull moment in the office when she was around! We put out a help wanted ad that we wanted someone bilingual. We didn’t specify that we wanted Spanish! She was such a delight in the interview, I just had to hire her anyway!

        I think I remember you saying you were 56. You’re a spring chicken! My friend in Quebec is in her 70’s by now. I’d love to hang out with you! You’re totally cool. I’m 45 and have a lot of living to do before I get old. Edge Walk, here we come!

      34. I want to eat in the rotating restaurant too, NA. Or at least have martinis. HG? Are you in or no? Have you ever been to Toronto?

      35. WC, I might throw up and pass out, but I want to prove to myself I can do it. I’m not afraid of heights, but that shit is extra! We can do it if HG gets us in touch. He can do it too cause I know he ain’t scared. NA, are you a long way from TO? (If you can say.) Canada covers a lot of ground!

      36. No way would I do that, MB. I am petrified of heights. If I am sleeping above the 5th floor, I feel like I am falling out a window or I have 9/11 dreams. I probably wouldn’t even go up in that tower.

        I’ll hang below at a Tim Horton’s with a coffee and donut, keeping the poutine warm, on narc watch listening to the late, great Gord Downie sing Bobcaygeon.

      37. It’s all good SMH! We’re gonna have a great time. Edge Walk isn’t for everybody.

      38. OMJ and MB, Is it possible that we all have the same Canadian? Wouldn’t that be hysterical? How shall we figure this out? I met mine in Europe (I’ll get more local later if it seems wise). He travels a lot so you could have met him in a number of places.

      39. SMH, doesn’t sound like the same guy. But a traveling narc could certainly wreak havoc worldwide!

      40. MB, I am sure mine has. He spent more time traveling than at home. I asked him once if he got blowjobs in the airport with his breakfast.

      41. You guys are making ne laugh. We do have more than just the one male narcissist here in Canada. Maybe you’re confusing it with the one boat we have in our Navy.

      42. I am cracking myself up. I would be lost in Canada among the narcs because everyone would look the same to me, especially when it snows!

      43. NA, Funny you bring that up! I asked him one time if Canada had a military. He said “yeah, we’ve got a couple of boats.”

        I’m sure Canada is no more or less saturated with Narcs than anywhere else. It’s fun to compare though. (And plan road trips!)

      44. MB, OMJ: Age is same but blue eyes, and so ‘white’ and preppy that I had doubts. I dumped him within the first month because I sensed he was a control freak. I then could not remember what he looked like. There are some really funny stories – including that at one point I thought he was someone else because all white finance guys looked the same to me. Glad I can laugh about it – and he did have a good sense of humour, including about how white he is. He is the epitome of whiteness.

      45. SMH “He is the epitome of whiteness”. Ha ha! The one I know is white, but dark skinned, not preppy, and not in finance. But very good sense of humor also. So there you go, NA. There’s at least two Narcs in Canada. They DO outnumber the vessels in the Navy.

      46. Yours sounds like my type, MB :-). Hahaha. Anyway, those ships have sailed, right?! They’ve all docked in Canada.

      47. SMH, at the risk of backlash…he’s much too yummy to stay docked in the harbor for too long. My DE comes off the shelf every now and then and takes him for a spin. The phone reaches Canada. Narc snack only. For the taste, not the nutrition, though. 😉

      48. Naughty girl. Just nibbles, then. I’d love to take mine for a spin but I know I’d fall into addiction again. I had to quit smoking (many moons ago) because I couldn’t keep it to one cig after dinner.

      49. SMH, it’s a totally different dynamic now than pre-HG. I used to beg God to make him mine and to give me the answers as to why he did the things he did. I thought it was unrequited love. Ha! Now I thank God for the unanswered prayer of not being crowned IPPS! And I thank The Hurt God for giving me all the answers. I used to be so confused and go round and round in circles in my mind. Why? Why? Why? I thought I was crazy. Now I can just enjoy the attention, the compliments, the fun, fantasy and giving fuel. And when I’m on the shelf, I know that’s what it is now. Nothing personal. Oh yeah, and I don’t love him, there’s was never anything there to love. I want nothing more and it appears, neither does he.

      50. MB every word there resonate with me. So happy I was never crowned IPPS – being IPSS number 1 of many and be replaced and devalues was so hurtful so I can’t imagine how I would have coped with the Decrowning …

        I am not totally yet to enjoy what he gives me whe unshelved – but I also do not take the shelving personal.

        Yesterday I saw pic of an IPSS at his place ( she post – he does not have social media) I used to go crazy about and have huge fights – I took a 24 NC regime ( invented a reason why I would not contact for the day) and just took the hard logic look at it and felt with my ET myself.

        When my LT finally won – I sent a text that I was back – no drama – no fights . He does not know I saw this – I won’t tell him either. I am shelved – it is what it is – I can leave if I want .

        I am better – I know I will go NC in due time and for good.

      51. I also don’t mind being IPSS, OMJ. It’s what I wanted. But I DO mind being disrespected. I do mind if there are other IPSSs (there weren’t) and I definitely do mind being shelved. Those are both complete and utter deal breakers for me. Of course I did not understand what shelving was before I found this site but knowing what it is does not make it any more tolerable to me.

      52. In my case there are so many IPSS it’s a joke – he always a favorite IPSS that stays favorite until she discovers the whole scene and starts to make scenes – and leave. I am there 2 years and 2 others have been around a year – they left – came back – we all know each other’s in a way by our nick name than our name by accident … all crazy stuff – he always lies about each of us only showcasing the bad – the the best – triangulate-
        Don’t judge me – I am judging myself enough.

      53. I would never judge anybody on here OMJ. And if you’re anything like me, you beat yourself up more than anybody else ever could. Hang tough, you’ll find your way through the fog.

      54. OMJ,

        I’m not judging – I’m just surprised that both you and MB are still in contact. I’ve never been in a situation with other women with the exception of being IPSS to narc and another affair many years ago – also when I was single and also my choice. It was fine and I thought this would be too. I did not count on being with a personality disorder.

        Narc only tried triangulating (quadrangulating) with another woman once with a CIPSS and IPPS, but from a distance. I had been gone for five months so he had to try really hard. I said ‘I don’t compete with other women,’ and left. I didn’t know yet what he was.

        CIPSS pushed him away – never slept with him – obviously normal, which we are not. Fast forward and I was fine being IPSS because 1) it took the wind right out of his cocky sails; 2) I only had to deal with IPPS and 3) IPPS was also monitoring him all the time. He knew if I found out that there was another IPSS all hell would break loose.

        Our relationship became a battle of wills. Why couldn’t he be happy with what he had and treat me decently? All of his obvious needs were being met yet what should have been fun and light was exhausting. I couldn’t focus on anything else because of the constant mind fucks. What he really wanted was fuel I have since learned thanks to HG.

        Here is how he got it: Because he could not triangulate with another woman, he triangulated with everything else – work, kids, travel, ‘busy,’ – he even tried triangulating me with me! That is, ‘I want to make sure you are okay to do this’ etc. Triangulating is triangulating – another IPSS could just as easily be a 3 hour meeting or a kid who is standing in for IPPS and keeping him occupied – it all produces fuel.

        After I left him (I finally escaped for good, I hope), he hoovered, I (inadvertently) wounded him, he gave me a silent treatment (first time), I went supernova and made him delete all of our correspondence in front of me. *I* disappeared and proved to him that he was not going to win. Period. No fuel from me anymore. He cannot even remind himself of what once was.

        My rules are no shelving – I am reasonable and not terribly demanding but if *I* want your attention, you are damned well going to figure out a way to give it to me and be pleased that *I* want you, or I won’t be there. No other women because *I* am everything you need. It makes me angry just thinking about it. Glad I wrote it all out to remind myself even if no one reads it.

        I hope you escape and go NC. I will be there to support you if you decide to do it. Just keep this in mind: FTS. Fuck. That. Shit.

      55. OMJ, I know next to nothing about his life and his fuel matrix nor do I don’t want to. We just go to fantasy land together when he chooses. I get to play the naughty, sexy, temptress for an hour or so, give him some potent fuel, and then back on the shelf to my middle class June Cleaver existence.

      56. Oh yes I was big part of his life for the 1st year – involved in many things in his life – met his family etc… d’évaluation has been awful . Not sure what I still do here :))) he hoovered me but not much happening now – I just see though how much I get depressed when he is in my life.
        I can go – I should go.

      57. I know exactly what you mean OMJ. Using interaction (or not) with him as a barometer for whether it’s a good day or a bad day. On top of the world today, down in the dumps tomorrow. If you’re depressed, get off the roller coaster girlfriend! With no contact, you will detox. You will feel better. You deserve to feel better!

      58. MB, funny you should say that because I feel fortified by HG too and sometimes think I could handle it now. But I would still be taking a huge risk because our relationship was very intense and conflicted even though I only wanted to be IPSS. I think he wanted me to want to be IPPS to create more drama. I don’t want that sort of drama in my life, I do mind being shelved, and I know there are better options out there. But I am glad it is working for you!

      59. I wouldn’t say it’s working for me SMH. I would say it’s an addiction. I don’t want HIM. I want the way he makes me feel. (Which is just reflection, right?) Unlike your situation, there’s been very little drama and a very extended golden period.

      60. Haha. Pork on your fork – that conjures up a few images.

        This has been a good laugh, all, so thanks. To think just a few days ago I was navel gazing, and feeling worried and guilty…

      61. You know I can hardly remember :). Grey. It must have been dirty blonde at some point (never seen a picture of him younger). But I am not one for blonde men so I guess I should be glad it was grey?? Would have been better had he been blonde and we had never had a second date.

      62. SMH my neighbor is dating this man total narc he is in the navy and calls himself the epitome of blackness. His running joke. Uncanny similarity to your wording made me laugh because your words remind me of his. He is too rough, manner and speech and she told me she will most likely dump him like you did yours. Ha ha.

      63. I’ve lived in Ca, Montreal and Toronto. “I’m sorry” is a Brit influence.

      64. A lot of Brit influence there iroll! They pronounce some words similarly too. I still get all warm and fuzzy when I hear the word “process”. Ha ha

      65. Want to go to Canada, too. One of the best countries.
        Having a house on one of those lake islands would be cool.

      66. I always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island. Opposite way from Toronto tho.

      67. Ava do come along but my narc has a house on one of those lakes. Luckily I know which one so we can avoid it.

      68. MB,

        I’ve been to all the eastern provinces *except* PEI – so we really should coordinate a detour – wait! Throw in Nova Scotia too, if you can? (I was there but I never saw it.) Maybe it won’t be foggy this time.

      69. That will have to be another trip I’m afraid, unless I can swing being away from work for two weeks! Let’s just do two WhoCares.

      70. SMH,
        that’s a good thing that you know which house to avoid, otherwise it would be a whole new level of isolation at the hands of a narc …

      71. MB
        My MMRN’s sister moved to Ontario and, last I heard, was applying for citizenship so you can bump up the narc count. My son went to Montreal and told me people are really friendly. Damn! They really are nicer in Canada.

      72. Canadians have a reputation for being polite, K. But there may be a rift between the English and French speaking provinces. My narc from Canada said if you go there and don’t at least attempt some broken French, they are very rude.

      73. MB – Just wanted clear this up…re: French Canadians being rude if you don’t speak some ‘broken French’…
        I think this is quite true if you visit some *small* towns in Quebec (even in parts of Ontario) that are very, very French. But in places like Montreal and Quebec City (I agree with Windstorm that both are great places to visit) where the tourist industry is bigger – it is expected that many will not speak French; you shouldn’t let that deter you from visiting a couple of Canada’s most beautiful cities!
        Funny though, some Canadians themselves subscribe to this belief…I lived in a smaller Ontario town that was nearly equal in distance from both Ottawa and Montreal and many people who had lived in this small town *since birth* had never ventured to Montreal – and would only go to Ottawa because it is more ‘english-speaking.’

        Just goes to show that you never have to look far to find close-minded people.

      74. That is so true WhoCares. Close-minded people are everywhere and sometimes the beliefs are rooted in a bit of truth, but then take on a life of their own and become stereotypes. I’m not worried about visiting the French Canadians. They won’t be able to resist my small town charm and sweet southern drawl! Ha ha

      75. MB
        I am sure your southern manners will charm the hell out of the Canadians. My son and daughter visited Quebec and Montreal and said people were polite, friendly AND would converse with them. I was shocked and I wanted to pack my shit and move north immediately. Nice People here I come!!!

      76. K
        My experience is you get what you give. I’m always open and try to project politeness wherever I go and people either respond well or stare at me like I’m crazy. But very, very rarely is anyone ever rude.

      77. WS
        Most of the time I am courteous but I live in the northeast and people ignore you, which is fine because I am used to it.

        For example: when I had my daughter in a carriage/pram people wouldn’t hold a door open for me (which is fine), so I would open the door then back out with the pram, BUT other people would watch me open the door, even though there were other doors available for them to use, and rush over to go through it (not offering to hold it open for me, God forbid). That is what it is like here.

        P.S.
        I always hold doors open for others, including mother’s with prams and most people don’t thank me, either.

      78. K
        That’s so totally the opposite of here. Here men still open and hold the door for women and everybody does for old women like me. Everyone is friendly to everyone else and even young women I don’t know call me “sugar” or “sweetie.”

        I remember the first time I visited family in northern Indiana, when I was a teenager. I went to the grocery with my cousin. I totally embarrassed her when I attempted small talk with the cashier and thanked her. As we left the store an older woman with her hands full was behind me and I stopped to hold the door for her, smile and say, “Have a nice day!” The woman gave me a very suspicious hateful look. My cousin was so embarrassed! “What do you think you’re doing! You mustn’t talk to people you don’t know! And you can’t hold the door for strangers! Everyone will think there’s something wrong with you!!
        I was very happy to get back to the South!

      79. WS
        Ha ha ha….oh, man, that is exactly what it is like here! Hateful and suspicious looks are the norm. I don’t blame you for wanting to go back to the South.

        This line made me LOL: Everyone will think there’s something wrong with you!!

        I wish I lived in a place (the Bluegrass State) where people held doors and called me “sugar” or ‘sweetie” and it was “safe” to make small talk.

        Most of the time I keep my mouth shut and expect nothing but it is frustrating sometimes.

      80. K
        It’s a great culture to live in. Friendliness goes a long way to make life more pleasant. People here would have tripped over themselves to hold the door for you and that baby stroller. Mothers would have told their children, “Run up there n hold the door for that lady!” I’m sorry that when you’re tired, stressed or confused you never get to hear a stranger say, “ ‘n I hep ya, suga’?”

      81. Thank you, WS
        Nice People in the Bluegrass State, here I come! And I don’t need a passport or an application for citizenship. If I didn’t share a child with my MMRN I would seriously consider moving.

        Although I am used to it, it can be very disheartening and lonely at times. Sadly, the adults don’t teach their children manners, either. I always tell my youngest to hold the door for others and say: thank you, please and welcome.

        Honestly, if I heard these words: “ ‘n I hep ya, suga’?” I would be stupefied!

      82. K
        Well all things come with a cost. Before you long too much to live here, there are no real cities or all the things you can do in them. Major cities in Kentucky are like 30-55,000 people and there’s just a few of them. Our biggest city is only 600,000. No opera, plays, concerts. No mass transit of any kind. No professional sports teams.

        I live an hour’s drive from any major chain store, including supermarkets. The main recreational activities are hunting, fishing and horseback riding. It’s a very different world in very many ways. But it is a friendly one.

      83. WS
        I am a city girl so I think I will stay put, besides I can chat with all the nice folks right here on narcsite. I really love the theater and museums, too.

      84. K
        Ha, ha! You’re welcome to them. Better stuff on tv than in the theatre, to me. The only museum I voluntarily went in was the Louvre and it left me cold. Just a bunch of old broken stuff. Lol!

      85. WS
        Ha ha ha….the last performance I saw was a Confederacy of Dunces starring Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) and we do have three very lovely art museums, a Museum of Natural History and a pretty cool Science & Children’s Museum. I agree; movies are terrible!

      86. K
        Oh I love movies! When I dissed theatre I meant plays – or was that sarcasm on your part? Like your oxymoron! “Lovely museums.” Lol!
        There’s a Bible verse about me and museums (works for plays too). Has to do with pearls and swine. 🐷

      87. WS
        Ha ha ha….I misunderstood. I thought you meant movie theaters. I really do enjoy art museums and theater (plays). I would love to see Hamilton. I love the oxymoron BTW! Museums can be dull.

        Some of the new movies are terrible and I just wait for everything to come out on netflix anyway. I still love Jaws!

      88. K, I just saw Hamilton. Wonderful. Also, best arts and culture experience I ever had was in a museum – David Bowie Is. Movies too. TV too. I’ll take all of it!

      89. SMH
        Oooh lucky you! Hamilton looks fantastic! Today I took my daughter and her friend to the Science Museum and they loved it. I am planning a trip to the Art museum and Aquarium. I will take all of it, too! The city is great.

      90. It was great, K. I bought the soundtrack years ago for a friend, who listened to it all the time with her young daughter. The kid knows all the words to all the songs, even though they have not seen it. You could do that too, and when it gets to Beantown, go and take your daughter!

      91. Ha I am of course :), K. but it wasn’t my idea. I had never even heard of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Friend is a theater person and put it on my radar.

      92. Windstorm, None of the teenagers run, but all the cars do! They’re all reliable. Like where you live, nothing is close by and we all have to commute to work.

      93. MB, I’ve lived places where I’ve had to have a car (only two at the most!!). But not anymore

      94. HG, thank you for being here and facilitating our convos. None of this has anything to do with narcissism. You’re a gem. Since I gave up all social media, this is my outlet. It makes me feel safe knowing you are watching over us day and night. The Emperor that never sleeps.

      95. I do love the city SMH. Cars are expensive! If you can take the train or walk, you are better off.

      96. K, I’ve always heard Northerners are rude. Now you have confirmed it. I know they aren’t all rude, but I guess enough of them are to earn them a reputation!

      97. The nicest Americans are actually in the midwest. I am not from there but I have lived in many parts of the US – northeast, south, midwest.

      98. SMH
        My daughter told me they were really nice in Ohio, Kansas (midwest) and Oklahoma (south); she said it was weird. They immediately greeted her when she walked into gas stations and businesses and they let her go ahead in the line. She is in Phoenix, Arizona (south west) and says it is similar to the northeast, maybe a bit friendlier.

      99. K
        I’d agree on the southern part of the Midwest, but not the northern. They’re certainly friendly in Kansas and Missouri. Not so much in Illinois, Indiana or Ohio, in my experience. Certainly not in the northern parts of the state. Of course a lot depends on your own personality and who you happen to meet.

      100. LOL – i just posted that people are nice in Chicago, at least I found them to be. I guess it also depends on where you are from and what you are used to.

      101. SMH
        Ha,ha! You’re right about what you’re used to. I think it probably has more to do with rural vs big city, but that wouldn’t explain your impression of Chicago. Goodness knows I’ve avoided cities all my life as much as possible, but it seems like people isolate themselves more out of fear of crime or being taken advantage of some way. The people who seem to come up and talk to me in cities tend to be panhandlers, selling something or dangerous.

        There’s definitely a lot less trust in a big city than there is in small communities. Maybe because we assume we’re all armed and criminals are too smart to risk being shot in public. I have no doubt that if i was assaulted in a public place here in Kentucky that someone nearby would draw a gun or overpower my assaillant. Most likely several people would jump in to help. It’s when we’re home among family that we’re most at risk of violence, because there’s no one to intervene.

      102. I disagree, Windstorm. I feel just as safe on a subway platform at 3:00 a.m. in NYC as I do anywhere else – maybe more so. But I was raised in a big city. I also had never been below the Mason Dixon line until I was well into my 30s…I am very provincial in many ways! I do agree with you about home being a dangerous place, however. I think it’s like that everywhere.

      103. Well you’ve made me feel better, SMH. I won’t worry so much about people that have to live in big cities. 😊

      104. Hi K, I don’t know those parts of the midwest but I do know the upper midwest. People are even quite nice in Chicago, a big city!

      105. The Windy City is an architectural wonder too, if that interests you K. Really marvelous.

      106. MB
        The reputation is well earned, more people are rude than not.

        Here is a rare act of kindness:

        Once, when I was at Ikea in the parking lot I dropped some stuff and a man actually stopped and helped me pick my stuff up. I was so shocked that I immediately said: Where are you from? You can’t be from the area because you are nice.

        He laughed and he told me where he grew up (it was close to the New Hampshire border) then I thanked him and we said our goodbyes.

        Maybe I will visit you in the Tar Heel State (N. Carolina).

      107. I’m always nice, polite, make eye contact, etc. too Windstorm. Most of the time I end up in a full blown conversation. Sometimes I get the feeling that people just need to talk. I listen, have a few laughs and get on with my day. I like to leave people better than I found them; it’s a good feeling.

      108. K, it’s just too dang cold there! Move South. The weather is better and the people are nice.

      109. Yes K, we do have a lot of beautiful coastline, but there’s much more non coast to the state than coastal. I live about 4 hours from the coast to my dismay and only get there about once a year. I WILL eventually move to the Gulf Coast Florida. (Probably retire there.) I live in a small town and commute to a larger one for work. I grew up in the country. I AM NOT a city girl although living in the city wouldn’t bother me as long as it’s not too big. I went to Atlanta and remember being quite scared. Dallas was a bit intimidating too. I’ve never been to any other big cities. I would like to go to New York, but nobody wants to go with me. *Cue pity party music*

        For living in the city, I would suggest what they call The Triangle area of NC. Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill. There is much more to do there, less crime than Charlotte has. Lotsa transplants go there to work in the RTP area. (Research Triangle Park). A lot of biotech startup type companies there.

        Come on! We’d love to have you! We might call you a damn yankee from your accent, but as long as you’re nice, it’s really just a term of endearment. (And you’re nice!)

      110. MB
        NYC is awesome! Ellis Island was really cool; you would love it. I am a yankee and a patriot and I agree; I am damn nice and I have a great sense of humor too! (toot toot) Maybe hanging out with you confederates wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

      111. K, it’s a great idea. Leave the Massholes to it. Come live the “nice” life.

      112. K, polite of course! There’s a jerk in every crowd. But what I would consider a jerk would probably be mild from what you’re used to!

      113. MB
        You cracked me up! We don’t have road rage here either! It really makes you slow down and think before you act, when the other person’s probably carrying!

      114. K, Canadians don’t have us southerners beat in the niceness department! Bless their sweet hearts.

      115. MB,
        I hope you don’t mind my asking you if you worry your narc would out you to your husband? Especially now that you know what he is and that he has no empathy, and HG details how malign they can be. I can’t deny I’ve thought about trying to maintain my online/phone sexual interactions with my narc the way you describe though haha. I am somewhat too afraid he will ruin my home life though.

      116. Supernova DE,

        I don’t mind you asking. I’m glad I’m not the only one! The correct answer would be, he’s a narcissist, GOSO.

        But…

        There’s always a chance of being “outted”. But I would be more likely to out myself than he would. It must be that DE black streak, but I’ve never felt guilty! It’s a completely compartmentalized part of my life. I feel guilt and shame about nearly EVERYTHING, but I almost feel entitled to have my own DLS. (Narc traits coming to the fore I suppose.) I don’t worry about him for several reasons.
        1. He is a MMR Elite and not violent or malign.
        2. I am IPSS and have enjoyed a golden period? of nearly 6 yrs. I’ve seen almost zero dark side. Two CD’s and one two-year shelving/disengagement in that time.
        3. We don’t/never had a physical relationship and he’s never pushed for more.
        4. He’s far far away.
        5. I am compliant and don’t interfere in his life in any way whatsoever. In fact, I know very little about his life. I stay neatly on the shelf in the little compartment he put me in.

        Each situation is very different. Ultimately, the risk isn’t worth the reward. But neither is smoking, drinking, overeating, or any other bad habit some humans indulge in. That’s what it is. A bad habit. An indulgence. An addiction. But, unlike a narcissist, I do accept the fact that I have nobody to blame but myself if things go sour. It’s like knowing diabetes is looming and still taking that bite of the Twinkie. I chose to eat it, so I chose the consequences too.

      117. MB,
        Thank you for sharing. I appreciate it. My situation is a bit different in that there has been some physical relationship, I know everything about his life, and him about mine. I think he is a mid ranger as well, and would never have thought him capable of being malign, but the cruelty and coldness I have experience with this disengagement make me question it.
        I have never felt guilty either, not for a minute. I have felt the same way about relishing my dirty little secret with him. Its strange, it’s just something that’s “mine”, and “for me”. Cliché I guess, but its still the way I feel.

      118. You’re welcome Supernova. I’m glad you don’t feel guilty either. It took a lot for me to admit that I don’t. I feel guilty because I think I should feel guilty. Those “shoulds” get me every time!

        I used HG’s new Narc Detector service for the official “diagnosis”. You might want to do it to get more insight into your narc. I highly recommend it. You answer a questionnaire and he sends you back a detailed audio file via email. Super easy, very informative. Best of luck!

      119. Even though not exactly North America, – where I am now in Ireland people are unbelievably nice and helpful, like I’ve never experienced before (incl. North America) … I’ve experienced before at a holiday cottage that the landlady would simply leave the key in the door, but also here, in a town, my landlord simply handed me the key and left – with not even knowing my full name, not having received any money, or signature … still didn’t have to sign anything … I could in theory just up and leave incl. TVs & other electronic devices.
        I even forgot to lock my car on the way here … passed through an area where there hasn’t been any crime for 3 years now, they told me, last crime was a few school kids who had gotten drunk at Christmas …
        Absolutely everyone helpful, and trusting. Haven’t paid attention to doors being held open, but I suppose the people I’ve been out with, did.
        And in the supermarket they wait like forever for everyone at the checkout, when they are reeelly slow, or walking off in the middle of paying because they have forgotten, something …
        Like in England, they say here sorry, too, when they get bumped into. No honking of horns, or anything like that.

        Opposite to Germany, where my next door neighbours complained about me having to carry heavy stuff downstairs or upstairs and having to leave a door open to get through – instead of offering to help me. I once explicitly asked a lady if she could please hold the door open for me to get through with something big and heavy I was carrying, as she was standing there anyways, not even saying “hello”. You should have seen the look on her face …

        Don’t remember any difference between New England and Canada, but that’s a long long time ago, … only noticed that in the USA people expect you to be absolutely self-sufficient / helping your self in any situation.

      120. I’d love to visit Ireland Ava! Although I’m not sure I could understand the locals. What they speak doesn’t sound like English. I’ve heard the people are kind and welcoming and that it’s a beautiful place. And good beer too!

  5. I don’t know where to post this so I will just put it out there and hope that someone responds (maybe even HG, if he can get through the whole thing).

    Yesterday I found his second fake FB profile (don’t ask why I was looking but it didn’t take long to find this one either – maybe it’s new). I’ve cracked the aliases code; the places match where he was and is. I don’t know if he is creeping me but probably.

    It got me thinking about his pathological secrecy. Here are the details but if you are not interested, please do skip to the next paragraph!:

    He lied about name and marital status for months, though he knew from the get go that there are few degrees of separation between us; he has a light internet presence as himself; he denied using FB because, he said, women from his past chased him; he doesn’t have a real FB page but does use another platform where he has few connections or posts and does not engage; he creeps me from another platform (real name) but denies it; he didn’t give me his number until the end because (he said) a woman before me harassed him; he never told me where he worked or lived, though he knew that I knew; he never used his kids’ names until the end and assumed that I knew anyway, which I did; he never told me where they were studying, though I knew and he knew that I knew; he has faked it with other women and ghosted them.

    He is pathologically secretive. He could have ghosted me too but instead chased me across an ocean; he could have disappeared even after I knew who he was; ‘broken up’ (plenty of reasons); not come back; not taken me back; had any number of women much easier (younger, prettier, more empathic) than me for fuel. But I am the only woman he was willing to spend the night with in the same bed apart from IPPS (long marriage). I know this to be true.

    Of course it looks like he got attached to me, even if he went into ‘stranger’ mode all the time. If it is not attachment, what would you call it? Why would someone so secretive risk so much when he had other fuel options? Why did he let me remain/try to get me back?

    I think maybe I feel guilty that he was attached and I failed to make it work, and it’s making it hard for me to let go…

    1. SMH,
      I totally get what you are saying here. I often think some of the same things
      1. Why try so hard with me, I made it quite difficult to get negative fuel (it killed me but I hardly ever showed it to him), I think I wounded often, etc. It has to be ridiculously easy for these guys to find gullible empaths online, and they can catfish like crazy if they want just for fun
      2. Why return to me so often? Admitted that he couldn’t resist the urge to come back (obviously for fuel, not for me). Why let me come back so often?
      3. Mine was pathologically secretive as well. He would just not tell me things just because, for no real reason, when I could quite easily figure it out for myself. Never understood that.
      4. Why risk it all with me? I knew so much about him from the get go. I could easily contact his IPPS, friends, probably colleagues if I tried. He knows I’m smart enough to ruin his life if I wanted to.

      I think the wariness that come with the mid rangers makes them more secretive as well…..
      Is yours cerebral? Maybe that explains why you were the only one??
      I so often thought mine had many IPSS, but now I think it was all triangulation with imagined other women, and that I may have been either the only one, or maybe there was one other. He so often made me feel like I was of no importance to him, but I always knew for certain that wasn’t true.

      You know he wasn’t attached to YOU. You were a challenge. You are highly intelligent, I think I read another post where you say you are a super empath, that is another type of challenge for them. LOGIC LOGIC LOGIC

      1. Hi Supernova DE, Thanks for reading all of that. I was having a moment but it does sound like your experience has been similar to mine.

        I talked with my therapist about it today. She said he might be attached but unable to bond.

        He is cerebral and we found each other’s brains really fascinating, similar senses of humor and chemistry off the charts. I think he found me exotic as well as a challenge. Maybe he was acting out a fantasy.

        In fact, I think the secrecy was because he compartmentalized so completely that he could pretend his ‘other’ life wasn’t part of our bubble.

        You also sound highly intelligent and grounded, and I am sure that is attractive to your narc. Narcs are people as well as their narcissism, and I think certain types find the banter and intellectual engagement important fuel. No one is flattered by someone who admires their smarts but who is not smart themselves, right? It’s false admiration. Plus, for many (including for me) intellect is erotic. It’s confusing that mine couldn’t embrace it when I was so open to it, but that is the narcissism speaking.

        I know how you feel – disappointment at having to let go of someone who is so close to what you want but is missing an important part of what it takes to make any kind of relationship work.

      2. Supernova DE, I just want to add that a lot of what HG writes is generic. It is spot on in an abstract way but he does write from his perspective and there is no way he could nail every single narc out there. I think with my mid-ranger, and probably with yours, there was a lot of bravado that was part of the narc persona but the real person was wary, as you say. This is the mask vs the authentic self. Way before I knew what mine was – before I really knew him, in fact, – I noticed that he seemed like two different people – Mr Egghead and Mr Finance. Mr E was lonely and pensive. Mr F was cocky and destructive. Mr F would want to collect IPSS’s just to show that he could but Mr E wasn’t interested. Mr E wanted to actually be close, to connect to someone. Mr F wouldn’t let him. Mr E wanted to cuddle. Mr F wanted complete autonomy. Maybe if we think of them as split personalities it is easier to understand their behavior and why they are impossible to deal with with.

      3. And fuel is not generic either, Supernova DE. Your fuel is you. My fuel is me. It is different from the fuel anyone else would provide. It is not so easy to move from one source of fuel to another because the addiction to the fuel is an addiction to a specific fuel. That is why they do not let go because if it were not the case, it would be easy to move to fuel from someone else. It is like the way we normals or empaths attach to a person and find it hard to let go. Narcs attach to a fuel that is attached to a person – to a smell, a touch, a taste.

        The problem is not so much the attachment, I am beginning to think, as it is the inability to be consistent and steady (the bonding part). We think attachment naturally leads to presence but if the narc’s masked self fears the attachment that the authentic self wants, there will always be this push-pull, approach/avoid. They are not even aware that they are doing it, as HG has pointed out of mid-rangers. Mr E the authentic self wants to approach, Mr F the masked self wants to avoid.

        It is exhausting being a narc, right? And it is exhausting dealing with one. That is why I escaped – because I saw the approach/avoid happen clearly over the course of 10 days when we were not involved and he was waiting for me to agree to return to the FR. I was golden and then he was a stranger. It happened rapidly without my demeanor changing and without us seeing each other at all. It was all through messaging. I knew then at that moment that I had done nothing to cause it and so I could not do anything to fix it. Nothing about my behavior – wounding, providing negative or positive fuel, calm, anxious – changed a thing.

        It was the same when we were ‘friends.’ I did wound him inadvertently when we again went from golden to stranger, but I realized that I couldn’t be friends with someone who could not take a mild poke/tease because his sense of self is so easily shattered. The transition from golden to stranger would have happened anyway no matter what I did.

        I’ve called him every name under the sun over the years. And now that he is hoovering I again see that nothing I do makes any difference. It is typical of him to wait, calm down, forget what happened and never bring it up again.

      4. SMH,
        Wow, you gave me a lot to contemplate this morning, I had to force myself away from pondering to attend to my patient appointments haha!

        I can fully and entirely relate to your Mr. E vs Mr. F analogy. You could be describing my narc. This duality is part of the reason it has been hard to let go, and has been so easy to forgive him in the past. I have been doing this dance with him since we were 14, just with a loooong 12 year break in the middle. I have this feeling that those childhood connections give my fuel more meaning to him in some way…but maybe that’s just my emotional thinking trying to soothe me.

        Like you, I was happy to be IPSS/DLS. I would never want to deal with his ridiculousness day in and day out. I made this well known, and he just acted like that was what he wanted too, but I think it wounded. Frankly I could deal with most of his weird manipulations with an eyeroll and just going about my own business for a week or two. But, like you, the shelving and disengagement were unacceptable to me. Didn’t much care for the gaslighting either. I told him once I couldn’t not talk for weeks at a time, that it was too hurtful, and too distracting to me in my home life. He responded by saying that he “couldn’t give me what I wanted,” but then love bombing hard for 3 days trying to distract me so I wouldn’t leave. I repeatedly told him that I was worth more, that he was damn lucky I gave him anything. Cue the silent treatments haha. Of course he knows very well that all of that is true, that I am a catch, in real life terms and in fuel terms. Yet he still disengaged this time very cruelly. I feel bad for him in some ways when I think about it like that.

        I tried everything too, different things, being aloof, being more attached, being more sexual, lacking sexuality, it never made any bit of difference. He still had the same cycle – golden for a month, stranger/devalue for 1-2 months, shelve/disengage for 1-3 months. It was a bit different in the beginning, I think something changed with his IPPS which affected the way he dealt with me….initially I think I got promoted to CIPSS, but I failed him, and that’s when the devaluations began more earnestly.

        Sometime I think the more understanding and insight I gain, the more susceptible I am to going back.

      5. Supernova DE, I don’t get any work done! LOL. Well, I take that back. I had a 3 hour meeting today.

        I know what you mean about letting go. It’s like there is a little boy in there. Yours WAS a boy when you met him and surely that makes it harder but it also might cloud your judgment (as if our judgment weren’t already clouded enough).

        Just like yours love bombed you for 3 days, mine was once absolutely present for a whole month so I wouldn’t leave for the third time. What does this tell you? They can change. They just don’t want to. Why? Because fuel. I thank HG for helping me to see that because without that piece of information, the ping pong doesn’t make sense.

        Just like you told yours he was lucky to have you, so did I tell mine. And that he was lucky I put up with him because I wouldn’t tolerate his behavior from anyone else. But the thing is, there is no ‘he’ there. Mr E was grateful and laughed, but Mr F did not give two shits. Mr E beats up Mr F for not being able to hold onto a good thing while Mr F absolves himself of all responsibility because he is perfect. As I said, it’s a mind fuck.

        Did I wound mine a lot? Yes. Can I be pig-headed? Yes. Did he do good things for me? Yes. Can he be sweet? Yes. He is not all bad and I am not all good. But I can sit here and talk about it. I can dissect my motivations and feelings. Either narcs lack introspection, in which case no amount of creating a safe space is going to help. Or they have it (Mr E) but are so ego driven (Mr F) that trying to get them to open up is impossible. I have literally watched Mr F take over Mr E’s brain in a split second. It doesn’t make him evil (here I disagree with HG). But it does make him impossible for anyone but who has a strong sense of self. Enter IPPS. I once pointed out to him that she seemed innocuous enough but had no identity, interests or direction. To me it was abnormal and explained why he was bored. I later realized that to him it was perfect.

        I did not find this site until post-escape and of course now I understand a whole lot more, but to be honest it makes me more fearful of going back, as does what happened post-escape when I tried to be friends. I feel that mine will never stop punishing me for failing him. There will be a respite, there will be a golden period, my anxiety levels will start to rise in anticipation, there will be shelving, there will be an explosion.

  6. Hi Im new here.
    Reading through all the comments it’s very interesting.
    HG s books are brilliant , I have downloaded and read all of them , hopefully there will be more to come.
    I have finally found out what happened when everyone else says “oh just get over it already.”
    I find the omnipresence as explained byHG the hardest thing to cope with.That feeling that your wheels are turning but you are still stuck.
    That feeling that you can’t let go .I am a scientist and hate that my normally analytical mind is so taken in by a fantasy.

    1. Hi Kiki, Welcome. Some of us are quite analytical too, and even scientists. HG has a very analytical mind which is why I think this is an intelligent place to be. I just read a blog post from the site I used to go to and it is so muddled that I feel like correcting it and sending this person to HG! The post is helpful, kind and earnest, but not analytical enough for me. It is okay and helpful to be analytical about your fantastical mind!

      1. Every time I try to refer people to HG for the facts on a narcissistic abuse or “empathic” blog the Angels with Dirty Faces come and kick me out while preaching “light and love.” Even going so far as to accuse me of being “resentful/angry” and that’s “not an empathic way to be..” It’s laughable and happens like clockwork. Message them privately.

      2. Oh there are some choice words. Usually a direct message on the page such as “this blog isn’t going to help any of you” and “if I can’t share information then I shouldn’t be here.” The messages are probably erased and I’m looked at as the narcissist troller… Whatever, I can’t help it but to try…if I hear an empath stuck in the washing machine of “why?” Hey, that rhymes!

    2. Hi Kiki
      His books are excellent and you will also learn much here from the articles and discussion. Welcome.

    3. My latest narc interactions were with a “scientist” and I know he is fueling from others within his professional world. So I assure you, you are not alone. HG will prove very helpful I’m sure 🙂

      1. I met a scientist too- took me a couple weeks to figure him out and dump him. A PHD – professor and searcher – a real prick .

  7. My empath is showing but I don’t understand why so many pick on Trump . . . I know he’s uncouth and grew up only upper middle class Kew Gardens . . . And he’s a New Yorker and they all talk like him. I’m keeping him as long as stock market continues to be great.

    Yes it was interesting to see him with Putin. Putin is a manifestor and Trump is a generator who wants to be a manifestor.

    Interesting times we are going through as the narcs continue to rise.

  8. This is interesting commentary,
    From my perspective.
    There is no “ One”,
    that is the lie the narcissist tells themself and us.
    To rationalize why every relationship fails.
    Why every women lets him down.
    Because she isn’t the “One”.
    She/ the One is a fantasy created by the narcissist.
    No woman can soley satisfy a narcissists need for fuel, positive or negative.
    Victims fall for the One speech
    ( myself included, years ago)
    In hopes it will be them that changes him, saves, wins.
    None of those scenarios are possible.
    Either he will leave her or she will leave him.
    After much emotional torment.
    I think the ideal is to wish for no one to be hurt by another Narcissist by falling for their tricks and illusions.
    For survivors to learn from HGs work and not repeat what came before.
    Work on themselves and not HG or the narcissist currently or previously in their lives.

    From what I have observed in the last year or so on the blog,
    Is that HG is quite satisfied with how and who he is.
    The One is a manufactured excuse to keep surmounting victims,
    the illusive never ending search.
    The hook.
    The bait.
    The lie.
    My wish would be that HG accept his true self (through therapy )
    and then attempt to seek a “ genuine “ Relationship.
    Otherwise it is just be the same repeated cycle of abuse he perpetuates on victim upon victim.

    HG is as he is.
    From how I observe him.
    He isn’t happy.
    He is successful.
    It works for him.
    Rage, malice, jealousy, power, authority, expertise and control.
    He thrives in his world.

    1. Hi Analise13! That is what I try to convey with my comments too that thru his therapy and awareness he can relinquish the need for so much negative fuel and find a peaceful, genuine relationship at this juncture in his life and still feel like he’s thriving. But I think I may come across too dreamy and hopeful for a Disney ending to some. Which I’m not trying to in my head, but obviously I’ll always have that dreaded optimism to get me in trouble. Lol You worded it very concisely and I completely agree.
      I keep asking him personal questions, because I have always done so, since day 1, literally, and in the past was encouraged to keep doing so.
      For some of the ladies who think I may be prying, there’s plenty of my questions over the years that have remained in moderation never to see the light of day. HG doesn’t answer what he chooses not to share and that’s a-ok with me.

      1. Clarece has always asked thoughtful and challenging questions and some of these have indeed not seen the light of day owing to time constraints. It is not reflection on the standard of her questions.

      2. Remember when you thought I was Dr. O sneaking on your blog incognito in the early months? hee hee…good times

      3. Hi Clarece, I totally agree with your questions and replies.
        I do not see it is a romantic notion for HG.
        But, rather, a realistic one.
        I see noting wrong with asking personal questions.
        HG always exercises the right of response.
        Thank you for your reply, Clarece.

      4. “For some of the ladies who think I may be prying, there’s plenty of my questions over the years that have remained in moderation…”

        Just to clarify, for myself, I don’t see some questions asked of HG as ‘prying’…but that sometimes the questions that are asked reveal more about the person doing the asking than the answer itself – at least I have learned this about myself.

      5. Well, my intentions come from a good place. I hope that is what’s conveyed at the heart of the matter, but I also get when you can only read text and not see a person’s body language or hear their voice in how they’re saying something, anything can get interpreted positively or negatively.

      6. Hello Clarece – I absolutely think that you ask very insightful and interesting questions. And I make no judgement on your intentions…plus, I agree it is so difficult to accurately perceive someone’s tone etc., which adds to the difficulty of reading blog posts.

        And naturally many of us would hope that ‘good’ comes to HG, and his victims, as a result of his work. Think about the dynamic – the ‘hope’ that one day HG will make improvements or engage in less malign behaviours…this does feed the Saviour Empaths among us I’m sure.

        So bear in mind that I’m only speaking for myself…
        But in asking HG to question his way of being or thinking – am I genuinely concerned about him or his victims or am I just trying to impose my way of thinking or my perspective where it’s not necessarily an issue or even welcome?

        I like when other commentators ask more private and insightful questions of HG. But even when I personally have asked more direct questions of him, sometimes I know it’s because I’m genuinely interested in how he thinks (this is usually the case) other times it is more about seeing if I can corner a narcissist into giving a straight answer…and this is more about taking advantage of the fact that he is fairly candid and also, sort of a personal challenge on my part…but I’ll bet HG can tell the difference. (Sorry to talk like you’re not in the ‘room’ HG.)

        It’s just something that I’ve resolved for myself…he certainly doesn’t appear to discourage personal questions but I, personally, don’t feel that that should allow me to feel entitled to ask anything I see fit.

        Or maybe I’m just overthinking things because – that’s what I tend to do when my narcissist is stressing me out (which he is right now)…so bring on Dolus Malus, HG – so I can think about something else!

      7. Clarece
        Re: text and interpretation.
        Welcome to my world, but dont worry – you dont come across as love-sick, ill-intentioned, or a fire-breathing dragon lol. I’ve got that shit locked down.

      8. Clarece
        Why wonder when you can ask? As you said – if he chooses not to answer no loss, but when he does we learn. Keep asking I say.

      9. Clarence, for what is worth, I have always liked your questions and observations to HG and always thought you should be in that panel of readers to interview him 😉

      10. Awww, thank you Lou! If the interview happens I try to think of questions all of us would want to know but some may be too afraid to ask. Me…I go for it. lol

    2. Analise13
      Great post. I agree with your view except for him seeking a genuine relationship. I dont think that is possible or even desired, and my view is it is destined to be misery for both. He does not need a long term relationship (no one really does-its just preferred by most). He knows that the only ONE is himself and yes he thrives that way. Best for the world to accept him as he is, leave him to himself, and not feed him any more souls.

      1. Yes, NA. Thank you for your reply.
        You are right,
        that would be my ideal wish based on my world,
        not HGs.

        Even though HG is a self aware narcissist.
        He has zero desire or need to change.
        You are correct too, people do not need to be in a relationship.
        I enjoy being in a committed relationship.
        One where love is reciprocated.
        I do not need the fairytale. The lie.
        Life is far more complicated.
        Just no more narcissistics pretending to love me.

        Yes, HG will always thrive and survive and excel.
        Not on others pain, now that would be awesome.

  9. If Hitler came back would he want to do it all over again ? Of course if he had the opportunity to look at it from the outside ? Oh so many questions .

  10. Glad your skies are blue today, HG, and that you are back among us! We missed you!

    Observing what you describe here is how I finally escaped. I watched him transition from golden to stranger within 10 days while he was waiting for me to decide to return to the FR. We had just seen each other and had a lovely time, and he was golden for about a week. But from one day to the next, he withdrew into stranger mode. We hadn’t seen each other again, there was no pressure, I wasn’t upset, so there was no reason for it. I knew then in my gut that he has a mental disorder and I escaped.

    It didn’t seem deliberate (mid-ranger) but that makes it all the harder to deal with because if the narc is unaware, you can’t explain to him what he is doing. I later tried to explain it to him but with no success.

    Anyway, while you were gone, HG, I was afraid I would break NC, so I saw my therapist. She raised the issue of fragmented personalities and asked me how many I had observed (she has seen me through a lot of this). I said two. Then I said no, three – just like you are describing here (golden, stranger, rage). But I think there might be another with mine because I am IPSS. When he hides behind IPPS the facade personality emerges – the public face. Dissociative identity disorder…

  11. That is really creepy but interesting.
    If this happens after devaluation could they go up to semi golden after this period or this is only the path to darkness ?

    1. G. …..They are stuck in survival mode. They HAVE to do what they do, to survive.
      From our perspective it seems like a lot of work, but I suppose from the narc’s perspective it might seem like a lot of unnecessary work to genuinely love and care about people. It’s all about perspective.

  12. This is perfect HG. I’d got confused with this third stage, I used to think, he’s like a robot- a bit thick, like there was nothing there. I was always left with, ‘what am I missing’.
    Makes sense now.
    The plotting then is only conscious depending on the school of narcissist?

    1. Correct. Most people think all narcissists plot (because it SEEMS like that from your perspective) but for Lesser and Mid-Range it is instinctive.

  13. Its been a back and forth week with my ex narc. She hoovered me back in and we have spent the last week hanging out together, being intimate and we are supposed to see one another tonight for an overnighter. Today however, she went silent for about 2 hours telling me I just do not see the big picture when I tried to see whats wrong. Well after she stopped being silent she has been exactly as described in this post. She is there but barely answering, not much interest in our conversation and she has yet to actually confirm tonight. I am still getting the typical, “we’ll see” response which for her 90% of the time means no. I am not worried though as I expect it.

  14. This is undoubtedly the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. This setting feels to me like a discard and it’s why I’ve always escaped. In contrast with the Golden setting this would rattle me to my core. On a certain level I realize that I was being mirrored and that the person I knew never was. Don’t ever give excuses for it or blame yourself…just get the hell out.

  15. Your statement that we may never see this depending on the nature of our narcissist intrigues me. Which types are more likely to have this “calm before the storm” period and which are not?

      1. Indeed I am Windstorm and with a vengeance for sharing more information with you all.

      2. Feeling the love HG? I’ve missed you too. Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone. 🎶

      3. I don’t know where you are HG. I’m away from home too atm. But I think we are in for some thunderstorms, do you like storms Tudor?

      4. I love storms! Lol….Bring it on Tudor…. and don’t stop!
        I agree with you Clarece. Let’s hope she is the “one”….

      5. There won’t be a “one” until HG is completely authentic about who and what he is. Anyone new will have been targeted well in advance and just be a new victim.

      6. Clarece,
        Reading your comment about how HG would have to change before he could find “the one” made me feel jaded and cynical. While I think it’s a wonderful concept, I’ve never been able to believe in “the one.”

        I guess I’ve always thought about romance and soulmates like the narcs think about true empathy and joy. I can acknowledge that it’s apparently out there for some people, but to me it just seems like a sort of mass delusion. Maybe I just wasn’t born with the romance gene, like narcs aren’t born with empathy.

        I guess there’s a lot of worse things I could have been born without, but it does give me a little more empathy with the narcs – being on the outside looking in, so to speak. I can only ever have a cognitive understanding of romance from watching others, and you can never truly understand something that you are unable to experience.

      7. Windstorm
        Im sitting right beside you on missing that gene. The One and Soulmate seem like powerful fantasies created by narcs to keep people on the hamster wheel and causing them to become ensnared when the Great Illusionist arrives (and it works). A distraction from dealing with the everyday. Hope bottled.

      8. I have a hard time determining where I stand with regard to these points of view – because if I’m honest with myself I’ve have never been a full on ‘love devotee’ (a believer in the “One” despite loving faery tales and happy endings) At core I am a realist. I wasn’t ‘ looking’ for the one when I met my narc – but I was lacking…I realize that I had needs that he met at the time…and of course he had needs, as well, and apparently I met those as well (for a time)…Although I do view ‘passion’ as a requisite for a relationship, intially, I do know that this doesn’t last and, if both are committed, you make adjustments and recognize that relationships go through a natural cycle.

        Where I got duped was believing we had a future together – a viable future – I could see it, feel it – almost taste it. He somehow fed me exactly what I needed to hear and to witness to fully believe in this future with him…I had never been able to visual a ‘future’ with any past significant others…and it would have been a beautiful future if he was not what he was in reality.

        But sadly, I didn’t recognize what he was and invested heavily in this future…

      9. WhoCares
        It sounds as though you have reviewed your experience with hard honesty and logic. You havent lost your investment. He didnt sell you anything-he just confirmed for you all of the things that you know you really want (in mirroring you). You can still pursue them-just minus that travel partner that would have ruined the whole trip.

      10. Thank-you NarcAngel for your observations and your positivity – what you say is true.

        I have so many reasons to be grateful for my entanglement (yes, you read that correctly) that I cannot deny the belief in a ‘silver lining’ even though it was a costly experience…it could have been much worse. I think Quasi was addressing ‘gratitude’ on another thread, which I wanted to respond to as well…

        My ability to deal with my narc formally and legally has nearly plateaued – so to speak. It’s now a waiting game (good thing narcs are predictable though) because I doubt he’ll be able to behave himself…while I just have to manage my emotions in the meantime – which usually I succeed at, but…

        I’m struggling…summertime, while beautiful here, brings with it memories…good, bad – mostly bittersweet…so I’m awash in emotions and at the same time my narc’s behaviour is escalating somewhat…meanwhile, important decisions are to be made, professional demands are requiring me to soon put on a happy face, and be ‘engaging’ (when I feel anything but)…

        And he keeps doing things that are ‘messages’ meant for me alone…and not only is it getting old fast but I’m actually tired of documenting it and drawing attention to it (to the professionals involved) – that in itself feels like giving too much energy in reaction to his behaviours.
        They really do know how to wear you down.

        And it truely does seem like they know when you are at your weakest…but I take solace in knowing that I’ve had weaker moments and still managed to stay just a hair ahead of him, outsmart him or out-stubborn him. Whatever he threw in my path, however he tried to drag me down there was always a part of me he never had access to – that I always protected from him.

        I think he knew this; certain comments of his were telling…while I gave almost everything to him or to our “future” I never surrendered my full self to him – I realize now that he never fully controlled me – which is why he had to step so carefully at times.

        He really ought to tread as carefully now, but I think that he can’t because he knows I’ve escaped him. I honestly believe he may see that he isn’t going to win and that he’ll just inflict what damage he can on his way out…

        Sorry for the ramble…

      11. WhoCares
        Stay strong! Sorry that summers bring up difficult memories. You’re doing a great job and just have to keep going. Remember the statement that is always true, “And this, too, shall pass away.” It just takes time. ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

      12. WhoCares
        I didnt find that a ramble at all, but interesting, and I’m glad you shared. I take it as a good sign, and healthy, that you are able to find some good such a bad experience. You will always have to be somewhat on guard but this period of hyper vigilance that you are experiencing now will lessen with time and you will return to a new normal. I hope that you can find new things to associate the summer with that will help you to have that come sooner than later. I wish you the very best in what you are navigating presently and hope to see you here when you can find the time, to help keep your resolve and let us know how you are progressing.
        Who Cares?
        We do.

      13. NarcAngel,
        Thank-you for the well wishes.
        I’ll manage – I usually do.
        And you bet I’ll be checking in here regularly – while I don’t often openly share all my struggles – I absolutely see this place, and the people here, as a source of knowledge, safety, support and strength.
        So, thank-you for your words.

      14. NarcAngel,
        Ha, ha!
        Clarence responded to me,
        “I know too many lovely couples in my personal life to think that romance and love is a delusion.”
        That made me think. I only know 2-3 that I could say that about. Do you think that people like you and me may have just not been exposed to people in loving marriages? I mean, my life has always been narc-heavy, so it stands to reason that some people must have lives more narc-free? Having always led a more isolated life, I haven’t really interacted with nearly as many people as others have. Made me wonder if maybe my perception has been skewed by lack of data.

        But what about you, though? You seem to have been around more people than me. Maybe it’s just that our narc detectors are highly tuned from experience and we can see thru the illusion better? I do know that a lot of people seem to just assume everything is good in other people’s relationships if it looks good on the surface. Living with narcs has taught me never to trust appearances.

        It’s probably one of those puzzles we’ll never really know the answer to. Thanks a lot for letting me know you feel the same, though. It’s always a comfort to know I’m not alone in my experiences and thinking. You are my go-to person for that about narcissists!

      15. Hi Windstorm.
        I have interacted with a lot (and I think a good mix) of people, and find what you say is true – that a lot of people base that assumption on what they see on the surface or more disturbingly, they point to longevity in a relationship. Im betting a lot of those Smuckers Jar marriages with quotes like never go to bed angry involve a lot of old people eyeing up that extra pillow and their sleeping partners mouth haha. Actually the more the compatibility is demonstrated by the couple the less Im inclined to believe it, and yes I’m jaded but theres a good reason for that. People tell me very personal things (always have) and things I would never tell anyone. A lot of times these things are that if they could do it all over again that they would not marry their partner and even in some cases that they love their children but would not have them given a do over (they are always consumed with guilt after for saying it). Others would be shocked to know that about these particular people. These things seem to center around lost opportunity, discontent with the outcome, or not acheiving their own goals but giving themselves over to someone else and feeling lost in the shuffle. I have also met a lot of couples where it was understood that the lust would be a short period but that mutual respect and like-minded goals would suffice in being considered fulfilling. Still others who stay together but walk about numb and have basically given up. The ‘I made my bed…’ scenario. Yes there have been some (few) who do truly seem happy outwardly, but then I wonder if its that partnership or if they are those people who are highly agreeable to anyone and happy just not to be alone. We can never really know. For those who feel holding out for that perfect someone who will continue to curl their toes ever forward, I wish the very best. I think we are each fine as we are and should not feel pressure to pair up, and if we do, maybe its enough to have companionship on the journey and not be beholden to the idea of all encompassing romantic love.

        PS. Also maybe age and even location has something to do with arriving at that conclusion lol.

      16. Hey NarcAngel,
        Thanks for answering. Everything you said matches with my own experience. The longest lasting marriages I’ve seen (60+) all were with a narcissist and a long-suffering partner.

        My grandmother told me that old “Never go to bed angry” advice she got from her father. Her mother was an abusive narcissist and so was her husband and I just assumed that was a coping strategy.

        Goodness knows her mother didn’t agree with it. She once subjected my great-grandfather to a three week present silent treatment/devaluation where she refused to speak to him or acknowledge him and forced the children to be the go-between and repeat comments between them (since she could only “hear” them). I could feel my grandmother’s pain when she told me that story 70 years later about how it had hurt her as a child. I bet the neighbors all thought my great-grandparents had a good marriage, too.

        We can never know what goes on behind closed doors unless we were actually there and witnessed it ourselves. You certainly can’t trust what the people say themselves, either. Who among us here on the blog has never covered up abuse and put on a brave face to convince others that things were better than they were?

      17. Hello WS! Oh, I can hardly ever imagine you truly being jaded and cynical. You bestow so many readers here including myself with such kind support, wisdom and advice. But I know what you mean, I feel jaded and cynical in general about relationships but I hate that also. That’s only developed in the last few years. I don’t think it’s a rare exception for the couples that have found true, unconditional love with someone and went thru ups and downs and maintain a strong bond no matter what. Just like raising a child, yes relationships are work, but there are those who navigate it beautifully. So I relate to what you say feeling like you are sometimes on the outside looking in (or for me not still understanding the secret handshake for getting into a normal, healthy relationship) but I don’t feel on the side of the Narc, that’s for sure. I know too many lovely couples in my personal life to think that romance and love is a delusion.

      18. Clarece,
        Well I certainly have my cynical moments! Maybe your last line explains it:
        “I know too many lovely couples in my personal life to think that romance and love is a delusion.”
        Of all the relationships I’ve seen, there’s only two, maybe three, I could point to with what seems to be true love and happiness on both sides. Maybe that’s because most of my acquaintances are narcs, married to narcs or the children of narcs. I’m glad your experience is different.

        Sure do hope you learn that secret handshake and get into the club!

      19. I know this and know what you are saying is correct. I was just talking narc language.
        To him and from his perspective, each new target “seems” like the one. They are the answer. And probably it feels to him at least that his search is over. He has met the one that will never let him down or leave him. That must feel probably one of the most secure feelings to him that he actually allows himself to feel. (I could be wrong, and I’m sure he will correct me).
        Maybe our equivalent would be to feel “in love”. How high and elated does one feel when they are in love? Can you tell that person at the time that they may be making a mistake? Often you can’t tell a person in love anything. They are on cloud 9 as it were, and in that bubble.
        If HG, is in that bubble, then so be it. We know it’s not going to last.
        He has to believe in the delusions and magical thinking. Though no doubt in his subconscious he may well be aware that this is another temporary appliance that will fail him just like all the rest. We know that the positive fuel will turn stale, and he will start to devalue for negative fuel.
        But for the time being he feels “powerful and fuelled up”.
        You know him better than I do Clarece.
        Who knows what HG is up to? Who knows who or what he is doing…..none of us do. He does not owe us any explanations. Not our business. Leave him to it. We cannot fix him. Only he can fix him.

        We as readers obviously want the best for him. But he has been in these ingrained survival patterns a very long time now. Ask yourself why it matters to you Clarece? Do you feel bad for him or the victim or both?

      20. I have my reasons why it matters. It’s not about feeling bad for the two options you gave.
        Your points about not being able to ever dispel someone’s feelings of new love when it is at its most lustful and intense, absolutely on point. It’s all the chemical reactions happening inside the brain.

      21. Tigerchelle78,

        I like this observation:

        “Ask yourself why it matters to you Clarece? Do you feel bad for him or the victim or both?”

      22. I know exactly why and what my position is but it’s best to stay private for now.

      23. HG doesn’t know how to be authentic. It must be difficult when you are an empty shell. It’s something he has never I imagine learned to do. Sorry to talk about you as if you are not here HG. No criticism intended or disrespect.

      24. I would like to see HG enlighten more and more of those in his fuel matrix as to who and what he is. To me, that would be the most authentic way of life for him. Imagine the relationship with an empathic primary source that loves him warts and all. In normal, healthy relationships, each party communicates their needs to the other. So…he’s more needy for attention…that can be accommodated if you love him. He is aware of how his actions affect others and has already shifted his behavior to be more socially acceptable. Eventually, the need to keep the HG part of his life separate would end and he could write from the perspective of a narcissist living peacefully in an empathic world. He can’t be injected with empathy or a conscience, but with the level of awareness and brilliance he has, he could travel through life without leaving a path of destruction in his wake. That is if His Greatness had the desire to do so.

      25. Exactly MB! I’ve asked HG a few times on the blog at different times, if he noticed a decline somewhat in his maliciousness towards others since being in therapy, and if so, what did he choose to do differently in specific scenarios and if he felt content afterwards that he wasn’t malevolent.
        He’s always consistently answered “yes” (in true caveman style to the decline). No details yet.
        I think people would definitely be interested in hearing those interactions.

      26. Clarece and Mad Skills
        I’m laughing because I no sooner read the exchange between you two about HG’s responses when the next article popped up:

        How The Narcissist Evades When Questioned.

      27. “Caveman style”. Ha ha Clarece!

        I don’t know if it could ever happen because of the following:
        1. He would see it as being weak which he cannot countenance.
        2. He would see it as “backing down” and therefore giving up control and omnipotence to an inferior opponent.
        3. From my reading, I understand that being exposed is one of the greatest fears of the narcissist. To expose oneself would be akin to suicide. (And we know how they feel about that.)
        4. There would have to be something in it for him. I don’t know of anything that would be worth taking such a risk. There would be no going back. Of course he could always uproot and start over if it didn’t work out. Us empaths can hope for the best, but I would never wish pain and suffering on anybody, not even a malevolent narc!

      28. Clarece and MB, Lynn and others….

        I just feel that maybe at times it could come across as pressure to keep asking HG if this is happening or if he is feeling a particular way yet. I don’t know. All I know is that one’s journey of healing is very personal to that individual. It comes in that person’s own time, when they are ready to deal with very deep core wounds. It’s done in stages. It doesn’t come because people are asking or wanting it to happen.

        I realise many are anxious for changes to happen, but this is still a human being with much damage done to him, psychologically, mentally and so forth. I don’t think this is something that any of us can quicken up. Not that you are trying to, but you know what I mean. Could possibly us even mentioning it to him, come across as a slight criticism?
        From our perspective, we are looking at it as we want the best for HG and want him to heal. But from his perspective this is a very frightening prospect I would imagine to even want to think about. To push him in any way, even if it’s not meant like that I think would only hinder him, not help him. If you can imagine every single feeling of hurt, pain, weakness, shame and so forth, all bunched up in one big lump, ever since you were a kid, you can start to imagine the the mass of this huge creature he is holding back.
        We deal with those kinds of feelings on a regular basis and have done ever since we were children. He has not. He has not learnt how to.
        I could be wrong, but I remember when I was going through therapy, the therapist pushing me, in any way at all, even percieved, just got my back up, because it was very painful for me even to consider. (I’m not suggesting HG is anything like me).

        Maybe there is even the sense that we want him to be this certain kind of what we would see as healthier and nicer to person because we will like him more then. We would approve. Would that not bring back very familiar feelings of him never being good enough all over again? How would that come across do you think, to someone very sensitive to any, even perceived criticism?

        Just some thoughts I was having and could be why he is not willing or anywhere near ready to talk or write about such things. Give him time.

        If I’m completely wrong or off here, then I apologise, and I will stand corrected.

      29. MB
        Something tells me he cant be injected – he’d rather be blown.

        (Thats a motor reference. You’re welcome).

      30. I concur NarcAngel. Believe it or not, I know about motors due to my curiosity and truth seeking tendencies. Ha ha. I know a little bit about a lot of things, but have mad skills on certain things

      31. I’m sensing something was different on this last trip for you. Not professional this time.
        A shift in the personal fuel matrix. I think Kim has been out of the picture for quite some time and possibly a new love interest may have been taken on a trip. You are all full of vigor in your comments…

      32. We’ll take him back if you don’t want him Tigerchelle. What’s one more resident narcissist! Haha

      33. MB,…I know you will…. and he will end up there eventually do not worry. I just said he may have influenced the British weather somehow (jokingly) , but maybe that was Trump that did that as he has been over here too. You can definitely have him back lol!

      34. Tigerchelle, Trump certainly did stir things up on his visit! I really don’t mind that we are represented by a narcissist. In fact, POTUS is a good use for their kind. I just wish he wasn’t an idiot. It’s embarrassing!

        Of course HG controls the weather! Why not? He controls everything, right? But if you don’t like the weather, it’s not his fault! Ha ha

      35. MB yes, Trump tends to do that wherever he goes. What’s interesting is seeing the body language between him and a higher class of narcissist…Putin!
        Weather, politics,… narcissists, all the same…. unpredictable, tumultuous and power hungry!

      36. It’s the best summer in ages, and i’m Ok with being hoovered – once by email, another by phone and a third with app profile photo ‘communication’. After i thought discard couldn’t be more discarded. I don’t feel nothing, but i do feel sane and like, ‘my own person’.

        I’m taking some radical independence from my family, i have new perspectives. I feel i am being more realistic and feeling less anxious.

        Look forward to new discussions here.

      37. Did a group of US psychiatrists propose you to do the isolation treatment and you did it?

      38. Ughhh trump …after meeting the queen….”Ive met the queen and i can tell you shes a very good person” lol thats all you can come up with?? For an educated man the way he talks leaves much to be desired.

      39. Hi clarece… Youd mentioned HG and his therapy. I do wonder if he still is in therapy. Ive not seen this mentioned by him. Initially thats what led to the blog and his writing but is he still in behavioural therapy? I do think therapy can really help modify personality disorder related behaviours. I hate using the word “cure” bc i think it becomes a part of who that person is but the negative behaviours and thinking can be greatly improved and modified.

      40. NA, WS, WC and others,
        I feel compelled to comment here as I have experience in this. I don’t believe in soulmates or that there is only one person on earth for me or anybody else, but here’s my love story:

        I met my husband when I was 13 and he 16. He is a normal. Some of this story will portray him as an empath, but he is only that way toward me. He does not exhibit the same towards our children, animals, babies, or other family. I actually appreciate his normal status when there are situations that require him to be strong and logical. He is great for burying pets that have passed and he’s always on my side when the world is against me.

        He told me he knew when we met that he would marry me and he did after 5 years together. He was my first and only serious relationship and the only physically intimate partner I’ve ever experienced. We’ve been married nearly 30 years now. We never broke up, even while dating as young teens.

        A charming narc nearly messed up the fairy tale about 6 years ago. Our marriage was okay, but of course boring as compared to narc attention. I was compelled to explore as I wanted the excitement that I thought I had missed out on as a child bride. As we all know, it was a mistake and I paid dearly in tears, pain, and suffering. It was not what I thought it was going to be and I now know I dodged a bullet.

        We have been back together now for 5 years and our marriage is better than ever. There is no doubt that he loves me more than anything in this world. He spoils me and my happiness is his daily goal. I must admit that narc hits have enhanced my sex life with fodder for fantasy. (the mind being the main sex organ) which allows my toes to curl after all these years although that is only a small part of our life together.

        Above all, he is my best friend made to be family by choice. He has been with me through thick and thin and will say he loves me with his dying breath. I said to him one time that he loved me more than I loved him and I felt guilty because of it. His response, “You can’t measure love.” It’s not perfect, but as close as it can get. There is comfort, safety, and contentment. We have no drama, no fighting, and very few disagreements. I let him be him and he lets me be me (and we are very different!). It works for us and I now know I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes, narcs are exciting, but they are not real. What I have is genuine love and believe me, I know how lucky I am. It may be rare, I don’t know, but what I do know is that it is possible…

      41. Thanks for sharing, MB. We have some similarities. I was 16 when my exhusband and I got together and we never split up either. I had never dated anyone else or had (even till now) any other sexual relationship. We were married 30 years, too.

        I’m so glad you have been able to experience real love and the companionship of a man who truly loves you and actually will tell you so. Maybe your narc experiences had a positive effect in that you can now better appreciate what you have in your marriage. I’m very happy for you.

      42. WS, I’ve mentioned on here before that I am very lucky it wasn’t a narc that crossed my path that day at age 13. I would have attached to him in the same way and my story would’ve been very different. I have three sisters and all married Narcs. One has married two Ns!

      43. That’s a really lovely story, MB. I think it’s possible. I just don’t think the stars align for most people.

        I was torn from the first boy I ever loved (both 14-15) – by a family move. We lost touch and I didn’t find him until about 9 years ago. By then, he was disabled. He used to call me several times a day because he had poor short term memory and would forget that he had just called. He had very good long term memory, though, as vivid as if we were still kids. He was the same.

        We lived very far apart and he couldn’t use a computer (mostly pre-Skype and all that anyway – I don’t even think I had a smartphone) so he would call and mail me things in the post – photographs, drawings he had done (he was an artist but had gone into construction to ‘make a living’ – fell off a roof and that is how he became disabled). He had never had a family – never married, no kids. I was planning to go see him a few months later. But I had to go abroad first, and he died while I was abroad…

        I always wonder if the initial separation had not happened, if I had found him sooner, if he had not died…I have been a serial monogamist my whole life since, so it looks like I do not believe in ‘the one.’ But maybe he was the one…Maybe there is ‘the one’ and then there are temporary ones!

      44. SMH,
        That was a sad, sweet story. I sometimes wonder about missed opportunities as well.

      45. WhoCares
        But some missed “opportunities” were really good things, too. 42 years ago this August i met a really sweet, educated guy in the train station in Sevilla as I headed up southern Spain to Madrid. We caught the same train and stood and talked for hours and exchanged contact info. I was headed home to get married to my long time fiancé.

        I was so attracted to this guy who seemed so gentle and sweet, I wondered if meeting him before marrying was a sign from God. I stood there on that train and prayed for God to send me a sign what to do. I decided that if he asked me to get off with him, I would. He didn’t ask, so I came on home and got married to my narcissist.

        For a few years we corresponded by mail (only way back then), with my husband fully aware of our correspondence, of course. Finally it was just too painful to think what might have been and I cut him off. I always did wonder if I’d made the right decision on that train.

        Then about 35-36 years later, after I was divorced, he found my email and contacted me. He was so excited and so was I! Seems he’d kept all my letters in a box and had run across it when cleaning out a bookshelf. He had never married and said he’d always kicked himself for missing his opportunity on that train all those years ago. I thought maybe God had sent me another chance.

        Well turns out, he’s a midrange narcissist. He only seemed shy and sweet because he’s a lying bastard who’s too stupid to even know what he is. His mother was a manipulative, hateful shrew and a large part of why he never married. He was her golden boy and she’d warped him into someone no woman could stand for long. If I’d have ended up married to him, or dumped by him – in Germany cut off from my family and home – my life would have been infinitely worse than it had been! I’d have burnt my bridges getting off that train to be stuck with a moron. That’s what I call him now, my Moron in Munich.

        So now, after all those years of wondering about a missed opportunity, I know I made the right decision on that train. I should have known not to doubt God. I am forever grateful for that missed opportunity!

      46. WS, I wanted to like your comment but then I thought it was not enough. I love your comment about your Moron in Munich. I had already read you mentioning him but did not know the story. May I ask, how did you find out he was a MRN. Was it by correspondence or did you meet him somewhere?

      47. Lou
        No, I only met him the one time on the train. I had come to realize he wasn’t that smart and had almost no insight into people’s feelings thru our initial correspondence when we were young. When we started our texting a few years ago, I struggled to make sense out of his comments and behavior. It was illogical and irrational and he would switch back n forth from over the top loving comments to incredibly egotistical attempts at superiority. But it was talking to him on the phone that it came thru loud and clear that what I wanted, needed and felt had absolutely no importance to him.

        One day when he made a sarcastic put down to my intelligence, I was horrified to realize that he sounded just like my mother. That set off every alarm bell in my mind and I realized then and there he was toxic for me. I went to a counselor and she immediately labeled him as a narcissist. When researching online about quiet apparently shy narcissists, I found narcsite. Reading all the articles and questioning with HG is how I figured out what type he is, MMR Somatic.

        I had thought maybe we could at least stay correspondents. I really enjoyed sharing cultural differences with someone from another country, but that was doomed. I can’t help getting myself painted black in his mind if we talk any time at all, because I can’t pretend that he is different than he is. We’re just not compatible. I live in reality, while he lives in fantasy and neither of us is able to cross over to the others perspective.

      48. Windstorm, it’s amazing how one encounter can place that mixture making you pine for what might have been for decades. They truly are amazing beings. It really does feel like a magical spell. If only they would always use their powers for good…

      49. Thank-you Windstorm, I so appreciated hearing the backstory on your Moron in Munich – what a wonderful cautionary tale. (Well, ‘wonderful’ may or may not be the best adjective..)

        Like you say (I’m sorry you still ended up marrying a narc anyway) what a close call! Things could still have turned quite differently…

        As I was reading your story; so many things went through my mind. You describe your meeting at the train station in such a way that I can very clearly picture how it must have felt during such a chance meeting.

        I realized that my ‘chance meeting’ (not a train station, but in a place where many ‘strangers’ congregate for a significant amount of time and potentially interact) was a one time meeting that played out – in a nine year relationship.

        So you could say that I met and *did* follow up with my own moron – only I call him something else. My example could, easily, have been one of those ‘missed opportunities,’ but I was determined not to let it pass by.

        Fast forward several years later…I also could easily have ended up moving away with him to his own country…and he did manage to cause us to be isolated but it happened so gradually and in such a way that I never objected to it – in fact, I happily allowed it to happen (but I fully believed I was doing it to relieve overall ‘stress.)

        I’m glad you didn’t find yourself isolated in Germany, Windstorm…mine seemed shy and sweet at first too…

        And if, in my case, I had traveled to his country to live (I did toy with that idea) I would have been sunk.

        Incidentally, this past week, was the 10 year anniversary of our first ‘date’ – so that could be, in part, why I’ve been extra emotional as of late..it could have easily slipped by; I didn’t mean to remember…

      50. WhoCares
        Memories can be very disturbing and obnoxious. And if you’re like me, they pop into your mind unbidden and just cause mischief. Other people talk about fond memories and long for what used to be, but throughout my life my memories tend to be connected to darkness and pain in some way. I’ve often wondered if my memory was more of a built in warning system to not fall into the same traps I did in the past. I definitely identify with your saying you have been troubled by unwanted memories.

        And don’t feel sorry for me that I ended up marrying a narcissist. I went about husband shopping very seriously and systematically. I studied and evaluated every eligible man available in my area and there is no doubt in my mind that he was the best one.

        He was very intelligent and observant, college-bound, had tremendous confidence, open-minded with a great sense of humor, both loved and appreciated music, watched and understood global events and valued me for my mind and my intrinsic qualities rather than just my appearance. Plus he came with a wonderful family that accepted me as one of their own, supported me and taught, molded and shaped me into the woman I am today.

        True he could never love me and he certainly has tormented and tried me and my life has often been miserable due to his actions, but I have never regretted marrying him. He was my best option. And just as he has stayed with me over the years for my residual benefits, I continue to spend time with him because of his.

      51. Windstorm
        “I studied and evaluated every eligible man available in my area and there is no doubt in my mind that he was the best one’

        You never once considered moving?

        Hahaha. Im poking fun in affection only. For all of your adventures , obstacles, and choices, youre a great person and we’re glad to have you here.

      52. NarcAngel
        Move away from backwoods Kentucky! Why things could only go downhill – literally! 😝

      53. SMH, what a tragedy! My heart hurts for you. It was sad enough to be separated the first time. Some things are not to be and the “what ifs” and the “whys” will drive you crazy. I wish we could get answers as to why these things happen like we get narc behavior answers from HG. Knowledge would make the heartbreak hurt less.

      54. Aw thanks MB and WC. I am not religious but you never know – maybe we will reunite when I die. And Windstorm, glad you dodged that bullet. I have met people that way and NOT dodged the bullet, though none were as solidly narc-ish as my current ‘problem.’

      55. That was lovely to hear MB – I’m so glad you shared your story with us.

        Personally, I really needed to hear that..I’m so glad that stories like yours exist because I was beginning to feel pretty disillusioned about relationships…again.

      56. WhoCares, I shared it to show it’s possible and also to show another side of ensnarement. I’m vulnerable due to my empathic traits, special traits, etc. But I’m also vulnerable because of my naivety, my thirst for adventure and to have sexual experiences I think I’ve missed out on. I’ve said before on here that post HG, my narc position is this: they are like Doritos, I eat them for the taste, not the nutrition.

        My husband is like that 25 grain, 56,000 seed bread. He ain’t sexy, but he’s exactly what I need to sustain me. He won’t be rocking my world between the sheets or whisking me away on a romantic weekend. But he will be HERE, steady as a rock, doing whatever is required. No doubt in my mind he would change my diapers, bathe me, and sit and hold my hand if it ever comes to that.

        Doritos don’t do that. But damn do those empty calories taste good!

        Sometimes you just need to have your bread and eat Doritos too! (Or is that cake?)

      57. MB,

        Thank-you for elaborating; I can mostly certainly relate to some your vulnerabilities. Glad to see that you’re able to clearly identify yours and come to terms with them.

      58. MB
        Well sure…………theres that, but what else ya got?

        Ba hahaha. Just teasin. Youre bound to get in trouble when youve got mad skills bottled up and itching to be demonstrated. But seriously – that leads to another of my beliefs: That to expect to be fulfilled by one person (in any capacity but more specifically in this scenario romantically) in the majority of a lifetime is unreasonable. People change, crave new experiences, regret lost ones, and seldom in sync with what their partner may be experiencing. This can lead us to feeling some resentment over not being able to really be ourselves in the limited time we have here because we are held to a self-imposed or societal standard to be monogamous, and we act out. I understand your curiosity and experience at having been united at such a young age and wanting to experience things you felt you missed out on while also appreciating what you have long term. That may be pointed out by some as being selfish, but I believe it is to be human, and to deny it is a deceit to ourselves. My belief anyway.

      59. NarcAngel
        Thank you so much for what you said here. You get me. I DO feel like a selfish, dirty empath. I don’t feel like I have the right to expect passion on top of all my other blessings, especially when there are so many that suffer.

        I’ve never been physically attracted to him, not even in the beginning. I never got the strawberry ice cream. At most, it was Frosted Flakes for the first couple of years. Ever since then, it’s been plain corn flakes in the passion department. Same cereal everyday. I don’t want to shuffle off this mortal coil as HG says having never been properly bedded (or at least kissed) by someone that I’m attracted to. I crave the passion, the chemistry and the adventure which is where the Narcs come in to reflect that back to me so deliciously. I now know (thanks to HG) that there’s nothing more to them than that. I consider my time with them as sex therapy. My husband would be grateful to them if he knew how much they have brought me out of my shell and how much I’ve learned from them.

        He’s family. Comfortable and safe. And if I can’t have my cake and eat it too (which I have done, playing with fire) I choose comfort and safety over passion and pain.

      60. MB,
        It’s so lovely to hear your story. Childhood sweethearts. You’re husband sounds like a good man. Mine is also, much of your story resonates with me, except i was 24 when I met him. So a couple of relationships before him, but not loads of experience really. Like you I didn’t see anything as going wrong in our marriage. Maybe it was just the excitement of the narcissist.
        Thank you for sharing your story, it’s lovely to hear about the kind of love that can endure, it’s a very special thing.

        MB – can you remind me which book you recommended next ? I only have fuel and fury… was it exorcism or sitting target you were saying is best to follow on from them? Sorry Hun I can’t find the post that we had the original conversation on.
        Thanks again lovely, you are all kinds of wonderful Qx

      61. Quasi – I don’t know if MB saw your post, but Sitting Target was one of the most eye-opening books that I read – a most excellent and informative read (I haven’t read Exorcism yet).

      62. Thank you WC. I wasn’t ignoring Quasi. I just lost track. Vacation brain! You are correct. Sitting Target is the third after Fuel and Fury. I read Exorcism on a referral by Clarece and found it very informative in the describing of the narcissistic pillars. There was more detail there than I have seen elsewhere.

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