Poll : Holding On – Which of the following have you done with regard to the narcissist post escape/disengagement


As you know, should you escape or be disengaged from, you should impose a full and robust no contact regime. Naturally, your emotional thinking does not want you to do that. It wants you to embrace the Five Fingers of Engagement so you continue to feed the addiction to the narcissist and thus your emotional thinking drives you to maintain some form of contact – from just thinking about the narcissist through to approaching the narcissist and spending time with him or her. You may have spent time monitoring the narcissist’s social media profile looking for clues about who he is with or what she is doing. You may have sent messages to the narcissist or sat outside the narcissist’s home to see who is there, whose car is parked on the drive or who comes and who goes. You may have asked your family or friends to spy on the narcissist and find out information for you or you may have gone so far as to hire a private detective to do some digging and sifting on your behalf.

These interactions are the ones which have taken place POST escape or POST disengagement or whilst you were on the shelf – not whilst you remained in an active and ongoing relationship with the narcissist. Which of the options below (and you may choose as many as are applicable) apply to you? Do also expand in the comments section why you were doing it – what were you wanting to find out or learn? Did you meet with success? Did it cause problems?

Thank you for participating.

Failing to let go : which of the following have you done with regard to the narcissist?

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155 thoughts on “Poll : Holding On – Which of the following have you done with regard to the narcissist post escape/disengagement

  1. Sarah says:

    I walked into his backyard while he wasnt home and looked through his windows, it was the lowest point for me after being discarded looking for any answers, he caught it all on his security cameras. He didnt have me charged with trespassing he just sent me a very cold disguised as well meaning, message to leave him alone and to seek help. I have never felt this kind of hurt and confusion before i felt like i was losing my mind.

  2. Constance says:

    I would ride by his home 3-4 times a week just to see whose car was at his house or to see if he is still seeing his new source of supply. Plus my brother lives in the same apartment complex so I could see when visiting him. Reason I used to do this is because my ex narcissist has continued to text me all the while being with new sources of supply, over the past 4 yrs! He has continued to contact me while him & new gf were together or when they were broke up telling me he still loved me, missed me & that he would Never get over me even tho he’s tried to [which I know now was nothing but a lie]. So that’s why I did this. It has gotten to the point now that I no longer care nearly as much what he’s doing as I did at one time, since I’ve Istarted the healing process. I’m not completely over this but I’m much better off than I was 4 yrs ago. We were together on & off for 11 yrs so this process has been a long hard process!

  3. Nastalia says:

    During my last interaction with the schizoid narc I’d been seeing occasionally for a couple of years, I mentioned to him that he might be a narcissist.. as I’m French I asked him if he knew what it meant which he reply yeah.. I continued by telling him.. the perfect companion.. lol
    I’m glad I told him that I had suspicions and I don’t think I’ll hear from him again!
    Life is too beautiful to be with an unhappy person. I’m finally out of this fucked up dynamic!

  4. Jules H. says:

    I must tell you that i no longer do these things. (Ride by his house.,look up the social media details of anyone he is friendly with, stalk his Ex’s social media page)
    Yet, I do still think of him more often than I’d like.

    I got no answers that made any sense to me. He told me 4 or 5 different reasons for breaking up with me out of the blue disappearing for two months then returning to me with such control of the situation i had no other choice than to do as he wished. I was obsessed. Every second of every day was spent analyizing the last conversation we’d had. I saved or took screenshots of every text message or Facebook message he had ever sent
    I knew I had done nothing to provoke such behavior from him and i was angry at him for turning his back on me.
    It got to the point that when we did speak in between silent treatments, the demise of our relationship and friendship was all i wanted to talk about. I called it fighting for our love. It was nothing more than lunacy.
    That went on for 10 months AFTER he broke up with me. Then as I was looking for meditation (something i took up to help get over him)music on YouTube, i came across a video about the stages of the Narcissistic Cycle. So i listened to it. I can not describe to you the feelings that overtook me as i listened to a male voice describe, in detail, to the letter, my relationship with my Narc. As the videl ended I began to cry. And the search for knowledge and answers began.

  5. Starscape says:

    He is very dangerous so I do it out of fear. I do it so i might be able to stay a step ahead. I do it for other reasons too since we are still married.

  6. DebbieWolf says:


    … for a short period of time I checked a little of the social media.

    Just to see what was happening.
    Then I re-focused.

    I engaged with another person on an intellectual level who was extremely learned. This focused my mind on more important matters.
    No contact implemented and maintained.

    Nobody is indispensable.

    No one.

    Ironically, this is something I learned from the narcissist.

    I leave behind what no longer serves me.
    I offered a great deal, yet it came to nothing.
    It was a complete waste of my time and energy.

    As the saying goes:
    ”Life offers you a second chance, it is called tomorrow”
    (And so, do something else.- DW)

    Nothing and no one is worth being miserable for.
    Mind games … Once you know about them they are transparent and boring.
    Joy stealers and misery makers are to be left behind.

    🐾 Grrrrrr.

  7. Wissh says:

    In addition to checking out his social media presence, I ran a background check. I will never again date anyone without running a background check AFTER OF TIME.

    1. SMH says:

      Ha, Wissh. If you are given a fake name, it is hard to run a background check or find social media! We should all ask for two forms of ID 🙂

      What did you find when you ran the background check?

      1. wissh says:

        But if it’s a fake name and he doesn’t exist that’s pretty telling also, right? In my case, it was his correct name. His background check was actually not very exciting. It confirmed all the places he’d lived, jobs he’s had, only traffic violations, nothing criminal, that he was married at one time to who he’d said he was married to, that he has a daughter. Nothing alarming, so even if I’d done it initially, it wouldn’t have stopped me from dating him. Still, not everyone’s is as clean and now that I’m aware of narcs and what they are, running a check will become a normal part of the process, “just in case.” Because it seems I have trust issues.

        1. SMH says:

          Wissh, I am discovering that I have trust issues now too. I knew MRN’s name was fake but I didn’t care for awhile because I thought it was just a fling. When I eventually figured out who he was, there was very little to find. I was aware of IPPS before I really knew about her but I couldn’t tell if they were still together and I was away so did not pursue it or even raise the issue with him. Otherwise, like yours, mine had nothing to hide and everything else he told me was true.

          I am finding that the trust issues are really interfering with my life. I will never again believe that what someone tells me is the truth. I will always think that another person has two minds and therefore will always have to verify. But I should have verified with MRN and I did not. That is my fault.

        2. Erica Williams says:

          There’s nothing any of us could have done at the start. I’m sure we all had never realized what they were or why. They just did everything right and left this lasting imprint most people can’t live up to. When I stopped thinking of our memories as “Mike” and more as “the right on for me” it started to change. And what that means is he wasn’t he was an illusion but the connection was what I allowed myself to feel was. So it’s what I know to be what is what made me that happy. It drew me a roadmap to use. I’m a fairly attractive women and that was why I was chosen. Guys are in no short supply but unless they can get me like that and it last then it’s not what I need. I refuse to be upset that it happen because it showed me the road map. And I’ve been stalked since and mocked daily. He’s devoted a whole smear campaign and Facebook page in my honor to insult me. All it means to me is to keep my eye on it as he’s crazy enough to do just about anything but he’s pining harder than me so therefore he didn’t get what he wanted. I’m not devastated I found the good. I help others now in our boats. I’ve continued to succeed and have a public presence online that I can’t give up because I’m not starting over and losing all my followers and announcing moving it means he will just follow. I don’t trust him so I keep an eye but I’ve made it so he will never come back. It’s been almost 6 years and not a peep from “him” he uses the ex who he went back to. He forces her to uses her name to engage and keep bothering me. And I realized after all these years no matter how much of a monster he is, I won. My supply wasn’t great because he discarded me and now it’s even worse because all I talk about is makeup and narcissistic traits. There is no way back because he’s aware I’m onto him and that’s empowering. I’ve tried tons of things to get rid of him over the years and then I decided to dare him he didn’t bite and it’s because he has no way back. And that is my satisfaction. I didn’t die without him, I got better , thinner, prettier , more successful and used my knowledge to help others and make it clear I knew what he was. I may keep an eye on him but he is still a no one nothing and he isn’t in my league and I’ve set the bar so high he can’t possibly jump it! I’m empowered and he can only sit and watch with no way to get power over me! Find your strength ladies ! Much like anything else we allow their control and we can stop at anytime!

    2. wissh says:

      And of course that typo means running a check AHEAD OF TIME.

      1. SMH says:

        But Wissh, there are lots of things a background check cannot tell you. Will this person use intermittent reinforcement, silent treatments, triangulation, etc.? Will this person be psychologically abusive? You won’t find that out from a background check.

  8. Megan says:

    My moments of weakness are driven by my desire to see him suffer. I would love to know for certain that he is miserable. I simply want to see bad things happen to bad people, so in the meantime, I comfort myself by looking at pictures of Bill Cosby in handcuffs

  9. Crazyworld Larue says:

    I refrained from most of those things because I knew it would lead to deeper heart break. Here’s my story, if you’re interested. I began to see the cruelty earlier on but we were partying quite a bit so, I was having fun and making excuses for him until about 8 months in. Then, as he was slowly withdrawing, withholding, torturing, having rage attacks, (never physical violence), I really began to feel the pain of betrayal, cruelty and heartbreak. I continued off and on, then implemented a nearly 2 month no-contact regimen. I had been doing research on Youtube about Narcissism, identified that I was a Codependent and joined Coda. Even though he was blocked on my phone, social media and email, after 2 months, he was able to leave me a very nasty voicemail. This resulted in intermittent contact with him because he needed rides, my company, wanted to “make amends”, (HA)!, etc., and because I still desired him deeply. He wailed on about how I had “left him”.. Well, his plan was to get back at me for daring to do so! So, the off and on, (my choice each time), became less on and more off. Then finally, blocking again. I suffered greatly, I was truly devastated and deeply heart broken, filled with shame and self loathing. I endured it.. until one night, the volcano erupted. While he was blocked, I texted him continually for about 45 minutes and got it all out. His replies were in the blocked message folder so, I could check them intermittently- usually reading a few words and then deleting them. He was surely getting lots of negative fuel from me but, he continued to allow them without blocking and I controlled his responses. If we had had an actual conversation, he would have ceaselessly interrupted me and twisted my statements and blamed me. Afterward, I felt a GIANT sense of relief and my feelings for him have been reduced by 90%. I think my situation is unusual. Anyway, I blocked him again but then one day, decided to fuck with him. I decided that blocking him was thought fuel for him that gave him a sense of power over me. So recently, I’ve sent a polite text here and there, resulting in 2 requests to see me, one request for a ride and one request for money, all of which I have gleefully, but very politely refused. No attitude or statements of how undeserving he is, etc., at all. I feel greatly empowered and satisfied. I have only a tiny bit of desire, (sexual), for him IF I allow myself to bathe in thought of him, which I don’t. He texted me last night, 9ish but I didn’t see it until this morning. All he said was, “I hope you’re having a great Friday night”! Checking to see if I was home alone, I assume. So, I texted him back this morning saying “thank you, I did”, with a polite type of smiley face. I then said, “I hope you have a great Saturday”! I feel next to nothing but a wee bit of glee. So, have I become a bit of a Narc? I don’t know but I’m a highly empathetic person, in general. Still, I am enjoying this little bit of sweet revenge, even though I truly have moved on. He lives 30 miles from here so he’s not going to be stopping by. He’s also moving to another state soon so, I’m sure he’s positive that I will want to see him before he goes. I’m setting him up for that fall 😎 In the meantime, I’m working on me and experiencing far more joyful times. Life is looking good and hopeful again, even at my age.. there will be no voice or face to face contact with him whatsoever. And when he leaves, I’ll text him a polite sincere wish for better days ahead.

    1. SMH says:


      Good work! Sounds kind of like what happened with me. I escaped (finally, after four tries). He then spent three months trying to flip the script and finally succeeded in getting me to go supernova. I also wrote and wrote everything I had wanted to say – finally calling him a psychopath. It still didn’t end because I needed him to do something (delete all of our emails in front of me). After I threatened to go to his house, he did it. When we saw each other he insisted that I was the ‘mean’ one. I didn’t try to defend myself. I just looked at him and shook my head. At the same time, he denied that he had a fake FB profile, even though it was connected to his fake email.

      Since then, there have been a few lame hoovers. Like you, I also thought blocking him would be fuel, but I partially did it anyway and have been NC since. There were a few times where I also thought I’d send him a neutral message but I didn’t (yay) and there have been no more hoovers, as far as I can tell.

      Mine also moved so now we are in separate countries and I am free! He also tried to get me to try to want to see him before he moved but all I wanted was to watch him delete the emails, which I didn’t tell him until he came over. When he hugged me as he was leaving I went all stiff. Ha.

      I am much happier now too. The anxiety is gone. I don’t miss him. Occasionally I still feel anger and want to kill him, but that is it. I don’t feel helpless anymore or not in control of my own life. Glad to hear I am not the only one who has reached this point!

      1. Crazyworld Larue says:

        SMH- Thank you 😎 OH WHAT FUN IT HAS BEEN! He has been staying in touch… I can only assume, a result of loneliness or keeping up hopes of hoovering me back and then, exacting his punishment. Bring it on, little Bobby!! I actually no longer feel the urge to kill him because frankly, I no longer care enough. So, you have that pleasantry to look forward to.

        He doesn’t dare call me because I will not answer a call from him and he would not subject himself to the possible humiliation. No messages left will be responded to. I’ll answer a text from him at my leisure, with the pleasantness of someone who doesn’t give a rat’s ass but is being polite. This gives me great pleasure. He will likely resort to calling me before he moves but that’s just ANOTHER wonderful piece of revenge I will have the pleasure of not responding to.

        Honestly, my volcanic eruption, like your Supernova, has relieved me to an astonishing degree. I love that he actually watched you delete his emails. YUMMY! I have never tried to describe any of what he does to friends we have in common, (few, because he has few friends), because I knew better so, that has greatly reduced the anguish that I’m sure many people feel since, most of them couldn’t possibly even begin to imagine the truth! The ONLY people who know the truth are the significant others.

        Good for you in your success and I wish you even greater, in the near future. They are powerful and incredibly ruthless but, once we have accepted the truth, know the absolutely pathetic nature of their lives and what they are, they can’t touch us. I REALLY feel for those who had children with them… OMG, I can’t imagine. But some DO find a way to cope and be happy. Best wishes to you!

        1. SMH says:


          Even better: I made HIM delete all of the emails in HIS account in front of me as I looked over his shoulder. He did it on MY computer. I took his hand and put it on the right keys (kidding – but it felt that way). I CONTROLLED HIM. He acted like it was nothing – told me he didn’t keep them but I made him search and there they all were. Then I instructed him to empty the email trash in his account :).

          Later on I apologized for ‘hurting’ him. I think his head was spinning by then. He’s not Great enough to fight back at that level. He already tried pity hoovers post escape and I lasted for about six weeks before supernova time.

  10. Harvard (TMM) says:

    I’ve abided by no contact with Cockwaffle now that the last threads keeping him tied to me are severed. I reserve but one- and that one thread I hold both ends of it, he does not have any ability to touch it.

    The thoughts I have of him were more wistful- until I read so much of what HG said— and then it was like lights coming on in a house where the power had failed. Instant brilliant illumination where before little candles and lanterns had only been lit by what I suspected, thought, and had experienced from my last Narc relationship.

    HG’s information brought everything to full view and clear focus: and I had, without knowing it- both escaped and performed a full on revenge with all pillars toppled. I confess I read many books before “Revenge” because I was more interested in understanding than I was taking retribution— but in hindsight I had indeed, through how I ended contact and took other victims with me as I left him— shattered him as well as he’d shattered me. I am mixed on how I feel about that.

    He’s shown up where I am a few times- but I did not lay eyes on him. Other people told me he was there- but I did not look in his direction nor connect with him. So I haven’t seen him in some time— and haven’t tried to. I have to thank HG for validating what I instinctively thought— to get out I had to end EVERY aspect, and then learn to go ice cold.

    I’m still working on ice cold. It will take time, I know.

  11. Jasmine says:

    I kept “eyes” on him for the first couple months while I learned about narcissism. He was drinking heavily and completely off the Deep end. Once I understood the concept of “no contact”, I cut ALL avenues.
    It wasn’t easy and I don’t know if I’m getting better… but I do feel more like myself. Little by little 💕

  12. Dee Hanson says:

    I asked for answers before I knew what he was because I couldn’t comprehend his behaviour at all. I asked male friends and they couldn’t explain it either. As soon as I realised what he actually was and put the pieces together, it was VERY easy to cut all ties

  13. Coffee Time says:

    Not to find out on my Stephag narcissist but I have asked my siblings how my dad is doing since he refuses to see me without her. Does that count?

  14. INFJsoulsearcher says:

    I’m proud to say I’ve done none of the above. That is post escape, certainly did my share while still in. A huge thank-you to HG for opening my eyes (wide open) to everything I needed to know and how to accept the cold hard truth. HG will be the only Narc I would ever give credit to, lol. I’ve been off the site since I left almost 2 months ago due to needing to get away from Narc talk for awhile. I closed my social media account. I’ve blocked his number and email. And I’ve strictly told people I’m done with him and want no info on him. I stay away from places I may bump into him and I’m fine with that. A small loss for my freedom. The thing is I feel nothing for him. I’m more interested in getting myself back. NO CONTACT is the ONLY way to free yourself from the lies that bind. I’m not saying I don’t have my struggles, I certainly do but it’s the loss of myself I’m struggling with not the relationship anymore.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  15. Paul Andreas says:

    In my case I lived in Indonesia, and feel in love online for a female narcissist during a year !!! At site of karaoke Omg !!! I can understand all now, but before see the videos I almost died !!!! All and now I know that there’s more there like her and now I’m warning !!! About this kind of ppl I never heard about , I never met thewomsn , but was with her entire day on phone …OMG !!!! Hang up more than 100 and so on !!!! But other times she left I used tolook for her at social media ..was a truly hell !!! She is very popular at app karaoke and im suffering there, bcz the ppl believe that she is an angel !!! I have a lot of proves but …the ppl wants me out and she like an angel ..this ppl are devil

  16. Catalina says:

    I am a little embarrassed or somewhat ashamed to say that I used his password to get into his Facebook account. However, I don’t regret it because it was the only way I would have found out that he was interested in a much younger female he worked with before he discarded me. I first became suspicious when, out of the blue, he began talking about older men being with much younger women. When I questioned him (during the devaluation of me) if he was interested in someone younger, he denied it by stating that he did not know what I was talking about. I would not have known that he was pursuing a much younger target he worked with had I not hacked his fb. He definitely hid his pursuits of his younger targets from me; but I know that if one of these much, much younger women had romantically engaged with him that he would have flaunted her in my face. He may very well know that I’ve gotten into his fb account (it is easy to catch someone else accessing your fb in the account settings). He left his passwords on a sheet that were easy for me to access.

  17. Frankie_Sezz says:

    I checked one box. I contacted his EX. My first contact with her was months before I left him. Best decision I ever made. I think I’d still be chained to this man, were it not for her support. NOTE~ he does NOT know about my communication with her. And we communicate A LOT.
    He knows I’m ‘brazen’ but clearly underestimated how much so.

  18. Kathy Mor says:

    Well, with me was a mixture of situations. When he began pulling away, it did not ring the bell immediately because he has done this a thousand times in these 6 years. What is new? Hot-cold, hot-cold. But when the pulling away became longer than usual, red flags went up. Not knowing what it meant exactly, I drove by his house a couple of times and his car was there, which means nothing but I guess I had to do it. At that time, I was not fully convinced that he was a narcissist. Denial and fear of knowing the truth. During that time, I also sent him a long message saying that I was tired of his disappearances and that I was not going to sit around waiting for him. Like he cares right? Anyways, that message brought me a two line answer, a lunch together and some excuse that he was so busy with his daughter and that is why he could never answer me. Still going through this process, the last time I met him, he was distant, colder, avoiding physical contact with me, and the dialogue that followed was of disengagement, of which made me pull away from emotionally on my own. At that point, the disengagement feeling was so weird, so cold and precise but also so selfish because of some comments he made that I decided that I was going to end it but I did not say anything to him. I kept my cool. I have been reading many things about narcissism but nothing has made a difference in me but this blog because I can related every line with things that happened during these 6 years. The cheating, the lying, the rage, and etc… Yet, about a week ago he sent me a message with some lame excuse saying that he has been quiet because he has found himself in this negative mood. That he knows it hurt me.
    As I took time to answer him because I was sensing, he said: “Go ahead and unleash your anger.”
    I could pick up the irritation in his words.
    I simply said: “I am not angry. I hope she serves you well.”

    I lied. LOL! I could eat his liver on a silver plate so pissed off I was. Yet, I kept my cool.

    Silence followed and 40 minutes or so later, he answer: “Good night, Kathy.”

    I did not answer back. Ass hole. Go and have a horrible night wondering if you are making the right decision.

    He is injured like a little bitch because I questioned his “honesty”. As a good mid range (at his best try), he vanishes. My first impulse was to send him a nasty ass message to just stab his ego right there. Overkill. I know exactly what to say, particularly about his appearance since he is a somatic narcissist. You know, that loss of muscle tone, grayer hair, being on your 60s, wrinkles, LESS sperm, being tired all the time, and having a damn pacemaker don’t make you prime meat so to speak, but why would I alert him to those things? So, he can run and do something about it? Not only that but twist everything I said and continue on his damn stupid merry around? Hell no. Let him walk around with the egg on his face, aging and falling apart oblivious to his own demise.
    As far as the charming goes, as soon as his new love experiences his true self, the fucked ups and downs, his hot and cold shit that makes you feel like a light switch (on and off), his rage over stupid crap like someone calling him in the “wrong time” or most important of ALL, his narcissistic daughter pulling him around like a rag doll to fulfill her needs, if his new love is an ounce smarter than me, she will run like he is the devil incarnated, which he is. If not, she will find herself stuck with an old, mediocre mid range narcissist. So, I shut up and began reading this blog.

    So, since my phone number is in his account, I have to be smart about what I do with it. I am NOT going to play games to bring about damn hoovers. I went to a provider and opened another account on my name and got a different phone number. Now, I am in the process of contacting people to inform of my number change.

    I am NOT contacting the people that we know in common because I don’t want to start some shitty hoover maneuver while I am trying to get done with him.

    And I am really, really reading GH Tudor’s words of no contact, solid no contact and the more I read, the more I feel this strength coming from inside of me and a strange excitement makes me smile. I think once I am free of this guy, I will rejuvenate 60 years!!!!!!

    At this point, I am beyond the need to have my belongings back, that stayed in his house. I don’t want anything back. Nothing.

    I am focusing on myself. I am finishing my Master’s degree. I graduate in May. I want to switch jobs and move to another place. I need a new life. I am reinventing myself.

    Do I still feel pain? Absolutely. Pain of what I thought he was. The man that I thought I loved but it was all a lie. That guy never existed. Emptiness. But I am learning.

    And guys forgive my French, but sometimes in life things just need to be said, even if cussing words are used. I can’t find a polite adjective to ass hole. I guess an ass hole is what it is by nature.

  19. SMH says:

    I did a lot of social media stalking during the main part of the FR (I did not find it until months in) and some after a previous mutual disengagement, but very little post-escape. I am glad I did it. It gave me insights into MRN that I could not have gotten any other way. Post-escape I also told him I had done it – it was the basis for the way I dissected his whole relationship with IPPS when I was dumping him. I do not regret it for a second. It made a lot of things clear to me – for instance, that there really is something wrong with him and it wasn’t me. I would probably still be caught up in the relationship if it were not for social media. It doesn’t tempt me anymore, though I have tested myself by looking and had no reaction. That is not what triggers me.

  20. DF says:

    I ticked the “social media feeds” box. The discard dialogue had been so crude and strange it had made me afraid of him. Being afraid was the reason why I abstained from any further contact. So there was no interaction any more without knowing the concept of “no contact”.
    During the process of resolving the connection I became aware of the fact that I know more narcissists than just this one. But I doubt that I would read HG’s articles on his site as often as I do just because of the other narcissists. Maybe “visiting narcsite.com” might have a place on this list, too, although it is not built as a place for reminiscence but mainly serves an educational purpose. It can be used as a place for (filtered and dampened) reminiscence, though.

    1. J says:

      I had the same thought exactly, DF. In the early days post-escape, I made it a form of resistance to visit narcsite, rather than social media, whenever I missed him. I knew I was going to miss him anyway. I might as well build my logical defenses while I was doing it. These days, though, I actually visit narcsite JUST to reminisce. In some ways, he LIVES on this site for me.

      1. DF says:

        Thank you J for sharing this with me. Perhaps the memories have to be kept alive for people who will be able to use them for their own good one day.

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