The Errors of the Ignorant – No. 4

HE HASKEPT INTOUCHWITH YOUALL THISTIME YOUMUST MEANSOMETHING TO TO HIM

A series based on the comments made by people who fail to understand the true nature of narcissists and the narcissistic dynamic. Whilst these comments may be well-intentioned, they are incorrect, perpetuate misunderstandings and in many cases create false hope, dashed expectations and perilous outcomes.

It is often the case that a victim of our kind finds that the (unidentified) narcissist continues to keep in touch with them. As I have explained on many occasions, we will always look to hoover you whether it is post escape or post discard because there is the prospect of fuel and potentially the opportunity to draw you back into the Formal Relationship. Those hoovers are governed by the Hoover Triggers and also the Hoover Execution Criteria. If you are unaware of the nature of the person that you became entangled with, it is highly likely that you will keep triggering hoovers and the bar will be set low on the criteria, which means you will be regularly hoovered.

This may seem to somebody like we are just keeping in touch, wanting to see you, perhaps explain why things did not work out, organise to address outstanding issues. Those are the most likely views taken where the dynamic has been between narcissist and Intimate Partner Primary Source (“IPPS”). It does not end there however. In this dynamic, you will have been devalued and this will cause you to question certain behaviours that you have experienced and witnessed. If you are an Intimate Partner Secondary Source (Shelf or Dirty Secret) you may well not have experienced any devaluation and instead you are seen only at certain intervals, picked up and put down and we keep coming back to you, seeing you, sending you pleasant messages as we future fake and provide comfort crumbs. There is no ‘traditional’ malevolent behaviour towards you and yet you find yourself not elevated to a position of IPPS, so you find it strange that you are not referred to as the girlfriend or you do not meet our family and friends.

Whether you were the IPPS and you are now being repeatedly hoovered or you are the IPSS who keeps getting picked up and put down, these ongoing interactions can last for years. We have embedded you into our fuel matrix and whilst you may never return to the position of IPPS (or be crowned as such) you remain an appliance that we draw fuel from. This leaves you perplexed. We are intimate with you (or have been), we talk of future plans with you, appear to confide in you, yet there is not the sensation of being in that formal intimate relationship of partner, spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. This leaves you puzzled as to what you mean to this person and why we keep engaging with you even though there appears to be no end game in sight.

Labouring under this situation you seek advice from a third party who listens to you explain the dynamic. They are likely to gloss over the devaluation (if you were once an IPPS) preferring not to get involved in conflict again and instead focus on what appears to be a more constructive interaction now as you are hoovered. Whether it is being hoovered or being placed on the shelf and removed from it, this advisor will deduce that our continued interest in you and our efforts to keep in touch with you (which may be strenuous at times – for instance tracking you down after you have moved) ) means that we are clearly interested in you and this should be regarded as ‘a good thing’.

No it is not.

The advisor is likely to suggest that because you clearly mean something to us that you should continue this engagement with us, perhaps look to increase it if we remain interested also (invariably you are) and therefore great things are on the horizon.

No they are not.

The only things you mean to us are in accordance with the Prime Aims (fuel, character traits and residual benefits).

This prolonged contact is born out of our need to secure these Prime Aims and keep you within our fuel matrix. We want to keep drawing fuel from you and we do this through the repeated hovering (even though we may never put the Formal Relationship of boyfriend and girlfriend back into place). We do this through taking you off the shelf and engaging with you as an IPSS and then putting you back there when we turn to somebody else. We will continue to do this for as long as we are able. Perhaps we will restore you to the position of IPPS following these hoovers or we might promote you from IPSS to IPPS and of course your continued engagement with us appears to have paid off. In the short terms yes, but ultimately that promotion or restoration is a poisoned one as your devaluation as IPPS will come about.

If there is no restoration or promotion you will be kept in this state of purgatory, never sure precisely what you are to us. You see us sometimes and then not on other occasions. You hear of us doing things with family but you may not be invited to join in. Certain social occasions are excluded from you also. You feel close to us because of the way we make you feel when we are with you but at the same time there feels like a gulf between us because we are not admitting you entirely into our lives. You may feel like the Other Woman or Man, you may feel like the Friend With Benefits, you may feel like the Secret Shag, you may feel like you are Permanently In Waiting and if it is this last one, you are correct. You are permanently in waiting as you are at our whim and pleasure. If we want to engage with you, we will, if we do not, we will not.

By convincing you that this elongated song and dance translates into you meaning something to us, your advisor has made an error of the ignorant. They have given you false hope that you are special to us, that we will make good on all those future fakes, on all those tempting promises and that those comfort crumbs will somehow gather together to make a Relationship Cake. They might, but it will not be to your taste in the end and more likely, they will not and five years later, ten years later, twenty years later you are still the one waiting for us to call and pick you up as you realise that your life has been placed on hold and all because you were made to think that this narcissistic behaviour of hoovering/shelfing denoted that you were special and you meant something to us.

If you recognise this behaviour in your dynamic with someone or that it is happening to someone else you know and care about, do not commit the error of the ignorant and enlighten them to the reality of what they are in and what awaits them.

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91 thoughts on “The Errors of the Ignorant – No. 4”

  1. This is exactly what some of my friends, said, HG – ‘well, if he keeps coming back/you keep finding your way back to each other’ there must be something to it. Ha. Of course I believed it too. I even told him we must be in love with each other because we could not stay away from each other. That was right before I my final escape. (I am not being smug folks because he still won – it doesn’t feel like I left. It feels like he did. I escaped several times – though I am done now that I have found this site – and it always felt like he had left me.)

    For those here discussing long distance vs in person, mine was both because I left our common country for almost half the year every year and he traveled on business a lot. In case you wonder if proximity would have changed things, I want to reassure you that it made absolutely no difference except that we could have real sex when we were in the same place.

    I can say that I wish I’d found this site several years ago instead of six months ago but I know I would not have listened. I was aware that there was something wrong with him. I even knew he was a psychopath. But I didn’t want to accept it. I still don’t, which is why I stick around here!

    1. SMH
      Thanks for sharing that. I have wondered if we lived closer, saw each other more than every three weeks, if things had gone more normally. But now that I know what he is, I think the end would just had happened sooner. I was always the one to break up too. Also always the one who reached out after each breakup. Funny, I also feel like he did the leaving. There’s no way I want him back now, I just want to stop thinking about him and haven’t managed that yet.

      1. Wissh,

        Glad it helped a bit. How long were you with yours?

        Whenever I find my mind wandering to ‘what if,’ I think about IPPS and what she puts up with. Even if MRN and I were glued to each other 24/7, he would find a way to cheat. That would be much worse to live with than anything he ever did to me as IPSS.

        I think we feel that they left because they would force us to leave and they were never really ‘present’ even when they were there. The only solace I have is that he is not present with anyone. It wasn’t me and it wasn’t you. It was them.

  2. Oh my , this is the story of my life .Silent treatment , Hoover , false hope then boom back into another silent treatment , longer and longer each time.
    I’m feeling a bit down right now.Blocked him at last , I had to put an end to the madness or another few years would be gone.

    1. Hi Kiki,

      You know how it goes now so that’s power to you. It makes it easier to go no contact and prevent further communication. You can do this. You can. You’re strong !

  3. Just to lighten my heart a bit:

    I’m feeling quite nervous right now, because I’ll be meeting with the N (my husband and hopefully ex in December) in a few hours. Haven’t discussed with him face-to-face in over two months, I moved out in August and after that it has been just neutral texts maybe twice a week.

    I’ve visited my old home once or twice a week mainly to go through my papers and pick up my books etc, and most important for me, to see my dogs that I had to and will have to leave behind. (Yes, I’m emotionally attached to them and can’t help it, but I know I just have to move on.) I’ve always left before he has come back home from work, so I haven’t had to face him.

    I’ll meet him in a cafe tonight so it’s neutral territory, and we’re supposed to discuss practical arrangements. I don’t expect him to try to trick me back, because his new IPPS is still in the game. I, for my part, have zero feelings for him anymore, he has hurt me so badly, and I know now what and who he is. So my concern is not to be drawn to him in any way, but how to walk the rope so that he’ll feel he’s “the good guy”. I am financially dependent on him at the moment, he pays half my rent. I hate this situation, but can’t help it now. I hope to get back on my feet again when I’m able to finish my unfinished assignments (I’m a freelancer and have struggled very much this year to get any work done due to the stress and pain and emotional roller coaster).

    This forum is the only one for me at the moment where I can say out loud what this whole mess has been about, i.e. narcissistic abuse. (People who know my situation still shy away from the N(arc)-word though they acknowledge the shit I’ve come through.) I haven’t said much here either, I’m relatively new here and there’s so much going on on the site. I understand it’s inevitable, because there is a growing need for this. Sometimes I wish that Mr Tudor was a bit more of a slowhand with his entries, so that we mortals could keep up with the pace, but yes, I know there’s the archive to be searched anytime. Thank you for that.

    I snip my nick to “Siberian” (I’ve made some comments as “OhSiberian” with a snippet of my real name, but it’s unnecessary and feels silly now, to think of it… )

    1. Hope it all goes well for you Siberian. Sorry that you’ll lose your dogs; there’s always loss and pain with Ns.
      It’s good you’re getting out now, and good for your sanity that you’re here with us at narcsite. You’re amongst friends.

    2. Welcome aboard Siberian
      Many people IRL do not like the N(arc)-word but it is safe to use it here as much, or as little, as you want. This is the best forum, in my opinion, for NPD abuse survivors.

      Take your time reading the articles, they are on a loop and you can always catch them the next time. There is a search function on the upper right underneath “Knowing the Narcissist” so you can type in: comfort crumbs, future fakes, gaslighting, boundary breakers, hoover, empath, etc. and then you can read at your leisure.

      1. Thank you so much, K!
        I’ve already managed to read many of the articles and wish I had more time in my hands right now to read everything from the beginning (the early ones are also very interesting with a more personal touch). Some days I listen to the audios – the first time i stumbled upon HGT was in June through Out of the Box interviews. Before that I had already begun reading and listening e.g. to S. Vaknin and some others. There are some books and articles available also in my native language but they tend to be superficial and not always state-of-the-art stuff…

      2. You are welcome Siberian
        The Out of The Box interviews are excellent and, like you, I listened to Sam Vaknin and others before I discovered HG on YouTube last year. The archives are very fun and the articles are definitely more personal.

        Take your time and enjoy the them. The only material worth reading about NPD is either by HG or SV, sadly, all the other books aren’t really worth reading at all.

        The state-of-the-art stuff is right here on narcsite.

    3. Siberian, well done to you, you are a brave warrior! Wish I could be as brave as you! Why is it always the abused person that has to leave, face hardship, lose out, and have their lives turned upside down? As if we haven’t been through enough.. it’s practical things that are trapping me.. I’ve had to re home some pets & my ducks & hens in preparation.. I can’t part with my dogs..makes me evil that I will lose all my life/pets/garden/ probably job /house/ etc. IWhat for.. an arsehole! An arsehole that didn’t appreciate any of it.. why can’t he just piss off. You are lucky he’s paying your rent though! i earn very little because of the emotional rollercoaster too.. so part time now. Can’t afford to move out..all my money is in the house..he’s just lost his job..I’ve been up the creek without a paddle for years..he just abuses the home too and is a lazy waste of space on the earth and not spoke to me for 6 months that he’s been on the sick.. (thought he was a special case at work too but that’s backfired) the silent treatment suits me..less drama at least. Hope all goes well for you and you find happiness. Blessings x

      1. Thank you, flutterbymorpho!
        I have to confess I cried a little finding you people reacting to my note – “the kindness of strangers” is a beautiful thing.

        I met the N in the cafe, and I hate to say I cried a few tears there, too, when the dogs came up in the conversation. (Mr Tudor is probably retching at this because I’ve understood animals are just senseless creatures to him, but here we go.) Otherwise it went as I expected, it was tense but he tried to act civilised. And I can say for sure again that I have zero feelings for him.

        Fbmorpho, I’m so sorry that you are stuck in that situation. It was very painful for me to leave also, because I was really attached to the countryside where we lived, the house that we renovated together hands-on, and the dogs, of course, and we had some chickens too with a rooster. Luckily I found a new home for the chickens + rooster. The N rebuilt the chicken coop into a kennel that is winter-proof for the dogs, because now they have to spend long days outside. I used to be with them almost all the time, because I work at home. The dogs are in his name, the house is in his name. I just couldn’t stay there anymore. But I have to say that although I’ve cried after all the living loving creatures I left behind, i’ve also felt elated getting rid of the toxic situation with the two-legged one.

        I really really hope you manage to find a solution and get rid of yours, too, eventually. It will happen, life is not over for us! I know it now.
        Be strong + all the best!

      2. I’m so glad your meeting went well, and I wish you tons of peace and happiness in your new bright future.

      3. Welcome aboard Siberian. I’m glad things went as well as could be expected with your meeting.

    4. Thank you, wissh! I couldn’t answer to you straight because I couldn’t find a reply button below your comment, but hope you see this.

      After the initial relief of moving out there have been many bad days and weeks, too, not because I’d want to go back, but because “the grande finale” of my (shamefully long) relationship was so draining that right now I’d just want to go sleep like a bear for the winter and wake up in March with the spring sun and melting snow. Instead I have to find the energy to work my ass off to make up for the months I was practically disabled. But you all know what it’s like…. I try to stop whining now. Getting there!

    5. Welcome, Siberian!

      This is a great place for both info on narcs and support from fellow narc victims. Glad you found your way here! Read as much as you want and share what you are comfortable with. This is a great community.

    6. Hi Siberian
      I have been here since the summer. Welcome! I am sorry to hear about your fur babies. I was fortunate enough to not lose my fur baby but I have lost everything else. On a positive note I am slowly finding myself again!

  4. This is exactly what I’ve experienced. I love to feel special, and I loved to read his texts saying we had a special connection. That this special connection was the reason he would get back in touch every time again. I wonder how many special connections he has at the moment. 🤔🤣

    A dear friend of mine called a few weeks ago, all happy and excited because an ex-boyfriend, from 16 years ago, got back in touch with her through Facebook. I only remembered he was a selfish, coke-addict asshole. She said they spoke on the phone for hours, that he changed so much, and that he said she was the one and only person he ever loved. And she told me that maybe he was the one after all. I, having read “Red Flag”, warned her that this didn’t feel right. She was irritated because I wasn’t enthousiastic. But, after promising her that he would visit her this month (he lives in UK, she lives in Chicago) he disappeared. Ghosted. Gone. I think that was a hoover after 16 years, just to collect some fuel. It was like a small tornado passing by. The special connection bullshit, the lovebombing, the fake promises, and poof he was gone. It’s interesting to recognize this behaviour now. And sad to see the damage it does. I gave her the link to Narcsite. Of course.

    1. Well done Rachel. What a painful mindf**k for your friend! One day she’ll be glad she dodged that bullet. Sad to think he’s now reciting the same script to another innocent woman.

    2. Rachel, I can relate to what you have written in your first paragraph, I felt caught in my emotional thinking for quite a while and it was one those aspects I found quite difficult to admit and be honest about. The idea of a special connection was build on similarities we shared but was still very misleading as it served to maintain and reinforce the whole dynamic.Yes, he was always busy entertaining a load of those very special connections from both his past and present life, although – whenever it was convenient – I was his ‘top dog on the mattering front’, of course.

  5. Thank you HG, I needed this today and everyday going forward. I’m determined to help myself free of him.
    I will read this every night reminding myself that he and his promises are a lie. I’ve known and lost true love, I had 18 blissful years. Everything this guy does is a horror show of utter selfish hate.

  6. Dear wounded,

    Having been there myself, yes we notice red flags but we are entrenched in emotional quicksand. That’s why we remain stuck so long. We wait and hope and pray that we will be rescued and truly loved by the narc that evades us. That we will be pulled up from that unholy, painful place where we are engulfed in a sea of pain and mental anguish.

    If I had found this site in December 2015, I would not have suffered since then. I managed a Hoover fairly well three months ago (after a full year of no contact).

    There were things said that if I’d read HG’s writings earlier that I would have seen right through. Most of it I deflected because I wasn’t falling for the charm, however I still felt crushed after a mere two days of contact.

    After this event I changed my email, shut down social media and when I got upset or angry, I wrote those thoughts down. I didn’t contact him.

    After coming here, I feel proud of myself for realising the dance is over and relief in that the only response I’ll ever offer him is no response. I know he will undoubtedly find a way to get ahold of me, but the beauty is, I have nothing to do except ignore. I’m happy because I have found freedom in the knowledge I’ve gained here. I actually laughed out loud at times because I finally realised I was worthy and lovable. Just not to him.

    When he contacted me, he said ‘ I love you, I miss you, I think of you everyday and I own your clit’.

    (The last comment is quite funny as we were long distance and never actually met/ had sex as he would ghost me or go into hot/cold mode or silent treatments for weeks whenever trips were planned). I lived on a crumb diet but I craved the man who love bombed me and the highs were ecstatic and the oxytocin hit so beautiful I kept believing, hoping, wanting and trying.

    Anyway, 48 hours later after this surprise Hoover he was icy and told me he was in a relationship with someone else. That it wasn’t his fault as I was far away and she was close and worked with him. That was the only thing she had on me. He was confused as he wanted me more.

    I said you made your choice and it wasn’t me. That was it.

    I have heard that they are engaged now but I felt sorry for her, knowing he’d been saying those things to me just weeks prior.
    She’s in for a worse ride than me. Am I going to contact her? No, I don’t do triangles now. I do me. I practise self love and use knowledge as power.

    We fall. Sometimes many times. But we can stand up, and walk.
    Everything here is gold. Pure truth. Use it. Feel your pain, don’t block it. Forgive yourself and feel gratitude for having a place that allows you to finally understand what’s been going on, and help you out of the labyrinth.

    Get up. Stand up. Run. Don’t walk. And remember the power of silence, never communicate again. It’s easier than thinking up words and dealing with the same wash,rinse, repeat cycle. When you commit to that it’s freedom.

    As for you, HG, I’m so grateful. Narc or not, huge hug for everything. Thanks for your gift of writing and the light you give us in our dark world of pain. I can both see, and feel, the light now – thanks to you.

    🕊

    1. Hi Laurel, thanks so much for your post — it’s like a war cry, so uplifting, and every sentence resonates with me.
      The oxytocin addiction! *sigh* This is our kryptonite, even from a distance the N can unleash a blissful wave in our naive brain circuitry.

      They should teach us about this in sex-ed at school. They teach us only about body parts and contraception (all good), but ZERO about our emotions and inherent female vulnerability. Furthermore, abusive relationship 101 should be taught in high school. I suppose they can’t have a unit called “is your family dysfunctional?”, everyone’s parents would be taking umbridge and demanding an apology — well, the narc/empath couples blinded by their own delusion and facade would.

      1. Caroline, they really should teach the red flags of an abusive relationship in sex education. The body parts are cool and all but by the time they feel it’s age appropriate to teach it at school, the kids already know all that. The emotional part of the relationship is what needs to be taught. Professor T could whip up an awesome curriculum for high school freshman.

      2. MB

        The school should not be responsible for teaching our children “red flags” this is our duty to teach our child how to protect themselves. We know they not only have the knowledge yet understand.
        I do think there should be a class to renforce and/or to teach those that have parents that either do not understand or just don’t care.

      3. Twilight, Since narcissistic abuse awareness is not mainstream at this point, whether parents “care” or not is irrelevant. The chances of every parent finding and understanding this work to be able to expose their children to it are next to nil. IMO, the best way to get the information out in bulk is through the schools. Maybe I’ll buy 200 copies of ‘Red Flag’ for distribution to the HS freshman at our local high school and Chick-Fil-A gift cards for those that make a 100 on an applied knowledge test. They will see family members exposed as narcissists as they learn and it may help keep them safe in romantic relationships as well.

        Since finding HGs work, I have become an AVID educator to my children and to anybody else that will listen. In fact, I suspected my DIL’s mother was a narcissist and scheduled a Skype consultation for her with HG. He confirmed it. She went NC with her mother that very day in March. He advised her to try it for six months and see how she feels after that. She hasn’t looked back. The shift in her mental and physical health has been nothing shy of remarkable. After passing the six month mark recently, she’s not interested in resuming a relationship with her mother.

        I use teaching moments to explain to my son about narcissism. He is 16. We look at each other and laugh when we see examples and say, yep, poor boundary recognition and a sense of entitlement there.

        As far as sex education, I agree that it is the parents’ responsibility to teach. I’ve been teaching mine age appropriately since before they could talk. As soon as I would take that diaper off for changing and that little hand went straight for the penis, I’d say, “Yes son, that’s your penis.” Little did I know that was only the beginning and they would be checking on its well being all day, every day, for the rest of their lives! Ha ha

      4. MB
        That was awesome! I am so happy your DIL had a consult with HG and went NC.

        NPD should be incorporated into the Unhealthy Relationship portion of all Health/Sex Ed. curricula across the US (and the world). Parents do NOT teach their children about sex in the northeast and they have absolutely no idea what NPD is, how to identify it or how to deal with it.

        I had no idea that I was raped until I read an article in the newspaper about how most people are raped by people they know, not strangers. Had the schools been teaching children about sex and sexual assault then I would have alerted the school nurse and maybe that motherfucker would have been prosecuted.

        All schools should teach Sex Ed. and start much earlier than the high school level because the majority of parents are NOT doing their job. Many parents are too busy fucking around on FaceBook to give a shit about their kids. A ten-year-old was being raped by her brother at my daughter’s elementary school and the teachers, school nurse and counselors failed to protect her. They were negligent and despicable.

      5. K, sex education is lacking here in the South too. People are all reserved, prim, and proper and sex is very taboo. We talk about it in our house whenever it comes up like any other subject. There’s been no one “talk” about the birds and the bees. It’s been an ongoing dialogue since they were little. (age-appropriate of course)

        People are so weird about the subject that the school is required to send home parental consent forms before teaching the sex education module. It was 8th grade for goodness sake and you wouldn’t believe the number of parents that didn’t want their children to participate. At 13-14 years old! Sheltering them does not protect them.

        It makes me sick that you were raped. Girl, I don’t know how you do it! You’re so awesome and put together, even after all you’ve been through. Truly one of my heroes.

      6. Thank you for your kind words MB!
        My children had the books It’s So Amazing, It’s Perfectly Normal, and It’s Not the Stork by Robie H. Harris and they shared them with their friends.

        Sheltering children just sets them up for potential sexual assault, STIs or pregnancy. I read that children with access to quality Sex Ed. often delay their first sexual experience.

        Children need the tools to protect themselves but the control freaks keep preventing them from getting the appropriate information.

        In Massachusetts, no one wants to talk about sex ed – The Boston GlobeMay 8, 2018 – A bill to modernize the sex education curriculum appears ready to die a quiet death in the Legislature for the fourth session in a row.

      7. MB

        That is awesome your DIL was able to confirm with HG, awesome job of running with your instincts and directing her to HG for confirmation.

        You stated sex education (age appropriate) is the parents responsibility durning this time boundaries can be taught to, children learn how to manipulate to get what they want. If I cry a few tears mommy/daddy will give me that cookie even thou they said no. I know many parents give in because they are exhausted, calling a person names even “joking” all these little things start to add up.

        Learning to discern right from almost right, then teaching this. Name calling is a form of abuse even when one “feels” it is justified. If one looks at it, that is an almost right that looks right.

        Why do you think narcissist abuse can fly under the radar? Behaviors are “justified “ and many can not discern right from almost right because emotions cloud things.

        I believe HGs work needs to be spread, understanding this perspective is needed to bring change. Yet we need to also look from our perspective and change to.

        Anger is a destructive force, it can give birth to hate, envy and jealousy.
        Now anger can be use for “good” yet one must be free of hatred, envy and jealousy.

        IMO hatred, envy, and jealousy causes riffs, being angry can bring change. It is a fine line to walk and not intermix these emotions.

      8. Hello Caroline,
        Thank you for your words. I think learning about boundaries and self love would help those who have dealt with this. These are two things that take a direct hit. These are the two areas we are left to work on and rebuild when we are free.

        Self love is related to boundaries and when you have a solid sense of self worth you quickly pick up on devaluing treatment. We need to learn to say no, follow our gut instinct more and connect with what it tells us, not what we want to believe.

        It’s a journey though, and often easier said than done, especially relating to a broken heart from a Toxic relationship.

        I think this site is amazing. The content far surpasses anything else I’ve found, and the support network where readers can connect is powerful too.

        We do need to teach young people early on about boundaries and how to set them and why we need them. The world would be a better place for it.

        Happiness to you 🌟

      9. Thanks for your comments to my post!
        Thanks for sharing your insights and wisdom. You are all precious individuals.
        I keep thinking about our relationship education deficits. I feel so strongly that girls need to know about our addictive brain chemistry; the mind-crack that is love. The blinding euphoria of being kissed on the neck by the man you’re hot for. And where else we simultaneously feel that kiss on our bodies. Being held in his strong arms. Our female wiring is magic.
        (Better stop writing, finding it hard to breathe. Ha ha! Might pass out)

      10. I keep thinking about the great points you’ve raised MB, K and Twilight.

        K, I was so gaslighted (gaslit?) by, and trauma bonded to, my N-Mother, that I had to hold onto the delusion that she was the perfect parent so I could live in the same house and survive the abuse. I didn’t tell anyone about the incest, and I didn’t tell anyone about her N-dad sexually assaulting me either: there wasn’t anyone TO tell. I just blanked it out. I probably would have flat out denied that there was anything wrong in my family (if anyone had investigated), and I would have believed it was the truth.
        K, I imagine that there wasn’t anyone for you to go to either, was there? I feel sad reading that you didn’t even have words to identify that filthy violation as rape; totally understandable, it shouldn’t have been part of your experience in the first place, let alone your childhood. Adults have difficulty enough describing and reporting violation.
        So I think that teachers need smaller class-sizes, better pay, AND special training for educating children to recognise what is and what ISN’T a healthy relationship. Then there’s also the problem that the Department of Child Protective Services needs to be better equipped to protect the vulnerable, and act quickly.

        I would have liked to have been taught what a healthy relationship is. I didn’t know.

        They have an anti-bullying focus and culture in schools now. I would have liked to have been taught what respect looks like, what sexual coercion looks like (so you can identify the behaviour and get help), what to say when someone touches you and it makes you uncomfortable or afraid, that you have basic human rights, etc. That you have a right to say “no!”.
        Along with teaching ‘red flags’, and healthy boundaries, kids need to learn assertiveness and have some stock phrases to use in certain situations, much of which they may never learn or see modelled in their families.
        How to stand your ground and deal with a N rage would be an excellent life skill to have taught in school.

      11. Thank you Caroline
        Ha ha ha…I like gaslit.

        As children, we did whatever we had to do in order to survive (similar to what a narcissist might do). We denied, compartmentalized and self-gaslighted and our lies were our truths.

        Like you, I had no one to go to, or trust, and I had to deal with it on my own. Incest and sexual assault are very traumatic and more so for children, I think. It is a filthy and unthinkable horror that leaves permanent scars. Children should be protected but they are often betrayed by the very people who are supposed to love and care for them; their parents. It is no wonder narcissists are created.

        Bullying is getting a bit more easier to address, however, the schools really need to step up their game and teach boundaries, how to say the word: No! Teach Empathy, even cognitive empathy and narc rage so the children can learn to protect themselves.

        NPD needs to be mainstreamed, laws need to be passed regarding emotional violence and Dept. of Children and Families needs to advocate for better laws and protection for children with narcissistic parents and school staff should be taught about disordered personalities and how to deal with them.

        I had no idea what a healthy relationship was either, until now, and that is really sad.

      12. Sorry to read what happened to you, K.

        I don’t know what age you were but when I was a kid/teenager, we had pretty vanilla sex-ed (I only remember it from primary school) but we also had self defense classes. Thankfully, I never had to use what I learned but I think girls, especially, need to be taught this stuff as soon as they enter school.

        “Sexual assault” is “assault” – you put any part of your body on another person in an aggressive way, it’s assault. Period.

        The UK recently passed emotional abuse laws in the context of domestic abuse law. A step forward.

      13. Thank you SMH
        I went to Catholic School so I did not have access to quality Sex Ed. ever and the priests and nuns told us that it was our fault if a boy got “excited” when we danced with him or if we brushed our hair in front of him. That was during the crazy 80s.

        The US is behind in emotional violence laws and I find it surprising that the Domestic Violence shelters don’t do more to promote NPD awareness in the courts. That is where the DV liaisons work when you file for a RO (4x) and they never told me I was dealing with a narcissist once. It is absolutely mind boggling!

      14. Some might say if you went to a Catholic School you got some practical sex education.

      15. HG
        We were told not to use tampons because that would cause us to get excited so I guess that is practical and I do recollect seeing a picture of crabs (pubic lice).

      16. Haha K! I went to Catholic School too through 7th Grade so my sex ed was there too until Health Class again in a public high school. I just remember the theme of abstinence until marriage and that procreation with your husband for the purpose of bringing more kids into the world to raise in the Catholic faith were heavily emphasized. Along with the “rhythm method” as the only acceptable birth control. Anything else was a “sin”.
        I’ve read some of your comments about sex ed in Massachusetts schools. I’m really lucky for my daughter. She actually goes to a lab school at a major university so the curriculums are more progressive and it’s a teaching school for education majors also attending the University. She’s not only had her first Sex Ed in 5th Grade, they also incorporate once a week a class to deal specifically with emotions, how to cope with major life events, dealing with anger and frustration etc. This year in 7th grade she recently told me they are going to cover dysfunctional families and abuse in the home. It will be interesting if anything revolving narcissism will come up? I’ve told her to keep me posted when they start that unit and if she has any assignments relating to what would be narcissistic abuse (although I’m expecting it would fall under what will be labeled “emotional abuse” or manipulations, I definitely plan to slip any of HG’s articles that would be appropriate for their class topics to the teacher and see what happens.

      17. Clarece
        Your comment gave me hope and I needed it because I was having a cranky moment thinking about those nuns.

        Correct. Sex outside of marriage is forbidden and for procreation only, (not for fun) so that also meant no oral/anal sex, masturbation, birth control, abortion, IVF and forget about the homosexuals (they were all going to Hell anyway). Rape? Ha, that is all your fault, you whore! (not you)

        Thank God your daughter is going to a progressive school, you are both very lucky. The Emotions class sounds fabulous. Children have so many emotions and they don’t always understand them and they need objective information in a supportive environment to help them work through them. Childhood, especially puberty, can sometimes be quite scary/overwhelming for children.

        We all know that dysfunctional families and abuse in the home will most likely involve some form of NPD shenanigans. Make sure you stay posted and jump on any chance you get to insert HG’s material into the curriculum.

        If you don’t mind, please let me know how the Dysfunctional Family/Abuse lesson goes. I wish all schools were like your daughter’s lab school.

      18. Hi K,
        Sure, I will let you know how the lesson plans go when she has that Unit on dysfunctional families. The class has this strange generic name like “Student Advisory” but it’s been so valuable. In the first grade she learned coping skills for when she felt frustrated. They taught the kids to pause, take deep belly breaths (probably a quick form of meditation to get centered) and reflect on the root of the frustration to solve the problem. I’m like what the hell did Stations of the Cross do for me when I’m dealing with anxiety? lol I wish I had the resources given to me rather than the strict Catholic upbringing because I see the difference in my daughter’s own self esteem and ability to make choices for herself. She is already way more thick-skinned than I could ever hope to be. Teachers have always said she is very compassionate and considerate to classmates, but the girl has boundaries.

      19. Clarece
        That’s great about the program at your daughters school! There is nothing like that at my school. It would be a great thing to have. Zero sex-Ed either. Never been any sex-ed at all in any school I’ve been associated with – elementary, middle or high school.

      20. Thank you Clarece
        I help my daughter with her emotions but I have a feeling that other parents may not be doing the same. They do learn about boundaries/bubble space and just recently they discussed empathy.

        Stations of the Cross, mass and confession…what a complete waste of time!

        Spotlight is on my To Do List and I will check out The Keepers, as well.

      21. No surprise there WS! You would never know it is 2018 in America because we are surrounded by puritanical control freaks.

      22. K
        That is too true. Especially in rural areas. Parents would complain if our school taught any type of meditation for stress relief or – God forbid – ANYTHING about sex education. Both things would be considered corrupting religious beliefs.

      23. K
        They can probably do yoga, but a visible camel toe will likely get jail time, so Windstorm better mind those tights shes donning as a Superhero.

      24. WS
        I love banjos too! I googled dueling banjos after I posted your comment.
        Ha ha ha….I am not surprised you had to google Lululemon.

      25. NarcAngel
        Ha, ha! I leave the superhero stuff to you! I’m just a little bunny hiding in her clover field. 🐇

      26. K
        No, yoga is pretty popular. Hot yoga’s been in fashion for a while. But I don’t think anyone realizes there is a religious connection. It’s seen as purely a type of exercise. Even what to me are obvious things like the “salute to the sun” series are considered completely secular. I asked a very conservative teacher friend of mine about how it didn’t bother her to do a Hindu religious practice. She assured me, “No! There’s nothing religious about how we do it!” 😝

        Still, if it were taught in the school, I bet parents would object.

      27. WS
        As long as the “Hindu meditation” aspect is kept on the down-low then it is all good. They teach it in my daughter’s school and I think it is great. I wish I was taught Yoga in school.

        Namaste

      28. K
        Namaste. I love that term. I translate it as, “I see God in you.” I like the reminder that God is in each one of us.

      29. WS
        I love that term and in the Northeast we say it after every yoga session (heathens, all of us). I vacillate about God but I do like the idea that God is in each one of us.

      30. I believe it is why “Handmaid’s Tale” has become such a hit and winning so many awards, showing what could happen if religious zealots overthrew the government and what could happen with alarming outcomes.

      31. K, yikes, especially about the tampons! Insane and I never heard that from any of my Catholic friends. Was this in Boston?

        I am not Catholic but my son’s father is and I grew up with many Catholics. They’d go to Catholic school but only primary school, so I have little idea of what it would mean to go to Catholic school all the way through.

        IPPS went to Catholic schools (not in the U.S.). I’ve thought this might be key to her willingness to wait out MRN, with reconciliation, marriage counseling while he is cheating, and all of that – martyrdom and suffering by the (holy) book. She’s probably never slept with anyone else and divorce is simply not an option for her.

        Thanks for the pat on the back about the link. I can be your assistant librarian now!

      32. You are welcome SMH
        Yes, I lived and went to catholic school in Boston and I am NOT fond of the Catholic Church, especially, after the sex abuse scandal.

        I thought the nuns were retarded (the tampon statement…WTF!) and, after I graduated, I stopped going to church. I am a non-practicing catholic and I don’t believe in heaven/hell, Adam and Eve and mortal, venial or original sin, etc. Honestly, I think what they teach is a bunch of malarkey.

        Reconciliation, martyrdom, divorce is forbidden, dispensation and annulment…blah blah blah.

        They can all go fuck themselves.

        The library at HGU is vast so you can work your way up from assistant to
        the Head of Non-fiction and Current Affairs (BBC Radio 4 interview). Narcsite is hopping and we have to keep up so we don’t go stale.

      33. K, “a bunch of malarkey”…I second that! IMO, organized religion is a method to control the masses.

      34. MB
        Religion is loaded with control freaks. Run away as fast as you can. “Danger, Will Robinson!”

      35. K, How did you know that non-fiction and current affairs are exactly my things?!!

        I don’t do organized religion either. They are all fucked up. ExH was a choirboy but we did not raise the kid as anything. That said, I love churches, Cathedrals and cemeteries, and I prefer Catholic partners. Why? I do not know. Something about their guilt/twistedness appeals to me.

        Do you have a lot of siblings? In my early 20s I almost married a Catholic with 7 siblings and am now dancing around an involvement with another one who has 10 sibs. My exH had four but his father died at 32. There would have been more!

      36. It was a wild guess SMH
        I did not see the movie Spotlight, however, I did read the book; it was very good and I wasn’t surprised that the priests were raping the children. The church is full of narcissists and their Coteries.

        Cathedrals, churches and cemeteries are beautiful and New England is loaded with old churches and cemeteries. I always like to think they are haunted.

        Religion sometimes reminds me of Jim Jones and Jonestown so I tend to shy away from it. It is too cultish for me.

        I have three siblings: one sister is an empath and the other is a narc and my twin brother is a narc. I avoid my family narcissists like the plague.

      37. K, You guessed right! I don’t even read fiction anymore. I find real life much stranger and more interesting.

        I talk about Jim Jones and Jonestown all the time because I am waiting for Trump and his cultists drink kool aid laced with cyanide and die in agony writhing on the ground. Funny but Brits don’t know what kool aid is so when you say ‘drinking the kool aid’ they have no idea what you are talking about (HG look it up if you are curious, along with Jonestown).

        Ah yes, your twin (in your pic). I remember that now. I was wondering to myself whether my youngest brother is a narc. I don’t think so but he sure is difficult. I think my mother is the only one. Still, my family has always been a mess. I guess just one narc can cause a lot of chaos, especially if she is Matrinarc. I avoid her like the plague too. I have tried too many times – just like with MRN. She’s even worse than him though because her favorite weapon is the good old ST, which MRN only did once.

      38. And K, did you see Spotlight? You must have. 1970s! The crimes of the Catholic Church are many and long.

      39. I did see “Spotlight” too and that was absolutely jaw dropping throughout the movie. Have you watched the Netflix documentary “The Keepers” about the real life murder of a nun, Catherine Cesnik? There is a group of former students who have come forward about horrible abuse by the high school’s priest, Father Maskell, who is believed to have murdered her when she figured out what he was doing and was going to try to report him. Talk about a Greater with an impeccable facade in the community especially with law enforcement. I just struggle with too many things that have happened in the Catholic Church that they turn a blind eye to.

      40. Clarece, No, I did not see the Keepers but I was just looking for something to watch on Netflix. Thanks for the tip!

      41. SMH

        P.S.
        Good job on the link BTW! We can help all the newbies navigate the library at HGU, like the good empaths that we are.

      42. Clarece
        Your daughter’s school sounds fantastic.
        It makes me happy to read about such practical and resilience-promoting changes being made.

        K and SMH
        ‘retarded nuns’ and ‘not using tampons because you’ll get excited’ ha ha ha ha!
        I have tears from laughing!
        The Catholic church’s ‘research findings’ based on NO RESEARCH WHATSOEVER is laughable.
        As is their method of contraception THAT DOESN’T WORK!
        Their ‘research’ is as thorough as their efforts to protect little ones from pedophiles — non-existent.

      43. Caroline
        Ha ha ha…correct. I had such contempt for them, after I heard their “Tampon Theory”, that-I think-I just tuned them out as a form of self-protection.

        They most certainly do protect pedophiles and, in my opinion, the Catholic Church is a pathological institution.

    2. I aam so sorry and you are so right. I went on a bit of a rampage yesterday. I was very angry. I realized that its better to read or write here and sadly I can only do this is at certain times so I probably seem rather erratic. Tomorrow is a new day.

      As for HG, thank for giving me back my sanity and restoring my sense of self.

  7. This advice been given to me multiple times and
    I’ve been a firm believer in “everyone who stays around truly loves you “ . It’s just hard to translate this passive agressive aproach to your kindness is being exploted its almost alien to the mind .

    But being aware off it as a major step .

  8. YES! This is a perfect summation of my “friendship” with a narc I met about a year ago. He invited me to write to him as his friend, as it was a long-distance situation. I knew that he did this with many other people so I didn’t think it was special, but when he started writing to me every day, or several times a day, I began to wonder where it was headed. I point blank asked him, and he said we were just friends. The relationship was flirtatious but never developed any real depth or emotional intimacy. He never showed interest in talking in real time. He would talk frequently of buying a plane ticket to come and see me, but then if I pressed him on it, he would say that he had other priorities at the moment. He invited me to come visit him, but then acted indifferent when I actually came, refusing to change even his most basic plans for me, and keeping me wondering if I would see him until my train literally pulled into the station of the city where he lives. Then at the last minute he cleared some extra time for us to spend together and started texting me every few hours.

    People kept telling me that there was obviously something there if he kept writing almost every day for a full year. How could he not be attached to me then? It was headed somewhere, people said.

    When we finally met in person again, he spent some serious time interrogating me about my financial assets, to the point of discomfort. He grew up in another country and I kid you not, I went home and Googled whether talking about salary was acceptable in his culture, because he seemed very preoccupied with it. He showed up dressed very nicely and paid for me. It felt like a date, and may have been an IPPS eligibility interview. I found out about the real IPPS by sheer coincidence just a few days later and got painted black when I confronted him. Dodged a bullet there. Found out he had been sending me pics of the romantic vacations he was going on with the IPPS and omitting the fact that she was there — people also said there’s no way he’d do that, but he did.

    I have concluded that narcs have two basic weapons. One is intermittent reinforcement — giving you what you want some of the time. This is shown to cause obsessive/addictive behavior. The other is leaving things undefined, because most people crave definition and will fight to obtain some kind of labeled relationship. If you make someone believe they are most of the way there, they will work hard to get to the finish line.

    Now my narc “friend” hasn’t blocked me despite me being painted black. This may seem to betray some kind of attachment, but I know better . . . I’m just being saved for a later purpose.

    1. Hello Michelle
      Based on your comment, you are an NISS and your narcissist hasn’t disengaged and it looks like you may be receiving a corrective devaluation because you provided challenge fuel when you confronted him about his IPPS.

      There is no betrayal of attachment because you are an appliance and you are there to serve his needs and he will jettison you when you no longer function. You are being saved so he can take you off the self when he wants your fuel, character traits or residual benefits.

      1. You may be right, but it is hard to tell completely. The evidence that this is a narcissist is overwhelming, but some of his other behaviors have some individual variation. It’s been over two months since I confronted him and I long ago capitulated as far as agreeing to overlook his behavior, so it seems like more than a corrective devaluation, but he is not fully disengaged either as (last I checked) he reads whatever I write him. I have also been getting phantom notifications from the app he uses to write to me, and I don’t use that app to talk to anyone else. They come at a time that he typically wrote to me in the past, which makes me wonder if I’m being watched. Then again, it could be a software glitch.

        For me, the addiction to him is subsiding and quite frankly most of this is becoming irrelevant to me, but the fact that he’s holding on to the connection just that little bit makes me wonder what he intends to do with me in the future, especially if I encounter him at work. I know it isn’t a real genuine attachment, that’s for sure.

      2. Michelle
        Narcissists come in all different shapes, sizes and temperaments but, after reading your comment, I am fairly certain you have a bonafide narcissist.

        I got the sense that he was testing you, especially when he interrogated you regarding your financial assets (residual benefits), and you are most likely getting a Silent Treatment as a CD. He hasn’t blocked you so he is still engaged; you are shelved and he is keeping an eye on you and those phantom notices are probably passive hoovers. From his perspective, he owns you and he intends on taking you off the shelf in the future so he can get your fuel. You are his appliance and that is the connection.

        It is a very good sign that your addiction is fading; focus on blocking him and no contact so your logical thinking overtakes your emotional thinking. Remember, the narcissistic relationship is forever so be circumspect.

    2. Hi Michelle, thanks for sharing your experiences, you seem to be a woman of insight and wisdom, and you express yourself well.
      I had something similar to what you describe with a long distance N, and had NO idea what was going on. He became vindictive when I broke it off with him (it wasn’t going anywhere, so I what was the point?)) His vindictiveness shocked me, it was so over the top. I was glad he was far away.
      He sent me a huge box of his stuff (clearly everpresence), including a t-shirt with his fragrance and pheromones infused in the fibres (ohhhh! He smelled sooo good! Damn!) I didn’t understand any of it until now, ten years later. I’d forgotten about it until recently, I had to stop thinking about it years ago because it made my brain hurt, and I conceded that I’d likely never get to the truth about him and his intentions. None of my guy friends could enlighten me. Nor could my Dad.

    3. Hi Michelle,
      It’s so freaky reading posts that so closely describe my situation as you and Laurel have done. Ugh

    4. Dear Michelle, your post just made me think what an awesome night out it would be if we could all meet and share in person all these text book behaviors! I notice that there is a lot of long distance scenarios here on the experiences that we share, it seems like a a very fertile ground for narcs ..so easy to future fake, lie, manipulate, create that illusion that we remain stuck into …imagination is a very powerful tool, unfortunately. I keep asking myself whether it would be harder or easier for me now if we had the real relationship , in the real world…not this cyber shit that led me to con my logical thinking! Anyway, I feel so stupid tearing myself apart for not being able to go see him whenever I want, even telling him that I am aware of him having needs and since I am not there for him, that he needs to find it elsewhere…we never had sex since I knew right from the start that something was off in-spite of the infatuation and he was using it all the time as a ‘proof’ of his ‘loyalty’ and interest in me because ‘he wouldn’t bother with me for months if he needed just sex’ lol. I never trusted him, since he was openly obsessed with women, following and liking every single naked-ass instagram babe and flirting with each hot one that crossed his way. I guess that was what made me special in the first place, him as suck choosing me on the top of all these haha, makes me laugh now. Also sending romantic pics from his holidays forgetting to mention he’s there with a big boobed blond (I discovered that along the way, and then he claimed that was his friend -yeah right). While telling me how much he misses me putting pics with other women on instagram (you can never see their faces, but you can tell he is with someone – a mutual colleague told me that completely off-topic since we were not friends on any social networks…). But that soulmate shit was so good to hear, and even now when he hoovers through work, even tho I respond to only work related messages, it takes one ‘Hi beautiful’ to have that punch in the stomach again…even after all that I know now and see him for who he is..unbelievable!

      1. The long-distance thing is true. My narc friend — whom I never dated — seemed to have a lot of these plates spinning. They were not actual relationships (and not physical), just flirtations with potential, for lack of a better way to describe them. It seemed he liked to keep them in that zone until needed. I believe the IPPS in this case is also long-distance but he sees her frequently. When I found out about her, he tried to downplay her as “a girl I’m kind of seeing.” My heart broke for her in that moment. Even now I have no idea what the rest of his fuel matrix looks like minus one other girl I know who writes to him and visited him once. This narc tended to act very hesitant about getting in relationships, like he was shy from getting hurt, which resulted in being chased by women, and then he would give them just enough crumbs of interest to pursue, but not enough to be sure how he felt. That he had a girlfriend at all completely shocked me because he seemed to fear relationships and commitment — part of the facade I suppose.

      2. Yes, I believe the exact same thing for my narc, that he probably had an IPPS who was also long distance. It always seemed bizarre how he ”doesn’t like to hang out in public” (even though he used to kiss me in the street but only by night :)). I was finding excuses in my head for all the red flags…

  9. I read these and think that I wouldn’t say that. Surely I would recognize a toxic relationship and advise accordingly. There are always red flags, I saw them, I know I did.

    But then, I fell too, didn’t I? Despite the warnings and the red flags.

    I don’t think it’s just issues with boundaries, or just empathic traits. The desire to help, or to see the best in everyone.

    No one wants to believe they are sat beside evil engaging in idle chat, being complimented on our sharp suit or given short shrift on not mowing the lawn. Evil is something you see as completely separate from you, on the news or blocks away in someone else’s neighborhood, someone else’s space.

  10. Well, HG,
    You could certainly have been talking to me personally in this one. Brutal. So my narcex and I haven’t seen each other since June, haven’t been intimate since May and haven’t spoken on the phone since August. Plus we live 6 hours apart. There will be no hoovering. I was obviously never a primary source, and feel very confident that we are over. I have no desire to ever see him again, in fact, I find the thought disturbing. I miss talking to him on the phone twice a day more than any of the time we actually spent together. Anyway, having explained all that, I’m wondering what you think of texting through our team’s football game once a week? I’m guessing you’ll say no, don’t break NC, but since I know who he is now, and I want nothing else to do with him, and he obviously enjoys football (wait, is that uncharacteristic?) as do I, what harm would there be in high five emojis and such when there’s a touchdown or whatever?
    Thank you.

    1. It is a breach of no contact and will increase your emotional thinking. Thus through salami slicing there is a risk this will increase until you reach the tipping point. Your emotional thinking is causing you to think this is a harmless activity, but it is not, it may very well be the thin end of the wedge. Logic says GOSO and do not take this unnecessary risk.

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