Why Is The Narcissist Always On My Mind?


“He is always in my mind.”

“Try as I might I just cannot get him out of my head.”

“I can’t stop thinking about him.”

I am sure such comments or similar have been made by you at some point about the narcissist in your life. We have this formidable capability to get into your head and remain there for a long time which evokes bittersweet reactions from you at best and utter miserable frustration at worst. I have written about ever presence previously, namely that ability we have to ensure that you keep thinking about us, even when you have been pushed to one side or if you have sought to go no contact. This insidious form of manipulation is pervasive and very difficult to deal with, but how is it so effective?

Like much of our effectiveness it actually comes down to you. As an empathic individual you are much more susceptible to our method of remaining in your mind which is achieved by encoding. Since you care about others and take an interest in the thoughts, actions and well-being of other people, you have been wired to take on board stimuli from other people in a far more effective manner than others. Take my kind for example. We are so focussed on ourselves and what we need that we are not wired to be especially encoded by what others do. Our minds are nearly impervious to the actions of others. It is as if they are so full of what we do and what we want that there is no room for anything or anyone else. You on the other hand are like a sponge and you soak up the words and actions of others. Combine your susceptibility with our determined application of suggestion through what we say to you and what we do for you then the outcome is a devastating form of encoding which creates powerful and near indelible memories in your mind.

Through our visual encoding of your mind, you create a vivid mental picture and this will be recalled in pin-sharp crikey vision time after time. Every detail of a particular scene will be recalled by you and it is ingrained in your mind deeply through this encoding. The more you recall it, the more it becomes ingrained as if you are wearing a groove in a piece of wood. We make particular use of music (think how often your narcissist used certain tunes to woo you and/or create  special moment) to achieve acoustic encoding. Our voice is used in this way as well by the careful selection of key phrases which will resonate with you. You always remember the things that we say because we have encoded them into your mind. Similar encoding occurs in respect of taste and scents as well as tactile encoding. Accordingly this quintet of senses is assailed by all the things that we say and do in order to achieve this encoding. We create powerful memories so that you have no option other than to recall them and with that comes the emotional attachment. You will remember so much of what you have done with us compared to say what you have done with family, friends and colleagues. You will recall more memories, in greater detail and more often when they involved us because of this deliberate encoding.

You might think this was enough in terms of the efficacy of this method of affecting you, but it does not end there. Most narcissists are male and thus it follows that the majority of victims are female. In general terms, women remember events better than men (men have better spatial memories) and therefore you are genetically pre-disposed to remember all those occasions and dates you spent with us in such detail. Females remember pleasant memories in better detail than men, thus this is a further reinforcement of why you can summon up such powerful memories of the golden period and why it hurts you so much. Conversely, in general terms, men remember unpleasant events better than women who tend to recall them in a ‘blurred’ manner. This is why despite the abuse you have suffered the golden period memories tend to triumph. It is not the case with everyone, admittedly, but generally this holds good. Add to this the fact that women’s memories retain more of their potency through the advancement of age than men and you will see why your memories of us are so difficult to shake. Not only do we specifically encode your minds, which are primed to accept this more than other people, your gender also makes you more susceptible to retaining these detailed and vivid memories of the when everything felt wonderful.

These memories are deeply ingrained and very hard to dismiss and remove, even with professional help. Combine this efficacy with the fact we leave you exhausted and broken, it is little wonder you cannot shift us from your minds. Everyone knows how difficult it is to think straight when you are tired. Little wonder then that we always loom large in your mind when you have been exhausted and shattered by our behaviour.

These memories of the golden period are massively powerful and all of the above means that for someone like you, you will often think of them and suffer the emotion that is linked to them .It is a devastating weapon in our armour. Pretty memorable eh?

69 thoughts on “Why Is The Narcissist Always On My Mind?

  1. SMH says:

    Getting there,

    I saw your response to me but somehow I am not able to reply and I don’t see it in my email inbox, so I will just post here and hope you find it. Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate them.

    I have been on this site for a few months and NC for going on 7 months following an escape after a previous 6 months of NC and then 3 months of ‘trying to be friends’ (if you can follow all of that). I have had many relationships with non-narcs but MRN fascinated me because we are so utterly different. I thought it was just a fling but it turned out to be something else that I had never encountered before. Steep learning curve!

    But I do stick around here and read a lot so I don’t feel that I am in any real danger (also MRN and I live in different countries now). When he creeps into my head now I think about what else is going on in my life that would make that happen – for instance, being tired as you mention – but otherwise I don’t struggle with it much anymore. I am just surprised when he pops around because it’s been such a long time now.

    I do still have some trust issues. In fact on Saturday I had a massive anxiety attack because of new guy’s communication style/pattern. I told him a bit about MRN but it is so far from most people’s experiences that I cannot expect him to understand what triggers me and why. I don’t want to force him to be abnormal just because I am! Ha. So I do what you do – I write things out – draft emails etc, that I never send, and I wait for it to pass. It always does!

    It’s a process – a long one, but we will get there!

    1. Getting There says:

      Hello, SMH.
      Thank you for sharing your story!
      I’m sorry you had the experience with the MRN and the aftermath. I’m very sorry about the anxiety attack! I can’t imagine how hard it is to be in that position. That’s great that you have ways to try to work through the moments! The fact that you are willing to analyze yourself at those times as well as do what you need to help yourself through resonates with me. My therapist has often said that my latest narcissist was a distraction. When he is haunting me, I too have to figure out what is going on that I am trying to avoid, if I am tired, or multiple other things. Maybe using the mind to do that helps distract against thinking of the narcissist for the moment. Those other activities help so much, also, to get through each moment.
      I would love to know if anyone can fully trust (no hesitation) another romantic partner after being in a relationship with a narcissist. I never had a good relationship and am a child of a bad marriage, so I think my thoughts are skewed. I have only been in relationships with guys who used me; the ones who were hid it were the two narcissists. I hope your new gentleman is patient and can understand and show you the ability to trust fully!
      You are right that it is a process and, yes, we will get there! It is all about those steps that get us through each day, especially the not easy days.

      1. Getting There says:

        Please let me clarify: the relationships with the two narcissists are the only ones I consider “real.” I have dated, although not real relationships, guys who went out with me for sex. I apologize for any confusion I caused.

      2. SMH says:

        Thank you for your response, Getting There! I agree that the mind plays amazing tricks on us but in some ways that is a good thing because we do have control over our thoughts if we put the effort into it. Interesting that your therapist says the narc is just a distraction. I can see how that might be the case for me too!

  2. Anna says:

    We’ll, that explains why my first narc loved sappy love songs and my 2nd one took a bath in cologne every day

  3. SMH says:

    How timely. I have not been hoovered that I know of but this past week MRN crept back into my head and now he is stuck there. I even had a dream last night that he contacted me about a baseball game. Baseball? Yes because two years ago we briefly talked about ONE baseball game!!

    First, why it shouldn’t be happening: I am staying in my lane. I have not even so much as looked at his social media. I even stopped myself from creating a fake FB in order to do something else because I was afraid that I would look to see if his fake profiles are still there.

    Second, I have been involved with someone else for more than two months. I don’t trust my reactions, so I am being really passive and he is not rushing in like a whirlwind because he is not a narc. My gut tells me we have staying power but I have not shifted my obsessive thinking to him. Overall, I think it’s healthy because it indicates that I am not panicking at the thought of him disappearing. I know he won’t, no matter what happens. But it also means that he will not take the place of MRN.

    What IS going on, then? First, I can feel my walls going up a bit with other guy, which might be what is shifting my thinking back to narc. I am basically aleady in a relationship with a ghost. Second, MRN and I are now in month 7 of NC, the longest ever. That is triggering me too. Will he try to get in touch? Third is that I am not as busy as I was the past few months and now have too much time on my hands. That will change soon so it will be instructive to see if my thinking changes too.

    Something else that might be instructive for everyone: I’m sure for most of us, were we to break NC, narc would come rushing right back in as if nothing happened. I know MRN would because I have finally learned from experience – he has done it five times. Why not six?

    He might be silent at first, but not forever. He wouldn’t say, oh I cannot speak to you anymore, you are dead to me, I am happier without you, I cannot believe what you did. None of those normal things matter in this scenario.

    Because the relationship, such as it is, never dies for them and they never move on, WE can’t get closure. That means endless angry and sad conversations with ourselves in our own heads.

    It is a lot of work – mentally exhausting – for one person to do all of the closure themselves, right? I think this is also why they are stuck in our heads – we are playing both roles – theirs and ours.

    Thanks for listening and letting me vent here. I have not read Exorcism. Maybe I need to.

    1. Mercy says:

      SMH, your comment makes me hate your MRN for you. 7 months is an eternity for victims of the narcissist. You should be proud of yourself and give yourself credit for what you have achieved. The mental exhaustion of “rushing right back in as if nothing happened” is much worse than what you are experiencing now. I failed the hoover and I can tell you that 7 months you’ve fought for closure has been like a night of rest for him. Mine didn’t blink a eye. Picked up convo as if nothing happened and nothing was resolved. The only difference is this time I don’t want him back. The last couple months of silence have been walk in the park compared to what he put me through during the relationship.

      As much as we want out of the relationship I think deep inside some of us want the hoover. We want to think they are struggling with the silence too. I know that the hoover only came in my case because his new appliance failed him. They don’t want us, they want what we can give them.

    2. SMH says:

      As I said above, MRN and I are in month 7 of NC and have never gone this long before. In the past 10 days or so, not only has he been on my mind a lot but I have suddenly gotten a slew of fake FB friends requests – 4 in a row. He no longer stalks my LinkedIn because I called him out on it and did not react the last time. I also left the dating site where he might have been watching me. FB is his only avenue now. Fake friends seems like too much energy for him to expend but who knows…

  4. mollyb5 says:

    People should have consults with HG to see if the person they are dating is a narc …like it should be a specialized field of psychology.

  5. Original Overthinker says:

    Thank you to the ladies who commented your comments have helped me.

    I looked at the previous articles with the above title and those reader’s comments as this article resonated so much with me. Whilst your comments were in moderation. The different perspectives help.

    The biggest part of the problem is me, I wanted the true love, that is the thing that has evaded me all my life. Not such if my mum was a Narc or was just very self centered. I thought our relationship was real at first, thought he was complex and I held on, thinking love would cure all. It has hit me hard, all a lie, complicated by him having Cancer during this time.

    I am quite privledged the things I have done in my life, I am not rich, but have travelled, seen and experienced amazing things. My daughter has experiences and memories not things for birthday’s and Christmas. We are going to Iceland next year for a long weekend for her 14th birthday, on a budget.

    HG talks about Mont Blac Pens, I am a Bic Pen. Northern Chips and Gravy not Moules Frites.

    I have a level of guilt that I am not as happy as I should be. I know I need to work on and love me to get through this. Just wish my head was a blank canvas and it was a quicker process.

    I have consulted with HG it has helped me hugely. Hard to think he is a Greater Narc and believe the Twatish behaviour he must have with girlfriends, when he helps us so much. Here lies one of the problems I always tried to see the good in people and even if I can’t see, believe it is there and love will cure all . Although I know what my Mid Ranger is now, (he is with someone else, triangulation went on, so so hurtful) Still wish it was real.

    Thank you again A/x

  6. 2 Steps Forward (& one step back - but slowly moving on) F.K.A. Blank says:

    “Why is the narcissist always on my mind?”

    Because I am an idiot, who doesn’t go full No Contact and therefor let herself be hoovered again. One of his friends passed away (far too young) and that’s when my emotional thinking came back.
    I thought it was gone, because when I looked at him I felt nothing anymore. And then something sad happens and I’m getting all emotional again. Well, it’ll probably be temporary. What’s difference does it make anyway, when I get silent treatments after every hoover? It’s nothing but a game he plays. He’ll be feeling so powerful again. I grant him that feeling. It’s doesn’t hurt me anymore and he’ll be ‘happy’ (content) for a while, Let’s face it, it’s better that he hoovers me and not his ex (who might get all happy and excited again, because she doesn’t know what he is).

    1. Mercy says:

      Blank, (can I still call you blank?)

      You made me laugh because I say the same thing. You are NOT a idiot. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments. You are able to identify the games and I’m sure that’s more than 2 steps forward from where you started. Hang in there! We all take a step back once in awhile.

      1. 2SF says:

        Thanks Mercy! (you can still call me Blank :))
        You are right, once all the pain, confusion and grief was gone. I felt so much better. It is my emotional thinking that I need to control.
        Since October I’m attending philosophy class, which really helps me to think in a different way and to dissect feelings and facts. I can recommend it to anyone who is an emotional thinker. xx

        1. Mercy says:


          I didn’t know about your son. I’m so sorry to hear that. Your comment above about the guilt of having that narc on your mind instead of your son is a perfectly normal feeling. Maybe you are using the distraction of the narc to cope with your grief. I can only imagine that any distraction from that type of trauma would be welcome. Even if it’s an emotional fucked up narcissist distraction.

          You have to take care of yourself. You’ve been through too much. I’m glad your classes are helping with your emotional thinking but don’t be so hard on yourself. The mind is amazing and will keep those valuable memories safe for when you’re ready to revisit them.


          1. Mercy says:

            2SF, Wissh,

            So sorry. That comment was meant for wissh. I messed that all up!

        2. windstorm says:

          Im glad I saw this comment. I hadn’t realized 2SF and Blank were the same person!

      2. 2SF says:

        I was confused for a while, but no worries Mercy, I mess people up sometimes as well 🙂 xx

    2. Anna says:

      You’re not an idiot, you’ve been narcissistically abused. Please don’t call yourself an idiot! If you’re on HG’s page the. You’re a smart person

  7. Original Overthinker says:

    I am indignant / raging, gutted everything from the last 5 years was a lie.

    I put up with and gave a lot to this fake relationship.

    I am getting over him as a person, but not the damage it did to me and how a human being can do this to another human being with no regard.

    I think I am a co-dependant with poor self-esteem and big rejection issues.

    Thinking why did he not want me. Then wonder if I have Narc tendencies as have lots of “how dare he” moments.

    He is on my mind pretty every waking minute because of the hurt of it not being real. I wish I could make it all go away or for me to move on.

    Anyone any advice ? X x

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Original Overthinker
      5 years is a lot of minutes and you are already angry about the ones you’ve lost. None of us knows how many minutes we have left in life, so don’t let him take any more of them or keep you in anger.

      1. Read Exorcism
      2. Have a consultation.

      Make your remaining minutes count with things that are worthy of them and make you happy.

    2. Getting There says:

      Original Thinker,

      I understand. My biggest worry, in the past, had been that on my deathbed I would not tell my son how amazing he made my life and I could not love more, but instead it would be a comment about this guy. I finally got to the point where I didn’t worry about that, and then he sends his latest text. Since then he is even in my dreams.
      What I find helps me is:
      I come here a lot; I talk to my therapist; I pray; I listen to specific music (“Set It All Free” from the movie Sing is good right now on repeat); I write emails to HG and delete them; I implement little things I can do when it comes to him (not contacting him although I have a lot to say); start doing things from my bucket list; and I remember the quote from “The Holiday” of “You’re supposed to be the leading lady of your own life…”

      He doesn’t deserve more of you than he has already taken. You are not alone in this swim of the emotional sea. Every day will be a new day to move forward where he is a memory but not your all consuming. I know this sounds harsh but it wasn’t all fake: your love was real and is a gift for you to use for both yourself as well as others. Working through the reality of the past, and getting through the stages of grief, will take time. Please be patient and kind to yourself. It is baby steps, and you will move forward.

      1. SMH says:

        Getting there, Great advice. This too shall pass, as my mother would say. I particularly like your comment about not wanting to mention him on your deathbed. I totally get it. If MRN comes back, all I will say is that I expect him to be there when I die – that I want him there when I die – but until then, I don’t want to hear from him. That will be a headfuck for him…

      2. Getting There says:

        Thank you, SMH!
        Can you imagine trying to make that deal with a narcissist? LOL
        I read your comment above about him being back in a dream and on your mind. I’m sorry!!
        I like how you analyzed it! I really hope that the ghost of the past doesn’t ruin your chance of future happiness and peace! Have you had a relationship with a non narcissist before? I have not had a real one so I can see that if I were to, the memory of the one (not my ex husband but the other – the one of my death bed dread) would be a great distraction from dealing with the internal fear of getting too close and having to allow myself to trust. I don’t know your situation or life, so I apologize if I overstepped!
        Definitely read “Exorcism!” Can I add to that and suggest not doing as I did and recommend you actually do all that HG suggests? Again I don’t know your situation, but if you can follow HG to the T on it, you may find your ghost to be less powerful in the haunting.
        I completely understand the need to be busy and have your mind distracted to be able to move forward. Is there a new hobby you are interested in learning during this time? I also find when I am very tired, my emotions are heightened and the emotional sea appears to have a strong rip current.
        I am hoping great things for you and your relationship with this new guy!

    3. K says:

      Original Overthinker
      It is going to take a while to get him out of your mind so I recommend that you keep reading the articles, the comments from other readers and HG (that helps with perspective and emotional thinking) and post your feelings and thoughts as much as possible. Read and post your way through it. Don’t stop until you feel better.

      You should read Exorcism, too, that will help you out quite a bit. Then read it again; repetitiveness really helps.

      If you want the book (hard copy) then use this list and click on the Title: Exorcism and then click on AMAZON, which is located below the summary. That will take you directly to Amazon and give you the choice for the book or Kindle.


      It took me about a year to get over it. It was awful and I am sorry you are going through it, too. Narcsite is the best place to get help and recover from your ordeal. You will be in my thoughts.

      1. wissh says:

        I’ve read Exorcism, and it was great, very helpful in fact. Maybe it’s already time to reread it as narcex continues to have a starring role in my thoughts throughout the day as well as guest appearances in my dreams. It’s so damn annoying.

    4. wissh says:

      No advice but will be reading the other comments because I also can’t expunge narcex from my head.

    5. Mercy says:

      Original overthinker,

      I can relate with your anger. I also have that “how dare he” thought often. It’s so hard to separate ourselves from what they have done to us. It’s very normal to take it personally. We feel we are entitled to the truth and a certain amount of loyalty because of the abuse we suffered by them.

      Our anger may be toward them but I think alot of our anger (in my case) is at ourselves for knowing it was an illusion but not being able to get past it. It helps me to tell myself that what happened to me wasn’t personal. It will be the same way for anyone entangled in a relationship with the narc. I wanted to feel like I was special and exempt from the worst of what he did. I have to keep telling myself that I served a purpose in his life like every other person in his life. That purpose may have been special to me but I was just functioning as an appliance to him.

      I think it’s ok to feel that I was special. This is my feeling not his. What he thought of me does not dictate who I am. The fact that he is always in my mind (white noise) is irritating and often sets back my recovery. It’s the hardest struggle I’ve dealt with thus far. It makes me feel defective in some way but then I think that every person in the history of the world has something they are trying to overcome. I am no different and I am not defective because of it.

      I’ve made a promise to myself to defeat that white noise inside my head. If it is something that I have to live with forever than I will turn it into something positive.

      I’m so sorry you are hurt. So many of us can relate. The fact that you are here shows you have a strength inside of you to move on and be happy. Now that you see the relationship was fake, use that knowledge to empower yourself.

      1. wissh says:

        Regarding the white noise- I feel terribly guilty about it too because I’m a bereaved parent. The trauma of my son’s death is deeply imprinted. It’s incredibly horrible that narcex is now using up valuable memory real estate currently trumping thoughts and memories of my child.

      2. SMH says:

        Mercy, Great comment. You ARE special and it does say something about us that we are here. Imagine how many people have gone through this and are not here – are not getting help – are simply crushed. How is your daughter doing?

        1. Mercy says:

          Hi SMH, I agree. I wish that everyone that has suffered N-abuse could find this site.

          My daughter is ok. I have sent her a couple articles that HG has written. I think the one about the illusion hit home for her. She’s not there yet though. She’s not ready to accept that it’s not real but I think having the knowledge will help her identify what is happening to her eventually. I’m just sitting here on the sidelines waiting to toss information at her when the moments right.

          Confession time. I was hoovered and failed. Honestly I wasn’t expecting it so soon. Apparently his latest victim had a Super Nova moment and crushed his child ego haha. I’m actually ok though. He wasn’t able to pull me in and I set my boundaries firmly. The moment I identified that I was starting to feel anxiety by having conversation with him I cut it off. He is still reaching out but I’m total gray rock and I’ve refused to see him. Turns out I won’t die without him so I no longer fear him vanishing if he doesn’t get what he wants.

          I’m a little disappointed in myself but also there’s a sense of satisfaction knowing that I will always have something he wants and needs (fuel) and he will never have anything I want. So many years I felt I was fighting for a prize but it turns out my fuel was the real prize to be won.- Sorry not sorry babe.

          How are things with you?

          1. SMH says:


            Don’t be so down on yourself. It is okay that you’ve had contact. You are far from a failure! I did with mine post escape too because there was a GIH and I did not know what it was. But it was much easier to be in contact when *I* had decided enough was enough, and it was fine until I wounded him and got an ST.

            Every time he would be too intimate, it would make me anxious (as you say) and I felt that he was crossing a boundary. So I would leave the conversation. I simply wasn’t in that place with him anymore. Otherwise, as usual everything was all about him. I only had to mommy him, which I did until he pushed me too far and I told him that, like Trump, he just wanted attention. Haha.

            As long as you maintain your boundaries you should be fine. I can tell you are still angry, which is good! You remind me of this friend of mine – sorry not sorry. Ha. But be careful of all the small ways yours will try to suck you back in. Also be sure that you will be okay if he finds new supply and disappears again – know that you are in control so if he does, it is because you wanted him to.

            If MRN made contact, I know that I would just want to revisit everything and get some answers. It would be completely unsatisfactory. There is no point. As you say, he would act like nothing happened. Plus, like you, I would be very conscious about not giving him fuel, so it wouldn’t last long.

            I am fine, in any case. It was just another blip – on and off for a few days – probably because Irishman and I hit a rough spot. He is a good person – tries really hard, is very introspective, if not entirely self-aware (who is?), and feels things deeply. But he is a tortured soul – way too serious and negative – so I have to be careful that I don’t try to rescue him. Not sure if he is always this way or if he is going through a phase because of his injury (he is in physio now) and is dissatisfied with other parts of his life but I am keeping some distance because of it. I keep my focus on me and what I need rather than trying to figure out what he needs.

            Good that your daughter is accepting the information you send her. She trusts you and you are going about this in the right way – letting her come to her senses on her own. It sounds like you will both be fine.

          2. Mercy says:

            SMH, I’m actually not down. I think it’s more about the embarrassment of having to confess haha. He’s actively looking for another fuel source and is not keeping it secret. I don’t care and it kind of disgust me that he can’t be without someone to torture. Not to mention he still has his primary source. Like you I’m not in that place with him anymore. Last night he asked to borrow money (strange because this is not something he has asked of me before). I think he was just testing the waters to see if I would do it. I ignored the request completely and went silent. I fully expected him to go NC but he has messaged today and didn’t say another word about it. He doesn’t need the money and if he did he can get it from one of his other sources. I’m not going down that road after what he did to the other 2 women.

            As far as Irishman, just throwing this out there. You haven’t said anything about this guy that makes you feel good or excites you like a new relationship should. Please don’t settle just to get past the MRN. You deserve it all, not someone that needs to be fixed. This is a good place to air your doubts so maybe that’s the only side I’m hearing. I’m sure he has great qualities as well. You sound like you have your mind in the right place about it all.

            I’m glad to hear about your friends daughter. Mine actually has mentioned moving back in with me for a little while. She doesn’t live with her BF but maybe some momma support will help. We will see. She’s a tough one.

            This sounds selfish but I would rather give her HGs books and send her the articles than have her on the site. This is my place of sanctuary. She doesn’t know much about my relationship (I’ve kept the bad stuff to myself) so I’m sure she won’t pick up on who I am. Or maybe she would, who knows.

          3. SMH says:

            LOL, Mercy. This space is like a confessional. I totally get why you don’t want your daughter on here. Sometimes I wonder if someone could figure out who I am too. In any case, it’s nice that you have such a good relationship with her.

            Glad you are ONLY embarrassed about confessing but good that you did because maybe others will give you input too. It’s odd that he asked you for money. Red flag to me if he has never done that before. Since he did not ask again, it doesn’t sound like he needs it. Instead, it sounds like he is making up reasons to be in touch in order to break down your defenses, even if he does say he is looking for a new fuel source. It sounds like you have things under control, but please be careful.

            Interesting that you say that about Irishman. I don’t mind at all. I do really like him (when he smiles) and we have a lot in common, but I don’t really get him. Perhaps he is not right for me. I will probably friendzone him soon since I am leaving anyway and don’t want to commit to anything right now. Time will then tell if this is just a phase. If it is meant to be, down the road it will be…

          4. Kathy Mor says:

            I know my comment may be a bit late but I read you talking about getting anxious when your narc tries to get too intimate… I have not been hovered yet… but that’s my feeling in general with any male who gets too close, even if he’s a friend. If I don’t get anxious and run away, I get mad and lash out. If the guy makes a comment that makes me feel (in my sick mind) that he is trying to control me, or hurt me, things turn ugly rather quickly. This morning I was wondering if I am having serious anger issues because any comment that a guy makes that crosses me funny, that is it. My sarcasm and caustic comments happen. I get evil. Then after the event, I look at the guy’s face and he is shocked and speechless. That’s how I realize I lost it. It is like… every man is a narcissist until proven the opposite.

            It can’t be good.
            I am not being able to differentiate what comes towards me, which tells me I am not doing good. It is like my buttons are constantly being pulled…. even when they are not. I work with a bunch of guys and sometimes they like picking on me and I also do the same. yesterday I mentioned that my legs were sore because I spent 3h at the gym. Mike goes and jokes: wow! 3h at the gym?
            I (already getting irritated)… said YES. Why?
            He didn’t pick up my tone. He jokingly said: Kathy you need a new boyfriend. Sex will help with that.

            Oh boy.. why did he say that?

            I glared at him and said: shove your dick back in your butt and get the hell out of my face. Why is everything about sex? Can you take a dump without thinking about sex, Mike? Shut up. Don’t answer or I cut your balls off. Stupid shit.

            He walked away hurt and shocked. He was a fun guy and it was a “Mike” comment. The usual as he always talks crap. He was not flirting. Nothing. But yet I felt like he was insinuating something else and I lashed out.
            I have done this in numerous times to where I can’t deny anymore that I am having anger issues and I have no idea how to stop it…. all because the trauma PC put me through… 06 years is a long time.
            This is bad. I can’t be hurting people like that. It is not fair to those who are innocent… like Mike.

            Back to HG’s books. This feeling inside is tiring…….

          5. SMH says:

            Kathy Mor, Six years IS a long time to be in an abusive relationship. I don’t feel angry but I am also finding it hard to let my guard down and I am also suspicious, so I totally understand. I don’t know what the answer is short of giving up on humanity!

          6. Kathy Mor says:

            Hi SMH,

            Well, I didn’t want to talk about this but… It has been a bit of a roller coast. I don’t want to give PC more power over my life than what he already had in the past. I am done with that crap. You know, even if I wanted, I couldn’t do it. I think my resistance to abuse has become zero… and my body has developed its own defensive mechanisms…

            As soon as I feel that uncomfortable feeling in my stomach, my alarms go off and the whole cascade begins… My body reacts in such a manner that it is like… purging the person or the situation. I don’t have a choice but to leave because all kinds of psychosomatic reactions begin to happen. When I get that anxious, my skin begins to itch everywhere. It gets so bad that I almost hit the ER for a horse dose of antihistamines. I already went to the doctor and all allergy tests were done and everything was negative so it is emotional. My oxytocin level is normal again. Used to be 10 times higher than normal. As soon as I leave the situation or person who is causing the itching, it stops in minutes. I have no control over it. It begins prickling on the side of my legs and it is painful at first. That’s how I know something is wrong with the guy even if I am not consciously picking it up.

            And yes I understand the time and all that happened has had a significant impact on me. At the same time, life doesn’t stop because you got wounded. Life keeps moving on and I refuse to live like a victim of that ass hole. But as life moves forward and events happen, I find myself dealing with these things that I didn’t know where there… in me… in this format.

            If I were not talking to guys, I would not know that I have these reactions added to this overt anger and these triggers. It would go dormant until I had to interact with males in a personal manner.

            But I must confess that I am fed up with the “usual guy thing”, the stupid sexual innuendos, the bullshit. I am not patient when the guy begins to head to that direction or when the guy begins to show control asking me what I am doing, where I was, who I am talking to…. oh no. We are not doing that crap. Not at all.

            Ask me what size are my “girls” and I will have your balls nailed to the wall. Stuff like that will set my rage off. I promise you, I will purposefully hurt the guy. I will catch on any weakness and I will go for it. No mercy.

            I have been mad at PC, that I know. But that guys would push my buttons so easily, that I didn’t know. Said that, as my friend pointed out, some were narcissists and others were complete idiots. There was no doubt. So they deserved what they got.
            But some guys are not. Some guys are just guys and they are not necessarily trying to harm me. However, every one is getting the bombs. Everyone. Everything is ok until the guy says something, anything and my anger flares up immediately. If it is a narcissist, I get anxious. Extremely anxious. If the guy is in front of me, that’s it. I can’t control… I will attack or I will just walk away…. in a rude manner…. so he stays away. Try again and I will wound you. Keep coming for more? My pleasure. There is more where that first blow came from. I will tear the guy down. It is horrible. It is like mauling a human being.

            I know I am overreacting to some extent. I get that. I just don’t know how to stop it when the guy is normal.

            Anything that PC would say to me, if any guy says it… there I go, especially if I feel that it is not the guy’s place to say it… like the pony tail situation. What difference does it make if my pony tail is loose or not because we are at the fucking GYM, waiting for the boot camp to start?
            Why did the guy have to come to me and say that?
            My trainer is a marine. He saw my reaction tearing the guy into a new one. And the guy left. He was like: Kathy, what is the real issue here?
            I just got quiet.
            He picked it up immediately that I am churning in anger.

            At work. The narc doctors. As soon as one begins with his characteristic narc behavior, I walk away. Or I am rude… which is worse.
            They just stare at me like…. wtf is wrong with her?

            That is my disposition. It is like I have the narc’s hate in me. I hurt people as self-defense. I don’t like that because it is not how I am. I just don’t know how to deal with it. It is the anger that I am not being able to handle…. and what is behind it… it is like poking an exposed nerve with a needle. It is substantial.

          7. WhoCares says:

            Kathy Mor,

            The anger is a hard thing to resolve – if ever possible to do so completely…I’m doubtful…

            But what I do know is that it becomes less triggering; because I was lashing out at people too, at times, and didn’t like myself.

            ” It is like I have the narc’s hate in me. I hurt people as self-defense. I don’t like that because it is not how I am. I just don’t know how to deal with it. It is the anger that I am not being able to handle….”

            Fewer things trigger me lately…I feel less like looking around for something safe to punch…or grabbing an ax and chopping the hell out the neighbour’s neatly stacked woodpile to burn off the angry energy (damn, some days I *do* miss my cabin)…now this urge has tapered off…and I can see the triggers for what they are. Certain ones will always be there but instead of reacting I’m getting better at taking a step back and ‘observing’ how I feel instead of just feeling it…the good thing about the anger – is that it helps with reinforcing our boundaries….now, if someone’s behaviour crosses a line that makes me uncomfortable I have no qualms, no problem, no guilt, with just not engaging them.

            I’m actually starting to feel calmer around people – if still a bit guarded and hesitant…because I now feel no obligation to interact with people if their behaviour makes me feel uncomfortable or ‘put upon’…

          8. SMH says:

            Kathy Mor,

            Some of what you wrote about what these guys said to you (including Mike) is definitely crass and inappropriate, no matter what the motivation. You are within your rights to say something about it. Maybe you are trying to keep yourself from responding and that is why you have psychosomatic symptoms? You are bottling up your reactions? Allow yourself to say something appropriate – not getting angry but just pointing out that it is harassment and why it is wrong. It is okay to do that – in fact, it is the right thing to do.

            For what it’s worth, I overreacted (or reacted) to things this guy I was seeing would do and began to make a list of the similarities between him and MRN. I got very anxious one day a few weeks ago. Full blown anxiety attack. I think it was because he did not contact me when and how I thought he should. I told him that we needed to talk, so we did and I ended it nicely to his face. I know there were some similarities because they are both guys and maybe this other guy did have some narc traits but the motivations were completely different. He was horrified to upset me but it was also clear to me that he wasn’t ‘hearing’ me and that I had to explain things from my perspective – things that should have been obvious to him – and so I had to scream (figuratively speaking).

            Remember that a lot of what motivates a narcissist is insecurity. Normal people have insecurities too and much of what they do can come off as narcissistic because of that.

            I think it is all about the balance in the end – we learned some things from our narc experiences that we have to put into practice but not to the exclusion of all of our other life experiences. Your life is not just about your years with PC. There is a lot more to it than that. Have you tried seeing a therapist? Even though mainstream therapists do not necessarily have a lot of insight into personality disorders or really understand narcissism, I find that seeing a therapist helps to maintain the balance we seek in life. It is another tool.

          9. Clarece says:

            Hi Kathy Mor! I very much identify with the anger issues. I may not have lashed out as much as you say you feel yourself doing to your co-workers and such, but I was definitely thinking the thoughts in my head dealing with people in general.
            I know this will sound completely cheesy and for a long time it was being recommended to me to try and I was skeptical. About two months ago I started trying restorative yoga and meditation. I’d say about 3 weeks in I noticed a difference. I do it about 3-4 times a week in place of my normal workout and I find if I don’t do it now, I feel fidgity like I’m missing something important to do. It’s definitely helping me when confronted with a stressful situation with work or home, taking a step back to calm myself, center myself and then think about it and go back.
            There are so many free videos to try on YouTube. Find someone whose voice is soothing to walk you through. Some videos are as short as 5-10 minutes. Some go for an hour. You don’t have to invest a lot of time initially if you’re skeptical like I was.

          10. NarcAngel says:

            Thats great that you invested in yourself doing something new even though you were skeptical. Shows that we can adapt to change amd enjoy being open to new things once we are no longer consumed with the needs of others. Great example for your daughter also. Glad youre enjoying it.

            As for me?
            Namaste away from spandex and find something else lol

          11. Clarece says:

            Hi NA! I totally get staying away from the spandex. All this happens in my pj’s. lol

          12. windstorm says:

            I’ll second that. I don’t think I’d have made it without meditation. It does calm you – not just at the time, but a calm that can last. At first it’s really hard, but once you get past that learning, beginning stage it gets way easier.

            Eventually you can get to where you can quickly calm yourself when you are stressed, antsy, intolerant, etc. You still have to think and work through your emotional thinking, but you are calm, relaxed and more open to new ideas and thinking. It also helps your self-confidence and self-esteem – at least it does for me.

          13. Clarece says:

            Hi WS! I actually mentally checked whenever you wrote here how meditation helped you. Then I was with an old high school friend this summer and she was saying how getting into the meditation and restorative yoga was life changing for her and really helped her get on a healing path and also noticed more success in work and breaking into a sales job which she thought she could never do.
            I moaned about not wanting to have to go to a class somewhere and have to invest in a whole fitness wardrobe to go to a class. Lol She said she was pulling up so.e favorites for free on YouTube. So light bulb went off that I could do on my own when I could carve time in private.
            See the wonderful influence you are here!!
            I’m definitely in beginner mode, but am seeing a difference and enjoy continuing it which is a huge motivator in itself.

          14. windstorm says:

            Glad you’re having such a good experience with meditation, Clarece! Lots of people think you have to meditate in specific ways, but there are all kinds that you can do basically anywhere. One of my favorites I do whenever I am in a waiting room for an appointment, or if I get somewhere early.

          15. Kathy Mor says:

            Thank you Clarece, I actually enjoy yoga and the idea is a good one. As soon as this class I am taking is over this upcoming week, I will have a month off and will dedicate to change somethings in my life. Yoga is something that I enjoy by the stretching and exercise more than the philosophy behind it. Hot yoga is cleansing to me… as coming here and reading HG and the comments everyone makes.
            Thank you!

          16. Clarece says:

            Hi Kathy! Awesome. I recommend making sure any yoga you do incorporates a part in the routine for meditation and breathing. That, over the stretching and exercise. That will be the part that homes in on your anger. My mind is always racing so it was difficult at first to be forced to be still and focus on my breath. I’d sit there and think, well I can squeeze in 15 stomach crunches while I listen to this part in the child’s pose or whatever. But that stillness is what will start to calm you down.

          17. SMH says:


            I forgot to say that my friend’s daughter is splitting up with her boyfriend – at least they are not going to be living together anymore. They shouldn’t have been anyway as they had not been together long enough to move in together but the daughter has really had no direction. Now she seems to have a plan for her life. Hoping it works!

    6. MommyPino says:

      For me it really helped me when I tried to expand my social circle. It was really hard at first. After escaping my matrinarc, I had to live with my half-sister who also happened to be a narc. So I struggled to create my self esteem back. When I was meeting new people I had anxiety but I was tryong my best to hide it and fake confidence. It was a real struggle at first but eventually it got easier as I met good friends. It was also challenging for me because I grew up in a different country so i didn’t know people here.

      I have to say though that it really helped me to widen my social sphere. At the same timw I also avoided the toxic people. I always had a soft spot for people with financial issues because I grew up in poverty so i volunteered in an outfit that helps them. The feedback and gratitude from the people that I have helped built my self esteem back. Maybe volunteer to help annorganization that interests you? Like an animal rescue center if you’re into animals or a shelter for abused women if you feel that your experience can be an advantage in ubderstanding women in that situation. I feel that as a naturally giving person you can offer so much to this world and unlike narcs most people would give something back to you in a form of sincere appreciation so you wouldn’t feel so drained. I hope that helps. 💕

    7. mommypino says:

      I was also thinking, physical activities might be helpful too! Running or cycling perhaps? Listening to music while doing it. If your mind automatically thinks about him, you can even utilize that as motivation to run faster, just imagine you are leaving him behind. Or even kickboxing, if you find yourself thinking about him you can imagine him as the punching bag. So you can even use thoughts about him as motivation for your workout for now until his effect on you diminishes.

      1. Lori says:

        I went the fitness route and I can say it has helped a great deal. I started this before the discard and just continued. It has been great for my self esteem and has any obsessive thinking about him. It hasn’t cured it but it’s helped and I’m in better shape than I have been in my entire life

    8. shesaw says:

      OO, grant him the victory. He made you believe it was true.
      Let him have that victory.
      Its not an honour to win by deceit – but is is what he aimed for.
      Let him have it.
      See it for what it is.
      It will relieve you.

    9. Kathy Mor says:

      NarcAngel is right… with me was 06 years. So I know the anger is substantial. But there are more mysteries between us in the invisible than one alone can account for. Sometimes in our anger, we make so much in our own head that we fail to see the bigger picture. Anger is normal… as far as you don’t allow it to control you, and your decisions. Follow up with what NA said:
      Read the book Exorcism.
      Get a consultation

      Read read read. Once you understand what they are and why they do, it will help you to step forward… The anger may remain… as a dormant, calculate, cold, and precise option. You may apply it or not, from a distance.
      I guess the worse enemy is the enemy you can’t gauge reactions, see emotions, hear about broken feelings, receive news from, see, hear from through others… the one who disappears and remains silent. The one who you can alone assume to know what he or she is thinking but you don’t know for sure. The one you try to predict but you can’t tell… what they can do. The one who stays on the back of your mind feeding your paranoia because in reality, now you became prey.

      Use your anger to your advantage. Not his.

    10. Pixie says:

      Everpresense comes to mind. Just when I’ve not thought about Ex for awhile . . . found a reminder deeply hidden in a drawer. I thought I had gotten rid of everything he gave me. I recommend getting rid of everything. I donated beautiful lingerie, clothes, jewelry . . . I didn’t want to, but glad I did it. Any sentiment is ET.

    11. Clarece says:

      Hello OO,
      Dealt with a 5 year fake, one-sided relationship – check.
      Getting over the person but not the damage done to my psyche especially with major trust issues – check.
      So many of our fights were provoked by me having “how dare he” moments by his Jekyll and Hyde behavior and lashing out – check.
      I have been most of this year no contact with a small blip around end of June and solid no contact (all social media blocked too) for a little over four months, yet I still think of him every. single. day. Moreso, now that I am content to have the peace and quiet away from him and his games. I do not feel tempted to reach out to him anymore.
      So I can tell you the intensity of the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing will eventually subside. Life just happens. Things will happen with family or friends that will occupy your time and thoughts. You’ll eventually make more social plans with friends and find your path on things you enjoy. That all helps. But it does take time. It’s more of realizing it after the fact. Meaning, 3 months may go by and all of a sudden you’ll think “oh, I’ve been so busy with this or that, I’m not contemplating him every waking minute.”
      I would say by the sound of how deeply hurt you were to look at more as taking stock a month after the holidays and really soul searching how you’re feeling. Then again in another 3 months. When you push out these increments in time, you actually make progress without pushing yourself daily trying to feel one way or another.
      You asked for advice and here is what I can offer. The focus needs to be acceptance of being alone for the time being to heal. To full detach from the Narc and what his actions did to you. A big hurdle for me was to finally let go wanting my Narc’s approval and validation with some kind of good closure to feel okay about myself. Don’t need it or care about it anymore. His loss. I had to make that inner shift.
      i hope this helps a little.

    12. Lori says:

      Well if you think you are truly Codepebdent, I’d start addressing that because if you are, you will likely unconsciously seek another narc.

      1. Original Overthinker says:

        Trying, also trying not to become bitter.

        1. Kathy Mor says:

          The thing about co-dependency is that you can only avoid the behaviors that enable the other and potentially hurt you. You can take one day at a time. You can do the 12 steps. You can talk to other co-dependents but if they aren’t an empath, they may not get “it”. You can keep telling yourself that you can’t/shouldn’t/ try to change/help/please others. You can move on physically, push thoughts aside for a day or two, you can contemplate finding yourself, your identity. You can hope. You can wish. But the aching inside is there and whoever denies that is in denial. The void is there. The pain is there. Then you flip your thinking and say: well, if I just find someone “right” maybe I can be myself. But that is a faulty thinking because you don’t quite know who you are, you don’t know what he is but what he reflects back at you, and with the knowledge that you acquire here, that set up doesn’t provide pleasure or respite any longer because then HG comes to my mind and all that he has written, said, explored, explained… it becomes obsolete to think of anything else, desire anything else when you have what HG gave you. Besides after going through the abuse itself, remembering that pile of human leftovers, the resemblance of illusions that are created out of nothing, and managing to survive it not even understanding why I responded in the right manner to him, then you have the need to be “selfish” and do something for yourself.
          So there is a point in life that it makes easier… I should say that’s necessary… to stop and come to terms with what you are. I denied being a co-dependent. I didn’t want to be one. I refused to be one. I would get mad when people said it. Until I couldn’t deny it anymore because when Matrinarc contacts me, those feelings flare up to the surface and I really don’t want to talk to her, relate to her. She throws the emotional bill of being a victim every single time and I am to where I just don’t care. Until I had to stop feeling guilty about fantasizing about my mom’s and the ex’s narc death… sometimes praying for it to happen so I could be free. Would I be free?

          My life consists on looking at images of people who talk, move, talk, and seem to be alive and discern among those who are normal ones and those who are not. Because I do attract narcissists to a great degree. I am a narc magnet. Don’t believe me? Take me somewhere with you. Anywhere. Take me to a place with 100 people. Take me to a place with 10 people. The narcs will come. They will stare at me as I walk in. If I see a guy’s eyes locked in me, my stomach crunches. He will come and I won’t know until sometime has passed, until he tries to kiss me, advancing quickly, taking charge quickly… or not. I asked a guy what was the trait that he noticed the most about me and he said: you have sweet eyes. You are soothing.

          Am I soothing? I don’t know if I am soothing but I will certainly strive to get your needs met. I will strive to please you. It gives me pleasure to serve, to please, to love. No wonder I am good at what I do in my profession. No wonder my patients want me back. No wonder I do what I do as I am programmed to be this way.
          I can only avoid the behaviors. I can only be a bit selfish. I can only come here and read and give you guys what I don’t give anyone else: my inner world. My thoughts. My feelings. My nature in a non-servitude manner. I come here because here I am not an appliance. But if I am, HG is the only narc allowed in my life. I say that 20 times a day. I feel the need to be loyal to that. Loyal to HG’s work. I would feel HORRIBLE breaking that commitment in my mind. Until I feel stronger. Until I recover more. It will be 03 months now in November since I last heard from him. Sometimes it feels an eternity. Sometimes I feel grateful for everyday that he doesn’t Hoover me because it is one more day that I have to breathe, live, recover, and not feel the mixture in me waking up…. more than it is already awake…

  8. mollyb5 says:

    HG. Why are you always looking for someone to make primary so you can torture them. Why do you explain this away and continue to look for a victim . Why don’t you want to try to be better than what you say you are ? Why can’t you learn a better way ? All the normal s try to learn to make life smoother , calmer , relaxing , why can’t you think those goals are wonderful to achieve also . You do know life is harder the way you live it , your perspective doesn’t always work for your betterment . You still feel empty. Why can’t you just pretend with your primary forever and readjust your perspective. Normals do that. Many try to make adjustments to what their aims require . You hate life and you need fuel to continue each day . Someone hurts you or wounds you and you know better now . You are just being like a mid range or lesser when you instinctively continue to abuse and get revenge for petty hurts .

  9. MommyPino says:

    “Since you care about others and take an interest in the thoughts, actions and well-being of other people, you have been wired to take on board stimuli from other people in a far more effective manner than others. ”

    This is something that I have always noticed about myself but couldn’t understand. Whether a person is a family member, a romantic partner, a friend, or colleague, I seem to be preoccupied with their wants and needs. And the sad part is, the more selfish they are, the more inspired I am to do stuff or buy stuff for them. I am not as inspired in devoting time and energy on my empathic friends and family members which has puzzled me. Now I know that this is because of my empathic nature. I absorb the energy that a person radiates and a selfish or narcissistic person who radiates a me me me energy towards me, my focus becomes them them them. Whereas my empathic friends who are usually selfless or naturally content do not radiate as much neediness towards me and so I do not get inspired to give to them as much as I do with the more self-centered people in my life.

    I have been trying to change that though before I even inderstood what was going on. I just got tired of providing so much for the ungrateful people. But now I finally understand what was going on. I have to admit that doing and giving more to my empathic friends who really love me feels really good but it isn’t as rewarding because they are not really needy. What gave me a more rewarding experience was when I volunteered for the local St. Vincent de Paul to help the financially needy people in our area. They are also extremely needy but most of them are also really grateful, unlike the narcs. I literally have some of them tell our President how kind I was to them on the phone and they really appreciated that I listened to them and was so nice. So I thought that was a really good redirection of my energy.

    1. wissh says:

      “This is something that I have always noticed about myself but couldn’t understand. Whether a person is a family member, a romantic partner, a friend, or colleague, I seem to be preoccupied with their wants and needs. And the sad part is, the more selfish they are, the more inspired I am to do stuff or buy stuff for them. I am not as inspired in devoting time and energy on my empathic friends and family members which has puzzled me. Now I know that this is because of my empathic nature. I absorb the energy that a person radiates and a selfish or narcissistic person who radiates a me me me energy towards me, my focus becomes them them them. Whereas my empathic friends who are usually selfless or naturally content do not radiate as much neediness towards me and so I do not get inspired to give to them as much as I do with the more self-centered people in my life.”

      When I think of personality traits I thought were unique to me and then read someone else doing the same thing, it’s quite liberating. Your comment resonates deeply, right down to it not being as rewarding tending to my more empathic friends. I found a similar solution, I volunteer with a local hospice. Reading your comment today reinforces I’m on the road to healing, so thank you.

    2. Lori says:

      That sounds like classic Codepebdency.

  10. cb says:

    And as a woman I often feel the need to be around a Protective strong man, so I quickly sense a relief and let my guard down those first dates. Which makes my mind very receptible I guess.

    Plus many of you guys seem to specialize in going way Below your league, so you are of a very attractive or successful type which I don t usually encounter.
    Makes me invest my mind/energy so much more.

  11. M says:

    So does this mean that we, the empaths, are forever screwed by these memories? Even after going no contact and keeping it that way, how do we retrain our brain and move on from the damage deep inside? At times, I feel that it’s impossible.

    1. K says:

      There is hope.

      MARCH 30, 2017 AT 16:31
      Hg, in your experience does a victim EVER have a chance at full recovery?

      HG Tudor
      APRIL 26, 2017 AT 18:23


    2. Dmd says:

      Read the book by hg on exoecism. You can retrain your brain and that can happen a lot faster if you consistently practice the steps outlined in that book.

  12. wissh says:

    As this is the hurdle I haven’t jumped, I’d have been so appreciative had you also told us how to erase you from our minds. It’s been many months for me now, I know what a complete lying POS he is, and I do not want him back, and it’s infuriating that I still spend an excessive amount of time every day thinking about him.

    1. mollyb5 says:

      Women need matchmakers …or fairy godmothers , to make sure they meet truly good men …no fakes . Arranged marriages with a narc detector specialist to make sure narcs don’t populate .

    2. Kathy Mor says:

      Read HG’s book – Exorcism.

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