Poll : What Has Narcissism Cost You?

POLL - hg

 

Everything has a price and narcissism is no different. What has narcissism cost you? Did you find yourself paying for anything or even defrauded as the savings accounts were emptied and you found loans in your name that you did not even take out? Perhaps it has cost you friendships as you fell out with those around you or you had to cut off an innocent parent when going no contact with a narcissistic parent? Maybe you were left suffering from anxiety and hyper vigilant, your sense of security snatched away and you no longer felt safe? Did you lose your home? Has it cost you a relationship with a child? Perhaps you feel it has taken your sense of who you are?

Whether this cost appears permanent or it was a temporary state of affairs and you have brought about recovery or restitution, do share your thoughts. Choose as many of the options as are applicable before casting your vote and as ever, please do expand on your situation in the comments.

Thank you for participating.

What has narcissism cost you?

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169 Comments

  1. There are only 3 things on this list I didn’t check off. And I may still lose my home, but that may not be so bad.

    What I really resent losing was time. I have spent nearly all my adult life with the narcissist, and of all things, I sorely resent time, my lifetime, being taken from me under ALL the false pretenses, and all the people he used to make me think that I should just try harder. and I resent myself for being soooo naive.

    Do/did you ever watch true crime and think, how could they not know?

    Yeah, that’s a real boot to the head!!!

  2. I think “Looks” should be an option for future broadcasts of this poll. I didn’t consider it but reading it so many times in the comments, I definitely agree. I have many more wrinkles than I had before. I have new bags beneath my eyes and I just look so aged all around. I also lost a lot of weight quickly in the golden period due to “love sickness.” 🙄 Recently I’ve put it all back on thanks to emotional eating.

  3. 1. Family – Too difficult and too long of a story.

    2. Friendships – I lost two friends whom I’ve had since first-grade. Actually, I felt forced to walk away from one friend due to the narcissist’s triangulations. This one friend was particularly vulnerable to his machinations, so I’m sure he couldn’t resist creating jealousy within her, using me to do just that.

    3. Money – Like MB, I still prefer the old-fashioned way of “the gentleman pays.” But like MB (and most of us here) my nature doesn’t want to take advantage of that male role. So if he’d buy a $15 fast food breakfast, I’d bring 60 bucks worth of groceries to his home. If he brought me a “drink of tea” to a park where I was walking, I’d bring him vitamins, lotion, socks, medication, hand soap, candles, tolet paper… whatever I thought he needed.

    If he brought me a $5 BBQ sandwhich, I’d make him his favorite dish and bring him a present to boot. If he mentioned needing underwear, I’d go to American Eagle and buy him 10 pair. “You need new jeans, too? What style would you like?” .
    If I arrived somewhere first, I’d go ahead and pay for the event or pay for the tickets. Bless his heart – he had promised me sooo many fancy things. I didn’t want to take advantage of his generosity.

    Once at his home, he served me a mixed drink from a bottle of Rum. He complained that I was just sipping, letting it become watered-down. So for my next visit, I gave him a more expensive bottle of bourbon (to replace what I wasted.) He never even opened it. I was sure he’d enjoy it with another, so when I escaped, I took it with me. But I left the expensive bed sheets that I gave him, and the small kitchen appliances I bought and the…

    While he was very generous at first, that quickly faded. I literally spent thousands on him and his daughter. I loved her too.

    4. The desire to date/have relationships – I still haven’t dated. Please don’t think it’s because I’m completely pathetic. (When I was younger, I turned down more dick than a closeted lesbian. I was married and trying to do the right thing.)

    Even though I’m a dirty empath, I’m really not promiscuous. I’m single now, and I do feel blessed to still get offers… but it’s harder as an older woman. Offers that come from men 10 years younger, seem to be looking for only one thing. (Pretty sure that song about older women gave them inspiration. Or, they just assume we’re desperate and will be easy.) But I am struggling to find these fellows as particularly interesting.
    Quality Dick must be hard to find.

    Sadly (I guess it’s sad) I can count my intimate partners on one-hand… with fingers left, eagerly waiting for a chance to be counted. 👋

    5. Self-esteem – Need I say more.⬆

    (All I can say is… somebody’s gonna benefit from all this pent up energy… or be tortured by it!. See how much I need that Bourbon Trail trip? The invite is still open. ☺)

    1. BKK,

      “While he was very generous at first, that quickly faded. I literally spent thousands on him and his daughter. I loved her too.”

      The collateral damage here is harder to read than the money issue (but I get both). I bet his daughter was fond of you as well – and most certainly not because of your money spent on her, I’m sure!

      And re: pent up energy…oh, I hear *that.*

      1. Hi, WhoCares – Yes – She and I had a special relationship. Arts and Crafts were our thing, so I’d sit with her at the table for hours, working on one of our projects, while her father rested on the sofa and played on his phone. (Hmmm – I now understand more about why he kept encouraging these activities by telling me how much his daughter adored me and looked orward to whatever new project I had planned.)

        I took losing her hard, sometimes more than him, but I haven’t really “lost” her, so it feels a bit different. But it is difficult in these situations where you have no biological connection to have a legal say. Though he continues to use her as a pon, I know that she and I will be able to reconnect again.

        I did think of her as my daughter, WhoCares. He told me to do just that, “She’s yours,” he’d say. I have two sons, so I was delighted in getting to do “girl things” with her, and it warmed my heart they way she’d mimic me. He’d often tell me, “Anything you have, she wants; anything you do, she has to do.” But then he’d use her to punish me whenever I’d give him Challenge Fuel. He’d intentionally keep her away.

        He knew I’d never harm her, but he used her to punish me while trying to portray me as irrational, upsetting his daughter unnecessary with “my accusations.” Whaaat?! One time she innocently revealed to me that she stayed the night with her grandparents (his parents) when he had just told me a completely different story the night before. I had been “sitting” on my suspicions, trying to gather evidence. But on that particular day, when she revealed that she didn’t stay at Mamaw’s like he had proclaimed, I calmly pulled him into the bedroom, closed the door and whispered my confrontation, inquiring about the discrepancy. I exited the bedroom as cool-headed as I could.

        Yet, he tried to stir up trouble by telling me that the biological mother “is pissed” threstening to call child protective services. Whaaat?! He verbally threatened me because the little girl went back to her mother upset… because I was upset.

        I didn’t react much when the little girl told me where she stayed the night, “Oh, so you didn’t stay at Mamaw’s? She told me that she hadn’t even seen Mamaw lately, that she stayed the night with a friend. He had told me that they were BOTH going to be visiting and spending the night with his parents. (I didn’t know where he went, but I suddenly knew he wasn’t there alone.) But I put my emotions in check for her sake. By then, I had already figured out plenty, so for him to get as angry as he did… threatening me as if I had become irrational in front of his daughter – it was all unnecessary as there was little left to save.

        What I’m sure happened was… DADDY was the one who got upset at the little girl for letting “it” slip, so he blamed ME to the ex-wife as if I was the one who got the little girl’s anxiety stirred. One time I had taken her to the movies, just us two in the theater. When an image came on the screen, it triggered a memory of a place “they” had been, so she let something “slip” that he was also trying to keep hidden from me. She panicked, saying “Oh, No – Daddy is gonna get mad at me!” Shelton was fretting. I told her that I would take care of Daddy if he got upset and reassured her that she did nothing wrong. I bit my tongue and told her how much her daddy loved her. It was hard to hide my disappointment, but I always did my best to stay calm around her. (Had he foreseen that she would end up innocently providing me with the truth to some of his lies, he’d never have encouraged our relationship. He assured me that he kept any women he’s dated in the past away from her. I was “the one” special enough to be in his daughters life.) HE is the one the little girl needs protection from! I have no doubt that the biological mother likely got upset because Daddy ripped into his daughter for letting the truth slip because Daddy didn’t want me to know that he was out for the night.

        So yeah, WhoCares … I have cried over that little girl as much as I have him. I hated him for asking her to lie just to spare my feelings. I told him that he best never do that to her again. Once I found my strength after he tried to beat me down over “upsetting” his daughter, I asked him if his ex-wife would like to know that the real reason her daughter’s upset is because “she was frightened of YOU for her inability to cover your lies.”

        He then wanted to immediately drop the subject on how “horrible” I was for upsetting his daughter.

        I don’t regret spending a penny on that sweet little girl, but I regret giving him so much. He will at suprisingly admit, to this day, that I was “very good” to them. He knows he can’t deny that as he will tell me that I did nothing wrong… admitting to the end of our relationship being all his fault. Not sure if that’s a rare narcissist handing out a sincere compliment or just a tiny hoover attempt. But he damn well knows that I was better to him than he’ll likely ever find.

        He was one of those that wined and dined at fancy, unique restaurants until he hooked his target. Then it’s fast-food peppered with the casual dropping of hints on items that he needs. He’d say that he needed to pick up some blah, blah, blah “when I go to the store,” knowing full well I’d scurry out to buy it and bring it to his feet. That’s what I regret WhoCares… that I was so stupid. I regret nothing about that little girl.

        She was precious to me, so when she’s 18, I hope to pick up where we left off… but without him.

        1. BurntKrispyKeen,

          Thank-you for sharing that. And don’t worry about the typos – sometimes the messages with the typos are the best because they are the most heartfelt. I can feel what she meant to you. And I get it – having a little boy as well – that it is nice to do some ‘girl things’…I get to experience that a wee bit because my son has mostly female playmates (not many boys in his class) when he has playdates.
          I can also see how she probably loved those crafting sessions…I had an aunt, who I now understand was an empath and who I got along with much better than my mother (now I know why) and while we didn’t have a lot of time together (she’s been gone many years now) I really treasure some of the few times that we created into the wee hours of the night, indulged chocolate etc…talked if we needed to – or didn’t; just quietly busy about our particular projects. She was fabulously talented and creative but didn’t put much stock in those qualities – I’m so glad that I still have some of her creations. Anyway – you can bet that if his daughter is also empathetic, that she will treasure those moments even you don’t get to see each other for a long time.

          I still won’t address how narcs triangulate and use children but it causes me a lot of pain (and memories) and I echo your anger and resentment over it.

        2. Hi BKK,

          I have been thinking about you having lost a ‘daughter’, so to speak, as a result of your entanglement. And I’m awash in emotions at this time anyway (well, actually I’m trying to stuff them ALL – and we know how that goes…)

          I really do understand your pain over losing her and how he uses her against you. If I let myself, go there I’d cry buckets and spew anger over how my narc has poisoned things for my our son.

          One of the things that stays with me is when he was very young and our lifestyle permitted him to have his first real playmate. Our life before that time was very busy and full of commuting etc. so it was impossible to commit to many things.
          So finally, when we were in one place long enough to make commitments – my son made a ‘friend’ as a result of my ex inviting some neighbors into our life (I was actually hesitant to make connections). Watching this little friendship blosssom was a such source of great joy for me (and I could see that it was for my son as well)…it was full of such innocence and exuberance…so sweet to watch. Only his father poisoned it in such a way that they could no longer play together and for the longest time my son would say “Where’s ______? I miss her. I will find her again.” And of course, despite it being my narc’s actions that brought her into our son’s life – he blamed me for the outcome, naturally.

          Just the way they can take something so pure and beautiful and then twist and pervert it is abhorrent to me.

          Your description of your relationship with your ex-narc’s daughter reminds me of this. I’m sorry that he has caused that kind of pain for you and his daughter.

      2. Sorry that was so long, WhoCares. I know that you are a busy woman. So no rush in trying to read that response. I just appreciate you asking and… well, sometimes it just feels good to put it into print whether anybody reads it or not. And I know you’ll understand exactly how I mean that.
        Have a good day and stay warm up there!

        1. BurntKrispyKeen,

          Don’t ever apologize for the length of your comments.
          I will respond to some of them a bit later because they get my ET all riled up (especially when it comes narcs using and triangulating children)! And my ET is already riding high due to some recent changes in our life – and because I have to, essentially, revisit parts of the last decade of my life since I have to sort papers…something that I have been avoiding (for good reason) but it has become unavoidable. Believe me when I say how much I’d rather just read, share and support here instead!

          Hope you’re having a good day BKK ♡!

          As for staying warm where I am… well, somewhere here HG has talked about ’empathy fatigue’ …ha. I have some serious empathy fatigue AND snow fatigue.!

      3. Oh, and please overlook all my typos, WhoCares. I’m getting horrible with them. It’s hard to squeeze in all that I want to squeeze from Narcsite while real-life continues to become more hectic. I know that you understand that all too well!!!

      4. Dear WhoCares,
        Thank you first your heartfelt responses. I love that you have those special memories of your aunt. I can tell that you’ve inherited some of her traits as your empathic, artistic flare is palpable.

        Those dealing with your narc regarding your son squeeze my heart. Like you, when it comes to children, nothing gets me fired up more. How beautiful that you got to see the innocence of children playing and exploring one another. It warms my heart every time I see those little friendships blossom. How horrible it is that this friendship was taken away from your son. As you know, I can relate to how the narcissist twists to make it all be anyone’s fault but his own. When mine threatened to call CPS over his daughter, he backed down once he saw the fight in my eyes. I know you can relate to that, WhoCares!

        My narcissist knew I’d tell his ex-wife the truth as well as let the authorities know that his little girl was upset because she feared HIS repercussions for her inability to cover his lies. So please do call them, Mr. Narcissist. I will be happy to talk to the authorities.

        I let a lot slide, but don’t fuck with me by trying to portray me as someone who would harm a child!!!

        There’s not much harder than a mother having to hear her child call out for something she is unable to give. My heart goes out to you, WhoCares. I know that was a long time ago, but is there any possibility that your son can someday find and reconnect with this little playmate?

        1. BurntKrispyKeen,

          ” I know you can relate to that, WhoCares!”

          Yes, I can relate to all of that – and provide similar examples…

          As for my son finding his first playmate again…he stopped asking for her..he doesn’t have clear memories from that time (both good or bad) as he was too young to have more than vague memories. Which is a good thing; because that means it is not his pain to carry – only mine.

      5. And thank you, WhoCares, for being so understanding on all my typos. Sometimes I go back and read my posts and I will have trouble following….and I AM the one who actually knows how it went down! I confuse myself.
        I read my comment above, asking myself, “Who the hell is Shelton? ” But it was supposed to read: SHE was fretting. So if you can catch the jest of my posts, WhoCares, I’ll say that you got a mighty good head on those shoulders. ☺

        1. BKK,

          To be honest; I was wondering who the heck Shelton was too! Lol. But it didn’t detract from the message you were conveying. ♡

      6. Bkk, I don’t know why but your typos are more entertaining than anyone else’s and seem to add creative flair.

      7. Thank you, WhoCares. I understand on that burden to carry… often, we mothers take their loss the hardest.
        Thank you, too, Nunya Biz.
        Blessings to you both. ❤

  4. It has cost me everything, as he was my everything.
    I am a army of one.
    Can i get another round for the bar please?
    Just put it on my tab.

  5. Part 3 what ive gained as a result of npd…
    I know this isnt a part of this poll but i want to touch on this bc i refuse to focus on what its cost me bc it has given me a lot as well!! Probably just as much as its cost me.
    First and foremost…its given me knowledge. Knowledge of people and how they think. Its broken me out of a naive black and white world where i was constantly confused and where life wasnt fair. Its not about it being fair. Shit happens as the phrase goes and bad things happen to good people. They dont deserve it but rise above it and take away from it that which you were meant to.
    As a result of understanding npd and peoples thought processing and behaviours its made life a lot easier in the workplace. Im able to better “play the game” or i like to say stay neutral and get along. I still maintain my values but am cautious around certain people and more aware of how to approach them and work with them.
    This knowledge has also allowed me to let go of a lot of emotional baggage and focus more on myself opposed to those with npd. I realise they have this disorder and its seperate from me and to not take it as personally. I can seperate the two more easily.
    Npd and learning about it has i think made me more empathetic but also more cautious. I realise the importance of boundaries and not exposing myself as readily to people. Im more choosey what i say and to who. I dont wear my heart on my sleeve or confide as eagerly to people unless they have proven to me “over time” and “thru actions” only that they are trustworthy.
    Npd has given me a stepping stone to growth and self awareness. Im choosing to embrace the hurts that its brought me, to grow from them and not be destroyed or damaged from them and in the process help others. I think its a great waste to not help others after weve been thru so much and acquired the knowledge. Its important to share and help others that are still stuck in confusion and struggling. We are their beacons of light in narcissism.
    Npd has given me a lot. Its not to say im happy about what ive been thru but when i zoom out of emotional thinking and look at my world i see more and i see where its benefited me as a person and the gifts ive been given as a result. Those gifts i intend to share with others who i come across that need them.

  6. Part two what my narc partner cost me…
    He cost me my view on men. I already had issues trusting bc of my parents marriage but now i really feel no man can be faithful. His triangulations and gaslighting wow…the damage. Its been gradual but i realise the extent when i envision ever starting over which i wouldnt bc id never leave my marriage. I do ask myself if i had to would i date etc. It produces a lot of anxiety bc i know id never trust fully again. This is where i sympathise greatly with those here venturing out in the dating world and restarting. So much baggage to let go of and heal from. This is where i think its very important to take time away after a breakup to work on yourself before entering into another. You cant bring much into a new relationship if youre carrying around a lot of excess baggage thats not been dealt with and theres the risk of gravitating towards the same type of partner who also has issues not dealt with as is those with npd.
    I think my self image was damaged as well as a result of intermittent validation. He refrains a lot from compliments but uses crumbs of praise to maintain the relationship but over time thats ruined what we had or i thought we had(facade). It was never what he presented but has morphed into something else which is still part facade mixed with who he really is. It has made me question my self image but i am regaining back my confidence and no longer need his compliments and am not upset about the lack of thereof. Im realising it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. He doesnt like himself.

    Part 3 what ive gained as a result of npd…

  7. Wow i could write a lot on this. I checked off almost all areas in some form or other.
    Ive had two distinctive narcissists in my life my mum and my narc ive been in a relationship with for years.
    I dont want to say it cost me bc i wont succumb to saying ive permanently lost these. I have in different aspects lost them temporarily or theyve been altered.
    With my mother i lost a lot looking back growing up in the family dynamic i did. This isnt to say i wallow in this bc its up to me to alter my life going forward which im constantly doing but it hasnt been easy or a natural thing for me the things others were given in their childhoods so freely.
    With my mother first and foremost my self esteem had been very much altered. She rarely praised me and having lived thru her and my dads rocky marriage it really gave me no sense of security. Looking back i understand it caused me anxiety disorders which at the time i didnt understand but now i do. I didnt have the happy secure family unit others have but at the same time it couldve been a whole lot worse.
    Her infatuation with my brother as her golden child really impacted me deeply and still does but not at all like it once did before learning about npd. There were other factors as well which i can see contributing to her infatuation which i feel sympathy for her being a mother myself. Ive never lost a child so that mustve been tragic for her.
    Shes done some things that have deeply hurt me and really messed up my sense of worth which is a constant challenge to work on repairing. Zooming out of emotional thinking and looking at the whole picture i realise shes messed up and none of us is born into a chosen life or with certain parents. Im embracing what im meant to learn and take away and grow from this journey ive been placed in opposed to zooming in and wallowing in “why me”. Thats not productive and you miss the whole point of why you are here which imo is to learn and grow. Narcissists sadly struggle bc their growth and learning is stunted. I do think its possible tho and HG would be someone who could be able to modify and alter and i think change his npd. I think its level of awareness that factors in this.
    Theres been other aspects of my life that have affected who i am as well and struggles with my self esteem and fear of abandonment, codependancy etc.
    I was sexually abused and this destroyed my sense of security. When i needed a caring family who did something about it they swept it under the rug and carried on. No counselling no nothing to heal the damage caused. I realise i compartmentalised this over the years. Luckily it was only one time but once is enough to cause psychological problems. I do think this lack of sense of security has greatly impacted me in having this unfound fear of abandonment and clinging to certain people in life. Its maladaptive and based on inner lies. Im fully able to do it alone but have never had that foundation to feel confident in doing so. Overcoming fears are facing them tho and theres no other answer except that…face them!
    Observing my parents marriage and the games involved in infidelity set me up from the get go to never trust a man. I had insecurity all the time and still do in large part. Ive lost my belief in one man one woman or being monogomous. Ive seen too much and realise how rare it is to have two people fully faithful and to grow and stay together. Maybe it is possible but the fairytale version no. Life has too many bumps along the way and people can be weak and at fault.
    Im trying to rely more on my faith as an answer and its been working and leading me in new directions.

    As far as my partner see part two 🤣

  8. My potential never blossoming into achievements. Being denied my natural talents and pleasures. Being raised as second to everyone else, always being on my best behavior and never embarrassing my parents, meant I was always a fake, a smiley face always subservient and bowing to others, and not rising to my best because of their narcissistic jealousies.

    I was writing fiction when I was in grade school, for fun, I had my own magazine, Imagination World, I loved playing soccer in middle school and wanted to try out for the team. I discovered Dickens, Fitzgerald, Van Gogh, Katharine Hepburn, Nureyev and ballet all on my own, and was Joni Mitchell’s number one fan when all the other kids were listening to Steve Miller Band. I’ve always hidden- because what I was wasn’t popular. Not that it wasn’t acceptable but because I was raised to hide- to not be the best, to be a smiling, subservient, nobody.

    I would’ve been great, fulfilled, accomplished, happy, I would’ve been able to be myself, love myself, give myself to others. As it was, I always hid, couldn’t give anyone me because I was only a potential person, a prisoner to a narcissistic perspective, there for fuel, like a pet, a servant, not real.

    Narcissism is a crime against me, humanity, and all the young little empaths growing up today under a narcissist’s thumb.

    I’m free of it, and now it’s on me to heal from it and learn new ways to finally be me, in the pure sunshine and light of day. I’ll never hide again or worry what anyone else thinks, or carry their burdens ever again. To everyone in the world, narc’s and everyone else who’s jealous or competitive over me, all I’ve got to say is, Frankly my dears, I don’t give a damn!

    1. “I would’ve been great, fulfilled, accomplished, happy, I would’ve been able to be myself, love myself, give myself to others.” – Kel

      Something tells me that you are exactly that, Kel, at least now. From reading your other posts… these descriptions (describing what could have been) describe exactly what I see, right here, right now… and they offer a hint at what’s yet to come. ☺

      So glad that you were able to pull yourself up from that despair and own the woman you are today. 💪 I feel your power Kel, and I like it!

      1. BurntKrispyKeen,

        You have knocked me for a loop, and I’m so grateful to you for your kind words and encouragement. I feel empowered! Thank you.

  9. Mine was my best friend and the only family I had left in this world I lost his family have his mom to turn to anymore for female questions my dog all my jewelry money beyond belief aggravation my nerves & I have a heart condition. all the years he’s lived here last year was the first time I ever even thought about the fact that he was narcissistic and never caught on I never realized it cuz he wasn’t pushing the issue with me until he met this girl knew you wanted that love triangle dumbass why didn’t you pick the two girls that are in love with you and not the person that could have been your sanctuary you freaking idiot should have thought that way in a little bit clearer through now he’s living with the other chick down the street driving me completely out of my mind I’m so sick of being told I’m jealous I’m sick of looking at his evil face in the nasty things that he thinks and says to me I can’t even stand but I’m slowly just let him hang himself New year’s day he started a fight he said something very ugly about one of my relatives that have passed my sister I slapped him in his face talk about my people that way ever again that we will go down in the dirt together cuz I’m done for some I’ve ever had him hit me he beat me up in the please shut up you did beat me up at enough because I’m pretty strong and I don’t take no s*** but he took off and then when he came back he cried and cried and cried and cried you can believe what he damage done to my house and to me so slowly waiting for him just to hang himself and watch him disappear not going to try to force him now not going to go through all that b******* again just get out it’s going to happen it’s going to be so slow.this condition is very sad and I feel bad for everybody in anybody’s ever had it or had to deal with it he could be such a good man if you wasn’t being a prick narcissisticthis but that’s just my opinion have a good night everybody I’m going to bed

    1. Hello, Nikki Barelli, I am sorry that you are having to go through this. Yep, isn’t it amazing all of the ways they can be pricks?! Distance yourself as much as you can. It sounds as though he is doing whatever he can to get a reaction. Seems he is trying so very hard to make you jealous… to get a rise… to drink up your fuel. Giving him NO attention would be a perfect solution. He wont like it, but you will. 😉 Is relocating/moving an option for you?

      1. No I own my house. I’ll just have to ignore him until he moves all his stuff out. I’m very sad to lose my friend but oh well, he replaced me with a cheaper model he’ll have to suck it up. Lol sadly our lives are so intertwined this will be a nightmare. Just a small hurtle and poof he should be gone.

  10. Cost me my sanity, my trust, my looks (though not according to him), my sense of self, my security and safety. Also cost me some friends, at least temporarily. But now I am back to being me, I am happy, and I even look better than I did three years ago. I have ‘it’ again but I am much more cautious.

    I occasionally run through all my blog posts here so I can remind myself what it was like because I am afraid that I will get complacent and forgetful, and in a moment of weakness, contact him.

    Thank you, HG, for letting me (us – I am sure there are others) keep a record of reminders on this site. And thank you for helping me to make sense of it all and get my old self back.

    1. Funny you say that how different I look in pictures at the onset of each of my Narc relationships and how I looked by the end to me is a marked difference. I’ll get my mojo back it just takes time and I a function of length of exposure to the toxicity

      1. Yup, Lori, it just takes time. The stress takes a physical toll on the body and it shows in the face. You’ll get your mojo back and your looks (if you are worried about that).

  11. My self-esteem: Pretty self-explanatory; I question myself more than I ever have before in the past and sometimes feel I am not good enough, in many different things..

    My trust in people: I am less trusting of others now..

    My happiness: I was in one of the best spots in my entire life right before I got entangled with my daughter’s father and became pregnant in 2015.. I literally deemed him a blessing on top of the many blessings I was currently experiencing in that phase of my life.. I was so happy.. But when he shelved me shortly after I got pregnant back then, life since has never really been the same..

    The desire to date/have romantic relationships: This one is VERY relevant now.. After I have my baby, I refuse to get involved with anybody.. I mean, I refuse to do that now because I am pregnant and some wouldn’t believe there are men who are offering to be here for me now during this time.. But I just rather not go there and open up emotionally to anybody..

    Money: Thousands of dollars given, hundreds of dollars stolen.. Serious credit card debt to cater to my narc..

    My sense of security and safety: I definitely felt this in 2017 when I traveled to NYC with him by rental car, but had to come back to our home state of SC by train and by myself because he abandoned me in the city..

    My sense of self: I felt this one heavily.. We became so enmeshed and for so long, we literally were saying the exact same things, in sync, at the exact same time, even after the golden period.. We liked all of the same things.. We thought alike and expressed those thoughts in basically the same manner.. I really forgot who I was until I started therapy and worked on getting to know myself again and rebuilding myself..

    My sanity: Needless to say more.. Lol

    Friendships: My narc and I had mutual friends in high school and I knew some of those friends even before he knew them.. They are all converted to his side now.. And of course, I exhausted all of my own friendships by telling them the same thing: (“I am done this time.. He has crossed the line, etc.”), but still ended up taking him back.. My friends just choose not to communicate with me anymore because they don’t want to hear it.. I don’t blame them sometimes..

    My family: Similar scenario as listed above, except with some family members.. They are tired of hearing about the latest thing he did to me and me telling them I am never going to forgive him this time.. They are also tired of giving advice, but me not taking it.. My own mother is saying I caused this situation I am in now by being with him and not protecting myself.. It hurts to not have her support, but I have to learn to live without it.. It’s been this way for about a year and a half now..

    My job: Due to emotional duress last year because of him and his antics, I actually quit a job.. I just couldn’t take it one day and made an impulsive, foolish decision.. I paid for it throughout last summer and fall, but now I have a good paying job again and I am working to get back on my feet..

    My home: After he left me in NYC in 2017, I was so distraught by that event and the fact he kept parading his new relationship all over social media, I just decided to move from the apartment I had been living in for 4 years and not let him know where I was moving to next.. I literally moved across town, about 12 miles away, but made it seem like I left town.. I was able to stay lowkey for about 4 months before he found me again..

    1. Oh gosh, Bekah B. That is all pretty devastating and an epic struggle, but it sounds like you are finding yourself again. We are here to help you too. I wish you the very best!

      1. Thank you so much for that, SMH.. It was difficult, has been difficult, and will probably continue to be difficult for a long time, but one day, I will get where I need to be, as it concerns him, where he no longer affects my emotions; and I can live in freedom to do whatever I want to do, standing 100% totally assured in myself and my own two shoes that I am doing the right thing, the first time.. 🙂

  12. It cost me, ME! I don’t think I will ever be able to know who the real me was. She was lost many years ago. But I found HG and everyone on the blog and that is something I feel very blessed to have in my life. 😘💞

  13. HG,

    Initially when I left the narc, I was overcome with just being done, finally, and felt very excited to have the life that was put on hold for the narc.
    After a time, I started to see narcissism in everyone and it has been hard for me to trust most people, except family, which may be good in the long run.
    I am a lucky one.

  14. i WOULD Like to add options to this poll: a) your reputation; b) your time
    Narcs have cost my reputation. The smear campaign sucks. Narcs also made me waste time I could have spend on good people.

    I think it can also help to realize what we gained by interactions with narcs. You learn about another type of human being and suddenly you get them and stop feeling bad or scared about the smear campaign, about being an intimiate parter secondary source. it all makes sense…and yawn..borning… You can win and live a wonderful productive positive life.

    1. Amanda Snapchat5,

      Yes, I had added Time should have been one of the choices, and as soon as I submitted it, I thought about Reputation.

      Through their smearing, forcing you to break promises to other people, to their actions changing you from a strong competent independent caring person to a scared paranoid shadow of your former self.

      Yes, these 2 were very important to me, and they are not even on the list.

      I’m very surprised he left these off, as he reads everything before allowing it to post, but if he took everything we have complained about. I suppose the list would be never ending.

    2. Wasted time, yes. My pet peeve with MRN. Stop wasting my time! I want to decide how to waste my time myself, not have you decide for me.

  15. Things I have gained:
    -A better understanding of the world
    -More empathy for people’s suffering (as if that were possible)
    -An understanding of my family dynamics and how it was never about me or anything I had done as a child
    -The awareness of my own narcissistic traits and how to adjust them appropriately in order to protect myself without hurting others
    -Strength
    -Fierce independence
    -A Deep Appreciation for the all the amazing people in my life
    -Incentive to love myself more than ever

  16. The patrinarc cost me everything related to childhood, normal growth, development and created profound amnesia of my childhood. The soon to be x narc initially cost me self-esteem and everything on the list but my job. I have most of it back now. However he gave me the ability to be weaponized against him and all of his sort and to wesponize my son as well.

  17. Hmmmm…. let’s see what has narcissism costs me, my sanity, my security, my soul, my reality, my confidence, my friends, three of my jobs, my dog and cat, my views on life and people, I still suffer from ptsd and anxiety I have finally got out of depression that almost killed me.. that’s about all I can think of at the moment..

    What has it helped me… gain self awareness, self love, was the only reason I was able to get out of my own denial, able to face my own demons ( if I made it out of the sadistic torment from him, I knew I could do anything)

    Has helped me be ready for the most extreme growth I have ever felt in my life, I have actually have set goals for my future, regaining my confidence daily, know exactly what I will never allow in my life again, taught myself that I can’t “fix” anyone, has made me realize attraction doesnt mean nearly what I have let it mean, so for as much horrific pain I went threw I made it and nothing will stop me to better myself and really take care and cherish who I really am and who I am becoming the strongest mother fucker ever!

      1. He did threw abuse, he not only is a narcissist he is a psychopath, the first job I lost was do to the “episode “ he had the night before that was actually the first time that the mask slipped, I think mind was in total shock and disbelief as to what happened, with the finger print marks left in my neck, so sore I could barely stand up do to my chest pain (to this day I still have blocked out most of that night) physically I couldn’t function or mentally a well.. I met with my manager and showed her my state in her face was struck with horror and she begged me to go to the police, yet he had already pulled me in and because of my fucked up head I blamed myself partly ( the reason was because I started the fight by words) sickening isn’t it?

        The other ones I lost were because his jealousy, I just couldn’t take it so to me it wasn’t worth keeping the job because of all the ranting about it, then the last job he would stalk me, that’s when his delusions got out of control, I was leaving work and all of a sudden I saw this car coming up behind me and realized it was him, I was puzzled because he was supposed to be out of town well he looked angry so we got home and he was so freaked out because he had sat in the parking lot and watched the guys smoke out im back, ( I think he wanted so desperately to “catch” me hanging out on a smoke break with my coworkers) I didn’t even smoke…
        I had finally had enough so I told my manager/owner he barred him then of course I went back because I couldn’t break that addiction/trauma bond…
        one night he was having another breakdown before I went to work, and he wouldn’t let me out to leave so instead of telling my job the truth I just never went back mostly because of my shame in staying with him, of course NO ONE understood and that just made me more isolated exactly what he wanted, so as you can see it was the control he had over me that made me lose those jobs, as I look back now and realize those jobs were nothing compared to the worst thing he made me lose…. myself

  18. Narcissism cost me nothing. At least not permanently. During the relationship there were financial and emotional costs but I was pretty lucky. The narc wasn’t too great at the Golden State so I never fell too deeply for him, and even though we lived together and had plans to marry, I was the one to leave because he wasn’t good enough for me. No he makes for nothing more than an interesting case study.

  19. Money to buy your books.
    Tears.
    And time. Hours and hours to read and think and write.
    I feel stronger now – more aware. More courageous.

  20. My health, my looks (aged quickly) my joy & enthusiasm, my peace, my patience, my tranquillity, my future, material things, pets, positivity, my strength, my braveness, my hope in many areas, sometimes fairh and spirituality,,opportunities and my time. Time I can never get back.. so many years gone and days wasted, my life as I know it .. I am still trying to escape.. Soon to be my home and much goes with that.. unless I get some lucky break or miracle it will be my soul & spirit too. What have I gained? Ive learned much about myself and maybe healed bits. I know too how much I am loved by others. I know who cares and who doesn’t. Ive learned many coping mechanisms and discovered other paths and knowledge with that.. I’ve learned to be grateful & content with so little and count my blessings.

  21. Quite honestly I have not lost any of these things except maybe some money because they all came back in spades once I understood what happened to me and begin to apply narcissistic logic to understand situations – I was able to fully recover my sense of self in fact an even deeper sense of being grounded in my true self, I was able to even though initially losing touch with my intuition was able to recover very good communication with my intuition learn to trust it and in fact it is now an invaluable tool
    While my narcissists damaged my sense of self worth and self esteem initially I have made more than a full recovery in fact my sense of self worth. Stam is even higher so really I would say the narcissistic experience helped me grow and improve as a person quite honestly in fact and I’m much more intelligent when it comes to understanding people and society and relationships now than I ever have been before .
    I was one of the lucky ones in that I did not lose any of my physical safety or security to the narcissist and maintained my own separate life and relationships so that my whole life did not become on grounded because of my narcs

    So I checked a few of the boxes because some of these things were definitely majorly affected for a period of time

  22. Being more in tune with spirituality I just believe less and less about the whole new age spirituality hype nothing makes sense years later, and karma hasn’t been that “fair” lessons for sure ,drive to save everyone save the world , peace of Mind , trust (romantic relationship ) . To see innocence . One house . Feel the need to speak my
    Mind …I guess so much more . But life goes on what ever happened in the past is just a memory like the good memories . We’ll always experience both for each smile is one tear the cycle will repeat .

  23. I chose family; I lost my twin to narcissism.

    My MMRN devoured my heart and eviscerated my soul but I replaced them so it is all good.

  24. Good poll HG! My relation with my many narcs have pushed me to go to the rock bottom of my trauma.
    They pushed all my red buttons and triggered me to the point that I did not recognize myself.
    This has pushed me to find myself again and heal my trauma.
    So in a way, they have been triggered to a better version of me. But when you go to the cliff of insanity and you almost fall off for good – your self esteem gets so bruised.
    I have now a better sense of self.
    I have a better sense of what losing «  it » means really as well.

  25. In the short term he cost me my self esteem and confidence. In the long term he inadvertently gave me the best gift anyone could have ever given me. Understanding and acceptance of myself as well as that of my family, ‘friend’ and work colleagues and how I can best manage them. A contentment which I could never have achieved without him trying to strip me of everything.

    Five years on and I genuinely couldn’t be more grateful.

  26. Initially it cost me a husband and a son who wouldn’t talk to me. My self-esteem, too, as I did not know what had ensnared me. Then I found HG and this site. A couple of years and numerous phone and email consultations with HG and I am better. He identified my particular brand of narc and gave me the closure I needed. I still need the safe haven of being here and reading the articles to continue to heal, but I now have my family back and am fortified with knowledge. THANK YOU HG!!!

    1. Geyser Thank you for sharing this. It truly is a safe haven here on the blog. Safe, is what I feel here with all of you! I wish you peace in the healing you still have to do.🥰

  27. Everything but my libido and my sanity. My ex narc was a terrible lover our entire marriage. He thought he was amazing in bed but he wasn’t. My libido is still very much intact. I got out before my sanity went out the window. But that man took everything else and 5 years later I’m picking up every piece, one by one, and putting them back.

  28. I was only able to check money but I think most of all I have lost time that I will never get back. Time costs more than money. The time that I spent hoping that the other person will realize that we can have a good relationship as a family. I could have done more productive things in my life in that time period spent on them.

      1. NA, do you have something against me? If you do, just leave me alone. I’m not interested in trying to make you like me. And I’m not interested in butting heads with someone that I don’t even know over the internet.

        1. Mommypino, I had/have the same problem with NA. I am not sure if it is deliberate on her part – maybe we just misunderstand because the tone can be muddled. I steer clear of NA now but I do wish she would stop referring to skin lampshades. It might not trigger her but it might trigger other people and it seems totally gratuitous – unelated to any real advice or lesson.

        2. MommyP
          Huh? Where did that come from? I thought you understood the joke about cannabalism and had a good sense of humour. My mistake and I apologize.

          1. Misunderstandings do occur on the blog for various reasons. For instance there was a comment that appeared to be passive agressive provocation directed at me by someone who previously requested no further interaction with me and expressed disdain for such behaviour, so they directed it through a third party to get their point across. I have decided it was likely caused by an emotionally fueled moment and to view it as a misunderstanding.

          2. No, I wanted to make a comment about the skin lampshades so I took the opportunity to respond to Mommypino. No emotion at all. I don’t do passive aggressive, though maybe you were not passively aggressively directing that towards me.

          3. Except that you didn’t lead with lamps. You lead with having a problem with me, using it as a platform to get your view of me across while expressing empathy for MommyP. That could be viewed as giving force to the fact that malice was intended when it was not, and making the situation between her and I worse. You could have simply stated: “I agree with you Mommy P. I did not appreciate the lamp reference”, but you did not. You previously expressed that you did not want to interact with me because you perceive I have some ulterior motive in hurting others (I don’t but that is your view) and I have honoured that, but then you choose the opportunity to swoop in on this comment (when I make many daily that you have ignored) to cast doubt on what I did or did not mean. We are not all stupid and blind – that’s quite transparent. Do you think you have not made comments that I could have responded to You do not have to use a misunderstanding to make it worse and recruit others to your way of thinking. That appears to have ulterior and malice intended, and is what you accuse me of.

        1. Mommypino, No problem. I know exactly what you mean. The bit that you quoted confirms it: “I thought you understood the joke about cannabalism and had a good sense of humour. My mistake and I apologize.”

          It is a manipulative backhanded insult. Rather than apologizing or thinking she made a mistake, NA is actually insulting you. I know you see this clearly.

          My advice is to ignore her.

          1. I do not regard NA as being insulting. I see that Mommypino and NA addressed the matter sensibly.

          2. SMH

            I appreciate your help. Thank you so much for having my back. But there’s information that you’re unaware of and Injust remembered it. In most cases you would be right but I think in this case we may really have misunderstood NA.

            I remember that wrote a comment to a matrinarc article about how I like that humor is injected so that it helps us detach our emotions from our experience. I know that NA has read what I wrote because she Liked it. It probably gave her an impression that humor helps me so that is why she posted that response in my answer because we were laughing about it in the other thread and she thought that she can help me by adding levity to my answer. I thought that she was making a joke to ridicule my answer because I was buffled by the unrelated response to a topic that was serious to me and then I compared her responses to other answers and I felt singled out. Being singled out is another trigger for me from my narcish stepdaughters’ treatment of me. So I started being suspicious. I should have also checked Trust in the poll because clearly I have trust issues as well. Her response that I quoted, does appear backhanded but she has clarified that she misspoke. And even if it was really backhanded, I didn’t really give her that much choice with the manner that I raised it to her attention. My emotional manmer of questioning her backed her into a corner and forced her to respond in a defensive manner. I remember many instances when I responded that way in similar situations so I can’t really cast a stone.

            I really hate admitting that I’m wrong so I only do it when I really believe that I am. So it takes a little while because I think about it. And the more that I think about it I think that I did make a mistake in reading the situation and being too quick to anger. And I just want to let you know of these informatiib that you were not aware of and I just remembered.

            And NA, I’m sorry for jumping the gun. I hope that it didn’t cause you too much distress.

            And K, I apologize for my upset response to you. I have to be honest, ‘it was just a joke’ is a trigger phrase for me. My MRE used that so much that it now has the same effect on me like when Bruce Banner gets triggered and turns into a furious green monster.

            I hope that this clarifies everything and closes this issue for good. 💕

          3. mommypino
            No worries. I understand emotional thinking and I have turned into the Hulk on a number of occasions, too.

          4. MommyP
            No backhand.
            No distress.
            I understand.
            It’s a new day.

            Slate clean for all on my end and matter closed.
            NA

          5. lol mommypino, we all really hate admitting when we’re wrong. You’re not alone in that. I can barely remember what happened now as my head has been elsewhere for a few days (slammed with work). I shouldn’t have gotten involved but I truly did not want to see more references to skin lampshades, so I was half wrong and half right.

          6. You’re awesome SMH. And I really mean it. ❤️. All of us in this thread are half right and half wrong. 😊

          7. I just remembered to put a qualifier – except for HG. HG is always right, at least in his perspective. 😊

      2. MP, I have been reading along and for what it’s worth I could see all of your reactions and the reasons and very much that it was associated with your past narcissist. I’m sure I’m not the only one since we’ve all been through it. You should know that you are in the right place.
        I agree with what you say here about NA, I did like her comments here, not at all because of any side-taking, which I try very hard in life not to give the illusion of (as you say, it’s one of my “triggers”) even in my reactions to things. It is because I’ve seen NA over time like many people and she very obviously emphatically goes out of her way to support people and I can also tell sometimes she feels pain responses to things of course. I feel that she has been a blessing for me on this blog when I’ve needed it. It is always evident she makes small gestures of comfort that are sometimes only seen by the person they are meant for. She is very thoughtful. In this case I agree with WC, she was actually trying to bring you into a fold of comfort with her running joke out of enjoyment of you and support, though that doesn’t mean you can’t feel differently about it. You have every right to express yourself, even if it’s a negative expression and also with your explanation, apologies etc… I hope you feel comfortable to do so. I have had to address a couple of comments I’ve made on here that were based on false assumptions myself and a few weeks ago I had an IRL disagreement with a friend that we had to work out and gratefully we have and are probably closer.
        Anyway, I just wanted to express my opinion and support for both of you.

      3. Thank you NB. And to WhoCares too, I forgot to thank her.

        The whole thing was a trigger for me. The cannibalism joke was funny to me on the other thread because I brought it up. I have misread NA’s intention in bringing up the joke here also because both my MRE sister and narcish SD have picks on my heritage along similar lines. My MRE sister insisted to me that Filipinos eat bats and I have told her that in my whole life of living there I have never seen anyone eat bats but she insisted like she knows better than me. I googled it and it said that a different Asian country ideas eat bats and showed it to her but she insisted that she had Filipino friends who ate bats. My SD insisted to me and my Filipino friend that we eat monkey brains. Totally untrue but there was nothing that could convince her. I became suspicious and I tried to ask her but my question was loaded with negative suspicions already.

        Well like NA said, it is a brand new day. I wish you all Happy Valentines. It’s a busy week for me with making crafts, cards, and valentines mailbox for the little ones. 😊

      4. Love to you, mp. I enjoy you very much.
        Your feelings make a lot of sense so you should feel comfortable with that.
        Xo

    1. I forgot about my matrinarc. I think my matrinarc has cost me more than anything. Happy childhood, opportunities, experiences that most kids with normal families get to experience and opportunities to bond with childhood friends. She has caused me a job too as I was fired on my first job because she got in a fight with my boss. She has caused me to lose relationships with my favorite uncle and my cousins when she was blacklisted in her family. She has caused financial difficulties when she caused my dad to lose his job. She has caused me to get poor grades on my final year in college because of all of the chaos that she has created that I was too busy to fix for her instead of studying. She has caused me to have so much shame, guilt, unhealthy attachment style, poor boundaries, etc. But honestly, it doesn’t bother me presently because I’m too busy and preoccupied with my present life and family. It does make me sad when I look back but there was nothing that I can do about it then or now. It was interesting to learn so much and fully understand what I went through with this blog. I am grateful to HG for that. And grateful to all of the commenters who has helped me figure out my issues here in this blog.

    2. “I thought you understood the joke about cannabalism and had a good sense of humour. My mistake and I apologize.”

      NA,

      You apologize that you mistakenly thought that I had a good sense of humor. There’s no need to apologize for what you think is my inadequacy. I don’t need that kind of apology. As a fellow victim of narcissistic abuse, you know very well how apologies like that are meaningless and just adds insult to injury.

      K,

      You may as well just tell me to calm down. You know how much I appreciate you and I am grateful all the time for all of the help and the friendship that you have given to me in this blog and it doesn’t change. I know that NA was joking. But it doesn’t mean that there was no malice behind the joke. When I wrote my response to her it was not a knee jerk response, I have thought about it before posting it because I’m tired of passive aggressiveness around me and I am just not going to put up with that anymore, which is why I asked her. Is it wrong to ask her? Am I not allowed to ask her? Am I just always supposed to give people that hurt my feelings the benefit of the doubt, just shake it off and tell myself that I need to toughen my skin, it’s all ME. I’m the one who needs to change.

      The reason why it was hurtful to me was because I was sharing something on this thread that was personal. And quite frankly I never enjoy revisiting the memories of my abuse. It messes me up inside. And that is probably why I totally forgot about my matrinarc when I was writing about my first response. I was just thinking about my half sister and stepdaughters so I said money and time. Then as the day went on I have thought about the question and remembered my matrinarc and remembered all of the painful things that I went through. I was abused for the first 26 years of my life. It has been almost 11 years since I left my mom in that country, and in that 11 years of my life here with minimal interactions with my matrinarc, I try to bury all of those memories and live forward. Is it so bad that I forgot to write about my matrinarc in my first response? What did I do that warranted a ridicule by NA for my response about the abuse that I went through? Before I wrote that response to NA, I looked at her responses to everybody else’s answer and she was so thoughtful, respectful, helpful and empathic to all of them. Except for my answer. Was my answer that stupid that it was singled out to be ridiculed? When you informed me that it was a joke, what are you implying? Are you telling me that I am overreacting and I am not entitled to my feelings after my answer about my loss and abuse was ridiculed in a form of a joke?

      I saw yesterday foolme1time telling somebody that this blog is a ‘safe haven’. It’s not a safe haven if you can’t share the things that are so painful and shameful to you that you choose to bury them as deep as you can without fear of being made fun or, being invalidated, or being diminished.

      The cannibalism joke was from a different thread. I understand, a lot of people might think that I was weird with that idea that I brought up. NA and WhoCares made a joke about it. I made a joke with them about it as a response. Only WhoCares responses, NA ignores my joking back. And then she chose to bring it up here in my comment about what narcissism has cost me. Totally unrelated and can be perceived as bullying actually. Now, in fairness to myself, I did not jump into conclusions despite how it made me feel and despite what my intuition was telling me. That is why I asked her. Now if it is offensive to all of you that anybody would have the audacity to question NA, then bless your hearts.

      If you can’t understand why NA’s response to me was upsetting, there’s nothing that I can do. I have explained it with the best of my abilities.

      1. MommyP
        I wasn’t aplogizing for thinking you had a sense of humour. I meant that I thought you understood the cannabalism joke and had a good sense of humour about IT (the joke). My wording should have been more precise. You put a laughing with tears emoji which was what lead me to believe that. I was apologizing for making the joke period. There was no intent to add insult or injury. There was zero malice intended. Sometimes the subjects are dark and painful and they can get very heavy. I have occasionally tried to add some levity in those times because humour can break that weight. Some people tell me they appreciate it and you are telling me that you do not. I understand. You can’t always accurately gauge someones sensitivity or mood and it falls flat. Should humour not be attempted or injected at all here then? Because humour is almost always at the expense of something or someone. You pointed out that I have made thoughtful and empathic responses to others and that is very true. I would say they outnumber anything that could be interpreted otherwise. On another thread you apologized for being so passionate about your political views and I responded to you that no apology was necessary. Was that offensive to you? No. Because I have nothing against you or anyone else here and I felt for you in being embarassed when there was no need to be. I could have understood in this case if your response was : NA I did not appreciate that or that my timing sucked in making a joke, but I was completely unprepared for you to insinuate that I had something against you or it was calculated malice. It was not, and it seems a huge leap from one comment to me, but that does not remove the fact that you felt it all the same. I will not interact with you further to avoid this type of outcome. You asked K if you think you should be the one that has to change. The answer is no. I didn’t think anyone should have to change. Apparently I was wrong.

        I summary:
        There was no malice intended and it was not calculated.
        I have nothing against you.
        I apologize sincerely for hurting your feelings and for making the comment.

        NA

      2. mommypino
        I have been on narcsite for quite a while and I have never seen NA behave passive aggressively or with malice and she has never bullied anyone here, ever. Communication on a blog/email can be difficult because messages can get lost in translation because it isn’t face-to-face and a lot of the context is missing and there is a time difference that should be considered, also.

        It wasn’t ridicule; it was a joke and she didn’t single you out and her intent wasn’t to hurt your feelings, on the contrary, it was to bring humor into the situation.

        When ET is running high, it is easy to personalize things and interpret them negatively and overreact. Try removing the emotion and looking at it more objectively.

      3. NA and K,

        I would like to end this discussion now. I am saddened to see the direction that my answer to the poll went. If you read it, I just simply answered the poll and then I got a joke about cannibalism and now this whole thing is about arguing that is totally unrelated to my experience from the narcissists. It just feels that I shared didn’t matter. Only Amanda snapchat gave a response that validated that my answer made sense.

        I appreciate your sincere apology NA and your explanation. Thank you. I hope that SMH’s attempt to make me feel better will not cause a conflict between you and her. It was really helpful to me when she voiced out that she understood me. Especially since you are very popular here on this blog as you can tell with the Likes that you and K got in our exchange. It’s obvious that whatever I say will not matter because people have perceptions and like what HG has said, we all have different truths based on our perspectives. Those people are going to support you and K no matter what. And it doesn’t mean that I was crazy for feeling what I felt. As I have explained, you did not respond to me joking back to you with an emoji of laughing with tears in that other thread, and then instead, you brought it up here in my comment that has nothing to do with that topic. It made me feel that you were not interested in joking with me, you were just interested in making a joke about me which has hurt my feelings because I was sharing something difficult and personal that I really went through. I understand that it was not done maliciously, thank you for clarifying it, but it was insensitive. My mistake was the way that I brought it to your attention. That part was driven by E.T., the manner of delivery, but me being offended by an unrelated joke about cannibalism to my answer about what narcissism has cost me is NOT E.T. And just like I said, the direction that this thread on my answer has gone is making me feel sad. I wish that I just didn’t answer the poll. It’s not worth all of this.

        Thank you for your responses.

        1. It strikes me that you are resolving the misunderstanding that can occur through the written medium in a sensible and constructive manner.
          Bloody empaths the lot of you!

    3. mommypino,

      Trust me; I spent 9 years with a mid-range victim narc. I know the seriousness and depth of damage behind your comment regarding lost time and money due to being entangled.

      But I think that NarcAngel was trying to inject levity with a running joke that had appeared to be funny earlier (and it appeared to be both funny to you and others). There are many running jokes here. If you’re the subject of one it may well indicate that you’re very well thought of or have meaningful contributions that others appreciate. And because we like to have fun at times…hopefully not at someone else’s expense but it is difficult because people are at different levels of recovery and emotional thinking – add to that the limitations of communicating on a blog platform – and problems due arise.

  29. Greetings HG. Nex destroyed the friendship with my BFF of over 30 years. It took 2 years to begin repairing it.
    He would pull tricks on me, like take me on vacation, with my daughter to our future faked vacation home, then kick us out! I’d scramble for flights home, car service etc. He insisted I retain an attorney to fight my LMR ex husband for repayment of child services because LRM was jealous we took her to Disney for her Bday…among other financial infractions LMR had made. There were occasional things that would come up that would cost me about $1,000 that were because he’d rage and ruin something.
    I tried dating a bit… on Match, went on a few dates, all I was doing was practicing my narc spotting skills. Between the “Stare” and amazingly liking everything I did, they all seemed to do this… I gave that up. I am open to meeting a partner, but I’m not searching for him. I’m living my life now the way I want to. On my terms. It will be a long slow process to get into my heart again. It will be worth his wait. And it’ll be too long for a narc to wait it out. And there will be none of that “I always loved you” BS from long ago friendships. HG, you’ve taught me all too well.
    Libido? What libido?
    Following my discard of Nex I had horrific issues with trust. However, 20 months later and much education, trial and error, I have learned to trust myself. I trust myself to keep myself safe from you predators. I have built a terrific group of like minded survivors and I know I can bring any issue for review if necessary. I now walk around with the attitude that Narcs will no longer hurt me. I am narc repellant. And I have developed fantastic narc spotting skills. Learning to trust my gut instincts and actually listen to them and pay attention to them is paramount.
    I did loose my sense of self. Deeply. That’s back now. And that’s quite a healing journey. The Cptsd was ridiculous, and I still have symptoms. I found the only way to cure yourself of the pathological shame and loneliness is to deep dive into your core wounds. You must address your initial narcissist(s), for they groomed you for your future ones.
    To feel safe I filed a police report, installed surveillance cameras, carried pepper spray and an air horn. Always keeping my phone close with the Police Dept. in favs. I blocked him on every front. It took me about a year to feel secure enough to know that I can take care of myself and my daughter. Although he still does the occasional drive by and beeps the horn… Nut job… Again, trusting my instincts is paramount to my safety. Your body tells you when you’re in danger. Listen for it, feel for it. Take a breadth and ask yourself, how does this feel?

    HG, I will always credit you for saving my life. If I did not come across your materials, who knows… he may have killed me then as he was getting more and more violent and the rages were getting increasingly more intense. You helped me get back my belongings… For as much as I wish I never experienced that horrific manipulationship, and as painful as this metamorphosis has been, I’m a far more evolved person because of it. Thank you for all you do to weaponize us. I share, share, share your materials. Maybe you’d like to check us out on NarcKnowledge?

    Ever grateful,
    Peaceful.

    PS: Was it the Kistler Chard?

  30. Everything, my family, my sanity, my health
    I suffer from severe depression as a result. I cannot cope without sedatives now. I am like a junkie over family and their abuse.

    1. Eva
      If you care to share, how recently have you come to understand you are dealing with narcissism?

  31. It’s cost me my family of origin, extended family, son (narc) and step-son (triangulated), narcs flying monkey friends that used to call me “Mom,” friends I had for over 20 years… and I am in a 17 year marriage with a covert narc who’s said he’s getting counseling. Again. He did stop drinking, so that’s a plus. And it only took 17 years and a divorce to drive the point home. We’ll see how long it lasts…

    I wrote my childhood memoir about this abuse and unfortunately I’ve been immersed by it since childhood. I’m 51 now and oh, so damned tired. Some days, I feel like running away, never to be heard from again. I don’t want to take care of one more person but myself. I’ve even retired from nursing as a profession. This spectrum has all but ruined my life and taught me a lesson I never dreamed I was living. I used to be such a fighter… fight to keep this person in my life, fought to be heard, fight to help, fought to be loved… but, this has beat me down. I’m no longer fighting to keep those that do not want me. Discarded by my own parents, golden child brother, flying monkey extended family, no friends, and no contact with my own children. If I end up divorced from covert narc again, I will have precisely no other person but myself. And actually, the idea I’d that sounds freeing.

    And, I can’t write about an of this on my blog, because I get threatening emails from my son screaming about libel. Ugh! They say if a woman told the world the truth, it would fall apart. I have so much to say, it would shit itself first, then implode.

  32. One of the most difficult conversations I have ever had was telling my ex about something that happened to me when I was 28 years old. That was 32 years ago, by the way.

    I was home alone with my 9 month old son (8:00 am) when there was a knock at the door. Without giving it a second thought, I opened the door. The young man was wielding a knife, forced himself in and proceeded to rape and stab me while my child crawled around on the floor. Miraculously, my life and my child’s life were spared. One week before, the same young man had murdered a girl two blocks from me. He was caught, tried, and given the death penalty and was executed in 1997.

    My exes response… “You opened the door!”

    One of the things I am most struggling with now is the fact that I, once again, opened the door. I don’t know how to forgive myself.

    1. Mary Jones, what a horrific experience! My heart goes out to you. Life changing is what that was and to get through it you are you a very strong woman.

      There is nothing to forgive yourself for! You let Narc in, you allowed yourself to be vulnerable to someone you thought you could trust. What he did was more sinister than the man with the knife. At least his intentions were clear. Narc disguised his intentions as love and hid the knife where you couldn’t see it to use against you when you least expected it. I’m sorry you were hurt in this way, but you are not to blame. You were a victim in both instances. Prayed upon by those with ill intentions and no thought of your well-being. You are blameless. Hold your head up high. You are strong. You are a survivor. You are weaponized. You will see the red flags. You won’t let him in again.

      1. Thank you, MB. Yeah, I am damn good at beating myself up. Your words brought tears to my eyes. The kindness of strangers! Let’s go get a coffee!

        After I posted this, I thought that it wasn’t the appropriate place. Sorry, all.

        Being ravaged by a narcissist has been more difficult to heal from than that horrible experience. I am back to a state of FEAR, that I try to push through every day. Having someone profess their love for you, only to turn around and brutally emotionally abuse you (and threaten to kill you!) is soul crushing. It has been 10 months now. This week, I did the cardinal sin of “no contact” and Googled his name. He got married – to someone I know, no less! In a city of over a million people and he married someone I know? WTF? It took me a couple of days of feeling sick – and some sleepless nights, but now I just feel bad for her. TRULY bad for her! He is a proficient con artist.

        Thank you, HG. You, and your readers, have helped me immensely.

        1. Mary, your story spoke to me. Not because I have survived a brutal attack or because I’ve ever been raped, but because it was honest and real. I can only imagine how you’ve struggled to maintain some semblance of normalcy after such trauma.

          I’d love to get a coffee with you! This IS the appropriate place to share whatever you are comfortable sharing. It is a special place and I’m glad you have found your way here. You will get support and validation from those that know what you are experiencing and you will get a premium education from the authority on narcissism.

    2. Mary Jones
      Jesus, that was awful. I am sorry you went through that; you and your son are lucky to be alive! Your ex reminds me of a lesser.

      There is nothing to forgive because you didn’t do anything wrong; you were targeted and it wasn’t your fault.

    3. MJ
      That is so frightening. Thank god you’re here to tell the story although I wish it was not part of your history. Please be gentle on yourself. There is no way you’d have known what on the other side of either door. We *should* be able to go through life without expecting danger or malice to be lurking around every corner. You survived the first attack and will survive the narc too. You are strong!

    4. May God Bless You, Mary Jones… for what you experienced and for the strength you exhibited to survive. I cannot imagine the horror.

      We’ve ALL opened the door, Mary Jones. We should be able to do just that and NEVER have to experience what you endured. The world is full of ugly people, and bad things happen to good people everyday, with no fault to those who are targeted.

      The event you survived is absolutely horrendous. I am happy that you are here, alive and kicking, healed enough to share your story with us. Best wishes to you, Mary, as you continue to heal,

    5. Mary Jones, Horrific. Not on the level of yours but I told narc that my exH was physically abusive. He acted shocked as if that behavior was so far from anything he was capable of, but his behavior belied that first reaction. He wasn’t physically abusive himself but emotionally yes, very. So I opened the door too. Twice. Again, not on the level of your story but please do not blame yourself! You are a survivor and strong in so many ways.

  33. Some of the costs:

    My chilhood.
    Any sense of family.
    To have experienced the feeling of love rather than only duty or resonsibility.
    To know who I might have been or what I might have achieved given the opportunity to grow under different circumstances.
    The ability to use my time on Earth living fully instead of feeling a slave to addressing the needs of others.

    1. NarcAngel
      I like how you labeled your list “some of the costs”. Not some of the losses. That’s how I feel too, and probably most of us who had narc parents. I just try not to think about all the “what ifs” of how my life would have been if I’d had a loving mother, witnessed non-narc relationships and not been so isolated as a child.

      We can never know how things might have been and it’s depressing in a way to see happy, well-adjusted families and always be reminded of what we missed. I’m happy for them, but always sad for me.

  34. Personal autonomy in pretty much everything.
    Women around me it has cost their lives.
    Children of narcs it costs their freedom (both genders get sold, but especially females are disposed of….just property you know)

  35. Since I’m still with hubby, it’s hard to say what his narcissism will ultimately cost me, meaning I don’t know what would happen if I and when I leave. His cruel comments have cost aspects of my self-esteem. Spending every day on edge in fight or flight mode because of his repeated explosions… COULD have something to do with my heart palpitations and fibromyalgia. I’d still have things wrong with my joints, but my perception of pain could be worse because of the anxiety and tension. Hub’s lack of accountability has led me to feel that the problems we have are all mine or in my head has led me to feel toxic and suicidal at times. My sense of reality and what is up or down has been fucked with. I think, more so than my trust of others, his narc behaviors have damaged my trust of myself.

    As for the my online ex-narc, there were lots of “almosts.” He cost me tons of sleep and productivity at work. My boss did confront me one day that everyone had mentioned to him that I’m getting nothing done, and something has to change. I took heed, but it almost cost me my job. That was the first time I acknowledged he truly was an addiction and every bit as dangerous as a drug! Had I continued with him, met him again in person, or had sex with him, hub could have found out and felt deeply hurt and betrayed. It could have been used against me legally.

    Since I have no sex drive anymore, I’ll say the online narc AND marriage stole my libido. For a while, nothing but thoughts of him turned me on. Then, hub and I enjoyed a few months of unexpected, frequent sex, but out of the blue and in combination with hub saying really cruel things about our dog (our dog is my best friend and soulmate)…. Now I don’t want hub to ever touch me again.

    One positive to the online narc though is that in finally seeing him for what he really is (it took a long damn time), I’ve realized that my interpretations of so many things ARE accurate. So I have learned to trust myself after all! That helps me stand up to my husband now.

  36. He obliterated my already fragile self esteem making it virtually impossible to move on. I’m definitely getting there but it’s made it extremely hard.

  37. He tried to make me lose credit at my job, but I somehow managed to avoid this. He called 3-4 times every day, talked for hours about his problems, getting verrrry angry if I tried to stop the conversation or not answer the phone, then sent me pages and pages of emails demanding that I would read them and tell him what I thought (he is a lawyer, he should be the one giving advice…) Actually, I wonder how he does it now without my great advice :-). He also tried to separate me from my daughter, but I was sane enough to get rid of him before that happened (he was “sour” when I told him I wanted my stuff and my keys back, and said “she won”. This was the confirmation for me that he was in a competition with her in his mind) I did lose sleep, but got that back, I also lost some self-esteem as I accepted untolerable behavior and words (all for the sake of tranquility and to avoid fights), but I got that back when I quit him. I also lost a huge amount of energy as he kept me busy all the time (a simple example: errands should only come from one particular supermarket on the other side of the town, closing at 7pm as I leave my job at 6.30pm. His royalty never knew in advance what he wanted to eat, so I had to go every day… ) I am not too scared for my safety, as I don’t think he would hurt me on purpose, but I know he doesn’t wish me well and would probably help fate to harm me if it were possible… I spent some money on him, but when I saw it was not reciprocal, I started to behave more carefuly (he was angry with that too, because I would spend my money on me and he found in unfair that I would not spend more on him) Actually, he was angry with anything that I would do for myself… But, I must also say that I gained some things: I learned to appreciate peace and calmness, and I am so happy when I can spend a week-end alone in my house doing just exactly what I want, when I want, how I want and alone or with someone if I want… I reclaimed my self-esteem as it was hard to quit him, but I did and I am so very proud of that. I also received humanity, as I am not judgmental anymore. I know people (good, witty, happy, intelligent, likeable people) can fall and fail, and repeat their errors lots of times… Actually I think I am a better person now… and I thank myself every day for chosing myself above him…

  38. Most difficult long-term cost: Absence of synchronicity regarding attracting a partner and deeper relationships with anyone: I no longer find myself meeting romantic interests, very different to ‘before’ (formal narcissistic relationship ended 5 years ago). I barely ever lost a friend, now people have exited my life for various reasons and whilst I have many superficial friends and acquaintances, I do not seem to attract more meaningful friendships any more.

  39. There have been many narcissists. My “family ” made sure I was surrounded by them. I’m a questioner, I question everything, always have. So by keeping me surrounded, isolated, it gave to appearance that this is just how the world works. I had always hoped that was not the case, but the evidence showed that it was true, for me. Somehow was born broken, damaged, with a deficit. I had to try harder, suffer more, endure- just to be treated with common human courtesy. HG’s mother pushed him to succeed, mine punished success. I must fail so she could save me. Nothing big, nothing shameful or that would cast a poor light on her, just small failures, like my hopes and dreams. After all, she and God are working together for my benefit. If I would just submit, bow, give up my will, then they could lead me and all would be as it should be. If I would just trust them, believe, have faith.

    So what has loving my monster cost me? Everything. Hopes gone, dreams gone, faith gone. Belief in God, country and family, gone. Belief in anything or anyone, gone. Trust in anyone, gone. So the days go by, blurring into each other and I do what I can. Never choosing wrong or right, just choosing the lesser of the evils because that’s what’s left. No win situations that can never be made right, just survived. No integrity, that’s not allowed. Integrity says you don’t abandon your family, but to survive you must. No parent has the right to do this to their child. And even in that, there is no justice, no punishment, no compensation, only a gaping bloody hole where my family used to be. See to the world, I’m the ass. I’m the shameful one who abandoned my mother in her time of illness and need. Never mind what she’s done to me. Never mind that she was trying to get me to commit suicide, because she wanted my husband. (She introduced him as her son, but forgot to tell them I even existed) Never mind that. I’m the problem, as I’ve always been.

    1. Idanoe
      Except that you’re not. Just because they believe that doesn’t make it true. Why go to the bother of separating yourself from her/them if you are still going to define yourself by their rules? Fuck them. You’re strong and fabulous and know the real truth. You should do you. She did.

      1. Thanks NA, I appreciate the advise. Even 2 plus years of no contact, I still stumble into people my mother knows and they’re more than happy to start the shame game again. If I could move across country I would. It just gets frustrating and wells up. Thanks again!

        1. Idanoe
          I understand it can be a bit tricky when it’s family. When people raise the subject with me of them not understanding my position, or about not having more interaction/compassion with my family, to avoid a scene, I simply state that they are not in possession of all the facts so cannot speak on the matter objectively and for those reasons the subject is closed to them. Then I change the subject or say goodbye. I hope you can find something similar that allows you to avoid those conversations and therefore removes you from feeling guilt from them.

          1. Wow! May I quote you? That’s so much better than what I say. Mine generally starts with, ” Oh fuck, here we go again!” Its always downhill from there! 😋

          2. Idanoe
            Haha. Be my guest. I can see that although you are perfectly entiltled to continue with your method, it can escalate things and is unlikely to end in a good result. Glad if that helps.

  40. My marriage to a Narc cost me my relationship with my oldest son (who has been brainwashed by him), $50k+ in attorneys fees just to be divorced, my ability to trust myself in my decisions, boundaries and general thinking. It stole my peace, my joy, my sense of worth and safety. And I needed therapy for C-PTSD. I now have trust issues with almost all other people in my life.
    The lying, cheating, stealing and blame shifting and gaslighting he brought down on this marriage and me are indescribably cruel. The legal system needs a major overhaul in dealing with marriage dissolution when there is narcissistic abuse present.

    1. It does indeed require a huge overhaul. I’m sorry about your diagnosis but given everything you have been through it’s understandable that you would be affected this way. I hope you are healing.

  41. I notice “marriage” or existing relationship was not listed as a choice for us dirty empaths (infidelity)….

    I’m lucky to have come out of this with just a few scrapes and scratches.

    Friendships: my best friend refused to understand that what I was going through was something deeper and more sinister than just a breakup or rejection. I sent her articles, simple narc checklists, etc. She blamed ME for playing games with him (she never even met him) and was completely unsympathetic to what I was going through. Would constantly throw in my face “he wouldn’t say all those things to you and not mean them. Your expectations of him are unrealistic.” It was worse than talking to a brick wall. I’ll never look at her the same again.

    Self esteem: huge hit here. I was never as beautiful as the women in ads or on TV/Hollywood. But I felt like I was “enough.” Since he did his 180 after our last date, I can’t help thinking that it was my appearance. Maybe he realized I’m not as beautiful as he made me out to be in his fantasies. Maybe those perfectly curated photos I had on social media were a poor representation of the real me, and he decided I was no longer worth chasing. And then I see the photos of the ex’s and I think to myself, if I’m not better looking than them, I really must be a dog 🙁 I hate to sound so vain but it’s so hard to go from listening to 24/7 compliments to feeling completely invisible.

    Happiness: still finding it difficult to just get happy again and put this experience behind me even though I have so much to really be grateful and happy about.

    Libido: so much of my interest was tied up in this affair. Without the fantasies of him, I have no desire whatsoever.

    1. Once again Joanne, we went through very similar things. When I told one friend in particular all the red flags, she said I was reading too much into it and I’m just not used to rejection. That was so frustrating since I’m the one that ended things with him twice and why would I make this stuff up? I’m a grown woman. I don’t need to make up creepy stories about men. And because she didn’t believe me it made me second guess my own perception of what happened. That’s dangerous because when we question ourselves it could make us go back to them.

      He also made me feel like I wasn’t attractive. One night we were out and I was feeling very pretty and excited to be with him and he told me I was a 4.5. My heart sank. I looked at him and he gave me that ice cold stare. Who even says something like that to your date? Of course my friends all said “he must have meant out of 5”. I know for a fact he said it to see how I would react. It’s super abusive and he just always wanted to have the upper hand. Not even an hour later, he told the waitress we were married. This was our 3rd date!!! So many mind games.

      Rebuilding my self esteem is my number one focus now. I was never the type of person to compare myself to other women because I believe we are all unique and beautiful in our own ways but he took that away from me.

      And like you, my only fantasies are still about him.

      Other things I lost:
      My sense of innocence
      The belief that there is good in everyone
      My ability to focus on my responsibilities

      1. TH
        I’m so sorry we have these things in common. It’s surely nothing I’d wish for anyone to go through. I can’t even imagine the 4.5 comment. I would also think that he meant “out of 5” but it was said in that specific way in order for you to feel insecure and inferior. So sick and demented. And on a third date! 😡

        I echo all the other things you’ve mentioned here in addition to the 3 extra things you call out. It’s very sad. Are you still engaged with this narc? (I’m sorry if you’ve mentioned it before.) I am still loosely connected to mine. We message over social media/pics etc. I still have this need for his attention and validation. It’s a dangerous game because everything I say must be concisely calculated or the conversation ends with him “winning” which leaves me feeling worse than no attention at all.

    2. Thank you for sharing. I experienced similar siutaiton with my best friend. She never believed me I was always at fault. It broke our friendship. We knew each other since middle school. Our friendship ruined by my first narc, a midranger. I thinkl it was for the best. I grew a lot when I left her. I recommend elaving friends who doubt you and don;t get it. Make new friends. Go to the gym. You are awesome. forget about this narc idiot.

      1. AS5
        I’m so sorry about your friend. I’m pretty surprised by how common this seems to be. And it’s just as painful as the narc heartbreak itself, to feel that the one person who should be in your corner doesn’t believe you. At one point she likened my narc “diagnosis” to the same as: “if you google symptoms for a headache, the number one result will be brain tumor.” Ok, no, that’s not the same thing. Glad she never had to experience it in order to truly understand but to actively dispute my claims is beyond hurtful. You are awesome too 😊I hope you are on to bigger and better!

      2. My apologies for the delay in responding to you Joanne and Amanda (and any others who have kindly shared their stories and support). I don’t always get the updates.

        I think he was so cruel on that date because he was getting frustrated with me. I was single for the first time in a decade and was not looking for anything serious. His constant texting and grooming was a red flag right from the jump and I would peace out for a few days but then I would miss him and text him back. It was very up and down. It’s crazy how fast he had me hooked. He even did that thing that HG wrote in an article about Kate I think it was. He would text every hour and once I replied he would wait another hour before his next reply. Who has time for this shit? I wonder if he studies this blog????
        I kept calling him out on his games and he would just kind of laugh it off.

        So when we went out on that 3rd date I think he brought out all the mind fucks just so he could stick it to me and have the upper hand. I still went home with him that night (I actually thought we were having a good time getting to know each other. We were still having fun in between the insults and it was easy for me to turn the insults back on him. I thought to myself, two can play this game) In the morning he shamed me for just wanting sex. It was never just for the sex. I can’t separate my feelings from anything especially sharing my body with someone. Wait til you hear about Date #4!!!!

        Now that I know all the signs of narcissism, he presented every single one in just a few short weeks. It’s like the universe was like she’s not getting it so we’ll just send her the hard & fast version! No golden period. Nothing. Just pure Narc. Narc Concentrate! You have been dating these losers your whole life. Wake the fuck up!

        No I haven’t had contact with him in 3 months. I called him out hard. I don’t know how I knew what to say to finally banish him since I had no idea what NPD was at that time but I hit where it hurt. Something deep inside of me knew.

        I feel awful that I probably wounded him so deeply. I hate that I added more pain to someone who is already suffering so much but I had to stand up for myself. It’s the exact opposite of what I wanted to do. There was nothing I wanted more than to show him that he Is deserving of love just like the rest of us but he needs to play the game. It breaks my heart to know he has to live this way. I sensed that he wished it could be different or maybe that’s just my projections.

        I don’t think it matters how long you’ve known them. He was a stranger to me 6 months ago but I don’t think I will ever forget him.

        PS…YES!!! Texting with them is the worst. I would seriously have to hand write out my responses sometimes to make sure I wasn’t too emotional before I sent them. It’s exhausting. I know what you mean when you’re always worried about saying the wrong thing. That’s why I love this site so much. All of our feelings are welcome. HG must be soaking up all our empathic goodness and residual benefits. A fair trade for all that he has given to us.

        Sometimes I would just go way over the top and text him with extra emotions and emojis to get under his skin. I knew it would make him sooooo uncomfortable. Like you give me nothing, I’ll give you EVERYTHING❤️😍😘🥰😍💋!!! I could literally feel him roll his eyes at me through the phone.

      3. It doubles the heartbreak when your friends don’t believe you. It’s just more gaslighting. She said “sure he was controlling and manipulative but it could have been a lot worse.” WTF?!!!! Like how bad does it have to get before you believe me. She thinks that because I was sensing and predicting what he was doing intuitively that I’m clearly crazy and over dramatic. I’d hate to lose a friend over this guy but I find it very hard to hide my feelings when I see her.
        I don’t know where I’d be without this blog. So glad you all get it!

    3. Joanne, if you had a baby, would you not love it magnificently and unconditionally simply for the amazing unique creation it is? Or would you find fault in the imperfections of its appearance and therefore find it less amazing and less “worthy” of your affections?

      You are that amazing creation. Your unique soul is magnificent. There is only one of you in the history of time. Unique, imperfect and spectacular (much like all creation).

      The same is true of your narc.

      The difference is, the narc cannot possess his own true magnificence—he seeks to catch glimpses of it through others eyes/emotional reactions (fuel) of others. This is why it is fleeting.

      When you trusted your narc’s flattery, you shifted to think your are valued for those things he flattered. When this is removed, it tricks you into believing you are something “less than”, but I assure you, you are not.

      My heart goes out to you and your narc. You, because you were deceived for the needs of another and took it to heart. You gave truly, but were not with someone that could reciprocate. For him, because he did not ask for the set of circumstances and upbringing that created his narcissism and may never see or feel his own true worth.

      Your worth is undeniable. When the injury heals you will know this. You are worth everything.

      1. GB
        Thank you so much for that beautiful reply. It brought me to tears. Such a perfect summary of how I’m feeling about myself. And your words about my narc hit home as well. I’ve known this person almost all my life so it’s very hard to understand this disorder has always been lying beneath the surface. The fact that it’s a result of his upbringing makes me sad as well. I feel like maybe it would be easier if he’d have been a stranger that I became entangled with. I really hope this heals soon. Thank you again for your kindness. These words truly mean a lot ❤️

    4. Of course you’re a hot catch!!! He would never date you otherwise because it’s all about their image. It’s just so easy for them to move onto the next flavour. They’re gluttons.
      Take it as a compliment that he chose you in the first place, though I’m sure you wish you never had to go through any of it now.
      Imagine how they feel about themselves🥴

      1. TH
        I hope you see this since WordPress is SO BAD at threading replies in any kind of chronological or cohesive fashion (**EYEROLL**). You are a hot catch too!! I guess that’s what we all have to remind ourselves when we start feeling down about ourselves. These self absorbed jerks are not going to waste energy on someone who they really don’t find attractive in some way.

        I’m glad you were able to call your narc out. Good for you for listening to your instincts and also standing up for yourself! I knew it right after he flipped the switch (Prince Charming to casual friend overnight). But in my married situation, I had to treat it more delicately since I did not know what he was capable of at that point. If he could flip on me so easily, who’s to say he wouldn’t just try to ruin my life with a smear?

        The whole game aspect is so exhausting. Even when you think you can keep up, it’s still so much work and for what?! I had a nice (albeit short) golden period which hooked me and had me on cloud 9999 for a few weeks, but after he changed, I couldn’t handle the gaming of it all, the thought out replies to everything, managing the timing of my replies, the adjustment from lovey-dovey to small talk!! Etc, etc. I did try to ask him what changed with us a couple times but he swore nothing did, so that was my cue to just let it fade and he did nothing to kindle it. This is still maddening to me but – of course, no closure, never closure. A hallmark sign of a narc relationship.

        As for the unsupportive friends, I just shake my head. I’m BEYOND GRATEFUL for this group and for HG. Without you all, I would have really broken down – not an exaggeration either.

        What happened on date #4?!

      2. Hi Joanne,

        I love that without knowing each other we can sense each other’s hotness;) And thanks for letting me share my story. For me it’s the most effective way to heal especially since I have those friends who don’t want to hear it or don’t believe me. I really do want to write a graphic novel about this whole experience. I think it would be very educational and entertaining and a creative way to flip the script. There were a lot of really funny things that went down during that time since I was spinning out of control, along with the tremendous heartache.

        There were a few times that I would call him a player. He told me he rarely went on dates and he didn’t have time to be a player and that he doesn’t get very far with the ladies because they find him intense. His intensity matched mine so I thought he was kind of chill actually. Player is one thing but narcissistic psychopath is next level.

        On date #3 after the 4.5 comment I said ” I still think you’re a player. Why wouldn’t you be? You’re a single good looking guy.” He very confidently replied “Because I have standards.” Which made me think oh maybe he did mean 4.5/5 but it was the look he gave me when he said it and the context. That cold glare and my “shell shocked silence” that HG wrote about. It came out of nowhere. Or maybe he meant out of 5 but since he could see that it hurt me he was just gonna let me marinate on that one. I didn’t even remember it until after we broke up the first time. That’s when all the bad memories surfaced. I read somewhere that our brains reject abuse to protect us. It’s like when you eat junk food, your body moves it away from your cells and organs to protect them and that’s why we get fat. Once I did remember it I couldn’t get passed it. So I reflected on it and went deep into the rabbit hole. Why was this comment hurting me so much? I don’t really believe that I’m a 4.5. I’m at least an 8 plus my winning personality is 10++.

        And then I remembered something my dad had said to me when I was a young girl. I should also mention that on Date #2, I looked around his place and a voice in my head said “This guy is your dad.” I should have run right then and there, instead I thought, that’s interesting. I wonder why he is showing up now. Maybe some sexual healing to work out my daddy issues. I know, dumb right!
        When I was about 10 years old, I was brushing my hair in front of the mirror in my dad’s hallway and he said “I don’t know why you bother, you’re never gonna be beautiful.” I don’t remember how I reacted then but my guess was that same shell shocked silence. Why would anyone say that to their daughter. I wish someone had stood up for me at that time. I think that’s why when it was time to stand up to this last narc I didn’t hold back.

        To be cont’d

        1. Twisted Heart, My father once told me I was ugly (no boy or man in my life has otherwise ever said anything like that). I think I was 15 or 16 and I was also in front of a mirror and probably had a shell-shocked silence too.

          Shortly after that, we were having dinner and some friends of my parents were over. The man of the couple turned to my father and said ‘she’s so pretty,’ and my father glanced at him and said ‘I know.’ I always wondered if he said I was ugly because he was afraid for me and did not want to deal with anything that might happen. He was ‘absent’ that way. Maybe yours felt threatened by that sort of responsibility too?

          I never asked my father about it of course because it was embarassing and he probably wouldn’t remember anyway (though he does remember and did once apologize for punching me in the head and almost knocking me out when I was 7). Anyway, I don’t think it damaged me much. I had the same insecurities most teenage girls have and plenty of boyfriends. But still, of course I agree that it is a horrible thing to say to a daughter.

          On the other hand, Narc told me I was beautiful and sexy all the time. Fat lot of good that did! To him I was just a bunch of body parts.

          1. Thanks for sharing SMH.

            That’s horrible that he almost knocked you out. At the age of 7??!!! We were so small back then. How could grown adults not know their own strength against a child?? I look at my children now and could never imagine hurting them in any way. An energy healer friend of mine calls it The Pattern Interrupt. It’s usually the black sheep of the family that sees how dysfunctional things are and makes the changes in their own life to break the cycle.

            I think I was 7 when all the physical abuse started for us too. That’s when my mom married my step dad. Those two were brutal on both me and my little sister. And they would come at us full force with physical and verbal abuse. . My mom slapped me in the face so hard once, that she gave me a nose bleed. Many years later I brought it up to her and she said she didn’t remember. Man, the 80’s must have been rough. Any time I mention anything about seeing my therapist, I can feel my mom cringe, I think she remembers and I think she carries a lot of guilt.

            My dad never yelled, never hit but his words were hurtful and nothing was ever good enough. He’s so critical and impossible to please. So all three of my primary caregivers were assholes. It’s shocking that i even made it through and ended up being a decent human being. My spirit is strong I guess and I had really lovely aunties and my beautiful grandma loved me like her own. They were a true blessing in my life.

            That’s an interesting way of looking at your father’s comment. Maybe he was protecting you. I have no idea why mine said that to me. The only rationale I can come up with is that I look a lot like my mom and he HATED her. Well it was mutual.

            Thank you for reading my story. It’s nice to feel understood and not crazy and paranoid.I’m purging a lot and it’s liberating!!!!

          2. It is liberating Twisted Heart, and nice of HG to allow us to do it here. The thing is, we grow up and we don’t know what is normal because we really have nothing to compare it to. My mother never laid a finger on me but she was the narc. My father just had anger management problems. Maybe he said that to me because he hates my mother too? They are in their 90s and still talk about getting divorced. Luckily, they now live apart (same place but not together). When I see female friends going on about their wonderful parents, I feel alienated.

            Ultimately, we all have to save ourselves, I guess, and at least not do what our parents did. Sounds like you had good role models in your aunties and grandma. I can’t remember any that I had but I did become very resilient, which is probably why I seem to have emerged pretty much unscathed from everything I have ever gotten myself into, including Narclandia.

          3. SMH and Twisted Heart,
            Your comments were heartbreaking. No child should be told that they are ugly nor should she be punched in the head.

            These words are horrible.
            “I don’t know why you bother, you’re never gonna be beautiful.”

            I would never treat any child like that! All children are beautiful and deserve love.

          4. Me neither, K. I never laid a finger on my own kid, much less said anything about his looks. My father is 91 now but it is only recently that I stopped being afraid of his temper (not that he still hits me – he doesn’t but he did until I was about 16). A friend told me that her father last hit her when she was 49!!

      3. I don’t know if anyone will read this but I am finding it very cathartic to write it.

        So Date #4. This is when things start getting really weird and this is why that particular friend thinks I have actually lost it and now I’m making up excuses of why it didn’t work out with this guy.

        We had been seeing each other for about a month and I was finally starting to let my guard down. I was in a really bad job where I wasn’t being treated well (more narcissists who love bombed me into thinking I had just landed my dream job. It only took two weeks before they showed their true colors.) I don’t know why these assholes think I’ll just take their shit because I’m a happy heartfelt person who strives to see the good in everyone. Please stop mistaking my kindness for a weakness. I always strike back.

        I started leaning on him more and he was very supportive of my decision to quit that job and he made plans to see me the next day. This was a red flag to me because making plans with him was always a challenge since he was so “busy.” There was that voice in my head again. “He sees that you’re vulnerable now…be careful”. I went over to his place the next night but I was really late getting there. He lived in a condo so I rang the buzzer and he let me into the building. I knocked on his door and waited for almost 2 mins before he opened it. This was odd because he knows I’m in the building already. When the door finally opened his dog launched up on me and I couldn’t protect myself because I was holding a case of beer (for him of course). Then once I settled in I noticed he was wearing the Tshirt that he was wearing on his online dating profile. it was also the same pic from his FB profile which I know was taken four years ago. I almost commented “oh that’s your tshirt from your online photo but something stopped me from saying it. I know this seems super crazy but to me it seemed very calculated. I think since he knew I was starting to trust him more that he was gonna give me his pity story about how he’s so lonely and he’s been trying to meet someone for so many years now. I didn’t say anything about the tshirt.

        He was also watching me a lot that night, Watching me eat, watching me drink. Watching my phone if I got a text. I got up to go to the kitchen to get a glass of water and he asked me “What are you doing” I said getting a glass of water and I looked at my phone out of habit like we all do. Then he looked at the dog, (we’ll call him Jake) and said “Sic Jake! Kill!” He was commanding his dog to kill me!!! For getting water and checking my phone??? I looked at him and he gave me that death stare once again. AND I still stayed the night with this creep. The shell shocked silence is a real thing. HG nailed it. It does give them consent to do whatever the fuck they want. The rest of the night he gave me the silent treatment until it was time to go to bed and have amazing sex. This is why I think this guy is more psychopath then narcissist. Or it’s because I wasn’t falling for his games he kept having to turn up the crazy. But I did fall for him. I was falling hard.

        So there you go. They always go after quality because it makes them look good. They want us for everything we have and hate us for having it.

        1. Twisted Heart, I read your post and then looked up the rest of the story. That sounds pretty scary to me – especially the dog thing. What an asshole. I know the impulse to want to fix/help them. I know what it’s like to brush off the insults as if you didn’t hear them or get them, and then to sleep with him anyway. I know what it’s like to be e-tethered (text, email) all the time and exhausted by it. I know what it’s like to see the red flags in restrospect and then to kick yourself for ignoring your intuition. We all do. I am very happy to hear you got away and found this place. It saved my sanity. You are absolutely right that the narc looks for quality to feed his empty soul. HG probably has the hottest, smartest, funniest women right here on this blog!

      4. Joanne,

        I applaud your strength for just letting it fade. I understand why you had to do it to protect yourself but still, it shows a lot of fortitude on your part. Are you worried about hoovers? You seem like you have a lot of self control so you can probably manage it. I know that I don’t have that kind of willpower. I think that was the main reason I called him out. I need things to be definitive. I had enough and didn’t want there to be anymore chances of getting swept up in this again.

        Sometimes I wish I was better at playing it cool and not reacting. It just gave him more reason to make me look unstable but this stuff is crazy making. I didn’t know anything about narc supply or fuel so I regret that I gave him so much of my energy, good and bad. He will just use it with/against his next victim. Gross.

        I also would never have said anything if I knew that my safety could be compromised. It wasn’t until the day after I called him out that I realized how much danger I could have put myself in by going back to him the last time. I was really shaken up. It made my skin crawl and my nervous system was jacked!

        However, once I did finally end it, my insomnia went away and my digestion improved. My friends even commented that I looked refreshed and calm. I still feel the need to look over my shoulder though.

  42. I only picked three: money, trust in people and it’s sister: desire to date/have romantic relationships – which requires trust in people.

    I thought about checking “my home” since I walked away from my house and established my home elsewhere, but “home” is whereever I establish myself, so I can never really lose it, only change it. Plus I still owned the old house/farm, sold it and got the money.

    Really, in all honesty narcissism has never really cost me (except perhaps my sanity, but how would I know?). While I’ve lost money to narcs, I’ve been given much money by narcs for various manipulations. Financially I’ve come out way ahead. And as to losing trust in people, perhaps that was more gaining in wisdom and prudence than a loss. I feel my experiences with the many narcs I have interacted with has taught me much wisdom and made me a better person.

      1. Well Mr Tudor when you get tired of strawberry ice cream aka shield maiden, feel free to look me up.

      2. I know that to be true.

        Well, I reviewed your list of boxes to check off and I considered responding to each one…but I just don’t even have the energy.

        So, I’ll sum it up by reviewing what was left.
        In the end, out of all those things, here is what I had not yet lost: my child, the last shreds of my sanity, what remained of my self-respect…and friendships.

        And as for your list; I will gain them all back. One . slow . step . at . a . time.

      3. Actually, I should amend that: I do not know that I’ll ever gain back the desire to date or to have romantic relationships. I suspect that the desire itself could come back but I may consciously choose not to entertain such desires.

      4. WC, I feel the same way about romantic relationships and I am also gearing up to implement a true no-contact in which I remove particular influences from my perception and replace them with positive energy. I think it will be a wonderful experiment and I’ve been doing it partly and I have already seen some external and internal changes as a result.

        My thinking is that I will create what I want to attract to me. It’s a bit up and down motivation and optimism-wise, but I just keep reminding myself to keep going with it cuz goals.

        1. nunya biz,

          Cheering you on as you head towards true no contact!

          I think it’s wonderful when we can see both the internal and external changes as we move forward – it is fortifying.

          I have had some setbacks, and I can see the cycle in my mood and energy level as a result but I try to use that cycle to my advantage.

    1. don’;t let the narc win. you are wiser now and there is nothing wrong with building new relationships. But a detox time will be good.
      you will come out of this and win

      1. Thank-you amanda SNapchat,

        I appreciate your supportive words.
        I am detoxing – the best way I know how. Which is why I didn’t list all the things that I have lost – I no longer wish to dwell on them.

        I need all the energy I can muster to move forward. One way to conserve that energy is not to look back.

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