Poll : How Long Has It Taken You To Achieve Happiness Again?



How long has it taken you to achieve happiness once again following your ensnarement with one or more narcissists (and you may answer as many times as are applicable to the narcissists you have been ensnared by and in any field – romantic, familial, social, societal and/or business)?

The time period runs from either escape or more likely disengagement. Do expand with your observations in the comments section.

How long before you achieved happiness again following your ensnarement with a narcissist?

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170 thoughts on “Poll : How Long Has It Taken You To Achieve Happiness Again?

  1. blackcoffee30 says:

    Immediately, because on the horrifyingly painful day of my escape my best friend made me laugh (at Nex’s expense), and it was genuine and felt good and wholesome despite the tears, sadness, and rage. I love her SO much.

    Those moments come faster and less between day by day. Today is 56 days GOSO.

  2. ME says:

    This is a tricky one. I regained “happiness” in no time if we mean normality, since I was the one who escaped leaving no chance to my ex to ensnare me again. But If we are talking about true happiness I don’t think I’ll never regain that. The lost of innocence, knowing that such evil can come from the one who made you feel so secure and loved… I don’t think you can ever come back from that. You evolve, you learn to live with the knowledge and be aware for future partners, but that awareness makes it impossible to be as blissful again. I see myself as scarred for life, unable to let go completely and still angry at myself for letting it happen. I guess it’s a small price for freedom.

  3. Amanda Snapchat 5 says:

    Once I realized he was a narc I stopped giving a fuck about him. Hapiness came immediate. Kbnowledge is power. I udnerstand narcs now. it is not my fault., they are the problem

  4. Ugotit says:

    Wow they dont stop.woke up to discover I was hoovered late last night on Valentine’s it’s been nine damn months not responding he never made an issue of Valentine’s before

    1. lisk says:

      He tried to get you when you least expected him to! Calculating b*d.

  5. geyserempath says:

    After 1 year, I gave him Challenge Fuel (although I did not know what that was or what I was dealing with at that time), and he responded with a Corrective Devaluation, cut off our one day a week together and shoved me further back on the shelf….behind the extra bottle of HP Sauce. I was devastated. Then I found this site, HG, consultations, and started devouring every article and e-book in sight. I kept key articles pertaining to my particular variety of narc and I re-read them whenever a pang of longing appears. It has taken me almost 2 years to achieve happiness again. I can finally say that when thoughts of him pop up, I truly do not want him or that situation back again.

  6. Pretty says:

    Once you’ve had enough and you finally disengage, you’ll feel that weight lift… there is light at the end of the tunnel- keep pushing to see it no matter what! I went back and forth with contact for 3.5 years, but after the last bout it only took me about 3 months to commit to no contact. Emotions held strong, but those, too, went away after about 9 months. I am still in close proximity to mine and I’m managing fine- I see him at least twice a week. Sometimes I have to remind myself of the hell I went through, but I’ve been emotionally free of him for almost 2 years!! I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished with him!

    1. Omj says:

      Pretty … it is because you were the light in the tunnel 🙂

      1. NarcAngel says:

        Great observation. Very true.

  7. Chihuahuamum says:

    My situation is different in that im still in the relationship. Its been an evolving one. Many shelvings where the narc was present but he emotionally shelved me. Many headgames especially the first 5 yrs. A lot of temporary disengagements on my part followed by mini golden periods. Lots of insecurity and confusion. Fear of unknowns. Wanting things to be different. Knowledge and acceptance have been my best friends in finally achieving a level of happiness. Im a long ways from complete happiness but im slowly finding my way again and able to feel happy in life. Gratitude has helped as well and i realise despite the abuse i have a lot to be grateful for.
    Finding what makes me happy has helped me to find myself again that woman i was before i became absorbed in this one person the narc but a way more informed version. Im coming out of the fog and able to get back to me again.
    Our relationship has become different over time and ive accepted this and moved on. I realise the facade has a shelf life and it was never meant to last. Whats left i dont know possibly a friendship of sorts. I dont look too far ahead and feel happiest focusing on now and the things in life that make me happy and are my passions.
    Happiness is a choice and even in the most dismal of situations you can choose to focus on something thatll make you smile.

  8. K says:

    When ever presence started to fade, I felt happier and it just got progressively better as time went on. Circa fall of 2017 so I voted 6-9 months.

  9. veronicajones1969 says:

    I have to work on healing every day

  10. Poetically Hope says:

    i had a relationship with a narc off and on for almost 5 years…back and forth, in and out of my life, engaging me so I wouldn’t engage with anyone else and then disengaging me so he could pursue his own selfish interests at the expense of my heart. After finally letting him go I had to take a whole year being abstinent and keeping to myself so i could get my heart together and just when i thought I was ready to move on and opened myself up to dating again he popped back up in my life and tried to prevent me from fully letting go. After a tug of war with my heart and spirit I finally let go…now I am in a happy relationship for almost 2 years and somehow he still seems to creep into my dreams or my thoughts making me question things but then I have to bring myself back to reality. His spirit still tries to steal my joy but I cant let him.

  11. SMH says:

    Pretty quickly – under a year. But I think that was partly because I escaped, partly because I went supernova, and partly because he moved to a different country. Oh, and last but not least because I found HG.

  12. Kellie Mccoey says:

    2 years ? Oh that sucks!

  13. Starscape says:

    I always thought happiness was achieved by giving it to someone else.. the emptiness i feel at times is unreal to me. the questions of why, and how are the invisible daggers i haven’t been able to remove completely yet. Without these articles i can not imagine where id be. Sincerly, A Thankful student.

    1. Chihuahuamum says:

      Hi starscape…youll get there! Its a process and each persons is individual. Stay strong and keep yoyr chin up! 🙂

  14. flutterbymorpho says:

    I.put I have not yet because I’m still living in the same house due to practical stuff. I manage to find bits of happiness in each day (It’s an inside job) may as well make the most of life in the present . Saying that the future does loom.. I have learned to live in the present overvtime rather than trying to get things sorted before I can be happy. I remind myself of a quote ‘ Embrace the uncertainty, get comfortable not knowing. For when nothing is certain, anything is possible ‘ not sure who said it. I’m probably kidding myself..but it’s true that tomorrow is not promised to anyone, so may as well enjoy today. One day will be the last day on beautiful planet Earth. In writing that though it has reminded me that life is too short to put up with this crap and it’s not living.. my thoughts just go all over the place….

  15. E. B. says:

    I have not achieved happiness and I think it will never happen.
    I have achieved some kind of *contentment and peace of mind*. Also, I have learnt to see myself as I am and not through the eyes of the abusers and/or their blind followers.

    1. BurntKrispyKeen says:

      I hope happiness happens for you, E.B.
      I hope it happens soon.
      But I do respect your realistic view.
      Hang in there… I’m rootin’ for ya.

      1. E. B. says:

        Thank you much for your kind words, BKK!

    2. NarcAngel says:

      I’m glad to read that you have acheived that. It sounds like happiness to me.

      1. E. B. says:

        Thank you, NA. Maybe it is. On the negative side, I do not experience excitement, I cannot enjoy things the way I used to anymore and I have lost interest in many activities too.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          I don’t experience excitement like I used to before either. Don’t you think that’s partly the natural progression of aging though? Not that you’re old lol, or that we can’t feel excitement, but that it’s not the same. How many feel the same excitement of say Christmas as they used to?, or go back to a hobby they once had only to find they don’t feel the same about it? What about long term relationships that still have warmth and respect but no longer the primal passion it once had? Sometimes we need to find new things that spark, and even then it’s not at the same level that it once was. Perhaps as we age and reflect those things are replaced by the comfort of home, the prospect of a new book, an excellent cup of tea, time with our children, great conversation, because we have experienced those previous highs of excitement and keep them in our memories, but we no longer require it at that level. Maybe the appreciation of a little less excitement in things helps to prepare us for when we find it harder to physically. Maybe seeking excitement is gradually replaced by appreciation, peace, and contentment. There are many people who will never experience those things and find the prospect of having them exciting.

          1. E. B. says:

            I agree with your observations. However, in my particular situation, the natural progression of aging is not the main reason. As an introvert, I do not need high levels of excitement. It is due to different painful and traumatic experiences in the past and present. I am not like most of you that you go no contact with the narcissist in your life and after that you are free to heal from abuse and lead a normal life. Being a target in unchosen relationships on a repeated basis is hard to put up with.
            I could never be in a romantic relationship with a narcissist and live with them since they make me sick – headaches, nausea and vomiting.

      2. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        That is an excellent observation, Narc Angel, because while I have achieved happiness, I don’t always have peace of mind. There’s something to be said about that type of contentment, E.B. … but of course, that brings us back to HG’s point on perspective.

        My lack of peace of mind comes from being a worrywart, but then there are days when I’m comfortably numb. (Which saying that makes me want to see Pink Floyd. I’ve never seen them, but I won’t get that trip planning started. I’ve broken enough rules already.)

        E.B. I’m not sure of your country of origin, but have you seen Pink Floyd live? Anybody? I’m just curious as I think they are touring, so I’m wondering a bit about their performance?

      3. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        E.B. I just now saw your response to N.A. That sounds like classic depression (hopefully mild but clinical). May I ask; Have you sought treatment?

        1. E. B. says:

          Hello BurntKrispyKeen,
          Thank you very much for your concern. Sorry I was not able to respond yesterday.
          I love Pink Floyd but I have not had the chance to see them live yet. There are great videos of live performances on YouTube (David Gilmour in Pompey 2016). I have felt ‘comfortably numb’ in the past -and I used to listen to that song a lot- but not now. Fortunately, it is not an endogenous depression. It is a natural reaction to external events, also called ‘reactive depression’. Being bullied by a group of people (mobbing) on an ongoing basis for several years requires a lot of energy, both mental and physical. [The narcissist has just sent one of her Coterie to hoover me again (!) while I was writing this reply. I did not open the door but I am feeling threatened now – fight-or-flight mode.]
          Yes, I have sought treatment -psychotherapy- and it did not help. They do not seem to have enough knowledge about narcissistic abuse to help clients.
          Self-therapy, a healthy diet, some exercise and enough sleep do help.

      4. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        I understand your viewpoint here, E.B. as it saddens me to realize, in certain situations, just how little therapy helps. Like you once told me, time is our friend, mixed with effort, of course, and I can see that you make great effort.

        I hope you get through the day not too worn from the hoovers. May you take that adrenaline and put it to good use! Have a blessed day, E.B. ….

      5. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        Oh, and thank you for the recommendation on the YouTube video. I’ll check it out.

      6. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        By the way, excellent point on excitement as we age, Narc Angel.

        Perhaps that’s why we look towards certain other ways to find our excitement? … Like working a puzzle… feeling the challenge when we don’t have all the pieces… grabbing the ole umbrella and taking a walk in the rain. 😜
        As we age, we absolutely need fresh ways to keep our minds stimulated.

        But seriously, your insightful comment on this matter is valid. Nice Work, NA. 😊

      7. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        E.B. – Just this morning, my teenage son told me that I have Menopausal Depression. (Not sure if that’s an actual diagnosis, but he assigned it to me nonetheless.) He went on to say that I have all the signs:
        1. Mood Swings (Guilty.)
        2. Lack of Energy (Wait – I run circles around women half my age!)
        3. Lack of Concentration (He got me there because the whole conversation got started when I was taking off down the drive-way to take him to his grandmother’s; she takes him to school some mornings. I got about half-way down my drive when I released he wasn’t in the car.)
        I guess these youngsters learn from those pharmaceutical commercials, but he had no problem spouting off my signs and symptoms. Distracted?! I blame Narcsite.
        Just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you E.B… wishing you a brighter day. 🌻

    3. Jenna says:

      Hi EB,

      I am glad that you have reached a type of ‘contentment and peace of mind’ and that you know your self worth!

      1. E. B. says:

        Thank you, Jenna!

        1. jenna says:


          You are very welcome!

    4. BurntKrispyKeen says:

      E.B…. just checking in. I hope that all is well?

      1. E. B. says:

        BurntKrispyKeen, all is well at the moment.
        Thank you once again for your kind words. I posted another reply above.

  16. MD says:

    I am happy that you have found your love.
    Does SM lives and work in England or is it a long distance relationship? I saw some photos in IG were from west cost of Norway. Did you visit Stavanger?
    SM must have decided to pursue her career instead of having a family life?

    I will always think about my narcs – but now with a happy feeling that I am free and they are satisfied with their lives. That is what they pretend to show to the world. It was both good og bad memories tied with them, I can convert bad memories into songs or stories one day.

  17. Mai says:

    It’s been 4 months since I was discarded after a 3 year relationship. I have previously been in a relationship with a narc, but never really suspected my recent ex to be one…. all the red flags that were there, that I attributed to his ADHD, drug use, addled mind. More fool me!

    I had dinner with him 2 weeks ago and got to hear all about his new girlfriend that he has moved in with.

    After dinner, I started researching trauma bonds, abusive relationships and narcissism (again….sigh).

    Today I feel an amazing sense of calm, hope and optimism. I know I will still think of him often, but I feel like I am finally in stage 3 of the discard battle.

    He has blocked me on all platforms, so I do not think there will be any hoovering.

    I went full supernova on him in the last six months and I think he knows that there is no more supply left in me.

    It is an amazing feeling to go from helpless to unfuckable.

    Thank you for all your insights HG…. truly.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Welcome Mai and thank you for your kind compliments, keep reading and you will keep moving forward.

      1. Mai says:

        Thanks HG…. I find the inner workings of the narcissist fascinating, but do wish I’d picked up on it a lot earlier….it would have saved a lot of obsession and heartache. I absolutely LOVED your blog on super empaths….. I was starting to wonder if I was as batshit crazy as him, and HOW could I use the same manipulative crazy making techniques as him? It now all makes sense and this knowledge is wonderful and powerful.

        So, another big thank you!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  18. Twisted Heart says:

    I don’t know if I’m completely over this one yet but something has shifted in a big way. I cried it out for almost 6 hours into the night and again in the morning. It might have been the purge I needed.

    My last ensnarement with a narc only lasted a couple of months but it was swift and ruthless. The epitome of evil. Maybe it was the awakening that I needed. Now I realize that I have been surrounded by these vultures my whole life and I must be the tastiest little dish to them and they just love to devour me.

    But today I had an epiphany…My outlook on it now is I’m glad he took whatever was left of my old beat up heart. He swooped in and gobbled up the remaining pieces that all the other assholes in my life left behind. He did me a favour. A necessary evil if you will. Thank you dear narcs. See ya never! Now I get to rebuild on my own terms.

  19. Anderson says:

    After 8 years I’m still suffering and 2 months ago I was declared disabled..

    1. BurntKrispyKeen says:

      Hello, Anderson… I wish you relief from your suffering. May you begin to heal.

    2. Cindy says:

      Almost 3 years for me Anderson. I don’t know the nature of your disability, but if it’s mental illness, it’s easy for me to believe that a narc can do great damage in that aspect. I hope you find peace soon. Don’t give up. I won’t.

    3. NarcAngel says:

      Welcome. Do you mean disability resulting from being with a narcissist?

    4. E. B. says:

      Hello Anderson,
      Sorry to hear you have a disability. Chronic stress from narcissistic abuse can cause different kinds of chronic illnesses. There are many books written about this subject. Van der Kolk’s The Body Keeps the Score is one of them. I find Gabor Mate’s “When The Body says No” very insightful.

      1. Omj says:

        I do read also of Dr Mate , in the realm of hungry ghosts. Very helpful for understanding trauma.

        1. E. B. says:

          Hi Omj,
          I find it very insightful. The best so far about addictions.

          1. Omj says:

            He has done 2 great interviews at London real.
            The way he speaks about addiction also helps understand how we get addicted to narcs .
            Very insightful – he also gave great interviews in the recovery 2.0 group.

          2. E. B. says:

            Scattered Minds about the origins of Attention Deficit Disorder is also very interesting.

  20. michelle clark says:

    Dearest H.G. I watched this weekend, the period drama Clarissa on youtube. It is a 4 part drama. I wish you could watch it and tell me what you think. It is remarkably engaging and I wonder if the lead male is a Narc. Kindly put it on your list of movies to watch, if you have not done sohttps://youtu.be/Je9l5kuKv0Q?list=PLhdTNrmCwh3RXv_HwrXlNzxN3NcZMr7We

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you for the recommendation. HG’s list of matters to watch is rather long!

  21. Robin says:

    After the first discard I recognized something was off, we worked things out, and although addicted through trauma bond, I knew I needed to detach and build up my selfworth with self love. Being long distance made that easier. I began to stand up to him when he put me down, in an ” I’m ok/you’re ok ” sort of way. By the time the final discard came, it had little effect because I had sufficient self love while at the same time, realized it was ok to love him even though he didn’t love me, with focus on what was good, and lessons learned from what was bad. Not to say it wasn’t painful, but recovery was easier. Very much a life lesson.

  22. Robin says:

    I didn’t know what I was dealing with until I was 46 years old. That was when I stumbled upon a book called “Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers” by Dr. Karyl McBride. I realized by reading it my mother was a narcissist and later realized my father was a psychopath. My mother visited me a few weeks after I read that book and although I went out of my way to have her visit a comfortable one; making her a smoking area outside, buying and cooking all her favorite foods I can’t eat, my husband did all her beer runs, and we waited kn her hand and foot, taking her out for dancing and dinner… she left three days early for some unknown reason after getting drunk and telling me to go fuck myself and go to hell. She left the next morning by calling a cab and although I pleaded with her to tell me what happened, she couldn’t or wouldn’t. We haven’t spoken since. I was just discarded. It will be 4 years in April. As I was suffering through the diagnosis of C/PTSD, going to counseling, struggling to finish my book and get it published, my son decided to kick me when I was down by behavior I hadn’t realized was narcissistic until recently. He’s a high ranking military member and the higher up he goes on the ladder of success, the more he finds fault with me. He had traits as a younger person, but the military has made him full-blown narc if not Borderline. I put up boundaries with him and have went no contact. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy about it and I got a huge rambling email about it. I’m the best mom ever as long as I take his abuse. I’m not healed yet, but I’m determined to work through this fuck fest that is my life. Right now, I’m doing what’s best for me. I miss my son everyday of my life. I raised him as a single mom and we were close. I miss my parents, but I’ll be god damned if I’m going to be abused in order to have a family. This whole thing had just about killed me… my son made fun of a blog post in which I wrote about being suicidal. My mother used me and my husband to the tune of about $20K… Nice. Who the fuck are these people?

  23. Tex says:

    I wouldn’t call it “happiness” but just a peace. So I started to feel peace after a year. That was the time when I felt I am no longer trauma bonded. When I realized there are activities I enjoy as much as before I met him. When my sadness went away. I no longer feel pain in my stomach when I see him love bombing someone else.


  24. Jessica says:

    What does this tell you? The narcissistic is a horrible person. Ince trust is gone, its difficult to get it back even by normal.

  25. Kelly B says:

    I divorced a narcissist diagnosed by the good docs with npd. Met narcissistic psychopath 5 months before we split up. Had become so taken by him on cloud 10 unbelievable. In the beginning I was like Cinderella. And he was my knight in shining armor. Eight years I didn’t have the knowledge what I was entangled with. I do have the higher knowledge now. After years I still have not been happy. I feel destroyed from my experience.

  26. W says:

    My LMR within a week I felt better and totally over it. But I knew he was toxic & I think I was just using him too. (He was a rebound from the initial break from my MMR – a rebound booty call that out out of hand & turned into a “relationship “. I was over it b4 I ended it.

    My MMR I’m still involved with. 5 years total .
    — about a year ago I discovered HG, figured out wtf had happened/is happening and that helped me recover quite a bit …but That particular Hurt has his name on it & will always be a part of me now.

    HOWEVER I’m grateful for it- huge awareness came from it. Still is.

  27. Jess says:

    I’m eternally positive and just after escape I feel peaceful. I miss the Nex but not enough to make me miserable. With No Contact comes peace and happiness soon follows.

  28. windstorm says:

    I checked two. Immediately and more than two years. I have found an immediate happiness in escape, but it will be interspersed with periodic low, depressive periods where I morn what I have lost. These periods slowly fade out over about 2-4 years.

  29. Bibi says:

    Happiness? You mean this is something that can be achieved? LOL Honestly, I don’t know. I picked 2 yrs b/c that is the longest choice.

    Honestly though, one of the things in moving past the narc was missing attributing my unhappiness to him. All my negative feelings about myself– I listed him as the cause. Then when years have gone by and I can’t blame him anymore, oh look, there is only myself to blame for my lack.

    It’s easy to get hooked on the sadness. I know I did. I almost grew to depend on it. Sort of like when you know you’re depressed in winter because it is cold and there is no sun. But you expect to feel sad. But then when spring comes you find you should feel better but don’t. Then it really hurts. This is why most suicides happen in spring.

    Sorry to be such a downer. (Tomorrow, Feb 11th is the anniversary of Plath’s suicide. It was even a Monday, so that means 2019 is the exact same calendar as 1963. Head in the oven, so she couldn’t even wait for spring.)

    I would say that it took me 2 yrs to fully recover and I still deal with shit from my dad though. I am fairly complacent and content but not necessarily ‘happy’, b/c I don’t know if I have ever felt that. I use humor to deflect any sadness I might feel.

    But I am ok at the moment. Not giddy or jubilant, but ok. Sometimes being just ok is ok.

    1. Cindy says:

      I agree BiBi. I don’t believe happiness is a constant state. It hits you sporadically. I think we can settle for a certain amount of contentment for the majority of our lives.

  30. Geminimom says:

    I was always happy around my narc. We had normal up and down days, but i truly believe I was happy. It was when the realization of what he was and he had issues is when I became miserable inside myself and needed to face the decision to leave. During the divorce I would stay in the home two days a week to claim ownership for the courts and I always felt good being around him despite the nasty divorce. I would say about a year or less is all it took to get my normal happy back, from that onset of discovering he was a narc. So thirty years happy with a narc and two and half years miserable getting away then one year healed up. Not to bad. And this blog helped strengthen my mindset to achieve what needed to be done. And what needs to stay done. Always popping in to read.

    Thank you.

  31. Virginia says:

    I have always been a realistically positive and resilient person. I have also done extensive research on NPD, but I don’t get over relationships easily even if I always ended them. This last NPD relationship, I ended a year ago. I still think about him everyday, because I am left with $ and situational questions. I keep moving forward, but with one eye looking in the rear view mirror. I feel regret for what all I have lost in my life, due to having NPD relationships. I also like justice. Life is not always just. A part of me wants justice and payback. Another part of me knows that he is the loser on many levels. I am not stuck forever. He is. BUT, for now, I am stuck in one way, by my wanting a different outcome from him, that 99% most likely will never happen. I am an over comer, so I just need more time to decide how I will proceed.

    The 2nd NPD relationship, took me 2 years to get over. We dated for 3 years. Two months into dating him, I started researching his traits and realized that he had NPD.

  32. Bubbles 🍾 says:

    Dear Mr Tudor,
    I am by nature, an extremely happy person
    It was the narcs’ “behaviour” I couldn’t get my head around
    I had an enormous “overload of stress” bucketed on me, by my narcs (including a narcs funeral to deal with) and the nasty people associated with them, all at the same time, it was massive ……however…..
    I never stopped being happy
    Luv Bubbles xx 😘

  33. lisk says:

    My vote: I have not yet.

    I am at Month 5 post-discard.

    I am getting very close to achieving happiness again. I am almost there.

    The main issue I’m dealing with now: my regret for getting involved with the narc at all.

    I wish I could ask you, HG, how to get rid of that regret. But I know that, as a narcissist, you wouldn’t know, because narcs don’t do regret.

  34. Ugotit says:

    I’ve been narcfree 8 going on 9 months with the exception of a hoover at the 3 to 4 month marck which I ignored , I was happy again several months after being narcfree this time although the other times i was miserable after disengagement this time I was happy very quickly because I knew it was the final disengagement not that he wouldn’t hoover but I knew I wouldn’t go back or respond I just somehow lost all feelings or emotional attachment even stopped hating him stopped hoping for a hoover stopped stalking him on social media I really finally feel free I can’t say exactly when it happened but it was pretty quick

  35. TY says:

    First time, 4-5 years. Second time, I found Narcsite after disengagement. Thanks to HG’s brilliant work here it took a little over a year to fully comprehend what happened and to understand and accept there could not have been any other outcome.

    No amount of words could express my gratitude and appreciation for your work, HG. And, thanks to you, never again. And that is priceless!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are most welcome.

  36. blackunicorn123 says:

    I don’t know if I’ll ever feel happiness or joy again – I honestly feel dead inside. I can’t associate those emotions with me anymore. It’s been three years and there are still no new shoots of healing in this particular area.
    I’m not looking for sympathy or pity and I don’t feel it towards myself. The best way to describe it is dissociation. Apart from the well-being of my kids I don’t care about anything anymore. He finished what my matrinarc started.

    1. Cindy says:

      @blackunicorn: Well stated. I feel the exact same way with exception to a matrinarc.You are not alone inside your head.

      1. blackunicorn123 says:

        Thanks Cindy 🤗

    2. BurntKrispyKeen says:

      Blackunicorn123, it saddens me every time I think about the depth of narcissistic abuse… about just how deep those wounds go. I have the most precious little grandson, and I love him to pieces, but I can tell that I haven’t bonded with him in the same way I did my own sons.

      I don’t get it? Is it because he didn’t come directly from my body? I hear many, many grandmothers tell me that “there’s noting like your grandkids.” I even hear my own mother say this over MY son as they are exceptionally close. And based upon the way she treats him, I’d say she is much closer to him than she ever was me when I was growing up.(I’d attribute her bond to my son as the whole boy/mother thing, but boys are all I have.) Please don’t get me wrong; I adore my grandson, but those raging maternal instincts are missing.

      The main thing I attribute this to is – I’m still numb from being entangled with a narcissist which resulted in llimited contact with his daughter (whom I was especially close to). I think we empathic souls also experience part of what HG did as a little boy. We get terribly wounded, so we retreat, little by little, piece by piece. But because we are (or were) highly empathetic, we still have plenty of care and concern for others, but undoubtedly, we are forever changed.

      Hang in there, Black Beauty. (Hope that nickname’s okay? My father loved that book as a boy.) … It saddens me to see your words that you feel dead inside. Perhaps the sensation will begin to shift as more time passes, but your comment spoke to me because I also feel numb and I think dissociation is a good description of what we’re going through.
      Best wishes on healing Blackunicorn123. 🌻

      1. blackunicorn123 says:

        Hi BKK, thank you so much for your lovely reply.
        I completely understand what you are telling me about your relationship with your grandson. I am so sorry to hear it, I believe you are right, we are so deeply wounded by narcissistic abuse, we lose part of ourselves. For us, it is worse, because we can compare ourselves to what we were like before, and therefore know we have suffered a mortal blow. We know what we have lost.. I feel like I’m living half alive and it’s the most soul destroying feeling. I can’t even say I’m depressed, because it’s not that. It’s the absence of feeling I can feel (if that makes sense).
        I hope you find your way back to you too, and find some kind of recovery from this that you can live with. The trick is not to give up I suppose!
        (I loved Black Beauty too! It was my favourite book as a child) xxx

      2. windstorm says:

        I identify with what you said about your grandson. I have 4 children, boys and a girl and currently have 8 8/9 grandchildren (one coming next week). I have wondered about the difference in the depth of feeling between how I feel about my children vs my grandkids.

        I believe it is natural. Motherhood is just a stronger bond than grandmotherhood. As mothers, we are entirely responsible for our children. It is a very primal feeling and tremendous responsibility. We must protect them, teach them and raise them up to be successful people.

        That is mainly missing from being a grandmother. We are not the ones responsible- in fact we must back off and not interfere with the choices and decisions of the actual parents. For us, grandchildren are sort of like going to the movies, an entertainment. We go to see them, then we go back home. Yes, of course we love them and care about them, but unless they actually live with us as their guardian, it is not like the love of a mother.

        I’m currently staying at my daughter’s to help out with the new baby coming next week. I love the 4 little ones already here very much, but nothing like how I love my daughter. Being here I can feel the difference in the bonds and emotions between us very clearly. It’s the same with my grandchildren. I can feel their love for me, but it is nothing like the love and bond that they feel for their mother.

        1. SMH says:

          That’s very nicely put, Windstorm. I don’t have grandkids but I am sure my mother loves my son more than she loves me! I only call her when he is around.

          1. windstorm says:

            Is your mother a narc? My mother doted on my children, but was always dismissive and rude to me. Narc mothers love to triangulate using grandchildren. Thankfully she was around long enough for them to get old enough to realize what she was doing. It made them laugh, but it was validation for me for others to see how she treated me when we were at home

          2. SMH says:

            Windstorm, Yes she is a narc and she triangulated with my son from the day he was born. My sister kept her kid away from my mother but I didn’t want my relationship with my mother to interfere with my son’s relationship with her. I think he sort of understands now (my niece sure does) but he’s very laid back and a live-and-let-live type. I basically will not talk to her unless my son is around and won’t see her (or my father) unless someone else is with me (or I have drugs).

          3. windstorm says:

            I always preferred to have one of my children or Pretzel present when I had to see my mother, too.

          4. SMH says:

            Windstorm, Buffer zone, right? I really dread it when I have to go see my parents alone but a cousin lives about 30 miles away so I usually escape to her place. Last summer my mother got angry at me for spending a weekend at my cousin’s (it was super hot and she has a house on a lake) without going to see her. But my parents cannot drive and I did not have a car. Reasonable, of course, but unacceptable in narcworld. Then my mother got angry at me for spending a weekend on a friend’s yacht instead of going to see them. Am I 17? No. She (Matrinarc) insisted that we had not talked, when I had just spoken to her the week before and had a record of it on my phone. She then hung up on me and when she would not apologize, I stopped calling her. That is why I will only call now when my son is around. I finally have boundaries. At least I learned that lesson from MRN!

      3. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        Blackunicorn123. 💔😢🌻😊❤

    3. BurntKrispyKeen says:

      Thank you so much, Windstorm, for sharing that with me. I lacked the courage to express my concerns in real life. Your words have comforted me greatly.

  37. Anm says:

    This is a complex question. There has always been things to be happy about, it was just a matter of embracing them. I am still at the point, where the narcissist actively seeks out,what makes me happy and tries to destroy it.

    1. lisk says:

      I’m sorry to hear the, Anm. Are you still with the narc?

      1. Anm says:

        No, I am not with the narc. I left him almost 3 years ago. I have a child with him. I won’t go into detail about that, because that information is all over the blog. I have, however, become a better person after leaving the narcissist. I have an abundance of new skills I have developed due to dealing with the narc and the consequences of the narc. I guess I am happy, because I see myself as a survivor, and not a victim.

  38. DoForLuv says:

    To be honest few hours or a day , I just reset quickly out off sight out off mind I don’t understand why . But I remember everything as fast I can be happy again the same way I can be sad again about evey event that had happened escape discard romantic familial friendship all the same

  39. Nymphedora says:

    For me it was pretty much right away, but I woted a month. I did this because I think my emidiate emotional reaction was one of relief, rather than happiness. Once I walked in to that womans shelter, there was no going back for me. After 14 years, no doubt, no second guessing, no what if and absolutely no chance of me ever going back. No matter what hoovers he tried or how he tried to manipulate, scare and threaten. I never once doubted my choise or even missed him, honest to god. I then decided to just be as happy as possible, no matter what he may have broken inside me I decided to reclaime and rebuild it.
    As we have children together, no contact is not an option, thank’s to the Danish legal system. But I come as close as I can with forced but limited and to the point contact. So offcourse he still frustrates me from time to time, in the sence that I wish I had a stabil and normal co-parrent to work with. And that my children didn’t have to deal with him. But I shake it of, raising my head high and support them in doing the same. After finding H.G and getting a name for what he is, I sort of just sit back and study his behaviour with honest curiosity.

    There art thou happy.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Ah but are the Danes not regularly top of the charts for the happiest country in the world? (ON the basis that such a subjective matter can be measured) so notwithstanding the legacy of the Schleswig Holstein question it was always going to be a swift return to happiness for the irrepressible Danes!

      1. Nymphedora says:

        So they claim Mr. Tudor, so they claim. I often find myself wondering who came to this conclusion about us Danes and how. I often find that Danes in general silently complain a lot about the state of things but seem unable to stand together to make a real change.

        Say what you will about Brexit, but at least the brits took a hell of a stand.

        They say happiest country in the world, I say a country raised to smile and wawe. To always have the answer “things could be worse” at hand for the world to hear.

        As to the Schleswig Holstein question, well who wanted it anyway. Things could be worse you know 😜
        Oh and all the wast oil reserves in the northern seas. We gave them away to Norway for a penny, do to a polititians drunken stub. Well who ever wanted oil wealth for their country when we got snaps…… and it was good snaps after all now wasn’t it….. CHEERS 🍻

        I actually think the musical poet Mr. Cohen says it better than I ever will

        Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
        Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
        Everybody knows that the war is over
        Everybody knows the good guys lost
        Everybody knows the fight was fixed
        The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
        That’s how it goes
        Everybody knows
        Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
        Everybody knows that the captain lied
        Everybody got this broken feeling
        Like their father or their dog just died

        That, Mr. Tudor, is the truth about the Danes. Told to you by one of the more fullhearted positive ones. Imagine you should ever come across a depressed one 😉

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Very interesting response to the question of the Danes and happiness. I understand it is linked to an egalitarian society (a lack of class or perhaps a very large middle class) and a lack of income inequality (reading about the Gini Coefficient will tell you more). Maybe it is down to the Danes love of beer then again!

          I thought with the oil you gave it to Maerske whereas the Norwegians gave it to the people, rather than a private company.

          Thank you for your comments, I find it interesting.

      2. Nymphedora says:

        By the way H.G now that I have your attention of sorts, I have been meaning to ask you.
        My narc went from beeing with me for 14 years, to marrying a guy. Aften reading your stuff I would say it was a case of when two narcissists collide and over in a year, but that’s a tale for another day.

        So back to the point….. There was no infidelity, women, men or otherwise. I know you would argue that there always is with a narc, but I can really not with my most logical of logical thinking, se how and when it would have occoured. He was ALWAYS home, always out with me and I do mean always. When he was not between jobs, which he often was, there was no unexplained absens on his paycheck. Even if he somehow was cheating, I really don’t care.

        I’m more interested in you’re take on the whole narc going gay thing. You talk about not really caring about atractive pfysical trades, as long as the fuel trades are met.
        I’ve always sort of had the feeling, that when I left I simply betrayed him i a whole as a gender. It was one of his favorit threats “just you try and lave, and I will…”

        Also he has always craved a lot of very dramatic attention. So offcourse he is now uber rainbow gay.

        I guess what I’m trying to ask, in my clumsy english. Do you think a narc could go as far as disguarding a whole gender as a result of fury or whatever my leaving caused? Or because it was a great way to get attention fuel in a periode where he had nothing else?
        Or maby the other way around, where he was always gay, but put it aside because I gave him the fuel he needed?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Please see Sex and The Narcissist.

    2. lisk says:

      It’s so nice to have that detachment, like being at a zoo and watching the caged animal operate as best as it can within its confines.

      I like the idea/concept/reality that happiness can be a decision. I admire your self-belief, Nymphedora.

      1. Nymphedora says:

        Exactly lisk, just sitting there observing them.

        To be honest, my life has been sort of a shit storm for many many years. My narc only being part of it, albeit a huge part.

        Serious heart failure, sometimes causing cardiac arrest. Almost bleeding to death i childbirth. A rare gen deffect. My big sister, the most important person in my life aside from my children dying in a car crash.
        My cardioligist and friend, who faught for my life more than anyone, called to say that my youngest son had my heart problems and assured me that from this to I would rise again. A week later he himself died in a surfing accident, healthy as a horse.

        For me happiness sort of is a decision. I cannot and will not stay down. If I just lay there crying about it, well I might as well just forefit my life and I simply refuse to do so. If not for anything else, then for my children and those who have lost their lives so very random and unfair.

        Ofcourse I have days where I just stay down and cry it out, but once it is out I claw my way back up. As for my narc, once I woke up from that horrible dream, I will never go back to being that empty shell of a person again.

        I find a lot of meaning and peace in music lyrics and have a tune for almost every parts of my life. They often say what I cannot.

        Post escape from my Narc life – “Guts over fear” particularly the Sia parts.

    3. Nymphedora says:

      You are very welcome Mr. Tudor.

      And you’re actually right about the oil case. Selling it for at bottle of whiskey is most of all an urban legend, but one that we still happily tell. If I remember my history correctly, the mentioned politician had a meeting with Norway, where Norway expressed concern about the Geneva Convention’s division of the seabed in the North Sea. After that, two years of all the practicality went on, after which Denmark and Norway entered into an agreement on a different division than submitted by Geneva. If we had followed Geneva’s proposal, we would have had a larger share in the later oil finds. You are also right in that Maersk was involved in the extraction when we found the oil and that they as I understand it, cheated the Danish people for most of the lawful VAT. Something like that if I remember correctly.

      I have just read up on what you suggested about Gini coefficient. I actually didn’t know such a model existed. Very interesting indeed. Thank you for the suggestion.
      I could not avoid noticing a change in measurement from before and after 2002. I think it fits very well with my experiences of Denmark. The financial crisis did something bad for us as a nation and we seem to have lost the sense of direction. The difference in social class is clearly more pronounced today thanks to the bad decisions of our politicians. They focus on tax cuts, which most of all benefit the rich class, which as a result leads to savings elsewhere. Here the elderly who have built up the welfare society we have today are punished, so are the sick who have no other choice and the otherwise weak.

      They are so focused on the little people not getting a single penny they have not paid taxes for to the state. They putt all manpower in looking for these little people, They then failed to notice a woman working within their own ranks, stealing 111 mio directly from the state over a period of 10 years.

      Of course we have things to be happy about. For example, a healthcare system which is paid for by the tax system and means that no one is left in the lurch when it comes to medical treatment. Paid holiday, maternaty leave a so on.
      The politicians will however, given enough time, ruin that to with the crazy actions they take.

      We are a bit like Alice in Wonderland. Down is up and up is down. All important decisions are made by the mad hatter, supported by the hare and executed by tweedle dee and tweedle dum. We stand there as Alice, asking for someone to explain it all but instead we are greated with smokey word jumble, blown by a big blue worm (aka catapillar.)

      And what about the narc’s in this place of ours ………. the Chestershire cat offcourse. The colorfull stripes and the charming smile.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        The concept of egalitarianism is very interesting in Scandinavia. Scandinavian societies do have greater egalitarian principles amongst what are labelled as modern societies and operate on a higher level of trust also. I think in part it is down to the fact that feudalism did not really operate in Scandinavia compared to what became France, Germany and the UK (where class divisions are more apparent and inequality is more pronounced). I do think that in Denmark the egalitarian principle is slipping a little however. Not that long ago the top earners/middle earner/lowest earners were 4%/92%/4% so there was a massive ‘middle class’. Now it has shifted to 7.5%/85%/7.5% in the last 10 years. Whilst the ‘middle class’ remains very large it is reducing and one wonders whether this will continue and where will it end up in Denmark? This, in part is driven by the impact of the global financial crisis (as you note) and also that there is a growing disparity between Copenhagen and everywhere else. So much of Denmark is being ‘sucked’ into Copenhagen leaving other areas bereft – financially, economically, culturally, job prospects etc – and this is fuelling the shift in equality. Still you can have a Carlsberg and some medisterpolse and thus something is not so rotten in the state of Denmark!!

        1. SMH says:

          Sounds like the UK and the great sucking sound that is London. Also, aren’t Danes sending asylum seekers to some island somewhere? (Your green haired people.) Seems they are becoming less tolerant too.

      2. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        Greetings, Nymphedora… I enjoyed reading your exchange with HG. Each of your posts were very educational for me. I felt as though I was sitting in a cafe eavesdropping on your conversation. Thank you both for that chance… Very Interesting as I intend to research further to learn more.

        I am sorry, Nymphedora, that you went through such with your narcissist. It was like being betrayed twice, by his narcissism and his sexual orientation. I can only imagine what a shock all of that has been. It’s hard not to feel saddened when we spend so much of our lives believing one thing, only to find out a part of our relationship was a bold lie. My heart goes out to you.
        Best wishes to you, Nymphedora, as you move forward and heal. 🌻

    4. Cindy says:

      @Nymph: My sympathies for the loss of your loved ones. I’m interested to know if you were/are able to grieve in a healthy way in relation to the presence of your exN.
      I ask because I lost both parents and my best friend in short succession while I was still with my exN. Being a true narc, he wasn’t supportive or sympathetic to my trauma.I started grieving all over again after my escape. They have been dead for 10 years.
      How are you dealing with your grief now that you are no longer in that relationship?

      1. Nymphedora says:

        As always, you are right Mr. Tudor. Well, we practiced a feudalism a little bit I suppede, when the peasants were still servant to a Maine farm. It was however, in the historical perspective, quite short-lived. It seems that Denmark today is moving further and further away from egalitarianism and just as you say I also believe that there is a connection between the growing difference in the Copenhagen area and the rest of Denmark. The difference has always existed, since Copenhagen was originally a trading city via the sea and Jutland was a farming. However, the difference today is considerably more pronounced.
        There is a world of difference between Zealand and us in northern Jutland. It is at our end of the country you will still find the medisterpølse acompanied by a Carlsberg.
        We are also starting to see a similar trend towards Aarhus which is developing into sort of the Bohemian capital of Jutland.

      2. Nymphedora says:


        You have heard one of the previously mentioned silent complaints from the Danish people I hear 😉”Let’s send them all to a deserted island.”

        No, the truth is that when a refugee comes to Denmark, they are greeted by a system where they get housing thrown at their necks, unemployment benefit thrown at their neck. As well as a grant of thousands of DKK for each child they have, paid out every 3 months in the first 18 years of the child’s lifetime. They get free medical help, a psychologist for their trauma, free childcare and much much more. In fact, we give them so much money and benefits that they can even go home on holiday in the country they were supposed to have fled from in fear of getting killed.

        This is how we have received our refugees for many decades. The problem was just that we gullible Danes thought they would go home again when there was peace in their country again. Unfortunately, this did not happen, which has so far undermined our current economy. They are now trying to correct it, but it seems virtually impossible for them to get the pieces together with an propper immigration law that actually solves the problem. If you have born a child in Denmark, you suddenly have a connection to the country and it’s almost impossible to send them home. Which means, for example, that criminals are allowed to stay because they are affiliated. Whereas they send children home if their mother has married a Danish man and tries to be integrated into a Danish life.

        Just to mention a few of the challenges we face.

      3. Nymphedora says:


        Thank you for your kind words. I too have enjoyed it emencly. He is very clever our dear Dark Hearted Master, but offcourse we all know this as he ofte reminds us 😉 Nothing but Danish love for you H.G 🙏

        Well a shock, not really. I am the sort of empath that knew when he lied, when he manipulated and so on. I would even go head to head with him, supernova style and shut down my own empathy. Offcourse it went against my nature, and therefore it couldn’t last because it drained me of my very life essence. Also I suppose I must have been a sort of codependend, as I could not seem to muster up the strength to leave. This could be bacuse I was only 15 when we met, and I had never livet alone. He suceeded in convincing me that the world was a dangerous place alone, and to fear the reprecussions of leaving him.

        As to the whole gay thing. I was three years out at that point, and nothing about him really surprised me anymore. So no sadness on that point. He met the guy, moved him ind, got married, moved him out and got divorced all within 12 months. I think it was a case of when narcs collide.
        Last year he got his leg amputated. Karma may take a while, but it will come.


        You have actually given me something to reflekt upon regarding my grieving. I will get back to you one of the next days, I promise. English is not my native language, so it takes me a little while to articulate and then write an answer that hopefully makes sence in both languages. It is now late in DK and I wan’t to enjoy friday with my children.

  40. WhoCares says:

    Thank-you for this poll HG.

    I put 1-2 years but I think it depends on how you define “happiness.” (Windstorm and I have had some past discussion on this.)

    I am definitely more happy now than I was two winters ago when I was still ensnared.

    I am more free in my thinking now than I was even during pre-entanglement. That makes me happy. I thought all this time that I controlled the rudder of my own ship – but I never truly did.

    Now I’m free to pursue whatever I truly feel will make me happy.

    1. lisk says:

      WhoCares, I am totally with you in the pursuit of that freedom.

      I LOVE being free from the narc’s lens. I used to view so many things, perhaps everything, through his lens.

      Maybe that’s where part of my happiness lies: the narc lens is cracked and I don’t even want it repaired.

      1. WhoCares says:

        lisk –

        “I LOVE being free from the narc’s lens.”


        Sometimes it’s almost like too much freedom. I oscillate between wanting to run amuck and timidly venturing out of my little burrow in the ground…but I opt for a measured, cautious response…every time exploring a little further and each time a little bit smarter.

  41. Petra says:

    Once I escaped the narc I was happy. Thanks to your help HG I was able to come up with a plan and follow through. All your books have been tools in my belt to aid and abet escape.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am pleased to read that that has been the case.

  42. Mona says:

    I do not understand the votes of some people. If it took them less than three months, why are they here? Could anybody explain that to me, please?

    1. lisk says:

      I think that’s a great point, Mona.

      I would not becoming back here if I was totally healed and happy. I mainly come here when I still struggle with my regret and anger or after I see my narc in my neighborhood.

      In some sense, I am not really, fully No Contact while I still read and write about the narc, whether that narc be my own personal ex-narc or whether he be HG, who I consider a representation of the narc,or, dare I say…HG, the narchetype.

      1. Twisted Heart says:

        Narchetype! Good one👌🏻
        It has been three months for me but I bet it would have been much longer had I not found this site.

    2. Mercy says:

      Mona, I think it is because we can find happiness in other things but the damage that was done never goes away completely.

    3. Alexissmith2016 says:

      Just a guess Mona but could be a geyser or borderline as they both repair very quickly or could be a narcissicist who believe they’re an empath or someone who wants to make the rest of us feel bad because it took us so long.

  43. BurntKrispyKeen says:

    I chose two answers but for the same romantic narcissist.
    1. Immediately – because as often as I curled up into the fetal position and sobbed like, as he once put it, a movie star actress, he could never completely wipe the smile from my face. I own that.

    Way back in my high-school days, my classmates voted me “Friendliest” and “Most Happy-go-Lucky.” My happiness is part of my DNA and it is, in part, a conscious effort of which I chose to seek each day. He might have taken my dignity, but I refuse to give him my happiness.

    2. Now having said all that, I also chose More Than Two Years because I’m still recovering. I know that I will never be the same. I am FOREVER changed by narcissism. But after two years from him revealing all of those email exchanges between himself and those 30-plus women, the fog simply started to lift. I found myself looking up at the sky instead of staring down at my shoes. (No one really knew what I was going through, so my shame and inner-turmoil were barely noticeable. I worked hard to conceal my pain… except for here, of course. And I do apologize for anybody’s suffering caused by my weak moments.) HG and Narcsite helped me tremendously.

    I knew there was an internal shift when I was more willing to look others in the eye, really look… when that sparkle returned and I felt like flirting a bit and actually found myself enjoying that type of banter with a male. But I haven’t been much impressed there, so I still struggle with the addiction… the excitement that a narcissist provides.

    I’m so curious as to why you asked, HG? I have a feeling you want to know for a specific reason. Would you be willing to share?

    1. BurntKrispyKeen says:

      Nevermind, HG … I found the answer. It was a request. Very nice of you sir.

    2. HG Tudor says:

      A reader asked me to organise such a poll as an obliging host, I have did so.

    3. lisk says:

      Just curious, BurntKrispyKeen: did your ex-narc willingly reveal those email exchanges from 30+ women or did you happen to find them?

      Either way, I think you are lucky to have seen them. There is no cloud of unknowing in your head, like there is in mine. I mean, I DO know, but it would have been so much nicer to see the hard evidence. (Though how it would have changed anything, I don’t know. He probably would have been able to lie his way out of that, too, because I just wasn’t ready for the truth yet.)

      1. shesaw says:

        Lisk, my ex did show me text-exchanges with other women. He did it ‘to prove me’ that I ‘meant so much more to him’ than them.

        I wasn’t relieved. Yes, you know that they do the cheating anyway, but once they show you ‘something’, you instinctively know that there is more. And then you want to know that. And so on. His ‘openness’ was really just another manipulation and it didn’t make ‘the cloud of unknowing’ disappear. On the contrary.

        The only way to forcefully prove to yourself that what you think is correct, is to go undercover and never tell him about what you found. If you manage, the evidence will probably be worse than you expected – but at least it speaks for itself.

        I never told him what I really knew about him. It has been a decisive strategy in stopping my emotional thinking. To hear him lie, to KNOW it was flat out lying, but to just smile and accept (not giving him the opportunity to lie his way out of it… It made me feel powerful, but far, FAR more important, it gave me back my sense of reality. I left shortly after that. Have been NC and have been letting him hoover me few weeks/months ago. The magic was gone.

        He is not malignant, as far as I know. But I was IPSS, not IPPS, so that may have saved me from the worst. What is clear to me anyways is that he is a grandiose, pathological liar who is in need of the attention from so many women. I forgave him in my heart, knowing that he is the one who is ruled by something stronger than him, while I have at least the illusion that I am free.

        1. E. B. says:

          Hi shesaw,
          “… knowing that he is the one who is ruled by something stronger than him, while I have at least the illusion that I am free”
          So true. A narcissist said his real self (not his false self) feels he has no control whatsoever. He could see that other people have at least some kind of control in their lives and that he wanted to feel like everybody else.
          They struggle with it every day. I guess he was a LMRN or a MMRN. Like Lessers, they do not have the awareness, intelligence and energy levels UMRNs and GNs have.

          1. shesaw says:

            Hi E.B.
            That is special, that he told you that. Nex never really confessed anything that would make him seem vulnerable. But maybe a reason for that was that I found this site and it made me overly aware of what he was, so he probably must have chosen instinctively to man up (in his way).

          2. E. B. says:

            You are right that narcissists would never reveal those things. The narcissist I spoke about gave an anonymous interview on YT. Even his voice was masked. The lady who asked him to give an interview is a friend of the narcissist. He was diagnosed with a NPD and was in therapy.

      2. Mercy says:

        Lisk, BKK and I have a similar story. My ex confessed too about all of the women in his life while with me. In some ways it’s good because there’s no lingering questions about what I don’t know. For me, the way everything was revealed was done to gain fuel. It was 2 years of calculated torture. It wasn’t just confessions, it was very explicit details. I honestly couldn’t tell you if it’s better to know or not know. I think either way is just as painful.

      3. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        Hi, Lisk… I was suspicious of his behaviors for a long time, trying to do as much detective work as I could without him knowing. I knew he was doing “something” as I found evidence of dinners out and such, but he always had an excuse… “I was with my parents; I took the guys at work out for breakfast”
        I bet you know the drill all too well, Lisk.
        I didn’t have access to his phone as he kept that under tight security. His big reveal occurred when I found a fairly innocuous card from another woman and other pieces of “evidence.” I started the conversation with concerns followed with questions. He swore that he NEVER… that I was “the one”… the only one he wanted and the only one he’s been with.
        When I started to present the evidence, I called him a “piece of shit.”
        That’s when they came to me.
        He forwarded those emails to me one by one.

        You are right; they are skilled liars. Always trust your instincts, Lisk. When a woman knows, she knows. 💙
        I am glad you are free. Best wishes to you, Lisk.

      4. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        Shesaw, there is so much strength in your post. There’s something to be said about just walking away, knowing that once they’ve abused us, they’re not worth the fight.

        It is nice to feel your peace, Shesaw. 😊

        1. shesaw says:

          BurntKrispyKeen, thanks for your kind words! 😘
          This happened about a year (?) ago. I was really angry back then and far from peaceful. Much confused. It was so strange to hear him talk like always (same tone of voice, same words), but now knowing for 100% sure that it was all lies. A very alienating experience.
          It took many months to process everything that happened and to feel ‘me’ again. I could only describe it calmly now, after all this time!

      5. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        Mercy, it’s a mystery to me as to why they do it? (Other than HG solving the mystery of fuel, but you know what I mean.)

        At first, it was clear that my narcissist revealed those emails out of anger… punishment for my discoveries and for calling him an ugly name. After his email display, I did my best to not give him much fuel, so he soon acted as though he only sent the emails as a way to confess… to finally get it out in the open as he never wanted to hurt me. (Really? Cuz he sure seemed to enjoy it when my inbox was lighting up like a Christmas tree?!) He asked me what he could do to make this up to me… to get a new start? I told him, “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.” Of course, I was hurt. A part of me wanted him to make an effort, but the other part of me knew that wouldn’t be able to get past his betrayal.

        I know what you mean Mercy, about questioning what’s best? It’s like when ya meet the other woman. If we see her as less desirable than ourselves, we’re like, “What the hell was he thinking?! Is this the best he can do? What must be wrong with me for him to go for that?”

        But if she’s some hot little number, we feel miserable. Either way, there’s no winning.

        1. Mercy says:

          BKK, do you think if you didn’t know you would still be with him?

          I’m just relieved that I’m FINALLY getting to the point that I don’t care who he’s with, what she looks like or how he treats her. Logically I know she’s going through her own personal hell. If she is with him, she has her own problems to deal with. The other sources are no better or worse than we are.

          I still have bad days but they are easier to work though now without him around. Most days are actually really good. I’m so thankful for this relief (thank you HG!). I realized today that Im not prepared for a hoover. I’m thinking about deactivating my social media until I feel stronger. He’s blocked but he has fake accounts.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            You are welcome Mercy.

      6. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        Hi, Mercy … Yes – I probably still would be with him if I didn’t know about his indiscretions… but a woman always knows. We just have that instinct. While I didn’t immediately ascertain that he was a narcissist, I knew he was “a player” the first night I me him, so I had no intention of anything developing past a friendship. But you know what charming rascals they can be, and I really liked him… as a person. The way he could tell a story; his incredible sense of humor; his diverse talents; his sweetness; the polite way he’d interact with strangers… I truly admired the guy as a human being.
        When the other side started to show… his need to dominate the conversation with his storys; his condescending jokes; the way he’d brag about his talents; his moodiness; the way he’d flirt with complete strangers… even that, I could handle. But him swearing that I was his “one and only” and finding out that I was “one of many” – I suddenly didn’t want to be his anything. I declined his offer to be friends once he realized I wouldn’t be with him romantically.

        But as time passed, I found myself wanting some of those sweet times back, so I tried to be friends. He seemed so upset over what he had done to hurt me. He actually went to therapy per my request. I told him that his therapist needed to be a male, but he somehow got stuck with a female therapist. Imagine that. But he seemed to be working hard to win me back, so I ended up sleeping with him again. After just one intimate encounter, he started to slip back into his old ways, downplaying his therapy. When I asked him about certain issues to bring up with the therapist, he quickly let me know therapy was for him, not me… that he only went because his insurance pays 100% for a certain number of sessions, so he thought, “Why not – I have a few questions I would like answered about myself, but she can’t seem to answer them. I keep stumping her.” Which of course, I’m sure he took great pleasure in giving his therapist as difficult of a time as possible… that is, if he wasn’t trying to seduce her.
        Who knows – Who cares. 😌

        You are wise to try to put up all barriers to resist a hoover, Mercy. Each time he and I tried to interact on a friend level, his narcissistic tendencies would show up much sooner. There’s so much to say on this subject, but resisting interaction for as long as you can is the best. For me, I got to the point that if we interacted for long, it served as a reminder of exactly WHY I don’t want a relationship with him.

        But it’s a dangerous interaction because I know that a part of me will always be vulnerable to him. So stay strong, Mercy!

        1. Mercy says:

          BKK, I can’t interact with him on any level! I think he’s addicted to the challenge fuel I provide. It’s a sport for him to gain control of me. Like what you said about the first time you slept with your ex again he went back to his old ways. As soon as they think we have submitted the cycle starts over.

          When you said he went to therapy I laughed. Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall?

          1. SMH says:

            Yup, Mercy. MRN spent a few months trying to get me back into that cycle while we were trying to be friends. I couldn’t do it either and we did not even sleep together again. It is all about control.

        2. SMH says:

          BKK, I tried to be friends with mine too because I also liked a lot of things about him as a person. But my what a disaster that quickly became. In some ways it was worse than the intimate relationship because as friends I really had no clue what he wanted from me. At least when we were sleeping together it was clearer!

          1. Omj says:

            As friends they can also “ legitimely” openly triangulate and also talk about all their I tomate stories. They have less to lose in a way .

      7. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        Ha! Shesaw, I understand about being “far from peaceful.” I went through such an angry stage. I had so many dark thoughts about my narcissist that I was convinced I was turning into one myself.
        But like E.B. said, the passage of time helps so much… time with effort to heal. (Though I know I will never be the same.)

        I’m worse for it in many ways, but there’s no way we all aren’t wiser and stronger because of these narcissistic encounters. But damn, what a price to pay for an education! (I wish I could itemized my stupid tax on this year’s Form 1040.)

      8. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        I understand Mercy. Unfortunately, I gave plenty of challenge fuel. And since I’m a natural smart-ass, it was very easy to do. But I now know better so I do try to stay more mundane if I do have the occasional interaction. I can see how HG is right, and I rather enjoy my narcissist trying to figure out his importance in my life as opposed to him manipulating me by thinking he has the upper hand. Not that he doesn’t already think it, but you know… he now longer knows exactly how I feel. He’d never dare ask, but I can tell he wonders.

        I am proud that you are able to stay away, Mercy. And yes… I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall… if I could handle what I’m sure would be his seduction of her. When I went back for a bit, he told me of how his therapist offered him a drink; she was noting that he’s never taken a beverage from her during his sessions. He told me that he told her that he could count (how ever many I can’t now remember) the steps into her kitchen, and if he needed anything to drink, he’d get it himself as he’d never wish to trouble her with x-number of unnecessary steps.
        He’s so charming yet so full of shit.

      9. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        Exactly SMH – His post-romantic-narc-friendship was too ambiguous for me as well. When he first asked me to be friends, I was still very hurt over his indiscretions… that realization that I was never his “one and only,” so I told him, “I’ll be your only, or I’ll be your nothing.”
        (Did I just sound like a Greater Narcissist there, HG? 😓 Yikes!)
        But as you know, SMH, that addiction is hard to kick. So after enough time passed, I thought that I could handle his little escapades… just as long as I could still engage in those intriguing, hilarious conversations. (After all, I was most attracted to his brain.) But because I wasn’t giving him my body, he didn’t interact with me as enthusiastically as before; he was pouty because he wasn’t getting all that he wanted.
        Plus, once I removed the physical aspect from our relationship, I started to realize that I was addicted to the sex much more than I could comfortably admit.
        It was a hot mess.

        1. SMH says:


          I was his indiscretion (IPSS). I had six months NC before I finally escaped and by the time I did, I was really done because I watched him very closely for a few weeks and saw what he did (contrary, push-pull, approach avoid all the same shit even though we were not sleeping together at that point).

          He made me anxious but that was about it – it was all the pent up anger and exasperation. I wasn’t really attracted to him anymore – I think because I was in control and felt free for the first time since I’d met him. But he was still attracted to me and thought I was to him. I would torture him with sexual innuendo (when he would do it to me I would leave the conversation). I even wrote him erotica during our ‘friendship’ and then told him it was a joke. The final time we saw each other he went to hug me and I got all stiff (don’t know if he did as I did not cop a feel).

          Honestly, post escape he was such a manipulative prick (was gonna say cunt but that is a Britishism) that I really wanted to kill him at the end. At first I was very nice but it was not my idea to be friends – I asked not to be in touch but he ignored my attempt to make some boundaries, so everything that happened after that, he owns. That includes me threatening to go to his house, telling him he was a psychopath, making him delete all of our correspondence in front of me, and telling IPPS – all because I inadvertently wounded him during our friend period, he got pouty and gave me a silent treatment in return. So I went bonkers. Oh well!!

          I only get the weakest of indirect hoovers now and very sporadic, but we are in separate countries now so that helps a lot. It took a few months NC to begin to feel normal again. Then I met someone else and he distracted me for four months and now I am in a different country to that guy too and happy as a clam. How many countries are there in the world? One for each time I need to escape someone!!

          1. Twisted Heart says:

            Hahaha!!! SMH😂
            How many countries are there??? That really made me laugh! You’re on the lam. Look at it this way, your world keeps getting bigger while the narcs get smaller (in your rear view mirror at least).

          2. SMH says:

            Twisted Heart, That’s how it feels sometimes!! I do have a history of skipping off to another country in the middle of a relationship. I’ve done it about five times!

          3. HG Tudor says:

            Extradition is a nuisance, isn’t it SMH?!

          4. SMH says:

            The global love underworld

          5. Twisted Heart says:

            A rolling stone gathers no moss.

      10. BurntKrispyKeen says:

        SMH, that’s what’s so sad… is that they can’t seem to have a genuine friendship without the games of manipulation.
        Your post made me chuckle out loud. “The final time we saw each other he went to hug me and I got all stiff (don’t know if he did as I did not cop a feel).” – SMH
        Ha! If he’s anything like my narc, he did, SMH… he did. I kept thinking age would slow my ex-narc down, but it never seem to have much effect on the little furcker. But they are definitely affected when we treat them in the way you described. I don’t think yours knew what to do with you? It’s a shame really, that they can’t seem to behave in a way to foster a decent friendship.

        Oh well, luckily those frequent flyer miles can be put to good with another man… one mature enough not to engage in the silent treatment. 🙄

  44. Omj says:

    So I have after 6 months regained happiness – I went back and I am now in a different relation with him because I am in a different relation with me.

    I would like to keep it that way – time will tell- when I find myself sliding again – I go back to my inner garden – come back here and read more.

    So I am happy now – I am still in a relationship with my Narc- but I have my indépendance – my work- my hobbies – my passions – so I am IPSS happily shelved and unshelved .

    For now I don’t want someone in my life all the time – I know what he is- I keep emotional distances.

    I know it’s not perfect and I know it is playing with fire – but I do have great residual benefits .

    1. shesaw says:

      OMJ, how do you manage that, “happily shelved and unshelved”?
      I always found the shelving terrible and couldn’t enjoy the unshelving anymore in the end – but maybe that was because my shelvings (the long ones) always started with silent treatments. Or were they ST’s? Whatever, haha. I just didn’t enjoy them at all.

      1. Omj says:

        I truly have a life now. Through meditation, hypnosis, healing massage therapy and te entered my life around me and my talent .
        What do I really love to do and what I really want to do – and I do it. I have a real life and not a life in waiting.
        My greater is an interesting person and we do have an intellectual connection- I do learn a lot with him – so there are real and tangible benefits for me.
        So when I am unshelved I focus on the things that I do like about him – and suck everything I can learn.
        I am not saying that is the life I want long term.
        But for now my personal life is very gratifying and brings me contentment so having him on a part time base is perfect , for the moment.
        Hope this helps .

        1. shesaw says:

          Thanks for answering my question, OMJ,
          That sounds great – you are in the driver seat of your life and you make the choices. The better position!

          1. Omj says:

            But let’s not kid ourselves – I have to ensure my ET is not running wild. Especially that our interactions are good – as HG says -some IPSS have a good experience or a not so bad one.

          2. shesaw says:

            Yes, the walls must stay up!

      2. lisk says:


        “Not a life in waiting”

        That describes life without a narc PERFECTLY.

  45. Janet winans says:

    I am still going thru my divorce,it is dragging along over a year,i am still not fully recovered and hopefully will be when divorce ends but i have had levels of happiness starting from about the 3rd month.I filed for the divorce so taking my power back was the start of my happiness.This was the 5th Narcissist,i actually had insight i was picking the wrong men and voweled to find the opposite.I ended up marrying a covert Narc..was in the relationship 6 years.In my opinion was the one that hurt me the most.I feel free now and very happy,with flashbacks of the abuse and sometimes feeling sorry for him.

  46. Jenna says:

    Fast. No more than 6 months. Afterwards, I am a better person than I was before (imo) due to deep reflection, reading, etc.

    1. Jenna says:

      I would like to add those 6 months were hell and I wanted to die.

      1. Jenna says:

        Ok my comment doesn’t make sense because HG didn’t post my first comment yet, that preceded this one. I hate it when that happens lol! (It’s not the first time hehe)

      2. E. B. says:

        I am glad you are here with us, Jenna. Wanting to die because of him is like giving away all your power to the abuser. He does not deserve it.
        Your first comment has been posted. Six months is really fast. It can take up to several years. Was your fast recovery due to reading this blog, books and consulations?

        1. Jenna says:

          Hi EB,

          Thank you. Yes definitely it was a consequence of reading HG’s material and audio consultations. Without that, it would have taken years I believe. That is one of the reasons I am still here. I like to be in a community of people who know exactly what I’ve been through in case I get the urge to contact. We are not no contact, but I voluntarily do not contact him.
          Due to this ordeal, I’ve done alot of introspection and decided I never want to be like him. So the narcissistic traits that I have, I am trying to lose. I have become a better person imo – more calm, less stressed, less sensitive, more giving. It ironically turned out for the best. But that doesn’t mean I welcomed it. If I could go back in time and delete it, I definitely would. Thank you EB for reaching out.

          1. E. B. says:

            You are welcome, Jenna.
            It is good to hear that you are feeling more calm and less stressed and sensitive than before. Especially during devaluation, we are in flight or fight mode without noticing it. We get used to being abused and do not realize how stressed we are until we completely remove ourselves from them and experience what it is like to be around safe, supportive people.

  47. Kathleen says:

    I achieve happiness and forgiveness around eight months. However I was so confident minutes but I thought I could reach out to the narcissist. It made me even happier that she engaged with me. Which to me signaled that her new source of fuel she ran off with really didn’t mean much at all to her. However, after the fourth meeting she turned it all around pulled out her victim card and put me back on the shelf painted black. Now it has been a few weeks of a significant setback to my calm hopeful happiness. It is regenerating and my telephone consultation with HG Was certainly helpful to highlight how my emotional (normal/empathetic) thinking tricks me into thinking I can mean something to her or mend the conflict and be anything other than a fuel source.
    – I have finally packed up all my books and notes about narcissism And plan to give them away… But I’m still soothing myself on this website/forum. I do not look at any other sources of information about narcissism anymore. So I’ve pared down my focus on the topic significantly Which makes me proud.
    I’m looking forward to the sad day when I’ll have to say goodbye to HG. But I feel like I still have a little work to do and really benefit from his expert input.
    Fingers in ears eyes closed this stupid Valentines week LOL 🤪

    1. Kathleen says:

      There’s some dang auto correct -talking to text -wrong words in my note but I think My point is made

    2. NarcAngel says:


      Fingers in ears and eyes closed is good advice. This week will be tough for many.

      1. Anm says:

        This is going to be a great Vday for me. The narc will be doing…. Who cares? And I will have to kids to myself. Will probably make brownies and milk with them. I dont mind being single one bit

        1. NarcAngel says:

          That sounds like a great Valentines to me. Enjoy it all.

      2. Mercy says:

        I forgot about Valentine’s!! I guess that’s why my daughter asked me to babysit haha. I didn’t even ask.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Everyone’s a winner there.

          1. Mercy says:


            Yes! I love hanging with those little humans.

  48. Triple M says:

    I love your Polls !

    I wish if the choices were in years rather than weeks !

    In my opinion;

    The familial case such as being entangled with a brother or a sister can take less recovery compared to the entanglement with a parent narcissist. So, the siblings healing can take from 6 months to a year.

    The romantic relationship with a Narc is so devastating, there are many negative outcomes, such as impacting (health, children, money, business, etc …) Thus the healing is much more longer, the longer time we spend with a disordered individual the more negative outcomes we get, unfortunately some of them which can’t be reversed. So, the period of healing for the individual who have been romantically entangled with a Narc – especially those who had no background about narcissism at the beginning- MUST not be less than a year! In my case it took me more than 3 years and am still looking for a solution for PTSD.

    Thank you, HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      YOu are welcome.

  49. Leanne, master of her own destiny says:

    It was all escapes, and always took a year or two to recover. I find *my* happiness within, first and foremost.
    Of course, any court cases extended the recovery. (And you! Thank you HG, for helping me with the last one)

    Scrappy Empath

  50. Christopher Jackson says:

    The first one that happened was my dad I had been ensnared for years …still hurts it has taken about 5 to 6 years to be able to go days without like seeing something that reminds me of him.

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