Poll : When You Look Back At Your Ensnarement With Your Narcissist, How Do You Feel?

 

 

POLL _ HG WANTS TO KNOW

 

 

Many of you have escaped from an ensnarement with our kind, other have been disengaged and are dealing with the aftermath. Many of you will have been ensnared more than once.

It is common to look back on the ensnarement and reflect on it in many ways, mostly in order to try to understand what happened and why.  You also look back and consider your own behaviour and conduct. Sometimes you do not recognise the person you were back then, sometimes you are surprised at your behaviour (be it for good reasons or bad) and sometimes you fully understand why you behaved as you did. You may feel shame at the things you did, from clinging on desperately to lashing out at the narcissist. You perhaps marvelled at the strength you exhibited to get through the maelstrom relatively intact. You may accept you had no chance to escape what was coming and knowing what you know now, this is only reinforced, then again you may acknowledge you saw the warning signs but failed to heed them.

When you look back at your own behaviour during your ensnarement(s) by our kind, how do you regard your own behaviour during that time? You may choose up to four options form the choices before casting your vote and do expand on your thoughts in the comments section.

Thank you for participating.

When you look back at your behaviour when ensnared by the narcissist which of the following is closest to how you feel about it?

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233 Comments

  1. I am not proud of what i became. I ignored red flags. I did not know what he was as i had not understanding of it until now, but I knew something was wrong, but stayed. I overlooked these things believing we all have character defects and at the time, thought they were not something to be concerned about. I love unconditionally, which has been my downfall. They of course become more serioous and frequent as time passed, but by that time, he had me.

    I lost myself.

    For me, I have thought I am losing my mind. He has morphed reality so much and so often that I have come to doubt my own mind. Once it was a sharp and very capable miind.

    He can twist things to an extent that I find myself asking…. is he right? Did I imagine him saying or doing this or that. Am I the one that needs help?

    He keeps saying I make things up that it is not happening.

    He says i project when it is really me that is doing it not him.

    So round and round my head would spin until i found Mr. Tudor’s blog.

    He set me straight.

    Now I am learning from Mr. Tudor and the very strong and capable people here. I am planning ahead and hope to escape one day.

    Yes i still love him. Very stupid on my part. I have that voice in the back of my mind that says he just needs help. That he loves me too.
    Logically i know this is false.

    tell my heart that.

    1. Oracle, I like how you describe the process of knowing something is not quite right but ignoring it because you love unconditionally. That is my main trait as well, loving for love’s sake. I know it is hard to imagine this, but there will be a moment when you will see the truth. It’s very painful and almost impossible to accept, but you will see it. It will be the moment when you finally understand that the person you love is not the narc, that the narc is an empty shell, and that this person you thought you knew is just a stranger. It is scary and eye opening at the same time. You will love yourself more when this happens and will value the fact that you are a loving creature while he is incapable of love. Don’t feel guilty for loving. That is actually an asset we have, don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise.

      1. Thanks Sweetest perfection. I hope your right. I believe that you are. I hold on to hope that i will find my way thru this. I get stronger each day, as i find my voice again, and find myself for that matter. I was a force to reckon with at one time. I still can be, but not when it comes to him. I become weak, stupid, timid, and afraid. This too shall pass they say. I am glad you found your way from the sounds of it.

    2. Oracle
      You are still sharp and capable but that is your logical thinking. You have been confused into using more emotional thinking to keep you engaged. Logic says you do not love him because you never really knew him. You are in love with who you want him to be and who he pretended to be. Emotion tricks you into thinking that you can get back to that. Logic offers that you cannot because it was not real to begin with. You are allowing emotion to gain ground because you are in love with the illusion, but emotion will only hurt you in the end. Logic is your sharp and capable self trying to overrule and to save you. Trust your logic.

      1. Agreed….you know a big part of his hold now is 2 things. The 17 year old son that died.. We share that bond of loving that child and the torment of losing him. The other thing is he is the only thing left in my life that is familiar. Aside from him, there isn’t anyone i have history with. Well i know some people but acquaintance. No support system…. Would this be complacency?

  2. I did not stand a chance to resist being seduced.

    With the help of a therapist, I am now working on becoming a recovering codependent . Back then, when our lives clashed together, I’d just separated from my ex-husband of 20 years, moved to a new country where I didn’t know anyone, didn’t master the language fully and felt very insecure, lonely and unloved. For him, I was an easy prey to manipulate and for me, he was perfect, soothing the painful feeling of my recent rejection with his lavish words.

    I’d also just found out the reason why I never dared to have children: it was because of my narcissistic mother. I still regarded all the physical and verbal abuse my mother inflicted on me during my entire childhood as normal.

    I didn’t research the term “narcissist” until recently. That’s when I saw the similarities between him and her. Luckily I’d already moved out of his house (after he tried to kill me), I then immediately imposed the “no contact” rule.

    I don’t consider myself as a victim, I needed him as much as he needed me. We used each other and both clenched our obsessive compulsions, trying to heal our childhood traumas.

    To an extent, I am even grateful! Despite all the hurt and dramas, I finally found the true me. For the first time in 52 years, I am loving myself and it feels bloody marvelous! It’s more than I can say for him. He will never change, doesn’t even want to. He will end up just like my mother, alone and bitter and that’s his choice. I know I much prefer the way I am, and the life I will have from now on.

    1. Jo’, I can so relate to this.

      I, too, tried to heal my childhood traumas with my Narc Ex, and he with me.

      In a way, I guess it worked. I had to go through him to get to me.

      Welcome to your new life!

  3. I read the question as: How does it feel to learn that you are an appliance whose primary use is to provide fuel, character traits and residual benefits?

    Ironically I discovered my pattern of narcissistic involvement while providing emotional support to a friend going through a contentious divorce and custody battle. She was a part of a group of women who were battling corruption in the domestic court of her county. I learned that all of the women had one thing in common they had all been ensnared by a narcissist. I felt sorry for them and what they had been through, and I just wanted to help in some meaningful way. The subject of narcissism came up so frequently that I decided to do some research, the deeper I dug the more I learned, and the conclusion I reached was that I too had been ensnared… multiple times.

    Prior to this revelation I described the ending of my last relationship of 10 plus years, as having all the finesse of a professional hit… sudden, swit, and merciless. This didn’t devastate me, we had been winding down, and I had been slowly disengaging and checking out, so while the ending was full of drama, my sadness stemmed from losing what I thought of as my best friend. That loss left a chasm, a deep fissure, that has healed by building layers of tissue to close the wound but has left a visible scar. I think if you look close enough you can see it, I know when it rains I feel it, because it still hurts a little.

    My research gave me knowledge. The knowledge helped me understand. The understanding gave me clarity. And the clarity made me realize that I have a problem… This wasn’t a single isolated encounter, as I scanned my memory, thumbed through my old journals and photos, shook the family tree, there they were, all of them. Father, half-sister, other relatives, friends, and of course lovers.

    Hello my name is Zenith and I am attracted to narcissist

    So how does it feel to know this about yourself, to come to realization that your life is saturated with images, words and music that seems to have been created by empaths for ensnared empaths. And that you consume these things because you are addicted to feeling. Admitting that I am a love junkie whose emotions are too big, even for me sometimes…

    But how did I feel when I found out… I folded inside myself. I went through all the stages of grief:

    Shock… It wasn’t that I couldn’t believe it had happened to me, I was fond of saying that things happened to you but they weren’t you. But this knowledge led to a truth that hurt, the greatest damage was caused by the fact that the love, the friendship, all of experiences and wonderful memories were a lie.

    Denial… I don’t have the problem he/they did this to me. I didn’t want to admit that I denied my intuition, ignored red flags, and common sense so that I could follow my heart, when what I really was doing was just feeding my addiction.

    Anger… It wasn’t fair. I’m not perfect but I’m a good person, I do good things most times, I try so hard to be fair, and genuine and loving, only to learn that these are the very traits that open me up to exploitation. My hands still shake a little thinking about it. I hate that I want big sweeping romantic gestures, or to have all the love songs make sense, that I want passionate, all consuming sex, that I want the soulmate of fairytales. I don’t want to want these things anymore, but I do still… sometimes.

    Bargaining… Can I have a little, just a small taste, a single sip of the golden period. It feels so good, life affirming, magical. I know it isn’t real and I won’t fall or invest too heavily. And at the first sign of devaluation I swear to God I will stop… I try to make myself these promises knowing that they are lies. I don’t want to be a liar.

    Acceptance… The pattern is the pattern. Now I know better I can no longer make the same choices… when you know you go, right. I want healthy and sane, meaningful and sustainable, I want real love, not a facsimile. But I know like all addicts it’s one day at a time. Most days it’s easy and getting easier, but sometimes it is just so damn hard.

    1. Zenith this is really lovely. I appreciate your candor and the details of your experience.

      I sometimes feel like it’s all gone, and then it’s back again, the desire, the wish. But I’m getting over those pangs more quickly as the days go by.

      I can say, at least for myself, that it does get less damn hard.

  4. Dearest Hg,

    As many have alluded, though your choices did not state it as bluntly:

    I felt like a fool.

    ..and then, as if that weren’t punishment enough, as though I were laughed at as a result of my foolishness, and all the sins of the empath.

    But, I am happy I know that is simply his loss.

    As our illustrious compatriot here on the blog: FoolMe1Time – that’s right – Once.

    *turns back on the emotional sea, the logic boat battered, but intact.. maybe I’ll go for a walk in the woods…

    I’m still sad though..

    Hg – the Narctales is not yet available in paperback, is it?
    – maybe you have a different recommendation for me?

      1. Thank you kindly for asking :
        All the classics – Fuel, Fury, Manipulated, Devil’s Toolkit, Escape, Sex & the Narcissist, Exorcism, All the Ask.. and Seduction – part 1..

        What I’d really like, is a paperback in order to have one signed by you, so I can exercise my sin of patience (is that one?) and wait for Narctales, or choose another I’ve read, but would enjoy on my bookshelf…

        Are there certain ones available for your autograph?

        Hope Mayday was golden!

        1. I suggested Smeared.

          I have a number of people waiting for signed copies at present which I am dealing with. I am about to travel extensively so will not be in a position to accept any further requests for signed copies for some time.

          1. Excellent! One I have yet to read, and full of your wisdom!
            Yes, please.
            Now I need instructions..

  5. Hello HG, I hope you enjoyed your weekend. Thank you so much for posting my comment containing the reference to Saving Sirga, the lioness on Netflix. You amaze and are most appreciated!

    You may find the discussion on the generational evolution of predators in the wild interesting. It also demonstrates the dramatic impact a loving parent can make on a genetically predisposed predator. A life long trust evolves between Sirga and the man who saves her. They share behaviors never before shared by man and lioness (he is unarmed and both explore the Kalahari together). It is truly remarkable.

    So even lions, with the strongest genetic predatory drive can be influenced by environment. 😉 Thanks again!

  6. I cannot believe I stayed with someone who was so beneath me.

    I guess this is what – almost a year after my escape – still bothers me the most. The shame involved to have wasted my best qualities on someone far less intelligent, less educated, less interested in anything relevant, less sociably liked etc. just because he managed to uphold the facade of being supportive, honest, loving, caring, sexy and even “feminist” for the first two years. Ha!

    I remember how often I felt bored with his shallowness, but told myself not to be too demanding or even arrogant (advise many women are given repeatedly in a patriarchic society…). I lowered my standards, made excuses, even started drinking to ignore our differences – and slowly got boiled like the proverbial frog.

    My pride is still hurt, though I got out as soon as devaluation set in. At least he never saw me begging.

    But it took me a year to understand what really happened, who I really had dealt with. My trust in people took a big blow, even worse my trust in my own perception.

    It angers me what I became.

    And all this for a person who was not worth any of it.

    Or to say it in Swann’s words: “To think that I wasted years of my life, that I wanted to die, that I felt my deepest love, for a (wo)man who did not appeal to me, who was not my type!”

  7. I voted on I can’t believe I stayed with someone so beneath me.

    My ex definitely had some good traits, but overall our morals and outlook on life was vastly different.

    He’s a drug dealer.
    He’s been in jail twice, and currently still on probation.
    He has 4 children to 4 different women and only sees his youngest daughter. (He didn’t talk to the mother from the day she told him she was pregnant, until he saw his daughter for the first time at 7 months old)
    He uses a lot of drugs, including the hard stuff.
    He has never held down a paid job for longer than a few months (he’s 47)
    He didn’t complete any further education after high school.

    How did I end up with him you may ask? Well, initially our relationship was about sex, and whilst I knew when I met him that he sold a bit of weed, everything else was drip fed over time, by which stage I had been well and truly love bombed and then I completely lost my senses.

    After losing my senses I became a crazy person, and I was so attached and trauma bonded to him and the golden periods. I had no sense of reality when I was with him. I could not break free from the cognitive dissonance.

    I don’t wish him ill. I think the rest of his life is going to be very difficult for him and that makes me feel sad.

    1. Mai51, You might be interested in the piece ‘Her Prince Charming Turned Out To Be a Crazed Hit Man’ in the New York Times. You are not alone. The story is sad but also inspirational.

      1. Thank you SMH…. quite a sobering, yet very inspirational story. I think I am lucky that I entered my relationship strong and independent. Even in the darkest hours, I never lost my true self…. I was chosen bc I was strong, not weak, as this woman unfortunately was (due to circumstances out of her control)

        I really appreciate you sharing.

        1. You are welcome, mai51. Glad you got something out of it. I think it is always a matter of degree and depends on the type of empath you are and the type of narc the other person is. I never had anything so horrendous happen to me but I still see shades of myself even in even the worst of these stories. Yours sounded pretty bad but I am happy to hear you have been able to hang onto your true self. You sounded strong – not broken – in your original post.

  8. To preface this, I am a bit of an introvert and not given to posting publicly. However, I have been moved to do so by what I have learned while reading this blog.

    Growing up with a father with narcissistic tendencies, a mother who was codependent, and a brother who I am pretty sure has a narcissistic personality disorder (and has since he was cut from my mother’s womb) has led me to be ensnared by narcissists on and off since I was 18. My parents were unable to deal with my brother, and the responsibility to fix him was often put on my young shoulders. I remember wanting to leave home when I was 11. In the 80s, I was diagnosed with clinical depression after my first relationship with a narcissist, and with the reading and knowledge that I now have, I’m not sure that what I was experiencing wasn’t PTSD. The anti-depressants always made me feel better, so I didn’t continue therapy as I should have, but I’m not sure that the psychologists in the US at the time were really cognizant of what was happening to me. The one time that I was hospitalized, one of the orderlies latched on to me and did a number on my head.

    Back then, no one talked about narcissism. It’s not to say that I haven’t had any healthy relationships, but, for the most part, I have found myself being sucked in by narcissists.

    I was fortunate enough to be living in Mexico during my last relationship with a narc, and was introduced to an amazing Gestalt therapist who was able to help me get to the root of the problem and become emotionally aware and not just intellectually aware. Towards the end of my therapy, he suggested that I needed to physically remove myself from the city where I was living or that I risked being sucked back in, so I did. I healed.

    Five years later, my personality still draws them like flies. In the past five months, I have had to deal with two narcs trying to hoover me. Now, I become aware of what is happening very quickly and am able to distance myself. However, I don’t want to change the part of me that attracts them because I think, in the grand scheme of things, who I am as an empathetic person is not such a bad thing. I must just be vigilant.

    In the survey, I chose that I was made to feel crazy because, with my background of having been diagnosed with depression, it was a theme that was played on over and over again. However, all of the other points also came into play. I don’t feel angry anymore, I don’t feel disgusted by my actions, either. I have led a rich life, barring my problems with self-esteem. Perhaps I wouldn’t have experienced the amazing things that I have without the onus of my own shortcomings.

    Awareness is a powerful tool.

    I found this site while researching narcissism and its relation to alcoholism. Reading what HG has written reinforced what I already had experienced and knew deep down. As well, the sharing of you other victims has allowed me to see that I am not the only intelligent woman to have been manipulated, and that makes me feel less alone and less idiotic in my intelligence and inability for so long to understand what was happening to me. In fact, the preponderance of intelligent, well-thought-out comments astonishes me and also makes me feel better. I am not alone.

    Thank you all!

    1. Mayáhuel, I love your post and especially this line: “Perhaps I wouldn’t have experienced the amazing things that I have without the onus of my own shortcomings.” I feel the same way. It is a blessing and a curse but we are who we are. We just need to learn to be more vigilant, as you say.

    2. Mayahuel
      Welcome and thank you for adding your experience. You are certainly not alone. Just have a look at the numbers (blog stats and subscribers on the left hand side) that is sadly ever growing. Keep reading here to continue the awareness and please pass it on to others so that they may share that feeling of not being alone as you have.

  9. I chose ‘it angers me to see what I became’ first and foremost because this is what I still feel when I look back at my behaviour. In conjunction with the first option, I also chose ‘I cannot believe how desperate I became’ because this is very much how I behaved – as if there were no better options I had in life than waste so much of my precious time and energy in the futile effort to work things out and get some closure. Yes indeed, I did not like who I became – someone who was constantly competing for and craving his attention as much as he needed my fuel – because I wanted to matter to him, to break through that concrete wall of contradictory behaviours that I did not fully understand and be visible to him.

    I think that those feelings of anger I still harbour are linked to my narcissistic sense of pride. While I try to be more compassionate and patient with myself, anger at my past ‘failures’ allows me to stay alert and keep my boundaries firm. While I am indeed capable of voicing my opinion and disapproval, I let so much blatant disrespect slide when it came to this man. My advice to any friend in a similar situation would be harsh and clear – you are precious, and you are worth so much more than allowing another person to mistreat you. I know because I have given such very wise advice in the past which proves to me that I had indeed a sense of integrity (left) and an awareness of my needs and values. It is something that I still have to ‘swallow’ and digest – that I chose mistreatment over my wellbeing and integrity for the sake of external validation of my worth. Yes, I understand the power of ET, and I agree that the foundation is the very addiction to the narcissist. I also know about the imprint that my upbringing left and understand why I have been so susceptible to narcissistic seduction.

    Yet, I was aware of red flags and of my bad gut feeling right from the beginning of our entanglement (third option) – therefore, despite my high levels of ET, it was still a decision and a choice I made, every time I allowed him into my life again.

    I have never felt regret about my final decision. It was just over. I did not and do not want to waste a further ounce of energy by attempting to get revenge because I know the effort would be futile and the minor effect that getting revenge would have is not tempting enough for me to try. My revenge is getting on with my life and working on what brought me into such a position in the first place and by establishing firm boundaries that will prevent further intrusions. Despite my anger at what happened, I do not hate him. I do understand what formed and shaped him because he told me enough about his childhood and his parents – I understand (and empathise with the fact) that he is bound to behave in this manner as a consequence of his narcissism.

    Thank you for putting up this poll and allowing us to vent our thoughts and feelings.

  10. I would have checked all but the only two which show some dignity. I did not realize and did not go until I encountered HG’s work; before that, I was all of the above: carried away, desperate, crazy, quick to fall into seduction… thank goodness I found HG before devaluation had fully started!!!! I’m super embarrassed now when I look back, who was that woman?

    1. Me too, SP. Who was that? Not because I am ashamed but because I put up with so much shit. I remember, though, that I was feeling really, really guilty about my Lesser exH, and made a conscious decision to be a different kind of person. MRN, who came off as very alpha male, tapped into my feminine energy (don’t know what else to call it). I know we are all what we are in our core, but I still like knowing that with the right person, that sort of energy might surface again.

      1. SMH, I do feel regret. I wish this had never happened. Sometimes I have the impression it was just a bad dream and it hurts to realize it was true. Not because of the pain the narc caused because he didn’t have much time to do much, I didn’t put up with much before I decided that was it; but because of my marriage and my husband. I feel like a traitor and a horrendous human being and sometimes I secretly wish the narc disappeared so that he could never hold that power over me or my marriage. I think about him now and I feel repulsed. At least, I have gotten to that stage where I don’t feel anything for him but nausea.

        1. Yes I get that, SP. I would feel that way too. It is part of the way we hand our power over to the narc and he breaks down our senses of self. I once told mine after one of my escapes that I had to build my ‘self’ up again. He had no idea what I meant. What is integrity and a sense of self to a narc? Anway, a lot of people on here do have your sorts of regrets, so you are in good company, though I know it is small consolation.

          1. I know, SMH, thanks for your words. I feel very identified with Joanne for obvious reasons and with MB when she participated in the forum. I guess I will have to try to be more condescending with myself but one thing is this forum, where all of you understand what I experienced, and another one having to explain my husband that I couldn’t help it because the other guy is a narcissist.

          2. SP,

            A few people here have ended up telling and they are success stories. I recommended Quasi’s posts to someone once. She’s not here anymore but she finally told her husband and her marriage survived. She walked us all through the whole thing. You might want to search on her posts. I totally understand the shame. It means you are a deeply feeling person, which is how the narc ensnared you. But you are also really clear-headed, so I am sure you will find a way through this.

          3. SMH, yes, I read Quasi’s story. I’m not telling. That would open Pandora’s box.

          4. SP, You know your own situation best. Just wanted to make sure you knew about Quasi. She made a huge impression on me.

          5. SMH, my husband did cheat on me. He did before we got married, but it still broke my heart into a million pieces. I am such a stupid empath that I would never make him experience that intense pain. I prefer to save him that pain. Therefore, I’m not telling to protect him, not to protect myself. I’m fine. I can be alone and I probably would get another partner soon because I fall in love quickly and I am an attractive person. But I love him and I don’t want him to suffer. And no, I didn’t cheat on him to make things even. It was never planned.

          6. Wow, SP. Really? Complicated. I never had anyone cheat on me except when a relationship was ending anyway. I don’t think I would forgive but I don’t know because it has never happened. Plenty of people do forgive, so I am not aiming that at you. I am just surprised. I doubt your husband would leave you given the history, but he might think it was indeed revenge. Complicated. Better to keep things quiet, as you say, as long as it doesn’t eat you up inside.

            I used to feel that I had to be part of a couple and I always was. I don’t feel the need anymore. It’s kind of weird because my whole life I too fell in love easily, never had a problem finding a new partner. But after MRN (and my ExH) I decided that I was defining myself too much by the men I was with and had to find myself and stand on my own two feet. Every time I consider getting back in the saddle I say to myself ‘eh, maybe tomorrow.’ I love being alone, which I did not know because I never gave myself a chance. I hate being married and once told MRN to shoot me if I ever told him I was getting married again :-).

          7. SMH, yes, I didn’t have anyone cheat on me before either. It’s not the end of the world. I just realized life is time-limited by many other serious things and the punctual accidental encounter with the narc is not significant. Everything will pass. Dust will settle. OMMMM. Fuck his shit. I’m happy at this very moment and that’s what matters. I am in a beautiful country; the temperature is 27C, I’m near the beach. I am going with some friends to catch some waves tomorrow. Narc, what narc????? FUCK HIS EMPTY SOUL. I matter. He is accidental.

          8. SP, Glad you are not ruminating. I have a tendency to do that, like a cow chewing its cud. Enjoy the beach!

          9. SMH hahaha, so do I, but thankfully, I also have a group of good friends that slap me out of my ruminating and take me to the beach.

          10. SP, I really tested my friends’ patience when MRN was in my life. I am lucky that they are all loyal and stuck around.

        2. SP, I think we are in the same country. I moved from the beachside to the hillside last year so hubby could follow his bee keeping hobby. This weather is glorious. Enjoy the waves! 🤗

          1. Narc noob, ISN’T IT? It is almost summer already! Leaving in just 30 min., I can’t wait to jump in the ocean! Wish I could send pics. Btw, how awesome that your husband takes care of bees, they are so valuable. But I wouldn’t trade the beach for the mountains. Never. Ever.

        3. Too funny SP. I think we are no where near each other. Ha ha, I jumped the gun. 😅 Same temperature here but we are going into winter, and there’s no mountains unfortunately. We do have some of the best beaches though!

          I wanted to know I was thinking of you, some of your story resonates.

          1. Narc noob, thank you, I was kidding of course, you don’t know what country I’m in and viceversa although now I know you are in the opposite hemisphere. I am near the ocean now. Pure bliss. May I ask why you said my words resonate? Did you have a similar narc entanglement, Narc noob?

        4. Hey SP, yes I’m married like you and got involved with someone. Thought it was some fun, a friend even, a little naive was I. I didn’t get intimate in the physical sense or even emotional but the constant bombing and head f$$% was there. Very soon into the GP my devaluation occurred. I can’t imagine the pain and hurt some of the bloggers get. My shame and guilt was enough – I’ve forgiven myself and moving forward though now.

          1. Good for you, Narc noob! I’m glad to read you could move on. I am in a similar position, we did have some intimacy but more than anything (I thought) we had been friends for many years. I think of him every day -obvs- but I would never go back to the entanglement. And I’m not thinking of breaking NC anytime soon. I think many times that it would help if I abandoned the forum so that I stopped talking about Mr Somatic but I enjoy the people here so much, not to mention HG’s sense of humo(u)r.

          2. I had the same problem, SP, thinking I should leave because it was just making me talk about MRN but I enjoy it here so much that I could not. Now when I write about MRN, it is as if I am writing about someone far away and long ago. I have no fears anymore that he will hoover directly either.

          3. SMH yes! I have the same feeling, it’s almost as if I am talking about the plot in someone else’s story!

          4. SP, yup. I wonder if I am making up work narc so that I have someone else to talk about. lol. I mean I did not make him up. He exists. But I am also probably ready for some drama.

          5. SMH, don’t say that! That triggers my PTS; right after I escaped and after having deactivated Facebook and blocked him, I got an anonymous email from another website saying someone was interested in drama. I didn’t sleep that night. Thank goodness it all died away after I also deactivated that account. And my normal friends (friends who are normals) call me drama queen and say that I make up drama because I can’t live without it. I wonder now if they may be right?

          6. SP, They probably are right! I know I am like that. It is why I get bored in normal relationships. MRN of course thrived on it and I can feel it coming on again. Hence, work narc. I didn’t have to return to MRN after I found out about IPPS. But I did. I warned him it would be a train wreck and it was. I know in my gut that work narc is a disaster waiting to happen. Maybe by learning some coping skills here, I can head off my own worst tendencies.

            I do believe it is us as much as it is them. Maybe that is what HG is trying to tell us. There is a category of people out there called “normals.” I have no idea what they are and HG never writes about them. Maybe both empaths and narcs are extremes. I think of it as a circle – narcs and empaths occupy the top and part of the circumference, with co-ds and lessers the furthest points from the top. But the rest of the circle are these “normals.” I think I have a few friends that fit that category but they don’t tend to be the people I spend a lot of time with, which says something too.

          7. SMH, I think you’re right too. I actually remember one occasion when narc, his wife, and I were sitting together; narc and I were talking really animated and excited, and she said: now I know why you two are such good friends because both of you are histrionic drama queens! Also, I remember I alerted him that I usually get bored of relationships quickly and that when I don’t like something I disappear, which is what I did when I escaped anyway. He was kind of surprised to hear that, as he was to see I was staring at him all the time because I liked his face. He felt uncomfortable, I guess he was used to do the staring thing. Because of my need for excitement and all of the above I have of course wondered many times if I am a narc. But I know I feel empathy for everything: people, animals, plants, even objects. However, like you say, there must be a connection between both opposed extremes. Normal people are boring and I cannot spend much time around them as they make me feel fatigued. Most of my friends are normal though but my husband is clearly an Empath. We exceed in ET. Lol.

          8. SP,

            I don’t think I’ve ever had an empath partner. I’ve had very nice ones, but that’s not the same. Were they normals in HG speak? I don’t know and I don’t know if I’ve ever really met a male empath. I’ve seen a few on here but I think most men have it socialized out of them. What makes your husband an empath in your eyes?

            I wonder if I would do well with an empath. Somehow I worry that I would smush him to smithereens because I too have strong narc traits, though I know I am not a narc.

            Interesting what your narc’s wife said. It seems that other people can feel the sparks fly too. That’s one reason I am worried about work narc. Someone is going to notice if they haven’t already (I think minion has noticed).

            I also pull disappearing acts. I’ve moved to a different country in the middle of several relationships. It’s like I need constant stimulation but I can also be alone and not be bothered about it at all. I am never bored in my own head. I just like my freedom. If only I could have a part-time lover – oops, that’s what I thought I had with MRN. I believed we would be together forever, sneaking off to see each other between visits with our future grandchildren.

          9. SMH, I thought I replied to you last night but I must have not clicked “post” because my comment didn’t even show as being under moderation. I hope I don’t comment the same thing twice now… I was saying my husband is a very sensitive person and is very emotionally connected to me and to others. He works for just causes helping people that belong to underrepresented minorities and sometimes suffers some emotional breakdowns when he has to witness very crude situations. We also connect without even talking, sometimes we happen to be thinking of the same thing or I start doing something he was going to ask me to do a minute later, things like that. It is not easy though, sometimes it’s too overwhelming and we need time off. I travel often, and that helps. Right now I have been almost a month away from him, so the emotional charge is not too much. I am not an expert of course, but if I had to categorize him I would say he is a Savior Empath, although he is more level-headed than I am. I am very sense-oriented, probably because of my synesthesia, and react to external stimuli very strongly. For example, I cannot engage in small talk with neighbors and when we are out or at a party I get really fatigued if I have to interact with people I don’t find emotionally interesting (normals), while he is super social and friendly. But if I connect with someone, then I get all hyper and excited and it’s hard to make me leave the party. I also get extremely anxious if my neighbors are mowing the yard or their children are screaming and playing or if the mail person rings the bell while I’m trying to focus on my work. My husband says I’m hypersensitive. I am equally attracted to people like him, compassionate, caring, with a strong feminine side, or to people like the narc, who is the complete opposite, but never to people in the middle. Like you, I believed the narc and I would have a passionate, irresistible affair born out of “true love,” as he used to say, it was “irrepressible, unstoppable, combustible” and yada yada yada. When he told me that he loved me, and he always would, and “no matter what happens, we will always be together” I didn’t see it as creepy as it sounds to me now. So yesterday, I got what I think is a hoover. I know when a hoover happens because I feel inside he is sending me “signals,” I don’t know if you notice the same. Like inner “carrier pigeons” hahaha. It is very hard to explain, my normal friends definitely do not get me and think I’m making this up. The first time this happened was last year, we had an argument caused by his weird hot/cold behavior and I simply left the country and didn’t talk to him. A week later, I got an email with a link to a music website. Something inside told me that meant something, I knew some way he was trying to get in touch. I opened the link and listened to the music. The next morning he started sending me messages saying he missed me he loved me blah blah. So I got the same mechanism yesterday but this time, through his brother because he knows I blocked his address. I didn’t open the link and or course, have sent his brother’s email address to spam too. Likewise, I can feel when he is around or before I go somewhere, my intuition lets me feel whether I’m safe there or he will be around, like a shark radar. I have to admit I hate the way narcs treat you, but this whole experience has opened a new world for me and is allowing me know my own potential and aspects of my personality I didn’t even know existed, and I love it.

          10. SP, Thank you for writing that all out again. It is really interesting. You articulate it so well. It sounds like you are an emotional communicator, which I guess I am too because normals bore me as well. I can chit chat for a short time but if nothing is ‘happening,’ I switch off. There is something about seeing the world in a slightly cockeyed way that normals do not have. Your husband does sound like an empath and a truly giving person. He seems to instinctively understand you. That he is also supportive is quite the bonus. I can’t say I have ever had that sort of relationship. My experience has almost always been with competitive partners or ones who felt threatened that I would leave them. The exception is probably my son’s father, but we could not get emotionally close because he does not do emotions instinctively (though not a narc at all). We were compatible in many ways but I couldn’t live like that after awhile. Maybe he was a normal?

            I know what you mean about the altered consciousness etc. When I was in the thick of it with MRN, I would suddenly get euphoric just going about my day. Maybe it was some sort of hormone. I would wake in the mornings just a minute or two before my first email would arrive, even when I was in a different time zone. ‘It’s the weirdest thing,’ I would say to him. I woke up, you appeared to me as a ghost, I could feel you, etc. I would sleep like a baby feeling that he was looking out for me. It was like a secret language/telepathy, as you describe. Even post escape and post supernova, he would hoover and it would calm me. It doesn’t happen anymore now that I have been through the whole emotional sea and am on dry land.

            However miserable it was otherwise, I agree that part is okay. It is a gift in some ways to discover things about yourself that you did not know existed – to meet someone who can draw those parts out. They say that good relationships are ones that help you to grow. I think mine really did regardless of the games. If nothing else, it made me a lot more aware of the true unknowability of other people. I will never assume anything about anyone again now that I have been to the Twilight Zone 🙂 (I couldn’t resist but I am taking seriously what you wrote – I know exactly what you mean).

            Do you feel that you can use the newly discovered parts of yourself in your relationship with your husband? Or have you kind of roped them off?

          11. SMH, “It sounds like you are an emotional communicator,” yes I am. My job is very much related to that in a way. My husband is an Empath but that doesn’t mean we have a perfect relationship at all. You can have that aspect in common but still have many differences in personality, in fact I am an idealist and he is quite practical. I am very “romantic” and he definitely is not. In a way, if I fell prey to the narc is actually because I was missing that sense of crazy passion and romance. I want to use my recently discovered knowledge about me in my life but I don’t know how to direct that, other than to protect myself from narcissists and sociopaths.

          12. I hear you, SP and great quote. I’m going to write it down. I once said to MRN that we ‘crack each other’s consciousness.’ I wasn’t looking for it in the first place and wouldn’t know how to make it happen again yet in a strange way MRN gave me a ton of confidence because that happened and because I changed and grew.

            I am curious about how you use emotional communication in your work. Mine requires it too but I find it exhausting. MRN didn’t demand any, of course, and although it was frustrating a lot, I liked that about him.

            I hope you have safe travels this week. You have been in the air a lot!

          13. Thank you, SMH. It’s from a novel called The Devil’s Own. I read it a long time ago, but HG posted an article the other day titled Eudoxie’s Letter. I have only heard that name twice in my life: in the article, and in that book. So I recovered it from my library and reread it on the plane. I just arrived to my final flying destination but tomorrow we are driving to the beach! Yeah!!! I’ll be exhausted but happy. And it’s my birthday this weekend!

          14. Oh SMH, it’s funny you mention this: “There is something about seeing the world in a slightly cockeyed way that normals do not have.“ I was actually reading a book on my first plane (of a few I have to take this week) that had this paragraph, I actually highlighted it before I read you: “It is much more difficult to describe the half-world in which things will half-happen, in which something will become visible only when it’s looked for, audible only when listened for, present only when expected.”

  11. I have a multitude of thoughts and feelings where this is concerned. First and foremost gratitude and that may sound outlandish but im grateful for meeting the narc bc if i hadnt i doubt i wouldve searched his odd behaviour and as a result learned what my mother is and come to terms with aspects of my childhood and who i am and why. I am a spiritual person and embrace my life experiences or try to. Unlike a narcissist who controls their experiences i realise you cant always control what happens in life and to grow and learn you need to face and embrace what comes your way. It can be terribly painful at times but your life is an ongoing journey.
    When i look back i have learned so much about myself and the people around me and i keep learning.
    I have a long long ways to go and have a lot of work to do but i can say im not that same person i was when i met my narc. When i met him i was up in the clouds. I was very clingey. Very insecure of losing him. Confused and hurt by his behavior. Obsessed with him at the exclusion of who i was as a person and my passions bc he became my passion. Absorbed in him and he alone could only bring me happiness.
    I am ashamed at how weak i was and the flaws in my personality that lead to him seeping in. Ashamed but also at the same time aware of certain dynamics that contributed to the door being open and also aware that there is no blame but rather reasons to why this happened. A marriage with two people from less than ideal childhoods and broken inside.
    Im amazed at my strength despite the lack of support from family. Not being able to confide in my best friend even. I alone know about my life and the secret corners of it ive struggled with over the years. Ive beared the burden alone but ive also allowed much of it to occur but again i dont play the blame game its circumstances and growth and understanding are far more important than beating myself up for choices made.
    I look back and shake my head at moments of insanity and being in the dark. Stewing over why he did this or that and how i could control him or alter how he is. I now understand and i can let go of a lot of that. I realise im dealing with a different perspective and one skewed from reality and rational thinking. At the same time i see how my thinking is and was flawed. I see my areas that need fixing and im grateful to be aware of this. We have certain aspects in common and that is what drew us together codependancy at its core.
    I think about this so much and its important to reflect on the questions in this poll. So many go thru life but never stop to see the importance of their experiences they just merely exist. They never look at the lessons from them and learn. That is a waste of a life. Embrace and learn from it that makes it worth something.

  12. I told my ex narc to F off and don’t bother me again after a 2 month hoover.I went through. several.. I was discarded again. damn just gave fuel.No further hoover attemptst. So maybe it did the trick. my limit was reached plus Hg provided the springboard to see things from logical perspective as I am quite emotional.and seem to blame myself for everything.
    I never held no contact like now. I always crumbled.This time I know it’s stronger.

  13. I keep pressing the ‘vote’ button but nothing happens so here:

    At the time I thought I was doing the right thing

    I tried my best to make it work

    I am not proud of what I became

    I am amazed at the strength I showed to pull through

    (I wanted to check ‘I saw narcissistic flags and ignored them’ but what I saw were a “flag” or two and ignored them and of course had know idea there were the signs of a narcissist)

    I have looked back at my entanglement and felt many of these things some of them more strongly than others at different stages of recovery. But my problem is not how I view it in hindsight but how it has changed me and the effect that has on how I interact with the world now – in the present.

    My trust in human beings and how the world works is fundamentally broken. I have a new way of operating in the world but it is like putting on a new set of clothes or shoes that doesn’t feel right yet – or need to be broken in – but regardless of any discomfort they need to be worn in order to go out in the world and make any forward progress at all. Sure I’d like to shop around for the perfect garment or shoes but time and life do not go on “pause” for these things.

    I think people around me just don’t understand how fundamental this change is (because they don’t have an experience that relates) and I keep getting advice, for example, on things as basic as ‘how to search for an apartment’ – as if I don’t know how.

    I know the proper, effective way to do this (I really used to be a highly functioning human being) but that only works when you have ALL – and I do mean all – your wits about you and resources in place and time to commit yourself to such an endeavour. Also, people’s criteria for what’s important in such a search is different than mine.

    I cannot trust anyone – even those who are well meaning empaths – because they do things with the intent to be helpful but cause hurt since they don’t recognize that I no longer operate in same world of naive trust and belief in the ‘goodness’ of people.

    So I stumble along relating to the world the best way I know how at present because I’m supposed to be a ‘rock’ for my son but…where’s my rock or my sense of security when the ground keeps shifting…

    1. WhoCares, You describe your experience perfectly and I understand. I know you will heal and even gain a greater strength but there is no getting around the fact it will always be a new normal. Not at all like the lighter way of being when we thought we could trust. I’m so sorry you have to deal with all this. On the scale of stress events in life, you have too many at once and there are mental and physical repercussions. So please, please be extra good to yourself every day. You are in my thoughts and I am pulling for you. My desire is to help, but sometimes all we need is to be understood. I so understand. Take care 😘

    2. I was reflecting on my own words and the fact that we cannot change the core of who we are but we are capable of adapting and changing (or curbing) how we relate and react to the world and people around us. And we can make the choice to not re-engage the world, keep re-engaging in the same way – or try (new garment; comfortable or not) a new means of engaging and see how it fits.

      And I see now that, HG, you’ve been telling us you’re trying on a new “garment” in your interctions (with the SM and elsewhere)…
      So, how is it fitting so far?

      1. Pardon for butting in on your conversation WhoCares and FYC.
        Thank you for such honesty and thoughtful comments. They resonate very strongly with me. Thanks again for expressing the above sentiments so beautifully.

        Good question to HG, WhoCares.

        It HAS become a heavier way of being FYC.
        As a consequence, the lighter moments of my life have become even more precious to me than previously.

        1. Tappi Tikarrass,

          “It HAS become a heavier way of being FYC.
          As a consequence, the lighter moments of my life have become even more precious to me than previously.”

          Thank-you Tappi – you’re certainly welcome to “butt in” anytime – and not just to concur with us!

          You’re statement above also resonates with me – you’re so correct in that we just don’t move through life any more with the same ‘ease’ – it is more methodical…with a lot of hesitation (for me personally): heavier, like you said. Maybe with time the new normal (as FYC says) becomes more natural to us? We can hope; it is what we do best after all. ♡

        2. Hi Tappi,

          Since this has been a life long journey for me I would describe it this way:
          I first was cloaked in trust, optimism and ignorance. Growing up with some familial narcs (some not) brought pain and frustration, broken trust and disillusionment. My nature is naturally strong so in my ignorance and arrogance I believed they could be changed with love, knowledge and support. Unfortunately, the hood of that cloak blinded me. As I grew up, I met a few other N’s in life not knowing what they were and believed the same thing. I made a super effort (misplaced tenacity) which was consumed but nothing changed.

          At this point, I swapped my cloak for a much heavier version. Woven into this cloak were thick threads of pain and grief. I knew I needed to remove the cloak, but could not undo the clasp of truth that held the knowledge that no one can change another. I read a mountain of journals, and finally stumbled upon KTN—so much truth (offered by a NPD/APD person!) in one place. Unbelievable! I was untrusting. Yet truth is undeniable and it sets you free when you accept it.

          With full acceptance, the clasp sprung open. I tossed that heavy cloak in the trash as I would not want anyone else to wear it. It was a struggle to get the damn thing off, but so worth it! I can not describe the feeling of that release. I decided the new normal would be without a cloak at all. I now choose to walk freely in the sunshine, empowered with a pair of super cool HG filtered sun glasses and a the powerful knowledge and wisdom that I am whole. I am armed. I am ever resisting. And I am F.R.E.E.

          The life long journey continues, but it is worth everything. The gratitude and hard won peace brings so much joy.

          Thank you for the inspiration to share. Sending love to you and WhoCares. I hope you both have a lighter and most wonderful weekend!

          1. FYC,

            “With full acceptance, the clasp sprung open. I tossed that heavy cloak in the trash as I would not want anyone else to wear it. It was a struggle to get the damn thing off, but so worth it! I can not describe the feeling of that release. I decided the new normal would be without a cloak at all.”

            I L♡VE the cloak analogy!
            Hope you had a good weekend as well.

          2. WhoCares, Thank you😘 I know you will one day be cloak-free too! Yes, I had an excellent weekend. How is your home hunting going? I hope you find exactly what you hope for🏡🏘

          3. FYC,

            “How is your home hunting going? I hope you find exactly what you hope for…”

            Thank-you for inquiring FYC; I replied on the recent Offload thread…but long story short: I have a place secured – it is not available to move in immediately and, in the interim, I don’t think it is going to be a graceful transition…

          4. Beautifully written response FYC.
            Thank you for your kind wishes.
            Apologies for such a slow reply.

          5. WhoCares,
            Please refer to comments section on the Offload post for my response to you good news!

            Tappi,
            Thank you and you are most welcome. 🙂

    3. WhoCares, I refuse to stop trusting people just because of narc. If I do, he won. We tend to be attracted to the untrustworthy ones, but most people are still trustworthy. I firmly believe that (I know that). The trick is to learn to read the signs. Yes it taps into a part of yourself that you never knew you had or needed to have, but it’s a growth and learning experience, along with everything else, even if it’s an experience that most of us would have preferred not to have had.

      1. SMH,

        “I refuse to stop trusting people just because of narc. If I do, he won. We tend to be attracted to the untrustworthy ones, but most people are still trustworthy. I firmly believe that (I know that).”

        I’m glad that your entanglement has not impacted your ability to trust – and that you still find some trustworthy ones.
        I agree that there are those (very few) people who I can trust to not directly hurt
        me…however, those same people simply don’t have the same defenses in place as me and they also possess a lack of awareness of the narcs in their own lives – so by being close to them – I still put myself in danger of entanglement. I can, therefore, only trust my own defenses and cannot rely upon other people (through my ‘perceived’ obligation to them and caring for them) to see the danger.

  14. I want to add an option that is not present. Looking back, I feel strongly much wiser now. Looking back several of the things he did now back sense. I have several ‘AHA!” moments. Where I suddenly get he was behaving in a certain way, why certain things took place.

    I am proud that I am so much smarter now. So much stronger. The smear campaign made me not care what other people think. I am not scared of befriending anyone. Hell, I lost my best friend since middle school to the narc. I do not care if people don;t like me. That was so empowering.

    So I feel wiser, better, faster, stronger. That that don;t kill me, can only make me stronger.

    1. good teaching HG. I think what has helped me the most from your writing is understanding that narcs operate in another reality where they have very different goals.

  15. I have zero self-blame and zero shame. I am a sensitive person with a loving heart. It was the most traumatic experience of my life. I became insane, and I was willing to do anything to please him. My thinking was distorted. I was very susceptible to manipulations. I would still be there if not for external forces- mostly HG.

    I am grateful for it. It helped me learn about myself and other people. I didn’t know I was an Empath. I didn’t really know myself. It has helped me discover and define myself. I am almost clearheaded now. I have helped other people since. I am wiser now.

  16. I felt like I could check most all of these. I remember envying my younger self–the self before I knew him b/c I was stronger, then. Honestly, I felt like I didn’t care much for most people, I was just focusing on my goals, etc. and then he came in and got me to really care about him.

    I know I am hooked when I begin envisioning that person as a small boy and wishing I could go back in time and comfort him.

    I was so ashamed by how desperate I behaved, how I lowered myself, how nasty I behaved at the end (calling him a cocksucker finally), thinking I was the one crazy and obsessed.

    Before knowing of narcissism, after I went no contact I was thinking I needed therapy to fix my ‘obsession’ but this would have been akin to having a surgery for the incorrect organ.

    Once I learned what he was, it was like a thousand pounds had been lifted off me. Then I had to rebuild myself and figure out why I allowed myself to be treated so poorly. Why did I think so little of myself?

    Rebuilding myself is an ongoing process. I am forever in need of maintenance. Now I see the world and people much differently.

    1. Bibi
      Calling him a cocksucker in the end wasn’t mean. Unless my memory fails me, he is isn’t he? So don’t be hard on yourself there lol.

      1. Yup, NA. Hence why I said it! Haha. But I was really mean in my words, which was so unlike me. Took 7 yrs to get me there.

        1. Good for you–I suppose it was basically fuel but if the hat fits.. This site is much better than my former narcissist support group on FB. (I left that group–was useless after HG’s name was mentioned and I looked him up.) I am nearly done with the divorce support group too. Bibi–you are awesome! We are much better off here and we will have better outcomes overall.

    2. Bibi, my word of preference is motherfucker but cocksucker is not too bad either 😉 “Once I learned what he was, it was like a thousand pounds had been lifted off me. Then I had to rebuild myself and figure out why I allowed myself to be treated so poorly.” THAT.

  17. LMR narcoholic- can’t believe I stayed with someone so beneath me. When I saw, got out

    MMR elite-DEMB IPSS/DLR gig- blind to what he was at the time (actually registered the red flags BUT didn’t comprehend them.)

  18. • At the time I thought I was doing the right thing
    • I tried my very best to make it work
    and now..
    • I am amazed at the strength I showed to pull through 

  19. I am disgusted that I entangled myself with such a disgusting, pathetic excuse for a man. His life is nothing but chaos and behind the smoke and mirrors is one worthless human being that only has his sliver tongue. I am ashamed of the person I became during this time, I don’t even know that person now. I became a manifestation of what he wanted and desired all in the attempt to keep him interested in me and desperate for his love and adoration. I still can not comprehend the lies and the actions he has taken to ruin me in order to salvage the relationship with the only woman who wants him after all he has done to her she still fights for him like some rare prize. I cannot comprehend the hold he has on her and I am grateful the hold on me was not so deep. He went from 3 women to one.

    I also can’t comprehend how he still comes back to me and begs me for a relationship to continue after all I have done to him to try and get him out of my life. A “normal” person would have been long gone but like a true Narc it doesn’t affect him and so he continues to try and satisfy his own requirements and never learns his lesson.

    After gaining such a comprehensive understanding of a narcissist he is text book. The words he says, the actions he takes are all true Narc behavior. I hate him but unfortunately I am also a stupid fool for having that small cinque in my armor because of the child we have together. I keep thinking he loves his child and that’s the game he always plays to try and seduce me. I have to constantly tell myself daily that he is worthless and to him the child is only a appliance. I hope one day it will get easier and my daughter never has to meet the horrible man that is her father.

  20. I am disgusted that I entangled myself with such a disgusting, pathetic excuse for a man. His life is nothing but chaos and behind the smoke and mirrors is one worthless human being that only has his sliver tongue. I am ashamed of the person I became during this time, I don’t even know that person now. I became a manifestation of what he wanted and desired all in the attempt to keep him interested in me and desperate for his love and adoration. I still can not comprehend the lies and the actions he has taken to ruin me in order to salvage the relationship with the only woman who wants him after all he has done to her she still fights for him like some rare prize. I cannot comprehend the hold he has on her and I am grateful the hold on me was not so deep. He went from 3 women to one.

    I also can’t comprehend how he still comes back to me and begs me for a relationship to continue after all I have done to him to try and get him out of my life. A “normal” person would have been long gone but like a true Narc it doesn’t affect him and so he continues to try and satisfy his own requirements and never learns his lesson.

    After gaining such a comprehensive understanding of a narcissist he is text book. The words he says, the actions he takes are all true Narc behavior. I hate him but unfortunately I am also a stupid fool for having that small cinque in my armor because of the child we have together. I keep thinking he loves his child and that’s the game he always plays to try and seduce me. I have to constantly tell myself daily that he is worthless and to him the child is only a appliance. I hope one day it will get easier and my daughter never has to meet the horrible man that is her father.

    1. I’m sorry for you and your daughter, Mila. It will get better. Hate will turn into indifference and your daughter is lucky to have you.

  21. It a roller coaster of emotions at first devaluation was painful and I regretted getting angry at him then I found you HG and and it all started to make sense actually my whole life experience with narcissistic people did I was a real mess he had taken everything figured I nothing left to lose I gave up my fear and fought back with everything I had in me eventually he was forced to stop by someone else I have forgiven him for everything he did , not for him , for me sometimes I still remember him when things were good it’s how I prefer to feel but he will never give him the opportunity to do it again

  22. I’m feeling indifference towards him now. I’m proud of that – it’s been a long and tough journey. When I look back, if you take out all of the silent treatments, the ghosting and ‘I need some space’ demands- the 3 years we’re so pitted with absences that it easily halved the time we were together!!! Incredible. Perhaps even more than a half.

    He asked me once ‘do you hate me?’ I think I hated myself because I put up with it and felt so worthless along the way.

    I’m in full no contact. Moved, new emails and phone number. No flying monkeys. I’m able to live in the present again and although he crosses my mind every day – it’s not like it was. Healed from narcsite. Incredible improvement for me. Understanding who you are dealing with gives you so much power.

    I’m glad it’s over. I’m grateful for all I’ve learnt. Knowledge is power.

    1. Laurel
      Good for you Laurel. It’s always great to hear when someone has escaped the fog and is moving towards indifference. Those successes are inspiring to others. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Great to read that, Laurel. Knowledge is indeed power. HG is empowering all of us by giving us so much knowledge. It’s kind of funny, actually, that a narc becomes more powerful by empowering empaths. Ingenious, HG.

    1. Mercy, So did I push my boundaries, but I don’t feel ashamed. Read what NewHere wrote. It resonated with me. Don’t take on all of the emotional baggage!

      1. Thanks SMH, that was a good post from NewHere. Ive come to terms with what I did during the relationship. There was alot of manipulation involved so I won’t take all the blame but ultimately I’m responsible for me. I won’t carry that burden though, we only have one life and I don’t plan to waste it with regrets.

        1. Mercy, I get your feelings. I have the same remorse. It is hard not to feel bad but I like what you just said, we can’t take the burden, there’s only one life.

          1. Sweet P, I read your other comment about feeling like a traitor and like a horrendous human. I’m starting to learn that leaving the relationship is only a small part of the struggle. Dealing with the consequences of it is just as hard. I think about my children and what their opinion of me would be if they knew my secrets. Thank God they don’t know but even if they did I would deal with it. The person that I was in the relationship is not the person that I am. I’m not sweeping my actions under the rug as if they never happened. I own what I did but I’m going to forgive myself. I can do that because I’m taking action to defend myself from ever being influenced like that again.

            Now that we know that we are capable of the actions we displayed in the past we can learn from it. If repeated affairs are in your future, then yea, I could see you carrying around the guilt. I can tell that is not the way you want to live, so forgive yourself. Use the experience as a tool to build a stronger relationship with your husband (if you want the marriage to continue). We are stronger because of our life experiences. I’m ashamed of what I did. I wouldn’t want my children to know, but ironically, its made me a better mother.

            When I read comments from you and Joanne about the guilt you feel it makes me horribly sad. You can’t change what happened but you can’t continue to live with the guilt. You have to find a way to forgive yourself.

          2. I have slept with an attached man—while married to my husband I am trying to divorce. In fact, spent time with his girlfriend. I felt bad then and feel bad now. She never contacted me re, the events and she left him. She was beautiful—far more attractive I think. She should read HG’s funny “Look who he’s with!!” It occurred to me this man who is well loved and highly respected is a narcissist of course for many observable behaviors and perhaps he out of them all was the hardest for me to spot in recollection. I mean he is loved.. Wow. It’s intense. Mercy—I love the piece about being a better mother due to the things you aren’t pleased with.

          3. Claire, oh no no no no no. I’m far better looking than narc’s wife haha. Actually, the title of that article is exactly what I thought when I first met her, as narc and I had had some flirtatious moments before they got married. Beauty however is just a mirage. In the end it’s just smoke. My narc is really handsome but rotten inside. I agree with you, I also liked Mercy’s silver lining statement. I think I can say I learned from this that I truly love my husband and I was just reaching for an imaginary ideal that doesn’t exist when I actually have a fantastic man next to me. So I will be a better companion and lover. We have had a lot of sex lately btw. Which is good. Thank you, narc!

          4. Haha! I’m being kinda silly but she was a lovely girl. Pretty outside and pretty inside are two different things indeed.

          5. Thanks Claire, it’s funny how our darkest secrets can help mold us into better people. I was with my ex N for 5 years before I found out he had a primary source. I thought she was the ex. I didn’t end things sexually for over a year after that and I never told her. Towards the end (after the sex was over) I met her and liked her. As a matter of fact I’ve ran into her twice since I went NC. She’s always happy to see me and very pleasant. I feel some guilt but this woman has been with him for 17 years. She knows, she chooses to ignore. I’m not proud that I didn’t end things right away but after 5 years in, I was already deep in the web of lies. Honestly even after I found out about her it was hard to think of her as anything but his ex. That’s how he wanted it though.

          6. Thank you, Mercy. No, there’s no future affairs as there’s never been any past ones either, I’ve never cheated on anyone in my life and I have dated very extensively. I want to save my marriage but, like Joanne, I’m scared the narc will do something to let my husband know. I still have difficulty coming to terms with the fact that the person I’m talking about in this forum is him, my old friend and colleague. God I so wish I could wake up from this.

          7. Sweet P, does the narc know your husband? I wondered if that was some of your fear. NC is your answer. Stay off his radar. If he’s smart he knows you can cause him damage too. Maybe that’ll be enough to keep quiet

          8. Mercy, some time ago I explained that my entanglement was really a big entanglement where everyone is caught in a complicated net. My husband and narc interact on Facebook and we all used to hang out together, I know his wife, he knows my friends, we have friends in common, etc. Narc and I were friends/colleagues for a long time. I went NC 9 months ago, but can’t tell my husband to block narc for obvious reasons. I, however, asked my husband to never post anything about me or any picture of me anymore and he hasn’t, until this week. I appeared on an international paper for something related to a professional thing I did last week and of course, my husband wanted to share the news and say how proud he was. I begged him not to. I don’t want to appear attractive to narc, I don’t want to cause any triggers for a hoover and I don’t want him to remember I exist.

          9. Sweet P, I see how that would be hard. What a tangled web we weave huh? A married woman that my narc messed with went NC for a year after the affair. Her husband use to hang out with the narc like your situation. Apparently she had the same fear you have because she ended up telling her husband. My narc was furious with her because he thought it made him look bad. Maybe your narc will keep his silence to keep up the facade. It sucks that you’ll live with that fear of not knowing though. Your situation is really hard.

          10. Mercy, if he tells his whole castle of cards will crumble down too and believe me, he has more to lose than me. He has built a very strong façade of pretending to be the perfect husband, the perfect colleague, the most involved into just causes citizen, etc etc. Of course it’s all a lie and he has a very complex fuel matrix. Only I know that. I think he is -so far- keeping a distance because he has realized I wasn’t that easy to manipulate as he thought. But I am still worried he might want to reactivate the relationship at some point. In his mind, the plan was to reconnect after the summer but I escaped as soon as I noticed he was grooming another victim and giving me the cold shoulder. If he speaks, he knows I will too.

          11. Sweep P, Good at least you have that! Just focus on yourself. That’s what’s important right now.

          12. Thanks so much, NA. It’s been a very intense week but so worth it! Plus, thanks to HG being in my life, I’ve discovered an old ex is a narc and managed to dodge his hoover like a boss (and even humiliate him professionally with a question he couldn’t answer). 🍾🥂

      2. Thank you SMH I am new here LOL! It’s a daily process. I didn’t realize the emotional and physical toll this ensnarement would have on me. taking it one breath at a time…

        1. NewHere – You’re welcome. Thank you! You’ve come exactly to the right place. We have all been there, know what you mean, and are here to support each other. The pain subsides after awhile if you follow HG’s rules and GOSO. Breathe and read, breathe and read, and don’t feel guilty for what you did. He had you trapped and you busted out. That is what I did too – not in the same way (though now I wish I had) but brutally all the same. They will survive because they are the living dead (sorry HG).

          1. No you’re not SMH! Anyway, we survive because we have evolved in this manner whereby narcissism is our self-defence mechanism.

  23. I knew he was lying and playing games. I knew he’d need to feel like he had the power in order for me to escape him, so I triggered him to discard me. And the email he sent me after he blocked
    Me and I told him “now I know you never loved me” I recognized as projection. But I didn’t know he was a narc until I found this blog.

    And I didn’t expect to still feel shame at what I did I.e the infidelity. But I’ve been realizing most of that shame is “his.” As an empath, I’m tapping into it and carrying it. The intense shame is his deep dark secret and he’s projected on to me.

    I’m checking the tags on my emotional luggage and only carrying what belongs to me. And I’m
    Unpacking it daily so I can let it go.

    1. NewHere, Welcome (if you are new here!). I love your line about checking the tags on the emotional luggage and only taking what is yours. That sounds very healthy to me.

  24. He says I am crazy. As IF.
    Well, I mean, I am, for playing this game. But that’s not how he means it, of course. He’s the sane one, and I am nuts. lol

  25. Wow. I picked the top three without peeking. Strong women! (And some men.)

    Interesting that the fourth – seeing what was happening and getting out – was not right up there but it took 6 months NC to be able to finally do that (see, say no, leave, and stick to it). NC is definitely key. Even if you break it a few times, it helps so much to lower your ET so you can see things more clearly.

  26. Dearest HG: I feel I got in over my head. I played with a small match and lit an inferno, that I trapped myself in, and that I needed to escape from. Which was due to the fact that ( I now understand from your works), the person I entangled with is very clever, very good at analyzing and directing human behavior, and largely unaware of what all he is doing in his pathos, which also does not allow him to dwell on any resulting negative repercussions to the entangled. Ignorance is not aways bliss. ~~~~~Do I regret it? Before, I would have said, yes. But now, thanks to finding your site and learning a wealth of knowledge that is incredibly accurate about people and about the narcissistic traits in all people, I have much fewer regrets. Especially, since I now know I am actually getting out of the entanglement, before the entire possible damage to myself could get a good foothold, ~~~~~ONLY because I folded before the “game “really hit its greatest momentum, WHEN I started listening to your videos and reading your works, starting this past December, and started putting the pieces of this mysterious puzzle together, and thereby could put on the breaks to head off the possible disaster, in its completeness, to myself. ~~~~~Thankfully, I can now live a smarter and more aware life for myself by learning more and more about people and about myself. And, to not be too hard on myself for being the one that initially lit that small match. I lit it. And, I paid a price. But, now, I am able to smile and laugh again. Sooner than I would ever have imagined. Thank you for finding a reason to enlighten us.

  27. Very worthwhile experience. Learnt a lot, although it were miserable years after ending the contact. Healed myself from too low boundaries, naivity and a dominant ( wounded ) mother.
    Was the third narc I had. I felt a shock as we first met, but also that something felt off.
    I now understand my past, my empathy, the resistance I had from my narc managers at work, am less forgiving and more critical at people on the personal level.
    Since I wrote a supernova email to her as a way of ending the relationship, I think she hates me/is afraid of me. Because I only see her (maybe) once a year- although she lives around the corner..

  28. I remember that I really felt I was losing ground and losing my brain .
    At one point I remember telling myself – I am crazy – I was.

  29. I chose the following:

    I cannot believe I was seduced so easily:
    While I did resist him for a while, he was pretty relentless. And when I gave in, I was ALL in.

    I saw the red flags of narcissism but I ignored them:
    As I have known this N for most of my life, on and off, I was privy to seeing how he referred to his exwife and his general persona through social media. When he began his romantic pursuit of me, there were many alarms going off in my mind about why he was so suddenly enamored by me. On a couple occasions I mentioned to my friend that something about him reminded me of my stepfather (HUGE sociopathic narc). That alone should’ve been enough to get me to ignore his advances ENTIRELY at the very moment the thought struck me.

    I felt like I was losing my mind and no wonder:
    The way he suddenly changed overnight, and treated me as if nothing ever happened between us, as if I wasn’t the love of his life 16 hours prior, and then continued this way of treating me – literally made me question my own reality. Made me wonder if I had made the whole thing up in my head. What’s worse is that I never saved his text messages, so I didn’t even have the concrete proof to show myself that HE DID SAY THOSE THINGS! Such a crazy time.

    I feel ashamed of some of the things I did:
    This applies to my infidelity. I am deeply ashamed for being unfaithful. For jeopardizing my marriage and my good life for this person who was a complete fake. And even if he was real, he still doesn’t hold a candle to my husband, nor could he give me the kind of love or life that I already have in my marriage. It’s a strange and complex thing – to have felt these feelings, to STILL feel some kind of feelings, and yet have so many regrets.

    1. “I saw the red flags of narcissism but I ignored them”
      One of the lessons I learnt: “knowing” and “understanding” are two different things..

      1. Curved Water
        Indeed. I feel like I *knew* it all the while (his self importance and self absorption being the very first early indicators) but I didn’t *understand.* I guess I truly felt that since he saw me as being so “different,” things would be different with me. Lol.

    2. That was a hard one to read . I can really understand . I do hope you can make new joyfull memories so time can heal all wounds .

      Shame is such a burden to bear and tbh You don’t deserve it . Just learn from it . We didn’t came here to expierence life to be perfect . You can feel remorse thats a beautiful thing .

  30. My ensarement with the narcissist was an affair. We were both married and I had no power to resist the seduction. I had feelings I could not explain, but they were undeniable even though I knew an affair was wrong on so many levels. I knew he was toxic for a few months but I clung onto those golden period moments until I could no longer recognize myself. I became dissociated from my actions as if I was watching it happen and I finally had enough. I held on too long, but was proud of my strength once I disengaged. I did not realize he was a narc till the end and I disengaged shortly after. Not b/c I wanted to, but b/c I HAD to in order to survive emotionally. The day I left, his wife found out about the affair and told my husband through social media and then came an aftermath of low self worth and really, self hate. I have crawled out of the hole I dug for myself and am stronger than ever. Yet sometimes, I still feel the desire for the narc to reach out, tho I doubt I would respond. I’ve been passively hoovered a few times since we ended our 7 months relationship 9 months ago. I’m letting go slowly but surely.

      1. Apparently she found an IM between us, but I believe he let her find it. He’s too smart and stealth to leave stay logged into the platform we used to text. He knew she would tell my hubs and I had to pay for breaking it off. So the wife messaged me pretending to be him, took screenshots of our messages & sent them to my husband before I could even get the chance to tell him.

          1. Holy shit, in scrolling, my eyes totally misread ‘first’ for ‘fist’ and add the word ‘fest’ and an xxx image filled my head.

            It’s late near me. That is my excuse.

        1. Be/oN, do you know for sure it was her pretending to be him or did he tell you that? I only ask because he would risk 2 fuel sources by letting her find out.

          1. He knew she wouldn’t leave b/c she was pregnant with their first and she’s very religious. Thinks God’s gonna change him. Also says her daughter deserves her daddy. He has since moved her away from all her family and friends. She’s a SAHM while he goes to work getting fuel all day. I only hope one day she realizes he’s a narcissist

          2. BetterwoNarc, well it would take an act of got to change him haha. I only asked because lying about a situation like that is exactly what a narcissist would do. I’m sorry about the whole situation you’re going through. How is your husband taking it?

    1. Wow! I felt like i was reading a page from my life, same experience except I lasted 6years with my narc on the side. I knew I wanted out but I didn’t know why I couldn’t go. I recognized the signs of manipulation but was stuck! I am currently 3 weeks into no contact (even though we work togther) it’s not easy, but a life of mental freedom is well worth enduring the pain of disengagement.
      Good luck with the GOSO all the very best. Stay strong ✌

    2. Hi betterwonarc…jave you rebuilt your marriage? Ty for sharing your story and all the best 🙂

      1. Yes! It’s better than it has been in a long time, but we still have work to do. We’re in marriage counseling and we’re both all in for the long haul.

  31. My last relationship with a Narcissist, was my third encounter..
    The first one I didn’t have a clue what NPD was until 3 years into a relationship I couldn’t understand or make sense of anything which lead me to literally google, “what causes selfishness”. That lead me to my “Light Bulb Moment”. back in 2011, and yet, I didn’t get out till 2013.
    The 2nd N I didn’t see coming either, he was much different than the first. Fortunately, it only lasted a year, and I ended the relationship; I was on to him, but I still got hurt.
    Before being seduced by this last one, I had learned much through experience as well as educating myself extensively. I was, and I still am guarded, and although I was fooled, it was only in the beginning. Like any N. they wear their mask well, and he is much like you in so many ways, H.G. for he too, without doubt, is a Greater. I do not know if your primary tactic is the same as his, but because he is very wealthy, he is able to use his money to buy tolerance if not obedience, He does this mainly through the form of giving generous gifts,. And along with many other typical tactics, it was to a degree, difficult to break free even after realizing what he was.
    Only because of my knowledge and understanding and thankfully, my own financial independence and success, did I have the ability to think with my head rather than my heart. As time went by, it became more and more evident he was what I suspected, and as nice and appealing as the gifts and lifestyle he provided was, I was not willing to sell my soul to the devil, unlike many other women he preyed on.
    Instead, I was actually able stay focused on what he was and I began to predict various things he’d do, and as those predictions became true, it gave me even greater strength and understanding.which kept me from giving him my heart and losing myself.
    Also with that understanding,I knew and awaited his Hoover, and when it came because it did, I again knew what he was and dare I say, I’m playing his game and I’m enjoying it because I know that is exactly what it is and nothing more.
    I also realize I am capable of playing this game for two reasons. One, I get it, and two, because he does not realize I understand to the level I do. Thankfully I had learned you never divulge your depth of understanding of Narcissism to anyone who has proven they are not, or let one know you think they are one, And so the game continues as I await his next Hoover because I know it’s coming.
    I will tell you too, my ability to understand him so very well is in great part, due to your help; I’ve come to know the Narcissist.
    A point in time came in which something just clicked in my head and it has allowed me to really truly get it. As odd as it may sound, it’s given me peace. I understand more than ever and fortunately, I do not see him as I once had, nor feel what I once did.
    Thank you H.G. Tudor!!

    Lt

    1. Lisa, I too Googled behaviour. I searched ‘extreme passive aggression’ and ‘silent treatments’.

      All I came up with was some Psychology Today level article (basically the Wikipedia of disorders) about passive aggression, but it failed to mention narcissism or NPD. Nothing! Zero. Nada.

      I had no clue till stumbling across (and forgive me HG, but you were not online yet I don’t believe) but the ‘covert narcissist’ which basically described a ‘shy and vulnerable’ person who plays the victim but employs manipulative tactics. Or in better words, the Mid-Ranger.

      1. Lisa and Bibi, So did I. Lots of it. It wasn’t until I Googled ‘why won’t he answer my messages’ during a post escape ST that I found HG. Weird the way the internet works. I learned a lot about Aspergers and emotional unavailability Googling around, but the puzzle pieces did not all fit until I landed here.

        1. SMH, we googled exactly the same thing! Lol, I remember exactly when, why and where I was and the seat I was sitting in, the moment I found narcsite. A revelation it was!

          1. That is funny, Shesaw. I guess it tells HG something about the algorithms. What’s weird to me is that I did not include the word ‘narcissist’ but maybe because HG has a post close to that title, it was one of the first things to pop up.

            I remember where I was too. Exactly where I am now because it’s my favourite place to hide out – bed :). Specifically, lying on my back with my feet up on the wall. Luckily, MRN did not ruin bed (or any of my favourite positions) for me.

            I also remember where I was when the very first light bulb went on in my head. I was binge watching a show about a serial killer on my other bed in a different country, where MRN had also been because it was the only time I sent pictures to him (relatively chaste and headless, of course). At that time, I did not know about IPPS but I clearly saw MRN in the show’s serial killer as he was trying to virtually seduce a young woman. I could even pick out the frame.

            Even more strange is that the serial killer in the show and MRN shared not one but two common first names (they both used both, with both beginning with the same initial – weird, weird, weird). Boom. I started Googling. That was years before I landed here. It was quite a journey through the interwebs and through my own mind, I must say.

          2. SMH, at least it tells/confirms HG that titles make good search results!

            At the time I found narcsite, Nex just had consciously ignored my text messages and calls for the first time, and what was the most upsetting was that he had even asked me to call that evening. He was online for few minutes, but flat out ignored me. It was the first big test (there had been small ones previously) after 2 months. He overdid it – and pushed me towards my first google-search about his behaviour.

            I found narcsite instantly – it was even one of the first search results. Very powerful information. I didn’t know anything about narcissism in romantic relationships – but it hit home immediately.

            I stayed with Nex for quite some time after I found out. Didn’t want to label him so fast (…), wanted to know more, and yeah – he could be soooo nice… He was quite the seducer, quite the king of words. AND the king of silence (which beame a huge dealbreaker in the end).

            Very unsettling to recognise’ MRN in a serial killer!! I think I would have locked all the doors instantly, just because of the idea, brrr. Didn’t the similarities frighten you? – I don’t mean that he would kill you, but that he would possibly be able to do anything bad to you, like smearing, stalking etc.?

          3. HG—why are there so few men on the blog? I think that prompted some of my recent thinking that there were more male narcissists. Few men in support groups too..

          4. Claire, I don’t think so – not precisely. He did one on how we found out about narcissism but not how we found this site in particular. Correct me if I am wrong HG (or K). I do remember discussing on one post with HG the difficulties of finding this site. If you Google narcissism, it isn’t even on the first page of results.

          5. Shesaw,

            I think you and I had a similar kind of kind of morbid fascination, which is why we both stayed (well, I must confess that I escaped five times before it stuck).

            I wasn’t worried that he would hurt me – he isn’t violent (only stalks online, which I did not know at the time) and I didn’t know about smearing. Something about the intense focus of the serial killer clicked. I found Vaknin and a lot fell into place. But I was out of the country at the time and didn’t see MRN for another 6 months.

            It’s a long story over a few years, but this was during Act I of our relationship. Act II was the following year – the affair – and Act III was the year after that – the post-escape so-called ‘friend’ period, which is when the ST happened. During most of this time, I would second guess myself because, like your Nex, MRN was a smooth talker.

            Right before the ST, I had teased him and knew that instant that I had wounded him. I just didn’t expect it to last for weeks when he had been hoovering me incessantly and I was trying to be a good friend. Like yours, he was a master shelver (and talker!) – but he had never ignored me. He would be curt sometimes, but he never failed to respond. Funny that we both found this site the first time we ever got an ST.

            I had been supporting him through some work issues for weeks, and went absolutely ballistic – I was so angry. I really tried to punish him. He moved, we are now in separate countries permanently, and the hoovers have died down considerably.

            How did your Nex react when you escaped?

          6. SMH, indeed – a kind of morbid fascination (for him and for my reactions to him). I divorced my Aspergers husband months before I met him and oh did it feel good to have someone mirroring me! (lol, I didn’t know it was called mirroring at that time, but I find it kinda funny that I fell for a mirror-artist, since Aspergers are often said to have a lack of mirror-neurons. I fell right in the arms of what I had missed so dearly for quite some time – not that I am sure that he has a lot of mirror neurons but at least he acted like he had).

            Nex wasn’t violent also, smooth talker indeed, but still went for psychological dominance – which was pretty violent in itself. Second guessing almost numbed me into a depression in the end. Arghh. I was so done with it, trying to remove the hooks but going back because I wanted to understand. I wanted to register, to be physically and emotionally aware of what happened to me when he hoovered. I needed to understand what kept me tied, so I could find my way out. I wanted to be able to manage the longing in me by exploring it.

            I ended things in the end. I don’t remember how often I have told him we should split, and how often I realised I wasn’t done and went back. There have been moments that he has been silent for weeks and I thought we were done (I usually wasn’t … ), he always came back. Not the last time. He has stayed away now, did some lousy ‘I am online, do you see me’ – hoovers which I didn’t respond to, and that’s it.

            His reaction to my last goodbye was silence. He hasn’t said or typed a word ever since (neither did I). I deleted my account on the platform we used to communicate online, but he has my phonenumber and I even told him to call me if he will ever find himself in big trouble.

            I don’t know what exactly did the trick in the end to find myself so determined. So much has happened. I remember going undercover and finding all my suspicions about his cheating to be true – that helped a lot (especially since I never told him about it, so he could never gaslight me out of what I had seen and experienced). I learnt to see (and embrace – there really is no other option) my weaknesses (the ‘hook positions’/the soft spots that he targeted). And I saw through his game (he hides in his language). He really has to reinvent himself if he wants me to fall for him ever again – and I know he can’t.

          7. Shesaw, I did the same. lol. Just separated from my Lesser exH – not Aspergers but still…(Nunya Biz thinks her husband might have Aspergers -we discussed it for awhile because for a long time I thought MRN had Aspergers. You and Nunya Biz should compare notes if you haven’t already – I can’t remember right now who was also part of that conversation.)

            I met MRN right after. Whole new world, except…it wasn’t. MRN was a very different person from my exH but both narcs.

            I know what you mean about your morbid fascinations to your own reactions. That is partly what kept me there (and leaving, and returning). It took an argument and 6 months NC to be more objective. He tried to restore the FR but I watched him for 2 weeks and declined because the behavior was the same. I ended it nicely with a long email basically saying that I did not want to be his crutch or be in an affair anymore (I was IPSS), which was not the real reason. The real reason was his psycho behavior.

            Like you, I told him what it would take to be with me and that I did not want to be in contact in any capacity unless he and IPPS split up. Then came the complete disregard for my newly erected boundaries – the GIH (I hadn’t yet found this site). I tried to be friends for about 6 or 7 weeks until I wounded him.

            The last time we saw each other was post wound, after I told him he was a psychopath (because of the ST) and after I found this site. I made him delete our email correspondence in front of me because I realized it was keeping me attached. He denied he had kept them (control) but I made him search and they all came up. We had some words, he hugged me and said he would call. lol. We were on WA for about 2 months also in silence. I didn’t want to delete him because I thought it would be more fuel, so I waited until he deleted me, which he did after he moved and got a new number.

            The last online hoovers I think were early March and tomorrow is our one year NC anniversary. I occasionally miss him, but not that often. Like yours, there is no chance that he will reinvent himself (as HG has told us over and over). Plus mine would have to be single. Plus I would never ever trust him. Why would I? He would cheat on me too, and maybe he already was (I don’t think so but I don’t know for sure).

            I think you and I both used these relationships to get over our break ups with our husbands. In that regard MRN really was like a port in the storm for me for awhile. But things never evolved – never better, never worse – just the same thing over and over – as you say, the psychological violence. I got tired of trying to explain what it meant to be human. Ultimately, relationships/friendships are only rewarding if they grow. Otherwise, people are just acquaintances, which I guess he was.

            That was smart of you to find out so much on your own and not share it with him but it must have been painful too. Still, we are both lucky that we got away relatively unscathed and learned so much about ourselves.

          8. There is a meme suggesting it’s a really bad sign when we google others behavior to understand.. Thank goodness it’s not 1990 when this was happening!

          9. What a worthless volume of crap
            that is! Mental health is so much more than that piece of shit book!

          10. I think it did happen to me around 1998 as well, Claire. I am convinced now that he was a narc and maybe also a mid range but a somatic rather than the cerebral that MRN is. Too bad Google was not around then but thankfully, the guy ended up in jail for 2 years and I was free. We are friends now (we don’t live in the same country) but I did not speak to him for 17 years. MRN once asked me if I was in love with this guy (it was a longer and more sordid story than I have indicated here). I thought for a second and said no, and I wasn’t. Even more strangely, MRN’s mention of a provincial city in a developing country prompted me to get back in touch with jail narc. We all know this city well. Maybe it’s narcville!

          11. Calire, sorry I went on like that, it just prompted all kinds of things. You never know what will be a trigger! 🙂

          12. Certainly fair SMH after all the blog consumption I’ve consumed recently! I like hearing others stories—one never knows what will prompt a moment of enlightenment! I feel like I’m in life kindergarten and it’s embarrassing at age 45 to be so dull. Haha

        2. SMH and Claire
          This is the Poll and I think this is the comment you are referring to SMH.

          SMH
          DECEMBER 4, 2018 AT 13:43
          Thanks, Jenna. I think the first thing I ever Googled was hot/cold. No one had ever done that to me before and I had no idea what it meant. I think that led me to emotionally unavailable, and so on and so forth.

          I’m guessing most people will not know they are dealing with narcissism and so HG’s site won’t be among the first to come up. If you Google hot/cold behavior, HG’s site is not even on the first page of results even though he has an article with those words.

          HG, maybe you need a tech person to help with search results.

          https://narcsite.com/2018/11/26/poll-how-were-you-introduced-to-my-work/#comments

          1. Yes that is it. Thank you, K! My memory is clearly faulty! I remembered the conversation but not the topic. I just saw this or would have thanked you already. Some comments are not making it into my email. I see them on the blog but they are not delivered. Then I look in my email for the specific date and time, sift through everything, and still cannot find them.

          2. My pleasure SMH!
            No worries, I am getting comments delivered into two separate mailboxes so I have missed quite a few, as well, or responded later than I would have liked. The blog should be low stress-I think-so I don’t take offense when there isn’t a reply. Life gets busy and we can always catch up later.

          3. K, Nothing digital is low stress to me! I was just explaining elsewhere that I see or hear a notifcation and I have to immediately respond. I don’t know if MRN did that to me, or it was always the case, but because of that I only use this on my computer and buried in a fake email that is not on my phone.

  32. At the time I thought I was doing the right thing
    I tried my very best to make it work .

    I’m no longer ashamed . It only ruined my vision for too long . But life surely goes on 😌 blessed

    I really think the best advice you always give is to go no contact and move on to a non narcissistic partner . It really makes room to appreciate our own Empathic traits with out doubting it , and to actually receive it after such a terrible treatment is very uplifting freedom is key .

  33. Hello, H.G.Tudor.
    A very interesting survey, with very suggestive answers.
    Really looking back I don’t find that I did anything wrong. Since I thought that my narcissist were “normal” people.
    If I did something to upset or hurt him in any way, we both suffered the consequences of his dishonesty and therefore guilt resides in him in any case.
    I see with this answer, my advance in the fact of not throwing me out, crime, misdemeanor, sin, infraction, error, slip, noncompliance, omission, error, failure, stumbling and therefore, I have taken off with it the rope that I put on myself long ago. Today much freer and without responsibilities of the events that happened. Let each one take responsibility for his acts and actions. I know what I did that was only to love, and the person I love, try not to do harm.
    The narcissist, make no mistake, does not love and is not empathetic so he cares zero about the victim, prefers to make her suffer simply to obtain her negative fuel drug.
    These are my 4 answers, to the survey. But I lacked one more answer.
    At the time I thought I was doing the right thing
    I tried my very best to make it work
    I was completely blinded as to what he/she was
    I am amazed at the strength I showed to pull through

  34. I chose ” I feel ashamed of some of the things I did” . This is true, however, a clearer response for my situation would be ” I feel ashamed of some things I didn’t do or the things I let happen” Kind of a spin off of what you said. For example, I will forever live with the regret of how I let my narc treat my beloved dog. I am ashamed I did not save him from the abuse as well.

    1. I felt most of those things! But five years on I couldn’t care less and very much enjoy my new found knowledge and all the doors it has opened for me.

    2. I feel ashamed, stupid, pathetic, and the list goes on and on. Trying desperately to hold on to something that was never real! Waiting for that correspondence that I so desperately needed, never realizing that every time I reached out to correspond to you the fuel I was giving you,as you sat and laughed at how dumb I was, how easy this one was to ensnare! The connection that I had to you was something I never had before and I never want again! Attaching to you as if you were my life line, the feelings and emotions consuming me draining me until I felt as if I know longer had the strength to go on! Growing up being able to feel what others were feeling the hurt and pain they were suffering always outweighed feelings of happiness and joy. I never understood why others did not feel as I did? Why did I have to be so different from all the rest? Why could I never find a place to belong? So many why’s and never any answers! I knew you didn’t have the answers, but you accepted me ( I thought ) for who I was, and for the first time I thought perhaps I would be ok, I had found the peace ( with you ) that I so desperately was was searching for! Well, you broke me beyond repair! I was always able to fight my way back with all of the others, not so with you! How ashamed I am of going against my own feelings and allowing you to do that to me, allowing me to do that to my self! I hate you and more then I hate you, I hate myself!

      1. FM1T, this could be my post almost word for word. It is an awful, awful feeling, isn’t it? The hurt is overwhelming. I’m sorry you are going through this as well.

        1. Desert Rose , Thank you for your kind words. This is the way I felt before I found my hero HG! He has worked with me and helped me to learn and understand what has happened and why. Yes at times these feelings resurface due to an emotional trigger such as this post. Now however I know why it happens and I can usually work my way through it. Feeling other people’s emotions is something I have had to do my whole life without understanding why, even this I am working on understanding more through people like HG and also Dear Twilight! I am a work in progress and at times a challenge for HG I’m sure?! But I believe in him and his work and I will never give up on myself as long as HG and others on this blog continue to give me the knowledge and strength I need! Yes Rose it is an awful feeling! Please believe me when I tell you that you will get through it. It may take awhile but you will start to feel alive again, that pain you are feeling will slowly start going away, and you will find the peace and happiness you once had before and deserve to have again! 🌻

        1. Kelly I am so much better now that I have HG and his knowledge. As I said in my last comment, I am a work in progress. Thank you for your kind words sweetie.

        1. Claire, sometimes just knowing their are others who are going through the exact same thing as you did helps you in your healing. Myself being able to be on here with all of these strong,intelligent ,beautiful women, listening to their stories,watching them build themselves back up into even stronger individuals, made me want to fight to be stronger also!

          1. I simply can’t lose another day. I lost so many—my girls made videos I found when I was oblivious to anything around me and it was a gold mine to find them. (TikTok app) and I was elated and devastated because of what I had missed. I’ll do anything to not go there again. I actually sent HG one brief one!
            I’m nervous, court is Friday.

          2. Claire you will be fine! You may not see us, but we will all be there with you, when you have your day in in court! Remember you have the best of the best guiding you and giving you knowledge! Don’t forget that! 😘💞

          3. What is irritating is that he’s already been offered the same thing that will transpire in court but he told me deadlines (offer deadlines) didn’t apply to him so that’s why he never allowed for the “normal” means of severing this marriage! I know why of course—his arrogance is predictable and amusing at times—but God damn can we have one fucking non disordered day?! It’s the most absurd mental disability. Thank goodness I’m here or I would be on twice daily Xanax!

          4. Claire, I am so glad you are on here and not on Xanax! Of course he is going to want his day in court, attention, attention, attention! Plus at times they act like three year olds with defiant issues. They always want or say the opposite of what the adult does. We can say the sky is blue, and they will say no it’s orange!!

          5. Haha! I am glad I’m here too. I wonder what he tells people my “red flags” were?!! Now that is funny! What a royal pain in the ass. Gawd.

          6. Maybe HG can put on a porn mustache costume (70’s style) and go with me! I’ll never know who he is but he can work on frustrating the mister to get a tantrum out of him!

          7. I’m sure HG would be able to look at him and bring his sorry ass to tears! Please no more costumes for HG! I do not want the image of him in my mind to be dressed as a pimp in the 70’s! 🤦🏼‍♀️🙃

          8. Haha Claire, that is a funny image and a great idea! HG could start a new side business as a narc defender escort. Good luck to you!

          9. I totally have a vision. George (Pornstache) Mendez. (Easily googled..) I could offer every asset I have and we’d still end up in court. Why? It has nothing to do with “stuff..” Nonsense.

          10. I really like your vision, Claire! I cannot recall how many times in the recent past I fantasized about taking HG with me as an escort to a professional event where I knew I had to see the narc after months of NC. In my imagination, his sorry-assed-MR melted in front of the imposing and intimidating presence of a Greater (walking next to me). It’s good to dream about that, but the date of the event came, I ran into him, greeted him coldly, and nothing else happened. You got this, good luck with everything!! And you have us, too. Diss that Xanax idea.

          11. In truth I don’t think there is much interaction in this thing. He may convey how unstable I am or some such nonsense. He lacks my ability to be more articulate and to say the right things. My usual aplomb will correlate differently than that of an unstable woman. Interestingly it took a long time to get my energy back. I would have appeared quite differently a year ago but my inherent capacity has returned for the most part. HG in a pornstache for disguise is amusing though!

          12. Ha the guy from OTNB. Brilliant. Yeah, it’s about control freakishness, not assets.

          13. Yep—I watched that show till they buried the body in the prison yard. That wasn’t why I stopped watching—I was just kinda getting sick of it!

          14. I lost interest too, Claire, I think during the next to last or last season. But I found it difficult to finish anything while MRN was in my life.

          15. Claire, I also wanted to say that I often have to take a valium just to talk to my mother. Xanax is not so bad if you need it!

          16. Claire, you cannot recapture any of that time you have lost! You can however make you sure you never loose anymore of it! You will be just fine! Reach for that strength that is inside of you! You can do this! I know you can do this! 😘

        2. Yes Claire you improve, in some cases you come out better and stronger then you’ve ever been in your whole life. I remember growing up and being knocked down, I wouldn’t stay down, I’d jump right up and try again. As the years went on and I was still being knocked down, it would take me a little longer to get back up. I’d sit there and wipe the tears from my eyes, but I would get up, strap up my boot straps and move on! That is until this last time, this time when I went down I didn’t want to to get back up, I just wanted to lay there and die! This time I needed help to stand back up, how ironic that as I looked up he was standing there with his arms outreached offering me the knowledge and the strength to do it one more time! It was one of them that actually helped me get up this time, as I took his hands and he pulled up, he built a strength in me that I never felt before, this time I would not fall again. This time I would be prepared, is there any guarantee that I will not fall down again? No-there is not, but there is always the knowledge that if I would fall, there is a group right here that will reach out and help me get back up! 💞

          1. NA! 🦜 Can’t you put him in a cage?! His droppings are getting everywhere! Hahaha! 😘😘🙃

          2. Oh, I see someone used an exclamation point! 🤣🤣 Have a good Saturday NA! 😘🙃

      2. Fool Me: I feel like I too could have written your words. And just to prove your old self wrong, you are not beyond repair!

        I remember telling the Mid Ranger that I was ‘broken’. I just remember a hollow and empty feeling within me for months. I thought how he did not break my heart, as that would have been too easy.

        No, he minced it in a blender and turned it on full speed and then (pardon my vulgarity) shat in it, creating a heart-shit pulp.

        It makes it very hard when you find someone you believe ‘gets you’ and come to learn they never did. I kept wondering how this could have been so one-sighted?

        Now whenever anyone speaks of unrequited love, I have to believe they were with a narcissist.

        1. Bibi, I agree with you it goes way beyond just a broken heart. I never remember feeling that kind of hurt, it was like he reached inside of my chest and pulled my heart out, as he stood there with it in his hand laughing, as it stopped beating! I had no idea what had just happened. I agree with you , unrequited love equals narcissist.

      3. Don’t hate yourself. He mislead you. You were not the one who was dishonest and selfish. You had the very best of heart. Love is always a gamble for everyone. Even the strongest and smartest people can be victims. It’s not your fault that the other party was untruthful.

        1. Mp I realize that now after years of working with HG and being on the blog. I know longer hate myself and I also don’t hate him, he gets no more fuel from me. Thank you for your kind words.

          1. You’re welcome. We’re very lucky that HG decided to do this kind of work. It’s probably better than therapy. His work has helped me tremendously too.

          2. Oh amp lucky is not the word for it! Finding someone that helped me understand what or who I was involved with was one thing, finding someone who could actually help me understand what I am and why I feel the things that I feel, is a miracle! Have a good weekend kind lady.🌻

      4. Dear FM1T, You are neither stupid or foolish. You are honest and loving and you gave your heart from that position. Having a pure soul, it never occurred to you that the one you loved (who played on your trust) was a fraud. Judge yourself by what you gave, not by how it was received. What we give reflects who we are. He did not have that love to give. And, the belonging you desire? Give that gift to yourself first, but know you are loved unconditionally here and you definitely belong.

        1. FYC you are so wise and so kind, thank you! You also made me cry. Sometimes I know it doesn’t show in my writing, but I am a very emotional person, and this week has been one of those weeks. As I’ve said before on here, I am a work in progress and I am constantly beating myself up over things that are either not my fault or out of my control. I believe I have aged HG way beyond his years in trying to get me to understand these things! I hope you have a wonderful weekend FYC! Thank you again!!😘🌻

          1. FM1T, Thank you! It is very apparent you are kind, caring, funny, big-hearted (ie. emotional) and hard on yourself. Take responsibility for you alone. No more responsibility is possible or required (unless you have children or pets!). So set yourself free. I am 100% certain HG is just fine and ever 29 😉

            I may try to keep it hidden, but I too am hard on myself and have high self expectations (I think this is due to perfectionist N parent). I do owe a measure of my success to that annoying trait!

            I have always been a work in progress too and will be for life. I see that as a positive! Ever learning and (hopefully) ever improving. I greatly value knowledge and actively seek wisdom. I try to share what I learn and absolutely love it when others do too. We all help each other grow.

            In the past I put my more emotive comments under different screen names to protect anonymity, but I now say f*** it. I rather be authentic than avoid drama. Avoiding drama creates a drama of its own so, I’m done. You now get the whole package! Lol.

            Have a spectacular weekend, FM1T! Say hi to those sweet horses when you see them! 😜🤣😘

          2. FYC thank for the words of encouragement! When I read your comment the first thing that popped out at me was the word kind. Every narcissist that I have ever been involved with has called me kind. You are so kind, that is very kind of you, you are one of the most kindest people I have ever met, etc etc. I don’t want to be kind anymore! I have found that it is just another part of my personality that works against me. If there is one thing I could change or remove from my label that others have of me, it is being kind!

          3. Hi FM1T, I understand your perspective on the word kind. Genuine kindness springs from empathy and an open heart. It is a rare and beautiful quality and worth embracing. The real challenge to living with our way of being is not in becoming something less, but in becoming something more.

            Develop a new layer of awareness and wisdom and use it to hone you discernment on *when* to deploy your kindness. When our natural impulse is to be kind, it is like a reflex. Yet not all of our natural impulses are acted upon. We have learned to engage filters of appropriateness that help us function effectively.

            For example, let’s say you are thirsty (an impulse) and you are in a lobby waiting on an appointment. The man seated next to you has a bottle of water and it’s sitting within your reach (opportunity to act on impulse). You do not grab his bottle of water and quench your thirst. Instead, you utilize a well developed filter of intelligence and appropriateness. You recognize by refraining to act on impulse, you will: a) not endanger yourself by sharing a strangers water bottle, b) not offend the man by acting immediately on impulse, and c) by waiting a short time, you can not only quench your thirst, but treat yourself at the same time to a lovely snack at the cafe down the street (delayed gratification leading to satiation and pleasurable benefit).

            In the case of kindness, refrain from acting immediately. Instead, develop a new filter of intelligence and appropriateness by asking yourself these three questions: 1) Is what you are about to do in kindness easily accomplished by the other person? 2) Does the act of kindness benefit your well being or not detract from your well-being? 3) Is the act of kindness something that can be taken advantage of or taken for granted? If the answer is yes, forego the act of kindness. Think of your kindness as a treasured bonus to be given only when it is appropriately needed, earned, or as a valuable gift.

            Hone your skill in using this new filter before acting on impulse and you will find you are not taken advantage of; you are appreciated and valued more. Your kindness is a strength when used with a bit of prior reasoning and restraint. I promise you will see and feel a difference. It takes a bit of getting used to but it will become your new filter and protect you. You will have less heartache and more strength.

          4. Thank you FYC. For the last few months my emotions have been all over the place and for some reason I simply can not get them back under control. I understand your advice on kindness, I have never thought of myself when offering kindness to anyone it is just what I have always done. Sometimes I feel that there are so many things I have to change about myself that it would be best to simply live alone in a cave somewhere. I know this is just my emotional thinking out of control once again and I apologize to you for that. I’m sure when I have it back under control I will read these wise words once again and attempt to follow them. Thank you.

          5. FYC
            I have to apologize! I have just read this again and have realized just how valuable the information you wrote to me truly was! Thank you so very much! 😘🙃

          6. FM1T, Most importantly, be very good and kind to you first. I know everyone uses the airline air mask analogy, but it is popular because it is true. Take care of you first, then you can take care of others. I know what it is like to be lost in ET. I have been there. I also know, once you emerge from this you will be stronger. If you were to live the rest of your life in a cave we would all miss out on the unique, wonderful gift that is you.

          7. FYC You have just helped in more ways then you realize. Not only in your comments to me but also in your comments to and especially from Twilight! Thank you so very much!! If I would live the rest of my life in a cave, I would guarantee there would be a bear in that cave that I would offer my kindness to, which means my life in that cave would not be very long! Your writing seems very similar to someone else that use to be on the blog? I am very grateful that you are here! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me.

          8. Lol, sorry Foolme1t. I was wondering if FYC reminded you of Indy The Marcher, as I think HG called her sometimes.

          9. Lou, I do see some similarities between the two ladies, she does remind me of Indy.

          10. FYC
            Do you know I tell everyone that seems hurt, lost, or that is struggling, the exact same thing, “Be good to yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else, until you take care of yourself first” I believe this would be one of those, “Do as I say, not as I do” situations that I remember when my children were growing up. 😂🙃

          11. FM1T, You are so very welcome. I have been reading this blog off and on for a little over 2 years and have only been commenting a little over 6 months. I’m so happy you find value in what I share. I very much enjoy your comments as well.

            I think you would make friends with the bear 😉 Watch “Saving Sirga” on Netflix. Anyone who loves animals and is an empath will be moved to tears (of joy) by the beauty of this beautiful documentary. You can also donate at Sirga.mydagsite.com

          12. FYC, I am so happy you decided to start commenting. Your comments are always full of knowledge, logic, and of course, humor! I will look for “Saving Sirga” on Netflix, however I think I will save watching it for another day. I don’t think I can handle anymore emotions today whether it be good or bad! 😂

          13. FM1T, Thank you so much. I am not Indy the marcher, I am an original 😉 Now I will have to search for an example out of curiosity.

            You will love Sirga.🦁 Thank you for watching when you do. I hope every one joins in and watches and donates online too. HG was so gracious to indulge my reference and I deeply appreciate it.

      5. Fm1T, don’t hate yourself. It’s natural to feel that way, but it won’t last forever. As HG always reminds us they use the same tactics because they work. They worked on you, they worked on me, they worked on everyone else who comes to this blog and many more besides.

        It doesn’t show that you’re foolish. It shows that you are kind and empathic which is why he targeted you. Why they targeted us.

        You can learn from this. He can’t. Even if he is laughing. So what. It’s a very cheap thrill to pick off someone who is kind and decent and trick them. And he only managed to do this because ours and their perspectives are complete polar opposites.

        So fuck him and what he thinks (not literally obviously) and focus on you.

        Once you can get those thoughts out of your head you’ll feel a whole lot better.

        I suffered the most malicious of smear campaigns. It was horrific. But if it has taught me one thing, it is to truly not give two shits about what anyone else thinks.

        Something I had previously considered unacheivable.

        He does not matter. His thoughts do not matter. He will be thinking all those things about someone else soon enough.

        And with regards to your contagion. Don’t watch the news, don’t watch real life movies, don’t put yourself in situations where you will feel the emotions of others. You don’t need to own them. You feeling what they feel is not in itself gojng to help them. All it will achieve is making you feel s whole lot worse. So avoid those emotional vampires, narcs or otherwise. You can own your feelings without the need to own those of others too.

        I wish I could jump through the internet and give you a huge hug right now x

        1. Alexis, Thank you dear for your kind words! I’m sure as you’ve read further down the list of comments you seen my comment about this being the way I felt before I found HG! I do not hate myself, but do find that I still self flagellate much to often. As I wrote in another comment, I am a work in progress! Although I do have a percentage of contagion in my schools of empath, it is not as much as others have on here. It is also something now, that I know is there I would like to continue to work on so that I can learn to separate the emotions of others from my own. I do not watch that much television, in fact the only thing I watch right now is soccer 👀 oops! I mean football! I prefer to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Your words are very wise and I thank you for them! As for the hug, here is one for you! 🤗😘

          1. Ah – I’m pleased you’re making good progress. It is a constant battle. I have little set backs here and there but soon get my ET back under control with LT. Some experiences (particularly with family) have tested me way beyond what I had ever anticipated. But I take huge steps back (away from the situation, not backward steps) and LT prevails eventually.

            Also pleased you corrected soccer hahahah. i’m with HG on that. It’s football all day long!

            Thanks for the hug back x

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