The Narcissist and Grief
Grief. You may think that this is an alien concept to our kind. It is and it is not. On the one hand we do not feel grief but we do understand what it is and what it engenders in other people especially those who are empathic in nature and who have been entangled with us. We have watched with an almost child-like curiosity when you have received news about the passing away of a relative. If this happened during the golden period, you at least received some false empathy in the shape of some fabricated support and understanding to make it look as if we at least cared in some way. If your pet died during the devaluation, a long-loved pet, then we will have watched your display of sadness, longing and grief with contempt and jealousy. We would not have supported you but instead said something to provoke you such as,
“I don’t know why you are so upset, it’s just a dog.”
So that you focused on us again rather than wallow in your own grief. We have witnessed grief in others, observed and learnt how it is displayed. We have listened (when it served a purpose for us) during the golden period as to how it makes you feel and stored all of this information away. We do not feel grief. We may exhibit is for the sake of appearances if this will garner fuel for us and to preserve the façade, but it is never felt. You however experience grief in an intense fashion, given your capacity to feel and to empathise. We have seen your grief over a deceased relative, a friend taken suddenly and violently in a car crash, the celebrity who you adored who has passed away after a long battle against illness. We know just how capable you are of grief and we know that not only does it have the potential to be a potent source of fuel but we recognise its paralytic effect on you. Grief takes a hold and has the capacity to prevent you from functioning effectively. Not only that, its paralysis is such that it can prevent you from escaping this state of grief, keeping you locked-in a grieving mode, unable to move forward. Grief is an intense emotion. We have seen this. From the wailing cries of a parent being told that their child’s body has been found after they have disappeared to the dignified grief of a war veteran stood in silence with a single tear trickling down his or her cheek as they pay tribute to their fallen comrades. Whether noise or silence accompanies this grief it remains a powerful emotion and naturally one that our kind is keen to draw on for the purposes of extracting fuel. We see grief as serving two functions. Keeping you in a state of paralysis and therefore it follows that you will keep pumping out potent negative fuel for us to extract.
Now, I am not suggesting that I will embark on some kind of killing spree slaughtering your pets, taking down your favourite celebrities and murdering your friends and family, in order to create this repeated state of grief. Whilst one might see certain attractions in doing so, the effort involved and moreover the considerable downsides to such a course of action mean that it is not one that we would embark on. No, instead there is an alternative way of looking to create an enduring state of grief on your part. We want you to grieve for us.
This does not involve us taking our own lives. We rarely commit such an act. We will threaten it, certainly, as part of a hoover, but we regard the world as needing us and therefore we will extremely rarely commit suicide. We will however cause you to grieve for us and we do this when we eventually disengage you after a harsh devaluation. When this disengagement takes place we will leave you with three losses over which you will grieve. Your grief will be prolonged because there are three losses and thus this maximises not only the prospect of paralysis but also a longer period of the provision of potent fuel.
The first loss is the loss of who you thought we were. You were seduced and swept off your feet by this charming individual who mirrored everything you liked and disliked. We ticked all the boxes, we professed to be your soulmate, we gave you a perfect love, made every day special and had you excited to see us and hear from us. We created such a wonderful start to the relationship, unlike anything that you had experienced before. We understood you, we cared, we showed you such passion, we listened and engaged in those things which you always wanted to share with someone else. We wrapped ourselves around you, permeated your very core and entwined our lives so that you were never happier and you could never comprehend a time when such delicious rapture would end. But it did and how.
The loss of something so brilliant and splendid hurts you and feels like you have suffered a bereavement so intense and painful is the experience. Even though you hear the words that it was an illusion, that none of it was real and that you need to let go, it is still so hard to accept all of that and you miss us. Oh how you miss us. You miss that wonderful person we were at the beginning and you want that person back. No matter how many times you are told that he or she was just a creation, that it was an illusion designed to fool you and that we never loved you and never meant or felt anything we said to you, it is still incredibly hard to accept. Just like someone who cannot accept that someone who has died will not walk through the door at any minute, you cannot accept for a considerable time that the person you thought we were has gone. We know what you will be thinking (because we have caused you to think and feel this way) and although we may not always see your grief-ridden response to our absence we know what you will be thinking and feeling and this fuels us. Even greater is the fuel from your messages telling us you miss us, that you want the “old me” back and begging for another chance. Your grief for loss of the person that you thought we were, is both huge and prolonged.
The second loss that you sustain and grieve for is the loss of the potential that we showed to you. There was no doubting that we were brilliant at our job. You saw the plaudits and you felt the benefit, for a time, of the accompanying pay cheque. You saw the trophies amassed for our various achievements in different fields and you heard other people speak so highly of our accomplishments. The compassion, kindness and love that we showed to you and to others (although false) still causes you to think that somewhere we are truly capable of this goodness, if only we would harness it and let it be free. You have witnessed two things. The reality of our drive to be the best and the accompanying good that such drive and ambition brings – a surgeon saving lives, a scientist inventing cures, an entrepreneur creating wealth and jobs, a policeman making the neighbourhood safer, a teacher educating so many people to a high degree – means that our rampant desire to be the best has the considerable potential to actually do good for others. You also saw something in terms of the way that we treated you and as an empathic individual you still believe that this goodness can be freed and used to both our benefits so that we are both happy together. You came to regard us as a wounded and hurt person and in conjunction with your innate desire to heal and fix, you felt that if you could heal us then the mutual benefits would be amazing. There was so much potential waiting to be unlocked and utilised and now with our departure and your discard, that potential has been lost. You grieve this loss of opportunity and how things might have turned out oh so different. You want to turn back the clock, do things differently and the inability to do so causes you considerable grief and pain.
The third area of grief which you sustain from coupling with us is not grieving over us, but it stems from being with us and that is grieving the loss of your identity. Before we came along you were happy, independent, strong, bright, well-liked by family, friends and colleagues. You had many interests and you enjoyed life. Yes, there were flaws and vulnerabilities but you handled them as best you could as you forged a path through life knowing who you were. Then we came along.
We subsumed you into us. We eradicated your characteristics as we either stole them for our own construct to show the world or we eroded them through the steady application of our vicious manipulations. Your confidence evaporated, your self-esteem disappeared and your self-worth plummeted. You became steadily isolated, losing friends, neglecting your interests and even become distant with family. You allowed yourself to be fully consumed by us. It was entirely understandable how this happened because we wanted it to happen and we acted in a manner to cause it to happen, but nevertheless your loss of identity was a steady and insidious consequence of the grip we held over you. Now, as you sit alone, ruminating on what once was, grieving the loss of who you thought we were, the loss of the potential, you are also hit by the loss of who you were. You no longer recognise that face which stares emptily at you in the mirror each morning. The world is grey and drab, music sounds harsh and grating, conversations irritate and make you fearful, even your favourite foods taste like ash in your mouth. You have lost yourself and the sense of foolishness from allowing this to happen and the grief arising from such a loss is substantial.
This triumvirate of grief arising from entangling with us provides us with substantial fuel and we know that burdened by not just one or two, but three forms of grief, it will take you a long time, if ever, to escape the effects.
64 thoughts on “The Narcissist and Grief”
Regarding feelings HG, I remember you saying somewhere that you said you didn’t feel love or joy but you felt it reflected towards you from others. I remember asking my narc about that once, I had asked him if he was ever happy because he seemed angry and he said he felt my happiness but not really his, that he felt my love with him but had never really felt happy. He knew he was different but didn’t care because it was everyone else’s problem deal with it. Was there a moment when you knew something was broken? Do you think it was a gradual fault that kept widening, was there a trigger moment? or just a void always there?
I have always known about the existence of the void, but did not recognise it fully until my early twenties.
Well now Cyn, there are many things in your post that are …strange.
How could one not know what happiness is? It’s all about referential frames.
I know what happy is. Being content. Full of joy. But unless you are aware how on earth could you know what ‘happiness’ is? Unaware must always fold back on themselves.
Convince themselves and others that it’s the world at fault. This is why so many Empaths continually question if they are narcasstic themselves.
The ex. He would also spin a similar line. He could feel love and feel anger. But nothing else. He was wrong on all three.
No, he did not feel love. He felt fuel
No, he did not feel anger. He felt fury.
No, he did feel emotion. All the negative ones. He wasn’t emotionless.
It is strange therefore to me based on what HG has just said that I was the opposite partner as my own husband finally got to grips with who he was. I was there. I witnessed it.
At first it was clumsy. Groping. I ignored his behaviour and reasoned his many oddities were due to being brought up in deprivation and poverty. That must have had some import but it was not the whole story.
My ex had the extreme misfortune to have had a middler as a Mother and a lesser as his Father. We should not discount the role of Grandpa Greater.
At least my mum was an empath.
Right, maybe just knew what happiness looked like and how fuel felt.
I think so. Bit its a pale imitation of the real thing. True happiness I mean.
I’m sorry for your loss x I know it’s not easy x
I also wonder sometimes if there is a memory of being happy sometime as a child before something switched off maybe? That’s kind of how I used to think of it with him, before I knew what I was dealing with. Like maybe he at some point had been happy, then he just detached from that self. I thought that occasionally maybe a memory came back, like a flashback. Like with PTSD but in reverse. Emotional thinking back then. I don’t believe that now.
You know Cyn. What I’ve learned is that our first impressions are the ones that correct.
When I first came here and read. And read (honestly my kindle was hot to the touch!), I went back and drew my own timeline. I ‘pegged’ them all. Tou know the weird thing? I was right the first time.
I’ve spent a year continually second guessing myself. It wasnt that bad. Nah, they weren’t aware. Mo, I’m imagining it. Etc.
I was right the first time.
You are right. It is PTSD in reverse. They do remember the good memories. They pale into insignificance compared to the horror and brutality that was meted out to them.
Nothing us ever forgotten.
Only a year?! I spent four and a half! I am super stubborn lol! I know that I grieved as much for for that child that was abused and neglected and traumatized who became my monster than I grieved for the false person I lost. I hated his family. I wanted to tell them what they had done. But they are just as damaged. Funny how some are turned to empaths and some are turned to narcs.
I’m 43. This summer I entered into my crone-dom. That’s rare to do it so young. It’s like my life has become telescoped somehow.
I once tried to get through to twatfaces mother that she had birthed a fucking monster. Stupid cow. Narc as yer like.
She knew damn well what he was. Her unaware narcdom always folded back. Ex loathed her. At the time I never understood why he didn’t care. Now I do. He was right too.
I could Witter on about my ex MIL at length. I’ll just drop these gems in.
Had an affair with next door neighbour whilst married. Daughter (13) caught her on the job. She then leaves husband (A L) claiming hed been unfaithful first. Remarkably, he probably hadn’t.
Drove drunk on multiple occasions with her children in the car
Has a relationship with a married copper who refuses to have anything to do with her or her child that he created. She has refused to this day to tell her daughter who her father is.
Got caught (again!) having sex. This time on duty as a nurse at a Drs surgery. You guessed it. With the Dr. Big scandal.
She has continually targeted married males. Heaven knows why. Control? Daft cow. Never a looker and ran to seed in old age. Big style. Intelligent, could do the cryptic.
But by far the worst thing she did was trigger the malignancy in my ex. After she had fully caused the breakdown of her own family by the virtue of the fact she couldn’t keep her knickers up, when he cried for his father she told him to stop crying and man up. Be the man of the house or ‘she couldn’t cope’. It wasnt a one off either.
So that ten year old boy learned that there was no one to trust. Having been given narc genes from BOTH sides, he hadn’t a chance. Especially considering his maternal grandfather was fully aware.
Oh there is such darkness in his family. Such darkness. A few good souls. His Grandma was beautiful. A CD I’d warrant. His sister is a good soul though monumentally conflicted. (Go figure!) Her female partner tried to get me drunk on gin and seduce me. Hah! That didn’t work! I immediately told my H. I’m not sure if she knows. Well she will now if she has had the sense to follow me. Knowing her, the head will be well and truly in the sand. Poor woman.
I even have stories about his brother. In his lavender marriage. He nearly ended up stuffed like the proverbial xmas turkey on a deprived seaside town.
Nowt wrong with cottaging but ffs you always have to be the one that’s feared little bunny.
Dont grieve for these monsters, Cyn. They dont deserve your empathy and they actually despise you for the very gift that drew them to you in the first place.
There is no hope for them. Let’s use our empathy, sympathy and compassion for those who genuinely deserve it.
I asked my narc a few months into our friendship why she was fearless, and her answer was that she thinks she has no fear because she’s numb. In hindsight, etc…
Also he didn’t say he knew he was different and that it was other people’s problem, he acted that way. ‘Deal with it” often flew out of his mouth. Still I was sure somewhere underneath there was a heart.
At the end of my relationship with my covert victim narcissist (which I guess would be referred to as a MRN here) I said to him “It’s almost like you don’t know how to be a human being and you don’t know how to bond with another person”. He agreed.
In empath style I have to say, I really appreciate that this is probably the single instance of healthy relationship between empath(s)and narcissist. Perfect symbiosis really. Genius narcissist gets fuel as well increased and reinforced knowledge and insight by interacting with impacted and empathic victimized students; who receive tools of recovery, healing (despite your intentions HG you are doing this sort lol), and swords. Done from a distance this is actually healthy, odd and humorous, there are a million other points I could list, but it is ironic. I think empaths get validation (Fuel)from HG in these writings and blogs and assistance packages also. I certainly do. It’s a trade off.
It is a professional interaction and results in a win/win.
Cyn. Also, many of us are truth seekers. And here on Narcsite, we are receiving the answers to the questions we were not able to obtain from the Narcissistic dynamic we found ourselves entangled, Our emotional thinking is addicted to the Narcissist and our own emotional thinking was hijacking our truth seeking trait and supercharging it in order to persuade us to continue to engage with the very person for relief and answers that would not and could not tell us the truth, because the Narcissism thrives on our seeking the Narcississt out and engaging with the Narcissist. And does not thrive on resolution and closure with the Narcississt. HG Tudor`s work assists us in breaking that vicious cycle, that neverending circle, that hamster wheel, that double bind, that maze, that labyrinth, and that Wheel of Misery.
Exactly. SAFE closure.
My narc’s father died a few years ago. They had been estranged for quite a few years and I had not met him. From stories I ascertained he was the narcissist in the family, though it also could have been the grandmother who had ostracized my narc from the family at a young age. In any case my narcs father was a well renowned scientist and physicist who lectured and toured everywhere around the world and when he was diagnosed with cancer chose to forego treatment and passed just a few months later at home. My narc was angry, irritated that he chose to leave early. I realize now that it’s because he didn’t get the before chance to show him up by achieving publication of a huge musical production he had been working on (which has still gone nowhere). He could never fill the shoes of his father which tormented him. There was no sadness. No grief. Just irritation. How dare he die? He did show up to play good guy though and do everything right for his inheritance. And suck up the drama.
Does a narcissist grieve over the death of a parent at all? Since parents have had the most profound affect on the narcissist and were there before his/her condition manifested, does the narcissist feel grief from their core over the death of a parent or family member?
No. Any apparent grief is part of facade management and/the narcissist crying for themselves.
It really is amazing how deeply you can understand how we feel without actually being able to feel how we feel, HG.
It is called intelligence.
I respectfully disagree, it’s more than that. I know you are an extremely intelligent individual but I have known plenty of intelligent people that would not in a million years be able to understand people the way that you do.
Beyond that even!
HG when you started this website did you anticipate empaths would respond to you as they have and did you expect that we would be capable of taking on board the degree of knowledge you have to offer us? or has your view shifted from what you’d anticipated at all?
It’s pretty mindblowing stuff which you’e conveying. You have pinpoint accuracy about everything you describe and I would imagine that the vast majority of people would not be able to comprehend this.
1. I anticipated most of the responses, not all.
2. I know people have the potential to take on the degree of knowledge, it depends on whether some will apply the effort to do so. It can be rather overwhelming for some.
3. Thank you for the compliments.
HG I just have to say I’m impressed by the fact you keep up this blog interacting with people all day… if I were receiving 100s of text messages/emails a day (with often repeated questions) I think that would get to me after a while. You keep your answers short and succinct for the most part but that is necessary… as you also have a life outside this blog that is demanding. Its good business on your part, as this is a business, but I still think its pretty impressive.
Thank you Empath007, I appreciate you acknowledging this. I am the leading information provider and I shall continue to do so. I am also pleased that you recognise I have to be short and succinct owing to the volume of queries and the outside demands on my time. The consultations exist to enable people to achieve far more detail specific to their situations and of course I will direct people to my books also where the answers lie there, rather than repeating the work.
No problem. It deserves recognition! I would not enjoy the amount of messages you receive and respond too…. of course if I was running a business I might feel differently. As it would be a part of it.
But for the length of time you are at this a day it’s impressive.
I know it’s tough for work aholics such as yourself (both my parents were work aholics too lol)
But self care is important for everyone. I hope you still find plenty of time for that.
Yes I think you have some kind of gift HG .
How you can describe feelings the way you do is simply amazing.
I bet your best subjects at school were the arts like English literature.
I can imagine you were not fond of science or maths .
Why do I think this
Maths cannot be distorted to suit , Its totally objective with no room for opinions or needs or likes or wants .I think a narc would get annoyed with a subject like that.
Maths is cold in its beauty and cannot be misinterpreted or manipulated if you understand it . It has no double meaning it simply is.There is no ambiguity
[Insert rolling eyes emoji]
Someone else said this the other day to me. I was baffled!
Intelligence? Manipulative you mean, surely. By your own admission, you learn this through social observations; fundamentally your own, arguably warped (mis) judgements and perceptions of others emotionally intelligent responses to life crises. Where, ‘your kind’, utilise the most appropriate response; a response that has a sole purpose, and that is to garner, ‘fuel’ – to validate a fabricated sense of self. A false sense of self that was born out of most likely, primary carer neglect and trauma from that neglect. So, I am so by definition, that’s, emotionally unintelligent. Narcissists are made, no? Via a disruption in normal emotional growth, growing up. While your comments are useful, to a degree, endlessly referring to ‘your kind’ as being super intelligent, is deliberately skewing the sad fact, that being narcissistic, simply means your mentally and emotionally unwell, thus your responses, either fake good, or real bad, are ALL manipulative, are they not? Or does intelligence mean something else entirely, in narc speak? I
Hello Jane, I am afraid you have mixed a few things up.
1. The question was about me, not my kind. I am very intelligent and the question was asking me how I understand the viewpoints of others. I have explained this repeatedly and consistently that it is as a consequence of intelligence and repeated observation and study. This is not itself a form of manipulation but of course the end product of this process can be used to manipulate.
2. Accordingly, your comments which are levelled at narcissists as a whole miss the foundation of my answer to the specific question.
3. I do not state all my kind as super intelligent, far from it and should you ensure that you read further you will find longstanding evidence of that fact.
Just caught this. HG is intelligent. If it was only so that ALL narcs are so thusly blessed. They are not. Nor has HG ever stated anywhere that they are.
You have to remember that in all aspects of society, it is a truism that birds of a feather etc largely bares out. Not all the time but enough of the time.
I think you may need to read a little more…
Another spot on piece. This is the worst grief I’ve ever experienced. I loved him more than anything in the world. I was sure he was the love of my life. I would have done anything for him, and I did. I sacrificed my health and sanity for him. Since he discarded me I’ve felt a gaping wound inside me that has never healed. I’ve managed to patch it up enough to function and be productive, but I carry this pain and trauma every day. I’m different now. A piece of my soul has died.
It has. The innocent part. But there is a wiser part I think that can grow. I am not full of fluffy pretty white light. The shadow is what makes us grow. What this abuse does is ugly and hideous and the terms howling and screaming wilderness were literal for me (vomiting was in there too). But the wound changes, the shape of the scar and the color changes. YOU form around that scar a little differently. You will probably go back a couple times and reopen the wound and the scar will develop in a new direction, a little pinker here, greyer in others. Eventually it may be a piece of art, a remnant of the ashes you rose from and the scrapes from the gates you crawled through. The next YOU will be better. Different. But better. Because you know now.
So wonderfully put, Cyn.
I’m a Fox too.
How are you?
Oh, indeed. Bonjour Renarde! Je vais très bien aujourd’hui, et toi? 😉
C’est moi? Tres bien. Merci.
Its ‘Et tu?’ The familiar form of ‘you’.
I do not know you so the correct form would be ‘vous’.
Or do I know you? If I do, you French is leaving somewhat to be desired. That’s coming from someone who scraped a C at GCSE.
I know, my apologies. I realized it after I posted I meant to use vous but of course I cannot take it back now hahaha. My french is very rusty as you have pointed out. I know just enough to order un café à emporter.
I’m sure that’s lovely.
Im not sure why you are sharing it. Is it important, do you think?
Best of British.
If course you realised it AFTER it was pointed out. Funny how shit works eh??
I don’t know. I suppose I got comfortable with people on here and let a little bit of my silly self show. Lesson learned.
Be silly! Be a smart ass too. As much as possible. This is something I was lauded for, then of course attacked for by my narc. It was as managed down, then made an uprising once again. Snicker snicker…
Cyn – let us both keep on being smart arses x
Yes! It’s fun and it super pisses them off!
Indeed it does!
In my opinion, you did nothing wrong.
Hope to see you around! 🙂
That is truly the most insightful, imaginable description, of the outcome of our endurance and transformation into a much higher understanding of ourselves and world. The worst part is over for me, although i continue to learn and adapt to the always ongoing hovering and occasional blatant jabs he does, as he stays in the background through his cowardness ofcourse. I feel God has blessed us, he has used the devil’s evil ways against him to work in his favor. These are indeed prophetic times, and the door of redemption is closing fast. I believe that we intensely feel love and compassion because that is his word, and we have fallen prey in our confusion and misunderstanding of what our intentions for us our. So very blessed we are to have God not only knocking, but now yelling and attempting to bust the door down that has been made up of lies and deceit to keep him away! He loves us so very much, and for that I am very honored to bare these scars proudly.
Cyn—I lack a touchy feely sort of appreciation admittedly.. But this is lovely.
Surely the narcissist grieves for himself? At least a gasp sometimes when catching a glimpse as he is aging and there is a lapse of supply as one has escaped before the other is fully ensnared; when it’s getting more challenging to catch prey, the children are awakening, the tendrils losing their hold, the clock is ticking…
I found that my narc grieved mainly for things she couldn’t have, but still felt entitled to. Such as one bank holiday weekend she was distraught at seeing photos of friends out enjoying themselves in the sun while she was stuck at home. OK, I’d be upset as well, but for her, it was as if someone was dripping holy water on her. She also grieves that she’s ageing – she’s paranoid about losing her looks. She’s an Elite, after all.
Unless the narc has it all sewn up then yes. You are correct.
I’ve observed Daddy Fox’s behaviour over the last few years. Cunt is trying to put out he has Alzheimers. He doesn’t. That’s more the pity for him actually. It would be a blessed relief from his brain not to parse what he has done to his two children and wife and the monumental repercussion which is about to fall on his head.
Poor Daddy Fox.
Thanks Cyn! I true comrade!