Poll : What Have You Sacrificed?

 

 

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As part of the narcissistic dynamic, sacrifice is invariably present. You will have read in the ongoing A Very Royal Narcissist series (latest update A Very Royal Narcissist – Update Part 12 ) that Prince Harry as part of the “stepping back” deal has had to sacrifice royal duties, his military appointments and uniform and living full time in the UK. 

What sacrifices did you make, either willingly as you thought they were right to make at the time as you did not know what you were dealing with or unwittingly and you only realised when you looked back on the ensnarement what you had let go?

You may choose as many options are as applicable and as always, do share your thoughts and observations in the comments.

Thank you for your participation.

What did you sacrifice because of a narcissistic entanglement?

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173 Comments

  1. Hi, it is very odd I can not like any comments it says Loading beside the star* it says that in all the other blogs by H.G. as well. Does anybody else experience this? Do you H.G. have any idea? Thank you.

  2. Presque Vu,

    Sometimes I am just totally amazed at what people went through; individuals that are beautiful, bright and caring souls – and they are still that way despite having gone through what they did. That demonstrates resiliency of spirit.
    I agree with lisk that this was a moving post, it was also very brave of you.
    I wish you continued healing.

  3. Hi MB
    Your words resonate so strongly with me, Of all of my ensnarements with N’s the last 4.5 years as a DLS have taken the biggest toll on my personal and work relationships as well as my mental & physical health. The inner turmoil is so hard to bare & self reflecting on my behaviour only intensifies my self loathing.

    I hope you’re doing ok.
    Much love
    R&R

  4. “Other”, being my self respect. I didn’t go back into my childhood or past relationships, because I feel like I worked really hard to overcome those things, and was doing a lot better. The last time I allowed abuse into my life and didn’t nip it in the bud and end things immediately was with a bf in my 20s (in my 40s now). I vowed never to let anyone treat me like that again.

    Now here I am, 2 years later, trying to make sense of what just happened. All of the push-pull, crazy making head games, with periods of things being somewhat “okay” peppered in. Foolishly I ignored certain behaviors along the way, and it had happened before on a smaller scale, but our last communication was basically him hurling nasty verbal abuse at me. My self preservation instincts kicked in (finally! Jeez. he was a “soft spot” person for me, who I’ve known since my youth), and I decided enough was enough. Number and email blocked and deleted. No way am I going back to the vow I made to my 20-something year old self, allowing that crazy bulls**t into my life again. For him, or anyone. But yeah, my dignity and self respect took a beating for sure. :/

  5. Presque Vu
    A tough read for some and surely for you to write, but it is important for us to face the wide range of abuses and the extent of the damage that can occur. I felt both sadness and rage. It’s necessary to let that stuff out and I’m glad you have a safe place here to do it. You came back to yourself and with it your sons. Many are not as fortunate. Bravo.

  6. I checked everything, except my childhood (i was forced into being an adult as a child) everything else on the poll is a yes.

    Also, The Narc father of my 2 children manipulated me in
    to sacrifice my own control of my body.

    I had to tattoo his initials next to my genitals ugh!
    I removed it within 2 weeks after i escaped him.
    He decided wich clothes i can wear.
    The color of my hair.
    I had to shave it twice, because of the damage of to much bleaching etc.
    The Sinead O’Connor look didn’t flatter me like that hehehe.
    At the time i did not have any self worth, so i did not care then.

    Also i did disociated a lot from my body, during rape/sleeprape, physical abuse etc.
    The lost of control over my body was the worst sacrifice.

  7. This is my first comment on this blog, so, hello!

    I have a slight issue with the word sacrifice. Sacrifice implies that there is an element of choice, for example sacrificing holidays to pay for college fees, or sacrificing Sundays at home to support your child in their chosen sport.

    The reality is that we have suffered losses as a result of being abused within the relationship of the narcissist. They have taken from us, through their slow and insidious controlling and manipulative behaviour without our knowledge or understanding.

    None of us have consciously chosen to sacrifice these things, in my opinion. I certainly didn’t. For me these are:

    Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, loss of who I really am, loss of the ability to trust others, loss of friends and family. Loss of being able to make the smallest decision. Loss of integrity and the ability to say no and stand up for myself. Loss of thirty years of my life. Loss of a sense of fun, freedom and hilarity. Loss of a true sense of family with my children. Loss of so much I can’t even begin to articulate.

    Some of these are slowly returning, the most precious of which are my relationships with my children and family, especially my sister. Without her support I could not have got through the months since the big escape. I can’t get the lost years back but I am able to draw on the experience to learn to know and understand myself better, so it’s not all negative. I still have a few years left!

    After escaping I would now like to lose the sense that he is always looking over my shoulder ready to pass judgement on my every move. I would like to lose the fear of what stunt he will pull next. To lose the constant thought intrusion and the feelings of guilt for his experiencing narcissistic collapse since we separated. It is not in my nature not to offer sympathy and support so I feel cold and hard by offering none, it’s not a good feeling.

    Reading this blog has really helped me to understand so much of his soul-crushing behaviour. I still get frustrated and angry at his lack of insight, blame-shifting, pity plays and lack of accountability. No contact really helps, although cannot be 100% no contact until the divorce/settlement is finalised. Thank god for a wise and experienced lawyer who keeps me grounded!

    1. Hello mcthriver, and welcome to the blog.

      I can understand your issue with the word ‘sacrifice’. When I first learned about narcissism, and that my mother is a narcissist, there were various words and attitudes that I objected to. For instance, I didn’t see myself as a ‘victim’, because as a child living in a family with a ‘matrinarc’, I didn’t feel like a victim. Instead, I felt like I had no knowledge or choice in the matter. The way I saw it, I became a victor in being able to survive and become aware. Also, it irritated me immensely when various comments here would praise narcissists for being decisive or doing ‘what had to be done’ etc. After having my entire life and consciousness manipulated by a string of narcs, the last thing I wanted to do was give them praise.

      To my mind at that early stage, I was already using logic because to stay and survive in a family with a matrinarc, there was little choice than to become an empathic ‘giver’. To my mind, in order to remain part of the family, I ‘had’ to relinquish my own beliefs and motivations for the sake of being part of a family.

      Now that I’ve been reading and learning for several years, I can see different sides or ‘perspectives’ to the dynamic. I can more clearly see the ways my own thinking and behaviour ‘added’ to my own guilt, pain or confusion. I can see how my own instincts had enabled or allowed the narcissists to take advantage. As a child, I had no choice and that’s how the instinctive behaviours started. Then they became entrenched by my own unconscious choices and I became a people-pleaser rather than being assertive in my own ‘self’.

      I can understand you very well when you say it’s not in your nature not to offer sympathy and support and that it feels cold and hard by offering none. I feel like that much of the time about my own family. The thing is though, that to ‘give in’ to those empathic feelings and to offer sympathy and support would mean to be pulled into the same old dynamic that didn’t work in a healthy way in the past. So now, I realise that I do have a choice. It’s not always an easy choice to make, but I know that *my* choice will ultimately lead to my own happiness or unhappiness.

      Your own instincts are pulling you in a direction that may or may not be in your own best interests. Your conscious judgement is needed to know the difference.

      I would just like to point out that your instincts are not your fault and you are not to blame for them. At the same time, you are able to use your mind to ‘see’ your own instinctive behaviours. If you do that, you can make changes so that your instincts are not driving your behaviours. It takes time, but you can change the way you instinctively react to things.

      1. Thank you for your perspective WiserNow, it is very helpful. Like you, I also have a matrinarc. The choices I am starting to make now as a result of logical over emotional thinking are getting a bit easier to make, even if they don’t always feel good at the time. I do feel like the things that I am sacrificing now, through choice. are as a result of the more conscious decisions I am making and the gains are beginning to outweigh the losses. I understand it will take time to reach a happy state of equilibrium.

        1. You’re welcome mcthriver, and thanks for your reply also. It absolutely does take time to reach a happy state of equilibrium. It’s difficult to constantly question your own instincts and analyse your thinking to gauge what is emotional thinking and what isn’t. It feels like hard work, however, it’s definitely worth it.

          You said in your earlier comment that you still feel frustration and anger about your ex-narc’s lack of insights and other traits. Although being angry is not a pleasant state to be in, sometimes I find that remembering things about the narcs that made you angry has a way of lessening the emotional thinking of guilt, sympathy, self-blame etc. Anger can be a good energising emotion if it doesn’t take over your peace of mind and logical thinking. It can help to see the narc’s intolerable behaviours more clearly. It might help you to see the positive aspects of the feelings you’re having.

          1. Yes, I agree, I often have to remind myself of the things he said and did that were so insidiously abusive, and why I reacted in the way I did and stayed so long. I’ve started to write down phrases he used that pop in to my head as a reminder, too.

            I guess I feel not so much angry about it (or maybe I am able to control my anger better being more free of the control and manipulation), now that have a better understanding of the narcissistic personality and that he was/is lacking in insight, but still frustrated that the behaviour continues, even though I know logically it won’t ever stop.

            I understand now why no contact is so essential! The slightest, most benign, contact still acts as a trigger every time. There are still many physical ties to be cut and obstacles to face that are, to an extent, holding me back but at least I can recognize them for what they are. Reading this blog and the comments have been invaluable.

            I do feel like I have reached the shore on the No Contact front but am not quite on dry land yet! I am lucky to have supportive people around me prepared to listen and keep me grounded. That helps so much with my resolve to heal and enjoy life again. I am determined to get there sooner rather than later.

          2. mcthriver,
            Your determined goal of getting there will help you tackle the emotional thinking. Also, the logic in accepting that his behaviours won’t stop will help too. It takes time and focus, however, it can be done.

            I wish you positive progress in your continued knowledge and recovery.

  8. “Girl, my crazy is all over this blog. Please don’t pull up any evidence K!”

    Haha!
    We appreciate you and ‘your crazy’ MB.

  9. K: see if you can get some funding as a non-traditional student. Non-traditional age is useful, so is female, and background may also help: a friend of mine got funding for being from Appalachia.

    If you get a scholarship, fellowship, or travel grant, you can do research abroad. I know people who deliberately picked sources that were held only in the Florence National Central Library or the Bodleian just so they could travel to places they’d always wanted to see.

    You deserve it a hell.of a lot more than some of the people who’ll get it otherwise.

      1. NarcAngel: if it gets her funding, yes.

        My Appalachian friend used to make jokes about all the stereotypes: getting Great-Uncle Grandpappy to rustle up some roadkill for the next wedding, etc. When I first met him, he pronounced it “Appa-LAY-sha,” which is how the Girl Scouts pronounced it when he hiked part of it. Newscasters say, “Appa-LATCH-uh,” so I asked him which was correct.
        “Oh, we’re so.stupid, we don’t know even how to say our own place.” (The guy interned with a lawyer, switched his major from Linguistics to Classics, preferred Latin Rite Mass, and said if he’d been around during Colonial days, he probably would have been a Monarchist.)

      2. Violetta and NarcAngel
        Hahahaha…I could blackout a tooth. I have a brilliant idea! I can claim Mole/Tunnel People status and maybe get into Harvard.

        1. K,
          Hahahaha… it’s worth a try! You never know your luck. Just demonstrate some of your information-finding skills and say that you needed to be resourceful down in the tunnels. Harvard would be lucky to have you!

          1. WiserNow
            Hahahaha…thank you! Rather than take an SAT test, I could use my Finder/Tunneling Skills to get into the Ivy League University.

          2. That sounds like a plan K!
            I bet you already know a lot more than many people at one of those universities though. Like most other so-called ‘elite’ organisations, they probably have more than their fair share of narcs too!

            I was thinking today about this article and how some commenters have said they sacrificed going on to do further education. Myself, I went to a university although it wasn’t Ivy League or anything like that. It was a ‘regular’ university. I just thought that even though I went, I was young and naive and didn’t know anything ‘useful’ about psychology or personality types or narcissism. If I had known about these things back then, it probably would have changed many things including the course I decided to take at the time.

            So, although you may see it as a ‘sacrifice’ K, by not studying then and deciding to study now instead, the education you would gain now, with all the things you already know, would be much more truly “educational” and fulfilling for you at this point in your life. Or perhaps, with the skills you already have, you would be pointing out inaccuracies to the lecturers and also referring them to exactly where they could find the correct details instead! 😊

          3. WiserNow
            Sadly, many people flunk out or lose their scholarships because they party too much during their first year.
            I did take Psych 101 and it was one of my favorite classes.

            I think you are absolutely right. The education that I getting here trumps what I would have learned then.
            Hahahaha…If I pointed out any inaccuracies to the lecturers, there’s a good chance of getting maligned hoovered in class. When I was ten, I said that Adam and Eve never existed and I got in trouble for that!

          4. That’s funny K. I can imagine you at school at ten innocently saying Adam and Eve never existed and getting in trouble. Religions are dubious constructs at the best of times 😝

            There’s a difference between being intelligent or smart and being ‘educated’ and sometimes they are two very different things.

          5. WiserNow
            It was catholic school and the teacher reprimanded me and told that Adam and Eve most certainly did exist.
            I agree; there’s book smarts and then there’s street smarts. What’s the point of higher education if people are too afraid to think for themselves. Sheeple!

          6. I agree K. It often makes me wonder why people go through higher education just to follow the herd. There’s safety in numbers I guess, and a lack of imagination too.

          7. K—I’ve never taken the SAT, only ACT. The GRE was waived—it’s becoming archaic for schools to demand a GRE.

          8. Lorelei
            Many Colleges are dropping ACT and SAT requirements, I took my SATs and completed one year at university so getting in wouldn’t be a problem, however, tuition is cost-prohibitive.

          9. K—I won’t make you crazy so only one time I’ll mention that you may well qualify for no tuition responsibility. I have dealt with this a lot with former employees with dependents. The landscape is considerably brighter than it may seem! The grants are almost automatic—I’m actually talking to a single mom in front of me right this moment about her grants. (She has no idea I’m on a sociopath blog!)
            Anyway—you are very bright so may have looked at all of this, but just in case not please accept it as encouragement to knock down some doors if you want to.

          10. Lorelei
            Hahaha…you are not making me crazy and I appreciate all of the encouragement from everyone. There are so many beautiful college campuses and I know someone who works at a university who may be able to help me with grants.

            Hahahaha…multi-tasking while on the blog; what a combo, mixing work with psychopathy!

          11. Yes I was actually busy in urgent care that ended up not being urgent care as I had a cardiac arrest that was initially a sore throat. That was different. Nothing surprises me anymore. Anyway—any school can manage this. Their financial aid staff just does it. You’ll never see a bill. I purposely do not pay off student loan debt. Why? Interest rates are so low that if I die before it’s paid off it’s not charged to my estate for the kids. Many people adopt this tactic and drag it out even if they have the money. Many physicians (for instance) carry around 200-300k out of residency—they do not often try and pay it off for this reason. Even if they end up making a great salary. I only owe a tiny amount but I won’t pay a dime more than I have to.

          12. Good advice, Lorelei.
            @K, I don’t know if you have kids, or what country you live in. If you live in the USA, college is so expensive. But if it is something you really want to do, please do not allow anything to stop you. Lorelei is correct, there are a lot of federal grants. Don’t allow anything to stop you. Become your own hero. I would also suggest asking a case worker at a domestic violence shelter about scholarships for women. My case worker says that there are a lot of private grants/scholarships available for women that she is able to give out, but she does a screening to see which grants are available for whom.

            This is slightly on a different subject, but same concept for anyone who is tangled with a narcissist and has kids. My daughter’s father always tries to use daycare, and now preschool as a means for financial abuse. There is always some big stunt he pulls. The last time, our judge granted him temporary legal custody of our daughter at an ex parte hearing where I couldn’t even defend myself. So then his next move was to enroll our daughter in a preschool as far away from me that would be allowed- 1 hour of driving time for me. He then motioned to have me pay for half of tuition “because it’s more that fair”. To judges and attorneys who make that amount in two days it’s fair. For me, it would land me in jail for contempt, for not being able to afford it. I was determined to find a way. I searched everywhere. Eventually, I asked the department of child services for the list of resources, and third parties that the case workers use for children who are at risk for abuse. I applied for every scholarship for preschool available on the list until we were accepted for one. It wasn’t a free ride, but it covered about 75% and was a private grant. When I told our judge, she thought I was lying to get out of paying half. When I showed her the paperwork, she was impressed, and switched the preschool to one in my neighborhood. It was so freeing to not only have that weight lifted, but also the reassurance that I am resourceful enough to never have to ask the narcissist for child support. I always try to advise people to not seek child support from narcissist. It’s not worth it, and there are other ways around it.

          13. Thank you Anm
            It’s very upsetting to see how uninformed the courts are regarding NPD. Judges, lawyers and GALs (Guardian ad Litem) have no idea what they are dealing with and I am truly sorry that you have to deal with him AND an ignorant court system. I agree with you, if an individual is able, they should avoid child support and the courts whenever possible; it just isn’t worth it. Your resourcefulness paid off, not only did you get most of the tuition covered but the location was switched to a neighborhood school. What a relief!

            I am american and I have two adult children from my ULN and a 9-year old daughter from my MMRN. My girl friend works at a University and has access to many resources so I may ask her about it, TBH, I hadn’t really given it (going back to school) much thought until recently.

  10. Mercy,
    I am here to read the results of this poll, and then to read if HG has any commentary for the readers. No, I don’t have time to create a thread on explaining myself.

    1. Anm, I was doing the same when I ran across your comment. I think people passionately defend HG because he has created a place where those of us that have been through narcissist abuse can speak freely without judgement. I think defending him is a natural empath trait, especially when he’s done so much for us. There’s also pride in the fact that we are a part of something great and we want to protect it.

  11. One word: time. The most precious resource. Wasted years being married to the Narcs.
    One can rebuilt their life – career, money, new job, new home, improved health, restored self esteem, etc.
    But you can’t turn back time.

  12. Short version: I was the violent child of a violent father. I had two ways of getting attention: getting in conflict and creative writing.

    My shrink and my school discouraged the writing.

  13. HG,

    Between nourishing the whole family & partner & working around the clock with 2 hour sleep daily & not living as a human to meet all there demands with a result of being disrected and bad mouthed made me feel like an idiot.

    Any explanation too this?

  14. Hi Presque Vu, I’m so happy to read a post from you again. It has been a while since I have seen one. I am heartbroken with your story but it ended up in a very positive note about you being grateful for not losing what is most precious to you and for finding Narcsite and learning so much from here. It shows that you are a victor that have overcome so much that would make most people succumb. Your strength has always been there with you and your stepdad saw that and was jealous of that and tried to break it. But he never succeeded. You always had that strength and you are still carrying it and I’m sure that your sons have always seen it which is why they never gave up on you. Thank you for such a heartfelt post and sharing your very precious story to us. It is so inspiring.

  15. Money, sense of who I am, children. I had a good amount of money in savings which I spent to support my ex lesser and buy things he wanted. He was always asking to borrow my credit card. I never gave it to him but ended up spending money on him anyway. Somehow he got the idea that I was rich. I have never met a rich nursing assistant. I said children also. At the time my daughter was very young and I feel guilty for letting someone like him be close to her. He was never physically abusive with her but he never showed any empathy towards her either. I also voted for a sense of who I am. Like many people after the disengagement I didn’t know who I was anymore. The person I was before was gone and I had no idea how that happened. For the first year I tried to get her back but I have come to the conclusion that she will never come back. I will move forward figuring out who I am now.
    I also gave up the town I lived in. My ex lesser convinced me to move to the country. I wasn’t totally against it as I had always wondered what country living would be like. The countryside always seemed so beautiful and peaceful. So we got a place in the country. It was amazing at first. But I was isolated from everyone I knew. It took an extra long time just to get anywhere. Five years later after our disengagement, my daughter and I moved back to the town we lived in before. I was so happy to get back. I almost felt like the old me again. It’s an amazing feeling to be in civilization again and know that my ex lesser is at least 30 minutes away and has no clue where I am.

  16. Thank you Sweetest Perfection!
    If I ever go back, I would take classes for enjoyment, such as: English Lit., Psychology or Medical Ethics.

    1. K,

      “If I ever go back, I would take classes for enjoyment, such as: English Lit., Psychology or Medical Ethics.”

      That sounds like a cool potential for the future – why Medical Ethics, may I ask? (I can guess the reason for the other two options.)

  17. I lost a happy childhood due to my sociopath Lesser dad. Eroded self-confidence and self worth, I was never good enough and so in my adult years I have worked to achieve perfection and accomplishment as a means to compensate for that lack. ‘I wasn’t good enough for you? Well, look at my talent now!’

    I feel a disconnect from those who grew up in Beaver-Cleaver Land and I find I envy them, albeit I notice they tend to be myopic in certain degrees. Always feeling overlooked, never appreciated or recognized for my talents or intellect. Feeling like a ‘nobody’.

    1. Bibi
      I understand where you are coming from. I grew up with a MR dad who also eroded my self confidence. He also never let me find my own identity because he was always pushing me to be like my sister. Nothing I did was good enough. But unlike you who worked hard for perfection, I spent years not knowing who I truly was or what I wanted in life. I was lost for so long. It has taken years for me to become who I am today and to realize I was always good enough. I hope you find peace and I wish you the best.

  18. MP I try to not look at the cost or expense of what I may have lost and we never can tell the life we could have led would be any better than the one now. I was thinking last night, if I had a choice to be raised in a normal loving family and not have met the people or had the experiences I have had, would I be as happy? Would I have met the same types of people, would I be ignorant and naive to the world and live in a bubble that so many do?
    I am so much better at 43 than I was at 25, as much as familial narcissistic abuse, shapes the person you are, it shouldnt define you fully.
    I had to fight for freedom and still do, immigrant parents who didn’t want to learn to read and write, my mother never got her drivers license and doesn’t like public transport, we are her extensions we were born into servitude. At 10 years of age and up I was translating medical documents, deciphering bills, going to doctors and to therapist appointments and listening to my parents horrible relationship, being belittled, shamed, guilted into doing things for the family (benefited mother mostly). I grew up fast, I learnt that people wanted to control.
    BUT.. I never lost that ability to seek and search for better, for more, to fight for me and my future. I despise the poor me attitude as many can tell.
    And as weird as it is to say, im happy, I’ve chosen a path that’s not for everyone but it’s mine, I am stronger, independent and have the freedom to chose where I go next, i still look after family, but im not materialistic and don’t fall for shiny things.. and after many sacrifices the pay off is here.

    From what I know you have gained so much, you are stronger and wiser, you haven’t lost the caring and loving ability, you have all the opportunity in the world. You are young, but No matter what age, you will experience everything you want to experience, because you are you.
    It’s funny I never played with dolls, I played with swords and guns, always beating the oppressors, that narrative continues to this day :).

    1. Thank you Julie and thank you for sharing your experiences from familial abuse. I agree with you very much. I agree that our childhood shapes who we are but it doesn’t define us. We define us and we constantly do that in each decision that we make. I was thinking that yes the sad parts of our childhood have indeed showed us how strong we can be but I don’t think that it was what made us strong. A bridge that withstood a very strong wind didn’t become strong because of the strong wind that tried to knock it down. It was already strong before that and it would have still been strong even if that strong wind never came to test it. I’m sure that we would have still been mostly empathic even if we were raised by living families as I know a lot of people raised in loving families who are amazingly empathic and strong as well. But there is a sense of pride I think that we have survived very tough situations and it makes us appreciate in a way how strong we can be.

  19. My ex-narc is responsible for alienating my youngest son from me. It hasn’t been too long since I initiated No Contact I have only been able to visit with my son twice. It will be a long time until we can repair our relationship it might not be the same ever. In order to be free, I had to give up on the idea to get my dog back ( his dog on paper) which has broken my heart. My dog was the reason I stayed with him long after I knew my narc was no good (he beats him when he exhibits separation anxiety and the narc gets aggressive and in turn my dog mirrors that energy, the result it well..of course, I can’t prove it I never got a chance to videotape it).
    I have trust issues I see narc behavior everywhere. It will be a long time before I want to date again. I enjoy my alone time I am working on repairing myself and my relationship with my son. He has not won not in a long shot. I went supernova on him to the point he asked why I was so mean to him ha I haven’t heard from him since. Good riddance.

  20. Dear Mr Tudor,
    I regretted being born to a women who didn’t want children!
    Not being loved by my parents was soul destroying, we weren’t allowed to show emotions, everything was conditional
    Silent treatment was her weapon
    Having “both” of my parents abandon me, was the icing on the cake !
    To feel loved needed n wanted was a basic human instinct I never had
    No one should ever have to go thru that
    Very thought provoking poll, clarifies my emotional thinking even further
    Thank you Mr Tudor
    Luv Bubbles xx 😘

    1. Dear Bubbles
      As a Mother I could never imagine not wanting a child that is so full of love and emotion as you are! You are a beautiful individual and deserve peace, love, and happiness alway! 😘💞

  21. So much immeasurable pain in these posts. The poll has forced me to look even deeper at the parts of myself that I lost a long time ago and I believe that enlightenment is a result of self reflection. I would rather be where I am now, trudging through the mess of living with a narc, keeping my ET in check and planning to escape than where I was just 3 month ago, having no idea what I was married to.

    I can relate to so many of the comments. They resonated with me on such a deep level and stirred up everything I am trying to come to terms with. That is part of the healing I suppose because ignoring the pain and being ignorant of my situation wasted years of my life and sucked me dry. It is all I can do to get though each day but I am moving forward and that is all that matters. Amazing how a simple poll could prove to be so therapeutic.

    1. Kristin,
      I agree with what you have said. Enlightenment is a result of self-reflection. Enlightenment is not a straight and easy path though. It takes time to unravel things that happened in the past and how you reacted to them. If you keep learning and keep being kind to yourself, it helps to get further along and to keep moving forward.

      1. WiserNow,
        Thank you. My mom sees the pain I am in and wants me to leave now and it is difficult for her to sit back and watch the abuse. I have explained to her that I have to take care of myself right now despite the daily struggle of living with the narc. It will take some time to unravel what has happened, get stronger and makes sense of it all. My son has special needs and my daughter has 2 more years of high school left and they are my first priority. It is never a good time to leave a narc (mine is an upper lesser) but I need to be as prepared as possible. As you said, it is not a straight and easy path and I know that I have to have the tools that HG has provided if I am to survive the escape.

        I love your comments and those of so many others. You all are so very brave and insightful and it encourages me each day. 🤗

        1. Thank you Kristin, that is very kind of you to say. I think that you are very brave and also very strong and insightful. Living with a narc is one of the most difficult and stressful things anyone can do, and you have two children as well, and one of them is special needs. You have a lot of emotionally stressful things to deal with Kristin and you have endured them for many years.

          You are the one that’s very brave and strong and throughout everything you have remained compassionate and kind, and also resilient enough to learn how to change the situation you’re in. That is remarkable and commendable. I believe you are stronger and more capable than even you, yourself know.

          Escaping from a narc isn’t easy when you have children, so yes, I think you have to take the time to plan ahead and ensure you are ready. With the awareness you already have and also with continued learning and help from HG, it means that you won’t go back to the way things were. You’ll keep going forward even if it takes time. I wish you all the best Kristin. You deserve peace and a satisfying and self-directed life with your children. 😊😘 xxx

          1. WiserNow,
            Thank you for your supportive and kind words. I cannot express how much relief I felt when you validated my need to stay until I was ready to leave. I know myself and I am a planner, always have been. There are days when I am at the breaking point and just want it all to be over but know that would not be the best for me or my children. HG has coined GOSO and when you know you go. I naively asked him if there was a “phrase” that I could tell myself when things are bad to keep me focused and strong. Of course, the answer was no, things will not change until I leave. He was very understanding regarding my concern for my children and he changed my thinking about the future. Basically, these are my words, I need to suck it up and grow a pair until I escape.

            I share the following NOT in an attempt for pity or sympathy but as an example of how narcs prey on the vulnerable. I resolved and made peace with my childhood a long time ago and it has helped shape who I am today. My father was an alcoholic and was sexually inappropriate with me and my younger sister. She coped by self-medicating with drugs and alcohol at the age of 13. I was the peace maker, hated conflict and coped by starving myself. I was anorexic for a number of years but with God’s grace and help, I hit rock bottom and was able to overcome it during my sophomore year in college. My sister and I have a very significant startle reflex and when it happens, I have a visceral response. I feel it in my chest and the feeling goes to my feet and lasts for a minute or two. A therapist once told me that it was because of living in a home with a predator. That may or may not be true but the abuse has affected us both in various ways.

            My narc husband, or the prick as I prefer to call him, knows what happened. For the entirety of our marriage he has intentionally come up and scared me despite my pleading for him to stop. It is a horrible feeling and my heart races when he does this. I obviously never know when it is going to happen and cannot relax in my own home. It is just one example of how sick he is. Because of the nature of being startled, I am unable to respond intellectually or logically but inadvertently provide the fuel he so desperately seeks. Perhaps my situation will help others in recognizing narc abuse and encourage them to immerse themselves in HG’s knowledge and guidance for it has proved invaluable to me thus far. Obviously, the prick will not stop his twisted ways but that only confirms that I need to leave, especially when my ET is high.

            This is a place where I can finally feel safe since I have had to be on guard since I was a child. I so appreciate the openness and honesty of those on this site that share their tragic stories because it is part of the healing process and in turn helps me and others. 😘

          2. Kristin,
            I agree that this site is unique and the open and honest stories of the commenters are both very touching and also eye-opening. I think they make us all feel less alone and more grounded and aware of our own circumstances.

            I am really sorry that your husband scares you on purpose and is unpredictable about it. I can imagine how annoying that would be! I think it would make me lose my temper and either push him hard or smack him in the mouth… and I am not at all a violent or aggressive person, but that would irritate me so much! Please don’t do anything like that because it would just fuel him. It would be better to stay as unemotional as possible and to act like it didn’t affect you at all.

            It just shows how immature and emotionally disconnected narcissists are. It also shows how dependent on fuel they are too. I am really sorry he does that Kristin. It’s not something you can go “grey rock” with either because you don’t know when it’s coming and so you can’t prepare or hide your emotions.

            The only thing I can suggest is that after he does that and you regain your composure afterwards, keep telling yourself internally as firmly as you can, that you are stronger than him and will recover your groundedness faster and better than he ever could. Try not to allow his silly antics to get to you. Keep telling yourself how disordered and pathetic he really is and try to mentally rise above the emotional turmoil you feel. Keep doing what you would normally do and don’t stop to contemplate or overthink matters. Stay active and be in the moment, taking control of whatever it is you are doing.

            Again, I’m sorry you have to deal with him Kristin. I know how they *constantly* try to either push your buttons or deceive you because of their neverending fuel needs.
            It’s really sad and pathetic when you think about it logically. That’s why your peace of mind and emotional wellbeing can only be sustained completely when you have no contact. I definitely agree that it can be difficult to ‘get out stay out’, but it is the best way to improve your life and circumstances. Until you’re able to do that, it’s good that you have a mom who understands and sympathises and supports you. Keep in touch with your mom and other people who are supportive. Also, stay here on the blog and keep learning and commenting.

            All the best to you Kristin. I will keep you in my thoughts and keep my fingers crossed that things get better for you xx😘

          3. Thanks WiserNow. After so many years of wondering why, I now know that he does it for fuel.

            “It’s really sad and pathetic when you think about it logically. That’s why your peace of mind and emotional wellbeing can only be sustained completely when you have no contact.” Absolutely and I know mine is just one example of a sick means to obtain fuel. Rest assured, every time it happens it strengthens my resolve to leave. I have lashed out at him in the past but know better now as it would encourage him but that’s a narc for you!

            It is my hope that by sharing my story someone who is where I was just a few months ago will be able to relate and know they are in the right place. I have said many times but this site and HG are truly lifesavers as I could not do it without all of this support.

            I so appreciate you taking the time to reply and I hope you are doing well xx 💕

          4. You’re very welcome Kristin, and thank you for your kind and supportive words in return :-)

            HG and this site *are* lifesavers, especially in the early stages of someone gaining awareness. I remember those days for myself, and they were difficult and emotionally volatile days. I would question my own mind and my experiences constantly and wonder if I was doing the *right* things and thinking in the right ways. After communicating with some very helpful people here, it changed my way of looking at things immensely and I felt like someone actually understood and cared. It felt very validating and gave me a lot of comfort and confidence. If I can do that for someone else and help another person to feel more comfortable and grounded in their own ‘self’, I am more than happy to do it, because I know personally how much it can help to know that you are not alone with what you’re dealing with. You are not alone Kristin and there are many people who understand and have been in the same place.

            It’s interesting that you use the word ‘resolve’. When I lived with my family and had regular contact with my mother, that word would pop into my head many times. I told myself that I needed to have ‘resolve’ and I even asked God or the Universe why I was given this fate where my resolve was tested again and again. It felt like I was being tested by some outside force and that I would either pass or fail the test.

            Now I see that the ‘resolve’ I felt I needed was another unconscious ‘need’ that I held and that was that I thought I needed to hold onto the relationship no matter what. I felt that my unconscious ideal of what the relationship ‘should’ have looked like was keeping me in that situation. My ‘resolve’ was necessary because of my own idea that there was no way that anyone could walk away from ‘loving’ their own mother. It felt like something you just couldn’t do.

            That ‘idea’ was something I really needed to look at consciously and consider in a logical way. I realised that my own mental health and happiness was being compromised by that ‘idea’ and the resolve that went into trying to live up to the idea. Even though I didn’t want to, I found that my health depended on rejecting that idea and looking at the relationship with my mother in different ways.

            It’s not easy at all Kristin and if you’re anything like me, you probably feel torn between two ways of going – like being at a fork in the road. Your wellbeing is important – just as important as keeping the family together or holding on to a relationship, even moreso, because if you’re not healthy, than your children and the people who you care about and who care about you are not healthy either. It’s a difficult situation. Having resolve is healthy, however, where you place the resolve is important too xx

          5. WiserNow,
            It is as though you are reading my mind and I am so encouraged by your words. I know that it is because you have been where I am. Like you did, I am always questioning myself and asking if I am doing the right thing. I vacillate between wanting to get the hell out and feeling guilty because it will kill the prick when I leave, especially because of the children. I loathe him, yes, but do not have a desire to hurt him or anyone else for that matter. Insert ET here. I am even ok with being slandered because I know the truth and so do many of our friends who have seen him in action. Many of you have told me not to feel guilty and I try and remind myself that when I am physically and emotionally drained. Thankfully he gives me daily “reminders” of why I need to get out. It is still early in this journey and I trust that with HG’s support and the support of everyone who has been in this situation, I will be able to leave. When I get completely overwhelmed I tell myself that I don’t have to leave just to calm my nerves. I know that is not healthy but I get desperate at times. Since I discovered that he was a narc a couple of months ago, I have not been giving in to his need for fuel nor has my 16 yo daughter. He is losing control and is coming back at us with a vengeance. He sees that we have pulled away but doesn’t think he is the problem, we are. Typical narc behavior.

            I really like your thoughts on “resolve.” I think it holds true regarding my father and his abuse. He passed away a number of years ago so it has been easy to move on. Regarding the prick, however, you are spot on. I believe that trying to resolve what has happened in my marriage and what I thought should have happened are holding me back and increasing my ET. It is a huge fork in the road especially since I met him at 19 and am now 50. It sucks but I am preaching to the choir. I have been tested and faced a number of challenges in my life like everyone else and come through on the other side a much stronger person. I know this is yet another test and I keep reminding myself of that. I am reading HG’s books, using his assistance packages and consulting with him. I am taking it one day at a time and I am stronger than I was even a month ago. Some days it is two steps forward and one step back but I am still moving forward.

            I keep crying when I read your comments because I often feel so alone and there is no way to truly express just how much it means to me and helps. I think the tears represent just how raw my emotions are and it is another example of how the abuse has affected me for too many damn years. You have your own struggles but are completely selfless in sharing your experiences and advice with me so thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your wisdom and the simple fact that you have been where I am is worth its weight in gold. XX

          6. Dear Kristin,
            You are not alone, please believe that. Keep telling yourself that you are a strong individual and deserving of respect and honesty, and you do not need to tolerate disrespect or people who say they love you and then need to overpower, control or upset you. They are people who cannot understand that all people are individuals who deserve respect as individual people. In the absence of their respect, you need to give that respect to yourself Kristin.

            Thank you for your heartfelt words, I appreciate your feelings very much. I know how hard it is. I don’t think anyone wants to walk away from keeping their own family together. For me, it’s a heart-wrenching and difficult thing to do. When I am with my mother and sister though, they are hell-bent on controlling everything and everyone around them, and it’s relentless. They can’t stop doing it. When I am with them, I either have to go along with them or get away from them. There is no other option.

            But that’s me. Everyone’s situation is different. Kristin, I hope you can remain strong within yourself and never stop believing in your own worth and autonomy ❤

          7. Thank you again for your supporting words WiserNow. I so long to get to the place where you and others are but know I need to be patient with myself and that it will take time. I’m actually sick of myself for feeling so down and overwhelmed, that is why your insight helps so much! I have been purchasing HG’s packages (so grateful for the sale :) )and am making my way through them as they are worth their weight in gold. I hope you are well xx.

          8. You’re welcome Kristin and thank you also xx
            Please believe that you will get where you want to go. The energy you need to protect yourself is already in you. You have already come a long way and achieved a lot so far. Keep believing that you can do this. It’s difficult and arduous, however, you can do it. You have the power and the strength. Whenever you feel down about your own self, let it be and accept it. Leave it for another day. Be kind to yourself and be your own best friend. You don’t need to be perfect and even the minor setbacks are small lessons for you so that you can know what you still need to work on and strengthen. Have lots of self-compassion Kristin. What you are going through is difficult and anyone would find it that way.

            I am well thanks, and thank you for asking 😊❤ I hope you are well too. I agree that HG’s sale was great too. I’d like to buy all of the packages and immerse myself in HG’s logic for a whole month! I’m pacing myself though with a segment of information at a time and allowing it all to sink in. The information is definitely helpful. Have a great day Kristin. It’s been lovely to ‘talk’ to you xx😊

          9. WiserNow,
            “Whenever you feel down about your own self, let it be and accept it. Leave it for another day.” Thank you, I will absolutely take those words to heart and let it be! You truly know how difficult it is and to have that validated every once and a while eases the pain a bit.

            Regarding your mother and sister, I totally understand. You are so right, it is either go along or remove yourself, there is no other way. It is self preservation at its best. You have the knowledge of what you are dealing with and the tools to protect yourself although maddening at best as I can imagine!

            I’m glad you were able to take advantage of the sale, what a gift he gave us. I too am working my way through it all as it does take time for my brain to process. It would be very easy to spend a month absorbing his knowledge and yet I think I would still need more time! It speaks volumes that those of you who have been here for years are still learning and healing and it is very encouraging to me.

            Many blessings to you and your support has been a life saver. xx 😘

          10. Kristin:

            “Ooh, gosh, sorry, honey! I didn’t mean to spill that hot coffee all over your shorts….while you were wearing them. Guess you just startled me.”

          11. hahahaha Violetta – that’s a good plan. Even if I wasn’t actually holding a cup of hot coffee at the time, I’d deliberately grap a cup and throw it at him!

      2. Agree with your statement to Kristin—fortunately Narcsite separates the wheat from the chaff so we stay focused on the essentials. I hate to think of my condition had I not gotten here. There’s a lot of chaff out there.

        1. Thank you Lorelei. Yes, there is a lot of chaff out there. Having said that, I still like to read various articles and listen to YouTube videos in addition to reading and listening to HG. I find that it gives me a broader ‘perspective’ (haha, there’s that word again!)

          A lot of things out there are much narrower in scope than the information HG provides, and there is also ‘academic’ style articles that are informative but not nearly as practical or specific as the advice that HG gives. A lot of information is given by people who are recovering victims or others and they give accounts of their own experiences and their own insights.

          I find that all of these sources of information are like a smorgasbord. You can pick and choose from what’s there and sometimes what you find is not very ‘nutritious’ or healthy, but it’s still interesting to try a taste. Even in the chaff, you can still sometimes find nuggets of gold that lead you on to find other sources or give you a new way of looking at something that gives you new and valuable insights.

          Reading more broadly has helped me, although I still use HG’s info as a fundamental ‘backdrop’ and I stick to HG’s advice. In many cases, I have HG’s information in the back of my mind and compare and contrast the other things I read with what HG says. So, narcsite is like a blueprint or template that other things either match or don’t.

          I’ve recently read about chakras and the energy in our own bodies, in particular the root chakra which covers our sense of safety and security. I’ve never been into the whole chakra energy concept, however, it’s quite interesting. After focusing on the root chakra, I find that I have more positive energy. I hope it continues, so I will look more closely at learning about it.

          1. Kim e,
            Do you find that it has an effect on how you feel or does it change how you think and the sorts of things that happen to you?

            The whole concept of chakras and healing or balancing them is new to me. I’m starting to see it in a realistic and down-to-earth or simple way now and it makes a lot of sense.

          2. WiserNow
            The first time I had a treatment, I felt nothing out of the ordinary when it was finished. I went home, putzed around for a while and sat down to watch a movie. The tears jsut started flowing. I had no control. There was no sobbing no nose running it was just tears pouring on and off for the rest of that day and into the next. After another treatment (not sure of the time inbetween the 1st and this one) the tears came again but this time it was sobbing. Did not last as long but a lot more intense. Had a headache when finished. Took a nap and felt totally refreshed when I woke up.
            A lot of the time I am very sore the next day and as my girl uses crystals, she tells me that is the rebalancing. No reason to be sore as you just lay there.
            I do get strange sensations sometimes while it is goin gon. My arms will go numb while she is at one chakra but when she moves to another the numbness goes away. Headache while working on head but when moves headache goes away.
            Hope this helps.

          3. Kim e
            Good god, there’s leaking after? I hope you don’t have any chakras in your bladder or colon or you’re fucked.

  22. Having had a narcissitic mother and husband i pretty much checked all these. Didn’t check children but actually should have done because my ex husband decided he didn’t want children after telling me he did when we were first together so that went two. But after over 5 years out my marriage i am atlast starting to heal and find myself and atlast having been referred for cbt when i moved to somewhere new am starting to also learn how to not be caught up in my mother and father’s crap any more. I am starting after 50 years in this world to actually know who I AM and have the strength not to take on board other people’s rubbish or allow others to push my buttons to shame or guilt me. I’m also finding the strength to walk away from my mother when she starts her guilt tactics or silent treatment – something she is supremely talented at. Its actually a revelation for me and very very freeing.

  23. Your posts of a very royal narcissist have been extremely triggering for me. Through your education I see with clarity and bright blue eyes what she’s doing to Harry and I want to protect him from what is to come. I see it and feel it. I know he’s devoted and will feel safe in her arms, but she will fake it all. I never expected to be as upset as I am, Harry cannot see it. I could not see it either. I was so blinded by love.

    I lost part of my childhood. My step dad made me hate him but desire his approval despite the beatings and lectures on why I was bad and needed to be punished. I just wanted him to love me. I was his favourite. He would toy with me because I would fight back. When he blocked me in my bedroom, put a dresser in front of the door and demanded I touch his penis. I said NO!
    He punched me then asked again. NO! He pulled my hair and spat in my face, ‘do it’ … NO! I ended up with two black eyes, off school, my mum shouting through the door as he stands there in his pants with his crotch in front of my face. I’m on my knees, he has my hair in his hands and he tells my mum to fuck off, I need to learn a lesson for being so fucking defiant. I don’t cry. I don’t make a noise. All I say is NO! I never touched his penis and he never touched me after that moment. He did go on to abuse my sister and put us against each other so we never discussed what was going on. He was a clever fucking cunt and I hate him.
    He took my most private years, 10-16 and made me feel dirty, sex and having my period, he punished me with the belt. And yet… he would explain why I needed to be punished, he didn’t want to, for an hour he would explain why it was all my fault, we all used to call it the lecture. I still wanted his approval, to be my friend, I wanted his love despite my complete terror of how he could just switch. One time he was smiling and laughing with me, then he punched me full force and I chipped a front tooth. I never knew how he really ever felt. All I knew was that I needed to fucking leave at the first opportunity as the beatings where getting worse! I left home at 16!

    I don’t know why, but I found a similar character in my ex. Charming, and expressive, I nearly lost my eldest son. The ex told me my eldest son was bad news, on drugs, trying to control me and we had to kick him out. I did. I felt fucking awful but if he was on drugs… I’m raising a younger child and this can not be tolerated!
    One day, my son came to the house and my ex made him a cup of tea and passed it through the window to him saying your mother does not want you here, but have some tea, I’ll open the window wider and you can chat through it. My son stood there and just looked at me. (I fucking hate myself for saying this) but I stood behind my narc in support and made sure my son knew it.

    It took us a year to rebuild our relationship after the nex.
    My son never gave up on me. My two boys could see what I could not. I was so in love with him. They knew he was toxic. I’m not a stupid woman, Harry is not a stupid man. The addiction is very real. I have never in my life been so willing to give my life to someone. That’s not love!! That’s not how it goes!! HG Taught me, through blog education, consulting, articles, YouTube videos, I drowned in narcsite.

    That was my saving grace.
    I nearly lost my most precious boys because of one man. Harry is losing so much because of one woman. He will not see it or believe it until he seeks answers to his miserable life to come. Then… he will stumble on narc site and salvation.

    1. Presque
      Thank you for sharing this with us, it could not have been easy to write. I am sorry for the pain and suffering you had to endure, I wish you peace.

  24. I want to say that my daughters father was always jealous that my success was self made, that I got a lot of attention when we would go out, I had a lot of connections in our community, and had a lot of people I loved-and who loved me.

    I gave up: innocence, self esteem, the community I lived in, he sabotaged 2 careers of mine, I lost money, lost time with my child because he sought temporary custody of my daughter- I was able to get her back, but the time lost and the quality of life went down.

    Things I gained: closer relationship with my family-I had to face my own family trauma, I faced my fears; after being crush in court by the narcissist, and not being able to get consistent legal representation, I learned all of the procedures in my family court, got rid of a victim mindset, and started winning against the narcissist. I would have to say, cross examining a narcissist in court during an 8 hour trial hearing was extremely difficult. I filed for protective orders so that the narcissist could not find out about any information about my employment now, or in the future, and his attorney can’t subpoena the records either, and it was granted. I helped 2 other moms with their custody cases. 2020 is a year I hope to work on my finances, and do lots of charity work for women and children

  25. Yes,through this all i gained some friends and lost a lot of garbage. I also have more hobby’s and interest then ever before.I also got to know myself. Maybe an idea for the next poll,what we’ve gained.

  26. I can’t reply to you Foolme on the other thread re, how helpful the logic items have been. It’s why anyone complaining of the cost amuses me—it’s not like he’s a snake oil salesman! It would be beneath him to produce crap for sale.

    1. Lorelei,
      I read Foolme’s comment, and decided to not join in on that thread of commentary. I think we need to give it a break.
      For starters, you do not know the financial situation of all people here; some maybe experiencing financial abuse/addiction problems/both. I have owned/managed companies in the wellness industry, and women tend to have much more of a difficult time spending money on themselves, especially for their wellness, especially empathic women; whereas, on the other hand, most men will spend whatever it takes to live a better life.
      Last but not least, we need to stop excessively defending HG. His work and success speaks for itself. I believe when we are overly defensive with our commentary, it dilutes his mission and purpose. Just my 2cents.

      1. I’ll defend him in any way I see fit. This is not about financial issues, it’s about being snarked at for charging for work. I too, suffered tremendous financial abuse. Two different issues. Charging for material vs. affordability are not exactly the same. I’m sorry if you have also been the recipient of a narcissists careless financial bullshit. It was staggering for me certainly.

      2. ANM—apologize if I sounded snarky—I was on the elliptical and pushing kinda hard. I just feel that the affordability vs. actually charging are separate—but I do see they can bifurcate. I work extra hours to afford additional help.. HG is likely well aware we all have different issues. I don’t like working extra or trying to rebuild financially. It sucks. I also know I’ll likely always be teaching rather than a full retirement. I know the kids university will cost a fortune and their asswipe father will enjoy sauntering in paying for nothing. That is all but if I sound like a broken record for several recent comments just please breeze on by them.

      3. Anm, Can you clarify “excessively defending” and “overly defensive”. Is it ok to defend as long as it’s not in excess? Where exactly is the line drawn between being defensive and being overly defensive? 

  27. NA,
    I actually scrolled through all of the other answers to see what you would say. Because you are a child of a narcissist, I am always curious about your experiences and your outlook.

  28. I had all these weird symptoms like panic attacks, weight gain, fatigue etc I thought I had a thyroid problem but the doctor said there was nothing medically wrong with me. When he disengaged all the symptoms went away, lost weight etc :) I had anxiety about him disengaging, but nothing like it was before! No more panic attacks. His energy affected me & I didn’t realize at the time

  29. Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem, loss of who I really am, loss of the ability to trust others, loss of friends and family. Loss of being able to make the smallest decision. Loss of integrity and the ability to say no and stand up for myself. Loss of thirty years of my life. Loss of a sense of fun, freedom and hilarity. Loss of a true sense of family with my children. Loss of so much I can’t even begin to articulate.

    Some of these are slowly returning, the most precious of which are my relationships with my (now adult) children and family, especially my sister. Without her support I could not have got through the months since the big escape. I can’t get the lost years back but I am able to draw on the experience to begin to know and understand myself better, so it’s not all negative. I still have a few years left to live life to the full!

    After escaping I would like to lose the sense that he is always looking over my right shoulder ready to pass judgement on my every move. I would like to lose the fear of what jaw-dropping stunt he will pull next. To lose the constant thought intrusion and the feelings of guilt for his experiencing narcissistic collapse since we separated. It is not in my nature not to offer sympathy and support so I feel cold and hard, and judged by others by offering none; it’s not a good feeling. (I have read Exorcism by the way, HG, which has helped somewhat, thank you!)

    Reading this blog has really helped me to understand so much of his soul-crushing behaviour – thank you HG. I feel less alone reading the comments and at times both cry and laugh out loud at the same time at some of the posts. I didn’t recognise what he was until it was time to finally get out (and stay out).Once the penny dropped it was like a veil being removed. The relief of finally knowing and understanding that it was not my fault was liberating.

    I still get frustrated and angry at his continued lack of insight, his blame-shifting and pity plays, his lack of accountability, but I can at least recognise his behaviour and have learned by and large to ignore it. No Contact really does help, although cannot be 100% no contact until the divorce/settlement is finalised, but is at least limited now to the occasional perfunctory email. Thank god for a wise and experienced lawyer who keeps me grounded!

    1. Welcome McThriver, and I am pleased to see that your reading is already helping you. If you want further insight with regard to the divorce process and what you can do to reject the frustration and anger, use these

      https://narcsite.com/divorcing-the-narcissist-what-to-expect/
      https://narcsite.com/the-addiction-to-the-narcissist-what-is-the-foundation/
      https://narcsite.com/the-addiction-to-the-narcissist-and-emotional-thinking/
      https://narcsite.com/addiction-how-to-tackle-emotional-thinking-ap/

  30. Wow. I saw this and had to come back to it. I had no sense of safety due to abuse and what I understand to have been an unusual environment under my father’s thumb. The sexual abuse created a profound sadness and lack of feeling that I had a sense of ownership of myself. I was correct—narcissists see us as extensions of themselves so I didn’t really belong to me. It was bewildering, frightening, I felt very alone, and where I sought solace (in my home) was the still unusual (no expression of emotion seemed safe) atmosphere of my father’s creation. (The sexual abuse was perpetrated by neighbors) Basically, even a safer place was bizarre. My mother crumbled emotionally and disengaged from providing any attention so I was pretty much alone. I always thought it was because I wasn’t pretty enough for her, she was beautiful. She used to do my hair and one day it just stopped. I lost even a seemingly simple thing—a relationship with the non-disordered parent due to my father’s wearing her down. It left me wide open to more anguish and poor choices. Sub-par friendships flourished while the healthier peers were cast aside. I recall the first time as a teenager I decided to have sex—it was never mine to own or my decision to choose so I just did it because it didn’t matter anyway. I had lost the dignity to choose in a way as it had been chosen for me.
    When I acted up I was sent away but made to feel bad (not terribly but it was hinted at) about the extraordinary cost. As if I ever had informed ownership of creating a better path at a tender age! The staff at my school knew—I was harangued about what was happening at home. I was conditioned to say all was happy and well.
    I had no sense of direction. I married two narcissists and lost the ability to parent my children just as my mother did all those years ago. In much the same way. And as her mother did before her. I “lost” a job once for an affair with a narcissist 9’ish years ago, but thankfully the administration cared for me enough to sweep it under the rug and they still are wonderful to me for references or in person. My colleagues knew I wasn’t a bad person but that something drove the situation, unfortunately I was under scrutiny in that position though.. It was the start of a big prolonged break emotionally for me because I lost much of the daily support that kept me afloat as my marriage was already abusive. It was at that time it all crumbled and was harder to keep it all afloat. It was like trying to hold up wallpaper that wasn’t properly adhered. I frantically tried to patch up my vacancy and nothing worked. I was disengaging more and more at home and almost desperate. One more extra-marital affair and eventually just a complete collapse that lasted maybe two years. I was done, toast. He left and thank the universe for it. It has taken 24 months post disengagement to get to a point where much work remains.
    In contrast to loss.. My big huge “gain” is a comfort in not feeling guilty over a sustained reliance on a God. I’m completely and totally ok with saying I toyed with it—even up to the summer of last year, and there has been a lot of peace in disengagement from the concept. I’m better here and with others that are real and actionable. There has never been a god, for me.
    I checked each box above indeed, each loss has its own resonance. Each loss has an associated sadness. Money can be replaced, education can be acquired, charitable work has already resumed and I am absolutely enthralled by my latest social advocacy venture.. And it will all be better moving forth because with it there comes a wisdom of relatability to others I never could have had before. I also plan to post extensively about my gaps in progress as there will certainly be many as I always want to play with fire. Who says only HG likes fire? I like it just as much. HG has to call me Dr. Lorelei in a few years. Now can we get back to discussing hair products? This is way too deep for me! Excuse typos—I just woke from a slumber.

    1. Lorelei,
      I understand how very hard that was for you to write. You have come so far,please believe me when I say you are not the only one that has far more to work on and get done. We will get through this, the damage to us didn’t happen over night, it will take time to process and rebuild. 😘

        1. Scraping the surface is important Lorelei, every time you scrape a little more off, the more you expose and can process.

    2. Lorelei: nothing wrong with hair products; another way to take ownership of your body. I got into gymnastics and dance at least partly because it was about my body doing something, not having something done to it.

      But I’m sorry you weren’t able to bond with your horse at school. It would have helped you a lot to know there was someone you could trust who trusted you. I have found just curry-combing and brushing down a horse can be therapeutic. I have, however, met the occasional horse I just couldn’t make friends with, and that undoubtedly made you feel even worse. I had an experience at a reenactment event where the horse I indeed up riding was the only one I hadn’t made friends with, and it was a thoroughly unpleasant experience. No falls, injuries, or bucking; we just never bonded.

  31. K, you can still do all of that. I know a lot of continuing education success stories, people who also were able to travel while going back to school because of participation in programs abroad through scholarships. Don’t give up on that!!

  32. Childhood, friendships, hobbies/interests – I had to live for my parents, I was almost held captive until my teen years, I couldn’t go anywhere (save school and church), see anyone outside the family, invite anyone over, I always had to cater to my parents’ every whim, take care of the house, raise my sister, and look after myself. I could not express an opinion. I was beaten up (often), threatened, locked out of the house, deprived of food or sleep.

    Family members – I had to go NC with my sister and lost my niece and nephew in the process.

  33. I Sacrificed myself and who I could have been and instead became someone who’s only concern through childhood was trying to survive. That survival mode continued through my teenage and adult years, any self esteem I may have had I don’t remember, instead I only carry with me the feeling of always being dirty and bad, always trying but always ending up doing it all wrong and never being good enough. To put it simply, the sacrifice was me!

    I guess HG having small set backs really are understandable. Thank you for the kindness and patience you always have with me my friend. 💞

    1. Dear FoolMe1Time,
      You are a lovely, friendly and engaging person. Your comments here are witty and confident and show a warm and caring personality. You are someone who not only survived, but did so in a beautiful way.

      You are very worthy FoolMe1Time and you are more than good enough.

      1. WiserNow that is very kind of you to say, thank you.
        Warm and caring is something that has always come naturally to me. I am a natural born caretaker and a target for many schools of narcissist! They have taken a lot from me, but they will never take my desire to care and help others.
        Thank you again WN. 😘

        1. You’re welcome FoolMe1Time 😊😘
          I can see from your comments that you are a caretaker. I can also see that you are determined to keep learning and to protect yourself against narcissists. All of those things are commendable and show your awareness and resilience as well as your desire to care and help.

  34. I checked everything except for my children. The lack of freedom from my narc mom caused me so many opportunities and prevented me from pursuing a lot of things that I would have loved to do as a young single person such as experiencing to volunteer in other countries, traveling, and having friends that she didn’t approve of which she alienated from me with her malign behavior. I lost the ability to have fun experiences with my cousins when we were young and uncles and aunts who loved me before they died. I lost a job because she attacked my boss. Missing out on a lot of fun experiences that most children get to experience because I was not allowed. So many things were lost and just because of a mom’s narcissism.

  35. I voted other – my ability to trust anyone at face value. I don’t think I’ll ever get it back.

    1. SND
      You will get it back. Trust in yourself and the trust in others will come back. You trusted enough to come here and most of all stayed here.
      Hugs and smoochies
      THIS SHIT BREAKS MY HEART

      1. Thanks Kim e but I’m really not quite sure. I’m not even positive I’m upset about it. If I don’t trust, I won’t open up, won’t be vulnerable, and the likelihood of getting hurt is much lower.

        The more everything HG has taught me sinks in, the more I see that most of the people I’ve considered myself close to in my life are probably narcs. For example, one of my very best friends, a male known him since I was five. Called each other best friends through school. We dated THREE separate times (red flag anyone?). My other boyfriends hated him because he was always there, hovering about me. Once around age 19 I had a fight with my boyfriend (who is now my husband). This dude got on the phone from five states away and told my husband off! Boundary violation much?! He visits my mother when he goes back to our hometown (she loooves him and probably wishes I had married him). He texts me out of the blue every few months and it is invariably to obtain free medical advice.
        He has to be a narc!!! A charming upwardly mobile cerebral. Guessing UMRN.

        This is but one of soooo many examples I could give. When I look around me and back on my life and see the narcs, it’s like a punch in the gut. Nobody around me actually cared about me. Which, if I’m perfectly honest, I always knew. Hence all my psychological avoidance of intimacy stuff. So I guess that’s another thing narcs have taken from me also

        1. SND,
          I get it. But I believe that I cant live my life wondering who was a narc in it and who the next narc is gonna be. How many empaths with some OCD and might be clingy are out there that might be great people but I will blow them
          off thinking they are N’S? I just would hate to go thru all this hurt to come out on the other side afraid of being hurt forever. If that is the case, I might as well stay on the shelf forever. At least then I know who is hurting me and don’t have to worry about any of the other 384798345870357385347 people out there.
          Smooches

    2. Supernova DE

      I trust only one person, that is me. If I can’t trust myself I can’t trust anyone, now only a persons patterns show me who they are, not the words they say or actions for both can be used to manipulate yet a persons patterns always reveal the truth.

      Trust yourself and your intuition, energy never lies.

  36. I forgot to also select mental health, self esteem and other family.
    I have anxiety and depressive episodes that usually include suicidal ideation. It effects almost every aspect of your life

  37. My childhood was completely sacrificed. I had no sense of belonging, security, safety or contentment and was given absolutely no guidance. I had to be the adult for myself and sometimes for the family. I spent most of my time trying to be away from home to avoid my abusive father and my mother was oblivious to my absence. My mental health suffered into my mid thirties. Luckily, I raised myself into a successful adult.

  38. I selected my sense of who I am. When I didn’t understand what was going on (before I landed here, soon after my golden period when I ended up as a SIPSS), I became someone I did not like… begging him for answers and understanding, when the person I usually am would have said, “f*ck off” immediately. When he ignored me it would affect how I treated people around me, I’d be mean or silent or not listen to what they were saying, and when he finally answered me I’d be so happy that the people around me would ask why I was so over the top happy. Over some a-hole deciding to respond to me. Who was I?

    However, I do have to add that some positive came of it too. I was easily ensnared because I was in a rut. When he came along, I wanted to be better for him. I started working out more, I updated my clothes and makeup. Yes, I did this for him, but it benefitted me. Then once I landed on the shelf, I started making plans with old friends to get my mind off him, which I neglected long before he came along. I wish he wasn’t a part of it, but my life is actually better because of him. I still have a way to go, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Sorry this is so long! I’ve been thinking about it a lot!

  39. Wow can really identify with what each of you has said. The loss of self as mentioned by everyone her so far tops my list. In my case it was not so much wanting to please him, but feeling I deserved the relationship and had to make the best of it. Once so time had passed, I began to fear him, his temper, his erratic, spontaneous behavior, bullying. I was trapped emotionally and looking back, I realize how shame is such a huge factor in the continuation.of the relationship. Here I was ashamed to be with someone like him and at the same time ashamed to admit I could have been at such a low point that this person was able to break down any resistance.

    I’m recovering the lost person, rebuilding the confidence, but it’s really difficult. Journaling has helped me reach back, remember and connect with the adventurous, over achieving girl who always had such a sense of wonder about the future. She’s still there. She just allowed herself to be buried by the domineering, scary narc. So, I made a list of things I always loved to do but haven’t done or at least not in the way I would like to.

    1. Susan what you wrote about shame and being ashamed, is something I can identify with. I’m happy you found that adventurous girl again, be good to her and you will see her shine just like she did before that scary narc entered the picture. 😘

      1. Not sure where to put this but has anyone heard from Pati? She was here all the time and now nothing. Maybe I am just missing her replies. Hope she is ok

        1. I’ve seen her on Instagram but not on here Kim e. I’m hoping she is just laying low and trying not to draw a lot of attention to herself being preoccupied with her phone, while she works on what it is she wants to do with all of the new knowledge she has learned.

  40. I have GAINED the sense of who I am. I never thought I’d be doing what I’m doing now, but I can’t think of pursuits that are more meaningful to me. It was hell, but now it’s so interesting.

  41. I sacrificed my integrity; my honesty; my impeccable commitment to fidelity. I sacrificed my dignity and jeopardized my marriage, I risked my career by doing things I wouldn’t even think of doing before, and after going NC I sacrificed my social life and my freedom to go out without the fear of bumping into him. I sacrificed my Facebook but that was a positive thing at least. And I have sacrificed the peace and mental stability that I used to have before cheating.

  42. Education, money, travel, hobbies and independence. Not completing my education bothers me the most followed by not being able to travel.

    1. Hello K,
      I hope you are still keeping your dreams alive and you are able to try some of the activities you always wanted to do and never could before.

      1. Thank you E. B.!
        Currently, I am enrolled at HGU and I have recently acquired a passport. I am practically normal!

        1. I just typed a reply K and lost it. Traveling inexpensively and to nice places is not as pricey as it may seem. If ever interested in tips to do it well and for next to nothing let HG know, I’ll send him a get started “how to” and ask he forward with no identification of mine. I’m sure he would sent it your way. Not every destination is as attainable but you’d be really surprised. Travel agencies can’t pull together what I can!

          1. Thank you Lorelei
            Hahahaha…when I am ready to go, I will email HG for my “How To” starter pack!

  43. I’ve mostly dealt with narcs in professional situations – either as colleagues or people providing some paid service. With the colleagues, it was not a sacrifice at all, more just realizing that I should not go anywhere personal with them, keep strong boundaries and be consistent, focus on getting the project done, and that’s it. In the only one case where I engaged with one narc colleague privately for a short while, it did give me frustration but I dumped him almost immediately. We could actually still work together afterward because he was dependent upon me.

    With the service providers, a lot of frustration because I wanted it to work/be productive given my investment and, in one case, I had no choice but deal with them for a legal case that I was dependent on seriously. Lots of ugly fights until I finally gave up and left (therapist) or the legal situation got sorted out (quitting would have been a very bad idea in that case, and I could have caused them professional damage, luckily they were wise enough not to risk that even more). So, with these, I would say I sacrificed mental health, but I did not let them get to me on the emotional level as much as possible. I did have strong urges for revenge with these two situations though and did some things, but soon realized it was more just costing me extra mental peace and very little gain, so I walked away and never looked back. All of these people were at least sensible enough never to cross me again afterward, so no hoovers, more defensiveness etc. But they were truly ugly in the end phases and moderately traumatic. Like MB, I also did things that were completely out of character for me and then I hated not only the narcs but myself even. I know I still had it relatively lucky compared to many others on this blog but it took a while to recover from these things even though they weren’t even personal life situations.

  44. Childhood, family members, exposure to new things and freedom of choice to pursue interests, a higher standard of living, to know the feeling of being valued for who I am and not what I can provide, to know who I might have been over who I was forced to become. That’s off the top of my head. The list is long and costs immeasurable.

    1. It might not be much NA, but you are valued very highly, not only on the blog, but to me also. You rock Sista! 💞x

  45. From my recent (& relatively transient) ensnarement (I self-identify as a candidate IPSS), I sacrificed job opportunities (rejected a far better job as he wanted me to move to his region; didn’t apply for some jobs as both of us are in the same domain and wanted him to have no competition), a rich social life, and friends (although only in terms of geographical distance as I ended up moving).

    If he really had his way (I suspect he didn’t know how close he came to winning as I tend to be reticent), I would have sacrificed money (he wanted me to buy his family house with him – asked me this on our first real “date”), would have totally sacrificed my career (as he constantly saw me as competing against him), and probably would have sacrificed my hobbies and interests, my family, and my friends (he was already trying to separate me from them, except he underestimated that ties of several decades are stronger).

    However, in less than five months, I lost my identity, my emotional and physical health and confidence took a severe beating, and I became a ghost of my former self. HG, you haven’t a clue how useful your resources on this site and on Amazon have been!

    1. They are the world’s best Lily and I am pleased to read they have proven so effective in assisting you.

  46. During the times of ensnarement and the period of disengagement in between, my mental health was disastrous. My work performance was sub par and I became a person I did not know. I did things that were completely out of character that I had never done before, nor have I since. Honesty and decency were absent as I danced on the puppet strings. I was laser focused on pleasing him and nothing else mattered. Not work, not family, not even my own well being. Only the addiction. Only my next hit.

    1. MB—I’ve never heard you be that real. I have many thoughts on this post but I need a pre-gym nap.

      1. Lorelei, re “I’ve never heard you be that real” Girl, my crazy is all over this blog. Please don’t pull up any evidence K!

    2. MB I was very much the same. Though I don’t think my work suffered too much, I also became someone I barely knew, out of character in so many ways. DancIng on the puppet strings is perfectly put

      Happy MLK everyone

    3. MB yes I’d agree. I had no idea what was going on. He put me on a pedestal. When he came near me I’d get a blotchy rash. People were gossiping about him being with someone yet I would ignore it think they are wrong – he’s with me. I’d shut off anything that was said about him sleeping around. It made my head spin. I was unkind to some people at work. I lost my confidence at public speaking. I could retain things. I ended up with high blood pressure, piling on weight and having six weeks off with stress. Which I’d never had before. He came to my house while I was off sick to hammer a few more psychological nails into my head. I can remember the smirks. I didn’t recognise at the time. I ended up thinking he was my only friend. What a load of shite. I’m much better now and almost 100% NC.

      1. Em, yes here too… thinking he was my best friend or maybe only friend. It was really awful. Like you I’m mostly NC, but not yet 100%. We cross paths professionally, so if I can somehow slide out the door peacefully, I would prefer that.

      2. They do make us believe they’re our only friend!?! Glad you’re much better and almost 100% NC Em

    4. MB that sounds horrendous!

      I hate that so much when I see Ns use Es in this manner and make them a complete puppet desperate for their next hit. It makes me want to release the creature from the N so we can all see how pathetic they truly are!

      You did things which were out of character because he had taken your soul! I’m so pleased you’re here and will never allow that to happen to you again xxx

      1. AS2016, it is only with the clarity that I’ve gained through NC that I can look back at my situation and my behaviors for what they truly were. At the time, I was enjoying it. Being on puppet strings was exactly where I wanted to be. I take the blame for my share. It’s been validating to learn about myself and the reasons why it happened.

        1. Taking the blame for our share is another sin of the empath. Ugh I always accepted the blame where I felt I was to blame. Now I realise that is just ET in the majority of circumstances. Nope, he was to blame MB. Not you. Learning about Ns equals half of our wellness, learning about ourselves is the other half.

        2. MB I’m so there with you. I felt I invited it. Somewhere in my subconscious I knew it wasn’t right. I knew I didn’t want to go public. I knew only to be a DLS. And yet I still got hurt. I still found I wanted to be ipps. I chased him. I played the game. The other of the circle.

          1. Em, I was instantly smitten and of course, as a love devotee, I thought it was “love at first sight”. The “where have you been all my life” moment happened and I wanted to make sure he knew how I felt.

            Although we don’t experience the full horror of the narcissist’s behavior and manipulations, we don’t come out of it unscathed. I only got a taste of what a disengagement must feel like for an IPPS. I thank my lucky stars that I’ve never made that position. I would not survive it.

          2. MB yes me too. Thank god no full disengagement with this evil mf. But these women his last IPPS is not displaying the melt down I would expect. She’s gained weight. That’s all I can see. And she’s still friends with him on fb and is promoting him in professional terms on her business website.
            The gf before her who cheated on with me and new IPPS still friends on fb. I know it’s tempting but why when they have been so badly devalued. Confusing.

          3. Em, the answer to all of it is Emotional Thinking. That’s why they keep engaging, the same reason we do. Or DID in my case. I was disengaged from for two years without being told. Hoover happened because he was in need of some of my residual benefits. Tangled up with him 6 1/2 years and still would be if it wasn’t for HG.

          4. MB he’s now offering me a business proposal to develop a property to use as a medical centre. Very tempting but I know it will crumble. He must be desperate coz it’s normally only sex and convo that he’s after.
            I’m still ignoring.

    5. I seriously doubt your job performance was sub par, MB. You are a resilient Carrier. What hurts me the most is your mental health got compromised but I’m proud of you for getting out of the dark hole and being back to life and logic (and us).

      1. Thank you Sweet P, I’m glad to be back to life and logic too. At the time, I thought I was doing great at work. After returning to reality, I realized I had only been hitting the high spots. There were piles of things I had let get behind. It took me months to get it all caught up. I cussed the girl that let that happen more times than I can count.

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