Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing? The Lesser Narcissist

DO-NARCISSISTS-KNOW-WHAT-THEY-ARE-DOING-THE-LESSER-NARCISSIST

Do narcissists know what they are doing? Most victims would answer a resounding ‘yes’ to this question. Comments such as these are common :-

“He is so calculating in the way he manipulates me, he knows what he is doing alright.”

“Oh she knows just how to wind me up, she knows she does because she always smirks when she is doing it.”

“He is an intelligent man, how can he not know what he is doing?”

“She must know how hurtful she is being when she starts slapping me.”

However, it is nowhere near as clear cut as that. There are two factors which govern the awareness of the narcissist. Firstly, the school of narcissist that you are involved with (Lesser, Mid-Range or Greater) and secondly the issue of control.

The Lesser School

The Lesser Narcissist (Lower Lesser, Middle Lesser or Upper Lesser) goes through life like a wrecking ball. It is his way, or the high way. Do not like what he is doing? Tough – deal with it – you are the problem. Stopping him doing what he wants? Expect a fist in your face. Trying to make him account for his actions? Good luck with that, you can expect a violent outburst and utter dismissal.

Does the Lesser know that he has punched you in the head? Of course he does. Does he know that he did that that as a consequence of the fact that you wounded him and his physical violence is a manifestation of his ignited fury? No, he does not.

Does the Lesser know that he is cheating on you with your sister? Of course he does. Does he regard it as wrong? No. Is he consumed by guilt at what he has done? No, he does not even know what guilt is.

Does the Lesser who verbally denigrates one of his workers know he is bullying that person? No. From his perspective, that worker is out of line, is too slow, has turned up late again, said the wrong thing, does not work hard enough and therefore his response is entirely justified. Don’t do what he wants, expect to be dealt with. It is not bullying, it is getting the problem sorted.

Does the Lesser know that his provocative comments about your appearance are hurtful and are being said to gain fuel? No. He has no empathy whatsoever, not even the cognitive (fake) empathy and therefore does not recognise that what he says is hurtful or could even be construed as hurtful. He does not understand why you are crying after he told you that you look like the Pilsbury Doughboy in that new purple dress. In his mind the comment was justified. If you push him to explain why he made the comment, expect the helpful reply of “Because I say so” or “It just is, right?”

The Lesser acts through instinct and instinct alone. Yes, if you have escaped him he may put together a plan to drive around to where you are now staying and kick in the door and drag you out by the hair back to where you supposedly belong – but that ‘plan’ remains an instinctive response. He knows what he is doing, but because of the need for control, he does not see his behaviour as wrong, inappropriate or hurtful. It is what needs to be done.

This overriding and ever present need for control means that the Lesser will respond with an instinctive act – whether it is physical violence, sexual violence, smashing up property, shouting in your face – but he sees nothing wrong with this. It is being done to gain fuel, it is being done to keep you in his fuel matrix, it is being done to assert his need for superiority over you, it is being done to quell any rebellion on your part and it is being done to reject any notion of accountability for his actions BUT he does not know this. He does not think, “I will shove her down the stairs because she is rejecting my control over her and needs to be punished.” He just commits the act. He does not think about why he is doing it, he does it and if asked why then you may not even get answer, possibly a shrug or just a growled “She deserved it.” If pressed as to why she deserved it, it is back to “Because she did.”

This behaviour is viewed through the different narcissistic perspective. You, as a victim, do not have that perspective. Your perspective invariably causes you to think that the narcissist does know what he is doing. This perspective of yours arises for two reasons

  1. You know why you do things, you know the rationale behind most of them (if not all) and the consequences and therefore you expect everyone else to behave in a similar way and thus have the similar level of awareness ; and
  2. Your emotional thinking drives you to believe that the narcissist knows what he is doing and why because this then causes you try to get the narcissist to address this behaviour. If he or she knows what they are doing, then surely they can listen to reason, reflect and recognise and take an alternative course of action? In short – they can change. As you know, this desire for change, to heal and to fix is at the core of the empathic victim. Your emotional thinking knows this and therefore, in order to keep you engaging with the narcissist (which is all your emotional thinking ever wants you to do) it cons you into thinking that the narcissist knows what he is doing because this then raises the hope (there’s that terrible word again) you can do something about it. Thus, rather than get out and stay out, you remain, trying to reason with the narcissist, trying to get him to understand how his actions impact on you, that they are wrong and how if only he would change then everything would be good.

Accordingly, your empathic perspective causes you to think that the narcissist is calculated in his behaviour (hence why so many people are honestly mistaken when they think they have been ensnared by the rare Greater Narcissist when they have not) when actually the behaviour of the Lesser Narcissist is only ever instinct.

The Lesser has no concept of guilt, no concept of remorse, no conscience. He cannot have because this would render the defence mechanism that is his narcissism, ineffective and that cannot ever happen. The Lesser is unburdened from knowledge of why he acts as he does, he lacks the cognitive function to even articulate it in some way (which would of course would  be a lie if he could, again the narcissism protecting him) and thus this is why you get no explanations about his behaviour or if you do, they are rudimentary in nature and of the dismissive, curt type explained above.

The Lesser is aware of the actions he performs – he knows he has punched you, he knows he is smashing the windows on your car, he knows he is sleep raping you – but he does not plan, he sees nothing wrong with what he is doing (owing to the need for control through his sense of entitlement, the rejection of accountability, his lack of conscience) and does not see it as manipulative or reprehensible. It is purely what must be done, well, because it is, isn’t it? Now, stop questioning him and do as you are told. Or else.

Understanding the Narcissistic Perspective

The Lesser Narcissist

Which narcissist am I dealing with?

99 thoughts on “Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing? The Lesser Narcissist

  1. Whitney says:

    Dear HG the God!

    The Upper Lesser type B is one of my very favourite types.

    A friend of this type runs a car business and sometimes punches or gets customers in headlocks. I admire him for that.

    I know a lot of these people and I love doing business with them or talking about busines .

  2. Another Cat says:

    A Victor, NarcAngel, Truthseeker

    Then there are lots of people who see Forgiving as the act of remaining in the relationship/friendship. And asking a victim to do so is weird and abusive. Many therapists commit this abuse.

    I don’t do reconciliation and atonement with NPD individuals from my life. I only forgive within myself in No Contact.

    1. A Victor says:

      AC, same, most people I’ve “forgiven” I’ve never spoken to again, or about it, it was, as I’ve said, for my own ability to close that door and walk away, ie, selfish motives. Again, your “end-of-anger” describes it best. And, sometimes it’s a choice, like when I’m sitting here writing about treatment received from my ex and the anger flares up. It’s not hurting him at this point. And I don’t want it hurting me, so, I acknowledge it happened, I wasn’t perfect either, and move on. He’s his own problem now, not mine anymore. Thank God.

  3. BC30 says:

    I’m tempted to do a ND for one of my ex-husbands, but I am scared. What if he is a N? That would break my heart. I adore him despite having been divorced a number of years.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      And if he isn’t one you can adore him safely. You need to know, one way or other.

    2. A Victor says:

      BC30, I have had the opposite thinking, doing one on the summer narc and maybe finding out he isn’t one!! How exciting would that be, then I could contact him! But, alas, I am pretty certain he is one, just a matter of discovering what type, for future safety. My mother was confirmed, that was bittersweet.

      1. WhoCares says:

        A Victor,

        “My mother was confirmed, that was bittersweet.”

        I am sorry AV.

      2. Another Cat says:

        I’m so sorry about your mother, AV.

      3. JB says:

        AV, I’m sorry. It’s one of those things, isn’t it, you want to know, but then you can’t ‘unknow’.

      4. A Victor says:

        WhoCares, Another Cat and JB, thank you. It really confirmed what we’d wondered about for years but not had a name for, puzzle pieces fell into place. So, it’s nice having a name and having concise actions we can take. The bitter part is the confirmation that she cannot change, I do know it’s true, I had given up years ago on hoping for it except for maybe one tiny little drop. And now that we know, we are freed up in a sense, so it’s ok. But thank you, finding people who have experienced similar is a godsend, really. You realize you weren’t confused or mislead or …whatever for all those years, and that is good.

  4. almostdirtyempath says:

    I have just, in the last year, learned about the narcissist. It is heart breaking to me to discover that there have been so many in my life, right down to my very own Mom. People say that the term “narcissist” is tossed around too much, and I get that. However, if more people learned about it and stayed away from them (and treated their own children well to avoid making them), we could have a world with a lot less narcissists. I also wanted to mention that when I watch movies now, I don’t just assume all villains are psychopaths. Many of them are simply some kind of narcissist. On the bright side, it has added so many layers to the villains in movies!

    I’m trying to stay on the bright side because I got hoovered in the beginning of 2020 by my daughter’s father. He broke it off with his girlfriend, and came to me. I thought, “Wow! Maybe he has changed and wants to have a relationship with me and our daughter!” I was very excited at the proposition, but he just ghosted when I would not sleep with him. He does not care and will never change.

    I have done a lot of research, and I find that HG is the very best of explaining things. I have sent several of my friends this way, including a male friend who is planning to leave his narcissist. I was just warning him about a preventative hoover. So, hopefully, they will get help and begin to heal. I wish this for everyone, especially my sweet daughter.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you for referring people to my work.

  5. lindseymarie says:

    Some of the best knowledge I have learned from you. I used to think it was all planned. So fascinating how the narcissism drives the show, the person unaware of it. I wish more people understood this as many victims feel even more victimized thinking it was done to them intentionally.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Absolutely. It is imperative that people understand this.

    2. NarcAngel says:

      Lindseymarie
      I agree on the importance of understanding and acceptance that it is instinctive. Despite having been here and reading for quite some time it was the hardest concept for me to grasp, but absolutely essential.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        In all honesty, I feel more victimized because I can’t hold the narcissist accountable!

        Totally agree with LindsayMarie on the point of victimization, but struggle with acceptance on this one. It’s along the lines of “I don’t care if you’re oblivious, asshole, you hurt me! Now pay up.”

        1. Alexissmith2016 says:

          Hahaha yes lickem!

          I used to feel that way too. Like if you’re going to hurt me, at the very least understand that you have even if you don’t care. Then when I come for you, you’ll not feel like a victim and know you bloody deserve it!

          But knowing that and really truly accepting it makes it far easier to walk away.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thank you, Alexis. The pointlessness of revenge does make it easier to walk away.

            Even if they do “bloody deserve it!” And they do.

            The best revenge is our recovery at the end of the day xox

        2. NarcAngel says:

          Lickem
          I do understand your thinking and I certainly acted in that way. It’s just that once you accept it to be the case it’s possible to hold the narcissism accountable while avoiding it’s host.

          It can relieve those who carry the burden that it must have been something they did or lacked that caused the abuse and also makes it less personal knowing that if you transplanted the “asshole” into any other family the result would be the same. A healthier (for us) way of thinking.

          Also me:
          I have fantasized about Stepnarc rising from the dead so that I could watch the narcissism die again in that particular host only more slowly and painfully. It’s a process haha.

          1. Asp Emp says:

            “I have fantasized about Stepnarc rising from the dead so that I could watch the narcissism die again in that particular host only more slowly and painfully” – I’d not say but I would say I feel the same – own mother. She’d lived a shorter life with me and my grenades had I know about narcissism…. Yeah, I also get you saying “It’s a process” – cos it’s something we never had the chance to do……

          2. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi NA, I’m glad you pointed that out in the sense of us taking the responsibility back on ourselves. It’s so important to place it back with the narcissist where it belongs.

            Definitely if they were transplanted it would no different for their unfortunate ‘hosts’, so that thought has helped me in the past. Getting a grip of “it’s not personal”. It might be painful, but it’s not personal.

            It’s definitely a process and I’m with you on the fantasizing!

        3. BC30 says:

          It’s instinctive, but they are not cats or toddlers.

          Just because it’s instinctive does not mean they won’t pay up. IJS

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thanks, BC30. I’m actually reassured by that (mostly the images of cats and toddlers<3)

        4. Empath007 says:

          I agree lickem. I feel far more victimized with the accountably seemingly “taken away”. It’s not something I will ever come to terms with.

          So… we have to hold them accountable …. and that means no contact.

          No contact is the only way we can get some power back and hold them accountable for their own actions/decisions.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thank you for reminding me, Empath007 <3

            You are right on the money x

          2. wildviolet22 says:

            Emapth007- one of the benefits of finding this site is it’s opened my eyes to some other people who I had/ have in my life (not just the person I ended up here over). Recently I witnessed a situation with triangulating with someone who I’ve known for a long time, who I see now is possibly an Upper Lesser. The 2 guys she was recently ping-ponging both dropped her (one I think is a narc himself, the other isn’t). But her getting cut off and zero attention is the *only* thing that gets through to her. But not in an “I’m sorry I hurt you” type of way, it’s more unraveling at the fact that she’s not getting attention and not in control anymore. And there is a person who has been comfort crumbed all along, who was waiting in the wings, so the attention has been shifted there already anyways.

            Big reminder for me with my own person, is that staying away is the *only* thing that will send any kind of message. The non narc who figured out what he was dealing with, and made the clean cut, was smart. That’s the way to do it (hard, I know, and I lapsed at my first attempt, but back on the no contact wagon for almost 5 months now). It’s self preservation. And I also see now that expecting any kind of empathy is a complete waste of time. Like trying to get blood out of a rock :/

          3. HG Tudor says:

            Well stated.

      2. Another Cat says:

        ” I’m absolving people who are unaware or unwilling? Well aren’t I grand. I fail to see the satisfaction in it but I sure do see ego.”

        NA, I find your reasoning interesting. The other person might not agree on my morals. I like looking at matters in new ways, levelling up, so to speak.

        Though one thing did happen, there was a change, at a point. I stopped feeling anger or fear of my mother. I don’t wish her any harm and hope she has a good life. I got wiser, through knowledge. Some ppl call this end-of-anger: forgiveness. I realize we are not compatible, I would simply be abused by her, that is all. I agree the word forgiveness has that layer of the other being “less moral”. I just felt relief and was ok with the one-word terminologiy others offered.

        1. A Victor says:

          AC, this is what I’ve been trying to say about forgiveness. You said it more clearly, thank you. And, it was a process to get there and it was still selfish, for me at least, because I am the one benefitting from my decision, not my mother. If there is a better term, “release” perhaps, or something even better, I would love to hear it, “forgive” is volatile and doesn’t convey the entire meaning quite accurately. Your “end-of-anger” is apt.

        2. lickemtomorrow says:

          Well, I have to say, this was the first time the notion of forgiveness was associated with ego for me, but it’s an interesting perspective to have. And from a certain perspective it could certainly look that way. I guess it all depends on where we are coming from and some of that could be dependent on the belief system we have in place. Forgiveness is ultimately a requirement as it relates to what I believe. At the same time, I don’t let it weigh on me heavily at the moment. Simply because I am being kind to myself in the circumstances. But, it is not seen as a means of being superior as much as it is being Christ-like. I can very much relate to the notion of being forgiven, which is how we often come to faith in the first place, by accepting our imperfection. So many stories from the Scriptures speak to me and one stand out is the story of Mary Magdalene. She was about to be stoned to death. Jesus intervened. He castigated those who were about to stone her in his own inimitable way … by writing something in the sand. My bet is he began to write the names of her accusers who had also slept with her. Hypocrites. Either way, she knew in that moment she was forgiven. Now, rather than relate more of the tale, what I take from it is a gifting which can be done without a need for ‘repentance’. This speaks of love and not superiority to me. It speaks of something much bigger and entirely benevolent. While one could certainly take a position of superiority in terms of forgiveness, it would be the furthest thing from my mind. And probably the reason I struggle with it so. Withholding it is more an act of superiority in some ways. For now, I am the judge, jury and executioner. I would hope to get to the place AC is at in the future. Once again, a work in progress.

          1. Another Cat says:

            Totally understand your view, LET.

            Here is an example where I agree with NarcAngel about pompousness:

            Someone saying:

            “I do forgive you, really, for not picking up our child with a proper safe Mercedes for the playdate, I see you don’t even own a car.

            I will overlook this problem and stay in contact with you, because I believe in forgiving people. “

          2. lickemtomorrow says:

            I don’t know if that is a LOL moment, AC, but it is for me … in the sense that the person in question is obviously a narcissist with an attitude like that. No, and I repeat, NO empath would ever behave like that or even think such a thing.

            So I guess we need to separate the narcissists out from the rest in respect of this one. A genuine act of forgiveness will never come across as a pompous act. And it will be a truly healing moment for the person concerned. That is my experience.

            And I think empaths will know the difference, as well, in terms of being forgiven. That act described is a false act and an empath will see right through it. Plus, an unnecessary, grandiose, superior, and entitled one which has all the hallmarks of a narc.

            And the obvious reality is you have nothing to be forgiven for in that instance!

            It really makes me cringe to hear stories like that. Sorry you had that experience x

          3. Another Cat says:

            LET

            “It really makes me cringe to hear stories like that. Sorry you had that experience x”

            Thanks x but this was just an invented quote. Yes, narcy indeed!

            Here is another one, this time from real life: A Middle Eastern girl in my highschool once said her mother said she had Forgiven her for not wearing a veil.

            Yep.

            I felt uncomfortable hearing that it is considered a sin on several places in the world.

            There are parents who might say “I’m forgiving you this time my daughter, for having had sex before marriage.”

            Those parents might not be narcs, and I still feel uncomfortable, because I might not agree with what a culture sees as bad morals.

            But in general I do agree with you that forgiveness is mostly an act of kindness, releasing somebody, understanding them. Not holding grudge.

          4. lickemtomorrow says:

            Well, I don’t feel so bad about ‘LOLing’ at that one now, AC.

            It’s not too difficult to manufacture narc lines when you get to know them better.

            I’ll just reiterate my previous point, which is you will know when an act of forgiveness is required and is genuine. That is speaking from an empath’s point of view. In terms of the example given in a religious context and regarding forgiveness from the parent, at least in the Christian faith, it is not your parent’s from whom you require forgiveness. That is a falsity, and the issue only really pertains to people who share the same beliefs.

            I think forgiveness is a release for both people concerned, but it’s a fact the narcissist will not require it and so we are really only doing ourselves a favour by releasing them. But it’s a favour worth considering from my perspective.

    3. A Victor says:

      Coming to understand this has helped me forgive them.

      1. A Victor says:

        Okay, the ongoing stuff with my mom has to be forgiven ongoing, and that is not easily done. But, the big picture forgiving is easier, I think of it like an illness, they can’t help it, can’t make themselves healthy.

      2. lickemtomorrow says:

        I’m glad to hear you say that, AV. I flux between some of these understandings and my ability to deal with them. I said in another thread some time ago that “with every bone in their body I want them to regret what they have done”. And I meant it. The pain was real. At least acknowledge it.

        Their blindness, or lack of awareness according to HG, doesn’t allow for this. But, I want it anyway.

        LOL.

        It’s called flogging a dead horse and I’m fucked if I think I’m ever going to get any closure in that sense.

        So, it’s back to the acceptance NA talked about and which I know is necessary. Sometimes I even achieve it. Today is not one of those days! I’m having an ass kicking, emotional, will I’ll be damned if I’ll let them get away with it day … and I’m angry at narcissism itself. I know that’s futile.

        But just let me pummel my little fists into those defences today. I don’t care if they bleed.

        It couldn’t hurt any more than it hurts already.

        When I’m done, I’ll think about forgiving them.

        1. A Victor says:

          LET, I am sorry that you’re having a rough day! I have had to learn about forgiveness the hard way. Had to learn to forgive my own past choices even. But it certainly doesn’t happen overnight and there are still things that will bring that anger back. Like one day in Aug I went to babysit 3 of my grandchildren. They’re 6, 3 and 1, so very busy. I had been there for a bit and was starting to feel tired. We were walking to the park near their house and it hit me, the anger at my ex that he wasn’t there with me, like I always dreamed he would be. That I was there, by myself, doing this alone. I love those kids more than anyone can know and I am so glad to be a youngish grandma, but wow, the emotion that day was stronger than I’d felt in a while. I told the summer narc about it later. He got a bit upset at my anger at my ex-husband. Never quite figured that out. Anyway, you will be ready when you’re ready. One of the things I’ve learned is that you can’t rush it. The good news is, once you are at that point, and you make that decision, you know how good that feels!

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thanks, AV. Just one of those days where you get triggered by something and the emotion just wells. Sometimes it doesn’t stop and no doubt my ET is high for some reason.

            I can definitely understand and appreciate your anger at your ex when caring for your grandchildren. I’ve mentally shaken a fist at my ex-husband many a time after being left with the caring burden for my children at a very young age. And I haven’t had to give a lot of thought to the next stage in life, but I can certainly feel at the moment how much different my life would be if I had a partner at my side. I think I got used to doing it on my own so I just assumed that’s the way it was always going to be. And having lost faith in men now completely, I might just be right!

            I felt like a teenager again with my narc-ex, and he told me the same. It was the first time I had felt that way in many years and the experience lived up to all my expectations. I thought the devaluation and respite periods were normal ups and downs. LOL. We talked about being like and old married couple. It was a dream come true. Until I found myself in a living nightmare! I wish it had been true. I was prepared to give him everything, and thought he was prepared to do the same.

            I wasn’t looking for him when I found him …

            Reminds me of the line from a song:

            “I wasn’t lost until you found me …”

            Exactly.

            I’m gonna have to stop these country songs playing in the background <3

            Appreciate you sharing and your encouragement again, AV xox

          2. A Victor says:

            Wow, LET, we do have a lot in common. I hope your ET goes down really soon, it is so rough during those times when it’s up! Let me know if I can say anything you need to hear. I have a friend, her narcissist husband is taking her through a devastating divorce right now. She told me one day if she called upset to say “____, you have to calm your spirit!” to her. So, I have said that on a few occasions. No idea where she got that idea but, it’s what she needs to hear, so I say it. My favorite for stressful times is This Too Shall Pass. Haha, then once my pastor called it pithy, kind of ticked me off! Anyway, this will pass, hopefully sooner than later for your sake. But, while you’re in this state, it’s ok, sometimes we need them to realize how good the good times are, just ride it out. And keep talking if that helps. xox

          3. lickemtomorrow says:

            Awww, thanks AV <3

            You've been supportive of so many people since you've been here and I thank you for offering your support again today. It does make a difference and there's a lovely image that comes up on my screen every now and again. Unfortunately, one I shared with my narc, but it says it all. There's a couple making their way up a mountain and the person (man) who is standing a little bit higher up is reaching down and taking the hand of the other person (woman) to help her climb up. That's kind of what it's like here. We'll all help eachother get to the top of the mountain x

          4. NarcAngel says:

            AV
            Were you confusing pithy with another word? I’m confused as to why you would be ticked as he wasn’t insulting you. Google pithy meaning. I just don’t want you to stay mad at the guy if you misunderstood haha.

          5. A Victor says:

            Thank you NA, the way he said it I thought it meant shallow! Haha, and obviously I’d not looked it up before! I wouldn’t stay mad at him anyway but now I do feel better.

          6. A Victor says:

            LET, that is a beautiful image, in my mind, thank you for sharing!

        2. A Victor says:

          Also, I hope you’re doing better very soon! In the meantime, pummel away!

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Laughing…… do you realise what you have just said?! laughing……

          2. A Victor says:

            What did I say now Asp Emp?! She used the word pummel!! I just repeated it! Mind out of the gutter! Hahaha!!!

        3. Empath007 says:

          Oh LET… oh I feel this post so much. In fact in my last letter to the narc I address how an intellectual understanding of his narcissism can not take away my pain. And that I was upset he’d never truly understand or care about me etc.

          I’m up and down every 5 minutes these days… go easy on yourself.

          When we’ve accepted accountability our entire lives for our actions it feels completely upside down to hear that a grown adult is simply “reacting instinctively”
          To their environment.

          It’s not something I wil ever personally understand.

          All I know is what I said before… if I want to hold him accountable… the only way I can do that, is no contact. That’s my way of saying “you did this… and now you’ll be punished for it because you’ve lost a fuel source”

          Now if only I could actually take my own advice I’d be golden !

          Hang in there ❤️

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thanks so much Empath007 <3

            That means a lot, and especially because a lot of us can identify with eachother and what one another is going through. It's one of my hardest mountains to climb. And I see you have been and are experiencing the same thing. I wish it was easier, but at least we know to lower our expectations in terms of closure – or throw them out the window altogether. The next step in the process – don't look back x

            I'm going to take hold of your words of wisdom and let them sink in.

          2. Empath007 says:

            No need to be sorry at ALL AV, I knew that’s not how you or anyone else that speaks about forgiveness means it. Nothing about your comment implied you were trying to make others feel guilty.
            In fact… I think it’s commendable you could get to that place.

            I tried for a long time to get there. And one day accepted not forgiving is also a viable option. And ultimately what was best for me.

        4. Empath007 says:

          I’ll also add… dont feel pressure to forgive. I think that whole forgiveness thing causes more guilt in victims.

          But kudos to all those who achieved it.

          1. A Victor says:

            Oh, I’m sorry, really Empath007, I didn’t mean any guilt on anyone. Forgiveness is easy for me I think, easier than for many. I don’t know why, it’s just always been so. Though I did have to learn to do it well at one point. But, no pressure, I’m so sorry! Not my intent. Also to you LET, if you took what I said that way, I am so sorry.

          2. lickemtomorrow says:

            Please don’t apologize, AV, you’ve both helped me enormously today with your words of encouragement and support. Forgiveness is something that is on the table for me at some stage, and I have moments where I think I’ve been able to achieve it. And what we’ve been talking about here helps with the notion of forgiveness. The fact that much of the narcissist’s actions and reactions are instinctive. “They know not what they do” could be another way of putting it, even though I baulk at the suggestion, probably because I’m still holding on to the hurt. And, as you said Empath007, we accept accountability and find it difficult to accept the narcissist is unable/unwilling to do the same. It makes it tricky when it’s apparently a one way street. But for our own sake, it’s an option to enable us to move on. As you can see there are still a number of barriers in my way. While I wouldn’t feel pressured, and I’m glad AV you’ve been able to do that – as you said it’s also an ongoing daily decision for you at the moment – I’m taking a little bit longer to get to that point. I think my empathic trait of justice is getting in the way (which relates to accountability) It’s a process, as NA mentioned earlier, and I’m always delighted to hear forgiveness is possible. It’s what I would like to achieve at some point just to I know I’ve been able to fully release the narcissist/s and myself from their grip <3 x

          3. A Victor says:

            LET, I think I actually came to the forgiveness thing from a selfish standpoint really. At one time I was so angry, with my mother and this was many years ago, that I realized that if I didn’t forgive her, my world, life, my existence, would be gobbled up by that anger. I looked for ways to not let it happen but the only one I could come up with was to forgive her. I am a strong advocate of consequences though, I forgive but it doesn’t mean that person will ever necessarily be close to me again. I have walked away from plenty of relationships, not necessarily romantic as I’ve only had 3 of those, but from people who hurt me badly enough that it wasn’t worth it to allow them the opportunity to do it again. Or setting boundaries or whatever the consequence might be. Anyway, it was selfishly motivated, probably by my pride! Haha, that’s one of my top narc traits. And, it didn’t happen in a hurry but was a process that took time, a long time, 2-3 years, maybe more. I had to be really ready first.

          4. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thank you, AV, I can relate to the narcissistic trait of pride as it holds the highest percentage on my narc traits, too. It definitely gets in my way sometimes. And most everything else you wrote I can relate to as well x

            I think, for the most part, I give so many chances that there are no more chances left to give by the time I am done. LOL. So, at that point, I will definitely advocate for consequences and become very hardened in my stance. That is how I protect myself also. And, in some cases, others (e.g. my children). Because I know the moment I let go of that hardened stance, I’m going to go to mush and get sucked into the situation again. And I’ve definitely felt justified in making the decision I have made.

            So, it becomes in my head “why am I forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve forgiveness?” They are not going to change, they are going to keep hurting me, they really don’t care. This is the point where the boundaries are drawn and also where forgiveness becomes difficult. Even cutting them off doesn’t make forgiveness an easier option for me. And I can understand your thinking on not allowing others and your sense of anger or disappointment to spoil your own life. Forgiveness makes sense in that context if it can be achieved.

            I think it’s a combination of hurt, anger and a sense of justification that keeps me from being able to forgive for now. It took a lot to get me to that point (cutting them off). That’s probably why it will take a lot to get me to the next one (forgiving them). Strangely, I can find an element of forgiveness when I am still involved. It really should be the other way round. Needless to say it’s a work in progress xox

        5. JB says:

          LET, I’m so sorry you are feeling up and down with it all at the moment. Think you’re right to let it out. As you said, you won’t get closure from them, so you can only get it through working through your own feelings about it all, which includes days like these, no matter how futile. I guess it’s a process. I have had a few tough days recently, haven’t really been keeping up with the various threads and couldn’t move myself to try to, but I saw in one you said about your kids and how you had raised them alone from a young age. That must have been so tough. I think you should be proud of yourself for coping with it all, and being such a strong role model to your kids x

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thank you, JB. I noticed you were MIA (missing in action),so I’m glad you’re back and sorry to hear you’ve been going through some ups and downs as well. It can make it harder to be here at times, confronted with what we have been through and are still going through in some ways. I was pretty spent after my catharsis here there other day on a number of different threads. My ET was off the charts for some reason. I got it all out in those moments one way or another and thankfully have had a few more peaceful days since then.

            I appreciate your kind words and hope I have been a strong role model to my children. If nothing else, they know i have got their backs <3

          2. JB says:

            LET,

            Thanks, just had a few ‘meh’ days, but feeling better now. I’m glad things have settled down for you since the other day xx

            ‘If nothing else, they know I have got their backs’ – that in itself tells me that you are a great mum. The most important thing to me is to feel loved and supported emotionally by your parents. I know I’m far from perfect, but I always think as long as they know I love them, hopefully anything else can be worked on! 🙂

        6. NarcAngel says:

          I said accept and understand that is the way they are. Fuck forgive haha.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Haha, NA. I’m still working on the acceptance and understanding!

            I think I described it as a mountain I am needing to climb. Still a long way from the top, slipped back down a few metres the other day, but I’ve finally got a grip again.

          2. Empath007 says:

            Haha !

            I’m responding more to the other comment you made about forgiveness re : our ego.

            That’s a very interesting perspective. I had not thought about it like that before.

            I spent a lot of time thinking about and reading about forgiveness. Essentially what I could gather was… forgiveness is more an act meant for the person holding on to something and to give themselves (not the other party involved) permission to let it go. Let go of all of the anger or other emotions that may be holding them back. Forgiveness would not require telling the other individual how you feel or that you “forgive” them, but it’s a process to allow yourself to free yourself from the situation.

            The problem for me
            Was … as an empath… when someone tells me to forgive it really tugs on my guilt… like who am I to judge this other person for their mistakes (the ego as you mention). Who am I to not find it in my heart to let go of what he did and move on ?

            Those feelings make me (personally) A) feel guilty I’m upset at the other person and B) make my ET go sky high and want to reach out to them and have a lovely heartfelt
            Talk where we hug and forgive each other… all not good things.

            So I don’t like the concept of forgiveness. I prefer the word indifferent. As it suggests I move on with my life and let them move on with theirs. And also… no one needs my forgiveness. And in return I do not need theirs. Which goes along with the point you made.

            Thanks for sharing your perspective !

        7. Fiddleress says:

          Hi LET,
          Just seen this message you wrote.Sorry to hear this is a bad day for you (probably in relation to the last narcissist). You may be feeling better today, I hope you are.
          Like for A Victor, the phrase “This too shall pass” makes me feel better (no idea where I heard it to start with), and one that a psychotherapist said: “there was a ‘before’, and there will be an ‘after’.” It reminds me that the horizon is not completely blocked, it is just a bad moment.
          Also, as HG says, recovery is not a straight upwards line, there are bumps in the road. Sometimes we think we’re doing so well and bam – the edifice needs rebuilding. I found that what helped in those moments was listening again (and again) to The Final Battle – How to Stop Thinking About the Narcissist.
          Hugs to you, LET – I’m off to watch Miss Americana 🙂

          1. A Victor says:

            Fiddleress, I can’t remember where I heard that to start with either! I’ve wondered about that many times.

          2. lickemtomorrow says:

            Ah, Fiddleress, thank you for your kind and encouraging words xox

            I am feeling better, and the phrase you wrote “This too shall pass” is a truism which is worth clinging to, as well as the fact there was a ‘before’ and there will be an ‘after’. It can be hard remembering the before’s sometimes, but they exist. And the after’s can take some time to reach, but the reality is there will be an after. For now it can seem like a painful limbo at times. And there are moments we lose sight of the horizon.

            I definitely hit a bump in the road the other day and didn’t realize until the following day the narc had tried to hoover me again. It was online, but still hit me like a ton of bricks when I saw it. I was reacting to his presence even though I didn’t know he was there! And now I’m going to have to revisit my no contact options again.

            I haven’t read The Final Battle, but it sounds like one I need to get. I was doing a lot better on stopping thinking about the narc until he showed up (online) unexpectedly again. Unfortunately there is a space there we once shared which I thought it was safe to return to but that’s obviously not the case. Nowhere is safe it seems.

            Thank you for the hugs, Fiddleress <3 I really do appreciate the support and I hope you enjoy "Miss Americana". I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts x

        8. Truthseeker6157 says:

          LET,

          Forgiveness is an interesting question. I think I would say that I forgive and forgive, until I don’t.

          There’s a compilation video of clips and quotes from the tv series Hannibal. I won’t post the link, some images are graphic and not for everyone. It’s called ‘Reciprocity – Will and Hannibal’ listen to the quotes, read the quote at the very end.

          Some people joke that all of life’s vagaries can be answered within the film the Godfather. For me, it’s Hannibal. Will is a Contagion empath. Hannibal is a narcissistic psychopath. The montage highlights aspects of their relationship.

          1. Fiddleress says:

            Hi TS,
            Thanks for the link, sounds interesting, I’ll have a look at this.
            Regarding forgiveness, it can just take the form of not wanting, or giving up the urge, to get my own back at someone. I generally do not bear grudges, but there are things that I cannot forgive (so far it’s been, with two of them, supporting men who had sexually abused children). That is when I break up with them.

            By the way TS, well done on being a Rising Knight! Better even than a Paladin, I think.

          2. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hey Fiddleress,

            Thank you! I doubt any are necessarily better than the other. Just, different xx.
            I’d like to learn the various types though too. A little as we do with the various cadres.

          3. lickemtomorrow says:

            TS, thanks for the heads up on this one. I shall follow up on your recommendation and come back here to share my thoughts. It definitely sounds intriguing!

            The “forgive and forgive until I don’t” probably sounds like what I have been saying x

          4. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi TS, I checked out the clip and watched it a couple of times. I’m guessing you watched the series and connected with it that way. I haven’t seen it and so I checked some websites for more information.

            “Betrayal and forgiveness are best seen as something akin to falling in love”

            There is truth in this. I think it relates to the healing power of forgiveness.

            And a betrayer will not always seek forgiveness. Making it even more powerful.

            The final quote:

            “No one can be fully aware of another human being unless we love them. By that love we see potential in our beloved. Through that love, we allow our beloved to see their potential. Expressing that love, our beloved’s potential comes true.”

            This is also true. And it is beautiful.

            Where it relates to genuine love.

            While an empath may see a narcissist this way, the narcissist is incapable of receiving what we have to give. Unable to self reflect and lost to themselves they can never live up to their true or intended potential. For them it will never come true.

            We know narcissist’s are incapable of genuine love. While their illusory love may enable us to see a reflection of ourselves and the potential within, they can never be the cause of that potential coming to fruition. Their need for fuel and control prevents it.

            While Hannibal may have the concept in hand, he does not have the ability to fulfill it. He is incapable of love. And Will empathizing with him does not empower Will in any way, unless it is only to fall prey to the narcissist’s manipulations.

            This is part of the problem I have with the ability to identify with the narcissist. It is my biggest trap. Identifying leads to empathizing. And that makes me vulnerable to the narcissist’s manipulations. Which is probably what I referred to earlier in terms of “turning to mush”. It’s a delicate balance, at least for me.

            And then there is the identification with what I would call our ‘dark side’. We know empaths have narc traits and sometimes these can be dialled up, or rather the empathic traits dialled down. We are not immune. I’m surmising that Hannibal was able to cause Will to dial up his narcissistic traits in terms of his manipulations. So Will’s identification with Hannibal crossed boundaries which allowed for him to become more like Hannibal. And Hannibal encouraged this. It’s all about power and control and nothing about love. Though Hannibal might want to give an impression otherwise. And Will himself might believe otherwise.

            The video clip gives the impression of the two blending as well. The notion of becoming ‘one’ which is very much in line with the blurring of lines when it comes to the narcissist and their desire to subsume the empath as they attach them to themselves. It is not the true blending which relates to genuine love.

            Now, it’s a guarantee I may have got some of that wrong as I’m uninitiated and drawing conclusions from a 5 minute video clip and impressions from a couple of websites. I can tell it affected you deeply, TS. That life’s vagaries can be answered in the context of this series for you says a lot. And I can understand that kind of connection. It’s one I have to my own favourite franchise (which I won’t mention again for fear of being blacklisted!) I have described that as touching my soul. You have identified with something in that series which touched your soul.

            It is strange what we identify with, when and how, but the experience is very real.

            I’d be happy to hear more of your thoughts around it and the aspect of forgiveness x

          5. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hey LET x

            Yes, you locked on to the same way of thinking as I did. I did think afterwards that I am more moved by the video due to my having watched the series, so the clips evoke memories of events for me that you wouldn’t be able to pick up on. It’s very sweet that you researched too, thank you for that.

            This Hannibal is a narcissistic psychopath with the new element of Will’s character being added and expanded on as the empath. I think it’s an excellent portrayal of both personalities. We see all kinds of narcissistic elements throughout.

            Mirroring, the blurring and how Will is part subsumed by Hannibal. Imagery of the construct in the form of splintered glass, the demonstration of Will’s narcissistic traits being turned up, noticeably in relation to brief entanglements with two female characters.

            Will is described by Hannibal as having ‘ pure empathy’ demonstrated by him able to assume the mindset of killers and re enact, which drains and takes its toll. He represents Contagion in my mind. The difficulty with switching back into himself, the absorption of feelings that aren’t his. Will demonstrates a vast array of empathic traits, justice, compassion, a good listener, moral compass (not always) decency to name a few. He also demonstrates a Super element, but I’d place him as Contagion.

            Hannibal. The perfect actor for this role. Smiles with his mouth, never his eyes, excellent depiction of the facade at work. Missing a coterie here, a loner. Evil, zero remorse or guilt, planning, manipulates a number of characters simultaneously. Impeccably dressed, wealthy with all the trappings, etiquette, dark, self centred, cold but charming, intelligent, talented, perfectionist, cultured, well travelled, self disciplined, demonstrates attention to detail, largesse, an appreciation of literature, art and beauty.

            The relationship between the two holds true. The narcissist in control, the empath oblivious to begin with. The question ultimately is who changes who and to what degree? Hannibal portrays change but essentially this is a manipulation for the most part. Will is demonstrably changing but is also faking this to a large degree. Ultimately the series illustrates narcissism, it’s dynamic and its impact in a very clever way. The imagery is striking if you know what to look for. I question if this is pure coincidence or by design.

            Forgiveness.
            “Forgiveness is too great, it requires two. The betrayer, and the betrayed.’
            For me, this illustrates that actually in our case, true forgiveness of the narcissist cannot be achieved. That conversation can never be had. We either escape, or, we are disengaged from. The narcissist is incapable of true reflection and devoid of any accountability for his part. So forgiveness, can not be realistically achieved, not in its fullest extent.

            I actually have never considered forgiving my narc and there are numerous reasons why not. Refusal to give closure plus the requirement for two people to be involved in this process features highly in my personal view.

            Loneliness. Both characters are essentially lonely. Will’s empathy results in no one being able to fully relate to him. Hannibal’s narcissism results in a similar outcome. It sets him apart and he has no intention of revealing enough to enable someone to fully relate. This is an element that resonates. It resonated with the audience as a whole. I agree, I do feel lonely. Few people view things or feel things the way we do. For all of the relating to others that I do, I don’t think people can actually relate to me. They can here, sadly in real life, no. The one person that did was faking it. I don’t settle and I don’t sell out, this poses a problem. I can’t much see the point in being in a relationship where a partner can’t truly relate. I think loneliness and the Empath go hand in hand. I think narcissists play on this to fullest advantage.

            Merging. This features heavily as a theme and is echoed by HG, although his version is more one sided. The empath merges into the narcissist. I agree with that in part, although I do think there is a small degree of shift in the narcissist also.

            “Could he daily, feel a stab of hunger for you, and gain nourishment at the very sight of you? Yes. But do you ache for him? “
            Fuel. The narcissist needs the empath. More in fact than the empath needs the narcissist. The very sight of the Primary source in the golden period, provides the life blood of the narcissist. ( not just about cannibalism here ha ha). The psychiatrist does not say Hannibal is in love, she intimates that Hannibal is feeding off Will. He is, this is what the narcissist does.
            Do you ache for him? Im working on that bit x.

            Your question was really forgiveness. My answer is that, in this case, I don’t see it as fully achievable. I don’t think it is necessary to achieve it in order to fully move on though. I see a cutting off, a shutting down, a turning, a bringing up of all barriers as being necessary and more achievable. You cannot forgive as a one, there does need to be two. There needs to be an admission of guilt for forgiveness to take place. That admission will never ever come and in consequence it is another thing I have accepted will not happen. Xx

          6. A Victor says:

            Hi TS and LET, I hope it’s ok if I jump in with a bit more of my thinking on the forgiveness aspect. I agree that it is incomplete when one party is unwilling. It therefore, for me, is purely for myself, I release that person of their responsibility to make things right between us, not expecting anything ever to come from them. I do it for myself more than for them, it changes my ability to progress beyond them. So, it is really a selfish, self-preservation, tactic. I had to do this years ago, long before any understanding of narcissism, in reference to my mother, once I understood that she is incapable of understanding how her behavior affects people. Even when she apologizes, there is no real remorse, evidenced by the fact that she continues to hurt people and often in largely the same ways. No introspection or real sense of needing to change herself. My forgiving her, in addition to removing my expectations from her thus making my own life less stressful, also allows me to construct boundaries with her that I was unable to prior to my choice to forgive her. Now my boundaries are much more realistic and easier to implement. Not having expectations, when she is hurtful it’s easier to walk away from her and not get into my emotions, most of the time. It is not a perfect science and maybe “forgive” is the wrong word to put on it, but whatever it is, for me it makes life easier. I am open to other terminology and I enjoy reading people’s thoughts here on the subject.

          7. A Victor says:

            Truthseeker, I have had the sinking thought that to be an empath is to be lonely. I hope this is incorrect, once my ET is down and LT is up, maybe there will be a time when I will want to try again for a love interest. But, I feel like a broken person at the moment, like I really don’t know how to be with a “normal” or another empath, and if that leaves a narcissist, I’d rather be alone. But, I think AC once said that “loneliness”, as opposed to being alone, can be a self fulfilling prophecy, so I am trying to see how to make my life meaningful, in my own heart and mind, without any romantic aspect. It’s an ongoing process right now, it’s why I’m here all the time, this is helping as other things, the ET and LT get set right and also as I learn. But, it is not fun to consider many years alone, never really having a good relationship.

          8. lickemtomorrow says:

            TS, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this series and thank you for sharing again xox

            The breakdown of the series and a chance to gain more insight was helpful. I’m not sure if narcissism was your focus when you watched it or if you have only come to that conclusion more recently since coming here. I watched my favourite franchise and connected with it before ever coming here and understanding the concept of narcissism. But, the reason I connected with it was narcissism. I identified with it for that reason. I recognized something in my own life which it touched upon deeply.

            I chose not to quote what you did from the clip based on my understanding that forgiveness does not always involve the two people concerned, although in an ideal situation it would. The betrayer would seek forgiveness before being forgiven, and even then it’s a toss up whether it is actually possible depending on the act or sense of betrayal. Some things seem unforgivable. But forgiveness would be at the behest of the one wronged and follow on from a sense of remorse and a desire to make reparation on the part of the wrongdoer. Once again, the ideal situation and still a toss up.

            We understand forgiveness of the narcissist is a one way street. They do not care. They have no remorse. Suffer no guilt. To them it is neither here nor there if we forgive because they are ‘not guilty’. But in their eyes we most certainly are. Forgiveness in this context is going to be a means of release for the empath. That is its only purpose. I’m still trying to get my head around it as you can tell, and I’m very much on the same page as you when it comes to the issue and needing the other party to play a part. Back to accountability.

            I think first we must be kind to ourselves. We are hurt and forgiveness is a concept often out of reach. The best I can achieve most days in relation to all my narcs is a disconnection of my emotions from them. So I am not hurt, but I am not yet healed. I am in limbo. It’s better than being attached, but not as good as moving on. I’m not sure how and when forgiveness will form a part of the healing process for me. But I do understand your perspective which I share.

            I’m also taken with your theme on loneliness. And I have to agree with you here, too. I have a sense of isolation going back to childhood which I could place partially in the context of being the scapegoat child, but there is also a sense of being set apart as an empath. It is difficult to find others who understand or appreciate what that means and what it requires of us. It does seem as though the narcissist is the only one who ‘gets us’. And in that sense we are meant for eachother. The element of two lonely people (narcissist and empath) finding their meaning in one another is real.

            Do you ache for him? Herein lies the rub. The need of the empath is not the same as the need of the narcissist and yet that ache persists. At least for as long as we allow. Working on it is where we are both at right now, TS. Sometimes you can tell things are improving. Other times you feel you have a long way to go. Either way we are here and have found a place where empaths can truly connect. That a narcissist set it up has to be the irony of the century – shout out to you, HG x

          9. lickemtomorrow says:

            AV, I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts again, too. You have expressed it beautifully and the theme of expectations also runs through my experience with narcissists. There needs to be a definite letting go of expectations, and likely that before any element of forgiveness can be applied. I’ve been over this scenario with my narcs, at least in my mind. It’s the point we need to reach in order for forgiveness to occur. I can’t fathom a relationship where there are no expectations. Therefore, any hope of a relationship in that context becomes null and void. Where a relationship has to exist I think you have found the perfect formula. And I would be inclined to call it a self protective one. Really glad you have found the ability to put those boundaries in place for your own peace of mind. And just knowing it’s possible gives me more peace of mind as well. Thank you xox

          10. Truthseeker6157 says:

            AV,

            I think the next step depends very much on where you are up to in your life and also the type of empath you are, maybe even the strength of the empathic and narcissistic traits.

            For me, I don’t tend to wish too long for things I can’t have. I’m generally quite content with my lot. I’m also pro risk, an only child, and I have a number of male and female friends who are normals. I have two children, I’m stable financially, my life is busy and I have purposely made it busier of late.

            So if you look at why people seek a partner.

            Kids – already have them
            Security – already secure
            Companionship – friends to go out with as and when, content in own company.
            Someone to grow old with- doesn’t apply. I don’t live to a ripe old age anyway.

            Key reasons are already taken care of. I’m pro risk, play the odds. Only one person in 6 is a narcissist. 5 out of 6 aren’t. Good odds, I am not concerned or fearful about getting caught again.
            I don’t need to be regardless. I’m not looking for a relationship going forward and here’s why.

            I am very fortunate with what I have already, I am starting to enjoy life again. I see no reason to change or amend anything currently. I fail to see the point of it. For the level that most people connect I get the same connection from friends and family. I have fun, all good there.

            What I don’t have is a deep connection with a partner. The narcissist did provide that. However, it was fake. So I certainly don’t think I should be with another narcissist. I don’t view them as offering something no one else can. They actually don’t offer anything at all.

            I do feel lonely at times. That’s reflective of my current state of mind and I do think a side effect of the empathic traits. The narcissist made me feel lonelier overall. I still feel more alone post ensnarement than pre ensnarement. I’m not going to bemoan things I can’t change though. I’d like a staffed yacht, I’m not going to get that either. I view it as something I’ll just have to live with.

            Ensnarement has changed my thinking. I realised that actually, my expectations from a partner in terms of depth, connection, understanding etc are unrealistic. If I can’t have that depth, if emotionally I cannot be matched, then I can achieve a realistic level of connection through friends and family. So the love devotee is there in the reckoning but just not in a ‘go out and seek’ way, it is operating in reverse instead. I also realised that I have a lot in my life that I enjoy, people I love to be with, that make me laugh, that make me happy, to all intents and purposes, a nice life. I think given that I like to play the odds, it might well be a good place to stick rather than twist.

          11. NarcAngel says:

            It’s disheartening when I read of the fear that some have of being alone or doubting they can ever be in a fulfilling relationship again after the narc experience. The information here is not meant to discourage, but rather to empower through knowledge of the behaviours of others and of self. To solidify that we can trust our own instincts, better assess intention, and erect solid boundaries so that only those worthy of our time will be granted audience to our gifts. Particularly in an intimate setting. Emotional thinking wants you to believe the narc is/was your only shot at happiness so you stay/return but ET is a liar. If it’s in your nature to love you WILL love again – only next time you will be weaponized against deceit and disappointment if you take the information provided on board and practice it.

          12. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Agree NA,

            If a relationship is what people want or feel that they need, I don’t think they should be fearful. I think that understanding the red flags, what to watch out for and using the Narc Detector consultation offers enough of a safeguard against the one in six. Similarly, I think we need to stay on top of the learning aspect. We need to re read, re listen and review the material so that it remains fresh in our minds. I thought future protection was a great bulletin in terms of how to maintain defences going forward.

          13. A Victor says:

            NA, I am sorry, I didn’t intend to be disheartening. I would like very much to be in a relationship again at some point. I am a young at heart mid 50’s woman with a lot to offer someone. I am also 10 weeks out from an experience that has changed my life, so, right at this moment, the idea of anything romantic in the future is daunting. And terrifying. But, the tools are here, and, it has only been a few months since this desire has been a part of my thinking at all so if it never happens, I will be just fine, and I know this. I have mentioned in the past that my youngest is 18 this year, graduating from high school in Jan. My older children are already off living their own lives and I am acutely aware of facing a truly empty nest. So, I am looking ahead, and there are options. The idea of romance is scary but as I learn more and get stronger, focusing “on no contact and the reduction of ET”, I do believe these concerns will fade. It is incremental steps and this is a place to share those steps, including having fear. But, I don’t want to discourage others, so thank you for that warning. I will be more careful in the future.

          14. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi TS,

            I’m a little disturbed by something I just read on one of your comments which was “people like me don’t live that long”. I’m not sure what you meant, and I don’t mean to pry. But I am concerned as to what that means. I hope you are OK, and please feel free to ignore this if it is too personal. Your comment says you have quite a fulfilling life overall and I’m glad to hear it. It takes the edge off what the narcissist has attempted to take away from you by enjoining you in an illusory relationship. I am with you on the sense of loneliness being worse after having had the experience. It is a hammer blow to our sense of reality and ability to enjoy life where we are at.

            I was well settled, too, in my circumstances before the narc came along. In fact I was reaching higher and feeling good about it. I’ve been more than brought back to earth in the circumstances. I do not intend to stay there, but picking myself up again has been an ordeal and continues to be one. He shattered my dreams and my reality.

            Thank you again for another very thoughtful post. As individuals we will decide our paths going forward and for some it might mean another relationship which is better than the last, while for others it might mean finding satisfaction within our own lives and circumstances without a long term partner. The narc met my expectations in so many ways. If I could have that again with someone who was empathic I would reach out for it in a heartbeat.

          15. Truthseeker6157 says:

            AV,

            Dive in, I enjoy reading your views x. I like the fact that you achieve forgiveness in your own way and to your own benefit. I think that’s healthy. We can only do what is right for ourselves in this respect. I don’t actually think there is a right way or a completely wrong way to go about it.

            Personally, If a person is unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for their actions, cannot admit their part in it, then I don’t regard them as being deserving of my forgiveness. I do forgive individual actions and events, more than I should, but there is a definitive cut off point for me. Hurt me too much and I move you to the other side of the ledger. Unworthy of my energy, unworthy of my forgiveness. This might appear cold or harsh. I view it as a kind of shutting down, a drawing in of the emotion that belongs to me. Forgiveness falls under that heading. Where forgiveness is concerned I move on better by cutting out rather than by accepting. It’s probably not a very honourable approach! The narc never reached my cut off point. I think that has probably been a significant barrier to my recovery.

          16. A Victor says:

            Truthseeker, your synopsis of tips for getting beyond the fear is thorough. I have not listened to Future Protection yet as there are many others that must be listened to first, before I would be in need of that one. But I am certain it will be as valuable as all the others when the time is right.

            I think somewhere it was stated to take a minimum of 6 months getting these things solidly in place, at that time, if the desire to have a person in my life is still there, it will be okay. Until then, there is no rush, just a determined effort toward health. Thank you for the list, it’s going on my phone for easy future reference.

          17. lickemtomorrow says:

            TS, I can see how the narc not reaching your cut off point could be a barrier to your recovery. I’m not sure how you ended it, or if he did.

            I am fortunate in that my awareness was raised before the end and I was able to play with him a little before, and even after, what I have determined was a Supernova moment in our relationship. I exacted some revenge, as did he.

            He’s not done yet. Though I have the ability to leave things as they stand.

            If I had not had that moment, I’m not sure I would even have found my way here.

            Much less move on from it.

            And regardless, I still needed to express my heartbreak. Just because he was a narc and I discovered that didn’t mean all those feelings went away. In fact, in some ways they were just exacerbated as I learnt how thoroughly I had been fooled and yet how much I still cared.

            Closure is a thing that is denied to so many. I hope you can eventually find your peace x

          18. Truthseeker6157 says:

            AV,

            I totally understand your point about the empty nest and concerns about what the future holds. Ten weeks in is still very early post escape and you are bound to feel like this. Don’t hold yourself to a time limit. Things take as long as they take. ET takes differing times to fall and whilst you may feel more like yourself in some areas there can be sticking points that take longer to come to terms with. We all have them and deal with them in differing ways. I didn’t really know which way was up 10 weeks in ha ha. You are way more stable than me !

            When you feel like yourself again, there are choices. The important thing is to give yourself options. A new relationship might be what you want, it might not be. Everyone is different and a partner isn’t always the answer for everyone. The thing to take away though I think as NA said, there is no reason to be fearful of moving forward. Do the relationship thing, or don’t, but fear shouldn’t hold you back, and it won’t, not once you have had time to recover and are in a position to make logical decisions xx

          19. Truthseeker6157 says:

            LET,

            Worry not, I have no intention of ‘shuffling off this mortal coil’ for many years yet! When I do, I’ll haunt you. Put rude pictures on your iPad for when you open it, little things, (or big things even) just so you know it’s me ha ha!

            I have never seen myself as getting to a ripe old age. I can remember saying that as a kid and have never deviated from it. I am firmly in the camp of ‘when your number’s up, your number’s up.’ I won’t prolong my life with operations, don’t want to be a burden, don’t want to be cut into. I either live as I am, or I don’t. I know I get to hold my grandchildren, but I’ve never managed to visualise any further than that. In this sense, having someone to grow old with isn’t a consideration for me and I don’t fear ageing, getting sick or dying. I’ll have a house on a hill in the end with two alsatians. They’ll probably end up eating me actually !

          20. NarcAngel says:

            AV
            That was not directed specifically at you and I should have phrased that better. I mean I feel bad for those (and there have been many who have expressed this over time) who feel that way now and can’t see a positive future in that regard. I want so badly for them to see that they have not lost that part of themselves or the opportunity for love again if that’s what they want. There is good to come.

            I was not referring to your comments as having a disheartening effect. I’m glad that you feel comfortable enough to share and apologize that is how it came across to you.

          21. A Victor says:

            Truthseeker, your thinking on why or why not on a relationship are very well thought out and true for me too, in many ways. I only hope for one to share my life with because 1) I want to have a successful relationship, 2) I have worked hard raising kids for 10 years and looked forward to this time with my husband, 3) I miss someone knowing the little things (how I take my coffee) and caring enough to do something about it and vice versa, and 4) I want someone to be with, when I get home, when I travel, someone to connect with even when we’re apart. Those are in no particular order and may seem shallow and yes, I could fulfil those with my children and grandchildren, some I already do. But, it’s still not the same as one special person. But, there is learning to be done and strength to be built before it’s a real consideration at all. So, here I am. 🙂 Oh no, I almost forgot sex! That’s probably number one!

          22. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hey TS, glad you’re not planning on shuffling off this mortal coil any time soon and that you were able to clarify that for me. I was concerned and now you have put my mind to rest. In fact, I’m sure I’ll look forward to your cheeky interludes, but it may just be I’ll be the one leaving them for you 😛 As you say, no one knows the day nor the hour, but my hope is you will have a long and fulfilling life ahead. I never think past this day. I take one day at a time. So I have no vision of the future right now. I am waiting for it to unfold. So many unexpected things have happened in my life. It gives a pause to planning, and right now I have no one to plan with. Though, I’ll not wait for that. I can be very impulsive, I realize!

            You have obviously envisioned a lovely future for yourself. I’m happy to hear it xox

          23. Truthseeker6157 says:

            AV,

            I was thinking about this last night and something dawned on me as I was falling asleep. Talking about odds and playing them.
            5 in 6 people are normals or empaths. If a person is looking for a relationship with someone new, who cuts the mustard? The temptation is to say another empath, which cuts our odds of finding the right person. However, I’m not sure that’s right.

            The difference between the empath and the normal boils down to two key things.

            1. The empath has a broader range of empathy. She casts her net wider than the normal. However, the normal’s empathy is strong in his inner circle. Close friends, family etc. Does it impact us that the individual doesn’t volunteer at the dog shelter or isn’t all that bothered about the fact that the next door neighbour but one is upset because her uncle died? Does this impact the relationship he has and the level of empathy shown to the empath, his son or daughter etc? I would argue no, it doesn’t.

            2. The empath carries all or almost all of the empathic traits and to varying strengths dependent on the empath. The normal carries fewer empathic traits, but he still has quite a few lit up for his inner circle. He could be honest but not feel the need to give money every time he passes a homeless person. He might be hugely caring and considerate but not feel the need to wade in to someone else’s domestic in the street. Would this impact the relationship with the empath? I would argue it wouldn’t.

            Similarly, I can imagine nothing worse than dating me. Honestly, pain in the ass. I don’t want to watch a who dunnit series and have my partner say to me in episode 2, “ Shall I tell you who the murderer is or shall I just let you watch it?” That would be annoying. I know I’m being annoying when I do it as well, I still do it though. Imagine how quiet things would be. Neither of us wouldn’t need to say anything because we both know what the other is about to say next!
            So another empath might not always be the answer either, they might, depends on the individuals concerned.

            What I’m saying is, actually, thinking about it, the odds are in our favour! Just avoid the one in six and all will be well.

            My my, I’m feeling mighty logical today 😎

          24. NarcAngel says:

            The concept of forgiveness as being a positive escapes me. It sounds like a superiority move and a salve to soothe a bruised ego. Who are we to forgive anyone else? We do as we do and others do as they do. How is it determined who has the better morals and superiority that they can forgive anyone else? A true apology, admission, or recognition by another party that they feel they have wronged or offended you in some way I feel is a gift offered. Not something I should seek or expect, and certainly not something I should respond to by acting superior in that my ‘forgiveness’ is a gift greater than that on offer. I feel that a thank you is appropriate to that gift and not the egotistical concept (as I view it to be) of ‘forgiveness’. If there is no apology or accountability offered by the person who I feel has hurt me then ‘forgiving’ them would be taking my ego and superiority to a whole new level. I’m absolving people who are unaware or unwilling? Well aren’t I grand. I fail to see the satisfaction in it but I sure do see ego.

          25. Truthseeker6157 says:

            NA,

            I think the view is that some feel that forgiveness is a pre requisite to moving on. If there is forgiveness then there is a sense of being done with it.
            I think this plays more to narcissism than it does to general relationships because as we know, the narcissist would never accept guilt or responsibility for whatever hurt they caused no matter how grave.

            I don’t see the seeking to forgive as grandiose or oneupmanship,more, a need to make peace with things.

            I tend not to react in that way. If someone hurts me in some way, I accept or I don’t, continue or I don’t. If I continue then I’ve forgiven, I won’t go back to or refer to it again. I understand why the behaviour took place and assume it won’t happen again. If that behaviour does continue though, if it does happen again, then there’s a tipping point. A point where I won’t continue and will just cut off and pull all the walls up. This is the point where I don’t forgive. I don’t need to forgive because I’ve already shut off the emotion. It isn’t necessary for me to forgive in order to move on. Hurt me in that way then yes, sorry, but it was intentional and you don’t deserve anything from me, let alone my forgiveness. That’s not particularly empathic but I don’t think it’s grandiose either. It’s a defensive response more than anything I think.

            As far as the narc is concerned the cut off didn’t arrive. I’m sure it would have eventually, because he’s a narc so would only have got worse. I went No Contact shortly after the Narc Detector, so in this case, forgiveness wasn’t a consideration even had it been possible. I can see why for others though it’s an integral part of making peace with it and moving on. A need to get rid of any bad feeling towards someone, to not carry hurt or resentment around.

          26. NarcAngel says:

            Forgiveness is perhaps mere terminology for those who don’t have a better descriptor for what they feel, but I am speaking of the situations where it is viewed as a magnanimous gesture or pointed to as necessary act in moving forward etc. If I feel hurt or wronged by someone I don’t feel any need to do anything but observe their behaviour for any indication that their attitude or interaction with me has changed. If it has I may still engage with them, if it doesn’t I will not. Their behaviour and beliefs simply mesh with mine or they don’t, and behaviour speaks to who we each are. They can be whoever they are away from me, and my pretending that anything has changed (in the case of them not taking accountability) because I have ‘forgiven’ them is just an illusion I grant myself and changes them or their act in no way.

            That’s just how I see it. I realize others feel differently.

          27. A Victor says:

            NA, no apology necessary! I appreciated the gentle warning, even not intended for me specifically. I am at a point where being uplifting and positive is not only doable but also best even for myself! It is easy to think in discouraging terms, especially if I look too far ahead, but to become better involves choosing to not do this and also choosing to assist others on their journey, something I see many of you doing and you have achieved success, something I strive for. So, I need to emulate, as I can. Thank you! It was a good thing to hear!

          28. A Victor says:

            NA, thank you for your thoughts on forgiveness. I have had the same on occasion, very grandiose. My top narcissist trait is pride, so maybe it’s fitting. I am also happy to have a different word or phrase with which to describe it, I think AC’s “end-of-anger” is best so far, very descriptive.

            In my mind’s eye, when I “picture” my forgiving of someone who has hurt me such that the relationship is now permanently altered, what I see is: While facing them, saying to myself, “Ok, I acknowledge what you and I have done, I see that you will not, I choose to turn away from you now and walk away.”, and turning and walking away. I don’t “feel” prideful in doing that, just…it’s a finality, the thing is now done, for me, and I will not return to it. If there is pride, I do need to address that as it is something not fitting with how it plays out in my thinking or actions. Someone here mentioned once when it’s over for them, it’s over. I can so relate to that, this is that experience for me. The person may speak to me again but my heart is closed, never to open to them again. It is this way with my mother and both my ex’s. Also a few other people in my life but not one’s as close as these so the impact is less. And when I get to this point, there is no more pain, so in that sense it is a huge relief.

            This is not to say that my mother doesn’t annoy or irritate me if I am around her but my heart is largely protected from her nasty wiles as the past largely stays in the past. I have found it therapeutic to talk about it here, which I am most glad for. Having a name for it, “meeting” people who have experienced similar and due to the ongoing-ness and intensity of her at this time, have all been helpful in sorting out why I had to do that and resolving some of those past hurts more thoroughly.

          29. Truthseeker6157 says:

            NA,

            Thank you for clarifying. Yep, you’re close on to the way I look at it I think. I agree also, forgiveness is not necessarily an exact description of what is being sought, offered or withdrawn here I don’t think. AC highlighting that too.

            There is also the more spiritual aspect that is forgiveness. This is likely to be more precise to those who have a faith. I don’t belong to that group, so in that sense for me forgiveness relates more to what it takes mentally to be at peace with someone and what facilitates the letting go of it all.

            I also think after all the pain and heartache, some people would like at least an acknowledgement if not an apology. I can understand that too. There it takes two as well, and again never going to happen with the narcissist at least not in a genuine way.

          30. A Victor says:

            Truthseeker, Very logical! Impressive! 🙂

            Your example of dating yourself is hilarious! My son hates watching stuff with me, if I don’t fall asleep, I talk all the way through it, asking just those sorts of questions!! Hahaha!

            Yes, I said once that I might be bored with a normal or empath and HG replied that my focus should be on my no contact regime and lowering ET, once those happen, the concern about boredom would go away. I am taking his word on this.

            Another concern I have is that they won’t be attracted to me, they never have, I have only attracted people who were not normals or empaths…not necessarily narcissists but somehow…different. But, if they aren’t attracted to me, I will be fine. Wishing for something and not getting it are not the end of the world. And, as you said, my wishes may change, they never used to be for a partner, prior to April, and I was very content.

            Thank you for the encouragement regarding the odds, that is nice to know!

          31. Truthseeker6157 says:

            LET,

            Coming back to ‘expressing your heartbreak’. I think there’s an element of time that’s needed. We understand the hows and the whys but there’s still that gap between acceptance and turning off the emotion. The gap is closing though, there’s less emotion than there was.

            It’s frustrating. It frustrates because you can see the pointlessness of thinking about it but still can’t quite let it go. We search for a reason, maybe it’s this, maybe it’s that but the reality is it’s probably a mixture of reasons. Some to do with you, some to do with timing, some to do with him or at least the person you thought / hoped he was. The knowledge is there though and the final letting go might be something we reach too hard for. As if we have a ceremonial end one night, then wake up the following morning, jump out of bed and play air guitar. We give it extra significance. I don’t think it works like that.

            It’ll probably happen quietly, without reaching for it, barely noticeable. No justification, forgiveness, apologies or internal explanations needed. When it’s time, just let go. Xx

          32. Truthseeker6157 says:

            AV,

            Ha ha, why thank you thank you !

            Normals and empaths probably are attracted to you, they just didn’t get chance to talk to you because the narc had already elbowed his way through the crowd, dropped all their wallets on the floor and then employed tractor beam stare.
            Tractor beam stare, red flag, talk to the guy stood behind him picking his wallet up off the floor !

            Tractor ? Tracter? To be clear, no farmers were injured in the making of this post.

          33. A Victor says:

            TS,

            Hahahaha!! Look out all you farmers!!! Hahaha!!!

            Thank you TS!!!

  6. Asp Emp says:

    Lesser “goes through life like a wrecking ball”….. (laughing)…. I really diss the Lessers cos of how I was treated…. bastard can spend the rest of his life dragging his knuckles on the ground….. he was thick too – I know accounting systems yet he dared to undermine my intelligence…. So, no, Lessers know fuck all – all talk & no trousers – literally 😂😂😂

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