You Wear Guilt



You wear guilt like a noose around your neck. There it hangs, just waiting to be yanked by me and the tightening ligature around that slender neck will bring you back into line. I can then allow the noose to hang about your neck once again, ready to be used as soon as I decide that it is necessary. You do not even try to remove this noose, you would, of course feel guilty if you tried to do so and as a consequence it will always remain with you, on you and about you.

There is no slow squeezing when this noose is called into action. It is immediate, painful and chastising. It allows the sudden and instant exertion of control. What better way than to achieve this than relying on something that is intrinsic to another person. This noose burns, it constricts and it chokes and you know that it is not going to go anywhere. The only way to deal with it is to comply and then the noose will slacken but it will not grant you release.

You have carried this noose for a very long time. Once upon a time it was only a few strands thick, yet for all of that apparent fragility, it could not be cut nor broken, neither snapped or torn. As time went on, the strands multiplied so that the thickness increased until now it hangs about you, sturdy and effective. Nobody else wove those additional strands into it. You did. You brought it all on yourself because of the twisted delight you have to wear this noose. You regard it as an obligation. It is part of who you are and whilst the pain it causes you is something that you would prefer not to have to suffer, you know that when it makes you suffer, you gain comfort from its presence and effect.

You know that not everybody has such a noose. There are those who do not even have one. You wonder often what that must be like. Not to have the yoke about you which weighs you down, restricts you and governs you. What must such freedom feel like? Then there are those who have such a noose but they seem to be able to lift it off and leave it behind when it suits them. Others still find that the noose is weak and it snaps apart when it seeks to apply pressure against its wearer. No such release for you.

This is the noose that has you always compliant. Sometimes you fight against it, hoping that you might perhaps once, just once, be able to exert such strength that causes it to break, but it never happens. No matter what resistance you exhibit or how much you strain to tear it apart, you fail and have no choice other than to comply so that the pain recedes. It leaves its mark about you. There is no doubt about it. Even though the searing pain may have lessened, you can feel that tight grip still and you know that others can see where it has left its mark. Not all have this ability to recognise the mark of the noose, but a certain group do and they always want to exploit its presence. Oh there have been times when you have sought to hide this noose, mask its presence in the hope that you escape the attention of those who recognise it. Even if you manage to conceal the noose, the mark that it has left about your neck is like an indelible stain. You cannot remove it and it is the stamp that tells those who know these things that you carry such a noose.

You may not realise that it is you who has added those additional strands over the years, causing the noose to thicken and strengthen. Those strands are bound together, layer upon layer, wound about one another, so that they become more than the sum of their parts. The strands which are fashioned from your pervasive, deep-seated guilt, are added to because of those things which you say and do. Each time you think a certain way, which you cannot help but do because of who and what you are, another strand is added, then another, until soon the noose becomes thick and heavy. Each time you think the following

It is my fault; I did not listen.

I need to do more to help.

He cannot help it.

I need to ensure I understand.

If only I could be stronger.

If only I knew what to do.

I should be getting home; he will wonder where I am.

I should not be doing this.

I should not speak ill of him really; he is my husband.

I should not think these things, I do love him, I just feel so weak and this is when I have these thoughts.

I ought to have realised.

I must listen more.

I have to keep trying.

I owe it to him to help.

He isn’t as bad as people say.

If I just keep going it will become better.

I have to try because if I don’t, who will be there for him.

It is my duty.

I made my vows and I shall abide by them.

I must be doing something wrong to make him feel like this.

I just seem to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

These thoughts and words, plus many more, cause the noose to become stronger. Thus it tightens and I yank it, pulling you in my direction so that you remain under my control, bound by this guilt to serve, to support and to fuel. An ever present burden which you add to yourself each and every day. A method by which you are manipulated, cajoled and coerced to fulfil my needs.

This noose is not there to hang you. No, there is no desire to bring about your demise. You are more effective to us functioning. Your guilt will not bring about your end,  but instead it acts to maintain your imprisonment.

You make the noose grow.

I make the noose control you.

Can it be escaped? We think not. It is for life. Even though it may not tighten or constrict for some time, even years, it is always there and with the mark so prominent, another may come and utilise the control that the noose affords even though we may not be able to.

We will not lift it. It matters too greatly to us.

We will not lift it because it is your burden, perpetuated by you.

But it can be lifted. It is not simple or straightforward and we ensure we do not allow you the opportunity to address this chance to relieve yourself of this noose of guilt. It can be done. It is quite the task to achieve but for you, that journey begins by answering one question.

Who put it there in the first place?

62 thoughts on “You Wear Guilt

  1. NarcAngel says:

    I don’t see how forgiveness to another changes anything and don’t believe it’s required. What is being forgiven? The intent? The act? The result? The person? It seems (to me) an attempt to appoint closure where one can find none and presents as a false premise in achieving this. I do believe in accepting that it happened, learning from it, and not letting the perpetrator take any more from you, which I suppose can be seen as forgiveness of self if that is felt required to move on.

    1. A Victor says:

      Hi NA, your comment was a little difficult for me to read. Not because I agree or disagree, nothing to do with that really. More to do with that it has been a process for me to get where I am in thinking about forgiveness as I am beginning to now. And your comment read to me almost like this should not be a process, it’s cut and dried. But for me it has not been so, there are things from my past that have informed and influenced my thinking. So it has been different than others on this topic, there is no shame in that. But reading your comment I almost feel that perhaps there should be. I do not believe you meant it that way but that is how it hit me.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        AV, I believe you are correct in your interpretation here and just want to acknowledge that. There will be people who have no need, no concern and no time for the topic of forgiveness. To them it is meaningless either way. For some it will have significant meaning, and a designated purpose in helping to mend relationships and overcome some of the pain and hurt in our lives. It is meaningful when someone offers their sorrow for an offence committed, and also when we choose to forgive them for that offence. There is a grace attached to that which enable both parties to heal the rift that has occurred and begin to move forward.

        A simple example would be an argument between myself and one of my children. We both end up saying hurtful things to one another and recognise we’ve caused eachother pain. In the context of the aftermath, we both proffer apologies and choose to forgive one another. Either one of us could hold a grudge. We understand that both of us have experienced a moment of heightened tension and, with that, vulnerability. We said things we regret, or never meant to say. Either way, we are sorry. I need their forgiveness for the hurt I have caused as much as they need mine.

        Forgiveness repairs relationships. It allows us to see our own faults and failings.

        Don’t ever be sorry for recognising the inability of others to do the same.

        1. A Victor says:

          Thank you for this LET, I just saw this comment and I’m very grateful for it. There are definitely different schools of thought on forgiveness, I actually am very thankful for it, others don’t need it. It makes neither better or worse, weaker or stronger, wise or foolish, we are just different. The reasons you list are enough for me to see value in both apologizing and forgiving. Thank you. And especially thank you for your final thought, I will take it to heart.

          1. Joa says:

            Forgiveness is a great relief. Oh, how huge!
            You can go further.

            By different ways. Sometimes straight ahead. Sometimes we go back to the starting point again. Though, it is a different road, although seemingly along the same route.

            “Everything flows”, “You cannot step into thr same river twice” – as Heraclitus wrote.

            Yes, forgiveness includes an element of understanding. Otherwise it wouldn’t be possible.

          2. A Victor says:

            Thank you Joa, I agree entirely! Profound thinking here, in my opinion.

          3. Joa says:

            Thank you AV, but Heraclitus was first 🙂

            On the way home, I thought about forgiveness. I agree, that by forgiving someone (deep inside myself), I am doing myself the greatest favor.

            Sometimes you can’t forgive. The hardest thing to forgive is stupidity and primitivism. Personally, I have only not forgiven one “person”. I see no reason and no excuse for the stinker, who raped me – although I don’t really feel or think about it now. No sense. No much benefit to him. Idiot instinct. Brainless. Human worm.

            All the others, who made me suffer in some way, I can understand. Although, I can’t pretend it is as it was, when I see that someone’s actions are just… weak.

            Unless someone makes me laugh 🙂 I even like a mean smile on my face… when the blood starts to pulsate slightly 🙂

          4. A Victor says:

            Hi Joa, your comment has made me realize there are people I’ve not forgiven, but I had blocked that aspect out until your comment. I’d viewed it more as confusion and if I could find clarity it would make sense. Your comment brought clarity. Thank you so much. I was raped also, not only by my ex but also by the first man I was with, I’ve hated him but did not connect it as not forgiving him until your comment. I’ve hated him, and been confused and only in this last year come to realize it was rape. I would literally prosecute him if it was doable. Due to many years already past it is not, but I wish it was. I’ve also not forgiven the child molesters I’ve known, several in my life, some who spent time behind bars due to actions I took. You would think this would give me a sense of power, it has not, only what needs to be done is done. So many bad people in the world yet I’ve lived in such denial. These people die, I say “Good”. No guilt about it either. My cognitive dissonance is taking a beating today, thank you Joa.

          5. Leigh says:

            AV, I’m so sorry this happened to you. Our cognitive dissonance will often make excuses for their abhorrent behavior towards us. We will try to reconcile what happened and try to blame an external factor like they were drunk or high or some other excuse. It makes sense that you haven’t forgiven him. He doesn’t deserve your forgiveness.

            My narc husband’s father was a child molester. When my first child was born, he was already very sick and thankfully he died not too long after my second was born. I never would’ve allowed him near them but it made it easier once he died. I feel no guilt about saying that either. He was an abhorrent man and I was glad he was gone.

            Some people don’t deserve our forgiveness and that’s ok. I hope you’re feeling a little better today.

          6. A Victor says:

            Thank you Leigh, I have always known I was cheated and that has always made me feel angry about it, he literally stole something from me and you are correct, there were external factors that caused me to not see it clearly, I was extremely drunk. So it was actually my own fault, in my mind. Until I recently learned that in that condition a woman can’t actually give consent and as such it is rape.

            I have had experiences with so many molesters, I believe most or all of them to be narcs and they definitely are drawn to me and my children like flies to jam. I also believe some of them are the reason my mother is a narc which makes me even more angry at them.

            I am very good at not thinking about things that make me angry, it is not a place I like to be, so I just don’t go there really, except being here sometimes.

            I am better today, thanks. 🙂

          7. Leigh says:

            Hi AV, I’m sorry you’ve been cheated and that he stole something for you. They’re such pieces of shit. When they steal from us, we often can’t get it back. It makes me angry too. I agree that I don’t like thinking about things that make me angry either. It puts me in a negative space and they’re not worth it.

            I’m glad you’re feeling better today. Screw the damn narcs!

          8. A Victor says:

            Hi Joa, I’d written a reply here but there was an error message when I sent, so hopefully this doesn’t turn up twice.

            Thank you again, your comments have made me realize that I’ve been in denial about some who I haven’t forgiven, I’ve been confused by their actions and not sure what to do with them. The first man I was with also raped me, in addition to my ex, I have come to understand this was rape in the last year only, I have not forgiven him, it’s like there has been a fog over that situation. Now I understand it is non-forgiveness, I would prosecute him today if it were possible. Also, the child molesters that have come and gone in my life, no forgiveness. I learn they have died, I say “Good”, no guilt. But the clarity to realize I had not forgiven them was not there until now, it was unconsidered previously. My cognitive dissonance is taking a beating today. Thank you.

          9. lickemtomorrow says:

            My pleasure, AV. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on it again.

          10. Joa, I love those words – “You can’t step into the same river twice.”

            It’s true. It will be a different relationship once any type of reconciliation has taken place, but it will definitely be a deeper or a wiser one. It may go back to the start in learning to trust again and take baby steps forward, or back to the start as you wipe clean the slate and forget to remember the offence. You might pick up where you left off, with a long history of friendship behind you, and recognise the ‘offence’ was just a glitch along the way,

            The last narc and I would have a falling out, kiss and make up, and I would describe those moments like a road trip … we were on a journey, he had stopped the car, I had gotten out (or he had kicked me out in a act of fury), and after resolving the issue we got back on the road again. I don’t know why I imagined it like that or described it that way, but I actually liked the idea of being on a journey together, which is what you are on in most relationships. They’re never static. In that instance, I didn’t realise who I was on a journey with (see HG’s article on the car), but I was true to my empathic nature in how I viewed those moments, or bumps along the road.

            This is probably where an element of wisdom comes in aligned with HG’s teachings and the understanding we are given here. Firstly, we don’t want to journey with a narc if at all possible; second, we’re better off leaving them at the side of the road and ditching them at the earliest opportunity; and third – don’t ever look back 😉 It’s where my act of forgiveness falters (which I’m so appreciative of my new understanding).

        2. Bubbles says:

          Dearest lickemtomorrow,
          Excellent comment lovely
          I think it’s admirable that you were able to acknowledge forgiveness with your child and that in itself is highly commendable on both parts.

          We all say things in anger when in the heat of the moment. I’m quite happy with just a sorry. I just can’t do the forgivvy thing…it’s not in my DNA…too much water under the bridge me thinks, yet I don’t harbour grudges or try to worry about things I have no control over anymore.

          We all do what works individually I guess and there’s nought wrong with that
          Best wishes to you lovely
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Hi Bubbles,

            Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate them.

            I think the ‘forgivvy thing’ can be done in many different ways, and personally I wouldn’t stumble over actually saying the words – I forgive you. It could be that you just say ‘OK’ in response, or ‘I know’, or simply take them in your arms and give them a big hug. There are many ways to respond to an apology which doesn’t have to involve specific wordage. It will be any further actions on either side which tell the tale.

            When it comes to the Catholic faith and the Priest, which you have also mentioned, they are acting in their capacity as mediators. This will not resonate with everyone, but I accept it as legitimate in repairing relationships between God and man. That is also a relationship, if you believe, that needs repairing at different times.

            People may stumble over forgiveness, but I accept I need it as much as others may require it from me. I used the example of my children to show it is a basic human requirement stretching out into many social situations, starting with family. Some of my thinking around that might be that if you are not holding a grudge then you are forgiving someone. They will know it by your actions. Perhaps this is more along the lines of what you are trying to explain. You don’t need the words.

            The point I raised originally was that rather than feel guilty about not forgiving, I am content at times not to forgive where no sorrow is offered or remorse is shown. It is pointless to forgive without requiring those things.

            Ultimately, I don’t see any other remedy for repairing relationships, but there may be different ways of expressing it. And thank you for your good wishes, Bubbles. I always appreciate them <3

          2. Bubbles says:

            Dearest lickemtomorrow,
            Thank you for your well defined explanation, most appreciated
            Each case is definitely individual and requires different responses depending on the degree of severity. Whatever works and helps one move forward is the main thing.
            Always great to read, take on board each individual’s thoughts and perspectives. ☺️
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

        3. Bubbles says:

          Dearest Lickemtomorrow and lovelies,
          I just happened to view a newsfeed on Gloria Masters, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and author of Flightpath to Healing and On Angels Wings.
          I could not believe the trauma and sadistic sexual abuse she endured from her father, mother and grandmother. I’m speechless! 😱
          Well worth looking into as she is a true survivor! What a turn around. Incredible horrific story ! Just shows what kind of sick people there are out there ! 😱
          She may be of inspiration to some and offer some comfort
          Puts my life into perspective, that’s for sure!
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. Bubbles <3

            Thanks for the heads up. I haven't heard of her, and it sounds like she had a mountain to climb in terms of her experiences and overcoming them … or at least coming to terms with them somehow. It's a truism in so many ways that "there's always somebody worse off." If it helps to put things in perspective, then it helps xo

    2. A Victor says:

      Oh, also, I do realize your comment was not aimed at me, or likely at anyone. It was just where I’m at in the process that caused me to personalize it.

    3. A Victor says:

      NA, I apologize. No need for me to have written anything, I should not have. You just wrote your thinking. I am sorry.

    4. Bubbles says:

      Dearest NarcAngel,
      I’ve always thought of “forgiveness” as a form of power play.
      They shouldn’t have done the dirty deed in the first place
      Luv Bubbles xx 😘

      1. A Victor says:

        Dear Bubbles, this makes sense, thank you for writing it. Hope you are well. AV

        1. Bubbles says:

          Dearest A Victor,
          Hi lovely, I’m extremely well thank you, I hope you’re the same ☺️

          It’s just my perception of forgiveness. ‘Forgiving’ someone always conjures up religious connotations for me with a priest touching one’s head and saying “you are forgiven my child” ….forget the fact that you’ve raped, killed someone or committed some other act (lying, cheating, stealing) but you’re forgiven ….seriously ??
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. A Victor says:

            Hi Bubbles,

            Exactly! It’s not about that at all!! I don’t offer absolution or anything else for their sins, just getting it off my chest! And now, with this new understanding, from this conversation about it, they don’t even get that much effort from me.

            I understood your initial comment to mean that I take my power by choosing to forgive them, even when they haven’t asked for it. I see it was a misunderstanding but that’s okay because realizing that I don’t have to forgive, it is a choice, does give me more power! And right now, I don’t choose to forgive!

            Flexing my muscles 💪💪💪 😁

            Thank you and glad you are well! 💕

          2. Bubbles says:

            Dearest A Victor,
            My apologies lovely AV, I didn’t mean to sound confusing, (I must be having one of my moments, lately there have been many haha) I do mean power play!
            The priest has the power (that’s why people go to him because he has the highest power, however, he gets rewarded for forgiving). Yes, we can ‘choose’ to forgive or not, to me, that’s having power over someone else.
            Usually, when you forgive someone, you risk them walking all over you ……again.
            When I look back, most of the people who have ‘wronged’ me personally, are no longer in my life
            I kinda relate to elephants, I never forget a wrong. 😉
            Keep flexing your gorgeous biceps 💪🤣
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          3. A Victor says:

            Hi Bubbles, I think follow your train of thought actually. I took your initial comment as I have the power over the offender if I forgive, like the priest would. As an empath, I don’t feel a lot of power a lot of the time and I’m not entirely comfortable with it when I do. But, feeling like I have that power over these horrible people who have controlled and damaged my life, that has made me feel a little power, over myself more than them, it is valuable for me to take that power. I don’t know if I’m making sense now! But your comment, even if we don’t completely understand each other, was helpful, and I thank you for it! Take care Bubbles! 💕

          4. Bubbles says:

            Dearest A Victor,
            Thank you lovely for your comment, I understand where you’re coming from.
            I came across Eight Keys to Forgiveness by Robert Enright. He spent 30 years studying the subject. 😱 I guess it’s not that easy haha
            Good topic of discussion though and gives food for thought
            Luv Bubbles 😘 xx

    5. NarcAngel says:

      Hi AV
      I was merely offering my view. It was not meant to question yours or those of others.

      1. A Victor says:

        Hi NA, I understand. Thanks!

      2. Bubbles says:

        Dearest NarcAngel,
        This is why we need other empath’s views such as yours. It certainly makes us question, understand and review. It’s quite profound, particularly under this heading “You wear guilt”
        Guilt is our middle name to the extreme
        Forgiveness for us is massive and quite a wrestle and struggle…. yet so easily yielding.

        Our youngest son has only just recently presented us a ‘duplicitous’ scenario.
        It naturally involves his narc partner, who has addictions to alcohol, weed and cigarettes, to the point our son is just keeping his head one step above bankruptcy.

        Mr Bubbles and I have only just learnt this tonight and it’s caused mayhem within our family … albeit not surprising, knowing what we are dealing with, thanks to Mr Tudor.

        Our other two adult children have had enough.
        Forgiveness is not even on the radar.

        Thank you NarcAngel for your challenging insights, I applaud you
        Luv Bubbles xx 😘

    6. Witch says:

      Forgiveness is way too sentimental for me. I can’t do this with narcissists or even people who aren’t narcissists depending on the circumstances. I don’t really understand what it would achieve for me. I can accept that people are incapable of certain things or they are capable of things I don’t approve of but I may not be able to forgive them for it. I find it kind of cringe to think about… like when you’re watching a movie and you see a sickening love scene and it’s like “eugh” that’s how I get about forgiveness. I can also hold onto to resentment for a very long time… it protects me

      1. WhoCares says:


        “I find it kind of cringe to think about… like when you’re watching a movie and you see a sickening love scene and it’s like “eugh” that’s how I get about forgiveness.”

        I feel the same regarding forgiveness.

        In my opinion, when it comes to narcissists, there is no point to forgiving – but not forgiving doesn’t equate to having a grudge or holding on to resentment. I simply don’t take the actions of my past narcissists personally anymore.

        I can see the value in forgiveness between empaths, or others with actual emotional empathy, – but I would much rather come to an understanding of how the situation got to that point (of whatever act or behaviour is supposedly deemed to require ‘forgiveness’), learn from it, and move on.

        If someone asks for my forgiveness, it reminds me of past dealings with narcs…it leaves me feeling uncomfortable and icky – as if the power of my forgiveness makes it okay to continue to engage in poor behaviours…because, well, I will continue to forgive them?

        1. A Victor says:

          Hi WC, I just now saw that we both used the word icky in response to Witch’s comment! That made me smile.

          You’ve pinpointed something for me that is helpful. It is the narcs that have realized I don’t need to forgive, they don’t care anyway and if I’m truly neutral to them, seeing them as what they are and staying away from them etc, it doesn’t matter.

          I do see value in forgiveness between non narcs but I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had people tell me to stop apologizing, and seriously meaning it. I’ve gotten better but it is a difficult thing, especially if my ET goes up a little.

          I don’t feel the need to continue a relationship with anyone even if I choose to “forgive” them, I haven’t been in a romantic relationship though and that did happen when I was, so if one ever comes along again, we’ll see if I’ve improved. I can only hope so at this point.

        2. A Victor says:

          Hi WC, I realized something else today also. I have lived in fear that if I didn’t forgive others, they might not forgive me. How silly is that? Like, I have worried, subconsciously, what will I do that is bad enough to disqualify me? And it goes directly back to concern that I would lose my dad’s love. Love which, come to find out, wasn’t even a real thing. This again serves to free me up and alters my perspective even more. Thanks for listening, this seemed like a good place to put it, your comment was one that got me to this thinking.

          1. WhoCares says:

            A Victor,

            I am glad my comment was helpful.
            This thread on forgiving reminded me of my father once asking me for forgiveness (when he was still alive). It was weird situation to be in with one’s father. I told him he didn’t need my forgiveness, as his actions hadn’t hurt anyone but himself. (Although they did impact me.)
            I just wish he were still around so that I could tell him that I understand his actions. That I understand him so much better now. To me, that would be so much more freeing than offering my forgiveness.

      2. A Victor says:

        @Witch, thank you, this made me laugh a little, I hate romance movies and will not watch them, for this very reason. Resentment is protective but for me, I have to be careful, it can also eat at me, which isn’t protective and that’s when I know I need to face it. It is icky.

        1. Witch says:

          Resentment helps me to get through no contact.
          My sister told me a few weeks ago that my mother asked me to contact her… of course I didn’t and the thought that it wounded her makes me happy 😃

          1. A Victor says:

            Huh, I have not identified resentment in my ANC with my mom. I am pretty neutral to her but I will investigate the possibility of resentment. She mostly just annoys me now. Sometimes the memories trigger anger though, I try not to go there.

            Haha, I can totally relate to your second comment! I kind of love thinking that too as I am in the same house but never see her!!

  2. lickemtomorrow says:

    I read a remarkable article yesterday which allowed me to relieve myself of the burden of guilt quite often attached to the notion of forgiveness. It’s a notion I’ve rejected when it comes to the narcissists in my life and I’ve now found an explanation in the context of my beliefs that allows me to continue to do that. It doesn’t mean I can’t heal, but it does mean I will no longer burden myself with the notion that I am wrong to withhold forgiveness from those who do not seek it. So much confusion attaches itself to the notion of forgiveness, and it often lends itself to an even greater burden on victims. From my perspective, it’s still important not to attach this understanding to self-righteous notions which might preclude me from also seeking forgiveness as necessary. Empaths can be at fault, too, but rarely in the sense the narcissist wants to make us feel faulty in their presence.

    1. Leigh says:

      Hi LET, would you mind sharing that article? I would love to read it. I agree with you and I’ve also decided not to forgive the narcissists in my life. For me, forgiveness means acceptance and I can never accept what they’ve done. Even if they asked for forgiveness, I wouldn’t forgive them. After reading the article and seeing how they use guilt to manipulate and condition us, it solidifies my stance on never forgiving them. I also don’t agree with the concept that you have to forgive people in order to truly heal and move on. I feel like if I forgive the people who have wronged me its like saying it was ok for them to treat me that way. I can’t do that. What I have done though is released the anger and resentment. I’m no longer angry at my parents and I’m actually grateful they gave me life. My father is gone so he’s out of my life. With my mom, I made the choice to not have her in my life anymore. I haven’t seen her in 3 years and I’m ok with that. Maybe that’s why its been easier to release the anger and resentment. I guess what I’m trying to say is I don’t think its necessary to forgive in order to release the anger and resentment. In fact, I think if I forgave them, that would actually make me angrier.

      1. Hi Leigh, I can relate to the idea of forgiving them actually making you angrier. For me, doing so only prolongs the sense of hurt that already exists because forgiving them somehow negates your ability to acknowledge and deal with your feelings. It’s perhaps an erroneous sense of forgiveness where we maintain a sense of invisibility as we pursue the path of peace and ‘righteousness’.

        I have more thoughts to share and will do so asap.

        1. Leigh says:

          LET, I agree that forgiving them actually prolongs the sense of hurt and negates your ability to deal with your feelings. I also agree that calling it forgiveness but still carrying around the anger and resentment is a false sense of forgiveness. Also, I feel forgiveness means I’ve exonerated them and given them a free pass and that keeps us in the loop. I’m tired of the loop.

          Thats why for me, I don’t care what they did. That’s on them. I can’t change it. I can only change how I react to it.

      2. A Victor says:


        To acknowledge abuse means in it happened. That’s where the denial, my cognitive dissonance came from. Now I don’t even have to forgive them, this is a great day.

        1. Leigh says:

          Hi AV, yes to acknowledge abuse means it happened. Yes, our denial of the abuse caused cognitive dissonance. Once we acknowledge it, we can let it go and work on ourselves. We can do all that without forgiving them for abusing us.

          1. A Victor says:

            Yes, that was a light bulb moment for me, about the forgiving part. Thanks

          2. Leigh says:

            You’re very welcome! I’m glad I can help in any way I can.

          3. One other thought crossed my mind about this.

            If had done something to another which I did not believe was wrong (a narcissists stand in general) what effect would their forgiveness have on me?

            If I was to say “I forgive you” to someone who is not seeking forgiveness and doesn’t believe they’ve done anything wrong, then I wouldn’t expect it to have any effect, and it would have to return to me an empty gesture. Needless to say, in the narcissist’s eyes it would look foolish or even worse be utilised by them for further manipulation.

            I’m not naysaying the idea or act of forgiveness, far from it. What I’m trying to do is imbue it with its proper meaning and purpose. It’s not possible for me to forgive someone who doesn’t seek my forgiveness.

          4. Leigh says:

            Hi LET, this is a really good point. If someone said to me that they forgive me and I believe that I was right, I might be offended by that statement. I might also be confused by the statement as well. I might even ask, forgive me for what? If I really feel strongly that I’m right, I might even consider it a provocation.

            I agree, its not possible to forgive someone who isn’t seeking forgiveness.

    2. A Victor says:


      Your comment made me realize that God doesn’t forgive those who don’t ask for it.

      Thank you.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        AV, your spot on in terms of the perspective I am coming from, and I’d just like to acknowledge Leigh’s very forthright comment again, too. Both make sense to me.

        As to the article, I’ll just try to break the sentiments down a little bit further here.

        In a sense, we’ve watered down the notion of forgiveness. Righteous anger has a place. It ties in with the notion of justice.

        A day before I came across the article, I said to someone that I would never forgive my ex-husband for what he did to me or my children. He never apologised, nor showed any remorse. In fact, he likely revelled in what he did and the amount of control that gave him. I try not to think about that, but all my experiences with narcissists involve an element of gloating, as in they relish your discomfort, sorrow and sense of powerlessness.

        After this, I second guessed myself as empaths do, but those with a Christian background/perspective even more so. At the same time, I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel a greater sense of guilt in my stance. Why was I so sure, so determined, not to forgive? Surely that made me a bad person, and a terrible Christian.

        Cue the article that I came across the following day.

        Pardoning the offence becomes an act of justice, as well as mercy and charity, only when the offender is sorrowful and has experienced a fundamental change of heart.

        Forgiveness can only follow on the heels of sorrow and remorse. Those are the prerequisites for forgiveness to occur. It is a wasted act on those who do not seek it.

        In my experience, narcissists can only ever offer false contrition.

        In that respect, I am able to withhold forgiveness with confidence.

        A Letter To The Narcissist recently posted shows how altruistic some empaths can be when it comes to forgiveness. It was beautifully written and expressed. If it frees somebody to be magnanimous in that way, I commend them in being able to overcome the hurt and humiliation they have experienced at the hands of the narcissist. Not everyone will be able to free themselves in the same way by offering a forgiveness that is not sought, and which their upbringing and beliefs lead them to feel they should offer or feel guilty about if they are unable to do so.

        The main thing will always be to go no contact so as not to be affected either way.

        1. A Victor says:

          This thinking offers a place of neutrality. Exactly what is needed with regard to narcs. Thank you LET, this conversation has been releasing for me, I am not under ANY obligation to them.

          1. AV, I’m so glad if it has created some space for you to reconsider and not feel so burdened.

            “In fact, true forgiveness is by definition a bi-lateral process that occurs when the hurt is shared in a receptive manner by both the victim and the perpetrator. In forgiveness, the perpetrator is humbled and sorrowful; that is, the perpetrator is receptive to the humiliation and sorrow of his committed offense, rather than fighting it. So too, in forgiveness the victim is forgiving; that is, the victim is himself receptive of the pain of the offense against him and not reacting egoistically or revengefully against it. It is thus when both perpetrator and victim share the psychomoral pain of the offense that true forgiveness occurs.

            Without a penitent perpetrator, the best a victim can do unilaterally is to be receptive to the pain caused to him and therefore not allow it to fester in the realm of the ego. This receptivity places the victim in the position of proffering forgiveness if and when the perpetrator is also receptive to the pain he has caused the victim. Again, it is the receptivity to the pain itself, the humiliation and sorrow, that allows a victim to be free of the festering hurt and debilitating defenses that can occur in a reaction to an evil done unto him. Pretending one is over an offense, by unilaterally saying, “All is forgiven,” is but a coping mechanism that allows that offense to fester, even if buried deep (G.C. Dilsaver, Psychomoralitics [Imago Dei, 2018], 195–196).”

          2. A Victor says:

            A coping mechanism. Yes, I suppose so. More cognitive dissonance.

        2. Leigh says:

          Hi LET, I agree with your sentiments 100%.

          The narcissist shows no remorse or sorrow because in their eyes, they’ve done nothing wrong. Yet here you are an empath reflecting and asking yourself if you’re a bad person and a terrible Christian.

          I read that Letter to the Narcissist also and it was beautifully written. But I felt sad for her. I felt like she was excusing the narc’s behavior. She sounded like a CoD to me. I wanted to snap her out of it. I wanted to scream, “You can’t fill the void. Its an endless task.” While it might be true that the narcissist doesn’t know what they’re doing, we don’t have to accept it either.

          1. Leigh, enjoy reading your perspective on this, and you have a way of putting things in a nutshell that I really appreciate. Thanks for your input and understanding on what can be a difficult topic for empaths at times.

      2. KitKat says:

        Oh I don’t know, I’m sure Hour own personal Gesus would forgive you without you having to ask.
        Sorry HG, I couldn’t resist, even though that joke has been done to death.

        1. A Victor says:

          Really?! I would not count on that!! I’d be afraid to!! Hour Gesus might just as soon roast us and have lunch!! 😳

        2. lickemtomorrow says:

          I have no idea why I’m not laughing …

  3. Asp Emp says:

    Oooh. Re-reading this article again. Noose-free, of course!

    “Others still find that the noose is weak and it snaps apart when it seeks to apply pressure against its wearer” – that is just ET related. When a trigger “appears” until you ‘instruct’ the LT to act and put away the old woken up past memories that are no longer relevant to your life today. Having said that, there were times when parental narcissist was asserting her control but I’d got “used” to her behaviours and began to start “no, not having that” kind of instinctive response (as a child but I was no strength against her unleashed physical fury)- she never laid a hand on me after I left home.

    “You know that not everybody has such a noose” – yes, it’s obvious from those ‘wanna-be-empath’ but are really narcissists, not that they know that, never mind realise it (hahaha).

    “Then there are those who have such a noose but they seem to be able to lift it off and leave it behind when it suits them” – yup, the victim pity plays of the MRNs – the words “when it suits them”. Or, those who have a “need” to get the violins out.

    “Can it be escaped? We think not” – the words “we think not” are indicative that there is a fear of the narcissist losing control of that “object”, because the word ‘think’ is used, and not ‘know’. ‘The 5 Fears of the Narcissist’ springs to mind.

    “But it can be lifted” and “It can be done”. Absolutely. Many empaths have achieved this.

    Interesting to consider that the parental narcissist “created” me and she did not like what stood in front of her, at times. Even then, she was still blind to her own behaviours. It is just as well that I did not have access to HG’s work while she was still alive, because then she’d have seen the full “creation” she “made” without any physical contact and her creature would have come to the surface, more than once (ah, I would have enjoyed watching that!).

    Once again, HG, thank you for your work xxx

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  4. Joa says:

    What annoys me the most is when Narcissists support each other.

    One Narcissus is a small problem. I can solve my cases on a 1:1 level. And I often have the impression that I have an advantage (perhaps illusory, and perhaps this impression is on both sides).

    Two cooperating Narcissists is already a big challenge. But… your can triangulate and maneuver, switch between admiration, smile and attention. A lot of gymnastics and intense instinct, but you can survive somehow.

    Three Narcissus in a 3:1 game is an impenetrable barrier. If only empaths could unite in the same way, if they weren’t so afraid…

    If only they would stop being afraid…


    Ok, I will wait calmly for a crack in committee. I puke, when I see you stroking and strengthening each other. You’re going to start competing with each other soon, it’s inevitable.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

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