I have written a lot about how dangerous narcissists are and how important it is to learn to spot them and handle them like the poisonous snakes that they are.
If you read my articles about the various phases of the narcissistic relationship cycle (love-bombing, devaluation, discard) based on what I experienced in a four-year relationship with one pretty deranged narcissist, you probably got the idea that I think that my ex is a pitiable pathetic characterless loser that deserves to go down with cancer and Parkinson’s.
You are right. I don’t subscribe to the new-age ‘forgive and wish them happiness” bullshit. I think that we should not wish happiness for toxic people who harm others. We should wish for them to experience deep psychological healing. We should wish for them to be forced to face themselves and heal their defectiveness so that they become good worthy people and stop hurting others. The world will only become a better place if we eradicate toxicity and narcissism.
But that’s not the point of today’s article.
Own your story
We all love demonising narcs. We love the satisfaction that we receive when we do to them what they routinely do to others. The narc I used to be involved with was a pro at ridiculing others behind their backs, making jokes at other people’s expenses, even at the expense of his own friends (but don’t you dare making fun of him, of course). I guess as much as he enjoyed making fun of all sorts of people on Facebook, I enjoy writing about and mocking his hilarious mental processes. In fact, I think that treating bullies the way they treat others is the right way, just as much as I think that the death penalty is the right treatment for deranged serial killers like Ted Bundy (you may have noticed that I like to use the Ted Bundy example a lot. That’s probably because something about him reminds me of my narc ex – he was also a total sweetie that would fool about anybody. Besides I do think my ex is a closet sexual pervert, I think I have described some of his weird ways in one of my earlier articles).
As much as I enjoy and love this game of narc-shaming, I totally believe that one thing is paramount for all of us going through the recovery process: Being able to understand why and how did WE end up in this situation.
I’ve seen many people on Quora virtually jump up as soon as you use the word codependent or damaged to describe the narcissist’s target.
“I am not codependent, I am strong, everyone thinks I am strong, I am awesome and the narcissist targeted me because I am so awesome!” That’s what you would frequently hear.
But let me tell you something – yes, the narcissist may have targeted you because of your status-enhancing qualities. I was the narc’s pretty little accessory, for example, and even in the devaluation phase he would aloud contemplate whether he should keep me because I was so beautiful (his words) and it made him look good in front of his friends (his words again).
You might be rich famous, whatever – and yes, that’s why the narc would be interested in you. You might be loving, giving, sensitive, and helpful – and yes, that’s why the narc exploits you.
Loving, giving, sensitive and helpful sounds like a definition of a care-taker and a care-taker is generally always a codependent.
No matter what your brilliant qualities were, the reason that you got so deeply enmeshed with the narcissist was not your amazingness.
Close your eyes and travel back to the early days of your relationship with the narcissist
Let’s do one exercise together. And I promise to be absolutely honest with you. I know that suffering from flashbacks related to the time with the narcissist is one of the least pleasant things about the post-traumatic stress disorder that we have to deal with in the wake of our discard.
Memories of those great times with the narcissist when he seemed to be the perfect prince charming can suddenly well up, causing enormous pain and the feeling of missing him.
Frequently, we are trying to push these flashbacks away, compartmentalise them and burry them deep into the unconscious. But that doesn’t work. Your subconscious and your unconscious mind has much more control over your actual life than your conscious mind.
So we are now going to do the exact opposite. We are going to revisit the memories deliberately. We are going to revisit the early days of our relationship with the narcissist. We are going to remember who we were back then (we for sure were not who we are today). We are going to remember why did we feel so mesmerised by the narcissist.
Why did you bond with the narcissist?
Reason #1: Physical chemistry
In my case, this was certainly true. The physical chemistry with narcissists feels kind of different. It’s very physical. In fact it’s purely physical. There is nothing emotional or psychological about it. It’s very animalistic (It’s the ‘let’s have sex’ type of chemistry, not the ‘wow, this person is fascinating’ type of chemistry).
I am certainly not immune to this chemistry these days. In fact, I recently started experimenting with online dating and I am fairly convinced that one of the guys I went out with was either a narcissist or a psychopath. The totally same chemistry as with the ex narc. The ‘maybe I could just have sex with him’ thoughts.
There is no emotional connection with the narcissist at first, there might not even be much to talk about. When you reveal something personal, their reaction is a bit weird, kind of delayed, as if they are trying to asses you. The entire conversation feels kind of staged – and it is, they are trying to impress you. But there is this strong physical chemistry. It’s easy to get confused by it.
The narcissist, in fact, knows how to stir up this chemistry. Being on a date with that guy from the online dating app brought me right back in time to my first dates with my narcissistic ex.
The fleeting touches (especially narcissists from some Mediterranean countries are experts at this and it does really work. It does create a feeling of closeness where there is none), the statements of inappropriately intense interest (given you have only just met them).
Anyway. I think the problem with this chemistry is that we all in one way or another have been exposed to some rather mythical concepts of what ‘love’ is. We might be prone to mistaking this chemistry for a ‘sign’ that this might be something ‘real’. At this stage, we don’t understand yet that chemistry might be toxic and based on all the wrong stuff.
If you stay connected to yourself and watch for the red flags – those ‘hmmm this is weird’ gut kicks – you will not allow this chemistry to lure you in.
So let’s have a look at why were you so willing to dismiss those gut kicks and red flags. Or perhaps you didn’t see them at all?
Reason #2: Looking for excuses for his behaviour, thinking you can’t be too demanding
So you are experiencing this strange chemistry with the narcissist. But you start noticing behaviours that make you feel uncomfortable.
Perhaps on the second date you have nothing to talk about and the narcissist looks totally bored (my case). But you decide to stick it out – there is still that chemistry, right?
Perhaps the first time he comes to your place, he immediately takes his laptop out and starts watching an episode from some ridiculous TV series. You yourself don’t watch TV at all. You think TV series are deliberately addictive and make people dumb. But guess what? You don’t really want to be a nagging bitch, do you? No one likes nagging bitches… And if you were born in such an enlightened country as the Czech republic (as myself), were misogyny is abundant and women are frequently slammed for all sorts of things, including having an opinion, – then guess what? You are afraid that if you speak up, if you are not a nice pleasant little girl (the type they like where you were born), you will lose that awesome guy, right? It’s up to you to be tolerant and kind – that’s what they have been drumming into your head since your childhood – men are like this and the only happy women are those that go with it – all those codependent mothers enmeshed with rude narcissistic dominant men would preach. And so you go with it… the first decision to let go of your standards out of many on your way to hell.
Why were you excusing this behaviour?
– Because of your family or cultural conditioning. You think you are not worthy the way you are and think you have to be a certain way to be able to have a relationship and be the ‘good woman’ as defined by the toxic culture you grew up in.
So what else where you excusing?
Perhaps he calls his ex a crazy bitch and tells you that he was always the reasonable one and she was always the crazy one. You have been through some failed relationships yourself and know very well that there are always two people responsible for a situation but you let him get away with it…. Maybe she was really crazy, you think. Good that he found you then, you think….
Perhaps another of his exes comes to visit suddenly, only a week after you have started dating. That’s odd you think. He tells you he didn’t want to hurt her (translation – he didn’t properly break up with her, he was keeping her on a back-burner and she thought they were still in a relationship). And you choose to trust him. You feel sorry for that girl but foul play you do not suspect.
Why are you excusing this behaviour?
Reason #3: Your own narcissistic traits!
Yes, you hear me right. Close your eyes and try to remember what was going on through your head when you heard the narcissist slamming his ex: It’s different with you, right? You are sure better than her. She probably really was crazy. And the one that travelled across the whole Europe to see him because she thought they were still an item? There certainly must have been something wrong with her as well. I guess she was childish, immature, clingy…. You are sure not like that… You and him are the real thing. He wasn’t really into her but sure as hell he is into you (because he says that, right?). You would know if a man was not interested in you anymore. You would never embarrass yourself like this.
Just please, be brave and be honest with yourself. You thought you were BETTER than the other women.
I guess you might be feeling a bit embarrassed right now. I know, you didn’t know anything about the narcissistic relationship cycle back then. You understand now that the girl who travelled across the entire Europe to visit him was probably struggling with cognitive dissonance. You know that right now, you are the worst bitch the narcissist has ever had to deal with. You are so crazy that he had to report you to police because you were asking too many uncomfortable questions and refused to accept that he’s done with you – no explanation given after this dead serious relationship.
Anyway. It was one of the most profound lessons I learned on this journey – women need to have each other’s backs. We were the oppressed gender for centuries and in fact we still are, although in more subtle ways.
I call it the secret sisterhood – it’s my duty to stand up for any woman, even if I don’t know her personally, who is being slammed by a guy. A mentally, emotionally evolved guy would not call an ex a crazy bitch and would have some level of self-awareness about why he got himself into a perhaps toxic relationship. So don’t be like the narcissist. Own your shit. Own your shit and expect others to own theirs.
And don’t for Christ sake get lured into believing that you are BETTER than someone else, that’s exactly what narcissists are known for!
Reason #4: Getting kicks from being excessively praised
Let’s have a deeper look at why are you ready to actively look for excuses for the narcissist’s strange behaviours.
He has started baiting you already, hasn’t he!
Did he tell you how beautiful you are? Did he tell you how smart, talented and special you are? Did he tell you that he couldn’t wait to show you off to his friends when he takes you home with him for Christmas? Did he tell you that he had a photographer friend and that he would have him photograph you?
Why the hell did it feel so good? I will tell you why – he was giving you an equivalent of what we in the narc jargon call narcissistic supply. You were getting massive ego kicks from this over the top flattery. You were feeling special, weren’t you? SPECIAL! Do you hear me? According to narc expert Craig Malkin (whose book Rethinking Narcissism: The Secret to Recognizing and Coping with Narcissists contains some of the most dangerous advice on how to handle narcissists), describes narcissism as an addiction to feeling special.
So it does appear that again, the narcissist got you through your very own unhealed narcissistic traits.
Buy Malkin’s Rethinking Narcissism from Amazon.UK by clicking the image above. The text link in the previous paragraph leads to Amazon US.
Reason #4:Your own inferiority complexes, praise and affection deprivation
Why were you so susceptible to the love-bombing and excessive flattery?
I will very happily give you the answer: Because you were, at that stage of your mental development, dependent on external approval and validation.
You weren’t solid and truly confident inside. In fact, you most likely felt pretty unworthy inside, and were starved for praise, flattery and compliments. But chances are you were not totally aware of that.
If you look even further back into your past, into your childhood, I believe you might be able to trace back the origins of these feelings to your parents. If what is called conditional love had been applied to you by your parents, then you very likely have been trained to become and approval and validation seeker.
You had to be a certain way, you had to deliver, behave, be right, look right to be praised by your parents. If you weren’t the right way, there was no love.
Or perhaps there really was not much love at all and now you are like a starved dog – going to overeat on anything that resembles food even if it’s the worst junk. It certainly used to be my case.
So when the narcissist came about it felt so damn good! Wow, finally! Finally someone sees how great I am! Finally! Finally! Finally! Please give me more of that intoxicating praise!
I will tell you something – if someone wants to manipulate you, how do you think they will do that? Exactly! By sucking up to you!
Reason #5:Bonding over common enemies (negativity bonding)
In general, I think the bond we had with the narcissist was really based on the lowest and least healthy in us.
I might not like to admit that but there was a time in my life when I didn’t feel too good about myself. I would get into disputes with people because I couldn’t let go. I would clash with every narcissist that would cross my path (I didn’t know they were narcissists back then). Frequently, I would deal with these little wars in the least constructive and rather toxic way – yes, I loved to vent and gossip about my enemies. And guess what – the narcissist I was in a relationship with loved that too (he was in fact even more into it than I was).
I met the narcissist when studying abroad. There was a guy in the class that many people later concluded was a full-blown NPD, the go-getter achieving type (I will call him the big narc for simplicity). My ex was the covert underachieving type. He was pretty much the first person to spot what the other guy was about.
Being a naïve narc magnet at that time, I ended up clashing big time and fighting against the big narc. I was assigned to a team project where the big narc ended up being the boss and because of my own ego, I couldn’t just take the back seat at that time.
I was trying to fight with the big narc. Of course, I ended up gaslighted and ostracised. I was handling my frustration by venting and gossiping about the big narc in the group of my then friends, centred around my ex narc. It was the only control I could have over the big narc – just make fun of him and talk about him and gossip about him with my friends.
In a similar way, I would love to gossip about the big narc’s flying monkeys of which there were many. And my ex narc would very much play with me (little did I know that the ex narc, who at that time fed me all the ‘love of my life’ bullshit, would eventually go even further than the big narc to destroy me and assassinate my character).
You can read my article here about the narcissist’s mask, it could save your life if you are involved with a smug covert like I used to be).
Years later, when I was in a much better life situation and didn’t have this need to compensate for my low self-esteem by gossiping about others anymore, I noticed that the ex narc was still trying to bait me into this behaviour – dispensing gems of gossip about random people I barely knew, expecting me to rejoice about how ridiculous they were. He loved to bond with people in those negative ways.
Reason #6: Craving emotional soothing and acceptance, not being able to sooth and accept yourself
One of the biggest deepest hooks for me was the narc’s ability to be so totally understanding of all my issues and problems (displayed only during the love-bombing stage of course).
I was a scapegoat child of a narcissistic mother and became a highly reactive co-dependent. There was a time in my life when I would qualify for the diagnosis of a mild borderline personality disorder. As emotional invalidation has always been the default parenting strategy of my mother, I had a lot of supressed emotions in me and as a result I had frequent anger management problems.
My anger would frequently erupt in the most inappropriate situations and get projected onto people who would touch my triggers.
In my previous relationships, my issues were certainly causing problems and my previous boyfriends did feel intimidated and scared by my emotionality. Not so the narc. In the early stages of the relationship, he acted like the perfect understanding and loving parent that I never had.
It felt unbelievably soothing to me. And I very easily got addicted to it. It was my inability to sooth myself, take care of my own Inner Child (as Inner Bonding author Margaret Paul would put it) and my need to have the narcissist sort of ‘re-parent’ me. This need is quite common for borderline patients, according to psychotherapist Elinor Greenberg.
I felt totally accepted and loved by the narcissist, the way I couldn’t accept and love myself because I had always been made to feel faulty by my family. Except of course, it was all fake with the narcissist…
Buy Elinor Greenberg’s Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid Adaptations from Amazon US by clicking the image above or from Amazon UK by clicking this text link: Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration, and Safety
This memory of the narcissist as the loving, kind and supportive figure was the deepest of all the hooks that I had and learning to sooth myself and work with my own emotions was absolutely key for my recovery.
I would like to end with this: True healthy connection and love between people is based on the good in us, not on the worst. So if you are still longing for the narcissist, be honest with yourself – what is it that you miss?
When it comes to your recovery – how can you heal those hooks? Inner Bonding, meditation, psychotherapy and the work of Melanie Tonia Evans have worked wonders for me (see the links below).
The image above leads to Amazon US, this text link takes you to Amazon UK: You Can Thrive After Narcissistic Abuse: The 1 System for Recovering from Toxic Relationships
Get Inner Bonding from Amazon US by clicking the image above or from Amazon UK by clicking the following link: Inner Bonding: Becoming a Loving Parent to Your Inner Child
just remember forgiving is not about the narcissist is about allowing you to move on and by forgiving you won’t have any thoughts about him that may hinder your new journey’s path….
Thank you for your comment. Forgiveness is something that comes naturally when you have learned all that was there to learn. The new-age ‘forgive and move-on’ mantra is very harmful because people are trying to force themselves to forgive before fully understanding what happened. Your subconscious mind knows much more then your conscious mind and if you can’t forgive just yet, that’s because there is more to learn. That’s especially true if you have been subject to covert passive aggressive abuse and manipulation and are still not seeing the reality for what it was. Trying to force yourself to forgive before you learn all that is like having a hand in a pot of boiling water and trying to brainwash yourself into not feeling the pain. You have to first understand that the boiling water is causing the pain, then you have to remove your hand and stop putting it there and wait for the damaged skin to heal – then the pain will go. It’s the same with anger and all sorts of other emotions. They are there for a reason – because you are in some sort of a ‘pot of hot water’ situation, exposed to a toxic person etc… I will write much more about that. There are many new age dogmas that are harmful to true healing and true growing (everyone is just trying to brainwash themselves to be zen while sitting in bathtubs of hot water….anyway). And also, what is important to remember – forgive but don’t forget – forgive means not feeling any negative emotions and perhaps understanding that the person was seriously damaged – but still remembering what the pot of hot water did to your hand and avoiding it strictly. You also want to educate other people about pots of hot water so that they can avoid sticking their hands there and causing themselves severe burns…. Anyway. Thank you for reading my post and for taking time to comment!
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You are correct about the reasons we fell for it. It basically comes down to our naivete, our insecurities, our feelings of inferiority, our own narcissistic traits, and even equating sexual attraction with love. We don’t learn to put our foot down the minute we see unacceptable behavior, because our own insecurities overrule our better responses to what we know is inappropriate. We are green, new and naive – maybe this is what we need in order to grow our backbones and stick up for ourselves.
I wonder if there is any information comparing people who get involved with narcissists with people who do not. For example, I have a sense that most people who get involved with one are still quite young, inexperienced at dating and overly romanticizing the other person. That was the issue with me, for sure. I wonder if someone who has had a healthy relationship would fall for a narcissist’s ploys, or having had the experienced of a healthy relationship, would they figure out and reject a narcissist quickly? I can look back now and see that the love-bombing was excessive, but I didn’t have enough experience to know it was excessive, I thought it was wonderful, not a red flag of danger. That’s how naive I was.
Anyway, more articles about us, and how and why we allow ourselves to fall for it. Not only do we need to know about the narcissist, but we need to know where our own vulnerabilities and gullabilities are so we can patch them up. How can we spot them in ourselves ahead of time, though? What do we need to look at in ourselves before it happens to us? I asked another survivor once what she would have done differently if she knew then what she knows now, and she exploded on me that I was victim blaming! No I wasn’t, I wanted to understand what she had learned, to see if there were lessons I still needed to learn. But she took offense and refused to talk to me after that, and I think she is setting herself up for more troubled relationships (but I didn’t say that to her; I learned from her explosion on me).
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Thank you for your comment Bonnie. You are right, there is always something in us why we fall for it.
The number one group of people who falls for this are children of narcissists and there has been quite a lot written on this topic. The reason for that is that if you were a scapegoat child of a narcissist, you are love-deprived, you were never praised and always made feel bad about yourself – here comes the narcissist with all his love-bombing and flattery and you finally feel valued. It’s very intoxicating for the love-deprived child of a narcissist. In the devaluation stage, the child of a narcissist is essentially experiencing what she has always known and blames herself instead of recognising the behaviour as manipulative and toxic.
Another group of victims in my opinion are children of codependent people, people who think that they have to give themselves up for others and in return expect others to make them feel good about themselves.
generally everyone who expects their problems to be solved by someone else is at risk.
I don’t think the majority of victims is young. I have been in touch with many people in their fifties, forties, people who went through previous divorces.
But you are right, many victims are not willing to face themselves. I am particularly allergic to people using the word empath instead of a codependent caretaker to describe the narcissist’s victim. You can be an empath and have boundaries and self-love and self-respect. But that’s everyone’s choice, what they want to believe. It’s much more empowering to understand how you got yourself into it.
I am almost 50 years old, and I just got out of a relationship with a narc. I should have painted a target on my forehead. I was a “low hanging fruit,” so they say. He didn’t have to try hard. I trauma bonded almost immediately.
Tereza hit the nail on the head when she said people who are codependent, who grew up love-deprived, or who were the family scapegoat are more likely to be the victim of a narcissist.
I am very tall and have always felt awkward.
The narc said he wished I were even TALLER; he was obsessed with “giant women.” I wore high heels for the first time in my life. He made me feel sexy and special instead of ugly and masculine.
The devaluing started slowly. I didn’t realize it because it was subtle at first. I got used to the mistreatment and my “tolerance level” got so high that he had to be meaner and meaner in order to get me to react.
He discarded me heartlessly many times. I always went crawling back, begging for scraps of attention and putting up with mistreatment. I hope I have finally learned that I am worth more than that.
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Thank you for your comment, Danielle. I hope you are doing as well as possible. Yes, the tolerance for mistreatment, being used to be given crumbs and thinking it’s gold, that really makes us a special source of supply. But anyway, the more time has passed for me, the more I am seeing what ridiculous pricks these guys are. Taking pride in hurting, using, trashing and manipulating people. The level of shallowness and emotional stuntedness is just surreal and once the fake facade crumbles and the pain is healed, what remains is just a pathetic pathological figure, a subhuman character without a chance to ever become a proper man. I wish you all the best on your healing journey, I hope you will have the best 2020…
Awesome. This post and comment reply really hit the mark for me. I’m feeling abused right now. As an IT/developer I always tried to explain action->reaction rationally and it was so painful not getting any answers out of it. My catastrophic relationship is herein mirrored, minus the longer timelines. It was all really fast, clocking 8 months, and the timings were outrageously coincidental. It just all fit into place…
A brief summary:
We’ve met late October 2017. I’m 48 and she’s 46.
We meet on a street cafe and start talking after lunchtime, she’s with this gay friend who starts hitting on me
Me and her display instant chemistry (pheromones?)
and meet later same night. But were supposedly on the lookout for each other during the afternoon (she’s looking for a house to move in the neighbourhood – already been here but moved elsewhere, wants to return) –
At night we meet again at a pub, she’s with a friend (an ex, found out later). She’s kind of harsh on him and I almost jump ship, but I’m smitten. He goes away.
A couple of hours later we’re at my place and can’t take our hands of each other.
She leaves her place because here is closer to work and if we split it gets cheaper.
Everything’s is Perfect (wooo-hooo!)
That lasted for about 2 months, and she makes me feel like a rock star / prince / movie star!
We are entering February. Coincidence? My father was in the hospital with a days deadline. His time was coming to an end, after 18 years of Alzheimer. Until then, I had a busy commute-work-go-see-dad-at-hospital-commute schedule. She was really supportive for me. Still perfect. But she has long quiet TV series-watching binges. Food binges. Alcohol binges. Near-zero drive. The thing went off when we imported part of her family (son and wife, 1yo baby) from . she and her 22yo sun have plenty of unresolved issues. Toxic to say the least. Drinking gets heavier a couple of weeks before, a couple of sour remarks (blindness to red flags, anyone?). And then somehow it triggered… unadvertedly, I had brought all the luggage back from where she’d left it.
The kid proceeded to demolish her life in a short 5 minute interview about himself. He has Asperger…
Flash back to narcissistic cheating mother and victim father who took all the abuse quietly. No mother love for her. KA-CHING!
She changed overnight. Our intimacy was greatly reduced (he hears every sound for miles and doesn’t sleep, she said about the son. No more quality time ever. A couple of anxious sex attempts (I failed – too much pressure). More drinking. My devaluation started. Extreme downhill from there. And the friend (better yet, ex) is back on the scene and she’s having a blast with him and his friends.
Everything good we ever did was forgotten.
She starts picking fights over nothing . the kids notice and we exchange ‘WTF is going on here’ looks…
I start to be a ‘paranoid nuisance’. All the attention and care I had shifted without an explanation triggered all of my insecurities.
She says she regrets leaving her house and needs something for her and the kids – before we were just going to get them a cheap apartment.
I got the silent treatment during weekdays, and went binge drinking with her and friends during the weekend. She starts flirting with every guy that gives her some attention… I scare them away without much fuss (still confident). She doesn’t want to come back home.
I confront her – apparently, I display an untrusting jealous behaviour towards her! OMG!
Silent treatment during weekdays, binge drinking with her and friends during the weekend. Again, she doesn’t return home after I set a time for leaving and decide to leave the premises and go home. Bails out on house getting appointments and ‘forgets’ about what she said last night
Fast forward to the night I got tired – this went on for a couple of weeks. Since she refused to talk I texted her something along the lines ’I love you but I can’t do this. I’m letting you go. You know where to find me.’
Things definitely got worse.
She got her bunch of ugly loser followers, and found a replacement among them – someone who follows her like a puppy – still lives at his mother’s place, and unemployed booze pothead she used to comment about (ugly, bald, short, etc).
She makes me this proposal to move in with my mum while she pays the rent and bills and gives me something extra.
‘Of course I’m not leaving my house. You can sleep there until you find another place or the kids leave (they are planning to by the end of the month – they were real close to leaving a couple of days ago – she got the girl a job but now she’s demanding them the money she spent with them.
Total shock – the kids are in awe with her behaviour – and I have them all at my place – and can’t kick them out – I brought them in to protect them and take care of them!
Been stating to the kids I got their back, because what they feel is that she’s a drifting/sinking ship. She needs help!
After the shock, started studying. This is all so irrational and illogical. She must be out of her mind!!! But it’s been like this all her life, I know now. Big WOW. I’m not crazy, then.
Sometime she sleeps in our bed. Thank god for self-control, martial arts, Zen, guitars and music (and sometimes some weed, must confess. Helps in controlling anger and anxiety and defocus off her).
Half of my mental energy goes to her and this situation and its so tiring. I don’t want to go home and find her. I don’t want to go home and not find her.
It’s worse than quitting cocaine (did it 10 years ago). It’s the same kind of obsession. Its a chemical addition. It’s my kryptonite.
Born again everyday to fight another NC day, stronger than ever, ‘go through excruciating pain and repeat to myself ‘
Pain is weakness leaving the body. Take it and own it.
I’m still here and I will be the last one standing here when this is all gone.
I’m way better than this, and will be free again to love someone who loves me back’.
Thank you for shedding some light onto this dark place. Feel a lot lighter now. But its time to go home… and it’s getting dark.
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I am sorry to hear what you are going through. It seems you are right in the thick of it. I remember this feeling of being pulled in two different directions – one away from him, one towards him. Yes, the feeling that the person is your kryptonite, sucking your life joy and energy out of you. I remember it felt almost psychotic when it was happening. I am not sure whether you have anything in place to help get you on a firmer ground but when I was at the lowest point, I started meditating twice a day – transcendental meditation (you can even find instructions online), and it did help a lot. It was still a journey – two years of trauma release but I was in control much more. You need to strengthen the connection with yourself to get a bit clearer on your next steps (which obviously should be removing yourself from the situation). Anyway. I hope you start moving forward soon even though the recovery journey does take time.
Yes, that’s how it feels – I´m in the thick of it. Survived to fight another day. She’s hoovering now, asking about me. Didn’t say a word yesterday, couldn’t face me. I just smiled at her. There’s this freak energy that pulls me both ways – the rational me pulls out and the animal wants to get back in.
And yes – she fed this here lil’ol’narc all he wanted from the start ! There is some of it in me (all of us?). And I think we actually attract each other. That made so much sense. I was married for 15 years with one. A different story. another wild movie. (‘am I not the most beautiful woman in the world. Aren’t you happy to be with me?’). Divorced her. We tried again. Second honeymoon. Bigger crash – she decided to replace me. 1 year recovering. Now I know better. Wish I did back then.
Meanwhile, I didn’t want anyone just for the sake of it. Decided to save myself for someone worth it – if someone came up, I would know. And then she did. And I knew (or I thought I knew) it was IT by then.
Yes, I must remove myself from the situation. In my rational mind it has ended, and I can control it, but unfortunately we’re far more complicated than that. The physical, chemical side of it is where it’s all at – burning you from the inside and taking you to all those places you’ve been. Then there comes the processing of all of it where things are put in perspective. And then, release it.
I’m starting to connect to myself again without more intoxication, and I find real peace within those release moments (relax with myself and Nature, play my guitars again and let it all out, go out and see/meet people, dance, laugh). And then it comes back to square 1 again. Real healing will only happen when everyone goes away and solitude settles in , I suppose. And I know that, until then, I must do this crazy back-and-forth dance without burning myself.
Because I feel a bit like Icarus – but my burnt feathers are starting to grow again.
Thank you for all the support – great to know someone else’s been through it
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yeah, we really need to heal those inner fractures that make us susceptible to fall for these freaks. It’s good to hear that you have activities that give you joy and help you connect with your healthy self. You need to nurture this healthy, true self, and it will get you out of this. I always recommend Inner Bonding, by Margaret Paul. It’s a great technique/book for every codependent. You might also find a local codependents anonymous group where you could meet people who are in a similar situation and that would hopefully give you more strenght. Hope it gets better soon… But I know that it’s a journey. Took two years for me, a bit more, despite me putting all my efforts into healing and recovery…
And yes, hope it gets better soon. But breaking out of this addiction… the goods are still too close. I still crave that buzz. Then it goes away. And back.
IT WAS SO GOOD. AND NOW ITS HELL!!!
Crykes. Trying to do better on this journey through the desert, making sure an ‘oasis’ is always at hand… consciously writing it down is really soothing!
Feeling it then taking it then owning it then letting it go until it comes back again.
It’s a beautiful sunny day in Lisbon…
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Let the pain out, it’s really essentially stirring your primary childhood trauma. That’s why it feels so insane. Plus you are breaking out of manipulation and brainwashing and heading for the realisation that the person you once thought was the love of your life doesn’t care about you at all. Cry as much as you need. This can be seriously a near psychotic experience. I remember how it felt for me. Meditation really did help to stabilise me first. If it gets too bad, it might be wise to find some support, a therapist. Anyway, you do sound like you are in the worst make or break stage. Be kind to yourself.
Yes, that’s how I feel. Thank you for reminding me of myself… when the fog clears I’m still in the center… alive and breathing.
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It’s funny (that might not be the best word but) that you are talking about Ted Bundy because after the discard I watched the Ted Bunny tapes on Netflix and actually this helped me a lot realize that behind my sweet, shy narc’s face there is a vile monster. Still difficult to digest emotionally but at least it helped intellectually
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I recommend the book an ex girlfriend of Bundy wrote. It’s called The Phantom Prince or something like that. A free PDF can be found online somewhere. Bundy is the ultimate narc, I think that’s why we are all so drawn to his story. This mister nice guy on the surface hiding this absolutely horrifying reality. I virtually get a headache from the cognitive dissonance watching his interviews. I think the lesson from Bundy is how easy it is for people to get duped and that people who appear over the top nice are usually very suspicious.