The past two weeks in the blogosphere have been a bit tough for me. Not sure whether it’s been a Google algorithm update but I have seen my traffic plummet by 80 percent, which virtually made me cry – all the progress and hard work of the last year lost.
I was contemplating to quit. The omnipotent Google quite mercilessly decided that I should disappear in digital obscurity and that my voice is not relevant. I have been feeling like the mythological Sisyphus, having just rolled my boulder up the hill only for it to slide back where I used to be maybe a year ago.
I was thinking about all the people that had reached out to me since I started writing about narcissists and my experience recovering from a relationship with one. All those people telling me that my posts helped them to make sense out of the mad experience that is a relationship with a narcissist. I guess there will be much fewer such people reaching out now since far less people would be able to find my blog. That means more need for self-motivation, more feeling as if I am writing just for myself and that no matter what I do, I am not getting anywhere.
Funnily enough, Google has treated me like a textbook narcissist – showing me the love, giving me all that lovely traffic, have my blog grow to the level where it was really becoming interesting – and then – pulling the rug right from underneath my feet – “haha, I was only joking. You are not going to make it. Sorry that you built up your hopes. I didn’t really mean that you and I are real friends. Was just messing around.”
It brings back memories. But I still feel I have quite a lot to say about the matter of narcissists – recovering from relationships with them, being raised by them, struggling with them at work and in a family environment, and all the terribly damage it does to your psyche, which is further exacerbated by the fact that the society in general is largely ignorant about the issue.
So I decided to take a deep breath and continue – despite the fact that my traffic is nearly dead. I don’t know how long is it going to take to recover from this near annihilation and whether it will ever happen.
But anyway. Let’s have a look at what I was originally wanting to write about today – the feelings of wanting revenge, feelings of resentment, hatred and anger that many people struggle with in the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist.
Many people admit to fantasizing about taking revenge on the narcissist. Some even go as far as researching options of how to get a revenge on a narcissist.
Many (the goodie, new-agey ones in particular) blame themselves for having those feelings and many are shamed and blamed by others for admitting those feelings.
I am not going to give you a ‘how to’ for getting a revenge. I certainly don’t think that acting upon those feelings is the right thing to do. But I want to have a look at where this desire for revenge comes from, how to understand it, and most importantly why it is absolutely wrong to blame and shame yourself for feeling this way.
I believe that in this ‘revenge’ debate, an important piece of information is missing. Let’s start with the following question:
Why do these people feel that they want revenge?
They feel that they want revenge because they failed to get justice. Justice betrayed them. They were used and duped by a narcissist or a psychopath. They were led through the pedestal – devaluation – discard cycle totally oblivious to the fact that they were just a character in a script written by someone else. First, they were led to be believe that they were in a super serious committed relationship, then they were put through the ‘maybe I will keep you and maybe I will not’ humiliation of the devaluation phase, and eventually, they were thrown out like a piece of garbage. No explanation given.
Eventually, they found that the person who pretended to be their best friend, their soulmate, was, in fact, their worst enemy. They found that the individual they trusted with all their heart was happily smearing them, gaslighting, enjoying their struggle, laughing into their face, flirting with others behind their back and frequently much worse (I described my own maddening experience in this article).
I bet that if you were sold a car and found out that the car had no engine, you would be unhappy. Now imagine you would ask the seller to replace the car or explain the situation and he would laugh into your face. Then you would ask others to support you and they would tell you that you were crazy. Even the authorities would tell you that. They would refuse to acknowledge that you had been duped. Perhaps the seller would tell them that you took the engine out yourself or that you bought the car knowing it had no engine. They would choose to trust the fraudster. You would feel duped and let down on top of that.
This is exactly what happens to the majority of people that have been taken on by a narcissist. They were duped and used, discarded and laughed at, but instead of getting support and sympathy from the society, they were usually further victimized. The narcissist started with his subtle smear campaign early and by the time the victim figured out what had happened, he had long persuaded everyone that the victim was the crazy one. Now they are angry for two reasons: First of all, they have been duped. They have been manipulated by the narcissist to commit and invest into the relationship, to build their future life-plan around it. And then, the narcissist just discarded them laughing, telling them that he had never really been all that serious about them and that they must be crazy if they trusted his “I have never loved anyone like I love you” garbage (“people just say this stuff, it doesn’t mean anything, you silly.”).
What makes their anger worse is the fact that whilst they know that what the narcissist did was completely off, everyone else thinks that the crazy and unstable one is them. Why? Because they are angry! The narcissist told everyone that the ex has anger management issues, didn’t he? So their absolutely justified anger at being duped and discarded is seen as evidence that they are wrong and the narcissist is right.
That is seriously a mad situation and if you had been subject to it, no surprise you developed revenge fantasies. Revenge is us desperately trying to take justice into our own hands when everything else has failed. The narcissist messed with your mind, the society let you down, so what else do you have? For many, this struggle involves authorities, lawyers and divorce courts – the official organs of justice – agreeing with the narcissist and branding the actually victim the culprit.
I do believe that for normal people, the need for justice is deeply ingrained in our mental blueprint. We feel empathy for other people, we want to believe that the villains get punished and the good guys get rewarded. We want to believe in happy ends. And then we encounter a narcissist or a psychopath and we see that it doesn’t work like that at all. We see the manipulations and the lies and the poor treatment and we scream that we have found a villain. We want to warn the society that there is a toxic individual. And the society laughs at us because the narcissist wears the loveliest mask.
Previously, I have written about the situation of a child of a narcissistic parent. It’s pretty much the same. The child had been rolled all over by the disordered care-giver but instead of sympathy and help from others, the child only got further victimized, branded a difficult brat that is ungrateful to his or her awesome sweet mother. No surprise the grown up child is resentful and angry. You would be a Buddha if you weren’t.
Anyway. As I said in my earlier article on anger, I believe that we should channel our anger into activities that could increase the awareness and understanding of these disorders in the population. In the future, hopefully, no one will have to deal with those terrible feelings of injustice because everyone will understand what a narcissist is, how it behaves and how to spot it.
For now, if you are still dealing with feelings of anger, hatred and wanting revenge – my advice is be kind to yourself. Understand that behind your desire for revenge is actually a desire for justice, which has been denied to you. What is wrong about wanting justice? You have been terribly duped. You were sold a car with no engine and you were told it was a Ferrari. You were sold the ‘love of my life’ romcom story only for it to turn into the most horrible prank. And then you were told by the society that indeed you were the one with issues. It’s ridiculous. It would be strange if you didn’t feel any anger. You were duped and played with and the society failed to recognize that. You were not given justice – something every normal human being deeply wants to believe in.
You are not a bad person that you feel anger and think about revenge. Acknowledge those feelings and find how to channel them into something that will make the world a better place – perhaps by helping to spread the awareness about psychopaths, narcissists and their behaviour in relationships.
Anyway. I am going to try to figure out how to deal with my anger about being virtually erased from the surface of the digital world by Google. It sucks. I can tell you that. But how do you take revenge on Google? It’s omnipotent. It’s the digital Universe conspiring against you.
Just think of what you’ve overcome so far, before your blog. You were so strong and will be so proud of yourself to keep writing despite the omnipotent force’s set back. Continue writing please. You and we all have more bounds to jump over. Xooo
Confucious say: Blessed is she who sitteth on a pin, for she shall rise again”. 🙂
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Thank you very much for your comment and your words of encouragement. I especially appreciate it now that I have been thrown into the digital obscurity.
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Don’t give up. Your blog is needful, even if it does not get a lot of hits right now. It is not about numbers, but about reaching the right people. I know, I struggle with this, as well, and my online presence has been there for years. Somedays, only robots visit.
If you are a writer, you must write. That is the curse that hangs over all who labor with words. And make no mistake about it, it is a curse. Just as being an empath is a curse in a world that does not believe in justice or fair play.
I struggle, too, for I see my ex getting the plum job after discarding me for her career-oriented friends. While she has her dream job, I got laid off from mine. Trying to find work as a writer in a hick town at the age of 64 is hugely discouraging. I’ve had my income sliced and I can’t afford the house I labored to restore and sank all my life savings into, let alone my sweat and lots of blood. I have physical disabilities from working on this place that I’ll probably have to sell because I can’t afford the taxes. All thanks to the narcissist who destroyed my life. There is no justice.
So I just plod along. And it is very difficult. Life is hard. That is the lesson we must learn. But I will tell you and the world one thing: I no longer trust people. They must earn that trust. And if they can’t, I can’t associate with them. And I will never, ever give another narcissist entry into my world or head. So even if I lose this house, my soul will have a safe place to live.
Don’t give up. We’re survivors. You survived a narc. You can survive a little drop in the Google stats, too.
Sending love across the ocean!
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Thank you for the words of encouragement. I really do appreciate it. I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through 😦 It does feel sometimes as if the Universe treats the toxic people much better than the good ones. I struggle to understand why that is. I wish we could achieve a change and that shall motivate me to continue despite the current annihilation of my blog by Google. I hope all gets better for you on all levels of your life.
Hi Tereza – I break from your blog just to say ‘pls don’t quit!’. You tackle a subject so few understand and still fewer can treat with such insight & clarity. I’m grateful to you, as. Any will be, for the virtual reassurance that we’re not mad, bad or alone.
Sent from my iPhone
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Thank you so much for your words of encouragement Nick. I so much do appreciate it right now. I hope all is well with you.
I don’t know if this will be of any help to you but there is a large gathering of narcissistic abuse victims on Quora. If you start answering questions posed by the victims, then, you continue to reach out and you will make a difference in their lives. There is also a place for blogs so this would be a good place for you, to continue reaching out with great information. Answering questions and writing blogs is free on Quora.
I have noted that Facebook has a few sites as well and these are also free.
I hope this information is helpful and that you will continue to provide guidance and support to all victims.
Kindest regards from Ottawa, Canada
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Thank yo for your comment Maddy. I used to be quite active on Quora but I decided to totally leave Quora and even erase my profile. The website is unfortunately full of trolling accounts and trolls make it very unpleasant for people to write there, especially in the narcissism-related area. Quora doesn’t take this issue seriously and neither does it take quality control seriously. There are trolling personalities with very evolved profiles that spread absolutely false information and no one cares. I decided I don’t want to be part of it so will most likely focus on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We will see where it leads me. I am very grateful for your comment and words of support. I hope all is well with you.
Tereza! Please don’t quit! I know it can be discouraging to see less traffic, but for the people that this blog has helped, it’s so important to have sites like these that teach us and show us that we weren’t crazy or wrong. I’m so thankful for having come across your blog, and I’m thankful for the chats we’ve had about our experiences. Stay strong! Keep doing your thing! 🙏🏻
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Thank you for your lovely comment Miche and for the words of encouragement. I really do appreciate it right now 🙂
Hi Tereza. So glad you are still writing your blog and did not give up,thats what they want you to do.I have a theory on anger and that it is a normal human emotion and as narcissist do not have human emotion they can not possible begin to understand.The only time I have seen these people angry is when they do not get their own way just like a small child throws a tantrum.Narcissists love to see you get angry or upset as it is supply for them. They can not get angry over something that they can not feeldue to their lack of empathy. Anger is a great release for me as it releases the pain from your body.It validates your truth and your understanding.I have been battling the ex narc of 28 years for 2years and 4 months in a property settlement and I won.I can now lay down my sword and lower my shield as the legal battle is over. I consider myself lucky as I know what narcs are capable of and so many people do not win or they give up due to extreme stress.The whole time I kept telling myself that I will tell the truth and continue to do so and the universe will see this this and it will be ok.Yes at times I wanted to leave the earth due to the anxiety and stress of it all however I did not.The thing that bothers me is that narcs do not evolve and will continue to do thisinn their next life. We are all here to grow learn and evolve and not to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.My foster mother has been in at least three life times with me and has had the same roles in all of those lifes. I am so gratefull that I have seen,know and understand this.My life is easier now however I will never fully recover in my soul and will always have my shield on alert as I am a warrior and I have to remain that way.Keep writing Terasa as you are so good at it and you are helping so many and the universe needs people like you to get the message out. Love and light to you and to all the survivors.
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Thank you for your lovely comment Diane. And thank you for sharing your story of a victory over the narcissist. I think it’s really important for people to share their happy ending stories so that those still in the trenches feel that there is hope. I hope you will now be able to relax. I sometimes have these strange ideas that maybe narcs and psychopaths are an alien species that has invaded the Earth. Now they are dispersed among normal people, destroying lives, people’s confidence, causing pain, making lives miserable. It sometimes feels to me as if our task is to learn to recognise our kind from their kind and simply don’t let them into our world. Then we can create heaven on Earth. I know that it sounds harsh but I don’t see a way how to prevent these people from causing psychological damage unless everyone is aware of what’s going on.
Excellent piece of work done !!
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Your blog to help build knowledge in the world about the havoc and chaos narcissistic people cause is needed and oh so brilliant, thank you. Like you, I have toyed with the idea that they are a different kind. It sounds so nuts to people who haven’t had a narcissist in their life, but it helped me greatly to look at these individuals in that way. Narcissistic patterns of behavior are so regular. I find them easy to spot now, their lack of empathy no longer goes unnoticed by me. I love your writing and I hope you will continue. You have the smarts and wits to make big contributions and breakthroughs in this area. You’ve already helped me feel better about myself for wanting revenge on the monster I unknowingly let into my life. I think you are right, revenge is wanting justice. Anger in not getting it is something we all must go through to heal. You’ve already started increasing awareness by writing about the problem. Do you wonder if tolerance is being taken too far? Is there a lesson in business schools that could be taught at the same time tolerance is being discussed? Are there stem cells that could be implanted to give a person empathy???? Oh my goodness, how my mind so badly wants to solve this! Thank you again for your words. They are lovely and encouraging and filled with refreshing insight.
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Thank you for your lovely comment. I have to say I sometimes wonder whether narcissists and psychopaths are the evil sent to Earth in human form to derail the real human society. I don’t see any other way out of this then helping normal people heal and increase their psychological understanding and awareness. Help them understand boundaries, manipulation and really tune to the subtle red flags in order to prevent these individuals from causing harm in the future. I for fact think that those of our kind should stick together and really avoid narcs and psychopaths. It only hurts those of our kind if he give them any further chances, it hurts our communities and our society as they create discord and victimise innocent people, turn others against the innocent with their manipulations. My answer to this is absolute self-awareness and absolute bullet-proof boundaries. I personally think that empathy can be greatly enhanced through suffering. The narc experience has for sure made me a more empathic person since I can now relate to people going through all sorts of difficulties. I didn’t have this level of empathy before. I may have been more judgemental at times. So perhaps if we subject them to exactly what they did to us – speak about it so totally openly, refuse to carry their shame and take it for ours, refuse to blame ourselves and openly hold them accountable, if we built our case strong, maybe they will experience what they are causing to others and maybe the intensity of the discomfort will create some drops of empathy in them. They are smug and manipulative, conventional therapy doesn’t seem to work. But we also have to hold accountable all their enablers. I think it’s going to be a battle but I think it’s the only way how to make this world a better place. As long as there are narcissists and psychopaths, there will be exploitation, there will be harm. We can’t just remove them so we have to educate the world to really understand these behaviours and set strict boundaries, enforce consequences where possible. Anyway, I hope that one day I will be able to say that it was all worth it. I wish you all the best on your journey 🙂
Please don’t stop writing. I just discovered your blog today when searching about healing my fibroid. Then I came upon your studies and articles about narcissism. They are absolutely incredible and so true word for word everything you’ve said rings so true from my past and my husbands past and our upbringing. Revenge is something we all want when people have hurt us but it takes a stronger person to step away from the narcisstic unhealthy parent for a healthier life. Thanks again. Please keep writing!
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Thank you very much for your comment. I will get back to it. I just needed to take a break to rethink my approach. I hope you are doing well 🙂