Book of Quotes
A SELECTION OF QUOTES FROM
THE COLLECTIVE WISDOM
OF OVER 12,000 INDIVIDUAL DISCUSSIONS
"I was married to a Narcissist for 16 years.
It's the closest thing there is to
HELL ON EARTH."
An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met:
· Feels grandiose and self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);
· Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;
· Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);
· Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply);
· Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favourable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations;
· Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends;
· Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others;
· Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her;
· Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited by: Sam Vaknin, Narcissus Publications, Skopje and Prague, 1999, 2001.
There have been well over 12,000 individual discussions posted at the Suite 101 Narcissistic Personality Disorder Discussion site over the past 18 months. In the preparation of this document, we encountered victim's reports of attempted murders, physical assault requiring hospitalization, mental abuse requiring hospitalization and medication that span many years, severe financial loss and consequences, stalking, workplace bullying and harassment, sexual abuse, incest, vindictiveness in child custody court battles, repudiation of pension contracts, and non-payment of child-support, all as a result of involvement with persons with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. For obvious reasons these quotes cannot be used. For equally obvious reasons, what has been inflicted upon them cannot be ignored.
I would like to express my appreciation to the hundreds of posters who contribute at this discussion site, and to those who participated in producing this document.
N = Narcissist, Narcissism
NS = Narcissistic Supply (the attention, admiration Ns want)
NPD = Narcissistic Personality Disorder
PD = Personality Disorder
"The narcissist inflicts pain and abuse on others. He devalues sources of supply, callously and off-handedly abandons them, and discards people, places, partnerships, and friendships unhesitatingly. Sudden shifts between sadism and altruism, abuse and 'love', ignoring and caring, abandoning and clinging, viciousness and remorse, the harsh and the tender - are, perhaps, the most difficult to comprehend and to accept. These swings produce in people around the narcissist emotional insecurity, an eroded sense of self worth, fear, stress, and anxiety ('walking on eggshells'). Gradually, emotional paralysis ensues and they come to occupy the same emotional wasteland inhabited by the narcissist, his prisoners and hostages in more ways than one - and even when he is long out of their life."
Article: Other People's Pain by Dr. Sam Vaknin
"The brutal change in him was all the more shocking because of what he had appeared to be. The devaluation was indescribable, unnerving, frightening. His N rages used to burst forth several times a day. I found I was married to a total stranger, a Jekyll and Hyde who sometimes looked at me as if he didn't even know me. Exhausting is an understatement - it was like clinging to the edge of a cliff 24 hours a day."
"I suppose you can tell I'm scared. I believe I will end up either dead or in a mental hospital very soon if something drastic doesn't happen. He is so diabolical and so convincing to other people that my own family has abandoned me. My kids have also been brainwashed, something I would have bet my life could never happen. All of my financial means have been exhausted. Child support should have been more than enough to make it until I could finish my degree, but he quit his job to keep me from having money, and no matter what I try to do, I hit a big brick wall."
"The night he dumped me, the last thing he said to me before wandering out was 'protect yourself'. I've always puzzled over exactly what he meant, and those words have come back to haunt me now – that warning to get away from him. Without a doubt, the worst had yet to come…"
"Narcissists are great con-artists. After all, they succeed in deluding themselves! As a result, very few professionals see through them."
"I keep stressing that people with NPD do not present with the traits of their disorder. Far from it. How could any normal person take up with someone who had his NPD traits on show at the outset of a relationship? I suppose my husband had lots of practice, and had his supply-hunting tactics down to a fine art. This is the case with the real thing, full-blown NPD."
"Where would these Ns be without women, kids and the elderly to pick on?"
"I feel like I have extricated myself from a cult."
"I stood there thinking: 'He can't mean it.' I had the shudders, my skin was crawling. This N-from-hell exuded pure evil. Over the next 5 years he kicked his father out of the house, cut off his pension and slandered him. He cheated his first wife and his kids of money he should have paid, manipulated his business(s), lied to his separate little groups, split away from former friends and family, got 'religion', verbally abused his kids, turned other people into his little evil-doer proxies, hired and fired people on a regular basis. He'd cheat himself to satisfy his own greed if he could. About every three months I'd hear about some treachery he was inflicting on someone, somewhere."
"They think they are untouchable, inhabitants of a special world, one parallel to ours but never touching. Outlandish behaviour is the N's hallmark. They can draw other unsuspecting, and usually respectable, people into their criminal or pseudo-criminal activities."
"N's count on our shame to keep their secrets. They know that exposing them means exposing our own failings. That's what makes them so powerful. They manipulate us into these situations then sit back and watch us squirm between protecting ourselves or blowing the whistle."
"You have to live through the horror of the N experience to be able to understand it. People say: 'But he's mad about you.' The only pertinent word in that sentence is 'mad'."
"The relationship with the N was too good to be true. They want something from you. When you finally wake up and confront them on their bad behaviour, it's something you do, for yourself. You get it off your chest. When the N asks how you are doing, they are taking your emotional temperature to see if you are reacting, because they are looking for that reaction from you. When you finally give them a piece of your mind, they're not even listening. It goes in one ear and out the other. They sit, rather impassively, appearing like they are taking it in, but if you do a test, you find that they were not listening at all, because they can not quote back to you, anything you said. So consider that action as an exercise for yourselves. Nothing you will ever say to that person will make a difference."
"Yes I told him exactly what I think of him, his lies, his deceit, his lack of emotions, he is just an image not a real person … and I realize that not only did this not bother him, it actually made him feel great! He knows that he has a dramatic impact on my feelings and since he won't let me love him anymore, now he makes me hate him. This must really make him feel like he's one damn special and unforgettable person!"
"I went back to him a dozen times, each time somehow thinking it was different, that maybe now that we had addressed all the issues and brought everything into the open, and he admitted he had treated me badly… it would change. And it WOULD go back to (almost) how it had been, but each time that honeymoon period would last a shorter and shorter amount of time. It absolutely wrecked me – my self esteem has never been lower than during my years with him."
"But these qualities, are indeed 'charm'. The proof of the power of this brand of charm is that you, and I, both women who are probably reasonably alert, failed to see through this well-constructed mask."
"Maybe it is bad for me to wish her unfortunate times, but, that is what she deserves. I have never met anyone more evil than she is. It's the kind of evil that masquerades as good."
"It was the losing of myself that caused me the most anguish. I could feel it, like a brain washing, like a vampire, and he claimed he didn't know anything was wrong, didn't know what I meant when I said I was sad all the time and couldn't trust a word he said."
"I have always felt like they did this on purpose - like they were the most cunning people I've encountered to orchestrate all this turmoil, but through this website, I've come to learn that I'm wrong and that there truly are deeper reasons an N acts out like they do. The key for you is to learn as much as you can as fast as you can, and protect yourself financially and emotionally. Not too many people survive the devastation of a tornado."
"NPD is actually quite simple. When they want supply (adoration/veneration) they put on the whole show to obtain that supply. As the supply wanes, because no one can sustain all the time that high-octane adoration the N requires, then the N begins to get uneasy and devaluation sets in, followed by confusion and bewilderment on the part of the spouse/partner, who thinks s/he has done everything 'right'."
"In order to overcome one's enemy, one must study diligently to understand how he came to be your enemy, what his motivations and goals are. Fully understanding your enemy and then rational planning based on that knowledge is the only way to emerge the victor. We are learning about those with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, as well as those with Sadistic and/or Masochistic Personality disorder - the psychopaths in our lives, learning to defend ourselves against their destructive forces and how to avoid them in the future."
"I read Sam Vaknin's book first, that's when I finally knew it wasn't me for the first time. Knowledge is power, know everything you can about Narcissism."
"I raise a glass to all the other warriors on here, and to Sam Vaknin too, for providing this forum, and so much useful information. His writings are powerful and painful, and marked the first turning on the road for me. I can remember reading and re-reading the FAQs in a mesmerized daze, as I saw my experience and the disaster that is NPD unfold in black on white before my eyes."
"The withdrawal from my N has been terrible and hard on me but it is getting better. I no longer have anger and rage and my mind is settling down. And I no longer think of him 24 hrs. of the day. I never thought that would ever happen just a couple of months ago."
"I loved him, very much, but no way was I about to be obsessed. I also lived for my work, for myself, for all manner of things, friends and family included. This, the N cannot take at all, and will try to drive in that wedge, in order to get ALL attention for himself."
"My ex-N would constantly talk about himself. Every type of conversation, somehow always came back to him talking about him. It would be embarrassing, when friends would need to talk about something happening in their lives, he could not listen, or be supportive. He never got it. He would quickly turn the conversation back to himself."
"The other thing he did was leave me in all kinds of situations to go find someone to charm. If we went to social things, he would not talk to me all night. He would need to be the centre of attention in some group. Usually women."
"He will have a new female N supplier ASAP and you can bet he'll be parading her in front of you too."
"I wish I could offer you any encouragement with your NPD/Bi-polar loved one, but in the 11 years I've dealt with them in my life, I've only known grief, lies, distorted realities, schemes, police, chaos, courts. I often feel like they sit in the eye of a self-created tornado and watch their loved ones circling around in total chaos, and if the winds ever die down, they find a way to get them whirling again."
"My ex-girlfriend seemed for nearly six years to be a kind, caring, supportive person… and then did a 180. Trashing me and, trashing (it turned out) at least one other person that I know of. Extremely rude and cruel behaviour, calculated to cause me extreme pain."
"If you want something to cry about, cry for the N's new victim(s), the innocent, unmarked, un-inoculated prey. The victims are carefully chosen, and I feel sad for them."
"In fact I didn't even realize how badly he was abusing me. I didn't know that all of the silent treatments I got and the alienation from my friends and family were all forms of abuse. Which made me even feel more victimized when I put two and two together."
"The abuse doesn't happen because the victims volunteer for it. The abuse happens because the abusers lie, manipulate and speak in mixed messages, and out of love and a sense of fairness we trust them."
"Towards the end of my relationship with N, he told me: 'Your father couldn't break your spirit, and as hard as I've tried, neither can I.' About sums it all up wouldn't you say?"
"He would tell women he loved them all at the same time, keeping each woman separate from the others, trying to get one of them to marry him."
"She said she was like a recorder that took everything in and reported it just like a recorder. What I was slowly realizing was that yes, she was like a machine - a recorder that took the info in, twisted, spun it into whatever, and then used it as a weapon to stir up controversy or create problems."
"The N has no feeling of any kind, you must absolutely remember that. Any 'feelings' or emotions shown are like those put on by an actor on stage. They look good, but are only an act."
"The person with NPD is unpredictable, that is part of the disorder. Their world is a heaving, restless, unquiet place, full of anxieties and unknown quantities. And when they withdraw the 'caring' and the 'loving' and start on the devaluation stage, then the contrast is so appalling that we are wrecked, unable to understand (at this stage most of us had never heard of NPD) so naturally we thought we were at fault in some way."
"When I met my N I thought I had just met the most wonderful person ever born! Nice, kind, talented, intelligent, even caring and concerned. It wasn't until a few months had passed that I began to feel something wasn't right and I was confused. I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown but couldn't put my finger on the problem (because I thought it was me) until I came here. I still can't figure out what the telltale signs were that I apparently missed. It took a long time for the confusion to build up. And I still haven't had the courage that a lot of you have had to make the complete break."
"You cannot understand his mind, the disordered mind, because you are normal. How could you? You can believe it - he is not real, and nothing is real to him. That is his tragedy."
"As I said, it is only lately that I heard about how she hates him to this day, after twenty years or more."
"Anyway, the uneasy was always there for me too. It was just easy to ignore in the beginning. As I got to know him, the uneasiness shifted to a feeling of walking on eggshells since I never knew what action or word I might do would trip over one of his innumerable emotional landmines."
"I made a huge mistake today. After receiving the latest personal assault from my N, I tried to arrange an amicable settlement without having to go to court. My biggest concern was that he not get overnight visitation. Well, he agreed to my terms and our lawyers placed a conference call to the judge to adjourn our 'motion'. Soon after that, my N backed out of the whole deal saying he didn't see why he shouldn't have our child overnight. Now we don't go to court for another 3 months!! They will use anything and everything at their disposal."
"He is a very insecure (and jealous) man, but he is also a dreadful coward. The Ns usually are."
"If some man were to say to your daughter: 'Here's the deal, sweetie. For several months or so, I'm going to pretend to be everything you ever wanted. I'll shower you with attention, affection and all manner of stuff to make you feel special. Then, once I know you're depending on me as your significant other, and have made a commitment, I'm going to quit pretending and be who I really am. I'm going to start treating you really badly, I'll say insensitive things, I'll lie, I'll cheat, I'll be really cruel, possibly humiliate you in public. Hey, I might even beat you. Your job will be to figure out what happened and do everything in your power to restore the relationship to what it was, until you either die, try to kill yourself, or collapse and get sent to hospital, which will be pretty funny because there's no chance whatsoever I'll ever pretend to be that 'nice guy' again - and by the way, it WAS a pretence. So what do you say, sweetie? Do we have a deal? Several years of hell in exchange for a few months of fantasy?'
If your daughter whipped out the pen to ink the deal, you'd smack her and say, 'What are you, NUTS? This guy's a lunatic!!!' Right? But that IS the deal. That is the contract. If that contract wouldn't be nearly good enough for your daughter, why would it be good enough for you?"
"I went along with him once and he said: 'Hey I like the way you talk!!!' He actually praised me when I agreed with him that a person who causes an accident should be left on the highway to die and just drive on by. What a polished piece of work! I swear I met the devil."
"What I'm wondering right now is… in the beginning when he was treating me like a Queen, was there a hidden agenda there? Was it always in the back of his mind that he would soon unleash the hidden fury to hurt me? He acts like I am 'the one', the 'kindred friend' that he's never had before. Is this all a lie? I seem to be hanging on to the hope that it will be different for me. Am I fooling myself?" (cont'd.)
(cont'd. reply:) "Does he want to hurt you? Well, now, that would imply that he thinks of you as a human being – an N doesn't. What he wants is to secure supply. If he cannot do it by means of flattery, he will do it by means of cruelty. The goal is to get you to give him what he wants. He doesn't especially care which method he uses, so long as he finds one that works. I know that sounds cold. It is cold. That is the mind of a Narcissist. Cold and devoid of empathy. Because he lacks empathy, he probably doesn't know or care if he hurts you, unless he's using bullying as a technique for extracting NS from you. Even then, he couldn't care less what that does to you, apart from eliciting the desired response. If it makes him feel better about himself to belittle you, he will do that, but the ultimate goal isn't to make you feel bad, the goal is perpetuate the myth of his own perfection and simultaneously control you. If by hurting you it gets you in check, makes you take on his failings as your own, and make you work twice as hard for his approval, it's a bonus for him. If he doesn't need to employ cruelty in order to accomplish either of the above goals, he won't. It's that simple."
"Who would not assume s/he was so lucky to have met this wonderful, caring individual. Nothing wrong with that. It is when the cannon-ball of devaluation hits you that the horror of the situation begins to dawn, but you cannot work out why. Naturally, you assume (because you think within normal parameters) that your partner/spouse is ill, has encountered a serious problem (work, finances), is maybe physically ill. Because you have never heard of NPD you do not, indeed cannot, know about the idealization-devaluation process."
"The N I write about probably never did a thing, unless there was something in it for him. He simply did not bother. He started from a position of weakness, in that he had a huge inferiority complex, but the pretentiousness of his facade gave the impression of enormous self-confidence."
"My N also had very low self esteem. It was as if he had to constantly bolster himself up to me by references to past relationships, and present/future possibilities. He always made me feel like I just didn't match up. Now I realise that probably no one ever could have. He was always looking for such an amount of NS that no normal person/relationship could have possibly have supplied it, and I think that insecurity was also behind the need to have, ideally, lots of different alternatives."
"It is THEM, not you or I, who can't trust enough to invest/try/be content with one relationship and build on that. The lack of commitment, sneaky manipulation of targeting new NS, guarantee that they will get dumped by anybody decent - lowering their self esteem even further. But they seem to hurl compulsively along the same tired worn-out path."
"I had to analyze him closely and that's what saved me. I drew up a list of things he had done, sat down with my therapist and discussed what those behaviours/symptoms were, from a psychological perspective. We were like 2 scientists, working on a project, where there wasn't a lot of documentation to refer to. Ultimately we identified Narcissism, but went further. We wound up with the diagnosis that, not only was he a psychopath, he was also a sociopath, as he had no conscience."
"Diagnosing Ns truly isn't rocket science. Go through the list of criteria. Give an example beside each one stating why s/he's like that. When you get 5 or more, BINGO. It's the stories, the anecdotal reports that diagnose Ns. My N fully met the criteria for 4 different PDs, plus bi-polar. He went to a psychiatrist only once, about 16 years ago. He's a successful businessman and he's a Narcissistic psychopath."
"In actual fact, it was the doctor who diagnosed my husband who remarked on the high incidence of NPD among prison inmates, i.e. among the criminal population. This same doctor is also a prison psychologist working for the State, (as well as a university lecturer)."
"Yes, absolutely. It's not a disorder of intelligence. Far from it. My N graduated law school near the top of his class. Emotionally, he's 5 years old!!!"
"He told me that based on what he has read in my journals and narratives, providing that all the information is correct (which it is) that my N is a psychopath, narcissist and borderline. I was shocked that he thought it was more than narcissism. So, I am interpreting it to mean that a person with multiple personality disorder tendencies will exhibit some of the characteristics from each, but not necessarily all of them."
"On first meeting an N, what is it that they do, that a normal person does not do? From the perspective of the one who is meeting the N for the first time, a N goes to great lengths to make a big impression on the listener. The N never stops doing that. They want to be sure they have your attention and they will appear to be listening very attentively, as you speak. The listening attentively part is an illusion. If questioned about the discussion later, they will not remember a word that was said. Reason: They were too busy studying you. What you care about. They make such observations to use against you, later on."
"It is best to keep them at arm's length and not even start a relationship with someone who is too much 'over the top', in every way. They leave a path of destruction and dozens of broken hearts, in their wake. Sometimes, the damage cannot be undone and you must live with it. So beware of someone who is coming on too strong."
"We have a saying around my house which is that an N will put you through a series of increasingly difficult (and more ludicrous) tests in order to get you to prove loyalty to them. If you manage to pass all of these ridiculous tests, you are rewarded for your considerable effort with the right to worship the N. I don't know about anyone else, but I've got other plans."
"I have come to think of those years as a classroom in which I learned about my own vulnerabilities. Nothing seems as scary to me anymore… how can it be when I have survived living with, as Sam Vaknin has said, an encounter with 'the first carbon-based form of artificial intelligence'."
"I had never known a real conman in my life. I thought only the stupid or elderly got suckered."
"What I, and others on this board, have learned from dealing with N bullies in our personal lives, applies to terrorists. There can be no appeasement, no attempting to reason with them, no attempt to "fix" them, to unseat their deep-seated hatred, shame and envy. Sounds terribly harsh to the uninitiated, but not recognizing that can only lead to our own destruction."
"I've come to believe that, to the N, the world looks like a place where the only food is meat and we're the cattle. That's why, at the most primitive level, they think they 'have to' act the way they do in order to survive. They've got a vested interest in suppressing that empathy. At a fundamental level, WE ARE NOT REAL to them. Do you ever wonder if your hamburger had a name? You and I are interchangeable cows to them. Stings a little, right? Yes, they're accountable, all right. They try to mutilate us for meat! Once we get over the shock that THAT THERE REALLY ARE PEOPLE LIKE THIS IN THE WORLD, our sense of survival kicks in and we get out before they slaughter us wholesale. Arguing with them about the reality of their perceptions is pointless; it won't stop them from hacking off a piece of meat. The damage they do is real, but don't expect them to ever understand that, not on a gut level where it counts for you and me. You want to get even with the N? Take away the meat."
"They mix people up by screwing up the issues up so we get confused. Then they reprioritize everything for us by getting angry so we have to look at them first, we think and we worry about them first. It becomes all about them. Everything else, especially ourselves and things once important to us becomes second fiddle. No wonder we feel something isn't right and we don't realize how we got ourselves into such a predicament."
"Like you, I have the 'I hope he gets his just desserts' thoughts. But there'll always be someone they can fool. (In my ex-N's case, aged 45, I see he's homed in on a 20 year old who he 'helps' with her exams, I hope she's astute enough to suss him out, but who knows?). The really true sign we've recovered completely is that we won't harbour thoughts about what they're doing to whom - not care - or at least accept that it's out of our control. Do we really care about the 'others' - or - and I hold my hand up here, are we perhaps not more enraged that they're still 'getting away' with it!!!?"
"I was married for several years to a man who exhibited this precise pattern. It ultimately ended in a domestic violence situation and after great struggle, I left him. The act of leaving him brought further abuse and grievances."
"I guess the reality is that even when it seems so completely innocent, there's always an ulterior motive running through their minds. It blows me away that every event in their lives, no matter how significant or insignificant, can always be used to create the turmoil that seems to constantly surround them."
"Your post evoked a memory of yet another conversation I had with my ex-N. I had referred to sex as making love. She looked at me very inquisitively and said: 'I noticed you say that a lot - why do you call it making love?' So, I replied: 'Why, what would you call it?' Her response was: 'I would just call it SEX. I'm not really sure what LOVE is!' Looking back, it was yet another obvious NPD zinger that zinged right by me."
"Almost four years and he didn't know my birthday or my full name! It's their way of saying 'you don't matter that much to me'."
"Pretend you are someone other than yourself looking into what's going on in your head. It helps me because it detaches me somehow and I can see things clearer when looking at it in a different perspective."
"We cannot accurately predict what response we will get on any given day. And without the ability to predict – without a stable system on which we can rely – we wind up tying ourselves into knots trying desperately to please and walking on eggshells hoping to avoid this unpredictable wrath."
"It is excruciating pain. It is the pain of separation, the pain of loss, the pain of dreams and expectations unrealized. It is the loss and death of a mirage."
"He chose every path less likely to cause him any disruption in his routine, without giving one ounce of thought of the retributions of his acts. And whenever asked for an explanation the response was always the same… It was someone else's fault or, if there was no one else to point the finger of blame to, he 'couldn't remember' the event in question, or he was just feeling bad that day."
"In my case N, husband of 12 years, is not exactly malicious. He doesn't set out to hurt me just for kicks, in my opinion. He hurts me as little or as much as it takes to achieve his goal: to make me dependant on him in as many ways, obey him, give him all the NS he demands, abdicate control. So, while his primary goal isn't to hurt me, it becomes a goal if that's what it takes to get NS out of me."
"Through my self-education I've experienced opposite ends of emotion. On one hand it's been enlightening, cleansing, joyous, and uplifting. On the other hand it's been revolting, heart-achingly painful, gut-wrenchingly toxic, and horribly embarrassing."
"After finding this group, as much as I have been comforted, I have also been disturbed by the hurt that all of us have survived thus far at the hand of an N. I think I might still be in shock that my N, a human being, is actually capable of hurting another so much, with no remorse - except when it impacts him."
"One of the very difficult things to deal with after being the victim of a Narcissist is that most people will not want to believe what happened to you, even if they saw it with their own eyes!"
"The point is, I was getting sick and mad, was losing weight and concentration at work… I'm the typical co-dependent, I know… and I really thought the power of love would help."
"I guess the computer is a screen for Ns - they can present themselves anyway they want and be exactly what you say, someone's prince charming. The e-card that I found from his last affair had her saying: 'I can't wait to make you happy for the rest of my life and give you the love you deserve!' UGH! I can't even imagine what bag of goods he sold her."
"I too became lost in HIS world, started walking on eggshells and worrying if I said or was behaving the right way for him. He was so methodical in his control over me and like you, he would throw a bone at me (usually some old flowers on their way out), and I like a jerk would get so excited that he thought a little about me with the award of almost dead flowers. So sad."
"I remember asking tons of people if he ever made eye contact with them. This was before I knew anything about NPD, but I knew there was something very, very wrong with him. EVERYONE said NO, without hesitation - it was as if they had all thought about that very thing, or at least had noticed it independently. Creepy."
"I learned that 'kicking you when you're down' is a standard characteristic of the N."
"I told him no more because he was making me feel horrible, but the fact that he accepted it so easily hurts all the more. It validates just how meaningless all of it was and is. I was feeling OK and suddenly it's all hit me again like a ton of bricks."
"Ns install a mental filter in our heads a little bit at a time. Before we know it, everything we do, say, or think, goes through this filter. 'Will he get upset if I do/say/think this? Will he approve/disapprove? Will he feel hurt by this?' Until we can uninstall the N-filter, our actions are controlled by N to some degree."
"The humiliation, the insults, the lies, the abuse, the character defamation and on and on and on. We may understand that they are 'sick', but then it is just us understanding them again. It doesn't really help us much to heal our pain."
"When we get to feeling too good, too happy, too satisfied, too optimistic, too excited, too anything that the N was not responsible for, then it is the N's job to rip that feeling away from us."
"Was mine a charismatic psychopath or a garden-variety N? I just don't know l00% what he is capable of. Maybe he doesn't either. It's a very good thing to be scared sometimes, especially when tempted to N-dip. It's not only our emotional wellbeing at stake here. It can be our physical (health included) safety as well."
"You may see in the man a part of yourself that is missing. A good man can help supply a feeling of wholeness and inner peace. He can help make you feel safe. An N can spot this better than anyone else. He goes after it like the drumstick at the Thanksgiving dinner. He knows people because of an over-developed inner sense. He reads people for a living. His needs are greater than yours, but he denies it to all. You may face on occasion anxiety and fear, but his is more intense and always with him. It is inevitable that the two of you will find each other. You are looking and so is he. He has the advantage because of his over-developed inner sense."
"They memorize body language and can spot a person who might feel a little vulnerable a mile away."
"My motto from here on out is: If someone or something (including me) in my life is conducting themselves in such a way that they can be seen on Jerry Springer, it's time to take out the garbage!! When you stop taking their behaviour personally and see their antics as a true reflection on their character, it becomes absolutely nauseating."
"That's the way he conditioned you to respond. You know that bad things happen when you do something other than what he wants you to do, which may change based on his whim. Cut it, now. Cut the cord, and never look back."
"Of course, as normal human beings, we search inside ourselves for answers. That is precisely what the N never does. If he did, he would go for therapy forthwith. It is natural to wonder how we could be fooled so easily and so ruthlessly. Ever watch sleight of hand? Well, it is the same. You are fooled by the speed and skill of the 'magician' or the card sharp. But, and this is the but, it is only an illusion. Always remember that. You are healthy. The N is not. The best way to do battle with this situation is to walk away, to grind the memories under your heel, and look to better things."
"I had an N for a partner, and he built me up like yours and made me feel good, and then, straight afterwards, he brought down the hatchet and cut me out of his life. Don't be fooled - just as he opened up, so can he close up - and heaven help you when he does."
"Don't worry, he didn't pick you because you are weak or an easy target. He picked you because you have all the qualities he wants and can't have. The problem is, while he was, as we say, sucking you dry he caused you over time to feel confused, edgy, distracted and all the things you described. We loved these men and why wouldn't we? In the beginning they make us feel so special and comfortable and loved. It's later when, like you described, our minds are reeling because we know something is 'off' but can't put our fingers on it that we start searching around and find ourselves here. Then all the pieces start to fall in to place. People with NDP are master manipulators, subtle and strong at the same time. You have been brainwashed and it's going to take a while to detox but you'll be all right. It's important not to blame yourself but get on with detaching both physically and mentally. Not easy and not pleasant."
"THE FIRST GIANT RED FLAG… needed instant gratification. It felt like he was needy. Had to spend every moment together. Pushed the sex so insistently. The relationship did not form naturally, it was rushed and he dictated the pace… totally controlled and manipulated things in spite of all my efforts to slow it down."
"I guess there were red flags everywhere, but I had no idea what Narcissism was."
"Looking back on ALL the Ns I've ever known and merged with, I see there WERE signs within minutes of meeting the N that they were grossly selfish, immoral, sex-addicted or something was definitely 'off' that I couldn't explain. I didn't honour my intuition, gut feelings and instinct. The truth is that I had almost no experience setting healthy boundaries."
"He also admitted to being 'difficult' and 'moody' - so yes, if someone says this in the early stages of a relationship, I think the red flags should definitely be up. They simply cannot sustain 'niceness' for any period of time - to anyone - unless they want something from them, or unless that person can offer them something."
"I pushed the gnawing out of my mind, relaxed and suspended judgement for a while when his behaviour or stories of his past rang as odd. I just figured I was only hearing bits and pieces and chose to wait to hear the whole story from him before I concluded anything about his personality. I should have paid more attention to my 'gut instinct'."
"NPD is serious, big-time stuff."
"Life is a superficial game for him and you are a pawn on his board. Is that what you want to be, a pawn in the hands of a madman?"
"I don't know, what nastiness your Ns did before but I can see a lot of HOOKS in your story. If your N displays off and on again behaviour BEWARE! My ex N knew how to hook me by drawing me into her sad stories. You may be your Ns main source of supply right now and it's true you may even know more about your N then anyone else will ever know. My N still wants to be in contact with me because I too know my x-N better than anyone else. But remember, some Ns like to be MYSTERIOUS because it keeps them in control while you're dancing to FIGURE them out."
"The N will not change, you must absolutely keep this before your mind. But the N is constantly 'paying' in his internal hell, which is the essence of his disorder. In this sense 'what goes round, comes round'."
"The N is like bog-fire (jack-o'-lantern). You race after him, and race into the marsh, where you are swallowed up and suffocated. The N will suffocate all that is good in you, will twist your psyche until you don't know who you are yourself, eventually your own face will not seem your own in the mirror. Yes, it gets that bad, believe me."
"The N is bad even for your looks - reason enough in itself to leave him quickly. He will make you feel ugly, unwanted, inadequate, not up to his standard, no matter how intelligent, good-looking, or smart you are. He makes you feel like this so that you are in line with his dreadful feelings about himself."
"I have been apart from my N almost 2 years, yet periodically he keeps coming back in my life. Not only is he narcissist, he is bi-polar as well, not to mention he also has a chemical dependency problem."
"The devaluation was as shocking and devastating as it was unexpected."
"He's built up a pile of adversaries and victims over his 73 years and anyone who remembers anything about him realize the scum underneath."
"I think that is part of what they like to do to their targets. Abandon the target, leave them hanging, right in the middle of a sentence. And, you, having emotions, just have to get it out."
"I can only offer a comparison: a person who has been in a wheelchair since infancy cannot have any notion of what it feels like to walk, run, jump, do gymnastics, ride a bike etc. The person with NPD is in the same position, an emotional cripple, whose experience of life bears no resemblance to the ordinary person's."
"One thing I do have to remind myself of all the time is this. They are always looking for who they are in someone else."
"When I asked him why he had stopped terrifying me, he said: 'It didn't work.' What this says about him is that his behaviour was not out of control, as one might think because it was so bizarre, but a strategy. He stopped using that strategy when it didn't achieve his ends. That's important to remember when dealing with a true N."
"N's are notoriously bad gift-givers. My ex-N only used to give gifts to me he had received as free samples from representatives."
"Since my N told me he wanted a divorce, I have been amazed at the people who have come up to me and said they never liked the way he treated me and that I will be so much better off without him… and I thought they liked him."
"Any apparent (and spurious) remission of NPD is just that - fake. The individual is marshalling his/her forces for the next round, which will be one hundred times worse than what went before. Believe me."
"The one you married, the terrific guy, was the false self. When you finally realize that the horror he became, is the real self, then you understand NPD and you understand the nightmare for all of us."
"I rationalized and made excuses until I was blue in the face. When there was no possible excuse for certain behaviours he would come up with a sob story that I 'rationalized' and fell for. That's why I was perfect N supply. I will never go there again. I am not a slave for anyone!"
"I stayed far away from him. But he would not leave me alone. I was extremely violated by this person and it took 7 years of intensive therapy to overcome the injuries I suffered because of him."
"He has never been empathetic towards anyone and has no idea how much pain he causes people when he makes choices that affect them."
"I have a very strong supportive network who keep reminding me that I am a worthwhile human being. They have told me however that the years spent with him have altered me, made me nervous and anxious and questioning my capabilities. It's insidious and you never even realize you are changing."
"He has this vindictive, mean streak in him. He knows exactly which buttons to push and can tell you to go to hell and you'll look forward to the trip."
"After about a month no contact, he was back on bended knees begging to 'negotiate his surrender' to me. He asked me to marry him. I fell for it again and the drinking started again. Shortly after the wedding, the fighting started again. I realized that drinking was lowering my inhibitions and I let out all of the anger I was still carrying from the prior devaluation. Then I discovered all his lies regarding his business, which he considered 'his little secret'. After 6 months of marriage he came home from a business trip, waited 'til the next morning after I left for work and moved out."
"Now he's suddenly devout. 'Jesus' is a verb or noun in every sentence. He carries three Bibles (a pocket-sized one for reading on the train, a medium one, and a large one for Sundays). Unreal. This same man is having an affair with a woman who is married. She is entirely dependent on him financially, and has left her husband and two sons. Her life is now becoming the wreck my life used to be. Sometimes, I too, wish I could just tell her 'Run!' but I don't dare. I just hope she believes her eyes, instead of his lies… and saves herself."
"Don't tell them ANYTHING you aren't prepared to get shoved up your butt later… or down your throat, or in your heart in the form of a dagger. And of course there are those things you tell them that you have to be prepared to have TWISTED into things they can shove…"
"He got hooked on the computer for NS. Totally ignored his children. Never responded to them when he came home from work. The computer took over his whole life. He was having an affair with his co-worker, at the same time having affairs with women online."
"As far as I can see clowning around with an N is like clowning around with a moray eel. In the end it's no fun. The N does not want to get close, they ONLY want ATTENTION. End of story."
"They take bad things that have happened to them and turn it into NS."
"N will have to make someone else's life miserable. It won't be mine! Better her than me! I think some Ns remarry quickly so that SHE won't have time to find out about him! She'll be in too deep before she knows it. The quicker he can get married… the quicker he can quit playing the 'nice' game and get back to the real him!"
"Sam Vaknin's book and this entire site, has been the most helpful. Please read every cruel word that he writes. Truth is in it. These network friends will validate, listen, stay close or send you on your way-whatever you need."
"Ex-N was always insensitive about what he said to me and he always choose he words carefully as to obtain a look of shock and hurt in my face."
"I know the pain of hearing horrible, insulting remarks only to be told that it was merely a 'joke' and how I have 'no sense of humour…' I tell him that his jokes aren't funny to me, but I realize now that that's exactly what he wants to hear. I spend my days in constant anxiety because I know the next blow up is just around the corner."
"With an N, you cannot accumulate a store of MEMORIES of what you have meant to them. Your meaning is only in the here and now. This is why a husband can immediately abandon a wife who becomes crippled or has a life-threatening illness or who otherwise is no longer 'Miss step & fetch it', and who might even (HORRORS of HORRORS) NEED something from the N."
"Basically I think there are 3 categories of things Ns say:
3. Words to intentionally humiliate, hurt and degrade the person that loves them."
"It is not surprising then, to discover that the N has many alters, many secret lives, and they count on others to reinforce the idea that they 'would never do such a thing' and that they 'are not like that'."
"If a past girlfriend or wife dumped him, in the new location he may say that his wife recently died of cancer! This is to generate a little community sympathy for himself and opens doors for him to be accepted into the community. Then he gets busy, finding one or more targets to abuse. Stripped naked, the N is an ugly picture, without all of his/her illusions, and the fantasies dissolve."
"My N husband (who I'm finally divorcing after 18 years - 18 years in which he only got worse each year) said, on our very first date: 'You'll never do better than me.' One of many warning statements, each of which stunned me, but his persuasive charm won out. A charm that disappeared, literally, the day after we were married. Then, when he was in a towering rage after returning from a trip, I was completely perplexed at what he was angry about. When I finally asked him, he turned to me with the most malevolent glare, and said: 'YOU! You are what is wrong with me. You are what's making me angry.' But there was no action or incident related to me that he could attribute this anger to. In fact, he had been away at a trade show while I took care of our 5 young children. Nothing was ever good enough."
"Discovering that your parents have NPD is traumatizing. I am an only child. I was married 6 months and my wife became pregnant. My parents accused my wife of plotting to exclude them. When she denied this, they refused to listen. Over the years they kept making more severe accusations, and never accepting my wife's answers. They babysat our 2 year-old and he woke up crabby. They started a huge fight, berating us for bringing him to their house asleep, an obvious effort to make their time with him miserable. After another incident in June, my parents threatened to end our relationship. They still blame my wife for all our problems only this time they attacked me. I told them: 'If this is what you want I will not stop you.' No contact since. I wish I would have been more blunt a lot sooner. I should have said years ago - 'Either stop making accusations and get along with my wife, or we won't see you!' The outcome would be the same but I would have saved years of frustration and stress on my marriage."
"Both of my parents are Ns. My mother is much more of a behind-the-scenes N. Her manipulations and repeated accusations have ended our relationship after 7 years of hell."
"It has ruined my entire life and my daughter's. If a doctor told her that I needed rest and no stress to recover… she would rush over, beat on my windows and say horrible things to me… sounds like she wants to hasten my death. It hurts. I need a mother. I am a mother and can not even grasp the concept of a mother's ability to be this cold and cruel, yet act like an angel to others. It's as if no one believes me."
"My advice - run far away before your relationship with her destroys your children. My daughter is starting to show the toll of just being witness to my mother's treatment of me. She will strike when you least expect… she will lure you in with sweetness and tricks, and when you are feeling hopeful… she will bring you down with one cruel perfectly-timed remark… and you will crash in heartbreak again and again. They do not improve… they get worse."
"She is evil to me and I have tried 51 years to have a mother and never have, never will."
"On only a few occasions did I 'stick-up for my rights' with my dad. Each time he flew into a rage. The worst was when he was out of town the day my husband and I bought a new home. When I told him on the phone about our purchase, he went stark raving mad, yelling and screaming about how stupid I was to not have waited for HIM to decide if the house was right for us. I told him it was our life and… well the rest just wasn't pretty. As you can see the thought of any discussion about my 'feelings' with this man makes me very nervous indeed."
"He told me the psych counsellor they were seeing told him and his fiancée to spend more 'quality' time together and not take his kids on the weekends he was supposed to. I called him on that one and said: 'Any counsellor who recommends your wants over the needs of dependent children ought to have their license revoked.' Well, he look astonished, then started immediately back-pedalling and said: 'That's not what I meant, you misunderstood.' He never saw me or his kids for the next two months."
"A divorced father to his 8 year-old daughter during visitation weekend, upon a conflict, the father whips the daughter around by the shoulders, gets down on her level to look her square in the eyes and says angrily: 'You can come up here and see me as long as you don't interfere in my life!' This is the statement that has come back to haunt me my entire life. I have had no contact with my father since I was 21 years old. I am now 37."
"Just this last week, she asked me to stop by her work with the baby (she needs to let all the people she works with think she is a wonderful mother). When I got there, the baby was in a new outfit that I bought and dressed her in, and the N said to nobody in particular but addressing the baby: 'Who dressed you this morning? You look like a bum!' She's gets 2 birds with one stone. She devalues and degrades me and the baby all in one statement. I get the same 'Can't you take a joke' right after she insults me."
"I need to tell you that the children my N professed to love, he was abusing sexually. I stayed with him for 16 years – and he abused my elementary school age daughter for 4 years. She repressed everything. GET OUT. If he hates you, he hates your daughter and may abuse her if he hasn't already."
"I have been divorced for one year now from an N. My problem is I can't break off contact with him because we have a 5 year-old child together. After 3 years of paying very little attention to her, he became 'super dad' when I filed for divorce. How do I minimize the manipulation of my daughter? He will try anything to get my attention, including making her suffer emotionally and physically."
"He also did bad things, hoping he would get caught, and punished. This was the consistent pattern in his life and that is very sick, indeed. He justified his abandonment of all those children by saying: 'They'd be much better off without me.' He ran away, over and over."
"When I hear people who have no children talk about a narcissist or psychopath having 'parental rights' or when I hear a divorcing mom voicing guilt for depriving her child(ren) of their father, I always want to say, please, you don't know what it is like. And I want to say, please don't judge mothers and mothers don't be harsh with yourselves."
"Children will, many times in a child custody fight, choose the Narcissistic parent over the non-narcissistic one. Narcissists can convince a child that they are the most desirable parent and they are also capable of convincing the child (as well as psychologists and judges) that momma does not love them, but only uses and controls them. You see, Narcissists project their own pathology onto others."
"Someday Family Law specialists, Family Court judges, court appointed child advocates and psychologists who prepare reports for the courts will be educated about the personality disordered. A child's right to not be victimized should come to be seen as more important than parental 'rights'."
"I always got the feeling that my sister and I were both Dad's little scientific experiment in genetics. It wasn't so much that my parents got married and had a family as they bred kind of a 'Nazi-esque' experiment to create a little genius on my Dad's part to fulfil his expectations. My sister was the main focus of this experiment, I was the back up unit."
"A narcissist is a child, a spoiled, self-centred child. No little kid wants to have to work at caring for and entertaining another child. His payoff comes from you not wanting him to see the child. Even playing 'super dad' for someone or some group they are trying to impress can't do the job forever, or even grandparents or the people at church seldom provide enough NS every single time to make it a worthwhile expenditure of energy."
"He hated XMas, he thought children were an expense, a noose around your neck for a life time that's why he didn't want them."
"My mother and father have always bad mouthed me to my family and all of their friends. I can't say I ever tried to 'handle' it though. The way I felt about it was that I know myself. I know them for who they really are. I have seen how low they are capable of stooping. I figured I didn't need to dignify their disgusting behaviour with any explanations to people. If they chose to believe my parents, I didn't consider them my friends. If they couldn't tell a lie or a load of horse crap when they heard it, especially considering they have known me all my life, I didn't need them in my life anyway. It was no great loss to me. I just let my parents go on ranting and raving."
"She mentioned something my father (her brother) had been saying about me. I reminded her of the real story. She was there from the beginning. She had merely forgotten the real story because, as all narcissists do, my father is really good at seeming sincere when he's changing facts to suit him, (also known as lying). She recalled vividly what I was telling her. This finally happened about 2 yrs. ago. She was outraged at my father's lies. She straightened everyone out by telling them the truth. Now people are on to him. He has changed since then, and is more careful about how he acts towards me, and seems to have a nicer attitude around me. Of course the damage is already done."
"I have found as I am recovering from the damage my parents have done to me, thanks to Suite 101 and Sam's book. I no longer need to hold myself responsible for them or other people's happiness in any way. I have discovered a new, higher self esteem. Before, I couldn't even recognize when I didn't like someone. I would blame the discomfort I felt when I was around someone I didn't like, on MY shyness or MY own social disorder. I thought I was such a loser that I wasn't worth another person's respect, kindness or honesty. Ns do this to people's souls. They try to kill the soul."
"My mother is very narcissistic, so I was never allowed to have my feelings and emotions if they encroached on her perfect image of herself."
"I lie. Compulsively and needlessly. All the time. About everything. And I often contradict myself. Why do I need to do this? To make myself interesting or attractive. In other words, to secure narcissistic supply (attention, admiration, adulation, gossip)."
Article: Pseudologica Fantastica by Dr. Sam Vaknin
"They tell lies, even when there is no need to tell a lie. But telling the lie makes the game more interesting, for them, but leaves others in a state of confusion. Since they do this all the time and seldom tell the truth, that makes them pathological liars. With many years of practise, they become very convincing liars."
"They are very good at what they do and fool a lot of people, for a long time. Asking the question does not mean you will hear a truthful answer. Eventually, the truth comes out, because they get tangled up in their own webs of deceit."
"My ex-husband used to tell HUGE lies about me. Lies that always made ME look bad and HIM look like a martyr (when the opposite was true). I didn't realize this until AFTER we separated and, Boy, was it devastating! I thought that I knew ALL the horrors, to find out there were even more… I didn't think I could take the pain!"
"An N also puts themselves into a 'zone' and their pupils dilate when they tell a lie, or they look away, to say the words."
"The lies, the flirting, the lies, the comparing, the lies, the ambivalence, the lies, the belittling, the lies, the teasing, the lies, the built up promises, the lies, the setting up for disappointment. Did I mention the lies?"
"They may spread lies about you, but in the long run, the truth will prevail. Others will figure out that what the N says, has no basis, in fact. So carry on, by moving toward something which is a lot healthier, for you. Take it as a very expensive learning experience."
"When I think back, every time he opened his mouth - another lie tripped off his tongue - but the sad thing was, he truly believed what he was saying."
"She used to lie and cheat all the time years ago. How is it that I managed to end up with another liar and cheater? My recent ex g/f told me recently that she can flick her feelings off and on, and that she feels empty inside. I had no idea that she would come home one day and just flick her feelings off for me… How could I have missed this one? Stunned again."
"N would lie when the truth would save his neck."
"My ex-N would look me straight in the eyes and lie his ass off. I knew he was lying, and he knew I knew he was lying, but he would do it anyway."
"Before he left, I said: 'I want my self back! I should have followed my original instinct.' He said: 'You just cancelled out the last 4 years.' I said: 'No, your lies, omissions of the truth, lack of character, integrity, responsibility, empty promises, cancelled out the last 4 years.'"
"My ex-undiagnosed-female-N lied every time she opened her mouth. As time goes on, and I slowly verify some of the information, I have found that she has lied to me twice, and admitted it once. She said she was just joking (that's what a narcissistic psychopath does when caught, they just reframe it as a joke or whatever). What some of these liars do is throw a lot a truth in too, so if you check out a few things, and find it is true, then you think, well, everything is true. That's exactly what they are hoping for. For me it is hard to imagine the amount of lying that went on, the deceptions, the spin, the manipulation."
"When I would confront him about lying he would begin to laugh. He was truly evil."
"Do Ns know what they're doing when they're projecting? Probably not, but I think if it can be pointed out to them with proof, perhaps they can begin to understand the lies in their own thinking. Then we have to deal with the fact that even knowing what they're doing, and how unfair and hurtful it is to us, they may not care… due to their lack of compassion for anyone else, and because they are emotional sadists."
"'There MUST be something good and worthy under the hideous façade.'
'NO ONE can be that evil and destructive.'
'He must have meant it differently.'
This is magical thinking. Gullibility, selective blindness, malignant optimism - these are the weapons of the beast. And the abused are hard at work to provide it with its arsenal."
Article: The Malignant Optimism of the Abused by Dr. Sam Vaknin
"Of course he wants you to believe that his reason for leaving is YOUR FAULT… this is all part of the disorder right. Don't buy into this. Be real with yourself… and your memories. You know deep down that you tried your best with this disordered person… but it was a NO WIN situation. Always keep real with yourself and what you have learned about the disorder… don't let your mind play head games with you."
"Realization of what he really is will take time to soak in… but you will feel better in time. Think back on a time in your life where you were completely shattered about something and thought that you would never recover… AND YOU DID. Just as you will with this. Please reach out to us anytime… this place, these kind, understanding people helped me every step of the way."
"When you find yourself romanticizing him, read Sam Vaknin's FAQs. They will keep you grounded. And when you feel like venting, or raging post here!"
"Please give up trying to figure out why he says what he says… does what he does. It's truly a pointless pursuit and it offers little comfort in the end."
"The hardest thing is saying to yourself: 'I cannot go back THERE… so I must move forward.' Maybe it was familiarity that kept us there… but fear is my biggest hang-up. Fear of the unknown! I guess we traded a few moments of happiness with them when actually it was hell on earth!"
"She actually never had emotions for me nor does she harbour guilt over what she's done. I mean, I just can't fathom that. She said so many beautiful things to me! The reality that all that may have been a crock, is overwhelmingly inconceivable."
"It's hard not to think what they're doing now and who they're doing it with. I have to stop myself and remind myself if I were with him right now he would be making me clinch with some nasty negative remark or subtly insulting me or something that made my gut draw up!"
"When I'm tempted to respond to him, as I am now, I read here and post here. It's a good reality check. We can so easily forget the harm they do."
"It was then I realized I was still hanging on… like I was addicted to the N. I want to be free and away from it all. I want my mind to be free of the N infection."
"This reconciliation between the N and myself was short-lived. His true colours emerged, once again. But being able to document my every-day experience with him helped me to make the final decision to move on. I know that I'm far from recovering, and who knows I may make that mistake by N-dipping one more time, but if my experiences serve to help anyone else on this board, then I feel like I have at least accomplished something."
"I'm learning to take things one day at a time. If I N-dip, I just get back up, dust myself off and try again."
"I wanted to talk to ex-N so much today. Yet the desire to N-dip made me very anxious. It's as though my need for him, for someone so very bad for me, is finally becoming ego-dystonic. The urge to be with him creates strong inner dissonance because I know if I contact him it's emotional suicide. Still, I am in so much pain. I can hardly work. My job seems overwhelming."
"People on the site call it 'N-Dipping'. It is like fighting an addiction. So, if you are tempted to slide, it's entirely understandable. At one time you felt great love and passion for this man, and there is some part of you that WISHES he wasn't what you know him to be, WISHES it wasn't all true, that it didn't happen the way it did, and that you could GET BACK that guy you thought he was. I was always tempted to think maybe this is some sort of aberration, something going on in his life, stress, mental illness, and that the OTHER GUY, the one I fell in love with was the REAL HIM. I hated having to finally face the fact that I fell in love with a Jekyll and Hyde facade. It absolutely sucks."
"N-dipping is not sinful it just doesn't go anywhere… except as NS. It is also very painful to let go of all the hopes and dreams. I'm glad you have reached out here… as support is absolutely a necessary part of your (and our) recovery."
"For what it's worth, I did my N-dipping BEFORE I even knew what NPD was. I had a death wish for many years because I was in so much emotional pain. I lived like that for about 20 years. I got to the point where I could hardly function at all. Everything I did, was by rote. Now that I have the information about NPD, it is much easier to stay away from my N husband, emotionally. I still have times when I get depressed and unsure about everything, but those times are less and less."
"They just don't change and the games become more cruel. The devaluation becomes worse and more painful every time we go back. That's why I think some people think N-dipping is healing in a way, because you see the patterns repeating themselves. It won't be too long before you are able to detach from him emotionally and one day you will look at his antics and thank God you are no longer one of his victims."
"You can be certain that the winner in the end will be you, with your mind and soul intact. You have pinpointed the heart of the matter. You can love, will always be able to love. He can't, and never will. He is an emotional cripple who cannot even love himself. You will move forward in life, but he will remain, always, in the shadow-lands of his disorder."
"Then you get to the point where you could give a rat's ass about what other people think about you, because you know you're fine, just fine!"
"I am so lucky that I have absolutely no sentiment towards my ex-N left. The only emotion I have is fear and justifiably so."
"My pain over ex-N has been replaced with disdain. I hope this feeling hangs on. I never thought it would even come. After 30 years of being together, I thought that was all there was for me. Life is so much better now. All I needed was a little distance so I could get some perspective."
"The thing with us is we see good in other people and dismiss the bad. Like you I always go out of my way to help people and I get used… 'sucker' on my forehead is a good way of saying it. I am a magnet for these people."
"I don't mind feeling depressed, I know this is somehow necessary before the healing. But it feels like my life is going up and down from day to day. I feel so helpless in the a.m. and so determined hours later only to feel exhausted by the next day."
"No one ever builds true happiness at the expense of someone else."
"It's a multi-layered illness to be in a relationship with an N. In recovery the first detachment is letting go of the N and the next is letting go of one's mirage-like illusions about the N, and the next is healing one's own relationship with one's true self, and the next is learning to connect in a healthy way with others who can share a MUTUAL relationship…"
"It is difficult and sad for mothers to deal with a non-loving child, whether the child has a personality disorder or not. But if they are NPD and we find out more about this disorder, it is natural to wonder, 'what part did I play in this?'"
"I was sitting here wondering why I can't mentally rid myself of my own creep. He's not even a part of my life anymore. I don't see him, hear from him, talk or communicate with him… but he's inside my head and driving me crazy. He goes everywhere with me. He's a leech, a soul-sucker. I want rid of his presence, rid of his power, rid of his control over my mind. But yet I let him hang on inside my head sapping at the good person I used to be."
"I'm alone, but not lonely. I'm not elated, but I'm not sad - I'm not mad but I am disappointed… but it's my time to learn, we never learn anything when the road is smooth. We learn survival when we are taxed, and the road is lumpy. RIGHT?"
"Extreme highs and lows (which is what life in the shadow of the N is about) are not healthy. Such extremes are exhausting, as you second-guess what is going to be the next high or low. And, the lows sure do get lower, and the rages increase, and the devaluation sets in like a rot."
"As per the men, I don't get close to them as of yet, even though I crave the affection I lacked for four years. I would like to be touched and loved but even thinking about doing such with a normal man seems unreal. I think to myself 'what if I can't enjoy his closeness?' and 'what if I won't feel anything?' These are the thoughts I have."
"At the time I thought I'd never be strong again, but in retrospect I would have to say it as better to have loved and LEARNED than to have not loved at all. Because now I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I will never allow anyone to treat me that way again."
"Remember, no matter what's going on in your life, it's YOUR responsibility to choose how you will respond. It doesn't mean you won't hurt or be angry. It doesn't mean you should ignore what you're feeling either. Not being a victim and taking responsibility means feel the pain, acknowledge the shock, be mad, pissed off, etc., while looking for the LESSON. Keep on going in a way that honours you and who you really are."
"And, of course, after all the words from him telling me how much he didn't want me around any more, how he needed a change etc., he wouldn't leave or start the proceedings. I had to do all that. Part of his illogical 'rules'. Mostly, I don't believe he thought I would ever go."
"Leaving finally took every bit of strength I had left, especially when I find myself with very little money and starting a career at a time when I should be having the time of my life. I looked forward to this part of my life for a long time! Silly of me. I really should have known better."
"If more people had 1/100 the compassion, insight, and decency of people on this board (or if Ns had 1/100 the compassion, insight, and decency of most people), this world would be so much better."
"Trying to apply normal human qualities to an N is impossible. He's like a 5 year-old who got a new toy. Does he care anything about the old one? Of course not. You not only have the hurt of getting dumped by the N, but the realization that he is an N. That's a double whammy in anybody's book."
"If you were given a textbook on Ns and told to study them, with no knowledge of the actual person you would have one heck of a time trying to figure them out. Getting stung by one and then trying to figure yourself and them out too is where we're all at here. Go ahead, cry anywhere, anytime. I could hug you because you have normal emotions."
"I've lived with mine for 37 years. I'm in the process of breaking away and getting a divorce. But, believe me, he has done serious emotional damage to me. I too, am in therapy and currently exploring the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder concerning myself. You ended up staying in this mess because you thought that somehow you could make it better… but there is no better. When we finally come to THAT realization is when we start picking up the pieces of ourselves to get on with life."
"Reading Sam Vaknin's FAQs is like a roadmap of my experiences with N parents. It serves as constant reminders to us that the Ns have the problem!"
"…in every tear is a seed of healing."
"Today I did two things for myself. The first was to have lunch with a girlfriend. It was very uplifting. I kept thinking that I was glad I was no longer with N. The second was to spend two hours out at the river. It was wonderful."
"He was like a ball and chain around my neck. All Ns are. Every day I pray to God to give me strength and help me deal with this. The key is, I don't want it anymore. I really don't. I don't want to be with someone who doesn't truly care for me and love me the way I want and deserve to be. I'm so tired of thinking of him and his supposed emotional barriers and childhood traumas. Yes it's sad, but I shouldn't suffer because of it."
"Many years ago, a marriage counsellor told me that you simply cannot give to others if you aren't getting something back yourself. Those who give you positive feedback help, I know, but they can't be enough. Part of the reason your depression is so severe is that you are giving away more than you are receiving in return. You need to correct that. You need to be sensitive to draining situations and draining people, then you have to avoid them. Yes, you will feel guilty at first, but you will learn to be able see things in ways that are friendlier and more supportive of yourself."
"Remember most people in this world are here to help each other. But you must first come back to this world for others to help you. Just throw yourself out to the real world and leave the Narcissist behind. People will catch you and help you. First you have to know that people in this world are not here to get you – they are with you. You must first help yourself back to this world, to the point where others can start helping you. Remember: 'A loving heart is the truest wisdom.'"
"Some days will seem OK, then others you'll feel lower than low. That's to be expected. Just remember that he's the defective one, not you. It's difficult to digest that a person can be so mean and shallow on the inside when they can 'appear' to be so wonderful on the outside. You're not alone, and you're definitely not to blame for his behaviour. He'll do it to everybody who crosses his path."
"The learning from experience part of life is the hardest, but I believe it means the most. You have learned that people like him don't change themselves inside, just the scenery outside. Very shallow existence indeed."
"It is not unusual to have anxiety and panic attacks in the wake of the N-experience. It is in fact, quite normal, and they can last for many months afterwards."
"Final closure for me is the fact that HE IS WHAT HE IS. The carousel continues to turn for the narcissist but not for me… any longer."
"Another thing that helped me through the post N experience, which I still feel I'm in just further along the path, is to REMEMBER it's the beautiful, wonderful, lovely, top-notch qualities about you that attracted him in the first place."
"Every time I go into this obsessive mess I remind myself of a quote I recently read: 'You know it is real love when a person touches your life in a way (better) that you want to be a better person, and your life will never be the same after they touched yours.' They leave a mark of goodness, kindness, gentleness… (the fruits of the spirit). Does any N do that? NO!!! They touch our lives, but it's with such destruction and torture… it was never love! I believe their mental torture is knowing they had a good person and blew it! Therefore, they move on for new supply. Let it go! It is now someone else's pain and suffering. You deserve better!"
"We need to recognize that we must CELEBRATE our increasing feistiness, our stiffer backbone, our thicker skin, our stronger boundaries, and our ability to lay aside, with lessening amounts of distress and guilt, the desire to fix, to 'be there', for yet another wounded soul. When we understand what healing is all about, when we understand that healing ourselves is the only way to attract healthy personalities, when we understand that healing ourselves is the only way to become attracted to healthy personalities, then we will heal."
"Can I urge those of you still in the throes of the immediate aftermath of the N experience to care for yourselves physically, to try (yes, I know it is so very, very hard) not to 'introspect' too much, and to reach out to others. You will be surprised at the degree of help available in unexpected quarters. Do something peculiar, different, totally out of character, in the line of a pursuit or hobby. The concentration required will fill your mind, and any device is valid that will take your mind off what has happened."
"I believe it is possible to forgive, genuinely forgive in one's heart and soul, and yet not put oneself in danger or refuse to hold someone accountable for their actions."
"You know in your heart and that ache in your gut! You just dread taking that step. And yes, he will try to charm you again until he knows he's lost and he'll move on."
"I have learned lots of stuff about myself that I never before had to bother looking at. There IS a reason you are so attached and fell hard for this type. Finding that reason doesn't make the sorrow completely go away, but it does help to make sense of things."
"N boyfriend to distraught girlfriend over his emotional and physical withdrawal: 'You could have everything you wanted if you would just…' The ending always changes arbitrarily so as the girlfriend could never get it right to 'get what she wanted' which was physical and emotional closeness."
"I still get stuck wanting what I can't have, a healthy, loving, honest, open relationship with a person who only mimicked these things and then left me holding the bag."
"I can only say to those with doubts, with ideas of 'fixing it' - just don't. Move away and try to cut your losses. Why sit down to the table again to be dealt another bum hand?"
"Then, fool that I was, tried to become a crusading Pollyanna, armed with books, clinical data, case histories – I valiantly tried to cure him. Sam Vaknin calls it magical thinking and he's so right. I gave up. It's useless and a total waste of my time when I needed to concentrate on getting me better and getting on with my life."
"I have been with my N for 11 years and was completely disillusioned by him. I did everything I could to make things work and tried fixing the unfixable. He exploited me and other women for years. I'm done with him and have decided that I'm going to move forward with my life."
"If I absolutely WANT to stop the N, I have hundreds of ways, but if I, in the back of my head, continue playing his game, it means that I'm still denying his disease and still trying to control or heal it… I thought of the 3 'C's: I don't Cause it, I can't Control it and I can't Cure it…"
"I don't want to accept that the N can NOT do anything about himself. Our society stinks because of the 'not take responsibility for your actions' mentality. He has admitted knowing he needs help but doesn't WANT to do anything about it."
"To anyone feeling emotional and vulnerable and self-reflective… call a close friend. Visit a loved one you haven't seen in years. Write heart-felt letters to anyone who means anything to you… but don't give in and show remorse or regret over a Narcissist. You'll only leave the encounter still hurting and they'll have their NS-fix for the week."
"One of the signs of the abuse inflicted on you is having fleeting murderous violent horrible thoughts. You are not losing your mind, it is just your natural self-preservation instinct because you are feeling so intensely trapped. You are mentally 'fighting back'. You know deep down inside you are incapable of really doing anything. But the thoughts can be frightening, especially if you have never had them before. A lot of it has to do with the fact that you are so angry that this person has you in such a position."
"I was with my husband for ten years and was completely and utterly devoted to him. Brainwashed, totally. He was my guide, my life and he almost destroyed me. Now when I think of him I feel absolutely nothing, zero. No hate, no pity, not an ounce of love - just nothing. And it's wonderful."
"I felt that emptiness also when I confronted him with the truth of him being personality disordered. Then all you think is… how could I have been so fooled?? Self-reflection is not an easy thing to do. You then have to face all aspects of yourself, shadow and light. Being able to do this is what makes us different."
"I am a firm believer that most women who accept a bad relationship had no voice as a child and suffered emotional and sometimes physical abuse. I know I did."
"Both of my sons eventually saw their N-dad for what he truly is. I didn't have to tell them or talk to them about their Dad. They figured it out. Now we (my sons and I) are very close and have wonderful times when we are together. N-Dad's name isn't even mentioned between us anymore."
"I guess I'm just feeling sorry for myself. It's been over a year since this N abandonment-nightmare began and I can't believe I still feel so bad."
"When the 'devaluation' phase began I was totally confused having been in denial for so long about the one-dimensional aspect of our relationship."
"Denial is the way we handle what we cannot handle."
"Is it like your emotions are going up and down like a roller coaster? One minute you miss him so bad you can hardly stand it, the next moment you are furious at him for never loving you the way you loved him."
"In retrospect I see how boring, predictable and exasperating living with the N was. Moody, moody, moody. It was like having an infant. My nine-year-old son was better able to control himself!"
"I am in the process of moving on with my life… enrolled in college and also looking forward to a divorce and the day I will be REALLY free. I didn't come to these decisions easily… I suffered for over 35 years of marriage. The greatest revelation to me has been that my marriage has been a 'figment of MY imagination'. Please don't think that he will ever change. They can't. What they are is their survival mechanism. If it wasn't for the information that I learned here I would probably be looking for a pine box! As I have taken my 'baby steps' in recovery, I find that I have regained my self-esteem. I have realized that I did everything I could to make the marriage work and when it failed, I was not to blame. I am a worthwhile person and so are you. You have suffered enough. PLEASE move on with your life! There is just so much more than life with a self-centred, ego-maniac who cares nothing for anyone except how they can serve them. Stay here and get strong. The fine people who post here have been through it all."
"You will never unlearn what you now know about narcissism. If you go back to the N, you will look at him - and you will know, and this knowledge will come between you."
"I just CAN'T believe that our relationship amounted to nothing to him. I just can't believe it! I can't even begin to understand the mind of someone like him. How could he do this?"
"I'd love to be able to pick up the phone and call him and scream and yell and cry for all of the heartache I went through (and still go through) for him… But I, like you, know that it wouldn't do any good. It's truly heartbreaking to know that someone you loved more than life itself has no way of understanding what it feels like."
"We are de-programming ourselves (at least I hope we are!) and it can only get better. When WE look in the mirror we know who is looking back at us. What does the N see when he looks for the millionth time in his mirror. Best not to dwell too much on what he sees."
"I want love and I daresay the entire human race does too. But love comes to you, and it will, maybe in the form you least expect. But it cannot be chased after and brought down with a left and a right like a bird. You cannot capture love, by its very nature. It should be a healthy interaction between two people (and you know this), not a co-dependency. So, yes, there are the fireworks, and the coloured lights, and the exhilaration, and the dangerous delight of the first days with the N. We have all experienced that, and look where it got us. Love, for me at any rate, is the person who is always there for you, and you for them, even when you are tired, down, fatigued from work, maybe not looking your best, in bed with 'flu and looking a freak. Love is, whether we like it or not, the good, old-fashioned daily slog and all it entails. Anything else is movie stuff, and a recipe for disaster."
"I hate that word co-dependent. Seems like every nice, decent person I even knew is somehow called a co-dependent."
"Take lots of care. Look in other directions. Take your mind to a quiet place. Do something you never did before."
"Don't let your mind be invaded, even by your own negative thoughts/memories, or even by what you might consider memories of the 'good' times. 'Good times' do not exist in N-land."
"To him, trust was just about sex and fidelity and had nothing to do with emotional intimacy. If you push for intimacy with an N, there is no choice for them other than to flee or devalue. There is no love there… they don't know what it means. That's why, I liken it to talking to an alien… they just don't get it."
"Staying with an N, or making contact with an ex-N, is like putting your hands directly on a hot stovetop to warm them. It will "work" for five seconds before it scalds you."
"It's amazing the little details I keep remembering, and how angry they make me… and ultimately how stupid I feel for putting up with it."
"That feeling of not getting it all out with her will fade, and you'll be glad you didn't get it all out with her, because she'd just use the information to somehow abuse you even more either now or in the future."
"Our biggest wish is that someone would be able to find a cure for NPD because it just breaks our hearts to see our partners/friends/husbands/wives with NPD suffer and inflict suffering on the people who love them most. We have no choice but to leave for our own self preservation."
"I have separated myself from him in every way, but he persists in calling, writing, driving by, e-mailing, sending friends to communicate, etc. I want it to stop sooooo… badly but the nightmare continues."
"Of course, he didn't have a clue what I meant. Explaining the notion (that the issues I had with him were all about a lack of emotional intimacy) was just an opportunity to engage in the blame (me) game, word-salad game, pathologize (me) game, spin reality game and lure and slam game, rationalize it all away game, etc… in other words, I had my first brush with the devaluation cycle. Very painful and bewildering."
"Once you are crystal clear in your perception of the Ns true personality, you lose respect for them. Then you can put up with a lot, because you no longer feel the need to take what they say with any seriousness."
"Funny: Sex was not a problem, except if she didn't get enough… and trust me it was never enough."
"You're not crazy. No way. Your anger is your weapon right now. You need to be angry. You have a right to be angry."
"Happiness is the best revenge, because that's something we're capable of but they're not. Get angry, feel the hurt, but please don't act out on revenge. Then you'd just have to feel your own shame for living outside of your own values."
"After sinking into a pit of despair, going into shock one night and shaking so bad I could not stop that shaking, I literally could not stop it. It frightened me. Then, I became angry, I get my strength from anger. The angrier I get, the stronger I get. Here I was driven into mind-numbing terror, pain, confusion. The anger became an almost welcome relief from the pain. How could he treat me that way? I had done nothing but work for our marriage. I was dumped like a bag of trash."
"Maybe it's just good, old-fashioned aversion to pain. None of us like to be hurt, and when we perceive things or situations as hurtful, we tend to avoid them. I used to avoid things too, as a reaction to all the pain I had suffered as a child. Some things should be avoided, and others should be worked through, and the trick for me has been partly learning how to tell the difference."
"What helped me was learning that I don't have to be all things to all people, and learning that I can be myself, and that is good enough for most people."
"I needed real human contact so badly after my experience with my ex-N. I enjoyed such simple things in life as to sit and have a give-and-take conversation, mutual respect, a smile, a touch. All of this without what the narcissist overlays upon social interaction. I was awed by how nice people are, how understanding, and at the same time, many, truly don't understand, yet they were human, and MAN WAS IT GOOD TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH A HUMAN!!!"
"You know that old saying that the opposite of love isn't hate, it is indifference. And, sweet woman, you are much bigger and better than he is. Don't stoop down to his level."
"Once you've had some time with zero contact with him you will see how your thinking clears and changes. Read everything here as it really helps and please keep sharing here. You'll find lots of support and comfort. When you are tempted to call him sit down here and read or write until it passes. Vent, vent, vent!"
"Why don't we go? For any combination of reasons. Take a look at the 'you' before or at the time you started going out with the N – and the 'you' later on. Never was anyone less equipped to get out by that stage - your self worth is in the gutter, you feel a failure, a deep sense of being a nothing - the things the N said to you, the insidious drip-feed of negatives, their behaviour that says so much about how little they respect or care for you. Then of course we really do have to face some of the nastiest - the what ifs, the depression, the self hatred (how COULD I have put up with this, how DARE he did this to me without a blink of the eye - what must he have thought of me knowing I allowed him to do these things), the loneliness, sense of failure."
"My ex-N did mood swings on me too. That is, if we were going someplace, he would be fine until in the car. Suddenly, he would be down and out. When I became familiar about N disorder, I would straight up say: 'Hey you think I am going to follow in to YOUR mood you are WRONG! I'm staying happy so there you go big fellow!' Meaning: grow-up. Yea, they do that stuff. It is the other person who has the choice to NOT fall prey to the mood especially if it is a negative mood. Remember, they say the opposite of what is happening. Saying you were playing mind games 'meant' HE WAS!"
"It was only when I finally - after about 3 months - came across Sam Vaknin's site on Suite 101, that I sat in front of the screen, with a dropped jaw, poking a finger at the screen and shouting: 'That's IT – that's it - HIM!'"
"My N just casually said one day: 'Sorry if I seem a bit Narcissistic'… I ran for the computer and found this site. I began reading stories of people just like me. Everything became clear. Up until that point I was going downhill fast. I think I could 'maybe' recognize it quicker now, but you know what they say about being blinded by love… it's true."
"As I was reading the information by Sam Vaknin, I just started crying both out of relief and frustration."
"It is here that I really talked about it. This place has been a solace for me for almost 1 year. I have told no one of this place. It is my little secret place with secret friends that I come to and talk about the hell I have been through… and hopefully help others who are in this hell."
"I stopped contact with the N. I felt stronger again, but very lonely. I posted here often at all times of the day and night, and always received love and support."
"I can come up here onto the forum and share the 'laughing on the outside, crying on the inside' syndrome, and not get judged for feeling like this, which keeps me going. One day, I will laugh on the inside as well - and I'll have all of you, and the fun and tears we share, to thank for that. You are my lifelines. Thanks."
"Discovering Sam Vaknin's website couldn't have come at a better time! I sit here in a stupor having left my narcissist 19 days ago, and I cannot begin to describe these feelings - rage, betrayal, pain, denial, longing, emptiness, angst, jealousy - I'm all over the place with this thing. I feel like the victim of a very mean practical joke."
"The support I have received from everyone here has been what made me turn the corner away from my ex-N. I am amazed at how people who were strangers to me two months ago, and who I would not recognize on the street, have helped me walk through the worst part of it unscathed."
"But as much as we are responsible for our own life we are responsible for society around us."
"Are you willing to draw the line now and say 'no more'? If so, then you have my support and probably the support of everyone else."
"Learn as much as you can as fast as you can, protect yourself financially and emotionally."
"Do not let him get the impression that these calls are rattling you. Be brusque and impolite (nothing else will have any effect) next time he tries this."
"There are worse things than being lonely." (Living with an N)
"I really just need to tell him once and for all: 'I am not interested in speaking with you. My personal life is my business. Please stop calling me.' Say it in an unemotional, matter-of-fact voice. Then STOP talking to him. If he manages to get you on the phone, hang up the INSTANT you realize it's him. He will call and call, but eventually will give up and go away."
"Ask him: 'Hey, who stepped on you today?' You might get him talking about what is really bugging him rather than taking things out on you."
"Before I cut my losses and left my husband I tried valiantly to predict what he would do or say, and speak accordingly. But it didn't matter, whatever I did he would twist it to his own advantage. I agree with what you say about simple, strict language with the N. It seems the best route is as few words as possible with clear meaning. Similar to dealing with a toddler."
"My Ns love to try verbal manipulation. They're very good at it and most people fall for it time and again. It takes Ns 20-40 minutes of running the gamut of all their whining, complaining, argumentative and other persuasive tactics. Then in the end they hit my 'NO' brick-wall they have no where left to go. It's a horrible way to live but sometimes it's not possible to get them out of your life in one swift stroke so boundaries become essential survival techniques for non-Ns."
"You have a remedy in the courts: it's called PAS, Parental Alienation Syndrome. I believe that Ns practice alienating their victims from each other all the time - it's one of their mainstays. You can prove this and your child can help; when your child understands that your ex has purposely been trying to stop her from loving you - it will free her too. Fortunately, Ns are verbal and document their own crazy antics through e-mail, regular mail, answering machine messages, and their own court papers, your ability to prove PAS won't be difficult; you can use the N's own words against him. Getting counselling for yourself and your child also proves the point; that your ex is causing intentional emotional damage to you and your child. File a PAS lawsuit. That ought to scare the heck out of him and get him off your back. In the meantime keep collecting evidence - his own words and mean-spirited actions."
"Ns love spreading lies and rumours. That's one of the things they do best. When you hear about them, put up your hand, palm outward (the stop-sign position). Tell whoever it is firmly and with a chuckle 'I don't want to hear anything about N'."
"Please do help yourself set some firm boundaries. One thing that helps me is to ask myself 'would I want someone to treat my daughter this way?' More often than not the answer is 'No'. If it's not good enough for her, then it's not good enough for her mother."
"Call him on it. 'No, that's what YOU do, not me.' I've read suggestions that a victim should accuse the N of outrageous things too, it really throws them. And when they rage at you, rage back! They are counting on you NOT doing this. They are counting on you remaining a doormat, they hope you'll keep trying to be understanding, etc., so they can keep wiping their feet on you."
"Circle those dates on your calendar and make plans that can't be changed. Get tickets to a show or concert, commit to help out a friend or organization. Edge him out. Remember, the worst thing you can do to N is ignore him or discount his importance. You are over him, you can even give him a Mona Lisa smile and keep walking."
"Using very simple assertiveness statements works with these folks, however don't expect them to like it. Trying to enlist their co-operation is useless. Only by having very firm boundaries, telling them what your decisions are, and never, ever explaining or defending yourself are you able to maintain any sanity."
"He raged, he yelled, he pouted. I went about my merry way with a slight smile on my face. The more he reacted, the more I kept calm. Now he is bending over backwards to please me. I just keep on smiling and going about my merry way."
"Why not just act uninterested and give him a flat out 'NO' with ABSOLUTELY NO EXPLANATIONS?"
"Indifference is absolutely your best tool in dealing with the N. They HATE indifference. Do not react in any way to anything he says or does. Any reaction, good or bad is supply for them. Any response you get will not be real, merely another attempt at manipulating the situation. Do not let him do that. It's what he wants. Somewhere to place the blame, and to make you feel as bad as possible. He is not 'expecting' any particular reaction. ANY reaction will do for him."
"You are going to have to be stronger than you've ever been to block him… block e-mails, get caller ID. For your mental health and safety you have to do this to get rid of him. He will not give up easily but you know you can't afford to have him in your life. You don't owe him any explanations or even advice about NPD. His denials and excuses will only confuse you more. And you can't help him."
"After the worst of it was over, what I found to be key was to have no contact with him. None. Do not say go to hell. Do not say I love you. Do not, above all, try to sit down and have a dialogue, to reason with him. No response of any kind is the answer."
"Please, please do whatever it takes to avoid the phone. With Narcissism, I suggest procrastination. Tell yourself you'll wait until tomorrow… then tomorrow repeat that same phrase… meaning that you never initiate contact. Put off until 'tomorrow', what you MUST NOT DO TODAY!"
"DON'T ANSWER HIS MESSAGES…
DON'T MAKE CONTACT…
DON'T WASTE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME…
DON'T TOY WITH YOUR FRAGILE EMOTIONS…
No matter how much we want to believe they're not seedy weasels…
WE KNOW THEY ARE! And you know HE is…"
"The boundaries I found most successful are where I don't answer his 'statements presented as questions'. Never fall for his 'yes/no' response type of questions. Never ask an N a question, it's just inviting lies. Never answer a question, either, always respond 'I'll have to think about that' to give yourself time to think about what he's really trying. Whenever he asks his beating-around-the-bush questions I use the tactics of salesmen and just repeat his last 3-4 words back to him, posed as a question. When I don't want him bugging me any more I'll say: 'This is becoming annoying N.' With any luck you'll have him walking on eggshells."
"Be fully self reliant and responsible so you never, ever have to ask him for anything. When you do say NO, the ABSOLUTE WORST thing you can do is to change your mind. Practice, practice, practice your boundary statement until you can pull it off without batting an eye. Oh, and try chuckling at his words. The humiliation alone can often cause them to disappear like a vampire at sunrise."
"I said No effectively. All I got was the infamous N rage every time I put my foot down. It is no way to live. You cannot reason with the N because they refuse to have any type of normal conversation. A relationship is supposed to be a reasonably fluid journey, not a situation where you are in 'shields up' mode all the time, and where you have to become the manipulative one. Not healthy at all. The only possible N relationship is NO N-relationship. Despite having no financial security, not even a roof of my own, I could not live in that marriage."
"If she sets up a situation where you can't walk away just give polite agreeable responses. 'Well, it's a good thing my little Suzy became a brain surgeon, or you wouldn't have become a brain surgeon.' 'Well, Aunt Mouthie, Suzy is quite a leader. Will you excuse me please?' Walk away and smile like the cat that just ate the canary. Not catty, just cool. 'My little Suzy got first place in the beauty contest, you came in second.' 'Aunt Mouthie, no one can compete with Suzy's beauty and brains. She is lovely. Excuse me, I'll be back in a bit.' Smile, walk away and don't be back. Be classy, be cautious, be secure Take care and keep your chin up."
"Start documenting everything now! Save copies of his e-mails or copies of the web sites that he frequents. Document how he treats your children. You can't be too detailed. It may be a pain to do but you will be glad you did. Do you work? If you leave do you have a way to support your kids on your own? I think a broken home is much better than exposing your kids to an out-of-control freak. One tip which I wish I had known when I separated from my ex-N is make him think it is all his idea. As far as the kids, you don't want him to use them as a weapon against you. Make visitations sound as though they help you out tremendously. That way he won't want contact with them. I feel for you. I've been split from my ex-N for two years and still have to deal with his control issues because of our child. I wish I didn't have to deal with him at all."
"Now this next is a rather difficult thing for some women to do, but IF you can ACT as though his exercising his visitation rights is YOUR TICKET TO FREEDOM, then this will be one of your most powerful weapons. When he shows up to pick up your daughter, be all dolled up, hair all pretty, FULL MAKEUP, 'going out' clothes and PERFUME. ACT as though you are ready to go out partying. Even check your watch if he tries to keep you even an extra second at the door. Now, if you REALLY go out (and why waste good perfume), that is all the better. This is a good time to practice being good to yourself by spending time with girlfriends, learning to line dance, taking a class, visiting a museum or art gallery, attending a movie, concert or play - or whatever. You want him to BELIEVE that his 'services' are much desired so that YOU can have SPECIAL TIME for yourself. UNPAID BABY SITTER."
"Instead of seeing yourself as one person, dealing with an unreasonable crazy person, imagine that all of us are standing right behind you, forming a group. Take strength from us, for as long as you need that, until you can fly with the eagles - on your own."
"If you want to end a relationship with a narcissist, the formula is very simple: The narcissist analyses (and internalizes) everything in terms of blame and guilt, superiority and inferiority, gain (victory) and loss (defeat) and the resulting matrix of narcissistic supply.
Shift the blame to yourself (I don't know what happened to me, I've changed, it's my fault, I'm to blame for this, you're constant, reliable and consistent…).
Tell him you feel guilty (excruciatingly so, in great and picturesque detail).
Tell him how superior he is and how inferior you feel.
Make this separation your loss and his absolute, unmitigated gain.
Convince him that he is likely to gain more supply from others (future women?) than he ever did or will from you.
BUT, make clear that your decision - though evidently 'erroneous' and 'pathological' - is FINAL, irrevocable and that all contact is to be severed henceforth.
And never leave ANYTHING in writing behind you."
"The best advice I've gotten here is to seem neutral as much as possible. Another tactic I've found successful is to capitalize on their laziness and irresponsibility (responsibility is too much work). My N missed a court hearing because he was simply too lazy to keep track of the date. Good documentation helps here, because they never keep track of dates, incidents, etc."
"What you can do is clearly document the things that you have done and said that you are concerned he will twist, so that you will be prepared with reasonable and truthful explanations for those things, if it ever comes to the point at which you need to defend your actions. If there is anything that you can document that will verifiably (on paper), demonstrate that the N has lied or has distorted the truth to fortify his position, find it and make sure that your attorney knows about it."
"Dealing with these people in a legal situation is very upsetting and frustrating. You have to assume that anything you say will be examined and re-examined to determine if there is any possible potential for it to be used against you. In my own situation I have shut down all avenues of communication with the N. The ONLY communication I will permit is through our attorneys. It is very frustrating to not be able to work things out and reason like normal people, but they just aren't normal. They make things up. They spew venom. They infect everyone within their sphere of influence. They truly believe that they are right and entitled to operate outside the law, and they will attempt to build a convincing case for this out of absolutely nothing. The sheer 'magic' of their ability to do this is mind-boggling in itself."
"I have the dog, the alarm system, the caller ID, 2 police reports filed, the motion detector light on 2 sides of the house, changed e-mail addresses, changed phone numbers, asked his friends to co-operate with my requests to distance myself, returned all his priority mail to sender, but I haven't yet done what you suggested regarding forwarding his e-mails. I'll try that. I've avoided that mainly because of the hurt that it might cause others. I think that the only way for me to make this nightmare stop is to 'shine a brighter light' on the darkness that he creates. I have also returned everything that was his. I have tried to literally and figuratively erase all the symbols and remembrances of the pain and agony that he brought into my life and the lives of anyone close to me. I do not want to ever forget the very excruciating lessons that I hope I have ingrained in my brain through this experience. If the pain needs to stay with me for the rest of my life as a reminder of what was, then so be it."
"There is only one way for you (and the rest of us) to go - and that is onwards, upwards and away."
"I know from past experience that there does come a day when you can look back and laugh at some of this stuff. So my wish is that everyone here has a moment like that today."
"The figures seem to indicate that a minimum of 1% (probably 3% and perhaps up to 5%) of the population above the age of 10 are narcissists. Now, factor in the parents, spouses, colleagues, friends, children, the children's families… This is the biggest under-diagnosed mental health pathology ever. Many researchers also believe that all Cluster B personality disorders (Histrionic, Antisocial, and Borderline) have an underlying foundation of pathological narcissism. This is getting close to 10% of the adult population. Staggering numbers."
ROFL = rolling on the floor laughing,
LOL = laughing out loud)
"For me, it finally became such a chore to always look my best, walk just right, talk just right… in short to be perfect. It just ain't happening. I'm sorry, but I'm not June Cleaver… I don't vacuum in a dress & heels!! LOL"
"One morning I asked if he'd like a cup of coffee to drink on the way to work. His response: 'I don't understand. Some days you prepare the coffee, and other days you ask if I want coffee. There is no consistency, I don't know what to expect.' Jeez Louise, it's coffee, not sex!!!"
"Anybody bringing a bullwhip? I'm going to need some self-punishment."
"By the way it won't take long before you reelize I don't spell check ot profread."
"…and I no longer korrect you! LOL"
"Gee, I'm glad you fessed up on the spell checking… I was starting to think you had been spending too much time at Walmart! LOL"
"…yue leve wallmrt aloan – itsa gud stor."
"I've got a bit of an embarrassing confession to make of my own. I can't remember whether it was you I asked to let me know what ROFL stood for? In the reply you/she included LOL. I've always been used to using LOL to mean 'lots of love', and realise I've put it in some really inappropriate places! e.g. "My heart goes out to you with this tragedy. LOL"
"N's are stuck on perfection. If your feet aren't perfect they are devalued. You may as well have the feet of an elephant. Ask him why you can smell his ass from across the room. That'll shut him up."
"Try installing a poor-man's security system. Go to a second-hand store, buy a pair of men's used work boots – a really big pair. Put them outside your front door on top of a copy of Guns and Ammunition. Put a dog dish beside it. A really big dog dish. Leave a note on your front door that says something like 'Bubba, big Mike and I have gone to get more ammunition - back in ½ an hr. Don't disturb the Pitbulls, they've just been wormed."
N said: "You can't have my mobile phone number because it's private, but I'll need yours so that I can check up where you are at any time."
N said: "Well, that's enough talk about me. What do you think about me?"
N said: "You'll never find anyone better than me."
N said (to the slow cars in front of him): "Can't they go any faster, don't they know who I AM!!!"
N said: "A lie is as good as the truth if you can get someone to believe it."
"My suggestion, tell him: 'You know, how they say that size doesn't matter? I am sorry to inform you that indeed, it does.'"
"He was the only man I ever knew that could strut while sitting down."
"Every man wants a woman he can look down on."
"There's nothing wrong with narcissists that reasoning with them won't aggravate."
"I'm sorry I didn't get to tell him to screw himself when I had him on the phone. Knowing him, he'd spend hours e-mailing himself trying to seduce himself into getting it done!!!"
"He lied like a dog. Oops, I take that back. That would be insulting to the dog."
"Honey, I just wanted to say you look wonderful while you scream at me that way."
"Does this mean you're about to rage? By the way, would you mind doing something useful while you rage, like getting me a beer and a sandwich?"
"Is this going to be on candid camera? You can't be serious? Where's the hidden camera?" (begin looking)
"I'm thankful for all these little conversations. Without them, I wouldn't know what humility really stands for."
"The new head of the complaint department is Ms. Helen Waite. If you have a complaint, go to Helen Waite."
"I'd love to stay and listen to you talk about yourself, but I gotta run."
"Before you begin, may I adjust your crown?"
"Is there a caboose to your train of thought?"
"They told me you weren't dumb enough to lie all the time. I stuck up for you and said you were."
"I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you."
"I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me."
"You were sent here as a warning to others, weren't you?"
"Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental."
"100,000 sperm and YOU were the fastest?"
"A narcissist is someone who after taking the trash out, gives the impression he just cleaned the whole house."
"How does a narcissist sleep?
First he lies on one side, then he lies on the other."
"How can you tell when a narcissist is lying?
His lips are moving."
"What do you get when you cross the Godfather with a narcissist?
An offer you can't understand."
"What is the difference between a catfish and a narcissist?
One's a bottom-crawling scum sucker, and the other's just a fish."
"What do you call an honest narcissist?
"Hear about the terrorist that hijacked a 747 full of narcissists?
He threatened to release one every hour if his demands weren't met."
"What do a narcissist and a sperm have in common?
Both have about a one in 3 million chance of becoming a human being."
Interviews and Chats regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and abusive relationships.
Narcissistic personality disorder chat transcript - abusive relationships, divorce, idealization and devaluation, strategies or coping.
Hour long radio show about the Narcissistic Personality Disorder, abuse in relationships with narcissists, and listeners call-ins.
Audio interview with Sam Vaknin regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder - clinical and cultural aspects.
Chat regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Pathological Narcissism.
An interview in Natterbox with Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited".
A WebMD chat with Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited".
Pathological narcissism and its incidence in various ethnic, religious, or professional groups as well as its connection to terrorism and violent crime.
Transcript of chat regarding abusive narcissists and their victims.
Narcissism as manifested in various social institutions - from Wall Street to the Catholic Church.
Psychological testing and online psychological tests with emphasis on personality testing.
The authoritative guide to psychological testing, including online psychological testing.
Subscription only online psychological diagnosis and testing.
Online personality tests - a directory of links from Yahoo!
The American Psychological Association's online psychological testing web guide.
Psychological online and offline test and a guide to psychological testing. Includes a therapist directory.
A directory of links to psychological tests on the web (especially personality, emotional intelligence, and relationship tests).
Free online psychological evaluation and assessment tests.
An online personality disorder test from 4degreez.
Tests to diagnose personality disorders.
A test is made up of 223 items (pairs of statements)that sample the domain of the narcissistic personality.
Dozens of commercially available mental health diagnostic tests, including the MMPI-II and the Millon Clinical Inventories.
Psychotherapeutic Assessment and Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder from the American Psychiatric Association.
Diagnostic interview designed to assist clinicians, researchers, and trainees in making reliable DSM-IV psychiatric diagnoses.
Support Groups and Discussion and Study Lists
Support Groups and Discussion and Study Lists regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Abuse by malignant narcissists - a daily dose of articles, essays, studies and links selected from hundreds of resources.
Discussion and support group for adult children of narcissistic parents.
Recovering From Narcissitic Parents
Support group for changing old behaviors which hinder the healthy developement of children of Narcissists.
Personality Disorder Support
Support and discussion group for sufferers of the Echo Personality Disorder ("Inverted Narcissism").
of Narcissistic Personality Disorder Forum
Support and discussion forum for children of malignant narcissists.
Personality Disorder Forum
A Mental Health Today Forum to discuss the narcissistic personality disorder and pathological narcissism.
Personality Family Forum
Support and discussion forum for families of narcissists.
Another discussion and support group for children of narcissistic parents.
Discussion and support group for people affected by the Narcissistic Personality Disorder, their spouses, colleagues, families, and friends.
A discussion and support group for victims of abuse by narcissists.
Discussion and support group dedicated to the victims of narcissists.
Support group for survivors of partners/parents/co-workers with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
This list is not a support list. It is intended to study the causes, effects and manifestations of Pathological Narcissism. Contributions from members are welcome. The Narcissism List is an "Announcement List". Members of the list receive daily - articles, book reviews, essays, analyses, literary pieces, web addresses and many other materials relating to Pathological Narcissism and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
E-mail support group for individuals with narcissistic behavior or have NPD.
Resources, learning, and discussion group for people who maintain relationships with abusive narcissists.
For survivors of encounters with psychopaths or narcissists - writings, links, and recommended readings.
Support group for people who are you now or have been in a relationship with a narcissist and are struggling with the relationship and/or its aftermath.
Forum for discussing Narcissistic abuse and the aftermath of a narcissistic relationship.
Discussion forum regarding treatment and healing for people suffering from the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
Therapist links and web directories and find a therapist directories.
Psychological counselling and care-giving services on the web.
Additional online therapist directories from the Yahoo! web directory.
Tutorials and Study Modules
Tutorials and Study Modules regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
Three study modules (more than 80 lessons) regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder and pathological narcissism.
Slide presentation by Dattner Consulting regarding narcissism at work.
Information and research regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
A mirror site of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" embedded in a much larger mental health site and community.
A book-length essay, 82 frequently asked questions, excerpts from the Narcissism List and appendices regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), relationships with abusive narcissists, and Pathological Narcissism.
Links to Pathological Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) resources on the web.
Bullying and stalking correlated to psychological profiles and typology, including the Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Advice, useful addresses, on-line resources.
Psychological abuse, narcissism, and relationships.
An essay regarding the formation, characteristics, dynamics and inter-relationships of Pathological Narcissism.
The role of controlling parents in dysfunctional families - the breeding grounds of a host of personality disorders, including the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Be sure to visit the links page.
A book sized essay regarding self-esteem as a goal of early childhood education, distinctions between self-esteem and narcissism and appropriate practices. Contains references and a bibliography.
A comprehensive overview of NPD, treatment options and dual diagnoses (mainly drug or alcohol abuse).
The journal, reflections, and studies of an enabler of a narcissist. The anatomy of abuse explored with candour and astuteness.
FAQs, recommended reading, and resources regarding the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and abuse in relationships with narcissists.
The symptoms of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), treatment modalities and on-line resources.
Definitions of types of narcissists, recovery, support, recommended reading and internet resources.
Overview - from personal experience - of literature about pathological narcissism and the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).
A typology of pathological narcissists with examples, recommended reading, advice, and case studies.
Narcissistic personality disorder information, online resources, recommended reading, and support groups.
Manipulation, betrayal, lying, belittling, no empathy - information about narcissists and how to deal with them. Lists recommended reading.
Narcissism, violence and aggression might be hereditary. The NPA personality theory is presented.
Articles, frequently asked questions, advice columns, support groups and web and print resources concerned with the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The Narcissistic Personality Disorder described, recommended readings, referral to discussion and support groups - with emphasis on the outcomes of narcissistic behaviour and their impact on others.
The Narcissistic Personality Disorder criteria, quotes from textbooks and links.
DSM IV criteria, recommended reading, Resources, Articles, and discussion and support boards.
An essay regarding pathological narcissism, narcissistic disorders, treatment and prognosis.
The phrase "Narcissistic Personality Disorders" on various search engines - news, multimedia, lists and off-web.
Download a Pathological Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Primer and Glossary covering more than 100 topics in depth (Babylon browser required).
The personal voyage of a narcissist faced with his debilitating disorder.
Pathological narcissism as the defence mechanism underlying paraphilias.
Theodore Millon's seminal chapter on Pathological Narcissism in his book "Disorders of Personality".
Personality disorders and personality types correlated using the Briggs-Myers typology. Lists of resources, famous people with personality disorders, links. Especially important are the discussions of the Narcissistic, Compensatory Narcissistic, Inventive, Borderline, and Mercurial personalities.
Articles about falling in love and leaving a narcissist.
The main traits of pathological narcissism, splitting, and other primitive defense
A doctoral dissertation regarding the impact of narcissism on self- and other- rated fairness in the workplace.
Narcissism and narcissistic disorders described and analyzed from the point of view of the voicelessness paradigm developed by Dr. Richard Grossman.
Two-part United Press International (UPI) essay about how pathological narcissism can explain many of the recent fraud-laced corporate scandals.
Narcissistic personality disorder: FAQs, resources, books and information.