It’s Narcissist Friday!  


Over the past several weeks we have been talking about tactics used by narcissists in relationships.  We have talked about projection, isolating, barricading, gaslighting and lying.  Obviously these all overlap to various degrees.  I want to add another that may seem similar, but offers a different perspective on narcissistic behavior.

The world sees narcissists as loud and seeking attention, at least the ones we call “overt.”  For the most part that’s true, but those who know even the overt narcissists also know that there is much that the world does not see.  In fact, there is much no one sees.

Some of the narcissists I have known have had significant amounts of unaccountable time.  Where did they go and what did they do?  Some, and I have seen this suggested in comments here, believe that this is to serve sexual appetites for porn or other relationships.  Obviously that’s true in many cases, as spouses have learned the hard way.  But that isn’t true in all cases.  Some, I suspect, just like being alone or anonymous.

Narcissists hide their past.  Many of them hide their money.  Almost all of them hide their failures and fears.  And if you try to ask about these things, you will encounter lies, evasion, or even attack.

In fact, many of those who thought their narcissist was so open, so transparent, in the beginning of the relationship suddenly have realized that they only know parts of the narcissist’s life (and they aren’t sure about the truth of what they think they know).  Some things were shared, but other parts are glaringly missing . . . when you stop to think about it.  Of course, the narcissist doesn’t want you to think about it.

Some conveniently leave out parts of their employment history or even relationship history.  What must it be like to learn of another wife or husband after you have been in the relationship for a while?  Or learn that an employee had successfully covered up harassment charges or accusations of theft in other jobs?  Because narcissists are generally so good at talking, they are able to divert conversations away from sensitive areas.

Those in relationships with narcissists often get into trouble for sharing what the narcissist says are secrets.  Certain things are not to be discussed.  Sometimes you don’t know what topics are off limits.  Sometimes the topics are off limits for you but not for the narcissist.  That’s because he will spin things his own way.

Remember that hiding is part of the basic nature of the narcissist.  The loudness and strong personal presentation are meant to distract people from the truth.  Hiding things and facts gives the narcissist both protection and power.  Again, picture the child who escapes into a fantasy.  There may be a hidden place with some hidden things that contribute to the strength of the fantasy.  Those hidden things represented a separation from the pain or rejection the child experienced in regular life.

And, I know, some of you will feel compassion for the narcissist at this point.  So do I.  But many of us had challenging childhoods.  The narcissist has chosen to continue this hiding and all the other narcissistic characteristics in adult life.  Instead of growing out of childish perspectives and solutions, the narcissist chooses to use them in current relationships.

The saddest thing is that the narcissist hides from him/herself and from God, the source of the love they have always wanted.  By hiding behind the image he has created, the narcissist never lets anyone get close enough to help.  Those who do get close, find that the cost is great.

Please don’t read this and think you have to “walk the extra mile” to help your narcissist.  Love from a distance.  Protect yourself.  You are not the one who will provide the solution.  You are the one who will be used and hurt. 


Filed under Narcissism

62 responses to “Hiding

  1. Portia Gray

    Ex narc bf’s family rarely sees him except when his mother comes to town to visit; Everyone rallies together until she goes home in AZ. Old as she is, she refused to move back to MI. Clues? I put pieces together. It is the ex narc’s bad mouth and insults tht drove members to avoid him. Narcs are loners fed with their supplies – material things such as tv, money, a job, and woman who does not know how he is. boredom sets in and insults or cursing starts with anger. Now, his sons relationship with narc dad is strained. New gf is a narc and controlling him living in his house. Hosp called me regarding ex bf’s steroid back injection. I Tld nurse to stop calling my house bout him. The ex had a co worker make to set tht appt ; he can’t hear on phone. Why he not let new gf make dr calls for him? He don’t not trust her or she dies not know how to do relay calls ( she can’t talk or hear). I used to schedule all appts. Ex is angry at me cause I kicked him out for final time and never begged him back. His former gf’s begged him back or refuse to speak to him at any events. His health plms are creeping on him: let the new gf be the fool to care for him

  2. Again, your insights are so true. Only when my husband’s ex-wife lost her job and they had to legally change child support did he begin to have an inkling of what she had been hiding. She continued to e-mail him that she was an HONEST PERSON and an OPEN BOOK. When someone has to define him or herself like that, you most likely are dealing with someone hiding something.

  3. Repol

    True, true, true, true, true.

    There is so much truth in this! The hiding of time. What ARE they doing with all their time alone? And it is un.touch.able.

    I am learning so much here. Lights go off for me every time I read a post.

  4. Bullied

    Excellent post! Yes, they are VERY secretive about their personal lives. I work with a narcissist who has bullied me for 10 years. I know VERY little about his personal life. He is also an EXCELLENT actor. He bullies me in front of the other narcs with work with, but is SO nice to me in front of our supervisor. He does this to make ME look bad.

    • Portia Gray

      Narcs always do stuff to make him or her look good in front of others . Sine do catch the narc’s ugly ways later – cursing, insults, demeaning, denials, threats, and etc if anyone questions or tell them we know their secrets.

  5. SingingEagle

    I have searched long to find information not only about narcissism but a Christian based information site with biblical answers. Thank you so much for sharing your information. It gives me peace of mind that I’m not the only one and that I’m not crazy.
    This article is excellent in describing the issues of the narc who habitually hides everything. I particularly appreciate when you say “protect yourself.” Living with my spouse of 37yrs has been an incredible journey of spiritual growth to say the least. I realized that most people don’t understand living with someone with this condition is difficult to explain if they have never (consciously) encountered trying to reason with one.
    Back to the hiding issue, in all the years we’ve been married (yes still, long story) he continues to hide information from me. Now that the kids are adults he flawlessly practices his award winning performance with them and they forget what they experienced as children when he didn’t want them to even walk in front of the window for fear neighbors might see them. The problem with this is that while they get the nice dad who wants to look good in their eyes, as soon as they leave I get the other side of the Jekyll and Hyde syndrome.
    Thank you again for giving me a safe place to vent!

    • Portia Gray

      Lucky I did bot marry my ex narc. He said to me ” whoo , he not marry me” even with my engagement and wedding ring he presented me 6 yrs earlier (12yrs). He said that I zeroed on the truth of who he really is. Thts why we are not together knowing he’s not a good man; he’s acting as an actor. I a

  6. My ex-husband (text book Narcissist) is a constant source of pain and frustration. I had been constantly banging my head against the wall trying to see what his behavior is doing to our children. It seemed to get through (with a whole lot of emotional effort) sometimes for a day or two, but always it would fade and he would be back to his self-centered self. He seems to have this sick jealousy thing going on towards our first child. He knows how close we have been and how much I love our oldest son. Over the years he has punished him when angry at me. It’s almost like he views our son as “my son” and resents him more and more the older he gets. The worst part is how differently he treats our younger son. Our youngest is really good at sports (therefore he gloats about it because it makes him look good, like he had anything to do with it) and he buys him expensive sports gear, makes sure he is always around the practices and games, sucks up to all the coaches and my older son has commented on the fact that he knows he’s been treated more poorly than his brother. It is a constant source of pain and I always find myself trying to make up for his father’s verbal abuse and crappy attitude. Any advice on how to cope with this is much appreciated.

    • SingingEagle

      I fully understand about trying to protect your kids from the abuse. The 2 oldest of my 4 kids were treated horribly with name calling, etc. and the last 2 knew they were treated much more favorably. When my kids were young, I finally stood up to my spouse and COMMANDED that he not curse at them or call them names any more. I was fully prepared for a physical battle but he walked away. The name calling stopped!
      The best thing that happened with all my kids (from youngest to oldest) who constantly expressed extreme frustration with their father’s lack of ability to communicate or HEAR what they were saying was their involvement with sports. They are all very athletic and they all had excellent coaches who also had the ability to have special moments of “dad” talks and a listening ear for when they were having hard times. Even when one was in the hospital for injuries, the coaches were there and were invited to all their graduation parties. They were also very much involved with youth groups.
      My suggestion is to continue to support your children (in a healthy way), validate them and give them permission to freely share with you their feelings about their father (which you are probably already doing). Remind them to still respect him but know that their value is still important. Having a responsible male figure in their life, (uncles, grandfather, youth group leader, youth pastor, etc.) is a tremendous help.
      PTL, all my kids are now adults with wounds from their past that have healed and given them a heart of compassion for others in a way that may not have been there otherwise.

      • I really appreciated your comment. As I read it, tears started flowing again. I am glad to here that your children were able to heal even with that in their life. I carry constant guilt that I did this to them by having children with this man. I made them with him and therefore feel I are the responsibility for every thing he does to them. I fear that if the family court fails us, they may be forced to live with him full time! He’s paid his way to win this battle, not because he is a better parent. I pray that God hears my prayers and protects them. I don’t think they would do well with him on a full time basis. He has NO clue how to parent. That is my biggest concern. I know you know that as a parent, your children’s pain is worse than your own.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Mypeachymia and SingingEagle,
      My daughter has a rough relationship with her mom, my ex N. We have only been divorced 3 months, separated 9 months. When we were dividing up the furniture after the divorce my daughter insisted that her “Dresser/Nightstand” go with daddy. Guess what? She still doesn’t have a dresser at her mom’s. PUNISHMENT I guess. My ex got her dad to buy daughter a TV for Christmas. Guess what? That TV is the main room TV at her house.
      The way she describes it, they eat dinner and then daughter goes upstairs by herself and watches shows on her laptop. Who knows what Mom’s doing. When she is with me she sits in the den, with me and does her homework. She always wants to be in the same room with me. The mom just informed her that she will be out of town for Thanksgiving and she is going to Hawaii for Christmas. I guess with her new boyfriend, oh who knows.

      Anyway, I asked daughter what she thought about this “new” rendition of her mom, this new personality so to speak. Daughter says ” I never really knew who she was before the change anyway”

      It is so pathetic, that my daughter needs me now more than ever but I am still a basket case emotionally. I have to get strong again. I must. She needs me to be strong again.

      • Repol

        Fellow Survivor–I understand wanting to be strong for our kids. I am right there with you, and even in a lot of what you’ve said in this dialogue, I found myself wondering: Am I giving them enough attention, or am I so wounded and self-absorbed that I’m possibly teaching them to shut down instead of depend on others for love and comfort and having needs met.
        I pray I am not utterly failing. But maybe, when we aren’t yet strong, we can still teach them something very valuable if we let them see us clinging to God and to Jesus and to GRACE in our weakness. Maybe that’s part of the “my strength is made great in weakness” that God promises us. And our kids will be OK, because they’ll see him working in us through that, walking through pain relying on him only?

      • Renay

        I honestly think the best thing for your daughter is to see your emotions. These people are void of emotions and they are an important part of being a loving human being. I understand all the comments made about children and their pain. I am here because of the monster I met after my husbands death, but I still worry constantly about the pain of losing a parent. We will always worry if we are doing enough and I’m sure your daughter sees that. I always told myself my children will survive our tragedy the way I survive it and that helped me in my lower moments. In dealing with the monster, I have been able to use my late husband as the great example he was in life when discussing this person and his actions. Children crave honesty and structure. You’re emotions are honest and we all know narcissists’ structure doesn’t exist. Good luck to you, things will work out.

      • I think it is good to show emotion, even if it’s tears or sadness, the kind no one likes to feel. My older son holds everything in, kinda like his dad. Although my son is extremely sensitive and caring, opposite of his dad, he does not like to talk about his feelings. I got him into therapy because it worried me so. It’s not good to shove things down. They always come spilling up anyway but at he least appropriate time. If they can see that we are not afraid of showing emotion, even if we perceive it as weak sometimes which it isn’t, then maybe it can help these kids to show theirs. Life is going to be hard sometimes and they need to know that we can navigate around those hards time and still come out on top. I feel your pain, though. It never gets easier to see your kids upset or disappointed.

    • UnForsaken

      I know a little about this from the “child’s” point of view. The only support I had was my older sister who was suffering more then me. Oh,the guilt trips! But, you must remember you And your children are in God’s hand – together and as individuals. He’s the one who ultimately protects and cares for each of us ….you don’t need to do God’s job too! He has and will make a way for you !

      • Singing Eagle

        Fellow Survivors, you have overcome a lot at this point and shown the stuff you are made of while proving the victory belongs to Jesus. Even though we have felt like failures at different points in the battle (why did I marry them?), remember our kids are that gift from God and are going to see that we are fighters and we don’t give up even when we feel like it. Many times I knew if it wasn’t for my kids, I would have given up. As I facilitate a small support group, I often tell them to stay connected in every area God tells us … love the Lord & neighbor as yourself. Any of these 3 areas that are lacking creates an off balance or unhealthy situation for you and your kids (your spouses or ex’s have proven that). No matter what you go through, they will always know that they are loved. A great example is the movie “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” where the character finally gets across to his wealthy, self-centered dad that all he wanted was to be loved by him. If only one parent can give it then God will provide the rest. When they especially see you seeking God and not afraid to cry or show emotion, it gives them the healthy way to deal with life’s toughest situations with the determination, “.. in Christ I CAN do ALL things”!

  7. Lifewise

    After I exposed to some that he was a liar and cheater, my Ex has been hiding from his family, so called friends and most of all investors. He has been working on a “big project” for 7 years now living off the investors. The big funding is always two weeks away. It seemed that he was a workaholic but now I’m not sure if any of his efforts will ever show success. Was he really working?? Many business trips. Lol. Well now he has relocated out of the country and has new investors. They all trust in the “Big Plan”. Kind of scary to think of what could happen. He was always hiding things and lived a double life. It makes me feel foolish that I believed in him.

  8. I too have often wondered what he does with all that time alone. A few years ago when things were really painful and confusing, I felt like I really needed to know what he was doing- I installed some monitoring software on our computer and began to understand what he was doing. I confronted him with what I discovered and that changed things in our relationship in a lot of ways. One thing I realized is that my need to spy on him was wrong and more about a desire to have control over some of the things in the relationship that I really don’t have control over. I just made him better at hiding. I don’t trust him and have no illusions that he has stopped engage in that behavior completely but I do trust the Lord and I know that he has control in my life and my Narc’s life.

    • Penny

      Ummm, helloooo?? Your “need to spy on him was wrong”? Do you realize how you sound when you say this? Turn it around and say “he was hiding from me so I protected myself”. You also do not say that he repented when you confronted him, but quite the opposite: he became better at hiding! (Read Genesis again to see how Adam & Eve hid when they were exposed!) And then in classic N behavior, he blamed YOU for “spying”?!! Pastor Dave has said previously to be careful what you share and who you share it with. You don’t trust your N,
      he is hiding significant things from you & my best guess is that when you exposed him, he turned it upside down & projected on you that you are the controlling one. Am I right? He did the classic narc bait-and-switch, & made you the problem. He shifted blame from himself to you– and you bought it. He exploited the good in you and twisted it to shame you. It’s understandable, for those of us who have been manipulated by a N. But this blog exists to untangle the web of deceit & blame, and to clarify for you that there ARE other choices. You say you don’t trust him but that you “trust the Lord and
      know that he has control in my life and my Narc’s life.” But God’s grace isn’t about control. It’s about freedom. Trusting God isn’t about being controlled, but about being set free. Most Narcs are desperate for “power and control”, but not for repentance or grace. Please, for your own sake, keep visiting this blog so that you can be encouraged “into” grace and “out of” control . There is healing here.

  9. Joy

    My ex was very good at getting out by himself for long periods. He’s stop at in the country at a friend’s empty summer house, for hours, on the way home from work, or hop on his bicycle and spend hours riding. I don’t think he was up to anything bad, other than avoiding the things he used to withhold from me. For instance, biking is a good way to avoid working on the home renovation, if that is what you are withholding from your wife. So you escape and do something you like…and leave her in a partially gutted house. And you do it for years. and years. I lived with our kitchen gutted for almost 3 years.

    But then my ex is not the overt rager, he is a covert one…raging with silent treatments and disapproval, and withheld affection/appreciation/sex. In front of people he is superman.

    I’m an introvert, so I understand needing to get away from everyone to recharge. Funny how there was a double standard though. If I went the long way home to unwind after work, driving around the edge of the woods instead of through town, I’d be 10 or 15 minutes later than usual. That would earn me a round of comments such as, “You never want to be home.” or “You are avoiding me.” and him sulking for the rest of the evening.
    But it was ok for him to just disappear for several hours without even saying “see you later.” I’d just turn around, sometimes while talking to him, and he’d be gone.

  10. Alone

    What if the narcissist is your elderly mother, in declining health, and you are her sole support? There is no way to escape particularly if you do not have funds to hire nursing care for her. She is in the perferct scenario to now manipulate you because she really is in need and frail.

  11. Penny

    Alone: You have my deepest sympathy. Narcissists do not age gracefully, to say the least. But–being old and frail and needy is not permission for ongoing abuse. I know that sounds harsh, but I also know several old, frail & needy narcissists who seem to be “dying tomorrow” for years. Thinking you could/should tolerate abuse simply because “she will die soon” can turn into decade[s] of abuse. I would call the local Senior Center or a Free Law Clinic in your community or county (most have them) and start the process of figuring out what care she can access that doesn’t require YOU to actually give it or pay for it. Many assisted living centers will accept a small number of residents under “low-income” or MedicAid reimbursements, but you have to research it. You can start here:
    If she refuses to give you a Power of Attorney (like my N did) or refuses to allow you to speak with her doctors (like mine did, hiding behind HIPPA laws) then you have no recourse anyway. The threat of being on the street may be enough to motivate her to compliance. There are many social programs that are funded for this scenario (are low-cost or free) and it is not your fault that she did not plan for her own eventual demise. Again–I am NOT suggesting that you neglect her, but rather, try to arrange for her needs while protecting yourself from abuse. I would do what you can to find appropriate care and support, but think long and hard about bringing her into your own home. She may turn the tables and accuse YOU of abuse! She will squawk and protest and demand and blame you for everything she dislikes (which is everything) no matter where she is or who is caring for her. If you do not have a Power of Attorney (or some other legal document) then you are vulnerable to being accused of abuse by her, so be very, very careful. It is very sad, and very hard, and I hope and pray for your sake that you can find a program that will fund her care. You WILL need help. Anna Valerious says this on her blog:
    “If circumstances developed leaving my mother completely alone without my sister or father alive to tend to her then my choices would be different. I would feel obligated to make sure her basic needs were being met. Shelter, food, and basic medical care. One of her basic needs is NOT companionship. She has no claim on me for that even if she is utterly alone. Her basic needs would not require me to be in constant direct contact with her. I would use surrogates for everything I could. I would be behind the scenes. There would be minimal direct contact with her. I would discharge my filial duty and not get entangled with her emotionally.
    Anna also has another post about “The Aging Narcissist”:

    I will pray for you!

    • UnForsaken

      Penny, you are right-on and I’m going to try to remember your tips. It can be quite different if you are the dependent (physically, not emotionally), but that’s another story.
      Alone, your post sounds so much like a friend of mine a while ago and I wish I’d known what Penny had to say….but, please don’t feel you are ever truly alone.There are others ,and we Pray!

  12. Repol

    “One of her basic needs is not companionship.”

    Is that typical of Ns? I think companionship is a basic need I have, but have noticed that it doesn’t seem to be the case for my husband. He never really seems to miss anyone. I deeply miss people when separated. It’s an emotion that occurs to me naturally, but he doesn’t seem to. And he never seeks out a companion to do anything with.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Repol and Penny,

      From my basic understanding of my ex N, and perhaps many like her, they were never nurtured as children, even as babies. Her father was never there for her and she had 2 younger sisters that consumed her mom’s time. That “missing” someone that you love could also be described as “longing for them” which is a deeper emotion than “missing” When my baby girl was little and she got hurt, aka a booboo, she knew her daddy would be right there to comfort her. If you are a little girl or boy and you are hurt but no one comes to sooth you, eventually you just give up on others being there for you when you need them. I mean, if your own parents won’t be there for you, why should you depend on someone else to be there. So, if your mindset is that no one will be there for you, you just decide to never depend on others for emotional comfort. (And they decide no one should depend on them for emotional support also, which is where our pain comes into play) The “longing” to be held when they were young was never satisfied, so that entire emotional spectrum was just eliminated from their personality. It is very sad because that “longing” to be with someone is a key component of love. It is the glue in the mix. Without the glue any love that could exists never sticks. ( I just made that glue analogy up, I think it works) Come to think of it, isn’t that what makes a believer a believer. Churches are filled with Christians, but how many truly “long” to be with and know Jesus. For all my sins, faults, and failures, and they are legion, I still want to know Jesus more fully. This stupid flesh of mind just always gets in the way.

  13. Penny

    Repol: I agree with you that companionship is a basic need for us, but for the N, we aren’t “real”; we are objects, not companions. They hate to be alone, not b/c they need people, but b/c they need to be surrounded by “mirrors”, by people [objects] who “reflect” their false, perfect image back to them. This is why their conversations are so shallow, and always about them. These two posts by Pastor Dave have really helped me with this:


    The N doesn’t really “see” us, we aren’t “real” to them, and they don’t want us to be real, b/c then the perfect image is shattered, and they rage. They don’t have deep connections to people and they don’t want deep connections. They just want the image.

    • Repol

      The last time I saw the friend I’ve been grieving the loss of, we had dinner together. I was on my way to something VERY important to me, something I had been wanting for half my life, and it brought me close to him, so I asked if we could meet up. He came. We had dinner. But he talked the entire time about himself, unless he was asking me to talk about him. At one point in the conversation, I said something about where I was going and looking forward to it, and he completely disregarded my statement, and then said something else about himself. I was kind of caught by surprise by the audacity of that, and laughed a little and said, “Oh, sorry. Let’s talk about you some more!” I was only partly joking. But he looked honestly confused, he made a joke about a country music song that said that in it, and then he went straight back to talking about himself.
      I knew then that something was really dying between us. It kind of put a damper on the rest of the time together, which was very short and ended up being the last in-person contact we had.
      I was his mirror. I did see good in him, things I wanted to encourage him with, fan into flame. And for awhile, I guess he needed that. But I know I’m a secondary source of supply for him–he gets his primary from the girls he pursues as love interests, and there’s always another one of those. So I am expendable.
      But with my husband, I just don’t know. I guess he wants the alone time, apart from me, because I do have needs. I require things of him. I used to seek emotional support and that was offensive. Now I need practical things: communication about schedules and bills. But it all stays pretty superficial. One thing that hurts so badly is that he claims to be a believer, and yet, he never wants to talk with me about God. I’m so passionate about God and what he’s up to that I started a blog to share my thoughts with others, in the hopes of generating some sort of friendly engagement in the one area that fuels me most. But my husband and I, though we go to church together, we just don’t rejoice in the Lord together.
      I do have friends now. Good people. But for the most part, my life is still very lonely. We don’t do things with people. I only occasionally get out to be face to face with anyone. But there is email and texts and Facebook and occasional phone calls. And I long for heaven.

  14. Renay

    The friend you were grieving sounds exactly like my friend. Problem was I found myself falling in love with him. It has taken me months of reading to realize I was falling in love with the image he created. I actually have no idea who he is, other than a pathological lying narcissist! To make myself start believing the red flags everyone else saw I wrote them down. Wow, no escaping that list. I know he hates women and I know he abuses allotter women he’s in romantic relationships with so I consider myself lucky. But the pain of realizing he manipulated my feelings and kept me in love with him for the sport of it has been tough to deal with.
    As for your husband, you need to get out there and interact with people in ways that you enjoy. Don’t let him control that too. I will not even try and understand how it must feel, but you deserve to be happy. You need to find that happiness even if it means leaving him. Be strong. I’ll pray for you.

  15. Kate

    Hoo boy. I read these posts and think — “See? I must be a narcissist.” I hide. I’m a loner. I have a hard time letting people in. But you know what, there’s a reason for it, and it became crystal clear to me this weekend after being berated by my older brother for leading a “double life” when brought up stuff about me online he uncovered 5 yrs ago that I never disclosed to him. (Nothing scandalous) Well, I don’t tell him anything about me because he’s always used the things I’ve shared against me and I’ve never felt I could trust him.

    I didn’t retaliate in this argument by digging up our past to say “YOU’RE the one leading a double life.” I found his big stack of porn mags when I was 9 years old. (Granted, I was snooping — but that’s what 9-year-old little sisters do, right?) I never told anyone, even though I knew the truth about him while he was busy being an altar boy and super-achiever. I mean, he was 14, and that’s what 14-year old boys do, right? I forgave him for all that.

    But when I finally gathered the courage to tell him years later (about 10 years ago), as a warning in case his own kids decide to snoop, he laughed at me. He does not realize what those images do to a little girl’s mind, and he does not know that I was tormented in school and went 3 years with no friends because I became known as the class pervert. (I made the mistake at that age to tell people about the mags! Ah!) But I protected him through it all and never told our parents, school, or church.

    In the time since, I have learned to hide from him and not share things about myself because he’s been so disapproving. Despite it all, I’ve always looked up to him, and because of his success in life and my own troubles attaining success, I guess I’ve assumed that he’s the right one and I’m not.

    But this weekend, after I told him that I wish to be treated as an equal in a family crisis and not be told what to do, he went into a rage. A rage in front of the family, in front of his kids, and in earshot of my dad, who was sitting by himself in the other room hoping for some peace while the family was together this weekend, fresh from the news that he is in stage 4 of lung cancer. My brother didn’t let that stop him. He just had to be right. And my dad did not even get his wish, which was to tell his life story on film with the whole family — because my bro was trying to run that show too. They ended up in an argument.

    I am so sad about my dad, and for my dad, but absolutely distracted to realize that my bro seems to lack compassion in this situation.

    My mom, dad, and I are the only ones who know my bro’s true nature. He is an absolute god to his kids, his in-laws, his students — a paragon of morality. But he had left us out for years and treats us with huffy tolerance at best. I feel that he leads a double life this way. I love and miss my bro, but I have not been close to him since I was maybe 7 (I’m 40). And when I’ve asked him, he has expressed grave shame about our parents over the most trivial, meaningless things. (Dad is not handy, for example, and has had to ask for help from neighbors. Boo hoo. Never mind the sacrifices he’s made to provide for us, and his strong ethics on things that matter, often at the expense of social status.)

    This weekend, I came to realize that my brother has a problem. I have followed a pattern of childhood submission into an adult friendship that brought me to this blog. I see my actions as reactions to protect myself, and this pattern that has lasted for decades.

    My co-worker, whose sibling has diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder, has taught me a technique so I don’t make things worse by getting triggered into the cycle: Medium Chill. Basically, when they lash out, show no anger. When they are nice, do not reciprocate. Tell them nothing and ask for nothing.

    I wish things were different, but they aren’t.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Kate, you came to the right place friend. We all are trying to sort through some rather difficult personality relationships we are having, whether it be spouses, parents, children, friends or siblings, or co-workers. The simple fact that you are looking for answers means you are not the crazy one. If you were the crazy one your brother would be seeking answers.

      We listen, we grieve with each other, we support, and finally we learn. So welcome and please post whatever is in your heart. Let it out. We are a safe community of believers and possibly non believers. But we all care.

      • Penny

        Agreed! Kate–with what little you have revealed here, it sounds more like you established boundaries and became more discriminating in sharing in what you safe and with whom. Both of those are important. It sounds like your brother isn’t “safe” for you. Again–very important. And as FellowSurvivor said, you are not the crazy one, and this is a safe place to vent, question, search, mourn and grow. Good for you, b/c you made the effort to find this place. I am truly sorry about your Dad, and the lack of empathy shown to him–but, he and the family have you; you have shown empathy, and that is another very important thing. We DO care here.

    • UnForsaken

      Welcome, Kate! You are wise to follow your co-worker’s advice…..thanks for sharing it!

  16. Penny

    oops–meant to say “more discriminating in what you share and with whom”. anyway–you are safe here!

  17. Maggie Saunders

    Wow, thank you for writing this article. Helped me get through the heartache of the end of a 21 year friendship with a girlfriend I loved like a sister. Long way to go in healing, but this helps. God bless you for being so inspired to write. I look forward to being healed, to smile.

    • Kate

      Thanks everyone. I wish I could have you all over for dinner or something. Fellow Survivor, your daughter would also be invited!

      Maggie, I am in the exact situation you describe and it is TOUGH! These posts and the comments are super helpful in keeping perspective and not feeling alone.

      Still, I am also having to really face my own tendencies and reactions. It’s hard to sort through, especially since I have to face my own anger and how I handle it. Counseling has helped A LOT.

      Thank you all for your good wishes for my dad.

  18. Fellow Survivor

    Well, its hard being a friend, a sibling, or spouse of an N person, but it must be very painful to be a child of one. My daughter is really strong, but she still is just a kid. She wonders why her mom does not want to do stuff with her. The N mom says she wants to be close to her, but that actually takes work

    We had that conversation tonight and I could see her holding back the tears, but she did. It is so horribly sad when a parent treats their own child as an object. The mom tells my daughter she is going to Aspen for Thanksgiving and Hawaii for Christmas. Now my daughter is dumbfounded about what to do on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. This has been their tradition for years.

    Anyway, just wanted to share what is happening to that precious little girl, well she is 17 so she is not little any more, but she is still precious. My friend tells me “you make it easy on the N” “you have always been there for the daughter, so she knows if she takes off the child will be in good hands and safe”

    These N persons should be classified in the same sentence as child abusers, because that’s what they are.

    • Carolyn

      Fellow Survivor – I completely agree with Penny. Your daughter needs a positive female role model. She is at such a pivotal age. I have had something similar happen in my life where my ex-N’s daughter (who is 21 years old now) and I have forged a strong and loving relationship. Her father only contacts her when he wants to do something. She is never told by him that he is proud of her. She is never told by him that he loves her unconditionally. She has ALWAYS been made to feel (by him) like she is not “good enough”. Even though her father and I are no longer together…she refers to me as her “second Mom” and I make sure she always knows that I love her very much and that she is important to me! We get together regularly and I am always keeping in touch with her. I give her guidance and direction and she knows that she can come to me about anything. She trusts me. I remember those 4-5 years ago when she was your daughters age, and the conflict that was going on within her, and how it hurt her terribly to have her father treat her this way. I pray that there is another woman who can befriend your daughter and let her know how wonderful and special she is. She needs to hear that from other women (as well as from you)! I will keep your precious daughter in my prayers!

      • Lifewise

        Wow. They are all the same. My ex N said he wanted his daughter to come live with us. She’s 21 but I found out about his betrayal a week before she came so I moved out. He immediately ran away to LA after being caught and his daughter moved into an empty house and he has only been back to visit her once. She was so excited to finally live with her Dad for the first time since she was 2. He just sends her money. Money has always been the substitute for love. So sad. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself.

    • UnForsaken

      Dear Fellow Survivor, I am the child of an N. ( I think an N!) Some of us have simply been ignored, something I hesitate to call abuse. Your daughter does sound healthy, with the kind of support all of us covet. You can make her dreams possible, but remember that pain is the great teacher sraight from God. It has kept me from becoming spoiled ,and made me grateful to God as well as those people who blessed me. Don’t feel you have to do God’s job too….He Is there for her!

      • Fellow Survivor

        Unforsaken, I must stress that being ignored, I believe, is one of the root causes of narcissism. When a child is being ignored by a primary caregiver, ie mom/dad their basic “needs” as a human being are not being fulfilled. These are not wants and desires not being met but needs. I can’t imagine what goes on in the mind of a child when they are hurt and NEED attention but are ignored. What about a teenager that is having trouble in school, or with a friend, or a boyfriend and they need to talk about it with someone, ie mom/dad. But dads to busy playing golf and moms to busy planning a party. This is abuse because it causes emotional pain to the child. Heck, I am a full grown man, and after years and years of pleading with my ex to pay attention to my needs before you focus on your wants and desires, its just about done me in. Ignoring someone in your circle of trust is abuse, because the message sent and received is you just don’t matter to me. That’s why ignoring someone that depends on you is abuse. The lack of interest sends the message that ” you just aren’t that important” for me to take the time to pay attention to you. When my ex N was 8 yrs old, there was a princes group meeting. Her dad wouldn’t take her because he had more important stuff to do. Couldn’t he spare 1 hr of his precious time for his daughter, no. She told me how bad it felt and how her heart was broken when she was the only one at the meeting with her grandfather, who did have the time to take her. That same woman, that experienced that hurt is now doing the same thing to her own daughter. It just doesn’t add up. So she is with me tonight and we/she will be baking cookies and browning for her away volley ball trip this weekend, with me, when she and her mom had planned it for 6 months.

      • UnForsaken

        Fellow Survivor, for some reason I didn’t see your reply ’til now.

        You have a good perspective, and I totally agree with the depersonalizing message thing. I wanted to encourage you to relax and not worry about having to be Super Dad all the time…..although I’m sure you Are.

        I think your daughter is stronger because of the pain , just as I am, but also because of your amazing support. Your X chose the wrong attitude, but your daughter, by the grace of God, has experienced pain and chosen an open heart toward Christ.

        Keep up the good job.

      • DLD

        My (now deceased) father was an N and pretty much treated me like I didn’t exist, including the day of my Mom’s funeral and my wedding day.

        I work with an N, and he makes it his business to treat me like I don’t exist.

        Ignoring someone IS abuse!

      • UnForsaken

        DLD, I believe you are right. It is sometimes hard to admit when just beginning to see Ns for what they are . Still learning every day, and the perspectives of everyone here have helped.

        Thanks. 🙂

  19. Penny

    Dear FellowSurvivor: I feel ill just reading this. i am so sorry. Is there a “normal” caring female relative or a trusted female friend who can act as a mentor (surrogate mom?) for your dear precious daughter? It is SO important that she hear from another woman that she is “good enough”, that she is worthy, that she loved and accepted. I am thinking of the movie “The Help”~ “You is kind. You is smart. You is important”. She needs to hear this from another Godly woman who won’t let her down. And yes–these N parents are abusive. I know–my MIL is my worst N. Even tho I had my own Mom, I was very young when I married (20) and my MIL wasted no time in her efforts to break me. Your daughter is very blessed to have you, b/c at least you know about N. Time for your daughter to learn about boundaries with mom? Sad, but necessary for her. Perhaps a very skilled female counselor? Maybe Pastor Dave could help there? I will pray for you both.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Thanks all for your concern for my daughter.. The advise when dealing with Ns is pay attention to what “they do” and not “what they say”. My daughter is surrounded by great female role models and older friends. She regularly meets with her Christian youth group female leaders and I encourage her to talk about everything going on in her life with them. And the best thing is that she truly has found her identity in Christ. I will brag a little here, but the Counselor at her school wrote me and the ex a note saying that of the thousands of kids she has known over the years my daughter is the most grounded well rounded she has ever met. She has never made anything less than an A in school, and she attends one of the most difficult schools in the country. She is just this close from being a National Merit Scholar. She told me she wants to go to Yale. I really don’t know how she does it.

      As far as the traditions her mom and her used to share, well, she just says “I’ll have to start new ones” Boundaries, she sets them firmly, that’s why the N mom doesn’t want to do stuff with her, she can’t control her. When she was younger I told her “they don’t hand out parenting books when a kid is born so I am going to make mistakes. If you feel I have made a bad decision concerning you, bring your case with logic and reason to me and we will discuss” She has never lost a case. When I was teaching that lesson I meant to give her ammo against some worthless boy, never dreaming she would need that tool with her own mom.

      I took her for her annual check up last week. The mom never has done this. Anyway the doctor is discussing several subjects. On the way home she tells me, ” you know dad, the doctor makes me feel good about my body, not like mom” Yousy Yousy Yousy. Whats up with that. I told the mom years ago to lay off daughter and her weight. I asked the mom ” when you question a little girl about her weight they feel bad about themselves, right? And what do little girls do when they feel bad about themselves? Well, usually sex, drugs and booze and in extreme cases suicide or other reckless behavior. So back off” Oh, by the way, my daughter is not over weight by even a little. I can’t stand it when she wears a bikini but I can’t stop it. She has me, her friends, and lots of female role models to turn to, and I am grateful for that.

      My problem is that I have been subject to this kind of nonsense for over 15 years with no one to explain it to me and no one to turn to. But I have educated myself and learned so now I must heal.

      • Your daughter does sound healthy, mentally and physically. I’m thankful for you.

        You said, Pay attention to what they do not what they say.
        I have such a hard time with this, because word and deed are supposed to be related, bound together, unified. Like God. He and his word are in perfect unity. That’s what makes a person trustworthy. I know I’m beating a dead horse, but it’s so inconceivable: where is the image of God in an N? That word can be completely divorced from action? I want to have compassion, but this element makes it so difficult.

  20. Fellow Survivor

    Repol, the N will say anything to keep you engaged in the game. In my daughters case she would tell her ” I want to be close to you” OK, then mom, lets do stuff together that brings us closer in our relationship. OK, mom, I have come to spend mothers day with you so lets get close doing something fun together. “sorry kid, got to go to yoga” But you said lets get close. ” I do want to get close, but I got to do my yoga” I wont see you for a week, I’ll be with dad next week, maybe you can do your yoga next week “sorry kid, see you later”

    See what I mean. She says she wants to get close to the daughter but when action is needed it is not there.

    Same thing with this trip this weekend. Mom, the volleyball trip is next weekend. This is the hotel the team will be staying at. We have been planning this trip since May last year, its going to be so much fun. :”Oh, I forgot, there is a poker tournament that weekend, do you mind if I don’t go?” Yes mom, I do mind. We have been planning this trip for 6 months. “Sorry kid, see if your dad will take you” But mom, you promised. “Sorry kid” Maybe some other time.

    Again, see what I mean. The N will only be there for you if it makes them look good, is convenient, or will embarrass them if they don’t show up. They will tell you “words” that they will always be there for you, but when it actually comes time to “act” “do” they just wont unless it makes them look good, feel good, is convenient, or it will embarrass them if they don’t show up.

    This type of behavior is soul destroying to a spouse, but a kid, that’s just child abuse, no way around that one.

    On Mothers day, before she went to her mom’s I told her, “if for some reason you find yourself alone, just call me. Uncle D is having a dinner for the mothers” I got the call at 4:30 that afternoon.

    For this trip, she called and asked, “will you go dad” I’m like, heck yea where do I sign up.

    Again, as Anna Valerious says on her narcissists suck blog
    ” No life is a total waste, it can always serve as a bad example”

    • I am so sorry to here that your daughter has to go through that. As a mom, it breaks my heart to here a child get ignored like that. It makes me think of my older son and the neglect he has felt by his dad. I have tried everything in my power to get his dad to be there for him. More importantly, to want to be there and realize how much he yearns for his dad’s love and attention. I remember last year when Super Bowl Sunday was around the corner. My ex had signed up my son to play fantasy football with his friends group. My son looked forward to interacting with this dad in this way. He loves football and would always be waiting by the phone for his dad to call on sunday’s to ask if they could watch the game together. That call would never come on the weekends they were with me. I am not that into football so I didn’t think much about it when the Superbowl was coming. My mother mentioned to me that my son had said he would be watching the game alone.

      I said, why? I guess his dad had told him that he was going out of town for “work”. Come to find out, he had a golf trip planned and he would be gone with his buddies. I immediately called him and had a big talk about why it was so cold of him to not ask his son to spend the day with him. His response was. “Oh, I didn’t know he wanted to”. Really? Well yes if you don’t think about your son on occasions like this like he does about you, then you wouldn’t realize it.

      He finally agreed, under much emotional effort on my part, to spend the day with him instead of going on the trip. But at that point, the message to my son was clear. As much as I try to be both mom and dad, I just can’t be his father. I think this is abuse. It makes me rethink all of the times when my younger son needs me and I get preoccupied. I definitely am going to keep this in my mind that even when it could seem small to me, it could be a huge deal in his eyes.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Mypeachymia, we have these precious sweet children for such a very short time. The Ns just don’t get it. They miss out on so so much. Sons look up to their dads and mostly just for confirmation, just as daughters to their moms. Its so terribly sad and pathetic. But as long as they have “HOME BASE” meaning us, they should be OK. I don’t give advise because I am not qualified, but if I were to, I would just tell your kids every night, ” I love you” And if they will let you, give them a big hug. I don’t know about boys because I don’t have any but I give my daughter a big hug everyday and every night and always have. Validate, Validate, Validate, these kids feelings

  21. Pingback: Hiding | Recovering Grace

  22. Badguy

    I am a narcissist. I dont escape not even a symptom of NPD buts its sad that the world has suddenly shut all the doors. I know people think we are the bad guys, bad people who think of others as preys. But beleieve me its so hard to continue a relationship for us, each relationship for us requires alot of work and we literally have to fight against our egos and interests to make a relationship survive. Even writing and admitting the truth for me is so hard. I know in the end we make people go away, i know we hurt them but still we really require and need people in our lives. Its so hard for us to admit our emotions for others. Our childhoods have been nightmares and the real world is really scary. We go behind a veil to protect ourselves because we have been through emotional pain always. I know its easy for us to make new friends, to attract people, to have people around who we need to praise us always but in the end we fail to trust others, we fail to build friendships, we fail on long term relationships……………….,……..and sadly i dont see any article that can help us to become better people……..sadly there is hate everywhere………….sadly the world thinks of us as predators not as humans. We have been through alot and its not a choice……….and there os no one to emotionally support us.

    • Badguy

      Its not easy trust me

      • UnForsaken

        Badguy, I suppose the real question is , ” Do you want to change?” I know it’s not easy, but what is your Heart? It is my belief that a true N may realize what they are, but not wish to change. You do realize you’ve hurt others and that makes me wonder if perhaps you have N traits – like all of us as humans . They can be strong and destuctive, even if you are Not N. They could also be part of an entirely different disorder .

        Suggestion – if you want to break the mold, get help. A psychologist or councelor may help you work through these things, and I cannot urge you enough to seek their support. This site is great at supporting those who have been bullied by Ns, but if you keep reading you will find something for you as well. Relationships Part 1, 2 etc., address the heartfelt need you were talking about for healthy ,enabling realtionships.

        This is very important to realize: the world is reacting to your behaviors, but You choose your behaviors. So, get help, and choose healing. Choose a new heart. Blessings on your way!

    • Penny

      “You don’t see any article that can help us become better”. “We have been throughout a lot & it’s not a choice”. “There is no one to emotionally support us”. Seriously–Are you kidding? You haven’t looked very hard; the entire Bible is available to you, as is our Redeemer Jesus, NOT to merely emotionally support you, but rather, to transform you thru Christ alone. We ALL have choices, the most important being to choose Jesus and not self; to deny yourself, follow Him, and not your emotions. Emotions are wonderful traveling companions, but they are terrible guides. Sorry, Badguy, but you are not the victim here. It seems whatever empathy you have is spent on yourself, and you have mistaken natural consequences for hate. You are not entitled to “require and need people” to satisfy you emotionally–that is typically called “exploitation” and most healthy people dislike it. You are right that survivors will not “emotionally support” a so-called apology or explanation or mea culpa. Repentance means to change–and that is possible ONLY thru the Holy Spirit, not an article. Jesus did not die to make good or bad men better; He died to make dead men alive. HUGE difference. HUGE. It seems that you recognize the consequences of your behavior, but you want the consequences to change w/o having to change your behavior. That is unreasonable. Also, most of us here have also “been thru a lot” not by choice, and have learned that that is not an excuse to remain either a victim or a predator. You’re right–it’s not easy… If it was everyone would do it. I agree with both Unforsaken & with Jesus: in John 5, Jesus saw “a man was there who had been disabled for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and when he realized that the man had been disabled a long time already, he said to him, “Do you want to become well?” It’s a rather simple question. He and He alone can heal you, but you must want to get well. Do you want to get well?

      • Carolyn

        Bravo, Penny….beautifully stated. It’s all about choices and whom we choose to make our God. If an N really wants to change, they have to choose someone other than themselves to worship and submit to. Easier said that done, and I don’t think it will happen until their behavior and choices disgust them as much as it disgusts the people they have chosen to use and abuse.

      • Badguy

        My mom got married into an NPD family. I was her first child after the death if her daughter in miscarriage. Thtoughout the first 12 years I was emotionally abusedby my paterbal family. They would threaten to kill my mon’ all of 11 people kept hurling negative comments on her, I have seen her cry, pray all the time and it was hard. My father was engages in extra marital affairs, he never really showed love for me. As having sons is considered to be an achievement which is sad in this part of the world, all the members if familybwere jealous. They wanted my mom to leave all her three sons with them abd go away. Mom was told she was too beautiful, sophisticated for them. I still vividly remember how even at 2 Am ar night they would wake her up and command her to bow to them for forgiveness. She was a wirking pretty lady whom they could never accept. She was even starve during pregnancy. Yet she dint want us to lose our father. She was insanley in love. Het patience did however did bear fruit and niw we live separately and dad has changed for good. He does really try hard to take care of us. But, I still have these bad memories, these dreams, I really fail to trust people and for them I am the coolest guy/ bully/ happiest person in highschool. I am 17. And its hard. I have been a bad boyfrienda and dont understand how girla fall for me everytime. I cant somehow believe someone can live me and I test them badly. Its not a choice. And even if it is. I chose it to shield myself against the world because I was emotiinally abusedIat a tender age.I wad told I was too tall thin and ugly and 5 timea a day. Brainwashed. I was tild I was illmannered. Unwanted. I smelled bad when I was 3. Mom was so beautiful that no one could comprehend why her inlaws dint like her. All of this trauma has badly effected me and now ehn I am told I am hamdsome, I am good looking, talented I REALLY CANT BELIEVE IT. Its like someone wabts something from me and yet i crave for these comliments all the time. Love is hard for me to accept. Its like surrendering and Narcissistd dont surrender.

        So were all circumstances I grew up in my choice? Am J to be blamed for? I am freakin 17 and I have lost all people I loved. Its hard.

      • UnForsaken

        Badguy, None of us choose our past, but we do choose our future. Do you want to change? I do, and can’t blaim any of my Future choices on what happened in my past Or on what people think of me today. What people think of us is Not usually true. It sounds like you need help to know How to not react to their treatmant of you. You need to stop believing them. To do that, a Good psychologist or Wise friend may be what you need. If you don’t want to become like your mother’s tormenters or the people who hurt you , seek guidance. We see your pain and they will too. But a good psychiatrist can Help you. You can’t go back and change the mean people in your childhood, but You Can change You. Do what it takes to be Healthy and Happy and also be there for your mom.

  23. SingingEagle

    I’m glad this particular blog has been kept current as this subject matter is always current when dealing with N’s. I mentioned a short time ago that my N husband had a stroke but now appears he will be returning home soon from rehab (yes, I wished he would stay longer or indefinitely, forgive me Lord!).
    Since this emergency incident that required searching for necessary information in my husband’s hidden files, drawers and closets, I have found so many things that he kept hidden from me including thousands of dollars from a homeowners insurance claim intended for home repair which he used on himself for electronic gadgets, etc. Many things he kept hidden which I believe made him feel like he had the power or upper hand like hiding Christmas cards with pictures or other mailings with both our names. There were also a couple of things addressed to me only I never saw that was apparently opened and then hidden with the intention I would never find it.
    But now after all this, with him being gone for a short time, I have had the opportunity to observe my own mental and bodily reactions as if one going through post-traumatic stress disorder and understandably so. I found myself waking up in a curled ball of tension and fear even though he isn’t in the house. I am saying all this because I realize the opportunity presented to me now is an open door that I don’t know how to walk as I have been hidden myself in a constant state of fear and terror with this man for over 35 yrs. (I now understand a little why slaves sometimes go back to slavery because of fear of not knowing any other way to live.) I may be now in a position of control with my spouse being disabled (how much, I don’t know yet) but I still want to hide in fear. I fight and ask the Lord to help me to let go of the past and forgive all those years of pain and suffering he caused me, after all, isn’t God the one Who is still in control anyway? I ask the Lord to give me the right heart response to him though I admit resisting an occasional wishing vengeance on him. A new life journey will be to find the grace and strength to come out of hiding, find out who I really am and get a renewed mindset of confidence and assertiveness. All this is great in writing but to live it…. What will happen when he comes home, even in his state of disability? Worry, doubt, fear, anxiety, anticipation, dread, etc. … All these have no place when “Perfect Love casts out fear” and “Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you”!

    • UnForsaken

      SingingEagle, still praying for you. I know what elbow room can do. It gives pain because you are making new discoveries, growing, and yet it’s exactly what you need to get a clearer perspective of the situation and yourself, etc. (There seem to be years of this in my memory ….in some distant past! But starting today, I have a whole week ahead to spend with my sister, and will be doing some more soul searching again. It can be overwhelming :/ 🙂 )

      Things they keep from us….in my case , most of it has been recognizing what I did see as a child . Sometimes it holds as much shock as discovering what gossip has been going around behind my back. My sister has more memories; things I never knew he did or things a few observant people saw.

      These are hard things but also victorious, because you are coming to the truth! Praying for both Hope and Peace for you as you seek our Father’s face on this! I believe when we feel the most fearful, but are giving it to God, He is our courage . Thank you for saying it : He IS In Control!!! 🙂

  24. George Hoogendam

    I have discovered recently that both of my parents are narcissists. My parents didn’t talk much of their childhoods. My eldest son once asked my mother what life was like for her when she was growing up. My mother proceeded to write a small manuscript. What was interesting was what she did not include. She wrote stories of occurrences in her childhood but didn’t write that her father was abusive. Her story also went from immigrating in 1950 to having grandchildren in 1976, nothing of the years we endured as we were children.

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