It’s Narcissist Friday!

It is entirely possible for a narcissist to exhibit a lack of resolve in the things he does and a stubborn persistence for the things he wants you to do.

It may have to do with the obsessive nature of narcissism, the need to control as much as possible, but it seems to be true that narcissists are able to focus on particular goals with abnormal tenacity.  Once they decide that a certain thing would benefit their image or, conversely, that a certain thing obstructs their image, narcissists can be ruthless and unyielding.

Some will notice that a certain friend/acquaintance/coworker brings up the same issue every time they meet.  Perhaps it is a boss who asks if a certain thing has been done yet.  Perhaps it is a neighbor with an old and oft-repeated complaint.  Depending on your relationship with the narcissist, he may not even know you apart from the obstacle you present.  He may think of it and mention it every time he meets you simply because he does not see you.  He only sees the problem.

Narcissists don’t see people in the way others do.  They see, as I have noted before, tools, toys, or obstacles.  At any time you may fit into one or more of these categories.  But if you present a problem for the narcissist, or if you are the means to a desired end, then he/she will only see you from that perspective.  The narcissist is not afraid to spend time and energy pursuing something he/she wants.  The narcissist boyfriend is unusually attentive, unusually available, unusually endearing—as long as he is pursuing the relationship.  The narcissist employee is unusually cooperative, unusually motivated, unusually diligent—as long as she thinks she is working toward a higher position.  But the moment the goal is achieved or a different goal is deemed more worthy, all that focus dissipates.  And the bitter reality is that the people along the way mattered little.

If the narcissist wants something from you, you won’t hear the end of it until it is done.  Call it nagging, reminding, badgering, or whatever—the narcissist will stay on target until you give in.  Girls may notice that the wonderfully attentive boyfriend is also constantly pressuring for intimacy or conformity.  Narcissistic parents will zero in on certain acts of obedience or agreement and challenge everything else as rebellion; even if their children are adults.  The only thing that matters is the idea in the narcissist’s head.

Of course, if you need something or want something or hope for something from the narcissist—be prepared to wait or just give up.  The same focus will not be there for your project or concern.  There is no drive to support his image, no reason to be worried about what you want.  And it doesn’t matter if you are a spouse, a boss, a child, or a friend.

So, if you are a few steps removed from a real relationship with the narcissist, you might see him as a dedicated, focused, person.  You might even admire his sense of purpose and resolve.  He may go beyond your expectations to achieve the goal.

As long as it is his goal.

If you are in a close relationship with the narcissist, you will know the truth.  You will see a person who is stubborn in achieving or resisting, but focused only on his own ideas.  You may see someone who cannot keep a job or a relationship very long.  And you may have forgotten how persistent the narcissist was in the beginning.


Filed under Narcissism

55 responses to “Persistence

  1. Wow, I see so much of this in my ex-husband. It does help clarify how he is able to be so ruthless in his actions towards what he desires. You said it exactly, when they have a goal, and you are watching from afar, it seems like they are dedicated and focused. It is a sick, twisted, self motivated focus. When I was something he could no longer attain and control, I suddenly became an obstacle between what he now wanted and what he couldn’t yet half. When he wanted to keep his new relationship and I threatened that with my previous knowledge of his cheating ways, I was a thorn that needed to be plucked and eliminated. Now, that he is not wanting that relationship anymore, and he decided he wants me back, I am an angel, a beauty, a perfect mother and he is pursuing me again with the fervor of when I first met him. When I asked him about dropping his bitter custody attacks, he won’t discuss it and gets angry when I bring it up.

    He told me to stay out of the way while he lets his girlfriend down “gently”. Well, what does gently mean? For me, it would be quick and direct, like ripping off a band aide. I somehow don’t think our ideas of what gently means match. Do I think he has changed his ways? Of course not. It is evident in the way he continually jabs me with small insults, under the “just joking” guise. Or how he has no conscience or guilt in pursuing me while this young girlfriend sits at home and waits for his call. Or even how he tells me one minute that he doesn’t want to be with me every night, and knows that if we got back together, I would ask for that. Then he invites me for the fourth night in a row to spend time with him. Crazy? Yes.

  2. John

    mypeachymia, you do have a choice. you tell the story like you know what he is doing, but you are still succumbing to the lines. Narcissists should be ignored once they reveal themselves. Of course this is not possible if you are a parent with one, but the post is spot on again. They do not care and only did initially to secure you. When they leave you are hurt, they are not. They feel nothing but the impending need to pursue someone else. They have no emotional memory of your relationship. When my ex hoovered for the first time, it was clearly obvious to me that when she spoke of our good times, she spoke with the strained memory of someone who was desperately trying to remember what was special to me, like recalling she knew she once liked but had no feeling about. Despite her words that she could not “go on in this world” without me, within one year she was having a baby with someone else and walking past me completely uninterested. Do not, and I repeat, do not underestimate their lack of humanity. You do this at your own peril.

    • Troubled

      wow this is totally what im experiencing. i just cant fight the urge to say hey…but im invisible. i feel like where is my pride? this is awful.

  3. Maggie

    This post is sadly right on. We are in the middle of selling our home(because of two years plus of unemployment) and the N spouse appears to have no attachment to the loss. He has lived elsewhere for 6 months so perhaps he has been adjusting to the idea or perhaps he even experiences the objects(the home) as objects…”no emotional memory” as stated above even towards the objects…Yikes!
    “Stubborn on achieving, focused only on his own ideas”. He is unemployed for sometime and started a business in the meantime. After much rejection he decided he would put all his effort into the business. The business is not sustainable but he is “focused only on his own ideas” as we lose our home . Without steady income we cannot sustain the mortgage, taxes, own healthcare, etc… so yet another object (the home) is objectized and the real humans , the children and I , are cast aside. He is “stubborn in resisting” my plea for action. When trying to express concern over the next steps, planning for the future with no home, no income, there is simply no reaction. I am divorcing him so he will not accept responsibility for some kind of financial recovery (convenient for court…no income….no alimony). He remains the President/CEO of nothing…no income, no home, no security but that is some title on the unemployed N’s business card.
    This is so very sad and this illness is cunning and baffling for sure.

    • From the original post: “If you need something or want something or hope for something from the narcissist—be prepared to wait or just give up.” Yes. In one case, I finally gave up.

      And from John: “When they leave you are hurt, they are not. They feel nothing but the impending need to pursue someone else. They have no emotional memory of your relationship. . . it was clearly obvious to me that when she spoke of our good times, she spoke with the strained memory of someone who was desperately trying to remember what was special to me, like recalling she knew she once liked but had no feeling about.”

      Again, my lost friendship was just like this. Just blankness from him. And no memory. No memory of anything. Just a blank pane of glass.

      It hurts less now. In the end of a friendship such as this, it does appear that it takes two months for the edge of the pain to begin to ebb away. I have hope now of recovery from this one.

      • Renay

        Our friendships sound very similar and I agree about the time. it has been nearly two months since I saw him last. The only thing I am sure of is exactly what John said, “When they leave you are hurt, they are not.” The reason I keep reading these stories and articles is to remind myself of just that and to make sure he never squirms back into my life. I want to have the last word so bad, but I know that’s not possible. He would have to care. It’s funny, we all drift away from friends all the time. The loss of someone so toxic should be celebrated, yet I was heart broken and depressed. Maybe it’s because I invested in a relationship that was a scam from the first day. Ugh!!!!! I get so angry at myself for still thinking about it. Deep down I’m worried that as time goes on I’ll continue healing, but forget how bad it was. You often hear about their patience and how they always think they own you and come back. The only reason I fessed up to all my friends about the severity of the lies, is so if he does come back they will kill me!
        Good luck in your healing. It’s nice to know others understand.
        And John, perfect post!

  4. prairiemom

    Yep, I have seen this kind of persistence in my dear friend’s N husband. Whatever it was he wanted her to do, whether to “submit” to him more, sign away her rights to their joint belongings via a “post-nuptial agreement,” stop seeing certain friends and family members, stop eating foods he deemed “unclean,” neglect/endanger her son, or whatever his objective, he pursued his goals for her with a determination and fervor that can only be described as obsession. He played “good guy/bad guy,” made threats, withheld attention, “grounded” her to the spare room, made her financially dependent, awoke her in the middle of the night in attempts to coerce her to sign papers in her groggy state, offered bribes and incentives, acted like her had given up on his goals only to then try and enlist others to pursue his cause for him. It was like a bad movie. And she, being a real person who craved the peace and love he dangled before her, could only hold out for so long under such diverse and consistent pressure.

    She has left him for now as the result of a crisis. However, I fear that he will manipulate her back into his home with the same fervor and determination as he has shown in the past, much to her detriment and especially that of her son. I do not know what else to do for her besides pray much, speak truth, and just be present for her, but I know that her N is in the business of getting his way, regardless of time and cost.

    On another note, this post reminded me of the novel, The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux. In the book, the phantom is beyond persistent and obsessive in achieving his goals, no matter whom he must kill or what he must do. He has no concern for Christine’s happiness or well-being; he merely wants a “wife to entertain.” It is almost a game to him, a deadly game that he must win. He persists and persists until the real people, those with consciences and morals, cannot resist his pressure because of their natural love and concern for others. In the end, it ALMOST seems as if his heart softens when he allows Christine and her lover to go free and marry, but it is only because his N supply was better satisfied in letting them go and believing he would remain in their endearing and grateful thoughts forever. I fear the phantom and my friend’s N have much in common, and she is no better prepared to withstand his persistence than was the fictional Christine. But I must remember that God is much bigger than this, and He is a protective daddy.

    Thank you for another very insightful post. Blessings in Christ.

    • Cecilia K

      Interesting analogy to Phantom of the Opera! I have not read the book…have only seen the musical production (and it’s been quite some time), but I see the significance of the mask in terms of the narcissistic personality, now that you describe the phantom in more detail. The mask of charm covers up the scars of the abusive childhood, and the unscarred portion of his face perhaps represents the good in them that we see that keeps us hanging on, thinking we can endure and press on through the abuse, because on the other side of each abusive storm, there will be a loving calm when we can rest (but never fully). A pretty obvious observation, I realize. = )

  5. Penny

    Hi, all. Tough week & weekend for me. I stupidly “bit the bait” of my N adult son, and am paying the price.Talk about persistence! “if you need something or want something or hope for something from the narcissist—be prepared to wait or just give up.” Silly me—hope dies hard, & I mistakenly thot that we were building bridges and repairing past wounds, only to have the bait-and-switch-crazy-making-what planet-am-I-on?-experience. I shoulda seen it coming, but boy-oh-boy is he good at this. Pastor Dave said, “You will see a person who is stubborn in achieving or resisting, but focused only on his own ideas. You may see someone who cannot keep a job or a relationship very long.” Bingo. I got played, but the thing that blows my mind is how shallow he is, how he can switch gears so easily, from baiting “I really want to know your thots”, to “why are you attacking me?” to “pictures of goats”. Seriously–he set me up, then sliced-and-diced me, then sent “cool fotos” of goats in New Zealand on sheer rock face mountains, as tho nothing had happened. It was surreal…just, crazy-making outrageous nonsense. Then he sends an email about how we need laws “legalizing pot & cocaine to create revenue” because “alcohol is legal and is more harmful than any other drug so if street drugs were legalized then we could tax it & crime would go down while revenue would go up”—-as if we will all burst into a hearty rendition of “Kumbaya” while snorting lines & baking brownies. I honestly feel like I am in an alternate universe right now…while he unabashedly insists his perverted theology is enlightened (Jesus drank wine, thus approved of drunkenness when He turned water into wine at a wedding, so smoking dope is the same thing and cocaine is a natural product & is basically the same thing) and then maligns me for being so judgmental when I disagree, citing scripture that calls us to be holy. Dear Jesus–please tell me what to do.
    Lord have mercy I didn’t see this coming…..and I am sick to death of the persistence.

    • Fellow Survivor

      Hi Penny, Sounds like your son really knows where your pressure points are. HE KNOWS you are sensitive to this subject therefore it IS the subject you talk about. If you were laid back about the pot and drinking but had an issue with gay marriage or even political party affiliation then those would be the subjects of discussion, not pot and beer.

      He wanted a fight so he could see himself reflected back as superior and in control while you were beside yourself with frustration. And then he acts all “cool” like by sending you photos of goats or whatever.

      The only defense against this frustration is NO CONTACT until we can fully detach emotionally from the predatory person. I am working on complete emotional detachment from the ex. You on the other hand may have a hard time doing that because he came from your own womb.

      In my case, all I asked was to be treated with the kindness and respect that any and all spouses are due from their spouse, and if not that at least be treated like a human being.

      In your case, MOTHERS are to be treated with an even higher regard than spouses. My dad taught me that lesson when I was 13, the HARD WAY. He didn’t hit me or even yell at me. He simply told me ” your mother wiped your behind, fed you, put you to bed, bathed you, etc when no one else would” ” I never want to hear you talk to her like that again”

      I know this may sound harsh, but I am working on this myself. To be completely emotionally detached I am going to have to look at the ex and in my heart and maybe to her face, say “You’re an idiot” “You are just a freekin idiot and i don’t have the time or the patients for idiots in my life right now”

      Penny, I am really sorry for the way your son treats you. Maybe its youthful rebellion and one day he will wake up and realize what an IDIOT he was to you.. But I do know this, no Mother deserves to be treated with disrespect by their own grown children. Maybe I should send my 80 year old dad over to open his heart to the truth.

      • Penny, I think you have probably the worst N relationship–as mother of an N child. It hurts me so much to imagine how hard it is for you to carry this, your own son. I am so sorry for the circumstances, and it makes me hate sin all the more, that this can be one of the examples of it. How does one ever emotionally detach from a blood-related child. Of course you want to be optimistic. Of course you want to always be available for healing wounds and building bridges.
        I have no advice to offer. Just another mother’s heart to say, I feel for you. I wish it was different. It shouldn’t be this way.
        Be strong in your confidence of God’s perfect love for you. Praying for you.

      • Penny

        thanks, FellowSurvivor & Repol: it’s funny how you touched on several hot buttons, b/c he has an issue with pot, drugs, drinking, gay marriage, politics, the police, health care, traffic laws, car maintenance, driving, TV remotes, software, fashion, baseball, pastors …you name it. He’s a “rebel on steroids”, but justifies his rebellion by twisting the word of God and then tells us that certain words, passages & doctrines have been misinterpreted by years/centuries/eons–and he, of course, is the enlightened one. It’s difficult to have anything but the most shallow of conversations b/c we literally don’t agree on anything of substance. And believe me, his Dad has done exactly what Dad your did, but it doesn’t faze him. Nothing fazes him, and nothing is ever his fault. We have gone 6 months at a time w/o speaking b/c he is so volatile. He wasn’t raised this way. I know there is much out there about Ns being the product of abuse or neglect (and perhaps some are) but for those of us who were good, loving parents and invested years of prayer and patience and time and tears, only to end up being blamed for everything that’s wrong with his life, the world, the church, etc., it’s hard to take. The other N in my life is his grandmother (my MIL), and they are “two peas in a pod”, so it leads me to believe it is genetic in his case. She was not abused or neglected (not to our knowledge or family history) but instead, seems to have been indulged and empowered by her looks (curly hair and dimples) as a child, and her giggly, subtle flirting (seduction) as an adult. I can picture her as a child b/c she still acts like a spoiled little bratty 6 year old, only now she’s in a wrinkled body with blue hair. He self-medicates, and so I am wondering what substance[s] he is using b/c it’s like he had a relapse. He’s not a child–he’s in his 30’s, never married, cannot sustain relationships (even with male friends) b/c he wears everyone out (which he then lies about and blames them), cannot stay employed, shows poor judgement….and just cannot connect the dots that the problem is him. Just when I think my heart is beginning to heal, he finds some new way to shatter it, and you are right: it is beyond difficult to go no-contact (altho I have for stretches of time) when it is your own child, your flesh and blood. I was not a perfect parent (who is?), but I was a good mom. I have several close, dear friends over the years who have told me repeatedly that they do not know how we even stay married, much less sane, b/c he was so challenging, so PERSISTENT. As a young child he was a ball of fire, but he was also fun and happy and smart and teachable. Now he is just not good to be around–he sucks the air and the life out of the room with contempt and his demands and arguing and defiance and condescension. Thank goodness he lives out of state, so we can more easily limit our contact. All I can do at this point is to keep giving him back to my Heavenly Father, and praying for His Holy Spirit to pierce his heart and bring him to the cross. “I believe…help me in my unbelief”.

    • In close family relationships like this, where you really don’t want to separate, you have to be tough. Reduce your expectations and don’t look for things to change. Just take the little good that you get and trust the Lord for the rest. Whatever is wrong with him is something you are not going to fix, but loving him is still the right thing.

      I think that Repol is right, that this is the hardest of N relationships. As a parent you want to fix the problem. You have read that N’s had a difficult upbringing and you have believed that this is your fault somehow. Even if that were true (and I am not saying it is) you still aren’t going to fix it. He has chosen coping mechanisms and, for now, he thinks they are working.

      You can leave a parent or a spouse, but how do you separate from your child? I think that is much harder. So don’t. Instead, take the pain to Jesus. He will comfort you and love you. Your consistent love may or may not be the answer for your child, but it is the right thing. That doesn’t mean you have to feed his addictions or accept his compromises. Just love him. If he hurts you, and he will, don’t reject him. Find the peace and care you need in Jesus.

      You see, the Lord is our strength. We can do all things in Him. You can do this for as long as you need to. Your strength comes from outside you and is endless.

      And, sometimes children wake up. Sometimes something clicks in their heads or hearts and they realize the need of their hearts. Sometimes they actually understand that their parents were filled with love. Don’t be afraid to pray for that. Just put the results in the Lord’s hands. Trust Him.

      • Penny

        Thank you so much for your comments. I have told my husband “This is a God-sized problem that needs a God-sized solution”, and since I am clearly not God, I cannot fix this. I know that. I get that. But it hurts so much, on so many levels. I fight not feeling like a abject failure as a mother (yet my other son is not like him). Sometimes I feel like I am wearing “The Scarlett Letter” for everyone to see, b/c of his exhibitionism, proudly on display, and I feel the eyes of others judging me. I feel rejected…by my own son and by the community. I hear the whispers of others who did not have a strong-willed child, but are now suddenly experts on everything we did wrong, but weren’t helpful when we reached out. I feel sad and vulnerable and wistful and I miss the person I thought I knew. I grieve over the lost dreams of every parent: a responsible, happy, well-adjusted adult child with a good job, a solid marriage, children of his own. I grieve for my husband who is/was great father, only to be publicly humiliated by our son in ways I won’t go into here, but were shocking even for our closest friends who know us intimately, warts & all. I ache for for younger son, who is disabled & feels abandoned by a brother who could protect & mentor & appreciate him, but instead, bullies and humiliates and intimidates him, so now we must protect him from his own brother. It’s just too much sometimes…and I know that I can’t fix it. So I ask God to show me what it is He is asking of me now b/c the days of teaching my son are over. I sense Him saying that we did all that He required of us, and to trust HIm now for the rest. My son is an adult. I have to let it out and let it go and give it over to my Father and….and run home, crying Abba. But oh how it hurts.

    • Cecilia K

      Curious that the goat image makes me think of the satanic pentagram symbol…an eerie coincidence?

  6. Troubled

    In reading this post I recognize all of a sudden that I have a friend that’s a N. Oh the relief, I thought I was crazy. How can you be my friend for a year and a half and then walk in a room and its as if I am invisible. For 4 months now I am invisible. That has been tough on my marriage, kids and job. I can’t tell anyone. Who cares…so the guys an idiot my friends say. Well I care, I have to be around him daily. It’s painful to be shunned. Your article states “If the N wants something from you you won’t hear the end of it until it’s done”. Yes that is how the relationship started. But if we want anything, too bad. He fits all the criteria actually, so now I know I’m dealing with an N…what a relief. This person is not leaving my life. I work with him as does my husband. I have gotten on his bad side #1 because I told him he was judgmental…oops. #2 i think is because I can do nothing right now to further his career. Others at work can. So on 2 counts I have been discarded. I am the walking wounded, I have got to get my life back, I can’t go on being invisible. I struggle with self confidence…this is killing me. So how does one get back on a n’s good side? so much is written on how to not upset an N But what happens when you did? How do you fix it? I can’t talk to him…I tried before I knew he was an N. Of course anything wrong in my world was my fault, he informed me. So now I get it…I know who I’m dealing with. I prefer him as a friend rather than an enemy…how do I do that? I anxiously await your answer.

    • Troubled, I just had to jump in and give an answer to this. Please listen to the cautions you have already received here. The more you play his game, the more you will feel like you are losing yourself.

      On the other hand, there are ways to manipulate narcissists. I think they might be among the easiest people to manipulate. Other narcissists do it all the time. All you have to do is give a lot of praise, portray yourself as vulnerable and needy (the kind of person he can help without really doing anything, because if you were really needy, he wouldn’t have time for you), and make it very clear that the misjudgment you made about him was entirely your fault. Now, if you can keep the contents of your stomach down as you do this, he will almost certainly be your friend again.

      I am not being facetious. There are situations where it is important to have the N on your side and there are ways to get them on your side. Politicians do this all the time. They flatter and schmooze and show deference. If you went to him and told him that you have thought about what you said and that you were really the judgmental one, he would believe you. And, if you started doing little things for him, he would take them and your value might increase. Your goal is not to get him to feel good about you. Your goal is to help him feel good about him. If you can do that, you will be welcome in his life again.

      All of this is very hard to write, of course. Why should you have to do this? Who could be that important in your life, especially if you are not married to him? But that isn’t for me to answer. If you can handle the inconsistency of your own heart and the knowledge that his friendship is phony (albeit necessary), then go for it. Just understand that it will still fall apart eventually. You might be looking for ways to get out of the relationship while you do this.

      • Fellow Survivor

        David, Humility. I don’t know if this is the right thing to say or not, but what I take from this post is be humble,even before those that hurt us. Christ led by example, but it is just so hard to be humble before these people that hurt us. Its just so hard to turn the other cheek, to offer our shirt when they take our coat. But I think, that’s what separates us from non believers.

      • Troubled

        Thank you grace for my heart. I need coping skills. Today I went for NC. It felt good. I feel good for the first time in months. It makes perfect sense now. He was going to help me with my self confidence, and I thought he destroyed it. With this knowledge I feel strong. He is not going anywhere and I need to feel good, this helps. It won’t be hard to tell him he is “just the best” at something and he will buy it. I have to say he is so textbook it’s amazing. Him using others to get even with me…that is troublesome and that such a small thing can set someone off, well for me that is scary. I am admittedly naive. I shelter myself. Pushing 50 but just like to keep it good. This has been an eye opener. Makes me want to go study psychology. I feel for and pray for those that are married to or related to this. I can walk away. It gives me objectivity now that I understand. I keep wanting to tell myself no it can’t be this is. 4 months of self doubt, worry sadness and all I needed was a label. It’s just it’s so classic it must be true. Thank you for “jumping in” it’s what I needed to hear. I will survive…and it’s only a matter of time before he does this to someone else…I’m sure of it. It is evil that is for sure. Still can’t wrap my mind around.

  7. Troubled, I don’t think you can get back on an N’s good side without selling your soul to him. You just have to find a way to emotionally detach, and recognizing what he is is the start of it. It is NOT your fault. You could do everything right, and in normal relationships, all would be well, but you can’t fix what’s wrong in him, and he will continue to take it out on anyone who fails to meet what he has decided are his needs.
    I have learned from a failed friendship, finally, after almost 5 years investment in it, that it really is true: I will never be good enough for him. But from this site, I learned: I’m Not Supposed To Be!
    I was rejected for not being something I am not by God’s design meant to be in the first place. I was an EXCELLENT friend. I truly cared and loved and gave, and kept on giving after abuse after abuse after abuse. I explained, “This makes me feel unloved, inhuman, disposable. Please, if you are my friend, don’t do this.” And the answer I always got was, “I don’t want you to go away, but I will never meet you on your request to be treated like a valid human being.”
    I finally had to go. I finally realized that I just simply couldn’t do one more cycle of the drain & cast away pattern.
    I know you work with this person. I think somehow you’ve got to find a way to not let him under your skin. Make yourself notice how other people treat each other and you. Take note of who makes you feel accepted, legitimate, human, valued. God does give those people too, and sometimes in abundance, but it’s the one that does harm that eats away at us because 1) It is unusual; we’re not used to it and we don’t understand it so it has a sharp impact; and 2) We do tend to believe the worst about ourselves.
    Satan uses that #2 to hit us where we know our weaknesses are. But if it is from Satan, it is a LIE and you must reject it as such.
    I wish you the best. I understand the crazy-making. You don’t deserve this. Do not accept this as the love you deserve. You were made for better. Real friends build up, encourage, and refresh one another.

    • Troubled

      Thank you so much. This has truly been the hardest thing I have ever experienced, and I have experienced a lot. I was on Pinterest looking for quotes to sooth my soul and ran across one about Narcissism. Wow. It hit me. No wonder this is all so weird. Wow. Yes I would like to go for no contact but that is not an option. What hurts is everyone he trash talked about to me, he is now lavishing attention on. When he was trash talking I thought wow how judge mental. I am a forgive, forget, love, be kind, golden rule sort of person. That is when it happened…I kiddingly said “you are very judgmental, hate to hear what you say about me.” He told me I have no self confidence. Huh, I thought I did, but ok. He said “we will work on that.” Well that is when the shunning began. It blind sided me. My friend says your obsessed. Hmm. Yes obsessed with how someone could act like that. I asked him..”are you ok?” One day. He then turned it on me and said I was confused. So weird. I don’t appreciate being made to feel like dirt. I honestly feel a thousand times better just studying up on this. I read for hours last night. Me being one that likes all to be right in the world really want to outsmart him at his own game. Why? Good question. I’m not competitive, he’s just wrong. He is so text book N it’s not funny. Charming, smart,,,and his wife…well I think he may be with another N. To me standing back I guess I can see humor. So after 4 mos of hell, today I feel amazing. Thank The Lord I do have good friends and family…they have assured me ” I rock”. To that I say….you do to, thank you for reaching out to help. What a wonderful thing technology is 🙂 today I can smile and you helped!

      • Penny

        “I’m not competitive, he’s just wrong”. I laughed out loud for the first time today. Amen, sister! You ARE right. And b/c you are a kind, “Golden rule” person, you are also a target for the N, b/c they instinctively know they can get away with it..for a while anyway. Then, they betray you with crazy-making stuff. They work overtime to keep their false-but-perfect-image intact, and if you threaten it with reality, real-world truth, they go nuts. My advice? If others believe him, then shame on them–but you can certainly let them know that they are next. No one is safe with an N. This blog from Anna Valerious may be helpful:

      • Cecilia K

        Troubled, I also love the “I’m not competitive, he’s just wrong” comment. So well put and to the point! And I also “love” how his way of working on your self-confidence was to shun you. How are you doing today? Is he still working with you? Is he talking to you again/acknowledging you? Has anyone else been shunned by him since you posted about your situation? I suppose I might find out as I continue reading posts and comments, but it might take me a while, so thought I’d go ahead and ask. = )

      • Trying to cope

        Cecelia K, I actually printed Dave’s comment here because i still have not found resolve. I do not have these set to notify me so it is a miracle I found your comment. No I has been 1 year 2 mos and some odd days since I was discarded. And the pain goes on. Why. Because I work with him I guess. I get to be reminded daily that I am not worth the salt to even look at. I have crawled in a hole, I have tried working it out, with him and others. Everything and I am just left with why on earth do I even care. It is a mystery to me and others, I’m sure. I think because I was at such a bad spot in my life and I consciously decided to trust him. And he took advantage of that. I want to be in denial. I just made this N thing up. Only that’s not it. He is an N. Through and through the trick is, to this point everyone else seems to be a supply. Something about me made him discard me. And in a normal world you would work it out, talk it out. Something. Not him. I need to let it go but and No contact feels great but now I work closer than ever with him and it hurts. What would be so wrong to just treat me normal. Say hi in the halls. Nothing more nothing less. If I enter a room, he will leave. If I am talking to someone he would come up and talk to them and act as if I don’t exist. I get mad because I think why me. I think there were others, but they quit. This is so taboo. saying it out loud would be wrong and if you are reading all threads you will find the one about do you go to another for advise. I did and I was backstabbed. So now I pray for The Lord to give me wisdom. But I don’t know wisdom from my hurt self. I love how your write no one dismisses our pain in your next comment. I’m sure they get sick of telling me over and over. but they don’t dismiss it. I signed in with new name….I had forgot old one…Troubled is now trying to cope. you ask am I still here. I came back after a No contact spell all was good.

      • Cecilia K

        Trying to Cope, My heart goes out to you that you still have to face the source of your pain every day (except on weekends, I guess). I had the blessing of being able to get away from mine, since he was just a boyfriend, and so healing has come comparatively easily and quickly – thanks to the Lord leading me to this blog. And like you said, since the normal avenues of restoration don’t work with Narc’s, it compounds the hurt and frustration.

        The majority of the break-ups in my relationship with my ex ended with a big, ugly fight, and on most if not all of those occasions, I would ask him, “Is this how you want this to end?” And it didn’t seem to bother him at all that we were at such odds with each other. He didn’t care if there was peace between us or not. One time he acknowledged that he knew I needed closure, but that was just too bad; I wasn’t going to get it (those weren’t his exact words, but I think that was the gist).

        And I can relate to wondering why you care so much…when the relationship before this last one ended, I had a really hard time recovering – and I was baffled as to why, because throughout the whole thing, I was aware that I didn’t even really like the man. I had thought I did at first and then found I really didn’t – and that was before I started seeing actual red flags. I had just seen his personality more clearly, and it just didn’t click with mine. Nevertheless, I wanted to try to get past my hang-ups and learn to like him, so I continued with the relationship, hoping my initial feelings would return eventually, but they never did.

        If you are familiar with the Seinfeld sitcom, it was like when George was dating Susan, he wanted out, and once he was out, he wanted back in. My feelings would go back and forth like that, which I’m sure had to be very confusing for him. Even so, I also saw things in him that were legitimate red flags, and so logically speaking, I should have been very relieved and thankful when it ended, but instead, I became depressed and obsessed with whether or not I had made a huge mistake. I even got counseling. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t accept that we were just not right for each other.

        Well, now I believe that was possibly largely due to him “indoctrinating” me with his relationship philosophies, and since he had more relationship experience and was very knowledgeable about Scripture than I did, I felt like I should heed his counsel.

        Anyway, I hope it gives you some peace, at least, if you have done all you can to try and restore the relationship, and if you still try to relate to him in a godly manner (i.e., if you are “loving your enemy”). If you have done your best to obey God in this, I hope you can at least find some peace in that. I know it doesn’t take away the hurt, but I hope it makes it easier to bear, to have a clear conscience before God. You obviously can’t control how this man responds to you, but I hope it might give you some satisfaction to know that God is pleased with you.

  8. Troubled

    Penny I think I’m the first to see it, everyone else is just thrilled when he graces them with his presence. Someone actually told him that yesterday. Wow. I am glad to make you laugh. I am just so happy yo feel like I can laugh again. For those that suffer for years, ouch. With knowledge comes power. You are all heroes in my book today. I will move on I hope. I hate to think I will be manipulating him, but he won’t be manipulating me anymore. big thanks to grace for my heart that i now have some control. i feel like the chains have been removed. being discarded so abruptly has been the worst kind of torture. i know it pails in comparison to some stories here but it is a brutal component to the overall picture. i hope that we can all keep spreading the word. i did not even know what the word meant until last night but because of this my life is changed. i know its all me, i completely get, he will not be changing…ohhh but he will be tricked into treating me normal. i will let you know if piece can be made. i got this!! 😉

    • Cecilia K

      Troubled, I have felt the same way, as far as other stories I have read here. My experience seems mild compared to many, especially one where the husband pulled a gun on his wife, first pointing it at her and then himself – after she had merely talked to her parents for half an hour. Even so, our experiences were still painful for us (and maybe still is for you?), regardless of how their severity compares with others’, and I so appreciate how this community is still very supportive. No one dismisses our pain because others had or have it worse. They come alongside and bear our burdens with us, even when they are also hurting.

  9. prov31woman

    This is SO true! My “N” is relentless when it’s something that he wants. The constant nagging for intimacy (and by intimacy, I mean sex. He has no idea what true intimacy is! ) drives me absolutely crazy, sometimes even to the point of anger. He brings it up, asks, nags everyday, several times a day. He can take any subject or comment made, & bring sex into it. And you’re right, he will be sweet and loving ( or appear to be ) until he gets what he wants. If he gets it, he’s in a good mood, and willing to do something asked of him. If he does NOT, he becomes a completely different person. Sometimes he just gets cranky and pouts. Other times he gets downright mean and hateful. The point is that his personality will do a complete 180 in a split second. It used to really hurt and bother me because I felt like his love for me depended totally on that. Now, I realize that it’s partially true, that and the other areas of our life that he must always be right about or in control of. Although it does still hurt sometimes, I’ve come to realize that this is his personality, & nothing I do will change that. Even if I gave in every single time, there will always be something that will become an issue in one form or another. But coming to this conclusion has helped me to maintain my sanity and some of my self-worth. I just continue to pray that God will give me the emotional strength to hang on and not allow those things to tear me down, & that God will continue to work on him until one day he finally truly realizes that he needs Jesus and allows Him into his heart and into his life.

    • Proverbs31, I needed help in the form of support from others around me, in order to have that emotional strength to hang on. I didn’t get it. I got condemnation and performance directives: A good wife has sex every time her husband wants it, even if he isn’t loving you. You don’t deserve a husband anyway.

      Those were lies, but I wanted so much to do everything right that I followed along. I wanted a good marriage, a godly, biblical marriage. I submitted myself into complete erasure, and then I had an emotional breakdown.

      So let ME be some emotional support to you, right now, to say to you that sex is supposed to (designed by GOD himself in his perfect design) to be the inactment of unity between a committed, loving, sacrificial husband and a committed, loving, righteously (willingly) submissive wife. It should be a JOY, and not a duty or a demand. A godly wife is also a dignified human being, not a sex servant to an unloving husband. God never meant for us to be prostitutes in our home, and that is what I became. It never healed him. It never made him love me. It just made me more and more convinced that I was worthless, trash, a disposable commodity.

      Winston Smith wrote a book called Marriage Matters. Even in my very conservative and legalistic church of the time, that book was recommended for married couples to read and discuss in a large group. In it, Mr. Smith makes a one or two paragraph statement about husbands who are abusive or narcissistic. (I don’t think he uses the N term, though, but it is the self-serving, exploiting description.) He right out states that a man who is not actively loving his wife is wrong to demand sex from her, and she is not required to give it in that circumstance. It is good for neither.

      The older women in my church for the most part chose to ignore that paragraph. One, in dismay, asked, “Well, what are we supposed to tell the wife, then?” and a younger wife just restated the content: “Tell her that an unloving husband doesn’t automatically get to glean sex from his wife. That’s destroying her!” All that was too late to help me. I had already broken. But let it help you. Protect your dignity.

      You are the image of God.

      • Troubled

        I read these posts and all though the circumstance is different the N is the same. I just had to spend time in a room with my office N. A person who was a friend for a year and a half now does not see me. I do not exist. Now this is the first time I have seen N since I realized he was an N. To know that you are not the Issue, to know this is not normal, you do not deserve this. That is the answer to your freedom. Prov31. You are being tricked and I pray for you and your strength. These people do not have the right to devalue your soul. As REPOL said without selling your soul you can’t get on their good side. I thought because I understood I would be strong and could handle the shunning. Not true. Turns out even knowing he’s a N does not protect me. It’s too hard to understand why everyone else is good enough but I am not suddenly. Possibly NC is the only way. So our stories are different but the question is the same why? And why me?

  10. Troubled, I had to end a friendship recently (a little more than 2 months ago now) because NC was the only way I was going to get emotional stability. Pastor Dave told me here that I had to accept that I cannot understand how, after such a long time of seemingly real friendship interaction, a person of one of these disorders (my friend may not be fully N, but has tendencies for sure; other factors are involved) can be so dismissive of others. But somehow that we, who do see each other as humans, personalities, individuals with feelings and hopes and needs and desires and gifts to offer one another and images of God to reflect, can just NEVER understand the absence of those perspectives in an N.

    I still find myself thinking, “Why? How can he NOT care? He certainly SEEMED to care. How was I not aware it was all a fake?” And then I just have to accept Pastor Dave’s words: You can’t know.

    All I can know is that it was totally destructive to me, never knowing what blow was coming next. Never, ever being good enough. Being told, “I don’t need you at all,” and then when some baby crisis hit, “You’re the only one who understands. Help me!” and then again, “I never thought of you as a real friend. You’re just an older person in the church. It’s your job to share wisdom and help me when I need it.”

    A resource. A commodity. Once used, no longer useful. GET AWAY if you can. And if you can’t get away, then find other support. Not by bad-mouthing (that won’t help, and it’s not biblical to do so, I don’t think, unless you must set a false record straight about yourself in a formal accusation setting–like Paul did before the authorities), but by reaching out to show who YOU really are to others in the office that you can participate with. Make your work the best it can be. Help others succeed too. Live without the N as much as possible.

    I am so sorry for the pain. I know it too. It is so hard, and it takes time. Give yourself a little time to grieve. But recognize that it doesn’t go away overnight.

    • troubled

      Thank you for the support. I am in a meeting of 30 right now. Me N and bunch of people he has cut down and a couple he is idolizing…following. I am in devalue discard…no one else is…just me. For such a little thing. Im hurt, troubled, offended. Would like to walk out of meeting. He loves to charm all who he can usehurt.. I guess i should feel relief. I think when he thought he could be my idol he was happy. Not sure im invisible so maybe i have no clue. But i know its weirdand im hurt. Sorry im on cell and its not letting me type proper

      • Renay

        They do start to slip trust me. That is why their working and personal relationships are so revolving. Have to replace with new narcissistic supply to keep the lies believable.
        The most difficult thing by far is knowing we’ll NEVER know why. I still put on a strong face for my friends who, for the most part, are all happily married, because they do not understand. Most people can’t understand what happens. They don’t just lie to you, they study you. Figure out what you want and are longing for, then give it to you in huge doses so you can’t believe someone out there is so great and thinks just like you. Little do we know, until it’s too late, that it is all a show. Your world now revolves around them. I
        have to talk myself through this most days still. Mine was a person who claimed he loved me for the past year and that he wanted me in his life forever. Just could not take the chance of ruining our friendship that he cherished so much, blah, blah, blah. The person who introduced us recently told me, “I told him you were a sweet, funny, cute girl who had not seen anyone since your husband died.” I laughed out loud when she told me because I now realize, he must have been like, “Bingo! That’s the poor sucker I’m going to glob onto!” Once I brought up all the lies, he cut me off and I no longer exist. I too thought surely he’d realized he did something wrong and want to work this out. He cherished me right? I can’t believe how much it still hurts to know I was nothing to him when he was the world to me. Even though every description of narcissism fits him ten fold, it still hurts. It has nothing to do with me, but I still can’t get past it and it’s been two months.
        I often think if it’s this bad for me, I can’t even fathom how the women who have been married for years to these men must feel and what they go through emotionally. This is such a loving supportive site. God bless you all and stay strong.

  11. Fellow Survivor

    Renay, Last paragraph reference. AND MEN. When I read your post, I just said to myself, yep, thats me.

    What I am going to say next is just wrong, meaning not right or justified. We know how Ns act to attract empathetic generally good people. Maybe we should act like Ns, attract other empaths, and live happily ever after? I am just half joking. I mean really, how are we going to attract kind, good people. That is the big question.

    • Renay

      Too funny! Problem is we know how to love. That’s why we hurt and they walk away unscathed. I have been a very lucky person throughout my life. I was married to the greatest guy on earth for 16 years. One thing I have told my kids when dealing with our loss is, on your worst day count your blessings. I’m a firm believer in counting blessings. It could have been a lot worse and I believe God’s unanswered prayers guided me into realizing the truth. I feel bad for my friend for whatever happened to him as a child to now spend his life unable to love. I don’t feel bad for the adult, well he is an adult in age, who deceives and hurts others. I just wish I would stop thinking about it! I keep trying to understand something that will never make sense to me because I feel. The only thing that helps me is reading about other experiences. I hate that other people have suffered at the hands of these monsters, but i don’t feel like I’m crazy, which is just where he wants me.

      • Fellow Survivor

        Renay, I was just reading over old emails I used to send myself the other day. Whenever there would be a big rage attack or fight I would send myself and email outlining what was said

        About a year ago when the total split was all but certain my ex told me “I can get any man I want” While reviewing my notes from 6 years ago, there it was again. 6 years ago she was telling me the same thing. If that’s not emotional abuse I don’t know what is. In order to get you to agree or comply with their demands they throw out the infidelity card on you. Same thing about money. “if you don’t make enough money where I don’t have to work, I will find someone that does” That’s a self esteem killer big time.

        So lets add it up. I was 100% faithful to her since the day I met her. I served her breakfast in bed and brought her coffee in bed every morning. I bent to her will on almost everything. Our daughter is highly respected by her peers, teachers, and well, just everyone. (I raised her on the Word by the way)

        So, I consider myself to be a great husband and an even better dad, but was that enough for her. No, she wanted to do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted, with whoever she wanted and to have unlimited funds at her disposal where she didn’t have to work.
        That is a fantasy life, but she will get it. It will just be an empty one.

        Anyway, as a general rule whenever I run into people like my ex I just stay away from them. So the question is:

        Why did I even love someone that was like that?

  12. Troubled

    Renay, thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine what it must be like when an N is someone you love. This is a coworker slash friend and it’s devastating. It is difficult because he is not a spouse or lover, he’s just a friend. Why should I care. I think as I read through all these posts I recall one comment that they don’t feel, they really don’t even recall the relationship, it’s like an old foggy memory…barely. I sit in a room and think you came and talked to me every single day, we have ate at each others house we have done things recreationally…we’ve met! Agh I want to scream. Two days ago after a day of no contact I felt great. Today after 3 contacts…I’m down. I keep feeling like I have no reason to complain my problems are minor compared to some here. A friend reminds me that no matter what the problem, big or small it’s your problem. Yes I have many other problems….I just don’t need this one. Even he acknowledged that the one time I tried to confront him. He said you had big year, tough year, tough move…your confused. A ghhhh. yes i maybe was an easy target . whats funny is yes i think hes lived here many years and yet has few friends. ahhh now i see why. i get it…i just want to say hey its me…and it will be better. i hate being 100 percent ignored…not sure what my label is but i dont like this.

    • Renay

      Thanks. I think no matter what kind of relationship it is, realizing you invested in a scam is heartbreaking. Some days I feel I can take on the world, other days I am weak and actually consider texting him. My mind can’t let go of the perfect image he created just for me. That guy doesn’t even exist! But I still can’t let go. I know I’ll get there. I’ve survived worse. Whatever you do, don’t give in! Have you ever noticed it’s so much easier giving other people advice? 🙂

      • My mind can’t let go of the perfect image that doesn’t exist.

        I know that well, Renay. I have to remind myself every single day–more than once a day. That’s why I come here almost every day, to help me remember. It’s a very hard reality. As an idealist, accepting reality over the ideal isn’t natural to me. I need the help and support and stories of others to keep me on the path to acceptance.

        Thankful for everyone here.

  13. UnForsaken

    Thank You, Repol! I come here as frequently as I can too.
    Troubled, your story sends me back five years to a pastor I (barely)knew then. But I thank God now…because seeing his behavior as abnormal helped me see the more covert N closer to me. No, it isn’t easier, but I’ve grown a Lot more spiritually then I would have in the blind! The book of Job has become very special to me ……and the imput of caring people like yourself here!

    • Troubled

      Yes all, I return for strength. I am in the thick of it and there is no leaving it short of quitting my job. Today I realized I think someone else just made his shit list. Watching him is like seeing a science experiment now. I can predict the outcome. I am not with him enough to manipulate him into thinking Im OK again. Somehow Im OK with that. For those that Love these people I would agree run, and run fast. For those that have to stay in contact with, there is the trouble zone. How to protect your self worth, how to force them to treat you good. I have many people I work with that are not friends. But they are not enemies…there is a difference. This switch that the N has to just turn off those feelings of caring. It’s not normal…It’s not normal…it’s not…you get the picture. I save my own sanity with this thought. I fight the urge to want to beat him at his own game. I don’t even have enough time with him to apologize or compliment him on his greatness. This is probably a good thing but does leave me in limbo. I think I return because I just want someone to tell me how to make it better. We have all experienced rude, bad even ugly people but this, this acting no ACTING like you mean something and then just drop you like a hot potato. I’m sorry Im from a small town nothing in life prepared me for this. Hopefully my words help some. Crazy-Making. Yes. Today I have been invisible on 4 counts now. Oop he accidently spoke to me once but there is no more smile, no more light in the eyes its like I’m talking to a dead person. And then he will see his next supply source and he is alive. Oh remember the next supply is someone he has already trash talked about. I want to put an end to this nonsense.
      Renay and Repol Thank You and yes you hit it on the head, I invested in a scam. Why am I obsessed…??? Because it defies logic I guess. I need it to make sense or I need to change it.

  14. Renay

    I wish I had the answer for making it better. If I did I promise I’d share it with you! You brought up a good point with the eyes. He has beautiful eyes, but it’s like looking into a black hole. No feelings, unless of course he was being complimented on his greatness. A few people mentioned coming here often just to remind themselves of how real this is. I come here every day to remind myself I’ll never find the answer and I have to be ok with that.
    Fellow Survivor asked how could he ever love someone like that. We ask ourselves that because all the reasonable people in our lives point out, like it’s so simple, to just walk away and be grateful they’re gone. If it were that simple we wouldn’t be here. My monster knew how to fill the void in my life perfectly because he created a fictional character that was tailor made for me. That person doesn’t exist. I often wonder if he got tired of pretending he liked all the things I like. I really think he resented me because I had a great childhood and my own children have only known love. Maybe he wanted me to feel pain? He had no empathy for me becoming a widow at 39 because he has never known love, so loss just means moving on. He came into my life the moment I thought I was ready to possibly move on. Lucky me, 2 steps forward, 10 steps back! But I’m hoping God was trying to show me I need to believe I’m worth it because creating self doubt in others was a sport to him. My daughter’s friend told me she thought God was trying to give me a lesson on douche bags. Maybe she’s right. 🙂

  15. Troubled

    Thank you Renay. It would seem we are on the same page. 1 minute strong, next you just want your friend back. Although I have tried twice to find out whats wrong I keep wanting to try again. I suppose us being normal we just can’t comprehend it. I keep wanting to think who am I to self diagnose someone. What do I know I’m just the jilted friend. I must really be a loser. So I’m not the top person at our company, no I’m not part of the popular group (seriously). I thought I left that in high school but my company has one. I wouldn’t want to be in it. So really I was non of that when he met me. I can only guess as his career wasn’t going as well as he wanted hes had to attach hisself to the popular group. Ok fine, well even they talk to me…no I’m not in their group but they are not like zombies, and they see me. Funny thing if N sees me talking to one of them he can’t stay away…drives him crazy. So as I type this I even think man he sounds like a loser to me. I guess I’m healing. This is getting easy. But its the weekend and then monday comes and I become the invisible one. I can’t cut him out of my life. I can’t manipulate him. I have to detatch but I want to somehow just have my friend back. Looking back I can see how bizarre our whole friendship has been but it does not make it easier. So how do I know he is a N? and I’m not the loser. I will put it out there and maybe someone will reafirm.
    1) He acknowleges to me so and so is in popular crowd. I am sitting at a table with him and I think huh, I was over there sitting with them…I moved because my husband said we should sit with you.
    (first sign I guess that I’m not good enough)

    2) We have a family emergency and he is there to help instantly (he wants to be the idol)

    3) In a different instance he has helped but when I ask him for a bit more help (I am not his problem, he tells me and I hear this often) Like we take him out for his birthday its all good, (our birthdays not his problem.) Someone else who can further his career…he sends flowers

    4) the only reason we know him is because he needed someone to go out to sea with himfishing … not good to go alone. He had no one….after living here 13 years. We had just moved to town at that time. (another clue…why does he have no friends?)

    5) He is oh so judgemental and when I call him out on it in a very non confrontational almost kidding way well that was kiss of death. Have not talked to since. Remember he is now fawning over all those people. Some are in popular group, some are not.

    6) I told him once that I told my husband he was mean. That stopped him in his tracks. He’s like “You didn’t tell your husband that did you” Im lack ya. He was mortified. Again it was a kidding around type of statement and yet true..he kept telling me I should work from home….Ie he want me out of there.

    7)One day a friend, next day I’m invisible. To me that seems like a tough act to pull off for any length of time. Would it not be easier to just talk to me.

    8) Possible his wife doesn’t like me. My friends say I’m hot. Hmmm. Im a grown woman with kids, and 20 extra lbs. and besides Im super nice to everyone. I have had people tell me why should we like you, tall blond skinny tan….well that is my curse… so I gained some weight and worked on being nice. So I say this because Im trying to deduce issue…So maybe I was on Ns radar because he thought he could get some from me. Not happening.

    I could go on but I have to go to work. Im sorry this is long. Just want this person in my life that makes me feel awful to quit. Just treat me normal. How do I make him treat me normal? everyone else does. I feel like the only answer is OK, become top of my career field so I can help him..Well could happen. I guess that is how I become free because I wont help him.
    He has issues!!!

    • UnForsaken

      My issue lasted about three years with me not as the direct target but with Everyone on his side…..only my sister stuck emotionally with me. We saw people taken spiritually to pieces while still frantically claiming his friendship, so acknowledging really is the first step to remaining sain! One thing: watch your health. It can be a much greater strain then you feel at the time. Stress directly effects your adrenals(something I learned too late) and through them, the rest of your health . Take Care !

      • Troubled

        Thank You. It all seams just a bad dream. I strive for normalcy to the point of boring. I have the “disfunctional” family that I grew up with. I left that behind so this has blind sided me. Having a place to see the many facets of this disease and having people prop you up when needed helps. I think you are right unforsaken. I believe some gray hair could appear because of this. I feel I am now free because I understand yet still chained because I doubt my self and my ability to diagnose another. To be devalued and discarded it is painful.

    • Renay

      Hey Troubled,
      You said it perfectly. To be devalued and discarded is painful. This weekend I am weak, and feel it. Even after all of this, I miss him. Then I get angry at myself. Who would miss a monster? Ugh!!!
      They will never treat us normally. If they try to be in our lives again we have to remember there’s a reason and it is only to meet their needs. Oh, you mentioned being married. I think a lot of extreme N’s like the challenge of married women. Mainly because they hate women and love to break them. I would not be surprised if one of the reasons he turned on you was because you showed no intimate interest. Just a thought.

      • troubled

        You may be right. As I sis and read this and wonder why me. I need my life back. that is all I know. As I look at this thread and others…its round and round …. strong….weak. I wish I had never met or learned of the word N.

  16. Troubled

    Renay I think you are right on. Tonight I tried to explain it all to my husband. He thinks the N is great, yet knows he’s not. Does that make sense. He is such a guy, this is just way to deep for him. hahah. So anyhow I told him what I thought, and funny thing explaining the illness to someone else was like helping me understand too. The teacher learns the most. Maybe it would help you to explain it to someone or explain it to you. It is valid. I told my husband I said it’s really weird because I read about this illness and low and behold our friend fit the description. I said it is very freeing to know that It’s not me, It’s not you. He has an illness and it’s almost to simple and to easy but it’s the truth. I have read tons over the days since I learned about this. They are charming…funny…they are your dream friend, lover husband…whatever…they are whatever they want you to believe…Tonight I thought You know They want to be god…And yet they want you to be god…but not quite as good of a god as them. They have to be idolized and yet they need an idol. It is so weird. Stay strong. I feel great on NC days. Know it is him not you. And he is replacable, I guarantee it.

  17. Renay and Troubled–I too am back and forth on the “I want to be free/I’m better without him” and the “I want the implied, early friendship back.”
    Keep coming here. Keep remembering how bad the bad is. Keep remembering that we can’t understand the fakeness, but it wasn’t real. He wasn’t real. They are chameleons. They shape themselves to the desires of the ones they want to hook, and after the hook is in, the person you thought they were disappears.
    In the words of Lou Reed, who passed away yesterday, “Anyone who ever had a heart wouldn’t turn around and break it.” They don’t have empathy, so we can’t win them back. We have to surrender them to God and take the strength from God and each other to keep walking away until we are completely emotionally detached. Emotional detachment is the only safe place to be where they are concerned. They cannot be trusted with your soft heart. Protect your heart. God cares about your heart. He doesn’t want abuse for you.

    • UnForsaken

      Repol, I LOVE the way you said that!
      So glad you’ve got a husband who will listen, Troubled. In time, with your sharing, he may understand too. If he gets it about past things you’ve been through: with your family, etc. , there is a good sign he trusts your judgement . On your #8 comment earlier, Ns do seek out sweet people like yourself who want to adust to expectations . Don’t listen to those cultural voices that say you need more or less weight , to dress the way they do, to be popular Like Them ! I’ve been there , and it just set me up for more Ns and self stunting . Be yourself, be what God made you–an individual who is very special ! You probably know all this, but being unique and under fire means you should hear it more often !

    • E

      Thanks for these words:

      “Emotional detachment is the only safe place to be where they are concerned.”

      Very simple concept, yet I need to have it written out for me to validate my own feelings. It’s like I am seeking permission to not care, to move on. I will call it “loving from a distance” because it is too hard to say that I can’t interact with my own mother and feel anything but dread at the thought of it. What kind of Christian feels that way? I sought counseling after being discarded by her, something that helped me release some of the messages and negative thinking that had me paralyzed before. I just have to detach emotionally. Almost there, but the last thing to go is the anger. I’m having a tough time with that this week. I am not angry she discarded me so much as upset that my life was built around appeasing her and now it was for nothing. Had I been rebellious (to her, not God) and gotten the same response, perhaps I would have grown more in the process. But I stifled myself, numbed myself, and shut down. Then she decided my boundaries, set way too late in my life, were not acceptable. Estrangement is the result. Good riddance, but what a horrible way to go. There never is closure is there? Emotional detachment is the only way. For me at least.

      • E and Unforsaken–thank you. I have to keep constantly reminding myself about the emotional detachment goal too. Perhaps, if I achieve it, I would be able to cross paths with the one who hurt me so badly again, but not yet. It would be a setback for me now, for sure. But, it is so much better than it was two months ago. For instance, I know that he was in town this weekend, and possibly even into today. And I had to think: what if we accidentally bumped into each other. It is possible. There are places of potential overlap. Two months ago, I think I would have had a panic attack, but today, I am significantly more detached emotionally, and it would have been uncomfortable, but I know I would not have had anything like the same reaction.
        For some reason, according to his purposes, God works slowly, by our measure. He rarely answers immediately with a sudden change. In a way, I suppose the emotional detachment is like a lifestyle change. It takes time, but I am resting my hopes on the permanence of the protection from that moment forward.
        I hear you about questioning whether this is how a Christian is supposed to act. Aren’t we supposed to “LET love be genuine.” Yes, we are. But it was never supposed to be one-sided or to the point of pointless, non-redemptive martyrdom. Jesus chose to let others abuse him to death, but it was ALWAYS for a redemptive purpose, and he knew exactly how that redemption would be worked out. He doesn’t want us to squander our lives for nothing, and that is how it is when we waste ourselves on certain ones who just can’t empathize or repent of their ongoing mistreatment of other image bearers of God.
        He gave you a self. To lay down yourself for another, you must have a self to offer. If you use up and erase yourself, you cannot actively offer it to those for whom there is redemption in your giving. There’s a difference.

        I am still learning. I have so very much to learn.

  18. UnForsaken

    Amen, E and Repol !!!!!! You really hit the nail on the head! Repol, your words are what I needed to hear a few years ago, going through emotional co-dependency withdrawal. Like you E, the closest N in my life is a parent. I still live with and have to deal with the N daily, but mostly I try to support my sister– the “useful” child. Learning constantly , esp. about tact, as I was raised to tell all . It Really healps to have you all to talk to here ! And I pray for you guys.

  19. Cecilia K

    This tactic also really hits home with me. I do remember his relentless pursuit of getting what he wanted. The memories that stand out the most were him nagging me forever (and sometimes berating) to quit picking at my lip (granted, that was somewhat for my benefit, but even when his approach clearly wasn’t working, he continued anyway), and then pestering me to talk to my roommate to whom I had just committed to live with for at least one year, about possibly moving out early in case he and I decided to get married.

    On the flip side, I will say that when it came to my car and computer problems, he was quick and prompt to get to work and fix the issues, but I do remember asking him to help me with my taxes one year (I had never done my own), and he said he would, but then some time went by, and we hadn’t touched them (I first asked about two months prior to the deadline). I waited a few weeks before asking again – he put me off; I waited another few weeks, he put me off again. Finally, we go to visit his parents one weekend, and he says we can work on them then because he needed to do his, too, and he said his mom would probably help us.

    I’m assuming HE is going to approach his mom about it, so I wait and wait and wait. I threw out a hint at one point. A few hours before we were going to head back home, I finally asked his mother myself – then he asked me to go on a boatride on the lake. I said no, I needed to do my taxes. He then scolded me, saying, “You’ve had all day to do your taxes!” I just about jumped out of my skin.

    Turned out, I didn’t have all the necessary material anyway, so I couldn’t finish them there. I ended up doing them myself a few days later — I simply followed the instructions in the book — and sent them in on time. If I remember right, he was scrambling to finish his at the very last minute. So at least that was a silver lining that came out of his unwillingness to follow through on his word – I learned how to do my own taxes. = )

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