It’s Narcissist Friday!   


“You never know what’s coming next.”

The one who controls the chaos, controls the world.

 If you are a fan of the old “Get Smart” television show, you will remember that the two organizations were named “CONTROL” and “KAOS.” Back in the cold war days, Americans were taught that our side was good and the other side was evil. The subtle message in Get Smart was that control was good, while chaos was evil.

But I think chaos is a tool for those who want control. The more chaos a person experiences, the more he/she wants order. Order requires control.

In many narcissistic relationships, chaos reigns. You really don’t know what’s coming next. Sometimes we chalk that up to the fact that we don’t think like the narcissist so it is hard to predict individual choices and actions. But sometimes chaos itself is the means of control.

You never know what answer will come when you ask a question or make a statement. You can’t get a commitment on an upcoming event so you can make plans. You don’t get to know how much money comes in or goes out or how it is used. You wait when the narcissist is late, but you never know what has been going on.

The chaos keeps you off balance. After a while it gets hard to think and planning or preparing seem like lost causes. A lot of your energy is spent trying to stay reasonably stable in the midst of all the chaos.

Could this be purposeful? Could the narcissist not really be that forgetful, but be late just to set you off? Could the random statement or accusation in the midst of a serious conversation be an attempt to throw off your reasoning? Could the mood shifts be planned just to keep you guessing?

Of course. Narcissists must control as much as they can. They usually control by taking away the options and energy of the ones they are using. As long as you are off balance, you are vulnerable and reactive. You don’t get a chance to pull things together so you can control your own life.

I don’t think all narcissists use this, but some will certain recognize the technique. We have talked about gaslighting, but chaos isn’t really for the purpose of making the victim look crazy or undependable. Chaos, I think, is for control.

In the past I have said that narcissists are predictable. I should revise that. Narcissists are predictable in as much as their motives and desired results are always the same. The motive is to serve the image, and the desire is to avoid feelings of vulnerability. But you may never be able to accurately predict what your narcissist will say or do next . . . and that might be on purpose.

How do you cope with chaos? Set your mind and heart on a still point. In the midst of the confusion and anxiety find that still point and you will find peace and freedom. For me, the still point is the knowledge of the love of God that comes through my relationship with Jesus. Whatever happens, He is there for me. Even when I can’t see Him, I know that He is there and He loves me. It helps.


Filed under Narcissism, Relationship

65 responses to “Chaos

  1. Beautiful posting. It has helped me understand some dynamics and perhaps, find a place of peace within these situations.

  2. Ruth

    This really resonates for me. It perfectly explains the dynamics of the relationship between my husband and I. I’m moving away from the chaos as much as possible. Even though we have been separated for three years, he managed to provide a great deal of chaos. Thankfully, I’m not letting it control me anymore.

  3. Rox

    I really needed this post on chaos and control today. In two weeks it will have been a year since my N sent me the email that spelled the beginning of the end, saying, “Congratulations on your success. Our 20 year friendship is now over.” Everyone said he was just using the old “Come here. Stay away” tactic that was his trademark, but I’d had enough of his resenting my confidence and trying to undermine it. What he did was cold and cruel, the same technique that terrorists use to keep their hostages on shaky ground. It’s evil. He and I have not spoken in almost a year, despite his efforts (half-hearted) when we see each other at work. It’s been both a glorious and a god-awful 12 months, but I could not live, having my peace destroyed again and again . . . and for no better reason than that he was jealous because being an N offers him no peace at all.

  4. Singing Eagle

    A good word, CHAOS!! It’s confirmation that the “N” hides all the information in order to have the comfort of being in control, sort of like, “I’m one step ahead of you if I know something you don’t!” Therefore, keeping you off balance in withholding information or not allowing you to be in the loop of what’s going on, gives them the sense of superiority. I maintain a safe distance in every way possible for sanity purposes. I obtain my own source of information. Even when he (rarely) speaks to me, I make sure to re-check and confirm anything he tells me as I’ve found many holes in his stories. I never take his word for it any more. As far as responses to anything else, it’s automatically understood, he expects to be treated like royalty, highly respected and don’t dare piss him off! ….. the kids and I know how to play the game while he’s in the same room now!

  5. Thank you! The more chaotic the relationship, the better for the narcissist! Disengaging from trying to make sense of it is essential. The more we try to unscramble it and try to create a linear equation to answer the “why” behind it, the more confused and frustrated we become. The chaos creates an internal triangulation of apposing philosophies and understanding. Personally, I find myself quickly disengaging from any person or situation that chaos thrives. I choose to begin again somewhere else…from scratch. 🙂

    • Rox

      Paula, I wish I’d had your attitude sooner. I might have saved myself from a year of asking “Why?” “How?” and every other conceivable question, trying to understand why this person I trusted with my heart and soul would want to hurt me. You’re right. How these Ns think makes no logical sense. Better to just write them off (easier said) and to thrive, away from their poisonous influence. I wish this for all of us.

    • Susan

      Oh boy, Paula, bingo! I’m going to commit this sentence of yours to memory: “Disengaging from trying to make sense of it is essential.” I don’t know why I find myself continually trying to make sense of the particular behaviors, lies, manipulations, twisting of words, etc. to make them fit into the puzzle that is my husband. This post hits the nail on the head – the chaos factor. The only thing I need to remember is that that is the narc’s world; I don’t have to dwell there, even if under the same roof. I need to be grounded in my Lord and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Blessings…

  6. Kathy

    Don’t you just love making plans and THEY don’t RSVP or acknowledge anything? When my husband was terminally ill I had planned a wedding vow renewal — right at the hall where we were married, ordered a cake, etc. Of course, the menu price was per person. I needed those RSVPs. I sent everyone beautiful invitations along with my email address. I had requested that no one send back the invite or call me — please email me. I explained, and everyone truly understood, that this was a surprise for my husband but that there was the chance he would be too ill to come. In that case, I would cancel and he would never know it had been scheduled (he would have tried to be a trooper so as not to disappoint me). I received all the emails – except from his parents and one sister (the Ns!). I was informed by another of his sisters that the non-responding one was coming, along with her son. I called husband’s parents to see if they were coming, and this is what I was told by his dad: “Well, I got the invite and I really didn’t want to come, but Wife says we have to. Oh, and sister? She’s coming too.”
    I said “But she never told me”
    And he said “Well, she TOLD ME!”
    And chaos? No, I don’t think they created chaos when there was none. But I think that’s because they lived too far away. What they chose to do instead is take advantage of times when I had chaos they didn’t cause — inviting people to stay at my home right after I had a complicated C-section, inviting themselves to stay the night of my daughter’s senior prom — the same night I was to disconnect Husband from chemo in his port. They decided to invite people on our vacations. They just loved to be there at the hardest times for me.

  7. Cookie

    When I was a young woman who was obediently ordering my existence around my mother’s world, she would often confide in me and share advice with me. As a young married woman, her advice to me was this: “If you are not getting something that you want, just create a crisis.” That word “chaos” really resonated with me. Creating a crisis results in chaos. Living in chaos is draining emotionally and physically. Doing what the narcissist wants seems a reasonable price to pay to have some peace. Some in my family eventually figured out that if they wanted to stay in the relationship and not sacrifice their physical and emotional well-being, they had to step back, let her have her way and develop enjoyable personal hobbies and experiences that could be done alone. For those who stand their ground, there is no end to the amount of energy that will be consumed in engaging the narcissist. And in the end, there will be a steep price to pay. I’m beginning to think that in these kinds of relationships, there are no positive outcomes. But by detaching, you can survive and thrive in your life outside of that relationship. I am working on this and it is hard because it is so not what God intended for family relationships and some part of me thinks that God expects me to love and serve no matter what the circumstances. But detachment it is becoming easier as I realize that two important things are at stake here: my health and my ability to fulfill God’s calling on my life. My service to others should be based on God’s guidance and direction, not based on who is willing to create a crisis. In a sense, to do otherwise is really idolatry. Lord, please forgive me for allowing someone else to take your rightful place in my life for so many years. And thank you, Lord, for your promise – “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but he who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Proverbs 28:13)

    • Cecilia K

      Cookie, my jaw dropped when I read your mother’s advice. Maybe it shouldn’t surprise me at this point (after reading all the info on narcs that I have read), but it did. It’s just incomprehensible to me that there are people who purposely cause pain and heartache to get their way. It’s infuriating and sad at the same time. And that is further evidence that some of these people, at least, if not all of them, know exactly what they are doing, which makes it sooo much harder to forgive. Sounds like you “have your head on straight” and a healthy perspective and faith in God to help you persevere.

    • Carrie

      I fully agree with all you have said. I am in the midst of a divorce from a man who has played this game for our entire marriage. I tried to keep peace for my children despite the exhaustion. It has ended up affecting them more than it has affected me. I cannot imagine having this kind of monster for a father. It is bad enough to have him as a husband. That is all I can say at this point, but the manipulation from so many different methods is so hard to deal with as well as the denial when he is called on it.
      Anyway, your mother’s comment reminds me of a quote made by Rahm Emanuel, “You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
      This is the exact tactic that those in government are using to manipulate the people in this country. The chaos causes such confusion that no one knows which way is up anymore. The bible is the only answer and Jesus is that word made flesh. Those who are not on the solid foundation will fall. Unfortunately many in the churches don’t even know him

      • Cecelia K

        Carrie, I like your reference to the government. As I re-read this article today, I thought the same thing. I was thinking in terms of evil dictators who create chaos (or at least swoop in in the midst of chaos) so they can then promote themselves as having the solution to the chaos, so people will think he is their savior. Then he makes demands in the name of his great solution, that everyone must meet. And aren’t dictators also known for expecting high praise and gratitude for ridiculously small crumbs they throw to the people, or for things that don’t deserve praise at all? I recall often thinking that my ex-boyfriend seemed like a dictator, which I’m sure is common among all the readers here.

  8. healingInHim

    So well written … still living in a passive chaotic atmosphere. Today is a bad day. I’m just so tired and feel guilty for not accomplishing much while he is quite confident as a retiree getting all of his tasks done. He has been successful … after an incident involving his loyalty to our three adult children over me … we have not spoken since Jn 28th. He likes this and is waiting for me to leave. I have no family support and no local church to turn to because of past spiritual abuse. He is aware of this and after three false professions of faith finally several years ago admitted he was tired of pretending, thus he now claims I expect too much of him and the children since ‘they’ are not saved.
    There is always a reason for their behaviour. I spent years building him up as a faithful Christian homeschooling father. He broke countless promises. I covet everyone’s prayers as counselors and doctors have said that the stress of covering up has affected my health and I should leave. Still no apartments available and my lawyer has advised me to not find job until my health is restored; they are hoping to ask for more ‘financial support’ because of the situation.

    • Jennifer

      healinginHim, if there is a local Women’s Shelter, go to it!!! I did, and they gave me room and board for 3 months, and took me through the process of finding emergency housing and work (or in your case, short term disability). Do it. Do it now. ((((Hugs)))) Just give them a call and explain your situation, but make sure you take copies of all pertinent papers with you; all recent bank and investment statements, marriage certificates, insurance policies, credit card statements, etc. You will need all these things for the separation process and he won’t be forthcoming with them if you don’t take them now.

  9. Maggie

    I am grateful for today’s post. I was thinking how ” I created ” what he or an outsider may call chaos or a crisis after I learned he had never been faithful. I was truly filled with anger, rage , disbelief, shocked , devastated, brain injured, etc… I “created” chaos in my response, naturally, as it was a normal response to an insane reality. It passed and I worked hard on my own healing. There was no sustainable empathy , remorse, repentance, etc… from him . I pursued why, how could you do this, when, where, what else did you not tell me, to no avail. Each time this created a crisis or more chaos. He likes to tell me that I traumatized him when I was traumatized during these crazy interactions. He will not permit the truth of the effects of his deception and infidelity, including exposing me to other’s bodies for 25 years. It is impossible for him to admit that any crisis or chaos that presented was to be accepted for a period. It has passed and we are not together and headed for divorce but it amazes me how if one was an outsider looking in , one may mistakenly see a wife creating chaos/crisis . Unless one lived with an N for 25 years and made the same discovery one may not understand….it is all so very covert.

    • Cookie

      You make a very good point, Maggie We need to be careful about interpreting situations we know little about. Sometimes creating a crisis is an appropriate thing to do in response to destructive and irresponsible behavior. For example, parents of a teenage drug addict may tell the child that they may no longer live at home unless he/she enters treatment. This creates a crisis for the addict. But it is done from the motivation of love and a desire to save a life. The motivation is the key.

  10. Jennifer

    I guess I’ve learned that at the center of the chaos is the Narc. They are the only ones who matter in their existence, and all others are there only to serve them in supporting roles. They are the Maestro of their own fabulous orchestra; sometimes barely moving their baton (covert) , and sometimes full of great sweeping movement and emotion (overt), but they are always at the center of it all, directing all who are within their realm.

    And they train us. They train us to respond to even the most subtle of movements. We find them at the center of our thinking and emotions. We are always trying to figure out what they want of us, or what they meant by that, or why they did or said some particular thing. We walk on eggshells when they are around, and question ourselves when they are not around. All movements of a great Maestro are full of portent to the orchestra who has been trained to read them even while watching their own music and playing their own instrument. Out of the corner of his eye, the musician watches and responds to even the most minute cue of the Maestro.

    They use people to create their lives and promote their image. They do not relate to people socially. If you see a Narc “relating” to someone, you can be sure that there is a motive behind it that is calculated to do the Narc some good. Nothing is done without calculation. There is no “love freely given” from a Narc, and you will know this soon enough if you don’t respond in what they think is an appropriate manner.

    The only way out is to leave the orchestra. And people will question you and think you are crazy for leaving such an amazing opportunity. They will question your decision, “He is the nicest guy in the world!”; “She is such a good mother!”; “After all they’ve given to you over the years?”. But leave, you must, because you will never learn to play your own song, and interpret the music the way you like if you stay. You will always respond to those subtle cues, and even if you resist, all your energy will be spent in resisting rather than learning to live your own life.

    • Cookie

      This is a great analogy, Jennifer! As someone who was involved in band/orchestra in the past, this makes so much sense.

    • Annie

      I too love your orchestral analogy. Pastor David is so right about the Chaos being used to control. No wonder we are confused and disoriented. No wonder we don’t know which way is up…. No wonder we no longer no who we are. I am so happy that I am now the owner of my own orchestra and that God is the only conductor that I will let order my life. For God has brought order back into my life. I still hurt and I still feel sad and sometimes. I even revert to a bit of chaotic thinking. It soon passes…. because of knowledge that I can just come to this blog and look at other information and know and trust that I am never alone. There are many who understand, who have walked the walk with me and pray for me to become who God meant me to be. The compassion and understanding from women who share their stories here has given me so much courage and so much hope. It helps me to know that I do have a reality that matters. The Narcs strip us of our reality and our sense of being…. but we can get it back…. it takes time, love, patience and support but we can and we do. Hugs to everyone who is getting safe. Hugs to those who are still trying to get safe and Hugs to those of us who are hopefully permanently safe. May He hold us all in the palm of His hand for eternity.

      • Oh dear…… typing error…… “No wonder we don’t know who we are”.

      • Jennifer

        Annie, you said a mouthful when you said that the Narc strips us of our reality. They are SO good at invalidating us to their own ends. If they can continually invalidate what we think, know, enjoy and believe, they can groom us to the point that we only know THEIR reality. We become their own mirrors which is of course exactly what a Narc needs because they can only see themselves through others eyes.

        Mine did this in a very subtle matter. It was like the most gentle of brain washings. Little digs here and there, little negations, little criticisms until I learned to think like him and parrot his thoughts. I was laughed at, or teased, or mocked for having my own opinions of anything. Looking back, he targeted me because I was naive, earnest and emotionally weak and gullible. He knew that and chose me for that reason. I was so grateful that he chose me because I was pretty sure no one else would, and so I set myself up for the 20 years of abuse I received.

        But God works all things together for our good! I am so much stronger, so much more in command of my own being, so much wiser than I was before, and I have 4 great kids in my life. Praise the Lord! He has blessed me with unceasing blessings since I left my husband, and my reality is 10 times better than it ever was before. Hallelujah!

  11. Recovering

    I have been divorced from my ex now for 3 years. I just know that while the PAIN of all of it is still there and it will take many years for it to soften, I understand more and more all the time what was really going on. I don’t think I ever would have seen it while I was in it…I was too busy trying to stabilize an unstable life all the time. Now I see his stonewalling wasnt as he said a lack of being a good communicator…it was total control and he knew it upset me every time he did it was his supreme tool. I also see he was the little man behind the curtain displaying as the Great and Mighty OZ.

    • “Lack of being a good communicator”. My ex used that and also “You know I am not an affectionate person”. After being very affectionate and very communicative PRIOR to our marriage. He would even say my affection “overwhelmed him”. Gaining knowledge about Narcs and Sociopaths/Psychopaths has helped me to understand these were just excuses NOT to communicate and NOT to have intimacy…. as he no longer required them from me. I now believe he was probably using prostitutes during this time. I certainly caught him with a Pornographic website saved in a Folder on the Internet with a Pseudonym. He knew all about the insides of two local Brothels, stating he had to do some maintenance repairs…. even said he had to remove a dance pole. Looking back I think he was ‘baiting’ me. As I ‘believed’ him he would think he was ‘safe’ from any further suspicion. Why would he think he needed to tell me about these two jobs….. which he said occurred many years before I met him? All part of causing the confusion and painting a picture which he wanted to paint. They are only ‘poor communicators’ when it suits their story.

  12. Diana F.

    This post came in at the right time. I’m married to a man whom, after 31 years of marriage, I finally labeled him as a Narcissist. After continually being deceived and lied to and having the table turned on me and being accused of not trusting him that’s why he had to lie to me, I wondered what kind of man never apologizes for lying, cheating, deceiving and never apologizes for his behavior. I had to search the internet for behavior patterns he repeatedly exhibited and immediately recognized his behavior in a narcissist. It’s true his world is structured in chaos. I can never predict his responses – just tonight I came home to a garden full of chewed up plants because he left the gate open and a deer came in. I think most people would apologize, but his response was ‘why don’t we leave the patio gate open and see if the deer can walk up the stairs and eat all the other plants on the patio’. It seems he thrives on chaos and destruction or he is bored. I’m torn between my commitment to marriage and removing myself from a lifetime of living with a self-centered, attention hungry, remorseless man. Thank God I have, over the past few months, learned to focus my well-being and thoughts on my Heavenly Father who gives me strength and peace to stay grounded on His grace and love, instead of the chaos, indifference, lack of accountability, and general lack of respect that oozes from my husband like a festering wound. Your Narcissistic Friday posts frequently give me strength to survive another week.

  13. Fellow Survivor

    Diana, the one unspoken statement that all Ns use is this ” why don’t you believe me when I lie to you?” And they really mean it. And then they get mad when you say ” I don’t believe you because you are lying to me!!!!!!” Its just crazy.

    • Fellow Survivor…… they not only lie and expect us to believe them. He was always trying to make out I was the liar…. I had a BAD memory. It was interesting at the time as he used to HINT quite a lot that my memory was failing…. that I needed to see the Dr for memory tests. Funnily enough I worked in Dementia care and he was using the knowledge he had gained through my professional knowledge, to turn that information back on me. Early in our relationship he sounded ‘interested’ in my work when he asked questions like “How do they test for dementia?” “What are the symptoms of dementia?” “How can you tell when there is memory loss?” It was later recognising what he was doing in his accusations of memory loss to me, that helped me realise he was lying and covering his lies by trying to make out I was in early stage of memory loss. Some of the lies I had hard evidence that he was lying, others I was more confused. Luckily I was able to get safe, even though I allowed counselling for a few months…. I never moved back in with him, never slept with him, never allowed romance to blossom again. I was wary and watching and listening. Ending the counselling when he was verbally violent and manipulative for one last time. I went NO CONTACT and applied for Divorce. Left my work, town, church and moved far away. Healing takes time, but I don’t have to live in Chaos and Control and I don’t have to listen to lies anymore. Healing can only start when we get free. My relationship with God suffered but I am getting back to trusting even Him again.

  14. Trying to cope

    I happened upon this page some time ago when I was in the midst of a lot of issues at work and it became clear to me that what I was dealing with was narcissism. I was in the process of being discarded and had no idea what it even meant. These pages helped me make sense of it all. So here I am 9 months later and still dealing with the Chaos…Oh yes and control. Otherwise known as crazy making. The N in my world after being friends for some time decided to start shunning me. Most of the time. It keeps me very off balance. I guess we all just want to be liked and to have someone who was once a good friend just shun you for no reason, it’s unbearable. I have went through great loss in the last few years and I guess I just really needed this friendship and acceptance. So here I sit wondering how to go on. The N, who once stopped to talk every time he saw me now won’t speak at all. I tried talking to him about it and he acted like I was crazy for thinking anything was wrong. I spoke to my boss because I felt like I was going crazy. I’m guessing he knows shunning would do this to me. Oh my gosh…When he found out I went to my boss, his idol, he flew into a rage at me. So this is a co-worker…8 hours of every day in the presence of this hate. He literally seems to hate me for no reason. We were friends. Then one day he just turned it off. The only saving grace I have is understanding that he is an N. But what I don’t get is why no one knows this but me? Of course you can’t say the N word out loud because then you would be the crazy one. I honestly feel like he is trying to drive me crazy…why me. I’m the nicest, kindest person anyone could hope to meet. For a long time he seemed to think so too. Can’t handle this shunning. Can’t talk to him about it…So i’m lost.

    • Rox

      Trying to cope, I know exactly how you feel. I’d never even hear of NPD until my colleague and best friend of 20 years just suddenly “changed” our friendship and discarded me last year. I’ve spent this last year trying to understand and move on, which is not easy but you get one step further from the chaos every day. One thing I’ve found interesting is that the more I listen to people talk about my former bestie, the more I realize he is not as beloved as I thought he was. In fact, quite a lot of people are on to his self-centered, crazy-making behavior. That helped me realize that this is HIS problem, not mine. Ns like to create drama and pain to make themselves feel alive, which is never successful because they are like zombies. My spiritual director told me, “Focus on you now, not him. What do you need in order to feel positive and move on from the mess he’s created.” It’s not easy, but when you are tempted to think about your N, focus on the feeling that led you to that thought. Were you feeling lonely? Angry? Depressed? Then, think of what might help you address that issue for yourself – lunch with a friend? A walk around the block? A session with your counselor? All things that don’t involve your N. As you say, you are a kind, loving person. Take care of that person. The N eventually will get what’s coming to him/her, having nothing to do with you.

      • Trying to cope

        You know I keep hearing that. He has bad Karma and it will come back to him. It has been a year and a half. Everyone adores him. Of 30 people he singled me out and once he knew I was a friend. I mean he literally pursued me as a friend but once he got me, bam I was discarded overnight. I’m glad to see someone that stuggles on a friend level. To some degree I feel I have not earned the right to be so distraught. I mean after all this is not a spouse, right? Just someone that was once important in my life. It hurts to know the feeling wasn’t mutual. But it’s deeper than losing a friend for some reason. I think because he is an N, he had me convinced I was somehow special. Not until I found an N checklist and it was like check, check, check. Oh well that helps halfway. But I just get left with why me. It is hard to watch him walk around and charm everyone else. I keep thinking just wait until your discarded. But I can’t see that it happens. I think he has done it twice but they both quit. I almost quit. I refuse to let him win. That is why I went to my boss. Well now I feel like that was worst mistake ever. He is bullying me by shunning. But if he was merely shunning before now it’s shunning with a vengance and he will do anything to rub it in and let me know I am the only one he hates. Sorry, pitty me party I just don’t get the Why me. But I do get it. For a n…well I was vulnerable. But he realized I am not a supply for anything. Everyone else he uses for business. I’m not quitting and I have to face him 10 times a day. Period. I look the other way. Shun him right back. So then he will do things to get even. Childish. You bet. Bother me. Very much. I believe it is better to forgive. He won’t talk to me. I have been trying to get to the root of this for over a year. I know I’m not wrong on the N diagnosis. All the pieces fit to perfect. I can’t believe I have a real live specimen and all I want is my friend back. The animosity is killing me.

      • Rox

        Believe me, Trying to cope, I feel your pain and it hurts like heck. I, too, would love to have my best friend back the way he was. But, as Kitkat said, the person we thought we knew was just a disguise, an illusion. We were chosen and fooled by our Ns because we all possess something these Ns do not. They try to copy our admirable traits so they can seem more human and be admired by others. But our copied characteristics are often linked to being able to relate to others, something these Ns simply cannot do. Like you, I’ve asked myself all the Why and How questions over the past year. I’ve cried buckets over the loss. In the end, thanks to the help of a great spiritual director, I realized that the N wasn’t worthy of my friendship. We deserve better than a cardboard cutout who must steal others’ traits in order to be valued. And though your N may seem popular, he is miserable and alone (as Ns must be), even when he seems to be the life of the party. If others are not on to his game yet, they will be. Again, focus on you. What do you need ? What do you want? Think of your N as a bratty child. Let him play shunning games, as kids do. You have a great life to live. And the N has lost the privilege of being part of it.

    • Susan

      Trying to Cope, you wrote: “all I want is my friend back.” You never had him as a friend, therefore there is no friend to get back. You just thought you had the friend who you were and are in him. But he never was. It’s taken me YEARS to figure this out with my husband, so don’t feel bad for however long or hard it’s been to realize this with your friend. And don’t feel bad about feeling bad. As I see it, this loss is mourning a death. I certainly have mourned and grieved in my marital relationship for years – and it got worse somehow when I realized he’s a narc. But now, I have information that helps me. And the Lord will get me through this. He has stopped targeting me (because I won’t let him; I have detached for good. information shared is only what’s necessary. Sad but it’s necessary to do. Now he’s going after our 11-year-old daughter. Wooing her like a love. Creepy. I’m praying and also am protective of her. Very careful.) ANYway, don’t feel bad for your own emotions. Work through them all. Read all you can. Stay close to this blog. It will help to know you’re not alone in this. You have REAL friends and you know the difference between them and the narc.

      • Trying to cope

        Thank you Susan. I know today will be a bad day. I need to quit analyzing what I did wrong. I did nothing wrong. As I read Jennifers post I am reminded, I did not lose a friend, their was not friendship. Somethings about this are so weird, so scary. You all describe this person to a T. I have not told you, you just know. i spend to much time thinking about how to get back on the good side. Twisted thinking I know. For some reason I just cannot stand the idea that I am the one that was singled out. I am still in a very vulnerable state in my life and I guess i just don’t need this negativity. I need those around me to be positive, upbeat. I can’t get away from this person. 10 times a day I’m reminded how worthless I am. Well unless they are going for Chaos that day and then He acts like all is normal. I can’t talk to him, the rage scares me. No contact was good but I cannot do that now. It is all so weird because he is not my husband…just a person that posed as a friend. I guess I needed that friend. I needed their strength and clear thinking. Things are not right in my world and i just needed some guidance and he was there. I guess it was me that needed the supply.

  15. Kitkat

    Trying to Cope, this sounds so much like what I have been going through. I had a friend, and then I didn’t. I had no idea why or what happened. But as I soon learned my friend was a N. I have to say, that I really don’t want my friend back the was she was, because none of it was real. What they do is build a fantasy self and you think that is who they are, then when they feel threatened by you, tire of you, use you or just move on to some one else, you no longer matter to them. My friend went from being my friend to my enemy in a heartbeat. I agree with the advise given above, you have to think about you now. This site is the best and has helped me immensely to deal with this, look through the different posts as there is much wisdom here. You are not alone, take strength from that. May God help you to deal with this situation. You are special, God says so, draw your greatest strength from Him.

    • Trying to cope

      Kitkat, thank you, somehow I missed your post until now. i think because I have to work with this person on a day to day basis to me it is easier to figure out how this person ticks and try to figure out how to make them treat me the way I wish to be treated. That would be cordially at the very least. This shunning bit is wearing on me and I’m afraid I will snap. I do not need that. We work in tight quarters, there are no secrets here. But so far I don’t think it has occured to anyone that he is shunning me. When I mentioned it to my boss she was shocked. And then went behind my back and told him what I said. After we agreed that he did not need to know we talked. I looked to her for guidance. I should have stuck with this wonderful forum instead.

      Thank You Kitkat and all of you who have weighed in to try and help me through this. Jennifer, Unspoken. A weight has already been lifted from my shoulders, just being reminded its not me, it’s him. Sigh. It is so isolating. I get by by developing more and more friendships. I heard myself say in a meeting and to my husband. Everyone likes me. That is what this awful experience has given me. Before I tended to isolate myself but I am reaching out. I guess I need to feel worthy. Low and behold…people like me, they really like me 🙂 Feel sorry for N. He is missing out on a great friendship. A week ago I would not have wrote these words. You all have helped me that much!!!

      • UnForsaken

        Trying to cope, SOOOO glad to hear you are feeling better. It can really help in the long run! I had a long reply typed up the other day and my computer wouldn’t take it, but the jist of it was : He’s trying to prove he’s a big dog. But he is only a little yippy terrier and you are The mastiff!!! 😉

        Whoops, I renamed you Coping earlier! Maybe because that is exactly what you are doing so beautifully! 🙂

  16. Jennifer

    Trying to Cope, so sorry you are having to go through this. My husband used to give me the cold shoulder for up to 3 weeks at a time when I lived with him. Why you? In their cruel little minds, why not you. :/ Because you are the nice one and they felt they could trust you to uphold their image and feed their immense egos. That is all. There is nothing wrong with you. You’re not stupid. You were trusting, that is all. That’s not a bad thing, but we all need to remember what Scripture tells us. “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

    Think of it this way. When these types of people reveal themselves to you they are doing you a huge favour. You do not have to invest anymore of your time, your emotions, your security, your peace in them. It’s done. Because there they are sitting like shark’s teeth on a platter right in front of your eyes. Rejoice! (This will take time, but think how much you’ve learned from this. How you can now recognize the signs of these predators).

    Next time you will notice far quicker; get those gut instincts a little louder; and be free much faster. Pretty soon you’ll have one or two conversations with someone and then say to yourself, “Oh YEAH, baby. I’ve got YOUR number already, and that’s not happening to me again.” Lol.

    Praying for your wisdom, courage, peace and confidence at work. Also remember, the more you are uncomfortable, or reacting to what he is doing, the deeper his claws were into your heart and mind. It means he is still controlling your emotions AND YOU CAN BET YOUR LAST DOLLAR THAT HE KNOWS THAT AS WELL. He knows intimately and almost exactly what you are feeling and how you are reacting to him. He probably knows better than you do. They are very, very good at reading people.

    Just ignore the old poopy-header (as the local 8 year old says). He’s not worth the emotions you spend on him.

  17. Jennifer

    Oh and another quick comment. You said that he was very angry when you ratted him out to your boss. That’s how you know they are a Narc. Because you dared to tarnish his well-honed image, you cannot be trusted anymore, so now he’s trying to strike fear into your heart. Their image is all they have (because I swear they are inhuman zombies otherwise 😛 ) and you, quite rightfully, outed him. Hah! Good for you, but I will warn you, that if you get any “danger” signals around him, take them very seriously. I don’t believe these folks have any consciences to speak of, and I know of a tragedy where one Narc murdered his wife because she got “too close to the truth”. I don’t want to frighten you, but just to warn you to take those sorts of feelings very, very seriously.

    • Trying to cope

      Jennifer , yes this is when I absolutely knew that the problem was I was dealing with an N. Cold, heartless, unfeeling. Everyone just adores him…so did I. But this rage I saw after he found out I went to my boss over his behavior…wow. Yes I was scared and it was at that moment that I quit speaking to him. I was truly scared. I slowly backed out of his office, afraid he was going to pounce. So yes I walk on egg shells now. But really all I want is for things to be back to normal. This is my work place. I can’t have this war zone. I’m a happy, optimistic person…this is just draining the life out of me.

  18. Trying to cope

    Thank you all for your insight. I am not a spring chicken and have seen and heard it all or so I thought. But then I met an n. I see many n traits in people but this guy takes the cake. You all give me strength. I go through spells where I just get so down and out that it is hard to even work.. Most recently my job put me in a situation where I have to deal with him frequently now, so all the hard feelings I thought I buried this spring are back.

    So please advise…do I ignore him as he ignores me…or does he like this game? I could be sugar sweet instead…which equally pisses him off because he doesn’t want to speak to me. I AM not worthy you see. If I go in as a game I can keep my sanity. But tomorrow I will deal with him being overtly nice to the new person. And he will rub it in my face…I’m predicting here but things changed at work and he will use this development against me. I have to have a game plan because otherwise I feel like I’m depressed and in this sinking hole of despair. Why do I let it bother me. I wish I knew. I read that when it comes to shunning, the extent to which you care is the extent to which it will bother you. I think to be so cruelly, deliberately and, for no reason that I can fathom, discarded, just cut me to the core. Many personal things in my life have left me feeling vulnerable. I think he was like a vulture that smelled blood. But why destroy someone? Others around me at work and outside love me, laugh with me, let me know I’m their bestie…(funny word for an over the hill gal, but yes I have lots of besties). But this, this one N….I guess the truth is I’m jealous that everyone still gets to hang with this nice funny person and I don’t. I’m the only one who gets to see this cruel, ruthless being. I know I’m right about the n thing. I want to doubt myself and think I’m pathetic and he just doesn’t like . Why would it take someone almost 2 years to decide they don’t like me. Too weird and hurtful for words. Sorry long but I can’t tell you all what your words have done for me already. Now to navigate the shark infested waters tomorrow…I pray someone has a great plan for how I can handle this character.

    • UnForsaken

      Trying to cope, I don’t have a great plan for you, just a few thoughts. This sounds a lot like a N I knew. He got everyone to apeing him although they were not Ns…what an environment! Fortunately, I wasn’t near him personally so when he did try to destroy it was at a distance through other people. So, I don’t know if what I did will help you.

      Your plan of ignoring sounds good and the pain you are feeling may be a sign that it is actually working. Everyone has Great ideas here, including the fact that he can feel it if he still gets under your skin. One way to ease your pain might be to focus hard on something else so that what he does matters less to you. He will know, and if he cannot control that focus, he may start looking for another victim instead.

      The other thing I had to do was find sincere good things to say to him/ about him when nearby or with mutually known people. It’s sort of like sugar, but not exactly. You mean what you say, but you are vague and careless about stating it…like it’s an unquestionable fact, but it is totally uninportant. ( like : Oh yeah, so and so is good at that kind of stuff – said in a positive but flat voice and a shrug. Move on quickly to something else and don’t go there if someone tries to get you to talk about stuff he does bothering you. ) Intensity of any kind is entertaining to them and they come back for more or destroy what you show interest in. You know those socially addept but cold people who know how to keep on people’s good side but never sound as if they’re totally getting into the conversation? It is kind of like that but with sincerity ( as some of them have but don’t show ).

      This is only an idea and you may already be doing it or find it is a bad idea in your situation. You are in a good spot being able to admit and look your fear in the face, because then you can deal with it. Dealing with fear is courage, self-respect, and confidence that God is your strength. Yes, they hate that more than anything but eventually cannot stand being around it. Keep that chin up; this will pass!

      Bless you, and Prayers! 🙂

      • Trying to cope.

        Thank you unforsaken. The world revolves around him in this office. He can charm and he can provide entertainment. So hard to be the one left out. He even includes my husband…who was once discarded but I think N let him back in just to get even with me. What a twisted world. Life could have been fun. He told me he had no friends. I just tried to be a friend. For that I get shunned. Today I feel like crying is good. Thank you for your support.

    • Jennifer

      I would add, never play the game. We are believers and our byword should be truth not mind games. Ignore what he says and what he does in that those things are a reflection of HIM and not of you. Those things tell much about HIM and nothing about you, so why pay attention to them.

      But don’t avoid his eye if you’re looking in that direction, and loan him the paperclip cheerfully if he needs one. Talk to him as naturally as you would talk to anyone else in the office if you need to discuss office business with him. (And if he shuns you and catches your eye, just smile and wink to let him know that you know what he’s up to and that it doesn’t bother you in the least 😛 ).

      Your fear is his power. It drives him. Your being uncomfortable lets him know that he is powerful. But why be fearful or uncomfortable around tools who play mind games? ( (Unless of course it’s that gut instinct of fear that lets you know that danger is around…those feelings you always pay attention too.)

      Who wants to have a relationship with that kind of shark anyway?

      • Trying to cope.

        It is your last sentence that bothers me. Why do I care? He has proven he is a bad seed. But only to me. To everyone else he is the life of the party. He graces people with his presence. Maybe I should bow when he enters!! Sorry a bit snarky today.
        If I knew a way to get on his good side I would. I have always felt it is better to forgive than to carry hate. I like to think people know not what they do. But he does. And it hurts. And of course if it was a girlfriend it would be simpler. No it’s a man that was a friend of both my husband and I. I can barely talk to my husband about. He is aware that I have been unfriended. To him…who cares , why should I have had a male friend. Well said male just took all the woman and their husbands out for a day of fun. Guess who wasn’t invited. When he invited my husband, no woman were allowed. How convenient. I’m hurt. I feel in a normal world I could talk to him…but I have seen the scary “rage” and it is scary.
        I will try to make eye contact. I have been opting for down and away. I do that to avoid the hurt, because I know he will be doing look down and away. What hurts is he used to stop, chat, where’s my husband, blah blah…you know, normal coworker/friend.
        I know no one can solve this. He has to come to me and I don’t know how to make it happen. I am not letting this bully take my job from me!!! He needs to apologize to me. But how. And really that is all I want. He will never be invited into my home again. But I wish for civility at work. If I go into his office to speak, he won’t look up from his computer, he tries for no eye contact. Coward.

      • UnForsaken

        Jennifer, you caught the essence of genuine behavior perfectly. Thanks!

  19. Jennifer

    TYC, ((((hugs)))) I know how you are feeling, because my husband could make me feel like that in a heart beat. I always felt the need to go crawling back to him to make peace, even when it wasn’t me who had broken the peace in the first place. I couldn’t stand the tension and the silence. It would kill me. I do know exactly how that feels. But we give these people far too much power over us when we feel these things. They know exactly how we are feeling and take advantage of that to wield their assumed power.

    There is a difference in my mind between godly peace, and peace at all costs. The two aren’t the same. Godly peace is brought about by godly reconciliation which comes from both sides. You will be very hard-pressed to find this forthcoming from your N.

    You are worried about my last sentence, but honestly think about it. You KNOW who this man is now and what he’s capable of, right? Do you really want a relationship with him, or are you just really wanting the relationship back that you thought you had? (I do feel so very badly for you….really…but honesty is the best policy all round in these cases). Relationship assumes honesty and trust on both parts. Will you find that with him? Will you ever find that openness and trust in him that you thought you had? I think you need to grieve what you have lost (or at least what you thought you had), rather than trying to get back what really wasn’t there. (If I could give you the biggest hug right now, I would, because I am saying very hard things).

    I know you are feeling lonely because he has targeted you and no one else, but you still have your relationships with all the other people in the office. You are not alone there, but the power he has over you as the life and breath of the office, makes you feel alone; like everyone KNOWS what is going on (and believe me, he may be talking rather nasty behind your back or telling some lie in which he is the victim in all this). He has even come between you and your spouse. 😦

    You looking away to avoid being hurt is him playing top dog and making you feel like the bottom dog. He is waiting for you to come and lick his boots and cringe at his feet. People will notice that you are not invited any more, and will notice the chill in the air as well. They may not have the courage to say anything though because nobody wants to be the one who breaks the spell. Narcs know that as well, and trust that nobody will rock the boat. He has them all that firmly under his command. It’s his way of isolating you in the midst of a crowd. It is all very carefully orchestrated.

    This man is a very powerful man, who has a very powerful hold over people. He has set himself up on a pedestal and makes other people feel great by drawing them to himself in a place of privilege and then pushing them off the pedestal very silently. It is like bloodless murder. But he is not all these things. It is an illusion and we give power freely to these people without realizing we are doing it. You are feeling ashamed because a shameless man has insinuated by his actions that you are unworthy. But all these things are just lie after lie.

    I don’t want to belabour the point, because I can tell you are hurting. There are some very good books out there I will recommend and some you will find in your local library.

    1. People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck
    2. Boundaries by Dr Henry Cloud
    3. Emotional Vampires by Albert Bernstein

    Be brave dear one! The devil (in this case, your Narc) seeks out whom he may devour; he seeks to kill and destroy with a smile on his face and no one even realizing what is going on. But you are a child of the truth! You have no shame in your dealings with this man, so do not take his shameless ways upon yourself as your own burden. He is the one who should be completely ashamed of his actions. Where the words say one thing and the actions say another, there is a liar in your midst.

    Praying that God will give you peace in your heart and good courage to believe the truth in this situation; that He might uncover the truth about this man for all to see; for your vindication; for your friendships with your other co-workers to blossom; for peace between you and your husband; and for your joy to return to you tenfold. ((((hugs))))

    • Trying to cope

      Jennifer. Thank You from the bottom of my heart. Yes I think I was ready to lick his boots. No one likes to be cast aside. In his case I think it is the groveling that would make it worse. He hates it when I say sorry. I need to hear these words as a good reminder. I am shocked that you know this person so well. Do they all have the same manual or what?

      Thank you for these coping skills. I know you say don’t play the game. Every part of it feels like a game. What could be going through his mind to once have stopped a visited everytime he saw me to now not speak, don’t smile, don’t acknowledge. The weirdness of it is beyond the scope of my ability to understand. Therefore I need to fit him in my reality which is, Good morning, Hi, smile, be friendly. I did nothing to deserve this!!

      So the Chaos continues. Have gone two rounds already. No acknowledgement that I am alive. So strange. I keep thinking if he sees that all these people like and accept me he will come around. But it has been over a year. I am just baffled that I even care. That is the weirdest part. Your first paragraph is me. I read it and cried.
      And your statements about this powerful man are dead on. He is powerful and held a very high ranking position in his past career and yes he is on a pedestal. He likes to keep everyone at arms length. With him if it is to be it must be his decision. You can never say hey lets do this or that. you can’t so much as offer him food. If it was not his will it is not to be.

      This thread Chaos and Control…it is dead on.

      Thank you for taking this time to help me along. I am hurt and offended, betrayed and mainly lonely. No one gets this. Friends are like Oh, ignore him back. No it’s bigger than that. He is a trained professional. I believe he knows he is taking me down to my knees. I might as well be in a war camp being tortured. He just has no idea who he is dealing with. So it is a game to keep my sanity. At first I wanted him to straighten up…but understanding the N word means knowing he really doesn’t feel any of this. So there is no get even.

  20. UnForsaken

    Coping, Jennifer, this conversation has been what I need to hear again too. I know those rages. And I have an Aunt I used to say roams the earth seeking whom she may devour, before I knew about Ns. She’s the kind of woman who plays “jokes” on her kids for the fun of it. I’ve been rejected by a whole church and know only two-four people I trust. Please believe me, it is never easy but eventually you will overcome!

    Very impressed with your choice to stay, Coping! It’s a brave thing to do. If you are not feeling strong enough for this, be assured none of us do. But God is our strength and ever present help in time of trouble. We don’t feel it while it’s happening, but sometimes we can look back and see it later. You are still going through another stage of rejection, and until it’s over the dust won’t clear. I believe you will find it much easier to be emotionally detached in future, but right now you are still in a “power struggle” of minds. My N goes through this periodically instead of completely rejecting. It’s kind of like a muscle flex. The only way I’ve found that helps me is to absolutely face the truth ( in my mind ) and to try to force the next stage of emotional detachment. That takes time to do when you love them and will continue to love them. And Coping, I do think you care, and that’s why it’s hard for you. That’s nothing to be ashamed of!

    We want honesty and staight forwardness, maybe even if it causes more pain. But it is wise to keep our own council, to only tell ourselves the truth, and numb our faces to the attack ( not our hearts). We cannot force them to do anything; wouldn’t want to, like they are doing to us. But we can try to take a look at ourselves. I don’t mean in perfectionism, but in relaxed, honest praise. You are doing a great job! List the ways! Look at scripture and see God’s promises to You! Pour every bit of the honesty and focus you want in this situation into equal and bigger truths!!! You are after all bigger than this guy’s obsession. And better yet, God is! 😉


  21. Trying to cope

    Unforsaken, Yes I cannot leave my career is just hitting a good spot, I am not leaving. To have this behind me would be very beneficial.

    Yes I do care. Do to a move I am thousand of miles away from all my family. These friends were my family. He was one of them. One of the first in my new family of friends. So to be discarded for no reason, it is a foreign concept. I do not understand how all these N’s have the same playbook. But they do. If there are 10 traits, he has them in spades. The rage was the last checkmark. I thought Oh this couldn’t be. He is too nice he would never rage. Oh my gosh was I wrong.

    So another day. I need to brace up for round 3. So today I have learned I will try harder to not let him win. I will look him in the eye. Which is almost impossible because he does not acknowledge my existance. That has to be a torture tactic! Short of stomping on his foot I don’t think he would look at me.

  22. Jennifer

    Of course you care, because normal people do care if they hurt someone intentionally in a weak moment or unintentionally, and they want to make it right! He doesn’t care because he isn’t normal. He’s a sociopath which simply means that socially speaking he’s pathological, diseased, broken and sick. His social sense is predatory rather than supportive.

    You said, “So today I have learned I will try harder to not let him win”. Ah, ah, ah! *waggles finger and shakes head no 😛 * This win-lose mindset is “The Game” mindset. There is no winning or losing in a relationship based upon integrity and honesty, even if you are the only one being honest.

    Relationships are NOT a game, even relationships with twisty-minded people. Even these have to be approached honestly. Treat him like you treat everyone else; friendly, helpful, and socially sensible. No need to gush, or enthuse, or try harder (he and the office will pick up on anything that is not your routine personality). If he doesn’t respond, he’s the creep, not you. Do this when people are around, or when they are not. If your habit is to greet someone when they walk into a room, well great him too when he walks in. If he ignores you, he is showing himself for who he is, either to you, or to the other office staff. If you act normal at the office, the office staff will be wondering what’s going on with him. It will cue them and him into the fact that all systems are go and normal on your end in spite of the Office Vampire trying to suck the blood out of you.

    You have your work cut out for you, I admit. It’s not easy when they are around all the time, and poor thinking habits die hard. Just keep reminding yourself not to play games. You will be good old honest TtC, nothing more and nothing less to all in the office. And try not to care about the treatment (it’s so hard), because just think of who it is coming from. He is NOT the person you thought he was, and your caring is a reflection of that former time when you thought he was someone else. He is a shark, and all the world is just the little fish that he likes to bait and use, and then toss away when he’s done with them. I mean seriously, if you knew that right away, before you were enthralled with him, you wouldn’t give a fig about how he treated you. You’d just feel very fortunate that you weren’t friends with him.

  23. Trying to cope

    Thank You for keeping me on course Jennifer. Yes I greet everyone. I never bring my bad day to the office. No matter how much pain I’m in, and I swear this stress brings pain. I have aged more this year than any prior.

    I had to share my favorite quote… If someone treats you like crap, just remember there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don’t go around destroying other human being!

    He has set out to destroy me. Good grief who would have ever thought these vampires existed.

  24. Trying to cope

    So today was ok. I feel stronger and better informed. The words…they are not normal. This is what I hang on to.

    So guess what. Today. He was normal…acting. Hmmm….chaos!!! And control. So I wonder…now what. Calm before the storm I imagine. And I see today’s narcissist Friday says keep those secrets. Sure wish I had never went to my boss. Careful who you trust. I guess that is the beauty of here. We can gain insight without risking ourselves. I should have stuck with you all. Cause now I have reproductions from just trying to keep myself sane. I am here to tell you…shunning will drive you batty.

    So live and learn. You guys are all my rock.

    Unforsaken…yes some days I cope somedays I try.

    • Jennifer

      When they switch it up like he’s doing (from shunning to normal), it is with nasty intent. Their intention is to cause you to doubt yourself. This is what is referred to when they use the term gaslighting, or crazy-making. He’s probably doing it because he very intuitively sense a change in you towards him. (Yes, they are THAT good. They often know what you are thinking long before you understand what you are thinking.)

      Hold your course, and try not to make every thought or action all about him. Why? Because in spite of his greatest pains in making you think so, YOUR LIFE IS NOT ABOUT HIM. Take a deep breath and be yourself, as you have always been, with everyone you know; NOT because of who he is, or because of what he’s done, but because of who you are and because that’s what you do.

      They intentionally cultivate everyone around them to revolve around themselves, and they can sense when someone is not revolving around them. The more he changes tactics, the more you’ll know that you are controlling yourself and he is controlling you no longer. Don’t rejoice that he is spinning though, just rejoice that you no longer are!


        You were right. Last week he acted, Shunning. Chaos…crazy making…yep. but I’m not feeling quite so crazy. thank The Lord. And all of you. Jennifer you have my guys number, it’s almost-scary. I think I mourn the friendship I could have had. one doesn’t realize how important that is until you are pulled away from everyone and everything you love. It was important to me. Not so much to him I guess. Weird cause he told me he had no friends. I should have been welcomed with open arms. He is developing friendships now…or should I say supply sources. Oh so transparent. He slipped, at the beginning…back when I was a friend, by telling me what he thought of each of his NOW supply sources. I am a threat..I see that now. I know the truth about what he thinks about almost every person at office and I know hes an N.

        He met me when I was very vulnerable. I must have a big target right on my forhead.

        Thank you for hearing me out. As In process out loud and you all Quantify…I get stronger. This whole ordeal is just so bizarre…and yet seemingly common. These people should come with warning labels. I have read it is the only disease where they treat the victim not the patient. what a thought.

  25. Jennifer

    “These people should come with warning labels. I have read it is the only disease where they treat the victim not the patient. What a thought.”

    Wow, that IS quite a thought! The most excellent counselor whom I saw for 3 1/2 years said, when I asked her if any of these Narcs were ever cured (she also worked with abusive men), “No, I’ve never known any of them to give it up. In fact, they seemed to take a lot away from our sessions in terms of how to be an even more covert and seductive Narc.” Seemingly they can fool even the therapists.

    • Kathy

      They can fool therapists. They have been deceptive all their lives. A therapist has only been a therapist since the time they got their credentials. Very un-Christian of me, but it really should be legal to just shoot some people!!! LOL

  26. Jennifer and Kathy…Thank you for the input. Kathy you make me laugh. So the question is do they know they are doing something wrong? Do they get that they are destroying another by their cruelty?

  27. Penny

    TTC~I’m late to the thread, but, YES. They KNOW what they are doing but they don’t view it as wrong. They are “entitled”, remember? Entitled to do or say anything that helps them get their drug of choice: attention. You are a toy, a tool or an obstacle. Period. Remember: they are not real, but pretending to be a perfect image; they are performing, and they sometimes allow other to be “bit-players” on their stage (you & me), but don’t steal the spotlight or they will cut your part. Keep the spotlight on them, make them look good and you might make it to their acceptance speech (“I would like to thank the Academy…)! I say this b/c they are perfectly able to contain themselves when it behooves them to do so; if there is something in it for them (attention) they will hold it together and charm the socks off a snake. If someone gets destroyed in the process, it’s the victims fault for being in their way. Everything they do is about power & control, to which they are entitled and for which they will justify their cruelty. I have personally seen my narc do a freaky “Jeckyll & Hyde” transformation in a nano-second. She bid farewell to the guests she was trying to impress, shut the door, turned on her heels like a wind-up toy and her entire face changed from charming hostess to Medusa–I was frozen in fear and fascination, expecting fire to actually come out of her mouth. She was furious b/c her Ocsar-worthy performance was “under appreciated” by the very guests she was trying to impress. They hadn’t thanked her profusely enough, they didn’t grovel at her feet, she didn’t like their gift (it was Christmas, after all) and she had “wasted” her time on them. No “Christmas Cheer” or spirit of giving from her. I wish that I had the guts back then to have said, “Wow-i wonder what you say about me when I leave?” I would do so now. So, yes–they KNOW. They just don’t care.

    • Jennifer

      Ugh. I cannot tell you how many times my husband complained about not being thanked, and he would do it is this petulant and arrogant way that let you know that the only reason he did X-Y and Z was so that everyone would thank him and he would feel that little bit superior to everyone else. It made me sick when he did that. He would actually “prime the room” to get his due reward of thanks….even with our own kids. And if I said to him, “You know, if that’s the only reason you do X-Y or Z, than don’t bother doing it at all”. It would fly right over his head. He would just tell me that’s NOT the reason he did it, all the while complaining that he wasn’t thanked enough.

  28. Trying to Cope

    Thank You Penny…Somehow I could feel the storm coming. I think I grew up with this. When there is calm, there will be storm.

    So as expected I am invisible. And why do I care. I do care. I don’t like someone being purposefully rude. I need to be working and instead I am concerned why me. Why not just say Hi. Well there was the little incident where I told on him. Shortly he will find some supply source to charm the socks off. He enjoys letting me know that I’m the only one not worthy. You called it Penny. He actually said to me one time. I’m wasting my time here. After hanging out every day for a year and a half, he was too busy. Not to busy for other supplies. Do I sound jealous. Sure. I guess I’m human. Why did it have to be me that was cut out of the play. I guess that is why I’m not the Zombie. I care, I cry. Today do I grovel at his feet or stand my ground and ignore him right back. Jennifer says smile at him and wink. Hahah. Little to brazen for me. I could smile. But I want to stomp on his foot while doing it!

    • Jennifer

      You see how even though he ignores you, your whole world still revolves around him, and what he is thinking, and why he is doing it, and what should you do or not do in return?

      He’s still calling the shots in your world even though the “friendship” is long since over. This is the hallmark of a narc. He is always in your head and in control. He rents space in your head for free for as long as he can.

      • trying to cope

        You are right on all counts 😦 and I can’t make it stop. Sometimes I think I can. But mostly I have this pity party. It’s like an angel and devil on my shoulders. We will call them Care and Don’t Care. I never know witch one will be in control that day. Will i smile and be me or will just be irritated and crabby that someone would choose to treat me so horrible?

  29. “Guess Who’s Coming Home for Dinner …or not” – how narc husband refuses to commit to a time to come home for dinner. This went on all the time.

    Me: (evening-calling narc at the office to see when he is coming home in the hopes he will be here to eat dinner with the children and I.)

    Me: What time will you be home tonight? I want to make sure the dinner is hot when you get here.

    Narc: Pretty soon.

    Me: What time is “pretty soon”?

    Narc: In a little while.

    Me: Well what *time* is that?

    Narc: I have a few things to finish then I’ll be home.

    Me: Will you be home in 45 minutes, an hour? When?

    Narc: Yeah.

    Me: What time!?

    Narc: You and the kids go ahead and eat without me.

    • Kathy

      Wow. I can surely empathize with you, Celestebella (hugs))
      ME: Stop drinking so much. I want you to come home at night.
      HIM: And people in hell want ice water.
      ME: You have a drinking problem.
      HIM: No, I don’t. I don’t have a problem drinking at all. You have the drinking problem – you have a problem with my drinking!

      He thought he was such a wit. That marriage didn’t last long at all.
      They can drive you nuts.

    • Susan

      Wait – were your and my husbands separated at birth? This lack-of-commitment to time/dinner/anything thing has been the bane of my existence for 20 years. I finally gave up on eating together, which I thought was supposed to be a good thing. Well, it is, but he wasn’t willing to commit – and still doesn’t commit to any kind of definite time thing. He’s doing that now with my daughter – not saying when he’ll be coming back in the house if he goes outside on our farm. Round and round we go…

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