Poison Control: Why You Should Take The “My” Out of “My Ex-Narcissist”

Bree makes an excellent point here about the habit so many of us have when referring to the narcissists we have known intimately as “my” narcissist. Unfortunately I’m guilty of this. But it’s stupid when you think about it, referring to narcs this way, especially if we’ve gone No Contact. We have disengaged and disowned them so why would we still refer to something we no longer have or want as “my”? I’m reblogging this because I think it’s important for victims of narcissistic abuse to get out of this habit because little words like “my” can have the effect of keeping us emotionally connected, even if we no longer have contact with them.

Free From Toxic

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“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. What a huge lie we all grew up with on the playground at school. Actions may speak louder than words, but words DO hurt us, even our own. They also have the power to influence or destroy, liberate or enslave, encourage or shatter and attach or disconnect.

Perhaps, that’s why I just cringe every time I hear someone or myself say, “MY ex narcissist”. I recognize that many people might think I am making a big to-do about these 3 little words but every word we say matters. Words are so important. Even more than we realize. They literally shape our perceptions and our inner reality. The words we choose not only have a gigantic impact on our listeners but on ourselves as well.

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What I believe about No Contact.

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Apparently a few people are under the mistaken impression that I don’t believe in No Contact because they believe I am a “narc hugger.”

I may never have been clear about where I stand about No Contact, so now is the time to clear up any misunderstandings.

I definitely believe No Contact is the ONLY viable way to “handle” a narcissist. I don’t hate narcissists per se, but I hate what they do. Even if you sympathize with the “lost true self” living deep inside every narcissist, that doesn’t take way from the fact they are extremely dangerous people and will use everything in their power to destroy your reputation, your self confidence, your sanity, and even your life if you allow one to get too close to you. Going No Contact is not an act of hate or retribution; it’s an act of survival for yourself and your children if you have any.

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While there are some situations where going completely No Contact may not be possible (for example, if you have children with a narcissist), then go for the next best thing–Very Low Contact. That’s the kind of relationship I have with my ex. I only have dealings with him when I must–when information about our two adult children needs to be communicated. Other than that, I refuse to deal with him at all.

But I think in most situations, No Contact is not only possible, but is necessary for your recovery and happiness. It doesn’t matter if it’s your mother or other close relative. Don’t feel guilty. Hell, they never did when they abused you!

So that’s where I stand on the matter, in case there were ever any doubts.

No Contact is always best.

Why are there no appropriate Mothers Day cards if your mother is a narcissist?

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Uh…no it wouldn’t.

“Honor thy mother and father.”

For people who have loving parents this may good advice, but I don’t think this Commandment applies if you were raised by malignant narcissists.

I know many adult children of narcissists who have gone No Contact with them will not celebrate Mothers (or Fathers) Day. Some won’t even send a card.

I’m not one of those who won’t send a card for Mothers Day (I don’t hate my mom, it just saddens me that we never can have a normal, loving mother-daughter relationship) but sending cards on Christmas, Mothers Day and her birthday is just about the only contact I will have with her.

The frustrating thing is looking in the stores for an appropriate Mother’s Day card. Almost all the cards in the stores are sappy and sentimental that express sentiments like, “You are my hero and my inspiration,” “You were always there for me when I was down,” or “your heart is larger than Chris Christie’s underpants.” It’s very difficult to find an impersonal card that simply says, “Happy Mothers Day.” Sometimes the only cards I can find that don’t express a sappy fake sentiment I don’t feel for my mother are the funny ones. But my mother has no sense of humor, so those aren’t really appropriate either.

Usually I can eventually find a card that applies and doesn’t have a phoney message. But it’s not easy. I always have to spend a while looking.

What have your own experiences been, if your mother (or other relative) is a narcissist? Are you so No Contact you don’t even bother with cards, or do you have the same sort of difficulty finding an appropriate card that isn’t all flowery and expresses feelings you just don’t feel?

Mothers Day is sad for me, because sometimes I do so wish I could feel those flowery sentiments for my mother, but I just can’t. I don’t hate her though. When I think of my mother, I really don’t feel anything much at all. I feel as indifferent to her as I would to a stranger.

I think it’s time we stop bashing all narcissists.

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This post is probably going to make some of you angry or upset. I understand that. After all, many of us were badly damaged by the narcissists in our lives. Anger and even hatred is an understandable and very human reaction to their abuse.

The blood sport of “narc bashing.”

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There are a lot of people these days writing about narcissism and the sentiments found on the Internet about “narcs” and “N’s” is overwhelmingly negative:

— They can never change.
— There is no hope for them.
— They are monsters.
— They are demons.
— They aren’t human.
— God hates all narcs.
— They all deserve to burn in Hell.
— There is nothing good about them. Everything they do is evil.
— They were born evil. They are bad seeds.
— They never tell the truth.
— They have no emotions. They are machines.
— They all deserve to die.

Pretty ugly, isn’t it? This attitude is fueled by hatred and behind hatred is fear. Again, I understand this. I’ve experienced that hatred and fear myself. We have a right to be angry if we were badly treated by a narcissist. People with NPD aren’t pleasant to be around. But here’s the rub: unchecked fear and anger lead to hatred, and hatred accomplishes nothing. Hatred builds walls and leads to a refusal to even try to understand people with a devastating mental disorder. Hatred is itself evil–and narcissistic.

Hatred also leads to bigotry and intolerance. There is already too much of that in the world. People with NPD are mentally ill. We don’t malign people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder the way we malign people with NPD, but people with those disorders can also be very unpleasant to deal with. If someone started a blog that spewed hatred toward people with schizophrenia, there would be outrage. That person would be called a bigot and possibly evil.

Narcissists are abuse victims too.

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It’s true that people with NPD are extremely unpleasant to deal with. But all mental disorders are unpleasant. People with NPD weren’t born that way. There is no such thing as a “bad seed.” In almost all cases, a person became a narcissist because of severe abuse or neglect as children. In most cases, they were raised by people who were themselves malignant narcissists or psychopaths.

Pastor David Orrison, who writes about narcissism from a Christian perspective in his “Narcissist Friday” posts, illustrates this well in this sad story. He is rightfully critical of the disorder and its manifestations but his posts are always written in a way that attempts to understand narcissism and people with NPD the way Jesus would have done–holding them accountable without hatred.

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Some of you have said, “but they don’t count because they made a choice to be narcissists.” Yes, that is true, it was a choice. But that choice was almost invariably made when they were young children, as a coping mechanism to protect themselves from being hurt anymore. Narcissists are people who started life with too much sensitivity, maybe more so than those of us who identify as HSPs (because we still found a way to cope with life without constructing a protective False Self). Narcissists felt too vulnerable and naked. They were born without any natural coping mechanisms at all. They knew they couldn’t survive without this protective natural armor, so they had to construct a False Self to cope. The False Self is a lie, but it protects the True Self from further harm. The reason they act so mean is because they live in terror of the False Self being damaged and exposing the too-vulnerable True Self. Like the rest of us, they wanted to survive. This was the only way they knew how.

This doesn’t give them an excuse to act as they do. It doesn’t mean we have to tolerate their manipulations and abuse. I’m not condoning abusive behaviors and that applies to anyone. But we don’t have to spew hatred against people suffering from NPD all over the web either. We don’t have to be so judgmental. We don’t have to pat ourselves on the back because we are “better” people. Only God can judge us that way. We can try to have compassion without giving in to abuse or allowing narcissistic behaviors to destroy us.

A serious dissociative illness.

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Narcissists suffer. They are deeply unhappy people. They don’t know how to feel empathy, or experience joy or love for others. They never learned how–or they dissociated themselves from those feelings at an early age because it hurt them too much to be that way. They are not without emotions. In fact, their emotions are so strong they feel like they must always be on the defensive, 24/7, 365 days a year. Imagine how stressful it must be to go through life in mortal terror of your facade of invulnerability being ripped off, of constantly having to act a part in a play, of never being able to show your pain to others, of never being able to risk loving anyone else or feeling empathy, of being bitter and envious of everyone all the time? It must be hell.

Narcissists, in spite of their name, don’t love themselves. They only love their False Self, and will do anything to protect it from exposure as the mask it really is. Because the False Self was constructed when they were so young, they don’t even know themselves most of the time. How can you love someone you never got to know? If anything, they live in deep shame of who they really are so they hide from the world behind their masks.

Some mental health experts believe NPD should be classified as a severe dissociative disorder. You can read about that here and here. It’s not that narcissists don’t have any goodness in them, but that they have “split” from their good (true) self to avoid further harm–even to the point where they can no longer access who they really are. But the pain they feel still comes through and if we listen closely enough, we can hear what they are really saying: “please love me.”

Narcissists never got to grow up. Their true self is at the emotional stage of a very young child. Inside every narcissist is a little boy or girl of 3 or 4, sitting in a dark corner crying because they feel so lonely and unloved. Their reactions are at the level of a young child too. They never learned how to experience more mature emotions, because the False Self was constructed when they were too young to feel the emotions of an older person.

NPD is a spectrum disorder running from mild all the way to psychopathy and sociopathy at the top of the spectrum. Most narcissists are not psychopaths (who actually have Antisocial Personality Disorder rather than NPD and have built a wall so impenetrable even they can never access it and will never be able to admit they are the ones with the problem). Even malignant narcissists (just under psychopathy on the spectrum) may have rare moments of insight and regret for the way they behave. It’s my belief that NPD is as much a spiritual disorder as a mental one, but that doesn’t automatically make all narcissists “evil.” Who are we to assume that God hates all narcissists and can’t help even the most malignant ones? I believe God can perform miracles should He choose to do so. To speak for God this way is itself narcissistic.

Art allows the True Self to find expression.

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The pain and hurt that fuels narcissistic behaviors can find honest expression. I’ve noticed many or even most narcissists have a talent in one or more of the arts–William Shakespeare, Ezra Pound and even Michaelangelo (who probably had NPD) come to mind, to name a few. Good art is about Truth and is one of the greatest blessings God can give. It’s through these artistic endeavors that a narcissist’s true self comes through, that they dare give that vulnerable hurting child a means to express the truth of how they really feel. Having a creative ability–whether in the visual, literary, or performing arts–is all the proof I need that people with NPD are still loved by God. Through their art, they are crying out through their mask. They want to be loved and they want to feel love. I can think of many examples of this, but the other day I received an email that really stood out to me and made me take a second look at my own negative attitude toward “narcs.”

The email was from a young man who admits he has NPD. He expressed a strong desire to try to heal himself. He hates his disorder because of what it has done to his life and the ways it has caused his relationships with others to suffer. He wants to know how to feel empathy and genuinely love others. I have no doubt his words were sincere and came from his True Self.

This young man said he was a singer-songwriter so I checked out some of his stuff on Youtube. (I can’t post it here right now because I have not asked for permission to do so). I was blown away by his talent. The words of the songs he writes express emotions almost too deep for words. His powerful emotions of pain and the desire to love and feel connected with others come through in his beautiful voice–and in his face when he sings. I have no doubt his music comes from his True Self, not his false one. Through music, he’s able to break through his wall of narcissism and allow himself to become vulnerable, to cry out in the darkness.

Insight and willingness: ingredients for change.

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I don’t know if this young narcissist can heal himself. It’s a difficult enough disorder to treat by professionals, but he says he can’t afford a therapist and can’t find one willing to treat NPD anyway. Most narcissists won’t present themselves for therapy because their disorder is so deeply ingrained they have no insight and think it’s everyone else who has the problem, not them. Some narcissists may have insight into their disorder and know they aren’t well but still not be willing to change because their mask has become too adaptive or they are too afraid. But insight is the first step toward redemption–it’s not possible to have willingness without insight. This man has both the insight and the willingness. With both present, I think there is hope for him.

Tough love, not hate.

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Just because we should stop spewing hate against people with NPD doesn’t mean we have to tolerate their manipulative and abusive behaviors. It also doesn’t mean we can’t leave a narcissist or go No Contact. In fact, doing so may be the most loving thing we can do for them. Going No Contact removes the source of supply we have been giving them, and in rare cases may cause a narcissist to seek help or at least begin to question their own motives. Going No Contact is also the most loving thing we can do for ourselves. Refusing to have further contact with a narcissist isn’t an act of hatred. It’s an act of self-love and survival.

St. Augustine said, “hate the sin, love the sinner.” Jesus inspired this quote because He hated no one but was no pussy either. We can hate the behaviors without hating an entire class of people with a severe mental and spiritual illness that causes them even more misery than they cause those they attack. Going No Contact or refusing to play their narcissistic games isn’t an act of hatred. It’s an act of survival and is just plain common sense. It may even be a way we can show them love–“tough” love.

I realize this post may be controversial because we ACONs have gotten so used to thinking of “narcs” as evil. Their behaviors may be evil, but people with this disorder are still human beings who have feelings–even if they don’t know how to show them properly or keep them under wraps. Except for the most malignant narcissists and psychopaths at the top of the spectrum–who probably can’t ever change–I think calling narcissists evil, or referring to them as demons, monsters, or machines is a form of bullying a group of very sick people and is just as hurtful to them as what they have done to us.

I also realize I may sound like a hypocrite. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve engaged in the popular sport of “narc bashing,” and recently too. While the anger and rage we feel toward people with this disorder may be adaptive while we are trying to disconnect from an abusive narcissist, when these emotions no longer serve a practical purpose (after we have gone No Contact or disengaged from our abusers), they become bitterness and hatred, emotions that eat away at our own souls and can even turn us into narcissists.

Who needs drama?

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If you choose to stay with your narcissist…

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Lidija Rangelovska (Sam Vaknin’s wife) recently wrote about staying with her narcissistic husband and how she handles him.

My view, my principle…
People, unconsciously, but more often intentionally, complicate their lives in order to make some sense of their existence and to justify their actions. Me included. We are all, as my FB friend put it: “personal strength junkies”, who try so hard to be accepted and to belong. It comes from our upbringing, our unstable environment, and the fear of being alone. So, when we find a person that loves us or shows us affection, we are “hooked” and we won’t give up on that person. But we also don’t want to compromise, we want to keep our freedom and to have control over the other. And what now? It’s simple: we have to adapt to the changes and find a new meaning in life!
For me personally freedom is the most important. So, I assume that it is the same with all others and I do give people space… where their selves emerge and grow. If there is a person who has common sense and similar views of life to mine, there is a solid and healthy ground on which to develop the relationship.
But we should learn to communicate, share experiences and emotions, be honest and truthful… not be afraid and manipulative. We should learn to trust in order to understand and accept the other. We should build safe grounds for unconditional love to grow on. And isn’t this all that matters in life?

And later…

…my mother tongue is “narcissist”, literally. I was raised by malignant narcissists and HAD to learn how to communicate with them. And I wouldn’t name it as such, because it’s not the “language” of the narcissist, but of the abused. The “language” consists of understanding the abuse that occurred in the narcissist’s early childhood owing to which s/he adopted the False Self later in the adolescence. It is the ONLY self that the narcissist is aware of and if you can’t accept it, you won’t be able to understand her/him.

My advice would be to not even try to go there, as I call it, the “twilight zone”… it’s the “unknown and forbidden” to some people. For me that zone was my natural habitat. I was there… growing up in an emotionally and physically abusive family. I became codependent and was raised to be a good Source of Supply. I honestly don’t wish that on anyone!

So, then, why am I with Sam?
We are both emotionally damaged and we do understand each other’s pain. It’s in a space and at a time where we fulfill each other’s our unique psychodynamic needs. Where conditions don’t exist and there isn’t a room for any – that is where unconditional love exists… at least, where I found it.

[Anonymous] explained this dynamic […] in a very subtle way. “Personal strength junkies” is her term, not mine…

I’m glad there are people who really want to explore their and other people’s nature/character driven by their curiosity to learn more about themselves in order to relate to their significant others. Indeed, a person has to have the courage to do so… they’re the real heroes, not the ones that deny their existence and adopted the “go with the flow” principle… that’s selfish.

Then she posted the beautiful quote above from the children’s book “The Velveteen Rabbit.” It’s amazing how profound certain books for children can be but there’s a wonderful message about unconditional love for adults too.

Several other people who are married to or in relationships with narcissists discussed how they are able to cope with staying with them without losing themselves or developing mental disorders like PTSD. Without exception, the narcissistic spouses (all male) have insight into their disorder and their wives have learned how to “speak narcissist.” There seem to be two primary requirements (besides the patience of a saint): (1) a strong maternal instinct, and (2) an unflappable sense of humor. Under these unusual circumstances, a relationship with a narcissist may actually work for both partners. Some may think of this as an unequal, codependent and even abusive partnership, but if framed as a kind of eternal mother/child relationship, it doesn’t have to be pathological.

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As for myself, I could never work things out with my malignant narcissist ex-husband and I went No Contact early last year (it’s actually Low Contact because we have children, so being completely No Contact isn’t really a possibility.) He had zero insight and denied he was a narcissist at all (instead, he projected his narcissism onto me and made himself out to be the victim and me the abuser). I think when a narcissist has no capacity for insight (which is probably most of them) and is in denial, No Contact (or Low Contact) is the best way to go to avoid psychological damage to ourselves. Even insightful narcissists who are not in denial about their disorder are highly dangerous people and should be handled with extreme caution. They are ticking time bombs.

What [Anonymous] and Lidija have shared provide hope that for SOME narcissists, there may be a way to stay with them and nurture them while not allowing them to obliterate our psyches–and in some cases even benefit from the relationship. It would take someone with a LOT of empathy and even more patience but I believe it can be done in some cases. Having a strong maternal instinct is of utmost importance because essentially, a narcissist is an emotional infant, unable to see others as separate from them. You must accept the fact they are probably never going to get “better.”

As for reproducing with them? Having children with a narcissist you are voluntarily and mindfully nurturing would be disastrous because to the narcissist, a child would be competition and have demands that would need to be met before theirs. This would enrage them in the same way a new brother or sister enrages a three year old. If you are married to or in a relationship with a narcissist and wish to stay with them and nurture them instead of going No Contact, they must be your ONLY “child.” When you choose to be with a narcissist, you are adopting an eternal infant. You would have to accept the fact they will most likely never grow up. Obviously, this choice wouldn’t be for everyone.

Second to a strong desire to “mother” your narcissist would be the ability to laugh at their antics and not take things too seriously. In one woman’s case, she said her narcissistic husband laughs WITH her, even though she admits the joke is usually on her.

I’m happy to hear there are people who can actually make things work with a narcissist. It requires a great deal of unconditional love and the ability to always put your own needs in a distant second place. I don’t recommend it for most people though.

ETA: I would recommend another requirement to making a relationship with a narcissist work: establish FIRM and VERY CLEAR boundaries, early in the relationship. Lidija clearly does this– I remember her saying in “I, Psychopath” when asked who made the rules she said she did. You would have to! Part of the maternal relationship requires the ability to provide discipline when it’s needed too. A narcissist who respects you because you established boundaries and can laugh with them and speak to them in their language won’t have a problem following your rules but may need to be reminded sometimes. 😉

Making love last with a narcissist: the rules

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In summary, here are the cardinal rules for keeping your sanity intact while in a relationship or marriage to a narcissist:

1. Be a high empathy person with a strong maternal instinct.

2. Accept the fact they will probably never be cured.

3. Establish FIRM boundaries as early as possible and don’t be afraid to remind them of the rules when they balk or disobey. Remember you are dealing with an emotional toddler.

4. Be willing to always be in their shadow and not steal the show from them

5. Be able to LAUGH and not take what they do and say too personally.   It’s not about you.

6. Do not have children with your narcissist.  He/she is your child. (I used to joke that my MN ex husband was my “other child.” How true that was, and in some ways I wish I had known some of these rules back then, which might have made my life a little easier while still with him.)

The narcissist has to fulfill a requirement too. He or she must be insightful enough to recognize they are narcissists and mentally ill.

Righteous anger.

Aggressive Boxing Girl

Anger is a tool for survival.
Anger has a bad reputation. But it isn’t always a bad thing. Anger can help us survive, and although it doesn’t feel good to be angry, it feels a heck of a lot better than feeling helpless, defeated or scared.

Anger is necessary for survival. It’s natural to feel angry when we believe we are being abused or attacked unfairly or our boundaries are being violated. It’s also natural to feel angry when we see a loved one being unfairly treated or abused.

This type of anger is healthy, righteous anger. People who are afraid to show anger at appropriate times, such as when they are being attacked or abused, are people who will always feel helpless and victimized. I felt that way for years, because anger frightened me.

Coming from a family (and a marriage) where anger was the normal dynamic (and was usually directed against me), I learned to fear anger in others–as well as my own anger. Even when I felt rightfully angry and was clearly being unfairly treated, I learned to keep my anger in check and swallow my true emotions. I felt like I had no right to feel my emotions, especially anger.

Anger turned inward becomes depression.
The danger in this is that when we swallow our anger, it doesn’t go away: it turns inward and this manifests as depression and despair. Anger is poison when turned against the self.

Sure, there are lots of people who are too quick to anger, and anger management can help people with a too-short fuse. But for the timid and victimized, allowing yourself a satisfying display of anger when wronged is a healthy thing.

Anger is proactive.
When we are trying to disconnect from an abusive narcissist, anger is absolutely necessary to successfully escape. Anger overrides fear. Ever notice when you’re angry, you’re not afraid anymore? Well, it’s true. If you are trying to disconnect from your narcissist, allow yourself to feel angry. Show that anger. That doesn’t mean you must be abusive yourself or resort to name-calling, but it does give us the impetus to take action. Anger, unlike despair, depression and some types of fear, is a proactive emotion–an emotion that forces us to take a stand, fight back, and get away.

If you are attempting to go No Contact with your narc, feel your anger. Wallow in it. It could save your sanity and maybe your life,as well as those of your children if you have any. It will motivate you to do what you need to do.

Put your empathy on the back burner.
Over time, I’ve developed a level of empathy for narcissists because I realize they have an illness and they do suffer. But when you’re trying to disconnect, it’s better if you can hate them and think of them as monsters or demons. Save any empathy for later on, when you’re stronger and safely away from your abusers. You cannot afford to have empathy for a narcissist when you’re trying to get out of a relationship.

Embrace your righteous anger. It’s healthy and good for you.
But also know when to let it go when it’s no longer needed. It’s a tool, but shouldn’t become a way of life.

3 more days until my one year narc-free anniversary!

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A few days early but I just realized it’s almost a year! February 7th, 2014 was the day my MN ex-husband was taken off in handcuffs after I obtained a 7-day restraining order. I obtained a one year extension in March (after a terrifying ordeal in court where I had to get up on the stand and state my case WITH HIM IN THE ROOM). He was very glib but his argument for staying with me was laughable. Even the judge was rolling his eyes.

Just to be on the safe side, I’ll probably have to renew the order, but I’m quite sure he’s given up on me being his supply anymore.

I’m not the same person I was one year ago. Everyone had given up on me. I remember being told I was like a walking dead person. I felt like I was marking time until my physical death. That’s how far gone I was after so many years of mental and emotional (and sometimes physical) torture.

I’ll be talking about this again in 3 days. But I couldn’t wait.

11 ways to deal with a narcissist.

stop!
1. Get as far away from them as you can, preferably No Contact. This isn’t always possible especially if there are children involved.

2. Do not let them manipulate you. If you can’t cut them out of your life, if they start manipulating you, cut them off by changing the subject, interrupting, or straight up telling them to stop in a firm voice as if talking to a three year old. Keep doing this if you can’t get away.

3. Deny them narcissistic supply!
This will actually help them because it will send them into a narcissistic rage (that is going to be difficult for you but you must be strong and not back down). But the rage will pass and then the narcissist will sink into a narcissistic crisis–which means then you are probably going to be dealing with an extremely depressed person but narcissists rarely attempt suicide. They may be open to getting help if this happens. They may also leave you in their attempt to find a new source of supply if it’s become clear you are not going to feed it anymore.
If the narcissist leaves you, it’s you who wins. Even if you think your life depends on them. It doesn’t.

4. It’s okay to have empathy for the narcissist because deep down they are in pain. If you don’t that’s okay too (and probably better to lack empathy for them if you’re trying to get out of the relationship). Once disengaged then it’s okay to be empathetic if that’s in your nature, but remember they have chosen to be narcissists and are still very dangerous. Hate the sin, love the sinner.

5. The only kind of “love” they should get from you is TOUGH LOVE. Especially with a child who is a narcissist.

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6. Be very, VERY clear about your boundaries. Do not tolerate any violation of them. Be firm, do not back down even if they become enraged. Stand your ground. If you feel intimidated remember you are dealing with an eternal 2 or 3 year old. Would you let a toddler get the better of you? Of course not. It’s the same thing with a narcissist. They are really just small children throwing a tantrum to get their way.

7. If you can’t escape, have some kind of outlet or get away to do things for yourself.

8. If your narcissist has isolated you from everyone else, use art, music or writing as an outlet. Creating things frees us, even if only in our minds and hearts. It’s something that’s all about you, and no one else. A narcissist can criticize it, but cannot penetrate your creative vision. I believe everyone has at least one creative/artistic ability they can develop.

9. Read everything you can. Go to as many websites about narcissistic abuse as you can. Read blogs, books by experts and survivors, find out how others have coped or are coping.

10. Realize you are not alone and many suffer with you. Malignant narcissists are at fault for your condition, not you.

11. If you believe in God, ask Him for guidance and strength. You will need it. If you are an atheist or agnostic, ask the Universe or your Higher Power or even the Tooth Fairy for the same.

Mindf*ckery

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I knew it would happen. I just didn’t think it would be this soon.

My daughter will be out of jail in 3 days and isn’t looking forward to moving back in with Paul with her MN father living there, but at the same time she struggles with feeling responsible for whether her father has a place to live or not.

She’s not.

He tells her she is.

He’s full of shit.

He cajoles, he manipulates, he lies. He threatens suicide.

I stopped falling for that suicide crap a year ago. He will never kill himself.

Paul called me and we talked for two hours. He told me everything that’s been going on.

The way Michael lies on the couch all day trolling political websites and sleeping, and stays up all night pacing the house. Like a damn vampire.

The way he puts the dirty dishes in the sink but never rinses them and never puts them in the dishwasher.

The way he’s using some of Molly’s old drug using friends to triangulate against Paul, messaging them on Facebook that he’s too controlling (when he’s the best thing that ever happened to her).

WHO DOES THAT?

He squanders his disability on lottery tickets and never has any money to contribute to household expenses.

He trashed my character and told Paul how crazy I am and what a horrible person I am because I finally had the guts to kick him out.

“That crazy bitch made me homeless,” he whined. It’s an endless refrain, on an infinite time loop.

He sneaks around and listens to Paul’s phone calls to Molly.

Paul is going through (on a lesser scale) what I went through. He knows. I will never need to worry again that I might be thought the crazy one.

Now he wants him gone. Out by January 1. Good.

It was all a game, an elaborate fortress built of smoke and mirrors and lies, to obscure and deflect the truth. Now it’s all come crashing down and Michael has lost all his narcissistic supply. Oh, boo hoo.

Paul is afraid Michael living at the house when Molly returns will destroy his relationship with my daughter. He’s right: he’ll attempt to create a wedge between them with his gaslighting and triangulating and lies. He’s already started by telling him lies about Molly when she’s not even there to defend herself. He does all this because stirring up drama and creating wedges between people is his sick idea of fun.

When he threw me out of the house when Molly was just 11, he told her I left of my own accord because I didn’t love her and her brother. I never knew this until years later. Molly held that against me for years and it messed up her head and she got addicted to drugs to escape and that’s part of the reason she’s in jail. She may be N herself. But that’s what he does. He’s a rapist who rapes people’s minds instead of their bodies. Even his own kids. Because he’s an evil excuse for a human being. An empty rusted out tin can with sharp edges lying on a toxic waste dump.

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To Paul, I wanted to say “I told you so” but instead I told him I’d not wanted to get involved and just let the cards fall where they may–but always had a feeling this would happen. I’d hoped he’d have better luck dealing with Michael because they don’t have a long past behind them. They don’t have kids together. Maybe Michael would be different with him. Maybe he’d change! It wasn’t any of my business anyway if he lived with them or not.

Michael hasn’t changed. Of course he hasn’t. Narcissists never change. He’s the poster child for the Needy Malignant Narcissist. He cares about no one and nothing but himself, acts like the world owes him a living but without him giving anything in return. He likes to destroy relationships because he’s bored and miserable and evil and that’s his idea of fun.

No doubt when Michael finds out he has to leave he’ll either fly into a narcissistic rage or cry and whine and threaten suicide. Paul says he’ll give him his first month’s rent back so he can go find a place. Knowing him, he’ll spend it on cigarettes and lottery tickets instead and he’ll have to go back to the Salvation Army, and then try to tell me what a douchebag Paul is.

I might have to renew my restraining order in February–just to make sure he doesn’t try to come back here.

He’s alienated everyone. No one wants him around anymore. And that’s no one’s fault but his own. Of course, in Michael’s disordered mind, he’s blameless and it’s everyone else who’s at fault for his sorry condition.

I was thinking about my mental state a year ago compared to today, and it’s as if I was a completely different person. Barely a person at all. Living like I was on automatic pilot. Going through the motions of life but not living. Marking time until death. I didn’t care; I thought I was dead already.

Now I feel like I’ve grown younger instead of older. I’ve found God. Doors that seemed locked to me forever are starting to open. Things I’d thought I’d lost for years have been found. Things I can’t believe would ever happen are starting to happen.

All because I got rid of the narc.

Now I can go over and see Paul and Molly on Christmas Day and bake my lasagna without having to deal with that sick piece of human waste lurking around and making everyone miserable with his stupid mindfuckery.

If you still live with your narc, beg, borrow or steal the courage if you must, but GET RID OF THEM. Hold your ground. Get angry. Righteous anger is our weapon and is healthy. It can even save your life. Go No Contact. There is no other way. These are dangerous people set out to destroy you and everything good you have. Don’t let them turn you into an empty shell. Don’t let them turn you into one of THEM.