“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. (Little Gidding)” ― T.S. Eliot
There are no victims here, only warriors of truth.
If I tried to explain the last five years of my life to someone who knew nothing of the abuse, who knew nothing of “narcissists,” it would be like trying to explain color to the blind. For this reason, I am sharing my story of narcissistic abuse and how I survived it.
Five years ago, I met a girl. I hadn’t necessarily been looking for love or even the One. I know now that that mentality of looking without, instead of within, to fill the void was perhaps the greatest weakness of my character. To believe in love at first sight, to believe in princess charming, to believe that one day I would be saved from my own inner loneliness…
How wrong was I, in this whole experience?
Experience, that I sorely needed; I have come out now with fresh new eyes, a new mind set, new knowledge of what people can truly be like. I once believed in monsters, the ones hiding under the bed, the ones lurking in the shadows of our closets, ready to pounce at us, to grab at our ankles.
It was the same for believing in love, I think. I grew out of being afraid of the monsters but still believed in Love, with a capital L.
How naive I was, how innocent. How trusting, how loving was I to trust the Devil with my heart. I look back on my life, realizing that I had always had a brush with narcissists, but this last one was the worst, staying in my life like a piranha on prey. Something about me, some inner vulnerability must have led her to me, like a shark to blood in the water.
She love bombed me, made me feel like the only person in her whole universe. Made me feel like we were soulmates; made and created for one another. She made me feel safe to share everything about me with her, my strengths and weaknesses. My hands are trembling, memories just below the surface, twisting and fighting, like a pit of hungry snakes, writing and slithering.
I try not to dwell on what was, but what will be. I do not see myself as a victim. I am a survivor. The day I realized that all those years she was simply abusing me, using me; with a fake smile on her lips, reveling in the misery I felt, her nails painted red with my blood as she had clawed at me, like a hysterical animal snared in a bear trap; I knew what madness had claimed her.
She was not like me.
She would never be like me.
These creatures, these human “beings,” lack everything necessary to grow, to become whole themselves. For this reason, they seek us out, hoping to capitalize on our own securities and vulnerability, brainwashing us, taking us for a ride. They mirror all of who we are back onto us. The saddest part of all this is that despite having all of our wondrous qualities and strengths mirrored at us, we think we can never be without them. This is all an illusion. A perfect performance worthy of an Emmy.
The truth lies in understanding that we fell in love with ourselves. That we fell for an illusion of who we thought they were. Nothing about her was real. It was like falling in love with a dream, one that felt so real; a lie we wanted to believe so strongly, out of fear, out of desperation.
She was my everything and I hers.
But soon, after the months and years of struggling for money, and her tearing into me like a hungry shark, that illusion was being challenged, every day. Why was she always criticizing me, why was she always talking about herself as a victim, why were things always going wrong, why did I feel so nervous and unsure in her presence? Why was I always doubting myself? Why was my health, slowly but surely, getting worse?
I spent years fighting to get her to admit to her faults, to take responsibility for her words and actions. I tore myself in two trying to get her to love me as I loved her. I burned the candle at both ends to prove to her that I was worthy of her love, her trust, of her time. I spent so much of myself trying to get my ex-narcissist to love me.
And in all this madness, I felt like I deserved it. Some sort of karmic retribution? But for what? Even God himself was not that spiteful, and yet, I allowed this daily ritual of chastising to happen to me, to allow my whole soul, mind, and heart to be assaulted by her own damaged thinking, and her own twisted version of what love was.
I felt I deserved it, even as she brought an ex-lover into the picture. I allowed it, out of love, trust, and to prove I wasn’t insecure or jealous. I should have left so many times before that day. But I think the worst emotion to have when it comes to these kinds of people, is to have hope. Hope that they can change, that they will change, that if you work at it things will get better.
They use hope to keep us captive; we basically put our own selves in chains and give them the key.
I had no boundaries. No self-respect for my own self. The worse thing I thought while with her was, “If she loved me, she wouldn’t do this.” “If I trust her, she’ll respect me enough not to do this.” “If I do this for her, she’ll need me.”
All these thoughts I’ve had, all created to keep me trapped and in a relationship that was eating away at my soul. I became a ghost of my old self. I was ashamed to show my face to my mother, to my father, to my siblings. I was ashamed at my own weakness, at how love had made me a victim. I was also stubborn; I never asked for help. I just rolled with the punches, every single one aimed at my soul.
This whole time, there was a spark in me, that would rise up for a week, every month, coming out of hiding, crying and screaming at me that I wasn’t happy, that I deserved better, that this was not love. That I had to end things, I had to move on, I did not deserve this…
THIS ISN’T LOVE.
It was like having Tinkerbell, arising out of the shadows, shedding light and reason into my world.
The day it all ended was when I said NO!
No to giving her money, to disregarding my feelings, to being abused, used, and discarded. NO! to having my own kindness turned into a weapon against me. NO! to having my boundaries constantly tested. NO! to being treated like an object.
It was over. I had reached my limit.
On the drive home, my face red from a numbing slap unmistakable with the scratches on my face, neck, and arms, I cried. I hadn’t even touched her. Nothing in my behavior had warranted that attack on my person. I was numb. There was only numbness for how I felt but there was also acceptance.
There was Tinkerbell’s voice, chiming in my head telling me, “I told you this did not love.”
As I drove home, I cried, talking to myself out loud.
“This is not love. This isn’t love. This is not love!”
The last came out in a scream as I gripped the steering wheel, blinking away tears to clear my blurred vision. I was done, so done with all the pain, the madness. I exhausted. I was tired of trying to save someone who didn’t even have a soul, tired of throwing myself down the rabbit hole. She could stay there, in her own version of Hell. She didn’t need me there when all I was was something to keep her afloat in her own madness, while drowning me at the same time.
I was done with it all.
And when I left, she didn’t fight for me. She already had her next supply. A girl that I had hated, a girl that mirrored my own kindness. A girl that was also in love with the idea of love itself. Another person who wanted to save an already lost soul, and who was just as naive and innocent as I had been, despite being present in more than half of all the drama.
There was anger and hate, but I realized that wasting that kind of energy on those emotions is like drinking poison, waiting for the other person to die. I take it one day at a time, being grateful for the experience, for the pain I had endured. It was something I needed to learn, pain that I needed to feel, madness that I needed to touch, and have it envelop my whole world to know that I did not want this in my life any longer.
So, I say this; your kindness to the world, your naivety, your innocence is not a weakness. It is only such viewed in the eyes of those who have none. Be as pure of heart as you can possibly be in this world. Not all who love, can hurt us as much as their kind can. Be pure, be honest, if a little bit cautious. You aren’t blind to the truth of the monsters. You know they exist, and they walk among us.
Be strong, be brave, my survivors.
Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today
Have you figured out you’ve been dealing with a narcissist in your life, but you don’t know where to begin your recovery? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, it reminds me of an old story about a child trying to move a heavy stone while his father looks on. The child works and works, but is just not strong enough. Finally, he tells his father, “I can’t do it. It’s impossible.”
His father responds, “Of course you can. You haven’t used all the strength you have available to you yet.” The little boy answers that he has tried his hardest, and still can’t do it, to which the father responds, “You haven’t asked me to help you yet.”
If you need help in your own healing and you don’t know who to ask, look no further – here’s some support and help that’s available to you right now.
Here’s the Help You Need in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
Sometimes, when you’re trying to recover from narcissistic abuse, it can feel like you’re moving that heavy rock. You struggle and fight, but it’s so hard to stick to the plan that you give up. There comes a time to recognize that asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Enlisting the aid of friends, family, and a good support group can bolster your efforts and help you overcome setbacks that threaten to derail your narcissistic abuse recovery efforts. Instead of trying to go it alone, try a few of these suggestions to help you stay on track with the help of friends and family. If you prefer a guided experience, you can start your narcissistic abuse recovery for free, right here.
Gather up trusted friends and family members and make them part of your inner circle – your support system. Don’t have people you feel comfortable sharing your situation with? How about a whole group of people who have been there, done that? Join my SPAN group, right here. It’s totally free and confidential. We also have several other groups that are specific to your situation and your level in recovery – check them out here.
Get your family on the right page.
When they’re not narcissistic, husbands, wives, children, and siblings can offer support in unexpected ways. Something as simple as a sincere compliment at the right time can be all you need to nudge you onward. By the same token, refuse to let them sabotage your recovery efforts. Sometimes even people who are acting as the flying monkeys of a toxic narcissist don’t know what they’re doing. Give yourself the freedom and space you need to clarify the situation – and don’t be afraid to take a step back from people who are toxic for you, especially during recovery.
There’s a lot to be said for seeking out the support of others who are fighting the same battle you are. Whatever it is that motivates you, you can find it in our small group coaching sessions led by the amazing Lise Colucci – and you’ll get one-on-one help as well as being able to connect with and learn from your fellow group members during our sessions. Healthy sharing, companionship, encouragement, applause, and practical, common-sense advice from others who are also fighting to take back your life can all make this whole narcissistic abuse recovery stuff a whole lot easier.
Are you bored and feeling kinda ugly and unapproachable lately?
Are you tired of feeling unattractive?
Do you wanna bring out your inner goddess? Do you want to bring your sexy back, or to find it for the first time?
Good news – I’m a total nerd who loves to study the science behind human psychology, including attraction and how it works. That’s why I’m always paying attention and asking questions.
Today, I’m sharing something that answers the question every woman wants answered, but few are brave enough to really ask.
And many women have a different idea of what men consider hot. That’ why I asked my focus group of about 150 people what they think makes a woman hot.
Just as some similarities in perceptions showed through, there were some very marked differences between men and women on what they think makes a women hot. I’ll explain all that for you – and more – in this video.
Did someone accuse you of being self-centered or thoughtless when it comes to other people’s feelings? Has someone gone so far as to actually call you a narcissist or even just a toxic person?
If so, did you consider the possibility that it might be the truth?
Could you really be a narcissist?
Now before you get your defenses all up and stop reading, let me preface the following bit of advice with a brief disclaimer. I realize that every single one of us is narcissistic on some level and to our own benefit in some ways. It’s a healthy amount, or close to it anyway, in many cases.
This is not the kind of narcissism I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the toxic kind of narcissism, the kind that consumes you and everyone you are directly connected with on different levels.
The people in your personal life, especially your spouse, kids, siblings – anyone you live with is most deeply affected by your narcissistic ways. And those you work most closely with, especially if they’re your subordinates, can also be seriously affected.
It’s possible that you are actually the victim of a narcissist who has been gaslighted into believing that you’re the narcissist. So let me ask you: Do you experience gaslighting and manipulation from someone you’re close to, maybe even love? And you feel like you might be going crazy? I’ve been there and I can help you.
Can you relate to the signs that you’re a victim of narcissistic abuse described in this video?
10 Signs You Might Be a Narcissist
So how do you know if you’re really a narcissist? Start here. Check out these 10 signs you might be a narcissist. If you resonate with most or all of them, you might be a narcissist. If you find out that you are, you’ve already taken the first step toward narcissistic recovery. Admission of a problem is the first requirement to fix it.
You’ll often hear people say in the narcissistic abuse community that if you think you’re a narcissist, you’re probably not one. And on some level, that can be true since narcissists tend to project and deflect their own behaviors onto their victims. But it isn’t exactly that simple. Here are 10 signs that you might be dealing with a touch of narcissistic personality disorder or malignant narcissism.
1. You’ve been accused of making everything all about you.
Perhaps more than once, someone in your life has accused you of failing to care about anyone but yourself. You probably blew it off at the time, but take a moment now and reconsider what the person said. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Could there be any validity to the idea that your primary focus is…well, yourself?
2. You are rarely wrong. At least as far as you’re concerned.
Even though you’re sure that you are right 99 percent of the time, the people around you can’t seem to see it that way. That, or you’ve already got them well-trained and they know better than to cross you. And you’d be hard-pressed to spend any significant amount of time around people who can’t see things your way.
3. You feel the need to be in control of everything. All the time.
It’s not that you need another responsibility on your plate, it’s just that no one else can seem to get it right. You worry that if you can’t keep your finger on everything, it’ll all be screwed up. So you spend a lot of time trying to manage all of the incompetent people in your life.
4. You know a lot of weak-minded people.
You might even have a secret nickname for them, like zombies or sheep. You think that most people aren’t quite as good or smart or organized or whatever as you – and you are often irritated or amused by their inferiority.
5. You’re different at home than you are in public. There is more than one version of yourself.
You don’t show your true self to the world. You’ve got an image to maintain, after all. Your family and closest friends are the only ones who’ve seen your “ugly side” and you wouldn’t have it any other way. In public, you project the perfect image because that is what you need people to see. You’ve got to impress everyone you meet – and when someone isn’t immediately smitten with you, you’re immediately suspicious of them, especially if they’re friendly with anyone you consider “yours.”
6. Your friends don’t like each other.
For some reason, you’re not a big friend-sharer. While you might have two or three friends in the same group, none are especially close. You prefer one on one when it comes to close relationships. And your favorite kind of person is an excellent listener who thinks you’re amazing and perfect and who would do anything to make you happy. Otherwise, you love a big party where you get to be the center of attention.
7. You get bored when people talk about themselves or anything that doesn’t directly concern you.
You can’t understand why everyone is always blathering on about such boring things as their own thoughts and dreams and passions. And forget about hearing anything regarding mind-numbing topics like the mundane jobs they do, their lame love lives, or their silly problems. You can’t take it – you just glaze over.
8. You wait for your turn to talk in a conversation – at least sometimes.
You’re not known for your great listening skills for some reason. During a conversation, you find yourself nearly bursting at the seams to share your opinion or a story about you that relates to the topic at hand. You really wish people would just give you the floor, already. So rather than pay attention to what’s being said, you just bide your time and wait for a moment where you can interject.
9. You’re either the life of the party or you’re outta there.
Most of the time, you’re the host with the most. People love you and you are generally on fire when it comes to your social life. But on the rare occasions where you have an “off-day” and someone else grabs the center of attention, you’d rather just leave. Why would anyone pay attention to THAT person when they’ve got access to someone like YOU?
10. You’re sort of a hero. Or someone’s idol. Or at least very, very smart.
You sort of hate to admit it, but a lot of people consider you a sort of hero, or at least they would if they knew how amazing you really are. You’re the sort of person who has always had potential. Now if you could just get everyone else to see what you’ve secretly known all along: you’re something special and unique in comparison to most common humans.
Now, these are only 10 of the many, many signs that you’re a narcissist. If any of these things feel familiar to you, I invite you to check out the following articles and resources to further determine your level of narcissism.
Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery, right now.
The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups– We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
“Narcissistic love is riding on the rollercoaster of disaster filled with a heart full of tears.” ~Sheree Griffin
Insecurity sucks. And for a narcissist, it’s a secret that most people aren’t even aware 0f – but while the narcissist has the ability to appear completely together, in reality, he’s a big ball of insecurity and self-hate. (more…)