Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: 6 Steps to Understanding Your Past and Moving Forward

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: 6 Steps to Understanding Your Past and Moving Forward

One of the things that I hear so often from narcissistic abuse survivors is that they just don’t know who they are anymore. During and after your involvement with a toxic narcissist, you lose yourself – and when you sort of “wake up” from the FOG of it all, you might find yourself lost or spinning – trying to grab hold of something to get a glimpse of yourself again.How to Use Your Past for a Better Future

Well, let’s start here – look at where you’ve already been.

You can better understand yourself and your life by examining your past. Your present can be directly attributed to your past, just as your future is determined by the beliefs, thoughts, and actions you take in the present.

It’s important to avoid living in the past, but you can still use the past to your advantage. Understand how your past has influenced the person you’ve become:

1. What was your childhood like? How did your parents treat you? What was your experience like at school? Did you have a lot of friends? Did you go to church? How did you use playtime?

  • Think about your best and worst experiences. How have those influenced your life? Did you have a bad experience in gym class that turned you off of sports? Were you bullied? Did you become a scientist because you received a lot of recognition for your success in high school science classes?

2. Make a list of your biggest failures. Choose the top 10 failures and leave the others alone for another time. 

3. Why did those challenges occur? Where did you go wrong? Did you fail to make a wise decision? Did you give up to quickly? Did you act without thinking or without enough information?

  • Examining your failures is an excellent way to prevent them from reoccurring throughout your lifetime. Repeating mistakes is par for the course.
  • You can do better! Examine your mistakes so you can avoid them in the future.

4. Make a list of the things you don’t like about your life. Maybe you don’t like your job, your house, or your physique. What happened in the past to lead to those negative circumstances? What mistakes did you make that caused these situations to arise?

  • Can you see how a few changes could lead to a big difference in the future?
  • What are the likely outcomes if you fail to change today?

5. Examine the major components of your life. A few examples include: finances, family life, social life, and health. Look at your present circumstances and then look to the past and find the roots of your behaviors and beliefs that led to your current situation.

  • For example, maybe you don’t save money because your parents never saved money. Maybe your mom was always raiding your piggy bank and saving money seemed like a futile effort.
  • Now that you know the cause of your belief, show yourself how these circumstances don’t apply any more. Give yourself permission to make the change you desire.

6. Consider your relationships – narcissistic and otherwise. Why did you choose your spouse? Do you not have a spouse at all? Is this by choice? How have your childhood and past relationships affected your current relationships?

7. Choose to let go of the things that are holding you back. Striking out at the league championship in fourth grade is not a good reason to shy away from the spotlight. Let go of the negative things from the past that are tainting your present and your future. Each day is a new day. The things you do today that don’t make any sense aren’t random.

Your past has had a huge influence on the person you’ve become. While it’s not wise to live in the past, it is smart to examine your past to gain a better understanding of your present situation and the person you’ve become. Use your past to your advantage and then let it go – it’s the only way to move forward! So, what do you say? 

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section and let’s discuss it!

True Survivor Stories: 28 Things a Narcissist Does When Love-Bombing (Beware!)

True Survivor Stories: 28 Things a Narcissist Does When Love-Bombing (Beware!)

(See part one)

In case you’re wondering what it feels like to be love-bombed by a toxic narcissist, I’ve complied the answers of 28 anonymous members of a private support group for narcissistic abuse survivors. Please notice the patterns and take appropriate care to keep yourself safe in your current or future relationships. 

  1. My ex (a narcissist) said things that were really negative about his ex and I totally fell for the tactic. It totally blew me away when he completely flipped into a different person once I got to know him.
  2. After he got fired from his job and because I had his fancy car he left at my place (even though I had a car and my mother’s car) and I had to leave truck driving school to go get him in OKC.  When I got there, he unloaded his truck, clothes etc. And when we got back to my house he unloaded his belongings into my closet and just ‘moved in’.  Then the ‘shaping me’ started happening and he just took over the household.  My mother and daughter were still living with me.  Because I was so stressed out from working/ going to school and taking care of mom; at the time his taking over was welcomed by me.  But of course as I look back, I see now what he was doing.
  3. He kept the most recent ex in the forefront. His words: she was psycho,  bi-polar, lier, cheater, abandoned him, and thought she might kill herself. He wouldn’t completely block her because he didn’t want to be responsible if she did hurt herself. He brought her up all the time and upset and hurt me terribly. I just realized yesterday that he was using triangulation. All those traits he described were his own. He also told the same stories over and over about the exes. They were all just horrible women according to him. I now think he was in contact with the most recent ex the whole time. I have no evidence and never caught him cheating but he was always quick to accuse me of cheating and lying, which as we know usually indicates that they are doing it themselves. I was suspicious and came so close to spying on him on his FB account and phone but couldn’t bring myself to do so. I think I feared what I would find.
  4. Blaming all his problems on others, saying they’re mentally ill, childish, incompetent, negative. phony.    Arrogant attitude, condescending toward others who are different than him,  or anyone who doesn’t agree politically or any other way.  Feels entitled to special treatment in most situations.
  5. During the love bombing stage he exhibited extreme jealousy. We lived 100 miles apart. I had met a couple girlfriends for a drink. Now by this time I had bonded to him. There was constant texting and fb chatting. He knew I was meeting them…he was texting me the whole time I was with them and called…phone in my purse trying to visit, he called and I didn’t hear my phone. When I checked my phone and called him, I was interrogated as to where I was, what I was doing. What am I doing at a pub on a Friday night…why was I still there…must be more to it than meeting the girls…he was going to jump in his car and come there. I ended up crying and feeling guilty for doing nothing wrong. My girlfriends were not happy with him making me cry, etc. But I defended him because I thought his behavior was a result of how badly he had been treated by his exes. OMG…really!
  6. We were talking about romantic relationships and he said “I don’t think I’ve ever really loved anyone before…….I don’t think I ever really invested in anyone else”. Yet he had been in two long-term relationships, one was an engagement. I thought he was just emotionally very immature at the time.
  7. He said in what I thought was a joking way “I’m very good at taking things…..at receiving things” (meals, cleaning up after him, stuff he didn’t want to be bothered with as a single adult). We both laughed out loud – I thought he was laughing because we both realized the absurdity of that way of being and how no one could really be like that. In hindsight, a billboard couldn’t have been a bigger sign.
  8. He came back from a rare family visit that included his sister. He was outraged at how she behaved, constantly talking about herself, refusing to help prepare food or clean up anything, behaving as if everyone were there to act as her audience and make sure her wine glass or coffee cup was never empty. Went on and on forever about how he’d try to bring up a topic and she would in seconds steer the conversation back to herself. Not sure why I think I should have seen this as an early red flag – guess it was more of a moment before I was convinced he’s a narc when I thought maybe he was getting some clarity about his own behavior since he described to a T a female version of himself and how much he couldn’t stand it.
  9.  He got kicked out of a program for school and said it was because the woman who ran it was sexist. Got fired from two jobs because someone didn’t like him. Asked me for clean urine for job drug screening. I gave it to him more than once. I feel so stupid reading that. Cannot believe how far I went to please my abuser.
  10. I’d only had 2 very casual afternoon dates with him.  I was out with a bunch of friends, and was dancing with a guy.  He walked into the bar, and wigged out, then got in his truck and peeled out of the parking lot.  The guy I was dancing with wanted to know if that was my boyfriend, and I told him no, I was just barely getting to know him.  He told me to watch out for that guy, his reaction was overblown. How I wish I had listened to him!
  11. In the beginning our dates would start with breakfast go on through lunch and we would end up spending so much time together we would then have dinner together. I thought it was because he liked being with me so much. Turned out he was a chronic over eater as well as a Narc. He always looked for an excuse for his behavior.
  12. I had no experience with this type of person, so I didn’t know what love bombing was.  He wanted to get super close, super fast.  He said “I think I love you” very early on.  And the kicker………..I couldn’t understand why a single guy with a truck would trade it in for a family sized van.  This happened 3 months after I met him.  I was divorced with 2 little kids at the time.  I didn’t even allow him to meet my children for about a year…………but he told me later the van was purchased with my kids in mind.  After 3 months???
  13. He said God sent him to me. That he prayed specific for a woman like me and one that’s been hurt and he could love them so Much as he has so much love to give, and truly their kids as his own. My kids dad is alcoholic and was hurtful to them growing up,  and he said God sent him to bring healing to my kids and be the dad they never had. He then worked on them. Also writing me poems all the time.
  14. My N told me that all his exes are not as classy as me. He swore that he wasn’t dating his ex when we met. But I later found out that was a lie. He cheated on her with me and dumped her like a hot potato. I should have seen this as a major red flag. But he said he fell in love with me and his relationship with her didn’t matter to him anymore because she had no ambition in life. Of course he was looking at my family and the money I would inherit.
  15. Well, I met him when I was 18 and he was 20….not a fully hatched N yet.  The first sign of something wrong was the lying….more exaggerating and embellishing stories.  After noticing a few I called him on it.   He actually was kind of shocked and seemed mostly unaware that he was doing it or more likely that it was noticeable.  I told him that  one of our friends said to me that he had embellished a story…that people were noticing and gave him a few examples.   We talked and he actually seemed like he wanted to change and actually did change for quite a while.  It was years before I saw a ramp up of lying creeping in.
  16. Mine was still seeing a shrink to get over his ex. I didn’t know this until my stepfather saw him there. He said he was closing the book on his last relationship. To butter me up he said, “I told the shrink I had met you and I loved you. Then the shrink asked me what I loved about you. I said everything”. Today I know that it truly meant:” I don’t love her in any shape or form. I am triangulating her with my ex.”
  17. He told me he was divorced. Eight weeks later he slipped while talking to his mother in front of me complaining that she hadn’t signed the papers yet. So, yes they were separated but he knew I would never date a married man. I made that clear to him. He lied right from day one. And I had known him for almost 30 years. He lied so that I would compromise my moral standards. I should have bolted that very day. I was fuming but bought his next lie “I love you so much I just couldn’t tell you, I didn’t want to lose you”. Oh man, that would have saved 7 1/2 years of more crap.
  18. Yeah…I actually called his wife to make sure it was really over and that she was ok with me dating him. She was. She tried to warn me but I believed his lies. She and I are friends now! So sad. So very sad.
  19. He told me stories of how he did so many important things for people. he was never appreciated. I saw sighs even tried to break it off .He didn’t have friends no relationship with his grown sons. he cried told me not to do it. I knew he was broken. yet I  loved him. I saw the pain, felt it.
  20. One of his grown sons told me how he tried to kill himself because of his father’s bullying and that I should leave him asap as he would destroy me.  I had massive red flags from the very beginning but was very vulnerable having just left a very abusive relationship and him being the only friend who supported me.
  21. we actually argued often in text before we even met. I just had to win him over bring him into the light. I was taken into the dark. I always knew. He would gas light me all the time, i would tell him he was trying to justifying his bad behavior, I was right I just didn’t know the terminology. who knew there could be people so broken. I was broken heart broken from the loss of my husband to this horrific disease. I also kind of enjoyed that he was so opinionated as my husband didn’t speak with his disease.  I needed a friend a safe place to lay my head, I laid with the devil. Deep breath. I will still take from this. He took me to a different place from where I was in the loss of my husband. I was devastated. See I’m a widow with a breathing body the shell of the most wonderful man I have ever known.
  22. There was no one in his life he loved as much as he loved me, not even his children. …to name a few. Oh yes, he loved me by the end of the first week, and was making plans for our future by week three. He asked me to move in with him by the second month and by the end of the third month the devaluation phase began.
  23. He had us both put GPS tracking on our phones so we could see where we were.  He insinuated himself into every area of my life in a short time and said I love you within a couple weeks.  He acted like everything about me was the greatest thing.  He said and did all the right things.
  24. Usually a comment will be made on which there is both a positive and negative slant from his perspective: “you’re such a good mum (positive) and then “I’m never going to come before your children am I? (the negative for him…the warning sign for me).
  25. Looked at me like a dog in heat. Very strange. Second date, big display of ego and grandiosity coupled with rude hospitality once the friends crashed out date. He left me sitting and worked the uninvited crowd of drunk males. At this point I wanted to escape… His charm and ability to brainwash me existed from the beginning.. I normally would have stood up, said in outa here and left.  Something immobilized me, he felt familiar..
  26. I lived in a garden apartment complex in high school, when I met him and learned he lived about 3 blocks away.  During the love bombing phase, we would walk around the neighborhood at night for hours, talking.  He walked, mostly, and I was the sympathetic ear.  He shared how dysfunctional and cold his home environment had been.  (One thing he had witnessed less than 10 years old, was his dad raping his mom).  One night, it was super cold, and our relationship was still new.  We went into the little hallway that goes between the buildings, which either leads down to a laundry facility or out to the back, where the garages were.  We both crouched down against the wall and the floor….he at one wall, me at the opposite one.  Now, mind you, everyone at our school always gave him a wide birth in the halls…he was angry, so he was somewhat feared.  And as I said before, I loved this, because he chose ME!  Being an unpopular girl, this inflated my ego.  So, there we were in the little hallway, and I had a black wool calf-length coat wrapped around me.  He stopped sharing about his troubled past, and said through a puff of his cigarette, “If you don’t quit standing there looking so hot, I’m gonna rape you.”  I said, “Go ahead.”  Sick or what?  He did not follow through, mind you.
  27. Early in our relationship, one one sunny day, I was supposed to call him at a certain time.  I was late calling him, because I went to the supermarket briefly with my mom.  Yes, this was my bad, but it was a small and fixable infraction.  However, I’m sure it triggered his abandonment issues from his past.  So, I got home.  He called me, acted all dramatic and foreboding, said, “I’m sending Fred [his stepfather] to come pick you up; we have to talk.”  I was full of trepidation, didn’t know what to expect.  Got to his house, went to his room [his two younger sisters were present] and he sat across from me.  His jaw was clenched and his nostrils literally FLARING with anger.  Looked at me with total fury, like a father would look at his child if he just caught her shoplifting $1,000 worth of merchandise.  He said he was breaking up with me.  I was devastated, wasn’t “done” with this relationship.  I tried to look formidable, stand my own ground, but I couldn’t help but notice that with his nostrils flared, he looked like an angry bull.  And it was hot.  And I told him EXACTLY that, word-for-word.  And this disarmed him, and he chose not to break up with me.  Yes, quite sick.
  28. Something I always found uncomfortable, was that I was so into him, I mean…..I fell for him hook, line and sinker.  He treated me like a trophy on a shelf.  He wanted me to move in his social circles, but he was always across the room, lost in the crowd, smoking, laughing, drinking beer, and I was always sitting there on the couch, along the wall, making small talk here and there, but mostly, waiting for him to remember I was present.  He’d always come over to me about every 45 minutes or so, smile, ask if I was having fun, give me a peck on the lips, and pounce away again.
121 Things Narcissists Say When They Are Gaslighting You

121 Things Narcissists Say When They Are Gaslighting You

**TRIGGER WARNING: These are statements made by actual narcissists that were shared with me by actual survivors of narcissistic abuse.

If you’ve ever been involved in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, the following statements may sound pretty familiar to you. I polled the members of my online support group (SPAN) and asked them to share things they heard their narcissists say again and again as they were being relentlessly manipulated and gaslighted during their relationships.

What is Gaslighting? 

Gaslighting is a pervasive and highly-effective tactic meant to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. This is a very common tactic used in narcissistic abuse.

What are some things narcissists say during gaslighting? 

If you’re not sure you’re dealing with a narcissist, it might help you to take a look at this list of 121 things narcissists say during gaslighting. Read through the statements shared by survivors of narcissistic abuse to find out whether anything sounds familiar.  You might also want to take this self-assessment to find out if someone is gaslighting you in a relationship, or this one to find out if you’re dealing with narcissistic abuse in a toxic relationship.

121 Specific Phrases Narcissists Use During Gaslighting

  1. You’re being irrational.
  2. You should get tested for schizophrenia.
  3. You’re always making shit up in your head.
  4. You need help.
  5. I don’t do things I think are wrong.
  6. Why are you being so defensive?
  7. You are so childish/immature.
  8. You need to learn to communicate better.
  9. I’m not arguing; I’m just discussing.
  10. Hey, I’m not saying you need to be any different!! I’m not trying to change anybody!
  11. It’s always something with you.
  12. You’re crazy, you weirdo, freak.
  13. Whatever.
  14. If you wouldn’t piss me off I wouldn’t have to say mean things to you.
  15.  No wonder so and so has a problem with you.
  16. If you tell them about me I will ( blah blah ) and hurt you. (Either blackmail or made-up exaggerated lies to get back at you for exposing them.)
  17.  I used to think you were a good person. (Because you tell them off and get on their level.)
  18. Why are you being a bitch, get over it, I’m late, I was supposed to be here at noon but it’s 2:40 pm. Do you want to go eat or not?
  19. ]I don’t have time for your games.
  20. Go ahead, tell them about me. I will make your life a living hell, bitch.
  21. I’m much smarter than your dumb ass.
  22. Just try, you will lose.
  23. I’m going to kiss their butt; we will see who they want more to do with.
  24. You would think you would have figured out by now –  you can’t beat me. But hey – knock yourself out, and make a fool of yourself.
  25. If you’re on the phone with them, in front of an audience, you get: “Listen, you need to get help, I can’t play your games anymore. I really feel sorry for you, I’ve got to go. I’m not being pulled into another fight,”. (You’re on the other end saying “what are you talking about?”) About that time he clicks the phone off. Then, he later calls you, ” Try me bitch – have you figured out you won’t win?”
  26.  What do you mean I have no real friends? I have an attorney friend, one who owns (blah blah), I have tons of friends! You’re the depressed loser who stays home all the time with no friends! Oh sorry, you have a volunteer pet rescue friend! Wowww, I’m impressed.
  27. Oh, I forgot you’re holier than thou!
  28. Poor you!
  29. You like being a victim.
  30. You wonder why I stay away from you.
  31. Others think I’m a pretty nice guy. Too bad you don’t.
  32.  I’m going to stay away from you as long as you put me down.
  33. No wonder I do drugs!
  34. If I want to feel like shit I will come around you.
  35. How’s it working for you?
  36. Listen to yourself! You are losing it.
  37. If they leave you and you say, “Good riddance! Now she can put up with you. He says, “Oh, she doesn’t mind breakfast in bed! We are going to Hawaii. You could have had the finer things, but you wanted to fight me all the time. When I’m a millionaire, we will see who is doing better then.
  38. My ‘friends’ (on Facebook that I never met in person) tell me all the time how smart I am all the time.
  39. I am not trying to control you.  You are thinking about your ex-husband, and taking it out on me.
  40. You’ve always “got a problem.”
  41. I’m the best thing that ever happened to you.
  42. No one can ever love you as I do.
  43. It’s always your fault.
  44. Why do you have to get all pissy and hurt over stuff?”
  45. “You just look for something to gripe about all the time.”
  46. “What do you get out of being all moody all the time? I hope that’s fun for you.”.
  47. I’m the only one that really loves you.
  48. “YOU ARE NOT GOING TO CONTROL ME, YOU F…ING B****!”
  49. I don’t give a crap about your kids.
  50. “Everyone” agrees with me – you’re bad!
  51. I  never said that!
  52. You’re crazy!
  53. You’re lazy.
  54. You’re too sensitive!
  55. I know what you’re thinking.
  56. You never listen.
  57. I’ll pay you back. (Never does!)
  58. You better wipe that look off your face or I’ll do it for ya!
  59. You’re a piece of shit.
  60. You try to make them aware about something, like that they are going to get in trouble with either legally or personally. They say, “Don’t worry about it. Shut up, You’re such a goody-goody weirdo; you worry about everything. I’ve done this before.”
  61. Stop telling people stuff about me.
  62. After cheating on me repeatedly he wants to know why I said “some not nice things to him.”
  63.  Also tells me “You will never find another man as good as me.”
  64.   When he goes out someone “told me they had the best time ever because I was there.”
  65. I’m from the Acadian bloodline, so naturally, I’m smarter than average people like you.
  66. My job is more important! You just have projects, it’s just busywork
  67. I don’t answer your texts because you’re bothering me with your foolishness.
  68. It’s my way or the highway!
  69. Women are here to serve men!
  70. If you’re so great at budgeting, why are we past due on everything and broke? (After he blows entire paycheck at the casino)
  71. “I know how _______.”
  72. “I know why ________ .”
  73. “I have the answer, you just have to listen to me.” (You can fill in the blank with ANY subject. He always knows the answer to everything…. Peoples’ motives, parenting, why your cake just exploded. Any subject at all… he has ALL the answers. You just have to listen.)
  74. “Back when I lived in Florida and I was rich beyond belief and knew all the movie stars (because I grew up with them), I never had to worry about being broke all the time.”
  75. Watch what I do next, bitch!
  76. I used to race Porsches for Indy 500 and owned two Burger Kings and a Pizarro’s.
  77. No wonder your daughter can’t keep a boyfriend! She’s so needy and trailer park trash.”
  78. After one of his (often veiled) put-downs: “and that’s the truth!”
  79. “I know at least 3 people in this town who think you are bi-polar”
  80. He is incredibly grandiose and exaggerates his achievements, talks constantly to anyone about the people of high standing that he “knows,” needs to be seen as a genius, is challenged by other people’s achievements – behind their backs will call them “third rate.”
  81. When I was manager of over 50 people at a restaurant…” ( …Taco Bell – but you couldn’t say that – heaven forbid he was associated with fast food)!!!
  82. “You just want to rehash the past.”
  83. “You should have known that this was not a good time to (talk to me….call me on the phone….etc.).” (Followed by a “justifiable” narcissistic rage).
  84. “YOU  treat me like shit and you’re NOT on drugs.”
  85. “Nobody likes you, they all laugh behind your back.”
  86. After he breaks up with you over the phone: “You made me! You asked if you were all right.”
  87.  “It’s always something with you.”
  88. You leave me and you will be blued, screwed and tattooed!
  89. You will NEVER have the confidence to leave me!
  90. “You are delusional.”
  91. You have no friends.
  92. Nobody likes you.
  93. You’re too old; no one will ever want you.
  94. You’re too fat.
  95. No one will ever love you like I do.
  96. You’ll never find anyone as good as me.
  97. You’ll never find anyone else to put up with you like I do.
  98. You’ll never have a house as nice as this one.  You’ll end up living in a broken down car on the Northside.
  99. What are you going to do without me?  How will you ever feed yourself?
  100. I never said that…you’re crazy.
  101. You need a shrink.
  102. I never did that…you’re crazy.
  103. I can say or do anything I want to you because I own you.
  104. “I was busy!”
  105. Somebody has to earn a living!
  106. “I work my ASS OFF, but nobody around here seems to care!”
  107. No one is able to love someone like you, except me.
  108. Why do you always have to criticize me?
  109. Don’t nag me.
  110. Why are you upset? I was ONLY kidding.
  111. I want …   I need…
  112. I … me me me.
  113. I was just kidding – gee, you can’t take a joke
  114. Rage? What rage?    Oh, so I’m not allowed to get angry?
  115. Only I can treat you like shit!
  116. “I never said anything to you because I just thought you knew how she felt about you. She was talking about you, complaining. I didn’t think you were friends.”
  117. Narc: You have the most beautiful blue eyes.
    You: Awww.  Thank you.
    Narc:  I can’t do this anymore.
    You: Are you breaking up with me again?
    Narc:  Yes.
  118. “If you ever cheat on me, I’ll kill them…AND you…”
  119. You started it.
  120. Get over it.
  121. Grow up!

What do you think? Did anything sound familiar to you? Do you think you’re dealing with a narcissist? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section and let’s discuss it.

Start Getting Help with Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Today

Did you know? Online help is readily available for survivors of narcissistic abuse. Here are some options to begin healing from narcissistic abuse right away.

 

63 Things I’d Rather Do Than Hang Out With a Narcissist

63 Things I’d Rather Do Than Hang Out With a Narcissist

So, sort of an amusing discussion happened this morning in my SPAN group. One of my admins said that having gone to the dentist proved to be more enjoyable than actually hanging out with her toxic narcissist

That sparked her idea of a blog post entitled “Things I’d Rather Do Than Hang Out With a Narcissist,” which is here – (more…)

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: 103 Things You No Longer Have to Deal With When You Go NC

Narcissistic Abuse Recovery: 103 Things You No Longer Have to Deal With When You Go NC

Going no-contact can feel like a last-resort and you might feel miserable at first – but you know that in the end, it’ll be worth the trouble.

Trust me when I tell you that it feels like you’ve had a huge ton of bricks lifted from your chest/shoulders when you finally get the courage to stop contacting, interacting with and dealing with the narcissist.

It’s never easy to go no-contact, even when it’s not your choice. It feels like a combination of rejection and failure, mixed with confusing feelings of regret and maybe even guilt – especially when you’re dealing with a family member or even a long-term spouse.

That’s partly because of the drug-like effect narcissists have on us – we crave their approval and love.

It’s like the proverbial carrot on a stick, though – we’ll never actually reach it, but they dangle it in front of us like we might – and so we’re perpetually chasing it. 

One way to help yourself get through the tough times is to focus on what’s good about the situation in that moment.

In that spirit, I’ve put together this list of things that you’ll no longer need to deal with once you’ve gone no-contact with a narcissist – so if you’re struggling with your decision today, please consider the following.

When you go no-contact, you no longer have to deal with:

1. Gaslighting and manipulation.
2. Being treated like you’re stupid, crazy or not good enough.
3. Giving up your time and energy for someone who doesn’t deserve it.
4. Babying/codding the narc.
5. Harassing phone calls, text messages and conversations.
6. Passive-aggressive Facebook posts.
7. Humiliation and degradation.
8. Ruined weekends, holidays and birthdays.
9. Being isolated and not allowed to have real friends.
10. Having no control of your money.
11. Being financially abused.
12. Not worrying if the rent/grocery money gets spent.
13. Not wanting to get out of bed in the morning.
14. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hear the narc’s car pull in.
15. Being yelled at for looking the wrong way.
16. Being treated like your thoughts and feelings aren’t legitimate.
17. Sending or giving gifts and cards on birthdays and holidays that will never be considered “good enough” for the narc.
18. Narcissistic limbo – having to wait for the narcissist to commit before you can RSVP to an event or party. And missing out on the parties and events you want to attend (and having no one to make you feel awful while you do).
19. Being held responsible for things you can’t control (such as other people’s behavior) and being “punished” when things don’t go the narc’s way.
20. Having to keep your kids or pets quiet in order to keep the narc happy.
21. Feeling like you’re wasting your life.
22. Being dissociated and suffering from the worst symptoms of narcissistic abuse-induced PTSD.
23. Missing out when your friends have a GNO.
24. Narccissistic altruism – when a narcissist is “generous” but expects you to “perform” for him/her.
25. Not being heard. Narcs never really listen – they just wait until you’re done talking so they can say what they have to say.
26. Your entire life being all about someone else.
27. Everything always being YOUR FAULT.
28. Always being WRONG, even when you’re not.
29. Never being a priority.
30. Having your other relationships destroyed.
31. Never being treated with love, respect or empathy.
32. The narcissist’s deep and erroneous sense of entitlement.
33. Having to tell the narc how amazing he is every day or risk the wrath of his ego.
34. Having to put the narc’s needs before yours and even your kids.
35. Extreme aggression mixed with passive aggression.
36. The narc’s inability to handle any criticism at all.
37. Having to say “I’m sorry” when you don’t mean it (and he doesn’t desrrvve it) just to keep the peace.
38. Having to make excuses for the narcissist all the time.
39. Having to explain why you didn’t show up for an important event.
40. The devalue and discard phases.
41. The repeating abuse cycles of rollercoaster proportion.
42. Having huge arguments over tiny things.
43. Being disregarded when you have a legitimate concern.
44. Having all of your happy moments and successes ruined by the narc.
45. Accepting less than you deserve.
46. Feeling alone in a crowded room.
47. The tiny betrayals that a narcissist puts you through every day.
48. And the bigger betrayals.
49. Doing things you would have once thought unthinkable to get the narc to stay happy.
50. The “look” you get out in public that means you screwed up – and that you’ll be “getting it” when you get home.
51. Getting in trouble like a “bad kid.”
52. Feeling like your life is beyond your control.
53. Apathy and the daily struggle to find meaning in your life.
54. Forgetting who you are.
55. Feeling like literally everyone else is better than you, at least in the narcissist’s eyes.
56. Not enjoying your food because your stomach always hurts.
57. Living under the narc’s iron fist.
58. Feeling guilty for not living up to the narc’s ridiculous expectations.
59. Wondering if you really are the problem.
60. Trying to fix an unfixable person.
61. Being responsible for the narcissist’s emotions.
62. Pretending to like stuff you don’t to make the narc happy.
63. Having to beg the narc to do basic things (like “babysit” his own child so you can go to work).
64. Trying to protect other people in your life from the narcissist’s rages.
65. Interacting with someone who believes they are above the rules.
66. Saying “Please don’t be mad!”
67. Flying monkeys.
68. Triangulation.
69. Being part of a narcissistic harem.
70. Feeling guilty when you do ANYTHING for yourself (or your kids).
71. Having to sneak around to take care of your kids’ material needs. (For example, if you need to buy your kid some new shoes but the narcissist refuses to let you spend the money because he needs to buy beer.)
72. Cheating and/or inappropriate friendships with the opposite sex.
73. Constantly being compared to other people.
74. Being expected to give 100 percent and get nothing back.
75. Double standards.
76. Having to go along with the narc’s lies to save face.
77. Love bombing, hoovering and the related forms of manipulation.
78. Being treated like an object or possession.
79. The narc’s grandiosity.
80. The “dual personalities” thing – one personality at home and another in public.
81. Being exploited when it suits the narc.
82. Being the subject of envy and being hated for it.
83. Watching the narc be sweet to someone else when he’s been an ass to you.
84. Watching your kids’ hearts break when he fails them, yet again.
85. Trying to hold it together when he breaks your heart, yet again.
86. Having your fears and insecurities used against you.
87. Having to rescue the narcissist.
88. Having yourself placed in various types of “danger” in order to be rescued by the narc when he feels like being a hero.
89. Having the narc talk about you behind your back and break your confidence.
90. Being told that you’re lazy, boring or otherwise unsavory.
91. Being taken for granted.
92. Being put down all the time so the narcissist can build himself up.
93. Always walking on eggshells.
94. Cognitive distortion – watching the narcissist believe his own lies and getting mad if you don’t.
95. Being forced to do everything the narcissist wants when it comes to your look – your hair color and style, the clothes you wear, etc.
96. The weird sex stuff.
97. Being publicly confronted and humiliated when the narcissist feels you’ve wronged him.
98. Having to defend yourself after the narc tells everyone how crazy you are and realizing it’s pointless.
99. Being told that what you witnessed and heard isn’t real.
100.Having all of your boundaries crossed relentlessly.
101. Being undermined.
102. Constant criticism of the destructive variety.
103. Narcissistic injury.

That’s my list for today. What would you add? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. Let’s discuss it.

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