How to Recognize Narcissistic Abuse.

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I should have seen the red flags in his insane beliefs.

He had a hatred for Jewish people, he admired Hitler and he believed that the holocaust was a hoax—he had once graffitied swastikas at a Jewish school. He believed that those who follow the religion of Islam must be wiped off the Earth and those of African descent are to blame for their racial oppression.

I should have seen the red flags as I watched his parents brush it all off: how the family dynamic seemed to survive by living off each other’s sense of entitlement and grandiose beliefs and behavior; the way his mother would be unjustly rude to a waitress, modeling narcissistic behavior for her children.

I should have seen the red flags. I was surrounded by toxicity.

It wasn’t until he confessed that he’d once planned to steal his father’s gun to kill everyone in his social circle (the only thing stopping him was the key to where the gun was stored) that I began to piece things together.

Why didn’t I see the red flags?

At first it’s wonderful. They take on all your positive traits during the courtship cycle. I believe in honesty, kindness and compassion. So he became virtuous, a person of complete integrity. Whatever your noblest traits are, they pinpoint those strengths and project them. You begin to think, “They are exactly the same as me! We are so like-minded! A match made in heaven!”

But over time they can’t keep up with the charade. When they know they finally have you, they no longer feel obliged to reciprocate basic respect. When he verbally abused me, broke my belongings or smashed my car window out of irrational anger, he would never apologize on the grounds that I was too needy for expecting one and it put unfair pressure on him to do so.

Their fear of facing guilt is more important than the feelings of those they hurt.

They slowly reveal their true colors: the virtuous man I once knew became disrespectful, emotionally unavailable, bitter, hateful and self-absorbed. On the rare occasions he had no choice but to apologize for his behavior, he would always blame it on his depression. So my weak boundaries meant that I would take his depression onto my own shoulders. I defended all of his behavior and tried to lift the depression to find the man I loved again.

As you are sucked into sacrificing your own needs to help them, they begin to project their own behavior onto you:

You always manage to ruin their good moods.
They can never please you.
They don’t trust you.
You always play the victim.

And you begin to wonder how you could be so demanding and energy consuming? How could you act like the victim when they are in so much pain? You question yourself, change yourself. Then when that isn’t enough, you belittle yourself, degrade yourself and humiliate yourself. You begin to accept that you will never get an apology for the latest form of abuse, because maybe it was your fault that it happened.

You begin to chase them.

You lose your self-esteem, you stop talking to family and friends. You don’t believe you are a good enough. You constantly justify the poison and remain oblivious to it as it slowly seeps into your being.

After a year and a half of crying hysterically, one suicide attempt, loss of self-esteem, loss of ambition and lack of self-care, I checked myself into counselling and cut all contact with him.

At first I was ashamed of myself for not seeing those red flags.

As a holistic counselling student, I told myself that I should have known better. But I realized that we are not less valuable for enabling bad treatment; we are not less valuable for not knowing any better.

We are human.

In the midst of examining my shadows—what attracted the abuse and my weak boundaries—I am slowly learning to understand myself and forgive myself for not knowing any better. We can only work with the awareness that we possess at the time.

From the new awareness we gain by enduring it ourselves or learning from the experience of others, we become safer than ever before.

~

Relephant:

Identifying Emotional Abuse before it Happens.

7 Steps to Heal from Emotional & Physical Abuse 

~

How to have an independent kind of love:

~

Author: Jennifer Hunt

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: NataliaDrepina/Deviantart

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Jennifer Hunt

Jennifer Belle Hunt is a holistic counselling student living in Melbourne, Australia. It took her to withdraw from two bachelor degrees (fine art and visual culture, professional writing and publishing) to finally realize that her heart was in healing those in need and inevitably discovered healing herself along the way. She is known for her overly sensitive tendencies and is dangerously idealistic. She is a self-confessed gym junkie, health nut, impatient meditator and wannabe kick boxer. Practicing yoga and visiting her nearest Buddhist temple in her spare time enables her to balance her mind, body and spirit. She believes in the inherent goodness of all human beings and that her purpose in life is to help others recognize their own true beauty, which in return energizes her to recognize her own.

Comments

66 Responses to “How to Recognize Narcissistic Abuse.”

  1. Jennifer,
    Please do not post links to you article on my YouTube videos. Find your own avenue for promotion. Thanks.
    Ross Rosenberg

    • Yikes says:

      You frighten me, Rosenberg

    • Whitney9890 says:

      Ross, you act like you’re someone important. Who are you? Creepy.

      On a better note, I went through a similar situation for three years with the father of my child. Thankfully got out of it and now I’m in a healthy relationship. This is a great article Jennifer.

    • Laura says:

      Maybe Ross is the narcissist from the article? Hahaha.

    • Carla says:

      How rude to post such a comment publicly. I stopped following you after watching your interview with Teal Swan. My gut feeling told me to not trust you. We are all in this to heal and to help others heal. Obviously you are in it for ego and profit. You and Teal give off tons of red flags. Many are talking about it.

  2. Gypsy says:

    Dear Lord Rosenberg you’re frightening. And you need to learn how to spell and punctuate.

    Jennifer, great article.

  3. Dazed Wanderer says:

    This was such a healing article for me to read right now. I am in the middle of years of counseling, with the sole focus of breaking the connection and healing myself from a toxic, narcissistic partner. Seeing this in writing so clearly is very helpful. Some days are harder than others, and today was a tough one.

    Thank you for writing this, and I wish you well on your journey of self acceptance and growth.

    • Jennifer says:

      I am so sorry to hear that you have endured so much with a narcissistic partner. Indeed it is a process within itself even long after we are out.
      Thank you for sharing. Sending you all my love and wishing you well on your journey towards breaking that connection.

  4. Brandy says:

    Thank you for writing this article as it sounds extremely similar to my own story, in which I am just learning to understand. Your article has shed some more light on how and why but most of all, putting it into words. When people ask me a question, I have a very difficult time being able to verbalize because I didn't deal with a punch in jaw. Tangible topics are easy for me to convey vs. The Intangible. Your words have helped me say, yes! That is what I have been trying to say.

    • Jennifer says:

      Absolutely. It is very hard to verbalize this type of abuse especially if there aren't any physical scars or bruises, but it is extremely traumatic! It is rarely – if ever – discussed. There aren't even any laws against emotional abuse! I am glad that my piece has helped you to convey your own story. Thank you so much for reading and I wish you well on your journey to understanding and healing.

  5. Gail says:

    Excellent article/story! Thank you Jennifer for sharing and pointing out what a narcissist IS! So may people don't recognize them and in some cases they are right in front of us!

    • Jennifer says:

      You're most welcome Gail! I couldn't agree more! Research is our best friend! 🙂 Thank you for reading!

      • <3 LL says:

        Like research – our other best friend is sharing our stories of survival. It was only after I met, feverishly married and ultimately divorced one (who may be considered a king of that tribe) that I figured out who these people are. For better or worse, during the course of my divorce I openly shared my new awareness with anyone who would listen. I was shocked to find that so many people could relate to my story and like me – they were unaware that these personality traits could be classified. I found the most help in working through my own situation from reading blogs written by other survivors. If anyone here is reading Jennifer's post you must know you are not alone and you are not likely crazy (even though the narcissist may have convinced you that you are). Stay strong!

        • Jennifer says:

          Absolutely. It's astounding how much I can relate to what you have commented here. In sharing my story, I've had so many people approach me and share their own stories with me. That sense of connection is so powerful and healing.
          Yes! I couldn't agree more! Blogs written by other survivors are a great help! I remember when I was at my worst during my own situation. I couldn't watch television, go out, work, make food or do anything without being triggered back into trauma. The only thing that I could manage to do was read the stories of other survivors and how fortunate that I found them because they were an integral part of my healing process. I truly hope that my own piece can do for others what the blogs I have read did for me.

  6. Emily says:

    And of course you’re gorgeous!!

  7. YogaJo says:

    Thank you a great article from the heart❤️

  8. Renee says:

    I went through years (27) of abuse from my husband, who was this type of person, before I finally had the courage to leave him. I had no self-confidence, self-esteem or belief in myself. When my health was in jeopardy, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which can be caused by prolonged period of abuse, that is when I had to leave. It has taken years to overcome what happened to me. Your words are so true. If anyone is in this type of relationship, please, please get out of it as quickly as possible because it can be so toxic to your health. There is a lot of help out there for you. I had family and friends who helped me overcome my abuse but there are a lot of people who will help you. You just have to take the first step by telling someone what you are going through. Don't wait till you wind up sick or worse…. thank you Jennifer for voicing the abuses that sometimes is hard to believe can happen to anyone. It's one step closer stopping these types of abuse.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Renee,

      I am so sorry to hear that you endured such a long period of abuse and of your diagnosis. Declining physical health becomes a huge part of psychological abuse. I have walked away with only a few health complications.. I can't imagine how much of a toll 27 years of abuse would take on the body. I am glad that you had the courage to leave and that you have overcome what has happened to you. Your story displays true courage, strength and inspiration for those currently suffering.

      Thank you so much for reading and sharing.

  9. Mary says:

    Jennifer,

    Thank you for sharing that very personal story- I know it will help others!

    I share your compassion for others and helping them learn of their goodness.

    These traits have caused me heartache as I have learned how to balance them

    in a healthy way by setting boundaries and being more self-reliant.

    Yoga and nature have been my “religion”, keeping my soul smiling and body/mind

    healthy/conscious. Cheers to you wonderful, beautiful person!! 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Mary,

      Yes, sometimes the most wonderful and compassionate people are affected tremendously by heartache! I am so glad that you have set your own boundaries and truly nurtured and looked after yourself! Very inspiring and something I am so glad that I am finally doing for myself. Lots of love and light to you! Thank you for reading!

  10. Jason says:

    As a man who endured the abuse from my narcissistic ex-wife, I can completely relate to the insidious, slow-drip poison that occurs over a long period of time. Once we realize what has happened, it is difficult to get out – especially if we have children (as in my case), or if we have codependent issues (also my case). These articles are mostly written for women, but I also want to be a voice for men. Here is a website that really helped me, in case there are any guys out there looking for support: http://www.shrinkformen.com … it’s not my website and I’m not doing promotion, I just really think it is helpful. Jennifer, thank you for writing this article and being a voice for what is becoming a pandemic in our world. Anyone who would like to chat more about this topic can email me at [email protected]. This needs to be talked about, and most of it is about serious unrelenting self-care.

  11. Jason says:

    As a man who endured the abuse from my narcissistic ex-wife, I can completely relate to the insidious, slow-drip poison that occurs over a long period of time. Once we realize what has happened, it is difficult to get out – especially if we have children (as in my case), or if we have codependent issues (also my case). These articles are mostly written for women, but I also want to be a voice for men. Here is a website that really helped me, in case there are any guys out there looking for support: http://www.shrinkformen.com … it's not my website and I'm not doing promotion, I just really think it is helpful. Jennifer, thank you for writing this article and being a voice for what is becoming a pandemic in our world. Anyone who would like to chat more about this topic can email me at [email protected]. This needs to be talked about, and most of it is about serious unrelenting self-care.

  12. believedfish says:

    I can completely relate to your article Jennifer. I am currently going through the aftermath of my mistake. Now being aware, I feel I can handle his self absorbed idiocy, however, its my daughter that is now paying for it since I am no longer the punching bag. To the point of going from straight As to failing classes and thoughts of suicide. My point here is it’s so toxic for everyone involved. As we all know, the signs are not as clear we would like. We need to educate more people about this issue.

    • Jennifer says:

      I'm so sorry to hear of the situation with your daughter. I truly hope that she will make it through. I couldn't agree more with your comment, it is toxic for everyone involved! Their poison leeches onto anybody and anything! Education about this issue is extremely important! There needs to be far, far more awareness! Thank you for sharing and reading. Sending my best wishes for you and your daughter.

  13. JDRiver says:

    Jennifer,
    I too went through a situation very similar to yours. Your story brought back such awful memories it seemed as if you were writing about the person that tried to destroy me. Mine was a sociopath which shares many of the traits of a narcissist as I'm sure you're aware, but from my personal experience seems far more dangerous. I'm glad you got out in one piece, and had the courage to share your story so others can see that they are not alone. It's not them. What they are going through is not their fault.

    • Jennifer says:

      Yes absolutely. Through all of my research on narcissists and in my counseling course I have come across quite a lot on sociopaths and it is truly terrifying. I can't even imagine what you would have had to endure. My heart goes out to you for all that you went through.

      "It's not them. What they are going through is not their fault" – yes, this is something that is so important for all victims to know and remember. The manipulation can be so blinding from the truth. Thank you for reading and sharing!

  14. Melina says:

    What if he breaks your belongings or his belongings when he gets angry, can get out of control when he gets provoked by another driver (road rage), yells obscenities in your face at times, and breaks things close to you to intimidate. But, he does always feels genuine remorse, apologizes and can be quite kind otherwise. Thoughts??

    • Kara says:

      Leave, still. Anyone who exhibits that type of behavior (apology or not) is NOT a healthy relationship to stay in. it can and probably will, escalate. Temper tantrums, verbal abuse, an inability to control emotions and have a respectful, adult conversation or disagreement – these are ALL red flags! LOVE SHOULDN'T HURT, NOT SHOULD IT INTIMIDATE!! He wasn't "provoked" by another driver, he was incapable of controlling his emotions when another person made him mad. Those are HIS feelings, and only he can control them. Save yourself. You cannot save someone from themselves, especially with so much anger.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Melina,

      I personally think if he breaks your belongings, yells obscenities in your face and breaks things near you to intimidate you, I would consider this abuse regardless of whether or not he is kind otherwise.

      Abusers can either be like mine (not apologetic at all) or extremely apologetic. Despite the apology, I think the important thing is whether or not they recognize their mistake and won't do it again. If it happens on a continuous basis, then I would say that they are not respecting you or your boundaries.

      However it is extremely difficult when otherwise they are kind.. So I would suggest counselling to him or some form of professional help. If he is truly remorseful through his apologies, he would feel encouraged to fix his behavior.

  15. Sarah says:

    Great article. Very real issue. Similar experience.
    It takes a lot to recover from a person like this. AKA Covert Narcissist, Psychopath/Sociopath. I found information from youtube by Sam Vaknin, recall looking up the characteristics of a specific person, searching, reviewing and finding his character explained.

  16. Patricia says:

    Um…you lost me at “He had a hatred for Jewish people, he admired Hitler and he believed that the holocaust was a hoax—he had once graffitied swastikas at a Jewish school”. Then a couple of paragraphs later….”“They are exactly the same as me! We are so like-minded! A match made in heaven!” I stopped reading at that point.

    • Nathalie says:

      I totally agree.

    • Milo says:

      Patricia, you have to read the whole article. These people are snake enchanters, they don´t present themselves saying they admire Hitler at the begining. They are extremely charming at the begining, the poison comes slowly afterwards when they already have you severely involved. In my case after years, and after having had children together. If they say how they really thing they wouldn´t get anyone.
      Read the whole article before you comment

  17. N says:

    I have to admit I did not take the time to read through all of the responses; but the quick glimpse I had made me think you have made an impact on some people. For that, I think you did a great thing. Also for bringing awareness.

    I come from a journalism background, so I can appreciate this article and what it must mean to you when it comes to opening up and sharing your story. I commend you for that.

    I also have been through rough relationships, and I think it’s important to ask why you didn’t see those red flags in the first place? Your into to the article is smothered with red flags (hey, we all fall in love and ignore things in the beginning – no worries because we have all been there… That being said, your description of other people’s opinions is completely discriminatory). But what precedent are we then showing other people? That from the beginning, hatred for other people can be acceptable?

    I understand you’re trying to write a story, and share that story with everyone here so we can all learn and grow from it. And I commend you for that. I’m sorry you had to go through that, but I’m happy you came out from it and are trying to pass along a positive message. I guess my only suggestion would be to get to that message before having to read half way through your post to get personal insight rather than building up to it to a point where maybe some people wouldn’t want to read further and won’t get the option to even hear your point in the first place. I know if I had heritage among any of the people you referenced in the first few paragraphs, I maybe wouldn’t want to wait around to read further. It would be a shame if the message you were trying to send wasn’t delivered because of that.

    That being said, thank you for sharing your heart and story with us. And again, I haven’t read through all the posts on here, so I apologize if something was already voiced about that. At the end of the day, you always have your own right to speak your truth, so I commend you for that.

  18. Jesse says:

    The author sounds like a possible Narcissist. Aren’t most writers? That’s how writers are. That’s what we do. We spend a lot of time alone. We spend a /ton of time/ on ourselves. Because we are /obsessed/ with introspection and aquiring voice. We always see the situation through our own lens. Egocentric. It’s a curse. But also a blessing because we’re eloquent as fuck on paper.
    …Not that Jennifer is a narcissist. I’m have a pretty limited perception here. but it’s a fun thought experiment. It would be hilarious if she were. Inception. Dundundunnnnn

  19. Jade says:

    My ex-girlfriend was a recovering addict, and I so much wanted to believe that she would maintain that. I felt such love and connection with her that I ignored red flags as well. She was irrationally jealous, possessive, and moody, and had difficulty communicating her feelings. She relapsed, stole from me, lied to me. I moved out and THEN she got into treatment, and now, 4 months later, is still crying and begging and trying to manipulate me into returning to her. I just can't, I really can't, even though I am too heartbroken and grieving. I made my decision. Please help ! This is awful and I would love some support. Thank you for a very helpful and honest article.

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Jade,

      First of all well done on putting your boundaries in place. Sometimes the best way to help someone is to set an example by enforcing our boundaries on them. I once read somewhere that it is not called "giving up", it is called "strategic disengagement". You did the right thing and you are looking after yourself.

      Personally, I would cut all contact with her. Others' abuse is not our load to carry and the more we distance ourselves from these people, the more clarity we will gain. Our perspective on the situation will become clearer and we begin to see that despite the intricacies of the situation, we are solely responsible for our own well being and we must do whatever it takes to survive and get away from abuse.

      Sending you my best wishes.
      Love, Jennifer.

  20. somesmallchange says:

    I loved that sentence Jennifer,, regarding how we work with whatever awaremess we have at that time.
    Thank you.

  21. kdavis18 says:

    Jennifer, I am so sorry this happened to you but so glad you are now far away from all the toxicity. I was in a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and the abuse was terrible. I got in a really bad bike crash and he used my weakest moments as an opportunity to accelerate the abuse, but that acceleration is what also allowed me to finally leave him. Like you, I wrote about it and Elephant Journal was so kind as to publish it. Here's the link: elephantjournal.com/2014/10/when-emotional-abuse-looks-a-lot-like-love/?utm_source=All&utm_campaign=Daily+Moment+of+Awake+in+the+Inbox+of+Your+Mind&utm_medium=email

    I never explicitly labeled it as Narcissistic Abuse in the article, but that's what it was to a T.

    Take care, and please reach out if you ever need someone to talk to who has gone through a similar situation!

  22. Jennifer says:

    Dear Readers,

    Looking back on the whole experience, I've always felt so stupid and extremely ashamed of myself for dating someone like this – I've had a lot comments on Facebook about how this is not a narcissist but a psychopath!

    Every time he would talk about his insane beliefs, I used to think, "Well, he's proven to you that he's a good man so maybe you can love him through this? Maybe this is just a temporary thing that he doesn't mean and with love he can mature and change".
    Yep. I was pretty stupid alright! These were codependent habits of mine which I have worked to change. I was always needing to "help", but in helping I only damaged myself.

    The thing is, I can't disagree with everyone's comments about how stupid I was. In fact, it doesn't upset or offend me because it's the truth! Yes, I was stupid!

    More to the point, I hope this piece displays how easy it is for a person to fall into a trap with someone like this. I'm 100% against racism and killing people – but he was just that good at convincing me he was a good person that I actually believed it.

    There are smarter, more wiser people out there who would have backed away the moment they saw any of those red flags. Now that is the kind of person I am becoming too.

    Thank you everyone!

    Love, Jennifer.

  23. natalie says:

    i never comment on these things, but i need to thank you for articulating perfectly what i never could , because i was tangled in this very relationship, which i am now gloriously free of. It is a trap. I used to read articles and think, i will NEVER be that girl, but this is exactly how strong , intelligent beautiful women get sucked in. Narcissists are emotional vampires. thank u for this today. 😉 You can follow my blog , The Sparkle Sphere, On tumblr.

  24. Jennifer says:

    This perfectly describes the manipulation:

    People targeted by a sociopath often respond with self-deprecating comments like “I was stupid”, “what was I thinking” of “I should’ve listened to my gut instinct”. But being involved with a sociopath is like being brainwashed. The sociopath’s superficial charm is usually the means by which s/he conditions people.

    On initial contact, a sociopath will often test other people’s empathy, so questions geared towards discovering if you are highly empathic or not should ring alarm bells. People with a highly empathic disposition are often targeted. Those with lower levels of empathy are often passed over, though they can be drawn in and used by sociopaths as part of their cruel entertainment.

    Many sociopaths wreak havoc in a covert way, so that their underlying condition remains hidden for years. They can possess a superficial charm, and this diverts attention from disturbing aspects of their nature.

    The following case history illustrates how people can be systematically targeted until they feel they can barely trust their own sense of reality – what we call “gaslighting”. Sociopathic abuse is targeted abuse. It can wreck lives. Victims can become survivors, but at huge cost”.

    If I could rename the article I would call it “How to Recognize a Sociopath”, indeed this person was one—and those who have dealt with true narcissists know the extreme similarities!

  25. CharlizeP says:

    This: “You lose your self-esteem, you stop talking to family and friends. You don’t believe you are a good enough. You constantly justify the poison and remain oblivious to it as it slowly seeps into your being.

    After a year and a half of crying hysterically, one suicide attempt, loss of self-esteem, loss of ambition and lack of self-care, I checked myself into counselling and cut all contact with him.

    At first I was ashamed of myself for not seeing those red flags.

    As a holistic counselling student, I told myself that I should have known better. But I realized that we are not less valuable for enabling bad treatment; we are not less valuable for not knowing any better.

    We are human.”

    …really spoke to me. The hard part is not looking back, and finding my worth again.

    It’s going to be a long hard road, I’m going to take it one day at a time.

    Thank you for sharing, you give me hope.
    xo

  26. Karin says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! It does help to see others describe what it is like to try and live with a narcissist. I only recently managed to finally leave my husband of almost three years, and have experienced a lot of what you went through. For me it basically started the day after (!) the ceremony when he deleted a few of my facebook friends since apparently I shouldn't be in touch with them. The verbal abuse also started very soon after we were married, and he never failed to remind me that I was not as good/talented/snart as him. A year later, he locked me out the first time, this was then repeated six more times before I finally found a new place to stay. They are absolutely awful people, zero empathy, and a strange way of ignoring their own part in the conflict. I wish I could get the last three years back, but sadly realize that won't happen. Disappointed that I stayed around for so long, and am hoping to feel better soon. Would be so much easier if divorce was easier, since I'm sure he'll continue to make everything as difficult as he can, for as long as possible.

  27. Cinamon says:

    I am getting divorced after 27 years of marriage to a narcissist. I too was astounded in retrospect how I just didn't see it. I was miserable the last 10 years, 10 freaking years! Cycles of emotional abuse, neglect, and being made to feel worthless and invisible. People say, well, oh, no one can make you feel worthless without your permission- ha, screw that- they won't understand, only people like us who have spent time and lives with a psychopath know what it's like and how insidious it is. It's slow and proceeds in such a way you don't see it coming, you don't even understand how things changed, but one day your voice is silenced, your fears and desires and hopes and dreams evaporate into trying to salvage this toxic relationship that can't be fixed. I really started to get it when the first time I wanted a separation I started taking better care of myself and was emotionally divorced from him, and felt so free- and then when I took him back I had one health catastrophe after the other, and ended up on the brink of suicide and empty and dead inside. I found out in the course of our separation that he had been cheating on me for over 10 years with all kinds of random things from escorts to the skanky cleaning lady at work, had a sex addiction, porn addiction, but I was sexually starving. All I knew was that he was being a total dick and needed total control over everything in our lives- I had no idea of his secret life. The moment I finally had the balls to tell him to go for good- I had such joy and peace enter my life, I got off medications, illnesses and symptoms disappeared, I lost over 30 pounds almost immediately, I had wonderful people enter my life, new friends, new experiences, and now am dating a wonderful man. My boyfriend was asking me why I stayed when it was so bad- because his wife had left him when he tried so hard, thought he was doing everything right, and yet I stayed, and I explained how I just started disappearing, just kept trying to figure out why, trying to make sense of what he was doing, trying to understand and make things better, but it wasn't until I realized there was nothing more I could do- that I was able to leave. I will always regret the years I stayed, wasting my time, but I wouldn't be who I am, I wouldn't know the true joy of being free without the experiences and pain I went through, and I try to live in the present, and that's all I can do.

  28. Thomas Nilsson says:

    As Charlize's seems to be a case in progress I'd like to mention the importance of not tolerating interference once the culprit has been exposed. A restraining order ought to keep the psycho busy while regrouping and mending broken buckets. Unless available, proxies could be used as tools and some fanatic might be able to keep treating a target Stephen King style without anyone noticing. Check your micro devices or the cable guy would break through to you. Simply assuming illness being a sign of a flawed personality is not flawless.

  29. Jennifer says:

    https://afternarcissisticabuse.wordpress.com/2013

    GREAT article for anyone currently going through darkness with a narcissist. This helped me SO much. With the 800 word limit in this piece (and my main aim to write a more emotional, sensitive expression as opposed to descriptive) I was not able to fit in more details I would like to fit in and that true victims really need. But this is very helpful. My heart goes out to all those who can relate.

  30. Nicole says:

    I am one year out of the relationship and 4 months of no contact. I still have no idea what really happened to me. How did I end up married to him, albeit for 7 months. Fortunately, after I stopped spinning I threw myself into educating myself on the Paychopath Narc, WOW. It’s almost like they run on a script, so many similar stories. Mine was a spiritual Psychopath, using the words of the divine to woo; total confusion, nothing adds up. Enablers, gas lighting and the projections. Sooooooo, grateful to be free. I learnt about boundaries. I learnt about self care. I learnt to love myself so much I will never give my heart to evil ever again.

    Exposing these archon human nightmares is the best action. Silence in communication. So much love dear survivors.

  31. confused says:

    But what do you do when the toxic abuser is your own child? He’s only 12, he can’t be “broken up with”… And 9 years of counseling has only given him the vocabulary to manipulate with. He has a neurological disorder, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to have compassion when he seemingly, purposefully works to tear apart the tattered strands of our relationship and our life. It’s heartbreaking to be the parent raising a child that refuses to respect any of my values and teachings I try to pass on to him. I’m so tired of living with the tears and pain of this, with no escape path, and so much loss (work, self esteem, the unfilled promise of the supposed joy of parenthood). I’m left wondering if I’ll ever get to be the wonderful person I was before I became a parent.

  32. Ruth says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I have just ended my 2 1/2 year and am in the process of wondering how on earth I ever got myself into such a situation. I too am a therapist, and really felt that I should have known better. I was lucky in that he never hit me and yet the mental and emotional abuse was huge and was getting worse daily. We had many many great times, traveled the world and in many ways we were living the dream life, so I think that made it easier for me to justify his outrageous behavior. However in the end I realized how much of me I had lost and how physically my stomach was always in knots and how it was time for me to pick up the pieces of my life and move on. I am still in grieving for what I imagined we had, but I know I will be fine. Your article was perfect for me at this time as it made me realize what a lucky escape I had had. Thank you.

  33. kiwichefnz says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for posting your personal experiences here. I could not help but feel that there is more than one victim and also that I find it sad that you feel your partner was "projecting" the traits that he thought you wanted to see. I prefer to see this kind of man as a victim of his own emotions rather than purposely lying to you about who he really is.

    Often it is not the intention of the male to dominate or to smash things like you have reported. It is a product of spur of the moment rationality that is generally a product of child hood abuse or trauma. You know I find at times you can paint the "bad" brush over an entire person due to a momentary lapse of self control, this is not a healthy habit. It is a defense and self-justification for the partner to withdraw from their partner on an emotional level.

    While I think your article can bring a sense of contentment for certain readers, I do not feel it offers the alternative of a restorative approach to mending a serious realtionship between two people, who have become victims of their joint-disfynctional behaviour.

    I say joint because I am an advocate that the abuse patterns are never one sided, unless the "abuser" is a complete maniac which is in most cases simply not the case. I say we should look to other avenues in order to experience healing rather than tossing a label over our former loved ones. Yes it may have been that the relationship needed to end, but I do not see it as productive to walk away from an experience on an emotional high-horse because of isolated physical acts like breaking of a car window, when that is just a small part of the real dysfunctional behaviour.

  34. Milo says:

    Thank you Jennifer for writing such an enlightening article. Thanks to it I am coming to realize and put a name to what has been going on in my life. I was so confused before.

    I have been in a relationship for 6 years. He was wonderful and incredibly charming at the beginning, and we can NOT blame ourselves for NOT seeing it. I am a health care giver also and felt dumb when I read your article the first time, but they play the act so well that he fooled even my family and friends. He even told me that he believed in God…

    I identify so much with your experience except the part about being depressive and planning to murder (that part makes your ex a psychopath!) the other difference, I have not let him affect my self esteem. He says: I am the cause of his frustration, I provoke him to be angry, I lie all the time, I hardly do anything right, his genes are superior… you know the drill…

    Living with him is a emotional roller coaster, always looking for a conflict to begin, manipulating and threatening about not letting me go with the kids to visit my family when I don´t agree with him (family isolation), so energy draining.

    Now I can see he is a victim also, as he is only child of a Much Major narcissist that is his mother.

    I left my homeland to live with him and my family is far away, so I don´t have much support against TWO narcissist abusers. The worse part is that we have two small wonderful kids and I don´t thing a divorce right now would be the solution. I am sure he will not leave me in peace because he wants to have TOTAL control over everything that has to do with kids. That is a big reason for argues everytime I don´t agree with him. And besides the law in this country dictates half and half custody for the children, and that means the kids living with him (and his mother) every other week, brainwashing them with their narcissistic beliefs and putting them against me and my whole family (he said he would do that, is being severely immature another trait of the Narcissism?).

    At least I have some control now while we live together for what our kids are exposed to. Although I know it is not a good environment, (he ignores me and specially neglects me when his mother is around).

    After our first child was born was when he started being a control freak (I had postbirth depression, no wonder…), and the verbal abuse started last year, after we had our second child.

    I wish he had done that before. I wish he had told me he didn´t trust me before we had kids, I wish he had told me before, that he didn´t believe the holocaust happened or that he didn´t care about anybody, only his children (lack of empathy: sociopath) and now, he doesn´t even believe in God anymore.

    Then I would have been easier to run away from him as far as I could.

    Now I have to be patient and think, speaking and writing is therapeutic. Before I couldn´t even think, I was so tired. Now I can see things more clearly thanks to you Jennifer, but still figuring out the puzzle.

    I know I am not alone, I am strong, I will get out of this. My focus is my children, I have to be strong for them. I have to save them.

    Victim of Narcsissist abuser and his mother

  35. slowly healing says:

    Jennifer, thank you for this article. 9 months ago I left a very toxic 20 year relationship with an extremely narcissistic man. Only once I was out of the relationship did I see just how early it started, but being very empathic, thought I could make things better. I ended up feeling like I had lost my mind, to the point where I was seen as the aggressor when the police came around during one of our last fights. He egged me on to punch him in the face after pushing me twice. All in front of our then 8 year old son. I was offered help through DV Connect and moved into a refuge, where I lived for 5 1/2 months. It is still a very long road ahead to recovery. I’ve been diagnoses with severe depression and PTSD due to the long term abuse I suffered. My two youngest were seeing a psychologist, until their father told them they shouldn’t be talking to other people about their feelings. They both refused to go after that and it took 2 months to make my son comfortable enough to go back to her. At 42 years of age I am finally learning how to set boundaries and enforce them. I know he no longer has control of me, but sometimes I still feel like I’m in his control. God bless each and every one of us that have endured the pit of hell and managed to climb back to the top.

  36. Billy says:

    Isn’t always a partner either, imagine the impact of growing up in a family of people like this and being the odd one out so to speak until you reach an age where you can leave and then having them continue to impact your life in any way possible so there is basically no escape, even if the person’s effectively cut them off, being family they’re still always ‘there’ in a sense. Having lived with just one of this family as a ‘friend/housemate’ briefly, I can only imagine the long term toll on a person’s health, well being and other relationships being related to and growing up with several of them and never being able to put them completely behind you.

  37. Chris HH says:

    Dear Jennifer Hunt,
    Thank you for sharing your story with everyone, as we all have our own stories it makes life easier when we sharer them with others who can learn from our paths within life and maybe save someone some pain or heartache. Our stories are unique to us and it is beautiful to her or read them and see if we can take anything from the story to improve ourselves or quality of living.

  38. Rene says:

    Hello, thank u for ur article. I run to a narcissist many times. One time, I was watching my favorite program, the guy asked me to buy him Thai food. I did buy him, I left my TV only there he ignored me. The other guy, borrowed money from me, never pay me back n run away with the woman friend I had introduced him to. The other guy, I helped him a lot. He refused to get me soda. I asked him to hold me, he said no n shut down. He screamed at me from the top of his lung n had kick me out from his car. I cut connections with all my guy friends n my exes as he ordered me. After 9 months I dump him. He texted that m a whore n I did my friends. M not attracted to my guy friends. My ex like a detective going through my phone, never believe me with money or I told him one night I was at Z bar, he did not believe me, so I gave my phone to my friend to talk to him. When we fought he always run away, when I was upset, he got more upset he said no one look at him sing at karaoke. Weird after a few months we broke up he has a new girlfriend. I don’t know why I kept forgiving him, when he called me, I heard his voice I wanted to b with him again. From one narcissist, it took me 4 years to have a boyfriend again. Now, it will take longer years for me to trust a guy again. I appreciate ur article. Hopefully instead of 9 times m forgiving the guy, next time I’ll put up with three. Thank u.

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