How to help a friend who is involved with a Narcissist…

I was recently asked by a concerned reader how to help a friend that she was sure was married to a narcissist. Unfortunately, she probably will not like my answer because it is not a quick fix. It is a slow progression of help which I will get into further on, but first a little background into a typical victim’s mindset. These matters are extremely delicate, as the victim in a narcissistic relationship has been brainwashed into believing that they somehow deserve the bad treatment. They believe that everything the narcissist does or says is actually their fault.  As a result, the victim’s sense of self is obliterated, their strength has been sapped to the point that they willingly take the abuse and have normalized it.  They believe it is the best they can expect. Victims are actually fooled into believing that they are lucky to have the abuser! (Like Stockholm Syndrome)

Usually, the relationship between a narcissist and a victim is that of the “pedestal and the pit.” I discussed this tactic in another blog. This is the situation in a relationship where the narc will place his victim on a pedestal and treat her like gold, then the next moment, knock her down into the pit of mistreatment. It disorientates the victim to the point of confusion. This is a vicious cycle that never stops during a narcissist relationship.  After undergoing this dizzying cycle of ups and downs, the feeling of being in the narc’s good graces again and sitting on top of that pedestal feels so relieving to the victim after being in the “pit,” it is addicting.  As a result of this torment, the victim will do anything to please the narcissist.  She will find herself ignoring the bad in the relationship and only focusing on the good in order to pull through day by day.  So, she makes excuses for him, hoping and praying that things are going to be different. But things NEVER change. It is a sad truth. You cannot FIX a Narcissist!

So, back to the question of “How to help a friend who is involved with a narcissist?”

First, you can help your friend the most by sitting down with her and explaining your concerns and why you are worried about her.

However, after being married to a Narcissist for 7 years myself, I am aware of how proficient your friend will be at making excuses for her husband’s bad behavior.  I was, I go into that topic more in this blog post.  I covered for his bad behavior for numerous reasons. One of those was because I began to believe I didn’t deserve better (as I mentioned above). Also, I wanted to live in the fantasy that our marriage was grand, I didn’t want others to know what he was really like.  I was afraid of casting a light on his horrible behavior and that would mean that I needed to finally do something about it. (Which I knew would be the most challenging task of my life.)  Additionally, I made excuses because I shared children with him, and in my mind, I used to believe that divorce was the worst thing you could do to a child.  However, now I realize that staying in a terrible, abusive marriage only teaches your children to become apathetic and perfect victims, or it teaches them to become narcissistic abusers themselves.

Second, after showing your friend some material on narcissist behavior, you must tell your friend that because you care about her, no matter what, you will be there to support and encourage her whenever she is ready to seek help.
What helped me was when my narc had a earth shattering tantrum in front of my parents that I couldn’t cover up, and I had no possible excuses for.  That moment, my concerned parents offered to take me and my children 3 hours home with them that day. I declined out of fear.  But it got the wheels turning in my mind, and when my mother told me that she thought my husband was a Narcissist.  I began to google everything I could on the disorder because I had no idea what that really was.  In my research, I discovered that my husband had all the markers of it and it changed my mindset.  Learning about narcissism opened my eyes to seeing how I was living day to day and forced me to take a good look at how I permitted him to control my life.  In another blog, I discuss these 13 big signs that proved I was in a relationship with a narcissist.  It was like a blanket of darkness finally lifted and I began to see him for what he really was. I had started figuring out what had been nagging me our whole marriage.  But, the point is, I had to figure it out myself.  My Mother planted the seed, she tried to pull me out of this relationship, but I was not ready to go. I needed it to be MY choice, on MY time. Then one day after endless research online and in books, I finally hit a point, where my fear of staying outweighed my fear of leaving.

Third, you must be patient with your friend.

It will take time, but you cannot just rip her away from a bad relationship. It will backfire and she will end up going back to him and cutting all ties with you.  If you plant the seed, it will begin to grow in her mind and she needs to learn the truth herself.  Looking back, what mattered the most to me during my revelation was knowing that my Mom and Dad were there to support me and to help when I was ready to leave.  I am very thankful for that.

In summary, there is no magic bullet to getting a friend away from a narcissistic relationship.  It is a process that they alone have to be ready to undergo.  The victim must be armored with knowledge about the narcissist’s tactics before they begin to walk through that door.  That is where you come in, be there for them, and they will never forget it, even if they seem to ignore your concerns at this point.  I discuss how I made my escape in this blog post.  To an outsider, it can be hard to understand why someone would stay in a toxic relationship, but unless you go through it, it is impossible to understand it.    Just try to be sympathetic with your friend because it is such a drastic undertaking to break away from an abusive relationship that the victim must be in a fully committed state of mind to make it happen.  If they are only “sort of” ready to leave, that wont be enough to succeed in escaping.

If they understand that they have people in their life who love them and will be there to support them, that can make all the difference.

The Show Must Go On…

We have all heard the phrase, “the show must go on.” But the ones who really understand it are those people who lived it by being stuck in a toxic relationship with a Narcissist. When you find that you need to put on a show whenever your partner is around, that is big sign that you are being controlled by a narcissist.

I am now three years removed from being submerged in a suffocating marriage with a narcissist, however, when I think back to what I went through and how I felt, I had an epiphany. I distinctly remember whenever my ex walked through the door, I had to prepare my 3 year old and 6 year old to treat their father a certain way in order to stall their father’s bad moods, suspicious antics or lecturing behavior.

I found myself telling my children that “Daddy’s going to be coming home soon and they better smile, and give him a big hug” and I would plead with them to be on their best behavior. I quickly learned that we had to go through this role playing because in the past, if my narcissist were to come home and we were all doing something other than waiting there to greet him with smiles on our faces and our full attention, he would be offended and feel that we “did not appreciate him.” He would then go on a pity trip and lecture us, scold us and say that we did not love him, etc. It was ridiculous, but true. It would put a dampener on the rest of the evening and we all walked on eggshells.

So, I would find myself trying to prepare my little actors to put on a show for Daddy. A show that would hopefully, delay the narcissist’s antics for a later time. But it was never for long. The children and I were always in survival mode, just waiting for the next little thing to set him off.

During the marriage, I didn’t actually see what I was doing, or how his behavior truly affected us because when you are living it, it can be difficult to see through it. However, now that I am safely away from my narcissist and in a healthy relationship full of mutual respect and adoration, I can easily see what lengths I went to in order to try to protect my children from their narcissistic father.

If you find that you need to be anyone other than your true self when your partner is around, that is not a good sign. Be aware that all of life is not a stage, or at least it shouldn’t have to be. My advice as someone who has lived through it, lower the curtain and walk away and it is best to ignore the curtain call, let the narcissist get the bows he craves from someone other than you or your children.

Rollercoaster Relationship with a Narcissist.

A few months ago, I woke up from a dream that seemed so real it made me dizzy.  I always have taken my dreams with a grain of salt.  In the past, I have met people with skepticism when they discussed their dreams somehow giving insight to what was going on in their lives.  Well, I have learned many lessons these past two years and feel that a deeper understanding of what is going on in your life can absolutely manifest in your dreams from time to time.

In my dream, I was stuck in the back car of a roller coaster and my Narcissist ex husband was in the front car with the kids and no matter what I did, I could not get to them.  That dream so completely summed up my relationship over the past 7 years with him.

In a relationship with a narcissist, there are extreme highs and extreme lows. They put you on the pedistal and toss you down into the pit, as I have described in a previous blog. When things were good, they were great, and when he was displeased over one thing or another, (no matter how trivial) things were horrible.

Now that I have broken away from my narcissist, life is inconcieveably better. The best thing I have ever done was to leave him.  I have a job I love, my kids enjoy their school and I finally finished building my dream house!  And just then, wouldn’t you know it…when I was happy to be on my way, on my own… I stumbled upon meeting a good, honest, and intelligent man who loves and respects me and my family.  And I met him only 2.3 miles from my new home as matter of fact!  It is funny because I swore off internet dating, as that was how I met my ex narcissist 8 years ago.  Since I entered the dating scene, I vowed that if I was ever to date anyone in the future, I would have to meet him face to face purely by introduction or by accident.

Eventhough I have been guarded since leaving my rollercoaster of a relationship, I have had two years to reflect on who I am and what it is that I want.  I now have the confidence in myself to trust my gut again. I am determined not to make the same mistakes in future relationships.

That is something that toxic relationships with narcissists do, they rob you of your joy, your confidence and your ability to trust and love others by shattering who you are. Whereas, a healthy relationship is meant to build you up, not break you down.

I am enjoying where this relationship is taking us.  It feels incredibally rewarding to trust and love again. He gives me space, but makes room in his life for me and treats me like I had always hoped for.  It is funny how something as simple as being listened to when you talk can make you feel so loved. He always makes time to talk to me about my day, and he actually seems genuinely interested in what I have to say. I no longer feel like my thoughts and opinions don’t matter.  I am loving every day of our journey together and haven’t seen one red flag yet and it has been 6 months.

I see what my narcissist is doing in his relationship since I left him. He is up to the same old tricks.  My ex narc had only been alone one month before he snagged his next victim. Irena is a 26 year old Ukrainian”au pair.” He got her pregnant after three months and they are aleady pregnant with baby #2, and it has not even been a full two years since she landed on US soil. I see how he drives at least 300 miles every other weekend and has moved another 3 times since I left and plans road trips and plane flights on a whim, dragging her and the baby along. I vividly remember how exhausting it was trying to keep up with him when he was on one of his roaming tangents.

I am so greatful that I jumped off of that rollercoaster, that is one ride that I will never board again.

 

Top 15 things that can occur after leaving your Narcissist.

  1. You will have the gift of time to focus on yourself and what it is that you want for once.
  2. Space from your Narcissist will allow for the real healing to begin.
  3. You will become more calm, finding it easier to breathe.
  4. Confidence begins to come back.
  5. Independance will take root, making the way for personal growth.
  6. You can make up for lost time with family and friends, for the most part.
  7. Your fears will begin to dissipate.
  8. Your gratitude will soar when you get enough distance from your Narcissist, because it is easier to see how badly you had been treated.
  9. You become proud of yourself and what you can achieve.
  10. You figure out who you are again.
  11. You become emboldened to never settle for anybody who mistreats you.
  12. You become secure enough to allow yourself to love another again.
  13. You feel worthy to receive another’s love wholeheartedly.
  14. You notice all the little joys that seemed to elude you when you were with your Narcissist.
  15. Life becomes so much more fulfilling and beautiful!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Winding up the Year…Merry Christmas!

 

Well, one year has passed since my divorce decree was signed by the judge. What an amazing anniversary! I cannot believe how far I have come in that small amount of time. Last year, I was raw and unsteady, worried about the future. Now, I am strong, safe and excited about what adventures await me. My perspective has made a dramatic shift during these past twelve months. Since I have two children with my Narcissist, I cannot escape him totally. However, I have room to breathe and a say in my life. He still makes visitation difficult because that is one of the last ways he can exert any amount of control over us, however, I pick my battles. This is the first Christmas without my children, as they are with him this year. It feels odd for them to not be with me tonight, but I focus on the following weekend when we will be together celebrating our Christmas.

I have been so busy with work and being a single parent that it can be hard to find time to write down my thoughts. I really need to make time because it heals my soul, as corny as that sounds. This year, I have been enjoying my new career, I feel that I make a difference in my community. I am so thankful too that my children love their school and even got to participate in their first school play, something they never got to do when I was home schooling them.

It is strange how looking back, I was so terrified of the future. The thought of leaving my narcissist was so scary. I remember feeling depleted. He beat my confidence down so severely that I felt that I would have nothing to offer the world once I left him. He made me feel weak, inept, and dependant. That was all due to the emotional, psychological, sexual and financial abuse that he put me through all those 7 years. I felt like a child in his presence due to his continuous lectures and mistrust. I even had to ask his permission if I wanted to go visit my parents, which I hardly got that opportunity to do without him. I could do nothing right in his eyes. Which made me try even harder to please, as strange as that sounds. His paranoia and temper tantrums made me walk on eggshells trying to hold the family together and I would lie to myself daily thinking that it was either my fault somehow or that maybe he would miraculously stop the abuse. But the day I learned about narcissist abuse, it all changed, and I took that brave step forward to stand up for myself and for my children and to boldly step into the unknown. I realized that I would rather jump off the bridge that was crumbling down around me and take a chance at swimming to safety, no matter how far away the shore may be. I once said in a previous blog that “when the fear of staying outweighed my fear of leaving” I had no choice.

My coworkers have made comments to me that I apologize too much. It is true, it is habit. Narcissists do that to you, make you sorry for even breathing. But I am a work in progress. Instead of saying phrases like, “Sorry I am late,” I rephrase it and say “Thank you for your patience.” This is a subtle change that makes a big impact on your confidence. I find that my happiness is at an all time high. I wake up every day with gratefulness and purpose now.

I am looking forward to this New Year for many reasons. I am excited that my house will be completed soon. I am looking forward to making more happy memories with my extended family. I have even met someone special who treats me so well. It’s good that I have been alone for almost two years now because I had lots of time to reflect on what kind of person I would want in my life and so far, he ticks every box. He is calm, kind and thoughtful. He makes me feel so special! When I think of him, it brings tears to my eyes because I now see what I have been missing out on those seven years I spent with my narcissist. I see what a healthy relationship should be. Full of trust and mutual respect, thoughtfulness and feeling safe to be who I am.

I have high hopes for the future now and I wish that for all of you! You deserve to be loved, you deserve to be respected and appreciated for the amazing person you are. Don’t let anyone mistreat you, even for a moment. Life is way too short for that.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

A Single Woman…

I am a single woman. That’s what the mortgage on my construction loan says. I couldn’t help but laugh seeing that description behind my name when I signed those papers. But it was a sweet feeling to see it all spelled out.  I am unattached, unmarried, a loner, free. I do not have to answer to anyone anymore, other than to my children.  So now what?

What have I been doing since I entered the single scene? Well…I have been busy working at my new job, after seven months in, it feels more natural to me now.  It has been an adjustment being a single mother of two children, balancing their needs, their school, my job and everything in between.  As difficult as it is sometimes, I would gladly chose this life again instead of living with the nasty narcissist husband that ruled every aspect of my life.

As much as possible, I have been spending time with family, hanging out with dear friends, and trying to make new ones too. I have been busy writing my blog, running, and planning for my house. I have been pretty occupied when I think about it. I do not get much free time, but when I do, I still seem to find a way to fill it.  I feel like I need to make the most of each second I get now.  After wasting seven years of my life waiting to live on my terms, I don’t want to regret losing any time. But I need to remember that it is important to cherish my downtime too. I love that moment in the morning when the house is all quiet and I can just sit in silence and stare into my hot mug and smell the delicious aroma of my coffee steaming my face as I take each sip. These are the moments when my mind is completely still and the gears haven’t begun to spin. My favorite time of day.

I have always been in a hurry, I am type A as they say. But what this past year has taught me is that things don’t always go according to plan. My motto is “be prepared, be prepared.” But sometimes you cannot be prepared for what life throws at you. Learning how to roll with it is a vital skill to hone. Thus, I am practicing patience and trying my best to take life one day at a time. I look at all I have accomplished these past six months since my divorce was granted, and I am so proud of how I am handling my new life.

I have rekindled my love of music, which I withdrew from when I was married. I hardly ever turn on the TV anymore. I find that I much rather have a quiet house so I can read in the evenings or just be alone with my thoughts. I don’t need distractions anymore because I am comfortable in my own skin and with my decisions now. I finally feel content and happy. I have so much to be thankful for. So far, being a single woman has been a gratifying experience and I am enjoying figuring out who I am again.

Realizing You Have Become Stronger After Enduring Narcissist Abuse…

Now that I am safely divorced and apart from my narcissist, I feel more invigorated by the day. I am on a path of discovery that I couldn’t comprehend one year ago. It is somewhat true what they say about “time healing all wounds.” Although time does help, it does not heal if you do not look within yourself to discover how deep your wounds have been inflicted.

It was shocking when I put some time and distance between the painful experiences I endured to recognize just how miserable and controlled I was living day to day. I was not living, I was merely surviving at best. I was incredibly altered when I married that man. Every day was a torment. He never asked me how I was sincerely, nor did he care. I had to repeat myself like a parrot because he never listened to what I had to say, unless he realized that he could save it up and twist it somehow to use against me later. A narcissist has no interest in you or anything you care about, because all their minds can wrap around is their own. They have no capacity to truly love, they are merely an empty shell of a human being.

Now that I am done with that part of my life, I have been focusing on my wants and my needs for the first time in almost a decade and it feels so wonderful! I hardly ever think of him, unless it is to remember he is calling to talk to the kids. I don’t waste my thoughts on him if I can help it, he does not control me anymore. But it is interesting how his abuse can still haunt me over the simple things I do now.

When I find my mind jumping to a moment where he would abuse me in the past, I experience a great wave of appreciation that I don’t have to endure it anymore. It hits me like a jolt, then I try to push it to the side and move on. I used to hate when these moments jostled me, however, now I take a second to be grateful for them because I no longer have to live under his rule. These moments solidify my fortitude.
I almost relish it when he tries to upset me know, because I just laugh and shake it off. He has lost his power over me and he knows it. He has not tried to upset me as much either because he knows he doesn’t have the same effect on me that he used to. One time at the pick up of the kids, he was talking to me about something that upset him and I looked at him and casually threw my head back and laughed. He looked at me stunned and confused. I wish I could have taken a picture of his reaction because it was priceless.

What I am trying to say is that the longer you are away from your narcissist and go “no contact” as much as possible, the better you will begin to feel.  As the days and moments slowly pass after you have left, only then can the wounds finally have a real chance to start the healing process. With this distance, you will be able to look deep into yourself and figure out what parts are missing and what parts you need to repair.  With time, you will get to the point where the narcissist’s actions annoy you rather than upset you. You will be annoyed that you didn’t see through his or her antics sooner, you will become irritated that you used to let it bother you so much in the past. When you get to this point, you will realize how much stronger you are now. It is a wonderful and powerful place to be! This is YOUR time, relish it!

 

 

My little birdie…

After spending seven years stuck in a marriage to a narcissist, I got used to being in the dark. After all, he never would tell me about his past life before me. He would just tell me the bare minimum and gloss over the details. I always thought that it was strange, as I am an open book. I enjoy talking about the past, it helps me see how far I have come in my life. I am a huge fan of reminiscing. I am a scrapbooker for goodness sake! While I would have jumped at the idea of looking at baby pictures or embarrassing junior high photos of my ex, he never wanted to even show me. Also, he could care less about looking at mine. I figured that maybe he was just not a sentimental guy. Why else would he not care, or else strive to conceal his past?

Well, after I divorced him, there were so many unanswered questions lingering about who he really was. The man I thought I was marrying was not at all who he turned out to be, he transformed into a stranger on our honeymoon. That is a story for a later time. Well, it is funny how fate can intervene when you least expect it to help give you closure. While I was attending a conference for my work, a new colleague (who I will rename, Brad) sat down next to me and we began chatting. He asked me about my divorce and if it was amicable? I then told him a little bit about my divorce and how my ex was only amicable at the mediation because he had a new girlfriend who he already had impregnated. Brad couldn’t believe it and then he asked me if my ex was a foreigner.  I laughed and said no, and explained that my ex was from a nearby town. Well, then Brad asked what my ex’s last name was and when I told him, he was floored. He then said “Oh my God! Your ex is a relative of mine!”

I was embarrassed at first and thought well… I am sorry if you are offended that I have something unflattering to say about your relative. But before I could say that, Brad spoke up and told me that he is only a second cousin of my ex and that he always stayed away from that side of the family because he thought that my ex, as well as my ex’s Mom, Dad and other three brothers were very strange. Brad stated that my ex was always condescending and an asshole at family reunions. He said that he always thought of my ex as someone who would get a mail-order bride someday. I couldn’t believe everything he was telling me about my ex. It was awesome! Brad then asked me what I though about my ex getting dishonorably discharged from the military? I shockingly said, what??? My ex never told me that! He told me that he got out of the military after he finished up his time. But Brad said that my ex was definitely dishonorably discharged for some reason that he was not aware of.

When I think about it, I remember that my ex was married to his first wife during his three year service in Okinawa, Japan and I wouldn’t doubt that he cheated on his wife while she was staying back in America to finish up school. That makes more sense to me, he always said that SHE cheated on him while he was overseas, but I do know that the military will dishonorably discharge an officer for that kind of behavior. It does fit the narcissist m.o., whereby they claim others are guilty of the very conduct that they are guilty of. I would bet money on it that he cheated on her, not the other way around. Then he lies to me and hides his shady past and wants me to pity him and see him as a dutiful soldier. What a pack of lies!

But wait, it gets better… Brad then asks me what I thought about the first girl that my ex knocked up? I knew that my ex got his high school girlfriend pregnant, which that child is all grown up now. The boy is in his 20’s and changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name because of some reason I never knew. My ex really did not have anything to do with this boy, as my ex always blamed the mother for “turning his son against him.” Anyways, my ex never went into details about that boo boo. He blamed her for “getting pregnant on purpose to prevent him from going to West Point.” He then said that she was a “crazy manipulator.” Well, Brad went on to reveal the next shocker, he said that the family gossip was that my ex actually raped her. Well, that blew my mind! It all makes sense now! That explains why there is strained relations there, also it explains why he never wanted to tell me details. They were too horrible. Brad thinks it was a rape because she was underage and my ex pressured her into it, not actually with physical force. But that is bad enough in my eyes. I remember that my ex pushed me into sex before I was ready, much too soon, so I can easily see him doing that to others.

My little birdie unveiled several other tidbits about my ex’s strange family and their schemes. I told Brad that all I ever wanted was to fit in to the family of whoever I married. But that I never could fit in with them, I was always an outsider to them. Brad then quickly said, “It’s a good thing that you never fit in with them, they are all crazy! It shows that you are a good person.” That made me laugh out loud! We even had lunch together so he could fill me in on other details. Another scary thing Brad told me was that he could see my ex as being one of those fathers that abducts their children and runs away to another country. I must say that scares me to death, especially since my two very level headed parents have been saying that is one of their fears too.

At the end of the day, I thanked Brad profusely for being more honest with me in the span of an afternoon than I got from my ex in all of seven years. Brad said that he felt bad that he was having to tell me the dirt on my ex, and said that he felt like he was betraying his own family a little bit in revealing this to me. But then he said that out of all the divorces that he has seen, that mine was the most troubling and that he was so happy that I was able to get away from such an awful man.

When you come out of a relationship with a narcissist, you will inevitably wind up alone, in the dark, and full of questions. Just when I had stopped looking for answers and was living my life, some answers found their way to me. What is important is not all of the details as to why you were lied to, but that you got away. I still wont know everything and that is OK with me. I am just so thankful that I saw my chance to run and I took advantage of it.

The Divorce Mediation

The day of my divorce mediation (six months ago), I was a bundle of nerves. I anticipated a big waste of time. I had to drive six hours that day, three hours there and back with my Dad, my rock. When I walked into the door, I had little to no expectations. I figured that my narcissist would want to draw out our divorce as long as humanly possible. I could not have been prepared for what was about to happen. We never saw each other at the mediation, we were in separate rooms the whole time. So, I never even caught a glimpse of him, which I was thankful for. In that room, my attorney explained that if we did not come to an agreement and wanted to let a judge decide our marital asset split, that it could be six months till we even got a court date! That was a scary thought for me because I was anxious to end this and move on with my life. I was exhausted of the unknown, I was terrified of what the narcissist had up his sleeve. Up till that point, he would threaten to call his attorney over the smallest detail, thus racking up MY attorney fees that I was responsible for paying for.

To my surprise, we reached an agreement that day. It was not what I felt was totally fair, but I was thankful to get it over with, plus I was going to be getting something from the mediation, which is better than nothing. I contemplated at the signing of our settlement agreement…why? Why is he coming to any agreement when he said that he wanted to go to court at one point after I filed for divorce? I thought that maybe the reason he was unusually agreeable was because he wanted to marry his Ukrainian live in au pair/girlfriend. Maybe that was it? I thought I may have some bargaining power because of that possibility.

Anyways, the moment the papers were signed, my attorney said I should leave first and my ex would be cued to leave after I had gotten to my car. So we would not have to undergo the hurtful, awkward moments of the end of our relationship when it was still raw. So, when dad and I got to my car, we drove away and my heart was racing because I really did not want to accidentally run into my narcissist. Then when the coast was clear, we had a very long drive back home. My Dad and I sat in silence for the most of the ride.

The past 5 hours of the mediation were echoing through my mind. Then I had a vision of my ex, walking out of the mediation building, alone… to his car. I pictured him, driving alone…back to his house, feeling defeated and depleted. I remember feeling overwhelming guilt and shame at that moment. I felt terrible that our relationship had come to this. I felt that even though he was a horrible husband, and abusive in many ways, I felt terrible that my leaving him would cause him any hurt or pain. I felt responsible at that moment for any distress and I couldn’t help but to burst into tears. I never want anyone that I care for or use to care for to suffer, even if they do bring it on themselves. I can’t explain it any other way than that I am an empath.

However, I did not know it yet, but the reality of the situation was so far left of anything that I could have pictured. Because five months later, I find out that at that time, end of December 2016, my narcissist went home to his two months pregnant girlfriend, happy that he stuck it to me.

So, in reality, I was wasting more of my time feeling sorry for my narcissist ex-husband. I was making the common mistake of thinking that he had any human-like emotion. Here I was feeling bad that he was sad and alone, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. One of my work colleges made the comment about my ex in saying that, “He has plenty of empathy…for himself.” That is so true. Narcissists care only about themselves, the fact that we empaths ever put them first is the biggest mistake of all.

We must remember that narcissists are not normal, they are hardwired to look out for number one, they don’t care about you. My narcissist left the mediation happy, he was thrilled because he already had secured his next victim, the 25 year old Ukrainian that he had knocked up in order to trap her so she can serve up his narcissistic supply. Knowing all of this now makes me sad, not because he did this, but that I feel bad for ever feeling bad about leaving him in the first place.

Narcissists treat you like a child

When I was a little girl, I remember thinking that “I cannot wait until I grow up because then I can make my own decisions without always being told what to do!” Well, now that I am a woman in my mid thirties, you would think I had been living the childhood dream of ultimate freedom. However, up until one year ago, I was not. I finally put my finger on it! My narcissist treated me like a child at all times. He continuously questioned my choices, making me overly cautious and dependent upon his opinions. I felt like he knew better, not just because he persistently said that he did, but also because I was always wrong in his eyes. When narcissists continuously abuse you to think that you cannot even make the smallest decisions without their input, your confidence and sense of self is stripped away and your inner voice becomes childlike.

When I was married to my narcissist, I lived in a state of constant frustration. I was frustrated at not being heard, I was frustrated at never being right, I was frustrated that I could not make a normal, healthy choice about my life without his “permission.” He had overwhelming control over every aspect of my life. I even had to ask him for his consent to visit my parents, or go to the store, or even to the bathroom. If I didn’t, and I started to walk out of the room, he would shout at me “Where are you going Mommy?” Then I would get irritated after being so micromanaged in every instance that I wanted to scream!

The reason that the narcissist treats you like a child is because s/he is threatened by you. You outshine them in every way and they know it deep down because narcissists have low self esteem despite the fact that most display an overabundance of confidence. It is just for show. The narcissist chose you to be their victim because they thought that you were a valuable asset to their image. They were so impressed by your amazing qualities, they wanted to capture you and bottle you up in order to keep you all to themselves. Then they chip away at all those qualities that drew them to you in the first place because they are intimidated by you. You are their property now.

Looking back, I still remember the sick, sinking feeling I endured when I knew my narcissist was displeased with me. Which was a daily occurrence. I felt like a child who was in trouble with it’s parent and was awaiting the punishment that was sure to follow. I wouldn’t treat my own two children like he treated me, I respect and trust my children and love them for the wonderful individuals that they are. That is how love should be, unwavering and forgiving. It is sad but true, if you are involved in a toxic narcissistic relationship, get out! They will suffocate your soul and reduce you to a fraction of yourself.