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Curing narcissism
January 2, 2006
3:38 pm
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prettyinpink
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snow

I hope you are feeling better. Strepthroat is so unpleasant...nothing that medication can't fix, tho'. Feel better soon! I'm sorry too about your dog...that hurts so much I'm sure. I have two cats, one of them my NH gave to me over 6 years ago. If he was in the mood, my H would love her lying on him, but if he wasn't he'd shoo her off, with no regard at all for her feelings. She's a real lapcat. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he could just 'leave her & I behind' as if we don't exist anymore.

I know when I talk to some friends, they are suspiscious of my referring to my NH as a N, probably cause some people are allergic to 'labelling'. I work in the 'special needs field', and I don't see it as this. When someone is 'identified', lets say as a N, all it does really, is help us to understand WHO we are dealing with. Realizing that my H was more a N, than BP has helped me to understand his crazymaking behaviors, paranoia, and such, and is helping me to 'accept' that the abuse had abit of a 'twist' to it....a Jekyll/Hyde twist....a pathological twist. There is NO question in my mind that N are real,as WD has said, and for us 'normals' it IS torture living with them, being subjected to the emotional yo-yo & up-down, unpredictability. It's crazy-making!!

Other than two emails re a mixup in mail & dropoff at each other's mailboxes (so impersonal), there's be NC for 9wks. I am working on accepting that the person that I miss & feel that I love, is, as you are saying 'free spirit', the man I thought he was, the Jekyll part of him. He would tell me, 'all you think about and remember is my anger, my exploding, you don't hear what it is that I'm really upset about'. Basically he would PICK something to get upset about (like where the litterbox was, or me putting a blanket on a chair for the cats, and want me to 'agree' with him. If I so much as 'opposed' him on anything at all, or gave reasons why I did what I was doing, he said I was 'challenging him'. Even in his work, I know that that is what people have noticed, how one cannot 'oppose' my H on anything....or he starts devaluing that person & they are his enemy!!
I wonder if others of you have noticed this too about their N....that you 'cannot disagree' with them??

Sending lots of TLC & encouragement to all of you here who are have NC....I know how hard it can be. Happy New Year!! Pink

January 2, 2006
3:53 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Matteo,

I'm not sure which judgements of mine regarding people's dysfunctions. you are referring to--at least not on this thread. I do have some judgement about people who are sadistically abusive, and Im gonna hang onto those judgements.

To me, the description of "inverted narcissist" sounds like a synonym for "victim of chronic abuse." My main problem with Vaknin's tone is when he makes it sound like victims want to be abused or have it coming to them or something.

January 2, 2006
3:56 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Yes, the erm "inverted narcissist: was coined by Vaknin, et al.

http://www.healthyplace.com/co.....ve_20.html

January 2, 2006
3:59 pm
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Worried_Dad
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What Wilkepedia has to say about inverted narcissism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....narcissism

January 2, 2006
4:54 pm
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snowlover
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Pink.....definitely....disagreeing with him was NOT acceptable. As long as I agreed with everything he did or said, as long as I never complained, voiced an opinion, got upset, showed any emotions, or asked to have my needs met....things were fine. But the moment I spoke up I was whiny, needy, never satisfied, a nag, a bitch, impossible to live with and a million other things he would throw in my face.

And forget about getting any kind of emotional support. Several months back I found a lump in my breast, and for several weeks I was absolutely TERRIFIED. he did nothing to support me, went to no doctor appts with me, never asked me any questions. It was just the opposite actually. he avoided the subject completely.

I think one of the worst things he did to me in recent memory was September 2004. his father was VERY ill, dying of heart conditions. The last few months of his life I was the primary caregiver. I wasnt working at the time, so I was doing anything I could to help out. I drove 45 miles one way every single day to see his dad, shop for him, take him to dr appts, spend time with him, clean his house, anything that he needed. When his father passed away he became enraged with me. he said the only reason i did any of the things I did was for the glory I got out of it. All I cared about was making myself look better. I was devestated. I did it because I loved both him and his father, and knew the help was needed. I couldnt believe he really thought that about me.

Anytime someone would tell him they liked me, or I was nice, he took it as a personal insult against him. In his mind, if someone liked ME, then they must not like HIM. I got to the point where I just stayed away from people because I didnt want anyone to say anything nice about me. To this day I battle with the scars from that. I never know if I should believe if people say they like me.

The things he has done to my self esteem and my opinion of myself and others is something I may never forgive him for.

Snow

January 2, 2006
5:21 pm
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Matteo
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Worried Dad,

On both those sites you pointed here Vaknin says: “Inverted Narcissism is a term that we invented here, in this list - BUT we did not invent the condition.” And this is exactly what I said about it in my previous post. The condition of IN is not invented by Vaknin, it is quite rare and it was described before under different names.

The scientific community doesn’t approve? Too bad for them; they have a lot of homework to do.

What is that you are trying to prove here anyway? Being skeptical just for the sake of it??

Both N and IN are victims of chronic abuse. Your empathy is quite selective towards the victims of abuse, especially considering how much you’ve learnt about it.

Or did you?

January 2, 2006
8:26 pm
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free spirit
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Hi everyone,

Just checking in after some retail therapy, haha - probably spent too much money, but was so busy all day I didn't have time to think about my recent break-up.

Matteo - I wanted to post to you earlier, my heart goes out to you, living with a Narcissistic mother - it doesn't matter if you refer to it as Inverted Narcissism, Narcissistic supply or whatever, in the end it's all semantics. I know what my 4 years where like - I can't imagine living with this any longer. Your mother obviously could not meet your needs growing up, and that must have been difficult. Hopefully you had a close relationship with your father to help? But you sound like you are doing incredibly well with it, so hat's off to you. Also cudos for the long time of no contact - 3 1/2 months, you and Taj64 are role models for the rest of us. Can I ask you two how you did it and what helped you along the way? If I'm being too personal just tell me to mind my own business. Sometimes hearing how others cope helps me. I remember reading one comment by Kathygy about not allowing a relationship to compromise her serenity and I have thought about that alot lately.

Whidbey, Snow, Lass, Prettyinpink - the similarities in all our stories are incredible. I too have so many of these. Soon, when I am done with the raw pain of this I am going to be looking at what kept me in the relationship for so long (4 years). There had to be some pay-off for me. It also took a Counselor to point out to me that he is a Narcissist - and I am in the mental health field, incredible.

Worried Dad - I have long admired your insight, empathy and logical approach to numerous topics on this site - I enjoy reading your posts, they are always thoughtful. You have obviously done your homework on this topic. I take it you have no personal experience with a N? Yeah - I would wish that on nobody!!

Along time ago my N guy disappeared for a week without my knowing where he was - I was frantic with worry imagining him to be at the bottom of a lake or something - he was supposed to be with me on an out of town trip. This was his first disappearance and there were many to follow. Anyway, my dad pointed out to me that something like that was an indicator of his character, not just a simple mistake. I was not ready to hear those words at that time, but think often of them now. Character too is very enduring and simply cannot be reshaped easily.

It also comforts me to know he is struggling in his other relationships (I hope that's not sick). For some reason I was always envious of the others in his life (they were always there, but he was never honest)and I always thought he was living a great relationship with someone else. He is not and will not because of who he is. All his life his relationships with women have been chaotic and his current ones are also filled with strife. I will not romantize or idealize that anymore. He will always struggle with relationships.

I find posting on the site a huge help in processing my feelings - I am still dealing with some strong feelings about all this and very newly into the no contact. He has not attempted to contact me at all but somehow this is not surprising to me as he always seemed to know when I wouldn't answer calls somehow. He was always "punishing" me by not calling or answering his phone when he was not happy with me - very abusive behavior.

I have lately not been playing the game with him at all - and I have been working on detaching, and being honest with myself by not playing the verbal games he was so good at. He has other sources of supply in his life right now so maybe he will go quietly away from me.

I have learned a lot from this relationship about what I want and don't want. I have learned to like living alone because I have been alone so much, I have learned to "turn the other cheek" or walk away because I had to do this with him so much.

I want 2006 to be a year of healing and happiness for me and my family and I am trying to remake my attitude. I have spent so much time hurting, crying, sad, angry, and frustrated that I am going to do my best now to be happy, life is too short to be sad. I wish the same for everyone one of us dealing with a Narcissist or in the process of a break-up!!

Good luck you guys!!

January 2, 2006
9:02 pm
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Matteo,

Actually there is no clear cause for NPD, just like there is no clear cause for psychopathy.

I am not trying to "prove" anything. But some of Vaknin's work appears to be self-serving in the sense that it feels like victim-blaming to me.

I have sympathy for victims of abuse. I do not have sympathy for abusers. What am I supposed to do, feel sorry for wife beaters because they had a tough childhood?

Most victims of chronic abuse do not become abusers themselves. People have choices about their behavior and they have responsibility to choose correctly.

So yes, I do put abusers and their victims into completely different categories.

Am I to understand that you are taking up the defense of abusive persons, based on their putative history of having been victimized themselves?

January 2, 2006
11:21 pm
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Lass
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Oh all of yous!

I am so glad to be on this thread with you. Just reading you and knowing I am not alone in this helps more than you realize. People who have not been with an N do nt entirely understand. They say rather hurtful things like, get over it, he's not that into you, he has simply moved on and you should too. It's not that pat, nor easy.

The part of me that resonates with the IN label is that I am somewhat masochistic, desiring to please a temperamental person and win favor. This being a huge repeat of my growing up with both Mom and Dad. I loooooong to turn the exbf around to adoring me again. Or even to obtain his negative attention, better than none. It is a real struggle for me to salvage my self worth. I kind of fell in the cesspool again. I am deeply hurting over this man right now, and every post on this thread is being read and reread.

My friend last night really hammered me with the idea that this was my creation. That it has largely taken place in my own mind. That I fantasized him into somebody he wasn't, that I have colorized him fantastic. He owned that exbf had shown me some attention in ways I needed it, but that by and large he had given me nothing. It was all going on in my fantasy head. Could be. But what am I to do with it? It is right there right now, and I am struggling to find the anger I had at him earlier months back for what he had been doing.

My friend says not to get caught in getting angry, that the problem resides with me. He even said he thought I was an N to keep carrying on this way. I am faced with confusion and not a lot of practical help. I don't really think I am an N. My heart was largely happy as a child, though scarred by being around dysfunction. I learned to be alone to be safe. It feels like a trap now, though. I want to reach out, but it always seems to lead to some guy being attracted to me.

My friend says I should go find someone to have a brief affair with to break free from this obsession. At this point, in this much pain, I am almost willing to do this. I have a friend whom I talked with about it, exbf's old sponsor. I asked him if he would feel used by helping me to try to break free. We are both Christians, and don't want to do anything inapproriate, but clearly have some attraction that could work me free from this near insane obsession I am caught in. I almost feel like I am losing my soul, my mind.

Please help me get back on track. Please pray.

LL

January 2, 2006
11:24 pm
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snow.... It's really incredible the similarities. I think you are wonderful to have looked after your N's father. My opinion? I think he felt 'guilty' that HE didn't care for his father as he probably should have, and he knew that you truly cared. I think too, in my experience, that a N cannot allow anyone else to be more important than they are....image is huge with them too. He had to tear you down, cause otherwise you might just feel good about what you did, and he can't have you feeling too good.

When it came to being with friends, even my sons.....my NH was VERY jealous. I would always 'pay' somehow....even just talking on the phone. HE wanted to be the ONE, the CENTER, and needed alot of attention, whether positive or negative, didn't matter. He went from playing the 'domineering BOSS' to 'poor me', that way he always got the 'focus'.

I understand what you are saying about when someone would compliment you....unless my NH would see what was said as 'reflecting on him', he didn't want to hear it.

I realize now that he saw me as a 'possession'. When I would help him with his work, and we were with alot of people, if a MAN talked to me, he would come over & say, jokingly, "heh, that's my wife,....don't flirt with her", but he wouldn't TREAT ME as his precious wife. He meant it, he was serious. I belonged to HIM.

The second last thing he said to me was, 'you aren't as likeable as you think you are'. My self-esteem was probably low to begin with (making me an easy 'target'), but over the years HAS definately been worn away. The wearing away was gradual on his part. I DID keep up my friendships, tho', and naturally that angered my NH alot.....made the situation worse, but better for me in the end. He would be moody, make remarks, say the meanest things, cruel, with no regard to my own needs/feelings at all. Keep your chin up....you're doing great!

free spirit...I did have an inkling that my H was N, but didn't think much about it& didn't really understand what that meant...it was early on in the relationship, when he was still in the 'adhoration phase'....we married, and the 'devaluation' began. I remember feeling so 'desperate', in a state of constant 'shock' for years really, not believing that the man who told me that he loved me, could treat me so badly. Seemed 'unreal'...believing a 'fantasy' was my survival. I'd grown so 'attached' to my NH, and feel as tho' even now that I am going thru the equivalent of 'detox'. It was my therapist of 4yrs that pointed out that my H is a BP, which I do believe, but thru my own reading/understanding feel that he's more N, but BP as well.

I too felt a sense of relief when I discovered over time that 'others' to do with his work, KNOW the truth about him, see thru his CHARM, his manipulative, controlling, double-standard, N ways. Somehow it feels better knowing that others know the truth about him, cause he's 'good', very, very good with his MASKS!

My NH did the same thing around the phone calls. He'd lie to me about why he didn't answer his cell when he was out, he would not call me, I know, cause he knew I wanted him to....sick games, all about control really....somehow he's had this 'sick need' to make me feel bad....sadistic!

You are giving us all strength here re developing a 'new attitude'...thanks free spirit. 2006 IS a new year, and let it be a positive one for all of us!! Pink

January 2, 2006
11:57 pm
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Worried Dad,

We are not talking about wife beaters here, but Narcissists. You believe that the reason for NPD is not clear; I believe that there might be several reasons, and that one of them is chronic abuse in the childhood. There are various degrees and many kinds of abuse beside wife assault. I am quite sure that the scientific community is still in diapers in regards with diagnosing, understanding the affects and healing processes of various forms of abuse. Therefore we cannot state that most of the people who were abused do not become abusers. Maybe they don’t become, as you called them, wife beaters. But a person who was abused in childhood might become very strict – or neglectful parent – and thus become an abuser.

I don’t think that Vaknin’s work is self-serving and that is blaming the victims. From what I understood he is pointing out that those who live and put up with N are not mentally healthy – I guess “normal” in your vocabulary, because if they were, they would leave N very early on or never got into a relationship with N in the first place. I agree with his statement. You’ve said that he is talking about their masochistic tendencies. And I agree with him once again. If you carefully read those threads, over and over again people are expressing their pain resulting from relationships with Ns. And yet, time after time you can see that (If you read the posts) that they are craving their presence no matter what. If they (myself included) would be emotionally perfectly healthy they would not miss them, they would never want to even think about them again and would celebrate their departure. Somehow that is not the case and this is what Vaknin is pointing out.

On the other hand your statements “two phony people without empathy could get along at a superficial level”. “wacky stuff...inverted narcissism”, “they treat people like dirt” are not only false but totally lack respect for them as human beings. Not to mention, they are counterproductive. Nobody wants you to feel sorry for them, like I do. But I look at them from very personal perspective. If you would not disrespect them as human beings, that would be sufficient. I wouldn’t expect you to respect them as such, but please abstain from that kind of remarks. Those people have no empathy for others, or not much of it; nevertheless they have feelings, and lots of them. They experience turmoil of pain, fear and uncertainty, just like all of us do, only to higher degree. But I am not sure how much mainstream psychology talks about it. Probably not a lot.

I wonder how much personal experience do you have in regards with N. You seem to forget that those scholars, if they are of any use, had to draw their knowledge from listening to the testimonies of people who had personal experience in any given subject, be that abuse or N as an example. If you read threads on this site, you would notice that there is an incredible wealth of knowledge coming from personal experience and everyone who is interested can learn and benefit tremendously from it. Instead of validating it and taking advantage, you are choosing skepticism and preoccupation with scholar’s theories. Please try to remember that there were times when scholars were sure that Sun is circulating around flat Earth. Every theory should be supported by the wealth of evidence, because otherwise is just that : a theory.

January 3, 2006
12:17 am
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Thank you guys for the great information on degrees of NPD.

It's much appreciated.

January 3, 2006
12:38 am
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free spirit,

Hi – I like your name!

Thanks for your kind words. Yeah, after all this time I am not doing that badly, indeed.

Life with my mother? I was the best behaving, the quietest and the most polite child you can imagine. And, despite, I never was good enough. I felt loved when she could brag about my achievements, because I was her child. I was pretty but only because she was pretty. But she was beautiful; I was just pretty, according to her. I wasn’t allowed friends at home, I had no pets. I was the only child, living in a secluded house. She was very strict and angry with me often, but also often very affectionate.

Later on I was rebellious, so I wasn’t perfect anymore. She was very different than all the other mothers, but I always hoped that she loves me...It took me the longest time to understand that she doesn’t really love me. But when I told her about it, she said that she does I guess she loves me in her understanding. Hmm, you really made me think about her...

My father loved me unconditionally, but he died when I was 14. I had a great aunt who also loved me unconditionally, and often took care of me, but mostly after I went to school, so I was lucky to be loved by others. But my mother had the biggest influence on me until I was 6 years old (when my brain was forming, according to mainstream theories). She took excellent care of me in regards with food, cleanliness, clothing, routine, etc. Just bit toooo demanding, too little accepting, not very forgiving.

My no contact is only 3 months, I started posting my letters here instead of throwing them into the bottomless dwell of his e-mail box, there is no response from him, no matter which way I do it, so what is the difference? We can talk about it more on the other thread (no contact) if you wish.

Have a Happy N Free New Year 2006!

January 3, 2006
1:15 am
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Matteo,

I think we are coming closer to understanding one another. I can see that you have put some intellectual rigor into this issue and I respect you for that. I will work with you and try to understand and clarify the exposition of the philosophy you are describing. I do not think that we are necessarily diabolically opposed here. Let us each try to extend our little bridge across the chasm in hopes of meeting in the middle. Or as close as we can come to that.

You will get no disagreement from me that psychology is still an infant science, still in its diapers. (!!!I love that metaphor, by the way-- good one. Hee hee. ) The stupidity of professionals who encounter abuse, for example, has been very, very, very well-documented. I am one of those documenters.

I hope that you can at least take me at my word when I tell you: I am trained clinician, and educator and a professional research scientist. I have found an important part of my life’s work and vocation. That vocation is: scholar of pathologies of relationships, with special attention to domestic violence. I am a domestic violence educator. It is important to me. It is almost the most important thing to me in the world.

So know that when you say that there are other forms of abuse besides wife beating that I hear you loud and clear. Yes, I am very much convinced that there are many subtle and not-so-subtle ways of injuring people, especially children, that do not meet the legal definitions of rape or assault and battery. In fact, I’m writing a book about it.

January 3, 2006
1:29 am
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Matteo,

You wrote: "We are not talking about wife beaters here, but Narcissists."

My first contention with you is about definitions. Remember that the people who get diagnosed with these disorders are mainly people who have been ordered by a court to submit to psychiatric analysis and diagnosis. Our knowledge of personality disorders is currently based primarily on our studies of people who have exhibited a pattern of extreme and destructive criminal behavior...including wife-beating. Psychiatrists examine these incarcerated felons and try to figure out "why" they did it, or "what" makes them tick.

Sam Vaknin, for example,
"learned" that he was an N because he was a convicted, incarcerated felon who was evaluated by a psychiatrist while in prison. His diagnosis was a kind of epiphany to him that inspired him to write about his condition.

January 3, 2006
2:38 am
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*****Someone here posted, not too long ago, I believe (probably garfield--she's great!) about the recovery period from a break-up with an N being very, very different than a normal relationship. I think it is in one of Snow's recent threads.****

I would be real interested in rdg this post if someone could drag it over here, please?

LL

January 3, 2006
7:41 am
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Snow, it was the same with my ex-N as far as the attention. While I was down in CA taking care of him for that six weeks, I met some of his friends, two couples. I got along with them great. We went out to dinner a couple of times during those weeks. The second time we were invited out, I was in the kitchen washing dishes. Ex-N came up to me, after a phone call and stated, "It seems my friends really like you." Innocent enough statement, but the way it was said was sort of a "puzzled amazement" in his tone. I remember being taken a bit aback at the way he said it, as if it were something remarkable. Then, at that dinner, a lot of the attention was on me, since I was leaving in a couple of days. We were all talking and generally having a good time. Toward the end of the meal, while I was in the middle of a conversation with one of the wives, some of them still hadn't finished eating, ex-N suddenly interrupts my conversation with "Hey, let's go have a cigarette break." I was, again, stunned speechless at the rudeness of that. People were still eating, we were all in the middle of a conversation at a dinner that was both for his birthday and saying goodby to me as I was leaving in a few days to come home. I thought for a few seconds and said, "No, I'm not quite ready," because I couldn't even begin to imagine how rude it would have been to get up from that table in the middle of a dinner these people were treating us to. It was a very awkward moment, and I know I wasn't the only one kind of surprised or stunned by it. One of the guys kinda jumped in, I suppose, to help ex-N save face and said he would go out with him, which they did. Trust me, he doesn't smoke that much that he would have to get up in the middle of a meal to go outside. He had never done something like that before, ever, in the entire year I had known him.

In looking back at it, I realize he did this because all the attention wasn't on him and that the dinner wasn't all about him. He did NOT want to share me with his friends.

The phone calls, or lack thereof, with no closure of the relationship, not answering the cell when they know it is you, etc., seems to be a classic control gimmick. Luckily, I stopped the calls a month or more ago. After that is when I got the "bike ride, good sex" call, pretending, well, whatever he was pretending in his mind. Uh, no thanks.

Lass,
I'm truly not telling you what to do, honestly. All I can say, from past exerience, is that if it were me, I definitely wouldn't quickly go out and have a meaningless affair while trying to process this type of thing. For me, it would cloud over the entire situation and block my ability to learn any lessons I could learn. Besides, the other person could potentially be hurt, and I would never want to do that to anyone. However, you need to do what is right for you. 🙂 I would say follow your heart AND mind on that before you decide.

January 3, 2006
11:29 am
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Hello everyone,

Lass, Oh my God...Reading your words I felt like I could have written them myself. I know EXACTLY what your going through and I am soooo sorry for your pain. I to reread the threads pertaining to N and getting over loss. If we could only stop longing for the N. Everyone tells me it is a decision only we as individuals can make. You, I and many others on this site seem to having a very difficult time deciding to let go of the very relationships that have sucked us of our self-esteeem and self-respect.

This time will be different. This time he will love me. Why do I cling on to this fallacy? Logic says run away, heart says hold on for dear life. I can't see life without him. My life has become so barren. I go through my days since the break up in a zombie like state. Every second just as torturous as the previous moment. Everyone tells me to think of something else, to work out, to focus on something I enjoy doing. I can't do it. I don't know how.

Perhaps I am not as strong as all of you. My only motivation to live is to avoid hurting my family ( I don't have children). If he would come back my life would have meaning again. How sad I gave everything to him and now I don't have a clue as to how to get my life back. It's like I died the day he left. What is left is a shell...a pain ridden shell.

I hope all of you are doing better than I am. I'm SURE you are. Happy New Year to you and yours. Thank you for being there for me during this difficult time.

I am obviously not doing well. I wish I had better news today. I miss my exN very much. It seems he took my motivation to live with him when he left me. I make it through each hellish day for my friends and family. I don't want to hurt them so here I am...barely breathing, eating, sleeping, in a foggy haze seeing the world through tear stained glasses. The sun shines, yet all I see is darkness.

I am surrounded by people, yet I'm all alone. Everyone whom loves me doesn't know what to say. They grow frustrated with me because I just don't "snap out of it". I've heard every cliche known to man like "this too shall pass", "time heals all wounds", etc. I've even been accused of enjoying my misery, how else would anyone remain wallowing in self pity?

You ALL on this thread know better...You trully know the depth of my pain...I reach out to you hoping that my some miracle the compassion and kindness of strangers will help me get to the other side...the side filled with light and hope of which I see none right now. I look forward to your responses soon. If you read this far you are trully an angel!

January 3, 2006
12:04 pm
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whidbey
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Oh Pathfinder, please, please hang in there. Think back to a time before N. Was there ever something you would have liked to have done for yourself? Perhaps take a class of some kind, like photography, jewelry-making (that's what I'm doing in a couple of weeks), anything that sparked an interest in you? If so, try and pursue that interest, if you can. You won't feel like doing it, I know. I remember that dead feeling inside. However, if you can get a friend to either do this with you or encourage you to do something like this, then really try and make yourself do it. It will be a struggle to continue it at first, because, frankly, nothing seems to have any real meaning, does it? However, little by little, you will start discovering that 1 minute has gone by when your mind has been on something else, then 5 minutes, and so on. There will be backward steps from time to time, but soon, you will wake up one morning and realize you look forward to getting up and doing something. Take long, vigorous walks by the beach or some body of water. The negative ions are good for your mind and soul, as is the exercise itself. Perhaps see if there is some place you can volunteer in a situation that will help others. A friend, who is going through depression right now, and I were tossing around that idea last evening at dinner. Now, we just have to find something that will fit into both our schedules.

You, and the others can do this, Pathfinder, I KNOW you can. Just know that we're all here for you and in your corner and supporting you all the way. Hugs...

January 3, 2006
1:52 pm
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free spirit
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Hi everyone,

just checking quickly in to let you know I am thinking about all of you. I will post more tonight from my home PC (do not feel I should post from work).

((((pathfinder))) I too feel your pain and I have been there so many times. The depth of pain I have experienced in this relationship is like no other I have experienced. I know life will not get better unless I stay away from my N guy so, I am very determined this time. Everyone does this in their own time.

Could I suggest you go to a Counselor, just for support and validation. I am lucky to have friends who understand and support me. You need that in your life as well. Could you consider anti-depressants? Sometimes the rut is a chemical imbalance which cannot be helped without medication.

I'm so glad this thread has stayed-up, I take so much comfort from it. Someone who knows about these things should perhaps roll it over or start it fresh? I don't know how to do this.

I am struck by all the pain we have collectively experienced. OMG!! I am only interested in getting better and never feeling that again. I am also a firm believer that how you talk to yourself matters a lot. If I tell myself I can get over this, can start fresh and can be happy - I can do it. Fake it till you make it!!

My story is as pain-filled and sad as all of yours. I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired that I'm not doing it anymore. No guts, no glory.

Thanks for the response Matteo - I would like to talk more on the NC thread later if possible.

Lass, it does not sound like your friend who is supporting you is helpful at this time. To throw out the idea that you are an N is not helpful, like WD pointed out - there can only be one. An N would not gravitate to another N. Can you talk to someone else or politely decline to discuss this with that person anymore?

Snow - your guy's comments made me so angry - to have the nerve to say you are only good at sex, and to respond to you after your caring for his father was incredibly insensitive. This guy is amazing. I also found out recently about more deception, lies, etc and I think it's keeping me strong too.

How is everyone else doing? Pretty, Widbey?

I will check again tonight, but am thinking about all you guys - stay strong, we are soooooo much better than this!! And soon we will truly be........

free spirits!!!

January 3, 2006
2:03 pm
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I'm doing well today, Free. Yesterday, was a very mild setback. For some reason, I had the "butterflies," thinking that ex-N was going to call at some point. I told myself that that really wasn't what I wanted (but subconsciously did?), and honestly have nothing left to say, aside from getting that jacket back. I know, if he is even thinking of me at all (I have no doubt that he has already moved on to fresh "supply"), he would only use the jacket as a control mechanism for me to call and ask about it again. I won't do that. He may not even be doing that, but, in fact, just doesn't think about the jacket at all aside from the occasional thought when he sees it hanging in his closet.

On the whole, I'm doing what you said, a lot of "good speak" to myself, and it's working. Hope everyone else is doing okay today too. Each day is another step further away from the abuse and healing of our souls. 🙂 We can do this.... no, we MUST do this. Hugs to all.

January 3, 2006
2:16 pm
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pathfinder....I feel for you so deeply. I DO know what that longing feels like. My friends are what has given me the strength for NC. If it wasn't for them saying, 'if you call him, you may as well erase all the progress you've made up until now', and reading/rereading all the stuff everyone writes here about N and about abuse. You've heard of 'stockholm syndrome'? that's what I know that I've suffered from. We tend to look to our abuser, the very one who abused us, for comfort....it isnt' rational, but it IS often what we who have been abused do. I haven't seen or talked to my NH for 9 weeks now. I DO get depressed, and have actually decided to go on zoloft, an antidepressant, just now, especially with the holiday season (which makes it worse) to get me thru. I'm not going to be a martyr, I'm just looking after myself.

I don't know about you, but I was raised to believe that it's important to look after others before myself. I fall into the classic 'caring, nurturing, loving' category of personality....so, even if I always have looked after myself, it was so easy for my NH to expect that I cater to HIM, give to HIM, pay attention to HIS feelings over mine, HIS needs over mine. The time when he showed that he cared about me or how I felt was when he 'wanted something' from me (to go somewhere, do some work for him, or sex). I was not very good at recognizing when it was coming, cause by the time he was good to me, I was so desperate for love and attention, I'd lick it up like a puppy, and soak in it. Then, soon after, BOOM! It was like I was being his by a truck (again)....the mood swings, the anger, temper tantrum, rage, silent treatment/ignoring, tuning me out.

Jekyll and Hyde....almost a split personality. I miss Jekyll, whom I've been told, cause he's N, is a false self (the MASK), so I'm missing someone that isn't real, missing an 'illusion', the man that I thought he was. What I try to do to help myself is remember the bad stuff. Helps! My expectation for my NH was to go to therapy, BUT I told him that I couldn't live with him while we did our therapy independently, and counselling together, because he's abusive. He had refused to go to therapy for six years, and suddenly he was willing to go? I didn't believe him, cause he told me I could move out to my own place after a few months if it didn't work. I will tell you that if he phoned me and said, 'I'll go to therapy, I don't want to lose you'....well, THEN I would know he wants this. We do have a 12yr history.

Hang in there, Path, what you are feeling is to be expected. Give to yourself, what you would be giving to him, you are worth it! Pink

January 3, 2006
3:09 pm
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free spirit
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lass,

Was this the info you wanted on the recovery:

From Dec 27th - Garfield I think:

Something for you - From Sam's site

Be Realistic Their personality traits are so deeply ingrained the cycles of abuse, bad judgment and inability to cope in a close relationship will continue throughout their lives. We mourn the loss of memories of small laughs and shared experiences. Our slow-healing emotional scars cause us to doubt and question the truth of this ugly reality. We are merely disposable objects to them, and that is incomprehensible to us.

Ground Rules The abuser will certainly react to our use of boundaries. Violence is possible. Setting ground rules as we transform from being their target to taking control of our lives is important. Being tactful, fair and unyielding in our decisions and expectations will go a long way to boosting our self esteem and ending the abuse. Refuse to be a victim.

Take the Pain The process of 'leaving and grieving' is emotionally devastating and lengthy. Get therapy to help. Join a support group to reinforce the fact that you are not alone in this. You are not a victim in this situation, you were targeted. Don't expect other people to understand what you have been coping with. Without having their own experiences with disordered partners, they cannot fully understand and they won't be able to offer the emotional support you need at this time. You will be disappointed if you expect their emotional support. Our emotions will be on a rollercoaster. We have many times when we doubt ouselves, and question the reality. We can expect good and bad days, obsessive thinking, thoughts of revenge and justice. When we're angry, we punch a pillow. Keep a journal, it's wonderful therapy. Surround ourselves with normal people. We need to be firm with ourselves too. We need to ditch that 'if only' or need-for-closure thinking that keeps us hooked wanting to see what's happening in their lives. We need to accept the necessity to detach and be strong to resist the urge to reconnect with them. Time is our best friend. If we do reconnect with this abuser, let's treat it as a learning opportunity. Be easy on yourself. Enjoy the small treats life has to offer. You deserve it. Continued contact with any abuser is dysfunctional behaviour and professional therapy is needed.

Self-impose a “No Contact” rule. One of our strongest tools to recover is the power that comes from our self discipline and silence. Time and distance have a wonderful way of bringing clarity to the situation. It’s the fastest way to heal. These abusers will leave us in the most emotionally crushing way. They choose the timing and they inflict great emotional devastation, and they enjoy doing it. They take what is near and dear to us and crush it as they casually walk away. In time we realize the relationship was doomed to failure, but we don't realize that until later. We will undergo a paradigm shift in changing our ways of thinking about our situations and a painful change of our expectations.

The Nature of the Beast An abuser is not going to make the end of a relationship easy. If you're one of the lucky ones, he'll cut you off cold and you'll never hear from him again. In all probability he'll enjoy watching you squirm as long as he can. He’ll flaunt his new 'soulmate' under your nose. He’ll have her convinced you’re a demon who has gone over the edge, but you know she’s being deceived. He’ll say nasty things about you to anyone he can find. He’ll fight you tooth and nail for every nickel. He’ll try and turn the kids and everybody else against you. He’ll stalk and harass and could become violent. You’ll be having a hard time just coping with the loss of the relationship, let alone the other darts he’ll throw.

Self Analysis Now we’re faced with another beast. Ourselves. When the relationship ends, our self esteem is crushed, we feel humiliated, and we’re setting our feet on a path we never expected. Out of the chaos is the realization that we may have traits that make us vulnerable to these predators. We may be psychologically dependent on the need to have someone, even an abuser in our lives. We find we’re nurturers who have given ‘til it hurts. Often we find we’re naïve, vulnerable and easily deceived or drawn to these types. We may have addictive behaviours or too high a tolerance for bad behaviour. We may learn we were raised in homes we once thought as normal to find we’re preconditioned to accepting bizarre behaviour, or we look the other way because we grew up looking the other way. We may find we have our own personality disorders, or mental health issues. As we learn about mental illnesses we will learn a lot about ourselves too. We are now the rare individuals with first-hand knowledge of these flesh and blood human impersonators. Well, there’s no such thing as bad knowledge. Down the road, we emerge from this experience a lot smarter and more self aware.

Next Time? We will no longer be naive and trusting. We'll take our knowledge of these abusers and learn a few red flags and where their favourite hunting grounds are. We'll pay more attenton to our gut instincts and put any relationships on hold while we watch for more signs, determine the reality of the situation, and we'll protect ourselves more. Being aware of our vulnerabilities will make us a whole lot smarter next time we run into one of them. Yes, we will. Beyond a doubt, we’ll see more of them in the future. The hell you’ve survived will pay off now. You’ll be able to spot one of these fast-talking, smooth-walking con artists and we'll be armed to the teeth with an ability to avoid them and protect ourselves. But, can we always spot them? Of course not. We’re already vulnerable and they can fake and charm their way into anyone’s heart. When we begin to detect the cracks in their behaviour, we'll know to move quickly to escape. The precious gift we give ourselves will be our own self sufficiency. Taking charge of our lives will bring the reward of Peace of Mind

free spirit

January 3, 2006
4:58 pm
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sdesigns
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Lass: Is this it?

"Grieving the loss of a relationship with a Narcissist has many layers. They are not the usual layers of grieving a healthy person. The problem is that some of the layers ARE the same as grieving a healthy person but then there are layers reserved only for the loss of an N relationship, which are not understood by the 'civilian' population and can ONLY be understood by those who have survived a significant relationship with a Narcissist or Psychopath."

SD- I copied this one for myself too.

excerpted froma post by Garfield on Dec. (Grieving an N0. the thread title is Snow- did he call and are you OK?, Dec 30

January 3, 2006
5:16 pm
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Yes, it is like this darn pain never ends, just goes around you in circles, sometimes huge, sometimes very tiny, often somwhere in between, higher, lower, closer, further away; but never wants to leave. When you think that you've progressed so much, it sneaks upon you and suddenly hits you with a full force. It is nothing at all like other grieving. Just like N: you never know when it will leave, nor when it will return to torture you again.

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