Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse Without Validation

October 15, 2015 Guest Author

Recovering from narcissistic abuse is tough and people have to do with without validation of their feelings. Find out how to recover from narcissistic abuse.

One of the tragedies of narcissistic abuse is that victims never get the validation so desperately wanted from their abuser(s), to help them recover from narcissistic abuse.

When a Healthy Person Hurts Someone

When healthy-minded people hurt someone, whether deliberate or not, or whether they agree with an alternate account of what happened or not, it is their validation of the other person’s perspective that allows the other person to recover. And it is that validation that allows the relationship to repair.

When a Narcissist Abuses Others

That never happens with narcissistic abuse. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), by nature, blinds the abusers to their responsibility for the devastation they cause. When confronted with the casualties of their behavior, they always believe that they are the ones being victimized.

Recovering from narcissistic abuse is tough and people have to do with without validation of their feelings. Find out how to recover from narcissistic abuse.Victims of NPD abuse are met with rejection, judgment, dismissal and disproportionate rage at any mention of wrongdoing by the perpetrator. NPD abusers infamously tell their victims to “stop living in the past” or to “get over it already,” even though they remember everything their victims ever did or said and will use these things to hurt them over and over again.

It is very difficult for any of us, abused or otherwise, to move forward from any type of assault or tragedy when our feelings and emotions are so adamantly discounted. It is especially trying for NPD abuse victims who have suffered constant devaluation and “gas lighting” (invalidation) of their perception of reality.

How to Recover from Narcissistic Abuse without Validation

Healing and moving on from pathological narcissistic abuse requires immense inner strength, the very strength that narcissists systematically try to strip from their victims. Survivors must rebuild what they’ve lost, or create what was never created in the first place. That is not an easy feat, but it is an attainable goal; something that must be done for personal sanity and peace of mind.

It doesn’t seem fair. Survivors must do all the work; they need extensive counseling, must stay dignified under the pressure of unfair judgment, must take actions that feel contrary to their natural behavior or inclinations, and must accept the reality that they will never make sense out of the irrational behavior exhibited by their narcissistic abuser.

Survivors have the right to live their lives unencumbered by the abuse of their past. They have the right to live happy lives, despite the malevolent intent of narcissistic abusers that wish them otherwise. And they have the right to do whatever is needed to protect themselves from abusive relationships. Saying “yes” to happiness means saying “no” to toxic relationships.

If you are suffering from narcissistic personality disorder abuse, do not waste another day in pain and feeling powerless. Seek professional help with someone who has lived and fully understands this confusing disorder. Decide to take your power back today.

This article was written by:

Recovering from narcissistic abuse is tough and people have to do with without validation of their feelings. Find out how to recover from narcissistic abuse.Randi Fine is a narcissistic personality disorder abuse expert, radio show host of A Fine Time for Healing, author, and life issues counselor practicing by telephone worldwide. She resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Find Randi on Facebook and on her website.

To be a guest author on the Your Mental Health Blog, go here.

APA Reference
Author, G. (2015, October 15). Recovering From Narcissistic Abuse Without Validation, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 24 from

Author: Guest Author

October, 21 2015 at 9:57 am

Help my kids and i

Dr Musli Ferati
October, 24 2015 at 1:48 am

In daily life, narcissistic personality disorder is very intrigued and perplex entity to distinguish exactly, because every relationship has got specific psycho-social context. However, if any relationship is "toxic", then the issue becomes serious, which one should review and repair, as well. Beforehand, we ought to take in account personal emotional experience that coming up from respective ironic relationship. If any person offend you always and oppose you in any case, without considers the respective circumstances, then it is time to interrupt this relationship. Because this psycho-social undertaking is difficult one, it is preferable to seek professional help or to be consulted with any wise man. Your advise is welcomed. Furthermore, when it is known that anyone has got something good and valuable, which one should serve as motivation to return and repair self-esteem and self-confidence, as well. With these personal considerations the victims of abuse relationship may to escape successfully from narcissistic person. On the other hand, it ought to be be able to say the big "no" without fear and with convincing. The life requires from us to be strong, because the week ones become good for nothing.

October, 27 2015 at 11:01 am

The article says "seek help". From who exactly? The whole reason I'm stuck in this abusive situation is because I can't afford to move out, so how am I going to afford to "seek help"?
There is plenty of help out there for victims of Domestic Violence, but none out there for Verbal and Emotional Abuse.

Joan Yost
October, 27 2015 at 5:16 pm

Teri, you can seek help from places that help people escaping from domestic violence. Verbal and emotional abuse very often lead to physical abuse and the professionals working in this field know this. Depending on where you live, unfortunately, there may not be resources to help you if you don't have physical injuries. If that is the case, start learning what you need to do if you suddenly do have to leave: make a plan and get help from people you trust to not tell your abuser. It can take a long time and planning to get out but you can do it!

November, 1 2015 at 7:32 pm

Teri, I understand your situation. Even within the organizations of "Help", I have encountered various responses that are not helpful at all. I'm still on list of "someone will call you within 10 days to follow up on your intake". This hasn't happened yet...11 months later. Regardless of my many attempts to continue the follow up, nothing has surfaced. I went through 4 years of mental torture from a Psychopath husband, I was the first to uncover the dark side. I'm still trying to recover from that and the aftermath of a legal nightmare. My court experience mirrored my marriage experience. It was an incapacitating blow. I was told the courts only recognize PTSD within the military. I was formally diagnosed twice in the course of the abusive marriage, to the degree of being disabled. My divorce ruling is unheard of, I was awarded nothing...literally...not a week or day of financial provision. Im legally eligible for permanent spousal support! I was a non working and disabled spouse. His salary is in the 500K range. He controlled everything, had the records sealed and my expert witnesses striked. My evidence never reached the courtroom. It is hard copy factual evidence, not Hearsay. I'm on the brink of being homeless, currently hiding out in a sketchy hotel. I've never faced anything like this. I can't do anything about it because I called over 300 attorneys, and legal aid agencies...nothing surfaced there either. Many well meaning people would offer their thoughts. "Why don't you call, contact, try this or that"? I got so tired and my health worsened as I recounted the facts over and over. My ex is a high profile influential individual. He has access to resources I have no ability to secure. I have no recourse, with the exception of a Federal Appeal...but how does one with no funds go about that??? I'm offering you the only help I can, and it's not the help you need to go forward with provision. I have immense empathy and compassion for your situation. It is so sad to be dismissed due to no physical signs. In my case I did have some physical abuse, though primarily it was chronic mental torture. Police were dispatched, resulting in "incident reports" only. If there wasn't blood or black eyes, it was insignificant. This is added torture for a woman crying out for help. I pray that you have a different experience, and that you get tangible HELP.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sherry Gillis
January, 19 2019 at 10:47 am

Kelly, have things gotten better in your life? I just read this comment of yours almost 4 years later and I wonder how things are going for you now? Were you able to survive financially? Everything okay?

April, 12 2016 at 6:52 am

I know this all to well and I'm trying to recover on my own. If anyone needs to talk contact me. I want to help. Never being valated is like suicide. Along with the gas lighting and confusion. Hugs and never give up.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 15 2017 at 3:24 am

Hi Kara, How do I get out of this feeling? I'm trying to work my way out but I feel crippled.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 10 2018 at 3:32 pm

I need to talk. It's been 5 months no contact and im still in pain ;(

August, 9 2018 at 11:05 am

it will take time. It will require a lot of patience and love on your part to give to yourself. It is layers and layers of issues from when you were with the narcist and from your past. They go hand in hand . You must be dealt with if you want to heal.that you.But, it will get easier as time passes and you do the work and I promise you it will get better, better than any other time in your life because now you've been tested and now you know things you never knew before.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 6 2018 at 3:57 pm

Kara hello. I'm the victim of a quite poor one sided relationship if that is what it is called. I was dumped 6 weeks ago there aren't any victim support groups in Indiana I can't believe it. I've been all over Quota site. I have a psychologist 32 yrs experience see her again Monday. I don't feel she has a clue about my needed recovery and healing. She never even knew me or my fine qualities and caring being. I hope you will write. Quite nice to post an open offer. I want smother you Mason

April, 12 2016 at 8:05 pm

Hi I got out through my own persistence knowing something wasn't right - I ave great friends ad family who saw it before me - I finally got out through after a lot of suff - I was going to be homeless and found help now a year later exactly I am there again he got fired and has not paid support and now saying disabled - I am so tired - he knows no boundaries my life does not matter onypoorhim to y children - my family and friends don understand why I cant just get over it - so hard to explain. I have been hit I tell everyone this is worse. I feel like I am failing - it is hard to ind people who can relate - thank you for listening- love to hear your comments ps I am raising two boys and what made me leave was I wanted them to know this is not how you treat woman. Right now my emotional bank s empty.

April, 14 2016 at 4:38 pm

So what do you do if you're a male? Like who will believe me when it's commonly the female who needs help? I am also in this unfortunate situation and have no clue how to fix it.

April, 20 2016 at 5:10 pm

I don't have any answers but I wanted you to know that my Father suffered 56 years of marriage with my narcissistic mother. It can and does happen to men. I am divorcing my narcissistic husband after 25 years of marriage. I'm scared but I'm grateful to get out before another 25 years go by.

April, 26 2016 at 1:05 pm

God help us all! It's the absolutely most devastating thing to have the life sucked out of you by these disordered people. I was married to one for 17 years and left a year ago with just a suitcase and no money. I had to leave my two children, 12 and 14 because I had no money and no job. They were in a private school and I didn't want to disrupt their lives more than I had to. My husband had an affair with my best friend, kicked me and broke my ribs, burned me, put a revolver to my head and pulled the trigger and so much more. He has the children, dog, our heavy equipment company, new truck, and great income and I'm contemplating suicide every day. How these people sleep at night is beyond me!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 9 2018 at 6:19 am

I'm so sorry! These stories are heartbreaking. I'm in tears cuz its all so familiar. I've had my back broke,my nose,both my thibias broke. Countless black eyes swollen head from being hit there. Use my Head busted my windshield cracked it and busted the bead. (Glue) Ran over w my own car. 20yrs of this abuse it goes on & on. Stuck in the endless cycle. Lost everything many times including my children cuz I was hurt & no way to care for them. I live w that guilt everyday. No job no money no family no support. Just him 280 lbs psycopathic addicted Narc against me all 95 to 100lbs. Listen goes on & on. Im being discarded again for I dont know how many times. He takes off stay gone for days leave me w no money, no real way to fend for myself. Then always finds away to gglet me removed from where we are living. I've let him do that to me a bunch of times cuz why????? Idk I let him back in once he's discarded his other target or just bored w them. Need to come torture me I'm sorry I'm hoping u found some help. I wish I knew how to get through this 20yrs off & on half my life w same narc

Sherry Gee
January, 19 2019 at 11:15 am

Christy, I was in a cycle of abusive relationships when I was in my 20s - first a marriage and then 2 boyfriends over a 13 year period and they were all abusive to me. I, too, have had too much abuse to write about here, but I was able to get out. I had an 8 yr old daughter and I actually had to couch surf with a child, because I was homeless for the first month. But what enabled me to get out and stay out was that I stopped drinking, stopped smoking pot, taking pills or doing any type of mind altering substance, got sober and got into Alcoholics Anonymous.
I realized I was numbing myself out and that was making it impossible for me to leave, impossible for me to let go, and treading water in one place year after year. I didn't have to be closing down the local bar every night or getting arrested. In spite of the fact that I was never in trouble with the law or under threat of having my child taken away, I was under the thumb of narc abusers and I picked one after another of them! I finally realized, when I got sober, that the common denominator was ME. Now, I'm not saying our abusers were not at fault - not at all. They are/were rotten. I am saying, though, that as long as it was all on HIM, I wasn't going to change. I had to change myself. He was drinking and using so much that next to him, I was stoned cold sober to those looking at our lives. I stopped drinking and using completely and I was floored by how much energy I now had, how well I could think and make decisions.
I started by getting and staying sober and vowing to stay by myself for at least 1 year, which eventually turned into 2 years. During that 2 years I had plenty of time to reflect on what I had done, because in order to get out I moved first to friends' sofas and then i got into a 22 ft travel trailer with my daughter. A lot of people won't move into something so dumpy, but I once we got in there, we were at peace. I worked the AA program, in spite of the fact that a lot of my problems were due to having narcissistic abuse syndrome and not even realizing it. I inventoried myself, worked all of the steps of the program, and continued to stay sober for the last 31 years.
While single for 2 years I had a chance to think at length about what I wanted in a man. I was going to choose somebody this time - not get chosen by him. I wrote down my criteria: he has to have a job, have a stable home, be single, have a great sense of humor, be attractive to me, be a hard worker, love his mother and treat his mother with respect, have a respectful attitude towards women, be sober, not have a gambling problem, not be a womanizer or unfaithful type of man, and be very, very stable financially. He had to love my little girl. It was all in writing. When I met him, I knew right away he was what I wanted. WHAT I WANTED.
All throughout the time I went through my transition from abuse victim to thriving survivor, I prayed. I asked God to help me. I told Him I would do the footwork in my life, stay sober, and be a good mom, work hard, if He would do the rest. He guided me. Now... I'm not the Pope here - I'm not trying to give some big sermon. I'm just saying that I was provided untold amounts of comfort, relief, and assistance by the Guy Upstairs and all I had to do was be willing. This didn't mean I became Mother Theresa. But I asked my Higher Power for His love, care, guidance, and assistance and He came through for me and has always come through for me. God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. So pray, Christy.
I was willing to go to any lengths - absolutely any lengths - to get out from under oppression, addiction and abuse. 31 yrs later I look back on it and it was the turning point of my life. I did not have to be a falling down drunk in order to get into AA, work that program, and turn my life around. The little bit of substance abuse I was involved in was enough to throw off my whole existence and I couldn't get my life together. I had a moment of clarity in which I realized my little girl needed me to be solid, stable, wise, sober and leading the way - not to be an abuse victim! By getting out early, I saved her from God knows what in life.
God bless you and I hope you are able to move along and out of this quagmire you are in or were in when you wrote this comment last summer.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 6 2018 at 4:04 pm

Shari don't even consider suicide my Mother did that 12 days after my 7th birthday all but ruined my life. Kids left behind will pay a life price if you proceed.

May, 1 2016 at 2:55 am

I was a narcissist for 9 years without realizing it. How can I help those I have hurted if they don't want me to help them? I can't live with this on my soul.

May, 2 2016 at 11:14 am

If you have hurt people, the only thing, and i mean ONLY thing that will help is that if you have no contact with them. It is not about you in any way.

May, 6 2016 at 9:06 pm

I was in an abusive relationship with a narcissist for 8 yrs. After trying to leave many times I always went back. The scenario always the same. He would give me the silent treatment, usually lure me back in with a text or phone message that sounded like he was going to apologize. When I returned his call he yelled and swore at me and convinced me it was my fault. I coward and cryed and backed down. And then the cycle started again. It got easier to leave only because each time I went back he treated me with more indifference. Finally with the help of a friend I drew the line and ended it. After 8 yrs of him screaming obscenities at me, Telling me I was stupid, making everything my fault, he now gets to play the victim. He's very charming until you really know him. The hardest thing is he has a "following" and he convinced them all im the crazy one. I've basically been shunned by former friends. Even by the ppl who saw how he treated me! The ones who supported me, tell me not to say anything because they don't "want to burn their bridges" with him, these are the same ppl that told me to get out. WTH? Nothing like the true victim being punished. On the upside, although the first two wks were terrible for me, I'm finally feeling a sense of peace and joy I haven't felt in 8 years. I still have bad days but my only regret is that I didnt get out sooner!

May, 16 2016 at 2:26 am

I am asking for perhaps some kind of answer but it may not be what I really need. I am now 9 months out of a Narcissistic relationship. I am wondering, since I was the one to finally end it and now it appears that he is in a relationship with the one he always went back to but it seems to be working. Does this mean that he could actually be in a positive relationship? I feel like I have some how perhaps missed what he may have needed?
I guess I am trying to validate that I did the right thing and didn't lose someone that I truly did and still do love but I know we can never ever be together because of his narcissistic personality.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 5 2018 at 1:43 pm

If it felt right for you- it was right. Don't allow your thinking to take you back. You have done such an amazing step by leaving. You told the world and him you deserve better.
It is no longer about him and as you know things always appear differently from the outside then what it actually is.
Just be happy that you now can find love ❤️

May, 16 2016 at 7:16 am

I just want to say as far as support goes, I have found education, strength, and a knowledge that has set me free. Or else I would still be with my abuser, (Narc)..that support is on face book called Narcissistic abuse survivors (no contact)! there is help hope and strength, actualy within the walls of that group, there are many articles and books and how to find them to educate and empower yourself to get only cost time to read, internet (free at macdonalds) lol and the real frustration to finally do something and gain back your true self who can get out on your own and be treated starts with you...

May, 19 2016 at 12:47 am

I asked myself the same question at one point after I was discarded and rejected as a worthless piece of garbage and having my own kids plotted against me to try and prove that I was indeed the toxic one. All those who know me knew it was not the case. Thank goodness for our supporters and each other who understand this level of pain and confusion.
The answer is no, you did not miss "helping" him. You cannot help someone who never sees their actions as a fault. You can never help someone who does not want help. You are never ever in charge of another persons happiness. Ever!
Narcissist are infamous for being very charming in the beginning of any relationship. And making life look so hunky dory. He is no different now than he was while with you. It's the same mask he wore while first meeting you. It will crumble. His mask will come off. And it will probably be your fault.
The best and only thing to do is move forward every single day. Never look back. Never think you missed to do something. You did everything!!!
Live peacefully knowing that. Move forward knowing that you can and will be better for this experience. There is no greater pain. But because of it you will become stronger and happier.
I'm here for anyone who has suffered at the hands of this sad mental disease. It's destructive but it is not the end. It's a better beginning to your best self. Find that person and lover her. Every single day.
Great article!

May, 19 2016 at 5:10 pm

Could I possibly get you to contact me? My email address is

May, 21 2016 at 8:31 am

Does anyone else feel like, "Why me?"

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 15 2017 at 7:06 pm

I do almost every moment of the day

May, 22 2016 at 8:28 am

I have found your input helpful to me. I'm only 1 month in to discovering that my husband of 4 years is a narcissist. I've had so many red flags that I ignored bc he makes empty promises to change his bad behavior or just denies his behavior as anything close to wrong. He feels his actions only hurt him and not me and my 2 boys. I see that the pain I've been put through over the last 4 years in not my fault and neither is his hurtful behavior my fault. I'm still in the phase of getting my heart to accept that he won't change and that I'm waiting my life away waiting on a change that will never come.
But I haven't the heart to leave him yet. I also have a mindset right now to make one last effort to get him to see what he's losing and try to keep his attention toward me and not out other means for attention. I have convinced myself that plotting to validate his bad behavior before I leave him will give me closer and peace of mind. But most importantly, because he will never own up completely to his hurtful behavior, it's my way to expose him so he can't lie anymore. The truth will be staring him in the face.
I know I have a long way to go and I feel, reading up on narcissism and educating myself as much as I can will give me the tools I need to begin my long journey. This is my second marriage to a Narc and I never realized it for the 11 year marriage to my first husband. I decided to leave him bc I refused to raise my 2 boys thinking that this is how you treat your wife and family. And now, here I am again in the same type of marriage but with a different person. I am promising myself that I will not waste another 10+ years on someone who is treating me this way!

May, 22 2016 at 8:39 pm

Wow reading everyones comments makes me so sad... Never knew what a narc was until a few mths ago (thanks to google) 2 years ago met the love of my LIFE! Swept me off my feet, was my dream and so much more. Then 4mths in the relationship it all changed.. started do drugs (him) but it was my fault because I depressed him, started abusing me but that was my fault because I pushed him to far.. Got engaged and he was online dating which was my fault because I am never happy! If I didnt give him 100% attention then he was finding it somewhere else. Why did i stay so long? Because i truly beleived everything was my fault. I left a few mths ago. Some of his verbally abusive words to me were " Go look in the mirror, you will hate yourself too... Your mom is dead and shes probably happy shes dead and not around you anymore. Noone will ever love you, your psycho and bipolar. I cant deal with you your a lost cause. The list goes on. Physical abuse of choking, pinching, ripping clothes, pulling hair.. it was like walking on egg shells. I could never bring up anything that was bothering me because it would end up a fight when all i wanted was some advice and love. He needed attention 24/7 if we argued he would go online and try to chat with women. Typing this and reading it I CANT BELEIVE what i have been through. He trys to come back every so often. I have him blocked. Ive taken him back more times than i should of. There has been no closure. I am left depressed and full of anxiety. Never told my family or friends the situation. His family and friends think im a crazy person because thats what he tells everyone.. I think i suffer from PTS from this. Thanks for listening. Feels good to share.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 23 2018 at 10:18 am

Did you date my ex after i escaped? No, seriously, this sounds so familiar. I’m glad it feels good to get it out. I hope it also feels good realizing you’re not alone. No matter who it is, leaving someone is incredibly painful. You become bonded to another over time. In ways we’re just now understanding, and on a cellular level. This is why breakups can feel physically painful. And that holds true whether your ex is healthy or abusive. Brain chemistry can’t tell the difference; only that you’re with them. So, your grief is 100% normal, under these circumstances, as are your ‘Why?!’ moments. Give your brain a bit of time to find equilibrium, which will bring everything into clearer focus, once you’re back in your driver’s seat.
My question continues to be around victim blaming, which happens in the therapeutic world as well as collective culture. I understand human nature leads most to want to find ways we could never, ever find ourselves in “that person’s” shoes. But, that’s impossible. Tragedy happens. Betrayal happens. Some narcissists are incredibly adept at sneaking in under the radar. So, defining the victims of narcissistic abuse “approval seekers,” is not only grossly inaccurate but grotesquely patronizing and dehumanizing. If you’re married, it’s natural and healthy to prioritize your relationship and work toward healthy/happy with a spouse. That requires both parties sometimes being willing to give up things in compromise. Most covert narcissists can do this to some degree. I’m not talking personal values or dignity, here, but smaller things. Victim doesn’t yet see narcissist’s tendencies. A narcissist also usually knows how to pace their tactics and manipulations so they don’t give themselves away. They are excellent at pulling on sympathies from the healthiest among us (hence, do not do couples therapy with your narcissist; much has been written on this). They can be seemingly ‘normal’ when agreeing to requests— assuring that they will (or won’t) do ______(whathaveyou). They twist the meanings of words; they derail and sidetrack arguments. they interpret through self-serving lenses that they convincingly are able to justify in the moment. They master the art of lying to your face—looking you straight in the eye as they do so. As a result of these skills, it can take some time before realizing that none of what you thought you were building your relationship on, is actually there. By this time, you’re alreafy at full boil, as the metaphor of the frog in a saucepan of slowly heating water goes. And, as we know first-Hand, that means you are in the throes of full-blown trauma & react as such—you begin to flail wildly to just keep head above waterline, gasping for air. They narcissist then goes behind your back dropping hints to everyone who’ll listen, that you’re going berserk. They’ll even point out examples of this to your best friend, watching you from across the room, as well as concoct scenarios where your very understandable reaction to having the rug pulled out from under you, is one of those examples they can point your best friend toward, as his proof. Your mind begins to shatter.
So, fair warning, Internet blogosphere; misguided therapists and fault-finding opinionated masses: I’m sick of being retraumatized by your small-minded attempts to feel safer, somehow, by ‘diagnosing’ victims to fit your internal belief/wish System; your brand of magical thinking. . Even if we pretend for a second it holds a tiny grain of truth, you do not talk about victims in shaming ways and then expect them to find healing. The number one anecdote to trauma is empathy. Loads of it. The more of their story you can get them to speak about; the more empathy their story is met with; the more integrated their trauma becomes—which is the very definition of healed trauma.
You wouldn’t dare so overtly label prisoners of war, ‘attention seekers,’ and neither should you do so for other people trapped in tormenting situations with a callous manipulator. Quit it. It has become the number one hallmark sign to watch for when researching and/or interviewing therapists.

May, 27 2016 at 10:22 pm

Help... I am fortunate that I got away for my husband and my mom. It's only been a little over a month and as much as I'm determined I still have my weak moments. I won't ever go back but I still want to just give up. It is so hard and as much and how far I've come sometimes it just feels like it will never be normal. I was married to my husband for 28 years and just recently realized living with my mom that she is exactly like my husband. As strong as I know I am there's still a part of me but that misses the toxic love. Because even though it wasn't real love it's the only love that I've ever had and it's so twisted. I'm tired all the time still. The last few years with my husband and my mom I would sleep that was only way I could get away. And I'm still wanting to sleep I have no energy and I have nothing to look forward to. I know there is saying is it's just I don't know if I've lost the energy or the drive to find something that makes me happy. I'm living with my brother and his family and I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop even though it's nothing like being with my mom or my husband. And I have made friends but it always seems to turn out and I'm still putting myself in a negative light. I am very fun outgoing adventurous loving empathetic and I am not doing the typical codependent things anymore. But trying to figure out all the other underlying issues that I need to work on when I have no idea what that is. I just learned the word validation after watching Coraline the movie. I want to feel alive now. I've been doing mindful meditation and it's helped a lot. I don't overthink worry I live in the moment. But a lot of people don't understand that and even though they're not as toxic it's still a judgement and it triggers things. I'm tired of crying all the time over everything. And I'm staying strong when somebody says don't cry why you crying now. I'm staying true to myself but I have a long ways to go I know. I just don't know if it'll ever get better enough. I don't know where to turn professional help. I had a great life coach therapist up in Oregon and two weeks before I left come down here they fired her and I can't find her. I don't know what to do please help I can't even find a co-dependent group and I'm just so so tired.

May, 28 2016 at 2:15 am

Hi Gina,
I have just gone through the same , could you please email me , would love to chat .
Take care

June, 4 2016 at 7:17 am

The more i did for my ex girlfriend the worse it got-wouldnt pick me up from my house when i lost my licence, never said thank u,denied affection-saying i dont like your hair or u biting your nails-but plenty of affection at the start-all a con

June, 4 2016 at 5:56 pm

Hello everyone
I don't even know where to start or what to say, except that I feel like I'm dying inside if not dead already. Ive been narcissistically abused by my daughter's father for the last 3 years, and I've been suffering in silence for a vast majority of the time. It isn't until recently that I realized that I've been abused. I've always looked at abuse as being physical, but I'm now realizing that mental and emotional abuse can be worse than physical. It's effects are devastating. I'm in the stage of the silent treatment, and I just feel that he's evil because he's silently getting off on hurting me, and treating me as if I'm nothing. That's the hardest for me to come to terms with. I just want to scream at the top of my lungs to be recognized, acknowledged and respected. What makes this even harder for me to get through is that he's so many years younger than me. He's only 20, and everyone keeps rationalizing his bullshit and accrediting it to him being young and immature. But I feel like he's young, but everything about him is so calculated and evil. I take great care of our daughter, and I don't even so much as get a thank you, or any money to help out with her. His mother has ruined him and made him into the monster that he truly is. He's been pampered his entire life, and always slapped on the hand when he does anything wrong. His mother picks up his slack as far as raising his daughter and providing for him. He works a full time job, still lives at home, and is able to just do nothing without any consequences. I hate that he goes on social networks showing off my daughter as if he's father of the year when he only sees her when his mother gets her.
I've don so much for him. He had a place to stay at my house when he was put out. I was there for him when his friend committed suicide, and even though we weren't speaking during that time I put my pride to the side to be there for him. I've Been a selfless loyal and genuine friend, lover etc. and all he's done is just play with my feelings to the point that I got fed up and said I was done with him. I cut him off and I was doing good for awhile, but then k started reminiscing and thinking about him so I've reached out 3x's this week. I've apologized when truly I've done nothing wrong. He's been ignoring me and it's killing me inside. I don't understand how I've gotten to this point in my life. It's like I've died and lost a sense of my self. My spirit is crushed but one thing I will say is that I want to heal, and feel happy again and regain my life back. But it seems like it'll never happen. He haunts my dreams, my thoughts, everything. I don't know what to do.
If any of you can offer advice, please help :-(

June, 4 2016 at 6:03 pm

His mother keeps telling me to be patient that he'll come around. She keeps saying he's "in his feelings." I'm not a bad person, I have great qualities, but he just doesn't care. It hurts more because I'm the mother of his child, and am being ignored like a stranger or a piece of crap on the street. It's a lot to wrap my mind around. The pain he put me through when I was pregnant, the pain he's put me through after I had her.. Insane. He would sleep with me and then immediately the next day will tell me we can't do that ever again. For no reason. Or he'd come over to "hang out" with me and my daughter and I guess I wasn't allowed to be physical with him. No cuddling, no kissing, or only kissing sometime, and no sex because he wanted to build a friendship first. He said we weren't able to go through the friendship phase because I immediately became pregnant right after us beginning to date/hang out. I almost felt like I was being punished or tortured for no reason. The out of nowhere he would want to have sex. My self esteem was crumbling slowly because of this. And now I feel like I have no self esteem left. I'm sitting at work today like a zombie. Haven't eaten all day. Nothing. I'm just torn up. How can someone be so cruel, and evil?

June, 4 2016 at 6:11 pm

I've confided in his mother, and she keeps telling me honey be patient he'll come around, he's just in his feelings. That's all. But he'll come around just give him a little while.
He has put me through so much pain that it's insane. My pregnancy was miserable. He blocked me from contacting him throughout my entire pregnancy. He slept with me the day before Christmas while I was still pregnant with my daughter, and the next day he told me to leave him alone and he never liked me, only dealt with me to use me for rides. I was so embarrased and humiliated.
He would always do things to me such as sleep with me, and then the next day tell me we don't need to do that ever again. For no reason. He would always blame it on my feelings getting too intense. When he would recently come over to hang out with me and my daughter he told me we couldn't cuddle or kiss or have sex because we need to build a friendship first. He feels that we never went through the stages of having a real friendship because I immediately got pregnant upon us meeting. The most I could do was hug him. And I never understood why, and it made me feel like I wasn't physically attractive or something. Then a week later, he'd be wanting to have sex. I never realized this was a form of abuse.. until now. It's sickening what I've been through. I shouldn't be here today after all of the emotional turmoil I've endured..

June, 4 2016 at 6:12 pm

Sorry I posted twice, I thought the first one didn't post!!!! Lol

June, 5 2016 at 4:26 pm

For ten years now he's off to new and younger in a riverbottem where he left me.I'm unemployed carless,he wrecked my last two beat me up before new job .I m devastated.

June, 11 2016 at 1:25 am

@sam Gabor thank you for your honesty. Thank you for trying to become better. Use the guidance of a therapist that acknowledges your issue. Someone who addresses it directly. Narcissists are people who had a trauma during the "primary" or normal narcissistic development period. This could have been caused by something as innocent as a new sibling being born or by something darker, abuse. Either way, you can work with someone who will guide you through your personal path to wellness. Do it with the help,of an educated counselor. And best of luck! You will find the right place to pay it forward! You may not be able to fix the things you broke, but you have a place here, and you will find ways to pay it forward. Persevere!

June, 15 2016 at 10:46 pm

Where do I begin?
I left my abusive narsisstice husband 9 months ago and we have been divorced for about 2 months. The divorce was horrible, but I let him have almost everything, so that helped it end quicker than most.
I'm going to a great therapist, but it is still a daily battle. I still don't trust my reality because so many times my ex would present and alternate reality, one in which I was ruining our life, and I keep feeling like that will happen again. Only this time I fear it will be someone else who tells me I suck and maybe my ex was right. What if it was me that ruined our marriage and made it awful like he says. My logical side tells me that can't be and so does my therapist, but I still can't shake it.
To me it worse, I loved his family and he has turned them all against me. Painting me to be the one that was abusive and neglectful of him, which is so crazy!!! In the end, as this article points out, it's the validation from him that I seek, but that I will never get. I wish, if even for a moment, he would let himself see all that he has done to both me and our daughter. I want him to feel bad and be sorry!! He isn't ever going to though-not ever. He always made it my fault that my failures (like not picking up the dry cleaning on time) we what "forced" him to be the bad guy. It was always my fault that our daughter was scared of him.
I hate him for what he has done to me. I hate him for not caring what he has done to me and our daughter. He sucks as a dad, but when he is around others portrays himself as the best dad ever. What a joke. He doesn't even bother to ever brunch her hair.
How do I ever let go of wanting the validation and the apology that will never come?
I'm so sorry for all of you too. I realize so many of you have it far worse than me.
I wish we could ban together and do something about this. Make a legal change somehow!

June, 28 2016 at 5:41 pm

I'm a gay male and my last boyfriend of a year and a half is a Narcissist. I also feel his mother is, as well. I've been gaslit before and never even realized it was a thing until I read up on this behaviour. I used to get bad headaches during and truly believe this was doing some real damage to my brain. Things seemed odd from the beginning. There was love bombing, selfishness, lack of responsibility and money management, having been fired from countless jobs previously, thrill seeking, like Gina above he would chat with other men online if we ever fought. He told me he didn't like confrontation, but it wasn't until after fresh air out of the relationship that I realized it was because he couldn't HANDLE confrontation.
I'm posting because even though I know all of this now, after about 7 months it bothers me that I held on so long to something that was so damaging for my well-being and wish I had known about this personality type earlier. At the end of the relationship we got into a massive argument. I drank too much and explained everything that was bothering me during the relationship. It was really not my finest hour but I couldn't take it anymore, I didn't even feel like myself anymore. It was almost like I looked at myself in the mirror one day and realized I had become him, I was mirroring his interests and traits to please him and forgot about me along the way.
I had to really do some soul searching and find who I was again, and regain that power over my life. I feel like I still have work to do but I'm getting there.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 23 2018 at 10:30 am

It was not your fault, G. For most of us who are kind, willing to offer benefit-of-doubt, and who genuinely care, we find it pretty hard to believe that someone who seems so much like us, during the first phase of relationship, is even capable of what starts happening to us. Couple that with the narcussist’s Manipulations and spin on things, as well as intermittent love bombing and apologies, they slowly (literally) brain wash their victims. You then aren’t capable of truly thinking for yourself. It takes significant wasting-away for many of us to think, “this is not how i used to feel about my life or myself.”
It’s not your fault. You did the very best you could do, and that was good. It led you out of the situation, and back to your life.

July, 2 2016 at 5:06 pm

Twenty five years and four kids, left with only two suitcases and what little is left of my sanity. Trying to get a grip on my reality again, questioning every relationship in my life now. It's the constant second guessing yourself that destroys you, everything you once held as true has gone. I still catch myself blaming myself. It's horrific, I don't think anyone else understands why I left. I just want to wake up and be normal again. To drink a cup of tea without worrying about everything including my kids who are still living with him, sucked into his web. Broken is an understatement right now...

July, 4 2016 at 5:04 pm

This is for all the those who have written comments and are suffering:
I left my husband almost 6 months ago due to his behaviour and mental cruelty. He was not physically abusive but he often baited me to be physically aggressive towards him. He used the knowledge of my traumatic childhood as a means to demean and devalue me as a person. When we discussed an issue, he often pretended he "didn't remember" and would pepper me with questions about- what did I say? Where were we when it happened? What time of day was it? only to reinforce that he did not remember the event causing me to doubt my sanity. I was seeing a therapist at the time- who did not seem to clue in- who asked me if I thought he might have had a brain injury in childhood. It's ironic, because he did- but it was emotional, not so much organic. He had a very hypercritical and abusive father, and a mother who praised everything he did to make up for it. There were 8 children in their family in all- and a lot of emotional neglect. I have found that it is not helpful to focus on how a narcissist becomes who he is but rather on how you found yourself in the relationship and more importantly- GETTING OUT. Once you are out you must go through the painful truth of your own accountability (such as being co-dependent, seeking partners that are like the narcissistic parents we grew up with, etc.) The learning is more about yourself- so that you do NOT repeat your past. For my part, my first husband was also a narcissist- I am just repeating patterns. A published psychoanalyst, James Hollis, once said, "You find the teeth that match your wounds." Until you really heal from your childhood wounds- and we all have them to a degree- you will look for these "teeth" in your primary relationships. It is important to seek therapy- but be very careful as not all therapists are familiar with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and the effects of these people on their family members. Some therapists due to their lack of knowledge can in fact, be hurtful or counsel clients in a way that is further damaging. Make sure the therapist is familiar with the disorder. I have found for myself that psychotherapy was very limiting and frustrating. Recovering from NPD abuse is complex and will require every ounce of strength and commitment that you didn't think you had. Read EVERYTHING you can get your hands on- Sam Vaknin's youtube videos and his book are brilliant. The internet is abundant in material to read- there are also many videos to watch. This knowledge will arm you and strengthen you. If you are a person of faith- PRAY. Do not pray to save the relationship- pray for the strength and wisdom to leave- "love" is not tolerance. Formulate a PLAN. Do not fool yourself into thinking you have to have all this money- you don't believe in yourself because the narcissist (s)- many times we have more than one in our lives-- has led you to believe your are incapable and stupid. You are not. The first husband I left--I had absolutely nothing- and I got through it. This time was much easier in some ways because I had no little children like the first time around. Be prepared for everyone you thought would support you- to not get it. It's OK- you will get support from those you did not expect (this is an interesting phenomena). Even if you have to stand alone- so be it. Eventually the family and friends that really love you will come around. Don't wait for approval from them! Own your life! Once you break from your narcissist don't contact him/her. You must break the "supply" they get from you. THIS IS THE HARDEST PART. You will even find yourself missing this person or the relationship- don't cave in to this feeling, it is part of being codependent for years with this person. In fact, the only "relationship" the narcissist ever had was with himself- you were never part of the equation and they don't care. The sooner you understand this- the more free you will be. Let me repeat: NO CONTACT. If there are children- go through a lawyer for communication- not through relatives, friends, etc. If you must communicate do it through a communication page- sort of like Facebook- for the sole purpose of discussing children. No emotion- one liners only. Don't get dragged into any drama. As soon as that happens cut communication or don't answer. Don't write anything that can implicate you in court. If this doesn't work: email and copy your lawyer on everything. Be professional and impeccable in your behaviour and words. Remember- many people will side with the narcissist because they are so charming. Don't text message- block your phone number. At first you will feel relief after you leave, then a sense of grief, then some depression. At some point- if you are doing your personal work on healing- you will accept and move on. Life will not be "beautiful" all at once- but it will be- and probably better than you have ever known. That is true healing. You will have bad days. But they will become less and less. Take care of your health: eat well and exercise- walking everyday is meditative and doesn't cost anything. There are apps you can put on your phone- is free and you can use it to help you sleep. You will have horrific nightmares. They will lessen with time- it is a response to the trauma you have suffered living with this person. Keep a dream journal and write down your dreams. They are a key to your healing and have messages for you in the form of symbols. One final note: if you are a person of faith- especially a Christian- please don't let this be an obstacle to your leaving. And many NPD people are found in the religious and faith based communities. They actually have great power there and will use your faith to guilt you into staying with them. Even/especially leaders. Living with an NPD is damaging to your soul. This decision is yours ultimately and is God's gift to us. Noone else has a say. It's called free will. No more excuses- now is the time.
There are some videos on setting boundaries and how to recover from narcissism- I cannot remember the presenter. Some of them are an hour long but they hold treasures of knowledge for healing. Also check out EFT videos (emotional freedom technique) to deal with the TERRIBLE anxiety you will be hit with- expect it and arm yourself to deal with it. The videos will talk you through the technique. Go see a doctor if you need meds- short term--don't get hooked or lean on them for life. I also found YOGA really grounded me physically and mentally.
If you are a person who likes to go very deep into the mechanisms of the mind- read Carl Jung, James Hollis, Joseph Campbell and the like. This is not specifically about NPD but general about the human psyche. For the academics out there- you will find this ENORMOUSLY satisfying.
I hope this is helpful and I wish you peace, strength, courage and discernment-

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Ms Truth
July, 15 2018 at 12:08 am

Pfft. If reading the same tired old advice and yofa were the solution, then none of us would be suffering. I need some REAL help, something to make the sense of loss and hurt I feel from being discarded go away. I need it NOW, I keep being told “give it time”, and that is bs. I dont HAVE time. The pain is to great, I will die if things do not change immediately. Been reading for days now trying to find a real answer, nobody has one.
Dobt bother giving me phone numbers to suicide hotlines, after all, the narcisstic psychopath Ted Bubdy used to work at one. They never give real solutions either. Its not just a feeling, its REAL. He was the only thing that had value in my life, Ive lost everything and now I have no hope no resources, and ive lost both my liver and best friend. I cant cope and I cant last for months feeling this pain. I refuse.

July, 15 2018 at 12:10 am

Holy spelling mistakes, Batman. Ive lost my lover, not my liver, y’all. I think the rest are pretty self-explanatory.

July, 16 2018 at 9:23 am

Hi Ms Truth,
I'm sorry to hear you're feeling such pain right now. As you have requested, I won't give you any hotline numbers.
What I will say is that if you're feeling this much pain you need to reach out to a therapeutic professional. In other words, I highly recommend you get some therapy for yourself. Nothing you are going to find online is going to give you the personalized information you need -- only someone who knows you and your situation intimately can do that.
You can get better but you need to find a therapist to help you do that.
- Natasha Tracy
- HealthyPlace Blog Manager

Katherine McMurray
October, 9 2022 at 3:39 am

Love this… the whole mantra sounds like a cheer at covert narcissist camp now. People take all this psudeo psychology and apply it to to their relationship, they join groups filled with people chanting along to these rules that are meant for extreme circumstances… and now we have Facebook groups and court rooms full of confused sad people who probably just needed to work and communicate with that partner instead of labeling them with a major personality disorder, than doing all the same things narcissistics do to their victims. The silent treatment, ghosting, vilifying. These life coach types and YouTube therapist, womens groups, latch onto what they selectively choose from clinical psychology and turn it into a witch hunt that harms both sides, to exploit other women in the name of empowerment, it’s disgusting and we all deserve better.

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