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Having just come out of, what I now believe, was a highly mentally and emotionally abusive relationship, I wanted to share with you a couple of things I found if it might help anyone else. I have spent weeks reading articles etc, but these two links here are the most amazing articles I've come across so far! I hope it's not against the rules to share, but if so, please do delete!
It's really given me the biggest eye opening wake up call I've ever had, despite being told it a hundred times by colleagues, friends, and family.
I hope this might help anyone else.
We've got this.
I forgot to say, I made a thread in case anyone needed support from each other?
I know I bloody do.. I feel empowered, but still find it so so hard.
Well done on getting out! I think the second article is only true for particular types of narcissists.
My narc is unhappy a lot of the time because she doesn't get the attention she deserves and needs. She doesn't know she's a narc because she doesn't know how other people do relationships. She complains that she puts everyone else first but no one notices, and no one puts her first. Nothing could be further from the truth. When she lost her husband she grieved deeply- because her chief enabler and support system had gone. She didn't grieve the loss of the person, just what they did for her both practically and in terms of esteem/social capital etc.
Elinor Greenbergh has excellent resources on narcissism.
It is worth knowing that breaking up with a narcissist is unlike any other break up and as a result takes longer to recover from. Narcissist rage at being discarded is very real and damaging. Ex H became so vengeful that it was truly scary. Also smearing is very common as once they have lost control of you they attempt to control how others see you.
By which I mean, she didn't know how the rest of us were grieving. She'd lost most so felt like she was the one with the biggest grief. She wasn't missing the person and their qualities and personality, and didn't realise we were.
I don't think she'd say the things she did if she realised how out of kilter they were with the rest of the world.
@picklemewalnuts, covert or closet narcissist tends to have a victim mentality and don't openly display grandiosity. They often target empathic people with tales of abusive childhood or bad relationships.
Btw, we can all act narcissistic at times but a disordered individual has a pattern of behaviour in all relationships. It takes a while to spot as they can be completely charming and victims feel as if they have met their soulmate. They are excellent at mirroring but a partner will only serve a purpose, you will have a function such status, money or childcare. Also due to lack of object constancy a disordered individual will also find fault eventually with their partner, no matter how much they appear like a soulmate at the outset.
I'll be honest, what made me most sad reading the articles, was most of the time I questioned myself? He would say that I was those things.. i started to panic that maybe it was me after all....
It was heartbreaking.
Then I read the step 1 and step 2 about whether you are in fact a narcissist, and smiled.
I realised then, that I was the victim, and he had done a bloody grand job of putting the blame on me!
My best friend simply said, "the fact you're even questioning whether you are narcissistic and worrying, means you most definitely are not."
I'm so sad that I've allowed this to happen to me. I hope I recover quickly.
Sorry to hear you've experienced the same.
Wow this resonates!
I have just come out of a relationship with a narc.
I was totally love bombed and over the years called controlling, fucked up in the head and that all his actions were as a result of something I had done!
Mine used to message woman all the time (as per the article unable to self soothe) he needed an ego boost regularly. When caught would be full of apologies and would say it was because we had had a row or something like that. It was NEVER his fault. I realised a long time ago that he is the victim and he NEVER sees it.
Also always kept his ex in the background but made damn sure I had a shit relationship with mine.
My self confidence took a massive nose dive and since splitting (a little over 3 weeks ago) I am doing things for ME. He still contacts me but nothing in depth. The rowing has stopped. I still get my down days but..................I don't feel shattered now having to tidy up behind him, I no longer worry who he is messaging when I go to bed, I don't worry what he is saying to his ex (its all lies anyway), I don't have to deal with his moods when he has had a bad day at work, the list goes on!!
It is empowering x
Just to add my last 2 relationships were with narcs (I didn't realise until way after I left the first that's what it was called). I am in counselling.
The first was a typical narc and has done the classic trying to get people to change the way they think about me as he lost control.
The second is more covert. He gaslights, badly x
It's astonishing isn't it.
I'm two weeks into the break up. Even though my head is very strong.. I still have tears, missing him. It's awful.
Do you ever question yourself? I do. I keep thinking, "maybe he wasn't so bad" "maybe he was right, maybe he did change loads and I should be grateful" "maybe, he did do loads for me, I will never find anyone else who will take on what he did.."
Then I have to wobble my head and remember that it's abuse. It isn't me.
My mum is a vulnerable Narc. As she's my mum, she left out the whole 'lovebombing' stage. She doesn't need to be particularly nice, because 'family'. She wants to replicate the 'loving family' environment that she sees others have, where daughters take their mum on holiday, send their mum flowers, take their mum to the theatre... she doesn't actually do anything to build that relationship, though.
He's moulded you into a pattern, and without that influence you probably feel a bit adrift. When you spend time and effort shaping the world to suit that person it's a bit weird to not have that focus any more.
I'd suggest working quite hard on working out how to please yourself. What does a life which revolves around your needs and desires look like?
It took me years and years, because I'd grown up trying to stay out of trouble and please a woman who was never satisfied. I genuinely had little idea of what I liked and wanted.
That's what I'm finding the hardest. The realisation that I don't have any idea whatsoever what I enjoy, for MYSELF. I don't know what I like? I don't know how to pass some time and enjoy it. I feel awful but I do have children, so I am throwing myself into them, but he even took so much of my time away from them too, I'm finding it hard to enjoy their time too. I used to, I know I did. I was always on my own before him and we were more than great, happy and adventurous.
I so desperately want to get that back.
We've broken up so many times before, and it tends to be at this stage that I give up on the "process" because it's easier than being strong.
I will add though that this is the longest I've gone no contact for. So it helps each day that's it another day gone and done, and closer to being away.
@StrongAgain15 yes it is hard and yes you do question yourself. I have had tears, not so much recently but I have had them.
Some days I think maybe its better the devil you know. Was it my fault, was I controlling? I think decent people question themselves.
I know deep down he is a decent person, its in there somewhere but no where near as decent as he should be.
We broke up loads too. He would threaten me with it all the time and I'd be scared to tell him something that would upset me out of fear of the row. Our rows were HUGE! Nothing I have ever experienced before. He would make a massive drama out of everything. His classic line when being caught messaging 'they don't mean anything', or the last one (when I kicked him out) 'the funny thing is it wasn't sexual just flirting'. When questioned 'oh that makes it ok' his standard reply 'no, but I am just trying to explain'.
Pathetic beyond belief! We deserve to be with some one who gives us much as we do.
Still that is his and her problem - no longer mine!!
You can do this. We can all talk and hold each others hand x
*sorry that his and her problem shouldn't have snuck in!
Well done! It helps to remember that 'this isn't how it's supposed to be'. Hang on to that sense of the person who felt 'great, happy, adventurous' with her family.
You both sound incredibly strong and inspiring!
I appreciate all of these words!
Everything you've said is 100% relatable
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