I Don’t Understand How Anyone Can Do What The Narcissist Does

I replied to someone’s comment on Facebook and thought I would share it here because it is something all victims of narc abuse struggle with. They can’t understand how someone can be so heartless.

The reason you don’t understand is because you are a normal, caring, person capable of feeling guilt, compassion, remorse. They are NOT normal; they are dangerously disabled and why they are the most dangerous people on earth and called psychopaths/sociopaths/narcissists.
They know they hurt others, in fact they get off on the power of being able to inflict pain. They feel superior to normal people because they are not governed by a conscience. They truly DO NOT care they laugh at how easy you are to manipulate, they see caring as being weak.
Their brains never developed the ability to feel guilt, they do not have a conscience. Imagine, what guides the rest of us? Our conscience, no conscience, no guilt; free to do whatever they want whenever they want and never feel an ounce of regret or remorse. Hard for a normal person to get their head around it.
The problem with victims of narc abuse is, they keep thinking of the narc as a normal person. A normal person could never live with themselves if they did what a narc does.
They are such good actors because they learned from a very young age that they were different and if they show their true nature people are repelled, repulsed. So it is imperative to their survival to learn how to imitate the emotions they see in others. Some of them should win an Academy award for their performances. My ex could cry real tears on demand. He had me fooled for many years. But they are limited in their abilities because they are imitating and eventually they will encounter a situation where they don’t have an appropriate respond saved in their repitouir of responds. Plus it is a lot work to always have to be “on” faking being a human being and that is why they rush a woman to commit, get her dependent on him so he can let the mask drop. Then he has someone at home he can spew his abuse on, when he goes out in public he puts on his mask and presents himself as this compassionate, sweet empathetic person. The minute he is behind closed doors he takes his mask off and is himself. It’s like wearing control top panty hose. I remember when I worked in an office, all day I was thinking about getting home so I could take off my panty hose and let it all hang out. The minute I was behind closed doors I ripped them off; usually right at the door. And it was such a relief!!
My ex used to spend hours staring into a fire at night, either that or he would be in his shop building something. When he would stare into the fire I used to ask him what he was thinking about and he would say nothing and now I understand what he meant. He wasn’t thinking of anything, he wasn’t feeling. It was his “off” time. He was actually empty and it was so much work pretending he wasn’t empty.

What Can Someone Do To Get The Victim To Leave The Narcissist


Lately it seems I have had an abundance of mother’s trying to get their daughter’s to leave someone they believe to be a narcissist. I have a post on what to do and what not to do if you know someone in an abusive relationship but I don’t talk about what you can do to make them leave; mainly because I don’t think you CAN make a person leave a narcissist.

Leaving is a decision the victim has to come to on their own, unfortunately most victims don’t leave, the narcissist leaves them and they are devastated and have exhausted all their resources long before the split.

Part of the reason you can’t make a victim leave their abuser is because; even if they come to you crying about how the abuser treats them, or heart broken that the narcissist hasn’t called in a week, or wants to end it, or did something else to break the victim’s heart; the minute they talk to the narcissist he gets them so confused about what happened, they end up staying.

I remember making bargains with myself; OK, so he has personal ads on the net, he says nothing is going on and he would never actually meet them. I can rationalize that to myself. Really, he is looking for Russian Brides, how likely is it that he is going to actually send for a Russian bride? He is just doing it because he wants to make sure that if I screw around on him like all the other women he has been with, he still has “it” and could get another woman. I told myself that if I ever discover he is actually dating another woman or has an ad looking for local women, THEN I would have just cause to leave and it would be easier for me to leave. I would have “proof”. But then I found his local personal ad and he had like a dozen women on the go at once. That was it!! it was over, I confronted him and he denied it all. Didn’t remember placing the ad, didn’t remember talking to all those women. I started to believe maybe he did these things in his sleep, maybe he was doing crazy drugs, maybe he had a brain tumor!

I would read the emails he sent to these women and I would want to date him too, he was so infatuated with them, so romantic, making them promise to look at the moon at a certain time so they could be looking at the moon together and for her to imagine him sliding his arms around her. Asking her to wait for him like he was waiting for her. Saying how he had a “gut” feeling the minute they talked and he always follows his gut feelings. The same line he used on all of them. They were all “special”. I would be furious and declare “that was it!” I was out of there, he would storm out, I would cry all day (Oh my God, how many days did I waste crying all day and sitting on the internet searching for more evidence?) I would talk to friends and swear that this time it was over. This time he had gone too far, I could never trust him again and I deserved better. I would tell him I deserved better. My friends would agree with me, or they would laugh and say “Yeah right it’s over, you’ll be back together by tonight, tomorrow at the latest.” I would swear, not this time and it always went the same way, he would show up where I was, he would call and ask me if I had eaten, he would just show up and act like nothing had happened or my truck would break down and I would call him to come rescue me. He would be so loving, I would doubt my own recollection of what I had found.

I started to make photocopies of everything because he would erase any evidence and I was too honest to lie to him and not tell him what I had found. But even when I made photocopies he would just rip them up, throw them away and deny it anyway. I knew he was lying, why did I doubt myself? Because I wanted him to love me more than anything in the world so when he would be loving and act like nothing was wrong I would pray he had seen the light, realized the err of his ways, was sorry. Fill in the blanks….. he would leave it up to my own interpretation. (and victims are really good at lying to themselves.)

We lie to ourselves as much or more than the narcissist does, lets go over a few of the most popular lies:

  1. We have something special
  2. He would never find a woman who loves him like I do
  3. He would never really cheat, he just needs an ego boost
  4. It’s his past, because he has been hurt so many time
  5. He loves me so much it scares him so he pulls away
  6. If I don’t leave like all the other women did he will trust my love and relax and let it happen
  7. If I just show him more love and how much I appreciate him, he will love me like he used to
  8. I am too critical, I just won’t bite the bait, I refuse to get angry and will only say loving things and appreciate the good things he does
  9. I know him so well I can predict what will set him off and be able to avoid those things
  10. This is just the way we are, we always get back together because our love is so strong, he would never really leave me for good
  11. Maybe he has ads but he hasn’t dated anyone else
  12. Well, maybe he did date someone else but we were kinda split up at the time (we broke up in the morning because he picked a fight and he was on a date that night)
  13. The other women don’t mean anything, he only LOVES me
  14. He really is sorry, he just doesn’t know how to express his emotions
  15. He is ashamed and that is why he doesn’t admit to doing it
  16. If I would stop being so suspicious, jealous, angry, depressed, crying all the time, fill in the blank.
  17. I am only going to stay until I get through school, the kids are older, I have enough money to leave and pay rent, he pays me back what he owes me, fill in the blank.
  18. I can’t leave at Christmas, Easter, his Birthday, Groundhog Day  ………. again……fill in the blank
  19. He only treats me badly, not the kids and they need their father in their life, the kids are fine.
  20. He needs me, I can fix him with my special love.
  21. I will wean myself off him (or vise versa)
  22. I know what he is now and I don’t let him get to me.
  23. I just have to have solid proof he is cheating, THEN I will leave
  24. I have put so much effort, time and money into this relationship, I can’t walk away now and have some other woman reap the rewards of all my efforts

What lies did you tell yourself?

The victim can always find an excuse why they have to contact the narcissist, why they can’t leave right now or need to go back. They can deny adamantly that they will ever go back and then the next time you see them they are glowing because the N showed up and love bombed them and they are in the honeymoon phase again. You know it is not going to last, the victim is defensive and not the least bit interested in having you remind her that just two days ago her heart was breaking. The victim is thinking, “They just don’t understand how strong our love is, the connection we have. This is not like any ordinary love relationship.”

The longer a victim is in the relationship the less likely they are to leave because they lose themselves and they get further out of touch with reality. They isolate themselves from their family and friends because they start to feel out of place every where they go. With other couples they know their relationship is so dysfunctional by comparison, with family they are afraid everyone will pick up on how dysfunctional the relationship is or they are afraid the Narcissist will do something to embarrass them, make them look bad, get angry over something and of course they stop making plans because the narcissist usually finds a way of ruining any plans anyway.

Lately I have had mother’s emailing me privately begging for help getting their daughters away from a narcissist and I really don’t know what to tell them. Barring kidnapping the victim and locking them up in a room until the brainwashing and conditioning wears off, I don’t know what they can do. Years ago the news was full of stories about parents kidnapping their children away from cults, I suppose it still goes on and that is the only thing I can compare it to. It is not a very realistic solution to the problem when your child is an adult. You could try an intervention of friends and family where you go as a united force and try to make her face reality but they will probably tell you what you want to hear just to shut you up and it will only drive them further into isolation and alienate you.

You can bet the narcissist is working double time to destroy any confidence and clear thinking you might have instilled. My ex used to say things like:
“No matter what I try they just hate me, we should split up, because they will never accept me.”

“I don’t know what you told them to make them hate me so much. You never tell them the good things I do.”

“Your family has never been there for you, they all think you are crazy.”

“I don’t blame you, you can’t help being raised in a dysfunctional family. I thought I could help you to over come it but my childhood was so normal I just can’t deal with your dysfunctional view of reality.”

What lies did your narc tell you?

The person who is trying to get the victim to leave the narcissist has to realize that the narcissist is playing them like a puppet and getting off on your efforts to save the victim. Narcissists love drama!, love conflict, (as much as they say they hate it and use it as an excuse to walk away), they love that you help them confuse the victim, they love that they can destroy all the common sense and confidence you instilled, they love that you are losing sleep over the fact that he has so much control over your loved one. The harder you try to break them up the harder he will try to keep her, so he is less likely to let his mask drop again, at least until he thinks he has destroyed the relationship between you and her. He is not going to give your arguments credence.

Also the harder you try to prove to her that she is wrong and you are right the tighter she will hang on and want to prove she isn’t wrong. I used to tell my ex that I didn’t understand why he and my mother didn’t get along because they both thought I was crazy and it was all my fault. The only difference between the two of them was she wanted me to leave and he wanted me to stay but they both were saying the same thing; there was something horribly wrong with me. My mom had always thought something was wrong with me, I am sure she still does; she does not understand why I am so sensitive, can spend days alone and be perfectly happy, why I feel driven to leave the world a better place because I was here. It doesn’t make me right either; it makes us different.

*An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure*

Most of us do our best as parents, children don’t come with a User Manual, most of us were raised by imperfect people, and we all screw up; the most we can hope for is that we don’t screw up our kids too bad. If we do screw up (and what they consider screwing up and what we consider screwing up could be totally different things) admitting we were wrong, acknowledging their feelings and apologizing goes a long way.

* The one thing we can do to thwart narcissist’s gaining control of our loved ones is this:

Appreciate our children are different from us, it doesn’t make them wrong or us wrong, they are not meant to be “mini-me’s” they are unique individuals in their own right. They may not care about social standing and prefer the company of dogs to people, that doesn’t make they weird or flawed in some way. There would be a whole lot less potential victims of the narcissists in the world if people were confident about who they are and living true to their core selves.

But, you know they are in danger now! and you want to save them! you don’t want to lose them, you are scared, really scared, panicked even, it is consuming you, you can’t sleep, eat, or think about anything other than getting your daughter away from this man. What can you do??

As hard as it is, the only thing you can do is arm them with information, if they don’t know about narcissists, give them website links, the phone numbers of shelters and support groups, tell them you love them, you are there for them, and you don’t blame them, that they can have a happy future without the narcissist and you will help them. But reserve the character analysis of the narcissist because it will make the victim defensive and protective of the narcissist. She will feel guilt about talking behind his back, regret telling you anything and it could put a wall between the two of you.

Drop the subject when you talk to her except if she brings it up, do not cut her out of your life and family functions, make sure he is invited also so she doesn’t feel she has to choose between you and him; DO NOT GIVE HIM WHAT HE WANTS, TOTAL CONTROL! If he is invited and chooses not to attend, then it falls squarely on his shoulders and she can’t blame you for him not going. By protecting her you are actually assisting him.

When you stop trying to break them up and stop talking about it the sooner he will let his mask drop again. You trying to talk sense into her head is only prolonging his “good guy phase”

A caring mother of a victim is a victim herself and in order to heal you must pull away from the toxicity of their relationship, in order to stay strong and healthy yourself so later you can help her. You must carry on with your life and your hobbies and friends, you need your friends more now than ever, don’t let her narcissistic relationship destroy your life, marriage, health. You have to have a normal healthy life so she can see that the narcissist is NOT all powerful and all encompassing.


The most important things you can do are:

Keep the lines of communication open – that means calling often to check on her without talking about the N, stop making it all about the narcissist and more about her. How is she doing, take her for lunch and don’t bring up the N unless she wants to talk about it. I know it is hard but you have to back off from trying to prove to her that she should leave.

Arm her with information and help her come up with a safety plan- it does not have to be a plan to leave, just a plan to stay safe.

Make sure she knows she is loved, appreciated and special to many people

Make sure she knows it is not her fault

Never make her feel like she is doing this to you. (this is not about you)

Never let her feel she is wrong for loving him, or sick, or weak, or co-dependent.

Encourage her to pursue some of her own interests

Be prepared for the day she does leave and be there!

If she does leave don’t expect her to “just get over it”, be happy he is out of her life or any other unrealistic expectations about how she should be feeling. Get her counselling, don’t let her be all alone, be supportive, listen, help with the kids, cook for her, just sit there with her while she cries.

What was the catalyst to me leaving? It was when my ex’s sister came to live with us. First it was his son and then his sister, but for the first time in almost 10 years I had witnesses to the abuse, it was not just me telling about the abuse and someone agreeing with me. His sister witnessed it, stepped in at times, and couldn’t believe I was not more upset about things he did (I had shut off my feelings) and it made me realize I was not crazy, over reacting or imagining things. She also told me he was eventually going to kill me and I knew she was right. She also stopped talking to him because he had hurt her and I thought if she can cut him out of her life so can I. Once we were split she was there for me. She came to stay with me for a few days whenever I had a panic attack, she reminded me of all the crazy things he did and having her there helped me to not weaken and call him. She came several times in that first year.

What was your catalyst to leaving the narcissist?

What do you wish someone would have done for you? what would have made you leave the narcissist sooner?

Please share!








Advice If You Are With A Narcissist But Don’t Want To Leave

I got a comment on the “30 Red Flags” post the other day and thought it was a topic worth talking about again.

broke own heart

I mean really, there must be some other advice when you discover you are with a narcissist, other than “RUN”. I remember how frustrated I’d become when searching for answers years ago; every single site I came to (there weren’t that many 10-12 years ago) said to leave. I didn’t want to leave, I wanted advice on how to stay, I loved this man, there must be a way of coping with his issues, some secret to having a doable relationship. I didn’t need a knight in shining armor, I was willing to compromise, communicate differently, feed his ego more. If I needed to give him space, or love him more, or express myself differently, I was willing to do whatever it took, just tell me so I can go about saving him and our relationship, but I was not going to jump ship and desert him. I loved this man with all my heart!

I have always thought that nothing is impossible if you are willing to do the work, that there is a solution to every problem if you don’t give up, and that true love will prevail. All relationships go through rough times but if you weather the storms you will be rewarded with true love and devotion, at 80 you will be sitting side by side in your rocking chairs with the love of your life laughing about the stupid fights you used to have. You will look knowingly at each other, because the storms will have brought you closer together.

Ah, yes, true enduring love! I do believe it exists, and I do believe that these days of instant gratification and “out with the old and in with the new” mentality are making “happily ever after” a lot harder to find, but it can be found; just not with a narcissist.

Sticking with the person you love is an admirable thing, it shows good character and that you are a person of your word, responsible, and have a heart, all the things of a narcissist does not have. *Hint number #1 – Both people must have these qualities in order for it to work.


Anyway, here is the comment:

I am newly married.. Im 23. I feel like everything you posted reminds me of my new husband. I have recently felt so uncomfortable in our home. No he isn’t cheating. He is just really mad. And under ” a lot of stress” when there is nothing to stress about. He never says he loves me or kisses me for no reason anymore. He used to be so loving and so caring about my wants and needs. Now nothing.. We have been together over 4 years now. I thought we were best friends, we enjoyed everything together.. Now everything is opposite and fights. I don’t know what to do.. Any advice other than run away?


My reply:

Keisha, I know it is not so easy to walk away from a marriage, a new marriage. I am sure you don’t want to give up on your marriage, are afraid of what friends and family would think and say, plus you thought you had met your soulmate, your partner for life! You don’t want to think it was all a scam. You want the fairytale, happily ever after relationship you signed up for. You vowed, “For better or worse” and you sure don’t want to run at the first sign of “worse”.
By asking for advice, “other than run” you are in essence asking for tips on how to be married to a narcissist; and there are none. If you want to know how to be reasonably happy with a narcissist, how to manipulate a narcissist to do what you want, how to argue with a narcissist, how to reason with a narcissist, how to make a narcissist happy, how to avoid conflict with a narcissist, how to make a narcissist love you, how to make a narcissist be faithful, – there are no tips or advice to be given because all of the above are impossible.

So then we come to how you can change yourself so you can be happy and yet stay in the relationship; there are lots of things you can try but you have to remember, the narcissist doesn’t like you to be happy so you will constantly have to lie and sneak to be happy, in other words hide your happiness from him which is an oxymoron right there.

Even if you give up all expectations of the narc, don’t expect gifts for any occasions, don’t expect to ever go out, never expect the narc to show up, keep his promises, be faithful, or care one iota about you or the kids you will have, even if you give up your family and friends and live only for the narcissist and be at his beck and call 24/7, smile happily when he saunters through the door after being MIA for 3 days; He will still find fault, push your buttons until you break, to the point of you finding him in bed with your best friend and then him being angry with you for being upset. “But he should have known, you always have been a selfish bitch and he can not deal with your warped view of reality.”
Take it from a woman who tried everything, sacrificed everything, far more than material possessions, I sacrificed my self esteem, values, morals, boundaries, friendships and family and he still cheated and later even taunted me to kill myself. That is the one thing I refused to give him; my life and he has been pissed about it ever since.
But if you are determined to not run, this is my advice to you.
First of all, know this; they do not ever change.
What not to do:
– Don’t tell him that you think he is a narcissist in hopes he will want to change. They can’t change, they are born this way, their brains are wired totally different than a normal brain, he can not feel empathy, guilt, remorse and he really just can not care nor does he want to. Telling him he is a narcissist could put you in danger.
– Don’t believe a word he says, if his lips are moving, he is lying, get used to it.
– Don’t have any expectations
– Don’t rely on him for your self worth, keep your friends and family
– Don’t try couples counseling, he will just manipulate the counselor into thinking it is all your fault and he is the victim or if you get a counselor who knows anything about narcissists he will decide the counselor is a quack and refuse to attend.
– Don’t bother trying to explain why the things he does hurt you in hopes that some day you will be able to explain it in such a way that he will finally understand and stop doing what he is doing.

Accept that this is the way your relationship is going to go. It will eventually get so bad that you feel you have no choice but to leave because he will act like he can’t stand the fact that you are breathing his air. BUT if you do leave he will do everything within his power to get you back, even apologize for everything he ever did wrong.
If you go back, the abuse will be worse than ever and the cycle will continue. The honeymoon period will be shorter and the abuse worse.

Keep reading up on narcissists, keep coming here for support, keep a journal so you can see the pattern and that you are repeating history over and over again and nothing ever gets better.

  • Journaling is the number one best thing you can do for many reasons; it will help you keep your sanity for when he gaslights you and says things didn’t happen, twists your words, rewrites history, when you find out 6 months later he was lying, to be used in court to prove abuse, when he eventually kills you it will give the police and your family answers to what happened. (Please visit Myinnerchick.com it is written by the sister of a woman murdered by her soon to be ex husband)
  • Don’t stay 10 years like I did, or God forbid 30 years like some women
  • Please read the Safety Plan download at the top of the blog and other posts I have done on staying safe while in or leaving a narcissist.
  • Please do not have children with this man, do not bring an innocent life into this mess.

You say he isn’t cheating; I never thought my ex cheated on me either, I didn’t think he was capable of that kind of dishonesty, I really truly thought he loved me deeply and even when he had personal ads I didn’t think he would actually do anything about it.
I read somewhere that if you think your narcissist isn’t cheating you just haven’t caught him yet or he doesn’t feel he has you mentally beaten down far enough yet to take that step, but eventually he will cheat, 90% of them do, multiple times and with multiple women.

You are 23, with your whole life ahead of you, 30 years can fly by amazingly fast when you are dodging bullets, putting out fires, playing detective, and dancing as fast as you can while jumping through impossible hoops; all the while playing an endless game of “If only” in your head.

Look around at the married people you know, how many of them are recently married and always angry with their partner; I bet none.

We are here to help, encourage and support, but there is only one way to deal with a narcissist and that is to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction and never have contact again.

The Reality Of Love

This is a recycled post from two years ago that I thought was well worth reposting.

It’s all about trusting, trusting that the truth always comes out, trusting that you are loveable, trusting your gut instincts and trusting that; if it doesn’t work out with this guy or the next, it is not a reflection on you. If the guy turns out to be an asshole maybe he is just an asshole; it does not mean you did something to deserve it or you are flawed in some way.

There are narcissists everywhere, everyone meets them in their life, there is nothing wrong with you, nothing about you attracts them, don’t take it personally when you discover a man you met is a narcissist. Just walk away. That is the lesson you need to learn from this whole thing; the narcissist is the sick one, you just have to learn to accept they exist and they will eventually let their true colors show. Your job is to make sure that when the mask drops, you are prepared to walk away.

Falling in love is not about being the kind of woman any man would love and trying to fit a mold; it is about meeting men and taking the time to find out if HE is right for YOU. You are not going to know that in a few weeks or months………….give it time!!

Anyway, here is the post from the past 

Fight, Flight or Freeze

We have heard of the Fight or Flight instinct that occurs when we sense we are in danger, our bodies become ready to either fight or run to save our life. We are rarely told about the freeze response. The deer in the headlights response where you know you are in danger but can’t move. It is the thing nightmares are made of.

In the 1960’s (prior to laws preventing cruelty to animals) a researcher, Martin Seligman did an experiment where they placed a dog in a kennel divided down the middle with a low barrier. They shocked the dog with electricity and the dog learned that if he jumped to the other side of the kennel he didn’t get shocked. Then they tied to dog so he couldn’t jump over the barrier and shocked him. Later when he had the opportunity to escape the electric shocks he didn’t, the dog would just lay down and whimper. The dog had learned that he was helpless to stop the shocks and just gave up. (God that makes me sick to the stomach to even talk about it but it makes my point).

You can read more about the experiment here.

I know in my case, after the initial love bombing stage, when the abuse started I was very strong in my objections to the treatment. The first time I caught him with a personal ad I was ready to walk out but he cried and convinced me to give him another chance. When we fought I would walk out, I wasn’t taking any of his bullshit. After 10 years of it I didn’t even react. His sister was staying with us and when he didn’t come home all night she was amazed at how calm I was. In fact I had no reaction whatsoever. One day I was really sick and she called him at work and told him I needed to see a doctor. She told me that he had said he was coming right away and to tell me to get my coat on. I didn’t move. She said, “Come on, he said he was on his way and to be ready.” I told her to tell me when he pulled in the driveway and I would put my coat on. He didn’t show up for hours, I knew he wouldn’t rush home, I was surprised he came home at all.

I am sure most victims can relate when I say that throughout the 10 years I was with him I would be consumed with figuring out how to make him happy. I would have an epiphany and think, “I’ve got it! I know how to fix this and make him happy.” My hope would be restored and I would be filled with optimism only to have that not work either. There was no making him happy, no matter how I reacted, it was never good enough. I I got angry, didn’t react, explained calmly and rationally, left him, stayed, nothing made a difference and what made him happy one day made him angry the next. Nothing was certain.

I credit his sister with saving my life because it was through her anger over his treatment of me that I realized exactly how dangerous and dysfunctional the relationship was. I STILL struggled to leave, I was afraid, of what? who knows, I was just afraid and had decided this was my lot in life. Like the dog in the experiment I just laid down. You can call it Learnd Helplessness, or just giving up but;

I became frozen.

I purposely picked a sing-a-long video so you can read the words, this song actually has a very good message.

Some people may freeze sooner in the relationship, if they were abused as a child they may already feel they are helpless to help themselves and they may have a harder battle making themselves leave. I tend to be the type of personality that will get beaten down and feel hopeless but somewhere deep inside I find the strength or deep down I know, I can do this, I refuse to give up. Stubborn? it is an Aries trait after all.

There are a few woman new to site who are still being controlled by their ex narcissist, even divorced, he is with the new woman and they are still allowing him to control their lives and wondering why he doesn’t just go away. They never just go away peacefully, the victim must make the move and that can be very scarey for reasons even the victim doesn’t know.

I came up with an analogy yesterday to describe it in a way victims might be able to relate to.

Have you ever been sitting on the couch watching TV or whatever, totally relaxed and feeling safe when all of a sudden the power goes out and you are in total darkness? Instantly you go from feeling safe to terrified because it is so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your own face. A minute ago you knew there was no danger because you could see the room, you knew no one was there but as soon as it’s dark you imagine all sorts of things. Like as a child and in the darkness you imagine monsters are in the closet or under the bed but as soon as someone comes in and turns the light on the monsters disappear, even a little night light in the room can make you feel safe to fall asleep.

When the power goes out I freeze at first, then I know I have to get up and find the flashlight or some candles. I force myself because I know I can’t see in total darkness forever and logically I know there is no one or nothing in the room that is going to hurt me. I might trip over a shoe or bash my shin on the coffee table but I know where the flashlight is and find it. Once I turn it on my fears start to melt away, I am able to lock the door, making myself feel even safer, I can find the candles and before too long the house is glowing from the flicker of a dozen or so candles and I actually enjoy the coziness of the candles.

The narcissist blocks all the light from your life, logically you know that in order to see clearly you need to have light but taking those first few steps is so scary. Let us, the ones who have gone before you be you flashlight, your light in the distance saying you will be ok, come towards the light and away from the darkness. Once you get away from the darkness you will see that there is nothing to fear, you will see clearly what the darkness was hiding and as you light candles, you will start to enjoy the warmth.

But, you and only you can take that first few steps towards the light.

Dealing With A Narcissist Is Not Child’s Play

Many people compare dealing with a narcissist to dealing with a 3 year old and in many ways that is a totally accurate description.

toddlers rulesLike a 3 year old the narcissist will stomp his feet and yell that he hates you for not giving him his way and an hour or so later he is back like nothing happened. He will kick and scream to get what he wants only to not want it once he gets it. Or he will totally ignore a toy and toss it off to the side until someone else shows an interest in it and it immediately becomes his favorite toy or like a 3 year old he wants what everyone else has and will steal it if he has to and then act like he doesn’t understand why he is in trouble.

I found the 3’s to be way worse than the two’s! Give me a 2 year old anyday!!

The problem with a narcissist is; he is a three year old in an adult body and he will never turn 4. You are dealing with a full grown 200 lb adult with a 3 year old mentality, social skills of a child and the temper of a misbehaving toddler yet the strength of a full grown man. It’s hard enough to control a 3 year old throwing a temper tantrum but when it is a full grown man, you could wind up dead. And most victims end up explaining over and over again why something the narcissist does is hurtful and expecting he will eventually understand and stop. Even a 3 year old will learn something if they are told enough times. The victim keeps thinking, “If I could only find a way of explaining it in a way he would understand, he would stop hurting me.” A person gets hooked on the notion that eventually he is going to “get” it and they want to be with him when he does, they certainly don’t want some other woman to reap the benefits of their hard work and pain.


Living with a narcissist is much like playing a virtual reality game where you have to find clues and solve the puzzle, every time you do, you go up another level. Only with a narcissist even if you do solve the puzzle you end up going down a level every time until you are in a hole so deep you can’t see your way out. But like any game they can be addicting, like a gambler can’t walk away from the one arm bandit, or the teenager says, “Just let me do this one more level and I promise I will clean my room.” The victim of a narcissist keeps thinking either; if I can prove he is cheating on me, then I will leave. But they get the evidence and the narcissist denies it, they have the proof they wanted yet they still do’t leave because they want the narcissist to admit it and he never will. The narcissist professes his innocence with such conviction the victim doubts their own eyes and ears.

Even after leaving the narcissist victims will stay in touch because they are hooked on solving the puzzle, figuring out what he is doing now and with who. I know of one woman who knows what her husband is, knows he is cheating and yet she doesn’t leave and actually seems to enjoy the game of “catch me if you can”. I have explained to her she is feeding right into his plan and giving him supply so he can keep being his sweet self to the new woman and she keeps proving to him how much she still cares. She thinks she is catching him and being so tricky and smart when he is just playing her like a fiddle. One of my ex’s, ex’s was hooked on catching him 15 years after they split and he loved the attention. Her bizarre behavior validated his story that she was nuts and he fed her just enough information to keep her hooked. She called me and said, “He thinks I am so stupid, that I don’t know what he does but I always figured him out.” and I thought “you poor soul, you have spent 10 years with him, another 15 years catching him at whatever and wasted your life. It hadn’t slowed him down, it actually fed his ego but she had obsessed about him almost 1/2 her life and died a lonely alcoholic and when he told me she had died, he laughed. I vowed to never be like her. It was hard to break the addiction to figuring him out, I was solving puzzles to do with him for a good year after we split. Where did it get me, it gave me blog post material, but it didn’t change anything, and many times when I did solve the puzzle it was far more hurtful than I ever imagined.

The narcissist loves the game of clue, you may think he is lazy or careless to leave something out that makes you suspicious but you can bet he is leaving clues for you to find to create drama and to hurt you. He loves your pain, he loves rubbing your nose in his affairs, he especially loves two women fighting over him.

The victim can think of a million reason why they have to stay in contact with the N, all of them valid in their minds; (I know, I did it too) but if you are really honest with yourself deep down at the root of it is, even though you don’t want to take him back and know he is a narcissist you are not ready to give up one or all of these things;

  1. Solving the puzzle
  2. you don’t want another woman to reap the rewards of your efforts
  3. as long as he is in your life in some form or another, he is still in your life and you are comfortable in the position of victim
  4. you are not prepared to face reality and are clinging to the fantasy of who you thought he was or in other words Cognitive Dissonance


Below are some related older posts you might find helpful.

As hard as it is; there is only one option, only one way to ever find happiness and peace in your life, only one way to come back from the insanity and confusion you are feeling right now.

The Repercussions Of Playing The Game Too Long

The Narcissist Game – It’s Your Move

Finding Inner Peace– Lessons Learned From Humpty Dumpty