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I really need help

I really need help

I really need help….
I was currently dating an emotional abusive partner for 4 years
1..he isolated me from my friends and family
2..whenever he is wrong he blames me for everything
3..he lies about me
4..he cheated on me
5..he doesn’t apologize or show any regret when he has wronged me…
This past Friday he decided to go out with friends and he came back yesterday 7pm.

I didn’t manage to take all this and decided to leave him today but I don’t regret my decision….did I do wrong or right by leaving him?

Any advice its highly appreciated


Reactive Abuse

Reactive Abuse

Even good people have their limits.  Narcissists overstep boundaries time and time again.  They will push and push until you respond and then they’ll blame you for over-reacting or for being abusive.  The real abuser now has all the evidence they need.  Unfortunately, their constant needling, provocative words or acts that have led to a reaction from you, are often not seen or heard by anyone else but your response is often witnessed by every Tom, Dick and Harry.

The aim of an abuser is often to make you look bad and themselves look good.  They have achieved what they set out to do.  You have been manipulated into reacting to their abuse.  That’s what people witnessed, not their endless baiting and goading.  When the narcissist tells everyone their tales of woe in their premeditated smear campaign, it is you who will look like the guilty party and not them.  You’ve played into their hands and they now have everyone’s sympathy because they are the true victim of your abuse and instability.

Regrettably, the real victim in these scenarios, often believes that they have acted badly and blames themselves for over-reacting.  They have often be told that they over-react, they’re too sensitive and in time, they start to believe it.

Sadly, once these seeds have been sown in the minds of by-standers, their mind-sets are very difficult, if not impossible to shift.  They saw your behaviour with their own eyes and there’s very little you can do to swing their train of thought in your favour.  People are very quick to judge without knowing the full facts.

The true casualty is regularly wracked with guilt at their own behaviour.  However, the narcissistic personality, never admits to their faults, will feel no remorse for pushing you over the edge.

If someone in your life continuously pushes your buttons to hurt you and get some sort of reaction from you, reassess your reasons for keeping this person in your circle.  Don’t waste your life trying to fix someone else. There are some people who just can’t be fixed.  Don’t waste your life waiting for change that will never come.  Remove toxic people from your life and never, ever feel guilty for doing so.

Written by Anne McCrea

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon

Amazon UK

Amazon US

I’m struggling with my feelings

I’m struggling with my feelings

My narcissistic mother has just suddenly passed away. I’m struggling with my feelings and not entirely sure how to grieve. I’m obviously upset but how do I deal with such conflicting emotions when I’m also feeling relief, anger at the ‘ no closure’ over the 25 plus years of abuse but still mourning the loss of a mother I still loved regardless. Thanks

He keeps messing with me

He keeps messing with me

He just some how keeps messing with me. He’s had me blocked on Facebook since early November and I was notified today by a friend of a couple of songs that he shared on Facebook. The songs would indicate that he’s missing me. After a couple of hours thinking about it I decided to see if he unblocked me. And sure enough, he did. He wants me to see them. I instantly got a nauseous, shaking, and heart racing to my body. Long story, but no matter what, I can not message him since there’s a no contact order between us. So, I think that the hardest part for me is that there was no closure to our break up. I know that I wouldn’t even go back to him even if it was an option. There’s no trust and he has hurt me so much. Even his family talks to me still and tells me how he’s mean to me. When we were together his 24 year old daughter stood up for me serval times. Very rarely do your step kids/step moms have the kind of relationship that her and I had. She always introduced me as her mom. I’m sick wondering what he’s going to do next. I have even been considering moving to the other side of the country because of him and his lies. I just need away from him.

Educating Society about Emotional Abuse is Paramount

Educating Society about Emotional Abuse is Paramount

During these past few years I have been in touch with thousands of people whose lives have been shattered by emotional abuse.  Some of this abuse has come from within the family unit, from people who should have had their back but instead were the ones holding the knife.  Others have experienced abuse from ‘friends’ (I use that term lightly) or within the workplace.  Regardless of where this abuse comes from, the effects can be absolutely devastating.  To add to the pain that each and every one has suffered, these people often reach out to friends, family or professionals only to find that they are not believed or that the abuse they endured, is played down and considered trivial because there are no visible marks or scars.  This invalidation adds further pain to the individual who has suffered more than enough.

Unfortunately, people who have not experienced emotional abuse, have little understanding of the devastation caused by this form of maltreatment.  Sadly, this applies to many psychologists and therapists whose knowledge of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is somewhat limited.  These counsellors can do more harm than good.  In the cases of couples counselling, the therapist is often taken in by the narcissist and blames the target, not the perpetrator.  Narcissists are pathological liars who show no emotion when lying which is why they are so often believed.  They will also tell the truth in misleading ways giving the therapist an incorrect perspective, for example, telling part of a story where they talk about your behaviour, leaving out their provocation that made you react to their abuse.

‘In order for couples counselling to be successful, both partners must be willing to take responsibility for their actions and make adjustments to their behaviour.  Abusive people want all the power and control in the relationship and will focus on maintaining that imbalance, even if it means continuing unhealthy and hurtful behaviour patterns.  Many callers to the Hotline have related stories of trying and ‘failing’ at couples counselling because of an abusive partner’s focus on manipulating the sessions to place blame, minimize the abuse and attempt to win over the therapist to their side.’  (The National Domestic Violence Hotline)

It is imperative, when searching for a therapist or counsellor, that you ascertain they understand this dynamic and are up to speed on the subject of NPD.  There are many excellent counsellors out there.  Make sure you engage the help of the right one.

It is estimated that one in three targets of abuse will develop PTSD as a result of what was done to them. This is treatable with the correct help and support. Please click here for  more information on PTSD.

Society in general needs to be educated about narcissism, including therapists, law enforcement officers, judges, attorneys, and barristers.  Sometimes their lack of knowledge and understanding of malignant narcissism results in a target of such abuse being further abused by the judicial system or counsellors who are supposed to help them.  The uneducated tend to think that a narcissist is someone who loves themselves and have no insight into the long term psychological damage these people often cause.  This disorder goes way beyond selfishness and self-love, in fact, narcissists are often plagued with self-loathing and self-doubt. Although this type of personality frequently displays an air of grandiosity and arrogance, behind the false exterior there often lies a vulnerability and such a very fragile ego.  Their overreaction to some perceived slight can be absolutely devastating to those they target.

Professionals and the general public need to educate themselves on terms such as:

GASLIGHTING which is an insidious process which occurs over a period of time resulting in the person being gaslighted questioning their own reality and/or sanity. Please click here for more information on Gaslighting.

PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOUR such as the silent treatment which is a favourite tactic of an abuser where all attempts at communication are met with deadly silence.  Please click here more information on The Silent Treatment.

Experts throughout the world use criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) which is published by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental health conditions such as NPD.

The Mayo Clinic sets out the criteria from the DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder:

  • Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
  • Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it.
  • Exaggerating your achievements and talents.
  • Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.
  • Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people.
  • Requiring constant admiration.
  • Having a sense of entitlement.
  • Expecting special favours and unquestioning compliance with your expectations.
  • Taking advantage of others to get what you want.
  • Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others.
  • Being envious of others and believing others envy you.
  • Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner.

Diagnosis is by trained mental health professionals.  To be diagnosed with the rather unflattering label of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, one must possess at least five of the traits mentioned.  A common and very important trait, which is not mentioned in this list, is that of little or no empathy.  There are many who believe that as this is such a key aspect in people with NPD that it should have been included in the diagnostic criteria.

Many people have no understanding of why someone would remain in a relationship with someone who is abusive either emotionally or physically.  Some well-intentioned individuals will ask questions like, ‘Why did you not just leave?’  If only it was a simple as that.  Targets of abuse may be beaten down over time with neither the desire nor strength to fight.  They may be tied to their abuser by a psychological phenomenon known Trauma Bonding.  Please click here for more information on Trauma Bonding.

People need to understand that recovering from narcissistic abuse is a lengthy process.  Never put a time limit on your recovery.  For some, this will take two or three years but sadly for many, much longer.  Give time, plenty of time.  Education is a key part in recovery.  No blame should be placed on a target of abuse. There is light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.  We just need to know how to switch it on.

Written by Anne McCrea


Mayo Clinic Staff, (2014), Mayo Clinic: Narcissistic Personality Disorder, [Online], accessed Feb 2016.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline, (2014), Why We Don’t Recommend Couples Counselling for Abusive Relationships [Online], accessed December 2018.

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse, Shattering the Illusion, now available on Amazon

Amazon UK

Amazon US

She caused my biological mum to lose her legal rights

She caused my biological mum to lose her legal rights

My narc was not an ex-partner or a parent. She was my “gaurdian”. She was so talented in her manipulative abilities, she caused my biological mother to lose legal rights to me and my 3 siblings while we were between the ages of 10 and 15.

In order to provide context, I need to give the back story, I’ll keep as breif as possible but it is a long one.

Essentially my mum was the family black sheep, the scapegoat throughtout her entire childhood. When speaking out against childhood abuse, she was ostracized from her family. The narc (my mum’s sister) used this opportunity to frame her as a liar.

After a failed suicide attempt, my mum moved away from her family and in her early 20’s, (unfortunately) met my dad. He kidnapped, raped and beat her for 5 years. He physically abused my siblings and I, and sexually abused one of my siblings. A local church was concered about our family’s wellbeing and undertook a recuse mission to save us from my dad.

We then moved interstate, back to my mums biological family.
Despite my mum having been through hoffic truama, they already had a preconceived (albeit false) idea of my mum being a liar and crying wolf about abuse. However, the evidence of us children being abused was indisputable (hense investiagtion reports to back it up).

So they basically just expected my traumatized and abuse surviving mother to take on the role of a full time working, single mum of 4 broken children. Once she began fulfilling this role, it’s like everyone just forgot (extreme denial), about the unimaginable abuse my mum suffered and expected life to just go on as normal.

After giving her absolute best efforts for 15 years, my mum reached a breaking point. She had a nervous break down. Not only had her previous (childhood and marital) abuse caught up with her, but her narc sister had succesfully isolated her from any form of support.

Jumping on this opportunity, my covert narcisisstic aunty fought for legal gaurdianship of one of my siblings and me. After a year long battle in the family court system, she won. She had everyone fooled.

Suddenly she had the perfect narrative set; her as a saviour of my sister and me. She spun this story so convincingly that to this day, our mutual church community believes her to be the good guy. There is nothing quite as dangerous as a religious, covert narcissist who is so far gone yet so tactial, she may never be truly found out.

Her becoming my gaurdian was life-altering. At the time, she spun the story that my mum had ‘abandoned’ me. I felt like I had just found out my whole life was a lie.

How’s this for extreme projection? She framed my mum as having narcsisstic personality disorder. This is how I first came to discover NPD. I was so oblivious, I believed her. She turned everybody against my mum, including her own children and also my mum and aunties parents.

The last few years were a rollercoaster for me. I’ve been in ongoing therapy for depression, anxiety and complex PTSD. I met my now husband and moved out from her care. I also have my own child.

The pleathera of extensive damage to my emotional and mental wellbeing from early childhood abuse, made me the perfect victim for her gaslighting. She had me and many around her, believing that I was deadset crazy.

As if the following weren’t hard enough;

1. Completing my senior year at high school as one of the highest achieving students in the state, despite my battle with mental illness. She was clearly jealous (she didn’t finish school), so she emotionally abused me to the point that I believed that I was stupid and lazy (regarless of undeniable acheivements to the contrary). She completely downplayed my success.

2. Attempting to move out of home once I was 18. She succesfully manipulated the person whose house I needed to move into, so it took 5 months of relentlessly trying to leave before I could. That didn’t stop her over-bearing need for control though. She would check that I was paying rent etc. (Despite the fact she lived with this person rent free for a decade).

3. Planning a wedding with her as my mother figure. She was obviously extremely insecure about her role in my life and was therefore very jealous of my true biological mum and my mother in law to be. Planning my wedding was hell. She ruined so much of it. Thankfully my husband and I place more importance on the marriage, rather than the day itself (we still managed to enjoy our day).

So after years of events and life-milestones that she destoryed, the breaking point? Me having a child.

I could feel the dynamics changing throughout my pregnancy. She was going to be playing a grandparent role and I was nervous of her over bearing and controlling nature. My mother bear hormones were on guard and I started to set boundaires. She noticed the power shift instanaentlousy. I needed to protect my daughter. At this stage I didn’t know she was a narc.

Unfortunately, my labour had emergmecy complications and my baby girl ended up in the neonatal intensive care unit, intubated as she couldn’t even breathe on her own. This obviously (and dare I say, reasonably), delayed people being able to meet my daughter.

This clearly didn’t meet the expectations of how my Narc wanted this to go (for her). She was angry that she didn’t get to come straight to the hospital and meet my daughter. Let’s just ignore the fact, that I myself STILL hadn’t had the chance yet to meet my OWN, sick daughter.

During the hardest week of my life, while my first born child was in special care, my Narc turned my family of origin agaist me. Sadly, many years ago, a member of my family lost their child a few days after birth. The parents wished they had the opportunity for family to have met him. Unfathomably, my Narc used this to guilt trip me with and manipulate my family against me. She used this devastation within my family (along with other’s infertility etc.) as ammunition to destroy me. She also needed to go to these lengths to avoid being caught out for her disgustingly abusive behaviour that occured during that week.

So as a young, broken woman, when I needed support more than ever, I was judged and alienated “for how poorly I managed” that situation.

The saving grace? My wonderful husband and mother in law (MIL). Thankfully, the family I married are so supportive, that I haven’t lost everyone. The downside for them is that because they have sided with me, my Narc (succesfully) started a smear campaign against them. When my MIL stood up for me and her son, my Narc twisted my MIL’s (justified) reaction as abuse. We would all rather have our reputation shattered than have to be involved with this Narc.

This has all occured in the last few months (my baby is not even 4 months old yet). During this time, I found out that my gaurdian (supposed saviour) was my Narc. My reailty has been shifted once again. When I thought my life was all a lie before, well THAT was the lie.

Another bonus is that I have finally got to reconnect with ny biological mum. I believe everything that she’s been trying to say for several decades now. While I can’t make up for her sad and unfair past, at least I can give her a hopeful future. She gets her daughter back in her life, she gets to be believed and she gets to be a grandmother.

So here I am now, ZERO contact with my Narc since her being exposed. I’m about to face Christmas which will be the first time our paths have crossed in months (I’m nervous).

I am on the slow road to recovery. I see a psychiatrist, psychologist, doctor and I am on medication. My focus in therapy is no longer; childhood abuse and associated truama (flashbacks), self-harm and sucidual tendicies, panic attacks or being a first time mum. My focus in theray is healing from the damage my Narc has done to me. I am a shell of who I was but I will heal. If not for me, for my daughter.

Sorry this is such a long story, but it’s the only place I feel safe to share. To anybody else, it sounds too messed up to be true. The only people that could believe the unimaginable are other Narc survivors.



What can I do?

What can I do?

I’m starting to realise my step mother is a narc! My dad is a pleaser… and since being with her she has segregated him from his WHOLE family including his children… she took his mobile off him so now there’s only one way to get in contact and she has full control of the phone… he had to delete his FB page.. he has nothing left that is just for him. It’s so sad to see. In the last 10 years I have seen him 3 times. They travel Oz 6-8 months of the year but spend most of that in upper QLD where her kids are.

She apparently doesn’t like having ‘text convos’ hence you never get a reply… but when they visit she spends the WHOLE time texting with her adult kids and laughing and telling you how amazing they and their kids are..

They caught the next plane to meet the grandies the minute each of her kids went into labour… but didn’t meet mine until he was 3… everything is EVERYONE else’s fault! She is NEVER to blame! Not flying over to meet my son became ‘my fault’ apparently I looked at her wrong 20 years ago or some crap… nun of the crap makes sense… dad sits quietly looking very sad… absolutely kills me to see! My brother and sister haven’t spoken to him in about 15 years… I have only been lucky enough to get the three visits because I’m a stubborn wench and I refuse to stop trying! But holy crap it’s draining and depressing! I just want my dad back. I know now that will never happen. I asked dad why he won’t leave her two visits ago and he cried and said he’s too old to start again, that she will take everything he’s worked for and it’s too scary to be left with nothing… so I know I won’t get him back ever… but what do you do? How do you deal with it? I want to see him more! Most of their 6-8months in Oz is spent only about 3 hours drive from me… but I’m not welcome as I’m not one of her kids…

She’s driving me crazy

She’s driving me crazy

I am currently dealing with a narcissistic person who is my sister-in-law and ex friend. Her taunts, lies, and the ton of stuff she did to embarrass me is driving me crazy. I am getting frustrated and fed up with her and her nonsense. Can you all give me some advice on how to deal with this person?

5 Tips to Survive the Holidays with a Narcissist

5 Tips to Survive the Holidays with a Narcissist

5 Tips to Survive the Holidays with a Narcissist

by Annie Tanasugarn

Life with a narcissist can be stressful. Add the holidays into the mix, and having a narcissist around can be downright overwhelming. In true narcissistic fashion, they will compare your decorations to the neighbour’s house, your food to their friends’ cooking, and your holiday décor, to what’s trending on social media. Gifts from narcissists can be bland, inappropriate or completely useless, and if you look anything less than outrageously grateful for what they got you, then be prepared a pity-party where they’re playing the victim for everyone to see. Navigating the holidays with a family or friend who’s narcissistic can be very uncomfortable, and dampen the festivities of what should be a bright and cheery time of year. So, how can you navigate the holidays with a narcissist and still have a joyous time? Here are 5 tips to help make your holidays bright (even with a narcissist around):

Set and Maintain Firm Boundaries:

Boundaries are important for everyone, but especially critical if you’re dealing with a narcissist. If you’re having a narcissist over for holiday dinner, be prepared for them to arrive late, complain about the food, victimize themselves, and to make everyone’s happy time, well, less happy. If dinner is to be served at 5pm sharp, then keep to your schedule and maintain your boundaries. If they are late to dinner after you’ve already advised them of when dinner will be served, then serving dinner later to accommodate a narcissist is not an option – especially when other guests arrived on time. Keeping to your schedule will help keep you on track, and will establish necessary boundaries that you won’t (and shouldn’t!) accommodate their whims or dramatic stories about why they’re late (again) for another holiday dinner.

Water off a Duck’s Back:

Narcissists will be narcissists. This includes them complaining that the mashed potatoes are lumpy, the dinner rolls are stale, the champagne is flat, or your decorations are ugly. Be prepared for their insults, their half-assed, backhanded compliments and their stories that make them out to be a victim. Again. You may even hear the same story from them for the umpteenth time where they’re villainizing someone while playing a martyr. If you prepare yourself ahead of time for this inevitable part of having a narcissist over for the holidays, it will make your holiday less stressful. Ignore their insults and backhanded compliments, don’t feed into their martyrdom and give yourself space (boundaries!) because they are who they are, and they aren’t going to change – whether it’s the holidays, or not.


This little word has the biggest impact for your sanity, your peace of mind, and for the joy the holidays (should) bring. By disengaging from a narcissist’s drama, you are re-engaging with your own self-worth and self-identity. You are not their insults. You are not their backhanded compliments. You are not the villain in their victim stories. By mentally and emotionally disengaging, you are taking your power back – and making your holidays a little brighter. To disengage, you can mentally tune them out when they start in with their shenanigans, or you can walk out of the room and run to grab something from another room (towel, silverware, favourite serving platter, etc). This can buy you a few precious moments to take a few breaths, and re-centre your energy.

Have an Escape Route:

Narcissists are notorious for going into a narcissistic rage over minor things: they spilled soup on the tablecloth; they arrived late and blamed it on a slow driver; they chipped their nail polish getting out of the chair. The list goes on in how seemingly unimportant issues can trigger a narcissist’s temper, and proceed to dump on the holiday joy. If you can’t cut the visit short by using an excuse that you have another engagement, then try redirecting the conversation by asking them to find a DVD for the kids, or to turn the holiday music on. Giving them a simple task may not stop their bad mood, but it can buy you some time to redirect your own energy and disengage from their drama.


Self-care is an important part of healing, remaining healed, and in strengthening your personal boundaries. After the tension from the holiday party is over, set some time aside for a hot bath, a glass of wine and a good book, a brisk walk in your neighbourhood, or some other activity that can help you decompress and get back on track. Journaling is also an excellent activity to jot down your feelings and thoughts, especially after an emotionally charged day!

Planning ahead for the (inevitable) drama that a narcissist will bring to the holiday party can help you navigate the storm unscathed and make your holidays more joyous and less stressful.

Written by Annie Tanasugarn

About the Author:

Annie Tanasugarn is a Published Author and Researcher on Trauma Recovery; Personality Disorders and Interventions; and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a Behaviour Analyst with over a decade of experience in the field of Autism. Her interest and research in the field of ASD prompted her interest in researching correlations between high-functioning ASD and personality disorders. She is the owner of which is an online resource for families embracing Autism or other special needs. Annie is a free spirit who has a passion for coffee, travel, jogging, the mountains and most importantly, her family

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