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Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse

Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse

The page and website have continued to grow steadily.  With your help we are reaching millions of people worldwide, educating and raising awareness about narcissistic personalities and the people they target.

I always say to people not to expect others to understand unless they have been there.  I’ve been there.  I’ve been there and I’m back stronger than ever before.

Like many of you the term, narcissism was something that I had heard of but did not fully understand until I had the misfortune of becoming involved with these toxic individuals.

After the tragic death of my husband I had a relationship with a man who I had known as a friend for quite a few years.  At first he was charming, considerate and everything that I thought a man should be.  After a short period of time the cracks started to appear, ever so subtly at first.  Looking back, I can now see those ‘red flags.’   I didn’t realise just how significant they were, little things like talking down to the waiter, speaking badly of just about everyone from his son and granddaughter to his neighbours and acquaintances.  I don’t think there was anyone in his ‘circle’ who didn’t receive a bashing from his barbed tongue.  I was subjected to the silent treatment every few months, lasting weeks at a time.  I could never really figure out why.  At the time of my husband’s death, he was like a rock for me.  After a period of ‘the silent treatment’ when my father was dying six years ago, he became that rock for me once again.  He was never physically abusive with me but he had been with his ex-wife.  How do I know this?  He told me in such a way that made me believe that she somehow deserved it.  Foolish, I know, but that was all part and partial of the twisted mind games he played.  Looking back I wonder if this was a warning to behave and follow his rules.  Possibly!  I wish I had known then what I know now.  I would have walked away much, much sooner.

We parted for the last and final time four years ago.  It has been a difficult journey but one that I know was absolutely necessary.  This page has helped me and I know from your comments and messages that it has helped so many of you.  It is heartening to know that something good has come out of such a difficult period of my life.  During this past four years I have made many new friends and rekindled many old friendships.  I have been surprised at the number of people who have said to me that I am so much better off without this man in my life.  I certainly know that I am.  It’s strange, but at the time, you don’t see just how unpopular the person you are involved with really is.  People don’t tend to be up front and honest at the time by telling you what they really think, probably imagining that you will either not listen or that you will find out for yourself in time.  Since I walked away from this toxic relationship, not one person that I have spoken to, has a good word to say about him.  Am I surprised?  No, not now, but I probably wouldn’t have listened if they had told me their honest opinions whilst I was in the midst of a toxic whirlwind.

Unfortunately whilst recovering from this relationship and studying narcissistic personality disorder, I found myself in another situation where people were not as they appeared to be.  My horses were stabled at a yard close by.  After catching one of the people who ‘runs’ the yard, (I use that term lightly) trying to steal from me, I called them out on their behaviour, having written proof.  Their true colours certainly came out in the wash.  Lies and a smear campaign followed.  The owner of the yard knew the truth and stood by me and I thank her for that.  How did I deal with this situation?  I moved my horses to another yard where, I am glad to say the people are much more pleasant and above all, honest.  Sometimes cutting contact with toxic people is the only answer.

I have learned a lot over the past few years.  I have learned that some people who I thought were decent, honest people, were anything but.  I learned not to tolerate toxic behaviour from anyone.  Life is too short to put up with that sort of negativity.  I’ve learned that it’s not my job to fix those people.  Their problems are their misfortune and they will have to deal with those themselves.  No Contact is your winning move

My main reason for starting this page just over two years ago was to spread awareness about the subject of NPD and the devastating consequences of being involved with a narcissist in one way or another.  The text below is the original article that I wrote some time ago.

A relationship with a narcissist is a roller coaster ride with many highs and lows along the way.  There is no happy ending.  I would describe the aftermath as a plundering of your heart and soul.  After being subjected time and time again to endless silent treatments, I knew that I had to walk away to save me.  I still loved the nice side of the man but sometimes love is not enough.  To those of you who are not familiar with narcissism I will enlighten you as to some of the traits of narcissism which appears to be on the increase in today’s society.

Many experts use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose mental conditions. This manual is also used by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

  • 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

One of the most reliable ways for a narcissist to feel good about themselves is to invalidate, devalue or denigrate others.  They routinely put their own needs before those of anyone else, frequently even those of their own children and loved ones.  They ‘use’ them to their own advantage and when they are no longer needed, they are unceremoniously discarded.  To the outside world the narcissist may appear to be successful and charming, but to those closest to them, the mask slips and the evil behind the mask is revealed.

How do we, as a partner or spouse, get sucked into this nightmare?  For several months or so, the narcissist will pretend to be everything you ever wanted.  They will shower you with attention and affection and make you feel like you have met your soulmate.  Then when you are hooked, they will reveal who they really are.  You will see a dramatic change in their behaviour.  They will start treating you badly, lie, cheat, manipulate, humiliate you and give you the ‘silent treatment’.  You will have no idea why.  You have been brainwashed.  People with NPD are master manipulators.  Your will try to figure out what happened and to do everything in your power to restore the relationship.  By this stage your self-worth is somewhere in the gutter and you feel like a failure.

Why do people put up with this?  Years spent with a narcissists will alter anyone.  People who were once strong become weak, nervous and anxious and they don’t see it happening.

Eventually, most targets of a narcissistic personality will have that ‘wake up’ moment when they will see through the exasperating dishonesty and the crazy making behaviour.  They learn that there is no reasoning with these toxic individuals.  They never hold themselves accountable for their monstrous behaviour.  They are never wrong.  Nothing is ever their fault.  They will blame you for the very things that they do themselves.  They cannot be fixed.  You cannot unseat their deep hatred and shame.  They envy everything they see in you because they know that they can never truly feel and love in the way that you can.  They are emotionally stunted.

You will not change them.  Not recognising these facts will lead to your own self destruction.  Emotions are a very powerful phenomenon.  The invisible scars run so very deep and take a very long time to heal, for some, a lifetime.  The betrayal by someone who you thought loved you is like a stab in the very core of your being.

Of this man, who I gave six years of my life to I will say that I was devoted to him, loved him with all my heart, yet he almost destroyed me.  Now when I think of him I feel no hate, no pity, nothing, zilch, love – not an ounce.

He is 70 now, and I think that he will get what he deserves in life, a lonely old age, being on the receiving end of what he gave to others all his life.  Time stands still for no one.  Over the course of time lovers lose their allure, philanderers lose their touch, looks fade and true character is always revealed to those who have learned to see.  Time brings the narcissist closer and closer to being average.

In order for a narcissist to change they need to admit to themselves that their behaviour and treatment of others is not acceptable.  This will not happen because the narcissist is never wrong.  Compassion and empathy are considered weaknesses.  The narcissist may fake both of these qualities if and only if there is something in it for them.

Narcissistic abuse is insidious in that it is almost always covert and often indirect.  This type of abuse is carried out subtly as narcissists go to great lengths to avoid being seen in public as abusive.  This Jekyll and Hyde behaviour can inflict great harm on a target.  People find themselves walking on eggshells in an effort to avoid further conflict.  A narcissist doesn’t look for compromise or a relationship in which everyone can be happy.  They are looking for POWER AND CONTROL.

All in all the narcissists as they age will have had a string of failed relationships and lost friendships.  Family will avoid them unless there is something in it for them.  Sadly their children often turn out the same.  The old saying, ‘the apple does not fall far from the tree,’ is very true.  They cut a lonely figure in a decaying body, their loneliness is brought about by their own doing.  Some might say that this is poetic justice.

The man that I was involved with has already lost a daughter who he has not spoken to in years.  She doesn’t realise how lucky she is.

Forgiveness?  Forgiveness does more for the forgiver than the forgiven.  I don’t think that it should be universal.   If there is absolutely no remorse and the person intends to continue abusing others and behaving badly, then I personally do not think they deserve to be forgiven.

It has taken me a long time to get to where I am now.  The devastation caused by their betrayal and knowing that you meant absolutely nothing to these toxic individuals will take you as low as you can possibly imagine.  Getting yourself back to who you once were will take a lot of hard work and soul searching but you can get there with the help of true, genuine friends, people who will listen and not judge.  For some people, that may involve counselling.

The past nine years have been difficult at times.  I lost my husband, my father, my mother, one of my horses and two of my dogs.  I fell in love with someone who I thought was the man of my dreams only to find out he was the stuff nightmares are made of.  I’ve met people since who showed me their true colours.  They are no longer a part of my life.  Lastly, there was the smear campaign.  All the little minions who believed the lies are long gone.  The people who really know me know the truth and that’s all that matters.

I have come out the other side wiser and much stronger than I ever was.  You can too.  Have a little faith in yourself.  Time has a way of healing even the deepest of scars.

Written by Anne McCrea

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

 

The ‘Spider’s Web’

The ‘Spider’s Web’

In nature, the spider is almost the craftiest of them all, for it will seek out a path well travelled to lay a trap for its unsuspecting victim.  Spinning a web of the finest thread, the spider awaits prey to fly around the corner, so oblivious to the web’s silk which is so fine that it can almost be invisible.  As prey hits the web, the spider feels vibrations of movement and rushes out toward its prey, injecting a paralysing venom to halt the new victim’s efforts of escape before slowly wrapping it in a cocoon of silk.

Spidercist's Supply
The once easily recognisable creature now looks a far cry from its once proud self.  For any nature enthusiast who ever looks closely at a spider’s web, many of the prey are indistinguishable from one another once they’ve been wrapped by the spider, yet they could be vastly different creatures.

The spider in some ways is a good analogy of a narcissist.  Unwittingly, the victim comes into contact with the web of a narcissist, which like long tendrils can hamper your attempts to escape.  Once the narcissist knows you are stuck in their web, they quickly and proficiently inject you with some of their poison to make you feel there is no way out.  And to make matters worse, you become part of that web as the spider wraps you in silk to ensure your captivity.

The problem is however, that a web can only support so much weight, and, like a narcissist, a spider can become greedy and use its web to engulf as many people into their world of deceit that the foundations begin to stretch.  The spider tries to keep tabs on everything in the web, but sometimes there is just too much going on that the spider will begin to make errors.  Errors such as letting their true nature show; having a web too big that they just can’t control it anymore.  But sometimes it just takes the smallest outside influence like a gust of wind to come along and tear down everything the narcissist has tried to create.

The web of deceit slowly stretches and falls apart.  Some of the victims have been encased for so long that escape seems almost impossible whilst others have only just touched the web that escape is so close on the horizon.  But webs are sticky. Sometimes trying to muster enough strength to break free is near unreachable.  Some victims may escape the web only to get stuck on another thread of silk.  But for those at the centre of the web, there are many threads to cross and therefore many chances to become stuck.

The point of this analogy is, if you have found yourself caught in that web, it won’t be a downhill ride to freedom, it’ll be an uphill struggle to shake free of your bonds.  And even then, there’s every chance you’ll stumble along the way and find yourself stuck in another trap.  Never lose faith in your ability to escape, for once that is gone, all that is left is the ever consuming deceit of the narcissist, and if you’re not careful and hasty, the narcissist might shackle you in their cocoon.  As each layer of silk is wrapped around you, the light of the world around you and the freedom it represents grows ever more dark until you’re left on your own, in the encompassing black of darkness.

Written by Steven McCrea

 

The Smear Campaign

The Smear Campaign

THE NARCISSIST’S SMEAR CAMPAIGN
‘The smear campaign is an orchestrated series of lies and misinformation initiated by toxic people as a method of damage control in the event of them being exposed.’
Anne McCrea
Narcissists use a calculated (and effective) series of lies and gossip to deliberately bring their target down and make themselves look good.  Why?  There can be many reasons such as you seeing them for who they really are, to discredit you should you decide to expose them, jealously, a relationship coming to an end, not giving the narcissist enough attention or a simple disagreement.  The victim of a smear campaign often finds themselves isolated and or ostracised by family and people who they once thought of as friends.
By the time the victim finds out about the back stabbing and betrayal, it’s too late, the damage has been done. No one believes them.  Their credibility has been undermined, their character assassinated.  The narcissist has painted a dark picture of their target and any denials only add fuel to the narcissist’s version of events.
 Smear Campaign
The narcissist often starts a smear campaign long before a relationship comes to an end.  They plan ahead knowing that none of their relationships end well, so when that time comes, they have already persuaded friends and basically anyone who will listen to them, that their target is unstable. They lie, spread malicious gossip and twist the truth in an effort to destroy their victim’s character and reputation.  Abusers often use other people to do their dirty work for them.  They will use third parties to abuse their target.  Because this form of abuse is indirect, it results in them looking like an innocent party.
Maintaining their image is paramount.  They’ve done this before and are well practised in manipulating and controlling people. Practice makes perfect and sadly they are often believed.
Smear campaigns are often initiated within the family unit.  The narcissist alienates their target from family members once again by lies and gossip.  The narcissist recruits family members, (who become enablers) to help ostracise their victim.
Anyone who is seen as a threat to a narcissistic personality within the workplace may be considered a target. Simply being more popular than the narcissist is enough to make you a target of a workplace smear campaign. The victim in these circumstances may find themselves being bullied, isolated or ostracised by their work colleagues.  They may find themselves being blamed for failures, poor performance or inadequacies, none of which they’re guilty of.
‘You may hear stories about me.  They’ll tell you what they want you to know, but they’ll leave out what they did.  There was a time that I was good to those people, but they don’t want you to know that.’
Anne McCrea

Make no mistake, the narcissist knows their target is a good person.  They know exactly how they are making their target feel by their betrayal.  They simply don’t care as long as they, themselves, come out of the situation smelling of roses.  Some will take great pleasure and feel a sense of power by simply knowing that they are the cause of another’s pain and emotional distress.  By their manipulation, they are in control of their target’s emotions and of their relationships with others.  They display absolutely no remorse or shame in the psychological harm and trauma that they cause to their victim, unless of course, they are caught.

What can you do about it?

If you have evidence of defamation of character through false accusations, seek legal advice.

Libel is a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.

Slander is the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.

Written by Anne McCrea

The Silent Treatment

The Silent Treatment

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

A narcissist’s silent treatment is one of their favourite games of mind control.  It is a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse.  Those who have never been subjected to this form of abuse will find it difficult to understand the utter devastation caused by what is sometimes known as mental murder.  The narcissist will deliberately ignore their target in order to cause harm, often encouraging others to do the same (Ostracism).  The person who is being ignored or ostracised is left feeling worthless with their self esteem lying somewhere in the gutter.

The narcissist will express their disapproval by shutting down, withdrawing any love or affection, refusing to communicate and denying their target any explanation.  Why?  Avoidance, control, disempowerment and / or punishment, punishment for some perceived slight that their target is completely unaware of.  They know how they are making the other person feel but in their sick and twisted mind, they believe they deserve it.  Their emotional maturity is typical of a five year old child who sulks and storms off until they get what they want.  The victim often reaches out to the abuser in an attempt to resolve the situation.  Their phone calls will go unanswered, their emails or texts will be ignored.  All attempts at communication are met with contempt and a deafening silence.  This passive aggressive behaviour is usually a repetitive form of emotional abuse which the narcissist will practice time and time again with each episode of silence often lasting a little longer than the one before.  This is intentional manipulation which conditions the target for future mind control.  Reduce to SilenceThey don’t know if or when their voice will be heard and they will once again be graced with a response or if some degree of ‘normality’ will be restored.

Below are some questions I put to a narcissist  regarding the silent treatment.

Q.  Why would you, as a narcissist, invoke the silent treatment on  a partner or loved one?
A.  They’ve brought it on themselves.  If they have stopped making me the centre of their attention, I can bring the focus back to me by ignoring them.  They’ll be so hurt and annoyed that they’re being ignored that they’ll grovel and beg and do anything to get my attention.  If they’ve done something that annoys me, it’s a good way of pulling them back into line.

Q. Back into line… That statement certainly makes it sound like you think that you should always be in charge, that you should always hold the reins.  Is there ever a time when you can see someone as your equal?
A.  No. I am the boss.  If they want to be with me, they need to know that.

Q.  The silent treatment has been described as mental murder due to the severe emotional trauma felt by the victim.  How can you justify making someone feel totally worthless, as if they don’t matter?
A.  It doesn’t matter to me how they feel as long as they learn their lesson.

Q.  How do you react when your tactics don’t go to plan and your target ignores you right back and doesn’t come running back to you?
A.  That doesn’t usually happen.

Q.  What if it did?  What would you do?
A.  If they were worth keeping, I’d bide my time and gradually draw them back to me.

Q.  How?
A.  By being charming and irresistible again.

Q.  Is it something you do a lot?
A.  Yes, ‘ cos it works.

The narcissist is a cold, empty human being who will show absolutely no remorse or sympathy for the pain and distress that they are causing their victim. To the outside world their behaviour will appear normal. They appear to be in good spirits, calm and in control.  No one would ever believe the person they think they know could act in such a cold and callous manner.  They often portray themselves as the victim whilst the real victim of this dysfunctional relationship gradually becomes a shell of their former selves.  People who they thought were their friends have sided with the abusive personality.  They find themselves rejected by not only the narcissist, but by the narcissist’s family members, friends or colleagues. It’s a very lonely place to be.  The real victim withdraws, doesn’t know who they can trust any more and becomes isolated.  Sometimes they’ll react and who can blame them?  They have been pushed to the edge and they’ve done nothing wrong.  Bam!  The narcissist has all the evidence they need.  Their victim has just shown everyone  how crazy they are.  The abuser has gained sympathy and the victim has shown just how ‘unbalanced’ they really are.

As the victim’s mental health slowly deteriorates, the narcissist knows that they could put an end to this needless suffering at any time.  They don’t.  They often enjoy seeing the results of their monstrous behaviour and its profound effects on their helpless victim.

When does the silence come to an end?  When the narcissist sees fit.  When the target has been punished enough.  When they’ve paid their dues some semblance of normality will return until the next time.  The victim is so delighted that the period of silence has been lifted that they don’t ask why or what happened.  They don’t want to invoke the narcissist’s wrath so they let it slide.  Each and every time someone is subjected to this abhorrent treatment, they become less of the person that they once were.  Their self esteem gets pulled down further and further until they are not a patch on the person they once were.

In the majority of cases this type of abuse is covert and is rarely witnessed by anyone outside the loop. It is considered a very dangerous form of abuse which no one should tolerate.  If you find yourself being treated in this manner, understand that this is not normal behaviour.  People who play these mind games are mentally unstable, full of self hate and are incapable of maintaining healthy, loving relationships.

No one deserves to be treated in this manner by any one.

Written by Anne McCrea
The Pull And Push In A Relationship With A Narcissist

The Pull And Push In A Relationship With A Narcissist

A relationship with a narcissist can be likened to a returning boomerang, ‘a weapon designed to return to the thrower.’

The narcissist’s relationships follow a pattern where they pull you into their web with their apparent  charm, wit, kindness and generosity only to sabotage it all for no obvious reason.  Then, when all seems lost, they switch on the charm again and things return to those initial stages where everything is perfect once again….TEMPORARILY.

These sick and twisted mind games are highly effective methods of manipulation and mind control.  They play with your feelings and emotions.  Why?  To feed their never ending need for narcissistic supply and to get a reaction from you, positive or negative.  The way they feel about themselves, dictates how they treat you.  Whether you deserve it or not is not on their agenda.

The Cycle Of Mind Control

Narcissists don’t ‘do’ solitude.  They need company like a car needs fuel. They thrive on narcissistic supply, good or bad, positive or negative and cannot function properly without it.

Never run back

Love Bombing

The person with NPD wants to get you hooked and will initially appear considerate, amusing, generous, even kind.  They will share the same interests and values (mirroring) and if it’s a romantic liaison, they’ll sweep you off your feet.  Yes, you’ve met your Princess or Prince Charming.  During this phase known as ‘love bombing’ you can’t believe your luck in meeting someone who shares your dreams and promises you the world.  It’s too good to be true!!  Sadly, it’s not.  It’s not real.

Devaluation

The narcissist gets bored easily.  All the positive supply and adoration is wearing thin.  It’s not enough.  You’re not doing enough.  It’s certainly not their fault and it never is.  They blame you.  You need to suffer for not giving them the adoration and attention that they believe they deserve. They will shout or fire insults in your direction in an attempt to provoke you, to hurt you, in an attempt to get you to beg them, to plead with them.  If you should happen to let them see those tears as they roll down your cheeks, they’ll be moved, moved to the point of total satisfaction.  You may even be subjected to their favourite weapon, the silent treatment.  You don’t deserve their acknowledgement. Their silence is justifiable.  As you plead for an explanation, want to know what you’ve done wrong and promise to do whatever it is to put it right, their fragile ego is given a much needed boost.  They’ll keep up this behaviour for just long enough, long enough to teach you a lesson and pray for their return but short enough so that they won’t lose you, not just yet!!

Now we’ll go back to the beginning.  They’ll switch on the charm and you’re back in the web,  relieved that once again you’re back where you should be.  Everything will be perfect for a while…  Until the next time.

The to-ing and fro-ing between being treated well and being treated badly over a period of months or years wrecks havoc with your emotions.  A state of confusion doesn’t even come close in describing how you feel.  This goes beyond bewilderment as to why this is happening.  And yes, the narcissist is loving every minute.  They planned this from the outset.  They are masters of manipulation, practising their tactics in each and every relationship.  If the narcissist has done their job well, you may find yourself with no one to turn to, no friends, no family, they have isolated you from everyone you held dear.

If the narcissist believes that you have figured them out and it’s not quite the right time to let you go, they will do everything to keep you from going.

They may promise to change…  They won’t.
They may offer to seek help…  They don’t need help, they’re perfect the way they are.
They say that it will never happen again…  It will.
They may apologise…  It’s not sincere.

These are all desperate measures to keep you from leaving.  You are not at liberty to decide when the relationship ends.  That’s their prerogative.
Eventually you will decide you’ve had enough of the control and the mind games and you’ll leave the narcissist or they will abandon you in the most callous manner that you can think possible.  Either way, it’s not the end.

Don’t fall for their attempts to resurrect the past.  It’s futile.  Protect yourself, protect your heart.  The outcome has already been decided.

‘Never run back to the one who almost brought you down.’

 Written by Anne McCrea
Enabling

Enabling

THE BYSTANDER IS AN ENABLER

When Good People Look The Other Way They Are no Longer Good

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’
(Some have attributed this quote to Edmund Burke but this cannot be clarified)

‘You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know.’

William Wilberforce

Enabler… A person or thing that makes something possible.

How many people do you know who see something happening which they know is wrong and do absolutely nothing about it?

Have you seen people who know that abuse is taking place and they turn the other way?

People who stand and watch others being slandered, abused and devoured cease to be spectators and innocent bystanders.  Their failure to act and take a stand at obvious wrongdoing allows evil to spread it’s wings and continue. Good people need to stand up and be counted.  They need to stand together and let the abusers and evil doers know that their behaviour will not be tolerated.

‘What we allow will continue.’Don't let your silence

By doing nothing, the wrong doer will not face the natural consequences of their actions or words.  Research has shown that a disordered individual will not see the need for change unless they hit rock bottom.  When enablers pander to the abuser’s every whim and do not call them out on their behaviour, they will never get to that place where they know that they have got to do something about their monstrous behaviour.  Inaction of good people will enable these toxic individuals to keep on doing what they are doing.  The pressure to enable may be intense, with the abuser often using manipulation tactics to get their needs met.  Don’t be fooled and stop making excuses.  Get a backbone from somewhere and do something.

Enablers often rush to clean up the mess left by a relative or friend whose anger has boiled over.  Are they helping? Definitely not.  Leave the evidence intact.  Let them clean up after themselves.  When they have calmed sufficiently, let them see how their actions and behaviour have affected others.

‘Short term pain vs long term misery.’

Unfortunately many abusers are not aware of their own mental state and their need of professional help and therefore have no compulsion to receive it.  Enabling shields the person from awareness of the harm that they do and the need or pressure to change.

Is change possible?

This question appears to be open to debate.  Pathological narcissism is a difficult disorder to treat.  Recovery from NPD would be a lengthy process requiring the individual to remain in therapy for a considerable length of time.

Herein lies the difficulty….

Will a narcissist remain in therapy for as long as is required?

Will a narcissist acknowledge their therapist’s expertise?

I have known and read about narcissists in recovery over the short term.  Some narcissists that I have spoken to will say that they have difficulty maintaining a change in their behaviour for considerable periods of time and tend to slip back into their old ways.  They believe that the best possible outcome is a modification of their behaviour.

Some experts have gone out on a limb saying that they believe change is possible whilst most tend to disagree believing long term change is extremely unlikely if not impossible.  It is their personality.  It is who they are.

Enabling will prolong the problem.

Let them hit rock bottom.  Maybe then and only then, will they seek the help that they so desperately need.

Written by Anne McCrea

My Closure

My Closure

Closure

I know that most of what we read will tell us that we never get closure with a narcissist. This is certainly true when looking at it from the narcissist’s perspective. When normal relationships come to an end, we talk to each other, talk about what went wrong, apologise if we were at fault and move on with our lives with no hatred or feelings of the need for revenge. With a narcissist this does not happen, so many things are left unsaid. We are often left bewildered as to what went wrong. I know that in my situation, there was no argument, just silent treatment time and time again for no apparent reason. Those of you who have been subjected to the silent treatment will know exactly how this feels.. It is devastating and makes you feel worthless and you feel that you never meant anything to the narcissist in your life. I know now that this was a form of manipulation and control. After some time I decided that I needed to give myself closure. There were things that I needed to say. I didn’t need or expect a response from him. I mention in the email that his new relationship will end just like all of the others. It did, only lasting a matter of months. You will see towards the end that I mention my intention to return to Tenerife where he bought an apartment. During our last conversation he implied that I should not go back to that particular area. I do not believe that he has any right whatsoever to tell me where I can and cannot go on holiday. I have been back there a number of times. On my last holiday with a number of friends, I saw him when I was having dinner. I have been asked if I spoke to him. No… There is nothing left to say. I can look back on our relationship and know that I behaved with dignity and respect throughout. He cannot say the same. This is my closure……

‘I am sitting here in Golf del Sur having a moment of reflection. I look back at what happened between us and wonder what it was all about. I’m sure if you were honest with yourself, you do too, but then maybe you do not reflect and learn from the past. I think ………… that you could never be wrong and the problem could never be yours. You project on to others and it has to be their fault. When I look back at our time in Florida I don’t know why I got the ‘Silent Treatment’, but one thing I do know is that it is a form of control by pulling people into line and is a passive aggressive form of emotional abuse. No one should take that form of abuse from anyone, especially not from someone who is supposed to love you and care about you. I know I had been on the receiving end of the silent treatment from you a number of times and I should have walked away then but I didn’t. Why? Because I loved you and foolishly thought that you would change because you were happy. What a fool I was! I know now that you will never change. When we came back from Florida I saw that exact same behaviour from ………. and ………..(his son and granddaughter) Why? Because they know no different. They have been taught by a master of manipulation and control. I know that the morning of the dolphin swim when I asked you what was wrong and you replied, ‘You’ll know fucking quiet when we get home,’ that did it for me. I knew that I couldn’t take any more. You don’t accept that sort of abuse from someone who is supposed to care about you. Your behaviour , because you were not the centre of attention, was one that one would expect from a five year old. The emotions of a man of your nature have not matured with age. They have got stuck somewhere in your childhood and sadly that is just the way you are and will always be.

I have been told that you have moved on and have found someone else. I would like to wish you all the best and hope that it works out but I won’t because I know that it will end just like all the others. You are not capable of a deep and lasting love. Your relationships will all turn into dictatorships and if they have any self respect they will run at the first sign of manipulation and control.

I know that many a time you tried to isolate me form my kids by the things you said and did. You knew that was the one way that you could really hurt me. I look back and wonder why you wanted to hurt me. I know that I never would have wanted to hurt you like that. When …… (his son) said things about you to me, like how did I stick you when we had been away on holiday, I would never have told you because I didn’t want to hurt you.

When I found out what you said to ….. (my daughter) at Christmas 2012 when I sent up your Christmas dinner and had the flu, I honestly couldn’t believe that someone would be so cruel. In case you have forgotten, I will remind you. You said, It’s not a bit of wonder your daddy did what he did.’ ( my husband had taken his own life). Why such a callous remark? That was truly a despicable thing to say, even for you. When I have told people that, they have all said that I am better off without someone who could say something so cruel. And just for the reference, she didn’t tell me that remark until you and I had finished for good when we came back from Florida because she knew it would cause a row. That’s the difference between you and I. You simply don’t care who you hurt.

As for the tribunal case, the reason that this was initiated was because of the manner in which ….(his son) treated……(my son who worked for him and was sacked two hours before he was due to start work for no apparent reason) . He never paid him his last wages. What sort of businessman is that? The lies you told didn’t surprise me. I honestly believe we would have won the case but there was so much work going on in the house at the time that I didn’t need the hassle or the stress so it was better to walk away. However, it did give me some satisfaction when………(my son) received a cheque for back pay and the Revenue informed us that you had been fined. Justice was done in the end.

You know that I saw you stalking me at the farm in June. I don’t know what that was about but I can tell you that I am very happy there and so are Ben and Asia. (my two horses)

I came over to Tenerife in May/June to see the dentist in Los Abrigos and had to come back for a few weeks now. For the past two weeks I have been staying in the Penthouse in Duquesa del Mar, a beautiful complex. I met a lovely couple here and I have been offered an apartment here any time I want it and I intend to take them up on that offer. I know last year …….(his son) told people that I was over here stalking you when I was staying 20 miles away. When I found out I sent him a text saying that if he pushed me too far that I would see him in court. That still stands.

Remind him that it was me who booked a holiday to this area in the first place and I like it too. ( He bought an apartment there two years ago and I was told that I shouldn’t go back there). When I was speaking to Ronny the other day he agreed and said, ‘why shouldn’t you come back here?’ Exactly. God willing. I intend to.

I know you are probably ripping your hair out by now at some of the things that I have said, but I don’t really care. You said to me the night of Gary’s funeral and I quote, ‘I am not a bad man Anne.’ You know I believed that for a very long time and felt sorry for you because you had never found happiness in your life. I don’t think you ever will. I know that I am not the sort of person who can be happy hating someone but I know that for a long period of time I was very close to that. I know now the deeper the love the more the hurt. There is a fine line between love and hate. I don’t hate you now but I don’t know that I can ever forgive you. Maybe in time. I hope so. That would make me the better person if I can. The reason I have sent you this letter is for me. This is my closure.

Goodbye………

Maybe you will find that inner peace some day but you will need to change to achieve that.

Anne

This worked for me. I think we all need to do what is right for each of us as an individual. This chapter in my life is now over.

The Narcissistic Son Or Daughter

The Narcissistic Son Or Daughter

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE NARCISSIST WHEN THEY ARE YOUR CHILD?

One topic in the field of Narcissistic Personality Disorder that I have found is not written about often is the narcissistic adult son or daughter.  Many people have written to me over the months asking how they should deal with their toxic children who have shown them time and time again that they have no respect for their parents.  Nothing the parent does is ever good enough.  Some believe the world owes them a living.  They threaten to withhold  contact with grandchildren unless their ever increasing demands are met.  How do you deal with this type of toxicity when this young person is someone who you have brought into this world?

Many parents blame themselves, thinking that it must be their fault that their offspring has grown into such an evil and toxic human being.  However, this may or may not be the case.  Remember that the cause of NPD is uncertain.

There are many theories which include:

1.  Over valuing as a childWon't stop with you
2.  A learned behaviour
3.  Genetics
4.  Abuse in childhood

The cause is most likely complex with the possibility of more than one factor being at the root of this disorder.

No matter how well meaning your intentions are, your kindness, attention, compassion, forgiving nature, none of it is ever going to be good enough.  They have an endless list of people who they believe have done them wrong, treated them unfairly, not loved them enough and sadly you are probably at the top of that list.

They hold within themselves, a fragile self esteem and a profound fear of abandonment.  They won’t acknowledge their fears and their subsequent rages will remind you of their childhood temper tantrums.  Do you give in to this childish behaviour and give them what they want?

To give into their demands will simply invite more of the same.  They will blame you for their behaviour.  It’s a result of what you did or didn’t do when they were a child.  You will start to believe them and think that your parenting skills were somewhat lacking.  Don’t be blackmailed or held to ransom by their behaviour.  They are adults now and need to learn accountability.  They are no longer your responsibility.

By ignoring their behaviour and giving in to their constant demands, you are acting as an enabler.  Don’t let them mistake your kindness and compassion for weakness.  To do so will result in them pushing you to your limit forever and a day.  You cannot cure them with your love no matter how strong that love may be.  I have seen parents who cut contact for short periods of time only for a return of the same disrespect and toxic behaviour as soon as there is some sort of reconciliation.  Some parents want a peaceful life and think that they will achieve it by giving in to the demands of these ‘adult kids.’  They won’t.

 I’ve  heard parents say:
“I’m used to it.”
“He’s done it all his life.”
“She’s always treated me like that.”
“That’s just the way he is.”

It’s time to stop giving in and giving them what they want.  Let them know that you are not going to put up with their toxic behaviour any longer.  It’s ok to demand respect.  It’s your right.  Stop breaking your own heart by giving in to them.  You are not doing them any favours in the long run because their obnoxious behaviour, overstepping boundaries, tantrums and rages are not going to stop with you.  They will spill over into every relationship they encounter in the future.

Cutting off contact with a son or daughter is probably one of the most heart-breaking decisions any parent will face but sometimes this is your only option to restore your own sanity and bring some semblance of peace into your life.  You are justified and entitled to demand civility and respect.

Written by Anne McCrea
Narcissists And Friendship

Narcissists And Friendship

Is a narcissist capable of being a true friend?

Friendship is built upon trust, loyalty, empathy and having mutual respect for each other.  Narcissists do not possess any of these qualities and as such do not make meaningful friendships.  The narcissist does not need friends.  They need Narcissistic Supply.  Any so called ‘friends’ are seen simply as a source of that supply.  Acquaintances tend to come and go throughout the narcissist’s life.

As with any relationship with a narcissist, ‘friendship’ with these individuals often gets off to an excellent start.  People are impressed and fooled by their charm and charisma.  Unknown to them, they are manipulated and used for a time until the narcissist no longer sees them as a good source of supply.  At such times these so called friends are devalued and discarded.Need narcissistic supply.

As time passes, people, even those who have hung around for years, usually see the narcissist’s true colours and how they treat others.  If they have not yet been abandoned by the narcissist, they become sickened by their behaviour, by their moods, their continuous conflicts, by their complete disregard for other people’s feelings, by their delight at ripping people off and putting others down, that they eventually do the abandoning and leave the narcissist to drown in their own cesspool which they, themselves, have created.

Time has a wonderful way of revealing truth.  The narcissist’s social circle vanishes.  They are no longer tolerated by those who realise that there is absolutely nothing to gain from holding on to ties with this toxic personality.

Will the narcissist blame others for the situation that they find themselves in?

More than likely.  They have alienated everyone who has had the misfortune to walk into their lives but somehow they fail to see that their abandonment has been their own doing.

Written by Anne McCrea

The Silent Treatment And No Contact… What Are The Differences?

The Silent Treatment And No Contact… What Are The Differences?

A lot of people tend to think that when we go ‘No Contact’ with a narcissist, we are behaving in a similar manner as they do when they give us the ‘Silent Treatment’.  The two are so very, very different and are done for very different reasons.  We need to look at what motivates someone to initiate the Silent Treatment or No contact.

IMG_1375The Silent Treatment
When a narcissist gives us the silent treatment they are doing so as a punishment, to invoke fear, obligation, guilt or remorse.  Remember that these disordered personalities are all about power and control.  It is a means employed by these disordered individuals of showing their displeasure or disapproval.  Have you done something to deserve it?  Probably not.  Most of the time, the victim has no idea why they are being treated in this despicable manner.  They have done nothing wrong.  Any attempt to resolve the situation by discussion is thwarted.  Their contempt for you is blatantly obvious.  The narcissist’s ego is very easily upset.  It takes so very little to ignite their fuse.  The silent treatment is a passive aggressive form of emotional abuse and has been described as mental murder.  When you are on the receiving end of the silent treatment your very existence is not recognised by your abuser.  They will not speak to you, look at you, answer your phone calls or answer your texts.  This makes a target feel that they are dead to their abuser.  The narcissist knows exactly what they are doing, they know how this behaviour is making you feel and yes, they may enjoy seeing you suffer.  Basically, they just do not care how they make you feel.  In their sick and twisted mind, you have upset them and you deserve it.

No Contact

When we go no contact with an abuser it is done to protect ourselves, to give us time to heal and recover, not to punish or hurt anyone.  (When there are children involved, minimal contact is advised.  Keep one line of communication open, preferably in writing.)

No contact has often been described as removing the drugs away from the addict or the alcohol from the alcoholic.  The narcissist was our drug and when we need to become clean we have got to stay away from the drugs or the alcohol.  For many, this may last a lifetime.  Some alcoholics may be alcohol free for years and just one drink will see them back in their pit of despair.  Likewise with the narcissist,  just one conversation, letting your guard down can be enough for you to let the narcissist back into to your life.  Make sure you know that you are strong enough before you have any dealings with the narcissist.  For many that time will never come.  So be it.  Losing the narcissist in your life is not a loss, it’s a gain.  You are gaining freedom.  You are gaining strength away from these dysfunctional individuals.  You are getting your life back.  You cannot stop them treating people the way they do but you can stop them treating you in this way.

Know that someone who truly loves you would never want to hurt you, would never want to see you cry or be the cause of those tears.  Know when enough is enough.  Know when to walk away.

Written by Anne McCrea