The Empath and The ‘Wounded Narcissist’

The Empath and The ‘Wounded Narcissist’

The cause of NPD is not known but there are many theories which include…
  1. Over valuing as a child
  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.

Some believe that the narcissist has come from a place of pain, that he or she has been subjected to unimaginable pain and as a result, they have taken on  a certain set of behaviours in order to deal with their past.  Many people have been subjected to abuse and yet have found strength within themselves to not let their past dictate their future.

The Empath And The Wounded NarcissistLet us take a look at when the ‘wounded’ narcissist meets an empathetic person.

An empath is a giver who wants to help.  They take on another’s pain and internalise it.  They are full of compassion believing in the good of humankind.  They have the ability to put themselves in another’s shoes and try to make things better often at the expense of their own wellbeing.  On the other hand, the narcissist is a taker, sucking others dry for their own benefit and to hell with the consequences or who may suffer as a result (as long as it’s not them).  It may be a match made in heaven for the narcissist but it’s a match made in hell for the empath.

Empaths tend to think that people are inherently good failing to see that there are some people who don’t possess such qualities as empathy and kindness.  It’s hard for them to realise that some people are out for what they can get with absolutely no good intentions whatsoever.  They fail to set boundaries as to what is acceptable and what is not.  A narcissist will seize this opportunity to take advantage of their kind and forgiving nature.   Their aim will be to exploit and manipulate the empath by any means necessary.  The narcissist has mastered the art of deception and will employ well practised devious and underhand methods to exert their influence whereby they will eventually gain control not only of their targets mind but virtually their every move.  This type of psychological abuse is a gradual process whereby the person being targeted has absolutely no idea that such wheels have been set in motion.  Their objective has been to love, to help and to soothe the pain that the narcissist has so convincingly made them believe has been a part of their past.  Let us not forget that narcissists are pathological liars often portraying themselves as the victim where the opposite is true and they are, in fact, the perpetrator.

Can these two personalities find an equilibrium?  That, I’m afraid is highly unlikely.  Over time the target of this insidious abuse will get worn down.  Just like a carpet that gets constantly trod on, its’ once beauty and soft touch are now lacklustre and barren of fibre.  They will get fed up with constantly being blamed when things don’t run smoothly.  They’ll get fed up with being the only one fighting for this relationship.  Sometimes this process takes years but eventually most realise that there is a point of no return.  It’s either sink or swim.  As a captain of a ship performs his last duty by ensuring the safety of the passengers and crew before saving himself, the person seeking freedom ensures the safety of their children and loved ones, before jumping overboard and swimming for the shore.  Some may think that they can remain on-board and hope that the ship will remain afloat but often the damage is too severe that sailing on to the sunset is not an option.

Abandoning ship is not failure.  It’s not defeat.  It’s taking positive steps to overcome a situation that has become unsustainable.  Remaining in an unhealthy relationship with such a toxic personality is likened to signing your own death warrant.  Psychological abuse takes its toll on your health, not only your mental health but your physical health.  It’s not selfish to take over the reins and start looking after yourself.  You have a choice, to stay and be subjected to more of the same or give yourself a new start, a new life free from mind games and control.  The choice is yours and the journey ahead will be rough at times but worth it.  Calm seas never made a good sailor.

For those dealing with family members who display this type of behaviour, the advice by experts is the same.  Distance yourself from the dysfunctional personality in order to gain peace and normality in your life.

Written by Anne McCrea

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

Amazon UK

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31 thoughts on “The Empath and The ‘Wounded Narcissist’

  1. What is described above is the most painful humiliating and terrifying experience. I am an empath and I have given 28 years to a man like this… he has abused me and his beautiful daughters as well as suffered addictions to alcohol and sex. He cheated on me for 10 years even after he bacame sober he continued to be unfaithful. He eventually walked out and abandoned me for another woman. It was devastating to overcome he pain and mental anguish of his actions. I am still trying to move forward with some respect and dignity in myself. People don’t understand why I stayed so long in this suffering. Learning about it all and taking one day at a time is helping me. Thank you for being a guiding light for those that can’t escape the terror of these dysfunctional individuals.

    1. Anonimus, as I read this you are describing exactly my life. For a moment I wondered if I had type this myself. Your life and mine share the Same story

      1. I am so sorry for the pain you have suffered at the hands and words of this morally bankrupt human being. People who have not walked in your shoes have no right to question why you stayed for as long as you did. Narcissists weave a web of (often, charismatic) lies that even the most intelligent woman would get trapped in. Stay strong. Surround yourself with people who truly love and support you. Praying for your healing.

    2. He did u the biggest favor by walking out. It forced u to move on to the better life that God has for u. Thank God u still have the rest of ur life to be happy and loved. U and ur daughters deserve better. Please find a counselor who is knowledgeable in narcissist abuse. U will get through this and be yourself again over time. It will be hard at times but keep telling urself that god got u out of this abuse.

  2. Just left a narcisstic marriage after 18yrs.

    It’s true sink or swim. I just about died emotionally and physically. I’ m an empath and everything stated I’m living. You can do it to.
    Run run run as fast and as far as you can . Save your children and yourself. Your worth it.

  3. What’s amazing is the number of people who leave after many years.

    My ex walked was caught having an affair with a business client. The business client told everyone about the affair through her blog and was low enough to organise prank phone calls to my mobile. My ex said he wanted to fix things but that was a lie. Instead, he used me for 9 months before I built up the courage to say enough is enough. Of course he ran back to his supply. He refused to pay the mortgage and all other bills leaving us in financial ruins. He’d always said “I don’t know what’s wrong with me”, it’s only through education and many trips to my psychologist I’ve realised that he is a passive aggressive narcissist.

    I’ve been discarded like a piece of dirt. Unfortunately I still have to deal with him because of the 2 boys. In an ideal situation I would never speak to him again.

    My psychologist hit the nail on the head (we had joint counselling) I can fix you, I can not fix him. He is broken.

    No one will know what it’s like dealing with these egotistical jerks unless they have experienced it first hand. They discard, they isolate you from social networks so they can continue to spin their massive web of lies. They avoid tax returns, lie to child support about income, lie to the courts about their work and how they will accommodate having the children and never follow through.

    I can’t believe it took 15yrs for him to show his true colours. He even claimed “people wouldn’t like me if they knew who I really am” and he’s right, it’s a shame I didn’t know sooner.

    Best thing I have ever done is walk away. It’s made me learn about myself (an empath who was co-dependent) and has taught me to respect myself so that I will never let anyone treat me like that again.

    I’m looking forward to the future without him 🙂

    1. Amen. Good for u. My counselor told me after 1 time meeting my ex that he was just making it up as he went along. Wish i would have seen the true him sooner instead of wasting 6 yrs of my life with him and marrying him. Good riddance is whst i say

  4. This describes my sister and myself.
    I always respected her and fell into her manipulations. She is older than I and I have held her on a pedestal since childhood. Recently my counsellor labeled what I was describing about my sister’s behaviour as narcisstic and passive aggressive behaviour.
    I’m absolutely flabbergasted by the perceptions she has about me. Anything I say or do to gain her approval is misconstrued as how messed up and terrible I am.
    I’ve tried distancing myself. Of course doing that is seen as a huge negative in her eyes. We come from a large family so how do I avoid her at our gatherings.

    I do see how I have enabled the mental abuse and now that I’m practising standing in my own power, not catering to her every whim, this infuriates her.

    I choose not to speak to any family member about her. I will continue to have a good relationship with everyone and be civil to her when we are all together.
    She’s been a severe Teacher in this Life Lesson …. I think I’ve finally learned to have self respect and how to set my personal boundaries.

    1. Thank you…most people refer to spouses or partners…its so hard when family…I deal with a brother. I thought for years I was the crazy one…and I thought if I was nice enough I could fix our relationship…he belittles me, no respect for me, my family …and we live 40 feet apart…my physical health has suffered. I live in small community, same church, same friends…I am so misunderstood-that I had to stop church to stay out of his path in the past 2 years since my parents passed away….I always went back and thought that was the way to work things out…he just continued to make me his victim..enough…its a long story – a life time…thanks for listening.

  5. I am grateful that after 5 years I have gotten out of this situation but it hurts so much. I genuinely and unconditionally loved this man and valued our marriage. To know for him that it was part of his game and how he lives his life is what hurts the most. Educate yourselves so you know the signs early and run away. It is hard to say, especially as a Christian, that these people are broken and cannot be fixed but they can’t. I know time will heal me, but he will repeat his patterns and suffer until he dies. That is so painful to accept.

    1. Kelly, your comment is a total “ditto” to what I have been going through. I recently divorced after almost 4 years of marriage and emotional abuse. The last huge fight we had was over the fact that my youngest son (from my previous marriage) took me out to lunch. I was always walking on eggshells, but I felt that it would be okay to go to lunch while “he” slept after working a midnight shift. When I got home, I was greeted with silence and a cold shoulder until the silence was broken with a huge fight in which he told me that I f($*3! up his life and that I was f-ing rude for not asking him to come along. My ex seemed to get this way in cycles. Usually once every couple of months. I did have many wonderful times in our marriage, but when he got crazy over NOTHING….I was so unimaginably miserable and felt so alone. There were days at a time that I could not eat because I was so torn up. I have given, given, given and he has taken, taken, taken. I don’t know if I will ever completely heal after this “love of my life” has treated me. I kept forgiving him even though he never admitted he was wrong or told me he was sorry. I kept thinking of the good times and hoping he would change. Since this recent divorce, we have both been sad. He wants to meet with me soon because he has “many things he wants to tell me”. I have to be careful when I am ready for this meeting. I want to hear him say (without prompting him) that he was wrong and sorry for his behavior towards me and his vile words directed at me. I want him to point the finger at himself and say that he is sorry for ALWAYS pointing the finger at me. I want to forgive him because he asks for it, I want to be friends, but this time, it will be on my terms. Lunch or biking or going to an event might be nice, but only living APART as we are now. I must not subject myself to those cycles of misery ever again….even though I feel so alone. These comments from you and other women are helping me immensely! Thank you, all of you!

      1. U need to have NO CONTACT WITH HIM. he is only going to suck u back into his game. There is no being friends or doung things together. These people are pure evil with no soul. Run away for the sake of urself and ir son

      2. Please from a fellow empathy DO NOT create any other communication foundations such as being friends it will only continue the sadness; 0 contact!!

      3. Everthing they say is a lie….he will tell you what you want to hear and suck you back in. Dont meet.dont listen. Dont believe him. Do your research. No comtact2a

        1. This is all very, very sound advice. Give up hope of friendship with a N. Do NOT look back. Consider yourself lucky that you have extricated yourself from an evil web that spins ever darker the longer you stay in contact. Your story Anne, while it haunts me, also gives me such joy knowing that the one who caused me SO MUCH PAIN is behind me and will never, EVER, hurt me again. God bless you on your journey.

  6. I wish I’d heard of this dynamic before! It’s been a hard lesson to learn! Yes, believing in the best of people and for me, believing there must be a “reason” for someone’s behaviour. I know (obviously, empath!!) that some people sometimes lash out because of what’s going on in their lives, but it’s taken me a long time to realise many people were just using me as an emotional punching bag!! Nope! See ya! I’m outta here! It’s such a joke what some people think they can get away with. I seem to be a magnet for these people! How do they sniff me out?!?! It’s happened so many times! It’s probably a case of “life will keep sending you the lesson until you learn it”, but it still sucks, and hurts!! I have to say though, sometimes I used to let it slide if someone made the odd off-hand, cutting remark, maybe giving them the benefit of the doubt that they may have been stressed out or had something going on I didn’t know about. But now I’m like, “Nope, take responsibility for your own emotional self control. I’m not there for you to take it out on me!”
    I recently was going on a camping trip with a friend and we were going to sort out our plans when we met up, but after several days this still hadn’t happened and when I asked for her help with something, she flung some answer over her shoulder as she walked away, then turned around & blamed me for not hearing her! I was pi$$ed & confused. (She was upset I was fed up with listening to her talking about stalking her ex’s dating profile. 42yrs. Grow up! I had never even met the guy.) She went to sleep that night without resolving it (asking if “I was feeling any better” a bit earlier, making out that I was the one with the problem) – I didn’t even feel comfortable going in *my own tent*. So I stormed in & told her I was leaving the next morning. The next morning she accused me that she thought I was going to become violent in the night (huh?? Um, no. I didn’t even feel safe myself.) and that I wasn’t a friend. No, “sweetheart”, we’re not, you got that right!! What’s wrong with these people? Do they seriously think their problems are *our* problems?? It’s not my problem if you can’t cope, you have to take responsibility for your own actions, it’s not my problem to help you! Such a random experience!!
    I have to say, I knew another girl about 15 yrs ago who would blurt things out and then look contrite. But she had no self control, she’d just swipe! Much later (the friendship blew up, unsurprisingly), I wondered whether she literally had something wrong with her brain. She had no impulse control! I think the amygdala is supposed to control emotional responses, but things get over-ridden if someone is stressed or afraid (actual or perceived). It doesn’t excuse the behaviour, but it would give an explanation. Literally, she couldn’t help herself. We sharehoused and seriously, it was so awful living with her, she was like a loose cannon. *I* started become stressed & high-strung. But noticing that effect on me made me wonder if that was what was going on with her/ in her brain (for whatever reason). Anyway, it’s just a though. The brain gets affected by all sorts of things, depression can be related to a chemical imbalance in the brain, maybe a chemical imbalance is also involved somehow here? (Like I said, it might be an explanation, but it’s not an “excuse” though!)
    So sorry for people in relationships with these people! Yes, stand up for yourselves, set firm boundaries & get the hell out of you need to!!
    P.S. Is there a fb group for this experience?? Because I’d find that *really* helpful!! (Mega-long post! ‍♀️) It’s been helpful to reflect/ share. (Like other people said, you get made out to be the crazy one!! ) Cheers!

    1. are you talking about bipolar and not a narcissistic person,because mental health disorders can be treated with medication ,there is no cure for a narcissist.

    2. To tell you how dead inside a narcissist is, As I was in the process of leaving, I found out my daughter is terminally ill and two weeks later, my parents were in a horrible car accident. My father was killed and my mother has nine broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, and several lumbar fractures. Knowing all this, he is making it impossible for me to get all my things.

  7. I am looking forward to a world in which this dynamic is no longer lived by anyone.. the only cure is when we inpower our children to turn to the divinity within us for our truth.. as adults we are having to retrain ourselves to go within for the answers and truth and if we started early with our children having them go within to the divinity within for truth and answers they would have a spiritual muscle and discernment because they would have learned early on that the kingdom of heaven really is within.. my prayer

  8. I am a 32 year old co dependent empath…it was booze I’m recovered 4 years now. My husband and I have 11 years and 3 kids. He is a total manipulator who can’t be faithful and thinks emotional cheating isn’t possible. I would tell u the scenarios but I see nothing that doesn’t reflect my own situation in these comnents. He’s done a check if a job because I was always quick to leave a bad relationship until him. I’m scared petrified. My head knows the right thing when will my heart? I need advice please this is so hard and I’m going at it alone…little by little I’m losing me.

  9. This is my life and I sit here in awe reading this. I have been with a guy for 3 years and been faithful to him while he lives with his baby moma but swears he sleeps on the couch till she finds a place of her own. He has verbally beat me down and my self worth is destroyed. We have had great times but now I realize how severe of a narc he is. In 3 years I’ve spent over 20,000 on him plus bought him a truck trying trying trying with him but nothing helps him. He blows up over the smallest of things. Accuses me of sleeping with everyone while he lives with baby moma. He is a top Captain of our PD and he is going to destroy my life. I hate life and hate living. I can’t crawl out of this hole. I’ve worked for the gov’t for 28 years have a successful life, a 22 year old daughter that is actually on a mission trip now. I had a great life but he has destroyed it.

    1. Hi Anonymous, Law enforcment Narcissist are the absolute worst. They are capable of the worst. I know, Im in the middle of divorcing one after 17 years. It is unbeleivably painful and so hard but I am doing it because I’m done being his punching bag. You are not in that deep like me so you NEED to run not walk away as fast as you can, he will destroy you one way or another if you stay. The longer you stay the more damage you will do to your self. I pray for you.

  10. If only i had all this information on hand 5yrs ago. I left 12 months ago and still live in hell everyday. I dont know if i got the worst one possible or if im just weak. I dont even know who i am anymore, im just an empty shell, sometimes i think it would have been easier if he had of just killed me. I just signed the house over to him today for mine and my families safety. Hopefully now it will be over.

  11. I’m so sorry for all of your pain. Thank you everyone for sharing. Been involved for 6 months and don’t know what or how change ,I guess. Stuck. Wise words. Peace, love and kindness to all !

  12. Thank you for sharing this very useful information. I am an empath daughter of a malignant narcissistic mom who continues her emotional abuse to this moment. I have set up boundaries over the years. I am 43 now. Till I was 19, Mom violated all my boundaries – physical, emotional, everything. To the extent that when I first started closing the bathroom door for privacy in my 20s, she used to go into a rage. I was so debilitated that I thought that mom and I were one person until I was 21. From then, for these 20 years, I have cultivated myself, undone most of her damage and is currently working towards a master’s in psychology. My living conditions unfortunately demand that we share the same house. This makes life very challenging especially when she is in one of her rages. I am down with flu and recovering. After a particularly severe emotional abuse by her when I was running a high fever, I feel very distraught. In spite of all these years of work, I was caught aback when I was the most vulnerable. I just want to reach that point where nothing she says will make me hurt. But I feel too much. I feel everyone, nature, the energies, it is my gift and I love that. I feel there is a huge energy burden I am carrying from past life and it is possible mom has killed me in a past life or something. I want to resolve this peacefully and with love. Thank you for your patience and understanding. My heart goes out to all of you who are suffering… God bless.. Let us all heal…

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